Posts Tagged ‘Review’

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My thoughts on the game:

Mortal Kombat 9 is Netherrealm studios first fighting game for the PS3 and XBox 360 and is a great game the combat seems fluid and even though every character moves at the same speed it feels right as everyone is different enough in their techniques that they don’t feel the same with some characters having special ability’s focusing on range melee or aerial combat allowing more variety in characters. The combos can be complex and are the meat of learning each character, this ranging from quarter turns to more complex strings to execute special moves and keep the combo going.

The story mode is the best feature of the game as it reboots the whole series and takes you through the story of the first three Mortal Kombat games making his the perfect starting point for newcomers.

Though this game is fairly old now it hides its age well and its combat system is superior to their newer title injustice in my opinion.

Some of my favourite fighting stages from the game were:

The Bridge:

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It feels very much like a busy city under attack with cars going by in the foreground and the battles going on in the background, my only complaint is the battle animations loop it would have been nice if it progressed in different areas as the match timer goes on.

Bell Tower:

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I love the clutter in this stage from all the moving parts in the back ground and to the ropes dangling in the foreground. The rats running along the beams and the dingy colours make it feel like a very old space as well.

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My thoughts on the game:

I’ll start this off by saying that I am not a big comic book fan saying I’m a casual fan would even be a stretch so this is my thoughts on the game based purely on how good of a fighting game it is.

Health system seems unfair and demoralizing because it carries over to the next match meaning that if you lose because your new to the game your opponent could now have half a health bar more than you stacking the odds in the victors favour. I can see the reason for doing this as it streamlines the rounds and makes it more fast paced and is fine if the people playing are about the same skill level as the health advantage is usually minute but it feels very unbalanced if there is a gap in skill making the stronger player have an even bigger advantage.

Stage brake events are interesting to look at but the novelty wears off quick and feels like a waste of time I also feel the damage they deal seems like an unfair amount and takes away from the skill and achievement I personally feel when playing fighting games that don’t have those gimmicks.

To me the default button layout does not flow nicely having you go from square, triangle then X for light , medium and heavy attacks with the Circle button been your special attribute button. The layout would flow much better going clock wise with circle and X swapping properties (like BlazBlues layout).

Every character feels the same to me with the same simple button inputs for all special attacks however this can be done well like in persona 4 arena and its sequel were the button inputs are the same but every character plays differently with characters specializing in melee, ranged or speed. In injustice everyone moves at the same speed (excluding special attacks) and (almost) everyone has a ranged attack this makes everyone feel like re-skinned clones playing almost identically besides the special character attribute and what each special move does. The only other real difference between each character is how they interact with the stage events falling under the class of either power character, who picks up objects and throws them, or gadget characters, who attach bombs to things to blow them up.

Wall escapes were also introduced in the game as interactive events allowing players to easily escape the corner and turn the tables at the push of a button. You could argue this takes away from the skill of knowing how to defending from your opponents mix-ups and how to perform more skilled corner escape tactics. Also the stage items/ events feel cheap and I always feel cheated when the AI exploits them to deal massive damage when I try to just have a clean fighting match which is purely skill based without any gimmicks getting in the way and muddying my experience (this is purely my own opinion I know people who enjoy the events but to each their own). I have read that you can turn them off but this must be for online only as I cannot fined the option in the game settings and do not own play station plus to try it out.

The story mode for Injustice is its strongest point been well thought out and brilliantly acted however one character got three story sections when everyone ells only got one and some characters didn’t get any this, though minor, did annoy me.

There are also extremely limited line reads recorded for each character this will drive you mad when you do several matches as the same character and they repeat the same line and animation after every fight.

Some of my favourite fighting stages from the game were:

Arkham Asylum:

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This stage was interesting because of the themes cells so even a person who knows very little about DC comics (like me) knows witch cell belongs to who and all of the different corridors you can look down in the centre of the stage help convey the sense that is a big facility.

Insurgency:

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The design of this stage is probably my favorite in the whole game. I love the design from the ceiling without a proper roof exposing the wires and shafts to the hanging lights monitors and lighting. It all sets a very underground lab tone which really appealed to me.

