Kurayami Monogatari

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Playstation Home June 3, 2015

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 6:12 pm



PS Home is a social network created by SONY in 2008 and lasted up until its closure in 2015.  The idea was to give players a way to interact with other gamers in a sort-of Sims-way, but adds a lot of customization like the Animal Crossing series as well.  Of course, many developers also dipped their toes into this really interesting mash-up.  There were also MANY different spaces (kind of like chat-rooms back in the day) that was themed different with each one.  Also, Europe and Asia had their own versions albeit they had different spaces than each other.


Gameplay is rather easy, once you start it up, Home introduces you to an avatar (a character that you can edit) and gives you your first private space (Harbour Studio) in that, the game gives a quick tutorial over how the game works with walking around, messing in your inventory and wardrobe (though you’ll be pretty bare bones at first).  Then it sends you to the Hub (yeah, it used to be Central Plaza, but I joined in 2012 so I was a bit late to the party) and you’ll finally get your first experience with what Home is all about, socializing.  Really from this point on, you get to choose what to do (from making new friends, to buying stuff, to even traveling to other spaces to start off.  Really, Home is what you make of it and the choices are infinite.  Along the way you’ll get items to customize your avatar with and Locomotions (which makes your character faster or gives you more dances)…so much!

As time grew on, Home kept being updated with new things to do or more things to buy (I wouldn’t try to get all of them because it grew to high amounts).  Plus there was glitching and ending up with free stuff.

Once clubs became a thing, a new idea, fams started to happen…they really were cliques within the game and most of the time the people were trying too hard and being “the best” there ever was, but for people it was easy to make friends with (though just as easy to lose them too).

Add in minigames through most of the spaces and you’ve got a LOT to do.

Graphics / Sound

  • Graphics – While I wouldn’t pair it next to gorgeous games like Uncharted and Final Fantasy XIII, Home felt more like it had PS2 graphics which isn’t so bad and the various spaces really take control of the colors which meant it wasn’t boring to look at considering how much of it there was.  Some companies (like Granzella) took advantage and made REALLY pretty spaces whereas something like the Hudson Gate was vivid and brightly colored to the dark and dingy SIREN space.  The items and private spaces also had a lot of cool detail especially the clothing (there was just so many though!).  The avatar themselves look pretty basic, unless you take the time to edit and mess around with it.
  • Sound – When it came to sound, it bounced back and forth.  The Hub features songs, but they’re of indie artists and fused a lot of pop, hip-hop, rock, and electro (but sounding almost bland after a while).  Some of the other spaces do have licensed music (Konami Penthouse & SIREN for example had songs from their games).  I think what disappointed was the lack of choice of having your own music (in your private space) I feel like that was a huge loss and would’ve made sense to include (especially you can buy a free radio, but stuck with a selection of songs from LOOT).


Of course there was weekly updates and with that came technically DLC with additions of WAY MORE items and clothing on top of adding in new spaces and private spaces as well (even clubs).  To be honest, I never spent too much on the stuff (and when the final months were happening, they were releasing a BUNCH of free stuff).

Overall: 9/10

While I’m pretty sad to see SONY close Home down (due to the company focusing their ideas with the PS4), Home was a pretty amazing experience (well for the 3 1/2 years I was active).  There was so much to do and I don’t think I ever completed everything there was to do, but that’s because Home was a social experiment.  I mean yeah, there were people who’d troll or lie or even steal on there, but the friends you did make and see so much on Home last forever so that I commend SONY for pulling this off.

There would’ve been so much more I would’ve talked about, but that would just make this a hard read xD.  Let’s just say I had fun while it was active.


Mario Kart 64 June 1, 2014

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 8:41 am



Mario Kart 64 is the grand sequel to one of the most successful games on the SNES and was one of the first games for the N64!  It was quite a feat for the game because it was the first Mario Kart that was done in 3D as well.  Now came with depth and more identity to the characters and courses this time!  Let’s attack this legendary game shall we?


At that time with the evolution of the game, I was expecting more, but we ended up with 8 characters again but there’s some slight changes.  For some reason Koopa Troopa and DK Jr. were dropped for well….Donkey Kong and Wario (in betas, Kamek was going to be in the game, but was shot down for regular DK at the last minute).  It was an OK list, could’ve had a little more to it, but what could you do.

Also, the characters all now use regular items, so no character specifics.


A lot of the items from the original make a return here like the Banana, Lightning Bolt, Green/Red Shells, Boo, Stars, and Mushrooms, but we got a lot of new ones too!

  • Triple Red/Green Shells – Well it’s easy to figure out what these are right, three shells that circle around you and you can throw them back or forward (Green shells cannot be laid down, they’re just shot backwards).
  • Triple Mushrooms – Same idea, but with 3 lol
  • Banana Bunches – You get 5 bananas following you and you can lay them wherever or let your opponent run right into them.
  • Fake Item Boxes – The first legit real item is Fake Item Box which is there to show some trollingness.  Replace the spots with the regular item boxes but place one of these in its place and daaaaamn.
  • Golden Mushrooms – So when you far behind in the pack, get one of these and you have a set time to boost your way to the front, as in repeated speed boosts!!!
  • Spiny Shell – The infamous blue shell makes its first appearance!  It sends itself forward and attacks the 1st place player.

If you’ve noticed they took out only two items, Cons and the Feather.  The former because the coin system was actually dropped for the game and the Feather because I’m sure it would’ve been too cheap (or very unruly to use).  Also CPUs lose the ability to use just one item and now can use them all.


The best upgrade in this game is the fact that all the tracks are different from one another, albeit there’s less tracks than in the original game (strange right?).  Still the tracks were so unique and such a stretch of the imagination at the time that I just was awestruck with the 3D tracks.  Let’s be honest, we had a LOT of memorable tracks to the point that with MK8, all but one track has been reimagined.  If you must know, Wario Stadium, Bowser Castle, and Rainbow Road were favorites. of mine.  There was some tracks that felt a bit meh, but they’ve gotten better in time.


Being as the first 3D Mario Kart, MK64 pioneered this system quite well.  Overall, the main thing hasn’t really changed too much.  The formula is mostly the same with some new ideas like drifting to boost, and a lot more shortcuts to boot and take advantage of more of the items.  That being said, the game feels harder with these new inclusions and in fact the 150cc is just brutal for me, but not impossible to defeat.  The rubberbanding is still kind of annoying but it isn’t craptastic at least to me.  The driving aspect felt more slippery and kind of odd to get used to at first (worse for veterans).

