Happy Holidays dear readers, and welcome back to my esteemed blog. I must apologize for the hiatus but, I recently acquired a new position, and that combined with a somewhat lengthy commute makes my time for blogging scarce, but I am back and the blogging will go on.
25 years ago, an action role playing franchise graced us with it’s presence. Unfortunately, it debuted on the Turbo Duo CD, a great console that was too expensive at the time to own. It was also competing with the already popular Zelda series, which is why this franchise never got the recognition it deserved. Now the Vita get a taste of the Ys franchise with Ys: Memories of Celceta for the Playstation Vita console. This is a reimagining of Ys IV: Dawn of Ys for the Turbo Duo CD, which never saw a North American release. So, does this reimagining succeed in giving gamers what they want? Let’s find out.
Graphics: For being a Vita exclusive title, Ys Memories of Celceta delivers graphics that are good but still remain true to nostalgia. The character sprites, animations and creatures are fairly robust, but still manage to keep a nostalgic look to it. The world is vast however, there is little to interact with in this massive re-imagined world, which is somewhat of a disappointment. Score: 7.5/10
Sound: The Ys series has always been faithful to delivering a fantastic musical score, and Memories of Celceta does not disappoint. Fans of Ys music will be having multiple eargasms listening to the amazing musical score. Plus, for those of you who can shell out the extra bucks, the collector’s edition comes with a three disc soundtrack featuring three to four tracks from each of the Ys titles. Score: 9/10
Gameplay: The meat of the package in Ys Memories of Celceta comes from the combat. From the moment you begin the game, you are instantly thrown into battle. In this title, our protagonist Adol is suffering from amnesia, and begins a journey through Celceta to regain the memories he has lost. The combat is pretty fast paced, and boss battles are epic. The side-quest options consist of fetch quests or hunting a creature (some of which can be difficult if unprepared) and killing it. You spend most of your time traversing through the world of Celceta while completing a quest that sadly tends to drag sometimes. Voice acting is present but, they are so rare that the story suffers as a result. Fortunately, the combat manages to keep the blood pumping enough to keep you from boredom. Score: 9/10
Ys Memories of Celceta is a great addition to the already minimal selection of Vita exclusive RPGs. Longtime fans, or if you’re seeking a new adventure, look no further than Ys.
Final Score: 8.5/10
Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog. As many of you know, the Playstation 4 console has been released and I have been very busy enjoying all that it has to offer. Look at the image below for the launch line.
I want to start off by reviewing one of it’s launch titles, the new adventure game Knack. Like most new consoles, the launch titles are usually hit or miss. So, does Knack make the cut as a good premiere title? Read on to find out.
Graphics: Knack delivers a very Pixar Studios like world with colorful characters and vibrant worlds. The enemy designs are very well done, and you can’t get over how cute Knack is in his tiny initial form. It all blends in to bring a cute package. Score: 9/10
Sound: The music in this particular title really makes a stand above the crowd. Each scene has a musical track that is fitting in exploration, combat, and story sequences. The voice cast is equally awesome. I was very amazed at the quality of music that was in this title, and I can assure you that you will be too. Score: 9/10
Gameplay: Knack’s story is unique in it’s own ways. War is rampant on humans as a result of Goblins led by their ruthless and cunning leader, Gundahar. A scientist and his assistant, along with the assistant’s uncle try to stop the goblin’s reign of terror with the help of Knack, the three-foot tall protagonist who is blessed with a unique ability. Knack can utilize pieces called relics to attach to his body, causing him to grow anywhere from eight feet to three stories tall. At the same time, Knack’s story tends to divide into fighting the goblins and butting heads with another antagonist Victor, along with his partner in crime Katrina. This is all combined with beat ’em up combat and platforming elements that bring together a fun-filled adventure.
The battles in Knack can range from moderate to very difficult. Some areas require Knack to combat very large enemies in his tiny form, which results in one-hit kills from most foes that attack him. Of course, when Knack is giant-sized, he delivers the same one-hit kill style beat down to his now insect sized foes. There are tanks and combat planes that can knock giant Knack on his big behind, so play your cards carefully. Score: 9.5/10
There have been many critics who have given this game bad reviews, and I still can’t see anything wrong with this game. Don’t be fooled by biased reviews, Knack is an adventure that is definitely worth checking out. I believe critics were expecting too much from Knack, and decided to whine about it when they didn’t get what they wanted. Even though writer Mark Cerny said initially that the game will be a blend of Crash Bandicoot, Katamari Damacy, and God of War. In my opinion, Cerny delivered on his promise.
Final Score: 9/10
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow my blog, and spread the word about me. This is going to be a busy week, but I will continue to keep the posts coming. Tune in soon when I post my review for Contrast, ResoGun, and Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
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?
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
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
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.