Friday, June 30, 2006

Dreamfall: The Longest Journey (X-Box, PC)

Reviewed by Kit
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Hi guys. Today's game is a adventure story with more plot than fighting. Good thing too because the fighting system isn't that great. So here we go.

Story: You control a young girl named Zoe Castillo with an odd accent. It sounds English, but occasionally Spanish and Scottish hints make it through. Who knows? In any case, you begin as Zoe, a young woman who recently has been feeling apathetic about her life. One day she wakes up and finds her tv talking to her, with creepy dark haired girl and black mansion included. It tells her she must protect a girl named April. Then Zoe's ex-boyfriend asks her for a favor. She is supposed to pick up a package for him. That's all. However, the person who she has to pick the package from is in trouble, and her ex is missing when does get the package for him. Luckily, Zoe has a best friend who is the source of all sorts of hacker tools, and looks oddly like she's twenty years older than Zoe. Worried about her ex, Zoe goes on a journey to find him. As you move along, you will be able to control other characters as well, even the mysterious April.4/5

Graphics: The graphics aren't bad. The characters have individuality and you can recognize one from another. The backgrounds are well done. Over all, it's appealing visually. 3/5

Characters, as indirectly mentioned, have spoken dialogue. The acting is well done, even if the accents aren't perfect. The music in the background is quiet, but it sets the tone well enough. 4/5

Much of the game is centered around looking for items. The game is heavily centered on investigation. There is also a lot, a lot, of running back and forth gathering items, delivering them, getting new items, delivering them, finding people, delivering them (wait no). Another aspect is finding items so you can move to the next section of the map. Maps in general are small, but expect to run back and forth a lot. Also, you don't actually see a map, you have to depend on direction such as "go north," and I'm sure you can tell what direction is north, right? Fighting is rare, but it does occur. You have three buttons to worry about: block (most important), heavy hit, and light hit. The best way to fight is to block continuously, side step when the enemy tries to heavy hit, then light hit, or side step and heavy hit while they light hit. Note, side step often. Gameplay is simple, but the running back and forth and lack of a true map is annoying. Still, it's nice to have a puzzle solving game rather than something focused on fighting. 3/5

There is no purpose to replay besides enjoying the story again. 2/5

The game has a nice story that involves you. If the gameplay wasn't so chore heavy, it would be even better. The voice acting is reasonably well done, and the visuals are nice if not outstanding. It's a game worth picking up if you've been craving something smart without leveling tedium or brain eating zombies (though there are those plants...) 4/5

Friday, June 23, 2006

Rampage: Total Destruction (GC, PS2)

Reviewed by Kit
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Okay, my summer semester is now over, but as I just spent the last two nights writing essays, I don't feel like writing a long review. So, we're going to make this short and sweet, and if Yuuki wants, he can add some more details later.

Story: It's not a fighting game, exactly. You play giant monsters destroying cities. Perhaps you've tried it in the arcade once. Have fun destroying the world. 1/5

Graphics: Not bad. The monsters look decent, the buildings look decent, the people running in fear look decent. Towns get repetitive, but there is enoguh variety. 3/5

Audio: Again, decent. Not bad, not great. The random comments made by the people you eat are amusing. My favorite is "You can't do that, I'm a lawyer." 3/5

Gameplay: You climb buildings and punch, kick, and roar at them. The goal, destroy the towns. You have a life bar that can be restored by eating things...including people. In multiplayer mode, you try to be the character that earns the most points by destorying the town. The best way to earn points, get bonuses by destroying floors on buildings in succession. In campaign mode, you destroy the cities while attempting to meet certain qualifications. By meeting these qualifications, you can unlock new abilities for the monster you control. Also more monsters can be unlocked by bringing certain characters to certain cities. 3/5

Replay: It's fun to play until you get tired of destroying towns. Good multiplayer, but single player loses it's appeal quickly. 2/5

Overall: It's an entertaining game. Great to paly for a little bit until the repetition overcomes you. The best way to play is with friends, which means beating each other up more than the buildings. Recommend for people who liked the original or people who always wanted to destroy New York. 3/5

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Commandos: Strike Force (Xbox, PS2, PC)

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Today I, Yuuki shall give you the review of Commandos: Strike Force. I've never been a fan of shooter war games but, I do love shooting things. Basically you'll take the role of this strike force and murder nazis while trying to find the deception in your ranks.

