Super Mario Sluggers Review (Wii)

Posted in Game Review with tags on June 24, 2011 by Jett

There is someone at Nintendo who thinks that if you make a game about a sport that not many people care about and add Mario to it, it will be fun and entertaining. That guy is right and deserves a raise. As a sports fan, I do not pay much attention to baseball, I pay attention to the Tampa Bay Rays, but thats about it. With that said, Mario Super Sluggers makes baseball enjoyable and fun.
I’m writing this based on the game itself, not as the sequel because of the fact that the original came out for the GameCube and only 12 people owned one, me being one of them. So no one really played it that much.
The game starts off with Mario and his friends go to an island covered in baseball stadiums. However upon arrival Bowser comes in on cue and tries to take over the island. I guess since he’s failed at capturing Peach so many times, he decided to start small with an island. Apparently, Mario likes baseball enough to try and save the island.
The single player isn’t compelling. You just move from stadium to stadium completing Scout Missions and picking up teammates to battle Bowser’s team. It’s mostly repetitive and can be completed in a few hours. A lot of the characters you pick up are alterations of others, like multicolor Yoshis, Nokis and Piantas. For those who don’t know Nokis and Piantas are from Mario Sunshine. If you missed it, don’t worry most people did but should be checked out.
Mario Sluggers strengths come from playing baseball in general. Each stadium provides an unique experience in every baseball game. Whether it be against the computer or a friend, you still have a fun time.
The controls are responsive and made me wonder why we do not see many baseball games for the Wii. But the more advanced controls involve the Nunchuk. Why they didn’t incorporate the advanced controls to the Wii Remote is beyond me.
Overall, a weak single player and a strong multiplayer make
this game great for parties and with friends. Don’t get it for the single player, get it for the multiplayer or if you are a diehard Mario fan.

7/10

Great Multiplayer
Enjoyable Experiences
Responsive Controls

-Weak Single Player
-Only Advanced Controls involve Nunchuk

Spike

Dragon Age II Thoughts and Comments (Xbox 360)

Posted in Game Review with tags on May 17, 2011 by Jett

This is a review of sorts because I am still trying to work out whether I really like Dragon Age II or not. So here are the simple good/bad parts and I will let you decide for yourself.

The Good

–  The new companions are great. I would put them equal to the Dragon Age Origins characters in depth (most of them at least).

– Good twist near the end.

– Interesting decisions that affect your story.

– Some fun bosses and side quests.

– Cool looking loot.

– Hawke is a better character then the Grey Warden.

– Better skill trees for all classes as well as character specific trees are great.

– Return of Sandal…ENCHANTMENT!

– References to the first game galore including cameos.

– The entire second act is fantastic.

– Varric telling the story is superb especially some of his lies.

– Greatly improved combat

– Xbox 360 controls are smooth and responsive

The Bad

– First and third acts were particularly dull.

–  The story, although interesting has no build up and a unsatisfying conclusion.

– Not as many conversations with companions.

– Romance seems underdeveloped and not as interesting.

– Technical bugs….lots of them.

– “Bad guy” doesn’t show up till last act

– The times a map is reused for side quests is a little silly.

– Ending leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

– Some bosses generally are uninteresting and always have an add phase.

– Exit stage left character animation after conversations is getting old fast.

In short there are great parts of this game and bad parts. I will not lie when I say that I enjoyed parts of the game greatly but it is a seriously flawed game even more so then Awakening was. The transition from Origins to Dragon Age II has been rough. The overall characterization of companions  has diminished because of less conversations but on the other hand more companion quests exist. This overall isn’t a horrible thing but it would be nice to be able to talk to them more often. Combat responsiveness has greatly improved and is easy and intuitive. There are some pretty questionable bugs and problems that make me question the polish of this game. It truly just feels a little unfinished.  The story doesn’t feel right to me either. There is no build up for the main story and it lacks that feeling of purpose and fulfillment. Perhaps this is because you don’t meet the antagonist until late in the game and there isn’t enough time for you to truly build up that distaste as you did for Loghain. Overall not a bad game but needed some more polish and time in development.

