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blazemanx

List of MK9 Xbox 360 Exclusives (Rumor)

By: blazemanx Apr 5, 2011 | 5 Comments

There's a rumor floating around that the Xbox 360 version of Mortal Kombat 9 will feature it's own exclusive content, such as: Puzzle Kombat, The Pit 360 stage (remake of the Pit III from MK3) and King of the Hill Mode with avatar support.

Hitting gaming forums left and right is a list of supposed Xbox 360 exclusives for Mortal Kombat 9. NetherRealm has since added to following notice to their forums: “It has recently been brought to our attention that a number of members are openly discussing news and media that haven’t been officially announced by NetherRealm Studios.” There is no certainty to these exclusives so take them with a grain of salt:

*Exclusive Mode: Puzzle Kombat – Features online play, leaderboards, and avatar support.
*Exclusive Arena: The Pit 360 – Remake of The Pit III from MK3
*King of the Hill mode will include avatar support.
*DLC Character “Lady in Red” will be available to Xbox Live users as a free download for a limited time after her release.
*Exclusive avatar gear will be available for purchase. 

source:http://saveandquitgaming.com/list-of-xbox-360-mortal-kombat-9-exclusives-rumor/ 

 

if this is true then this is pretty fucking sweet because i was bummed out about the whole PS3 exclusive kratos.

hit the link for more info......there is even a pic to help support this.

let me know what you guys think dont be a jimmy!

Community News

blazemanx

M.bison leaked for MVC3?

By: blazemanx Jan 27, 2011 | 23 Comments

yet another pic showing a potential character for MVC3

I found this pic online and you can see his health bar on the right.

At this point I dont know what to think but it looks legit to me..........what do you guys think?

I REALLY hope this is real becuz M.bison OWNS.................PSYCHO CRUSHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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blazemanx

MVC3 Gamestop Midnight Launch Locations!

By: blazemanx Feb 8, 2011 | 13 Comments

locations for all the gamestops that are having midnight launches for MVC3

are you HYPE????

well this is for all you guys who just cant wait till tuesday morning to grab your copy of MVC3.

gamestop.com now let's you search for any stores in your local area that are having midnight launches.

SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!

source: gamestop.com

Community Blog

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My thoughts on the 12 new character choices for UMVC3

By: blazemanx Jul 21, 2011 | 6 Comments

Here is what i think about the new characters of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3!

First off lets start with the capcom side.

Strider

Strider's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Out of the capcom bunch he is the golden goose. If you read my topic about my top 5 characters i wanted you would know he was on it and that makes me a happy man. He looks awesome and looks like he will be a combo machine. Thank god for the japanese voice option because his english voice sucks!

Firebrand

Firebrand's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Out of the capcom bunch he is the worst to me. Gameplay wise he looks interesting but i have no love for him at all. I don't really see why people wanted him, he is bland and boring with no personality at least in my opinion.

Vergil

Vergil's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Vergil was never a must have for me but im glad he made it. i liked him in DMC3 and i hope he has the same voice actor (quantam rager FTW). I hope he is not the ken version of dante i hope his move set is unique and shows people why he is just as badass as his twin brother.

Frank West

Frank West's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Frank was not one of my top 5 but i do love him. He is from one of my all time favorite games dead rising. I never really had a chance to play TVC so so playing as frank will be a thrilling new experience for me. I just wish they added the mall stage dead rising FTW!

Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

I have never played the phoenix games but i do know of him. I know he was highly requested and really popular. I kind of wanted him just to see how he would pan out. Im hoping he will be made into a formidable fighter and make me want to go check out his games.

Nemesis

Nemesis' artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Nemesis is one big bad mofo and those who are familiar with RE3 will know him well. He never even crossed my mind when thinking about characaters but he was one scary ass monster and now im intrigued to see how he will be. Although i think if any other resident evil character should have got in it should have been sheva.

Now we move on to the marvel side.

Ghost Rider

Ghost Rider's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

I did want ghost rider but he wasn't one of my top picks. Im glad to see him get some love and make his vs debut. He looks like a real power house with OTGs and his death stare hyper looks awesome i expect to see a lot of him in the first couple of weeks after release.

Hawkeye

Hawkeye's Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 artwork

I always knew of hawkeye but never really KNEW him. I didn't think we needed him mainly because we have a arrow based fighter in taskmaster. After seeing him in action he is pretty different from taskmaster and should carve out his own niche. The best thing about hawkeye is that his theme is AMAZING i just love it i hope to see him a lot just to hear his theme.

Iron Fist

Iron Fist's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

I don't know a whole lot about iron fist but i do like him. I liked his appearance in marvel ultimate alliance 2. I expect him to be a good close range melee fighter with devastating combos and a chi like healing hyper. I don't really know how popular he is but he made the cut so that has to mean something.

Dr.Strange

Dr. Strange's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Dr.strange was another highly requested character from the marvel universe. I think it makes sense to include him because why would you have a hero's villain (shuma, dormammu) and not the hero? I expect him to have a lot of long rang moves including some sort of levitation moves. I think strange will be one of those characters that seems bad until you see him in the right hands, similar to thor.

