Archives for : July2013

Fairy Tail Part 5: Anime Blu-Ray Review

Funimation
Stars: Stephen Hoff, Todd Haberkorn, Cherami Leigh
Purchase here!

fairy tail part 5

What they say: Hot-headed fire wizard Natsu and his team of high-powered pals are back! Harnessing the forces of dragon fire, ice, weaponry, and the zodiac, four young wizards from the infamous magical guild Fairy Tail team up. In season two the friends unite with other guilds to take on one of the darkest guilds in the wizarding world!

What I say: After a pretty long absence Funimation finally brings us the second season of Fairy Tail! Picking up from the aftermath of the whole Laxus affair, this stretch of episodes starts off with a few self contained episodes focusing on Lucy. After that it’s on to another long epic in which Fairy Tail’s strongest team (Natsu, Gray, Lucy and Erza of course) bands together with three other guilds in order to face off against the dark guild Oración Seis. Of course, as is required on long running anime, a boatload of new characters are introduced. You already know some of these will become permanent cast members. The seemingly most important new characters are Wendy and her cat friend Carla, which seems to be a foil for Happy.

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I will not go into the story much as spoilers would abound and things happen that shine a new light on some earlier episodes so when we are not being overrun with all the newbies, it does play into the larger storyline. The animation is top notch and everything looks great. These Blu-Ray editions are crystal clear and both English and Japanese soundtracks are well executed and worth enjoying depending on your preference. The set also ships with DVD copies of the episodes. Extras include creditless opening and closing and a couple of episode commentaries.

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This run of episodes definitely keeps things moving even thought it started off a bit slow. However, once the good stuff starts, it’s right back on track.

Series:8/10
Blu-Ray: 9/10

 

Dragon’s Crown Final Trailer!

Here is the US launch trailer for Dragon’s Crown coming August 6th to PS3 and PS Vita. Look for Rachels review in the days leading up to release.

 

Playstation Mobile Spotlight: MegaBlast, Floribund and Flight of the Turtle

psm

Hey now! Welcome to our second weekly column looking at the wide world of Playstation Mobile titles. This week we have three very diverse titles. Before we begin here are links to our previous Playstation Mobile reviews.

Life of Pixel
Ripstone Titles

And finally my fave Playstation Mobile title thus far…

Haunt the House: Terrortown

Also you can find our first column here!

 

Ok with the business out of the way let’s get started!

megablast logo

MegaBlast
Developer: Super Icon Ltd.

What they say: Coming soon to PlayStation Mobile is MegaBlast! From the same makers of Life of Pixel, Super Icon’s latest title for PlayStation Vita and PlayStation Certified devices is MegaBlast.
So what is MegaBlast? It is an intense old school shooter game. You job is to take down waves and waves of aliens! Don’t worry, there is a wide variety of enemies and even bosses, also a upgrade system. Don’t forget the intense gameplay and the classic arcade visuals.

What I say: Before Street Fighter II consumed my soul, I was all about some space shooters. Stuff like R-Type, the Thunder Spirits series, Gate of Thunder and so on were always at the top of my play list. So when a new shump comes along I am always interested in checking it out, especially one From Super Icon who made the enjoyable platformer Life of Pixel.

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The game certainly gets the visuals right. Looking suitably retro while sporting some interesting mechanics always makes for a fun time. The game plays like Space Invaders or Galaga with a twist. As you destroy ships you get tokens that you can use to upgrade aspects of your ship between levels. By using the Right Trigger you can also shift your ship from the bottom of the screen to the top, another press puts you back where you started. This really adds a new feel to this classic game type as you can tackle the waves of enemies from either perspective. Depending on the wave pattern, this can become a key element on how to tackle the game. The ship controls with either the d-pad or the left stick and it is very responsive and feels great.

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Every few levels there is a giant boss ship to take on and they, like a lot of classic shumps, fill the screen with death and you have to use all your skills to get out alive. The game really shines as a respectful homage to the shooters of old all while bringing some freshness to the table. Now Super Icon has brought us a great shooter to back up their previous effort with platformers. I feel like Super Icon has a bright future and I really look forward to see what genre they tackle next.

Rating: 8/10

 

Floribund
Developer: T.A.C.S. Games

floribund

What they say: Floribund is a match-three puzzle game. There are two modes and they’re both quite different. One is a calculated move-by-move game over which you can take your time and could, if you play right, go on forever. The other is a frantic points-all-over-the-place time trial mode.

What I say: Thomas Hopper is becoming one of the most profilic developers for Playstation Mobile. He is nearing his 10th release on the platform and his games are always interesting. One of his newest title is the match three puzzler Floribund. In this game you match three flowers and there are skulls that can get in the way or serve as a wild card. There are also golden skulls that destroy an entire line of flowers.

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The game consists of two modes; Time Trial and Infinity. Time Trial is exactly how it sounds, you have 90 seconds to match as much as possible and get the highest score you can. Infinity goes by the same rules but it is now nearly as forgiving as time trial. There are more skulls to gum up the works and it costs points to get rid of them, this of course makes it harder to get a high score. The touchscreen controls work well, very responsive. Another cool feature is that you can take a picture with your Vitas (or phone) camera and use that picture to take the place of the golden skulls. Pretty cool!

There is no shortage of match 3 puzzle games in the world but Floribund, with its responsive controls and unique look are definitely worth your time.

Rating: 8/10

 

Flight of the Turtle
Developer: Jeff King Games

flight turtle

What they say: Watch out for trees, bees and birds as you navigate day and night living the turtle’s dream. Grab stars as fast as you can for optimum point advantages.

