Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shoutout for a friend and fellow game reviewer

So, yeah, this is new to me, but I got two shout-outs from another guy who does video reviews that I enjoy watching. The guy I’m talking about is Brian, who hosts his own review show called Substance TV. Each episode he does has three different games of different varieties. I really enjoy listening to him talk about what he likes about the game itself and describe what the game is all about. Another cool thing is that he tells the viewers what to expect if you are looking for the game, like if you were looking to buy the game, he will say how hard it is to find or etc. He is also a nice guy, and I message him from time to time. The link to his website is right below here

If that doesn’t work please tell me and I will fix it.

Special extra long review: Brutal Legend for the PS3/360 review

To be honest, it seems like A LOT of games are leeching off of a super popular game of that genre. For example, how many freaking futuristic first-person shooters have we seen come out since Halo made its debut? How many God of War wannabes have we seen? What about Grand Theft Auto clones? I mean, does anyone have an original idea already? Well, for once, I am actually happy to see a pretty much original idea of a video game. The game I am going to review today is Brutal Legend. When I first saw the trailer for this game, I was amazed. A whole game inspired by metal music? Where do I sign?! Now that it has been a couple of months since its release, and I have picked up a copy for my Playstation 3, I have my full-on thoughts about this game. This might be one of my biggest reviews ever…maybe.

The main story starts us off at a concert for the “metal” band called Kabbage Boy. Offstage though, the band’s roadie who is known as Eddie Riggs, who is voiced by Jack Black, is repairing a guitar one of the band mates destroyed. Now, Eddie is actually known to be the best roadie in the business, who can repair anything, build anything, tune any instrument, and you get the idea. Sadly though, he is the roadie for the worst metal band ever. I might not be a huge fan of metal, but I know metal when I hear it, and Kabbage Boy is NOT metal. After saving one of the band members from a horrible stage accident (caused by the band member himself), a piece of the stage falls right on top of Eddie, hurting him. The blood from his hand then drips down off his hand and onto his awesome-looking belt. The belt, however, has amazing powers since it summons the fiery deity Ormagöden, who cures Eddie, and kills the band that got him hurt. The funny thing is that everyone thinks Ormagöden is special effects. Eddie is then transported to a world inspired by every metal thing you could think of. Eddie escapes the temple he woke up in with the help of a fellow human named Ophelia. Eddie then learns of a revolutionary group that is trying to take back the land that has been oppressed by the demon lord Doviculus and his sell-out lackeys. It is up to Eddie to help lead the revolution and save the land from oppression. It’s an interesting story, and I will talk more about it later.

The game play is a hybrid between hack-and-slash action, mixed in with real-time strategy components. Let’s split this into two parts since this is what the game did. We will first talk about the hack-and-slash action part of the game. Eddie’s main form of attack is an axe called the “ Separator”. This is where most of his melee attacks are from. He isn’t the only thing though that was warped back to the metal world. He also brought along his guitar named Clementine. His guitar is also a big part of the action parts since you can shock people with lightning, blow them up using fire, and play awesome guitar solos. The guitar solos are also very handy. due to all the different effects each solo has. I will list a few of them and their abilities. One of my favorites is the Call of the Wild solo that summons animals to help you fight the enemies. Another one is a ranged attack called the face melter, which, well you guessed it, melts peoples face from a certain range. It really helps when there are a lot of enemies surrounding you. The final one I will talk about is called “Bring it on Home” where you can summon a giant burning blimp that crashes into the ground, killing any nearby enemies. Eddie can also use team up-moves that vary between each different person. For example, if you team up with head bangers, you get to have a defensive ring of head bangers that damage anyone in your way. Another example is teaming up with the Roadies, so you can stealthily sneak past people and send out a booming shock wave to the enemies. You can also use the lightning attack to stun the animals of Brutal Legend and ride on top of them. You might find it silly riding a panther that shoots lasers, but it’s so ridiculous that it’s awesome. Your other main weapon is your car, called the Deuce or Druid Plow. It’s your basic mode of transportation if you don’t feel like riding on top of an animal. You can get upgrades to all your weapons in a relic called the Motor Forge. The funny thing is that the guy who helps you upgrade yourself is none other than Ozzy Osbourne. You can upgrade your axe with fire, lighting, or make it stronger or sharper for more attack power. Your guitar upgrades mainly the effect of your guitar attacks, like in melee combos or making a specific guitar attack stronger. You also gain weapons for your car, like machine guns, rocket launchers, side flames, or mine dropping. You also get stronger armor and a stronger engine, which is pretty cool.

Now, let’s talk about the real-time strategy components. The main big battles in the game are called stage battles. This is where the RTS components come in to play. You control Eddie, and he controls all the units. Each unit has their own special task, like short-range, long-range, healing, heavy weaponry, and you get the idea. Each unit has its own ability that helps out in battle. You also get to produce the units from the stage. Your main source of materials to produce more soldiers comes from things called fan geysers. You basically build things around the geysers so the energy from them goes to your stage. The RTS components of the game isn’t like Command and Conquer. It is more on the line of Overlord or Pikmin. You have to be close to your army to send commands. The cool thing is you get to actually team up with your soldiers in the RTS battles, instead of doing just the commanding. The multiplayer section of the game is basically the stage battles. During the game you will encounter three different factions. One is your own army known as Ironheade. The other two are the Drowning Doom, and the Tainted Coil. Each faction plays differently and I like that. Ironheade is mostly an ‘everything’ kind of army. It basically has short and long-range infantry and any other kind of infantry you can think of. This is the faction you will be playing as, and a good one for beginners. The Drowning Doom is a unique faction where it focuses on overwhelming the opponent and destroying the enemy’s vehicles and such. The Tainted Coil is basically the powerhouse of the three factions. It relies on overpowering your opponent with strong infantry and status-boosting infantry. It all comes out with each having different strategies for each faction.

The graphics and art style of the game has A LOT of charm coming from it, as the whole world of Brutal Legend looks great. The character designs are also very creative and the characters are super likable. You just feel so attached to these characters. The only other game that I feel makes you feel attached to the characters in the game is the Final Fantasy series. I also like how animated everyone is. I mean, yeah, they look a little awkward during in game, but in the cut scenes, the characters are very lively and active. The voice cast is huge! It’s filled with famous celebrities. This of course includes Jack Black as Eddie Riggs, Rob Halford, Lita Ford, Lemmy Killmister, Ozzy Osbourne, Tim Curry, some guy called Kyle Gass (part of Jack Black’s band Tenacious D), and so many other people. The music is nothing but metal. All kinds of metal are on the soundtrack to the game. There’s stuff from bands like Motorhead, Dragonforce, Deathklock, Angel Witch, Tenacious D, Sanctuary, Black Sabbath, Mastodon, 3 Inches of Blood, and other bands that comprise this very metal soundtrack. The cut scenes are also fun to watch, and are executed very well.

