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Old 08-25-2004, 09:32 PM   #796
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Originally Posted by Icarus4578
Vert1, I have to review Sonic Jam tommorrow. I'll do Bionic Commando at some point this year when I get in the mood for it.
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Old 08-26-2004, 07:55 AM   #797
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Is Sonic Jam the Ssonic fighting game?
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Old 08-26-2004, 08:38 AM   #798
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Nindalf ~ "I want a review of Little Nemo the Dream Master and Bionic Commando!(Both NES) AND BE QUICK ABOUT IT!"

I haven't played Nemo in a loooong time. That one will bring back memories. At any rate, here's a listing of games I'll be reviewing soon: Tales of Destiny 2 (PS), Tales of Symphonia (GC), Astro Boy (GBA), Bionic Commando (NES), Little Nemo ~ The Dream Master (NES), Dead or Alive Ultimate (X-Box), Gradius V (PS2), etc.

Freeman, Sonic Jam is the compilation of Genesis Sonic games available for the Sega Saturn. Sonic the Fighters is the fighting game.
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Old 08-26-2004, 05:23 PM   #799
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Thanks for clearing that up for me! I reme,ber it was also called Sonic Championship, man the grafix were good and so was the gameplay!
Wish they'd bring it to the PS2...
Keep up the good work!
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Old 08-27-2004, 09:43 PM   #800
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Vectorman and Seaman should get reviews as well....
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:09 PM   #801
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Here is your Vectorman review:

Vectorman: 2

Vectorman suX0rZ!!!! teh colorz r teh bland & teh grainy! Teh sound is teh maJor suxOrZ!!!!
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Old 09-02-2004, 12:20 PM   #802
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Tales of Destiny II - PlayStation - Rating 8
Depending on who you ask, many, including myself, would admit that these past few months have been rather uneventful for gaming. The store shelves haven't exactly been piling up with glowing new software. And it's interesting to note that now more than ever the US market more closely resembles its Japanese counterpart. Less than a decade ago there was a myriad of software which never made it to our shores, especially those softs which were considered 'too Japanese', or 'too different'. Games such as Policenauts, Pulseman and the original Tales of Phantasia were never released stateside. Due to the current lack of interesting software, I've had to make a return to the past for most of my gaming kicks. Anybody up for a game of Samurai Shodown 4? Duck Tales?
No matter. This holiday season should bring a smile to your face, and with such softs as Astro Boy (GBA), Street Fighter Anniversary Collection (PS2/X-Box), Metroid Echoes (GC), and Gradius V (PS2) making the rounds it can be said that gaming is taking on a reflective posture. Plus, there's always the new stuff to whet your appetite: Dead or Alive Ultimate (X-Box), Paper Mario 2 (GC) and Devil May Cry 3 (PS2).
I apologize for beginning with what sounds like the opening for an editorial but this small humble thread is my sole podium to let my voice be heard.

Known as Tales of Eternia in Japan, Tales of Destiny II is uber-quality action RPGing through and through. You want cool characters and good story progression? ToDII has you covered. Want an RPG that allows for actual gameplay mechanics instead of mundane exercises in point-&-click contraptions? Here's your game. Awesome 2D artwork and solid animation? Check. Fitting music and fanfare? Yup. No joke--this game screams "quality" from the rooftops and is yet another shining jewel in Namco's crown.
The storyline is quite involving throughout all 3 discs, even if the outline of the plot has been done before many times. Reid is a hero by chance of circumstances. He's reluctant to doing anything besides hunting, eating and living a normal everyday life in his home village of Rasheans along with his childhood friend and companion, the tomboy Farah. She's headstrong and realistic, plus she knows martial arts. I think she resembles Akane Tendo of Ranma 1/2 fame in more ways than one.
Anyway, one day a mysterious spacecraft crashes into the nearby forest, so Reid and Farah go investigating. They eventually discover the ruins of the spacecraft, along with a young girl who speaks in a foreign tongue named Meredy. Eventually, all three of them return to Rasheans only to be attacked while conversing in the mayor's home by a strange person. Fearing further impending trouble, Reid and company are promptly told by the mayor to pack up and leave (Can you say "Secret of Mana"?).
That's not really the plot of the game, but I'll leave the rest for you to discover for yourself.
Just once, I'd like for an RPG to try something different than the usual 'save the world' premise. ToDII does put a few good spins on the typical premise, and does tackle subjects in a refreshing way, but still....
They could always try and make an RPG that's set in China like in all those period kung fu films by Shaw Brothers and Golden Harvest. But then all the dialogue would sound like this:

Person A ~ "But sir, you must pay me for that."
Person B ~ "Pay? Why not kill you instead?"

