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Senseless Reviews
CyChill
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#21
07-26-2013, 12:55 PM
Review 9: Sonic Rush

Sonic Rush is a DS title for Sonic the Hedgehog. It brought us the Sonic Boost, Blaze the Cat, and Eggman NEGA.

The story is simple, Eggman and Eggman NEGA (His other worldly counterpart) plan to rip the two dimensions into each other and create a dimensional Eggmanland. Blaze, being from the other world, makes it her task to get the Sol Emeralds back, while Sonic is chasing Blaze and Eggman. Eventually the two make up and smack the Eggmen VERY hard.

Really, it's simple. The levels themselves are very nice, all visually distinct. For Sonic you have:

Leaf Storm
Water Palace
Mirage Road
Night Carnival
Huge Crisis
Altitude Limit
Dead Line

and for Blaze there is:

Night Carnival
Leaf Storm
Mirage Road
Water Palace
Altitude Limit
Huge Crisis
Dead Line

Sonic obtains the Seven Chaos Emeralds by finding a rainbow handle in an act and boosting on it enough to access the Special Stage, which involves collecting rings in a tube using the touch screen. These stages are rather easy, and getting to them is too, but of all the handheld Sonic special stages from Advance to Rush Adventure, these are my favourite, as they lack any kind of brutal difficulty or entry requirements. Naturally the Emeralds are used for unlocking the Extra Zone.

The Sol Emeralds are obtained simply by progressing through Blaze's story, so she is more streamlined.

The Bosses in the game are quite fun. They are fairly easy for the most part, and the Huge Crisis boss is just a harder version of the Leaf Storm boss (Which is a negative for me) but the Altitude Limit boss can be fairly hard. Some bosses even have OHKO moves, so be careful.

I do have some negatives with the game however, as there is a bit of a love of bottomless pits. When you are boosting, chances are you will die. On top of that, I swear the stage difficulty fluctuates. Night Carnival is WAY harder than Huge Crisis and a bit simpler than Altitude Limit, which leads me to a problem. The level designs are the same for both Sonic AND Blaze, so you start off in a fairly hard stage for Blaze, and for Sonic the game randomly spikes up midway through.

But the absolute pinnacle of BS in this game is the Final Boss of the individual stories (Not Exception, the extra zone) where, I will kindly list the problems:

1) His attacks are RANDOM! Yes, which attack he uses is random.
2) The speed at which he attacks is random.
3) Where his attack lands (For the electric barriers and lasers) IS RANDOM! This can lead to some attacks being unavoidable!
4) This game has ring physics that state the more you are hit the further the rings go from you. This means that eventually, you will be running with no rings!
5) He has an OHKO move, that again, IS RANDOM!
6) THE FIGHT IS INSANELY LONG!
7) You are required to fight him TWICE!

That fight was almost a deal breaker for me. I have never spent 45 minutes trying to hit a giant robot 8 times.

If I can be positive again though, the soundtrack is amaaaaazzzinnnnggg. My favourites are Water Palace, Huge Crisis, Altitude Limit and Dead Line, as those are catchy as hell!

Really, if you are a Sonic fan, buy this game, if not, don't. There are better ways into the series, and my only negatives are the seemingly random difficulty changes and that evil final boss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KqDVNowKU

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CyChill
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#22
07-30-2013, 05:35 AM (This post was last modified: 07-30-2013, 05:46 AM by CyChill.)
Review 10: Pokémon Black and White Versions 2!
Requested by: @Fenniken25


So when Black and White were over, we were expecting Pokémon Grey or something. Ahahahaha NO!

We got sequels instead. And my God they are gooood sequels.

The story follows once more a young trainer and their rival (Hugh) on a quest to become the Champion (You) and get back a Purrloin (Hugh). On this journey, set 2 years after B/W, Bianca becomes the aid to Professor Juniper, the Unova region is expanded, and Cheren becomes the new Gym Leader of Aspertia City, your hometown. A lot has changed and it all expands more and more to show real development over the years.

Of course, the peace can't last. Team Plasma is back and a bit more blunt this time, planning something big, using their unusually cold ship, they plan to freeze Unova so their boss, once again Ghetsis looking even MORE menacing than before, to rule the world, as both an act of revenge and desperation. The plot of Team Plasma is deeper, with Colress and Zinzolin in the fray too, each with motivation for being there quite different to Ghetsis.

