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Posted:
2013-06-21

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

8.1

Fifa has long been one of the leading franchises in not only sports games, but in games in general. Time and time again they have produced games that play and feel very realistic, and that provide the user with a great gaming experience. FIFA 13 for the Wii U is no exception to that. FIFA's newest addition to their franchise includes some great new features, and is proving to be a very interesting and fun game in its own ways.

A number of great new features have been added to the Wii U version of FIFA 13. For example, users can manage the match in real time, meaning they can substitute players, change formations, and so on. FIFA 13, like other FIFA games, provides an extensive list of teams and leagues, with the ability to use players from those teams, and play in hose clubs. FIFA 13 even adds the Saudi Professional League to the list of leagues on the game.

A number of modes have been changed on the Wii U version. In career mode, not only can users manage clubs, but they can also manage international teams. A big added feature of FIFA 13 is the Ultimate Team feature, or FIFA Ultimate Team (FUT). In FIFA Ultimate Team, you can create your team from real life players. You can them compete using your players against teams on the internet. If you win you get coins which you can use to buy cards which improve your teams and players. You can buy decks of cards and single cards.

FIFA games are made to be as realistic as possible, and the Wii U is no exception to this. The players in the game are all real players, and even the stadiums in the game are real life stadiums, found all over the world. There are 26 real life stadiums found in the game. 4 of the stadiums in this game are new additions to the franchise. The teams are all real teams, both international and club teams.

The Wii U version of the game is different to other platforms in a number of ways. The use of the Wii U Gamepad helps the user to be completely immersed in the gameplay, which in turn helps the game to be a lot more realistic. People can use the Gamepad to better aim the ball and take penalty kicks, which eliminates the "hit and hope" aspect that some previous soccer games had.

Overall, FIFA 13 for Wii U is a great new gaming experience. The use of the Wii U Gamepad adds an aspect of realism that is not available to other gaming platforms. FIFA is one of the leading names in soccer games, and for good reason. This game is no exception to the fact that FIFA games are leading the way. The addition of several new features proves the fact that FIFA is looking foreword in their games, and we can expect to see games getting better and more realistic as time goes on.

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Posted:
2013-06-21

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

7.3

The deliriously entertaining antics of Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants are on full display in the most chaotic party game the franchise has ever licensed, Spongebob Squigglepants 3D. This rapidly paced installment in the Spongebob saga is exclusively available on the Nintendo 3DS. The bulk of this adventure is comprised of a relatively new form of mini-games known as Nanogames which typically last between five seconds and one minute. The result is a deviously humorous roller-coaster ride through the underwater city of Bikini Bottom.

The loosely constructed plot revolves around Patchy the Pirate, the comically deranged host of the series. He appears in sudden intermittent segments to string the zany excess into some semblance of coherency. Abrupt hilarity lurks around every corner of this game. The majority of the game-play focuses on the unique features of the 3DS controller. The stylus is a prominent aspect of most Nanogames, although other ones involve shaking and spinning the controller or racing on the circle pad. Irreverent jokes riddle every second of the non-stop playing action. Every game offers a wide set of visual aesthetics, showcasing the signature animation style spliced with live-action narratives and a series of retro games presented in 8-bit pixels. These arcade twists include spins on Tetris, and Pong. Progressing through the game's seven world environment fiendishly difficult task for children, fans of the show and experienced gamers alike. While the tasks seem simple at first glance, they become mind-numbingly addictiveness. Exceedingly complex games are unlocked as the player improves their skills and masters all the Nanogames.

Despite being a formulaic hodgepodge of miniscule animated missions, there is hardly any filler content in this game. Every unexpected turn of events contains hilarious tidbits of information about characters that fans cannot get anywhere else. There is not a dry second let alone a boring one. The quickness in which players can rack up accomplishments is stupefying. The key reward is secret access to behind the scenes animation from the series itself, including previously unreleased storyboards.

The first and foremost goal of Spongebob Squigglepants 3D is to deliver a non-stop stream of ocean silliness. In accomplishing this task, THQ managed also to produce a game that can appeal to all generations. At no time does the inanity detract from game-play value. In enlisting the original talent from the show, Tom Kenny, as Patchy the Pirate, Nickelodeon managed to extend the life of its most recognizable franchise yet again. The use of 3D is astonishing and engaging, more so than most releases at this time.

