Kingdom Hearts Re:coded

01/19/2011 at 4:43 PM | Posted in Nintendo DS | Leave a comment
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Kingdom Heart Re:coded Review

Only a few months since the latest Kingdom Hearts fix thanks to Birth by Sleep, Re:coded was released last Tuesday. When Kingdom Hearts coded was first announced for Japanese mobile phones way back when alongside 358/2 Days and Birth by Sleep I was both excited and disappointed. Excited for a KH game, but for Japanese mobile phones? That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for ever getting to play this game. Thankfully Square Enix sought to remedy this by remaking coded.

Side Note – I won’t be mentioning the specific differences between coded and Re:coded as naturally I haven’t been able to play coded, or see much of it anyway for that matter. However, know that Re:coded is definitely a REMAKE and not just a port. Continue Reading Kingdom Hearts Re:coded…

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Golden Sun Dark Dawn

01/04/2011 at 2:20 AM | Posted in Nintendo DS | 1 Comment
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Golden Sun Dark Dawn Review

A long overdue review yes I know, first it was school, then the holidays, then a blizzard… You get the idea. But here it is, finally, my review of Golden Sun Dark Dawn for the Nintendo DS. Continue Reading Golden Sun Dark Dawn…

Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes Of Light

11/17/2010 at 5:17 PM | Posted in Nintendo DS | Leave a comment
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Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes Of Light Review

Finally, a little late here but better late than never. Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes Of Light is Square’s newer kind of take on Final Fantasy yet still trying to keep a classic feel to it. What do we get? Rewarded. And maybe a little bit of nostalgia. Continue Reading Final Fantasy The 4 Heroes Of Light…

Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies

08/08/2010 at 9:03 PM | Posted in Nintendo DS | Leave a comment
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Dragon Quest IX Review

From the PS2 to the Nintendo DS Dragon Quest jumps platforms in it’s latest iteration: Dragon Quest IX. I think it’s worth mentioning that the only other DQ game I played was Dragon Quest VIII and I wasn’t prepared to like it so much, but I did, so I have been eagerly anticipating IX.

Dragon Quest IX is an RPG for the Nintendo DS. It was made by Square Enix and published by Nintendo. It was released on July 11th.

Story

The story is fairly basic and gets underway pretty quickly, you’re a Celestrian, a guardian angel if you will, and you are charged with protecting a town, things go awry, you lose your heavenly powers and must now work together with this fairy to make things right again. You (almost literally, as you can customize the main character) and a band of 3 other characters, who you can either have randomly generated or you can customize your own as well, will join you on your quest and help you kill the bad guys and set things right.

Score – 8

Gameplay

During your quest to regain your heavenly status, you will go around doing good deeds for people in need along with trying to meet your own goals. The world is fairly open, allowing you to go pretty much anywhere you want when you want to. Exploring the new areas ahead of time is great, and it also allows you to gain EXP and level up your characters almost however much you want until you decide to continue the story. Unlike past DQ games, there are no random encounters in DQIX. Enemies appear on the field and you can choose to fight them or not. However if an enemy sees you it might chase after you, but after a while, and once you become stronger, it might even run from you!

There’s a lot of stuff do to, along with the main quest, there are plenty of side quests you can undertake to keep you busy. Then there’s alchemy which allows you to mix items you already have to make brand new ones. This is a great way to get better weapons and equipment using things that you just happen to pick up from around.

There is a multi-player aspect to this game and it’s somewhat of a big draw for people. Unfortunately, I’m a pretty lonely kid (surprise) and I don’t know anyone else with the game, so I was unable to dabble with what I’m sure is a great part of this game :/

Score – 8

Graphics

The transition from PS2 to DS was actually kind to DQIX. The game is a pretty awesome looking DS title. It’s mostly 3D but occasionally uses some 2D sprites and such. Even then, occasionally there are parts where the game will slow a bit. I noticed that this tends to happen when you have your whole party with you. I spent a good portion of the beginning alone and didn’t experience anything major, but as soon as I had a full party with me, things started to lag a bit, but only occasional. It’s really not that bad, but it is fairly noticeable, nothing to condemn the game for though.

