Friday, December 27, 2013

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Release Date: November 22nd, 2013
Date Reviewed: December 27th, 2013

Gameplay:
LOZ: A Link Between Worlds is the newest game added to the Zelda series. A Link Between Worlds is a direct sequel to A Link to the Past for the SNES. After many long years they finally decided to do a sequel to the original. A Link Between Worlds is pure gold and is a must own for everyone. The game is like the original where the camera is a top view camera of Link. It does an excellent job as staying to it's roots from the original with the camera view, the enemies, the temples, and you are in the exact world from A Link to the Past. You start off by sleeping in of coarse and the Blacksmith's son comes to wake you up because you are late as usual for work. When you arrive to the blacksmith's shop he is talking to someone very important. As soon as the important figure leaves the blacksmith proceeds to give you trouble for being so late. After he finished yelling at you he notices that the man forgot his sword. Your errand is to find the man and give him is sword. From this point on, your adventure begins. A Link Between Worlds uses the 3DS extremely well. The game runs at a smooth 60 frames per second with no FPS drops at all. The biggest feature I love about this game is you can do the temples in any order you choose. You don't find your items in the dungeon anymore such as the bow or hook shot. Instead you can rent out all of the items or purchase them for yourself with rupees. This is a very smart thing to be added to the game because with this feature, the game allows you to do any of the temples in any order you choose. There is not a wrong way of doing things. This makes the world feel very open.

The Shop where you buy/rent items!
 
Each temple is fun with clever boss mechanics in each temple. Some of the bosses are beyond easy but what do you expect in a Zelda game now. There will always be a few easy ones. As you progress you discover that you can go into an alternate Hyrule. This place is called Lorule that is ruled by Zelda's counterpart Hilda. In order to access this world you are able to turn into a painting and walk along walls into tears which teleports you into Lorule. Although the overworld is largely the same as that of A Link to the Past, all the dungeons are totally new. Exploration of dungeons utilize the game's 3D effects and feature Link jumping between levels to solve puzzles and advance. It feels very smooth when you transition into new areas.

Like in previous Zelda titles there are always collectable items to be found. When you find all of the babies you get a new attack for your sword. Every time you return 12 at a time the mother will upgrade any of your items of your choosing to make them more powerful. Rupees are much more important in this game because you have to buy the items and they are not cheap. However, rupees are extremely easy to find and add up quickly.

2D Painting of yourself!  

Overall the gameplay is truly remarkable. It has a lot of nostalgia for the old fans and well as some new ones for people who started the series later on. This game has something for everyone. The world is huge, lots to explore, lots of puzzles, and collectables. All of these encourage the play to explore both worlds of Hyrule and Lorule.

Graphics:
The game follows the top-down two-dimensional gameplay of various Zelda games, especially A Link to the Past, though it is now presented with stereoscopic 3D graphics when played on the Nintendo 3DS. The top screen is used as the main screen, while the bottom touch screen contains the map, gear, and items. The loading screen consists of a black screen with a Triforce in the lower right corner. It runs smoothly at 60 FPS with new reduce in frames anywhere in the game. It is very colourful, the environments are large and very beautiful and full of life.

Comparison.

Sound:
The game features slightly updated sound effects from A Link to the Past. The music tracks are arrangements of the originals. In addition to the music from A Link to the Past, the Streetpass battle mode of the game includes two remixed and rearranged versions of the Temple Theme from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The Streetpass mode is inspired by the final "Shadow Link" boss fight from the NES game. It sounds fantastic and has a lot of nostalgia while just listening to the music.



Conclusion:
A Link Between Worlds is a highly recommend, must own game for the Nintendo 3DS. It is one of the best Zelda games ever created. New fans and old fans alike will find something they love about this game. Whether it be the nostalgia, music, graphics, or game play in general, people will find something they love about it. This game provides a lot to do and you can do it in any order you choose to. Fantastic, I hope to see more. Also, when you beat the game, test your skill in Hero Mode.

Overall Score:

10/10

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Mini Review: Brutal Doom


Brutal Doom is a MOD the someone created for Doom 1 and 2 for the PC. This MOD adds a ton of new features to the games. Such as unique gun animations, updates textures to enemies, fire, and special effects. The game is unchanged from the original story but adds a more modern feel to Doom. You can zoom in with each gun as in scoping in, and each gun as a reload animation. The guns are updated as well. Each gone as a new texture to it and the pistol is now an assault rifle. Each gun has it's own unique animation and they all look incredible. Every monster in this MOD also has new some new animations to it. The gore is much more intense, hence the name. When you shoot and kill an enemy blood sprays everywhere and sticks to the walls and ceilings. The blood also drips off of the ceilings. The explosions looks really good as well and the glow from the barrels are great.

Brutal!

Brutal Doom also adds a ton of new options and difficulty settings. There are 7 different difficulty settings each have a challenge of their own. There are also other options as well to make it feel like a more modern FPS game. You can make it so you can look around and control the view with your mouse like in modern FPS game which is needed for Brutal Doom. You can even add a cross hair to your view to make it easier to aim. The features added to Brutal Doom is a great touch. I love running through the game with the shotgun and blasting them to bits. The shotgun animations are incredible and make you feel god like. This MOD does a fantastic job of keeping it "Doom" like. It does not change the story or gameplay. Just updates them. Fantastic MOD, I recommend it to all Doom fans. 

There is only one small minor problem with this MOD. When you reload your guns it does not tell you how much ammo is in the clip, only how much ammo you have left over after reloading your ammo clip and can get annoying at some parts. But it is a very minor thing and you get used to it right away. One other feature is executing. When you boot an enemy and go up to them with your fists you have a chance to perform an execution. These are brutal!

The flame effects and the assault rifle.

