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Nem
03-09-2005, 08:13 PM
Well, ive been thinking about making a thread like this for a while now, but i decided to move on after seeing SavedFromSin's ambitious thread. Wich i will support of course and will help somehow by reviewing the Dune series books.
I myself will focus not only in videogames (mostly RPG's), but ill add anime and maybe some interesting manga's i come about reviews. I hope to have a slightly different focus from the other threads like this, besides expressing my own opinion on some games. Most Anime/Manga reviews will be of most recent works though.
Im pretty busy this semester, but im hopeful i can make a few reviews whenever i have the time. I hope you enjoy.

Navigation
Platform
Title - rating out of 10 | page

videogames
Saturn
Shining Force 3 Scenario 1 - 8 | p1

Mega Drive/Genesis
Sub-Terrania - 9 | p1

playstation
The Granstream Saga - 5 | p2
Suikoden 2 - 10 | p5 :clap:

Playstation 2
Star Ocean Till the End of Time - 6 | p3
King of Fighters Maximum Impact - 8 | p3
Suikoden 4 - 7 | p4
Mortal Kombat: Deception - 2 | p4
Onimusha 3 - 7 | p6
God of War - 8 | p7
Sonic Gems Collection - 2 | p8

Gamecube
Baten Kaitos: Eternal wings and the lost ocean - 7 | p7

Anime
Gundam SEED - 9 | p1
Scryed - 3 | p2
Genshiken - 9 | p4
Naruto - Daikatsugeki! Yukihime Ninpocho Dattebayo!! - 3 | p7

books
Dune - 10 | p1 :clap:
Dune Messiah - 6 | p2

Nem
03-09-2005, 09:12 PM
50 episodes

Gundam SEED

synopsis

The confrontation between the Earth Alliance (Naturals) and Zaft (Coordinators), which originated in economic friction, reached a stalemate. Ultimately, the two sides opted for the last resort of diplomacy - in other words, they went to war. Our story begins roughly a year later. Heliopolis, a resource satellite belonging to a neutral nation, is suddenly attacked by a Zaft mobile suit force. Their goal is to seize the Atlantic Alliance's newest Gundam mobile suits, which the Alliance has produced here amid total secrecy. The raid is successful, and Zaft captures four of the Gundams. Kira Yamato, a student at an industrial college, is drawn into the conflict when he is reunited with his old friend Aslan Zara. Tragically, Kira finds that his comrade Aslan and the other Coordinators are now his enemies. For patriotism's sake, Aslan sets out to defeat Kira. One against four... the battle of the Gundams begins!
Synopsis From Animenfo

Since this is my first review, im letting you know im mainly going to cover 5 aspects in my anime reviews: Animation, Art, Characters, Story and Sound. Of course my personal tastes also influence the final rating though.
So, this Gundam's story is very dramatic all the way, and starts by pulling us into the friend vs friend bravado. This is done progressively along the series leading obviously to an emotional confrontation. The plot has a few twists, even though these are predictable, but it makes a great portrait of the death an despair lived in the Gundam battlefield, leading to an epic final battle where anything can happen.
The characters are where the juice is though. A great variety of strong characters ranging from the cool and confident Mwu la Fraga, to the great character of Lacus Klein that evolves during the series from a "cute" type of character to the "inner strenght" (and in a way controlling) type of character. Id say Lacus is really a more central character than Athrun or Kira, since she is the one that actually makes their view grow in the right way. Kira and Fllays relationship falls into the more adult section of the series making it an obviously adult series. Expect to feel all kinds of emotion in the characters from love to despair. The Gundam's are all greatly entertaining and good looking. The Blitz's cloaking device was a great ideia and it should have been even more explored though. The base Zaft Djiins werent to my liking though. Too dull. Of course expect new even greater Gundam's to appear towards the end of the series - real fan favorite ones.
The art is from a new type of art seen in the recent Scryed anime, and honestly it doesnt impress me. Yet, it seems great to express the emotion on the characters eyes and expressions. Id say it isnt my favorite but its indeed effective.
The animation is also good. Dont expect long jaw breaking animation scenes though. There are a lot of cuts and the Gundam action scenes are repeated over and over just like in every other Gundam series, yet it gets the job done. The problem does get severe towards the later episodes, but youll already be so into the series that you wont care (or just ditched it completly already).
The soundtrack is good has well. Some of the intro musics are definite fan favorites and the emotional themes are also within tune, just has the action ones. Defenitly a good Soundtrack/s to have.
I personally enjoyed this series more than a bit even though this was the first Gundam anime i saw in its entirity. It should be a good title even for those that never really watched or cared to watch a Gundam show. Those that never liked it, probably wont start now though.

Rating 9/10

SavedFromSin
03-09-2005, 09:19 PM
do review science fiction because I do not read that at all. Most of my reading consists of classic and modern literature, poetry, etc. I look forward to seeing your reviews. :cool guy:

Nem
03-09-2005, 09:37 PM
Platform: Saturn

Genre: Startegy RPG

Shining Force 3 Scenario 1

Ah, the times when SEGA was still great^^. Camelot Software planning, best known for their recent work on Golden Sun and Mario Spin-offs used to work with SEGA back in the day, and what a combo that was. Shinning Force 3 is the proof of that.
SF3 brings back the classic SF battle system for its first 3D foray pushing the Saturn to its limits. Great special effects and a already great battle system allied to the classic political storyline that provided a few twists along the way, were the excuse for a journy through the SF universe. Centaurs, elfs, humans SF has it, give them their own specialty weapon and your entorage is in the way of battle. One of the great parts of this game is that you have a big party and they all show up in the battle field wich is great. Of course the game gets harder to make up for this, but here is where strategy and the utmostly pleasure is found in this title. What set this game apart was indeed the fact that it spanned 3 scenarios wich interlaped with each other. SEGA did start to show why they would start to suck in the future by not releasing the 2nd and 3rd scenarios leaving avid SF3 fans with a cliffanger ending.
The Soundtrack is one of the best pieces found on the saturn. Unfortunely it has to be bought aside from the game unlike most Saturn games that included the soundtrack in the game itself. Anyways, there are great tunes raging from classical shining themes rearranged to the new themes that have a sound close to that of Start Ocean the second story (even though its the other way around). An epic soundtrack that sets the mood and transpires the epic grandiosity of the journey. No melodramatic themes can be found here though, since there are no need for those. This is an epic journey and not a dramatic one. Of importance is also the character Art, that spans some great designs helping the player to connect with the characters ang give a more alive feeling to the small character models that obviously didnt span much in the face detail. Unfortunely all youll be seeing the main character say is "......" wich can be aggravating further down the journey.
So, while this is a game in its entirity would deserve max score, it was shot with a premature death. Anyways it still stands has a pinneacle of strategy RPGs and its miserable destiny also became its strong legendary status. We are still waiting SEGA...

Rating 8/10

Nem
03-09-2005, 09:43 PM
do review science fiction because I do not read that at all. Most of my reading consists of classic and modern literature, poetry, etc. I look forward to seeing your reviews. :cool guy:

Ill probably have the first one up tomorrow late night (GMT)^^

Messanic
03-09-2005, 09:50 PM
It's good to see more people give Gundam Seed the good word, have you seen Gundam Seed Destiny yet Nem?

Nem
03-09-2005, 10:23 PM
Im completely hooked :D im up to pace with the subs. The repeating "story so far" episodes are getting on my nerves though. But from what i read, things are gonna spice up in the next 3 episodes^^

Icarus4578
03-10-2005, 09:35 AM
I never got the chance to play Shining Force 3. Unfortunately, you didn't bring up the quality of the compositions. I've always wanted to hear the soundtrack to SF3.

Nem
03-10-2005, 09:52 AM
I remembered that today in class, and ill be adding it right away. Terrible flaw. Well im still a newb on this, im bound to have a few slips^^

Icarus4578
03-10-2005, 09:54 AM
I suppose that's true. You should keep a list of the important things on hand, if necessary. You'll inevitably find reviewing games to be worthwhile and to be a process for self-learning and educating yourself, and, hopefully, others as well.

Nem
03-10-2005, 10:01 AM
I actually did that with the anime, but went too freely with the game review^^ Ill keep that in mind, thx for the advice.

Nem
03-10-2005, 09:18 PM
Author: Frank Herbert

Dune

A beggining is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances correct. This every sister of the Bene Gesserit knows. To begin your study of the life of Muad?Dib, then, take care that you first place him in his time: born in the 57th year of the Padishah Emperor, Shaddam IV. And take the most special care that you locate Muad?Dib in his place: the planet Arrakis. Do not be deceived by the fact that he was born on Caladan and lived his first fifteen years there. Arrakis, the planet known as Dune, is forever his place.

And so, begins the Scince fiction Epic know has Dune. Considered by many the genre's response to "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy.
This title introduces us to the vast and wonderfull Dune Universe. A universe where space travels are not done in hyper space speeds but by the original concept of space folding (in short - teleport). This is done simply with the power of the Human mind enhanced by an intense psychic trance. Actually the pilots or drivers of such ships are physicly changed by the continued exposure to this trance, wich is only possible through a special substance - spice melange (spice for short). This substance can only be harvested in a hostile desert like world known as Arrakis, or Dune. This makes this hostile planet the most important planet in the universe. Of course, this is the basis for great disputes and fights, and therefore, it was decided that each Great Noble house would harvest Dune exclusively for 100 hundread years at a time (they would then have a large part of the harvestings but the bigger part would be given to the emperor and the Landsraad (wich is the league of all the Noble houses)) . And its in this climate that the first Dune novel starts. The Harkkonen House is ending its due 100years of harvest and House Atreides is set to take its place.
From here on the Harkkonen, in League with the Current Emperor of the Universe set out to bring ruin to House Atreides when this one takes its rightful harvesting place in Arrakis, by engineering a false theft from the Atreides bringing the whole Landsraad to bring ruin to it, and conveniently take their place has the harvesters of Dune once again. Among the Atreides, the son of the Current Duke (the Duke) and heir of house Atreides escapes the raid alongside his mother has the almost sole survivors after the Death of his father: Leto Atreides. and sets out to the unwelcoming Desert of Dune. This Book tells the story of this character: Paul Atreides, in his epic journey of Vengence, in wich he will discover that he is the long prophasised savior of the Fremen (the people that live in Dune): Muad?Dib. By rallying their help he will make waste of the Harkkonens, and become a semi-god by his deadly exposure to pure melange and take back what was taken from him and much more.
What makes this book so wonderful is in fact the freshness this title still even after 20 years or so of its release. The Dune Universe isnt supported in high-tech ans has such doesnt become obsolete with time like other titles of the genre. In fact machines are forbidden in the Dune universe since many thousands of years ago they had a terrible war with the thinking machines (yes matrix, bite the dust! This one was there much before you). Has such the importance given to the flesh and its moisture is given special attention in the Dune universe wich highlights its vital importance.
This Dune book also opened the basis of the series with ever involving conspirecies, mystic and politics that make it an imersive experience. You will want to follow Paul?s journey against odds, and how his profecy foretold his epic journey. The characters are very involving, but personally i enjoyed other titles in the series more in this aspect. Anyway, the basis set in this book highlights it has the best in the series. The Bene Gesserit sisterhood that aims to have their semi-god created by genetic manipulation, the mischievous Tleilaxu, the Suk Doctors, the giant Sandworms that inhabit Dune and whom the spice melange comes from, The survival culture of the Fremen, The houses Atreides, Harkkonen and Corrino and the special world of Dune meet their genesis in this work.
The author, Frank Herbert became popularly know with this work wich even won some awards at the time like the "Nebula" award. His writing can be considered high level, and its not surprising for the unprepared to have to reread some sections to really grasp the magnitude of the words. Many also seek to highlight the historical criticism of the work by comparing it to famous wars. Yet, i only see it like what it is: A science fiction fantasy world wonderfully created and the first and epic book of a series that would prove long but worthwhile. A must-read for fantasy/science fiction fans.

Rating 10/10

Nem
03-11-2005, 04:07 PM
Platform: Mega Drive / Genesis

Genre: 2D shooter

Sub Terrania


Back in the day, i bought this interesting but whom i knew nothing about shooter. Of course, after i plugged it in my console i was blown away. It was only today that i bothered to look at the box and discover that the developer of this master-piece belongs to a company by the name of Scavenger. I dont know much about 2D shooter developers but i did get the ideia i heard the name somewhere. Anyways lets get to the game itself.

This is not the typical shooter where you have dozens of enemies and enemy fire going at you at once. In this game strategy is of the essence since you have limited fuel to travel about. Also you can move freely through the environments instead of the usual pre-set path that marks the genre. So, the playability goes mainly by directioning the way in wich you will boost your ship and pointing her towards what you want to shoot. Also to make maters more interesting theres always a constant gravity force that slowly pulls your ship down. Obviously if you hit walls or try to land in an incorrect way, your shield will feel the heat has well has with enemy fire. So theres two ways to die in this game: taking damage while having no shield energy or running out of fuel. Obviouslu power ups to weapons, fuel podes and even ship railways appear to spice things up.

With all these elements in mind, the playabilty resumes itself to strategy (what path to take while spending the less fuel) and timing & aiming (to shoot thing down at first so you dont spend more fuel to get back into a good position). Its simple but incredibly enjoying and is ultimatly one of the strong points of the game. Yet, theres even more to it.
The graphics are wonderfully rich, portraing different textures in the caves walls, yet its the giant vegetation and wonderfully designed and textured enemies(from giant bugs to giant robots) and bosses (each beeing awfully big and interesting. For example the first boss wich is a 4 faced boss where you have to destroy the heads by order so you can kill it) that make this title truly unique. Also expect some nifty speacial effects in the main upgrades of you weapons. Not flashy but beautiful instead.
The presentation before the missions is also top notch with the classical green and black flasing screen showing the next areas map and objective (saving survivor, destrying outposts. That kind of thing.).

Where this game goes off the roof is in the soud department. Some incredible tunes for the hardware it was in that give off the feel of a mystic and abandoned/hopeless space station. Definitly top notch stuff that i have never yet again heard in another game. Definitly a soundtrack i wish i had. The story is of little importance and goes like this :
Aliens have invaded a vital subterranean mining colony. Use light speed reflexes and total concentration to fly your prototype fighter through impossible caverns rescuing miners and blasting the aliens into the darkest pits of space!

The fact is: this title is unique and definitly a sleeper hit of the Mega Drive/Genesis days. Never something like it has ever been created again that i know of. But, this game still holds strong besides the years that have gone by. A definite must-have that is problably out of the reach of most by now. Im surely a pround owner of a copy.

