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My Impressions On Super Smash Bros. 3DS Demo

Howdy ladies and gents, today I’m gonna do something a little different when it comes to my blog posts as I am going to give you my impressions on the demo for Super Smash Bros. 3DS. Now wouldn’t usually do a review for a demo of a game, but this game in particular is pretty much one of the biggest games of 2014 especially for Nintendo fans and after several lucky punks got the demo early, I thought I would just give my thoughts.

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Gameplay

When it comes to the gameplay, it is just the same as ever, anyone who has played a game in this series will be able to jump right in and play. When it comes to the demo you can only play 2-minute matches with 1-3 other CPU’s at level 1-9 and you’re limited to the Battlefield stage (with the option to play it normally or without platforms). As for characters, veterans Mario, Link and Pikachu return, while Villager and Mega Man join the fray as the newcomers. The old characters are pretty much the same (especially Mario), but there are subtle changes to Link and Pikachu’s movesets where some of their attacks have changed, either hitting harder, changing in range or having slightly different hitboxes than before. As for Villager, that guy is crazy. He’s good for close range combat and all of his moves are based off of the activities and items from the Animal Crossing series and to see him pulling weeds to swinging umbrellas to dropping bowling balls is a delight and his taunts are just the best thing ever. And then there’s Mega Man, his move set is more long distance and unconventional, all of his moves are based on the robot masters powers from Mega Man 2 and 3 (I believe) and they work better from a distance, that’s not to say that Mega Man doesn’t do well in close combat, it is just because he doesn’t have any strong A attacks or powerful special attacks. That being said, when you get the hang of him, he’s hella fun to play as.

Controls

For the most part the controls are fine as the 3DS button layout is very similar to that of a GameCube controller (the standard controller for a SSB game), the only thing that is missing is a C-stick. But even without that little convenience, the game controls well with your A and B buttons being used for standard and special attacks, Y and X are the jump buttons, R being your shield and L being a grab button. The 3DS Slider works for the most part, however, it isn’t as precise as your classic control stick and sometimes the Slider misreads a tap for a dash movement or an upward smash for a jump and it can mess with your flow a bit. And while the button layout is great, any veteran of this series may find that buttons are a bit too close together as well, but maybe that’s just me.

Presentation

One thing that SSB doesn’t skimp on is the presentation which is bloody impressive. Visually the game is incredible and the screenshots online do not do the game justice at all. While this is not the HD glory that is the Wii U version, the 3DS version sports a great cel-shaded look and the level of detail in the animation, character models, backgrounds and foregrounds is nothing short of incredible. In addition to that the game runs very smoothly at 60fps and the 3D in the game is great too with a nice level of depth. The only issues I found was when certain assist trophies, Pokemon or items would be used, there was a noticeable amount of lag and I think that’s mainly due to those items being limited to 30fps. But other than that snag everything works fine.

Summary

Pros

  • Gameplay remains unchained for the most part
  • The speed of battle is better than
  • The new items and assist trophies are awesome
  • Mega Man and Villager are great new additions
  • Visual and audio presentation is excellent

Cons

  • Some changes to veteran character moves feels off
  • Hit boxes feel a bit off for certain attack
  • The 3DS Slider misreads movements
  • Button layout feels a bit cramped

In conclusion, while it definitely feels different Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS feels great and while I am still adjusting to the subtle changes to the basic game system, overall it looks awesome, sounds great and plays wonderfully. I’m still getting to grips with this game, but if this a taste of what’s to come with the Wii U version then I cannot wait at all! I really want it to be October 3rd so I can play the full version with all the other characters, stages and play online with other gamers.

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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Media, Video Games

 

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Symphonic Legends London Featuring music from The Legend of Zelda™ series Review

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, time for a review I wanted to get up yesterday but didn’t have the time to sort out. After attending the London Film and Comic Con on Sunday I went to another event at the Barbican, a concert entitled Symphonic Legends London Featuring music from The Legend of Zelda™ series. After experiencing the epicness that was the Symphony of the Goddesses last May, I went to this concert super excited to hear some orchestrated Zelda music again. So how was this concert? Well read on and find out.

header_symphoniclegends-zeldaSo for those not in the know, this was basically a concert in which the London Symphony Orchestra performed orchestrated versions of music of The Legend of Zelda series. After the beginning introduction, the concert was broken into a three main acts; one segment for Skyward Sword, Wind Waker and a Zelda Symphonic Poem. All in it was an incredible, nostalgic and different kind of experience.

The concert was full-on classical music and it was a very different take on the Zelda music when you compare it to what was done with the Symphony of the Goddesses concert. SotG was more of an orchestrated version of the game music that sounded just like the songs you knew but in a classical music kind of way, but in this concert the musical arrangements and choice of instruments pretty much changed the style of songs completely. The first main act with the music from Skyward Sword was amazing and incredibly bold, powerful and adventurous. The version of the “Ballad of the Goddesses” was SO good, “Skyfield” was GORGEOUS and the “Girahnim’s Theme” and “Girahnim’s First Battle” was INCREDIBLE, it was so sinister, creepy and dangerous. The Skyward Sword part of the concert was lovely and to hear these new arrangements of the songs from the game was such a heartwarming experience. Next up was the Wind Waker segment and that had an additional set of musicians playing some of the music with violins and pianos used in ways I never would have expected. What we then got was “Title Theme“, “Outset Island” and some other specific songs here and there that sounded so pretty. That being said I was gutted that some of my favourite music was omitted like “Dragon Roost Island” or “Windfall Island” among many others.

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After that the final major act had music that felt many improvised with a few Zelda songs thrown in from Ocarina of Time and A Link To The Past (well at least those were the ones that I picked up). The hearing the music “Fairy Flying“, “Gerudo Valley” and “Kokiri Forest” brought back some crazy nostalgia and was instantly recognizable, but I think the best part of this act was the orchestrated version of “Dark World“, that was SO good. It was incredible how beastly, badass and film-like the song sounded. It was moments like that along with the choir and choice of instruments that made the music sound like it belonged in a film and at points it sounded like something that John Williams would have come up with. Yeah, this music sounded THAT good.

The different take on the Zelda music was interesting and in some cases changed the perspective on those songs completely thanks to the arrangements done by the orchestra. Some it was really impressive and really cool, but at some points the songs were completely unrecognizable and I felt like unless you had a very good ear, some of these songs you wouldn’t know about. I also felt like a lot of the songs were improvised and I’m all for change and reinterpretation, but some of the songs were bit too long and strayed a little too far from what I know from the video games.

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In conclusion Symphonic Legends London Featuring music from The Legend of Zelda™ series concert was an awesome experience. The Zelda series has a great library of songs and soundtracks and the orchestrated arrangements of these classic pieces of music was totally mind-blowing, emotional and cinematic too. While I do not believe this concert to be as amazing as the Symphony of the Goddesses concert, it’s different take on the Zelda music was really incredible and makes me believe that everything sounds better orchestrated.

