Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Far Cry 3 (PS3)

The last review of 2013 and I have to say.  It goes to a great game.  I did quite a bit of this game and ended up only missing a little bit of things out of it.  So let's get started.

To start, I don't typically like shooters.  In fact, this was the first one I played in a long time.  I got this game as a gift and didn't know what to think.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The game is solid with good controls and the combat is fluid.  Of course, it starts rough because well the character you are playing as starts rough.  You aren't supposed to be a killing machine out of the gate and this game makes you feel like that.

As you go through the game though, you quickly lose your "innocence" and gain access to various skills that are just deadly as can be.  The story is great and keeps you interested.  The island is so alive that I often felt like just wandering around for hours.  It was very rare that I wasn't trying something or attempting some weird challenge that I had come across.

This game does have some bad things though. There is one boss battle that makes no sense with the game and absolutely took me out of the experience.  Some of the skills don't work all that great and often times I would end up doing something the complete opposite of what I wanted.  Also, the Heavy Gunners were annoying to the point that I needed the skill that kills instantly just to progress at one point.  Of course, I couldn't get it because I couldn't expand my tattoo cause I wasn't doing much story missions.

This was a great game and if you have a chance to play it, get it.  It has a few flat points but it definitely is much better than I can describe.  A great game to finish off this great year.  Of course, I beat this a long time ago...so that doesn't matter much.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Quake 2 (PC)

I honestly can't remember much about this game.  I do remember that it was much better from the first game.  It's one of those shooty games that I rarely ever play and when I do, I'm not good at them.  it does remind me of Doom but I know it is much different from Doom.

As a follow-up to Quake, it holds up well and it is really good.  I just wish I could remember this game more.  I'm sure it is much better than how I remember it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core (PSP)

For one of the best PSP games I've ever played, I was surprised by this game at the start.  It starts off as what seems like another cash in for Square Enix with Final Fantasy VII.  What it ends up being is a solid title that actually adds more to the series.

First off, the combat system is fun, fluid, and stands above everything else.  If this game has not been a Final Fantasy game, it would have still been fun.  I feel that this combat system is what makes this game so good. I can't say as much for the level design or even the pacing but the combat shines.

The story is okay and definitely adds more than the other FF7 games that I have played.  The music is okay but nothing stands out.  If you are a Final Fantasy VII fan, this is definitely a game that you want to play.  It explains a little bit about other events in the game but does fall flat sometimes.  If you have a PSP, you should own this game.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Resident Evil Revelations (3DS)

Being trapped on a boat with mutants that want to kill you is not something I would ever want to have happen to me.  Luckily, I am not a member of the BSAA and I don't have to worry about these things.  Sure it would be fun if I was trained and stuff but I am not.

This game starts out simple, you are trying to stop evil virus mutants and you only have guns and wits at your disposal.  I have played some of the past Resident Evil games, but this one is the best so far.  Sure the controls are a little funky on the 3DS but you easily get used to it.

The story is great and definitely much better than Resident Evil 5.  In fact, this should have been Resident Evil 5.  This was a much better game than that.  If you have a 3DS, pick this up.  There is a lot to do, the action is intense and varied, and it is a solid title.  I'm sure the recent re-release on consoles is better but I will always like this one better.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Turok: Dinosaur Hunter (N64)

Dinosaurs should be terrifying to fight.  Or at least they would be if I didn't have modern weapons at my disposal in this game.  One you get past the traps and the fairly persistent AI, you get to see just how truly difficult a game can be.  This game has some very punishing jumps and it is often not clear where to go.

I remember playing a lot of this game and I remember finishing it but I don't remember how much I enjoyed it.  If I can't remember that, I must not have enjoyed it very much.  Still, it was a good game for the N64 and I'm sure I enjoyed parts of it.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Trojan (NES)

I don't remember much about this game.  I remember that I didn't actually beat it cause it is hard.  Very hard and I never figured out how to play it properly.  I remember that I didn't want to play it for very long cause it was so hard.

This is a side-scrolling beat'em up in the same vein as Double Dragon and the like.  All I really remember is that it was really hard.  Really, really hard.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Simpsons Hit & Run (GCN)

I am a big Simpsons fan.  I still watch the show and enjoy it.  Sure the most recent seasons haven't been as good as the older shows but that is besides the point.  This game is an interesting cross between Grand Theft Auto and a serious racing game.

My biggest complaint is the fact that the missions range from super easy to beyond annoying.  The times vary for the missions to points that are just not fun at times.  I mean the last mission is just an activity of frustration and tedium.

The game does stay close to the humor of the show and there are tons of references.  Be it all the one liners the various characters make, to the advertisements seen in the streets.  This game is great for anybody that likes the Simpsons.  Having five playable characters is fun, even though all of them play the same, it does keep things a little fresh by hearing different voices at times.

I would say that this is probably the best Simpsons game out there, if the arcade game from the 90s didn't exist.  If you have a Gamecube and are itching for something open world, this is the best game to get.  I had fun with it but I knew I would going into it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Final Fantasy IX (PS)

It's very difficult to for me to review this game.  This was the first Final Fantasy game that I ever played.  Not only that but it is probably the best one that I have played.  That's why it is so difficult for me to review this game.  How do I not let bias get to me when I think about this game?  How do I stay impartial and point out the flaws?  Then I remembered that the reason why I like this game is because it is so solid.

