It’s time to look at a Yugioh game that has been on the backburner for an extremely long amount of time. I remember playing this game for ages a super long time ago. I wish it kept track of the play time because it must have been at least 20 hours. Neither one of these games are short and they are both quite challenging. Reshef of Destruction in particular is extremely difficult and it’s a game with an almost impossible final boss. This is definitely one of the best Yugioh games I’ve ever played though and the duo probably has the best plot.
First up is The Sacred Cards. This game basically has the Battle City plot from Yugioh. A big tournament is underway which Kaiba is using to get the 3 Egyptian God Cards as well as to prove that he’s better than Yugi. The main character of the game enters the tournament as well and slowly but surely he begins to wreck every single character in the series. One fun thing about games where they make up an original character is that he is always unbelievably broken. Seriously, there is nobody who can even begin to challenge him which is pretty crazy. Can the main character stop Marik and his plans?
In the Reshef of Destruction game we get a completely original story which takes place after The Sacred Cards. It’s pretty cool that the games have a continuity. Well, the lead has saved the day but a mysterious villain known as Reshef is quickly approaching and threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Pegasus seems to be involved in this somehow and even Kaiba/Yugi are unable to stop him. It looks like they’ll have to call in the real champ to solve this issue, but can even Terry take this guy down? Seeing as how I was unable to beat the final boss I suppose the answer to that will have to be no this time. I’ll go more into that final boss in a second, but needless to say he is completely broken.
Both games have effectively the same gameplay and style which is why I figured I would go over both plots first. The gameplay is about as smooth as I’ve ever seen Yugioh. To date my favorite game in terms of gameplay is World Championship 2004 or 06 while my favorite aesthetic is Tag Force. This one isn’t quite able to top both of those, but it is able to keep up. One nice enhancement is that the game quickly auto scans the field after every turn instead of giving you prompts so it only gives you the option to use a spell card when it’s applicable. The turns go by very quickly as well. Using the back button to look at the details is a little odd so that takes some getting used to, but it’s fine.
One difference in this game compared to others is that you have to get strong enough to use various cards. Your duelist level and deck capacity goes up as you win duels. So for example you may need 250 deck space to use someone like the Summoned Skull and your Duelist level would need to be at least 50. I suppose this is to prevent you from going to the shop and assembling an intense deck but I don’t really care for this mechanic. Maybe I should specify that it is the execution which is a little dodgy. The concept could have worked but by the end game your level only goes up by one per duel and same for the capacity. It would take forever at that rate to ever get anywhere near where you would need to be to get some good cards. It’s pretty sad to have so many cards sitting in the trunk just waiting for their turn at bat. I had some great cards in Reshef which I never got to use because they were so high leveled. Keep in mind that I got to level 200+ but that still wasn’t enough.
The Sacred Cards was a difficult game but not an unfair one. With enough strategies and planning you could really end up having your way with the villains. That was more up my speed and I can tell you that it worked out quite nicely. I built a fire deck with a health amount of trap cards and I was set. As for Reshef, from early on you can tell it’l be tricky. For starters, your health points don’t regenerate between duels. This means that in some sections of the game you will have to beat up to 4 duelists in a row without gaining life points. This means you have to destroy them and even with a great deck it’s hard to show that much dominance. It took me ages to get to that point.
There’s also a new mechanic added into the game which are the type advantages. Effectively how it works is they surpass attack points. If you’ve got a fire monster with 4000 attack points and I have a water one with 200, my water type will bypass damage calculation and just destroy yours automatically. I’m guessing the game did this to counter how powerful some of the monsters are, but I don’t think it was a good idea. At the end of the day all it really did was widen the gap because the computers would really take advantage of this. I think now’s a good time to talk about the final boss and why he is easily the toughest boss I have ever faced. First off, this guy has 10,000 lift points. Next up, he has the Change of Heart spell which he will always save to snipe one of your strongest monsters. It’s hard to have any counter play to this and he can usually win the match here since it comes at such a dangerous point in the duel.
He’s also got a second version of this where he absorbs your monster and adds it to his own. Then he’s got two copies of Swords of Revealing Light which prevent all of your monsters from attacking for 3 turns. Good luck surviving this long because he can still attack during this period which can go up to 6 turns. He’s also got the wave trap which erases all of your spells and traps as well as a card that wipes out your hand. Basically no card you have anywhere is safe which adds another layer of stress. So good luck trying to beat this guy when odds are that you won’t have a high enough duelist level to use most of those abilities. They’re all just too broken and the fact that he has all of them at once is crazy.
