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Posted:
2010-10-29

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

7.3

This is an explosive action game that has been developed by Square Enix games. The game features the continuation of its predecessor - the Kingdom Hearts which is found out to posses’ two stories in its series. Just like the original game, it still is equipped with intriguing story lines as well as visual and audio enhancements that will surely keep you engaged with the game.

Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep features three varying characters with each having different story lines so the conclusion of the game has also varying results. You can also see that each quest on this new series has been given extra effort and the graphics are made more precise.

As you go through with the game using one character, you will notice that each character links one to the other. You will notice that the two characters are mentioned in the story lines that you have and will discover that your character is interconnected with the other two. These three main characters are composed of Aqua, Ven and Terra; each having their own unique abilities and capabilities.

Terra is the calm character who possess a remarkable power and who’s story is first told during the beginning of the gameplay. Ven, or Ventus on the other hand is more of the brute type character with enough dexterity and vitality. He uses a sword to slay his enemies and possesses a quite interesting personality. Lastly, Aqua is the mage type character. She decorates the game with her brilliant and colorful display of magic and other combat styles. You will also see familiar characters on this game like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and other Disney characters that add to the element of surprise of this game.

This game also is equipped with boss battles which are quite difficult to accomplish however can be made easy if combined with the right skills and characters. Also, you may want to check out all locations over a map because there are hidden or unlockable items that can pretty much give you a boost.

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Posted:
2011-01-20

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

6.0

The market for handheld games or systems is consistently competitive. Konami’s concept of Pro Evolution Soccer on PSP provides a different approach because it is at par with other FIFA counterparts; this has been the key to the game’s success. Konami created PES for PSP and it has so far been providing a wonderful experience that can match any kind of FIFA game played on different platforms.

The PES 2011 has had some vast improvements done. The passing aspect of the game has been enhanced so that the “through balls” can now be played with team mates with an even higher success rate. The long ball on the other hands has been made a little tougher to execute. The auto-passing aspect is now re-featured and this come-back has taken away some of the challenge as passing the ball to any of your team mates has become a tad too easy. The learning curve for the new players has also been made simpler. so that players can easily familiarize themselves to the gameplay.

To make the gameplay more realistic, the fatigue system has been added to portray the players getting exhausted. This feature restricts player’s performance; you can actually observe them slowing down; thus substitutions become necessary. Speaking of substitutions, nothing much has been done but it’s not really bad either. It’s perplexing why the drag and drop method of substitution has not been integrated on the PSP game but only on other game consoles.

The game does not really have astounding graphics but it is still good looking because it totally depicts real sequences and actions in playing the real game of soccer. This is the most enjoyable part of the PSP game. The sound effects and audio system of the game are very clear. They contain and relay an atmosphere of a real soccer field. The crowd’s enthusiasm is fully presented and two famous soccer commentators are present to provide decent and interesting comments about the game.

The real worth of the game, though, is its play value. You can play it anywhere; being one of the advantages of playing a handheld such as the PSP. There is a multiplayer function created for the game, encouraging several players to test their soccer skills and experience real-life soccer by playing together as a team. This is a nice touch as part of the improvements to the game.

The game is definitely at par with other consoles. It is not perfect but it can certainly give you all of your money’s worth. With its enhanced gameplay it provides one heck of a soccer game experience, especially for those who travel a lot. The convenience of PSP game is its edge over other consoles and the PES 2011 for PSP absolutely delivers.

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Posted:
2013-08-17

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

8.4

Mario Tennis Open was developed by Camelot for the Nintendo 3DS, and released to the American market on May 20, 2012. The game features (like most Mario titles) the typical Mario cast, and offers different tennis-based games. The game released with mixed reviews, and unlike previous Mario Tennis titles, there were no RPG elements and no character-specific abilities to set them drastically apart.

