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Author Topic: All-in-one Review thread  (Read 9785 times)

satty

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #45 on: January 31, 2010, 03:43:01 am »
Well, time to make my review on MAG for the PS3. (sorry Marx, taking your outline too)

Story:
By 2025, armies of the world are limited due to rising costs, inefficiency, and the "Millennium Accord", preventing any army to leave the border of its country. In their place rise private military companies (PMC's), who can go anywhere for cheaper. In an unregulated global economy, the companies start using less-than-honest methods to compete with each other for contracts. After numerous mergers, bargains, and buy-outs, the remaining PMC's decide to use their power to full use, creating a worldwide "shadow war". Now, three PMC's, Valor Company, a North American-based PMC made up of people operating with equipment like those in the US Army, Raven Industries, a European-based company that uses the latest in combat technology, and SVER (Seryi Volk Executive Response), a Asian-based company that uses weapons made in the former Soviet Union.

Basically, it's an excuse plot, meant to make the setting of the game possible and to make the factions that anyone can play in. There's barely any depth to the story, but considering that MAG is an MMOFPS, the story is workable enough.

Score: 7.5/10

Graphics: Well, the graphics aren't on an Uncharted 2 or Modern Warfare 2 scale, but they are pretty clean and don't bother with the actual gameplay itself. The textures do look unique to each faction, from the carbon fiber of Raven weapons to the rust colored weapons of SVER.

Score: 8/10

Sound: Each faction has different music that plays whenever you first start a game or when you start killing a lot. And each fits the faction well, albeit a little out of place for a game such as this. As for battle, the sounds of guns firing, the boom of grenades, and the warning bells of a position being captured make it sound like a warzone, but the constant notifications of objectives can get annoying in a heated match.

Score: 7.5/10

Gameplay: There are 4 game modes: Supression, Sabotage, Acquisition, and Domination. They're nothing special, just variations of tried-and-true modes.

Supression: Team deathmatch with members from your faction.
Sabotage: King-of-the-hill with demolition
Acquisition: Capture-the-flag with vehicles
Domination: King-of-the-hill with demolition again.

The thing that makes these modes special, and the main selling point of the game is the number of players on each team. Other shooters usually have about 16-32 people max. MAG can hold up to 256 players depending on the game type. The game solves the problem of having a large number at one time of people by putting them into 1 to 4 platoons, each platoon comprised of 4 squads. Each squad can have as much as 8 people in them. There are also squad leaders, platoon leaders, and officers in charge, each with special abilities of their own.

In short:
-1-4 platoons
  - 4 squads
    -8 people

If you're looking for something like Modern Warfare 2, turn away. For one thing, there is no regenerating health system. Sure, there's medkits, but they have a charge time, so you cannot spam at will. No more instant respawning, either: there is a 20 second timer that is activated after you die.  Another thing is that weapons are powerful enough that anyone charging in alone it is going to see a lot of deaths. Teamwork and communication is vital to winning a game, almost to the point that people say you need a mic to play the game well. Thankfully, people are willing to play as intended.
The controls are pretty standard, but using the L2 and R2 buttons to switch between weapons and equipment can be a bit confusing at first.
There is a good amount of customization that you can apply to your character, separated by trees. You use skill points, earned by leveling up. Better equipment is unlocked by investing in earlier equipment, and is marked by more skill points to earn it. Wish to be a sniper? Invest in the sniper tree. Want to get up close? Invest in the close combat tree. Wish to fight in the front while healing others? You can invest in both Assault and Medic trees. The choice of what to customize is yours.
In short, the game is more on the tactical than other shooters released for the PS3 and can be quite frustrating if not played right.

Score: 8.5/10


Balancing:
While every side is the same, there are some differences. Valor weapons have a mix of accuracy and power. Raven has more accuracy at the cost of power, and SVER is the opposite. Some of the maps have issues in terms of attacking and defending. Case in point: SVER's maps are somewhat designed to have the bulk of the attacking force become bottlenecked and get bogged, although a good team can get through it. Raven and Valor's defensive maps are quite open for flanking and frontal charges.

Score: 8/10

Overall:
This game isn't everyone's cup of coffee, for sure. But for those who like tactical gameplay, this game won't disappoint.

Score: 7.5/10

(If anyone wonders, I'm in Raven)
« Last Edit: January 31, 2010, 04:14:51 am by satty »
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Scotty

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #46 on: January 31, 2010, 03:58:54 am »
Mass Effect 2 Review

It's good. Too good.

BT2

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #47 on: February 18, 2010, 05:20:42 pm »
(If anyone wonders, I'm in Raven)
*CoughValorRapidAssaultcough*

(If anyone wonders, I'm in Raven)

OverlordIX

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #48 on: February 25, 2010, 04:32:46 pm »
Recently completed reviewing the 1/144 HG Cherudim Gundam

http://silentstronghold.wordpress.com/2010/02/23/1144-hg-cherudim-gundam-review/

And its looking good. =)

When 5 Muppets come together, you get one heck of a gaming team!

