Beat American Nightmare(Super Short Review)

What a dull game. I tried the first level in arcade mode(which is basically horde mode) and uninstalled the game afterwords, it wasn’t my cup of tea since I’m not really one of those aim for high scores kind of guy. Took me five hours to beat the story. Only thing that kept me going through  the game was the notes scattered throughout the world, honestly it’s the only interesting thing about the game. In story mode you’ll visit three different areas three times, each one containing its own damsel in distress. Each mission is practically a fetch quest, “Alan, go do this so you can get that.” Also all the missions are the same thing as well, just slightly altered.Honestly there isn’t much for me to say about this game. If you enjoyed Alan Wake 1 and want to buy American Nightmare for its story(like I did) don’t bother. However, if you’re one of those people who like arcade type games or horde mode I’d recommend it, but wait till it’s like 5 dollars or less, it’s really not worth more than that to me. Each wave gets tougher, hell, I almost didn’t even finish the one round I played cause there were so many enemies.

4/10

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Sonic Generations Short Review

Sonic Generations tries to do two things, please old school 2D Sonic fans and also appeal to 3D Sonic fans. Personally, I much prefer 3D Sonic as it has a much stronger emphasis on speed than 2D Sonic, but hey what do I know? The only 2D sonic games I enjoyed were the Sonic Advance series so I guess it isn’t my place to say if 2D sonic is boring or not. But anyway, Both Sonic’s world collide and are broken up so now you must race through nine different worlds to put them back together. each of the world’s has two acts, one for modern Sonic and another for old school sonic, making a total of 18 stages, plus a bunch of challenges that I couldn’t possibly care less about. All the stages are from previous Sonic games so you’ll be visiting Green Hill Zone all up to a stage from Sonic Colors. By the way, City Escape from Sonic Adventure 2 is here with a remix of the original song. Hands down my favorite stage in the entire game.

The music in the game is great, I’m not the hugest Sonic fan so I can’t compare them to their original versions excluding for songs in Sonic Adventure 2 but they all sound really great to me. The visuals are also very stunning which is helped by a good art direction. If you played Sonic Unleashed or Colors you should already know how Modern sonic plays(awesome). Old school sonic plays like as you would expect, although while I wasn’t the biggest fan of the original sonic games, Sega still hasn’t quite perfected his feel. I don’t know how to put it but he still plays a bit off. For example, he’s a bit slippery even when he’s not running at full speed which is quite frustrating. Also the final boss is a huge let down, its poorly implemented and very boring, without spoiling anything all you got to do is hold the dash button the entire fight. Also I beat the game in four hours so there really isn’t much main content. If you’re into challenge levels you’ll most likely finish it in about seven or so hours since even those aren’t all that challenging. If you’re itching for some Sonic I’d recommend this game, although not at its current price since there isn’t all that much content to justify the price, see if you can find it for $5 or something.

6.7/10

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

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Thanks to spring break(which went by far too quickly) I was finally able to get through some of my games in my backlog, one of which is Ni no Kuni which I originally pre-ordered. Ni No Kuni is as JRPG as it gets, there’s a world map you can explore, grinding, monster catching(familiar taming in this case). All in all it takes elements found in many of the greatest JRPG games and puts them all in one game. The game begins with Oliver, our hero, also known as the one with the pure heart in his hometown Motorville. It’s a quite little town, which to be quite honest was quite boring, but don’t fret as you don’t spend much time here before you finally arrive in the other world, where the true game starts.

I don’t want to get too much into the story, but without entering spoiler territory it was quite annoying for me as the gamer to completely understand what was going on while the characters themselves don’t have a clue and takes them quite a while to figure out. This wouldn’t be a problem if it only happened once or twice, but it happens quite a lot throughout the game.

Now if you’ve ever watched a Studio Ghibli movie you know just how creative they are, and it truly shines in this game with its Pokemon like monster system. Also, let me just mention I adore the familiar names(one, off the top of my head is Girlfiend who is a ghost that carries her tombstone, and was also someone’s girlfriend when she was alive.) The English voice acting cast is also quite amazing, the only one that falls a little short is the lead, Oliver. It’s not that his voice actor did a bad job, it’s just that sometimes he sounds dead compared to the rest of the cast.

