5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Digimon World Championship Review


It’s time to look at a Digimon game that I’ve kept on the backburner for quite a while. This one sounded pretty interesting at first since you could have the Digimon fight each other in real time combat. The problem was that this isn’t the case at all. It’s actually a computer fighting game. By that I mean that the A.I. control the Digimon in combat and all you do is look out for them. It’s a similar mechanic to the Digimon World series, but to a much harsher extent. It’s a game that gets better as you play it, but ultimately you just feel like it’s a bit of a waste. It’s a game that could have been significantly better.

There is no plot here so we can get right to the meat of the game. Naturally that is the tournaments. The game runs on a calendar system (Which is always a terrible idea) so as you play the in game timer moves on. Each hour seems to pass by in about a minute or less. You’ll be running through the days which have no end. There are 4 seasons in the year and they keep on repeating. The first thing you need to do is catch some Digimon. You do this by going into the hunting ground and using your rope to catch them. It’s similar to the Pokemon Ranger system, but a little more tedious and annoying. This is because the Digimon tend to break free of the rope and run away. The screen isn’t always very responsive either so good luck chasing them. Still, eventually you’ll get the Digimon you want. If you want to catch stronger ones then you’ll need a better rope, but for that you need money. You get money by winning fights. These can either be Title Fights, Free Fights, or Championship bouts. Don’t worry about the final category since you need a team of Megas to even attempt such a thing. Title Fights is where I spent 90% of my time but Free Battles is a great way to get started.

Once you finally get your Digimon you have to realize that this is quite the responsibility. Your Digimon need food to eat and they need it at least once a day. They also do their business all over your cages so you have to keep cleaning them or the Digimon feel bad. They catch colds if you don’t put them in the Medical corner too often and they can’t handle 2 attributes at once. This means that if you are increasing their attack power you are weakening their defense and vice versa. The game is made so that there is always a catch which makes training take forever. Whenever you actually have a spare moment you’re expected to run to the store and buy more food and bandages since the Digimon go through them so quickly. They also get depressed for no reason and if they get scared in combat they will refuse to attack. This is always terrible since your Digimon may be strong enough to win, but doesn’t feel like he can so he won’t even try. It’s just such a terrible mechanic and it’s why I rarely like to leave it all in the hands of the A.I.

Well, somehow or other you will finally get around to getting involved in Title Fights. At first your Tamer Rank is 1, but the more medals you earn from these Titles, the more your rank increases. As your rank increases you’ll be able to buy a lot of extra items to make everything easier. It’s made to be one of those games that really encourages you to just keep playing. Get over the initial hump and you’ll really be ready for success. The first few battles are tough, the middle ones are easy, and then the last ones are tough again. I made it all the way to Tamer Rank 5 and won about 20 Titles so I figured that was good enough for the review. Towards the end the tournaments started having a lot of unnecessary conditions like “Only Rookies allowed” or only Holy Digimon allowed. If you don’t have one then you’re sunk since it means training one from scratch or catching it in the wild. Often times these fights are 3 v 3 so you would need to get 3 more. The problem is that you can’t keep too many Digimon in the cage with you or you’ll run out of space. You can see why the game is so frustrating.

Naturally the game also brings back the concept of your Digimon dying. When that happens they are turned back into an egg and you have to start the training back from scratch. Why even put something like that in the game right? It’s a big thing that is in a lot of Digimon games and ultimately ends up holding them back. I just don’t think that it’s a good idea and it makes you not want to invest too much time into any partner. From the start I decided I would stop either when I got enough titles or when my Digimon died. The former happened first, but I was definitely getting close with my guy since he’s been with me for around 3 years I believe.

The graphics aren’t bad. They’re fairly zoomed out though and don’t look as good as the average mobile game. It takes a lot for me to say that a game looks bad, but I will concede that it is well below average. You could easily make a game that looks better than this one with just about any company’s budget. The looks aren’t that important, but it doesn’t set a good first impression. As for the soundtrack, it’s as bland as can be. There are only a few themes and none of them are particularly noteworthy. At least they’re not bad though.

