This is a page where I will display video game reviews that I've written for a little website called IMDB.com. I thought it would be best to start there since I'm thinking about becoming a YouTube video game reviewer (Because YouTube need more video game reviewers !!!).
Kingdom Hearts is an Action RPG for the PlayStation 2 and was the first game in the popular Kingdom Hearts series. It was a crossover between Disney and Final Fantasy which may sound kind of weird at first, but doesn't sound as weird once the player gets into it.
Story - (May contain spoilers but I tried my best not to spoil important things) Kingdom Hearts opens with a teenager named Sora who lives on an Island along with his friends Riku and Kairi. The three friends dream of seeing worlds beyond their Island and thus start building a raft so that they may sail away. But one night something happens to the Island, it gets taken over by beings know as "The Heartless". Sora goes outside to find Riku who tells him that "The door has opened", Sora knows that he is talking about the door in the secret cave on the Island, but before going to the door Sora is given a special sword known as a Keyblade. Sora then fights a giant heartless which transfers him to another world. In this world he meets Leon (or Squall from Final Fantasy VIII), Yuffie (Final Fantasy VII), Cid (Final Fantasy VII) and Aerith (Final Fantasy VII), Leon and Yuffie tell him that the Keyblade chooses its wielder and that the chosen Keyblade wielder must travel to different worlds and close Keyholes to save the worlds from being consumed by the heartless. Sora then meets Donald and Goofy who were assigned by King Mickey to find the Keyblade wielder and protect him. Together with Donald and Goofy, Sora sets off on a journey to close the Keyholes and find his friends, Riku and Kairi.
Gameplay - The gameplay is really easy to get used to, even though your new to action RPGs. A menu appears in the bottom left corner which display's commands. To select commands you can either use the D-pad or the right analog stick and to execute a command you press the X button. The Circle button jumps and the start button opens the main menu where you can access the item menu and equip your characters. Magic can also be assigned to specific button, then hold in L1 and press either the X, Square or Triangle button to preform the magic spell without having to waste time by selecting it through the menu. To get to new worlds or to any world before getting the Warp ability you must go through a Gummi ship flying stage. These stages can get incredibly tedious and before getting the ability to warp and you need to fly to and from worlds a lot it just gets boring.
Graphics - All I can say is for a PS2 game that was released so early for the console the graphics look amazing, its actually right on par with the games that were released when the PS3 was nearing its release. I was actually really surprised when I heard that the game was released in 2002 since I thought, looking at the graphics, that it was released around 2005.
Music - The music for Kingdom Hearts was composed by Yoko Shimomura and she did a fantastic job with this game. The music was memorable and most of the tracks were just plain beautifully done (I have never had "Under the sea" stuck in my head before... until I played this game).
Conclusion - Kingdom Hearts is an amazing and fun game that is easy to pick up and play anytime. I can safely say that it is one of my favorite games for the PlayStation 2.
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom HourglassEdit
The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is an Adventure/Puzzle game for the Nintendo DS and was the first Zelda game to be released on the system. This was actually the first Zelda game that I played and completed. Now is this a great introduction to this majestic series? Lets find out!
Story - Phantom Hourglass is a direct sequel to the Wind Waker for the GameCube taking place several months later. The game begins as Link and Tetra are sailing in their ship when they encounter a Ghost Ship which has been haunting the seas. Tetra jumps aboard to explore but the ship suddenly begins to disappear with her aboard and it is up to Link to save her. Link see's a vision of Tetra as she is calling for his help. He then wakes up on an Island where a fairy named Ciela finds him. Ciela takes him to see her grandfather named Oshus which tells Link to meet a man named Linebeck who has a ship so that they may sail the seas and find the Ghost Ship. I think I've said just about all I can that isn't a spoiler.
Gameplay - The gameplay is very simple but really difficult to get used to. Moving around is done entirely by using the DS stylus, so all that needs to be done to move around is to point the stylus in the direction you want to go and to attack enemies you can either use a targeted attack, where you point on the enemy with the stylus and Link jumps on him with his sword, or you could just swing the stylus around to make Link swing his sword in front of him. Now for the sailing parts. Before setting sail you get the sea chart on the bottom screen. This is where you draw a line on the chart representing the path you want to go. Later on in the game you get a cannon which serves as your weapon out in the sea.