Nova

Nova's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

Nova is the first of two characters i know NOTHING about. Apparently he made IGN's top 100 comic book heroes of all time. In order to make that list i guess he must have something going for him. With that being said i still feel like his spot could have been givin to someone more deserving. I don't know much about him but im looking forward to his reveal i hope he was a good choice.

Rocket Raccoon

Rocket Raccoon's artwork for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3

As soon as i saw his pic i facepalmed. Even though i knew nothing about him i was furious. I yelled we get THIS instead of cyclops, ms. marvel, venom, gambit, jubilee, blade, silver surfer, thanos ect. I shouldn't be so quick to hate someone i know nothing about be i truly feel they could have chose a more heroic and iconic character.

Well that is what i think of the new cast its got some flavor and variety. Although it could have been MUCH better i would love to know what you guys think. Let us know and don't be a jimmy.

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blazemanx

KOF XIII is shaping up to be a winner

By: blazemanx Jul 12, 2011 | 10 Comments

A more in depth look at KOF XIII.

 

King of Fighters XIII improves upon the KOF XII engine, using the Taito Type X2 arcade board like it's predecessor. There are nine returning KOF veterans in this installment, including: King, Mai, Yuri, Takuma, Vice, Maxima, Hwa Jai, Kula, K' and a console exclusive character, Billy Kane! This makes for a total of 32 characters so far, and they will be grouped into teams (unlike the prequel). There will also be a much greater selection of character colors (10 per character) along with some ultra cool sprite edits & "head swaps" for certain characters. At least 8 new hand-drawn stages will appear in the console version, and returning stages have been given visual updates as well.

Special moves now have "normal" and "EX" versions. The EX specials cost a small amount of the power gauge and can add extra hits, boost attack speed, and/or add an extra frame of invincibility! A new gameplay feature is the "Triple Cancel," which allows players to unlimitedly cancel their character's moves. The Triple Cancel is dependent on the "Hyper Drive Gauge," a three-tier gauge which gradually drains as the fighters cancel their moves. When a fighter is in Hyper Drive Mode and has three power stocks, they can perform a powerful technique known as a "Neo Max Desperation Move". Players can also link a Neo Max technique into a combo, which is dubbed "Max Cancel". The "zoom" effect that was used in King of Fighters XII on counter moves has been removed and the gameplay speed has also been improved greatly.
 

The Story Mode features a scoring system. When fighting against a computer opponent, players are challenged to complete a random objective during stages, or Target Actions. Completing these tasks can award bonus points at the scoring screen. Meeting certain conditions can also reward players the next round by filling up their power gauge or Hyper Drive Gauge. Objectives include goals such as completing a certain amount of hits within one combo, successfully hitting the opponent with a desperation technique (including EX and Neo Max desperation moves or specials), or being asked to perform a certain attack within 10 seconds. Pre-fight dialogue is also featured in game's 1-player mode.
 

There will also be a "mission mode" but there are no details on it yet. I hope it is similar to the MVC3 mission mode or the SSF4 trials, challenging and fun. As far as we know billy kane is the only console exclusive character but i really hope more is added. Oswald from KOF XI would kick tons of ass in this game i really hope he is added. KOF XIII is looking to hang with the big boys in the figthing game world and i think it has all the tools to do so. With improved online features and a improved network code from the previous game KOF XIII should really appeal to fighting game fans. This game drops october 25th for the ps3 and 360 will you take on the king? I know i will and i now i leave you with a look at the current roster and the latest trailer. Let us know what you think and dont be a jimmy.

 

 

   

 

  

 

   

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

  

 

   

 

 

 

 

Community Blog

blazemanx

My top 5 favorite RPG villains

By: blazemanx Jul 2, 2011 | 16 Comments

here are my top 5 favorite RPG villains.

As you all know im a RPG fanatic and i have played and beaten many many RPG games. In every RPG game there is a hero but you can't have a hero without a villain. Some villains are dull and don't really seem worth the the hero's time. Then there are those that stand out from the crowd in terms of evilness, look and personality. Trust me i have a big list of awesome villains that i like but i decided to only put down 5. It was hard to pick these 5 out of the bunch but i managed to do it. So without further delay here are my top 5 favorite RPG villains.

Yeager

Yeager is a villain from tales of vesperia and a pretty cool one to be honest. What really caught my attention with yeager was his german accent. He would add ya at the end of his sentences as if he was asking a question. You know what i mean just imagine it lol. In addition to his cool voice he was a BADASS fighter he was one of the hardest bosses in the game. Tales of vesperia has these secret missions where you complete a goal during boss fights and his secret mission was BY FAR the hardest. Another thing that adds to yeagers appeal is that further in the game after you have defeated him for good you learn more about him. You learn that he was not as evil as you thought he was, he had a little good in him too. I really would love to see yeager in another tales game but i guess that won't happen since he is killed in the game. I think there should be more villains with german accents it just adds a extra cool factor.