The game has a total of 24 playable characters, all from the Mario universe. Only 12 are available for play initially, with four more characters available for unlock during the game and the other eight requiring QR codes. You can also use a Mii character. If you're unfamiliar with what Mii is, the basic explanation is that it is a digital avatar or caricature of yourself that is created by you and used in certain games on the Wii, Wii U and Nintendo 3DS consoles. In this game, it is actually advisable to use your Mii character, as the many customization options made available by purchasing things through the expansive and fun in-game store can't be used on any of the other characters.

In fact, the upgrade and customization options in Mario Tennis Open are a source of quite a few of the problems people have with this game. For example, the statistics of items (such as racquets, hats or shoes) aren't easily discernible; for one thing, the stats are displayed in pie charts (something many major reviewing organizations found absolutely mystifying). For another, you can't see the cumulative effect. While this might not seem too bad, it has the unforeseen effect of making it impossible to actually compare your Mii character's stats against any of the default characters' stats.

That's really a huge letdown, because the in-game reward system has the makings to be great. New things are unlocked for purchase with virtually everything you do (all purchasable with coins earned by playing, of course), many of them stat-altering items that give you a real sense of reward for your work and enhance the replay value of the game. The lack of a basic system for comparison ruins all of that.

One good point about the game is that it is amazingly addictive. The interface is mostly easy to use; you can do different traditional tennis strokes (slice, lob, topspin, drop shot, etc.) with either button combinations or using the touchscreen. Again, though, something positive is brought down by something that doesn't work quite right. The camera must be moved by using the 3DS gyroscope. This entails rotating the console, while playing, to move the camera.

Mario Tennis Open features pretty good multiplayer content, with both online and local multiplayer having the ability for gaming options with up to four players. However, the game includes a feature that allows the AI to move for you if you don't put your hand on the controlling button; this frees up more time and concentration for precise shots. Because the AI also will tell you which shot is best, you end up with what can only be called "Simon Says," in the words of IGN.

Overall, the only way to describe Mario Tennis Open is "not enough." They started with a great core concept, and at the core it's a great game. Unfortunately, that quality doesn't extend to everything else.

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Posted:
2010-10-08

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

8.2

Castlevania The Dracula X Chronicles for the PSP offers 3 games in 1 package or 2 if you prefer fewer technicalities. The once Japan – exclusive Dracula X Rondo of Blood makes up two of the 3 games. This game has been remade in stunning 3D graphics and remixed and re- recorded music and dialogue while you also have the option to play the game in its true form of 2D graphics, original score, and your choice of either English dialogue or Japanese translation. The 3rd game is Castlevania Symphony of the Night that is actually better than its counterparts on the PlayStation and Xbox 360.

In Rondo of Blood, you control either Richter Belmont, a whip – armed vampire hunter or Maria Renard, a young girl who throws doves (don’t ask) at the enemies. You guide your chosen hero into the dark chock – full of bottomless pits, surprise traps, and monsters. Each character has their own strengths and weaknesses: Richter has more health but he is slow while Maria is fast and her controls are easier, but her stamina is out in 2 or 3 hits. Level finales battles are against monsters such as werewolves, headless horsemen, or Dracula himself.

The game features a “Choose Your Own Adventure” style mode of progression, and strategic saving system that will help you ease up even if you repeatedly die while exploring the dungeons. The final boss is Dracula, and to get to him you have to go through nine levels which often have branching paths and optional areas to explore. If you choose to explore those areas, they will replace the usual bosses and levels you would normally encounter if you have gone straight up.

The 3D remake boasts robust details in the environment and in the enemies. Everything is essentially the same, only more pleasing to the eyes and ears.

The last game in this pack is Castlevania Symphony of the Night, a sequel to Rondo of Blood. The setting is 4 years after the time Rondo happened, a new vampire is in town: Alucard, son of Dracula. The transition from Rondo to Symphony has been humongous. You can now explore freely different parts of the castle without regards to levels, and you are able to equip the weapons and clothing your defeated enemies leave behind. Bosses, on the other hand, increase you life bar and gives you new powers when you defeat them.