The game again sports 8 Gyms, each with a unique musical track, and the game is a bit harder, and longer than B/W. A big point to make is the now massive Pokedex, of 301 Pokémon, all of whom hail from all 5 regions explored. You are spoilt for choice here, so go nuts!

Plus, the Triple and Rotation battles from B/W are used more, and the plot is fleshed a bit more too, rounding off loose ends.

The post game is MUCH better too. More super boss trainers, White TreeHollow and Black Tower, World Tournaments against all Gym Leaders, fighting N again, rematches with Colress and the Shadow Triad, LOADS of legendaries, new forms of Kyurem, more areas, more backstory and the memory link feature to show events we didn't see during and after B/W.

There are also 3 difficulties, for each kind of player, and there is a lot of replay value too. Plus the game progresses nicely, much better than HG/SS for that matter, and THEY are sequels too. There is nothing I can really complain about.

Heck, even the little things like a Free Space section in your bag for commonly used items, and the addition of "Your Repel has run out, would you like to use another?" is FANTASTIC!


Again, I cannot do this game justice in words. Go out, play it, and then think, as a sequel, is it better than HG/SS to you?

I feel that X and Y, or any game for a long time, won't capture the charm and magic this game has.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KqDVNowKU

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CyChill
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10-20-2013, 04:16 AM (This post was last modified: 10-20-2013, 04:22 AM by CyChill.)
Review 11: Sonic Lost World! (Wii U)

[Image: sonic_lost_world_logo.jpg]

This is a game that for the longest 5 months in history, made me nervous. I couldn't decide an opinion on it. We were shown loads, and even up to the launch week, information kept coming. Stages, bosses, powers...it was all there, but Lost World truly did remain lost to me. So, I pre-ordered it, got the Deadly Six edition, and recorded a blind LP with a friend on launch day. And then everything changed.

Let's begin, with the story. Amidst a battle in the sky over a capsule of animals, Dr Eggma shoots down the Tornado and forces Sonic and Tails to land on the Lost Hex, a mystical new world in the skies over Earth. Soon after, Sonic indeed meets up with Eggman, and after finding out that he is building a Badnik army using animals, again, he also reveals the biggest threat to the world: The Deadly Six; Zavok, Zazz, Zomom, Zeena, Zor and Master Zik.

Later on, after royally whooping Zazz and Zomom, Sonic stupidly knocks away the Cacophonic Conch, which is a natural inhibitor to the Zeti (The race the Six belong to) and the thing Eggman uses to keep them in check. After this, they use their powers over magnetic fields to control the entire Badnik army, and Sonic and Eggman have to team up. The Deadly Six try various things to beat Sonic, with Eggman getting more and more sadistic towards them, even saying, while punching an ice wall with his bare hands, that he will "Make them watch as he burns each of their worlds and as everything they love dies".

[Image: 500px-Deadly_Six_Colors_Trailer.png]

Yes, this game gets fairly dark. I say fairly, because apart from Zavok, none of it comes off as pure malice. Speaking of Zavok, his goal, is a bit like what Eggman's was. Use a machine to drain the world of it's life force. The problem is though, that Eggman only wanted to borrow the energy to strengthen his army, as a full drain will destroy all life on Earth. Zavok however, WANTS to destroy Earth, and the energy makes Zeti stronger than they already are.

After Eggman pulls a heel-face-turn, since he needed Sonic to destroy the Deadly Six for him to get to his mech, Sonic smacks him in a Sonic Colours call-back and the world is restored, with Eggman missing half of his moustache.

So yeah, the game, for the first time in a while, is pretty story driven. And for the first time ever, I think it works. The story can be serious, but it's never TOO serious, and Orbot even quotes Shakespeare at one point. Plus seeing Eggman get increasingly more sadistic towards Zavok is a nice touch.

Gameplay wise...this is where people started drawing questions. Sonic now has a walk speed for precise platforming, a run button to get moving at pace, and a Spin Dash button that works, almost, like the Sonic Boost. He can now run along and up objects, and while it did take me a bit to get used to using Parkour, I can say it's a nice addition.

