Final Fantasy I PSP Review.
If you are looking for a game that will boost your ego because you can and you will (!) defeat every monster, fiend, and boss without encountering any real difficulty then this one is definitely for you!
Or you could probably be a novice gamer with high hopes for a game with a great name and backed by millions of fans around the world ready to give their testimonials about how wonderfully epic the series is then this one is definitely for you, too!
Final Fantasy for the PSP has all the fundamentals required for countless hours of mindless game play – mind you it’s the 20th anniversary edition – that is just perfect for long field trips or on the way to some relative’s house that you don’t even know you have. The world of Coneria with its sub par battle strategies and isolated towns make me hate this game a lot. But hey it wouldn’t be Final Fantasy if not for those elements, right? It’s just that everything has been around for quite some years now that it has gotten to the point that it is actually boring. Do I have to repeat myself for you to get my point?
The Final Fantasy franchise is considered one of gaming industry’s must – play items in the market. It is epic by its own means: the characters bring it to life and the storyline will make you crave for the next release. With the FF1, SquareEnix managed to save the reputation of the game by the crisp audio remixes – whether you are in a battle or plainly and simply walking around town hoping to stumble upon some gold – and the visual appeal of the game is hard to deny; I give my word that it looks really great on the Playstation Portable’s crystalline screen. I just had to give kudos to Enix for at least maintaining the quality that we are used to from the Final Fantasy series.
Nevertheless, no one will be satisfied long enough to last through the entire game – unless they have no other game in their console – in one sitting. You must first satisfy the brain before you please anything else in the gamer.
Crisis Core Final Fantasy VII follows the story of Zack Fair (Incase you don’t know him, he is Cloud’s friend, one who has only gotten a few exposures from the previous versions of Final Fantasy). This version, unlike the original game, focuses on the life of Zack and his dealings with three key characters in the game: Angeal, Genesis, and Sephiroth.
This game may have the same characters as Final Fantasy VII, but what makes it a breath of fresh air is that it is more subtle and follows that storyline of Zack in an intimate manner. Crisis Core begins with Zack and Angeal out on a mission to tame the forces in Wutai and investigate on the unlikely disappearance Genesis.
Battles happen in real time at Crisis core; which are often activated in certain points in the map. You will fight where you stand as your enemies fade into view. A crude arena around Zack is created by invisible boundaries during the fight. Once the enemy has been defeated, Zack continues on his way with little to no disturbance in transition times.
You can control Zack around in a battle using either the d – pad or the analog stick. X selects the action across a small menu at the bottom of the screen (the triggers L and R are used to move this). The square button is for Zack to roll while triangle is for block. Pressing the circle button resets the cursor back to the default attack action.
Materia is used to enhance Zack’s abilities and skills. It enables certain commands to be made available in the game. Although Zack will definitely benefit from this, it limits his actions and requires a bit of strategic planning on the part of the player.
The Digital Mind Wave is the center of the battle mechanics of Crisis Core. It controls certain events in the game such as Limit Breaks, summons, leveling – up, and material level up. It is a three – reeled slot system which is constantly spinning, and certain match – ups of numbers and portraits are required for an event to occur.
Lastly for Crisis Core, the graphics rendered have an impressive impact on the 16:9 PSP screen. Character models as well as their facial expressions are highly detailed and are polished to perfection, making anyone from Square Enix proud of their finely crafted masterpiece.
LEGO Star Wars 3 The Clone Wars is a continuation of what has turned out to be a surprisingly addictive series of games. The game was developed by Traveler's Tales and released in March of 2011 and marks the fifth installment of the Lego Star Wars series since the games originated in 2005. The Clone Wars has excellent graphics on the 3DS, which are much improved from previous titles on other consoles. Unfortunately, some things haven't translated to the 3DS very well. The puzzles, admittedly designed with children in mind, are even easier than previous games, and the combat start to feel very repetitive. It received mediocre critical reviews from most organizations.
This game certainly makes good use of the 3DS when it comes to graphics. The game is well-lit and has smooth animation sequences (despite being LEGOs). Most critics rated the audio favorably, as well. If you've watched the Star Wars animated series of the Clone Wars, most of the levels will look extremely familiar to you. That's because the settings for missions are taken directly from the show. This area of the game, in essence, is a decent success.
