Monthly Archives: May 2014

First Impression: TimeShift (PC – Steam) ~ Rewind

TimeShift_coverartWikipedia link

If I only was just a bit more to the left, I could have survived. That’s what I sometimes think while playing a first person shooter. And then Time Shift shows up in the Steam Store. I remember that I had a poster of it in my room. When I saw it, I was thinking about how the game could play. Shaping levels inside my head and drawing them. Anyways, I played the game and I’m still playing it here and there. Let me say, it’s a special experience. The people who know me, know that I barely play any shooters. But this is worthy of an exception. But is it a perfect game? Well, I’ll explain my first impressions in this article. Feel free to leave a comment on the content of the article and or the game. Thanks in advance. 

Scoring badly?

When I was researching additional facts for this game, I came across several reviews. Now, since I haven’t finished the game, I can’t review it. Yet, it surprises me that there are people giving this game mediocre points and high points. I didn’t read them but I think I know from where they are coming from.

galeria_galeria_duze_182426125I usually start my article with talking about the story. Now, this story asks a lot of the player. It’s quite possible that later in the game, the story gets explained in more detail but at the start… The story is just all over the place.

After more careful examination of the story, I came to a conclusion. It’s generic until the point I played. The issue is that somebody altered the future and it’s your job to fix it. At least, that’s what I make from it. How do I know? I had to piece those things together myself.

This actually is a reason why I don’t play the game each time I have the chance. The game doesn’t pull me in like other games can. If it starts to make sense, I will talk about it in my review.

Is that a bad thing? Well, yes and no. It’s a problem because it doesn’t draw you in as much as other shooters do. But it isn’t a problem because the player is allowed to make up the story a bit by themselves.

Slow-motion

timeshift-screen-1Did you ever wanted to play with the bullet time of the matrix? Well, now is your chance. At the surface, TimeShift looks like your everyday futuristic shooter. What sets this game apart is that you can play with time.

As long as the blue bar has energy left, you can either pause, rewind or go in slow-mo mode. And the enemies behave as they would if such technology existed. You see the enemies die in slow-motion or they don’t move an inch when you shoot them when you paused.

Your powers are actually essential to survive. And here I have another complaint. The AI of the enemies is not bad but there are parts where you can jump down to get cover in a sewer pipe without the enemies following you.

Now, that’s cheap. This way you can recharge your powers and as soon as you need to “regen” you powers, you can go hide again. Maybe that’s different on the higher difficulty settings but hey, I’m no pro shooter gamer.

Now, I advise you to mess around with the settings so that they fit your play style. Not that there is anything wrong with the standard control layout, but I’m a gamer who uses the arrows instead of the letters to move. I’m weird like that.

The game looks extremely well made. While I was afraid that my laptop wouldn’t be able to handle the game, I was proven wrong after I updated my graphical drivers. The game looks amazing to run around in and to play. I love the design of the places. Each and every new area they throw at me feels polished and ready for a big fight.

More stuff

galeria_galeria_duze_182421828Now, the enemies can call for help. While I haven’t seen reinforcements arrive ever, I might haven’t played the game for long enough. That brings me to the sound design. That is a strong point in this game. When I’m playing with my headset, this game sounds amazing. I feel like I’m right in a real war zone.

With the great graphics and the good sound design, this game is really intense to play. I actually shouted a few curse words because I was drawn into the gameplay so much.

And I think that’s the strong point of this game. The gameplay. It’s really well made. While the story isn’t all that good, the gameplay is where it’s at.

Now, the music isn’t helping. It isn’t bad but it isn’t great either. I don’t remember many tracks of TimeShift. I’m crossing my fingers that this game gives me better music that I might keep listing to after beating the game.

This game has a “Field Of View” slider. And I’m so glad that they have that. Because I decreased my FOV, my laptop runs this game with a rather nice frame rate.

A big advantage of this game is that you can buy it for a rather low price on Steam. It’s only 15€. That’s quite a low price for a gem like this.

Now, this first impression might be tad bit shorter then the others, but I haven’t played it too much yet. I wish I had more time. Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If I ever finish this game, I’ll surely follow this article up with a review.

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Gaming Nostalgia #3: Why I adore portable gaming so much.

