Pick Up and Play

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 at 10:00:00 AM by (Nionel)
Posted under Pokemon, breeding, battling, competitive

It should be no surprise to anyone who is familiar writing that I am a fan of the Pokemon franchise. I've been personally playing the game since the North American releases back in the fall of 1998, and have bought every main series entry in the franchise and even went so far as to write three articles covering the first three generations of the series several years ago. Something I've always wanted to do, but have never been able to, is to get into the field of competitive Pokemon battling, now while this seems as simple as leveling a team of six Pokemon and running off to face an opponent, either online or in person, but when you get down to it, there's an entire world of depth available to those who are willing to look for it, and today, that's what we're here to talk about.

Continue reading Pokemon: Breeding and the Road to Competition, Part 1

Posted on Feb 8th 2014 at 01:16:15 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Review, PC, Digital, Freeware, Visual Novel

Title: Digital: A Love Story
System: PC
Release: 02/2012
Genre: Visual Novel

   It the early days of the internet, 1988 to be precise, you have just purchased your first computer, a new Amie Workbench. You began with the numbers numbers of a couple of Bulletin Board Systems, and from them you will learn the ins and outs of the early internet, including the seedier sides like early pirating and hacking. Through your travels you will meet Emilia, and after an accident she disappears and its up to you to try and find a way to contact her again, using only a scrambled message that she was able to get to you.
   As far as controls and presentation go, Digital is pretty bare bones. Inputs are handled exclusively with the keyboard and mouse, while the game's interface is meant to emulate a late 80s Amiga interface. Sound is pretty space, only a handful of songs, a few of which are catchy, but they'll start to wear pretty thin by the end of your playthrough, the only real sound effect in the game is the nostalgic dial up modem, that anyone you used the internet in the days of dial up should be ever so familiar with. The writing is truly where the game shines, while it's a little rough around the edges, the story is worth playing from start to finish to see Ms. Love's story playout.
   Digital isn't for everyone, but for a first foray into the visual novel genre, this isn't really a bad choice. It's linear, but there are a few mysteries for the player to uncover during the course of the game's short campaign, that left me scratching my head and running in circles for a short time. For a game with essentially zero graphics, it is well written and it's clear that Ms. Love and her team had a grander idea than their initial outing would allow. Thankfully, those ideas would eventually seen fruition in their future titles.

Rating - 6 / 10 (Above Average)

Posted on Jan 24th 2014 at 06:01:23 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Review PS2 World Heroes SNK Fighting

Title: World Heroes (via World Heroes Anthology)
System: Playstation 2
Genre: Fighting

   The premise of World Heroes sounds like a brilliant idea for a fighting game on paper, grab some of the greatest warriors from history (or at least caricatures of them) and throw them into one on one fights to the death. Sadly, as great as this premise is, the developers at Alpha Denshi just weren't able to do much with it. The game's story sees a scientist, Dr. Brown, doing exactly what I explained above, bringing together the greatest warriors in history in order to determine which of them is history's greatest warrior. Sadly the game suffers from a multitude of problems that prevent it form becoming something that gamers will always remember.
   Beginning with the game's controls, the gameplay feels stiff and there seems to be some amount of input lag when performing input for movies. I admit that this could be caused by playing the game as part of the World Heroes Anthology, however, it still causes issues with the gameplay as it makes it difficult to fight well against the game's AI, especially on the higher difficulty. Sadly, the stiff controls are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the game's problems, as the game's presentation is simply not up to par with other games of the time. Character sprites are large, but look a little blurry and most of the designs are less than memorable. It's not hard to see why many of the characters were left out of future SNK compilations, like Neo Geo Battle Colosseum. The audio is also less than memorable, where a game like Street Fighter II had very memorable tunes that I would find myself humming or whistling even more than twenty years after the games release, however I would be hard pressed to remember a single piece of sound from this game.
   Ultimately, World Heroes came out at an awkward time to be a fighting game. Dropping after the release of Street Fighter II, but before Mortal Kombat, it really just got lost in the shuffle, but due to its stiff controls, a forgettable cast, and an unimpressive presentation it's not hard to see why the arcade crowd in the nineties felt their quarters were best spent elsewhere. This game is interesting as nothing more than a curiosity to fans of the genre, and I could see no reason for anyone else to dust off this relic.