So if you attended the Symphonic Legends London Featuring music from The Legend of Zelda™ series what did you think of it? Also if you haven’t attended an event like this would you consider it in the future? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them below yo and I’ll see ya on the next review. 😀

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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E3 2014 Is Over… Boo! Here’s My Overall Highlights

E3-2014

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to another blog post from me, Hypersonic55. Ah, woe is me. E3 2014 has been over for two days now and there is an emptiness in my soul that seriously can’t be filled right now. It sounds sad, but honestly when you spend the best part of four days sitting around with you best friend checking out all the awesome game announcements and then it all comes to an end, it really does feel like the end of a crazy roller coaster ride that you never wanted to end. After all the major games happenings had taken place on Thursday this week, me and my housemate really felt like there was nothing left for us to do except wait for E3 to happen again next year. Yeah THAT good of an event, well at least for games it is.

So with all this in mind, this is my overview of my favourite parts of E3 this year.

The Press Conferences

When it comes to the press conferences I think all of the major companies did very well, there was a lot to take in and appreciate and while it wasn’t all perfect and some companies did better than others, I can safely say that all of them gave gamers stuff to be excited about. As for who I thought won, well that’s a bit of a controversial one. While I liked the stuff that came from EA, Microsoft and especially Ubisoft because of their delightful, funny and beautiful presenter, Aisha Tyler, none of them held a candle to what Sony and Nintendo busted out.

Out of the press conferences I believe that Sony killed it. Sure they got bogged down with all the talk of this development for TV shows and boring stuff like that, but for me they had some of the best reveals of E3 even if not all of the games were their exclusives. But for most people, Nintendo were the clear winner and it is hard to argue with that. Their online presentation was one of precision, information and all round entertainment. Teaming up with Robot Chicken was incredible because it allowed Nintendo to have fun, joke around with their own shortcomings and provide something that was unlike what we have seen from them before. While I don’t believe that their digital event was enough to knock the wind out of me, I did love what they released to the public. But I think the reason they should be allowed to win is because of the Reggie vs. Iwata fight for the Smash Bros. Mii reveal, that alone is one of the best things ever in life. FACT.

Absolutely badman.

Favourite Games of E3

Now I’m going to talk about the games that stood out for me the most in order of interest.

Mortal Kombat X

I think it is safe to say that this was my favourite game from E3. I’ve played Mortal Kombat 9 and ever though I can’t play it very well, I loved it. But this new game looks SO good that it is impossible to ignore. The visual quality of this game is on a level so much higher than before. The character models and environments have received insane new levels of detail and intricate levels of animation. But it is the gameplay that really gets me super hyped, the faster combat, new moves, brutal new X-ray moves and the filthy new fatalities are on a level so much more hardcore than before. I need this game in my life now, end of.

No Man’s Sky

The core concept of this game looks like there is an endless amount of possibilities available for exploration and general fun if the execution is done well. When this game was revealed at E3 I literally freaked out at the beautiful worlds on the planet surfaces, but then was shocked at how seamless it was to jump in a ship fly out into space and then go off to another planet… With No Loading. Give me this game. I want it now.

The Legend of Zelda

This new Zelda game just has me in a bit of frenzy right now. The first time I saw the in-game graphics for the game I blew up! The game looks GORGEOUS! It’s like Hyrule Field from Ocarina of Time except on a Skyrim kind of level of size and scale, realised in HD and it looks bloody awesome. All the talk about taking the game back to the first Zelda game and making it all about exploration with no hand-holding just gets me giddy. It really seems like this could be the finest Zelda game ever if Nintendo are willing to break conventions and try something new and fresh while retaining the core elements that make a Zelda game good, just follow the path of A Link Between Worlds and I’ll be all over this game.

Super Smash Bros.

To be honest I wasn’t expecting to be too much more information to be released for this game beyond a release date and some playable demos. Oh how foolish I was. Not only did I get that, but there was the Smash Bros. tournament, a list of modes shown of, the new Amiibo figures that would be compatible with this game, but there was the announcement for 3 new characters which included the Mii fighters and Palutena from Kid Icarus, but the biggest news to happen related to Smash Bros was the announcement of Pac-Man. I think my world pretty much blew up after that news went viral. After I saw that trailer I knew that Nintendo had me, now and forever, they’re the company that keep giving. I love you Masahiro Sakurai! Give me the game now! 😀

Batman Arkham Knight

I don’t know how Rocksteady do it, but they continue to outdo themselves with each entry in this Batman series of games. This game looks beautiful, the visual style is dark and shiny, with amazing levels of detail in the art and animation. But the main thing is the gameplay and man it looks better than ever, Batman still moves the same as ever with his gliding, stealth movement and combat. But the addition of the Batmobile makes things so much cooler with the driving and weapons too. I can’t wait for this game.

Assassin’s Creed Unity

Ubisoft are crazy, they just up the ante in their games and know how to do it properly. Each new entry in the Assassin’s Creed series just gets more and more interesting with new types of gameplay and game mechanics that just make the previous entry look like yesterday’s news. The new graphics are super cool and the amount of things that the developers can make happen on-screen at one time is nothing short of amazing. But it is that gameplay that really gets me excited, to see the attacks and parkour on display is cool and to know that you can do co-op in story mode just makes me so happy.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

I know that this game only has a trailer out at the moment and there is no gameplay to show off at the moment, but the trailer alone gets me hyped for the next entry in this new set of Tomb Raider games. The trailer set a very specific tone for this new game where it feels darker, twisted and more melancholy than before with a dramatic and emotional center. I want to know what’s happened to Lara Croft since the last game, I can’t wait.

Far Cry 4

I have never played a Far Cry game before and have only paid attention to series from a distance, but this game looks cool and I want to play it. The graphics are insane and the gameplay looks very interesting and to hear there’s co-op play added just gives me and my mates an excuse to play this together at some point in the future.

Little Big Planet 3

I never played the first Little Big Planet but I enjoyed the hell out of the second game in the series. The best part was all the user generates levels as you could spend hours messing around on them and trying out all of their themes and puzzles. This new game looks graphically insane and the inclusion of new characters seems to be great from what I’ve seen so far, I just can’t wait to use my new favourite Toggle. He’s a don! 😀

Star Wars Battlefront

While I’ve never played been a massive fan of the Battlefront series, I remember playing Battlefront 2 and liked what I played and I was curious to see what a new game would look like on today’s technology. And even though we only got to see the game in the early stages of development, it looks INSANELY GOOD! I am just excited for how they will take the ideas and gameplay from the past and improve upon it with all of the cool multiplayer options and room for cool solo and co-op campaigns too.

