The Lego Movie 2 Review

It’s time to dive into the Lego Movie game. I haven’t played a whole lot of Lego games. They’re fairly safe platformers that don’t try to be too ambitious and give you a good time but at the same time they never seem to really be able to match the big titles. There are so many of them that it could make for a good theme someday but as it is this would be the weakest one that I’ve played. It’s not bad by any means, but as I said it’s just rather basic.

The game starts off with the Lego world being invaded by all kinds of crazy enemies. Only the two main characters from the first movie can try to save the day since Batman and the rest of the heroes have all been scattered to different planets. They must be found and assembled before taking the fight to the villains but it won’t be easy. Do they really have what it takes this time? The game doesn’t go much more into the plot than that though and most of the story only appears very suddenly during the final cutscene which was an interesting move. I can tell you that I had not seen this before but ultimately it felt a bit lazy. They could have easily tried to throw in some more cinematics and a plot to this. The main character doesn’t even get to speak outside of grunts because there isn’t much to say although the heroine talks a lot.

Let me jump into my first main issue with the game which are the unskippable cutscenes. Right when you boot up the game you are greeted with a very long intro that can not be skipped and this happens every time you turn the game on. Then during the game whenever there is a tutorial you have to listen to a full speech and there are a lot of tutorials. This is an easy quality of life miss for the game since in this day and age there should never be so many moments that are unskippable. You should always give the player some way to get around that because if you don’t then that’s just going to be annoying.

It was a rough first impression. When it comes to the gameplay I can’t say that I have very many issues though. You use the legos to create objects and move through the stage. It’s all rather easy to understand and there are less characters with specific abilities than in other Lego games so that helps in keeping track of things. There are even some boss fights here which can be fun as you have to create specific objects to defeat them. They don’t always explain everything so get ready for some guessing but on the whole it’s handled well. I would have liked more bosses though.

The game is very short. You should be able to beat it in a few hours, maybe 4-5. There is some replay value in trying to get the Platinum trophy though. I’m not sure exactly what that entails just yet but I think I’m going to aim for that one. It seems like it would be a fun little thing to do that wouldn’t take very long. It does help to make the game a bit more worth it and the price is fairly low so you also have that to consider. If this was full price then I would be a little harsher but for the price it’s a decent value.

It’s hard to really gauge the graphics since the Lego style will never look amazing or anything like that but it’s clear enough. I was able to always know what was going on and keep moving from there. The soundtrack is more on the generic side and I don’t think that you will really love any of the tracks or even remember them to be honest. It’s very by the numbers in that respect and you can tell that the game is just playing it safe on every turn. Nothing wrong with that but you’ll never be a great game by doing that. You have to go a little farther and try something dynamic.

That sums up the game in a nutshell. You’ll have a good amount of fun the whole time if you just want a fun little platformer to play but there are so many better ones out there that you will never quite feel like this one is a title you would search out. For some things the game does well, I like the map/compass. It always tells you where you should be going and I appreciate that. The collectibles are clearly labeled and all of the menus are very easy to understand. You could put this game down for years and I bet you would still understand exactly what was going on after that. This is absolutely one of those games and some of the level designs are also decent. I actually liked the DC world where it’s just a bunch of houses and roads. It felt like something out of a classic Gamecube game which was great but other levels were more on the generic side.

Overall, The Lego Movie 2 is a decent game but it just doesn’t do anything special enough for me to call it very good. It ends up being stuck right on the edge instead of really going anywhere. If you’re looking for a little game to keep you entertained then you can’t go wrong here. That being said, you can do better so keep that in mind. Buying one of the main Lego games like Batman or Star Wars would also end up giving you a lot more content but hey maybe you should go and check them all out. The prices for the Lego games actually aren’t that bad nowadays.

Overall 6/10

Monkey King: Hero is Back Review

This game was definitely one of the more random ones that I ended up grabbing from Gamestop but when a title is just a few bucks you’re inclined to take a few risks right? Odds are that this would be worth the few bucks and naturally that was the case in the end. This is the kind of game that may not be great but it’s good fun and by the end you realize you had a good time with it. I’d definitely be down with a sequel to this one someday.

