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All reviews - Games (3)

Mario Kart DS review

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 13 October 2012 09:33 (A review of Mario Kart DS)

It's Mario Kart. End of review. Oh, you've never played Mario Kart before? You're a f*cking liar. My grandma has played Mario Kart, and she died before the NES was even released. My point is, you know what MK is and this is all of that, just done a little bit better. On the plus side that means a new bullet bill item that will mysteriously never pop up for whatever reason, (upon beating the game I only received it once and saw it used three times), some new courses (with some of the later ones being very cool), a new multiplayer battle game called shine runners that I personally prefer over the traditional balloon popping one (though that is still there too), several new battle courses, and lots of fun missions to play to test your skills. Yay for run on sentences!

Mario Kart is great, by the way. I hate racing games and still love Mario Kart, and I know several people this applies to. That's not to say there are no faults. Blowing up your balloons with the mic in battle mode seems like a good idea on paper, but ruined it for me, as it doesn't consistently work well and just becomes a hassle. Playing through the cups can also be a bit annoyingly formulaic, as you pretty much know that if you get less than third place on any race you might as well start over, since your opponents will almost always land in the same spots (a long time tiff of mine with the series). There's also the fact that, while there are many unlockables, getting them all essentially requires playing through repeatedly on higher difficulties, and most of the unlockables just aren't all that great.

In the end Mario Kart is the same great game you love with some fun new additions, and one minor setback (unless you like blowing up the balloons that is). So if you love MK you should absolutely play this, but be warned, there's really not that much different here. Half the courses are even taken from previous games. Now I took that as awesome, making it almost like a best of title, but some may take it as lazy recycling. It's all up to you, I guess, but I can if nothing else guarantee that you will almost certainly at least have a good time.

SOUND- ****
GAMEPLAY- **** 1/2
REPLAY- ***1/2
FUN- *****

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Breath of Death VII: The Beginning review

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 4 October 2012 01:24 (A review of Breath of Death VII: The Beginning)

To truly appreciate BOD VII you have to understand what you're getting into. For one this is the first and only title in it's "series". That should tell you something right there. BOD is a parody of old school NES era RPGs, and a damn good one. It is filled with jokes and obscure references, mostly to old school (pre 1996) RPGs, some to other games such as Resident Evil 4. It pokes fun at itself often and has no fear of breaking fourth wall. Even the plot and setting are a bit ridiculous. Set in a post WW3 world where everyone is now undead, your party consists of a skeleton, ghost, vampire and zombie. Oh, but the vampire is a "tech girl", and the zombie is a french speaking prince. Also be prepared to find humorous enemies like "cursed car", "lab coat", and the dreaded "Duck Dragon".

This isn't all to say BOD isn't a real game. In fact it may surprise you with some of it's modern, at times innovative gaming conventions. Highlights include the ability to chat with team mates (ala Phantasy star IV), pick fights from the menu, kill all the monsters in an area, use team up techniques, skill trees (admittedly simple ones mind you), a combo system, enemies that grow stronger the longer the battle goes, auto HP recovery after battles, and MP recovery based on your performance. The point is, BOD is a fun game that will inspire some giggles from RPG vets, and supply some good old fashioned JRPG gameplay with interesting gameplay mechanics thrown in, without trying to reinvent the genre like, say, FFXIII. Mind you the story is throw away (and the game knows it), and the game itself is short (roughly 6 hours). There is a fun score attack mode unlocked after you win but that is about it.

All in all, BOD VII is a must buy at only $1 for anybody into old school RPGs with a sense of humor. It won't change your life, but you'll be damned happy you played it, and your money will be helping one of the better indie developers out there.

SOUND- ***1/2
REPLAY- **1/2
STORY- **1/2
FUN- **** 1/2
OVERALL- *** 1/2

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Bastion review

Posted : 5 years, 9 months ago on 26 September 2012 06:42 (A review of Bastion)

There is no such thing as a perfect game. Bastion, however, comes damn close. Bastion is a marriage of pure old school game play with modern storytelling innovations. Most of the hype for the game revolves around the latter. There has been much said about it's gorgeous visuals, beautiful soundtrack and adaptive narrator who narrates your every action with a raspy, soulful voice. What hasn't been properly addressed, however, is the gameplay.

Bastion is a hardcore action RPG with hack and slash gameplay (that is surprisingly heavy on ranged combat mind you) dressed up with RPG customization. You may choose from eleven different weapons and over thirty unique special skills, as well as a variety of passive boons acquired while leveling up. The game also has a light hint of Actraiser (always a good thing) as you return to your hub and rebuild it, deciding in what order and what locations to put the various buildings necessary for customizing your experience.

The game features a surprising amount of optional content, with 12 "proving ground" challenges where you can test your proficiency with the various weapons and earn new items and skills. Then there are the three optional "who knows where" stages that test you against a gauntlet of enemies, in return revealing more of the plot and giving some extra experience. This is all not to mention the vigils, which act as in game achievements with monetary rewards; and the idols, which allow you to tweak the games difficulty in a number of ways in return for bigger rewards.

Now I must address the plot, as I've seen some reviewers complain about it, while others have worshiped it. In truth the plot is a bit forgettable for most of the game, though it gets good at the end game, with the last sequence actually making my eyes well up a little. Plus, there are two endings available! At the end of the day, the story could be complete sh*t, but it would still be very enjoyable due to the amazing way it is presented with the narrator.

All in all Bastion is an amazing game with five star gameplay and six star presentation. It will deliver ten to fifteen hours of solid gameplay, and a surprising amount of incentive to play through twice due to new game plus, two endings and several challenges you probably won't complete the first run, and with the customizable difficulty and new perks opened up the second time through you won't get bored. Oh, and did I mention it is only fifteen dollars? So go get it, now. Bastion is the fulfillment of the long standing promise that indie gaming will deliver us high quality, unadulterated games with the purity of old school gaming and the kinds of innovation that big league publishers are scared to try out. My highest recommendation.

SOUND- *****
REPLAY- ****
STORY- ***1/2
FUN- *****
OVERALL- *****

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