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Old 03-21-2005, 12:24 PM   #31
Nem
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edit: for some odd reason the original post with the review isnt showing up when the number of posts per page is on "forum default" so im remaking the post.

Since i got an extra post, and its now showing up normally, ill advertise for my newest upcoming review, wich will be KOF:Maximum Impact. It will be the fresher review ill have made so far since im still playing the game while the previous ones were based mainly on memories of those titles and their game-boxs in front of me. So its bound to have more detail ^^
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Old 03-21-2005, 12:44 PM   #32
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Review: Game

Platform: Playstation 2

Genre: Action RPG with traditional RPG structure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating 6/10
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:09 PM   #33
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If you're reviewing more books, do The Lord of the Rings. Or at least The Hobbit.
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:33 PM   #34
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Good review on Star Ocean 3, Nem. I also was some what disappointed with the game. I didn't got far enough (near the end of the first disk) but I was expecting to it to get better. One thing that bugged me was the computer A.I. my party members would always run to the corner and stay there while I get murdered. It happened very often to me.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:08 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nindalf
If you're reviewing more books, do The Lord of the Rings. Or at least The Hobbit.
From the Lord of the Rings trilogy i can review "Return of the king" since it was the only one i read. I gave a quick look at two towers too, but didnt go for it. I dont think you will like my review of it though
Anyways, my plan is to review all the Dune series books that ive read (7 books). I still have 3 that i didnt even started reading, and besides theres a new book coming out every year now^^.


Sinful Sam, its funny. The exact opposite happened with me a lot. They would go to the corner and get themselves killed before i realised it ^^. Same thing happened in Star Ocean 2. I guess its not a problem that easy to solve in 3D arenas, unless they completely revamp the camera system.
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Old 03-22-2005, 07:12 PM   #36
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i have 70 hours logged in star ocean 3. i really like the game. the story was really cool up to a certain point when you found out what was really going on. it seemed like that took a lot out of the game for me. i also got annoyed when one or two of my allies would sit around and not do anything like sinful sam pointed out -- that was pretty damn ridiculous. other than that i love the battles, towns, music, and landscape.
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:09 PM   #37
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Ill be uping my KOFMI review in a few moments. I feel like i should advert that im very though in my ratings. I mightve been misleading since my first reviews were of great games/products but if i say i enjoyed something, its cause theres fun to be had, despite the rating.
With that said enjoy my KOFMI review. :bigsmile:
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:18 PM   #38
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Review: Game

Platform PS2 (Soon to be released on Xbox)

Genre: 2.5D Fighting

King of Fighters Maximum Impact (PAL version)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating 8/10
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Old 03-23-2005, 02:55 PM   #39
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From the Lord of the Rings trilogy i can review "Return of the king" since it was the only one i read. I gave a quick look at two towers too, but didnt go for it. I dont think you will like my review of it though
...I'm sickened and disgusted... For shame Nem!! FOR SHAME!!!
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Old 03-23-2005, 04:20 PM   #40
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Ever since I heard and found out that Mia attack is called flying squirrel in Maximum Impact thing were never the same again.
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:10 AM   #41
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Overall, a good review, though littered with grammar mistakes and missing letters. Were you in a rush? Anyway, yeah, MI is a disappointment from my perspective. Our US version just has the English voices, which sucks, but it doesn't even matter since the game isn't that good to begin with. I thought the music was rather uneventful, too. And every time you pick one of the female characters, everything just seems like an excuse to showcase their bosoms. What was SNK thinking? Indeed, were they thinking? I have reservations....

Oh well. Win some, lose some.

I don't even recall whether I played a Star Ocean title before. *ponders* Hmmmm....
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Old 03-24-2005, 10:46 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Icarus4578
Overall, a good review, though littered with grammar mistakes and missing letters. Were you in a rush? Anyway, yeah, MI is a disappointment from my perspective. Our US version just has the English voices, which sucks, but it doesn't even matter since the game isn't that good to begin with. I thought the music was rather uneventful, too. And every time you pick one of the female characters, everything just seems like an excuse to showcase their bosoms. What was SNK thinking? Indeed, were they thinking? I have reservations....

Oh well. Win some, lose some.

I don't even recall whether I played a Star Ocean title before. *ponders* Hmmmm....
Its funny actually. I lose letters in almost all my posts lately. I really dont know how i do it . Maybe its has you say. Im in a rush to get with things done. Im horrible with grammar too^^. The thing is, my last english class was 5 years ago, and i really dont practice it a lot, except here in the forum and when im playing text-RPG's. But, i guess im just beeing too lazy to go and double/triple check the reviews for mistakes after all.

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

edit: Ive double checked the KOFMI review yesterday. Most missing letters and grammar problems have been fixed. Thx to Icarus for having pointed them out.
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:20 AM   #43
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...I'm sickened and disgusted... For shame Nem!! FOR SHAME!!!
rest easy Nin. I dont even know where i have the book, and i cant do a review without my usual introduction quote ^^
Anyways id probably rate it around 7/10. Hope that wasnt a shock
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Old 04-02-2005, 07:36 AM   #44
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Reviews have been scarse has of late since im so busy ><

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

Anyways my next highlight review will be Suikoden 4. After much discussion, what did i think of it? Haha... first i have to finish it ^^ (havent had the time yet)
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Old 04-05-2005, 06:39 AM   #45
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Nem ~ "About KOFMI. I also thought odd the inclusion o Lien has another "hottie". But overall i only noticed the busoms in the short cut-scenes before the fights. What were they thinking? Fan service it seems (just has i pointed out with mignon in my review).
Did you play the game Icarus? I loved the live house stage cause the music psyched me up. Have you listened to it?"

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