First Impression: Age Of Empires II HD (PC) ~ Age Of Kings

1362731523Steam page

There are many games that call on my nostalgia. But this game is something special. It actually really defined my childhood. I can even give proof of that, since I made it’s way in my personal top 10 most influential games list. When I saw on Steam that this game was getting a remake, I was honestly hyped. I couldn’t wait to play it and play through the game again. I prepared myself for a flood of memories and nostalgia when I finally was able to click the download button. How was it? Let’s take a look! Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this game and or the content of this article. 

 HD remake?

ss_f196e3b1c70038e09140f12aebcfdf0ef57915b0.600x338I honestly don’t get why they put HD in the title. Since nearly exactly everything looks like how I remember the game. To me, the game looks more like a remastered version of the game. Maybe better said, an updated version of the game so that it can run on modern systems more easily.

While I don’t use all the new features, like Twitch.TV streaming, I’m extremely happy that this game got to Steam. While I don’t play RTS games for the story or the campaigns, I find this a very enjoyable game.

If I ever review this game, it might be possible that I don’t comment on the story. Since I love the actual core gameplay of building a city and destroying my enemy. If somebody wonders what my skill level in this game is, I nearly always beat the standard AI but the moderate AI is just a bit too hard for me. I’m not one of the best Age Of Empires players, but I know what I’m doing.

What this game does good, in terms of story, is a tutorial campaign. It helps you understand the bare basics of the game. Step by step you get explained how the game works. But it’s more then just a tutorial, it’s a true campaign! And if you aren’t careful, you might face more challenge then you first expected. But I agree with the real veteran RTS players, the tutorial doesn’t fully prepare you for the actual game.

Make more villagers

CrazyfarmsAOE2

I have admitted it on Tumblr, I played this game more then I should have the last month with my great buddy MiseryLC. It’s one of the reasons why I didn’t write so many articles at the start of this month. This is a good sign for a first impression, no?

The core gameplay is about putting your villagers to work, building up an army and attack the enemy. Don’t get me wrong, these are three very different tasks. Now, when I play a multiplayer match, one trend keeps popping up.

I’m more of a defensive player. I nearly always gather the most resources. My buddy MiseryLC is more of the army guy. He makes a great army to easily invade the enemy. My army cleans up so that I can use that land to expand our economy.

This is how I enjoy playing this game. I always have trouble remembering which units are strong against which units, so I have to focus less on military. I truly think that playing with a friend brings a nice balance to the game. You can really play in the style you prefer.

One of my favorite civilizations are the Huns. Simply because of the fact that I don’t need to use one or two villagers to spam houses down. This saves time and mostly wood. This wood can be used to build a navy. Now, here is where one complaint raises, if there is a any water, the AI will use it. And they will start building a navy. In some cases, this led to big frustration because I wasn’t able to build any dock since it got destroyed just a few minutes after  I build it. Trying to have one fishing ship out in the sea… It’s kind of a suicide mission.

Polish

FarmingIn a later article I will talk more in depth about the music and graphics of this game. In this first impression of the game, I’ll mostly talk about the gameplay. (As I have been doing)

This game isn’t my favorite RTS game of all time. My favorite RTS game of all time is Rise Of Nations. While it’s different, some features could easily be ported over to Age of Empires. The biggest feature I would love to see make an appearance in Age Of Empires II HD is an auto-explore button for units. This would be really handy. Since the early stages of your game are crucial for the rest of the game.

But my biggest complaint is the reactions of the AI. When MiseryLC and I were playing, the AI would raise the alarm bell if one scout or one fishing ship was close to his dock. This is rather annoying. Also, when you ask him (or her) for resources, he always can never help. But if he does help, you get a laughable small amount. One match, I asked the AI to give me some food. I got some food and seconds later, he asks for food.

The most irritating of all is the placement of the buildings. I had moments when the AI started to build mine camps at locations where I had already mined out all the resources. In the end, the whole map could be filled with mining or woodcutter camps of your ally. This issue should really get looked into. Since it’s extremely annoying. One time it nearly made me loose the game since my units couldn’t arrive in time to save some important and strategic placed walls.

Anyways, I think I will leave it here with my complaining. I can’t deny that this game needs some additional bug fixing. This game might not be in early access, but that doesn’t mean that this game is 100% ready. The connection issues can surely prove that.