Dist the reaper

Dist is from tales of the abyss and is one of the six god generals. Dist is by far the most hilarious villain i have ever seen but in a good way. He is indeed evil but totally comical at the same time weather its intentional or not i have no idea. For starters he has one of if not the best evil psycho laughs ever. He calls others savages and thinks of him self as the most beautiful person alive. He even talks about how his name is beautiful, talk about conceited. He never actually fights he uses machines to do his dirty work and he is a mechanical genius but he just can't fight. He is old friends with one of the main party members and the dialog between the two is comedy gold. When you foil his plans he tells you how he will write it down in his revenge journal. I think there should be more villains like him he adds a frown as well as a smile to your face.

Lezard Valeth

Lezard is from valkyrie profile 1 and 2 he is a genius mage who seeks power beyond that of human kind. Although he was in both games the valkyrie profile 2 version of him is why i like him so much. He was actually a team mate for most of the game until his true motives was revealed and he ended being the final boss of the game. He outsmarts the party and other villains to become a god and create his own dimension so its safe to say that he is a total badass. He is voiced by the same voice actor who voices dist the reaper but trust me he sounds nothing like him. He has a badass deep voice and when he does magic and cast spells he sounds truly epic. There aren't many villains that can out smart gods and become a god him self, lezard truly is a villain to be reckoned with.

Luca Blight

Luca is from suikoden 2 and trust me he is one sick bastard. He is indeed one of the most evil villains you will ever come across in any game. While he was destroying a town he made a woman get on her hands and knees and bark like a dog if she wanted to live. She did what he said then with an evil grin he struck her down with his sword and laughed as if was nothing. He had no regard for human life he was truly a monster. Another thing that adds to him being a great villain is the actually battle with him in the game. It took THREE DIFFERENT TEAMS of SIX to slow him down but even then he was not finished. After you use 18 different characters to beat him he is hit by a barrage of arrows but with arrows sticking out of his body he was STILL not finished. You then had to face him one on one in a duel and that was no walk in the park. It took all that to defeat this man he was truly a hardcore villain and there should be more like him to really give the player a reason to hate one of the antagonist.

Duke

Duke is the main villain from tales of vesperia. Duke was an important figure in the great war in which humans and the Entelexeia (mystical creatures) fought. He fought alongside the Entelexeia Elucifer so that humans and the Entelexeia could live in peace. Although they were victorious, some humans no longer trusted the Entelexeia and executed Elucifer. After this betrayal, Duke lost all faith in humanity and cut all ties with them becoming somewhat of a recluse. He only appeared when he felt it was necessary for the protection of the world and the Entelexeia. Duke is one of those complex villains where he has good intentions but his method to achieve his goal is too extreme. He intended to trade all human life on earth in order to save it. He cared more about the earth it self than those who inhabit it. He survives the final battle and helps the heros save the earth their way. He was a guy you wanted to hate but couldn't i like complex villains like that.

There are many more villains that i have come to like and im sure some of you have too. So let us know some of your favorite villains and don't be a jimmy.

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Mighty Morphing Power Rangers

By: blazemanx Jun 21, 2011 | 5 Comments

it's 1993 all over again go go power rangers!!!

Back in the 90's if you had a pulse then you knew about the power rangers. The smash tv hit for people of all ages took the world by storm is still going strong today. Due to the recent adding of the classic power rangers to netflix (AWESOME RIGHT?) i have power ranger fever all over again, which has inspierd me to do this review so come with me on a trip down memory lane.

Story:

There's no story given in the game. Possibly it's in the instruction manual but since I don't have that, I don't know. I suppose it's not much different from the series. Rita Repulsa wants to take over Earth and the only people standing in her way are the Power Rangers. So Putty after Putty and monster after monster are sent to fight our heroes.
If you've seen the series, you're pretty much very familiar with the story setup of the game, though none is given in the actual game. Basically Rita just appears in the intro and off you go fighting Putties and monsters. That's about it.

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Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Paper Mario The Thousand - Year Door

By: blazemanx Jun 20, 2011 | 5 Comments

Who knew something as thin as paper could be so epic!

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the long awaited sequel to the original Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64 back in 2001. The original Paper Mario was released at the very end of the Nintendo 64's lifespan so not everyone had the chance to experience it. Paper Mario was an amazing game that sure lived up to the high expectations of Super Mario RPG fanatics. In 2003 Mario RPG fans were greeted with the superb Gameboy Advance RPG, Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga. Then in late 2004 Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was finally released. I can tell you that if you enjoyed any of the previous Mario RPG games in the slightest bit then Paper Mario 2 will be a joy ride for you from start to finish. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door achieves greatness on almost every level and is just a fun and engaging RPG.