Rating  2 / 10 (Awful)

Posted on Nov 25th 2011 at 02:36:09 AM by (Nionel)
Posted under Collection Impressions, Sonic, Nintendo, DS, Advance, Blaze, Chaos, Sol, Emeralds

I remember the first time I booted up Sonic the Hedgehog and how I was just blown away by how good it looked and sounded in comparison to the games I had been playing on the NES at the time, and I was hooked. So, you can imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago when I found a copy of Sonic Rush, one of the Sonic games I missed out on, sitting on the clearance rack at my local Target for a mere four dollars. I finally popped the game in a few days ago, as I had just finished up Generations, and was still wanting to spend some more time with the famous blue hedgehog. As a fan of Sonic Team's Sonic Advance games on the GBA, I had high hopes that this would be an excellent handheld outing for Sonic, so let's take a look and see how this game holds up.

Continue reading Collection Impressions #1 - Sonic Rush

Posted on Nov 21st 2011 at 02:12:36 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Collection Impressions

Hey everyone! After an extended absence from blogging, I've decided to return with a new articles called Collection Impressions. I came up with the idea for the last night when I was going through my collection over on my Backloggery. As I went through my games, I realized that I had nearly 80 titles that I haven't gotten around to playing at all. Of course this is one of the drawbacks of collecting, with each game you add to your collection you can only play so much due to what we like the call real life, so I thought about a way I could get around to trying some of these games and came up with this idea.

In each article of Collection Impressions, I'll aim to play a game in my collection that I've never played before or that I haven't played since my childhood and giving my impressions on gameplay, visuals, sound, and then wrap it up with whether or not I'll continue the game and if I recommend the title or not. It's a pretty simple premise, and obviously completely unoriginal, but if it will get me to not only play a few of these games, but also get my writing again then I can't see anything wrong with this decision. Well, that's about all for this one, I just thought I'd give you a run down of my plan for this new article before I actually start my first full article. I've already played the game I'm going to be writing about and I'm currently collecting my thoughts on it and hope to have the first article posted later in the week, so be on the look out and I hope you all enjoy. As always, thank you for reading everyone and I'll be sure to be back soon.

Posted on Jun 6th 2009 at 11:10:23 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under E3 2009, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo

Now that the show is over and everyone's gone home, I've done my research and I'm here to talk about what I thought of some key announcements and games that were shown at E3. Well I wasn't at the show, thanks to the marvel of the internet, you can basically be given a pass to the show with all the sites, blogs, and videos that maintain near constant updates over the course of the show, which is great for those of us who simply live too far away, or don't blog for a big enough website to be invited. Anyhow, I'm sure you're all more interested in what I have to say in that article than you are to hear me rant, so without further ado let's get started.

Continue reading E3 '09: Wrap Up

Posted on Jun 1st 2009 at 04:35:05 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under E3 2009, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo

The time is upon us once again, today E3 kicks off with Microsoft's press conference in less than an hour. This year's E3 is supposed to be bigger and badder than the last couple of years, as the ESA tries to recapture some of the show's glory from years past. Over the next few days I'll be bringing you lists of new software announcements, hardware announcements, updated release dates and my thoughts on the press briefings of, at least, the big three. For now, here is a list I'm working on of the games that have been annouced over the weekend and so far today. I'll be updating this as the day goes on and will likely have it posted to the main page after Ubisoft's press briefing this afternoon.

Edit: Updated with announcements from MS Press Briefing.

Continue reading E3 '09: Pre-Show and Day One Announcments

Posted on May 30th 2009 at 02:08:35 AM by (Nionel)
Posted under PS2

The Playstation 2 is the best selling video game console in history, with sales exceeding over 136 million units by the end of 2008 it also sports a library of nearly 2,000 games, it is the only last generation console that continues to see any sort of support or game releases. The console is in it's ninth year on the market and still continues to sell strong despite the release of newer consoles like the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. At this point in the console's life, you might think you'd be hard pressed to find a gamer that hasn't owned one at some point in the last nine years, but it might surprise you to know that I've missed out on a majority of the console's life.

Continue reading Lost Generation: Sony Playstation 2

Posted on May 8th 2009 at 11:08:14 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Music, Guilty Gear, Metal, Rock

Guilty Gear, one of the last remaining 2D sprite based fighters, has always been just as fun to play as it has been to listen to. Many of the names of the characters and their special attacks are based on various real world music sources, for example, antagonist Sol Badguy's real name is Fredrick, named after Queen's Freddie Mercury and Ky Kiske's super attack, Ride the Lightning, is named after a Metallica song, just to name a couple. The soundtracks for the games, with the exception of the Korean versions, are done by Daisuke Ishiwatari who also designed the characters, wrote the story, and also voices Sol Badguy in the games. Below I will list some songs from the various games as well as a couple of the vocal albums, I enjoy a lot of the music from the games myself, and I hope that some of you guys will as well.