In any case, I think I’ll leave it here. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I prepared writing it. If you don’t get how the gameplay works while you were interested in the game, feel free to ask me about the game in the comments. Since I already recommend this game to every RTS or Strategy player. Yeah. Anywhoooo, I hope to see you in a next article! Take care~

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Rant #009.5: 10 things that I dislike about games. (Part 2/2)

not-sure-if-trolling-or-just-bad-game-designPart 1

Alright, let’s continue this rant. With the picture I used for the introduction at part 1 at the right side, let’s talk about 5 other things that annoy me in games. I started with issues with the control binding, tutorials, invisible walls, grinding and social networks. This second part of the rant has been written before part 1 got released, so I couldn’t add things from the comments. In any case, these things aren’t placed in any order. Since all these things annoy me. And what does it matter that one thing annoys me more then another one? All these issues need to be addressed! To close off this introduction, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion of my picks and or your most annoying things in video games. Thanks in advance. Anyways, let’s go!

#5: Micro-transactions of ANY kind

dlcThis stuff happens with DLC as well. I have seen DLC for Assassins Creed 4 to speed up some grinding. But you need to pay a small fee for it. Now these things give people an unfair advantage in some games.

Bravely Default made a big mistake here. There is a special “rescue” type item to save your party that works with micro-transactions.

I can understand DLC. If it’s additional content that you need to pay for. But these things to have additional gems or reduce waiting or grinding time boils my blood.

An amazing parody game is DLC Quest. You will get a kick out of this if you dislike this as well.

Before I move on, I have to mention something. In college, a friend of mine plays a soccer sim on his phone. He got annoyed that people kept beating him because they abused the micro-transaction system. So, this kills the balance in the game. Yeah. I promised him that I mentioned it!

#4: Online “noobs”

Unbenannt-1_3058566Okay, don’t get me wrong here. I have no (big) issues with noobs. There are people who need to learn how to play the game. You can’t expect yourself to be good at any game you play online. By playing the game over and over again, you get better at it.

In Minecraft, if you use a hacked client to make custom maps, I can understand. Yet, then you have a whole range of people who are just killing the online experience. And instead of flooding my whole top 10 here, I took them all under one entry.

I’m talking about campers, hackers, abusing the chat system… It all grinds my gears. Can’t you just play the game like normal?

Rust, is a perfect example of a game that got ruined by people who used hacks for example fly. I have seen YouTubers calling out at each other, and that’s where I draw my line.

Abusing glitches in a game, sure, why not? I mean, I used the “X-Ray” machines to find caves in Minecraft. I have no shame in admitting that. It doesn’t help me finding the best ores. It just helps me finding caves to find those ores or to make grinders work better.

If you’re a hacker, and you need your hacks to play the game, just keep in mind that you ruin the game for others! There is also a chance that you either kill the server, experience or the game for others. In my experience I have seen a server dying slowly because of the hacking.

I think I will leave it here for this entry. But this might be another rant coming where I talk more in depth of this subject.

#3: Flaws in the difficulty

escape-from-monkey-island-cover683213Dear lords, is this something many gamers under us have such a hate for. Games that suddenly throw up the difficulty for the climax of the game.

Escape From Monkey Island on the PS2 made a major flaw here. You have to work out a whole rule set for an advanced rock-paper-scissor game. Now, I don’t have endless patience to figure this all out. So, naturally I looked it up online. And yes, it’s randomized each and every time! Oh lords, isn’t that fun.

I’m planning to write a “game quicky” about custom minecraft maps. But in these maps, they make this fatal flaw as well. When I still made YouTube video’s I had to cancel a series because there were too much spawners.

In CTM maps, there can be a lot of spawners. But they should be balanced. In Super Hostile maps, there are a lot of spawners but it’s possible. Because with enough light sources you can disable the spawners and such.

Now, when any game, mod or custom map throws an overdose of enemies at you that it becomes more of an endurance round, then the game is flawed.

Not to mention that games where the enemies can kill you in a shot or two on the hardest difficulty setting. I mean, it should still be playable. And you shouldn’t be afraid that each monster could kill you with the greatest of ease.  That’s in summary what I mean with this.

#2: Backtracking, most of the times.

999

Yes, I’m looking at a game like the amazing 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors on the DS for this one. While you don’t have to backtrack while playing the game, there is a major sort of backtracking here. This game has multiple endings.

Here is the issue, when you saw an ending, you have to replay the whole game over again to see the other endings. Auwch! You might have a speed-up button but still.

Thankfully the sequel fixed this. In Virtue’s Last Reward, you have a tree that follows the different paths. So, that way you can easily go back to one point in time and pick the different option.

Now, about backtracking. In some cases, I can understand it. Like you need to go first to one spot to fetch a power-up. In Castlevania(-like) games I have no problem with it at all. Since you can grind your character meanwhile. That’s clever game design!

But when the game design is so bad that you can easily skip something or when it becomes a big focus, then it’s no fun anymore. Take notes from the examples I mentioned above guys!

#1: Cliches / Bad game design

unnamedNow, my final thing are two things combined. When a game uses too much cliches in their game, the game gets boring and predictable. I hate it the most when it comes to cliches giving the game a bad game design.

