The Video Game Reviews Thread

Sharpshooter005 11-27-2005 03:31 AM
Okay...the caveat here is I haven't quite beaten this game. But I've played enough of it to have a general feel for everything. So..yeah, at least it'll be pretty spoiler free.


Resident Evil 4

System: PS2

Rating: M

Gameplay 9/10:
If you went into this game expecting the shuffling, moaning, brainless legions of the undead...you will be in for a surprise. Gone are the days of standing near a door, and plugging away before retreating if necessary. The enemies in RE4 give anything you've seen in the previous games a run for their money. Knock a ladder down, they will raise it back up. Close a door, they will come through it. Open areas are now even more of a threat than before...this isn't like a mob of zombies, approaching in lock step from a fixed position. These enemies WILL get behind you. And the danger isn't just from their teeth either. If you've ever wanted to fight a pitchfork and torch wielding mob, you'll be doing just that.

If you're used to the general control and camera scheme of the previous games...this will be jarring. Everything is changed. No longer do you merely hit a button to aim, press another to fire, and hope you have enough ammunition to keep the enemy down. Now, when you hit the button to ready a weapon, it shifts to an over the shoulder perspective. Headshots are no longer achieved through luck, or pressing "up" with certain weapons, you can do it anytime with any weapon. Enemies can be disarmed, decapitated, kneecapped, and so forth. The knife is also no longer a seperate weapon, this game allows you to switch instantaniously between ranged and melee combat. Also included are a few hand to hand attacks. Stun an enemy, and you can preform a kick (which can either knock them back into other enemies, kill them if they're weakened, or both), or a suplex (same thing, but minus the stunning of enemies by launching a comrade into them). If the gameplay seems more action oriented, it is. Ammunition conservation isn't as much of an issue, enemies drop ammunition. Bullets are no longer rare and priceless treasures.

Speaking of treasure. Most weapons and equipment will be purchased from merchants, using currency either found or dropped by enemies.

Another change, and possibly the most jarring, is that cutscenes are no longer safe haven. Periodically, button mashing sequences will occur. Fail and you die. Usually these are short and fair. The game tells you what button to push. However...there is ONE pseudo-cutscene that bothered me. It advanced the storyline while simultaniously forcing the player to hit a specific set of buttons mid-scene.

These are minor annoyances, as the gameplay has made a refreshing change from the same old cut and dry mechanics of the previous games (excepting the first person shooter ones, which Capcom apparently would like to forget as much as I would)

As far as difficulty...I admit, many parts frustrated me. While ammo allowances are usually fair, I did run through them sometimes. However in the games defense, usually a solution is very evident, very achievable, and you can normally get past the troublesome spots with some application.

The PS2 version includes both extras that the gamecube version did. "Assignment Ada", a bonus set of missions fleshing out the storyline a bit. And "mercenaries", a nail-biting, incredibly frustrating minigame allowing you to play up to five characters. This is the Resident Evil 4 take on the previous minigames (the third survivor, and tofu missions in RE2, the similarly titled mercenary missions in 3, and the battle game in Code: Veronica).

In addition, the PS2 port contains yet another set of missions, also centering around the character of Ada Wong. While I haven't managed to unlock this set of levels, apparently "Seperate Ways" as it is titled, gives even MORE explanation to the plotline. Detailing how and why certain events occured.

As is par for the course, all of these minigames unlock extra costumes/weapons.


Story 6/10: Lets face it...you DON'T play a resident evil game for the storyline. I give it over a 5, because at least the game breaks from the now passe storylines about a viral outbreak. While this game seems to close the book on the t and g viruses...it's not exactly brilliant. It's still a typical "government operative infiltrates base to save high-ranking hostage, along the way things go wrong, and he meets a shadowy character from his past" kind of thing.

The same implausible scenarios, double-crosses, and characters that seemed dead showing up apply. But thankfully most of the latter was already explained in previous games.

Ultimately though...Resident Evil is mainly about the gameplay, and to some fans, even about reveling self-conciously in the admittely often shlocky storyline. If you're expecting another Metal Gear Solid...this isn't the game you want.

Graphics 10/10: I've never been one to nitpick graphics. If you compare screenshots from the ps2 and gamecube ports side by side..yes, the ps2 port is a bit more sparse. But nevertheless, this is FAR from an ugly game. It's easily among the best on the system.

Sound 8/10: This is getting 8/10 because unlike some of the previous games, the voice acting ISN'T horrible. This franchise has come a long, long way from lines like "I found these. They're acid rounds...they're good against living targets" (among a litany of others from the first game..). Ambient sounds are done well also. Birds chirp, the wind rustles through deserted towns. And the spanish cries of your foes never seem less threatening.

One sound you'll learn to fear in this game, is the revving of the chainsaws.

Difficulty 8/10: If you use whats at your disposal, and use it well..it's difficult but not impossible. I'd say it's just hard enough to remain entertaining. Just when you think you've hit the sweet spot as far as armaments, tactics, or competency with the controls...something will happen.

Overall 9/10: I once played the mercenaries minigame in Resident Evil 4, on a friends gamecube, for almost 30 minutes...it seemed like five.

That hasn't changed. The rapid-fire action of this game is intact, and it's definately worth at least a rental. Though I'd say it offers enough for a purchase.

edit: Thats assuming that like me..you only own a PS2. If you have both that and a gamecube, and already own the game in its GCN incarnation, you'll need to ask yourself if the various extras (the biggest of which is the "seperate ways" minigame, along with an extra weapon and possibly an extra alternate costume) make it worth the price.
David Ryder 11-30-2005 08:58 PM
Siege of Avalon: Anthology
Rating: Teen

I found this game at best buy for $9.99, well actually I got it for 1.99 with my rewards zone card. It's the first and only game made by Digital Tome and one of the few released by Global Star Software. for only 10 bucks it's a great game.

