Archive for the ‘Game Reviews’ Category

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The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

July 28, 2011

First off let’s begin by saying this is not a direct port over from the N64 version. This version of Ocarina of Time is packed with new features and visually is stunning to play in 3D. Nintendo have granted us a modern version of OCT and it’s by far the better version. Fans of the N64 version will not be disappointed.

In OCT 3D, nearly everything is an improvement over the original game. The graphics, animation, character models and the gameplay. The 3 dimensional graphics does add a whole new level to the stunning visuals this game has shown. Glittering dust floating in the Lost Woods to the starts in the cutscenes. You have to experience it to understand, it’s very impressive.

Some of the noticeable improvements over the original are features such as the maps becoming clearer, items can be equipped far more efficiently, and Navi is less annoying. Equipping items is less difficult this time with the touch screen. Also when aiming with your boomeranrg, bow & arrow and hookshot, you can either use the directional pad to aim at your desired location or use motion controls. I actually found the motion controls easier and more accurate to use than the directional controls.

The dungeons or locations haven’t changed although you would think so with the graphical upgrade. Also with the Iron Boots being less difficult to equip you can now embrace how easier the Water Temple has become or any other dungeon that requires equipping items for that matter. What I realised and remembered is this is one of the games that doesn’t hold your hand and instructs you on what you have to do in dungeons. The process is you enter a dungeon and it’s up to you to figure everything out. Many games have turned away from this forumla to allow more casual players to be introduced. This game does use a hint system but these are found in certain places. You will need to find Shiekah or gossip stones and that’s how you activate a hint in OCT 3D. The downside is sometimes you could get stuck and have no idea where you should go next because if you forget to perform even a small event it will stop you from proceeding on in the story.

Death is still the same, no checkpoint system has been introduced unless you trigger an event. If you die in a dungeon, it means you will need to start the whole dungeon over, this will leave players being more vigilant while journeying into dungeons. No autosave feature has been introduced either. Exploration is still the same with no fast travel, no teleportation, so if you want to travel to a certain location you will have to get there either by walking or by riding on a horse called Epona.

Extra easter eggs, and an all new Master Quest will definitely mean more replay value. Upon completing the game, you will have the option of journeying through Master Quest. This option will make your adventure much more difficult. The world will be mirrored, enemies stronger and items could be more difficult to find even if you have played the game numerous times before. Also another added bonus is you can replay all boss fights and if you’re looking for a challenge, you could face all the bosses in one gruesome fight and see how far you can survive.

My only problem with the game was the camera. The camera can be very annoying at times during battles or especially in boss battles, yet this game has many positives about it and it won’t take away from the games experience but it does get annoying when battling large enemies.

Ocarina of Time 3D is a welcome remake to the legendary series and it’s a very impressive title in itself. It’s as addicting, fun and memorable as it was back then but even better this time round.

9.5/10

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White Knight Chronicles II Review

July 28, 2011

If you’re a big fan of JRPG’s you would know they haven’t really lived up to expectations this generation. Compared to the amount of  how many were released during the last generation but when compared to this generations amount, you would easily realise that JRPG’s are on a downfall. So White Knight Chronicles II comes along exclusively to the PS3 but is it good enough to warrant a purchase? Let’s find out.

The story of WKCII is weak or just average. Nothing spectacular. You start off with a 40 minute introduction which drags on really because you don’t get a tutorial and seems like you’re dropped in the middle of the story not knowing what’s going on and with skill points to add to your characters. If you’ve never played a JRPG you will find this part of the game complicating because it doesn’t hold your hand and tell you everything that you need to know. Although you do get the first game on the same disc meaning if you’ve played the first or start with playing the first game you will understand most of the games mechanics. Mostly everything you need to find out will have to be done by yourself. Also each section is split into mini sections just like most JRPG games and at the end of it is a boss or that’s how you progress with the story, with a few branching paths that may lead to a treasure or just a different method to reach your destination. The game is linear to some degree, but not as much as say FFXIII.

The gameplay is what makes this game. It’s really fun to progress and make your character stronger by leveling them up, increasing their guild rank, learning new abilities and hunting for bounties. The game is packed with content, online and single player. Hundred of hours can be put into this game which is the reason why I needed a couple of weeks to write a review for this game, it’s really that big.