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My thoughts on the game:

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax (P4AU)is the second game in the persona fighting game spin off series, developed by Arc System Works & Atlus, the game is a fighting game that utilizes beautiful 2D sprites on a 3D background. The story of P4AU is expansive with the ability to play it from the perspective of either the persona 3 or 4 characters (a third perspective as Adachi is also available via DLC). Each character in P4AU feels unique with some that are slower than others but deal more damage and others that are faster, grapplers and ranged characters etc. the main difference being (apart from the characters equipment) their persona which is like a tag team partner who can perform even more unique moves. Another layer to the combat is the inclusion of status ailments based on the ones that can affect you in the game. A new feature to P4AU’s combat is the new way to perform special attacks were you just need to hold down the square button and a small gauge will appear the longer you hold the gauge determines the level of special attack you will perform when you release the button.

P4AU has an all new tower mode were your characters level RPG style and gain new moves witch can add status ailments to your attack, give you access to healing spells, increase statuses or weaken your opponents. in every dungeon there is a boss every five floors and once you beat the boss you are rewarded with a large amount of XP, one of the bosses skills and a check point so you can continue the dungeon from that floor from then on.

The game has a great soundtrack with music from every persona 3&4 game including their spin offs and bolsters a wide variety of colours for each character the announcer for each match is also very clear and easy to understand.

Some of my favourite fighting stages from the game were:

School Hallway:

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This stage stood out to me because the space feels open with the large corridor that you can look down. I also like all the smaller details of the shoes, umbrellas and bags littered about in the background for ground and the open lockers.

The Flood Plain:

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What stands out about the flood plain to me was all the assets in the background been warped or placed differently from how you would normally see them making it very aesthetically pleasing, this is helped greatly by the colour pallet of the level mainly been red, green and grey increasing the uneasiness.

 

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My thoughts on the game:

BlazBlue Chrono Phantasma (BBCP) is the third game in the BlazBlue series, developed by Arc System Works. The game has a large focus on character diversity, bolstering a roster of twenty six characters with two more on the way with the 2.0 patch, and complex combo inputs making it a game were you have to spend a lot of time learning each character to get the most out of them with very little besides basic button chains and combos been similar though what they do will be drastically different on range, power and speed. To balance the complexity of the game out for new players there is a simple mode which sets the character to auto chain combos from mashing buttons this also lets you learn possible combos for each character. This makes BBCP an easy game to play but a hard game to master.

BBCP has an expansive story mode that will take well over 8 hours to complete (unless you skip all of the dialog), as well as story mode BBCP offers an arcade mode, score attack, versus, abyss, unlimited mars and a unique take on multiplayer were you select an avatar top walk round a virtual arcade and challenge people to a match at the arcade machines (this style would be used in all of Arc System Works future titles).

The depth of BBCP’s combat and characters keep the game fun and challenging making it a real challenge especially if you’re using a character your unfamiliar with. This style of fair fights depending entirely on skill makes it so I never feel cheated after a loss and just try to get better instead of frustrated like some other fighters (injustice).

Some of my favourite fighting stages from the BlazBlue franchise have been:

Moonlight Castle – Another-:

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I love all of the small details about this stage from the fact that the full moon is in a different position depending on which game you play, the roses cover your feet and you kick up petals as you move, the rolling for in the back ground, the facial expressions on the pumpkin lights, the warped castle in the back ground and the dim lighting creating a nice ambiance.

Kaka Village:

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I like this stage because of how wide and open the space feels allowing you to be able to look down the side streets and the fact that the Kaka kittens are playing in the street makes it feel very lively.

After finishing my 30 comparison reviews and refining the criteria adding things from a variety of theorists I thought I should compare the game I’m making to the same criteria and think about how I should deal with each aspect.

Name: Cancelled?

Type: AGON & MIMICRY

Platform: PS4, PS3, PS Vita & PC

Quick Breakdown:

This game falls under AGON because you will be ranked at the end of every stage, these ranks will go all the way from SSS (the best) to T (for terrible). You’re ranking will be based off damage taken, number of continues used, time taken to complete each stage and enemies killed. The rankings will be entered into a leader board automatically which can be compared amongst your friends on your private leader board and across the world on the open leader board.

This game falls under MIMICRY because you are taking on the role of Shin Haroki in his quest to make his manga No. 1.

Forms of play:

LUDUS – This game has clear preset rules and goals.

What needs does the game fulfill:

Competence – There will be a variety of stages with multiple parts allowing for a sense of progression  You would not get the same sense of progression if each Level was not made of several smaller stages as one long level would seems to go on forever and feel more like an endurance match.

