Thursday, November 30, 2000

Panzer Dragoon Saga | 9.5

Not many people have heard about this game. I know I didn't up until a couple of years ago. I didn't even think twice about the SEGA Saturn being much of a system to be recognized... until I found this.

First off, the bad: because this game was made over ten years ago, the graphics are... well, "ugly" is a nice way of putting it. It's not the worst I've seen, but certainly not the best. Once you get past the eye-sore that the graphics could be for you, then there's the combat mechanics, which are rather tricky to get used to at first, especially with the regular controller. I would highly suggest getting a "3D" controller for this game, because it practically demands it. Finally, many of the characters just don't have a lot of growth, save for the main cast.

That all said, the good heavily outweighs the bad. For starters, the story: the fact that, for an RPG that only goes for 22 hours max (and that's assuming you get really, badly stuck), the storyline and the characters are all phenomenal, and even somewhat human! A bit cliché, granted, but not horribly so. You truly feel connected to your character in this world. Even your sworn enemy ends up becoming a character that one can sympathize with. Next, I mentioned that the combat controls are a bit tricky to get used to... however, once you get them down, it's mostly a matter of being at the right place at the right time. Sometimes, it almost makes boss battles a little too easy, but never loses its fun factor.

Finally, the flow is absolutely spot-on. There's no seeking out items for long hours on end, no hidden "good" endings that must be unlocked by doing a certain little dance, no nearly-impossible battles where you needed a single item that you had to get back in the second area of the game, and can't get now. And although there is a bit of backtracking, each time you go back, there's more to be found - much like the Metroid game. Everything flows together very nicely.

So in conclusion, yes, I would recommend this to anyone willing to pay the money. It's a fun game with decent pacing that is a vast departure from it's peers - and still manages to be one of the best I've ever experienced.

- points off, because it was 1. Hardest RPG ever. 2.) the 3D graphics looked more blocky than PS1. Good usage of both SH-2s however. They should call the Saturn the first dual-core computer in a mainstream costumer product.

Torchlight for PC | 8.0

It's like Diablo II: The Animated Series and reminds me of Record of Lodoss War for Dreamcast. A game that I own and played 8-9 yrs ago. Then again there is World of Warcraft, but Record of Lodoss War predates it.

Classes - In Torchlight you assume one of three different classes. Within each class you gain skills that allow you to fine tune your play-style through acquiring abilities from three different trees. The higher your level the more options in each of the trees become available to you. Any skill in any tree is available to you at any time, so long as you've gained the level necessary to open that skill. The classes are well balanced, though my limited experience with the ranged class led me to believe it might be a little under powered.

Loot - Very much like any other game from Diablo to World of Warcraft. Enemies, some quest-givers, and chests drop loot. Weapons and armor come in a variety of flavors from plain to epic. Gear can be enchanted and/or socketed to gain new abilities and/or powers. You can sell items in town or transmute them to create new gems.

Pet - This is probably the most significant change from Diablo found in Torchlight. You choose a cat or dog and it follows you throughout the game. Fighting along with you, storing extra loot for you, or returning to town to sell loot. You can equip your pet with spells as well as rings and amulets to increase it's ability in combat. In addition you can feed it fish to grant it certain powers for a period of time.

Etc. - One feature that really stands out is the shared chest. Each character has his/her own personal chest as well as a chest that can store items for use with any of your other characters. This is incredibly useful as you're constantly picking up unique or rare items that other classes can use. The shared adds alot of replay to the game. The graphics are great as well.

The game play is a lot similar as Diablo with few improvement:
1) Tons of storage, so looting is much easier, esp. when you can ask your pet to go back down to sell the stuff. I didn't use one single town portal in 3 hrs play.
2) Easy to save, you come back whereever you exited earlier, and pick up exactly what you left before.
3) Easy fast key, you just use 1-10, you can put anything in there from lotion to spell to attack.

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Skies of Arcadia | 9.5

Skies of Arcadia is an absolute masterpiece, I can remember back in 2001, when it was released in England and i picked it up immediately after hearing rave reviews. It really did live up to the hype, unfortunately much like the Dreamcast it was criminally overlooked, although im sure most people who owned a Dreamcast did buy it.

The combat itself is nothing special, in fact the turn based battles are pretty slow, not as flowing as the active time battles of most Final Fantasy games. The beauty of the game doesn't lie in the battles though, the plot is where all good RPG's excel and this is no different. Exploring the planet is great fun in itself, despite the random battles (which you can later avoid), and the plot moves along superbly right until the end of the game. Where this game really innovates though is in the ship battles.

The ship battles are excellent, rather than fighting as a party, as you do for most of the game, you instead pit your ship against another ship, sometimes even monsters, though usually an enemy pirate or general from the armada. If you have played the game you will know how good these battles are, and what a joy the game is to play. If you still have a Dreamcast picking up dust and you don't already own this, you could do no better than to pick it up. It also came out for the Gamecube, which I believe was basically the same game.

A truly classic RPG, which deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as other classics like Final Fantasy 7, superb.

Monster Hunter Tri Wii review | 9.0

So far this is the best RPG for the wii! The story is a little weak but fun. Very challenging and awesome multiplayer action. Great graphics! I love the interaction when playing online. The best part i have to say is the challenge cause its very hard to find a challenging game. If you play online you might want to get a keyboard or the wii speak (which i don't have either one) because its easier to communicate but you can survive without it. This isn't a very hard game to learn. I wouldn't buy this game for a young child because it does evolve a lot of strategy and gets pretty intense. I'm a adult and love the game so if you adults like games this might be one to consider getting. I wouldn't consider myself a heavy gamer either so if you are real casual gamer this would be good just to kinda pass some time and have a little fun.

The Last Remnant for PC | 8.4 for

Technically, it's better looking than Final Fantasy XIII running in DirectX 10 and there are a few patch revisions out. You could purchase PC version off Amazon about 4 months ago. A lot better with patches, and better than X360 to begin with.

As an admittedly picky game player, and having played enough RPGs to know "good" from "bad," I definitely think that the good parts of The Last Remnant outweigh the bad. I will jump right into the parts of this game that I enjoy:

1. Outside of the battle field, the game has stunning scenery. While there are standard caves and dungeons, there are vast and beautifully detailed outdoor environments that are very refreshing and energizing. Some of environments are very reminiscent of the "Myst" series, which I particularly liked.

2. Along with the scenery, there are some stand-out tracks on the soundtrack. Namely "Old Traditions, New Methods" and "Rolling Hills, Sprawling Plains." Many tracks have a very eclectic, new age feel. Unfortunately there are some uninspired electric guitar battle themes, but the composers more than make up for it with the better tracks.

3. There is a geniune sense of free adventure in this game. The story line is set up for you from the beginning, but the majority of the game is spent exploring areas through side quests. Through these sidequests and exploring different maps, you can open up new cities, landscapes and dungeons that have nothing to do with the immediate story at hand. Whatever your mood, you can satisfy yourself in this game. At almost any time during the game, you can choose between free roaming, completing side quests, or progressing with the main story of the game.

4. No matter where you go, the enemies usually seem to be programmed to fight at your level. Of course, there are difficult boss battles that you must level up your characters to win. However, for the vast majority of the game, there are no sudden huge spikes in difficulty that plague some games (like Star Ocean 3). You are able to save at any time you can open the game menu (99% of the time), and you are fully recovered after every battle. That said, regular encounters are a little more drawn out and less frequent than, say, Final Fantasy XII.

5. The characters have some depth! While some of the characters' stories leave a bit to be desired, you get to learn a lot about your party members and may even grow attached to them like you did in Final Fantasy X. This helps because you feel involved with their story, and it provides motivation to progress in the game.

There are few bad things that I can say about this game. The load times can be a little distracting. However, they tried to make it helpful by including game tips on the load screen. Additionally, there are some frame rate issues during battles because there is A LOT going on (by the end of the game, you can control up to 25 characters divided into 5 parties that fight at once on the battle field). However, I quickly got over that and don't even notice it anymore.

In all, this is definitely a game to check out. With the reduced price, there is no excuse not to try it out now. This is a masterfully done RPG - not completely groundbreaking, but very refreshing and enjoyable.

Sunday, November 26, 2000

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia | 9.0

his is by far the most unique Castlevania title in that it bridges the gap between "Classicvania" (Castlevania 1 -4 and maybe a few other titles in the Castlevania series after C4 but before SotN) and "Metroidvania" (Symphony of the Night onwards) styles.

There are many winks and nods to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest. One particular instance in the game made my meter shoot off the roof.

Although you're not playing as a Belmont (the surname to the family of vampire hunters featured all throughout the Castlevania series - in which the original Castlevania game featured the character by the name of Simon Belmont), and a Belmont does not show up as a side character, the Belmont name does not fade into obscurity in this.

A good portion of the game play is in the "Metroidvania" style, but like I said, it does contain many "obscure" references to Castlevania II: Simon's Quest.

This game is hella difficult to pass the first time around. I can't tell you how many times I had to select continue to pass the freakin' game!

The other thing I love about this game is that it is mysterious and does have twists in the story line that are awesome.

Not a lot of anime elements to make the game seem out of place (which I hella love!). Anime has it's place, but not in a creepy world like that in Castlevania.

This game also has the nice ambiance of horror that a Castlevania game is supposed to have. I mean, c'mon, the original Castlevania game was either a joke, poking fun of old black-and-white classic horror movies, or an homage to those movies, or quite possibly even both!

Another thing about this game is that it seems to have combined many of the popular elements in the previous DS Castlevania games into it as well.