From cheap deaths to jump courses you can’t fail… Yeah, it can ruin a game easily. I found a game on Android that demonstrates this to it’s full extend. From impossible timed challenges to moving platforms to spikes… You name it.

While this game goes of memorization, this game has great game design. And it’s rewarding to find the way the developer wanted you to finish the level. This game uses a ton of cliches in the right way and makes an amazing game with it.

For example, I’m not good in jumping puzzles. I fail them a lot. In the Wind Waker, there is a part in the ship that you need to do. It’s a part where you need to jump from platform to platform. When you fail, you have to restart. Man, did I hate that part.

Closing words

So, that was my rant on 10 things that annoy me in games. I know that a lot of these articles exist on the net but I tried to talk about things that almost never get mentioned. That got extremely challenging near the end.

All these subjects would have been a complete rant. But I never had enough material to write a full article about it. So, I’m glad that I was able to talk about it in this article.

I hope you enjoyed reading this. I’m really looking forward to your comments. Thanks again and I hope to see you at a next article.

NekoJonez’s Question and Purrswer #2: 10 Questions make a long one!

Super Sparta :D
Super Sparta 😀

How’s that for starting off a Question and Purrswer? What’s this? Well, a question and answer with a neko twist of course. Want to ask me a question? Be sure to give a comment, send me a tweet, send me a mail, comment on my Last.FM profile, PM me on my forum… The possibilities are endless. Let’s get to answering the questions I got. And I totally didn’t steal this intro from my first Q & A. Because I add this section to it. Anyways, feel free to comment on this article. I mostly ask for questions for the next Q & A on twitter. Just saying. Oh, and all these questions come from Twitter. (Warning, thanks for the all the questions… This means it will be a long Q & A. Don’t worry, I’m trying out a trick so that this article is split into pages for your reading pleasure.)

#1: Am I going to buy Super Smash Bros / Am I hyped for it? – Asked by Austin from Arpegi

super-smash-bros

Short answer: One day.

Long answer: Well, depends on the money I have at the time of it’s release. Honestly, I’m more hyped for the remake of my 2nd favorite gen in Pokémon. Yes, I love the 3rd gen.

I also recently learned, thanks through my buddy Seraph, that Corpse Party is coming to the PC! And that with bonus features.

So, I have a two other games that I’m looking out for. Then I have a bunch of other titles that interest me. Like Tomodachi Life or Kirby – Triple DeluxePlus, I’m planning to save up my money for a lovely Wii U. Please don’t get me started at the Steam sales. It kills my wallet just thinking about it. 

So, the short answer explains everything.

Now, am I hyped about Super Smash Bros.? … Ehrm, do I have to answer this question? I mean, my reputation… Hehehe… Okay, honestly. I’m not hyped. At all. To be quite harsh, I’m not a fan of the series. I do enjoy the series but it doesn’t pull me in as much as it does to other people.

Why am I planning to buy the 3DS edition then? Well, because I hope that a handheld edition actually draws me into the series. That’s why. But remember, my bar for quality is actually set quite high since it’s a freaking Nintendo game.

#2: Favorite movie genre? – Asked by Sam, a Minecraft friend.

Favorite movie genre, eh? This is a hard question for me, as I tend to be a “jack of all trades”. What I mean here is that I enjoy a lot of movie genres. Lately, movies don’t hold my attention span for the whole movie. When I watch a movie on YouTube or on any platform, I watch it in multiple pieces. I just get bored with there is no interaction. That’s why visual novel adventure games get so much love from me. I get drawn into stories with interaction.

Back to the question, I tried to answer it in a style of “what would you do if you are allowed to watch one style of movies for the rest of your life?”. After much internal debate, I decided. Then the action adventure movies get the highest rating in my taste. Movies like Indiana Jones, Monument Men or National Treasure and even the animated variant, like most anime movies, I tend to enjoy the most.

#3: Bravely Default Questions. Have you beaten it? (Q, Yes. DAT friend) – My opinion on it. (Asked by Drakulus23, a friend in the blogging world.)

Bravely-Default-CharactersI knew that at one day, people where going to ask me about Bravely Default. I talked various times that I was going to write an article about it. And as far I can remember, I haven’t written a full article about it. Not even a first impression.

Yet, I have talked about it in my latest rant. Where I talked about the hate of grinding I have.

Now, did I beat it? No. I haven’t beaten it yet. I’m working on it though. Honestly, I think I’m not going to talk in depth of my opinion since I think I’ll start working on a first impression after I finished up all the articles I have started writing. So, you will know in this month.

#4: Goat Simulator. (Asked by Sarah, a real life friend)

How-about-noI’m sorry Sarah, but I can’t even stand to watch a Let’s Play of the game. After I seen a few moments of gameplay, something occurred to me. This game is nothing more then a tool to joke around with physics.