Rating 9/10

Paper exe
03-11-2005, 04:36 PM
Nem I thing your reivews are very good but the only problem that I have is that you only reviewed games/animes that you like.
all what I am asking is to review anything if you like it or not.

Nem
03-11-2005, 05:17 PM
Everything in its due time. The next book im gonna review is one i didnt like very much. I guess i do prefer to review and spread word on the products i love, but ill also take my chance to badmouth a few titles that let me down^^ Hmmm...that gives me an ideia for the perfect victim^^
And thanks for the compliment. I really tried in the last two reviews, im glad you liked them.

Nem
03-11-2005, 06:08 PM
26 episodes

Scryed


Synopsis

In the near future, an unexplained phenomenon has occured on a distant island called "The Lost Grounds", giving birth to a new species of human. These evolved humans, called Alter Users, can manipulate matter and reform (or alter) it into unique forms. On this remote island, those born inside a walled city are citizens, while everyone born outside live lawless lives in the badlands. In an attempt to keep the peace the police force HOLD along with the elite alter-user squad HOLY capture dangerous native alter users and offer them a choice... join HOLY or be imprisoned. After young native alter user Kazuma's run-in with HOLY, questions arise. Is HOLY really interested in the good of all, or is there some other motive behind their actions?
Synopsis from Animenfo

Scryed was the first title to make use of the Art style made famous by the Gundam SEED series. An unprepared viewer might think that the quality series of this style mightve started with Scryed, but in fact thats not the conclusion i came to at all.
The art is not bad, but it was much improved in Gundam SEED. The problem is, this kind of art that heavily enhances the dramatic feel of the characters completly works against this series.The author did try to give the series a few dramatic moments but it utterly failed due to the heavy focus on senseless fighting scenes. Dont be deceived into thinking that this title offers great animation fighting scenes though since that isnt the case. Fighting scenes? yes, a lot. Long or good quality animation? not at all. The animation is pretty average and apparently little does than deliver this series in working conditions. Characters are a waste of the Art style. The only memorable character would be the main character's sister, wich builds a lot of mistery around her, but ends up beeing of little importance.
Story? Well, i think there was something that would be called a story behind this, but it was all a lame excuse for more needless senseless fights. Actually the main character's (Kazuma) personality is has void has they come. Yes, he wants to protect his sister, but appart from that he just wants to pick fights. Extremely tiring.
The soudtrack isnt memorable at all. I didnt particularly like the opening or ending themes and to tell the truth i can think of any music track at all, of how forgettable the experience was. Actually, what sticked to me about this anime was the fact that i was tired when i finished watching it. I went well beyond the point where i couldnt see anymore fights. A forgetable experience. Good thing the Art style gained its deserved value with Gundam SEED and Fafner in the azure. Otherwise everything would be of little use in this series. Oddly enough its a very popular show, for reasons i cant fathom unless taste from senseless violence. Maybe its a lump of fresh air to some, but for me it was nothing but poluted smoke.

Rating 3/10

Icarus4578
03-12-2005, 08:23 AM
Nem ~ "Where this game goes off the roof is in the soud department. Some incredible tunes for the hardware it was in that give off the feel of a mystic and abandoned/hopeless space station. Definitly top notch stuff that i have never yet again heard in another game. Definitly a soundtrack i wish i had."

Damn. Now I've gotta go check this out.

Nem
03-12-2005, 02:18 PM
Platform: Playstation

Genre: Action RPG

The Granstream Saga

The granstream Saga was an RPG released in the first years of the PS life. What made it appeal to gamers? Well, not much actually. But lets get into detail on that.
At the time it came out, the graphics this game spanned were already pretty average. Nothing excessively bad, but the characters faces for example were nowhere to be seen in their 3D models. Gladly the Art made up for this. It was actually the best part of the title alongside the animation in the intro and some other pieces of the adventure. Everything is very manga/anime around this department, with no style to set it apart but nothing wrong with it has well. It was one of the first games that i played that used the floating islands type of world though, and that did earn it some points.
The main character was the brave kid style, but there were two main female parts. The classical "quiet, loving obediente style" and the "easily pissed off, violent but beatyful style". When you finished the game you actually had different endings depending on wich of the two you chose to save further in the game. I also remember a talking pet, that did the humorous parts (sort of like Nall in Lunar). The story didnt go off the roof. Very predictable, but the interaction with the secondary characters along the ride could prove fun.

The battle system was pretty basic. When you got close to an enemy, you would enter a battle mode, where you could choose to attack, defend or use magic. Everything pretty basic. No special difficulty, and actually the outcome of battle was ultimatly the result of the using of good armour. Even though not stellar, battles werent long and werent much of a bother. Unfortunely you only had use of the main character in battles (wich were only composed by the character in battle and the enemy), so it wasnt possible to try the secondary characters in battle.
Music, was also pretty average, but it was remeniscent of the 16bit era. Not in the good sense though. Pretty simple tunes, that didnt make your ears bleed, even though they had some good moments, but mostly passable stuff.

So, Mainstream was exactly the right word for this title. It was basically an anime like playable adventure, and thats why i enjoyed it. It has a Lunar feel, even though not anywhere has good. But, there really was nothing that set it apart.. besides, it was a short 30hour quest. But really, it woudve been bad to try and strech it any longer. Its value and its shortcoming was its simplicity. It wasnt a pain to do the game, but it didnt offer you anything else even if you tried to get more depth out of it.

Rating 5/10

Nem
03-12-2005, 02:21 PM
Nem ~ "Where this game goes off the roof is in the soud department. Some incredible tunes for the hardware it was in that give off the feel of a mystic and abandoned/hopeless space station. Definitly top notch stuff that i have never yet again heard in another game. Definitly a soundtrack i wish i had."

Damn. Now I've gotta go check this out.

It would only do you good in my opinion. I remember landing the ship just to do nothing else but listening to the music for a bit. :)

DeathStroke
03-12-2005, 04:49 PM
Actually the main character's (Kazuma) personality is has void has they come. Yes, he wants to protect his sister, but appart from that he just wants to pick fights. Extremely tiring.

That's funny because it's not even remotely close to what he was trying to do. He was teaching her to fend for herself and not to rely on him.

Nem
03-12-2005, 05:09 PM
Well he did defend her all the same did he not? Even if that wasnt exactly his ultimate goal, its what he did. Even if he wanted to get her to defend herself its just so he could pick more fights with an easier mind. Its all so tiring (to me).
Im noticing youre an Aone member Deathstroke. I like your group. It took guts to take on a project like Kyou Kara Maou. But it was worth it. Its a great series in spite the questionable nuances. :cool guy:

DeathStroke
03-13-2005, 12:34 AM
You have me mistaken for someone else. I'm not part of any anime sub fangroups. Don't even speak a lick of Japanese. And my sig, which was probably responsible for this misunderstanding, is horribly out of date.

Anyway, granted that yes, Kazuma went after his sister but it wasn't just to save her. He had other accounts to settle too and he wasn't about to let Ryuho steal the spotlight from him either. The thing I liked about Scryed was that the two main characters just completely ignored their love interests. Also, I thought the competition between Ryuho and Kazuma was done very well.

Nem
03-13-2005, 12:19 PM
Opps. youre right i misunderstood. Sorry about that :sweat: (its AonE, not AoE)

Well, my review was just my view of the series. Of course you are intitled to disagree. The whole easy fighting thing just ruined it for me.

Nem
03-17-2005, 07:56 PM
Ive been pretty busy lately so no reviews :crying:

next week ill have some free time though^^

my next reviews will be:
book
Dune Messiah


Games
Star Ocean Till the end of time
King of Fighters Maximum Impact


Anime
Genshiken

Nem
03-19-2005, 10:26 PM
Author: Frank Herbert

Dune Messiah

Such a rich store of myths enfolds Paul Muad?dib, the Mentat Emperor, and his sister, Alia, it is difficult to see the real persons behind these veils. But there were, after all, a man born Paul Atreides and a woman born Alia.
Their flesh was subject to space and time. And even though their ocacular powers placed them beyond the usual limits of time and space, they came from human stock. They experienced real events wich left real traces upon a real universe. To understand them, it must be seen that their catastrophe was the catastrophe of all mankind. This work is dedicated, then, not to Muad?dib or his sister, but to their heirs--to all of us.


And with that intro, were off to Dune Messiah.
With "Paul Atreides"--"Muad?dib" in the throne of Emperor, this book takes on the mission of following the various conspiracies against his reign and that of his sister. Paul?s great ocular powers allow him to sense future events and a crisis is starting to loom, but nothing that will be digged very deeply in this title. Actually, this book?s story proves to be little less than a prologue to the next volume in the series "children of Dune".
Has easily seen after reading the prologue i started with, this is a very philosophycal book. Theres little action, and the whole book revolves around a conspiracy to overthrow the current emperor and the attempt to stop the birth of Paul?s sucessors.
While it is good to revisit and re-experience characters thought to be lost, the fact remains that in the overall story of the series, this book has little to almost no weight at all. In this title you will find begginings but no real endings. In that way, it was useful but it wouldnt be much of a scandel if Frank Herbert had just leaped over to "Children of Dune". Word has it, that Frank scrapped many chapters from Dune Messiah, probably in an attempt to boost the work?s value, but the truth is it did little.
Of course, the literacy level in this book is very high; has is usual in Frank Herberts works. Of course, the more philosophycal works such has this are even more edged out. Not for the faint of words.
Theres really little to be said about this book, aside from the fact that it was an unworthy direct follow-up to the imense "Dune" and that it stacks up in the series has something little between the afore mentioned title and "Children of Dune" its follow-up. Nevertheless, it ironed some edges for the series to take off from, but it would be "Children" the book worthy of the "Dune" legacy. "messiah" is nothing more than a prelude.

Rating 6/10

Icarus4578
03-20-2005, 08:53 AM
"King of Fighters Maximum Impact"

I can't wait to see it! :cool:

gearhound
03-20-2005, 10:45 PM
i really enjoyed the grandstream saga. i would hardly call it mainstream though.

Joe Redifer
03-20-2005, 11:23 PM
It should be called "Mainstream SaGa" (note the capital "G" in "saga" because all nerds do that LOLOLOLOLOL)

Nem
03-20-2005, 11:37 PM
i really enjoyed the grandstream saga. i would hardly call it mainstream though.

You have a point there. I meant mainstream has in average (the mainstream of games beeing average), not has in meant for mainstream gamers. I also enjoyed it nevertheless. I mentioned that in the review. Its just not on top of my favorite RPG list.

gearhound
03-21-2005, 01:09 AM
yes, i liked your review. i liked grandstream so much because it was old school and reminded me of games like lagoon for some reason. it was an experience that was reminiscent of the 16-bit era.

Nem
03-21-2005, 12:24 PM
edit: for some odd reason the original post with the review isnt showing up when the number of posts per page is on "forum default" so im remaking the post.

Since i got an extra post, and its now showing up normally, ill advertise for my newest upcoming review, wich will be KOF:Maximum Impact. It will be the fresher review ill have made so far since im still playing the game while the previous ones were based mainly on memories of those titles and their game-boxs in front of me. So its bound to have more detail ^^

Nem
03-21-2005, 12:44 PM
Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: Action RPG with traditional RPG structure

Star Ocean Till the end of time (PAL version aka Directors Cut)

The Star Ocean Series has always been Tri-Ace's biggest title. The series is still quite young in terms of installements though. Everything Started in the Snes with "Star Ocean", but the game was oddly kept has a japan exclusive. It was only with "Star Ocean the Second Story" for the Playstation that the series gave its first worldwide leap, making its greatness visible to the naked eye. And how viseble that was. The series automatically gained a faithful western following and now "Star Ocean Till the end of time" arrives to a crowed famished for more.
Yet, is it the sequal the fans were expecting?
(NOTE: there was a GBC sequal to SO2 that never got released outside japan has well)

The game kicks off with an awsome presentation FMV certain to impress and set the mood for this newest installment. In fact in the presentation, i dont think one could ask for anything aside from what had already been given in the previous intallments. So, the usual translucid light-blue windows make a glorious return.
More into detail onto the graphics, the environments are incredibly well done. They look big and texture rich, especially the towns. The first scenarios in the game do look less impressive but this is something that improves further down the game. Character models arent has impressive has the environments are though. They do have some face detail, but the heavy "anime" enfasis doesnt allow for more with this type of "round" art. Its therefore no surprise to think the models are actually a little blocky, but its of little importance when you see the game running. Why? Because the game runs at a steady 60fps sure to please anyone. Slowdown is almost non-existant except in heavier battle scenes and the game runs like a beauty.

In the sound department the game is a failure when compared to the great SO2 soundtrack. Of course, this is not to say it has horrible themes, but the fact is all of the tunes will pass you by. You may find it funny at first since it does set an adventuring mood. But, after youre done playing the game you will notice you can hardly remember any tunes. Good but not impressive in any way.

Battles play out somewhat different from SO2. This time you execute special moves by holding X or O for a while and depending on your distance from the target you will make different moves according to what you pre-selected in the menu. Has always, its also possible to open the menu at any time to cast a spell or use an item. Theres also a pair of basic combos. This makes the game very easy to pick up, and actually fun. But, due to its simplicity and repetiveness it might throw some off guard. Personally i enjoyed the battle system and nothing would please me more than see it implemented in an eventual remake of another title in the series. It does have an issue though. In higher levels the special effects get so big that you will lose sense of whats going on in the battle, wich obviously isnt enjoyable after taking a few hits. Nevertheless it didnt become a big problem and could be solved with some witts and strategy in battle.

The story takes place several centuries after the second game, following the story of Fate Linegod. Just like with SO2 you will get stranded in underdeveloped planets and get involved in those worlds gathering your party along the way. Talking of wich, the characters in this game are very badly developed. No ones asking for great testaments of life, but some characters do fall by parachute in the party. Actually the designs arent very imaginative aside from a few wich make the game good in its first half.
Did i just say first half? Well, yes. The game is lengthy. It took me 60hours and i still left much undone. Actually one of the good aspects of this game is that theres much to do aside the main quest. Extra dungeons and mini-games galore to spice up the main quest. But, when the main quest is bad there are no spices that can save it. Lets start with the first of the two discs. In the first disc you will hop from planet to planet until you finally get to a bigger one and the story in that planet starts to develop. There a war between two nations and you will do what you can to help the side youre on while helping yourself. Till this point a good amount of suspance is created around the main characters true identity and the enjoyable exploration journey make SOTEOT a greatly enjoyable experiance. But, theres the second disc and this is where SOTEOT undoes itself. The great suspance is revealed to be something silly that will actually turn you off from the game, since it puts itself in the perspective of "only" a game. Its a complete turn off, and this is not all. The story becomes silly to a point of no return and ends up damaging the stories of the previous games. FF8 would be a nice way to describe the way this story goes in the second disc. What a letdown. A potencially great game, laid to waste in a few hours. Why did the developers try to go with this story? Maybe they thought it to be original and interesting, but how can you get involved in it? All it does is putting you in your real life perspective and not in the games perspective. Its a turn-off.

