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ALttP
11-23-2005, 12:04 PM
>.> Enjoy. I will try to produce one review per week, at longest.

Below is the list of games I will be reviewing. No chronological order, and I'll give a rating for all games, including ones whose reviews are not complete. List subject to change. >.>

Nintendo Entertainment System

Donkey Kong - 7.2
Donkey Kong 3 - 4.5
Donkey Kong Jr. - 7.0
Donkey Kong Jr. Math - 6.0
Kirby's Adventure - 9.2
Mario is Missing! - 0.5 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=254455#post254455)
The Legend of Zelda - 9.3
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link - 9.0

Game Boy

Final Fantasy Adventure - 9.5
Kirby's Dream Land - 8.8
Pok?mon Red and Blue - 9.3
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening - 9.8

Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Breath of Fire - 8.7
Breath of Fire II - 9.0
Chrono Trigger - 10.0
EarthBound - 10.0
E.V.O: The Search for Eden - 9.6
Final Fantasy VI - 9.7
Kirby Super Star - 9.7
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past - 10.0

Nintendo 64

Harvest Moon 64 - 9.5
Mario Kart 64 - 8.5
Mario Tennis - 8.3
Paper Mario - 10.0 - 10.0 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=254349#post254349)
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask - 9.9
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - 9.0

PlayStation

Ape Escape - 9.6
Chrono Cross - 9.8

Game Boy Color

Kirby's Tilt 'n' Tumble - 8.5
Pok?mon Gold and Silver - 8.9
Pok?mon Pinball - 8.7
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX - 9.8
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages - 9.6
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons - 9.5
Wario Land II - 9.3
Wario Land 3 - 9.7

PlayStation 2

Disgaea: Hour of Darkness - 10.0
Katamari Damacy - 10.0
Spider-Man: The Movie - 5.6
We Love Katamari - 10.0

Game Boy Advance

Advance Wars - 10.0
Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising - 9.4
Car Battler Joe - 6.2
Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow - 9.5
Castlevania: Circle of the Moon - 9.7
Fire Emblem - 8.9
Golden Sun - 8.6
Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land - 8.7
Pok?mon Ruby and Sapphire - 9.3
Pok?mon Emerald - 9.4
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and the Four Swords - 9.9
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap - 8.6
Wario Land 4 - 8.4
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ - 9.2

GameCube

Animal Crossing - 8.5
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! - 7.5
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - 10.0
Super Mario Sunshine - 9.3
The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker - 9.6
The Legend of Zelda: Collector's Edition - Failure.0
Kirby Air Ride - 8.5

Nintendo DS

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - 10.0 (http://www.the-magicbox.com/forums/showthread.php?p=250984#post250984)
Kirby: Canvas Curse - 9.6
Advance Wars: Dual Strike - 10.0
Super Mario 64 DS - 7.0
WarioWare: Touched! - 7.9
Feel the Magic: XY/XX - 8.9
Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow - 9.8
Trauma Center: Under the Knife - 9.7
Nintendogs: Labrador and Friends - 9.1
Metroid Prime Hunters: First Hunt (Demo) - 8.8

ALttP
11-23-2005, 12:06 PM
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

System: Nintendo DS
Release date: October 11th, 2005
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Players: 1
Game length: 20+ hours
Difficulty: Medium to Hard

Review:

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (Gyakuten Saiban: Yomigaeru Gyakuten in Japan) is an attorney game, where you play as up and coming attorney named Phoenix Wright, as he defends his client case after case. Throughout the game, he encounters several characters, some who assist him and some who work against him. The game offers various tasks for you to take as you progress through each of the five Episodes, ranging from investigation to pressing witnesses on statements and presenting evidence.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a remake the first game of a five year old franchise that started on the Game Boy Advance, titled Gyakuten Saiban (literally translated as Comeback Court). There have been two sequels since the original, keeping the gameplay of it intact. Unlike the original, however, the DS remake has several new features. Most noticable of these features, but other than minor cosmetic changes, the biggest difference between the games is the addition of a fifth Episode, which is the only episode to require the touch screen and microphone.

In both Japan and the United States, it did not sell as well as it could have. In Japan, it sold 100,000 copies, compared to the original's 250,000 copies, missing Capcom's expectations to exceed the sales of the original. The reason behind these low sales is attributed to the remake status. In the United States, it has done far worse, selling 9,555 copies in its first month. To start off the review, I must say that I really enjoyed this game. It may be a bit to talkative for some peoples' tastes, but in those texts is a quality storyline.

Gameplay: 10.0

While some may not agree that there is very much gameplay involved, I stand by my opinion that the tons of reading involved, analyzing the testimonies and examining evidence is some of the best gameplay out there. The game mostly takes place in the court house. During the trials, there is a lot of text, and the gameplay does not pick up until you begin cross examination. After the witness finishes their testimony, the Judge will allow you to begin your cross examination.

During Episode 1, The First Turnabout, the gameplay is limited to cross examination of a single witness. Episode 1 was designed to be somewhat simple, similar to a tutorial. Unlike future Episodes, this Episode spans only one day, and does not leave the court house. Throughout the trial, you will learn about various features available to you, such as the Court Record. The Court Record allows you to read about both the evidence and the characters involved in the trial. Once you get to Episode 2, it becomes far more difficult. Instead of merely cross examining a single witness with a small amount of evidence to have to consider, you now have a large laundry list of evidence to use in your cross examination of several various characters. Not only that, but you now must investigate several different scenes for evidence.

The investigation aspect of the game is similar to that of Sam & Max for the PC, except instead of a mouse, you are given a stylus. Two new features were added for the remake. These features are luminol and aluminum powder. The luminol is sprayed onto a certain area by using the stylus to click on an area. If there is any blood, the luminol will make it visible. The aluminum powder is used far more sparingly, however. It is only used at certain points when fingerprints are discovered, and to be used, you must spread it around with the touch screen, and then blow into the microphone to blow away the excess. You must then match up with a matching fingerprint in the Court Record. These features were a very effective use of the touch screen, effectively making it more than just a DSized GBA game. Hopefully, this will be common in future Gyakuten Saiban games.

Visuals: 9.0

As this is a remake of a Game Boy Advance remake from 2000, it is to be expected that it would look inferior to many Nintendo DS games. While it is not a technical achievement, the art and animation is very good, and I would not have noticed any inferiority without knowing that it was once a Game Boy Advance game. However, this only applies to Episodes 1-4. While Episode 5 includes the same art style with characters, there is cel-shading incorporated on several occasions.

Audio: 10.0

The audio quality of this game is excellent. The two speakers really help to bring the music and voice acting to life. The music really helps to liven up the court room battles. When you are cross examining a witness, you are treated with a simple song, but when you find a contradiction in their testimony, you are treated with an uplifting song. It's unfortunate that they did not include a sound test in this remake.

Storyline: 10.0

Along with the court battles, the storyline that builds the gameplay up is what makes the game what it is. In the first two chapters, it is immediately obvious who comitted the crime. The star is Phoenix Wright, an attorney that works for Fey and Co. Law Offices. Phoenix Wright is on his first trial, defending his long-time friend Larry Butz (often referred to as Harry Butz). Larry is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, Cindy Stone, who worked as a model. A man named Mr. Sahwit apparently discovered Cindy's body, after seeing Larry flee the scene. Winston Payne, the prosecutor for the case, eventually calls Sahwit to the stand.

Once he takes the stand, he gives his testimony as to what he saw. Once he finishes talking, Mia Fey, his mentor, instructs him to look for contradictions in Sahwit's statement. Phoenix must press him on statements or present evidence when a contradiction comes up. For instance, Mr. Sahwit claimed he found the body at 1:00, when the autopsy report said that she had died at 4:00. Phoenix presents the autopsy report, and he will wriggle his way through it and gives his testimony on why he thought it was 1:00. Phoenix keeps presenting evidence proving the contradictions in his statement, and eventually, Mr. Sahwit is proven as the killer, and Larry is set free.

