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By Jessica Brister On 18 Apr, 2015 At 09:49 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarWith all of the amazing games that have come out over the last couple of generations of consoles, it’s easy to list all of the excellent games.  But what about the worst games?  What about the disappointments?  What about the games that I regretted even spending an hour of my time on?  I guess looking at the best of the best also got me thinking of the disappointments, so here it is: The 10 Most Disappointing Games that I’ve Played in the Last 10 Years.

Note: These are not the worst games ever.  Well, some of them might be.  These are also not a complete list of the worst games because I am only including games that I have played.  I’m sure that there are some really bad ones not included.  These just happen to be a list that I’ve played that I was very disappointed with.

Titanfall

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In theory, Titanfall could have been a good game.  The online game play is actually pretty fun.  It even introduced some interesting concepts to player versus player, including the use of the Titans and running along the sides of the walls.  The problem with this game is that it only half complete.  With no single player mode and virtually no story, playing the game felt a bit pointless at times.  Hopefully, this will get corrected with a Titanfall 2.

BioShock 2

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Although BioShock 2 is not necessarily a bad game, it was very much a let-down when compared to the original game.  The story in no way could be compared to BioShock, which is one of my favorite games ever.  It was mediocre at best.  Even though it was still set in Rapture, the whole feel seemed different to me and not in a good way, either.  The only improvement to the game was the ability to use plasmids and a weapon at the same time, but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to give this game any replay value.  It’s definitely the “skipped over” one of the franchise.

Assassin’s Creed

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Although the franchise got much, much better, the original Assassin’s Creed was quite a disappointment.  It’s extremely repetitive and can be downright boring at times.  You really only need to play for a couple of hours to experience all that the game has to offer.  In fact, just play a few hours and then watch the ending on YouTube.  There.  You’ve gotten the whole game.  Luckily, Ubisoft really got their act together and created a great franchise.  Everyone loves the later games, but I never hear anyone talk about the original.

Infamous: Second Son

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The original Infamous was an amazing game, so I was really excited for Second Son.  Unfortunately, Second Son ended up being really repetitive.  The story was so-so.  And the ’90s-style boss battles were the last straw.  The graphics were awesome, but that wasn’t enough to save the whole game.  What should have been a great game ended up being a beautiful disaster.

Sims 4

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Sims 3 is one of my favorite games, but with all of the expansions, the game engine has been struggling for awhile.  I was so excited for a new Sims game, but it didn’t take me that long to realize how poorly Sims 4 was done.  With no open world, limited color choices for clothing and housing, and loading screens galore, I actually went back to Sims 3.  All Sims 4 ended up being was Sims 2.5.

Mass Effect 3

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(SPOILER ALERT)

For a franchise where supposedly every choice matter, it really didn’t in the end.  With probably THE worst ending in gaming history, Mass Effect 3 could have killed the whole series.  Mass Effect 2 is one of my favorite games, so it was so frustrating to see a world so amazingly crafted go up in smoke.  It’s like the developers “called it in” for the ending.  Sadly, the rest of the game is actually pretty good.  I hope that BioWare can recover with Mass Effect 4.

(END SPOILER ALERT)

Duke Nukem Forever

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In theory, this could have been a good game.  I played the original Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem 2 side-scrollers.  I spent much of my middle school days playing Duke Nukem 3D.  However, whether it be the so-so game play or the fact that Duke Nukem is a bit dated at this point, Duke Nukem Forever ended up being a complete mess.  Something just didn’t click with the game.  It could have been the overly crude sexual puns or the ’90s-style game play, but the game just didn’t work.

Resistance 3

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After how awesome Resistance 1 and 2 were, I was so excited for Resistance 3.  Resistance 2 had some of the most fun cooperative game play that I have ever experienced.  I played that game TO DEATH.  Sadly, R3 ended up being horrible.  The online game play was a disaster.  Insomniac decided NOT to have cooperative, which was incredibly popular in R2, and the competitive play was poor.  The single player story mode was not very good either.  Capelli had been such a cool character in R2 that I had figured that R3 was going to be awesome.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen.  Capelli turned into something completely different, which turned me off completely to the game.

Destiny

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If there ever was the greatest bait and switch in gaming, Destiny would be it.  We were promised awesome open world online cooperative game play and an amazing story.  What we got was a story that seemed like a ten year old boy wrote, a very linear closed-world, the worst loot drop system ever created, and an elastic leveling system.  I know some people absolutely love the game, but at this point, I refuse to play it anymore.

Final Fantasy

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Even with the disaster that was Destiny, there is still one game that is actually even worse.  Final Fantasy XIII may actually be worst game that I have played in the last ten years.  The story is confusing.  The characters are cheesy.  The maps are claustrophobic.  The game play is simplistic.  Nothing good came from this game.  At all.

