Monthly Archives: August 2013

Review #015: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon – Gates To Infinity (3DS) ~ Dat Ending.

PMGTI

Official website

It has been coming. After a long time I finally finished the main story of this game. This game is actually the game that started off my rants here on my blog. I talked about the cuts and adds that this game did. Feel free to read it here. But I’ll address most of it in this article. This review will be a big one? Why? Well, I have a lot to talk about! Plus, this game actually did some things why I hold this game high in my list of best games ever. I thought a lot about special things to do for this review. From me being trapped in a dungeon and that each floor was a part of the game that I wanted to review but no idea really worked out the way how I wanted. So, that’s why I settled down upon a normal style review. I remember till this day pre-ordering this game. I was so excited that there was going to be a 3DS entry. It was a long time since this series saw an entry. The Japanese people got lucky with a WiiWare title that never saw international release. But ChunSoft gave us this game now. Yes, this game is not only made by GameFreak & Nintendo. ChunSoft actually has a great influence in this series. Anyways, let’s look at this game. Is it really worth the praise I give it or is it just that some elements really make me want to play this game? Let’s review! (Oh, and feel free to post a comment about my review and/or your views on this game.)

Paradise.

pmd_gti_ss6Let’s first tackle the biggest thing of this game. The story. In this game you wake up in a forest without knowing that you suddenly turned into a Pokemon. But this time they take things differently. Instead of the obvious thing to join a big rescue team or to become one, the main focus is actually somewhere different. The main focus is on you making a paradise for the Pokémon in Post Town.

And this is already a great improvement in my eyes. The story feels extremely fresh. And I actually really enjoyed the story. The characters were great, the writing is well done and I barely made complaints on the story while playing. There were some close calls of a Deus Ex Machina (for those who don’t know the word, it’s a sudden solution that comes out of nowhere and solves everything.) but lucky for this game, they were avoided.

The only thing is dislike a bit is that they removed the personality test at the start. I actually enjoyed it and never really cheated my way towards the Pokémon I wanted to be. You actually can directly select your Pokémon that you want to be now. This makes the game feel less personal but this short coming has been made up big time by something else.

But, I am not done yet with talking about the story. Where this game wins some big marks is the fact that for the 3rd entry in the game, the ending actually made me tear up once more. The ending, while it’s highly similar then the previous entries, is written in such an amazing way that it manages to to it’s job. I won’t spoil it but for emotional people, this will be a tough one. But that’s not all. The biggest marks are won with the addition of a story after the credits. I was so surprised when I saw that “and now you play as your partner to see how the story concludes.”. This gives the game a bigger reason to keep playing after finishing it.

Downfall

imagesBefore I continue with praising the game, I want to talk about what made this game not that much fun for me. Which elements made me want to avoid this game?

First off, there is DLC! Why? Just, why? Downloading additional dungeons is fun, but asking a small price for them is just silly. You basically download a dungeon with a name and some new textures. As if the extensive list of already available dungeons wasn’t good enough already.

Also, I know it’s meant for the safety of your health but the message: “You had a great adventure today. You should take a rest before you continue to play.” is just silly. I’m bummed out that there isn’t an option to disable this message.

Also, this game doesn’t like you checking the message log. The way to look at the message log is so hidden, it really makes me irritated when I want to check something I missed.

Something I really like is the fact that when you take a weak level Pokémon with you, it will grow to the level of the other Pokémon when you enter a high level dungeon. Take that your Pokémon are all level 30 and you take a level 10 with you for the ride. It goes to level 30 right away. But here comes something extremely annoying. You must go through all the moves the Pokémon can learn with that high level jump. One by one. Yes, one by one. That’s no fun at all. Why couldn’t you just program in a list for it?

Inventory management has also a small issue with it. When you want to take something out of your box, you can only take one item. Unless you first press “R” to input the amount you wish to have. This is an additional step that shouldn’t be there. When you select an item that you have multiple times, you should be able to directly say how much you want of it.

This game makes also one major mistake. One of the biggest flaws in this game is the fact the you only can do one mission each time you set out. And that is such a pain. This really pulls out a lot of the fun of doing multiple missions and trying to survive a dungeon because you need to do another floor.

A nitpicky thing is, and this might just be me, is that the running isn’t endless anymore. After a short while you stop running. And this is really annoying since you need to let go and press the B button again. Also, the running is a tad bit to fast. Running around corners is such an annoying thing in this game.

And this might be just me as well, but I felt like the final three bosses where way to weak and easy. Or I might just have grinded my Pokémon to a pretty high level and/or had a great inventory to beat them.

Before I forget, I want to add this to the bad list. A TM can be used multiple times. I liked the way of the previous entry more where you had to collect certain items to repair it before you could re-use it.

Great.

pokemon-mystery-dungeon-1At first I was really doubting to put this in the bad thing section but then I realized something. You can play as one of your team mates to take a break from the story. Yet, thanks to a box system, you can transfer over items from the companion mode to the main story mode. This gets rid of the annoying being stuck in a hard dungeon with no good items. Yet, it makes the game a bit easier. But it doesn’t get too easy either. You really need to finish requests to get those items.

In addition to that, good items are rather expensive and not always available in the shops. This makes creating a great inventory to finish bosses and/or beat big dungeons that more rewarding.

I touched upon the fact that you can do only one mission at a time. Such a big deal isn’t it really since the rewards you get are sometimes enough for expanding your paradise. The fact that you can upgrade, recolor and put more things and you have space makes the replay value high. Also, in the paradise there is a lot to do. Prize tickets and even two mini-games I know of. And they are extremely fun to do.

The hunger system is gone in this entry. But something else came in it’s place. The so called “V-Wave”. This makes a certain type more stronger and therefor more dangerous. You can change the “V-Wave” from a certain point in the story but I never did. I enjoyed the challenge.

The gameplay is still the same as before. You explore randomized dungeons and you try to get to the top. Using your attacks at corners is still extremely buggy. Speaking about attacks, they made an amazing change that is extremely helpful in this entry. When you press the “L” button you directly get an overview of all your Pokémon’s attacks! And you have to simply press the according button to execute the attack. This saves time since you don’t have to go into the menu to change your attack and you also see how much PP is left.