RoninatorMarx

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2010, 05:26:42 pm »
Game: Akatsuki Blitzkampf

Created by a doujin group called SUBTLE STYLE in 2007. Unlike doujin fighter games released around the same time, Blitzkampf was noted for having an somewhat old-school gameplay, contrast to new, complex gameplays of BBB and EFZ.

Graphics: The design is one out of two things noteworthy about Akatsuki. Character detail is awesome. It's still as solid as what I'd expect from a good doujin fighter. No further comment on them. Background is beautiful without being too detailed (at least for my taste). Also, like Garou, it gives that 3D-ish effect when the battle comes. 9/10

Gameplay: As said earlier, it plays like old-school fighters. Three buttons (Weak, Strong and Heavy) and the D-pad. Pressing both Weak and Strong attack keys will launch the Grab move, while with the strong and Heavy, the reflector system, functioning similarly to the parry system. Supers here are performed by a directional command + Reflector command. By pressing all three attack buttons while you have max (3) power bars, you get to use a stronger Super Combo.

And if for one second you think this game is like the old games that has little-to-no combo system, a good beating from the AI will prove you wrong.

The thing about this game is, you can't play this game the same way with each character. The main hero Akatsuki is a shotoclone. Mycale and Anonym are ranged-based fighters, but Mycale can't perform the cliche weak-strong-heavy attack combo, while Anonym can pull this more or less with her (basic) melee attacks (which can be used when holding the directional stick backward/holding the backward key). And not everyone here can't pull off a combo similarly to how some others with theirs. This is the other distinct fact about Blitzkampf. Anyone who wanna main all the characters here will put their skills to the test. 10/10

Music: Music was great. You'd probably get that war feel when you fight. lol Themes are different by the player, so it seems. 7/10

Story and Plot: From what I understand: Main villain holds a powerful weapon, and everyone in the game is either on their way to stop him, want it because it's their mission, or for their personal gain, or he were somehow on the way. I'll consider Akatsuki's ending canon and all's well that ends well when he finally took out Murakamo and leaves with the mission finally complete. 5/10

Overall: Akatsuki Blitzkampf may not be something you can call "fresh and new" but with great designs, solid gameplay and skill-sharpening tricks you'd go to just to master (or at least play) all of the characters, this game is something you'd wanna try out. 31/40
« Last Edit: April 11, 2010, 05:35:58 pm by MarxMayhem »


blake307

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2010, 06:38:06 pm »
Game: Heavy Rain

Story taken from Wiki: Heavy Rain's story is a dramatic thriller, centred around four protagonists involved with the mystery of the Origami Killer, a serial killer who uses extended periods of rainfall to drown his victims. Ethan Mars is a father who is trying to save his son from being the next victim, while investigative journalist Madison Paige, FBI profiler Norman Jayden, and private detective Scott Shelby are each trying to track down clues to the Origami Killer's identity. The player interacts with the game by performing actions highlighted on screen related to motions on the controller, and in some cases, performing a series of quick time events during fast-paced action sequences. The player's decisions and actions during the game will affect the narrative; the main characters can be killed, and certain actions may lead to different scenes and endings.

The story in the game is pretty awesome. It's the only game I know where you can fail a level and the story moves on. My favorite part of the game is the fight scenes, especially the ones against the Doc and Mad Jack. There were many parts of the story that shocked and amazed me! The best part of the game is the many different endings in the game depending on what decisions you make.

Story: 9/10

Graphics: What can I say? The graphics are amazing, the backgrounds are great, the realism is incredible and the character details, awesome!

Graphics: 10/10

Music: The music is great, the music in the suspense moments and fight scenes fit perfectly in the game.

Music: 8/10

Gameplay: The great thing about this game is that you play as four different characters and try to get through the whole game with each of these unique characters. I liked being able to interact with these characters throughout the game as the decisions you make can either kill them, help them find Shaun Mars etc. The fights scenes like I said before are amazing! I liked the button pressing sequences in these types of events because depending on how well you do you can either succeed or fail the mission in this fighting or escape scenario. All I have to say is that the Gameplay is the best part of the game.

Gameplay: 10/10

Overall: If you own a PS3 I recommend getting this game as it is one of the best real life games I have ever play. You won't be dissappointed! This is the second best game this year behind God Of War 3.

Overall: 9/10

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #51 on: May 31, 2010, 04:30:06 am »
Can't decide on if you want Split/Second, Blur, or ModNation Racers for your racing fix? I'll be glad to help a bit with a few reviews.