 

 

No GravatarWhen I was first asked to play Conception II I haven’t played an RPG in quite sometime. Going into this game I didn’t expect an extremely fantastic title or anything remotely interesting…mainly because I didn’t know anything about the title or series for that matter. Then I realized that the more of it I play the more intrigued I became. Then the experience became a little more jaded. While the game wasn’t bad it became slightly repetitive and more so cumbersome than anything.

Conception-II

The game takes place in the World of Aterra where they worship the Star God where they prosper through the power of Star Energy. You are known as God’s Gift who trains at an academy for disciples which is a special group of people who are summoned to fight against monsters who come from Dusk Circles. As God’s Gift you and a collective of females perform a ritual for the church known as Classmating to generate Star Children. Why is this important? The Star Children assist you in combat along with you and a female partner and they all have a particular class and several set of set of skills.

Defense Pose Conception II

I’ve never been so confused and befuddled with confusion quite like I have been while playing the game. I’m not so much confused into the depth of the world as I am with why some of these things are especially necessary. For a lack of better words, classmating is essentially having sex to produce children who can fight. It is blatantly obvious considering the underlying tone of everyone and the way each girl presents themselves before and after it occurs. Doing it just makes you feel slightly more dirty. Even more so when you are forced into doing classMANting which while really funny is in a way kind of perverse.

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Engaging enemies is where the game gets even more unique. Once you encounter an enemy inside one of the games many labyrinth’s you are forced to choose between normal JRPG actions such as attack, skill and defense. The most interesting aspect is the combat system in which you choose the side to attack your foe. Every enemy has a weak side and the choice of each side benefits you during combat. My only main concern with the battle system is that you are given the option to guard and yet it does nothing. It states that you will take less damage but you still take just as much as if you weren’t defending. I have also noticed that for a JRPG it’s pretty easy. I have played much easier games but I never really felt as if I there was too much going on and the difficulty made matters worse.

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Graphically the game is rather impressive as it features fully animated anime style cut scenes and moves at a silky smooth 60 FPS. The in game engine isn’t bad as it looks more like an above average PlayStation 2 title with a few more bells and whistles. The thing I was more impressed with was the music and the character design. These two things were probably my main drive for playing this game as I was more intrigued just to see what the next monster would look like. To be quite honest the designers seem to draw heavily from the Persona series as the music and monsters seem as if they came straight from that source.

Overall the game is like “Goldie Locks and the Three Bears” as it doesn’t do anything overall really impressive nor does it do anything really bad. Although it’s themes may not be quite suitable for everyone it’s still interesting enough with it cool soundtrack and character design. The game may not be for everyone but I do feel as if it worth a play through for anyone who is itching for a new RPG to play for their Vita. It hits the mark at being just right.

 

Lineup of 6 MCs

No GravatarBronies hate them or love them do have quite a lot of talented individuals among them. Their latest creation? A visual novel based off of fan art.

 original inspiration

Before you completely dismiss the idea as ridiculous I should tell you of another visual novel called Katawa Shoujo. It was a visual novel sparked by a picture based off posts on 4chan. The link I will post tells the story better than I can. But back to the My Little Pony based game.

The resulting game is Starswirl Academy, where the protagonist is able to attend the prestigious institution his senior year because of his friend Twilight Sparkle. Also the protagonist is a rock named Tom in the original TV show. Before I delve into the plot and what I believe the game’s goal will be based on all the information the demo gives so far I’ll look at the work that went into the visual novel.

Lineup of 6 MCs

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Visually, the game’s backgrounds are as beautiful as that of any visual novel that comes out of top notch companies and the background music is nice and simple. The main problem with the game for some might be in the character designs. I like how they don’t make Pinkie’s hair as big and ridiculous as it is in the show, while some might dislike it tremendously. For me it’s Rarity’s hair that looks ridiculous, and I feel if they had drawn it some other way it might have looked much better.

What makes this game truly special is the touches they put here and there. For example the images of the characters always go through appropriate changes in facial expression, the cutie mark icons at the end of finished dialogue for each characters, and the way they zoom in on Pinkie when she’s too close to you.

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The demo of the game also tells a lot not only about the quality of the work but pretty much told me what the entire game will probably be about. One of their questions on their FAQ page is about why they chose Tom to be the main character, this is their response: “Because he’s a named show character that doesn’t have much fan work associated with him. He provides a good blank slate in terms of personality, but comes off as a very solid character when you get to know him. It also makes us laugh every time we get to make a geology pun.” This “blank slate” is a very important part of the game. The beginning of the demo talks about Tom’s dilemma of not really knowing who he is and letting people make choices for him. He’s not really sure why he wants to attend Starswirl Academy but is hoping to find the answer to that there. The game adds in something extra to make sure the game is not only about Tom’s growth as a person but his interaction with the other characters. The school has a long held tradition of having students give each other pins they call “flair” that represent either their personality or hobby. The flair is usually given by the upperclassman who’s gotten to know a person best, and they are usually very personal. I get a feeling the game will be extremely based on having Tom develop a very close relationship (more than likely romantic) with one of the girls who will give him his flair (although he doesn’t know it) and aid him reach self actualization.

