Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ranting by Yuuki

So I just finished reviewing Mario Galaxy hurray it was a glorious success at nothing and will most likely net Nintendo millions and millions of sales. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against Nintendo or really any of the companies...which is a lie but we'll come to that later. Yes Galaxy you are a glaring rehash of all your previous installments and once again you rely on 20 minutes of novelty and being a gaming icon to keep people entertained. Maybe I am jaded or maybe this is a load of horse **** but can we try to not rely on past success and maybe go somewhere slightly more original. Next on my list is the Wii-mote at first I hated it then I loved it then I hated it...Here is the problem far to many games are being forced you use the wii-mote all for the sake of using it. Games that could easily benefit much more from not using it. Strikers is one of them the only real use for the wii-mote was the free tackling which was impossible to do and would more likely send your hand flying then the opponent. The tackling being one of the best features in the first one if not an over powered one...losing by point...but yes point...I believe it was made the sole wii-mote related command because they knew people deeply desire to smash annoying nintendo characters into electric fences. Hence why everyone S***s a brick over smash brothers and justly so its an amazingly entertaining game. For those who don't know I have begun working at a game store now so I get to experience the mass forum of gamers. Which brings me to my next point...a customer came in ranting about games being bad I wasn't really paying attention to him as he wasn't attractive enough to gain my notice until he mentioned that the only reason people ever play RPGs in the old days was for the graphics and now there was no reason to because all games have about the same level of graphics...In which I had to think to myself how long would I spend in jail for braining him with the 360 he had just purchased. For starters RPGs now a days do seem to be more about competing graphically with other games rather than doing what they are supposed to...Role Playing Games thats what that stands for not Really Powerful Graphics...RPGs are meant to draw people in with the characters and story giving them something to relate to. Its my honest belief that playing RPGs growing up helped me understand not only myself but others not because I thought to myself hey this character is like me...because I thought to myself someone designed this character to identify with people like me that someone out there either knew someone or they themselves felt the same way I felt and that gives people a sense of worth knowing that maybe even just one other person out there in the world is liked minded. So F*** all your shiney graphics and hire a writer whose lived the last 6 years of his life bumming around the world to turn his stories into something people can feel like they are a part of. Sony...screw you and your lack of common sense...backwards compatibility made you original Blue Ray is worthless and to expensive for anyone, bring it back in 5 years...and for god sakes find the corporate spies who are trying to run you into the ground...Square Enix...you are bad people very very very bad people and I gleefully await ff13 knowing fully well that there is a 90% chances it too will be garbage. Microsoft...I have no idea what you think or do all of your choices baffle me both in there utter lack of thought and their vaulting success...you really do just stand behind your consumers injecting dopamine into there spinal columns...Finally you the readers and gamers...Most don't want to admit it but we've all become slaves to the industry Nintendo will pup out mediocre Mario games and SE will pup out FF games and microsoft will vomit up a new halo and everyone will buy them respectively and think they are golden magic happiness in a plastic case. But nowadays we all buy these things out of habit we don't know any better its a sad truth but gaming is a way of escaping the hardships of life and allowing us to have our own experiences within a safer and more comfortable place. RPGers play them to feel like they belong to something bigger to feel a sense of not being alone and being able to feel and experience things that maybe they never could in the real world. MMOers play them to feel connected to other people something all people feel deep down...that desire to be connected to another human being if only in a digital sense. Sports gamers play them to give themselves a sense of control and satisfaction much like fighting games it gives people a sense of value if only to themselves. Action Adventure games follow the same lines they give you a sense of accomplishment when they figure out that puzzle or collect all those small little w/e's. Then you have smaller genres like horror games and things of that nature which allow people to do live out deep seated fantasies that they'd normally be shunned for...which again is the true reason for gaming allowing us to experince things we can't or haven't yet experienced here in the real world weather it be a grand journey thru a fantasy world gather companions and making life or even world altering decisions. Maybe its to take you team to the play-offs even tho in reality you know they suck and never stood a chance. Maybe its just to have a way to connect with you kids and leave them something to remember you by. Just remember you are the consumer don't settle for crap if you find a game you love and enjoy play the hell out of it. Don't let yourself be tricked into thinking something is good because its pretty or novel, or maybe because its a squeal to something you like think hard about the games you play and voice your opinions then take that lesson to life.

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)

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Okay here we have the newest installment of Mario. So let's see how it did.

Gameplay: First off you'll quickly discover the camera is clearly glued to Mario's back side except on the occasions you need it to be. The wii-mote and nun-chunk will be your tool for this one and for the first bit its not bad, but after about 20 or 30 minutes of twisting your wrist into knots you'll hate it. The game boasts a fully 3D enviroment and you can move around in all sorts on weird ways as you walk straight, left, right, and any other direction. 3/5

I'm betting everyone can guess the story Bowser finds the most recent form of huggy squishy love power in this case stars (sound familiar) and corrupts it for his own goals i.e. kidnapping the princess. So mario runs off to collect the huggy squishy lovey stars and his favorite damsel in distress. 1/5

The game is bright colorful and the stages have inventive designs. Graphically the game is extremely pleasing but once again seems like another case of the pretty girl being not so pretty inside. 5/5

The audio to is actually really good classic and new mario themes play all of which are catching and entertaining. Hearing Mario hoot and woop as he jumps around or brains enemies is nice too. 5/5