Score – 9

~OVERALL~

Dragon Quest IX is a great game and it’s a really enjoyable experience. From the side quests to all the jobs and skills that you can learn, to the alchemy and all the weapons and armor you can collect that are actually represented on all of your character, not to mention the main story, there’s so much to do. The main quest itself is almost 40 hours long giving you plenty to do. There’s a really high value that comes with this game and I’m sure it’s something that fans of Dragon Quest have come to expect. I would easily recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fun and full portable adventure.

Final Score

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Pokemon SoulSilver Version

03/22/2010 at 5:50 AM | Posted in Nintendo DS | 1 Comment
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Pokemon SoulSilver Version Review

This is a remake that I have been waiting for for quite some time. It seems I’ve been waiting a long time for a lot of things lately. HA! To think, some people say I’m impatient. Many Pokemon fans had high hopes for Gold and Silver remakes when FireRed and LeafGreen came out and I was one of those people. I remember when I bought Pokemon Silver and thinking back to it now, it’s so nostalgic. Enough with the sappy stuff, it’s review time, how exciting.

Pokemon SoulSilver is an Adventure/RPG for the Nintendo DS. It was made by Game Freak and was released on March 14th, 2010. I will warn you ahead of time, this review will be slightly abridged, only focusing on the newer things SoulSilver has to offer given the nature of Pokemon games. Also, I will be saying SoulSilver but naturally, you can just fill that in with “HeartGold and SoulSilver”

Story

SoulSilver’s story is pretty much already well known even if you haven’t played the original. You find yourself in New Bark Town where you get your first Pokemon and decide to go off on an adventure to become the champion of Johto. The story for all the Pokemon games (obviously with the exception of Pokemon Ranger, Mysterious Dungeon, etc.) is practically the same with a few twists or differences that make it unique to each title. Let’s get on to the newer and better things this title has to offer.

Score – 8.5

Gameplay

First I would like to mention the peripheral that is being packaged with HeartGold and SoulSilver. Dubbed the “Pokewalker”, it’s basically a pedometer. You transfer a Pokemon to the Pokewalker and walk around with it with the Pokemon gaining experience points for the steps you walk. While a Pokemon can only gain 1 level each time you take it for a stroll the features don’t stop there. As you walk you gain “Watts” these watts are mainly used to unlock new routes. Why new routes? Well, let me explain another feature, as you collect watts you can spend them on things like a Dowsing Machine to find items that appear on the particular route you’ve chosen or you can spend them on a Pokemon Radar that allows you to find and potentially catch Pokemon native to that route. I think the Pokewalker is really great and I think it was really well thought out. Naturally it’s also a great incentive to be a little more active.

Next, I’d like to mention a few of the newer in-game features that set SoulSilver apart from past games. First off, almost every gym has been redesigned with new puzzles for you to figure out. Another addition is the Pokeathlon. The Pokeathalon is a series of minigames you can play. You enter your Pokemon in these events and control them via stylus. It’s a fair amount of fun and it can be pretty challenging. Apricorns make a return in this game but now you can combine a few Apricorns and blend them to make juice. This juice will raise some of your Pokemon’s Pokeathlon stats. Also you now have access to the Berry Pots. You can plant and grow berries right from the convenience of your own bag! This means only being able to grow 4 berry trees at a time, but the convenience is amazing.

Another prominent feature about SoulSilver is the ability to walk with your Pokemon. No not with the Pokewalker, but in the game itself. The first Pokemon in your party will walk alongside you, which in turn, raises its Happiness. They will also occasionally find things. You can compare this feature to Amity Square in Pokemon Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. You can talk to them whenever to see how they are feeling given a certain context or environment. I found that the little things like this, really made the game shine.