Also, attacks get stronger over time. The more you use them, the stronger they will get. But pay attention, the attacks of the enemy’ll be stronger then as well. So, if you upgrade tackle to level 2, the power of tackle of the enemies will be level 2 as well.

The dungeons are improved as well. Some dungeons have an “overworld” part where you have to cross a bridge or solve a small puzzle before being able to continue to the next floor. Thanks to this, dungeons are way less boring then in all the previous entries of the series. Inside dungeons there are also shortcuts. But I can’t tell more about them since I hadn’t been able to have the right key for unlocking the door.

Another great improvement is the fact that you can save everywhere you want! The menu system is better but not perfect. The fact that it’s not anymore a simple text box menu but something in the lines of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl where the buttons are on the button screen after a press on the menu button is such a great feature.

Visually this game is a masterpiece. It’s the best I have seen in the whole series. I actually regret not putting the 3D slider to max at certain points. This game really benefits from the 3D. It looks pretty. The rare cut scenes look amazing and are a marvel to look at. It’ll really stick with you how some area’s looked in 3D. And with great visuals comes one of the best animation I have seen in a while. Nothing bad to say about that.

The sound design is well done. It really pulls you inside the game. There are no Pokémon cries in the game but that’s actually a great thing, since this makes me enjoy the amazing soundtrack of the game at it’s full glory. Some tracks in the previous entries really got on my nerves after hearing them multiple times. But not with this game. This game really nailed it.

And I think I’ll leave it here for this review. Skipping the multiplayer and the possibility to find new dungeons around your home, it’s time to make a conclusion for this game.

Conclusion

The bad:

– Attacks at corners don’t work.

– The running is a bit broken.

– One mission at a time.

– The end bosses are a bit too weak.

– DLC.

– “You should rest.”

– Leveling up too fast makes for an irritating move learning “5-minute”

– TM can be used multiple times.

– Inventory management needs some minor tweaks.

– Removal of the personalty test at the start.

The good:

+ Amazing story.

+ Great soundtrack.

+ Visually amazing.

+ Great animation.

+ Randomized dungeons = high replay value.

+ Overworld parts in the dungeons.

+ Great sound design.

+ Benefits from the 3D.

+ Multiplayer.

+ Companion mode.

+ Sharing inventory makes the game way better.

+ Great controls.

+ Story after the credits.

+ It’s not only dungeons you can do in this game, the paradise opens up so many possible things to take a break from the dungeons.

+ Improved menu’s and combat.

Final words:

This game made some major improvements when you compare them to the previous entries of the series. Some things had to be payed for that, but actually in the long run, the game strong points really make up for it.

The game isn’t less fun, it’s as much fun as the previous entries but for a totally different reason. It still feels rewarding and fun but now because you make an amazing paradise that’s unique to you. Since you can choose a lot.

It really surprises me that this game really expanded on the previous entries so much. You have a lot more to do, to keep track off. And there isn’t only more depth to the game! They addressed issues to make the game more fun to play.

This game is one of the best spin-offs of Pokémon period. And I’m so glad that I finished this game and looked passed the flaws since then you see where this game actually truly shines. And then this game, you don’t want it to be over soon. But the length and replay value will keep you busy for a long while.

So, too long didn’t read version. Is it worth all it’s praise. Yes, if you don’t compare it too much too the previous entries of the series but take it as a new reboot-ish game of the series.

Score: 85 / 100

CreepyPasta: You should have been playing. (Written by: NekoJonez)

As a hobby I maintain my own blog, forum and YouTube channel. For that I have made a Facebook page and people could request to join.

Writing is something that interested me since the beginning. When I discovered those horror stories about bewitched games and hauntings of cartridges my attention was caught right away. I watched a lot of video’s, read a lot of stories and enjoyed every second of them. Maybe with the help of some shameless advertising, I even made a few comments.

One day, a girl that wasn’t part of my forum wanted to join the Facebook page. I checked her profile out. She was pretty hot in my opinion. That aside, I checked her profile out to make sure it wasn’t a cover for some advertiser or some fake profile. And I accepted her. It didn’t take long before I got a friend request of her. I thought that she followed my links while reading my comments and to further spread my content, I gladly accepted the friend request.

After a week, we talked a lot over Skype and Facebook chat. Man, did we have a fun time. We also played a lot of games together. From Minecraft to Corpse Party. The single player games we played in screen share. Or we used something along the lines of TeamViewer. That depended on the resources the game asked to avoid lag.

But sadly enough, my holidays were running short and I had to go back to school. She was bummed out. She didn’t go to school anymore and she had nobody else to play games with. I felt sorry for her and I tried to spend my free time with her.

Winter arrived and I went out of town for a week. Enjoying my ski-trip with my classmates. Man, the teachers and we looked forward to it. But in the middle of it all, I realized that I forgot to inform her of all this. I shook it off, hoping that she would read it on my blog or the forum where I mentioned it several times. I didn’t need to be scared then… well yet.

When I arrived home, I hoped that she was online. Sadly enough she wasn’t. Yet her profile changed. It was much more filled with darker imagery. I rolled my eyes. I kept telling myself that it was another one of those times that she went obsessed with the games we were playing. And since we were recently playing horror games and games with a dark tone it didn’t came as a surprise to me.

But then strange things started happening. Thankfully nothing like “ultra-realistic blood” or “loud noises and freezing computers” like you read in many of these stories. Just something really scary. It started when I booted up my 3DS to play some Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I found out that my capture device wouldn’t go out of my 3DS. I rolled my eyes and said to myself that it will be find. Maybe my desk was jamming the cable or something. I just wanted to play since I didn’t play the whole trip. Exciting.

So, those weird things. Yeah, those happened when I started my copy of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity. My savefile was completed. Everything was there, the whole story finished, all Pokémon captured and raised till the highest level. And the completion time was 12:12. I was confused. Did my little brother play on my 3DS? Could be, but finishing my game…. Nah, I can’t believe that. He didn’t know where I hid the charger.