Mirror’s Edge 2

I’m liking the way this game is looking. Like the upcoming Battlefront game it is still in the early stages of development, however if this is any indication as to what will happen in the final version oft he game then things will be very interesting for Faith in this sequel. The conceptual footage looks so fluid in its animation for the parkour movements and hand-to-hand combat segments too, I cannot wait to see how this game turns out.

Hyrule Warriors

This game does look a lot better than it did last year and so far is surpassing any expectations I’ve had of the game before seeing it at E3. The new characters announced like Zelda and Midna have me all giddy and the attacks that they have are totally crazy and very versatile. What I truly love is the amount of fan service there is for fans of the Zelda series as it is littered with references all over the place. The only thing that worries me is the fact that this is style a Dynasty Warriors style of game and I don’t want to play it for a short time and get bored like the DW games I’ve played in the past. But I guess we’ll see when the game drops in September.

Sunset Overdrive

This was a game that genuinely surprised me, it just looks like a lot of fun and the kinetic flow of movement mixed in the with the crazy choice of weaponry and choices of enemies makes this game very intriguing to me. The style and presentation are great and humorous but also has gameplay interesting and cool enough to match too and that doesn’t happen too often.

So what did you think of E3 this year and what games are you most looking forward to in the future? Be sure to comment below and let me know! 😀

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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E3 2014: Nintendo Digital Event – My Highlights

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first instalment of my coverage on E3 2014. This event has a lot of stuff going but I will try to cover as much as possible so be sure to come back as soon as possible yo. I’ve already talked about Microsoft, EA, Ubisoft and Sony‘s press conferences and now I’m ready to move on to the next big event.

E3-2014

So now we have Nintendo, the main company I’ve been looking forward to. For me this is my jam and I needed Nintendo to do the deed and give us fans what we want. The last few press conferences have been really good, none of which have been completely perfect, but with the performance of Sony yesterday, Nintendo have a lot to prove not only to the companies that have come before them, but for themselves too. So how they fared? Well yes and no. To be fair Nintendo stepped up and gave us fun, games and news stuff and showed off some new games that DESPERATELY needed to be shown, but at the same time overall there I wasn’t completely left breathless. I loved Nintendo’s collaboration with Robot Chicken, it shows that they are really in-tune with their audience and they can have fun and entertain people. Seeing Reggie, Mario, Link and Toon Link and all those chaotic characters in action, that was some crazy and hilarious stuff. But then even more amazing was the inclusion of Satoru Iwata and Reggie fighting each other in a DBZ/Matrix style was AMAZING and really funny, it was so serious dramatic and badass, I want this type of Nintendo to existence forever.

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So with that in mind here’s my highlights of the presence conference:

Super Smash Bros

So Smash Bros., I need this game. Just when people thought that there was no more info to gain on this game, Masahiro Sakurai along with Nintendo blow our minds AGAIN! So what do have that’s new? Well Mii characters have joined the roster in three different forms; fighters, sword-welders and shooters and even Palutena from Kid Icarus: Uprising has joined the roster too. In addition to that we got a montage of the different modes in the game like the already announced Smash Run and Online modes, but we also see the return of Home Run and possibly a variation on that with a bomb, there’s also trophy viewing modes and list of other things shown in a montage of scenes. This video also showed off Amiibo, Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders figure collecting thing. Basically now you will be able to have these individual figures that you’ll be able to use them in-game and they’ll be able to collect data and have your own unique style mapped to them. And lastly we got a release date for the 3DS version, October 3rd, while the Wii U version will be out in the holiday section of 2014. So sure the 3DS version has been delayed, but I don’t care, as long as the game is good I’ll wait as long as it takes. I NEED my Smash Bros. fix yo! XD

Yoshi’s Wooly World

So Yoshi returns in a platforming game developed by the same team that made Kirby’s Epic Yarn. I like how we get to see the game but also get information from the developers about the way it plays, game mechanics and how they want their game to be better than the Kirby one before. The game looks very pretty, soft and colourful.

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

I love Toad, he’s such a don. He’s always been one of my favourite characters since te days of Mario Kart 64, but I don’t think it was until he was made into a main-ish kind of character as Captain Toad of the Toad Brigade in Super Mario Galaxy when I really started to like him. And now seeing him with his own sort of Super Mario 3D World type of game, now I don’t know if this is its own separate game or DLC, but I would hope that it is DLC because I doubt there would be enough Toad-based activities to fill out one physical game release.

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

I love Eiji Aonuma, he is one of the main people working in the video game industry who understands how to innovate and change games for the better and clearly he and the people at Nintendo know what fans want and it looks like from what he’s said about the NES classic and Wind Waker, that he’s gonna continue the freedom and game-changing mechanics that were implemented in A Link Between Worlds and gives us freedom. And I want it now.

The new Zelda game is looking hot! I knew that the game would look good, but MY GOD I did not expect it to be on this kind of level. Just from the footage we saw the game looks GORGEOUS! The open field is just full of life, with Link and Epona chilling, a beautiful sky, mountains in the background and the grass, the FRIGGING GRASS! My god it was so detailed and well-animated in a way that has never been seen before. Visually it looks like the world of Skyrim rendered in a vibrant and colourful way with an art style that looks like it references Wind Waker and Skyward Sword, but has a unique style of its own. Then there’s the moment where everything becomes disrupted and Link rides away on Epona as some crazy robot, crab-like thing chases after them shooting lasers and burning everything, it then destroys the bridge where Link’s heading, but then Link decides to bust out a kick ass new bow and start shooting this monster in style. I seriously can’t wait for 2015 now.

Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

So here we are, another year, another Pokemon game… And I want it. I loved the new additions that game with X&Y, but seeing this generation rendered brought back with this new technology makes me so happy. The trailer for this Pokemon remake was brief, though it did feature a montage of all these classic moments, redone in 3D and brought back so much nostalgia for me. I can’t wait.

Bayonetta 2

So yeah just like E3 last year and Nintendo Directs in the past, this game shows up, has a trailer which is a combination of cutscenes and gameplay which is fast and crazy and then ends as quickly as it began. Don’t get me wrong, Bayonetta 2 looks great and I’m probably gonna get it, but there’s not much to these trailers that really makes me gush like other Nintendo titles. But hey at least we finally has a release window, October 2014. I’m down with that.

Hyrule Warriors

Now we have a game that pretty much had people in two minds and whether the video shown during the event has changed some people’s opinions remains to be scene, but I like how Hyrule Warriors is turning out. I am really liking the attention paid to this game and how this collaboration between Tecmo Koei and Nintendo is being treated carefully and seriously. What I really liked was the improved visuals, but also the inclusion of characters Zelda and Midna, those were totally unexpected and I loved their move sets. So in addition to Link and Impa, you have two more characters to use and luckily their attacks look very diverse and reminiscent of the games from the past. We have November release date

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

When I saw this game I couldn’t believe it was back again. It has been about 6 years I think since I played Canvas Curse on the DS and I thought that game was very well done and enjoyable, though I honestly prefer conventional Kirby platforming games. That being said I am interested to see this style of Kirby gameplay return and with the additional power-ups and it definitely looks prettier than ever on Wii U too.

