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Written by: blazemanx (x)

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blazemanx

Mortal Kombat Secret Character Tryouts

By: blazemanx Jun 21, 2011 | 5 Comments

Ever wanted to see one of your favorite characters in MK? well check this out!!!

Even before kratos, several characters have auditioned for roles in previous mortal kombat games. Most never made the cut and those audition tapes were previously thought to be lost.......................until now.

Check out these videos for some hilariously awesome fatalities as numerous characters try out for mortal kombat.

My personal faves were toad, samus and golden axe LMAO!!!

Let us know which ones were your favorite 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.

Graphics:

I've got to admit, I've seen a lot worse graphics. The game's graphics are quite easy on the eyes and definitely don't hurt. Everything flows smoothly. Although I do wish the character models would have been done a tad bit better. Billy looks more like an older Harry Potter than the TV series Billy.But Billy is passable as are most of the other Rangers. Zack definitely is not. What happened here? The character design for Zack is almost insulting. I know for a fact I'm not the only one who has noticed this. This is one area they definitely could have done a better job with.One other thing I had a small problem with is the Pink Ranger it's that while morphed, the Pink Ranger looks rather….manly.  She doesn't even wear the skirt from the series which i thought was weird. All the 2-D animations in this game are very smooth. There is no slowdown at all, ever. 

Sound:

To begin with, the music was some of the best I had ever heard on an SNES game. Hearing the opening theme music when you first power on the game is awesome, and also when you morph into a ranger, that music sounds great as well. The music during the EVERY level sounds amazing and the sounds that enemies make are crystal clear. 

Gameplay:

You walk in a straight line beating the mess out of “Putties”, the show's main enemy. You also jump across obstacles. At a certain point in one of the 6 main levels, you morph into a Power Ranger! Yeah!!! Then the fun really begins. You get to whip out your signature weapon and mess enemies up!!! At the end of the first 6 stages, there is a boss fight. The bosses can be very challenging; however, you'll be able to take them out in no time once you figure out their patterns. The game will be hard at first, but after playing it for a long time, it gets easy, but stays just as fun. It's hard for me to explain why this game is so fun. It just has that amazing feeling to it. After you beat the first 6 levels, you get to play as the “Megazord”! How awesome is that? The game then becomes a fighting game, where you have to beat 2 levels of the game as the megazord. Those battles are still pretty hard for me, especially the last one. All it takes is practice, though.
 

If you were a fan of the original season, then you know the playable characters. They are Jason, Billy, Zack, Kimberly, and Trini. The Red, Blue, Black, Pink, and Yellow Rangers respectively. Unfortunately, if you want to play as Tommy, you're out of luck as he is not included in the game. I'm actually not sure why the reason that happened is. The only possible thing I can think of is maybe the game was released before the ‘Green With Evil' five part episode aired. But I'm not sure if the game was released before or after. As for the available characters, each has their own fighting styles. Fortunately they're not the same exact character with different looks. When they are morphed, each character uses his or her weapon they had that season, as in Jason uses his sword, Zack uses his axe, etc. You choose which Ranger you want at the beginning of each level. So the good news is that, if you wish, you can play a different Ranger for each mission.

Final Verdict: BUY IT!

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is a very good beat'em up title. If you were a fan of the genre and especially of the original season, then I will suggest you give this game a shot. Unfortunately, being such an old title, chances are you will only be able to find the game on sites like eBay or Amazon. But wherever, if you get a chance, then I would definitely give it a try if you are looking for a fun game to waste some time with. 

So any power rangers fans out there? let us know what you think and don't be a jimmy.

 

 

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 Video

blazemanx

Akuma - The man, The myth, The legend

By: blazemanx Jun 19, 2011 | 5 Comments

a look into the man we call akuma/gouki.

Akuma is one of the most feared fighters in all of gaming and with good reason. I still remember seeing him for the first time on the 3DO (remember that system?) dashing in out of the darkness to kill bison and challange you to fight. Ever since then akuma has been quite possibly the most deadly warrior in all of fighting game history and here is a look into the man, the myth, the legend.

Akuma (known Gouki in Japan) trained under Goutetsu along with his brother, Gouken. Goutetsu taught them Ansatsuken (Assassin Fist), which is a mixture of karate, judo, and koppo. As the brothers progressed under Goutetsu's teachings, a dispute arose on the true nature of Ansatsuken and the path to master it. Gouken, unable to accept the violent nature of Ansatsuken, left Goutetsu to begin his own dojo. Akuma continued Goutetsu's teachings and vowed to use Ansatsuken as it was intended.

In order to learn Shun Goku Satsu, Akuma embraced the principle of Satsui no Hadou or (The Surge of the Intent to Murder/Murderous Intent). Through Satsui no Hadou, Akuma was forced to give up any compassion he held towards other human beings. In addition, Akuma realized his limits as a martial artist could be expanded, and left Goutetsu's guidance to train alone on an island (Gokuento).  