Nevertheless, after about 50-60 rounds with him I won…or did I? After you wipe out his 10,000 life points he instantly revives. This time he has 20,000 life points. He’s got all of the cards he had before except there is one big change. He now has the God Cards in his deck. If he summons one then it’s basically game over for you. God Cards have more attack power than anything in your deck and they can’t be affected by spells or trap cards. How does a villain have this in his deck when you should possess the only copies of those cards? The whole thing is crazy and your life points don’t recover as I mentioned earlier so you’re fighting a guy at 2X power while you may be at half strength. I only made it up to this guy 2-3 times total and I got blasted away each time. Outside of codes and such he seems almost impossible to defeat nowadays. You’d need an incredible deck to put him down.
The graphics are fun enough. It’s got a nice chibi style that flows well with the story. The illustrations we get are nice and there are a good amount of backgrounds to enjoy. I do think a solid amount of effort was put into these two games and they’ve aged really well. The soundtrack is a little more on the forgettable side though. Despite the shows having excellent soundtracks I feel like the games have always been quite a few steps behind. Only Tag Force had an awesome soundtrack all the way through.
You don’t need to worry about length. As I mentioned both of the games are pretty long. You’ll be playing for a very long while as you increase your level and improve your deck. Your deck has to be incredibly powerful to even stand a chance against the villains at the end of the game. For replay value there are a bunch of post game duelists to contend with and naturally you can expect those guys to be crazy strong as well. If you are able to take them down then you will have really proven your Yugioh skills beyond a doubt.
Overall, Yugioh Double Pack is really a steal. It’s bringing two RPGs inside one cartridge for a very small price. It’s just hard to beat that, especially when both games are top tier even if the final boss for Reshef is a little too powerful. I’m sure it will feel great when you do eventually defeat him, but that’ll probably take a very long time. He’s not the kind of enemy you can just show up and defeat without a plan.
It’s time to look at the Angry Birds trilogy on the PS3. The game was definitely an odd port when it first came out because you can get Angry Birds for free on the mobile. Why pay the 30-40 bucks for console when you can do that? I suppose playing on console is more fulfilling with the controls for most games, but with the way this one plays out the mobile controls are actually your best bet either way. In the end I bought this game for a few bucks and I’d say that it’s worth the price for the sheer amount of content. You certainly can still get it on mobile but if you look at this port in a vacuum it certainly is worth a buy.
There isn’t really much of a plot here. The evil pig empire wants to take control of the birds base of operations so now the Angry Birds are being called in to put a stop to this. Keep in mind that the cutscenes don’t have any dialogue or voice acting so you have to interpret this as best you can but the games did get a movie so that also helps you get the plot across. You get some quick cinematics at the end of each chapter for the main game but not really any for the two spinoffs.
I’m not sure what the name for this kind of gameplay is, but I’d call it a motion shooter. Basically you have the bird on a slingshot and you launch him towards some constructs which have pigs in them. The goal is to hit all of the pigs before you run out of birds. From the start you can see how many birds you have so that’s how you start budgeting where to fire them. Sometimes you’ll aim for the pigs directly but other times you need to hit a part of the base and get it to all topple down. There’s a lot of factors to consider with each shot and towards the end there is a lot of trial and error or at least I ended up using a lot to get the wine.
As you go through the game you’ll start getting more advanced birds to use. The Red bird is the basic one that you launch into the air. The Yellow one can use a booster after launching so you can really power through some of the obstacles. The small blue one can turn into 3 birds after launch but they are all pretty weak so be careful on what you tackle. There’s the egg bomb bird which can drop a bomb below which deals a lot of damage. Finally there’s the actual bomb bird which blows up after a short time or you can trigger the explosion early. You’ve definitely got a lot of options for the birds and ultimately you will need to master them all.
You’ll have a lot of time to do so because the game has a crazy amount of levels to go through. We’re not just talking one or two hundred, but significantly more than that. I don’t know exactly how many there are but there’s enough content here to last you for an extremely long amount of time. You’d have to be a really big fan of the series to stick around with it for so long though. After a while you are effectively playing the same same stage. While that can be said for many titles, you really feel the repetition in Angry Birds. It’s just unrelenting even if the actual gameplay can be fun. I think it just needs more cinematics or razzle dazzle to make you want to stick around. Otherwise you’ll probably just stop playing after 100 or so levels. That’s what I did at any rate.
There are 3 games here, but they all have the same gameplay style so that doesn’t really solve the problem. My favorite was actually the summer game because I liked the level designs the most but they all have their charms. The graphics are pretty good I’d say. It’s not as if there is a lot in the game that really needs graphics so that probably made it easier for the company to focus on making those sections look good. We also get a few cinematics in the first game, but not really in the others. Calling them “cinematics” may be a bit strong since it’s mostly just stills that try to make you think they’re moving. I’m definitely still glad to have them though.
