Author Archives: lcenteno
Greetings everyone, and welcome back to my esteemed blog. It has been quite a number of months since my last post. I have been very busy with the job search and seeking possibilities of returning to school. I am very happy to say that I have not only acquired a new position, but I am also in the process of applying for school.
Now that the wheels are in motion, I am happy to get back to my favorite past time; that being sharing my insights and reviews with you. I will be back on Wednesday 3/18 with my full review of Final Fantasy Type 0 HD. Until then everyone, be safe, and happy gaming!
Greetings my fellow bloggers and welcome back to my esteemed blog. I know that tumbleweeds and crickets have been occurring as of late, and I do apologize for that, but here is the story.
Shortly before the holidays, due to budget constraints, I was laid off from my company. The fact that I loved my job and the fact that it was right before the holidays really took a toll on my pride and holiday spirit. I managed to spend Christmas with my family, hiding my sadness by putting on a happy persona that should have been academy award worthy. In a little over 24 hours from now, it will be 2015. I have decided to take another two weeks off and clear my head before I begin the job search. I just wanted to let you know that I even though I may be down, I am far from out. I will be back January 18th with some glorified gaming goodness. Until then friends, have a safe and Happy New Year! 🙂
Greetings everyone, and welcome back to my esteemed blog. Sorry for the long delay (yet again), but I have been busy with work and preparing to begin my Japanese courses. Tis the season of ghouls and ghosts, and it’s also one of my favorite times of the year. There is much to be said about the wonderful month of October, mainly because of so many titles that are out, such as Smash Bros. for the 3DS, and others, like The Evil Within. However, I want to take a look at an underdog that is worthy of some recognition, this title of course being Fairy Fencer F for the Playstation 3 console.
Nippon Ichi Software has seen a lot of lows in the past few months with recent releases. The only title that they are best known for is the incredible Disgaea series. This time around, they have brought to us another JRPG in the form of Fairy Fencer F by developer Compile Heart. Is this title worthy of play and praise? Or, does it fall short of any recognition? Let’s find out.
Graphics: This, if anything is Fairy Fencer’s weakest point. The environments are very bland, with little or no life. The character designs are bright and colorful, and the monster designs are pretty well done. The frame rate drops from time to time when traveling through dungeons which isn’t a bad thing, but those who prefer eye-candy may not find it here. Score: 7/10
Sound: The musical score is very well-done. Kenji Kaneko and famed composer Nobuo Uematsu bring a fresh composition of great story and battle driven musical scores. The battle themes are the “pump you up” kind of themes, which is a great thing. Click here to hear the battle theme. Voice overs do not disappoint in this title. The actors actually seem to make an effort to bring life to these characters, as opposed to voice actors who just throw in a voice to simply get a paycheck. Score: 8.5/10
Gameplay: This is Fairy Fencer F’s biggest draw. In terms of exploration, the prime village simply consists of selecting a location and going to a still background of that location and speaking with NPC’s (Non-playable characters). The majority of dialogue that comes from the NPC’s are pretty much insignificant, unless an icon saying “event” or “sub-event” pops up.
The story moves at a fairly decent pace, consisting of a cliche story with your antagonist, Fang and his ragtag group of unique companions journeying to collect these swords called furies that have the capability of resurrecting either the goddess (good) or dark lord (bad). At one point in the story, having to re-visit dungeons became tedious at times, but fortunately the difficulty is amped appropriately to keep things somewhat fresh. The dungeons are fairly short and it’s a pretty much a straight-forward start to finish path, with little exploration options.
The battle system is very well-done. The combat is turned based, but unlike your typical characters on one side and enemies on the other, Fairy Fencer takes a different approach. Think of it as a watered down version of Eternal Sonata. The object is, when it’s a characters turn, they have a circular field that opens up, this being where you can run to. Skills and spells have a different range of attack (single, line, group). When situations get hairy, you can transform (Power Ranger style) into a more powerful version of yourself by binding with your fairy using a skill called Fairize.
You can also acquire furies either through main quests or side-quest missions that have attributes that can give your equipped character a little stat boost. Each character is capable of upping their stats, learning new skills/spells through grinding and getting WP (Weapon Points). You can also use your acquired furies to change enemies in stages, or apply bonuses, not without a stipulation of course. For example, you can go to a stage and stab a fury into the ground of that area using that fury will increase your gained gold by 50%, but it also drops your defense by 25%.
