Monthly Archives: July 2014

First Impression: Ace Attorney Miles Edgeworth Investigations 2 (DS) * Fan Translation * ~ Finally Finished!

80h6Wikipedia entry

Before I begin, I could link you to the translation patch. But that would involve piracy. While this is the ONLY way to play this game in English, I still don’t want to get my blog into trouble by providing you with links to the patch. For that reason, you will have to look up the patch yourself. You can find it quite easily and the instructions are pretty solid so if you never patched a game before with a translation patch, you won’t be lost! Anyways, I have waited for a long time with writing this article. That’s because the translation has only recently been finished. So, let’s take a look at the game. (All the screenshots are of the translation and the first case.) Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game and or my article. 

Why no English release?

ss (2014-07-28 at 08.21.49)

The reason why this game didn’t saw an English release is because the first game didn’t bring enough profit. The first game was pirated too much. Now, we can debate this move. But in the long run, the pirates win here. In order to play the game you either have to learn to read Japanese OR play a rom translated to English.

Now, the patch that’s floating around on the internet is amazingly crafted. It’s more then just a patch to change the text. They went to the length of changing the art and even the sound into English. Now that’s dedication.

I have tested some beta versions of this patch and I have seen the patch progress and evolve. It’s very clear that they handled this with the uttermost care. It’s very clear that they wanted to release a patch without any bugs or mistakes. Seriously guys, my hat goes off to you. My Indy hat!

The story of this game is really interesting. We get a better look at who Miles actually is. That’s something I really missed in the first game. In the first game you only saw Miles in all his glory. Now you can see him from different angles. How he reacts to people from his past.

Because this is an Ace Attorney game, you can bet your law court that this is an amazing game in terms of story. It’s a visual novel adventure after all. The translation brought this game really to life. That’s what I love about the handheld communities, when they team up to help the devs to get their game out.

Now, if this is really helping out the devs in a positive way, that’s a subject for a whole other debate. So, let’s look at the game now. How much fun is this game to play? Was it worth translating? Let’s take a look!

Playing chess

uQFCT

I was blown away by the new chess mechanic in this game. At first I was afraid that this would ruin the game. But it turns out very good. I only finished the first case and I’m halfway through the 2nd one. (I assume) and the mechanic really makes you feel like Egdeworth.

The mechanic is used when you want information out of somebody. And comparing it with chess is an amazing translation in the game. The clues and arguments you find in what the person says can indeed be used to corner him (or her) and get the information you need out of that person.

What I truly like about this mechanic is that it’s timed. This way the questioning doesn’t loose it’s feel of being just that. Don’t worry about running out of time since you get some time back if you break one barrier.

The rest of the gameplay is exactly the same as in the original. You can walk around one area to find clues or progress the story. The logic mechanic makes a great return as well. The game isn’t a boring game to play. I dare to call this game an example to other visual novels. The game has an amazing balance between gameplay and story.

One issue is still present. It’s a problem I have with the whole series. At some moments, you can possibly show more then one piece of evidence. But the game is programmed that only one piece of evidence is the correct piece. While this doesn’t happen very often, I don’t think this is a major issue.

Perfect game?

ss (2014-07-29 at 04.40.46)As a big Nintendo DS fan, I dare to say that this game is one of the best visual novel games that the system has to offer. But it’s not perfect. I have said earlier that this game sets a great example for other visual novel games.

But the game has some minor issues with the controls. The start button won’t always give you the ability to save. Now, that’s an irritant issue. It might possibly get fixed by the translation team but I doubt it myself.

After I have played two Ace Attorney games on the 3DS, I agree with the claims that the 2D games like a bit plain. But, it would be cheap to call this game ugly based on that. Actually this game isn’t ugly at all.

Graphically, this game is pretty well done. I have to admit that some of my favorite character designs of the series are in this very title. In addition with that, the animation is truly top notch! As we are used from Capcom.

And of course, I have to talk about the music. The music of this series is one of my favorite game music of all time. And in this game we find old and new tracks. They are a real joy to listen to and give that extra to the game which makes it even more fun.

Anyways, I think I’ll leave it here for this first impression. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as I enjoyed writing it. I will write a review of this game as soon as I beat beat, you guys may be sure of that. But for now, I hope to see you guys in another article!

Review #028: Lili: Child Of Geos (PC ~ Steam) ~ Is this a port?