Graphics / Sound

  • Graphics: For being an early N64 title, it actually looked decent back in the day and with how Super Mario 64 was impressing everyone with its look, MK actually did the same for the kart racing genre (and really set off the motions for future wannabe titles).  Today, the game does look like it’s starting to show its age and the looks of the tracks are kind of looking polygonal (thank god they’ve been redone, cept Wario Stadium).  Still bright colors and the atmosphere is just quite awesome.
  • Sound: I think that the sound is good, even today….of course the muffledness is there but the tunes were memorable in its own way (not as memorable like SMK’s).  Plus they’ve started using actual noises for the characters which is a nice plus.

Other Things to do

  • Cup Races – Just like the previous game, the main idea is to win these in the 50, 100, and 150cc, but really the interesting part is that when you do win all of them, you get Mirror Mode in which the tracks are basically switched from right to left and etc.
  • Time Trials – Really, no difference, just try to get the best time!
  • Vs. Races – Mostly the same, but with the included fact that up to 4 people can race!
  • Battle Mode – Like the courses, the battle mode got a nice facelift. Sadly it’s still relegated to just 4 tracks, but I really like all of them and brought some interesting style over SMK’s selection.

Overall: 7/10

You can’t deny that Mario Kart 64 really propelled the series with it’s sequel and boy did it fluorish throughout my childhood.  Taking off my nostalgic glasses, it can’t be denied either that it really hasn’t aged well.  The game’s control really makes the karts feel clunky and slip-slidy and the drifting is kind of hard to get used to (especially if you’re used to the way later iterations use this technique.  Still, you gotta love the 3D tracks finally making each track their own identity.  Battle Mode, while still very thin, was still loads of fun and even better with the multiplayer.  I kind of wished there were more unlockables besides mirrored tracks, but I guess the had limitations.  I wonder what the next installment will turnout like.


Battlefield 4 (PS3) February 28, 2014

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 9:14 am



Battlefield 4 is a FPS (First-Person Shooter) that was released not only for the PS3, but for the XBOX360, PS4, XBOX ONE, and PCs as well.  Even though it says it’s the 4th it really isn’t but hey whatever works and catches peoples eye right?  The series is pretty well-known for its gameplay and focus on other things besides gunning down people xD.  Now I will say right here that IT’S MY FIRST GAME UNDER THIS GENRE…yeah I played Halo but never owned it so it really doesn’t count so bear with me!


The story begins in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku where you are recognized as Sgt. Recker who belongs in a tag-along team named Tombstone.  You meet up with your teammates Dunn and Pac (and soon after Irish).  As you find your information, they all try to escape, but the building they were standing upon got attacked and it fell.  Of course you survive the fall and manage to try to escape but during it, their vehicle gets attacked and they swerve into the water and they had to shoot the window out to survive, but sadly Dunn died as he was stuck in the seats (and also was dealing with a missing leg).  Tombstone is next sent to Shanghai to meet with another guy and to protect a lady and her “husband”.  They manage to do that but China freaks out because they think their leader is dead and the unseen antagonist basically blames the US for doing it and Russia joins China’s side.  They escape only to find their fellow ship is being attacked and they searched it but returned and that was attacked as well.  After fighting off the Chinese, Tombstone goes into Singapore to try to signal their teammates but unfortunately one of their own, Hannah double-crossed them and seemingly Pac dies leaving Irish and Recker in a jail in the Russian mountains.  Recker meets another guy, Dima and both would find Irish and Hannah (admits to being a double agent to protect her “husband”, Jin Jie who was to be assassinated by Chang) and they try to escape via a tram.  Unfortunately that was shot down and killed Dima as it crashed.  The remaining members travel down the mountains and meets up with a team trying to get into their base in Tashgar which was being attacked by both the Chinese and Russians.  They get through and are tasked to blow up the dam (which they do) and they get to fly back to the Valkyrie (their ship).

As they get to their ship, they see it’s being attacked again and fight through to the inside to meet up with their allies (and Pac who survived Singapore).  They have a conversation and Jin Jie shows himself to the Chinese troops who didn’t think he was alive and they stop attacking, but Chang starts attacking the boat to try to “bury the truth” and Tombstone (minus Pac as he stays behind) decide to blow the ship up with C4.  As they get to the boat, they stick the bomb on and go up on grappling guns, but when they try to detonante, it doesn’t work so Recker has to choose between sending Hannah down or Irish (also you could do nothing and let Chang blow up the Valkyrie).


That ending was shady as all hell: I’m not well-versed in FPS stories, but that ending was a little racist to be choosing between Irish (black guy) and Hannah (Chinese chick)…it felt so wrong to do it and I really wished there was an option that Recker could’ve died.

Recker, y u so quiet, qorl?: Honestly, he says ONE word in the entire story and it’s at the beginning where he says “fuck”….I really don’t know why they decided to make Recker mute but lord I wanted him to say something of importance…

Short story though: For as long as that story is, it’s laid out in 7 parts which is surprisingly small for a game like this…what happened?


For what it is, it’s a shooter so you already have a guess to what kind of gameplay it calls for.  There are things that make it standout too.  From the Campaign point of view, you collect weapons and various gadgets along the way and they steadily get better and you start to get a feel for what you like. Of course you’re dodging enemy bullets and helis and etc. but it’s really a kind of get from point A to point B without dying.  That said, it did feel a tad linear, but with FPS’ you’ve got to deal with that.

Multiplayer is a totally different fest.  How that works is that you have 4 kits to work with: Assault, Engineer, Recon, and Support and they have their pros and cons about them so you should look for one that you would be solid on (of course you can bypass and use Carbines which can be used in all 4 maps).  Also the more you play, the higher your level and the more guns and gadgets and abilities you get!  Also there are more vehicles available in multiplayer like jets and more 4-wheeled excursions.