Split/Second:
Split/Second is the second game from Blackrock Studios, known for the pleasantly surprising ATV-racer Pure some time ago. Is this game also as fun to play?

The premise of this game is quite interesting; you are in a TV show, called Split/Second, where you race in a city pretty much rigged to blow. Every stage has a different set of Power Plays, which can be used to take out opposing drivers (and vice versa), cause changes to the environment, or even switch routes and temporarily create shortcuts. These Power Plays can be executed by gaining points by drifting, drafting, and other skillful driving maneuvers to fill up the Power Play Meter. As you get more points, you can use more than one Power Play or activate a more powerful Power Play or Route Changer if the meter is fully charged. It's definitely awe-inspiring to see some of these Power Plays and Route Changers, which include bringing down a jet onto a runway, blowing up a docked ship, or bringing down a water dam. However, once you've seen most of these fantastic events fold out more than once, you'll pretty much know the timing it takes to use them effectively on opponents or the line you'll need to drive to avoid them yourself. It's an excellent party trick, so to speak, but after seeing the same things happen a few times, it may start to lose its awe factor.

The main mode is called Season, where you have to go through twelve episodes of the show, each episode having six races; four normal races, one bonus race, and the Elite Race, where completing it advances you to the next episode. Bonus races are earned by wrecking other drivers, while Elite Races are earned by credits, though you'll usually have them already unlocked in new episodes if you do well. As you complete races, you earn Credits, which unlock more vehicles, including muscle cars, trucks, and exotic sports cars, as you progress through the Season. You'll also unlock new tracks and game modes as you progress through Season mode as well. These modes include Detonator, where you do a hotlap while Power Plays are activated in front of you, Elimination, where the car in last place is blown up after a countdown while racing, Survival, where you pass semi rigs that shoot explosive barrels for points while on a time limit, and Air Attack and Air Revenge, where you rack up points for avoiding missiles fired by a helicopter during the former, and where you have to take down the helicopter by deflecting missiles as quickly as possible in the latter. Progression through the Season can be simple enough, but winning can be quite challenging, especially in later episodes. If you're good, though, you may be able to pull off wins in every race in the Season... and then that's it. After you complete Season mode, there isn't much else to do with the single player modes, aside from collecting some leftover Trophies/Achievements. Speaking of which, your Trophies/Achievements become decals on your vehicles, which is an interesting touch. On top of that, progression in Season is seen by the number on your car; 99 meaning you just started, and 01 meaning you pretty much completed Season mode 100%. Multiplayer also does something similar, where doing well gives you a lower racing number, while performing poorly will bring your racing number back up.

Once you're done with single player, there is also a 2-player splitscreen mode and 8-player online mode with normal races, Survival, and Elimination modes. There isn't much to offer here, and like the single player, if you're good and have the right vehicles (you use the vehicles you unlock in season), you'll breeze your way up to getting number 01 on your car and a few more Trophies/Achievements.

The game looks and sounds quite nicely. Explosions galore, falling buildings, twisted metal; it looks pretty good. Sounds convincing as well, with some nifty little effects depending on what's going on around you.

Split/Second is definitely fun to play, and feels a little bit like Burnout... but the game can be short-lived, especially if you're a good driver. I rented this game, and felt satisfied with that instead of buying it. I managed to get all the Trophies in a matter of three days during the week-long period I had it... but it was definitely a wild ride while it lasted.

Split/Second gets a 3.5/5.

Blur:
What happens when a kart racer and an arcade-style racer had a love child? You get Blur, the latest creation from Bizzare Creations, best known for their Project Gotham Racing titles. Is Blur a successful experiment?

The game is split into single player and multiplayer modes. The single player career puts you up against several different levels of competition, each run by a certain driver. To progress through career, you earn Lights and Fans. You get Lights by placing in the top 3, getting a certain amount of Fans during a race, and clearing on-track Fan Runs, where you drive through gates to earn more Fans. Fans are pretty much like experience points; as you earn more by driving skillfully, using powerups effectively, doing Fan Runs and Fan Demands, and win races, you level up, which earns you more cars to use during races. It's a good concept, and it persuades you to finish events, even if you fail to win, since you still earn more Fans regardless of position. If you meet certain Demands from rival drivers during the career, you get to race against them for a chance to win their specially painted car and a mod, which include getting four Bolts instead of three, or enhanced Shield properties. These demands start out easy enough, but can get really challenging later on. Single player racing modes include normal races, checkpoint races, where you need to clear checkpoints on a time limit with the help of Nitros and time-saving Stopwatches, and Demolition, where you shoot green, yellow, and red vehicles with Bolt powerups for points. Career mode can take some time to complete, but there is one big flaw; it's the only mode in single player, meaning there are no quick races for you to mess around with different racing modes with different car classes on different tracks of your choosing. You're pretty much stuck with the career.