In the midst of unavoidable moe.

In the midst of unavoidable moe.

This has a lot of storytelling potential and can make for a very touching story to some. This game was made in hopes to create something special to both fans and non-fans of the series and I think it can deliver on that promise. I will see if my predictions are correct once the full game comes out. In the meantime you too can play the demo.

You’ve made it this far, so have some Derpy.

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Shoot Derpy we’re treading on copyrights here.

This game will be released for free by Zap Apple Project. The game is made possible by the volunteer artists, musicians, and many other talented individuals lending their time and effort towards making a game everyone can enjoy.

By Houston Christopher On 23 Feb, 2013 At 06:27 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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metal gear rising screenshot 1Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is like a kung-fu action movie that is hopped up on steroids that you just don’t want to end. Developed by Platinum Games (Bayonetta; Vanquish; Madworld) and published by published by Konami this is the mutant off spring of the formally cancelled Kojima Studios game Metal Gear Rising. The game was cancelled then later picked up by Platinum and completely reworked from the ground up with the consent of Hideo Kojima.

It’s an action, hack and slash game that is high paced and features an amazing new system mechanic. The mechanic is like bullet-time with a sword, but much cooler. Once doing enough damage to an enemy you are prompted with a slow down effect where you can in turn slice away at your opponent in slow motion. Doing so causes tons of dismemberment and it is truly a sight to behold. Mind you, this game is not for the faint of heart.

metal gear rising screenshotThe story takes place four years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4. You play as Raiden, the awesome ninja cyborg dude who used to suck in Metal Gear Solid 2…yeah that guy. You work for a Maverick security working to save money for his family by protecting Prime Minister N’Mani of an unknown African location. Next thing you know you are ambushed and the prime minister is captured then killed. During your rescue you become injured and defeated by one of the captors working for another group affiliated with Desperado Empires, a group associated with terrorism.

Not long after you soon end up trying to seek revenge a couple weeks later after your defeat. The story then unravels to several different plot points that seem very Metal Gear-esque. Without me spoiling the very convoluted plot, let me say it is all over the place with tons of codec dialogue and moments that will make you go “huh?”

metal gear rising screenshot 2Unfortunately the story mode is very short. I personally beat the game in a little under five hours. Granted those five hours were very awesome and filled with great action that is simply indescribable. Luckily, for those not willing to play the game multiple times, which I highly recommend, there are extra VR Missions that can be unlocked through the story. These test your sneaking ability and your combat skills. Not to mention the tons of skills and other statistical things you’d want to gain and extras to collect.

The sound design is another very strong component of this title. Composed by Jamie Christopherson it features amazing rock/techno/orchestral music. It’s so good I enjoy listening to it even after I am done with the game. Not to mention the awesome sounds of explosions, decapitation and sword slashes. It’s overall just awesome.

The graphics are also a marvel. Environments feature fully cut-able things from which you can wreak your destruction upon. The action looks so good as the game runs at a very smooth 60 fps. Sadly, some of the stages are just too open and barren. Understandable though considering how much work it must take to do such feats.

Most importantly is how the game plays. Safe to say it is very intuitive and yet simplistic. The game’s simple light and heavy attack system complement each other well. Combos are easy and fluent when stringing attacks together and can make you feel very badass. The only problem is the camera, which for the majority of the time works until there are either way too many enemies or you’re in a weird spot.

Overall Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an amazing experience that Metal Gear fans and action fans shouldn’t miss. Sure the campaign could stand to longer but, I wouldn’t be surprised if we were to see a sequel in the future.

metal gear rising screenshot 3

By adm91 On 3 Nov, 2012 At 02:48 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games You Slept On, Old School Otaku, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThis is one of the most phenomenal games I’ve ever played ever. This is a diamond in the rough. To me this was one of SquareSoft’s best games ever.

The games story revolves around these mysterious items called Relics. Relics are magical items that all have different powers and properties. The two 2 protagonists, Rue trying to Resurrect a dead friend and Mint trying to rule the world. Both of their personalities are vastly different, which fit the game perfect for the other characters and antagonist they meet.

The gameplay is pretty solid and simple with a few flaws. Its a platform/hack-and-slash game, if you were to compare it to another game the best way to compare it is Kingdom Hearts 1. The menu in this game you never ever really need to go to. You buy items to increase your attack and defense but that’s about it. No potions or elixirs, but if you die you can use these coins you can buy or find to bring you back to life with a certain MP. Character skills vary for whoever you play with. Rue can transform into enemies he defeats and gain there abilities and attacks, while Mint gains magic throughout the story and finding scrolls. An interesting concept with the game is the Health/Magic system. The more you get hit the more your total HP increases, where as the more you use magic the more your total MP goes up. The A.I. isn’t really anything to worry about, pretty simple and bosses aren’t too hard or annoying.