In eventuality, some portions of the game can become repetitious. The Remix and Hyper Remix Modes remedy this a little bit, but older fans still may want to skip the over-the-top narrative segments and just get right to the lightning speed gaming. The most adaptable feature this game features is the ability to create one's own assortments of Nanogames in the order of their preference. Everyone in the series at least gets a cameo, packing endless explosive surprises.

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Posted:
2013-08-16

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

6.4

One amazing feature that stands out, which has been noticed on the 3DS, is the sound quality the console can provide. It is fantastic. It has such great sound for such a little hand held device. The music for this game is simple as are many of the other features of this game. You can very much tell that this takes place in France. You are forced to know it by the music, but it does set a great mood for the game.

The characters of the game are very compelling, and the story is great, but it also seems to lose track of itself along the way and does not give enough information when you need it. The story is about Doctor Lautrec and his assistant, Sophie, and their search for relics belonging to the French king Louis the XIV, using maps as clues and the Doctor's razor sharp intellect as a guide.

This game is of fairly good quality if you are willing to spend a little time on it, as it has many unexpected twists and turns. There are not enough puzzles and they generally start off being much too easy. It is also a little drawn out because of how little time you actually play the games compared to how long you stare at the screen and listen to the characters.

The game can be split into two sections, above ground play and below ground play. When you are above the ground you are wandering through the open streets of Paris, but the underground gameplay is a little more fun as you have to navigate through underground passageways and this can get challenging especially since you have to dodge the many strategically placed guards. Underground is also where the majority of the puzzles can be found.

This game is a good game but does not live up its full potential. You keep playing along hoping for something a little more challenging later, but it just not happen. The puzzles start off relatively easy and do not get much more difficult later on, and even the storyline becomes weaker. The concept is great and the game is well presented it just lacks that extra touch that could make it so much better. The graphics are fine, the sound effects are simple but atmospheric. What could have been an excellent game has turned out an OK one.

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Posted:
2014-05-19

On the whole, Mario and Luigi is a success mechanically.

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

7.9

The Mario RPGs have been a consistently fantastic and inventive branch off series for Nintendo since the Super Nintendo era. This latest portable edition is riskier than some prior entries, but unfortunately this comes at a cost to its quality and more specifically its pacing.

Before we get too far into where the game struggles, it's important to note the game does carry the typical Nintendo polish and certainly executes, dutifully towards its 'charm quotient'. As always, Treehouse has done a wonderful job translating the dialogue, although at times, exchanges last a few beats too long and there's a feeling that some 'fat' needs to be cut in the future.

Focusing on the game itself, the structure balances a dual-world idea, as the plumber brothers bounce from real to dream world, often tediously. Puzzles feel padded by this duality, pushing our heroes into former areas and making smaller tasks feel more laborious because of the backtracking. The first 15 hours of playtime feels like 8 hours of game, and because of this I found myself clicking through dialogue to just finish it. Instead of looking forward to the next twist, interesting boss, or explorable area; I was hurried because it became a blur of repetition (something that readily eradicates its 'charm quotient').

The saving grace in this monotony however is the classic active turn-based system that remains fresh even today. With a large variety of enemies, and each of them presenting different attack cadences, there's rarely a dull battle to be had. Players actively want to get in battles here although as the game seemingly extends into monotony, additional fights begin to feel tedious because the rest of the game was becoming so repetitive.

Aesthetically, Mario and Luigi is clean and vibrant; employing Nintendo's wonderful palette and pseudo cel-shaded look in 3D. Most gamers will appreciate the subtle 'picture book' look made from the 3D effect, something that works particularly well given the general look of the Mario RPG series. As well, the sound FX are simple and the music quality as always, employing old classics and new joints that fit well alongside the colorful action.

While the game stays close to the formula of battle/grind/explore/cut-scene, there are some successful risks such as the 'Kaiju' boss battles that mix things up. These novel/flip your 3DS segments challenge convention and breath some surprise into the game at a time where the monotony has settled in.