Gameplay: A standard PC PRG battle system, click the enemy and fight but I love the amont of stuff you can change your charecter's apperance. Equiping stuff is a little diffrent from other PC RPG's, as you can wear cloths and armor together, example you can wear a tunic, then a chain shirt and a breastplate. However, the game has one fatal flaw....the battle system is extreamly unbalaneced. For example my charecter is seeming unstoppable in melee combat and takes no damage then gets owned by magic....sometimes. despite this flaw it's still an enjoyable game. 8/10

Story: While RPG's have gotten rather stale in the story department, S.O.A keeps the story interesting, Basic story, save the kingdom, stop the evil bad guys but SOA has a structered gameplay played out threw chapters that where released in order from 1-6 when it was firsted released in 03'. nothing special. 8/10

Graphics: Not too bad for a lesser know game. The sprites are fairly well animated and have nice detail. 8/10

Sound: I don't but the music in this game reminds me of Wander's from Y's. Music isn't to bad but it's sure chatchy. 8/10

Difficulty: Depends on how you devlop your charecter. either it's cake or it's very tricky. well in my case it's cake. 7/10

Overall: if you can find a copy, go ahead and pick it up as it's only 10 bucks. It will provide you a enjoyable experiance. 8/10
David Ryder 12-02-2005 12:49 AM
Star Ocean: The Second story.
Rating: Teen

Ah SO: the second story....such a great game that never got the Recognition it deserved. Anyways on to the review.

Gameplay: The battle system in SO was quite unique for it's time. Instead of the usual turned based system ie final fantasy or Legend of Dragoon, it used a real time action style of fighting that only stopped if you brought up item ring to cast spells or use items. This kind of battle system made you keep on your toes. Another thing I liked was the private action system in which you pressed the square button to split up while in town and sometime you could get special event that would increase or decrease your relationship with the many charecters. Item creation was another awesome aspect of SO. by using cooking items or many other you could make several items(complete with item pics! always a plus.) like food to use out of battle to heal hp and such. 10/10

Story: Taking place a few years after the first one on the undeveloped planet expel, Claude S. Kenni (not craude, that's engrish) and Rena Lanford, along with several other's attempt to stop the 12 wisemen from destorying expel, and unlike other RPG baddies
spoiler (highlight to read):
they actually destory the planet along with billions of people.
. Nothing earth shattering but the charecter's are all enjoyable and likeable. 10/10

Graphics: Not to bad. The sprites sport nice detail and are well animated. Spell effects are decent too. 7/10

Sound: The music is amazing. Matoi Sakuraba does an excellent job. however....the biggest problem is the voice acting....in short it's abysmal. The lines are sound wooden, forced and devoid of any emotion, also it's hilarious they didn't even dub over all lines, nothing like rena casting the spell turacto beam (tractor beam) several other engrish goodies are here and there aswell. 6/10 (voice acting killed this score.)

Difficulty: Depends. The first disc isn't to bad but the second disc and the hidden dungeon can be brutal. It's also a challenge to get too lvl 250 on all the charecters. 9/10

Overall: SO:The second story is one of those gems that no one paid attention to and that's to bad as they missed out on one of the top 10 rpg's on the PSX. Only place to find it is most likey e-day, and then you will have to pay over 100 bucks for it, but it be worth it. 10/10
David Ryder 12-03-2005 07:55 AM
The 7th Saga
Rating: I guess if it was released in this gaming age it would get Teen.

Another wacky Obscure RPG I played back on SNES. Loved it.

Gameplay: Battle system is standard RPG fair, with some interesting stuff. You can defend and your attack power would increase. Also there was seven different charecter's to choose from, each had their own stong points and weak points. Also being about to avoid battles was a nice touch. 8/10

Story: Pretty typical rpg story. King Lemele, wants you to hunt down seven orbs on the planet Ticondera. What I like is each of the seven charecter's have their own personality and motives. Best of the bunch is Kamil, liked his balenced stats and ease to play. 9/10

Sound: Not sure who the composer is but the music is pretty good but nothing earth shattering. 7/10

Difficulty: If people don't like hard rpg's then 7th saga might not be for them. This game is hard, and you HAVE to level up, you don't your dead as the enemys are very brutal. Not to mention, if you lose to any other of the charecter's, you lose your orbs, and have to find them. 10/10

Overall: Great game, if you can find a copy then grab it or might have to play it threw emulation. 9/10
Asirt 12-04-2005 09:39 PM
AIRRADE -AIR-

Platform: Windows 2000/XP
Rating: N/A
Genre: Shooter
Developer: Studio SiestA
Available at: Himeya Shop



To the AIR of sadness...

I'll admit right now that I'm a fan of shoot 'em up games (also known as shooters). It's always been fun for me to shoot down enemies and contain weapon upgrades to have the ultimate fighting machine. However, one day I came across something that I would never have thought of.

Recently, I saw the animated series AIR, which was an excellent show in my opinion. When I was looking for info on the computer game (what the series was based on), I saw a website containing a certain type of shooter called AIRRADE. Studio SiestA, the developers of this game, created a shoot em' up game using the characters, music, and the settings from AIR. This game is a Doujin title, meaning that it's a fan made game. I was totally blown away by this, and I had to download the demo (and eventually, find the full version). This is the third of the AIRRADE series. The first two are the original game, AIRRADE, and the expansion pack, AIRRADE -Summer-. This is the two versions combined packed with even more features.

Note that although this game is in Japanese, you do not need to learn the language in order to enjoy this shooter.

Gameplay [10/10]:
AIRRADE is similar to any shooter game out there. Basically you press a key to shoot at enemies, and you move your character with the arrow keys. However, not only do you get that, but also three attacks that the character can perform. One is a punch, which knocks the enemy out and destroying other enemies in the way. The next attack is an uppercut. Like the powerful punch, it also knocks a enemy out and destroys other enemies in the way. If you use the right arrow key and then press the key that performs the punch and uppercut, you will perform an EX attack, which is a stronger version of the punch and uppercut.

There is also another attack called "Terrible AIR", which if used properly, can be very deadly. The attack will gather energy to the character, and you must move the character to the enemies in order for the attack to work. However, you must collect many items before it can be used. On the top right corner, there is a "Terrible AIR" gauge. Once it is filled up, you'll be able to use the special attack. Also, the upgrades that you collected will be reverted back to its original form, slowly recovering. Once you've mastered the moves and the controls, you will be able to have an easier time mastering AIRRADE.

Your main goal is to defeat all the enemies and bosses, collect as many items as you possibly can, and advance to the next level. However, you must also try your best to get the highest score possible. The key to mastering this game is creating a chain. When you perform a punch or uppercut, if you're performing it close to a group of enemies, you create a chain. The more enemies the better, because you rack up more points this way rather than just shooting at the enemies. However, the punch and uppercut requires energy, which will needs to be recovered. During this short process, you will be unable to perform the punch or uppercut attacks. You will have to have equal use of both shooting and performing these attacks to get many points.