The game starts off with the Monkey King getting taken down by the gods so his powers have been sealed. A kid unseals him and the hero, Sun saved him but a girl gets kidnapped by the villains. The kid begs Sun to help out and at first this Monkey King can’t be bothered but as the adventure goes on he realizes that it is finally time to step up and be a hero. Without his famous powers will he really be able to win though? Only time will tell! One thing’s for sure, he will need to eventually find a way to remove those chains before it’s too late.

The story of the Monkey King is a classic one and this adaption does a good job of going through the motions. He gradually learns about empathy, kindness, and humility as the days go on. At first he is very gruff but gradually becomes a team player. It’s all handled rather well here even if it may come across as just a little generic. The story is fairly barebones as it is. Even the trio of characters have a fairly old dynamic with Sun being the gruff one, you have the guy who talks tough but is actually weak, and finally the kid who means well and is super cheerful but isn’t really cut out for tangling with the others even if he has the heart for it.

So you’re playing this one more for the gameplay which is fortunately pretty good. It’s a 3D action game where you take out enemies with hand to hand skills or use one of your attack powers. I highly recommend using a bench to fight most of your battles. Yes, you heard me right…. a normal bench. It’s surprisingly effective the whole time. It has a longer reach than your normal blows and also deals more damage so it’s kind of a no brainer right? Once you get hooked on it then you won’t want to use anything else. The only exception is a staff that you should unlock by the very end of the game. Once you have it, it is an immediate upgrade over the bench so you’ll never use it again.

You can upgrade all of your special abilities as you play through the game so choose the ones that you want to max out carefully since by the end of the game you won’t have enough points to max everything. Mainly if you go with a maxed out bench and staff then you should be okay. There are other fun abilities like your projectiles but they all just feel a whole lot weaker. Also, the game is more fun with those items because otherwise the game can feel a little too slow and clunky the whole time. I do have to say it’s a pretty valid complaint against the game. The core combat doesn’t feel super balanced or organic at times. Mix that in with how the game can actually be rather difficult and you can have a rough time here.

I only barely beat the final boss after a lot of cheesing and was nearly out of magic meter. Just one or two more hits and I would have lost. It makes for a spectacular story down the road of course and you feel good when winning a real nail biter like that but I can’t help but feel that I would have done better if the game was just a bit more polished. At times it can feel like you dodged an attack when you get hit or an opponent launches an attack with no real way to dodge it. The enemies also have a whole lot of health at their disposal and you feel like they would have calmed down on that a bit.

The free roaming parts of the game where you pick up collectibles and find things is okay but I wouldn’t say there’s a lot of effort put into that. The focus is definitely more on the combat. I do give the game a lot of props for making the final, final boss a blast though. There is a whole different gameplay style created just for that fight and it ends up making a real big difference. See, you can actually feel the power and high stakes behind the final boss due to this. It is worlds different from every other boss fight and that’s exactly the kind of feel and atmosphere you’re supposed to be going for with this. The game understood the assignment here.

Overall, The Monkey King is a fun game. I’ll admit that it gets off to a rocky start and you have to get used to the game so initially it was leading up to more of a 6 star slot but by the end the game came into its own and really surprised me. It’s still a fairly short game so you’ll likely have it beat in around 10 hours or less but it’s a complete title. It also helps that I got the game for around $5-10 which is a fair price for this title. If you see it for a price like that then I recommend grabbing it. There’s not a lot of replay value here beyond aiming for the platinum so I’d say to just enjoy the gameplay/experience and call it a day. At the end of the day that’s really all that you need/want here. The wii Monkey King game I played was more fun but this one still gave me a good time.

Overall 7/10

One Piece: Odyssey Review

It’s time to talk about Strawhat Luffy and the gang in their latest adventure. I remember thinking that Odyssey sounded like a lot of fun with how you would get to relive the old adventures in a new way. It was also bringing in the turn based combat system which is fairly rare for One Piece games as they usually go with a 3D action/beat em up style. It definitely does work well for this title even if I have some issues. Ultimately this is a great game but they really dropped the ball on the story itself which is unfortunate.

The game starts off with Luffy and the gang having a good time at sea as always until a storm knocks them off their course and they land on an island. A girl named Lim shows up and steals their powers with her cube abilities. In order to get their powers back they will have to defeat 4 legendary colossuses on the island and additionally they must relive some of their most dangerous adventures. Lim will help them do this by unlocking the memory world and her friend Adio is also glad to help in any way that he can. The whole thing feels a little suspect but the heroes figure they can get stronger and have some fun so it’s a win/win. Are they embarking on their final adventure?

