Tag Archives: review
Developer: Ankama Games
Publisher: Square Enix
Platform: PC/Mac (version tested)
Release Date: February 29th, 2012
ESRB: NR (Not Rated by the ESRB)
I don’t have much experience with massive multiplayer games of any type. It just wasn’t a ship that I chose to board those years back when the genre started to explode, and I’ve more or less chosen to stay my path – until recently. It took something different and beautiful to finally lull me into playing an MMO, and that something was Wakfu. And really, what’s more beautiful than French anime? To me, not very much – at least in this case.
Publisher: Namco Bandai Games
Developer: Namco Tales Studio
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: February 14th, 2012
ESRB: Teen 13+
If you know anything about me as a gamer at all, you’ll know that I grew up playing Japanese-made games, primarily Japanese role-playing games. And, for many years now, I’ve been a casual (but perhaps more serious than most) fan of both manga and anime. Since I was in 5th grade and did a report for my class on Japanese culture and customs, I’ve been in love with anything and everything Japanese. It’s simply part of who I am, and as I stated in my Christmas-time review of Xenogears, JRPGs are a very large part of my gaming identity.
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Idea Factory
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release Date: June 14, 2011 (US)
Rated: T – Teen
There are always some bad games in one’s life. Sometimes it’s just a matter of personal taste. Sometimes the game is a failure of modern technology and creative human invention. And sometimes even a board game like Monopoly is enough to unleash the merciless financial conqueror that can never be satisfied inside.
But this…I was not prepared for THIS.
Record of Agarest War Zero (PS3) is successor/prequel to Record of Agarest War (Xbox 360) that was released in 2007. This tactical role-playing game is shorter than its predecessor in how many generations of protagonists you get to play through, but the gist of it is the same. Forces of darkness battle the armies of light in a growing threat against the world, and the overall problem can’t be solved in one lifetime alone. Direct the main man, Sieghart, through a war that sets the basis for heroes to come.
Silent protagonists are by nature silent (hence the title of silent hero), but there’s a such thing as being so silent that character’s like a cloud of mist. A player just walks right through it without feeling much of a thing.
Shin Megami Tensei Persona 3 did not disappoint when it came to doing what it generally set out to do. A dark atmosphere was felt throughout its world, and despite being limited to a single city one didn’t feel constricted. The battle system wasn’t too bad, though at times a player could end up praying for the right move from an AI-controlled ally. There was no need for a little extra oomph to make the main aspects of the game complete. The plot was intriguing. It carried a person through the world of Persona 3.
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Genre: Action/Third-Person Shooter
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Release Date: February 15, 2012
ESRB: T – Teen
MSRP: 1200 Microsoft Points (approx. $14.99)
When the original Alan Wake was released several years ago, it didn’t quite perform up to Remedy Entertainment’s (creators of the Max Payne series) expectations. The game went through a hellish development cycle, but once released it garnered generally positive reviews from most major sources. It was a thrilling, psychological, mysterious shooter that provided a unique combat system and revolutionary volumetric lighting systems. The game ended in a cliffhanger, and the two DLC episodes released afterwards did little more than continue to convolute the plotline and leave more questions for players expecting resolution. Unfortunately, because of lower than expected sales figures and a ridiculous amount of piracy, Remedy was unable to promise the direct sequel that fans were craving.
Now, in 2012, Remedy has released American Nightmare, a spinoff title that connects certain dots from the original but presents another barrel of unanswered questions and the lingering desire to see the good name of Alan Wake be treated with a little more thought and care. It’s no secret that this downloadable-only installment is more or less testing the waters of the franchise’s fiscal worth and to ultimately determine if the long-awaited Alan Wake 2 is even worth making. Judging by this latest offering, it may be extremely hard to tell.
Original Platform: Gamecube
Original Release Date: March 24, 2003
ESRB: E – Everyone
The story of a young boy growing up on a small, serene island floating on a vast ocean holding unknown wonders to explore and mysteries to solve, Wind Waker is undoubtedly one of the most exciting adventure games ever made. With a unique, memorable, and stimulating storyline, this title easily lives up to what one would expect from a series as renowned as the Legend of Zelda.
Publisher: Aksys Games
Developer: Idea Factory
Genre: Otome, Visual Novel
Release Date: February 14, 2012
By now if we’ve heard it once we’ve heard it before, before let’s get this over with: Hakuoki Demon of the Fleeting Blossom is the first otome game to make it stateside. It can also be classified as the true visual novel and one big surprise for those who have never encountered one before.
Publisher: Square (JP), Sony Computer Entertainment (NA)
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release Date: January 28, 1998
Is the original Playstation version of Final Fantasy Tactics very much different from the renewed PSP version? Except for the lengthened title, not really. Religion and magic still takes a turn for the worse. People just can’t help but explode in spiraling magic dust, evil monsters, and sacred text that turns out to be a record/lies/instruction guide/prophecy of doom all in one. Is no sacred text what it should be? Not in this story it isn’t.
Developer: Monolith Productions
Genre: First Person Survival Horror
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PC
Release Date: Xbox 360 – November 16th 2005 (NA), December 2nd 2005 (EU), August 31st 2006 (JP)/PC – April 11th 2006 (NA), April 13th 2006 (EU)
Rated: M – Mature
Condemned: Criminal Origins was one of the Xbox 360’s launch titles back in 2005 and later appeared on the PC in April of the following year. Coming from Monolith Productions, best known for their F.E.A.R. series, Condemned sticks with the dark and demented subject matter which now Monolith is pretty well known for in their games. The player takes the role of S.C.U. (Serial Crimes Unit) investigator Ethan Thomas as he chases a psychotic killer through the violent underbelly of Metro City. The game features a fairly in-depth melee combat system, better than average AI, and an atmosphere that’ll make your skin crawl at times…