Sadly, it’s time to talk about the bad parts of the game, but there is very little that is bad about the game. The real-time strategy components of the game are very awkward and don’t work well from time to time. However, I don’t blame the game itself, like how everyone else does. I blame the console limitations, since the 360 and PS3 aren’t as known for having a good RTS collection. Besides, RTS games sell better on computers than consoles. While I hate to agree with other people, I just have to agree that the main story itself is very short, but this is only if you don’t go after every side quest and find every little thing in the game, though you aren’t forced to go through the main story in one sitting. It is set up where you can go off and do side quests before moving on. I also hate how people are like “oh, you HAVE to be a fan of metal to play the game”. WHAT?! That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Yeah, I’m not a fan of metal, but it doesn’t stop me from enjoying the game. It’s also annoying how people shun this because the same person who made Psychonauts, Tim Schafer, who also made Grim Fandango, made it. They only did this because Psychonauts didn’t sell well. What a horrible and stupid thing to do only because one game didn’t sell well. The good thing though, is that the good parts totally outweigh the bad parts of the game.

Overall, I really REALLY enjoyed Brutal Legend, and I have to say this is going onto my list of favorite games of all time. Even with its RTS flaws, the game is still very fun to play. It’s an outstanding game, and I would buy it if you have a PS3 and 360. I can’t wait to see if Tim Schafer will make a sequel, or make DLC, kind of like how Fallout 3 did with their stuff. Double Fine Productions did a wonderful job on creating a creative and fun game.

This game gets a 9.8 out of 10

Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicales for the Wii review

Personally, I like the rail-shooting genre. I remember going to the arcades and playing House of the Dead many, many times. Sadly though, it seems like a dying breed. A good thing, however, is that many rail-shooters have made it onto the Wii, such as House of the Dead 2&3, House of the Dead Overkill, and Dead Space Extraction. I think it is also cool that Capcom has thrown their hat into the genre, and have released two Resident Evil Rail-shooting games. I am going to be reviewing both of them, but I will start with the first one, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles for the Wii. Did they do a good job? Or is it just as lame as the other cheap looking rail-shooters on the Wii?

The main story of Umbrella Chronicles is basically a retelling of three games in the Resident Evil series. The three in question are Resident Evil 0, Resident Evil, and Resident Evil 3. The also has another story that takes place in the cold lands of Russia, I think. If you have played any of the Resident Evil games, then you will have no worries about knowing what’s going on.

The game play in Umbrella Chronicles is a classic rail-shooter, where you can control one of two characters during the single-player mode. You, of course, have your pistol that has unlimited ammo, which is good since it would just be impossible to get through the game if you kept running out of ammo for every gun. You also gain other weapons during the game, like machine guns, shot guns, rocket launcher, and you get the idea. Your main form of healing is, of course, green herbs. You can also pick up healing sprays, for when you die, they can bring you back to life, which is pretty cool, since I will talk about the difficulty in just a second. When a zombie latches onto you, you can do a counter-move and knock them back, and killing them from time to time. You use your Wii remote to also pick up items like files and such. You can also play with another person, but you share the same health meter. There are multiple paths, which require another play-through, which is nice since it gives the game replay value.

The graphics for the game look amazing, and the new cut scenes are also very impressive. The in-game graphics are also nice, even if you find a graphical flaw from time to time. The music is very intense, and fits the situations from fighting Tyrant to shooting sharks and zombie dogs. Now, the first Resident Evil is infamous for really bad voice acting, but I say the voice acting in this game is pretty good. Yeah, there are the occasional cheesy lines, but you get the idea. If you’re a fan of the scripts in Devil May Cry, then you won’t mind the scripts in this game. The difficulty is increased in this rail-shooter, which is good since you won’t breeze through this game in a couple of hours, like you would in House of the Dead Overkill.

There are some gripes that I have with this game, though. While I enjoy the game’s difficulty, it kind of requires you to play with two players. The reason why I think this is because the later levels in the game get really tough, especially during the retelling of Resident Evil 3. When you’re playing a rail-shooter you want to feel embraced by its atmosphere. However, there are some things that take you out of it, like when you’re knifing crows, leeches, and zombie vomit. I also hate how a headshot does no justice in this game. I mean, when I shoot something in the head, it better fall flat on its back. While I know every zombie game needs a shotgun, I just hate how it takes so dang long to reload. I have died multiple times due to the long load times with the shotgun.

Even with its minor flaws, Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles is a fun game and I would recommend buying it if you are a fan of rail-shooters. I will say though, that I would only buy it if I were going to play it with a friend, since I would rather not fight the same giant worm for 2 hours. Now, I will just have to see how Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles holds up.

This game gets an 8.1 out of 10.

Mobile Light Force for the Playstation 1 review

In a way, I think the cover art of a game can pretty much help sell the game itself. Of course, if you see Mario on the cover, you know it’s going to be a good game. The same goes with God of War, Ratchet and Clank, Halo, and a lot of other big name franchises. Even some overlooked games don’t sell well due to the box art looking like the first Megaman cover art. Let’s take a Playstation game for this example. The game in question is called Mobile Light Force. Sheesh, it has a horrible cover, but it happens to be a pretty fun 2D shooter. Mobile Light Force or Gunbird was developed by Psikyo, which is known for working on arcade games, like Gunbird, Cannon Spike (Capcom licensed), Samurai Ace, Zero Gunner, and Dragon Blaze. They are also known for making on erotic title for the Playstation 2.

The main story in Mobile Light Force basically has nothing to do with the people on the front of the cover! In fact, this game’s original title is actually called Gunbird in Japan. The story revolves around 5 characters that are each trying to find a magical mirror that can grant them a wish. Of course, with anything that strong, there is always an evil force trying to prevent you from taking it and such. The story is as basic and as unclear as any story you would normally see in a shooter, but you don’t play the game for a story, so let’s move on.