On the whole, Mario and Luigi is a success mechanically, and occasionally with its humor and charm. Unfortunately, it's dual world/dream world mechanic is more tedious than fun, and monotony gets in the way of both the rhythm and momentum of the title. Still, the game has that same wonderful battle system you've grown to love and enough Nintendo whimsy to sink its teeth into you for a little while. The best advice here is to wait for a sale and maybe snag it at $20 as opposed to full retail.

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Posted:
2014-05-19

Wreck-It Ralph is surprisingly playable.

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

6.0

The film Wreck-It Ralph was a fun little romp through video game references in the theaters, and when I saw a copy of Wreck-It Ralph for the 3DS, I thought that it might adopt the things that made the film so great. However, while the game does at times make attempts to evoke the highly referential nature of the movie it misses one opportunity after another to really make that fun.

On the surface it seems like it would be rather simple for a developer to create a game that riffs off of the fake fix-it felix game from the movie. It would have been far better to just make a New Super Mario Bros-esque version of Fix it Felix, which would have probably been a far better game. In fact, pretty much anything that was more rooted in the movie itself probably would have been a better game than what eventually came of this property.

Alas, it is impossible to review a game that does not exist - so I need to review this pretty awful game that came out instead. Like most movie cash-in games based on movies that are ostensibly for kids, Wreck-It Ralph is a pretty badly built game with few redeeming qualities.

That said, Wreck-It Ralph is surprisingly playable. The mechanics are at least present, and it feels like a 90s platformer in the vein of Donkey Kong Country - but that is where anything positive about this game ends.

The core mechanic requires swapping between Fix-It Felix and Wreck-It Ralph, both of which have unique abilities that are required to progress through the level. However, instead of using this mechanic in any sort of remotely interesting way, every time the game needs you to use a specific character to do something it basically just tells you to do it, sucking any fun or interest out of the mechanic.

That said, the biggest problem with Wreck-It Ralph has nothing to do with the gameplay and everything to do with the levels. Not only are the levels extremely generic and repetitive, but there are only four levels in total, meaning that most people will finish the game before they even fully realize that they've even managed to start it.

Sure, you could say that the game is still good for kids, and I'm sure that certain kids would get an absolute kick out of seeing the characters from their favorite movie again and seeing the story of the film followed up on (albeit in a very half-hearted way) - but if you really want to buy your kids a game that they won't only like but will have some amount of staying power, don't pick up this one. Instead, pick up any of the incredible Nintendo platformers on the system, like New Super Mario Bros. 2, Super Mario 3D World, or even Donkey Kong Returns 3D - basically just buy anything that twas made by Nintendo and you are more than safe when choosing a game.

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Posted:
2015-03-21

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

8.0

Child of Light on the PC is a side scrolling 2D role-playing video game created and developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The first thing that most people will notice when they start up Child of Light on the PC is that it looks absolutely gorgeous. The game uses the engine behind the latest Rayman games, Ubi Art, and that engine is used to great effect to create Child of Light's luscious backgrounds and extremely detailed characters. Everything in the game seems to flow with a specific purpose across the screen as fluidly as you might imagine the vibrant characters in a storybook, and sometimes I would just sit there and watch the idle animations.

The games soundtrack complements the visuals perfectly, no matter what is happening on the screen. Many soundtracks have trouble transitioning between actions, but Child of Light manages to swiftly move between wandering the surreal world to challenging enemies in battle. But the problems I have with Child of Light have nothing to do with the game's visuals or music - because the moment you actually begin playing the game, the problems begin.

Child of Light's art style evokes children's storybooks successfully, but its attempts at evoking that same feeling through it's other mechanics tend to fail miserably. Take for example the core combat mechanic, which feels similar to the mechanics often found in Japanese RPGs from the Super Nintendo days. On the surface, its simplification of the mechanics into a loop of realizing when you need to interrupt or not interrupt is entertaining, but this loop quickly grows old on the PC.

If Child of Light took about half the time that it does to beat, perhaps this mechanic would hold up - but the fact is that I quickly slammed into the limitations that surrounded the system. There is absolutely no equipment or anything of the sort to customize or upgrade your character, meaning that the way you fight enemies at the start of the game is more or less identical to the way that you began the game. This makes the gameplay easy to understand but ultimately far too monotonous to last.

