It might just be nostalgia talking but sometimes I wish games went back to simpler times, during the Saturn/Dreamcast and PS1 era when 3D platformers were king. I love those games. And sure, Mario has a new 3D adventure everyone and then, but I miss Crash Bandicoot and Spyro, Lara Croft and Raziel, and a little character called Klonoa.
The Klonoa series consists of only two main games, to my knowledge, and a few spin off titles I’m not interested in. It’s the second game that I want to talk about. Klonoa 2: Lunatea’s Veil is not technically a 3D platformer, it’s more of a 2.5D game where you run along a 2D path with some 3D elements. But the colours and design pop on the screen whenever I play it and I have a real fondness for games like this. I wish these kinds of games were more popular. Klonoa is a very underrated character who should get the spotlight more.
The other not-quite-3D game i want to gush about is a Japan only Dreamcast game called Napple Tale. This game would definitely be in my Favourite Games of All Time list, if it wasn’t for the fact that I have no idea what any of the characters are saying and therefore it makes it extremely difficult to progress very far in the game. But, the music, the art style, the world of Napple Tale is like an interactive story book. It’s so focused in its design, that it creates a single vision that is consistent throughout the game. It’s a joy to walk around and explore the levels I am able to enter. This game is notable for being made by an all-female crew, fierce.
I do miss these kinds of games because they are becoming rare. There’s a magic about them. where the world and character design all click. There are heaps of other 3D/2.5D games that are brilliant. If you are sick of boring, bland brown shooters, like I’ve always been, check out the classics. Other brilliant platformers include:
Crash Bandicoot 1, Psychonauts, Burning Rangers, Shinobi, Sonic Colours, Jak and Daxter, Mario Galaxy, Oddworld: Stranger’s Wrath, Nights into Dreams.
Japanese homework #Japan #FinalFantasy #ValkyriaChronicles #ShiningBlade #sushi #ramen #PSP #udon
There is so much goodness out at the moment and a lot more on the way this year. I always play too many games at once and know I should play one at a time but I just can’t help it.
At the moment, I’m playing:
Fire Emblem: Awakening
I have been waiting for this bad boy for a while and now it’s finally out in Australia. It’s got a nice art style and lots of really interesting small details in the way characters move during the battle animations, the way swords and lances are swung is fun to watch.
Luigi’s Mansion 2
I liked the first game but didn’t need a sequel for my life to be complete. I picked this game up on a whim and it’s been one of the best gaming surprises since Dragon’s Dogma. This game is really good. The ghost designs are boring but like Fire Emblem above, it’s about the intricate details that give them game so much personality. Exploring each mansion is a great discovery each time.
Oh the memories, my sister and I played DOA3 to death when I first got my Xbox. This game has great graphics and still feels very similar to DOA3 which is a tick in my books. I’m still yet to sink a big chunk of time into it to check out all the minor details, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the DOA series, I think it’s very underrated.
I got the sequel to this game for my PS Vita and just couldn’t bring myself to play it until I’d playing this one first. I have only played a few minutes but it seems very interesting and would be good for long plan rides. Until you got stuck on one of the tricky puzzles.
This has been another pleasant surprise. I was reading about this game on the internet and then saw it cheap second hand at EB so I just grabbed it and I’ve actually really enjoyed it. It doesn’t try to do anything different from your average JRPG, but it’s solid with nice graphics and a battle system that feels like a warm blanket of Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy.
clear blue skies with perfect white clouds remind me of Ivalice so badly, I wish I was there
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (PS3)
If you’ve even taken a fleeting glance at this collection of nerd bursts you would know I have quite a soft spot of Tim Schafer games, SEGA and, possibly the greatest action game of all time, Bayonetta.
Everyone I talk to about games probably gets bored by my love for this game. It’s just so funky and fresh I can’t deal.
But enough about that bitch (witch). I am here to talk about the latest action game from Platinum games. However, and as unfair as it is, it’s very hard to review Rising without comparing it to Bayonetta. They are similar in many ways. There are some big differences though.
The first is being able to slow down time and slice your opponent into chunks at basically any angle you like. This never gets old and when pulled off correctly looks pretty specky. It took me a while to get the hang of it but once I did I felt like a badass cyborg ninja.
The enemy variety is also different because…well…there isn’t much. It seemed like in every stage of Bayonetta a new foe was being unleashed for you to battle and while there are a few different enemies in Rising, there isn’t much variety. They also have a tendency to knock you down and then do it again as soon as you get up, which gets frustrating quickly.
But perhaps the biggest frustration in the game is the camera. It’s pretty bad at times. The camera has been a 3D game’s biggest hurdle since 3D games were invented. Bayonetta’s camera system was pretty good, but in Rising it can be down right horrible in a lot of places. They becomes extremely annoying during the harder battles. The game is also quite short and can be completed in under 6 hours. I suspect it’s designed to be played multiple times though. There is a number of skills to unlock which I didn’t do on my first playthrough.
