By: blazemanx Jun 29, 2011 | 6 Comments
A sequel that falls short of the original but still a great game.
I don't know if this has already been stated but im a HUGE tales fan. Its my favorite RPG series and of course i was hype beyond all comprehension when i heard that namco bandai was making a sequel to my favorite gamecube game. As a fan you automatically have high expectations for this game because it is a sequel to arguably the best game in the series. So how did it stand up to the greatness of its predecessor? Read on and find out.
The story in Dawn of the New World picks up approximately two years after the events of the original game. As a result of the World Regeneration of the first game, the worlds of Sylvarant and Tethe'alla have become one. However, this isn't as rosy as it all sounds - because of their inferior technology, the people of Sylvarant are oppressed by the Tethe'allans, and the Church of Martel has essentially sided with the Tethe'allans. Because of this, a renegade group known as the Vanguard has risen up to supposedly free the Sylvaranti from their oppression. The town of Palmacosta is caught in the crossfire when Lloyd Irving, the main protagonist from the first game, ravages through the town in an event called the Blood Purge. The new protagonist, Emil Castagnier, watches his parents murdered right in front of his face by the former hero.
Six months later, Emil is living with his aunt and uncle in the town of Luin, shunned by everyone else for hating Lloyd and supposedly bringing bad luck. Here, he meets up with two new characters - Marta, a girl being pursued by the Vanguard, and Tenebrae, a Centurion of the demon lord Ratatosk. In order to protect Marta, who carries Ratatosk's core around on her forehead, Emil forms a pact with Ratatosk, gaining a second personality whenever he is in danger or angry. His new quest is to seek out the eight Centurions' cores in order to awaken Ratatosk and save the world from destruction. Unfortunately, Lloyd Irving and the now sinister Vanguard are after the cores as well, each aspiring to use them for their own devices.
In the beginning, I had loads of questions. Why did Lloyd attack Palmacosta? Why is everyone looking for the Centurions' cores? Is Emil's other personality a result of possession by Ratatosk, or is it another personality deep inside of him? Everything eventually rounds out in the end, but it takes a while for the story to really get going. Plus, Emil's constant bouts of whining, apologizing, and angst grate on the nerves, though he thankfully becomes far less whiny as the story goes on. Despite these minor annoyances, I enjoyed the story a lot. The script is very well written, and there were several moments when I was laughing out loud, especially during the optional skit sequences. There's also plenty of voice acting to flesh out each main character. The story is nothing truly exceptional, but it gets the job done.
One thing often present in RPGs is a gigantic overworld to cross. In Dawn of the New World, that's not exactly the case. Instead of a large, connected world to explore, it's broken up into icons on a world map representing towns and dungeons, navigated through either a menu or point-and-click interface. While some might find this to be a step backwards, I personally was ok with it although i would have preferred the traditional overworld. The experience is a lot less open-ended, as you'll need to progress in a very linear fashion to advance the story. In towns, you'll need to mingle with NPCs for hints at your next objective, which often take you into dungeons filled with sometimes clever, but sometimes bland puzzles. Plenty of characters from the original Symphonia will drop in and out of your party as well, each receiving a fair amount of screen time. This game will take a good amount of time to complete, clocking in at 40-50 or so hours - a good length for most RPGs. The overall progression of the game - town, dungeon, boss, repeat - is very standard, but I had no complaints. I had fun, got in a few laughs, and kept coming back for more. Sometimes that's really all you need.
The music is, all in all, pretty good. You'll notice that a lot of tracks are from Symphonia, while others have been remixed, and still others are completely new. And a lot of the completely new ones are completely awesome. I really don't have much more to say about that - I listen to a lot of music, but I don't make a good critic of it. I can't explain why the music's good, just that it always seems to fit the scene.
The voice acting is pretty good. Not too many voices from the old game are back, but a lot of the replacements are pretty good . The only real problem i had was Lloyd's voice i really wish they would have brought back the original voice actor. The new voice actors are good as well. Emil's voice actor brings back nostalgia of Tales of the Abyss (and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers), Marta's adds to her character's overwhelming cuteness (but sometimes annoying), and other new characters I haven't mentioned yet, like Richter, have voice actors that fit their personality perfectly.