The bad thing about the gameplay is the camera angle. Depending on your area you can be in a 2D, Streets of Rage like area, or full 3D, to a Crash Bandicoot like angles. With the camera switching it can make jumps harder then it needs to be. If you can get past that you will enjoy this game like no other if you cant…then you wont.

The visuals for a PSX game are pretty good. Every character and npc have the same physical attributes just scaled smaller or larger. No go into cutscene then cutscene graphics (all the same graphics) The special effects for the game are nice but not astounding. The explosion effects aren’t top notch either. The buildings and atmosphere aren’t too bad for a PSX game but nothing amazing.

Now the music, however, will grab you and fit every situation you tend to be in during the game. Every single area of the game has a different music or musics depending on the stage. Also the boss music changes and gets more epic to show the extremeness of the fight going on.

I went out of order but I have to rebring up the story. The plot twist and character development are amazing. How different every character in the game is, is just amazing. One of the bosses is a guy that reads books, and his power is to be able to learn whatever he reads and its characters like that that just compelled me to play the game even more. I love seeing actual legit character development in games instead of a powerup or another mode but actual progression. The game just makes you feel accomplished to play it.

The replay value is high for this game as well. After you beat it you can play the game again with the other character to get the true/final ending!. AND after THAT you can play the game again with your super powered up/powerful characters.

In conclusion. I definitely say if you like RPG/action/platformers this is for you without a doubt.
Gameplay: 8/10
Graphics: 8/10
Music: 9/10
Replay Value: 9/10
To be completely honest I am going to give this game 2 total grades. The first one is for the game as a whole. If you can get past the camera angle then it gets a 8/10 but, if you cant then it gets a 6.5/10.

By nekusakuraba01 On 15 Oct, 2012 At 01:26 PM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarLast year’s Pokemon Black/White version were a step forward in the series, as the games added things to the franchise, but left people wanting more with its lackluster after game, thankfully, the sequel remedies those problems, but the series is in need for a serious innovation shot, as the core formula is obviously dated.

But for now, Pokemon Black 2/White 2, the first numbered sequels in the franchise, bring some changes that as small as these are, help the game from giving you a feeling of “been there, done that.”

The story begins with your main character, as always, you can choose from the guy, or a Princess Leia/Sailor Moon look-alike, as you begin your journey, in a city, which is one of the minor aesthetic changes the game is bringing, soon after your mom gets a call from Professor Juniper and basically FORCES you to take part on the journey, you go outside and meet Hugh, your friend/rival who then accompanies you to meet Bianca, who in turn gives you your first Pokemon as your first step to beginning your journey.

Many avid fans may have noticed the minor differences from other games in the series such as the lack of an actual professor or again, the fact that you begin the game on a city.

Both versions run on the same engine the predecessors did, with only minor graphical enhances, some may not notice them, but the changes are there, although, the Pokemon still being just sprites kind of takes you out of it, this problem will probably be resolved in the next generation, but going from a 3D environment to a 2D sprite, it just feels off switching between both styles, but that’s just me.

The music is your usual Pokemon road/city fare, as it fits with the area you are in, such as the music being “mystical“ in caves as well as sounding “adventurous” in the more open areas , the music in battle is certainly a better thing though, with remixed versions of the Gym themes, and Wild Battle themes, and quite a few surprise remixes for those who will keep playing after the story is long over, to the awesome new themes, such as your Rival’s, and this has got to be the best soundtrack in the series.

The core mechanics of the games are essentially the same, turn based combat with only the minor additions that the previous versions have brought, such as double battles, separating the type of moves into physical and special attacks etc.

You will have to battle gym leaders, a returning Team Plasma (shocker) and a new villain called Colress that is surrounded in mystery, as well as battling other trainers, but you won’t be alone, as there are more than 300 Pokemon for you to chosse, so if you are one of “them” you have some variety and can other creatures besides the ones the 5th Gen brought.

Even though the battles are the main focus, there is some addition that helps the game a bit, you can make movies (sort of) even if you are more of an actor, (apparently green screens effects are so advanced that even your outfit and pose changes) and it’s fun figuring out the puzzles that they give you to figure it out on the scripts, that become more complicated as you go on, and I have to say that’s the only good extra addition (I don’t consider much a “battle” more of a follow the scripted moves and others) and there is the other thing; the Pokemon musicals, and those are as underwhelming as before.

But wait, there are more additions, with the Global Link, and its Dream World, that allows you to use your computer to play with a Pokemon you send to sleep from your DS game, the only obvious disadvantage is that you have to have internet.

As I mentioned before, the game has some extra additions and minor details, such details are things like Max Repel running out and the game asking you if you want to use another one, which helps stops the game from breaking the pace, there are also other additions such as the hidden grottos that contain Pokemon with special abilities and other rare items, you can see flashbacks (if you connect any of the original versions with the game synch mode) as well as capturing N’s Pokemon he released in the previous games, that is a cool detail added to this game.