Continue reading Melodic Notation: Guilty Gear

Posted on Mar 15th 2009 at 05:26:19 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Review, Left 4 Dead, 360, PS3, PC, Review

Love them or hate them, zombies have been in video games since the early eighties and don't look like they're going anywhere any time soon. In Valve's latest release, Left 4 Dead, you play as one of four survivors during the zombie apocalypse. Left 4 Dead features four scenarios where you must guide the survivors to a designated spot to be picked up before they are overwhelmed by the zombie horde. Left 4 Dead is a first person shooter, developed by Valve owned Turtle Rock Studios, using the Source engine. Left 4 Dead received a number of awards for it's multiplayer modes at the end of 2008, but is the game really worth your while? Let's take a look at the game and find out...

Continue reading Review: Left 4 Dead

Posted on Mar 8th 2009 at 06:00:00 AM by (Nionel)
Posted under Gaming in Retrospect, Street Fighter, Street Fighter Alpha, Arcade

Originally popularized in arcades during the nineties, fighting games have remained a popular genre to this day. With the recent release of Street Fighter IV and last weeks news that Midway has put Mortal Kombat up for sale, I've decided to focus the next few articles on these two popular fighting franchises. Street Fighter has been around for more than twenty years and was popularized due to it's fluid control and expertly balanced game play that would become even more polished with each release. This first article will look at the first four games in the Street Fighter series, according to the series timeline, which will cover the original Street Fighter from 1987 and the three Alpha games which were released between 1995 and 1997.

Continue reading Gaming in Retrospect 2: Street Fighter

Posted on Mar 5th 2009 at 06:00:00 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Music, NES, Mega Man, Ducktales, Mario, Legend of Zelda, Little Nemo

Hot off the heels of last week's Random Lists #2, I've decided to go ahead with a semi regular article featuring video game music, which will allow me to cut back on Random Lists so I don't step on Tan's feet since he does the List 'em article. Anyway, today I'm looking back at some of the music from the 8-bit era, and since I've never played a PC Engine/Turbo Grafx, I'll be focusing mostly on the Master System, NES, Gameboy, and Game Gear and for now each game will have only one song per article, unless I make an article featuring a certain game or composer.

Continue reading Melodic Notation: 8-bit Classics Part I

Posted on Mar 2nd 2009 at 06:00:00 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Xbox 360, Area 51, Playstation 3, PC, FPS

Released as the fourth game in the Area 51 series, Blacksite is a squad based first person shooter for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, and PC developed by Midway Studios Austin. For those unfamiliar with the series, Area 51 was originally released in arcades in 1995 by Atari Games. The first two games in the series were light gun games, which would later be ported to the Playstation and Satun. The franchise would later receive a reboot in 2005, courtesy of Midway, on the PS2 and Xbox in the form of a first person shooter.

Continue reading Underachievers: Blacksite Area 51

Posted on Feb 28th 2009 at 02:00:00 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Random Lists, Music, Mega Man, Castlevania, Mario, Kirby, Final Fantasy

Welcome to another Random List, now it's no secret that I'm a big fan of video game music, some of my favorite composers include Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, and Motoi Sakuraba. Today's list is a compilation of some of my favorite updates to songs from games of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras, I'm sure many of you probably remember hearing many of these songs at some point, as for me many of these songs are nostalgic due to my being young when playing many of these games for the first time. My only real restriction for this list is the the updated song has to be from a game, so no fan made stuff on this list, and all of the songs will be presented within for your listening pleasure. Anyway, without further ado, here are some of my favorite updated video game songs...

Continue reading Random Lists #2: Updated Classics

Posted on Feb 24th 2009 at 11:36:44 PM by (Nionel)
Posted under Nintendo DSi, DS, DS Lite, DSi Ware, Nintendo

The DSi will be released outside of Japan in just over a month, it's common knowledge that the new handheld is a mere upgrade to the existing DS Lite, but what has truly changed? The goal of this article is to let you know what's new, both from a technical and cosmetic standpoint, and to shed some light on some of the available DSi Ware, so hopefully when you're done reading, you'll know if upgrading to the DSi is right for you.

Continue reading The Nintendo DSi: Is it right for me?

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