The story’s a bit forced there but hey it’ll be fun to see Luffy and friends utterly demolish all of their old opponents like Lucci and Crocodile now that they are so powerful…right? Well to get around that the film says that the villains have all gotten way more powerful in their memories and of course the heroes have lost all of their new abilities thanks to the cube. So what that means is…every arc basically plays out in the same way. It felt like the laziest way possible for the writers to not have to think of any new scenarios which was unfortunate. What’s even the point of not just making this a direct adaption then. It just felt like the biggest cop out imaginable. The only arc with any real differences is the final one in Dressrosa and even then it was just a small change by adding 2 characters in there.

So the game really didn’t deliver on its premise at all. In a lot of ways it’s sort of like the bait and switch that Sonic Forces did back in the day. The present storyline with the Colossuses and the mysterious Adio was good at least. That’s the part where you can at least get invested in. If the gameplay weren’t so good I would definitely get a bit more annoyed at that though. Odyssey tried to fumble the bag there a bit that’s for sure. We did get a full cinematic fight near the end which was cool though. For a minute there I thought we were going to get another phase to the final boss fight but when it was all a cutscene I thought that was cool. It’s not every day that you get to just watch a pure fight like that after all.

The game is fairly long too and took me over 25 hours. There are 9 chapters here but they each have a lot of battles. Each battle can take a while since you can’t skip cinematics and all special attacks have a full cutscene animation to them. It can make the fights a little longer than they need to be but I’m guessing the devs wanted to show off what a good job they did. I totally get it even if I always love how the Asdivine series lets you turn off attack animations for that exact reason. One mechanic I liked a lot here is that using normal attacks fills your special attack meter. It’s something I don’t recall any other RPG doing so that was cool. It’s better than having to use ethers every turn.

The game also has a customization aspect to it as you can power up your attacks and skills using your level up points. You can also reset the points at any time if you want to distribute them in another way. Additionally you can equip items to improve your stats and make foods/smoke bombs to get stronger or make your opponent weaker. There’s a good amount of options within the game and so you’ll find that unlike most titles it starts out rather difficult and gets easier as you go. This is because you unlock more and more items to use as you go through the game and they easily outpace the enemies you’re dealing with. For example a level up may improve your stats by 30 but then you can by an amulet that increases your attack power by 1400. It’s like you suddenly jumped up tons of levels. Whenever I would see an item like that I had to grab it.

Then later on you gain the ability to merge two equipments together to keep both of their effects in one shot. That made things even better. So there are lots of ways to power yourself up. Finally there is the old fashioned way of leveling up by fighting enemies. The final area has minions that each give you close to 200,000 exp points which is enough to level up twice in every battle. It was crazy how the exp skyrocketed since that’s more than just about every boss fight in the game. You could say the game wasn’t very well balanced by the end.

That leads to one of my issues with the game which is that there actually seem to be “dead spots” where you are trapped in a place with no enemies to fight and no way to escape. So in theory if I couldn’t find a way to beat the boss then I would be permanently stuck. Any good game always needs to leave you a way out so you can go and train so that was surprising here. I could see that being a real big issue if I played on hard mode or something. It’s something any RPG needs to really be careful of because that would just be incredibly disheartening. I’d probably have to put my controller down right then and there.

Meanwhile the graphics are very solid here. The character models can be a bit stiff but we do get fight scenes with them so the game does know how to use this pretty well. Then you also have the soundtrack which is rather limited but still good. What this all tells me is that the game’s budget wasn’t super high or anything like that but they still did a good job in making the game fun so I have to give them credit there. That isn’t always easy. With an even greater budget I’m sure there is a lot more they could have done here.

As it is there is still a good amount of replay value here. There are plenty of bounties to be completed and collectibles to grab. At the end of your journey you can even grab the Platinum trophy which would certainly be fun to have. I’m not sure just how difficult this one would be to grab but if it’s not too high then I may go for it. I have already gotten the platinum for a few One Piece games in the past after all. Either way you can see how the game gives you a whole lot of content for your purchase so you can definitely buy the game at full price and feel good about it.