His return marked the end for Goutetsu... Akuma demonstrated his strength by killing his former master with Shun Goku Satsu. Goutetsu fell with an inner joy, realizing his pupil was attempting to master Ansatsuken. Akuma removed the beaded necklace from Goutetsu's neck and placed it around his own. The following day Akuma challenged and fought his brother. With Gouken gaining the upper hand, Akuma was eventually struck down. Akuma requested death in defeat, however his brother was unable to kill his own kin. Akuma, sensing weakness, mocked Gouken and struck with Shun Goku Satsu. The dojo was filled with a burst of white light and Gouken was killed. Ken saw the flash as he was returning from the U.S. Martial Arts tournament. Rushing to the dojo to find it in shambles and his master dead, an enraged Ken ran into the surrounding woods searching for the killer. Akuma easily defeated Ken and disappeared. Gouken's other student Ryu soon learned of his master's death and began to search for Akuma.

Akuma first fought Ryu at his island, Gokuento, and discovered the potential within him. He destroyed the island and told Ryu to come back when he had embraced the killing intent. However, Ryu rejected it. Akuma now practices to be prepared for a battle with Ryu. He also killed Bison during the SF2 series, the only official result of that game.  

Akuma fights only to test his strength and his opponent's. This means that he will only fight opponents that will provide a challenge, hence his refusal to fight unworthy challengers under any circumstances. Akuma will only kill opponents who are as strong as he, which is why he stopped his fight with Gen after realizing that he was ill. While Akuma killed his brother and his teacher, he did so in the confines of the code of the warrior, where the field of battle does not distinguish between friend and foe. Akuma believes he committed no transgression whatsoever. Also, with the exception of Gouken and Goutetsu, Akuma usually only fights those who challenge him instead of picking fights.

"Akuma" means "Demon" in Japanese. The kanji on the back of his uniform is called "ten." It can mean "sky," "heaven," or "beyond human." Akuma also has a few alternate, more powerful incarnations of himself including: Shin Akuma, Cyber Akuma and Oni Akuma.

Akuma is one of the first Street Fighter characters to really say "evil," besides good old M. Bison of course. Akuma's moves are of course based off of Ken's & Ryu's, which makes sense considering the storyline. In the later of the series, the manner is which he performs his moves became more and more different from Ryu & Ken... cooler maybe? Heh heh. Well, if you didn't know, Akuma adds in a certain "badass factor" to pretty much anything he does. He is an all around badass karate dude, if not THE badass karate dude.

I loved Akuma's 2nd Impact/3rd Strike appearance & fighting style, but honestly his SF4 incarnation disappointed me a bit... he's a bit too "monstrous-looking" in that game and his super moves just don't have the same pop. I think Akuma has looked his best in 2D form. In any case, he's surely one of my all time favorite fighting game characters (and I know I'm not the only one). Finally, Akuma's appearance in MVC3 looks downright epic... potentially his best... incarnation... ever. 

Here is a little video I put together in tribute to akuma i hope you enjoy it.

So what do you think of Akuma? Let us know and don't be a jimmy.

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Valkyrie Profile Lenneth

By: blazemanx Jun 18, 2011 | 5 Comments

Come to me dark warriors battle awaits us!

PSP owners, RPG fans, and all of those in-between who missed out on the first release of Valkyrie Profile and wanted to try it can finally celebrate. Thanks to some of the wiser people at Tri-Ace and Square, gamers can play this game once again and NOT have to worry about paying out of the you-know-what for a new copy. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth is a fun game and although hurt by a few flaws, it stands as one of the best PSP games.

Story:

This story is largely based upon Norse mythology (although it doesn't strictly adhere to it), and deals with the end of the world, and the battle between the gods. Odin, the leader of the gods, has sent out his valkyrie (you) to go and find him brave souls who are nearing their last moments in life (your party members) to send to Valhalla, where they can fight for him. This is your mission. Now, each warrior you seek out has their own individual story, detailing their last moments in life, their meeting with the valkyrie lenneth, and their decision to fight for the gods.

That's the short version of this story, since I don't want to ruin it for you. Since there are many characters for you to recruit, there is a lot of side stories, many which are tragic, some might even get you choked up. That's not even considering the main character trying to realise her purpose in life, and who she truly is, and the genius wizard who is obsessed with her. A truly fantastic story!  

Graphics:

The graphics are well done, it's like having a playstation in your hands. There is hardly any noticeable slowdown in the gameplay, unlike some other PSP games I've played. All the towns have their distinctive style, and all of the dungeons look good, with a fair amount of detail added in the background. All of the characters are very well designed, which is amazing considering each of them has their own 3 hit combo and special attack (the animations for these are amazing, by the way). The best part in this category is the full motion videos. Very well done! There is even an option to watch all the FMV's you've seen before.