The game looks pointless, goalless … to me. Am I saying it’s a bad game? Honestly, to some extend, it’s a mediocre game.

I looked up what other critics say, while some disagree with me, I think that the review from the Guardian hits the nail right on the head. It’s nothing more then a phenomenon/meme spun out of control.

#5: My favorite piece of tech (Asked by LeoHartless, a co-editor @ BSB)

Oh lords. The most interesting question to get your friends to answer. The “favorite X” question. I answered one earlier in this article but now I have another one. These are the most fun to answer, since it really makes you think about the subject.

In the end, I choose a laptop. While I can image people thought that I would go for a handheld, I actually think that a laptop is my favorite piece of technology.

Think about it, you can take your games on the go. Plus, you can carry around your own office. It makes things so easy. Do you want to show something to a friend, just turn the laptop around and you can show it. With a desktop it’s harder to do.

I just love laptops for some reason. Even over my tablet. Laptops can just do more then a tablet in my opinion. And thanks to my laptop, I can be a hobby-blogger. And that’s a dream come true.

NekoJonez’s Question and Purrswer #1

Super Sparta :D
Super Sparta 😀

How’s that for starting off a Question and Purrswer? What’s this? Well, a question and answer with a neko twist of course. Want to ask me a question? Be sure to give a comment, send me a tweet, send me a mail, comment on my Last.FM profile, PM me on my forum… The possibilities are endless. Let’s get to answering the questions I got.

#1 (Mail): Will you do a review of my Android game?

I got a mail of an Android game development studio to test a game before world wide release. I’ll get a test version and I said yes. Truth to be told, this wasn’t the first question but hey, I wanted to tell this to you guys. I’m truly excited!

To all developers who want to let your game get tested by me and have an article about it published on my blog, just contact me. We will work something out. I love to aid developers with my insight.

#2 (Twitter): Leo_Heartless asks the most disturbing game I played.

This is a tough question. This truly depends on which kind of disturbing you mean. In terms of story, I have an even tougher pick to make. There I can’t choose between Virtue’s Last Reward and Corpse Party. Both stories are creepy as in, they will get under your skin and give you that unpleasant feeling. In terms of psychological, Virtue’s Last Reward wins. In terms of horror, Corpse Party wins easily.

But you have the kind of disturbing games in the sense that they are unfinished, bad and just… well awful. And for that, I have a top 10 worst games list I ever played. But the most disturbing game… Hrm. I could say any game here. Like a Monkey Ball game. How cruel is it to put a monkey in a ball and let it race for it’s banana’s?

The issue is that I have a very wild fantasy. And that wild fantasy goes wild in a story. So, if I really had to choose… In terms of disturbing things. God Of War on the PS2. Just the hate in Kratos makes me cringe. It’s a fun game, don’t understand me wrong, but it’s just… disturbing.

#3 (Twitter): Allahweh asked me what the occasion is.

Do things need a point? … Wait, why am I even answering this question in this article? Was it one of her questions? Or was it a legit question since she didn’t know why I asked for questions on my twitter?

Am I really writing what I’m thinking or am I just doing this to be creative? I have no clue, I can’t do this joke of a thinking Neko. NEXT!

#4: (Twitter) Allahweh asks me my most fond gaming memory.

I was going to save this story for a gaming nostalgia article, and I’m still going to do that. I’m going to briefly touch upon it now. In the past, I went to the mountains with my parents and sister each summer. Those times have some amazing memories for me. Once my friends and myself destroyed a dam that stopped mountain water of overflowing some pieces of land. Hey, we didn’t know and we didn’t understand the language.

Anyways, on one of those trips, something truly magical happened. I was playing on my gameboy advance and two kids came up to me and asked if I wanted to do a Pokémon battle with them. As it still was all the rage, I said yes and we fought. It was a draw actually. Anyways, it didn’t take long for us to meet each other that evening and we started to play together.

And eventually more and more kids joined. And before I knew it, I barely had time to play games with my friends. We had a group of, I kid you not, over 50 children who brought their gameboy or psp to play together.

Interested in this story? One day I will write this story more in depth in a game nostalgia article.

#5: (Twitter) Allahweh asks me my favorite non-RPG retro game.

Let’s see. If you don’t count the Zelda games as a RPG, I pick those. The oracle games are my absolute favorites. But let’s think about this for a moment. Since some people dare to say that Zelda is a RPG. With the upgrade-able weapons and such.

In that case, my favorite has to go to a series I return to rather often. The Freddi Fish games. You didn’t see that one coming, right? You thought I was going to choose Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine or something. Nah, Freddi Fish holds more early gaming memories and I remember moments when I even had dry eyes of playing too much Freddi Fish.

I’m so glad to see the developers of that game still around and I cross my fingers that they make a new game of Freddi Fish, Spy Fox or Putt Putt any time soon.

