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Posts tagged ‘square-enix’

Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth – Square-Enix – PSP

I tell ya, this game most definitely took me by surprise. The general style of gameplay is unlike anything I’ve ever played, but I still enjoyed playing it greatly.

You are the Valkyrie, a goddess sent from the heavens to find warriors to fight for you. You train them up while you’re with them, then you sent them off to heaven to prepare for battle. This is basically the style of gameplay that is followed throughout the course of the game.

The characters are beautifully rendered. I’ve never seen art quite like it, and they’re all very detailed in their personality. It is something to be reckoned with, though I suppose I should expect no less from Square-Enix. Also, the voices fit the characters perfectly. I’m thoroughly impressed.

The battle system is a cross between RPG and Action. Each character in your party is assigned to one button (square, circle, etc) and to attack with them all you do is press the corresponding button. Using this, you are able to link together lengthy combos resulting in the devastation of many foes. It’s impressive.

The CG animations are also beautiful. And the option to view them and listen to all the music is definitely an added perk. I’m curious to see if there’s going to be extras at the end of the game.

One downfall that kills me is that there’s really no set destinations when you’re playing, so its very free roaming, and that for me is bothersome. This is especially hard because each town or battlefield you visit takes up one period, and after so many periods go past, the chapter ends, so you’re contained in a ‘time frame’.

Overall, if you have a PSP, I’d say check this game out, even though it’s hard to find. Its a solid game to own.

Rating:
7.5 / 10

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Mario Hoops 3 on 3 – Nintendo/SquareEnix – Nintendo DS

I know, I know, ANOTHER DS game. Well, if you knew why, then I’d have to kill you. Haha. :) Don’t worry about it, and just enjoy the reviews dammit! I’m not doing this stuff for my health, that’s for sure.

So, Mario Hoops. I know. The first thing that ran through my head was probably the same as yours, “FUCK MARIO!” We’re all sick of seeing him in sports games now. Soccer, Tennis, Baseball, and now Basketball. Notice how he doesn’t play any manly sports like football or rugby huh? Haha, oh well. Don’t worry though, this game doesn’t totally suck.

I won’t lie, the only reason I really picked this game up was because SquareEnix tagged along for the ride. I bet you $20 that if they weren’t involved, this game would totally blow. I started playing though, and I was fairly impressed.

You pick three characters to be on your team. Yeah, a little 3 on 3. How big of a secret was that? Anywho, each character specializes in their own thing. There are All-Around, Technical, Speedy, Powerful, and Tricky characters. I’m not entirely sure of what each one does, but the Powerful and Speedy ones are a little obvious.

What you do, is you go around dribbling on the court to collect coins. Your character dribbles automatically, but you can tap the touch screen to make him/her dribble faster, allowing you to collect coins faster. You can collect up to 100 coins before shooting, and that’s how you score (duh). For normal shots and dunks, you get an extra 20 coins, and for special dunks you get 40.

The touch screen is used just as much as the D pad, allowing for jukes, ball slaps, jumps, passes, whatever. If you wanna do something other than moving, then you better have a second hand. While on defense, the ? blocks can be touched to get some signature Mario items like the green/red turtle shells, banana peels, and a bomb.

The game is really simple to just pick up and play, but its quite a challenge to master. I’m still unlocking things (which there are plenty of) and trying to master the aspects of the game play. With many game modes, and the option to play with someone else, this game is sure to be a good addition to your DS game library.

Rating:
7.5 / 10

Children of Mana – SquareEnix – Nintendo DS

Ah, this game is a very solid game indeed. Those of you who enjoy the Mana series games are in for a treat, and for those of you whom have never played a Mana game in your life are going to be surprised that despite the cartoony enemies, this game is worth picking up.

You start off by picking a character and naming him or her. Each character has something they excel in, and there are four to choose from. You may also pick from four different colors, so as to make the options a little more diverse. The characters are bright, and beautifully illustrated, along with the rest of the game. If you’re big on the art of a game, you will not be disappointed in this game.