I closed my 3DS and placed it away for the moment. I started up Minecraft to put my mind on something else. When I see that I can’t connect to the internet. I got irritated since I didn’t want to look like the default Steve. But my mom told me that it’s because a cable snapped in the garage that gave power to our router. My dad was out getting a new cable so I had to wait a bit for it to return.

I started up the world me and she had been playing the whole time. But when I entered the world, I found a lot of signs. Signs of one of her pranks I thought? But all signs said the same: “You should have been playing.” All of them. They were everywhere. Well, to be fair on all the places I had yet to finish building. And believe me or not, all parts where indeed finished.

I closed Minecraft. Another thing finished? Odd. And I can sit here the whole day talking about the other strange things I saw. But everything comes down to the same idea. Every game we played, was finished. To the max. And every game had a hint that I should have been playing.

I didn’t want to continue playing those games. I got scared. What sick prank are they pulling on me? Every game was finished. Who of my forum or my community was that bored to do all of this? I started up the last game we played together. Scared what I was about to find. It was a hacked version of Corpse Party some people on the internet made. It was a simple translation hack to make it in our native language.

But the final cutscene played when I booted it up. “We came home. Without the help of User-Laptop! He should have been playing.” Then I started to laugh uncontrollable. So, somebody just wrote a script that hacked my savefiles to 100% and he made a mistake there where he or she pulled my computer name and tried to use it as my normal name. “Hah!” I thought to myself. I was so glad that I took that name as pc name now. So glad that my laziness when I reformatted my laptop months ago pays off now.

Yet, it didn’t end there. A new chapter was unlocked. “Absence of friends.” I smiled heavily. I love Corpse Party a whole lot and new content, count me in. This would have been such a great distraction from this prank. I thought.

I explored around and when nearly finished the chapter, I found an empty-ish room. There was only a bed, desk with a computer and some other things. Well, in short, it looked like a bedroom. One I recognized. It was her bedroom. She once showed it to me when she turned her cam on at Skype. I was confused. Scared of what was going to happen, I saw there was a body on the floor. I stopped in my tracks. A connection in my brain was made that instant.

Did she commit suicide because I wasn’t playing with her? And did she finish all the games we played and killed herself out of sorrow? That might explain a lot of things. Mostly her profiles being so dark and empty. And the signs of me begging to play everywhere. I was about to freak out. This couldn’t be real. With major fear, I walked to the body and pressed “A”. …..

The story is too harsh and emotional to continue to tell. Yet, to this day I don’t know if it was real or if it was an effect of the darkening of my arrival here at Heavenly Host Elementary…..

Wait Jonez, what is this? 

Thanks for asking. Well, since this is my 50th article on this blog I decided to do something really special! I made my first attempt in writing a creepy pasta. Which is a story that isn’t true, made up. It’s written for your own entertainment.

It’s mostly a story about something really scary happening. Something unreal.

Anyways, let’s close this off with the usual cliché and generic stuff. Thanks everybody! Thank you ButtonSmashers for recognizing me and all the moments we spend together.

Thank you for helping me grow. My Arpegians and the ButtonSmashers. Even when you aren’t one of both, thanks for reading and supporting me. It’s so much fun to write, make video’s and do stuff like this. It really helps me get through the challenges that life gives me.

Anyways, if you want me to write more Creepy Pasta’s, I wouldn’t mind. Just leave me a signal and I’ll try to come up with some. But feel free to write in the comments your thoughts of this story and/or how you would improve it. Thanks for reading and hopefully I see you here a next time.

NekoJonez: Minecraft 1.7 – The Biome Update?

Arpegi Back
The official Arpegi wallpaper.

I’m not used of Mojang that they release so much information and barely on one place. Since the newest version of Minecraft will be a biome update, I thought I could keep track of it with snapshots and/or blog posts. But sadly enough, it has been a while since Minecraft saw that. So,  I actually took the time to check both Dinnerbone and Jeb’s twitter and combine every new feature or hinted things here in one blog for you Neko’s/Minecrafters/ButtonSmashers/… to check out. Feel free to talk in the comments about your opinions of this update. Also, what should they add? And what has been added since the writing of this blog? And have I skipped over something? Anyways, let’s start!

Dinnerbone’s twitter

1) Better control of the volume.

minecraft_1-6-2_2013-08-29_12-49-23-v30060915

The latest hint of Dinnerbone we got was that you might be able in the feature to slide certain sounds and part of the music without having to disturb other parts.

Which is extremely handy. Hopefully this can clear up a lot of the confusion how to make music discs sound louder. Since till this day, I’m still not sure which slider to raise if the music disc is too silent. Plus, you need to restart the music disc to hear the change. This also brings that you now can have all your particles on without being disturbed by the rain sound. Great update for the MindCrack guys, the server where it “always” rains.

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/373034539792474112

2) (Higher size for) resource packs.

minecraft_1-6-2_2013-08-28_12-20-58-g62102446So, according to one of the tweets, the maximum allowed size of resource packs has been raised. For 10mb to 50mb. So, there will be more sounds and textures possible.

Also, it seems that they worked on server-side resource packs for 1.7!

But wait, there is more. Look to this screenshot that Dinnerbone posted. There is a whole new screen for the resource packs. It looks pretty amazing. Looks also at this GIF Dinnerbone posted: http://imgur.com/EMG70Z5

In addition to that, if I read it correctly, you can have two resources packs on at the same time. Great to have a sound and texture pack that are two separate packs. (According to Dinnerbone)

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/372757213401849856

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/372757133483597824

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/372665063158865920

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/372667919408566272

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/372666568469409792

3) Better server overview screen?

For those who not know it yet, you can use a trick to re-order your server list. With holding shift and the arrow keys you can move them up and down. But Dinnerbone said that, without promises, he is going to look into it.

https://twitter.com/Dinnerbone/status/372679290787467264

Jeb’s twitter

1) Biome tweaks

http://imgur.com/a/HiVco

Finally, after such a long time they finally worked on the biomes. With new biomes, the oceans are now smaller. Instead of me writing a whole list here of the things they did already, I refer you guys and girls to the one of the latest blog posts of Mojang where Jeb explains most of the upcoming tweaks and such with the biomes.

https://mojang.com/2013/08/minecraft-world-generator-update/

Oh, and there might be floating islands?

https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/369401687938564097

And cliffs: https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/365794828153389056

2) New flowers (like sun flowers)

Like you already can read in the blog that I mentioned earlier, there are going to be new flowers. And sun flowers as well.

wdbx92n

According to Jeb is this the new way of telling which direction you are facing. North from South or West from East. How this will work exactly is still a mystery.

