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Trinity Universe Review
Trinity Universe is a game that I had on the backlog for many years. It’s a long visual novel/rpg title so I had to wait for a good opportunity to check it out. Well, the future is now as they say and I finally got to take it out. This is definitely a game that has a high difficulty level so be prepared to grind a whole lot if you want to make it to the end. Fortunately the level ups come quickly and there are a ton of mechanics involved here so eventually you’ll be in a good spot.
There are two story modes here but I opted to play Kanata’s story. He’s known as the Demon Dog King and he has decided to rebel against his destiny. See, he was supposed to become the Demon God Gem but doing so would mean that he would lose his humanity and become…well a gem. So instead he wants to be a great adventurer and figures he can save the planet another way. Becoming the gem would have stopped the countless falling objects from obliterating the Netheruniverse but he figures he can stop them one at a time instead. Doing that would allow him to keep his humanity while also having a lot of fun. It’s the best of both worlds you could say but of course that means everyone is after him now.
It’s a fun story but the game doesn’t take it all that seriously. At its core this game is still part parody so the characters break the fourth wall and there are some jokes about the budget and everything. I wouldn’t say that any of the characters are all that great either. For the most part they’re good but if you pit them against any other RPG they’re probably getting taken out pretty easily. The humor is mainly the characters repeating their gags over and over so it doesn’t have the same energy and focus as a mainline Disgaea game. Now those would really have a lot of great dialogue throughout.
I also think they could have done a little more than the simple character portraits for all of the dialogue. A little movement or animation would have been nice but this is something that mainly comes with the genre/territory so I can’t go in too hard on that. The graphics look pretty nice once you’re actually playing the game so that’s definitely a plus. Meanwhile the soundtrack is a lot of fun too. I think they could have had more variety in the hub world though since there is only a single track that just plays on loop over and over again.
Fortunately the dungeons have a lot of solid themes. The encounter theme is good and there’s a solid rock one for the bosses. A good soundtrack is always important for these things. The game is also fairly long so when you mix in the difficulty level then you know that you will be here for quite a while. The gameplay mechanics are a bit complicated so it’ll also take you a little time to get those down. Don’t expect that you’re just going to wake up and start cranking out those wins.
So the main flow of the game is that you’ll watch a few events and then you’ll head into a dungeon. You run through the rooms as minions attack you until you get to the boss at the end. Beat him and the chapter will usually end before taking you to the next one. It’s a fairly straight forward approach but my advice is to always save when you go back to the hub world. Sometimes an event will trigger an instant boss fight instead of waiting for the dungeon and you don’t want to be caught with your guard down. Now that would be tricky.
Once the battle starts, the game becomes a turn based title. You have a certain amount of energy that you can use for different moves. Lets say you have 50 energy. Your standard attack takes up 10, special takes 12, and your power blow takes 15. You can use any variation of those until you run out of energy or skip your turn so next time you start with 100. The benefit to skipping your turn is that there are several combinations which turn into combos and deal mega damage. For example, 5 special attacks in a row would cost 60 energy but it would trigger a combo. Personally I always skipped a turn with all 4 players and then launched into big moves.
You can look up some combos on the pause menu but a lot of them don’t show up so just memorize them as you play through the game. You can also press R1 to try and launch a team combo right when you’re running out of energy. You then have to press the right button while the meter is in the green which can be surprisingly difficult. This only triggers if you’ve landed multiple solid combos already. There’s also a final smash with R3 but that one is tougher to use because it doesn’t always work. Once you’ve started one attack, the energy starts dropping automatically so make sure you don’t take too long to think.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a lot more to it but you can see how this game is really detailed the whole time. When you’re not battling you want to grab as many minerals and resources as possible. These are later used to synthesize new weapons and equipment. Those are super helpful so you’ll want to have them. The game does suffer from missing some quality of life features though like being able to directly compare the stats to something that you already have so be prepared for pausing and unpausing the game a lot.
Once you reach chapter 11 then you finally get the meteorites which is super helpful for grinding. The best thing to do is to grab a bunch of the ones that increase your souls so that you can beat one enemy and get 99 souls. Leverage that into creating a monster that will drop an AttackX3 which you can use to increase your attack power by close to 500. Rinse and repeat with every other stat until your guys are absolutely overpowered. The stat increases are way better than leveling up which is probably why the game locks them until the very end of the game.