The MOD also offers an all new soundtrack. It is the same music from the Original Doom games but re done with a metal sound to it. It is truly incredible. You can also insult the enemies. From flipping them off your telling them to "F*ck off"!



Overall Rating:

8.5/10

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Pokemon X/Y

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Release Date: October 12th, 2013
Date Reviewed: November 10th, 2013

Gameplay:
Finally! A 3D styled Pokemon game. We have been waiting for this for a very long time. Pokemon X and Y and the newest instalment in the Pokemon series. The route they went with is a fantastic one! 3D Pokemon! Something everyone has wanted. The gameplay for X and Y is the exact same as the previous titles. Where you collect 8 badges and challenge the elite 4. Like with every other Pokemon game you also have a rival, and an antagonist. In X and Y it is Team Flare. These guys are basically trying to destroy all of Kalos to get rid of all the selfish people in the world, and yes it would effect the Pokemon as well. Basically there is this machine hiding underground in one of the towns. This machine was built 1000 years ago by a man. He originally used this machine to revive his lost Pokemon Floette who died during the war 1000 years ago. Once the man succeeded he was filled up with rage of what happened. So he turned this machine into a death machine essentially and wiped out a big chunk of the Kalos region in order to stop and war and get revenge. This resulted in killing innocent Pokemon. Floette was very sad at what she had saw and left the man. To this day he has no idea where she is and is very sad. I will not go into any more detail without spoiling it. 

The new Pokemon Starters.

X and Y has the same model that we still love to this date. The Kalos region has 68 brand new Pokemon for you to catch. As soon as you enter the world of Pokemon you notice a huge difference. Everything is in glorious 3D! You start out by picking one of the three Pokemon starters to adventure with you. There are three new starters and they are Froakie, Fennekin, and Chespin. When you pick your Pokemon your adventure begins. I love the transition between the badges. You don`t fight the first gym leader until your Pokemon are in their 20's. In this new 3D world there is a lot more areas to explore. Each battle is unique because the Pokemon now have animations as they are in 3D. The moves all also animated making it feel much more interactive. There are also a ton of Pokemon to catch right from the start. You can catch Pokemon from all previous generations. What I love most about this game is the exploration. Since the world map is a lot bigger than previous Pokemon games there are a lot more areas to explore. Probably one of the biggest features that I like the most is EXP Share. EXP share is now a key item. When you turn it on, the Pokemon that you are using will get the full amount of experience (not half) and all of your Pokemon in your party will get half of that experience. So levelling if much easier and quicker. 

Pokemon Y Legendary

X and Y offers a ton of new features such as a way to interact with your Pokemon one on one. You need to use this if you want to evolve Eevee into Sylveon. If you use this on your Pokemon it will increase their happiness, and other stats. If they are maxed out that Pokemon will get bonuses such as more exp per battle, chance to get rid off status's like poison and sleep on it's own. Another cool feature is new new Wi-Fi features. When you are at home and say have a lot of friend on your 3DS using the friend code system. You can turn on the Wi-Fi within the game and immediately begin interacting with all of your friends. You can give a shout out, edit your personal profile so they can all see, view their videos, battle, trade, and even voice chat with them. On top of that you will see passerby's. This means when someone in the world is in the exact same location you are, you are able to see them and trade, battle, or interact with them. The other spot is for you acquaintances. You get these people on your list if you trade or battle someone randomly in the world or use the wonder trade system. The Wonder trade system is fantastic. You put up a random Pokemon and it will randomly find someone in the world to trade with. Now you both do not know what Pokemon you each put up for trade. So you don't ever know what you will get. They did the same thing with the battle spot option. Battle a random person around the world. 

Another cool option to use is the trainer. You can train your Pokemon by playing games with them. There is a different game for each stat. If you successfully complete these games your Pokemon will get a small stat increase as well as an item. You can even win stones. This is basically an easy way of EV training. With X and Y you can finally customise your personal trainer. You can give them hats, accessories, facial hair, and new clothing. Each clothing store has it's own unique items that you can buy to customise your trainer. It has a lot of different options. With all of the new things added you will be easily putting 100 hours into this game if not more. A brand new feature added to X and Y are Mega Evolutions. There are 26 Pokemon that can use this new feature. In order to use it you much have their mega stone. These are activated during battles and only last for the duration of each battle. Each mega evolution has it's own unique look and gets a nice stat increase to help turn the battle around. 

Some of the Mega Evolutions!

They are adding a new feature which comes out on December 27th, 2013. It is called Pokemon Box. It is a paid service but only costs $5 per year. What it does is stores your Pokemon onto a server so you never lose them. With this you can transfer pokemon from Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, Heartgold, Soulsilver, Black, White, Black 2, and White 2 into this storage system. This will allow you to then transfer them into your X and Y versions of the game. They also included this because X and Y have a limited amount of storage space in game for your Pokemon. There is roughly 13 boxes, so if you want to catch them all you might want to buy this service. Overall there is so much to do and explore in the Kalos region. You can even ride Pokemon like Gogoat or Rhyhorn! You also get a pair of roller bladed which automatically activates when you use your joystiq. Lots to do and is to much to do that I can't fit it all in my review.

Graphics:
As I said earlier X and Y are now in glorious 3D. It runs very smoothly with no frame issues. As soon as you leave your house into the Kalos region it plays a little cut scene which is perfectly done because it gives you the sense of the 3D. All of the battles are in 3D. All Pokemon are 3D animated and every move has it's own unique animation as well. Every time you walk into a new area it is different. You can see the lush and colourful environments and even see the grass blowing with the wind. The fly and surf animations look incredible as well. There are a lot of cut scenes in the game as well. They are all very well done and look incredible to watch. Even using the 3D option on the 3DS makes the game pop out. I can't say much more without you experiencing it for yourself. 