While Fairy Fencer F is not the best game on the market, it provides a fresh battle system, deep mechanics, and a fairly decent plot. This is a game that you should consider adding to your library.
Final Score: 8/10
Welcome back everyone to my esteemed blog. As the autumn months quickly makes it way toward us, the newest line-up of video game titles are slowly trickling their way stateside. One of these games is Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd.
For those of you who are not aware of what Hatsune Miku is, it’s a music rhythm game similar to that of Parappa The Rapper. Button images, square, circle, x, and triangle will appear in different areas of the screen in random sequences according to the beats and melodies of the music. You simply have to press the buttons as they match up. Click here for an example of the game in action.
Sega released this game on a gamble, seeing as how it is such an extremely niche audience. The game however was a massive success, and Sega in their infinite wisdom has decided to bring the sequel. Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F 2nd, much like it’s predecessor will feature 40 songs and a new difficulty setting that will keep you coming back for more Miku! No concrete release date has been released as of yet, but a tentative date is set for December of 2014 on the Playstation 3 and Playstation Vita. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait until next year for this amazing sequel.
Thank you to all my subscribers for following my blog, and be sure to spread the word to your friends. Be sure to check out my review of The Last of Us Remastered this weekend. Until then fellow bloggers, happy gaming!
Welcome back happy gamers to my esteemed blog. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer, and spending a lot of that time basking in non-stop gaming goodness. RPGs (Role Playing Games) has developed a monstrous fan base over the years, and most noticeably, the music that accompanies some titles is treasured among tons of fans all over the world. One piece of music that is among the most popular is the final battle themes—the climactic battle between your heroes and the fiend that you must smite. There are many selections in this particular genre, and everyone has their opinion of which theme is the best of the best. Here is a nice listing my favorite last boss themes:
Now for my top three choices:
…and the winner (at least I think) for best RPG last boss theme song is???????
Are there any RPG last boss themes that you think are undeniably awesome, and stand out above the rest? Share your thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you. Until next week folks, take care and game on!
Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog. I hope all of you out there had an incredible fire cracking 4th of July weekend. As most of us prepare to return to our usual 9-5 occupations, some of us would like to know what is hot in the gaming world. Thankfully, I have come back to bring you yet another fantastic dose of gaming goodness. There are plenty of big names within the gaming industry, but for those of you who are not aware, indie games are making a huge positive impact within the gaming world.
Independent developer Yacht Club Games has launched their newest title Shovel Knight for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. This title is a tribute to retro platforming games that many, if not, all of us are too familiar with. The question is, does Shovel Knight pay homage to a time period of great games? Or, does it insult the genre of retro platforming that we have all loved since childhood? Let’s find out shall we?
Graphics: Shovel Knight is a retro gaming platforming adventure that takes a risk with having 8-bit type graphics, but you can’t help but be mesmerized by the beautiful execution of this trip down memory lane. It dives back into the days of old without ever making the game look too outdated. The sprites and backgrounds are very well executed, the colors are unbelievably vibrant, and the blend of graphical elements from different gaming titles of the 8-bit era (you’ll see which ones shortly) draw you in to the point where you completely forget that you are playing this game on a next-generation gaming console. Yacht Club Games deserves high recognition and praise for their incredible and masterful execution of this element. Score: 9.5/10
Sound: The music of Shovel Knight is a retro gamer’s dream come true. It uses the 8-bit chip sound production beautifully, and more often than not, I found myself tapping my toes to some of these incredible tracks. This is a reminder to gamers that you don’t need a full scale orchestra to create fantastic memorable music. Score: 9/10
Gameplay: The meat of this package is within the gameplay. Shovel Knight is a side-scrolling platform adventure game. It borrows elements from many of the “in-crowd” Nintendo games. The controls are as basic as they come. You have move, jump, and attack. You side scrolling elements from Mega Man using your shovel as a pogo stick from Ducktales, and attacking foes in similar ways to Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania via swiping them with your shovel.