The Wisps are back too, only nowhere near as abundant as before. The old favourites like Laser, Drill, Rocket and Hover have all been touched up slightly, with new powers in the form of Bomb, Eagle, Rhythm and Asteroid all performing nicely using the GamePad. The only control issue I have is using Yellow Drill in 3D, but I know that's just because the Wisps have a little learning curve, but they are fun regardless. Sonic himself controls fantastically, and it is safely the best set on controls we have had. Want to kick an enemy? Press X when locked on. Homing Attack? Press A when locked on. Want to Double Jump? Press B in the air, even when locked on.

Little things make a game, and the added fluidity of this game is so good to feel at work.

As for the levels, well, we all saw Super Mario Galaxy, but it's rarely like that. Windy Hill is an excellent starting stage and the 2 fights with Zazz are a good introduction to how the Deadly Six work. Desert Ruins ups the ante and Zomom isn't much of a pushover, and this zone only has 2 actual desert stages! Tropical Coast is fun with a nice few gimmicks as is Frozen Factory and Silent Forest. Sky Road...well it's certainly unique, using graphical styles of past levels but uses them so creatively.

[Image: sonic-lost-world-sky-road-zone.jpg]

Lava Mountain is an odd one. Act 1 is a just a rematch with Zazz, Zomom and Zik on one arena, Act 2 is a grinding stage, Act 3 is a rematch against Zeena, Zor and Zavok (Which is certainly suprising) with levels strewn inbetween, and Act 4 is the final fight with Eggman. Frankly, it's a nice change of pace, though I do wish using a full charged Homing Attack didn't beat the Zeti so fast, with the exception of Zavok, who is the one to watch out for.

Graphically, the game is gorgeous. 60FPS consistently in an upscaled to 1080p world, all on a console that no one likes apparently. It truly is a great looking game, with colours and atmosphere all around. Musically, it's also great. All the versions of the Deadly Six theme have stuck in my head, and some pieces are so relaxing. It's truly a presentational achievement.

In terms of progression, Red Rings unlock more levels and the Chaos Emeralds, and animals are used to unlock Act 4 of each zone. It's a nice style of progression I like, but it also doesn't require much grinding at all. The game does get a bit hard at times, with a notable one being Silent Forest Act 3, but really, in terms of difficulty spikes, there aren't any, as the levels I find hard, are in the 4th to last zones, of 7 zones.

Overall, this game is so much fun to me, and anyone with a Wii U, I can recommend this too. Sonic is on top form and his charm shines through with this one. I'll give this one a 9/10. Just shy of perfect, because the Wisps were a little underused, and getting the Red Rings is a bit too difficult.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KqDVNowKU

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Cooler66
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#24
10-31-2013, 06:10 PM
These seem like good, really well structured reviews! You've focused in both good and bad points, and then given a conclusion. I would like it if you gave a out of 10 score for all your games, as that seems a nice idea to do, like a professional review idea.

Also, could I perhaps ask for a review on Spyro the Dragon? Seeing as you already have experience in playing the game Tongue
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CyChill
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#25
11-01-2013, 06:00 AM
Going backwards to score games I won't! XD However, I have already reviewed Spyro the Dragon. Tongue

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KqDVNowKU

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11-18-2013, 01:12 PM (This post was last modified: 11-18-2013, 01:32 PM by CyChill.)
Review 12: Pokémon X and Pokémon Y! (3DS)

This game...Jesus Christ this game!

Pokémon X and Y had a negative impact on me from day 1. I first felt they cut Generation 5 a little short, now this?

While it is known I am going to be a bit negative here, this IS just my opinion, and everyone else seems to only have minor issues with the game, but having now reluctantly played it, I can give a final verdict...and this is going to be interesting.

[Image: pokemon_y_logo_150dpi.jpg]

For clarification, I played Pokémon Y, however, in a very noticeable step back from Unova, the differences are purely Pokémon again. Why? Why did the designers take away something, or do they really hate Gen 5?