In the same vein, Child of Light's story starts out interesting enough but refuses to really move beyond its starting point. The world and the tale that Child of Light sets up in its opening minutes are endlessly intriguing, but the game doesn't even begin to deliver on any of that promise. Instead of trying to dig deeper into the roots of the story, the game's dialogue uses endless rhyming - but not even traditional rhymes. Some of the ideas and characters are furthered ever so slightly, but as a whole the potential is never realized.

At its core, that is exactly what Child of Light on the PC ended up symbolizing for me - unrecognized potential. Watching trailers for this game made me so excited for the possibilities that I imagined could be realized within the context of a game like this - and even just the first few hours of the games carried with them the same giddy anticipation. Eventually though, I realized that Child of Light was going to do nothing with the things that most people will find interesting about it.

That is not to say that I wouldn't recommend Child of Light to people, though. The art style is absolutely incredible, and the gameplay does hold up for quite a while - which is enough for me to feel good about the purchase. If you are looking for the full package though, you will want to look somewhere else. Any momentum that Child of Light on the PC had is completely lost by the end of the game, and you end up coming away from the game utterly disenfranchised.

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Posted:
2011-07-21

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

6.0

In between the game matches that involve tournaments and park battles which are similar to the arcade mode, the player gets the chance to purchase a Bakugan, enhance it, or perhaps buy a G-Power card and control the decks for the next fight which is yet to come. This kind of set up is operational despite the restricted number of Bakugan to buy since this set up will repeat across the 6 various types of Bakugan which are also known as Attributes. Based on what type of cards is being played and which battlefield you are located, a certain Bakugan type can offer more bonuses compared to another type.

With respect to the game, there are some liberties that are taken into consideration along with the game rule to come up with an exciting game. Once you have thrown your Bakugan inside the field for playing, the other players will try to take the Bakugan off the course while the player is maneuvering the creature in the field for pick-ups so that your Bakugan will grow stronger for the existing game match. When you are done with it, you can now utilize one of the 3 Ability cards which you have selected beforehand in order to further advance the G-Power of your Bakugan.

Afterwards, you will play a minigame from among the three to further increase the G-Power. These minigames consist of a timing/rhythm game, shooting game and another game wherein you provide shudder to the Dual Shock 3 with swiftness to level up your G-Power. All the elements of a good game are present as well as the four-player support even if the set up is simple and is not online.

Overall, the rating of Bakugan is at moderate level. With respect to the presentation, the story is unpleasant as anticipated, yet, the cutscenes are reasonably well-done. Even if the art style is managed suitably, it is still not the most appealing game ever. The sound quality is fitting but the overall effects are very redundant. With regards to the gameplay, there are way too many options as well as minigames which are supposedly fine if the strategy is heavy. Although, Bakugan’s story will not take forever to play, it is very lengthy. Though the gameplay mechanic offers excessive build-up in every fight, these will only serve as distractions for Bakugan aficionados.

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Posted:
2013-06-21

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

8.5

The design of the new StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (Collector’s Edition) will most likely receive varied criticisms from their most loyal and avid fans. The creators of the StarCraft franchise may have to deal with the sentiments and demands of their fans. Blizzard entertainment are at a crossroads whether to reinvent the core gameplay that can result to harsh opinions from the veteran players with the perception that they have destroyed the original StarCraft; or to continue with the original gameplay and (still) get negative feedback for not doing any change or improvement at all.

However, Blizzard Entertainment has been in the business for so long that they have already established a niche in the industry. They have experts that can create a concept for a game like StarCraft Collector’s Edition that is new, yet with something familiar about it. Eventually Blizzard infuses some new things into the game but manages to retain some familiar aspects. They created the new ideas to give any hardcore fan of StarCraft a new experience. There are new series of challenges as well that needs to be tackled before engaging into multiplayer mode to determine how good the old players still are.