The game play featured in Mobile Light Force is a top-down 2D shooter, like Raiden. You get to choose from 5 different characters that are all unique in their own way. In a game like this, I would say that this is a “beginner’s shooter”. I say that because you get three different attacks, instead of the main weapon and the bomb, like in most levels. You have your basic laser or rapid-fire attack, then you have a focus attack that is different for each character, and finally, you get the screen-clearing bomb. I think it’s interesting that each character has a focus attack. You basically hold down the square button on the Playstation controller, and then the character will change its pose. When you let go, it will mainly do a strong attack that will only hit enemies in front of you. Some of them can be from cool to funny. For example, one of the characters is a witch-like girl, who has a blue bunny. When you use her focus attack, she sends her blue bunny flying into the enemy. If you use the robot soldier character, then he does a somewhat rocket punch attack that looks like something from one of the giant Japanese robot animes, like Getter Robo. From what I can tell, all the characters’ screen-clearing attack are different, like some kill everything in front of you, and some kill all around you.

The graphics are pretty cool. First of all, this game was made in 1994 for the arcades, and then 3 years later, ported over to the Playstation and Sega Saturn. Overall though, the graphics still look nice. Everyone is well-detailed and unique. The animation and detail on the enemies are also well-detailed and random. The music is pretty standard for a shooter, but there is a section in the options menu where you can listen to all o the music in the game, so it isn’t bad. It’s something you would hear in games like Raiden or Gradius. I also like how every character is different, and it gives the game variety and some replay value.

Mobile Light Force does have some faults though, that keep it from being better known. First off, I HATE the cover art. Yeah, the cover art for Gunbird looked anime-esque and it probably wouldn’t have sold well with the original cover, but they should have stayed with the original name and cover art. I mean the American cover art looks like something from a Charlie’s Angels movie or something. No wonder why no one knows about this game, because of the stupid cover art. By looking at the cover art, you can tell that the game would be horrible, but not Mobile Light Force. It’s that kind of cover art that sucks, but the game is actually fun. The game is also pretty short. Well, I think it’s short, since I maybe have gotten really good at these kinds of games. The difficulty is really easy in the beginning, but you can adjust it to make it harder, but all in all, I still think it’s a little on the easy side. I also don’t like how they took out the story and the ending to the game. I don’t know if it would have made sense or anything, but at least keep it in the story, so we can see something silly or something. It would be more enjoyable than what we get here in America. The final complaint comes from the game’s name. What was wrong with Gunbird? The weird thing is that this isn’t the only time they will name a different game with a different name. There is actually a sequel called Mobile Light Force 2, but the real name of the game is actually called Shikigami No Shiro, and it’s not even made by the same company. What was the big deal with these two games? I swear, if I find Mobile Light Force 2, I will review it, but I do want to own it and play it also.

Overall though, the game is pretty fun, and it is also very fun with two players. I would say, pick this game up for a few bucks. This is one of those games that you can play in short spurts and have fun with it. I just wonder what happened to Gunbird 2.

This game gets a 7.9 out of 10.

Pokemon Puzzle League for the Nintendo 64 review

Let’s face it, puzzle games are downright addictive when it comes to game play. We have so many puzzle games like Tetris, Tetris Attack, Bejeweled, Henry Hatsworth, and you get the idea. My favorite, of course, is Tetris, since I have never played Bejeweled or Henry Hatsworth. I have, however, played what I think is one of the best puzzle games and one of the best games on the Nintendo 64, Pokemon Puzzle League. Yeah, you can say it’s Tetris Attack with a Pokemon brand slapped all over it, but if you know me, I am not playing this for the Pokemon brand, I am playing this for the puzzle game play. How does it stand up to today’s standards of puzzle games? Is it still a gem that is worth playing? Or is it just not cut out for a new generation of puzzle gamers?

The story takes place in the world of Pokemon, where Ash and his buddy Pikachu are relaxing by a pool, taking a break from all the Pokemon battles and such. I would be tired too, if I did the same darn thing for over 10 seasons in a cartoon show. Ash receives a call from Professor Oak, who tells Ash that there is a Puzzle League championship going on in a puzzle village where the whole game will take place. Of course, Ash who can’t refuse a challenge, rushes on down to the village and begins his trek to become a Pokemon Puzzle League master. The story is, umm, well, REALLY stupid in my opinion, since the Pokemon brand is just there to fill in the void that is missing from the other areas of the game. Either way though, it works just fine, and it doesn’t get in the way of the game play.

The game play featured in this game is basically the same puzzle formula found in Tetris Attack on the Super Nintendo, where you need to match three or more blocks with the same color. If you get more than three blocks of the same color put together, then you will make a big block appear on the opponents side of the screen where the only way to get rid of it is to make three or more blocks match and is touching the big block that is on top of you or your opponent’s puzzle screen. The big blocks can get bigger, depending on how many combos you actually make. In the one-player mode, you will be fighting against multiple people, mostly characters and the gym leaders from the first generation of Pokemon series, with people like Brock, Misty, Erika, and Giovanni as gym leaders along with the others from the first game. The spa service pins you against Team Rocket and the multiple challenges of getting all the blocks below a certain line. The Time Zone puts you against a 2D or 3D puzzle for two minutes, and your goal is to make as many points as you can. Marathon-mode puts you against an endless 2D or 3D puzzle, and your goal is to play as long as you can. Puzzle University is where you go through a mode with different challenges to make all the blocks disappear with a very limited amount of moves. This is one of the harder modes in the game that really flexes your brain muscle. Of course, with any puzzle game, it is much more fun to play it with a friend so there is a two-player mode where you play against a friend as you choose one of the different trainers for each player and, well, do a puzzle game and try to get the other person’s blocks to hit the top of the screen.

The hand drawn graphics in the game are really well done and don’t look pixilated. One of the most shocking things is that this game has something that most N64 games don’t have, Full Motion Video! How many games on the Nintendo 64 (good games) have Full Motion Video? The only two that I can think of is the Nintendo 64 version of Resident Evil 2 and the Japanese Evangelion game. It looks good on the cartridge though and I think they could have done more of this, though I bet it was hard enough to do this on the Nintendo 64. The game play is fun and addictive, since if it weren’t, it would be downright tedious and boring. The music is also well done, with instrumental tunes of the past Pokemon series really fitting in with songs from the anime and the first movie, along with songs from the season where Tracey joined Ash and Misty. There is also a decent amount of voice acting, even if it is just small quotes and such, but I like it even when it gets annoying later on in the challenge. The difficulty is really ranged. Sometimes, the puzzles and the battles can be ‘easy as that’, to being really, really hard. Overall though, it gives the game replay value to see how good you can get at it.