On the multiplayer side, things are a little more open-ended. Though the progression is slightly different (you start off with different cars than in single player, among other things), you are able to have up to 4 players on split screen, and up to 20 players online. You still earn fans to level up and unlock more cars, but you'll also unlock different paint materials for cars and unlock some very useful Mods. Though you can only equip one Mod in single player, you can equip up to three in the multiplayer. It feels very much like the later Call of Duty games; just like you can equip different weapons and Perks in Modern Warfare 2, you can drive different cars and equip different mods in Blur (oddly enough, both are published by Activision...). There are many more different modes in multiplayer, too, including normal races, races where power-ups are turned off, and arena-style combat. Multiplayer can get addicting, so don't be surprised to find that you come back for more.

In both modes of play, the game plays like it's on the border of arcade and sim racing; though the action is fast-paced and vehicles are maneuverable, they do handle like you might expect them to in real life, and you still need to brake in some corners. Every car has a certain handling property, like Grippy, Very Drifty, and Off Road, so depending on your driving style or track, you should have a vehicle that will supply your needs. However, no matter what vehicle you drive, you still need the aid of the power ups, which include Nitro for speed boosts, Shunt for homing attacks, and Mines for protecting your rear. You can hold up to three, and most of the powerups have an alternate fire as well, like shooting Mines forward a short distance and shooting Bolts behind you. Other drivers will use these powerups to their advantage as well, but none ever feel cheap; there are ways to avoid each powerup, unlike a certain long-running kart racing series...

In terms of presentation, everything looks slick and stylish. Though it is rough around the edges, the special effects are not that bad, and the music is delivered via techno and drum & bass... when you turn it on, at least. Oddly, the game's default setting for music while racing is off, something I've never heard of before in a racing game (there are racers that don't have music while racing at all, like Forza 2, but that's a different matter.).

This game will last you for quite some time, especially with the multiplayer. Some say that this is the racing version of Modern Warfare 2, and I would have to agree. The game can get quite tough though, but perseverance will reward you with a really fun game.

Blur gets a 4/5.

ModNation Racers
ModNation Racers is the second game to utilize the "Play. Create. Share." mantra started by the awesome PS3 platformer Little Big Planet. Does this kart racer achieve what it set out to do?

There is a story for this game; you play as a Mod named Tag, a newbie driver contending for the ModNation Racing Championship (or MRC... wait, wasn't that an old N64 game?). You are aided by your mother who owns a paintshop, and your crew chief who was a former MRC racer before his career met a premature end. As you race though the Career Mode, you meet and see other characters, including the CEO of the bland and utterly meh Conservative Motors and the reigning champion of the MRC. Each race is voiced over by two commentators, one who is a complete jerk to the other guy, who is rather nerdy but efficient at his job. The story is overall ho-hum, and plays second fiddle to the gameplay and other features to the game. All it does is set up the situation for the next race.

After completing the introductory race, you are placed in the Mod Spot, where you can view and access many different things, like the Career, Single Race, Split Screen, and Online Multiplayer modes, the Top Mods and Karts made by users for the week, the shop where you can create your own karts, Mods, and tracks, and even other players if you're in the Mod Spot while online. The Career takes you through more than 20 races in the MRC tour, with each race having it's own set of unlockable rewards, including parts for your Mods, karts, and tracks. Each track in the Career has three challenges; Advance, Payoff, and Bonus. Advance requires you to only need to place third or better to move onto the next race and earn some rewards. Payoff and Bonus challenges require you to do something particular during the race, like attack a certain driver, or get a certain amount of drift points, and then win the race. Some of these challenges are quite difficult; trust me when I say you'll be spending time trying to complete them all. And with the usual behavior of kart racing AI in most games (read: as insane as a retarded psychopath on cocaine), it's no joke. Single and split screen races have a variety of options, including kart speeds, turning powerups on or off (Action and Pure races, respectfully), and AI difficulty.

The real meat and potatoes of the game, however, is the multiplayer and user-generated content available to download; want to play as a Zaku? Want to drive the Mach 5? Want to race on a recreation of the Monaco Grand Prix circuit? It's all there to download. Can't find anything you want? You can easily make it! Karts have tons of parts to play around with and paint, Mods can use many different face parts and clothes that can be recolored, stickers can be used to customize both karts and Mods, and both can be used anywhere in the game, including online multiplayer and the Career mode. Track creation is quite deep, and has much to offer. If you put time into it, you can create your own masterpiece to race on - or just simply drive the layout for your track and hit the Auto Populate button. Easy as pie. When you feel confident in your creations, you can publish them for the world to download. It is just as good as LBP's abilities to create user-generated content, and you can earn Create XP as well for having your stuff downloaded.