The battling itself is not exactly turn based but some what similar. You hit an enemy and wait for a circular bar to fill up until you can then proceed with another attack. You’re limited by what skills you can choose from depending on your level, mp and other character attributes. You have a number of quick access bars that you can choose from. With these you can attach your most used skills and abilities to access them more efficiently during battles. You control only one character during battle but can switch characters in case you want to use one of their skills at a specific moment during a fight. Also true to its name you can evidently transform to a White Knight right from the get go of the game, but the character you’ve created will not be able to transform right from the start. Only one of your allies will be able to.

Online in WKCII is much like a completely different game. You can journey with a friend/stranger together and complete quests together to increase your guild rank and make your character even stronger than before. Online is packed and I mean literally packed with hundreds of quests to complete and choose from. Unique items to purchase and other various features. I mean you can spend hours without even realising. It’s really fun to play with people online and while time flies you will realise it’s past your bedtime.

The games visuals are really great and you will spend most of your time in more natural looking locations rather than cities with the latest technology & skyscrapers. Games rarely tend to do this. Each town has numerous things to do and you can spend hours doing the sidequests in each town.

The voice acting itself isn’t anything spectacular but it does work but the music in the game is addicting and you will find yourself humming it even while not playing the game.

To fully experience this game, you need to play this game more than you would play a usual game. To summarise WKCII it has a lot sidequests, awesome online mode, great battling system and gameplay but a very weak story. So if you’re looking for a great JRPG to consume your time in until the next big JRPG then look no further because WKCII is one of the best JRPG’s to have been released this generation.

8/10

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inFAMOUS 2 Review

July 28, 2011

Sucker Punch’s Cole Mcgrath is back and while inFAMOUS was a new successful title that took everyone by surprise, the million dollar question is how does inFAMOUS 2 scale after 2 years? Is doing the same thing you did 2 years back still fun or has it become a repetitive chore for any player to play as a super hero?

inFAMOUS 2 takes us straight into the action where The Beast is already destroying Empire City. The story is still told through an animated style comic, which suits the mood of inFAMOUS 2. We were shown a vision of the future by Kessler in inFAMOUS. Cole tries battling with The Beast but to no avail your powers are too weak and they get drained so you become even weaker. You then set off to New Marais with a new assistant named Kuo, a girl who will have a major part to play later on in the game. Once you arrive at New Marais you must head to Dr.Wolfes lab and talk to him about getting your powers stronger enough to defeat The Beast before he reaches New Marais.

Gameplay was what made inFAMOUS very fun and engaging and inFAMOUS 2 makes it that much better, with new powers, faster Cole, better gliding and nearly everything has been improved other than Cole’s voice. inFAMOUS 2 still plays exactly like how inFAMOUS did but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. Change isn’t always good. Cole can unlock powers by either completing story missions, side missions or using his powers on enemies. What has been improved vastly over the original game is the melee. Cole at the beginning of the game is given a weapon called the AMP and I found myself using melee very often thanks to the nice slow motion effect as the weapon is used. It’s actually really fun to use after unlocking all the moves for it. Blast Shards are also back but aren’t anywhere as difficult as collecting in the previous game due to one of Cole’s new powers that can be unlocked later on in the game. New enemies which are more difficult than conduits have been introduced. Also the bosses in this game are huge when compared to the last.

You’re still given the ability to choose if you would like to play evil or good but this doesn’t exactly effect much in the story at all but only how civilians react towards you. Play evil and they will come and try to beat the living hell out of you on the streets but play as good and they actually do help and beat down on anyone that attacks you. Playing good or evil will give you karma based powers, with each karma having a different set of powered abilities, this boosts the games replay value and will want to make the player, play again to see the alternative ending and experience the different powers and different missions you can play.

The city of New Marais has more variety than Empire City. New Marais has a swamp and a flooded area which you will see Cole begin to dance if he steps into a shallow part of the landscape containing any sort of water. Also the amount of destruction that can happen on the screen at once is really impressive. Numerous explosions and enemies doing there own thing makes this game more action packed than the original.