The game’s original characters in Lim and Adio do a good job of being very memorable. Lim may not be much of a fighter or anything like that but she has a classic character arc of slowly learning to enjoy the journey with Luffy and friends more instead of always being so analytical. Adio’s mystery gradually unfolds as you play through the game but ultimately he’s not really someone I liked all that much. Maybe in part it’s because the game was too obvious with where his story was going to go but whenever the guy was on screen you knew that nothing good was going to happen for him at least.

Overall, One Piece: Odyssey is a great game. At times the lack of budget starts to seep through but ultimately it’s a good chance to hang out with Luffy and the gang again. I think it did have some ambitious mechanics within it like every character having their own special ability. The game just could have done a little more with it. Mainly I’d just like them to follow their own premise a bit better and not just sabotage it right away. It’s just a very strange move narratively. Still, if you like One Piece or want to play a fun RPG, this one should be right up your alley.

Overall 8/10

Nickelodeon Kart Racers Review

I got this game almost for free thanks to some Gamestop points and a gift card so now I finally get to see what Nick is up to in the racing circuit. Unfortunately I can confirm that they weren’t up to a whole lot because the game is really not as impressive as you would expect. There just isn’t a whole lot to this game so it ends up feeling rather barren the whole time. There isn’t any real personality and it’s lacking in proper sound effects and replay value. Ultimately it doesn’t seem like it was quite ready for the challenge of trying to be the next Mario Kart but there is potential for sequel games.

When you jump in you’ve really just got two main options, free racing and the grand prixs. The gameplay is your classic 3D racing environment and it’s very much like Mario. You can drift with the R2 and L2 buttons and you pick up items along the track. Use them to smash up the competition and get to the goal. Of course the objective is to finish the race first and then you get the maximum amount of points. There are 4 races per cup but the final ones go up to 8. Each race is fairly quick though so you should blast through them. The difficulty level is also fairly basic. There is a lot of rubberbanding here though so when you’re ahead of the opponents be prepared for them to suddenly make a historic comeback to reach you.

I recommend keeping a boosting item on hand but don’t actually use it until you are close to the goal. That’s the best way to make sure that everything works out. It will work against any sudden surprises. The items have a decent amount of variety so I’ll give the game credit for having a ton of different items at the ready. It would have been real easy to have just had a few items so I appreciate their going the extra mile. I will also say that there are a reasonable amount of different stages here although they do tend to blend together a whole lot. I think it’s because of the slime that hits you in every level, it’s easy for the stages to start all looking the same once they’re covered in slime like that.

In terms of replay value I would say there is a good amount here because aside from the cups you also have unlockables in the form of each car part. You can get engines, wheels, tires, etc. There are a whole lot to buy and it takes a while to earn any money. The easiest way is to level up by winning a lot of races and I imagine that this will get more difficult the more you do it as well. So I expect this would be a fairly long grind by the end of it but it is nice to equip the parts and really feel the boost by the end. Each speed part definitely makes a difference when going up against the computers.

What this game is really lacking though are character voices, more cars, and more content in general. Customizing parts is nice but how about just giving us brand new cars each time instead? I think that would end up feeling a lot more fulfilling. Additionally I would also be on board with some kind of minigame mode similar to Mario Kart where you have another objective besides just the race. That could be do a lot to just make the game feel a little more expansive. Of course another big one is having more than 12 characters. That’s just not a big roster, particularly for a PS4 game. You feel like they could have done a whole lot more with this. I’d say Spongebob and TMNT individually could easily have way more than 12 characters when you think about it.

I think that would really be enough. At its core a racing game doesn’t have to be super fancy after all. Just put some wheels on the car and get us moving. That’ll be enough to do the trick in the end and everything else is about making it stand out. As a developer you want to be able to answer the question of: “Why should I play this instead of another racing game?” with some kind of definitive mechanic. It can be characters, fun levels, etc but you have to have something and right now I don’t think this one does have much of anything. I’ve played car games on the computer that felt like they had more depth but of course that could be my nostalgia goggles.