The online multiplayer can support up to twelve players, and is split into casual races, or the more hardcore races where you earn XP for your driving. Admittingly, I didn't spend too much time playing multiplayer during the rental time that I had this game, but you can expect a good challenge from other players.

The core gameplay is rather simple - you race to finish first by using powerups and other skills. Powerups can be upgraded by collecting up to three powerup spheres. Each version of a weapon has a different effect, so mastery of each weapon and upgrade is essential. However, when used against you, they all seem to stop you dead in your tracks. The one way to avoid this problem is earning Boost. You earn Boost power by drifting, attacking other drivers, and spinning in the air. Boost can then be use to either make you go faster, shunt other drivers with a close-range attack, or shield yourself from deadly powerups. Using your Boost power effectively is definitely a must, otherwise you could be caught by an enemy's missile attack with no Boost power to use your shields, since you used it all to try and open a gap between you and second place. With practice, driving in ModNation Racers will become second-nature. Just be prepared to deal with some frustration.

Visually, everything looks fairly nice. It's not really pushing the limits of the PS3's capabilities, but its fidelity is still quite good. Sounds are quite good as well, from the various engine sounds, to your Mod doing various cheers, if you gave him or her a voice, that is. The voice acting for the game is alright, but it's not much worth remembering. The music for the game can be fairly catchy, but there isn't any track-specific music like most kart racers.

ModNation Racers definitely carries the adage of "Play. Create. Share." just as well as Little Big Planet. Though it can be infuriatingly hard at times, your efforts are well rewarded with more personalization options for your character, kart, and track. The user-made content is great, and will get better as time goes on. Though the presentation isn't the strongest suit of the game, the gameplay is fun and rewarding, and the community will have you coming back to play this game.

ModNation Racers gets a 4.5/5.

digi162

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #52 on: September 15, 2010, 07:40:24 am »
PHANTASY STAR PORTABLE 2 REVIEW

OKAY.  YES.  I have not beaten the game, I did get it today, but played through enough to formulate an opinion.  If you played the first Phantasy Star Portable, or currently are playing through it, just stop and throw it away.  Or something IDK just don't bother touching it.  This game is FAR superior from the first, so if you had problems with the first like I did, chances are they've been corrected here.  I'd probably suggest thinking about what you didn't like and try and read somewhere if it's been corrected or not.  I mean I did like the first one so I will have a little bias toward the series, but it was too easy, and there was a lack of motivation to do stuff, and the plot was so meh.  Seeing all these major improvements made me happy :3

Things to note off the bat:
-PP with weapons is now one gauge rather than each weapon having it's own and having to refill it.  So if you pick guns or something it's easier to reload, you don't have to carry a bunch of guns and just keep swapping them.
-Attacks are more fluid and feel less hack/slash like the first
-Guarding and dodge-rolling have been added
-Character creation is even MORE expanded
-Leveling up is harder, and max is 200 from what I've heard, so there's a long way to go
-Difficulty has been cranked, I normally would just go solo on the first portable, but I think I'll have to constantly add people to my party or just get better at maneuvering with dodging/guarding

Gameplay
If you played the first one, it's pretty much the same but just expanded and improved.  Instead of all the static imagery, there's a lobby you walk around in and just select which planets you want to have missions on instead of traveling to that planet in order to pick what missions you want.  New things include a room you can customize with items you purchase/obtain, as well as new levels, monsters, etc.  But if you've never played, basically you select a dungeon/level/thing, go on a MMO killing spree of the monsters there, then fight a boss at the end of the level.  The levels aren't complex, don't expect to be moving boxes on switches or solving puzzles.

Music
OMG.  IT IS BEAUTIFUL.  The first portable had some really epic music, and they've taken it and added more amazing tunes.  I HAVE LISTENED TO THE OP SONG a lot over the past year, a lot of people hate it but I love it, it just got me excited to play.

Replay
Not sure yet.  The first portable had no replay value.  It would take 20-25 hours to beat, and there was nothing to do after that because you would level up so quickly.  You could make more characters, change job classes, etc. but without multiplayer or any sort of difficulty, the motivation isn't there.  Supposedly there are two story modes from what I've read in this new one, and with added Infrastructure multiplayer, you get a lot more out of the game now.  Although it's interesting because you'll have to choose between ad-hoc with friends, ad-hoc with xkai stuff, ad-hoc party on PS3, or just use the built in infrastructure.  You'll have different experiences most likely on all those.

Graphics
Very nice for a PSP game.  Nothing really groundbreaking, but the visuals are great, definitely acceptable for a PSP title now-a-days.  Especially since a lot of titles have pushed and shown what the PSP is capable of, and Phantasy Star could definitely fit into that.  I could say it's on-par with Monster Hunter but if I spent the whole review comparing those two titles it'd be a waste of time.  I do appreciate they got rid of those ugly screencaps they used in the first one for the visual-novel-ish scenes.  They are now drawn character portraits in place which is better.  There is also a data install for the game if you play off UMD, I'm not sure what's saved on it but it helps with loading.

