Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Gutiar Hero PS2

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Yuuki here giving my review of Gutiar Hero. This is a little old but I had heard good things and decided to give this one a try.

Gameplay: This game is simply a test of hand-eye coordination. You simply hind the shoulder and X button in thiming with the notes as they pass on the screen. Normally this is something I tend to shy from but the game is really quite addicting. If your a psuedo rock fan of the last 20-25 yaers you'll hear alot of songs you know if not you can just have fun with it. On your own its not really that great you simply go through career mode unlocking more songs, guitars, and characters. The game is truly fun in parties where not only do you get the joy of watching people mess up and yell about it you can also make fun of their terrible singing. 4/5

Graphcis: You can't say alot about this as its not the focus of the game. It is in no way overly flashy or spectacular but it is cool. You get the joy of watching your possibly drugged up character flail away on the guitar and if you do well enough you get some nice pyro-technics. 3/5

Aduio: THis is where the game shines. I personally only knew a little more than half the tracks but none the less they were all fun songs. You can enjoy playing the game just listening to some of your more preferred songs. There are some really great songs from alot of popular artist sung by the Guitar hero bands. 4/5

Replay: Like I've said it is a party game it most enjoyable to play when with friends. The game will probably get cheap soon and you could probably find it for $10. Just a good game for a good night with friends. 4/5

Overall: Simply a fun party game you could easily kill a few hours playing rounds with a group of friends and just pissing around. Some of the songs can be a bit obscure and other aren't that great but its stilla good game and I recommend at least renting it for a fun night. 4/5

Friday, May 19, 2006

Review Delay

I had every intention of having a review up this week of a new and exciting game. However, the game that I had picked was Gallop Racer 2006, and for the life of me I could not figure out how to play it. That is to say, I don't think it's a bad game, but the mechanics are beyond me. So I won't review a game that I never really got to play to its fullest. It wouldn't be fair. That said, sometime this weekend we'll post a review of Guitar Hero. The game came out a while ago, and the only reason we had to game was because I had heard good things. Seeing as I have no other games to review, this will have to do. Thanks for you patience.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny (PS2)

Reviewed by Kit
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Hello boys and girls. Two reviews in one week, you say! I know. I'm amazed myself. Today's review is Ateleir Iris 2, a prequel of Atelier Iris 1. That said, I'm almost positive that 2 was actually made before 1 but brought over later. In any case, shall we begin the review.

Story: You begin the game as Viese (vee-zay), a young alchemist who is an orphen and lives with her fellow orphen, Felt. The two have feelings for each other though they never admit it. They live in the world of Eden, which as the name implies, is perfect. No monsters, no fighting, just half-naked mana creatures and a handful of humans. One day something happens and half of Eden is missing. Not liking this, Felt somehow manages to pull the sacred sword of Eden and goes through a gate that leads to the typical monster invested world of Belkhyde. While he is trying to save Eden, Viese is at home learning alchemy recipes so that Felt can benefit from her knowledge. (The two have magic rings which allow them to share items back and forth). Along the way Felt will meet some interesting party members, and they are definitely interesting and entertaining. Much of the game is point A to point B to running around gathering items to point C. It's slow at first, but after a while you don't mind so much. The plot is generic, but it makes fun of itself. Early in the game when Felt and Viese first pass the magic sword (an Azoth) Felt attempts to pull it out. The screen turns bright, and knowing that he does at some point weild the sword, you sigh. Then the screen goes back to normal and Felt says, "Yep, no pulling that out." It's funny, it's unexpected, and these kind of cute jokes pervade the game. 4/5

Audio: The music in the game is a good fit the dungeons you are in, but it's nothing spectacular. There is also voice acting for important scenes. The acting is well done, and the actors manage to capture the voices of their characters well. 4/5

Graphics: Visually the game is pretty but again nothing spectacular. The backgrounds are not extremely detailed but colorful and attractive. The characters are sprites that look a bit gritty at times but serve their purpose. During scenes when the people talk anime style images come up to represent the characters. These are beautifully drawn and excluding the handful of anime cutscenes, the best art in the game. 3/5