Saturday, November 25, 2000

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence | 10

he jungle has reopened with a lot more than enough to go 'round
-Excellent graphics
-Well done voice acting(Tho some of it is clieche'd/cheesey)
-Great background music(Even the James Bondish theme song has grown on me)
-the 3rd person camera is freakin' sweet!!(No more looking around in 1st person to find out where enemies are)
-fantastic sound effects
-A very destructive arsenal (along with the shotgun, the AK, and the gun that never runs out of ammo, the patriot!)
-One of the, if not the best plot in videogames(Plot twists hit you up, down, left right, sideways, diagonal, reverse, aw u get it! It's seriously much better than sitting through a class to find out about the Cuban missile crisis)
-I never liked hunting for food........till now
-A lot more camouflage offered than before
-Pretty realistic(Keeping a eye on everything: Health, Stamina, poison, cuts, and you gotta aim manually to get a good shot, unless you have the scorpion sub-machine gun(Laser sight, and the M-60 machine gun(Too big to aim through)
-Man Ocelot is so bad, he makes his crew look like natural born killers(Seriously, when I fought him, his troops gave me more of a problem than he did)
-Awwwww... Eva! When Snake is ever hurt, all he needs is some sexual healing(*Sigh* if only that really happened)
-Weird but excellent boss fights, like the old man with the baseball sized eyeballs.(But he can be iced early, just watch out for his wheelchair after assassination)
-Online is the shrimp in the rice. You can team up with people with team death match, capture, and rescue missions, or just flat out kill everyone in deathmatch mode.(And you can be a couple of rumble roses chicks, but ya gotta spend over 50 hours online, something I'm far from doing)
-More snake V.S. Monkey missions(I usually don't play em' much, but yea.)
-The limited edition version comes with a DVD which splices all the cutscenes together and makes it a 3 hour 55 movie, and has a trailer for Metal Gear Solid 4(Although if you have a limited edition version, it's best not to open them, if you know what I mean)
-No Radien, despite Snake is sometimes called Jack, which was Radien's name (I still don't get what was up with that?)
-Also included are the sequels, or rather the 2 games that came after this, Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2:Solid Snake(The 2 japanese versions that didn't come out in america; well the second anyway.)
-One of the best endings I've ever seen(Man, Kojima is just a genius. A prequel yet can beat out his earlier versions in endings)
The greatest prequel ever made, with the plot surpassing it's predecessors
The best Metal Gear Solid experience you can find when it comes to plot, no doubt, and if you have yet to play Snake Eater, don't start there, start here.
-What is this game famus for? hmmmmmm, oh LONG CUTSEENES AND CALLS(I doubt that will ever change)
-No Radar, which makes it harder to know where the enemies are, and which way they are looking(Altho it's less of a problem with the 3rd person camera, it's still a problem)
-Even with cameo, I get seen as if I were a shadow in broad daylight when I'm standing(Crawling takes a while, but it pays off with a stealth kill, but still)
-Keeping an eye on everything can get repetitive(Like after I healed a gunshot, some butt-monkey shot me with a poison needle)
-Traps are usually hard too see(Like getting stuck with arrows, walking into mines, etc. unless you got thermal goggles)
How could Snake not like James Bond flicks!?(After I saved it once, he talked crap about Bond, and in the 60s Sean Connery was Bond, the BEST BOND. I'd understand if it was Roger Moore, the major had every right to say something back at him)
-Is Volgin gay?(It's just that in a certain scene he seemed that way)

Metal Gear Solid 3 is back, and back in a bigger, revamped way. Metal Gear solid 3 substance, is definitely better than MGS VR missions, and MGS2: substance by far. If any game developer is planning to make a game they made much more improved, they should check out how better this game is from the regular MGS3. This game is definitely recommended for those who love the MGS series, and those who love stealth games. Even if you have the regular MGS3, grab this, and if you never played MGS3 grab this. If you wanna be in a videogame where survival is not in a horror game, check this out. If you have a PS2 and don't have this game, someone should serve you up with a facial slap.

Friday, November 24, 2000

Mario Kart 8 9.0

Like most people, I bought a Wii U for the Super Smash Bros, LOZ, Animal Crossing and so on. And I've been anxiously awaiting this games arrival for a long time, as I pre-ordered it the second it was available on amazon. The last game I can say I truly enjoyed on the Wii U, was Super Mario 3D World, and boy am I glad the wait for a new great game is over.

This game is AMAZING! I've played every entry since SMK and have loved each one since, as they all brought new ideas to the table. Mario Kart 8 takes the reigns as my favorite title in the series though, no question! This has got to be THE best racing game Nintendo has ever created. It's so much more tasty and rich than the ones before it.

So first off, the gamepad controls for this game feel very nice. Being used to the wii remote, I was surprised at how natural the conversion to the gamepad felt. I prefer using the analog sticks opposed to the gamepad's gyroscope though. The gamepad is just a little too big to be leaning back and forth!:/ I also like how they incorporated the gamepads screen into the game. If you're playing on the T.V. you can easily switch to gamepad-only mode with the touch of a button, there's also another little button you can press to see where everyone is on the track! Very convenient! Some people may complain that the gamepad screen isn't being used enough, but come on, lets be honest... There's not much you can do with the gamepad in this game. You're racing! You want to keep your eye's on ONE screen!

Next, the graphics. Sweet baby Jesus this game is beautiful. I can't describe the feeling of seeing an HD Mario Kart game, it's completely different from seeing the videos of it in reviews on YouTube. Once you own this game and you play it on your TV... Then and only then you can truly see how nice this game looks. My favorite track has got to be Twisted mansion (i'm a sucker for anything spooky!). Nintendo, like always, does a great job in course variety and it's no different in this game either as each one is COMPLETELY different from the one before it. They stuck to the traditional 16 re-made old tracks, and 16 brand spankin new ones. I love this tradition as it eases us into new territory in the series. There's tons of throwbacks in here though!

Also, I don't know if anyone else likes to do this too, but to really appreciate the game more.. i go on time trials and just explore the tracks to their entirety. I know I'm gonna have fun doing that on this game considering all the detail they put into it, and how nice it looks!!

Next, the ANTI-GRAVITY! Wow, You ever play a mario kart game and just be like "man, I wish I could just drive on the walls.. And then onto the ceiling! Well, now you can. The first course showcases this and man it feeds some sort of hunger I had. I love this feature along with the gliding they incorporated (which was first used in Mario Kart 7) So happy these have been added to the main series. Oh, and you can drive UNDERWATER NOW TOO. Fun little things like this make a game all the more enjoyable!

And finally, the MUSIC! The music Is amazing. If there's one company you can count on for making great music along with their games, it's nintendo, I mean come on. Pokemon, LOZ, Smash Bros, Super Mario. Big band music with sweet guitar solos and jazzy songs? Yes please! Loving the music so far, 10/10 !:)

Last, THE BAD. Honestly, it's pretty tough to find anything bad about this game.. I haven't had any real issues with it. I wish next time instead of 32 tracks, they would add some more more cause I managed to race and beat every single one in about 2-3 hours. Then again, I'm not sure if I really do want more tracks. Maybe 32 is perfect! Nintendo knows balance. Another thing.. WHERE IS THE TRACK CREATOR? I would absolutely love to make my own track. Nintendo understood that people like to be creative in games back in 2008 with smash bros brawl with the stage creator.. We haven't changed, nintendo! We like to make our own stuff! Hopefully the next entry will allow this. No biggie though. I'm really happy with this game!!

If you own a Wii U, you have to get this game. It's a no-brainer!:)

Thursday, November 23, 2000

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow | 9.5

have thought that the Castlevania franchise peaked with Castlevania 4 on the SNES. Even now 14 years after its release I think the graphics, main character animation, and music were excellent. After that game the 2D releases never felt right, and I actually thought the much-hated 3D adventures on the N64 were more in the spirit of the franchise than the much-loved GBA games. The newer games felt like Metroid wannabes with an excessive number of useless features. I kept buying the 2D Castlevania games anyway because, well, I'm a sucker and always hoped for a game as fun as an old NES or SNES Castlevania but was always disappointed, until now.

I'm not even the entire way through the game, but "Dawn of Sorrow" has so far been very entertaining. I think I've finally figured out why I've hated the new crop of 2D games; the constant toggling between the map and the game screen just interfered with gameplay too much. The old games tended to be very linear, and without having to worry about your place on a map you could concentrate on gameplay. The newer games removed that linear layout to increase game complexity, but the map/game toggling apparently destroyed the best characteristic of Castlevania and made gameplay a chore. With this game, toggling from the action is nowhere near as common. First of all, the main map is always on the top of the screen. Second, the extra buttons on the DS require fewer trips to the submenus for option swapping. In short, "Dawn of Sorrow" successfully merges the fast action of the old games with the advanced RPG elements of the new games.

The game is not without its drawbacks:
1) Navigating the menu system is far too difficult. You will often find yourself randomly hitting buttons to navigate to different sections of the menu system and accidently deactivating features in the process.
2) It takes too long to get back to the game after your character's death. Instead of asking the user whether or not they want to try again you are dumped on the logo screens that come before the main menu. (I think the game's predecessor did this too)
3) The music hasn't been that impressive. It's better than what we've heard on the GBA, and better than most other games I've played, but it's apparent that the quality of the classy and catchy tunes of the earlier games are gone from the Castlevania series.
4) The opening animation and inscreen cut scenes are done in that cheap and ugly anime style. Fortunately in-game animation of your character and enemies tends to be smooth. (And why is Soma the same creepy gray tone of Micheal Jackson?)
5) You'll find numerous upgrade items, and many require a special upgrade in order to obtain. Once you get it, you'll often discover it doesn't grant you anything you don't already have. You can also modify the clothing Soma wears, but doing so never affects his appearance in the game.
6) Most of the touchscreen features haven't been that compelling, but the game doesn't really need them. Anyway, the use of the second screen for a map more than makes up for this.
7) More info displayed on the map screen would have been nice.

In short, this is a fun 2D game with only minor drawbacks.