Nintendo ds reparatie groningenIf people ask me what my favorite console ever is, then I’ll answer that I choose the Nintendo Wii. My favorite handheld, is a way tougher question. It’s currently the Nintendo DS line but it was a close call between the Gameboy Advance and the Sony PSP. My favorite gaming platform, well that’s the Nintendo DS right now. Some may say that I’m a Nintendo fanboy. While that’s somewhat true I’m not only a Nintendo fanboy. If you read my blog, it’s quite clear that I also play other games then Nintendo games. One of my favorite games of all time isn’t even on a Nintendo platform. Anyways, it’s time to tell a story. A story about my past in games. Feel free to leave a comment about this story or/and your own experiences.

Gameboy

So, the computer I got because my parents didn’t want me to work or play on their computer was actually a pretty weak one for it’s time. It’s was excellent to introduce me into old school gaming but when I wanted to play more recent games, I have to be lucky and play them at a friends house.

Tetris_BoxshotSince I had a limited time on the computer and Belgium doesn’t offer any shows on TV concerning games I wasn’t able to keep myself up-to-date with the currently released games. I got interested in games that I saw at my nephew’s or friends place. So, of course I jumped the bandwagon of Pokémon.

I had a hard time to make friends as a kid. (Don’t worry, this isn’t the case anymore 🙂 ) So, most of my hobbies were things I could do alone or with my sister. Even as a child, I was addicted to writing stories and creating things. I didn’t knew that a laptop existed so when I got my own gameboy, my young mind went …. well … boom.

I felt like I was able to carry a small computer all around where ever I needed it. My experience with games before I got my own gameboy were nothing more then playing Pac-Man or Tetris on my aunt’s brick gameboy. You know, the original gameboy.

It all started with a bang.

I still remember a moment when I was at my aunt’s place and I just stopped playing Tetris. I placed the gameboy back in the drawer and when my aunt took it out and took one of the batteries out of the back, the battery exploded for some reason in her hand.

Normally, a child wouldn’t be so fond anymore of playing on that gameboy. Seeing things explode and people you love get hurt, it isn’t really the most fun experience for a child.

But the opposite happened. I wanted to know why the battery exploded and how I could prevent it. From that moment on, I started to ask technical questions about the gameboy. Like, which batteries that need to go inside it. I can be sure that since that day, my fascination with games started.

Oh, after finishing this article I remembered an important part of the story. When I was young, my aunt took me over to friends of hers. She had to babysit the two daughters who on their turn looked after me. And they had a box of gameboy games. That’s how I actually got introduced to a gameboy. Man, the memories coming back now.

the-legend-of-zelda-a-link-between-worlds-screenshot-ME3050186199_2I remember that even before I could play Pokémon, I was playing Super Mario on my gameboy over and over. I had never beaten it. Even when I try now, I can’t beat it. This makes one thing pretty clear to me. I’m not so good in platformers.

A genre I’m actually good at is the adventure genre. One day I was actually on a flea market. Since my family wanted to save on games, we bought our games there. I bought a Zelda game there. Best decision I ever made. Period. Since that day I was hooked to the series. I couldn’t stop playing it. I even stopped playing Pokémon because the Zelda games interested me more.

When I want to tell you guys the reason why I enjoy handheld games so much then I can tell the story in a way shorter version. I didn’t had access to the other systems. It’s the system where I find the most enjoyment. Since portable games need to be fun in short and long bursts. This fits my playing style just perfectly.

If you want to read more about my childhood memories with games, you will have to wait until I write a new article of gaming nostalgia. (Or read the previous two.) Since I see that I’m running out of space to write about one game of my childhood.

Dusting off: Lego Alpha Team

Alpha_Team_Game_Cover1

Wikipedia link

I was so pissed when this game broke on my computer. The game started crashing all over the place. Since this game is actually quite fun.

It’s a game about handholding but the other way around. You have to place tiles so your character can run in the right direction. You do have a limited amount of tiles of course.

This game challenged my young mind quite a lot. This game is the base of my love for adventure games and puzzling games. When it stopped working on my computer, I was allowed to play this game on my parents their computer. And only this game.

You really need to check this game out! Since I highly recommend it. And don’t worry, this game is on my list to talk about more in depth in the future of my blog.