Let's begin with the story that this game loves so much. Professor Sycamore, who you don't even meet for a while, gives you a Pokedex to fill. Off you go. Same as ever. Along the way, and by that I mean eventually, you meet Team Rocket in suits. These grunts serve no purpose and fossil stealing is not new. Eventually throughout the plot your absolute moron of a friend battles you on occasion, with Team Flare and their Scientists, though you can't tell by looking, try and stop you. Eventually Lysandre, a guy you meet twice before and who really doesn't hide the fact he's a villain reveals that he, shock horror, is the bad guy. I give this guy props for being the first guy to try and stop you in his HQ though.

After sweeping the floor with him and catching whichever legendary the game drops on you, he threatens to nuke the world with a weapon anyway, which he does, and it wipes out the weapon, HQ and himself, along with some other casualties no doubt.

And cue the crap: Your ever so important friends decide at that exact moment in short, to go back to adventuring. Never mind stopping the apocalypse or the fact someone is now DEAD. That felt incredibly jarring to me, and since this is an RPG, and especially after it pulled off reasonably well in Gen 5, I felt disappointed. Eventually you curb stomp the League and the guy you meet three times who is apparently plot significant and immortal is curb stomped too, cue credits. That's the story as it stands.

Yes, I think the story is incredibly weak. The characters can leave an impression yeah, but it's often one where I wish they'd just shut up and go away because they are either annoying, boring, or god help me: both.

[Image: Lysandre_(Pok%C3%A9mon_X_and_Y).png]
This guy is the only interesting character in the game and is everyone's favourite, probably because he doesn't grate on me.

Graphically, the game is pretty good, and certainly one of the better games on 3DS in that regard, ignoring occasional FPS drops and overcrowding in the overworld. Granted, I do wish the human characters had better models but what can you do? It also bugs me that everyone who isn't either your rival or in Team Flare has to deal with a super flashy background with their artwork tweened across it. That comes off as more lazy to me, especially seeing that models are used for battle intros.

The soundtrack is pretty sweet, and it's nice to see the game moving on in terms of OST, but again, it feels like a bit of a step back, as some songs are very repetitive, and some lack much in terms of melody, even compared the Generation 1.

Now for the gameplay. It's traditional tiled movement on the overworld when using the D-Pad, only you can go diagonally this time. However, this works best with the circle pad, because the 3DS D-Pad isn't the best for diagonal input, and the circle pad is replaced for rollerskates later in the game. These things give you free movement, out of the tiled programming. Great! Problem is, the game is still programmed for tiles, so going into a passage only 1 tile long is surprisingly damn difficult! A minor niggle, but one that doesn't mesh well. I often found myself having to outright stop to re-adjust my hand or just to get into a good position for moving with the skates.



Furthermore, the Wi-Fi features have been upgraded, no longer requiring a specific location, but anyone can contact you at anytime. Sounds good, except you can be challenged by people significantly stronger than you, and it also pauses your game when a challenge is sent to you, so I turned this feature off. Speaking of features, Super Training and Pokémon Amie never got touched, because they aren't explained for one, and secondly they just have no impact outside of one or two things. I also never touched on customization, because again, I actually forgot it was even there, and there is NO incentive given for it.

The EXP Share also presents a problem. Without it on, the game is apparently really hard, which is okay, but with it on it's disgustingly easy. I played with it off for 50% of the game or so, and I was STILL overlevelled. The game is either easy or hard, no balance, and for most, it seems to be easy. What was wrong with how Black and White 2 did it, with a difficulty setting?

Furthermore, the new Pokémon, yes there aren't many, but that is compounded by the fact some of these damn things are rarer than a blue moon and the game spoon feeds you older Pokémon! (This even extends to the overworld with throwback areas to past generations being sprinkled everywhere!)

[Image: 708Phantump.png]
I found none of this during the game. None. Which is a shame, since I quite like it.

Back in past generations, there was an emphasis of old Pokémon with new ones alongside them, except Black and White, and this game doesn't do that well, to the point where I had to actively hunt to even SEE new Pokémon. The new type 'Fairy' doesn't do much either, just puts more emphasis on Steel and Poison use, but having Pokémon of those types, I found myself using other types against Fairy Pokémon due to not having any worthwhile Poison or Steel moves.


Overall, Pokémon X and Y, are at best, disappointments. They fail to really capitalize on the 3DS capabilities, fall short in story and characters (Which is a shame), and has a major balancing issue. I play video games to have fun, and Pokémon Y did not, for whatever reason, entertain me. I had no fun here, because my brain just switched off due to the mindless mashing of the A button to use an attack, since it didn't matter due to how powerful I was.