Music:

There's a lot of upbeat tracks in the game, which help when you have to go explore some vast dungeons. There's a couple tunes I won't forget, in particular the ones they play when your meeting a hero who is about to join you. Also, the voice acting in this game is very well done. Each character has a variety of quotes they'll use before, after, and during a battle. As you progress throughout the game, you will also be able to hear all of the separate characters quotes in an extra sound option.  

Gameplay:

The gameplay is really well done. There are, essentially, 3 different areas you visit: towns (used mainly early in the story, and to recruit different characters), the sky (we'll cover that in a bit), and your "dungeons". You start out, after the intro tutorial, in the sky, where you can fly around the world, to seek out those souls who are worthy. By pressing "select" in the skies, you can hear the distress calls of mortals (begin a recruitment story), or sense "great evil" in a particular area (discover another dungeon). You can also save your game and change party members in the skies. Most of the game, however, will be spent in the various "dungeons" around the world. I put dungeons in quotes because most of the dungeons are in various locales, such as woods, castles, or underground.

Once your in a dungeon, the screen turns to a castlevania style game. You walk around like this, able to jump, duck, swing your sword, and shoot out crystal shards. These crystals are used to freeze enemies and make stepping stones to access higher areas. There are a couple of ways to get into a fight in these dungeons, you can either walk into an enemy or hit them with your sword. Yea... I recommend hitting them. This lets you attack first, as opposed to possibly getting attacked. Each one of your party members is assigned to a specific button in battle ( either square, triangle, circle, or X). Their order of attack depends on what combinations you hit those buttons. They can also attack up to three times with different types of attack, depending on what weapon you are using. So, you can see there is a lot of variety in the attacks, especially since some attacks will knock your enemy up into the air, making timing your attacks a factor. Each attack adds a percentage to an overdrive gauge, and once you get to 100% you can select a character to do their special overdrive attack on the enemy. This is always a good thing!

One more thing to cover about gameplay is character development. One thing you might be asking is "If your sent to find souls to fight for the gods, why are those people fighting with you?". Good question. The game has a set time before the final battle at the end of the world (Ragnarok), and that time left is divided into 8 different chapters for you to play through. On each chapter, you are asked for an warrior with certain qualities. Now as your characters level up, they are given points to put into either obtaining skills or morals. Yes, you can make your character braver by putting points into it. By doing this, you can give Odin an ideal warrior. This part was hard for me. For one, your training and fighting with these characters, making them stronger and getting accustomed to them. Now you have to choose one to send away, never being able to use them again. So you have to be careful who you send, because you still need to be able to fight on.

Oh, I almost forgot, after the end of each chapter you go back to Valhalla and you are rated on how well you are doing, and given gifts accordingly. You can also see how the war is going on in Valhalla and check on the status of all the warriors you have sent to Odin. They even have a list of all of their significant accomplishments while they have been there, including what rank they have achieved.  

Final Verdict: BUY IT!

There are 3 different endings to Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth, as well as 3 different difficulty settings. There are some very specific requirements to get the better ending, though, so a guide may be necessary. Also, you can access a separate bonus area by playing through in hard mode and collecting specific items. 

This version is definitely the one to get for any psp owner, as the playstation version can cost well over $100 for a good copy .

So will you join Odin's army of warriors in Valhalla? Let us know and don't be a jimmy.

Community News

blazemanx

Skarlet Story Trailer, Rain DLC Announced for MK!

By: blazemanx Jun 14, 2011 | 5 Comments

NetherRealm Studios has released another trailer for Mortal Kombat 9′s first DLC character, Skarlet

The 100-second video outline her origin story, a ruthless female fighter constructed by Shao Khan, used as a last reserve to watch over the treacherous sorcerer, Quan Chi. Of course, along with the narrative comes plenty of ass-kicking gameplay.

What’s more interesting occurs at the very end of the trailer. We’ve known for sometime that Kenshi would be our second downloadable kombatant, but now we have confirmation that Rain will also join him, as well as a mysterious third character.

Each will become available over the summer period as paid DLC. Along with each release, NetherRealm will also release free content packs which allow players without downloadable characters to still fight against them. The studio is also throwing in free costumes tied to these compatibility updates, so keep an eye out.

I really envy MK players, they are getting quality DLC while MVC3 players like myself get nothing. Does this excite any of you MK players out there? Let us know and dont be a jimmy.

source:http://www.thesixthaxis.com/2011/06/14/mk9-kenshi-and-rain-confirmed/

 

Community Review

blazemanx

Marvel Ultimate Alliance

By: blazemanx Jun 14, 2011 | 6 Comments

The heros of marvel team up for an epic adventure!

What happens when you force all of Marvels characters to fight side by side to save the world? You get a formula for an awesome game, that's what! Marvel Ultimate Alliance is truly a great all around game so read on and find out why.

