Category Archives: Game Reviews

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus reviews

I spent some time recently playing through the remastered versions of Ico and Shadow of the Colossus on PS3, since they’re rather iconic games.

Ico was a disaster for me. I spent so much time being lost or struggling with the controls. It often took me a long time to figure out a really obvious puzzle, just because the controls made it seem harder than it was. The worst offender was when there’s a piston that throws you into the air, and you have to jump at the right time to go even higher. I tried this a few times, never getting the strict timing quite right, and decided that this was not the way to do it. I then spent an hour stuck in that room. That basically sums up my experience with Ico I guess. The story also flew over my head completely, as by the time I got to the ending, I had forgotten what had happened at the start of the game. I’m still happy I played it though, because it was a beautiful game with some unique mechanics.

Shadow of the Colossus on the other hand I enjoyed immensely. The controls of the horse were not very intuitive, and it took me some time to get used to that, but besides that I had a great time with the game. It was unlike anything I had played before – very minimalist game design with nothing to do but slay huge foes. Since the central challenge in the game involves climbing giants that are trying to shake you off, the stamina system works very well (I’ve never played a game with a fun stamina system before, personally). You need to do a bit of climbing and then frantically find a place to rest before you drop off like a dead bug.

The pacing and feel of the game is amazing. You first spend 10 minutes or so travelling a mostly empty landscape looking for your target, with just the sound of the wind playing. Once you’re nearby, some foreboding music starts, and you start getting anxious. You have no idea what the foe looks like or what it can do. Then a huge creature appears and charges you. Battle music starts. You have no idea how to fight it – it’s dozens of meters tall and has armour on most of its body. After trying frantically to stay alive you notice a weak spot, or some feature of the terrain that you can use against it. Your fear turns into excitement as you realise you can kill this thing. Once you start climbing onto the beast and attacking its vitals, the music ramps up to epic levels. You cling on while the monster thrashes around, waiting desperately for a chance to finish it off. Then it dies and everything is quite again. It’s so satisfying to play. Well, most of the time. Many of the battles are excellent, while admittedly some are a bit dull. But the best fights were truly memorable, and the *feeling* of the game is communicated effectively through gameplay mechanics as well as the sound and visuals.

I recently played Rise of the Tomb Raider, and while I enjoyed it, the climbing and action parts have little impact. There’s checkpoints every 20 seconds, and the action is totally over-the-top constantly. Almost no punishment for failing, and little build up or contrast in pacing. I think Shadow of the Colossus does it right. You don’t die easily, but falling does require you to climb up again, and each battle is different, so taking them seriously is rewarding.

Anyway, it’s a great game, even without any nostalgia goggles on. Pacing is something I need to try harder on in my games, as it’s quite hard to test for personally, and I generally scatter story and battles at random. It’s hard to review my own games as I can’t ever experience them properly.

601605

I played games all week

Hey guys, I’m back from my gaming binge. I cleared out a lot of games that were on my playlist, and tried to relax a bit in general. It’s been a long time since I played so many video games in a week.

I started off with Shadows of Adam, which is a SNES-like JRPG that had quite a strong nostalgic impact on me. I spent so much of my teenage years playing Final Fantasy, Golden Sun, Chrono Trigger and all that, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve played a traditional JRPG. The newer stuff doesn’t grip me at all, and I haven’t replayed the old games cause I’m sick of random battles and the huge time sink. Maybe I should give the Final Fantasy re-releases a try, since they seem to have some nice convenience features. Final Fantasy 9 in particular, that’s my favourite. Anyway, Shadows of Adam was a mediocre game I guess, but it got me thinking about JRPGs again, which was nice.

