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Joe Redifer
02-27-2009, 05:32 PM
I haven't reviewed that one yet. It is hard for me to review current generation games because of the sheer pain involved in capturing screenshots.

Joe Redifer
03-18-2009, 10:13 PM
Retro Game Challenge
8.2/10
Nintendo DS

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Retro_box.jpg
Good luck finding this on the store shelves! Like most
DS games that aren't child-oriented, very few were made.

Retro Game Challenge is a new game for the DS in which a truly evil entity captures the player and forces them to beat challenges in old games for them. The plot reminds me of a video I made with a friend years ago where an evil person kidnapped some guy at a car wash and forced him to beat Ghouls 'n Ghosts for him because he couldn't do it himself, but I digress. You are planted back in the 80's with a Famicom and the kid version of the guy who kidnapped you and you are forced to play old 8-bit games and read GameFan magazines. Of course, your character doesn't complain. Who wouldn't like that? All of the games are made just for this game, so you won't find any of the classics simply dumped on here. This is 100% original stuff. They are a Galaga clone, a Star Soldier clone, an RC Grand Prix style clone, a Dragon Quest clone and a series called Haggleman which seems original to me except for part 3 which is kind of like a Ninja Gaiden clone. OK they are all clones, but they are original clones, dammit!

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Retro1.jpg
The main part of the game with you (left) and the kid version of the
guy who abducted you (right) engaging in a grammatically-incorrect
conversation about some new game that has been announced.

Graphics: 7/10
For the main setting there really isn't too much to talk about. There are polygon graphics of you and the other kid as well as his adult head, but that is about it. They are of average DS quality. The 8-bit games themselves do a good job at looking like 8-bit games for the most part with the exception of Haggleman 3 which looks a lot more like a cross between the Sega Master System and the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16. It is not something the NES could do. However these games do not flicker like they should. There is slowdown sometimes, though. Just play the final stage in Cosmic Gate and you'll see what I mean! Overall the game doesn't break any boundaries but it aptly achieves what it set out to accomplish, and that is good.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Retro2.jpg
Most kids wouldn't play a game with a gay title like "Star Prince".
Well maybe they would if it were this cool. Maybe.

Sound: 7/10
In the main setting the music isn't that great and neither are the sounds. The music in the games themselves definitely sound like a cross between the NES and SMS. The music in the 8-bit games isn't as good as you remember from the real 8-bit era, but it is listenable for sure. What kind of upsets me is the kid next to you who watches you play all of these games. He looks like he is maybe 8 or 9 but sounds like he is 26 years old. And he is constantly muttering something or just plain whining. He'll yell "You missed it!" and I'm thinking 'What did I miss, asshole? Not a god damned thing, that's what. Now shut the fuck up!" He'll get excited when I use a simple attack command on the RPG game and exclaim "Oohh ooh oh MAN!" like I had just accomplished something amazing. At other times he'll just sit there and whine, saying things like "I'm hungry". There is no reason that this character needs to have a voice. It would have been better if he didn't have one.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Retro3.jpg
The GameFan magazines in the game are indistinguishable from the
real life GameFan magazines. Actually, the layouts here are better
and don't rape your eyeballs or cause epileptic fits.

Gameplay: 8/10
The main part lets you select which game you want to play, chat with the other little whippersnapper who watches you play or read GameFan magazines which feature super in-depth articles. GameFan must have some big problems and conflicts in the editorial department because they change editor-in-chiefs almost every two issues it seems. These are real editors from real US mags, too. We have Dave Haverlson from the real GameFan magazine, Dan "Shoe" Hsu from EGM (known as Dan Sock here) and others. The 8-bit games themselves play as you would expect them, and they all have good control and a bunch of cheats. I like the racing game the least because you tend to bounce off of things and it takes forever to get going again. Haggleman 2 is also not one of my favorites due to the difficulty and that whole door thing. But none of the games are horrible and all are actually quite enjoyable to some extent. Each game will present to you four different challenges that can range from anything like "Beat Stage 1" to "Win a race without boosting". Most of the challenges are fairly easy, but don't think that this game is a cakewalk. You may have to try many times on some of the challenges. The RPG will requires quite a bit of time to get past its set of challenges, longer than you'd think. There are lots of little touches in the games such as bad Engrish and typos. I approve of this and I really think that you should, too. Let's get together and we'll dialog about it.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Retro4.jpg
Here is the RPG, Gwadiar Qwest or something like that. Plays like Dragon Quest.
That's not really a compliment especially when Phantasy Star was light years better.

Wrap up:
The number of old-school references are large and it really adds to this game. You will enjoy it more if you grew up in this era and were excited about getting the new issues of the magazines back then and whatnot. If your first system was the Playstation or Playstation 2, then this game won't have as much of an effect on you unless you really dig the old-school. The 8-bit games are still great on their own and each can be unlocked for "free play" after you beat their respective challenges so that you can play them any time you want. A worthy purchase and it even alludes to the next game having a 16-bit premise. These games are based more on the NES library of games and I'm sure the sequel will be SNES-based. I sure hope that future sequels allow SMS-style games and Genesis/Mega Drive/PC Engine, etc style games as well. There were great games on the NES and SNES, but there far more good games on other systems than on just the Nintendo line.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Retro5.jpg
This is Haggleman 3, a VERY ambitious platformer, but with only 4 levels.

Seraph
03-19-2009, 10:47 AM
I grew up during the NES-SNES era but I wasn't really into game magazines outside of Nintendo Power, so I imagine a lot of the refrences would be lost on me.

What does the 2nd screen do while your playing the games?

murray
03-19-2009, 11:50 AM
It shows the two lads sitting in front of the TV, you can flip back to it and check out the magazines for cheats etc.

Joe Redifer
03-19-2009, 02:00 PM
I couldn't find a way to look at the mags while I had a game going. It was either RESET or POWER OFF only.

Vicviper
03-20-2009, 07:08 AM
Good review of a quality game. I really hope part 2 makes it out over here.
You can look at magazines while inside a game or challenge. I've done it.

So, I'm still leveling up in the final Guadia Quest challenge and trying to get through the dungeon. I'm wondering after I unlock this game in free play if I will be able to keep my characters at whatever level I have them when I finish the challenge or will I have to start from scratch? Anyone know?

Joe Redifer
03-20-2009, 08:46 AM
The game will let you know. It will tell you.

eastx
03-22-2009, 10:04 AM
I approve of this and I really think that you should to. Ah, looks better now!

Great review though! I can't wait to finally play this game (getting it next week).

Joe Redifer
06-29-2009, 11:58 PM
Although I have a review for Punch-Out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (why the hell do they use so many damn exclamation points? Seriously, WTF?) for the Wii already written up and ready to go, I probably will not be posting many more game reviews in this thread. The reason is because it has just become too much of a pain to move the game console into a different room to capture game screens. I cannot capture component analog video, either, so I am limited to composite for most systems or s-video at best. Systems like the PS3 require being reset in order to even output SD video so I can capture. I am not going to buy a $500+ card to do so, either. Even if I could capture, moving the current-gen systems is a HUGE pain.

I may post the occasional movie review thread here, though.

Vicviper
06-30-2009, 08:43 AM
Well good things can't last forever I guess.

Your reviews man, do it cuz you love it not cuz you have to.

Havoc2049
07-01-2009, 05:25 PM
100+ pages....Hell of a ride! :thumb-up:

Joe Redifer
07-01-2009, 06:51 PM
I think I will try and get pics for Punch-Out!!!!! since I already wrote the review. I really don't want to stop. Maybe I will just review older games where the shots can be grabbed with an emulator. Quite the conundrum for my lazy self.

Seraph
07-02-2009, 10:07 AM
You could always revert back to stealing stock photos like we used to. The most important part is the review, not the images.

I'd like you to keep doing them. I enjoy reading them <3

I actually gotta get back in gear here myself. I have like 4 reviews already written, I just need to capture the footage.

Sinful Sam
07-07-2009, 12:00 AM
I just noticed Retro Game Challenge is the only game with a decimal point on it from all your reviews, Joe.

Joe Redifer
07-07-2009, 12:45 AM
Actually I've been doing that more lately. A few older reviews have been updated with incremental scores like that. Certainly some are worth more than a 7, but not quite an 8, etc.

Joe Redifer
07-15-2009, 07:33 PM
Couldn't find the composite cable, so I just took pictures off of my TV screen with my digital camera. Now on with the review:

Punch Out!!
7.3/10
Nintendo Wii

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wiipunchout_box.jpg
Why is this just called "Punch-Out!!"? Why not
"Punch-Out 3" or similar? Kind of like the new Star
Trek movie is just "Star Trek". WTF? What is up
with this super-lame trend? Retarded.

As some of you know, I reviewed Mike Tyson's Punch-Out a while back and I was less than thrilled. You are probably asking why I even bought this game in the first place if I "hated" the NES version so much. Well, because I am a graphics whore and good graffix always makes for better games. This game looked to have nice, smooth graphics and I loved the motion control boxing game on Wii Sports or whatever it was called and thought this would kick butt. Plus, I paid less for this game brand new than any of you did and I just had to buy it in order to feel financially superior to all of you. So there.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wiipunchout1.jpg
Once you find their weak spots, most opponents just let you hammer away at them for a while.

Story: N/A
Story? There isn't any! You are just some asshole trying to beat up other people for NO REASON! They don't ask to fight you, you demand to fight them! They are just peace-loving people who want to be left alone. You are the ultimate bully and the instigator of all fights. Your goal is to beat everyone up except for your only friend... a fat black man who always sounds like he is reading a cue card due to the awkward pauses in his speech.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wiipunchout2.jpg
Each fighter has a set of stills that present themselves before you fight.
Many LOLs will be had at the humorous situations therein.

Graphics: 8/10
This game looks pretty damn good... for the Wii. In other words you won't want to carve your eyeballs out with a fork or anything and instead you will be pleasantly surprised. The animation is pretty smooth. In fact, the graphics are what make the game much more playable than the NES version in my opinion. You can see much more movement and quickly deduce how you need to react to the upcoming punch/special attack/gay pose/whatever. There is a lot of artistic style in the fighters as well. Lots o' personality in each. Love it!

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wiipunchout3.jpg
You are the only fighter who is not allowed to wear your
street clothes into the ring. Is this wrestling or boxing?

Sound: 8/10
The sound and music in this game is great for the most part. Lots of nice tunes for each fighter and there are some crazy mad OC ReMixes of the original Michael Tyson Punch-Out music when certain events occur, like you make the other fighter fall down or something. Even those remixes are different for each fighter. A sound test would be very welcome in this game, but games these days hate doing that and would rather sell you a separate soundtrack... like it would ever come to the US anyway. The fat black man sounds very stilted and he is an asshole. I wish I could fight him. If I could, the game would get an 11 for sure. What a cock munch! But wait... YOU CAN fight him, but only in a demo in which you must exchange Nintendo Nerd Points for or something. The demo is not free to anyone simply interested in the game who has not already bought a lot of Nintendo products. I wish I could fight Nintendo themselves in this game.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wiipunchout4.jpg
Most later fighters block nearly everything. The later matches would be easier if
you reversed the left and right directions on your controller. You instinctively think you
need to duck to the right when you actually need to duck to the left, etc.

Gameplay: 7/10
Definitely much improved over the NES version, though still basically the same. How can it be the same but different? I dunno. I went back and tried the NES version again and it seemed very stiff in comparison to this. While I could appreciate it a bit more, this version just seems so much better. I like having to figure out how to defeat each fighter and what works and what doesn't. It's a great feeling once you figure that out. Again, the NES version works on the same principles, but it just throws in extra boring and stiffness. I haven't tried the motion controls because they seemed needlessly complex, requiring you to press directions while simultaneously throwing the physical punch. How gay is that? If I want to punch up, I should just be able to punch up... or down or whatever. Nintendo failed hard here. So basically the game would be just fine on the Gamecube and the Wii is not needed, fuckin' thing. This game is tough but Mike Tyson isn't here because he is in jail for raping people or something. I can't remember. All I know is that he loves raping things and Nintendo didn't agree. Though they should, they've been raping game controller design since the N64 days. This is an arcade-style game that does not have a movie-like narrative. No military-style combat, either. This will likely frighten most of you away from the game as you cannot be satiated without those things. There is plenty o' game play here and you will spend lots of time trying to get to the top. If you REALLY need to be a space marine or have an involving, linear storyline or an online capture the flag game in order to appreciate this title, then you suck at gaming.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wiipunchout5.jpg
Nigga stole my bike!

Wrap up:
A great game, but it only helps me appreciate the original a teeny tiny bit more. Mario isn't the referee here, and frankly I am quite surprised due to Nintendo's tendency to whore Mario out as much as they possibly can. This is a big plus for me as I have had enough Mario to last a lifetime and I am sick of the li'l fucker. Recommended!

You know what I'd like to see? This same game, but every opponent is a celebrity. I'd love to fight Oprah, Michael Bay, Diane Keaton, Helena Bonham Carter, Vince Vaughn and Matthew McConaghey to name a few. Oh what joy it would be to pound them in the face! Maybe Rush Limbaugh, too! What an ass!

Sinful Sam
07-15-2009, 09:57 PM
Great review Joe. Many lol'd.

Vegetto
07-16-2009, 03:05 AM
This is probably my favorite game on the wii, I loved every second of it down to the secret fighter.

Vicviper
07-16-2009, 08:58 AM
Yeah good stuff. except for your Nintendo bashing :(. Actually that was funny to even though I don't agree. Plus I want your Nintendo nerd points.

Joe Redifer
07-16-2009, 04:36 PM
You definitely agree! It is fact that Nintendo whores out Mario!

Paper exe
07-16-2009, 05:25 PM
and you just cannot have enough whoring him. That what makes Mario so awesome.

Joe Redifer
07-16-2009, 06:05 PM
Yes I can and I quote:

I have had enough Mario to last a lifetime and I am sick of the li'l fucker.

Vicviper
07-16-2009, 09:27 PM
I'm not sick of Mario yet. It's because 95% of what Nintendo does with Mario is good and fun. Unlike Sega who's new Sonic games are purely boring and uninspired(sorry Soba it's true). I could play Mario Galaxy again right now and not be bored. Same goes for any of the other Mario platformer games. The 5% of Mario games that I don't care about are some of the sports games like Mario Strikers and Mario Slugger or whatever the baseball game is called. I am hoping for a new Mario Golf.

Paper exe
07-17-2009, 05:18 AM
Hey Joe why cannot you be super awesome like your friend?!

Seraph
07-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Man if even you liked it Joe then maybe I will. I also can't get into the original Punch Out. When I get my well deserved Nintendo platinum reward for being their #1 fan, I will get to try it out.

Glad to see another review, they always brighten up my day.

burpingcat
07-17-2009, 05:07 PM
Is there a reason why Super Punch-Out isn't being mentioned?

Joe Redifer
07-17-2009, 05:30 PM
Probably because I haven't played it. Or, at least, I don't really remember anything about it.

burpingcat
07-17-2009, 05:42 PM
I like it more than the NES version, and the new game seems to have more in common with it.

Joe Redifer
07-17-2009, 06:08 PM
Lots of people say good things about it. It has to be better than the NES version simply because the SNES pad is better. Do you like it more than the Wii version?

burpingcat
07-17-2009, 06:37 PM
I have yet to play the Wii version. Chances are that the special prize demo will be my first time playing it.

Joe Redifer
07-17-2009, 06:53 PM
Welcome to Joe Redifer's Super-Awesome Quick Takes™!! These are mini-reviews which do not feature a score, are described only briefly and are not divided up into different categories like graphics and gameplay, etc. Tons of pics aren't shown and I just ramble off the top of my head what I am currently thinking about any particular game. Many different games will be featured in each Quick Take™ post. Only the extreme power of the internet could dare make this possible!


Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 (featuring Wii Motion Plus)
Nintendo Wii

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/tiger_woods_nike.JPG
Tiger Woods is always ready to whore himself out.

I just had to try out this game because of the much-heralded Motion-Plus™ technology which brings 100% precision and reduces lag (the onscreen character moves before YOU move, that's how much lag it gets rid of). To be honest, I didn't notice any difference or improvements between this and other, similar games on the Wii. To be fair, I did not try it back-to-back without the Motion-Plus dongle. Either way I can't feel the weight of the club so swinging isn't very life-like. I also can't really judge the depth very well when putting and I always hit it too hard. The disc golf mode is kind of fun, but again I can't feel the weight of the Frisbee so I can't judge how "hard" I need to swing/throw the thing. The graphics seem inferior to the Gamecube versions of Tiger Woods from what I remember, except that this is in 16:9.