Complaints
Well first off, the box cover.  On the back where they have little boxes showing screenshots of the game, someone accidentally put the cover art wraparound in one of those boxes...Which is worrisome to see because it's clearly an error and not supposed to be there since it doesn't scale to the box D:  Makes me wonder how rushed this product might be... I haven't tried out infrastructure, so I have no idea how well that experience is.  In order to access infrastructure you need a passcode which you plug into the PSN for your account.  It comes with the game, sorta like how IM@S came with the school girl outfit code in the box.  I haven't tried it yet, but I think you might need a USA PSN account, not sure if it works on other regions.  I think the whole point of that is to prevent people from downloading the game and playing it.  Although I could be wrong about all this info, it's so shady anyways doing this -___-  I mean Resistance Retribution just lets you in the lobby no problemo, I hope maybe I'll wake up tomorrow to discover the lobby is open to all or something.  Also...why is there no voice-acting ._. I mean I suppose that's alright considering how crappy the voice-acting was in the first portable.  But the Japanese portable 2 had voice acting throughout.  Sorta reminds me of Arcana Heart when it was brought over stateside, they ditched a lot of voiceacting.

I think if I were to give this a score out of 10, I'd say the first Phantasy Star Portable is a 7/10
The second Phantasy Star Portable is a 8.5/10 because it just feels like a sequel rather than a strong standout game.  There's a lot of potential and amazing things in the game, enough to make it worth picking up, but it retains too much of that MMO quality to it.  Also there's more they could improve despite improving on a lot of things.  Play the demo if you're curious, if you enjoy the demo then you'll love the game.

DO YOU LIKE MECHA? : D
Hardest part of the game is choosing what character to make.  So many good options D:

/posted this for Scotty I think xD
MCDONALDS x YAYOI FANFIC PLZ

Lushe

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #53 on: September 15, 2010, 08:32:07 am »
Valkyria Chronicles II (PSP)

My opinion:

It looks nowhere near as good as VC1, but that's to be expected. Gameplay has a lot more to offer than VC1, but the small, area-based battlefields are nowhere near as epic as VC1's large-scale and chaotic battlefields. It's a bit more balanced than VC1 (since order-spamming is now impossible), but overall, I'd say the gameplay is just as good as VC1's. However, VC1 definitely beats this game in almost all other aspects. VC2 doesn't have the same brilliance that VC1 has, but it's still an EXCELLENT game. I love it! Gameplay and music are still as great as ever, but some may be disappointed by VC2's much lighter tone, much younger cast of characters, much smaller battlefields, and heavily-downgraded visuals (VC1's visuals was one of the things that made it so memorable).

Overall Score: 9/10  (while I give Valkyria Chronicles 1 a perfect 10/10, lol)

I know the Iron Eyes will guide me!

Scotty

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #54 on: September 15, 2010, 02:28:38 pm »
TGS has disappointed me once again with their announcement of Valkyria Chronicles 3 being a PSP game...

Kyo

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #55 on: September 15, 2010, 05:43:08 pm »
Deal with it.

Anyhow, a quick review of Valkyria Chronicles 2 from me. Keep in mind that I've never actually played the first game.

Graphics: Quite good, especially the character portraits. One minor fault which I find weird though, is how all the characters have identical models for their bodies with just a head model swap. It makes them look as if they're all the same height even though their profiles say otherwise.

Gameplay: I found it surprisingly addictive and a lot of fun. A great thing is how there are different classes for your soldiers to choose, as well as having their personalities factor into your strategy (Damn you Chloe and your moodiness).

I just finished the March story mission, took 10 tries to beat that SOB.

Sound: The music is fantastic and fits the mood of the battles. Character voices are okay, considering that not all of the lines are voiced. Avan, however, has this irritating laugh that gets on your nerves after a while.

Story: I'm just a little way into the game, but so far the story isn't that bad. I just wished that the school events could be a little more "meaty" and fleshed-out, because some of them are really quite funny to watch.

Overall, I'm glad I purchased this.

Score: 8/10

From Scotty: I wish I had money to buy the first one for you. You would love it forever.

Edit: In that case, you can buy me a PS3 too thx
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 02:58:15 am by Kyo »


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Cael K.

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #56 on: November 23, 2010, 07:23:22 am »
Copy-paste from my blog.

So, I beat Last Ranker today. How'd I feel about it? Excellent game. Really good.