Also Sucker Punch now allows players to create their own missions and upload them for players around the world to experience. These missions are shown on your map just like a story mission but will be coloured in green. Also there is a filter option to filter what sort of missions you would like to show up. Creating a mission is not simple but not easy either since there is basically no tutorial to help you through it step by step. So to create your perfect missions it will mean you will need to play around with the creation feature of the game.

inFAMOUS 2 is not perfect with the camera being sometime a hassle when in interior buildings and the game is yet to be challenging at all. Hard difficulty isn’t really hard and Cole still sticks on to ledges like super glue when you’re not trying to hold a ledge.

inFAMOUS 2 is a fun and engaging game to play. Completing everything will take you around 20 hours and that’s not counting the endless possibilities of playing the UGC missions players have created or you can spend countless hours creating your perfect mission. inFAMOUS 2 does everything and better than the original, with a lot of variety and replay value makes this title a must have for any PS3 owner.

9/10

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L.A Noire Review

July 28, 2011

Let me begin by saying L.A Noire is a very different experience from what everyone’s used to when it comes to games that are similar to the Grand Theft Auto series. This game doesn’t only enter unvisited territory but also does a good job at it. From shoot outs, to playing private eye or chasing people on foot and on wheels. L.A Noire has a lot going for it but is it enough for the people who aren’t used to this flavour of tea? One thing we can be sure is naked women, size 8 shoes and a hell of a lot morphine will be found in this adventure.

The game’s story is basically split into 3 to 4 stories which all conclude to the final boiling point on each desk. You  play as Cole Phelps, a war hero who has earned the Silver Star and returned home. As you progress through the game cases you will see vital flashbacks to what happened during the whole time Phelps was in the war, yet these flashbacks also tie into the story of certain cases you’re playing. There are 5 desks you will need to progress from starting at Patrol, Traffic, Homicide, Vice and then finally Arson. Each desks has different types of cases but most enjoyable for was the Homicide desk. The story was really interesting and very mind puzzling.

Let me get the negative’s out of the way and there is quite a few I would like to talk about.

The world of L.A Noire is set in the 1940’s in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is recreated from top to bottom, so the player can experience how life in the 1940’s was really lived. From Music, attires, vehicles, weapons and to the way characters communicate and speak. The world is filled with interior buildings to explore and it’s very rich in detail, although activity wise there’s nothing to actually do while free roaming. L.A Noire comes with 40 optional street crimes to complete yet each one takes 2-3 minutes, which is quite disappointing. Every crime scene has no challenge at all and seems like the developers were just forced to insert something ‘optional’ in the game because this game lacks a lot of optional (extra) things to do. After completing the game you’re free to revisit free roam mode but if you’ve collected all the film reels, newspapers which are all collected as you progress through the story, and done all 40 street crimes, then you will have nothing else to do in L.A Noire. Free roam gets boring and fast since you cannot shoot or wreck havoc and this makes free roam pointless. Other optional tasks such as driving every vehicle and finding all the famous L.A locations seem nothing but a chore. It’s just like finding collectibles but the only thing that differs is what the collectible are.

Also a few glitches occurred as I progressed through the game. One that didn’t allow me to continue through a case until I got caught. I was meant to tail a suspect on foot without letting them see me, but then the suspect stopped moving forward and I found myself just watching the suspect look left and right as if she was a child just beginning to learn how to cross the road. Once I got bored of the suspect being stubborn and not learning how to cross I got out of  Solid Snake’ s OctoCamo suit and the suspect instantly saw me. After restarting well let’s just say the suspect learnt how to cross the road this time round, phew. Another rather annoying feature was tight corridors. If your partner is behind you, you will have to fight your way back because your partner won’t budge unless you can teleport but I don’t think teleportation was invented yet in the 1940’s.

Phelps is enjoying the new design

Also after doing 10 hours of cases, the game begins to become repetitive, why? Maybe because you keep doing the same thing. You go over to a crime scene, find clues, note them down in your notebook, one of the clues would be another location which you would then need to visit and so on. Every case only differs in location, clues and suspects. You either end up chasing them and trust me every suspect just begins running and you would start to think to yourself after being promoted toVice wouldn’t Phelps learn that suspects won’t listen and just run each time? Every case differs in how you would deal with a suspect yet there isn’t much variety. You would either chase them by car or foot, or you would have to infiltrate their base of operation with a classic shoot out. Then after the dust has settled you would go over the clues you have found and interrogate the suspect before charging them with the arrest. After the case is closed a new one will begin and guess what? You will have to do all the above again.