Xenoblade Chronicles X

Another game coming out in 2015 that many Nintendo fans are looking forward to is Xenoblade Chronicles X, the game formally known as ‘X’ has finally gotten a name. What we got was a very anime-like trailer with crazy space battles, mech suits and characters talking and shouting in a very emotional and shouting kind of way. The level of detail and scope in the graphics is really impressive, though I feel like the character models could look better. I know loads of people are excited for this game but since I never played the original I’m not as hyped for it as other games announced.

So what highlights stuck out for you? Be sure to comment below and let me know.

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2014 in Media, Video Games

 

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Can’t Wait For E3 2014

Howdy ladies and gentlemen, today I’m doing a little post relating to video games and the biggest event that houses them each year; the Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 for short. For those not in the know, E3 is like biggest event for video games where gaming companies come together to show off the future software and hardware and get gamers all crazy about what stuff they’ll be playing. This event goes down every summer at the  Los Angeles Convention center in America and for those who don’t get to go to the event, most of the event is streamed online.

E3-2014

For me E3 has been one of the biggest events in my life that I always get excited for in the summer because of all the cool announcements, trailers, images, interviews and hands-on videos and articles with some of these new games. Since 2006, E3 has become something that has become a mandatory thing for me to check out and while not every year is a good session, sometimes there can be one announcement that changes the lives of all gamers forever. Last year’s E3 was pretty awesome for announcements with my two highlights being the trailers for Kingdom Hearts 3 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. Now I’m primarily a Nintendo gamer so I’m more interested in their announcements more so than anyone else, but they’re REALLY gonna have to bring the fire if they want to succeed at this year’s event. Outside of Nintendo I’m always curious to know what Ubisoft are gonna announce because they’re crazy good at announcing things and delivering on the ‘wow’ factor. I also want to see Square Enix get their acts together and deliver us something that will be coming out sooner rather than later. As for Microsoft and Sony, I never really watch their conferences, but I always pay attention to any noteworthy facts that come out, but mainly Sony ones because I have a PS3 haha.

Anyways now I’m going to give a list of the games I’m hoping to hear about at this year’s E3:

Super Smash Bros.

Of course I want more info about the next Smash Bros. game, I mean after the last Nintendo Direct I was quite content with information, but now I have that secret craving again. Just some info on release dates, characters, stages and playable demo videos would be enough for me. Come on, give me Nintendo! XD

The Legend of Zelda (Wii U)

The Zelda series is one that constantly demands new content and after the awesomeness that was A Link Between Worlds last year ( a game that I and many others loved), people are looking at Nintendo to deliver a similar kind of experience with a new Wii U game. Now obviously the Wii U had that Zelda tech demo back in 2011 which basically looked like a HD version of Twilight Princess and it was gorgeous! But since then there’s not been anything else shown for it and people from Nintendo have stated that the demo may not even be a true representation of the next game in the series (which sucks). All I want at this year’s E3 is just a look at the next Zelda game, and speaking of Zelda games…

Hyrule Warriors

This game could go one of two ways, it could either be an unexpectedly awesome game or a disaster. Ever since the news about this game came out along with the trailer, people have been divided about it. I think it could be interesting, while I’ve never cared much for the Dynasty Warriors series, with it crossing over into the Zelda series there is room for experimentation and cool new elements to be added to this gaming experience. I have hope for the game, I just want more information.

Sonic Boom

Ah Sonic, your games have fallen on hard times again. Sonic Generations pretty much gave us fans the most solid gaming experience gameplay-wise, but then Sonic Lost World came along and tried to give us something new but failed to deliver the kind of game experience that fans are used to. Sonic Boom is a chance at redemption, we have a developer who aren’t Sonic Team working on the game, the gameplay looks new and interesting like a cross between Sonic and Ratchet and Clank. This game could also be a train wreck but I can only hope that it’ll be fine.

X (Monolith Project)

It has been ages since Nintendo announced this game, sure we’ve had bits of info since the first time it was shown off, but bloody hell this game feels like its been hidden away in the dark. Hopefully at E3 we can get a name, gameplay and more details about what the overall game is about.

Final Fantasy XV

Square Enix, I love you, but you’re terrible when it comes to giving fans what they want and leaving games in development for ages. Now I am glad that Final Fantasy Versus XIII got rebranded as XV because that means that at least one of their games from the past will be released eventually. But it also seemed like a bit of lazy thing to do. That being said the FF series has evolved from turn-based combat to real-time combat especially with the changes in the FFXIII games. XV looks like it has more in line with Kingdom Hearts and I’m down with that, but a bit of info at E3 wouldn’t go a miss.

Kingdom Hearts 3

Something that I care about more than FFXV is Kingdom Hearts 3. It feels like an eternity since KH2 and when the announcement trailer came out of this I blew up and the D23 trailer only got me more hyped. Now since Tetsuya Nomura is director of both this game and FFXV one has to wonder which will come first? Though I heard that FFXV would come out first because it has priority over the KH series. That being said I feel like it would be a darn shame for Square Enix not to have some form of announcement or trailer about this game because the fans will eat them alive.

Batman Arkham Knight

When it comes to Batman, I love Batman, sad thing is I’ve yet to play a game in the Arkham series, besides playing the demo for the gauntlet challenge mode. But I have followed this series a lot since Arkham City, this new game looks awesome and all the info about sounds kick ass. So I am curious to see how Rocksteady Studios do with this next entry in the series.

Assassin’s Creed Comet & Unity

The Assassin’s Creed series is one I have a lot respect for, however it is again one of the franchises I have yet to play. Anyway I have been paying attention to this series since Assassin’s Creed 3 and the series has been getting more and more ambitious and interesting in the gameplay department and I can only assume that this will be the case with the new games. Hopefully Ubisoft gives us something new at E3.

Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain

Even though I’ve never really played any of the games in the MGS series besides the demo for MGS3, I do have a respect for the series and always like to pay attention to where the series is heading next. The Phantom Pain looks like its changing a lot of things about the core elements of gameplay and this new open world looks really intriguing. I’m super curious to see what info will come out for this game at E3, I need to know.

Alien: Isolation

While I hate anything related to horror, I fo love anything to do with the Alien franchise. The demo for the game shown on IGN in the past made me think that this new game could be good, so here’s hoping we get more content about it at E3.

So yeah that’s my hopes for E3 2014, hopefully it delivers the goods. So what games are you looking forward to at E3 this year? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll try and blog about anything and everything I can that’s relevant to be from the 10th of June onwards, until then see ya later! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Media, Video Games

 

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Random Blog 12: Me & My Love For Super Smash Brothers!

