Thursday, December 24, 2009

Back to Back Batman Christmas Special Part 2: Batman Arkham Asylum for the PS3 Review

Welcome, everyone. Camseyeview speaking, and welcome to part 2 of my back-to-back Batman Christmas Special! Last time we did Lego Batman. While I liked the game as a good license game, it didn’t really make me want to buy it, since I’m not a little kid. However, there is always a back up to a good Batman game. For the second part of my Batman special, I decided to do a game that was nominated by Spike TV as Game of the Year. Introducing the best Batman game of all time, Batman Arkham Asylum.

The story takes place in Gotham one stormy night. Batman has just recently thwarted Joker again, and has taken him to Arkham to be locked up. However, Batman doesn’t like how easily he captured Joker, and decides to follow him into the asylum. Batman is right, because the Joker breaks loose while inside, and takes over the asylum with other baddies. A deeper plot is set into the game, but I will let you all find out yourselves. Rocksteady Studios, which is really only known for one game, Urban Chaos: Riot Response, made this game.

The game play is a mix between stealth, action, and adventure. You control Batman as you go through Arkham Asylum, taking down the Joker’s Grunts, and stopping anyone in your way to find out what the Joker is really up to. The combat system is simple, in which you just do punches and kicks without having to do some combo system, which is a great change of pace from other games like God of War or Devil May Cry. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s nice to see something different. Of course, since you are Batman, you get an array of upgradeable weapons and gadgets to help you take down enemies. The first, of course, is the batarang that can knock down enemies if powered-up enough. You also get the bat claw to tear down weak walls and other areas, a remote-controlled batarang, and explosive gel to take down weak walls and surprise enemies with. Batman has other gadgets to aid him, like a line-launcher to get across wide gaps, a sonic batarang to mislead groups of grunts, a scanner that can overload security systems, and, of course, the bat claw that helps pull down weak walls or 3 enemies down from a floor above you. Since you’re Batman, and not human, you have to deal with ways to not get hit by grunts with stun rods and guns, since you’re not Superman and can get killed easily if hit enough. Batman has a cool counter system, and can stun people with his cape. You can also do an inverted takedown by hanging on a gargoyle and hanging the grunt upside down by a rope. It helps scare the enemies, and catches them off guard. Another big thing in the game is its stealth element, where you do need to be stealthy to get past some challenges and enemies, if you’re not looking for a fight. If you do become a stealthy tactician, it becomes very rewarding. As usual, the grunts aren’t the only thing to watch out for. Joker has freed some of the more dangerous inmates, and when I say dangerous, I mean Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Bane, Killer Croc, Poison Ivy, and Mr. Zsasz, along with some newly-experimented super grunts that act like mini-boss fights or main boss fights. Of course, Joker doesn’t have all the fun since the Riddler doesn’t show himself, but speaks to you, and dares you to find the trophies and solve his riddles.

The graphics and the looks of the game are amazing. It looks extremely awesome, and has a dark gritty comic book style. I like all the designs of the characters. I think one of my favorite designs is Scarecrow. Seriously, he looks like a slasher flick character. The voice acting is also top-notch with Kevin Conroy returning to do the voice of Batman, Alreen Sorkin as Harley Quinn, Steve Blum as Killer Croc, Wally Wingert as the Riddler who is also know as Renji Abarai from Bleach, Dr. O’ Shay, Blue Knight from Astro Boy, and Maximo from the Maximo video game series, Tasia Valenza as Poison Ivy, who is also known as Sniper Wolf in Metal Gear Solid, and Dino Andrade as Scarecrow. The best feature of all is Mark Hamill as the Joker. Now, if you are in the dark for some very odd reason, Mark Hamill is best known as Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars movies. The music score is also very well done. Everything is well executed and it doesn’t feel rushed or sluggish. While not a horror game at first, the game does have some genuinely scary areas, like when Harley releases the more insane prisoners, and when Scarecrow has you in his grasp. There is even a part where the Scarecrow messes with you, making the scene look like a show stopper bug, which is nice since I haven’t seen a game mess with me like that in awhile.

However, there are a few minor gripes I have with the game. First off, I wish there were more villains. I mean, it’s fine with the cast we have, but instead of fighting the same hulk-like grunt a lot of times, why not use Killer Moth or Mr. Freeze? Heck, why not add Firefly? I mean, they do have Scarface and Clayface, even though they do nothing in the game. The upgrade system is also slow, due to only upgrading one thing at a time.

Overall though, I thoroughly enjoyed Batman Arkham Asylum. I think it’s the best-licensed game and the best comic-book-based game of all time. And for once, I truly felt like Batman when I was playing the game. I would say to buy this game if you are looking for a great game. It’s also worth noting that they recently revealed that they are making a sequel to this amazing game. Yeah, I might be overpraising it, but I don’t care. I love this game and I bet you will too.

This game gets a 9.8 out of 10.

Back to Back Batman Christmas Special Part 1: Lego Batman the Video Game for the PS3 Review

Happy Holidays everyone, and welcome to my first Christmas special on my blog. I decided to do something different than doing a Christmas-themed game, since, well, it would probably suck and wouldn’t be worth my time. Instead, I decided to do a back-to-back review of two games of one of my favorite super heroes, Batman. The first game in the review will be Lego Batman the Video Game. Let’s start then shall we?

When I was a young boy, I was mostly interested in Legos. I still have a huge box inside my closet filled with Legos and I still have very fond memories of getting the big Lego sets for Christmas. I was surprised that they decided to make Lego games that are based off of licenses, like Star Wars and Indiana Jones. While I played and beat one of the Lego games, I’m not as big of a fan of Star Wars, and decided to skip the first Indiana Jones game. I then decided to return to the Lego franchise, and rent Lego Batman since I am a fan of Batman.

Instead of following the story of a movie, the people who made this game decided to do three original stories in one game, which is a high point for me, since I don’t feel like playing through Batman Forever. The first story has the Riddler, and a group of villains including Poison Ivy, Mr. Freeze, Two face, and Clay Face who are going to steal the gold from the Gotham City Gold Reserves. The second story has the Penguin as the main antagonist, with his crew of villains consisting of Bane, Killer Croc, Man Bat, and Cat Woman who is going to hold Gotham City Hostage with evil mind-controlled penguins. The third and final story has the main villain, the Joker, with his crew including, Harley Quinn, Scarecrow, Killer Moth, and Mad Hatter, who are going to destroy the cathedral and spread the deadly laughing gas throughout the city. Of course, it is up to Batman to take care of all the villains with the help of his sidekick Robin. Like I said, it’s pretty good that they didn’t go along with the Tim Burton Batman or the current Batman films seen today, since it would have just been redundant, like in Lego Star Wars or Lego Indiana Jones. Lego Batman was made by Traveller Tales, which is known for making the Lego Star Wars and Indiana Jones games, but is also known for games like Haven: Call of the King, a bunch of movie licensed games, and other Lego games.

The game play is of a plat-forming beat ‘em up, where you control Batman and Robin, and go through the three stories, fighting all the bad guys and saving the day. During the levels, Batman and Robin can equip suits to help out with puzzles like gliding, walking up iron walls, breaking glass walls, and many more. The beat ‘em up parts are kind of like the old Batman shows like the one Adam West was in. Of course, with any Lego game, you need to break stuff to make a pile of Lego pieces appear to build things to solve puzzles with. You can also use the batarang to knock people out and break objects open. A cool thing is that after you beat all three chapters with Batman and Robin, you can play through as the bad guys who all have different abilities. For example, Riddler can use mind control, Two Face can use guns, Man Bat can glide, and Bane is super strong. It adds to a total of 30 missions, which is pretty big for a game like this. There is also free play mode where you can play as different characters and get to areas you couldn’t using the two characters you’re stuck with. There also vehicle levels where you can ride unlocked vehicles, and drive in the Bat mobile and Bat jet to name a few.

Graphically I think the game looks good. It won’t stun anyone, like games like Uncharted 2 would, but it’s Lego. What kind of graphics are you looking for? The music is also very well done with tunes sounding like they’re from the 90’s Batman cartoon or the Tim Burton film. The humor is very funny, and there are some parts where you can’t help but laugh at times. This game is also aimed towards kids since it’s a pretty easy game that won’t take much time to beat and it doesn’t really bring anything too challenging to the table for hardcore gamers, but for a game with the Lego licenses’ it doesn’t really need to be ridiculously hard like Demon’s Soul.