Autonomy – I would like to have a dialog tree for each of the main characters interactions. The player will then choose from different dialog options and have them lead to different conversations and items. I would also like to have multiple endings that will add replay value as well as a larger feel of control.

What player type(s) does this game suit best:

Explorer because I would like to have multiple endings depending on the players choices throughout the game.

Achiever because of the rankings you would receive from each level which would unlock bonuses.

Examples of Punishment and reward within the game:

As the game goes on check points become more scarce making the player have to go further back till their skills are sufficient to complete the obstacle. Dieing will cause the player to return to the beginning of the stage or the closest checkpoint if a player dies while they have no lives left its game over and you have to load the game. You will also loose points in the rankings at the end of each stage for using continues and taking damage. Rewards will take the form of power ups and new skills gained from beating bosses or reaching a specific milestone as well as higher rankings at the ends of stages for performing well and not taking damage.

How does it deal with the Hedonic Treadmill:

I would hope that the competitiveness between friends would motivate people to play stages again. This is why I plan to include a private leader board which only compares you to people on your friends list, which means that you can see which of your friends scores are higher than yours and then you can try and beat them. The inclusion of multiple endings and branching dialog trees will help keep the story mode from feeling to much the same. The inclusion of other playable characters after you complete the game would also increase the games life span. Trophies and achievements will keep people who play that meta game playing until they have unlocked everything adding extra incentive to casual players to pick the game back up as well.

Final Thoughts:

Doing this review made me think of things that I was overlooking like what platform I would like to put my game on and what type of player was I aiming to attract. I chose only Sony consoles because of the cross play feature they provide allowing you to continue your save no matter which of their systems you are playing on. I also chose PC because of the promotion you get from being sold on a store like Steam, new launches on steam are mostly featured on the from page and it is one of the most used digital stores in the world so that is a big deal to be seen on the front page of a store that gets a huge amount of traffic.

Braking things down like this really helped me see how my game would fulfil each element and writing it down in this format made it more clear to me. This is something I will definitely keep in mind and review future game ideas in the same way to make sure it will fulfil its full potential.

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I just bought Evoland today and thought I would share my thoughts as it seems like it would link nicely into the project of designing a complex game. The biggest draw to get this game to me was the fact that the game develops as you find chests, it starts out with only one button that’s available for use with black and white pixel graphics and ends up turning into a fully HD world that you can explore. Unlocking these features takes you through the development of games over the years and highlights all the features that we take for granted today, even the story is unlocked in a chest highlighting that games didn’t always have one. The sense of progression you get by unlocking these features and literally changing the world around you is really fulfilling and the game’s captions for each brake the fourth wall constantly. You even swap from 2D to 3D in the game to pass over objects that were flat pixels in 2D but are impassible objects in 3D and vise versa which is a great game play mechanic. Evoland is full of references to numerous RPG’s mainly Final Fantasy, The legend of Zelda, Diablo and Dragons Quest. This is were Evoland seems to fall short it is mainly a game made as an homage to the RPG genera and it’s development and not really a complex RPG itself and can be finished in 4 hours or so. So if your looking for a complex RPG you wont find that here but if your looking for a fun adventure that pays tribute to some of your favorite games I would recommend Evoland it’s a lot of fun just a little on the short side but for the price it’s not that bad and to explore the development of RPG’s I would recommend anyone thinking of designing a game should check it out it may make you think of something you overlooked or give you an idea of what play stile you enjoy most.

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I am going to look at and compare the magazines Edge (issue 240) and Games (No. 129) comparing one article from previews, reviews and looking at the other topics in each of the magazines. Both these magazines cost £4.99 making them more expensive than other gaming magazines but still have different approaches to things.

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Previews:

The preview I am going to compare is of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch from both magazines. As soon as you look at the magazine articles side by side you can That Games has tried to showcase more of the games visuals and has a page dedicated to screen shots with captions unlike Edge which just has one image filling the whole page and a small amount of information about the publisher release date and what platform its on. So from an aesthetic standpoint Games has done a much better job showcasing the game and its visual style almost telling you what the game is about without reading anything. This is important for catching the eye of someone who has never heard of the game before and peak their interest enough to read the article.