The map layout is very similar to Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the greatest Nintendo games ever (at least in my opinion). You traverse through different dungeon layouts and fight bosses in the same format as Mega Man. You also earn currency via digging up and or discovering gems, gold coins, and other shiny goodies along the way. Currency plays a critical role in this game, as it allows you to buy relics and potions that make your quest a little bit easier. It also plays a role when you die. Upon your death, chunks of your funds are sacrificed to bring you back. Don’t fret, you can return to you place of death and reclaim your lost funds, which are floating in bags.
You may think that this game is a “rip off” of other treasured games of the 8-bit era, but it actually feels like a stand alone title that really makes it’s mark in an incredible way. Some of us veteran retro gamers may find the difficulty of Shovel Knight a little bit mundane, but fear not friends, Yacht Club Games has provided a New Game Plus mode that is sure to scratch that itch for an extra challenge. Shovel Knight looks simplistic but it plays smoothly for those who are veterans of the Nintendo 8-bit era and those of us who were deprived of the joys of these gaming gems back in the days of old. Score: 10/10
Shovel Knight is a fantastic game. It has been years since I played through a platformer numerous times in one sitting, and it felt pretty darn good. Retro gamers looking for a hidden gem, or new age gamers wanting to find their gaming roots, look no further than Shovel Knight. A fantastic tribute to retro games and this will be a classic for many years to come.
Final Score: 9.5/10
Good day to all my fellow gamers. Welcome back to my esteemed blog. I apologize for this insane delay in posting, but recently work and night classes have syphoned my personal time, but once again I have returned and with some very late—but nonetheless excellent and non-bias gaming reviews. The summer is finally here, and kids, teens, and the more paleolithic gamers like myself are always looking to invest countless hours in some gaming goodness. So, I have decided to start by reviewing one of four games on my platter that I am playing and very much enjoying. The first review will be Ubisoft’s RPG, Child of Light. This title has had a lot of expectations. Does it live up to all these expectations, or is it another disappointing letdown. Let’s take a look.
Graphics: Elegance and beauty are understatements when it comes to describing the graphics of Child of Light. From the moment you turn on your console, even the “press start” screen draws you in like a spell. The colors and textures are beautifully drawn. The backgrounds are lush and vibrant with color and life, from the immense forests, to the dark and creepy caverns—It’s an eye-candy overload that fans will love. Ubisoft definitely proves to all of us that they poured their heart, sweat, and tears into providing us a product of pure visual delight. The characters of Child of Light are also brilliantly drawn in both story sequences and gameplay.
The creature designs are almost out of a child’s story, but not in a childish way. Each creature is well detailed and some can also be a bit fearsome. Being a person with a hummingbird attention span, I found myself constantly getting lost or distracted from my path, but I didn’t get frustrated with the game. I simply wanted to keep wandering and soak in the beautiful atmosphere of this amazing world. Score 10/10
Sound: Canadian singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate (Béatrice Martin) brings to Child of Light a musical score that is timeless and beautifully done. Every track seems to fit the environment of the game. From the soothing melody played in the forest, to the climactic boss battles, every piece of music is a joy to behold. Score 9.5/10
Gameplay: This game focuses on the heroine Aurora who, after falling victim to a physical ailment—wakes up in the world of Lemuria. She then begins her quest to save her father from the evil queen, Umbra. Thus, she journeys through mystical Lemuria, gathering very unique allies along the way. A bow-wielding mouse, a jester who can’t seem to complete one rhyme, a golem, and a wizard—yes these are some of the different varieties of characters that you will encounter through your 12-15 hour quest.
While most heroes in video games tend to have a stereotypical look from an abnormally muscular hero, or a sexy seductive heroine—Child of Light has none of these stereotypes. It introduces pretty average characters that still make an impact without all the muscles and sexiness. The battle system is one that is familiar to many fans. It uses a turn based gaming engine similar to the Grandia series. Characters and monsters take turns while small icons in line on the screen races to the “action” button. This determines who gets to act first. This element provides a lot of strategic challenges, because your quick thinking will determine whether you can get the jump on your enemies before they can act, or fall victim to their onslaught. Aurora’s companion Igniculus also plays a vital role in your quest as a distraction blinding your enemies and slowing their progression on the action bar. It is a refreshing element and a fantastic tribute to the gaming franchises that introduced these engines. Score 9.5/10
Child of Light is a game that should be in everyone’s library. It is a beautiful tribute to past games, and it is a brilliant masterpiece to behold. If you have not downloaded this title yet, don’t wait another minute—download Child of Light today.