Or perhaps:

Person A ~ "You are good, who's your teacher?"
Person B ~ "You're no match for my iron fists!"
Person A ~ "We'll see about that!"

Further complicating matters is that virtually everybody in those films wants to kill somebody, so you'd probably have to fight 2/3rds of the population.

Person A ~ "How are you?"
Person B ~ "Very clever. Now you must die!"

I digress. There's comedy and light-hearted moments throughout the journey. One part which occurs in the Ruins of Volt had me laughing my socks off! Of course, there's drama throughout, including betrayl, hidden inner powers, and secret pasts.
The only other PSone 2D RPGs that compare graphically which I can recall would be Breath of Fire III & IV. You will appreciate the art style, attention to detail and animation. If Tales of Phantasia is an old Volvo then ToDII is a new Porsche. Namco has improved the winning formula which has made ToP such an enthusiast's treat, and - best of all - you don't get into a fight every two steps! Thank you Namco for caring. Note that I cannot comment on the graphical contrasts between this and the prequel which is also a PSone title since I haven't played it.
The shining star of this game is its intuitive battle system. You're actually allowed to move around freely and pull off attacks, combos, juggles, special attacks, etc. Once you've acquired the ability to use manual controls (which won't take long at all), turn it on immediately. [*note* There's Auto, Semi-Auto and Manual control settings.] While you're controlling your character the CPU controls the others. You can program in commands for them, both on an individual level and as a group, such as Conserve TP (magic and special attacks), Attack Distant Enemies, Cover You, and much more. You can also adjust the frequency of attacks, specials and healing. There's summons you will obtain called Craymels which can be fused to ascertain yet more magic skills. Even though I've given a good description of what to expect, expect much more as I've covered only a small portion of content. It gets very deep. There's 256 enemies to encounter and you'll acquire the Monster Collection book to keep track of every single one of 'em you've faced. And all of this action couldn't be contained on just one world map....
Interestingly, you can adjust battle difficulty between Normal and Hard settings at any point during the game. I opted for the full experience (Hard) and let me tell you--this game takes no prisoners. Get ready to die and die often.
Another great addition is the sound test which you can even use during the game. This feature is relatively foreign to most RPGs, and once again I'd like to thank Namco for incorporating this. There's 110 music tracks, plus a few little jingles in the SE section~ SE 150 is a short but nice harmonic sequence, and SE 268 (the jingle which plays at the end of a certain game of roulette) immediately makes me recall to mind the music which typifies most TG16 HuCards. Tinnsia is an upbeat city song, and Celestia Battle sounds very similar to battle music in a Phantasy Star. In fact, as soon as Disc 2 begins you'll think "Celestia Battle sounds very similar to battle music in a Phantasy Star." ;) Overall, the music and sound effects are very good, though it never approaches the sterling quality of something such as Final Fantasy IV or Phantasy Star IV. It is good stuff nonetheless. However, I could not tolerate the voice acting so I opted to shut it off at the beginning.
Namco is on a roll with all these new installments in the Tales series. I just hope there's more where this came from because I really, really like the refreshing change of pace from the mundane point-&-click cinemas which I've grown accustomed to seeing everywhere. With Square's recent RPGs not living up to expectations, there's free room at the top for any company to inhabit. Namco looks to be gaining ground nicely in the genre. I just hope that this great series doesn't fall into the same death trap of repetition as Final Fantasy.

For more on ToDII check out these sections in AllRPG.com, rpgamer.com, rpgclassics.com, and these sections within www.rpgfan.com ~
Here's another glowing review, some screen shots and artwork, including concept sketches.