House of the Dead: Overkill
Nintendo Wii

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/hotdoverkill.jpg
Cussing improves everything.

What the hell is this? A classic Sega franchise returns, but this time it brings lots and lots of cussin' because that's what Sega fans want (they do a lot of cussing themselves these days over how much worse Sega has become). Actually, I am surprised that the Wii even possesses the ability to cuss. This game tries to be a Quentin Tarantino flick (think: Death Proof) by putting a shitty film scratch filter over the entire game and the like. I guess videogames are prone to film damage caused by incompetent projectionists. The black character in the game says "Motherfucker" a lot since I guess that's what black people do. The game is just like any House of the Dead for the most part except that the camera is always swinging around to and fro for no reason and some of the bosses life bars are waaaaay too long. So are the levels, damn! This game aims at people who don't own a Wii, so it is no surprise that it isn't a best-seller.


North and South
Nintendo Entertainment System

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/northandsouth.jpg
In the real game, a lazy Mexican is sleeping in the left
corner, but this picture I found on the web curiously
has him edited out and only the Pueblo hut remains.
I am not making this up!

This is like a weird-ass strategy game with some really crappy platforming thrown in occasionally. The goal of the game seems to be to call railroad trains which pay you for no reason. You then buy slaves errr I mean troops to fight for your cause. The North always wins because that's how it happened in history. Occasionally there is a screen with tiny Atari 2600-esque graphics that is supposed to be a battlefield and you run over their men with your horses. That's how the war was won. That's what they taught in History classes around the world. Quite a weird game that I had never heard of. But then again it was made by Infrogrames, a company whose mission statement prohibits them from making bad games. It's all about the mission statement!


Alien Soldier
Sega Genesis

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/aliensoldier.jpg
As always, the "US" version has the best box art!

This game never came to the US and it is a real shame, but you can get it on Wii's Virtual Console. It seems really tough at first even on "SUPEREASY" difficulty. But once you get the hang of the Zero Teleportation move (re: dash) then it becomes no harder than any other normal game of the time and quite fun. It's essentially a boss-fest with lots of graphical tricks. Made by Treasure who previously had given us the luscious Gunstar Heroes and Dynamite Headdy, this continues with their intense action platforming style of games. "Now is the time to the 68000 heart on fire" says the title screen verbatim. I am glad I picked this one up.


Galactic Attack
Sega Saturn

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/galacticattack.jpg
If they're not from Earth, they deserve to die.

Released in the Saturn's first year or so, little did I know even after I had played the game a couple of times that this would be one of the better games available for the system, especially in the USA. Also known as Layer Section, this game is quite a fun vertical shooter that does just about everything you could ask for from the genre. What's more is that you can play it in Arcade/Sideways/TATE mode. This allows you to tilt your TV on its side for "the arcade experience" or play it as a weird horizontal shooter. "So what?" you may ask, "Lots of shooters for many different systems have this mode!" That is true. But this game's graphics improve noticeably when played in this mode. Not only is there more detail due to being full screen, but there are extra layers of scrolling and other effects that do not exist in the scaled-down vertical mode the game defaults to as well. This game is much better than Layer Section 2 aka Raystorm. I just never found polygon graphics in shooting games very appealing for some reason (some exceptions do apply).


Ghostbusters
Playstation 3

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/gbps3.jpg
This game could use more actual ghost-busting.

I downloaded the demo for this game a few days ago and I am not very impressed. The game tries to be much too complex. The first thing the game has you do is walk around with a PKE meter. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!! What is this, a Ghostbusters simulation or a fuckin' game? I don't need to do everything a real Ghostbuster would do. I just wanna run around bustin' ghosts! But every single button on the controller is assigned a different, strange function and that needlessly complicates everything. Anyway, I used my PKE meter to wander around and finally came across a spot where a ghost was. It burst out and ran away. Now I must use my PKE meter again to find it which is about as much fun counting individual granules of sand on the world's biggest beach. Fuck this. DELETE! The Genesis version remains the best and ONLY good Ghostbusters game.


Out Run Online Arcade
Xbox 360

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/outrunonline.jpg
Limited, but still worth it. Don't expect a simulation!

This game is available in the Xbox Live Arcade section for download. It is a very stripped down version of Out Run Coast 2 Coast which existed on the PS2 and OG Xbox (OG stands for Original Gangsta because the Xbox was just that... gangsta. And gangs are super way cool and full of fantastic individuals who are trying their best to be all they can be, succeed in life and contribute to the world in a positive way). Anyway, the game only has a few different modes and the sound quality is very poor. The graphics haven't really been upgraded much if at all from the OG Xbox versions. But the game is still great fun and recommended if you don't have it on the PS2 and/or OG Xbox. Keep in mind that you only get 15 different stages instead of the 30 different ones in Coast 2 Coast. Gimpy, but cool. I expected more and got less, but only because I was used to the console versions.


Rambo III
Sega Master System

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/rambo-iii-01.png
The game is better than the movie!
But that's not saying much, really.

Rambo III was the worst of all the Rambo movies and his game isn't too hot, either. Actually it isn't too bad until you reach the last stage. Mainly it is an Operation Wolf rip off which actually has music. It requires the sexy Sega Light Phaser to play (no crosshair option provided, as was the case with gun games back then). The game is pretty fun with nice graphics and sound. Digitized shots of Stallone himself between stages shows off how mega powerful the SMS was. At the time it was soooo awesome to see graphics like that. Anyway, you get up to the last stage which seems to put you on a jeep or something in a first person perspective. You are driving forward (or maybe backwards?) and shooting Russian helicopters. Each chopper takes multiple hits to bring down with your Sega Light Phaser (Rambo's weapon of choice). And there are a ton of choppers on the screen at once! Even with rapid fire turned on, I could not bring down the choppers fast enough to survive getting hit by all of the rest of them. I am confident that no ending was programmed in to the game because it is impossible to get to!

Icarus4578
07-19-2009, 07:37 AM
A sound test would be very welcome in this game, but games these days hate doing that and would rather sell you a separate soundtrack... like it would ever come to the US anyway.

You can unlock the music in this game by completing each individual character in that challenge mode or whatever it's called. Also, they say you can fight Donkey Kong as a hidden opponent.

Galactic Attack FTW!

Seraph
07-21-2009, 05:46 PM
I just had to try out this game because of the much-heralded Motion-Plus™ technology which brings 100% precision and reduces lag (the onscreen character moves before YOU move, that's how much lag it gets rid of). To be honest, I didn't notice any difference or improvements between this and other, similar games on the Wii.Are you being honest or trying to be critical?

I heard the frizbee mode was the best part of the game. Despite your weight problems of not actually holding a frisbee, could you at least see a difference in how it moved/reacted? I ask because I'm tired of having to baby or "take it easy" with motion controls and wonder if M+ remedys that. I want to be able to hold my frisbee out, shake it like a wild madman, and have the game accuratley track every second of my spazfest without having it lose calibration or whatever.

But hey, at least it has to be better than Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz Disc Golf.

Joe Redifer
07-21-2009, 06:19 PM
Yes, like I said I didn't really notice much of a difference in response but also that I didn't try it with and without back to back so that can't be seen as a true judgment of Motion Plus abilities.

Paper exe
07-21-2009, 06:45 PM
Hey Joe, since you only buy and play old games I need to ask you. What do you think of those doezn of shooters in the 32era? Dezaemon Plus, Strikers 1945, RayStorm, Meta-Ph-List: Gamma X 2097, and Harmful park to name a few.

Joe Redifer
07-21-2009, 07:55 PM
A lot of the ones you mention I haven't even heard of. Raystorm is pretty good and is worth picking up for the Playstation, but Galactic Attack is definitely more enjoyable. It is only on the Saturn, I think. I will review more 32-bit era shooters real soon!

Yoshi Girl
07-22-2009, 01:43 PM
I heard the frizbee mode was the best part of the game.

On a semi-related, but it's a different game note... The Dog Frisbee mode on Wii Sports Resort is by far the best one. Although, archery and the flight games are fun too.

Havoc2049
08-31-2009, 10:51 PM
I came looking for a Shining Force (Sega CD) review and there was none to be found. :(

Joe Redifer
08-31-2009, 11:05 PM
Blame fellow forum member Vic Viper. He is the reason I have yet to finish that game. It is all his fault, just like everything usually is.

But the game is good. It doesn't have the town and walking scenes like the cartridge versions, only battles and rest scenes (where you buy, save, etc) are included. CD games just weren't big enough to include the towns as well.

Vicviper
08-31-2009, 11:09 PM
I'm savoring playing that game....I've been savoring it for about a year now. Aren't you savoring it to Joe? I mean you aren't pushing me to hard to finish it.

Reko8
09-07-2009, 05:35 PM
Blame fellow forum member Vic Viper. He is the reason I have yet to finish that game. It is all his fault, just like everything usually is.

But the game is good. It doesn't have the town and walking scenes like the cartridge versions, only battles and rest scenes (where you buy, save, etc) are included. CD games just weren't big enough to include the towns as well.

Wow that's weird that I remember that. I remember loving the Genesis Shining Force games and doing all the town hopping etc. Then I rented the Sega CD version and was just pooped into a battle scene. I thought that was stupid. I had no idea who anyone was.

Joe Redifer
09-30-2009, 11:34 PM
Here are some more random Quick Takes™ provided for your enjoyment. I hope they help make your day an outstanding one and improve the overall quality of your life.


Scibblenauts
Nintendo DS

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/scribblenauts.jpg
Figure out creative ways to use random objects you type!

Scribblenauts is a game where you can write or type any physical object you can think of (more or less) as long as it is not a branded item (like PSP) and not a proper name (like Coke®). You also can't type things like "dildo" and whatnot. Believe me, I tried. Anyway, the goal of the game is to get a star. You use various objects to get the star. If the star is in a tree, you can type "football" and trow it at the star, knock it down and get the star to win the level. Or type "ladder" and climb your ass up and get it. Or chainsaw the tree down. It's up to you. Be careful what you type, though. On one of the first levels you are required to give several people standing in the scene items that they would use with their hands. The people are a policeman, a fireman, a chef and someone else I can't remember. I gave the chef a frying pan and typed "gun" to give to the policeman, but I guess I didn't do it right and I accidentally shot and killed 2 of the people with one bullet. I was forced to try again. The game is actually quite difficult and not as enjoyable as you might think. It is OK, but gets boring fairly fast. There are "puzzle" modes and "action" modes. The action mode just requires you to get the star. The puzzle mode requires you to find it and figure things out, etc. The puzzle mode is MUCH easier to me. I do not recommend this game to those who are prone to writer's block.



Muramasa - The Demon Blade
Nintendo Wii

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/muramasa.jpg
Hand-drawn artwork FTW (that means "for the win", not "fuck the world", by the way). Pick this one up!

This game probably has some of the best graphics for this generation, bar none. Yes, I think it looks better than Halo 3, Metal Gear Solid 4, Gears of War et al. Way better, in fact. Yup, this game is 2D through and through, but those luscious graphics are real paintings… layers and layers of them. They are only hindered by their repetition. The gameplay seems like it was made by Atlus (Odin Sphere, Princess Crown) because of the fact that it has an extensive inventory system that is a bit too convoluted for my taste (there has to be about 3,000 different swords) and also the fact that you cook and the game gives a lot of attention to the presentation of eating food. Also, the screens are extremely short before it goes into the next one, just like Odin Sphere. Don't expect long levels like games from the 16-bit era, you won't find that in 2D these days. Maybe current generation hardware can't handle much more than short screens of 2D? Still, the game is very fun and allows you to use the Gamecube controller (highly recommended). Unfortunately you must press UP to jump even though the B button is completely used in the game. The B could be used for attack and the A for jump. But what the hell do I know about 2D game design?

The game lets you play as a chick or some dude. I have only played as the chick and I haven't even completed her quest yet, but I have gotten fairly far. It can be a touch repetitive since you just wander around and get attacked with random battles, but never to the point of becoming disinterested in progressing further. The story is completely nonsensical Japanese gibberish. I pay it no mind and hammer through the text scenes as fast as I can. They matter not to the gameplay. The music is very fitting, though I doubt I would buy a copy of the soundtrack. Overall a great game that is wasted on the Wii. It should really be on the PS3 or even the Xbox 360 in high definition.



Cotton 2
Sega Saturn

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A few short clips from Cotton 2, recorded by me from real hardware.

Cotton 2 is available only in Japan for the Sega Saturn game system, which everyone loves (or at least they should). Cotton 2 is a cute-em-up, or a shooter that is cute. And by "shooter" I do not mean a military or space marine-based first person frag-fest where you capture a flag. This game can make use of the 1MB RAM cartridge available for the Japanese Saturn, but it can also be played without it. I honestly cannot tell the difference with and without, so can someone please enlighten me what those differences might be? Suffice it to say, the game is only a touch above average. It is very easy and fairly fun, but once you've beaten it, you really have no desire to play it gain, just like most games these days. The graphics are really cool featuring a lot of scaling and rotation, and the music is OK, not as good as Panorama Cotton on the Genesis/Mega Drive. Not sure if this one is rare or not, but I am guessing not.



Valkyria Chronicles
Playstation 3

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/valkyria.jpg
This guy sure seems very familiar to me. Could he be from…? Nah. Can't be. This game takes place on the ground.

I like good strategy games like Shining Force, etc. I was excited when I downloaded the demo for Valkyria Chronicles. The graphics were great, but I just didn't want to spend the time learning all of the commands and the like just for a short demo. I didn't pay attention to the game for many months until I bought it on the cheap. I think the tutorial spans the ENTIRE game because I have gotten pretty far and the game still pops up with information about certain commands, strategies or whatnot before most battles or even individual turns, even though I have been using them in the past. Regardless, I really like the game. The story is fairly run-of-the-mill, but good enough to keep you interested. The characters are great. I like both the "action" and the strategy. The way this game was designed was brilliant, though far from realistic. Think of it as a chess game of sorts. However sometimes I think it might be too deep in regards to its attention to detail. The graphics are fantastic for the most part with the exception of some the flickery shadows that plague this generation of gaming. The music is just "there". There isn't anything more to say about the music, it is very generic. Be sure to switch the voices to Japanese when you first get the chance as the English voices sound like a Saturday morning cartoon. Just awful. The Japanese voices sound like a typical anime, but you can't understand it so you can't determine how bad the acting truly is.



Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2
Playstation 3

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ninjagaidensigma2.jpg
I can't believe I actually like a Ninja Gaiden game. And a current one, at that!

Wow. I never thought that I would like the demo this much! Granted, I am not blown away or anything, but I am definitely pleasantly surprised. For one, it is easier than the original Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox and I appreciate that. Harder difficulty levels exist for those who want more of a challenge or who think that somehow their masculinity reflects through the level of difficulty that they play. After you beat the demo with Ryo, you get to play as Ayane. I must say that playing as her is MUCH more fun than playing as Ryu. I couldn't get the boob jiggle feature to work, though. Ryu is you average videogame hero. He is a ninja with lots of bling. Boring bling. When you play as him, he blends in with all of the other enemies so that it is hard to make out which one you are playing. With Ayane, you always stand out. Ayane is also much more fun to control as she is quicker and much more responsive. I might consider buying this if Ayane is playable from the very beginning. The camera is still god-awful and brings the entire game down quite a few notches, unfortunately.

The graphics are decent, though not tremendously impressive. The boss I saw looked pretty good. Overall this game is not as impressive graphically today as the original was on the Xbox when it first came out. I noticed quite a bit of screen tearing during the camera pans and such. The sound is average and so is the music. Nothing really worth listening to here, as is the case with most games these days. Just throw in random theme music, score it like it was a movie, etc. Yawn.

I really like this game, but I doubt I'd complete it. I don't think that I will buy it new for $60. But if Ayane is playable from the very beginning or easily unlocked and the price is good, I'll definitely pick it up. I highly recommend the demo!



Hyper Duel
Sega Saturn

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A few short clips from Hyper Duel, recorded by me from real hardware.

Hyper Duel is another Japan-only horizontal shooter based on a Japan-only arcade game. It is ridiculously rare and expensive. This game is by TechnoSoft, makers of the Thunder Force series (and Herzog Zwei). Unfortunately this game does not come close to living up to TechnoSoft's usual quality, but it isn't horrible. It's just rather bland. What is nice is that the arcade mode is included as well as a Saturn mode which is a slightly gussied-up version of the same game with a few new things to look at and listen to. That gives you good reason to play through the full game at least twice. The graphics are alright and the music is a touch above average. I don't know why it and Blast Wind command such a high price… maybe they only printed 100 copies? I'll never know.

