Monthly Archives: October 2013

Pokemon X and Y Review

Pokémon-X-and-Y

Happy Halloween dear readers and welcome back friends to my blog.  It’s been a very trying few weeks and I apologize for the long hiatus, but Halloween festivities, and creating my costume (see below) have really been syphoning my time as of late, but now the blogging can go on.  As many of you know Pokemon is one of the biggest franchises in Nintendo’s arsenal, we have seen the series go through many changes, and seeing many adaptations.  Now the franchise makes it’s way to the 3DS with Pokemon X and Y.  So, does this transition hold true to the series, or has it been lost in translation?  Read on to find out.

Clicker Costume I made for Halloween from The Last of Us.

Clicker Costume I made for Halloween from The Last of Us.

Graphics:  There are times when some games that transition from 2D to 3D are messed up in the process.  Thankfully, in the case of Pokemon X and Y, the transition was done beautifully.  The world of Pokemon has made a successful transition to the 3DS, sporting a beautiful world, great characters, and most importantly, the Pokemon look fantastic in 3D.  The colors are bright and plentiful, and the graphics on and off battle sequences are a complete joy to look at.  Score: 10/10

gaming-pokemon-x-and-y-screenshot-2

Sound:  To say that fans of Pokemon will have an “eargasm” listening to the soundtrack of Pokemon X and Y is the biggest understatement of 2013.  Shota Kageyama, Minako Adachi, Hitomi Sato, and Junichi Masuda merge their talents together to bring a powerhouse musical score that stays true to the Pokemon tradition.   It’s a huge delight to listen to for fans both old and new.  Score: 10/10


Gameplay: 
This is the biggest chunk of the entire package, minus the transition from 2D to 3D.  Besides the great quest of becoming the best trainer and catching them all, so much more has been added to this package that makes the game soar.  Everything you could ask for is here from battling and collecting a mass amount of Pokemon, to exploring the massive Luminose City, to collecting trainer badges.  Pokemon X and Y will definitely keep you more than entertained.  The most amazing addition to this franchise is the Wi-Fi playability.  Players can now use the 3DS’ Wi-Fi capabilities to challenge friends who are within range.  So, if you want to strut your stuff, and a friend is nearby just sit back and show him or her who is really the best trainer of all.  Score: 10/10

Anyone who is looking for a great RPG, or Pokemon fans who have been waiting for a timeless Pokemon adventure should add this title to their library.  It is without a doubt the best Pokemon in the series.

Final Score: 10/10

Advertisements

Beyond Two Souls Review: Is it more than just fancy polish?

Image

Welcome back and happy Friday dear readers.  I wanted to get this review up and running because Pokemon X and Y will be launching tomorrow morning, and that review is going to take me some time.  Quantic Dream has been known for their unique approach to video games, making it more of an interactive movie experience.  They are best known for previous titles like Indigo Prophecy and Heavy Rain.  Now they have released their newest title, Beyond Two Souls.  This title has been highly anticipated since Heavy Rain was a huge hit.  Does this newest title live up to the reputation of previous games?

 

Image


Graphics
:  To say that Beyond Two Souls’ graphics are amazing is an understatement.  Quantic Dream achieves graphical perfection in this interactive cinematic game.  The character models and animations are beautifully executed, and the locations that are explored through Jodie’s eyes are lush and quite beautiful to see.  When you take control of Jodie’s spiritual companion Aiden, you see a different perspective that is again beautifully executed.  Quantic Dreams even went as far as to model the characters after the actors who played them.  This is something that is rarely seen in video games, and Quantic Dream should be highly commended for it.  Score: 10/10

Image

 

Sound:  Lorne Balfe along with Hans Zimmer bring a fantastic soundtrack that draws you into the game.  From intense action sequences, to even a simple dating scenario, Balfe and Zimmer bring forth a fitting musical score that fits every situation perfectly.  Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe give fantastic performances.  Score: 10/10