Good day to you ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for Random Blog entry. And today I’m gonna talk about something that I have a serious amount of love for and because of recent events I just have to talk about it. Today I’ll be giving you a brief history of my experience of the Super Smash Bros. series.

The Games That Have Come Out So Far

Super Smash Bros. (1999)

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Ah yes the game that started it all. What we have here is a fighting game unlike any other. Where most fighting games were mainly two-on-two like in Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Tekken, this was a 4-player all-out assault. In SSB you took several famous Nintendo character from their key franchises and made them duke it out in 4-player mayhem. The concept was unique at the time because there wasn’t really many, if any other companies doing the same thing at the time. Players could pick from 12 characters (8 to begin with and 4 more unlockable ones), with 9 stages to pick from and you could either play the solo ‘Classic’ mode or mess around with friends in multiplayer time or stock battles. Each character had a unique moveset but in addition to that you could use items that could heal or damage you or your opponents, and then there were some stages had hazards that had to avoid too. The game was madness, but it was a critical and commercial success and from here the series could only go onwards and upwards.

Super Smash Bros. Melee (2001)

Super_Smash_Bros._Melee_-_North_American_BoxartIf SSB for N64 was the starter in a three-course meal that Super Smash Bros. Melee for GameCube was the main course. Melee came out and basically blew everyone’s expectations. It dwarfed the original game and improved everything. Going into a bit more depth about the features of the game, you had a character roster of 25 which introduced even more characters from established franchises while introducing some new faces (Bowser, Ganondorf, Mewtwo, Ice Climbers and Mr. Game & Watch among others), there were around three times the amount of stages to select and the combat, oh the combat, it was SO good. In Melee combat was faster, tighter and featured even more moves like directional throwing, one additional special attack, charged smash attacks, air dodging and so much more. Besides the famous multiplayer mode which even had a tournament mode, the solo mode had a Classic mode reminiscent of the orignal game and a new Adventure mode where you fighting characters, but also venturing through large worlds, racing against time and getting to the final boss that changed depending on the difficulty chosen at the beginning. And lastly the presentation for the game was SO good, straight from the gorgeous introduction with the orchestrated music and amazing pre-rendered CG cut-scenes, it was amazing. While the game isn’t as visually stunning as say Metroid Prime, F-Zero GX or LOZ: Wind Waker, I do believe it gave us the most detailed version of these characters at the point in time, and the music is some of favourite remixes and original material from any game ever thanks to the new orchestral sound.

Melee is one of the best GameCube games for a reason, it was and still is til this day one of the best multiplayer experiences that Nintendo have ever given us gamers. This was the game that most GameCube owners had in their collection either as first purchase or obtained a little while after its original release.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl (2008)

Super_Smash_Bros._Brawl_-_North_American_BoxartThis game took everything about the last game expanded things by 100! I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that everything got a dramatic increase in scope and detail. When it comes to overall including the modes you got in Melee, you had new solo mode, the Subspace Emissary which was an upgraded version of Adventure mode from the last game, there was also sticker and CD collecting introduced, and most importantly there was online play for the first time. It terms of combat the game was changed a bit with some upgrades to combat and item use, however things were slowed down and simplified a bit for casual players. The character roster was boosted from 25 to 35 (39 if you count Sheik, Zero Suit Samus and the Pokemon Trainer’s Pokemon as separate characters) and we got some fighters replaced and some altogether new fighters, but the most interesting of these was the inclusion of Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake and long-awaited arrival of Sega’s mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.

The hype for this game was ridiculous, ever since E3 2006 and I don’t think I have seen that kind of hype and excitement for a game in since besides possibly the wait for GTA V or Pokemon X & Y. I think the game delivered on the hype for the most part with most fans saying that the game was the best entry in the series and it was also one of the highest selling Wii games too.

The only thing this intro is missing an epic announcer saying the name of the game… That and original cut-scenes. 😛

How This Series Affected Me

To say that I love the Smash Bros. series would be an understatement, I ADORE this series. Besides the days when I played GoldenEye, Perfect Dark and the Mario Kart and Party games, this game series would be the one that provided me with my favourite multiplayer experiences. There is something so satisfying about taking several Nintendo characters and pitting them up against each other in combat. It is an adrenaline-fueled, chaotic and fun kind of experience that is hard to describe unless you’ve played it for yourself. Ever since I started with this game series around the year 2000 or 2001 I’ve been hooked. It was like the Avengers crossover of Nintendo video games (sure the Capcom Vs. series had already did a few crossover fighting games, but this was a different kind of beast altogether). Melee pretty much changed my life, I was obsessed and I was playing that game from the age of 12 til about 18. By the time Brawl came out I had blown up from all the nerdgasms I’d been doing, while I did miss the faster, more technical combat of Melee, Brawl had done so much more right and had online. Only problem was that I never played Brawl as long as Melee, in fact around two years in I sort of left it alone as I went into my hazy phase with video games. That being said, it is pretty much the only Wii game I go back to whenever I dust the old console off because it’s the only one I like that much.

The Smash Bros. series is now one that I adore just as much or possibly more than the Sonic series and that’s saying a lot coming from me. This series has yet to wrong me, it just delivers on the fun and entertainment factor by like 10,000! Just seeing the games, listening to the music or playing it just gives me an immense sense of satisfaction that not many other gaming franchises can.

The Future

super-smash-bros-wii-u-and-3ds-logoAnd now of course we have Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS coming out later on this year. To say that I’m hyped for this new entry in this series would be an understatement.

When this game was announced at E3 2011 I went mad with speculation just trying to think about how this game would turn out. But it wasn’t until E3 2013 when we got to the first look at the new game and holy crap it was a surprise and a half. The amazing trailer showed off Smash Bros. coming to the Wii U in glorious HD but also on the 3DS too. It was beautiful sight, but the real revelation was seeing Mega Man added as a fighter. I think the internet blew up with all the gaming nerds freaking out. And since then game director Masahiro Sakurai has been giving us fans on the game daily updates since then updating us on characters, stages, move-sets, items and so on, it has been a great time to be Nintendo nerd.

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These are the character-specific posters for the new combatants all complete with different styles.

At this current point in time we have 29 characters announced, details on the online modes, several stages shown for both the Wii U and 3DS versions and then of course there’s the release dates with the 3DS version coming out in the summer and the Wii U version coming out in the winter. Right now there’s a been a lot of information at this point in time, however there’s still a lot of time before the games are released, so I am really interested to see what information is released at E3 this year.

