Tag Archives: remake

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

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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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Review #033: The Legend Of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds (3DS) ~ Merged.

1382344384First Impression – Official site

Warning: This is a longer review. 

I know, I know. This game has been released for such a long time. I have only just recently beaten it. The reason for that is that other games distracted me and I was annoyed at one dungeon. But hey, now that I have finished it, I finally can take a look at this game. I already reviewed a Zelda game earlier this month, but I hope you guys can forgive me for two Zelda game reviews back to back. There will be one guy that will read my review for sure! Isn’t that true, Dark_Legend? Since I know you are looking forward to any content about Zelda. We are both big Zelda fans. Zelda is love. Zelda is LIFE! Anyways, enough with the randomness in this introduction. Let’s take a look at this game. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this article and or your opinion on this game. Before I continue with the actual review, I want to say that this review has been written quite some time after the first impression article. So, it might be quite possible that my opinion changed quite a bit compared to the first impression. Hopefully you readers can understand that. 

Let’s start.

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While I was playing this game, I was also playing the remake of Ocarina of Time on 3DS. The story has lots of similar elements. While the set-up is quite similar to A Link To The Past, the story takes it’s inspiration from Ocarina Of Time.

That doesn’t mean that the story isn’t unique. I’m a little bit disappointing to see that the story was created using two other Zelda stories with a new element in it. I don’t have any complaints in terms of story besides that. I just felt like I was playing through two quite similar stories. The medallions were the paintings in this game.

It’s by all means, not a bad story. I liked the characters and it was really interesting to see how this game throws a twist in the end. I can’t say it’s predictable, only a person with a lot of experience in the visual novel genre or in writing might see the ending of this game coming.

I can understand that this game is a remake of A Link To The Past, so I can forgive the story being mediocre. I’m actually glad that we got a different game then another remake of A Link To The Past, because it already got a remake on the GBA.

Also, because this game tries out a ton of new things with the Zelda formula, I can’t complain that much about it’s length. A complaint I read often is that this game is too short. I can agree. For veteran Zelda players, you can beat this game quite fast. I didn’t beat it as fast as I could because I didn’t like one dungeon. I’ll get into that later.

Not that good?

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I’m quite sure I’m going to get some hate for this, but I think that the scores this game get are quite high. Honestly, a bit too high. Let me explain myself. Before I look like a troll.

Graphically, this game left me with a “meh” feeling. I enjoy the style using in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks more. You won’t hear me complaining about the more realistic and detailed art-style of Ocarina Of Time. This game is a mix between the two styles.

It tries to have a realistic look on the characters while some enemies and part of the world have a more cartoon-like look to it.

I also didn’t like some character and enemy designs. My favorite race in the Zelda series must be the Zora’s. In this game they look like blown up frogs. So, long story short, I don’t think that this game looks all that good.

This game does make more mistakes then that. The final boss is way too easy. I was able to beat the final boss on my first try. I even didn’t need my 2nd health potion. The solution was way too easy for a veteran puzzle game player. It left me with a very disappointed feeling. The story might have a sweet climax, but the gameplay hasn’t.

What I’m trying to say here is that the difficulty is messed up. All other reviewers said the same. Because you can do the dungeons out of order, they programmed the game in a way that the difficulty is somewhat equal in all the dungeons. There is the big issue, since you get stronger through-out the game, it truly becomes a cake-walk. I haven’t played through Hero Mode, but the overall difficulty isn’t good throughout the whole game.

Good?

LinkBetweenWorldsScreen2

Sadly enough, I’m not done yet with talking about the negatives of this game. A huge improvement is that you can put pins on your map to locations you want to visit in the future! This is quite a nice feature. I used it from time to time to be able to get to certain hart pieces later.

But I do have a problem here. All the locations of the dungeons have been marked. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It helps the player not getting lost, but it kills the exploration. Now, it’s less fun to be able to say: “I found the entrance to that dungeon.”. It’s marked on the map. You can’t overlook it.