Tuesday, November 21, 2000

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | 8.0

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence is the best of the 2D Castlevania games done in 3D. Anyone that thought that a 3D Castlevania couldn't be done right think again. This game is pure Castlevania. Fantastic graphics and sound, and the most important, awesome gameplay. Everything is in this game: whip, hearts, knives, axes, holy waters, and the classic enemies awesomely done in 3D, like flea man, skeleton, golden knight, peeping eye, etc. Like in Symphony of the Night, you can walk in the Castle as you wish, and have relics that enable magic powers. You also collect money to buy items, and can sell them as well. It is very nice to see this fantastic game series that started on the MSX (and got popular on the NES) so well done today, that's why i cant await for Ninja Gadein on Xbox. Don't be a fool, buy Castlevania: Lament of Innocence right now. Those who enjoy the side-scrolling elements of SOTN or the follow on GBA games will find only a few places where platforming makes much of an appearance. While it may not have the RPG depth that other games in the series have, it's not meant to. The M rating seems a little extreme; though there are some areas where it gets bloody, It's hardly in the range of Silent Hill or Resident Evil. If you let your kids play the other 2D Castlevania games, chances are there's nothing in here that will freak them out. For those hoping this would be a 3D version of SOTN, well, it isn't, and frankly, it wasn't meant to be. As a 3D action/adventure game in its own right, however, it stands up very well and should be considered a worthy installment.

Fallout: New Vegas | 9.0

I have a really nice pc to run it on with another coming for Xmas.

Despite this looking and feeling like Fallout 3, it's great. What makes a person hate a sequel because it seems like DLC from it's predecessor? If it were launched as DLC for Fallout 3 I'm sure just as many or more people would've bought it. Who knows, maybe it was intended to be released as DLC and ended up being more massive than they had anticipated therefore, creating an entirely new game. I'm only about 2 hours into it but have never been as excited to get a game and play it than this. I never write reviews. I also have never bought a walk-through for a game but did for new vegas; that way i don't miss anything! I wanna play new vegas until my brain thinks VEGAS! seriously though, if you liked fallout 3 there is no way you could hate this. That's just absurd.

I also found out that this game really is just Fallout 3 in a different setting. The lead of that project called "Van Buren" (Sounds like Armin Van Buuren | #1 trance VA DJ) was also the lead designer for this series. Black Isle was supposed to have developed Fallout 3, however all the employees got laid off and they were like 80% done with the game. Knowing that bit of information makes this even more disappointing that they were trying to milk the fans of FO3 using same game engine, different plot, etc. There is no wow factor for this game anymore. Just another chapter in Fallout 3: New Vegas With Extra Bugs.

Patches make all the difference, in about six months it'll increase 0.5 points and after that the sky is the limit. +10 pts?

Jade Cocoon 2 | 10

A vast array of monsters to train each with their own stlye and flare. A few old favorites make it to the PS 2 like Levant, Mu, and Ra. The Sweet Knights are cute (they remind me of misty and her sisters from pokemon). Battle in tournaments. Take up jobs like a bounty hunter. Find a vast amount of different and unique items (like sweet knights collectibles). Evolve during a battle to give you the edge.

Merging is possible but you have to merge with a base set and it doesn't change their appearance all it does is cause them to revert back to their baby form. You can't capture any more you have to find or buy the eggs. The main character can't fight normally like Levant could. The beast emulate battle type in my opinion isn't as good as the original battle type from Jade coccon one. No anime cut scene like the originals opening. Your monster can only know two fighting techs at a time.the battle system is totally different from the battle system in the original Jade Cocoon. You cannot select which enemies your beasts attack when you are fighting, if there are multiple enemies; and your beasts can only use the type of elemental attack that they are aligned with on your beast amulet.

First of all, all of the features that made Jade Cocoon fun and interesting, such as catching monsters and breeding them and coming up with totally new monsters, breeding monsters to have a variety of available attacks within one elemental power, and upgrading armor and weapons of the player character as the game progresses are TOTALLY ABSENT FROM THIS GAME.

In my opinion this does not stand up to the original. This kid will always live in Levant's shadow in my eyes.

Genki is due for a ps3/psp remake

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty | 9.5

Let me start off by saying this. Action game fans will be disappointed as there is more and emphasis on storyline and more cut-scenes than actual action(well not realyy but you get my point.) Rpg or adventure gamers more used to a deep storyline and stealth like action will have an absolute blast as I did.
First let me talk about the game characters. People going into this game thinking that you'll play the entire game as solid snake(like I did) will be sorely disappointed. There is a second character, while not as cool as solid snake, he gets the job done. This character has gotten universally panned on many game websites but he isn't as bad as people are saying. In other words don't let a fools opinion sway from buying or not buying the game. Buy it and form your own opinion.

Secondly let me talk about the storyline. It is as deep and as intricate as many major film releases and puts many others to shame. If your one of those people who had to see the Matrix twice to "get it" like I did. You'll need to play this game a few times and pay very close attention to every line of dialogue ever uttered in this masterpiece as you'll undoutedly be stumped by the many plot twists within the game, as they will leave your head spinning with amazement. The story is so good that it has a few thousand people posting theories on various parts of the game ,including the ending, on a bunch of different website messageboards. I mean good god how many works of fiction, let alone videogames, have had people posting theories on it. Bottom line great storyline.

Thirdly the second most important aspect of the game( the first being the storyline.) the gameplay. Many people will be turned off by it's dialogue heavey nature. They'll complain that you don't do anything. Well they can be happy playing games with a throwaway plot( cough Devil May Cry cough, great ACTION game though) but other people who enjoy a good story and great gameplay elements will love the game. There are so many memorable battles in this game like the fight against the new Metal Gear and a fight against a harrier jet that you'll want not only to play it again but collect all the secret items that go along with it. The sneaking around you have to do is so realistic it's scary at times. Another great new aspect to the gameplay is the ability to hold-up guards for their dogtags. Doing this allows you to colect secret items that give you the ability to become invisible(stealth to those "in the know") and the ability to have unlimited ammo. These game aspects encourage you to replay the game which gives this game ungodly amounts replay value, another game aspect that is important to me.

Bottomline anyone who wants to miss out on an awesome game experience just because you don't play as Snake the whole time or because you hate having to listen to storyline that puts many Hollywood productions to shame go ahead. The rest of us who enjoy great gameplay innovations and a deep plot will have quite possibly the greatest game experience of all time. And that's not a stretch of the imagination in any way.

Trivia: According to Wikia, Solid Snake has an IQ of 180 and is fluent in six languages and is the man who makes the impossible. possible!

Diablo 3 PS4 review

The game looks very pretty on PS4 (1080p). The DualShock 4 compliments well with the game play. For instance, you can get to inventory by pressing on the touch pad. The hot keys are displayed in the lower left corner, so you won’t have to memorize which button to press to get to the execution/item you want. I chose to play as the witch doctor and the key difference to note here is in the PS4 version, you can actually flip and roll the character, unlike in the PC version (I believe only the demon hunters can do this in PC). When firing your weapon, you don’t have to repeatedly tap the button. All you have to do is press and hold upon firing your choice of weapon. Obviously this review is based on the first couple of hours I have played thus far, as I just got this game today. So far, I am pretty impressed with it and I look forward to play the game going forward.
1) Local couch co-op is… a… blast! You and up to three other friends can bash away at demons until the wee hours of the morning and never want to stop. The drive for better gear and abilities drives everything, and it’s contagious. The menus are well-optimized for console, but you may still have to be a little patient when playing local multiplayer. Everyone wants to get their character right, you know.
2) I bet I’m not the only one who can’t stomach getting a gaming PC for one reason or another. The PS4 version looks a million times better than ROS on my MacBook Pro, and I can’t imagine it looking better! No one would argue that the PC can give the best-looking experience, but at a cost. The PS4 never drops a frame.
3) Controllers work wonderfully in combat! The menus take some getting used to (and believe me, you’ll spend a lot of time there), but you will get used to it. You’ll get the most out of managing loot (particularly in local multiplayer when everyone has to do it) if you force yourself to tag the loot you plan to sell as “junk”. You can bulk-sell your “junk” at merchants in one press. But back to combat, it’s wonderful, yes, even for ranged characters!
I’m loving my PS4 and Diablo III is an icing on the cake.

Monday, November 20, 2000

Dragon Quest V | 8,5

Remember when RPG's were fun? You'd get a hero or a band of heroes, and you'd run about the world killing everything that got in your way? Remember when you didn't have some angsty-emo-teen as a main character that wielded a sword the size of a box truck? Well, Square-Enix smartened up for a change and remade several classic RPG's from the NES and SNES days. Final Fantasy IV, Dragon Quest IV and this title in question: Dragon Quest V. Unfortunately I never learned Japanese or got my hands on a translated ROM version of the original installment, so I can't compare how it is now to how it was. But I can tell you that this version is outstanding!

Story, music, characters, things to do... This game seems to deliver on all fronts! The fact that you can recruit monsters to fight on your party adds a bit of randomness, which is nice. You can change up your party many times and get a slightly different feel for combat each time. One thing I noticed is a distinct sense of humor here: It feels rather Japanese, which is nice. To me, that means they probably kept the translation as close to the original as possible. I could be wrong, but that's just an impression I got.

In an RPG, I look for two things mainly: memorable story and strong gameplay. Dragon Quest V supplies both in spades.

Alundra | 8.5

I bought and finished this game about 4 years ago. It still stands out in my mind as one of the best Playstation one RPG's ever. I only give it 4 strz because i'm strict. You might have read this game is tough, because of the puzzles. I didn't find it hard at all. Because i cheated. I had the hint book. I used it every time i got stuck with a tough puzzle. The boss battles are easy, not too easy. Theyre long but fun. If you stink at games, like me, get the hintbook and only use it when you are stuck. That way you can just relax and enjoy the great story and gameplay. Don't worry about being a cheater(Smelly videogame geeks always say that it's wrong to cheat and play the game how it was meant to be played). The Story and the way the game handles it is great. The game places you shipwrecked on a strange island-town. And you feel apart of this little village, like your really living there. You become very familiar with the towns-people and shops, it's great.
it is an overhead view game with many, many, infinite many puzzles and very tough bosses, but its reward is just the joy you get out of playing. (more joy if you manage to win it.)
It has an intricate and complex plot which will keep you wondering whats gonna happen next. It is also a pretty sad game because many townsfolk die, thanks to an evil demon that lives right under the town. It is based in just one small area, but is one huge game. 5 stars! Bravo, working designs!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2000

GoldenEye 007 wII | 8.5

I purchased this game for its single player campaign. I have not played the multiplayer. The game is engaging and very reminiscent of the classic N64 version. It is a standard first person shooter with all the classic guns. I enjoyed learning the tactics, and choosing either entering a mission with stealth or with guns blazing. One of the highlights for me was the mission driving the tank. I like campaigns that offer variety in game play.