Here’s a beast trailer compilation:

So yeah those are my thoughts on the Super Smash Bros. series, it is a series that I can’t see my life without. It is chaotic, unique and a hell of a lot of fun. My excitement for the new games in this series have me freaking out, I have watched all of the footage for the game over and over and I am going out of my mind just trying to be patient. All I can say if you haven’t experienced this game series yet, try out one of the games I highlighted or buy the new games when they come out because the world of Smash Bros. is one of joy that no gamer should be without. 🙂

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2014 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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SEGA Announces Sonic Boom: New Game, TV Show and Toys

Well it has been a while since we heard about the new Sonic Boom cartoon, I even did a blog post about it when it was first announced, but now it seems like Sega have come out of hiding and given us our first details and what follows may be shock some of you… The following info comes from IGN:

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Jesus Christ what did they do to Knuckles, he’s become some beast, like he’s fucking steroids. My eyes! XD

SEGA has announced Sonic Boom, a fresh branch of the Sonic universe that includes a video game, toys and a new CG animated television series.

Sonic Boom will introduce redesigned versions of the popular hedgehog and his companions. To get your first glimpse at their new looks, check out the debut trailer for the Sonic Boom video game below, coming exclusively to Wii U and 3DS.

Starring Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy Rose, the Sonic Boom game will serve as a prequel to the TV series and will focus on collaborative gameplay. The third title in the exclusive Nintendo-Sega partnership following Sonic: Lost World and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, it’ll feature all the speed you’d expect from a Sonic game, alongside elements of exploration, combat and “a new Enerbeam tether mechanic”.

The TV series will debut on Cartoon Network during the 2014/2015 series and will be made up of 52 episodes, each 11 minutes long. As you’d expect, a range of accompanying toys and merchandise will be produced featuring the new-look characters.

Hiroyuki Miyazaki, SEGA chief content officer for Sonic, said “SEGA is constantly looking to feed the appetite of Sonic fans, new and existing alike. The various pieces of the Sonic Boom project, such as its unique look, mix of comedy, and action and its focus on the whole ensemble with Sonic as the star, offer another exciting part of that universe for people to explore and enjoy.  It will be at once familiar but also new.”

Earlier this week there were mutterings about a next-gen Sonic game headed to Wii U, PS4 and Xbox One in 2015, though SEGA was quick to deny the claims. We now know where our next Sonic fix is coming from… the question is, when?”

Now before I even start to talk about the news about Sonic Boom actually being both a video game and TV show, I feel the need to firstly address that game trailer…

Uhh, okay, erm, I don’t even know what to say. To be honest I am kind of speechless. One part of me thinks the individual gameplay types between the four looks cool and graphically the environments like nice, but then the other half of me is like what the hell did they do the classic Sonic characters and why has the Sonic series become less and less about fast platforming and more about comedy, teamwork gameplay and all this other randomness. It also doesn’t help that the trailer uses one of the most overhyped and annoying songs from recent history, Skrillex’s “Bangarang”. But really the gameplay does look interesting, looks like some Sonic Heroes with third-person adventure action which could work if done properly and since it doesn’t look like Dimps are involved in the development of this game there may be hope! I’m just not sure if I’m down with such a radical change for Sonic in such a short time. He went from awesomeness in Sonic Generations to some weird version in Sonic Lost World, while at Nintendo, Mario barely changes at all, he just gets a few new power-ups a year and continues to succeed with ease. How can Sega fail to do the same for the blue blur? It baffles me.

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As for Sonic Boom on the whole, I am very, VERY concerned. This changed-up gameplay and funky character designs definitely put a spin on my childhood memories and have left me at a loss for words. Is this what Sega and Sonic Team think is the best way for Sonic to get back in the good books of not only the fans but also the people not aware of the Sonic franchise too? I can easily see a lot of fans or outsiders look at this and think of it as a joke and wouldn’t blame them. Sonic’s been on a slippery slope of doom since Sonic 06 and while Sonic Colours and Generations helped him out, Shadow’s guns, Sonic’s Werehog transformation, Sonic’s sword and questionable game mechanics in the recent Lost World haven’t been forgotten.

Now I am ready to give this game the benefit of the doubt and see how it fares, maybe the game will be good, will lead into a great TV show and I’ll take back everything that I said. However change has never been kind to the Sonic series before and I’m not sure it’ll help now and I am afraid that Sonic is being changed and watered down and I’m not sure this will pull in the audience Sega think it will. But we’ll wait and see.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Media, Video Games

 

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What Nintendo Need To Do To Succeed In The Future

Howdy ladies and gents, today I have a blog post I’ve been meaning to make now for about 2 or 3 months now. Basically I’ve been a Nintendo fan in the world of gaming since the days of the Super Nintendo and Game Boy and have grown up with the companies consoles and while Nintendo have always been playing catch up in the world of technology since the Wii and DS came around, they’ve always have the software a loyal fanbase to carry them along. However since the release of the Wii U, Nintendo struggled severely to get same success and good software than their previous home console did, and while the 3DS is keeping them afloat, Nintendo still aren’t in a winning position yet.

So with that in mind I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I believe Nintendo should do to survive and succeed if they wish to be relevant in the next 2 years especially.

Annoyingly IGN already beat me to the punch with their article on this subject matter a little while ago which you can read here: http://uk.ign.com/videos/2013/12/04/game-scoop-the-state-of-the-wii-u

Now keep in mind this is just my opinion and are options that I think the company should consider, don’t go trying to murder me with violent words if your one of those crazy gamers, okay? Cool. Let’s go.

In no particular order, this is what I think Nintendo need to do in the future:

1. First Party Content Must Be A Priority!

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This one may be obvious but it is true, Nintendo need that 1st party software that makes their games unique to the console which will entice fans new and old towards the console. Now obviously Zelda and Mario sells, that’s common. But Nintendo have many other franchises like Metroid, Pokemon, and many others that they need to make in order help make their Wii U console worth talking about. Sure we have Zelda: Wind Waker HD, Rayman Legends and the recent Super Mario 3D World along with the upcoming Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. games, but we need much more Nintendo content like that which they know fans want and WILL buy.

2. Nintendo Need More New IPs!

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As I said before I know that Mario sells, so does Zelda and so does Metroid, those franchises are the money makers. However that doesn’t mean you should continuously keep falling back on them for new games Nintendo, give us something new! This is a company that I feel have been playing it safe for the last few years releasing an absurd amount of Mario games in its many different formats and forgetting about the creation of new material. even though the Wii didn’t have that much in the way of new IPs, there were at least a few that were tried. Games like MadWord, No More Heroes 1 & 2, Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story, Pandora’s Tower, Boom Blox 1 & 2, Epic Mickey and GoldenEye 007 (2010) to name a few. Nintendo needs this type of variation and fresh material from its developers both 1st and 3rd party based.

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Now of course they’ve tried with The Wonderful 101 and have Bayonetta 2 on the horizon and recently the announcement of Hyrule Warriors looks promising/interesting, however they need so much more in order to stay relevant and make themselves noticeable to not only their fanbase, but also developers and critics not convinced that the Wii U is a good bit of hardware.