Honestly when i finished this game, i had the FF8 feel. You know, when you think back at what you just did and all seemed just idiotic. Fortunetly this isnt FF, and the combat system wasnt that bad, has well has the first disc that played no part in the travesty. Thats why the rating im giving this game isnt down under. One can actually enjoy it for half the quest. After that, might has well go have fun with some extras and speed through the second disc main quest has fast has you can. A disappointment. Will the SO series recover from this? Yes definitly. But, tri-ace has much to make up for what it destroyed with this game. May SO3 (real 3 not TEOT) be a great title and rebuild this series from the mountain of ruble TEOT left it in.

Rating 6/10

Nindalf
03-21-2005, 04:09 PM
If you're reviewing more books, do The Lord of the Rings. Or at least The Hobbit.

Sinful Sam
03-21-2005, 05:33 PM
Good review on Star Ocean 3, Nem. I also was some what disappointed with the game. I didn't got far enough (near the end of the first disk) but I was expecting to it to get better. One thing that bugged me was the computer A.I. my party members would always run to the corner and stay there while I get murdered. It happened very often to me.

Nem
03-22-2005, 07:08 PM
If you're reviewing more books, do The Lord of the Rings. Or at least The Hobbit.

From the Lord of the Rings trilogy i can review "Return of the king" since it was the only one i read. I gave a quick look at two towers too, but didnt go for it. I dont think you will like my review of it though :sweat:
Anyways, my plan is to review all the Dune series books that ive read (7 books). I still have 3 that i didnt even started reading, and besides theres a new book coming out every year now^^.


Sinful Sam, its funny. The exact opposite happened with me a lot. They would go to the corner and get themselves killed before i realised it ^^. Same thing happened in Star Ocean 2. I guess its not a problem that easy to solve in 3D arenas, unless they completely revamp the camera system.

gearhound
03-22-2005, 07:12 PM
i have 70 hours logged in star ocean 3. i really like the game. the story was really cool up to a certain point when you found out what was really going on. it seemed like that took a lot out of the game for me. i also got annoyed when one or two of my allies would sit around and not do anything like sinful sam pointed out -- that was pretty damn ridiculous. other than that i love the battles, towns, music, and landscape.

Nem
03-23-2005, 02:09 PM
Ill be uping my KOFMI review in a few moments. I feel like i should advert that im very though in my ratings. I mightve been misleading since my first reviews were of great games/products but if i say i enjoyed something, its cause theres fun to be had, despite the rating.
With that said enjoy my KOFMI review. :bigsmile:

Nem
03-23-2005, 02:18 PM
Platform PS2 (Soon to be released on Xbox)

Genre: 2.5D Fighting

King of Fighters Maximum Impact (PAL version)

SNK, has been through a lot. Between bankrupcy and revival has SNK Playmore one thing has always remained constant -- the yearly incarnation of the 2D fighting game the "King of Fighters". With SNKPlaymore now on the helm, and with the 10th anniversary of the "King of fighters" series looming, a new approach was decided to complement the KOF universe -- and that was to bring the series to 3D.
With crude examples from Capcom's own Street Fighter EX series, the fans imediatly started to cry out, but they were in for a surprise.

To open "hostilities" SNKP decided to pack the title with one impressive cast of characters. True, its not has massive has the 2D games, but there was a reason for this. And even putting that aside, this is one of the best cast of characters any 3D fighter has seen. Expect to see old favorites gallore with Ryo, Terry, K? , Kyo, Iori, Mai and even Rock (!!!) for the first time in a KOF game. Theres also a few new original characters wich obviously cant compete with the old favorites popularity and well... they are the love or hate type. Ill get more into them further in the review.

The KOF series was always 2D, and honestly anyone would stress theyre worry with the passage to 3D (cophSFEXcoph). But once one sees the game in movement its clear those worries are now unfounded. The characters not only look almost exactly like their 2D counterparts but actually move has we'd picture them to. Actually the majority of movements is motion captured and they look great and smooth. For example K? return to stance after he walks back and forth with his "hand in the pocket" style, or Ryo's default stance perfectely tranlated into 3D. Its a wonder to watch.
The stages are all brand new and also look quite detailed. A disco, a jungle, a cemetary, a factory, a collasseum... theres everything for every taste with detail and realistic looks. Also expect to see those enjoyable special effects like neon lights spinning or sun light coming through a window or even directly into youre eye, or just machines running that make the stages look really alive. Also worthy of note is the easter eggs that can be found in some stages where you can spot KOF characters that arent in this game. A treat (especially once one finds Geese in there :D).
Theres more to it though. Each character now has a brand new 2P model completly different from the 1P model. To add to it, theres actually 3 palletes of color for each model and even brand new textures in some of those (like a completly different looking outfit even though the model is the same). You thought that was good? It gets better. After you finish the game with a certain character, you gain acess to their rigging model wich in the case of Ryo/Yuri for example is a Mr. Karate mask and an hexagonal wood weel in their back, in the case of Terry its a head of a wolf and a pair of wolf claw gloves, K? has a motorcicle helmet and some accesories etc... Thing is this new rigging model can be used in conjuction with both the 1P or 2P model, adding up to 4 different models for each character. You heard that right 4 models and 6 colors total. It doesnt get any better than this, and because the 1P/2P models are so different the game will not grow old fast. In some of the first playthroughs youre actually going to be "WTH, whos that?". SNKP did real good here.

So, graphically the game got through but what everyone wants to know is how it plays. Even though the game is 3D in looks, its playability is what one would call 2.5 D. What does that mean? It means it plays the same has the 2D titles but has an added sidestep move. Theres actually a new addition that makes all the difference and those are the Stylish moves (also known has combos). Lets start with the returning special/super special moves though. These make a return in all its glory. Expect the same move pallete that you could find in a 2D KOF title. The best is that they work out perfectly like youd expect them to. So if you had that killer combo in the 2D titles its perfectly possible youd pull it off in KOFMI too. But what gives it that especial special taste is to combine those moves with the new Stylish moves and end up with a DOA trashing (otherwise known has super specials) for maximum damage. Its a pleasure to pull off these combos leaving your chalenger without half his life bar in a few seconds.
The thing with the stylish moves is that theire wonderfully imagined for each character and they feel right. Also they add a depht layer to explore in youre favorite characters. So, its like youre rediscovering them. Obviously, if you prefer youre old 2D tactics you can also go for it, but chances are you can do a lot more damage with some stylish moves, so why not discover some new destructive combos? Stylish moves can cancel to special/super special moves after all.
So, you have offense but what about strategy? Well one of the good things about KOFMI is that it features the return of roll moves, wich allow for preemptive attacks if timed right. Theres also a new guard gauge, that depleats after you have defended a few hits leaving you open for guard crushes (you better atack in these situations) until it recovers again. Also sidestep woks like a dodge, but beware it will not work in every move since many special moves actually have big hit areas. Its better suited to dodge stylish moves.
Also, expect the big ass unfair usual SNK boss at the end. Duke is big, fast, strong , with long combos and a fully charged energy gauge at all times. This guy will take you out even if he has to make 10 DOA trashing (super specials) moves in a row. Theres more. Once he starts his DOA trashing move theres no way to stop him (all the moves that you land on him will have the same effect has he was blocking them and you wont cancel his move), you will either take massive damage or you will block the attack (losing some life nevertheless). Yes, he is annoying and unfair, but seems to be a must in SNK fighters.

So our old favorites are back in full force and even better really, but how do these new characters fare? Well... good and bad. One has to know that we have these incredible line-up of old favorites and its difficult for someone to impose in these conditions. So, while new but recognasible characters like Rock and Kim's copy Chae Lim do well on theyre own. The original ones are a mixed bag.
Alba is not bad, but feels over powered with speacial moves that are actually 2 in one more than 1 alone.
Soiree seems to be lacking, since his special moves array is short and his stylish moves one is incredibly long making for a too combo heavy character wich wasnt well achieved in my opinion.
Lien seems odd. I confess i havent used her much yet, but she has some moves with big ass delays. I dont know what to think, but the hottie spot is already filled by Mai, so i dont really understand but okay ill let it slip.
Mien is my personal hate case. She is clearly japanese fan service, and its a ripp off of Bloody Roars "Yuriko the cat". She also involves this weird storyline about witches and magic. I would definitly be happier with some other non clich? character.
Duke is the boss, and has such the fact that he is a super-powered bastard doesnt work against him. He is big and has an imponent stand. The best addition of the original characters in my opinion.
Final word: Most of them still need some edges worked out.

In the sound department things get to new heights in an SNK fighter. The game isnt on the Neo-geo based arcade board and has such the tunes took a more free direction. The new music tracks are heavy and make some stages like the factory and the live house treats to play. The music hypes you up. Anyways aside from a few stages youll be too busy having fun to actually notice what the music is like and that is a good thing if you ask me. Its nevertheless the best soundtrack to grace a KOF title and its not bad at all.
Worthy of praise is the inclusion of an english/japanese voices in the sound options. Obviously there was no need to add the english ones, but seems like US players got it worse with english only voices. The japanese voices are re-recorded and sound better than ever due to the new sound hardware.

So, you have this great combat engine, but whats to be done in the game? The game features some never before seen KOF modes. The one that sticks out the most is mission mode. A twist from the Guilty gear series. The ones KOF spans are fairly easy until the last tier, but its something different to do wich is good. The usual practice and Time attack modes are here as well and the main arcade mode goes by the name of story mode. Also a handy new profile mode where you can analyse the new 3D character and discover all about the characters story and tastes. The biggest point here is the selection of the great rigging models. Theres also the "must have" versus mode agains a human or AI oponent in 1 on 1 or KOF classic 3 on 3 matches.
My biggest complain in this game, comes in the story mode. Honestly speaking it wouldve been better to have just a simple arcade mode. Why? Cause the story mode is mainly for the new characters. The returning characters have nothing more than an annoying bastard eating up our time by announcing who will be our next challenger. Thank you, but i can see who it is when is see them, no need to wast my time with a useless loading. Oh, well... there had to be something bad. Also the story mode is pretty short. 6 standard fights and a boss. They couldve added 2 more standard fights in my opinion since some fights can end pretty fast if you know what youre doing. Thankfully there are 7 levels of difficulty to keep you busy. Duke will own you at the ending though :sweat: Im still in shock after receiving a DOA trashing counter on hard difficulty by him. I lost 90% of my life bar in a second... ouch.

I guess i should give a word out for the story. Its a disappointement altogether. Theres a bit of story for the new characters but overall simple and wich results in nothing of importance. I guess it doesnt really matter since this isnt suppose to be a story driven game, besides the misleading title of "story mode". The returning characters are basicly just passing by...

A collectors edition for the PAL release was also a great choice. A bonus DVD with details from the characters and interviews with the developers was a great addition.
All in all, i wouldve liked to see a "just defend" system implemented since even blocking some moves still take a good amount of damage besides opening up chances for more counters. Maybe something for KOFMI2?
The final word is. This game rocks. It takes out the most direct competion in the form of Street Fighter EX, Bloody Roar and even Project Justice/Rival Schools. It rightfully takes the crown of 2.5D king of fighters. Yet, is it has good has playing a 2D one? No. 2D fighters have a tightness to them that cant be achieved in 2.5D or 3D. Yet KOFMI takes the 2.5 D fighters to a new level, by effectively blending 2D gameplay with 3D gameplay. Great work SNKPlaymore.

Rating 8/10

Nindalf
03-23-2005, 02:55 PM
From the Lord of the Rings trilogy i can review "Return of the king" since it was the only one i read. I gave a quick look at two towers too, but didnt go for it. I dont think you will like my review of it though :sweat:


...I'm sickened and disgusted... For shame Nem!! FOR SHAME!!!

Sinful Sam
03-23-2005, 04:20 PM
Ever since I heard and found out that Mia attack is called flying squirrel in Maximum Impact thing were never the same again. :crying:

Icarus4578
03-24-2005, 04:10 AM
Overall, a good review, though littered with grammar mistakes and missing letters. Were you in a rush? Anyway, yeah, MI is a disappointment from my perspective. Our US version just has the English voices, which sucks, but it doesn't even matter since the game isn't that good to begin with. I thought the music was rather uneventful, too. And every time you pick one of the female characters, everything just seems like an excuse to showcase their bosoms. What was SNK thinking? Indeed, were they thinking? I have reservations....

Oh well. Win some, lose some.

I don't even recall whether I played a Star Ocean title before. *ponders* Hmmmm....

Nem
03-24-2005, 10:46 AM
Overall, a good review, though littered with grammar mistakes and missing letters. Were you in a rush? Anyway, yeah, MI is a disappointment from my perspective. Our US version just has the English voices, which sucks, but it doesn't even matter since the game isn't that good to begin with. I thought the music was rather uneventful, too. And every time you pick one of the female characters, everything just seems like an excuse to showcase their bosoms. What was SNK thinking? Indeed, were they thinking? I have reservations....

Oh well. Win some, lose some.

I don't even recall whether I played a Star Ocean title before. *ponders* Hmmmm....

Its funny actually. I lose letters in almost all my posts lately. I really dont know how i do it :sweat: . Maybe its has you say. Im in a rush to get with things done. Im horrible with grammar too^^. The thing is, my last english class was 5 years ago, and i really dont practice it a lot, except here in the forum and when im playing text-RPG's. But, i guess im just beeing too lazy to go and double/triple check the reviews for mistakes after all.

About KOFMI. I also thought odd the inclusion o Lien has another "hottie". But overall i only noticed the busoms in the short cut-scenes before the fights. What were they thinking? Fan service it seems (just has i pointed out with mignon in my review).
Did you play the game Icarus? I loved the live house stage cause the music psyched me up. Have you listened to it?
Nevertheless it shouldnt take you out from the general gaming experience. It has depht to it and its rewarding. But i guess you will beg to differ on that :sweat:
What i wanna say is, try the PAL version if you can. Japanese voices do make a lot of difference. I havent even tried to listen to the english ones for more than a few seconds (imediate exit-main menu-sound options- japanese voices)

edit: Ive double checked the KOFMI review yesterday. Most missing letters and grammar problems have been fixed. Thx to Icarus for having pointed them out.