I'm also going to say you probably noticed me comparing this to Gen 5, which you may think is unfair, however, considering I had more fun and those games left more of an impression on me, on an inferior console no less, must show SOMETHING, especially when they are the previous games before X and Y!

Pokémon X and Y, unfortunately, didn't impress me. Yeah it looks the part, and even sounds it at times, it's just a bit of a step back. Some would say they are testing the waters, but considering I'm only a month older than Pokémon itself, which makes it almost 18 years old by the way, and since it's the second best selling video game franchise of all time, I hereby call that water testing statement a crock of poop.

I did get a laugh from these though.
Spoiler:
[Image: 935995_737507136266372_1412839649_n.jpg]
[Image: pokemon-x-y-my-body-is-ready.png]

I'm sorry guys, but this game hyped itself up, and like the Creepy House plot point, it was just a massive let down. I'll give it a 4/10.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KqDVNowKU

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Cooler66
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#27
11-18-2013, 04:53 PM
This is in response to your Pokemon Y review:

You talk about these games to gen 5 a lot, but I'd like to say, that if you were going to compare gen 6 to something, you'd compare it probably to gen 4. This is mainly due to 2 contributing factors:

1. Gen 4 and Gen 6 were both the first main series pokemon game released onto the ds and 3ds respectively.
2. They both fit into the "even" generations, a type of generation split my friend realised, where every even generation adds onto the older generations, and every odd generation adds onto the main pokemon roster. This is shown with Gen 2's "baby" pokemon, Gen 4's evolutions and prevelution additions, and Gen 6's megas.
As well as gen 4, gen 5 will also be slightly compared, as well as gen 1,2 and 3 potentially (depends if they fit in).

So, other than the key "GRAPHICS" point, that Gen 6 holds over the other gens, what else could be compared between them all.
Well, of course, it's storyline.

Now, this kind of storyline is kind of unique. Not due to the evil team, but the fact it follows more than one storyline. Gen 1,2,3,4 or 5 do not follow this. You can potentially split up these storylines into 3 subsections.

1. Team Flare
2. The hunt for the mega-stones!
3. The power of friendship.
Let's briefly look through them all

1. Team Flare.

Now, you've gone through a lot of this, and so I'm not going to really focus on it. But you've basically called them "Team Rocket with suits". Ok, when you say that, I don't kind of believe you. They've just got the idea of a perfect world, where for once, their weird clothing will be accepted (Ok, I made up that last part. But that's probably what they believe). And the plan of team flare, to steal energy so they don't use their own, and the reason they went to the pokeball factory is a good idea to explain why they go everywhere to wreak havoc. And it kind of explains the scientists as well, but when you say they don't look like it, they're team flare scientists for gods sake.

2. The search for the mega stones!

Now, this doesn't finish until post game, but is hinted throughout by your friends and by certain people. It all starts with sycamore, and ends with sycamore. A person, who according to one of the people in the tower of mastery, couldn't even succeed using mega evolution. Basically, sycamore gave you the building blocks for this whole thing. This extra storyline is hinted by other characters throughout the game, and is even shown that champions use it to strengthen their pokemon. So when you're able to find and collect all potential 30 stones (32 if mega latias and latios are real, and potentially more), the collector in you wants to find them all, and try them out (at least if you're me).

3. The power of friendship!

Now, this is possibly one of the stories you overlooked. By them adding in 4 friends, rather than just 1 or 2, they were able to add in a bit more story progression with people than just having 1 rival help you against the evil team. And that's what keeps you there. I mean, Serena/Calum is highly focused on, but you also have Shauna, the little girl who didn't even want to go through a forest, then going through the entire kalos region itself, tierno, a boy who found out exactly what he wanted to do after going on a journey, and the partners he was doing it with, and trevor, a guy who doesn't like to battle, but instead, aims on the pokedex, a relaxing break from the normal "let's battle!" rival. And what friendship isn't finished without the let's battle rival, Serena/Calum starts off as the overzealous "I'm such a pro" battler, but quickly learns that you're stronger than them, even if they try as much as they can. So instead of turning bitter, like Blue, Silver, Brendan/May (Who just gave up, because you beat them), Hugh, Cheren (See the long list?) they become happier you're battling with your full strength, rather than just battling them and letting them win.
And also, it's not just you who helped save the world, rather your friends as well. And there are a few mentions of it, many from the Elite 4 and champion. I mean, diantha thanks you for it. So it isn't forgotten, especially with your medal Big Grin

And extra point! Random AZ appeared!