But it’s pretty exciting! That’s for sure!

https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/369401687938564097

3) Lighting?

Man, those dark spots, don’t you hate them? Well, fear no more! Mojang has finally fixed them.

https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/362865480488333312

https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/362873008840376321

https://twitter.com/jeb_/status/362559336033165312

Final thoughts

Well, that’s the most I could get out of the twitter pages. Since I cut off my article here, I’m sure that I missed a lot of things but I think I got the most important and biggest updates.

I’m extremely happy about the upcoming patch and I’m glad that this update will be more then just a biome update. It’ll be the main attraction but having a better menu, improved resource packs and such things is pretty welcome. Great job guys!

Anyways, NekoJonez out! Have a great block— I mean Minecraft day.

Review #014: Escape From Monkey Island (PS2) ~ Great, in both ways.

escape-from-monkey-island-cover683213

Wikipedia entry

Alright, alright. I know my rule is that I need to finish the game before I review it. But really, screw it! I make an exception here. I’m stuck on this godforsaken island and I need to review this game to get off. And this last bit is really pissing me off. Writing this review was a whole lot of fun. It’s a long story to tell how I got here. Yeah, it wasn’t totally a second hand game I bought because the name Monkey Island was on it and I heard a lot about it and I totally wanted to play it once. Nah, that isn’t the case at all. I got this game shoved in my hands… I suppose. Anyways, I heard of various sources that this is one of the worst entries in the series. But are they correct with that? Is this game as horrible as people say? Or is this game just a great game but not for the Monkey Island series? Well, I have played it and I can tell. It might be my first Monkey Island game but I wouldn’t mind playing more before I get off this island. Yeah, this game is actually rather good. But, it has some serious flaws I’ll address in this review. Also, I tried to keep spoilers to an absolute low. So, don’t worry about that. I avoid to spoil the ending too. Since that wouldn’t be fun right? Anyways, enough joking around. I’m not on an island. I’m sitting at my chair ready to review this game that really irritated me and really brought me hours of joy. That’s why I choose the title that it’s “good” in both ways. It’s actually pretty good but it has some flaws. Hold on, this isn’t the conclusion yet. I haven’t told anything yet about the game. Man, this adventure really did something to me. Anyways, let’s take a look at this gem of the past. Here we banana… ehrm… Ignore that please. I meant, here we go.

Let’s escape!

mi4_019To avoid spoilers like I told you in the introduction, I’ll talk about the story. It’s great. I really enjoy games that sometimes don’t take themselves serious. And this game even breaks the 4th wall here and there. There are many funny moments and various genius moments that make this games it’s writing stand out.

The story’s characters are fleshed out and you really get to know them. Although some names feel not so creative, it gets the job done. But the voice acting in this game really makes this game. The whole game is voiced and I don’t often play games like that. I truly like the work the actors have done for the characters and it adds a whole bunch of greatness to the package.

And that package is also filled with something extremely pretty. This game looks amazing for a PS2 title. Even though this game is several years old. The graphics aged pretty well and the bright and colorful playground you get to explore really makes this game a ton of fun. But that doesn’t go for one thing. The sprite of your character is too small on the overworld map. Since you are playing a PS2 game you sit a bit away from the TV. So, you really need to pay attention that you don’t loose him.

 Did I really pull out my hair?

images

This game is an adventure game. It really makes you think outside the box. And the replay value is there as well. Since various things are randomized. Like names of bad guys or moves. No two puzzles are the same and no one is too hard. Since you get vague clues everywhere. Not that they hold your hand or anything since this game has no tutorial. You need to find out the controls for yourself. The inventory is a bit tricky to get used to.

But there is one part of the adventure that really breaks this game. Thanks to that I also disagree with the quote on the cover. “We need more games like this.” Well, not if there is more stuff like the monkey combat. Sigh, did that bring this game down to an all time low. Without pen, paper, trial & error, a lot of patience and a lot of time you won’t be able to beat this. Compare it to you playing a game where you don’t get the rules explained.

While writing this review, I haven’t beaten this part of the adventure yet. It really pains me to tell it since this game really is great and worth finishing. But thanks to this monkey combat… And the worst part is that when you haven’t wrote it down, you are screwed since there is nowhere in the game to bring up a list of which moves you have and which ones you have not.

Okay, let’s calm down.

Herman2

Thankfully this game has many other things to offer. The length of this game is extremely good. It’s pretty lengthy and stops on the right moment. It’s a really good fill for at least several weeks without using a walkthrough.

The music is one of the highlights of this game. Exotic and melodic, but pay careful attention! It might get stuck in your head. The sound work is also really great. The feel of the game is set and the mood just works.

Something this game really misses, is a map of the area sometimes. Not only a map of the island you are on. A map of the city. It would make finding buildings a lot easier.

The final thing we can talk about is how the game has various places to save your game. The saving is done right. And the fact that you can have four playthroughs at the same time really makes this game worth playing. Anyways, let’s get on to the conclusion.

Conclusion

The good:

+ Great story.

+ Great adventure gameplay.

+ Amazing voice acting.

+ Great sound & music.

+ Amazing length.

+ Random parts in the story to have some replay value.

The bad:

– The Monkey Kombat.

– The controls aren’t easy to get used to.

– A log would have been really handy.

Final thoughts:

How much is this game worth? This is hard to say. Since the monkey kombat really breaks the game. It’s such a great idea yet, it doesn’t work. It makes me want to destroy the disc rather then finish it. Well, I might have gone quickly over this game in this review but that’s just because the monkey kombat annoyed me so much. And if they would cut out that part of the game, it would have been awesome. So that’s why I can give this game only in between score. But thanks for reading and hopefully until the next time. 

Score: 70 / 100.

