Thursday, December 25, 2008

sorry for the no updates and such

been busy with family and holiday and such. dont worry though you will see new reviews, top 10 list, and a new set called "thoughts on" where I give alittle though paragraph on a game. I'll explain with one of my updates.

happy holidays everyone!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thoughts on Sonic Unleashed

Basically, when fans see a new Mario game, we welcome it with open arms, but when we see a Sonic game, we pretty much try to keep it at arm’s length. Sadly, Sonic was once a huge icon, but is now falling on hard times since they keep experimenting with Sonic, and keep failing. The latest game they have come up with is Sonic Unleashed. This time, Sonic has become as fast as he was during the 16-bit era of video gaming, but with an added twist. During the nighttime, he becomes a were-hog. During the night phase, it turns into more of a plat former game like Legend of Zelda, and then into a ‘run as fast as you can’ game like the old Sonic games. Now, this game kind of reminds me of Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess where Link turns into a wolf during parts of the game. This bugs me in a way since it’s like Sega is copying a Nintendo idea.
Overall, it looks fun and interesting, but I don’t think I want to buy it even if it is good. I think Sega should bring back their old icons like Ristar and Vectorman and put them on the 3D map of gaming.

My final conclusion is that it deserves at least an 8 out of 10 because of their almost complete attempt to bring back the old Sonic.

Thoughts on Left 4 dead

When I buy an Xbox360, this game is going to be one of the first on my list to rent. Yes, I said rent, but there is a very good reason why I’ll rent instead of buying this game. First reason is because of how simple it is. There aren’t massive storylines and 10 different levels, unlike games like Resident Evil and Dead Rising. My second reason is that you can’t play this game alone. The reason behind that statement is because in most games, zombies limp towards you and you can easily just walk past them, but in Left 4 Dead, they run at you like lambs to a slaughter. In this game, you can’t make your own character. Instead, you choose from 4 different characters: an unemployed African- American businessman, a Vietnam veteran, a college girl, and a typical awesome video game action hero. My final reason to rent this game is because the game doesn’t have boss fights or puzzle solving, and relies on the players to mow down hordes of zombies. Another reason why you shouldn’t play this alone is because alone, you could get easily taken down.

So basically, I wouldn’t give this game a perfect score but I would give it about 7 or 8 out of 10, since that’s what zombie games are all about, but I would like some uniqueness like boss fights and such, and to be able to create your own character

Monday, December 8, 2008

I Ninja Review

Ninjas are pretty cool. They have cool weapons, and can shoot fireballs and run up walls, like the Matrix. Counting out the stupid ninjas from Naruto, they are pretty much cool. Though personally, I like pirates. Though we aren’t really talking about pirates here, we are talking about ninjas. Besides Ninja Gaiden and the Shinobi games for the Genesis, there hasn’t really been a good series of ninja games. Though there have been a lot of ninja-like games, for example, I-Ninja for the Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox. I played the Gamecube version, but I think they are basically the same. So, is this ninja as stealthy as he could be? Or is he just as visible as Kanye West’s large ego?

The story is that the main character named Ninja is on a mission to rescue his sensei named Sensei, who has been kidnapped by the evil O-dor. During this process, however, Ninja absorbed the power of a rage stone and goes on a blind rage and accidentally takes out his master by taking off his head. He doesn’t remember this however, and when he wakes up, he goes off on to take revenge to take down O-dor and his evil ninja army. So, yeah, basic ninja revenge story. It’s nothing new, but it’s nothing special. I will explain near the end of this review why I say that.

The game play is in the form of a hack-and-slash plat-forming game, where you control ninja, and go through a couple hub worlds with about 5 or 6 levels each. There are also different missions in each level, and you can go through them again to get that mission done. Your basic form of attack is your katana. You slash and dice up enemy robot ninjas. There are also secondary weapons, like shurikens, blow darts, and a grappling hook. Some of the missions in the game consist of you either rolling a barrel to the end of the level or just getting from point A to point B. Of course, in each hub world there is a boss fight which ranges from taking control of a giant robot to attacking another robot, kind of like the boss fights from Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, to boss fights that look like prototype boss fights for Starfox. The basic goal in each hub world is to get a rage stone and then move onto the next hub world.