There was one element of single player campaign play that was lacking in this game: character advancement. Although the landscape and missions change, the most significant progression is the changing weapon set. Otherwise, there are no hidden skills, unlocking items, accumulating items, etc. There is no reward for completing a mission more quickly or with stealth. Unlocking cheats are rewarded from playing the online multiplayer. As a consequence, sometimes a new mission feels like playing more of the same. After completing half the game, I got bored, stopped playing for a couple months, and then came back and finished.

Using the Wii controller during game play can be quite frustrating, because both aiming and turning is controlled by pointing at the screen. As a consequence, when trying to turn too quickly, often the controller would point out of range and control would be lost at the most critical moments. With some practice, this can be overcome.

Overall, the bar for the Wii version of Golden Eye was set very high by the N64 Golden Eye and Perfect Dark predecessors. It met my expectations, but it missed an opportunity to be outstanding.

Saturday, November 18, 2000

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West | 8.0

Ninja Theory is the developer behind the beautiful game Heavenly Sword and after the game had finished, they started Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. In previous impressions we had from moderate to very enthusiastic excited about this game. The game itself is now ready and quickly landed in stores. We played the full game and now it's time to see if Ninja Theory is all really a game of high quality has to know.

The game starts high in the air in an airship. This ship is heading for a location that the 'Pyramid' hot. Obviously you do not want to go to, because you are locked in a cell in the airship. But at some point you see a girl walking by who managed to escape from a cell and you call for help, but unfortunately it does not save you. Yet by a hard blow inside the ship you know to escape and go after the girl. You pave your way through the ship that was badly battered. Soon you through that final destination is not going to get.

Just before it crashes in New York you know to escape through a capsule that will be fired. Only disadvantage is that the girl who called Trip to the inside of the capsule contents and you, Monkey, you probably need to cling to the outside. After you've landed you become unconscious and occurs when you strip a band around your head. This band allows her to control you. If you think running away may cause the tire to soups makes your brain and you are so compelled to help her. She has not done for fun, she wants to return to her family, but can not alone and Monkey, who was forced against his will to help.

Here begins the adventure that you are enjoying late in New York and then into the world gently goes by. In the game you do many different locations and each one is very stylish in design they put together. The game is set in the future and the world is no longer under the control of mankind, but by an army of mechs. These are everywhere, because they will protect the area. You are Monkey, however, a large guy who is good at climbing and scrambling, and close combat. Given Trip a defenseless girl you're so often forced to fight the enemies.

Cooperation between the two in the first instance forced trips because no other opportunity. It is therefore very slowly, but if you go into the game will realize that both characters survive on their own is virtually impossible. That is something especially Monkey understand because trips may be the helpless girl, she is pretty handy with hacking and helping to divert enemies to name but a few. Pretty soon she hacked a mechanical dragonfly, making them a part of the level to scan, so you can perfectly see where the enemies are and what the best way.

You must then or all the dirty work, but without her help, this was a lot harder. On the other hand, here and there turrets and mechs with high precision fire at you and you have a temporary shield, but this does not always save you against these enemies often use high distance away. At such a moment can you ask for a Trip diversion. She does so, then you can come closer to the enemy. The collaboration is vice versa and because of this beginning to end, the two at one point a sort of emotional bond, which benefits the story.

Monkey looks in the first instance a dumb brute force, but he is not what it seems. It is someone who is quite sensitive and at one point not even find much more with what he's doing. This fits perfectly in the story that is interesting to mention. As you progress, you always want to know more about the background of Monkey Trip and want to help, which will take longer than you first might think. The red line going through the game is such a screwed together and that is something familiar, as it was in fact the case with the previous game from Ninja Theory: Heavenly Sword.

You play with Monkey and Trip, Trip which often takes its own way there and you hardly under control. The gameplay varies Monkey short in two parts. So you have the climbing and scrambling, this all goes very smoothly and is also fun to do. It is striking that this element is very much like the climbing and scrambling of Uncharted. The makers have clearly looked at it and also a good way to know how to apply. Besides this much climbing you have to fight mechs and bosses. This you do mainly with your staff, which has three standard options: a hard and soft slap and a crippling attack, which you must recharge the staff here first.

The staff also has a completely different option and that is the firing forces. If you wand to hold a certain way, which is just a button, then move the camera behind the shoulder of Monkey and you can easily target. You can then stun and plasma discharge projectiles. The enemy makes a short in the war and other causes the shield of the enemy off. No special options, but it handy rotten. The fighting itself is not very particular and in contrast with the odd climb itself is not present in excess. The balance between these two elements is quite good as we so briefly the adventure again.

The mechs themselves would also sometimes different, so when you fight other tactics to apply. Again, the battles are quite simple in terms of execution and sometimes easy. Although it remains an entertaining element, and it fits perfectly into the whole. It is striking that the game never really difficult. Maybe for the people who hold a huge challenge which is a shame, but on the other hand, this keeps the pace high and nice you are constantly wondering where you'll end up back its setting. This therefore indicates that the terms level design is perfectly fine.

That's right, because it's all right. The levels are designed so that they are clear and everything is nicely aligned. You will also enjoy the game playing and enjoying the many different environments. The developer makes good use of the fact that the game play in the future because they have a full personal interpretation given to the big city and especially in color palette. Being grown trees, shrubs and plants, making something that was once extremely gray to a beautiful area, let alone the other areas you will do sooner or later.

The only thing we should note the visual aspect is that the visual or very beautiful in design, it is graphic in any way optimal. It looks finished, and yet not. Some textures are of very bad quality and dust was flying up even once from a lot of blocks. That is something very awkward in 2010, but good, really bother you here and the audio is not a lot. The voice acting is excellent and clearly shows the emotions and hear the music is also nice and bombastic action and anticipate the actions of the game and player.

Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is in our opinion a very good title. The combination between the platform and combat elements seamlessly together and the emotions of the characters are very well laid out, both the audio and the visual interpretation of this. The game may only be a single player adventure, it's definitely worth your money. It is entertaining and the story is very cool. However, the loading times somewhat annoying because it takes the pace a bit from the game and some textures are visually very moderate. But the game offers enough to do this easily over it.


- Interesting story.
- Emotional relationship is built.
- Gameplay.
- Unique setting


- Loading times take the pace off the game.
- Some quality control issues.

Friday, November 17, 2000

Mario Kart 7 review 9.0

There is no question that Mario Kart is soon set to celebrate its 20th anniversary as one of the most acclaimed video game series for the Nintendo games. It has just been a non-stop fast & furious ride for Mario, Bowser and his friends from each angle. It has been on every system since the Super NES, and it hasn't seen the plumber and his friends and foes hit the brakes into the warp pipe even once. Still, there have been so many racing games that have tries to copy it and haven't succedded, or those who have been inspired by Mario and his friends race. Well whatever the case, Mario and his friends kept on evolving in the Mairo Kart games and they have never lost their luster. Now with the high-octane and mushroom speed, it is at it again for the Nintendo 3DS, and truthfully it is worth each and every race.

Mario Kart 7 really brings in the big guns for the Nintendo 3DS, where some of the other Nintendo 3DS games, have missed their mark with the launch of the system. Hard to believe it is the 7th racing game for Mario and his friends, and this time around it has continued to evolve well by bringing in a swift mix of the new and the old. Just like Mario Kart DS and MarioKart Wii, gamers will race 32 tracks that are both new and from Mario Kart's past. The game definitely looks amazing with some new wrinkles into the game, as you have new racers and new courses too like racing in the new Music Park, where hopping on each note and insturment will help you cross the finish line, Shy Guy Bazaar, where it is a Middle Eastern flavor available, as you and your fellow racers try and cross the starting gate, while trying to glide from rooftops, and classics as well like Luigi Raceway from Mario Kart 64 and the speed and mall-madness of the Coconut Mall from Mario Kart Wii.

Aside from the mix of old and new tracks as well, there are new racers that are here to challenge Mario, Yoshi and friends including Lakitu the cloud-dwelling and spiny tossing foe, Metal Mario (as a celebration to help celebrate the 15th anniversary of Super Mario 64,) Shy Guy and Wiggler to name a few. They bring a lot of new blood into the game, as well as new elements like customizing your karts with tires and gliders which will make you soar your way back to the asphault.You also can race underwater too, which will help you find shortcuts in the game, especially in redesigned courses like Koopa Trooopa Beach and new Cheep Cheep Lagoon. There are also a few new items in the game too including the fireball power-up, the tanooki tail which will help you swat passing racers, and the new Lucky 7 that is a seven-way mix of weapons like the shells both red and green, a blooper to ink foes, banana peel and and a star for invinciblity.

The graphics in the game look amazing, as you score your way to the finish, as well as collect coins while on course to help yopu unveil extras to help customize your karts. The control is strong as well, in the classic mode, but there is one small hiccup with the new first person perspective. While the concept is good, in that mode you can race with others using the gyro sensor from the 3DS and steer your kart by swaying your racer back and forth, like the Wii Wheel was in Mario Kart Wii. That can take a bit to get used to for new racers, but for veterans they can also choose to play in the classic way as well. The sound is strong as well, by bringing in the classic scores and musical elements of the distinctive classic courses like Mushroom Gorge, but overall it is the gameplay that is fun in both single play and especially multiplayer too. The multiplayer adds extras with the Streetpass, and online gameplay like Mario Kart Wii showed, as you and 7 other racers try to race your way to the finish line.