Let’s talk dungeon design then. Earlier in this article I talked about the issue I had with this game. In the forest dungeon, you are stalked by a wall master. While it’s a very original idea and it creates some amazing puzzles, it can be quite annoying from time to time.

In general, I think that the dungeons are very well designed. The ice dungeon breaks a Zelda tradition. You can get the boss key almost right away. In some dungeons you can find suits to upgrade yourself. You can even find the master shield in one of the dungeons. The dungeons are filled with challenging enemies and great puzzles. I might had to use a walkthrough once or twice because I wasn’t able to figure out a puzzle. It was one in the Ice Temple. The lay-out is a bit confusing.

You can do the dungeons in what ever order you wish. You can rent the items from a weird guy that invades your home. This is very unique and quite fun. Because you try to get to secrets early and things like that. You can also buy the items later on. And here is where the issue lies. The dungeons feel less rewarding to go through. At least for me, they do. Because you got the dungeon item in advance, you can easily go through it without an issue. There is less reason to try and find each and every item.

 I could sink into the floor… I mean wall.

The-Legend-of-Zelda-A-Link-Between-Worlds-baseball

So, is this game really not worth playing? No, that would be the wrong thing to say and think. This game provided me with a lot of fun. The main mechanic really helps with that. In this game you are able to merge with almost any wall in the game.

I honestly think that the music is really well done. I love the touch that the music sounds more distant as soon you merge into a wall.

Also, you can be a bit more careless with your bombs and arrows. Thanks to the magic meter, you never run out of them. That saves a whole bunch of grinding, something that shouldn’t be in a Zelda game in the first place.

The side quest to find the baby squids (?)

The animation is extremely well done. This game really plays nice in 3D as well. While I’m not a big fan of the visuals, I think the 3D is good. There is a lot to do besides the main story line. The fact that you can upgrade your stuff, makes the side quests rewarding.

Maybe a little spoiler, but there is a “hero” mode in this game. With this mode you can replay the whole game but in a more difficult fashion.

Also, there is a multiplayer aspect to this game. It’s more spotpass related, but I think it’s really fun. You guys should check it out!

Anyways, I think I have said the most important things I wanted to say about this game. Let’s go to my conclusion.

Conclusion

The bad:

– Visually lacking in my opinion.

– The end game is extremely easy.

– The wall master hunting you down in the forest temple can be annoying 😦

– The map can be annoying to use.

The good:

+ Pins on the map!

+ Great soundtrack.

+ Great idea’s to change up the gameplay.

+ Amazing use of the amazing meter!

Closing thoughts:

This game isn’t perfect, it’s good. But it is anything but worth the big scores that big magazines are giving it. I’m a big Zelda fan, but I put this game down after I got annoyed by that wall master in the forest dungeon chasing you. There is even one in the first room of the dungeon. When I don’t play a Zelda game until I finish it, it means that there is something lacking.

The game was originally meant to be a remake of “A Link To The Past”, and that’s what this game is holding back. This is a reworked remake. Somehow I have the impression that the developers changed the main idea of the game somewhere mid-way development. They needed something simple to set this game apart, so they started reworking the game with the wall merging mechanic.

If I look past my fanboy-ism for the series, I see a game that has some issues but still provides a fun ride. This game isn’t an outstanding Zelda experience, but it came close. They only had to flesh out the game a bit more. To add a bit more difficulty to it. Yeah. That might have been better.

Score: 70/100

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.

First Impressions: Castlevania – Lords Of Shadow – Mirror Of Shadow (3DS) ~ It’s Just Fun!

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Wikipedia entry

So, my best wishes for the holidays. I have something special to announce. I got myself a wireless controller for my PC. That means that I can now play even more games than before. In addition to that, it’s the 50th article I publish on ButtonSmashers. Yes, 50th! And I’m nearing a big number on my personal blog as well. So, I’m extremely thrilled about that. But this is totally beside the point, I told you guys that I wouldn’t write any new article in 2013. I kinda lied. This is a new article, I guess. While I’m waiting for a download to finish to use my controller on, I played a bit of this game on my 3DS. It’s surprisingly better then I expected it in the first place. That’s why I decided to write an article about it. It would be lovely if you left a comment with your thoughts on this article and or on this game. So, let’s go. 