Lili Child of GeosSteam store page – Official site

A member, well more a friend of mine, from Arpegi recommend to me this game. I had this game on my wishlist before she even told me about it. So, then I decided to buy it. I didn’t do any research apart from watching some screenshots and the trailer. I only found out that this game is a port of a mobile game. And it’s not released on Android. According to the site of the developers, it only released on iOS. Now, people who read my blog often will know what I’m going to say about me, but in case you are a new reader I have something to tell about my reviews. Because I don’t have an iPhone, I won’t compare it to the original. But the most important thing here is that I’m going to take a look at this version. Since this is the version I played. (If I play other versions of the game, only then I compare.) This introduction has gone on for long enough. Let’s dive right into this game. Also, feel free to leave a comment on this game and or my article. 

Inspiration

Lili_ScreenShot_01_web

So, the developers try to sell this game with a daring statement. They say if you enjoy games like the Zelda series or Broken Age, you will have a blast with this game. Now, the “problem” I had because of this is that I had high expectations going into this game.

Sadly, the game didn’t deliver enough on that front. But is this a bad game? Well, in my opinion, this is a pretty neat game. Let me explain.

As usual, let’s start with talking about the story. I do very well know that this game is a port of a mobile game and because of that, I can safely say that the story for this game is pretty sweet. It won’t blow you off your socks or it isn’t a masterpiece but it gets the job done quite nicely.

One thing took me by surprise. This game might have multiple endings. I don’t know for sure but I have a strong feeling this game does have more then one ending. In the middle of the game you have the option to return home. I might have to play the game again to find out about that.

That is a positive thing for this game. There is replay-ability in this game. And you can make each playthrough different. I honestly think that with 2 to 3 playthroughs you can see everything in that game.

It would be quite unfair to say that the story could have been better. Since it wouldn’t benefit the game. The gameplay would be ruined if there was a deeper storyline then there is. The story is about you saving an island from an evil mayor. Every action you take will have a reaction. So, the story kind of wrote itself. The writing is pretty solid and the characters, while mostly flat, can be memorable at times.

Anyways, enough about the story. Long time readers of mine know that I can talk hours about stories, but we have a game to review!

Trying to hard?

Lili_ScreenShot_09_web

When I was playing this game, I felt like they tried a bit too hard when creating this game. Often I fell under the impression that they went for a huge amazing adventure. But in the end, it didn’t turn out that way.

I have beaten the whole game on the normal difficulty setting in 6-7 hours. This game is rather at the short side. With only 4-5 area’s to explore, this game falls into the category of a “game snack”.

The gameplay is rather interesting. While you explore, you have to fight enemies. To defeat them, you need to pull the flowers from their head. The later guardians have certain defenses. They can put thorns and bombs to try and shake you off. Lili can hang on these guardians as long as the meter doesn’t run out. The more hits you take, the faster that meter runs out.

Now, there isn’t a game over screen. Since there is no possibility to die. Thankfully the game autosaves since there is a spot where you can get stuck. At the stall where you can buy keys, there is a vase hidden behind some barrels. I was playing with my controller and kept pushing forward. Somehow, I got stuck behind the barrels. I couldn’t get out due to invisible walls.

Speaking of those, some area’s have invisible walls. I have no idea for what reason. My best guess is to avoid some minor graphical glitches. Like a hat clipping through a stair or something. For that reason they blocked off some small area’s. But it isn’t that big of a deal.

The user interface is pretty neat. It helps you to keep an overview of some achievements and is pretty good to use. I don’t have any complaints with it. They even thought of listing your side quests! Great move guys.

Mistakes

Lili_ScreenShot_10_web

What exactly are the negatives of this game? I already talked about the game being at the short side, but with the possible different outcomes, there can be a replay. This will double the playtime. So, yeah, a 12-14 hour adventure game… not bad.

Visually, the game looks stunning. Even on the low graphics. The higher settings weren’t too friendly on my old machine. So, let me know how this game looks at it’s highest settings.

The music is okay, but not good. The problem is that it isn’t catchy. I wouldn’t see myself looking to download the soundtrack of this game and listing to it while I’m on the go. Even when the theme in homes is a remix of the track they use in the Zelda games.

A big negative is that playing with a mouse makes this game way to easy. When I tried to defeat the guardians with my controller, it was actually challenging. But as soon as I started to use my mouse to pull out the flowers, the game got a lot easier. I was able to defeat the final boss with great ease.

Do you guys remember my rant about my 10 most hated things in gaming? Number ten was mistakes in the controls. And they made one of the biggest. They forgot that there are also AZERTY keyboards in the world. And the keybinds on AZERTY keyboards aren’t converted.

The biggest issue I have is with the achievements. They are broken. From buggy achievements to just silly achievements. Breaking 1000 vases? No, thanks.

Anyways, I think I’ll go to my conclusion. There are a few other things I don’t mention because I want to leave some surprises when you decide to play this game. Isn’t that a kind gesture of me?

Conclusion

The good:

+ Decent story.