Story:

The story is absolutely incredible. It starts out pretty simple...Dr. Doom is back and he's destroying a S.H.I.E.L.D vessel that you and your team just so happen to be on at the moment. But then, after saving it, you find out that there was something more behind the attack. Now, you are forced to repel evil villains in so many different areas. We're talking from things as simple as a mobile science lab (if you can call that simple), ranging to underwater, in the underworld (which is technically called Mephisto's Realm in the game), and even in outer space! What's more, frequent plot twists constantly arise. These make the situations you frequently find yourself in seem more dire, and these twists also make it so you want to play even more to find out what happens next. A big plus about these twists is that not one of them is so bizarre and messed up that it leaves you confused. They all make sense.

One of the biggest pros about the storyline is that, at the end of the game, you create a different sort of world based on your actions! The more optional missions you complete, the better the world you create. Of course, if you decide not to complete optional missions, it would mean there will be negative consequences in the end. It just makes it so that you want to play through again to try and create the best world you can. Or, at least, create the world you want. 

Read full story...

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Baten Kaitos

By: blazemanx Jun 13, 2011 | 4 Comments

A truly unique and beautiful game.......one of those rare gems.

Back when baten kaitos was first released many years ago it was one of those games that literally made my eyes pop. Just from the box art alone it felt as though this RPG would be grand and epic did it live up to my expectations? 

Story:

Baten Kaitos's story starts off very slowly. In the game, you are a Guardian Spirit, a spirit from another world, bonded to Kalas, the main character. Your role is to protect him and help him, although you don't know anything of his past, yet. The story takes place in a world where its winged inhabitants live on floating islands and where the ocean is said to have been sucked up by a god long ago. Strangely enough, Kalas only has one wing, the other one being mechanical. When you first meet with him, he is about to leave on a journey to avenge his grandfather and brother's deaths. As he starts his journey, he meets with a girl by the name of Xhela. Although Kalas really doesn't want her to get in his way, she insists of coming with him, as their respective goals seem to lead the same way: the emperor, who seems to be plotting something related to reviving the wicked gods that caused the lost of the ocean long ago. May seem like a typical story (it is), but as you go on, some plot twists may cause you a heart-attack at some point in the game. Unfortunately, the main disappointment could be the shallow party members, but Kalas makes up for them, as I thought he was an excellent character. 

Graphics:

Graphically, Baten Kaitos is a very impressive game. The pre-rendered backgrounds used in the game are beautifully detailed and give towns charm and a very unique atmosphere. The sceneries are simply beautiful and there are so many details that you could spend hours scrutinizing the backgrounds. The world maps for each island are what's the most impressive. Just a quick look a them makes you feel like exploring every inch of them. My only grip with the pre-rendered backgrounds was that there were times where I felt more as if I was moving a character in a pretty painting rather than exploring the environments, due to the fixed camera angle. I also have to take off some points for the blocky 3D character models that contrast with the superb pre-renders, and while the animations during the battles are top-notch, the 3D environments shown during them are not on pair with the pre-rendered ones used in the rest of the game. 

Gameplay:

As you probably already know, Baten Kaitos is an RPG featuring an epic quest and a card-based battle system, but I'll cover this later. In the game, you play as a guardian spirit watching over Kalas and must help him make the correct choices throughout the adventure, which are supposed to affect the ending of the game. As your typical RPG, the quest starts off in a small peaceful village, but soon enough, you and Kalas must venture outside and traverse dangerous lands inhabited by ferocious beasts, in order to reach the next town, usually bigger and more lively. In Baten Kaitos, gone are the endless bland fields you must traverse on the world map in order to reach the next location. You can see the location you must head for on the world map, and must simply walk to it with no encounters with enemies. While it makes traveling through the different locations on the world map less annoying and quicker, it does take out a bit of the exploration feel you usually have in other RPGs.

One thing I was a bit disappointed of was the way the islands were so beautiful and seemed so large, yet I couldn't explore them fully. A large portion of some islands were left unexplored. For instance, I could see a mountain drawn on one of the islands, but the party just never stops at it. It left me with the feeling that I wasn't seeing as much of the islands as I would have liked. Hopefully, there is still a large number of beautiful areas and towns to explore in the game. The areas you will journey through during the adventure are each quite distinctive depending on which island you are on, each island having its own respective theme. The areas you'll be visiting are quite simple, they are not overfilled with puzzles and the scenery is beautiful thanks to the pre-rendered graphics. Monsters roam freely as you explore the areas looking for hidden treasure chests, but you can see them, and therefore avoid them if you're not feeling like fighting.

What will mostly catch your eyes are probably the towns. They're beautiful, unique and atmospheric. Sadly, once you start exploring them, you'll find out that they're pretty small although they look quite large. There are a lot of side quests though, and like always, you can freely enter any house and search in the villagers' things to find rare items and make them yours to keep. This brings me to talk about the Magnus, which are the heart of the game. Magnus are the essences of objects in this world that you can trap in blank cards and keep on you while you travel. For example, you can trap the essence of the fire from a fireplace in a card and use that card on a tree trunk to burn it down. You can trap a lot of different essences in your cards, including water, snow, flowers, lava and various other things you'll come across during the adventure, each having its own unique use. Another interesting aspect of the Magnus are that they age over time. If you wait several hours, the snow will eventually turn into water, for instance.

