Game reviews and editorials. Simple, and clear.

Posts tagged ‘atlus’

Dokapon Kingdom – Atlus – Nintendo Wii

So, I was extremely skeptical about this game, even if it was an Atlus game. I shouldn’t have been though. Within the first ten minutes I was drawn in, and I didn’t want to put the game down.

Dokapon’s plot is that you must save the kingdom from the evils that are now roaming the land, and as a reward, you get the hand of Princess Penny to marry (even if you’re a female character). Sounds simple enough, right? Hah. If only. Allow me first to explain the game mechanics.

The game is played similar to a Mario Party style board game. Players are to spin a dial, and move that many spaces across the board accordingly. Players may move in any direction they wish, but must continue on a forward pattern (in other words, no moving back and forth between only two spaces). Landing on certain spaces do certain things, and so on. The twist to the game is that it’s also an RPG, in that you battle, gain experience for your character and level up. It’s really wild the way they incorporate it. Using these mechanics, you liberate towns and try your best to become the wealthiest character by the end of the game.

However, your friends or the AI will always be trying to foil you, by stealing your gold/towns, changing your character name and hair style, or even drawing graffiti on your character. The game is very vengeful, and creates much animosity between the players that are competing. It’s quite hilarious, to be honest. You can be downright brutal to the players in the game.

You may also fight any character you wish at any given time, provided you land on their space. When building a character, you get to choose a class, giving you a multitude of skills to work with. You can only carry two skills at a time though, which could get a little irritating at time, but not enough to destroy the novelty of the game.

The only real downfall is the lack of the single player excitement. Playing a four player game with three AI seems to deplete the novelty of it all. Other than that, I really don’t see much being wrong.

Overall, it seemed like it was a great party game. I can’t really say that it was the best Atlus ever made, but they truly surprised me. It makes me further believe I should never doubt their purchases.

Rating:
7.0 / 10

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Odin Sphere – Atlus/VanillaWare Inc. – Playstation 2

I’m surprised I haven’t done this game earlier. It was about this game (maybe a game or two before) when I really started to notice how much I loved Atlus.

All right, so Odin Sphere. This game puts an all new spin on 2D Adventure RPG games. The story itself is intertwined amongst five different characters, and I’ve only played through about one and a half, so I really can’t give you a thorough story background. Just take my word that its good. :]

The art is what is really captivating. VanillaWare Inc. do all hand drawn sprites and it shows. The backgrounds are lush and full of life, the characters are articulate, and all of the cutscenes are done with voice overs that match the characters’ personalities perfectly. Really, it is all quite breathtaking.

The gameplay is unique too. The concept of ‘square mashing’ is defeated by a POW bar (power bar). Basically, every attack you do depletes that bar. The stronger the attack, the more it depletes. Let it empty, and you will be stunned for a set amount of time. You can mash on the buttons and rotate the joystick for a speedy recovery however. If you do not wish to be stunned, simply not attacking will allow your POW bar to regenerate. Also, being struck by an enemy replenishes it as well.

Your HP is recovered by eating food, but each piece of food has a set EXP value to it. After so much EXP, your HP ‘levels up’ and you gain a larger max HP. This is where strategy comes into play, because if you level your HP up, you also refill your entire bar. Its a very interesting concept.

Your ‘magic’ in this game is called phazon. When you defeat an enemy, plant a phazon plant seed and have it mature, or complete alchemy of sorts, it releases phazon for you to absorb. At the same time, phazon is used to grow plants, so you have to juggle leveling up your phazon (by absorbing it) or leaving it float in the air (for your plants to absorb).

The alchemy in this game runs off a small math system, so basic understanding of it definitely helps (though they do provide you with a brief in game tutorial, in which case a basic understanding on how to read helps). The seed planting is nice, as you can see the plant developing so you always know how much phazon went into the plant.

The maps are run on closed circuit boards meaning that if you run left or right far enough, you will eventually run in a complete circle. This is not a problem, because it helps you from being lost.

There is only one significant err I find within the game: it loads a whole lot. Granted they are not long loads (the first is usually the longest, being at about 5 seconds, and the rest being only a second to a second and a half), but goodness. If you enter a new area, it loads, back track an area, it loads, storyline unfolds, it loads. I think you get the picture. Its not enough to bring the game down though. Not in the least.

The game has many new features that I have not previously seen in any other game, making this an ‘Editor’s Pick’, if you will. I really recommend this to anyone who enjoys an adventure game with RPG elements tied in. Even if you don’t understand those concepts, this game is solid enough for anyone to just pick up and play.

Rating:
8.5 / 10

Steambot Chronicles – Atlus – Playstation 2

ZOMG a new console?! Haha, yeah, I decided to review something new. I’m not exactly finished with this game, but I think I have a basic understanding of it to review it.

Vanilla Bean, a boy who possibly crash lands his ship on a beach, and is awaken by a girl he thinks is named Coriander. Why is everything variables? He’s lost his memory. Its up to you to guide him through this newfound town, and see if you can jog his memory and see where he came from.

The game is very open ended, allowing the choices you make turn you into a hero, a villain, or somewhere in between. On the back of the box, they say that if Miyazaki were to make a game, this would be similar to what it looks like. I suppose from a certain view, I can see it, but that was really shooting for the stars. Its a sandbox style of gameplay, and they make it well known from the title screen. Basically, it means that you don’t have to follow the beaten path the whole time if you don’t want to. You’re free to do what you will.

Gameplay consists of playing musical instruments, which all have a neat way of going about it, to maneuvering in the Trotmobiles: vehicles of mass customization. I mean, everything on these things are interchangable, from the most useless things like the license plate to the more essentials like the body and legs. They’re a nifty little thing, and kind of give off a Mechwarrior feel.

The controls are perfect for the game, but I think they could have made them a little more comfortable, mostly for the Trotmobiles. You use the two joysticks, pressing both forward to move forward, one up and one down to turn, etc. But there will be times when you are fighting someone and you’ll not be facing the foe completely. It tends to get a little frustrating, but you can get used to it. Also, Vanilla is SLOW without a Trot, so make sure you have yours readily available. He becomes even more slow when he’s hungry.

The visuals are great. Everyone is beautifully colored and drawn, the towns look great, coming alive at nights, and busy worker people running around during the days. Its really quite awe inspiring. Also, all of the main scences are done with voiceovers, which are synched extremely well. The voices also fit the characters properly too, so none of that “he should sound more like this”.

Other little quirks are the mini games to earn money, the album collection for your records, and two player pool and trot battles give the game a little icing on the cake. I wouldn’t not recommend the game to anyone, I just feel that slapping Miyazaki’s name on it was a cheap shot. :P Atlus makes wonderful games, they don’t need tactics like that to sell.

Rating:
7.5 / 10