Closing words

Thank you so much for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed reading my story. I enjoy looking back on my past and talking about it. After all, I’m more of a story writer then an actual article writer.

If you want to be kept up-to-date with me, I advice you to follow me on Tumblr and Twitter. So, until the next time! Later!

Publishing: $10,000 cash prize to celebrate launch of new game Days of Crime‏.

Personal note: I haven’t written this article. This article has been written by the guys over at HappyLatte. Since they are so supportive to me, I thought it would be fitting to publish their press release. Thanks again guys! I only edited the lay-out a bit to fit on my blog. If you want to read more about the game, look at the bottom! 

HappyLatte

Win $10.000 in cash in gangster photo contest

WANTED: 1 photo – REWARD: $10,000 dollars

 Screenshot_2014-04-09-13-39-33$10.000 dollars in cash, that’s what mobile game developer Happylatte is putting on the table to celebrate the release of their new free to play game Days of Crime. Sending in a photograph in which you or one of your friends resembles a character from one of the five gangs in the game is sufficient to participate, but in order to take home the cash, creativity and originality are highly recommended.

“The game is a first person, real-time player versus player shooter on mobile,” says Oliver Bulloss, Senior Product Manager for Days of Crime. “Players take on opponents from around the world in short one on one duels and battle their way up to become the world’s most feared gangster.” He adds that fights take place in different locations around the world and characters can be customised to represent one of five main gangs: Triads, Bikers, Mercenaries, Streetz, and Mafia.

Bulloss continues with details on the $10,000 contest: “We wanted to do something different than an average advertising campaign to celebrate the worldwide release of the game. At the same time, we like people to be creative and make cool stuff around Days of Crime, so what better way than to just give out a pile of cash? And, even more importantly,” he adds with a smile, “a briefcase with ten thousand dollars is pretty gangster if you ask me.”

Screenshot_2014-03-11-14-01-51In order to participate in the competition, participants need to register their entry and Days of Crime player number through the contest website, which can be found on www.daysofcrime.com/photocontest. They then take and post one or more pictures publicly to Twitter and/or Facebook using the hashtag #DaysofCrime . Submissions will be closed on June 8th 2014 and a jury from Happylatte will then select the best 50 pictures based on the most creative and “gangster” pictures. These will be put up for public vote from June 13th till June 22nd through the Days of Crime Facebook page and the winner with most public votes will take home the $10,000 in cash.

More info on the contest can be found here: www.daysofcrime.com/photocontest

More info on Days of Crime can be found here: www.happylatte.com/game/days-of-crime/

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NekoJonez Update Blog: May 2014

ImageIt’s time again for an article about my life! So, I promised to write an article like this each month. While a lot of this will be things that I mentioned on my Tumblr but hey, a reminder is nice once in a while. Besides, I consider things to be official when they are on my blog. Before I start, I have a few games that I picked up over the course of this month. Today I picked up 4 new PS2 games. I’m working on a list of my gaming collection. That might soon be published. Anyways, instead of heaving a long introduction, let’s get to the updates. 

Life stuff

I’m sorry to inform you guys that I’m going through a struggle right now. I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. I said on my Twitter and Tumblr that I’ll be fine. June will be a month that will decide everything for the rest of my life! Yes, it’s finals time. But there is more to it then that.

Since it’s dangerous to post real life stuff online, I won’t talk in depth about it. For that, there is family and friends.

But I’m extremely busy. This brings a lot of stress and that means I don’t feel as motivated to write as I usually do. So, please keep that in mind.

HappyLatte

Soon, I’ll publish a new exclusive press release on my blog from the guys of HappyLatte. The press release will be posted  between the 19th – 25th. The usual article could be delayed. Depends on how the last week of May is going to look.

I need to do a small bit of work on it. Like adding my own personal thoughts on it. So, that’s way I can’t say a final date. But the good news is that each download that you guys make from my blog, you support me too. 🙂 That’s neat.

Read this article as well.

Since it would be silly to write about the same updates again on my blog.

Blog updates

First of all, as you guys can read… I think I inspired Q to a new series. From Manga to Video game. To be a bit of a “jerk”, I actually gave him that idea. But hey, he is getting really good at it. Since somebody wanted to really make the game he talked about in the article he published on my own blog.