As for replay value, the game technically has a lot there. With your Digimon constantly dying or needing your attention, you could play this game for many hours. That being said, I don’t imagine that you would have a ton of fun with this so I wonder how long you would last. This is probably the weakest Digimon game yet which is unfortunate. Hopefully the Digimon World series is basically over or gets an overhaul since it just doesn’t seem to hit the right notes. Only Digimon World 4 seems to have been really well made and that one was a radical change from the others.

Overall, Digimon World Championship will test your baby sitting skills. It’s basically the only way to keep the Digimon in line. I’ve ranted about the game long enough though. It still isn’t a bad game and I did have fun grabbing the titles once I got more powerful Digimon. The problem is that in order to get all of the titles you would have to repeat this process many times over which is just something that I wouldn’t plan on doing. Even when you have a strong enough team to win, a large part of the battle depends on luck and the whims of the A.I. I just don’t think that would work for me. If this sounds like your cup of tea then by all means go for it. It’s definitely a fairly unique game I suppose.

Overall 5/10

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8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Professor Layton and the Curious Village Review


This game was stuck on the backburner for a very long time. That final puzzle was just insane and I had to quickly confer with the Gamefaq experts. In the end, I do think it was a fair puzzle though as the squares all seemed rather legitimate. This is a puzzle game that actually handles them really well and the game never felt unfair or unbalanced. It’s one that I’d highly recommend and you’ll find it hard to put the game down once you have started.

The tale follows Professor Layton and his sidekick as they enter a mysterious village. There is something wrong with the place as people disappear or seem to be murdered and then show up the next day. If they want to get to the bottom of this, the heroes will have to solve a lot of puzzles and make their way to the suspicious tower. Luckily Layton is a gentleman so he knows how to handle every situation thoughtfully and with purpose.

Layton’s gameplay is rather easy to understand. You click on various objects to see if they have puzzles or hint coins. Each hint coin allows you to unlock a hint for a puzzle, but you have to spend them wisely as each puzzle has 3 hints, but there are more puzzles than coins. As such, you should only use them on puzzles that you really can’t figure out or you will have used them up on all of the easy ones. I was able to achieve a very nice balance as I had coins whenever I had need of them. Even with the 3 hints, the final puzzle was a little too much though. You’ll never have to do anything complex as the puzzles are purely about figuring things out as opposed to any sort of platforming.

The actual plot was interesting enough. Layton makes for a good lead and he’ll remind you of the Adam West version of Batman. He’s very down to Earth and always considers everything. His young apprentice isn’t quite as wise yet, but he’s learning and always makes sure to complement Layton. There are a host of supporting characters who all seem rather suspicious. As with any good mystery novel, you can’t really trust anyone here. The main villain is also reasonably good although he’s not too charismatic. I wouldn’t mind not seeing him in the sequel since he doesn’t add much to the game, but he’s not bad either. he did add a touch of danger to the climax so I’d say that was a good thing. The train plot will probably be a little better for me as I like a good ride. I have heard that the sequel is shorter though which is a little concerning, but I’m sure it’ll be long enough.

The graphics were certainly acceptable here. It’s the kind of game where graphics don’t really mean all that much and aren’t given a chance to show off either way. There were some fully animated cutscenes though so those looked sharp and a lot of DS games don’t even have that so it was impressive. The stills looked good as well and all of the characters were on point so I’m definitely satisfied with how it all went down. The music is rather boring, but it’s probably meant to be that way so it doesn’t get in the way of your puzzle solving abilities. You’re not really playing this for the music after all, though I am of the opinion that fast paced rock music would actually add to the experience.

There is certainly some replay value here as you can go back and try to solve all of the puzzles. I found a bunch of them, but didn’t actually solve them all. I left the most challenging ones of course and I expect that you would do the same in the game. As such, there is guaranteed to be something to do and the game should easily crack 20-30 hours by the end. The actual game’s length I’d say is probably around 10-12 hours, but it took me 16 because of that final puzzle which I spent hours and hours on. I just didn’t want to surrender, but in the end I have to admit that it defeated me. I have a feeling that a rematch would go quite differently though and I aim to prove that in the sequel.