Overall, despite one small flaw, Mario Kart 7 is definitely a fast and furious game from start to finish, and it still is just as great for many gamers more than meets the eye. If you have enjoyed the chase that Mario Kart has brought before than you'll definitely love this Nintendo 3DS game. I definitely love this thrilling racer and it shows that some game franchises have never gotten old, they just have gotten better with age. It is definitely a must buy for your Nintendo 3DS that is sure to be a treat that many racers haven't been able to show for over 2 decades across the finish line. I absolutely recommend Mario Kart 7 from start to finish.

Thursday, November 16, 2000

Dragon Quest IV DS | 8.0

The DS remake has proven to be fantastic overall, adding graphics and more user-friendly attributes that the NES version sorely lacked. From my standpoint, I dislike the fact that they changed character names and the names of towns / dungeons, but if you've never played it before this won't be an issue. The storyline is incredible for its time and the party system is great. Square-Enix brought many of the items and attributes they have recently showcased in the newer DQ games, which were pleasant surprises. Also, I really like that a Pioneer Town similar to that in DQVII was added, and a bonus dungeon after the game. Both of these just enhance the gameplay. Overall, this is a great game and definitely recommended for any RPG lovers out there. If you're are a fan of the DQ series, this is a must-buy. If you've only ever played Final Fantasy, give DQ a shot!

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow | 7.5

you also pretty spectacular finish. Then start your real adventure and that brings a lot of cool stuff with it. So you fight against a lot of different enemies, highlighted by huge bosses. Those bosses are all very difficult to beat, so do not look weird in that you soon twenty minutes doing. These fights are not only fun, but it also usually necessary for the new attributes. The attributes can then be used again later in the game against other bosses and enemies and the environments to a new path to create for yourself.

The fighting goes through different weapons. So you have a kind of sword at your disposal to work a bit like God of War III. This weapon will find a lot, but it does not. You can also throw knives and of course the famous cross betting. This cross can gradually upgrade and eventually find them both fight like that you can use in the environment such as a grappling hook. Besides, there are other weapons that work well on certain enemies, and additional experience points you earn this. These can then be redeemed for new opportunities for Gabriel or his weapons.

On a known and common concept. All this works fine through a handy menu, where you can attract many new features purchase. It is important to continuously upgrade, because many enemies are not all that easy to beat. Usually you fight against small enemies as you kill them, but they are again aided by a large copy of this and they are pretty dangerous. Besides that you'll catch, they have still have enough health to do it especially difficult to make. You'll have as many weapons as possible and like to have available to you through the upgrade options and also because they have to play tactically.

You will have many blocks, rolls and combos have found a great enemy small gain. Here are occasionally also has the requisite quick time events look. This is something really not hard to imagine from today's titles, but a bit different from the rest is a little variation to be found. Of course you will encounter the appropriate moments where you usually hard on a particular button to rams, but in addition, the variant found quite fun. This variant is a circle on the screen and surrounded by a large circle. This is becoming smaller and when it fits within the other circle, you push a button. Primarily a matter of good timing so.

They are especially many standard elements Castlevania: Lords of Shadow knows in fighting, but of course in its own design. Magic may of course be there and this game has two types. One type is "magic light" and other "dark magic". With the magic light you can heal yourself while you're fighting, what is so useful in difficult opponents. The dark magic is also very convenient because it does more damage. As usual, the magic of limited availability and you will therefore have to supplement it. This goes back through orbs that enemies leave behind after you've slain them. Both magical abilities are perfect in the whole and make the battle system completely.

In terms of fighting, there is plenty of opportunities exist in this game and the many times when you are fighting are interspersed with other elements. So you come here and there against a puzzle, which never really be too difficult and the necessary climbing and scrambling are not lacking in this game. You will regularly up and down to climb over ledges, and swing through your grappling hook and many more. This is relatively easy climb and climb and keep the great variation in the game. This also applies to the environments that this game contains, for the variation in this respect is certainly enormous.

One moment Banjer you through a swamp and the next moment you walk in the snow and then back into the jungle to arrive. The game is similar in very diverse environments, because it follows another in rapid succession and the best is that every environment is really visually stunning looks. Indeed, this title fits perfectly in the list of current graphic toppers. It is after Uncharted 2: Among Thieves not much happened before a game that we've seen of the same caliber graphics, just the cut scenes are in contrast with that game in this game a little less. Well, that's not the only positive aspect, because the audio is also world class.

The Soundtrack has always been very good at this game and PlayStation 2 in the moderate part, Castlevania: Lament of Innocense, the soundtrack is simply brilliant. To reassure you that this part is no different. Konami and Mercury Steam have this time used a different composer and knows this great music. We are also very impressed by the voice-acting and requires a number of familiar characters on, including Patrick Stewart. The right voices are used and that makes for very great atmosphere. It is exactly in the setting of the game and it's pretty convincing.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, the game that have to reboot the franchise. We asked first whether it had managed to operate the franchise back on the map, it has become clear. There is very little to criticize in the game, just that for some players on the difficult side, but yes, it's Castlevania. Furthermore, the gameplay well in order, it looks visually great and the audio is superb. Add to this that soon you're twenty one hour to go through the game again and it knows it necessary to replay value. Castlevania is back! And how! Every fan, skeptical or not, who can just blindly buy this game.

graphics 8.0
Sound 9.0
Gameplay 7.0

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep | 9.5

The guys from Square Enix had a few years back suddenly as strange as a brilliant inspiration. Because they threw some of their famous characters from Final Fantasy franchise with characters and environments from the wonderful worlds of the films of Walt Disney made a smashing success. At first sight you might not think that this bizarre cross-over success can bring, on the contrary. But what the developer back-channel mixer, proved a great action RPG, all major features of the typical Final Fantasy title successfully relocated them to the bright colors of Disney. A sequel and a spin-off series on Nintendo handhelds later it is time for a prequel to Sony's smallest. Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core Square Enix has already proved that the PSP is perfect for their epic stories on console very nice way to expand. Or Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep follows the same path, you can read in the review below.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Seep behaves in every way as a full-fledged prequel. Thus, at any time by the time made errors in relation to the big brothers on the PlayStation 2. Everything you do in this game, helps achieve or triggers, to get back nicely to the threshold of the first Kingdom Hearts, and thus provides additional information for the curious fan. Characters in Kingdom Hearts a major role as Hercules or Cloud, in this part or a lot younger in some cases replaced by a predecessor. And of course you will, as always after a good prequel, when the credits roll on the small screen, meaning get to the original Kingdom Hearts from the dust to get back into your PS2 and stabbing. So how it works and Square Enix knows all too well.
To get the most out of this title and really every aspect of the story to understand it, you play three times but should play. You get in the beginning of the game: the choice between three playable characters, each from a different angle illuminate the story. Terra is the tough fighter who has trouble darkness himself under control. Ventus is the brash, lightning-quick young man who tries to understand what friendship is all about. And Aqua is the handsome Keyblade master that well versed in magic and basically the whole game long after the other two characters Aanholt. The story begins with an examination, where both Terra and Aqua try Keyblade Master title to win. This seemingly innocuous test drives the girlfriends forcibly apart.

When the darkness in Terra inadvertently predominating during the exam, decided to promote Aqua Master Eraqus only. At Terra's doubts mercilessly to the more mysterious when the master Xehanort tells him that the use of dark forces is not as negative as everyone thinks. When the same Xehanort later go missing in all the worlds and alien monsters - the 'Unversed' - appearing to sow unrest, Terra and Aqua get the assignment to both Xehanort to detect if the threat Unversed a halt. Meanwhile Ventus plagued by the appearance of a masked guy who tells him that he will leave Terra and never be the same again. Fearing for their friendship despite the prohibition of travel Ventus Master Eraqus Terra behind, and throws himself into such a battle in which all worlds on their foundations shake will do.

The three Keyblade students take part in so interesting a cat and mouse game that the whole playing time (about 15 to 20 hours per person) takes. During the game, do they meet several times against, but they also regulated their own way. Do not get us wrong, you will visit exactly the same worlds as Aqua, Terra and Ventus, but each of them will discover other areas. Thus, for example, in the world of Cinderella Ventus notice that the mouse Jaq helped Cinderella's dress in time, while at Terra accompanied her to the ball and there was literally Unversed her turn. You can therefore choose to only as one of the characters the game to the other and although you still have an enjoyable gaming experience with ditto verhaal on your plate, you will only able to identify the motivations, choices and actions of all characters to understand when the game three times you play it.

Fortunately, the different worlds and the many areas by world enough variety to a triple turn to justify. We visit include the wooded hills in the tale of Snow White, lost almost the witching maze in the world of Sleeping Beauty and end up in the spaceship where Stitch with difficulty escaped. In each area during the same enemies you bump again, and these witnesses of an original design with sufficient variety. All you have to end now and the feeling that certain basic enemies a little too often you come back toward the goal to block. Aqua, Terra and Ventus also have some exclusive all bosses and they are now and really worthwhile. We found the essence of the bewitching musical that tried the peace of Cinderella at the ball to disrupt very impressive.
It's amazing how Square Enix on the UMD disc and has managed to squeeze it all looks very good. But this graphical splendor and diversity of worlds, characters and enemies has its price tag. Environments that sometimes the empty side and are also often lack the necessary detail to be really interesting and something we still understandable. You can not same splendor expect the PS2 version on Sony's handheld. The loading times are a different story. These are extremely frequent and in addition, each lasting a bit too long. You are in the transition from gameplay to cutscene and from world to world, each removed from the game and that is unfortunate. At first we thought Square Enix was able to remedy this shortcoming by choosing to offer the game data on the memory stick to save your PSP. Fifteen minutes later and about 700 MB of memory less we found to our surprise, however, that nothing really had changed.