Story:


Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door has one of the best Mario game story lines I have seen to date. Generally as you know Mario games typically follow the path of Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach and it's up to Mario (and sometimes Luigi) to rescue her. However in 2003 Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga separated itself from this typical storyline proving that Mario games can indeed have a complex storyline. Paper Mario 2 took no trouble in following in Superstar Saga's footsteps. Creating it's own engaging storyline. It all starts out with Princess Peach who finds a magical treasure map, that leads to an extraordinary treasure. Sending the map to Mario he soon decides to gear up and head out in search of this treasure. Of course in typical Mario game fashion Peach is kidnapped but this time it wasn't Bowser. Following this event comes some pleasing humor involving Bowser being angry that someone other then him had the audacity to kidnap the Princess. Bower then sets off to stop Mario from getting the treasure and he decides he will also kidnap the Princess in the process. You eventually learn that a character named Grodus of the X-nauts is responsible for kidnapping the Princess. The story unfolds at a pleasing pace, and you will just be pleased throughout the entire experience. There is no doubt that Paper Mario is one of the best games I have ever played and arguably the best game on the Gamecube. Paper Mario 2 has so many memorable moments and humor and challenging puzzles that you will have a smile on your face the entire game. 

Gameplay:


Paper Mario 2 is overall just a really fun game. In many RPG's you can become overwhelmed with random encounters and become frustrated when trying to solve a puzzle or get somewhere. For anyone who is unfamiliar with a Mario related RPG, they do not have Random encounters, they do not exist. Instead the enemies are displayed on the level. A battle will occur depending on if you do one of the following: come into contact with the enemy, jump on enemy/hit them with your hammer, or your enemy uses an attack on you. If none of you attack each other a battle will commence regularly, with you attacking first. If you strike your opponent to initiate a battle you can get a first attack in before your real turn. If your opponent attacks you to initiate the battle your opponent will get an attack on you at the start before you can issue your commands.

During the game you will have partners who you will acquire and they will join your party. However you can only use 1 party member at a time therefore in battle you will have Mario and a party member. You can switched these party members during their turn or your turn, however this will sacrifice either Mario's turn or your partners turn when you switch. This can be countered with a quick switch badge that lets you change partners without using it as your turn. Mario and his partner will have HP, but they will change the same FP (flower points) FP is used to cast magic spells or use certain abilities. Mario's attacks consist of various jumping and hammer attacks, these attacks can be further improved by equipping various badges to gain new jumping and hammer techniques. Mario will also have the ability to use "Special Moves" which can be done using Star Power. Every time you recover a Crystal Star (the motivation for the games story) You will gain 1 extra point for Star Power. These special moves can turn even the most hopeless battle into your favor. Mario's partners will all have different special abilities, and each partner can be "upgraded" twice, gaining more HP and abilities each time. Each partner also has a specific move that can be used during the world to uncover secrets or help you progress through your adventure. For example the first ally you receive is named Goombella, and she will give you hints on how to get past the current area you are in. Your next partner, named Koops will help you by shooting out in his shell, which can be used to obtain items out o reach or hit switches at a certain time while you jump across the newly revealed area that only stays for a certain amount of time.

There is also a certain thing called "Action Commands" these are based on time. When you select the jump attack on an enemy you must press A right before landing on the enemy. This will do the following: Deal full damage to the enemy and give you star power from the audience. Yes, your battles take place in front of an audience. When you do a successful action command the audience will become pleased with you and even sometimes throw you power ups or coins. If you fail to properly execute an action command the following will happen: You will lose members of your audience, you will not gain star power and you will not deal full damage to your opponents.

Correctly executing action commands can severely aid you during your battles as you will have symbols that appear in the upper right corner of the screen. Say you accurately land 2 jump attacks and get 2 Mushroom cards. The next time you successfully land an action command you will start a roulette. If you score a Mushroom (3 mushroom cards) you will get a Bonus, which will completely restore you and your ally's HP in battle. There are many other different outcomes of the roulette. There is even one that will poison you and hurt you, but I only got this one time throughout the entire game and came close one other time, but it is nothing to worry about, and happens very rarely. (It depends on you, if you land the third poison mushroom on the roulette, then it is technically your fault that it happened.

During the game you will also collect badges, badges improve your abilities. Every time you level up you have the option to increase your HP by 5, your FP by 5 or your BP by 3. BP is Badge Points and each Badge will cost a certain amount of Badge points in order to be equipped, ranging from 1-6 (sometimes certain badges are 0). You can wear as many badges as you have Badge points for them. But you can easily un-equip badges to equip new ones.

You will also encounter black boxes throughout your journey that will "curse you" with a new ability, such as turning into a paper airplane, and you need to fly to wherever your trying to go. You will gain many other abilities, but I will let you figure out what they are on your own.

One of my favorite things about Paper Mario 2, is that similar to the first game you will control Peach in between each chapter learning more about the story. You will also control Bowser in between each chapter as he pursues Mario and tries to figure out just what the heck is going on. But don't worry, you will get many chances to do battle with Bowser, but remember that the main focus is not on him. 