Seraph
10-01-2009, 12:20 AM
I’m surprised Scribblenauts gets boring, I would think I could play that game forever simply thinking of new things to spawn.

Muramasa does indeed look awesome. All 2D games should have that level of animation. Did you ever check out WarioLand Shake It? Not nearly at Muramasa’s level, but I thought the 2D animation was great in that too.

Cotton 2 is one of those games I really wish would get ported to the current generation. Retail disc, Digital, dosen’t matter I just want to play it. I loved playing the original SNES cotton on emulators in 8th grade Webpage design class.

Valkyria Chronicles is one of the first PS3 games I want to play (birthday tommorow!!!). I have grown to like the types of voices found in Saturday-morning anime dubs.

Ninja Gaiden is a series I’ve largely ignored until now but I will check the demo out to see if it would be something I’m interested in. After hearing about the first games difficulty I lost interest. I wouldn’t want to buy and have another FZeroGX experience.

HyperDuel looks rather dull. Nothing really flashy or interesting is happening and thus dosen’t deem it worth my time to more worthy shooters.

Joe Redifer
10-01-2009, 04:20 AM
Ninja Gaiden was far more infuriating than F-Zero GX. At least with F-Zero, it had fantastic music. Not so with Ninja Gaiden. I saw NGS2 at the store today and almost thought about buying it. I liked it that much, but I'll wait for a lower price. I almost thought about buying Mirror's Edge for $19 brand new as well, but since I couldn't even complete what the tutorial required of me, it was best that I stayed away. Not worth 20 bucks.

Vegetto
10-01-2009, 05:06 PM
I think I'll play the non baby version of ninja gaiden 2 on hardest difficulty again to prove to myself how much of a man I really am.


anyway I'm waiting for my bro to finish muramasa, but the sword breaking thing looks realllly annoying

Joe Redifer
10-01-2009, 05:51 PM
It kind of is, they break really quickly and without much warning, even if you are keeping your eye on the meter.

Vicviper
10-01-2009, 09:46 PM
Awesome. I am enjoying Muramasa as well. Some of the best, up to 10 layers, of beautiful art ever seen in a game.

I wish I still had Cotton 2 for my Saturn. Maybe I can buy yours for $5 since it's nor rare or anything and you seem to be done with it.

I agree with Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. It was stupidly hard and unforgiving and that is why I haven't downloaded the demo for Sigma 2. Maybe I will now.

Einhander
10-07-2009, 01:42 AM
I've been thinking about picking up Ys - Ark of Napishtim for ages.

You convinced me Joe!

I hear the PS2 version is *much* better than the PSP version in terms of loading times.

Joe Redifer
10-25-2009, 10:53 PM
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
9/10
Playstation 3

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/uncharted2_box.jpg
The newer style box for PS3 games.

When I first got my Playstation 3, it wasn't long before I picked up the original Uncharted (which was originally going to be a PS2 game). I loved its sense of adventure with action thrown in. It made me feel like an important human being instead of the shell of a man that I really am. The star of the game, Nathan Drake, is the perfect physical specimen. This guy could defeat any Olympic gymnast, easy. If you've played the game, you know what I mean. I am so unfit that I can barely breathe normally without going in to cardiac arrest, and this guy is jumping all over the place like a monkey without any fear! Now Drake is back in a new game with a new adventure. New characters along with old ones bring the same type of adventure the previous game did. This time developer Naughty Dog had MUCH more time to make the game and they used their time wisely.

Story: 7.8/10
I am not tremendously fond of the story-driven approach that nearly all games take these days. I think games should be about gaming, not storytelling. But there are games where storytelling is absolutely essential. This is one of them. Drake's encompassing adventure takes him to many places and many different things happen. You don't need to be familiar with the story from the first game to play part 2, but it can help enhance the enjoyment a little if you are. The story itself isn't a literary masterpiece, but it works. It would make a very entertaining and engrossing movie, but it won't get you involved on an emotional level like, say, Smokey and the Bandit. Still, the characters themselves make the story very fun. The voice acting is superb, some of the best ever. Motion-capture technology was used to make the characters move just like the voice actors did when they were recording the game. This helps make the characters very realistic and entertaining. The nearly perfect lip-sync reminds me of Heavenly Sword. The game also has a great sense of humor with fun banter between the characters.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/uncharted2_1.jpg
This poor guy has a wife, two loving daughters and a son on the way. And you're gonna shoot him from behind!

Graphics: 9/10
They have made quite a few improvements over the first game, which already looked great. First of all, the textures appear immediately instead of waiting a second or two to draw in like would happen occasionally in part 1. There seems to be more polygons per character and most importantly, the screen tearing during the camera pans are now gone. Nate's hair and neck look especially realistic for some reason. And unlike many games of this generation, color is present. However you can buy a "next-gen filter" if you really want it to look like your typical current-gen game. When applied, it makes everything brown, gray and ugly. The animation is awesome and things that happen to you during the gameplay look extremely cool, like one scene in a dilapidated building, for instance. Not everything is perfect, however. Some character's eyes look really, really odd from a distance. Chloe's eyes, for example, seem to always have a bright, shining dot in them. It makes me think there is "treasure" to be had in them (treasure in the game is identified by a glowing white dot and your job is to collect them for no reason whatsoever). She looks very spooky, unnatural and (un)dead. Also, Drake's ankles bend very awkwardly as you can see as he is climbing the train right in the very beginning of the game. No game is graphically perfect I don't think, but this game's shortcomings are far exceeded by its strengths.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/uncharted2_2.jpg
I much prefer the 3rd person perspective over the first person in when it comes to "shooters".
It makes it feel more like a videogame and less like, well, crap.

Sound: 8.5/10
This game has similar sounds and music as the original, with only a few new themes added. The music is fairly ambient and not very ambitious, though I really liked the Chinese-flavored themes as they reminded me of Shenmue 2. You won't be humming the theme nor does it really have much of an identity like, say, the Indiana Jones theme or whatnot. You have your choice of Stereo, Dolby Pro-Logic Surround, Dolby Digital, DTS or Linear PCM in up to 7.1 channels of sound, all of which can be switched on the fly, anytime. The sound effects are awesome and make excellent use of the surrounds and the subwoofer when appropriate. Many games seem to ignore the sub for some reason. As said before, the voice acting is awesome, though I do take a bit of exception to Chloe's voice. She sounds like an 80 year old smoker. Or maybe sort of a British Captain Janeway, perhaps? Either way, her voice is not very attractive, even though the character herself is supposed to be. Oh well.

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This guy is an asshole, but you would be too if you had his acne. Just look at his face and his arm!

Gameplay: 9/10
I liked this game so much that I felt compelled to play through it completely twice in a row. It is very similar to the first game, only much more refined! Gone are the sporadic but annoying sixaxis motion-control segments from the first game. New is the way you toss grenades. You can toss them at any time no matter what weapon you have selected. There seems to be less puzzle-solving in this game compared to part one, but just as much climbing and gun-fighting. This game is definitely easier, but it surely isn't a cakewalk. When I played through the second time on Hard, the only thing I really noticed is that I died more quickly, I couldn't take as much gunfire. But other than that, Hard seemed easier than Normal. The train boss was incredibly fast and easy on Hard whereas he took me a few tries on Normal. Most of this could be attributed to me learning the techniques for each scenario on my first playthorugh. This game mixes exploring, puzzles and 3rd person gunplay. It's a fantastic mix, even if the controls aren't always fast enough to do what you want them to do. You earn medals and money in this game as well, which is odd. When I beat the game on Hard, I was awarded $40,000! I don't know what they do with it, but to this day I still have not seen any of that money. I sure could use it, too! The game features next-to-no loading, ever, in the single-player mode. Once you boot up and start the game, you can play through to the ending all in one sitting (if you didn't need to eat, drink, pee or sleep) and never experience a load time greater than maybe half a second. There is also no hard drive install, mandatory or optional. Naughty Dog sure knows how to build a game.

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The online mode is standard fare. Nothing to really bash, but also nothing to really praise.

The meat of the game is most assuredly the single-player mode, but it boasts an online mode as well. It acts just like most online shooters do… stuck in a little area and you try to kill each other or take their base or whatever. Nothing special here. There is also a co-op mode where you work "together" to survive waves and waves and waves of endless enemies or go on a pseudo-mission with actual objectives, but mostly all you ever do is shoot at enemies. Basically, the online is action-only. I guess that's how people like it and it is fun for a goof, but overall no new ground is broken here. I do like that all competitive games are recorded to your hard drive and you can play them back at any time and save screenshots to the PS3 hard drive… that's how I obtained a few of the pictures for this review.

Wrap up:
There are two developers of this generation that others should take example from. One of them is Criterion Games. The other is, most assuredly, Naughty Dog. Like the first game, Uncharted 2 is an essential purchase. If you don't have a Playstation 3, then this is a great incentive to get one. I don't want to hear any whining that the PS3 doesn't have good games because it most certainly does.

eastx
10-26-2009, 01:58 AM
Man, I still need to get the first game. But I have a Japanese PS3 so sadly all the blood will be peeled out by Sony Japan's ever-watchful censors.

Vegetto
10-26-2009, 02:05 AM
I got too impatient with the first one and how you had to stay ducked behind everything waiting for someone to pop their heads out to shoot it, and the climbing stuff bored me.

I honestly dont know WHY I dislike the game, because there really isnt any real problem with it, guess its ADD

after reading that you said playing the first ISNT required I'll probably rent this one now.

Joe Redifer
10-26-2009, 02:20 AM
eastx, there really isn't much blood to begin with. And I don't understand why Japan would censor it being that Fist of the North Star is perfectly fine over there, but not here.

Vicviper
10-26-2009, 02:22 AM
sweet review dood! This is GOTY material if there ever was any. Naughty Dog has done an excellent job here. It's truly amazing how they get you into the story/game. For example, SPOILER.



On Chapter 20, I think, there is a part where you and Elena are crossing a bridge. Elena makes it across and as Drake is about half way the bridge starts to lose slats and eventually breaks. Once the bridge collapses onto the cliff wall Drake has to climb up and every slat that he passes breaks and falls until he finally gets to the top with the help of Elena. This is only one example of how a game can almost be an interactive movie. Very detailed and very exciting.

Dj Jimmi Zero
10-26-2009, 07:08 PM
Man, I still need to get the first game. But I have a Japanese PS3 so sadly all the blood will be peeled out by Sony Japan's ever-watchful censors.

Having a Japanese PS3 has nothing to do with the fact that every PS3 is region free. Unless you are currently in Japan and I doubt the game will be edited over there you shouldn't have a problem playing this game at all.

eastx
10-26-2009, 09:47 PM
No, certain PS3 games run in a censored state when played on a Japanese PS3, regardless of which version of the software you purchased. The ones I know of are Resistance and Uncharted. Ratchet & Clank isn't censored but Ratchet gets a different character model for Japanese systems. There could be other examples though.
Like Joe said, for Uncharted it's not a huge deal losing the blood. I just hate censorship.

Seraph
10-27-2009, 10:21 AM
Uncharted looks really awesome, your review of it doesn't make my wait any easier!

I would want to play the first one before I try uncharted 2. Since I just got my PS3 I will be enjoying bargain bin titles for a while to catch up on everything I've missed. I doubt UC2 is going down in price anytime soon so it might be a while before I get to play.

Joe Redifer
10-27-2009, 06:14 PM
People will finish it soon enough and there will be used copies for sale. Just don't buy it at Gamestop as their used copies are only $5 less than brand new. Pathetic. Search local game stores or even Craigslist for copies around $40-$45.

Kiuju2k
01-08-2010, 07:46 PM
Game looks cool. Waiting for markdown.

Joe Redifer
01-14-2010, 04:52 AM
Demon's Souls
8/10
Playstation 3

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/demonsouls_box.jpg
Only the US version gets its own box art.


Jesus Christ in a recycling bin, this game is tough!! In fact it has been touted as one of the hardest games ever EVAR! Yet people who play it almost always seem to love it and get addicted to it. Despite feeling like it would be more at home on the Xbox 360, Demon's Souls is a Playstation 3 exclusive. At least that's what the PS3 fanboys will tell you. But we all know that the PS3 has no games, right?

Story: 2/10
To be honest, there really isn't much of a story here. All you need to know is that some demons awakened and you need to put them to rest. I guess they need a bedtime story because they are not going willingly. Everything is gloomy. Everyone is depressed. It's always cloudy. Some non-playable characters will have a semblance of a story, such as being thankful for their rescue, but that's really about it. The reason for the current state of affairs is explained early in the game, but it is kind of boring. Turn off the story and play your own story while you adventure forth. Oh wait, game systems only do that with music.

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You will face the Vanguard boss at the end of the short tutorial. You will die.
But you will get another chance to whip his ass as seen here.

Graphics: 6.5/10
While some of the graphics are indeed pretty cool, much of the game has a kind of yucky, low-budget feel to it. When you are in world 5, it looks like a PS2 game. There is lots of banding where gradients should be smooth as well as lots of aliasing. The physics engine is gawd-awful. Things look pretty when they fall, but I have seen characters and objects get stuck in mid-air, stuck between walls and floors, and twitch endlessly after they are killed. Basically, nothing has realistic weight in this game. Bodies drag at your feet more easily than dragging your emaciated grandpa around the street in the same manner. There is slowdown and dropped frames on more than a few occasions and the game never goes above 30fps. Be sure to turn the in-game brightness all the way up as otherwise it is way too dark. However not all is bad. Most of the enemy designs are very, very cool. The dragons look simply awesome. The main castle in the game looks great as the draw distance goes on for nearly forever and it is topped with a bit of depth-of-field blur. I sometimes like to stand on a ledge and look into the distance and reminisce about when I ran past that part waaaaaaay over there and killed a guy with a crossbow along the way. I wish this amount of attention was given to the other levels. So overall, not bad, but nowhere near as good as it could be if it were given more time in development or simply had a more skilled developer.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/demonsouls02.jpg
Players can leave notes to help other players. It is very rare that they leave false messages
which blows my mind based on what I know about gamers (they're butt-munchers).

Sound: 6/10
This game consists almost entirely of ambient sound. Music only plays during the boss fights. What music is in the game is fairly generic and unmemorable. After I rescued one individual, he appeared in the Nexus (the central hub of the game) and pipe organ music played from then on out. He practically turned the entire place into his own personal church. He had followers and everything. Still, he sucked at the pipe organ and I got sick of it so I murdered him and his fellow cultists. Play some good music next time if you want to live. Unfortunately this game does not allow custom soundtracks, and it could really use that feature, especially when grinding. The sound effects are minimal, giving you a very lonely and desolate feeling. I am sure this was intentional, and it works well. Some levels have specific weird sounds that play given certain circumstances, such as the beating heart sound in world 3-2 which makes it sound very, very spooky. And in level 3-1, you can hear prisoners moaning and screaming. Unfortunately some more work could have gone into the sound levels. When one of those bastard red-eyed knights is chasing you and you are running away like a scared schoolgirl, you can hear his footsteps behind you as he pursues. These footsteps do not grow more quiet the further away you get from the knight, they just suddenly stop when the knight gives up and turns around. It's really scary because you think he is right on your tail when he is more likely quite a distance from you. Some sound levels do decrease with distance, like the previously mentioned heart in 3-2. There is no discrete subwoofer track which is a true shame for a game like this. This could have used more time in development. Also, judging by all of the voices in this game, it takes place entirely in Scotland.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/demonsouls03.jpg
The huge red dragon flies past the bridge, burning all of the poor soldiers to a crisp.
He does it again and again, too. He really likes to rub it in. Asshole.

Gameplay: 8/10
The premise of the game is very simple, it is an action "RPG" where you collect souls to buy things and level up. Each enemy you murder gives you souls… or rather you steal them because I don't think they would give you their souls willingly. Yes, you play as a murdering, thieving, greedy bastard. With you running around committing genocide, you are doing nothing to help the struggling race relations of this unique world. Why can't we all just get along? Anyway, players can leave messages with hints. You can "recommend" these messages and the player who left it will get some of their life back, supposedly. As a result you will see a lot of messages that say "Please recommend this message!" You also see the white ghosts of players who are currently playing the same world as you running around. You cannot interact with them and they see you as a white ghost as well. You can also touch bloodstains to see other players die, though you can only see the player, not what they are fighting. If you die, you leave a bloodstain and lose ALL of your souls. You have to fight your way back to where you died (actually where you were about 5 or so seconds before you died). If you touch your own bloodstain, you recover all of your lost souls and your screen is blocked for 5 or 6 seconds by gigantic text telling you that you have indeed touched your own bloodstain. I wish the message would stay up longer, like maybe for an hour. I also wish it were bigger on the screen. That would make it better because at nearly a third the size of the screen I simply can't read it. If you die before making it back to your bloodstain, well, you're screwed and it also means that nobody in real life wants to be your friend.