What I say: Flight of the Turtle has you playing the part of a dreaming turtle who files through a land filled with trees, birds and other obstacles trying to go as long as you can while gathering stars. You must be wary as and traverse the landscape as you only get one hit and it’s game over. The only control input during the game is the d-pad/left stick. The turtle controls well and it does not take long to discover how close you can cut things while gathering your stars.

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The game has a cartoony style that suits the game well. The game is pretty simplistic and it really is perfect for a quick game every once in a while. This is not a game you will be playing in big chunks. For what it is, a simple time waster, it is very well done. Just take it as it is and don’t expect a deep game with loads of replay value.

Rating: 6/10

 

Hopefully you enjoyed this look at what Playstation Mobile has to offer. These games are available for Playstation Mobile certified devices and of course the PS Vita.

Be sure to support these great developers and A Darker Image and pick up a PSN card here!

R.I.P.D. Off? PS3 Game Review

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Old School Games
Purchase a PSN card here!

ripd off

What they say: Welcome to the R.I.P.D.! You’ve been selected to join the elite police corps of the undead to put deados in their place. R.I.P.D.: The Game is a 2-player co-op shooter where players take on the role of Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges) and Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) to blast waves of enemies in environments based on the game. Armed with guns and supernatural abilities, the gameplay is interspersed with challenges that give players a temporary objective to complete during the waves of enemies. To keep the competitive spirit alive, players are also able to wager on their skills for extra gold.

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What I say: Have you ever in your life felt a strange sense of déjà vu? The very real sense that an experience you are having is an exact repeat of one you had before. I am speaking about R.I.P.D. The Game. This is the second game released in Atlus’ partnership with Old School Games. Now I don’t know where Atlus found these fools, but I really wish they would put them back. A while back I took a look at the previous game by Old School, God Mode. That game was as lackluster as they come. So Atlus and Old School had a game that was pretty universally panned, so what do they do? They release an exact copy based on a (crappy) movie license no less.

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While God Mode was squarely ok, I sure didn’t want to repeat it. R.I.P.D. uses the exact same weapon types, level structure, and play style. Everything is just retextured or remapped to say that it is “new”. I have seen some lazy shit in my day but this takes the cake and the pie too. It’s for all intents and purposes online only. If you try to play with bots they range from aggressive as hell to dumb as rocks. It also takes 412 bullets to kill each one. Blah! At one point I was attacked by what I think was a four armed janitor that killed me with one hit using a toilet plunger. I wish I was kidding. I wasn’t sure if that really happened or if I was going insane. At this point I had enough and promptly deleted the game. My PS3 actually thanked me.

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Even at $9.99 this game is the equivalent of armed robbery. Avoid this shit like the plague. You know what’s worse than a lackluster game? A complete and total knock off just three months later? No thanks. Now I have mad love for Atlus but this really needs to stop. Please?

Rating: 3/10

Silent Hill HD Collection: PS3 Game Review

Publisher/Developer: Konami
Purchase here!

silent hill hd

What they say: Experience the horrors of Silent Hill all over again with this collection of Silent Hill 2 and 3, rendered in high-definition for the first time ever. SILENT HILL 2: You are back to the town of Silent Hill as James, a man who lost his wife several years earlier. One day, he receives a letter from his dead wife telling him to come back to Silent Hill, but what he finds there when he returns is nothing short of horrifying. SILENT HILL 3: The series’ trademark brand of psychological horror and terrifying gameplay continues. As a teenage girl named Heather, players must explore and unravel the mysterious connection between the god-forsaken town and her inner fears.

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What I say: Back in the days of the original Playstation, the Nintendo 64, and the Sega Saturn, there were 2 franchises battling it out, Silent Hill and Resident Evil. Both were trying to be the best horror game out there. Now, in the time of the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and the Wii U. Nobody seems to care about either franchise. Now it’s Battlefield and Call of Duty fighting and getting everyones attention. But hey, Konami thought that Silent Hill deserved a HD remake. It brings good nostalgic feelings, but let’s see how it compares in 2013.

silent hill hd 1

There are two games in the HD collection. Silent Hill 2, and Silent Hill 3. Why they didn’t add the original and 4 is beyond me. Let’s start with Silent Hill 2. In SH2, you play as James Sunderland, a man who is looking for his dead wife in Silent Hill because she sent him a letter addressed from there. There are other characters. But, so I don’t spoil it, I won’t mention any but one or two. One problem I had with the original Silent Hill’s is their controls, they suck. Why do most Horror games have bad controls?!

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There’s also an option for old, or new voices. The new voices are so bad, they’re hilarious. Well, just James’. I mean, seriously, he sounds like something from… I dunno, House of the Dead? As for the game. Puzzles can and will be tedious. So grab a pen and paper. Or do what I did. I had to resort to walkthroughs.

The music is really good in Silent Hill 2, one of the all time greats in a horror game. Another, is eerieness. Which it does a little too well. I’m serious. Enemies rarely were annoying, minus the exception of one or two that aggrivated me so much I had stop playing the game.

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The weapons were also balanced. Except one of them, the final melee weapon you find. It’s too slow! Even though it does a lot of damage, it’s still not worth it. You’re better off using a gun.

Graphics still look like they were from the PS2 era, but the HD aspect is nice. But I’d honestly, prefer the first 4 than 2 with updated graphics. Or at least add the original.

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Now, let’s take a look at Silent Hill 3. I’ll be honest, I really didn’t like this one. I never even got through the first area. The enemies were unbalanced, the weapons were too underpowered, and the game didn’t feel like Silent Hill.

Silent Hill HD Collection is a good horror-puzzle game. But,It didn’t age well. The art is nice, the music fits, and the puzzles are logical. But still.

Rating: 7/10