#6 (Twitter) TheJohnCruz asks me about time machines.

Honestly, to the near future. When I have my degree. I’m truly looking forward into working as a teacher. In addition to that, then I’m finally free to that pesky homework. Agreed, I have work to do at home like eg correcting tests, preparing classes and etc. But I think I will be a bit more free.

But if reality changed, I hope that I still can write about games and still become the person I want to become. While I’m a big lover of the past, in terms of my media, I don’t want to actually go to the past.

If that makes any sense.

#7: (Twitter) Lpgardian asks me about curry.

Catnip? Wait, no. That was merely meant as a joke with my username. Don’t shoot me Q but I truly enjoy programming in Curry. No, that’s not right. And I can’t even program in Curry. What the heck am I saying?

Well, Tim Curry is a nice actor. Son of a gun! That’s not the right answer either.

Focus Jonezy. Think of the curry. If you need, become the curry… Ehrm… Let’s not become the curry. Focus… Aha! I know! The light bulb above my head just went flashing.

Curry County! …. What. No! That can’t be the answer. I’m sorry Q, I don’t get the trick in the question. I’m now going to try to get my mood up with curry ketchup on my french fries. Maybe I find out the answer then.

#8: (Tweeter) MiseryLC asks me about… ehrm…

I’m sorry. I’m not a king. I’m a cat.

#9: (Tweater) MiseryLC asks me about my future gaming plans

  1. Take a pound of Minecraft,
  2. Blend that with some Left 4 Dead 2
  3. Cook Bravely Default on 100°C

I can’t do this. I wanted to be a chef and serve you a great dish of the amazing games I am going to play in the near future but I didn’t find a great way to do it. Hey, at least I tried.

Anyways, most likely some games where I’m near finishing the story. Bravely Default, Zelda – Link Between Worlds, Electronic Super Joy, Left 4 Dead 2, Dust: An Elysian Trail, Delver … Yeah, tons of games.

#10: (Twitter) Lpgardian asks about the current state of affairs.

Okay, this wasn’t totally a question for the Q and A, but hey. 10 questions is a nice number.

Anyways, I’m less sick then a few days before. Yippie! I’m still extremely busy. So, yeah, articles will come less often. And some articles will be written in 5-6 times instead of the usual 1-2 times.

But I’m doing fine. I have a few obstacles in my life to beat but nothing TOO big. Let’s say my life a big challenge now and I’m fully going for it. But a fun challenge. Not that I’m depressed or anything. Just going through some rough times. You know, those times that some things just don’t seem to work. Yeah, that time.

Anyways, I’m doing fine.

Want your question in the next QandP? 

Then get in contact with me. Ask me ANYTHING! Surely, I’ll answer every one in the next article. Even if it goes over 50 questions! I’ll still answer them all.

I hope everybody got the reply they wanted. I tried to be creative in some of them. As usual.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed. And hopefully until the next meeting.

Review #019: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 5 – Dual Destenies (3DS eShop) review ~ How Do You Feel?

The Japanese box-art because we only got an eShop release.
The Japanese box-art because we only got an eShop release.

Ace Attorney Wiki entry

So, it has come to this. This case is the hardest to crack. I want to prosecute this game and get a “Must Play” verdict. Yet, I’m up against some serious competition. So, let’s see. What is in my court record? A lot— What? Oh, that’s great! You have the perfect man for this job? What’s his name? Reviewer NekoJonez? Okay. We will give this a shot! 

16 November 2013 – 9 PM

NekoJonez’s Gaming Room

Ahn, mister Introduction. What? You want me to review this new game on the eShop I just finished? Okay, I was planning too… What?! This review will decide your verdict? -Gulp- Okay. I hope that the comments will tell me how they liked this article and or the game…

Opening statement

download

So it has come to my attention that this game will receive DLC around the time the new Zelda game is going to be released. Yet, I have to study as well. So it’ll be a busy period for me as a reviewer. Yet after several years of absence, how ironic that Phoenix Wright was also absent from the story in the last games, Phoenix Wright is back. In this new game, he shines. Like I made clear in my first impression article of this game.

Now that I finished it, I’m going to review it. After looking to a disappointment in the first place, which is the DLC, I think I’m going to take that back. A totally new case is going to come and I’m rather excited for it. As usual, I’m trying to read up as little as I can about it. Here is Nintendo World Report’s article about the new case.

In this game, we get 5 new amazing cases. Each with their unique story like all previous Ace Attorney games. Capcom’s writing is again top notch here, and it’s surely a prime example to visual novels and adventure games. Yet, I have to point one thing out that kind of bugs me.