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The Tower Knight is huge and intimidating, but truth be told, few of the bosses present much challenge at all. The common
enemies will pose more of a threat. I beat most bosses on my first try. Only a few are an exception to this rule.

The game allows you to chose the class of your character in the beginning and gives you a horribly broken character creator. Souls are used as currency and experience in the game. You can level up whatever attribute you want when you have enough souls, be it strength, endurance, 'tude, vitality, what have you. The way I play the game is basically the "HULK SMASH!" method in that I am all offense, do not use magic at all and rarely use my shield. I don't even like dodging. Occasionally I will move out of the way of an impending attack if I have nothing better to do. But by using this tactic I was still able to beat the game. So it stands to reason that I mainly beefed up my strength, endurance and vitality attributes along with a bit of dexterity. I ignored everything else completely. There are tons of items to use and you can assign these to d-pad buttons via the game's clutzy menu system. You must unequip an item before you can set it aside in storage or drop it. The game cannot be paused, you have no control over saving the game as it is done automatically every few seconds or so. If you do something, you cannot undo it. Kill a merchant and he stays dead forever. Sometimes your character becomes trapped in debris and you must smash your way out of it with a sword or whatnot. I did this around a merchant once and they started attacking me! They never become nice to you so you have no choice but to murder them unless you want to put up with their constant shit every time you walk by. Of course this was probably the merchant who sold something that nobody else did that I desperately needed.

Most of the game will be played in "soul" form. While in this mode, you make no footsteps and other players cannot invade your game. Your life bar is also halved, but with a Cling Ring it goes up to about 70% capacity. When you defeat a boss or use a certain item, you can become human again. Your life meter is full, but your attacks are slightly weaker. The game is definitely fun to play, but you really need to get the "feel" for its mechanics before you truly begin to have fun. I was once invaded by a player who came up and saw my big-ass sword. He bowed to me and started helping me get through the level. So you never know the true intention of invading players. Still, the online mode is not the greatest as it is difficult to play co-op with a known friend to get through levels. Even if you did, it would help only one player advance in the game instead of both. Then there are player and world tendencies that vary from light to dark that can affect certain situations. I really don't want to get into that because it is boring to write about, but basically if you do well, the tendency turns white and good things can happen or open up if you look hard enough. Dying while in human form makes everything darker, so play in soul form and commit suicide in the Nexus if you are a human.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/demonsouls05.jpg
While in human form you can summon other players to your world to help. Just look for the blue signs on the ground.

The name "Demon's Souls" is very appropriate. Notice the placement of the apostrophe in the title. That means the multiple souls of one demon. That couldn't be more true here, as each demon has many, many souls, sometimes in the tens of thousands… each! Hell, even the lowest enemy has at least 3 or 4 souls. With me being an atheist, I'm not sure that I feel too comfortable with all of these souls flying around with wild abandon. I am sure that if I used science I could prove to the game that souls don't actually exist, but then it would be impossible for me to level up my character and the game would come to a screeching halt. This game is just too interesting to want to do that, so I'll let it be for now. Perhaps the sequel will be more atheist friendly, collecting science points instead of souls.

Sometimes your own curiosity gets the best of you. Any enemy you kill within a world will stay dead until you exit. As a result it can seem a lot safer than it is since you can always go back to the archstone/checkpoint to leave the world without dealing with respawned enemies on the way back. You wonder what is perhaps around the next corner… you still have maybe 25% of your life. I really should go back while I can. But maybe if I just take a quick peek… AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!! This will happen often and you will be upset when you are working your way back to your bloodstain and you die. This will also happen quite often. It happens to everybody. The most souls I lost at once was nearly 70,000. If you die during a boss fight, things can get frustrating because it is quite a hike from the archstone to get back to the boss. The fight with the False King Allant was really trying as he was super cheap. If he touches you he reduces your levels permanently and you have to re-earn them. If you want to have another go at him, it is nearly a half-mile walk from the archstone to where you fight him, complete with respawned enemies since the level reloads. This is crossing the line in my book. What's next, a boss that erases your game save permanently? Or perhaps erases the saves of other random games? Or formats your PS3 hard drive? Or fries the motherboard? Geeez!

Wrap up:
My first playthrough took me about 41 hours total and I ended up being at level 98. This game is difficult, but it is nowhere near as hard as, say, Ninja Gaiden on the Xbox. But no matter how hard it gets there is always something that brings you back for more. You will eventually get past what is troubling you no matter how much you think you hate the game. Just know that this game most certainly hates you!

Drunken Savior
01-14-2010, 05:10 AM
Ok Ok...I'll get this game! I need something new after putting 60+ hours into DragonAge. And I just started another run though, as a good guy this time.

spider-prime
01-14-2010, 05:39 AM
nice, only real main thing that makes me really angry with the game is this... you can't copy the saves... at all! Annoys me to all ends. You put in all your time in that character only to find out your system breaks and you can't back it up, so if you want to play your character again, TOUGH LUCK! NOOOOOOOO!

But if you use the system backing up feature, that is the only way if you were going to replace your HDD or HDD failure.

But Sony did put in a new feature to copy things over with a Ethernet cord to a SLIM PS3 to basically copy it over, I guess they figured people would replace their Fat PS3s for the Slims.

Kiuju2k
01-14-2010, 02:20 PM
Like the review JR. My only complaint is the Blue/black phantoms. I feel there wasn't enough emphasis on incentives to be either one of them aside from getting your own body back. I mean there are the glitches, but those are glitches.

Yeah it looks like I may just buy the american version after all. Double trophies?

Alucard
01-14-2010, 02:20 PM
I might of read that wrong but is the whole point of the game to just go from area to area levelling up? And thats it? Just get to toptophigh level? Like... an MMO basically with less depth and focus?

darren
01-14-2010, 02:26 PM
Was thinking the same. Why not just play an mmo

spider-prime
01-14-2010, 02:50 PM
Game is much more action controls than a normal MMO, get this... you actually have to dodge attacks!

Alucard
01-14-2010, 02:52 PM
Oh yeah, that makes up for all the pointless levelling up!

Vegetto
01-14-2010, 03:35 PM
its really no different than a top down point and click game to get your LOOT and LEVELS, just more depth in combat.

darren
01-14-2010, 04:32 PM
Oh yeah, that makes up for all the pointless levelling up!

i guess MMOs by nature have good web connectivity .. this from what i've read this has kinda pointless fable 2 style stuff ..

Paper exe
01-14-2010, 04:36 PM
HEY Joe review a Nintendo game and give it perfect.

Joe Redifer
01-14-2010, 05:13 PM
Kiuju2k, yes you would likely get double trophies for owning two different versions.

Alucard, there really isn't anything "Massively Multiplayer" about this game. You can only have 4 people in any one game, max. You see others running around, but there is no interaction.

Vegetto, would you say that Final Fantasy is different than what you describe? I only ask that because that is an RPG and not an MMORPG. I would call this an action game with RPG elements.

Paper, Nintendo doesn't make many games themselves anymore so pickin's are slim.

darren
01-14-2010, 05:39 PM
Kiuju2k, yes you would likely get double trophies for owning two different versions.

Alucard, there really isn't anything "Massively Multiplayer" about this game. You can only have 4 people in any one game, max. You see others running around, but there is no interaction.

Vegetto, would you say that Final Fantasy is different than what you describe? I only ask that because that is an RPG and not an MMORPG. I would call this an action game with RPG elements.

Paper, Nintendo doesn't make many games themselves anymore so pickin's are slim.

makes wonder why bother then .. seems as pointless as the fable 2 multiplayer drop in rubbish

spider-prime
01-14-2010, 06:46 PM
its really no different than a top down point and click game to get your LOOT and LEVELS, just more depth in combat.

yah that's what makes the game fun, when you get into an awesome duel with someone, I've been in one that lasted over 1 hour. It was freakin epic. I tried to push him over the ledge but he dodged it in time, lol I love the push attack where you can shove someone and they will fall back.


hvRl62Vfa94

some random Pvp, fun to watch.

guy has some good ways of killing people, cheaply lol.

Vegetto
01-14-2010, 06:47 PM
Vegetto, would you say that Final Fantasy is different than what you describe? I only ask that because that is an RPG and not an MMORPG. I would call this an action game with RPG elements.

.

I was replying to Alucards "Oh yeah, that makes up for all the pointless levelling up!" since he likes the dungeon crawling games of the top down style like Diablo which is pretty much the same thing as in gaining levels and LOOOT, I know Diablo has story though,but a lot of those types of games have pretty much zero story.

and to answer your question: Final Fantasy has like zero (especially 12) involvement in combat AT ALL, top down style like Diablo has more depth and involvement, i'm saying Demon Souls is complete user involvement (hence action game with RPG elements), you have to do everything yourself which is why its so appealing, to me at least, I love the type of games where you're in complete control like these.

I finally snagged me a PS3 slim and i'll definitely be getting this game, i've been wanting it since day one.

spider-prime
01-14-2010, 06:55 PM
personally, the game doesn't really need a story other than what they give you, they've already told you the entire thing. Nothing else to learn. Except from what the NPCs tell you about world they live in like what happened to the king, why did he go mad and summon the demon's for and about Astarea, why did one who believed in god so much, become a demon.

eastx
01-14-2010, 07:15 PM
Very interesting review, Joe. I noticed one error:

Players can leave notes to help other players. It is very rare that they leave false messages
which blows my mind giving what I know about gamers (they're butt-munchers).

Vegetto
01-14-2010, 07:51 PM
personally, the game doesn't really need a story other than what they give you, they've already told you the entire thing. Nothing else to learn. Except from what the NPCs tell you about world they live in like what happened to the king, why did he go mad and summon the demon's for and about Astarea, why did one who believed in god so much, become a demon.


yeah, some games are just better without a buncha plot, just give the basic story and go at it, I have a pretty big imagination so I can get pretty crazy with games like that.

Sinful Sam
01-14-2010, 09:49 PM
I guess it sounds comparable to Phantasy Star Online. Can you turn off the PVP when someone goes into your game?

BTW. Great review, Joe.

spider-prime
01-14-2010, 10:51 PM
sort of, there isn't really a option to turn off multiplayer, but if you don't want that option, just sign out of the PSN. But then you can't ask for help if you need it.

But really, it's one of the fun points of the game, playing normally and then HAS INVADED YOUR REALM and you're just like, OH FUCK, getting your shit ready for the fight, cause he has to find you first.

I've beaten 5 guys in a row, one after the other, it was really annoying! it was just when I beat it for the first time doing my 2nd play though, after the 3rd fight in a row, I wanted to beat the first demon so I could use my souls, so I summoned 2 other guys who were only useful in clearing out the other demons in the castle, they didn't help me fight the assholes! They just ran!

But luckily the last 2 still sucked and I still beat the shit out of them. I surprised the one guy, he had armor on so I could hear him coming from behind me, so I waited around the corner and when he got close BAM FIRE STORM, Guy flew to the ground, desperately trying to get the right gear equip to deal with me but I beat him before he could do that, he lasted 20 secs lolol

Alucard
01-14-2010, 11:53 PM
I was replying to Alucards "Oh yeah, that makes up for all the pointless levelling up!" since he likes the dungeon crawling games of the top down style like Diablo which is pretty much the same thing as in gaining levels and LOOOT, I know Diablo has story though,but a lot of those types of games have pretty much zero story.

I never bothered playing diablo online. And the story for 2 was quite good. Some epic cg in it.

Joe Redifer
01-15-2010, 02:35 AM
makes wonder why bother then .. seems as pointless as the fable 2 multiplayer drop in rubbish

No shit, right? Games that don't have more than 4 players online at once should not be purchased much less even made in the first place. The developers and publisher should be absolutely ashamed.

But in all seriousness, please explain Fable 2's online stuff. Nobody liked Fable 2 because it was, well, Fable 2.

darren
01-15-2010, 03:30 AM
sry didn't mean to highlight the 4 player bit just

You see others running around, but there is no interaction. which seems totally pointless.

i'd take a guess that most people that hate Fable 2 .. probebly didn't play it .. and just wanted to hate a usual because it was, well, Fable 2.

anywhere heres a descrition of the pointless online bit


Getting into an online game is as simple as entering your offline world. After fixing your online options to give either everyone or only friends access to your game, you'll find a number of floating orbs moving through the world, each of which represents another player. By moving towards an orb and clicking on it, you can interact with that player. You can compare stats, exchange gifts, or invite him or her to your game.

Once the two of you are connected in a single game, you're free to roam around the world with your partner in crime, completing quests and chatting with each other in your personal version of Albion. What's neat about this is that everything the two of you do together influences your world, so if your friend decides to kill some townspeople, they'll be dead in your game forever. But that's where the cool bits of the co-op end

spider-prime
01-15-2010, 03:47 AM
Those are supposed to be ghosts that have died, you don't see people who have their body running around, just people who died while playing and haven't gotten their body back yet.

I got into a wave fest with a guy before he disappeared from my screen lolol.

Joe Redifer
01-15-2010, 04:17 AM
That's funny! I wonder why they just vanish after a few seconds. I always try to attack them, but they never instinctively dodge. Sometimes I will dodge or whatever when I see one of them emerge from around a corner running towards me.

eastx
01-15-2010, 04:52 AM
Darren meant that joining another person's game in Fable 2 is largely pointless outside of chatting with them and just piddling around. The non-host player doesn't earn EXP or items, just gold. It's a rather poorly implemented co-op system which is why hardly anybody took advantage of it.

Joe Redifer
01-15-2010, 05:34 AM
In Demon's Souls, all players get souls (which is also experience). When you kill a boss, the souls are split depending on how you rate each other. You can drop an item as well for the other player(s) to pick up. Not the best online ever presented in a game, but I guess not absolutely horrible. But I always value the single player experience so much more than the online experience in any game ever made.

Vicviper
01-15-2010, 08:25 AM
I got into a wave fest with a guy before he disappeared from my screen lolol.

Lol. I want to play it now just for this reason. I love being nice to people and try to get into wave fests while I'm walking down the street.

SpaceManSpiff
01-31-2010, 01:57 PM
Glad to see you've been playing the game Joe, great review. I have played a lot in the last couple months with my brother and cousin. I have seen bosses try to attack the ghosts.:lol:

Joe Redifer
02-17-2010, 09:37 PM
Bayonetta
7.5/10
Xbox 360

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/bayonetta_box.jpg
The game includes a pack of tissues.

I never cared much for Devil May Cry. Each time I tried one of the versions I found it too hard, too quirky and too uninteresting. I also hated the music. Along comes Bayonetta which everyone says is a Devil May Cry clone, mainly due to the director of this game being the creator of DMC. I guess it can be seen as that, but not really, at least not from what I personally remember about Devil May Cry. However just like DMC, Bayonetta prominently features guns in its artwork and advertising. Similarly, the guns do next to nothing and you will use them basically never except to keep your combos going, if that's important to you. There may be other similar comparisons between the games, but it was the Sega fan service that was thrown into this game that tipped the scales for me. I also consciously chose the Xbox 360 over the PS3 version, but more on that at the end of the review.

Story: 5/10
The story is, ummm, weird. I think I can follow most of it. But be warned, it is way over the top and very cheesy. That alone kind of makes it fun, but it does begin to take itself seriously a bit too much. Just don't expect too much out of it. This is a game which is designed to be played, nothing more. Remember arcade-style games which basically just had a set-up and nothing more? This game would be perfect if it was like that.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/bayonetta01.jpg
This game is full of hilarious sexual innuendos, even when doing seemingly mundane things like pulling a lever.

Graphics: 8/10
The graphics aren't half bad in this game. It runs mostly at 60 frames per second in 720p. It does slow down from time to time and there is a lot of screen tearing/v-sync problems. It's kind of interesting to see a throwback to 32-bit-style 3D graphics where the leaves on the trees and the such are actually 2D "sprites", for lack of a better word. Because of this, they can look infinitely more detailed than any random polygon can, but once you start turning the camera or moving in 3D space, it starts to look very odd as the same tree leaves are always facing directly towards you. The designs of the levels look fantastic and are a sight to see. The enemy designs get generic after a while… they are all angels, so they are all white, adorned with blue and gold trimmings. Some of the larger enemies have cool designs simply because they are so weird. What God would create such a thing? Everything bleeds in this game since the developers are still on a 1992 Mortal Kombat high, apparently. The character design of Bayonetta herself is odd to say the least. Her head is miniscule, her ass giant and her legs spidery long. She is very disproportionate, I find it incredible that she can even walk. I guess that's supposed to be "hot", though. There is some very mild nudity, but certainly no boobies.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/bayonetta02.jpg
The boss fights can be a bit overlong as is the case with many games these days which try to
give you that "epic" feel. What's worse is that most of them have to be beaten again later.