All Episodes after Episode 1 are far more extravagant and lengthy, with witnesses far more difficult to crack. Each Episode introduces a plethora of characters, such as Will Powers (the Steel Samurai), Redd White of Bluecorp., etc. But there are several characters who span most episodes; Phoenix Wright, a defense attorney, Mia Fey, his mentor, Maya Fey, Mia's sister, Miles Edgeworth, the prosecution, Dick Gumshoe, a detective, the Judge and Larry Butz, Wright's friend. Throughout the game, Phoenix will encounter evidence from a case called DL-6. This case is highly important, and is directly related to both Episodes 2 and 4.

Replay value: 8.0

The replay value is the major flaw of the game. Being that it's a pretty linear game, it's to be expected. If you're expecting to replay it over and over again with no breaks, then I'm sorry to say, you might want to lower your expectations. Likely, you will have perfect knowledge of how to beat each Episode the instant you finish. However, like many other games, this is the kind of game that's still amazing if you let it sit until you forget much of the plot. Although, there's still a chance that one might be less forgetful than me.

Overall: 10.0

Overall, this game is the greatest Nintendo DS game and the greatest Capcom game that I have ever played. The only flaw present is the replay value, but even then, after a while, one would likely forget a lot of details, and it would feel almost like the first time you played it. Other than that, however, every aspect of the game is spot on perfect. I would recommend buying this game before all others; it's not like Phoenix Wright will be on the market longer than Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories or Mario Kart DS. A sequel is planned for the Nintendo DS called Gyakuten Saiban 4. However, this game has yet to show any involvement from Phoenix Wright.

Alucard
11-23-2005, 01:10 PM
Cool. Put one up of paper mario!

ALttP
11-24-2005, 09:14 AM
Well, thanks for the praise. More praise means more reviews in a shorter period of time, folks.

And due to overwhelming demand (100%!), I'll probly have Paper Mario up next.

Alucard
11-24-2005, 09:16 AM
w00t! I'm still thinking about playing this game and just want to keep hearing more about it.

ALttP
12-02-2005, 07:15 PM
I will be posting my Paper Mario review soon. It is half-way done. I should be able to get my Advance Wars: Dual Strike review up as well.

Mistatee
12-02-2005, 08:55 PM
Just a quick question:
Ill wait for the reviews for the full answer, but how the hell is FFVII a 6 something and Final Fantasy IX is a 9. Im personally not a huge fan of the series myself, but VII is easily the second best one (behind VI) with IX being one of the worse (even worse then 8) This might all be just me, but IX had the worst characters (even worse then X and made all other Final Fantasy CHaracters look good) aside from ViVi and Freya. Its story was horrible, its villian was retarded, the final boss [/SPOILER] is never mentioned once and just appears [SPOILER]

Im just curious I guess on you opinion of the two games and what makes VII so bad for you, and XI so good. Props on not giving VII a 10, but giving Earthbound a 10. Thats relieving atleast....and original

ALttP
12-02-2005, 10:45 PM
I liked FFIX gameplay, and I was one of the few people who didn't have much of a problem with Final Fantasy IX's plot.

However, I felt that FFVII's characters, while not bad, were boring and unappealing, with the exception of Red XIII. In comparison with some actual quality characters in Final Fantasy VI...

Shadow > Yuffie

Red XIII > Umaro

Locke > Cloud

Terra > Aeris

Celes > Tifa

Sabin > Barret

Mog > Cait Sith

Kefka > Sephiroth

And I can't think of any Vincentesque character, so...

Edgar > Vincent

Anyway, FFVII wasn't all that fun. Maybe its overratedness contributed to the rating, but even if I wasn't sick of FFVII, it'd get only about a seven.

Alucard
12-03-2005, 01:26 AM
Weird. FF9 characters put me to sleep. And Kefka was one of the worst end bosses ever. He did nothing.

ALttP
12-03-2005, 01:49 AM
Well, I mean, don't you ever have a feeling that motive has become clich?? :P

PS: Storyline, lead and overall sections are completed, gameplay almost completed.

ALttP
12-03-2005, 03:15 AM
Paper Mario

System: Nintendo 64
Release date: August 11th, 2000 (JP) | February 4th, 2001 (NA) | October 05th, 2001 (EU)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Players: 1
Game length: 20+ hours
Difficulty: Somewhat easy to medium

Paper Mario (Mario Story in Japan) is a Nintendo 64 game released in Japan in the year 2000, and Europe/North America in 2001. Like the name implies, the game stars Mario in paper form. Not only Mario, but also the entire Mario universe, from the environment to the characters to the items are paper as well. This is on account of the storyline being based in a story book, and being told by an unknown narrator. Unlike the traditional gameplay featured in Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario features a lead character plus a partner character, which can be one of any eight partners that Mario meets throughout the game. Instead of HP, Mario's partner can be stunned for a certain amount of turns if they do not block the attack.

Paper Mario is a "sort-of" sequel to Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the Super Nintendo. It has no connection to Super Mario RPG other than genre. The combined factors of the visual style and SquareSoft not having anything to do with it upset many fans of the original. Some believe that SquareSoft would have been the developer of Paper Mario, assuming that Nintendo had not caused things to sour in their relationship. Instead of SquareSoft, Nintendo had one of their own developers, Intelligent Systems (of Fire Emblem and Super Metroid fame) develop it. Timed hits, a concept introduced in Super Mario RPG, was expanded upon in Paper Mario. Paper Mario did not do as exceptionally well as Super Mario RPG. While Super Mario RPG had exceeded 1,000,000 copies, Paper Mario did not meet the same number, likely because of it being released late in the Nintendo 64's life.

Paper Mario is a quality title, at least when viewed separately from Super Mario RPG in the case of SquareSoft devotees. Even in the face of Super Mario RPG, it still is an astounding RPG, and a great example of how an RPG should be. It is unfortunate that some people refuse to look past the kiddish visuals, and will ignore what is under these graphics, a deep, eventful RPG that all ages can enjoy. I cannot wait until I will be able to download it on the Nintendo Revolution. Along with EarthBound, A Link to the Past and Kirby Super Star, it will be the first thing I download.

Gameplay: 10.0

The gameplay of Paper Mario is very deep, despite the lower-than-normal numbers. Usually, any character or enemy would be lucky to do double digit damage. While it may seem like a bad idea, it is basically the damage number system in RPGs dumbed down. As both the heroes and the villains do low damage and have low health in comparison to other RPGs, the damage system works perfectly. It takes Super Mario RPG's timed hits system, and expands upon it. While timed hits were just used as an optional offense/defense system in Super Mario RPG, Paper Mario uses them as a necessity. For instance, when jumping on an enemy, pushing the A button again will cause Mario to do a second attack on them, and when Mario uses his Hammer, the player must pull back on the control stick in order to get maximum damage. It really helps to separate itself from traditional RPGs, which are more or less selecting options from a menu.

As stated before in the lead of the review, the partner system of Super Mario RPG is changed. Instead of having three equal characters in your party, Paper Mario has Mario as the lead character and a second character to be his partner. Each playable character has their own special techniques. Mario has a Hammer and Jump boots, which allow him to use the Hammer and Jump commands to attack enemies. However, there are some enemies who are immune to one of these techniques. For instance, Goomba, the weakest enemy in the game, is vulnerable to both Jump and Hammer techniques, while the Spiked Goomba is immune to Jump techniques, and the Paragoomba is immune to Hammer techniques. By doing this, Nintendo prevented the game from being too easy, but didn't make it insanely difficult. The only way for Mario to get special abilities is to either save a Star Spirit in order to unlock a new Star Power, or to equip a Badge, granting a new ability, such as the Hammer Throw, which can be used against flying enemies.