Now it’s time to talk about the bad parts. To me, the game can get a little boring, since it seems like you do the same thing in this game as you do with the other Lego games. All I’m saying is that the game mechanics they have been using for their past games seem to be getting old, and they don’t fix the issues with the game engine either. It’s kind of annoying because of that. The levels, while interesting, seem to get a little repetitive during the game since it seems like you’re doing the same thing over and over again, but that’s only with the first part of the game where you play as Batman and Robin. The pacing can be good at times, but it can be halted a lot due to annoyingly re-spawned enemies that stop you from solving a puzzle or getting further in the game. This game is fun alone, but it’s more of a two-player game like Goof Troop, Left 4 Dead, and Little Big Planet. If you do play this alone, it gets tedious when you need to be a specific character and have a specific suit, and then never play as him again through the level. The outfits are also a big issue due to the fact that you need to keep finding pads with Batman or Robin’s symbol on them to use them for one puzzle. It kind of makes you want a menu of the items you collect so you don’t need to wear that one outfit you solved one puzzle with. The game engine is also a huge fault since they make plat forming very awkward. The camera sticks in one area, platforms are slippery and I tend to fall off them, and it just doesn’t look as good as it did the first time it came out to the public.

Even with its flaws and the Lego game formula on its last breath, this is the best out of the bunch, due to its variety of characters, puzzles, and charm. I would say if you have kids, they would love this game, but for the hardcore Batman fans, I would say check it out before you buy it.

This game gets an 8.3 out of 10.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

God of War for the PS2 review

God of War 2 has to be one of my favorite games of all time. All the weapons, enemies, boss fights, and plat-forming sections make it a classic, but it bothered me that I had not played the first God of War game, so that time is now that I play and review this hallmark classic for the Playstation 2. However, how much of a classic is this game? Let’s dig into the Greek mythology and find out how deep we can get into this game.

God of War takes place before God of War 2, of course. This is when Kratos is still working for the gods. Kratos is sent through the ocean to take care of a problem that is caused by the hydra. After killing the hydra, Kratos is told to go to Athens to stop Ares, the god of war. Kratos learns that the only way to destroy Ares and stop the horrendous memories of his past of appearing in his head, is to find Pandora’s box. So, Kratos is set off on an adventure to find Pandora’s box and stop Ares from his reign of chaos over Athens. Krato’s past is seen through multiple flashbacks during the game, so I won’t say how he became a violent psycho-path who is hell-bent on killing Ares.

The gameplay is of an epic hack-and-slash adventure game where you control the violent warrior Kratos as you drag him through huge levels, solving puzzles and beating down on enemies and giant monsters. You use one of the coolest weapons ever made, the Blades of Chaos. During the game, you find multiple magic attacks like lighting, Medusa’s gaze, and even summoning an army of soldiers from Hades. This game also introduced to the mass media quick-time events where you press a button at the right time and watch a cool little death scene. You also gain red orbs to upgrade all your weapons and magic powers to make them stronger and gain newer attacks.

Graphically, it looks great even by today’s standards. Well, both God of War and God of War 2 did show off that the Playstation 2 could do more than a lot of games that seem to have experimented with the processing power of the Playstation 2. The music is solid and very fun to listen to. The music was composed by Mike Reagan, who also did the soundtrack for the 2007 Conan game, Darkwatch, Twisted Metal Black, Brute Force, and Rise of Kasai, to name a few of his work. The voice work is also solid with Terrence C. Carson who is famous for works like Mace Windu in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon, and Malcolm from Unreal Tournament 3. I also like the whole Greek mythology theme still, and it holds up pretty well. The whole story is told through the game very well.

Even though I adore the God of War series, there are a couple things that don’t age well with this one. These are the reasons that held this game back from being a ‘triple A’ title, but still a ‘double A’ title, if that even exists. In this game, you do A LOT of puzzle solving, and it just makes the game boring and move at a sluggish pace. It grinds the game to a halt when you have to do more puzzle-solving than decapitating harpies and Minotaurs. The enemy variety is also very boring, since you fight the same thing every time. The changes are only in appearance, and it makes me think of multiple things Kratos could kill, instead of just zombies, harpies, Minotaurs, medusas, and cyclops. Another issue I have with this game is that it can be pretty tedious, due to an annoying difficulty setting even on the easiest setting. What I mean by this is, that you lose magic too easily and too quickly. Upgrading your weapons and magic are also a chore. It just takes forever to upgrade your attacks, and it doesn’t seem worth it. I am really glad God of War 2 is the better of the two home console God of War games out right now because it just made everything better.

However, I think God of War is still a great game and is highly recommended to people looking to put great games in their PS2 collection. It might not be my favorite, but it is still a very good game and ages pretty well, even with its flaws. This is just making me more excited for the upcoming God of War 3 that is coming out in 2010. This game might be on its last legs as a franchise, but it will go out with a bang.

This game gets an 8.9 out of 10.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Silpheed: The Lost Planet for the PS2 review

To be honest, the 2-d shooter genre is a good series of games, but the genre isn’t my favorite. The last one I played, Gradius 5 was a good game, but I wouldn’t play it again. That game kind of pushed me away from the genre, and made me not want to play games in that genre for a while. That time is over now, and I decided to pick a different shooter in the same genre. The shooter I’m going to talk about is Silpheed: The Lost Planet. How do I feel about this one? Let’s find out.

The game is actually an enhanced remake of Silpheed, which was on the Sega CD and PC. The main story is nothing to write home about, but it’s a little bit deeper than most shooters. It’s been about more than 5 centuries since humans have ventured into space and they have taken over a planet known as Solont, which is the 11th planet the humans have colonized. This peace has been disturbed by an unknown alien force that comes from the darkest corner of the universe, and has threatened the humans on Solont. It is up to the Silpheed Squadron to stop this alien force and save the people and the planet. Yeah, it’s nothing special if you’re a fan of stuff like R-Type or Robotech, but it’s better and more clear then a lot of games in this genre of game.

Silpheed: The Lost Planet was actually developed by two companies, the first is Treasure, which you all already know about from my past reviews, and the other is Game Arts. Now Game Arts is known for the Silpheed, GunGriffon, and Grandia franchise. And in the future, I’m going to review a GunGriffon game, so we will be exploring this company a little bit in the future.

The game play style is in a top view 2.5D shooter where you control the elite fighter, Silpheed. The cool thing about this ship is that you can equip one weapon on each side of the ship, giving you two weapons you can carry at once. This ship also has a good ten-hit health meter, which is a relief since I’m kind of tired of seeing shooters where one hit can kill you. You basically go through each long level, fending off against unique looking alien ships, and basically fighting a huge boss at the end of the level. A unique thing is that if you’re damaged, or want to change weapons, about halfway through each level, you can refuel your ship and change weapons just in case the ones that you have won’t do for the next boss encounter, which is pretty smart since if you couldn’t refuel and change your weapons, this game would almost be unplayable. One thing is though, if you get hit 10 times or 5, if you choose the harder difficulty, you die and have to start all over again at the beginning of the level. Now,some people could complain saying that’s unfair, but it kind of cancels itself out since you do have a health meter and you can change weapons halfway through the level.

Graphically, it’s about as good as Raiden 3 and 4. It won’t blow your mind, but it holds up. The cut scenes however are just amazing to look at. They definitely took their time with the cut scenes, which are plentiful and well done for a game that’s almost a decade old. The music is also fun to listen to if you’re a fan of Robotech or just a fan of shooters. The difficulty is partly in the middle since you do have a health bar and two weapons, but it can get difficult at the third level, which is where I was when I was typing this review.

Let’s get down to the bad parts now. Even though I said it was a fair challenge since you get a health bar and two guns, starting at the level again if you die is a little tedious since you have to go through the whole level again, and it’s always a little different, like sometimes, I have the right weapon or sometimes I have little health. If this game would let you start in the middle, then I think it would have been more successful. I’m not saying I don’t like a challenge, but it gets boring since you can’t save your progress, much like in Starfox and you have to start at the very first level. It gets kind of boring.

Overall, I think this is one of the better shooters of today, well, I think it’s better than Gradius 5, in my opinion. I would say, check this game out before buying, but if you are a shooter fan then I say pick it up.

This game gets a 7.7 out of 10

Haven: Call of the King for the PS2 review

There are a lot of PS2 games out today, and I mean A LOT of them. For example, has anyone heard of Sky Gunner? How about Sub Rebellion or Gungriffin Blaze? I think most games could be unheard of due to them, well, being a piece of crap, like Virtual on Marz or Rygar. There are, however, some below-average games that are somewhat worthy to check out, like Haven: Call of the King for the Playstation 2. This is an odd game, but I will explain in this review my personal opinion of why this game was overlooked

The story of Haven is set on a world that is ruled by an evil tyrant known as Lord Vetch. On one of the planets known as Ferra, there is a slave on the planet who says he is hearing a voice. Vetch, of course, thinks it’s the “chosen one” and needs to find out who that person is. The person in question is known as Haven, a slave on Ferra, who keeps having the dreams of the voice, and sets off to find out who he is and what the voice means.

The game play featured here takes a lot of different elements. There is action, plat forming, vehicle riding, and puzzle solving all in one package. Your main form of attack is this small yo-yo-like weapon that has a short attack range, but can kill anything with a hit. You can also gain an energy weapon, and shoot different kinds of lasers, like ones that can ricochet, for example. In some levels, you will need to pilot a car-like dune buggy to get cogs to open a gate, and in some levels, you will need to pilot a turret gun and defend a ship or a train. You can also pilot an aircraft fighter, like in Ratchet and Clank. You can use a shield that can protect you from damage, but will deplete your shield energy if you get hit. You can also use that same energy to power-up gadgets that can do different things, like roll around in a defense ball, use it as a grind rail, make a glass shield and other things, which is cool since it gives the game variety. You can break open pots to find energy and these weird egg-things. You can also use the shield to do a ground-pound-like attack to break open specific jars that can’t be destroyed by your yo-yo-like weapon thing.