Overall, Professor Layton and the Curious Village is a great game. It’s just really fun and I could play it for hours and hours. There is really something to be said for simple puzzle games or any game that has a very clear and easy to understand objective. No matter how hard the individual puzzles may be, it’s not as if you’ll ever be lost and wonder what you have to do next. The challenges are straight forward and it’s simply up to you to meet them head on. I look forward to playing the next title as I already own it and will be tackling it very soon. The game is very streamlined all the way through and it’s easy to pick up and play. It can hold its own against just about any other game and is easily the best puzzle game. I want to play Ace Attorney someday to see how it stacks up even if both games are quite different. They’ve always been natural rivals.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mercury Meltdown Revolution Review


One can never get tired of playing these obscure Wii games eh? Mercury Meltdown Revolution is one of the many games that I bought a while back when Gamestops were emptying out their Wii inventory. The sheer amount of levels deterred me from starting this one for a while, but I decided to finally take the plunge. I didn’t play all 160+ levels, but I went as far as I could without grinding out some levels to get the final worlds. It’s a pretty fun puzzle game and it’s quite a bit better than most of the other Wii games that I’ve played. There are a few iffy levels and the controls aren’t explained too well, but this one’s a keeper.

The gameplay is fairly similar to Super Monkey Ball. You control a blob of Mercury and you have to get from the start to the finish. At first, the levels are fairly linear. You just have to use the Wii’s motion controls to get across. Later levels turn into intricate puzzles where you have to bump the mercury across a corner to split it and then navigate through the level along both paths simultaneously while not letting any of them fall. The levels continue to get tougher and tougher as you move along so expect to have to retry many levels multiple times. You need to pay close attention to the primary colors and subsets since some levels will only allow you to complete them as a certain level. Once in a while there will be levels where you can be dead without even knowing it. This happens when you turned into the wrong color or left your Mercury pal behind.

One thing that the game doesn’t mention is that a certain levitation button reverses your direction. I died over a dozen times trying to perform the fall just right without realizing that I was only falling due to the reverse. Trust me, it wasn’t a very happy situation. There is a lot of strategy in this game and much more so than Monkey Ball. Monkey Ball’s still better though because I prefer the physical skill aspect to be the big focus. This game is good for making you play patiently as you think about the options, but sometimes you just want to rush in there and start completing levels. You won’t be able to do that very much in this title.

Still, it’s definitely a pretty calm game. It’s something you can play to relax or to compete with a friend over who has the firmer hand when navigating the tougher turns. There is apparently a party mode since I unlocked party games several times. I didn’t actually check out the mode, but I’ll probably play it at some point in the future. It’s a good thing to have for the replay value although the game has quite a lot of that already as it is. Going back to each level and trying to complete them with more Mercury is a fun way of adding a challenge. I’m not crazy about it being tied to the rest of the worlds, but considering that there is no story mode anyway, it’s a little less annoying than it would be otherwise. You’ll also want to grab the stars that are scattered in all of the levels to unlock more party games.

The graphics are simple and to the point. They’re pretty bright so you don’t have to worry about straining your eyes to see what is happening The only area where the graphics are lacking a bit is that it can be hard to tell what color your Mercury is at times. Yellow, Aqua, and Silver all look almost identical. It’s pretty crazy since Yellow and Silver should never look that similar. Beyond that, the graphics are good. They aren’t great, but they’re certainly passable for this game.

Surprisingly, the soundtrack is actually pretty good at times. It is annoying how the same victory theme plays for each level though. You’ll get annoyed by it fairly quick as it isn’t even a good tune. Seeing the Mercury try to dance around can also be fairly disturbing. Get rid of the victory theme and the music would be just about perfect in this game.

One of the crucial parts that made the game good was the fact that the controls are actually very smooth and responsive. You will rarely die because the controls forced you over the edge. That is very crucial because the whole game is about testing your steadiness and reaction times. Bad controls would defeat the purpose and make the game unfair. It’s especially impressive since most Wii games are downright terrible when it comes to this area.

There is only one kind of level that I didn’t like in this game. Those are the escort missions. As always, escorting someone is pretty annoying. You’re trying to get a square of jelly to step on a switch for you, but he doesn’t like to listen to reason and gets in your way as often as possible. There was one level with a green jelly who could KO you in one hit if you bumped into him. That guy was also very unforgiving and my best advice is to simply stay away from him. No good will come out of those levels and they’re not worth the time sink. Stick to the standard levels.