Overall, This was a good racing game but a bit more basic than I expected. It’s closer to the level of M&M Racing than Mario Kart which is a bit odd since you would expect this to be a big AAA title. That being said, I still did have fun. It’s just the kind of game that you would be having a lot of fun in short term rather than long term. If I bought this one day 1 then I’d probably have been far less pleased with the end result. For a few bucks though you can race as your favorite characters and earn a few trophies. I know there are 1-2 sequels out there so at some point I’ll grab them to see how they go. Who knows, if one of those adds a story mode it could really end up being the next big thing and that would be a lot of fun. Give me a quality story!

Overall 6/10

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated Review

Spongebob Squarepants is finally back! I gotta say that my experience with the Spongebob franchise as a whole is very light. Seriously I mostly know it from the memes and all but when it comes to sitting down and watching an actual episode I haven’t done much of that. It always looked like fun though and I do like me a good platformer so I had to jump in and have fun here. The gam elives up to the classic platformer formula. It’s perhaps a bit strict about how many Golden Spatulas you have to grab though. Fortunately you only have to get all of them if you’re aiming for the Platinum though because otherwise that would have been bad.

An army of robots is attacking the underwater country so Spongebob is called in to stop them. He is no stranger to crazy situations after all and wants Merman to be proud of him so Spongebob agrees to help. His friends will also be around as back-up support. The villain here seems like it might be Spongebob’s old enemy Mr. Plankton but he can’t prove that yet so for now we jut have to go in there and get as many quality wins as possible. Each robot destroyed is one less than can cause terror and destruction to the many.

The basic gameplay is that of a 3D platforming so you’re running and jumping as you go through the levels. You can attack and ground pound. In addition each character has their own special abilities. Spongebob can grab onto ziplines and so a super jump. Sally can glide and shoot out her lasso and finally Patrick can throw things really far. So the levels use all of their special abilities and have unique obstacles waiting for everyone. The objective of the game is to obtain 75 Golden Spatulas in order to enter the villain base so you get these at the end of every mission given to you by the other characters and others are also scattered around the worlds. Considering that there are 100 total Spatulas, you can see how beating the game actually comes rather close to 100% completing the title. Perhaps that will be enough to get me in here for the platinum at some point but right now I’ve had my fill of collecting.

The level layouts are good and there is a whole lot to do on each world. You never really feel confined and it’s so big that it’s part of why the collectibles are hard to find. At times the camera angles can get a bit wonky but on the whole it’s good. The worlds are all pretty different and stand out so no chance of mixing them up or anything like that. They always have a lot of variety. I will say that you should try to definitely get as many seashells as possible so you can buy lots of Spatulas from Mr. Krabs. Those will all come in handy towards the end of the game.

The boss battles are all fun here. They each have different rules and objectives towards beating them so none of these are copy and pastes. The developers really got to make the most of their creativity here. Meanwhile the animation is definitely sharp. This looks like a solid PS4 game. I won’t say the graphics are out of this world or anything but it’s all very clear and bold which is ultimately the objective. The soundtrack is a little less memorable though and doesn’t have the kinds of tunes you’d hear in Mario or Sonic.

So on a gameplay level this is very strong and I have no issues. The only part of the game that isn’t quite as solid is the story/characters. This is Spongebob of course so it’s more comedic but the characters can be a little annoying. There aren’t many sound clips here so you’re going to be hearing the characters repeat the same lines over and over again. They’re not exactly great lines either so you’ll mostly just be annoyed after a bit. Ultimately they are fun in small doses but I would say that the cast doesn’t hold up quite as well compared to other comedy casts.

Squidward is always good though and I root for the guy to go far. He really tries to stay out of trouble but it always has a way of finding him regardless. There’s not really a lot of crude humor or anything beyond all the underwear jokes so the game doesn’t go that far. I’d like a game that focuses on Merman back in his prime though. Now that would be really good to see.

Some quality of life updates would be fun like being able to warp to a specific point in the world instead of walking over and hopping into boxes. It’s probably something the devs felt just wouldn’t fit into the world I suppose. The game length is pretty reasonable and this should take you a few batches to complete. Throw in the opportunity to earn a Platinum trophy and that just makes the game even longer which is always good. I wouldn’t have minded if they added more racing levels though, they were some of the highlights of the game. It reminded me of Sonic Adventure 2 Battle and I always like racing on slides and rail type surfaces.