As far as plot goes... think movie plot. Light, not deep at all, coupled with the fact that there are a few restraints: you can never stop needing to increase your rank (you raise it by fighting a higher-ranked Ranker and taking his), and there always has to be a reason you fight alone. These two gameplay elements combine to weaken this part of the game, and the last parts of the game feel kinda jumbled together. Dragon Quarter, which I think should be looked at in a similar vein (don't expect anything deep), probably was more coherent. You advance at first by undertaking trials (quests), but these are structured in a way that you have to finish them in a certain order (with a few exceptions). Mostly a linear game, then, and let me make this clear: this is not what you play the game for.

The game portion is where LR really shines. Kazuya Niinou made it, and it shows: much of the game is you trying to figure out the best way to put skills together with your styles. There are many strategies you can employ, from countering and waiting, to in-your-face beatdown, and you learn them by beating other Rankers in fighting-game-meets-RPG style. Most Rankers will give you a skill (some won't), some have Ultimate Attacks that you can learn if you beat them (you can't learn everyone's Ultimate Attacks, though).

Just to give an example, healing in the game can be simple, or complex. There's the skill Healing, which gives you back 50% of your HP. On the complete opposite side, Kura-fu Ken (Gluttony Fist) gives you back HP when you use a fist attack, which you can only do in Break Style. Thing is, only two fist skills do a lot of damage (the style attack doesn't do much), one of which is a counter. This means the enemy has to come to you for you to regain HP, and you still have to time the counter (the return is damage prevention, awesome damage to your opponent and what is probably half your HP). The other has long startup, and you're liable to get knocked out of it... unless you guard break your opponent. If you manage to pull one off in time and you've got Kura-fu Ken up, well... say hello to all your HP again. No joke, it does that much damage, and thankfully Break Style is the style that focuses on guard breaks.

There are a lot of skills in the game, and just about all of them have some use. Mixing, matching, and experimenting with these skills is the game. You can have four per style, and two styles per battle, so you can pick skills to focus on a certain strategy or playstyle... and there's quite a few of them. Of course, Attack Style/Break Style skill spam always works too, for those of you who just want to get to the game.

The music in the game... is epic. I can't remember the last time I heard music this good in a game. If I haven't convinced you to get this game when (if?) it comes out in the US, then take a look at (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7IE7IiZLfU&feature=related) and (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7vYDooWXw-o&feature=related) to sample it. If I have convinced you already, I mean it when I say it: don't sample it. Hearing each of the battle themes for the first time in game as a fight starts is something to be experienced. That being said, the battle music is pretty much the highlight, and most other pieces aren't nearly as impressive.

The game is voiced by some fairly prolific voice actors. If anything stops a localization, it'll be this. The script isn't that hard a translate, and most the menus (even all but one of the songs with lyrics) are in native English, though item and location names are in Japanese (you do get to see location names in English when you first enter an area, though). Ranker tag lines generally are as well, with some exceptions that usually pop up around halfway through.

Shortcomings... well, I explained the plot shortcomings earlier. Other than that, and the fact that dungeons are painfully simple, there aren't enough Ranker fights (against humans, and there are fights against monsters to clarify), and you can't call for them when you want them. Once you beat a Ranker, he won't fight you again. This, of course, means you can't experiment with that battle plan you had in mind if you've torn up all the other Rankers you can beat at your level. Also, enemies don't work like you do: they attack on intervals, in a certain rhythm, and don't use SP like you do. This means that you can eat five counters in a row whereas you can't throw out more than like... two in a row. Guarding will slow you down, but they won't attack any slower if they guard your attacks. They also have infinite skill usage, whereas you don't. Also, Ultimate Attacks. Certain enemies will use their Ultimate Attack on you once you take them down to 0 HP. You avoid it with timed button presses or button mashing - the game will tell you which, and you have to react to it. Thankfully, they gave me enough time that I got all of them, but I assume it's insta-death if you miss them. Also thankfully, you can retry a battle immediately if you lose it, and can even go back in to the menu to rearrange skills and heal back up before you do in case you walked into the fight at low HP. I suppose there's really no good way to stuff Ultimate Attacks otherwise, but still... insta-death is not something I'm fond of. It never was an issue for me, really, but the possibility was still there. And also... when you use Ultimate Attacks, all your skills become unusable, no matter how many uses of each skill you had left, though most will have some secondary effect (Attack Up, every status ailment you can inflict on the enemy, and others). I never really used Ultimate Attacks because of this, and I usually wasn't pushed far enough into a corner that they were the only thing left I could do.

But that's the game in a nutshell. It does something unique (Ranker fights and the battle system), makes it fun, and because it does it so well, it has hit my list of favorite games of all time. My suggestion: get it for the fights, or for the music. The more you put into the game, the more you'll get out of it... and if you're the type that likes to squeeze the system dry of every possible thing you can do with it, you'll love it. It's not SaGa hard to do it, though, but it takes a bit of brainpower.