Also there’s different styles of gameplay which I can explain

  • Conquest: Basically, it’s taking over certain spots of the map and try to not let your opponent taken them.  Now the most for the PS3 is 32 but in the newest generation of systems and the PC, it’s racked up to 64 on one map (totally jealous).
  • Domination: Smaller mapped version of Conquest.
  • Team / Squad Deathmatch: Simply a small part of a map where all you need to do is kill your opponents.  The difference between the two is a matter of Team has more members while the Squad is more like 4/5 people against each other.
  • Rush: It’s a bit hard to explain, but it’s like whoever takes the most objectives gets more of the map?  I don’t know, but I haven’t played it enough to really say much.
  • Obliteration: You have a bomb in the middle of the map and you have to blow up your opponent’s objective with it and vice versa with them.  Also it’s a new style of gaming introduced to the series here.
  • Defuse: Another new style, it’s a small map and one bomb, however, once you’re killed in a match you out for that round, so it plays more to the strategic side of FPS’.


So not counting the DLC, multiplayer comes with only 10 maps and I was pretty surprised it was so low given that I would’ve expected DICE/EA would’ve had enough space to put more in.  Some of the maps in the game are really nice (Dawnbreaker, Operation Locker, Siege of Shanghai) and some that just wasn’t good (like Zavod 311).  Biggest thing added though is the Levolution which is essentially changes to the map that are subtle or huge which is pretty good but sometimes causes unnecessary deaths but some are reasonable lol.  Still I could’ve had more maps to play on then just the 10…but I suppose that’s why the DLC is there, but it does make me wish some of the places in Campaign were maps >.>

Graphics / Sound

Graphics: For being a late PS3 game, it looks really good!  It looks real almost and seeing things like rockets and explosions and seeing stuff like the hightower in Siege of Shanghai falling down just impressed me for what it’s worth.  For the Campaign it was pretty good, there were some odd movements and syncing issues with the voiceover but overall it was nice (and Irish looked a bit….odd).

Sound: Even though there isn’t a whole lot of music to be had, the voiceovers sounded really good here especially with the main characters.  Beyond that the voices in multiplayer kind of just meld into one another and I couldn’t care less because I was too focused on not getting shot.  BTW, yeah the gunfire and explosions are all great too


Well, I cant speak too much about it, but there are 5 different DLC’s but only two of them have been released: China Rising and Second Assault.  So far it’s really just new weapons, two new playstyles: Air Superioriety and Capture the Flag, and new maps so really it’s what it is.  Though in February, it was a month of free unlockables and downloads for free weapons which is to make up for the problems this game has had since being released.

Overall: 6/10

I’m surprised big-named sites are giving this game such high markings without really diving into its issues.  For a novice to shooters, I kind of was expecting a lot more than what we got.  I know FPS gamers don’t come to a game for its story and granted BF4’s was quite weak and short of one…something I never expected (even Goldeneye 64 was longer >.>).  Into the real complaint though is the abnormally HIGH amount of bugs and glitches this game has and still has even when it does update.  The biggest one is if you have a save for Campaign and go into multiplayer…it’ll delete your progress…that’s totally not right and a HUGE flaw for me.  Sometimes the game freezes which is absurd (but Playstation All-Stars has the same problem too) and there’s just other odd issues.  I know EA is doing Fan Appreciation month to kind of apologize for it, but really fix it!

Otherwise if it didn’t have those problems, I probably would’ve rated it slightly higher because multiplayer kills time and when you have friends playing with, it just makes the experience better as teamwork goes a long way in multiplayer.  Overall it’s OK, but for the amount of hype it got…it’s definitely disappointing.


Pokemon Y (SPOILERS!) December 1, 2013

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 10:58 am



Pokemon Y (and X) are the first games released for the 6th Generation for this VERY long-running series.  They are also the first main Pokemon RPGs on the 3DS.  If you are new (at this point I think everyone has heard of this series), Pokemon is an RPG where you train monsters and become the No.1 around.  Let’s dive right in!


Stories in the main PKMN series has never really been the highest point of its game, although Black/White & Black2/White2 tried to do something a little more since its story was a bit more stronger.  The story in X/Y is a bit more convoluted than one would expect.  It begins with Sycamore asking 5 kids: You (the main guy/girl), your Rival (Serena or Calum), Shauna, Trevor, and Tierno to go on an adventure and fill the Pokedex out.  After you beat the first gym though and get to Lumiose City, Sycamore introduces you to Mega Stones and wants the 5 to learn more about how it works, shortly after you meet Lysandre (the leader of Team Flare, which are your antagonists and Diantha (the Elite 4 Champion, though it’s not known at this point).  Team Flare’s act of evil this time is to awaken the Legendary Pokemon, Xerneas or Yveltal to bring eternal youth and beauty, but at the same time destroy those who aren’t worthy, as we learn later.

Back to where we were, you continue on your jounrey (which is mostly still obtaining the gym badges and and become the best).  You meet Korrina (the 3rd gym leader) and she introduces the Mega Ring / and Mega Stones which initially said was passed down by bloodline (OOP).  After going through and defeating more gym leaders, you meet a mysterious TALL character named AZ.  When you first meet him, you really don’t know much.  Further on down the line, Team Flare’s issue becomes more of a problem and you learn what they’re planning to do and Lysandre has imprisoned AZ.  AZ finally explains his place in the story.  Basically, AZ was the King of Kalos and he and Floette was his partner (best friend).  A war happened and Floette died in the ensuing war.  In his sorrow, he went and created a tower (or weapon) to revive it and it worked!  Though he was still pissed about the fact that Floette had died in the first place and unfortunately turned the revival machine in to a powerful weapon and ended the war with one use.  Due to that, Floette deserted AZ and disappeared.  With all that said and down Lysandre was going to use this machine with the use of Xerneas and/or Yveltal for his use and the Trainer defeated and stopped it all before it came to be.

After all that’s said and done, you return onto your final badges and finally make it to Victory Road and defeat the Elite 4.  In the ending, AZ approaches you and wants a battle after you’re done celebrating the fact you’re the Pokemon League Champion.  After the battle, he says he finally let the pain and anger go and his Floette comes back to him and well…the end.

That’s out of the way, let’s get down to thoughts.