Image

Gameplay:  The gameplay of Beyond Two Souls can be described as a “love it or hate it” situation.  You are more or less a companion that watches Jodie’s life unfold from childhood to adulthood.  During action sequences you make decisions throughout the scenarios that dictate what Jodie will do, or whether or not an action she performs will be successful.  For example, in a fight scenario Jodie picks up a pipe and swings at a foe.  You must press the right analog stick based on Jodie’s body movement and where she is going to swing from.  Therefore, if she is swinging to the right, you press the analog stick to the right.  This applies to even mundane activities such as cooking dinner and eating.  It is a mechanic that is unique and may not appeal to gamers that are well adjusted to intense action and nonstop button mashing.  You will also assume the role of Aiden, Jodie’s spiritual companion and assist Jodie in both mundane and intense situations.  You utilize Aiden to make objects move or break to impress or scare other people depending on your situation.  In intense situations Aiden uses his abilities to choke enemies, or possess them in order to kill others.  This is a unique approach to gaming which can be fun, but at times it can be tedious.  

The areas in Beyond Two Souls are so gorgeous, and it is a huge shame that the game is linear, and exploring locations is scripted and severely limited.  It’s a downer, but still a joy to look at.  Unfortunately, the story in Beyond Two Souls tends to jump around far too much, which results in a person asking questions of how Jodie landed in the situations that you find yourself in.  There are also points in the action sequences that can be very cumbersome.  Jodie’s body movement is fairly easy to understand at first, but as the game advances her body movement becomes a bit too difficult to read, which results in making a wrong choice.  This wasn’t a big deal, but other gamers out there may find this very frustrating.    Score: 7.5/10

Beyond Two Souls is as I said earlier a “love it or hate it” title.  Fans of Heavy Rain may not be as impressed by Beyond Two Souls and it’s shortcomings.  However, the characters are deep, the story although fragmented is very well told, and it is an experience that every gamer should have just once.  

Final Score: 8/10

Thanks for reading everyone!  Be sure to follow my blog and tell your friends.  Tune in next week when I give my full review of Pokemon X.

 

Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millennium Girl Full Review

EOUTMGHappy Autumn dear readers, and welcome back to my esteemed blog.  With the fall season making it’s arrival, many hit titles are making their ways on to store shelves.  Our next title for review is Etrian Odyssey: The Millennium Girl for the Nintendo 3DS.  Etrian Odyssey is a massive dungeon crawling RPG series from Atlus.  This is a complete remake of the original Etrian Odyssey that was on Nintendo DS.  It is a niche title with a fairly large fan base.  So the question on everyone’s mind is, does this latest entry in the series satisfy the hunger of gamers all over?

Graphics:  Fans of Etrian Odyssey 4 will be more than happy with this graphical overhaul of the original title.  Artwork is well done and the transition of the dungeons and monsters to 3D are beautifully executed.  The anime style movie sequences also add a little more push to the graphical arsenal.  Score 9/10

etrian-odyssey-untold-millennium-girl-screenshot-5

Sound:  The musical score of Etrian Odyssey has always been one of it’s strongest features, and this musical score does not disappoint.  The little voice over work that is provided does the game justice when needed.  Score: 8.5/10

Gameplay:  JRPG fans will jump for joy at Etrian Odyssey’s traditional turn-based gameplay.  The game also takes a unique approach by offering a story mode, which even though very cliched, offers a different approach to the traditional dungeon exploring, level grinding, treasure hunting goodness that makes Etrian Odyssey such a joy to play.  You can also choose to play the original, which sticks to the traditional mechanics that I mentioned above.  Score: 9.5/10

527678093

Whether you were introduced to Etrian Odyssey late in the years and want to experience the original, or someone that wants to experience the remake, this is a good way to experience where it all began.  Highest recommendation.

Final Score: 9/10

I am currently in the process of reviewing Beyond Two Souls for the PS3.  I will also be reviewing Pokemon X for the Nintendo 3DS this weekend.  Whew, lots of blogging on the way, but I will get these up for you, my readers.  Thanks again and as always, be sure to subscribe to my blog and tell your friends about me.  Until next time, see you soon.