Each character has their own weapon to use. For example, Misuzu is able to shoot dinosaur eggs at the enemy. Kano shoots at the enemies by using her magic, and Minagi shoots Rice Tickets at them. With upgrades, they are able to have even more powerful weapons. It's important to know which character works the best for you. There is no “best” character, so you must have the skill to master the game as well.

In terms of storyline, however, there isn't really much of a story. At the beginning of each level, you see text representing each “Day” or level, explaining a little bit about the main story. If you've seen or played AIR, you'll see that the story is similar to it. The main focus of AIRRADE is on the gameplay.



Difficulty [10/10]:
This game is fun and addictive, but it's not easy to master, even when you're in easy mode. You will not be able to get an excellent score the first time around, and may perform the same level many times before you advance further. Also, with the amount of enemies on the screen at the same time, it gets very crazy and chaotic. People who are fans of shooters will enjoy the difficulty that AIRRADE has to offer. People who are new to shooters may have a hard time beating the game. However, it is not so hard that you'll give up easily and quit playing.

Graphics [10/10]:
Perhaps the greatest part of AIRRADE is the graphics. Although the game is a traditional 2D shooter, the details the creators put into the characters and the enemies are excellent. The backgrounds are also very nice, as are the special effects. Although on my laptop I was able to play the game at full speed, you may need a fast enough desktop or laptop computer to experience the game at its best. Check the link for the demo at the end of the review to check the system requirements.

Another thing to point out is that the characters and the enemies have a cute look to them. Do not underestimate the enemies, for they will stop at nothing to take your character down. The enemies vary from cute looking dinosaurs, to dogs, birds, and other animals. The characters also are very cute looking.

Sound Effects [10/10]:
The sound effects add to the action packed shooter, ranging from explosions to the death of the enemies. There is some voice acting in the characters. They usually talk before the level begins, when they touch the enemy, and also if they're hit by an enemy. Although they do not sound like the real voice actors in the TV series, they fit the characters well and do not ruin the experience of the game.

Music [10/10]:
The music in this game is upbeat and has an action feel to it. There are some music which is slow, but during the game, you'll be hearing a lot of upbeat music. All of the background music in AIRRADE are remixes of certain songs of the original computer game and the TV series. If you liked the music in AIR, you'll enjoy the music in AIRRADE. Overall, the music adds to the game and to the overall experience.

Replay Value [10/10]:
This shooter is so fun and addictive in my opinion, that you'll keep coming back for more. With over 19 characters (only three can be played at first, but over time you'll unlock more characters), a replay system, two player mode, high scores, secret modes, different levels, various enemies and bosses, and a high difficulty setting, you'll be playing this game for a while.



Overall Thoughts:
This is an excellent fan made game. I was a bit doubtful at first, wondering how something like this could work. When I tried the demo, I no longer had any doubts at all. I can now see why this is a popular game for those who have seen or played AIR. A typical shooter fan will enjoy this game, despite the cute graphics, because of the gameplay. It may be very difficult for some who are new to shooters, but to fans of shooters, AIRRADE gives them a new challenge.

The screenshots featured in this review doesn't do the game justice. Play the demo for yourself, and see if the experience is worth finding the full version of the game. For a fan made game, it is one of the most professional quality games I've come across. Overall, I highly recommend this game to those who want a challenge and enjoy shooters. It is quite an experience.

Overall Rating: 10/10

You can download the demo version by clicking here, which contains one level and you can only play as Misuzu. You also cannot change settings in the option menu.
David Ryder 12-05-2005 01:29 AM
Earthbound: The War Against Giygas or Earthbound: Giygas strikes back.
Rating: Kids to Adult

Ah yes, the classic Earthbound. An amazing RPG released back in the hayday of the super nintendo. Extreamly popular in japan and a strong cult following over here Earthbound was unique for it's time. With it's cartoony graphics,soundtrack that incorperated sampaling from the beetles, and it's wacky view of America. But sadly Earthbound wasn't all that popular over here, even though Nintendo invested a good bit of cash into the game even releasing scratch and sniff cards. Anyway on to the review.

Gameplay: The battle system in EB is similar to that of Dragon warrior i.e first person. Basic stuff plays out such as Magic or in this case PSI, Attacking and typical RPG stuff. While the battle system is typical of RPG's, I can't fault it. 9/10

Story: The story of EB is it's strongest point. Heavily influenced by old 50's sci-fi movies, and instead of typical RPG fair such as knight and wizards, EB takes place in Eagleland(basically america) in which Ness must stop the mighty Giygas from enslaving the world. Ness first finds out about this threw buzz buzz, an insect from 10 years into the future, where giygas is already too powerful. Ness and co. then must jouerney to the 7 spots where the earth's energy is the strongest and all together save their future. 10/10

Sound: another thing about EB is it's wacky music. From everthing from techno, classical and even some surf rock. EB has an wonderful and wacky soundtrack that is often very upbeat and happy. 10/10

Difficulty: Earthbound isn't know for it's challenge, and is infact in my opinion atleast extreamly easy, but giygas himself can be pretty tough if you don't know what to do. 7/10

Overall: EB is a classic that has endured threw the ages and still remains strong even today. If you like RPG's and find a copy then snatch it up, it's worth it. 10/10

also Mr.Shigesato Itoi has been working on Earthbound 3 for game boy advanced, but it's unlikey that it will be released over here but there might be a chance.
David Ryder 12-07-2005 01:49 AM
Devil May Cry: Dante's Awakining or DMC3
Rating: M (although it has teen level of violence and blood.)

The third in the DMC series, with a 4th on PS3. After a weak offering in DMC2, capcom managed to regain their footing with this one.

Gameplay: More or less the same as the first two but only able to bring in two Guns and two devil arm's per stage, thus forcing you to choose the right set for the level. Devil Trigger works the same as it always has. The biggest difference are the four styles to choose from. Ranging from useful (Gunsliger and Swordmaster) to completely worthless (Trickster and Royal Guard). Give it 8/10 for adding some new feature.