The music is also a bit of a let down. I’m not a huge fan of heavy metal rock music and there were times when I just laughed hearing the stoopid music that would play during boss fights, instead of adding to the battle it just made it more comedic.
The environments are pretty bland, except for the Japanese garden stage everyone mentions in reviews. The story is a nice extension of the Metal Gear world but I thought the characters that filled it weren’t as good as past Metal Gear bosses. The graphics are pretty good and I can’t really find fault with them. There are some really cool, over the top moments in the game that are enjoyable.
Overall I had pretty high hopes for this game and maybe it’s my own fault that I didn’t enjoy this game as much as I could have. It’s decent, don’t get me wrong. And it’s a worthy addition to the Metal Gear universe, but it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be and it’s not as good as Bayonetta.
Asura’s Wrath (PS3)
Capcom gets a pretty bad rap sometimes but they have created some of the best games of all time, but also squandered many opportunities to please fans by making games they actually want.
I have to give respect to Capcom for publishing Asura’s Wrath. It’s a bizarre game that I would best describe as an “interactive anime”. It is full of long cutscenes peppered with quick time events (something that should die in most games). If you’re not following the on screen prompts you’re running around beating up enemies and bosses using a barely competent fighting system where you combine light and strong attacks to build up a rage metre until full to proceed to the next cutscene.
The story is one of revenge, Asura has had his life ruined when he is framed for the death of the emperor. The game is clearly inspired by anime but it never comes close to the best anime out there. There is some stunning scenery and images but it all becomes to repetitive to be fun.
The art style is the real star of the show. It’s bold, colourful and clearly influenced by Eastern/Asian mythology. It’s interesting and highly detailed. The graphics really show off the designs of each character.
I have to mention the music, it’s incredible. It almost beats out the art style as the best thing about the game. It is some of the best I’ve heard in any game and everyone should play the game just to hear it.
A glaring flaw to the game is something that really grinds my gears. To experience the true ending of the game you have to purchase the final chapter. That’s right, even after you’ve paid for the game you have to pay more to actually see the ending. It’s horse shit. This generation of games has introduced a DLC/purchase policy that really stinks. I shouldn’t have to pay extra for something that should be in the game normally.
Asura’s Wrath is interesting. I respect what it’s trying to do. But it just doesn’t work for me. It’s just not fun. It’s proof Japan has creativity overflowing so hopefully more original ideas come out of an amazing country.
Rayman 3 HD (PS3)
Being back at uni stinks. It’s almost week 3 and I still haven’t even opened a book. I’m in a gaming slump at the moment, I get like this every now and then. Nothing really seems to excite me, so I’ve been playing a bit of my back catalog of games. I am a big Rayman fan and it’s very sad that Rayman Origins wasn’t bought by more people because it’s exceptional.
Rayman has never had the same level of platforming fame as Jak and Daxter, Crash Bandicoot and that plump Italian plumber. The platforming genre is close to my heart because it’s the games I grew up on.
Rayman 3 should make me happy. But it doesn’t. It does make me mildy satisfied, but that’s not much.
Let’s get to the good stuff first. The music is great. I love it. It’s catching, upbeat when it needs to be, a little dark when it needs to be. Good music can make some games much more enjoyable and it certainly works here. Don’t get me wrong, Rayman 3 is decent. It’s fine. But it doesn’t take as big a leap forward as Rayman 2 did. But maybe I’m being a little bit harsh on it.
The enemies are the Hoodlums and they are very well constructed with lots of different designs so they never get stale. I like the overall look of them. They run around trying to take the best advantage to blast you with their hunting rifles. There are some cool and clever little moments in the game but just not enough to really make me smile. It’s kind of by the numbers. The ending is pretty epic which I like, but it sags a bit in the middle.
The levels take place in swamps, fiery temples and industrial areas. They have personality. But by the time I got up to the fire temple, I was just kind of over it all. The game gets annoying with bad checkpointing and annoying enemies and level design. As I said, it’s decent, but not great. The camera is also pretty bad. It’s the number one obstacle of all 3D platformers and it could have used some work here.
The graphics have received a nice upgrade. They are bright and I like the art style of the game. The fire temple is quite dull though with bland, washed out colours. The game controls well with tight controls needed for a game of this genre.
I like Rayman. I like this game. But I don’t love it. I guess after playing so much of Rayman Origins I have been spoilt and can’t seem to go back to this.
SEGAGAGA Vol. 2 (Akira, Sakura Shinguji, Kurt Irving, Ulala, Sonic)