The Kingdom Hearts franchise is not really unscathed from the often painful conversion from console to handheld, but this is not to say that this is a bad game. On the contrary. Square Enix offers fans of the franchise the deepest combat system so far and that invites frequent experimentation. You can give yourself a road cut and slash through the Unversed the whole time cross to ram, but you get as usual a set of special moves available to you in real time left corner of the screen with a menu and select the D-Pad and then activate by pressing triangle. These special moves include the ability to check your Keyblade to a distant enemy to swinging or standing offer you the chance to traditional Final Fantasy magic attacks to perform, such as Fira, and Blizzara Thundara. These attacks are logically stronger if you use them more.
Depending on the moves you choose to use, you measure yourself to one style. Square Enix takes this quite literally. Bottom left of the screen fills up steadily because during a bar fight. When the bar is full, the game will automatically determine which fighting style you use and your using this information to offer a new set of special moves. Do you find it such fun to bombard the opposition with fireballs, you'll quickly notice that you are fighting under the Firestorm style. Put some more enemies on fire and the game will reward you with a special move that all around your character set ablaze. There are a lot of different styles and vengeance just by experimenting with the special moves you gradually unlock, you can find out what style you which moves and thus activates the style you prefer. Please trust us that this is very addictive.

Transferred directly from Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core is the possibility of special moves and items to combine, thus creating completely new skills. This aspect of the game invites you to experiment and we can only be pleased about that. New in this game, the D-Link, the traditional summons from Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 unit. Gradually forge you into Birth By Sleep namely friendships with various characters. These characters will then appear in the D-Link, which means you can select them and then their moves under consideration. They no longer appear next to you to join the enemy to stab, but you get their special abilities for a short time gift. It goes without saying that you will first need to fill a meter and that the D-Link will not work forever. It's a nice system, but we missed the traditional summons.

So it is often the case that moves you from a D-Link character itself have available and then we have no immediate utility in order to resort to this option. All in all offers Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep is a very deep and satisfying combat system that unfortunately is counteracted in two ways. First, the system is never fully explained. Agreed, you get the tutorial texts necessary for you to choose, but often the game just throws you into the deep. Convenient hard learning may sometimes be the best method, like we had seen a little more accessible. Second, did the camera during battles often heavy on our nerves. The thing which is hyperactive to your character dances around and loses often the essence of the eye where you are with all his might to the slashing was. An auto-aim system that prefer the small, harmless ugly character select rather than the huge monster that tries to crush, not much help either.

Anyway, all in all to yourself if some of these flaws will go up and then you get as we said a beauty of an action RPG on your plate. Birth By Sleep contains the combat-driven storyline also nice bonus. This is a mode called Command Board, an alternative way to do special moves and passive skills upgrading.

Command Board is a board game where you and your character sits on a board game based on one of the many worlds you visit, then to fight against various characters from the Disney universe. It's a mix between Goose (as soon as possible reach the end) and Monopoly (you can play cards on the boxes impose your opponents money trick out when they should get it) and offers occasional welcome change from all the confrontations with The Unversed. Very deep or addictive is never, but, as we have said, a nice extra.

To summarize it is Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep a beauty of an RPG that has had to contend with some annoying flaws. The combat system is wonderfully deep and invites frequent experimentation, but suffers from an annoying camera, a poor auto-aim system and a relatively high entry threshold. Graphic is for the most part already splendor, the clock strikes. Square Enix offers a wealth of fantasy worlds full of characters and story lines down, but occasionally something hollow with it, partly due to a lack of details. The frequent, long load times do not lie. The sound we sleep above reproach. The English voice actors are convincing and for once the great tunes made us open the volume control turned on. An example to other RPG's!

Graphics 9 / 10
Sound 9/10
Gameplay 9.3/10
Overall 9/10

Gears of War 2 X360 review | 10

To start off my review, this game is the definition of perfection. At the start of the game, things kick off with training for the newbs or you can just go right into the thick of it. The controls are really good, command and response is really good. But it could have used a command option for your squad. But hey it really didn't need it because the AI is really impressive. Baird, Dom, the New Guy, and the Cole Train are really good team members. They will save you butt a here and there or when your in a jam. With the difficulty, the enemy AI, Locust, learn how to kill you and your squad. But there is a draw back to the AI, when they bring you down to be revived they have the tendency to charge for you to end the game, leaving them wide open. But they sometimes succeed with this tactic. The AI on Insane and Hardcore love to flank you like crazy. They will prevent you from moving by keeping 2 or 3 locust on you while they flank your position. But that is why you have your squad. The story is also really good. There is soo much detail to this game, from the beginning at the hospital to the end with the sinking of the last human city. This story grabs hold of you and never lets you go. You can feel the sadness from Dom when he finds his wife that he has been searching for since the last game. Even Marcus has a sad part in the game, but it comes in the end. Baird and Cole are still your regular team mates with the addition to Carmine, Diz, and Tai. They are real helpful even though Diz isn't much of a fighter because he drives Betsy, his truck. Graphics are really good also. Especially inside the worm. The blood on Marcus and the squad looks real. Great detail to the characters and weapons. The story leaves enough for a Gears of War 3. Online play is also really good, with all kinds of matches from the classic deathmatch to the new addition of Horde. You will be playing over and over again to better your rank. Playing horde is also a great experience to play with friends, and i recommend you play with a friend or 2. Because this game will kill you easily. It is you and your team vs. 50 waves of Locust. And the catch is every ten waves the enemy gets stronger and smarter. With health and accuracy bonuses, you will have to fight for your life. This game is really good and fun to play with friends. I would recommend this to any fan of the gears series and any newb to this game. It is really fun and enjoyable with tons of replay value.

New Super Mario Bros. U 9.0

New Super Mario Bros U makes the Wii U worth the buy alone. I think it's a fun, amazing game that anyone any age can appreciate.

The game I played most when I was a kid was Super Mario 3 for the Nintendo. This game more than lives up to the name. It seems like it takes all the best things from every single Mario game and combines them into a masterpiece. Countless times you will find yourself smiling remembering something from your past. Finding secret areas, using all the power-ups, fighting stuff on the map, dungeons, and bosses are just so much fun. Time comes into play as well, it makes you try to move fast and explore, all while trying to beat the clock. There are tons of hidden areas and each level has 3 star coins. The Miiverse plays a role here too where you can leave comments on levels to help each other out or just say that you are happy you beat the level. For single player the Wii U tablet remote doesn't serve as a real purpose other than mirroring the screen, if you want you can play solely on that and let someone else use the TV.

The multiplayer is crazy and exciting. Some people would complain about other players on the screen because they run into you and mess you up but I find it to be more fun. You have to not only watch yourself but watch your teammates and work with them to get past obstacles. It's worth noting that you need a Wii remote for each character playing. For instance 1 Wii remote + 1 Wii tablet = only 1 person on screen while the tablet player has a different function. For 2 player you need 2 Wii remotes. This game can be played by 5 people, 4 players on the screen using Wii remotes and 1 person using the Wii tablet. My friend and I have never had a dull moment and have had to stop for a minute because we were laughing so hard. Playing with friends adds to the complexity and makes you work together to accomplish getting to secret areas.

Mario looks amazing in HD and this game is a must have for any Nintendo fan.

Update Feb 2013: Nintendo announced that there will be upcoming New Super Luigi Bros. U DLC coming for this game. Which seems like it will redo every map with a Luigi twist to it. Also I realized I didn't add that the Wii U Pro controller will NOT work with this game either, so you are stuck with Wii Remotes.

Update May 2013: Super Luigi U DLC officially announced as a $20 download on June 20th. My friend and I have finally beaten all the levels and gotten all the star coins. The bonus star world has some extremely fun levels.

Update June 2013: Super Luigi U is out as DLC to this game, you can also buy a physical copy but it won't be released until Aug 25. This DLC is not a drastic change from the original game. You get the same map with all the levels reworked. They are shorter and you are supposed to complete them in a faster amount of time. To me it seems a little easier. The physics (jumping and running) are different too. I personally don't like it as much. Also when playing with 4 player, whoever uses Nabbit gets bored since he can't die and it's cheating on all the boss fights. I wouldn't say this is a must have, but if you like Luigi and have the spare money you might as well.

Update July 2013: Thanks to Kyle B. in the comments, I've also been informed with the Luigi U update the game can now use the Pro controller which is a nice addition. My friend and I have played some more of the Luigi U DLC and it's just not as fun. We don't find ourselves laughing nearly as much and it seems we are always out of time, even though I know that's the point of the shorter times. If you play as Nabbit it is still horribly boring

Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Singularity for PC | 8.5

I bought this game, because it is cheap. There are no 4 symbol with the hammer and sickles in this game for whatever reason and is all Raven Softwares fault! Should fix it in a patch. This communism is revisionist so Fourth International over Third International.

This game is great its really just a FPS that has taken ideas and story lines from other games. The atmosphere is very much like Bioshock, and Dark Sector(remember that one? With the radiation and the russians)VERY much like that. Also there are elements of both F.E.A.R titles with holgramish ghosts, children, creatures etc. Also you get the feel since its made by Activision that there is a bit of Call Of Duty feel, with the way you collect and drop guns, and also in different positions such as crouch it has the same exact icon at the bottom of the screen. So thats not to say this game is a clone at all, i really just started it, so i haven't gotten into the "meat and potatoes" of it yet. But i'm not worried because i'm already engrossed. Great creepy atmosphere, awesome looking creatures, especially maxed out at 1080p on my gaming desktop, textures fly out at your and the water is just so realistic looking you search around for a tarp to cover yourself wiht while playing. Funny i didn't think after Bioshock that water effects could get any better. The character models are ok, better even than Just Cause 2 which i have a hard time finding anything as graphically superior thus far, so thats a plus. So as i get further into the game i'll update my review, as of now i love it, so far so good. Nothing is perfect and the only thing i've found "wrong" is that the aiming isn't really what i'd call "spot on", but the weapons are great to use none the less. So until next time, get this, its a very good first person survival horror game. Lets hope the next Resident Evil gives us the best ever. Hopefully.

Somehow this has something to do with Adam Richter from Superior, WI! Raven Software is in Wisconsin.