So, this game takes place 8 years in the future from all other games. But somehow the humans evolved to killing people using the “stab-y stab-y” method. Come on writers, I know you can be more creative! Gunshots, pushing people over the edge… are just examples of what you could have used. I just wish the DLC isn’t going to be a case where the victim is going to be stabbed. Another thing is that in most of the cases, the prosecutor is the same guy. While it does help get the personality of him very well explained, I felt like he was overused. And that the returning characters got underused. Like Pearls or Edgeworth. Such a wasted potential.

Yet, every returning character is presented in a beautiful way. The story is now supported with anime cutscenes which make the game as beautiful as -bleep-. I extremely enjoyed reading them all. And I do admit that I often presented some of the wrong evidence since the reactions can be so extremely funny.

Whilst you get more out of the game’s plot when you played the previous games, newcomers won’t be weirded out by it. Since they explain a lot of things with flashbacks or “This reminds me of…”.

It’s quite clear that the character development is quite up there. Yet, some people found Athena Cykes a boring character. I tend to disagree. She is a well-developed character. And the case where she is the attorney is one of my favorites in the game. Yes, in this title you don’t play the whole game as the same attorney. That makes up for the prosecutor flaw. But let’s leave it here for the story since otherwise, we are still here tomorrow. But let’s not forget several typos’s in the game. Hopefully, they patch this!

New yet not better

wright-dual

So, the new gameplay mechanics. The mood matrix is such an interesting idea. It adds to the game a lot. It’s less difficult than the locks from Phoenix or Apollo’s bracelet. It’s something I actually imaged coming to the series while playing the previous games.

Taking the lessons learned from the Miles Edgeworth spin-off games, the whole scene is now searchable. But this time in stellar 3D graphics. You can turn and move around easily and the controls are extremely nice.

The game presents beautiful locations in each and every game. And they are all really interesting since we haven’t visited them in the previous entries in the series. Like a murder in college. It blew my mind. Ugh, I’m talking again about the story.

I have to give credit where credit is due. The user interface is above amazing for this game! Now you have a save button right in front of your face. Also, you can skip the dialogue from the get-go. I do admit, this brings the possibility that you miss some dialogue. But Capcom has thought about that, they have a button where you can check on the past dialogue.

A change that has mixed opinions for me is the fact that you can “try again” right if your meter drained. But you get a full bar, and you start at the question you failed at. While this takes away the problem of spending too much time with re-playing the case, it does take away from the difficulty. Yet, I have to admit, I saved all the time before these kinds of questions. So, it’s like I said, a mixed feature.

I truly missed the feature where you can view the evidence in 3D. It’s not present in this version, only once or twice. But the features which are present are lovely. Like a notepad where they keep a sort of “To Do” list. So, getting stuck isn’t a problem anymore. Also, now they inform you when you are completely done with a scene. So, missing anything isn’t a problem any longer.

But enough about the gameplay mechanics and such, next!

B-E-A-UTIFUL

Phoenix-Wright-Dual-7If you play this game without the 3D slider set to max, SHAME on you. The new graphics are beautiful and aid a lot with the new feel of the game. While for some critics, it feels a bit too different from the old Ace Attorney games, it’s still top notch. What I am saying here is that it’s one of the best looking games in the series but not the best in terms of story.

In the cutscenes, the beautiful graphics continue. And the attention to detail is amazing. The animation of this game has blown me away. And how lovely that you can view the cut-scenes again when you 100% completed the game. So, you don’t have to play through the game to see the cutscenes again.

Speaking of the animation. It’s superb! The attention to detail is amazingly well done. And the game feels much more alive now. And the animation is so much better in 3D. You feel like you are really there.

The sound effects help an awful lot with it as well. They are tight and on the spot. And they feel new and not stolen from the best sound library around.

But the music is something you can applaud this game for. The Ace Attorney games always had amazing music and this game isn’t an exception. The tracklist has some new and old remixed tracks which make this game a blast to play.

So, the game’s length is extremely decent. Around 20 hours of play, you’ll get more than the crazy price they ask on the eShop for it. Which is at the moment of writing only 25euro’s.

So, let’s go on with the conclusion right here. Since this game deserved a longer review, and if I would write it to the length I wanted it to, I would be still writing till I go to sleep and we don’t want that right?

Conclusion

The bad

– Some spelling issues.

– Mixed “Try Again” feature.

– Underused characters.

– STAB-Y STAB-Y STAAAAAAAB.

The good

+ Extremely improved UI.

+ Great length.

+ Lovely music.

+ Great story.

+ Nice voice acting.

+ DLC is better than I expected.

+ Graphics that put the 2D ones to shame.

Final thoughts:

So, this game is perfect. Some minor flaws but we can’t rip a game apart for it right? It could have been a lot better story wise for me but it was still a better story than the last visual novels I played. (When I don’t count Corpse Party, that is.)

Let’s keep these final thoughts short. When you love Ace Attorney, play this game. Otherwise, play it. This is a must-have gem on 3DS! (And let’s ignore that I totally blew the theme of this article in the second part since I wrote this over two days).