This is a game where you will want to write a lot of notes or just look up a guide on the best places to grind and where each mineral spawns. Otherwise you’re going to have a tough time finding what you need and that can take a while. Also, be warned that the game does have a “dark” ending if you haven’t done enough. Based on the text it seems like you’re supposed to clear a bunch of side missions which I never really bothered with. It certainly makes for a unique ending though, that’s for sure. I wasn’t expecting things to play out the way that they did at all so it really took me by surprise.
As for the story, well it boils down to fighting Rizelea a bunch of times before finally uniting against a common threat. It’s a classic kind of plot that works well enough but the game is just going through the motions most of the time. As a lead Kanata is okay but rarely knows when to actually get serious. He’s also so strong that almost nobody is a threat to him. Rizelea is fun though and probably one of the highlights here. You can always count on her to steal the stage when she appears and get everyone to focus up.
Etna is always fun for just how over the top evil she is. She makes it quite clear to the others and to the audience that she is still a demon through and through. Flonne’s role here is interesting as she’s still in her more evil appearance from the end of Diagaea. I thought that was a nice nod to the continuity and it’s fitting that the guest characters would be some of the best here. Lucius is the dark hero and has a cool voice. I like the concept behind his character. He may not do a lot but he always talks tough which is appreciated it.
Tsubaki is incredibly loyal to Kanata and always takes his side even if she doesn’t agree with it. I suppose you have to admire her loyalty but sometimes it can hurt her character as I would like her to call him out more. Throughout the game she is hinting at some kind of secret plot but that doesn’t really go anywhere so either it’s in the true ending or was for a sequel. Finally you have Mizuki who tries her best to be the very hyper heroine but often falls flat. Half the time there is nothing for her to do so she’ll just make a random comment. The game’s very self aware about this and so I would say the concept behind her character was better than the execution. The script in general for the characters could be fun at times but really could have benefited from more actual animation.
Overall, Trinity Universe is a fun game. Mainly it’s solid because of the gameplay and how much effort went into that. It does come to a point where I think the game overcomplicates some things and could have gone for a more simple route but it’s still fun. The story also holds it back from taking the next step to an 8 because it can be a bit repetitive and never gets quite as emotional or intense as the average RPG. On that front it just can’t keep up but you should still find the characters amusing enough. I do give the title props for being almost fully voice acted even with so much dialogue and characters here.
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory Review
Melody of Memory is a game that looked pretty fun when it came out. I didn’t end up getting it day 1 but I’ve gotten low key a bit more into these rhythm type games. I like testing my reaction times and how quickly I can hit the objects at the right time. This looked like it would be a fairly high budget version of that and the game doesn’t disappoint. If you’re going to get a rhythm game then you really can’t do much better than this one. Every part of the game from presentation to gameplay is on point.
The game is effectively Kairi recounting the events from the entire series. This goes from the very first game in the series all the way to Kingdom Hearts III. Additionally at the very end of the game we also get to see some events after 3 which was a lot of fun. They put in a good amount of plot development here which feels like a nice treat after going through all of the recaps.
So why does the game work so well? Part of it is just because of how polished it all is. Right when you launch the game you’re greeted with a lot of great music, top notch visuals, and everything feels very user friendly. You can immediately tell what you have to do and you can also look around in free roam to quickly see how long the game is. There are just so many great tools right at your finger tips and there is a ton of replay value here. Even after beating all of the levels, you can play on different difficulty levels and earn some PS4 trophies.
Obtaining the platinum trophy here would definitely take a very long time but at the same time it feels very doable. It’s not the kind of platinum that ever feels impossible, it would just take a lot of effort. I could see myself going for it someday but right now the game is long enough where I wouldn’t be putting that as one of my higher priorities. The normal game length is already rather solid as it is.
So for the gameplay, it’s classic rhythm style. You have to press buttons at the right time in order to score points and keep moving forward. If you completely miss by pressing the button too quickly or too slowly then you will lose your chain as well as some health. Do this too often and you will lose the level. On both easy and standard difficulties you probably won’t have to worry about losing very much but once you hit critical mode then that starts to be a real concern. I tried to do one level in critical mode and lost quite a few times.