Friday, November 10, 2000

Dragon Quest VIII | 9.0

The mechanics are very simple and very old-fashioned. You decide all of your characters attacks/whatever at the start of the round, and then then round plays out. Unlike older game though, this game is (usually) very finely tuned. Enemies throughout the game provide a consistent challenge, but not are not overwhelmingly difficult (as long as you plan your rounds intelligently). This turns the relatively simple battle mechanics into genuine strategy because the choices you make actually matter; there isn't usually a best-for-all situations attack setup. Unlike final fantasy games, you won't just be pressing the X-button a bunch to get you through the random encounters.

The game does have some nagging old-school mechanics that weren't finely tuned though. The aforementioned random encounters are *extremely* frequent; get ready to fight a lot. Combine this with random encounters that aren't pushovers, and its hard to play this game in less than 2-hour chunks and expect to make progress (unless you're just running through a city and managing gear/inventory).

Additionally, it has the old JRPG standby of enemies having numerous attacks (some very weak, some very powerful) that they perform at random. This means the same battle can be very easy or very very hard depending on whether they do a sort of average of their moves, or if they hammer you with multiple "power" attacks. This rarely happens with random encounters, but is a big problem with boss enemies. There have been multiple bosses that wiped my entire party out from full health to dead without me getting a turn in between.

Fortunately, death is not a game-over in this game; you go back to the last place you saved and have everything you've accumulated so far (items, xp, etc) except your gold total is halved. Early in the game you're so broke from buying items its not a big penalty, and later in the game you can find banks to store your excess cash and protect it from this (you have to go and withdraw the money before you can use it though).

Also, its not possible to play this game without noting on how beautiful the graphics are for the PS2. Even after being used to HD graphics, this game still looks great for what it is. I'm usually not a fan of the artist's style (Dragon Ball Z), but I can't deny that the art direction in this game is top notch.

One final issue: the game is too long by about 20%. Its rare that I complain about a game's length, but the main motivation for playing this game (finely tuned encounters/strategy; not the story) wears thin past the 60 hour mark.

So, to sum up, this is a game with old-school sensibilities (and problems) that is very finely tuned, challenging and beautiful to look at.

Dungeon Siege II review | 8,5

When Dungeon Siege 1 came out, it was a whole new way of doing RPGs - the what-you-do-is-what-you-become character development, focus on action, good multiplayer and great graphics for the time made it a niche of its own. Dungeon Siege 2 is very much the same type of game with a few enhancements, which earned it some harsh reviews.

It adds very little to the core gameplay of the original, except in one important area -- story. DS1 was a simple hack-and-slash with a threadbare story. DS2 has an involving tale (very Tolkien-like) that gets you into the game and gives a reason to kill the next wave of endless monsters. In addition to a full story, there is less appearance of linearity this time around, and it feels like a much larger and involved game world with a rich history, warring factions, and various races. It is a lengthy game with quite a bit of good content and more options on customizing your team of characters.

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 | 8.5

Just Right
Time Spent:
10 to 20 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Worth playing"

First off, just to clear up any confusion, the title of this game is actually pronounced "Kingdom Hearts Three Five Eight Days Over Two" weird right? Anyways, I have not yet beaten the game but I have played it enough to make a substantial review. As we all know the game started with Kingdom Hearts in 2003. About a year later they made a game for Game Boy Advanced called Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The Story of Sora going to Castle Oblivion, losing his memories and having to sleep for a year to regain them. This is also where we first get introduced to Organization XIII. The worst part of Chain of Memories was the card based battles system, the best part was getting to play as Riku after beating it as Sora. Then there's Kingdom Hearts II, that picks up a year later with the last days of Roxas, Sora's Nobody, and then Sora's awakening. Now, a lot of Kingdom Hearts fans had a few questions as to why organization XIII only had 8 members in KH2, and why Sora awoke like he did in the place he did. Realizing that not many people played KH:COM, let alone had a GBA, they re-made the game for PS2, naming it "Kingdom Hearts Re: Chain of Memories". Now, many people are not too found of the card-based battle system, and trust me, neither am I. But COM is an essential part of the KH franchise and it is very important any true fan plays it to understand the story in it's true depth. Knowing this, they made sure to make the PS2 version much easier than the GBA version, it includes reaction commands, extra cards, 3D environment with camera controls similar to that of KH2, the ability to dodge roll automatically, and the option to choose between Beginner, Standard, and Proud mode.

Now that that's out of the way, I shall introduce KH358/2D. This game starts 7 days after Roxas' birth (when Sora stabbed himself with the dark keyblade) and takes place through the events of Chain of Memories, where 5 of the Orgnization Members (Vexen, Larxene, Marluxia, Zexion, and Lexaeus) all die at the hands of Sora nd Riku, and the game continues to play out for the whole year that Sora is asleep and ends near the beginning of Kingdom Hearts II. With the final boss of the game being Riku. Go figure. This makes sense seeing how it was him who brought Roxas to DiZ when they put him in the fake Twilight Town in the beginning of KH2. But I digress. This game will introduce you to a new Organization member, Xion. The 14th member. Who can strangely also wield the keyblade and has connections somehow to Sora and Kairi. When you start the game it puts you through a lengthy hour long tutorial that teaches you how to play the game. You go on about 7 or so tutorial mission learning the basics of game play, and all about missions, and collecting hearts for the Organization. Out of the entire franchise, I would consider this game to be the hardest of the all, game play wise. The buttons are limited, so the camera controls are extremely limited. You can change this later, however. But it will make your shortcut window harder to access. In the previous games one could use the D-pad to access the command window, however in this game you need that to move. So instead you must use the X button to choose between attack, magic, and items. Now, your supply of healing items at your disposal and how many you can pick up on the field are both annoyingly limited. Whereas in the other games you could collect munny and buy potions then equip as many to your characters are there were item slots for them, in this game everything you have and/or do is based off a Tetris like panel grid. If you wanna level up, you must take a leve up pennel and put it on the grid. Wanna use fire magic? Maybe you wanna have a hi-potion at your despinse to heal up with? Again, must equip them to the panel grid. And please note, the grid is not unlimited. You only get so many squares to place panels in. weapons, abilities, items, magic, leveling up, these things all depend on the panel system. However, all is not lost. There are these items called "slot releasers" which open up more empty squares on the panel grid for you to equip panels on. Some panels, however, take up many squares. These are called link panels, there are used to further develop your character. For example, there is a link panel that allows you to attach up to 4 level up panels to it. Each of these levels is doubled. So instead of gaining four levels, you actually gain eight, along with any other level up panels you have equipped. With weapon panels you can link ability, power, or guard panels to unlock a hidden ability, raise your strength, defense, or magic. One of the things you'll notice right away when doing this is that all the weapon panels tend to favor one attribute over another. You will either find yourself killing off heartless pretty fast but losing health even faster, or you will take forever to kill them but also stay alive longer. As of right now, I have a strength power of 93, with a defense of 32. Explain that one. Trying to evenly balance them comes with a heavy price. The other issue with the weapons is that they all tend to favor one type of combat. One weapon is extremely useful if you fighting everything in midair, another is only useful if your feet never leave the ground. There are many more though, and I have not yet made it far enough to unlock the more balanced and powerful weapons, so I cannot yet say how the gameplay progresses near the end.

The battle system is no different than the norm. Run up to the heartless and press A to attack. However, the Heartless in this game are much smarter than their predecessors. Not only do they come in vast numbers and gang up one you, but a grand majority of the regular Heartless (not the bosses) have anywhere from 2 to 4 health bars. You will soon find yourself adopting a "hit and run" strategy, especially in the missions where you fight alone. It is almost kind of sad that the 5 Organization members of castle oblivion are short lived. As far as I remember the only time they assist you (or don't) is in the tutorial missions. You will soon figure out that most of your missions will be with Axel or Xion. With the occasional other member thrown in. however, the game does make up for this with Mission Mode, and I will get into that later. When it comes to difficult combat in the series, this game takes the cake. I remember I was only about a half hour into the game and I was surrounded by 7 Possessor Heartless who leeched onto me and sapped away my HP while Axel sat there picking his nose. I died exactly 8 times before killing them all off. According to the strategy guide, the game will insult you as well. If you chose Standard or Proud mode and you die too many times in one mission, the game will finally ask you if you would like to lower the difficulty level. One thing you may find yourself hardly ever using is the magic. As there is no surefire way to ensure your spells will hit the target, you will find yourself easily frustrated as a precious fire or blizzard spell floats right past your target. Unless you can master your aim, you'd be better off saving valuable panel room by just avoiding magic altogether. However, some missions require you have magic to complete them 100%. So I would say equip it for the mission, then un-equip it after.

The game progression is based off a series of missions. In order to move the story along, you must only do the mission marked with a keyblade and then choose "advance" to move on. However, moving on too quickly can result in an early and easy death. It is highly recommended that you at least try to do every mission Saïx has available for you before progressing. The game progression goes by days. Each time you do a mission another day goes by. This will continue until you reach 358. I am on day 93. This is not completely linear though. Sometimes a cutscene goes over a many day period. There is one instance where Roxas faints and stays asleep for 3 weeks time. On another instance the games skips from day 57 to day 93 without any explanation in between. The game offers you the choice to go back and redo missions you've already done, in case you may have missed something. You can only do this from the Organization castle. But that's not the only thing. Equipping panels, game configuration, saving your progress, and viewing your diary are all limited to inside the castle. These are all things you cannot do while on the field in a mission. Speaking of on the field, I forgot to mention that you are limited to haw many items you can pick up while on a mission. In the beginning, Roxas can only pick up 5 at a time. In order to pick up more you must equip a backpack panel to your level grid.

As for the cutscenes and graphics, they are as good as they are gunna get for a DS system. You will soon find that most of the cutscenes consist of text boxes and you will be doing a lot of reading. Very few cutscenes have voices. Hardly any.