Now for the gameplay, like i mentioned earlier, the game has a Pokemon capturing like mechanic where Esther can tame a familiar after defeating it. I had some issues with this though, since it’s all based on chance I would often find myself grinding on a familiar that i wanted for myself; this becomes even more frustrating for certain side quest which has you capturing certain familiars. Though, the good thing about it was that I did little to no grinding because I was always either over leveled or just there where the game wasn’t too easy or too hard.

I should also mention that there are also some other odd design choices as well. But, let me first mention that the AI in the game is in my opinion, complete trash; Esther being the worse. Esther will eat through her MP like there’s no tomorrow. Now sure, you can change her tactic to lets say, “don’t use skills,” but by doing this she’ll become the punching bag to your opponent; which for some odd reason the enemy ALWAYS goes after the poor girl, no matter what tactic i had her in. This is a huge problem because she’s the only character that can tame familiars. So be prepared to not only fight monsters, but keep Esther healthy just in case a familiar wants to be tamed.

Overall, this is a love letter and a must have for any JRPG lovers and Studio Ghibli fans, and if you’re both like myself you should already have this amazing game! It has fantastic music, character progression, a fun battle system, and is a quite longer than most games in the market these days; it took me 46 hours to beat the main story.

9/10

Scribblenauts Unlimited Review

Maxwell has been intrusted with a very powerful notebook that can bring anything he writes in it to life, from a small fish to a giant griffin. If you played the original you know what the goal of the game is, if you haven’t your given several tasks from NPCs and you must help them with your all mighty notebook. The game offers many themed locations to choose from ranging from a farm, to an alien planet.

This time around there is also a story as well, a man curses Maxwell’s sister for being rude, the only way to break the curse is by collecting starites, which are awarded by doing good deeds. so it becomes a race against time as our hero must collect 50 before Maxwell’s sister is completely turned to stone. The story is very light and practically non existent till the end but the animation is very nice.

Which brings me to my next point, Scribblenauts Unlimited is an absolutely beautiful game, everything has been redone to HD  sprites and its stunning. A new feature in the game is the ability to create your own objects, though it’s quite underdeveloped as there isn’t much you can do with it.

While the game is quite easy overall, there are indeed some tricky starites to collect which had me sitting there trying to find a way to solve some puzzles. There is also plenty of replay value as there is more than 100 starites to collect, which by the way some are actually hidden, and you could also reset each world and solve puzzles in different manners as well.

Though there are a few issues with the games notebook ability, which is understandable for a game with such ambition. I often found myself not able to create exactly what I wanted because the game simply had no idea what I wanted(which might be my fault) or it simply just wasn’t possible at all. Overall, I’d highly recommend the game, its great and offers a lot of replay value and the games strength very much outweighs its weaknesses.

8.8/10

Dragon’s Dogma Review

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Dragon’s Dogma is one of Capcom’s better games of 2012, and a new IP to boot. You’re a fishermen who lives in a small village in Gransys. One day an almighty dragon attacks your small village, you act hastily and pick up a sword and start attacking the dragon, doing no effect. He then just brushes you off and takes your heart. Yes, he took your heart, and that’s where the game begins. With the dragon now in possession of your heart you have become the Arisen, and so you set out on an adventure to retrieve your heart. As the Arisen you have the ability to hire soulless humans known as pawns, they only answer to the Arisen.

Instead of having a multiplayer like say Monster Hunter instead you can hire other player’s pawns. While this is pretty disappointing as sometimes the AI for the pawns don’t do exactly what their supposed to it works well for the game’s lore, which I’ll get into a bit farther down. You can create your own pawn and have total control of its equipment and skills, and may hire up to two pawns at a time so its four of you versus the world! Now don’t get too attached to your pawn as they dont level with you and your pawn, you’ll have to switch them out for new pawns every few hours. Hope someone in you buddy list has played the game because I found the first three hours or so to be quite difficult, I felt as weak as a fly, even the newbie globins killed me a couple of times. But don’t fret because once you find a better weapon things become much more manageable. The game has many different classes to choose from known as vocations, I enjoy playing a character with a lot of speed so i went with the Strider(think thief).