Moving on to the good stuff, MotionScan. This technology allows the player to experience facial animation like never seen before and I have to admit, it’s really top notch. During interrogation after a witness or suspect answers a question, just by looking at them you could tell by their facial expression if they’re lieing or telling the truth. This is where L.A Noire shines and it’s one of my favourite features in the game because I haven’t experienced anything like it. Also this feature brings cinematic experience to video gaming that much closer, and each character animation has been acted out by a real actor to capture each glimpse and each hard gulp.

Twilight?

During an interrogation you will have your notebook and the list of questions you will be able to ask. Once the witness or suspect answers a question you have 3 options to select from, lie, doubt and truth. Once you’ve selected an option Phelps would either tick or cross the question you’ve asked depending on if you’ve selected the right choice. Although if you select lie then you will have to select from the list of clues you’ve found to prove that the suspect isn’t telling the truth. Get a question right and the suspect will open up allowing you to jot down more clues but get it wrong and no new clues for Phelps notebook. Although getting a question wrong will not end the game,  but will allow you to less understand the suspect’s motives and the story won’t be as clear.

Searching for clues I found is the most entertaining aspect of this game. You will enter a location and as you walk around your controller will vibrate allowing you to inspect that section more closer. Also each clue is very rich in detail from the text to the dripping blood.Once a new and relevant clue is found Phelps will jot it down in his notebook to be referred to later on in the case.

And we have a wise guy.

As you progress through the game, you will start to rack up points depending on how many questions you answered right or how many clues you found by the end of a case. This will allow you to rank up and sometimes you will unlock a new outfit or a new intuition point. An intuition point allows you while interrogating a person to either erase a wrong answer or if you have a social club account to ask the community which is the right answer. Basically like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire’s ask the crowd and 50/50.

Not only is the voice acting outstanding but so are the performance of the actors. This will allow you to immerse yourself more into the story and the music is very 1940’s making you feel that you’re currently living during that time.

L.A Noire succeeds in many areas but also has flaws. You either love it or hate it but L.A Noire succeeds in being a different type of game than what we’re used to. Although the game does have a slow paced story and gets repetitive but the game is enjoyable and it was entertaining. You can complete everything in the game in just over 20 hours. Free roam you cannot do much in which is a shame really because L.A Noire contains a very large free roam world for you to explore yet there is absolutely nothing to do in it. If you love action games with mix of noire, then you only have one choice but to check this baby out.

7/10

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Fallout: New Vegas Review

October 31, 2010

War, war has changed. It’s 2010 and the the sequel to the 2008 game of the year Fallout 3 has been released, but could the sequel grab the game of the year award even though it has been developed by a different developer? Does Fallout: New Vegas fall short to what made Fallout 3 successful or does it do everything the previous entry in the series did and more?

Skinned alive.

New Vegas does not act as a direct sequel to Fallout 3, but offers a similar role playing experience with many new and returning features. The game is set 4 year after the events that took place in Fallout 3. You play as a Courier who’s job is to deliver packages till one day your package is stolen and you’re left for dead. You’re then rescued by Victor a mysterious robot and brought back to a town called Goodspring. Story wise, nothing new, it has been done over a million times. While the story can be interesting at times with the numerous branching paths the game can end, yet it doesn’t draw you in and you will find yourself discouraged in continuing the main quest because the story is, let me try and summarise this…boring.

Anyone order a hammer?

You will awaken at Doctor Mitchell’s house and will be introduced to the character creation screen. Here you will create your character just like Fallout 3. Name, age, gender, specials and so on. Once you’re about to exit the Doctor’s house, you will be presented by a notification asking you if you would like to turn on Hardcore mode, but we will get to that later. So the game begins with you, the Courier in search of the man who shot you, Benny. Then you’re open to a whole world of possibilities, with currency used as caps, dinosaur toys, radiated rockets, ghouls and hell of a lot of bugs and glitches.

While Fallout: New Vegas is a larger game in comparison to Fallout 3, the game is infested with glitches and game breaking bugs. Which comes the million dollar question,was this game even tested? The main quest itself is bugged. The sidequests are bugged. Your companions are bugged. The loading screen is even bugged. During my playthrough I had just completed a main quest and fast travelled to The Strip. I approach the door and it wouldn’t allow me in because now you magically need a key. I’ve been in The Strip more times than I can count and what makes it even worse was this occurred after the 1.01 patch on PS3 was installed. Other bugs such as your companions being stuck to the environment while trying to run, you getting stuck next to a car and frame rate dropping to zero. The game also freezes multiple times, that you frequently begin praying it doesn’t freeze because once it does, it means the console itself has frozen too.