Right, now, I wasn't sure where to put az, as he was slightly in 2 of these points. But anyway, AZ is a plot point fitting between the storyline 3000 years ago, of the war. The legend of az is why lysandre researched the weapon, and researched Xerneas/Yveltal. I mean, a weapon which can destroy parts of the world, and give others everlasting life? Which evil genius wouldn't want that? He then appears for a short aftergame, where you battle him. In this battle, he wishes to see your true power, and how you became so strong. AZ realises that it's the trust in your pokemon, and that he didn't have enough, and that's when his floette suddenly appears, and he realises what he forgot for all those years. He lost trust in everyone and so nearly tried to destroy the world for the gain of himself rather than humanity.

So, that's part 1, the storyline! Next, whatever else I want to talk about
Coming soon Tongue
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#28
12-29-2013, 01:51 PM
I found the music in Pokémon X/Y to be quite repetitive and sometimes kind of bland, too. Yes, the sound quality is a step up, but the music quality could have been improved. The leads lacked embellishments and the drum fills were quite repetitive, so it was hard for the soundtrack to send me chills down my spine. The bass was good sometimes. Yes, I'm that type of guy.

I do agree that the over-world controls are a little awkward; the fact that everything is locked down on a grid makes it difficult to travel into tight spaces, but then again, the more precise control pad is there to help you do that, so it's not such a problem.

Now... the metagame. I found the presentation to be a little lazy, seeing that for regular trainers, you would see a 2D sprite in the place of a 3D model. If they had made models for all the trainers, I think the game would have felt more full. And yes, that EXP Share is a little TOO helpful. I ripped through the game like cotton, seeing as nobody could stand a chance against my trainer - and I'm not even that good. Hopefully, Gamefreak will fix this in Pokémon Z/X2/Y2/Whatever-they-give-us.

I find Pokémon X/Y to be a little bland, but maybe, next release, things will be fixed and the game will be much, much better. There's plenty of room for improvement. UnGravitify, I can say I moderately agree with your perspective, at the very least.

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#29
02-19-2014, 02:31 PM
Review 13: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

Given my general distaste for Zelda titles, this might be surprising for some. However, after finally sampling A Link to the Past, I had to try this game at least.

[Image: 2405572-5665787344-The-L.png]

So here we are, a good 20 years or more after A Link to the Past set standards still loved to this day, and we get not so much a sequel but a re-imagining.

The story is relatively the same, with a villain, Yuga, capturing sages in paintings, so he can summon Ganon, and join with him and control the land. Simple. Across your journey you will explore both Hyrule and Lorule (Clever) and solve their respective dungeons, get the pendants for the Master Sword, and the sages to help destroy Yuga. All of this comes with a twist at the end, that honestly comes from nowhere but, ultimately, it doesn't dampen the experience.

In terms of gameplay, it is relatively the same. You still swing your sword, dash with the Pegasus Boots and make mincemeat of anything your path, but there are some subtle differences. Firstly, though Hyrule is mostly the same, it has new areas, new ways to reach areas and so on so forth. Lorule is different from the Dark World, in that it is segmented, but this again proves no issue. The game is also a lot less linear. With the exception of the very start of the game, and the Desert Palace, you can go anywhere, at any time. Do you want Rupees or Heart Pieces? Sure, do that and avoid the next dungeon.

Another interesting aspect is Ravio. Ravio rents staple items like the Hookshot for a fee, so long as you don't die. Later you can even buy these for good and have them upgraded for you by Mother Maiamai, who needs 10 baby Maiamais to upgrade a tool.

Furthermore, the Merge ability helps. You can cling to certain walls and move along those surfaces to reach new areas. While having a knowledge of the previous game will certainly help, there is a lot of new twists from new areas and abilities. If you think this is just a new story, you are wrong.