I still need to add that article to the page for ButtonSmashers. I’ll do that soon.

On Tumblr, I kept you guys up-to-date with my life. I had a lot of work with the internships and now the finals are coming. And here is the sad part, I have an overload of ideas for my blog.

A new gaming nostalgia article is written and is ready to go. It will be published in May.

I’m also talking to my friends over at the ButtonSmashers Blog to review something else then a game. Oh yes, a special co-op review of something else.

Also, I’m planning a new game diary and a new Android games article. And a ton of first impressions. Maybe the ones I mentioned on my Tumblr and possibly others.

I’m also planning to revamp my pages. With more pictures and way more handy navigation. But that will be a project I will work on this summer. But suggestions, drop them in the comments.

Closing words

Wow, writing life updates on Tumblr makes my updates shorter and more to the point :). Sweet! Now, I have forgotten one thing and that is that I did a new update to my forum. Go take a look!

Anyways, if you want to keep more up-to-date with me and my current plans, I suggest that you follow me on Twitter. When I post something on Tumblr… it will show up there too. And on Tumblr I say my plans and ideas for my blog. But be warned, I’m sometimes somebody who quickly changes his mind.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. I’ll see you guys on another post! Cheers!

FROM MANGA TO VIDEO GAME: Air Gear

This articles is being posted here for all my fellow cats, 17 hours before it appears anywhere else. I hope it is an enjoyable read.

220px-Air_Gear_vol01.jpgManga: Air Gear
Publisher: Kodansha
Mangaka: Oh! great
Genre:
 Action, Sports, Science Fiction, Bopunk, Comedy
Concept Game: Air Gear
Genre: Action RPG

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The Aware Character: S1 C1 Episode 1: Introduction

The Aware Character.

A (short) story written by: NekoJonez

© 2014 Arpegi – All Rights Reserved.

Season 1: Discovery of the Generic Tales.

Chapter 1: The Old Plot – Episode 1: Introduction.

“I can’t write this story.” he said. He was staring at his desk. Checking if anything was being placed on his piece of paper. He recently broke up with his girlfriend. They broke up after he found out that she was actually a lesbian. She was using him to get money for shopping sprees and various other costly activities. He had enough of it one day, when a letter made him crash down into reality.

It was a letter from the bank. He was nearly broke. The letter was to tell him that his spending pattern was irregular. Of course, his girlfriend stole his credit card and bought it empty.

The man is going by the name of George. He was a rather short man. His face was that of a strict but understanding and kind teacher. Those teachers that are extremely strict yet friendly and make you feel comfortable.

He had brown hair, for now. Some guys have something that’s rather famine. His thing was that he sometimes painted his hair into different colors. He was actually planning to paint it black. Since that would match his mood better.

The break-up with his girlfriend ripped him apart. His new white shirt was getting soaked due to the tears. He cried so much that his shirt was nearly see-through. At least the middle part was.

He pulled his jeans up, tied his leather shoes again and went to the bathroom. He took a long shower. The shampoo and the water, it did his mind well. The steam was filling his bathroom.

The bathroom was one of the rooms that he didn’t spend much on when he built his house. It only contained a shower, toilet, washing table and a cupboard. The light was haunted or so he was told. When he got friends over, the light bulb would away burst. George blamed the bad technician that worked on the bathroom. He tried to call that technician various times before without success.

He walked out of the shower. The towel was thrown on to the washing table. “I will clean … Why the fack am I talking out loud again?” George said. He questioned his sanity. Many people and friends started to actually leave him behind.

But one night, his ex-girlfriend called. She was pregnant of him.

< \ ~ TO BE CONTINUED ~ / >

What is this?

Recently I wanted to start writing my own story. And this is the format I’ll release it in. Compare it to my creepypasta’s but this story will continue.

When I find the time, I’m writing one Word page for each episode. I know this is short but keep in mind that my exams and such are upcoming… So yeah, I need to have something that I can publish quickly.

The second episode has been written already. I don’t have a plan in mind how regular the episodes will be. I’ll try to publish at least one each month.

I hope you guys enjoy. Feel free to leave in the comments some suggestions to where I should take the story. I have a main plot line planned but I love playing with input of my readers.