The game’s graphics look a bit like the first Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank games, so don’t get your hopes up about them, though I will say I like some of the character designs in the game since they remind me of something Tim Burton or Jim Henson would make for a Dark Crystal sequel or something. The voice work can be a little overdone or just undercooked, but I do the like the voice of the villains, which for some reason, always have a great voice actor for them. Another saving grace this game has is its epic music score. The music in the game is just amazing and it sounds like something from God of War or Conan, so this game gets a few extra points for the epic music score.

Sadly, though, this is where this game fails on so many levels. First off, the overall pacing of the game is just so dragged out and boring that I couldn’t even get past the second planet in the game. The levels and missions get very repetitious, and the pacing for each mission is just boring. The combat in the game is just as lousy as it was in the first Jak and Daxter game, only giving you a short-range weapon and no deep combat system. In fact, this game is VERY similar to Jak and Daxter, and Ratchet and Clank when they both started out. This is one of those games where it had a good budget and big hype, but sold horribly, but there is a reasonable explanation for all this. This game came out in 2002 when Ratchet and Clank was coming out, along with other games like Super Mario Sunshine, Sly Cooper, Kingdom Hearts, and Metroid Prime were coming out. So, I can see why it sold horribly due to how many big name titles were coming out. The other reason why it failed was due to its copy-and-paste plat forming and fighting from the first Jak and Daxter game. The cover art, while nice, doesn’t hide that the main character doesn’t look like the picture of him on the box. Why is that? He looks like an awesome guy on the cover, but in the game, he looks look like one of those wishing troll dolls you would get as a kid. And one final thing of why this is a poorly made clone of Jak and Daxter is that it’s so awkward to drive the vehicles in the game. I mean, let’s look at other games like Vigilante 8 Second Offense or Heavy Metal. You can control those vehicles and not one a bit of an issue with it would come up, but in Haven, the driving and flying mechanics are just clumsy and awkward, and some of the decisions, like energy weapons that drain energy, and just the whole energy-drain thing is just annoying, and I just can’t stand how some people didn’t fix that or just not implement it at all.

Haven: Call of the King is an interesting game, but ultimately forgettable. Yeah, it has great music and a villain, who sounds like a villain, but everything is just poorly made and it just ran off of the popularity that Jak and Daxter had. I would recommend checking it out, but if you see it at a store and are desperate to find this game for your collection, then I would say pick it up. I know Traveller Tales wanted to make this a series, but due to its poor sales and poor decisions, I can see why they moved onto the Lego games. Trust me, it worked really hard for this score I am about to give it.

This game gets a 4 out of 10

Assassin's Creed 2 for the PS3 review

Personally, I enjoyed playing Assassin’s Creed on the PS3. It was a fun and innovative game for its genre. I know a lot of people thought it was nothing special, but I think they’re wrong. I think it stands as one of the best 360, PS3, and PC games ever made, though that will have to change, sadly, with the franchise’s sequel on the big consoles, Assassin’s Creed 2 for the PS3, 360, and PC. So, how does this sequel surpass the last one? Let’s find out, then.

The story basically picks up from where Assassin’s Creed left off, where the main guy, Desmond, escapes with Lucy, who was the doctor’s assistant in the last game. Before escaping, however, they strap Desmond into the Animus again, and find out that he had another ancestor in Italy a couple of hundred years after Altair’s existence. They escape getting caught, meet up with two of Lucy’s friends, and decide to explore this new ancestor in Italy. The game then moves to the main assassin, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, a young punk of a guy whose personality kind of reminds me of characters like Jack Sparrow or the Prince of Persia. One day, his father and two brothers get captured, falsely accused of some crime, and get hung by the templars. Ezio escapes his hometown of Florence with his sister and mother, and stay in the Turkish countryside. Now it is up to Ezio to find out who is behind all this and find out his destiny. It’s a good story, but I will explain what I don’t like about it further in the review.

The game play is basically similar to the last game, but with any sequel there are new things to play around with. You basically have your wrist-blade, sword, and knife, but now you get new equipment. Each time you help people out, or find codex pages, you can take them to your friend, Leonardo Da Vinci, and he will upgrade your wrist weapon to where you can wield two of them, have them filled with poison, and can use them like sniper rifles, which is my favorite way of taking guards out. You also get throwing knives and smoke bombs. Ezio has to carry around medicine so you can heal him, since you can’t auto-generate all your health. In one part of the game, you get to use one of Da Vinci’s inventions, which I think is a cool cameo of what one of his inventions could do. Another interesting addition is the new ways to assassinate people without having to sneak up behind them or fight them. You can kill them by hiding in a pile of hay, hanging over a ledge, or jumping on top of them. Since you also have two wrist-blades, you can stand between two guards and kill them both at once. My favorite power-up, like I said, is the gun, since if a guard or thief is running away, you can just stand still, aim, and shoot. Even if they are, like, 100 feet away, it still gets the target. Another thing players can do is find these seals that can unlock Altair’s armor, which looks nothing like the armor in the last game…oh well. If you don’t, though, you can always buy armor upgrades since they give you more health. However, if you do buy armor upgrades, get ready to go to the blacksmith often when your armor breaks, since you have to go repair it. The rpg element is basically shopping for items like weapons, pouches, ammunition, medicine, paintings, and the list goes on. You can buy a lot of stuff, but I recommend finding the seals to unlock Altair’s armor since the armor doesn’t break. You also get to run the villa you stay in. You can upgrade the buildings in the city and that will get you more money, since more people will stay in the villa, which raises the taxes, which in return, means you get more money. You can also hire a group of people to distract or fight guards, like prostitutes, thieves, and freedom fighters. You can travel by horse, but it’s quicker to teleport to each place if you’re traveling from whatever city you’re in, back to the villa for money, weapons, etc. You can also travel by swimming or by using a gondola, since it can take a while to get to places in the bigger cities like Venice on foot. There are also more side missions than the last game, so it doesn’t get so repetitious. I know a lot of people say that the fighting in both games is really lame, but I find it fits the game since you’re not some brute knight, but an assassin, and you always need to know when to strike.

Graphically, the game is impressive. It is still amazing, standing on the tallest building and looking around, watching all the people move below you. I bet that during the game-testing phase, the game kept crashing or a lot of bugs appeared. The music is also very well done since it was composed by Jesper Kyde, who did music for games like Unreal Tournament 3, Freedom Fighters, Robotech Invasion, Kane and Lynch, and the Hitman series. I also think the voice work is well done, but sometimes the lines can be a little cheesy and will make you roll your eyes.

Now, it’s time to find the bad parts that make this game not a ‘triple A’ title. First off. I do like the story in the game, but it seems to drag on a little, and near the end, you just want to be done with it. The graphics are nice, but up close they just look ugly and not well-polished. The hair on people looks like they would be on a PS2 not a PS3 or 360. Even though I enjoyed getting Altair’s armor, it’s really a chore getting through the areas that keep the seals, and since no one made a gamefaqs or complete walkthrough, it was kind of annoying not knowing what I had to do or what I needed to do. The game also doesn’t have much replay value, since when you’re done getting the best weapons and the best armor, there isn’t much left to do except this one thing where you need to find statues to unlock chests in the villa. Then again, who would want to start over again at the beginning of an extremely long game? I wouldn’t. I also didn’t enjoy the racing segments, since it’s been like a few months since I played the first Assassin’s Creed and wasn’t in my “assassin mode” yet. They just frustrate the hell out of me since you need to be exact on where you run or land, since one screw-up would make you lose the race.

Overall, though, I did enjoy this game, and it stands as one of the best games of this generation. I would recommend checking it out. However, I say rent it before buying it to see if you would play it over and over again. This is a great new series, and I hope they do a third Creed since some rumors are going around it will take place in Japan. So, basically, rent this game and check it out for yourself.

This game gets a 9 out of 10

Saturday, December 5, 2009

taking a small break

Don't get me wrong I will post a few reviews on here with a special back to back Christmas special on two new licensed games

but i will mostly be retyping most of my reviews and im almost done, but i got alot to do so yeah

and i will be giving a special shout out to someone who gave me a shout out.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Punch Out!! for the Wii Review

There are a lot of retro games these days that are getting a face-lift, and are introduced to the new generation of gaming. These include Bionic Commando, A Boy and his Blob, Rygar, Contra, and the list goes on. While most of the retro games that are getting a face-lift might suck, like Rygar, there was always one franchise I wanted to see get a face-lift. This franchise is known as Punch Out. A few months back, they released a new game in the franchise for the Wii, and after waiting for a while, I finally got to play it. So, is this game worth your time? Or does this game need a few more minutes in the gym?