Sound: 7/10
The sound in this game is very good for the most part. Lots of subwoofer when you use Witch Time and some good surround effects here and there. Sometimes the voices are drowned out by the music during the cut scenes, so it is a good thing they are subtitled. I guess nobody listened to the final result before shipping the game. There are tons of f-bombs dropped here which all seem a bit forced and unnecessary. I think that the Japanese developers are using them just to sound "cool". The game's soundtrack spans 5 CDs, but there is actually only one piece of music in the game. That happens to be a horrible version of In Other Words/Fly Me to the Moon which you may know as it was made popular by Frank Sinatra (though he did not write or originally perform it). This plays nearly every single time you are fighting an enemy. The choice is not only odd, but damn repetitive! It's cute once or twice, max. Oh, there are a few other pieces of music, like your typical orchestral/choir stuff that you find in any videogame these days when they are trying to be way overly dramatic/epic. Once you beat this game, you also unlock something that is EXTREMELY RARE in videogames these days. That's right, a sound test with nearly every single piece of music in the game, even the Fantasy Zone themes. I heard a Zillion theme somewhere in the game but I must have missed that in the sound test… I wouldn't be surprised if it is in there, though. The game sound did cut out/skip on me a few times during the cutscenes and then picked back up making the voices happen about 5 seconds or so later than the subtitles. This was fixed after I installed the game to the hard drive.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/bayonetta03.jpg
Bayonetta's costume consists almost entirely of her hair. She can use it for "wicked weave" attacks as well.
Shown here is the stiletto smash. Actually I don't know what it is called, but most special and
finishing moves are made out of hair. So if you have a hair fetish...

Gameplay: 7.5/10
This game is basically a button masher. What you want to do here is press the Y button. After that, press it again. Then press it about 2 billion more times. That's it! OK, there is jumping, kicks and really cool combos you can do as well. Not to mention dodging, which if you do at the right moment will engage Witch Time which turns the screen purple for you to admire. The enemies also slow down at this time to give you time to admire the screen, but I found a secret! You can attack the enemies when the screen is purple and they are defenseless! I should win a god damn Nobel Peace Prize for this discovery since they are handing them out for nothing these days. There are also expensive weapons, techniques and items you can buy to help you out, and I suggest not ignoring the shop like I did for the first 7 or so chapters. The game is composed of about 15 or 16 chapters and each chapter has about 600 verses each. Yes, many levels seem sometimes perhaps a bit too long. And it can be fuck-all hard at times. Still, it is gratifying, stylish and really fun to play through. I really enjoy the wackiness of everything, the over-the-top torture and finishing attacks and just how crazy it all is. And it is crazy! You can run on certain walls and even fly on missiles while you play Space Harrier. There is also an Out Run stage. Both of these tribute stages seem nearly as long as their original games, though with markedly less variety. DVD just doesn't have the storage space of a 2 MEGA POWER cartridge, so there are fewer enemies and backgrounds during these stages. This game has extremely long loading times which be cut down a bit by installing the game on your hard drive. Overall I found Bayonetta very enjoyable if a bit too frustrating for its own good at certain points.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/bayonetta04.jpg
Can you tell what is going on in this picture? The game is exactly like this, with many crazy
things happening at once along with a spastic camera which does not always obey your wishes. It
is easy to get lost in the visuals. There were many times I could not even find my character.


Wrap up:
Now why did I chose the Xbox 360 version over the Playstation 3 version even though I am afraid of my Xbox 360 breaking down at any given time? Well, the PS3 version has major framerate issues. During the PS3 demo I noticed that it was running at half or less the framerate of the 360 version, and it stuttered quite a bit as well. The colors were far more muted on the PS3 whereas the Xbox 360 seemed much more colorful. It was as if someone dialed the COLOR control on my TV down a bit. My Xbox 360 is hooked up via component cables and my PS3 via HDMI. Thirdly, the sound is better on the 360 version despite the PS3 delivering 5.1 uncompressed audio to the receiver. There is much more bass present when you use Witch Time on the 360, it's not even there when you use it on the PS3. But the PS3 does have some strong subwoofer here and there. The surrounds are also much quieter on the PS3 version for some reason. Despite these issues, the PS3 version is still very playable. In fact, after playing through the entire game on the 360, playing the demo on the PS3 felt soooo smooth in comparison due to the controls. I really prefer the controls on the PS3, the buttons aren't as rock hard and the controller simply isn't as stiff. They have updated the PS3 version to include and install option which decreases load times and helps with a couple of the framerate issues, but I have not seen those improvements. I'll chalk it up to a horrible conversion. Not sure why a Japanese developer would ever choose the 360 as a lead platform to develop a game on, but then again many western developers (Criterion, for example) choose the PS3 to lead development on, so who knows? Besides the audio dropping out a few times during the cut scenes and one time where I was informed that my disc was unreadable, the Xbox 360 worked like a champ. Installing the game cleared up both of those issues.

Seraph
02-17-2010, 10:52 PM
Good review!

I really want to play this game, like you said it's that element of pure insanity that makes it so appealing. I would probably play on easy mode as I just want to mash and do cool stuff.

I also liked that you touched on the two versions. I'll be getting the PS3 version once it drops in price.

Joe Redifer
02-17-2010, 11:11 PM
Either get it for a low price or rent it and play it on Easy or Very Easy. It's been a long time since I've seen a game that had two levels of easy.

Alucard
02-18-2010, 03:55 AM
I think from what I read sony released a patch for the game that lets you install it to the hdd which fixes alot of the framerate issues. Well thats what they claim at least. Nothing fixes the low texture quality though.

SpaceManSpiff
02-18-2010, 06:11 AM
Press Y, got it.

Joe Redifer
02-20-2010, 02:48 AM
In case anyone was wondering what the crazy lyrics to the song that is set to the tune of Fly Me to the Moon are whenever you do battle, read and LOL:

Bayonetta, you´re a mystery (Who)
You come along with a destiny (are you?)
This is your life, a battlefield telling you who you are
(A mystery, Bayonetta)
Bayonetta, this is your time (Hold tight)
You gonna sparkle, you gonna shine (Moon light)
Girl, when you fight it looks like a dance, you are magic, you´re magic...
(you´re dancing beautiful, Bayonetta)

eastx
04-03-2010, 04:26 AM
Either get it for a low price or rent it and play it on Easy or Very Easy. It's been a long time since I've seen a game that had two levels of easy.

How many difficulty levels are there? Is Normal really too hard?

I got the Xbox 360 version of this game for free from IGN, but I haven't tried it yet. I'll probably play it soon though.

Joe Redifer
04-03-2010, 10:58 AM
Normal is pretty tough, certainly not impossible by any means, but harder than Normal on most other games. I completed it on Normal. I think there is a hard mode and maybe one or two harder levels of difficulty that must be unlocked. I think the hardest mode is called "Full Orgasm" or something like that. I hear it's akin to auto-erotic asphyxiation.

Paper exe
09-17-2010, 02:32 PM
I am almost positive that you did a full Splatterhouse review and you loved it too. I searched and cannot find it. What's wrong in here?!

I saw your Genesis recommended list and Sword of Vermillion was on it. I am quite surprised because I hated that game and I am very easy to satisfy. Can you please tell me what you like about that game. Would love a full fledge review but a mini one is fine if you are lazy, actually if you are too lazy for that too then just a regular post telling me why you like it. Would be appreciated.

You don’t talk about the mega CD and 32X much I find that strange for an old school SEGA fan because these two add ones are mind blowing. For instance, I tried Chaotix on the 32X for a second just now and the graphics were outstanding even now after 15 years from making that game. I demand more praise to those add ons.

Joe Redifer
09-17-2010, 08:12 PM
I've never reviewed Splatterhouse. Perhaps you were thinking about Space Harrier? They are almost identical.

Sword of Vermilion is an acquired taste and it has not aged well. It is almost 100% dungeon crawling. That was OK back in the day, but these days it can get a bit tiresome. The fantastic music kept me going!

I would like to review more CD and 32X games. Chaotix is also another acquired taste. The reason I don't review those too much is that I doubt many people will read them. Not too many people here seem to care for games that aren't current or coming soon.

Up for review next is probably Ys 7 for PSP and Legend of Wukong (http://www.legendofwukong.com/) for Genesis/Mega Drive if I ever get around to finishing it (I've already taken pictures for that review).

Vegetto
09-18-2010, 02:17 AM
I've never reviewed Splatterhouse. Perhaps you were thinking about Space Harrier? They are almost identical.

either i'm tired or that was actually pretty dang funny.

eastx
09-20-2010, 02:12 AM
Looking forward to that Ys Seven review! I am still in favor of your reviewing classic games too. That's what got me to start coming to this site.

Joe Redifer
09-21-2010, 04:18 AM
It's been a while since my last full-on review, but I am back and less powerful than ever before! Here we go:

Ys Seven
8.5/10
Sony PSP

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ys7-box.jpg
Is that the actual number 7 between
Ys and Seven? I can't quite tell.

Ever since my super-rich parents bought me a TurboGrafx-16 and CD-ROM for a high school graduation present, I've been a fan of the Ys series - pronounced "ees" - which they also bought me. The game had fantastic music, exciting "cinema intermissions", voice acting that was actually good (it is very rare that games have good voice acting) and even fun gameplay. Also, it should be noted that after buying me such a present, my parents were no longer rich. They were just amazed I even made it out of high school. Everyone was, especially me. Since then I have enjoyed "Ys 3 Wanderers from Ys", also on the TurboGrafx-CD. I also played through the Genesis and SNES editions of that same game. Ys 4 was really good on the PC Engine CD (a translation patch exists). The game was less good on the Super Famicom, but it was a completely different game. Ys 5 was released exclusively on the Super Famicom from what I can tell and to my knowledge no translation exists. Years, years and more years later, Ys 6 was finally released on the PS2 and PSP and was called Ark of Neptiosdsfjiffdim. Now we finally have Ys Seven, which spells out the number because that's how stylish it is. Knowledge of previous Ys games is not needed. Suffice it to say, the games have not taken place in the land of Ys for a long, long time (since part 2 and *maybe* a bit of part 4 on the PC Engine CD).

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ys7-1.jpg
The graphics can look kind of bland in stills, but they actually work out OK during gameplay.
You control the character who doesn't have the mini green health bar floating under him.

Story: 5/10
As I indicated above, you do not need to know anything about the previous games to jump into this one. A few references are made here and there, but you won't be left with your brain twisted in confusion as a result. We wander upon the land of Altago which finds itself in a strange predicament. As always, Adol arrives to save the day. What is nice (and has been a staple of the Ys series) is that you are fighting for the survival/continuity of that particular land, not the entire world/universe/all universes as is usually the case in JRPGs. The land of Altago is maybe about the size of Rhode Island at best, not a land that would be missed or even has the right to exist in the first place, but dammit if Adol is going to let bad things happen! The story is adequate, not fantastic and you likely won't find yourself bonding with any of the characters much, but it does what it needs to do. As with most games these days, it is extremely wordy. Dialog scenes go on and on and on, and everyone always has something to say. Oh how I miss the days of restricted cartridge space and limited RAM, developers were forced to choose their text wisely and scenes didn't drag on as a result. There are no "cinema intermissions" in this game despite the fact that the PSP is supposedly more powerful than the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-CD. What's up with that? Games just don't have as much style these days. At least not the Ys games, but don't let that put you off too much.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ys7-2.jpg
A boss fight!! Switching between the characters is also a good way to prevent them from losing too much health,
as the character that is currently in your control will take most of the beating. Other characters still help attack.

Graphics: 6.8/10
Since we are living in the fabled year of 2010, we have to deal with the law that was passed by the world leaders stating that ALL graphics must always be made out of polygons because the kids these days think polygons are "cool". Well, I think some well-done sprites are better than polygons for games like this any day. Oh, by the way, GET OFF MY LAWN! But this game works despite the simple polygon models and the grainy textures. You can see the PS1-quality grain if you hook your PSP up to a TV with the component video cable. The bosses look pretty cool for the most part and the monsters look cool, too. I didn't notice any graphical glitches like clipping anywhere. The only thing that really sucks is during boss fights and the camera zooms way out, making it difficult to discern which character you are controlling since you have a multi-member party. Still, while not highly praise-worthy, there certainly isn't much to complain about regarding the graphics.

Sound: 8.8/10
The sound effects themselves are adequate and there is no voice acting in this game. This might be a blessing in disguise given the quality of most of today's videogame voice actors who find themselves in Japanese games in America. If this game had spoken dialog, there would not be the likes of Thomas Hayden Church (Tombstone, Spider-man 3, Easy A), Michael Bell (O.G. Transformers), and Alan Oppenheimer (Adventures of the motherf*ckin' Gummi Bears) as there were in the original game(s) on the TuroGrafx-CD. Instead we'd probably get shitty acting like that found in "Tales of…" games. That would make the game as a whole much less enjoyable. There are a few vocal utterances when you select a character, but the performances are not long enough to be judged. The music in the game is the best since Ys 4. That's not to say that parts 5 and 6 didn't have good music, they did (especially 6), but they were not on the level of this game. There aren't really any musical selections that are bad, but there are a few (like the town themes, for instance) that you certainly wouldn't want to put on your iPod or some other sort of device which plays illegal MP3s. Definitely a great soundtrack here with a variety of great tunes, many of them very Falcom-sounding.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ys7-3.jpg
Lots of innocent animals like bunnies and slime-thingies roam the land. Murder them to gain items, money and experience.
They have no friends, so it's OK. You can even hack at their corpses to get more items to synth into weapons and the such.

Gameplay: 8.3/10
This is the first Ys game where you can play as a non-Adol character, at least that I can certainly recall. You travel in a party with 2 other characters running around with you, switching between them on the fly with the CIRCLE button. Each character has their own strengths. For example, there are fleshy, crusty and flying enemies. Characters like Adol can damage the fleshy enemies but can't do much to the crusty or flying enemies. Likewise, other characters may do maximum damage to crusty or flying enemies. You select the character you need to use to defeat a particular enemy. It can get hectic when there are many different enemy types onscreen at once, but it really isn't confusing as it may seem early on. Sometimes you have even more members in your party, but to play as them you must go into the menu and replace one of your current characters with them. This can be a pain sometimes. There are also items that can be equipped by the entire party, like special shoes that allow you to walk over spiky areas or underwater. Later in the game you will find yourself switching back and forth between all of these items as you will run across a spiky area and immediately go underwater. This menu is accessed with the TRIANGLE button and gets a bit annoying but it isn't overdone enough to make it frustrating. There are also special moves that can be assigned to each button for each character that is accessed by pressing said button while holding down the R button. You can level these attacks up as well and even gain a super-mega attack like some schmuck. It's just complicated enough so that today's gamers are satisfied and yet simple enough so that ancient gamers like me who have a hard time remembering more than two buttons can somehow make it through. Some super-sophisticated gamers may be disappointed to learn that this game does not utilize the Steel Battalion controller for the Xbox. I do recommend remapping the controls so that SQUARE is the attack and ECCHS is the dash. All game should allow button remapping.

The game took me a bit over 20 hours to complete which is just about right, I'd say. I think anywhere between 15 and 20 hours is good. The game overstays its welcome just a little bit, but not enough to bitch about. Most games made today definitely don't know when to end. It was nice to see a game where I didn't have to re-fight all of the bosses again or 16 different forms of the final boss. The game is never overly difficult and only a bit of grinding is really necessary, maybe an hours' worth here or there. The boss fights are a bit long, especially at first, since they have crazy amounts of HP, but any gamer these days is disappointed with boss fights that last less than half an hour. Everything these days needs to be "OMG EPIC!!!". This game doesn't quite go to that level, thankfully. I had lots of fun playing this game, probably more so than Ys 6 and definitely more so than Ys 5. And for those who haven't played an Ys game in a loooong time, yes you must press a button to swing your sword, no more Hydlide mechanics here.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/ys7-4.jpg
You can see some of the PS1-quality grain/dithering in this shot. Here we are seen obtaining
some of the Titano's "fluid". Yeah. I'll let you figure that one out, Mr. Sticky.