Now, it is time to talk about the bad parts of the game. The bad parts, though, come from the fact that the game is a puzzle game. Some of the later challenges can get downright hard, and it isn’t fun unless you’re a master of the puzzles in the game, kind of like how Samurai Shodown is really hard if you’re not a master of the combat system in the game. Another thing is that if you are a fan of Pokemon and not a fan of puzzles, since well, you want to see Pokemon battle, you will probably be bored out of your wits, doing the same thing over and over again. In this regard, as a reviewer, I can’t really hold it against itself since it is a puzzle game and you’re supposed to do puzzles.

All and all, Pokemon Puzzle League is a really fun puzzle game and it comes highly recommended to casual players and people who are into puzzles. You can get a good price for the cartridge form of the game, but you can easily spend over 1,000 points on the Virtual Console. This is a fun puzzle game, even with the Pokemon brand on it. I say, go pick up a copy and flex that brain.

This game gets a 9.5 out of 10

Retro Saga part 27: Ninja Spirit for the Turbo Grafx 16

It seems like I need to do more reviews on ninja games. The only ones I have reviewed are Mini Ninjas, which was great, and I-Ninjas, which I thought was garbage. I do have Ninja Gaiden Sigma 2 on my list of games to review in the future, but for now, let’s take a look at a pretty good ninja game called Ninja Spirit. The original console that the game was on was the Turbo Grafx 16, but I am playing it on the Wii Virtual Console. You can bash me for not playing the original version of the game, but hey, I don’t have the time and money to go buy a Turbo Grafx and to find a good condition version of this game, so keep those comments to yourself.

The main story takes place in Feudal Japan, where a young ninja’s father was murdered by a half-man half-beast creature. Now it is up to that young ninja to go out and take revenge on the creature that killed his father. It’s your basic revenge plot, but like I said in past reviews, it’s only there to help get you from point A to point B.

The main game play featured in Ninja Spirit is an action plat-former, where you control the main ninja character and go through level after level of ninjas, monks, samurai zombies, and even killer frogs. Your ninja is not ill-equipped though. Your ninja can use a sword, shurikens, bombs, and a kunai-like weapon. This makes it so you can choose your playing style, like if you’re a close-range fighter you would use the sword, or if you were a long-range fighter you would use the three other weapons. There are a decent amount of power-ups in the game. You get a power-up to upgrade your weapon to make a fire shield float around you, a power-up to clear the screen of enemies, and my favorite one, the blue orb that gives you a shadow ninja that follows you around. This is where Ninja Spirit is creative. You can have up to two shadow ninjas with you that will use the same weapon you are using, and attack when you attack.

The graphics in the game are pretty impressive for the time that Ninja Spirit came out. All the details in the background and characters were all very detailed, and I still think they look interesting, even by today’s standards. I think that this game has aged well, even though a new bar has been set for 2D games of today, with games like Castle Crashers, Odin Sphere, and Muramasa The Demon Blade. You could argue as to why I didn’t put down Splosion Man and New Super Mario brothers Wii, but I didn’t put them down only because they are more on the line of 2.5D graphics. The music is also very ninja-like, and it is fun to listen to when you need a break from the game itself. I also like the weapons you can use, since it gives the game replay value in the form of playing the game differently each time. The difficulty is just right. Enemies are easy to kill, but the screen can get frantic when there are a lot of them on screen, and you will need to keep moving or else you will die in that spot. You do have 5 hits, but be careful of bigger enemies, since they can kill you with one hit.

Now, it is time to talk about the bad parts of Ninja Spirits. While I enjoy the frantic pace of the game since it keeps me moving and such, it can get a little too hectic for me in my opinion, and it feels like you have no downtime. I do enjoy that there is the harder arcade mode, but since the pc engine mode is a lot easier, I don’t see why they add the harder mode, but I guess I think the pc engine mode is hard enough on its own. I also wish they had added a bigger health bar, since bigger enemies can take your health with one hit.

Overall, I did enjoy this game, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a good game. You could find it for the original console, but it’s easier to pay a few points off the Wii Virtual Console. I just wish they would make a sequel to this game, since it seems like it would be a fun franchise.

This game gets an 8.8 out 10

Rival Schools for the Playstation 1 review

You know what kind of TV shows I don’t like? I hate the shows you see on the CW since it seems like EVERY show that’s on there is about a bunch of spoiled, whiny white kids with problems. To be honest, I don’t care for shows like that, since like I said, they’re all the same! You could argue that they are different, but tell me one that doesn’t have a 22-year-old, acting like a 16-year-old, and has issues with love and relationships. Why can’t theses shows be like, I don’t know, umm, Rival Schools for the Playstation 1? Since we are on the subject, this next review will be the first ever Playstation 1 game review on my blog, and the name of this game is Rival Schools or Rival Schools United by Fate, if you wanted the whole English title.

The story revolves around different high schools, and one day, something happens to all the schools. One of the incidences is that people have disappeared. Other stuff is like other students getting injured and one of the character’s mother disappearing. So, different students have dispersed from their schools to find out who is behind all these strange incidences and save their own respective schools. It’s interesting, since it’s just not one school beating up on other schools.
The game play is a tag team 2.5D fighting game. The 2.5D is kind of like Capcom’s Street Fighter 4. You can choose from a good list of characters, each from different schools. Of course, this isn’t your Dawson’s Creek group of kids. Let’s just say the students and teachers are very unique and are always fun to get to know. The fighting system is a lot simpler than Virtua Fighter 5 or Street Fighter 4. Each combo is successfully put down for each punch and kick. You can also pull off two super moves for each character, just by pressing either L1 or L2 on the controller. You can also pull off team-up moves with your partner, and they range from a group beat down, or support and healing, and you get the idea. It’s always interesting to see which combo your team has. There are also a lot of stages, so it isn’t so repetitive, and you aren’t fighting in the same place twice.

The graphics by today’s standards have aged a little, but I think it looks nice still. I mean, yeah, if you look up close, you can see all the pixels, but it isn’t as bad-looking as the first Virtua Fighter. The music is also very Street Fighter-like, and is lively and fun to listen to. A great thing Capcom did was to keep the Japanese voice-over in the game since, well, I think it would have been horrible to put in English voice-overs. Another cool thing is that there is an anime-like opening and ending, and for a Playstation game, they look nice. They kind of remind me of the animated sequences in Tail Concerto. I also like all the unique characters and what their goals in the story are. It’s nice, since not one person acts like the other. The color pallet is also very nicely used, and has an anime/Street Fighter Alpha-esque look, and it fits the game, I think. The game also comes with a second disc, where you can unlock four new characters and go through the Playstation form of Rival Schools, and other stuff like mini-games and photo galleries.