Updates, Review, etc.

Posted in Anime/Manga Review, Game Impressions/Preview, TV Show Impression on May 3, 2011 by Jett

Hi all sorry for my absence this year has been a little crazy.

I thought I would throw some stuff up in order to point some good…and disappointing stuff.

Game of Thrones (TV)

If you haven’t heard about this show yet you’ve most likely been living under a rock. I never read any of the A Song of Fire and Ice series but I am going to. The story is excellent and the series seems to be going at a great pace and putting enough story in to keep you interested and waiting to see what happens next. It’s on HBO so if you don’t have the channel it may be a good idea to obtain it through *cough* pirating *cough*. Definitely check this out if you enjoy medieval fantasy movies or just really well written and acted shows.

Dragon Age II (Xbox 360)

I won’t lie when I say I’m disappointed. This is not the sequel I wanted but it is the sequel I got. I tried to defend Bioware and the Dragon Age series during the Awakening. However, I am disappointed with many things about this game. It seems a bit more linear and the scope, at least as far as I’ve gone seems sort of low. Kirkwall also is brown….really brown….like half the game is a shade of brown. I have not finished the game so as such I will not judge until I have finished it fully. Maybe it will get better or maybe I’ll have to drag my self through the rest of the game. We’ll have to wait and see.

Durarara!! (Anime)

I was pleasantly surprised by this anime as it truly was not what it seemed. The best way I can explain it is a warped slice of life anime. There are gangs, friendship, love, and really fucked up people. Did I mention it was written by the same person as Baccano!. This is an excellent anime in which truly appeal to a wide range of people. Great series, great story, non cookie cutter characters, make this series easily a joy and pleasure to watch.



Batman Arkham Asylum Review

Posted in Game Review with tags on January 18, 2011 by Jett

Remember back in the day when a game had Batman in it, nine times out of ten it was horrible. And now where in an age where a Batman game is one of the most highly anticipated games in 2011, technically two (DC Universe and Arkham City).

But as soon as you boot up Arkham Asylum, you instantly crap your pants at how dark and scary the environment is. You play as Batman (Shocker, right?) who recently captured the Joker and is now driving back to Arkham Asylum to turn him in. As you bring him in, Batman gets suspicious of Joker and follows him to his cell. It is then you see the dark, bleak environment that is Arkham. Walking around the place brings chills to the spine. The scariest part is when Killer Croc towers over you and threatens you. Its there where I completely void my bowels and did not look forward to his level. Once the opening credits are over, Joker breaks free and causes a riot in Arkham.

It is here where the fun begins. Arkham Asylum is enjoyable from start to finish. You easily get immersed in the dark, dreary environment. The controls are easy to get used to and surprisingly effective. With multiple things for one button, the game does a great job at recognizing what the button is being used for. Combat is simple but effective. Most of the time you press one button, but it performs a great combat sequence not seen in most games. It’s better to avoid combat because you get to perform cooler techniques when going stealth. It was also nice to hear the original voices from the animated series, like Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill. It’s nice to hear normal Batman and not Dirty Harry Batman.

During the game, The Riddler asks you to solve his riddles, pick up interview tapes from Arkham Patients, and listen to stories of Arkhams past. The riddles and item finding add a unique and fun side mission throughout the game. The riddles are fun and add nice easter eggs here and there but some of the puzzles which are ridiculously hard. the interview tapes help us get into the villians mind some more.

While Arkham Asylum is fun, it is also fairly short. The game only lasts about 12 hours. They add a challenge mode, but it is not as fun and compelling as the story mode. It’s disappointing because the game is extremely addictive. If you are thinking about quitting smoking, do it when you start playing Arkham Asylum, because you won’t put it down. Another thing I would have like to have seen was more stealth based combat, almost like Splinter Cell with a “Visible Bar.” I’m pretty sure that Batman can use his Batarang to knock out some light bulbs, I’m sure the Warden would be ok with that.