Don’t worry, this side project won’t take over my usual gaming content. It will also serve as a sort of variety for me. I was getting afraid that I started to get burned out on writing game reviews. But since I started writing this story, I found my motivation back.

Anyways, thanks for reading and I hope to see you in the next article!

My favorite game music #6: Can’t stop writing these.

GamesIt’s that time again. Time to write another entry in my series of best game music ever made. Now, to be clear. This is my opinion. So, if you dislike a track, that’s good. It would be scary if we had the exact same taste. Anyways, give these tracks a listen and read the explanation I wrote next to the box-art. Maybe you find new music for your music library or maybe even new games to play. Apart from the story, I’m very into how a game draws people in and music is a big part in that. Generally, I’m look at content as an exterminator. I ask myself: “Why do people like this?”. I want to learn from that to bring even better content. Yeah. But before we start, let me say the usual again. In this article, only one track of a game for each article. If I like other tracks as well, that means I have to put them at another article. Feel free to leave a comment on this article with your opinion on this article and / or the tracks.

#1: Kirby’s Adventure Wii (Wii) – Super Ability

LinkPS_Wii_KirbysAdventure_nlNL

I have only started playing this game rather recently. I’m even planning to write a first impression on it rather soon.

This game is full of amazing tracks. Sadly, they don’t always fit the scenery quite well. It’s such a shame.

This adventure isn’t a simple remake of the gameboy classic under the same name. Well, nearly the same name, with the “Wii” dropped.

This track is very upbeat and energetic. You can feel the power in your remote. In a way. This track is one of the main reasons why playing with the super ability is so much fun!

So, if you want to know my opinion of the game, keep an eye on my blog when I post the first impression of it. Otherwise, when I don’t find the time, here is my opinion in short. It’s one of the best Kirby games I have played. But there are some minor flaws that take away from the game.

#2: Alice: Madness Returns (PC ~ Steam) – Combat Theme

AliceMadnessReturnsLink

Recently, I have written a first impression article about this game. I’m still quite surprised how this game has such a short OST from the results I get from Google.

Most likely, I was derping up when I looked for the full soundtrack. Why did I look for the full soundtrack? Well, I can’t fully decide which one of the tracks is my favorite one.

Most, if not all, of the tracks in the soundtrack of this game are good candidates for making it up on my list. They are just amazing and fun to listen to.

They draw you into the game without any problem at all. I want to finish this game for more reasons then the music alone.

I know that this is a sequel. Normally I always play the original first. But I wasn’t able to find the original. If somebody finds the original copy online somewhere, feel free to contact me. I’m quite interested to play the first game.

#3: Tetris (Gameboy) – Theme A.

Tetris_BoxshotLink

Some of you are having nostalgia right now for sure. I wish I put the music here from Tetris DX but that might be for another article. Since I have selected this track for this article.

And dayum, does this game have some big nostalgic memories for me. I have played this game to pieces. At one point I even had three copies of this game. I wanted to play this game with friends… so yeah, I got copies from garage sales and such.

This game is one of the first actual games I played in my life. For many, it’s Pokémon or Pac-Man… But for me it’s Tetris. Maybe that’s why I have such a big love for puzzle games. I started out with one of the biggest titles in puzzle game history.

And to close off this part, did you know that Tetris is one of the main reasons why the Gameboy was so popular? Yeah, look it up. Or I might talk about it in another article.

#4: Tomb Raider (PC) – Adventure Found Me!

Tomb Raider Survivor Box-Art.

Tomb Raider Survivor Box-Art.

Link

This short but sweet introduction track is one I played on replay when I was writing my notes for Alan Wake or my Tomb Raider articles. It just fits the mood of those kinds of games.

But I fell in love with this track when I heard this remixed into a hardstyle track. Kodex remixed this music, with the actual voice acting and such into their track.

And the quote, is actually one of my life quotes. Apart from the “Valour, for thy name is education.” … This is the quote I life by:

A famous explorer once said, that the extraordinary is in what we do, not who we are. I’d finally set out to make my mark; to find adventure. But instead adventure found me. In our darkest moments, when life flashes before us, we find something; Something that keeps us going. Something that pushes us.

Yeah, it inspired me to do great things. Like starting a blog and meeting new people. It has been quite an adventure!

