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Old 03-09-2005, 08:13 PM   #1
Nem
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Nem's Personal Reviews

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

Navigation
Platform
Title - rating out of 10 | page

videogames
Saturn
Shining Force 3 Scenario 1 - 8 | p1

Mega Drive/Genesis
Sub-Terrania - 9 | p1

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

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

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

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

books
Dune - 10 | p1
Dune Messiah - 6 | p2
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:12 PM   #2
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Review: Anime

50 episodes

Gundam SEED

synopsis

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

Synopsis From Animenfo

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

Rating 9/10
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:19 PM   #3
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do review science fiction because I do not read that at all. Most of my reading consists of classic and modern literature, poetry, etc. I look forward to seeing your reviews. :cool guy:
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:37 PM   #4
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Review: Videogame

Platform: Saturn

Genre: Startegy RPG

Shining Force 3 Scenario 1

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

Rating 8/10
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SavedFromSin
do review science fiction because I do not read that at all. Most of my reading consists of classic and modern literature, poetry, etc. I look forward to seeing your reviews. :cool guy:
Ill probably have the first one up tomorrow late night (GMT)^^
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Old 03-09-2005, 09:50 PM   #6
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It's good to see more people give Gundam Seed the good word, have you seen Gundam Seed Destiny yet Nem?
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Old 03-09-2005, 10:23 PM   #7
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Im completely hooked im up to pace with the subs. The repeating "story so far" episodes are getting on my nerves though. But from what i read, things are gonna spice up in the next 3 episodes^^
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:35 AM   #8
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I never got the chance to play Shining Force 3. Unfortunately, you didn't bring up the quality of the compositions. I've always wanted to hear the soundtrack to SF3.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:52 AM   #9
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I remembered that today in class, and ill be adding it right away. Terrible flaw. Well im still a newb on this, im bound to have a few slips^^
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:54 AM   #10
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I suppose that's true. You should keep a list of the important things on hand, if necessary. You'll inevitably find reviewing games to be worthwhile and to be a process for self-learning and educating yourself, and, hopefully, others as well.
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Old 03-10-2005, 10:01 AM   #11
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I actually did that with the anime, but went too freely with the game review^^ Ill keep that in mind, thx for the advice.
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Old 03-10-2005, 09:18 PM   #12
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Review: Book

Author: Frank Herbert

Dune

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

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

Rating 10/10
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:07 PM   #13
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Review: Videogame

Platform: Mega Drive / Genesis

Genre: 2D shooter

Sub Terrania


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

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

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

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

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

Rating 9/10
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:36 PM   #14
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Nem I thing your reivews are very good but the only problem that I have is that you only reviewed games/animes that you like.
all what I am asking is to review anything if you like it or not.
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Old 03-11-2005, 05:17 PM   #15
Nem
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Everything in its due time. The next book im gonna review is one i didnt like very much. I guess i do prefer to review and spread word on the products i love, but ill also take my chance to badmouth a few titles that let me down^^ Hmmm...that gives me an ideia for the perfect victim^^
And thanks for the compliment. I really tried in the last two reviews, im glad you liked them.
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