Puzzles - Now this is basically the prime element in every Zelda game, the puzzles, you just can't have a Zelda game that doesn't have dungeons that make you solve all kinds of puzzles. To me, the puzzles were fun and challenging without being frustrating. I'm not going into detail on every puzzle or anything but all I can say is that they were fun.
Music - The soundtrack did have some really good tunes. The music while sailing the seas and fighting the final boss were some of the best tracks of the entire series. But other than those the soundtrack didn't really have any memorable tunes, the song while running in the wild just sounded like noise to me and the song for the central dungeon didn't have any melody to it, it was just sound that was repeated in an infinite loop.
Conclusion - Phantom Hourglass is a great game to introduce gamers to the Zelda series, although there are better way's like Ocarina of Time with its new 3DS remake, this game did get me into the series, and I don't regret getting this one.
8.5/10 - I would give it a 9, but only being able to use the stylus just knocked it down a little.
Castlevania: The Dracula X ChroniclesEdit
I've been hearing a lot about the Castlevania games recently, like the recent release of Lords of Shadow and from many of the AVGN episodes. So eventually I decided to pick up a game and play it to see what all the fuss was about. The game I picked up was Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP.
Bad - I really can't complain about the difficulty since the difficulty is kind of like the core of the Castlevania games, but sometimes the obstacles became near impossible! Eventually everything was trying to kill me and I really would have appreciated it if they had given me more books, that was kind of the most useful sub-weapon. The bosses were really hard but I am not complaining about that, but I will complain about Dracula's difficulty. He was just too easy compared to the other bosses.
Good - The game-play was fantastic and very easy to master, its just Richter Belmont walking through Dracula's castle trying to save his Fiancée from Dracula. The music was excellent and I really liked listening to the tunes in each level. The inclusion of Symphony of the Night was a well appreciated feature, I'm currently playing that game too. The boss battles were really fun and challenging and since I lost so many times to the bosses I eventually mastered the levels and then the bosses were toast.
So to sum up, the game is really good. But you shouldn't start playing without being prepared for some challenge.
Dragon Warrior IIEdit
This game is hard! That is the first thing I can say, don't just start playing the game expecting the simplicity of the first game. Because if you do, the game will utterly destroy you! And I'm not making that up, thats actually what the game say's if, or more likely when, you get a game over.
Lets get the bad things out of the way first. The difficulty was increased so much from the first game that its not even funny! It starts off like its going to be pretty simple like the first game but as soon as you get your second party member the game starts to get brutal and the way from the cave to Rhone to Hagon's castle is possibly the hardest area in RPG history, not to mention the last room of the cave to Rhone where if you don't go exactly the right way, you get sent to a random area in that same room, and I wasn't just under-leveled because I did a ton of level grinding during my play-though of the game which stayed in from the first game, but now it became a lot more and if your just money farming from monsters then you may just cancel all plans that you have because the monsters drop a very low sum of gold. Another thing was the transition from one room to the next, sure it made the game realistic but in the end it just made it that much worse.
Now for some good things. The story did well to follow the almost-no- story Dragon Warrior, it centers around an unnamed prince from the castle of Middenhal who is a descendant of the descendant of Erdrick. He along with his cousins the Prince of Cannock and the Princess of Moonbrook must defeat an evil cleric named Hargon who plans to summon Malroth and either destroy or take over the world. It was also pretty neat that we went from just one character running around on the little world map to three characters running around on a three times bigger world map, which offered a ton of more exploration. The music, which was composed by Koichi Sugiyama again, was also really good although I would personally prefer the soundtrack from the first one.
So to sum up, it was pretty good, but you should only play this one if you're a hardcore RPG gamer.
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal BearersEdit
I don't even know where to begin here. I guess I'll start by saying that the actual time I spent playing was pretty enjoyable, but then there were these really long cut-scenes that might not have been necessary but I guess they had to be like that if the game was supposed to maintain a decent story, which was actually pretty good, the story is definitely one of the games few high point.
