Sunday, 31 January 2010

*NEW* Robocop Versus The Terminator Mega Drive Review

Back in a time before I was born Robocop and Terminator where huge, Robocop was a big hit at the movies and so was the Terminator, both movies had mechanical men, both had action and both had a a huge amount of violence, put these two together and you have a great idea for a cross over.
Back in the mid 90's there were plans to put the two together on the big screen, sadly that didn't work out so what we got instead was a video game based off the comic book of the same name.
Released by Virgin games in 1993 the game featured everyone's favourite man dressed up as robot and everyone's favourite robot dressed as man.
The games plot (I presume) is the same as that of the comic. Cyberdyne Systems (the company that made Robocop I think) have won the rights to develop the Skynet defence system. Scientists decided that it would be best to develop the computer by modeling it after Robocop's neural networks. Robocop was the only successful link between man and machine so it was only natural that they would do this. Ironic that Robocop a machine made to protect man brings about its destruction.
Just like in the Terminator movies Skynet becomes self aware and starts a war between man and machine. Just like the Terminator the game has a time travel plot, the rebels travel back in time so that they can destroy robocop and prevent Skynet from being made. At the same time Skynet sends an army of Arnold's back in time to prevent Robocop's destruction.
However Robocop has his own agenda.

Lets talk about the game it's self, you turn the game on the SEGA logo appears and you hear a very ear-pleasing robocop saying "excellent", you then get one of those scrolling screens telling you the plot (because every game had that back them), the first thing you notice about the game is the sound people (and by people I mean Americans) often go on about the mega drive and it's "crap" sound card yet we can still get clear speech and ear-pleasing music from it. While the sound track is fairly small the game has some nice mixes to listen to such as the Robocop/Terminator mix that you hear at the start of the game, anyway enough of that on to the actual game.
Robocop Vs The Terminator is a side scrolling shoot'em up, if anything it reminded me of the Robocop coin-op from he 1980's. The game has one simple goal, get to the end of each stage and kill the boss, you do get given mission objectives but they are only there as a means of increasing your score.
The games graphics are good for the mega drive and they do make you think of the Robocop movies with its Detroit scenery and ultra violence.
Graphically everything is nicely detailed which is great because it gives you great satisfaction after you destroy something, you shoot a guy and he explodes into a bloody mess, you shoot a terminator and his skin peel's off, you kill a big guy and he collapses into a pile of inner gore, the violence is so extreme and tongue & check that its funny, but what really makes me laugh is that this came out before the age rating system, i find it funny that every talks about Night Trap and Mortal Kombat when this subject arises but this game seems to be ignored, maybe it was because the movies they were based off were both rated 18+ so parents knew what they were buying their kid. I just can't stop thinking about it though you couldn't anymore graphic, no matter what weapon you use the bad guys all die horribly, well except for the terminators they just blow up.
Anyway gameplay now, as expected of him Robocop is slow, he can't jump very high and he doesn't dodge bullets, he takes it full on like a man, the bullets should be a big problem though thanks to Robocop's health bar, not to mention he is pretty quick to the shot so most of the time he can kill them before they get the chance to shoot (presuming you have the more powerful weapons).
The enemies in this game are push overs they always stand in one place waiting to be blown up by a bullet, what's with those bullets do they explode?
The game features a fair destructible environment there are a lot of things to shoot and they tend to contain power up's (still don't understand how you can fit a flame thrower into a light bulb but there you go).
Now the game does have some fairly big flaws that ruin it, for starters the pistol is useless, it does next to no damage, if you get to the end boss and all you have is the pistol them you might as well turn the game off an start again, the pistol is unbelievably week, on the upside the extra weapons are all pretty decent and they do a lot more damage when you use them but you have to be careful, if you die while holding that weapon you will lose it, if that happens against the boss then you are in big trouble, thankfully there is a way around it, it Robocop is able to carry two weapons, if robocop dies he only loses the weapon he is using, keep this in mind because it is vital if you ever want to beat the game.
As the game goes on the levels become bigger and (slightly) confusing but to be fair if it wasn't like that the game would be too linear.
Robocop Versus The Terminator isn't long game and can be completed in about an hour provided that you are good at it.

In all Robocop Vs The Terminator isn't the best shooter ever but it will please fans of Robocop, Terminator and Shooters.

+ Awesome crossover
+ LOL gore
+ Nice soundtrack...

- ...though it is rather limited
- The pistol ruins everything


NOTE: It has *NEW* in the title because it is new, this isn't something I wrtoe ages back at Europe-Nintendo. Tring different writing style here.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Metroid Zero Mission Game Boy Advance Review

Who remembers Metroid on NES? It was one of the best games on the console and also one of the most confusing.
There is no denying it, Metroid was an 8-bit classic and it will always be remembered for having one of the biggest twists in gaming. Samus was a woman.
Putting all of that aside Metroid is still a pretty solid title today, and I mean that in both senses, it was one of the better adventure games on the NES but it was also one of the most confusing with endless tunnels and no map to guide you along the way.
So how have Nintendo improved on this classic?

Single Player
Like I said this is a remake so it has the same plot as the original Metroid.
The game sees you play as Samus Aran who is on her first mission as a bounty hunter. Her mission is to exterminate all Metroid's on planet Zebes and to defeat the space pirates, destroy their leader Mother Brain and put an end to their plans once and for all.
As you would expect this is a 2D Metroid game so it will be just like Metroid Fusion and Super Metroid.

The game doesn't have a two player mode but it does connect to Metroid Fusion so that you can unlock bonus content such as a playable version of the 1986 NES Metroid.

What can I say? You've played this before. Its 2D Metroid; it follows the same formula as the other games.
You start with just your beam and suit searching for power ups so that you can become more powerful.
The more abilities you obtain the more you will be able to do and see as you delve deeper into Zebes.
The controls in this game are the same as in Fusion, you press A to jump, B to fire, L to aim and R to use rockets.
There have been quite a few noticeable changes from fusion in this game. For starters there isn't much narrative in the story, the game doesn't feature much dialog. The next difference is the way that the game is planned out. Metroid Fusion was a fairly linear game, you could only go to certain areas at the start of the game, in this game you have to figure most things out yourself with only a small amount of help.
The game does offer a lot of freedom, you can go anywhere on SR388 as long as you have the needed abilities. For example you might want to go somewhere but there is a hazard or wall blocking your way, if you have the needed power then you can carry on, if not then you have to turn back and find that power or find an alternate route, so there is a fair bit of freedom.
Later in the game you will find yourself doing a stealth section where you have to sneak past the space pirates without being caught, this section is done really well and is good fun but it can become frustrating.
Putting that aside Zero Mission does still play better than Fusion, it is quicker and more fluent.
Another thing about Metroid Zero Mission is that there are more power ups to find, in this game you start completely powered down so you have to find as many abilities as you can for example, you have a short ranged beam at the start go you need to find the long beam, another example is the power grip, in Metroid Fusion you could hang off ledges at the start of the game, in this you don't have that power you have to find it. One thing that is a nice change is that you don't have to fight bosses to gain powers, or use data rooms.
Another good feature that this game has is the option to change the games difficulty, you have 3 choices of difficulty, easy, normal and hard.
In easy you take less damage from attacks, there are also fewer enemies and they tend to go down a lot quicker.
In normal you take the regular amount for damage and enemies are at full health.
As for hard mode, well I will admit it is pretty hard. For starters you now take more damage and enemies take less damage, to make matters worse you now get few power ups, Missile tanks are only worth 2 Missiles instead of five, same for the energy tanks you now get an extra 50 energy points instead of 100.
I will admit the choice in difficulty is a great thing, the game can provide a challenge for both hardened gamers and newcomers alike.
Once again this game has plenty of replay value, the game is ideal for speed running as it can be beaten in one sitting, a great way to better yourself, also lets not forget the rewards for completing the game such as art and sound clips.

Graphics and Sound

In all the graphics here are much better than the graphics in Fusion, the colours standout more and you get a much clearer view, it really looks great, some of the backgrounds look like artwork, it is that clear.
Another thing I love about this game is the animated cut scenes they are so clean and fluid, it is like watching a cartoon.
The sound is great as well, Nintendo took all of the classic tunes from Metroid and revamped them.

In all Metroid Zero Mission is a really solid title that does a good job improving over the past games, expect plenty of twists, turns and surprises.

+ Gameplay perfected
+ Eye pleasing graphics
+ Nice Cut scenes
+ Plenty of content
+ Plenty of freedom

- Can be frustrating at times.


Metroid Prime Nintendo Game Cube Review

I'm sure by now you have heard of the Metroid Prime Trilogy that is set for release in September and I am sure that you are very excited to play classics such as Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes and Metroid Prime 3 Corruption.
Well, why wait for that to come to come out at retail price when you can play those games for less already?

Single Player
The game has you take the role of bounty hunter Samus Aran who is on a quest to destroy the evil that lurks in planet Tallon IV. But it won't be easy, to do this she has to once again stop the space pirates and their leader Ridley.
The game is set just after Super Metroid, for all those who don't know the Metroid Prime games fill the gap between Super Metroid and Metroid Fusion.


Well what can I say, when the game was first shown a few years ago people didn't think much of it, they looked at it and thought "meh, doesn't look like anything special" little did they know of the impact that this game would have.
The game is a first person adventure, for those unfamiliar with the term I'll explain it like this. Imagine that Super Metroid was in 3D, now imagine that it was in first person, yeah, sums it up well.
Unlike most first person games Metroid Prime doesn't use the C-Stick to aim, which does seem quite odd to most hardcore FPS fans, same goes for the controls, instead of using the shoulder button to fire you use the A button.
To aim you press and hold the R button, this lets you look in all directions whilst standing in one place, if you do not use the R button then you can only aim 360 degrees.
The game also has a lock on feature to help with your targeting, to lock on to an enemy you press and hold the L button.
To jump you just press B.
Like I said this control method may sound strange for a first person game but trust me it works really well, in fact I'd go as far as to say that it betters all other FPS games on the GameCube in terms of control.
Like all other Metroid games you unlock new abilities and weapons as you go on through the game.
So you have classic Metroid abilities like the morph ball and grapple beam.
The morph ball plays a big role in the games mechanics and you will find yourself using it on several occasions such as solving puzzles and getting through small spaces.
The morph ball can also be upgraded further so that using it never gets repetitive. In all you will have a lot of fun playing with balls.
One of the games better features is one of the new mechanics, the visor.
The game is in first person so you will always see things through the eyes of Samus Aran, the way that this has been done is genius.
For starters we have the battle visor, this is your standard view. The screen is filled with bars and numbers that you may or may not understand. The Battle Visor lets you fight enemies as you normally would, it also tells you small details like how much health you have left, how many missiles are left and what weapon you are using.
The second visor is also the games most interesting feature, the scan visor. In this mode you cannot attack enemies. The scan visor is used to gather information and data, to switch visors you use the D pad.
When using the scan certain objects and creatures will have an orange/red symbol appear on them, this means that they can be scanned, to scan look at the object/creature and lock on using the L button. All scanned data is then added to your log book.
I like the log book feature because not just does it explain the creatures and the science of the Metroid universe but because it also gives you a good understanding of the games story. Most games try to tell the story through dialog and cut scenes, this game tells the story through journals and lore, I that counts as dialog but the best thing about it is that you don't have to read it if you don't want to, in other words the story isn't shoved in your face link with most games.
You also have two other visors in Metroid Prime, first is the thermal visor which lets you view things in heat vision, this visor is ideal for dark rooms, it is also useful when fighting certain enemies.
The last visor is the x-ray visor, this do what it says in the name, its an x-ray, you can use it to see invisible enemies, to see through dark rooms and to find hidden doors and rooms, the only problem with the x-ray visor is the range, you cannot see very far when using it.
Next up is the weapons, in previous Metroid games weapons were combined to created more powerful attacks, this time the developers have decided to try a different method this time, now instead of mixing the weapons you swap them, this brings quite a few new features to the gameplay, for example you need to use certain weapons to open doors.
The game has four main beam weapons in total, to changed beams use the C-Stick.
First is the power beam, this is your standard beam which you start the game off with, this beam is pretty week at first but it can be powered up through upgrades like the charge beam.
The second weapon is the wave beam, this beam has an electrical element to it. The beam has the ability to paralyse enemies, activate electrical outputs and open purple doors. There are certain enemies who can only be damaged with this weapon.
The next beam is the ice beam, just like in past Metroid games the ice beam has the power to freeze enemies, and the beam can also open white doors. The beam does have a fault though, it has a really slow firing rate so you are likely to miss most of you shots when using it.
The last weapon is the plasma beam and this is by far my favourite weapon, for starters it is heat based so it has the power to turn enemies into a pile of ashes, which is really really cool.
The other great thing about this beam is that it is the most powerful of the four. The beam can be used to open red doors.
Metroid Prime is a huge game, once you have played it you will feel as if you have been on Tallon IV yourself, there is a load to see and there is hardly a dull moment.
A lot of the game will stick with you forever, the power-ups, the scenery, the bosses ect.
Saying that though I only have one complaint to make with this game. Sometimes the game makes you do huge amounts of back tracking, this can at times be annoying.
In all Metroid Prime does have some length to it and it should last about half a day. But that’s not all the game also has some replay value.
You may not know this but once completed Metroid Prime is can be linked to Metroid Fusion on the GBA to unlock new content.
"What kind of new content?" you ask, well how about playable fusion suit and the full version of the original Metroid for the NES, that should add to the games length as well.
Oh yeah there is also Hard mode and art galleries to unlock as well.
So yeah you will be playing this for a while.
Let's not forget that classic Metroid replay value as well, once you have finished this you will want to play it again in an attempt to better yourself.

Graphics and Sound
The GameCube was quite well known for its graphics, some first party titles looked amazing at the time and Metroid Prime is no exception. The GameCube was never quite pushed to its limit so consider this (and Zelda Twilight Princess) to be the GameCube's Graphical peak.
As for the sound, well let's just say that the music is as good as the graphics. The games music is perfect, it fits perfectly with the areas in the game, not much more can be said.


This game is more or less perfect, easily one of the best games ever made and arguably the best game on the GameCube.

+ Did what it set out to do
+ Looks amazing
+ Sounds Amazing
+ Plays flawlessly
+ Cool features and extras

- Backtracking is annoying


Luigi's Mansion Nintendo Game Cube Review

Released as a launch title for the GameCube, Luigi's Mansion was the first "Mario" game to feature on Nintendo's Purple Box, and it was also the second game to have Luigi take on the leading role (The first being Mario is Missing).

Single Player
The game revolves around Mario's brother Luigi who has just been told that he has won a mansion in a contest that he never entered. Deciding that it didn't sound at all suspicious Luigi decides to meet up with Mario at his new three story home.
Sadly through Luigi's new home is not all that is seems to be, Mario has gone missing and to make matters worse the mansion is full of ghosts.
Fortunately Luigi has a run in with a scientist/ghost hunter called professor E.Gladd, Gladd decides that he is too old to catch ghosts so it is up to Luigi to take up his burden and save Mario.

Luigi's mansion is one of a kind; it doesn't fit into any genre at all.
The aim of the game is to capture ghosts but sucking them up with a vacuum cleaner.
The game has two control methods to choose from, you have the standard controls where Luigi faces which ever way you point the control stick and you have the sidestep controls where you move with the control stick while using the C-stick to aim, kind of like an FPS then.
The A button acts as the games action button, you can use it to open doors and move nearby objects, you can also shout Mario's name by pressing the A button.
Pressing Y will bring up the games map/stats screen and Pressing X will bring up the first person view.
These actions are done by using one of E.Gladds inventions, the Game Boy Horror; the Game Boy Horror is more or less the Game Boy Color which is a nice novelty.
Pressing the B button turns off Luigi's flashlight, this can be helpful at times.
On to the main gameplay now, to capture ghosts in this game you have to do 2 things, one make sure the ghost is near other wise it will just disappear when you flash your light at it. Two When you flash your light at a ghost its heart will appear when you do this press and hold down the R button its time to capture that ghost.
The ghosts have a health meter, get it to zero and you will suck them up, the best way to do this is to press the control stick in the direction that is opposite to that which the ghost is facing, you capture them quicker this way.
The game has a large Varity of ghosts each with their own abilities, there are even boss ghosts.
In Luigi's mansion there are 23 boss ghosts to capture, these ghosts were once trapped in paintings owned by Professor E.Gladd, make sure that you try to capture all of them, these ghosts aren't so easy to catch you have to find and expose they week spots to be able to catch them, if you are stuck you can scan them for clues using the first person view on the Game Boy Horror.
The last type of ghosts in the game are Boo's, Boo's are not like the other ghosts they don't get pulled towards the vacuum when you try to suck them up, they just lose health and become slower instead. Boo's are a pain because they can only be found in light rooms so it can mess things up if they escape into a dark room or a room that you don't have the key to yet, trust me Boo's can become really annoying especially when they constantly change rooms. Boo's like to hide so you have to find them using the Game Boy Horror's Boo radar.
In all there are 50 Boo's, make sure that you catch all of them.
In the game there are hidden emblems that you can find in certain rooms, obtain these emblems and you will be able to do elemental attacks. There are 3 elements, Fire, Ice and Water, you can suck up elemental ghosts to use as weapons, so if you suck up a fire ghost you will be able to burn ghosts, some ghosts can only be hurt by these elements, to use the elemental attacks press and hold down the L button while the Fire/Ice/Water gauge is full.
Scattered around the mansion arte several of princess peaches Toads, the Toads were sent to the mansion to find Mario, talking to the toads will let you save your game.
The games levels are divided up into areas; each area is opened by obtaining a special key.
To get these keys you have to defeat the boss ghosts at the end of each area.
Luigi's Mansion is quite good in terms of exploration, the mansion is full of secrets like hidden rooms and tricks.
The game also has a few interesting twists that stop the game from getting repetitive for example there are parts of the game where you have to fight invisible ghosts that grab you, to see them you normally have to look in a mirror or create shadows.
One you have completed the game you can replay it from the very beginning, but there isn't really that much point in doing so there only differences is that the game is at a higher difficulty. The only thing that makes the game worth playing the second time is the "Hidden Mansion" that you unlock after completing the game.
The Hidden Mansion is just basically Mirror Mode.
Luigi's Mansion isn't really a very long game and can be completed in a few hours, but it does gain points for trying to have replay value but being fair, it is one of those games that are no longer than they should be, like Portal.

Graphics and Sound
Out of all the game that came out on the GameCube's release this comes in second for best graphics (1st being Rogue Squadron 2), Luigi's Mansion has aged well it is graphically superior to most Wii games (That is a good and bad thing).
The games soundtrack is great it sets the haunted house tone really well and to make things better Luigi hums and whistles it, the game also features the Super Mario Bros 3 theme.

It's only been seven years but this game still feels relatively new, one of a kind! Shame about the length though...

+ Works really well
+ Amazing Graphics
+ Moody Soundtrack
+ Is creative

- Short
- Boo's can be frustrating


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Metroid Fusion Game Boy Advance Review

In recent years everyone has been going on about the Metroid Prime series, sadly through this has taken attention away from the 3rd person Metroid games.
But with the recent announcement of Metroid: Other M at E3 it is only right that we take a look at one of the best games on the Gameboy Advance, Metroid Fusion.

Single Player

The game is set at the end of the Metroid timeline, and Samus finds herself once again on the surface of planet SR388 after being hired by the Galactic Federation to overlook research being done by the B.S.L (Biological Space Labs).
The biological research was going well until Samus came into contact with a creature she had never encountered before...
Samus soon found out that her attacker was a newly discovered parasitic life form known as "X".
After the incident she decided to return to base when disaster struck, her body suddenly seized up, to make matters worse her spaceship was drifting into an asteroid belt.
Thankfully an auto-escape pod ejected her from the craft before collision. Her pod was later found by the research station that orbited SR388. How ever in the time since the infection the "X" had multiplied inside her power suit.
Samus was transported to Galactic Federation HQ for emergency medical treatment.
All hope seemed lost for Samus, then a miracle happened.
Someone found a cure, by using the cells from a Metroid the "X" that infected Samus were instantly destroyed.
For Samus one life ended and another began as the Metroid vaccine cased her appearance to change dramatically.
When Samus awoke Galactic Federation HQ received a distress call from the research station.
Samus then immediately left HQ for the research centre to investigate...

Metroid Fusion plays just like Super Metroid, so anyone who had played it will feel right at home.
Metroid Fusion is a 2-D adventure game, the games goal is to explore the space station and regain abilities for the power suit.
You use A to jump and B to fire from your arm cannon.
The games hit detection is spot on, if you shot touches the enemy in anyway they take damage, the same goes for you.
When using the blaster you can aim up and down diagonally using the left shoulder button. You can also use missiles by holding down the right shoulder button.
Throughout the game you will gain new abilities such as the morph ball and speed boost.
These power up's are all needed at some point in the game, they can all be put to good use if mastered, for example with the morph ball you can use bombs to jump if you learn the correct technique then you can chain bomb jumps and get to hidden areas, another example is the boost technique, once you have the speed boost you can use it to more or less fly at super sonic speeds, to do this you have to crouch when boost running, you then jump straight up and go in which ever direction you choose,. Like I said if you want to obtain as many upgrades as possible then you better learn to put your abilities to good use.
In the other Metroid games you gain health and ammo by absorbing items, in Metroid fusion you recover by absorbing "X" parasites.
There are about 5 different types of "X" in the game, there are Yellow (Health), Green (Missiles), Red (Recover large amount of Energy and ammo), Blue (Damages you if you don't have the varia suit) and Core.
The core "X" is what gives you your abilities back, to absorb core "X" you have to face a boss, there are many bosses in the game, some are new and other you may remember from past titles.
The games boss fights are great, no boss is the same, they are all unique and they all have their own weaknesses.
In the game you are guided by your personal computer throughout the mission, you can contact him by using navigation rooms, it's important to use the navigation rooms as they update your mission and give you map data.
If you happen to get lost in the game you can always look at the map, to view the map pause the game..
Metroid Fusion isn't that long a game if you want me to be honest, you should be done with it in a few hours, but it does have a redeeming quality, Metroid Fusion is addictive, it is one of those games where you test yourself, when you complete the game you get given a time and item percentage, you are then rewarded with some artwork of Samus. The picture changes depending on how well you have done, for example if you are a master at this game you can see Samus without her suit doing a pose.
Like I said it is a game where you test yourself to see how quickly you can complete it. I have completed this game about 5 times now and I still haven't beat the time I got a few years back (1Hr 57Mins with %52 items), the game can consume you.
Another good factor for this game is the fact that it can link to Metroid Prime on the GameCube to unlock content such as the Fusion Suit in Metroid Prime and a playable version on the original Metroid.

Graphics and Sound
The games graphics are pretty good, the sprites are clear, but the thing that really makes this game look impressive is the cut scenes they look so well drawn when you consider the fact that this is a Gameboy Advance game.
The games sound track is great as well and it really sets the tone for the game and it can make the game really intense.

Seven years on this game is still incredibly enjoyable, a good game to get if you are looking for a good action game on the GBA or if you are a fan or if you are new to the series.

+ Stunning Gameplay
+ Great Graphics
+ Brilliant Story
+ Good Challenge

- Too linear for some.


Note: Some time after I wrote the review I was able to better my old time by a good 20 minutes or something like that.

Kirby's Dream Land Game Boy Review

Known in Japan as Kirby of the Stars, Kirby's Dream Land was the first game to feature everyone's favourite pink blob.
So the story is this, the greedy King DeDeDe has stolen all of the food in Dream Land and it is up to Kirby to get the food back.


On to the game play now anyone who has played a Kirby title before will be able to get straight into this, it is a very simple game.
Unlike all of the sequels Kirby doesn't have the power to steal abilities from other enemies but he is still able to suck them up, eat them and spit them out. Kirby also has the ability to fly, when flying Kirby and release a puff of air that damages foes.
In the game you will find several special food's that act as power-up's such as the curry that lets to spit out fire balls, the lolly pop that makes you invincible, and the tomato that recovers your health fully. There are other foods in the game that are used to gain power-ups and health.
The game has 5 stages in total; each stage features a sub boss and a boss battle at the end. Each stage starts with a little into movie, the intro are fairly cute and humorous.
I will admit this game is a bit too easy but there is a solution to that problem, when you complete the game you will be given a code that is used to unlock the extra game, be warned though the extra game is a lot harder than the normal game.

Graphics and sound

The graphics are fairly good for an early Game Boy game, they look nice and they don't cause any strain to the eyes.
The music in this game will stick with you it's pretty catchy, in fact it's the same music that is used in just about every other Kirby game.

A really easy game to get into thanks to its simplicity. It is very short but that's what the extra game is there for.

+Easy to get into
+Has some replay value
+Music is catchy

-Fairly short game
-Doesn't have the copy ability like the other games.


P.N.0.3 Game Cube Review

Set in a distant future where planetary colonisation has happened and is still being done, P.N.03 puts you in the role of freelance mercenary Vanessa Z. Schneider.
Because of the planetary colonisation the army has decided to put defensive weapons in charge of guarding the new planetary settlements, these robots are controlled by a Computerised Armament Management System (CAMS for short).
Soon things go bad when one of the settlements is turned into a killing field due to a CAMS malfunction.
It's up to Vanessa to destroy the CAMS and bring peace back to the planet.
P.N.03 was one of the Capcom 5, these were games that were suppose to be exclusive to the GameCube but were later ported to other consoles (Viewtiful Joe being one of them), P.N.03 was the only one that stayed exclusive to the GameCube.
The game also has a demo video of Viewtiful Joe on it.

P.N.03 is a very straight forward game and a very old fashioned one too, the reason I say this is because it follows the rules that most old games had, such as if it moves kill it.
The game is very easy to pick up and play and you will learn the controls easily, you press the A button to do a palm blast, this is the standard attack for the game and doesn't do much damage. B is the jump button you will jump in different ways depending on which direction you are going, for example if you are going forward you will do a cool Matrix style flip jump, same if you are retreating backwards. The jumping move is good for dodging enemy fire as well as getting you to higher platforms.
By pressing the shoulder buttons you will do a side step dodge, press it twice in the same direction and you will do a filp.
The Z button lets you do a 180 degree turn, the turning is like that of Resident Evil in a way but only quicker.
When there are enemies near by you will lock-on to them automatically to switch what target you are firing at press the X button, sometimes when there are multiple enemies around it can be a frustrating to lock-on to the one you want to fire at.
Sometimes you will run into holes and walls that are waist high the great thing about them is that you can use them for cover by holding the Y button, Y lets you duck, when you duck you can roll forwards and backwards, you can also do a side step duck by pressing both Y and either of the shoulder buttons.
Palm shot too weak for your liking ? Well this is where the energy drive gauge comes into play, by doing a certain input of buttons on the D-pad and then pressing A you can perform special moves that can help you destroy the enemies a lot easier and you don't have to worry about getting hit when you do these moves either because you are imperious to damage when you perform them, the moves are all different and they work in two ways, you have the energy drives that let you do powerful attacks that kill multiple enemies and you have the energy drives that power you up for a certain amount of time.
Try not to abuse the energy drives though as they come at a price, at the top left of the screen you gave two bars one is the Barrier gauge, this gauge is green and it acts as your life energy. The other gauge is the Energy Drive Gauge this goes down every time you use an energy drive move.
To refill you Barrier and Energy Drive bars you can pick up these atoms that come in two colours, green for barrier energy and orange for energy drive.
They also come in two sizes the small ones refill the gauge slightly while the bigger ones fill the gauges completely. There are also pink ones that give you extra continues in case you die.
P.N.03 isn't an easy game it takes skill to play and it takes skill to constantly dodge and kill enemies and there are all different types of them too.
When you kill enemies you get points and start a combo chain, the combos have a time limit that extends every time you destroy an enemy, the bigger combo you get the more points you earn. The points you earn in the stages can be used to buy new suits,upgrades and extra continues.
The game has about a 12 missions in total (it also has trial missions but they donÃ't have any importance besides being an easy way to get extra points) and they all involve you getting to the end of the stage by going through several corridors and rooms destroying robots and then getting to the stage boss.
After you complete a mission you get ranked on how well you did there are four ranks:
Amateur, Regular, Professional and Destroyer.
The game is fun but I have one really big problem with it, the games length, it takes 2-3 hours to complete, which is a problem if you are not one of those people who enjoys replaying a game. I suppose you could compare it to games like Resident Evil and Metroid which tell you how well you did when you complete the game so that you will go back and try to better yourself.

Graphics & Sound
The graphics aren't great but they're not bad either, but the game isn't eye pleasing in the sense that most of the rooms look the same.
As for the sound all can say is wow, the music in this game is awesome, so awesome that CAPCOM decided to put it in future titles such as Resident evil 4.

It's a decent game that seems to pay tribute to retro games with its simplicity. It' too short overall.

+Great sound track
+Stayed exclusive to the GameCube
+Easier to get into than most games.

-Horribly Short
-Palm shot will make your thumb hurt


Pokemon Colosseum Game Cube Review

The first true 3-D Pokemon game to have an adventure mode and the first Pokemon game on the GameCube.
The game takes place in the Orre region, a place where wild Pokemon is a rarity.
There is an evil organisation that is capturing Pokemon and using them as weapons, these Pokemon are known as shadow Pokemon.
Using the power of the "Snag Machine" it's up to you to steal and save all of the shadow Pokemon.

Single Player
The single player mode is a story that takes place in the Orre region, you once again take the role of a fashion challenged Pokemon trainer.
The game starts off with a cinematic cut scene I won't spoil it for those who haven't played it yet.
You start out with two Pokemon, Umbreon and Espeon, this is a good pair for double battles and you could complete the game using just these two mon, which takes away the idea of team building that made the other games work do well.
The story mode takes 15 to 30+ hours depending on how you go about completing it. If you want to play the game till you get to the ending then it will feel fairly short lived, if you try and do all side quests and capture all shadow Pokemon and purify them then it will be a very long game.

This is where the game really shines, by using the GBA to GameCube link up you can battle other players party from Ruby/Sapphire using your team off the story mode, you have a choice of what battles you can do:
2 player battles:
GBA Vs GBA Single & Double
GameCube Vs GBA Single & Double

4 player battles:
GameCube Vs GBA Vs GBA Vs GBA Double battle only
GBA Vs GBA Vs GBA Vs GBA Double battle only.

Its not much better than playing on the Game boy Advance the only upside is that the Pokemon battles are in 3-D.

The game play is traditional Pokemon game play the only difference is that the battles seem to drag on due most likely because of the way that the attacks are done on this game, compared to the handheld games these battles feel really slow paced and dull.
Another thing that doesn't help this is the games gimmick, the shadow Pokemon, while the idea of stealing Pokemon is cool at first, it just gets really boring and frustrating after a while due to the attack they have shadow rush, the shadow Pokemon can kill them selves when you are trying to catch them which is a pain in most battles seeing how you sometimes only get one shot at this.
You will find your self going to the save point all of the time because you are worried that the shadow Pokemon will die when you fight them.
Another annoying thing about the shadow Pokemon is that they are limited to one move when you catch them and that move is shadow rush, to get the Pokemon's moves back you have to open their heart and purify them and it takes a long time to do, there are over 40 shadow Pokemon in the game and you will need to catch and purify most of them if you want to catch Ho-ho.
Because there are no wild Pokemon in the game you are limited to the Pokemon in the game but like I said before you can get through the game with just Umbreon and Espeon, but it kind of ruins the whole idea of building a team
Not to say that it ruins the game or anything like that there is some reward in catching the shadow Pokemon. Once you beat the games final boss and see the ending you are allowed to trade Pokemon from your GameCube to GBA and vice-versa, but the Pokemon have to be purified before you can trade them, most of the Pokemon in Colosseum cannot be obtained in Ruby/Sapphire so its worth it if you want the Jhoto starters, the 3 legendary dog's and Ho-oh ect.
To get Ho-oh you have to clear the Vs 100 challenge on MT.Battle, this takes a really long time as you could imagine, sometimes it can take over an hour to clear 10 battles. The good thing about it is that you can do the MT.Battle challenge using your Ruby/Sapphire Pokemon, sadly GBA Pokemon gain no exp doing this, every time you clear an area on MT.Battle you get poke coupons that you can exchange for items, not that they will be much use to you though the amount of coupons you get are very small when you consider how much the items that you trade them for cost. It's like being at an arcade it would be cheaper and easier just to buy the prizes.
The game comes with a 52 block GameCube mermory card but thats only because it take 48 blocks to store the game.

Graphics & Sound
The Graphics are split in this game, first you have the Pokemon who look amazing in battle and then you have the trainers who look kind of poor graphically. The opening cut scene is the only cinematic part of the entire game.
The music on the game isn't anything that will stay with you, it's not very good when compared to that of the GBA Pokemon games and other RPG's on GameCube.

Not the best Pokemon RPG ever made, it suffers because of its own gimmick (Kind of like most 3-D Sonic games), still fun to play through.

+Same pokemon gameplay
+Free Memory Card
+Finally a change...

-... but not a change for the best
-Kinda lame sound track
-Battles take forever.
-Where the hell are the wild pokemanz!


Notes: On europe nintendo the site had a coding problem so all the old post's with special cases like ' ended up with code everywhere. This one was a knightmare because of the e in pokemon.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Star Fox Adventures Game Cube Review

StarFox adventures is the sequel to Lylat Wars (also known was Star Fox64) and takes place eight years after the war against Andross.
In those eight years many things have changed for the team due to the Lylat System being at peace, jobs for fighter pilots and mercenaries have become hard to come by, sad to say the Star Fox team has suffered, boredom struck causing Falco to leave Star Fox and Slippy to quit piloting and work in weapon development, Peppy has also retired from piloting due to old age.
Fox and co do what ever they can to get by so they were happy when General Pepper gave them an offer for a high paying job.
Dinosaur Planet a planet located on the edge of the lylat system has for some reason come apart and it is up to Fox to put the planet back together.

The game starts you playing as Krystal the sole survivor of an ill fated planet called Cerinia, this part of the game acts as a tutorial.
You destroy a battle ship and meet the games leading villain (Sort of) General Scales and then fly off to a place called Krazoa Palace where you meet some dying dinosaurs who tell you to find the Krazoa sprits and return them to the palace.
To get to the sprit you have to step on these panels that teleport you to an area where you must solve puzzles and get past many different kinds of dangers to get to the sprit.
There are six Krazoa sprits in the game so get use to doing this.
After getting and releasing the first sprit you end your play as Krystal, it's now Fox's turn to shine.
So after a long cut scene explaining the games plot you play as Fox in a way that can only be labelled as nostalgic.
Your in the Arwing flying through space shooting things the idea is to collect gold rings, its just like Lylat wars you can do a barrel roll, you can boost and you can break the only thing that you can't do is loop.
These flying sections are brief but extremely satisfying.
So after flying through space you land on Dinosaur planet for the first time you are told they you couldn't bring any weapons with you so you will have to find one. So you can now walk around and explore, eventually you will find the staff that Krystal dropped at the start of the game now you will learn combat by fighting the games main enemy, they are called the SharpClaw a mutant race of dinosaurs.
The staff you have is used to do nearly everything in the game you use it to fight, you use it to activate switches, use it to shoot things, use it to solve puzzles, use it to open passages ect ect, as you go through the game you will discover upgrades for the staff that gives it new abilities, you have a magic gauge this is the "power bar" for your staff, it depletes when you use the staffs magic.
After a while you will most likely say to your self "I've played this before".
I will not deny it this game is a lot like Zelda.
The combat is like that of Zelda as well, but that isn't a bad thing now is it.
In the game you obtain several items that you can use to help you do things like blow up walls, light up dark areas, make vines for you to climb and so on, you also have key items that can only be used in the right place, you scroll through the items using the C-Stick, you can also scroll through your staff powers and commands for Tricky with the C-Stick.
In the game you befriend a dinosaur called Tricky who becomes your sidekick.
Just like the staff you need Tricky for almost everything you need him to solve puzzles, make new path ways and find buried items, this doesn't come for free you need to feed Tricky so he will have the energy to help, he eats these blue mushrooms that you find scattered almost every where.
The game has you spend a lot of time going through various ruins,temples,caves ect looking for the spell stones, the spell stones must be returned to the force point temples so the planet can be used to put the planet back together.
The game has some other supporting characters that help you:
Peppy: He provides you with a map of dinosaur planet and tells you where to go next.
Slippy: He provides you with clues on how to get past bits that you may be stuck on.
General Pepper: He shows you your quest stats.
Warp Stone: A giant stone person who teleports you to different places.
Shopkeeper: This greedy lizard sells you items that you can use on your quests, he also sells maps, the games currency is scarabs, small insects that you can find under rocks.
Dinosaurs: These guys you can talk to some can be helpful, there are several dinosaur tribes.
Gatekeepers: These dinosaurs help you by opening gates to the parts of the planet that have broken off so you can fly to them in your arwing.
The games control is good it's responsive the only time when the control is a problem is when you are using the blaster on your staff the aiming is horribly over sensitive.

Graphics and sound
Both are great the graphics are detailed and realistic the arwing looks nice and dirty, Fox looks furry and the dinosaurs look as dinosaurs should. The environment looks nice too.
To go with the great looking environment is some great sounding music to fit the mood. Some of the music (mainly the arwing parts) comes from Lylat wars.
Like with most RARE games the voice acting is ...well different from most games, I'm sure RARE just have their staff do the voice acting.

StarFox Adventures was never a Starfox game to begin with, it started out as a N64 game that RARE was making called Dinosaur Planet but due to the death of the N64 the game was scrapped and turned into Starfox.

Its a great game and the only Nintendo published alternitive to Zelda that I can think of.

+Arwing sections are nostalgic.
+Graphics are great for the time.
+A nice change.
+Good alternative to Zelda.

-Krazoa Sprit tests can be frustrating.
-Staff Blaster aiming is horrible.
-We want more arwing


Fire Emblem: Path Of Radiance Game Cube Review

Set on the Continent of Tellius, Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance tells the story of a mercenary group known as the Greil Mercenaries.
The game see's you commanding the Greil Mercenaries and other units in a way that is very similar to Advance Wars.
Fire Emblem takes Advance Wars and gives it RPG elements such as leveling up, equipping weapons, and character classes.
The story is this the peaceful nation of Crimea is one day attacked by the neighbouring nation of Daein unable to defend the country Crimea is defeated and the royal family is murdered.
The only member of the royal family left is princess Elincia.
After saving her from Daein troops Elincia Hires the Greil Mercenaries to help her reclaim her country.
Will the Greil Mercenaries succeed? Only time will tell.

Fire Emblem is only what can be described as chess + RPG.
The game has several types of units that upgrade into different classes the games basic units are:
Fighter- A axe wielding unit that has great strength but lacks defence, fighters are at a disadvantage against sword users.

Myrmidon- A sword wielding unit that has great speed and skill but is lacking in the area of strength and defence.

Soldier- Soldiers start out as really weak units but they have great growth and will soon become very powerful. They use lances.

Knight- A heavily armoured unit that is slow but not easy to damage physically, but are screwed when put against magic.

Archer- A unit that uses long range attacks to deal with enemies so they are not meant to fight the foe face to face. Make sure you upgrade them to sniper.

Mage- General Magic users have good magic attack and defence but lack physical strength so make sure that stay clear of any units who can hit them.

Priest- These are healers they can't attack at all unless you upgrade their class. Priests are vital as they can heal units, remember if a unit dies they stay dead and you will never get to use them again.

Lance/Axe/Sword/Bow Knights- These are all horse riding units they can move far and are reliable. If upgraded they can use extra weapons.

Wyvern Riders- These units ride dragons known as Wyverns, they can use Axes and lances and they have great movement, very powerful. This unit is screwed against magic and bows.

Pegasus Knight- The other flying unit, they are the opposite of the wyvern Riders they can defend magic easily but are weak to physical attacks.
They are also weak attackers but they can avoid attacks with ease.

Laguz- A new type of unit to fire emblem they come in 3 different tribes Beast, Bird and Dragon they are half human, half animal units that don't use weapons.

Fire emblem has what is known as the weapon triangle which is a rock, paper, scissors type system that works like this:
Swords beat axes,
Axes beat lances
and lances beat swords.
Sword> Axe> Lance> Sword> Axe> ect
The same goes for magic as well.
Fire> Wind> Thunder> Fire> Wind> ect.
The game at first may seem complicated at first but you will soon get into it easily.
As I mentioned with the priests before unlike Advance Wars you must take care of you units in this game if they die you will never get them back.
In the game you can power up your units using different weapons though unlike most RPG's all weapons (With the exception of Ragnell and Amiti) have a limit to the number of times you can use them, when the number of uses reaches zero the weapon breaks.
Stronger weapons have less number of uses then the weaker weapons.
If you want new weapons and items you can buy them from the market you can also have weapons forged and give them a name. (I made a sword called E_N RULES! it was the strongest sword you could make).
There is also a new feature that lets you give characters special skills and give them bonus exp which is great if you trying to train a unit without making it fight.
As the game goes on you will discover new characters that can join you some require a conversation with a certain person while others are won in more unique ways.
Try and Get as many characters to join as possible either as back ups or units who can really help as you go through the game.
The game has 28 chapters and should take 25 to 30 hours to complete the first time around, maybe more if you are playing at a higher difficulty.
The game has 2 possible endings so it is worth playing through twice.
The game feels very rewarding in that sense.
When you complete the game you unlock extras such as art gallary, sound track and trial maps to test you skill playing the game.
The game can be connected to a GameBoy Advance once completed but you need Fire Emblem the Scarred Stones on GBA to use it.
All you get is some extra art work though.

Graphics & Sound

The game uses graphics that as somewhat cel-shaded as much as I love the style I will admit that it is no where near as good as that of the Wind Waker.
The Cel-shading in the cut-scenes is amazing though.
As for sound the music effects in battles is great.
The Music is what I can only call amazing; the music is made to fit the mood of the game.
Energetic music when you are attacking, bad mooded music when the enemy attacks and others types of music made to fit the mood of the game weather it be a part of the games story that is emotional or a part that is in high sprits the game can fit the mood perfectly.

A great strategy RPG, another one of the lost gems of the GameCube.

+Great Story
+Rewarding to play
+You will grow to love the characters.
+Battle system works.

-Some characters are a waste of space
-Same can be said for some of the special weapons
-Can be frustrating.


quick note: This review was different to all the other reviews I had done and I don't every see myself writing like this ever again.

Quackshot Mega Drive review

Back in the late 1980's and early 1990's Nintendo were making deals with developers to make games exclusively for their consoles, in other words games like Mega man on Nintendo could not be ported to other systems, because of this Nintendo dominated the gaming industry and everyone else was left with a lack of must have games on their systems. Not wanting to fall behind Sega made similar deals, but instead of making deals with video game developers to make their games exclusive to Sega's system, Sega decided that they could do a better job themselves, so in the end they started making deals with Animation Company's like Disney and Toei Animation.
The result games like Castle of Illusion, Last Battle (Known in Japan as fist of the North Star), and Quackshot.

Single Player

Developed by SEGA AM7 Quackshot follows Donald Duck on his quest to find the lost treasure of King Garuzia, the old-time ruler of the Great Duck kingdom after he finds a map belonging to Scrooge McDuck, forgetting that he had a date with Daisy, Donald fly's off promising to get her something special. Join Donald along with his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie as they go on a world wide trip to find the lost treasure, just watch out for Pete and his gang of thugs.


Quackshot just like every other 16-bit Disney game is a side scrolling adventure game. The game has similar controls to other Disney games on the Mega Drive, prime examples being the Mickey Mouse games where the A button runs, the B button attacks, and the C button jumps. Just like the Mickey Mouse games you have a health bar that goes down when you take a hit, the health bar can be refilled by eating food, there are several foods in the game but only two refill your health bar (Ice cream fills one portion and the chicken fills the entire thing), I'll tell you about the others later. You also have ammo for your gun. You have three different weapons, a plunger gun, a popcorn gun (the third food), and a bubble gun. The plunger gun is the standard weapon for the game, it doesn't kill enemies, and it stuns them. The plunger gun is also upgradeable. You also have access to the popcorn gun from the start but that needs ammo to use, which is a problem because the popcorn gun eats up ammo, five bullets per shot so be carful how you use it.
The bubble gun is my least favourite out of the three guns, this one also uses ammo, that isn't a problem with this gun because each shot only takes one bullet, the problem is its use as a weapon, the gun is said to be the most powerful in the game but it is really slow so you have to shoot enemies at point blank range for it to always hit, besides that it is fairly useful for destroying obstacles.
Actually I lie the bubble gun isn't the biggest destructive force in your arsenal the peppers (the fourth food) are, you don't mess with Donald after he eats peppers, next to the health bar is Donald's temper bar, as you eat peppers Donald gets more and more angry, after you've ate five peppers Donald will become so pissed off that he will destroy all in his path in a blind rage, he even does his trade Terex syndrome tantrum, nice.
The game lets you visit several interesting places including Duckburg, Mexico, and the South Pole, all of the areas are varied, and none of them are the same.
Now on the games short comings, there isn't much to complain about in this game the only thing I see being a problem with this game is the many try and die moments that plague the game as it progresses. You will use up your three lives a lot, but then again the game gives you unlimited continues (questionable but not problematic) so this shouldn't be a problem, the only other problem is the lack of save/password feature so the game has to be played and completed in one go, also the game may seem a bit slow paced for some.
As you progress through the game you receive key items that are vital for unlocking new areas and getting closer to the treasure.
In all Quackshot is very good Mega Drive adventure that is full of ideas and moments that are taken straight out of the Indiana Jones movies (The costume and plot are dead giveaways, there's even a bit that rips-off the leap of faith out of the Last Crusade).
As for the games length, well that is entirely dependable on your skill, thanks to the unlimited continue and lack of save the game can take you hours to complete.

Graphics and Sound

The graphics on this game are exceptional for their time, it's almost like watching a Disney cartoon. You'd be surprised what can be done on a 4-Meg Mega Drive cart.
Just like the graphics the music is pretty good too, it flows well and is quite ear pleasing despite being on the Mega Drive (a console that wasn't famous for it's sound that's for sure) well the music is good it's no Duck Tales (in other words it doesn't stick in your head like a pike).

Just like every other Sega/Disney game Quackshot is good, as good as the film franchise it spoofs.

+ Great visuals
+ Good music
+ Good platforming gameplay
+ Good story
+ Can be played by anyone

- A lot of try and die
- No replay value


Shenmue II Xbox Review

Taking place after the events of the first game Shenmue II is the second chapter in Yu Suzuki's (unfinished) Shenmue series.
The game sees you once again play the role of Ryo Hazuki who is on a quest to avenge his father's death and uncover the mysteries of the Phoenix Mirror (check out Shenmue if you want the back story).

Single Player

The game takes place straight after Shenmue, sadly Shenmue was never ported to the Xbox luckily though it is still possible to catch up and get into the story.
Shenmue II comes with an extra DVD entitled Shenmue the Movie.
Shenmue the Movie is a feature Length film made using Shenmue's game engine, the movie goes over all of the important bits of Shenmue so that you can get straight into Shenmue II.
Being honest Shenmue does make a fairly enjoyable film, I am impressed by the fact that they managed to fit the entire game into a feature length film.
Now if Shenmue the Movie doesn't do it for you then you can always watch the Shenmue Digest Movie that features in Shenmue II.
Shenmue II uses the same game engine as Shenmue so the two games are fairly similar.
Unlike Shenmue this game takes place in China instead of Japan so there are going to be some changes from the first because the countries are fairly different.


Shenmue II uses the same game engine as Shenmue so the games play more or less the same. It includes just about every feature that was in Shenmue.
Shenmue II is a bit of a mixed bag, first off all it is an adventure game you run around everywhere talking to people trying to find out what to do and where to go next.
Shenmue is also a fighting game the game is filled with fight sections that play just like the Virtua Fighter games (which is no surprise seeing how Yu Suzuki is Virtua Fighter's creator), which is great because Virtua Fighter is one of the best fighting games out there .
The other gameplay mechanic that Shenmue is well known for are the QTE's (Quick Time Events), a feature that is common in many modern games (resident evil 4 being a prime example).
The last feature is mini games, Shenmue is full of mini games, they come in two forms, your standard mini games like doing a part time job for money, the other type of mini games are arcade machines located in Shenmue II, the arcade machines let you play Sega classics such as Out Run, Hang On, and After Burner, normally you have to play to play them but there are free ones located within the game try and find them if you can. The games are ported more or less perfectly, I have played several ports of these Sega classics and these have to be some of the best ports out there.
Well the game is great and does everything right there is one thing that bothered me at first, the controls.
Playing an adventure game on Xbox you'd think that you'd control movement with the left control stick, after all that is what we use it for, but no instead we use the D-Pad for movement and the control sticks for camera control.
I have nothing against the D-Pad but it can make the movement awkward at first but after as while you get used to it but are can be a pain when for example climbing a spiralling stairwell.
Speaking of Xbox features this version of the game features two things that the Dreamcast version didn't have, the first is Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound (hooray for better sound quality), the other feature is a snap-shot camera so that we can take screen shots of the game, I would show you some but sadly I have no way of getting the pictures off my Xbox.
Back in the day Shenmue's genre was described simply as "life", Shenmue is the game of life, this game is just like real life, time moves realistically it gets brighter and darker as the day goes on just like in real life, I know, I know you are thinking "so what that has been in plenty of games" well play Shenmue or Shenmue II and you will understand straight away.
Another life like feature is the weather, the weather changes just like in real life clouds gather and it starts raining, the sky clears and it becomes sunny.
Shenmue II was one of the games that pushed the boundaries between art and games. Shenmue II is just like a movie it has a good plot, great dialog, likeable characters and decent acting, something that a lot of games try to have today.
Just like in real life one thing you need is money, money if very important you need it if you want to progress in the game, there are several ways to earn money, you can get a job, you can gamble, and you can sell stuff at pawn shops.
The money its self is used to rent a place to sleep, buy drinks and toys, play games, get into areas, buy maps and many other things.
Normally adventure games tend to be quite big but this is no normal adventure game, this game is huge there is so much to see and do.
In all Shenmue is an incredible experience, you will find it hard to put the controller down.
For what it is the game is really, really big, though saying that the Dreamcast version was on 4 disks.

Graphics and Sound

The only thing that lets this game down is the graphics, they looked amazing on the Dreamcast but on the Xbox they don't really stand out as well, but saying they are still really good.
The games soundtrack is still great, everything goes together well, and in the game each area has its own music.

If you haven't played this make sure you do it is a classic.
Just a shame that it is a cliff hanger, ten years on gamers are still waiting for Shenmue III, make it happen Sega!

+Great Story
+Brilliant Dialog
+Very Life Like
+Really good Sega Classics ports
+Great Fighting System

-Still No Shenmue III after 10 years
-Not everyones cup of tea


Halo Combat Evolved PC Review.

In all fairness I would be insulting your intelligence if I started to brag about how good Halo on Xbox was, "Oh its ground breaking blah blah blah".
But I'm not here to talk about that I am here to review the PC port of Halo.
Now normally with FPS games they are released on PC's first and consoles later, which makes sense seeing how PC is the home of the genre.
But every now and then you get games like Halo that decide to do it the other way round. Since then a trend has started where console games come out first and PC last, which is a shame for all those people who spend a killzillon quid on computer hardware, so that they can play the latest games in the highest quality.
Anyway Halo was released as a launch title for the Xbox back in 2002.
In all fairness at the time the Xbox was the underdog console, most people were use to a market of Sony, Nintendo and Sega. But sadly in 2001 Sega decided to drop out of the console race because it became apparent that they stood no chance against the incredibly popular PS2, not to mention the Nintendo Game Cube was on its way, and let's not forget the Xbox either.
Anyway enough of that on to the game itself.

Single Player
The game shares the same single player campaign as the Xbox version.
The game follows the war between Earth and what I can only describe as an alien religious cult. This cult is known as the covenant, now there are two types of covenant, Grunts who are very small and feeble, and then there are the elites, these guys are fairly tall and they put up a good fight.
In Halo you play the role of a solider known as the Master Chief, the Master Chief is unlike other soldier he wears a suit of armour that protects him from enemy fire, he is also incredibly strong, in fact he is on the par with the covenant elites (who are a lot stronger than the Human Marines).
Anyway like I said the single player campaign here is the same as the one in the Xbox version there are no extra levels or anything like that.


The Xbox version of Halo did get some good feedback for its multiplayer mode. Because the multiplayer was so good people started to call it a modern Goldeneye, sadly through the multiplayer for Halo was missing something that past console FPS games had as a feature, online play (For example Quake 3 on Dreamcast was known to have good online play, saying that through online for the Dreamcast wasn't cheap).
Anyway as you'd expect from a PC game there is online play and it is very, very good, it features all 13 maps from the Xbox version of Halo plus 6 new ones, that's 19 maps in total.
The PC version of Halo also features game modes that weren't in the Xbox version of Halo.
In all the multiplayer is worth the time and it does add a few hours to the games lifespan.

The game still has the ideals and mechanics that made the Xbox version a hit, you still have the shield to protect you from damage, you still have the easy to use grenades, you still have the cool vehicles, and you still have tea bagging.
The game has your standard keyboard controls W,A,S,D to move, space to jump, and left click to shoot so I'll move on to the other stuff.
First let's try the aiming, for starters you are using the mouse so you would expect it to be better, the good news is that the mouse does give you better aiming than the normal gaming joy pad.
On the Xbox version the grenades were easy to use all you had to do was press the left trigger, as you would guess this has become a standard with most FPS games today, here grenades are just as easy to use, all you have to do is right click to throw a grenade.
Another thing worth mentioning is the weapon switching, to switch weapons you press the Tab key witch is different to most FPS games where you would press the number keys to switch weapons, but then again you are only allowed to hold two weapons at a time so I can see where they were coming from.
There isn't much more for me to say really this is a really good port it takes everything that was in the Xbox version and improves on it.
As for the difficulty it lets you choose from easy to hard (which is fair enough because not everyone is good at FPS).
The difficulty effects things like enemy AI, if you have the game on a low setting there will be fewer enemies and they will be easier to kill, but if you set the difficulty high then there will be more enemies and they will take a lot more to go down.
Be careful what difficulty you choose have it too high and you will drop dead every few seconds, but if you have it too low then you will breeze through the game and find it boring.
One thing that I did really like about the game was its ability to create tension, the game is also full of moments that burn themselves into your memories for years to come.
In all the game takes about 10 hours to complete (add a few more hours if you play it online), the game features several levels all of which are different, in all there are only a few levels that you won't like.

Graphics and Sound

Playing the game on the highest setting I didn't notice much of a difference, in all the graphics are very similar to the Xbox version only with better textures and a higher resolution.
The music is great the game has a piece that fits just about every scene.

While it is an improvement over the Xbox version it really doesn't stand out much as on the PC due to its huge library of FPS games.

+ Same Great Gameplay
+ Improved Graphics
+ Some nice extras
+ Good Online play
+ Very Good Single Player

- Doesn't stand out as much on PC
- Can be very try and die later on.


Sonic The Hedgehog Sega Master System Review.

Most of you here have probably played Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive (Genesis if you're American) and loved it growing up.
But did any of you know that there was a version of the game made for the Sega Master System. Yes that's right the game that was made to boost Sega's 16-bit console sales in the bit wars was on an 8-bit console.
So how does it do compared to its 16-bit counterpart?

Not much can be said for this game play wise it was made to be just like the 16-bit version, the games controls are the same as the 16-bit game as well.
All I can do is point out what is different about this version.
This version of Sonic the Hedgehog does feature some game mechanics that are different to that of the 16-bit version.
For starters the level design and zones are different, the only zone in this game that is in the Mega Drive version is the Green Hill Zone.
The game has 6 zones in total, each zone made up of 3 acts. The 3rd act is always a boss battle, sadly though the 3rd zone never has any rings in so it is a test of skill.
The last big differences are:
The world map that pops up each time you start a stage.
The bonus stages.
And the chaos emeralds, in this game the emeralds are not found in the bonus stages, instead they are hidden in the main stages, the other problem with the chaos emeralds is that there are only 6 of them in the entire game. Besides the chaos emerald aren't important in this game, it isn't like in the 16-bit version where you get a secret ending if you manage to collect them all, no all it does is give you extra points when you complete the game.

Graphics and sound
I'll be fair to the graphics are very good for what they are, this game is a good port.
The music in this game is good but no where near as memorable as the music in the Mega Drive version.

I'll be honest, it's no where near as good as the Mega Drive version but that is to be expected. Still it's a very good master system game.
If you want this you can buy it on wii shop for 500 points.

+It tries to look like the original and succeeds
+It plays just like the original
+One of the best games on the master system

-Not as good as Mega Drive Version
-You can out run the screen and skip the stage


quick note: I recently found out that this was the last master system game released in North America, in europe the last master system game was released in 1995 (or so I have been told).

Off loading some old stuff.

Quick story: I used to write for a website called europe-nintendo, it was the place where I stared writing, I have recently decided to quit the writers job as the site is more or less dead so I will be posting all my old reviews and features.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

This is Jim Sterling's article on Destructoid and I'm going to argue against it. Pt.2

Part 2.

Fanboys and fundies like to believe that sane, rational people are just as obsessed with consoles or religions as they are. Truth is, we don't really care and are just calling it how we see it, but the arrogance of fandamentalists is such that they want to make everything about them. Anything you write is just an excuse to "bash" them and their precious beliefs. Never mind the fact that they act like bullies themselves -- everybody is biased and has a personal vendetta against them and the corporation that they are in love with.

Depends if you are to go as far as clearly state that you think that such and such a console is the worse then you should expect some backlash from people who do not agree with you.
Just becuse you are "calling it how we see it" doesn't mean you are right, there are times where I have disagreed with people who called it as they saw it or called it as they thought everyone else saw it.
These people aren't bullies they are just idiots.
What doesn't help your opinion is that many times in the past I have seen cases where the said fandamentalists have been singled out and have been bullied, their reaction is to be expected and when that happens no one is the better man.

Be it gay marriage or abortion, fundamentalists love to impose their will on others who may not necessarily believe the same things they do. If THEY don't approve of gay marriage, then they'll do their best to make sure NOBODY can practice it. Again, it comes down to terror -- a fear that somebody who is not them will get their own way, and that if they do, it will somehow threaten their own sense of validity and security.

So you are saying that fanboys use terror to stop other people playing on other consoles.
They can't physically scare me or force me into selling my wii and 360 in order to get a PS3 now can they.

Review scores tend to be the gay marriage of fanboys. My favorite example, of course, is the Killzone 2 debacle, where anybody who dared give the game less than a 9 was thoroughly eviscerated by those who felt the game deserved better and therefore stomped down on anybody who disagreed. Despite the fact that they're not the only people in the world, these fandamentalists want everybody to bow down to them and how they think things should be run.

The same rule applied to anyone who dared give Sonic and the black knight more than a 7 but I happily gave it an 8.

You can rape a kid, but if you're wearing a big red hat, you'll get forgiven. That's what I've come to learn. I've also come to learn that you can release a billion firmware upgrades for the PSP and that's perfectly acceptable. Both fanboys and religious extremists have demonstrated that their respective leaders and say or do anything, no matter how stupid, and they will still command the loyalty of hundreds, who are more than prepared to justify, validate or otherwise absolve the leaders in question.

There is a clear difference between raping a child and bricking a console, one does no harm.

Just as many organised religions work to eradicate people who think for themselves and dare to question the sense of their actions, so too does fandamentalism turn its victims into mindless drones who impulsively defend any and all decisions their chosen company makes. It's amazing how some of these fanboys will defend the indefensible. From Red Rings to poor network infrastructures, there is always some excuse that threatens to break the laws of logic. Truly a religious experience.

I'd have to be a retard to have someone completely change my opinion on a subject that I am well informed in.
As said above there is a difference between hurting someone and bricking a console.

Just like most "mainstream" religions laugh at Scientology even though its backstory is just as insane as any other religion's origin, so too do fanboys have a contempt for other fanboys. PS3 loyalists think Xbox loyalists are ridiculous, and vice versa. They sidestep talk of their own ludicrous behaviour in order to poo on someone else who, to be honest, is acting the exact same way that they are.

There is evidence that support's the existence of Christ, there isn't much much evidence to support what a scientologist believes (yes we all saw that south park episode).
Again going back to sports teams, fans of one team can at times think that fans of another team are ridiculous, and vice versa.
"They sidestep talk of their own ludicrous behaviour in order to poo on someone else who, to be honest, is acting the exact same way that they are."

Perhaps it's an advanced form of self-loathing, where they know deep down how stupid they're being, so they find a near-perfect replica and call that stupid instead. In any case, many religions actively hate or distrust each other in the same way that various denominations of console fandamentalists hate or distrust each other. Can't we all just get along?

No. No we can't.

And here, I think, we come to the most important and salient point. Fact is, if you want to like your PS3 better than any other console, that's fine. If you want to believe in God, that's fine as well. It's an old cliché to say it, but if you don't bother anybody else with your business, then go do whatever you want. However, it's the extremists that make the rest of the crowd look bad. Christian fundamentalists make regular, nice Christians look like censorship-hungry, sixteen-kid-having hypocrites. Muslim fundamentalists make regular, decent Muslims look like terrorists who enjoy living in countries that they claim to despise.

I find that statement wrong and offensive and only because I know people who are very dedicated to their religion yet act nothing like the way which you just described them.
The I again I suppose those type of people don't exist across the pond.

Similarly, PS3 fanboys make all PS3 fans look like whining, crying teenagers who sign petitions over multiplatform games. Xbox 360 fanboys make regular 360 lovers look like Halo-obsessed frat boys who regularly bend over to accept a royal shafting from Microsoft. Both religious extremists and the newly crowned fandamentalists tar everything with the same brush.

You don't even have to be a fanboy to act like that, why are you needlessly criticizingpeople for being frat boys ect? If they think that Halo is the best gmew in the world then thats fine let them think that.

And that's why it's important to label them like cattle. Fandamentalists are what they are, and fandamentalists are what they'll remain. It also sounds pretty cool, don't you think?

People change, believe me they change, especially when they are in the age group that you have described.

Continued in part 3 (maybe).

This is Jim Sterling's article on Destructoid and I'm going to argue against it.

We've all seen fanboys before. Ranting and raving, upsetting themselves by pretending that other people are trying to upset them, feeling persecuted while happily persecuting others. Wait, did I just describe fanboys or religious fundamentalists? It's so hard to tell the difference sometimes.

No you just described a hypocrite.

In fact, the two groups are similar enough to be considered identical. The more I think about it, the more I feel that "fanboy" is not quite strong enough a word to describe the hardcore insanity of the average Sony obsessive, Microsoft loyalist or Nintendo worshiper. No, these people treat videogame consoles like some sort of twisted religion, and follow that religion with the blind devotion of a cultist.

The attitudes and act of the followers are similar but unlike religion the beliefs are not based on what is a mystery, there is no living person who around in the time of Jesus, there are many people who were around when Microsoft was founded.
Saying that a person treats video games like a religion is something that can be said for most past times, for example some people treat (for example) Liverpool football club as if it was of a greater importance, kinda like a *cough* religion.
There are also people who play games like Dungeons & Dragons religiously.

I hereby decree that console fanboyism should be considered a religion in and of itself, and those who subscribe to it? Why, they're religious fandamentalists. Read on as I explain why this decision should be written into American history. Oh, if you're the type of person who gets upset over religious criticism, no matter how tongue-in-cheek, I'll warn you now that you should just skip this article entirely.

All it's all well and good if you are an American.
I suppose that Microsoft are mormans, Nintendo are Orthodox Catholic and so on.
Console fanboyism is as much a religion as the Jedi kights, on wait.

There is no such thing as a belief, opinion or theory for a fanboy. Everything is black and white, where statements are either completely true or completely false. In very much the same way as a hardcore Christian or Muslim would pass off their belief system as unwavering truth, so too will PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 fanboys claim that their console is undeniably the greatest.

I'll give you that.

The burden of proof is not on these people, and that's mostly because there is no evidence to ever back up their claims. Their reason for believing is merely "because I decided this is real," and that apparently makes it real somehow. Rather than try to prove these facts of theirs, they will simply shout very loudly in the hopes that you'll be distracted or irritated enough to not press the issue and actually demand some evidence.

Again there is a difference, gaming history is still fairly recent we know the facts.
Religious history goes back serval years, we can not know all the facts nor can we prove the excistance of a god and so on.

There is no real reason for console fanboys to choose one inane concept of superiority over another. It's simply a case of "this is the system I bought first, therefore it's the best," in very much the same way as someone might say, "I was born a Catholic, therefore Catholicism is totally correct."

That's personal preferance at the end of the day, I still believe that the Game Cube was better than the xbox and PS2.

If you fall in love with somebody you've never met or interacted with in any way, most people would call you a crazy stalker and lock you up. However, if the somebody in question is called God, it magically isn't creepy anymore and you're allowed to continue having an imagined relationship with somebody whom you haven't even spoken to on Gtalk. This is, of course, very similar to people who have a demented fetish for consoles.

The guy is wrong here, unlike these people you never met the consoles give you enjoyment, people fall in love with gaming for a number of different reasons, calling it a weird fetish is like saying loving a sports team is a weird fetish.

Fanboys are clearly in love with their system of choice. They respond to criticism in the same way a man would respond to an attack on his girlfriend. The amount of time they spend talking about their preferred system, it's very clear that they have fallen in love and they want everybody to love it the same way they do. They jump to its defence in a heartbeat, regardless of the fact that it would never do the same thing for them. Same with a corporation like Sony or Microsoft, a company that doesn't give two poo poos about them, yet the fandamentalists will happily do PR work for them as if they somehow owe them such fealty.

If a man was to respond to an attack on his girlfriend he wouldn't use words.
An inanimate object wouldn't jump to defend a living being, neither would a plant.
The same sort of thing can be said about most brands, artists and/or musicians.

Being in love with an inanimate object is vaguely terrifying, and a clear sign of fandamentalism.

Talking to ones self is a sign of insanity yet I find myself doing it often.

Have you ever seen a religious debate with a fanatic? It's not pretty, let me assure you. Religious fundies don't like criticism, and since it's always far easier to attack than to defend one's belief system (mostly because, again, there's no evidence in existence to defend with), they will go on the warpath, wielding straw men like swords in an attempt to deflect any and all critique and turn it into an attack on the belief system of the critic.

You will find that most people respond to critism in the same way, and again I must stress that with gamong there is fact where with religion there is mystery.

Just look what happened when I merely suggested that Sony wasn't doing everything perfectly with the PlayStation Network. (Reference to article where Sterling made the point that Sony should sort out cheating on their servers and fanboys went mental in the comments section.) You'll notice that barely anybody who takes umbrage at my suggestion defends Sony's decision properly. Instead, the fandamentalists use personal attacks and insults in a pathetic attempt to get their point across. It's this unrelenting, absolutely unyielding refusal to accept any kind of criticism, however light, that is truly worrying. In very much the same way as religious extremists, fanboys are so insecure in their beliefs that they'll lash out at anything that threatens their fragile sense of righteousness.

The case you (the writer) decribed is putting the opinion of one person against the opinion of others, people may not agree what you have said (and there proberbly was some truth to it) but that doesn't meamn that they can't voice their opinion too, even if the opinion is ignorant, wrong or illogical.

It's my personal theory that anybody so willing to lash out at the slightest, most polite criticism is insecure in their faith. If you can't accept or at least tolerate a bit of critique, then your beliefs can't be as strong as you think they are. It's that "what if I am wrong? NO I CAN'T BE" mentality that fanboys subscribe to. They are terrified of being incorrect, and that terror is what drives them to bite and snarl like cornered dogs.

As I at the start the people you describe are not all fanboys many are idiots, there are many who react like this to any kind of criticism.

It's amusing to think that some Christians, by far the most numerous demographic in the most powerful nation on Earth, feel victimised. Just look at Bill O'Reilly, who claims that there is an "attack" on the wholesome Christian festival of Christmas just because some people say "Happy Holidays." Just look at groups like God Hates Fags, who love to say outrageously evil things about homosexuals yet somehow act like they're the ones being bullied. Take the Christians who have told me personally that they're sick of being the victims all the time, even though atheists are the minority group and American surveys claim that atheists are the least trusted people in the country.

irrelevant. Again there are many people who feel victimized, it doesn't have to be down to religion. Many people who were born in britian feel that they are the victims because they can't get a job wheres people from overseas can (though I am not saying they are the victims because not every person is the same, some deserve to work, others don't).

As I explained in my "PS3 fanboys are the worst" article, there is a similar persecution complex among fanboys. Although it is indeed worse among PS3 Fandamentalists, it can apply to other console cults as well. This is most evident by the use of the word "bias," a term that has almost lost all meaning thanks to the people who have overused it to the point of irrelevance. Whenever a writer criticizes a console, an exclusive game, or a company, they are accused of "bias." Fandamentalists live in a twisted fantasy realm where everybody who is not them is an enemy with a compulsive desire to victimise them and destroy their way of life.

Now you're being bias to the PS3 Fanboys by singling them out as the worse. As far as this gaming gen goes the PS3 could easily come out being the best console by the end of it, the last two gens show that hence why the PS3 fans are so convinced that their console is the best.

Continued in part 2.

Monday, 11 January 2010

They rest of the games.

I said I'd get around to the Xbox 360 games so here we go.

Resident Evil 5
I played the demo for this game when it was released last year and I hated it, I couldn't stand the way that Capcom had messed with the controlls and the step back that had been taken back after Resident Evil 4. Two steps forward, one step back (we stick together cos opposites attract, I'm sorry about that awful joke).
Playing it again I had my feet on the ground, there was no hype and I wasn't expecting it to blow me away. After over comming huge disappointment I dug deeper into the game to find a enjoyable action game, it's got nothing on Resident Evil 4 but on its own it is still a good game.
You can get it for a tenner at most places.

Prince Of Persia
I remember played the trilogy years ago and enjoying it even through the games were getting weaker as they went on. Thankfully this game takes a step in the right direction and the franchise is now back in top form.
The game isn't very long and there is next to no replay value but for a fiver it was a brilliant purchase, even at a tenner it is still a brill game.

The King Of Fighters XII
I've been playing King of fighters for a number of years now and this is a decent update to the popular fighting series by SNK, the gameplay is better than ever making this one of the best fighters around for gameplay. The ghame is let down by a huge problem though, there is next to no content in the game, you have the arcade mode, vs, online and thats it, no survival, time attack or anything like that. To make matters worse there are very few characters, KOF games are famous for their huge character roster but this game has the smallest in KOF history.
You can buy it but you won't get much for your money.

I have got a tonne of other 360 games but I haven't played them yet so they don't get a mention sadly.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Happy New Year

Ohh... haven't updated this in a while.
Anyway thanks to christmas and school cancellations due to snow and ice I have had a lot of time to play some games.
I've gotten my xbox live account back up and I have started to catch the call of duty bug, I'm not playing it non stop but I am playing it more than I normally would.
I really should get back to doing full game reviews but for now I'll just give you am quick summary of some of the games I have played.

Muramasa the Demon Blade (wii)
I wasn't huge on the game at first but the more I played it the better it got, the game provides a lot of challange to fans of 2D action games. It uses RPG elements such as level up, equipment and huge maps. It kind of reminds me of the Castlevania games with its action RPG style gameplay only this is hack and slash.
Would I recommend it? Yes, yes I would. If your looking for some new wii games to play get this.

A Boy and His Blob (wii)
A remake of a 20 year old NES game A Boy and His Blob is a puzzle platformer that reqires you to get from A to B by making you blob to transform into objects such as ladders, trampolines and bowling balls.
The game is much more forgiving than the NES original, the level's have many check points so you don't lose much ground when you die, to add to that you get unlimited lives.
The game is a worthy purchase and can be bought for £15 at most places including game and gamestation.

Onechanbara Bikini Zombie Slayers (wii)
I got this new for £5 at gamestation, when i got it I was expecting a decent hack and slash affair, nothing amazing but still fun.
The game itself is good but it is let down by one huge flaw, the controls.
In the game you attack by waggling the wiimote, it's almost as bad as in Twilight Princess which is a shame considering the games genre.

Boom Blox Bash Party (wii)
This is a lot like the first one, if you liked that get this. Not much more to be said.

Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles (wii)
If you didn't like Umbrella Chronicles then you will most likely not like this game either.
I quite enjoyed this game, most reviews complained that the game messes with the already messed up Resident Evil cannon and that the shaky camera makes it impossible to aim, but thats ok I like that, its a change from your House of the dead, time crsis type of game play where you are always in one place when firing.
It's worth a go and is very lengthy as far a shooters go.

Let's Tap (wii)
I've noticed that Sega have been experimenting with the wii publishing and developing all kings of games, out of all their expeimental wii titles (and there are a lot of them) this stands out as it is the most unique.
The idea of the game is to do things by tapping of a box.
The game is packaged with several different mini games, one mini game like a track and field sort of thing where you run by tapping the box (as opposed to tapping buttons) out of all the games this would have to be my favourite because it works the best.
Other games involve things like tapping to a rhythm (a bit like Donkey Konga) and a gme where you have to take a tower apart 9it's a lot like Jenga).
Out of all the games I played on it there was one I was unable to get my head around, there is a game where you control a guy flying froun the screen avoiding things, come think of it the game reminds me of balloon fight on NES only with less control over the guy.
In all it isn't bd and it is worth buying. I got my copy for a tenner on HVM's website.

I have more games to talk about but I'll get to them later seeing how they are all on 360.