One of the greatest things about the series has always been the characters. They have been unique, hand-drawn, and all detailed with specific strengths and weaknesses that balance out well. This new version brings a few new players into that arena, as well as a couple of new game types, and a new story for the universe.
The fighting in this title is done with four different kinds of attacks. These are weak, medium, strong, and Drive attacks. The Drive attack is essentially a character-specific attack that is easily accessible for anyone picking up the remote. Incorporating Drive attacks into your normal repertoire allows some characters to change the way their weak, medium, and strong attacks function thereafter, too.
Lots of new modes add to the experience for players. One of these is the Beginner Mode. This mode is not something that anyone whos ever played a fighting game before should mess with, but for players who are younger or whove never tried fighting games, the ability to utilize button-mashing to implement awesome combos is a pretty cool addition. Another mode is the tutorial mode, which gives players the chance to interact with their character as they run through all the different moves that are available to the character. This includes basic moves, as well as all the different cancels and counters that are available. Yet another mode is the challenge system, which gives players a chance to learn and practice the advanced moves that are available.
Another mode that is not exactly new, but is included on a console version for the first time, is Legion mode. This mode has your character taking over points on a map and then fighting whoevers guarding that point. Once defeated, your player gets to choose an enemy that they defeated to add to their army. The addition of the strategy elements are nice, and spice the game up, but once you play through it once, the placements arent randomized, so it will essentially be the same game every time you play, unless you change difficulty. There was an opportunity to make this mode even more involving, but the game designers chose not to implement it.
If youre a fan of the fighting game genre, then BlazBlue: Continuum Shift is one of those games that youll have to have on your list of games to get. Despite the similarities to the earlier BlazBlue games, there is enough new content with new players and new game modes to make it worth purchasing, even if you have the earlier game. Its the same old style of game, with a whole lot of new features to make it worth your time.
The only problem with taking this storyline onto the next generation of system is that they did not actually craft a new game for the new system. This game is essentially a port of the original, with some improved features scattered throughout. While that is not exactly a bad thing, it doesnt bring a whole lot of changes if youve played the previous version on any system. Additionally, the graphics look dated, and dont incorporate a lot of the next-generation graphical abilities that the Playstation 3 has at its disposal.
One major addition to the gameplay that the previous titles did not possess is the capability to acquire different crew members to perform your illegal activities with, who will carry guns and watch your back if you get into trouble. The addition of these party members, and the Hit Squads that you can also hire if you know you have to go in heavy, makes the game feel a whole lot more like youre a major Mafioso. Not to mention, its always better to have someone else around for enemies to shoot at.
Its really unfortunate that a new story wasnt included, but at least the story is provocative enough to keep you wanting to play it. In this new version, even if youve played the original story before, its still fun to play it again with the new options that are provided in this version. Additionally, all the side missions that were in the first one were there, like extorting money from businesses, but the missions actually have personal meaning now, since you can use the money that you get from them to hire party members instead of just buying safe houses, as in the original.
Other than the visuals, there are a couple of things that could have been improved farther without necessitating an entirely new game. One of these is the world structure, which has certain roads that are the only way to get from one area in the world to another. Another is the setting variety, which has been improved by the inclusion of some rooftop confrontations, but most of the scenery feels very similar as you go through the missions.
Overall, The Godfather: The Dons Edition is a structurally sound game. It takes the idea of the sandbox into the universe that inspired the original sandbox game, and it does a good job of making a player feel like they are in that universe. As a port of the original to a next-generation system, it doesnt fall flat on its face, but I hope someday to see something more indicative of the systems capabilities for the line.
The story behind this game has to do with all the companies involved in console systems. The main character, the goddess Neptune, who represents SEGA in this game, loses her powers and memory and is banished to the mortal realm. The game, then, has to do with her fighting the monsters that are attacking the islands that make up the realm of Gamindustri. With her powers garnered from various historical SEGA games like Altered Beast, Neptune fights her way towards more and more power, leading back to her regaining her place as a goddess. If the other Gods involved represent Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft, then Hyperdimension Neptunia could be an indication of a console we could see in the future.
Speculation aside, this game has a couple of facets that make it stand out from other RPGs. Once, would be the amount of video game references that are packed into this game, which is an enormous number. As far as being a videogame dedicated to videogames goes, this one definitely provides historical context. This novelty is just about the most intriguing aspect of the game, however.
The graphics are nothing extremely special, mostly because the game designers didnt do anything with them. Moving around the very graphically interesting world is done through menu movement, which means that your character never gets to just travel around through these visually impacting worlds, just gets to look on them from outside. You also dont get to talk to people except through little silhouette window boxes. Even when you do get into the dungeons, they are mostly just drab hallways that are lacking in detail and noticeable differences.
The combat system is done differently than in many role-playing games. The characters have Action Points that are used to create four-part combination attacks that do large amounts of damage when they are done correctly. These actions are determined via a menu tree that branches out allowing for great customization, but combat in the game doesn't force a person to learn what the super-powered combos are. When you can go through the whole game without learning how to do your best skills, its probably too easy.
The graphics for the battles are the most exceptional graphics in the game, with little clips making up a major part of every battle for both your characters, and enemies. Fortunately, these little clips can all be skipped through with a press of the button, allowing the battle to continue.
The premise behind Hyperdimension Neptunia is a unique one so far in the videogame industry. It is a videogame specifically about the videogame industry. Unfortunately, it doesnt take the premise to the level of game that it could have. Perhaps after SEGA releases their new system, theyll re-release this game with the problems fixed. A gamer can only hope.