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Northeastmonk
06-09-2007, 01:09 AM
Okay. My reviews are based on a 1 through 10 basis.. 1 being bad and 10 being GREAT! "I'll focus on scoring key factors, which I thought need to be broughten out."

My first game I'd like to review is Dawn of Mana for PS2. I've read too many reviews bashing this game. An FAQ walkthrough is very hard to find on the internet.
Ok here it goes...

The game makes a wonderful presentation from the birds flying across the screen like a Flash project. The game has 2 modes, the main story, and the battle mode. I just wanted to play it, so I picked Main story (campaign).

The story takes place in the world of Illusia. The spirits have come together to converse with one another about a great war that took place 1,000 years ago. Which most people know, is about the great Tree of Mana. The main character "Keldric", is a spunk blonde haired kid who was sent across the ocean as a baby. The town he llives in, (which you NEVER see) is his new home. His best friend is part of the military group of his town and his so called "girl-bestfriend" is Ritzia, a beautiful girl who is fond of nature.. It gets deeper when the evil spirits try and take over the tree and most of its power. I wont spoil it.
Story - 8

The gameplay is very fun if you like taking risk with your character's life. You have to use your whip to fling objects on enemies. This confuses each enemy with a countdown status above their heads. Then you receive points, which levels Keldy up. The thing that sucks is that Keldy is back to level 1 each Chapter. Unless you unlock some of the game's medal options.

Gameplay - 5

The graphics are beautiful, Not FF12, but beautiful. The camera can somehow leave you in a blindspot. I was caught numerous times fighting enemies then getting caught by huge boulder in my way.

Difficulty - laughable if you cant beat this game in a week. I say that because Hard more is only selectable after beating Normal mode. The boss battles are quite fun.

Multiplayer - I don't see using a 2nd controller just to cast magic.

Should you get this game or not?
If you like the mana series and want to see it in 3D action game, go ahead and buy it.

People who love Square-Enix - Rent it!

If you're not quite sure on playing this or not. Either rent it or play Kingdom Hearts II.

Time it took me to complete the Campaign - 15 hours.

Northeastmonk
07-03-2007, 01:29 AM
The Darkness

Story - The story is "The Darkness" for those who have read the comic books you should enjoy it. The extra content in the game has Issue #1 of The Darkness for those interested. Besides being a tale of love and death, the story stands proudly over most comic book to game plots. The whole game moves with Jackie and Jenny (BF & GF) against the mafia. The Darkness is sadisticly clever and will make you have nightmares if you're not used to such a dark side of things. - 8

Gameplay - Glitchy, but satisfying. Stealth attacks and mafiastyle shootouts were cool the first couple times before it got old. Jackie can only use the Darkness in the darkness you must shoot out lights everywhere to maintain your power. This can be frustrating and annoying if you hate focusing a lot. I was able to have my laughs and frustrations with the control scheme. The weapons make up for the crappy AI in The Darkness. I'm not going into the Darklings, the concept is simple to understand. They help you out if you use their power like you should. 8

Graphics - Visually stunning! Watching a full version of "To Kill A Mockingbird" on a ingame television set was brilliant. The level design sucked since all you do is walk around the same area over and over. Characters around the New York area either piss you off or dont do anything at all. Besides all the negativity; I say its a relaxing touch if you haven't been happy graphic-wise in a long time. 8

Mulitplayer - I can't run it online and have no friends who want to play it with me.
*Looks great from what I've seen on youtube. ?

Sound - The rock music is so annoying because it hurls itself ontop of your head like a slime bucket on Nickelodean. The main theme is quite relaxing though. 5

Should you get this: Only if you like playing multiple difficulties on an "okay" FPS.

My two cents: This game could of been better. The graphics made the story really cool. The story and the darkness popping out on both sides of Jackie make it an okay game. Don't spend $60 on it, go out and rent it! trust me!

Time it took me to complete the campaign: 10 hours or so

Northeastmonk
07-13-2007, 12:49 AM
Vampire's Rain doesn't deserve a review. The game absolutly SUCKS! Its horrible. The enemies run like they were out of the late 60's cartoons.

Ninja Gaiden Sigma - My review is short.

Graphics - Amazing. It was Deja' Vu with great graphics 9

Gameplay - The same brilliant sword style as NG on Xbox. The new bosses were tough, but the new arsenal of weapons added great replay value. Rachel wasn't as balanced as Ryu. The added difficulty shows itself very clear. 9

Story - The Dark Dragon Sword vs. Ryu Hayabusa (Super Ninja). The content made the story even better then the original - 8

Rent or Buy? Buy it!

Time it took me to complete - 11 hours (Not including the Missions)

What suprised me, is that the new "levels'' were not different, mainly the same area with a new boss. I felt bored fighting with just Racheal's Warhammer, and her hookshot sucked.

Northeastmonk
07-24-2007, 12:59 AM
Sorry nothing new. I plan on reviewing around 5 different titles before Christmas.

It sucks Mass Effect was pushed to November.

Northeastmonk
08-29-2007, 12:56 AM
okay i'm doing this shorter now... BioShock gets a 9.5 for everything. The .5 loss was the Ai looking the same at every corner.

Shin Megami Tensi: Persona 3 gets a 8 out of 10 for being a complete sim and having a great soundtrack.

Eh.. BioShock IMO is a must have. P3 if you're a fanboy of anime. I'm saying farewell to the Shin Megami Series. Its a taboo for players to follow. Who cares..

Joe Redifer
08-29-2007, 04:40 AM
A great soundtrack is always a huge plus in my book. Bioshock failed to grab me and I am not a fan of FPS, but for some reason I enjoy the DS and Wii versions of Metroid Prime.

Northeastmonk
11-29-2007, 11:35 AM
Mass Effect Review

I finished this game as John Shepard. The gameplay was amazing. I understand some people see this title as a knock off of Star Wars. Its in a way, a new Star Wars. The characters have their own ethnic background and the story is epic.

Story - Needs to be a triology to confirm the power of this title. 9 out of 10.

Gameplay - KOTOR equipment meets a new way to view action RPGS. 9.5 out of 10. The only reason to discard the battle system is lack of plasma options. Seems like the options are open, but not outstanding in customization of weapons.

Graphics - The planets look amazingly detailed. Landing on deserted and issolated planets reveal a great depth into the universe. The texture loading takes the detail to great lengths by adding a sandy finish to the walls.
9 out of 10

Sound - Amazing soundtrack. I feel the main theme played itself quite a bit.
9 out of 10

Pick up or rent - Pick it up if you're a fan of KOTOR or BioWare. The game is sure their best work. It is a 25 - 30 hour storyline and tons of sidequest. Finishing the main story does not touch the massive universe that Mass Effect offers.



Manhunt 2 (Playstation Portable Version)
Summary - Danial Lamb wakes up in an instittution with open security doors and a dead body lying next to him. His only way to escape is to listen to Leo and find out what happen to him. 7 out of 10

Gameplay - The game takes aspects of Manhunt and totally adds a stylish approach to the action genre. The killing game could not be as more user friendly and allows fans of the GTA series to join into the action. adding fire arms is the best thing Rockstar added to this series. The GTA run and gun makes way for some stylish kills. Or cheap ones.

7 out of 10

Story - The story may have its twist, and sometimes the plot does not change, but adds levels of random villians of the list to kill. The game plays a role into messing with your emotions. The story does make way for a night of killing.

7.5 out of 10

Graphics - Lets just say, Way better then the original. The editing part is where I was pissed. The scenes of death were entertaining. The AO ban, which made the screen filter death scenes, made the game a little less enjoyable.

8 out of 10

Rent or Buy - Rent this one.

Halo 3 gets a 7 out of 10. I'm done with the Halo series.

I will review the PS3 version of Assassin's Creed very soon. I gave it up to play Mass Effect.

Northeastmonk
11-29-2007, 12:03 PM
I'm trying to quit smoking, so bare with me if my reviews smell of anger, Cocacola, and sunflower seeds. lol

Alexander
11-29-2007, 01:24 PM
You liked Manhunt? Wow.

Seraph
11-29-2007, 03:18 PM
The editing part is where I was pissed. The scenes of death were entertaining. The AO ban, which made the screen filter death scenes, made the game a little less enjoyable. How do they filter the death scenes? As in completly cut them out? Blur the picture while it happens?

I am very curious how Rockstart got rid of that AO rating.

Northeastmonk
12-03-2007, 12:58 AM
The language stayed the same. The death scenes. Imagine watching the same death scenes from the trailors. Then place a filter (like a Video effect in Adobe) of red, blue, and white over the character(s). Then have the Manhunt 2 eye turn around after each kill. It was like they were in front of an x-ray machine. I enjoyed the horror-themed killing sim more then I thought. And I did not like the original Manhunt.


Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare- PS3 version

Theme: Terrorist taking over Germany. Forces collide in an action packed FPS.

Story: Having a terrorist from the Middle East was the only reason I wanted to play this title. The environments and conversations among teemmates made the game seem short, but took its time to pan out. The intro felt more missleading once you actually got to play the game. 8 out of 10

Graphics - The levels were sometimes huge, but sometimes small. I would feel lost when gunfire was blasting everywhere. The gunfire only got annoying when all you see is an AK47. The smoke processing (forgot the term) was cool. It also made gun battles more realistic
9 out of 10
I just hate how the envirnoments add so much depth, but you won't see too many changes on how the interier of each house look.
Gameplay - Fun, another FPS. After playing so many FPS. This shooter got old after 2 hours or so. The fun was watching all the actions.
If its not the montage of the same gunshots. Its the mortar of bullets that shower over you. 8 out of 10

Rent or Buy - Rent. The campaign will take about 2 days. If you want COD online, I mean.. really want to play days on in of COD4 then buy this game.

Time it took me to beat it: 12 hours.

Northeastmonk
12-19-2007, 12:53 AM
DragonBall Z Budokai Tenkaichi 3 - PS2

General Idea - DBZBT3 is a fighting game with every single storyline from the DB/Z/GT series. It doesn't go into great detail on every saga, but the content provided is worth picking it up, if you're a fan of DB whatsoever. I'm a huge fan of the series.

Gameplay - The characters move on screen like they should. The button controls are almost "too stupid". I mean, one button does the melee attacks, one does the ki beam/super moves, one does a parry movement, and so forth. Its a great concept if you know the moves. There are tutorials on the moves if you get pounded by someone who seems amazingly good at pounding your character into the ground. The only problem this game suffers from, gameplay wise, is the stupid mini games they make you go through during a "VS" screen. Rotating the analog stick felt like I was ruining my controller and pressing buttons during a clash of fists and kicks felt like a waste of time, due to the immense action that can take place in one battle.
7 out of 10
Controls - The game is no competive sport by no means. Just because this "fighting" game has no depth besides simple combos. Simply put, the only depth of this fighting game is how long you can either rush the opponent in the air or how fast you can dodge a super move.
7 out of 10
Graphics - The world of Dragonball is big, but it seems like the series doesn't get what it needs. I felt like they added content that looked good, but Akira Toryiama wouldn't approve. I've seen SSJ4 Goku for about 7 years now. This game either tops it off or leaves us for the same thing, but prettier.
I did see the graphics improve immensly from DBZB1-3 and DBZBT
7 out of 10.

Sound/Extra content - Same voice actors/actresses from the series. The story modes moved so fast that the sound didn't have too much effect on me. If you didn't know what the series was about. Intros help understand what is going on, but be warned, there is more to the story, depth wise, then what DBZBT3 introduces you to at first. Plus there is a Information where Goku's wife ChiChi explain character information and allows you to check their history.
8 out of 10

Conclusion - the game has the series down pretty good. Adding more tournaments felt like I was playing a dated game once I finished 100% of the DB storymode. If you were waiting for a dbz game and haven't played the Budokai series, then this is the best one in my opinion.
Rent or own: If you want a huge DB experience again, pick it up!
If you like the series for action and not a true fan, then rent it. It doesn't have appeal if you don't like DB.


I do think Atari/Bandai namco tried making this game better then past dbz games. And if they lose their liscence, then so be it. I hope some day they can continue the DB storyline because Akira Toriyama's Blue Dragon sucks IMO. The DBZMMO might be good.

Seraph
12-19-2007, 01:07 AM
I felt like they added content that looked good, but Akira Toryiama wouldn't approve.What do you mean added content? Like original characters for the game?

Northeastmonk
12-19-2007, 01:16 AM
Same characters from the entire series. They added a segment called "What If". It had stories that never took place inside the TV series. Like a fight with Cyborg Freeza/King Cold vs. Devilman (from DB). The dialouge between some of the characters were different then from the TV show. Like in Majin Buu Saga, when Majin Vegeta fought with Goku at Level 2, the conversations were totally different and were slightly improved. And Broly had a lot more to say then "Kakarotooo.."

Plus ChiChi's comments on say Bebi Vegeta never appeared in the series. And Goku from DBZ would talk to the Goku from DB. It felt like it was a game for fans only.

Vegetto
12-19-2007, 03:22 PM
FYI Toriyama had NOTHING to do with DragonBall GT, so he wouldn't approve of anything from that garbage of a series anyway

Kiryu1985
12-21-2007, 03:19 PM
hey hey hey, I read your stuff, its only 1 comment, besides this is the internet, you're bound to piss someone off, I mean just look at my Animal Crossing review thread.

Paper exe
12-21-2007, 03:19 PM
................Don't you think you went...a little pit too far because of one small comment from one person!? 0_o

hey hey hey, I read your stuff, its only 1 comment, besides this is the internet, you're bound to piss someone off, I mean just look at my Animal Crossing bashing thread.
Ohh I almost forget about that. I better make a replay for it soon!!!!!!1!!!!!!!!1!!1!

Vegetto
12-21-2007, 03:22 PM
FYI I knew that. The habits of DBZ fans are to criticize those who make small mistakes. Thanks Vegetto. It shows the universe you love DB!! Happy Holidays. You Blow!

No more reviews from me. Too many fanboys ruining the feeling.

....Are you serious?

wow....

and no double posting, n00b

Northeastmonk
01-14-2008, 02:37 AM
Clive Barker's Jericho

Story - Six supernatural human beings begin a search of the evil inside a lost city called "Al Khali". The game takes twist and turns and begins to feel like another hellraiser movie. The characters seem weird and not original. More like a "Girl Interupted" sci-fi thriller. God also had a prototype baby before us everyone! He hated him so much.
7 out of 10

Graphics - Gorry and brutal. It feels great sometimes, but sometimes the dakrness covers everything. Plus the levels have no detail besides textures.
It doesn't make me feel like I'm in a place of pure 100% evil either.
7 out of 10

Gameplay - You have to use all six characters during battle and to move around Al Khali. The changes are easily configured for enjoyment. I do think the biographies of each character help enjoy the game a lot more.
7 out of 10

Sound - Creepy. Steve Blum's in it.
8 out of 10

Rent this game, its short and not worth the cash.