Overall, Mercury Meltdown Revolution is a game that is easily worth the 2-4 dollars that you’ll spend to get it. Having over 160 levels is quite the feat and none of them are copies either. The levels all feel distinct and offer their own original challenges within. Each level is an experience while you may not want to try and beat too many levels in one shot, you won’t burn out too quickly if you do. If you like puzzle games a lot, then I recommend this one. It is certainly no Professor Layton, but these challenges will still have you scratching your head. It’s the kind of game that I’d never buy for the original retail price, but it’s a fun brain teaser.

Overall 7/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh The Falsebound Kingdom Review


It’s time to review another Yugioh game, but unfortunately it is easily the worst one that I have ever played. I’m sorry Yugioh fans, I didn’t think it was possible to have a bad one…but here we are. For starters, it doesn’t feel like a Yugioh game at all. The plot is laughable and the gameplay is as bad as possible for its turn based style. It makes Digimon Data Squad and Pokemon Colosseum look like they had lightning fast loading times. It doesn’t help that Yugioh overstays its welcome as well. Prepare yourself for a rocky experience when playing the game!

You can choose to play as Kaiba or Yugi initially. I believe that after completing both stories you unlock Joey’s mode as well. You’d have to be extremely dedicated to do that though since this game is very long and completing both stories could easily result in a 20+ hour long game. Kaiba’s mode sees him in Ancient Egypt. He leads an army, but unfortunately his brother was kidnapped by a guy called Scott, whose clothes look like modern day gear. Kaiba quickly pursues this villain, but he will have to fight off many other armies, bandits, and other such fighters who get in his way. Can Kaiba rescue Mokuba and stop this random guy from messing around with the past?

I didn’t like the plot for a lot of reasons. The main one is that I really don’t like AU stories a lot of the time unless the concept is super good to actually justify having the characters here. There is a plot twist that makes this moot by the end, but also reminds you how pointless the whole charade was. Kaiba and friends didn’t need to be here and this could have easily been a Dynasty Warriors game instead. The monsters felt really out of place as well if you ask me. I don’t like Ancient Egypt as a setting and most of the characters were either generic or annoying. It was fun to see Yugi show up for a quick cameo, but that was it. He was gone as soon as he appeared and then it was back to fighting Scott in a battle of no interest to anyone playing.

This game also felt very low budget. The soundtrack is essentially nonexistent and the only tune that I can recall was very dead and lifeless. Certainly not what you’d like to hear while having a nice duel. All of the cutscenes were just little picture boxes with text after it. Once in a while, the background would change which was a nice little touch and Slifer got a quick cutscene, but that was basically it. The graphics were all right I suppose, but not while on the overhead map. Everyone looked the same there and the creatures were so tiny that you typically couldn’t see anything. Moving on the map was a pain and likewise, using any item took way too long there. Travelling to enemy camps would take forever and by the time you made a move, the enemies were already on top of you. Typically, the best move was to simply beat all of the minions and then attack the castle, but that would mean a very long level for you to play. The quickest way to win is to dash over to the enemy castle, but odds are that your monster wouldn’t be fast enough to pull this off. I was able to do it a handful of times, but mostly my strategy didn’t pan out.

This wouldn’t be terrible…if the combat system was any good. On the surface, it is the classic turn based system that Pokemon uses. You take turns with the opponent on who gets to attack and each battle is a 3 on 3 match. The problem is that everyone’s attacks take a little long since you have to watch the whole animation and every member has a lot of health. You have a limited amount of actions in a battle so if both teams run out, then you have to fight again after a 0 second intermission. It can be 5 seconds if you are fighting from a castle. Rinse and repeat for all of the minions and this can be tough. Especially if you send out 9 teams and the opponent has 9 as well. Personally, I recommend sticking to 2 and just using them the whole time. Even if you lose, the level ups save so you can keep retrying until you win. I also recommend avoiding any optional minions as the mild EXP boost isn’t worth it and just focus on completing the level. Pegasus was extremely valuable and Ishizu was good as well. Kaiba was actually pretty weak, which was a shame.