Nem
03-25-2005, 11:20 AM
...I'm sickened and disgusted... For shame Nem!! FOR SHAME!!!

rest easy Nin. I dont even know where i have the book, and i cant do a review without my usual introduction quote ^^
Anyways id probably rate it around 7/10. Hope that wasnt a shock :sweat:

Nem
04-02-2005, 07:36 AM
Reviews have been scarse has of late since im so busy ><

Ill still review Genshiken Anime has was planned (maybe this weekend).

Anyways my next highlight review will be Suikoden 4. After much discussion, what did i think of it? Haha... first i have to finish it ^^ (havent had the time yet)

Icarus4578
04-05-2005, 05:39 AM
Nem ~ "About KOFMI. I also thought odd the inclusion o Lien has another "hottie". But overall i only noticed the busoms in the short cut-scenes before the fights. What were they thinking? Fan service it seems (just has i pointed out with mignon in my review).
Did you play the game Icarus? I loved the live house stage cause the music psyched me up. Have you listened to it?"

Umm, of course I've played it -- I reviewed it, after all. I didn't really care for the music. The last time KoF had a good soundtrack was '96, but that's an acquired taste. Many feel that either '94 or '95 had the best soundtrack in the series. I'd probably opt for '95.

Nem
04-05-2005, 06:44 AM
Umm, of course I've played it -- I reviewed it, after all.

Aah! I completly missed it *smacks himself in the head* ( i think it was because it was sandwished between two direct links in the PS2 listing on your thread. It eluded me :8): )

Anyways i already went there and read it. I really enjoyed the way we tackled the game mostly in the same aspects but had some different views on some of them. It really made our personal tastes/opinions come out great.
Its great fun to see this happening :cool guy: im glad i started my own reviews thread too :bigsmile:

Nem
04-05-2005, 07:49 AM
12 episodes

Genshiken (the society for the study of modern visual culture)


Synopsis

Sasahara Kanji is a new collage student, and he makes up his mind to join a circle to share his thought of Manga, Anime, and Game that has been hidden until he enters the college.

When he visited Genshi-Ken, which is short for Gendai Shikaku Bunka Kenkyuu Kai (Contemporary Visual Culture Research Organization), his groundless pride was destroyed by the plot of Madarame, a sophomore student of Genshi-Ken. But he cant admit that he is an Otaku.
However, as he acts line with Kosaka, who is a deep Otaku in spite of his handsome looking, and other members of Genshi-Ken, by going to dojin (private publishing) shops and the anime festivals, he opens his mind and he resolves that he make his way into Otaku world.
With other members, for example, Kasuga Saki, who is not Otaku but is hot for Kosaka, and Ohono, the cosplayer, Sasahara's Otaku life in Genshi Ken goes slowly today.
Synopsis from animenfo.com

Genshiken is a comedy series that explores the japanese "otaku" (hardcore manga/anime/gaming fans) world in every aspect, pulling its every straw to explore its ridiculous and at the same time fascinating nuances. Its fairly easy to say this series is enjoyable and a "must-see" for every Manga/anime/hentai/gaming fan. The way the "otaku" world is potrayed is magnificent and it will pull you to great and enjoyable laphing moments.
The series feels very worked out to every detail. The producers actually went to the trouble of creating an original "clich?" anime series inside this anime series by the title of "Kujibiki Unbalance", wich funnily translates into something like "Unbalenced drawing". Also expect to see footage of "Guilty Gear Isuka" and "Puyo Puyo fever" beeing played to exaustion.
The animation in this series is also superb. You can see some pretty long seconds of non-stop animation more often than in most of todays series, wich is always nice to watch. This brings us to the Art department. Another of the aspects where the series shows its greatness. The Art is actually quite dodgy throughout the show. In particular, you will notice how the main character actually looks drawn slightly different in every episode. Sloppiness? Low budget? Not at all. This is one of the ways the series pushes around those "Otaku" heads. Everyone knows they would imediatly notice it and had to pull comments on it (and most probably negative ones). The series does take it all onto the "otakus" faces. But dont think "otaku" points of view arent defended quite spetacularly throughout the series since they are. Obviously, this is the theme at wich the story will go around, and to dig more into it would be to give the series away.
The characters also play a major role in the series structure. You have nearly every typical "otaku" displayed here. The fatty but good at drawing, the cosplay fanatic, the cosplayer female, the pretty but "otaku" gaming pro, the proud "otaku", the newbie "otaku" and above all the "otaku" hater female to balance it out. You will see them debate anime series, constructing "plamos" (plastic models), playing games, going to "doushinji" (erotic fan art) conventions and stores and also beeing punched by the "otaku" hater female (wich is in love with the pretty otaku, making their relationship one of the funnier aspects of the anime).
In the sound department, the series gets out clean. Good score, appropriate for a comical series and a surprisingly varied soundtrack once you actually get a hold of it. I confess this is the soundtrack i have in my car right now. The themes are so different but good in every style that the soudtrack never gets old. Its obviously not any type of epic soundtrack. Id call it average, but very enjoyable.
So, you call yourself a anime/manga/hentai/gaming "otaku"? This series is for you. All the underneath jokes are hardly understood at first unless you have a good anime background (mostly Gundam). Anyways, any average Joe can still enjoy this series as well. The "otakus" are the ones that will see its entire greatness though. The only flaw i'd point out, would be that the series is too short and its entirely possible for you to find yourself wanting more. But thats also what the series wanted to do by ending early, leaving the incomplete but great and misunderstood anime feel the "otakus" venere. Also, did i mentioned you probably wont get all the jokes at your first seethrough? Thats replay value! A "must-see".

Rating 9/10

Icarus4578
04-08-2005, 01:02 AM
Nem, nice review. I know nothing about the series but it still was interesting to read (which is great). You're obviously more into newer anime; what do you think of some of the earlier stuff?

Nem
04-08-2005, 08:00 PM
I only got into anime 4 years ago, so i havent watched much of the earlier stuff cause its so hard to get. I did watch series like "Urusei Yatsura", "Appleseed", "Guyver", "Ghost in the Shell: the movie", "Ninja Scroll: the movie", "Fushigi Yuugi","DNA2" and "V-Gundam", but i dont know if those count has earlier to you.
I find older anime movies to be of greater quality than recent ones though. Today's anime series seem to be going into a "lack of imagination" phase. Its hard to find something you really like to watch. I do prefer the newer animation (in the good series) and art though. Theres too much CG in anime's going around these days has well.

Icarus4578
04-09-2005, 02:35 AM
Yeah, I'm kinda upset about the overwhelming reliace upon CG in animation these days. Urusei Yatsura was a fun series. Why not review that? :cool:

Nem
04-09-2005, 07:12 PM
Yeah, I'm kinda upset about the overwhelming reliace upon CG in animation these days. Urusei Yatsura was a fun series. Why not review that? :cool:

Urusei Yatsura aired in a TV channel here, and as you can imagine, its hard to catch every episode (i didnt even catch the ending). So i dont think im confident enough to review it in these conditions. It wouldnt feel right.

Back on the CG theme. Have you watched Appleseed 2004, icarus? It was pretty, but it was only CG and the drawings were "cell shaded". It made me wanna cry even though it looked good. It ruined the original's magic. That was more CG movie than anime. GITS2 also suffered from that. It was nowhere near has good has the original movie.

Icarus4578
04-10-2005, 12:07 AM
I've seen a little bit of Appleseed and it's not the only one where they use computers to do the cel shading. Such laziness! What, do the anime studios have some sort of problem with people having to manually color in the back of a cel? I'm telling you man, they are completely whacked out.

Nem
04-16-2005, 10:44 PM
Suikoden 4 review coming up in a few moments. Just have a few edges to finish. I sure wrote a lot this time around... :sweat:

Nem
04-16-2005, 11:24 PM
Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: traditional RPG

Suikoden 4

In 1995 Konami created a myth. A myth that has lived to this day by the name of Suikoden. Since the first minute Suikoden was a deep RPG experience combining drama with war setting an epic quest. Not only that, but the mysteries and vasteness of the Suikoden universe makes it one special RPG series where each installment is a new piece that fits perfectly in the big puzzle that is this grand series storyline. Yet, in a spider-man fashion... with great products come great expectations. And this might've been Suikoden 4's biggest shortcoming. Yet, lets get more into detail.

This time around, Suikoden moves its setting for the island nations south of the Toran Republic/Scarlet Moon Empire and takes place around 150 years before the events of Suikoden 1. The True Rune in focus in this game is the Rune of Punishment. A Rune governing atonement and forgiveness, that consumes the life of its bearer when its used has a True Rune, moving on to the next host when the current one dies. Indeed a dark Rune comparable to Suikoden 1's "Soul Eater".
Also worthy of an early note is the return of the "hero" structure to the game. After the coup d'etat tried by Suikoden 3 with the annoying and despicable attempt at destroying the Suikoden formula with the so called "Trinity System". Yes, the IGN review got to me. KONAMY WE DONT WANT THE TRINITY SYSTEM BACK!!

Lets talk about the graphics for now. Right when you start the game you will notice that the game has very inconsistant graphics ranging from the nasty to the good. When you visit the first town you will notice how simple and void the town is compared to previous titles. Fortunely this improves a bit in the next towns you visit. Yet, i loved the architecture diference in the buildings between the islands. Each had its own style based off real life ones you'd see in colonized islands. A nice touch that probably passed many by. Unfortunely, the towns are small and scarse. Actually there arent that many areas to visit. You'll have something like 10 islands total to visit and 2/3rds of that are island towns. Nevertheless, i get the feeling that with both Suikoden 3 and 4 the world has been shrinking... personally id welcome the return of an interactive World Map for exploration. Suikoden 4 actually tries to do that but its done horribly (more on that later on).
The Runes special effects are more contained this time around and are basicly back to what they looked like in the 2D games. A good thing if you ask me.
I must stress my worry in the commitment Konami took with this game though. I have never seen a Sea based game span such simple looking water. Its something in Playstation one level. And what's odd about it is that the game has this great water effect for the credits, random encouter detection and even for a water terrace like structure in the ground of an area where you can actually walk on it and make the water stirr. It makes me wonder what was Konami doing with this title?...
Theres more though. You travel in the world map by means of a ship. That in itself shouldnt be bad but the ship moves very slowly even with the run button pressed. Yet, thats not the worse part. The collision detection with islands is made horribly. The islands actually have invisable auras that will send your ship off in a different direction with no control over it for 2 seconds at every collision. This could still be manageble if not for the encounter rate ruining every enjoyment you could bring out of the ship navigation. This is DC Skies of Arcadia random encounter level (on airship exploration). Except, it might actually be worse since the seas of Suikoden 4 are vaster than the skies of Arcadia. Also theres nothing to find in the seas. Theres only the few small islands (very few, and very far apart). Exploration is not rewarded. And that was a terrible design flaw. The designers tried to appease thing by allowing you to build 3 ship parties, but when something is bad you cant save it by supporting one of its bad features. Fortunely, this is a Suikoden title, and has such its pretty easy and fast to retreat/Disengage from battles. Again, i ask what Konami was thinking?!
Yet, something was done right on Suikoden 4. Actually it might be one of the titles best points. The combat system is back to the speed, enjoyment and structure of the first two titles of the series. The animations in battle are pretty good. Tal, backflips back to his position, other characters just jump in the old Suikoden fashion, others just teleport back and forth, other runs all the way but make short teleports so the run doesnt take too long. Anyways, a good translation of the old battle system in a way.
I cant stress how happy i was with this battle system actually. I thought Suikoden 3's battle system was slow, boring and when i think of the ***** chanting needed to use runes that went through several turns sometimes... well... i hated it. Yet, just like with most of this title, there was a shortcoming. Theres only 4 characters in a party. So, even if you return to the old battle system, it wont work has well since the strategy of the front (phisical tanks)/back (long range/ spellcasters) row startegy with 6 characters is missing. This is important Konami!! Its vital for the use of the several different characters Suikoden offers. Yes Konami, the original system is the best. Dont mess up, and just translate it faithfully.
Yet it was relieving move in the right direction.
Ah yes, this time around the player has control over the camera, but it sure feels like this was only made so the developers didnt have to bother finding good view points. Its not that bad anyway. I do prefer to move the camera myself, so i can look wherever i like. Its just that the camera looked somehow displaced behing the "hero" (maybe it should be farther away?).
The soudtrack also falls short. Especially compared to previous titles. I really enjoyed the main theme "La Mer" and the battle music. But, i felt like hurting someone at Konami for having the ending theme "Genso no Sekaie" remixed in suiko4 style. KONAMI DONT MESS UP MY MUSIC! Well... apart from that, the rest of the soundtrack passes you by completely. Nothing stellar to write home about. You are also branded with silence when on the deck of any ship. Once again... Konami what were you thinking?!

The story in Suikoden 4 feels unfinished. The initial theme of friendship with "Snowe" didnt seem to be explored has it should've been. The Adventure is quite short by itself actually (i finished the game with 40something hours, but i played around too much. Even though i advise anyone else to do it since its where the game meets the ends). There arent many events or plot twists. The meat of the story is actually hidden or saved up for the last moments. When i say hidden, it means you will only find it if you explore the suikoden world. Read the old books, go for the extra cutscenes, confession scenes, comment box, the usual but very enjoying Suikoden fare. Also, has always, its a pleasure to reunite the 108 stars of destiny and build up your headquarters.
Its hard to talk about the characters though, since there are so many of them. Yet, ill point out that "hero" wasnt has appealing has he could've been with that odd haircut. It made it hard to synch with his character. The strategist "Elenor" doesnt make a scratch in Suiko2's "Shu" with her strategies (nor are they used much due to the short quest) but her backstory was interesting. "Lino en Kuldes" was a more unusual and interesting character has King of Obel. Kika the pirate and her right side men were also interesting characters but were underdeveloped. The villains also looked underdeveloped... actually i think i pitied some of them for beeing so utterly useless... A special thumbs up for Jeanne, Viki and a special someone that returns to the roaster. By the way, Suikoden 1 fans really should go for this game. Something special awaits them.
Its also around the ending of the game that the usual strings and mysteries of the Suikoden World are touched upon.
I read a review of Suiko 4 saying the final boss was very hard but thats not what i thought at all. I brushed off the final boss with only one True Rune (hero's) and a combo in my party. Of course i had several other normal Runes equiped, but my thoughest characters only had lv12 weapons ( but i had the Golden hammer, dont get me wrong^^). Nowhere near the levels 15/16 of previous suikoden's. Anyways the final boss was a beauty to look at. Great design.

