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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Half Minute Hero -Super Mega Neo Climax- (XBOX360)

Just killed 15 enemies, ate an herb, bought a sword,

leveled up 10 times, and killed an evil tree in 30 seconds.

Half Minute Hero -Super Mega Neo Climax-
Well, the premise of the game, is that every level, an evil lord is casting a spell that will end the world in 30 seconds. Your job is to defeat the evil lord and complete any other tasks in the 30 seconds you have. The map is made in a 2d grid fashion. Enemies will randomly appear while walking around this map, there are also villages scattered around the map. These villages normally have shops selling various items, and some of them have a goddess statue, and for a price, you can reset the time back 30 seconds. This can result in players frantically yelling "PRAYPRAYPRAY" and other comments along those lines. Quite entertaining.
So, the first thing I've noticed about the game, is it combines 2 genres I have never seen combined before. Time management, and RPG. This may sound like a very frustrating combination, but it's actually really fun.
I would have to say, the game is fantastic with friends (or a let's play). It's a very unique game, that has a very fun feel to it. On the other hand, I have to say, the combat system is very pointless. Your character simply runs towards the enemy, and swings his weapon at the monster. You can press a button to sprint, or press another button to use an item. (Herbs are the only item I've seen so far) This results in a very frustrating system, when there is nothing you can do to speed up the process of fighting at all, except for sprinting towards the enemy, which drains your health, so that's only an emergency option. The storyline is rather bland, and the only variation of your missions is maybe a side task, such as a forest fire, or maybe a volcano is about to explode. It's a unique experience, but has a bit of repetitiveness.
Now, onto the graphics. The game actually gives you two types of graphics, Modern, or Classic. Classic is your traditional pixelated rpg game, (Great for nostalgia) and modern is a very clean style of art, based on simplistic and round shapes. I personally enjoyed the overall appearance of the game.
In conlusion, I think that the game is very fun as long as you have a good friend to freak out with. On your own, the game can seem a bit boring and repetitive.
Game Rating: 7.5 Unique idea, great for parties.
What it costs: 800 Microsoft Points (9.99)
What it's worth: 800 Microsoft Points for XBOX360, but for PC I would only take it for 7.50.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Solar 2 Review (PC)

That awkward moment when the universe

hurls 40 missiles at you because it's bored.

Solar 2

A planet with some astroids floating around it.
So, Solar 2 is based around going from an astroid to a black hole. You start out as an astroid just flying around the 2D universe, and ramming into other astroids to gain mass. Mass is the number that represents your stage of absorbing the universe. Your first astroid is has a mass of 2, and you can go all the way up to 100,000. Eventually you can gain enough mass that you become a planet, and get astroids to orbit you, then "absorbing" them, also gaining you more mass. Eventually, you will get enough mass that life will begin to grow on your planet. This takes about a minute, and then little green spaceships will protect you, and you'll get a shield blocking you from damage. Eventually, you'll absorb enough astroids that you become a star.

An example of a Dual Star system.
As a star, you can get planets to orbit you, and then get astroids to orbit the planets. This becomes a huge multi-task, forcing you to manage your star, your planets, and your astroids, and stop them from ramming into larger objects. For some people this may be a challenging fun task, but for others it can just be frustrating. Eventually, you can get your orbiting planets to absorb the astroids that are orbiting them, thus giving them more mass, then you can absorb that planet with your star. Lost yet? Well, it gets more confusing. If a planet gains enough mass without your star absorbing it, it will turn into a star, thus turning your star system into a multistar system. This gets even more confusing. Eventually, you will make one of your stars absorb enough planets, to the point that their mass goes above 10,000. You then reach the black hole stage. You can absorb anything except a larger black hole. I will admit, it in INCREDIBLY fun to watch everything in the universe be hopelessly sucked toward you. So, everything you absorb gives you even MORE mass, untill you reach the maximum of 100,000, thus making you absorb the universe, then spitting it out in a universal puke known as "The Big Crunch". You then restart the cycle as an astroid.

This may sound like a pointless an unrewarding cycle, but there are these missions for every stage. For example, you could have a mission as an astroid to ram into a planet full of skunks. Or maybe your planet could go to war with another planet? Who knows. These missions are guided by a god-like figure, who seems a bit like a certain female witty android we know from another game series...

A black hole.
So, these missions seem fun for the first few minutes, but eventually they seem very pointless, and infuriating. They might ask you to go to war with another star system without teaching you a thing about combat, or you could accidentally accept one and have your precious astroid hopelessly demolished by a angry mob of space nomads. The missions also have no reward, making the whole game seem very pointless after you finish your first big crunch.

Overall, the game is a very interesting concept. Depending on your ability to multi-task, this game can be an incredibly fun challenge, or just an infuriating game of rage.

Game Rating: 8.5 Fun, depending on your ability to multi-task.
What it costs: $9.99
What it's worth: $5.00

Friday, February 1, 2013

Forza Horizon Review (XBOX360)

What do high-speed racing, a giant free roam map,

and catchy electronic music have in common?

Forza Horizon
So, the premise of the game is that there is some sort of Horizon Festival going on for racers to go race in, and you enter in it as a total nobody. But the way the game throws you in is BEAUTIFUL!
You are just watching a very nice/expensive yellow car just drive down a beautiful country road, immediately showing you how amazing the graphics are, and listening to some lady talk about this guy on the radio, and then you see this red car, also very nice/expensive, fly past the nice yellow car. Now, in most games you would probably just watch to see what happens, and that's what everyone expects when they are watching this cutscene. But then, rather than waiting, you are made, without ANY WARNING, the driver of the yellow car. You then just follow the green line on the road, and chase after the red car. You don't actually have to beat the red car, but it makes you feel like this is very urgent, and you have to pass him.
This is just one of the many moments Forza Horizon will throw traditonal racing games selection screen out the window. To get to any of the races in the game,  rather then picking it from a menu, you have to drive directly to the location of the race. But, when you are bored, it is very nice to just stumble upon a race, rather then selecting it. It adds that feel of doing things on a whim, rather then looking at a screen of different races you can enter.
But it gets even better. You could just be bored, and feel like driving through a fantastic landscape, but none of the tracks really fit what you are in the mood for? Just drive in free roam! You can go ANYWHERE on a map that is huge! And the whole thing has been made with beautifully crafted roads, country houses, and even a giant festival square with cheering crowds.

But, what if you want to have a goal WHILE you're driving to your next race. Well, for those of you who want to fling yourselves into racing, they have a sort of score system. If you've ever played any of the PGR games, this might sound familiar.
Every time you drift, go on 2 wheels, pass an opposing car smoothly, or just squeeze between 2 cars on the highway, you get "popularity points". These points add on to your rank among the other "Horizon Racers". It is VERY entertaining to build up a huge point combo along the way to my next race.
But, for the people who absolutely MUST have a reward, don't worry, those popularity ranks give you something.
Every 25 popularity ranks you gain, you get access showcase event. These events are crazy events, where you will race against things that (most of the time) are flying. So far I've raced against a hot air balloon, a plane, helicopter. It's really amazing to be driving 130 MPH in a muscle car, and have a plane pass above you only 15 feet above your car, shaking the camera. But, you have to race whatever car the event gives you, but if you win, you get the car. And money. Money is always good.
So, with TON of cars, amazing graphics, this game is a masterpiece. I bet you're waiting for me to list the bad things about the game, but I can't really think of any. This game is amazing.
Game Rating: 9.5/10. Impossibly Amazing.
What it costs: $59.99
What it's worth: $59.99