Pokemon in 3D!

Sound:
The soundtrack is great in X and Y. The Pokemon centres have new music. The soundtrack for this game is great and you can tell a lot of time was put into it. The battle sounds are great when you use a move and the Pokemon cries are all awesome. My personal favourite is when you battle a Pikachu. Pikachu will do it's cry from the show "Pika!". One of my favourites has always been the battle music when you are fighting legendaries, or the final person in the Elite 4. Again, they are pure awesome. 

Conclusion:
X and Y are here. These games are fantastic. There is so much to do, so much to experience. So much nostalgia. Any fan of Pokemon or RPG games in general will love this game. It is a must buy. Go experience this great new world of Pokemon. Go catch those legendaries. Gotta catch em' all!

Overall Score:

9.5/10

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Grand Theft Auto V

Console: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Third-Person Action
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
Date Reviewed: November 10th, 2013

Gameplay:
Grand Theft Auto V is the fifth instalment for the GTA series. GTA V is the biggest video game launch of all time, shattering records. Within three days of the game being available, they made $1 billion in sales. GTA is a series that is very popular and strikes a lot of controversy with parents. GTA V takes place in the city of Los Santos, where the player controls three unique characters. Each character has their own story and own mission you can unlock in order to progress their story. Each character is easily switched to on the fly. What I did like about this feature is whenever you switched to one of the character you controlled, they can be in the middle of the most random events. You could be playing with Michael and decide you want to switch over to Trevor to do some of his missions. When you switch to Trevor he could be laying on a train track in his underwear, hung over. It is always different when you switch too one of the three. The city of Los Santos is huge. There are a lot of mission, side missions, events, clothing stores, jobs to earn money, sports, etc.... to do within the city. The possibilities never end it seems, there is always something to do which I do give credit GTA V for. GTA V, personally was a let down. The last two GTA titles have been very boring to me, with IV being the worse of the two. Yes, there is a lot of things to do but it gets repetitive, boring, and uneventful. I admit when I first put in this game I was excited to play it. I thought that Rockstar would finally fix their mistakes from the fourth GTA. At first I was having fun doing the missions, side missions, races, and exploration. I did everything I possibly could before completing the mane game. I was wrong.

The Los Santos Map.

I feel as they lost their roots. My all time favourite was GTA III and San Andreas. I loved those two games a lot. Every since the fourth game I have been very disappointed in the series. Yes, there are a couple of things I did enjoy about the game. GTA V has a lot of humour as it always has. Each character has a unique story to them and you feel as you can relate to them or feel apart of their story. GTA V does a lot of things to make you feel attached to the characters. After the first few missions in the main campaign it feels very bland and repetitive. I was excited to do my first heist and plan it out. I could either go in smart, or loud and dumb. I wish they gave you more options for each big heist. You pick how you want to execute it and then you hire a few people to help you out. The better that character is you hire the more of the cut they get resulting in less money for you overall. I tried to find something in GTA V that would suck me and and hopefully change my opinion of the game. You can customise your character with tons of clothing, accessories and tatoos. You can fully customise your cars, buy a garage, and even properties. You can play darts, golf or even arm wrestle. If that is not your cup of tea then go do some racing. It can be on the streets of Los Santos, dirt biking or quading in the outdoors or even race on Sea-doos. You can even do a triathlon where you race on foot, on a bike, or do both!

Graphics:
The graphics in this game are outstanding. Each character is very unique with their own style. The animations for all characters, even the thousands of NPC's are very well done. There are a few very unrealistic animations when you get hit or die in the game. They look for cheesy and lame. Another thing I appreciate is the fact that most of the NPC's look different. Considering there are thousands of NPC's just walking around in the game amazes me. The weather effects are outstanding, weather it be raining, storming, or even sunny. The weather system is very realistic and well done. When you are near the ocean the tide rises and lowers as well. The night time visuals are colorful and full of life. The physics are unrealistic in the game but that's what you can expect from any GTA game in the series. There are also a few graphical errors in the game as well but you can expect that because of how big the game is. Overall, it is a beautiful game and should be taken notice.

Beautiful outdoors.

Sound:
The soundtrack in GTA V is huge. Like in previous titles you have a choice to choose between several radio stations while driving around in Los Santos. I was disappointed that there was no metal radio station in the game. I personally am a huge fan of metal. There is almost every other genre of music, even 90's pop which was exciting and my personal favourite. The voice acting is top notch. Like I said earlier, each character has their own unique feel to them and the voice acting makes it much more true of a statement. Every possible sound in the game is the real thing. From swimming, walking on the beach, running, biking, racing, and especially the cars all sound incredible. You can tell a lot of time was put into this area as well as the graphics. When I was playing the game I very rarely found some sound glitches like skipping while driving. This was very rare and again is expected in this type of game. Overall, great sound.

Los Santos.

Conclusion:
My conclusion for this game is overall I did not like the gameplay. I enjoyed and appreciated the sound and the graphics with the game. I even enjoyed the story telling and how each character felt unique. I even grew attached to Trevor. He is a psycho path but hilarious at the same time. I know they spent $270 million to make this a great experience for everybody, and you can tell. I just think it had the same problem with GTA IV. It felt to repetitive, boring, and bland in some cases. Some of the main missions I hated doing with a passion and it really annoyed me that is was part of the main missions because I wasn't able to skip it like most of them. If you're a fan of the GTA series then you will enjoy this game. I am a fan of the series but the last two were both let downs. It is over hyped and the review scores are way to high. If possible try to rent or borrow the game before dropping $60 on this game. 