Note that you don’t need to touch critical mode in order to beat the game although if your skills are good enough it can speed things up. See, each level grants you up to 3 stars if you can complete the level while meeting certain conditions. There are a lot of gates that block your way based on the amount of stars that you have. So the more you can 3/3 complete a stage, the less stages you actually have to play in order to complete the game. For example, there were a number of stages I didn’t have to play because I always tried to maximize my stars right from the start.
They don’t start asking you to beat the levels on critical mode until near the end. I mainly stuck with standard so towards the end I had to play almost all of the levels. It’s always a good idea to check what the stars are for before you play the stage. That way you can plan out which stars you want to aim for and which ones you will just bypass instead. There are also different kinds of stages. Most are the standard levels but then you have some boss levels. These add 2 new buttons to worry about which are the analog sticks. You will have to move them in different directions all while pressing the various buttons. The timing really gets tough.
But it gets tough in a fun way. Part of what works about this game is that the difficulty level can be intense but each level isn’t long so replaying it isn’t bad. The series also has a lot of great tracks throughout and so you don’t feel bad about having to get in there several times. It also feels fair even when it’s being very difficult. Like you know that you had a chance and just didn’t capitalize on it.
As you play through the game you’ll find out what works for you and what the most efficient way to land your combos is. For me I liked to just use the X button for all 3 sides when I could and then when 2 buttons were needed I would use L1 if opponents were on the left and R1 for the right. Some may like to keep this a bit more strict and always use L1 for the left to increase muscle memory. It’s all strategy that you can decide on your own since the game really leaves you to your own devices. Again, the levels are short so feel free to experiment and if it doesn’t work out you can just try the stage again.
Overall, Melody of Memory is a very great game. It really was nice that they used the climax as a way to continue the story and we got a cool battle cutscene out of it. Reliving the memories of the other games was also a lot of fun. The only change I would have made would be to have had some of the actual dialogue there instead of Kairi just narrating it all but I suppose that could have taken away a bit from her being the main character. It still made sense to me but that’s probably why they made that move. If you haven’t bought this game yet, I would definitely recommend changing that asap!
Pac Man World: Re Pac Review
When I heard that Pac Man World was getting a remake I knew that I had to be there. Pac Man World 2 is still one of the best platformers on the block. It was a really memorable game with a whole lot going for it. Great level designs, a cool story, great characters, etc. Could the original World actually beat it? I had to know. Ultimately I would say World 2 still wins but this is a fun game. I’d even say it beats the two Ghostly Adventure games rather easily. The only thing holding it back is how short it is at under 3 hours. I know platformers tend to be more on the short side but this just felt excessive. There is bonus content to work on though.
The plot revolves around Toc-Man ordering the ghosts to kidnap Pac Man’s family. Pac Man is definitely not amused when he arrives home and decides to save all of them. No matter where they have been taken it will not be far enough to escape from Pac’s wrath. He will go to the end s of the Earth if that’s what it takes so Toc Man better watch out. Each world has a family member waiting to be saved. You technically don’t have to save them but it helps a lot for the final boss. In fact I only barely won on my final heart pieces so without having these guys at the ready I would have been doomed. It would have all been over for me.
I do think they nerfed the cutscenes from the original game though. After watching the original, it was just better in every way. Pac Man’s yell was just plain iconic and it showed how much the whole thing broke him. He was real upset at losing his family and the reaction made sense. Then you have the fact that everyone is talking normally in the original but then they changed it to random sounds in the remake. Definitely not a good decision imo. It’s not something that would hurt the game itself as you could only know that by seeing the original but it’s a really questionable decision.
Back to the levels though, the biggest aspect to any platformer is the gameplay. This is much more important than the story when you think about it. To an extent the gameplay is always the most important but to the degree of which that is true will differ from game to game. The levels are all really solid as I mentioned before. Maybe 1 or 2 of them will give you some trouble but for the most part you’ll be blasting through. If you want to grab all of the collectibles in a level then that will take you more time. So you either go the direct route to beat the game or you take all of the twists and turns as you try to 100% clear it. The game doesn’t try to force you to grab the collectibles which I think is always a good thing.
