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Author Topic: All-in-one Review thread  (Read 10603 times)

Kyo

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All-in-one Review thread
« on: September 17, 2009, 01:21:42 pm »
Read a good book/manga or watched a great movie recently and want to tell everybody about it? Found a spectacular song or website hidden beneath all the crap being released these days? Want to share your feelings about that new video game or even that brand-new set of headphones you just bought so others can try or avoid?

In short: feel free to review anything and everything in this topic, from games, websites, movies, books, songs, gadgets and more. If you feel like telling everyone about that awesome burger you just had, I won't stop you either. The point is to share and have fun. Of course, the usual rules apply, such as no excessive swearing. Spoilers should be kept to zero or a bare minimum.

No specific format should be followed, but you should at least give an introduction before going into discussing things like storyline, gameplay, music, features, your personal thoughts and everything else before giving a conclusion. A table of contents will be added if this topic grows.

Reviews with pics get dessert.

Table of contents
1. Idolmaster:Xenoglossia and Valkyria Chronicles review by blake steel
2. Rahxephon review by Mabz
3. Komajou Densetsu: Scarlet Symphony review by Kyo
4. To Aru Majutsu no Index and Kamen Rider: Climax Heroes review by Azem4144
5. HG Seraphim Gundam model review by Overlord IX
6. Tears to Tiara and Megaman X6 review by MarxMayhem
7. Mobile Suit Victory Gundam, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days and Idolm@ster Dearly Stars review by Lushe
8. 1/144 HG Hiling Care's Garazzo review by OverlordIX
9. Kamen Rider Agito review by Cien Laguoire
10. Chicken Soup review by Scotty "No soup for you" Kuroi
11. Tekken 6 review by blake steel
12. The Otaku Encyclopedia: An Insider's Guide To The Subculture of Cool Japan review by Kyo
13. Phone review by Scotty
14. Haribo review by digi162
15. Warriors Orochi 1 and 2 review by blake steel
16. Garou: Mark of the Wolves review by MarxMayhem
17. Street Fighter IV review by MarxMayhem
18. Tom Clancy's HAWX review by Sev
19. Haste-chuu artist review by Pizzaman
20. 11eyes review by blake steel
21. MAG review by satty
22. Mass Effect 2 review by Scotty.
23. 1/144 HG Cherudim Gundam review by Overlord IX
24. Akatsuki Blitzkampf review by MarxMayhem
25. Heavy Rain review by blake steel
26. Split/Second review by Cien
27. Phantasy Star Portable 2 review by digi162
28. Valkyria Chronicles 2 review by Lushe
29. Valkyria Chronicles 2 review by Kyo
« Last Edit: September 18, 2010, 08:15:08 am by Kyo »


This line in my signature will be removed when Idolmaster Xenoglossia is included in Super Robot Wars

blake307

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2009, 03:33:14 pm »
Well then I’ll start off with a review of Xenoglossia.
I really don’t have much to say about  xenoglossia. When I think about it Xenoglossia really wasn’t that bad of an anime, except that it was absolutely nothing like the game idolm@ster and the roles they had Yukiho and Chihaya play in the anime. The anime got off to a really slow start in the first half but in the second half was where all the character drama came into place. I got to admit that the animation in Xenoglossia was pretty good. Xenoglossia Haruka was pretty cute and the relationship between the idols and Robots was pretty interesting. I especially liked the ending in the last episode, but I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Plus, I like the opening music and ending music for Xenoglossia. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3yGyQLdjNU  
Here are my ratings on it.

Characters: 7/10
Story: 8/10
Animation: 9/10
Music: 10/10
Overall: 7.5 out of 10


Now my review of Valkyria Chronicles the game version:
I played it over the summer and I got to say it is one of the best RPG’s I have ever played. I really liked the story they put in it and the characters and how they played roles in the game. Plus I like the Welkin x Alicia relationship. I also think that the white hair girl Selvaria was pretty badass in the game if you ask me. I especially liked the ending but I won’t spoil it. I have been watching the anime version of Valkyria Chronicles and it is way different from the game. But here are my ratings on it.