Now I just want to get the bad things out of the way as soon as I can so I guess I'll start with them. I hated the battle mechanics! There I said it. The battles were weird and uncomfortable and the absence of a timer just made it worse. The battles just suddenly stop and then the sky comes back up and all is well. Why wouldn't they add a timer!? If the battle is timed, shouldn't a timer be necessary? How else would you know when the battle would end? There's also the tiny little fact that when you have access to the entire world you don't have access to a normal map. I mean, would it have killed them to add a map that you access through the menu to see the entirety of the area that your currently in? It even would have been better had they just added a little square in the corner like they did in Final Fantasy X. Bottom line is, in a game like this, a proper map system is kind of a must!
Now I can finally move over to the good things. Like I said before, the story is really good, it centers around a young man named Layle who is know as a Crystal Bearer, which is a group of people that can use magic. Its kind of like the l'cie in Final Fantasy XIII except I don't think they ever explain how he became a bearer. I won't spoil anything about the story of the game but its good as long as your paying attention. I also like that you could interact in some of the cut-scenes, like in the opening where Layle is firing the canon while falling down or when he's steering the ship. Had this been the opening to Final Fantasy XIII I just know it would have been one long movie sequence with no interaction. The music also had a few good tracks but some of the tracks were just not that memorable, like the battle theme, I didn't think that it went with the battles, it just sounded like a redneck car chase.
So to sum up, the game was OK at its best. Just don't expect something spectacular.
Woah, this is it, this is the mother-bird, the granddaddy of all console RPG's. Its pretty weird saying that really, if you want a classic console RPG from the past... Then you're not going to get any "classicer" than this.
Lets start by getting the bad things out of the way. This game is way too grind heavy, from what I recall, almost 60% of my game-play time went into level grinding and there is alway's going to be a lot of level grinding, they never even let you see how much experience you need to get to the next level unless you talk to the king of Tantegel, which is also the only way to save your game and it can be quite annoying to get back there every time you want to quit playing unless you have the return spell.
Now that the bad things are over, lets talk about the good things this game has to offer. The exploration, this game is full of exploration, thats basically the core of this game and you're not alway's told where you're supposed to go next, but the world map is pretty small so it is alright. To be honest, I love exploration in RPG's and they should really have more of it these day's. The music was fantastic, for Koichi Sugiyama's first video game score it really captured the essence of the world of Dragon Warrior and there's no wonder why Enix hired him to do the music for the next game as well. What I also really liked were some of the little details that they programed into the game like when you open a door with the magic key, it closes once you leave the area, because who would want their door to stay open all the time? I also liked that when your enemy is asleep you have a 100% chance of running away, because why wouldn't you be able to run away from a sleeping monster? One more thing I just have to mention is that as you progress through a dungeon, the music starts to slow down little by little and that really added to the "creepyness" factor.
But to sum up, I loved this game, it may not be on par with the other Dragon Warrior/Quest games, but it was a great start to a majestic series and a lot of fun.
Toy Story 2Edit
- Note that this is a review of the PlayStation Version.
Toy Story 2 was the first real video game that I played on my old Windows '98 and therefore will always have a place in my heart.
Today some unknown fate made me pop my PlayStation version of this game into my PS3 and it still has the same effect on my that it had eleven years ago.
Lets talk about the actual game now. The game starts as Al is stealing Woody and you take control of Buzz to go rescue him. While doing so you encounter obstacles through the various interesting stages. Starting out in Andy's House and going through his Yard, a construction site, an alley, Al's Toy Barn, Al's space barn, the ventilation system at Al's building, Al's suite, inside the Airport and ending at the outside of the Airport.
The controls were simple and easy to get used to. The X button jumps, the square button fires lasers, the circle button does a spinning attack, the L1 button aim's and R1 lets you check your stats.
A problem I had with the game was that you couldn't use the joystick, and this was a game released in 1999, well it could have just been the fact that I was playing on a PS3 but it still got annoying.
The graphics weren't anything special at the time, it was basically like every PS1 game released around that time. The music was fantastic though, it really fit the areas that each track was placed in and every area had a unique track.
To sum up, I love this game. It was amazing when I was only five years old and eleven years later, it still is.
Final Fantasy XIIIEdit
I can't really say that I had high expectations for this game after playing XII. I thought after that the Final Fantasy series would just get worse and worse, I was wrong. To be completely honest, this game is the reason I bought a PS3, yes I bought a whole console for one Final Fantasy game, actually I also bought a DS just to play Final Fantasy III, maybe I'm just that much of a Final Fantasy geek.