+ Interesting gameplay.

+ Different outfits.

+ Visually stunning game.

+ Good user interface.

+ …

The bad:

– Forgettable soundtrack.

– Achievements need to be fixed.

– The difficulty is unbalanced between the controller and the mouse.

– AZERTY keyboards are left out.

– You can’t max out all stats when you beat the game.

– …

Final thoughts:

Alright, time to wrap up this review. So, this game isn’t one of the best games I played but it kept me entertained. It has it’s fun moments but as soon as the novelty of the unique gameplay wears off, the signs of it being originally a mobile game start to show.

The game got a an amazing upgrade to become a PC game. But, in the end, it’s nothing more then a port with a pet and hat collection quest as extra. If that’s your only addition besides updating the UI and graphics, professional reviewers won’t be very kind to the game.

While I enjoyed the game myself, I need to be objective and admit that this game lacks a whole lot of gameplay. That’s the biggest problem with this game. It’s way to short and way to repetitive if you don’t do the side quests as well.

So, I can score this game on two ways. I can give it a rather high score because I enjoyed myself and I liked the game. At the other hand, I can give the game a rather low score because of the reasons I said before. To give a fair score, I decided to score this game between the two scores. Yeah.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing this one. And I hope to see you in another article! Take care~

Score: 60/100

First Impression: Okami (Wii) ~ Drawn.

Okami-wiiHD remake site

So, this game has been remade into a HD remake. Honestly, it’s one of my favorite Wii games. It’s also one of my favorite games ever made. Now, it’s a big shame that I never wrote about this game. In addition to that, I haven’t been writing about Wii games as much as I like. The console is pretty close to my heart. Since it’s the first console I owned AND I got it for finishing my studies at high school. This game originally came out for the PS2. I was really amazed that the PS2 could handle this kind of games. But I learned that later, since I felt like this game was made for the Wii. The motion controls truly blow the PS2 version out of the water. But, is this game as good as I’m claiming? Or am I blinded by nostalgia here? Well, let’s take a look to this game. Feel free to leave a comment on the game and or my article. But anyways, let’s start. 

Game of legends

24077_Okami-53

The story in this game is something special. The opening scene gives you a feel that the story is going to be one you have experienced already before with other characters.

But trust me, the opening of this game doesn’t show at all what this story has in store for you.

I nearly had beaten the game, but then a friend of mine saved over my save file by accident. So, I lost all my progress. I was really bummed out since this is a rather lengthy game. I peeked at the walkthrough, and while I was nearing the end… I had put around 40 hours into this game.

At it’s core, you can compare Okami a bit with the Zelda series. While that series focuses more on saving Zelda with a twist, Okami gives you something truly different. As good as everything in the game is based on Japanese lore. I’m not kidding you. At the end of this game, you have seen a lot of Japanese myths and stories, without even knowing it.

For this reason, I won’t go every in-depth with the story. It’s too beautifully crafted to have something spoiled for you. The only thing I will tell you is that you play a wolf god who travels with a bug-sized warrior-artist.

The writing can be funny at some times and I had times where the story nearly made me emotional. This story is one that takes your attention and doesn’t give it back until you have beaten the game.

HD graphics? No need for that!

okami wii fire

I use this game as an example to defend Nintendo when people are bashing them for not having a console that can render HD graphics. Now they do with the Wii U.

But this game in general proves a point. You don’t need amazing realistic graphics to have an eye-candy game. The art style truly looks amazing. You get the feeling that every character, scenery, animation… is drawn by hand. Well, not just drawn, water painted. Which is a lot more difficult then just drawing. Because when you mess up with paint, you can’t easily erase it.

The game looks stunning. You can truly feel the love and devotion the team put into this game. And every single place is memorable in it’s own right. Because this is an adventure (action) game, there is backtracking. But in this game, that’s not a bad thing. Since almost in each area, there are parts you can only access with certain powers you obtain later in the game. So, you can discover new things and find treasures even after the main story has already happened on that place.

I can honestly talk about the visual aspect of this game for a long time, but sadly, I have to mention a negative here. There is a rare bug that I experienced several times. There is this weapon you can use to attack enemies with. It’s a yellow magenta kind of thing; While it’s one of my favorite weapons to use, the graphics can go glitch out. You know that you’re affected by this when you don’t see the heads of the characters anymore, since they are stretched out. And I have even worse news, you will have to skip cutscenes then. Since they all glitch out. The glitch can only be fixed by running to a save portal and saving the game. When you restart then, the graphics are thankfully fixed.

Playing this game

okami-wii-ps2-screenshot-wiLong time readers of my blog know the drill by now, this segment is actually the part where I close off the first impression. But I have only talked about how beautiful this game is and how strong the story is.