Vegetto
01-14-2008, 03:34 AM
im tired of overpriced games having 5-10 hours worth of gameplay

rip off

Soba
01-14-2008, 12:12 PM
Sound - Creepy. One man made this game great. "Steve Blum" You'll recognize this man's voice and drool.

So, Spike Spiegel's in it?

Vegetto
01-14-2008, 03:39 PM
Love him, good voice actor

Beam
01-28-2008, 12:23 PM
i liked tenkaichi 3, but i'm not that huge of a dbz fan. so it was passed on to my step-son who tried to clean it with tooth paste lol. ruined a good game.

Northeastmonk
01-30-2008, 01:29 AM
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Story - Drake is the anscestor of Sir Frances Drake. A famous explorer/treasure hunter. Drake ends up finding recolections of his ancestor's discovery and begins searching for their remains. 9 out of 10

Gaphics - Breathtaking 9 out of 10

Gameplay - Fantastic, My hands were sweating during the more altitude pushed levels. And an amazing battle system. Way better then TR's control setup 9 out of 10

Sound - Right to the tee sound effects and really cool gunshot noises.
9 out of 10

Rent or Buy - Uncharted has some great features, but they all come at you so fast, until you wondered what you did the last 8 hours. Rent

This review was short, considering this has to be the 2nd shortest game I've ever played. The Bouncer being the first. I'm not a ZOE fan, so that doesn't get #2.

Northeastmonk
02-12-2008, 12:53 AM
I doubled it up for the sake of readers. I liked this game a lot.

Devil May Cry 4 - the 20 Minute installation(PS3) edition.

Story - Dante is back. The demon hunter places himself in another epic journey and this time he has Nero, a young protagonist who resembles Dante in many ways. The story is about a cult who worships Dante's father Sparda. And how weird and collective they are about their practices. Nero happens to be an enemy of Dante's. 8 out of 10 There is a love story.

Gameplay - Fast, action-packed, button mashing masterpiece. The Lost Souls option (for DMC fans) offers players a chance to get what they want from their first run of the game. Nero has a demonic arm, which allows him to pick up enemies either to retract or smash into the ground. The concept sounds old, but has many twist and combo options. 9 out of 10

Music - The same dude who pumped us up in DMC3 is back. And the new theme song is actually the best toon I've heard besides Uncharted's interior soundtrack. Nero's voice is actually quite interesting. Dante's voice is perfect. He's aged and still knows how to diss someone.
8 out of 10

Graphics - Smooth and crisp. The graphics appeal for fans and nonfans a like. Not that you need to understand geography of DMC or anything. Which is new and fun. Don't expect an open world environment. What you see is what you get and how many times you want to go back and forth. DMC4 has the largest layout of any DMC to date. 8 out of 10

Final Grade: 8 out of 10

Rent or Buy? - Buy it for sure if you liked the previous DMC games. If you can't force yourself to jump into the series yet. Check it out. The pre-load screen allow players a chance to read a short summary of the series, plus its unlockable.

Finish time - 12.5 hours on medium(Demon Hunter) but there is a Human (easy) mode. I am playing it on hard right now. And The extra content is pretty cool.

Note: There isn't another campaign "as Dante". Like Virgil in DMC3SE. Its not like that matters because IMO the game ROCKS!

Next title I plan on reviewing is Mistwalker's Lost Odyssey.

Alexander
02-12-2008, 07:53 AM
Good review. Can't wait to hear about Lost Odyssey.

Mistatee
02-12-2008, 11:26 AM
Not to derail the thread, but haven't you said multiple times you were tired of JRPGs and their cliche'd stories/characters?

Northeastmonk
02-13-2008, 12:45 AM
IMO I do think Lost Odyssey is for the old FF fans.

I dont seem to cliche gaming in general like I sound. I agree I do bash JRPGS a lot. I do because I feel the genre has gone in too many bad directions. Either its not on my "Square-Enix" fan list or it doesn't have the 30+ hour appeal to me. I usually give it a go. I do admit however that some RPGs I've played. It took me to about Level 10 to declare it trash.

This is because:
1. I've witnissed too many "good" rpgs.
2. I hate spending money on games.
3. Replaying PSOne RPGS sounds more entertaining.
4. The game accounts for paying off a reservation.

Why I'm bipolar on the subject:
1. I do take advice and play different RPGs.
2. I try RPGS that come across as an "Anime Fan" style.
3. Developing house history.
4. My love for games in general.


I may not see the appeal of JRPG like I did when I was a teenager, but the JRPG genre is one of my favorites.

For instance: Shadow Hearts, MS Saga, Dot.Hack, and Tales of the Abyss. Not one of them would entertain me like Chrono Trigger/Cross did. I diss them all and still love JRPGS!

I like Mistatee's list of reviews. Because he has a taste for talented work. This brought up some issues I'm facing with my title preferences. Thanks.
because If I went out and bought Growlanser. I'd probably be kicking myself right now.

Alexander
02-13-2008, 07:48 AM
Not to derail the thread, but haven't you said multiple times you were tired of JRPGs and their cliche'd stories/characters?

Yeah but the review and Gametrailers said it was a breath of fresh air for RPG fans, and I still consider myself an RPG fan. They could be lying though.

memory to zack
02-13-2008, 11:27 AM
On a sidenote, it´s been said a lot that Kaim is the typical effeminated hero with the big sword and troubled past, but personaly I don´t find him effeminated at all (thin=effeminated these days?? No wonder when the trend is that of building massively huge muscles, and we get a huge amount of such guys in videogames to the point where it´s really becoming irritating) nor is his sword huge, it´s the typical 2-handed sword. From what I´ve read, not a single reviewer called it the typical, clichéd jRPG, but mentioned that gameplay-wise its plays like the traditional old-school jRPGs.

Mistatee
02-13-2008, 11:46 AM
From the reviews I have read, the story sucks, the character sucks. But the memories you unlock are awesome, and tell an amazing backstory breathing life into the characters. Also according to 1-Up, Jansen is the only character who doesn't suck.

memory to zack
02-13-2008, 11:59 AM
Story and characters suck?! This is story-driven RPG, if its story and characters suck then it´s worth throwing it at a garbage bin, because from the old-school (nowadays really lame, for me as well) turn-based gameplay you won´t get much. I don´t know about the characters, but the general impression I got from various reviews was rather positive, with Jansen being the best as a comic-relief. Though these reviews I read said the story, although a typical one, was very good and, like you said, the memories unlocked by Kaim and the emotions that are created are awesome.

I´m going to try Lost Odyssey one way or another, I had it settled for quite a while, just as I had decided not to buy Blue Dragon. My gaming choices are matter of feeling really, totally not based on reviews and impressions of others, only selective ones.

Northeastmonk
02-24-2008, 02:21 AM
Jeanne D'Arc was pretty good. The same guys who made Rouge Galaxy and the upcoming White Knight Chronicles Level 5 studios made this above average RPG-tactics game for the PSP.

Story - Jeanne, a french women, hears a godly voice from above that calls her to defend France and claim back the land from a evil power. The story has a linear spoiler plot, so I wont ruin anything here. It just gets good once you progress.
Graphics- Amazing. Good if you liked Rouge Galaxy and the colorful animated characters it featured.
Sound - Jeanne D'Arc is mainly a text based game, but the cutscenes are featured as an anime, so expect a more of an entertaining tactics game with this one.
Difficulty - I finished the story in about 35 hours. My second run wont be for a while, but it wasn't hard at all. There are some points where leveling your characters is important.
Exta Features- Just an extra ending, which I wont bother with until Lost Odyssey is complete.
Rent or Buy - I rented this one, then bought it. Buy!

Conclusion - I put down LO for this title. It must have had something good about it. I may not be a hardcore FFT fan, so if this game seems easy for you, then just enjoy the great graphics.

(8 out of 10)

----------------------------
One minus to LO, the memories are boring. Its like a poem with lights and music. I read the first 2 then skipped every single one after that. -1 point so far. I'll try and finish it up very soon. I believe I'm almost done with the 3rd disc.

Northeastmonk
03-02-2008, 11:34 PM
Lost Odyssey - XBOX360

Story - Kaim, an immortal, sent from another realm to finish a quest.
Along with 4 other immortals. The 4 good immortals, Kaim included.
Must fight off an evil that wants to take over the world.

Gameplay - This RPG from the creator of Final Fantasy (Sakaguchi)
is another leap for the genre. The Ring Key Battle system allows
players to circle a ring with the R trigger to deliver a FF8
Ragnorak (Squall's R1 charge) to every physical attack. The ring centers in on another ring for extra
damage. Each character can also learn skills from one another. This
however is limited to some party members. If you were a PSOne RPG fan
and wanted to experience the genre before it reaches its turning point,
then check it out. The dreams people are speaking of. They are
poems/short stories with music and colors. When Kaim sees something
he remembers about his past. He will unlock these. They aren't playable and some are around 20 to 30 screens long. I did not care for them.

Graphics - Great detail on the world map. The exploration is easy and
you wont get confused traveling on a huge world map as a low level
character.

Sound - Uamatsu (Final Fantasy composer/current) does an outstanding job. The best in Mistwalker's musical scores. The characters are amazingly outgoing and fun to learn about.

Difficulty - If your not a huge RPG fan, then all you need to know is. Is that leveling up during and before each mission/ojective/free time/and before a boss is the KEY to winning. Plus knowing and understanding the elements is key with using magic. And because Lost Odyssey applies
the rules of elements to EVERY SINGLE enemy. Plus, allowing characters the ability to learn higher grade magic by leveling and items is very very important


(8 out of 10)

Time it took me to complete (just the main storyline) - 39 hours; Rounded up

Spoiler hints-
Make sure to have every spell resistence learned for every character,
expecially the immortals. There are hard elemental fights with
characters you may think are unusable. Say Cooke, because you have
3 other powerful mages with Spirit and Black Magic. (IE: She has to be
in your party when you fight an Ice beast on disc 3).
Plus, there are fights on disc 4 that use the high black magic spells
Firus, Aquerus, Groundus, etc. Which hit mages for 2000+ without resistence.
Having skills like Duel Items for Level 8 Black Magic items will help if your mages have low HP.
- Make sure your immune to alliments like Petrify, Poison, and
against Shadowus magic.
-Watch the order of the battle and your GC guage. These two can either
make or break your fight. GC will lower DMG taken on the attackers and
you can knock an enemy caster by watching the turn bar. If a character
is charging for a second round, hit him. This is also why leveling up
is crucial. Half your party consist of MAGES. Mages have a history,
expecially in AD&D/FF to have low HP.
-Items can do better then Zyphyra. Using the Double Items skill you can
heal an entire character before the mage cast an healing spell.
Healing is a major point in the game.
-Some characters, besides Sed can auto-raise after a couple rounds.
Just remember you only get 600-800HP when they rise. Plus, It happens
after you've selected your attacks.

Northeastmonk
03-06-2008, 02:44 AM
God of War: Chains of Olympus - Sony PSP

Story: Kratos is a spartan under the curse of his past. The Ghost of Sparda has a past, and its short. Around 5 and a half hours short. The game releases today, and I finished it that night. It is a great game, and probably one of the best looking PSP games around. Anyway, the story is about how Kratos fought for the Gods, and leads straight into God of War 1. The story is also weird, and doesn't make any sense. Almost like if it was a fan fiction GOW story.

Graphics: Hopefully this isn't the PSP graphics maxed out. Great cutscenes!

Sound: Just like the previous God of War(s).

Gameplay: The same insane combo system as the other titles. The bad part, if you've played the demo. You're a quarter done with the entire game.

Rent or buy: Rent it or borrow it from a friend. The game is very short.

(8 out of 10)

I maxed out/found everything within the 5.5 hours on Normal.

Northeastmonk
04-02-2008, 01:11 AM
Dark Sector - PS3 Version. And a five to ten minute installation.

Story - A man (lol forgot his name) is sent in to take care of a terrorist whose motive is to mass produce toxic gasses all over the world. These gasses have horrible mind controlling and manipulating effects on people. The protagonist just happens to get infected with the gas and becomes a some what, bio-soldier.
Note - these gasses also allow the human body to control special weaponry.
Like his ghypher blade.

Gameplay - You control the ghypher with the R2 trigger. And you're allowed the ability to control it with your six-axis controller. Say to hit special elemtns (aka lightning, fire, ice) and use them to complete various task. The combat is real nice. Decapitations and finishing moves are performed by holding down the R2 trigger (charges the ghypher) or a simple throw to knock the enemy off guard.

Graphics - Really nice textures. Buildings aren't as nearly as boring as say "The Darkness". You get to travel around the area, but not as tourist. Meaning, you get to explore limited areas of combat. Boss battles are also enjoyable and make you think outside the box. The use of guns is important as well. Neglecting your fire arm can result in an early death.

Sound - Voice acting is pleasable. Character models look really nice. Nice rendering. Models don't look half-asses 3ds Max hacks. Assassin's Creed has y far the best looking character models.

Replay - I dont play online and the Brutal mode afterwords wasn't my cup of tea. Considering it took me from release date to 2 days ago to finish the title. Meaning that is around 10 hours of solid gameplay.

Score: 7 out of 10 (my reviews are heavily biased do to fact that games aren't worth a 10 w/o a reasonable excuse)

Check it out. If you trusted me on "The Darkness", then I'm sure that Dark Sector is what you need.

Next Review: Rainbow Six: Vegas 2

eastx
04-02-2008, 08:21 PM
Sound - Voice acting is pleasable.

So we can please the voice acting, eh? I'm sure it will appreciate it. ;)

Since you're on the PS3 with the free online and whatnot, you *should* play online and check it out. Deciding in advance that you won't like something isn't the best way to do things.
Otherwise a good review though.

Northeastmonk
04-03-2008, 12:28 AM
The truth is that Dark Sector had pretty good voice acting. I didn't read the Dark Horse comic, so I'm not too sure how the protagonist acted outside this game. But the character was angry enough to be convincable, shared no emotion outside his own gain (perfect for a soldier). Considering the fact that Steve Blum in Jericho was awesome. The ratings for voice acting is very important now.
(Just like how Blue Gender wouldn't of been a good anime if the majority of the cast wasn't the American DBZ cast).

I also consider anime voice actors in America a key to sucess in next gen games. I wouldn't of played through Jericho if it wasn't for Steve Blum's talent.

I don't play online due to the lack of internet connection and I don't find multiplayer games to be entertaining anymore.

***Finished Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin. I'm going to finish Dawn of Sorrow before I write reviews. So if one Castlevania is better then the other one. I can point out the cons and pros of each.

eastx
04-03-2008, 09:46 AM
Good to hear about the voice acting.

And yeah, lack of an internet connection is a decent reason not to try out online modes.

I beat Castlevania DS but don't have Portrait of Ruin, so I'll be looking forward to your comparisons.

Northeastmonk
05-26-2009, 12:00 AM
First, I’m sorry it’s taken so long for more reviews, so I am going to double up on reviews.