Your controls are fairly basic so you should have the hang of them right away. You can move, jump, ground pound, and do a dash. Between those moves it may sound easy but there’s still some good ways to really get good at it. You don’t use the dash too much compared to World 2 where I remember that being a big deal but everything has its moments. Of course you can also eat ghosts when a power pellet is around. This doesn’t happen too often but it’s always a cool attack to use.
That said, the story is still fun. Having Pac’s family get kidnapped is certainly an intense way to kick things off. This game’s got a happy tone to it of course so don’t expect things to get too crazy but it still works well. Then we have the big climactic battle at the end and you get to see if Pac-Man is holding a grudge or not. The ending’s humor definitely lands really well.
The soundtrack is also a lot of fun. The sound effects are all nostalgic and the stage themes have aged really well. The graphics are also really good here and a good amount of effort was put into the game on all sides. The story may be short but there’s a lot of replay value in trying to get the Platinum trophy as I mentioned earlier. That’s sure to keep you busy for a while. At the end of the day the game is a lot of fun and that’s always the objective of every title. Hopefully if this game does well enough they’ll make a brand new Pac Man game set in the World continuity. Surely there is still a whole lot you can do here.
While I wouldn’t say the game is hard on the whole, the final boss is surprisingly challenging so you don’t want to let your guard down around him. I came super close to losing him. It’s really hard to land your bounce attack without actually getting hit at the same time. So I ended up going for a lot of trades there. I don’t believe it was the optimal way to win but a win’s a win right? As long as you can claim victory then you should be all set.
The platinum doesn’t look very hard so I’ll definitely work on it at some point but it could be a little while before that happens. I’ll probably work on the easy trophies first and then go from there. I do tend to mainly grab the Platinum trophies from all of the platformers though so this would be another good one to add onto the list. After all, how long can it take to beat all of the levels again right? Probably not too long I’d expect but of course I could be underestimating the difficulty a bit. If there’s any trophy for beating the final boss without getting hit or something then I’d really be in trouble.
Overall, Pac Man World: Re Pac is a very fun game. It’s nostalgic to play through this adventure and I would recommend it to anyone that likes to play a very wholesome title. You will get to learn a lot of the fundamentals about platforming while also just enjoying the scenery. There’s not a whole lot to say about the game because it’s so straight forward but that’s also part of why it’s easy to recommend. It’s hard to see anyone disliking the game. You’re able to pick it up and just start playing at any time.
Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures 2 Review
I had this game on my list for so many years before finally taking the plunge and buying it. The TV show wasn’t great to say the least but the series always had a lot of potential in video game format. How can you mess up a solid platformer experience right? In the end this one’s not great by any means and just goes through the motions but I would say it’s a smooth experience and a title you’ll want to check out.
The story starts with Betrayus plotting a whole new scheme. This time he really may take over the entire planet. Pac Man and his friends will have to try and take this guy down a few steps but when it turns out that Pac’s parents may be hostages that changes things. Pac will have to handle some fairly high stakes here and make difficult decisions but whether he makes the right ones remains to be seen.
The story’s definitely not going to be the selling point here. I mean it’s cool that the cutscenes are fully animated and all but at the same time it’s still going for the show’s vibe which is a comedy that’s not super funny. At times it can be just campy enough where it turns into being funny though. This may not be the proudest version of Pac Man for his fans but at least he’s a good kid at heart. If he was just a little smarter then things would have been easier for him. At least one credit you can give to the guy is that he’s always ready to jump into action.
There are 5 worlds here and each one has about 10 levels. Then you have challenge levels in most of the worlds and also a hub world where you can talk to people. So there’s a reasonable amount of gameplay here but I still wouldn’t call the game very long. I beat it in about 2 batches. Each level is bite sized so even though there are a lot of them, you shouldn’t have too much trouble here. At most the glitches might slow you down. I ran into level ending glitches 2-3 times where I was caught in an eternal death loop and just had to quit out. Another time I jumped far enough where I made it to the next checkpoint but I bypassed the power up I needed. So with no way to go forward or backwards I was just stuck.
