Dragon Age Inquisition - 10/10
This was a great addition to the series and and phenomenal way to "end"* the story. This entry picked up loose ends from the first two games and their expansions and tied them all together to lead into the main conflict of the new story arc. You can actually hear and see how the world around you changes as you complete quests even the minor ones. The romance option in the game was made a lot more realistic as well. Now you cant just buy a bunch of gifts and give them to your choice until they like you. You HAVE to take them along in the party, talk to them at Skyhold, and do their personal quest. Combat was a little weird at first because of how they changed the menu but after two or three fights I got the hang of it. But the absolute best part of the game is as always...the party banter. The best way to describe its awesomeness is just "Templars, Feathers, and Grapes".
*I put end in quotes because while they completely ended the story there were a couple of questions left unanswered after the credits that will obviously lead into an expansion pack.
Very similar to FC3 in a lot of ways. Not really a bad thing as that was a good game, but feels very much like a re-skin/add-on at times. Hella fun though and a very good time sink for the time it took to complete it. Great game.
Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix- 7.8/10 too much awesome 9.5/10
I believe this particular game is the epitome of everything that makes this series great. Most, if not all of the bosses were tough enough on Critical Mode to put up a pulse-pounding fight. Oh, Critical Mode- for once, it's available to play the very first time around, instead of unlocking it via Proud Mode. (I was crazy enough to have my first playthrough on Critical... darn, was it fun.)
The only reason this one doesn't have a perfect score is because of the Atlantica world. Ugh... for such a good game, that was one awful level. Also, for anyone playing this for the first time, the story is one convoluted mess to wrap your head around, although it's certainly better to start here than, say, Re:coded or 358/2 Days. Otherwise, this game is absolutely worth its $40 pricetag.
I love the Uncharted series, haven't played 3 yet but 2 was awesome. Sure, it's unfair to give a 'first in the series' game a rating, but the last parts of the game really pushed my buttons.. The game is most frustrating on the highest difficulties, so I toned it down to easy...no difference, the enemies still feel cheap, I've seen someone play this on hard and he always died toward the end of the game, I think it was about..20+ times? The last boss of this game felt pretty cheap as well, if you die once, players could instantly spawn just to die again, the checkpoints were pretty horrible the whole game e.e
Like i said, it's the first game of a good series, Naughty Dog has improved a LOT since then(The Last of Us) but overall, this game had a good soundtrack, story, and characters. But the gameplay felt clunky and there was a little too much gunfights for a treasure hunter type game.
I know I'm a little late to the party, but I just finished Xenoblade Chronicles, so I may as well give it a rating...
While the appearence of this game is a bit dated, that doesn't stop it from looking beautiful when it wants to. Take the title screen for example, which is probably my favourite title screen in all of history:
Simply beautiful, there's not other way I can describe that. As for the game itself, it looks just as good. Anyway, my rating for the visuals (considering that this is the Wii we're talking about here) is a 10/10.
Other: Something I should mention about this game is that it's big. Very big. One might even call it gigantic. For example, take a look at this screenshot of the first area:
That look big enough for you? Well, it just gets bigger from there. Oh, and I should also mention that there are no invisable walls, so if you can see something then you can go to it.
Oh, and *dons an overly posh accent* British voice actors are gods.
I'm not really going to spoil the plot of this game -it is a JRPG after all - so I'll just glance over it: basicly, the game is set on the bodies of two unmoving titans: the Bionis and the Mechonis. On the foot of the Bionis - Colony 9 - a teen named Shulk comes into contact with the Monado, a weapon that allows him to see visions of the future, then... Something happens and he sets out on a quest to defeat the Mechon - inhabitants of Mechonis and the game's antagonists - with many twists along the way. Oh and there is almost no chance of you guessing the plot twist near the end. Anyway, I'd give the story a rating of 10/10... I think you can see where this is going.
The gameplay (as per the JRPG norm) cosists of two parts - exploring the overworld and the battles. As for the former, it's mostly your standard controls... Except for the aforementioned fact that the game's world is huge and you don't move too fast. However, while this would usually be a problem, in this game they decided to be merciful and add a feature that all RPGs should have: Skip Travel, which basicly lets you warp to a previously visited Landmark instantly. Also, speaking of features that make it more convinent... You can save anywhere (and if you quit and boot up that file again you'll be standing in the exact same place as when you saved), not needing to go back to a quest-giver to reep the rewards of said quest (in most cases), the game notifying the player if they have made progress in a quest, and giving them the option to veiw said progress at the press of a button, giving you the option to switch around the party members before a boss fight incase your current one wouldn't do very well... The list goes on.