Actually, even after writing all this, i feel like i havent said all that i wanted to say about Suikoden 4.
Yet, its obvious that Konami went easy this time around. Maybe relying too much on the Suikoden formula? Its true. The formula is great and makes for a good game. But, to be a great game Suikoden needs a little more in its main story and characters. Let's face it, the Sea ideia was a bad one. Suikoden is a game of "armies" of war, and not a skirmish of a few boats. The Sea attack does make a good theme for a battle though...
I read many reviews saying how bad the game was, but after playing it, i feel like the game was more unfinished than bad. Also the several enjoyments present in the Suikoden formula were understressed in many reviews (and maybe even my own). The improved battle system, the reuniting of the several stars, the mini-games, the extra cut-scenes, the Naval battles that played like Suikoden 2's army battles, the always fun duels, and of course the touch upon the story of the Suikoden world make this game another piece in the big Suikoden world storyline puzzle. Its just that this was a small and unpolished piece. In the end i still felt like i played another epic tale in the Suikoden Universe. One that im happy i didnt miss even though it felt short of expectations. I hope Konami learns not to lax around next time...
Oh! And Congratulations to the Suikoden series for its 10th anniversary!

Rating 7/10

Nem
04-20-2005, 06:05 AM
I changed the look of the reviews header. I think it looks better now^^

I want to do more reviews, but im really busy and have 0 free time right now :crying:
The only thing i have time to play right now is a bit of MK: Deception. So its safe to assume ill be reviewing it eventually :D I have an urge to review some older stuff right now though :sweat:

Icarus4578
04-20-2005, 06:32 AM
From all I've heard, Suikoden 4 does not live up to the standards set by the first two. So I'll be passing on this one. I wonder why Konami doesn't just take the engine of the first one and use it again; it seemed to work perfectly fine. They don't need to add a bunch of wasteful stuff in an effort to impress people.

Nephlabobo
04-20-2005, 11:59 AM
Good review of Suikoden IV. :clap:

I agree with pretty much all of it. Overall, a disappointment.

Did you manage to get all 108 stars?

From all I've heard, Suikoden 4 does not live up to the standards set by the first two.

It doesn't. However, Suikoden III is pretty under rated as far as RPGs go.

As for Suikoden III - I liked it. I liked the Trinity Sight System for story telling. (Thought it was really cool.) Though I agree about Suikoden III's battle system - it was annoying.)

Nem
04-20-2005, 04:34 PM
Originally Posted by Icarus4578
From all I've heard, Suikoden 4 does not live up to the standards set by the first two. So I'll be passing on this one. I wonder why Konami doesn't just take the engine of the first one and use it again; it seemed to work perfectly fine.

Exactly what i think. I wonder why they didnt do just that since the combat system is the same (suikoden 1/2) except for the loss of the back row and 2 characters. If it was a design decision it was a bad one. If it was due to eventual limits on the PS2 hardware (wich i dont believe since this is no graphic wonder) they just had to limit the polygons on the characters when in combat.

Originally Posted by Nephlabobo
Did you manage to get all 108 stars?


Of course^^ couldnt have it any other way. I almost missed one though (that special someone i mentioned in the review), but luckily i had an old save to backtrack. I did use a walktrough to get some of them though.

Originally Posted by Nephlabobo
As for Suikoden III - I liked it. I liked the Trinity Sight System for story telling. (Thought it was really cool.) Though I agree about Suikoden III's battle system - it was annoying.)


I did say in the review that i didnt feel for the trinity system, but if it necessarily had to return at least let us have hero has a main character and not some chumps and a hero you look forward to and end up not getting...
For example a trinity system in Suikoden 2 with hero and jowy would be interesting if well done. But has i said in a post one of these days, the trinity system makes you lose focus on your main character and thats not the way Suikoden is meant to be. You have a main character with wich you should relate to. If you're always switching characters you're just watching a movie from different points of view without ever getting attached to a single character.

Nem
04-21-2005, 11:00 PM
I just came across something Suikoden fans will love. And since i just reviewed suiko4 ill post it here.

Its the rare genso suikogaiden vol2 soundtrack. Its composed of some of the best suiko2 themes and a great ending theme (even made me recall panzer dragoon saga).

You need bittorent and you can find it here http://tracker.laplumepourpre.com/ :D

Nem
04-25-2005, 02:21 PM
Platform: Playstation 2 (also available GC and Xbox)

Genre: 3D Fighting

Mortal Kombat: Deception

The MK series has been around for a while now. Deception is actually MK6. One would think that for a game to have that many sequals it would be a pretty solid experience...but thats not what i found out with this recent installment. Yes, it looks like a nice package at first glance. But when you start digging into it, you see that there isnt much in it besides a nice presentation and a decent puzzle game.

Once again you are shown a pretty interesting FMV at the beggining of the game. Surely its not has heart warming has the one on MK: DA (Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance. aka MK5) where Liu Kang was thankfully put out of his misery. But it was pretty interesting nevertheless.
Menus are pretty slick and the graphics overall are above average. Nothing high level though. The returning classic arenas are an added plus, but they arent has good has the originals in these 3D translations of themselves. Characters still look like a mix of detailed and blocky. I guess the detailed part would be the outfits and the blocky part the rest. Also those faces are bad looking enough to earn a good smashing. Each character has an alternate outfit, and in most of the cases its a very different and interest outfit. In this field the game was rather pleasing. Worthy of particular notice is Mileena's alternate outfit. It set a new precedent in female character nudity. You can actually tell she shaved...and more i wont say. Maybe they tried the good looking/scary looking (face) odd aproach here. What i know is that it was extreme...

You can tell there was an effort made in the sound department. Midway was so happy about it that they even added the music has unlockable extras. Yet, i think they jumped the gun here. It wasnt a mediocre score, but it certainly wasnt worthy of notice. All the tunes are whitin the MK style so, theres nothing really new to it. I guess no one would have many hopes on this field though, but whatever. I miss Soul Calibur...

The cast of characters was interesting this time around, even if it featured the unwelcome return of the one we hoped dead and never again rebirthed Liu Kang. Nevertheless, its a healthy mix of returning and new characters. Of course the new characters couldnt compare to the returning ones in terms of popularity, but thats where the Konquest mode came in. The konquest mode gave you some insight in some of the new characters stories and personalities besides giving you a look at the MK universe. What is the Konquest mode? To answer that ill now aproach the various combat modes available in deception.

There are basicly 5 combat modes in MK: Deception. Arcade, chess combat, puzzle combat, Konquest and online. I bought the PS2 version so its a given that i didnt bother exploring the online option. It doesnt change a thing though has ill explain further. Arcade, chess and puzzle also include versus modes to have fun with a friend - short fun mind you.

Konquest was apparantly the cherry in the cake. In konquest you engage in a 3rd person adventure mode following the story of "shujinko" (one of the new characters available in Deception). This mode looks like great fun at first. You're led to believe you're going to follow an epic jorney, but you end up in a boredom trip. Yes, its fun to explore the surroundings and have little tidbits of story here and there, but this quickly turns into unecessary repetetiveness process. Your obligated to explore these huge six worlds to find every interesting unlockable (stages, playable characters, alternate outfits), only to find out a few since they are so hard to find when you have time windows to get them. Yes, Konquest simulates a real life clock system with days, months and years. Unlocking something that only shows up at the first day of every month from 12-1pm in a certain place sounds a little extreme without cheating. Thankfully you can speed up time. But, that only helps if you already know where and when to look for things. The story in Konquest mode goes from interesting to stupid somewhere in the middle of the quest. Of course the story is predictable since the start, but your character seems to be the only one that ages. If story events were to be taken seriously, Kenshi and Nightwolf would be has old has "shujinko" and that isnt the case at all. Can you say "plot holes"? Of course you can. Ermac and Ashrah engage in a firce battle swearing death to each other. But, decades later they are both alive and kicking in deception and you dont know how that happened. Yes, that mightve been a good ideia in a solely fighting game, but in an adventure mini-game it equals to mediocracy. Well, at least you get to know that the MK Universe is composed of 6 realms and you get a good look at them. Also can you say glitch/bug? Woohoo, Konquest has those to sell and give. Flying people in Edenia that you can still ram, quest sounds that come before their supposed to, unstopable time speed-up, infinite loadings (not due to the drive of course. I have a good knowlage of drive sounds after having two break down, and that wasnt it), when in the main combat the music falters for half a second between rounds. Lots of fun there.
Its obvious this game needed more development time and bug-squashing, but these are the laws of the market for christmas releases. Turns out the cherry in the cake was sour.

Chess combat is boring from the start to end. Its chess. One would think so. But, somehow when the pieces touch you get into combat to determine who wins. But, wait doesnt that remove every ounce of strategy from a chess game? Yes, it does. There's also one or two spells you can make in game, but nothing that removes this from the extremely boring category.

The Arcade features the return of the MK: DA combat system. When MK: DA came out, it was indeed an original ideia even if it lacked depth. But guess what? MK: Deception features that same battle system virtually inaltered. It gets worse. The fighting styles and even special moves were recycled from the MK: DA characters into the new and returning characters on Deception. Worse, they didnt add the much needed layer of depth. And since, this isnt a "new" combat system its just MK: DA rehashed. Really, no one should of said MK: DA had finally revived the series since that was just a first step in the right direction. Midway are convinced they already got it right. Wrong. Not only is this the same has MK: DA, it still needs a good amount of memorizing VF4 style, but without the tightness and flow that make the former a great game. The new counter move is just something to try and "counter" an already fast dying combat system. Its a drag to play MK: Deception. The game proves that its nothing more than a MK: DA facelift. And its through here that the rest of the game gets even worse. But wait, something survived this disaster. What is it? Puzzle combat.

Puzzle combat is a Baku-Baku (Saturn) like puzzle game that doesnt involve the games main combat engine. Just like Baku-Baku, you have an animal (here its a MK symbol of a few different colors) and you must feed him the right food (here its the normal squares of the same color has the MK symbols). Of course, in MK you have a special move gauge that fills up with time and allows you to use a funny special move to help you win. A fun little mini-game inside a mediocre game.

The series story seems to be heading to an even darker setting. Its actually hard to point the truly good guys in the game. Midway wanted to taint every character, even the returning Liu Kang. I dont even know what to think anymore, since the series is losing all its charm with every passing installment. Yet, i guess it was somewhat interesting.
Fatalities and Hara-Kiri (suicide) are present in the title and are funny to do once. After that, all you're left with is the mediocre battle system.
Good thing i bought this game on half-price. I'll look into reselling it has soon has possible. More than a disappointment, a mediocre product that cant be saved by a puzzle mini-game (thats also why it doesnt get a worse rating). Stay the hell away from it i say!

Rating 2/10

Paper exe
04-25-2005, 02:54 PM
Thank you Nem your reviews dose in fact help me
I was going to buy this game but I was just waiting for a trust worthy review and now I just had one. :cool guy:

And Suikoden 4 was another game that I was thinking of buying and you have made up my mind. :D

Nem
04-26-2005, 08:38 AM
Im glad you're enjoying my reviews Paper. ^^

I wonder what you're gonna think of Suiko4 though. I confess my fanboyism might've inflated the final Rating a bit, but i did point out the big flaws the game has.

Sinful Sam
04-26-2005, 03:31 PM
Would you say Suikoden 4 is better then Suikoden 3, Nem?

Nem
04-26-2005, 03:37 PM
Would you say Suikoden 4 is better then Suikoden 3, Nem?

Yes. Suikoden 4 is more of a Suikoden experience than 3 was. Yet, 3 has the better storyline. Neither of them gets close to suiko2 though...
talking about it, Suikoden 2 will definitly be my next review^^

Nem
04-26-2005, 07:10 PM
Platform: Playstation

Genre: traditional RPG

Suikoden 2

After seeing what they had accomplished with Suikoden, a surprise to many no doubt... Konami decided to make the good even better. Honestly, it seems like someone in Konami note-checked every area that had fell a bit short on Suikoden and decided to expand it in every way possible. And, to many gamers happyness Konami succeded on what it set out to do. And what an accomplishment this was. Sadly it was overshadowed by the FF7 RPG boom that occured at the time. Many were still capable to grab it, but most saved themselves for the wonderful amount of crap that was FF8. Hope their happy, since they only missed one of the best RPG's ever made and got one of the worst instead.

Suikoden 2 is has much of a 2D game has its prequal was. You're only going to see some polygons in the battles, that also mantain their basic Suikoden look. But, the difference is, everything is a notch better than what you had on Suikoden. Scenarios as well has characters and special effects were expanded and detailed this time around. Of course the character art also kept its quality, with the varied and interesting designs that were offered to every soul of relevance in the game. Interestingly enough, this time Konami decided to award the gamers with some short FMV's and an interesting intro with a mix of FMV and character art. Wonderful art direction no doubt.
The battle system is inaltered from its previous incarnation. Yet, new characters with new weapons and new Runes added a fresh touch to an already great combat system that is well versed in both speed of the battles and startegy when setting up your battle formation and equipment. Also worthy of notice, is the encounter rate in this game. I dont know how Konami did it, but the encounter rate seems perfect. You never feel like your beeing overworked, and you dont have to run around triggering additional battles.
If you thought Suikoden's story was short and you wanted an even more emersive and emotional storyline, pray to the Konami Gods and Goddesses that made this game possible. This time the story moves north of the Toran Republic/scarlet moon Empire into the City States of Jowston and Highland / Dunan and takes place a few years after the ending of Suikoden. In this game the story behind the genesis of the Suikoden World will be revealed to players has well has the True Rune that symbolizes it. The Rune of Beggining. The Rune of Beggining is composed by two half-runes. The half-rune of True Shield and the half-rune of True Sword. According to legend the Suikoden world was born from the clash of these two and fate has well has the will of the Rune will carve their way into the game.
Hero2 - your main character (wich you have to name) is the adoptive son of a City-State's was hero - Genkaku. Suikoden 2 will follow the path of hero2 and Jowy, his childhood friend has they are engulfed in the fires of war. An epic tale of friendship, family, sacrifice, hate and revenge that spans for 40 hours, improving vastly the first title's main issue. You will travel the city-states of jowston and you will shape your castle gathering the 108 starts of destiny, meet many of the previous titles favorite stars of destiny and even allow hero1 to join your entorage if you loaded your suikoden 1 save into suikoden 2. Yes, that means that you will return to the toran republic to go and get him. Indeed, a touch that every Suikoden sequal should have. Obviously the character development isnt left behind and each of the starts of destiny will have its own development.
The Soundtrack is even better than the one present on Suikoden 1. And that was already superb by itself! The game refines some of the Suikoden tunes and adds many new ones to build one epic soundtrack that would even be re-used in the Genso Suikogaiden titles that only came out in japan. Every type of music is done majesticly and sets the mood of the suikoden world has emersively has ever. Also expect to hear the series now trademark ending theme "Genso no Sekaie" once more. A great ending theme for every Suikoden game. It somehow makes you flashback the game you just played and its importance on the Suikoden Universe.