The game has tons of after game content, you can catch the legendaries that are all around Unova; fill your Pokedex, build your perfect team, and go to the Battle Subway, but the best addition is obviously the World Tournament, which allows you to battle Gym Leaders and Champions from past games, and even if this is just fan service, it’s REALLY good fan service.

When you finish the main quest, you unlock “keys” that you can transfer to a friend in order to unlock extra content, such as easy mode, or even better Challenge Mode, that gives you the ability to play the game with your enemies’ Pokemon having a higher level, or Gym Leaders having an extra Pokemon, other keys unlock different areas that you can change from the main menu, the only way to receive all the keys is if you have someone else with opposite version of the game, of course, you got to have friends, the same goes to trying to complete the monstrous amount of Pokemon in the Pokedex.

Some extra additions that come only with people who will play this on their 3DS, as they will have access to the Dream Radar (which will allow the ability to capture Pokemon to transfer to the games) and Pokedex 3D Pro (which will contain every Pokemon along with moves and other information) this being an incentive for every 3DS user.

In all honesty, this is one of the best games in the series with so much to do, and if your mind isn’t clouded with nostalgia, and even if you are drugged on it, the inclusion of past Pokemon will probably make you love it, but if you aren’t a Pokemon fan and you never liked the series to begin with, this isn’t a good addition, since the core of the franchise hasn’t really changed that much.

I give this game a 4 out of 5 because even with the extra content, is still an expansion (less than before of course), but Game Freak is moving in the right direction with this, and hopefully we will see some surprising changes for Generation 6.

No GravatarThe Nintendo 3DS started out with only a handful of games, and it was the reason the price dropped on the system, but, early in its life, it got something called the Nintendo eShop, and it started mostly empty, but has since gotten great original games, such as Sakura Samurai, Pushmo, and Dillon’s Rolling Western.
One of those games released was Mighty Switch Force!, a puzzle-platformer/shooter that is the third in the “Mighty” series developed by WayForward.
The game’s story is a simple one, you control police officer  Patricia, who has to capture escaped convicts, that for some reason, managed to be more agile than her and managed to hide themselves on hard to reach spots.

The graphics are simple, but manage to capture the futuristic look that MSF seems to be reaching for, odd looking buildings in the background, and for some reason, it’s always dark, it’s a nitpick, but I would have liked to see the environments vary a bit, as most of them have basically the same aesthetic, and it’s always night for some reason.

The sprite based characters though, are well animated, from Patricia herself, to even the convicts, who always looked bored for some reason, the enemies, and the cool looking robot that always picks you up after you finish an “Incident” (basically the stage), every character pops out nicely making a nice contrast with the backgrounds, specially with the 3D on, even if it’s only more of visual eye candy than anything.

The music is, dare I say? “funky fresh” as I can’t really describe it, it’s not the most amazing music ever, but boy, some of the tracks will be stuck on your head for a bit.

The level design is where you’ll find the fun, WayForward sure knows how to design varied stages and how to add depth to the simple gameplay that it contains, and speaking of the gameplay, as I said, it’s simple, you can jump, and shoot, or jump and shoot at the same time, but there is one extra, which is the ability to push in blocks from the background and vice versa, but it’s not as simple as that, as some blocks move to the background as well, some will stay if you stand on them, and others will act as cannons that will shoot you to other areas on the level, depending of your use of the ability, this same ability can be both helpful, and harmful, as you can kill enemies by pushing the blocks in and making them crash on the screen, which always results on them “breaking the screen” but, the same can happen to you if you aren’t careful, as you have 3 hearts, and if you lose all 3 whether to spikes, enemies, or being crushed, you will have to restart the level, your main objective while avoiding these obstacles, is to collect the 5 convicts and then escape the level on your awesome mecha.

Now, my only real complain is that the game is on the short side, (it is a downloadable game after all) but WayForward went the whole mile and in May, released FREE DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT, that gives us 5 extra, more difficult levels, helping add to the length of the game, even if by a while longer.

This game is one of the jewels of indie gaming, and at $5.99 on the Nintendo 3-Shop, is a bargain over what you get, including the Bonus levels, and if you are getting a WiiU, you are in luck, because an HD remastering with redrawn graphics is coming to its e-Shop.

With that in mind, I rate this game a 4 out of 5, this is a fun ride all the way through, but that ride may just end abruptly if you are a good player, but don’t let that keep you away, it’s a must buy if you want an e-Shop game that deserves some of that precious space in your SD card.

By nekusakuraba01 On 25 Sep, 2012 At 11:11 PM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI know, I’m late to the party, but better late than never.

Most of us gamers know Kingdom Hearts, most of us love it, some of us hate it, but there is no denying that the franchise is one of the most acclaimed, along with Final Fantasy itself.
Hey! As much as some don’t like it, it’s true.