The story is basically just like how it played back in the days of the Nintendo and Super Nintendo days. You play as the underdog character, Little Mac, as you train to the max to fight the current champion. However, to get to that fight, you must battle against 13 fighters who are in your way to stop you from getting that belt. So yeah, the dramatic element of story is missing here, but with a game like this, does there really need to be a story? Before I move on, I would like to say that this game was made by Next Level games, which made the Mario Slugger series. Other than that, there isn’t much to say about the company.

The game play is kind of hard to describe. It’s a boxing game, but it isn’t based on realistic fighting which really works, since the whole look of the game is, well, cartoonish. The themes of the game are as listed, memorization and timing. Each boxer has a specific fighting pattern, and you must learn the specific fighter’s pattern and then land a couple blows. You can also gain stars if you hit the boxer a certain way, or when they are doing something like knocking the soda bottle out of Popinski’s hand, or punching the boxer when they weren’t prepared. If you hold down the A button while throwing a punch, you can do a super punch and cause more damage, depending on how many stars you have. There is also a heart meter that keeps Little Mac active. If the heart meter runs out he gets tired and can only refill it if he dodges the opponent’s punch. There are two different control schemes you can use in the game. You can either use the Wii-mote and nunchuk, or hold the Wii-mote sideways like an NES controller, like with the old Punch Out games. You can use the motion board from the Wii fit game, but I don’t count it as a control scheme since it’s silly to dodge moves with a board. You can play through the career mode where you tackle all the contenders to win the battle. After you beat that mod, you will go through title defense, where you fight all the boxers again, but they will either be stronger. or need another strategy to take them down. The final mode is where if you lose 3 times, you lose the title belt and that profile is locked.

Graphically, I like the look of the game. Just like Madworld, you can show off a game’s look with a unique art style. It always seems like, today, people want to see super uber graphics, but to be honest, I rather play Punch Out!! or Super Paper Mario over Halo 3 ODST, or any other game sporting uber graphics. The characters are just awesome. We finally get to see a little more of the characters’ traits and personalities through a series first, voice acting. Everyone does their each respective boxer just perfect, though they do speak in their native language, which begs for captions or subtitles. I also like the music of the game since every boxer has his own theme music. I personally love the theme song to the whole game. It’s maybe one of the only few songs that is always stuck in my head. The game’s difficulty is just right. It doesn’t really need to be placed as easy medium or hard. It’s also worth noting that the hit detection is perfect, and if you lose, you can’t blame anyone, but your own self.

Let’s put on some boxing gloves and spar with the bad parts of the game. First off, is that the entire roster of characters is only 14, and it just puzzles me since this is the first Punch Out game we have ever seen in about 15 or so years. It’s kind of annoying. Even though there is a multiplayer mode, I would like to see more stuff besides a tug of war between two Little Macs. I mean, if we have 14 or so characters, I would kill to play as Great Tiger or Piston Hondo. This game would also benefit from online playability, along with playing with other boxers.

All and all, this is a great game for the Wii. I would recommend buying this game along with other good third party Wii games like Madworld, or A Boy and his Blob. I’m also excited since Next Level is interested in making a sequel. There is also that special Wiiware Doc Louis Punch Out!!, which looks cool. Overall I say give this game a try and see if you like it.

This game gets an 8.5 out of 10

Prototype for the PS3 and Xbox360 Review

Let’s see here…I have reviewed a couple of games based off of super heroes, like The Darkness, which rocked a lot of awesomeness, even though it was a small package. I have also done bad ones, like Superman Shadow of the Apokolips, which sucked like heck! However, what happens when you take a game that was based off a comic book that wasn’t released yet? Well, the child of that question is Prototype. Let’s see if this prototype is actually complete, or if it still is a prototype…sorry for the bad joke.

It would suck to lose your memory of who you are. It would suck more if you were Alex Mercer who was killed, then brought back to life and has no memory of who he is or what has happened. While all this is happening however, a deadly virus has been put into the city of Manhattan, and it is up to Alex who has powers from the virus to stop the virus, and find out what is going on, and who is behind the whole fiasco and save Manhattan.

Prototype was developed by Radical Entertainment, which made one of the best comic book games ever, The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction. They also made other games like Simpsons Hit and Run, Jackie Chan Stunt Master, and the overly documented crud fest, Mario is Missing! However, that was made in 1992 and the other games I listed were made in the 2000’s.

The game play is a sandbox action game where you control Alex Mercer as you take on the military and the infected people of Manhattan. This game does borrow from a few elements of Hulk Ultimate Destruction, by making Manhattan a sandbox environment, meaning the game doesn’t march by a linear drumbeat. This means you can cause massive carnage, and then head to your next mission. Alex has a pretty good array of powers. He can morph his hands into claws, giant gauntlet-like fists, a whip, and a blade-like weapon. He also has other abilities, like morphing his arm into a shield, and having a somewhat heat sensor in his body, so he could find out who is infected but physically don’t show it. There are some intense enemies, like the hunters who can follow you unlike normal soldiers, which means the game keeps you on your feet and keep you moving. There are also super soldiers later in the game that can do the same thing, which is annoying somewhat, since when I’m low on health, I don’t feel like fighting and just healing, but then three super soldiers or whatever appear, and I have to keep moving until they don’t give a hoot. You can also hijack tanks and helicopters, but I never found a good time or the right move to hijack a copter, unless I was using an un-piloted one that was on the ground. In most parts of the game, you are there to absorb people who are behind the whole virus, and you gain their memories to see what they knew. You can also absorb people and enemies to regain health.

Graphically, this game does look great. The graphics are well detailed, and when you’re using Alex’s powers, it just looks awesome. It’s really amazing to see how many npc’s can be on screen without the game slowing down or freezing, which is shocking since some games slow down when the action on screen gets too crazy. I like how the hunter enemies look like the lickers from Resident Evil, and how the infected citizens look like zombies you would see in Left 4 Dead. The music also fits the action on screen, like when you are spotted and you’re trying to run away, or when you’re fighting a boss. The voice acting is pretty decent. I mean, you do get some of the lame acting from these kinds of games, but it gets the job done. The game is also nice and bloody, unlike Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2. You get to see limbs fly off and blood fly everywhere, which is just awesome.

Now, it’s time to morph and hunt down the bad parts of the games. The controls are pretty good throughout most of the game, but some of the moves that you have to pull off are just insane. I don’t even use them all, and just stick to a few combos or just button mash. Heck, an even bigger problem is that it’s hard to read the text because it’s red on dark red so it’s really awkward to see what they say to do for a mission or combo. It’s just like Dead Rising, where it’s hard as heck to read the text on screen unless you have a HD television. The characters should have been given more emotions, because it seems like every single character has a motionless face slapped right onto them. I can understand that it’s supposed to be one of those dark-themed comic books, but I know they have more emotions. I feel like near the end of the game, it kind of drags on a little, and I just felt like it overstayed its welcome just a tiny bit. The ending is pretty standard for these kind of video games. Alex gets blown to bits, but is saved by a crow that he absorbs to regenerate his body, and he is still trying to taking down the virus, but I think that should have been left for the sequel. Instead, we are still offered to take down the rest of the virus in the city to gain extras. This game can get a little stressful, since you’re on no one’s side, and you can be constantly attacked, which means you really have no time to rest and catch your breath. I just feel like they should have just given us some time to rest and such. The biggest problem I have overall with this game is how much memory the game needs to play it. I had to delete a good chunk of game memory from my Playstation 3 just to play this single game. What a freaking hog!

Overall, Prototype is a pretty good game, and I had a lot of fun playing it. I would recommend playing it and giving it a try. I wouldn’t say buy it just yet, since it takes up so much memory just to play the game. Now, there has been some talk since this game came out a little bit after Sucker Punch’s Infamous. I guess I will have to try that game to see which is the better of free roaming action.

This game gets an 8.2 out of 10.

Ratchet and Clank series part 1: Ratchet and Clank

Now that Ratchet and Clank Future: a Crack in Time is out, I decided to do another series of reviews based on a franchise like I am doing with the Overlord franchise. The second one I will be doing is the Ratchet and Clank series, which is one of the most popular Playstation franchises. Let’s start with the first game, shall we?

For the first game, the story starts out with Ratchet, a humanoid Lombax, repairing a ship he is working on one day, when he sees another ship crash onto his planet. He finds a small robot in the wreckage named Clank. Together, they discover that an evil villain named Chairman Drek is trying to make a new planet out of parts from other planets for his people to live on. It is up to find them to stop his plans of destroying the universe.

Ratchet and Clank is a basic run-and-gun plat-former, where you go through multiple planets, blowing up enemies and solving some minor puzzles. Your basic form of attack at the beginning is Ratchet’s wrench. Throughout the game, you get a huge variety of weapons, like the bomb glove, the blaster, a rocket launcher, and multiple others that you will have to find throughout the game. The one thing I can tell you, though, is that they are fun to use. You also get cool little gadgets, like the trespasser or the grappling hook to solve puzzles. Your wrench can also turn bolts into the ground that can make platforms rise and lower, depending on which level you are on. You also get multiple side quests to get more gadgets and weapons, which is cool, meaning you’re given a lot to do in one game, which is nice.