Intelligent Systems really hit home with the Badge system. Each RPG has a system to call their own - Super Mario RPG can lay claim to the timed hits, Final Fantasy VII has their Materia, and Paper Mario has Badges. There is a variety of Badges available to the player, ranging from Hammer Badges to Jump Badges to Partner Badges to Stat Badges and more. The Badge system allows for a high amount of customization for Mario and company. Several Badges are situational. Fire Power and Ice Power resist fire techniques (although they have little differences), and some Badges make the game much easier, like Quick Change, allowing Partners to change and attack in the same turn. Badges are littered all over the Mushroom Kingdom, and in order to acquire every one of them, you must acquire every Star Piece.

The gameplay is not limited to RPG battles. There are a lot of things to do outside of battle. It is one of the truer platforming RPGs, because it goes further than jumping around to make itself a platformer. For instance, there are blocks lying around all over the Mushroom Kingdom, requiring that Mario either jumps to hit them or hit them with the hammer, assuming they?re on the ground. There are also special techniques. One such techniques is the Butt Stomp, a typical technique found in 3D Mario titles. This technique can be used to do a variety of tasks, such as push buttons, or flip panels over that are hiding Star Pieces. Partners can be of assistance as well. Goombario can tell Mario about any person or place, Kooper can be launched a good distance (in order to hit a switch or grab an item) and Bombette can blow up walls. Each character in Mario?s party has their own distinct ability that must be used to finish the game (with the exception of Goombario?s). Sidequests are also abundant. They range from minor sidequests, such as the Dojo, to the big ones, like the Recipes or Star Pieces.

Audio: 10.0

The audio is a very good throwback to previous Mario games. While few songs in the game have any relation to songs of previous Mario games, many of the songs present in the game have the same feeling as previous Mario games, thanks to being composed by famous Nintendo music composer Koji Konno. The music isn't the only great thing about the game; the sound effects are very good as well. Like the music, they are very reminiscent to previosu Mario games. Many sound effects, such as jumping and destroying blocks sound similar, although they are far enhanced in comparison.

Visuals: 9.0

The visuals may not have been all fancy 3D, but they were very clean 2D, and far more appealing than most 3D games seen in the 32/64 bit generation. Most of the environmental design is in two dimensions, there are some three dimensional effects, such as the collapsable doors that collapse when Mario and his partner enter the building, and trees. Because of the simplistic two dimensional sprites, the character animations are disappointingly underdeveloped, with characters having few animations. However, despite this, the animation is very fluid. The area design was similar to a pop-up book. This may seem a bit kiddish, but it works very well.

Storyline: 9.0

The storyline is a bit corny, but it is still very humorous and enjoyable to read what everyone has to say. The storyline starts out with Mario and Luigi receiving an invitation to a party at Princess Peach's castle. At Princess Peach's castle are several various people from all over the Mushroom Kingdom. Once Mario meets with Princess Peach, the ground starts to shake violently, and the castle begins to be lifted into the sky by King Bowser's castle. Bowser and Kamek Koopa fly through the window of the castle, and Mario battles with Bowser. However, Bowser has captured the mystical Star Rod beforehand and kidnapped the seven Star Spirits. Bowser successfully defeats Mario, and knocks him all the way back to the ground with a lightning bolt. Mario falls unconcious, and gets a message from the seven Star Spirits asking him to save them. Mario soon awakens in a Goomba Village, where he meets a family of Goombas. Soon afterwards, he joins up with a Goomba named Goombario, and go on a search for the Star Spirits. Throughout the game, Mario meets up with many different characters, including Kooper, Bombette, Parakarry, Bow, Sushie and Lakilester.

Replay value: 7.0

Like many RPGs, Paper Mario does not have much incentive to be replayed again, at least in a short period of time. Once you have collected all of the Recipes, Badges, Star Pieces and maxing everything out, there's not that much to do in the next replay of the game. However, Paper Mario features an average of 20 hours game length, and once the previous replay eventually wears off, the game is enjoyable enough to be replayed once again.

Overall: 10.0

Paper Mario is one of the best RPGs ever created, falling short of the #1. spot to EarthBound, Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, Chrono Trigger and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Combining the intuitive gameplay, the fun storyline and the paper graphics, there's not much that can beat this game. Unlike Super Mario RPG, which was essentially just a traditional RPG with a Mario flavor, Paper Mario is in a class all of its own. Other than Nintendo's own Mario RPGs, its gameplay is like no other game. Nintendo's Mario RPGs are the only RPGs I have ever seen that successfully fuses platforming elements with RPG elements. Along with The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, Paper Mario is the must-have for any Nintendo 64 owner. You're cheating yourself if you do not play this masterpiece. Although, if you were forced to choose between this and The Thousand-Year Door, I would go with the latter.

Alucard
12-03-2005, 03:55 AM
:cool guy:

Is the GC version alot like the N64 one or does it do alot of new different things to make it feel like a hugely upgraded game in terms of gameplay?

Sinful Sam
12-03-2005, 04:33 AM
I would say the Paper Mario 2 is lot better then the prequel. It improved on just about everything. Mario & Luigi 2 for DS should be good. The first one for GBA kicked ass. I'm Looking forward to it.

ALttP
12-03-2005, 04:39 AM
Yes, Paper Mario 2 is significantly better. The cleaner 2D visuals make the sprites more interesting. However, I wish they kept it in or near the Mushroom Kingdom; I'm getting tired of all of these alternative themes. Beans, Aliens, Another World, A Warped Mushroom Kingdom (Mario RPG). Additionally, the whole audience thing was a cool feature, although the lack of pause function during battle could be annoying - imagine going to the bathroom with 1 HP, and then returning to find out that an audience member killed you.

Edit: Whoops, forgot to actually answer the question - yes, PM2 was essentially the same as PM's gameplay system, just with some really good additions.

Clysteon
12-03-2005, 06:48 AM
Giving Paper Mario and Earthbound the great scores that they deserve and putting FF7 in its place...I approve this topic.

And yes, Paper Mario does improve on almost every aspect of the original. The only thing that I liked more about PM1 were the locations. PM2's are fairly gloomy and didn't have the colorful, mario-feel that I was expecting.

ALttP
12-03-2005, 02:51 PM
Well, so far, my topic's on a good start. :D

So, yeah, other than Advance Wars: Dual Strike, which is already half done anyway, name five games you'd like me to review on that list.

Also, I may take certain titles off so you can't choose them - I'm going to have to play FFVII again. I don't like to review a game unless I have a great memory of how the game plays, you know? o_o

ALttP
12-03-2005, 03:56 PM
Mario is Missing!

System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date: July, 1983 (exact date unknown)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Software Toolworks
Players: 1
Game length: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Very easy

Mario is Missing! is an educational video game (also known as ?edutainment?) for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was designed by a developer called Software Toolworks (with permission from Nintendo), a video game developer that would develop Mario edutainment games for a very long time, ending with Mario?s Time Machine Deluxe in 1996. Some claim that Luigi?s Mansion was Luigi?s first starring role. Not so. It was, in fact, Mario is Missing! where Luigi first appeared in a starring role, but there was nothing all that spectacular. Mario has been kidnapped by King Koopa, and it is up to Luigi to save Mario. Remind you of Luigi?s Mansion, sans the King Koopa?

Gameplay: 1

The gameplay is? ?unique?. Luigi has to walk around landmarks from our reality to acquire rare artifacts to assist Luigi in guiding Yoshi to his location. These clues are held by stray Koopa Troopas walking around the town, and in order to figure your location yourself, you must present the correct rare artifact to the correct information guide, who is answering a question that can be answered with one of the rare artifacts. Why is it that edutainment games can never be fun? The entertainment factor of the game ruins the educational factor of the game. If you want entertainment, go buy Super Mario Bros. If you want education, go buy Brain Training. Neither of these have sloppy controls. Although, what can you expect from a game such as this? Anyway, onto other aspects of the gameplay.