Characters: 8/10
Story: 10/10
Graphics: 7/10
Gameplay: 8/10
Overall: 9 out of 10
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 11:30:13 pm by blake steel »

Mabz

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2009, 07:47:45 pm »
Imma go into my own anime shelf and show my Opinions on Rahxephon, the series vs the Motion picture version.  The main focus is on a boy, Ayato Kamina, and a girl, Haruka Shitow, and a division by an invading "alien" force.  Some aspects of the series have been used over several times in other anime or sci fi, but certain situations develop where the boy must return to a time shifted Tokyo (by force or willingly depenending on which version you are watching) and escapes with a female friend, Hiroko Asahina. 
Ayato with Asahina in tow try to hide after escaping Tokyo, but in the end this fantasy is shattered by the fate of Asahina as she is a blue blood, one of the beings summoning the giants attacking the world.
In a vain attempt to "protect" her Ayato destroys the giant with the Rahxephon which results in the death of Asahina.
The finaly for either gets crazy with interprittable endings in a method not unlike Evangelion, however the movie closing seemed a bit more brighter.

Characters: If we interpret the main characters for either versions:9;  overall with side characters:8
Story: The anime develops a ta slower pace: 7; The movie:8
Animation: stanard for either version: 8

Overall: Anime: 7.5; The movie version: 8

Kyo

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2009, 05:35:11 am »
Game Review

Title: Komajou Densetsu: Scarlet Symphony
Platform: PC (Doujin)
Developer/Publisher: Frontier Aja

Introduction
First came Super Marisa Land and then Megamari, both games attempting to inject the Touhou spirit into NES classics. The latest NES game to be 'Touhou-ized' is Castlevania, with Frontier Aja's newest game taking the stand.

Komajou Densetsu: Scarlet Symphony is a Castlevania clone, with Touhou characters mixed with Castlevania elements. Playing as Reimu Hakurei, you play through 8 stages as you explore the Scarlet Devil Mansion, meeting familiar faces on the way as well as picking up new allies to join you on your journey.



Graphics
Scarlet Symphony emulates the look and feel of the Castlevania series quite well, and is very similar to Symphony of the Night. Even Reimu and company have been given the Castlevania treatment, as it can be seen below:



The background graphics are fantastic for a doujin game and the character spirites have fluid animations, even though they're a bit small. Even the enemies look gruesome.

Sound
Each stage and boss has a background of very nice music, with instruments ranging from electric guitars and drums to soft flutes and bells. Reimu's weapon emits a satisfying "twhack" each time it hits an enemy, and many enemies emit death cries when they fall.

Gameplay
Typical Castlevania-type action, where you move around the stages, jumping from platform to platform if necessary and whipping the enemies that stand in your way. Reimu is armed with two weapons, her gohei which functions as the whip, and her amulets which serve as projectile weapons. Reimu also has several partners (such as Marisa) which she call on for a little help. The partner will appear on the screen, perform their attacks, before disappearing.

Both the amulets and the partner attacks are powered by spirit energy of which you only have a limited amount. You can get spirit energy by whipping enemies and the various candles, jars and other things lying around. Unfortunately, both the amulets and the partner attacks seem disappointingly weak, so you should expect most of your fights to be up close and personal. I don't think there is a way to upgrade your weapons, or I haven't found it yet.

Reimu herself is an agile mover, able to execute jumps, slides, and even unlimited flight to allow her to reach out-of-the-way areas. If she gets hit in mid-flight, she'll stop and drop back down to the ground. A major gripe I have is that she can't change her heading in mid-flight, making it a hassle when you're trying to have some air-to-air combat with enemies.

The game itself is challenging but satisfying. The stages get increasingly difficult, and the bosses hit hard. Expect to lose lots of lives before getting the hang of their attack patterns.

Overall thoughts
Scarlet Symphony is up there with Megamari in terms of fun. It has great graphics, great sound and good gameplay, and will definitely occupy your time for a while once you start to play it. Not a bad clone of a Nintendo classic.

When can I expect to see Cirno Kart?

Graphics: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Overall: 24/30


This line in my signature will be removed when Idolmaster Xenoglossia is included in Super Robot Wars

Azem4144

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2009, 01:55:37 pm »
Anime : To Aru Majutsu no Index (A Certain Magical Index)

Hmm... It's good, the story, the illustration and everything, so does the voice actors, I don't care about the harem part... but... lack of ecchi...

Illustration:9/10
Voices: 10/10
Story: 10/10
Music: 9/10
Overall: 95% interest me.

Game : Kamen Rider: Climax Heroes

Hmm... I don't want to give a comment.

