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4/18/2013

Ni No Kuni finished

I just finished Ni No Kuni. I loved it and I truly think it's a fantastic game in almost every aspect but I can't help but feel that a few important things could have been much better. This small article might give the wrong idea that I didn't like the game, but that isn't the case so I'll start by mentioning the good things I liked the most about it.


First is the art style. I can only remember a similar game to this back in the PS2: Dragon Quest VIII which, coincidentially, is made by the same development team but it uses the character design of Akira Toriyama instead of the Ghibli Studio one. Both are fantastic. Ni No Kuni has tons of details in the world, it avoids haing plain and boring-looking places to visit and that is extremely important. 

The voice-acting and music are fantastic too, I almost cried with the credit's song. But I probably didn't appreciate it as I should have because Persona 4 is still very fresh in my memory. Still, I truly recommend the soundtrack in Ni No Kuni, it's very touching and excellently done. 

To those, I could add a few more but the truth is that there are some aspects I didn't like. First, the familiar system, while good, requires the use of too much grinding to see the real potential of a creature. I spend too many hours of trial and error testing different Familiars to see if they were powerful enough until I found a final team to go.


Then there's a problem with a fourth party member that joins when the game is about to be over. This changes things a lot because you really have the opportunity to use another character with an extra set of familiars. To me, personally, the fourth party member, named Marcassin was a blessing because I had tons of problems with Esther being used by the AI. No matter what configuration I used, all she did was waste MP on support spells when normal fighter were less than 3 seconds away from being over. So having Marcassin joind earlier would have been much better.

But, in overall, Ni No Kuni is a fantastic video game like no other. While I personally don't praise the Familiar system, I think it's a good alternative over the usual systems other JRPG use sometimes. That mixed with a superb art style, graphics, plot and soundtrack make for a really great game. I'll be reviewing it very soon.

4/15/2013

Hyperdimension Victory is here!

During the week, my copy of Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory arrived. It's the third of the series that while very criticized among online comunities, looks very interesting to me. I still haven't played the previous ones because in all honesty, the first game is really, really bad. (I made a small article about it here) and my OCD doesn't let me start mk2 (the second game) without having finished the first. 


But now that I've talked to a few people, they tell me the first game is not mandatory to understand the plot which, given what the games are about, shouldn't be confusing or anything so I might give mk2 and Victory a chance after I'm done with Atelier Ayesha. 


4/09/2013

REVIEW: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (Xbox 360)


Deus Ex: Human Revolution is the third game in a critically acclaimed cyberpunk series that started way back with a first game exclusive to PC that became a cult title to thousands of gamers worldwide. Set in a not-so-distant future, the game presents us a world where technology has advanced quite a lot, huge companies are as powerful as governments and the entire human civilization has advanced quite a bit.

Just like the first Deus Ex and Invisible War, Human Revolution is presented in a cyberpunk style, where augmented people, artificial intelligences, evil corporations and technology in general seem to be the most important aspects of that kind of sci-fi settings. Human Revolution mixes cyberpunk with a fantastic art style that uses dark environments and the color yellow a LOT (just like the Matrix movies use green) to recreate what would be a futuristic setting that is more realistic that many of us would like to admit.

The main protagonist is the chief of security of Sarif Industries, named Adam Jensen, who after a specific incident, has his body altered heavily and becomes a cyborg who keeps working in the company for infiltration jobs to find a group of terrorists who start attacking it and other locations throughout the world.

Graphically, Human Revolutions looks fantastic. The Xbox 360 version of the game uses excellent textures, has solid antialiasing and HDR to make the beautiful world it takes place in come to life. Added to that, the art style where yellow takes prominence above other colors really gives it a unique touch the game benefits a lot from.

The animations are fluid for everything. Characters will walk, talk, run and even fight looking very real. And with a solid framerate, the entire thing just looks incredible. It really is worth playing the game for the graphics and visuals.