This is a fun fighting game, and there is only one thing I could say that I don’t like about it. The controls in the game are perfectly spot-on, and I like the fluid fighting system, but the only thing I hate about the controls is the required control of using the D pad to move around. It’s awkward as heck sometimes, and it becomes a pest later, when you’re fighting the teachers from Justice High later in the game due to the teachers being tough. I have played Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo with a D pad and it’s the same thing, awkward. I wish there was a control option where I could use the joystick or something on my controller.

Overall though, this is a fun game, and I would recommend buying this game for anyone who is a fan of fighting games. It’s not going to be easy though, since it is hard to find. I had to pay around 40 dollars for my copy and it can go higher. I also wish Capcom would make a sequel to this game. I know there are a lot of rumors coming out from Capcom about bringing back some of their old games, but we will have to wait and see.

This game gets a 9.8 out of 10

Mini Ninjas for the PS3/360 review

Ninjas are nothing new to the gaming world, with games like Ninja Gaiden and Shinobi. As time passed, Ninja Gaiden reigned supreme as the top ninja game series. While I respect the popularity of the series, I think it’s held back by its super difficulty that only limits it to certain gamers. Yes, there is a market for hard games, but it’s not that big in my opinion. However, recently I played Mini Ninjas on my Playstation 3, and I think there is a new horizon for a new series of ninja games.

The story goes that an evil samurai warlord has risen again from a slumber that was put upon him due to the ninja master’s brave actions. The newly awakened samurai warlord has now started to use his dark magic to turn all the animals in the forest into his own personal samurai army. To counter the evil warlord’s actions, the ninja master sent out many ninjas that he had trained to see what is up with the warlord’s plans. Sadly, the first four ninjas the master sent out never came back. The master only has two ninjas now named Hiro and Futo. The two ninjas must go out and save their friends, and defeat the evil wizard. Mini Ninjas was developed by IO Interactive. IO Interactive is mostly known for the Hitman, and Kayne and Lynch series. They are also known for a small title known as Freedom Fighters. For a company that makes pretty violent games, this is very different than what they usually do.

The game play featured in Mini Ninjas is a mix of an action/adventure/stealth game, where you control 6 different ninjas during the game. The first two you use are Hiro and Futo. Hiro is the main ninja, who can use what the game calls kuji magic, where he can use different spells to help him out, along with his katana. Some of the spells he can use are summoning lightning, throwing a fireball, making thunder come down, and even making a bush to disguise yourself with. Futo, however, is the big tough guy of the team, and is more useful fighting bigger enemies. The other ninjas include Shiro the long-range archer of the group, Tora the fast tiger-like ninja, Kunoichi who can use a flute to mesmerize enemies, and Suzume who uses a spear and is useful for taking on crowds of enemies. This game doesn’t really revolve around stealth, and you can easily just run head-on into battle, but what are you, stupid? Be creative and use that stealth element to your advantage. For example, Shiro is really good when no one can see him, and then you can use his special attack to take out a horde of enemies without them seeing you. Every character has a special strong attack they can use, like Tora can run really fast, Kunoichi can use her flute to mesmerize enemies, and Hiro can attack multiple enemies at once. There is a small RPG element where you upgrade Hiro and his health and abilities. You also buy weapons and items like potions, bombs, and shurikens, to name a few.

The presentation in the graphics is really nice, in my opinion. I like the whole cute and charming look of the characters and its world. The enemies are also well designed, and are cute to look at. The voice acting, while cheesy at times, can pretty much fit the situation and the game, as a whole. The music is also very well done, and I enjoy listening to it. Kunoichi is a good example since she uses music to her advantage. The bosses are also creative since there is a more of a puzzle element to them instead of straight-on fighting. They do get a lot of time taken up by quick-time events, but let’s say it feels good to only see them in the boss fights.

Sadly though, the ninjas can’t hide these poor sides of the game. First off, with six ninjas, you kind of expect a two-player mode, however, no such mode exists. There is also very little replay value unless you’re a trophy kind of guy, and only play games to unlock all the goals. I also wish there were more unlockables, like artwork or interviews. My final complaint is with the ninjas themselves. While you will use them all for different situations, I feel like Tora is not that well executed as a ninja, since his attacks seem weak and he doesn’t have a great range.

Overall though, I find this game to be really good. Yes, there are some small bad parts, but the good parts outweigh them. I would say if you got this for Christmas or whatever, you would not be disappointed, but if you didn’t, I say buy it or rent it. Either way, you will get an enjoyable play-through when you put this game into your system.

This game gets a 9 out of 10

Retro Saga part 26: Splatterhouse for the Turbo Grafx 16

There are a lot of games I have never heard about, since I grew up during the 90’s, not really aware of what games were out. The only one I knew about was Super Mario World. I sadly regret not hearing about a lot of games that came out during my time growing up, like Lords of Thunder or Pulseman. Thankfully, however, we have stuff like the Virtual Console, so we can revisit or find out about games that we had heard of, but never played, or just revisit them, which is always a plus. One game I have been wanting to play for a while is Splatterhouse, that came out in the arcades and was ported to the Turbo Grafx 16. How well does this game hold up by today? Is it well? Or is it not so well?

The story of Splatterhouse takes place with two college students, Rick and Jennifer, taking refuge in the West Mansion, which is nicknamed Splatterhouse due to hearing strange rumors about the place. After reaching the mansion however, Rick is knocked out and left for dead, and Jennifer is caught and taken as a hostage for whatever the mansion has crawling inside its walls. However, an ancient mask known as the Terror Mask brings Rick back to normal, but without fusing itself with Rick. Rick must now go through the mansion, save Jennifer, and stop whatever is causing all the hellish moments in the mansion itself. So, yeah, if you played the arcade version, you will see a short video of the whole event, but if you own the Turbo Grafx version, you will have to read the manual.

The game play in Splatterhouse is a one plain side-scrolling beat ‘em up where you control the very muscular Rick as you go through the mansion, beating up demons and other monsters that roam there. You can pick up weapons throughout the game, and use them for a longer range of attack. It’s kind of funny how there are some of those old video game moments that we take for granted in this game. For example, there is a room in the game that is a tribute to Poltergeist, where knives, chairs, and other stuff is flying at you, and when the knives fly at you, Rick can punch them to deflect them. I find that funny, since I think you would hurt your hand in reality if you punched a knife.

The graphics and the design of the characters are pretty cool, even by today’s standards. I like all the creepy monsters that roam through the game. I also like the realistic way the weapons work, since they aren’t overly ridiculous like a lot of games would make them. The music is also very creepy, and fits the surrounding area of the game. The difficulty is right in the middle, I think. If you have played games like Ghost and Goblins, or Contra, you will have to hit the monster when the time is right, and stand and jump at the right time. I also enjoy all the tributes to horror films you see in the game, like Poltergeist, Friday the 13th, and other films.