  • The Mega Stone/Ring – You know, this was a pretty cool thing to integrate into the story, but it was kind of clunky when it became the focal point.  Initially, Korrina’s bloodline are really only the ones that should be able to wield it…but you learn that not only you, but your rival possibly, Diantha, and Lysandre could use it (which makes the meaning behind this a bit odd.
  • Lysandre & Diantha – They never really specified how these two really knew each other, though I suppose they both had different thoughts about things and Lysandre did try to persuade Diantha to think about eternal beauty and youth.  Still, I can’t help but think that there was more to their relationship IMO
  • AZ and his damn Floette – While his story actually felt more emotional than any other Pokemon story in the main games, I did feel like it kind of shoe-horned a lot to make the story even more based on the history of Kalos that was left kind of bleak and unknown really.  I would’ve loved to have understood what caused the war where Floette died and what this machine REALLY do and how Zygarde ties in with it.  It’s a nice story though, but maybe a little more could’ve been elaborated on certain things, though that ending was a bit cheesy…great for AZ, but cheesy XD.
  • Kalos, why are you filled with mysteries >.> – Honestly, this game has so many more mysteries than it should!  I mean AZ was a good mystery, the creepy girl from Lumiose City, the Strange Souvenir you get from the guy that isn’t from any of the 6 main regions, 3/4 of the Kalos Power Plant is locked, the hedge mazes in Parfum Palace…honestly there’s just too many things that we don’t know and I find that to be annoying (at least the Power Plant and Strange Souvenir).  I hope that we’ll get SOMETHING by the end of the year detailing one of these!


I’ve already talked about this when I reviewed White so I’ll re-quote it “As with all main Pokémon games for the handhelds, they are a Strategy/RPG game and the core of the game is essentially a glorified rock-paper-scissors kind of deal (I know many other people have explained this with previous games so I’ll assume everyone knows about it).  However some old moves have been shot down and some powered up and added on with the new abilities of the game, things have changed once again for the now 718 (721 including the Kalos’ events) Pokémon.  However there’s many things that have changed in the gameplay!

  • Fairy Type LET’S GO – The big gameplay change is the addition of a new type, Fairy.  They were created to even out the Dragon type but also effect Fighting and Dark types too ^_^.  A lot of the older Pokemon like Jigglypuff and Whimsicott got retyped as well with this new type!
  • Mega Evolutions, since when did this become Digimon? – Certain Pokemon in the game can further power themselves up with the Mega Evolution in which all have raised stats in some form (and some even changing types).  I don’t know if they’ll stick with this idea in future generations, but it’s neat!
  • The New Battles, hmm… – Well like in the 5th Generation, 6th came with some new types of battles.  The first is the Horde Battles where its basically 1 vs. 5.  Seems unfair, but luckily when you get into these battles, the horde is very low-level and you can only catch one if you defeat the other 4 >.>  Such BS xD.  The other are the Sky Battles where only Flying Pokemon (sans a lot of ground based ones like Dodrio, Farfetch’d, and Hawlucha) and Pokemon with the Levitate ability can partake in it.
  • PSS…SO MUCH TO DO – To take the place of the C-Gear, we get the PSS and it has a lot of things to do.  Battle against friends, trade, and even more new things as well!
  • Pokemon-amie, to bring Nintendogs to Pokemon, and make fanboys wanna rub Machoke senseless X.x – Yes, Pokemon brought in a new feature called Pokemon-amie which is pretty much like said above, Nintendogs.  You pet, play with and feed your Pokemon and keep their happiness high.  There’s also mini-games to get more PokePuffs (to feed) and eventually your Pokemon will have a lot of things going on.  Though most people will use it to get Sylveon because its necessary.  Also it’ll effect the metagame a bit since if you overdo it in Pokemon-amie, Critical Hits and evasion stats go up which might affect battles a lot.
  • Super Training, dumbing it down for dem players! – A thing that comes with every main Pokemon game is the Competitive side of battling and there were ways to train (though not really stated in the previous generations) and having that perfect Pokemon team by manipulating stats.  Super Training brings this idea to the front and is pretty easy to follow and a lot simpler than when it used to be.
  • Mr. Bonding, WHY YOU SO CREEPY?!? – Another new thing, O-Powers are abilities you can activate on the field and have different effects (like more money from trainer battles, more EXP, more encounters).  Though you get them from Mr. Bonding and he is creepy because he wants to bond and when he does, the screen goes black…HM is he the Pokemon version of a whore?  I think so xD
  • Customizing your trainer, FINALLY – Another new thing, you can customize your trainer to many things in-game, though you do have to buy things XD.  It’s definitely cool and the many looks you can have are impressive (though the Female trainers get more things).


X & Y does boast the biggest regional dex with 450 Pokemon in it before you get the National Dex.  Unfortunately 69 (72 with events, but they aren’t in the Kalos dex) are new which is the lowest of any generation to get new Pokemon which many will say it’s not bad considering the wide amount, but it still kind of sad that it’s that low. Many of them do bring in unique typings which is great though and only a couple felt redundant.


  • Graphics – I thought it was going to be great even with the first scenes we got. Everything got updated and I was blown away.  The camera looks so dynamic and full of angles and with the new 3D look, it’s pretty nifty.  About that, the game mostly DOESN’T use the 3D much and it’s a bit odd, but at the same time, makes sense since it takes a lot for the effect.  Which brings to one of the glaring problems (for me).  The battles look great first off and the Pokemon really look like living things and not sprites which is a big jump, but with that, sometimes on certain angles the framerate drops to a NOTICEABLE level which suuucks (have a horde battle with Trevenants and tell me how BAD it moves).  The characters look quite good and now we don’t look like balls which is so cool!
  • Sound: The music of X/Y isn’t as strong as Black/White was (and Lumiose City’s theme got ANNOYING after a while).  Though there are a lot of strong tracks like the Boutique, most of the Town themes, and the Gym Leader battle theme.  Overall it’s solid and nothing too wrong with it.

Post-Game Activities

  • Search for them Mega Stones! – After the E4, and doing a battle at the Battle Maison, and beating your rival, and talking to Sycamore, you are able to seach for the remaining Mega Stones that are shined upon for AN HOUR at 8pm because of Anistar City’s shining sundial.  They’re all over the place and it’s gonna take more than one day to get them all.
  • Battle Maison – Basically this is where the compettive training will help and you can win a lot of different items (some being used for evolving).
  • Legendaries! Though one of them are new >.< – Yup, you can obtain Mewtwo, Zygarde and one of the Kanto legendary birds.  Really isn’t a whole lot, but I suppose its good for completion.
  • Booker returns! – The truly story-driven activity is the returning Booker and he sends you to do some sleuthing and in the end have to battle someone quite strong.  It’s alright, but I kind of wished there was more

Also, there’s the typical completionist of finishing the Kalos Dex (since you can’t complete the National dex, yet.) because we’re getting the PokeBank and PokeTransfer to complete that test as well.