Graphics: 7.5/10
Characters: 8/10
OP Music: 9.5/10
BGM: 7/10
Gameplay: 7/10
Fun: 10/10
Overall: 80.2% interest me

ハッピーバスデイなの!

OverlordIX

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009, 05:43:38 am »
I recently reviewed the Seraphim Gundam from the 2nd season of Gundam 00 on my blog

http://silentstronghold.wordpress.com/2009/11/06/1144-hg-seraphim-gundam-review-2/

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RoninatorMarx

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2009, 07:54:33 am »
Here goes something.

=====

Anime: Tears to Tiara

Illustration: Not bad. I kinda like it, and it's an improvement over the previous incarnations of this title. (9/10)

Voice Acting: Definitely one of the best voice-casted anime I've seen. (10/10)

Plot and Story: How do I do this? The story was OK. It was epic, but my problem here is this: The story started too slow, and ended too fast. Let's face it. 26 episodes seemed too short. Whenever the heroes needed a key item, for example the Words of Power used by Riannon in the final episode, they showed how and who can use it on when it's already needed. Oh, and I've so predicted that Talieshin didn't actually die back at that avalanche. So yeah, could use some more fillers. Last note: Mechanical Golems with AI? When did that happen then? XD (6/10)

Music: It was great. Loved the songs used in this anime. Pretty much brings up the essence of the medieval times. (8/10)

Overall: (33/40) Not bad for an anime. The weakness of this anime lies within the plot, and the number of episodes it has.

My opinions: Probably, players of the game incarnations would like this anme more than those who never known its story line before. It's something I wouldn't recommend, but also something I wouldn't show.

=====

Game: Megaman X6

Graphics: Can't go wrong with the sprites of X4-X6. Nice of them to rework on Zero (love the Katana) and giving the saber to X. Though whether Commander Yanmark is a boy or girl, I can't see that in them. (8/10)

Gameplay: Definitely a run for my money. X6 has to be the hardest MMX game I've played (especially on my first time, it was on Hard mode). Without the right equipment and skill, you'll end up dying and retrying all the time just so you can save those reploids in which, majority of them have no value to you whatsoever. (7/10)

Music: Not a big fan of rock but seeing as it's the first time they've used in on an MMX game, they did a good job with it. Also, it's nice that X and Zero has separate victory themes (but not good for my hard drive!! XD). (8/10)

Story and Plot: Not gonna go in-depth, but it's sorta predictable. We all would know that Sigma had something to do with it, etc, etc, etc. Ending depends on the ranks of the Hunters, and who you finished the game with, which is a plus on their end. (7/10)

Overall: (30/40) Definitely something all fans of the franchise should play, and it only needs getting used to to get around the hard parts of the game.

Lushe

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2009, 08:28:19 am »
Quick reviews of some animes/games I've recently watched/played:

Mobile Suit Victory Gundam: (1993)

Story: 8.5/10
The story may seem very simple in the beginning, but it becomes incredibly dark in the end, especially when literally 90% of all the characters die. The ending is also very bitter, and clearly shows the true, destructive nature of war. However, I felt like some of the character deaths weren't given enough emotional impact, while some were just overly dramatic. Nonetheless, this Gundam show has a great (yet bitter and depressing) storyline.

Animation: 9.0/10
For it's time, the animations are actually quite amazing. Especially in the final episodes, where the fight scenes (such as the battle between the V2 Assault Buster Gundam and the Rig Contio) become very smooth and well-coreographed.

Art: 9.0/10
I'd say the art style for this show really fits the storyline. And since this anime is about a group of regular people trying to survive the horrors of Zanscare's religious war, it's great that the characters don't look like pretty boys and girls, but instead have realistic, war-ravaged looks. That means that you won't find some fabulously-dressed pretty boys in this show. Instead, all you'll find are regular-looking men with rugged and worn clothing.

Music: 9/10
I absolutely love the music in Victory Gundam. It sounds very dark, and fits this dark anime very well. I especially love the battle theme that plays when Uso fights against major Zanscare mobile suits such as the Zanneck and Gengaozo.

Overall (not an average): 9/10



Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Days (2009)

Story: 4/10
Let's just say that you don't play this game for the story. Sure, there are some funny jokes here and there, but the actual storyline is just unbearably cliche and cheesy.