Overal Score:

6/10

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen

Console: Xbox 360, PS3
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: April 13, 2013
Date Reviewed: October 8th, 2013

Gameplay:
Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is two games in one. It has the original game as well as the Dark Arisen expansion which was released on PSN and XBL a couple of months before it came out on disk. DD:DR starts off in a small town where you create your adventurer. After the introduction cinematic you are put into battle right away with a Dragon. During the fight you are basically proving your worth. You have a crappy sword and you swing recklessly at the Dragon trying to defend the town. After a couple of swings and cinematic appears and he takes your heart. When he does this you have now become Arisen. You are basically immortal and never age. I am not going into the story because my reviews are not about spoilers. 

The game starts off in a small town. In this small town you have a couple of options. You can jump straight into the main quest line and go out exploring. Or take your time and do some of the side quests. There are so much quests to do in the game, they seem to never end. Luckily in this version of the game you get all of the DLC included on the disk alongside the expansion. If I had to compare DD:DR to another game I would say it's like a face paced Skyrim. DD:DR has a lot to offer for a game. Some of the features include vocations aka classes. There are your basic classes you start off with which then leads into more advanced classes such as the fighter or a hybrid class such as the magic archer. As you're levelling you will gain vocation levels. These are like skill points for your specific class. The higher the vocation the more skills you can unlock for that chosen class. Each skill or augment costs points. You earn these points by doing quests, and killing monsters. One of the class features I like about this game is that you can go back to town and change whenever you want too. There is so much customization with the different types of classes.

Dragon!!

DD:DR also offers armor and weapon upgrades. You can upgrade your armor and weapons by finding certain materials in the world and using them to make your weapons and armor more powerful and weigh less. On top of that there are tons and tons of dungeons and areas to explore to get some of that juicy loot. There are tons of different types of armor and weapons you can loot as well as your basic items such as materials, healing items, etc... Another cool feature are the random encounters you experience in the world just by walking around. Could be an ambush, an escort, or even saving an NPC. 

Some of the monsters in this game are incredible! From the small monsters all the way to the big ones like Chimaera's, dragons, gryphon's, and hydra's. Some of these monsters are incredibly hard and need some strategy. This game also involves an element from Shadow of the Colossus. You are able to climb on thse monsters and go straight for their weak points. These include cutting the hydra's heads off, or hitting the golem's crystals to bring him down. This game also features huge epic bosses and one of my personal favourites is in Dark Arisen. Where you are in the dungeon and you unchain a giant ogre, four times the size of the average ogres. Another cool feature is you are able to have a permanent companion with you that you create and customize. Alongside you and your companion you can recruit two other companions from characters online. These characters do not level with you and your companion which makes sense because they are other players. 

Armor screen!

There is so much things to do in this game it is so hard to keep track. There are a ton of quests, tons of monsters, customization, etc... If you are a fan of RPG's, Skyrim, KoA, etc.... Then I highly recommend this game. It is one of my personal favourites. 

Graphics: 
The character models are not the greatest but the environments are beautiful. The spell effects, armor, weapons are all colourful, and have a lot of detail. The dungeons, caverns, are also very well done and feel that they are what they are supposed to be. The dungeons are dark, wet, creepy, big, and has a lot of details. 

Character customization.

Overall the graphics are well done. Only complaint are the character models themselves. Other than that, gorgeous. 

Audio:
The soundtrack in this game is fantastic. Everywhere you go has a new soundtrack to it. The dungeons, outdoors, boss battles, monster battles, cities, towns, villages, everything has it's own soundtrack. They all sound great. 

Final boss soundtrack!

Conclusion:
DD:DR offers a lot for a game. Lots of exploration, lots of quests, lots of loot, customization, a great story, and a whole other game. After you beat this enormous game you have to do the expansion which is almost as big and has a lot to offer. RPG fans will love this game. I highly recommend this game.

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Mario & Luigi: Dream Team

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Role-Playing
Release Date:  August 11th,  2013
Date Reviewed: September 19th, 2013

Gameplay:
Dream Team is the fourth instalment of the Mario & Luigi series. The first one came out for the Nintendo Game Boy Advance and it was called Superstar Saga. In 2005 the second one came out for Nintendo DS called Partners in Time. Then in 2008 the third one was release for the Nintendo DS which was called Bowser's Inside Story. Then finally the current game known as Dream Team came out on Nintendo 3DS on August 11, 2013 called Dream Team. Overall all of the Mario & Luigi games have been very well done and have all been well received. 

Dream Team is on a whole new platform and introduces some new and exciting game play for 3DS holders. There are a couple of major things that I enjoy in the series that keeps me coming back for more. Those are; the length of game play (usually over 30 hours), the humour, RPG genre, side quests, and Luigi. Luigi has always been my favourite character and he has a big role in Dream Team. He has always made the game very enjoyable with the character he portraits in the series. Luigi is always the scared and clumsy type in the series which provides a ton of laughter. The length of the game is always just right, and the difficulty towards the end always gets higher the further you go. Some of the bosses provide a nice challenge.

Giant Battle!

Dream Team starts off like a typical Mario game where Princess Peach gets captured and you have to save her. With Dream Team they added another new mechanic. Luigi has the power to fall asleep in certain areas and open up dream portals. These dream portals allow access to the dream world which provides the typical 2D platformer game play from classic Mario games. While the real world provides 3D open world game play. A fantastic mixture. Dream Team also introduces Giant Battles like in Bowser's Inside Story. You can only turn giant in the dream world as Luigi calls forth multiple copies of himself to save Mario and turn giant. These giant battles are very fun and each giant battle is different. When in a giant battle you mainly play as Luigi but Mario is there to help out with healing, special attack and the finisher move. Everything else is controlled by Luigi. 