Now, I can’t fit the gameplay, music, difficulty, controls and such in this final segment. It wouldn’t do the game justice.

Surely, I will talk about those things more in depth in  the review, if I ever write it, so don’t worry. You will hear my opinion on it.

Honestly, I truly think that you should play this game for yourself. This game is a game that benefits more playing blindly then reading up about it before you play it. A great tip that I give you is that you have a tablet or a laptop close to look up the actual myths and lore behind the game. Since you will find amazing stories.

To close off this article, let me get one thing clear. Is this game a clone of the Zelda formula? Well, yes and no. There are a lot of similar elements to the Zelda formula but it has it’s own unique elements that make it a very different game then Zelda. But, what I can tell you for sure is that this game is a blast to play for every Zelda fan! You would be a fool to let this game go under your radar and never play it.

Anyways, I think I’ll leave it here. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I couldn’t stop myself writing about this game. Hopefully I see you another time!

Gamers Thoughts: The sense and nonsense of game genres

genre-mind-mapIn theory I would have this topic for a podcast. Yet, when I suggested this to Dark_Legend and Q, they told me to first write an article about it. So, this is the article that were serve as the base for the podcast. Also, this will be the last gamer’s thoughts for a short while. Since I want to avoid that one category of articles gets too many new posts in a short while. It’s just to have a bit more variaty in what I write. So, I started to write an article about this and that one got deleted. Because I thought it would be better for a podcast. Now, there will be big differences with my original thoughts and this article. Since in the time between the original writing and the podcast idea, I did a bit more research on this subject. So, hopefully I won’t be “shot down” for mistakes. As usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this subject and or this article. It might possibly be a part of the podcast. Who knows? 

RPG games are the thriller movies.

D&D dice1So, in the past I wrote an article about RPG’s. It was an answer to Ryu’s article about what makes a good RPG. Now, how does that article relate to the question of today? Well, what if you ask yourself, what makes a game a RPG game?

The most obvious answer is a game where you play a role of a character. You level up and you see the character develop in a story. So, at this point, can’t you already guess where I’m going with the title of the article?

Before I started this blog, I wrote a Dutch blog about myself and the games I played. On there, I wrote one article where I tried to prove that the Legend Of Zelda series is a RPG. Now, I have enough reasons why I think that it’s very possible.

While you think about it, I think you can put the pieces together yourself why the series can be a RPG. Now, is it a RPG? Quite clearly, no. The series has big influences of the RPG genre, but that doesn’t make it a RPG.

While I was talking to Q to make this a podcast subject, he said something very true. “The rules are just too vague.” That’s what he said. I wrote it down with my notes. RPG games are the thriller movies. Almost every game has RPG elements. Could RPG just be a too wide term?

Action Adventure games or Point-and-Click?

Dark-Flight-1Now, question time. Name me one adventure game that isn’t an action game as well. Simple! Freddi Fish, Myst, Broken Sword 1 & 2… Okay, that was easy wasn’t it? Now, name me one adventure game that isn’t an action game OR a point-and-click game.

Now, I do believe there are those rare games out there that fit my description, but it got just a whole lot tougher to answer the question.

Some genres are almost combined every time. I can’t think of any single genre that has only one genre. Before anyone makes a comment about casual games, let me prove you that it would be wrong. Take Tetris for example. That’s a popular casual game. But it’s also a puzzle game. Or Minecraft, it’s a casual game as well… Nope, it’s a sandbox game too.

Clones with a twist!

Clonetroopers_all_colorsNow, let’s take Bejeweled as an example. This game is a casual, match3 puzzle game. At it’s core, Candy Crush is the same game. The only big difference is that there are more styles of gameplay. Did you even know that one of the first Match3 games was called SameGame? Here is the WikiPedia entry.

In a way, each genre has it’s “example” game. If I ask to name a shooter, it would be safe to say that most of you reply with something among the lines of Call Of Duty. Honestly, I think it isn’t safe to say. Since in the shooter genre, you have a flood of amazing titles that have a big fanbase. To name just a few: Doom, Wolvenstein, Killzone, Medal Of Honor, Gears Of War…

In every genre you have an “example game”. From that game, developers make some unique changes to the formula and try to make a game. It might be a bold statement, but I think there is some truth in it. Some games, mostly the mediocre ones, are called something among the lines of “just another shooter” or “clone of game X”.

Once in a while, you have these games where you can’t really put a genre on. I think of “Gone Home” and “the Stanley Parable”. These games are more experiences then games? Or am I wrong here?

We need more genres?