Angry Birds can be surprisingly difficult as well. Some levels took me dozens of tries to complete so they definitely weren’t your average mobile levels. The spike happens quite suddenly so even if you have a pretty good understanding of the birds and their various abilities I expect you will have some trouble here. I wonder how the final levels would be. They’ve got to be crazy since I was relatively early on in the game when I ended up putting it down. I have this nagging feeling that some of the birds have extra abilities that I don’t know about, but more likely I just wasn’t hitting the right angels.
Overall, The Angry Birds Trilogy is a fun game. It’s just not the kind of title that you want to play in long batches. I think it’s at its best a few levels at a time like most mobile games. It’s just not really convenient to be turning your console on and off so often the way you can on a cell phone. You’ll likely enjoy the game more if you play it on the mobile, but if you do choose to get the console version it is nice to have all of the content available right away. I do think more mobile games should try to port over to console though. It sounds like it should be fairly easy to do so the companies should make at least a bit of a profit in the transition.
It’s time to take a quick look at the Rayman collection I recently beat for the GBA. This one made the interesting decision of merging the first and third games in the series. I don’t really understand why they would skip the 2nd game. Maybe it just wasn’t formatted in a way that would be easy to port to the GBA the way that the others were. Either way, it’s no big loss since I’m guessing it should be rather similar to the others. This is my first real venture into the Rayman series so that was neat. I’d say that it holds up pretty well though the third game definitely more so than the first. If you are a sidescroller fan then you need to check Rayman out.
The first game is pretty intense with how difficult it is. You get 10 continues and you have to be sure to not lse a life too easily. If you died too much on a level consider restarting your system right away so you can win without that hapening. I just barely made it as I finished the game with no continues left. Of course, if I was going for the secret ending by finding all cages then that would have been another matter entirely. The controls are good, but I can’t say as much for the level designs. There are a lot of blind jumps and cheesy sections where the game just stacks the deck against you. That’s fine, but then we should get unlimited continues like in most games. I never like when the game has a limit and then you just have to start over. That doesn’t seem very fair and will just become tedious after a while.
The plot of the game is a little weak though and that’s one thing that seems true for both titles so far. It’s just that Rayman himself isn’t nearly as interesting as most of the other colorful protagonists in these kind of games. I’m assuming he will get more personality soon but right now the cast doesn’t really jump off the page so to speak. They’re all just going through the motions so to speak. Since you don’t even get to see the ending without getting the 100+ cages then it’s not even much of a satisfying end. This game is fortunately supported by the next one.
Rayman 3 is a noticeable improvement in just about every way. For starters the gameplay is a lot faster and smoother. You really feel like you are in control this time around. None of the enemies scare you and if they ever start to get a little rowdy you can quickly take them out. Your lives are quite abundant and there is no limit on retries so no worries there. There is also more of an actual story this time as we get text boxes and the villains have more of a goal. The story still isn’t at the point where it could actually be considered as a selling point, but it’s getting closer which is the important thing. Just a few more steps and it will be ready for the big leagues. Regardless, this is a title that I could recommend a lot sooner than the other one. It’s just a solid side scroller and one that holds up well as it isn’t clunky.
The graphics for both games look pretty good. Naturally the 3rd game is a little brighter and more detailed, but it’s not a huge difference. Both games are quite clear and you can tell that effort was put behind them. Likewise the soundtracks for both games are pretty similar. There are some memorable tunes in there, but nothing super intense. Either way you’ll probably be too absorbed into the levels to notice much. The levels require a lot of concentration or you will be doomed to lose quite a lot.
As far as replay value goes I’d say there is quite a bit here. In the third game I was able to get most of the collectibles naturally so the bulk of your play time will be in the first game. The third one is also shorter in general, but every bit helps. It should last you a few hours. Then the first game will definitely last a few hours and obtaining everything will extend the time even more. Just keep a look out for those lives and continues since they are very previous. Once lost they will not be returned. That’s why the stakes are so high in the first Rayman.
Overall, The Rayman 10th Anniversary game is pretty solid. Since it brings 2 games for the price of one it is already a pretty good bargain. If you haven’t played the series before then it’s the perfect way to start I’d say. It may be tough goings for a little while but you’ll certainly get a lot of experience in how to handle a platformer by the end of this. It’s why I would be a little hesitant to recommend this to a kid but given enough time I’m sure anyone would be able to clear these levels. It’s just all about repetition and trying to learn some strategies. Now I can finally go and play some of the newer Rayman games. I’ll definitely snag them at some point and we’ll see if they can possibly match these two or if they are doomed from the start. No guarantees on just how soon “at some point” means though.