I finally got round to finishing The Witness… well, the regular stuff anyway. I’ll probably keep working on the optional puzzles over time, as I’ve already done quite a lot of them. I think this is my favourite puzzle game ever. I’ve never been so captivated by a puzzle game before, I usually get bored of them quite quickly. I’ve played it for 30 hours and I’m still into it, even though it’s a very slow and often frustrating experience. The game just keeps calling me to explore and try to figure everything out. I think it’s the complete lack of instructions that does it for me. It just leaves me alone to wander around and curiously poke things at my own pace. Also, Ronja challenged me to beat the game without taking any notes. I’m quite proud of myself for achieving that, I think it stretched my memory a bit.

And finally, I got into the Shantae games. The music and character animations are so good. I was a bit surprised at how sexual the games are. I thought it was just going to be a sexy main character, but it goes a lot further than that, with tons of innuendo and weird fetish material. Not complaining at all. I started off playing Pirate’s Curse, which I enjoyed a lot until the later levels. It turns out I sabotaged my enjoyment of the game because I didn’t realize you could buy permanent attack upgrades, and all of the enemies had crazy amounts of health as a result. So that sucked. I played it through again on pirate mode, going for most of the achievements and getting 100% of the items. The levels designs are soooo good for speed running. You don’t even realize until you return to the earlier levels with all of your new abilities. So that game made me a fan of the series instantly. I played Half Genie Hero next, which in terms of gameplay and story I think was actually inferior to the previous game. It just wasn’t as gripping. But it was still a good game overall, and totally recommend the series.

C6W23H-XQAAwMbd

Brb

I won’t be working on EBF5 in March btw. I’ll be pushing out some maintenance updates to EBF3 and 4 and also just taking time off to catch up on games and stuff.

I’m playing Shadows of Adam on Steam at the moment. It’s worth checking out if you want something like the SNES Final Fantasy games but without random battles.
57a487e6fa00b3b4eac50d06f6fa54d2071c94b1

7 Great Free Games on Steam

While getting Epic Battle Fantasy 3 ready for its Steam release, I’ve been looking at other free single-player indie games to see what’s on there.

So here’s my favourite free games I’ve found on Steam so far, in no particular order. They’ve all got really good user reviews too, so you don’t have to take my word for it that they’re great.

Also feel free to suggest other free games on Steam. I might do another list like this in the future.

MANDAGON

MANDAGON is a relaxing little atmospheric platformer with an interesting Tibetan theme. It’s a lot like Fez in many ways. It takes less than an hour to beat and it’s quite easy.

06_36

Jigoku Kisetsukan: Sense of the Seasons

Jigoku Kisetsukan is a cute and awesome Touhou-style bullet-hell shoot-em-up with a catchy soundtrack. It’s not a long game but the playable characters have very different play styles and each gets slightly different bosses, so there’s a lot of replay value. I ended up playing for 5 hours.

Even easy mode is quite hard though – so some bullet hell experience is recommended.

ss_99677ac3244487a8feeef22a8ca5b0a7cb9e0d61.1920x1080

Pink Hour & Pink Heaven

Pink Hour and Pink Heaven are basically intros for the run-and-gun game Kero Blaster. Each can be beaten in less than half an hour. They’re really cute and if you like them you can check out Kero Blaster and Cave Story for bigger experiences by the same developer. I really love his art and music.

ss_241a5fb2642f36c31748a96be40ce3ade225a924.600x338

Eternal Senia

Eternal Senia is a surprisingly addictive action RPG. It’s got very simple and stress-free gameplay with fun character upgrading. You hit stuff, dodge attacks, collect items, upgrade, and repeat. There’s also a cliche anime plot which you may or may not care about. It takes about 4 hours to beat.

It’s cool to see that some interesting games are being made in RPG Maker.
ss_9dec5bf57477703eb8beee4205170c1736c2c888.1920x1080

Khimera: Destroy All Monster Girls

Khimera is basically Shovel Knight with different combat mechanics. The writing and boss characters are great – they’ve all got a lot of personality and memorable designs. I’m glad I played it to the end because the final boss was particularly awesome. Takes around 4 hours to beat.
ss_d2a5e20c008e817c729c4c9e6f066b6f810b9a3e.1920x1080 (1)

Princess Remedy in a World of Hurt

Princess Remedy is like a traditional old JRPG but with shoot-em-up battles. It’s bursting with personality and has fantastic writing – talking to NPCs is actually fun!