Review #013: Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney (DS) review ~ Objection!

Oh no, on my own blog I got questioned about a mediocre game and now I find out that I’m sued. Can this day get any worse. I was just trying to publish content and enjoy my day. When I was working on new video’s and finishing games up for articles I got a letter saying that I have to go to court that I’m sued for a serious gaming offense. Well, now I’m standing here in court. About to defend a game that people should play. It’s attacked by the internet. I feel like the Completionist now, with his series “Defend it”. But this isn’t a bad game at all. So, why do I have to go to court to defend this? I feel something bad is going to happen. This isn’t just to sue me for defending this game, I’m sure of it! Wow, I’m not making much sense now am I? I better should get myself together. That interrogation earlier really messed me up. Come on, calm your nerves Jonez! You are a Neko and cats always land on their feet. You played this game, you know the ins and outs. Let’s defend this. Your honor! The defense is ready for defending this case. Waiting for at the end to receive comments of people what they think of my way to defend this and how they liked the game if they played this. 

Opening statement

downloadsSo, I got no time to look into the case file for this one. So, they say this game isn’t one of the best entries on the Nintendo DS? HOW CAN THEY SAY— Calm Jonezy. It’s only the opening of this case. You can do this.

Well, they have a point. When you overlook one piece of evidence this game can be pretty frustrating. Also this game can be pretty linear. That are the two only negative points I can say about this game. If I’m allowed to nitpick even, the game is sometimes a tad bit too hard. You need to think outside of the box. Even when you are already thinking outside of the box. Some cases really demand your full attention and remembering everything of the case.

But it’s time to raise an objection! Time to prove that this game is actually not as bad as you first might think! So,

OBJECTION! This game is amazing. Mindblowing. And here are my evidences to prove it!

Evidence #1: Amazing gameplay.

As I explained in my CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – 3 Dimensions of Murder (PS2) I already explained why games like this are fun. Your honor, think about it. How fun is it to solve a crime? Isn’t that why we are all here? To solve something feels extremely rewarding.

Look at this first case actually. In this case you get easily introduced to the mechanics of the game. Without being a real pain and actually telling you how to play the game. It’s in the story as if it’s part of it. It’s a nicely hidden tutorial.

Also, the game is pretty easy in it’s controls. You don’t really need more then your touch screen actually. The controls are easy enough that you can finish this game without pressing any button. And it can’t get any simpler then just that.

Exploring the crime scenes, the interrogation of people, showing them evidence… There is a lot to do in this game. While it’s true that once in court you do the same thing over and over to win the case but hey, it’s fun. Since it makes you think and test if you payed attention during the story.

Evidence #2: Kick-ass story.

675848-phoenix-wright-ace-attorney-nintendo-ds-screenshot-cross-examinationWhile it’s true that without a great story you can’t get into a game. This game has a story that will keep you in it’s grip for extremely long. It has been months since I played this game but till this day I know most of each case your honor. This game is extremely memorable.

Apart from the first case, all cases are extremely thrilling to play. It’s sometimes a real mystery who the killer is or how you are going to prove somebody is innocent. The only thing you’ll have to accept is how sometimes Phoenix has the suddenly solving answer up his sleeve. It’s a game, you have to forgive it that.

About the characters, many are so memorable that when I hear his or her theme song, I directly remember the character. Their personalities are extremely well made. Some people are created so you love to hate them, other you can relate. But they stay humans and they aren’t generic characters who stay stuck in their role all the time.

Evidence #3: DAT music. DAT music, man!

The music for this game is one of the best ever that I heard for a visual novel game period. It gets stuck inside your head for a long while. I admit that even when I’m writing or editing your honor, I play this music here and there. I prefer it above my usual music.

Each character has his or her own theme and really sets the mood correct. You will have a hard time to sometimes press the “A” button to continue to the next part since the music is THAT good.

When a game it’s music gets played in an orchestra, well then it’s amazing. And keep in mind, this started in Japan as a Gameboy Advance title. So, they actually had it’s amazing music there already.

Yet, I have to give the attackers of this game one thing. This game misses voice acting. You only hear “Objection” / ” Hold it” and the crowd in court whispering. The sound effects really set the mood for this game and the characters but voice acting would have made this game perfect.

Too much evidence.

aa-1Your honor, to save ourselves some time for the next cases, I’ll be short now. Apart from the bad replayability this gem has a lot more to offer. It’s a pretty long game. Which actually makes this game miss another element. A log for what happened.

But I haven’t talked about the amazing graphics. This game really does look pretty. Colorful and inviting. With high attention to detail.

The animation of the characters is also amazing. You really associate it with the characters and of some you hope to see what they would do in certain situations.

Thank you, your honor that there is a save feature done nearly perfect. You can save anywhere in the game. If only they said it to you that you have to press “START” anywhere in the game to save. But hey, that’s nitpicky and that breaking of the 4th wall would have been overboard too much.

For the DS remake they actually added an additional case. Which makes people who already played this game have something completely new.

The final point I have to say is that when you hold done the “next” button on your touch screen, it speeds up the text when you made a mistake. Which is extremely welcome.

But I think I’m going to leave it here your Honor. Time to wrap this up!

Conclusion

The bad:

– Can be repetitive.

– A log to check what happened or more detail would have been nice.

– No voice acting.

– The replay value is pretty low.

The good:

+ Amazing music.

+ Memorable story.

+ Memorable characters.

+ Pretty long game.

+ No annoying tutorial. It’s neatly integrated into the game.

+ It’s easy to get into, but hard to finish.

+ The ability to shout “HOLD IT” & “OBJECTION” yourself is so rewarding.

Final words:

Phew, I won the case. Man, that was lucky. Since I haven’t even studied to become a lawyer. It looked so boring to me. Having to do all that legal paperwork. But this game shows that it can be extremely interesting and rewarding.

It’s a game that once you give it a chance, it will be so hard to put down. Everything is so amazing is this game that the bar was set extremely high for new visual novels on the system.