The graphics in the game are okay. They get the job done, but they could have done better for each of the consoles it was on. The music is also fitting since it feels like you’re in a cheesy ninja movie. The voice acting is good enough, but it’s just like watching a cheesy ninja movie with bad voice-overs. It’s really hard to say something good about this game, so I’m going to move onto the bad parts of the game.

Like I said above, let’s get into the bad parts, and boy, is there a lot of bad things about it. The missions and game play gets super repetitive. It also gets super boring since you have no cool moves to show off. Ninja just slashes his sword wildly, looking like a ten year old that ate two bags of sugar. You also can’t keep your projectiles, which annoys the heck out of me since you get to keep all your weapons in Ninja Gaiden. The music is cheesy and just downright terrible. From what I can see, they didn’t have a big budget for this game. There is even a cheat code that can make you finish the level without doing anything. It just makes this game ever shorter and more boring. The game as a whole is just terrible. They should have made some modifications to the game, like more weapons, more enemies, more moves, and just a better game overall. Speaking of enemy variety, there isn’t much of one. There are just robot ninjas and that’s it. The biggest gripe I have is that your sword, when it upgrades, doesn’t do anything! It just looks different and that’s it.

All and all, this is just a terrible game. I wouldn’t recommend picking this one up for any reason. I mean, I kind of expected this from the people who made this, Argonaut Games. Admittedly, they did make some good games like King Arthur’s World and Buck Bumble. I would say stay away from this game. No wonder Argonaut Games went out of business. It’s maybe because they can’t make a decent game anymore. At least, Mini Ninjas will be better

This game gets a 3 out of 10.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Retro Saga part 5: Midway Arcade Treasures

Here is yet another compilation of old arcade games, but this time from Midway. Now, I have played only my favorites, and some I have been recommended to play. To my disapointment, some of my favorites became not my favorites very quickly, because of a reason coming from the controller, but I’s too early to talk about that. Now then, let’s get to my favorites from this list.

Smash TV!: this is probally one of the more reconizable arcade games from this collection since a lot of people love this game. You’re basically a contendor in a game of survival, since everything you see is trying to knock you down and beat you silly. Don’t worry. You do get power ups that can make wiping out the goons a lot easier. The only problem I had was with the controls. It was VERY akward to use when you press a different button to shoot in a different direction. The other problem is it’s a VERY hard game. I wouldn’t recommend letting your kids who are short-tempered play this game. Expect to die a lot in this game.

Spy Hunter: this is a total classic because everyone knows about this game. You drive on the highway, taking out police cars and many others, using upgrades that come with your spy car. This is a very simple and fun game. I would recommend playing this first before moving onto the harder ones.

Road Blasters: this is another more reconizable game from this collection, since a lot people also know this game. You drive around shooting other cars and stuff that’s in your way. You do get multiple weapon upgrades but you don’t get to keep them for long, so use them when you can. The only problem I have with this game is that you lose fuel too quickly. Yes, you can pick up fuel orbs to refill your fuel gauge, but it is still very hard to get through the first level without losing fuel at least once.

Rampage: an instant classic, why? Just because it is. You get to pick between three different mutated monsters, and your job is to destory all the buildings on the screen. Now, there will be challenges in this game. Military people will be using any means necessary to kick you off their building. It gets rather annoying when they keep hitting you and you don’t get any defensive moves to block or dodge the stuff they throw at you. Another problem with this game is that you move rather slowly, slower than the sequels on the Nintendo 64 and Wii.

There are many more, but those are my favorites on the disc. The real problem comes from the controls. It’s very difficult to get used to the game’s controls, using either a PS2 or GameCube controller. Whichever one you use, it’s going to be hard to play the games. Basically, it’s a ‘rent first before buying’ to see if you like it.

This whole disc gets a 6 out of 10
Rated E for everyone

Retro Saga part 4; Ristar

It’s kind of sad to see some mascots who had a bright future die off. There were so many that I had high hopes for, like Goemon, the angel guy from Act Raiser, Kid Chameleon, and many more mascots that we all know and loved that are now in the dust. There is one mascot I don’t think a lot of people know about. Well, a lot of new gamers might not know about him, but if you are a retro gamer of any kind, then you might recognize the character known as Ristar. So, is this character as good as he was years back? Or is there a reason he isn’t around anymore?