Graphics:


The graphics in Paper Mario are a joy to look at. Everything looks nice and is detailed. Since Mario and all the characters in the game are 2D or you could even say "paper" since you use a lot of "papery qualities" to solve puzzles. The characters are 2D characters trapped in what appears to be a 3D world. However the game makes good use of the 3D-2D interaction. Mario interacts with the 3D environment using his clever 2D abilities in an extraordinary way. There is also many areas that are cleverly hidden in the trippy game world. Certain areas are hidden because for example some walls might look like a wall but they actually have an opening in them that you don't even realize they are there until half way through the game, and your just like "Wow, I didn't know that was there." Paper Mario 2 has some of the best 2D graphics around and the way they interact with the 3D environment is just really cool to see. The graphics also have a cartoony appearance to them, but it just adds to the pleasant feeling of the game. But don't be fooled, Paper Mario isn't all just about pretty things, it does have it's eerie looking places and cool looking places to. Paper Mario has a lot to offer that you wouldn't know about from first glance.

Sound:


The music Paper Mario is really good. Every tune fits the game perfectly, and I was never annoyed by a single sound in the game. Even the noises that Mario, Luigi, Peach and many other characters make you will not be annoyed by them at all. Everything from the battle music to the various tracks from each area everything is excellent and I never got sick of any of the tunes in the game. Everything here is top notch quality.

Length:


This is one long RPG. I completed my game in +40 hours (I think around 43) and that was not even everything in the game. I still have many side quests to complete and badges and recipes to discover. The first play through is worth the full price alone and the sides quests and privilege of playing the game again a second time through in the future is limitless. I can guarantee that Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door will definitely be one of those games I will visit again. The single player game will keep you engrossed for hours and you will most likely be sad when the game is over. But thankfully after the credits you are given the option to save your game, then you can return to the town that acts as your hub to do everything you never did. The thing I like about it is after the conclusion and the games story comes to an end you take the boat back to Rogueport and the captain says something along the lines of "I don't know why your coming back here but whatever" And then you meet back up with your old party members and they warmly greet you. 

Final Verdict: BUY IT!

Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door is an outstanding game and ranks right up with other classic RPG's in terms of quality, presentation and outstanding gameplay. Paper Mario 2 is a game that you should not miss for any reason other then if you detest Mario or RPG's. If you own a Gamecube don't wait any longer, go get this game now before it becomes one of those legendary games that becomes impossible to find, just like all the old favorites from the N64 and SNES days. It will happen eventually, so go get your copy now. Paper Mario is an astounding accomplishment, and just a joy to play for every minute of the experience .

So are you down with the paper plumber? Let us know and don't be a jimmy. 

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Radiata Stories

By: blazemanx Jun 10, 2011 | 2 Comments

177 reasons to check out this amazing game.

Radiata Stories, can be summarized in one word. Huphenexfun. What's that mean, you might ask. Humorous, phenomenal, excellent, and fun. All in one word. Revolutionary, right? Yes, just like Radiata Stories. Well, enough with my obsession, let's get started, shall we?

Graphics - The graphics in this game, as in any tri-Ace game, are amazing. Character models are smooth, landscapes are detailed richly and painted with many different colors. Appearance changes when you equip different armor. Every character is detailed and have specific little facial features and whatnot, making them distinct.

Story -  The story is lacking, but its still above average compared to some of the crap I've seen before. The story follows a young boy, Jack Russell, and his misadventures and accomplishments. As the game starts, Jack is a very immature boy, and he is conceded as well. Meeting with the other two main characters in the game in the first 10 minutes (Ridley Silverlake, Ganz Rothschild), he immediately gets cocky with Ridley and slightly disappoints his captain, Ganz. Some events unfold, and Ridley has a ritual performed on her that has never been performed on a human before by the Lord of the Dark Elves, Lord Nogueira, to save her life. Eventually, Jack must pick a side to follow, the elves, dwarves, goblins, and orcs, or the humans. The game has two different endings and one is awesome and one in my opinion sucks. It seems to me the one that sucks is merely there for an optional path for fun, and not for storyline. Other than that, you are pulled into a struggle for humanity and blablabla, you have to go save it, and someone else in the process. Simple, but sweet. Also, JackxRidley, if you didn't notice in your manual... I love it.

Controls - Simple, yet complex at the same time. Camera angle is adjustable, and it is very well placed even if you don't adjust it. Controls are simple, O attacks, Square does a special, X backsteps, Triangle is menu (as usual). L1 brings up your clock out of battle, in-battle it allows you to issue commands and use items. R1 locks on to the targeted enemy. X kicks objects and people. Simple and easy to get used to.

Music - Frankly said, the music in this game freakin' rocks. I have yet to find a piece I didn't like. The bigger boss battles and some of the optional ones are the best ones I've heard. The ingame music is very good too. Generally happy music that will keep you in good spirits, except when you enter more dangerous places such as castles and sewers. Everything sounds like it was produced by an orchestra, which is always a plus.