This game is so perfect that reviewing it makes you look for things they can improve on, but without those items the game still stays amazing. I can’t stress this enough, this game is one of the best out there on the Nintendo DS. And if you are any kind of fan of a good story, Capcom, a great adventure, amazing music, great characters… You really owe it to yourself to play this game! No doubt about it!

Score: 85/100

First Impression: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation – 3 Dimensions of Murder (PS2) ~ Part of the wrong era.

Thanks Sprong to upload the best PS2 box-art

Thanks Sprong to upload the best PS2 box-art

Wikipedia entry

But officer! I didn’t commit such a terrible crime! I didn’t make a fun to play game with old graphics. UbiSoft did. So, why am I being questioned? Oh, it’s because I have to answer questions what my first impression was of this game? Okay, I’ll work along. And this doesn’t come on my rap sheet. Sweet! Thanks. So, why did I start playing this game you ask? Well, I played 2 CSI games before on my PC. When I saw this game sitting on the 2nd-hand shelf of my local gaming store I couldn’t hold myself to pick it up and try it. Back in that store I didn’t know that I was in for such a unique experience. This game is truly a mixed bag. …. Oh no, no, no. Not a body bag. … Jeez, you have a strange sense of humor officer. At first I thought this was actually a port of one of the PC games I played but I’m glad to see that it isn’t. I hadn’t played this PC title actually and I didn’t knew about it. So, new cases to play. Man, I was really glad to be able to play them. At least this game didn’t make some major flaws. The tutorial for example is really good. Yes, at the start menu you have a selection to go through a training and experienced gamers can go directly to solve their first case. Instead of the first PC game where you go through a tutorial in your first case. And thanks to a design flaw you were unable to get 100% completion on the first case! Oh, you have a question? Did I talk too long? I hope my answer wasn’t too long. Now I’m not trying to linger my answer to make sure it stops around the end of the box-art for the report of this interrogation. Nah, I wouldn’t do such a thing. I’m all open for questions. To inform the readers of this okay game and to invite them to write a comment about this article in the comment section or their feels with this game. But enough of that, what’s the question officer? 

What makes you keep playing this game?

935563_20071016_embed001

So, this game has actually pretty decent controls. Yes, image a game being ported that uses a lot of the mouse movement gets to a console where the is no mouse at all. You move around with one joystick and you move around the camera with the other one. While it’s uneasy at first, after a while you actually get used to it. You really got to hand it to the developers. They did their best with what they had. While it’s a bit clumsy to work with, it does work and after a while it goes from a nuisance to an acceptable flaw.

Also, the stories are pretty fun. But I’ll have to talk more about them later. Various great jokes are present in the writing and made me laugh several times. I always think credit is due where credit is due. And making jokes in serious situations as this is actually pretty awesome since most of them usually fall flat on their face in other games like this.

Also, the gameplay is what draws me into this game. It’s the biggest plus! I extremely enjoy exploring the crime scenes for clues and asking the suspects questions. The fact that you are able to walk around in the game is such a great addition. In the other versions of the game I couldn’t walk around at all and I could just turn my view around 180 degrees. Messing around in the lab, comparing the evidence is such a great thing. Also, the replay value is there. You can try to finish a case with less helping options or find all evidence.

What also is a great addition is that you get a notification when everything is searched in a certain location. You also gear it from your colleague when you can’t do anything more with the evidence. That is a great thing.

Why did you want to kill this game?

Sorry for the blurry screen. PS2 screens are hard to get of this game.

Sorry for the blurry screen. PS2 screens are hard to get of this game.

Oh, that. Well, I actually think that this game made some serious flaws. Like the story. It’s a bit of a letdown too. I finished my first case and it was a tad bit too predictable. You can smell the killer from around the middle of the story.

Also, there is a flaw with the questioning. I got a new location from a suspect but when I decided to ask the remaining questions after looking into this location, I found out that the option to ask him questions wasn’t there anymore.

But the thing that mostly got on my nerves is the fact that the presentation is one of the worst I have playing in my opinion. First of all, graphically this game looks dated. For a PS2 game, it could have used a lot of work on the visuals. The ears of some characters look pointy, the guns look blurry, and the cut scenes look fuzzy.

But the animation also has some serious flaws. Some characters shake their arms for no reason and that really annoys me while I’m asking questions to certain suspects.

Also, what’s up with the visuals? I really had to put up my brightness of my TV to see in certain places. The game is too dark. While it’s a nice touch since it’s dark in the cut scenes, it doesn’t help the game one bit. It makes it just more difficult to play.

What disappoints me also is the fact that I can’t find all pieces of evidence. While I turn each and everything upside down, I still had places that had evidence left.

Also, the game had some flaws with the examining of the evidence. To make sure I have checked a piece 100% I sometimes had to place it in the wrong machine. Otherwise it would just give me a bell sound.

So you ask what my final opinion of this game is? Well, I’m going to finish it one day and I might write a full review. But that’s everything I can say to you people. Thanks for reading and hopefully that clears up my name.

Neko Vlog #26: Shame on me for not telling this & set-up.

Neko Vlog #25: Held back and behind the screens.

Life of an entertainer.

Thanks to Jenni for making this for me.

Thanks to Jenni for making this for me.

Let’s talk about a different subject for a change. In today’s article I’ll talk about how life is pretty different once you start to take writing seriously and really think about games in a different way. The biggest difference is that you get recognition for what you do. You opinion gets valued above others. But that’s not all in this article. I’ll also talk about my story, my experience with being creative and writing gaming blogs. To make this blog a bit more personal and spice it up. So that you don’t need to read always reviews and my thoughts on them. In this article you can get to know me a little bit better. 

Arpegi Back

Arpegi.

My story

I began in late 2007 with publishing my works. As a kid I was always into entertaining people. I created stories which got me further then I expected. I once entered a writing competition in school and made it to the finals of my province. That with a story I wrote in 15 minutes because I forgot the assignment.

JonezProductions was my first production name. This name quickly died because I didn’t like the sound of it. And what can you blame me for? I was a kid back then. I didn’t know any better. But with other projects, I got to where I’m at now today. Arpegi.

This community is full of friends I met online through various means. And to keep contact with them I created together with MiseryLC the forum Arpegi. From there I get all my personal artwork and many idea’s. All these guys are awesome and I really encourage you readers to follow them.