I would say the gameplay is very smooth outside of the glitches though so you could say I just had a little case of bad luck here. The various power up forms do help to spice up the gameplay. I’m not a big fan of the magnetic form as I felt like it would just slow things down whenever it appeared but the rest are fun. The bosses all have actual strategies and unique features to them so those were handled well. You may even find yourself losing a life or two here and there.
You’re never in danger of a game over though as you accumulate lives faster than you can lose them. In that way I think the game was a little too generous. I’m sure it was aiming fairly young given how the story is but you could ramp up the game’s difficulty level just a bit if you ask me. The Platinum trophy looks easy to obtain though which I’m glad about. One day I see myself going back to this one to get that Platinum.
In terms of graphics I would say the game holds up well. It has a colorful atmosphere to it that just tends to age well. The character designs are good and the levels are on point. Then for the soundtrack it’s a bit limited but you’ll remember the songs from the show which is certainly nostalgic. The series really did well on a technical level, it just wasn’t able to ultimately seal the deal and that’s why it works better as a game. There is less to mess up you could say.
At the end of the day this is a fairly simple platformer and not one that you would buy over Mario and Sonic. That said, it is certainly a good game and if you can find it for a good price then it’s worth it. I’ll never forget seeing it compared to Mario Galaxy way back in the day. I wouldn’t say this one is quite as good and polished as Mario but it’s a platformer that should be able to hold its head high. Throw in a more engaging story and I dare say it could have really started to do some numbers. At the end of the day the story just wasn’t super engaging here.
Overall, Pac Man and the Ghostly Adventures is a period in time that is pretty much forgotten at this point. Now Pac has gone back to his roots with the World series and I don’t see the Ghostly Adventures ever playing much of a part again. I’m afraid that this era is probably completely over and technically that’s a good thing. It would have been nice if we could have gotten just one more game to end the saga though. That would have been enough to tie everything together instead of the loose ends. I suppose you can always imagine how it would have played out though.
SpyHunter 2 Review
It’s time to finally jump into the next installment in the SpyHunter series. The first one was a reasonably solid game that didn’t have a big story mode but the gameplay was pretty solid. This one switches things up quite a bit. There aren’t a lot of objectives you have to complete in every level this time, typically there will just be 2-3 and they are done one at a time instead of being all at once. As a result the gameplay experience is a lot smoother and this one definitely beats the original.
You’re given the story objectives through the loading screens each time but effectively another terrorist group is around and they’re causing mayhem. Funding the wrong people, causing explosions and damages, etc. It’s now up to the main character to put a stop to this. He now has one ally, a professional agent who is so skilled that she gets the opening cutscene here. Will these two be enough to stop the villains or have they already lost when faced with this much unchecked power!
So the general gameplay is that of a 3D racer. You drive your car through the levels and blast away at all of the enemies who attack you. Typically there is some kind of opponent to beat at the end but other levels will have you protect someone or have to destroy a bunch of objects. There are no literal races here as every mission is serious business. You have two weapons and a defensive option at the ready. You unlock new upgrades every few levels and the game will always default you to the most recent ones. Often times that’s for the best but on the defense side I actually preferred the forcefield that gives you complete invincibility for a little while over the improved armor which was technically scored higher.
It’s nice that you actually get to customize your weapons this time around though. That’s not something you were really able to do back in the day. The level designs are all pretty sharp as well. Only once did I think the level wasn’t too straight forward. It was a water level where you had to use a lot of short cuts through the pipes but because the pipes were everywhere the whole thing got confusing really quickly.
Now this is not an easy game by any means. Expect to die quite a lot because your vehicle doesn’t have a lot of durability. Aiming is also very rough here so a lot of times you will be blasting right at an opponent and still missing somehow. I definitely think that part could have been refined a whole lot more than how it was. Something tells me it was not intentional but hey…if it was intentional then I guess that’s fine…not. Still should have been more usable.
The best thing to do sometimes is to just circle back. Never let an opponent get behind you because then they start blasting and the next thing you know, your car is completely broken. Losing some time to get behind them is always worth it. Fortunately later on in the game you get a smoke attack that shoots behind you and it is easily the best tool at your disposal. It can beat just about any minion instantly and it even works on some of the bosses. I remember having trouble with one of them so I went on ahead and used the smoke. Surprisingly it did the job.