The game however, is a little less intensive, namely because of Ravio. Since you can go to any dungeon at anytime, they are all fairly simple, with a few floors or many small floors. Puzzles are good at using depth and 3D assets and lastly, as you get more powerful, the game does get easier.

The game also has a lot to do. It's got many sidequests, optional areas and people to see. 100 Maiamais, 28 Heart Pieces, 10 dungeons and bosses, and many optional places, you are spoilt for choice in how you approach the game. Hero Mode offers a harder experience, if you feel up to it of course.

Overall, this game is an absolute experience. Better than it's predecessor? Maybe. Graphically and in terms of soundtrack, stuff to do and challenge, yes. That's for you to decide.

Score: 9/10 It has it's off moments, particularly Death Mountain's interior, but overall, get this game. It's a good 3DS game, and a great Zelda game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-KqDVNowKU

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Isaac
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03-15-2014, 01:39 PM (This post was last modified: 08-22-2014, 11:25 AM by Isaac.)
To throw in a bit of a mix, I shall be posting a few of my reviews here as well. My video game repertoire is fairly limited (confined exclusively to Nintendo handhelds...also Dissidia), but if you want to see one, ask me about it and I'll see if I've played it before. My number scores are sometimes odd as I don't usually give number ratings, but they're close.

I think I'll begin with what is still to this day my favorite game of all time, Golden Sun. Other reviews I have planned are Golden Sun 2 and 3, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, and (maybe) Dragon Quest IX, among others.

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[Image: golden_sun_logo.png]

Title: Golden Sun: The Broken Seal (localized as just Golden Sun outside of Japan)
Platform: Game Boy Advance
Release Date: November 2001
Developer: Camelot
Genre: RPG


Golden Sun was one of the earliest games to be released on the Game Boy Advance, coming out shortly after it was released. And yet, despite that, it has been one of the greatest out of all the GBA games, leaving its mark on history and people alike as an extremely memorable piece of art. It also happens to be my all-time favorite game (though you may have noticed this already), despite me picking it up much later than 2001. But enough of an introduction, it's time to get to the nitty-gritty.

Golden Sun is, at its very core, an RPG. It's just that simple. You, your party, and your opponents each take turns, attacking, defending, or healing - which is the base definition of an RPG. To be technical, it's a JRPG, which is what most people think of when they hear about RPG video games, and Golden Sun was one of the first, if not the first, JRPG to hit the GBA.

The plot is you control a 17-year-old boy by the name of Isaac, and you with your similarly young friends go out into the world and stop the bad guys who would otherwise potentially destroy the world and everything in it. Don't want to say too much due to spoilers, but that's the gist. The battle system is where you see one of Golden Sun's two major gimmicks take place. You have a party of 4 (it starts at 2 or 3 but eventually rises to 4), each of which is called an "Adept", someone who is skilled at Psynergy (which is this world's equivalent of magic), a quality blessed only to a select few. Each of your party members gets a set of 6 commands to choose from:

~Attack: Your basic attack with your weapon. Your aim while in battle will be to deplete the opponent's HP to 0, and this is the cheapest (least expensive) way to do it.
~Psynergy: Cast a spell that your character has learned. These range from attacking to supporting to debuffing to healing spells; using one costs Psynergy Points (PP), which are slowly regenerated as you walk around the overworld. Psynergy may be 1 of 4 elements: Venus (Earth), Mercury (Water), Mars (Fire), or Jupiter (Wind). Based on the natural alignment of the caster (Adept), it will be either more or less powerful - for example, a Venus Adept will have their Venus-aligned Psynergy be noticeably more powerful.
~Djinn: Your characters will also have Djinn on their person, and you steadily collect them throughout the game. There's 28 in all in this game - 7 of each element. Djinn are in 1 of 3 states: Set, Standby, or Recovery. In battle, you may unleash the power of a Set Djinn, or put a Standby Djinn back to Set with this option; unleashing the power of a Set Djinn will produce a battle effect (different for each Djinn) and place that Djinn on Standby. While Djinn are still Set, they give small stat boosts to the Adept they're Set to, and (depending on the combination of Djinn that are Set) will influence what class they're currently in. Standby Djinn are used for...
~Summon: ...invoking the powers of great and powerful creatures. The more Djinn you have on Standby, the stronger a creature you may summon. There are a total of 16 summons in this game: each element (V/Mc/M/J) has 4 summons, and they are summoned by having either 1, 2, 3, or 4 Djinn of that element on Standby in your party (they don't have to be all on the same person either). All summons deal damage proportional to the targets' HP, and hit all opponents, so against bosses you will be cranking out a lot of damage. Once you use a summon, the Standby Djinn you used to initiate it will go into Recovery. While Djinn are in Recovery, they and their effects cannot be used, and they are placed on a queue where the Recovery Djinn will automatically be set again, at the rate of 1 Djinn per character per round of combat.
~Item: Use an item the character has in the inventory (max 15 slots; armor takes up 1 slot, whereas consumables can occupy 1 slot up to 30 copies).
~Defend: Brace yourself against enemy attacks. If you're defending this turn, you take 50% damage from all attacks.