One thing that I should mention is the complete lack of any difficulty whatsoever. Why is this so, you ask? Well, perhaps it is the fact that enemies do no damage when they collide with Luigi. In fact, they do not even react. They just keep walking on their merry way. The only way to stop them is to jump on their head, and recover the rare artifact that they stole, for whatever reason. There are three Koopa Troopas walking around, and thusly, three rare artifacts. This is essentially what the game is from beginning to end, with the exception of one final boss. If I were to describe this game, I would call it an overblown trivia game with the Mario license slapped onto it in order to help it sell. However, one thing you must know - the game is not actually broken. It is surprisingly well-designed outside of some sloppy controls and lack of fun, and could have been made into a good edutainment game if they put any effort into it.

Visuals: 7.5

The visuals are, I guess, the best factor of the game. In fact, I would argue that they are cleaner and further advanced than most NES games out there. The sprites are based off of their Super Nintendo incarnations, and even the environment isn?t all that terrible. However, if you want the negatives, I have some. For instance, not enough going on. Sure, there may be people walking around occasionally, but those sprites don?t match the shine of Mario, Luigi or Yoshi?s sprites. Basically, next to the Super Nintendo version, this is the best looking version of Mario is Missing!. The reason being is that the PC version is absolutely horrifying; everything I have seen in the PC version is a mess. I do not know which version you should avoid the most.

Audio: 6

The sound quality was alright. They should have put more effort into creating more music for the game, and making it top-notch. The music available in the game, however, is a mixed bag. While they aren?t horrifyingly annoying tunes, they aren?t toe-tapping masterpieces. Probably closer to the former. Being on a television set, it doesn?t have much of a problem with the audio quality. The sound effects are a bit tacked on. The most sound effects are jumping, the ?exploding Koopa Troopas?, the pipe, and various "bleeps and bloops". That's about it.

Storyline: 0

Ew. I?ll give it my best to describe the storyline. Mario was doing whatever on one day, and all of a sudden, Mario was stuffed into a sack by King Koopa, who quickly makes his escape. But Luigi witnesses, and along with Yoshi, chases after King Koopa. However, Luigi must traverse a castle filled with pipes to the real world, and he must find rare artifacts in each real world city in order to make any progress. Okay, sucks.

Replay Value: 0

There is no point to replaying this game, ever, unless you are morbidly curious. I challenge any single human being to find ONE aspect of the game that warrants replaying this failure at life.

Overall: 1

Overall, this is one of the worst games ever created by man. Other than visuals, which they seemed to have sacrificed quality in order to achieve such visuals. The only way you should ever play this is through rom? or your cartridge, if you own the game for whatever reason. For shame, Nintendo.

Mistatee
12-03-2005, 04:25 PM
I liked FFIX gameplay, and I was one of the few people who didn't have much of a problem with Final Fantasy IX's plot.

However, I felt that FFVII's characters, while not bad, were boring and unappealing, with the exception of Red XIII. In comparison with some actual quality characters in Final Fantasy VI...

Shadow > Yuffie

Red XIII > Umaro

Locke > Cloud

Terra > Aeris

Celes > Tifa

Sabin > Barret

Mog > Cait Sith

Kefka > Sephiroth

And I can't think of any Vincentesque character, so...

Edgar > Vincent

Anyway, FFVII wasn't all that fun. Maybe its overratedness contributed to the rating, but even if I wasn't sick of FFVII, it'd get only about a seven.

So its bad becuase it just came off of VI? makes sense since VI is way better, and yes VII is overated, but I find IX characters just as dull. Infact Square sucks at characters...
I recomend you play Lunar to relaise this

Nindalf
12-03-2005, 04:44 PM
I liked Mario is Missing. D:

ALttP
12-03-2005, 05:11 PM
#1. The bland characters weren't my only problem. The battle system wasn't bad, it just wasn't very good.

#2. More power to you, turnip. :P

Temujin
12-04-2005, 01:54 PM
So, yeah, other than Advance Wars: Dual Strike, which is already half done anyway, name five games you'd like me to review on that list.

I wouldn't mind an Ape Escape review if you've got time :D :thumb-up: .

ALttP
12-04-2005, 09:49 PM
Will do. Although it might be best to play through it, since the events of the game aren't all that fresh. I know the basic facts, but I might mess up and say that he has ten health instead of five.

Also, what does everyone think of my three reviews so far?

Temujin
12-05-2005, 07:05 AM
Will do. Although it might be best to play through it, since the events of the game aren't all that fresh. I know the basic facts, but I might mess up and say that he has ten health instead of five.

Also, what does everyone think of my three reviews so far?

They're very nice :D ! I enjoyed reading the Phoenix Wright one as that game looks very interesting and I wouldn't mind playing it. The Paper Mario one was all good, although I'm not really a fan, and the Mario is missing one was funny! Keep up the good work :cool guy: .

ALttP
12-05-2005, 07:50 PM
Thanks for that then! o_o

So, reviews on the slate:

Ape Escape
Advance Wars: Dual Strike.

Someone please give me more suggestions! T.T

Havoc2049
12-06-2005, 02:47 AM
Nice reviews ALttp. You have good taste in games, as Circle of the Moon is the best Castlevania game on the GBA. :D

ALttP
12-06-2005, 07:21 PM
Ape Escape

System: PlayStation
Release date: May 31st, 1999
Publisher: Sony
Developer: SCEI
Players: 1
Game length: 15+ hours
Difficulty: Somewhat easy

Ape Escape (Saru! Get You! in Japan) is a platformer on the PlayStation video game system, developed by Sony. You play as a young, spiky-haired boy named Spike, who is challenged with the task of capturing an army of monkeys that has escaped to various points in time, lead by an evil white monkey named Specter, who are all highly intelligent, thanks to a special helmet. It is a very innovative title, requiring the usage of a controller with two analog sticks. The left analog stick, like most adventure games, is used for basic movement, but the right analog stick is used to control the large variety of weapons at the player's disposal. This was the deal breaker - apart from the great visuals, audio, replay value and gameplay, the control setup was the one thing that made the game amazing.

Gameplay: 10

The gameplay is very innovative, thanks to the added analog stick. Ape Escape is your typical platforming game, except in this game, you use both sticks in harmony. The left analog stick is used to move Spike around, while the right stick is used to use items. In the beginning, you only have a Stun Club to stun monkeys and defeat other enemies and the Time Net, which is used to capture the monkeys. Both of these items are used by swinging the right analog stick in any direction. However, as you progress through the game, the Professor grants Spike more and more items, each with their own unique task. For instance, the Monkey Radar can be directed with the right analog stick in the direction you want it to be aimed, and will come in two colors - blue for nothing and red for something, basically. Other examples of this control setup are the RC Car, which is controlled with the right analog stick, and the Sky Flyer, which launches Spike into the air by spinning the right analog stick.

The main aspect of the game is to capture monkeys with the Time Net, throughout many different eras, using various other items if necessary. The helmet that the monkeys are wearing gives away their awareness of you - blue means they are calm, yellow means that they are cautious, and red means that they have spotted you. There are many variations of the monkey, depending on the type of pants they are wearing and other circumstances. The basic monkey has yellow pants, which indicates it has no special traits. The weakest monkey type in the game are monkeys wearing light blue pants. These monkeys are often cowering in a corner, and will run away, although they are not very agile. However, monkeys wearing blue pants are slightly less cowardly, but run very quickly. Monkeys that wear red pants are very aggressive, and often wear boxing gloves. Monkeys wearing white pants are too alert to not spot you. Monkeys wearing green pants have incredible eye sight, and often wear a backpack that launches missiles at you. The arguably most dangerous of the monkeys are the monkeys wearing black pants, which wear sunglasses and carry a machine gun. Occasionally, you will encounter "mini-boss monkeys". These are regular monkeys that ride in UFOs and other machines, and need a variety of weapons in order to defeat them.