Its hard to do justice to such a fine game in words. The definite proof that Konami can provide a rock-solid RPG experience when they set out to do it. If only the 3D titles could reach these levels... the world could finally recognize the imense depht and greatness of the Suikoden Universe. Until then, Suikoden 2 sets itself apart has the example of what a great sequal is and has one of the best RPG experiences ever created. Undoubtibly deserving of maximum score in every RPG gamer review book. It sure does in mine.

Rating 10/10

Icarus4578
04-26-2005, 10:44 PM
Good review. I hate it when companies take an awesome series and then wreck it with the newer installments, like Konami did with 3 & 4. I just don't get it. I mean, they have to know.

Nem
04-28-2005, 09:56 AM
Im sure they do. At least thats the impression i get with Yuji Naka and the Sonic series. He just came out and said that Sonic is better in 2D. I just wish he had the nerve to do a new 2D title. I also wish he had the nerve to tackle the 3D version has long has it takes for it to be has good has the 2D games instead of pumping out half-assed efforts. The same can mainly be said about Konami and the Suikoden series. They just want to pump out every crazy ideia they get has a new game and use the selling potencial of established brands instead of making them faithful to their prequals. In the end, perfectly good brands get ruined.

Paper exe
04-29-2005, 06:51 AM
Hope their happy, since they only missed one of the best RPG's ever made and got one of the worst instead.
I missed both in that way every one can be happy. :cool:

Note-It sound like another masterpiece from Konami I just wish that they release it here instead of these FF titles that they keep releaseing it. :irked:

Nem
04-29-2005, 08:23 PM
when you say "here", do you mean europe? Cause the game was released in europe too :sweat: it just had zero marketing. Suikoden 3 was the only suiko that missed PAL release (if you forget the suikogaiden titles that is).

gearhound
04-30-2005, 12:09 AM
i adore suikoden. playing that game for the first time was really great.

Paper exe
04-30-2005, 02:40 AM
when you say "here", do you mean europe?
I meant my country.

Nem
04-30-2005, 07:09 AM
i adore suikoden. playing that game for the first time was really great.

I know what you mean. My story with the suiko series was pretty interesting too. I held out into buying Suikoden and after much resisting i ended up buying suiko2. Yep, suiko2 was the first one i played. Needless to say that after playing it i was hysterical about how great it was. Had to go buy suiko1 and finish it. And then finish suiko2 again. It might sound boring to some, but i had the utmost gaming pleasure out of replaying suiko2^^ (I still do :D)

I meant my country.

Oh! I thought you lived in Europe :sweat:

Paper exe
04-30-2005, 09:34 AM
Nem,did you forgot about reviewing anime?
I am not saying that you should or anything but is your reviews will becomes for games only?

Oh! I thought you lived in Europe.
I live in a tiny weak and small country that can hardly be seen in the world map not only that but my country people are less then a million but my country have a lot of cars accident and that because of the small roods and those idiots teenagers and young men that I think they should all be punished or kicked out of the country because they dose not deserve to live in a beautiful small country like this. :too mad:
On top of all that in this country they don?t do all Islam rules which something that I for one cannot accept not only that they even don?t give woman?s all the rights that they should get in Islam religion. :thumbdn:

So what country do I live in? :spinface: :D

Nem
04-30-2005, 11:46 AM
I have no ideia. Im not knowladgeble with the islam. I can make a few shots though. Quatar? Singapure?

About my reviews. I havent given up on anime and book reviews. Its just that besides lack of free time i havent been feeling like it :sweat:. Also seems like videogame reviews are more popular around these parts :D. Anyways you can always sujest me to review a series you're interested or curious in. If i have watched it, ill review it.

Paper exe
04-30-2005, 02:27 PM
I have no ideia. Im not knowladgeble with the islam. I can make a few shot though. Quatar?
................. you are right.

Nem
04-30-2005, 04:53 PM
:haha: Lucky shot :D Well, i looked at the middle-east in the world map and it was the only tiny but interesting country i saw. Singapure was my guess for Asia. Who'd think id get it right :sweat:

Do you import your games? Or do you have publishers over there?

DJweez
04-30-2005, 09:49 PM
Suikoden 2 a 10 out of 10.....that seems kinda high too me. Personally, I couldn't stand the translation.

Nem
04-30-2005, 10:48 PM
By translation i guess you mean gramatical/ sense errors. Honestly, i didnt give them much importance. The game was great and i understood the story without any problems. So, the error here and there didnt kept me from enjoying this masterpiece. Im pretty confident the game deserves a 10. Of course one can question if a 10 means its a flawless game? I rate my games in enjoyment. So, if i give it a 10 its cause i had a blast with it, not necessarily cause its a flawless game. Its a given that it necessarily has to excel in certain areas though.

DJweez
04-30-2005, 11:20 PM
I wasn't under the impression that you thought it was flawlass, becasue obviously it isn't. It's just that the gramical errors were way to frequent, and it only got worse as you went along. When i'm reading the text, and I see things like @%$@^$@^, or different face portaits popping up when someone else is talking, it brings down the overall quality of the story. It just feels incredibly sloppy, and takes away some of the fun of reading an intersting story.

Icarus4578
05-01-2005, 06:26 AM
DJweez ~ "I wasn't under the impression that you thought it was flawlass, becasue obviously it isn't. It's just that the gramical errors were way to frequent, and it only got worse as you went along. When i'm reading the text, and I see things like @%$@^$@^, or different face portaits popping up when someone else is talking, it brings down the overall quality of the story. It just feels incredibly sloppy, and takes away some of the fun of reading an intersting story."

DJweez
05-01-2005, 11:38 AM
I didn't see those :haha: .

gearhound
05-01-2005, 04:50 PM
yeah, just like nem didn't see them in suikoden 2... :lol:

Nem
05-08-2005, 11:23 AM
After much contemplation i've decided to review Onimusha 3. I finally completed it last week but wasnt sure id want to review it.
Ill also review the first Naruto movie, eventually...

At the moment im playing Baten Kaitos for GC. Its an interesting game and it will also mark my first GC review :D. Im only 20 hours into it, so the review aint coming anytime soon :sweat:

Paper exe
05-08-2005, 11:54 AM
Because I like you I will brainwash you and give you an advice in the same time

Note I am serious when I say this.
Onimusha 3 opining was the opposite of cool in fact it was very embarrassing when I saw it I never felt so embarrassed in my life of playing games even playing Mickey Muse was much much cooler and when my mother came and saw me seeing the opining I felt so embarrassed I never felt embarrassed like this before except when my mother heard FF7 the final part of the last boss music I was so embarrassed I even I hide my face from her and I did not want to beat the game any more.

It was a real nightmare and I hope nothing like this happen again.

PS-by just remember it I can hardly breath now?..I swear it really happening to me??????..sorry I have to stop now I cannot breath!

Nem
05-08-2005, 11:59 AM
Paper your making your mother sound scary :sweat:
I can say the opening sequence of O3 had great quality in a "crouching tiger hidden dragon" sort of way (silly but enjoyable). Yet my whole opinion isnt just this, you'll have to read the review to find out :D

Im making it right now, so it should be ready within the next hour or so.

Paper exe
05-08-2005, 12:04 PM
No no no it have nothing to do with my kind mother that never even hit me in here live and that give me what I want and treat me very kindly even thought we don't have a lot of money. :bigsmile:

I was just very embarrassed that all. :sweat:
you saw the opinning and I think you know what I mean and you know how embarrassing it was right?

when she saw it she did not say anything neither did she care (I hope)

Nem
05-08-2005, 01:44 PM
Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: Action/Survival horror

Onimusha 3

The first Onimusha came out in the first year of the PS2's life. At the time, the best the Survival horror genre had to offer was Resident Evil: Code Veronica for Dreamcast wich was starting to feel somewhat dated in the playability area. Thus the "old japan" based Onimusha series that put you in the control of a sword wielding samurai was indeed a lump of fresh air for the genre.
Now, after the unbalanced Onimusha 2 and its boring "gift system" the series tried to go back to its action centered self with a time travel twist to make things more interesting. Turns out that Onimusha 3 came to feel much like RE:CV in its time and the series started to feel a bit stagnant in the playability department. Hopefully, O3 tried and even managed to counter these feelings with a few improvements. But in the end, its still there and you can see it.

http://tinypic.com/50grwy
Those rings are handy I tell you!

In the graphic department there was indeed an evolution in the series. Onimusha 1 & 2 featured 2D rendered backgrounds while Onimsha 3 makes the jump to full fledged 3D. And you know what? You can hardly notice the diference besides the now even better special effects. Of course, this was a magnificent accomplishment that many thought impossible. Capcom's 2nd development studio deserves praise for the work they did in this new engine.
The game will greet you with a grandiose intro filled with detail and action in a very "crouching tiger hidden dragon" type of film direction. Enjoy it, cause your only going to see another movie of this quality once more throughout the game and its going to be short. Yes, Capcom must've wasted all their budget in those two movies since the rest of the movies are made with the in-game engine but not in real time. Honestly, a clear unbalance in art direction. Capcom, you cant just fill up our hopes with that intro and then fail to deliver. Is Capcom learning things from EA? I hope not...

In the sound department things mantain its usual Onimusha quality. Tunes make the game more imersive and fit within the feel of the series. Maybe its me, but i just dont think things have changed much from Onimusha 1 even if the first one remains the more emersive experience to me. The voice acting is within what you'd expect of Capcom games by now. I never had a problem with RE cheese lines, so i aint gonna start now.

In Onimusha 3 we get to play with 4 different characters, 2 of them beeing main characters. Returning Samanosuke and debuting Jacques make their appearance based on real life actors. Of course Jacques is the easier to identify has Hollywood star "Jean Reno". Of course the characters are rendered perfectly and you can see that that would be how the real actors would look like if they were in a game. Anyways, in this story, Samanosuke and 2004's Jaques will travel in time changing places with each other. So, you will be playing with Samanosuke in 2004 and Jaques in "old Japan". Its a good start for a good story, but unfortunely the story turns out quite boring. For some reason Capcom didnt put Jean Reno in charge of his alter-ego english voice and thus things sound odd. Anyways, theres no escaping the reality that the storyline is of almost no consequence or interest. Actually one would think they would get a good twist out of time-traveling plot, but it seems it was all a lame excuse to bring Jean Reno into the game. And whats with the time passing in the present goes at the same time has time passing in the past? That would presume a different dimesion since the time on the past has already passed in the present. Honestly, i expected more... it wouldnt be so much of a problem if Capcom had bothered to create an interesting storyline, but thart wasnt the case.

http://tinypic.com/50gs3p
Dino Crisis?! Regina where are you?

Finally, lets get to the games best and worst feature - playability. The Onimusha battle system makes a return in all its splendor. Things are even better now that you have some training lessons to learn every special move in the battle system. Samanosuke will get a new set of weapons (even though the old ones are still in the game) and Jacques will feature a completly new set of weapons based of long reach swords (think Yvy's Soul calibur weapon). The twist with Jaques is that asides from his set of weapons he can atach atach them to some flying rings to perform large leaps. That was in my opinion the best feature in the game. In most boss encounters Jacques would have a flying ring wich he could be use to rapidly leap from one side to the other side of the screen besides letting you perform a mid-air strike. Also, it made Jaques levels structure different from the usual Onimusha ones. Yes, the game with Jaques was that much better than with Samanusuke. Also towards the end of the game, Jacques story features a Dynasty Warriors inspired section that is a "must play". Too bad the final boss with Jacques was disgraceful. Indeed Jacques ending is has boring has it gets.
The game with Samanusuke was a reminder of other capcom survival horror titles. So much that it actually pained my experience. A sewer level that reeks of Resident Evil 2 and a Zoo section that reeks of Dino Crisis, especially when we get to control secondary character Michelle whose weapons and stance are the same ones used in Dino Crisis. It really makes you think that Onimusha's place is indeed in old Japan and not present day. Nevertheless boss encounters were still a blast to play through.
This whole time travel thing was used has a way to transport things throughout time to solve the puzzles. This task was accomplished by a fairy like character that aids you in your quest by always staying by your side and giving you extended abilities (like healing when your not moving, allowing you to make souls leak out of enemies before they die, etc.).
The game features lots of unlockable mini-games, outfits and weapons. It also includes a back story adventure with another secondary character - Heihachi. Great extras indeed. Good Job there Capcom.


All these twists actually helped you forget that the play system is starting to look slow and outdated compared to most recent games. I ached for a jump button throughout the adventure to help me move my character around since he moves so slowly. The fixed camera doesnt help has well making your running around seem even shorter and slower than it is and the fixed paths seem to be getting narrower by the minute. Honestly, the system is becoming outdated and i was afraid i was the only one seeing it. Thankfully the series creator also saw them and is adressing them in the upcoming "Onimusha Dawn of Dreams".
The fact with Onimusha 3 is that half the game is a joy to play (Jacques) and half the game isnt exactly what you were expecting. Its nevertheless a great gaming experience if you get get over the "Samanosuke" half of the game and the boring storyline. Unfortunely, i took 6 months to finish the game since those didnt appeal to me at all.
The onimusha series has to evolve and has to stay in "old japan" from now on. Onimusha 3 was a good twist, but it wasnt the Onimusha game i wanted it to be.

Rating 7/10

Icarus4578
05-09-2005, 09:27 AM
Those FMV cost Capcom a fortune to make, let alone the game. When I beat the game, I couldn't believe the list of people who worked on that game! I remember not even a decade ago when the staff roll was comprised of anywhere from 10-40 people. Nowadays, it's more like 100-200+.

DeathStroke
05-09-2005, 10:07 AM
I liked Onimusha 2 better and while the background graphics of Onimusha 3 are equivalent to the prerendered graphics of previous Onimusha games, the same can't be said for the character models. They were a step back IMO.