The game is long depending on how you play it. If you try hard I am sure you could squeeze 40+ hours out of it and is you are a crazy person with amazing wii-mote skills and a short attention span you'll get around 20. 3/5

Alright here it is the game is another successful and depressing success for nintendo once again they have released another game and said looks its Mario ignore all its flaws because its Mario. Once you take away the shiney graphics and look at the fact that its basically the game as all the last Mario games in its line its really not that exciting. If you are saying what about the cool multi dimensional movement...well if you think about it hard enough you'll realize you aren't actually moving in some bizarre 5th dimension but you really aren't. So in terms of a Mario game this deserves a 5/5 but in actual gaming...3/5

Monday, December 10, 2007

Orcs & Elves (DS)

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Hello, sorry it's late, I've been busy this weekend. So here it is, the review of Orcs & Elves.
Story: Orcs and dark elves teamed up against dwarves and elves and had a huge long war. With your handy talking wand, you must trudge through dungeons to help the kingdom. Generic dungeon crawler plot. 3/5

Audio: The music isn't bad, but it's nothing special. 3/5

Graphics: The graphics look a bit blocky, but theyr'e decent. You can see what you're looking at and get an idea of what's around you. Mood decor is added to the stages, like insects near corpses and goo splatter from dead monsters. it's not amazing, but it works. 3/5

Gameplay: It's a first person dungeon crawler. The bottom screen is dedicated to your menus, the most useful being the map, while the top screen shows what your character sees. You walk around killing monsters, destroying objects, and solving puzzles until you make your way through the dungeons. Occasionally you'll fight a boss, shich means you needs lots of potions. Between levels you can go to an area known as the dragon's lair and buy equipment and items from the dragon. She'll even let you negotiate the prices. The game goes like that, explore dungeon, use potion, talk to dragon, rinse and repeat. 3/5

Replay: It's a fairly short game with a linear progression. I don't see much point in replaying. 2/5

Overall: It's not a bad game, but I'd recommend renting over buying. 3/5

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Kit's Thoughts

I probably should call this Kit's Rant #whatever, but I can't remember what rant I'm on. Besides, it's mostly thoughts than yelling at anyone person.

I've been reading a lot lately about Lost Odyssey. Not as much as some of you I'm sure, but enoguh to notice a trend. First, let's talk about a brief blurb on this game. It's an up and coming game by Mistwalker studios which will make use of the unreal engine. For those of you not aware, Mistwalker is compromised of what I'd like to think of as the best of the old school game designers. Their first game on the 360 was Blue Dragon.

So, what do I have to say about this? Well, I haven't played the game as we're not famous enough to get to preview these games. Common trend I've seen in previews have been discussion on the cinematics, turn-based battle, and the story line. One preview spent a lot of time comparing Lost Odyssey to the Final Fantasy series, going into how exactly like FF it is, from the turn based battle system to the fact there are air ships...because no other game has ever used airships....certainly not a game like Skies of Arcadia, or something. Comparison with FF aside, if you're an RPG you can't escape being compared to FF no matter what you do. Be different and you're breakin away from the FF formula, be the same and you're just a FF clone. Let's move on to the cinematics discussion. I heard that the game has 40 hrs of cinematics. One preview marks this as a good thing, all beautiful and story driven, etc etc. Another one matches my own view on cinematics, surethey're nice, but i'd rather not have one every time i step out of battle. This trend towards long cinematics, or frequent cinematics annoys me because I want to play a game, not watch a movie.

ok, I've lost my train of thought, but My points are in there, somwhwere. People need to stop comparing Mistwalker games to Final Fantasy. People need to stop making games that are more movies than actual gameplay.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Puzzle de Harvest Moon (DS)

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Ok, so I have lots of things I need to do, so I'll make this as short and sweet as possible.

Story: This is a puzzle game, hence the title. There is no story. 2/5

Audio: The music and sound of the game is somewhat light and cutesy like all HM music. It doesn't really stick in your head when you're done. So it's neither good nor bad. 3/5

Graphics: The graphcis aren't horrible, btu they're not somethign to write home about. On the other hand, this is a puzzle game, and you don't need amazing graphics to play. As long as you can see whateverythign is, and you can, you're in good shape. 3/5

Gameplay: In theory Puzzle de HM is a very simple game. On the right hand side of the screen you have inventory that randomly appears including seeds, watering can, fertilizer, baskets, and animals. You plant the seeds on the field, then water them, then fertilize them, and once it's become a vegetable, you harvest it with the basket (or running the stylus over it quickly). If you were playing by yourself this would be completely simple. However, you play against 3 other characters. They are all doing the same thing as you. Which means while you're panicking to figure out what to do, they're using their computer brain to handle it all. So, I found it was easier to let them do all the work and steal the vegetables when they sprouted. One game takes you through the four seasons and the person with the top score wins. You can also play this with friends, which might be more fun than the computer, if only because they'll be as confused to what they're doing as your are. 2/5

Replay: As a puzzle game you're expected to play again and again. As a tedious game, you're expected to lpay a handful of times and then throw it away. 2/5

Overall: I had played a demo of the game and liked it, so when I got my hands on an actual copy I was very sad. What seemed simple and human-paced turned into somethign simple and so fast-paced that I couldn't figure out what I was doing. Of course there are those of you who might like the fast-paced challenge of this, and if so, more power to you. I'll stick to my games that I have an idea of what is happening. 2/5