7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Brave Review

Video games based on movies always have a certain reputation that comes along with them. People just expect these games to not be very good and this is warranted by the multitude of games that came out in the early 2000s…..or did they? See, a lot of games based on movies did come out in that era, but I’d argue that a lot of them were really good. The Matrix, Spider-Man 1-3, X-Men 3, etc. These games were actually a lot of fun and then you’ve got titles like The Incredibles or Superman Shadow of Apokolips (Based on a show at least) which were also solid. Now there have been some terrible ones like Finding Nemo, but I’d argue it balances out well. Brave is a solid game in its own right and I’d recommend checking it out.

The plot seems to cover what the movie did in abridged form although I have not watched the movie yet so I can’t say that with 100% confidence. Basically the main character’s Mom is turned into a bear so now she must find a way to turn her back. Meanwhile there is an evil bear who is spreading evil throughout the world and corrupting everybody. If he isn’t stopped soon then there will be no going back. The lead has to learn that bravery is something that comes from within and the way to save her Mother may have something to do with this. The only thing left to do now is fight!

The gameplay is fairly standard. You start out at the Ring of Stones which is effectively the hub world although I hesitate to say that because there is nothing to do here. It’s a blank field you can run around in and it leads you to the 9 levels. Each time you clear one level then the gateway to the next one opens up which allows you to challenge it. There’s not really much more than that to do here so maybe lets just call it the hub. Once inside of the level the goal is to get to the end. This is done by running and jumping through the obstacles. You’ll have to beat a lot of the levels as it is part beat em up. When you beat all of the enemies the force field will leave and you can proceed forward. The levels are fairly quick and you can knock out the full game in a few hours. I don’t know exactly how long it took me, but it was between 4-6 hours I’d say.

In combat you have two weapons. The first is the sword which the game seems to think is your main weapon but don’t let that fool you. It’s nice and you can slice enemies up pretty quickly but there’s no reason to use it. The reason for that is you have a bow which fires unlimited arrows machine gun style. While the damage is slightly lower it compensates well with how many arrows you’re shooting. You can also run at full speed while shooting which is rare for any game. As a result there is no downside to constantly shooting as you are running. Not a bad idea right? I went with the arrows for the whole game and it was worth it. I didn’t die at all throughout my whole playthrough (until the final boss) which yeah that isn’t too impressive considering what game it is, but it still felt pretty good.

As you play through the game you will find upgrades for your sword and arrows as well as other costumes and tapestries which increase your base stats. You can also buy other upgrades at each save point which are pretty handy. They aren’t hidden all that far away from the main path so I was actually able to get almost all of them despite focusing on just clearing the game the whole time. It’s really not much of a time sink to quickly turn around and grab them so I’d recommend doing so. Additionally if you aim to get the Platinum trophy you’ll need to do this at some point anyway so what better time than the present right?

The graphics are fairly decent. It does look more like a PS2 game than PS3, but it’s not like the character models are blocky or anything. You’re always still sure of what’s happening next and there are a good amount of cinematics here to give you that movie feel. There isn’t really a soundtrack unfortunately so that does keep this from feeling like a higher budget title. I’d say that the main giveaways to this not being a big AAA game is how there are some re-used cutscenes and how simple the controls are. I don’t think simple controls is inherently a bad thing though. With good level design and a solid gameplay option you can really make this work out. Just look at the old Sonic or Mega Man games. There weren’t a bunch of controls but they were still a lot of fun.

If anything holds this game back it’s the length, but you can buy this game for cheap nowadays so I don’t think you’ll feel too badly about it. There is also the replay value thanks to the trophies which keeps this from being too short as well. Brave is just a fun game and it feels like a nice relic of the past. You don’t really see quick cash-in games like this anymore and it’s a shame. It’s not the kind of game you’d buy for 60, but it’s one that is always fun to stumble upon in Gamestop. It’s easily worth the price nowadays.

Overall, Brave is a very good game. I’m not saying it’s great and it’s not going for game of the year awards, but there’s really nothing bad to say about it. The ability to shoot endless arrows is admittedly very cheesy, but it does help this feel more like an arcade game. You can just dive into the game and take down as many enemies as you can. You can even turn it into a minigame with yourself to see how long you can go without getting hit. Some of the last levels will give you a nice challenge there and as I mentioned I did die a few times during the final boss. That one throws enemy after enemy at you so taking them all down isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s good reaction time practice since if you jump at the right time you should be able to dodge any attack.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Overlord: Dark Legend Review

Overlord Dark Legend is one of those Wii games that I found in the 5 dollar bin. It stayed in the backlog for quite a while though as the game just didn’t inspire much confidence. Still, I looked up a gameplay video and figured…why not? Anyway it’s a reasonably fun game with some nice mechanics but also some glitches. These glitches could be fairly big ones as well like in one of the final bosses. It was actually handy this time around though so I wasn’t really upset about it.