9a781ac4de4bd7695c2b08b7bcc1d011If somebody tries to make a list of very game genre that exists, I think you would still be able to prove that person wrong. Since we could find a new genre every day. Even in the list that WikiPedia gives you, I can name a few genres that aren’t included. Take a look for yourself. Props to the original writer to add the visual novels. Since that’s a highly underrated genre.

Let’s take a look together. Now, I miss games like genres like: Tower Defense, Turn Based Strategy… To just name the ones that directly pop into my head.

And here I found a more complete list. You would think that it’s complete. Allow me please to prove you wrong once more. They didn’t include: visual novel, sandbox, dungeon crawlers and MMORPG’s. But it’s an interesting site to take a look at.

That site lists a decent description of the genres and a list of games that are part of that genre. Now, take a moment and look at the amount of genres we have. Also, take into a count that the list is incomplete. Isn’t this silly? We don’t have many “main” genres, but if you look to the sub-genres; it’s an overflow!

Closing words

So, I think I’ll close this article off here. I think that a podcast would really be quite nice to talk about this subject. While I honestly do think that genres make sense, I have proven that there is a lost of nonsense with it as well.

Feel free to follow me on my social networks. That way you will be kept up-to-date with my latest articles and such. Also, you will be notified when we publish the podcast.

Anyways, thanks for reading this article. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I did writing it. I’m really looking forward to the actual podcast! Also, I hope to see you at one of my next articles!

Gamer’s Thoughts: Curse of a critic – Part 2

20130114-ask-a-criticLink to part 1

I told you guys that I wasn’t done yet with this subject. I wanted to write about my personal experience of being a critic. Be warned, there are some serious consequences when you want to become a critic. Since now-a-days, everybody wants to become a reviewer. They think that they can make it in the reviewing scene. A million blogs are popping up left and right, all trying to be different from the last. I try to be different by talking about more then just games. I post a creepypasta once in a while or I talk about the gaming market. On this blog I truly try to write about the games I’m playing in my gaming life. Not the latest of the latest. But I have talked about that in great depth in the first part of this article. Anyways, though intro has been written. Time to invite my readers to comment on this subject and or this article. 

I “can’t” enjoy anymore.

MW-BD501_sm10th_20130531161626_MGHonestly, I has been quite a while since I had a feeling that I truly enjoyed a game. Now, don’t get me wrong. All the games I have played, I enjoyed my time. What I mean here is that I always think about how I’m going to convert it into an article.

If you are following me on Twitter, you might have seen that I took a weekend off from my life basically. I went on a trip together with my mom towards the Ardennen, a region in the south of my country, Belgium. It’s a beautiful natural landscape. You can compare it to a mountain village in a certain sense.

While I was there, I managed to keep myself to my promise. I didn’t think about my Twitter, blog or anything else in my life. I only took my PSP to have something to play in the car. It was a 2 hour trip after all. Not counting my mobile phone, that’s the only electronic device I had on me. I had a notepad and various pens. You don’t want to know how full that notebook is now.

You have been warned

logo_samaxreviewsmoviesWhat I’m getting too is this: a warning to everybody who wants to start reviewing or writing a blog as a hobby or professionally. First of all, don’t try to be too professional in the start. You will give the impression of trying too hard. You must still enjoy what you are doing after all. Since you’re own curse will haunt you soon.

And secondly, you will need to find a way to relax on your own way. If you take it as serious as myself, and you try to write for an audience, you will think about what to write next. When I’m playing a game, I make mental notes of what I want to talk about in my article. It’s strange, but you are always thinking as a critic. You will need to get used to that.

Finally, start in a group. Don’t ever start writing alone. While I have started this blogging adventure myself, I had my forum where I could post my links too. They would read and share it to support me. Be sure that you have people who are interested in advance. Otherwise you will be writing for the visitor who is looking for information of a certain game.

It’s a numbers game.

Arpegi 2 YearsIn the end, being a blogger, YouTuber or any kind of entertainer ends up in a numbers game. Every subscriber or follower counts. Now, pay attention, you have these people who follow you on Twitter to get more exposure. I did an unfollow run a while back. My feed was spammed by too many different people. And after my unfollow run, I saw my follow number drop quite a bit.

I hit me then. The numbers are extremely important to us. We make a special video when we reach a special number of followers. But think about it. How many people actually do follow you. I admit that I have a ton of people I follow on YouTube that I have seen a few interesting video’s off, but I can’t keep up.

That’s what I notice with some of my blogger friends. They want to keep up-to-date with everybody they enjoy. People like myself, the guys on ButtonSmashers… and in the end, you don’t read or watch every single thing.

Be warned in advance guys, you can’t keep up with everything! So, don’t be afraid if you don’t have great numbers at the start. Try to keep stable numbers instead of occasional high numbers. If you try to aim high directly, you will fall deeper then you started.