The game does allow you to be a little creative here. It’s also done in a way where you don’t feel too annoyed at having to start over again. I’d say it’s because the game is fast paced and the soundtrack is so good. You’ll see some really excellent themes pop up from time to time in this game. It’s got that old school rock feel to it which really makes the races a whole lot more exciting. The graphics are also very good. Not out of this world or anything but it holds up quite well over the years.
One tip I’d say is that your vehicle actually has a ground mode. There’s one level where you have to go through the mud and the car was going super slowly the whole time. So I thought that was intentional and it was one of those almost auto scroller type levels but then I lost due to the time running out. It turns out that I was supposed to click the upwards directional button to transform. I don’t recall the game explaining that at any point and so it took me a little while to figure out. If you’ve got that at the ready then you’ve nothing to fear.
It’s just a strong all around title. The gameplay is really good and it stands out among its peers as a vehicle combat game. I’d like to see the series get more of a comeback with some AAA titles in the future. I think there is a whole lot you could do with this franchise and a solid company could really get it into the mainstream. I guess we’ll see if that ever happens or if this stays forgotten in the past instead.
Overall, SpyHunter 2 is a pretty good game and I’d recommend checking it out. The campaign isn’t super long or anything so you’ll have it beaten before long but the difficulty level really helps to keep it from being too fast either. So that way you’ve got a pretty good balance here. Just keep on trying and use different tactics in the levels. Before long you’ll have this one knocked out and then you’ll be ready for the next challenge.
New Super Lucky’s Tale Review
This is a platformer that got a whole lot of hype back in the day. It looked very polished but also retro in a sense as it would be a simple platformer filled with a lot of fun and no real gimmicks. I’d say it delivers on that too, you’ve got a solid amount of level variety. Each level is rather short but they all feel different and are very fast paced. You shouldn’t have any problems playing through it and there is also a good amount of replay value.
Lucky has to try and get the chapters of the legendary book back before it’s too late. There’s a dark overlord scheming to use this for evil and the whole world is pretty much in jeopardy. This is perhaps an oversimplification of the plot to be fair but it’s a classic story that will get you right into the mix to try and save the world. Most of the other characters can’t talk in English voice acting at least so it’s going to be up to you to confront the villains and save the day.
Lucky’s a fun lead. There isn’t a whole lot to his personality as I couldn’t tell you much beyond him being a nice guy but he gets the job done. He has two jumps and can do a spin in the air. I always like when platformers let you spin in the air because it really helps you work on your timing as you try to dodge enemy attacks. Every game that has this feature has really benefited from it. There is also some combat in the game as you can attack with a tail swipe but aside from one boss fight you won’t really need to use this very much. It’s nice to have but never feels super necessary. A lot of enemies you can just stomp on anyway.
There are also puzzles here but this is one of the rare games that actually gets them right. The puzzles tend to be about pushing statues into the right spots. It takes a bit of work but you’ll find out the right answer if you keep at it. It reminds me of something out of Professor Layton and has that very calm appeal to it. You can reset the puzzle at any point to try it again from the beginning as well.
Most of the levels are traditional style but then you also have a few auto runner type levels where you just start running and have to try and be at the right place at the right time. These levels fit in well with the normal ones I’d say. I tend to enjoy that kind of gameplay as well. There’s a good amount of variety here and each of the styles control rather well which is important too. I would say the strongest part of the game is just how smooth it is. I doubt you’ll encounter any true glitches or issues that make you do a double take. It’s as smooth as butte and that’s what you like to see in a platformer like this. It’s critically important you could say.
Now if the game has any issue it’s that it can be a bit short. Yes, platformers are often short but this one feels even shorter than usual. I believe it’s because of how the worlds are set up. In a lot of platformers you have to complete every level to get to the end but in this one you don’t have to do that. In fact, a ton of the levels are optional. The reason for this is each world has a boss level at the end and you have to get a certain number of leaves in order to access it. Typically this number is 10 while each world has about 22. Each level has 3-4 leaves in it. So for example if you get all 4 leaves in the level then you only need to complete 3 levels instead of completing more like 7 or so.