You'll probably also notice that there are no inns or weapons/armors shops in Baten Kaitos. You can't equip weapons and armors to your characters, as the weapons and armors' essences are contained within the cards you use for fighting. Each town has one shop, a shop where you can rest and buy/sell Magnus cards. The cards you buy in shops or find in treasure chests are usually the ones you'll use for the battles. The cards vary from weapons, armors, healing items and various other magnus. Each of your characters has its own deck, a deck you will need to fill up with the right cards in order to come up with a balanced deck. Obviously, if you get stronger cards later on, you will need to replace the weaker cards by these stronger cards in your deck, but always keeping a balanced number of attack, defense and healing cards.

The battles are quite easy to handle and understand. At the start of a fight, cards chosen randomly from your deck will be shown on the screen. While the fights play like turn-based battles, there is a bit of real-time involved, resulting in a very unique and strategic battle system. When your character's turn to attack comes, you have a set number of time to choose what cards to use against the enemy and try to pick them up in a special order to make combos for extra damage, depending on the spirit numbers shown in the corners of your cards. After the attack turn where you can choose to attack the enemy or heal yourself up, you will have a turn to defend yourself against the enemy's attacks. Three of your party members can participate in the battles and each have their own special cards and finishing moves. For example, Kalas attacks with swords and defends himself with shields, while Xhela uses spells and defends with capes and hoods. This new type of card battle system feels really refreshing after all those RPGs using the traditional turn-based system. 

Music:

The music is enchanting and atmospheric, suiting perfectly whatever area or town you are in, and fits every situation with perfection. While the towns and areas' music is rather calm and restful, the battle music is more lively and really keeps you on your toes. However, the music does tend to repeat in some areas and towns. The voice-acting also lowers the score a bit, as the characters seem to talk through a pipe and some voices don't go along too well with some characters. Luckily, you can turn them off if you're not willing to hear them. 

Final Verdict: BUY IT

Baten Kaitos is a fairly long game, lasting 50-60 hours for the average gamer, plus a 20 hours if you plan on completing every single side quest and even more if you try to collect all 1000 Magnus cards. As for a second or perhaps even a third play through, the game is enjoyable enough, but probably not for a fourth one.

In conclusion, Baten Kaitos is a great RPG experience that any RPG fan most definitively needs to try out. Even if you're not inclined towards card RPGs, give this one a chance and you'll most certainly be surprised by the fun and addictive battle system. 

So what do you think of this hidden gem on the nintendo gamecube? Let us know and don't be a jimmy.

 

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Megaman X Command Mission

By: blazemanx Jun 12, 2011 | 6 Comments

The blue bomber's first true RPG experience.

When I first heard word that Megaman X: Command Mission was going to come out, I instantly got very excited. The first true RPG ever to grace the Megaman legacy? Would this RPG turn out to be a great addition to the series, or would it be another one of those many failed attempts at broadening Megaman's horizons? 

Story:
Well, stories were never the Mega Man series' strong point, but they at least put out a decent one. Veteran Maverick Hunters, X and Zero, as well as their new partner, Shadow, hear of Epsilon, the leader of the Rebellion, leading a Maverick uprising. So, with the assistance of Colonel Redips back at the base, they head over there to find out what is going on, and what the substance "Force Metal" has anything to do with it. Through a twist of fate, X finds himself alone and ends up in the base of the Resistance, a Giga City force fighting the Rebellion. Can X and his friends, quell the uprising and make Giga City safe for the Reploids again? Trust me -- while the story sounds simple, I guarantee that you will be surprised. Oddly enough, X changed from pacifist to a guy that'll point his gun at anyone that even remotely might pose a threat. Guess our Blue Bomber finally grew up, huh? 

Graphics: 
Decent, but could be better. They used cell-shading for the character models in the game itself, but I wish they had done more motion to the cinema sequences. One character's mouth didn't even move while he spoke . It was odd watching them have a neutral expression while they shouted death threats at the enemy. 

Gameplay:
Fluid. It has your typical RPG elements - EXP points, money (Zenny), Life, etc. Instead of armor, you equip "Force Metal". The catch is, if the amount of Force Metal is above the resistance level of the character, they will suffer in the form of LE loss, WE loss, etc. For the most part, it is a RPG and Mega Man X fused into one: each "Chapter", you go around defeating the bosses, picking up rare and not-so-rare items, and recruiting characters to join your cause. There are a total of seven playable characters, each with their own unique weapons and abilities, and each time you level up, all seven get the EXP points (unless they are dead, of course). You have your typical RPG ailments, which were changed into mechanical terms (such as 'Poison' was changed into 'Virus') and your elemental weaknesses (then again, Mega Man games have always had this factor...). And, believe it or not, brute force is NOT always the way to go in this game! Strategy is key into winning, as it will help you tremendously. Of course, if you feel brute force will work, go for it. =) And of course, Final Strike. Once you have three people in your party, depleting an enemy's life to 25% will allow you to activate Final Strike. This is basically a flashy way to finish an enemy off, but it can give you the extra nudge you need to, and dramatically boosts the amount of stuff you retrieve from battle. 