When you first play the game, only the 3D version of Rondo of Blood is available; you must collect certain items in Rondo in order to unlock the two other games. This package is worth every penny.

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Posted:
2010-10-23

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

8.4

Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 features a game that is almost identical from its predecessors. However, you should expect more twists and more challenges on this game that will surely intrigue and interest those football enthusiasts.

This updated version of the series Pro Evolution of football gives you a more difficult game of football that will surely get you down to business. The passing from one player alone is made crisper as ever, the players are unique from their physique to the facial hairs as well as accessories. The shots that are made by players also possess a big difference from the previous versions of Pro Evolution so be sure to train yourself well on making a kick.

The reaction time for this game is quite impressive that playing Pro Evolution 2010 on PSP is almost the same as playing on PS2. If you have been familiar with this game from its previous versions, you will easily notice that great improvements have been introduced for this year’s release. Back then, the versions were not a challenge enough because it was missing a Master League Mode; but now, Pro Evolution on PSP had been catching up slowly when it comes to the different modes of the game.

The Master League mode of this game is based on a basic version of PS2, however; since this game is something to be played continuously, it starts to fit the platform perfectly. Together with the Champions League ad-hoc game mode, you can also play the ad-hoc Legends mode. As you play, you can notice the impressive selection of game modes that this Pro Evolution version has to offer.

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Posted:
2010-11-11

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

7.6

Soul Calibur Broken Destiny for the PSP gives you a better environment and forces you to attack at the same time as you defend. The story line is little old and greasy but the addition of two new characters makes it exciting. The combat grounds are pretty much the same as in the previous version but still the developers have done a good job to give them a newish look. You can go for weapon based fights which will encourage more people to play in this mode.

There are 22 characters available for you from the start and to make things a little more interesting there is a feature allowing you to create your own character as well. However the tools for customization of facial expressions and costumes are rather limited in their effects. Also there are not enough performance bonuses in terms of new costumes and weapons and this will probably be something of a disappointment for many players.

Your choice of character will not affect your performance. Controls are made really easy to command. You can move in 8 directions using your D control pad. Then you just need 4 keys to make basic moves of kicking and punching but you will find that there are far more advanced techniques which you will learn with time.

In its story approach it is little different from other fighting games in which you face some opponents and then their boss. You will have to cross three kinds of modes which are defense, attack and endless flavors. In first stage you have to face five opponents and by beating them you earn points to qualify for the next round. At the first attempt this could be challenging as you have to start with really small health and you have to save him in the end for your attack. But with practice you will learn the skills.

I won't spoil any more of the outline otherwise it will not be worth playing and overall it is difficult to recommend this game to the newcomers but for the seasoned players of Soul Caliber it will be a treat to play.

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Posted:
2010-12-14

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

7.0

Gamers may be wondering why this remake was ever made when the original game was already popular and has become a hit. I have been playing these Tomb Raider games since the dawn of time, though. The original game had a few problems when it was launched, and now with a remake, it was made better and close to perfect. It had more action, adventure and challenges inserted into the game to make it more exciting and interesting for gamers.

The plot and story of the game also followed the original game. It was an impressive recreation of the original game to make it a highly recommendable new game. There are still lots of enemies like the original; rats, bats gorillas, crocodiles and a lot more. Weapons also come in plenty like pistols, shotguns and explosives. Expect the same great moves from Lara Croft.

There are tons of action, obstacles and puzzles waiting for the heroine of the game. The Anniversary gave more puzzles and bigger space to move in. This will give Lara Croft more room to make her famous moves. Aside from the usual missions that she has to accomplish, you can also explore her mansion. I like beating the shit out of the butler! Who's doesn't! This is where you can practice her moves. Secrets are to be found but this time, it is more difficult making you cram for time. So like Lara Croft, you need to do anything to finish your mission and get to the goal that you are to achieve.