Items are crucial as well since the computers will constantly be healing themselves. You’ll want to have some kind of healing array on your side as well if you really want to win. It costs a lot of money, but you should naturally have enough while playing through the game. I only ran out after the final level was over and by then I didn’t need to buy any more items anyway so it was all good. Either way, the matches will drag on quite a bit. You’ll need to use some strategy rather than just attacking over and over, but since every character only has 1 attack, prepare to see the same one spammed over and over and over again.

There is some replay value here as you can try to beat the game with all 3 characters, but there’s not much of a purpose to this beyond just doing it for fun. I didn’t find the game to be all that fun at all so I certainly don’t plan on doing that. The game was long enough as it is so it will definitely satisfy you considering how cheap the game is. You can get it for under 5 dollars, but should you? Think carefully on that because it is a Yugioh game in name only. Seriously, there is no card playing to be found here at all and that is rather tragic if you ask me.

Really, this game should have been good, but it really felt like a bad fanfic. The story just makes no sense and is not interesting in the slightest. How did this Scott guy go and kidnap everyone anyway? The game doesn’t bother to explain this at all. The computer also gets sentient by the end and suddenly turns into an old guy with a beard. The concept is cool even if it has been done to death (By other Yugioh games as well) but the design was pretty bad. Fighting against a God card was cool, but it had way too much health so it was tedious to defeat. Not hard, but tedious. If the gameplay had only been sped up 2X, I could have easily seen this game grab a 6. Probably not a 7 anyway since it just wasn’t interesting, but gameplay plays a huge role in any title so if it was as smooth as the average Pokemon game, this review would be quite different.

Overall, The Falsebound Kingdom is a game that I recommend avoiding. It is easily the worst Yugioh game out there and that is even including the odd GX game where you follow a calendar and as such, there is no real plot to the game and nothing to do either since if you miss a day, you miss an opportunity. I can’t stand the day system, but luckily I’ve only encountered 2-4 games that do such a thing. Back to this game though, I don’t see if being surpassed as the worst anytime soon. Even the Duelist of the Roses game for PS2 (Something like that) should be better since it uses the standard gameplay. I’ve had this game on the backburner for many years (And I can see why) so I am glad to have it done once and for all!

Overall 4/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Orphen Scion of Sorcery Review


It’s time for a game that was on the back burner for a very long time. I got this game years ago, but better late than never right? Since I saw the TV shows not too long ago, it seemed like a good opportunity to finally play the game. It has some unique concepts when it comes to the gamplay, but unfortunately the puzzles, boss designs, and the plot hold this game back a little. It’s still a fun little adventure, but it certainly could have been a lot better. Having to play the game 3 times over to see the true ending was a bad sign from the start.

Orphen is a sorcerer and currently travels along with his apprentice and a heroine who is seeking adventure. Two trolls tell them that a boat is heading to their next destination, but unfortunately, Orphen never learned that you should not trust trolls. The boat is actually heading to a haunted island. The mystery thickens when the ship is attacked by monsters and Orphen is forced to land on the island. From here, you have the option of helping out one person out of the three individuals. You can help out the tough warrior who is searching for his daughter. You could help out the girl who is trying to find the grave of her fiancee to properly mourn him. Or, you can help a kid find his mother who is lost on the island. You can only help one person per playthrough though and then you have to start the game again to help the next person. There will be some slight changes as Orphen partially remembers that he has gone back in time, but quickly forgets after the first cutscene since the game doesn’t know which story you’d pick first and a lot of the dialogue would change if Orphen remembered. No matter who you help, you’ll eventually try to find the Crystal Egg which lets you pass through time. You’ll need to do so in order to locate the missing people and keep the giant monster at bay. Once you’ve helped everyone out, you can finally fight against the true boss of the island.