The dream world didn't interest me a whole lot but it was still enjoyable. One of the mechanics for the dream world are these dream points. To activate these you use Dreamy Luigi to turn into these objects. When Dreamy Luigi turns into these objects they play an important role to solve the puzzles. They can vary from adjusting gravity, turning the world upside down, or even fast forward and slow time. There are others as well. To use these objects or dream points you need to use the touch screen. For example to make a big gust of wind so you can jump farther you need to rotate Sleepy Luigi's nose. To turn the world upside down you need to make sure Luigi is sleeping on a floater and rotate his body upside down or side ways. Really great mechanics. 

Dream Portal opened by Luigi!

As for that Dream Team plays like all of the other Mario & Luigi games where you buy new gear, explore, do side quests, gain levels, earn badges and also rank up. The ranking system is back and now goes up to rainbow rank which is level 40. Also new is whenever you rank up you get to choose a new skill to add to your slots. They can be adding an extra gear slot, earning an extra point in any stat when you level, experience booster, increase power, etc... There are also brand new bros. attacks as well as the new dream attacks. Mario and Luigi earn their own separate bros. attacks but are used together like in previous games. Also new to the game are the dream world attacks which are essentially bros. attacks but can only be used in the dream world. 

Overall the game is extremely fun with lots to do an explore. There are also small side quests you can do as well as activities. You can go around and find camera boxes, take them back and solve the puzzle to earn some beans. The bros. attacks game is also back where you try and go as long as you can, and a lot more others to be discovered.

One of the Dream Attacks.

Graphics:
The art style is very different compared to previous games in the series. The real world graphics on Mario and Luigi are very different. It looks as if they are almost made of clay. I think the new art style is great and changes it up a bit. The real world is a full 3D environment like in previous games but with the Nintendo 3DS it is a lot more colourful. The dream world is a 2D environment. The backgrounds in the dream world are fantastic, they are colourful and always different. One of my favourite parts in the dream world is while you are walking small flowers and plants quickly sprout up as you walk and vanish. The area where you are in Luigi's dream center is amazing. While you walk you see little Luigi figures running around which small quotes floating in the background. 

Boss Time!

The 3D effect in Dream Team is the best I have ever seen on the Nintendo 3DS. The best parts in the game to turn on the 3D is during battles and boss battles especially. Some of the battles require you to run away from the boss or objects and it looks like they are running towards you. I was blown away by the 3D effect that I actually used it. Some of the bros. attacks have an option to turn the 3D effect on or off with the "R" button. If you keep it on you need to use the 3D vision to help you get these attacks "Excellent". The effect is just amazing.

Audio:
Honestly this is probably my favourite part of the game. The audio is so beautiful. I love the soundtrack so much. The boss battles, dream world, Luigi dream center, are my most favourite locations for the soundtrack. When you are in Luigi's dream center it makes you feel sad for Luigi. That is what they are trying to portrait in that location of the game. The soundtrack was so enjoyable I put my 3DS down and just listened to the music. I give Nintendo high props for the music.

The battle music is great as always. The boss battle soundtrack is phenomenal. Overall the audio is fantastic! I had the volume on all the time and even hooked it up to my speakers a couple of times. The final boss battle music is creepy and really makes the experience feel like a boss battle.

Just a sample of the Music.

Conclusion:
Dream Team is the best Mario & Luigi in the series. Every time they release a new Mario & Luigi it is ALWAYS better than the last one. If you are just a fan of good game this is A MUST buy for the Nintendo 3DS. This will be a fast treasure in your collection. The music is outstanding, graphics, game play, everything makes this game what it is. This game made Luigi more of a badass. The ending with the giant boss battle against Bowser showed what Luigi is made off. When Bowser turns giant and attacks them Luigi jumped into the action immediately full of confidence and turned giant to defeat Bowser.

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Social Simulation Game
Release Date: June 9th, 2013
Date Reviewed: August 26th, 2013

Gameplay:
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a social simulation game by Nintendo. It is the fourth game in the series to have come out in North America, the first one being on Nintendo Gamecube. First off I would like to say t here is so much things to do in this game it is mind blowing. You start off Animal Crossing travelling to a new town that you name yourself. As soon as you arrive everyone thinks you are the new mayor they were waiting for. So right off the bat you become mayor of your town. When you first start playing this game it starts a bit slow then gradually works it's way up to be something you don't have time to do everyday. You start off with living in a tent. While you are living in this tent you are to work and make money to pay Tom Nook to be able to buy a starter house. Now once you pay off your house you can move forward and do other things. I will try my best to list as much as I can in this review. So once you purchase your first house you can keep on upgrading it to make it bigger and bigger. Obviously the more you upgrade the more it will cost you. On top of upgrading your house you need to run your town. Once enough people like you, you will be able to add additions to your town like buildings, bridges, fountains, parks, etc... and make the town the way you want it to be. In order to make these creations you need to also have the money to purchase those things. To do that you set up a donation pool. You can donate it yourself or have some people come visit your town and make donations. So after you have set up your town it is time to do other things. Why not go to the island and take part in some games with some friends or maybe by yourself. Done that? Okay how about you go enter the bug catching contest that happens once every month on a Saturday and win the trophy!

Fishing and Swimming with Friends.

There is so much to do in this game it is hard to list them all in here. There are events, season, weather, farming, creating, exploring. In New Leaf there is even a strip mall in your town across the train tracks, The more you spend or the more time you play New Leaf the more they get upgraded. That isn't all though, as you progress through the game new shops get added to your little shopping centre. Once thing I really enjoy about New Leaf is the fact that you can go and visit ANYONE'S town and explore, help, play games, etc... Once you have played two full weeks of New Leaf you are able to enter other towns that other people have created. You can even go into one Nintendo themselves have created! The possibilities are endless and you will never get bored and fully complete this game. Overall this game is an absolute joy and recommend every get this.