Games Preview:

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Edge Preview:

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Both magazines have different starting points, Edge starts by talking about why the game has taken two years to be released in the USA and Europe, while Games starts off by talking about the art style of the game and the orchestral score (Edge never mentions the music). Both openings are fine and would just fall to preference either you want to know the background of its localization or hear about the visual feats and sound quality personally I prefer to hear about the actual content of the game were Edge comments on the voice acting and the effort of localization that has gone into this game but I preferred reading about the atmosphere and world presentation I can look forward to if I bought this game.

Next Edge goes onto talking about the Games story and how the game feels like an interactive movie briefly summarizing plot points stating the game only opens up when the familiars are introduced (as this is when the main RPG elements are introduced). Where as Games covers the game play mechanics of the game telling you all the things you can look forward to in and out of battle. Both these sections gave me a good idea of what I can look forward to from Ni No Kuni but Games once again has the edge by telling you about the different game mechanics like magical lock picks, spells to converse with the dead and a brief incite to how the familiar system works, this once again does a much better job at selling the game to me.

The final thing both articles cover are their personal nit picks with the game. Edge is worried about the different variations of cut scenes (in game and animated) might take away the seance of control the players have or disrupt the flow of the story. While Games only criticizes that they cant tell what specific audience the game is aimed at because of the Ghibli art style and in depth RPG elements.

Both magazines also include a brief history of the developers with a list of the past games they have worked on. I think this is a very useful section to help people fined a game they may be familiar with by that company and have more confidence that this new title will be good because of the works hey have done in the past.

Overall in previews Games sold the game to me much better than Edge did because of the way it presented the visuals of the game and the way it set the atmosphere as well as explain some of the game play mechanics to let you know what your getting your self into if you decide to pick this title up.

Reviews:

The review I am going to compare is of New Super Mario Bros U from both magazines. Once again you can notice the layout differences of the two straight away, Edge has screen shots all on one page with some captions were as Games has the game screen shots placed throughout the review breaking up the text. I personally prefer the more organised look of Edge in this case as some of Games screen shots are divided by the fold of the center of the page and look like their slightly less sharper images then the ones used by Edge.

Edge Review:

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Games Review:

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Both magazines start things off differently with Games talking about how at first it feels like the same old thing we see in every Mario game until you get to the over world were the game becomes more of its own thing where as Edge starts by talking about how beautiful the transition from SD to HD has turned out and lists some of the level designs. Both set a mode for your expectations of the game but Edge comes across much more positive where as Games comes across more like a pleasant surprise that is isn’t just going to be the same thing all the way through which is one of the biggest questions answered straight away because the screen shots just make it look like all the other Mario titles. I think the line that represents this most from the review is “ Luckily, niggling feelings of repetitiveness soon take a back seat as Mario begins to delve further into the game’s over world.”.

Edge then goes onto talking about the world map and all the different areas and mini games you can find as well as the new enemies powers and allies which brings them to the conclusion that the any surprises in the game are in its content and not in its form. Where as Games talks about the controller integration and how the tablet is useless in the single player (which Edge similarly states later on in their article). The tablet shows its stuff in the challenge modes and they cover some of the new assist additions that have different powers to help the player progress by lighting dark areas etc. they are useful but you can beat the stage without them. Both magazines talked about the new assist characters and their ability but Games was the only one that told you how to find them and that they were not necessary to complete the stages this feels to me more like a tip from someone who has plaid the game than just a statement of the facts about the new additions.

By the end of the Reviews both magazines give the game an 8 but Edges score is not very clear its just an 8 in a black box next to the text I had to flick through the magazine to check the other articles to make sure it was the score. Where as Games gives a very clear 8/10 with Verdict written next to it in block capitals. This gives me the impression that the scores in Edge are more like after thoughts and that the audience they are writing for is more interested in the articles contents than a number on a page.

Games Score System:

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Edge Score System:

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Conclusion:

Besides previews and reviews the two magazines cover a verity of topics to do with the gaming industry Games discusses what the big companies are doing from new hardware to financial problems as well as having a section to talk about retro games. Edge on the other hand focuses more on the gaming industry as a whole talking about the percentage of females represented in the gaming industry and has interviews with designers which brings me to the audience I think Games is aimed at people who are interested in knowing how the game plays what the mood is going to be like and weather they should buy it so more towards people who play games and like to see a quick and clear score telling them how good a rating it has revived. While edge is set out much more like a book would be and is far more about the technical sides of things, than the review scores, aiming at a audience who are more interested in what’s going on in the gaming industry than what games they can buy.