However, there are some things I do have to be honest about that didn’t age well with this game. First off are the animations for all the characters. By today’s standards, you can maybe safely say that this is some of the worst animation, since it seems like most of the things in this game only have two frames of animation. There is also a big issue of how many moves you have in the game. I just think that you can have more attacks than a punch, kick, and a jump punch or kick. I also don’t like how quickly you lose your health. Let’s take some games that have creative health systems, Mini Ninjas, 3D Dot Game Heroes, and Legend of Zelda. The health systems in these games are very similar, since when you get hit, you only get a chunk of a heart taken away. In Splatterhouse though, when you get hit, a whole heart is taken away. I also hate how sensitive people can be when censoring games, especially this one for example. In one level in the arcade version, you fight an inverted cross, and in the Turbo version, you fight another evil mask. While that’s cool and all, I would have preferred to fight the original boss of that area. This could also be because of the limitations that the Turbo Grafx had, since it wasn’t the strongest machine ever.

Overall through, with all its faults, the game is still really fun to play, and I would recommend getting this off the Virtual Console, or if you are trying to find a Turbo Grafx and a game for it. I am super excited, since they are releasing a new Splatterhouse after so many years of absence.

This game gets a solid 8 out of 10..

Army of Two: the 40th Day for the PS3/360 review

To be honest, it feels like most third-person or first-person shooters are pretty much looking the same. How many futuristic shooters have we seen that have a short single player mode and relies on the multiplayer mode for people to keep playing it? Same goes with the third-person shooters. I mean, beside Uncharted 2, what game had an interesting single-player mode, but no co-op, and relied on multiplayer for its longevity? While this next game I am about to review still fills the mold of the third-person shooter genre, it does have quite a few things that separate it from the rest. This time, I will be reviewing Army of Two: the 40th Day on the Playstation 3, Xbox360, and Playstation Portable. While the Army of Two series is new and brings something new to the table, it has gotten mixed reviews. It comes down to you either hate it or like it. Since I am not a big fan of third-person shooters or shooters of any kind, I decided to dip my feet into enemy territory and try this game out.

Army of Two: the 40th Day takes place in the bustling and busy city of Shanghai, a few years after the first game, where our two main heroes, Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem are now hired guns, and are doing a routine mission within the city. After completing the mission however, all hell breaks loose in Shanghai, as every building in sight starts exploding like the 4th of July or a Michael Bay film. It is now up to Tyson and Elliot to find out what the heck is going on, and for them to survive in the now even more dangerous city of Shanghai.

The game play is set up with a two-player co-op campaign mode in the form of a third-person shooter. You can play through this by your self with a computer-controlled player, but you get more out of it if you play online or offline with another person. Anyway, I will talk about the computer controls in a second. You basically go through each level pointing your gun at enemies, and shooting them until they don’t stand up anymore. Your basic armory includes a rifle, a handgun, and one special gun, like a rocket launcher or sniper rifle. An interesting thing about the co-op moves are that if you are stuck or are surrounded by enemies, you can tell your partner to distract them so you can get some air and shoot back. Other commands include advancing forward, regrouping, and stopping in place, but these commands are only if you are playing by yourself. A cool element in the game is the aggro-meter. The meter will rise if you or your partner is attracting more attention from the enemies. You will also start to glow, depending on how much the meter is full on you or your partner’s side. Another cool thing is that you get to customize your weapons with multiple abilities, like longer barrels or bigger ammo capacity or what ever. It gives the game variety, and lets you customize your gun however you want. You can also buy new guns and customize them to your liking. Of course, since this game relies on teamwork, you and your friend, or the computer can pull off team moves like grabbing and holding a high rank officer hostage, which will force the lower ranked officers to surrender. This allows you or your partner to tie them all up or kill them, but if you do kill them, it will warn nearby guards, and a gunfight will surely follow. You can also lift your friend up to higher places so he can go around and unlock a door or take out some bad guys before entering the room. Other moves include becoming an armored convoy by picking up a shield and having your partner hide behind you, opening doors, and my personal favorite, standing back-to-back, shooting your machine guns at hordes of enemies. I never got the chance to play the multiplayer, but from what I have read and seen, they’re pretty much things you would find in other shooter games, except with the two-man team theme going on. Another major element in the game is a choice system, where in certain areas, you can choose between two options, with each having a different outcome. For example, the first one you have to go through is that you can either kill the informant you work with for the first part of the level, or you can spare him. Spoiler alert! He ends up dead either way.

The graphics in the game are pretty impressive. Yeah, they will not be to the calibur of Uncharted 2 and the upcoming God of War 3, but it’s a great job, and the character designs are all pretty good. Then again, it is kind of wrong to compare this game’s graphics to those two games. I would say, they are better than Left 4 Dead 2. I also think the voice work gets an A from me for the voices of Tyson Rios done by Jonathon Adams and Elliot Salem voiced by Nolan North. I think these two brought the two main characters to life, and not make them cold-blooded killers, but instead make them as human as possible. For example, if you kill the informant, Elliot does get angry about how inhumane it is to kill someone who helped them. I like that, since the game in my opinion would be dull and boring if the two main heroes were all heartless killers. I also enjoyed the music for the game. It has a very action-film vibe, and it reminds me of Die Hard or some action film Bruce Willis has been in. The person behind the music is Tyler Bates. This guy is responsible for stuff like The Crow: City of Angels, Dawn of the Dead, 300, Watchmen, and is known for his music in the game, Rise of the Argonauts. All I have to say to that is, what an amazing list.