FROM Software’s Demon’s Souls – PS3
Story – The story is very simple. The monumental/warriors of Nexus need your help in taking care in stopping a demon from being unleashed. This is what I took out of the entire story because the game focuses on game play over story. I played through my first time as the knight class. So this review is based on my experience as a Knight. The majority of this game is getting through 5 different sections of realms, each realm consist of 3-4 epic boss battles.
Gameplay – Gameplay is basically a mix of moves(slash, thrust, and a shield push), blocking and an action gauge. The action gauge goes away after attacking and blocking. There really isn’t a problem with enjoying this system outside the difficulty. The soul system is basically the key element to Demon’s Souls. Not in dying, but leveling up your character will take time.
Sound: Great, every character carries a personality. Its a very quiet game to be honest.
Graphics: The graphics are very “knights of the round”. The epic scale of monsters and feeling you have going up against a mob of slime are very relaxing. If you are comparing this to Oblivion, DS is very dark, and some what straight forward.
Overall: I give this an 8 out of 10. I think some people who are looking for an eye candy knight game will either be frustrated because the game makes you think and there is a down side to thinking. And every time you die it restarts from the beginning of where you teleported from. The challenge bar went up when I got this title.

The online mode looked entertaining to say the least, but I still lack the ability to play online. So there aren’t any impressions for online play. I understand that there aren’t any quest or bosses outside the main game.
*The trophies are worth picking this game up for.


White Knight Chronicles – PS3

I am not finished with this title, but my location tells (translations) me that I’m about to complete this game. I am pretty upset at how this game presents itself that I am going to write its review.
Edit: I just went back and completed it. Not many changes. Except the main story can be beaten at level 30 and the fact that being in "Knight mode" is the ticket to winning every battle. The level of difficulty is "easy" compared to other next gen rpgs on the market.

Story: Leonardo, a towns boy who attends a royal festival ends up fighting for the Princess and her dead father after a group of evil men interrupt the festival and take the princess away. The entire story follows this path. You ARE always going after the princess. The knight seems added for name sake, but it feels like a fantasy “Bodyguard” plot.

Gameplay: The game has a circle sphere that fills up after time. And at the bottom of the screen there are 3 rows to place a selected amount of attacks (which are filled by placing new moves learned by a sphere grid) and another row for items, equipment, defense, and knight. The game feels like FFXI to be honest. The grid allows points to be dispersed in upgrading certain weapon skills and learning magic. Note: some HP upgrades are found in weapon skills.

Graphics: The dungeons are large. You can run around an MMO type of environment and kill mobs after mobs. Ranging from small to large but the lack of having fun with this is because there isn’t much to do after leveling up in single player. The towns are only there for upgrading equipment and buying items. What I've learned from Online FAQS wasn't about the main quest (star maps your next location), but it was with online play and synthesizing.
Online mode consist of 12 Ranked Guild quest that are timed. And require a much higher level character and parties to complete.

Some points I'd love to get out of the way.
1.The main story feels short.
2.The knight transformation gets old after a while because you can’t skip the cinematic, but you can skip the main movies.
3. The monsters felt repetative (as in “didn’t I just go through a dungeon with these creeps?”) after a while and the bosses were too easy to kill outside some “implied” difficulty. I got so bored in crossing some dungeons that I had to backtravel, save, and then turn off the game. I can almost see why it scored so poorly in Japan.
4.I don’t feel the satisfaction as with Jeanne D’Arc. The characters don’t feel like they were placed in the game out of fate, but by luck. But you do feel Level 5’s overall appeal to WKC.
5.It received the same Famitsu score as Demon’s Souls.
6. Rouge Galaxy kills this game in story, but not with graphics.

Overall: 6 out of 10. The graphical appeal should of scored it higher and the appeal of each conversation, but the lack of enemies and total focus on advancing in the story without any stops made it lack so much.



My quick finished and unfinished reviews would go like this:
Gears of War 2 – 9.8 out of 10
Resident Evil 5 – 7 out of 10
KillZone 2 – 8 out of 10
Ryu Ga Gatoku: KENZAN! So far 8 out of 10
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots – 10 out of 10, the bonus bluray upped my score.
Resistance 2: 6 out of 10, big minus was Chicago not being as fun as I thought it would be.
Fable 2 - 9 out of 10
Fallout 3 - 9 out of 10


Here is my Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin review. Its been a while so bare with me.


Portrait of Ruin – DS
Story – A young man and women (see I told you it’s been a while) enter into Dracula’s castle and seek the dark fellow. This follows a series of paintings which take you on a wild goose chase to get to the count.
Gameplay: I enjoyed this title, it felts like a mix of everything I enjoyed in say a Mario game inside a Castlevania game. I was able to figure out some boss battles by just enjoying myself. Upgrading characters have stayed the same, but the mix of a 2nd player might added a small amount of upscale to the series.
Sound: Great, but does not equal to SOTN. Which is my favorite Castlevania by far.
Graphics: Very good, the 3D feel to some DS titles almost makes me sick, but Castlevania 2D games never make me upset.
Overall: Very good, the entire deal with Death “deleting your save if you died against him” scared me a bit, but I know from experience that saved games are a big deal.
8 out of 10

AOS was actually pretty good. I couldn’t find myself as involved in AOS as with POR, which is probably the reason I didn’t finish it.

Alucard
05-26-2009, 07:48 AM
Portrait is a super awesome game. Especially when you play the alternate modes and characters too for the extra story and different take on gameplay. Super game.

Paper exe
05-27-2009, 07:54 AM
Fable 2
I wanna see some one love and compliment Fable 2. I try but it is really hard for me. Probably for not being Japanese. My mind cannot seem to work with me, it wouldn't open.

Northeastmonk
05-27-2009, 07:42 PM
Did you see Xplay give it GOTY. I'd be stupid not to give it a good review. lol

CongoJack
05-28-2009, 04:19 AM
Portrait is a super awesome game. Especially when you play the alternate modes and characters too for the extra story and different take on gameplay. Super game.

This was the only reason I'd rate it higher than DS, the extra characters ruled. Both still years better than the suck that is OOC.

Northeast - On DemonSoul, about how long did the game take you to finish? Did you get a chance to try the other classes and if so, how were they gameplay wise compared to the Knight? Been looking forward to this one for a bit, glad for the info :D

Paper exe
05-28-2009, 10:01 AM
What the heck is OOC!? This code conversations is frustrating!

Northeastmonk
05-28-2009, 12:12 PM
I finished the game in around 60 hours. I played as the Temp Knight and Barbarian before picking my favorite. You can use magic by just getting the spell, a wand, and the MP to cast. I didn't put any skill into MP, I was so concerned with DEX. The classes are Knight, barbarian, wanderer, priest, soldier, magician, TmpKnight, theif, Royal, and hunter. Temp Knight seemed the way to go, but I found the Knight to be better then both tmpknight and barbarian.
The balance is dead on bc its all on strategy if you dont have the stats. I died fighting like a knight, but won fighting like a magician if that makes sense. But say like the barbarian, he starts out with a club, its powerful and you can switch off. But I liked how the knight was already custom to the blade.

This is an example of its cool loading screens.
http://www.nineworks.pe.kr/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/miralda.jpg

Paper exe
05-28-2009, 12:59 PM
hey I saw that! You mentioned the name of the latest Castlvania game! If order of ecclesia what he meant then that Congo person is certainly up to no good. For your information Order of Ecclesia is the BEST Castlevania game EVER MADE. YOU HEAR THAT!!1! :too mad:

CongoJack
05-29-2009, 12:07 AM
Cool info Northeast, I appreciate it, gonna have to pick this one up when it hits stateside.

Yes Paper, I meant to type OOE. Only Castlevania I didn't completely enjoy, they took the loser route to increase the difficulty and for that I have only shame. IE increased dmg/def on enemies, decreased dmg/def on player. Also either Castlevania3 or SOTN is the best!

Northeastmonk
06-01-2009, 09:12 AM
inFAMOUS - PS3
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/2b/Infamous-cover.jpg/252px-Infamous-cover.jpg

Story: Cole, a delivery boy. Recieves a strange package and gets a call out of nowhere to open it. Then it explodes and he gets these really cool electric powers. He has to find this device that could do a lot of damage in the hands of someone evil. The story has a lot of twist and turns but delivers a sweet conclusion to an amazing sandbox game. But mainly you are fighting a group of "reepers" led by a lustful women and a mysteries man, and things start changing based on how you react.

Gameplay: You get a pretty good mix of moves. The best part is that none of them are really useless. I played a ton of side missions just because they added depth to the game. For instance, some missions aren't even tagged. The citizens will run up out of random and start pointing and screaming. It was pretty cool. The entire good or bad role plays a big part in the development of the game. Honestly, the game seems like it could be repetitive, but it delivers a couple big punches that make it worth while. Plus the Parkour allows you to make full use of the city. Plus you can land on anything just by hovering near it.

Sound: Great, it felt like the story never slowed down. Plus each chapter is ended in a comic strip script.

Graphics: It was like a super hero GTAIV, graphics were awesome. The city is pretty good and there are even sections cut off (like GTAIV, but much smaller). Its far better then any other super hero game out there. Even though I finished it as soon as I did, there are parts to the game where I'd need to replay it just to see what would happen.

Score: 9 out of 10 InFamous is one of the best sandbox games I've ever played.

Northeastmonk
07-27-2009, 09:06 PM
http://hellgate.incgamers.com/gallery/data/515/1-box-cover.jpg
Hellgate London (PC)

This is a very simple review. I thought of taking advice on how the problems associated with Hellgate and not play it. But I'm a pretty big fan of Diablo 2 and wanted to try it myself. Well, I'm nothing but dissapointed. Once you start a new game, you're asked to speak to an NPC, and this is where I felt every terrible thing said about Hellgate come to life. Its not friendly or at home at all. You have to almost force read every quest/dialouge box. Plus the quality of quest are dull and boring. I have to admit being excited to chase down various boss creatures and explore new worlds. But the game never added to the same old mix.

Story: Hell has taken over London, and its up to a selected force to defend it.
Gameplay: You play as one of the six classes, subdivided into three factions.The Templar: Guardian, Blademaster, The Cabalists: Summoner, Evoker, and The Hunters: Marksman and Engineer. Note, the 3rd person and first person perspectives are only given to select classes. The fighting has its moments, but once you get the hang of things the fun starts to end. The levels seem half done.
Since you can only explore around 4 blocks. Plus I cant get over how hard it is to enjoy the quest.
Sound: Great, but it doesn't make the game any better.
Control: sorta sucks.
Overall: Dont buy this game, I haggled the salesman for a pricedrop. I'm not giving up on the developers because I think if they would allow more fan feedback, then their games might not suck. Considering this is the Diablo team (Minding the fact that Flasgship studios isnt around anymore and the sever for HGL was shut down). Oh well. 4 out of 10.

I did download the Stonehedge Chronicles pack that added a new outdoor level and a Moloch boss battle. But I got so bored with the main game that I had to put it down.

Alucard
07-27-2009, 09:48 PM
Unfortunately the developers for that game dont exist anymore. Its being run by the publisher now.

Northeastmonk
10-02-2009, 11:19 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/3/38/The_Witcher_Enhanced_Edition.jpg/250px-The_Witcher_Enhanced_Edition.jpg
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition - PC
The Witcher presents itself highly among most RPGs these days IMO. You play as Geralt of Riviera. A Witcher (A skilled person who kills beast, vampire, etc and removes curses) with a forgotten past. The majority of the time is spent traveling and talking, but the mix of falling for the right girl and deciding the fate of major characters I think is the true beauty to the game. Plus you make some huge choices to determine how each chapter plays out. Very fun!

Story: It has a lot of twist. The story starts out very simple (A wizard is causing a lot of destruction with a group called the Salamanders), and luckily with all the twists and turns of events will allow you to enjoy it towards the end. It does have its dry moments. One moment you're on an epic quest and the next your buying bread for some total stranger on a totally random side quest. Just keep up with it bc it does get rewarding. And also falling in love with the right women was one of my favorite parts about The Witcher. 8 out of 10

Graphics: Superb, outside some very annoying glitches. But very enjoying with the right settings. 9 out of 10

Gameplay: The combat lets you have various fighting stances for certain weapons. But buying a weapon that wont work with The Witcher Style is pointless at first unless you have enough life to get by. The skill system is placing different types of points awarded at each level on either your character, weapons, or magic. I think I died most of the time because I picked the wrong weapon for a group of enemies. 7 out of 10.

Sound: Great. One of the best soundtracks I've ever heard. 9 out of 10

Overall: Besides some boring quest and crappy fighting mechanics its a great. And is strongly recommended for those looking for a mature game with lots of quality. But keep in mind the replay value isnt that high. 9 out of 10

Also make sure to download the Director's Cut patch, which requires the v1.5 patch to install. The game also likes to crash on random occasions. Mainly when I was in a large mob of enemies or I was moving the camera around very quickly. Also if you dont like the default camera. Press F3 I believe to go into a 3rd person perspective. Cant wait for Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings!

http://mmomfg.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/FFXIII-logo.jpg

Final Fantasy XIII – PS3

I’ll start by saying that Final Fantasy XIII is a great game. The graphics are some of Square-Enix’s finest. The story is told in such a charismatic and cinematic way that someone (like me) who doesn’t understand Japanese can relate to and enjoy. It is probably the most satisfying RPG since Final Fantasy XII.

Story: You play as Lightning, a young female who with a group of friends, are fighting along side an enslaved civilization who are at a brink of a disaster. Story relies on character development, so the story builds this giant hole. However, the scope of everything that happens during this epic sci-fi campaign fixes all that. In short, the story builds from arc to arc with a multilayer story. Naming or describing anything else would be giving away the plot. Some aspects seem taken straight from Final Fantasy X and Final Fantasy XII but without going too deep I’d say this is a brand new game entirely. In my opinion I think Square-Enix has upgraded the common yet respectable trend. It does allow you the freedom to explore, but you’re not looking at a traditional world map with a private jet. And for some who hate boring puzzles and lame fillers, this game doesn’t seem to have any.

Gameplay: A traditional JRPG with new life. The ATB bar is fueled gradually, which distributes moves, which means no MP to refill. I’ll just say there are a selectable amount of classes for each character to use (gambits aren’t needed). No experience points this time. By finishing battles, battles will be given a grade where you earn Crystal Points. These are used in the Crystalium, which is similar to the Grid in Final Fantasy X. I believe this system works much better because it’s tiered rather then opened. I really enjoyed the combat system. There are also a few new gimmicks to the battle system, but I won’t go into detail. Battles are challenging and give a sense of accomplishment, which include the smoothness of battle, the variety of tactics, and the difficulty. The AI party members are pretty smart, so the most frustrating move could quite possibly be your own.

Graphics: Amazing! It looks remarkable. You don’t have to be an RPG fan to enjoy the work put into this game. The monster variety is also one of the best I’ve seen since Final Fantasy XII. The battle system and graphics encourage much anticipation for Final Fantasy Versus XIII.