The graphics are tremendously better than the original one. It is graphically rich as experts say. The voice acting is very clear and accurate. The audio was done perfectly. The plot was like the original one which is already okay. And the game play had become amazingly better. Seriously, if you played the original you will be surprised how much better this one is.

All in all, this remake of the original Tomb Raider has made its sense. It is packed with action that gamers are looking for in a game that stars Lara Croft. It is more exciting and challenging. You can never get a better Tomb Raider game like this. If you are looking for a cool action packed game to play in your PSP, Tomb Raider is highly recommended.

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Posted:
2010-12-14

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

Pilots of jets or military planes were always thought of as hunks, cool and brave, and to see them in a game like Ace Combat will surely inspire the male groups to play this game more especially those who have been addicted with fast planes before. Having the experience to fly a jet even in just a game is still as exciting as ever.

Ace Combat: Joint Assault has all the ingredients to make an exciting game that male gamers will definitely enjoy. It has excitement, complexity and drama. Flying an airplane or jet will always be included in a little boy's dream and to be able to control a jet in a game will surely make their dream a reality. I have played this game for hours upon hours and the controls do seem to be a bit touchy but after awhile you will have it down. Don't just think you are going to jump right in; there is a pretty big learning curve. There will be places where the jets will be flying to and each place has its own special mission to accomplish.

There will be shooting, explosives and a lot of fighting. And of course flying the jet is the main attraction of the game. The game may be played by a single player or multiplayer. You may be able to limit the rank, abilities and attacks of a certain jet in your team. So there will be unending fighting on air for this game which others may find boring. But for those who are truly fans of jets and pilots, this is the game for them.

The graphics are alright but not amazing. The audio and voice acting is also okay. The presentation and plot of the game is not very original, and the game play is simple. Anything that has to do with flying jets and its processes are in this game. This game should not be tried by anyone who wants adventure in the games they play. This is an all action and combat type of game. This is the game for men and young boys.

All in all, it is still enjoyable to think that a game that focuses on mid air fighting is created. It gives people who have long lost ambitions of becoming a pilot the chance to fly a jet only in the virtual world. I would rate this game 8/10 and highly recommend it to anyone that likes flight sims.

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Posted:
2011-01-22

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

6.4

I have been a huge fan of the Mortal Kombat movies since its first film, and that fanaticism has continued into the gaming aspect. Mortal Kombat: Unchained takes off from the storyline of the 2004 Mortal Kombat: Deception for PlayStation 2. Being patterned after the 2004 release, Unchained features mostly the same strengths and weaknesses that Deception had.

The game features the classic One-on-One skirmish with two added quirky extras namely: Chess Kombat and Puzzle Kombat. Chess Kombat puts on a basic tactical layer over the one-on-one bout similar to that of the traditional computer game Archon. Instigated by Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, the Puzzle Kombat is, as you can probably guess, a cutthroat puzzle game. Also featured is a story-based mode called KONQUEST, which unfortunately gives the player a dizzying spin into heaps of interminable and convoluted tales about the Mortal Kombat universe. One new feature that the game offers is the Endurance Mode where it lets you fight with consecutive opponents, which ironically has too many interruptions. Players new to the game are likely to get awed by the overwhelming counter-intuitive quality of the controls. Each featured fighter has 3 different fighting stances that include a weapon-based stance. Each stance has its own moves and combos that you’re supposed to memorize; plus a set of special moves unique to each character.

The roster has about two dozens of diverse characters to pick your choice from, featuring newly added characters such as Shao Kahn, Jax, Frost, Goro, Blaze, and Kitana fighting alongside the series of favorites like Liu Kang, Scorpion, Raiden, and Sub-Zero. With various interactive fighting arenas for combat, the game provides more exciting gameplay. The combat has an inflexible feel to it, though. It seems unresponsive no matter how hard you try to click; it may take some time to learn all of the controls as well as particular fighter’s move combos. However, fighting can be very tactical and full of thrill once you get used to the controls, especially if you’re trying to get the upper hand on the ad Hoc WI-Fi match with a friend.