Alright, those of you that already have Vesperia aren't going to like this part. The graphics aren't fantastic. It's a Wii game, what do you expect? However, that doesn't mean they're bad. They're actually pretty good. Fight scenes are pretty awesome to watch, and, best of all, the cutscenes don't have to stick to the basics of the character models.
What do I mean by that? It's simple. During normal "press A after each text bubble" scenes, each character has a few different animations they have for speaking, acting scared/embarrassed, etc. But during a lot of cutscenes, they seem to be animated almost from scratch. I still prefer the smooth cartoon like cell shading of the first one though.
This game is played solely with the Wii remote and Nunchuk. There's no option for Gamecube, Classic, or any other kind of control, but it doesn't really matter - Namco Bandai pulled off the controls almost flawlessly. There's no need to worry about forced or excessive motion control use - you'll really only use the pointer for the Sorcerer's Ring, which is a key element in several puzzles, and the occasional shake or flick for some minigames. You can move around in towns or dungeons using either the analog stick or the pointer and B button, though the former is much preferred. You initiate combat by coming in contact with monsters on the field - touching them from behind gives you the upper hand, as all monsters start out stunned. Yes, I know it's a bit dumb to be happy over this, but even if you can't see exactly what you're fighting, you should at least know when it's happening.
Combat is an absolute joy, and one of the game's high points. You are in direct control of Emil, while competent AI takes over your partners. You can move left or right in a 2D plain with only the analog stick, or hold Z and move around for a free run, which allows you to get a better positioning on your enemies. Motion controls are thankfully not forced, as attacking is handled with the A button, while Emil's Artes are used with the analog stick and B button. You can use more Artes with the D-pad or by shaking the Wii remote in a certain direction, but I never really used these - it's tough remembering the button assignments of 12 different Artes at a time. Once the Unison Gauge at the bottom of the screen is full enough, you can combine multiple party members for a Unison Attack with the C button. In short, combat is fast-paced, occasionally challenging, and a blast to play.
Outside of battle, you can assign Emil's Artes to the analog stick and B button, and customize your party with equipment and passive Skills. Most of the human characters who drop in and out of your party have fixed levels and equipment. Therefore, the rest of your party will consist primarily of monsters you can capture and train. As a Knight of Ratatosk (hence the Japanese title), Emil can form pacts with monsters, adding them to his party, and then strengthening them through battle and cooking food at Katz Guilds scattered throughout the world. You can also use Katz Guilds to accept side quests and swap monsters in and out of your party (since you can only take four with you at any given time). The monster-raising system is surprisingly deep, but whether you exploit it or not is your choice. You can take whatever you manage to accidentally stumble upon, or put some real effort into it and raise some extremely overpowered beasts. Your monsters can evolve when they get to a certain level so in that regard its just like pokemon.
Final Verdict: BUY IT
All in all, Dawn of the New World has earned its place among the Tales games. The story will get you started, the characters will drag you in, the battle system will keep you going, and everything else melds in to pull you closer to it all. It may not be what I expected, maybe not even what most of us did, but that doesn't make it worse than previous games. So i think all wii owners should give this a try tales fan or not as long as you enjoy a good RPG you should enjoy this one. Any wii owners out there? Let us know and don't be a jimmy.
The old school '92 classic beat 'em up has returned. Is it worth your money? Find out in the Gouki.com Review. Welcome to Die!
If I could describe the X-men Arcade game in one word it would be Disappointment.
Why you ask? Well I'll tell you why. I fondly remember going to the Arcade in San Diego California as a kid. Playing all sorts of games, blowing my hard earned money on good games, bad games, broken games (still pissed about those) and the best arcade games around. Back in the early '90s the top arcade games for me where the Beat 'Em Ups. The Simpsons Game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and who could forget the X-men Arcade game. Many of us had the 4-player cabinets in our local arcades, but some of us where lucky enough to have 6-player action at our fingertips... and just for a quarter (I miss those days).
I would spend hours beyond hours every week playing the X-men Arcade game. Meeting new people every time and having a blast. So I was stoked to find out that Konami was bringing this childhood classic back. At 800 MSP or $10 PSN I was sold. I bought this baby yesterday and to my surprise I was severely disappointed.