Graphics:
If you are familiar with any Animal Crossing game the graphics or style of the game are usually the same. The one think I find weird about the graphics in New Leaf is how shiny the grass in the game is. The graphics in this game take advantage of the 3DS. The character models are great looking and the environment are fantastic as well. The style of this game is more of a cartoony style. But it all looks sharp and crisp. Whats really enjoyable is the different seasons that par take in this game. Each season has it's own unique look and feel to it. Every season has something great to offer and makes the game that much more beautiful. Fall has a lot of different colours, winter is as white as ever with the Christmas holiday around the corner it adds a ton of colour, spring is bright and beautiful with flowers and rain showers, and summer is hot, green, and beautiful as well. Whatever the day, season, night, event, and others, Animal Crossing: New Leaf looks fantastic! Overall this is one great looking game.

Exploring the Island.

Audio:
New Leaf has a TON of great bits of audio in the game. Whether it is the music while you are walking around outside, at a store, or even at the night club the variety is endless. Another great feature is say you win one of the Nintendo items from the fortune cookies each one has it's own audio. For example with the Triforce when you press "A" on it it will play the triforce sound with a nice animation to it. Eventually you are also even able to get a CD player and buy or find your own music to spice your house up and bit more. Overall the music in this game is fantastic!

Pretty House!

Conclusion:
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is probably the best Animal Crossing game to date in my opinion. There is so much to do in this game you will never get bored of it. From exploring, playing games, decorating, visiting other peoples towns, playing with friends, shopping, upgrading, fossil finding, fishing, bug catching, events, your birthday, etc... this game and endless amount of content for you to enjoy. The graphics are fantastic, audio, and everything else! I highly recommend this game.

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Something Different:
Hey everyone. So I was contacted a little while ago asking if I could help out a fellow gamer. I immediately jumped to the opportunity and told him I would love to help him out.

Please follow Leonard! Leonard has just started a mobile gaming company known as TatumGames. He will be posting a kickstarter page in early September for one of his projects. Please show him some love and support and help a fellow gamer out.

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Project X Zone

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release Date: June 25th, 2013
Date Reviewed: August 18th, 2013

Gameplay:
Project X Zone is a tactical RPG for the Nintendo 3DS developed by Bandai Namco. The games story is played through chapters. In total there are 42 chapters in the game. After chapter 10 each mission is about and hour or so long. Overall it is a pretty long game especially if you take your time going through it. After you beat he story mode you unlock new game+ which allows you to keep all of your items but the monsters are a lot stronger and you gain exp a lot slower so levelling will be much more difficult. If you want the challenge then go for it. When you start the game you start off with very few characters but after almost every chapter you gain new companies to help you out. Each of your companions have their own move sets you can master to perform powerful combos. In total you get about 50 characters to control. Each of you're companions also get their own solo units as well. Solo units are additional units that you do not control. You call them in to do some extra damage and add on to you're combo. The higher you're combo the more xp you get. Xp is not the term for experience points. In Project X Zone xp is almost like mana. Every time you do some damage this bar gets increased. If you get it to 100% you can use a characters special attack. The xp bar also allows you to use you're companions skills which can increase your stats, or even an increased walking range. Solo units also provide your companions with extra skills which are useful.

Battle Screen.

When you gain a level you get a stat increase like with any RPG. But when you gain levels you also unlock new move sets for your companions. Levelling is a key part of your adventures. You need these to be able to unlock more moves and more attack opportunities. You also learn skills by levelling. During the campaign you also get items and weapons from bosses and treasure chests which can be used to make your characters a lot more powerful by increasing their stats. The four stats that your characters have are HP which increases your health points, attack which increases how much damage you do, defence to take less damage, and tec which launches your enemies higher into the air to perform more combos on your enemies. Overall I really enjoyed the game play of this game. There are a couple of downfalls though. For example most of the levels you do are very repetitive and can be frustrating when you think you are almost done the chapter when out of no where 30 more enemies appear on the screen. This game also needed a lot more customization options, more moves and items to use or even a shop.

Graphics:
The graphics are decent. It is a tactical RPG so the character models are very small and do not have a whole lot of detail on them. What I do like about the graphics is that when each character performs their special attack they each have their own special little animations, some are 3D and some are 2D but overall they are great. The graphics during combat is crazy like with most cross over fighting style games. When you're doing the combos there is so much happening on the screen at one time especially when you call in support units and solo units to do cross over combos to increase your xp bar. There are no cut scenes in the game it is all mainly dialogue. 

Movement Screen.

The 3D on the 3DS is good, not great but good. When the combat sequence begins the 3D can really hurt your eyes due to the fact that there is so much happening on the screen at one time. The 3D while you are moving your units around isn't anything to interesting. The only time you see the 3D effect well is when each of your character do their special attacks. When some of the characters do their specials some of them have 3D models so the 3D works really well with that. 

Audio:
This is one of my favorite parts of this game is the audio. When you buy the game or pre order the game when the first batches come out you will get the limited edition box which includes a poster, art book, and the soundtrack. The soundtrack is the best part of the package because it has all of the music from the game itself. The music in the game is fantastic and goes very well with the game, and battle scenes. The audio overall from the game is crisp, sounds great and works very well with the game. 

Limited Edition Bundle.

Conclusion:
Project X Zone is a really fun and enjoyable game. When you buy the first initial batch of the game you get the limited edition for the same price of $40. This is a fantastic offer because it includes an art book, a poster and the fantastic soundtrack. The gameplay is solid but is a bit repetitive and can drive you nuts a few times due to the fact that some chapters it seems like the enemies never stop appearing. Project X Zone is a fantastic cross over game, has a lot to offer and is an extremely long game. I personally put 49 hours into the game before I actually beat it. f you are a fan of fighting games, tactical RPG's, and cross over games then I highly recommend trying this game out.