Also, one of the biggest issues I faced was addiction. I got addicted to higher numbers. Yes, that even counted for my Steam library. I wanted to play more and more games to try and entertain you guys. Now, if there is one thing I want to warn the starters about is, try to keep time for yourself. You don’t have to share every single thing or game you play. In the end, it will bite you in the ass. People will ask your opinion and you will give yourself more work then you want to do.

To close off…

I might revisit this subject in the future. But to close off this article, I want to give you guys some helpful hint when you want to start out your own blog or grow your own project.

Be honest with yourself and your audience. If you need a break, let your audience know. If you loose people because off that, don’t let it get you down. If you need a break, take one!

Also, keep doing what you are doing. If you don’t get the exposure you deserve, keep working for it. You’re break might be around the next corner. It might happen one day that your article gets picked up by a more professional writer or YouTuber. So yeah, be patient.

Anyways, that was everything for now. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading my article as much as I enjoyed writing my thoughts here. I hope to see you here another time. 🙂

Review #027: Tomodachi Life (3DS) ~ Compare That Review

TomodachiLifeOfficial site – Forum review

Note: this review is longer then my usual ones. 

A while back, I was planning to take a break with my blog. A hiatus as it were. I would use the reviews the amazing people of Arpegi wrote and give them a nice place on my blog. Yet, it has never come to that. Yet, I have not forgotten about it. I had too much fun writing my article about Bravely Default and comparing it to the opinion of my friends over at GamersHive. Now, I’m going to compare my opinion of this game with Inu’s. So, I’ll be quoting her review through-out this review. While I haven’t beaten this game, I think I’m allowed to review this game. Why? Since you can’t really beat it. There is always something you can do. It’s like a sandbox game. Agreed, I don’t own this game for too long yet. Actually, I own it for 3 days now. But by then, you have seen most of the game. So, I hope you can understand why this isn’t going to be a first impression. Don’t worry, I played this game for over 10 hours. So, I think that’s a solid base to review it too. Anyways, time to get reviewing. Feel free to leave a comment on the article and or the game. And if you really liked it, consider making an account on our forums so you can talk to us. (Ps: all screenshots I use, are the screenshots made by Inu. They are amazing Inu) 

Is that me?

WoASG3QWhile Inu was writing her review of this game, she noticed that my Mii was on the box-art. It’s true. The Mii eating a hamburger next to “Life” looks a whole lot like my Mii. I don’t think I should look for a reason behind this, since I think it’s nothing more then a pure coincidence.

Story

Anyways, that said, let’s go on with the review. First section is the story. Yeah, the story. So, about the story…

Though there’s not much to the game in terms of backstory, there is one thing. You own an island.

– Inu

Thanks Inu. That’s exactly it. In this game you own an island. Compare the idea to a game like Animal Crossing. In that game you own a town. And that’s it for the story. You create the rest of the story yourself.

Now, the big difference with Animal Crossing and Tomodachi Life is control. You are more of a observer then a major in this game. You can control some things like if two Mii’s should start a friendship or not, what they eat or where their room is. But that’s really it.

So, in terms of story, Inu said it perfectly. She said, and I quote:

You made a resident that looks like yourself. You can make more residents. Everyone calls you <your Mii’s nickname>’s look-alike. Fun is to be had. But seriously, most of the “story” comes from just watching the Miis interact with each other and have fun. They make friends, go on dates, get married, play with the things you give them…and maybe, someday, have children of their own.

– Inu

Gameplay

gEr5xCqHonestly, this is part Sims, part Animal Crossing, part ‘sit and watch to see what they do’. A lot of the fun just comes from watching them.

– Inu

So, how to describe this game? Honestly, I would describe it more as a sort of Island Simulator – Nintendo Edition. This game is not for everybody. Like Goat Simulator, this game is only for you if it looks interesting to you. If it looks boring with reading reviews or looking at video’s, don’t buy it. You won’t have much fun with it.

I enjoy looking at how my actions and suggestions to the problems of my Mii’s influence my inhabitants. Now, is there more you can do? Well, honestly, I feel like this game has a solid foundation but didn’t build further.

There is quite a lot you can influence, but I feel that this game is lacking quite a lot. What is lacking you might ask? First, the fact that kids go on a part time job. How crazy is that? Well, that’s not really a lack of something, but it’s a complaint at least.

So, this game got a day 1 patch. And yet, I was able to find a strange bug in the game. After a few minutes of play, I saw that my clock was running a minute or two behind. So, I adjusted my clock in-game and continued playing. When I closed my 3DS, I noticed that my whole system clock was messed up. It was suddenly 1st January 2005. And the game adapted that.