I owned a Dutch gaming and life blog before this one. Although it died because of personal reasons, I couldn’t stop myself from restarting blogging. And this resulted into this blog today. Oh, that reminds me to explain the nickname I use. Well, it has two parts. The Neko part is actually added recently, since I spend much time with somebody called NekoSmash on Arpegi. We are both like felines over dogs. And for reasons like that Neko got added. Jonez actually is from Indiana Jones.

My cousin gave me once a game called Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. I was so fond of it, I knew the levels by hart and was able to play it with my friends. And it didn’t take them long to start calling me “Jones” too. But as a kid I was actually afraid of being sued. Yeah, believe me or not. That’s why I changed the last letter to a “z”.

Today I have a YouTube channel, blog and a forum where people say that I have talent. For writing I can understand that, but for creating other works I sometimes don’t believe that I have talent. I always get so excited when I see my content growing. It means a lot to me since it’s my ways to escape from reality once in a while.

Differences since the start. 

ss (2012-10-24 at 11.45.23)My life has changed for sure. Ever since I started writing a blog, more people started following me. My personal Facebook got more friend requests in a week then I usually get in a year. People started subscribing at YouTube and clicking that follow button on WordPress.

Since the days I started publishing my content, I learned a lot. I evolved in my ability to create content and I learned many social things. I got through some rough times, but hey, most people do. I learned how important the bond with your audience is. Replying to comments is a major tip to do. I reply to each and every mail I get from people. And I admit that the one time I got a fan mail that somebody really enjoyed my content I teared up a bit. Yeah, I like it so much when I make people happy.

I also see that others want to start express their creativity around me. Like some Arpegians wanted to start blogging as well. I saw more reviews appearing on the site which made me happy as well. More content means more people to come and check out and possible growth.

Also, I meet a lot of new people. These are all over the world and this really makes my life that more exciting. I work together with people from Asia, America, Africa… I really enjoy it. It makes for interesting content. The best example is video creation. The planning and such that goes into it for making a video when you are in different time zones is such a pain but it really helps me to learn to become a better planner.

And with that I’m going to end this article. I know it’s a short one and I end it abruptly but that’s because I might talk about this subject later. I’m still trying to look around for differences in how I play my game and I’m preparing a big article about that. So, keep a look out for that. But for now, consider this as a big thank you for all the support to me and my content and everybody related to it. And I hope to see you here the next time. Jonez out!

Neko Vlog #24: Tired and future.

First Impressions: Magical Starsign (DS) ~ An RPG that I like.

250px-Magical_Starsign

Wikipedia entry.

Thou shall not say anything bad about Magical Starsign. No, ehrm. Maybe, you can’t say anything bad about this game. Nope, that doesn’t feel like me. Ehrm, well, let’s do it the easy way then! Hello there reader, I’m NekoJonez and I am not good at writing an intro for this game. Well, that was cheesy. Hold on, why am I writing these thoughts actually down? My readers don’t have anything to do with this. If only I had magic to erase this. That would make that delete key so obsolete. Ha! You didn’t see that one coming didn’t you? Well, enough playing around. I realize that I play too many games at once and rarely ever finish one. Why I do try to change that fact, I started to play this game a while ago and I got distracted by other things and I never finished this one. I regretted it and thought here and there to restart this RPG and finish it. So, that’s what I’m doing now. Taking games I started and finish them before I look for new titles. And when I restarted this game, man was it adjusting to this. The oldschool DS RPG’s. Sure this game has some flaws but there is no perfect game out there. So, after this messy introduction, let’s talk about my first impressions with this game. 

Underrated

magical_Starsign_1This game is an extremely underrated game. I can’t believe how few people know of this game. It’s an extremely well made game. Something I extremely like is that you can choose your play style at the start. Your character can be dark or light. And this will affect the gameplay an awful lot.

Also, the fact that I can rename all of the hero’s made this game have more value in my hart. Now all my characters have names of my fellow Arpegians and that makes the story more personal.

And speaking about the story. Man, is it written how I like my stories. You don’t get a whole boring backstory in how the magic got discovered and how the different planets work. No, it’s straight to the point. The tutorial though is badly written into the story but it works.

Also, this game isn’t your standard RPG. It brings in one element that makes the battles totally different. In this world, planets need to be in a certain area of the sun. When that happens, people with that kind of magic get a power boots. This makes battles so much different. You need to check your planets to know when it’s better to stay in a safe area or when you better use magic.

Also, the repeat button is one of the features I applaud the creators of this game for. It’s so useful. It makes battles more easy. Like you slowly getting back your MP, it makes the battles more interesting. Also, you see the enemy you are going to fight at the top screen. Nicely done.

Flawed

magical-starsign-1While I do feel like praising this game an awful lot, this game has several things that made me not liking this game as much as another RPG. One thing is the running. Since this RPG is released early in the DS lifespan, it shows of the touchscreen. And there they made a fatal flaw, nearly ALL buttons are for moving your characters. Your A,B,X and Y buttons are basically a 2nd D-Pad. And you nearly always run while using the touchscreen.

Graphically, this game is pretty. I like the design of the area’s and all the locations. The names of the planets and people make the game feel that more alive. But, in some area’s you don’t have a map of the area but you see the whole planet. This is a drawback in my opinion.

The sound effects are great expect one thing. The enemy sounds are either absent or too similar to all other enemies. I don’t like the sound design in this game very much. Like the cut scenes. They feel dated, even for the Nintendo DS. They are really out of place and they look a bit PS1-ish. They seem created with one timeline like there can’t be a rocket flying over the screen while having water coming out of the land.

Also something that brings the battles down is that you can’t look to what an item does in game. This is such a big pain in the but since you need to either remember or guess the right item to use in the fights. Thankfully, the fights aren’t annoying like every 10 steps. You actually get some decent time to explore the area.

Magical-Starsign_3Easy?

Is this game easy? Well, in a way it is. This game feels like it’s made for young teens. But, that doesn’t mean an experienced game can breeze through this. That isn’t the case at all. You really have to be on your guard since a few wrong moves and it could mean game over.