Score: 95/100

10 most influential games (series) in my life.

Games

I played a lot of games. On the computer, DS, gameboy and many other platforms. In this article I will talk about my list of games/game series that had the most influence on my life, game life and or style. This list is somewhat in an order, but sometimes this list can change for me currently. I won’t update this list but it might happen that I make another list with 10 influential games to me. But one thing is for sure. These 10 are the current games that have or had the most influence on me. They either made me love a game genre, a series, make me happy or made me change my personality. As experiment, I would like to know what games you guys think changed you. Drop them in the comments. Probably there will be similar games. But all these games on this list come extremely recommend. There is rule though, when I select a game from a series, I won’t use the series again in another slot. That’s why I allowed myself to pick game series.

#10: 9 Hours, 9 People, 9 Doors & Virtue’s Last Reward

999I already explained why I liked Virtue’s Last Reward so much. In that review I also mentioned the game 999. This game didn’t come to Europe and I had to import this game.

I am truly glad that I imported this game for my DS. The story is quite thrilling and made me love the visual novel genre. Since this game, I got a harsh judge on game stories. I get somewhat disappointed when a game has a weak story that doesn’t draw me in. All thanks to this game.

I often listen to the music, which makes many situations intense. I often use it as inspiration when I am writing stories, whenever I have to write a trilling part. It makes the story write itself.

What I loved so much are the puzzles to escape a room. I often try the Android games where you need to escape a room. It doesn’t do the same thing to me but hey, nostalgia!

In addition to that, the different endings where genius. There were based on the path you took and really made you come back to see what actually happened.

#9:  Game Dev Story

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 A fair warning, when you download this game onto your Android or iPhone, well be prepared to not put it down for quite a while.

This game is getting pretty popular to the point where GreenHartGames made a spin-off on it. But it’s this game that made me think. Are there good games on the Android market like this one? And yes, there are. I explored the Android Market and really got some fun games to play.

I was against tablets but thanks to this game I got myself a tablet for my last birthday and I sometimes continue my adventures on the Android market.

The game actually made me do something I always wanted to do. Make games and being the head of a game company. The amazing references really make the game have some humor that even make it less easy to put this game down. The other games of this studio are extremely fun and really a play worth but this game is where it started for me.

#8: Age Of Empires / Age Of Mythology

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This game series was very important to me since it introduced me into strategy games. I recall many moments where I go online with the Age Of Mythology to do some matches.

It made me even go so far that when I played cop & robber with my friends that we got somehow to a version of this game. Yes, I swear that we played these kinds of things in my backyard.

This game series is nearly flawless, expect the major failure that is named Age Of Empires Online, and I still love it to this day. I follow blogs and people who make expansion packs on their own for the games and I often try them out.

This game really made me and my sister sit behind the computer for hours on end. We even asked if we could install the game on our parents their computer, so we could play over LAN. Those were fun days.

I once even entered a tournament where I lost, but I truly remember getting ready for it and trying new strategies out all day.

I’m now grown out of the game. It has been quite some time since I played one of the series. Well, maybe after this article I go get my game discs and install and play it.

#7: Halo (PC)

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I hate shooters, yet I often play one. My view on shooters really changed thanks to this game. I might call myself a fan of the series. I don’t own a XBOX 360 to play the other games, and I don’t plan to. A good friend of mine told me that they are going in the wrong direction with the series.

This game I played online so often that my mother got angry that I didn’t play anything else then shooters. And I had to shut down the game for a while.

I played this game even with my girlfriend and I truly had some big fun. The story in this game was extremely well done and made me try other shooters. A genre I think is overpopulating the market now-a-days.

It also made my interests go to space for quite a while and when I heard there was a DS game under development I got extremely excited. And man, was I disappointed that this game was canceled or fake. I don’t know it for sure yet.

If you haven’t played this game, shame on you, get this game and play it after you read this article. It’s fun and after I finished this game again, I will sure to write a review on this gem of a game. But yeah, most people probably played this game already since the first XBOX got popular thanks to this game.

#6: Rollercoaster Tycoon

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“Mom and dad, please don’t shut down our PC. We’ll lose our progress.”.  I don’t remember how often I told that to my parents when playing this game. The version we had, had trouble loading save files and we finished to scenario’s in one go.

My sister & I played this game an awful lot on the computer, and we actually took turns to finish a scenario. When one of us was playing this game, the other sat there watching carefully and enjoying seeing the park grow and getting more money.

As kids, we weren’t all that great in finishing this game. We made stupid decisions yet, we had some major fun.

Like with the 3rd game. I was so thrilled when I got my stronger computer for Christmas and when I was able to play this game at home. Before I had to wait when we went to my grandparents because their computer was strong enough to run the game. I even remember that I had to write on their blackboard in order to ask permission to play the game. Yeah, bad handwriting.