Ape Escape features a large variety of levels. There are three levels in every world (with the exception of the final world), each sticking with the theme of the world. There are eight worlds, and 22 levels inside of these eight, ranging from prehistoric to medieval to futuristic, with monkeys littered all over each and every one of them. Each level is designed very well. Everytime I entered a new level, I had to immerse myself in it. One of my favorite themes in the game has got to be the prehistoric era, which is the earliest world that you encounter. No reason in particular, just that I like the theme. Outside of the main game, there are three minigames for you to play. These are unlocked by finding Specter Coins, which are placed throughout time. The first minigame is called "Ski Kidz Racing", a skiing minigame, the second minigame is called "Specter Boxing", a boxing minigame and the third minigame is called "Galaxy Monkey", a space shooter similar to Galaga. I did not care much for Ski Kidz Racing or Specter Boxing, but Galaxy Monkey was unbelievably addictive. I stopped playing the main game for a while to play this awesome minigame.

Visuals: 9.5

Ape Escape's visuals were very good for a PlayStation game (looks even better on the PlayStation 2). Ape Escape's visuals are very cartoony, and it succeeds with this style better than most games. The backgrounds are very detailed, and the character designs obviously had a lot of work put into them. I experienced very few graphical glitches, a rarity in games at the time.

Audio: 8.5

Both Ape Escape's music and voice acting is top notch. Ape Escape's voice actors are clear and not half assing it like many other games do. It was a real treat, since voice actors were somewhat uncommon back when it was first released. There are not very many voice actors in the game; the only voice actors in the game are for Jimmy, Natalie, Professor, Specter and Jake. Each area has its own unique music catered to the theme of the level. However, I must admit that while the music is of high quality, there's not a song in it that I could call "memorable". The music lasted me for the game, but I did not take anything away from it.

Storyline: 9.5

The storyline was great. While it is not your typical epic masterpiece of a story, it was very simple, yet enjoyable. The story begins when a circus monkey named Specter is sitting in the middle of a circus tent, where he finds a helmet with a red light atop it. He puts it on his head, and it enhances his intelligence greatly. He uses this intelligence to acquire more of these helmets and gives them out to other monkeys, creating an army of apes in order to take over the world. He sends his monkey army to various events in time, ranging from the prehistoric era to the space age era. The Professor (who had invented the helmet that Specter wears), with the help of a girl named Natalie, sends a young boy named Spike through time with various inventions of the Professor's in order to capture all 204 of the monkeys.

Replay value: 9.0

I stand by my score - I could replay this game over and over for as long as possible. For one, the game's design is incredible, and on my many playthroughs, I have never gotten tired of it, not even slightly. I admit that eventually, any game such as this one will get a tad boring, but it gives a lot of stuff to do. One such thing is to capture all of the apes (a daunting task), and the other ? which has practically infinite replay value ? is the Space Monkey minigame. I swear, I played that game for hours on end. The first time I played Ape Escape, I didn't finish the game for a week, because I was constantly trying to get a better score in Space Monkey. It's that awesome.

Overall: 9.6

Overall, Ape Escape is an amazing video game, and one of the best games to show that SCEA is a competent video game developer. Despite how complex it may seem, Ape Escape is a very simple game that anyone could pick up and play if they put their minds to it. However, while many may feel Ape Escape is better than Ape Escape 2, Ape Escape is inferior. Ape Escape 2 improves on many aspects of Ape Escape, and it is not like the level designs are lacking in any way. This is not to say that you should get Ape Escape 2. Everyone should play Ape Escape before Ape Escape 2, for both the continuity of the plot and to try the innovation before the improvement. Also look forward to Ape Escape 3, which is currently out in Japan, but is reportedly coming to North America by mid January. Ape Escape got praise for its innovative control set up, as it should have. Enjoy.

Ryu1Revline
12-06-2005, 08:08 PM
This is a little late but...

I can easily see how someone might give FFVII a 6. While I think it's probably my 2nd favorite FF (behind FF6), the characters are very bland. Barrett was the only one with a personality, and even the final confrontation was predictable and without any sort of tension. I still liked it as a package but I have to agree with Mistatee; it's time to check out Lunar. Hopefully, you will follow-up with a Lunar SSS review. :evilsmile

Temujin
12-07-2005, 12:16 PM
Cheers for the review! I think I'll try to pick up a copy somewhen or maybe even get the PSP semi-port, even though I'm sure the control system will suck.

Mistatee
12-07-2005, 01:29 PM
This is a little late but...

I can easily see how someone might give FFVII a 6. While I think it's probably my 2nd favorite FF (behind FF6), the characters are very bland. Barrett was the only one with a personality, and even the final confrontation was predictable and without any sort of tension. I still liked it as a package but I have to agree with Mistatee; it's time to check out Lunar. Hopefully, you will follow-up with a Lunar SSS review. :evilsmile

Yeah it is true about VII in alot of ways, but it is a very well packaged deal. For a FF game it describes the world and its magic system really well. But most of the love goes to the materia system, which is either hit and mis, and it apparently missed ATTLP. I just asked the question to see if it was based off the game or the hype of the game i guess.

ALttP
12-07-2005, 02:45 PM
Don't you touch the PSP port! The one thing that makes Ape Escape awesome is the control setup!

Temujin
12-07-2005, 06:51 PM
Don't you touch the PSP port! The one thing that makes Ape Escape awesome is the control setup!

Haha! Playstation version it is then! But I may have to get the port anyway as I need something to play on the PSP.

ALttP
12-07-2005, 07:49 PM
Well, if you want a great PSP games, then I'd go for Lumines!

ALttP
12-08-2005, 06:11 PM
People, give some requests. Some incentive to review games.

Icarus4578
12-08-2005, 10:52 PM
Nice reviews. I'm interested in playing Phoenix Wright ~ Ace Attorney, though I always had thought it was a short game (you said 20+ hours). I don't agree with some of your scores but I agree with your FFVII score because it's nowhere near as fun as it used to be. It's played out. I dunno. I just could never see what was so special about Chrono Trigger, why people revere it as one of the greats. Probably because of the soundtrack. Oh well.

Alucard
12-08-2005, 11:10 PM
Unlike other games, in Phoenix Wright you spend all your time reading and selecting clues. In a game where you actually have combat and stuff, 20hours feels very nice. But in a game like this, despite it being an excellent game, it feels bloody long!

ALttP
12-08-2005, 11:26 PM
Phoenix Wright is definitely 20+ hours, even for the super intelligent such as I.

Additionally, Alucard/Icarus, if there's any game you'd like an opinion on, I'm here. :D

Ryu1Revline
12-09-2005, 04:33 AM
My vote goes to Breath of Fire 1.

ALttP
12-11-2005, 04:31 AM
My Ape Escape review is finished. Breath of Fire will be on the way soon, however, I will have to play it some more before I can give it an adequate review. Any review anyone would like me to do in the meantime?

Icarus4578
12-11-2005, 09:58 AM
Tokimeki Memorial.

What do ya think? :cool guy:

ALttP
12-11-2005, 04:42 PM
Hahahahaha.

No. :)

I've been doing a Donkey Kong 3 review while I was waiting for responses. :P It should be done in a little while.

ALttP
12-11-2005, 06:14 PM
Donkey Kong 3

System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date: July 4th, 1984
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Players: 1
Game length: Five minutes
Difficulty: Very easy

Donkey Kong 3 is an arcade style Mario game released by Nintendo on the Nintendo Entertainment System. It stars Stanley the Bugman, a one "hit" wonder of a character, who seems to be the cousin of Mario and Luigi. However, he has never left Donkey Kong 3 (out of appearing as a trophy in Super Smash Bros. Melee), and has since fallen into obscurity. It features gameplay with a similar feel to previous Donkey Kong arcade games, but with far less climbing. In fact, the most climbing you do is usually up a few platforms, at most, essentially killing off the emphasis on climbing from the past Donkey Kong games. Unlike past Donkey Kong games, there is no one that they have to save, and Donkey Kong seems to be there in order to start crap in Stanley's greenhouse.