Characters - One of my favorite parts of this game. There are 177 characters available for recruiting, and the difficulty of getting them varies from super easy (Talking to them) or extremely hard (Getting to a certain place at a certain time or you wait till the next day, some are missable, some you have to recruit all of the other members of the race/guild they are in). Getting them all nets you very little in the long run, all you get is a picture of the mains under a certain tree, but I enjoy it since I am a JackxRidley fan and am also a fan of Ganz. All the characters have personalities that are unique and fun. Some characters range in being completely useless (Clive) or one of the best in the game (Elwen, Valkyrie, Galvados, Gil). Amazing recruiting system, I hope they implement it in the next game (if there is one *crosses fingers*)

Gameplay - The best gameplay you can get in a hack-and-slash. Out of battle, you can interact with almost everything and everybody, whether it be by talking or by kicking. Kicking is my preferred choice. Kicking the typical person will piss them off and they will duel you. It's fun to beat up on the people that tick you off, like Ridley at the beginning (I love her though as a character, she and Jack are the best characters in this game). Talking with them usually gets you a more friendly response though. In battle, it is straightforward. As you use your weapon choice (can choose from 1h sword, 2h sword, axe, or spear) you learn new skills, and you can assign them into your combo depending on how many CP (Combo Points, I guess) the weapon has. Each new attack costs a certain amount of CP to use in the combo. After you have set up your desired combo, inbattle, tap O repeatedly and Jack will commence the combo. Square fires a special of sorts, called a Volty Blast. Everytime you or one of your teammates lands a hit on the enemy, you get 1 Volty Point. When you get 10, you can use a Volty Blast. Eventually, if you learn all the skills of the weapon choice, you get a Super Volty, resembling Overdrive or Limit Break from FFX and FF7. To do these attacks, press Square and X at the same time when you have 100 Volty Points (Max). Also, you can learn links, to change your formation and give your party certain benefits and abilities. If you link with people long enough, you learn their skill. Equipping this to you allows you to master it to make it occur more often/make it stronger, etc. Also, inbattle, X allows you to backstep and dodge enemy attacks. Eventually you will be given guild missions to build your money and EXP. Most of these are optional, but I would do them anyway for the EXP. This game excels in the gameplay department, even with an optional dungeon you have to go through to get all the characters. You will recognize some bosses there from tri-Ace's previous hits, Valkyrie Profile and SO3.

Fun Factor - You will enjoy this game so much you will probably end up playing it 4 times through, if not more with all the missable characters. Don't pass up the opportunity to play this excellent game from tri-Ace, you can't live without it.

 

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Final Verdict: BUY IT

Do not waste anymore of your life not playing this hit by tri-Ace. This game is filled with charm and comedy, i often found myself laughing out loud at some of the things that go on in this crazy game. So let us know what you think of the game and review and don't be a jimmy.

 

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Star Ocean The Last Hope

By: blazemanx May 29, 2011 | 15 Comments

Moments of brilliance overcome several flaws. Here's my review of Star Ocean: The Last Hope on Xbox 360.

Star Ocean is the space opera of the RPG genre. While still awash with many aspects related to typical epic fantasy, this series blends in many elements of traditional science fiction. But, like its predecessor's, Star Ocean: The Last Hope focuses on its characters and the developing story more than on the science elements within the game. Does this game deliver not only on the characters and the story, but also the technical aspects such as graphics and game-play? For the most part, yes. There are some minor issues that pop up through-out the massive game, but they are minor and don't ruin the experience that The Last Hope has to offer.

First, the most important component to any game (for me at least), but especially a RPG, are the characters and the story that connects them. If the game doesn't offer fully formed characters or any semblance of a story, then the technical aspects become pointless. Thankfully, in this, Star Ocean delivers quite nicely.

- Characters: the playable characters are well developed and unique personalities. Through-out the game, the history behind each of these characters is slowly revealed as well as several layers of their personality being peeled back to show a complex being. Each character is distinct and clearly has a reason for the actions that they take. By the end of the game it is amazing to see the changes in each of these characters. There is also a wonderful set of characters that populate the many worlds of Star Ocean. From a quirky liaison between the ship and HQ to the two dueling superiors, and to the myriad of fellow soldiers or townsfolk... all of these help to create a sense of depth to the universe. They seem as if they are real people with real strengths and flaws.

- Story: a mix of science fiction and traditional epic fantasy, the story is vivid and emotional. While there is a great deal of technology and the required techno babble, the overriding tone of the game is emotional and spiritual (not religious). What at first seems to be a rather shallow glance into a futuristic problem will eventually evolve into a massive foray into an epic struggle that is often steeped in discussions of compassion, responsibility, and the nature of living. While the game does sometimes become bogged down by the heady topics, it offers several moments of sheer brilliance and intense emotion.  

Now to the technical aspects behind Star Ocean: The Last Hope. These components do much to enrich the experience of the game, but this is where several of the issues do pop up. 

- Music: while having few memorable tracks, the music is appropriate and fits the events occurring on screen. Most of th songs are a mix of rock and epic fanfare, but there is a wonderful ocarina tune that features heavily in the story and is quite beautiful. But beware, unless you switch from the defaulted settings the music will be several levels lower in volume from voices and effects. It is almost impossible to hear the music with the default levels set.

