Archive for the ‘Editorials on Videogames’ Category

Taige’s Heavy Rain Review

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

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Growing up, I used to watch a lot of crime drama – usually the British stuff that played on PBS most nights and especially Sunday. The gruff copper or detective (or detective-inspector?) tracking down the bad guys typically within two hours – Inspector Morse, Lindley, Rebus, Dr. Tony Hill, even Sherlock Holmes – would solve the most heinous of crimes. They were mini-movies, so the plots could be much more detailed than anything CSI or Miami Heat or whatever the kids watch these days. And there was rarely explosions or action sequences – being England, guns were rare. It was just nice, old fashioned evidence gathering and testimony hearing that solved the case.

So it should be no surprise that I enjoyed Heavy Rain. The best way I’ve heard it described is “interactive drama.” It’s really just like watching one of those detective movies, except this time I could take part in the process and help catch the villain. It’s also not violence-driven. There are few action sequences; what you get is lots of dialog that moves the plot forward in whichever way the player choses.(Read the rest of the review)

Xhaos’s review: Lufia – The Fortress of Doom

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Hey! It’s Xhaos here, and welcome to the Nostalgia channel! I’m here to review all games Role Playing and Nostalgiac and we’ll start with one of the first yet one of the best games I’ve ever played.
luf1box
Lufia: The Fortress of Doom is a game created by Taito, who is now owned by Square-Enix, and sparked a small series that was one of the best, known as Estpolis in Japan.

The game begins…with the fight for humanity already in progress on Doom Island, where the Sinistrals reside, as the Heroes are already battling the Four Sinistrals, the main villains of the series. However, these Heroes are not the Heroes of this game. They are actually the Heroes of Lufia 2 and we’re seeing where it all started. Yes, we’re seeing the ending to a game that’s never been make. The first Lufia game is already a sequel, but let’s not go into that until Lufia 2.

First of all, the intro…is epic in itself. Just see for yourself. The intro itself is unmatched by any video game intro I’ve seen. The music, the feel of it, everything, makes you feel like you’re really fighting for the survival of humanity. (more…)

Serbaayuu’s review: Tales of Legendia

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

This RPG. Before I say anything else, this game is the game that the other Tales games don’t like to talk about.
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Begin with a boy named Senel and his sister Shirley on a boat in a storm. They get into a fight with a sea creature, where Senel uses his abilities called “eres” to defeat–wait, what? “Eres”? Not Artes? That departure from regular Tales lore seems… out of place and unnecessary.

Well. Onward they go to crash on a boat-island called the Legacy, and so the game begins.
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Spyden’s review: Pokemon SoulSilver HeartGold.

Sunday, April 4th, 2010
pokemon-soul-silver-box pokemon-heart-gold-box

Overview:
Pokemon Soulsilver and Heartgold are the newest games of the Pokemon series. They are remakes of GameBoy Color games Pokemon Silver and Pokemon Gold, which ill refer to as GSC (gold silver crystal, the improved 3rd game of the generation). While keeping the essential adventure, the remakes come with greatly improved graphics, sounds, animations, moves, and best of all, Pokemon.

HG and SS are essentially the same games, with the only major difference being differing version-exclusive pokemon, so ill refer to them as HGSS.

Plot: 7.5 / 10
Pokemon are essentially special and diverse animals. Each Pokemon species are associated with its own type, habitat, and other characteristics. These categories are further divided as each Pokemon has their own personality and preferences. Thus, these fictional creatures almost become real as you immerse yourself in the Pokemon world. (more…)

Taige’s Untitled Editorial Magazine Project

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Here could be something different Taige:

I’m toying with the idea of putting together a magazine dedicated to entertainment media, such as video games, movies, music, etc, with reviews, previews and so on. But here’s the hook: it’s not about grading anything or even necessarily about current media; instead it’s about how certain media has affected the writer and how that writer is expressing that effect to the reader. Not just the “good graphics but poor gameplay” but WHY should someone play this game or watch this movie. Or why not. Have you ever had to stop a movie because it disturbed you too much? Did that last CD remind you of a past love who broke your heart? Did a game make you question a vital part of your life?

With media getting so very sophisticated (especially games – movies and music have alway been so) they are more likely to have an effect on our lives and psyches. So it’s only right that we explore that. My case in point- a recent Penny-Arcade post about The Last Guardian, a game seemingly designed to tug at the heartstrings. Beautiful and melancholy, Tycho nailed the premise perfectly: there can be only two possible endings. Someone must die.

So that’s the pitch. I’m looking for writers who would like to contribute something toward this. My idea is to have maybe only a few “staff members” while the rest of the articles are from contributors, basically anyone who wants to write an article.

If the idea already sounds intriguing, find out more in this sample article:

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Fatal Frame 2

Let’s get something out of the way first: I don’t not believe in ghosts. I enjoy Ghost Adventures and Most Haunted and I live in a town that’s so steeped in history you can hardly walk five feet without tripping over a grave or ruin. I’ve grown up half-believing in spirits. Shadows on the walls, knocks in the ceiling, whispered voices in the darkness at night. I often attribute these happenings to ghosts.