As for the battles, it basicly goes like this: party members will use a basic attack automaticly, but they can select various special moves - or Arts - to use, which are bacikly like Skills in most RPGs. However, there are a few things that make its battle system stand out from the crowd. Firstl, all monsters appear in the overworld, no random encounters here. Oh, and battles are also fought in the overworld too. Secondly, the Aggro system, which basicly means that if an enemy takes a lot of damage from a particular party member, then that particular enemy will target that party member. Forth, Chain Attacks, which on occasion let you effectively pause the game and deliver a flurry of up to fifteen Arts on an enemy. However, there is the one mechanic which stands above the rest in terms of uniqueness: the Vision system, which makes use of the Monado's visions as more than just a plot device (well, it does happen outside of battle too, but it's most useful in battle). Basicly, when Shulk's visions show him the next attack that an enemy is about to use - damage, status effect, type and wheather it'd kill a party member - and gives you time to prevent it with the appropriate Arts. That mechanic is a godsend, as it allow you to stop what could be a full-party wipe and turn it into a victory.
Anyway, I don't really have anything else to say about the gameplay, so I'll just give it a 10/10.
Do I really need to say anything more? I give Xenoblade Chronicles the rank of A True Masterpeice (10/10), well worth the $91 I paid for it.
I know it got a lot of negative reviews, but I wanted to play it for myself and judge.
Gameplay-It's fine honestly imo. You're moving moderately fast around each level trying to get to the end and collect all of the blueprints and crystals. A lot of people talk about having to backtrack, but once you get, I believe, the 1st blueprint upgrade, you'll see all of the crystals and blueprints on the map making them much easier to come across. I was able to obtain most of them (if not all) in a single playthorugh of the level on the first try. I only had to backtrack literally once, because I mistakenly thought that you only got a badge for beating the level and didn't notice that you also got them for collecting all of the crystals and blueprints. So as long as your screen is on the map the whole time (and there's no reason why it shouldn't) everything should go by pretty quickly and easily.
I'll also mention that I did get a game freeze once, but I haven't heard of this game being very buggy or glitchy in general and this was literally the only issue I had.
Story-I'm putting this in a spoiler tag in the off change someone is planning on getting this and does't want to be spoiled.
It pretty much sucks. Seriously, Lyric captures Amy, the gang plays "Amy's clues" to find her, they find her, Lyric is defeated, the end.
First off the "story was so bare bones and lacking so forgive me if I'm forgetting anything, but let's try analyze this thing shall we.
Presentation-This game has a total of 3 CGI cut-scenes. One at the beginning, the Shadow one that had been seen in earlier trailers, and one at the end. The rest are just generic cut-scenes with text box dialogue. (Text box dialogue than moves slow as hell with no way to speed it up I might add.) Now the cut-scenes can be entertaining. The characters do have a few motions they can make aside from just standing in place as the dialogue goes by. And the dialogue can be humorous at times, but usually they tend to draw it out with Knuckles too much and it just becomes annoying.
The stage designs are okay though. Not amazing, but nothing I'd say was boring, bland, or unlikable. I could do without so many enemies though.
Character Interactions-The character interactions are okay for the most part. The only problems I have are, again, Knuckles's "jokes" that go on too long.
Metal Sonic-People talk about how unnecessary Shadow was in RoL. Yet I've never heard anyone mention how utterly pointless Metal Sonic's "appearance" in this game is. He never even appears in a cut-scene. Tails mentions him approaching (as he's offscreen), he races Sonic, and he's never mentioned again. I was hoping he'd at least get a minor cut-scene, but no, nothing. Shadow gets a regular cut-scene before the race, a CGI cutscene after it, then appears at the last CG cut-scene at the end. It's just blatant Shadow favoritism. Metal Sonic could have been removed from this game entirely and there would have been no difference.
Shadow-Just like in RoL Shadow felt pretty pointless. He shows up, you race him, he disappears, and then reappears to finish off Lyric.