The game is exactly as I remember it, which is the problem. After 18 years I was expecting Konami to release an updated version, not just a smoothing filter. I wanted to have a remade X-men Arcade with updated sounds, graphics, and gameplay. Now I am not the person who hates the classics, or thinks they aren’t fun. My problem is that they could have had two games in one. X-men Arcade Classic, and a revamped version as well.
You have the choice between two version of X-men Arcade, USA and Japan. The Japanese version is better than the USA version solely because when you use a Mutant Power in the USA version it drains your life meter before using your energy orb. The Japanese version is the other way around. The USA version is much more difficult which would be a great challenge had the game had some sort of continue system. Instead you have unlimited lives, and can basically just spam Mutant Powers the entire time. Sure they take away your life energy, but who cares you can’t lose. Even online play has infinite continues. There is no way to change it either. So basically unless you’re like me and really want to try and relive the classic, you’ll try not to spam Mutant Powers.
My first play through was solo, and I beat it in 30 minutes. I spent $10 only to be jerked around for 30 minutes. This game welcomed me to die alright; I wanted to end my life and the game after playing it. The character selection is how you remember it, you can choose from; Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Night Crawler, and The Dazzler (yes she is a real X-men) each character has his/her own Mutant Power. Cyclops shoots laser beams from his eyes, Storm strikes her enemies with lightning, Wolverine slashes his claws at his enemies (lamest Mutant Power), Colossus goes into rage and destroys enemies surrounding him, Night Crawler teleports across the screen and destroys anyone in his path, and The Dazzler who uses sound frequencies to destroy her enemies.
For the most part of the game you are fighting your way through sentinel after sentinel with a few other enemies here and there. There are also eight boss characters, Pyro, Blob, Wendigo, Nimrod, The White Queen, Juggernaut, Mystique and of course Magneto. Each boss is basically a push over save Magneto. As one falls after another you move onto a new level. The story of this game is basically Magneto threatens the city with his army of sentinels and Kidnaps Professor X and Kitty Pryde. It’s up to the X-men to Go and Save the City as well as rescue X and Kitty.
It’s a pretty simple game, only using 3 buttons; Attack, Jump, and Mutant Power, which makes for an easy to pick up and play game. Online play is done well, with the option of playing 6-player drop in drop out co-op with relatively no lag. The only issue here is even on expert difficulty, 6 players can run through the game in under 15 minutes. It’s really hard to suggest spending $10 for such a short time of play.
While the X-men Arcade game is still a great classic in my heart, this new version is just plagued with not adding anything new to the game in 18 years. I had fun playing it, but I think it’s a waste of $10 Jimmys. Buy it if you’re a huge fan and have to get your hands on it, but for the rest of you out there just Demo it
Bottom Line: Demo It!
By: cinderkin Sep 12, 2012 | 3 Comments
Get ready for the next battle, Tekken Tag Tournament 2 is finally here. Is it worth your money? Find out in the Gouki.com Review. Don’t be a Jimmy!
The time has come to pull out all the stops and do battle in the latest Tekken Tag Tournament. This time it’s bigger, better, and all around more badass than ever before. Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (TTT 2) is filled with over 50 fighters, new stages, new combos, and more. The latest 3D fighting game has made it to consoles, but is it worth your money though? Read on below.
TTT 2 offers a ton of game modes for you to spend hours upon hours in. Arcade mode returns as well as Ghost Battle which pits you against and unlimited amount of opponents’ ghost data as you rank up your fighter from Beginner to Tekken Lord. Time Attack, Survival, Versus, Practice, and for the first time in a fighting game Fight Lab. If you’ve ever felt like a fighting game was just too hard to get into because the moves look to complex or you just don’t understand the game mechanics, well then you have nothing to worry about with TTT 2. Fight Lab is a fleshed out tutorial system which allows you to learn the basics as well as the advanced mechanics of the game. It teaches you the ins and outs of the game, from high and low attacks, defense, tagging, launchers and ground bounces, and side stepping, as well as allowing you to fully customize your own fighter named Combot. Fight Lab truly is a groundbreaking feature that more fighting games need to implement.