Story: Meh. more or less the same as before. Stop the big bad evil guy from taking over the world. they do however shed some light on dante and virgil's past. 6/10

Sound: This is where DMC3 really shines. In addition to the great instumental tracks (The fight between Dante and Rudra and Agni come to mind) capcome added new vocal tracks sung by someone named Shootie HG and honestly I think they kick some booty. Best of the bunch IMO are "Suffer" during the fight with Cerberus and "The devil's cry." end credits. Voice acting is also pretty solid. 10/10

Difficulty: Since you are without your devil trigger for the first 5 or so stages, things can be rough, the Rudra and Agni fight come to mind. But other than that it's pretty easy. 8/10

Overall: DMC3 is leaps and bounds better than DMC2 and the added vocal tracks is somthing I hope capcom keeps up. 10/10
David Ryder 12-10-2005 02:12 PM
Digital Devil Saga
PS2
Rating: M (Gore, Animated violence and blood, Strong Language, Suggestive Themes)

Well other than X, no one else to my knowlage has played this game, which is unfortunate as it owns.

Gameplay: While the battle system is the same as most RPG's, it has a few nice touches like press turns and an Esper style magic system. I love the mantra system in which you learn spells and skill by equipping Mantras, and it's nice that once you learn the spells and such you learn them forever. 9/10

Story: While most RPG's now a days seem to be the rather bland and pointless save the world stories (That's right, I'm lookin at you FFX), DDS however tells a very dark and mature story. Assuming the role of Serph, you and your tride must fight and devour the other trides in order to reach Nirvana. I'm not very good at things like this but trust me the story is a nice change from the typical rpg fair. 10/10

Sound: The music in DDS is another nice change from the other Mega ten game, which generally have rather bad techno music. DDS soundtrack is most excellent with a metal/Hardrock sound to it. My fave. tracks are BATTLE (boss fight), Anahata (The Citadel), and when your fight Hari hara (shiva, still a woman for some reason). The voice acting is also top notch, with the likes of Steven Blum, Crispen Freeman, M.E McGlynn, David Wittenberg, and the ever awesome Wendee Lee. 10/10

Difficulty: Those who don't like hard rpg's most likely won't like DDS, as it can be brutal sometimes. For example the enemy Lakshmi will cast sleep and then calm death, and if all 3 of your charecter's are asleep it's bye bye. Also a few of the hidden bosses are pretty rough without the right skills. 10/10

Overall: With images and references to several different religions such as Christianity and Hinduisum, and a rockin visual style and amazing music, it's hard not to like DDS. 10/10
The Baker St. Irregular 12-24-2005 01:12 PM

Psychonauts
PC Version - Rated "T"



Story:

9.0/10

We begin at Whispering Rock, a summer camp/training camp for kids with psychic powers, where our hero Razputin-- Raz for short-- falls in uninvited after running away from his home. However, his unusual mental prowess catches the attention of the camp's counselors. Raz resolves to become a full-fledged Psychonaut (a powerful psychic secret agent) before his dad can come and take him back home.

Luckily for Raz, Whispering Rock's guardians are some of the best psi-warriors there are. With their help, he begins his intense mental training in order to gain new powers. But along the way, he accidentally stumbles upon a devious plot of world domination. Soon, his new skills will be put to the test as he jumps from mind to mind in order to save the world from a terrible fate.

Gameplay:

8.9/10

First off, if you can't do some insanely fancy finger work on a keyboard, don't play the PC version of Psychonauts without a controller. (However, this game is available on Xbox and PS2.) You'll only end up shooting yourself in the foot. Tongue

Anyway! I found Psychonauts a refreshing experience to play. The psychic powers element worked seamlessly along with the gameplay, all while avoiding many of the usual pitfalls common to third person 3-D games. Even the camera was very friendly! (Well, except for this one part towards the end...) There were very little, if any, bugs and clipping errors that ever interfered with the gameplay. Objects and terrain also offered very little hindrance. Overall, I sensed that this game was lovingly made, ruthlessly tested, and ironed out of all major mistakes.

Oh, man! I just need to stress some more how cool this game was because to the psychic powers thing! Pleased The most outstanding point is that majority of the game consists of being in other people's minds. Each person's brain you go into is a wildly unique and stylized world that offers many exciting obstacles for you to overcome. That, coupled with Psychonauts' jaw-dropping art direction, makes gameplay something to be greatly adored. For example...

I was playing Psychonauts, totally rocking out to its coolness, clocking in four hours of gameplay, when, due to same crazy errors with my controller, I accidentally deleted my game. Naturally, I was devastated. I took a nap and woke up refreshed and extremely excited to play those four hours all over again. Any other game, I would have thrown my CPU out a twelve-story building.

In total, I spent over fourteen hours playing this game. But they were fourteen hours of face-melting awesomeness. I wish it could have never ended!

Long story short... Psychonauts is F-U-N, fun. Pleased

Difficulty:

7.5/10 to 9.2/10

Psychonauts, for the most part, rested in an enjoyably challenging 7.5 out of 10. As with any game out there, several moments proved painfully irksome (so much so to drive me to a steady stream of nasty cuss words). But that sort of thing is a given.

Sometimes, it was as hard as how deep you tried going into it. If you wanted to find every last little doo-hickey on the list and level up each skill to the max, you'd be on your way to driving yourself crazy. The storyline requires just the right amount of effort to push forward: not too much, and not too little. Almost nothing in this game made me want to consult a walkthrough, for I could eventually figure out all the puzzles by myself.

And as for those horribly irritating moments, I would suggest just taking a break and coming back to solve them later (rather than swearing at the computer screen in a blind rage like I did Tongue ).

Graphics:

9.5/10

Naturally, the graphics are only going to be as good as the computer you play the game on. Thankfully, my compy ain't too shabby! Pleased

Psychonauts looked absolutely gorgeous. The textures were rich and detailed, and helped greatly to add depth to the environments they were in. Lights and glows were particularly good since they were used quite often and always looked beautiful. In general, real-time rendering went fast and wasn't too jumpy.

I was personally impressed by the amount of detail given to the characters and their expressions. The lip-synching was very detailed (although my processor couldn't always keep it up with the voices Sweatdrop ). I was surprised to see, during cut scenes, the characters' eyes slightly darting about as they would in real life. Things like facial expressions, hand gestures, and body movements added personality to the characters. The amount of attention paid to details like these was obviously far above average, but paid off handsomely in the end.

Art Direction:

10/10

I have never played a game as cool-looking as Psychonauts. It fills my heart with glee! It has the same kind of cool that The Incredibles has, where everything is stylized to the fullest extent of hipness. Where it could have strained to be hyper-realistic, it instead traded that for an artsier look that's guaranteed to make any art student insanely jealous. It's one big feast for the eyes!