- Graphics: outstanding. The graphics, both normal game-play graphics and the sparse cutscenes are fantastic. The scenes in space are absolutely gorgeous and display the vastness of the "Star Ocean" while the vistas on the different planets are amazing detailed. The art design for the characters, objects, cities, and the late game elements are wonderful. They are either nice to look at or instill the appropriate amount of uneasiness. There is also a distinct atmospheric shift from the futuristic technological dominated civilizations to the medieval-like worlds. The medieval worlds offer the vibrant, earthy tones that are more subtle and subdued than the still vibrant but more shining and sterile tones of the technological worlds.

- Voice Work: Now, despite the bashing of the voice-overs in this game, I found it good. There are moments of grimacing melodrama that the script forces on the dialog, but I found the acting to be superb. The reactions were realistic and even the odd use of language and inflection by one of the cast members was believable (once I learned her history, the acting for that character instantly became classic). There is the typical issue of lip syncing not being perfect, but it is easier to ignore that in this game as compared to Infinite Undiscovery.

- Pacing: this is the only area of the design that impedes in any respect to the other elements. There are several long cutscenes, especially on the final disc, that easily could have been shortened. There is also an issue of pacing indirectly in regards to save points... they are few and far between. There are some long dungeons that are riddled with long cutscenes and the infrequent nature of the save points can sometimes lead to having to retread hours if the game freezes or you die. The last sequence of the game can really cause problems here since it offers no breaks: it goes long cutscene-battle-cutscene-multiple possible battles-cutscene-battle. 

 Game-play: the battle system takes place in real time. The characters can free-run and attack at any time as well as access various skills and items. Characters can also be switched in and out of battle, although there will be a small wait until you can switch again. The normal in town actions are governed by talking to characters and the environment is limited in its interactive capability. The biggest factor to game-play is the trademark PA scenes that can be viewed. Once certain requirements are met, a special scene can be initiated with other characters. Some of these PA scenes have choices that effect affection levels between character. These scenes are what allows for the special endings to be achieved.

- Length and Replay Value: The game is long. Without digging deep into side-quests or achievement grinding, it will take about 40 hours to progress through the story. With all the quests and achievements that length can easily pass 200 hours. There are several bonuses that open up after the game is beaten, so the immediate replay value is instantly boosted. Also, there are 8 special endings that can be missed in one play-through, so if all endings are not viewed in the first go around, there is another reason to play from the beginning again.

Overall, Star Ocean: The Last Hope is a good game that offers wonderful characters and a decent story. The game does deserve its T rating since there are several moments in the story that are dark. Younger teens and children might have a difficult time dealing with the mature themes that occur and are discussed within this story. But, if you loved the previous Star Ocean games or are a fan of RPG's in general... you should enjoy this game. 

Final verdict: Buy It

Let us know what you think and don't be a jimmy!!!!

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Tales of Symphonia dawn of a new world

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.

Story:

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.


Pacing:

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.

Music:

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.

Graphics:

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.

Gameplay:

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.


 

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Tales Of The World - Radiant Mythology

By: blazemanx Jun 24, 2011 | 3 Comments

Grab a bunch of tales characters from different games and roll them all up in a ball and you got yourself a fun psp RPG.

Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology uses many characters from previous "Tales" games (including Tales of Legendia and Tales of the Abyss for the PS2, and Tales of Symphonia for the Gamecube and many more) and places them in an all-new story featuring a new hero, you! Does this all star cast of heroes make sense in this new world despite their different backgrounds, and can this game appeal to PSP users who have never played a Tales game before?

Graphics:

The game sports some of the best overall graphics that I have seen on the PSP. Granted, the cell-shaded and surprisingly non-blocky characters can't hold a candle to the model detail of games such as Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops, but textures aren't everything as this game has proven to me. I have never come across any graphical glitches or collisions while playing, and the game constantly runs silkily smooth. Another little perk the game gives you is the ability to see your character's clothing change as he or she alters his/her armor (which can put you in a dilemma: Do you risk being as ugly as hell with the best defense, or lose a few points defensively to make your character look stylish?)

However the main thing that propels this game's graphical engine to being one of my favorites is the loading times for the graphics... or rather, the surprising lack of them. The maximum loading time I experienced was about ten to fifteen seconds, and that was only when loading a save after starting up the game. Everything else loads up amazingly fast even when your character alters his or her clothing and the skits pop up almost immediately. The only bad point is that the game uses the default PSP text format, but that's a very minuscule issue that I am pointing out for the review's sake.

Sound:

The music and sound effects are decent and do their job, but aren't special by any means. When you get hit it gives you the same sound whether you were hit by a sword or bitten by an animal, and the attacking sound-effects for physical strikes have a similar lack of variation. There is a bit more variation in sounds for the magic though.

The music that plays in towns, guilds and battle are decent but most are so middle-tier that there's a good chance that you won't find yourself humming any of the songs anytime soon (except probably for the catchy song used for the animated opening). You also get to hear the battle songs for some of the characters from other "Tales" games during certain missions, but not only this a relatively infrequent occurrence but the quality of the battle songs were reduced as well. Still the battle themes you loved from previous tales games will still sound nice. 