Gameplay: There are so many thigns to talk about in the gameplay, it's hard to decide what to mention first. Let's start with the central aspect of the game, alchemy. As you adventure through the game, you will find alchemical recipes which, if you have the ingredients, Viese can make. Sometimes if you change the ingredients, you will make a new item. Items can be equipped that give you special attributes such as stronger offensive power or faster speed. These skills can be mastered by earning SP. Special attacks are learned from weapons which also takes SP. The map works by having dungeons and towns placed on it, and you just travel over dotted lines to get from place to place. There are no monsters outside of dungeons. Battles have a lot going for them, so here's a picture to show you what I'm talking about.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
There are two types of attacks, a charge attack (basic) or a break attack (pushes enemies back on the turn bar). If you break enemies into the yellow part of the bar, they will break, and you pull up a combo meter which will build up no matter what enemy you hit as long as one enemy is still broken. This is important because you get SP and EXP bonuses depending on how large a combo you make is. The meter on the top right is an SP meter (nothing to do with how much you earn after the battle). These is what you will use for special attacks. Different attacks require different amounts of SP. The meter is shared by the party and filled through charge attacks or being attacked. Up to three people can be in a party at a time, but you can switch characters out. All characters gain full experience and SP after the battle. The game takes some time to get used to, but once you master break attacks, it becomes fun to fight. 5/5

Replay: There is no real point to replay. Post game you have more monsters in an arena unlocked, but that is all. Well, an art gallery is opened as well, but you don't need to replay to see it. Still, the game is very entertaining and not overly long so it would be worth picking up again. 3/5

Overall: While the plot is generic, the game is fun and incredibly amusing. The characters and dialogue will make you laugh, and the alchemy system is a nice tool (though sometimes finding ingredients is a pain). Overall, if you like fun RPGs, this is a good choice. Don't expect deep thought, but do expect to enjoy yourself. 4/5

Monday, May 08, 2006

Suikoden 5 (PS2)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Hurray another installment in a great series. If you've been a long time fan of this series you've known its been otherwise great till the recent hits of 4 and tactics neither of which were terrible but not all that note worthy. I expected this game to also fall into that category so let's see if it did.

Story: Ok so the game basically starts out with you returning from some mission or other with your starting companions. You'll soon take the role of the Prince, who is your typical mute hero that and he looks like a younger Jeane, if you don't know who that is then just know that you'll easily mistake him for a girl most times. For a good portion of the game your more or less running from A to B discovering litle bits of the story. Then at some point as the games tend to be it all goes to hell and you find yourself leading a rebel army and trying to free your kingdom. All in all not bad. 4/5

Basic RPG hero stuff, you'll have your party which will range from your hero and his body guard Lyon, then 4 others of your choosing and upto 4 more support or alternative characters. There are points where certain people have to be in your party for some scenarios but none of that drags it down. In the game you'll have a few different forms of combat, one being your everyday RPG turn based. Then you have Navel and War battles that play out like a free range tatical fight nothing irritating or difficult here. Finally you have a suikoden old favorite of mine, the duels. Easy enough with a close ear and quick hands you can easily take this one down. 4/5

The game has and 3D anime feel to it and you'll notice the world isn't overly detailed or vivid, but you don't really dislike it either. All the areas are a little to straight forward no real exploration needed most times just kinda go. This isn't bad the areas still look good but, it does feel a little A to B. Your spells and skills aren't anything new just prettier versions of the previous ones. Characters tho, especially reoccuring ones look really good. No one really looks like anyone else they all have a uniqueness to them that makes it nice. 3/5

Personally I've always love suikoden music. 5 boasts a couple of great ballads and some old revised versions of songs from previous installments. At times the BGM sounds just like that, background and nothing more and at othertimes its actually enjoyable. I also like that all your important characters that appear it cutscenes have voice acters and good ones from other games and some of your favorite games an animes. 3/5

Its a suikoden, and as they are all tied together in some way or another you'll probable want to play through more than once just to connect all the dots. There's also a game plus which will reveal a few more secrets, other than that no real reason the game isn't that detailed to play through more than twice and check out a few of the different endings. 3/5

Overall this is a good installment in a great series. Though it doesn't stand out among so many othe games its still pretty good. Definately an improvement for the series. With the ability to have a wide range of party memembers and different abilities and skills the game never really gets boring so long as you change things up a bit. You do have to suffer through alot of A to B early on but its worth in it my opinion. So yes I'd say pick this up and possibly all the other ones if you haven't already . 4/5