Graphically, the game is impressive, since Insomniac, which is known for their Resistance franchise and the first three Spyro plat-formers, made this game. The voice acting is pretty good also, with people like Mikey Kelly Kelley, who did the voice of Blade Master Alastor from Viewtiful Joe, doing the voice for Ratchet, David Kaye, who is known for his voice acting as Sesshomaru from Inuyasha, doing the voice for Clank, and Jim Ward as Captain Quark. I think one of my favorite voice actors has to be the one for Chairman Drek, who is voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, who is known for his roles as Black Manta and B’Wana Beast from Batman The Brave and the Bold, Omega Supreme from Transformers Animated, Tartarus from Halo 2, Joker from The Batman, and Cleveland Junior from The Cleveland Show. The script for most of the cast is very good, the music is also good, and the controls are spot-on.

However, there are some things about this game I don’t like that much. The characters of Ratchet and Clank, at least for this game, are just not that likeable. Ratchet is that stereotypical teen that wants nothing more than fun and excitement, and Clank is the intelligent and snobbish robot. You just don’t grow attached to them, which makes Jak and Daxter more likeable then the two main heroes in this game. The plot isn’t that well put-together, and you really don’t need to turn your brain on through most of the game. Everything becomes too predictable and it just gets boring. The camera is also a horrible issue during boss fights, since it focuses more on the boss than on the main character. I hate having to buy all my weapons, since when you get the currency for the weapons, you end up spending it for ammo for your other weapons, and it seems like you just don’t get enough of them. Even though you get a lot to do, it’s just tedious going from one planet to another, just to do one thing. Why can’t I just do all the missions on that one planet so I don’t have to go back and forward to do some quest to get a certain item I might not even use?!

Overall, it’s a good game, but it hasn’t aged well. If I had played it back in 2002, I bet I would have liked it better, but seeing it now, compared to other games of its genre, like Gungrave or the later Jak and Daxter games, they could have done better. I do recommend checking it out, but I think I need to check out the other games in the series. So, this concludes the first part of the Ratchet and Clank series of reviews. Stay tuned for more of these and other reviews on my blog.

This game gets a 7.8 out of 10

One Piece Unlimited Adventure for the Wii Review

I remember in my Zack and Wiki review saying I love pirates. I also mentioned another good pirate game in the form of the famous anime, One Piece. Along with pirates, I also love the anime One Piece. All the characters, powers, villains, and just the whole world of One Piece is just insane. Of course, with any popular show, they have a game made for it even if the game itself is just horrible. In my opinion, however, I think this certain One Piece game is better then the rest of the One Piece games released to the world. This game is called One Piece Unlimited Adventures. Let’s get some shovels, and dig into this pirate treasure shall we?

The whole plot of the game is basically following the events of the Japanese dub version of One Piece, so if you don’t follow the Japanese version with fan-made English subtitles, then I would recommend not reading this review until you get all caught up and such. It follows the Straw Hat pirates who are led by Monkey D. Luffy as they sail on their new ship the Thousand Sunny, which was made by their new crewmate, the steam punkesque Franky. While fishing for food one day, Luffy hooks something in the water, and accidentally pulls up an ocean-blue orb, because he and two other crewmates have eaten all the food in an eating contest. Sadly, no one is interested in the jewel Luffy found until Luffy launches himself into the air to see if there is an island to land and restock. After launching himself in the air however, the jewel finally reacts, and a strange island appears out of the ocean and causes the whole ship to go nutty and everyone tossed off and separated on the island. It is up to Luffy to find his friends and find out what the heck is going on.

The game play is in the form of a huge action adventure game, where you control each of the 8 Straw Hat Pirates to find out the mystery of the jewel and the island. Each pirate has his own special moves and special abilities, like Luffy’s body is made of rubber from a cursed fruit he ate, Zoro uses a 3-sword fighting style, Sanji has powerful leg attacks, and etc. You will only know what they do if you watch the show. If you haven’t seen the show however, I say look up the separate characters and find out what they are, so you aren’t caught blindsided with a character. There is also some rpg elements, like finding multiple items to open up a new area, making new weapons, leveling up, learning new moves, and other stuff like fishing and bug catching. The fishing and bug catching however sound like it’s supposed to be in the Harvest Moon franchise…but whatever.

Graphically, it’s very impressive. I like the whole look and design of the One Piece universe. The whole cel shade art style works very well, and the animation on the characters looks nice. The boss fights are also cool since you fight most of the One Piece villains from the past and even some that haven’t been shown in the American-dubbed version of the show. The music is also colorful and fun to listen to. The voice acting is also very good. My guess is that they got the team from the Funmation version of One Piece, which was a great idea since the 4KIDS version just sucked.

Let’s talk about the bad parts of this pirate story. The story itself is interesting, but ultimately forgettable. When I was typing this, I had to remember what happened in the story, since I forgot about 85% of it. The enemy variety is very annoying and repetitive. In the whole universe of the show, there are multiple varieties of enemies and they should have used more bad-guy variety. The only variety comes from the bosses and the main heroes. Now, a lot of people complain that the backtracking is a little much, but I think they need to shut it! How many games have you seen where you need to backtrack? You backtrack in Castlevania. You backtrack in the dungeons in Legend of Zelda. What I’m trying to say is that backtracking can be an issue, but I think it isn’t that bad in the game. I would say though that they could have used a teleporter so you don’t have to use all the energy in the running bar. Other than that, I don’t really think the backtracking is that bad.

Overall, it isn’t the best thing on the Wii, but I think it is a fun game. If you are a fan of the show or like good anime games, then I say, pick this one up. If you aren’t a fan of the show however, I would say that renting it might give you a good entertaining weekend. Let’s just hope that the new One Piece games coming for the Wii are going to be better, but just as awesome as this one.

This game gets a 7.7 out of 10

Handheld Adventures Part 5: Advance Guardian Heroes for the Gameboy Advance Review

Treasure, Treasure, and more Treasure. It seems like I have been talking about the company Treasure for some time now, with Wario World and Astroboy Omega Factor. I admit, though, they do have a couple of bad games, but which company doesn’t? This game I am reviewing isn’t all bad, but they could have done better for a sequel to a great Sega Saturn game. The game is named Advance Guardian Heroes for the Gameboy Advance. Like I said above, this game is a sequel to the first Guardian Heroes for the short-lived Sega Saturn Console. Make sure you read about the first game, or else you will get confused with this one. So, is this sequel as good as it could be? Or is this only half complete?

Basically, the story takes place after the events of the first Guardian Heroes where half of the heroes went, to become the sky’s perfect warriors as the others declined the offer. Now, an evil force is using the powers of the Guardian Heroes to rule the land once again, and revive the undead warrior to use for his army. However, a small resistance force is trying to revive the undead warrior to help fight against evil. As is the case, the good guys find the undead warrior first and revive it. It is up to the powerful undead warrior to stop the evil forces that want to rule the land. So, yeah, the story can get confusing if you don’t know anything about the first game.

The game play style is like a lot of games Treasure makes, a side-scrolling beat ‘em up. This beat ‘em up style has more in common with Final Fight and Street of Rage, where you’re not stuck in one row like in Splatterhouse 2. You get to choose from 3 different main heroes who don’t look any different, besides stats and what magic powers they have, like the one I chose has multiple fire attacks. You basically have your punches and kicks and mid air attacks. You also have a range of magic attacks. They range from rapid-fire attacks to a ground-to-air attack to even a giant laser beam. Well, that’s the one I got, but there are others like one of the characters uses lightning. You also have the power to jump to target plat forms if they have a target sign on them. The only thing you don’t have is a block attack. You also have a small rpg element where at the end of each stage you get to upgrade your characters stats with jewels. An interesting fact is that when you die, a shadowy figure tells you he can bring you back with an invincible body if you give him your soul. If you accept, you will be invincible throughout the rest of the game, but you won’t be able to collect crystals or save your progress.

The graphics, like all of Treasure’s games, are really nice-looking, but they could have done a better design for the characters. They are not all bad, but they could have done better. It is kind of cool though to see the heroes from their last game make an appearance along with other little secrets. The music is also fun to listen to, but it won’t blow your mind like Astroboy: Omega Factor or Gunstar Super Heroes. It is also cool to know that you can hook up with a second player and fight alongside each other. Beside, is there any other way to play a beat ‘em up? I don’t think so.

Now, it is time to pick up your undead warrior and fight the bad parts of the game. Like I said above, the graphics are nice, but they could have done better. The game play can very repetitious and boring from time to time, because you don’t really fight new enemies, and since you fight different colored and sized enemies. The difficulty can be changed to fit your liking, but medium just seems impossible to get through without dying. After dying, if you accept an invincible body, you can’t save your progress, meaning if you don’t want to go through the same levels over and over again, then you need to not die, which is hard unless you’re on the easy mode. The final boss fight is tedious and disappointing, also, since you have to be specific with the last attack and it’s very annoying. The magic attacks are cool and all, but since you can’t use a sword or a shield, you will be using the magic attacks a lot more than your fists of fury, which kind of gives the game no challenge.