But I never played the 2nd game in the series. Now that my collection is complete of this series, I am going to try the 2nd game rather soon after I finish the first game.

#5: Ace Attorney series

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Playing as an attorney is boring! OBJECTION! It isn’t. At all. This game actually introduced me to the visual novel series, and I am grateful for that.

Nearly everything in these games is perfect in my eyes and when I’m going to review them, I will have some major trouble finding bad things in these games.

Some quotes of the game even slipped in my vocabulary and yes, some character movements actually slipped inside my handelings.

I’m extremely excited to see the 5th game in stores since we didn’t get one game in the series.

This series truly made my love for my Nintendo DS even grow bigger and I never could put it down since then. So HOLD IT, and give this game a go. You won’t regret it if you like games where you need to think and get a great story.

#4: Minecraft

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Do you truly require me to explain why Minecraft has such a big influence on me? My review wasn’t clear enough about that? Oh well, let me tell you why it’s so important to me.

First of all, it made me travel to Paris again. For MineCon, where other Minecrafters gather. I rarely go outside my house. (Let’s ignore my theatre group here)

Secondly, this game brought my friends and myself pretty close. My best friend MiseryLC & I wouldn’t be such good buddies if it wasn’t for Minecraft.

Third, this game let me do what I want. Nothing in the game is going to limit me to play the game how I want.

And last point is, I met my girlfriend thanks to Minecraft. Long story, I’ll spare you guys. But that are 4 major reasons why this game deserves such a high spot in this list.

#3: Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine 

256px-Indiana_Jones_and_the_Infernal_MachineSurprisingly enough, this game doesn’t get the number one spot. The game that spawned my nickname. I love the Indiana Jones series and actually it’s something that has been extremely important in my life.

I remember seeing the first movie in the rental store and after I watched it as a 7 year old, mostly not understanding a letter of what they were saying, I was hooked.

I watched the other movies and once one of my cousins learned that, he showed me this game. And I loved it right away. I didn’t play anything 3D before this game and when we started playing this game, like I told, I couldn’t stop playing.

My love for the Indiana Jones games went a bit downhill once Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb was released but I prefer this game above the other one. This is a game I know nearly by heart. I often try to play it and I got me sad when I found out that I wasn’t able to finish my LP on my Youtube channel.

I played the levels in my backyard together with friends. Yes, we tried to make it exactly go like how the developers made the level in the game.

Oh, and thanks LucasArts. Rest in peace guys.

#2: Pokémon (and all their spin-offs)

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Find me one gamer of my generation that doesn’t know the first Pokémon game. This game is almost so well known it might just be popular then the flagship title of Nintendo.

I really love this series, and I’m ashamed that I didn’t finished the latest entries yet (I got distracted by other games),  and I plan to replay the games rather soon.

The many spin-offs in this series really made me love the series more. I loved to draw circles in Pokémon Ranger, and I even started to have interested when I played Pokémon Pinball.

Every game in the series has an element that draws me in and makes me finish the game.I’m really looking forward to the newest games X & Y. To see what they are going to do with the series next. But now, I need to finish the latest Mystery Dungeon game.

So, what’s your favorite generation? Mine is the 3rd one. The Ruby, Saphire and Emerald games are truly my biggest favorites and recently have beaten my old favorites Gold & Silver.

#1: The Legend of Zelda

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The people who know me really should have seen this one coming. I simply can’t put down a Zelda game. I truly am a big Zelda fan. When I was on my trip to America, I bought myself a wallet, shirts and other merchandise of the series.

I nearly got a tear in my eye when I was able to hold an actual NES cartrigde of the first game. (I don’t own a NES, but I have the first game as the GBA release).

I am such a big fan that I even saved up to go to the concert of the Zelda music. Wait, that’s mostly classical music and I listen to electronic genres. Yes, my dedication for the series is that big.

I own even the Zelda Historia AND I pre-ordered my DS for the only reason that there was a Zelda game released on it. It was also my first game I played and did I enjoy it.

I can talk ages about the series but I won’t. I need to finish this article.

Honorable mentions.

Let’s just write it in a list. Freddi Fish, Broken Sword, God Of War, Dragon Quest, Time Hollow, Peggle, Tetris DX, Draw My Life, Corpse Party, Hungry Shark Evolution, Kirby, Desperados, Devil May Cry 4….

I can go on for a long time but this article has run long enough. It pains my hart that I had to leave out so many great games. I might even have forgotten some great games. Oh well, maybe I write another article about this subject where I talk about 10 other games that changed my life. But like I said, these 10 games are the 10 MOST influential. Thanks for reading and I hope that I see you another time on my blog.

Cheers,

NekoJonez~