I'm going to start by praising the game with its story, it was simple and easy to follow once you got the hang of it. It centers around six very different people who get drawn together by fate (Final Fantasy VIII anyone?). It all starts when a fal'cie (which is the thing that controls everything in the world) from Pulse (A netherworld of some sorts) is located in a city on Cocoon (The non-netherworld). The main heroes sister gets turned into a l'cie (a fal'cie slave) and has to find out what her focus is (l'cie always get focus'). So to find out she seeks out the fal'cie but that causes a purge and all citizens must gather around to be killed or something. Here the game starts with Lightning, Snow, Sazh, Hope, Vanille and Fang as they have to face the entire world and then another world down below.
The combat system is easy and it doesn't take very long to get the hang of it and this game also features a new way of leveling up characters called "The Crystarium system" this is a lot simpler that X's sphere grid and you'll know what I mean when you play the game or if you have played the game.
The music was another thing that I didn't have very high expectations of because Nobuo Uematsu didn't compose a single track. But I was wrong here as well. The music composed by Masashi Hamauzu, which had previously worked on "Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon and "Dirge of Cerberus" as well as having been involved with Final Fantasy X along with Uematsu and Junya Nakano, did an excellent job with composing the music.
To sum up, it was a pretty good game, but if you're more into old-school RPG's than I wouldn't really recommend this one.
Overall rating: 7.5/10
Dragon Quest IVEdit
The Dragon Quest series is probably the first Console role-playing series to become successful in both Japan and the United States. There were four titles for this series on the NES, I - IV. I can without a doubt say that IV is the greatest RPG to come out in 1990 along with Final Fantasy III (Which didn't get an international release until 2006).
I bought the DS version in Europe under the title "Dragon Quest: Chapters of the Chosen" and I honestly had no idea that this was the fourth game in the series until I did a little research. This could just as well have been the first game for all I knew back then. So I popped it into my DS and I was amazed. This game was everything an old-school RPG fan like me needed.
The game has your basic Dragon Quest game-play and didn't allow the use of the touch screen at all but oh well. The story was simple, bad guy wants to destroy the world by conquering some evil hellish demon from the underworld and you have to go stop him. The game is in five chapters, in the first one you're controlling the knight Ragnar McRyan. In the second one you're controlling the Tomboyish Princess Alina. The third one takes you through the tale of the weapons merchant Torneko Taloon. In the fourth one you're playing the Dancer Maya and her twin sister, the fortune teller Meena. In the fifth chapter however you finally get to take control of our hero which is called... well he doesn't have a name, you get to name him yourself, oh and he's a silent protagonist so don't expect any talking from him. While your playing as the hero you go look for the heroes of the past chapters to unite with them and go save the world.
The music was composed by Koichi Sugiyama, the composer of every Dragon Quest game, and I can really praise him for all his hard work.
To sum up, it was almost perfect. Too bad not many of today's people will play it, them wanting nothing but their fancy graphics and all. But I highly recommend this game for any old-school gamer wanting something that can remind him of the good old times.
Final score - 9/10
Ape Escape 3Edit
What is it exactly that makes the Ape escape games so fun? Well not having played Ape Escape 2 I'd say it has to be the game-play, the music and the fact that you get so many gadgets along the way to catch those darn monkeys.
I bought Ape Escape 3 a few years ago but I put it away for god only knows what reason. I picked it up again a few day's ago and finally managed to complete it. One thing I just have to say is that it was really fun. The different gadgets were cool and each one was unique and had something to do with catching the monkeys, you always had to use some gadget over the course of the game.
A new feature to this game was the costume system, while playing you could change costumes if the meter above the cracker life bar was full. Those were really fun to play as and most of them were really useful, although some of them were just there and had no real potential.
My only complaints have to be about the difficulty and the length. The game was really easy and with the ninja costume you can just ram your way through enemy's like there's no tomorrow. The length of the main game is also an issue, seeing as you don't return to any levels or do any mini-games. It took me only 4 hours (and 44 minutes) to beat the game.
So to finish this review I'd say that it was one hell of a game. Although it didn't exactly live up to the original, but it try'd its best.