But if that wasn't bad enough, the ending is the final nail in the coffin. A long speech from Sticks about how the gang went through their entire journey to find Amy and stop Lyric only for Shadow to be the one to defeat him. He kicks him and Sonic just opens a trap in the airship causing him to fall to his doom. And you know, that wouldn't have been so bad if Sticks hadn't pointed it out. It still would have sucked, but at least it wouldn't have been rubbed in your face. So thanks Sticks! Thanks for telling me that my entire journey was pretty much a waste since we didn't even come out on top.
But with that said the event at Amy's House after getting every badge is pretty...amusing. I at least got a kick out of that.
So overall gameplay wise it's a pretty okay experience. I'd probably only recommend this game to young children or people who aren't big Sonic fans and don't care much about plot in a video game. I'd personally give it a 5.5/10.
Gameplay gets a little repetitive, so I didn't feel the need to rush through it in excitement. But the story, writing and characters are great and make up for it. Also has some cool effects during cutscenes that make it feel like a movie.
Quite entertaining. Good graphics and the characters seem likable. My complaints are the loading screens and how frequent they are combined with the large, confusing map. I'm usually familiar with the town map after a few hours of playing a HM but i've been playing for over a week and I still find myself constantly getting lost. It's a game i'll stick with but I don't feel as though it's going to grab me like the other HM games have done. The graphics and 3d don't really suit it. It doesn't seem to have any of the charm that HM games usually have on other consoles. Still, it's not a bad game either.
Kid Icarus: Uprising. 9/10 on the action, but 0/10 on the bloated amount of humor. Honestly, unless it's made by Disney, a Greek-style game shouldn't ever have excessive amounts of pop culture and fourth-wall breaking. Remember Disney's 2005 film "Chicken Little" and how it tried to copy the success of Shrek? Boy, they sure learned their lesson.
Shin Megami Tensei IV. Bought it a few days ago and finished it one hour ago, with 31 hours clocked. Took the Chaos path and while I loved the story of the game, the Chaos path specifically... was underwhelming. I will take a break from the game and then replay it for the Neutral route (Law isn't my thing). Anyways, what an incredible game! I thought I would feel underwhelmed, because Nocturne is far too good, but I was so wrong. The game is perhaps not as impressive as Nocturne, but it still up there with the best games of the genre, IMO. It brings quite a few welcomed upgrades to the core SMT mechanics, as well as a more fleshed story. I loved the new demon designs (except for Lucifer and Medusa's, which are ugly as hell). Lastly, I love the soundtrack! It is too good.
Also, agreeing with the poster above on Kid Icarus Uprising' humor. It is awful.
I'm mostly a mobile gamer, is that fine? Right now I'm playing Ruin Escape and imo it's worth a solid 7.5/10 as far as mobile games go. I like the graphics and how they managed to convey that chilling atmoshere of zombie apocalypse, the gameplay was also not bad. But I think they could have milked more plotty stuff out of this setting. Still a positive gaming experience, overall.
Well, I've been playing Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky recently and I can't be bothered to finish the post-game before I give it a rate, so here I go. Oh, and I'll try to be as unbias as I can.
Well, since this is the DS we're talking about it stands to reason that it's a bit dated, but the overall art style is pretty good. In terms of the sprites that make up every single character and item (and the occasional object too), they are very good quality. As for everything else, the dungeons and the overworld have a kind of picture book-like asthetic to them.
This entry in the PMD series is much more plot focused then the last. As for wheather it worked out well or not, I'd say yes, yes it did. I'm not one to sopil an RPG's story too much, so I'll just briefly glance over it: the player character wakes up as a Pokémon with his/her only memories being a name and the fact that he/sh was a human. After that you meet up with a partner and go on various adventures until, for a spoilerific reason, time starts stopping (great word choice there, me)... That's about as much as I'm going to say. Oh, and, as per usual in the PMD games, pack tissues for the ending - you are going to need them.
Also, like any story involving time in some way, there is a high likelyhood of a paradox, and this story is no exception. I won't say what it is because, again, spoilers, but it's pretty obvious if you think about it enough.
Anyway, I give the story a 9/10.
This isn't your average Pokémon game to say the least. For starters, the overworld-crawling and turn-based battles are gone replaced with a decently-sized hub and many, many Mystery Dungeons. As for specifics, the hub - Treasure Town and the Guild - are pretty much just there for thier facilities - shops, the bank, the storage, Missions, etc.
