No stats in this one!
Game Complete: 77%
Skill Points 484650
Levels Completed 14/18
From Russia With Love certainly left quite an impact to even get its own video game eventually. Bond has had quite a few games which tend to range from being first person shooters to third person. Fortunately this one is the latter as I tend to prefer that style. It’s a pretty good retelling of the movie’s story and even throws in some extra moments to extend the playthrough. The game’s at a reasonable length and has some bonus levels to strive for as well.
The basic plot is that the villains at Octopus (Yeah that’s their new name now instead of Spectre) have decided to trick Bond once again. They get a former Russian agent known as Tatiana to pretend to work with Bond and get him to take many risks in obtaining a device. She believes this is a legitimate mission from Russia and doesn’t realize that it’s a trap. Bond knows it’s a trap but wants to enjoy himself so he looks the other way. The characters are now on a collision course and Bond will have to watch out for an assassin that is coming after him. Will Bond be able to survive?
There are around 22 levels in the game and the goal is usually to grab some intel or just make it to the end in time. Each level has a few different objectives and once you complete them all then the mission is over. Pro tip, if you’re close to dying but about to clear the objective, just run as fast as you can. If you complete it even for a second before dying, it will create a new checkpoint so you recover all of your health when you wake up. This saved me quite a few times.
The game is rather difficult so you really need to make each shot count. Just go in guns blazing and don’t worry about the rest. The toughest enemy to deal with is a big guy who runs in with a machine gun. He can completely destroy you with just a few hits so you desperately need to pepper him with assault rifle rounds of your own or it’s game over. It’s really impressive just how daunting of an opponent he is to fight. If you lower your guard that’s it. He’s even stronger than most bosses.
Most of my losses in the game are due to this guy showing up. You can switch through your weapons and gadgets during gameplay so always try to keep an eye on which one has ammo. Another tip is that most guns have a second kind of ammo so if you run out of the first, go into the menu to switch to the other one. For that reason you should start with the backup ammo since when you finish it automatically cycles back to the normal one. It’s a pretty good way to do things.
The stealth mechanics are also handy. If you sneak up on an opponent from behind you can take him out in a single blow. This can often be very handy since you don’t have to use up any health. It’s also worth noting that the game has an upgrades section. You can build up your guns or even your armor by spending achievement points. I never quite figured out how you earn those points but by the end of the game you should have a good amount. I highly recommend using these on your armor since it extends the health bar which is incredibly useful.
If you ever do end up getting stuck in the game you could probably go back to old levels to earn more points. I assume that would work and the more level ups you get the easier the game would be. That being said, you should be in a good spot for most of these levels. The toughest level in the game by far is the first boat level. I lost that one many times before finally winning. It’s definitely difficult when you’re not at the wheel. The driver really tends to turn at the worst moments.
The graphics are definitely sharp. The game felt rather cinematic as it used cutscenes to reenact a lot of big moments from the film. We even get true fight scenes in the cutscenes which is impressive. The game put in a lot of effort and I’d say it was rewarded since the game is rather well known. This may be based on a movie but it’s no cash-in. The soundtrack is good as well with the classic Bond theme playing a few times. Aside from Bond’s voice sounding noticeably older, the game really sounds just like the movie.
So the base game is probably around 5-7 hours and then with the extra levels you can bump that up a bit. Earning all achievements should take a while too and then the game also has a big multiplayer mode. That really helps to amp up the replay value since you can have a blast staying there for hours. I’d expect no less from a big Gamecube game that’s for sure. The game was very well done and I look forward to seeing what Bond comes up with next. The series lends itself well to a third person shooter style.
I’d like the next ones to keep in the upgrading system as I always like things like that. It incentivizes you to grind the old levels to get stronger and stronger. If I had my way then all games would have some kind of level up system since it’s just so much fun to have. You never truly feel stuck when you can go back and get even stronger.