Well, the latest game in the franchise is here, with Kingdom Hearts: Dream, Drop, Distance, the actual sequel to Kingdom Hearts 2, not counting Re:Coded of course.

The game begins when Sora, and Riku are staring out in the distance from their hometown in Destiny Islands, looking like their younger selves, for no apparent reason…. Ok… Trying to confuse us from the get-go, huh?
Well, it worked.

Then, after having a tutorial battle with Ursula, both teens fall into the ocean at which point summon their Key blades (the game’s sacred weapon of sorts), in order to seal the world’s keyhole.
Then, the game’s main plot is revealed through a flashback, one of the things I liked, is that you are asked whether you want to see it, or not, but most are important, so I would recommend watching them in order to understand the plot.
Apparently, Sora and Riku are taking the Mark of Mastery exam in order to become Keyblade masters, this exam is given to them by Yen Sid, the wizard.
The exam consists of waking 7 sleeping worlds one of them being Traverse Town, in which both Keyblade wielders wake, ready to begin a new adventure.

Graphically, the game is one of the best looking on the 3DS, although I have to say, the frame rate will slow down if the action gets too frantic.

The 3D itself is nothing to write home about, but it works, and is actually useful on the parts where you dive into the worlds, which I’ll explain later on.

In terms of level design, the worlds are much open than before, and there are tons of hidden treasure chests this time around, that will have to be searched for thoroughly, a task done before, but expanded upon thanks to the Flowmotion system which I will talk about when I get to the gameplay.

The music is, well, “ok“, Yoko Shimomura is well known for her incredible musical skill, and don’t get me wrong and raise a riot, but her previous works were amazing, which is the reason why I’m bummed out by the lack of memorable themes in the game, although, there is a fun idea with the music in a later world, which I personally loved, not to mention the tracks played near the end of the game that I just find great.

The gameplay is divided in 2 different parts, Diving is a minigame that allows you to enter the worlds by fulfilling certain conditions while free falling, such as destroying certain number of enemies, or getting a number of orbs.

Also here, is the combat system that should be familiar to people who have played this series before, containing a mixture of classic action/RPG combat, which is destroying an enemy, get experience, level up, the usual, combined with the now well known deck command system, which consists of different unlockable command attacks via Dream Eaters (more on that later), or at the store which can be fun as you combine different commands to unleash hell on your enemies, you also unlock extra key chains that affect your Keyblade’s stats by finishing a world, and get healing items, customization materials (for Dream Eaters), as well as Droplets.

Speaking of Droplets, they are used in conjunction with the new Drop System in which you switch characters automatically after the Drop bar runs out, the droplets will power up the character about to be used allowing boosts in attack, magic, and so on, although it can get annoying, specially if you are fighting a boss, since the battle will reset, but this can be remedied by using the item Drop-Me-Not, which restores the Drop bar.

Dream Eaters will be your Donald and Goofy in this game, from the Spirits section, you can play with them, or feed them in order to level their stats, you can also create more Dream Eaters by using recipes or choosing an item and using it with others randomly in order to create a new creature.
The problem with the Dream Eaters is that they hold your abilities belt, only allowing to unlock abilities only if you level them up and use points to unlock them, which can get annoying if you don’t have the right Dream Eaters to get the abilities you want OR need.
Other additions are the Flowmotion and the Dive system, flow motion allows you to bounce on walls, grind on rails and spin in poles each time giving you a different attack pattern that is unblockable by most enemies, this may lead to the overuse the ability making the combat repetitive at times.
The Dive system though, can be quite fun at times, giving you different ways to interact with it, whether you draw lines towards enemies to attack them,  play a small rhythm game, and doing a finishing move afterwards, or even hacking into a computer or even enemies, helping to change the outcome of the battle, note that the minigame depends on the world you are in, but that helps keep everything fresh.

I give the game a 4 out of 5, because even with its flaws, it doesn’t detract from the fun, but get ready to be slightly annoyed trying to get the one Dream Eater that holds that coveted command, still, this is a great game that will bridge to the anticipated Kingdom Hearts 3, that hopefully, will be released this decade.

By otakuman5000 On 8 Aug, 2012 At 03:44 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, News, TableTop Gaming, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments

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Konami has heard the outcry from the fans to balance the Yu-Gi-Oh! trading card game for all, which is now the world’s most popular and highest selling card game worldwide as of 2012. So that means new sets and new special products. These will give duelists the chance to get some the rarest and most expensive cards in this current format of the game before the September ban-list. Konami has many new releases for both The Trading Card Game or TCG in America and EU; as well as the OCG or Original Card Game in Japan, and all other territories not out side of the the USA/EU. There are so many new products that we cannot put it all in one post. This will be part one of our Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG and OCG news coverage for the remainder of 2012 and into 2013.

Last Week Konami Released Yu-Gi-Oh! Hidden Arsenal 6 Omega XYZ which brought fourth the remaining Vylon Monsters (Light Machine type Monsters) that had yet to be released in America as well as more support for Laval, Gem-Knight, Steelswarm, Gishki, and Gusto monsters.