Max is the man! :cool guy:
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Old 09-04-2004, 07:16 PM   #803
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Sounds great. I need to buy this game soon.
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Old 09-21-2004, 10:37 AM   #804
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Gradius V - PS2 - Rating 8
How long has it been since the last time you had the chance to sit down and enjoy a great new shooter? Noticeably, the shooting scene has dwindled down to near extinction, even in Japan where they're generally well received. But with the arrival of Gradius V I'm hoping the season is ripe for change because we definitely need more games like this. I'd take shooters, fighters and traditional RPGs over first-person shooters, Mario 64 wannabes galore and strategy games with terrible la-la-la-la singing anyday (only a few of you will know what I'm talking about). Gradius V is the gamer's game, a testament to the power of Treasure. Yes, I said Treasure--they're the main party responsible for this gaming feat. Truly, this is what gaming is all about: Nerve shattering action that requires unearthly reflexes and relentlessly applied skill. There's never a dull moment throughout this game's entire length which is at or around an hour. I'll come right out and say it -- Gradius V surpasses Gradius III in almost every way. This is all the proof I needed to know just how much quality Konami/Treasure demands that their products deliver.
If you're new or relatively new to the shooting scene, you'd best brush up on your skills with something like Life Force (NES) before stepping up to this challenge because, I assure you, easy Gradius V is not. If you're a veteran such as myself (and perhaps you've played Ikaruga to death) you're only somewhat prepared for what's in store. Even on Very Easy difficulty, you'd be hard-pressed to find a shooter, nay, a game as arduous as this. Stage 1 begins like every standard Gradius title, with you destroying rows of ships and collecting Power Up Capsules. Within just a brief moment you'll come face-to-face (or, more appropriately, ship-to-ship) with the first boss from the original Gradius; its role has been reduced to that of a mere enemy, so prepare to see it more often throughout the game. Just a bit further on, your Vic Viper will have to take on huge red balls which bounce around and shrink as you shoot them until they finally explode. Anyway, you'll soon meet the first boss: A huge ship which covers the screen (and you) and which can rotate around and maintain laser fire with just a small amount of space for your ship to navigate around, all the while being shot at from several compartments and/or the main target. The best way to defeat this boss is to have several Multiples and the Laser, stay back in the center of the screen with all of your Multiples kept in the center with you and distribute constant laser fire upon the central target. If you succeed, the boss should fall before it even has the chance to rotate. That's Stage 1. It only gets more intense the further you make it....
Now check this out. When you beat the game (on any difficulty) the game loops around again, only things are changed and much harder. Remember how the first boss had one target for you to take out? Yeah, well, now you're completely surrounded. You cannot stay in the back area and fire upon the target because there's another one directly behind you. The amount of chaos which ensues has to be seen to be believed. I know that the back of the box says "7 Explosive Levels" but there is actually 8. Some stages have to be seen to be believed. Stage 4 seems to take place inside of a massive organism complete with the return of those pesky amoeba and some newer critters. If you're playing this stage on a harder difficulty setting you'll have to contend with an unprecedented amount of crawling nasties and amoebas so take heed and use either Rotating Multiples or Freeze Multiples. This will become obvious when you're stuck in ultra-tight sections and they're still coming out in waves to kill you!