I have to say, there’s a lot of loopholes and unexplained things with in Pokemon Y (and more than likely X) that kind of left me wanting in someway to have been explained more in depth when it came to the history and their characters.  Though it did make up with the graphical advancement that came with the game that really look good (though they could’ve worked the 3D in better and not half-assed it, but the slowdown is already evident with certain battle shots and horde battles).  Another meh point is that even though the amount of Pokemon is great, having it be the least amount with around 70 is kind of a bummer.

Though I did like how much they did put into the game and the idea of that there’s going to be more going on already has me excited when could befall the game once PokeBank starts.  Still, I can’t shake the feeling that some of the game was rushed and there was more ideas that didn’t make it.

Overall good game, but not better than Gold/Silver or Black/White IMHO.


Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale August 15, 2013

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 9:02 pm



Playstation All-Stars Battle Royal (or PSASBR for short) is a party/fighting game released last year for the PS3.  It also came with a free downloadable version for you Vita players out there as well.  At first glance, the game immediately signals that this is Playstation’s version of the grandeur Smash Bros. series but actually it’s quite different once you really get into the mechanics of it all.


Well, there really isn’t a heavy amount of a story but in Arcade mode, each character basically has an intro (basically getting an invitation to the battle ahead), a kind of rival scene (which is mostly the same, you offended me, I defeat you deal), and the ending (which is more of well we fought, but my story continues).  It’s very generic sounding and it should because I would think there’d be more going on…but whatever


Probably one of the most important factors, was actually looking at the faces of Playstation’s past and seeing who actually made the cut.  It was pretty obvious that some were chosen as they were current known faces like Nathan Drake, Kratos, Sly Cooper, Cole McGrath (though two forms???).  Some were a bit odd choices (Fat Princess, Nariko, Toro, Raiden (though Snake was in Brawl…), and Big Daddy and there were some that were just pure nostalgia like Sweet Tooth, Parappa, and Sir Daniel Fortesque.  All these faces were great, but they seriously had so many more to choose from and the lack of a certain bandicoot and dragon was REALLY unfortunate as they were THE faces of Playstation.  It was a pretty unusual cast and frankly, even I didn’t know some of the faces like Radec, Emmitt, Kat, Fat Princess…(though it’s probably because I’m not too involved in the PS3 world yet lol).


There isn’t a whole butt ton of stages (about 14 with like 5 extra practice stages) but that seems to be a good enough number.  The way PSASBR did it was to fuse two series together to have a stage. I mean Dreamscape was a fusion between LittleBigPlanet and BUZZ! which was cool and they have different things going on like the addition of extra platforms while the BUZZ! announcer asks a question and you have to stand on the right area.  There are similar things in each of the other main areas so that’s pretty cool.


So after all that, we get into meat and bones of the game.  The main controls are easy to follow.  The square, triangle and circle buttons are attacks and are different with directions (like Smash).  The X button is for jumping, press it twice to double jump of course.  L2 is to taunt, L1 is to dodge, and pressing left or right is a dodge roll.  R1 is to pick up items and L2 is used for supers.

The point of the match is to defeat your opponent with you Supers and there’s 3 different levels to them.  The higher the level the better it is (but for some characters it’s quite the opposite).  You also have the normal Time battle and Stock battle, but PSASBR has an extra mode, Kill battle where you have to kill to a certain amount and you win lol.  Now this sounds a bit edgier because it actually makes you focus on your opponents since there’s no ring outs to be had (though in certain stages, if you fall off the stage, you’re placed back on it and put into an automatic dizzy state.

However, the flaw of this idea comes with the unbalanced characters.  I mean if you are Dante, Kratos, Kat, Nariko, and Raiden…you’re pretty much going to win (unless you’re REALLY bad with them).  Though it doesn’t mean it’s entirely in their favor because you can be quite good with all the characters and manage to kick some ass.


  • Graphics: For being a PS3 game, it actually looks quite good and the intro to the game was pretty nifty (though why darken them out?).  The fighting is smooth and there’s not a lot of issues in this department.  Though I will say that for the “story mode” they shouldn’t have done still shots…that was a bit of a copout IMO.
  • Sound: Minus the menu theme (gets annoying), the stages’ music was actually a nice collection.  Though I’m not too familiar with a lot of the music in the first place but some were really cool!

Other Things to Do

  • Trophies – Of course this is with EVERY game on the PS3…most of them have to do with Arcade Mode though
  • Arcade Mode – It’s not the most exciting thing to do because while each character has his or her own prologue/epilogue and the final boss is a cool nostalgic trip, Polygon Man (old PS1 mascot).  Though this mode is primarily used to level up characters and gaining trophies.
  • Online – Of course this is the main reason the game has replayability because it’s online is quite good (SO MUCH BETTER THAN BRAWLS) though if there’s a connection issue, bars will pop up to warn others of what is happening.
  • Practice – There is a practice mode, but there is also an intro to the mechanics of the game and it really does help and you unlock tokens to go further in and learn more (and even then, each character has their own set of techniques to learn).  Another good thing to keep in mind basically if you wanna learn the intricacies of the game.
  • Customization – There’s also costume customizing (not a big deal), changing your loading emblem and such, having a minion (still don’t exactly see the point of them are), and customizing intros, winning theme and victory pose in battles.  So that’s another interesting thing about it.

There’s also some minor things like option changing and character profiles to read but that’s basically it for the game lol.


What is surprising is the DLC that came out.  Of course there’s your alternate costumes and many other minions to be had, but the important things are the stages and characters.  There’s actually four character (Kat, Emmett Graves, Zeus, and Isaac Clarke) and to be honest none of them really piqued my interest at first glance (because besides Zeus, I didn’t know them) but in game…they look like they’d be fun characters.  There was also 2 stages as well: Fearless (Heavenly Sword+WipEout) and Graveyard (MediEvil+TheUnfinished Swan).

There was supposed to be more (Abe from OddWorld and Dart from Legend of Dragoon) and a stage based upon the mix of Gravity Rush and Journey) but it was cancelled with SONY announcing the end of content for All-Stars).  All that’s left is costumes and patches for characters now sadly.