You can save nearly everywhere. And the fact that you have several slots to save in is for me another sign of a game aimed at families or the younger crowd. But I’m so glad that there are several save slots since now I can do the light and dark playthrough side by side. Or play one if I’m stuck in the other one.

But getting stuck in this game isn’t that easy to do. After some time, one of the characters will give you a hint that will help you a lot for progressing.

What I also like in this game is that this game doesn’t hold your hand in every step of the way. The only thing the tutorial does is learning the way of how the fighting system works. And for the rest, it’s your way to explore the mechanics of the game. But every useful thing said in the tutorial is in your diary.

To finish this article, I want to talk about the music. Which isn’t the best nor the worst point of this game. It isn’t memorable but it isn’t forgettable. It’s that kind of music that will be stuck in your head while playing the game and for a few days but after that, you will most likely forget it.

Oh and before I forget, for the people who have played this game. Feel free to leave your thoughts on the game and/or on this article in a comment.

So, that was my first impression article of this game. But wait, I’m also playing Elebits on my DS. Do you want to read what I think about that? Well, go to ButtonSmashers and read my article there. A link is here: Elebits – The adventures of Kai and Zero (DS) ~ Collect all the WATTS!

NekoJonez: First Impression: Elebits – The Adventures of Kai and Zero (DS) ~ Collect all the WATTS!

elebits2Wikipedia entry of this game.

After being successful on the Nintendo Wii, Konami made a new Elebits game for the Nintendo DS. It’s actually a sequel. After hearing this, I feel bad playing the sequel before the original. Oh well, it has to be this way since I haven’t got time to find myself a copy of this game on my Nintendo Wii. But alongside with Magical Starsign (which I wrote also a first impression article about, on my personal blog. Link is here: Magical Starsign (DS) ~ A RPG I like)  are my current DS games I’m playing. Since I got a bit tired of grinding in Pokémon Black. But let’s leave that to the side and let’s concentrate on this game. In my first impressions series on my blog I’m writing my thoughts of a game I’m playing at the moment but I haven’t finished yet. Mostly these kind of articles lead up to a review when I’m done with this game. But please keep in mind that I haven’t finished this game, so spoilers… Please -BLEEP- off. Thanks a lot. It’s highly possible that I played a game till mid-way before I write an article about this or that I played the first world. In this case, I actually played only the first world and the start of the 2nd world. And I’m excited to tell you all about it. Oh, and to the people reading this, even when you haven’t played this game, let me know in a comment what you think about this game or my article. 

Collect all the WATTS!

After a nicely drawn intro, you get to the title screen. Which is the quickest I have seen before it repeats the introduction. But this game is pretty unique. I haven’t played a game like this before. It really blew me away when I started playing it.

The cute graphics really pulled me in. the game looks amazing and colorful. It’s tr3250a.jpguly inviting. An extremely nice feature that I like in my adventure games is that there is a map on the top screen. It helps me out quite a lot. If I’m stuck I can look to the map to plan out me route or look if there is another route I can take.

Also, I managed to find an easter egg in the first area. The flood gates are shaped like a Nintendo DS cartrigde while is pretty neat in my eyes. Nicely done Konami. A pat on the back!

I didn’t expect this from Konami at all. Since before I played this game, I played the amazing Castlevania games on the Nintendo DS. Which I will talk about on a later date. But this cute-sie game really is something different. And they pulled it off quite well. Yet the story is generic and done before from what I know about it now. It’s basically a kid going on an adventure to get attention from parents that ignore him. But then he finds a time machine bus. Okay, that bus part might not have been done before. Unless you change it into a phone boot…?

You will read a lot on my blog how thankful I’m when a game has separate save slots. This is extremely handy when you have more then one person playing on this game or when you want to discover different routes. But sadly enough, this game is linear for the most part. But I give you the good advice to check around in the area as much as you can. You might discover a secret or two.

Bad game. Bad. 

elebitsinline_1214950790There are several things I don’t like about this game. First of all, the saving is extremely bad. There is only one spot where you can save. If you don’t count the “temp save”. This is such an annoying issue since sometimes I just stop playing and start playing another game and then start shouting in anger that I forgot to save.

Another thing I don’t like is that the game is easy. Really easy. Expect the final bosses of each area. Those provide a challenge. I admit I died two or three times when trying to defeat the first boss. But for the rest, this game is easy once you get the basics.

Also, this game has an annoying part with the controls. I wish they were better then what we got. It’s too much based on the touch screen. Since you have to touch Elebits and then your Omega to capture them, you almost wish you had an action button. But then I found out that this game has options to control. Sadly enough, no action button in sight.

The sounds is something were I can’t be happy about in nearly every game I review. But this game gets it done. The sound design is pretty well done and really gets you in the right mood and believing that the game can be real. The music is okay. I have heard better on the Nintendo DS, but some tunes managed to get stuck in my head, which is a sign of good music.

What else to say? 

wii34-rev_elebits-ele5-article_image.jpg

As I am nearing the end of my first impression article, I actually started to play a game a bit more to check if I didn’t forget to talk about something. And yes, I did.

The game gets some points back in the control area to have the option to not use the shoulder buttons of my DS so much. Thanks to several other games, my shoulder buttons are broken. Which makes me sad face.

Something that this game doesn’t have is some polish. Some area’s of the game feel lacking of decoration. The level design is too easy like I said before but apart from some trees and water, the area misses flowers and objects to make the area look alive.

Also, you seem able to download new Omega’s. If that’s new content or just more creatures to finish your adventures I can’t tell since my WiFi’s protection can’t be read by the DS Lite. Insert a picture of a sad kitten here.

But I’m excited to finish this game. The story hasn’t really started yet and I got to know the basics of the game. The story seems really interesting to get into and seems more then just about a child that wants attention. Wow, that might have came out wrong.

But one thing is for sure, I’m hooked to this game. The length seems decent from what I can tell. The game progresses at the decent pace and it doesn’t get boring. But enough rambling. Jonezy, you need to get back to creating content and finishing this game so you can give it a proper review. Thanks for reading and hopefully I can welcome you on my blog for the Magical Starsign first impression article.