It takes less than an hour to beat and there’s difficulty options to accommodate all skill levels – I recommend starting on a harder difficulty if you want a challenge.
ss_35cbcfb9e42a7717d348f5004ae86ace50add3ca.1920x1080

Super Crate Box

Super Crate Box is a lot of fun if you like replaying the same 3 minutes of twitchy shooting action trying to get a high score. There’s a lot of different guns and a few levels and modes. But it’s a pure skill game and you’ll probably know whether you’ll like it or not in the first 5 minutes of playing. It’s hard.
ss_80b6c4bc99c00d602f5cf2f689dc2e5d1a24f766.1920x1080

Beutiful Legends Deluxe

Hay guys. I’m sorry that I haven’t been particularly active lately. A lot of distractions popped up at the same time; I’ve been catching up on video games, the weather’s been quite nice, and it was also my girlfriend’s birthday. Gonna try to post some stuff soon though!

Played through Rayman Legends and got 100% on all of the new levels (not doing the Origins levels again!). Fantastic game. The musical levels were amazing, and in general the level designs were even better than in Origins (and I’m quite happy that the game was a bit easier too). I felt that some of the food-themed levels were particularly creative. The graphics and animations are as beautiful as ever, and in my opinion, it might be the best looking game I’ve ever played.

81M-o-BKkBL._SL1500_

Also played through Kirby: Triple Deluxe, and although it’s a good game, I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as some other Kirby games. I felt like the story mode just dragged on a bit too long. The speedrun mode was particularly weak compared to the one in Nightmare in Dream Land; it was just too long and the levels had too many dead ends. I did like the 3D effects though, and the game certainly made good use of them.
Kirby-Triple-Deluxe-insert1Finally, I played through My Beautiful Katamari. I haven’t played a Katamari game since We <3 Katamari on Playstation 2, but it doesn’t look like the games have changed at all, which is both good and bad. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Katamari is a game series about rolling things up. As you roll, your ball gets bigger and you can pick up larger items. That’s all you do. Most of the fun comes from the humor and variety of items you can roll up. The levels this time felt less inspired than in the previous game, but I think the scale of the final level made up for that. The concept is still great fun.
beautiful_katamari_meri_image21_0

Steam Indie Game Reviews 3

Here’s another batch of reviews! You can click the images to check out the games on Steam.

Botanicula

Botanicula is now my favorite point-and-click adventure game, because it’s the only one I’ve ever managed to beat without a walkthrough! Well I lie, I had to use a walkthrough ONE time. But yeah, it’s quite easy compared to similar games I’ve played, and as a result, I found it much more enjoyable, because I wasn’t lost all the time.

It’s also made in Flash, and shows that Flash games can look and sound really good. If you like games with unusual art styles, you should check it out.

ss_7ddb79946ee9fc240c6ef8f5204038d7ceb9f6f9.1920x1080

This game is really pretty!

Wizorb

This is a fun game as far as Breakout-clones go, but I didn’t think it was anything special. I checked it out because some of the animations were done by Paul Robertson, but it wasn’t his usual style, and there wasn’t that much animation either. I guess it would have been more fun if I was into these games, but I found that it quickly got boring for me. I still played it to the end though, but only on easy mode.

wizorb-001

This game has an RPG theme to it.

Super Amazing Wagon Adventure

I think this may be the funniest single player game I have ever played. On my first attempt, I was laughing the whole time, up until the point where my last dude was picked up by a tornado and gored by a flying buffalo. The humor is just incredibly over the top and ridiculous, and I recommend NOT watching any gameplay videos before playing, as to not spoil anything.

The game’s really short, but there’s plenty of replay value, so it can keep you busy for a few hours. The music is also incredibly catchy.

xblig1

Pew pew pew!