#5: Pandora’s Tower (Wii) – 1st Master Theme

Pandoras_Tower_box_artworkLink

Now we didn’t get the Devil May Cry on the Wii, yet this game is extremely close. It feels like a clone of Devil May Cry but with some JRPG elements mixed in.

This game’s plot is leaning towards the “already seen before” area. Yet, it’s highly interesting.

Now, I have to stop myself, since I want to write a full article about this game in the near future.

I haven’t gotten far into the game just yet but what I have seen was amazing. I can only complement the game for that.

I totally enjoy the music in this game, it nails the atmosphere and it’s extreme fun to play. I’m currently playing this game together with “A Shadow’s Tale” on my Wii. These two titles are the perfect way to blow off dust of my Wii.

So, to close off the last game of this article, I advice you to keep an eye on my blog. Soon, there will be an article of this game.

Closing words

Well, that was another music article of mine. I hope you enjoyed reading it and listing to the amazing music I have picked out for you guys.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, I post updates often there. Like how I almost broke my baby toe and that I was unable to write for a day because of that. Believe me, it stings quite bad. And then you are glad that some nice game music can take your head from the pain.

So, that might have been too much information for some. Anyways, I hope to welcome you at another article. Take care guys!

Review #026: Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney Phoenix Wright (3DS) ~ This Puzzle Has An Objection!

250px-PLvsAA_BoxartWarning: this review is longer then my usual reviews! WAY LONGER. For reasons. 

Ace Attorney Wiki entry link

First Impression link

So, this game. After a month, I finished it. And honestly, I feel sad. I’m going to directly say that I think that this game is amazing. I’ll defend this game in this article. My newly ordered mind hasn’t arrived yet sadly enough. But I might write a longer review then usual? Why, since I find that this game totally deserved it. So, yeah! This game gets the longer review for a reason. I feel ashamed that you guys in America can’t play this game yet. So, I’m avoiding spoilers as much as I can! But before we start, the usual. Feel free to leave a comment on the game and or this article. 

Writer versus the story

largeIn my first impression I talked about how I can predict the ending of stories from games or movies. I was able to predict the ending of other Layton games and Phoenix Wright games in the past. Yet, this game has taken me by surprise.

I have to say, that the ending took me off guard. All the plot twists and how the story wrapped up, just was an amazing ride. If a story can do that to an experienced writer, then you can be sure you have a solid story.

At first, I would say that there are a few plot holes in the story. Yet, the unexplained plot holes in the main game will be explained in the bonus content you unlock after finishing the game.

The writing of the story is the best I have seen for a cross over from this format. It’s quite clear that each company has written his or her part. The parts where you play as Layton, feel like a real Layton game. And the writing in the parts of Phoenix, truly feel like you are playing an Ace Attorney game.

I didn’t expect that when both styles get crossed would work so well. The two styles blend in each other without notice.

One question people asked me is what meaning the “versus” has in the title. A minor spoiler, it has different meanings in the game. There is a part where you actually have a battle between Layton and Wright but you have moments where Layton and Phoenix work together to solve the case.

Do I have complaints about the story? Yes, thanks for asking. I have no complaints about the writing. It’s just spot on. Yet, it’s the voice acting. Now, don’t get me wrong! The voice acting is top notch. People who hate dubs of anime’s, you won’t be disappointed with the voices and the casting of this game. But there is a major issue with the voice acting.

The moments where the voice acting is used is a bit strange. There are moments where one person is voice acting and the others are just plain text. Or there are moments in the game where the voice acting just suddenly stops. You will have to play the game to understand what I mean but it’s truly annoying.

This menu has an objection?

largeA fair warning, it’s quite possible that the rest of the review might be nitpicking if I talk about the mistakes of this game.

Let’s take a look to the user interface. And here I have my first complaint, you can’t delete save files. While this is a minor annoyance, I don’t get why they didn’t program a feature in where you can delete a save file when saved by accident on the second slot.

The main menu, well, it’s good and bad at the same time. While I miss the options button, that you can find in game, it’s not cluttered. Only the bare essential buttons are in the main menu. This is actually good because you don’t need to waste a lot of time to the main menu.