Overall, From Russia With Love is a pretty fun game. It’s a title that should be nostalgic for long time Bond fans. Even if you haven’t seen the movies you should be pretty well set here though since the game adapts the whole movie so it’s pretty new user friendly. At its core this is a story about agents from different countries all being manipulated by the villain organization. That’s a plot that you can dive into without any issues.
Frogger is back in action for yet another whirl at trying to be the best platformer in town. It’s a pretty solid title and I would say it’s probably the best Frogger yet. There are no gimmicks or anything crazy. It’s really just a solid game of Frogger even if some of the bosses occasionally seem to have a bit of a luck factor going in for them. As always the game does feel incredibly short though. It would be nice if they could bump that up just a bit next time.
The game starts with Frogger relaxing at home when he is suddenly startled by the arrival of a spaceship. The game’s intro really jumps but effectively the villains have kidnapped Frogger’s girlfriend, injured his uncle, and they’re threatening to blow up the world. Only Frogger stands in his way since the rescue team isn’t all that skilled. In fact, they quickly ask for Frogger’s help and essentially please with him to do all of the work. Well, no matter. Frogger is used to doing the heavy lifting and he will do whatever he can to save the world.
At the very least you have to give the game credit for trying to establish Frogger as more of a hero this time around. Usually he’s the more reluctant character type who grumbles about having to save the world the whole time. He doesn’t do it out of justice but out of obligation. Here he’s definitely more all in on being a hero. That said, don’t expect a huge plot either. We have more cutscenes than the average game as there is one after each world but the plot’s pretty direct. Save the girlfriend and stop
Bowser the enemy.
The gameplay is as you would expect it to be. You can move one space at a time in any direction. Press the A button to go 2 spaces which is useful for jumping over pit falls. The goal of each level is to make it to the end safely. A single hit from any enemy will cause you to lose a stock so make sure you take that into account. This is a game all about dodging so you need quick reflexes. Patience is key here since there is no time limit.
I wouldn’t say the game is particularly hard although at this point this is around the 4th Frogger game I’ve played in a row so I’m pretty used to the gameplay style as it is. The bosses on the other hand will give you some trouble. Part of the problem with these guys is it is very hard to read their movements. Keep in mind that a single touch will cause you to lose your life so there isn’t a whole lot of room for error. They do tend to follow the exact same attack patterns though so if you lose enough times then you will have it memorized. It’s just more fun to win right away of course. Each of the bosses are different and have to be fought in a different way so a good amount of effort was put in here.
In terms of length each world has 3 levels and then a boss arena. There are 7 worlds so you should have this completed in a matter of hours. There isn’t any post game content in single player mode, however this game does have a multiplayer option which will definitely come in handy. That’s something to certainly give this game some staying power so it’s greatly appreciated. Yet another thing this Frogger game has over some of the other ones.
That said, I still think the story mode needs to be longer. Not saying you should drag the game out for more reason, but maybe add in another 2 worlds so we have more levels or something. There’s a lot of fun to be had with this style of gameplay but it’s just over so fast. I’ll give the graphics a thumbs up though. The cutscenes are fun to watch and it gives the story a lot more depth than it would have otherwise.
For example the villain actually looks pretty cool. The girlfriend doesn’t get to do anything though so hopefully she will in the next game. We’ll see if the whole group returns for the next title or if they’ll all fade away as with most Frogger casts. The soundtrack isn’t particularly memorable though, I couldn’t really tell you of any specific tunes that left me nodding my head. It’s mostly going for a lot of free domain kind of themes. The only exception is the final boss theme which is absolutely the Ridley theme just completely ripped and put into this one. It was quite bold.
Overall, Frogger still has more games in the future that I need to check out but it could be a little while before I get there. It was definitely a fun ride though and if you like the concept of Frogger or the franchise in general then you should definitely check this one out. The gameplay’s a lot of fun and it’s why I applaud when the developers don’t just add random gameplay styles for kicks. Make a whole game with this style like Rescue did and then you’re all set. It’s quite fitting that the Gamecube would be the place to check out the definitive game in the series so far. Hopefully the next game is able to keep up the momentum.