How cliché.

This game seems to have been released incomplete and not tested at all, but when the game isn’t suffering from these glitches it’s truly great. The game is really fun to play when you’re not experiencing the bugs and glitches. The game delivers hour upon hour of joyful gaming. Even while you’re with your girlfriend, you will be thinking Fallout. Although in this day and age, games with this amount of bugs cannot be excused, but then again Fallout: New Vegas does do what it’s meant to and that’s make the player addicted, and I am.

The visuals are out dated and so is the engine. The game itself overall is visually and performance wise better on PC. It’s even less buggy. Players who have played Fallout 3 will recognise many of the textures used in New Vegas. Character appearances have not changed and you will see the same looking civilians in this game that you saw in Fallout 3. Does this mean Fallout: New Vegas is the same game as Fallout 3 but with a different topping? Short answer to that, no. Long answer, noooo. New Vegas is a very different game, with various differences such as a more balanced character building system. At the end of the game, your character won’t feel the same as the other million players that are playing around the world.

Somethings burning...

The V.A.T.S. system is back and is still pretty much the same although your character can use unique melee weapons abilities can be performed in V.A.T.S. A weapon modification, crafting and plant harvesting system have been incorporated into the game. The weapons modification system seems shallow with only 3 types. Increase the size of your weapon’s magazine, mounting a scope or modifying the rate of fire. The plant harvesting system allows you to collect various types of herbs and roots to create powerful healing herbs to aid you on your quest or you can use them to create bombs and even insert them into your ammunition for that extra omph power. Also a number of casino games such as Roulette and Black Jack can be played within The Strip.

Decisions have become more important than ever. No more decisions between black or white. The obvious answer isn’t slapped into your face and speech challenges still depend on your character’s specialities. Although this time around if you fail a speech challenge it can be redone by speaking to the same character again, rather than it disappearing forever.

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Hardcore mode adds to the challenge but is it interesting or annoying? You consistently have to keep hydrated, eating food, sleeping and you cannot fast travel if the distance will make you sick of dehydration. Your Stimpaks also do not heal instantly but overtime and your bullets can add weight to your inventory. Hardcore mode doesn’t necessarily add much of a challenge but does become a chore over time. Good thing it’s optional. If you’re searching for realism Hardcore mode is the way to forward.

The reputation system that was absent in Fallout 3 is back in New Vegas. The role of this system is to ally with whom you desire. Each faction will react differently towards you depending on your loyalty towards them. Such as helping the NCR will make Caesar’s Legion angry and will shoot you on sight, while the NCR will aid you during your quest and vice versa. A companion wheel has been implemented to allow interaction with your companion to be less of a nuisance. Options such as follow, stay close, wait and talk are available to use. You can only use one humanoid and one non-humanoid companion simultaneously. Roaming the Wasteland with a companion grants you a special perk to be equipped as long as the companion is with you.

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Voice acting is one of New Vegas’s strong points. No matter how long you spend in the game, you will always hear something new the characters have to say but then again some sentences are repeated enough times for you to learn the script. The radio station’s music is still similar to the likes of Fallout 3’s with old classics playing, it really does add atmosphere to the game, especially The Strip music.

Fallout: New Vegas is a game with a large number of rough edges with its ageing engine detracts from the experience, yet it’s really fun game to play and you will find yourself spending half your life completing. With the main quest to take an average of 17-20 hours to complete alone. Even if another identical Fallout game is to be released with only a different topping, we wouldn’t say no.

Score: 8/10

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Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep Review

September 18, 2010

When the first Kingdom Hearts was released it had a big effect on me, in a way no game has ever done before. So once KHII came out, I didn’t feel the same feeling as the first Kingdom Hearts. With Birth By Sleep a new entry to the series that combines all the good features from all the Kingdom Hearts games and puts them to the test & does it very well. With Disney worlds, flashy Keyblades, light versus darkness and an engaging story.

KH: Birth By Sleep acts as a prequel to the Kingdom Hearts series and it takes place 10 years before the events of Kingdom Hearts. The game allows you to play as 3 different characters with each their own adventure. Although the 3 stories do intertwined during some parts of the game and you might have to see a cutscene more than once which occasionally happens. Our 3 hero’s do cross paths, but they do battle different bosses, play different mini games and go through different sections in some Disney worlds. That’s pretty much the basic outline of the games story. 3 stories, 3 characters, 1 main story.