Story:The Story basically consists of WW2 and you taking on 3 commandos. A sniper, a Green Beret, and a Spy. Each has a unique personallity and intertwining stories. The main object is to discover the traitor if there even is one and to make the nazis pay for whatever you feel they owe you. Yeah that's it basically kill nazis. 3/5

Gameplay:Here are your basic control crouch, sneak, special, and murder everything in a bloody barrage of deathy bullets and grenades. The last being my preferred method. Most missions not involving the Green Beret require a bit of thought and stealth that or to shoot everyone really quickly. Mission specs can be vague and sometimes make no sense. There's also a big incline as the game progresses I'd reccomend a guide or something. 3/5

Graphics:Its a war game so no the graphics aren't good. Often you can se through objects and nothing is nice to look at and anything you need to find either glows or is marked on you map. Its kind of subpar to say the least. 2/5

Audio:This isn't bad the guns and bombs sound just like the old war clips on history channel. Though the voice acting could use a little boosting. At times it seems like it was designed to make everyone other than americans look like morons...and we know that's not true. 2/5

Replay:God no. if you like WW2 and shooter games like this go for it. I wouldn't go near that game again. The basics are nice but as it goes on the levels get obscenely difficult and the specs get vaguer and vaguer, leaving you to basically run around blind shooting everything that moves tilla tank blows you to pieces. 1/5

Overall:This game is definately for the war hero gamers who enjoy the genre. Tho I would recommend quick play to anyone whose bored and likes shooting thing or someone amazing devoted to details and tactically minded so they can figure out all the silly little things no one else cares about. 3/5

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Lost Magic (DS)

Reviewed by Kit
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Hello all. Today we shall talk about Lost Magic, a unique RPG for the DS.

Story: You are a young man who lives in the forest with his "grandmother," an old lady who has trained you in magic. Your parents disappeared, but recently you've seen your father in the forest. You're father was the Sage of Light, one of seven sages who keep order in the world. However, the Sage of Balance has gone insane and started stealing the staffs of all the other sages. The hero is now in possession of his father's staff, and he must protect it. Nothing deep or original. 3/5

Graphics: The graphics are okay but not outstanding. It's bright and colorful. Nothing is particularly unappealing, but it could be better. 2/5

Audio: Like the graphics, the audio is just mediocre. 2/5

Gameplay: This game works heavily with the stylus and touch screen. The only thing that the main character can do is use magic, which is performed by drawing symbols with the stylus. The more you use certain spells, the more that element improves. Each spell costs MP, which replenishes when you don't move. As you progress through the game, you'll learn a spell that will capture monsters for you. You can control these monsters in battle to serve as meat shields while you cast spells. Battles take place in real time. The first few battles you encounter are preprogramed. You cannot get into random encounters for a while, which means that if a battle is too tough for you at the beginning, suck it up or restart the game. The world map is a point to point map. The game works, but it could be better. 3/5

Replay: There are multiple endings that are based on your choices through out the game. Beyond that, there are no bonuses to replaying the game unless you absolutely love it. 3/5

Overall: The game has potential, but I'll admit it didn't do as much for me as I'd expect. It is innovative with its magic system. I'd recommend this for die hard RPG fans but not for those who don't want to repeat battles again and again until they can succeed. 3/5

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Monster Rancher EVO (PS2)

Yuuki again to bring a review of Monster Rancher EVO for the PS2. This game is another installment in a long running series by Tecmo and is a pretty popular series. If you didn't know its that game that let's you put in in and random cd or dvd and get a monster of your very own. Popular enough to even have a TV show which was actually good. I've played many monster raising game in my day and this series has always been high on my list. So let's see how this one did.

Gamplay:The game looks fairly simple at first glance.You work in a circus and raise monster for said circus. It quickly becomes slightly more difficult as you must soon raise multiple monsters, get new equipment for shows, and do said shows. Monsters are a bit trickier then previous versions, as you need to be more careful what you do with them as it has a much higher affect on the next generation. Treat them badly and their offspring will treat you badly. There is also the joy and burden of shows, you see as you train your monster build motivation which when its high you can put on a show. Then depending on how well you do which only requires you to play simple minigames that can either be really fun or make you want to die, your monster gains points in whatever stats you were training. As you prgress you unlock more monsters and more gadgets for training which makes shows a bit more difficult. None the less if you can get your breeding down and the shows you'll find you really enjoy i. 5/5

Story: The story unlike the game play is kinda thin. You play the nameless hero who was orphaned and then came to live in at the circus. In the beginning your joined by a mysterious yet pleasant girl who of course will get you all involed with misadventures of saving the world. Also as you progress the story you'll be joined by a riff raff crew of circus folk who are quite entertaining. 3/5

Graphics:If you know the series you'll be delighted to see some of you favorite monsters return with a bit of a new flavor. The art style has changed a bit but, wether its for the better is upto you. Characters are bright and excotic for the most part and towns are done decently, the dungeons gain appeal for their multidemensional area. Though all in all they aren't spectacular but none the less they are nice. 3/5

Audio: The game could have benefitted from some nice voice acting but it wasn't neccessary. The music was a bit corky at times but still nice. The game has its tried and tru monster sounds from happy little pixie to that slam sound a golem makes when it flicks some innocent into oblivion. I'd say it did well for what it was. 3/5

Replay:I'm a fan of the series and I found I really liked this one despite what I heard. All of you out there who play this kind of game know you can't just play it through once. I definately recommend this to fans of the series or anyone who wants to have some fun raising and playing with some cool critters. 4/5

Overall:This game is a breath of fres air into an already good series, it takes elements from many of the previous games and combines them into what I feel was a good mesh of skill and fun. At times a bit overly complicated looking but honestly not too hard to play. Simple clean fun with monsters and although the story is a bit short and a bit cliched its not enough to take away from the game. 4/5