Story

castlevaniamofs.jpgIt’s going to be a shame to admit this but I know next to nothing about the story in the Castlevania series. It’s a shame really since I quite enjoy the Castlevania games. It’s actually Castlevania game I’m waiting on downloading on Steam.

The story, for as far I can understand, is pretty thrilling. The writing is pretty neat. I think it’s brilliantly written.

While I was thrown off at first by the presentation of the cutscenes, when I placed my 3D slider to the max I actually rather enjoyed the art style.

From what I have heard, this game will take place from different points of view. You don’t have to tell that to me twice to know that I’m going to play an excellent story. I have played multiple RPG’s from Konami and I was never let down by the story.

The voice acting. Wow. I mean, it just blows my mind how good it was. And actually still it. In the cutscenes, the voices add so much to the game. Yet, I’m under the impression that the game sometimes has a bit of a slowdown in the cutscenes with the 3D slider on. But that might just be me though.

“Mash”

castlevaniamo4Let me be clear on this, I hate button mashers with a passion. It broke the shoulder buttons of my original DS and I’m still kinda pissed about that. Yet, I’m glad that I learned my lesson and I don’t have to make other devices suffer the same fate.

ButtonSmashers don’t demand skill. In a sense they do, the skill to be able to tap a button very rapidly. While this game sometimes has it quick time events and it’s “mash the attack button” moments, I never really felt that they were a “mashing fest”.

Since when you aren’t careful, you’ll die. And in typical Castlevania style, the hearts don’t give back your health. You have to find fountains. And they aren’t close together. You have to react quickly and try to save your health.

In terms of controls, it’s acceptable. It’s one of the more weaker points in the game. While there is no “tutorial”, the controls are displayed briefly on the screen. So, experienced players won’t be annoyed by them.

While researching for the article, I came across an article on this game which called the combat one of the negatives. Well, here lies a problem. Since this game is a sequel to a 3D game, the combat is, of course, less bloody and such. I give them that, yet when you look at how this game works well in terms of combat as a 2D game, I think it can be excused.

Yet, something I didn’t welcome with open hands is the fact that when you die, you can get respawned in a boss fight with full health. Yeah, when you killed the boss halfway, you will respawn there.

Verdicts

castlevaniamof2Besides the weird respawning, there is something else that bothers me. The animation isn’t that great in my opinion. And before you write angry comments, let me explain.

The animation on the characters and such is great. Yet, we can’t really enjoy it that well since it’s a bit too zoomed out. It makes the game feel unfinished and that they use this technique to hide that.

While I already said that the controls aren’t the greatest, I have to talk a bit more about them. After you got used to them, they are pretty nice quality. The big issue is the fact that you need to get used to them. I wished that special powers could be done with a touch on the touchscreen.

The game is a good challenge. It isn’t too hard to be frustrating, but it isn’t too easy. This is a pureblood action adventure game. And the adventuring is really present. While you can easily see where to go next, exploring around gives you additional content. And more monsters to fight.

Defeated monsters give you XP. And when you level up, when you have enough XP of course, you unlock new moves. You can quickly check the moves list in your inventory so you have no excuse that you forgot the controls when you didn’t play the game for a while.

Also, Konami didn’t use any excuses in the art style. The game is pretty. Too bad that the game is a bit zoomed out. Otherwise, the art would have more detail in them and shined through a bit more.

I’ll probably go more in depth with my review but I’m liking this game so far. The music is also really nice. I like the soundtrack. Such a shame that no real good quality versions are uploaded to YouTube, so I could share it with you guys. In the sound department, this game is really well put together.

So in conclusion, this game would have been a lot better with some minor tweaks at the controls and a bit more zoomed in. But I think I’m going to leave it here. When I’m reaching that milestone on my personal blog, I’ll write a long special article. Thanks for reading and have a safe Christmas.