All and all, this game is hard to recommend for people wanting to buy a good Gameboy Advance game. It has its good parts, but there are bad parts that almost overshadow the good parts. All I can say is, rent it and try it out for yourself. Let’s just hope Treasure can make some great games in the future, like another Wario title or maybe a Gunstar Heroes for the Wii or something.

This game gets a 6.5 out of 10.

Flying Dragon for the Nintendo 64 Review

I like a lot of fighting games like Soul Calibur, King of Fighters, Super Smash Brothers, and etc., though there are some that I don’t like as much, like Street Fighter 2. I’m not saying it’s a bad game, but I don’t think it’s that great of a game, for the only reason of its complex controls and difficult AI. I understand it goes under the “easy to play, but hard to master” category, but when I pick up a game, I want to easily be able to play it, and make all the moves look cool. Recently, I picked up two games when I went to send a job application to my local game store. The first game was Goemon’s Great Adventure, and the other is the one I will be reviewing, Flying Dragon for the Nintendo 64.

Before I talk about the story of this game, I want to talk about who made it, since it is kind of interesting. Culture Brain developed this game, which is famous for a couple of different games like Kung-Fu Heroes for the Nintendo in 1988, the Super Chinese series, and some baseball games. It’s interesting that Flying Dragon is part of the Hiryu No Ken series, and is the 5th game in that series. Well, I think it’s interesting. Now, for the story of the game…well, I‘ll admit the game doesn’t have that much of a story. Don’t blame me! It’s not my fault that fighting games don’t need stories.

Basically, Flying Dragon is a 1-on-1 fighter, where you select your fighter and fight against the opponent. Like all fighters, you have your stereotypes, like the main hero who wears a martial arts uniform, a ninja, a main female character, and you get the idea. There are super moves like other fighters, but there is one thing this game has going for it that most fighters don’t have, another game inside this game. Let me explain if you are confused. Take Virtua Fighter 2 and Virtua Fighter Kids. Some say that Virtua Fighter Kids is a separate game, and yet some say it’s the exactly the same as Virtua Fighter 2 only in chibi form. Well, take those two games and put them into one, except there are different characters in the chibi version of Flying Dragon. This game also has a RPG element to it in the form of different clothes that can be upgraded by fighting. There are also other modes like versus and tournament.

Graphically, I think it’s impressive. It won’t blow your mind, but think of the looks of the graphics as Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon or Beetles Adventure Racing. I also like the music of the game. It’s typical fighting music, but I like it. I also like how this is one of the ONLY fighting games for the Nintendo 64. I wish there was more of them, but at least we have Super Smash Brothers and Fighting Destiny.

Now, let’s talk about the bad parts of the game. One of the few things I want to say that I don’t like about the game is that the characters’ movements seem stiff. I felt like a slug moving around. I also don’t like how the fighting engine is like Street Fighter where the super moves are hard to pull off. There isn’t that much to complain about though, which is odd since I usually like to find a few things to rant about. Oh well…

Overall, I think it’s a fun game. When I first picked this up, my friend and I just laughed and laughed, because of how much random fun we were having with this game. I would say if you can find a copy of this game, then I would recommend picking it up. Yeah, it won’t top anyone’s number 1 N64 or top fighting game list, but that’s okay. It’s a fun game that should be enjoyed by fighting game enthusiasts.

This game gets a 7.9 out of 10

Donkey Kong Jungle Beats for the Gamecube Review

While Mario has been driving Nintendo’s consoles into triple digits and beyond, I remember when Donkey Kong and his franchise would do just the same. He had three amazing arcade games and three amazing Super Nintendo games, though seeing how he is slowly having fewer and fewer games, his future seems bleak. In 2004, one of my favorite Gamecube games ever was released to us Americans, Donkey Kong Jungle Beat. So, how does Donkey’s new adventure play out?

The basic plot of Donkey Kong Jungle Beats is, well, just like any other game, which any reviewer can tell you. Donkey Kong got his bananas stolen again by an evil group of Kongs, and it is up to Donkey Kong to get those bananas back! Yeah, it’s nothing special, but think about it. Donkey Kong is a monkey with a red tie…what else would he want to do? It’s not like we will see him going through Hell, like in the upcoming Dante’s Inferno, or seeing him whip werewolves or something.

The game play is a 2.5D side-scrolling plat-forming game like Goemon’s Great adventure, Yoshi Story, and other great 2.5D Nintendo games. You basically go through the levels using the special DK Bongos to make Donkey Kong move. He can punch, jump on enemies, clap, and other stuff that you can find in a classic awesome plat-former. You basically get your array of furry jungle enemies, along with other stuff. At the end of each level, you fight an epic boss at the end, like a giant bird or pig, or even one of the evil Kongs. The levels are also full of plat-forming challenge, which will test you to see how good of a retro plat-former you are.

I think one of the best highlights of the game is the graphics. I mean, these have to be the best graphics on the Gamecube, or it has to be the best looking game on the system besides Resident Evil 4. DK’s fur never looked so real, and everything else just looked so detailed and colorful. A lot of games today could learn a few things about color from this game. The music is also entertaining to listen to, and reflects the action and level on the screen. The controls on the bongos are perfect because this is the only plat-former that you can use the bongos on. It might not be Donkey Kong Country famous, but this game is right up there along with Super Mario Galaxy, New Super Mario Brothers, and other Nintendo plat-formers. The boss fights are some of the best in the history of Nintendo! Each is fun and challenging.

Even though this is one of the best Gamecube games, there are some minor complaints I have with it. First off, the main complaint I have is with the boss fights. Yes, they are awesome and intense, but they seem to repeat with the same four bosses in just different colors in each of the kingdoms. The only boss fights that are different are the ones with the evil Kongs. The game can be short if you’re an old retro plat-former kind of guy. Other than that, I don’t have a lot of things to say that are bad.

Overall, this is a great videogame. If you can find the Gamecube version and bongos, then I say pick it up. If you can’t, you can get the re-released version on the Wii, with controls that are almost the same, but you control Donkey Kong with the control stick on the nunchuk part of the controller. All and al, even though it isn’t Donkey Kong Country 4, it deserves as much or even more credit than those games. So yeah, go check it out!

This game gets a 9.6 out of 10.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Special: The Darkness for the Playstation 3 Review

Good evening everyone and happy Halloween to everyone and welcome to a very dark day on Camseyeview…this time I decided to go off my beaten path of action plat-forming games and pick up a different game to review. Now since this is the Halloween season you would think about games like Silent Hill, Resident Evil, Splatterhouse, and Devil May Cry. I decided to pick a dark gritty game and this game is called The Darkness. So is it as spooky as the Halloween spirit? Or is it full of shiny light? Well lets find out.

The story takes place in dark gritty New York where you take the role of Mafia hitman Jackie Estacado, which on his 21st birthday was targeted by the don of the New York Mafia leader “Uncle” Paulie as while running from the assassins hired by Paulie Jackie finds out that the darkness has taken over his body and Jackie must kill Paulie and find out why the darkness took over his body. It’s a dark and twisted story filled with plot twists and heart turning moments that make this one of the better stories in this kind of game. The Darkness was made by Starbreeze Studios, which is known for another game that fans will recognize, The Chronicles of Riddick and its somewhat remake.

The game play is in the form of a first person shooter with some interesting, but small ideas. The main weapon Jackie has is a small arsenal of guns and of course the Darkness that hides within him. You basically go around shooting hitmen sent by Paulie and other opponents who want you dead like policemen, zombie nazis, and etc. you get only a few powers with the Darkness. The first power is the ability to become a shadow like eel and sneak around small areas and surprise unaware opponents. The second power comes in the form of a tentacle that can take down certain barriers and enemies. The final power comes in the form of a black hole that can basically kill multiple enemies. You can also summon a little minion to help you do certain tasks like stop a train or take down a barrier. I wont say how many kinds you will get, but you will have to find out yourself. You also have a small arsenal of guns. They’re nothing special it’s just the basic double pistol, mini machine gun, and a shotgun like rifle. There is some backtracking involved within the game so you will need to get to know your surroundings.

The graphics are very impressive and are pretty good eye candy. All the characters look gritty and disturbing looking and you get a sense of realism since everyone who voice acts in the game was motioned captured which gives the in game characters more realistic. This game also has a very good voice cast including Kirk Acevedo from OZ voicing Jackie, lead singer of Faith No More and Mike Patton doing the voice of the Darkness itself. The music is also very good to listen to and fits the certain areas that you are in. I think the story is very interesting and is pretty unique. I say if you like Spawn and The Godfather then I say this is the perfect story for you.