The plot follows the prince of an old kingdom. His Father went off to fight evil but while he was gone his step wife’s two kids decided to take over the kingdom even though the main character was supposed to take it over. Our young main character decides that he will take the kingdom back using the powers of darkness. He will prove once and for all who the most evil prince is. Can he really hope to stop his siblings and their armies of Elves and Dwarves? Well, The Overlord has his own army of Goblins so perhaps they are up to the challenge.

The execution may not have been amazing but the actual plot really wasn’t all that bad. A villain having to stop two worse antagonists in order to reclaim his kingdom makes you wonder if perhaps this time you should root for the villain. There’s also a big Elf vs Dwarves was going on in the background and you trick then into escalating it even further. Then there are even some Fairy Tales like the Gingerbread House here. That part actually gets pretty dark. There aren’t really any cutscenes so the game has to make up for this with the text and constant banter of your partner. That guy was a little annoying but he didn’t appear too often so it was never much of a problem. The NPCs were more annoying as their sound byte would just keep replaying over and over again. Once you’ve heard them once you were good. By the 19th time you will be ready to leave the Kingdom.

The gameplay is standard 3D and it’s a platformer. You don’t do much jumping so maybe that isn’t accurate but you traverse through the levels and typically try to get to the end or destroy something. You have a sword and a variety of attack spells, the main gimmick for the game is that you also have a bunch of minions following around. They come in different types like Fire, Water, and Poison. Each type has a different specialty in combat and also a special ability during the platforming parts like retrieving items from the water or inside a poison smoke ball. Dont worry about forgetting any of the abilities since the levels force you to use all of them at many points in the game. When fighting you can order all of them to help you or split them up. This has a good amount of potential with all of the strategy involved here but the Wii remote ensures that your decisions aren’t as precise as they could be. Throw in the glitches and poor A.I. and you’ll soon find yourself just sending the full group after any enemy you come across. It’s typically the best move anyway.

Speaking of poor design, there’s a boss in the game that you can defeat without getting hit once. This isn’t even due to a glitch. You fight a giant robot in a fire area. The part that the game forgot is they left you a high platform that was needed earlier. So just head up there and tell your Fire minions to attack. They will throw fireballs at the robot and eventually you will claim victory. The robot has no projectiles so he can’t fight back and the A.I. doesn’t even know what to do so the boss just ends up standing in place. It may be a cheesy way to win but the game really should have thought that one through. Despite this boss, the game does start to get a little difficult by the end. It certainly never stops being manageable but you do have to wonder how much harder the game could have been if it had continued on for another level or two.

The game certainly isn’t pretty to look at. That will certainly be one of your first thoughts while traversing through the game. The graphics are definitely pretty low tier for the Wii and the style itself doesn’t help matters. The level backdrops seem as if they were intended to be known a game like the Ocarina of Time but with the grit of the World of Warcraft. I can confirm that the game could not pull this off. There also isn’t much of a soundtrack to listen to here as it is all instantly forgettable. It feels like it was probably just a lot of public domain music. A game doesn’t need to sound or look good in order to be a quality title but those aspects would have helped.

The game is also quite glitchy as I mentioned earlier. One of the final bosses is supposed to slam you with his sword as you slam back. Once enough damage has been done then the boss will teleport around the level and start to gain health until you track him down. This was pretty tricky since the level is quite large and after a while you will simply run out of minions to fight with. I lost to this guy a few times but then something happened. I left the area by mistake and cane back. The boss restarted but this time he had forgotten how to heal or teleport. He just stood in place halfheartedly flailing around with his sword but not actually dealing much damage. Without his special abilities it was fairly easy to take him down for the count. A pretty big glitch but one I could work with. Honestly it was mostly the bosses in general who seemed to glitch a lot as it also happened in the gingerbread house. There were times where a minion would get stuck in an action or freeze inside of a boulder. It was just a very glitchy game and something that you would expect given the price.

There definitely isn’t much in the way of replay value either. Once you beat the game you can try to get some more upgrades and fight the boss but there is no real reward for doing so. That may work in some games like Mario Odyssey where it’s all about the pride but for the most part that just isn’t good enough. I want to have a reason for doing something and especially for a game like this one. The actual campaign is a reasonable length and will definitely last you some hours. It’s not short but certainly not long. I’d place the game closer to the middle as far as action platformers go.

Overall, Overlord is definitely a unique game. Playing as the villains is already something that you wouldn’t really expect and the Pikmin mechanic isn’t something you see often either. For good reason though as I prefer to just be running through the level solo so I don’t have to watch out for my minions. I suppose I’d recommend this game as there at least was some effort put behind it. It’s not exactly Shakespeare but it does have a real story and plot. It was fairly interesting and while the gameplay wasn’t polished, it’s hard to deny that the 3D hack and slash gameplay was intense. If you do check this game out, I’d recommend sticking to the Lightning.

Overall 6/10