The opening movie rocks though. Such great choreography.

Joe Redifer
05-09-2005, 01:07 PM
The very first Onimusha game worth playing! I hated the "tank" controls of the first two. I wanted to press the direction I want to run in, not worry about rotating my sorry ass around. Onimusha 3 is great. Parts 1 and 2 are turds.

Nem
05-09-2005, 10:21 PM
Seems like im the only one that likes the first one the most. I loved the atmosphere and the setting (even the mystery of the spawned genma). Something that wasnt quite accomplished in the 2 sequals.

Nem
05-23-2005, 08:17 PM
Its been 2 weeks since ive posted something here :sweat:
Im sorry, but im in the semestre final weeks and i dont have the time to play anything with all the work, hardly even review it. Dont worry, has of mid/late June ill start pumping out reviews again. ;)

Besides my promised reviews that have been running late, ill also promise a God of War and a Tekken 5 review by then. Look forward to it :) ( i will :D )

Sinful Sam
05-24-2005, 04:04 AM
Don't worry about it. Saved from Sin forgot about his.



:P

Paper exe
05-24-2005, 05:46 AM
Im sorry, but im in the semestre final weeks and i dont have the time to play anything with all the work, hardly even review it. Dont worry, has of mid/late June ill start pumping out reviews again
Same here, but I still have a lot of free time. My finale exam will be tomorrow. :bigsmile:

Also, the religion thread drains all of my free time. :crying:

Icarus4578
05-24-2005, 08:53 AM
I also haven't done anything in a long while. I'm gonna review Space Harrier 2 next.

Tekken 5 blows. Complete waste of money and time, especially that sub-game with Jin Kazuya titled The Devil Within. Here's some advice: try it for one minute and then don't waste any more of your time with it. Trust me, there's no real payoff that's worth the aggravation. :thumb-dn:

Nem
05-24-2005, 11:48 AM
I also haven't done anything in a long while. I'm gonna review Space Harrier 2 next.

Tekken 5 blows. Complete waste of money and time, especially that sub-game with Jin Kazuya titled The Devil Within. Here's some advice: try it for one minute and then don't waste any more of your time with it. Trust me, there's no real payoff that's worth the aggravation. :thumb-dn:

Funny, ATMA told me he loved it. Thats why im so excited to get it. Hmmm... well, theres no choice but to play and judge for myself at the risk of my own money :sweat: (im going to bundle it with God of War, so at least one of them is meant to be a great game :D).

By the way, im curious to see that space harrier review :D
and funny avatar :haha: (the killzone one)

Nem
06-23-2005, 06:49 PM
Movie

NARUTO - Daikatsugeki! Yukihime Ninpocho Dattebayo!!

Synopsis
uki no Kuni? is a country which was covered by eternal ices. It was a small country, but they had lived peacefully thank to a kind Daimyo, Kazahana Sousetsu. However, 10 years ago, a tragedy occurred. Kazahana Doto who was the little brother of Sosetsu revolted against Sousetsu, and took over the country.
At the moment he passed away, he gave Rokaku Suisho (hexagonal crystal) which consisted of snow crystals to his only daughter Koyuki. She was at a loss when she saw her fathers death. It was Kakashi in his youth that appeared there. He was there to fulfill some order.

Uzumaki Naruto has just graduated from Ninja academy, and he is still Genin (lowest rank Ninjya). However, he has a dream to become the best Ninja, called Hokage. In order to become a full-fledged Ninja, he is working in the 7th team led by Kakashi. Kakashi is the strongest Ninja in team 7, and he is called copy Ninja Kakashi.

The next order of Naruto is to guard a very selfish actress, Fujimi Yukie. She has acted as Fuun Hime of the big hit movie series, "Adventure of Fuun Hime". The last episode of the series is supposed to be filmed in uki no Kuni, but Yukie says that she wont go there, and she runs away from the studio. Naruto and other members forces her to go to uki no Kuni. However, three strong Ninjas, Roga Nadare, Fuyuguma Mizore, and Kakuyoku Fubuki are waiting for them. They were wearing evil arms, and attacked Yukie at once. There seems to be a relation between their attack and Koyuki, who has been missing for ten years.

Synopisis by animenfo.com (edited by me, so it could make some sense)

By now, theres no anime fan that doesnt know about the anime and manga series "Naruto". Its a widely spreading fenomenon usually compared to "Dragon Ball Z". After more than 100 episodes in the tv series, the first theatrical debut of "Naruto" comes about. It ends up not beeing a very special piece, but its something else for "Naruto" fans to feast their hunger for more on.

The animation in this movie is is easily better than the one that can usually be seen in the tv series. With that said, the best of it is that it now has a wider image for theatrical purposes. Nevertheless, this animation pales in comparison to other famous anime movies. Actually you will get the impression you're just watching a longer tv episode than actually a full fledged movie. In the end, its what it really is.
The Art is faithful to the manga's original, even though it goes off course on some points throughout the movie. Its nevertheless what one would expect of "Naruto".
Theres not much to say about the cast though. The usual "Team 7" members take on this misson by themselves. Forget about the support characters since all your going to see of them is a poorly achieved pre-movie gag of such bad quality that i wont even mention it. This movie does introduce new characters but none of them is especially interesting. The new villains are the lamest you'll ever see in a Naruto anime excluding fillers. They pose no threat and after an inicial flash, all of them prove to be nothing worth of notice and end up beeing defeated in a pretty cheap way.
With such uninteristing characters its obvious the story wont go beyong cheesy and dull. Beeing especially overrun by a sensation of "Been there. Done that.". And you only have to look at the second Naruto OVA to find out why. Dont expect any major plot twists. Actually, theres one. But you already know what going to happen next either way.
The score is a bit unimpressive. Seems like there wasnt much of an effort in this regard. Recycled tv series tunes and a new main theme. I actually enjoyed the main theme song ("Home sweet home" by YUKI) but the fact that it only played in the ending credits is laughable at best.

So, there you go. A movie. Unfortunely, its so void of content or interesting fights that it becomes anti-climatic from beggining to end. If you look at this just has another anime filler, then maybe you can find some enjoyment and be done with it. Personally, i just yawned through the whole piece.
Right... and theres that pre-movie short that will make you sick before you even begin to watch the short lengthed movie, but i said i wouldnt mention it :P...

Rating 3/10

Nem
06-23-2005, 06:58 PM
Ah, finally i got the boring review outta the way. Unfortunely im in no conditions to review Baten Kaitos, God of War or Tekken 5 has of yet. Why? Baten Kaitos i stoped playing when i was aproaching the end due to my studies. So, i have to get back on the right mood to grab it again and finish it (its always the same. thats why i try not to begin an RPG unless i have time to finish it. Baten Kaitos was longer than expected so my bad there ^^). God of war has been delayed for a July 8th release in europe :crying:. Tekken 5 should get to me by tuesday next week.
Unfortunely the biggest set back on my plans is Guild Wars, that, has some of you might have guessed, im hooked on :D
Anyways, my copy of SNK vs Capcom arrived with my copy of Guild Wars a couple of weeks ago, so im probably gonna give it a review in the next days :)

Nem
07-23-2005, 02:36 PM
Platform: Gamecube

Genre: Traditional RPG (card RPG?!)

Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and the Lost Ocean


Monolith Soft's Baten Kaitos is the first RPG the company created aside the Xenosaga Series. The story behind this company is that its composed of ex-square emplyees that worked on Xenogears. And while it doesnt show that much on the slightly disappointing Xenosaga i think i finally saw some of that team's long lost spark in this game. Unfortunely theres some down sides that throw the games enjoyment in a pit. Its therefore one of those "love it" or "hate it" kind of games.

http://tinypic.com/99qqsj.jpg
some pretty 2D graphics

The game begins in both a grandiose and awful way. You are treated to a good looking CG intro narrated by the most irritating and unconvincing voice over ever. Its actually a head scratching voice. Probably the most horrid piece of voice over i ever heard. Its beyond me why Namco didnt just leave the original japanese speach in the intro since it was in well spoken english. Instead they chose to give us this little scare.
Has you can probably guess... beware of the voice acting in this game. Hopefully you can turn the voices off, but a few dreaded cut-scenes of silence will cut at you too. Its a matter of wich you dislike the less. Somehow, i got used to the voice acting along the way. Maybe it improved a little since the actors finally realised they had a great script in their hands or maybe i just got used to it.
Hopefully the music score that accompanies this game is one of the best this generation. I know that that isnt saying much given how disappointing this gen has been in terms of RPGs, but this titles "star ocean: the second story" meets "chrono cross" music style greatly improves its enjoyment. Oddly enough, none of the themes sticked with me. But, i sure noticed them while i was playing.

Unlike most games this gen, Baten Kaitos features 2D backgrounds with 3D battles. But the game looks amazing nevertheless. These are the best 2D backgrounds to grace any RPG. Clouds, steam, plants and flowers moving in the background... lots of detail to make the best of your visual expericence. The 3D battle stages look has you would expect them to. But honestly, you will hardly have time to notice what the battle backgrounds look like. Why? Because in this game you have limited time to make your moves. And that leads us to this games highlight and downfall. The card based battle system.

In this game you have decks of cards you use to battle monsters. Theres offensive, defensive , recovery and what i like to call "odd" cards that have various effects from doing nothing to improving or damaging certain stats. When in battle, you will want to play the attacking cards in you enemies preferably by doing extra damage strings by playing the cards in a certain order or with repeated numbers. Numbers?! Yes, every card in Baten Kaitos has 1 to 4 numbers that range from 1 to 9 on its edges that you can use to play it with. Has i noted before, certain strings of numbers will warrant you extra damage and you will want that. Everytime one of your characters plays they will typically use attack cards on their enemies. This is called the attack phase. While you are attacking your enemy with offensive cards he can counter them with defensive cards. Thus taking his defend phase. The same happens when its you character the one being attacked. This might sound like something annoying, but its not. Its where the balance of the game resides has well has the potencial fun of this battle system. Unfortunely, things arent this simple. Some cards, mostly the recovery and "odd" ones have a tendency to evolve or degenerate. And while its fun to see some of them evolve, the degenarating will annoy you to hell. Especially since it happens to most recovery cards given they are usually food and will rot. This not only creates you the problem of having to find new recovery cards but also tends to only be noticed when you're battling a boss. Dont ask me why. Its the way it happened with me. Its annoying when realistic takes first place to fun. Everyone likes to upgrade their deck, but no one enjoys when its beeing downgraded. Something completely passable.
Theres more though. In battle, you have a limited amount of time to make your choices. While in the beggining of the game you have 30 seconds to make your first choice of cards and strategy for the play, in the rest of the game its not unusual to have only about 3 to 5 seconds to do the same thing. Also its in this time frame that you can see how your characters life bars are and to reach out the first selected card to play in your hand. This will lead to many lost turns due to time and ultimately lead you to make decisions based on what you're looking at at the moment instead of something planned. When this happens its more like the game is playing you then you playing the game. It can be quite irritating. This limited time stole much of the enjoyment in the title and god only knows why Monolith decided to do it this way. On a side note, there are no random encounters but you can only run away from battle with a certain card.

http://tinypic.com/99qtfa.jpg
Xelha ditches some pain

Theres good news though. This game has a great storyline. Twists and turns at every corner. Once you think something is safe to assume the game will move on to crush it. It was here in this story that i finally saw the long lost spark of the team that made Xenogears. Theres a background, revelations and the already mentioned twists. Also in this story, the player is a character has well. More like a spirit that accompanies Kalas - the main character. You will be prompted a few questions along the way and characters recognize the importance of your existance. I spent the whole game hoping to incarnate on a body in the game but unfortunely it never happens. A shame i say. It wouldve been a fun twist.
The story is great but it cant be in the same level of Xenogears and FF7. Why is that then? The characters. The characters in Baten Kaitos are very unenlightened. Most of them have pretty boring personalities. Especially Savina and Lyude. At one point you will just want to say "Go away already. You're not helping anything to the game". Gibari is the usual support good guy. Kalas and Xelha arent so bad because they are really well developed during the game. Hopefully theres also a great character in their midst. The great Mizuti will always say something obvious but totally outrageus, wich makes her hilarious. A great character. The rest of the supporting character is filled with useless personalities. Even the main villain is quite boring.

On the bright side, i took about 60hours to complete the game and i didnt do everything. In the end, the problem is that the game becomes less fun with the decreasing of time given to your characters turn. You will only strive forward since the story is so interesting. This game could've been great but Namco/monolith limited it to good only. Also i wouldnt like to see this card based battle system in every game in the series, but i guess its a lost hope.
All in all, an interesting game without those neverending dungeons that make you go "yawn".

Rating 7/10

Nem
07-23-2005, 02:42 PM
Yay a review!! Got some time while i was waiting for Gundam Seed Destiny 40 to finish download (also cause i finally took 2 days off of guild wars to finish Baten Kaitos :sweat: ). Now im off to watch it :D

edit: Fixed a number of gramatical and sense errors for your reading pleasure.

Paper exe
07-23-2005, 05:38 PM
What I hate about Baten Kaitos is that, I already know what to do and what card I want to use, but when my turn comes, I don't have enough time to select it, because it is to far away, but with NDS it will fix the worst part about the game in my opinion.
I also agree with you when you said.
Its annoying when realistic takes first place to fun.

SavedFromSin
07-23-2005, 06:35 PM
Don't worry about it. Saved from Sin forgot about his.



:P
after you read three novels and written three 10 pages papers within a month then you try to write reviews.

Icarus4578
07-24-2005, 05:06 AM
I haven't played a new, good RPG in quite some time. Looks like I'll be passing on this one as well. :o

Nem
10-08-2005, 09:10 PM
Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: Action

God of War

In our sequal driven market a new franchise is always a lump of fresh air. God of War came out of some shady Sony Santa Monica studio and took the market by storm by betting heavily on violence, looks, gameplay and greek mythology. Did they came out with a decent product in the end? Well... yes they did. Its actually one of the best efforts seen this gen, but its not without its shortcomings.


http://tinypic.com/efq5wl.jpg
Kratos: the main character. Not the friendliest of chaps is he?!


Lets start by the obvious. This game features one of, if not the best graphical engine to grace the Playstation 2 system. Water effects, textures architectural beauty, great framerate, all of these combine to create a beautifully rendered greek mythological world. In combat all the combos and magics unleash special effects feasts. This has an a "soul calibur effect" where you unleash attack not only cause you want to defeat the enemy but also cause they sure are pretty to look at.