Next week on August 14th, the first wave of the 2012 tins will be released and will come with 4 promo cards, the featured card of the tin, three packs of the Photon Shockwave booster packs, and two Galactic Overload booster packs.

Heroic Champion – Excalibur Collectible Tin

Heroic Champion – Excalibur (Secret Rare)
Blizzard Princess (Super Rare)
Evolzar Laggia (Super Rare)
Wind-Up Rabbit (Super Rare)
Wind-Up Zenmaines (Super Rare)

Evolzar Dolkka Collectible Tin[

Evolzar Dolkka (Secret Rare)
Genex Neutron (Super Rare)
Scrap Dragon (Super Rare)
Dark Highlander (Super Rare)
Wind-Up Zenmaines (Super Rare)

The second wave of the Yu-Gi-Oh! collector tins release October 30, 2012 with one pack of Photon Shockwave, two packs of Order of Chaos, and two packs of Galactic Overlord.  The four promo cards will be revealed at a later date.
Hieratic Sun Dragon Overlord of Heliopolis Collectible Tin

Ninja Grandmaster Hanzo Collectible Tin

This newly announced tin for the Spell-caster Monster called the Prophecy Destroyer took everyone in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG circuit by storm, as this is a separate tin from Konami’s usual four tins per year line up. It will feature the card along with 1 Photon Shockwave booster Pack. two Order of Chaos boosters, one Photon Shockwave booster, and two Galactic Overlord boosters, however little is known about the monster as of yet.  There will also be the four promos that will accompany him in this tin.

Prophecy Destroyer Collectible Tin

Stay Tuned to Real Otaku Gamer for more Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game and Orignal Card Game New in part two our Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG/OCG News Blowout.

By Charles On 2 Sep, 2011 At 04:27 AM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Games You Slept On, Reviews | With 2 Comments

No GravatarThis title is so great to us, it has to be put in to categories, Best Game Ever and Games You Slept On.

Luffy only wishes he had girls like this following him around.

During its brief lifespan, the Sega Dreamcast was hardly known as a system for RPG enthusiasts. And yet, it managed to bring to the table one of the most satisfying RPG experiences of the era, a mix of solid gameplay, colorful characters, harmonious music and pirates. The game in question: Skies of Arcadia. And while it never achieved the status of super-hit, it did influence a generation of gamers and games who continue to recall it with fond memories (and the occasional cosplay).

Skies of Arcadia was something of a dark horse game on a dark horse system. It was one of only three “real” RPGs on the Dreamcast (the other being the grind-fest “Evolution” and the landmark “Grandia II”).  And yet, it managed to set itself apart from the others through a series of twists and turns that were unique at the time, but which would lay the groundwork for many subsequent games.

The story revolved around three characters: Sky-Pirate Vyse; his best friend, the bubbly Aika; and mysterious magical girl Fina. Their relationship was developed strongly over the 40 plus hours of gameplay. It never went down the romance path (at least not as much as many other games would have), and was focused more on the idea that three people could save the world if they tried hard enough.

Drachma. Fun fact: his name means "money" in Greek.

Well, more like four people. During the course of the game, the fourth character slot revolved between two more colorful folk: the grizzled “sea captain” Drachma and the urbane Prince Enrique, of the Valua Empire. Unlike the “main three,” these two additions were more cookie cutter: Drachma, a cross between Ahab and Cid Highwind, “swore” a lot and obsessed over a whale he needed to hunt, while Enrique was the stereotypical disillusioned son of a despotic tyrant who joined the Pirates because he loved the freedom, and hated the hypocrisy. While both played roles in the story, and indeed were necessary for progressing forward, they never exactly enjoyed the same amount of exposition as the “big three.”

The plot focused on the efforts of the Valuan Empire to revive these things known as “Gigas,” which were collossi of the ancient world that had great destructive power, yada yada yada. Fina was the last survivor of an ancient race sworn to protect the gigas from being used by vile…etc, etc etc. You’ve heard it before. Evil empire seeks great power, small band of rebels resist them. The small band has the “heart” to succeed, and they topple their foe, save the world, get the girl, happily ever after. The story itself was fairly straightforward, with few side quests, and was nothing really new. What made Skies of Arcadia such a wonderful game was what you could DO in the world while you were progressing along the main story. The world was a character, and it made the experience so much more validating in the end.

First off, it should be noted that Skies of Arcadia was one of the most beautiful RPGs ever made (and not just at the time). The developers put painstaking attention in crafting a flawless, visually stunning world that almost leapt off the screen at the player. Vivid colors, subtle sounds, intricately designed dungeons and towns, these all contributed to making the game lovely to look at. The “bestiary” was just as unique and varied, with nary a copy of anything to be found. Enemies were unique to their own worlds, and reflected the designs therein. The Pirates of the Blue Rogues were colorful and rough, the empire was silver, stoic and sharp. Despite being technologically “inferior” to the Playstation 2, the graphics on the Dreamcast were among the best gaming had to offer. Skies put to shame just about any game the Playstation had out from a visual standpoint. Just witness the first scene of the Gigas rising out of the forest, and you will see how much attention was paid to detail and execution.