3. Get That Third-Party Support Back!

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This is a tricky one. Nintendo looked like they were onto something prior to the Wii U’s release last year with all of the ports they were gonna release. But since the sales for the console have been so shit, loads of 3rd party developers have cut their ties with the console and have expressed their lack of enthusiasm towards creating future games (besides a minor future who still see a light at the end of the tunnel).

I believe Nintendo needs to make great games that aren’t Mario or Zelda which will show they have more versatility and then make sure that the games in question sell a considerable amount. They really need to shift units for not only the consoles but the games too. Then and only then will developers start to recognize that the Wii U is relevant and worth making games for.

4. Sort Out Those Controls!

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This is has been an issue since the Wii came out. But besides Nintendo and a few other developers, no one knows how to make games that don’t have questionable controls. With the motion controls of the Wii there’s always been some sort of problem that’s made the experience tedious or frustrating. The Wii Remote has been in some real stinkers where the control was either broken, lazy, overly complicated or completely unresponsive. And now some games on Wii U have suffered from the same control issues again, Nintendo really need to be smart/careful and make sure that developers are aware of the hardware they’re using and make sure that they’re creating controls for it that are good.

5. Tell Us Why The Console & GamePad is Relevant

WiiU

This is something that Nintendo have only started doing in recent months, but I still don’t think the message has gotten through to consumers not in the know. The Wii U is mainly looked at in one the following ways:

  • It’s an expansion of the Wii (because of the stupid name)
  • It’s just the GamePad on its own
  • It’s just a HD Nintendo console with no games

Those are legitimate statements I’ve heard several times online from different people. Nintendo really need to drive the message home to all who aren’t in the know that the Wii U is a console they NEED, not want, but REQUIRE. Like make an advert that says: “YO, THE WII U IS AWESOME, YOU NEED THIS CONSOLE IN YOUR LIFE, GET ONE OR BE LEFT IN THE DUST!” Plus Nintendo have to talk about the benefits of the GamePad, how it improves on current gaming experiences and separates itself from other gaming consoles. and there just needs to be an overall mentioning of all the features that make Wii U better than the last console.

6. Bring Back Old Franchises!

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This is something that has been bugging me for years and honestly I want it to get done sooner rather than later. I love Nintendo but I feel like Mario is constantly on-show and the rest of some of Nintendo’s other franchises hardly get as much love.I don’t think the Big N is truly aware of the back catalogue they can draw from. There are plenty of Nintendo series’ that have been left on the shelf of history just waiting to make a comeback and the 2 key franchises that are being so clearly ignored and they are of course F-ZERO and STAR FOX! WHY IN THE HOLY MOTHER OF HELL HAVEN’T WE GOTTEN A NEW GAME IN EITHER OF THESE SERIES YET?

Why Nintendo chooses to ignore these KEY franchises that have clearly made them money in the past and that fans have ADAMANTLY cried out for is something I’ll never know. They would clearly lend themselves to the technology, online gameplay and everything and with help from another developer it could be something special. But they choose to continuously ignore these franchises like they don’t existence and it pisses me the hell off. Nintendo just need to take a look and pay attention to what their fanbase are talking about and communicate with them before it falls through.

Well there’s my two cents on the matter. I hope that this has been a least informative to you all who are reading and if you feel the same or differently, drop your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next post yo.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2013 in Media, Video Games

 

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Pokemon: Origins Review

Howdy people of the internet, time for me to give you an anime review on this chilled out Sunday. Today I’ll be reviewing Pokemon: Origins, an anime that I’ve been meaning to watch since before Pokemon X &Y came out, but because of my attachment to my 3DS and my uni work I hadn’t gotten around to watching it until now. Now I’ve watched it all in Japanese with subtitles so I won’t be covering the English version, nope, this’ll be a review in its purest form. Okay let’s get started.

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So the story in Pokemon: Origins is basically a TV special that unlike the current (and quite poor) on-going Pokemon TV series, Origins is more faithful adaptation of the first generation of Pokemon games, Pokemon Red and Blue (Green in Japan). Origins follows the adventures of the boy known as Red along with his first Pokemon, Charmander and as the travel across the region of Kanto they will do battle with his rival Green, taken on Gym Leaders, taken on the evil Pokemon organisation known as Team Rocket and all that other good stuff along the way.

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As an adaptation of the original games, Pokemon: Origins succeeds on nearly every level. The special is broken down into four main parts; “Red“, “Cubone“, “Giovanni” and finally “Charizard” and within each episode there was a specific plotline to follow related to the name of the episode. As soon as this first episode starts up you’re hit with nostalgia. The people behind the anime knows its source material and it knows its audience and anyone who knows the game will see that Origins is chalked full of references big and small. Everything from Professor Oak showing up at the beginning to the various Pokemon locations to your run-ins with Team Rocket and the Gym Battles, it’s all there and it is nostalgic perfection. There are so many aspects ripped straight from the games to the point where I think even some of the dialogue the characters say is exactly like the game, the level of commitment to the source material is pretty insane.

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Now as I said before this is an adaptation, so as per usual there were a few liberties taken with the source material. Since this special follows Red’s adventures, they had to flesh out the character so we have to watch him win, fail and grow as a trainer and while it works for the most part, there are a few conventional and convenient anime cliché moments that keep this from being better than it is.

In terms of characters there’s only really two main people to follow and that is Red and Green. Red is the star of this TV special. He’s a fiery little boy with dreams of completing his Pokedex, but at first he doesn’t have the right skills, he’s not a very good trainer as he doesn’t know the basics and has to learn as he travels and over the course of the four episodes he grows and become a more confident and capable trainer. Red for the most part was a fun character, but he was probably one of the key elements that made me dislike Pokemon: Origins for this one simple fact: he’s an idiot. My god, I have never seen such a failure of a Pokemon trainer in my life (not since Ash Ketchum). Seeing this boy struggle and fail was so painful to watch. Red doesn’t know type advantages, tries to capture another trainer’s Pokemon and doesn’t seem to fully understand strategic battles. Maybe I’m being harsh on him because he’s a newbie, but my god his foolish just pissed me off.

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Outside of Red there is of course Green. Anyone who knows the games will remember this guy as the little prick who came across every once in a while who was very overconfident and insulted you at every turn. Green in this adaptation was great, he was the best kind of rival who was smart, faster at learning the ways of Pokemon and was always one step ahead of Red.

Everyone else is either a supporting character or a side character. The appearances of Professor Oak, Brock, My Fuji and Giovanni were all pretty interesting and nice and were for the most part in line with what was in the games.