Now let me talk about mission mode. On the title screen you get 2 choices. These are Story Mode, and Mission Mode. Mission Mode allows you to go through and replay any of the missions you have unlocked in Story Mode in an attempt to earn points and crowns which you can later trade into to Moogle Shop for prizes. But that's not all. Here's the bonus. Mission Mode allows you to playa s any one of the 13 Organization XIII members. And just as Roxas' keyblae changes its looks with new panels, so does the other Organization Members weapons. Many people hated that Marliuxia had a pink scythe. Well, just switch a few panels and presto! Really cool looking blue scythe with extra spikes coming out of the top. Again, that's not all. As the game progresses there are 6 characters you can unlock for mission mode by accomplishing certain tasks in story mode. These characters include Sora, Donald, Goofy, King Mickey, Riku, and Xion.

I know it felt like I had a lot of complaints, but the game is not all bad. Once you get the hang of it the game is pretty easy to handle. The biggest issue is getting the hang of it. The game is rated E10+ for a reason. Not just because of the fantasy violence and dark storyline, but also because there's no way in hell anyone less than 10 years of age is going to understand how to play it. They would die within the first 10 minutes. The game itself however, is very fun. The story is deep and intriguing. The characters are loveable. The game play is challenging enough that you won't rush through it in a day, but not so challenging that you give up. The panel system, annoying as it may be, is also another way of testing a true RPG gamer's skills at strategy. And the Mission system promises a lengthy game time aside form the main storyline.

Regardless of the few minor annoyances, this game quickly becomes very addicting like the rest of them. But unlike the rest of them, this one presses you to move forward and try hard, rather than just handing the victory to you like the other's did. But then again that could just be my gameplay skills. I actually seem to have forgotten what it was like the first time I ever played any of them. But I do recall there hasn't been a single Kingdom Hearts game where I haven't dies at least 3 times my first time through the story. Overall though, this is a very good game that will force you to place everything you know about strategy games on the line and then some. As it is not all fighting. Sometimes you must sneak past characters or follow them, keeping them in your line of vision, but staying out of theirs. There are also missions that require you to investigate new areas, and others that require you to collect emblems. Another good thing about this game is the worlds. While there are very few worlds, consisting only of The World That Never Was, Twilight Town, Agrabah, Beast's Castle, Halloween Town, Olympus Coliseum, Wonderland, and Neverland, these worlds are mainly repeats of their KH and KH2 counterparts to an extent. Many of them contain extra areas and remade versions of old areas to explore. For example, Beast's Castle consists entirely of everything it does in KH2, plus a secret hallway leading from the courtyard that allows you to drop down into the main entrance hallway from a hole in the ceiling. Also, with Agrabah, it looks and feels almost the same as the Agrabah in KH1, with the exception of the Cave of Wonders, which is absolutely nothing like it is in the first 2 games. Also, the music. I always have and always will love the music in the Kingdom Hearts games, which is why I downloaded the soundtracks. Even though most of the world music is recycled from the first 2 games, there are a few new musical tracks for the game itself, along with a brand new theme and battle music for Neverland.

Like I said before, the cons I mentioned earlier are only minor setbacks to an overall extraordinary game. Do not let the confusing controls scare you, at first it may seem like hell, but after awhile you find yourself getting really into it. You may find that the controls are actually less complex than the PS2.

Overall I'd say this game deserves an 8/10 rating and is absolutely a must-have for any Kingdom Hearts fan, especially those wishing to fill in the blanks of the story.

Monday, November 6, 2000

Dragon Quest IX review | 9.0

The story is great, the quests are amusing and quaint, and the battle system is classically brilliant.

Most people whine about the menu system and the limited item space for each character. These are such minor issues I would question ANYONE that uses them to downgrade this game. If that is the ONLY thing you can find to complain about...Then I suggest you never play a Japanese RPG ever again since none will ever satisfy you.

People also complain that the three NPC companions you create have no "personality" or story. That is another aspect that makes me LOVE this game. The main story doesn't need lore for the npcs that help you in your party. I make up their lore and there is no way Level 5 could make a better story for them then what I have done.

If you love classic RPGS that are modernized without changing the old school battle system...Then do not hesitate in getting this game.

The main storyline isn't even the game. Once you have finished the storyline...The REAL game begins. Dungeon crawling and side quests are so plentiful I question if I will ever complete this game. Creating weapons, armor, items...It has it all.

Dead Space | 9.5

First off, this game has no installation and that made me very happy. A lot of PS3 games use a big chunk of space on the hard drive and I'm glad this one doesn't. The graphics are amazing, best visuals and textures i have yet to see on a game. The sound adds that extra punch the game that keeps you on the edge. The story isn't that catchy but it works. Pretty much your stuck on a space ship while 2 of your other comrades try to hack into the main system. Your two friends volunteer you to go on a cat and mouse chase and have you go all over the ship for different things. It's the usual go here, go there type of game. You'll do a lot of back tracking and collecting of different items (cash, health pack, ammo, etc). The "alien" aren't that much scary or detailed. The aliens are a flesh color and look like zombies with extra arms with hands as blades. I beat the first chapter and half way through the 2nd and the way the aliens look is staying the same, so far. I'm glad i bought this game and thank goodness it has trophies!

The mood it sets will keep you on edge right up until the end. The environments look fantasic and the controls are very user friendly and are picked up quick. Playing this game was like being trapped in the best scifi/horror flick i`ve seen in the last two years. If you like games like silent hill or resident evil, this game is for you. There is enough creepiness, guns and gore to make this title one you`ll want to play over and over again.

Sunday, November 5, 2000

Suikoden V | 9.5

I have loved all the suikoden games.I have the first thru the fifth.I especially like the game play and the characters in this one.I also like that you can make orbs and build your skills(great touch)There really isn't anything i don't like about this game.The characters have personalities and a great range of individuality.Love the battles too.Rune archers,infantry,carvery and lots more.Sea and land battles that you have to use your head to win.

Shopping,treasures,trading,prizes for winning battles and alot more pleasant surprises on your journeys.If you decide to get this game in my opinion you won't be disappointed.HAPPY GAME PLAY!

This game has the old school charm of Suikoden 1 & 2. Unfortunately it has the old school camera angle. It's not that the graphics are bad, it's just that at the 3/4 angle view it's kind of hard to see the detail. You can zoom up, but then it's hard to get a view of your surroundings. Plus the non-cinematic cut scenes are in the wide angle.

Friday, November 3, 2000

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey | 9.0

Overall, I'd give this game a thumbs up, but I have hard time calling it a true sequel to the original masterpiece, and have some mixed feelings about this game. First, it's a new game, with a new lead character, and a whole new style of play. If you liked the original you will probably enjoy this "sequel" as well, but things have changed. The main character is now Zoe Castillo, with an older, jaded April Ryan playing second fiddle. The original April Ryan is absent from this game, and , I have mixed feelings about Zoe taking over the lead role in this series

April Ryan , of the original game, was charming, witty, light hearted and fun. Zoe , a nice girl, is simply more serious and lacks a lot of the levity provided by the original April Ryan. I will, however, say that Zoe's( as well as most actors in this game) voice acting is excellent and she's capable of handling some deeper, more mature subjects convincingly. However, I very much miss the whackiness, wit and youthful optism of April. April was arguably one of the best adventure game characters , to date. She was a milestone that set the standard for a number of other games. Her character has changed dramatically in the latest installment, and the game suffers from that. Zoe, while enjoyable, just doesn't stand out as much.

Kian, the third player has virtually no real involvement in the game, other than a handful of conversations, and simple combat sequences there's nothing about him that couldn't have been made into a cinema. Perhaps he may have a role in a following sequel, but not in this game. The story, like the lead character has also made a distinct change.

The story line is faster moving, more intense, and more sci-fi oriented than the original. It's a good , engrossing, story line, but it lacks the wild creativity and fantasy of the original. It has a distinctly diffferent feel or "flavor". The overall magic, awe, wonder,whacky humor and originality of the first installlment are just missing. Again, not a bad storyline, but not what made the original game a classic. The gratutious profanity and innuedoes have been toned down quite a bit, but it's still an adult, or "mature audience game"

This game is *NOT* for young children. There are a curse words, sexual situations and innuendos, some mature subject matter, and violence, as well as references to drugs and alcohol. Nothing over-the-top, but it's not some G rated title.

The controls in this game largely detract from the overall experience. Playing Dreamfall is more like playing a 1st person shooter, than a point and click adventure game. Navigating cramped areas can be a nuisance. It took me several hours of play before the controls became second nature, so to speak. I enjoyed the simple beauty of point-click the original offered, much more. Secondly, maybe it's my imagination, but this game doesn't seem to have quite the level of diversity in scenary the original did. The frequent load sequences also tended to detract fromt the overall experience.

Thinking and problem solving have definitely taken a back seat to eye-candy cinemas, simplistic combat, and puzzles generally tend to be "dumbed down" to accommodate individuals who don't enjoy games with any thinking involved. I wouldn't go so far as to call this game an interactive movie. It has puzzles. They are there. They're just much simpler, and scarcer than puzzles typical of earlier adventure games. Frequently another character in the game will tell you where to go and what to do next, making the game a bit too easy. This gamealso has numerous fight, flight and flee sequences. Arcade sequences are hardly new to adventure gaming, but in Dreamfall they're frequent and water down the game's status as an adventure, puzzle based game. The saving grace is that the story progresses quickly, and will keep most people interested in just what the heck is gonna happen next. Secondly, very few people will spend hours pixel hunting for a simple clue, or silly oversight. Personally, I'd rather see the adventure game market watered down, and and still alive, rather than die off completely. If that means putting up with silly combat scenes or excessive cinemas, that's fine with me.

This game has no real ending, just a place where the game stops, and the remaining chapters were written simply to whet your appetite for a sequel. I was upset when I saw the ending of this game. It was sad, disturbing and abrupt. It just left so many unanswered questions, with many sad possibilities waiting in future installments. The ending was much like "cliff hanger" season finale to a television series. It was meant to to tease the player, not provide resolution. That fact shouldn't be a problem if there's a sequel, but due to lack of interest in adventure games, there may not be another installment of this game.

graphics 8
gameplay 9.5
sound 9
overall 9.0