However, there is some light in the darkness. First off the game itself doesn’t have much to offer besides a great single player mode since the multiplayer isn’t that great and have been recommended to dodge by multiple reviewers. The weapons are cool, but I think there could have been more of them. Boss fights are scarce to none. It’s boring as heck just fighting the same enemies over and over. I wish they put in a hub map or something since anyone could easily get lost since you have to pay attention to street signs and such.

Over all I think The Darkness is an enjoyable game, but it doesn’t have a lot going for it besides the great single player mode. I would recommend it to people who play shooters, but personally I cant see myself playing this game again. Hopefully if you can find it for a good price then I say buy it and enjoy a dark story of love and betrayal. Just don’t expect to play it twice in a row.

This game gets a solid 8 out of 10.

Monday, October 12, 2009

1 Year Anniverssary Review Special: House of the Dead: Overkill for the Wii

Wow, it’s been one whole year, and over 100 reviews. I am surprised that my blog made it this far. Now, I had a really bad game planned to review, since I started this blog with a really good game. However, due to time constraints, and Gamefly not sending me the game I was going to do, I had to change things around, and I have decided to do a sequel to one of my favorite arcade franchises, House of the Dead. So far, there are only two House of the Dead games for the Wii. I am doing the latest and, in my opinion, one of the best sequels in this game series history, House of the Dead Overkill. Let’s start, shall we?

While Zombies are nothing new since the coming of Ghost and Goblins, Resident Evil, and etc, they seem to become pretty popular in games. There was always one franchise that I liked to play every time I was in an arcade, House of the Dead. It didn’t do anything innovational, but it was just a blast to play. The latest in the franchise is House of the Dead: Overkill, for the Wii. Let’s get into the rotting flesh and review this game!

The whole game is set up kind of like good old-fashioned grindhouse film, like Planet Terror. You’ve got your stereotypical agent named Agent G. He teams up with a black cop who keeps dropping the “F” bomb every 5 minutes as they chase down an evil madman with a bad accent. They later find out that the plot is much bigger then they expect, and I won’t spoil what it is. You also get the hot chick that is a stripper, and is the main girl in the game. The plot is pretty much like Planet Terror, so if you haven’t seen the movie, I would check it out and then play this game. The game was made by Headstrong Games, which is known for games like Battalion Wars, for the Gamecube, and Battalion Wars 2, for the Wii.

The game play is a classic horror survival rail shooter, where you mostly rely on fast reflexes, and know when to pull the trigger with the Wii mote. You basically shoot the zombies, or as Agent G calls them, “Mutants”, since he finds the Z (zombie) word offensive. You go through 7 levels, which are about 20 minutes, or less if you have a second player with you, since it’s more fun to shoot zomb…I mean mutants with a friend. During the level, you can shoot stuff like health packs, grenades, slow-down icons, and golden brains that can multiply your score. You’ve got your basic array of mutants, big and small. But you do get a couple of different ones as the game progresses, which are a little more challenging to kill. You also get to fight Grindhouse-like boss fights, like the girl’s crippled, Steven Hawking-like brother, who gets turned into a psychic mutant, a giant praying mantis, and much much more which I won’t spoil for gamers who haven’t played this game yet.

Graphically it looks great. The added bonus comes from the whole grindhouse look, in which the game has scratched footage, horrible B-movie acting, and the fan favorite, dancing stripper intro. Every character is likable, which is odd, since you don’t care about characters in this kind of game. The music is also fitting, with a late 70’s to 80’s funk. The difficulty is a little easy, but there is an unlockable Director’s Cut mode, which is harder. You can also put more mutants into past levels, which is cool since mutants are fun to blow up with a pistol. You can also choose different guns and upgrade them. I think the ending of the game is also a classic. Sorry, I’m a big fan of Planet Terror and those kinds of movies, so I like all the references this game makes. They definitely made some smart moves at Headstrong Games, making all the Grindhouse film references. It is also funny that this game got into the book of world records because you hear the “F” bomb 189 times in the game.

So, let’s see… awesome game play, funny acting, great references, and just all around fun. So what is the catch, Cam? Well, one of the things I don’t like is that it’s short. I beat the game in about 2 hours and 39 minutes. It would have been less if I had someone playing with me. The enemy variety is also very slim, and I wish there were more mutants. I wish the guns weren’t so expensive, because I usually got through the game with the pistol fully upgraded since I couldn’t afford the other guns. The multiplayer is also slim, since it’s mostly stuff you can do within the game itself. I know it’s silly that the cop drops the “F” bomb a lot, but sometimes it gets annoying. Then again, it’s a grindhouse-like film, umm, I mean game, so basically, these are all just small gripes.

Overall, I personally loved this game. This game won’t be for everyone, but if you like mutants, grindhouse flicks, and just a fun game to play from time to time, then I would recommend picking this up. Though it does nothing to innovate the Wii or the game itself, it does do well with what it has, mindless fun with a lot of charm.

This game gets a solid 8 out of 10.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Superman Shadow of the Apokolips for the Playstation 2 review

Superman is one of the most well known super heroes of all time. Not only is he famous amongst the comic book universe, he is almost as famous for his appearance in video games. I think everyone mostly knows he hasn’t had one good game ever since he has come into the world of games. A good example is Superman 64 for the Nintendo 64. It has been considered to be the worst game of all time. I have to agree he doesn’t have a good game. He has what the community calls, the “Superman Curse”. It means that each game that Superman has been in was bad, though I did see a small glimmer of hope in one of his 3D games, Superman Shadow of Apokolips. However, now that I have played it. I think that small light just died out.

The plot revolves around Darkseid’s plan to take over the earth with the help of Lex Luthor. They make a small side plan to make Superman believe that the Intergang is back, and side track him from their true plan. It is up to Superman to stop what is happening and save the day.

The game play is of a strategy/action/adventure game where you control Superman and go through different areas to stop the Intergang and then later the super villains that escaped from prison. Your basic form of attack is a super punch. You can also pick up objects, and throw them or carry them, depending on what the mission is. Of course, a Superman game wouldn’t be complete without his ability to fly. He can also blow a wind to take out fires and blow enemies back. Superman can also spin around at high speeds, and cause a massive shockwave when he lands. For some reason, super speed is not included, but you can move pretty fast while flying, so I guess they didn’t need it over at Infogamers, the company that made this game.

The graphics are pretty good. They look like they are ripped right out of the cartoon series that was around during the 90’s. They also got most the voice actors from the show to do the voices in the game. I think it was a smart move to get the original voice actors, since the guy behind Superman’s voice, Tim Daly, does such a good job. Lex Luthor’s voice actor, Clancy Brown also does a good job since he is also the voices of Baron Praxis from Jak 2, Captain Black from the Jackie Chan animated series, Gorrath in Megas XLR, and Long Feng in Avatar the Last Airbender.

Let’s bring out the weakness in this Superman game. The levels seem super repetitive. It felt like I was doing the same thing in every level. It just got boring and stupid. They decided to keep all the major villains from the show until later in the game. I don’t like that. When I want to fight a boss in the game, I want to fight one at least every level, but for some reason they don’t pop up until near the end of the game. That’s horrible pacing. The camera also felt a little clunky and hard to control. There were a lot of defects and bugs that I found in this game that wasn’t even funny. I got stuck in a lot of doorways and buildings due to poor collision testing. It also seems like that hit detection is on-and-off, since I am doing damage, but it doesn’t show. Oh, and here is the best part. Superman gets tossed around like a ragdoll! It seems like anything that hits him sends him flying backwards. That includes the first boss fight. I couldn’t get even close to Livewire, because I got sent flying backwards. I mean, I can understand that he does get sent flying back in the cartoon series when he is hit hard, but it seems a little too easy for him to be sent packing. I don’t feel like Superman after that. I felt more like someone’s punching bag. God, the music is awful. It was mostly like stock music throughout the whole game. What about the theme song from John Williams?!

Overall, I was very disappointed with this game. I thought it would be good, but I was wrong, and I feel like an idiot wasting my weekend playing this game. If you don’t get what I’m saying, I am saying, don’t buy this game. It has the Superman Curse reeking all over it. Why can’t he have a good game, for once? Then again, Superman thinks he is the perfect Superhero, and I think he is a little bit full of himself. At least, we have Batman Arkham Asylum and The Darkness.

This game gets a lousy 3 out of 10

X-Men Origins: Wolverine for the Playstation 3 review

Movie-to-game adaptations usually mean it’s a bad idea. Most of the time, they are rushed out and not polished well enough to be playable. It’s sad since some movies, like Transformers or the Pirates of the Caribbean franchises, could be turned into good games. However, these days they seem to be getting better, but not by much, though there are some that are worth playing. Some of the good ones are Goldeneye, Batman (the one directed by Tim Burton), Spiderman 2, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Since I mentioned X-Men Origins, why don’t I review it?

The whole plot of the game follows very little of the movie. Even though I didn’t watch the movie yet, I know the game doesn’t follow it. Basically, it takes you through Wolverine’s past when he was a special soldier, and through other areas. In a way, this is a good thing since what is more boring then playing through the game just like in the movie? I know I wouldn’t.