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Presentation-wise this is just some really awesome stuff. OLM, Production I.G and Xebec are the studios behind the creation of this special and their work is nothing short of wonderful. Of course there’s been an animated TV show for Pokemon since the late 90’s, but Origins feels far more accurate to the games with more active (and sometimes violent) Pokemon battles, wonderful drawn characters and incredible locations and the attention to detail is SO good! But what could be considered even better is the music, oh my god the music done by Masafumi Mima is GORGEOUS! The composer has taken the majority of the songs from the games and re-imagined them with a more realistic set of instruments and the end result is one of beauty! Almost every song you could imagine from the games has made it in, from the Gym Leader theme to the Lance battle theme to Green’s theme (my personal favourite), it’s all there and it kicks ass!

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In conclusion Pokemon: Origins is one hell of a nostalgia trip for fans of the first generation of Pokemon and is probably the most accurate portrayal we’re going to get in terms of an animated adaptation of the video games. This four-part special, while short, captured the essence of the games through the characters, locations, music and of course the battles too. While isn’t perfect due some inaccuracies and Red’s poor trainer habits and character flaws, otherwise this a bit of anime fun no fan should miss out on.

Rating: 7.5/10 (A good, nostalgic adaptation of Pokemon)

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2013 in Anime, Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Pokémon X Review

Hi people of the internet, time for me to do something I haven’t done for a while… A GAME REVIEW! AND IT’S A NEW ONE! Holy man, now don’t blow up ladies and gents, but I don’t really review any new games because I’m always broke or don’t have a console to play the games that I want. But anyway, today I want to talk about Pokémon X, a game I wanted to play for a while and just wanted to play for the sake of nostalgia. So now that my addiction for the game has died out, I think it’s time to review the game.

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There is a story in this game and as usual its kind of linear and never really overshadows your main playing experience. You mainly run around with four friends and from time to time they’ll show up out of nowhere and interrupt your fun to battle or join you on your adventure. Your rival is especially annoying because her timing can be particularly troublesome. Outside of that you’ll have to take on your typical evil Pokémon organization and there’s some crazy backstory involving Pokémon thousands of years ago in war and death, it is kind of surprising, but if you’re like me and only play Pokémon for the gameplay then the story won’t amount too much.

When it comes to the gameplay, there is a basic mixture of old and new implemented into this game that adds some welcome changes, but at the same time has some of the series’ problems still haven’t been rectified.

Firstly let’s talk about the new gameplay features and they include:

  • You can customize your character’s appearance (clothes, accessories, skin colour etc.)
  • Certain evolved Pokémon can use Mega Evolutions that make them more powerful during battle.
  • Also introduced are Sky Battles, mid-air trainer battles that only flying Pokémon can participate in, and Horde Encounters, in which players must battle against multiple wild Pokémon at once.
  • You’ll be able to choose from one of the classic starter Pokémon from Red & Blue later on in the game.
  • A new type of Pokémon is introduced in the form of the Fairy-type which were added to balance the Dragon-type.
  • Then there’s Pokémon-Amie which allows players to interact with their Pokémon, you get to play games and give them food that strengthens bonds.
  • Super Training features various mini-games that help build the base stats of the player’s Pokémon, which in turn unlocks training bags that can be used by Pokémon to grow stronger on their own.
  • The online experience has been streamlined and made absurdly convenient, allowing for trading and battling to be done in a quick and seamless manner.

Then you have some small variations to basic rules of the Pokémon series that make the experience move a lot faster and smoother than before especially for veterans. But outside of those differences/upgrades, the core gameplay of Pokémon X is exactly the same as it was before. You still start off as a little trainer who goes off and explores the world, catches and trades Pokémon, battles other trailers, takes on 8 gym leaders, take on an evil Pokémon organization and go to the Pokémon League and take on the Elite Four.

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As a person who’ been playing Pokémon games since the 90’s with Pokémon Red, I have experienced Pokémon in every form. Generation I and II were my favourites in the series, Gen III was good, but wasn’t leaps and bounds better than Gen II, Gen IV was okay, but very unremarkable and Gen V while different was not nearly as engaging or cool as previous entries. So I was SO glad that Generation VI was WAY more engaging and fun than any game I’d played in ages. I felt an immediate wave of nostalgia mixed in with whole new experiences that made me fall in love with Pokémon again! I liked training Pokémon again, I loved battling and going through the Kalos Region was just a delight.

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However for all those good aspects, there are a number of issues I have. Firstly the game is a bit on the easy side and while that’s not too much of a problem at first, it became noticeable towards the end of the game when I was pretty high level and took out the Elite Four pretty easily. Secondly and this is the biggest issue for me, THE GAME LOOSES SERIOUS STEAM AFTER THE MAIN GAME IS OVER! This has been an issue for most games in the series for a while now, but other than Gold & Silver, there hasn’t been a game in the series that has had a lot of replay value outside of the main campaign. Once you beat all the gym leaders and then take out the Pokémon League there isn’t much to do in the main campaign besides the dabble in some mundane tasks, get more Mega Stones and try out the Battle Masion. Unless you’re a completist or love battling and trading online, then this game will run out of steam very quickly.

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Presentation-wise Pokémon X is simply insane and never has the production values for a game in this series looked or sounded so good. Visually the graphics have had a major overhaul with the world and battles being completely rendered in polygonal 3D graphics! The world of Pokémon has taken a MASSIVE step forward in the graphical department and I say that is ABOUT BLOODY TIME! For the longest time I have been waiting for the series stop using sprites and go full-on 3D and now it’s finally happened. Seeing all of the Pokémon rendered in cel-shaded 3D models in battles with specific animations really make them stand out and emulate their traits from the anime shows. Outside of battles the new overworld looks brilliant, lively and more dynamic than ever with the varied camera angles, depth of field and a great deal of scope, especially with all the different NPCs on-screen in addition to these different environments. As for the audio it is pretty impressive on this side of things too. The soundtrack for this game is probably the best one I’ve heard since Ruby & Sapphire, it’s so different, realistic and upbeat, it is just a song for every scenario. My personal favourites would be the battle theme, Professor Sycamore’s theme and the gym leader music (which is totally badass). I think my only issue with the audio is the fact that not all of the Pokémon have voices like the anime and still rely on those terribly outdated sound effects (well, besides Pikachu).

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In conclusion Pokémon X is one of the best experiences I have had with this series in a long time. For the first time in ages there actually feels like there’s some actual change, innovation and rectifications to the franchise that it so badly needed. The fancy new graphics, refined gameplay and killer online features make it one of the most addictive games for a while. That being said, this game still lacks a good offline mode once the main quest is finished and unless you’re in love with trading and battling the fun factor runs out very quickly. When all is said and done Pokémon X is still a great game for newbies and a fun time for veterans too.

Rating: 8/10 (It may be easy and lacking in offline department, but there’s enough new features to make it a game worth playing)

So have you played Pokémon X & Y? And if you have, tell me what you think of Generation VI as a whole, was it everything you hoped it would be or did you want more? Whatever your thoughts drop them in comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Game Reviews, Media, Reviews, Video Games

 

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