It puts you in the driver seat of how quickly you want to complete each of the worlds. I quickly got the hang of how to obtain all 4 in a level and once I did that was it. I was getting 4 on each one so I was blasting through the worlds. Typically you get one leaf for beating the level, 1 for 300 coins, 1 secret page somewhere in the level, and one for getting all 5 letter of the word Lucky. Getting the coins and the letters are real easy once you start paying attention to them so at the very least you should get 3 each time but eve the secret one’s usually not super hidden or anything. That’s your chance to grab it as soon as possible.
Of course the good part about this is even if you complete the game quickly, you can always go back to try and get the leaves that you didn’t get. It’ll certainly take a while to nab them all and to get the Platinum trophy for this game so that would be worth a shot. It definitely looks very achievable after all so you’ll just have to hunker down and try to knock it out. Pull that off and you’ll have another nice achievement to your name.
The graphics are really solid here. It all feels like true HD and goes hand in hand with how good the levels look. As for the soundtrack, that is a bit more forgettable. I wouldn’t say that it particularly stood out to me. It’s absolutely not bad in any way but there wasn’t a single tune that I found to be really catchy. This is something that I think they could improve upon in the sequel. Get some really fast paced tuned and maybe even a rock theme or two. You really can’t go wrong there.
Overall, New Super Lucky’s Tale is certainly a fun game to check out. It’s got the right balance of action, adventure, and puzzles. I definitely didn’t think I’d be complementing puzzles anytime soon but this game just pulls it off. Honestly if all of the games would handle it like this then I dare say we would be in a really good spot but unfortunately I know that this is more of a one time deal. For every game that gets puzzles right, 9 more show up with really annoying gimmicks that don’t make any sense. You definitely need to play this game if you want to see a platformer that’s solid around the board.
Blaster Master Zero 3 Stats and Records
Play Time 7h 42m
PS4 Trophies 10/19
Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch Remastered Review
I was never all that familiar with the Ni No Kuni title. I had heard of it since Level 5 games always get a good amount of publicity but I can’t say I knew anything about the plot. Well, it was definitely a very satisfying RPG and a rather long one as it took me a full 30 hours. After playing it I can definitely say that this is a winner and a really solid title. It’s also unique enough where you can’t call it quite like any others. I would certainly like to see more games in this series.
The story introduces us to a kid named Oliver who decides to go out one night to try out his friend’s car. Unfortunately he ends up crashing and while Oliver’s mother is able to save him, she dies in the process. Now Oliver is broken inside as he blames himself for this happening. One day his stuffed animal Drippy becomes sentient and lets Oliver know that there is still a way to save his mother. See, there’s a parallel world where everyone has a double. If Oliver can save his mother’s double then he will also be able to save her. Oliver agrees to do this and stop the evil wizard Shadar. Along the way he meets several allies and friends who will help him out. If Oliver can spread joy to many, he can begin to save lives and souls wherever he goes.
I will say that from the start this does seem a bit suspect though. So as we play through the game you see that if one person is sad then their double in the other world is sad as well. Emotions and everything transfer. If you die in one world then you die in the other. Wait a minute……lets focus on that last part. So if Oliver’s mother died in the real world then she would have died in the other world too so there’s nobody left to save right? Oh nooooooooooo. I mean it’s impossible not to be thinking about that immediately. The question is just if Drippy is intentionally misleading Oliver or if there’s some reason why this would be an exception. Naturally you’ll have to wait until the end to see what is really going on here but I remember thinking about this right from the start. If both souls are linked throughout then that’s bad news for Oliver’s chances.
The gameplay is classic turn based although you are able to move while attacking. In that sense it’s the most similar to .Hack which also had turn based combat but you could move around to gather energy, items, and try to make the other player miss. It’s a good way to add some energy to the usual turn based combat although I tend to enjoy it either way. You can fight as Oliver or you can play as one of up to 3 creatures you control. You can switch in and out at any time though which is really good for strategy. Let me tell you now that you will want to be switching in and out a whole lot here. You can’t stick with any monster for too long anyway since there is a time limit. So I would usually go to my monster for the fighting and would switch back to Oliver when it was time to heal.