As for the Dungeons... Well, let me quote the partner Pokémon's speech decribing them for you: "A Mystery Dungeon changes each time you go into it. There's a different layout and different items every time you enter! If you faint in the middle of a dungeon you lose half of your money... You can even lose half of your items or more... Finally, you get kicked right out." Yeah, that effectively makes it a soft-core rougelike. As for how the game operates in said Dungeons, it basicly plonks you and your teammates in the middle of a (semi-)randomly generated floor and your goal is to find either the objective of a Mission or the Stairs to the next floor by taking turns to do one of two things - take a step in one of eight directions or use a move/attack/item. There are many intricate mechanics that I'm not going to go over here, but I will say that the (semi-)randomly generatedness of the Dungeons even manages to make grinding fun(ish).
I give the gameplay a 10/10.
I should make a note of how the game differs from PMD: Explorers of Time and Darkness. Well, appart from some minor tweeks and cosmetic differences, there are a few things: firstly, the Spinda Café, basicly a place to break the game get rid of unwanted items in exchange for wanted ones or get Spinda to make drinks from any food item, basicly giving it a chance of having a stat-boosting quality (oh, and any beneficial effects that food item had will still work).
Another change is the addition of more Dungeons, with the only two I can think of off the top of my head being Destiny Tower - one of, if not the hardest one in the game - and Sky Peak, a (somewhat unnecessary) addition of Shaymin to the story.
Oh, and there are also five Special Episodes, which are basicly little side stories that reveal more about various characters.
I'm too lazy to write a conclusion to this, so I'm just going to give it a PLAY IT RIGHT NOW!!! (9.5/10).
Dragon Age: Origins – after a fourth playthrough, and with and some getting into this series because of the latest installment, I think it’s about time I did this.
Dragon Age: Origins is a role-playing game developed by Bioware, set in a Tolkienesque fantasy world. Rather than play as a predefined character, you create your own, which sports a vast amount of detail for the amount of customization options for the character creation. It also has three main classes to choose from right from the start – Warrior, Rogue, or Mage – and then allows the player to choose from one of three races: human, elf, or dwarf, your standard fare.
Now for the real meat of the game (There is a LOT that can be said about this game, which is why I'm hiding it in a spoiler tag, so be warned):
The choice of races may sound rather generic on the surface, but what makes those selections stand out are the backgrounds each can provide that will give different origin stories (hence the title). There are six origins in total, each one starting the player in different areas of the world map with different backgrounds and opening chapters. All six of these origin stories lead to the same main storyline, but having different backgrounds with different starting storylines for the first hour or so, and that can give more in-depth perspectives on races and cultures, as well as affect how certain NPCs react to you, is still a nice touch. This is especially true when you realize just how much replay value the game itself truly has.
The story, much like the setting itself, may also seem rather run-of-the-mill (at least at first), for the most part – which I will not discuss, even in spoiler tags, in order to get people to experience it firsthand. But honestly, it’s not so much the storyline itself where the game excels, but the storytelling, character development, and meaningful choices it provides for the players.
Which brings me to what Bioware is really famous for: the dialogue skill trees. Throughout the whole game, you’ll be engaged in conversations with important characters to advance the story and ultimately decide the fates of events and characters. Many times you’ll be faced with dilemmas on how best to deal with certain situations, who to side with on disputes between two peoples, etc.. Unlike previous Bioware RPGs, DA: O has no moral compass that will shift your character’s alignment between good or evil, depending on how you deal with the world’s problems. Some choices may not even be so black and white, and will require your best judgment to determine what you think is the right choice… or not, if you’d rather be a sadistically evil menace. The choice is yours.
When leveling up, the Attributes, Skills, and Talents that can be learned and improved are done manually, rather than automatically. You have three points to spend on each of the six attribute stats of choice with each new level, and one new selection, or improvement, of the talents, and, every other level or so, the skills. What you’ll want to improve and the selection of learnable talents depend on the class. Warriors, for instance, learn talents that take advantage of their brute strength, while Mages learn spells. And there are actually more skills and talents than you’ll possibly be able to learn and master, so the trick is to choose wisely; choose variedly for each party member, and choose the ones you think are the best.