Go for the legs, it's you only chance of stopping it!

But graphics are only part of the picture. Where Skies of Arcadia shone even more was in the gameplay. It was, in a word, simple. Simple, but also refined to a point where simplicity didn’t mean easy. Skies could best be described as very “stripped down” mechanics wise. No tactical placement needed, magic consumed only 1 MP each cast (2 if it was a powerful spell), combat was a seamless platform of attack, defend, item, retreat. But it also required the player to think. Blitzing all out for the victory might work sometimes, but at others, strategic uses of defense would ultimately make more sense. Each character had “charge” attacks that required the accumulation of turns building up a meter that could then be unleashed to devastating effect. Later in the game, this also allowed for full party special attacks that could end combat in a turn, provided the player was willing (or able) to endure turn after turn of pounding before the combo could be unleashed.

And combat was a big part of the game. Skies had such a high rate of random encounter that it was feasible to enter battle every 4-5 steps. Yes, steps. Fortunately, the Dreamcast gave us a bit of warning, in the form of the disc suddenly stopping, then speeding up rapidly, announcing that we were about to get into it yet again. This high rate of battle was a bit annoying in dungeons, especially if time was a factor, but it also led to a lot of XP, money and drops that would benefit the players later on.

In addition to complex dungeons and unique zones, Skies of Arcadia also showed us that the sky truly was the limit. The world the game takes place on was more a collection of floating islands, joined together by sky ships that were necessary to traverse the immense expanse. Flying through the world, both above and below the clouds, introduced two wonderful new features to the game: exploration and sky battles.

Sky battles were one of the ways Skies managed to distinguish itself from other RPGs of similar style. You would encounter a ship while flying across the expanse, and suddenly it was on, with cannons firing, harpoons launching and magic being throw from bow to stern. These battles were a good deal more technical than the ground fights. Maneuvering was an issue, you had to keep within range or risk missing your shot. And since the ship’s weapons were so powerful, missing a shot then being hit in turn was a devastating blow, especially early on. Of course, you could just harpoon the enemy ship and drag it close, but then it turned into a battle of attrition, with each side punishing the other until one sank.

But sky battles were often necessary to upgrade your ship, earn gold and weapons, and prepare for battles later against bigger, more powerful craft. And of course, against the Gigas. Every single Gigas battle in the game was ship combat, with the first being downright scary to behold. They required you to think instead of blitz, and the careful execution of strategy would be rewarded in the end. All this led up to the final battle against…well, no spoiling here, but the first half of the fight was a giant sky battle that tested every skill the player had acquired up to that point.

The other joy of flying the “Skies” came in the form of exploring for hidden relics and monuments. While I can’t list all of them here, they represented “bragging” rights both in and out of game, and helped you recruit more members for your Pirate crew. Fly above the clouds, fly below them, scan the islands that appeared empty, who knows what you might find. And these discoveries even had an impact on gameplay: certain potential crew members required you to have found certain things or they wouldn’t join with you. Oh did, I not mention you get a pirate crew? Hmmm, perhaps I should rectify…

Over the course of the game, you obtain a small island of your own, which eventually turns into your base. At first, its little more than a lake, cave and some wood for building a house. But remember how I said you get a crew? Well, as you add more and more crew members to your ship, your little island gets bigger and bigger, with more buildings, shops and other facilities that you can use to further enhance your party. The joy of getting more crew parallels the joy of finding more relics, and by the end of the game…well, let’s just say a large crew can inflict a lot of damage in certain situations, where they might be called on to save their captain’s skin.

Uh, can I trade Aika for the girl with the purple hair?

While this game came and went on the short-lived Dreamcast, it was also one of the few that managed to get a second life on the Gamecube a few years later. Skies of Arcadia Legends, a full port of the original game, managed to “correct” a few of the “flaws” in the original game, through a stripping down of the random encounter rate, additions of even more crew and monuments, and wanted battles, which tested your resolve with extremely challenging fights against wicked pirates, imperial spies…and yourselves. That’s right, at one point you get to fight your own  “clones” in a knock down, drag out brawl that ends with you being rewarded with…a fish? Yes, it was indeed a fish. But one hell of a fish.

Seeing that both the Dreamcast and Gamecube have faded away into the sunset, finding a copy of this game might be a slight challenge, but it is a worthy addition to the collections of any RPG enthusiast. In an era when Final Fantasy was the standard bearer for what an RPG should be, Skies of Arcadia was something fresh and new, not a copy of what had come before. With freedom to explore, a colorful cast and varied encounters, it gave an experience that has yet to be matched by any contemporary game.