I actually really wanted a PS3 for this at the time, but after having played it…it quickly waned.  I mean the idea is nice and surprised it hasn’t happened sooner after how big Smash Bros. had become, but the problem here is that I think Nintendo has a lot of nostalgia and popularity in their characters whereas SONY’s hasn’t stuck on as much (plus shunning Crash and Spyro was in bad taste, but not their fault).  I just don’t feel like this cast was as complete as it should’ve (because there are SO many more they could’ve added like Abe and Dart….maybe Croc….I-Ninja, Ty…I mean there was a LOT even some big series weren’t even brought in like Resident Evil, Final Fantasy (anything Square-Enix for that matter)…and etc.

I did like the gameplay and it did lead to some pretty edgy battles online which is good…but beyond online modes and with friends, by yourself…this was a weak package.  I mean the menu screens look so terrible and single player mode was just vague and bland to deal with.  I mean you can go on for so long in Practicing your characters before you get bored.

Worst of them all, I experienced during some battles (at the end) that the game freezes, forcing you to reboot.  THAT SUCKS…something needs to be fixed about that kind of thing TBH.

It’s not a terrible game though and the intentions were quite good, but there were some flaws for sure and sometimes felt like it was a tad unfinished as a product, but for what we got…it’s not bad…but Melee and Brawl still topple it miles wide.


Katamari Damacy April 21, 2013

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 8:48 pm



Katamari Damacy is the first for a long-going series of games from NAMCO!  The game is definitely known for its original concept and overall wtf-ness xD.


The story goes is that The King of All Cosmos had gotten drunk and in his stupor ended up destroying the universe (talk about advertising how bad drinking can get when you’re an all powerful king xD).  So due to that, he decides to make his son (The Prince) to clean up the mess and rebuild the universe. There’s also a B-story as well with the Hoshino family dealing with all this randomness and seeing the Prince here and there and the daughter having some strange power of the Cosmos.  Very odd stories, but they were unique and gave some interesting moments in the game lol.


So how do you recreate something so large like the universe?  By rolling up the most random things into a big ball of wtf-ness xD.  Yeah the main goal of the game is to roll a Katamari up to a certain size (or in some cases certain amount of the same or similar object).  A katamari is just a ball with some kind of substance to make objects stick together and it has to be slightly relative to the size so anything tiny will be picked and gradually be able to pick up things like buildings and giant animals.

There’s technically three major places, the House, the Town, and the World (though that’s still kind of relegated to the area so it’s not like the later games).  Add in there are certain tasks.  Most of the time it’s to get the Katamari to the size presented (which is in Metric sizes, so us Americans might have a little trouble).  Once you get into the stages based on the astrological signs, there mostly based on said sign (like Cancer’s mission is just getting the most crabs and Gemini to find pairs of objects).  Even one is based off of just getting the biggest bear or cow in one grab!

Graphics / Sound

Graphics: The graphics in this game is really something.  I mean the art style is pretty bright and colorful and kind of have this pastel/cel-shading look to it without being either of them.  Mostly everything is angular (which shows tons on the people and animals) while other objects are more rounded out like fruits and other objects.  The scenes of the story are a bit jagged, but fitting for such a thing.

Sound: The series really shined bright with its soundtrack.  Mixing in a bit of technopop and J-pop and some really experimentive stuff, the music of the game was really different and unique.  I mean I’ve reviewed the soundtrack so you can tell I was a big fan of it.  Add in that a lot of the objects you can pick-up have sounds to em (mostly the people and animals with some other things).  There was even some voice active (mostly the King and the Hoshino family scenes, but it happened and it was good!)

Post-Game Activities

There’s quite a bit of stuff to do after you Make The Moon which I can talk about!

Get every item! – Yes to fill that completionist mind of yours, you can collect every item in the game that you can roll up with the Katamari and you can check them all out in the Collection area and read ALL of them (though it’s great to check what you’re missing and even get some funny commentary on most of the items as well!)

Get all the presents! – In every level there’s a present that you can put on your Prince to make him look a bit more snazzy.  One in particular, the camera lets you take photos in game, I thought that was pretty cool.

Get all the cousins! – Like the presents, there are one cousin per level, HOWEVER you won’t be able to use them because their only use in the game is for multiplayer…but still, getting them will fill your completion.

Multiplayer fun, sorta… – Yeah there’s multiplayer but not in the sense most of you think it is.  You basically go against each other to get the most of a certain item…yeah it does get old after a while, but I guess it’s good enough to do.

Beat your own score! – I mean the game has a score system based on how big the katamari is, so the best thing to do is to make it bigger and get a better score overall!

Listen to the soundtrack and watch the cutscenes!!! – There’s an area where you can do all these things as well when you just want to take a break from the game.


As the first of the series, Katamari Damacy did a lot at the time with its innovative concept and just overall quirky look to it.  However, it didn’t come without its problems.  The camera is probably the worst offender and it still is to this day, but it’s not like you can really do much with it considering the point of the game being picking everything up in sight.  It’s also quite short of a game, being able to complete it in less than 12 hours and the game can get really repetitive considering there isn’t a lot of variety in the missions.

On the good side, this is probably the most difficult of the series even though it really doesn’t come off as tough (but compared to the other games of the series, this actually had some challenge).  The music is also a really awesome thing and becomes a standard here lol.  Still it was a great beginning for an awesome series!


Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy February 14, 2013

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 3:52 pm



Celebrating the 25 years Final Fantasy as a series has been active, they thought to release something a little special and that is Theatrhythm which is a Music/Rhythm game (kind of like Elite Beat Agents/Ouendan).  It was also a pretty big nod to Nobuo Uematsu who created such memorable and beautiful compositions for the series (minus 13).


Yeah, do you remember DISSIDIA?  Well take that story…water it down and try to make sense with it with music (the points you get are called “Rhythmia”).  Also when you get to 10000 of these points you get to fight Chaos and that’s pretty much it…nothing in between to really tide it over til you get there…bone-dry on the story.


The main gist of the game for being a Rhythm game is quite self-explanatory, meaning that keep the rhythm and do what the game tells you to do like tapping, sliding, and directional swipes.  Point of the game is to complete the stages!  Yeah, easy right…well let’s talk about what’s up.

