July 11, 2011

Review – BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — Nathan White @ 4:01 pm

Review BlazBlue Continuum Shift II 2
Essentially an updated, albeit portable, version of the console original, Continuum Shift 2 brings more of the same 2D fighting flash to series fans… but does this update bring enough to the the table to warrant the purchase?

The answer to that question depends on what kind of fighting game player you are. On one side of the argument, this portable update of the PS3/360 original would be the perfect way to get introduced to the series. It’s a near-flawless handheld recreation that boasts smooth animation, brilliant 2D sprites, tight controls, and even throws in the original game’s DLC characters.

These new-comer perks are also the biggest detriment to series diehards; there are just far to few updates to the console original, aside from the character DLC and a new game mode, to be considered a must have.


June 14, 2011

Review – Arcana Heart 3

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Nathan White @ 12:39 pm

Review Arcana Heart 3
Button-mashing has come a long way. Over the years I’ve button-mashed my way through the best of them; why just two weeks ago I button-mashed my way to several near victories on a Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter cabinet at a local arcade. I’ve also recently purchased the HD version of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 for my PS3, and still occasionally pick it up and aimlessly thrash at the controller until my wrists get tired.

Being a casual veteran of the Arcana Heart series (Atlus’ PlayStation 2 port, anyway) I somewhat knew what to expect coming into the recently released 3rd entry in the fighting series; lots of cute anime girls based on a vast array of moe archetypes, all wearing skimpy and/or adorable outfits, and devastating each other with seizure inducing color bursts, which ignite the screen like cotton candy fireworks.

Is this what I got when I sat down to play Arcana Heart 3? Yes.

Is that a bad thing? Well, it is and it isn’t.


April 14, 2011

Review – Jikandia: The Timeless Land

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — Nathan White @ 5:07 pm

Jikandia The Timeless Land
The concept of time travel has been used as a plot device in videogames time and time again, often with sterling results. From Square’s masterpiece, Chrono Trigger, and its follow up, Chrono Cross, to more recent fair such as Atlus’ DS release, Radiant Historia, time travel is nothing new for the medium. And yet as memorable as those titles are, no videogame that I’ve played to date uses the concept of time quite as effectively as Jikandia: The Timeless Land.

On the surface, the story is simple enough. You play a typical high school student who, along with eight of your friends, is magically transported to another world during your daily commute to school. You come to learn that you have been summoned to the world of Jikandia to help save it from destruction. Jikandia, until very recently, was devoid of time – that is until a crop of monstrous baddies began popping up, bringing with them the concept of time, which threatens to unravel the world of Jikandia with the resulting chaos.

In order to get back to your own world, players must uncover the origins of these vile monsters, eliminating them and restoring Jikandia the timeless land to its former state.


December 21, 2010

Review – 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mister Raroo @ 9:18 am

999 Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors
I recently came to a conclusion: I don’t think I have what it takes to be a survivor. My wife and I were discussing what would happen if a zombie apocalypse actually fell upon mankind, and we both decided we would rather become zombies than deal with the stress of struggling to live on. Neither of us possesses the types of aggressive personalities that would be necessary to cope with the rigors that such a grueling, exhausting existence would bring.

Perhaps the largest and scariest threat of all in any survival scenario comes in the form of other survivors. With zombies, for instance, at least you have an idea of what to expect. They may be relentless, but they all follow similar patterns of behavior. Not so with humans. You never know when your so-called allies might turn on you in order to get a leg up and boost their own chances of living to see another day.

With this in mind, I think it’s safe to say that should I find myself in the situation of protagonist Junpei from 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, I probably wouldn’t even make it through the first challenge he faces.


November 16, 2010

Bit.trip Beatdown

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 6:26 pm

Bit.trip Fate
Over the last few days I’ve spent time catching up with the fifth installment in the Bit.Trip series, the shooter that straps Commander Video to a physical rail that rises and falls to create a roller coaster ride through an aptly named game, in the sense that it was inevitable that Gaijin Games would evoke the shooter spirit as a part of this series given it’s role as a fundamental pillar of the medium.

I’ve also spent a ridiculous amount of time fighting with the mechanics of the game, wanting to rip the Commander free of his structural chains to reclaim the mobility of the shooter. Conscious and continual effort became a concern, the focus on minding the heights of the rail behind and ahead of my position while simultaneously gauging the space between the bullets covering the screen for a chance to push ahead without piercing the Commander’s hitbox heart – the visibility of that ticker fading in and out to test my memory.

The game forces a level of concentration that makes me feel lazy, which I probably am, I do in fact spend a lot of time these days wondering how modern gaming so subtlety fed slothful habits that leave me resenting any game that requires me to sit up and pay close attention. Perhaps as a result, my fingers want for the option of taking the long road around a cluster of bullets, but Fate demands finding a path through the mess of small blocks, and I can’t deny that I initially resented the commitment.

Fate still knows how to tickle the shooter sensations, with power-ups that make a player feel like a golden bullet spewing God and boss patterns that require one earn the chance to shoot the core.

Making a long story short, or at least more relevant to the moment, this latest installment kicks my ass with fresh vigor, leaving me thinking less about controls and more about how I deal with rules. That said, there’s still something sticking in my teeth about this game, I’m just utterly clueless as to what exactly that is.

September 4, 2010

Bit.trip Fate

Filed under: News Feed — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 6:57 pm

Bit.Trip Fate
Duke Nukem only thinks he’s captured all the PAX buzz, but Gaijin Games brings the real deal with the next installment in Commander Video’s saga – a rail shooter with an actual rail, where players use the Nunchuk to control the Commander and the WiiMote to aim and fire.

The Bit.trip site mentions in-game appearances from Super Meat Boy and Mr. Robotube, as well as work from chipmusic artist Minusbaby.

Catch the trailer after the break.


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