Combat is in real-time, with a standard attack and using the Talents with the “cooldown” effect . Basically, those talents can be used in by assigning them to specific button uses (at least on the console versions), or with the radial menu, and then will require a certain amount of time to be able to use again. It’s similar to MMO-style combat – or, for those of you unfamiliar with MMOs, similar to the use of the skill arts in Xenoblade Chronicles. You can also pause the combat and bring up said radial menu to have your own companions select their talents, as well as items, that you need to use right away.
Last main thing worth mentioning about the gameplay are the party members. You can have lengthy conversations with (most of) them at any time to learn more about their past, motives, and eventually unlock their personal quests to complete. Each one has an Approval meter, which shows how much they like or distrust you. If their approval rating is too low, either because you didn’t treat them friendly or they strongly disagree with the choices you make during the story, some may actually attack or abandon you. The trick to choose the correct dialogue choices in conversations and give them gifts to bump their approval up, once you determine which kind of gifts each one is the most fond of. They will even have conversations with each other, while you’re traveling; that can be quite amusing. A few of them are also have romance options, that, with high enough approval, may allow a deeper fondness, so you and the other can… uh… share a bed together for the night.
In addition, the world is rich in lore, which can be learned through codex entries scattered everywhere, should the player care enough to read them, that give information on characters, races, places, history, cultures, religions, among other things, that add to the mythos of the universe. The voice acting is solid all around, save for maybe a select few minor ones here and there. The soundtrack by composer Inon Zur has an orchestral feel to it. And lastly, there is the aformentioned high amount of replay value, due to the different outcomes that can be made in many scenarios. Technically, there are four main endings, plus LOTS of various minor endings. This can potentially offer a VERY different experience on a second playthrough and beyond, both in character build and storyline experience, giving players incentive to replay the game over and over again.
There are few faults I can name, however. The graphics are a bit… muddy, but given how long the game was in development, I can give it a pass on that; and I trust that won't be much of a problem for anyone else, either.
There is a LOT of combat in certain areas, two I can name in particular, that can stretch for hours before reaching the end. The difficulty can also be… a little imbalanced in my experience. Certain areas will have enemies that can be a cakewalk, then suddenly you’ll meet another group that will slaughter your team, if you don’t use the right tactics. Even on the Normal difficulty setting the game can be quite challenging. I would recommend playing on the Casual difficulty on at least the first playthrough, while learning all you can about the mechanics of it, and you should have few problems.
I think I should also mention, just as a forewarning, that the game is quite heavy on gore. Enemies will be spilling a lot of blood when slain, and afterward the whole party, save for the Archers and Mages attacking from a distance, will be covered in blood spots on their faces and armor that can remain even in conversations. The aftereffects can, however, be turned off in the options menu, if that's too much of an issue. Then there are the sex scenes that occur when you play your cards right with a potential companion. But they are very brief, fairly mild, all things considered, with no actual nudity (but just with the characters in their underwear), and is optional, anyway, if that doesn't interest you.
If you’re looking to get into the series, simply start from the beginning, right here. Even if you’ve already gotten into Inquisition by now, Origins is still worth checking out. But as long as you either have a PC that can run it (which I hear is the best version of the game, due to the ability to change the camera angle overhead for a more tactical view of the battlefield), or own an Xbox 360 or Playstation 3, and are a fan of Bioware RPGs, or just party-based RPGs in general, including even JRPGs, such as Final Fantasy and the like, you owe it to yourself to at least give this game a shot. 9/10
The Borderlands series is one of my favorite games for its humor and gameplay. TPS is a great game but it pales in comparison to the previous 2 installment. I like to think of this game as a teaser to the real third sequel. The gameplay is as usual excellent. The character controls great and the RPG elements are satisfying. The four new characters are all very unique. Athena is a great tank and support. Nisha is DPS monster but a glass canon. Wilhelm is very reliable and great for solo. Claptrap is unpredictable and sometimes could be very annoying because of his random action skill that affects everyone.
The story is fantastic; Jack's backstory is very interesting and it felt really awesome playing in Jack's side. The other characters or NPCs are not as memorable as the BL2. Sometimes, I feel like the characters are trying too hard to be funny; which feels like the game's writers are trying too hard to capture that BL humor.