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tales of the Abyss


Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Release Date: February 14, 2012
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2013

Gameplay:
Tales of the Abyss is a port from the PS2 version. I am very glad they ported it to the 3DS. I played it on the PS2 but it was so long ago and I was so young that I really didn't remember it to well. When I picked it up I knew I was in for a treat. Tales of the Abyss is an open world RPG title for the 3DS. If you have played any of the Tales games in the past then you will know the combat system is basically the same style. The combat system is not turned based but when you get into a battle screen it's a real time hack and slash RPG. You gain experience, level up, get to equipment. The same with any other RPG game. What Tales does very well is the use of strategy. You can control any of your 6 party members during battle. You can level up their skills, pick how they fight whether you want them to focus on healing or spell-casting or even focus on spell-casting until your TP (mana) hits 25%. This brings the combat to life more and great a challenge and avoids the repetitiveness. So overall combat is great!

Fast action combat!

The visuals are great. The 3D in the game doesn't really do anything unfortunately. The cut scenes are well and have also been upgraded to a more sharper picture. The story line is very well done and will get anyone absorbed to it. There are a lot of twists and “WTF” moments in the game which makes it a lot more fun and interesting. The main character of the game is really annoying at the beginning of the game. He's a very spoilt brat who always gets his way. Later on it gets much better and a lot more bearable. The game offers about 20+ hours of game play if you do not rush through it. Another issue I had with the game is when your exploring and walking around the world map it really zoomed out and at some points on the map the frame rates drop drastically making it hard to avoid some enemies. Overall I found Tales of the Abyss to be a very enjoyable game. If you have not ever played Tales of the Abyss I recommend picking it up for the 3DS. If you have played it on the PS2 version or are a tales fan I also recommend picking this up. They did a good job with the port.

Graphics:
The only two problems I have with the visuals in the game are the random frame drops in certain areas of the world map and there is no 3D in the game. You turn it on and it looks the exact same. This is very unfortunate because I think for the cutscenes the visuals will look so much more better. The port from the PS2 to the 3DS was a good port overall. No dumbed down graphics or quality overall. The game plays the same as the PS2 version and is a very enjoyable experience. I recommend not rushing through the cut scenes and skipping them just to beat the game faster. Take your time and watch the cut scenes they are very well done, well animated and will absorb you as you unfold this epic story. The battle scenes are fast paced, look very well and has no frame drops that I have noticed.

Beautiful cut scenes.

One of my favorite things to do during the battle encounters are using every party members special attack when they are available. They look so cool, bright, flashy and colorful. I also really liked the look of all of the spells visuals and skills. They all looked unique and suits the name of the skills. Overall Tales of the Abyss is a beautiful and colorful game for the 3DS.

Audio:
The soundtrack for Tales of the Abyss is fantastic. The battle music makes it like your endanger and need to kick some butt. The boss battle music makes the boss look more powerful and gets your adrenaline pumping. The music in each of the towns and the overworld map is soothing. Each town has their own unique soundtrack to them. They all sound great and very pleasing to the ears. Overall sound is top notch as well as the music.

Conclusion:
Tales of the Abyss is a splendid game. Yes, there are some small problems with the game but they aren't game breaking or will cause you to pull out your hair. It's very beautiful, very fun, interactive, has a great story and an awesome soundtrack. This port was very well done and hope to see other Tales games get ported to the 3DS in the future. There is a lack of 3D effects within the game and thought that the cut scenes would have looked a lot better and have a bigger effect on the story if the 3D was enabled for them. If you are a tales fan, RPG fan, or looking for a good game that will last awhile then I recommend you go pick this up. You will not be disappointed.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Super Mario Bros. 2


Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: August 19, 2012
Date Reviewed: Feb. 1st, 2013

Gameplay:
New Super Mario Bros 2 is the second game for New Super Mario Bros. The original game debuted on the Nintendo DS hand helds. This one however is now on the Nintendo 3DS. The original NSMB was a huge hit on the DS because it was Mario, but Mario remade. It's basically Super Mario Bros. Remade onto the hand held systems. Everyone loved it. Now we have NSMB Wii and NSMB WiiU. The game play is your basic Mario plat former. You go through worlds, each world has a castle with a boss and when you beat the boss you move onto the next world. Not really much to explain more about the game play. However I had a few issues with it. Now it is a fun game don't get me wrong. But this game is missing a lot. The point in this game is to collect as many coins as possible. This is a nice new twist on a Super Mario game. They also introduced a coin rush mode into the game where you play a few levels that have a lot of coins to collect and a short time limit. The other nice thing about this one is it has DLC. The DLC content are new coin rush maps, one they included for free. When you get your one million coin goal all that happens is you get a new background on the game menu, that's it. Not really much of an award.

The Tanooki Suit is back!

The issues I have with this game is it is so plain. The backgrounds, the level designs, and the overall game play lasts only a couple of hours. Sure if your a perfectionist like me then you want to try and unlock all the levels and the star coins. But while your playing through the worlds or even navigating each world to your next level it's just so plain compared to NSMB for the Wii or even the WiiU. The environment in the Wii and WiiU titles are fun, interactive, and adds some life to the game. Compared to the first one on the DS, they really didn't change anything at all besides collecting coins. This I found was very disappointing. It's like they didn't care all to much about this game because they wanted to boost sales on the 3DS system because it is a Mario game. Maria game = sells a lot of consoles.

However when you complete the game you unlock Star world. I like the levels in Star World but when you beat the game and didn't really focus on collecting the star coins it's frustrating to try and go through these levels because it costs a butt load of star coins just to even go to the first level in star world. I do like how they added that feature to the game though. They do have a co op mode within the game as well where you can a friend can connect locally and play the game together collecting your coins or just plain and simple beating the game. I am happy they are sticking with the co op route of things even on the DS systems. Overall the game play is fun, just a bit upsetting with the lack of effort put into this game and the boring environments. I would recommend picking up Paper Mario Sticker Star before this game.