The main character is very well animated, has are most of the monsters you will cross paths with. This is extremely important in this genre since it directly influences your gaming experience.
The gameplay is where this title rightfully shines the most. Every of Kratos (the main character) moves are fast paced and the envirenments are interactive. You can hop in a ladder in mid air, you can and will hop through rotating platforms and walk though thin ledges to move on. But, most of all you will unleash a series of destructive combos through Kratos cleverly designed double chain blade weapons. This means that while they are no bigger than large knives, they can extend while you do you combos to effectivelly hit and damage your opponents.
Through the adventure Kratos will also gain some magic spells and another weapon that will increase the options of moves and strategies in combat.
Unfortunely, its in the quantity of moves and weapons that lies one of my beefs with this game. You only have 2 weapons: the main chain blades and a large heavy sword. Compared to titles like the recent Devil may cry, this is a very short array of weapons and the combos end up getting a bit repetitive. Is you will be rewarded to change strategies during battles due to the nice enemy AI but if your like me and like to vary your combos and weapon choices you will find the game lacking in this department. Of course the most important part of achieving a highly enjoyable combat system was achieved. So, maybe something to go for in the sequal.

The sound score is average to good id say. Theres no memorable themes like in the Legacy of Kain series though. The soundtrack is nevertheless enjoyable and fitting. Its just not something you'll pay heavy attantion to, since this game doesnt have much exploring. Its very much just arrive and crush everything in your sight aside from the few but well conceived puzzles.
The story was one of the things that lead me to get this game, but it was where it utterly failed in my opinion. Kratos i a Spartan warrior set on getting revenge from the God the once served: Ares ( the greek god of war). Its a fairly interesting outset, but the fact is that the story doesnt evolve much from that. The story revolves around Kratos and his quest but the secondary characters get no attantion making this a heavily introspective quest. The problem is that most of that story had already been leaked to the net through the promotional trailers. Theres really nothing to look forward aside from the interesting ending.


http://tinypic.com/efq55k.jpg
This is both good to make and to look at!


The durability of the main quest is satisfying. Around 8-10 hours. Unfortunely i didnt get the idea i made a big epical journey since i only visited Athens, a small desert and an Overly sized temple and a more obscure place. Theres not really the feel that you made a big journey. This on the other side leads to a less painfull replay of the game. Yes, you will be incentivated to beat the game in God mode to unlock some more of the several interesting extras this game includes (from alternative outfits to a "making of" featurette).

All in all, God of Wars suceeds in creating a new and interesting world and an enjoyable combat system rivaling and maybe surpassing that of its main competitor in the genre Devil May Cry 3. This game is very well balanced and overall its a much better experience in gameplay terms. But, in terms of providing a quality story it fails miserably. Also, the fact that it only features 2 bosses is disheartening.
Final Word: A great franchise with room for improvement. And like the game's final message, without a doubt "Kratos will return".

Rating 8/10

Paper exe
10-09-2005, 11:34 AM
Good review, Nem.
For me I still think the movie like music kills it and why I give it a 7 of 10. They really pissed me off by using movie like music, I was faring that day to come and it did and they support this lame idea, because of there lack of originality and actually a normal music maker. Any game that tries to weak me from denial will be decreased a point or two!1!!

Revelade
10-09-2005, 08:15 PM
I could be wrong, but I heard GoW was just a glorified button masher.

Speranza
10-09-2005, 08:49 PM
I got God of war here, i just cant be asked to play it right now :(

Nem
10-09-2005, 10:49 PM
I could be wrong, but I heard GoW was just a glorified button masher.

Well if you dont block you wont live long enough to call it a button masher :sweat: . Anyways its like i pointed out in my review. The ammount of moves and combinations is somewhat limited compared to DMC3. They really need to add more weapons and spells to make it even more fun to play.
The story is boring though. And without a good story to pull me through the game i always feel like im playing just for the sake of just that. I really hope they come up with a more complex plot next time or im gonna be really mad.

And thx for the complement paper :)

Nem
10-30-2005, 10:36 PM
Genre: Platform, fighting & racing

Platform: PS2 (also on GC)

Sonic Gems Collection

Last year's "Sonic mega collection +" was a sucess! A great classics collection that only fell short from perfect cause it was missing the mythical "Sonic CD". Sega decided to make up for it by making a new collection including sonic CD and some additional sonic games. And so, they called the new game - Sonic Gems collection.
The premise looked decent enough, but the end result was disastrous!

Sonic Gems Collection includes 11 games unlike the 12 in the japanese version wich included the Streets of Rage Trilogy instead of Vecorman 1 & 2 . These games are:

Sonic the Fighers
Sonic CD
Sonic R
Sonic 2 (GG)
sonic Triple Trouble (GG)
Sonic Drift 2 (GG)
Tails sky patrol (GG)
Tails adventures (GG)
Sonic Spinball (GG)
Vectorman
Vectorman 2

Sonic the fighters
So lets start with "Sonic the fighters". This game might be the only pleasent surprise in this collection since it was never released outside the arcades. This game is nevertheless a port of a saturn era title and has such the graphics belong to that era.
This fighter is actually a bit of fun. If it had been released for the saturn it wouldve been a hit on the same ammount "virtua fighter kids" and "Fighting vipers" were on the day. Its actually a fun interpretation of the sonic world in a 3D fighter. The musics are enjoyable and the stages are inspired in many of the stages present in past 2D sonic titles. The fighters have a somewhat limited array of moves but its always fun to play. Obviously though, one wont be playing this much at all since in terms of what fighters are today, this game doesnt come even close. So, this game is good for the occasinal "arcade" game where you play once and are done with it. You might return another day, but not very often...

http://tinypic.com/f4ikcx.jpg
Hmm... a favorable position for Sonic I'd say :lol:


Sonic R
This old Saturn classic is the title that benefited the most for having left the saturn hardware. Actually Sega made some slight new options. The graphics in this game are now better given the polygons dont disappear in the distance like in the saturn version and without all the polygon and texture mess one can finally see that the game has some really pretty 2D backgrounds. You now can choose the weather effects from the options menu ( Clean sky, rainy or snowy ) something that was time/clock triggered on the saturn. The soundtrack is unaltered but the old Saturn sound chip plagues the conversition and it sounds really weird given todays sound standards. Sega could really have done something about it...
Unfortunely the control in this game is has bad or worse than its Saturn counterpart wich makes it unplayable unless you use the "O" button to accelerate instead of pulling the left analog stick up.
Durability also plagues this title. 5 tracks are all you have. In less than 2 hours you will have done everything there is to be done in this title. I dont understand how sega expects anyone to unlock the extra artwork for this game by playing more than 120 minutes. Its impossible unless you are only playing it till you achieve that.

Sonic CD
Sonic CD is the big letdown of this collection. What was to be the core of the collection ended up making it a helpless title. All because the great soundtrack was violated and replaced by a new one. Also some minor changes were made to the title wich i will adress soon.
Has you may have guessed, this is a 2D platformer in the old Sonic style that was released on the Mega CD/Sega CD and sees Sonic travel in time to the past or the future. Making each stage in reality a whooping 4 stages in one (past, present, good future, bad future) each with its own soundtrack.
I am actually a happy owner of a Mega CD and a copy of the PAL version of Sonic CD. In that version of the game, the so called "japanese soundtrack" was present. It wasnt till this year that i discovered that the poor souls in the american market got that soundtrack almost completely raped and replaced by a new one.
Sega of Europe decided to follow the example of Sega of America and both included the past american version into the gems collection. And what a mistake that was...!
The american soundtrack, despite all, includes 1/4th of the japanese in it since all the "past" stages are common to both soundtracks. But the rest of the 3/4ths of the japanese soundtrack's fast paced upbeat musics were removed in favor of several slow paced and even tribal tunes. These tunes arent completely bad by themselves but they are boring and make the game a complete yawn fest.
Without the original soundtrack this game really aint worth playing. Actually anyone playing it will only do it cause he/she has never completed the game before and it will always come to the fatal question "What was all the fuss about this game anyways?!". And its a correct analisys of the situation. Theres nothing special about the American version of Sonic CD. Its nothing but a yawn fest. The japanese version is where the myth of the great Sonic CD lives. Obviously the guys at Sega are so brain dead these days that they cant tell what made their past games so good...
Theres more though. Some changes were made to the game in this american version for better or for worse. First, the ammount of countinuous running needed to travel in time is slightly shorter in this version and the normal game is actually slower than the original japanese/european version. Oddly enough the opposite happens in the special stages where the speed increased and a new blue UFO that when detroyed awards you extra seconds to complete the stage was added. Honestly i found both changes unecessary more than anything...
At the end of the day, all this collection did for "Sonic CD" was make me Turn on my Mega CD and have a taste at the real deal.

http://tinypic.com/f4ijv7.jpg
The memories... you went "WTH?!" when Amy first clinged to you and when Metal Sonic kidnapped her here you went "good grief!! Keep her!!". Ah, the memories...

GG games and Vectorman
The game gear games are the messes you'd expect but they are worthy additions to the collection. Actually the titles present here beat the line-up present in Sonic Mega collection easily.
"Sonic 2", "Sonic Triple trouble" and "Tails adventure" are the cream of the crop. All of these are the usual 2D sonic platforms you are used to see in the Game Gear.
"Tails Sky patrol" is what id call a surprise and something different since it doesnt follow the usual formula and has talis flying non-stop with the screen moving always at a fixed pace. "Sonic spinball" is an adaptation of the mega drive/genesis original to the Game Gear. Surprisingly enough its not only a dumbed down port but the levels are also different even if inspired by its elder brother's design.
"Sonic Drift 2" is the game you will want to stay very far away from. This racer is very "Outrun" but without the large roads. You will probably get off track in every turn. Not fun!
The "Vectorman" titles are not only a pain to unlock has they are useless. The graphics are decent no doubt, but you cant help but see a dumbed down version of Capcom's "Megaman" series in it. Except it lacks a decent main character. Really?!... What was Sega thinking when they created this main character?! Do they realise they used another version of this same character has a punching bag in the practice mode of "Fighters Megamix" ?! Honestly... Sega doent look like the company where he smart guys are...
Anyways... these Vectorman titles are also plagued by the shadow of the "Streets of Rage" titles that were included in the Japanese version since it cant possibly compete with them in quality.


http://tinypic.com/f4ik2v.jpg
Wait! No polygons threatening to pop outta of your TV?! Its actually disappointing for a Saturn game...

Well, you guessed it. A collection where some Game Gear games are the highlight isnt a good accomplishment. Actually theres a serious lack of quality compared to the great presentation the past "Sonic Mega Collection +" debuted. Theres some extra art pieces to be unlocked but they require you to play some games extensively wich in some cases isnt doable unless you leave your console on or you develop a serious case of masoquism.
So, its now also proven that Sonic CD aint worth half of its value without the japanese soundtrack and that Sega's decision making processes are still questionable in terms of intellegence (we already knew that when they included Dr. Robotniks mean bean machine's GG version in the same collection has its MD/G counterpart).
Theres really not much to say about this collection really. There just isnt a title to make the money you pay for it worth it. Actually when people complain about the non-inclusion of the "Streets of Rage" games is not only cause they are better additions than the "Vectorman" games... its cause those were the only titles that could've given this collection some worth! I knew this collection wasnt going to be good and i even advertised caution for it in past threads, but i decided to take my chances since it included some game gear games i missed and i dared hope the US soundtrack in Sonic CD wouldnt actually be that bad... BIG mistake!
Stay away from this one! Actually... dont come even close! Run when you see it on shop shelves or you might be fooled like i was... by the mirage of a good collection.
Honestly, i hope Sega makes up for this with a "Sonic Gems collection +" and decides not only to include the "Streets of Rage" trilogy and the japanese "Sonic CD" soundtrack in the game, but also include Knuckles Chaotix and Sonic 3D Blast (Saturn version) to make up for this mess they did. Sonic doesnt deserve to be humiliated like this!
For SHAME Sega, for shame!!

Rating 2/10

Paper exe
11-05-2005, 12:23 PM
I liked you review, but there are some things I most say. :D

"Sonic Drift 2" is the game you will want to stay very far away from. This racer is very "Outrun" but without the large roads. You will probably get off track in every turn. Not fun!
I used to own this game for the GameGear, but it got lost. (My brothers mistake, because I don't do mistakes! :P ) Anyway, I rarely go off track. I agree the game is mean less, but that because all what you do is going left and right with the same old turns in each stage, until you win. The abilities for most characters are useless and add nothing and you will rarely use it and the characters are also unbalanced. Sonic ability for an example, makes him dash, but Tails makes him jump. What dose jumping do? Nothing!
A mean less game is mean less no matter how many ways you play it, I guess.


Without the original soundtrack this game really aint worth playing. Actually anyone playing it will only do it cause he/she has never completed the game before and it will always come to the fatal question "What was all the fuss about this game anyways?!". And its a correct analisys of the situation. Theres nothing special about the American version of Sonic CD. Its nothing but a yawn fest. The japanese version is where the myth of the grest Sonic CD lives.
I said something like that long time ago. Sonic without the music is just a mediocre game or at most above average.
The same goes to MegaMan. See what good music can make for a game. Turn it form mediocre to a Classic.

Icarus4578
11-05-2005, 04:48 PM
I've always wanted to hear what Sonic The Fighters sounds like (and I must obtain the soundtrack to Indy 500, somehow...). The US Sonic CD soundtrack was done by Spencer Nielsen (however you spell his name) and it effectively ruined the game. Thanks, SoA!

Nem
11-07-2005, 01:49 AM
hoho... i just fixed a gazillion typos and mistakes in my review :8):

Paper, has for Sonic Drift 2 i believe you really know more than i do cause i didnt dare to play it for long. The 8/16 bit era racers havent aged gracefully at all! Its not the least bit fun.

Icarus, you do well in wanting to listen to the Sonic the fighters soundtrack. I was really surprised (maybe cause i had no expectations). Its an enjoyable soundtrack. Actually its what makes me start up the game when i dare polute my Ps2 with this collection. The stages are fun too :D theres one in a flying carpet (seen in one of the shots i posted) and another in mushroom hill with all those familiar "bowak" mushroom sounds. Its beyond me why Sega chose not to cash in with this. Actually its also beyond me why they didnt include all of the characters of this game in "Fighters megamix". It could've only boosted the sales even more...

By the way, it was the first time i reviewed a collection and i found it to be quite troublesome since its in fact several reviews in one, so its hard to go much into detail without writing a testament :sweat: