Tales of Symphonia 2, a fail of a sequel.

It's Bob again with my second last post here until further notice. This is going to be a very hateful post, I warn you. The reason for such is that Fory wanted be to do a post about a game I really disliked. Now I dislike few games, but TOS2 as I'll call it, is, in many people's opinions, an utter disgrace to the tales series. Now, you could bring up Tales of The World, but that doesn't count. This is the sequel to the original TOS, which was an amazing game, yet for some reason, Namco screwed us all. Onto the hating.

Story/characters- This is what all good RPGs have; a good story, and deep or realistic characters. TOS2 screws that in the face. First off, your character is a wimp, and I don't use that word lightly. Here's an example of your character, Emil's pitifulness.
Marta: (The other protagonist.) I love you Emil~ Swoon~
Emil: I..I'm sorry... *Cries.*
Yes, this almost happened. Now another thing, in the original, it was a fairly light game with a bit of racism toward the in-game people by the other people in-game. TOS2 however, starts off by the original protagonist sacking a town and burning it, not to mention a heavy amount of discrimination between the two warring groups. Now all of a sudden it's a dark game. Way to go Namco. The plot is just...sad, and most people predicted what was going to happen before the characters did, myself included. Another thing is that the only good line in the whole game was: "You *$&%@!" Yup. And despite all the new characters I only liked two, Decus, and Alice, because Emil's pathetic and Marta wants to talk to her father who tried to get her executed. I give it a...3/10

Gameplay-Well, the original Symphonia battle system has seen some tweaks from Abyss, namely the free run and mystic artes, while keeping the unison attack gauge. if you didn't understand what I just said, here's a rundown: You fight on a 3D plane, locked onto an enemy in 2D. By pressing Z you can break the 2D plane and move anywhere. You attack, use specials and unison attacks to destroy your enemy. In Dawn of the New World though, the game seems to lack a certain element of strategy. While in previous games you had to use a little strategy to block and defend, here it degrades into a button masher, where you just press the attack button a lot, and use mystic artes whenever the gauge is full. It feels a little more mindless here than in other games. Speaking of which, the meter fills up too fast. It's not unusual to get a Mystic Arte every battle, which is overkill. Yup. I never had any problem expect for one boss who was nigh invincible.
A noticeable change in gameplay is the forming of pacts between monsters. After you defeat your opponents and meet certain requirements, you can make a pact with a monster and have it join you. A bit like Shin Megami Tensei's games in fact... All in all, the battle system actually got worse. I'll give it a 4/10 just because I found it bearable.

Graphics-Going from a soft, decent cel-shading to a realistic style just screams agony. What were once colorful and easy on the eyes levels are now dreadfully lifeless. The most obvious change is the lack of color. Where did it all go? We have muted colors everywhere, and brown and gray dominate the color spectrum. The game takes on a much darker tone, and loses a lot of it's charm. There are a couple cool effects, but most of it borders on boring.
If there's anything good here, it's the animation, which is top notch. It's obvious motion capture was used here, and it's used to great effect. Now if only the rest of the game was up to par...
The lack of color leaves a muted, barren wasteland for your eyes to see. Grrreat. I cringe when I just think about the graphics...

Audio- The sounds are awful and cringe-inducing. And Namco screwed the voice acting. The voice acting is all over the place. Most of the cast has been re-dubbed, which is both good and bad. Some, like Colette, have the same voice actor and still sound great. Most of the cast changes still sound very good, such as Regal, Genis and Raine. Some voice actor changes leave me wanting the original guys, like Zelos and Sheena. Then there's Lloyd, who sounds nothing like Scott Menville and nothing like the character. Shame on you, Namco. 3/10

Overall- 3/10 My final opinion, and this is the only way I can put it, so please forgive me Fory, is this; Namco @#$%ed what could have been a great sequel, and made me lose my faith in them. I'm more sad than angry that such great potential was wasted... Well, tomorrow me and Fory are doing a co-op post about A legend of Zelda game. Ahh, sweet nostalgia...

Posted by Utopiasaur | at 8:24 PM | 2 Guys talking about me

Golden Sun: The Lost Age

Or as I like to call it, the game that should be lost!

To summarize the plot, You are four little kids who have Psyenergy. Which is basically this game's equivalent of Magic. You have to light four lighthouses (two of which you lit in the last game) to bring up the "Golden Sun", which is said to bring about an age of peace. So with your mostly silent protagonist, and cranky elder Kraden, (who gets mad when you call him old) you must seek out as much trouble as you can get yourself into. Including pirates, stealing a ship from an ancient culture of sea-faring people, (Kind of like Atlanteans) knocking out innocent guards/people because they get in your way, Building a giant trident by stealing three precious relics from culture, throwing them into a fire, then getting your head roared off by a dragon thingie. (Finally some Karma...) and all for what purpose? Bringing peace back to the world? You just beat up over 50 people, 1000 animals, and ruined the dreams of an aspiring shaman. YOU CAUSED THE DISRUPTION IN PEACE!! I mean, you don't see anyone else walking around the overworld map decapitating wolfs, and crushing poor little imps, do you?

That wasn't really a plot... but beside that.
Here is my review!

Graphics: Well, even for a Game Boy game, this has quite poor graphics. I suppose I can't say anything bad, considering most of the Game Boy games are ported from the SNES/NES. But there is a lot of better games graphically. Like Spyro. -->
But it does have some cool art during battles, including Psyenergy powers. The charecters look cool as well. Besides, on almost every RPG the overworld sprites always look crappy. So... 5.5/10 for the graphics.

Audio: The Voice acting is non-existent. It is just the cliche "bleep-bloop" thing in most games. That works fine with me. The music isn't the best I have ever heard, but it has some cool, dramatic music, for the boss battles. I suppose that is the only music, but there is some sad, and happy music in certain parts. So my overall rating for the audio is a fair 7/10. Same as Psychonauts.

Structure/Plot: The game, as you can guess, is an RPG. I explained the plot before, so I won't be doing that again. As cliche, your character says almost nothing (Except yes or no of course) throughout the entire game, except at one point, where he says a single, solitary, word. "Why?"
when some crazy dudes are explaining a system where you take the thing in a treasure chest, and then out something back in of yours. Frankly, I prefer "Bursting into a newlyweds bedroom, searching through their drawers, and then leaving." It's kinda funny actually. Near the end of the game, you fight an INSANELY tough boss, only to realize you killed one of the main characters parents, just morphed into dragon form. If I didn't just put so much effort into killing that @&%! piece of crap, then it may have been sad.

As you level up, you learn new Psyenergy. Some of it is pretty cool, but others are just useless. Like ones that boost your P. Defense. (Psyenergy Defense) I don't care! The other form of power are Djinn (Pronounced G-knee) who grant you upgrades in strength, and defense and stuff. I think it is a pretty stupid system myself, but I guess it works, considering the boosts are more significant than Leveling up itself. They grant you specific powers depending on the specific one, when you use enough of them, they grant you the ability to summon some really cool looking gods and Monsters. But using them decreases the stats it gave you, which I found annoying mid-battle.

While I am on the topic of battle, let me talk about what is really annoying about the battle system. If the monster/person/weird sea crab thing spawned from the evil in your heart dies, any other attackers to that person will defend. Annoying the first time, annoying the next 300 times you do it.

The puzzles in the game are really fun at times though. Using your powers to do certain stuff, to unlock certain things, to fight a battle dropping a certain item you need, then to use that to escape the dungeon quicker than normal, always sparked my happiness. Some of them are tougher, but not unreasonably tough. All the powers get their fair share in their own respective dungeons. (Although I kinda thought 'Move' was used a bit too often) It's kinda cool too, by halfway through the game you get your old party form GS1 back. They instantly swap out every time your whole party dies. I, myself didn't play GS1, but everyone besides Mia seems cool to me. (Mia is too... nice, considering the many ways she knows how to kill you. And frankly, her picture creeps me out) Issac, of course doesn't talk, being protagonist of GS1. Kraden talks too much, Garet doesn't talk enough, and Jenna is just plain boring.

Taking all these facts into account, I can't give this game anything higher, or lower, than A mediocre, and defiantly fair...

*Epic dramatic music plays in background*

7, out of 10. *sigh* Here comes the hate mail from GS fans. (Kidding, they won't find this site hopefully)

Well, this has been Forten042, and to you say Ciao for Now!

Posted by Forten042 | at 5:34 AM | 2 Guys talking about me

Muramasa: The Demon Blade...A History

Well hello there, it's Bob here for day two of reviewing games. Now, when I was deciding what games to review, I very quickly ruled some out, like TOS2, Bayonetta, FFXIII and the like. If I were to review TOS2 here, Fory wouldn't be happy... Anyways, after much thought and a pounding headache, I chose....Muramasa: The Demon Blade.

One of the main reasons I chose this game, was because it's very unique in my eyes, I'll get into that later however. It's made by Vanillaware. (I love the name of the company.)

Now for a short history lesson on the word, "Muramasa." Yes, it does seem a bit similar to masamune, but be warned, they are completely different. The story behind Muramasa is that he was an ancient sword-smith who was violent and close to being mad, (As in crazy.) and people said that his blades seemed to hunger for blood, caused their wielders to commit suicide and/or murder.
It waaaants yoooour blooood~

His blades fell out of favor with the Japanese government when Tokugawa Leyasu became shogun. Well, onto the review now!

Graphics- This is one of the main reasons I actually picked this game to review. the graphics are very unique, because they're hand drawn. And despite that fact, they're very well done. The background is beautiful, the characters look like they should in that time period, and the bosses...oh the bosses are works of art. I literally felt sad when I killed one of the bosses; it was this dragon like thing. All in all, I give it a 10/10 here.

Yes, I felt bad killing this...

Sound- Well, the sound isn't as god as the graphics, but at least it's not terrible. There's not much voice acting, though there is some and it's fairly good for the characters and what they look like. The music doesn't change too much, but it does change to suit the area. The boss music is very good though. I'd give it a...hm....6/10 good, but not nearly the best.

Controls- To me controls have always been one of the biggest factors to whether I like, or dislike a game. The controls can be frustrating at first, if you're not using a gamecube or classic controller, but they're very simple. 8/10.

Gameplay/plot- Ah, the biggie. The one that really matters. Now, Muramasa is split into two different stories; that of Kisuke, a young ninja who's being chased for a crime he committed of which he has no memory of, and Momohine, a young princess who became possessed by Jinkuro, a foul swordsmen. While Momohine and Kisuke cross paths, by the end, their stories are totally different than each other's. Both story lines are around 9-10 hours or so. There are three difficulties as well.The game play is fairly simple, and consists of a 2-D side-stroller in which you fight enemies and wander around if you wish to. The only thing preventing you from wandering is barriers which you need certain swords to destroy. You can forge swords as well, each is unique with it's own special attack. There are also two types of sword, long and short. Long swords are powerful and have a long reach, and short swords are fast and agile. It's a very addicting game, and the plots are very intriguing. 9/10

Finally, for the final overall rating... *Jeopardy music plays and Alex Trebek appears.* Wait...what...Alex Trebek?! Anyways, the final rating is....8/10!

Well, I hope you enjoyed my first review. i do believe Fory is doing Golden Sun tomorrow. Bye!

*I (Fory) pop in* Yep! Doing Golden Sun: The Lost Age tomorrow. Anyway, bye! *pops out*

Posted by Utopiasaur | at 3:00 PM | 1 Guys talking about me


Starting off with the first review for Game week, is a game that I hold very close to my laugh box. Psychonauts. Not before I start the "review" I'll just say that our (yes, our) opinions don't really count for anything, are not professional, and are mainly for the fun of ourselves. (we only have that one viewer anyway) Now, onto Psychonauts!

Despite a title of which bob could most likely think of 101 ways to make fun, then publish a book on it, It is a really interesting game. In Psychonauts, you play as a young boy, Raz. You run away from the circus to join a Summer camp for psychic children, like yourself. As you proceed through training, one of your fellow campers (the nut ball Dogen, Who talks to squirrels) has his brain stolen. This is not only the oddest progression through the game (finding childrens brains) but quite funny too, as Raz makes a witty remark every time a you pick up a brain. By the end of the game, you are traveling through mental world after mental world. From a weird, twisted (literally) town, to a spin-off a Risk game. All for insane inmates who have no clue who you are, are why you want their straitjacket. By the end, you must confront your worst fears, and overcome them, to win the battle in your own mind. Despite how dramatic that may sound, I can't help but laugh at a circus full of fat little kids, bunnies, and meat hooks.

Now begins my opinion. Starting with...

Graphics: The graphics for this game are quite well done for a cartoon styled PC/Xbox/PS2 game. It doesn't push the graphical capabilities of your graphics card, but it looks pretty nice. Nice enough to have me play it three times without once wincing at the poor graphics. (probably because i would too busy laughing...) It some interestingly well drawn figments, and memories. (I'll touch on those later) Overall, I'd give them a 8.5/10

Audio: The voice acting for the characters seems quite well matched to the look of the character. Especially with crazed Boyd Cooper and Fred Bonaparte, (Yes, as in Napoleon) to sweet little Lili and Sheegor. The music is just regular band, no famous rock bands, or anything like that. in fact no lyrics at all. The music is commonly set right in the worlds. Although I feel the Milkman Conspiracy could have used a little wackier music. But Sasha's, Mia's, and Oleander's (Camp instructors) worlds seem to have perfect score following them. I feel that Dramatic music before the Final Boss was just as dramatic as it needed to be before it would be taken seriously. And we all know that we couldn't have that happening. ;) In the overall, Pyschonauts' music gets a 7.0/10. You need wackier music Milkmen!

Structure/Plot: Considering it has it's plot based around taking back your fellow camp-mates brains away from a crazed dentist with a mechanical eye, who wants to strap them into a mental death tank and make them shoot down innocent civilians, it has to be good. "Luckily your insurance is going to cover it all!" The structure of the game is a platformer/action kind of style. You have to collect figments, emotional baggage, (literally, it is like, handbags, duffel bags, and hatboxes) Psi cards, Psi Challenge Markers, (which you can make with 9 Psi cards plus a Psi core bought from the Camp store) Emotional cobwebs, (again, literally) and Memory Vaults. (which are like.. Here I'll just show you a picture.) ------------------>
Inside the vaults are memories, as you would expect.
Anyway, These things increase your Rank. Every ten ranks (or 5 after 30) you get a New Psi power. After 30, you get upgrades for those Psi powers. So you, of course have too look quite hard for Everything in the Mental worlds. That means every figment. Take it form me, that is NOT fun. The farthest I have gotten without serious annoyance is 93 or so. With, erm... 97 I think.

Now this game has by far the funniest lines, and moments that I have ever seen in my history of gaming. Even surpassing Earthbound, and the Mother series. Throughout the entire Milkman Conspiracy level, you will be kept wondering. " Who is the Milkman?" and laughing out the outright paranoia of Boyd Cooper, and the Mailboxes that follow you. G-Men whom you will question, and Rainbow Squirts who you will punch. ( Stupid little brats...) It also presents the best quote in video game history since "You spoony bard!" or "A winner is you!". A line that can not (if you get it) have burst out laughing when anyway says something remotely close to it. " I am the Milkman." I line that you must see to understand. So here it is for you.

Cool isn't it? It's still funny to watch after all this time even. And now Bob knows where Milkitov Cocktails originated from.

It's humor doesn't just exist on that level, but it is so funny, I would spend three pages or so showing you all the funny cutscenes and snippets. On my third play-through, I still found stuff I missed in the past 2 play-throughs. It is pretty good. Even for a Schafer Game.

The plot for the game needs no work. It works perfectly fine as it is. Overall Plot/ Structure gets a 10/10. Well done Tim!

My Rating for the full game, in it's entire entity, is a near perfect, yet completely reasonable... *drumroll*

9.5 out of 10. Yes that is as good as I can give it. It isn't perfect, but close to it.

Well, I guess that concludes part one of Game Week. Tomorrow you will see Bob, reviewing... Time Hollow I believe, or maybe a Tales game. I'll be surprised I guess.

I'm Forten042 saying Ciao for now!

P.S thanks to Seanthebond for buying it for me!

Posted by Forten042 | at 5:39 AM | 1 Guys talking about me

Never thought of that...