Nimble Quest

This was originally a mobile game, and it really shows in the grindy upgrade system. So maybe you should play this on your phone, instead of on Steam. It’s still fun despite that though. It’s basically Snake, but instead of a snake, you control a line of warriors, where each has a unique attack that they spam at enemies. It’s actually quite a fun concept, and I played it longer than I thought I would. It would have been nice if they expanded on the game a bit for the Steam version though, as it really does feel like a mobile game.

It's kinda like Snake!

It’s kinda like Snake!

Aqua Kitty

Aqua Kitty is a shoot-em-up that’s heavily inspired by the old arcade game Defender, which I’ve played quite a lot. Basically, you shoot down waves of enemies while protecting your kittens from being abducted, while making heavy use of your radar. It’s a fun game, but it feels a bit repetitive. Some more variations between the levels would have been nice. Maybe some more bosses or environmental hazards.

But still, it’s a retro shoot-em-up about cats. That’s enough to check it out.
The survival mode is also quite addictive, and has been keeping me busy.

Pew pew pew! Meow!

Pew pew pew! Meow!

Puzzle Dimension

Not much to say about this one. It’s kind of a generic puzzle game, I guess. You’ve got to move the ball to the end of the level, while traversing a maze of various traps, like ice, fire, spikes, sand, and all that sort of stuff. I usually like puzzle games at first, but once the difficulty increases, I quickly tire of them. And it was the same with this one.

It’s been a long time since I played a puzzle game that wasn’t a Flash game, so the modern graphics were quite nice. It also gave me a few puzzle ideas that I could perhaps use in some of my future games.

Roll the ball to the end!

Roll the ball to the end!

Steam Indie Game Reviews 2

I’m still playing a lot of indie games on Steam, so here’s another batch of quick reviews…

Legend of Dungeon

When I started playing this, I thought that the controls were too simple to make an interesting game. There’s only movement, a jump button, an action button, and a simple inventory system.

But it turns out that there’s such a variety of interesting items to use, that it’s not a simple game at all. You’ve got melee weapons, guns, spell books that can summon monsters, different hats to equip for different abilities, potions with random effects, light sources, item magnets, cats which shoot lasers from their eyes, unicorn shaped shields, and other stuff. And there’s also a massive variety of enemies, which will require different strategies to defeat or avoid.

There’s a lot of interesting ways that the entities in the game can interact with each other. For example: I summon a bunch of skeletons to defeat my foes, one of the skeletons touches a torch and is set on fire, the fire spreads to the other skeletons and eventually to me, and I burn to death.

I should also mention that the lighting effects in Legend of Dungeon are amazing, especially in the dark rooms where you need to carry a light source with you. The game is best played in a dark room, for maximum atmosphere. I found the controls quite hard to master on a keyboard, but they work very well with a controller.

Also, the shield is overpowered. The devs should probably nerf that or make the other melee weapons more useful.

LoDSS130073536919319354

The lighting effects are pretty cool.

La-Mulana

I tried to like this game. I really did.

Everything about it is great; the humor, the music, the action, the graphic style, etc. But it’s so cryptic that it’s almost unplayable without a walkthrough, and using a walkthrough for the entire game would be boring. I gave up a few hours in, once I could no longer make any progress by myself. La-Mulana gives you almost no instructions or directions at all, just very cryptic hints that are usually impossible to understand. Some of the more annoying puzzles include invisible floors, or breakable walls that look like normal walls.  The world is so massive and has so many path branches that you’ll be backtracking for ages before you figure out what you’ve missed or where to go.

Even very important key items like the map and warp system are fairly well hidden!
I probably wouldn’t have found them for a very long time, but I checked the wiki when I got trapped in a dead-end room. There’s actually traps that force you to load your last saved game! And they don’t even tell you that you’re perma-trapped! So you have to sit there like an idiot for 15 minutes trying to get out.