Unfortunately, the plot goes off the rails by the time you finish it. For starters, the three stories can’t seem to agree on anything. In the kid’s story, the old lady is actually a hero who is trying to keep the beast from waking up and destroying everyone. However, in the lady’s story, the old woman is the one kidnapping kids and aging them into teenagers to further her own ambitions. Likewise, in the warrior’s story, she is also the main villain. The ending sheds some light on this, but makes the rest of the story more convoluted as well. See, this island was actually one big illusion. It may be more accurate to call it a theater stage though. The robot would animate the bodies and have Orphen live through fake quests based on old stories from ancient times. That’s why the characters kept switching roles and personalities. It’s because the actors were playing different characters at that point. Luckily, one of the souls was still wandering around and inhabited the robot’s A.I. assistant and summoned Orphen to destroy him once and for all.

This leads to some painfully long cutscenes with the robot talking very slowly and panicking while the assistant also dies because their lives are linked. Orphen takes this in stride though and the gang is back to their normal cheerful dispositions after leaving the place. They did save the bodies from being used in an endless puppet show so that’s something to feel good about. It was a fairly unnecessary twist though and the whole final act was just really boring and random. Seriously, the plot is definitely not this game’s strong point and it just won’t keep your attention after a while. Seeing the heroes bicker all the time can be endearing I suppose…

Graphically, the game is all right. The character models are good for their time and the boss designs are fun. The levels are also quite big and there are a nice variety of them even if a few like the tower and the boat are overused. My TV has a very tough time playing any PS2 game without the lighting going down to its minimum levels. This made seeing the game a little trickier than it should be, but it has happened so many times that I’m pretty sure its an issue on my level rather than with the game. Nonetheless, I was always happy to see a rare daytime level as most of the stages took place at night. Day-Time levels are better 99% of the time as a good night level is quite rare. Still, they are possible of course, you just have to make sure that it is still light out like in the good ole Shadow The Hedgehog game.

There are actual anime cutscenes in the game which was really impressive for its time. I still get excited to see that nowadays since it is as rare now as it was 10 years ago. There may not have been a lot of them, but it was better than nothing. As for the soundtrack, it is very limited so I wouldn’t expect much from the title here. The minion theme is boring, but the boss track was fairly good. Those are really the only two big themes in the game although a few more will pop up here and there. It’s certainly sub-par though and I expect better from a game like this one.

All right, lets talk about the actual gameplay. There are two different styles to be found. When you’re not locked in combat, it is your standard 3D platformer. You walk through the levels and try to get to the end of them. Sometimes you will have to find items, step on switches, break objects, or solve puzzles. You have an energy sword, energy blasts, and you can jump in this mode. The energy blast is never used once, but it is fun to look at I suppose. The sword is useful once in a while for breaking towers. This part of the game is fun for the most part, but the puzzles are extremely annoying when they pop up.

One puzzle has you reconstruct a music piece using 6 tunes, but only 4 of them are in the pass code. It sounds easier than it is as the combinations that sound right don’t work. You assistant will let you know which 4 notes should be used in the combination, but I spent over 2 hours trying out every possible version and none of them worked. Why is that? Well, to see if it really worked, you actually have to hit the retry note which will apparently play your combination against the lock. What this means is that I actually did get the right answer a few times, but it didn’t count in each instance because I didn’t hit the white note. Now that was just terrible and very annoying. There were other such puzzles that got old very quickly. Even chasing the bunny was a pretty sad minigame as you apparently had to walk slowly to catch him, but the game never even hints at it until someone mentions this fact.

Ah well, at least the combat section is mostly fun. You can equip up to 4 spells to use and one of them is a barrier. You must time your attacks well so that you can block and retaliate while not getting hit. This gets tricky when a lot of villains show up so at that point I recommend just blasting away at them all. The bosses can be a bit long at times, but most of them are fun as well. The only cheap boss is the final one which is very poorly designed. He’ll block anything you throw at him when he feels like it and will occasionally send in minions to attack you. There are so many minions and they attack so quickly that you are sure to get hit by them. I just kept on trying and trying until I somehow landed enough blows to win. A lot of luck was involved and the boss would just randomly not block at times while he would on other occasions. One helpful tip is to remember that you can retry the battle if you are about to lose. That way you won’t have to go back to your last save point. Trust me, it will save you a lot of time considering that the cutscenes can’t be skipped and that they are quite long at times.