Sound: Best score of a game (that could have been a good CGI movie). I had to keep myself from humming some of the tunes. The Japanese characters sound amazing, I got so used to the cast that I’m anxious to see how good the NA version is.

Overall: 10 out of 10

Recommend: I highly recommend Final Fantasy XIII.

Game time: 48 hours.


Afterthoughts
I did figure out the core aspects of battle, so if anyone needs advice I can do my best to help. Under the circumstances, I might not write a review for the NA version, considering. I am almost certain that the score will be the same.

Edit: Some of my readers might see I ignored to explain the whole relationship with Lightning and Snow, the two other female protagonists, and also the battle to save both planets. I saw this whole scenario in a "new FF" point of view. At the time this game's plot made sense with the upgraded graphics. So much I would of written if I knew how little of quality this title gave its fans. Downplaying its score would only reflect a hidden anger at Square for their ability to lose a fan base over their years due to lack of progression in terms of storytelling and gameplay. I honestly feel XII was of better quality and how FFXIII only appears as a romantic style of JRPG instead of a entry into the FF series that lays a strong foundation on what a JRPG should/would be. As of today; this title deserves its next generation fly through, but I only give it a 7 out of 10.

Seraph
01-05-2010, 03:17 PM
How come you edited your review in instead of posting a new reply? The Review Section is the one section where you are allowed to double/triple post.

With all the recent jrpg hate it's nice to hear that you enjoyed the game. I do think it's funny how SquareEnix keeps trying do away with the experince point system then they end up adding a different named point system that does the same thing. When you say it's Tiered instead of Open what do you mean? One of the things I didn't like about the sphere grid was that you were bound to your path and really couldn't customize your character. I liked 12's License board system as it let you make your characters into who you wanted them to be.

I'm really happy to hear that they did away with MP. I've become such a paranoid mess when I play RPGs, always thinking "no don't use MP on these weak guys, save it for the inevitable boss". It will be nice to use my big awesome spells in normal battles for once.

Northeastmonk
01-05-2010, 04:48 PM
How come you edited your review in instead of posting a new reply? The Review Section is the one section where you are allowed to double/triple post.

With all the recent jrpg hate it's nice to hear that you enjoyed the game. I do think it's funny how SquareEnix keeps trying do away with the experince point system then they end up adding a different named point system that does the same thing. When you say it's Tiered instead of Open what do you mean? One of the things I didn't like about the sphere grid was that you were bound to your path and really couldn't customize your character. I liked 12's License board system as it let you make your characters into who you wanted them to be.

I'm really happy to hear that they did away with MP. I've become such a paranoid mess when I play RPGs, always thinking "no don't use MP on these weak guys, save it for the inevitable boss". It will be nice to use my big awesome spells in normal battles for once.

I was worried about memory storage on posts with pictures. What I mean by tiered is that it is based off leveling the grid. Not the linear path to more then what you can gain by simply aquiring more points. I wouldnt want to spoil the real key, but its a way of keeping the player experienced while becoming more powerful. I agree, keeping mega-ethers in Final Fantasy XII was important. In this way you are fighting more then conserving items.

darren
01-07-2010, 04:13 AM
how did you manage to follow the story though didn't think you could read japanese? or was it basic enough to follow from the cuts etc?

Alucard
01-07-2010, 07:53 AM
Would like to know what you thought of FF7-8-9-10-12 aswell so I can get an idea of how you view the series. I mean were they all 10/10 after you completed them the first time?

Northeastmonk
01-07-2010, 08:45 AM
how did you manage to follow the story though didn't think you could read japanese? or was it basic enough to follow from the cuts etc?

To be honest I believe I know the heart of the story. I want to compare it to Kingdom Hearts II, enough is going on physically that doesn't need to be explained. Yeah, you dont chat with people anywhere.
I played through the Japanese version of Crisis Core, same thing. The actions portrayed by the characters was enough to inform you about the story.


Alucard
Would like to know what you thought of FF7-8-9-10-12 aswell so I can get an idea of how you view the series. I mean were they all 10/10 after you completed them the first time?

7-I really had a good time with it and the final boss fight was really something. 8-Probably my first Final Fantasy that I got to be excited for. Final Fantasy IX was good at the time(cant play it now bc I dont care too). X-was great (first FF on the PS2), but now I cant sit through the opening cinematics. XII was awesome. Once you play through the story once, its so epic that you cant really forget enough information to replay it again.

Yeah, I think the series have so much work and history put into them that when they first release, it is very exciting and enjoyable. It is nice to have them every couple years. I'd much rather replay other games to tell you the truth. But the Final Fantasy series is one of my favorites and nothing will have the same style and quality like the series has.

Alucard
01-07-2010, 08:49 AM
I think I'm not going to enjoy this one then lol

Northeastmonk
01-07-2010, 09:18 AM
Honestly its good. But if you can get it from a friend after he finishes it...Alucard, then play through it. Hopefully you'll post your thoughts once it is released.

Alucard
01-07-2010, 09:24 AM
Thats how I got all the other FF games, borrowed off a friend. Heres hoping I can actually complete this one unlike the snorefest that was FF12 which I gave up to halfway through.

Mistatee
01-07-2010, 09:42 AM
Again I will post my feelings on the FF Series, because I have nothing better to do:

1 - Only fooled around with a bit on a ROM.

2 - Only fooled around with a bit on a ROM.

3 - From what I played of the DS version, it sucks.

4 - Amazing for the time, but looking back on it, not any better than a lot of other SNES RPGs like Lufia 2 or Tales of Phantasia. Though I played the PsP version, Star Ocean also is on the same level if no better.

5 - Liked the Job System, everything else kinda tanked.

6 - Personally I feel it is incredibly overrated, though still good. About the same level as 4.

7 - Highly overrated, but still good. Possibly the best on the Ps1.

8 - Mixed Bag. Quarky Combat, but interesting story until said story takes a huge nosedive. Side Characters come off as compeltely worthless (Irvine does nothing after the first disk, and did Selphie ever do anything?). Still, it tried a lot of new things, some worked, some didn't.

Tactics - Pure Genius. Still one of the best SRPGs around.

9 - Terrible. Dumb Characters, Crap Story, Most Random Final Boss in history. And Screw that skill learning system.

10 - Charming, but way too linear. Sphere Grid was good until the game opened up, and then everyone became too overpowered and leaning towards the same.

11 - Hardcore MMO, but with a good class system, and skill chains, felt rewarding for playing.

Tactics Advance - Took everything that was amazing about the first game and threw it away. It wasn't terrible, but when compared with Tactics it was horrific.

12 - Beautiful looking, and great world. Everything else kinda sucked. Liked that the story wasn't "End of the World" but they fucked that up in he end. The characters were emotionally dead, the side characters were ultimately useless. License Board sucks big time. Summons made the game harder instead of easier. Sadly, the Japanese International version fixes all of these, including the story only because I can't follow Japanese perfectly. Almost forgot to mention that the VA work was the best every in a game.

TA2 - Didn't Play, probably sucked worse than TA

Seraph
01-07-2010, 10:38 AM
9 - Terrible. Dumb Characters, Crap Story, Most Random Final Boss in history. And Screw that skill learning system.And here I thought I was the only one. I would add in the painfully slow battle system and cop-out ending. It's down there with 2 & 3 for me.

I would only disagree about the characters, I really liked them.

Alucard
01-07-2010, 11:08 AM
Wait, seraph you hated FF9 too? I thought you liked it for some reason.

darren
01-07-2010, 12:35 PM
To be honest I believe I know the heart of the story. I want to compare it to Kingdom Hearts II, enough is going on physically that doesn't need to be explained. Yeah, you dont chat with people anywhere.
I played through the Japanese version of Crisis Core, same thing. The actions portrayed by the characters was enough to inform you about the story.



yeah but since rpgs are about the largly about the story not sure how anyone can properly review it let alone give it 10/10 with out fully understanding it .. i mean how generic is it compared to other jrpgs etc .. something you won;t actually know until you read/hear it imo .. for me its a bit like a blind guy reviewing the 3d in avatar

Yeah, you dont chat with people anywhere.

wtf ?? why on earth not? its an rpg .. lol ..

Seraph
01-07-2010, 01:00 PM
Wait, seraph you hated FF9 too? I thought you liked it for some reason.Nope, I didn't enjoy it very much. 2, 3 and 9 are the only FF games I don't like. The only reason I beat 9 was for completions sake and to see the story to the end. I toyed with the idea many times to quit and watch the ending on Youtube.

I was not very keen on the world/setting in the first place, but after sitting through a billion or so slow-as-molasses battles and going through 90% of the game with crappy equips until my characters grabbed the abilities off them..... I just couldn't take it anymore. When I got to the end and they did the "mysterious greater evil controlling behind the scenes" swap crap, and then handed me an ending that opened up more lose ends than it tied......

Northeastmonk
01-07-2010, 02:29 PM
yeah but since rpgs are about the largly about the story not sure how anyone can properly review it let alone give it 10/10 with out fully understanding it .. i mean how generic is it compared to other jrpgs etc .. something you won;t actually know until you read/hear it imo .. for me its a bit like a blind guy reviewing the 3d in avatar



wtf ?? why on earth not? its an rpg .. lol ..


The roles the characters have combined with effort and emotion of every cutscene tend to give a large part of the story away. I'd say older rpgs need the influence of an interpretor, but in FFXIII's case. I believe the story has such a linear path that it never stops to get complicated(love themes, or a story you can't easily understand). Outside the character build, which I am the most uneducated about. I feel that I am aware of the events, but am unaware of the actual scope of the game's story.

There really isn't a connection to the people, unless its blurbs and comments. I feel the communication aspect is put more towards the cast rather then the world.

Alucard
01-07-2010, 03:04 PM
Its sounding like the story is rather simple and straight forward if you understand the basics.

memory to zack
01-07-2010, 04:57 PM
I read people that played the game and understand japanese that the story is convoluted and lots of stuff are going on simultaneously. In the beginning you don't understand why Lightning, Sazh and so on do what they do and many terms are only later explained. So still more or less what you expect from FF since IV.

I will miss towns, but not NPCs. Saying 1-2 phrases you'll quickly forget with the exception of important NPCs with which you can have some sort of conversation. I prefer if everything (info, funny stuff) is told through (interactive) cutscenes and codex, not having to speak to every single NPC for that.

I tried twice to get into FF9 but couldn't. I reached up to early 3rd disc and stopped. Besides Vivi and Steiner all other characters sucked. That oglop Cid, ughhh. The queen of Alexandria, Kuja... wtf?! Only things I liked were the chocobo digging and the auctions.

Alucard
01-07-2010, 11:57 PM
I think I would of enjoyed FF8 sooo much if I played itin japanese and didnt know what was happening. Translated made me want to kill people.

memory to zack
01-08-2010, 09:15 AM
The big crime for me of FF8 was the drawing system, the story less. I liked the story tbh. That took a lot of enjoyment from me even if everything else had been perfect. I found everything perfect in FFX except the CTB system, it took a hunch of my enjoyment away.

Northeastmonk
01-10-2010, 02:36 PM
One thing I’d like to add about FFXIII is you can have a different leader, but only one character is controllable during combat. I don’t think I made that clear in my review.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/61DXXayWwNL.jpg
Bayonetta – PS3

Outside of loading issues (which don’t affect combat whatsoever) Bayonetta runs just fine on the PlayStation 3. Hideki Kamiya made one hell of a game. Not only do you feel the impact and references from his previous work and so forth but Bayonetta includes some of the largest and longest boss battles that I have ever seen. Just don’t get the impression that I like this more then DMC. I’m not hating or bashing.

Story: Bayonetta is an Umbra Witch, forced in a feud over 2 stones. One stone belonging to the sages and the other with the Umbra witches. During the beginning of the game you realize that Bayonetta doesn’t remember her past and the question of why she is fighting these angels in the first place is still unclear. I still don’t understand why these Angels look so demonic. The story is sort of boring, but the epic boss battles make the film reel cut scenes a bit easier to sit through. I personally never liked the film reel theme.

Gameplay: Devil May Cry style action. A move list that moves twice as fast as DMC and the switch between weapons mimics that of DMC3. If for some reason you are looking for an excuse to put down DMC3SE, this is the game. The bosses are huge and some of them take an entire chapter just to fight. The presence of arcade inspired levels *Hang On & After Burner* feel forced. It’s as if they needed fillers and thought of old Sega games. Give me ShenMue’s motorcycle sequence any day of the week over this kind of gameplay.

Graphics: Although the battle system is enjoyable, the graphics are about on par with that of early next gen titles. Some levels look amazing, while some tend to be bland and dull looking. Not that I care about which scene was in game and which was rendered completely, but some character models and some levels look similar to that of DMC, like PS2 quality. For example, the level in DMC3 where Dante escapes time and gravity (forgot the name or chapter) is so much more enjoyable then Bayonetta’s toned down re-imagining of the concept.

Sound: The cast is comparable to DMC, but nothing spectacular. If you can enjoy the constant random quirky humor and repetitive music you’ll be just fine. I was hoping they would include the song from the NA commercial (NOPE!), but instead they play “Fly Me to the Moon” repetitively (very annoying if you ask me). The soundtrack is included by in game means. In my opinion it’s more convenient to have a hard copy. There is a progression menu that uses a map, the theme playing reminds me of so many Capcom games.

Score: 8 out of 10

Overall: Bayonetta has some very enjoyable combat mechanics and some unique storytelling. But the annoying music, level design mechanics, and storyline keep it from reaching the level of Devil May Cry. I also would like to make a point about the so called “raunchy” sex theme everyone is talking about. It’s not that shocking. I personally find God of War’s mythological nudity more enjoyable.

Recommend: I finished the game in 11 hours, unlike some reviews that mentioned 17-20. My advice to those who run through DMC and Ninja Gaiden Sigma without a problem to simply rent this title or wait till the price drops. The extra content is not worth paying full price.

Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks

I’m a dedicated fan of the series. I don’t say too much about it but I really enjoyed Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess. But when it comes to versions I’ll pay for and enjoy, well it’s definitely not the cell shaded Zelda. I try not being bias and simply enjoy it as an entry level in the series. But from now on I’m just not going bother with cell shaded Link unless Nintendo forces me to, like Windwaker.

Story: Link (if you named him that) is a train engineer who just got his license. As he talks to Zelda they become aware of a possible threat for Hyrule and the spirit tracks, which are tracks that connect villages to temples and Hyrule castle to etc Zelda also aids Link in his journey as a ghost, so you get some extra help during dungeons. And thus starts the journey to destroy the person for making the tracks disappear and bring peace once again to Hyrule. It’s a tough story to enjoy if you hate trains IMO.