Ugh. It’s a shame. I really would have liked to finish the game. Cause it would be awesome if it was actually playable. If I wanted pointlessly difficult games, I’d pull out something for the NES.

But who knows, maybe I’ll give it another try someday.

Where do I go?!

Where do I go?!

Papers Please

Papers Please is a very unusual game. I’m not even sure how I can describe it effectively.
You play as a dude who checks passports for a fictional communist country. Sounds boring right? But so much drama happens. People try to bribe you, they tell you their sob stories, they try to smuggle weapons and drugs, your superiors are eager to punish you for any mistake you make, terrorists ask you for your help in overthrowing the government (and you can!), and if you mess up, either your family will starve, you’ll be arrested, or you might just die in a terrorist attack. There’s tons of different endings, and all of your actions have far-reaching consequences.

I used a walkthrough, because I didn’t find the gameplay very fun, I just wanted to experience the story. But I think the gameplay is supposed to NOT be fun. It’s supposed to be really stressful, and to put you in the shoes of the character you play. And maybe I cheapened the experience a bit by using that walkthrough. Oh well.

Anyway! The story was intense! It makes you really think about what effect your actions will have on others and yourself.

Shot05-Brothel

So many papers!

Intrusion 2

Intrusion 2 is basically Metal Slug with physics. Objects get thrown around, trees bend and wobble, and enemies wave their mechanical tentacles around.

I didn’t really care much for the physics, but I guess that’s what made the gameplay a bit different from similar games. The mech designs were cool and the boss battles were epic. The final battle in particular was one of the most insane boss battles I’ve ever played in a game.

My main criticism about Intrusion 2 is that the levels just dragged on for a bit too long. Enemies and scenery just repeated a few times too many. It took me over two hours to play through the game, while Metal Slug fits the same amount of content into a much shorter game with more replay-value.

It’s also worth noting that it was made in Flash by one guy!

intrusion2_screenshot_051

Fighting a giant mecha-snake while snowboarding down a mountain!

Ballpoint Universe

Don’t know if it was just me, but I really didn’t like the controls in this game. They were just really wonky no matter what settings I used. The gamepad joystick was too sensitive for the shooting parts, but not sensitive enough on the menus. And the mouse controls were horrible for the platforming bits.

The platforming bits seemed unnecessary. Why not just give us a menu-based level hub instead of constantly shifting between two types of gameplay?

The shoot em parts were quite fun, but felt like they could have been done a lot better. The worst part was how often enemies would go off screen. If enemies go off screen in a shooter, they’re not supposed to come back!! But in this game, they do, quite often. Most of the enemy movement patterns depended on your movement, so you often had to move in a way that would keep them on screen. That’s pretty annoying.

Anyway, I played the game for the artstyle, and it surely delivered on unique graphics. The melee weapons on your ship were fun too. But overall I wasn’t too impressed.

ss_c02884b8c75c51904bb4a724c2f0d3e96ffb112c.1920x1080

Everything is a pen drawing!

Reus

Reus isn’t really my type of game. I just picked it up because it looked interesting, and it was. You play as four giants who terraform the world and make it habitable for humans. Then the humans get greedy and start fighting wars with each other, and eventually they’ll even start attacking your giants. At that point it’s time to destroy their civilization with a single punch.

Fun concept, but it’s not something I can play for more then an hour or two before getting bored.

I also liked that the game looked like it could have been made in Flash. I’m sitting there thinking, “Hey, I could do graphics like that!”.

reus-2013-05-19-18-20-55-78

Don’t piss off the giants.

Steam Indie Game Reviews

I picked up a lot of indie games on Steam lately, and here’s my opinions on some of them…

Jamestown

Jamestown is a bullet hell shooter, so that pretty much guaranteed that I would like it. It’s got a very unique setting; it’s set in the 16th century, on Mars! The main character is fleeing from the King of England, and is fighting against the Spanish fleet and a bunch of aliens, with steampunk jetpacks things. That’s kind of cool.