Gameplay: 10/10
Now this is the reason why you play this game. I won't go into details about the gameplay (since there will be way too many things to explain), but let's just say that this game can last you hundreds of hours. >_>

Music: 10/10
The music is great. It sounds very netherworld-ish, but it's amazing. I love it.

Graphics: 6/10
Yeah, it uses sprites in a 3D background, but neither the sprites nor the 3D backgrounds look exceptional. Both look pretty average.

Overall (not an average): 9/10


Idolm@ster Dearly Stars (2009)

Story: (no rating)
I really can't comment on this one, because I can't read Japanese, and I barely understand what the characters are saying. I can try to make out what they're saying though, and there are plenty of interesting communications in this game (and some are quite hilarious too, like the hot springs event).

Gameplay: 8/10
Well, the gameplay on this one is a mixed bag. First of all, I'm gonna say right now that Idolm@ster SP's gameplay is better, because you actually a lot of freedom and choices in your production career. In here, your idol career is very linear. There's only one or two auditions in every rank, and before you can join them, you have to do the required, story-based communications first. And once you win those one or two auditions in a rank, you immediately rank up (so no need to worry about how many fans the auditions give you). The auditions are also MUCH worse, since they're purely luck-based, unlike in the previous Idolm@ster games, where your idol's stats and your quick thinking will win you the audition. Plus, there are much less songs in Dearly Stars compared to the older Idolm@ster games, and that's a big letdown.

However, there are some redeeming factors. For example, you can now customize your idol's coreography AND the camera angles during a performance. Of course, you'll need to unlock "coreography panels" first before you can edit your idol's coreography (and these are obtained from lessons), but if you have a lot of panels, then you can really have a blast making your own dances. Also, customizing the camera angles during the performance is also incredible, and allows you to make your idol's dance look a lot better. Plus, in Stage Mode, you can also play a Live-For-You style minigame on all of your idol's songs, and you can also customize the minigame to make it easier or harder. Oh, and you can also create custom shirts for you idols, and that is also a great feature.

So, overall:

Game mechanics:
SP >>> DS

Idol Customization:
DS >>> SP

Despite being a mixed bag, Idolm@ster DS has been really fun for me (though SP is still superior), so I'll give DS an 8 for gameplay.


Music: 10/10
4 brand-new songs and 6 returning songs. All the songs sound great. Perfect 10 on this one.

Graphics: 9/10
Pretty good for the DS


Overall: 8/10


I know the Iron Eyes will guide me!

OverlordIX

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2009, 01:22:15 pm »
Finished reviewing the 1/144 HG Hiling Care's Garazzo from the 2nd season of Gundam 00 on my blog.

http://silentstronghold.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/1144-hg-hiling-cares-garazzo-review/

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Cien Laguoire

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2009, 08:11:37 pm »
Here's a quickie from me.

Kamen Rider Agito
Story/Characters:
The story mainly focuses on three characters, all who are Kamen Riders. First is Soichi Tsugami, an amnesiac that was found washed ashore on a beach. Soichi adopts his name from the name addressed to on an empty envelope that was found with him. He is somehow able to transform into Agito, a being that is constantly evolving. Then there's Makoto Hikawa, a police officer who became a hero after a particular incident. Because of this, in order to prevent anyone from inquiring about the incident, his superiors chose Hikawa to become part of the Squad of Anti Unidentified Lifeforms (SAUL) and become the user of the G3 System, a robot suit meant to fight unknown lifeforms. Last is Ryo Ashihara, a former star swimmer at Jyohoku University. Ryo was involved in an accident, which nearly ended his swimming career. After he healed, he started swimming again, but soon started to mutate, which ultimately lead him to transform into Gills, a feral Kamen Rider. Ryo eventually leaves his former life behind, and pursues the cause of his father's suicide.
The antagonists are a race called the Unknown, as referred to by the police to differentiate them from the "Unidentified Life Forms" from the previous Kamen Rider series, Kamen Rider Kuuga, which were defeated two years ago in the story. The Unknown are responsible for "impossible murders" happening to people around Tokyo, all of which have a certain connection. It is up to Agito, G3, and Gills to destroy these monsters to protect Tokyo, however the police are also concerned about whether Agito is an ally or an enemy.
As the story goes on, we are introduced to more characters, including crucial ones; Mana Kazaya, who, along with her uncle and his son, let Souichi live with them, and eventually is revealed to have her own special powers, and the people who were involved in the incident Makoto Hikawa rescued them from, who eventually become targets by the Unknown.
The story starts out a bit unusually, as witnessed in the first episode, Soichi can transform into Agito, but are left with no reason why he can do so, and even worse, we do not actually see him transform; he just sort of appears while G3 and an Unknown are fighting. However, as the series goes on, more is revealed, and though some plot points are fairly obvious, others are very well hidden and unseen, which, until late in the show, is revealed. The fates of the three Kamen Riders and other characters intersect at many points during the story, which, along with the mysteries surrounding Agito, Gills, the Unknown, and the incident, is a great hook that will keep you watching. It starts out a little bumpy, but it's quite a ride up to the 51st episode conclusion. I also thought the reference to the events in Kuuga was rather clever, though it was only brought up once early in the show, and never mentioned afterward. It's a pseudo-sequel, so watching Kamen Rider Kuuga isn't required.