You can also capture monsters later on to add them to your team like in Pokemon. For about 80-90% of the game I didn’t use Oliver almost at all aside from healing but then towards the end you learn 2 spells that are extremely powerful. At that point I stopped using the monsters and would play as Oliver exclusively. Trust me when I say that the spells are that good. Use your two allies to draw enemy fire while you charge them up though as the spells take a while to work. Your allies will probably lose a lot though as they have a hard time blocking. You can tell them to go on defense mode by pressing square but they’ll ignore you half the time since they’re already in the middle of a spell.
Don’t worry about them so much but make sure you end up blocking the attack. It reduces the damage by around 90% and also causes the enemy to drop some health/mp bubbles and sometimes even a full recovery that gives you a final smash. You don’t want to miss out on that. There is a lot of strategic elements to keep in mind here but you’ll have all of the mechanics down before long. The game is rather difficult either way though so don’t expect to just breeze on by it. I had to grind out a lot of EXP throughout the game and even then the bosses were challenging. On the final boss I lost on the final phase when the health was in the red the first time which stung. You just have to keep going at the enemies though and get your guys into the mid 50s for level. If you go higher then even better but I wouldn’t really try if your guys are too low. Just hang back and train for a bit longer.
The graphics are really solid here. We have full anime cutscenes, cgi rendered cutscenes, and then classic text boxes with voice acting. The game is very well polished and it’s clear that a lot of budget went into this one. The world looks really good even when you’re not in a cutscene. I definitely had no issues with how the visuals looked at all. This is a winning title. The soundtrack is also good even if it’s not super memorable. It does the job of getting you through the game. I do have a bit of an obscure issue with the sound mixing though. There are 3 styles of cutscenes as I mentioned and each one has a different volume level. The problem with that is that it’s hard to have the volume set up since some cutscenes will be too low one way or too loud the other. It’s a rare issue that has only popped up in a handful of games but it’s worth mentioning. It’s not something that should really hurt your experience at all though, especially considering that all of the cutscenes are subbed.
After completing the game there is a good amount of post game content to challenge. More islands, enemies, missions, quests, etc. Additionally you also have the PS4 trophies to grab and those seem to be reasonably challenging. I expect you will certainly have to take a while to conquer those. Considering that the base game with no sub quests is 30 hours, this game will give you a lot of bang for your buck.
As with most RPGs, the story is also really good. The benefit of a story being long is that you really get to hang out with the characters for a while and get to like them all. Naturally as always I wouldn’t mind if Oliver was older but he does well by the end. His team did well in protecting the universe. It was fun to see everyone with british accents as well since you don’t see that so often. The main heroine Esther is good and always has solid banter with Swaine. Droopy has a lot of confidence and his manner of speaking always makes his sentences memorable.
For the villains, we had Shadar of course who is a tough threat. All of his dialogue is rather intense and the guy is not lacking in confidence. The battles with him are suitably tricky. The White Witch takes a while to actually take the stage but the wait is well worth it. I also liked her design. The game gives out a lot of plot twists before things are over and they all help to really change the experience. Each twist is a rather big deal and none of them felt pointless. While I would have handled the ending a bit differently, you’ll have a satisfying ride from start to finish.
Overall, Ni No Kuni is definitely a great game and I would recommend checking it out. It’s a difficult RPG that will require more grinding than in others but by the same token, the extra level of detail means that this could be the reverse for you. If you really master the mechanics and type advantages then perhaps you could beat this at a much lower level than I. Of course I’d like to see you try though as I would argue I did really well with the mechanics. It does mean that there are countless ways to approach each boss though so feel free to experiment. Always buy the latest equipment and you will be in a good spot here.
One Piece: World Seeker Stats and Records
Play Time 12h 33m
PS4 Trophies 30/44
Pirate Rank 60
Items Acquired 109
Materials Acquired 614
Equipment Made 1
Explore Requests 3
Chests Opened 76
Enemies Defeated 435
Most Enemies Defeated Simultaneously 6
Objects Broken 26
Longest Gum-Gum Rocket Air Time 13s
Total Gum-Gum Rocket Air Time 11m 6s
Longest Continuous Air Time 38s
Perfect Guards 32
Perfect Dodges 32
Critical Shots 288
Enemies Defeated with Takedowns 54
Damage Inflicted 952021
Distance Traveled 141612