Gameplay-wise the most notable thing is that it’s a widescreen, but scrolls vertically. I’m not used to that, as it means a lot of bullets come from the sides, as opposed to games like Touhou and Dodonpachi. There’s also a pretty big variety of ships, with very different play styles. But I still stick to the Dodonpachi-style ship, cause that’s what I’m good with.

The pixel art is nice, the music is fitting, and the game difficulty is quite reasonable.

Pew pew pew!

Pew pew pew!

 

Spelunky

Spelunky is now my favorite rogue-like game. It’s charming, funny, polished, challenging, and incredibly rewarding when things work out for you. There’s tons of awesome secrets, and lots of hilarious situations that can occur. For example: You pick up a golden idol from a trapped pedestal, and a huge boulder rolls across the screen demolishing everything. You get away safely, but this boulder smashes into an item shop, and so the shopkeeper goes berserk, grabs his shotgun, and chases after you. The boulder also destroyed a nearby temple and pissed off a goddess, who unleashes a horde of spiders on you. All of the different entities in the game have so many ways of interacting with each other that the game never runs out of new experiences.
There’s a good variety of items and powerups, and optional hidden levels, which also make each run very different.

Spelunky does get frustratingly hard at times though. (Damn those spike traps in the jungle area!) If they toned down the difficulty a tiny bit, I think the game would be perfect.

screenlg1

I love this game, but I think it hates me.

Rogue Legacy

I was kind of let down by this one. It just wasn’t all that much fun after a while.
Having permanent upgrades made it feel like the game was more about grinding for gold than actual skill, like most rogue-likes. But maybe I just sucked at it.
Giving your heroes random disabilities was a fun gimmick, but it got quite annoying once you actually started to play the game seriously.

It also felt kind of cheaply made: Most of the enemies had tons of color variations, big enemies were just stretched little enemies, equips didn’t visually change your character besides the color, the backgrounds were quite bland and repetitive… It was also a bit boring that the bosses were just huge versions of normal enemies (pictured).

Anyway, I beat 3 bosses, and then gave up. Maybe I’ll try again later. I mostly ended up feeling that I’d rather be playing Spelunky.

Rogue-Legacy-1

Super original boss.

Thomas Was Alone

This game might not look like much, but it’s got a very good story! The only characters in the game are a bunch of rectangles, but you’ll start to care for them by the end of the game.

The platforming gameplay isn’t anything too special, and is often quite buggy too, but it’s worth playing for the story and atmosphere. It’s also short enough to finish in one sitting (4 hours), if you like short games.

Thomas-Was-Alone-6

Yup, there’s not a lot to look at. But you’ll get quite attached to those rectangles.

Hammerwatch

This game’s probably a lot more fun with friends, but I played it by myself.
Anyway, I didn’t find anything particularly good about this Hammerwatch. It’s just a very simple dungeon crawler. Too simple and repetitive to stay interesting for long.

I actually gave up because I got lost; I think I forgot to activate a switch somewhere. But the switches aren’t marked on your map, and they’re very bland looking, so they’re very easy to miss. I got fed up with that, and just ragequit forever. Also, the map obstacles like spikes and arrow traps are very frustrating, as they often insta-killed me while I was backtracking and not looking out for them.

The bosses were pretty fun I guess.

Hammerwatch-1

You can pretty much explain the whole game with one screenshot.

Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures

If you’re a fan of frustratingly difficult platformers, crude humor, old NES games, or the AVGN on YouTube, then you should check this game out. It pretty much plays like a NES game, though the graphics and music are *slightly* more modern. It’s hard, but not too hard. It gets easier if you keep practicing, and is very rewarding when you manage to finish a level. There’s also tons of references to NES games, which you’ll probably know from AVGN’s videos, and the music is awesome too.