Graphics:
The 3DS uses the graphics very well in this game. The textures are crisp and it looks really good. The only problem which was mentioned up above is the plain environments and bad level designs. Almost all of the levels had a plain background and was really fast and easy to run through. Not a whole look of level creativeness in this version of the game at all. The animations on all of the enemies are great. Like in the first one the enemies dance to the beat of the music as they are walking. I still think it's funny when they hop around or swing their arms to the music.

Co op Style!

Audio:
The soundtrack is basically the same one used in the DS title. Most of the levels have a good soundtrack and goes well with the game but it is all just from the original game. All of the audio in the game is what you'd expect from any Mario plat former game.


Conclusion:
Overall the game is fun, just upsetting on the level design and environments. I mean go watch a video on NSMB for WiiU and compare it to the 3DS version. I wish I was playing the WiiU version is all I am saying. I do like the co op mode in the game and how you can also play as luigi. I also enjoyed the Coin Rush mode which you unlock after the first world is beaten. They have also included a free DLC coin rush map pack for free for a limited time to celebrate the anniversary of Mario. This map pack is known as the “classic map pack” because you play re designed levels from the original Mario games. They are also fun. If you are debating between NSMB or Paper Mario Sticker Star I recommend you pick up Sticker Star before this game.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Paper Mario Sticker Star (3DS)

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Adventure RPG
Release Date: November 11, 2012
Date Reviewed: January 30, 2013


Gameplay:
Paper Mario Sticker Star is for the 3DS system. Paper Mario Sticker Star is not like the original Paper Mario for the N64 or the Wii versions. This version of Paper Mario is a new and fresh approach to the series. I personally loved the original for the N64 because of the RPG style. With Sticker Star there is still the RPG battle system but it's not nearly the same. With Sticker Star you actually go around peeling, buying, and finding stickers, You use these stickers as your battle commands. You have your basic stickers like the shoe (jump), and your hammer. But there are also a lot of different variations of these stickers like the fire hammer which does damage to all enemies. These stickers can also be powered up or you can even find them. These are known as shiny stickers or even flashy stickers which are much more powerful version of other stickers. There are a total of six worlds and each world has it's own different theme and style like with most mario games. Sticker Star does stay to it's routes by adding a lot of humour within the game. There were several times in the game where I had a good laugh.

So of coarse your roll is to save Princess Peach from Bowser once again. Basically what happens (without giving away spoilers) is everyone is at the sticker festival. While everyone is paying attention to Mario and Peach talking about the royal stickers Bowser sneaks in and steals one of the royal stickers. These royal stickers have great power within them and Bowser uses it to capture Peach and wipe the floor with Mario. Of coarse it is up to you to recover the seven missing royal stickers and rescue Peach.

The Battle System

With Sticker Star I found there was a lot more puzzle work to do than any other Paper Mario. What I mean by that is you have to do a lot of back tracking to other levels to progress. I did enjoy this aspect of the game but some of the times you have no clue where to go or what to do next. There were to much hidden paths to find to advance to the next level. I did enjoy that there was lots to do. If not rushed it is a 12 hour+ game. No replay value but it is longer than most recent Mario games out currently. The exploration is a huge part of the game which makes it even more enjoyable. Most of the bosses are challenging but have the option to make it easier if you know what stickers to use. I do wished they kept how the original one was. You get into a battle, earn XP, gain levels, etc... I am very happy that they added something new to the series but I missed the original game play style.

Sticker Star does stay true to the series of being a fun 2D style game with 3D environments and objects. These objects can be turned into super stickers which can deal a lot of damage or be a good support tool. Some of these include a fan or a vacuum or even a baseball bat. Each has it's own unique purpose. Overall the game play is as fun as it's always been and if your a Paper Mario fan I would check this game out you will have some fun. It is probably the worst one out of the three but still a lot of fun.

Graphics:
Paper Mario Sticker Star has your same 2D graphics as any other Paper Mario game in the past. You play as Mario who is made of paper and talk with NPC's who are also made of paper. Almost everything in the game is made of paper. You play as 2D but the environments are 3D. The game is very colourful and has a lot of variety. Each world you enter is a completely different environment. A little feature that I found really neat was whenever you got a shiny or flashy sticker and moved your 3DS around the stickers will shine as you move it around.

Water coming out of a cardboard bowser mouth?

Paper Mario Sticker Star also has a lot of great battle animations. The animations on the enemies and environment are very well done. They really did stay to the name of “Paper” Mario.

Audio:
The sound track for the game is what you would expect from any Mario game in the series. So catchy and soothing for the most part. When you go underground they did re use the classic soundtrack from Super Mario Bros. The audio is what you would expect from any Mario game. Never bad, always good, and always catchy. It seems to relate to the game very well.

Conclusion:
Overall Paper Mario Sticker Star is a very fun and enjoyable game. There are some things that do affect the overall score. Some of the younger audiences may find this game confusing at some parts and well get lost and will not be able to figure out where to go next. Most of the time they do not tell you where you need to go, it's basically go and figure it out for yourself. There were a couple of times I needed a small walk through to figure out where I needed to go next. I also believe they really didn't need to add the RPG battle system in this version of the game. Yes, battling with the stickers is a cool and new concept but when you win a battle it doesn't really feel like you've accomplished anything from doing it. Yes, you may earn coins or health when you defeat them but I missed when you gained experience, levelled up Mario, use badges, etc... That was very fun to me. Overall Sticker Star is a fun and enjoyable game but if your looking for the “old” Paper Mario this is not it. But try it anyways, you may have a good time as I did with it.