There’s 5 songs to represent all 13 of the core games of the series!  So most of the time you’re going through Series mode at first completing this task at hand.  There’s four styles of gameplay which I will talk about

  • DMS (Demo Music Stage) – Let’s just get this one out of the way, this is the MOST BORING of the stages.  Basically you’re supposed to tap the crystal in the middle of the screen matching with the notes that swirl around said crystal.  You can’t lose here and you can also skip these stages.  The bad thing is that we see this kind of stage twice in all 13 games which is even more pointless and shoots down the game by a good margin.
  • BMS (Battle Music Stage) – As the most difficult of the four (personally), BMS are structured like the classic FF battle scenes with the enemy on the right and the characters on the left (of which you can have four characters out at once).  They all each get a line and with the music you have to keep up with it since it’s moving from the left to the right lol.  Of course when you have abilities on said characters you get extra things happening.  In this case Summons take over and get one line and yeah easy xD.  On the flipside of that coin if you don’t have abilities on you get a nice Stoic bonus (which I’ll get to later in the review).
  • FMS (Field Music Stage) – The next one seen the most is the FMS which n the outside looks like all you’re doing is waling the landscapes of the various FF games (and there’s some unique ones for certain tracks not in the main core games).  Here there’s one singular line that moves a bit faster than BMS but the new trick here is that when you have holding line, you can move it up and down to follow the line which is the trick of these stages.  Just like the BMS, you have feature drives to kind of worm you’re way…though it’s only transforming your character into a Chocobo for a period of time.  Once again no abilities = Stoic bonus.
  • EMS (Event Music Stage) – The last and least seen stages, the EMS is only seen once in each FF category so it’s bit of a bummer because this is the closest to Elite Beat Agents you will get.  Basically there’s a mark that follows a path and you have to input the right marks and such.  In the background though is various memorable scenes of the games (though some are odd which I’ll talk about as well).  Once again feature drives are present and completing those correctly will garner you an extended ending of the EMS and like the previous two, Stoic bonus is here.

Initially you start out with nothing basically except Series mode and you’ll eventually start to unlock things here and there.

Now there’s another aspect to the game and that’s the RPG-ish outlook to the game.  Now you choose 4 characters to start out with (from the 13 games there’s at least one from the get-go so your favorite mains are present!).  So if you want Cloud, Squall, Bartz, and Lightning together then DO IT!  Now they all (and the hidden characters) have different abilities and stats which is no surprise and you have to level them up to get the better ones (which to be honest is useful in Chaos Shrine, which I’ll explain later as well).  Sadly with all of the RPG elements at hand, they really didn’t seem to impact the game heavily (if not made it easier for the most part).  Though I can’t say much because people who probably suck at rhythm games would probably depend on it a ton more than someone (like me) who’s really damn good at them. Though there’s items too so you can get behind that too for the beginners! Plus it’s REALLY easy to level your party up (as of this writing 12/13 of the main characters are at Lvl. 99.

As for the stages, I did feel like tacking on the Opening/Ending DMSs was a lazy addition because you seriously had nothing to do except collect Rhythmia.  No idea why they did that to be honest (especially since a good portion of the opening DMSs were variances on the “Crystal Theme”.  I didn’t have many problems with BMS and FMS as they were actually pretty good choices.  EMS stages weren’t bad either, but with the early FFs…why is it Japanese text?  I mean for the American fans this is kind of absurd that they didn’t at least edit this area out and slightly breaks the nostalgic feel about said early games.

Graphics / Sound

Graphics: Even though this is no core FF game and we aren’t getting that sexy look that most of the recent ones have had, Theatrhythm goes into a more cutesy look.  I mean the characters are all drawn in this chibi-style art and almost kind of reminds me of LBP but a little less fluffy!  Everything is quite simplified and the enemies too have that chibi-look.  Menus are neat and easy to work with and even though the 3D is kind of pointless in this game it does work and watching some of the EMS of the later games looks surprisingly good!  I also loved the touches they did to fit the games through the various stages throughout…Not bad!

Sound: Well this is a music game…so the sound is the most important thing here.  The sound is really good though full taking the songs from their original forms and just sounds all kinds of good.  Of course the 13 games there are 5 tracks each in Series mode (though the DMS stages can NOT be played in Challenge mode).

Of course the selection of songs is amazing though with 65 initial tracks (and 12 that has to be unlocked with Rhythmia).  It’s a pretty big number and there was so much to choose from too!  There were a couple of odd things like some tracks (One-Winged Angel and Dancing Mad) where it’s not played in its entirety (but makes sense as they are LOOOONG songs).  Still it’s definitely an impressive amount of songs!

Post-game Activities

There’s a lot to go through so I’ll list it!

  • Challenge Mode – So after you get through all of Series Mode you unlock this and this is where most of the game from here on out will probably be at.  You can practice or tackle the songs singularly and of course songs that aren’t in Series mode are found here.  DMS songs aren’t for obvious reasons.  Of course when you get a good grade, you unlock harder versions of the songs and of course when you get to Ultimate and make SSS grade (that’s when you know you’re AMAZING).  So far I haven’t been able to do that with all of them but will do in time xD.
  • Defeat Chaos – Completing the story will need 10000 Rhythmia and he’s not difficult, but it does end the story here.  You do unlock “Dancing Mad” from defeating him but that’s it.
  • Get through the Chaos Shrine – The Chaos Shrine is how can I explain it…kind of like a series of 99 challenges to tackle and it depends on the average of the 4 characters in your party.  If everyone is a Lvl 1, it’s super easy…Lvl 99 is a total bitch because they throw in something unexpected which is spinning directional slides which if you don’t know where it is at the left of the screen, you’re screwed XD.  I haven’t defeated this yet, but damn 99 stages that consists of one BMS and FMS.  It does get repetitive because it just uses a couple of the songs and not a totally random fest.
  • Unlock Characters/Songs etc. – So there are unlockables in this game and some of them have odd ways to be unlocked.  Characters are unlocked by collecting 8 shards of a specific kind.  Sadly most of them can be found easily be farming in the Chaos Shrine, sometimes Rhythmia gives you one for passing a milestone (which late in the game happens every 500).  Songs are unlocked through passing milestones and there’s 12 of them!  The other unlockables include cards (which give information but otherwise meh, items to use in battle, characters for your StreetPass cards and the ability to listen to the songs without playing the game (only for the in-game songs).