So, let’s take a look at the in-game menu’s. Thank the lords they took a combination of both games for this! The lay-out of the menu’s in Layton is excellent but you have to operate it all with the touch screen. In the Ace Attorney games, you can open things with pressing the buttons. While you can’t do much, besides closing the menu, inside the menu with the buttons, it’s a neat feature!

Also, you have a notepad for the whole game. Yes, you have a memo feature for the whole game. That’s simply mind blowing. I admit that I haven’t used it but I think that the idea is simply great. Since some people aren’t that good at remembering and having a space where you can write notes is pretty good.

But with every good thing comes a bad thing. While it’s great that you have an items menu where you can look at the items you have, it’s so bare bones that it’s actually kinda bad. When you have a letter, you can’t read it’s content or when you have a book, you can only stare at the cover.

And if I may be extremely nitpicky, the mysteries. Okay, I understand that this feature comes from the Layton games but why is this ‘Layton exclusive’? Let me explain. The button for this option shows Phoenix and Layton with a speech bubble with a question mark in it. But in the whole menu, only Layton talks about the mysteries. Phoenix isn’t allowed to talk about the mysteries? That was a bummer. It’s clear now that I’m a bigger fan of Ace Attorney, I guess.

Also, the story button is a perfect addition to the game. With this you can somewhat relive parts of the story. What I mean here is that you have the “View Story” button when you press on an entry in the story menu. This games you a brief overview of what happened then. And it’s different then the entry itself.

So, I mentioned a bit about the controls of this game. How you control the menu’s. Now, the controls outside of the menu’s is just way better then the Layton games. One complaint I always have with those games is that the touch screen is used too much. But in this game you can use the buttons more. The controls, no real complaints there.

Now, let’s game.

large (1)Oh my, so much to still talk about and so far in the review we are already. But thankfully I don’t have a big limit for this review so I can still write a bit.

Let’s talk about the gameplay. The meat of the game. The bones is more the story. Anyways, the gameplay is just well balanced and fun. It’s quite clear that this game is aimed mainly at fans of both series.

The game switches between both gameplay types quite nicely. And they managed to blend the investigation moments with puzzles without them being annoying. I applaud the developers for that!

It’s quite fun exploring around in the town. Sadly, your are restricted to one area because the story forces you too but there are many opportunities where you visit every place in the game.

At first I thought that the area of the game would be too small. But as soon as you continue to play, you are proven quite wrong quite quick.

Something that helped me a lot is how the map shows how many hint coins or hidden puzzles are in the area. That way I was sure that I didn’t skip any hint coin or puzzle. But this concept needs some minor tweaks. One tweak they could do is show how many coins or puzzles are at the place you are currently at. Since that’s not possible. And another tweak they could have done was showing the amount of hint coin or hidden puzzles somewhere on the top screen maybe? So you know if you found everything in that area or not.

The difficulty, well, that’s something that this game has some trouble with. The game isn’t very easy but it isn’t very hard either. If you pay attention during the game or when you have played other games in the series, this game isn’t a big challenge. I had a lot of hint coins to spare at the end of the game.

In my first impression I have said that it’s strange that you can’t earn hint coins during trails. While I understand that it would be awkward trying to hide them in trails, I still found it strange. You can use hint coins in trails and thank the lords that they don’t “solve” the puzzle for you. They show which statement needs pressing or presenting, and if you need to present evidence, you can pick out of three options. Also, when you need to answer a question, one hint coin actually hides a wrong answer. And you can’t use more then one hint coin at one time.

The last part of the gameplay is the actual length. In the case of this game, we have to talk about how much each character is on screen AND how long the game takes before you have beaten it.

The balance between Layton and Phoenix, no complaints. Honestly, I enjoyed the parts more where they were both together. It just felt right.

And the actual length of the game, well… according to my save file you can beat this game around 30+ hours. Which is great length for the game. They provided enough plot twists so that there is never a dull moment and I think that’s one of the strong points of this game.

Reviewing the other parts.

Layton-vs-Wright-5So, the last part before the conclusion of this review. We have the music, design, sound, post game content, replay value and animation left.

Let’s begin with the easy one. This game has some replay value. It might be fun to replay to challenge yourself to get more points or to see what dialogue you get when you pick different answers. But since this is a visual novel, adventure game; the replay value is almost zero.