Gameplay: 5

The gameplay is as simple as gameplay can be. You use the A and B buttons to shoot, up and down on the d-pad to jump up and down the platforms, and left and right to move left and right. In each level, there are three platforms for Stanley to climb up in order to be in range of Donkey Kong. However, the bugs living in Stanley's greenhouse are riled up, and will occasionally fly down from their beehive to attack Stanley and try to steal all four of his flowers. Stanley's bug spray can be used to kill these bugs, but the main point of this is to spray Donkey Kong in order to force him out of the greenhouse (where, for some reason, Stanley feels the need to follow him into a pyramid and a forest). Each bug is worth a certain amount of points, and a bug that is carrying a flower scores extra points. While the gameplay was not terrible (I would even go as far as to say it was okay), it is the lamest and dryest gameplay I have ever seen from Nintendo. It was basically the exact same thing over and over again, except in a slightly more difficult setting - all you had to do was jump up, and shoot at Donkey Kong until he leaves.

Visuals: 6.0

Sadly, the best thing about the game is the visual quality. It is a very okay looking game. All of the sprites are of okay quality, while the backgrounds are pretty okay too. Nothing amazing to talk about here, just some okay sprites without any slowdown. But the main issue is that even back in the 8-bit days, these are merely okay.

Audio: 5.0

Bleh. Incredibly average. What do we have - a handful of songs? Most of the songs in the game are just tiny little songs, like the death song and the introduction, with a few songs for the few levels you get to play. I mean, they're not even all that great anyway, so that kind of put the nail in the coffin. The sound effects are nothing to call home about, neither. They kind of get lost in the music, with the exception of Stanley's bug spray sound effect.

Storyline: 2.0

The storyline... is pretty weak. The main character is Stanley the Bugman, Mario and Luigi's cousin, who runs a greenhouse. One day, Donkey Kong decides to mess with Stanley and break through the roof of his greenhouse. He pisses off a couple hives of bugs, and Stanley must use his bug spray to force Donkey Kong out of his greenhouse before the bugs steal all of his flowers. However, Stanley decides to follow him to a pyramid and then a forest for no particular reason in order to defeat him. Seriously, this story is pretty awful. Why is Donkey Kong there? What does he gain by ruining Stanley's greenhouse? Why did Stanley chase him into the forest?

Replay value: 4.0

Honestly, I don't see any incentive to replay this game unless you are either incredibly bored of all your other games, or you don't have anything better to do. Sure, you could go through the same three levels over and over again in Game B (that's hard mode), but in the end, you're just doing the same thing for 99 Phases, and once you finish all 99 of them, the game merely restarts at Phase 1. The game has no end, and no reason to spend that much time getting to Phase 99.

Overall: 4.5

Overall, this is a rom-worthy game. The kind of game that you should try once to truly understand the unbelievable repetition of this game. Not even worth buying if you own an NES. The only redeeming quality in this game is that it is not awful looking, it is not awful sounding and it does not play awfully. But that does not make it anymore worth playing. The writers made no attempt at making a reasonable plot. I would say that Donkey Kong's motive is pretty damn essential to know. At least Nintendo ended the arcade-style Donkey Kongs on a good note with Donkey Kong '94 on the Game Boy.

Ryu1Revline
12-18-2005, 07:44 AM
Good review of DK3. I never really enjoyed it.

On a side note, I started replaying Breath of Fire 1 again for no apparent reason. I'm about 20 hours in so far and it seems to hold up pretty well. I think if you start it up you won't put it down. It looks better than a GBA game so it's definitely not an eyesore.

ALttP
12-22-2005, 06:36 AM
Gah, I'm going to have to refocus my review on the GBA version... I swear, now that I've played the GBA version, I cannot go back to the SNES version, what with its run button and its superior menu.

Nindalf
12-22-2005, 09:19 AM
In the first post Mario is Missing's score is 0.5 but in the actual review its overall score is 1.

SHENANIGANS

ALttP
12-22-2005, 10:27 AM
Go away, you. -_-

ALttP
01-26-2006, 07:34 PM
Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!

System: Game Boy Color
Release date: 2002
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Shogakukan
Players: 1
Game length: <10 hours
Difficulty: Somewhat easy

Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! is a simple adventure game based on the popular Hamtaro anime. You play as Hamtaro, who uses a combination of English and a language called Ham-Chat, which consists of a plethora of English words modified to Ham-Chat language. It is a game that appeals to both children and adults - the concept for the children mostly, and the gameplay for all. Ham-Hams Unite! is a very cute and appealing game (they're hamsters, after all).

The plot follows Hamtaro, the main character of the anime. Boss, the leader of the Clubhouse, realizes that all of the Ham-Hams (with the exception of himself, Hamtaro and Snoozer), and tasks Hamtaro with finding all twelve of the missing Ham-Hams and return them to the Clubhouse. However, finding them is only half of the battle. Convincing them to return is the other half. Most Ham-Hams have a trouble that needs to be resolved before they can return, such as Oxnard's missing Sunflower Seed, Penelope having gone missing or Dexter and Howdy competing to win Pashmina's love. There is not much else to the storyline, but it stays true to the storyline that you would find in the anime.

There is no fighting involved in this game. Instead, the game is largely composed of Hamtaro exploring various areas, and selecting the appropriate task for the appropriate moment. The four basic techniques are Hamha ("Greeting"), Hif-Hif ("Sniff"), Tack-Q ("Roll") and Digdig ("Dig"), and the techniques that are used most often. Hamha is used to initiate conversation with Ham-Hams and other animals, Hif-Hif is to pick up items, Tack-Q is to tackle objects, people and environments and Digdig is to dig into holes or into the ground. There is a variety of other Ham Chats that you use, such as Stickie (used to poke things with a stick) and Scoochie (used for climbing). There are a great deal more Ham-Chats, some which are used on several occasions, and others that are only used at certain intervals. Nintendo really succeeded with this Ham-Chat system; there are many areas, objects and characters that will react in unique ways to your Ham-Chats. The core gameplay is quite polished as well; there are no glitches, and there is a steady framerate.

The objective of Hamtaro is to find every Ham-Ham throughout the variety of areas. There are twelve Ham-Hams found throughout six areas, each requiring you to complete one or more tasks in order for them to return to the Clubhouse. For example, one of the first missing Ham-Hams that you will encounter is Oxnard, who has lost his favorite Sunflower Seed. In order to help him find it, you must complete a series of tasks to learn special Ham-Chat words, and eventually, when you learn the Ham-Chat "Chukchuk" and use it on him, he will get angry and roll around, revealing that he was sitting on it the whole time. Afterwards, you and Oxnard will return to the Clubhouse. The three main collectibles in the game are Sunflower Seeds, Rocks and Music Notes. Sunflower Seeds are used as currency to buy other items and clothing, Rocks are used to acquire a secret and Music Notes are used for adding to the list of music at the Ham-Jam area in the Clubhouse.

However, Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! is not without its flaws. While there is some difficulty in completing the tasks to get special items or return the Ham-Hams to the Clubhouse, there are no consequences or a Game Over. While this is not all that bad, a little bit of extra challenge would be nice. The worst aspect of the game is that it's far too short. What could have been a ten, became a nine because of the <10 hour game length. Even the extras do little to add game length.

Hamtaro's visuals are very polished for a Game Boy Color game. While there is not a lot of activity going on or detail, the graphics are very clean, without glitch and smooth. The best aspect of the graphics are the impressive sprites; every Ham-Ham has a discernable difference to them, be it the color of the fur or the pattern of the fur.

However, not all of this game survived the Game Boy Color's technical limits. The audio of the game leaves a lot to be desired; thanks to the GBC's single speaker, the otherwise quality music is... well, not quality. Other than the quality of the speaker and musical quality, the sound effects are very simple. They are normally limited to running, noises made by Ham-Hams during Ham-Chats and text progression.