You would think it would be a no brainer for the DS, but Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum were released and the Pokemon Box system was still controlled by the face and directional buttons. But now, you manage your PC boxes with the touch screen and it has never been easier. It was such a breath of fresh air, and I can imagine, a highly requested feature. Like-wise your Bag is a bit more touch screen oriented, scratch that, the entire game is a bit more touch screen oriented and I can honestly say, these are all improvements.

Score – 9

Graphics

Naturally, the graphics of SoulSilver are a big boost from those of Silver. There’s lots of 3D, the in battle effects are great, the colors are vibrant and character models look great, as well as the Pokemon art. There are a few other details about SoulSilver that I really feel are worth mentioning. These aren’t awe-inspiring things, but they don’t have to be. They really just bring something great to the Pokemon table. The sound of your footsteps, whether on pavement or grass, the sound of waves on the beach or the trickling of water at a pond. The sound of fans blowing in the wind. The use of some more impressive 3D effects. All of these things show that the handheld Pokemon games are really evolving into something great.

Score – 8.5

Final Note

I was really impressed with SoulSilver as I thought I would be. The improvements and extras really make this remake something special and not just a rehash of old material. This game should tide me over for now, but I really can’t wait for the Generation V games to be released.

Overall Rating

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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

10/05/2009 at 1:01 AM | Posted in Nintendo DS | Leave a comment
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Kingdom Hearts 358/2 DaysKingdom Hearts 358/2 Days Review

This time, I wanted to completely finish a game’s storyline before I reviewed it. But, on the other hand, I didn’t want to rush things. Thankfully I didn’t have to. Granted Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is quite a meaty game I was so enthralled I just couldn’t put it down. On to the review!

Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, said: Three Five Eight Over Two, is an Action/Adventure, Role Playing Game for the Nintendo DS and it was released on September 29th.

Kingdom Hearts has always been, hands down, my favorite video game series ever. With this entry in the series nothing has changed that. Obviously the fact that it was in the Kingdom Hearts series was the first thing that caught my attention but there are multiple other reasons to pick up this game.

Story

In this game you play as Roxas, Organization XIII’s number XIII. The game starts about the same time as the creation of Roxas which would be a little before the events of Kingdom Hearts comes to a close and a little before the events of Kingdom Hearts Chain of Memories begins. Anyone who has played the other entries of the series have a basic gist of what’s going on. However, because this is the story being directly played out in it’s own game, there are many mysteries that are revealed. Some questions that you never thought you’d have are answered and new mysteries arise.

Axel, Roxas, and Xion. This game is all about them.

Score – 9

Gameplay

In this game you go on daily missions given to you by the Organization. The missions themselves vary from defeating regular Heartless, taking down specific Heartless targets, doing reconnaissance on various worlds, or other forms of training. Like past entries you will travel to various Disney worlds, and while no new worlds are introduced the older worlds have many new areas that you have never seen before.

All controls are linked to the buttons of the DS with two configurations to choose from pick the one that suits you best. Still, the DS is a little limited as far as buttons are concerned so things can be a little awkward at times. As far as the touch screen goes, unless you are doing Panel arranging there won’t be much of a need for the stylus. Speaking of which, the Panel System is an all new, all purpose system. Installing panels that you obtain into empty slots gives you abilities, magic, weapons, items, and even levels. All of the growth in the game is linked to this Panel System.

Even with suitable controls, flying in Neverland was difficult.

Score – 9

Graphics

First of all, this has got to be one of the best looking titles on the platform. The game feature nearly full 3D graphics and PS2 quality cutscenes with voice acting. There are occasional slow downs when the action gets intense but this happens rarely (the slow downs, the game is full of action ;D ).

Score – 9.5

Final Note

For Kingdom Hearts fans, this game is a must. As for skeptics of the series, you may appreciate the lack of interaction with the Disney characters of the worlds. In the end “Every heart returns to the Darkness whence it came!” (LOL JK) But seriously, in the end, Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days is a solid title with many strengths that, for me, outweighed any weaknesses it might have had.

Overall Rating

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