Music:
The opening theme of the show from episode 2-35 is "Kamen Rider AGITO", sung by Shinichi Ishihara. From episodes 36-50, a remix of the song, the ~24.7 Version~, was used, also sung by Ishihara. Both are very catchy, especially the original version, which is somehow stuck in my head. In the fandub I watched, the ending themes/credits were cut out, but I believe most of the songs used are actually played during certain segments of the show. In almost all of the episodes, the song "BELIEVE YOURSELF" by Naoto Fuuga is used during fights, and I actually found it a little tiresome to hear the same song almost every time a fight breaks out. Another song also becomes a battle theme, "DEEP BREATH" by RIDER CHIPS featuring ROLLY later in the show. Overall, though, the music is pretty good, from the silly theme whenever a comedic moment occurs, to the ominous orchestra when the main villain appears.

Action/The Riders:
The fights in Agito are pretty good. Both Agito and Gills both make visual changes when they are about to pull off their strongest attacks, like Agito's Rider Kick, which is pretty nifty. Agito can also change forms when the situation calls for it, and some have similarities to some of Kuuga's other forms. For example, Agito's Storm Form is similar to Kuuga's Dragon form, where both can use staff-like weapons, are more agile, and wear blue armor. Agito and Gills are also biological Riders, not mechanical like many of the other Kamen Riders in the franchise, though Gills appears much more organic than Agito, including a mouthpiece that opens when Gills screams, which I thought was pretty damn cool. Though I haven't seen the other Kamen Rider shows, I do believe that Hikawa and the G3 System are unique in which that Hikawa does not transform into the suit, but rather has to put the entire suit on himself. It proves that G3 is very much mechanical, and a great compliment to the more organic Agito and Gills, and can also prove the ingenuity and strength that humans can achieve... though initially G3 was absolute rubbish in fighting ability. This show is actually the first in the franchise to have more than one Kamen Rider, as well, and this formula would go on to bring in villains who are Kamen Riders in later series.

Overall, Kamen Rider Agito is a very good watch, and not a bad starting point if you want to start watching a Kamen Rider series, specifically a Heisei era one. It starts out a bit disjointed, but it gets much better as the show goes on.

[4/5]
TL;DR
+Story that will hook you in.
+Interesting characters and Riders.
+Very good music that matches the scenes and overall feeling of the show.
-Starts out a little bit disjointed.
-Could have used more variety in fighting music.

Scotty

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2009, 01:11:50 am »
I'm sick, so bear with me as I review my chicken soup.

Presentation:
My soup came in a bowl, as any other soup. It'd be pretty bad if it came in a plate. The overall look of it spelled out bland and simple. The steam that was jettisoning out of the bowl was instantly felt after just having set the soup down on the table. Overall, nice and simple.

Taste:
The soup consisted of....soup. A chicken leg and thigh submerged in the dark yellow liquid. To the side, a piece of Cuban bread, somewhat hard, the end piece tasting rather stale. The soup itself had a perfect flavor, and had none of that vegetable crap floating around. The heat that the soup offered relieved my sore throat somewhat. Pretty pro soup if you ask me.

Recap:
The soup was good.

BT2

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2009, 01:14:01 am »
^Bestest review ever

TheBluePhone

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2009, 03:40:07 am »

Cien Laguoire

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2009, 05:25:52 pm »
Dammit, Scotty, you always have to do things better than me. :(
Except race. ;D

Scotty

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2009, 07:36:06 pm »
I have high appeal, sorry. =3=;;;