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King Mickey showing off to the girls.

The games visuals are really impressive if compared to its older brother KHII and especially for a handheld. Also knowing that having it on the PSP will come with limitations, sometimes I would forget I’m playing this on a handheld or sometimes I would even ask myself, how much more can the developers actually cram into the UMD? Every Disney character is parallel to their animated counterpart. The game also captures each film’s atmosphere perfectly and give the player some sense of nostalgia. Yet some level designs come packed with interactive features, yet many come as dull and very empty and are just made to walk right through them. What Square Enix need to focus on in their next entry in the series is the level design. The levels are split into sections with most having minimum interaction. Most have only enemies appearing, slay them and move onto the next section of the area and to my surprise, more emptiness. The only level design I thought was done really well is Disney Town. Now in each area of this world it contains a mini game of some kind or platforming elements the player can interact with. From kart racing, to ice cream making to, pinball (you’re the ball). When compared to the other worlds in the game which are all battle oriented, it wouldn’t hurt inserting a puzzle or some platforming elements here or there. This game does it, only just in a world or two.

BBS Cutscenes
Terra & Aqua battling it out!

The camera deserves a whole section on its own. It’s a nuisance. While in an intense battle, I click R & L at the same time to lock on an enemy and instead it locks onto the closest object next to me…a vase or something as ridiculous as an enemy behind a wall beyond your reach. The camera in the series has its flaws and these flaws remain to be unfixed. I actually think they’ve become worse in this game. To lock off the object, it takes you a number of tries and by that time you’d be dead if playing on the harder difficulties. Plus the long loading times could slow down the pace of the game and even after the full data installation, they’re still long.

Gameplay is very fun and engaging. You’d find yourself repeating the same thing over and over but never getting bored. The battle system itself is really fun, I’d say it’s the best in the series. You have a deck just like in Chain of Memories. In each deck slot you can insert an ability and it could be used by pressing triangle, although you can still unleash your normal combo’s by attacking with X. The game allows you to level up your abilities and meld them together to create a even stronger ability or sometimes to even create a new ability altogether if melded with the right items. Magic is much more useful in this game that it can actually be a life saver and for once in the KH series, I found myself using it frequently which is really surprising since the game’s magic was pretty weak and useless in the previous KH entries.

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The trio combining forces.

In battle you will have a command gauge and the more combos you unleash and land, the more your command gauge will fill up and depending on what abilities or attacks you’ve used to charge it up, you will transform to an elemental form such as Diamond Dust (ice) or Thunderbolt (electricity) and others to use their unique abilties. This is just a different way of forming just like in KHII where you can form with your party members and become in Final Form, Wisdom Form and so on. Dimensional-Link is a feature where you can can use another characters abilities. So if you’re playing with Ventus and would like to use Aqua’s command deck, you can forge a D-Link with her and many other characters such as Stich, Peter Pan, Terra, Zack and many more.

Another plus for this title is that it’s packed with content. 3 campaigns with each to take you around 8-10 hours to complete. Then you have the Mirage Arena which acts as the Olympus Collisseum. In the arena you can you play each challenge online(not really online but is actually local play) with someone to help or offline. You can also challenge other players in Versus mode. For winning you receive medals which can be exchanged at the Mirage Arena shop for team based abilities and other goodies. The multiplayer in this game is fun and challenging yet its downside is it cannot be played online and only locally with a friend, although the modes are disguised as online. The game also has command boards which are board games. Think of it as Monopoly. Winning allows you to level up your abilities that you’ve used and also discover new abilities.

Aqua playing Fruitball in Disney Town.
Aqua playing Fruitball in Disney Town.

The voice acting and music in the game is excellent just like we’re used to. With each world having its own theme music and a reprised Dearly Beloved playing at the main menu, what could be better? What I would have improved with the game’s music is by making each track longer. You play in a world for more than an hour and all you keep hearing is a track that is replayed every 10 seconds or so.  Moving on to Terra’s voice which is a total let down. Terra’s voice shows no emotion in the lines he delivers and this effects the story as I, as a player couldn’t seem to be able to connect with him. I couldn’t even take him seriously, because of his…voice. Good thing he fights better than he talks.

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Ventus becomes mouse sized.