Music:
I loved the soundtrack, even if others didn't. I find myself humming the tunes along, and I'm glad that they allowed you to listen to the game's soundtrack in the Sky Room. I even went out and searched for the music online just so I could listen to it whenever I wanted to. The only problem I had was with the voices. While I enjoyed some characters voices (Marino's, Ferham's, and Mach Jentra's were well done), others made me want to gag (such as Cinnamon's). 

Difficulty:
The game was not extremely difficult, but I did see the game over screen a few times. The bosses themselves can be a tad difficult at times, but with a correct strategy you can basically beat any boss without much effort. I ran away from barely any battles in the entire game and I had some slight difficulty with the last boss, that was about it. When all of the characters in your party die, you are given the option by the game to A. Restart the Battle, B. Load from the memory card, or C. Accept defeat and go to the title screen. For the most part, you'll be picking A so that you wont have to go back to the last save point (Which is quite nice). 

Extras:
I think the extras themselves take up 90% of the game. At a certain point, you can deploy recruited mechaniloids to the stages to gather up goodies, ranging from more money to extra weapons to stuff for the Sky Room. Oh yes, the Sky Room. A great place to hang out. Figure sets found and bought from the vending machines can be viewed here, as well as sketches drawn by Capcom artists themselves (once they are gotten, of course). You can customize the room by placing different posters, and listen to music and watch cinema sequences from the game. You can even customize X himself by changing the color of his scarf! There are secret bosses which will give you fabulous, extremely rare prizes if you beat them, secret shops with rare items, and the Challenges. Fulfilling Challenges will unlock more items for you. So, how do you know whether you fulfilled a challenge? Check the computer terminal in the Sky Room. It gives you very useful data on the challenges you have fulfilled as well as the amount of items found in each stage, the maximum attack strength you've done, etc. It will become your best friend in the game. 

Final Verdict: BUY IT

To Mega Man fans and new RPG players, this is a welcome game. It's a little simple, so RPG players that prefer hard, complex, extremely irritating-style games will be a bit turned off. However, there are truly no bad points to this i enjoyed this game, and would recommend purchasing it if you are able to find it.  

So does this game seems as though it's worth looking into? Let us know what you think and don't be a jimmy.

 

 

Community Review

blazemanx

Review: Dark Cloud 2

By: blazemanx Jun 11, 2011 | 2 Comments

Truly an RPG to remember.......step into the world that is dark cloud 2.

Dark Cloud 2 brings a new meaning to the word “sequel”. The original Dark Cloud was a good game, but lacking in some areas. When Dark Cloud 2 came out I rented it to see if I liked it enough to buy it. Later that day, I was literally at Gamestop buying a copy of the game. Just a few hours of playing this game made me fall in love with it! They have improved on everything from the first game, and I mean everything! After reading this review, I guarantee that you will want to try this game out!

Story:

The story is better this time around, and I could actually understand it! Basically, you are a boy named Max who loves machines and inventing things. One day, you go to the circus, trouble stirs, and now you're on an adventure to save the world! Ok, sounds a little lame, huh? Don't worry, more and more stuff is explained later in the game, as the story moves on. In your adventure, you team up with Monica, a girl from 100 years in the future. Monica is in your time to save her world from being over run by evil creatures, which is the current situation in Max's time. You end up traveling all over the land, meeting amazing people and trying to restore peace in the world. Aside from all of that, Max is searching for his mother, who disappeared one day. I liked the story a lot, except some of the cut scenes dragged on forever and ever.

Gameplay:

Gameplay is 90% of the game. If its not fun to play, then why would you want to play it? Lucky for us, Dark Cloud 2 introduces some amazing elements into the RPG world that no game has done before. First of all, the weapon system in Dark Cloud 2 is very complex and in-depth. You build up your weapons by synthesizing them with other items such as crystals and gems. There are 10 areas that you can build up your weapons in: attack, durability, flame, chill, lightning, cyclone, smash, exorcism, beast, and scale, and each will affect your weapons differently. Both characters have two types of weapons, right handed melee weapons and left handed projectile weapons. Monica can also transform into different monsters in the game them with badges that you will acquire and fight with them. For Max, he can hop in his robot called the “Ridepod” and fight with it. You can upgrade the Ridepod throughout the game and customize it however you want! Another cool element of Dark Cloud 2 was the fact that you can invent weapons and other items using Max's camera. Max can take pictures of various objects and monsters throughout the game and he can use them as ideas for an invention. You can combine three ideas to make a new invention! The more ideas you find, the more items you can make! The dungeons are as good as ever! The idea is still basically the same: you progress through each floor of the dungeon, killing monsters along the way, until you reach the boss, but now there are places in the dungeons where certain events will happen. The bosses are a little harder in this game, and there is certainly more of them! The greatest part about the boss battles, and all of the battles that you will partake in, is that you can switch to the other character at any time you want. This can be helpful if one character is about to die, or if you just want to use the other person for awhile. Georama mode is back and better than ever! In Dark Cloud 2 you find “geostones” in the dungeons that let you build different things out of your materials and place them in the lands that you travel to in order to create a lively town and to restore the future. Yes, you can travel to the future to see how your town developed! You can also paint houses in the sequel, which lets you customize even more! In Dark Cloud 2, you can collect different townspeople from your hometown, Palm Brinks, and place them in your georamas! The fishing mode is also back, but with a twist. You can raise your fish in an aquarium and race them in a competition called the “Finny Frenzy”! There is also a golf-like feature in Dark Cloud 2 called “spheda” in which you with a ball-like thing into a “time distortion” in order to receive cool items. With all of these cool new features, Dark Cloud 2 is literally one of the most innovative games ever!

Graphics:

I am a big fan of cel-shading and Level-5 have made the characters in Dark Cloud 2 beautiful with it. For one thing, you can actually see different emotions on the character's faces because of the cel-shading. Also, I felt that cel-shading made this game a lot clearer and easier to see what was going on, but that's just my personal preference. The actual environment is not cel-shaded, it is more like what you would see in a typical game these days. But that doesn't really matter because this game looks great in both areas. Another thing that I loved about the graphics in Dark Cloud 2 was how the sky looked. Level-5 have made it so that you can see the shadows cast by the sun. You can see the stunning sunsets. You can even see the atmosphere of the moon! But the best part of all was the cut scenes! There is so much detail in them that they almost look real! I really loved the graphics in this game; A+.

Music:

The soundtrack to this game was great! The music matches the place that you are in perfectly. For example, in the Rainbow Butterfly Wood dungeon, the music is really outdoor-like and you can hear little chirps from the birds. And in the futuristic Luna Lab, the music is very scientific and electronic, and you can hear the whirring of different gizmos as you frolic about the town. The music that plays as you walk around Palm Brinks is my favorite in the game. It is very lively and matches the town very well! As for the voices of the characters, I have no complaints. They were done very well and the voices matched the characters just right. The extra sound effects were also very pleasant. They were kept to a minimum, which I think is a good thing. The background music and voices are all you really need, anyway.

Controls:

Here is the only weak part of the game, controls. I felt that Dark Cloud 2 was somewhat hard to use until you got used to it. At first, I would keep on pressing the wrong button and ending up dead. This is because if you accidentally pressed the square button while in combat, you would most likely go to the first-person camera view, and would be slaughtered by enemies while open to attack. Another bad point with the controls is that in the menus, triangle is no longer the “go back” button. Instead, it is the select button (along with X). This really ticked me off sometimes when I would accidentally use an item when I wanted to go back a screen. The only good thing to say about these controls is that X is still the main button. Gotta' love that X!  

Final Verdict: BUY IT

Dark Cloud 2 has terrific replay value. Once you beat the game, you can always build up all of your weapons to their final evolutions, practice spheda, enter fishing/finny frenzy competitions, collect more ideas, or whatever else you want to do. There is also a surprise after you beat the last boss, which make your game last 15+ hours longer if you choose to pursue it! The entire game took me over about 80 hours.

Let us know what you think and as always dont 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

Story Image

Review: Bayonetta

By: blazemanx Jun 9, 2011 | 7 Comments

One of the best action/adventure games out there.

Bayonetta is a very enjoyable game. This game is done by the same writer/director/producer/leader/boss/president/whatever-he-is guy of the 1st Devil May Cry game. I've only played DMC 4 and didn't really like it. The combat of this game is largely the same but moves much faster and is more fun to me. I am a huge fan of the Ninja Gaiden games, and Bayonetta offers combat just as intense and intricate, but without having to hold down the block button pretty much constantly. However, it does offer about the same in the area of female appearance ridiculousness, but I'll get to that later. Onto the review!

Story:
Every review that I have read has complained about the story being either incoherent or hard to follow. These reviewers have a mindset that is more and more prevalent in each review I read: they have a game set in their mind about what they think a game should be, instead of playing the game for what the game is. Here's the skinny on the story:

You're a witch. You woke up 20 years ago after a 500 year slumber. Unfortunately, you forgot everything that happened before you were Rip-Van-Winkled. You are now investigating to find out who you are and what you should do about it.