Children of Mana plays as an action game, with RPG elements tied in. Defeating enemies gain you experience, which works towards your level, better armor and weapons to help you fare better, etc. What adds to this though is the gem frame system they have. There are special gems (over 100 total) that you can pick up and place in a gem frame that add to your abilites. Some are minor, increasing your attack or defense by a bit, but others are very useful, such as using an herb when you’re poisoned to quickly remedy it, or having the healing items double the recovery. The combinations are endless, and the results invaluable.

The game really hasn’t been that difficult, provided you leveled properly throughout the game. Those of you who have played a game where leveling is a priority, and didn’t do enough of it, know the brutal rape you will sustain when going into a fight underleveled. But it remains at a moderate pace, not being too hard, nor too easy, though I must admit some of the bosses could be a bit tougher. They seem somewhat like larger forms of the regular enemies.

The enemies themselves, as stated before, are very cutesy. But do not let that fool you. These guys still pack a punch, especially in the later levels. The acquisition of a mana spirit also adds to the diversity of the game. The multiplayer is also an added bonus, allowing up to three other friends join you in your adventure. The dungeons are randomized, but they all have the same general design, making exploring them feel a bit tedious, and relentless.

Overall, the games diversity with the gems, character creation, and mana spirits are pluses, the simplicity of the boss battles and tediousness of the dungeons get a little timely at times. But don’t let that stop you from at least playing. I would most definitely recommend at least playing for a few hours before actually ruling it out of your library of games. It feels like it would be a hit or a miss game to fans, depending on what your tastes are. Despite its downfalls, I still feel it is a really good game. Unfortunately, my opinion cannot affect the rating of a game.

Rating:
7.0 / 10

Final Fantasy XII – Square-Enix – Playstation 2

Oohh maahhh gawwwd.

You are Vaan, a young orphan living in Rabanastre, trying to get your life back together when the empire killed your parents and your brother. He is joined by his best friend Penelo, along with the Sky Pirate Balthier and his attractive Viera friend Fran, the ex old empire soldier Basch, and Princess of the old empire Ashe. Each character has their own specific goal in mind but it all leads to one thing: overthrowing Emperor Gramis Solidor, and his two sons, Vayne and Larsa.

Kay well first off, this game steers off the beaten path for being the first non online FF to not have a turn based battle system. Lots of people were skeptical on it, saying as how it tears away from the “classic” feel. Let me reassure you, if this doesn’t feel like a true FF game, then President Bush is my uncle. I assure you, he’s not. FFXII’s new battle system is so much more entertaining than the original its a wonder why they didn’t make this earlier. They’ve now implemented a new system called the Gambit system, which allows you to create an AI for each character. Playing through a totally new dungeon? Keep the gambits off, and make decisive actions that could cost you your life. Running through an area with creatures you can kill in one hit? Throw the gambits on so you don’t have to sift through the menu every time. The new active battling along side of the gambits make for an interesting prospect on FF gamers.

The Licensing system is another new feature added into FFXII. Basically what it means is when your character owns a weapon, he or she cannot use that particular weapon unless they have the license to do so. To earn LP, you just kill monsters. They are gained right along side EXP. The LP are also used to power up your characters with more gambit slots, additional HP, or added attack power. With the license system in place, no two people’s characters will be the same, and you have nearly all the control to develop a character the way you want them. If you want to have a group of white mages be your party? Then by all means do it. The choice is yours.

The graphics are the third thing that stand out. They are truly phenominal. The CG’s are absolutely breathtaking. Its hard to tell that I’m still playing a PS2 when they show those gorgeous scenes. And even during gameplay, its hard to tell the difference between a CG and the game itself. Don’t get me wrong, the change is noticable, but its not out of control like in FFX or below.

With all the new features, its easy to see why FFXII would be a scary game to purchase. They say never to fix what’s not broken, and believe me, before XII, Final Fantasy was far from broken. But you know what? Who takes a perfectly good car to a modification shop and says, “Please take everything off and put it back on again!” You gotta try something new every once in a while, and Square-Enix has done that, succeeding every step of the way. With a cast of highly lovable characters, beautifully created worlds, and a vivid storyline, you’ll recognize the true Final Fantasy magic once you’ve experienced it first hand.

Rating:
9.9 / 10