I'll get back to the stages and talk about the splendor of the visuals, but I must talk a little about the gameplay. Everything you know and love about Gradius is the same as ever except now you must select one weapon array from out of four types. If you can complete the game on Very Easy or whatnot you'll have the ability to access Weapon Edit which allows for even more different weapon types and the ability to freely select in each parameter (speed up, missile, double, etc.). The Options are the biggest change. Once you've selected a type and you obtain Multiples, you can do several things with them by holding/pressing the R1 trigger button. For instance, if you choose Rotate you can (obviously) make them constantly rotate around your Vic Viper simply by holding R1. Or, you can choose Direction which allows you to freely choose which direction they'll fire in by holding R1 and holding in the desired direction. The other two are Freeze and Spacing. Basically, everything else remains the same gameplay-wise. I wouldn't have it any other way.
Back to the stages. If there are certain laws which game developers must adhere to whenever creating shooters, Treasure has broken them and should be arrested. Seriously, Stage 5, literally, is way past insane! Asteroids are floating around EVERYWHERE and they NEVER STOP COMING!! And you've still gotta contend with various enemies and such! Just.... insane. The song playing during this stage only adds to the freak factor, and the boss could very well make a grown man cry. It's so daunting and formidable that you'll be at a loss for words. I actually won't describe it because I personally believe it is something to be experienced. Suffice to say, it's one of the most memorable boss encounters I've ever come across in any game, ever. Stage 6 brings new meaning to the word "ferocity." It's a little scary. No, make that extremely scary. I can see the developers all standing around with uncomfortable grins as this game gets put into production and they realize that what they've done is just wrong. I've been scared before in a few other shooters--a few of the later bosses in Gaiares, the final boss in Galactic Attack (any difficulty setting)--and this one is right up there. You'll know what hard is when the screen begins to tilt and turn while something very, hmm.... inappropriate occurs. I don't mean inappropriate in a dirty way but in a downright nasty way. I'll just stop now and leave the final two stages for you to discover for yourself. Play through it on Hard or Very Hard to witness what may very well be the hardest final stages ever conceived in shooter history. Thus far, I have beaten Gradius V on Very Easy, Easy and Normal difficulty settings. I made it to the final stage on Very Hard and ran out of continues, so I'll have to try again (I've got over 10 hours of gameplay put in; it keeps track of your total play time). Fortunately, as you play it more and more you'll gain more credits.
Aside from the fact that Treasure has managed to cram outer space onto a disc, everything is normal. They must've gone up into space with a vaccum, sucked up all sorts of planets, stars and such, came back down to Earth and put all their findings into game format. Visually, GV is so intoxicating, so rigid, yet so elegant and coherent, it tops all previous efforts. Virtually everything is in full 3D and textured to the breaking point. The PS2 is a monster, in the right hands. Konami/Treasure is the right hands. The smoke and light show which preceeds Stage 6 made me think of Chris Benoit's green laser light show entrance back in the latter days of his WCW career, for some reason. Prepare to be broken.
If you are familiar with Gradius tunes, you'll be delighted to hear some familiar songs every now and then. But for the most part GV bears a stunning new soundtrack which is far more gritty and hard hitting than previous efforts with less reliance on melodic construction and more on intense beats and visceral thrills. That's not to say that the songs aren't good, just that they've changed to accomodate the impact of what's currently happening. GV does have a better soundtrack than most other games you'll find these days, that's for certain. And the sound effects take it to the outer limits. The boss explosions are the best ever, both visually and aurally. So crank up the volume and the bass, 'cuz we're gonna take a visit into hostile outer space!
$30 or less for one of the greatest experiences of this generation. HOW CAN YOU GO WRONG!? Gradius V is easily the best shooter for your money this year. Ignore all the reviewers that dare to rate crap like Catwoman higher than this shining star, or who give this game a half-page--or less!--of coverage (here's looking at you Game Informer). What the hell is that sh*t about? I'm not suprised. It figures that another great title is going to get cheated of the success it so rightly deserves. But no matter what those lame brains do, they can never take away the excellence from the shining might that is this game, Gradius V, the highest power in shooters this generation. Own a copy today!