Wrap up:
I bought a PSP to play this game, since it is exclusive to the portable. Would I have rather played it on a real console? Yes, but I do not regret my purchase. This is definitely one of the best games for the PSP and I should know since I own up to 4 PSP games. Other PSP games are not as good or otherwise I would own them for sure. So there you have it!

eastx
09-21-2010, 05:00 AM
Great review.
The jokes hit the mark, except for maybe beating the 'today's gamers' thing a few meters too far into the ground by the end there. :D

I'm looking forward to getting Ys Seven sometime. I wish they would maybe revisit the land of Ys itself in a big-budget console sequel, but I don't think that'll ever happen.

Oh, and I think many people would best remember Alan Oppenheimer as Falcor in the Neverending Story.

Seraph
09-21-2010, 08:13 AM
I want this game a lot.

So I can really jump right into Y's 7 without playing the others? I thought the storyline in Y's was one long continuation. They are also bringing some of the other Y's games to PSP which I might get depending on how I like 7.

Vicviper
09-21-2010, 10:14 AM
Good review Josephat! I think I am about 4 or so hours from finishing.

I haven't mapped my buttons but currently the L button is the super moon attack button. I've accidentally hit that button multiple times wasting my moon gauge which as you know takes a long time to refill. I do have a ring that allows for it to refill quicker but apparently I only have one finger that can hold a ring. WTF? Why can't all 10 fingers have a ring on them???

Anyways the music is really awesome which makes me happier that I bought the super duper limited edition with soundtrack, map and art book. I think it was limited to about 200,000 or something. Super Rare!

Joe Redifer
09-21-2010, 03:42 PM
I'd like to take a gander at the art book, but the cloth map seems kind of useless. I remember Ys Book 1 & 2 on the TurboGrafx-CD came with a paper map (which I still have) which was also completely useless. Maybe today's gamers need a cloth map so their little minds don't get too confused and they can also use it to wipe the drool from their chin!

Seraph, of coz you can jump right in, it won't ruin anything. Yes, they are remaking Ys 1 and 2 AGAIN and this time it will be on the PSP. I nearly fell asleep playing the DS remake. Ys 3 is being remade as Oath in Felajifsggna. This is actually an old remake and is just being ported to the PSP. The original remake didn't have any scrolling and was more of a side-view, but I think they are redoing it for PSP, I don't know. The original Ys 3 had scrolling. No word on an Ys 4 or 5 remake.

Havoc2049
09-21-2010, 04:46 PM
As always, a great review. :thumb-up:

So does Y's: Books I & II on the DS suck or something? I bought Y's for the DS a while back, as it was on clearance for $20, came with a soundtrack and I always wanted to check the series out. I didn't really have time to play it when I bought it, but I do plan to check it out one of these days.

Joe Redifer
09-21-2010, 05:40 PM
I got to the Ys 2 part and the mazes became much more complex and drawn out than the original games. And you know me, I don't like it when things are unnecessarily drawn out. So I got bored and stopped playing it.

eastx
09-21-2010, 10:33 PM
As always, a great review. :thumb-up:

So does Y's: Books I & II on the DS suck or something? I bought Y's for the DS a while back, as it was on clearance for $20, came with a soundtrack and I always wanted to check the series out. I didn't really have time to play it when I bought it, but I do plan to check it out one of these days.

They ruined the difficulty balance in Ys 1 by adding a new dungeon that gives you seriously overpowered items in the middle of the game! Still fun though.

As for Ys 2's repetitive map layouts, it was always like that (as I recall). The shrine at the end is just a vast pain.

Ys on DS is worth buying just to experience the original game (super easy or not) and its awesome music. But since it's coming to PSP, that will likely be the best version to come to the US.

Einhander
09-24-2010, 03:31 AM
So what are the other PSP games you own?

Joe Redifer
09-24-2010, 11:09 AM
Hot Shots Golf Open Tee
Dracula X Chronicles
Locoroco 2

Joe Redifer
09-28-2010, 01:52 AM
Legend of Wukong
5.5/10
Sega Genesis

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wukong_box.jpg
Another physical release
with box and manual!

Legend of Wukong was released in December of 2008 for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive systems by Super Fighter Team, the same people who brought you Beggar Prince (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=334499#post334499). It was developed in some lame third world country many years before where the developers were paid in breadcrumbs or something like that. If they did a particularly good job during their 23-hour work day, they would get less beatings and fewer murdered family members. By purchasing Wukong, you are directly financing breadcrumb payments and murdered family members. I state this because the game is definitely no labor of love, but one of "make it as fast as we can so we can earn a couple of dollars". The translation/bug fixing localization was handled more competently than the development itself. As a result we have a physical cartridge for release that is not able to be dumped to play on emulators, though you can find the original 3rd world version ROMs if you must.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wukong01.jpg
Every town has plenty of NPCs to talk to. Be sure to talk to them all, even the glitchy-looking ones.

Story: 3/10
The "plot" involves some idiot kid who goes back in time to some period in China that nobody cares about by accidentally pressing a button on his neighbor's time machine. As soon as he arrives, a monster comes and steals the time machine FOR NO REASON, thus trapping him there. This little dipshit is somehow competent enough to overcome the mass hurdles that face him in his strange, new surroundings. He meets new people and they are all very cocky. I must admit that I dislike most of the characters in this game. Wukong himself is an arrogant little prick. Pigsy is even worse. The girl (I think she is a princess or something) has zero personality at all, she rarely says anything. Many things happen FOR NO REASON, or rather, just to give you something to do, but it makes no logical sense. There is one chapter where you arrive and FOR NO REASON the princess or whoever she is gets kidnapped out of the blue. The story, though humorous at times, can be quite lacking.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wukong02.jpg
The maps and dungeons aren't huge in actuality, but they seem much
larger than they are due to the slow pace and maze-like structure.

Graphics: 4.5/10
The graphics are passable, I suppose. The styles change a bit as you advance through chapters. There are many different enemies, but each has only one frame of animation. I'm not even sure what many of the enemies are even supposed to be. One enemy is a shark even though you never enter the water and a mountainous terrain serves as the backdrop. What the hell? Other enemies are just weird shapes with eyes or whatnot. You can tell that enemy design was a rush job done by third world people who can't even afford lint. There are a couple of nice touches to the battle backgrounds here and there, but it won't melt your TV with awesomeness. But the variety of enemies is indeed pretty cool. I wish the font was a little better. The letter a looks like the letter o.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wukong03.jpg
The battle engine seems competent enough, but the enemy only has one magic attack.
Also, Super Fighter Team sure loves their games to have random battles every 5 seconds.

Sound: 4.5/10
There really isn't much to the sound effects. The music is average. It changes with each new chapter, just as long as you don't advance too far into the game as higher chapters use music from previous chapters. There is only one town theme. There is also only one battle theme and one dungeon theme. A few stereo effects every once in a while remind you that you might be playing the Genesis. You won't be recording anything to listen to in your car at full blast as you drive past all the babes downtown in an attempt to garner yourself some pussy for the evening.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wukong04.jpg
Thanks to magic spells you learn through leveling up which allow you to exit caves and
warping around everywhere, choosing the wrong direction becomes much less painful.

Gameplay: 5.5/10
If you like grinding, this is your game! Don't even try to fight the very first boss until you are higher than level 15, at least. That's more than a quarter of all the leveling in the game, as you can only go up to 50. You will be fighting a lot of battles as one occurs about every 4 or 5 seconds. The first boss is actually the hardest as the balance of the game is extremely poor. After that everything goes fairly smooth difficulty-wise until you reach the final chapter where you will need to grind like a mofo with a spiked dildo stuck up his ass. This game is best described as TEDIOUS due to the very slow exploration of the map and caves due to the constant battles that interrupt you. The battles last a bit longer than they should because both you and the enemy tend to miss a lot (just like in Beggar Prince), wasting everybody's time. Fortunately the magic never seems to miss. Be wary of the magic that seems like it is attacking all of the enemies onscreen at once, as it doesn't quite seem to work that way other than visually suggesting it does.

It is also completely bizarre. For example, at one point you will come across a cave you need to enter for whatever reason, and you are presented with a "musical puzzle". You are then prompted to play the correct notes to enter. I know what you"re thinking; "Oooh, just like Zelda TooT! I love me some N64 Zelda this game must be awesome!" WRONG! You simply press the buttons on the controller in a certain order after receiving the sequence from some idiot villager. Here's the stickler: No music is involved. Not a single note is played. So why is it a musical puzzle? Hell, it's not even a puzzle, it's simply a password! It's no Zelda, but the N64 still sucks ass.

Speaking of villagers, one thing that infuriated me was attempting to navigate the villages themselves. There are many graphical items that block you from moving, villagers often block your path and there is no way to get to where you need to go. The villages seem like mazes as a result. I hope whoever designed this part did not get a sandwich that day. There is also some old guy that says the same thing to you in each and every village. He even gets his own dedicated house. Why is he there? The people in the houses often say the same thing to you even in the same town. My advice is to never enter the houses unless they are shops. They are completely useless and a waste of your time. The in-game menu is almost as difficult to navigates as the villages. Not only are the menus murder on the eyes, but going back and forth can get confusing and exiting them takes about a thousand presses of the B button. Same with exiting shops. Still, the game is very playable and would pass as a sub-par RPG back in the Genesis' heyday. It's better than, say, Traysia.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/wukong05.jpg
The menu will make your eyes bleed when trying to find a certain item.

Wrap up:
The game certainly isn't broken, but it can really be tedious at times. The graphics aren't as nice as Beggar Prince, but it is a hell of a lot less buggy. Beggar Prince had many game-breaking bugs that were not fixed. Wukong only reset on me once a few seconds after I saved. There is only one misspelling in the game (rediculous instead of ridiculous). The game doesn't have a clock or timer, so I can't guess how long it will take you to play through it, but my guess is around 20-30 hours or so… or about half of the time it spent in development in whatever loser third world country it was made in. Remember, countries like that only exist to make us feel better about ourselves, and I feel damn good right now!

eastx
10-02-2010, 05:19 PM
Speaking of misspellings...

Buy purchasing Wukong, you are directly financing breadcrumb payments and murdered family members.

Very interesting review! Sounds like you suffered a lot for all of our sakes. :)

Joe Redifer
10-03-2010, 03:23 AM
My excuse is that I was thinking of the definition of "buy" while attempting to write "by".

Joe Redifer
10-18-2010, 04:19 AM
Ginga Fukei Densetsu Sapphire
7.7/10
TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/sap_box.jpg
You play as one of four bitches.
This is the closest you'll ever get to a girl.

Most people just call this game Sapphire for short and that is how I'll refer to it from here on. This is a review I've been meaning to do for a while. I captured the images a few years ago with my CD-R copy of the game. I recently acquired a high-quality bootleg version as the real deal goes for anywhere between $300 and $500 on a good day. The bootleg I have is an actual pressed disc with a high quality case, insert and even a spine card thingy, so no more CD-Rs! Sapphire is a vertical shooter in the spirit of Gate of Thunder and Lords of Thunder (which were horizontal shooters). It was released in limited quantities by Hudson Soft in the mid-90's near the end of the PC Engine console's life in Japan. It also requires the Arcade Card to play. The Arcade Card slides in to the PC Engine to boost system RAM to 18 megabits which was absolutely unheard of at the time (that's more than the main RAM of the original Playstation, suckas!) Most of the best PC Engine/Turbo CD-ROM games only used 2 megabits of RAM. The Sega CD had 6 fragmented megabits of RAM. Going straight to 18 from there was pretty ballsy but we got some faithful conversions of a few shitty Neo Geo fighters and this great game as a result.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/sap01.png
This is the title screen.
Pretty standard stuff here.

Story: NA/10
Who cares?

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/sap02.png
Anime cut scenes try to pump you up, but
they are a bit lackluster, surprisingly.

Graphics: 8.8/10
The graphics really benefit from the extra memory. There are tons of prerendered animations, scaling, "polygons", rotation, morphing and the like. It really is a sight to see and play. I did knock a bit off of the graphics score since this is not the best looking Turbo game artistically as far as colors and detail are concerned as this game features mostly cold, metal-looking graphics and very little in the way of lush landscapes. Multiple layers of scrolling and some unique warping effects to simulate flying over a building are really cool to see. There is minimal flicker and I don't recall any slowdown. One thing that does bug me is that when you shoot enemies, especially bosses, they tend to flash as they get hit and the flashing is so severe that you cannot appreciate the detail in said enemies. It is very annoying.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/sap03.png
That's what she said.

Sound: 8.5/10
The music is fantastic for the most part as it was composed and performed by the same dudes that gave us the awesome soundtrack for Lords of Thunder. You'll hear plenty of screaming guitars and great melodies that will make you want to crush the music into weak MP3s to enjoy on your iPod or other portable media device. Unfortunately the game is pretty short so there isn't a ton of music, but what is there is absolutely worthwhile. Better than Bob Dylan? Absolutely. Pretty much all videogame music is, though. The sound effects, on the other hand, are atrocious. The shooting sounds are very loud, primitive and abrasive. They are very annoying to listen to and can often drown out the music. There is no option to turn the sound effects down. I wonder if they played this game with the sound on before releasing it? It's like the sound designers said "Here are your sound effects"" and the music guys said "Here is your music" and the people in charge said "OK they sound good to us, put 'em in and ship it" without ever bothering to listen to what the two sounded like together. Still, the music makes it worth it.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/sap04.png
Fans of the Atari 2600 and SNES aren't forgotten
as some blocky graphics appear from time to time!

Gameplay: 7.5/10
This plays as your average vertical shooter. You have weapons that can be powered up, a bomb and a charge attack that automatically charges when you are not shooting. You can collect 3 types of different weapons and choose from 4 different ships as well. The game features two-player simultaneous action, but only local co-op is supported. Player two can drop in at any time. The biggest flaw in the game is that there are only 5 levels and they are all fairly short. Granted, I don't need a game that is 90 hours long like the lot of you, but even to me this one seems pretty short. I also found myself wishing my ship was just a wee-bit smaller as is it really easy to run into things and difficult to avoid others. I guess that adds to what challenge is there, but I did wish for that multiple times while playing. The game is a good overheard shooter, but it doesn't rank up there with the greats like MUSHA or Galactic Attack. Both Gate of Thunder and Lords of Thunder are better games, but this is still a really cool game to have in the library.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/sap05.png
I'm not sure what this thing is supposed to be.
Just another randomly-designed boss in a shooter.

Wrap up:
If you have the means to play this game, it is definitely worth acquiring a cheap bootleg if you can. Remember that you will need either a PC Engine or a TurboGrafx-16 capable of reading Japanese games, an Arcade Card (this is why it needs to be able to read Japanese games… to run this card) and a CD-ROM system. There are two kinds of Arcade Cards as well, a Pro and a Duo. Get the Duo if you have a Duo system (that card is slightly cheaper). The Pro will work with any setup. It is really cool to see the system do such cool tricks. It really is a testament to the power of the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 which was so overlooked in the US that is makes me ill. To hell with you all for not letting this system be more popular. It's all YOUR fault! Well, if you had money back in the late 80's and/or early 90's that is. If not, then it is all your dad or uncle's fault!

eastx
10-18-2010, 05:50 AM
Needs... more... screens!

Anyway, thanks for the review. I don't know why I didn't buy this game when it came out since I had a Duo, an Arcade Card, Strider, both Fatal Furies and Art of Fighting. I had forgotten who did the soundtrack - now I really have to hear that.

Joe Redifer
10-18-2010, 07:01 PM
I uploaded two examples of the music in the Awesome Game Music Thread. You can view the relevant post HERE (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showpost.php?p=543143&postcount=115).

Seraph
10-25-2010, 06:19 PM
Boy do I miss old anime characters like that.

Not that I'll probably ever get the chance to play Saphirre since I don't own a TG-16 CD, don't plan on getting one, and Nintendo gave up on the virtual console thing. I would probably buy Lords of Thunder before I tried this out anyways.

Goodness do I love TG-16CD music though.

eastx
10-25-2010, 09:33 PM
You could play Turbo Duo games on PC easily. Magic Engine is only $30 and there's also a freeware emulator.

Joe Redifer
10-25-2010, 09:48 PM
Virtual Console was canceled altogether?

Paper exe
10-26-2010, 04:11 AM
Boy do I miss old anime characters like that.

Not that I'll probably ever get the chance to play Saphirre since I don't own a TG-16 CD, don't plan on getting one, and Nintendo gave up on the virtual console thing. I would probably buy Lords of Thunder before I tried this out anyways.

Goodness do I love TG-16CD music though.

Nintendo gave up on VC!?
I did notice that no new game released for like a year yesterday but didn't know they stopped it. Can you please give me more details about this.