The quests are very fun to do. It's the typical fetch quest for most parts but still is very enjoyable. The game is set in Pandora's moon, Elpis. Low gravity is fun but sometimes could get really really frustrating. There are rare moments when I use the jump pad and I had little control to where I'm landing because of the low gravity. There are also sections in the game with platforming elements in it and in rare occasions, the low gravity could mess you up instead of helping you.
My least favorite part of the game is the lack of variety in the enemies. The psychos are replaced by lunatics and scavs. The Hyperions are replaced by the legions. Their variety is not that big although more variants of the same enemies will appear in TVHM and UVHM. The bosses are underwhelming. There's not that memorable or exciting boss battles until you get to the last boss which can get really really frustrating.
Overall, I enjoyed the game so much. I have put over 100 hours of gametime in it; trying to complete all the achievements. The DLC by the way is very bad in my opinion. I also wouldn't pay for a full price for this game; I bought it during the Steam sale for 40% off.
Well, I've collected all 120 regular Stars in Super Mario Galaxy 2 (re-released on the Wii U's e-Shop), so I figured I'd give it a rate. Oh, and I probably should note that I haven't played the origonal, so I have no idea how it holds up compared to its predecessor or anything like that. Now, let me tell you a story from long, long ago...
I must say, Nintendo really knows what they're doing when it comes to making thier games look pretty. So pretty that I'm not sure if the graphics have been updated in this re-release or not. If you need an example, just look up some screenshots.
I give the music a 9.5/10 because there are still a few not-very-good ones in there, but the good ones far outweigh them.
I've said it once before and I'll say it again: do you really need me to explain the story of a Mario game? Really?
I give the story a... 9/10 because simplicity can be a good thing sometimes.
It's pretty much what you'd expect from a (mostly) 3D Mario game: run and jump your way through the various levels until you reach the end (a.k.a. a Star), then move on to the next until you're facing off against Bowser. However, I said 'pretty much' for a reason. With one exception, insted of the boring flat levels from games such as Spyro or some other 3D platformer, this game is probably what gave inspiration to Sonic Lost World's level design with your average level, aside from being made up of your standard platforms, may also include various amounts of either planetoids or large, tube-like segments, both of which you have pretty much free movement around unless there's a wall or something. Either way, you get some interesting levels. Some levels, however, have thier own gimmicks thrown in which makes them even more fun, my favourite of which being either Puzzle Plank Galaxy with its collapsing platforms, Melty Monstar Galaxy with its various gimmicks or the second mission of Tall Trunk Galaxy, which is basicly a giant slide.
Anyway, as for how the the game feels, I'd say it controls pretty well. With two glaring exceptions: Spring Mario and the ball-rolling levels. Oh how much I hate those levels... I'm just glad that there's only one of each in the main game - Rolling 'Masterpiece' Galaxy and one of the levels in the Chompworks galaxy, neither of which are necessary for getting to Bowser. It's still annoying though. Anyway, back to the rest of the game. Uh... It's good? Yeah, that about sums it up.
I give it a 8.5/10 because, while the rest of it is solid, I really friggin' hate Spring Mario and the ball-rolling levels.
Overall, it's a very good game - great music and visuals, the standard Mario story and solid gameplay (in most places). I give it a BadAss rating of PLAY IT RIGHT NOW!!! (9/10).
Graphics - 7.5
For the most part everything looked pretty good. The first area you see in every dungeon is just copy and pasted across the page to make the rest of the map which was disappointing. All the profile art for the characters under the menu screen looked terrible. However all the art in the mini games looked phenomenal (Though all of them were crazy inappropriate).
Music - 9
All of the music was great! Each dungeon of the spire had its own theme song. The best song was the opening, it had a really quick tempo and fit the feel of the story perfectly. Only downside to the music...there were only 5 dungeons so very little music.
Story-line - 8.5
The story is excellent for the type of game it is. While the man girls were living they were on paths to becoming criminals. Since they died so early it was decided that they would be put through a reformation plan so they could acknowledge there sins and be reborn instead of staying in hell. They basically have to clear four trials(dungeons) and want to be saved at the end to be redeemed. The plot progressed well and enough mystery and lore was thrown in at intervals to keep it interesting. I particularly like the story behind the final boss. Unfortunately because all the playable characters are girls the story was so sexually graphic it bordered on obscene.