Although TTT 2 has a ton of offline modes to choose from, online is where it thrives. Tekken 6 suffered with a really bad and unplayable online experience. Namco Bandai has put a ton of effort into making sure TTT 2 has the online longevity and I say that it truly nails it in every way. There are two game modes right now which are Ranked and 8 slot lobby Player matches. The flow of the menus are amazing, rarely can you find a game which allows for match after match without being kicked back to a menu. While you wait for an opponent the game allows you to practice your moves while you wait. When an opponent is found the game shows you the players’ connection to you and gives you the option to opt in or out, this is a great addition because everyone hates having matches in lag. Speaking of lag TTT 2 doesn’t have any, with the ability to set your search options to only connect to players with great ping you won’t have to worry about lag at all. I even did 20 matches with a friend who lives on the other side of the US and is known for having a really poor connection (unplayable) with zero lag. Whichever netcode is being used here is by far the best in the genre.
The gameplay is so smooth and the animations are clean. This game is filled with thousands of moves with no slow down whatsoever. Although a Tag fighting game TTT 2 allows you to pick between either 1 vs 1, 2 vs 2, or 2 vs 1 including pair play for online. I’ve noticed that solo play is much stronger than tag play, although I see this being possibly changed in an update. Every character can be partnered up with another and some have special tag combos and tag throws when properly paired. With over 50 fighters including almost every single fighter from the Tekken franchise you have a ton of tag team options to choose from.
TTT 2 is an absolutely beautiful game in every sense of the word, fighters looked detailed as well as the stages. These aren’t your ordinary stages either, with stages from all over the world. Some have crazy backgrounds like the festival parade with floats, or the high school with all the students cheering you on. Fighters actually get dirty during matches as well. The details behind this game are phenomenal. Each fighter can also be fully customized with clothing, weapons, and special effects. There are hundreds of costumes to choose from all included without costing extra. The game even lets you save up to 10 different costumes for each fighter.
The games audio shines as well. Every fighter speaks in their native tongue which is a nice touch for authenticity. Each stage has music that really gets you in the mood to kick someone’s ass, including the newly implemented Tekken Tunes which allows you to fully customize the games soundtrack to your liking. Not only does this allow you to choose the music from the game to edit, but you can even take tracks from your favorite albums and put them into the game. Feel like fighting to Rock, Rap, Country, or the theme song to Pokémon you now have that option. Tekken Tunes is an awesome feature and more games should implement it.
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 damn near has everything a fighting game should have. No game of the genre has come close to what TTT 2 has done. They really nailed this game and even if you aren’t familiar with the 3D fighting game style, with modes like Fight Lab you can’t go wrong. Although not my favorite fighting game series, I can’t deny that this game is the best in the genre. Namco Bandai has raised the bar for all other companies to follow. If you love fighting games you’ll love this game. If you like fighting games you’ll love this game. If you hate fighting games you’ll love this game. It has so much content and should be awarded for offering this much. We Are Tekken!
Motocross games have been around since Excite Bike on the NES. Have these games really come a long way? Is MX vs ATV Alive worth your money or your time? Find out in the Gouki.com Exclusive Review!
MX games have been some of the most fun racing games since Excite Bike on the NES. With today’s technology the pixelated graphics of the old Excite Bike are long gone. Does the new MX vs ATV Alive game bring the fun or does it just suck? Find out below.
Let me first start off by saying MX vs ATV Alive has one of the worst career modes I have ever seen in a racing game. I have been a fan of the MX series for a long time, and I was truly disgusted when I went to the single player career. The reason being is that every single racing game ever in existence starts you off with a race or two, then as you win you progress further through your career. MX vs ATV Alive is the complete opposite of that. When you first start your career you have access to 4 races, 2 National, 2 Short Tracks, and 2 Free Ride levels. Which isn’t bad a first glance, but after you’ve earned the gold medal in all 4 races then that’s it. The only way to unlock more tracks is to increase your rider level / XP to 10 and then 25, which after getting the gold medals in the 4 available tracks my rider level was only 3. Meaning that you are required to either play online or replay the same 4 tracks numerous times. This is uncalled for, and absolutely ridiculous. There are a total of 16 tracks, with 12 being National and 4 Short Tracks. That is a very small amount of races, and Supercross tracks are for some reason missing entirely from the game. Because of the poorly done career mode the game quickly loses any and all flare it had. THQ if you're reading this never force gamers to replay the same 4 tracks over 20 times just to unlock more tracks in career.