Gameplay Highlights

The game is set in the 26th century somewhere in the universe. There are 3 main species, or shall I say characters, and they are the Terrans, Zerg and the Protoss. The storyline goes that this is now four years after the last scene in StarCraft: Brood of War, which follows Jim Raynor (one of the main characters) in fighting the autocratic Terran dominion. This game highlights the multiplayer feature because this has a new “match-up” feature in which all your opponents are within your level. In order for you to move on and face the other good players, your game is monitored by Battle.net before you earn the right to face other players with comparable skills as yours. Another great and welcome addition is the game’s replay feature. This feature allows you to play back your previous games if you wish to know in what areas you made mistakes. Single player is also noteworthy, where every campaign is different. The Terran campaign places players in a mercenary type campaign. Zerg campaign provides you with RPG elements. While the Protoss campaign shows that the Zeratul have to utilize diplomacy with the Protoss to get technologies and equipment that they can use in every mission.

You are always challenged in every mission. Take for instance when enemies only attack you at night. A sea of lava can be utilized to use as a factor in the game’s difficulty. In StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty Collector’s Edition, some aspects are replaced or removed, while others remain part of the game.

Every unit has their own abilities and features. For example, some units are able to hike in different terrains or travel in much faster pace. Moreover, there are many varieties of the game features you can choose from; putting your skills to the test. Now that is really challenging! Customizing your army is also a superb feature; because you now have a lot of choices for your troops. The menu bar provides a short preview video that shows you how to upgrade your character. This is actually a source of excitement and thrill as you witness the transformation of your character.

Individual matches are also available, which is a rather smart way to assess how good your enemies are. When you try this out, you are able to determine what game tactics to use in order to defeat your enemies. It also simply shows how every character is valuable. Use them wisely and have a good game plan. Every character has its own deadly qualities; and every attack can inadvertently put you in a panic situation. Take heart; every attack has a counter attack. It is just up to you to play it smart and to be quick enough to invoke your survival instincts.

There’s really not much of a big difference between the first StarCraft and this latest one. The game still includes some old characters as well as additional new characters, which goes the same for location, too. This game is also one of the expertly designed games out there at present. If you are a newbie, then the game is not going to disappoint you because there is a tutorial at battle.net for you to hone your skills.

Unfortunately, there are still those who see the game as boring, and that some missions are no fun at all. My suggestion is strive to level up, and things might start perking up. One unexpected thing about the game is the infusion humor, where dancing night elves can even regale you with some really hilarious acts. One more very vital tip: you should make sure that your PC is in perfect running condition along with your Internet connection. Stable, steady and excellent – that’s what and how it should be or you won’t go too far in the game. If it’s any consolation you can still play with the stored game done by Blizzard, even if you don’t have Internet connection. Kind of backward, but, that’s still a nice gesture; it allows you to play some, after all.

What makes this game so exciting that it leaves you sitting on the edge of your chair and let you forget time, it seems to never run out of new things to discover in the game. Blizzard still carries some features from the previous game, but you cannot neglect the added features in the new game as they indeed add more excitement. If you want to enhance your skills, play the single player campaigns first. As your guts gain some ground, go to the multiplayer where your skills are put to test by your opponents whose skills are at par with yours.

There are a lot of challenges that need to be addressed to fulfill your cravings for the much awaited sequel of StarCraft. Blizzard entertainment made it a point that for all those painful years of waiting, they have really polished it to become perfect for the fans and for the players. The game is truly worthy of your time, your money and your heart.

To sum it up: The AI enemies are surprisingly quite smart; the game is reviewable, and the clustering of opponents in different skills and other features justifies the game’s superb magnificence. Indeed, StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty (Collector’s Edition) is the greatest game ever.

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Posted:
2013-06-21

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

8.1

The Ace Combat series, created by famed video game design company Namco, has finally made its way to a Nintendo debut with Ace Combat Assault Horizon on the Nintendo 3DS portable gaming platform. For players that have been looking for a high flying dogfight that doesn't pull punches and makes sure they get a face full of every moment of afterburner action, this is the game that the 3DS has been waiting for.

Dogfighting on the 3DS?

While the Nintendo 3DS might not seem like an ideal place to have a fighter's cockpit, with a bit of adjustment the game is fairly adaptable for aerial combat. With touch screen targeting, as well as more traditional buttons and the 3D mechanic, controlling a plane is a process that doesn't require too much adjustment on the part of the player. The hard part is shooting down enemy planes, but if being an ace was easy then it wouldn't be anywhere near as impressive.