Gameplay: Since it is on the NDS you won’t be controlling Link with the d-pad, but with the touch pad instead. You point and slice to attack, blow air into the DS mic for various usages, and wonder around aimlessly while operating a train. Riding the train does get boring after a while and is one of the reasons I haven’t finish the entire game. Boss battles are fun, but the game doesn’t come close to its big brothers. Zelda also helps you along the way, since she can possess statues found in dungeons. And controlling her does get frustrating at times. I don’t know how many times I ran her into something and had to redraw her path.

Graphics: Some of the best I’ve seen. Even though the scale is very small you can see a great amount of detail the core of the game reveals. Don’t expect to see more then trains and basic Zelda themes.

Sound: A very basic Zelda score for this DS version. Not that it’s bad or anything, but not as epic as I am used to.

Score: 7 out of 10

Overview: I like my Zelda large and on a console. I’m not trying to bash this DS game, but this was my first choice before picking up anything else. I was impressed once the game progressed to boss battles, but I was easily disappointed when all it came down to was traveling from dungeon to dungeon using the train.

Recommend: I’d say get it used or real cheap if you seriously need a Zelda fix before the next major title comes out.

Alucard
01-10-2010, 02:54 PM
I'd agree with your Bayonetta review actually. 8/10 is pretty much what I'd give it, for the same reasons too. Although I stopped playing it about 60% in. Just lost all interest in its style.

Northeastmonk
02-16-2010, 02:19 PM
Thanks for reading and I hope you keep reading my reviews. I’d also like to encourage any comments, questions, or complaints you may have about my reviews or what I say period.

Mass Effect 2 - PC

Although a very dark and depressing game, Mass Effect 2 tops off at being a very great game.

Story: Commander Shepard has a new mission, other then his previous work. He has done a great deal for the universe. And from Intel given to him by his new employer Cerberus, it is clear that he will need the best the world has to accomplish his new mission. The story is very easy to understand and pick up. However; the game doesn’t go too far in terms of storytelling. New players can enjoy it from start to finish.

Gameplay: Much better then Mass Effect. The large weapon and skill screen is gone, plus the core of combat is polished so well that you and you’re squad will focus more on pushing through the line and combining strategy. I wouldn’t consider this a turn based FPS, but more like the best story driven RPG-FPS that money can buy. Like the traditional style of a BioWare RPG, the game puts you in charge of command. Making decisions for the fate of your fleet is satisfying and enjoyable.

Graphics: It really doesn’t go far beyond the detail that Mass Effect 1 had, but considering the game has been upgraded. It doesn’t feel that you’re playing the same game. New environments, characters, and locations feel fresh. That’s if you had played through the first game. Minor detail to some missions, but really nothing to complain about.

Sound: Gun blasts rank the top of my list, next to the Gears of War series. Otherwise a decent soundtrack.

Score: 10 out of 10

Overall: I enjoyed the game myself; I found a few minor problems. Mining for minerals is very boring and the missions are almost the same all around, not that they mimic one another, but a nonlinear/linear path has its own problems anyway you look at it.

Dragon Age: Origins - PC

You sit down and play Dragon Age: Origins and the next thing you know you’ve been playing for 5 hours straight.

Story: A threat against a nation, or should I say clan. Foreign countries collide in an epic tale about an Arch demon. A demon that can raise up an army of monsters to destroy whatever peace the kingdom had once known. Dragon Age: Origins has a lot of depth outside of the main plot. The story has flavor, adult themes, and there is also plenty of looting to do.

Gameplay: Once you have made you’re way through the character selection. You play through an epilogue, which adds so much to the traditional plot you’ll be up against once it’s finished. The game plays like older table top rpgs, but in this case. The game moves faster, has a large amount of strategic combat decisions, and even finishing moves. The game is tough, you have to be thinking in order to survive. I can only understand buying this game for the PC. But the pause menu and a few clicks of the mouse will make you feel right at home with the game’s interface.

Graphics: Not too far from competing with games like The Witcher, loadings screens take some fun out of the game. And a few repetitive textures are some of the problems I found within Dragon Age: Origins. Overall, the world map and characters are all memorable to say the least.

Sound: Quite enticing. Each score fits in perfectly and the character voices are pretty good actually.

Score: 10 out of 10

Overall: I think the last two games from BioWare have been very good. I am certainly recommending these games and hoping for more!

Dante’s Inferno – PS3

If anyone is familiar with the literary art that is The Inferno, then please read this review before you purchase this title. Or unless it’s under $20 then be my guest.

Story: Dante has come back after a brutal war. Not only to find his lover dead, but to realize he hasn’t been such a nice guy in his life. Dante is killed, brought to hell to protect his lover from marrying Lucifer in the Inferno. The story is classic, but the game tries so hard to deliver the message in each circle that the theme of each is almost cheesy. I tried to understand each circle, but it was as if they had made more of a mess with the detail then delivering a nightmarish atmosphere. If anyone is familiar with God of War, the part where Kratos is cast into Hades is almost exactly like some parts of the inferno. I felt more like I was in hell playing the game, then experiencing the entire concept of the game.

Gameplay: Although Dante jumps exactly like Kratos. The scythe given to you by death is fun and the combat does allow fluid versatile mechanics. You can juggle enemies, grab, and perform magic. However when you reach the green and purple chest at each save point, I am quickly reminded of the beauty of the same exact thing in God of War. Why don’t I just turn this off and wait for God of War 3!? I asked myself a few times. Why am I wasting time wanting to fight Satan, when the more prestige version of hell is almost a year away (Diablo 3, Doom 4). When a company sets a standard, it’s very hard to not compare this to the example. I like Visceral Games. I just wouldn’t like to put all my effort into enjoying this outside of what’s to come.

Graphics: While Wayne Barlow may know what a biological hell may be like. Dante’s Inferno has its problems. The fire realism is there, but the screaming souls on the walls look like an mpeg being played over and over. I’ve heard that games like Black use a video reel to display bullet shells coming out of a gun instead of programming each shell. This may or may not be true, but I found some environments to be rehashes of previous ones.

Sound: Screams, shouting, and a mediocre list of literary references still doesn’t help this game at all.

Score: 5 out of 10

Overall: If you want a game with a decent combat system, pick up Dante’s Inferno. If you don’t want a skeleton left in your gaming closet, then I advice you pass.

BioShock 2 – PS3

I would of never of guessed a sci-fi spin off so soon.

Story: BioShock 2 starts you off in the role of the Big Daddy. The drill, the constant reminder you’re twice as big as you were in the original BioShock, and the story. You have been resurrected to find out who is in Rapture and the problems still occurring. In this case it’s Rapture’s famous psychiatrist Dr. Lamb. Familiar with you’re problems and the little sisters. You are once again forced to come to terms with why Rapture is a complete mess. Honestly. The entire story is so focused in on the Big Daddy and Little Sisters, until it’s not even a matter of what may happen if BioShock 3 is made. BioShock 2 feels like a prologue to BioShock, rather then a sequel.

Gameplay: As a Big Daddy you are granted access to more weapons. Like the drill, a new hacking gun, and really that’s about it. Plasmids are the same. You can pretty much set a course with the drill and shotgun and finish the game within a couple days.

Graphics: The entire city of Rapture is almost identical, if not toned down to that of the original. The life within the city is the same in terms of graphics. I did notice more quirky scenarios that clustered the graphic scheme. I personally found BioShock 1 to be better orchestrated in terms of detail and graphics. Units and sections of BioShock 2’s Rapture quickly reminded me of the hell that was the last hour or so BioShock 1 was (Big Daddy).

Sound: Same stuff as before. The AI was a nice touch, but I spent most of my time listening to the whistle of bots and shotgun blasts.

Score: 7 out of 10

Overall: BioShock 2 starts off smoothly, but a couple hours later it becomes a boring mess. You get a sense of accomplish and freshness towards the end of the game, but after playing games like Assassin’s Creed 2 and Uncharted 2, this sequel really doesn’t break any new grounds or do too much good in my opinion. Maybe if the series has a few more titles I can see putting this story within the pack, but I’m not ready to give this game too much credit when the story can’t break it’s own problem half way through the game.

Alucard
02-16-2010, 07:26 PM
RAPID FIRE REVIEWS!

CongoJack
02-16-2010, 08:01 PM
Thanks for the reviews Northeast, always appreciate reviews from people who want to play games rather than people who are paid to play games. You saved me $100 on Dante's and Bioshock.

Northeastmonk
04-02-2010, 04:47 AM
Dragon Age: Awakening - PC

A decent expantion pack. You play as either your character from the Origins storyline or the with an automatically new level 18 character with 70 points to go crazy with. All you need is to have Origins installed for this expantion to work.

Story: You start off in an advance stage of exploration. You have a Grey Warden heritage option opened up, but it doesn't provide too much information outside of what you already know. Depending on if you have finished Origins already, which I advise because the story would get too confusing if you aren't up to date with everything. Pretty much a new enemy that ties in with the archdemon is at large and the darkspawn are evolving from this. I thought the story added some much needed structure to the game, but the worse part is that it only provides a small amount of content with a couple extra hours and some new characters.

Gameplay: Same as before, you're looking at a few new enemies and gear.

Graphics: Same, new cutscenes and dialouge are great for existing fans.

Sound: Same as DAOs.

Score: 8 out of 10

Overall: You're not getting too much content, but enough to keep fans happy until next year,
hopefully.



God of War 3 - PS3

No doubt one the best games the PS3 has to offer.

Story: Pretty much the end to the Kratos storyline. You are ontop of Mount Olympus and everything is looking at it's end. If I gave the storyline away I'd give away GOW2. So I won't say too much here. Except that its good.

Gameplay: The reputation of the action genre owes a great deal to this series. Not to mention the DMC or NG series, but what Kratos can perform is pure artistic and memorable gameplay. Old gameplay is perfected and a new grappling system makes the onslaught of killing mythological creatures more and more enjoyable.

Graphics: Some of the best I've seen, which is an update from previous reviews. The amount of detail draws a lust for attention that would make those who bash the series wonder why they don't own this game. The amount of gore triples that of previous entries and even more then Ninja Gadien 2.

Sound: All the original cast and more are great. But I'm eager to say that it's good.

Score: 10 out of 10

Overall: I think it's a great game. If you own a PS3 this game is a must have and same goes with those that dont. I personally feel this game helps the PS3 in way of exclusives. This type of quality and gameplay is a gem and makes me proud to own a PS3.

Assassin's Creed 2 - PS3

I dont think I got to comment too much on this game, but I liked it a lot.

Story: Ezio is a new assassin. Trained to kill after his family is taken into custody and murdered. The entire AI system returns and a confusing conclusion to boot.

Gameplay: New additional weapons and gear. New assassinations and mission structure makes AC2 better then AC. Some side missions get boring and repitious after a while. I got confused on the actual plot multiple times.

Graphics: Great detail in Florence and beyond. Not to mention how much there is to explore.

Sound: I liked the new additions to the cast, but frankly I wish there was a skip button sometimes.

Score: A very strong 8 out of 10.

Overall: If you aren't getting any new games and liked AC, then pick this up. It's good enough to enjoy and the opening cutscene into Ezio's world is very enjoyable. But I don't exactly care for the scifi part anymore. I think this whole AI system is getting screwed around with too much. Jade Raymond helped make something this large, but yet didn't have a single thing to do with AC2. I just hope they can make an early end to this series and find a new way of introducing an assassin into video games.

Games worth mentioning but aren't reviewed:
Batman: Arkham Asylum: 10 out of 10
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2: 10 out of 10

Alucard
04-02-2010, 07:48 AM
I plan to play the first two for sure. AC2 I'll be ignoring.

Northeastmonk
04-09-2010, 08:01 AM
Infinite Space - NDS

Story: Yuri a young man has his chance to head into space and conquer the galaxy with a group of friends. That's about as far as I got before I gave up on IS.

Gameplay: Progressive story movement mimics that of FM, but the space combat is almost as dull as the conversations within the game. I had a hard enough time finding out where my next mission was and if I could even survive the next group of enemies. I personally think it's unpolished and kind of worth missing out on. The combat felt cheap and I really couldn't stand the constant random remarks about firing weapons. They place a small mark that is your attack range, but I just didn't enjoy backing up and moving forward just to attack.

Graphics: The ships look great. The space combat isn't too great ontop of the land battles that look like they were made in 15 minutes. I did like the characters however. But the constant view of the rear of your ship gets old after a while. And towns "spaceports" all look the same. Nothing stands out as being a tad interesting.

Sound: Nothing too great. Soundtrack flies over your head the moment you can't figure out what the next mission is.

Score: 4 out of 10

Overall: I had high hopes from those who liked this title. But I really didn't have the nerves to wait till that story arc kicked in. This title could of been a whole lot better.

Northeastmonk
04-29-2010, 12:09 PM
F.E.A.R. 2 Project Origin – PS3

F2PO is a first person shooter, a sequel to its original. Having only played F.E.A.R. Files I can say this is so much better then anything that that distasteful expansion pack had to offer. The weapons didn’t even look like weapons-scale wise and the dull storyline mixed with the horrible level design made my stomach cringe half the time I was playing. I only recommend playing a title in the main series.

Story: Alma, the mother of the apocalypse is destroying yet another area of the city. After a large nuclear explosion the entire town in engulfed in fallout and destruction has caused all the buildings to collapse. You and your squad team are being sent in to find a way to destroy Alma and to find out who is behind Alma’s secret. Half the time you’re in one main building, be it a hospital, school, or a subway. So traveling into any type of tourist attraction or really anything a tad bit interesting is out of the question.

Gameplay: A FPS that is better then I had expected. Fast paced gunfights mixed in with a decent selection of weapons and bullet time is fun for those who still enjoy it. Not bad in that department, but where F2PO doesn’t have a huge enemy selection. The selection of enemies varies from one to two different types. The mech-battles could have been a lot better. You are mainly concentrated on finishing one section of enemies and moving to the next. Not that this isn’t fun, but you’re focused on a very linear path of destruction. I would call F2PO a linear first-person shooter any day of the week.

Graphics: Very nice visuals. Considering how many FPS I’ve played this gen versus how many I played last gen. I am ready to say that they may be showing their age. Most of the environments are very polished but with very little detail in terms of exploration. Fire effects, lighting, and gunfights all look great if not better then earlier FPS.

Sound: You can hardly tell there is a musical score in the background. So this part doesn’t score too high on the list of musical masterpieces.

Score: 8 out of 10

Overall: If you find this title cheap, like I did, then pick it up. It’s not a bad FPS-horror game, but don’t expect the best horror themed game out there. While I’m finishing Condemned 2, second time in, I actually find F2PO lacking in terms of shock value. This terrifying little girl bit might get some people stirred up, but I mainly walk through the thrill/wow parts like they were scripted just to piss me off. In conclusion, I give F2PO a $10 recommendation. Meaning if you find it for 10$ then get it. Otherwise wait and see how good F3 is. And it’s short, like 3 days short.

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia – NDS

Excellent gameplay and boss battles OoE is one DS game worth checking out.