While this game is fun, it still has its share of faults that keep this from becoming a Triple A title. First off, I feel like the game is pretty short. You can beat this game in about 7 to 8 hours alone, or even quicker with a friend. While I enjoy the teamwork moves we get in this game, I wish there were more! For example, I think they could pull off moves that you couldn’t do alone, like use a mortar cannon, or more co-op moves or something. I wish you could use more kinds of shields, like ripping off a car door, like in one of the trailers showing Tyson ripping off a car door to use as a shield. I also wish there were more boss fights. It seems like they introduce 4 or so super soldiers, then they just recycle them. I mean, yeah, I do enjoy picking up a gattling gun after killing a guy for it, but still. I think they could have taken their time and made some pretty unique bosses. Let’s take the Metal Gear games, for example. In those games, you have to fight all these over-the-top soldiers, and not some boring armored soldier with a shotgun. After playing through the first half of this game, you will kind of realize that this game suffers from being repetitive. It just seems like you’re doing the same thing over and over again. I also think that the end of the story drags on too much near the end. It’s like they finally get a helicopter out of Shangai, but whoops! Someone shoots it down, and now they have to travel to shoot the person who is responsible for all the chaos in Shanghai in another area of the city. It gets boring pretty quickly, and I kind of wished it would have ended, by making the main villain of the game come out after the helicopter gets shot down. The AI can be pretty dumb sometimes. For example, when my partner is distracting the guards, and I’m just flanking them off, it takes about 30 seconds or more for them to notice I’m shooting them all in the head. My final complaint is with the scenario scenes where you have to do one thing or the other. They border on the ridiculous, and I found myself laughing more than being shocked. I mean, what’s the point of killing the informant in the first mission, if he ends up dead if you spare him?

Overall, Army of Two: the 40th Day is a good game, but nothing to go and spend 60 dollars on. I would say this is more on the line of the perfect rental game. I would really recommend renting it, but only if you have someone to play with. The Army of Two series is still a little undercooked, and still needs to grow, but I bet if they take their time with this next one and make it super amazing, I would make it a ‘buy it’ instead of a ‘rent it’.

This game gets a 7.8 out of 10

Bayonetta for the PS3/360 review

God of War, Ninja Gaiden, and Devil May Cry. All three of these games have basically held the title belt for being the best of the best action games. God of War, with its brutal hack-and-slash game play, Ninja Gaiden with its brutal difficulty and fast game play, and Devil May Cry with everything that was listed above, but with the script of a B action movie script. There has come a new challenger though in the action game genre. A new challenger by the name of Bayonetta for the PS3 and 360 has come to take the belt of the three champions of action. This fast-paced action game, created by Devil May Cry and Viewtiful Joe creator Hideki Kamiya, is a rather interesting challenge, but how does it hold up? Let’s dive in and find out.

The story in Bayonetta begins with a history lesson about two clans who worshipped the sun and the moon separately. One clan is the Umbra Witches, a clan of powerful female warriors who use magic to their advantage and are fueled by the power of the moon. The second clan is the Lumen Sages, who are a group of male warriors who worship the light, and the sun fuels their powers. There was an incident that made the two clans have a feud that ended up wiping out both of them. However, move forward a couple of hundred years, and we find out that one of the Umbra Witches was brought back to life. Her name is Bayonetta, a rather sensual female Umbra Witch, whose job is to kill angelic-like creatures that are then dragged into Hell. She sadly doesn’t have any memory of who she is, and is trying to find the sacred treasures that were the two clans’ most prized possessions, the left and right eye of the world. It is up to Bayonetta to find one of the sacred treasures while finding out who she is, and save the planet from something catastrophic. The story itself is a little confusing, and there is a lot more detail about the story as a whole, but I summed it up to the best of my ability. Let’s just say that Bayonetta is a game that is required to play through again and again to understand the story as a whole.

The game play in Bayonetta is a frantic action/adventure/ shoot ‘em up, where you control the sensual and titular character, Bayonetta. You go across Europe through fictional areas, beating down on angelic enemies, and once in awhile beating down on a much larger opponent about as big as a 20-story building or bigger. Your main forms of attacks are double-barreled handgun-like weapons that you hold in your hands, and are also attached to your feet. The enemies are frantic and quick, meaning you also have to move quickly, pulling off crazy, out-of-this world combos using your guns. You can also obtain shotguns, a long katana, and rocket launchers to change your game play style. You can also use a slow-down kind of gimmick called witch time, in which if you dodge an attack at the right time, you can slow down time and beat enemies that are in slow motion. Another cool thing is that if an enemy hasn’t hit you in a while, you can pull off brutal finishing moves that can kill an enemy quicker, like putting them in an iron maiden, hanging them, crushing them between two hands, and a lot of amazingly cool finishers. You can also use magic in some of the combos that end up with a giant foot or giant fist hitting the enemy or stomping on them. During the big boss fights in the end, Bayonetta will summon a giant creature made of her hair…I think. These giant monsters act as finishers and will change for each boss fight, which is nice, since it would be boring to use the same finisher for each boss in the game. There are also some quick-time events mixed in, but they’re not everywhere, which is good. You can also use a store-like system, and buy moves and items from the store using the currency system that’s in the game. A cool thing is that after each level, you are pushed into an arcade rail-shooting-like mini-game that gains you points that you can use for items or to exchange for cash.

The graphics in the game are very impressive, and it’s a really good-looking game. All the enemies are well designed and are out of some twisted book of angels that was designed by some crazy artist. Bayonetta is definitely not the worst looking girl ever. She is probably one of the hottest girls in gaming, with her soft sensual British voice and well, let’s just say if you saw what she could do, she would make a convert out of you, just like that. A warning though is that this isn’t a kid’s game. It’s an M-rated game, and does have a couple of sexual terms and jokes, along with a lot of violence and heavy religious themes. I also enjoy the battle music in the game. I’m a little surprised they play “Fly me to the Moon” during the fights. I say that because my mother has that for her ring tone for her phone. The music in the game is no slouch, and fits the situation at hand in the game.

However, this game does have some flaws that I think a lot of people have already mentioned on other reviews, but I am going to talk about them anyway. One of the few flaws this game has is that it has a lot of slow-down time and a lot of slow-loading times. I know some people really hate the game for this, but I didn’t find it as much of an annoyance as everyone else has. I mean yeah, it takes 6 seconds to load the pause menu, but I can understand why there are so much slow-down times and slow-load times. I think it’s because the fast-paced action would maybe be even slower if they increased the speed of the pause menus and etc. However, I don’t find it as bad of an issue as everyone else makes it. I know I have read that the PS3 version is slower than the 360, but I didn’t really notice. Another thing is, I am not that fond of some of the characters in the game. For one, the character Enzo seems like such an unessential character since he only appears at the beginning and at the end. The little girl is also very annoying, and doesn’t really do much, but provide comedic scenes.

Even with all theses flaws, this is one of the greatest action games ever. It’s amazingly well done and it’s an enjoyable game with the right difficulty curve. I would say this was a great way for me to start 2010 and I would say that if you have either rented or bought this game and played it to start 2010, then I would say you won’t be disappointed. It was a great game, and I hope we see more of Miss Bayonetta from Platinum Games, who also made Madworld.