On the overworld, you and your party walk around to various towns, dungeons, forests, and the like, trying to get to the end of a dungeon or accomplish a certain goal while you're in town, and so on. Most puzzles are solved via the use of Psynergy - depending on the type of Psynergy, it can be used only in battle (battle Psynergy), only outside of battle (utility Psynergy), or both (healing Psynergy). A lot of the time you'll be using utility Psynergy to get through dungeons.

Like I said earlier, this game has two main gimmicks to it. First off is the Djinn and class system; Djinn go through a cycle of Set, Standby, Recovery, and then back to Set again. While Djinn are Set, they determine what class the equipped Adept is in. Generally it's recommended that you match Adept with Djinn of their element - doing so makes them very strong in that element (it's also their default class), but restricts them to Psynergy of that element. While that is an effective strategy, you may want to mix-and-match the Djinn in your party; doing so lets your characters use Psynergy from 2 different elements (3 different elements is possible, but only in the late-game since you need 3 Djinn of 2 different elements, and each character can in this game equip at most 7), but on the flip-side the Psynergy won't be as strong as if you took the mono-element path. I have tried both methods in my numerous playthroughs of the game and both are quite effective - in fact, putting 2 Mercury Djinn on Isaac as soon as you can will make one of the bosses a whole lot easier (you'll see what I mean when you play the game). Also, with Djinn, they need to be distributed evenly throughout the party, much like building houses in Monopoly - you can't dump all the Djinn onto 1 character; you have to spread them out evenly.

What's the second gimmick to this game, you say? The color! Wherever you go - be it a village, a forest, a dungeon, a city, a battle, or even a desert, the world of Golden Sun is vibrant with color! This is what has drawn me to the game again and again throughout the years - games may keep getting bigger and better, but none have really matched the color of the world of Golden Sun. It's one of the most beautiful worlds in gaming you could ever hope to travel, and even though it's only on the GBA, the quality is absolutely superb.

There are only two things really wrong with this game, the way I see it - one of them is debatable and the other is easy to work around. The first one is the difficulty - all in all, Golden Sun is a relatively easy game, or at least it gets easier as you play it. There are some genuinely hard points in the game, but overall it doesn't get too difficult, although when you get to those hard points they are extremely difficult. (I won't tell you where; I'll let you figure that out on your own.) The second is a small bit with the battle system - when you fell an enemy, and other members in your party were given a command to attack that enemy, when their turns come around they will defend instead of attacking the other enemies present (if there are no valid targets left). It's a bit frustrating, but that shouldn't detract too much from the game itself.

When you finally finish the game and have cleared the last boss, you are given an option to save your game as "Clear Data"; this is data that you cannot continue your game with (so save it in another slot if you want to keep looking around for goodies), but it is used to transfer information to the next game in the series - Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Depending on the things you do in the first game (and there are a LOT of things you can do), that will directly influence what happens to you in the next game - in fact, it's in your best interest to play and clear Golden Sun 1 before going onto Golden Sun 2. As for what those goodies are...I will cover that in my next review.

If you ever have a chance to play Golden Sun, do so. I highly recommend it! You'll get a chance to play the game I grew up with and love even to this day. Happy gaming!

I have disappeared from here. As apology, please accept this cheery picture.

[Image: 314qek6.png]
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