Story: The game follows a female protagonist and her master who are trying to find the secret to defeating the final source of Dracula’s power. The best part of OoE is the world map. A bit more next gen then Rondo of Blood, but both are on the top of my list for experiencing Castlevania in a whole new way. Each location offers its own unique feel to the game and the characters are also very well done.

Gameplay: Classic NDS Castlevania gameplay. Weapons are equipped on a set of button slots, combining both of the same weapon unlocks Union attacks which are basically magic attacks but with more power. There is no need for the stylus, only the d-pad is used. Boss battles are tough, tougher then PoR, but not as tough as Rondo of Blood.

Graphics: Very artistic 2D graphics. I didn’t expect a huge leap from Portrait of Ruin, but OoE offers quite a bit in detail for each environment.

Sound: Nothing more then a classic symphony and a few character blurbs that a lot of the game’s quality shines through when found.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Overall: The extra content is actually quite good. I rarely see myself holding onto a DS game for more then a couple days after I finish it, but considering with how hard it is to find Castlevania games for the DS I won’t be selling this copy anytime soon.

Shogo: Mobile Armor Division – PC

Story: Sanjuro, a soldier of a futuristic security team who are going after a terrorist named Gabriel. Basically a very classic PC FPS with mechs. There are quite a bit of objectives. So the game offers a wide selection of detail in terms of storytelling.

Gameplay: The game switches from FPS to mech simulator/FPS. You get to fight large mechs with giant guns and run through corridors with heavily guarded enemy AI. Shogo, for those who already know is an old game. But at that time, this game is pretty impressive.

Graphics: Dated 3D graphics. The character models are terrible to look at, but this is how games were and I can’t argue with history. The game is set in a neo-Tokyo setting, so heavily influenced anime-styled art like posters, character art, and level design show itself in a very stable way.

Sound: The characters sound great. The music does get a bit annoying at times. But the gun blasts do their jobs just fine.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: I picked this title up at GOG.com. The price is nothing to argue about outside of its era. Just remember the game is dated and might not do it for some who are used to the over the top million dollar experience that is found in this gen. But Shogo should play on most PCs, so if you’re looking for some FPS/gaming classics, this is one of them.



Super Street Fighter IV – PS3

A reason to enjoy SFIV all over again! This review is basically for those who have played SFIV already.

Story: Not too much to say about this. Seth is still the final boss and most of the cut scenes deliver an anime-style feel to each character, but not enough to keep me interested in the plot. It’s an amazing fighting game that deserves the most credit for what it has done to the genre and I do like the new themes of each character.

Gameplay: There are 10 new characters and each character now has 2 new Ultra combos. Most of them are really interesting and add a twist to all the older characters from SFIV. Somehow the entire game seems to have been given new life. But some Ultras seem ridiculously placed and some look like they were put in as fillers. The new stages, character art, and so forth. The new characters do make the game’s engine a lot more enjoyable to use. After playing this version I could never go back to the original SFIV.

Graphics: Nothing to complain about here.

Sound: Nothing to complain about. All the new characters sound great.

Score: 10 out of 10

Overall: One thing about SFIV that had me a bit concerned was playing a lot and overdoing it for myself with the original cast of characters. This solution makes the game feel fresh and new. Even though some reviews (IGN) complain about lack in detail to the story, it really is forgiving if you consider how terrible Tekken 6’s home version was. But being a player who made the jump from Street Fighter II Turbo to Super Street Fighter II Turbo in a way it almost feels the same.

IGN had in their video review this also. If you’re looking for the best fighting game out there and want quality mixed with quantity this is the game. It’s much better then its original and its only $39.99.

Alucard
04-29-2010, 08:59 PM
Very nice reviews. Pretty much agree with all of them. Although since I'd played FEAR 1, 2 just felt like a rehash redo thing so I'd probably hand it a 6 for just not trying. Make sure you get the usb saturn pad for the ps3 since you have the new SF game. Its the best control pad for that game ever.

Dj Jimmi Zero
04-30-2010, 03:52 AM
Get a stick instead, they also sell the Mad Katz fight pad for PS3 which is more or less a Saturn controller.

Alucard
04-30-2010, 04:21 AM
Looking and feeling are two different things. Saturn controller > all. Including joysticks. Way easier and faster to pull out moves.

Northeastmonk
04-30-2010, 05:46 PM
Very nice reviews. Pretty much agree with all of them. Although since I'd played FEAR 1, 2 just felt like a rehash redo thing so I'd probably hand it a 6 for just not trying. Make sure you get the usb saturn pad for the ps3 since you have the new SF game. Its the best control pad for that game ever.

I picked up the 1st edition TE stick when it launched with SFIV. I use a used six axis controller, which is starting to show its wear and tear. I would of never of guessed a USB controller would work on the PS3.
http://mynetimages.com/245cb834aa_ga.jpg

Alucard
04-30-2010, 10:23 PM
Me either. I'm still surprised it does.

Northeastmonk
05-27-2010, 08:55 PM
Red Dead Redemption – PS3

Red Dead Redemption is one of those sandbox games you wish most sandbox games took after. From start to finish, RDR gives the player a fantastic storyline and a vast world that is full of life. However; it does give you enough of that western feel to last you a while.

Story: RDR is about a man named John Marston, a bounty hunter for the government. It seems members of a bloodthirsty gang he was once a part of are now trying to take over the US and Mexico, while the government threatens the life of John’s wife and his son for their capture. The story might seem straight out of an old western movie, but it delivers one of the most amazing endings I have seen this whole year. When you come to a halt in the story, it is basically a mission like cattle herding or breaking in horses. But these missions are not fillers, but rather a way of getting to know the characters. Most of the time I was forgetting whatever negative GTA aspects I thought were going to be in RDR.

Gameplay: The basic GTA schematics are in place, but this is a totally different game. Not even the weapons feel like GTA, but rather the missions play the same. You travel from one person’s assignment to the next. Side missions are in a more organized form with dialogue and story added to each job. It may seem like you escort a lot, but the events that unfold are well worth it and are also filled with heavy dialogue. Traveling is mainly done on horseback, but you can ride a train, take a trolley, or even travel to waypoints using RDR camping feature. Combat is fun, but aiming without using auto-aim can be a bit frustrating at first. Dead Eye allows you to slow down time while marking several different targets, which makes gunfights and duels a blast. The nudity surprised me. I wasn’t expecting a lot of explicit material. But Rockstar seems to always make those moments the best and most interesting. There are also no prostitute sequences because John’s a married man. Hunting, playing cards, enjoying a movie all bring life into RDR.

Graphics: The landscape and detail of the world is wonderful. Vegetation, rock formations, and towns aren’t lacking one bit.

Sound: I think I won’t be the only one who thinks the main character seems almost too determined, but the entire cast of characters and soundtrack are actually really good. But I highly doubt I’ll listen to the soundtrack I got with the launch version.

Score: 10 out of 10

Overall: The ending of this game gave RDR a perfect score. Not to mention how unforgettable this game will be this gen. I recommend this game to those who want a great western experience. Some aspects like traveling can be shortened by resting at a campsite, marking you’re location and traveling that way, or by skipping automatic traveling sequences in trolleys or in the main game. One way I found was by buying property in main cities that held main story missions, you can sleep out the time you wait for the mission to begin.


One Unit Whole Blood – PC

This very violent FPS from Monolith productions is quite impressive. The instant you grab a stick of TNT the entire game instantly becomes fast and fun to enjoy.

Story: You play as Caleb, a fallen chosen warrior. He’s not so much evil, but his hatred for these demons of the fade and the higher evil that took his beloved wife away from him. The story is mainly told through Caleb’s short dialogue and couple brief cinematic cut scenes. The other episodes included with the expansion are great. They provide new environments and weapons, but they are also short and have no real story to tell.

Gameplay: Classic FPS that shares the likeness of Doom and Hexen. The main objective is most always finding keys to unlock new areas while toughing it out through an onslaught of enemies along the way. You’re arsenal is a mix of weapons that include: a flare gun, TNT, a shotgun, a grenade launcher, a voodoo doll, and etc. You’re enemies somewhat vary, but in most cases wont change until the expansion episodes provided that you got it from GOG.com and it came with the expansion. I also had to mess with the control settings. Changing movement keys (which you’ll need to double click you’re selection key twice because they have “or” selected after you make any key modifications) and making sure the crosshair was turned on.

Graphics: 2D/3D environments come to life with fire and texture. And the feeling of getting away from graphic texture repetition fixes itself quite nicely. But you have to remember this is an old game, and level design wasn’t as flush as it is these days.

Sound: Great soundtrack, however every time you die or load the music starts over from scratch. Including the best and the worst from the carnival track. It somehow made the game feel more violent.

Score: 9 out of 10
Overall: Blood scored a perfect score on GOG’s rating list. Knowing that, I instantly picked it up for $5.99. In all, try it out if you want a Doom-era style shooter.

Northeastmonk
06-11-2010, 10:25 AM
Nier – PS3

Story: Nier is about a man, called THE FATHER (which if you have chosen not to name him this, it is his name in the instruction manual) and his daughter Yonah. Yonah is sick, with a disease that will eventually kill her. Her father is trying to find a cure while defeating this enemy called the shades. The shades are basically evil entities which have terrorized the world for some time now. Between the shades and the man behind all this, the Shadowlord, the entire game moves almost like a fairytale then an average SE action game. There are two books that exist in Nier. One book is good and the other pure evil. With the help of the good book “Grimoire Weiss” and his magical powers, you are on a quest to rid the world of the shades and to save your daughter.

Gameplay: The basic concept of combat is a list of multiple weapons (swords, spears, axes, two-handed weapons) which can be upgraded if you find the right materials. I upgraded once and never did it again. The combat is simple with a single attack and one lunge attack. Magic is very useful and fun to use. The world is set up with a familiar layout. Backtracking to areas other then desired locations was my complaint towards Nier. The puzzles are fairly easy to solve, but the amount of time you spend traveling makes them more rewarding then they really are. Your character is allowed to hunt, farm (which I didn’t see a point in planting anything), fish (rarely use), and go on side missions. The side-missions seem great at first until you start realizing how side tracked you are from the main storyline. The party system doesn’t allow you to control the other characters or equip them with new weapons (considering weapons are the only items equipped), and nothing outside of their distraction helps out in battle. Combat has its moments with pretty good boss battles, more difficult enemies, but the onslaught of smaller enemies can get very tedious and boring at times.

Graphics: The graphics are pretty good. Some locations, like the Forest of Myth, which is basically a way of playing the game by reading a story instead of fighting; which was interesting. The environment is scaled, but lacks a lot of detail. Rather then relishing in overall site seeing, your main focus is running through different types of environments.

Sound: This was my very-first Square-Enix title that has had four letter words. There is an extreme amount of cursing. The characters sound great and the soundtrack is one of Nier’s best features. Kaine (the women who wears a nightgown as clothes) curses the most, but hearing it out of nowhere made no sense.

Score: 8 out of 10

Overall: The other characters in Nier brought the game to life, so if this sounds like a title for you then check it out. I would recommend getting it for cheap. This game isn’t for everyone, maybe those who are fans of SE or just want an average action game without all the trimmings. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the game, but I’m willing to bet the sequel might be better. Having Nier Replicant in the same world might be pretty good. The extra content was more of hassle then anything else; I honestly thought it needed more work done to it. Considering it’s the exact content from the main game, like a short director’s cut of the game.

Northeastmonk
07-22-2010, 03:01 PM
Heavy Rain – PS3

Story: Heavy Rain sets itself up there with any criminal television show out there. You enter the life of a man, Ethan Mars, who has had probably the worst luck of any man on earth. While the events unfold you play a cast of characters, each with their own story and view of what is going on. Basically you’re all after the Origami Killer, a serial killer who targets children. The game has its ups and downs. Basically it is up to the player to make the story unfold perfectly. I for one thought the worst ending of the game was too depressing. So I went back and played what I thought was going to change everything, and it did. I was pleased with how well the characters acted, but some of the events in the game did not seem to make any sense. Why were some guys always mad when you went to talk to them? Those sorts of things did not seem to unfold towards the end.

Gameplay: A series of in depth quick time events and controller shaking moments is what makes Heavy Rain so special. Every encounter, door opened, and picking up objects is done by a press of a simple button/direction pressing command. Of course you can move your character around and analyze your surroundings, but how much of this do you think you can take? I finished the game on “Played many games” setting and I still missed a lot of events. Not a big deal considering HR has an endless supply of them. A real pain was the camera, sometimes just progressing to the next QTE was a challenge because I could not move the character to the exact spot.

The limited amount of room with hardly any exploration was also a let down. You are on a linear path until the end. But the story and in-depth character development are what also makes Heavy Rain a surprisingly good game.

Graphics: Very good.

Sound: Very good.

Overall: 9 out of 10

If you were a fan of Indigo Prophecy, this game is worth checking out. Those who cannot stand structured button pressing and controlling pushing be warned, this might not be worth your time.

Northeastmonk
08-24-2010, 07:41 PM
Indigo Prophecy - PC

Aside from its successor Heavy Rain, Indigo Prophecy is a very good game. While the game allows the player to live the life of the AI character, in which it does a great job at doing. And although the similarities between choices are not as in depth as Heavy Rain you still get a sense of accomplishment after each scenario.

Story: Lucas Kane is a computer programmer at a Bank. Late one night he decides to stop at a local diner and grab a bite to eat. Seconds later he commits murder and does not know why or what happened. You will meet other characters that follow this sci-fi plot until it folds out. Also, Miranda and Tyler are two police officers who are on the case. I found the game more appealing with these two upbeat characters. There aren't too many big choices to make in the game, but overall it’s enjoyable.
I would of never of guessed the whole sci-fi part would of been in Indigo Prophecy. Somehow it makes finishing the game a bit harder once everything follows through. The only problems outside what I just mentioned are the lack of interest in knowing Lucas' past with his brother. These scenarios are very boring, somewhat difficult, and lack overall quality. I just did not understand how an interesting criminal case led up to an end the world type of plot. Towards the end you feel as if you're watching a Stephen King film.

Gameplay: You can move around at all the locations. No free roaming, but a mix of plot scenarios or casual locations where random controller events, dialogue options, or environmental interactions take place. Main sequences are done in a circle cursor that literary looks like an electronic game machine of Simon. Some scenarios require more difficult types of maneuvers, while others are meant to be fun and intriguing. Like answering the doorbell after you just finished taking a shower. Some camera problems, odd movement in certain locations, and some boring scenarios tend to make their appearance in the middle of the game.

Graphics: Pretty good, but dated. Considering this is a PS2 game. The overall sense of realism, dreaded comfort, and suspense fit in there nicely outside its competition. Sometimes I felt like the unpolished parts were the reason I did not play longer then I did.

Sound: Great.

Score: 8 out of 10

Overall: I enjoyed the experience. The characters had more appeal to them then Heavy Rain, though HR had more in depth character build. Indigo Prophecy is also a lot less depressing, but good. The player and character relationships are my favorite and they also set it aside from HR. Just wish they could have scratched the whole sci-fi element.

