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Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier Publisher: Ubisoft “What if Dark Souls was a survival horror” - that is the question that was likely asked in Ubisoft headquarters whilst trying to come up with ideas for a launch title for the Nintendo Wii U. Dark Souls (and its predecessor, Demon's Souls) are action RPGs that emphasized high penalties for failure, such as wiping away all of the souls that you had acquired and having you ressurect as a soul with half the HP of its host body. Its more significant design choices were rooted in survival horror – besides penalties that would work well for that genre, it also had an oppressive atmosphere – whilst they all worked themselves into a great action game. In my eyes, a game is good when each of its elements culminate into a working, if not an outright fantastic experience. So if you were to turn it into a survival horror game where the objective is to survive the zombie apocalypse, it'd naturally be a success, right? Well, it comes close, but it's definitely not...
Most games are made classics because of what they do and how they do it. Super Mario Brothers wouldn't have saved the console gaming market if it didn't provide its sidescrolling platforming in a way that feels refreshing next to a warm glass of Pitfall 2. Mega Man wouldn't be worth a damn had it not been for how its levels were designed and how its soundtracks were composed. However, some games slip by the cracks and only become classics through virtue of just doing something, or being there at the right time – and that's if it's not just childhood nostalgia (because 20 is the new 65, apparently). Kid Icarus for the Nintendo Entertainment System, however, is such a “classic” as it people from back in the day remember it with such fondness, it rivals games like Mega Man and Mario. The difference between the blue bomber and the mostly flightless angel is that the former was in a series or two of great games while the latter... erm... Kid Icarus isn't necessarily a terrible game as it did have the...
A very ambitious game let down by sloppy execution
Written by Stalagmite on Sep 28, 2014
Written by Stalagmite on Sep 28, 2014
Released in 1986 by Nintendo, Kid Icarus is a sidescrolling platformer that was actually quite ambitious for its time. While most games were content with one style like overly linear sidescroller and large open world overhead game, this game opted to combine elements of platforming, running and gunning, and exploration. Sure, in this day and age, such a fusion would be seen as standard and ordinary, but in the 80s, this was a pretty big deal. Keep in mind that this was pre-Contra and pre-Mega Man, since those games – particularly Mega Man – had platforming and shooting in them. Nevertheless, Kid Icarus was a game poised to radicalise the industry and really show the unsuspecting public exactly what the NES was capable of. You got this dog that's just been taken off of its leash; it's hungry for success! The result? Oh boy, where do I start? You begin the game by traversing through a vertical scrolling level. One that has ratchet scrolling, meaning that it won't scroll back down once you've gone up,...
I'm sure you're looking at the review title and think I'm taking a jab at the tendency of protagonists to take everything they come across, to the point of flat out stealing and NPCs not saying a word. Well, that's part of it, but while other heroes will do this as a means to an end, for Lili it appears to be the entire point, albeit disguised as a quest to save the island's inhabitants. Backstory of the game is far from the epic quests of legend you might be more accustomed to in these kinds of games. Lili is a student at a school of some kind of magic and has sailed to the island of Geos as part of her academic studies. Upon arrival she finds the islands population split between two sides - the antagonistic Spirits who are self-serving and care not for others and the subservient Constructs who possess a will of their own but are forced into labour by the Spirits. Unsurprisingly Lili sides with the Constructs and finds herself drawn into helping them. What the story lacks in grand scale it more than...
Sonic Heroes is the blue blur's first foray into non-Sega console gaming. Then again, after the Dreamcast's demise, there were only two directions for him to go. One would be to cease to exist, and the other would be to move onto his rival's console, the Nintendo Gamecube (oh, and the Playstation 2 and Xbox, but the former is buggier than Chinese produce and who on Earth actually played the Xbox version); given the momentum from the good parts of Sonic Adventure 2, you better believe that Sega would kiss and make up with Nintendo so that they can get their games out there. Sadly, Sonic Heroes is kind of a terrible game with a lousy gimmick, lazy design and the overall quality of the levels declining as the game progresses. The latter problem is especially egregious considering that you wouldn't think of Sonic Heroes as bad upon first glance; in fact, it continues from where Sonic Adventure's Sonic and Shadow levels left off in that they're short, sweet, fast and furious. But then they got longer, slower,...
Persona 3 is something of an anomaly in the Shin Megami Tensei series. Instead of being some cult hit, it became bigger than Jesus. Okay, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration – after all, it's nowhere near as talked about as Final Fantasy and Pokemon – but compared to the rest of the series (both Shin Megami Tensei and even Persona itself), it seems like everybody who played it absolutely loves it. Not going to lie, I was one of them for a while. Being mr popular at my local high school by day and all powerful demon slayer by night was something that opened the floodgates for a huge ego boost. Feeling like a mostly powerful entity, especially at school, was something that always felt good regardless of whether you were mr popularity at school yourself, a loser or just somebody who was kind of cool (myself fitting in the latter). Plus if you like games like Pokemon but with heaps more customization, there was a wide breadth of content to breathe in. So I kept on playing and let everything sit in my mind...
Captain Silver is the kind of game that accurately sums up the Sega Master System – while the NES was busy with more full on games like Mega Man and Contra, the Master System was a more arcade-y system with games that you play for like ten minutes before you go do something else with your life. Sure, games like Golvellius, Master Of Darkness and Alex Kidd In Miracle World tried to dispute that, but where those would've been the norm on the NES, they're the exception on the Master System. Not enough games like them three here. It's also really hard on the ears because the system has a shitty sound chip compared to the NES, plus aside from the boss tune which actually sounds good, there's no real melody in these songs and every note is like a thousand flaming daggers to the heart. It's also quite a bit of fun if your reflexes are up to snuff and don't suck at video games. It isn't the best game in the world, nor is it even the best game for the system (that honor goes to Master Of Darkness). What it is,...
Mario may have started the genre rolling and is often cited as the example of what such a game should be, but the plumber has to contend with many rivals competing for the same glory. It seems quite fitting that former console mascot rival Sonic tries his hand a few times at it as well. This latest attempt by Sonic is no mere shadow copy though. This is a real contender that might even be able to teach Nintendo's mascot a thing or two about making a quality racing title. Racing forms an integral part of the experience as you pick a character and then take to one of the game's numerous tracks to beat the competition to the finish using all the driving skills and item usage as you can to succeed. The game title's word transformed play a major role here as each character has three different vehicle modes. These are switched between at preset points in each track, with the subsequent racing portion tailored specifically to the style of vehicle required. The cars perform more or less as you'd expect from a...
I didn't expect a score like that. Nice review, IP.
Minds yeah the moral choices were definitely a missed opportunity on Sucker Punches part. Nothing you did really seemed to make an impact. From a narrative standpoint there was little reason to replay the game. And thanks for the feedback! It's always appreciated.
Joke's on you, Square, we see through your bullshit. Why? Because you needed Tri-Ace to try and make the Final Fantasy XIII games feel refreshing.
And yet People on YouTube Still Do videos on Mario Paint.