The plot of the game is that the Valdi system is under control of the evil space pirate, Kaiser Greedy. Before the people of the planets were snatched by his mind control device, they prayed for a hero from the goddess they worship. The goddess then awakens the hero known as Ristar. It is up to him to save the galaxy from the evil grasp of the evil Kaiser Greedy. So, yeah, it isn’t some 5-star plot, but it was a 16-bit game so there doesn’t really need to be a plot that you should care about. The only time you should care about a plot is in games like Odin Sphere or Final Fantasy 10.

The game play is very similar to those like Sonic 3, Super Mario World, or any other 16-bit plat former at the time. It’s no surprise it is like the Sonic games since it was also made by the same people who made the old Sonic games before they started to make horrible games. You basically walk through a linear path where you can use your arms to stretch out and grab things. The only way to attack someone is to use your arms to stretch out and grab someone or something and smash it with your face. You can also use it to pick up items to throw, to trigger some of the traps in the game, like flames coming up from the floor and etc. There are also areas that you need to swim through, which in my opinion, are set up like areas in Rocket Knight Adventures.

The graphics were some of the best for when the 16-bit age was dying down. They look just as good as Sonic 3 and Rocket Knight Adventures, which are supposed to be some of the best Genesis games of all time. The Genesis is really infamous for being poor in the sound department since the Genesis was more of a Graphics console than sound, but I think the sound and music in Ristar isn’t bad. I also like how Ristar does different idle animation on each level, which gives the game some creative factor. In the first Sonic game, he only taps his feet if you don’t play for a while. I also like the whole level design of the game. It’s very fun to see what challenge will be in the next level.

However, I do have some gripes about this game. I feel badly that not a lot of people know about this game. I mean, yeah, a good chunk of the community might know who Ristar is, but the game didn’t sell well due to the Playstation and Nintendo 64 coming out. I don’t quite understand sometimes when developers and publishers release a game that they think will sell well when it’s going to be overlooked by something bigger. Game-wise I don’t like the attack system. While I enjoy grabbing onto things and hitting them with my face, I wish there was like a jump attack or something since other than the face attack, you have no other form of defense. Other than that, there isn’t much wrong with this game.

Overall, this is really a hidden gem on the Genesis game library. I say if you can find a copy of this game in cartridge form or download form then pick it up. I wonder what will happen with Ristar? I say Sega should give Ristar another try even if not a lot of people know about Ristar.

This game gets an 8 out of 10

Retro Saga part 3: Magician Lord Review

SNK has always come out with some classic arcade games, like Metal Slug and King of Fighters, though one thing I haven’t seen them do is a plat-forming game for the arcade. They usually do just beat ‘em ups, shoot ‘em ups, and fighting games. It isn’t a bad thing, but I don’t think I would want to stick to it all the time. One day however, I learned about a game that SNK made, called Magician Lord. So, is this a fun game? Or is this magician all out of tricks?

Basically, there is an evil wizard named Gal Agiese, who is taking over the land, and ruling it with an iron fist. It is up to the last of the magician lords, Elta, to travel across the land and stop all of Gal Agiese’s forces and get the 8 magical tomes to stop him. First of all, I’m surprised that the main hero is a wizard. Usually in games like this, they are usually swordsmen of some kind, so I like how he is a magician and not some buff swordsman with long blonde hair.

The game play is of an arcade side scrolling plat-former where you control Elta and go through multiple dungeons to fight the mini boss and the main boss at the end. Your basic form of attack is a blue energy wave. You can also find power-ups, which can transform Elta into something else. The first one you will find will turn you into a dragon-like warrior that can breath fire. The others include a samurai with a strong attack but low range, a water warrior that can shoot tidal waves, and a ninja that shoots fire balls,, just to name a few of the forms. This game reminds me of Castlevania, since it’s much more of an action plat-former, and not as much on puzzle solving.

Graphics-wise, this game looks amazing, though I am not surprised, since SNK does a great job on making a terrific-looking 2D side-scroller. The design for Elta is really cool looking. It looks like a 16-bit version of the black mage from Final Fantasy. The monsters are also cool looking, and look like they were ripped right from Super Castlevania 4 or something. The music is nice to hear, and it pumps you up when you are getting ready to fight the monsters and bosses inside the dungeon or castle. Overall, it’s just SNK doing their job at making a good-looking video game.