No stats this time. Unfortunately the game doesn’t track anything due to no collectibles or play time in here.
Wario World is one of those games that I had been meaning to get for a very long time. After all, who wouldn’t want to experience this platformer in all its glory? Well, I can see why it never got big. It’s a good game, but it’s not a very good one. It makes some key errors in gameplay and level design that hold it back. It’s also worth mentioning that the game is quite short which is definitely not a good thing. You’d expect it to be a little longer.
The basic plot is that Wario was enjoying his riches when a dark star arrives which blows the whole thing up. Wario now needs to reunite the 4 keys in order to open up a Treasure Chest and then take the star down for good. Can Wario really manage to pull this off though or is he going to need to call in Mario to end things before it gets too serious? One thing’s for sure, he is going to make sure to grab a whole lot of treasure on the way.
There are 4 worlds in the game and each one has 2 levels and then a boss. Right away you can see how this would be shorter than the average game because that’s not really a whole lot of levels to get through. You can blast through that with ease. The individual levels are longer than the average platformer but it’s still not quite enough to completely balance things out.
The gameplay is that of a 3D platformer. You can punch enemies out or slam into them. Additionally you can pick them up after stunning an enemy and throw them into something else. The goal of each level is to grab some red gems which can be found in trap doors where you have to solve a puzzle. How many crystals you need definitely varies but on average you want to have around 5-6. Just don’t skip any trap doors and you’re good. If the trap door is glowing then that means there is a crystal in there.
Make sure you go through the trap doors that have a closed door symbol on them. Initially I didn’t go through them since it didn’t seem necessary but I found out the hard way that you need those as well. In order to enter those you need to ground pound while holding an enemy and then you are able to get in. At the end of each level is a boss so make sure you go for their weak points. The little guys you rescue during each level will give you hints on how to beat the boss. How many of them you collect also determined how your ending plays out in the game so it’s something to consider. It seems like I got the second best ending which is pretty nice.
The gameplay is decently solid although the controls definitely feel a lot more slippery than the average Mario game. Some of the jumps can be tougher than they look as a result. I liked the combat aspects of it though. Being able to punch out your enemies is pretty nice and feels like something Wario would do. I didn’t appreciate the fact that you have to collect gems though. One thing I’ve never liked is when you have to collect things because it just doesn’t feel right to me. Can’t I just breeze through the levels at my leisure?
Meanwhile the graphics are good. It definitely has that retro Gamecube feel which is always so amazing. No other console has managed to hit with quite the same level of emotional value. The boss designs are also pretty intense like the guy who looks like DK. Now there’s a power hitter if I’ve ever seen one before. He had to be a homage to DK just like we had a boss later who was like King K Rool. The designs were definitely on point.
As for the soundtrack, it’s like a Bizarro version of the Mario themes. You have Wario doing his best to make the themes sound like the classic tunes but it doesn’t really work. His singing voice simply isn’t up to par and neither are the stage instrumental themes. Ultimately this definitely isn’t one of the game’s strengths. As for replay value, at least there is some of that I suppose. You can go back to try and grab all of the upgrades and collectibles. Only issue is that aside from the ending which is less than 30 seconds anyway, there isn’t much of an incentive to doing that beyond just a general feeling that you 100% completed the game. Maybe that’s all you need I guess. So if you really like the game then it’s an added bonus.
Overall, Wario World is a good game but you can tell the studio hadn’t quite found their footing on this one yet. It feels like there are just a lot of chinks in the armor that still need to be straightened out. It had a lot of potential but as a result this title can’t beat the average platformer. Right now the going price for this game is around 70-80 bucks so I would not recommend it for that price. Even if just because the game is so short. If you find it for a good price though then it’s worth a look as such an old school title.
Spells Mastered 4/4
Harry’s Cards 27/36
Hermione’s Cards 27/36
Ron’s Cards 24/36
So far the Harry Potter games had actually been pretty decent. Unfortunately this one definitely broke the trend. This was just a bad game to be honest. The worst decision the developers made was to make this a forced collectathon game where you have to go back to the same levels over and over to collect more shields. Not only is the gameplay not all that much fun but the story is also the weakest in the franchise. When you mix that all together you definitely don’t have a winning formula at the ready.