To add to the confusion, the game didn’t like me changing the time. And here who go at a strong point of this game. You can’t simply cheat with time in this game. You will get punished. From not receiving new items to not having donations. That’s a great addition to the game.

A great feature in this game is how there is no real “dead time”. What I mean here is not that there aren’t any moments there is nothing to do with your Mii’s… rather, there is no time in the day where every Mii is sleeping OR where every shop is closed. Thank you Nintendo, this made the game trip friendly. This way you don’t have to wait to play this game when you are travelling by car to somewhere.

Lacking?

XIpVQqLSo, first of all, the treasures. It’s nothing really more then a way to earn money. You simply sell all your treasures at the pawn shop and done, you have a ton more money. Come on Nintendo! This is really lame. At least in Animal Crossing you have a museum!

A minor complaint is that you can’t use the down arrow to go your max amount of items in the pawn shop. Oh well, that’s a small annoyance.

Another thing that I really find lacking is in the controls. The controls aren’t very good.

The game controls about as fantastically as you can expect from Nintendo. Since the game is mostly menus, there’s not much you can screw up, though. They use the gyrowhatsit in the 3DS perfectly, too.

– Inu

Like I said earlier, I disagree Inu. The big issue here is that there is no button to take a screenshot of both screens. This makes you having to make a screenshot of the top screen and the bottom screen just seconds after each other and hope they match up. While this shouldn’t be that big of an issue, it still is an annoyance.

Also, I wish you could control the menu’s with the buttons. Yup, without a stylus, you’re pretty much screwed. Or you don’t mind pressing your touch screen with your fingers. There are some menu’s you can use with the buttons, but not everything. But in terms of the menu’s there is one huge issue. If you made a mistake, eg: giving the wrong present to a Mii, you can’t revert it. That’s a big annoyance.

Quickly about the rest

kPnJHnMOkay, before I end off this review, I want to quickly talk about the other things in this game. I can’t talk about the difficulty and the length since that’s not playing a major part in this game.

The game is pretty cute. The synthesizer voices add a lot of character to the Mii’s on your island. The graphics are quite nice too. But the strong point here is the animation. The Mii’s act just like a real person would react. And I admit, I believed once or twice that this were real people.

Now, the music is pretty basic. Don’t get me wrong, the music is quite well made but I have heard Nintendo do a lot better with it’s music. It’s just that this music isn’t memorable at all. It’s not as catchy as their other tunes.

Anyways, I think it’s time for the summary.

Summary

The bad:

– The music could have been better. More catchy.

– Gameplay, it’s a bit lacking… (See positives for the rest of this sentence)

– Issues with the time settings.

– Some more use of the buttons would made the controls perfect.

The good:

+ … but what you get is really addicting.

+ Amazing atmosphere. You really feel that you’re living on an island.

+ A build in screenshot feature!

+ …

Closing thoughts: 

Inu and many others give this game a high to a near perfect score. Now, I find this a bit too high. This game isn’t a bad game, far from it! But this game lacks depth. I wish I could change the music of the lyrics of the Mii’s singing or see the pets run around while actually interacting with the Mii’s. (Once you enter their room, the pets disappear in thin air.)

We got a solid game by Nintendo, but I think they could have done more with it then what got got. Maybe they are making a sequel already with more things to do and more to explore and experience. I’m crossing my fingers at least.

Notice how I haven’t talked too much in depth about this game in this review. This is because I want some things for you guys to find and experience without being spoiled here on my blog.

Anyways, this is the end of the review. Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this one. I really loved writing this one. I hope to see you another time here on my blog. Until then!

Score: 70 / 100

BSP S3E14: is digital gaming bad for the industry?

http://thebuttonsmashers.com/2014/07/bsp-s3e14-is-digital-gaming-bad-for-the-industry/

This is the season finally of the Button Smashers Podcast, and as such we have taken the time to explain the changes that will come in the upcoming season. I was lucky enough to have the company of  Neko who’s article is the basis of the main topic on this episode. During this podcast we both took different sides on the debate about whether digital games are good or bad for the industry. So as always click that play button, leave a comment and enjoy.