Though this magician is strong, there are a couple rough edges to his talent that I feel like I should address. The difficulty is just mind blowing! I mean it’s so random, like in most areas, you are going to be fine, and then they throw you to some stupidly difficult area, and it just frustrates me. It isn’t fair, and it ruins the pace of the game. You also can’t move and shoot at the same, which bugs me since the enemies can do that while you can’t. You also can’t shoot through the walls, and of course the enemies can. You take too much damage quickly, which sucks, since you can have up to 5 health bars and they can be quickly drained if you’re not careful. Sometimes, the boss fights are just too tedious. For example, the first couple of bosses are hard as heck, and then the next boss is stupidly easy. It’s like they accidentally mixed up the bosses while programming the game. The final gripe I have is with Elta’s pacing. He is too slow, and he feels like a tank. He should be able to run and duck if he has to.

Okay, so this won’t be on someone’s favorite game of all time, but it is a fun game. I would check it out for yourself if you are trying to find NeoGeo games, or you can get it off the Wii’s virtual console, though I would recommend playing it on SNK Classics Volume 1. Let’s just hope they can make a sequel to this game. It should have potential since it seems like SNK won’t stop making King of Fighters games.

This game gets a 7 out of 10.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Super Smash Brothers Brawl Review for the Wii

Fighting games are pretty much the same these days. You have your favorite fighter, like Nightmare or Iori Yagami, you have your long list of moves you have to memorize, and you just beat the person until they cant get up anymore. Things kind of got changed up when Nintendo sent out their newest franchise, Super Smash Brothers. There have been three games in the Smash Brothers series. The one in this review will be the third in the series, Super Smash Brothers Brawl. So, is it starting to get old? Or does it still have what it takes to be awesome?

Well, for plot there isn’t much of one since this is a fighting game. Though this time there is a story mode this time, so I guess I’ll exploit that for the plot. During a tournament where Mario and Kirby were fighting in a match, dark clouds loom over the tournament and an evil organization known as the Subspace Emissary starts invading the land. They want to get rid of every possible challenge that could get in their way, meaning Mario and the gang. It is up to the heroes of Super Smash to stop the Emissary from destroying the universe. So yeah, it is your basic bad guys getting rid of any challenge that gets in their way story, but it gets the job done. Then again we don’t play Super Smash Brothers for the story.

The game play is mostly a four player fighting game where you choose from a huge cast of characters and fight others. The unique thing about this game is that you don’t knock their health down to zero, you instead try to blast them off the stage by hitting them with all your character’s special moves. The cast of characters is huge, consisting of those from most of Nintendo’s franchises like Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, Metroid, and others. New characters have also been introduced like Wario, Pit, Meta Knight, and two third-party characters who are Snake and Sonic the hedgehog. The cast is bigger than ever and I like it! While fighting on the many stages, you can use different items like pokeballs, mines, bombs, baseball bats, and my personal favorite, the assist trophies where you can summon secondary Nintendo characters like Little Mac, Knuckle Joe, and others. If you get bored with all the stages, you can make your own which is a cool feature.

Even though the Wii isn’t a powerhouse, the graphics don’t disappoint. They are maybe some of the best on the system, and I would like to be proven wrong. The music is also a great point in the game, which has redone versions of the classic songs from most of the games. The controls are another high point in the game. They are responsive and the combos are easy to pull off. That’s why I hate games like Street Fighter, where I have to learn a whole list of combos, and I just hate that. I say, make a simple fighting system that everyone can play.

Now, it’s time to talk about the bad parts of the game. In the level creator, you are not as free as you would think and that’s a little bit of a turn-off for me. Another thing I don’t like about the game is Sonic’s appearance. He isn’t a bad fighter, not at all, but his place in the story mode is just stupid. He basically has no plot in the story at all. Then again, maybe Nintendo didn’t give him one since they screwed Mario over in that Olympics game he teamed up with Sonic. Heck, I would be mad since not a lot of people liked the game.

All and all, I can’t say a lot of bad things about this game. It’s a fun game and I would highly recommend buying this game for the Wii. This has to be one of the best fighting series ever. It has characters we all know and love, and it’s just fun to play with four people. Hopefully, we can see a better game in the future, though it’s going to be tough to top such a fun game.

This game gets a 9 out of 10