What Can Players Look Forward To?

Ace Combat Assault Horizon 3DS provides players with the chance to slip into the controls of dozens of real world planes and take them out on dangerous, death defying missions all over the world. While it might lack the sheer grit of older games in the series, or the whimsical nature of other flying games like Crimson Skies, this game delivers on a scale unheard of in most handheld games. Whether it's strafing targets on the ground or dealing death in the skies, pilots who grab the stick and go to town with this game will find an imminently replayable package on their hands.

Why So Much Action?

As is traditional for military simulator games, the world of Ace Combat Assault Horizon is an alternative Earth that's filled with political machinations, terrorists, rebellious governments and dozens of other factors. The general purpose of all this conflict is to make sure that players, as pilots, are getting all of the engagement orders they need in order to keep flying their missions and taking out one plane after another in this world. The storyline doesn't do much more than that, and if players really wanted to they'd be able to completely ignore the pretence of story and just shoot down the enemy without missing over much. However, to really get the full experience, players should listen to the dialogue and read all of the mission briefings they're given.

Ready for Takeoff

Ace Combat Assault Horizon proves that flight simulator games are still fun, even if there was a lull in them for several years. Additionally, the game showcases all of the features of the Nintendo 3DS as a platform for serious, action packed games where players need to take advantage of every possible advantage in order to seize victory from the jaws of defeat. While it definitely isn't an easy game for a number of reasons, this particular member of the Ace Combat family is a satisfying romp to fly through one, twice or three times.

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Posted:
2014-05-19

Masterpiece

paulwarnett

Super Gamer Dude

9.0

Dark Souls II can be described using any number of different negative words: infuriating, difficult, and intimidating just to use a few. But for every negative attribute that Dark Souls II has, it has a positive attribute that counteracts it either directly or indirectly.

To be sure, Dark Souls II is a hard game - especially if you have grown up in the more modern era of video games. Dark Souls II makes it a point to hearken back to the NES action games of the mid 80s. Back then, games like the original Ninja Gaiden would punish you over and over again until you learned the ins and outs of the mechanical intricacies that made up the game.

Dark Souls II, much like the original game bearing the same name as well as Demon's Souls, brings that concept to modern video games, and it has never been more welcome. In the age of endless tutorials and easy modes, Dark Souls II offers a brutally unforgiving experience. This encourages you to constantly better yourself instead of just slogging through it, like many games would have you do these days.

For those who loved the first Dark Souls, Dark Souls II has undergone some major changes. When compared with the first game, Dark Souls II is far larger, and there have been quite a few changes made to accommodate that larger world. For starters, fast travel is now available right off the bat, and allows you to travel between any bonfires in the game, not just specific ones.

However, there is a downside to this new-found accessibility: the different parts of Dark Souls II's world no longer feel connected. In the first game, you always knew how to get from one area to another because the game required it. In the sequel, I constantly felt like I was just fast travelling between disjointed bonfires that had no real connection. Sure, you have to walk to the new bonfire once in order to light it the first time, but if you were to ask me to travel from the game's main town to one of the late-game areas, I wouldn't have any clue where to start.

If you're new to the Souls series of games, there is no better place to start than Dark Souls II. While both the original Dark Souls and Demon's Souls failed miserably at teaching any of the game's mechanics to players, Dark Souls II goes out of its way to do so - ensuring not only that new players know what they are capable of doing with in the game, but also that experienced players can easily bypass any sort of boring tutorial.

Of course, while you might spend a chunk of time out in Dark Souls II's over-world, the most important part of the game are the bosses - and Dark Souls II has a lot of those. To go along with the huge world, Dark Souls II totals over 30 different bosses. However, while some of them surpass the difficulty that you would find in the previous Souls games, some of the bosses don't feel like bosses that belong in one of these games at all. In fact, there were a few bosses that I killed in just a single try.

Though Dark Souls II is easier than its predecessors at many points, it is still one of the most challenging games on the market, and manages to remain a good Souls game while being the most accessible entry point to the series yet. If you've never played before, this is what you should buy.


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