The full 3D visuals don’t seem quite as detailed in the PSP as Deception in PS2, although the game still appears and sounds great and definitely runs smoothly enough. The audio is so evil-sounding with some hard core sound effects, a suitably vicious announcer, a decent collection of authentic grunts and realistic screams topped with some moody, sinister-sounding track; adding to the images of gruesome fatalities – these all add up to the classic dark feel of the game.

Now, this may seem very exciting to newbies, but to players who got to play Deception in PS2, nothing much has changed in Unchained with the exception of the Endurance mode. The online mode which was a key feature of Deception was removed from Unchained for the PSP. Another annoying thing the game has is its extremely lengthy loading time during the extras and even in One-on-One fighting; taking as long as 20 seconds to load and slowing down your progression from one fight to the next. But if you’re an avid Mortal Kombat fan like me, all these things are negligible and the game remains to be very enjoyable indeed.

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Posted:
2011-01-23

Mbradshaw

Super Gamer Dude

5.0

Tony Hawk games are quite tricky when it comes to handheld systems; though Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 proved that it could actually work well with handheld systems. However, Tony Hawk’s Project 8 was not given the same attention and is denied the chance to perform better on PSP. It’s basically fun with spurts of excitement along the way, but it destroys the whole concept of innovation aimed at the new addition to the series.

Based on Underground 2’s engine, Project 8 has 10 varied areas, none of which are actually connected. Just like old Tony Hawk games, you need to finish one area first before you can open another; then you can choose the particular levels that you see fit for you to play. It’s not entirely one city just like other next-gen versions. Your main goal is to rise up from that embarrassing #200 amateur skaters ranking and emerge among the top eight. You move up the rankings when you find every secret token in the game, cross gaps, and beat challenges. If you complete ample number of challenges, you may enter the Birdman’s cream of the crop Project 8.

There are moderately sized levels that have a number of healthy challenges. Skate towards highlighted characters; this opens up challenges that are added to the traditional Classic mode, which now works better in the Career Mode. Yes, you read it right. Instead of you going around short challenges, you can basically roam around to play challenges and at the same time increase your rankings. In fact, if you get to complete ten challenges it can definitely boost your rankings up.

Quite new to this release is the Spot Challenges. These challenges basically test your skating skills in grinding a specific distance or when you’re trying to gain air. Though, for technical reasons, you need to talk to certain characters to activate the challenges. This effectively negates the reason for the challenges in the next-gen versions in which you’re supposed to get the tasks done while also performing free skating in the levels. It’s a separate event, but it seems to be quite pointless.

Most of the contests involving skill have three precise rankings: Amateur, Pro and Sick. You can surface to Project 8 when you’ve mastered the Amateur level of difficulty in the challenges. Playing the Pro level is a piece of cake. Your skating skills are truly tested when you play in the Sick level, though. Some of these Sick level challenges can be extremely tough but Tony Hawk fans would probably just sweep away through these challenges.

The Classic Mode is exclusive to the PSP version. In this mode you can pick a skater and then play in 8 redesigned levels. You need to accomplish 10 different tasks in a 2-minute time limit. You have to collect the letters S-K-A-T-E to earn high scores, and find the secret disc, which is another part of this quite-old-school mode. It’s a perfect addition to Project 8, especially for those who find the Career Mode to be quite a drag.

There are definitely extra modes and the wireless play makes Project 8 a good release but it doesn’t quite pay up for its many deficiencies. The graphics are a so-so and runs relatively smoothly for the most part. As for the sound, the game has a lot of music tracks that you’d be able to listen to; though the game lacks voice acting and also ambient noise. As for the gameplay, it’s not really that hot and you can’t really be jumping for it. Overall, the game is quite a nuisance to play but if you enjoy skating games, then it might be a good idea to help yourself to Tony Hawk’s Project 8.


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