Link to shadowgun: Deadzone: Link (mentioned during this episode)

FROM MANGA TO VIDEO GAME: Onepunch-man

This article is being posted here for all my fellow cats, 52 hours before it appears anywhere else. I hope it is an enjoyable read.

onepunchman_manga_cover

Manga: Onepunch-man

Publisher: Viz Media
Mangaka: Yūsuke Murata, One
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Comedy, Super hero
Concept Game: Onepunch-man
Genre: Beat ’em up

Continue reading

Gaming Music #8 * SPECIAL *: Remixes and game related tracks.

image_1I listen to a lot of music, maybe too much. From soundtracks to hardstyle. From classic music to dance. Apart from dubstep and metal, I love all kinds of music. I’m really drawn to melodic music. I’m sorry for the fans of dubstep but most of the times, a sudden bass drop kills the melody for me. And metal, sorry guys, I’m more fond of the electronic music. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t care if my friends play music of those genres in my neighborhood, it’s just that I will never listen to it myself. Out of that love for music, I started my gaming music series. I talk about my favorite tracks in gaming and why I love them so much. Normally I have a rule for 1 track per game. But I’m allow to select multiple tracks over the other articles. This rule still be will here. The other rule that I can’t select a remix is going out of the window. Now, in this article I will talk about a few songs that are either remixes of somebody, not by the creators of the game, or a song that’s heavily game influenced. Now, feel free to leave a comment with your favorites and or the opinion on my selection. 

#1: Secret Of Monkey Island – Main Theme (Dubmood / Chiptune Remix)

escape-from-monkey-island-cover683213Link

Muddy, this is one for you. MuddyMaster and myself enjoy the chiptune quite a lot. A while ago, I posted a picture of a Monkey Island game on the forums. It turns out that Muddy knows and likes the series as well.

And who doesn’t? The amazing writing, the great adventure, the sometimes self-aware characters, the brilliant puzzle design… Man, too bad that LucasArts is closed.

This nice track is often my alarm when I need to wake up. I had people make fun of me, since this track sounds like a theme song from the old consoles. Honestly, I don’t care. While I can’t find the artist of this track (feel free to let me know) I think this is a well crafted remix.

When I was playing around with Audacity, I found out that there is a small silence in the track. A trained ear will hear the gap easily. But when you are relaxing, there is a big chance you will not notice it. And now, because I mentioned it, you guys will most likely all notice it.

Anyways, this track is an awesome way to start! I hope you guys are ready to listen to some great music. Dj, next one please!

#2: S3RL – Pika Girl (Handz-Up / Dance / Tech)

Pikachu.full.1550398Link

I still remember a few years ago, when I heard “Pretty Rave Girl” from this artist for the first time. The video didn’t credit the artist and most of the times, people claimed that Basshunter was the creator.

After some digging, I found out, this year that the artist is S3RL. And when I heard this track, I was instantly in love with it.

I have one minor complaint. The healing sound effect is out of place the first time. The music comes to a way to abrupt stop. While this isn’t a real remix by definition, this track is really game related.

The lyrics made excellent use of the Pokémon terminology. In addition to that, the track tries to mix the show in with the actual games. Now, that’s something I rarely see happening. Or is that just me?

#3: Castlevania – Blood Tears Remix by Lyude (Rock)

castlevania

Link

Shame on you when you don’t know Castlevania. This game is a game that nearly every time comes to mind when I’m playing platformers. Now, let me be clear. I don’t like Mario style platformers. They are a simple as going from point A to B.

But the Castlevania (2D) games at the other hand mix amazing RPG elements into the formula. I’m not really interested in the vampire story line that much, but it’s a great setting for the gameplay.

While this remix is rather short, I often play it on a loop while writing. When I’m writing articles where I don’t listen to the soundtrack of a game I’m writing about, I have a playlist ready. And this track is pretty high up that list. The pure energy that comes off this track, it’s amazing. Give it a listen. You won’t be disappointed.

#4: Gerudo Valley (Zelda series) – Remixed by IncredFX (Electro)

1382344384Link

Remember how I selected the original of this track in a previous entry of this series? Well, there are a lot of dubstep remixes out there of this amazing song. Yet, this electro remix takes the cake for me. It has an amazing bassline and above all, a great build up.

While you can clearly hear the actual music in the remix, it stays true to the fact that’s it’s a remix and some nice electro melodies are mixed in to it.

I really love this track. I wish I found it earlier. Also, you can download a highly improved version in the description of the video. Believe me, it’s totally worth it.

I admit that I have been dancing a little while writing this. Dancing on this amazing tune. Yes, it’s pretty clear by now. I can’t stress enough how much I like the style of this track. I have no real negative thing to say about this track. Although, I should have gone the extra mile and looked for a better screenshot to put here. Well, it’s a track from the Zelda series and a picture from the Zelda series… I think I can get away with this.

Closing words

And I think I’m going to end my article here. I know a ton more songs I want to mention, but I think I will keep those for the next special. I hope you enjoyed this special music article. I really enjoy writing articles like these.

If you ask yourself why I keep my article at this length, well, to keep it “bite-sized”. This way I force myself as well into putting the most important info in the article.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this article and hopefully I can see you in the next one.