Sound:

8.7/10

There must have been, like, a bazillion individual sound effects. I liked the one for the levitation power! I'm not sure what to write for this section, so I'll just say that they did a fine job of matching the sound with the other aspects of the game. Twas harmony!

Music:

8.9/10

I was happy. I'm sure most of the music in this was instrumental, and that's always a good sign of a quality production. There were some really nifty tunes. Each different level had a unique style of background music that helped add even more personality to the environment.

Voice-Overs:

9.7/10

I was totally blown away by the voice acting. They clearly went to great lengths to find the perfect voice for each character. It's like the dub to a good anime: the voices are all unique, memorable, and they greatly enhance the personalities of the characters they belong to. Raz's voice is simply delightful! It was well-acted, expressive, and not to mention hopelessly adorable.

Of course, I was amused to death when I heard the familiar sound of Steve Blum's voice accompanying a freedom-fighting lungfish and a sea of suspicious (and terribly strange) secret agents. Big Grin

Overall:

9.2/10

Man... It's been a looooooong time since I've been this in love with a game. The characters... The sights... The gameplay... The mind-numbing awesomeness... My review here doesn't even come close to doing Psychonauts any justice. You must see to believe!

Download the demo!

Read what the pros have to say!

And the main site itself.
David Ryder 12-27-2005 01:27 AM
Final Fantasy XI
Rating: Teen

Note: I'm reviewing the PS2 version.

It's a shame FFXI get's just a bad rap, as it's an amazing game. It's leaps and bounds above the mediocore PS1 offerings and FFX. However it's home to countless morons that name themeselves Cloud or the amazingly lame "silvered haired fellow".

Story: For a final fantasy the story is pretty decent. As the game is broken up into 3 part with a 4th on the way. The basic story envoles the Zilart and the God of Hate, Promitha. 8/10

Gameplay: The amount of stuff your charecter can do is amazing, the regular FF's could learn from this. You can craft items, hunt notorius monster and High Notorius monsters, play a PvP game (it sucks though), and a ton of quests. As with most MMORPG,you have to start looking form a party to lvl up after level 10. You basically put a message in and wait for a party invite. Two forms of partie are available English and Japanese, each hasit's own strengths. With US parties it's easier to talk and communicate, also easier to get an invite. The Japanese parties however are gererally much more versered in the game, however alot of them are extreamly xenophobic and don't party with english speakers however I've been lucky and they seem to like me lol. With 16 jobs to lvl to 75, and what not it will provide a mess of things to do. 10/10

Sound: Actually the music is pretty good. with 3 different composers there is a rather massive soundtrack. Longtime composer Nobuo is present and actually does a rather good job. The bulk of the game is done by two newcomers (I forget their names) and they do a great job. My favorite tracks are the San'dorian theme and the zilart battle theme(it's sheer zannyness). 10/10

Challenge: Depends on the enemys and such. With the right party enemies are pretty easy, but some of the NM's and HNM's are brutal and can take a few hours to bet but will give you very nice drops such as Qilins's Gi which is worth 50 mil. 9/10

Overall: An amazing game, sure it's not the typical FF crap but it deserves respect. Doesn't have much compotation other than World of Worldcraft, which is extreamly boring and doesn't even have half the stuff FFXI has and you can lvl ANY job up solo to max lvl in like a week lol sad. 10/10
Generalissimo D 01-06-2006 08:59 PM
Metal Slug: Mobile Impact
Rating: ThehellIcare

I bought this damnable little mobile game on the trip back home from the break. I regret it so...

Being Metal Slug, I was expecting a certain level of quality. What I got was way, way below even my lowest expectation.

Story: Its Metal Slug...so kill Nazi's and aliens.

Gameplay: Jesus Christ on a Crutch. This isn't gameplay. Its Japanese mindf*** torture.

Sound: Might have just been the phone, but they were all...laggging. Thankfully, all the old Metal Slug sounds are back. I feel all nostalgic inside.
9/10

Challenge: Guau. Its hard as hell, and if you manage to get through the first level, your commendable. 10/10

Graphics:NES'd, but still great.
Overall: SNK blows. I shoulda whipped out my DS.
Sharpshooter005 01-10-2006 06:12 PM
Old one, but it still needs recognition.

Name: Mercenaries: Playground of destruction

Rating: Apparently it's teen, due to a lack of blood..but you can still mow people down as if you were harvesting corn.

Story: The leader of North Korea, after making inroads towards peace, is killed in a coup de tat led by his more reactionary son. Obviously the kid is selling nukes on the black market (or what kind of game would this be?) In the ensuing chaos, various factions mobilize. The Chinese want all of Korea, the South Koreans led by a veteran CIA agent want their sovreignty. The U.N. wants peace. And the Russian mafia just wants as much money out of this as possible. You play as a mercenary thrown into all of this, while hunting for the North Korean higher ups leading towards the dictator, you take jobs from each faction and try to maintain positive relations with all your prospective employers.

Gameplay: Picture Grand Theft Auto, except instead of a small time hood working their way up the ladder, you're a mercenary blasting your way up the ladder. The same type of freeform "sandbox" gameplay applies, but the amount of weaponry at your disposal is vastly increased. Guns, targeted missile strikes, military vehicles, everything you'd expect to see in a warzone is there for the taking. The combat seems a bit better than GTA even, somehow less restrictive. Sometimes it's a breeze, sometimes you'll need to keep refighting missions until you figure out a better strategy.

Sound: Great. Aside from a bug in the ps2 version where the shotgun makes no noise when fired, the weapons all sound great, as do the ambient noises (machinegun fire lacing the air as two patrols happen to run into each other, helicopters buzzing around, propaganda blasting over radio towers). The musics not too terrible either.

Challenge: Again, it can get frustrating at times. But it's almost never a chore to play.

Overall: All the fun of grand theft auto, except with cluster bombs.

9/10
corrupt 02-07-2006 04:41 PM
Here is a game that I think needs more recognition so here goes...

Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne
PC (I'll be rating) and others
ESRB: 15

Gameplay: The gameplay is amazing, although not open-ended, this game shows that linear levels can still be good, the bullet time feature is still as amazing as ever and so is the shoot-dodge feature. Like I said, it's levels are linear kinda like devil may cry but you can replay the levels again and again to look for secrets and just for the sheer hell of shoot dodging of a balcony and blasting some poor cleaner in the face. One of the best features is the detective setting for it, if your totally crap at this game, it makes enemies easier to kill, slower etc. But if your blazing through the levels at an uncanny rate, the enemies become tougher and smarter and more accurate, like I was on level where you have to cover Max as mona with a sniper rifle, I was getting a bit bored because the levels before were realatively easy, then when I had to move around to a new sniping point, enemies (about 8 of them) cornered me on an unfinished part of the building and a long drop. Then enemies with their shot guns blasted me so that the only thing I could do was shoot dodge backward off the edge. Although some of the weird drug/injury/sleep induced nightmare will bloody freak you out, the game plays in a sort of reverse order, starting with you waking up in a hospital bed and stumbling around, then to the start of the case, this was a good idea.
10/10

Story: Picks up right after then events of Max Payne 1, with a murdered wife and child still haunting him, and Mona Sax being shot. The story is mainly through the graphic novel sections, which furthers the twists and conspiracies and betrayls. The old, Hardboiled-detective-that-doesn't-play-by-the-rules story never gets old. 8/10

Graphics: One word, amazing. See for yourself my sig is one of the graphics.
Muzzle flashes, facial expressions, flames... Everything about the grapics are great, blood sticks, but no open wounds though, but then again most games haven't mastered that art yet. The rag-doll physics in the game are totally perfect, the most life like ragdolls ever. The bullets of some guns can send them flying (for example, shooting a cleaner with 40 bullets from an M40 Carbine can send them flying off into a wall about 10 metres away.) while others just make them move slightly. 10/10

Difficulty: Detective: 1-7/10 Hard Boiled 9/10 Dead On Arrival: oh mother of god/10 New York Minute 10/10 Dead Man Walking N/A/

Detective: See game play section

Hard Boiled: Quite a bit harder, the enemies are like the hardest setting on detective, smarter, tougher, better.

Dead On Arrival: Impossibly hard, they are so damn acurate and dodgey, its annyoing grrrr.... Plus only 4 saves per level.

New York Minute: Timed maps are more difficult, most definetly.

Dead Man Walking: A survival mode, more fun than hard mostly.

Voice Overs: The voice overs are amazing, they really capture the feel of Max and the enemies, as well as mona's. Max isn't "OMG MY FAMILY IS DEAD NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" he's more life-like now, the loss of all his loved ones has made him hard hearted, not caring if he lives or dies. 10/10

Music: The music is pretty good, the theme tune is exccenlent, but there isn't really much music in it, it doesn't intrude on the action. 9/10

Overall: Overall, it's a great game, but not for people who like "good clean fun" or humor, it's slightly depressing but thats the story. Buy this game, I bought in a 4 games for twenty pounds deal, so it's cheap, about 5$ now. Buy it, it's much better than GTA, not overtop. 10/10

BUY IT!!!
M.S. Feather 02-15-2006 02:43 AM
I haven’t written a game review (or anything else) in about five years, I can‘t seem to get back into the groove…so I’m sorry if it sucks.
And I hope you don’t mind me posting this up Gaddes, I just wanted to do a review for the special edition of the game. No offense intended. Smile

*this review has been edited for length*


Devil May Cry 3: Dante’s Awakening- Special Edition
Platform: PS2
Rated: Mature

Gameplay
DMC3 easily features the deepest gameplay in the series. This time around the game introduces a new feature called styles. Your gameplay can differ greatly depending on which you choose. First off is Trickster, which focuses on evasion techniques. Swordmaster can optimize performance for your melee weapons. Gunslinger, optimizes performance for your guns and Royal Guard, which focuses on blocking and parrying. These styles are also upgradeable, so as you play and earn experience with a certain style you will be able to learn newer and better techniques.
Another big change to the series is the ability to carry only two of each kind of weapon. This deepens the strategy and adds to the difficulty of the game. Most of the bosses and weapons are elemental, so it’s up to the player to decide which weapons they think are best suited to carry around.
Note: You can change styles and equip weapons before the start of each mission or at a golden Statue of Time.

Graphics/Visuals
One of the most notable things about this game as anyone will tell you are the over-the-top action sequences and jaw dropping cut scenes. Graphically these cut scenes won’t blow your mind, but their very well crafted. What really stands out about them is the content itself. Some of the action is so over the top it may make John Woo and the Wachowski brothers want to sit and rethink their strategies.
The level designs are fairly diverse, which is rather amazing considering practically the entire game takes place within a one mile radius. So while the designers did a nice job trying to keep the background interesting, you do revisit a lot of locations over again so it can get a little repetitive.
The character and enemy designs are great. The enemies aren’t as varied or interesting as the ones from the first game but this is only a minor grievance. However the boss battles are a different story. Each boss you come across (and trust me you’ll be coming across a lot of them) is very unique, not just visually but in their attacks and attitudes as well.
The game is fairly easy on the eyes, not much to complain about here.

Sound/Music
The sound is a very important part of this game. Most of the bosses and enemies give away their upcoming attacks by making certain noises or saying certain phrases. This makes dodging certain attacks a lot easier and will make your entire journey a little more simple, so keep your ears peeled.
Ah, as for the music; this time around the game sports a very blatant heavy metal theme. I think it matches the game and the action very well. Frantic beats accompanied by the low rumbling voice of the vocalist only seems to add fuel to this demon slaying machine.
The background music for the levels, like the previous games are very dark and moody which fit the gothic visuals perfectly. All of this is in wonderful Dolby surround sound, so crank it up!

