Game Reviews

BTW, Fable came out today! I couldn’t buy as I still have too many games to finish already…

Francis A broken phone annihilated my internet. It’s about as flaky as a box of Kellogg’s. Florida is definitely not a hurricane buffer state… or, if it is, Francis was a bad arse. At any rate when I’m not coding, drawing, or cleaning it’s gotta be about the games. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve hit and what I think in case your thinking of doing the same. I’m only dicussing games I’ve either beaten or played enough to know, fairly, whether they are good or not.


Spiderman 1 & 2

I must say they did a good job on both. Spiderman is not my favorite mutant, but definitely comes close. The voice acting of Bruce Campbell really adds the nice touch of catering to my demographic during tutorial sessions. It also was nice to battle additional villains that are not in the movie, but from the comic books. Although the game was somewhat short and lacking in re-playability, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Spiderman 2 was off the chain. The accuracy of the “Spiderman experience” was really driven home. You never really stop being Spiderman, even during the brief interludes where your Peter Parker, the story and flow of the game isn’t really interrupted keeping the experience. The biggest change is the way in which you web swing. It was pretty automatic in the first one. In the sequel, you cannot go higher than the nearest, tallest building while in the first, you were higher than the empire state doing battle with the Green Goblin. Secondly, you can adjust the angle at which you swing, and you do dangle, bouncing and running along the wall to stabilize yourself. You can swing around, and use dual swinging webs. The actual jumps are way more accurate and give you that exhilarating vertigo feel, complete with wind swoosh and motion blur when you fall really fast. With the upgradeable abilities, and new villains, as well as the ability to anywhere, even on the ground of the city, the game really doesn’t limit what you can do. You even interact with the populace via talking to them amidst your running and performing good deeds. I did feel the combat system was overly complicated for the length and depth of the game. You can get seriously complex in the type and amount of moves you can do just to take out a few thugs. Maybe my expectations are too low, but out of all the abilities I purchased, I only used about 4 in the entire game in terms of fighting moves? same goes for the first game. Overall, the graphics are great, the re-playability is there over the first game, but again it felt like a short game. Still, it was great hearing Bruce Campbell there again as narrator and coach.

Splinter Cell 2

Way better than the first, and if you haven’t played the first, still a wonderful game. There is no story ties from the first one that I could find, but that’s not the point. As a special clandestine operative, you pretty much are the lone soldier sent in to be the ghost that gets the job done; the epitome of covert operations. The sequel definitely does the cinematic drama and intensity better than the first. The first rocked, and this one does not disappoint. In addition, your still forced into situations where you must defend yourself Rambo style, which is still fun. It makes you utilize most all of your abilities and weaponry on most levels, which is nice and the plethora of geography the levels traverse is great. From jungles, sewers, underground bunkers, a bullet train, and LAX… all it was missing was snow. I briefly attempted the multiplayer, and it looks hot. It was fun to just play the training missions by myself, motivating me enough to go purchase XBox Live next weekend.


Prince of Persia

I’m sure this game is about the same level of coolness on XBox as well. It’s a great game all around. The engine is smooth, the graphics are about a 7 in terms of environment; on the PC very well done considering it came from a console based game. The movement and refresh rate is very nice. The sound is definitely top notch, and it must be noted that it has great timing as well. Depending on the situation in the game, the music will change and transition. The character acting isn’t too over the top so you actually like the characters. I never did master the combat system, but it definitely stresses you out each time as battles tend to run long if you don’t pace yourself. Sounds like an oxymoron, but believe me, if you panic, your toast. They use an auto-targeting mechanism in the game to help aim; at that point its all about timing and watching your back. The rewind time feature is what sets this game apart. There’s nothing like getting your arse handed to you by a kopesh being swung into your back, only to be able to rewind time, and dodge it the next time? nice. Same goes for falling off of high cliffs, etc. All around great game and fun to play with a good story you haven’t really heard before.

Gameboy Advance

Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

I enjoyed the Super Nintendo version of this game immensely, and have always tried to re-code it in Flash. The game immediately strikes you as a pixel-art work of… art. Seriously, it’s very well done considering all the space they get is 240×160 pixels to render an isometric, tile based turn based battle system. They even managed to incorporate mini-movies when you summon the bigger monsters. The overall story is ok in terms of involving you. The original went with the atypical magical world where you’re an interesting protagonist, with cool friends, who must defeat an evil empire of some note? and monsters soon follow. This one, however, starts you in the real world, and your magically transported there. The demographics are definitely towards teenagers who are hell bent on finding a portal to Final Fantasy just so they can ride a Chocobo. While I’m all for that mission, I find it hard to relate to some of the material… regardless, the game rocks, and after 2 months, I’m still playing. The battle system is very helpful, and your pretty knowledgeable during your moves which removes a lot of the frustration the former game had in “not knowing” the consequences of a move. I’m still struggling to find why they felt “laws”, basically rules preventing you from performing certain actions during battles at the cost of going to jail (you can get out). You can later in the game obtain law cards to negate some of these laws. Maybe marketed towards teenage angst? Regardless, it’s a great companion game to both Metroids as it’s a lot slower paced.

Metroid: Zero Mission & Metroid: Fusion

Both rock. Must buy. Nuff said.


Super Smash Brothers Melee

If you’re a gaming geek, you already know this game rocks. Playing off of the popularity of the N64’s version, SSB brings together all of your favorite Nintendo characters, and allows you to do battle… either single player on an adventure, a series of classic fights or with 2 to 4 players against each other. There are a bunch of secret characters (had the game for over a year and still haven’t gotten them all). It’s a great party game to compliment all the Kart series, it’s a fast paced game, and all around fun.

Tales of Symphonia

Saved the best game for last. I haven’t beaten it yet, nor gotten more than halfway through it, but already I’m hooked. Imagine Final Fantasy + Soul Caliber. You have the RPG style gaming, done using a cell shading engine that makes it look all anime styled, and the battles are fought for real. Instead of the strategic “attack/spell/item” options of the past, you now actually can attack the monsters like you would attack your opponent in any modern fighting game. It’s total chaos and it rocks. My favorite has got to be the vocalization of the moves. Brandy was kind of sick of hearing Tiger Blade being yelled from the game. I don’t know what her problem is… I’ve only used the move 608 times according to my tech roster in the game. The story, although very similar to Final Fantasy 9 (American Versioning), is still great and although it is tailored to the teenagers, it’s still compelling to draw you in, complete with extra character development skits if your so inclined. Just like Secret of Mana, you can play with up to 3 of your friends, all 4 of you at same time! All in all, this game rocks.

5 Replies to “Game Reviews”

  1. I’m a huge fan of FF Tactics on the PS, butthe GBA version left me feeling kinda weird. It’s well done, but where’s the story? To be honest, I got pissed after more or less 6 hours of gameplay because the story was evolving too slowly. I mean c’mon… after the intro story was done (yeah, the part where you throw snowballs…), I only saw a couple of cutscenes, and that in 6 hours!?!

    And god! do I wanna try Tales of Symphonia… if only my gf could let go of the GameCube for 5 mins…

  2. Yeah, I’m with you on the story. All I do is fight, fight, and fight… and then the plot “accidentally” inches forward when I take a specific job. I play for the battles, though… I gave up on the plot awhile ago. Once I got justification of the laws, I just figured, fuggit, I’ll make one bad arse army just to say I did, rather than enjoy where the story is headed.

  3. no im tired of whats his nutz saying “take it easy” lol or whatever.. but then he turned traitor (or is he??) so I don’t have to hear him anymore.

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