Dragon Quest IX - DS

There is so much to be said about a DS JRPG that has the same quality as a console JRPG.

Story: You play a Celestial. A guardian of earth who has been knocked down from his position in the skies by some terrible force. You will travel from place to place, fight your way through dungeons, and explore the vast world of Dragon Quest. The main story is very good. It will take turns placing totally new scenarios, new agendas, and a good batch of stuff to do on the side. There are not too many negative points to point out. This is a very good game.

Gameplay: Your characters are customizable and their classes are based on skills which you assign as you level up. Many higher level classes can be found by doing certain quest throughout the game. Combining your acquired skills does not happen until you reach level 99 in a particular class. Equipment is really great because it allows your character to look totally different and with alchemy you can spend time searching for items to create new gear. Combat is typical DQ, though there are no more random battles. Which is great in my opinion, you can chose who you want to fight and when. I also enjoy how well your characters perform in combat and how well the battle system is designed to look. You can use the stylus to move throughout the game, but I never used it. It is DQ, so expect to be leveling up everywhere you go.

Graphics: Looks amazing. There is a lot to enjoy about the atmosphere. I have played a few 3D RPGS on the DS and this has to be the largest compile of the JRPG element I have ever seen. Not too many cinematic cut scenes, but those shown are very good.

Sound: Great soundtrack.

Score: 10 out of 10

Overall: I enjoyed this game. It has its frustrating moments, but overall you get a 40+ hour experience that is filled with stuff to keep you busy. I didn’t bother with the multiplayer aspect. Though some of the side quest seemed rather boring, it did not affect my overall view of the game.

Alucard
08-25-2010, 02:45 AM
2 games I still need to play, especially Prophecy. I've got the european version so its not censored lololol.

Sinful Sam
08-26-2010, 08:05 PM
perv

Northeastmonk
08-27-2010, 10:06 PM
What was the difference in between versions? I know both HR and Indigo Prophecy have nudity.

Alucard
08-28-2010, 12:39 AM
Quite a bit removed. And my Australian version is untouched. Go figure lol

The title of Fahrenheit was changed to Indigo Prophecy in the United States and Canada. The change was made to avoid confusion with the film Fahrenheit 9/11.[6] To avoid an Adults Only (18+) rating, which would have had the game stripped from store shelves, most of the scenes depicting sex (one of which is interactive) and other adult content were removed from the North American versions. An exception is the final sex scene between Carla and Lucas, which was not completely cut from the game, but was shortened by removing the most graphic shots. Though one shot in the edited version is from an angle that should display Carla's nipples, the nipples were removed from her model skin in the edited version.

Northeastmonk
08-30-2010, 11:13 AM
Mafia II – PS3

Mafia II is a very good game. The entire plot is excellent. It is also perfect for those wanting a good mobster story.

Story: You play as Vito Scaletta, an Italian man who grows up in a poor immigrant family trying to make it big after returning from the war. Running dirty jobs for those willing to pay big bucks while at the same time keeping tabs on what is really happening in Empire City. You never know what happens next. I felt a bit attached to some of the characters while others seem like they are just there to keep the gaming moving forward. Which is very good in Mafia II because it has a very giving plot, plus there is a large sense of belonging in the game. After each mission you feel as though you have earned whatever happens next. There are hardly any missions requiring collective gamer work. Meaning most missions revolve around driving (a lot of driving in Mafia II) and getting the job done. The load of content to each cut scene makes the 5-7 minute drive worth while. Clothing stores, gas stations (vehicles need gas after a while), and overall scenario make up the large part of the game outside the main game. I did not seem to find any side missions whatsoever. Which made the game feel short in my opinion.

Gameplay: The basic GTA layout and a simple combat system. You aren’t cycling a whole lot of varieties of weapons here. I went through the entire game without purchasing a single weapon. Combat is fun because the large amounts of bullets tend to destroy the surrounding environments. But overall AI and lack of innovation to combat isn’t there either. Missions and story builds add different elements of gameplay. All which collaborate inside the plot very well. Nothing too large to complain about here outside of the large amounts of driving required for each mission.

Graphics: Excellent. The atmosphere and environment of Empire City looks amazing and character models have some amazing quality to them. There have been some complaints about how fake and weird the females look. Like more work was done on the men rather then the women. Overall everything looks fantastic.

Sound: The sounds, character dialogue, and music are on par with everything in that era.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: There are a few minor things I thought kept Mafia II from getting a perfect score. The sense of life inside the game was excellent, but overall appeal toward combat and the world seemed empty once missions were completed.

There are collectable Playboy play mate pictures which are found all over game. These are real naked pictures of women, they are vintage and all. It was just shocking to see them in a video game.

Northeastmonk
11-11-2010, 05:21 PM
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – PS3

The best 3D Castlevania game for those used to the typical format of DMC and NG. The worst parts of this game are specific, mainly no secondary weapon outside what you need to make through the game and no real big Castle, which isn’t bad with this type of game.

Story: The game is about Gabriel, a member of the Brotherhood out to stop the colliding threat of evil. The story is set with many unique changes. Basically your wife is dead and you’re up against knowing who the Lord of Shadows really is. You’re given a huge cliffhanger at the end of the game which any fan of Castlevania should see.

Gameplay: You have two basic attacks, one vertical and the other horizontal. Moves are bought while levels can be played in many different ways in order to level up, gather items, or finish meeting certain criteria. The combat is good. Combos and special magic goes great together, plus a few touches on assist in combat works very well. I really enjoyed dodging attacks and lashing back with deadly combos. QTEs for very epic boss battles are great, some speak to me as being a tad like Shadow of the Colossus, which is fantastic. Puzzles are fun with the game offering help if you’re willing to sacrifice the prize.

Graphics: Amazingly good detail on what’s shown. Even though GOW3 had plenty more detail in ways of creatures and combat, LoS stands pretty high with its selection. The dense atmospheric landscapes stand out with a lot of life and fear.

Sound: Great voice acting and the music is good.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

Summary: A very good ending with excellent combat but it leaves me wondering if it stays true to the Castlevania timeline. I thought very highly of this game with its presentation and combat. I do feel LoS did the combat and creatures way better then Dante’s Inferno. Which is noted because of the lost of interest in past 3D Castlevania games.


Vanquish – PS3

Story: Sam Gideon is a man with a prototype ASR suit from DARPA. Basically a colony/satellite has been taken over by a Russian terrorist. The terrorist a specific place and leaves Sam and his fellow assigned marines against the man behind this attack and his plans to destroy the US. Very basic but good storyline which tears at you the moment you realize it and literally needs a sequel necessarily to complete the games plot.

Gameplay: The ASR suit can boost at real fast speeds and at many intervals of moves can slow down time and allow Sam the ability to fly through the air sending enemies flying. Weapons are great once you get them upgraded by using them over and over. With fast paced gun battles and the ability to move around the combat zone anyway you like is very rewarding. Boss battles are very fun and while the game starts off a tad repetitive, you’re simply reminded that Sam isn’t holding a sword. Gun combat comes at taking cover and knowing how to move past objects in slow motion or at full throttle. Basically using all that’s given to you is enough to consider buying this game. I guess the reason to pass on this game would have been the lack of enjoyment in what it offers to you from the start. I put it down a few times on the count that the story and combat situations were never matching up. But once I got to that previously mentioned learning curve I began to sink into this game like any other great action game. Another thing to point out is repetitive enemies you encounter. Though there are “Elite” versions, you’re basically fighting the same type of enemies until you reach the epic boss battles.

Graphics: Platinum Studios does it right when it comes to the combat arena. You’re given a beautiful open scenario and it is up to you to enjoy it. Combat grounds get full of gunfight and action.

Sound: Great. Somehow felt the music was being played way too over the dialogue, but the characters felt welcomed most of the time. I felt that some of the dialogue that takes place within the ASR suit felt long and drawn out, like “I want to skip this and find something to fight” sort of problem.

Score: 8.5 out of 10

It is hard to compare how much fun I had once I learned the controls in Vanquish, but the balance of power and overall “boss” potential came just at the right times it should of. Vanquish is a pretty difficult game with lots of fun to be had after the game ends, but if you’re interested and are not sure getting into Vanquish right away then I recommend picking up Bayonetta. I’ve really enjoyed both action games from Platinum Studios.

Halo: Reach – XBOX360

I remember buying Halo Combat Evolved after selling the vast majority of my game collection (which included a week old brand new GC) just to buy an Xbox console and Halo: CE. But after loving and hating the series for years, who knew I’d rekindle my relationship with the XBOX again after watching Reach’s trailer at the VGAs. Halo Reach is a game I enjoyed a lot but like always left me screaming for something new. But the end (who knows, really?) does come at a good price.

Story: Basically what everyone says is true, a prequel with lots of life to it. You play as Noble 6 a Spartan out of many who are on Reach until the original Halo storyline begins. Everything in the story felt perfectly adjusted, no more H2’s endless landscapes or H3’s journey through the woods. The entire time you feel like a Spartan sent to stop whatever is happening on Reach. I guess it was such a large build from Halo 1 to now until the lore just would not stick with me as much its similar concept does in other games. Nonetheless this series has made a name for itself doing whatever with whoever it wishes.
Halo Reach has a story that fits with its premise, you feel the sadness, triumph, and pressure as with previous versions of the game. So don’t feel left out unless you’re looking for a long campaign, which HR does not seem to carry with it.

Gameplay: Same basic style but more polish. The old life system is back from Combat Evolved with a charge meter and numerous upgrades to reuse and have lots of fun with. The set of weapons in Reach impressed me a lot, but not the shotgun (which seems rather useless unlike its predecessors). I don’t do too much multiplayer anymore, but I did get a chance to try it on Live. All the matches felt the same, but polished. If you’re looking for multiplayer news then trust that its fun and Firefight mode is really nice with the medal system attached to it.

Graphics: Awesome environments with just the right amount of Halo lure to them.

Sound: Great, no more repetitive anthems to adjust your TVs volume to. On a pale white horse was great back in the day, this is well more soothing if you ask me.

Score: 10 out of 10, a strong perfect score for one who left the series before becoming an addict. I do want to say thank you to Bungie for making Halo.



Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light – NDS

I could not get into this game at all. The story seems okay, but combat and character design leave me either wanting to throw something or get my money back. The game is basically a journey of a boy becoming a man. But the combat feels off balance and does not offer the same experience as with traditional turned based watered down FF RPG, if any truly exist. You’re attacks are very simple and easy to use, but instead of MP there is an Action Point Battle System. Where you are forced to charge up points for various attacks at the same time having your Psyche (same ability from DQ) automatically cast on you. The difficulty is there, but overall appeal and likeness is far from what I enjoy. I do not recommend this game at all.
Score: NA

CongoJack
11-15-2010, 10:15 PM
Nice reviews as always. One thing I noted in comparing the two action titles, Vanquish and LoS, LoS did something every other action game doesn't do. Not reuse the same enemy models the entire time. Having to not fight the same 6 enemies for an entire action game made me enjoy LoS a good bit more than Vanquish, even though Vanquish had the better combat system.

Northeastmonk
11-28-2010, 12:53 PM
Call of Duty: BLACK OPS – XBOX360

Pros
A main character driven war game
Handful of weapons to chose from
Multiple locations offers variety over course of the game's linear path.

Cons
Another war game
Some parts feel just like fillers
No real replay value
Not once did I find the knives or RC car from the trailers in the campaign.

Story: A really good storyline and also psychologically disturbing at the same time. The main character was a great addition, which along with it added different elements of war to each scenario. You play as a man named Mason, who is being questioned by a group of people who want answers about a series of numbers that you were brainwashed into memorizing. You’re basically reliving Mason’s past through historical events like the Cuba Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and some added scenarios around the world. The game has a very good twist at the end that makes the whole experience shocking to say the least.

Gameplay: The game plays like previous CODs but with all the new elements added to make the game feel fresh and exciting. The arsenal of weapons is huge and the story’s action sequences feel right at home with the newly aging genre. Honestly; some of the vehicles are hard to control, but the theme of realism might play to this mechanic.

Graphics: Great, nothing lacking here. The Pentagon looks fantastic! Too bad you can’t roam the grounds.

Sound: Everything is in the manner it should be, having JFK there was cool.

Score: 9.5 out of 10

Northeastmonk
12-01-2010, 11:11 AM
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – XBOX360

Pros
The campaign adds more to the main AC storyline
Rome is large and heavily detailed
The Brotherhood aspect works great
Some new objectives during free roaming.

Cons
Ezio’s story may feel a bit much after AC2
Content feels like DLC at times
Same mechanics and side offerings seem old and redundant
The fighting engine does not feel totally upgraded.

Story: Ezio travels from his luscious mansion hideout from Assassin’s Creed 2 to Rome. The story picks up right where you left Ezio in AC2 with a man after Ezio and his friends. The plot is set around keeping a very powerful secret away from the hands of a madman and the Templars. This involves Ezio and the brotherhood of Assassin’s keeping the peace within their world. There are a very few twist to the story, but the conclusion adds detail that should not be missed if you are looking forward to AC3. Missions are mainly about Ezio gathering his band of Assassin’s while Desmond tries to find new information into Ezio’s life. There is quite a big of gameplay with Desmond in Brotherhood then the past titles. It makes you feel that he truly is a descendent and not a guy viewing these memories. But these areas seem rather repetitive and poorly put together. There are also a few times where the story made little progress and events occurring seemed pointless or confusing.

Gameplay: Everything seems to have stayed the same from Assassin’s Creed 2. New finishing moves and a crossbow were a few things that stood out. All the additions that stood out in AC2 are there, but they are not as exciting in Brotherhood (upgrades, weapons, uniform colors, but hidden puzzles don’t seem to be in the mix,). I only upgraded a few times to progress through the story. This made me feel like it could have been part of AC2.
There are now sections cut off for Ezio to take control of. You basically have to kill a section’s leader and ignite the tower within that region. This is a lot of fun. The Brotherhood aspect is also very cool. You can recruit men and women to join your ranks, this is basically a call button that helps you out if you need to make a silent kill where you cannot quite seem to access. There is a lot of running around and you rarely feel like you are traveling away from Rome, but as if you’re just crossing a river bed to another part of Rome.


Graphics: Amazing detail to Rome. You can feel the economy changes with the addition of banks and a new architect feature that allows you to restore and build buildings. The only things I felt were missing were the theatrical events happening throughout the game. (EX: fireworks during the party in AC2). Events seem scripted without fine detail. And again the amount of detail in Desmond’s portion of the game feels great, but his environments get very repetitive.

Sound: Great vocals. I really enjoy the dialogue in the AC2 compilation.

