Archive for November, 2008

5 minutes review – November

Friday, November 28th, 2008

For November entry

The Legend of Zelda:
Twilight Princess
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
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
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
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.

Criminal Origins

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

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
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.

XIN Fan Manga: BD Chapters 16 page update!

Thursday, November 27th, 2008

I’ll let the cover speak for itself this time. Thanks AA!

Click to read.

Manga Snapshot 10

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

From Masanori Morita’s Rokudenashi Blues

Nothing on Jupiter – End of Chapter 1

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Thank you for following chapter 1 of Nothing on Jupiter.
Chapter 2 will return after a site re-construction.

Finrak: He’s ambidextrous just like I am

Monday, November 24th, 2008

Note: this game is hard.

Nothing on Jupiter – page 21

Saturday, November 22nd, 2008

click for full view


Manga Snapshot 09

Friday, November 21st, 2008

From Hiroyuki Nishimori’s Cheeky Angel