Replay value is pretty minimal. Unless you plan on listening to the music over and over, there is little more to do once you have collected 100g of rocks, all of the clothing and all of the Music Notes, and since it's still fresh in your memory and you understand exactly what to do to bring back all of the Ham-Hams to the Clubhouse, there is little point in replaying it immediately. However, waiting for it to slip from your memory allows for the game to feel somewhat fresh.

Overall, this is an excellent usage of the Hamtaro license. While there is little difficulty for most, even the most hardcore of fans will be unable to resist the adorable visuals and compelling gameplay. Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite! is pure gaming bliss, ultimately flawless, and a testament to what many games should be like. If you avoid this game based on the series attached, then you are no gamer in my eyes.

Ratings:

Gameplay: 10
Storyline: 8
Visuals: 9
Audio: 6
Replay value: 7
Overall: 9

Nindalf
01-28-2006, 06:18 PM
Hamtaro is 9 but Mario Is Missing is 1?

You're dead to me.

ALttP
01-28-2006, 07:07 PM
Hamtaro is 9 but Mario Is Missing is 1?

You're dead to me.

You're dead to me for not having taste. :(

ALttP
01-31-2006, 11:53 AM
Taboo: The Sixth Sense

System: Nintendo Entertainment System
Release date: 1988
Publisher: Tradewest
Developer: Rare
Players: 1
Game length: <1 minute
Difficulty: Nonexistant

Taboo: The Sixth Sense is a game developed by Rare, Ltd. for the Nintendo Entertainment System. What we now know as a great company that releases a couple game every four years once released a slue of okay to terrible video games on the NES. It involved asking a question of a Tarot card reader, and then reading ten cards that give you ten different messages. It may be a stupid concept, but however, the stupidity of the concept is only half of the problem found with this awful game.

Before you can begin to "play" the "game", you must enter your name, date of birth and gender. Afterwards, you type in a question of the Tarot reader. A deck of cards are then shuffled (with your help, through the means of randomly pushing buttons), and ten cards are laid out in front of you (with your card indicated beforehand). There are ten types of cards - Significator, Crossing Card, Crowning Card, Base Of The Matter, Past Influences, Forthcoming Influences, Where One Finds Oneself, Views of Others, Hopes and Fears and Final Outcome. The cards are shown in the order shown, and told its meaning.

However, like I stated earlier, the concept was half of the problem. The other half is that they made a bad concept worse. The English is so broken, by the time you get through all of the cards, you won't get any real answer to your original question. For example, here is the text found on a Significator card - "Your present position is a conclusion, resolution or healing". Yeah, okay. If that makes sense to anyone, be sure to tell me.

The visuals are the best part of the game - but that does not make them good, not in the least. There is very little going on at any given time, although they did succeed in making the images on the cards look like what they intended to make them look like. As for the audio, there's very little to speak of. Just a "spooky" song that seems to go on forever (and just seems to make the stupid concept and broken English even more unbearable). And the replay value? Once you experience this game, you will never want to play it. Ever.

Overall, this is, by far, the worst game that I have ever played. Perhaps E.T. is bad, or Heroes of the Lance, or the Zelda CD-i games, but I've never played them. Just this game. Taboo: The Sixth Sense gets brushed under the carpet, and you rarely see it on any of those nifty worst games ever list, even though it really deserves a spot. It's just astounding how a video gamed developer can go from making a game like this, to making such a great game as GoldenEye 007. If you absolutely, positively have to play this game, go for it. It's always entertaining seeing how low games can go.

Gameplay: 1
Storyline: N/A
Visuals: 4
Audio: 1
Replay value: Nonexistant
Overall: 1

Icarus4578
02-01-2006, 08:52 AM
Rare, a great company? They've yet to prove that to myself, but to each his own. That said, I've never played Taboo so I'll check it out when I have free time.

ALttP
02-25-2006, 10:50 PM
Wario Land 3 is a platforming game developed by Nintendo for the Game Boy Color. It is the fourth installment in the Wario Land franchise (counting the unnumbered Virtual Boy Wario Land), and is arguably the most polished Wario Land game on the market. Staying true to its preceding game, Wario Land II, it maintains the status effect system and the invincibility. With the invincibility, the Wario Land franchise successfully sets it apart from other platformers. Instead of being heavily action oriented like Mario, Kirby and Sonic are, it focuses on solving puzzles and completing objectives, collecting treasure along the way.

In Wario Land 3, Wario is flying in the Wario Flyer, and all of a sudden, crashes it into a dark forest. After some searching, Wario came upon a fancy looking music box. However, when he approached it, he was sucked into it! When he awakens, he meets a disembodied voice. This voice turns out to be the voice of the king of the music box world, which has been taken over by six monsters. He requests Wario to help defeat them and bring the six music boxes to him, and Wario only complies when he promises to allow Wario to keep all of the treasure he finds.

Wario Land 3 plays like your typical platformer, with the running and the jumping. A twist that the Wario Land franchise brings is invincibility and status effects. Wario has a plethora of basic moves. At first, the only things that Wario can do are walk and jump. As you advance through the game, you will find certain treasures that give him new abilities, such as an onion for the shoulder bash technique or a pair of overalls for the butt stomp technique. At many points in the levels, Wario will be inflicted with ?status effects?. These status effects are when an enemy, object or hazard attacks or touches Wario, which will change his "form". For example, when Wario comes in contact with fire, he will be set on fire, causing him to run uncontrollably in one direction, and won't stop running until he falls into water or burst into flames. Once he has burst into flames, this allows him to get past certain blocks that can only be destroyed by a flame. Another common status effect is the flat status effect. While in this flat form, Wario can fit into tight spaces, and can also float through the air like a feather.

The invincibility is the most entertaining aspect of the game, although the status effects really helped to build it up to what it is. The invincibility is exactly what it sounds like ? Wario cannot die, under any circumstances. He has no health meter or shrinking (ala Mario).While he can be ?harmed? by enemies, the only harm done is that Wario will be knocked back ? usually by a great distance. Because of the invincibility, Wario Land 3 sounds deceptively easy. Don?t be fooled; Wario Land 3 can be quite hard. Unlike Mario games, which focus on avoiding/defeating enemies while trying to get from point A to point B, Wario Land 3 could be best described as a ?puzzle platformer?. Wario must use a combination of the status effects, his surroundings and his basic techniques to accomplish tasks and collect treasure.

The basic end-of-level collectible are the Treasure Chests. In each level, there are four Treasure Chests, with four Keys. These Treasure Chests and Keys are all color-coded, with the four colors being grey, red, green and blue. What these Treasure Chests contains can vary; it can either be a useless trinket that adds to your completion percentage, to a powerup item, or to an item that effects the world map. Some items found in Treasure Chests can alter the world map or a level on it - it could be a new level that comes about because an item had destroyed a large rock blocking it, or a vine that was planted in a level. Many Treasure Chests cannot be acquired until a later point in the game, demanding that you backtrack at that point in the game to get it. An interesting element of gameplay is the day/night system - when Wario either completes or leaves a level, the time of day will change. The happenings of the level differ depending on the time of day, and many treasure chests cannot be acquired unless it's a certain time of day.

The visuals are quite simplistic - while they are a major step up from Wario Land II's visuals, they're still not the pinnacle of Game Boy Color games. Backgrounds and environments weren't quite detailed, but the silver lining are the characters and enemies. All of the sprites were very well designed, and some, especially Wario, are well animated. As for audio, there are several songs, but none of them are noteworthy. The sound effects are tinny, and because of the Game Boy Color's simplistic audio chip, there were no voices.

Wario Land 3, unfortunately, does not have much reason to replay it. It seems to sacrifice replay value for longevity, what with the linearity and the 100 Treasure Chests. Once you have completed the game, there is little incentive to go back in and complete it again.