Let's start with the story.  This is probably the one story that sticks with me from the series.  Sure some of the characters are forgettable and part of the middle discs are lost in my memory, but I will always remember the beginning and the end.  They stage the characters so well and it really sets you up for this grand adventure.  The characters grow at a good rate and even some of the surprises that pop up are surprising.

The combat is what I truly remember.  Yes, it is a simple affair of selecting menu items and being right.  But there is so much more to it.  Each character is unique and has their own feel and use.  If you want a heavy hitter, you pick Steiner.  You need to do some damage to a magically weak creature, you pick Vivi.  It gives the players a sense of strategy.  Opposed to some of the other games in the series, this one gets the formula correct.  When you lose a fight, you know it is because you did not choose correctly or were not paying attention.

I love the soundtrack for this game.  I love it so much that I own it.  I imported the soundtrack shortly after I beat this game and have enjoyed it ever since.  Every song in this game gives you a sense of how you should feel.  My favorite would be the theme that plays when you see the main villain.  It still stands as the best villain theme I have ever heard in my life.

In conclusion, this is the best RPG that I have ever played.  It has influenced not only my tastes in games but what I would like to do when I finally make my own game.  The combat is solid to the point of near perfection, the soundtrack is spectacular, and the characters are still in my mind.  I wish there was more to this game but then I think that a sequel wouldn't capture the fun I had with this game.  It wouldn't be as good and I would just feel bad.  So I'm going to just place this game high on my list and leave it at that.  It will always have a place in my heart.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

NES Open Tournament Golf (3DS)

Golf.  GOLF!  Now I don't know what to say about this game.  I played a little of this and it wasn't all that great.  Sure it is likely I didn't play enough of this game but I guess this is okay.  I will probably play more someday but I won't really enjoy it.  Golf has never been my game.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Ice Hockey (NES)

What a simple game but what fun.  There is a lot to this game but it is so simple that you can instantly get into it.  First, there are three types of players.  The thing and fast skinny guy.  Although, he slides more when checked.  The big fat slow player, that is harder to knock down.  Lastly the average guy.  You can set up your team however you want and it adds some strategy to the game.

Playing the CPU is fun until it absolutely eats you alive.  Playing against friends is the way to go.  I had fun with the game but it is not something to pour a lot of time into it.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Championship Pool (SNES)

I don't remember much about this game but I do remember it being pretty fun.  It's a pool game and once you know what you are doing, you get to be decently good.  The problem is the CPU is also good.  Better than good, it is downright unfair.  It's like being hustled.  This game is like being hustled.  Still, if you really like pool and have a SNES.  Play this.  It is worth it.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Orbient (WW)

A not very well known WiiWare title.  I bought it during my phase of trying not very well known games.  This game is rather relaxing and quite simple.  You are a small planet.  You must orbit around other planets picking up smaller planets to get bigger.  As you get bigger, you can get planets to orbit you for more points.  Once you reach the correct size, you have to capture the wining planet or I think it was a sun.  I can't remember and it has been too long for me to remember.

The game itself is very solid.  The controls are simple and when you make mistakes, you are rarely punished that badly.  It's a fun waste of time game.  Getting all the secret moons is a little hard at times but I did pretty good without trying.  If you need a physics based puzzler, try this.  It's not super bad but again not shining through everything else.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mario vs. Donkey Kong (3DS)

I played this game on the 3DS as part of the Ambassador Program.  It wasn't a terrible game but I don't remember too much about it being great either.  It seemed like a semi-solid title that didn't really do too much that was different but it was unique.  I only had one hang up and that was the sometimes inconsistent deaths that you would get from the random hits and sometimes unfair conditions.  It was a nice title and if I had paid for it, I would have been disappointed.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

LittleBigPlanet (PS3)

This was the first PS3 game I had.  I received it for Christmas the same year I got my PS3.  It was amazing at the time.  Freedom to do what you wanted to do and it was just so quirky.  As the time went on, I quickly learned that the charm wears off.  This game touted the online as being infinite and the fun immeasurable.  That was a very big claim and one I fear this game didn't meet.

To start, the story mode ranges from fun to aggravating as often times the challenges would ramp up for no reason.  Take that into effect with floaty and imprecise controls for a game that demanded it at times and you get a headache.  Add onto the need to put life caps and you get something that is not fun to play through more than once.  Yes, I don't mind a challenge but when the controls are this loose.  Give me a break.

The online started out great.  Then as more and more people got into the H4H movement (Heart 4 Heart), the levels quickly spiraled into nothing more than rooms with nothing in them.  Just to get the trophies.  Creating levels was tedious and even if you put a lot of time into the level, nobody would play them cause all they wanted to do was H4H.  It ruined the experience.  For example, I went through and played a level.  This level consisted of nothing but the beginning portal blocked by immovable black substance all around it.  You could not complete this level.  This level had around 10 hearts.  My level that I put some time and though into, was completed, and even gave away some prizes was played by one person total.  I don't care if people though my level sucked and didn't heart it.  I could care less.  It's the principal of it.  A room with nothing to do and no objective should not be liked and played more just because.

This game was okay.  Nothing spectacular and with each iteration it just got too complex for me to even care.  If they would fix the loose controls and make the online levels not just heart fests with no goal, I would consider going back.  But for now, I'm burned to this series.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (PS3)

Oblivion, a word that brings to mind great destruction and cataclysmic events.  That describes this game at times.  I have nothing against the game itself.  It is a very solid game and my first foray into the Elder Scrolls world.  It gave me lots and lots of hours of enjoyment and lots of hours of aggravation as well.

To be frank, I have yet to play a game in this series (or the Fallout series) that doesn't play like garbage at times on the PS3.  This is not the devs fault, well not mostly their fault.  They know the market is bigger on PC, so they optimize the games for that platform.  As a console gamer, I understand that most of what I will be playing will be outdone graphically.  I realize that and don't really care that much about graphics.  The piece that gets me is the fact that parts of the game get to be unplayable because of this lack of support for consoles.  For example, the last big battle in the game, chugged at about 4 frames a second because there was so much on screen.  Yes, I'm sure on a PC it was spectacular but here it was bad.

Blame me all you want for not playing on PC but I don't want to play on PC.  Everybody always claims that it is just a choice and console gamers should just shut up about it.  I respect PC gamers and understand that they are superior.  Heck, I've tried gaming on PCs a couple of times and some of my favorite game moments are from PC games.  Then why do I still own a console?  Why have I not moved forward and joined the PC supremacy?  Because I like what I like and I group up with consoles.  There is nothing better than playing on a device that is specifically made to just run games.

All in all, this was a fun game. It gave me lots to do and I didn't even do everything.  I ended up doing most of the Mage's Guild line until I glitched a story quest to be irrecoverably uncompleted.  I will always remember walking into a dungeon and getting mobbed to death by zombies for hours before I learned how to play the game.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

TMNT: Arcade Game (NES)

Apparently this is the worst version of this game.  I don't know why other than the graphics.  I loved this game as a kid.  It was great and my siblings and I had all sorts of fun popping this into the NES.  It brings back childhood memories of waking up on Saturday morning, eating Cookie Crisp out of a Raphael shaped cereal bowl and watching what the turtles were up to this week.

The game is solid.  You attack, move around, and dodge at what seems like a consistent pace.  There doesn't seem to be too many things that are unfair and when you die it is because you got careless.  I don't remember ever beating this game or at least beating it alone.  But that's okay, it was an arcade game, those weren't meant to be beaten.

This just reminds me of how well my childhood was.  I look at the turtles of this generation and just feel so sorry for them.  They will never have the classic stuff I had as a kid.  It makes me feel bad that people are taking these old shows and turning them into bastardized versions of them, just for some quick cash.  I mean the turtles have never been aliens, that has never happened once.  Now, they are aliens and it just makes me feel so bad inside.  Why do people have to ruin things I loved as a child?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Theatrhythm (3DS)

The first thing I usually tell people when they ask me about rhythm and music games is that I am terrible at them and rarely ever play them.  In fact, this game is the first one I ever played.  It's not a genre of game that I can ever really get into for some reason and I believe it comes from my own lack of musical talent.  Sure, I listen to lots and lots of music (mostly video game soundtracks) but that does not mean I possess rhythm.

This game showed me my true faults and it pushed me beyond my normal comfort zone for games.  I'm glad I played it, it was fun.  Being a Final Fantasy fan definitely helps when you play this.  Having beaten all the main numbered games, except XI, I could remember every single little moment from all the sections. I remember the music, I remember the characters and this game brought it all back up.

This game was a nice refreshment from my usual gaming habits.  Yes, it has RPG elements but it is not an RPG.  That was key, since I was playing this at a time where I was so overrun with RPGs that I had no clue what to play.  I'm still there now but I now know what I need to do to keep going.  This game showed me how I should balance my game playing so I don't get so into a rut with RPGs that I just stop playing everything.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Zone of the Enders HD Collection (PS3)

As my 100th post, I thought it was appropriate to do something special.  What's more special than two games in one?  So let's get started.  I've never done a double review.

Zone of the Enders is an interesting concept.  On the one hand, it has very solid gameplay.  Every action is fluid and controlled.  It is very easy to get used to and you progressively get better as you play.  This progression moves at a natural pace, you never feel like you are being punished but you know when you are doing badly.  The key difficulty I had with this game was the fact that I got lost in what to do at one point.  It may have just been me but I had no clue what to do.

2nd Runner improves on the first game in every way.  You still get that natural but now it is ramped up.  The missions are much more varied this time and the bosses more unique.  Sometimes it can be frustrating when bosses absolutely demolish you but you always feel like trying again.

The story in both games starts out pretty normal and then gets out there.  By the end of 2nd Runner, I had no idea what was even going on or why.  It was a fun story to get through though.  The game itself does have some flaws.  It often crashed for me when I tried to actually leave the game.  It would often hard boot my PS3 until I started exiting to the XMB first and then turning it off.  Even after I started doing that though, it would graphically glitch some of the menus.  I'm sure they fixed this in the patch but it wasn't released when I played this.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Mortal Kombat (SNES)

This is a game that goes back to my childhood.  I used to watch my older siblings play this during the summer.  They would never let me play it cause it was too violent but they let me watch.  I have to say, when I finally got to play it.  It was fun.

The problem is, now this game seems clunky to me.  It has not held up well and there are much better games.  Going back, I would have loved to play this.  Nowadays though, I won't play this game.  It's still a decent game if you are really into old fighters.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

ClaDun: This is an RPG (PSP)

Randomly generated content is usually a draw for me.  It gives me a lot of content and lots to do in a small package.  Every adventure is different.  This game is one of those games that I played for hours and hours and hours just because I was having fun.

The concept is simple.  Make it to the end of each dungeon.  The story dungeons are not procedural and have set layouts.  Those are not the major draw.  Rangeons and the brethren are what draw me in.  You never know where you will end up and often you find yourself in over your head.

The combat is fun, the character creation was awesome, and the story was passable.  Yes there is lots to do and the game can technically never end but there is just so much fun to have.  Don't pass this game up.  There is a lot in this game and it is definitely worth playing.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Legend of Zelda (NES)

Nothing beats a classic.  This is the game that really started my love of games.  There is nothing about this game that doesn't define the genre it helped create.  It is one of the originals and every designer should be forced to play this game.  Only games that can be as creative as this should be made in the future.

The game is simple, it doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles.  What it inspires is a sense of adventure.  It basically sets you in a world and tells you to go.  It doesn't tell you where to go and when to do certain things.  It's up to the player to figure it out.  This is what modern games are lacking.  Sure you can challenge a player with difficult challenges and impossible odds but this game does all that and achieves something modern games miss, it's fun.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fat Princess (PSN)

This was one of the first games I had for my PS3 and was in fact the first game I had gotten off of PSN.  It was an interesting concept but as time goes on it just gets old.  It kept it's charm for a while but once you start playing with strangers, the fun drops sharply.

The game is plagued with little glitches and hiccups.  Most of these are just minor and don't really hurt the experience too much but some can be downright terrible.  When your entire team is wiped out because of one person glitched to where they can't be killed, it's not much fun.

The reason I stopped playing this game was simple.  The last match I played was with strangers and three of my teammates spent the entire match, throwing bombs at our own door.  No matter how much I tried to rebuild it, they would continue to blow it up.  That's when I knew the game was over.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS)

Going into this game, I had no expectations.  I had never played the first one and had no idea how I would like this game.  It looked nice and while I didn't play the multiplayer at all, that was a key decision to buy it.  Why didn't I play the multiplayer?  Because the story mode killed the fun I had.

The game starts out simple, albeit I did lose an hour cause you can't save in the tutorial mission.  Which is dumb cause I couldn't figure out what to do.  That was a common theme in this game.  Some of the puzzles and missions are not clear what you are supposed to do.  It really kills the game's flow when you hit a point where you are basically mindlessly backtracking to find what to do next.

The second part that really killed me on this was the mission variance.  Sure some can be unique but when you start hitting the Toad escort missions and the ghost dog, you grow tired of them.  In fact, those two types were boring from the start.  The only saving grace was some of the bosses were incredibly fun.

Lastly, the worst part is the incredibly inconsistent controls at times or poor choices for bosses.  The boss of the fourth mansion comes to mind in this.  I consistently lost to an incredibly easy boss because the game was not reading my hits as hits.  I hit the boss the same way consistently and each time something different would happen.  That is not good game design.  And yes, the Boo Train was just stupid and bland.  They could have done better.

All in all, this game started fun, dipped into tedium and frustration, and then ended decently.  There is some variance in what you are doing but nothing to be super interesting.  With times where you are just wandering around aimlessly.  Towards the end of the game, I was purposely just missing money and treasure to beat the game faster to make it end.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)

This was the first Metal Gear Solid game I played and I have to say this is still by far my favorite.  I've never been good at stealthy games.  In fact, I am downright terrible.  This game helped me break that habit of being bad at them by making me think differently.

Sure, I played on EZ and did use the EZ Gun when I got mad at the situation but I still got some challenge out of it.  There were times when I did not use the EZ Gun and tried my hardest.  Those are my favorite moments in the game.  I like the fact that this game is very forgiving to new players like me.

The story is a major factor in my enjoyment of this as well.  Every aspect and detail of the story was put in a way that it just makes sense as a whole.  Sure parts can be pretty crazy but it feels no worse than a James Bond film.  In fact, that is one of the things that really stands out.  If this had been a James Bond game, it would have worked.  The espionage, the opening, and the characters all point to a typical Bond film.  I can't help but think that some of the things in this game are little nods to that.

I have to say, for my dislike of the genre because I am so bad at it.  I'm very glad I gave this game a chance. I had lots of fun with it and feel that it helped push me into a new genre and new series gently.  Sure I'm not the best at this game and if I was asked to play it again I would but I had the fun I had with it because it was so new and different.  It helped me grow as a gamer and that is a key part of my enjoyment of a game.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Darkstalkers (PSN)

I bought Darkstalkers off of Playstation Network one night because I wanted a fighting game.  I don't think I understood what I was in for.  I didn't realized what this game was going to be and I had some fun with it but it suffers from one thing that in fighting games gets old.

When I play fighting games, I don't really practice with any character.  I usually just hop on and play as the randomly selected character.  If a game lets me, I just use that every match.  This includes online as well.  I just like the thrill of not knowing who I am going to play as.

This game has a curse and I swear other fighting games do this as well, where the random select will constantly get the same character over and over again.  This happened to me in Blazblue and Persona 4 Arena.  But this game is the biggest offender.  Whenever I do random select, I always get BB Hood.  Now don't get me wrong, she is a good fighter but I like to play as other characters.  I always get her, I have even attempted to stop the random select not on her and it still goes to her.

Still, the game is solid and there is a lot to do.  I have had some fun with it and I do like the fact that all the old monster movie favorites are there too.  Nothing better than watching them go at each other.  Yes, I know diehard fans will tear apart this review but nobody reads these.  So I'm not worried.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Yoshi's Island DS (NDS)

Yoshi is a thing that when it's done correctly is really good.  This game has elements that are good but it lacks the finesse of the SNES game that this is a sequel to.  This game introduces some new elements to the platforming in the other one but they never really get anywhere with it.

The only reason I won't recommend this game is because the ludicrous amounts of difficulty towards the end.  Particularly anything involving the little pink bouncy ball things that are just really annoying and don't serve any useful purpose.  Now, don't get me wrong I like a challenge in platforming but this gets so far out of hand that it stops being fun.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Super Metroid (SNES)

One of my favorite games of all time.  This is my second favorite SNES game but this is the game that got me interested in the series.  It's a simple game but there are so many facets to it that no matter how many times you play it, it feels different.  Even with a map and a guide, I have yet to find everything or at least getting it all in the time I want to.

I love this game.  It feels incredible to just wander around and see what you can get into.  Sure I've been stuck a couple times but the game always teaches you what you need to get past where you are.  What comes in mind is how the game teaches you how to use the Speed Boost Jump thing with the bird.  It doesn't just explain it with the text but the bird shows you how to do it.

This game is what all good action adventure games should be like.  Lots to do but you never get bored.  There is always something happening and when you don't know what to do, you can just start searching the places you haven't been to yet.  If you have a chance, play this game.  It's the best Metroid game and probably the best action adventure game I've ever played.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (GBC)

For one of the first Gameboy games I ever owned, it took me a very long time to finally beat this game.  This was a fun game with solid controls and the great Mario fun that people know from the series.  The worlds are all unique but some are better than others.

Halloween zone and Moon zone are my two least favorite.  Moon zone simply because it is just stupid and short.  Halloween zone because the levels all have silly secrets.  The powerups in this game are really nice and I do wish they would bring the bunny ears back.  They were great and really added some variety to this game.

This was a good follow-up to the original Mario Land game for the Gameboy and definitely worth playing.  Play it if you get the chance.  Do it.  Go on, do it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fallout 3 (PS3)

This was one of the first games I ever got for my PS3 and it was my first foray into Western RPGs.  I did pick a great game to start off with too.  This game became my passion for 200 hours and I haven't even done everything.

Let me start by saying this game really sets the mood.  It's a post-nuclear Washington D.C. and you are just a lonely person who has left the only home you have ever known in search of your father.  You come to find out that the world isn't as empty as you once thought and it sets up a great adventure.  This game has so much to do and see that you may find yourself just wandering for hours.

Sure the PS3 version had a number of glitches and it would crash often but it was still playable.  I purchased three DLC for this (Point Lookout, Broken Steel, and the alien one).  Each was well worth the purchase.  This game was just so much fun to explore and do things with.  Each place you journey to can have any sort of treasures in it that you just wander for hours trying to find the next piece of interesting loot.

If you have access to anything that can play this game, I say play it.  It really shows how an open world should be, open.  There is nothing stopping you from getting all the map points before doing all the missions or at least I didn't run into something stopping me.  It's great to just wander around and make your own way.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Super Mario Advance 4: Super Mario Bros. 3 (GBA)

So this is a ported version of what I consider the best Super Mario game of the NES days.  Everything about this game is solid.  I have 100% complete this game which means I got every whistle.  I beat every level.  I did everything.

This game should be taught in developer school's as how to properly do a difficulty curve.  This game has the best curve I've ever experienced.  You never feel like things jump up too far in challenge but you are still staying focused.  Just after a set of hard levels, they sometimes throw a short mindless level at you to keep you from getting frustrated.

This game is what platformers still should be held to in terms of standards.  It is solid, tight, and responsive.  I can't stress just how good this game feels.  When you die, you know why and you know it was your fault.  Nothing ever feels cheap or broken.  I suggest that everybody who plays games at least give this game a try in any of it's iterations.  Sure in this one you could save but even without that, this game is worth it.  A must play in my book.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Arcana Heart 3 (PS3)

Hmmm, a game that I shouldn't like because of the technical aspects of being good at a fighter but then I like because the all female cast.  I subscribe to the notion that if you are going to spend hours looking at a character, it should be an attractive character.  Which is why I like female characters so much in games.

This game is fun and even a complete beginner can find somebody to be good with at times.  With the mix-ups of character and arcana, even mirror matches can play out differently if you each pick a different arcana. See, arcana's each add special moves or effects when used.  They add more flavor to this cast of interesting characters.

I wish I had spent more time with this game.  It is one of the first fighting games I actually spent a lot of time playing with friends.  Sure we move on to new games but this game lives on in my heart as one that I see as fun.  The story mode is frustrating though.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Last Story (Wii)

This is a game to show just how the Wii could have been had more developers taken the time to look past the motion controls and actually made games for it.  This is a game that helps me understand why the Wii was such an under-utilized machine.  This is a Wii game that brings the question to light, "why didn't more devs do this?"

I am having a hard time forgetting about this game and for good reason.  It has one of the best battle systems I've ever experienced.  Being able to dodge and counter an enemy but still maintaining the turn-based theme is a strange and excellent combination.  The combat is what this game really shines with.  When you lose, you know why and you know what to do next time.  There were only a handful of times when I really felt that the battle was unfair but I kept playing despite it.

The stealth aspects the game are a nice touch but often felt unneeded.  The story was good, a little corny at times, and definitely predictable in the end but good.  This story does something that I have wanted in an RPG for so long, it makes you question your motives at every turn.  You seem to wonder if the path you are walking is the correct one.

All in all, this is an astounding experience and I feel like this is what Final Fantasy XII should have been.  The combat is smooth, responsive, and incredibly fun.  There are a lot of things to this game that can be deep, like the multiplayer or co-op that I didn't even try.  Even the single-player has an Arena that I didn't even touch.  There is a lot to this game but the whole journey is worth it if you stick with it.  Definitely a must buy for any Wii owners.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 (3DS)

I've played both versions of this game as this is a remake of a SNES title of similar name.  This is the pinnacle of the SNES platformers in my eyes.  Whereas the other games that came after it weren't terrible, this game was just spot on.  The controls are incredibly tight and you feel like when you make a mistake, you still have a chance.

Not to say this game doesn't have issues.  Some of the effects take an incredibly long time to finish and you have to sit through them every time.  Yes, this is similar to an unskippable cutscene but I can forgive this since this game was before that era and cutscenes were used for different purposes.

The boss battles are all unique and fun.  The stages all have some gimmick and it never feels like they are repeated, which is rare for a game like this.  Usually, due to limitations, they would reuse the same three or four stage designs but throw in new elements.  This game just feels fresh throughout, they never give you the same thing over and over to the point that it gets boring.

This is a must own for any platformer lover.  This shows just how good a game Nintendo can make and they should be applauded for this one.  Sure there is a sequel (I will get to it or have, I am too lazy to check) but this game is bounds above it.  Play this, immediately.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dissidia: Final Fantasy (PSP)

As a Final Fantasy fan, this game was a dream come true.  All my favorites in one game, clashing in an epic battle for the future of the world.  Getting to pit your favorites against each other and settling some answers about who could beat who.  This game was the number two reason why I wanted a PSP and it was one of the first games I ever bought for the system.

I love everything from this game.  The story is a weak part considering the pedigree and rich history it draws from but it is nonetheless a decent story for what is essentially a fighting game.  The amount of content is incredibly astounding for just how big this game is.  Costumes to unlock, levels to gain, and items to unlock.  I still haven't gotten everything out of the game.

The greatest part of this game is the combat.  It is fluid, responsive, and above all, fun.  That is what makes a good game great and a great game, awesome.  The combat is just so much fun.  Sure the computers can be relentless but even if you are against the ropes there is always a shot.  Just the amount of little nods to the different games in the series makes the whole game worth it for any fan of the series.

What else can I say?  If you own a PSP, you should own this game or at the least the sequel that includes all the features of this game plus mores characters and story.  Even for non-FF fans, this game is solid.  The amount of fun that can be had dodging Exdeath and the VOID! is just too much to be skipped.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bioshock (PS3)

I went into this game completely blind, to say I had not heard a single thing about how this game played other than it was a first person shooter with some special things.  I was pleasantly surprised by this and in fact, it was fun and a great story.

The main premise is you are involved in a plane crash and find yourself on the doorstep to a city that was built underwater.  Through the course of the game, you come to find out your true purpose, the history of the city and just what is going on.  This is my key point for liking this game.  The story is well-thought out and every piece fits.  Sure parts are a little funky at times but everything you are doing makes sense with what is going on around you.

Now, the gameplay is solid.  You have a of tools at your disposal and you know what they are used for.  Then comes the twist, using plasmids in conjunction with a weapon yields different results.  It keeps the game fresh but at times you will just be running around and trying to survive.  This game suffers from what I like to call, useless cover syndrome.

Useless cover syndrome is when a game gives you a cover system but then allows the enemies to quickly make it useless.  Early on, you learn that you should crouch behind things to avoid getting shot at.  The only issue I had was often I was being shot through the cover or what I thought was cover was in fact just a set piece.  It is frustrating when you are trying to use the systems the game comes up with and they don't work.

Through and through, this game is atmospheric and even at the lowest points, it is never dull.  I give this a recommendation just purely for the story.  It is a very well-thought out piece of writing and it even makes you wander about things if our world had just been a little bit different from the reality we live in.  Sure it is a fantasy story but it also has the pieces of plausibility that give it an extra edge.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Top Gun (NES)

I went to the danger zone!  No I didn't.  This game was awfully hard and I never figured out how to actually land the plane.  In fact, I'm curious as to how this game got into my collection.  I did inherit a large number of NES games from my brothers when they moved onto other consoles and I do remember playing this.

Let's just say that I will keep this short by saying, if you enjoy the movie, stay away from this game.  It is dreadfully challenging and does not hold up well by today's standards.  Flying planes has gotten much better and much easier to control.  That is all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Did I Do to Deserve This, My Lord? 2 (PSN)

Surely, you will learn what this game is.  It's hard to describe and I don't have words for it.  So I won't even try.  As the second entry in a series of games where you place Badman in a dungeon of your creation and you try to defend him by building it correctly.

There is a whole ecosystem to this game and getting set up correctly takes a great strategy.  I for one am terrible at planning these kinds of things, so I never completed all the story based missions.  Sure it is fun to see what happens when you get a good dungeon going and see it eat heroes alive but when you lose, you usually lose in a bad way.

Is this game fun?  I had some fun with it.  Not my style of game but I gave it a chance and at least had some fun with it.  If you like what I described, pick it up.  Pick up the first game and I believe there is a third game in the series but I never played that one.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Half-Life (PC)

The game that started what people call the modern story based FPS.  I have to say, as somebody who doesn't play FPSes all that often.  This was an alright game.  Sure it suffers some flaws but they can be overlooked.  Easily overlooked if you take the game as a whole.

I love how the game starts.  It's just a typical day for the silent protagonist, Gordon Freeman, and you get to be him.  Sure, things go sour pretty fast but everything you need to know is introduced shortly thereafter and the game gets going.  What sets this apart from other FPS games is that you are trying to survive and escape at the same time.  You objective isn't always clear at times but the main goal is to survive what has happened.

This leads me to the first issue I have with the game.  A lot of times I ended up wandering around for a while because I didn't know where to go or what I could interact with.  At one point, I ended up doing a whole section of the game without an integral piece of the stage with me and had no idea I was even supposed to use it.  Did I make it without it?  Sure, but it was rough.

Secondly, the bosses in this game (particularly the last one) often make no sense and don't give you any clues how to hurt them unless you are paying attention.  I died a lot of times before I figured out what I was supposed to be doing on the last boss.  It probably is my lack of skill for this game that caused this but I found it a particularly negative point in the game.  I didn't want the game to hold my hand but at some point I have to figure out what to do and I just couldn't.

This is a classic and should go with any collection.  Even if you don't like the genre, this game is more than worth a play or two.  Even the expansions add more to the story and you know what is going on at the end of it all.  Play this game now, you have no reason not to.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Playstation All Stars Battle Royale (PSVita)

So going into this game, I figured it wouldn't be smart to treat it like it was Super Smash Bros. with Sony characters and that was a good idea.  This game doesn't even feel the same, despite looking like the same concept.  Something seems a little bit off.  To compare it to Super Smash Bros. just feels unfair, so I will treat it like a standalone fighting game.

This is a pretty basic concept.  Fight till you get enough energy in a bar to use a special to win.  Simple concept but each character has different specials.  Many of them range from screen clearing attacks to easily dodged attacks that are annoying to use.  That's the key to any fighting game is balance.  That's what this game lacks.

They did recently patch the game to fix the fact that Sackboy was near impossible to hit but as of this post Kratos is still overpowered and Raiden has an attack that is easy to get off and clears all those around him.  Unfair, not really because both those things are only issues for new players.  But it does get annoying to jump into a fight and get bombarded by the same three characters.

One not I have about this game especially, over it's PS3 brethren.  The mic feature is stupid.  It picks up too much sound and there is nothing in the game manual on how to disable it.  Yes, it has to be disabled through a Vita menu but it doesn't mean you can't have a blurb about it in the game manual.  When players have to use Google to figure it out, you have problems.  I would say this game is skippable, unless you are looking for more games for your Vita.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Metroid Fusion (GBA)

I finally get to talk about my second favorite Metroid game in existence.  This game came out just as I was really getting into games and it was definitely one that I won't soon forget.  This was my first GBA game and it showed me just how great a game can be.

Everything from the level design to the graphics in this game are great.  It showed me just how good a GBA could be and really showed off the little device.  Before this, I had been playing on a Lime-green Game Boy Color, so this was definitely something new to me.

The gameplay is the key piece to this.  This is one that truly shows what a good Metroid game can be like.  It has all the elements, like getting new powerups to get to new areas and increase what you can do.  The bosses are well-thought out and often have a quirk or two that throw unseasoned players off.  Sure fighting the cores was a pain, but it was justified.

The best memory I have from this would be the part where you are escaping from a certain enemy.  It is intense to just drop into a room thinking it is just completely empty, only to see the big baddy there.  A moment of fear that quickly leads into a rapid and desperate attempt to survive and escape your untouchable foe.  I will never forget this moment for as long as I game.  This is was a Metroid game should be like, this is what I will remember the series as.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rayman Origins (PSVita)

Having played the first Rayman game back on the PS, I can say I like this games format better.  Yes, it has more modern things like checkpoints and such.  But in a platformer, having lives now is just pointless.  It just wastes time.

This game is the perfect blend of fun and frustration.  Getting past a particularly hard part is fun but at the same time, you hit that point where you just want to give up.  Giving up is never the better idea as you are rewarded for doing a good job.

This game is definitely a must own for any system.  It came out on all of them practically.  Ubisoft actually went back to the roots of the series and made a solid platformer.  Not since Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero? have I had so much fun jumping and landing.  Sure I didn't do everything but that takes time and that secret level is an absolute killer.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Grand Theft Auto III (PS2)

The game that started it all for me.  This was the first game that I received with my PS2.  Before then I was still playing my N64 or Gamecube and had never seen a game like this before.  I was stunned.  It was so open and free.  I could do whatever I wanted and it was just awesome.

Sure this game has some really buggy faults, namely just popping in and out of areas and things.  You couldn't drive very fast without killing a few people, but that was the fun.  This was all knew to people and it was just a trailblazing experience.

What really killed my fun was the actual story missions.  Though they were varied, some of them felt very unfair.  When you are at such a disadvantage, such as facing invincible cars for opponents, it's not really fair. The shooting mechanics were clunky but still fun.  This was a good game and I'm glad they built off it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Disgaea DS (NDS)

For the first Disgaea game I ever had, I have to say I enjoyed this one the most until I played the next game in the series.  This was a breath of fresh air for me.  Sure this is the worst port of this game, but that just goes to show how well made this game is.  If I had this much fun with the worst version of the game, I can only imagine what the better versions are like.

The basics of this game are simple.  Clear maps to win.  You have a clear goal.  Your way of doing this is up to you and once you get into all the different stats, reincarnation, weapon levels, etc.  This game has more depth than most people will want to deal with.  Heck, even if you are setup to level grind, it takes a good while to get to 9999 the first time with just one character.

And that's what I love about this game, it takes everything to the extreme.  Bosses that are 9999, weapons that have stats in the millions, damage that is just so absurd, I still get surprised by it sometimes.  It's like they wanted to just raise the caps on RPGs and then did it.  The story isn't half bad, but as a fan, you will grow to loathe the main characters of this.  Not because they are not fleshed out and well presented, but because they just show up in every game hereafter, with the same quirks and jokes.  It does wear a little thing when you have to listen to Flonne be a lovefreak every single time she shows up.

Would I pick this game up if I weren't into grinding and trying my best to get everything I can out of a game? No.  You will spend hours getting into this game once you know what you are doing.  Sure if can take time to get through everything, but the rewards are astounding.  Seeing those large numbers just does something to your brain.  It's almost a drug, it keeps you coming back for more.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Pikmin (GCN)

So this is interesting, I've hit a point where I have reviewed a sequel before the first game.  I didn't play this series out of order, I'm just reviewing randomly.  Anyway, let's get to business shall we.  This game is a great start.  It sets up a great premise, a great gameplay system, and gives you set goals.  Get everything back by a certain amount of time.  How you accomplish this task is up to you.

Now, I will get this out of the way early.  I didn't like the time limit.  It felt far too restrictive.  It led to less exploration, in a game that screams it.  Going around to every nook and cranny is what this game was designed for.  You are looking for those pieces of your ship, why limit how long we get to look?  Sure it adds some pressure and moves the game forward, but it also stifles the exploration piece that this game has almost at the forefront.

The concept is pretty solid and the controls are well done, especially with managing pikmin.  Sure you have to get used to which pikmin do what and how to use them effectively but towards the end you become accustomed to sending teams out to do what you need to be done.  In fact, I ended up getting my last piece of the ship on the last day and I only did it through using all the skills I had earned before.  That is the true testament to a good game, forcing the player to use everything they learned to complete the game.  So many games forget that and just make things harder through artificial means.

I'd say if you are looking for a great game, pick this up.  It's simply, straightforward and fun.  Sure you can get frustrated when you lose half your pikmin team but those decisions you made caused that.  Nothing in the game feels cheap, you are in control of everything that happens.  Retreat or lose pikmin, stay and fight, all these run through your head as you progress forward.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (PS2)

You know, this was an interesting concept.  You play as a character from a good RPG, that is optional to the point that you can completely miss him and actually miss all references to him.  You play as Vincent Valentine, a gun-toting and awesomely designed character that is intense and awesome.

What really drags this game down is the camera and controls.  It's a decently solid title with some interesting moments and some great fun but it fails in some basic places.  The number one thing I can remember is the camera.  It was not responsive.  The only other thing I can remember is the difficulty, it is sometimes easy as pie but the next level could be intense and frustrating.

For a game like this, it is hard to say I love it.  I mean I stopped playing this game for about 3 years before coming back and beating it.  The gun customization system was a pretty cool concept and definitely I would like to see more of it.  This was not a bad game and I wish Square Enix had used the engine again (with some tweaks) because it was fun to play.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Resident Evil 5 (PS3)

Oh Capcom, how far you have fallen?  I started the series with RE4 and loved it.  I even went back and played the original game and enjoyed that as well.  Sure both RE and RE4 are completely different in terms of what they are, but then this game happened.

At no point in this game was I afraid.  In fact, you can see most of what is supposed to be scary early due to Sheva being immensely overpowered.  For a while, I gave her the stunrod and nothing else.  I had so much ammo, I didn't know what to do.

Now, the series has lost the survival horror aspect from the first game, but how does this stack against RE4 in terms of being a 3rd-person action/shooter.  It's almost on par but lacks in the uninspired and often frustrating boss fights.  It just kind of falls flat on the radar compared to the spike that was RE4.

Sure, there is fun to be had in this game.  It sets up a nice story about what happened after Umbrella's demise but parts of it were just clunky and the whole last section was a complete letdown.  I won't let this experience sour my future with the series but honestly, I probably won't touch this game again.