My only complaint is that it seems to crash quite a lot, especially when I’m near the end of a level. Ugh. I’ve also noticed a lot of the sound effects previously appeared in a Flash game called Tower of Greed, and they just feel out of place since I’m so used to hearing them there.

avgn-adventures-880x495

Strangely enough, spikes don’t kill you in one hit. That’s nice of them.

 

Pokemon Y Review

Hey guys! I disappeared for a while because I was playing Pokemon Y. In the last 5 days I clocked 59 hours, and caught 247 Pokemons. I don’t think I’ve ever played a game that much before.

I stopped after beating the game, but I’ll probably keep going back to it every once in a while, since it seems like there’s still a lot left to do.

Instead of writing a structured review, I’m just going to make a list of everything good and bad about the game.

(WARNING: KINDA SPOILERS)
Pokemon_X_13608573195439Pokémon-X-and-Y-Screenshot8

 

 

 

 

THE GOOD:

It’s a Pokemon game.
The 3D graphics make the game feel very fresh, even though the gameplay isn’t all that different from previous games.
I actually liked most of the new Pokemon, especially the cute first stage evolutions.
I can dress up my character! Makes shopping so much more fun, and personalization is very important in a massive game like this.
You can use TMs as many times as you want!
Mega-evolutions are kind of cool!
You still get experience for catching a Pokemon!
You can encounter a lot of Pokemon (400+ I think?) before even finishing the game. Some previous games limited you to a lot less.
Lots of stuff for old fans; including 1st gen starters, Viridian Forest, and Pikachus early on.
Dungeon designs were interesting and reasonably varied.
I can make random character videos! Not useful but still cute.
The major story cutscenes were actually quite good.
I can give my dog a haircut!
Quick Balls are overpowered. Kinda cheap, but speeds things up nicely.
I can give myself a haircut! But the hairdresser usually butchers it.
Lots of new player animations! You can sit on chairs and beds, and kneel down when talking to kids.
Gym and Elite 4 interior designs are awesome.
Mirrors actually work!
Roller skates!
You can ride Rhydon, Skiddos and other things!
You get ambushed by a ghost for no reason!
Competitive training/breeding is apparently a lot more accessible now.

THE BAD

The game’s too easy! My Pokemon were always at much higher levels than the opponents. I’ve heard that EXP share is to blame for this.
Lumiose City is too easy to get lost in, mostly due to the camera spinning around and every area looking the same.
The developers didn’t try very hard when creating road-blocks. There’s a power cut? The lights are on behind you!
Pokemon still don’t have their actual voices, except for Pikachu. Really ruins immersion when you’re still listening to Gameboy-quality sound effects.
You still can’t skip battle animations by pressing a button. It’s either all animations on or all off.
You can’t disable boring text in battle. Yeah, I know Charmander just used Ember, I told him to!
You don’t have to explain to me that I can use Strength to move a boulder every time I talk to a boulder. I learned that the first time.
Status effects are still incredibly annoying, especially due to their random nature.
Status effects should be healed after battle. Healing them is just time consuming, not challenging.
Hordes of Jr Mimes take like 5 minutes to finish their turn. Double Slap’s animation is so annoyingly slow.
Quick Balls are overpowered. I caught the box cover Pokemon without even weakening it! What!
The paintings in the art museum are too small! Some of them looked really interesting and it would have been nice to see them all in higher detail.
Everyone on the GTS tries to trade crap Pokemon for legendary ones. If you do this: Fuck you! Stop cluttering the system!
Wonder Trade also has a lot of totally worthless Pokemon floating about.
Too many buildings have the exact same interior layout, and it makes exploring them kind of routine and boring.
It’s too hard to get 5-stars in that jigsaw puzzle minigame.
The game gives you tips long after you probably already figured things out. Most notably, you need to use Rocksmash to get to a tip about how to use Rocksmash.
The word-filter wouldn’t let me call my Bidoof “Beaver”.
But calling a Pokemon “DiIdo”, “Herpes”, or “8=====D” is still considered acceptable.
The “Items” category in your bag contains too many items. Needs more categories.
I couldn’t find a wild Pikachu! I had to trade for one.
All of the trashcans in the game are empty!
You can’t take off your hat.
The Pokemon Champion isn’t as cool as the ones in the first two generations.