Extras
Vergil- Probably the most exciting and talked about addition to the special edition is the ability to play through the game as Vergil. In addition to playing him we get a few extras thrown in exclusively for his character. First of all is his Dark Slayer style. The Dark Slayer style is fairly similar to Dante’s Trickster style, in that it is used mainly for evasion. As your style level increases you will learn new teleportation moves to help Vergil stay out of the fray. I think it is also important to point out that Dark Slayer is the ONLY style you can use with Vergil. So while there’s not as much variety to his gameplay, he plows through enemies so quickly you don’t even really need any other styles.
Also Vergil gets a set of his own weapons. He gets all of his weapons from the start of the game, Beowulf, Force Edge, and two exclusive weapons to Vergil. First is his Yamato sword, this is Vergil’s default weapon. Though it’s slower than the Force Edge it is very powerful and has a very long range, it also has a dark element. Second are his summoning swords, Vergil doesn’t use guns so instead his long range weapons are these phantom projectiles. This is his only truly long range weapon , as you upgrade them you can summon more of them at a faster rate. And unlike Dante, though he has three devil-arms you won’t have to choose only two to carry with you. They are always accessible.
Unfortunately as Vergil you play through the exact same levels as you did with Dante and fight all the same bosses including the fight with Virgil (yes you fight yourself not Dante as I’ve read in some reviews). So yes it’s exactly the same thing but minus all of the amazing cut scenes. Playing with Vergil was very fun and really cool but the game got a lot more dull with the absence of all the movies.
Vergil does get two cut scenes of his very own though. Both are prologues, one shows us how him and Arkham met the second is more action oriented and displays Vergils masterful sword skills. This second scene looks something like the Matrix meets Zatoichi if you could imagine such a thing. ^^
Overall a pretty cool extra, I just wish the creators hadn’t made it feel quite so tacked on.

Bloody Palace- Bloody Palace makes it’s return! For those who didn’t play the second DMC game, Bloody Palace is an endurance arena. You slowly fight your way through 9,999 levels of enemies and bosses and cannot use ANY items to heal yourself or continue. So once you die, it’s game over and you must restart from the beginning. Endurance indeed! Though to make it a little easier at the end of each level you have three choices as to how many levels you would like to advance (one, ten, or one hundred). You should know however that the enemies become stronger as you progress, at about level 9,000 all of the enemies will have permanent Devil Trigger. This isn’t just here for bragging rights however, one of the most important features of the Bloody Palace Mode is the ability to keep any red orbs you may pick up in battle and use on the actual game. You also get rewarded a certain amount of red orbs every time you complete a level. This is a very handy feature to get your characters maxed out and makes the actual game a whole lot simpler.

Demo Digest- What I personally think is one of the best new features. The demo digest is a cutscene gallery, once you’ve seen a movie in the actual game it will be unlocked and placed into the gallery for viewing at any time.

Jester- In this edition three new mini-boss battles have been added to the game. Once again this could have been a really cool extra but the creators kind of fudged it up by placing them in the game with no real thought behind it. The Jester battles can be found in an electric portal that will pop up in a level after you’ve viewed a cutscene featuring him. The battles themselves are short and sweet. A pretty cool extra but it could have been handled a lot better.

Very Hard Mode- Yes, they added yet ANOTHER difficulty mode to the game. Sure, why not? You don’t have to complete the Very Hard mode if you don’t want to but if you like a challenge then go for it, you never know what you might find.
Note: Unlock Very Hard mode and Dante Must Die mode by completing Hard.

Gold Orbs- A new continue system. Unlike the yellow orbs, if you die a gold orb will revive you with full health on the spot. Personally I found this very helpful during the Heaven or Hell mode. Wink
Yet another extra that makes your journey just a little more simple.

Turbo- This is probably the most obscure of all the new features. It speeds the gameplay up but not by much. I suppose it’s purpose was to help you get through the game a little faster, though I only found it to be a hassle. After you’ve played the game for awhile you will learn to dodge and counter enemies attacks with the right timing, with this feature on I had to slowly readjust all of my dodges and attacks. Maybe someone out there enjoyed it but I don’t particularly care for it.
Note: You can toggle turbo on or off in the options menu on the title screen. You can not change this setting during gameplay.

Overall
This is a very fast paced action title with a deep battling system. With it’s frantic action and in your face attitude it has definitely made a name for itself among other titles in the genre. With it’s difficulty I must say it seems to be aimed at a more mature and well-versed audience and though the Special Edition is a good deal easier, you shouldn’t run in and expect just another basic hack-n-slash title. The Devil May Cry series has defined itself by not only rewarding you on your battling skills but how cool you look pulling them off. DMC3:SE is an amazing game and will more than likely set your standards for action titles a little higher.

For those who already own DMC3 and aren’t sure whether or not to fork over twenty bucks for this edition; if you’re a big fan of Devil May Cry and playing as Vergil interests you in the least then by all means pick it up. If you’re satisfied with your current version and playing as a new character doesn’t interest you then you should probably pass.

For the people who do not own a copy of either version of this game I recommend you pick up the Special Edition at it’s bargain price. You won’t be disappointed.

~Feather
X Prime 02-15-2006 03:30 AM
You forgot to mention that you can now unlock Super Dante and Super Vergil by beating Very Hard, which is loads easier than Dante Must Die.

Defeat Dante Must Die, and you acquire Super Sparda and Super Nelo Angelo.

Yes, Nelo Angelo from DMC1 is completely playable. Simply DT as Vergil with the costume from Hard or Super Nelo Angelo to use the behemoth, who owns above all things (no really, Super Nelo Angelo almost literally cannot be killed by even DMD Vergil 3, he regens health too fast and his defense is too high.)

Of course, Super Sparda dominates even that because he can use infinite Quicksilver or infinite Doppleganger.
M.S. Feather 02-15-2006 04:15 AM
Thanks for the input X Prime.

I didn’t cover their super forms because it felt kind of spoilerish to me and didn’t seem to have any place in a formal review. That’s why I kind of simply gave the nudge for players to play through Very Hard mode. *pokes*
Plus I had to remove a few things from the review because it exceeded the post length. Sorry guys.

But I agree with what you wrote. So thanks again. Smile
Seihou 09-02-2006 01:00 AM
NOTE! This is my first video game review, so if it's crap, deal with it.

Hmmm, this thread seems to have some dust on it. No matter, this thread is for reviewing games, and review I shall! Today's review is The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask!

The Storyline: To make a long summary short enough, Link is in the middle of searching for Navi, the fairy from the Ocarina of Time. Afterwards, the Skull Kid steals Link's ocarina and Epona and rides into the parallel land of Hyrule, Termina, where he turns Link into a Deku scrub using the strange and mysteriously evil Majora's Mask. Soon discovering that the moon will fall on Termina in three short days, he's gotta scramble to get his shape and ocarina back and awaken four guardians to save Termina.