Score: 8 out of 10

Summary: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood is good, but it’s so much of the same thing. The setting and the added content to this complex storyline are worth picking it up sometime before AC3 comes out. But don’t be surprised if you feel a bit overwhelmed with going through another 15 hour adventure with Ezio because it feels a bit under par AC2. However; they do add a few things that make it worth checking out. The Brotherhood storyline is not the most breathtaking thing out on the market, but it does help you feel closer to what’s going to happen next.

Northeastmonk
01-21-2011, 04:32 PM
Golden Sun: Dark Dawn – Nintendo DS

Pros
An enjoyable 25-30 hour long JRPG
Great representation
Motion storybooks inform players on previous entries in the series.

Cons
Way too easy
No obvious side-quest system, only hidden secrets found within the world.
Conversations over minor things last longer then they should.
The plot

The third installment in the Golden Sun series, or Golden Sun DS for those like me who got into the series way past it’s prime is remarkably one of the easiest JRPG’s I have ever played. To be completely honest to someone who does not understand what mainstream reviews are saying; if you can defeat any mid-game or status effecting boss from a Final Fantasy entry then you have basically conquered the amount of difficulty that Golden Sun: Dark Dawn has to offer. Considering how easy it is, the game does offer a lot exploration on the world map.

Story: You play as the children from the previous Golden Sun games. You’re quest begins by sheer accident and continues down the same repetitive path until you reach the somewhat basic concept of what is found in JRPGS. The main plot feels better represented by titles in the past (ex: Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, FFVI). Much of the original Golden Sun storyline is used to guide you through Dark Dawn. Basically you’re small quest leads you to fighting against a traditional group of villains after a secret that’s been buried away for many years.

Gameplay: Dijinns are back and are used as powerful weapons to equip characters with even more abilities. You also can use their abilities to conjure summons found within the game. Along the way you also use powers to move objects and go through each area and puzzles with new and innovative ways to solve. There is a lot of great environmental pacing found throughout the world. But boss battles were incredibly easy, considering how easy it was to recover a downed party member. My party eventually had to grind because I kept wanting to press on instead of power leveling, so I took about 30 minutes and grinded around 10 levels. This sounds like I am ranting, but honestly the game made it so easy to grind towards the end, until the last series of events seemed disappointing and rather silly compared to say the sheer amount of content and difficulty that was featured in the earlier released DragonQuest IX. And I cannot see new players truly happy with this content, considering how much it grabs onto the previous titles for structure. But there is an encyclopedia and guides in game for those who want to understand everything. Here’s hoping the next entry does a better job.

Graphics: Great quality here, but not as much glamour that was in DQ9 (which feels a lot larger in size, when comparing the two). The summon attacks look great. But you can skip through each one if you get sick of them.

Sound: The annoying quirky squeak during conversations does get old, but there is an option to turn them off and speed up the seemingly endless amount of chatter. Like the titles before, there is a ton of dialogue.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: If you enjoyed the GBA titles, then pick this up sometime before they release another. I honestly felt they could of done a better job on this. Golden Sun: Dark Dawn is a lot of fun, but the lack of an engrossing plot and the lack of difficulty took more of a toll then I had imagined.

GrantXP
01-24-2011, 01:14 AM
Good to see someone else that actually updates the reviews section of this forum. AC: B and COD: BO are 2 titles that I want to pick up cheaply in the future when I have played more of the games I have. Although you say no replay value. I tend to play it on hardcore then veteran. I'm guessing you either went straight for vet or just couldnt be bothered with it...

Alucard
01-24-2011, 05:28 AM
I only played the first Golden Sun. Never played the second since they didnt looklike they would release the third. I need to find a chance to play 2 again. Not like I'll remember anything that happened in the first except some vague memories of caves and a ship at the very end. Story? NO IDEA!

Northeastmonk
02-03-2011, 04:18 PM
Dead Space 2 – PS3

Pros
Great action sequences add a new level of gameplay
Satisfying campaign (Dead Space 3?)
More sense of terror in zero gravity
No more subway-level transport

Cons
Story is about the same, but with a lot more flavor
They took some good updates out for some clever, but junky new ones

I was drawn into Dead Space 2 the moment I put it in, so much that I played for eight hours straight and got to finish it sometime there after (Normal Mode). I enjoyed the original Dead Space because you were trapped in space and you were the only person witnessing these somewhat catastrophic anomalies taking place. Dead Space 2 takes the same mechanics, but updates them quite a bit in the sequel.

Story: Isaac Clark is forced to live and dwell on the events that took place in the original. Basically the same problems are happening because you have no idea what is going on with the new series of events (the necromorphs and the marker). I enjoyed how the story builds on a lot of action sequences and how well the dramatic character development is. You feel that there is another helping hand, but you’re still stuck doing everything important and by yourself. Isaac is a lot more open and prompt to what’s going on. Which adds to every detail within the game.

Gameplay: Dead Space 2 throws you in huge environments (no need for maps!). There are ways to utilize being in zero gravity. You no longer thrust horizontally and vertically. You can use the jet packs on your boots. This was one of my favorite new features added to Dead Space 2. The weapons on the other hand did not seem that useful. I only bought one other weapon because you’re constantly dieing. It’s very hard if you run and gun because it can leave you at a dead end. However; there seems to be less boss battles and more gigantic obstacles to overcome in Dead Space 2, which basically equals each other out.
There also seemed be less suit options available, the few changes made were mainly to weapons and the gameplay mechanics. Which isn’t bad considering it’s not a new IP and it has a completely new environment to explore. In terms of size, it makes the original look rather small. Whatever backtracking you do in Dead Space 2, the game does pretty well. Or at least it doesn’t keep you there for long. This is one of the very few games I’ve seen pull it off. But that’s if are a fan of Dead Space.

Graphics: Great graphics, superb sense of detail. This adds so much to the shock and awe factor. I believe the art stylist from The Matrix series helped with the original, but I’m not too sure on the sequel. Everything looks great.

Sound: Great.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: You get to shoot body parts off of mutated humans and get to explore a larger area then before. But don’t get too thrilled if you aren’t a fan of the series. Because its not there to hold your hand if you’re looking for a story to build from scratch or a sudden change of appeal.

Nem
02-03-2011, 05:04 PM
I read some of your reviews. Just wanted to say about Nier, that Nier replicant aint a sequal to Nier. Its the PS3 version of the game wich only got released in Japan. The only difference it had was that the main character was younger and Yonah was his sister instead of daughter.

Sadly the chances the game will get a sequal are quite slim since Cavia has been shut down, but you never know...

I do agree with the points on your review. The weapon upgrade system wasnt great and was way too grindy. The fishing and farming mini-games were there just so u could get 100% complete (since some side-quests require it) and a couple of achievements. The other point to it was to get easy money so u could upgrade your weapons but it wasnt really necessary

Northeastmonk
02-11-2011, 11:04 AM
I read some of your reviews. Just wanted to say about Nier, that Nier replicant aint a sequal to Nier. Its the PS3 version of the game wich only got released in Japan. The only difference it had was that the main character was younger and Yonah was his sister instead of daughter.

Sadly the chances the game will get a sequal are quite slim since Cavia has been shut down, but you never know...

I do agree with the points on your review. The weapon upgrade system wasnt great and was way too grindy. The fishing and farming mini-games were there just so u could get 100% complete (since some side-quests require it) and a couple of achievements. The other point to it was to get easy money so u could upgrade your weapons but it wasnt really necessary

Yeah, when I got my copy of XIII, an advertisement showed a younger FATHER for replicant, so I assumed it was a totally different game.

Northeastmonk
02-25-2011, 07:26 AM
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West – XBOX360

Pros
Great cinematics
Level design is grreat as well

Cons
Not enough moves for Monkey
Ending is strange

Team Ninja’s prior title Heavenly Sword seemed to lack in terms of satisfying combat mechanics, but in Enslaved you are offered a better feel to combat, but with less moves to work with.

Story: You play as Monkey, a man left in slavery who begins to work with a woman named Trip to help her get back home. She has control over Monkey with a headband that allows her to control him, or she can kill him. You encounter obstacles that either add to the story or mix with the plot. The plot does add its fare share or twist, but only one real big one. The story has its faults, but the amount of things going on (plane crashes, operating machinery, boss battles/chases, and targets to shoot at) that make it very enjoyable.

Gameplay: Monkey’s bow staff is used to fight these mechanical creatures. There are only a handful of moves, maybe two different actual combos and a few special attacks. But you are very limited in this part. However; you do have a lot of fun with his weapon and it also shoots two different types of projectiles. The game is combat heavy with a lot of climbing and obstacle jumping. It does have great level design and boss battles/locations are easy to sit back and enjoy.

Graphics: Very nice. There is a mixture of machine versus forest look to everything. It almost reminds me a lot of the machine junk yard from Champions of Norath. The cutscenes/graphics have great quality to them. You feel like are watching a movie only because the characters work well together and look great at the same time.

Sound: Great, everyone has plenty of character to them as well as a decent soundtrack.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: There just wasn’t enough to the combat system to say this was one of the better action games. It does not come close to half the games to come out prior to its release. You get very bored with the combat after a while, which is better once you mix all his selected abilities in any awkward manner. Enslaved is great to watch because the plot is fast and easy to enjoy. Climbing is also a lot of fun, but it seems to get repetitive with the same type of structural patterns to follow. My advice would be to rent it or buy it used.

Northeastmonk
03-02-2011, 03:48 PM
KillZone 3 - PlayStation 3

Pros
Great graphics
Right amount of difficulty needed to any FPS
Jet packs are a lot of fun to use

Cons
Story will have to be told in the next installment
Few new enemies

I enjoyed the first two and the third installment brings a lot of great things like various combat situations and amazing visual appeal

Story: You're fighting the Helghast again, but this time you're up against their military commander. The different environments are great to play through, though the closed in atmosphere is the most enjoying. There is a ton of full scale combat, so the story is told while progressing from where the combat goes. And I wasn't too impressed with the ending to KZ3, it makes me feel a bit left out (comparing it to KZ2). There is more added to the gameplay, everythings cut and pasted right, but the sheer amount of time spent chasing one scene to the next seems like it does not add up to a completed game. Like I'm going to have to get the 4th installment to know what happens next.

Gameplay: Great gameplay and controls. Switching to alternative controls made zooming a lot more easier then pressing R3. The same mechanics are back with the addition of jet packs. Which are great to use. Vast portions of the game feels uncontrollable for various war zone scenarios, but that doesn't stop any intense combat zones from making their appearance.

Graphics: Top notch on scaled battles. This probably tops Resistance 2 in terms of scale.

Sound: Great.

Score: 9 out of 10

Overall: The gameplay is great and the addition of Helghast assassins are great. But overall I couldn't help but feel any reason to play through it again. I'd say rent this one or get it used down the road.

Northeastmonk
03-26-2011, 02:25 PM
Dragon Age 2 – PC

Pros
Moneys worth of combat and story driven gameplay
More enemies to fight besides Darkspawn
Way more bosses then the original
Dragon Age 3
This isn’t the console version

Cons
Limited traveling
They took out a lot of what made Dragon Age so great.
The exterior plot seems a tad confusing

Dragon Age was one of the best western RPG titles that I’ve played this generation. However this sequel does some things better then its previous entry, it lacks a majority of what made DA1 so great. The pile of dialogue and the story behind the side quest were really good, but there is a lot to be said for everything outside that.

Story: You play as Hawke, a man set on a quest. This time, he is not a Grey Warden. Instead you’re relieving a life of a hero. This is done by setting up the plot and allowing the player to experience it. Which is fine, but the story does seems to stay in a secluded area which never ventures on to other parts of the land, like DA1 did with various locations. DA2 seems to take place in one giant location, but the added locations are still enjoyable being how few there are. DA2 has a ton of things to do, making the entire experience well worth checking out. The dialogue was great, but it seemed to be the key point in enjoying what was actually taking place or what was going to take place. The plot takes a lot of twist and is very enjoyable, but you can honestly feel Dragon Age 3’s announcement is right around the corner. There was also a lot less talk about the darkspawn, which made the game seem fresh.

Gameplay: Taking out of the table top view was a terrible idea. The combat is still awesome, but seems more action game based then the traditional BioWare style. There are three classes to choose from, as well as gender (Warrior, Mage, and Rouge). This is also a part I couldn’t stand. You’re forced to learn techniques based on that class, which is different for every character, some sound meaningless (maybe piled on top each other to seem like a totally new class). Meaning there isn’t a slight chance of learning anything new in terms of spells because classes must meet their own set requirements. Shopping for armor and weapons was not fun at all. My first play through was with the traditional Hawk character as a Mage. This class was a lot of fun, but there was never enough equipment for him. It seemed as if there were more rings and belts to choose from then there was anything else. My party members were warriors and rogues and some never changed armor. I also did not find any equipment for them outside of a few weapons. Customization was terrible compared to the large selection found in DA1. Some other complaints I had: They took out giving gifts, enchanting seemed useless, and the change of scenario never happened. I also used my previous Dragon Age/Awakening save and did not notice anything different.

Graphics: Great graphics, everything was on par with what was going on. There was the problem I noticed that other reviews pointed out as well. The constant rehash of dungeon designs. This happens a lot in western RPGs these days, so I’m not that much of a complainer. But what I didn’t understand is that the entire game does this, and this is my opinion, in the same spots because you never travel that far off from where you started. Combat also has a lot more going on, however I did not see too many glory kills in DA2. Maybe more gore, but the game looks great.

Sound: Great soundtrack. I believe the same person who played as Balthier from Final Fantasy XII makes a great appearance.

Score: 5 out of 10 Edit: I changed this score because this title nowhere lives up to the original.

Overall: Dragon Age 2 feels like it could catch the eye of any new person coming to the series. But it lacks a lot that I found to be amazing in the first one. The new story, the amount of side quest and dialogue however make it a very good game. As much as I want cannot stand what they did with the equipment and traveling. This one should not be missed if you’re a fan of the Dragon Age. I would also like to point out that this sequel could not fill too many holes for the Third installment because there is not much to build in DA2, maybe a trailers worth. But you could sum that up in five minutes easily (those who do not get what I’m saying will understand once they check out DA2).

Alucard
03-26-2011, 09:06 PM
I still need to play the first. Did you ever play Neverwinter Nights 2? And if so how do you compare that to DA1 as I consider NWN2 to be the best rpg of this current gen. Well...and Witcher. Love that game.

GrantXP
03-27-2011, 10:01 AM
What about the Witcher on the iPhone? Is that any good?

Alucard
03-27-2011, 01:50 PM
Its a totally different game. The Iphone one is just an online versus game where you choose your attack/defense moves and then watch who wins.

Northeastmonk
03-27-2011, 07:20 PM
I still have to download NWN2. I was a fan of the first one, but lack a connection and time to get Steam up and running. I am eager to play it now that I can. But DA1 has to be one of the finest quality western rpgs Ive played. I plan to review and get back to you though Alucard.

Alucard
03-28-2011, 12:12 AM
NWN2 is heads and shoulders above the first game by like 10 times. NWN/DA are both supposed to be like Baldurs Gate, hence the gameplay/camera style.