Another thing that bothered me was the fact that you spend a good amount of time in “Detective Mode” which gives Batman visuals on enemies and secrets. You miss a lot of the scenery and don’t get to enjoy the visuals as much.

Overall, Batman Arkham Asylum is a must play. I would recommend buying it if you find it for $20 or less. If not, then you can rent it and beat it in a week.

Score: 9.5/10

+ Beautiful Environment
+ Great Story, Controls, and Side Missions
+ Awesome voice acting

– Too short
– Overuse of Detective Mode
– Little repetitive hand-to-hand combat

Spike

Tron 2.0 Review (guest reviewer)

Posted in Uncategorized on January 10, 2011 by Jett

With Tron Legacy sweeping the Nation, I figured it was time to get into a game that game out a few years ago and snuck behind the nation, Tron 2.0.

Tron 2.0 puts you in the role as Jet Bradley, son of Alan Bradley. He’s a young whippersnapper who gets it trouble, plays video games and hacks into his schools mainframes. He’s at Encom (which later becomes FCom) playing the original Tron game where he gets digitized and now enters the world of the computer. Inside the world, Jet finds out that it has become infected and Jet must stop it.

Resistance is Futile!

Starting out, Tron 2.0 is beautiful. With the nice Tron Blue (which is apparently a color) and the occasional Infection Green (Also a color) and Asshole Red (Not a color, but when you see it, you know Asshole) The world gets beautiful at first but after the 3rd or 4th level, you get tired of it and all the levels look similar and almost suffer from Halo Syndrome.

Another thing you wold notice by the 3rd or 4th level are the jumping puzzles, which are like Jedi Knight times 10. They are that frustrating. Especially since if you jump higher than 6 feet, you suffer pain. If you jump higher than 10, equals death. Its those type of moments that ruin the flow and the fun of Tron. Speaking of Death, its key that you press F5 every 5 footsteps. Because you will die A LOT and if you don’t save, you will get screwed over and repeat battles you don’t want to compete in, and jumping puzzles that are still frustrating.

Speaking of frustrating, there are light cycles too. What would be Tron without light cycles? A better game. The light cycle moments are fun at first, but because extremely frustrating and hard. In some instances you can skip past them by dying and hitting “No” on the retry menu.

However, Tron 2.0 adds a cool upgrade system not seen in most shooters. Throughout the game you pick up points to upgrade the “Version” of your character and upgrade him. With the upgrade you can increase Health, Energy, Weapon Efficient (Reducing Cost of firing certain weapons), Transfer Rate (Uploads and Downloads) and Processor (How fast you Defrag, disinfect, and Decode Ports). Most of the time you upgrade health and energy. Along with Points to collect, you can download Programs (Weapons and Armor) Permissions (Keys) and Emails (Emails). Emails aren’t really important but help move the story along.

The story is actually fairly decent. Its not horrible but not compelling, and had a slightly decent cast. Bruce Boxleitner comes back for the role of Alan and even Rebecca Romijn, but not the body of her.

The weapons are kind of cool, however the only one you’ll need is the Disk. But even then if you get glitched, you can lose your disk for a long period of time, which sucks when you are in a firefight with ICPs. Which leads to my other point, when they say you kill ICPs, they don’t mean the Insane Clown Posse which is misleading.

Overall, Tron is a fun game but gets frustrating. With beautiful scenery and unique gameplay, Tron could be fun as long as you give it a chance and don’t get turned off by the jumping puzzles.

Score: 7.3/10 (Try it)

+Very Pretty
+Unique Gameplay
+Good Story

-Jumping Puzzles ruin the flow of gameplay
-Bit Linear
-Don’t kill Insane Clown Posse.