To put it simply, the puzzle aspect of this game wasn't a success at all. Although the puzzles in the LEGO games have always been very simple, LEGO Star Wars 3 takes the ease of solving a step too far by virtually telling you exactly how to do it by using a highlighting feature on the character whose ability needs to be used in that scenario.
Something that has made the other LEGO titles fun, engaging and somewhat addictive has been the level of variation that could be found among the levels and objectives. In the transition to the handheld device, a good amount of that seems to have been lost. The levels, while entertaining, start to feel very similar after playing for a while. The combat is especially difficult to be entertained by after the first few fights, but the stream of enemies never stops. There just seems to be something missing from this game that the others had, and although it doesn't make the game unplayable, it certainly takes some of the fun away.
Reviews for LEGO Star Wars 3: The Clone Wars mostly ran mixed to positive. The aggregate scoring organization Metacritic gave rates it 76/100, with notable critics IGN and Gamespot both giving it a 6/10. Console versions were reviewed somewhat more favorably, partially due to the availability of a cooperative mode, but mostly were just put together much better overall.
In totality, if you're thinking of buying this game for yourself and you're over the age of 12, I recommend against it. If you're getting it for a young family member or as part of a collection, go for it. If you're just a fan of the series and want to experience the game, get it on a console. This game simply doesn't quite meet the bar set by the earlier games in the LEGO Star Wars series.
With the advent of the new Nintendo Wii U console comes the release of the newest installment in one of gaming's all-time best series. I'm talking of course about the latest Super Mario brothers game New Super Mario Brothers U. This is the first time in over 16 years that a Mario game has launched with a new console. The last time being Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64. If you haven't played a Super Mario Brothers Game since then, you're in for a treat because I guarantee these games are even more fun than you remember.
When it comes to gameplay, everything just feels right. The running, jumping, and block destroying elements are smooth as silk and just as much fun as the older gamers may remember. One of my favorite characters from the past has also returned in the form of Yoshi, although he does have some cool new abilities. You can shake your controller, or push left or right with the gamepad and Yoshi will change colors. If he's yellow, he'll glow allowing you to see better on the darker levels. If he's pink, he will swell up like a balloon and you can float through the air. Blue Yoshi turns enemies into coins and other good pick-ups by shooting bubbles at them. There's not a lot of new stuff here, but what is here is just so much fun.
Everything in the sound department is just so perfectly suited for a Super Mario Brothers game. You'll constantly find yourself whistling little ditties from the soundtrack that you didn't even realize you had noticed. The music constantly changes to fit the scenario too, so you'll be whistling a different tune so to speak, multiple times per level.
We've seen it a thousand times, but just as Romeo and Juliet, the story is timeless. Princess Peach is in a world of trouble and it's up to Mario, Luigi, and friends to save her again. Who's the culprit this time? Like you even had to ask! It's Bowser. Bowser and the Koopa Kids storm Peach's castle and somehow manage to dispose of Mario and friends to the farthest destination possible. Their journey to rescue the Princess will take them through the desert, snow-covered mountains and everywhere in between. The levels are all challenging but in a fun sort of way. There's nothing super frustrating, but it's not so easy that it's boring. I don't want to go into great detail and spoil anything, but I can tell you for sure that it's a fun ride.
Other Modes 7/10
While the bread and butter of any platformer is the story mode, New Super Mario Brothers U does offer a few extra modes to steal away your spare time. There's the usual multiplayer mode. There's Boost Rush mode which basically requires you to compete the level as fast as possible. There's also Challenges mode which consists of multiple elements such Coin Collection and Time Attack. While there's nothing really unique here, they're all fun in their own right.
Final Score 9.5/10
New Super Mario Brothers U is a great game and by far the best Wii U launch title. It's the Mario and Luigi you've known and loved since childhood. Nothing truly groundbreaking, just the simple, smooth, and addictive gameplay we've all been enjoying since the mid 80s. Truly a must-have for your new Wii U console.