KH: Birth By Sleep has its few share of flaws yet this doesn’t mean the game isn’t worth checking out or nor does it draw away from what made the Kingdom Hearts games fun and engaging. I would go as far as saying I had more fun with Birth By Sleep than KHII and that’s saying a lot. If you want a bang for your buck or if you’re a KH fan, get this game because you won’t be disappointed.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo!

Score: 8.5

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God of War: Chains of Olympus Review

August 18, 2010

Zeus! Your son has returned with another God of War game and it bring’s the destruction of the competition! Ready at Dawn studio’s second PlayStation 2 to PlayStation Portable transition bring’s Chains of Olympus to serve as a prequel to the God of War franchise. With their first game, Daxter being one of the best looking PSP games this generation, it’s time for Chains of Olympus to take the crown.

The game open’s in Attica where Kratos is defending the city against an army of angry Persians trying to win the city over. Kratos will begin working his way through the city clearing each area of soldiers and then a huge Basilisk makes a surprise entrance attacking Kratos. Now the Basilisk serves as the game’s memorable opening boss battle as we’ve come to get used to in the series. God of War being the three headed Hydra and God of War II being the almighty Colossus of Rhodes. After Kratos finally defeats the Basilisk, the game takes a shift to an entirely different tale. As I’m keeping this review spoiler free, let’s just say if you’ve played God of War I, II and III, aspects of Kratos’s journey you didn’t understand begin to make sense.

As soon as you begin playing Chains of Olympus, one thing you will notice instantly aside from the amount of detail that has been put into the game visually is Kratos’s combos. What you will feel is all the combos you’ve performed on the PS2 version can also be performed in Chains of Olympus. Ready at Dawn studios has done a perfect job imitating the game’s older brother on the PS2. After 10 minutes of playing, I found myself performing my over used combos from the console version that feel very responsive and sometimes I would literally forget that I’m playing this game on the PSP, that’s how little different the game is from the console version. The game’s combat formula remains still intact, with no changes what so ever made to it. You battle a horde of enemies, large and small, collect red orbs and then you upgrade just like in the console version. Why hasn’t the combat changed in Chains of Olympus? One reason, because it’s still fun. This new game in the series doesn’t bring anything new to the table but it sticks to the series roots.

You will be doing three things in this game, killing hordes of enemies, solving puzzles and killing gods. The puzzles vary in difficulty. Some I found myself solving in a matter of seconds while others I had to backtrack in the level to progress. The game is as expected, very linear and has a few passages that branch away from the main path, with some being to open treasure chests or to solve puzzles. Not much variety has been put into this title, such as the Pegasus feature in God of War II.

What’s disappointing in this title is the low amount of boss fights you face on your adventure. Fans of the series would expect more larger bosses? Well there is only one, which is the Basilisk. Most enemies from the previous game return with only a small amount of new enemies being introduced and even if so, they have the same move set as some of the older enemies in the game. Yet you can’t just unleash a large amount of combos on an enemy and expect it to work on all of them. The boss fights are still as gruesome and epic as ever, with each boss having a different way of taking it down, it will definitely leave you scratching your head.

Magic is pretty much the same as the console version of the game, only shown differently. There is a new weapon to use and for once it’s actually helpful when you fully upgrade it. I found myself using it more than the blade’s themselves.

The visuals in this game are really impressive for a PSP title. Every animation is refined, every area is highly detailed and the scale is just unbelievable! What’s even more impressive is once you enter the game, no more loading screens unless you backtrack to an area you’re not supposed to.

Most of the sound and music from the first 2 games are included in Chains of Olympus, so expect to hear your favourite music to be played while battling a boss or an enemy. Some music tracks have been remixed so they become more suitable for this game’s atmosphere.

Once you’ve completed the game, you will unlock bonus content such as the Challenges of Hades, artwork, developer videos and in game costumes. A more harder difficulty is also unlocked for players willing to play the game again in different costumes.

God of War: Chains of Olympus isn’t just a visually stunning achievement but it’s as if a PS2 game has come to life on the PSP. The games story fits perfectly with the main franchise’s adventure. Chains of Olympus is an adventure you won’t stop playing until you reach the credits.

Pros:

  • Visually stunning
  • Sticks to the franchises roots
  • Superb voice acting and soundtrack

Cons:

  • Repetitive
  • Very short. 6-7 hours to complete
  • Not much variety
  • Repetitive

9.0 / 10