Archive | Video Games

Monica Valentinelli

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

Posted on March 29, 2012 by

I have had a long, sordid relationship with the Final Fantasy franchise. While I haven’t played every game, I have played most of them. When you play Final Fantasy, there are certain elements that you come to expect: cactaurs, chocobos, moogles, summoning, and BIG GIANT SWORDS. Final Fantasy XII began to stray from the iconic characters found in the property with its attention to new mechanics and a more realistic art style heavily inspired by the steampunk genre.

Final Fantasy XIII further deviated from the heart of the franchise. Though it did offer eidolons (one per character) this far-flung futuristic story jarred a lot of fans who hadn’t seen Square Enix dive that heavily into science fiction since the days of Cloud and Sephiroth in Final Fantasy VII.

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Monica Valentinelli

Neverwinter Nights on Facebook Review

Posted on October 10, 2011 by

One of the cool things about “new” media is a company’s ability to bridge the gap between paper and pencils with technology. Neverwinter Nights on Facebook is a social game you can play.

The first thing you do is roll stats. There’s no character class, but this min/maxer (That’s right.. Me…) rolled a few times until I got… Well… Some decent stats. The game didn’t work on Chrome so off to Firefox I go… That’s where I found out that punctuation doesn’t work in the character name field. I have an elf name I often use (Lazy, I know, I know…) but the apostrophe didn’t take.

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Monica Valentinelli

Warhammer 40k Space Marine PS3 Review

Posted on September 26, 2011 by

Warhammer 40,000: SpaceMarine is a game that debuted for the PS3 (and other platforms). While I’m familiar with Games Workshop, I am new to to the Warhammer universe. I feel that’s important to keep in mind when you’re reading my review.

Part of the reason why I’ve never played Warhammer or read the fiction was because my impression was that I wasn’t really the target market for this setting. It has always felt very male-dominated and macho to me. Even though I felt that way, I always gave the property a healthy amount of respect. I consider the Warhammer SpaceMarine to be the original. Period.

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Monica Valentinelli

Dragon Age 2 (PS3) Review

Posted on April 27, 2011 by

Before I get into my review of Dragon Age 2, I’d like to put my thoughts into context for you. I’m a fan of the games that BioWare puts out and I enjoy the mechanics. Primarily, I play RPG style video games to relax and to shut my brain off. It’s increasing harder for me to watch movies, for example, and do nothing else. Playing games like Dragon Age: Origins allows me to turn off the brain-neuron connection switch and have fun.

Mind you, I am a min/maxer… There. My secret is out. Phew!

Anyway, when I get into a video game, I’m looking at it as a casual experience with the ability to cheat modify my characters in a way that gives me better flexibility and playing style. Story is important to me, but for some games *coughs Final Fantasy XII* I get confused if there’s no recap or summary after the side quests portion.

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Flames

Ghostbusters: the Video Game Review

Posted on June 29, 2009 by

What do you get when you take one of the most popular comedy franchises ever, bring back the original writers and actors who made it so great, and have the original writers come up with a new script tying it all together?

You get Ghostbusters: the Video Game, of course.

Ghostbusters: TVG had been plagued from developmental issues from the start. Passing from publisher to publisher, the game faced cancellation several times despite promising trailers. Eventually managing to be released by Atari, this game features voice acting from the original cast. Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson reprise their roles as the classic supernatural investigators and eliminators.

Review by John D. Kennedy

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Flames

Blue Dragon Plus Video Game Review

Posted on March 24, 2009 by

Blue Dragon Plus for the Nintendo DS is a sequel to Mistwalker’s console RPG Blue Dragon. This time around, the straight-up RPG action has been replaced with a real-time strategy mechanic but everything else, from the Dragon Ball-esque graphics to the big bad Shadows, has returned.

The original Blue Dragon was a hotly-anticipated title for the Xbox 360. Not only did it have an esteemed pedigree with the creator and composer of the Final Fantasy series onboard but the 360 was going through a bit of an RPG drought. Its release helped scratch an itch a lot of Xboxers had and was a decided “hand across the aisle” to the Japanese market who regarded the 360 as an American machine with American games.