Spike

Sorry ladies and gents…

Posted in Uncategorized on December 3, 2010 by Jett

Unfortunately with my upcoming wedding and the crazies of finals I won’t be updating the blog for at least another month. Sorry for not posting anything new. With any luck I’ll be able to post more once this school year is over but until then don’t expect anything too big.

Have a Happy Holidays 🙂

Jett

 

Side note: Did get a chance to play Black Ops and if you like FPS you’re going to like this game. Zombie mode is great fun.

Games to Look forward to…Winter 2010

Posted in Game Impressions/Preview with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2010 by Jett

It’s that time of year again and the hordes of games are coming both in this last quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2011. Here are a couple games that I am personally looking forward to.

 

Fable III (360)


I have a strong love/hate relationship with the Fable series. Fable the original is easily one of my favorite Xbox games. It had action, magic, and a good story that had me coming back for more. Fable II on the other hand was a bit of a disappointment. The combat was improved but I felt they cheated me out of that final boss fight and left me with a bad taste in my mouth. It is great seeing the world of Albion grow and evolve over time and I hope that this one is far far better then it’s predecessor. Two points I’d like to point out. First they didn’t fix the combat which in this case is excellent. Hack n’ slash gameplay may not be for everyone but I personally love the hell out of it. With some new age weapons this could easily be a ton of fun. Second the supporting cast seems a lot more personable. After watching an interview where some of the voice cast was shown I was almost instantly convinced: Michael Fassbender, Simon Pegg, Ben Kingsley, and John Cleese. If nothing else there will be some great voices for this game and should also help pull you into the story. I’m not positive that this one will be the best of the series but it is easily shaping up to be just that. With promise of a revolution and building an army this is easily the most ambitious Fable yet…now is it going to live up to everything it promises? Beats the hell out of me.

Release Date: 10/26

Call of Duty Black Ops (360/PS3/PC)


It’s coming out and it’s made by Treyarch and not Infinity Ward….yeaaaaa. If you like CoD Modern Warfare your probably going to like it. Ooo and there’s a zombie mode.

Release Date: 11/9

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (360/PS3)


First off yes there is multiplayer. For those who are ACII fans this means one of two things. You got multiplayer in my Assassin’s Creed or awesome that’s better. For me it’s a mixed bag. I love ACII but usually multiplayer means a shorter single player experience and frankly…I’m not ok with that. The multiplayer seems interesting but I really have to wonder how long am I going to be able to play that? As of right now there are two modes and none of which is the mode that everyone wanted to see- coop. What I am excited to see is they are reworking the fighting system to be more offensive instead of counterattack heavy which should make things much quicker in pace. Another addition is sending your assassin henchmen on missions for money and experience. If done correctly this could easily be the coolest part of the game and if done incorrectly a complete hassle.

Release Date: 11/16

Duke Nukem Forever (360/PS3/PC)


The fact that this game is coming out after over a decade of development is in and of itself a fucking miracle. Some of the early gameplay footage looks like everything you’d want from a Duke game humor and lots of violence. Is Duke Nukem going to be any good? In the words of Duke himself, “After 12 fucking years it should be!”

Release Date: 2/1/2011 (for now…)

Two Worlds II (360/PS3/PC)


If you never heard of Two Worlds then that ok because the first one was horrid. However, I will say that the sequel is shaping up rather nicely and actually may be a lot of fun to play. There is a crafting system as well as a magic crafting system so essentially you can make your own spells from what I gather. Multiplayer in the form of coop and even PvP tournaments are held. If done correclty this could easily turn into a great RPG game to tide us over before Dragon Age II and who knows could even be something better.

Release Date: 1/4/11

Portal 2 (360/PS3/PC)

not an image from Portal 2 but still..IT'S SO GOD DAMN CUTE!!!

What can I say I really really really want to play this game. So many new puzzles and so much fun and now there is coop so we can kill our friends…I mean help them :P. Developers have stated that the coop campaign is longer then  the original game so there will be plenty of head scratching puzzles for an excellent price.

Release Date: 2/9/11