This game gets a 9.4 out of 10

Retro Saga part 25: Aladdin on the Super Nintendo

Disney has a lot of great animated movies that still stand strong by today’s up-to-date animation. Tarzan, Mulan, Alice in Wonderland, and the list goes on. One of my favorite movies however, has to be Aladdin. It just had a charm that I loved. It also doesn’t hurt that Robin Williams does a great job as the Genie. Of course, with any popular movie, there has to be a game. Well, yes, Aladdin had a couple of games made for it, one for the Genesis and one for the Super Nintendo. The one I will be reviewing is Aladdin for the Super Nintendo. This version of Aladdin was developed by Capcom, which you all know made Resident Evil, Street Fighter and other great games.

I was thinking for a while about typing up the story of this game, but since it’s based off the famous Disney film, I would think that everyone has seen it and knows about it. However, since it doesn’t follow the movie, scene-by-scene, it is a little confusing for people who haven’t seen the film, though I have never met someone who hasn’t seen the movie. So, I think I’ll sum it up in a quick sentence. An evil wizard named Jafar is trying to get the lamp from within the Cave of Wonders, and keeps failing, and needs to find the one person who can enter the Cave without dying. Enters our hero Aladdin, who is a street rat and, well, lives on the streets. One day after getting captured after meeting Jasmine, the princess of Agrabah, Aladdin gets swindled into going into the Cave of Wonders, and then is off on a magical adventure. I’m sorry if this isn’t the best summary, but if you have seen the movie, you already know what happens. Then again, if this followed the whole movie, it would be stupid boring.

The game play is in the form of an action plat-former. However, this game does emphasize more the plat-forming, making Aladdin more of an acrobatic character. This really does fit his personality, since the first time we see him in the film, he is running away and eluding the guards for a few minutes. In the Genesis version though, the game takes on more of an action theme, where Aladdin uses a sword. While that is cool, I prefer this version, since it suits him better. He can also use apples that can kill smaller enemies, but they will only stun the bigger enemies. Aladdin’s main form of killing bigger enemies, and mostly hurting all the enemies, is jumping on their heads. Now, at first, you could say that it is copying most other games like this, and isn’t original. Though if you look at it with a different perspective in the character itself, it fits him, since he is acrobatic, and it fits him jumping onto an enemy’s head. Aladdin can also gain a tarp-like item, where he can slowly float down when he is high up in the air. During each level, there is a golden beetle, which if you can get it, makes you go to a bonus thing at the end of the stage where you can either get more continues, more hearts, or more lives.

Even by today’s standards, I still think the game’s graphics look wonderful. Everyone is fully animated and detailed. The music for the game is also amazing, with remixed versions of the songs from the movie, with a spicy touch of their own sound to the songs. I also enjoy the whole game play, since I’m happy they didn’t turn it into a Megaman or Bionic Commando-like game. They kind of did that with the first Magical Quest game that Mickey Mouse was in. The game also stays true to the movie for the most part, like for example, the first boss you fight is the merchant that almost cut off Jasmine’s hand in the movie.

However, I do have some gripes with this game. I wish they didn’t use passwords for this game. It’s kind of tiring going through the same levels over and over, because I can’t use a save file. The plat-forming, while nice, is a little awkward during the later parts in the Genie level, where you have to jump or grab onto stuff that the Genie makes out of nothing. I also wish you didn’t have an ammunition count for the apples. They are pretty useful since your “jumping on the head” attack is your only form of defense. Speaking of defense, since they made Aladdin so agile in the game play, why not add something like a backward jump or something? Oh well, these are just minor gripes

So, Aladdin isn’t the Triple A title everyone thinks it is, but I think it’s a very good game, and is a wonderful addition to anyone’s SNES collection. I say, pick up a copy of the game. It’s fun and enjoyable to play. Aladdin will always have a special place in my heart, due to it being one of the first games I ever played. Because of that, I say go buy it.

This game gets a 7.9 out of 10.

REZ for the Playstation 2 review

Happy New Year! YAY! Its 2010! So yeah, happy holidays, everyone. I was thinking about doing a different kind of game. I wanted to do something fun, but artsy and musical. I mean, I already enjoy some games’ soundtracks, but I wanted to do something that was sort of based around music and a different experience. Then it came to me. A game I have heard and read about for so many years. I think it was time to pull up an early PS2 gem known as REZ. Now, I know that it was also for the Dreamcast in Japan and the PS2 here in America. How well does this gem stand up in today’s fast-paced gaming?

The story kind of reminds me of something like Tron. A computer program known as Eden has taken over the system, and is threatening to shut it down and cause massive chaos wherever Eden controls. You play as a hacker, and your role in the game is to take down Eden and save the system from mass chaos caused by Eden’s insanity.

Rez is a third-person rail-shooter, where you control an avatar and go through 5 levels and shoot down enemy ships and fight a boss at the end. Your main form of attack is a lock-on system, where you lock onto enemies and shoot a laser at them. You can gain two kinds of power-ups. The first one is to make the avatar stronger and upgrade to a new form. The other power-up gives you an overdrive attack that shoots out multiple lasers. A cool thing about shooting everything in this game is that it makes a sound and not an explosion or some stereotypical rail-shooting sound. It’s really cool when you have 6 enemies targeted, and then after killing them, they make a kind of beat to the background sound, which is pretty cool, in my opinion.

I like the overall look of the game. It has vector-like graphics, and basic 3d shapes in it also, which all combines to a pretty good-looking game for an early PS2 game. The music is very techno and fun to listen to. It reminds me of Daft Punk in a way. The difficulty is kind of ranged, depending on what kind of gamer you are. If you are a casual gamer, then you might have some trouble when you get to the third level. If you are a hardcore player however, you could easily go through the 5 levels that are in this game. I like how the developers at Sega thought about this, since the game is open to pretty much most gamers.

However, there are some gripes that I have with this game that holds it back a little. The way you get hurt in the game is interesting since you go down a grade if you get hit until you’re at your weakest. While I like the idea of that, it just makes it annoying, since it takes a long time to upgrade yourself in the first place. It is also very hard to see what is coming at you sometimes, due to the vector-like graphics. While I respect that it’s a third-person rail-shooter, I don’t think it would hurt if you could move around a bit like in Starfox 64 or something. The game is really short, only having 5 quick levels. Hopefully, people back then didn’t have to pay a lot for a short 5 level game.

Overall though, Rez is an enjoyable experience, and I say if you can find this game for a cheap price, pick it up. It’s a fun game that you can play, then put down, and play after a month or so. You can also get a remake of Rez known as RezHD off the Xbox Live Store.

This game gets an 8 out of 10.