Seraph
10-26-2010, 07:26 AM
You could play Turbo Duo games on PC easily. Magic Engine is only $30 and there's also a freeware emulator.Seems like too much trouble for just a so-so shmup. Like I said, I'll buy LoT before I ever seek this out.Virtual Console was canceled altogether?Nintendo gave up on VC!?
Not officially, but it's as good as dead. They release one game every month or so and it's usually not that great. This month we got Mystic Quest, woo hooo! :indiff:

eastx
10-27-2010, 10:45 PM
Seems like too much trouble for just a so-so shmup. Like I said, I'll buy LoT before I ever seek this out.

Well, yeah, Lords of Thunder is also a Turbo Duo game, and it's great. Plus Gate of Thunder all the many, many fantastic Turbo-CD/Duo games that're out there...
My point was Magic Engine can play original CD games, so as long as you have a decent controller (like the Saturn PC controller that we all love or an Xbox 360 controller), it's as good or better than playing on the real system.

If you get a classic gaming itch, it's a great idea to collect Duo games. :)

Joe Redifer
10-28-2010, 05:26 AM
it's as good or better than playing on the real system.
Umm, no. It's close, but it's not perfect.

eastx
10-28-2010, 12:33 PM
Ah, my bad. Does it have any specific shortcomings? Video-wise, it'd look way, way better than the normal composite video output of a Duo. I'd also imagine the loading times would be less since the Duo used a 1X CD-ROM (I believe).

Joe Redifer
10-28-2010, 03:43 PM
The PC Engine/etc composite video was actually pretty good. And unless you take the computer video and output it to a regular SDTV via a component connection in 240p (which no graphics cards can do, as far as I know), then it won't look better. I don't like the way emulator video looks on a computer monitor, even with filters. My personal TurboGrafx-CD Interface unit takes the RGB from the system and outputs it that way and I convert that into proper component so it looks pretty damn nice. Also, the system generated sound is close, but not quite perfectly there. The emulation on the Virtual Console is just awful. The best emulator is Mednafen or something like that and it is a fucking bitch to use!

GrantXP
12-13-2010, 07:27 AM
Virtual Console is the worse thing ever! Don't even bother with the whole thing. I am a very frudtrated boy with Nintendo right now. They should ditch it!!!

On the review front... only read Bayonetta. I don't agree with the score but the game isn't for everyone.

Paper exe
12-13-2010, 08:23 AM
I think it is a great idea if it done right. I got that vision of what VC should be. It just too long and awesome to be posted.

GrantXP
12-13-2010, 09:39 AM
I have nothing but time...

Joe Redifer
02-01-2011, 03:15 AM
Pier Solar
9/10
Sega Genesis

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar_box.jpg
The packaging is astounding, truly.
Yours may vary, but it will still be awesome.

"Pier Solar and the Great Architects" is a brand-new, made from scratch RPG for your Sega Genesis/Mega Drive video game console. It was made by some guys who call their team "Watermelon". Basically, a couple members of the group learned them some code, recruited a few others from various game forums to help and made this game. That's pretty much the entire story of the development from beginning to end. The game exists as a real cartridge playable only on real systems (not cheesy emulators) at this time. Despite being made by amateurs with no budget, I was often fooled into thinking that this was a real game released by a high-budget company back-in-the-day as I played. It's that good! You'd think it's a real, official game made by professionals as well… most of the time. Oh, and this game has 64 MEGA POWER. That's twice the size of any US-released SNES game and the biggest cartridge game ever released on a 16-bit system outside of the Neo Geo.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar1.jpg
Here is a typical battle scene. You will ruthlessly murder many baby turtles in your quest.
I'm surprised you don't murder kittens and puppies!

Story: 8/10
Typical RPG fare here for the most part. You don't start out with the intention of saving everything that could possibly exist, you just want you some plants for your sick dad. But as you go out to get the special plants to get rid of his chronic diarrhea, you stumble upon some shit (not literally, though you do wander through the woods). One thing leads to the next and before you know it you need to kick some serious ass in order to set things right. While the game doesn't begin with a clearly set goal that you must carry through to the end, you never lose sight of what you must do. In other words, it's not vague like the first half of Chrono Trigger is. I didn't have any issues with the story, the writing or the individual characters. I sometimes had problems remembering certain character's names when pressed to do so since they aren't your typical Bob, Jim or even Jimbob. But whenever a character was mentioned onscreen, I knew who they were talking about so I'm not completely hopeless. Another plus with this game is that our lead character, Hoston, is not mute! He has plenty to say. He has an actual personality whereas lead characters in RPGs that remain mute do not. This, in my opinion, allows for much better character development of the entire party as well as other characters in the game. I did not notice any typos in the game at all.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar2.jpg
Well drawn cut scenes appear periodically, though the main character in the game looks like two different
people at times compared to his battle avatar. The writing has its moments of humor (not seen here).

Graphics: 8.8/10
I really don't know where to start here. I guess I'll start by saying that this is an RPG for a 16-bit system and those are the types of graphics and effects you can expect. That said, the graphics are mostly wonderful. There is a ton of detail, both IN YO FACE and subtle. A couple of the maps can look a bit tile-ish in appearance, but they really only stand out due to the excellence with the rest of the graphics. The sprites look and animate very well, and this includes the enemies of which there are many cool-looking ones. The battle scene graphics and menus couldn't be laid out better. The characters all have their displays at the bottom of the screen and it is easy to see anyone's status in battle. Colors are used very well in general. Characters get darker in the shade and brighter in the sunlight through the use of new space-age technology. There could probably be a slightly larger variety of enemies, but that's really only a minor quibble for me. It may be a bigger issue for others. There are some palette-swapped enemies here and there, but not so much that your very intelligence is insulted. There are some really cool effects here and there when you use special attacks and magic. And of course there is the obligatory MODE 7 stuff thrown in just like you'd expect with any SNES game… yet this most definitely isn't a SNES game. There are a decent amount of well-drawn cut scene stills which look impressive because anime-style artwork usually looks horrible when handled by anyone outside of Japan. This stuff looks legit. There are no animated cutscenes, though.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar3.jpg
A town scene! This bitch is complaining about being only one of two women in a town
full of alcoholic men. The other woman is straight and has a kid so she is a milf, not a lesbo.

Sound: 8.5/10
The sound effects for this game are standard fare, perhaps even a tad below average. Nothing special going on with the effects. In fact I was kind of disappointed that the team substituted a stock white-noise sound effect for the noise made when going in and out of doorways compared to the excellent footstep like sounds that existed in the demo of two years ago. The music, on the other hand, is fantastic for the most part. It fits the game very well and really sets the mood. The battle tunes are particularly good and that's a good thing because you'll battle more than a couple of times throughout the game. The music doesn't sound as good as it could, however. The instruments chosen sound kind of abrasive in places and not on par with better-sounding Genesis games. The sample rate of the drums seems very low. Don't let this discourage you as you won't be plugging your ears by any means. It is very well done for the most part, but I think the Genesis can sound much better. If you have a Sega CD attached to your Genesis, you can download and burn a CD-R which features streaming versions of the music plus a few ambient sound effects here and there. The music sounds extremely professional and and raises the enjoyment of the game even more. It's not redbook audio, but streaming data processed internally by the Sega CD itself. One caveat about doing it this way is that the sound is shifted towards the left speaker. It is not balanced properly. It's not a deal-breaker by any means, but it is a bit distracting. I have noticed this same effect in other people's Youtube videos of the game, so it's not just my setup. I have heard, however, that there are a few models (like the Sega CDX unit) where this does not happen. I have not investigated this myself, but if this is the case, then there is a flaw in the program that was written which runs the PCM audio as it should be the same on all systems. There are no voices or vocal effects in the game.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar4.jpg
Another battle scene, though slightly overexposed (all pictures were taken directly off of my TV).
The menu above rotates around for quick selections among battle options. Here you murder plant life.

Gameplay: 8.7/10
It's a JRPG. Your goal is to advance from one place to the next while fighting battles in between. You know the drill. Pier Solar doesn't venture very far from the 16/32-bit JRPG norm in this case. The menus are all handled very well and you get a description of what each item in your inventory is for or what it does. I greatly appreciate this as it can be very useful during battles. The control of the characters is also done very well. You can move at a typical RPG pace or you can hold down a button to make your characters run! I love that! You can even set it up so that your characters are always running unless you hold down the same button to walk. Everything moves and feels very smooth aside from some tiny slowdown here and there. The game is extremely fun to play and very involving. There are only a couple of spots to get bored and not everyone will get bored at said spots. Usually you are eager to see what every NPC (non playable character) has to say and what every house/building holds inside. There are a few optional side-quests and there are treasure chests that you cannot open unless you revisit them later in the game with newer skillz. The game does a lot to keep you interested. The battles are slightly interesting in that they have a feature called "Gather". You can collect gather during battle by choosing it from the menu. You will not attack, use magic or defend when doing this. Once you have enough gather, your attack strength and magic effectiveness increase. Certain attacks and spells require a set amount of gather to use. You can have up to 5 levels of gather, but you can only sustain 4 (once you get to level 5, you need to use it right away or it goes back down to 4). Members can give other members some of their gather or if you need it for a certain attack, you can take it from another member who has enough gather to give you. There are also items that can give multiple levels of gather in just one round to help you out. It's an interesting concept. Characters take one turn attacking each round and then settle back where they started. Players can be moved back or forth and they will be less likely to get hit when they are in the back. The battles can be fun and they can be tedious, it just depends on what you are doing. The battles are random and the encounter rate isn't too overwhelming, but there is a spell you can get just around midway in the game to reduce the level of encounters for a while. There is also an item which ensures you can run from any battle. But despite the developer's comments to the contrary, I find that grinding helps a lot.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar5.jpg
The game knows how awesome it is to have a COMPLETE package.
Who are the dicks who throw away the boxes and manuals, anyway?
Now we know where they end up...

Parts of the game are diabolical, though. As a result there are parts which can be extremely frustrating. There is one part fairly early in the game where you are clicking switches to activate floating transports. You click a switch and you see two transports go somewhere. Unless you chase the second one, you will never know that it hides itself behind a supposedly solid wall and the game cannot progress until you find it. There are also a few puzzles that resemble the box-moving game Sokuban midway through the game. I hate Sokuban-style games, but they give the developers a giant hard-on. The part most people complain about is slippery blocks which you can slide off of if you are not careful. I found this part to be very easy because I am super 1337. However there are other parts of the game where there is no chance to rest your characters and you must go on and on and on before you get the chance. They went out of their way to make certain aspects hard instead of challenging. There can be a fine line between the two. One aspect that boggles most players is how the game saves work. You are allowed to save at any time, but you will be placed right outside the last doorway you came through. If you get a chest in that same room and immediately save (which the game lets you do), you will not have that chest when you load the game from that point. You have to walk through a doorway again before the save will take effect. It is explained a bit in the manual, but I am of the belief that the game should be mostly self-explanatory in regards to such things. Those are my quibbles with this otherwise excellent game. My playthrough clocked in around 27 and a half hours, but in reality it was more because I restarted from previous saves a few times and the final boss encounter (which is long) does not calculate into that time. I also had my characters run everywhere, so my time was reduced as a result.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar9.jpg
There are a few minigames you can find/unlock as well.

Wrap up:
I would complain about certain things, like "just another anime character" and whatnot. But the thing is that this game was made by amateurs basically all living in different countries who have never met face to face. This game is an AMAZING achievement. The fact that this original game exists is one thing, the fact that it is so well made is another altogether. Also keep in mind that this is the first game ever made by Watermelon. I've never seen such a professional first effort by any developer even when they had official Sega dev kits. This really is worth your time to play if you have a working Sega Genesis or Mega Drive system (it's region free). As of this writing, it is currently sold out, but a new batch will go on sale soon over at Pier Solar's web site (http://www.piersolar.com/) (don't worry, these guys are legit). Basically what they do is ship 'em out in giant batches. So you buy the game (which is basically just pre-ordering your copy) and wait until it ships. The game has sold in the vicinity of 3,000 copies so far which no other homebrew has ever matched that I am aware of… certainly not for game consoles, anyway. Anyway, this is a great RPG and a great game, period. I am proud to own it. Go get it and love your Sega!

A couple of years ago, there was a public beta released of this game that could be played on real hardware via a flash drive or on any functional emulator so people could try out the game. There have been significant changes to the game since the beta. For one, the screen now scrolls much more smoothly and the battles (and enemies) have been 100% revamped. From what I can see, very little remained the same. They weren't just sitting on their asses all this time, they were making the game as good as they could. Here are some comparison shots:

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar6.jpg
They changed the font (thank Holy Science) and made Hoston's mom look like much less of a bitch.
Most importantly, however, is the addition of a giant, out of control tree growing inside.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar7.jpg
The first town has changed graphically for the better. The version on the left is a virtual eyesore in comparison.
The townspeople also took advantage of the extra time the game delay caused as they built an addition onto their house (right).

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/piersolar8.jpg
Guess who got a boob job?


.

camac
02-01-2011, 04:51 PM
That sounds awesome, but will us genesis less losers ever be able to play it?

eastx
02-01-2011, 07:56 PM
Wow, I'm tempted to get this. Looks great. Thanks for the heads up!

Joe Redifer
02-01-2011, 10:27 PM
That sounds awesome, but will us genesis less losers ever be able to play it?

It's possible. It may end up on the PSN Store and the Xbox Live Home Shopping Channel. It will NOT end up on Wii Virtual Console or WiiWare because Nintendo is evidently big bitches, but MS and Sony are much more developer-friendly. I know Xbox 360 and PS3 releases are being pursued (not sure about PSP), but no concrete info yet.

GrantXP
02-02-2011, 12:35 AM
Great review, I herd aboutthis an think it is great that little developers are developing games like this. A 360 release would be tricky because surely they would want to change the textures to HD. but for a genesis game if only they had released it 20 years ago they could have been millionaires. With console budgets as they are today the great stories of 'a guy in his bedroom' are virtually impossible to recreate!

Icarus4578
04-07-2011, 06:48 AM
Of course I've read all of your reviews Joe. No need to ask.

Pier Solar looks promising but I've heard mixed reviews so I never invested much attention. But since I'm on the subject of old-school, apparently the Streets of Rage remake has finally been completed after 8(!) years in development for PC and is free to DL (just over 200MB). Also, check out Minitroid for an interesting diversion if little else.

Keep blazing.

Alucard
04-07-2011, 06:59 AM
I see an Icarus! Quickly grab him!

Icarus4578
04-07-2011, 07:09 AM
No way! *Psychic evasion skills!*

Alucard
04-07-2011, 07:40 AM
Cheating whore!

Icarus4578
04-07-2011, 07:46 AM
If the shoe fits, wear it, baby!

Joe Redifer
04-07-2011, 02:34 PM
Pier Solar is only $45 and that includes the (slow) shipping. Get it while you can. I think you'd like it, Icarus, just as long as you have some patience in some parts. There is one guy who has gone through it trying to run from every battle he can and has made it over halfway through the game so far and is only at level 3 or 4. There is also a GameFAQs guide up now in case you run into a WTF moment.

Icarus4578
04-07-2011, 06:48 PM
Yeah, well, the only problem with that is that RPGs take time and I don't have as much these days. Furthermore, I've stored my Genesis well away so it would be a chore to dig it out and set it up. Let's just say that I'm content with watching a couple of 'preview' videos of new stuff and not even bothering, sadly. Rare is the occassion that I purchase a new game. My Wii and X360 just sit there occupying room (I didn't even purchase them; they were gifts).

I hope you've been doing ok. Sorry if I struggle with my words; I don't quite know what to say. You were always entertaining. In fact I very much doubt that I would've kept up doing all those reviews without your input (and everybody else). Gearhound, Drunken Savior, Seska, Paper, Sinful Sam, and so many others. Man, 110 pages. That's no small feat! Kudos for such dedication.

Things seem to have settled down as far as debating goes; not as many trolls around here as there used to be. Heh, I certainly did some trolling of my own on occasion. All those feuds over Sony vs Nintendo = huge waste of time. Nowadays it's pointless to debate such things. You can find good software everywhere these days: game consoles, portables, PC, phones, etc. It's truly become a mass media industry. Arrrgh, too many choices!

zechin
04-07-2011, 06:59 PM
That's what she said.

Joe Redifer
04-07-2011, 09:14 PM
The only excuse for not having enough time is to have a wife and a baby and even then it is still no excuse! I bet you went and got yourself a girlfriend, didn't you? And she always wants to "do things". Tell her to stop that and you'll pay attention to her when you are good and ready! I bet that's what happened to Gearhound.