Overall, Wario Land 3 is an excellent platformer, and solidified Wario Land as its own game series apart from the Mario franchise, just like how Donkey Kong Country did it for Donkey Kong. While it is from the same basic mold that Wario Land II came out of, Wario Land 3 came out more polished - the visuals are improved, the level designs tower over II's, and the nonlinearity made the game very fun; you were not tasked to do it in order, with the exception of bosses and essential treasures. Game Boy Color games, even those released late in its life, have become somewhat uncommon, so if you see a copy, I suggest you pick it up - you won't regret it.

Gameplay - 10
Storyline - 8
Visuals - 8
Audio - 7
Replay value - 6
Overall: 10 (not based on an average)

ALttP
04-17-2006, 07:06 PM
Decided to do some more reviews, anyone wanna make a request? :)

Sk8_or_DIE
04-17-2006, 07:50 PM
And how!!

Metroid Prime hunters

Chop chop, *clap clap*


Edit: good reviews BTW!

Icarus4578
04-18-2006, 10:15 AM
Strider for Genesis. It only takes about 15 minutes or so to complete.

ALttP
04-18-2006, 03:30 PM
No, I don't want to waste time with lame-o FPS and games that start with S.

Games I've played recently that I can review:

Metroid Prime Pinball
Tony Hawk's American Sk8land
Astro Boy: Omega Factor
ActRaiser
Banjo Pilot
Ristar

gearhound
04-18-2006, 06:25 PM
review act raiser... man, what a fabulous game!

ALttP
06-06-2006, 08:54 PM
Sorry folks, I'm gonna be doing less console reviews, since I now do portable reviews for a "living". :)

New Super Mario Bros. is a Nintendo DS game developed by Nintendo EAD. New Super Mario Bros. is another notch in the platforming belt for the Mario franchise, and it's bringing Mario back to his roots. Instead of having the player control Mario in three dimensions like all original Mario games lately have done, New Super Mario Bros. is a side-scroller, the first original side-scrolling Mario game since Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (1992) for the Game Boy.

The storyline of New Super Mario Bros. starts out with Mario and Princess Peach on a stroll during Valentine?s Day. However, in the distance, Mario notices a storm cloud attacking Princess Peach?s castle with lightning. Mario goes to check it out, but while he is doing so, Bowser Jr. kidnaps Peach and runs off, injuring Mario when he attempts to thwart his attempts. Mario must now travel through eight worlds and battle Bowser Jr. and other bosses in order to save Princess Peach.

New Super Mario Bros. truly feels like Super Mario Bros. It is a successful throwback to the original, focusing more on the power ups and gameplay styling of it instead of on a major evolution or revolution of the franchise. While I would enjoy a major evolution in New Super Mario Bros., it expands upon the gameplay and concept of the original while, at the same time, feeling like a new game. While New Super Mario Bros. is a throwback to the original, it still borrows content from Bros. 3 and World, and introduces new content as well. There is a highly linear map that Mario traverses, but many levels in the game feature alternate exits that bring Mario to Warp Cannons, hidden levels and Toad Houses.

New Super Mario Bros. chooses to use a sparse amount of power ups, limiting itself to little more than the original three ? Super Mushroom, Fire Flower and Starman. There are new, somewhat rare power ups, namely the Mega Mushroom, the Mini Mushroom and the Blue Shell. However, these items are only necessary on occasion and never for anything mandatory to the completion of the game. They are not very interesting to use in the levels, with the exception of charging through some levels as Mega Mario, and the Mini Mushroom and Blue Shell are mostly used to get into secret areas of levels. However, the latter two power ups do have their perks; the Mini Mushroom allows Mario to jump higher and run across the surface of water, while the Blue Shell makes Mario invincible while ducked into it (with the exception of pits and being crushed), destroys any enemies while gliding in it, and lets him move more swiftly in water.

The game manages to make up for the lack of new, interesting power ups with a large amount of natural abilities of Mario. One welcome addition to the gameplay is the wall jump, introduced in Super Mario 64. It allows Mario to reach areas by jumping towards a wall and pushing A to bounce off of it. Another useful technique is the butt stomp, where you push down while in the air to perform the technique. These techniques proved useful enough that whenever I play an older Mario sidescroller, I get the urge to butt stomp or wall jump. Mario's third technique is the Double/Triple Jump, where Mario can get good jumps if he does one jump right after the other while running. However, this is rarely doable, and is rarely of any use.

The level design is excellent, demanding that you use the butt stomp and wall jump often. For example, in one of the dungeons, Mario has to wall jump on a moving machine with two walls, requiring that Mario constantly wall jump back and forth between them to stay up long enough to get to the Star Coin. And while it?s a fairly linear game, there is still some freedom in how to complete it. For instance, I chose to skip World 6 and 7, choosing instead to take a Warp Cannon to World 8, completing the previous two worlds afterwards.

While the game is for the most part excellent, it has numerous flaws, one of them being that it can be a bit too linear. Many of the alternate paths lead to Toad Houses instead of secret levels. Another flaw is the boss battles; most are uninteresting and require little skill. The only boss battles I enjoyed were World 5's and the final boss. Quite possibly the biggest disappointment with this game is how many good ideas the game impliments, but how little they are used. For instance, I really liked the dungeons that used the climbing cages from Super Mario World, but the problem was that they were barely ever used. It's the same with enemies - the most common enemies are Koopa Troopas, Dry Bones, Goombas and Piranha Plants, while you barely ever see Paragoombas, Inflating Boos, Boxing Ghosts or Bob-ombs. I believe that this game could have been so much better if they used more of the good ideas and enemies regularly.

In addition to the main game, there are two other modes for you to enjoy ? Mario vs. Luigi mode and Minigames. Mario vs. Luigi mode involves two players playing as Mario and Luigi competing against each other to collect the most Power Stars. This mode was done in Super Mario 64 DS, where four players would compete against each other to collect the most Power Stars. However, it was far too widespread. In New SMB, it being a side-scroller makes it much easier for both players to find each other. Mario vs. Luigi mode is highly entertaining, and I found that I spent hours playing Mario vs. Luigi mode with my friend. The other mode is Minigame mode, which takes minigames from Super Mario 64 DS, and adds multiplayer. While this is a great addition, it is unfortunate that they didn?t think to include some of the better minigames from 64 DS, such as Shell Smash and Bingo Ball. However, the multiplayer aspect helps to make up for that.

The visuals have many fans and many haters, due to characters, enemies and items being in 3D, and I must say that I am a fan of the visuals. Using 3D to animate characters, enemies and items allows for more fluid animation and detail, so the presentation really thrives when compared to a solid 2D architecture. New Super Mario Bros. manages to be one of the better looking DS games as well, although this fact often goes unnoticed due to the side-scrolling style. The audio is great as well - The game features a wide variety of songs. My personal favorites are the World 1-1 (Super Mario Bros.) remix, the Dungeon them, the Ghost House theme and the Desert theme. The sound effects are nice, and they thankfully limited Mario's voice, using it for the double/triple jumps and the end of a level.

The game has a great amount of replay value. While the main game holds some replay value (not as much as older Mario titles, unfortunately), the replay value lies in the multiplayer and minigames. Playing Mario vs. Luigi mode and minigames with friends can go on for hours, and it never manages to get old. One of the best features in New Super Mario Bros. is Mario vs. Luigi mode, and they created some fun new minigames, such as the multiplayer-exclusive snowball fight minigame.

Overall, this is an excellent game that any platformer and/or Mario fan should own. They could have done much to improve it, such as using many of the gimmicks more often, and making it less linear, but the good far outweighs the bad. Here?s hoping that we see a New Super Mario Bros. 2 that fixes the flaws of this game.

Gameplay: 10
Visuals: 10
Audio: 9.5
Lasting value: 9.5
Overall: 9.5

ALttP
10-02-2006, 11:13 PM
Just wanted to say, I'm gonna be doing all of my reviews on a website. Anyone who's interested, PM me for the link.