Overall, Spongebob has a solid game here. It may not be Mario but it’s still pretty good around the board. I’d consider this to be a AAA platformer and the production values check out. Replace the cast with a more intense one and the game would be even better. At the end of the day if you’re a Spongebob fan then you should love this game and if you enjoy platformers then you should like the game regardless. It’s fairly easy to complete but you will need some talent to platinum it since getting the final Spatulas can be intense. There were a few I skipped over like the bowling ball balancing segment which was really intense. I suppose I’ll get to test my limits against that one when I ever get back to this title.

Overall 7/10

Driver: San Francisco Review

This game I’ve had in the closet for so many years. Earlier this year I finally bought the two previous installments so it was time at last to play this one. I greatly enjoyed the first game which is still one of the definitive driving games of all time but the last two were more standard. This one brings things back to a high point and is a great game. It certainly wins in plot but the original still has the best gameplay and at this point I think that will be tough to surpass.

The game starts with John Tanner putting a villain behind bars but unfortunately he breaks out almost immediately and gets revenge by putting John in a coma. Now here’s where things start to get tricky. So John wakes up back in the car but now he has super powers. He can possess anybody at will which is cool and then his real body becomes a quiet zombie on autopilot in the meantime. With these powers maybe he can stop the villain and save the city. There is a big bomb being created so there’s a race against time. But how come he keeps getting visions where he is still in the hospital and seeing weird signs? Well no time to worry about that now!

The Driver games are usually as realistic as they get so it’s a bit odd to see the game take more of a supernatural approach but it leads to one of the best driving game mechanics that I’ve seen in a while. The story is also fun with this. It plays out like a very interactive movie. In each level there is a lot of dialogue and of course there are a whole lot of cutscenes scattered throughout the game. That helps to make the whole thing feel really high budget. Another nice thing is they recorded a good amount of dialogue for each mission so when you die and try again, you’ll usually near some new lines as well. It’s a clever way to keep things from feeling too stale if you were to hear the same lines every time.

Now for the gameplay, mainly you’ve got the driving as normal. Unfortunately this part isn’t as polished as the average driving game. Turns are really difficult to make here as the cars have a very tough time turning while moving forward. You’re going to be bumping a whole lot and the car also tends to go unbalanced really quickly if you hit anything. Definitely something to keep in mind the whole time you are playing. You will really want to slow down for those turns, but fortunately there aren’t too many races. Mainly this just gets tricky when you are trying to evade the cops so instead of looking for the hidden paths, try driving into traffic and dodging the cars. That will help you lose them quick.

Now for the new mechanic. As a ghost you can fly out of your car and possess somebody. You can move around the field from a bird’s eye view and have 3 different zooms on this. It’s really fun to take over the cars and they come in real handy when attacking your enemies. You can take control of a car and just have him ram into the villain. You can do this at any point to any car so it makes it really hard for the opponent to even try to dodge. It also makes for some interesting boss fights later on in the game. You know a lot of times I’m not a big fan of new mechanics and gimmicks if they don’t work just right but this is one that actually was a success.

It enhances the game which is exactly what a gimmick should do and it was fun to use the whole time. I never got bored of it that’s for sure. There’s a trophy for doing that 1000 times and I made it through about 400 so I better get to work on grinding the rest out. The game’s length is fairly decent. I want to say the game is about 5-6 hours long. Maybe a little above that but roughly in that range. For most genres that probably sounds small but the previous 2 Driver games were about 90 minutes so this is still a big improvement. There is also replay value to get more trophies although unfortunately the servers are down so the Platinum is impossible to obtain now. It’s too bad that couldn’t have stayed up longer. Still there is some replay value here as a result.

The graphics are really solid here. This feels like more of a high end PS3 game in that area. The game loves showing off the big zoom ins as a result. While you’re in the gameplay everything is clear and you can always tell what is happening. The stages will sometimes have a fun visual effect like turning blue or yellow depending on what is going on with John’s psyche and that’s always a nice touch. The soundtrack has a ton of lyrical songs. For the most part they seemed pretty solid. I didn’t get any that were really obnoxious and it never takes over the sound of the dialogue coming through. Whoever did the sound mixing did a good job for this game that’s for sure.