In the beginning you only have access to three vocations; Fighter, mage, and strider. But There are also hybrid classes as well such as Magik Archer(mage and strider) and Assassin(Fighter and Strider). The best thing in this game is without question the combat. Nothing feels better than climbing on top of a Cyclops and beating the crap out of it till it falls to its death. The Magic is also rewarding as well, I highly recommend making sure one of your pawns(or you) have fire boon or a spell that enchants your weapons in fire, many of the enemies have that weakness. The game also features a variety of enemies, from goblins to griffins, however it doesn’t do a good job of showing this. While the game is open world the same enemies respawn at the same place. Its okay at first but after having to go from point A to point B, only to immediately return to point A again, fighting the same chimera and wolves becomes tedious. There is no point of killing a group of bandits at a camp site(besides for exp.) because they will only return in a matter of hours, your actions don’t have much effect to the world and this becomes obvious and a little frustrating when you witness something you weren’t supposed to and sent to jail. Once you break out of jail everyone acts as if nothing even happened, even the guard that arrested you!

While there isn’t much i found the lore of the game to be quite interesting, but at the same time it felt under used. It’s as if it was only used to show you around Gransys and introduce new monsters. Some things to note is that the game suffers from terrible frame rate drops in some fights, not a deal breaker but it can sometimes break you away from the action. Also there are annoying black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, This was really annoying to me as i couldn’t help but notice it all the time. And in typical Capcom fashion it also features locked content, and while none of them are important the game always notifies you that you can purchase new armor, weapons and quest.

Dragons Dogma is undoubtedly one of the best action rpgs to come out of late. With it being a new IP some of its short comings could be forgiven and can be corrected in a sequel that hopefully gets made. And after a few hours of playing you start to feel overpowered, but enjoy it while it last. The game gets much more challenging soon.

8.7/10

PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale Review

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Yes, the Sony Smash Bros. “rip-off.” Since it was announced, this game was the center of controversy, but does it stand on its own? Short answer; yes. Now I’m sure you want me to get more specific and I’ll be doing just that. For starters, let me just start by telling you that this game IS’NT a Smash Brothers rip off like so many like to label it. the combat is completely unique, punching & kicking doesn’t take any health away from your opponent, instead it builds up a super meter(think “Street Fighter”), there are 3 specials with each taking more time to reach but easier to land.

Now this might sound as a poor decision but it works out really well, it introduces a new meta game. Think of your opponent’s AP meter as your health. However, the problems with this mechanic is that because your attacks don’t truly do any damage to your opponent I would often find myself playing against people that that use whomever has the easiest Level 1 supers, which would arguably be Raiden. One tricky game this had to do was somehow appeal to both the hardcore and casual, and while I do believe it has succeeded in appealing to the hardcore it doesn’t such a great job for the casuals. Yes, anyone could essentially just pick up a controller and play but the game only features 2 game modes; time and stock/reverse stock. The story mode also leaves much to be desired. There’s no true story to this game, it’s never explained why our all-stars are brought together; they just are. Instead we’re given static images at the beginning and ending with a very underwhelming boss battle.

The game features 20 unique characters and 14 stages(with 2 characters and 1 stage coming in in February for free, for the first 2 weeks.) Now while I certainly don’t know Superbot’s definition of a PlayStation All-Star (I’m looking at you Dante, you don’t even have a single game out.) none of the characters play the same excluding the 2 Coles which SuperBot stated they had to, in order to get Sucker Punch’s approval. Instead of having one stage dedicated to one franchise, All-Stars does something much more interesting, it mashes up 2 franchises instead. Some are really cool, like Invasion which pits Killzone and the Ape Escape franchise. But not all are great, like Franzea, which is combines Metal Gear Revengence and Loco Roco; the interaction between the 2 franchises is kind of forced and doesn’t work well, I might even go as far as to say it kind of feels lazy. While all characters are unlocked from the get go there are plenty of other things to unlock instead.

Unlockables feature titles for your profile, minions who cheer for you when you get mutli kills, Icons and backgrounds. My only problem with the unlockables is that I truly didn’t care for any of it except for the minions; I would’ve preferred more unlockable costumes. The art for the game is also not the most attractive, instead of having a single unified art direction everyone sticks pretty closely to the art direction of their own game and on paper this sounds cool but once it’s done it doesn’t look all that great. Because of the characters don’t look like they belong together.

While it might seem that I’m being critical on the game its actually really good. It’s a fighting game with a lot of depth, but that’s all it is. For better or worse this is a hardcore game that tries to and successfully mixes things up in the fighting genre. And with Sony’s cross buy program this game sounds that much more appealing

Rating: 7.5/10