With a lackluster career mode, all that is left is multiplayer local and online. On the local side of things you literally have the exact same options for races as you do in career. Meaning that if you haven’t reached rider level 10 or 25 in career or online then you will only have access to the same 4 races and 2 free ride levels. This is unacceptable, think about a time when you have picked up a new game from the store and a friend comes over or your sibling wants to play with you, you pop the game in and can play for hours. Imagine doing the same thing with MX vs ATV alive and only have 4 races to play? That is an unplayable experience; this isn’t NES days where you can only fit so many tracks into a cartridge. These are 8 gigs of space to work with. Online multiplayer is the same garbage as the rest of the game; you still only have access to 4 races. WTF? This isn’t even a game.
Usually I don’t devote an entire section to controls in games, but MX vs ATV is an exception. The control scheme is interesting in the fact that you control your rider with the left stick, and your Bike or ATV with the right stick. At first this is very difficult to use, but eventually you get the hang of it. There are stunts in the game like in most MX games, but there is nowhere in game a stunt list. The game just assumes you know how to perform the 30 plus tricks. I literally had to Google an online manual for this game just to do a backflip. That should never be the case!
The game looks decent to be honest, the tracks are ordinary, but the dirt on the track is one of the best visuals in the game. Every track looks different, and that is a good thing as does the track itself changes based on what line the riders are taking. The riders themselves all look the same, except for what gear they are wearing. The problem is that the different costumes all look the same during a race. You can’t distinct fully tell the difference which is unfortunate, because the game literally gives you tons of gear to put on your rider. The character customization and the Bikes and ATV options are plentiful, but unfortunately aren’t needed.
The audio is hit or miss in MX vs ATV Alive. The music fits the game well, but there are so little music tracks that you hear the same songs over and over again. The engine sounds in the game are pretty great, you can hear the difference between using the clutch and hammering down on the accelerator. It’s exactly how it should sound. There isn’t much more to say about the audio, because it’s decent, but it doesn’t really change the fact that MX vs ATV Alive is bad.
I already explained that the online is the same trash as the career mode, but I didn’t go into detail. The online component is very bland and doesn’t offer much to this game. You can have up to 16 players racing at the same time which is nice, but if your rider level isn’t high enough you’ll only be playing those first 4 tracks. Even if someone who is a level 10 or 25 hosts a game at different tracks, you can’t participate until you’re a high enough level. This is absolutely terrible, no gamer should have to go through that just to play the game. You gain XP playing online, but you get less than you do in single player. You can play Ranked, Player and Private games, but even in Private games when everyone is ready to race you still have to wait 30 seconds before each race even starts.
I honestly hated this game. I can barely even call this a game; even though it’s cheaper than most titles it feels very incomplete. There are so little good things in this game that I can’t honestly recommend it to any gamer. It is a slap in the face for Motocross fans, racing fans, and gamers alike. MX vs ATV Alive makes you wish you weren’t while playing it. This is truly garbage and I’d rather play MX Unleashed on the original Xbox/PS2 than to play this game again.
Bottom Line: FLUSH IT!
Is the $15 Hack n Slash with RPG elements worth your time and money? Find out in the review.
Moon Diver is a side scrolling platformer with plenty of action. There are 4 characters Seyfert, Hitori, Tolb and Ourion. All of these characters can be lvled up by killing stuff and find new abilities to use.
It's bad, but thats ok, this is a hack and slash with some leveling up. The entire game is basically story-mode but the problem is how they try to tell it to you. The story is made up of really akward soundless custscenes with awkward text not explaining much, and cut-out pictures of characters floating around. As I said earlier this game doesn't need a story, but they didn't really try much on delivering it. But heres the story anyways- A boy named Faust controls something called the "Mephistopheles", which allows him to bring anything to life (this explains you fighting hordes of machinery and lasers). Faust wants humanity completely raped and to be some sort of ruler. But a special group of ninjas called "Moon Divers" have gotten orders to save humanity and stop him.