Final Score: 9.5/10
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my esteemed blog. I must apologize for the delay on my Child of Light review, but Anime Central was in my hometown of the windy city this past weekend, and that took a redonkulous amount of my time. Now that another awesome year at ACEN has passed, I thought I would take a moment and show all of my followers a few snippets of the epic event that was ACEN 2014. I was so fortunate enough to not only see a free (provided you registered) performance of A New World (Final Fantasy Concert), but I unexpectedly bumped into none other than Mr. Nobuo Uematsu himself (yes, I was starstruck like a Beetles fan). It was indeed an amazing year at ACEN. Not sure what the hoopla is all about? Click here to learn all about ACEN! I will be back on Tuesday with my review of Child of Light, and this weekend with Transistor. Until then enjoy the pics!
Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog. It has been quite the active time in the gaming world with so many anticipated titles coming out. I must apologize again for the delayed blog postings, but I recently completed this title and currently working on Child of Light for my next review.
This time around, we are going to take a look at a new dungeon-crawling turn-based RPG from Atlus—Conception 2: Children of the Seven Stars for the Playstation Vita and Nintendo 3DS. I am going to review this title from an objective point-of-view. Conception 2 is a title developed by Spike Chunsoft, developers of 999 and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. So, how does this newest RPG stand up? Read on to find out more.
Story: The story of Conception 2 puts you in the typical role of somewhat silent protagonist, Wake Archus (default name)—a teenage boy growing up in a world infested by demons. Wake discovers the mark of the star god on his hand after a horrible demon attack takes the life of his sister on her wedding day. Wake then decides to attend a school that trains other youths with the star god markings. Demons gather in these nests called “dusk circles”. It’s here that Conception 2’s journey begins.
In the midst of your training it is discovered that you (Wake) have an overwhelming amount of ether within your body that allows you and your female classmates to enter the dusk circles and clean house.
In your training you meet seven different female classmates that you can perform a ritual called “classmating” to create star children. Just so everyone is aware, it’s not the type of mating that you think. You simply hold hands with these S-Ranking classmates and create these children using items called matryoshka dolls. It’s here that the dungeon crawling journey begins. You journey to these dusk circles (dungeons) to clear out the infestations, gather treasures, and eventually confront the boss of each dusk circle. It’s a typical RPG storyline in a nutshell. Score: 8/10
Graphics: The graphical quality of Conception 2 can be hit or miss at times. The character models are pretty fair in design. Some of the dungeons are creative, while others just an eyesore. The anime character design is pretty well done, and the in game characters and monsters are pretty good, as far as design quality goes. Fans of Persona 3 and 4 will feel right at home with the graphics and artwork. Score: 7.5/10
Sound: Masato Koda brings forth a rather trendy soundtrack for Conception 2. The battle theme is pretty catchy, along with other well thought up tunes. The voice work turned out more impressive than I had hoped. It’s definitely a toe-tapping soundtrack, especially where the battle theme is concerned. Score: 8/10
Gameplay: This is the bread and butter of Conception 2. The dungeon exploration is very much similar to Persona 3 and 4. You explore these dusk circles (dungeons) in an attempt to neutralize the dusk spawn, (dungeon boss) and sterilize the circle. Before embarking on your quest, you must utilize the help of one of your female companions by creating star children to help you in battle. At birth, you select the class of your star child.
The battle system seems simple at first, but there are numerous points—especially in the optional dungeons where the difficulty spike is very noticeable. You are placed in three teams, consisting of you and your female companion (mom and dad), and the other two teams consisting of three star children per team. When fighting, you basically surround one enemy in a circle like formation—choosing a side you wish to attack the enemy from. There are standard attacks and weak points depending on which side you attack the enemy from. It’s simplistic, but a challenging strategic element. Score: 8.5/10
Final thoughts: Conception 2 has been criticized as being a rip-off of Persona 4. We have to remember that Atlus (creators of Persona) released this game. So, if they aren’t making a fuss, or throwing out any lawsuits—why should anyone else make a big deal about it? This game is definitely worth picking up. Don’t be deceived by all the biased critics out there, if you’re looking for a good time consuming RPG—then give Conception 2 a go.
Final Score: 8/10