The post game content, well… ehrm… How to say it? It’s perfect. When you load a finished save file, you can either play the final chapter(s) of the game again or you can start at a part where you can look for puzzles you have missed.

Maybe I looked over it but the points you gain after completing a puzzle or finishing a trail aren’t used anywhere. Maybe something for the additional content?

Anyways, the additional content is great! You can download galleries where they show concept art and you can download bonus episodes. In those episodes some plot holes are explained or some background information about Layton or Phoenix is revealed and you get some additional gameplay. The writing is just beyond excellent.

The music and sound is next. The sounds, I have no complaints. No dull or overused sound effects. I’m glad that they used the sound effect library of both games. The fans feel right at home! But the soundtrack, if they ever release it on CD, I’m so going to buy it. I love listing to it and it has the right mood all the time.

And now let’s talk about the last part of this game; the design, graphics and animation.  Do I have complaints? Yes. Are they big? No.

As far as I know, I have one complaint. And that is in the animation area. The movement of the mouths is the weakest link. I found that the animation there isn’t as solid as the animation in the other parts of this game. But the rest of the animation, the graphics and the design… is extremely solid.

The anime cutscenes, the world this game takes place in, the animation of (nearly) everything… It puts this game so well together. You truly feel as a spectator of this game. In other words, the immersion of this game thanks to the visuals is perfect. It’s hard to put the game down.

So, I think I’m going to my conclusion. I talked about almost everything there is to talk about in this game. But don’t worry, I have still left some things as a surprise. Let’s wrap up this ‘journalistic review”

Conclusion

The good:

+ Amazing story line.

+ Eye candy graphics.

+ A solid cross-over.

+ Great length.

+ Beautiful soundtrack.

+ …

The bad:

– Some minor nitpicks with the menu.

– Some small nitpicks with the save files.

– The difficulty could have been better.

– The moments they used voice acting could have been improved.

Final thoughts:

So, I have written this extremely long review for a couple of reasons. As I said before, I wanted to give this game what it deserves! A great long review. Don’t worry, the length of this review won’t be my new standard. This review is twice as long as a normal review.

Another reason why I wrote such a long review is to challenge myself because I wanted to try writing a review as long as in a magazine or on a game website. I think I succeeded.

Anyways, my final thoughts about this game are simple. This game needs a sequel. Yes, this game is so well done, I’m hoping that they create a sequel. Nearly everything is solid and I the complaints I have are mostly nitpicks. It’s clear that this game is polished to near perfection.

If you are a fan of the genre, the series or the 3DS you owe it to yourself to play this game. I love how it’s clear that the cross over of this game is taken serious and that the final product we got was worth the wait. That’s why I give this game the points it deserves!

Score: 100 / 100

Quick and small announcement: Changes in the way I post updates.

Alright, this will be a quick update. It even has a short introduction. This update is meant to tell you guys what I post where from this post. 

First of all, the place where I post the most updates is my Twitter. On there I post things I quickly want to share.

Very rarely I write a story that has been in my mind. I “dump” those stories on my DevaintArt.

I’m extremely active on my forums. Take a look on Arpegi and feel free to join! I list everybody’s from the forum their links on my Arpegi Network page.

I linked my YouTube in the sidebar, but I don’t make vids anymore. It’s too time consuming. But here and  there, I do a stream. I announce that on my Twitter a couple of minutes before I go live.

In the sidebar you can find my links to my Last.FM, Google+ and Steam page.

That’s almost everything. Now, I haven’t talked about two links yet. One is the link to my friends over at ButtonSmashers. Go check them out. If you want to see more people I recommend, go check out my friends page.

Alright, down to the final link. Now here is the big change I’m going to do and the reason why I post this short article. When I want to update you guys on the progress of some articles and my life, I’m going to do that on Tumblr when it’s too long to tweet. So, it’s wise to follow me on Tumblr as well!

Now it’s possible that my articles now come twice on my Twitter since I linked my Tumblr to my Twitter! But don’t worry, the long overview updates will most likely not stop on my blog.

I’ll link to this article on my “About me” page so you guys can read this as well. I might update this article when major changes happen!

Thanks for reading and hopefully until the next time we meet.