Combat - 6.5
I'm sure the idea behind the combat system sounded cool but it was executed poorly. You had the four girls in your active party and they each say which action they will do during that turn and you get to choose one from your options. Buttttttt...all the actions they give are completely randomized. So all of your party could just give support moves four times in a row or they could just end up using a basic attack instead of a skill. It makes boss battles SUCK.
Basic Game-play - 10
The game-play was simplistic and worked perfectly for this dungeon crawler. You have a mini map in the screen corner that fills in as you progress through the dungeon, it marks all gates/warp points as you find them and lets you know where the save point is.
Overall - 8.3
The story was very interesting and ALMOST covered up the poor combat. A pretty good addition to the vita library.
The best game 'Nintendo' has ever made since Majora's Mask. Man, it is so good. The game never gets stale. There is always something cool or interesting happening or about to happen. And when it happens? The game will make you feel things. All kinds of emotions. The story might not be the best thing ever, but it is great and it works. The characters? Probably the best cast I have ever seen in a video game, both in terms of party members and supporting cast. The music is faaaaaantastic, based Yoko Shimomura and ACE+. I think "Field of the Machinae" has to be my favorite track in the game, well, not counting "Confrontation with the Enemy". The game looks so beautiful that by the time I finished it, I had saved over 150 screenshots on Dolphin (here is a link for them and again, be aware that there are HUGE spoilers in the screens, from the whole game).
Gameplay is solid. I don't like how overcomplicated the battle system and related mechanics are, but once I got used to them (when I was starting to get my butt kicked, halfway through the game) thanks to the amazing NeoGAF user alvis.exe, who took some of their time to explain how the mechanics work as well as to give me tips in how to become better at it, the game became really fun. So fun that I backtracked to kill all those unique monsters I could find. I am also not a fan of how the game seems to be built on the philosophy that "more is merrier", specially when it comes to side quests. There are far too many. It is a good thing they are optional and there are alternative and more entertaining ways to level up, should you need to.
Now, BIG story spoilers
Man, I thought Mumkhar was a dick but holy shit at DICKson. Dunban had the worst partners EVER in the battle of the Sword Valley. Sadly some of the plot twists were spoiled to me before I played the game. I already knew Fiora would come back and become the seven ranger, that the villain was someone named Zanza and that he looked kinda lika Shulk but also like a purple giant, etc. Fortunately those events are still quite enjoyable to watch even after being spoiled. Plus, a lot of stuff wasn't spoiled to me, like Gadolt's return and eventual demise (I cried), the fate of the High Entia (Kallian ;-, the reason for the Mechon assault, what Zanza actually is, what Alvis actually is, the fact Bionis and Mechonis awake again during the events of the game, Dickson's betrayal. Btw, I really didn't expect the villain to be from Bionis - or better, to be Bionis itself. That was a nice twist, imo. Although overall I didn't like Zanza that much, I think the 'supporting antagonists' were a bit more interesting. I guess I am bit tired of deities acting as final boss in games
Can I say I am a bit disappointed at Riki's lack of screen time? He is like, the first mascot who I don't find extremely obnoxious or extremely bland in a game. He is fun and cute (and that scene where he was the only one, other than Melia, to hear Kallian's last words, melted me), but sadly his screen time and importance is really minor compared to the others. Even Reyn gets more screen time.
Since I am talking about Riki, let me talk a bit about the party members. Shulk is great, one of the very few non-silent main characters in JRPGs that doesn't get on my nerves. In fact, he is quite likable. Sharla is nice, but the fact most of her character development is centered around her boyfriend, Gadolt, kind of irks me. Still, she is quite the badass. Healing people by shooting at them? Wow. Melia is a bit bland on the personality side, but her actions say a lot about her. She is brave and strong and she suffered a lot before and during the events of the game. I respect her. Heropon very cool. Dunban is hilarious, I love how he always make jokes with a straight face. Plus, it is nice to see an older person in a party mostly composed of young people (Well, lets pretend Riki and Melia aren't older than him). Reyn is alright. Lastly, Fiora is probably my favorite character, both in design and gameplay purposes. She is funny and likable. I'd love to have a friend like her.
I loved the game, it is definitely one of my favorites... I doubt I will ever play it again, tho, because it is so freaking long (I clocked 63 hours).