Bunch of Short Game Reviews

Before my trip to London, I was taking a lot of time off work, and just sitting around playing video games. So here’s my thoughts on some of the games I played recently.

Kirby’s Epic Yarn

Amazing, just like every other Kirby game I’ve played so far. A lot of people told me that it was too easy or childish, but that’s exactly why I played it; so that I could enjoy the unique art style and relax a bit. And the art and animation really is amazing.

But it turns out that getting 100% completion was still reasonably challenging. Even though you can’t die, the scoring system means that you can’t take very many hits, if you want to earn all of the medals.

I’d also like to point out that this game does Wii controls right. It only using them in a few areas, and they’re fun in all of them. I don’t have a single bad thing to say about this game. :D

215582-1

It’s so pretty! The Wii’s graphical limitations aren’t noticeable at all.

Donkey Kong Country Returns

This could have been a really fun platformer, but the way the Wiimote controls were implemented is just really stupid. Why do I have to shake the Wiimote when pressing a button would have been so much easier and more intuitive? Ugh. I should have gotten the 3DS version.

Besides that, the game’s great. The most notable thing is the amount of detailed background animations; Tidal waves, pirate ships, big enemies etc. They usually don’t effect the gameplay much, but they make the game way more exciting, and show that a lot of work went into the graphics.

original

You’re really only dodging those moles, but having a train loop around you makes things way more exciting!

Excite Truck

Got this for cheap and wasn’t expecting much. It’s a very simple game, but it’s still really really really fun, and I had a great time with it. Strangely enough, the Wii controls didn’t bother me, like they usually do. I hated trying to play Mario Kart with the Wiimote, but here they seemed to work okay.

Anyway: Rocket powered trucks + Heavy metal + High speed and huge jumps = Awesome fun. :D

excite-truck-wii-1

You probably spend more time in the air than on the ground!

Forza Motorsport 4

I always wondered why people enjoyed realistic racing games. I picked this up just to see if I could possibly enjoy the genre. Using the “easy mode” controls, the game was incredibly boring. It was just like playing Mario Kart, but on very boring stages and with no items.

But then I changed the controls to “realistic”, and it became a totally different game. On my first attempt at realistic controls, I damaged my engine by not using the clutch, lost control of my car on the first turn, barrel rolled a few times, and then couldn’t start my car again, because it was wrecked. Simply controlling your car becomes the biggest part of the challenge, which contrasts quite heavily with less realistic racing games. A bit frustrating at first, but I found it surprisingly fun!

I’m sure that people who are seriously into cars and motorsports would enjoy the game a lot more than me though. There’s a lot of customization you can do on your car that just doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t know about tire pressure, suspension, gearing, and all that. :P

0039-forza-motorsport-4-screens-opt

I also wanted to play this for the shiny graphics.

Under Defeat

Here’s another Shoot em up! The controls are a bit strange in this one, but to me, that’s what makes it stand out from others. Your helicopter turns sideways when you move, unless you’re shooting. And the whole game is tilted forward a bit to give it depth, and isn’t completely flat like most shmups. So that takes some getting used to.

I love shmups, and this was no exception. It had massive bosses, lots of explosions and a somewhat interesting power up system. It’s also nice to see a vertical shmup that fully supports widescreen. Most of them usually only use a 3rd of the screen. I’m also glad that the Deluxe version comes with a soundtrack CD, because the soundtrack is amazing!

A few major complaints though: Enemy shots look very similar to yours, so it’s easy to not see them if they’re overlapping. Ugh! Smoke often covers enemies, so you think you’re safe and then some shots fly out from a smoke cloud. Urgh! The game also looks quite cheaply made, overall. Just a little.

UnderDefeat1

Did I mention the bosses were massive?