There is absolutely no replay value unfortunately. Once you have beaten all of the stories and obtained the true ending, there really isn’t anything more to do here. The main campaign is fairly long though since it is over 10 hours. That will last you long enough to justify the purchase and the game probably would have really dragged on had it gone any further. I can’t say that I was too pleased about having to play the game 3 times over even if it did a better job of making all the stories unique than most titles. I guess the fact that the game could keep on switching everyone’s roles without worrying about plot holes probably helped quite a bit.

Overall, Orphen certainly could have been a better game. The combat gameplay was very unique and it was fun to play around with. The game probably could have done more with it since most of the bosses and minions were a little too similar. For being a puzzle game, there luckily weren’t a lot of puzzles, but some of them were still extremely annoying so that is definitely a good thing. Fans of the Orphen TV show should definitely check it out. Just seeing the gang again should be nostalgic even if the voices are way different here. Orphen’s meanness is also exaggerated quite a bit here, but it was fun to listen to his lines so I was pretty cool with that. To the average video game fan, I recommend it, but cautiously. You can certainly do better and find a game that will grab your attention more, but this still isn’t a bad game. You’ll just slowly find that you lose more and more interest in the title as you get closer to the end.

Overall 6/10

Manga, Manga Reviews, Reviews

Fire Emblem Ankokuryuu To Hikari No Ken Review


It’s hard to believe that I’ve been reading this for around 5 years. I started in early June during 2011 according to my original blog post and the series just finished the other day. Of course, the series had already been over for years, it just hadn’t been scanned yet. Well, I appreciate the work that the scanlator did and the series was a good read. It had enough things to hold it back from being great, but it’s a good series and I got to see Marth take a leading role.

So, Marth’s kingdom was basically taken over and his family line is at an end. Marth is the only one standing and his “army” is really just a small batch of soldiers. Still, he is Prince Marth and he cannot let evil infect the planet. Slowly but surely, Marth gathers allies to help in the upcoming battles. Once the army is large enough, he will take back his kingdom and finally restore the land to peace and prosperity. The problem is that Marth is a bit of a pacifist and he doesn’t like to fight, but the only way to take down the villains will be to go to war with them. Will Marth have what it takes to defeat them all?

Now, as I mentioned earlier, it’s been around 5 years since I started the title so that’s why the basic plot may sound a little fuzzy. It’s been a long road and sometimes the manga would go on break for months or even nearly a year. While I still remember it as a fun title, I can safely say that you will be able to enjoy it much more than I did as reading it from start to finish without such long breaks is a lot more enjoyable. This way you won’t forget any plot points or begin to forget the characters. You’re always able to launch yourself right back into plot despite any breaks since the situations are typically simple, but nothing beats the average fast blast through the title.

The artwork for the series is solid and the fight scenes end up looking powerful. At times, Marth looks very similar to one of the heroines, but I suppose that their character models are similar as they even have the same style of hair. The artist probably could have still made them a little more differentiated by giving Marth a cool cloak. At times, he has his signature cape, but it’s more of a generic desert one than the one that you will remember from Super Smash Bros. Seeing as how Marth is just starting here, I suppose that he hasn’t matured to that level just yet. It would have been awesome to have seen him with that look though.

Marth gets a lot of development throughout the series as he shows everyone what a capable leader he is. At first, he had a lot of trouble with villains who were of only moderate skill, but by the end he is able to take on just about anyone. In terms of pure swordplay, he’s still not among the best yet, but he has the legendary sword Falchion. He uses that one in Super Smash Bros as well and it is a very powerful sword. It can block any energy/fire attack and no villain can stand up to its limitless power. The blade serves Marth quite well.

One part of the manga’s plot that is a bit much though is how outnumbered and outgunned Marth’s army is. At one point, they face off against an army who has a mage with them and there’s no way that the heroes should have won. The Mage could blow up cities with a single blast and Marth should have been unable to stop him. The only reason why the heroes are still able to do well is because the mage lowers his guard and lets the heroes get close to him. That guy was easily the strongest character in the entire series and he wasn’t the final boss so it was expected, but still no easier to believe. It’s why you should always be careful to keep the villains in realistic reach of the hero’s power. Slightly stronger perhaps, but not by a great deal. Seeing as how Marth is still human and he didn’t have the legendary sword yet…it shouldn’t have even been a fight.