Graphics: What you'd expect from an N64 game. Looks almost the same as the Ocarina of Time except for some motion blur action and a little bit better graphics. Plus, lots of nice colors all abound. Either way, it feels good and looks like a Zelda game should on the N64. One gripe: When you take the Fierce Deity off, it looks like Link's hands are grasping air instead of the mask. 8/10

Music n' Sounds: Ah yes, the pinnacle of all games, their music and sounds. Majora's Mask does well in this department. You've got all the little jingles and noises and death screams, grunts, and so on in all the right places. The music is cool too. They even brought back the LoZ overworld theme for this game! However, the Great Bay music kinda got on my nerves after awile. But my biggest complaint is the ocarina music. They omitted fully orchastrated tunes after you play them like they had in OoT, which is a big no- no. 7/10

Gameplay: Four expansive corners of the land and a fairly large town to explore make this quite a large game. The battling system is pretty much the same as it was in OoT, which is good.
The feature that stands out though is the ability to turn into three different species of Termina's inhabitants through healing their soul, leaving behind a mask of... well, them. You can morph into three different forms: Deku, Goron, and Zora, each with their own unique abilities. Deku Link can shoot bubbles out of his... snout? and hop on the surface of the water. Goron Link can roll around and become a dangerous weapon or use his fists to pummel many, but not all things living or not. And finally, Zora Link can walk on the bottom of the sea floor, launch his fins like boomerangs and create an electric barrier around himself while underwater. Quite a fun change from the usual sword play. Plus, dogs do different things when you're a different species. 10/10

Replayability: Now, the masks are now a pretty big feature of the game compared to OoT and add greatly to the replayability of this game. Collecting the masks are almost always fun with tons of little side quests that go with them. There's 24 masks in total, but you only need 6 masks to complete the game. And when you get sick of collecting those darn things, there's always Heart Pieces to get after. All in all, lots of replayability all around. 9/10

And the final totalled score is...

35/40

Thank ye and goodnight.
David Ryder 09-02-2006 03:11 AM
Silent Storm
Rating: Mature (although the violence and blood is teen level)
Platform: PC

Ever notice that many games in the Tactical RPG genre lack the key element of strategy? Well not with Silent storm. Strategy, and placement is key to victory. It's developed by Russia's largest game comapny Nival, they also made the excellent Evil Islands. Although it's a WWII game it's pretty tame compared to Medal of Honor i.e MoH uses the Swastika and the old imperial japanese flag, while silent storm the German flag is just the Iron Cross (which is a Military award in Prussia and German) and the Japanese flag is the modern one. It's doesn't bother me that they did keep it 100% authentic, as WWII is a rather sensitive subject.

Story: Nothing great here. You play as either the the Allies (America, Russia, and England) or the Axis (Germany, Italy, and Japan) and play threw 20 missions trying to stop a run of the mill evil organization. So I'd give it a 5/10

Visuals: Eh. Not bad on my PC. But they get the job done. 8/10

Music & Sound: I like the music in this game. It fits the WWII theme well. And contray to what every reviewer said, the voice acting is NOT worse than Evil Islands. It's not the best but it gets the job done. The accents the germans have are also a riot. 8/10

Gameplay: This is where Silent Storm shines. It's been ages since I played a Strategy RPG with actual strategy (any Japanese SRPG really). Battles are carried out in standard SRPG fashion, you and your squad get a turn, then if there are any allied units, they get a turn and will help you out, as you are always outnumbered quite a bit, and finally the enemy gets a turn, then repeat. The use of cover is needed if you want to last in this game, if you run and gun, your dead. You can also blow up walls and ceilings in order to make paths to enemys and better vantage points. Also almost any building, wall, and ceiling can be destoryed, which makes for some exciting battles. Another nice thing about this game is character death is very very lenient, if a character is "killed" they can be carried off the battlefield, in which they will recover. 10/10

Overall: Silent Storm is a master piece of SRPG gaming. And at 10 bucks, it's worth every cent. 10/10
Seihou 09-04-2006 06:16 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, it's time for another review. This time it's the imported version of the original Super Smash Bros. for the N64!

Storyline: No story here. Just pummel your opponents and destroy the Master Hand.

Graphics: Well, considering that SSMB is an N64 game, its mediocre graphics are almost forgiveable. Almost. Compared to Super Mario 64, with the expansive levels and all, SM64's graphics are superior to SSMB. And in 1999, a game like this should've had better graphics. But, they did manage to put in quite a few lively colors into the game, which I enjoyed. 7/10

Music n' Sounds: Now here's where this game stands out. The sounds in the Japanese version are different from the American version, but this is a good thing. The Beam Saber sounds like a lightsabre and makes you feel more powerful when you weild it. And when a blow connects with a character, it produces a comical sounding THWACK! instead of a strange noise I couldn't descipher in the US version. Music is in the right place, with some old tunes from earlier games returning in a mixed form. All in all, everything in this version of the game sounded good; from character voices, to hilarious sounding crowd noises in the background, I loved every minute of it. 10/10

Gameplay: SSMB strays from traditional fighting games by not allowing you to move around 360 degrees around the arena, but rather to let you move around in a manner somewhat reminiscent of Super Mario Bros. But here's another twist; you must get your opponent's damge percentile up high enough to hurl them off the edge and into oblivion. It's a game where anyone can learn the simple controls in less than 5 minutes, and play. And with 12 characters to fight with, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and button combos, it's a refreshing twist on what people perceive as traditional fighting games. 10/10

Replayability: Well, a small treasure trove of hidden things lie in wait in SSMB. Unfortunately, it doesn't take long to get them all. After you've beaten most of the challenges in the game, there's not really much you can do after that, unless you have some friends over. Anyway, not exactly that much replay value, but a blast when friends come over. 6/10

Total score: 33/40
David Ryder 11-14-2006 11:15 AM
Blade Dancer: Linage of Light
Rating: E10+

Blade Dancer is an RPG for the PSP (ZOMG!!111) that has meet with much criticism for it's static characters (you only get four) and Cliche' storyline.

Story: Not much to say, it's typical JRPG stuff. Save the world and stop the big bad evil guy. It's not earth shaking but nor does it claim to be. 6/10

Visuals: Not bad for a PSP game. Nice detail and colors, although some models are a little blocky. 8/10

Music: Not bad. It's got a few catchy pieces of music, although the overly sweet J-pop song is kind of annoying. The voice actting isn't to bad either. 8/10

Replayability: There's plenty of side quests and missions to do, and you might miss a few, so it's got some replay value. 7/10

Overall: Not nearly as bad as people claim it is and it makes a nice addition to anyones PSP library. 29/40