Once, when I was young, I was rough-housing with my younger brother (he’s two years younger) in the basement of our house. We must have been about 8 and 10. It was a frequent joke to knock the other one down and run up the stairs, shutting off the lights and closing the door. The basement was unfathomably dark at those times.
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Bio Hazard 2 so scary

Monday, December 1st, 2008

5 minutes review – November

Friday, November 28th, 2008

For November entry

The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess
Wii
Fans want an epic Zelda and they have it, despite some inevitable clichés. This game really makes you feel like a hero. Some stunning background visuals. Entertaining and lengthy dungeons with some truly unique game elements (namely the magnet shoes and the spinner). Great distinct themes for dungeons. Lots of stuffs to be explored, even though the world map itself isn’t that big. The fighting system kind of leaves you with a sore arm (shows particularly in horse fights). Complex gameplay with overall gentle difficulty. Still a couple challenges here and there. Interesting mini-games in the mix. Great music scores. The value of rupees is kind of questionable. Zelda needs to show herself more.
Some strange crossovers with Okami, but no complain.
Jigsaw World:
Daigekitou! Jig-Battle Heroes
DS
Interesting and fresh gameplay. My type of whacky premise and dialogue. Great voice-overs and wild characters. Feels a little bit repetitive after several rounds due to a pretty poor AI. Character abilities can use more creativity and variation. I like the theme-specific puzzle graphics, as well as the additional encyclopedia feature. Multi-player can be strangely addictive.

Final Fantasy 12:
Revenant Wings
DS
Square Enix has a lot to explain about those suicidal NPCs who cause you a mission failed. Not so great path finding. Chaotic line up and grouping system prevent any detailed operations. Other than that this is a nice follow up to the epic original and quite an addictive game. It’s great to see the bunch reunited again, though half of them don’t come around till it’s almost over. Esper and job systems are easy to follow. Solid length. Nice dialogues. You get a weird sense of being cheated each time you lose..??? Always having to fight enemies 10 levels above you can get really frustrating.
The last stage is a classic display of Square Enix’s cheapness.
Luigi’s Mansion
Gamecube
Ghost Busters + Disney’s Haunted Mansion. A little bit forced as a Mario-related title… Seeing Luigi trying to get hold of the vacuum going out of control along is entertaining. The room by room set up keeps you occupied for exploring the next one. Just right amount of puzzle solving to pull you in. Pretty basic concept, and pretty short game.

Condemned:
Criminal Origins
PC

The first time I played it, it was only a demo and on a very slow PC. needless to say, I was not impressed (but then again I was a little biased) Now, years on, I stumbled across it and vaguely remembered what it was about and purchased it.

Welcome to impressiveness! Now that I have had time to truly enjoy the game (on a fast computer) I am not regretting it. The story of the game is that you are an FBI agent framed for two murders, while hunting for a dangerous serial killer. It is your job to gather evidence and at the same time beat off some amped up, crack-heads! What makes it interesting is the atmosphere.

It’s dark, it’s deceptive, It is eerie and ammo is scarce. You walk slow for a damn good reason. Every corner may have a threat. You don’t hear your enemies, only if they want you to – and generally it’s to make you jump. I also enjoy the investigations that you partake in. It’s simple, I will admit, but it involves you in the mystery.

One thing which does wind me up a slight bit is the Combat. Where most people like to pepper their enemies, this game ensures you have to use Melee combat with whatever you can grab your mits on. A single enemy can bring on a lot of hurt if you miss a single block, so you better memorize where those health packs are and pray they don’t gang up on you.


Shattered Union
PC

When I came across this game, I was looking for a nice Strategy game to help keep my mind on edge while playing. I had only seen it in stores so I didn’t have much background information on it. This is probably what first affected my views towards it.

Assuming it was an RTS game, I was more than surprised to find it was a turn based, hex grid strategy, reminiscent of Panzer General Games. admittedly I was disappointed. But I thought, what the heck, I bought it I may as well give it a whirl. Four hours later I am laughing maniacally as I march my army through enemy territory and cursing like a deranged sailor when they counter my moves.

The game is set in America, where after a horrible election (No, not Bush) America is divided into separate factions – all of which believe they can run America better. A civil war enfolds and you, commander of one of these seven factions, have to crush the opposition and show them who’s boss.

As it’s turn based, you are given the opportunity to think out your strategies before actually initiating them. One cannot just rush in and hope to destroy or else you will be returning home quite quickly. Ground terrain has to be taken into consideration; unit qualities (for ex. anti-air vs helicopters) and unit counter range.

The one drawback that I found is that it takes a while to get started. It’s a simple game with simple controls, but with the initial limited funding, getting a good foot hold may prove daunting. You may find yourself fighting for the same territory quite a few times. Oh, and one other thing that I learnt pretty dang fast – Never send in your whole army, because the enemy will surely attack one of your territories and you’ll have no one to defend it.


Star Ocean:
The First Departure
PSP
A PSP remake of the SNES version of Star Ocean, this game has quite a few changes as well as new features than the SNES version, as all remakes do. Combined with a renewed script as well as CGI cutscenes, the game’s plot is quite easier to understand and more fulfilling in this remake. In the SNES version, I found myself reloading a couple of times to get the story, especially after taking a break from playing it for long periods of times.

The battle system has been changed as it has taken a Star Ocean 2 feel. The 3D battle fields and the ability to run around freely in fighting makes battles a lot more fun and active and they are really easy to get into and enjoy. There’s still only a limit of two skills a person can have equipped at a time, so some fighting styles are limited and moves must be chosen for each occasion.

The complete cast of characters have returned as well as two more added secret characters which can give your party more variety, but for those who have played the SNES version before know how one must plan to get certain party members to join. Some party members won’t join if you have another certain member already in the party and such. Because of this, a bit of planning is needed if a person wants the party he or she desires. There is a limit of eight out of a possible thirteen, so plan ahead. Of course, playing through and taking them as they come is also a great idea.

All in all, the game is great fun and easy to get into with it’s great, improved plot and variety, but a downside is the lack of extra features. After beating the game it’s pretty much over. There’s an extra dungeon that has a lot of multiple floors near the end of the game, but that’s about it. Still a solid game.