Paper exe
04-08-2011, 01:46 AM
THANKS icarus. I love you too! <3 <3 <3



@ Joe. strange. Over here guys are the once who want to "do things" with their women.

Either way some of you people need to learn how to deal with these kind of situation. Make her take care of the baby, make food and make her visit her parents everyday to help them out. And most importantly encourage her or even make her take a job.

Even with my sweet loving innocent heart I cannot stand spending so much time with anyone. Doing so is asking for trouble.

Icarus4578
04-08-2011, 05:30 AM
Joe, it was right after the last generation of consoles that I woke up and realized: If I expended the same amount of money & time this generation as the last, there'd be little free time to do anything else, not to mention a (massive) hole in my wallet.

When you're younger, you have the luxury of having various hobbies, hanging out with friends, doing recreational stuff, leisure time, etc. You can just rush through hardships and pretty much do whatever you want, but time has a way of doing unexpected things so you've gotta stay on your toes; other things begin to take priority in your life.

Paper, you realize that I'm a guy, right? Don't be fooled by my sensual way of typing.

Alucard
04-08-2011, 05:56 AM
I have stuff all time to play games. I mean it took me almost 3 months to complete mass effect 2. Not having enough time doesnt mean I'm going to stop playing. Just move at a snails pace.

Havoc2049
04-08-2011, 12:31 PM
I'm married, have friends and other hobbies, work around 50 hours a week and still find time to game. Sometimes it is only 30 minutes a day, sometimes up to three or four hours. It all depends on what commitments I have each day and I also hardly watch any TV.

Joe Redifer
04-08-2011, 01:57 PM
Not watching TV definitely helps! Anyway, there is no need to delve into the current generation of games. I play far more old school stuff and have much more fun with it than current generation stuff. That doesn't mean that one, maybe two good current-gen games don't come out each year though. Just like movies, the older stuff is usually better.

Icarus4578
04-09-2011, 05:54 AM
Alucard & Havoc, let's put it this way. Someone gave me that new Donkey Kong Wii as a gift for Christmas. It's still in its shrink wrap. The most recent game I've played is Mushihimesama Futari but that's a quick playthrough anyway.

Besides working like a madman, I also have to take care of things around the house, my family, etc. Old-school gaming is good but only when it's something that can be played in like 15 minutes or so. Once the new Zelda hits I'll have to make time for that, but that's an exception to the norm (I mean, c'mon, it's Zelda).

Joe, believe me, TV isn't getting in the way of anything -- I don't have time for that either. I'll put on a movie every now and then. Speaking of which, you must acquire Undisputed III: it's great fun all the way through. I think you'd enjoy it. Old-school games are great occasionally; I can still plow through stuff like Super Punch-Out! or Strider. As long as the ride is short and sweet.

Moreso than anything, the gaming industry shot itself in the foot by becoming too mass market, i.e. trying to appeal to everybody. The curse of microtransactions did nothing to cure that perception -- yet another means of milking gamers' wallets. Remember those old ads where they would talk about feeling as though you should be inserting quarters into a slot on your Genesis/SNES? Well, it happened, except now you insert your credit card # and they take $5-10. What kind of rip-off BS is that?

Ah well, I don't need to worry about it since it doesn't affect me. :P

Paper exe
04-09-2011, 10:01 AM
Can I suggest having a new family and job?! As the one you currently have clearly suck and have some serious issues.

Alucard
04-09-2011, 11:07 AM
Paper is always correct. He's a judge you know.

Havoc2049
04-09-2011, 11:21 AM
Can I suggest having a new family and job?! As the one you currently have clearly suck and have some serious issues.

:lol: Too funny!

Icarus4578
04-09-2011, 12:26 PM
Yeah, Paper is correct, as always.

Perhaps I worded it too harshly; it's not really my family that's at fault. It's simply that things outside of gaming occupy most of my time.

Anyway, enough about that.

Joe Redifer
04-09-2011, 02:03 PM
I'd never want a life where the entire thing is RUSH RUSH RUSH BUSY BUSY BIZZY! I'd feel like I was wasting it.

Einhander
06-29-2011, 01:38 AM
I am now very interested in JB Harold Murder Club

Joe Redifer
06-29-2011, 01:41 AM
Damn right, you should be.

Kiuju2k
07-12-2011, 07:14 PM
Yeah I would normally post in this thread, but I need some kind of video representation.

Joe Redifer
07-13-2011, 03:20 PM
A video representation of JB Harold? Watch the UnderRated: The TurboGrafx-16 episode on Game Sack.

Joe Redifer
11-23-2011, 05:03 AM
Super Mario 3D Land
7.5/10
Nintendo 3DS

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/mario3dbox_box.jpg


Story: 0/10
Bowser kidnaps the princess again. Can't you come up with something a bit more original than this shit, Nintendo? Can't you at least pretend like you're trying? Sure, your fans will buy your games no matter what you do because they don't know any better, but throw us a bone here, will you? Bowser is not evil and not even menacing. He's incompetent at best. Put in a new enemy like Dick Cheney or George W. Bush. And don't make them kidnap the princess (who isn't even worth saving). Make is so only Mario can save us from the scary terrorists and welfare reform. Oh, and make Mario black.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Mario3D_1.jpg
Scenes like this are the ones that rely on 3D. But even if you're playing in 2D, you can rotate the camera around
to see where the blocks really are. So even if you only have one working eyeball, don't be afraid to play this game.

Graphics: 7/10
The graphics are nothing special. They're just in 3D. Contrary to what you may have heard or read, playing in 3D is NOT NECESSARY at any point in this game. Can it be helpful? Somewhat, I suppose, but never needed. It looks like you would expect a Mario game would look. Nothing the PSP couldn't do 7 years ago.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Mario3D_2.jpg
This is one of the few stages that actually looks pretty good, but it's also the hardest stage in the game... at least it seemed to be for me.
I never really understood auto-scrolling in platform games. Mario dies if he goes off camera? What the hell?

Sound: 4/10
Same old shit here. Does famous children's music composer Koji Kondo have cancer or something? Because he keeps recycling the same crap we've been listening to since the later half of the 1900's. He put forth no effort, that asshole. If there was any new material here, I sure didn't notice it. Also, Mario is still a chatterbox. Take a cue from Link and shut the fuck up you tampon.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Mario3D_3.jpg
There are 2 or 3 ghost houses in this game. Here Kirby chases you while platforms appear. Nothing new.

Gameplay: 7.5/10
The gameplay is extremely familiar in that it's a 3D Mario game... presented in 3D, no less. The problem here is that it desperately wants to be a 2D Mario game. For example, you must hold down a button to run. That is extremely odd in a 3D Mario game especially when the analog stick is supposed to control your speed... except that it doesn't. I've never been a fan of the "hold down a button to run" based gameplay. I find myself ALWAYS holding the button down and that is downright uncomfortable, especially with the micro-buttons on the 3DS (they are every bit as tiny as the buttons on the Wii controller. Yes they are THAT small!! Ridiculous, I know). I would rather press the button to move more slowly as that would be the more rare occurrence and definitely acceptable. Anyway (singular), you wander through your typical Mario stages with the same enemies as before. Maybe a few new ones like the snakes with question mark blocks. Nothing tremendously new here except that you can sometimes look through a viewer to see the stage ahead. Wow. Instead of stars you are collecting coins this time. Fortunately you can get all of the coins in one go and don't have to play the stage 3 times to get all 3 coins. Still, I found myself annoyed when I had to backtrack just to get more coins because I didn't have enough to pay the entry fee on a certain area. I just wanted to finish the game as fast as possible because there really isn't anything that makes me want to continue playing it. It must not take much to please Nintendo and its fans. There is also a Streetpass thingy which allows you to get coins and mushrooms and stupid stuff like that. It doesn't add anything personal to the game at all and also requires someone other than yourself nearby to ACTUALLY OWN a 3DS. Good luck with that. Overall this game often seemed more like a Mario-themed chore than anything exciting or new. In fact, I'm not even sure Nintendo knows the definition of the word "new".

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Mario3D_4.jpg
World 5 shows a glimmer of creativity with this Zelda-themed stage. Unfortunately that glimmer fizzles out pretty quickly.

I tried playing in 3D but you have to keep the 3DS absolutely still to accomplish this. Move it even in the slightest and everything gets out of whack. Suddenly you find yourself desperately trying to re-center the 3DS to get your non-blurred view back and this is all going on while you are playing. In frustration you will just say "fuck it" and throw the 3D slider back to 2D where it doesn't matter if you move your 3DS around. If you're going to have a 3D system, at least make it usable in 3D. I wonder what Nintendo was thinking putting a gyroscope and an accelerometer in the 3DS. That requires movement. Movement breaks the 3D unless you weld the 3DS and your head to some sort of post so that you never break your 3 degree viewfield. 2D is the best way to play the 3DS.

http://www.joeredifer.com/reviews/Mario3D_5.jpg
This castle requires 100 coins, but I can't get in yet because I only have 91 coins. Why doesn't Bowser just make the
entry fee like 6,000,000 coins or something like that? Nobody could ever enter and he'd win unchallenged. Dumbass.

Wrap Up:
Why did I buy another Mario game even though I knew it wouldn't have a chance of standing out in the crowd of other Mario games? Because I am a fucking idiot who does not learn. I keep buying this shit because my IQ is in the single digits. God damn it how does Nintendo get away with this? If any other company did this, they'd be shit on by gamers for all eternity. I guess something about Nintendo just makes people dumber than a fruit fly with Down Syndrome™. It's not that the game is bad, it's just that it's the same old shit. There's only one reason to buy this game and that's because there's fuck all else to buy on the 3DS. This game isn't a remake of some ancient N64 game, surprisingly. That right there is pretty amazing. Maybe Nintendo is finally starting to believe in the failure that is the 3DS by providing it with semi-original material?

zechin
11-23-2011, 08:16 AM
Definitely needs to be a Game Sack episode :haha:

Seraph
11-23-2011, 09:29 AM
I feel the same exact way about holding a button to run. I’ve played every Mario game with the B button held. Same thing for games like Mega Man.

I am also worried about the 3DS viewing angles. I really like the 3D effect and would prefer it be on at all times. I haven’t had the chance to play anything but 2 minute time wasters on my 3DS yet so I don’t know how much I’ll move around while playing something for hours. They really need a revision with a bigger viewing angle.

I’m asking Santa for ML3D so I will find out for myself this Christmas.

Alucard
11-23-2011, 01:16 PM
Awesome review!

Vicviper
11-23-2011, 05:19 PM
I have a lot of cheap deaths in the sense that I don't know where Mario's relation is to a platform. Don't tell me to look for his shadow because I do and usually there isn't enough time to correct before you go falling off the side of said platform.
A lot of troof to this review. Music sucks, Mario's voice is 100% annoying. Some of the levels are fun but most feel like there is no creativity left.
Still a fun game but I was hoping for more.....a lot more.

Joe Redifer
11-23-2011, 06:11 PM
I have the same problem with the cheap deaths even with the 3D on. Then suddenly I see myself fall behind a platform.

Icarus4578
11-24-2011, 01:31 AM
Yoshi's Island was the last truly perfect Nintendo platformer. Since then, nothing has come close to its creativity, stage design and fun factor. Galaxy 1 & 2 were fun, certainly moreso than Sunshine, but I didn't find myself going back to them afterwards.

I don't think it's a Nintendo problem so much as it is a Mario oversaturation problem. We really don't need a new Mario title every year. A new Punch-Out! or, dare we dream, Arcana would be very nice.

That was a fun review. Hey, you get what you pay for. If you're tired of Mario, why not check out Kid Icarus? That looks pretty spiffy. I dunno if the story will be any better than 'Save Althena from Medusa' but the game itself is a change of pace from the usual monotony.

Joe Redifer
11-24-2011, 03:27 AM
You mean Kid Icarus wasn't put on "indefinite hold"? There's only one other Icarus game (to my knowledge) and that's the original, so even if the story was exactly the same it wouldn't really be much of a strike against the game.

Icarus4578
11-24-2011, 09:14 AM
There was also one for the original GameBoy. Pretty good actually. The story in the new one should be better than merely rescuing Althena. Besides, I don't play KI for storyline; ditto for Mario.

Hmm, now that's got me thinking. What was the best story ever in a videogame? I loved Lunar 2's. Ys Book I & II was pretty good, especially the remakes for PC, and I really enjoyed VI. Dragon Quest IV, VI, VII, and VIII all had excellent storytelling. Funny enough, when I think of great story/plot, I don't think of Final Fantasy. The only FF with a truly memorable story was FFII on SNES. Although I haven't finished it yet, Skyward Sword has very nice storytelling, but aside from Zelda I'm not too impressed with Nintendo games' storylines.

Joe Redifer
11-24-2011, 04:39 PM
Nintendo can only come up with one storyline: Rescue the bitch who has been kidnapped.

Icarus4578
11-25-2011, 10:09 AM
Not so. SMB2, Yoshi's Island and Yoshi's Story don't require you to rescue a princess. Punch-Out!, Kirby, Star Fox, Metroid, etc. also don't have you saving damsels in distress. It's mainly centered around Mario titles and much of the Zelda series. Link's Awakening, from what I recall, had nothing to do with rescuing Zelda. Still a magnificent game, btw.

Princess Peach is just STUPID.

Dj Jimmi Zero
11-25-2011, 03:31 PM
Princess Peach is awesome, she even has her own game.

Alucard
11-25-2011, 04:08 PM
I've seen it. Princess Peach does Paris.

darren
12-17-2011, 06:45 PM
Peach is a right slut bag

Icarus4578
01-17-2012, 05:54 PM
I've been playing Mario on 3DS and so far I don't really have much of a problem with it save for the super-easy difficulty. The tried-and-true play mechanics hit the spot, at least they do for me, but then I'm not expecting every new Mario game to be some sort of revolutionary product. The last true breakthrough moment for Mario was Super Mario 64 -- every subsequent release has for the most part been a reiteration/mash-up of various styles and concepts employed in previous entries. It's unashamedly Mario and, I suppose, that's both good and bad.

eastx
11-19-2012, 09:45 AM
Joe, in the Famicom version of Altered Beast, you have to press up while in the air to do a high jump. Bam! Apparently that version has 3 new levels, not just one.

Just played the PCE Hu-Card port and dang, the second boss seems to be completely impossible to beat. There's no way to dodge or defeat enough eyes to avoid taking damage. :(

Joe Redifer
11-19-2012, 07:09 PM
You've gotta play the PCE CD version of Altered Beast (I now have a System Card 1.0 thanks to the Turbo Everdrive). It has a much more reasonable difficulty.

eastx
11-20-2012, 02:33 AM
I actually do own the CD version, so I'll probably give it a go via emulation.

Speaking of which, here's the article (http://www.co-optimus.com/editorial/1151/co-op-international-altered-beast.html) I wrote on the PCE Altered Beasts today. Not nearly as funny as yours, but I did borrow one of your screenshots since I didn't reach level 2 with 2 players.

Joe Redifer
11-20-2012, 07:02 AM
Cool article. That also reminded me to check out your Double Dragon Neon review again since we had a Double Dragon extravaganza on Game Sack this week.

Let me know if you ever want to sell that CD version, assuming it's complete with manual.

Paper exe
01-03-2013, 08:31 PM
Kirby dream land got the best story ever. i mean the evil king stole the whole planet food, whats worst and more important than that?!


and the twist that the evil king being actually a fake king is just pure genius. It still blow's my mind today.

javi
01-14-2013, 11:20 PM
I just looked back at your review of Mario 3D Land. I kind of forgot that of all the negative things your threw at this game, you still gave it a decent score of 7.5/10. Did I miss some of the good things you said about that game?

Joe Redifer
01-15-2013, 12:15 AM
Well the game itself is not a horrible game. It's just that it's the status quo. Like a paint-by-numbers Mario game.

Paper exe
01-15-2013, 12:47 AM
That because Joe Redifer got no taste that's why.

Sorry Joe truth must be told, hope you understand.

Joe Redifer
01-15-2013, 01:37 AM
I understand. I'll consider myself told.

Joe Redifer
07-30-2014, 04:14 AM
So Joe Redifer's Super Awesome Reviews will soon be appearing on the Retroware website which is www.retrowaretv.com . Looking to do releases every Tuesday. The reviews from here will be published on the site but I'll be changing any inside jokes that would otherwise appear very bigoted to people outside of out li'l forum group here and updating any dated humor. Don't worry I'll still be an asshole, I'll just be less of a dickish asshole. So now my reviews will be seen by more than a dozen people. Yay!

Paper exe
07-30-2014, 03:24 PM
congratz.