Story:

The story for this game is rather shallow. Your avatar is a person born from the mana tree (the source of all life on the planet) of ToW's world, Terresia, and with the help of a flying talking cat named Mormo have to find a way to stop the planet-eating being known as the devourer. Along the way you meet up with characters from previous tales games as well as a few new characters (including three characters not featured in any "Tales" game released in the US), but for the most part the quality of the story itself is mediocre and somewhat predictable at times.

However, this shallow story is offset by the interactions between the different characters you meet. Depending on the circumstances, you will often come across some of the characters talking to each other about a variety of subjects, and through them you'll find out about the backgrounds of the characters. People who have played previous "Tales" games will spot a lot of references to events that occurred in the earlier games, but the chats are designed in such a way that it does not make a player new to the franchise feel confused and unable to understand what the characters are talking about.

Gameplay:

In terms of the action, this game focuses on dungeon crawling. You take quests from a certain guild you join early in the game both to continue the main story and to unlock extra features, characters and classes and then go to the designated place to fulfill the quest. These quests can range from killing a certain number of a particular enemy to saving someone lost in the dungeon to other similar things. While this system can get boring very quickly, there are two things that help keep the game refreshing.

The first is the battle engine that is used whenever you touch an enemy. The game uses an interesting meld of 2-D and 3-D plane fighting. You can use the analog stick to move around in a 3-D area and you can use the digital pad to control your character linearly and allow him/her to jump. The characters you use in the fight have their own batches of skills, but your own avatar - who you ALWAYS have to use (but not necessarily control) in battle - actually needs to master (which in this case means use fifty times each) his or her gained skills in order to unlock the more advanced and more damaging skills. Also, if used properly, your skills can be chained together to make long damaging combos and, if timed right, can link up with the attacks of other people to combo for even more hits and damage.

The second is the variety of classes and customization options that can help you improve your character and his/her items. By doing the massive number of sidequests, you will slowly unlock more and more extra options to use to help improve your character. Some of these unlockables are new classes that provide fresh, different ways to go into battle once you use them. Others are "recipes" that allow you to do a variety of things, from cooking items that heal your entire party to forging metals that can improve your armor statistics. To top it off, all these recipes need raw materials, so you'll find yourself spending a lot of time collecting the materials necessary to build them (and while doing so you'll inadvertently strengthen yourself in the process through fighting enemies). These options truly increase the replayability and length of the game by a good amount playing the story through without any of the quests can take as little as 20 hours, but can take up to 50 or 60 with the sidequests.

One other thing that is necessary to mention is the party recruitment system. This single area has some of the most interesting ideas but also some of the worst (but relatively minor) flaws in the game. On the good side, the recruitment system has a unique aspect there is no guarantee that people you want in your party will agree to come with you for the quest you need to complete. While this may prove to be at times, this adds a realistic aspect to the party system, it feels as if the characters now have their own lives to handle and can't just drop everything just on your whim. Not only that, but the game includes its own set of default custom characters that grow in level and keep up with you, as well as upgrade their own armor. These characters also come-and-go, but whoever is available in the recruitment menu will not refuse to come with you on a quest, allowing you to fill any necessary gaps should too many story characters refuse to join you.

As mentioned earlier though, this system is also home to some of the most annoying, if minor, flaws the game has. First, after every single quest (some take as little as three or four minutes to complete) your party disbands, forcing you to re-recruit people when you start a new quest, it would have at least been nice if they gave you the option of NOT disbanding your group when a quest is over, and only forcing people out if they can not participate in a certain quest for whatever reason. Second, each of the three towns has different story characters to recruit, but you can not recruit characters from earlier towns in the new one. Story-wise, this makes sense. However, this is a hassle gameplay-wise since you essentially go into one town, go into its bar, recruit one or two people, leave the town, go to the next town and recruit the other people you want from there. Considering that the story mentions that there is contact between the different towns, it wouldn't have been unrealistic if the player could "summon" the characters all from the place that the player is at now. Also, unlike the custom characters, the story characters do not level with you. In some cases (like when you reset your class to a new one) this can be a good thing since you have a high level teammate to use since all the custom mercenaries level down to your level as well. However, due to the number of quests and the fact that the story characters can and will refuse to do certain quests with you, there will be times where you will be forced to sit and watch as several characters you want to use are slowly left in the dust level-wise because they don't want to work with you.

Final Verdict: BUY IT!!

Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology is a fun dungeon crawler whose short loading times and fluid gameplay make it a great portable game to have with you. Furthermore, despite the shallow story the character interactions make the game fun outside of battle for both "Tales" veterans and new players alike. I highly suggest it for anyone looking for a fresh psp rpg and for tales veterans; Ironically, despite most of the playable characters being people from older "Tales" games, this is one of the best games to immerse new people in as they essentially get a taste of multiple Tales games at once.

Any tales fans out there? RPG fans? PSP owners? Let us know what you think and don't be a jimmy.

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