Overall, Driver was a lot of fun to play through. If the driving was just a little smoother it would make the game even better. After all I love pushing through tight corners and really styling on the opponents but with the controls like this I couldn’t quite do that. Still the story is a lot of fun and I give the game tons of credit for having full voice acting for every single cutscene. Whether it was a story mission or one of the side ones, everything had the voices on point and I think that’s great. It’s not something that you see everywhere even if you would expect that to be the standard at this point. So the game has to get a lot of credit for that all around. If you haven’t gotten this game yet then you definitely should. The story alone is worth the purchase as this would make for a great movie. You can also get a good price for it nowadays.

Overall 8/10

Trinity Universe Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS3 Trophies 11/37
Gallery Completion 39%
Universe Rank 8

Character Levels

Kanata Level 83
Etna Level 77
Tsubaki Level 81
Pamela Level 74
Rizelea Level 3
Prinny Level 7
Mizuki Level 8
Lucius Level 1
Flonne Level 8
Violet Level 8

Time Crisis 4 Review

It’s been a fun marathon through the Time Crisis series but we have now made it to the end. I’ve owned this game for many years so it’s nice to finally play it. I’ll say this, the game is considerably better than the first 3, there’s no question about that. First person shooter games still aren’t really my thing but this one adds a bit to the mix. Instead of being a pure rail shooter you can actually move around during some of the levels so that was nice.

There is the normal arcade mode here but also more of a complete mode. This one adds in levels for the American agent which are fully 3D and add to the story. So in the usual rail shooter levels you play as the VSSE agents and then you play as the secret service guy for the others. The game has 15 levels as a result which is definitely longer than the others. Now if you had to beat this in one shot that would be crazy so fortunately this one actually has a save feature!

That was a game changer. No matter how fun the other games could be, it was always annoying to not be able to save. Until you got a bunch of game overs you knew that you would effectively be spinning your wheels for a while. The levels here can still be tough but there is less pressure since you can try again. Additionally the levels are also quite a bit shorter so when you die it’s not like you have to play large portions of the game again.

There are some new mechanics here like the insect battles and fort fights. The insects are more on the annoying side so I’d be cool with the series dropping this for the sequel. It could be really difficult to deal with them and they take up a ton of bullets. Then for the fort battles there is a lot of moving around and it feels almost a bit random. Good thing the girl lets you know what direction to check because otherwise that would be really difficult. The normal shooting sections tend to be a lot more solid if you ask me.

I really liked the new 3D sections though so those are easily the highlight. You still do need to use some real strategy here though. Don’t just run in and expect everyone to go down immediately. You have to conserve your bullets and keep on moving forward. There are checkpoints and all but you don’t want to have to lose and see how far back you go. The game isn’t quite as hard as the last two though so you should be okay. Those are still really hard to match.

Naturally the graphics are really solid here. We’re finally in PS3 world and we keep the big cinematics that the last game had. You can be guaranteed some kind of cinematic before each level and some have more after the level as well. The story may be a little dry as you’re just out to stop another criminal organization but I’m not exactly sure what the best way to spice it up would be. I don’t think the plot itself is the issue but it doesn’t really stand out. Maybe have the villains get a little more colorful with their designs? I thought that the 3rd game had the best villain designs personally.

There isn’t a ton of replay value here. Even if you really like the gameplay, it’s going to effectively be the same experience each time. I suppose you could just work on getting a better high score but there are probably other games in the genre you could play instead. Still you should be able to find the game for fairly cheap and so then it’s a good value. You’ll have fun playing through the story and it is the longest game in the series which is impressive in its own right. You should always strive to be longer and longer right!?

As the end of the day whether you like it or not will depend on if you like the genre. So long as you do then the high production values will carry the day. The good characters and cinematics help to hold their own. My advice here would be that in some of the levels the timer is generous so just hide when the insects show up. It’s hard to react quickly enough to hit them before they hit you. So instead wait until they have finished their attack and then go for the win. That would be the ideal way to handle this and you will not be looking back.

Overall, Time Crisis 4 is a pretty good game. It’s certainly my favorite game in the series. At the end of the day I can’t guarantee that I will really remember these games all that often since they’re more the type of game that you play through and then it goes back in the closet but it still is good. If they ever brought another one to consoles over here then I’d be interested in playing it. Perhaps the ole muscle memory would kick in and I would start dominating it. That would be ideal at least. In the meantime it’ll probably be a while before I play another FPS so we’ll see which game comes next.

Overall 7/10