You would have absolutely no idea what the story is if you just go through the game though. All you have for the plot here are some disjointed story cutscenes and that’s it. Roughly you’re finding an egg, completing 3 challenges and then taking on Voldemort. It’s too bad because otherwise you could have built up to the big battle gradually. It’s just hard to believe that the game has fallen so far compared to the previous ones. Still, at this point you get that I preferred the originals so I won’t compare them much going forward. Lets just talk about the Goblet of Fire on its own.
The gameplay is 3D style as you go through the levels and have to obtain Shields. A Shield is either hidden behind some obstacles or awarded after defeating a boss. Each level has a certain amount of shields but the game doesn’t tell you how many, nor does the level itself give you an indication of how many are left. There are 10 mini shields in each level as well and once you grab all 10 then you will be able to get another full sized shield. Another thing worth mentioning here is that you won’t be able to get all of the shields initially since you don’t learn the tree spell until later. So get ready to have to revisit the levels again.
There’s only around 10 levels but there are 38 shields so you have to replay each level quite a few times. I completed the game with 29 shields so you don’t need all of them but the game does make sure you at least have most of them. You have two main attack spells to deal with the enemies that show up. Pressing the A button will launch your offensive spell which works on just about everyone. Then you have your levitation spell with the B Button that you can use to raise your opponents while your teammates blast them or you can move obstacles out of the way in the game.
I haven’t mentioned yet but this game is a team styled game much like Sonic Heroes. There are always 3 of you running around in the game and the other two are controlled by A.I. if you are playing solo. They aren’t the brightest A.I. though and often times they will get stuck so you have to find them or just run far enough and they’ll magically catch up. A lot of obstacles require at least two people to levitate so you have to hope that they get the picture pretty quick.
While I wouldn’t say the gameplay itself is very bad, the computers do drain on you after a while. Additionally some of the level designs aren’t great so it feels tedious going through the same rooms over and over again. A lot of the enemy spawns never actually end so your best bet is to find an opening to run forward but often times this just means you are going to have to eat a whole lot of hits before you can actually get to safety which isn’t exactly fun. The bosses don’t give you much direction either but I won’t say much against them because part of me was impressed that there were bosses and you can still figure it out before long since there aren’t a lot of controls.
Get ready to hear the characters talking a lot though. While not as constant as in How to Train Your Dragon 2, they do repeat the same lines over and over again as the game goes on which can get old pretty quickly. You wish they would have a little more restraint with that. The graphics are okay although the cutscenes aren’t as sharp as the older games. The soundtrack is surprisingly good so that’s one positive I can give the game. It has a Star Wars vibe and at least puts some real soul into the tunes. It definitely beats the alternative of having a more robotic feel or uninspiring music. This way you can at least listen to good tunes.
There isn’t much replay value to be found here but I suppose finding all of the shields will have to do. You can also try to unlock extra cards by finding other collectibles and mastering your spells. I ended up getting most of the cards naturally so I don’t think this will take you very long at all. The toughest part about 100% completing this game is probably going to be getting the shields on the challenge levels. Those levels definitely don’t allow for many mistakes so you will really have to master the style.
Overall, It’s not often that I give a game a score under a 5 because most games are enjoyable in their own way. It takes a lot to be what I consider a “bad’ game but this one would fit the bill. The gameplay just isn’t fun. The levels lose any enjoyment they might have had when you have to play them over and over again. The obstacles don’t save either so you have to keep on performing the same actions each time you enter the level. There was no effort put into the story so the whole experience just isn’t satisfying. The biggest flaw of the game was the collectathon angle but without it, you would have just had a super short game that wasn’t memorable. It would have been preferable to this, but either way this wasn’t close to being a great game. I’m hoping that the next Harry Potter game steps its game up.