That's it. There's the story. The rest of the details are revealed throughout many cut scenes. Do events make sense right away? No. Do they make sense by the end of the story? Yes. There are a few loose ends that don't get tied up, but for the most part, it is a complete story that makes sense given the game's created universe. It's also a very interesting story. You'll probably want to keep playing the game just to find out what happens next. There is also quite a bit of comedy as well as references to earlier Sega games. This game will make you laugh out loud if you get into it.  

Graphics:
The environments are gorgeous. The detail is good, the scenery is great, and the animation is smooth. And now for the character models…

Bayonetta is a girl. A very tall girl I might add, with a small head. She has the same body parts as any other girl has. She also sheds her clothing, which is made of her hair, frequently. Which brings me to my theory of game programmers and scantily clad women in video games.

Game programmers are typically cast as nerds. Nerds don't typically have many people skills, especially with women. Therefore, they program women in video games to be the ideal woman that they know they could never talk to. And then proceed to make them take off their clothes as often as they can get away with. There you go; explanation for Bayonetta's design.

(I know programmers aren't really like this, probably. I also know that most of them are probably married and very cool dudes. It's just a theory. If you have another one, I would love to hear it!)

Anyway, the character models, aside from how uncomfortably sexual they might be they do look very good. The design of the enemies are well detailed and have characteristics that link them together so they all look alike while still being different. I like when a game uses this kind of congruency.

Bayonetta also has many different costumes that you can purchase. Although, when you use an alternate costume, she doesn't get more naked as you get higher combos. Which might make the game less enjoyable, if you're into that sort of thing.  

Gameplay:
Bayonetta's gameplay is where this digitized romp really shines. It is fast, simple, and elegant. Bayonetta's fighting mechanics are centered around evading attacks with an evade button, and if done at the right time, engages Witch Time. Witch Time slows everything down except for you, allowing you to beat on enemies for a few seconds to gain the upper hand. It becomes more tricky as you progress to the higher levels with more powerful enemies. I can't tell you how many times I've died trying to wait until the last second to evade an attack, only to be late and get hit. This evasion emphasis forces you to be good at this game, and in turns rewards you with fluffy feelings of accomplishment.

You have a punch and a kick button, but you'll start pretty much every combo with a punch, as kicking is too slow when you start an attack with it. The gunplay is performed with one button to rapid fire. The only really useful application of this is to hold down this button to shoot bosses when you can't get close to them. Not very much damage, but does keep the battle engaging even when you're waiting for a boss to make a move. You have guns in your hands and on you're legs, and can hold down a punch or kick button to fire that weapon. The game designers coupled this feature with being able to dodge while holding down an attack button, and then continuing the combo after the dodge. It takes a lot of getting used to, but hitting an enemy, shooting him a few times, then dodging his attack and reentering your combo after you've engaged Witch Time, is very satisfying. With that said, the guns are useful, but not really as a stand alone attack.

There are many different weapons to collect throughout the game, with some being more useful than others. You can also buy accessories at the “Gates of Hell,” the shop in the game. Most of the accessories don't seem very useful to me, but maybe that's because I was expecting an accessory that simply “boosts your defense” or something like that. Every accessory has a unique quality that helps in other ways. You can also buy new fighting techniques, healing items, and secret stuff. I used the healing items sparingly, as the game has frequent check points, and it was easier to die and come back with full health than use a bunch of healing items.

The levels are pretty linear, with a set number of encounters in each one. After you finish battling in each separate encounter, you are given a medal ranking based on your performance. One thing that I found strange is that if you go through the level and even find all the “off the path” areas, you still won't engage in every battle. You have to back track to find them. Problem is, there is really no reason to back track except to find these extra battles. In some levels, I still haven't found every encounter (maybe I need an accessory I haven't bought?). This is odd to me, but doesn't hurt the gameplay unless you yearn to get every medal.

There are some collectibles, but no side quests or anything like that. You play this game to fight and listen to the story, and there's not much beyond that. I really enjoyed the simple-ness of it, but if you need more variety from a game, you might not like Bayonetta. 

 

Sound:
The voice acting is superb across the board. Every character is voiced perfectly and is given plenty of chances to talk, as this game is flooded with cut scenes. The music is mostly J-Pop, which some people might not like, but it fits the mood of the game nicely. This game is meant to be played with a light-hearted attitude, and the music bolsters that. There are multiple sections in the game that made me laugh out loud because some character said something that was immediately followed by an infectious J-Pop beat and camera shutter sound. A tad ridiculous at times, but overall, it fits the game.

Final Verdict: BUY IT

Bayonetta is a great game. I understand where people wouldn't like it, but that makes it better for us who do like it. The game designers had an idea, stuck with it, and didn't try to make it everyone's game. They made a really good beat ‘em up game that stands tall right next to games like Ninja Gaiden. Good work Sega, and I'm looking forward to a sequel. 

So let us know what you think about the game and the review and don't be a jimmy.


 

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