Review by Jason Blair

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Flames

Mass Effect Video Game Review

Posted on February 23, 2008 by

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year you’ve probably heard of Mass Effect and, since I’m always late doing these reviews odds are you’ve already played it, or – lacking the luxury I have of spending more time playing games – are still playing it. A brief summation then at the start of this review is ‘buy it, it is good’. Above and beyond Bioware’s existing reputation for creating good computer game RPGs this shows they’re masters of it and, until they perfect freeform AI for running roleplaying games this is about as good as the genre gets.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Flames

Assassin’s Creed Video Game Review

Posted on February 13, 2008 by

We’re suckers, so we bought the collector’s edition. In this edition you get a nice tall box that you feel bad about throwing away, a six inch or so plastic figurine and… that’s it. *rattles the box, turns it upside down* yes… that’s all you get. No art book, no strategy guide or hint booklet. Just the plastic figurine. They didn’t exactly go all out. To make matters even more annoying they’ve plastered a ‘not for resale’ tag across the front of the game box so you can’t even trade in the game. After the wonderfulness of the Bioshock collector’s edition this was… a little aggravating. If you’re going to have a special edition and charge that much more for it you should really push the boat out a little and this just wasn’t the case with Assassin’s Creed.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Flames

Bioshock Review

Posted on January 30, 2008 by

Bioshock tells the tale of a fallen utopia, I’ll try not to give too much away but you play jack, a survivor of a plane wreck in the mid-atlantic (actually the North Atlantic near Greenland and Iceland where the main plane route is if the coordinates given for Rapture’s location are right) who discovers this rotting vision and plays a key role in breaking a stalemate between two opposing forces there.

Review by James ‘Grim’ Desborough

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Flames

Rule of Rose Review

Posted on September 18, 2006 by

Rule of Rose tells the eerie and disturbing story of Jennifer, an apprehensive protagonist who must face the fantastic evil of a child’s imagination. Set in an English orphanage of the 1930’s, the game is a story of social outcasts, cruel violence, strained relationships and prepubescent sexuality. Since the cast of the game are almost entirely children, Sony was hesitant to release the game in America. Atlus, a company with a history of importing niche titles, stepped up and took the risk of bringing a game of challenging issues to the market.

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Flames

Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth Review

Posted on May 6, 2005 by

There were parts that I loved, terribly, which were almost all thematic and setting/scene based. There were parts that I very very much hated, and that was all gameplay-based.

Here’s what I loved:

The sanity system. If you look at stuff closely (the priest crucified on the cross, for example) you get More out of the game, but you also lose more sanity points (which gradually recover over time). When you’re low on sanity, you start talking to yourself and hearing things. Apparently when you run out of sanity, you take whatever gun you’re holding and kill yourself.

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Flames

Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick Review

Posted on March 17, 2005 by

This game won’t win any awards, oh sorry, it’s hard to not blurt that out while playing this game. This commercial on TV for this “treadclimber” says it’s fast, easy, and makes me feel good. Evil Dead doesn’t make me feel any of these, it makes me feel bored, annoyed, and sick. First the CG’s, the pre-rendered’s are pretty good, not OddWorld good, but good none the less. But there are only like 3 of them. Speaking of 3’s, that’s how many bosses are in the whole game, 3, and that’s including the end boss. The game has 5 levels which are massive though.

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Flames

Clocktower 3 Review

Posted on October 17, 2004 by

The plot of this game revolves around a pretty little English schoolgirl named Alyssa. During a stay at boarding school she receives an unsettling message from her mother, which prompts her to run home only to discover a creepy old man and a challenging destiny. Alyssa soon finds herself traveling through different decades in time to solve various mysteries, confront deranged serial killers, and eventually discover the truth behind her family’s unique history.

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Flames

Resident Evil: Outbreak Video Game Review

Posted on September 25, 2004 by

What do ten strangers sitting in a bar have in common? They’d all make delicious entrees for a few hungry zombies about to attack the bar. That’s right, in this newest installation of Resident Evil Raccoon City is being rampaged by a plague of zombies. It’s up to you to pick one of ten characters and fight for survival.

The game is set up in different sections called scenarios, each with their own theme and unique location. After you complete a scenario, a new one is unlocked and you are given points for your game play. The better you are the more points you get allowing you to trade them in to unlock bonuses such as CG art and cut scenes.

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