Easy and fun for anyone. The game is very straght forward with jumping and atacking. Every character can unlock a large amount of special moves to use (you start with one, the rest are found in levels, kinda making it a free for all to see who gets it first). Once you start collecting these specials, you can equipt up to 4 at a time, using them during battle, (they do drain your magic meter though). The great part is the many variations of moves to be found, AOEs, blinding enemies, freezing, boost defense, projectiles, all great fun.
Your Characters get 1 point to use everytime they level up. This point could be put into HP, MP or Power. Out of the 4 characters their stats start out differently, but this doesn't stop you from building them the way you want, in the end they could also have the same magic attacks aswell, what really differs is in their atack speed. -From fastest to slowest, the slower swinging charactrs start with more attack power anyways- Hitori, Seyfert, Tolbi and Ourion.
The levels are nothing too new to a playformer. Run a long distance killing stuff, jump on some platforms, have a bottom-less pit somewhere and lasers. But they did do a good job cramming ridiculous amounts of enemies into some akward areas, actually making you think about how you will go on about your killing (the game definately gets harder every level, even with a full team). Only bad part is that sometimes the game feels like a repetitive grind, but like any game, you have to keep going to experince new hazards and monsters.
Teamwork in this game is neccesary in higher levels. Voice-chat is available but people don't use it. When prompted, teamates can use a special move together (if done at same time), and this pulls off a awesome magic move that you may not have. A problem with being on a team are stuborn people. If one teamate is falling behind, or if someone wants to go in a different direction, the furthest team member will be injured/ slowly be teleported in some instances ; extremely annoying. Also knowing when to use your special moves instead of spamming them saves the team alot. Perfect example is when my team ONLY passed the level because someone had the "freeze all enemies for a short time" move, and he used it perfectly everytime, without that it would have been 100% failure. Also when you die, you float around slowly being able to control your movement. You have 10 seconds for a teamate to "break the chains" which is slashing you until your free, if this doesn't happen, you die for reals and wait for respawn. Game is over when everyone is dead.
CONTROLS / MOVEMENT:
All respond perfectly fine. You only use one button to attack , and can hold it for a stronger charge atack. You have another button only use for special moves. Another one for jumping/double jumping. And a button for dashing/air dashing and another for crouching. Attack speeds differ but all characters run the same speed, which flows perfectly fine with the game. Besides running around swinging, you can atack while jumping, dashing and even can perform a sort- of aeriel dash down attack. Also to climb and hold onto ledges, you simply jump to it, and getting down or jumping to a lower level is holding down+ attack. The game is definately simple and can be jumped into and enjoyed by anyone.
Since the entire game is story-mode driven, playing alone sucks if you don't have a few other friends. Lukily they did a AWESOME job with the online lobbys, simply love it. The search engine is simple and detailed. When looking for a room, you can search for difficulty, the level range of players are what level they are playing on. It then displays the host name, # of players in room and level they are on. Like any online game there is lag, but it is rare (and I live in Hawaii, probly barely any lag for you people in the Mainland).
Are better than I expected. The game just looks like it was made by Square-Enix. Everything looks good, especially huge explosions and beams ; dazzling stuff. The game does a good job with a cold industrialized look being splashed with awesome lighting effects. What suprised me the most was the awesome amount of detail found in some levels. Also, they did a really good job with shadow effects in this game, wasn't expecting that much depth.
- No Real Story - Just some dude trying to wipe out humans, and your group of badass ninjas are gonna save the world, but who cares about a story in a $15 hack n slash? Just have some fun.
- Gameplay is simple fun- Kill stuff, level up, realize it atually does get dificult and enjoy a decent game. A leveling system with 4 characters fits in just right.
- Graphics fit well- The game looks really good for a cheap DLC.
- Controls are Easy- If your bad at this game, I don't know what to tell you
- Online is where it's at- Constantly finding games and as you get to higher levels, you find less dumb people, making the experience all that much better.
BUY IT! It's not expensive and has plenty of fun. 4 characters allows you to experiment with different builds and have different gamestyles at your disposal and finding loads of special moves to use adds more playtime.
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