Mega Man X Collection is one of those games that I have always wanted to get. Who wouldn’t want to play a collection of 6 titles all packed into one mega experience? The X Collection is a treasure trove of important moments in Capcom’s history and it’s fairly out of print so I had to pay a bit of a premium to grab it. It was worth the trouble though and ended up being a pretty masterful game. The titles are all about as hard as I remember as well. Good luck taking them down.
As I had already played X1 and X4 previously I didn’t replay those. The collection brings all of the games up through X6 and I already got X7-X8 on the PS2 a while back. It’s pretty fun to see how the games have improved over the years. There is a noticeable jump in the graphics as you go through. I would say the biggest jump was from X3-X5 in that it now looked like a fully modern experience. You could release that game today and nobody would bat an eye because it would not feel out of place. The core gameplay for each of these titles is largely unchanged though. They are 2D shooters with some platforming involved.
The goal of each level is to make it to the end and then destroy the robot master who is in your way. This won’t be an easy task of course but it is one that you will need to complete. Once you’ve beaten the 8 bosses of the game then you always head to the final stages is around 3-4 back to back levels of taking on new opponents as well as beating up the 8 masters once again. For each game I would focus on beating the 8 masters initially as my completion and didn’t go for the gold with the climax levels this time around. It was nostalgic enough going through those moments so I didn’t think I needed to go further.
Sigma tends to make an appearance in every game but the plots are very different. One of them has the Sigma virus going around and mutating everyone while another one has the Nightmare virus which even affects Zero. Sometimes you have Zero available to play with from the start and other times he is presumed dead so you don’t see him for a while. The various plots are always a lot of fun. X definitely goes all in with the stories compared to the classic Mega Man games. This is why we need an anime to adapt them at some point but in the meanwhile the manga has done a good job of this.
The game gives you the ability to customize the controls which is handy. I always switch the boost to R instead of X. I don’t see how you can boost efficiently with it there. You can also toggle the difficulty level and even start off with a super armor if you want. I like these little tweaks. They are good quality of life upgrades that you want to see in these games. Even with this the games are suitably hard so you don’t need to worry about that.
Naturally the graphics are really good here. The character models are on point and the stage designs are good as well. The soundtrack is also excellent. The X series has so many winning themes that you will lose track by the end. It’s just another reason why the X series is so good. It knows exactly how to deliver on its strengths. As for replay value, each game has some since you can look for power ups and new armors. Additionally each game is difficult enough where it should last you a good amount of time anyway. You won’t be finishing this game very quickly at all so content is the least of your worries. That said, the price is definitely excessively high right now so good luck finding it at a value price. Most likely you will have to shell out a lot for this one. It’s definitely worth it if you are a big fan of the series though.
It’s crazy to think that Capcom has completely ditched this series and yet they really have. I dare say Mega Man could still be a household name if Capcom had kept going instead of ditching it for other things. The storylines alone are enough to make this super engaging for future gamers. Just show them X and the other reploids who helped him out through the years like Zero and you’re set. Keep in the fully animated cutscenes for the games as well since they also helped to establish this as a very big game series with high stakes.
The collection also brings Battle and Chase but to get this you have to complete the first three games completely which is definitely difficult. I didn’t go back to the first one at all anyway but it is a really cool reward for the fans who managed to pull this off. What could be better than getting another complete game for your troubles right? Battle and Chase is also pretty obscure so this would likely be your first time playing it. The X Collection certainly didn’t go cheap with the content and it’s one of the reasons this became an eternal classic. It may not have as many games as the Mega Man Anniversary collection but that one has less story and cutscenes so I imagine it was easier to fit them all there.
Overall, Mega Man X Collection is a great collection of games. Each title here is a complete game from the original Mega Man X days and they all hold up well. Naturally the most polished ones are the final two but they were all developed well and without shortcuts. I don’t see you having any issue with any of the titles presented here. They will absolutely test your gameplay fundamentals though. With the exception of one moving spike level, I thought all of the levels were pretty fair as well. If you learn and memorize the villain’s fighting pattern then you should be all good to go here.