For the record, my favorite setup. Note the lack of Hagane Soul.
(Main) Shoot Style (Light Guns): Healing, Power Edge, Charge-EB, Sny-PNG (Skill Use +), S. Colors
(Sub) Break Style: Kura-fu Ken, Renjyu-Gouken (Skill Use +), Fukkoushou, Tomoe-Uke, Grand Task

Also, things that I think would help game balance more.

Shoot Style needs another style-exclusive skill. Giving it Atk Down and/or Def Down would help. Moving Attack Kill and Defend Kill to Shoot Style would make it immediately worthwhile.
A support skill that decreases the amount of startup skills have might be nice, but it might be game breaking.
Double Edge is grossly overpowered. Spinage IV and Air Raide II are underpowered. Hel-FIRE might be slightly underpowered.  Adjusting damage and/or number of uses might help. Bomber Run might be slightly overpowered, but I think Attack Style needs something like it more than Guard Style does.Headbutt might need to be faster.
There should be some incentive to use Ultimate Attacks. Maybe they could halve the number of skills left for you to use, not deplete them thoroughly. Or perhaps they could stay the same but also be used automatically when you hit 0 HP, saving you from a game over (with proper button presses/mashing for this use) and giving a grip of HP back as well. As it stands, they're only stylish finishes that are mostly too risky to pull off.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2010, 08:05:28 pm by Cael K. »
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

Cael K.

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2010, 08:43:38 am »
General copy-paste from my blog. Parts removed for brevity, if you're interested about reading about Final Fantasy Tactics A2, which came out like three years ago.

Finally beat this game, after 271 quests and... what is probably 149 hours and 40 minutes. Yes, this means I'm going to blow off steam. Hard mode made dispatching a pain, so I never really dispatched any quests. There's two quests you have to dispatch, but your level has to be so high for those, it's just stupid.

All in all a great, creative game that's generally fun to play. Tweaking your characters to be how you want them to be is all kinds of fun, and the quests are varied and bring something new to the genre. There's the standard defeat all enemies you see in other games, sure, but there're other things like set off all traps, or talk to all NPCs on the map and figure out the most common thing they want for New Year's.

Breaking the law wouldn't be bad if the bonus from AP Up 3 wasn't that great. Seriously, they have a fantastic thing called Clan Abilities, then introduce an element that pretty much makes you look stupid for picking anything other than AP Up 3. The simple solution is to increase the number of AP you get from quests, and decrease the amount of AP the ability gives you. Maybe if that were done (like, 70 AP from the quest, 20 from AP Up 3), I wouldn't mind breaking the law, and might even use other abilities. As it stands, I think I'd rather gain the bonus AP and bail my guy out of Prison, even if he loses out on it, rather than to have the entire clan lose the AP.

Alternatively, the law system is restrictive by nature and only hinders the game (in fact, it's like the system tries really hard to make the game suck), so taking it out would've made me enjoy the game so much more. I ranted three paragraphs about it (in my blog) and could've gone on much longer. That should tell you how I feel.

The final verdict: It's standard FFT fare, which is great, but keep in mind the mistakes of its predecessor still cling together (haha) with this one.

For the record, my Ruso: (Parivir) Flair, High Magic, Counter, Geomancy
« Last Edit: December 09, 2010, 09:13:58 am by Cael K. »
Cael's Im@s Ranking: Azusa, Yumeko, Tomomi, Haruka

How to get stuff from Japan without causing things to explode in a shower of sparks and misery: http://forum.project-imas.com/index.php/topic,1108.0.html

Memories of Melon Pan: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/
Translations: http://www.mediafire.com/?hzc4b0jy7pwll

Currently translating (text only):
S(mile)ING! (English version, singable) - http://d.hatena.ne.jp/caelk/20140911/1410422445
Neue Green, Volume 3 - Will start sometime. ^_^;;
Rockin' Girl, Volume 1 (Chapters 1-5) - http://www.mediafire.com/?z00ffkvg5ocg11e

altuixde

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #58 on: June 14, 2012, 01:30:59 am »
Pixelmator

This is going to be a short and incomplete review, because I just purchased this app yesterday.
  • This app can do layers and layer masks.
  • Easier to use than GIMP (though probably not as powerful), and much less expensive than Photoshop.
  • Pixelmator can render many transition effects (in real time, even) but cannot export movies or animated GIFs.
  • Its interface is the most striking of any image editor I've ever used.
  • After playing with Pixelmator for a while, then quitting it, it frees up a lot of RAM.  However, I didn't notice any slowdowns due to this (I have 4GB of RAM).

Elixir

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Re: All-in-one Review thread
« Reply #59 on: June 14, 2012, 07:43:47 am »
I review mostly games on my blog: http://d.hatena.ne.jp/elixir68k/searchdiary?word=%2A%5BReview%5D

A little too detailed to post here though.