The game play of the game is a hack-and-slash beat ‘em up with some plat-forming thrown in to give the game some length. This game is similar to other games like Hellboy: Science of Evil or 2007’s Conan. You go through multiple areas like Africa, a science lab, New Orleans, and secret military bases. There is a lot of variety, and you go through flashbacks, going back and forward through the game. Wolverine has multiple moves at his disposal. He can do stuff like slice-and-dice enemies, toss them into hazardous environments, or one of my favorites, lunging at an opponent and bashing their skull in. There are other super moves like a spinning cyclone of claws, a drill move, and a rage mode where your attacks are stronger. There is some minor puzzle solving throughout the levels, like moving teleporters, getting energy cells, and pushing statues. There are some epic enemies and boss fights, like fighting other mutants, and even one boss fight with a sentinal. You can upgrade yourself with the game’s small rpg elements, kind of like the ones found in Ghost Rider or God of War. You also gain experience points by finding dog tags and killing enemies. There are some minor quick-time events, which only take up finishing side bosses and one of the major boss fights in the game.

Graphically, it’s impressive. It uses the Unreal 3 engine, and it makes the graphics look great. The game is nice and bloody, too. When you play a game with Wolverine, you want to beat the ever-loving crap out of the enemy. It is always enjoyable when you lunge perfectly at an air-born enemy, killing them in the air with your claws. The voice work is also passable. One of the best parts of the game has to be fighting the giant robot in the game. It’s super intense and it’s awesome. Some areas in some levels are awesome, like skydiving through the air to destroy the enemy has to be my favorite part in some levels. It happens a couple times through the game.

However, since this is a movie game, it does have a few flaws that hold it back from being a Triple A game. First off, the pacing of the game is kind of awkward going through the flashbacks in sections. It’s like one minute you’re in Africa, and 5 minutes later, you are in one of the military bases. Even though there is a lot of blood, some of the deaths aren’t that violent. For example, in one fight with a behemoth-like enemy, you rip off his head and there is no blood. The game can also get repetitious, since it seems like you do the same thing in EVERY level, and fight the same boss fights in every level, literally. The only time the boss fights get different is when you are fighting Deadpool or Sabertooth or one of the X-Men bosses. This game isn’t that polished either, since I have run into a couple of defects, like flickering graphics and showstopper bugs. However, I only encountered a few of them, which is a good thing.

The game is rough around the edges, and a little unpolished, but it’s a fun game. This is one of those games that you rent or buy to relieve some stress out of a busy day. I would say rent it. It’s the perfect weekend rental. However, if you are a fan of X-Men, you can unlock some secret outfits like the yellow Wolverine outfit form the X-Men cartoon. So, if you are a fan of X-Men, I would say pick this game up.

This game gets a 7.7 out of 10

Jak and Daxter for the Playstation 2 review

When I was starting out as a gamer, I would usually stick with Nintendo franchises, and shun other franchises. I don’t know why, though. I think maybe because I thought they were just copying Nintendo and weren’t being original and such. Don’t ask me why I thought that, I don’t remember. Though there are some franchises that I’m a little iffy on, the most recent one I have been checking out is the Jak and Daxter series. I started with their first game, Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy for the Playstation 2. So, how good is this franchise? Is it off on the right foot? Or is it off the wrong foot?

The whole plot revolves around our hero Jak and his furry friend Daxter as they set out around this huge island or set of islands to find the sages of the island. They want to stop an evil force, which is trying to take all the dark eco in the land to use it for their evil deeds. Yeah, it’s nothing that we haven’t heard a million times, but there are some things I left out for the readers or new gamers to find out for themselves.

This game was made by Naughty Dog. If you are a new gamer of today, then you would recognize them for their Uncharted franchise. If you are retro, then you will recognize them for their work in the first 3 Crash Bandicoot games. Since this is the same company that made the 3 best Crash games, the game play is in the form of an action plat-former. The game pretty much centers on plat-forming, since you basically get around by jumping from platform to platform. There are some minor puzzle problems, but there aren’t many of them. There are also enemies to take down, but the fighting system isn’t that advanced since it seems like anyone can master the controls. The enemy variety is pretty large, and it won’t get repetitive and boring, fighting the same enemies. The goal in each of the 4 worlds is to gain power cells and do certain tasks to get them, like offering 90 precursor orbs, or going through dangerous areas of the level. It all depends on where you are. You can also go back to earlier levels to get power cells that you couldn’t get the first time or that you missed. Some of the power cells are out in the blue, but sometimes they are tricky to get.

The graphics are not as impressive by today’s games, but back in 2001, it was pretty impressive. I kind of like how the whole game goes around the plat-former theme, since you mostly jump from one platform to another. When most games put in a plat-former theme, other aspects of the game usually overshadow it. So, as a plat-forming game it’s pretty good. The voice acting is pretty good too. Not the best, but it gets the job done by people like Max Casella, who does the voice for Daxter. The music is okay. They could have done better with it, but I guess they didn’t have a big budget for music.

This game does have a lot of faults in my opinion. You can get hurt and die too easily. To regain health, you need to get 50 green orbs, which is just tedious since each time you get hit, you get a full power cell taken away. Some challenges and some power cells are tedious to get through and find. I can’t see a little kid having enough patience to get through this game. Even though there is a lot of stuff to do to get power cells, they get really repetitive, and it seems like you are doing the same thing in every level. Driving a vehicle is a little awkward, since it seems hard to turn and not to die while on it, or crash into something. A lot of times that I have died is because of one thing, the double jump. It is very ineffective since you can’t jump through a lot of gaps without doing the double jump and the spinning move. It’s annoying as hell, and it’s just stupid.

Overall, as a plat-former alone, it’s good, but it isn’t my favorite. I was kind of disappointed, since I heard this game got a lot of awards and good reviews. Well, personally, I don’t think it’s the best thing ever, though I will recommend renting it. I am kind of disappointed that the first game isn’t as good as I thought. I guess I need to try out the sequels now.

This game gets an 8 out of 10.

Gradius 5 for the Playstation 2 Review

Gradius has been around for 20 years. To be honest, I had never played a single Gradius game. I know it’s sad, but I didn’t know about this series until a few years back. So, I decided to go to and rent the latest in the Gradius series, Gradius 5 for the Playstation 2. After a while of actually getting it onto the top of my list, and finally getting it, I have got a thought about it. Was it worth the wait? Or was it a buzz kill, like Superman 64?

Basically, the game still follows the story of Vic Viper, who is the only hero of the human-inhabited planet, Gradius. Vic Viper must protect the planet from the evil Bacteriuon forces that want to take over the universe and blah blah blah, you get the idea. Yeah, the story isn’t going to blow you away like Final Fantasy or Metal Gear Solid, but with a game like Gradius, would you really want a story to care about?

The game play is of a classic 2D side-scrolling shooter like R-Type, Raiden, and Axelay. At the beginning of the game, you choose one ship out of four to start the game with. The ships themselves don’t change, but the power-ups are different for each one. One of the weapon in the series is an orange orb that shoots lasers at the same time you shoot them, and can take any position you want it to, depending on which ship you choose. You can also control it with the R1 button to keep it moving all around.

The graphics are pretty impressive. Yeah, it’s not Final Fantasy 12 or Odin Sphere, but that’s what makes Gradius 5’s graphics so cool. We have to remember that graphics are an art style, and all game graphics are going to be different, and that is what Treasure is doing right, making graphics look as good as they want. The music is also very fun to listen to, full of techno beats for all the Daft Punk fans out in the world. I think they would like these beats. It’s no wonder since Hitoshi Sakimoto, the same person who did the soundtrack for Final Fantasy Tactics and Odin Sphere, composed this soundtrack that has some original beats, but some are also remixed from past Gradius games. I also like the look of the boss fights and enemies. The controls are very responsive, and aren’t sluggish or skittish, and with a game like Gradius, you need super good controls.

Now, it is time to shoot down the bad parts. First off, I think the difficulty level is set WAY too high. I mean, I like a good challenge in a game, but the challenge in Gradius 5 is just set way too high. I can’t see a little kid picking up this game and enjoying it because of the difficulty setting. I mean, yeah, with a little practice you can get pretty good at it, but still, I think it turns me off when the difficulty setting is so tedious. I also think it’s disappointing that there are only 4 ships to choose from. It’s been 15 years since the last one, and they can’t give us like 5 more ships or something? Even though this is just a small gripe, I just think it sucks to lose all your power-ups when you get shot. Let’s look at another good shooter like Mars Matrix for the Dreamcast. When you get shot, you keep all your power-ups, which is awesome. I also think there needs to be a small health bar, like in the 1940 shooter series from Capcom.

Overall, this is a good game, but it’s hard to recommend it to everyone. I could only recommend it to retro gamers who like old-fashioned shooters. I would say, rent it to try it out, but I will warn you new gamers that it’s a really hard game, so be prepared to endure its difficulty.

This game gets a 6.9 out of 10

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Since I love you guys so much....

Here are some games I am going to review in the future.

(They are not in order.)