EGM doesn't even know the difference between Option and Multiple. *tsk* *tsk* :thumbdn:
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Old 09-21-2004, 01:34 PM   #805
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Very well said Icarus. This game kicks major ass. It kicks my ass but I still love playing it.
I could use more credits. You say that you earn more credits the more you play. So I take it credits are unlocked by the clock and not by beating the game, right?
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Old 09-21-2004, 07:28 PM   #806
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Quote:
Gradius V surpasses Gradius III in almost every way
Correct.... except the music.

Try leaving the game on for 30 hours or play it for 30 hours, and you should get "something". Be warned though, that you must do all 30 hours in one sitting and you must get all 30 hours in less than a day for it to work.
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:54 AM   #807
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vicviper
I could use more credits. You say that you earn more credits the more you play. So I take it credits are unlocked by the clock and not by beating the game, right?
yes, that is correct.

do you not like the music in gradius V, joe? i think it is awesome. in case nobody knows, the score was composed by hitoshi sakimoto of VG, FFT, and soon to be ffXII fame

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EGM doesn't even know the difference between Option and Multiple. *tsk* *tsk* :thumbdn:
didn't konami decide to change the name from option to multiple? they are essentially the same thing. you should see some of the stuff written in the IGN review.
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:27 AM   #808
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I didn't say the music was bad. I just said that it's not as good as Gradius 3 (or Gradius Gaiden, for that matter). The music in Radiant Silvergun was pretty mediocre (done by the same king of mediocre music), but fortunately Gradius V sounds a bit better than that game. Hitoshi Sakimoto is just not a musician who knows much of melodies. Gradius games (until now) have always had very melodic music, wheras Hitoshi's scores for his games just kind of fall in to the background as you play. You don't even think about it. It's "just there". I like thinking about the music.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:39 AM   #809
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Duck Tales - NES - Rating 5
It's bittersweet to play titles such as this again after such a long time. Man, I remember coming home from school everyday, flipping on the tube and watching all my favorite cartoons: TMNT, Tiny Toons, Duck Tales, and so forth. Nowadays they play idiotic crud like Sponge Bob (what the hell kinda design is that!?) and Rugrats. I feel sorry for the children of today, having to suffer through such terrible animation and forgettable characters. The theme music is such an important element of the overall experience. Can you remember all those cool themes to the cartoons you used to watch? Yeah, so can I. There's something about those old cartoons that is much more human than the sappy crap that fills the airwaves these days. How can you plant a kid in front of the TV and have him or her stare at a talking sponge and a man dressed up in a purple dinosaur suit who dances around singing pain-inducing songs and expect them to grow up to be normal people?
In Capcom's Duck Tales, you take control of Uncle Scrooge (Scrooge McDuck) as he seeks out valuable treasure for reasons I'm not fully aware of. It's got something to do with a stolen dime which he's trying to get back. Like many other NES games, you don't play it for the A-maaazing story and plot development but for the actual game itself. Uncle Scrooge can bounce around on his cane like a Pogo stick, plus use it to whack certain objects like a golf club. If there's a danger zone, such as a bed of spikes, he can simply bounce on it with his cane to avoid harm.
When you begin the game, you're presented with five selectable locations to choose from: The Amazon, The Himalayas, Transylvania, African Mines, and The Moon. You should begin with The Amazon as it's the best starting point to come to grips with how everything works. The game mechanics are quite simple. You can jump, high-jump by bouncing with the cane, whack things, and duck (I actually don't like puns as they're never funny). In order to defeat enemies you can jump on them with the cane or whack something like a stone block which can fly into the enemy. Not much to it. It's rather obvious that Capcom was aiming for a younger demographic. As you proceed through the ridiculously easy stages, you'll come across various items such as 1-ups, ice cream and cake which can restore health, and various treasures which make Uncle Scrooge's pockets a little fatter. Each stage has its own set of perils to overcome. For instance, in Transylvania there are magical mirrors which can warp ol' Scrooge to and fro different areas of the castle, plus hidden walls, huge suits of armor which can be whacked for more items (either that or the helmets will roll off and try to hit you), etc. Everything about this game is extremely basic and easy to understand, which is a good thing in its own way. The problem with Duck Tales is that it's terribly easy to conquer and there's no replay to speak of, unless you actually care about finding a few hidden artifacts which serve no substantial purpose. The bosses are a joke, as are the enemies, and the only thing you'll probably have to worry about is finding the boss before the timer runs out. That said, the stage design is pretty nifty. Then again, this is Capcom we're talking about, so it's not suprising.
The graphics are relatively decent for an NES game but nothing really grabs my attention. Even the boss designs are tame, so there goes that. The soundtrack may very well be the best thing about this game. Although the tunes aren't extremely well done, there are a few memorable tunes within the game and the sound effects get the job done.
Duck Tales is simple entertainment that's neither harmful nor terribly fun. At least it's clear that Capcom still had actual gameplay in mind when creating this, as opposed to the myriad of lame titles which try to sell on the license instead of the product. Fans of Capcom and NES collectors may find something of worth here. But other than that, Duck Tales is little more than a pleasant distraction from the softs with more substance. Like Mega Man.

Oh, and just in case you're interested ~ http://www.geocities.com/disneyducks/characters.html
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Old 09-22-2004, 02:01 PM   #810
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Originally Posted by Joe Redifer
I didn't say the music was bad. I just said that it's not as good as Gradius 3 (or Gradius Gaiden, for that matter). The music in Radiant Silvergun was pretty mediocre (done by the same king of mediocre music), but fortunately Gradius V sounds a bit better than that game. Hitoshi Sakimoto is just not a musician who knows much of melodies. Gradius games (until now) have always had very melodic music, wheras Hitoshi's scores for his games just kind of fall in to the background as you play. You don't even think about it. It's "just there". I like thinking about the music.

well, hitoshi really stands out in vagrant story and ff tactics. those two games have incredible music.
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