Excellent music will accompany the player during the entire game. A really cool thing is that unlike other sci-fi titles, Human Revolution avoids heavy music like dubstep to go with the world. Instead, most tunes are slow, calm but fit perfectly. The voice acting is fantastic as well which is important for a game like this that uses literally thousands of voice lines for every single character, even random NPC you encounter on the streets.

In gameplay, Human Revolution is one of the most brilliant RPGs out there right now. The game literally takes the “do it however you want” thing seriously because it allows the player to solve the problems it puts before them however they want by adding their own tweaks and upgrades to Jensen’s body to configure him according to their preferred playstyle.

In paper, this is a Stealth game but players will be able to complete missions in dozens of different ways. By completing objectives, talking to people, taking enemies down and even finding secret routes, Jensen will earn EXP that will give him Praxis Points to spend in upgrades for his body that will have many different effects like become invisible for a short time, run without making noise, better aiming with weapons, upgrades hacking skills and many, many others.

The great thing is that all upgrades are available from the start so the player can buy the ones he/she feels comfortable with and when presented with a mission objective, he/she can be 100% sure that all bought upgrades will be helpful in one way or another. For example, if you have to reach a room with a closed door, Jensen can hack it to force open it, take a nearby enemy down (both lethal and non lethal) and steal a key, find an alternate route via air ducts and many others.

With that, it’s likely that ten different players will finish the same game in ten different ways with ten different versions of Adam Jensen, which is fantastic for games today that many times feel too linear. This also promotes playing the game several times because in a single playthrough, Jensen can befriend or become enemies with certain character that could help him unlock events, sidequests and many other extra things.

Besides the dozens of upgrades available for his body, Jensen can also come across tons of weapons like pistols, tranquilizer rifles, shotguns and even rocket launchers for combat. It’s possible to play the entire game without using these and killing anyone (except bosses) but for players who lean for combat situations, the weapons and ammo are there. Other items include extra HP, energy for using upgrades, hacking tools and many others.

Sadly, not everything is great. Human Revolution has a few very annoying boss battles that feel completely out of context and force Jensen to do things he will most likely not be prepared for, especially if the player has upgraded him for stealth rather than combat. These bosses will make players carry weapons and use them against them without giving enough options or alternate ways to kill them. And in higher difficulties they can be really, really frustrating. Fortunately, most of them have a glitch or two that can be used against them if you look around the internet for solutions on how to easily beat them.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is simply a fantastic game that could have easily been one of the most iconic jewels of this console generation if it weren’t for the terrible bosses that in truth, do hinder the overall experience by a lot. But if you bear with them (like you should) you’ll be presented with a truly wonderful and beautiful cyberpunk RPG like no other. The story is amazing, just like the graphics, soundtrack and gameplay and fortunately, it’s also available on PS3 and PC so there’s just no excuse for not playing it.


Pros:
-          Excellent graphics and art style.
-          Adam Jensen is an awesome main character.
-          Story and narrative are top notch.
-          Fantastic gameplay mechanics.
-          Great soundtrack.

Cons:
-          Terrible, terrible bosses.
-          Takes a bit of trial and error, especially in the first few missions.


-          Graphics and Visuals………...10
-          Music and Sound Effects….....9
-          Gameplay………………....…9
-          Replay Value………………..10

-          Overall Score……………….. 9.5 / 10

4/04/2013

Deus Ex Human Revolution finished!

I finally finished Deus Ex Human Revolution. Amazing game with terrible bosses that to be quite honest, kinda destroyed the entire experience for me. I was scared about the final boss being as painful as the other three but fortunately, it was pretty fucking cool. 


There's a way to even kill the boss EASILY with the Laser Rifle if you happen to have it in your inventory. But even without it, the boss has many ways to be dealt with. And all of them are pretty fun, just like the missions themselves. I was always surprised about how many ways the game presented before me to reach my objectives. It's very good and in all honesty, the game deserves more than one playthrough.

Sadly though, I won't be able to because I have a huge backlog that I want to keep working on. I'll be writing a review for the game very soon so I hope I'll have time for it during the week.