While the title is still set in the fantasy land of Fire Emblem, it’s mostly realistic. If not for the occasional dragon or magician, you could have thought that this was based on a real world. Dramatized of course, but it is very down to Earth. That means that we don’t get a whole lot of feats, but the sword fights can be fun. My only problem with them is that the battles tend to be very short. At its core, the series was still a tactical one so we typically see the heroes making plans and discussing how to attack the enemies. It’s smartly written.

That being said, the series could also get a little slow at times. Once again, I do think that this wouldn’t be very noticeable if not for the breaks, but sometimes you can go quite a while without any real action. While Marth can be a skilled fighter, he’s not exactly a thrilling main character so that doesn’t help. Marth’s heroic, but he lives in a land where wars are always being waged and does destroy his opponents, although he tries to spare as many as possible. He couldn’t keep his hands clean all of the time and that’s actually a part of his character arc. It would have been nice to have seen him arrest everyone, but it’s always tough in a war. At least, now peace can reign…or not.

The series ends with Marth stating that more battles will be fought and that it will be quite some time until peace is kept within the lands. So, he heads off to win these battles with his friends and the series just comes to a close. It’s a decent ending as there are certainly many Fire Emblem games and there’s not much of an alternative on what kind of ending could have shown up. It seems like you need to play the game to get the full story, although you may have expected that.

This series is based off of one of the video games and the author has fun throwing in guest stars and cameos from some of the fan favorite individuals in the game who weren’t totally relevant to the plot. It appears like the red haired swordsman, one of the best characters in the series, is one of those guest stars. He never really contributes to the series except to beat up some henchmen and get a lot of hype. Still, I liked him from the start and I believe that I had him fight on the blog a while back. He was certainly a skilled warrior.

Oguma was the main “rival” character. I used the quotation marks because he acts like a cool Shonen rival, but technically, it’s hard to call him that since Marth is not competitive at all. Oguma was really needed as he is the army’s best fighter and without him, Marth would have surely lost the war. Oguma thought up many of the plans that were used in the battles and his overwhelming power in combat was a great asset to the team. He was certainly likable. Sheeda was the main heroine and she is good with dragons. I believe that she also knew some healing magic. Sheeda was a nice supporting character and helped out throughout the series. There’s not a whole lot to say about her, but she helped to remind Marth that while the war is going on, not everything is bleak. She has a happier ending than most of the other characters. Kain is the main comic relief of the series and he’s all right I suppose. I just didn’t really care for the guy and his magic abilities never got to be that impressive. He’s around, but he rarely helps out and is typically getting into danger all of the time.

There are certainly many more characters that pop up throughout the series. There were about 12 volumes, which were made up of 59 chapters so a lot of things got to happen. There was a more experienced mage who loved to tease Kain about the fact that she was infinitely stronger than him. There were also some fun fights with other black dragons and the main villain made his plans. More of the characters would leave a lasting impression on me with a re read and I may go through the series again someday, but I feel like I still remember enough of it that a re read isn’t quite necessary. While I don’t know most of the names, the characters are what really counts.

Another reason why the series was so good is that it was a class act from start to finish. The series avoids the fanservice trap and none of the characters are terrible. There were probably some unlikable villains and heroes around, but I can’t think of any that made it to Roshi or Oolong levels. The writing was good and didn’t need to rely on any cheap tricks to get through the story.

Overall, I definitely recommend checking out this title. Now that it’s finally finished, you can blast through it and witness the legendary war that Marth fought through. It’s no wonder why his kingdom looks like its in ruins in Super Smash Bros Brawl. I do think that Meta Knight wouldn’t have stood a chance against such a seasoned veteran there! Marth’s a solid lead and he’s surrounded by a good supporting cast. There is a lot of action in the series even though there are large periods of peace between the fights. The art is solid and the writing is consistently good. I’d probably add another star to this title with a re read as it would address my pacing problems a little, but either way it’s a complete title to check out. I’ve now finished two of the Fire Emblem titles and I highly recommend checking out the one with Al and Roy if you haven’t yet. The franchise has numerous manga titles so hopefully I will be checking out another one of them someday. If this manga doesn’t give you some incentive to play as Marth, I don’t know what will.

Overall 7/10