I was shocked, but there are 52 other songs available as DLC…however they are only available through Challenge mode, extending the game so much more.  Though they are only EMS and BMS tracks, that’s OK since they were the more difficult kind of stages.  Great addition.  Though I’m slightly bitter at the fact that the iOS version has so many exclusive tracks that I wished Nintendo had put those on here too…>.<




I have to say that this game is a must-have for music-buffs (who are or not into Final Fantasy) it’s just a collage of such great songs throughout Final Fantasy’s history that it’s hard not to admire such an anniversary present.  Even Uematsu was overtaken of this project…it was just such a nice thank you present not to only the fans but to the musicians.  The presentation was really nice and easy to go through and the gameplay is simple and fun to go through (though it could wear the screen out if you’re that person that shoves his stylus against the screen like that.  The content was definitely amazing and the giant DLC bonus makes it even better but it brings up the biggest complaint from me…..



Where are the other games?  I shouldn’t complain but considering the series has 25 years on it, you would think they would broaden things out.  Ok, the DLC has XIII-2, Versus XIII, and Type-0, but couldn’t we have a bit more of an addition to some of the lesser known ones.  You know like Tactics, Chocobo’s Dungeon, Dirge of Cerberus/Crisis Core/Advent Children….for fuck sake’s why is there no Final Fantasy X-2 here?!?  I know the iOS version of the game has fixed those issues but we’re talking the 3DS version…it just felt like there could’ve been more songs from the obscure FF games and XIII-2 could’ve had more representation as it was the newest released.

Beyond that complaint, I was definitely happy with this game and will for sure find myself playing this over and over until I have SSS all over the place!


Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (SPOILERIFIC!) August 22, 2012

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 10:23 am


Kingdom Hearts can be summed up to be called the love child between Disney and Square and that all started 10 years ago, Dream Drop Distance is celebrating that anniversary in flying colors.  It’s pretty much an Action/Adventure/RPG game. 


So Dream Drop Distance starts where we left off from Re:coded where Yen Sid basically announced that Riku and Sora need to go through the Mark of Mastery exam (which is the test to see if they could become Keyblade Masters).  Right from the start you’re kind of whisked away to this exam, but with a fight with Ursula after leaving Destiny Islands. 

After that, you start off as Sora waking up in Traverse Town (again??) and you meet a familiar face in Neku (from The World Ends with You) and you make you way through Traverse Town learning the new things about the game and then right when things get good you pass out and end up as Riku who also woke up in Traverse Town.  Of course you meet more TWEWY characters and one rather important one named Joshua who explains that Riku and Sora are in the same world but parallel basically…and through some flashbacks and other explanations, they both have to find sleeping keyholes which can awaken the worlds and put them back right. 

After Traverse Town, you go different places like La Cité des Cloches from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Grid from Tron: Legacy, Prankster’s Paradise / Monstro from Pinocchio, Country of the Musketeers, and Symphony of Sorcery which are from The Three Musketeers and Fantasia respectively, going through their collective storylines from the movies (though some are kind of from the previous Kingdom Hearts’ as well. 

During the exam, the storyline gets filled out as well with Riku questioning himself if he’s even worthy of the Keyblade while Sora is kind of figuring out what is going on because both are met up with Ansem, Seeker of Darkness and Xemnas and a younger hooded member.  As things continue, we also see a reappearance of Ienzo, Lea, and Aeleus (well Dilan and Even also return but they’re AFK in the game for the most part). 

Moving on, Sora is the first to end up in a very familiar world…The Organization XIII’s stronghold, The World That Never Was and Sora starts to wonder why he’s even in the place.  Well, after exploring the area, we end up meeting with Xigbar (wait…Xigbar?!?) and he’s put to sleep again and is put through these moments in time where things happen and try to get Sora to feel as if he’s being left behind, but he’s also shown the truth finally that he holds more than what he knows (Ventus, Xion, Roxas)…and of course the other prominent good guys that are missing.  He snaps out and fights Xemnas and does win but the hooded guy is shown to be Young Xehanort and pulls him into darkness where he almost gets enveloped in it but Ventus’ armor protects him.

While that goes on, Riku also ends up at the stronghold and searches until he finds Sora in a bubble being contained but gets pulled into battle with Ansem a couple of times and beats him, but not without being told that Riku was actually Sora’s Dream Eater….Something Xigbar/Y. Xehanort explained was that they kind of sabotaged the exam throwing Sora into sleep but Riku ended up going inside Sora’s dream to protect him from the enemies.

Moving onto the throne room, the explanation of Ansem/Xemnas/and Young Xehanort comes full circle.  Young Xehanort can time travel and he’s collecting 13 Darknesses hoping for 7 lights so they can clash and have Kingdom Hearts appear.  He tried that with the original Organization XIII but either they were traitorous (Marluxia, Axel, Larxene), or too weak (Xaldin, Vexen, Demyx, Luxord, Zexion, and Lexaeus) and Roxas was too late once he figured himself out.  Saix and Xigbar have a little part of Xehanort in them which explains why they are there lol. 

Things get worse when Master Xehanort (the old fogey) finally makes his reappearance and is about to control Sora when Lea out of nowhere shields him from the take over.  At this point he sends a hooded member at Lea but it turns out Saix returned and is on that side.  The tension in the air was there but Donald and Goofy appear and take out Ansem’s Darkness monster and the evil group back down and escaped saying that there will return when the time is right.

While Sora is still in a coma, Riku decides to bring him back out of the Darkness and dives in to save him, but he gets ambushed by the armor and defeats it.  Before Sora gets swallowed up, Riku open the keyhole in his heart and awakens him.  Then Riku ends up by Ansem the Wise and they strike up a conversation of things that happened and such before going back out and and celebrating being reunited

Then the big news, since the exams were basically screwed up from the start, regardless Yen Sid said both really did deserve to be masters but Riku went above and beyond and saved Sora and that was what made him the Keyblade Master.  Sora isn’t phased by it and congratulates his friend and getting it.  Lea speaks up and says he wants to wield a keyblade and randomly he summons one up and shocks everyone.  Sora then leaves to go back to Traverse Town and be with his Dream Eater friends….

As for the secret movie, it really is just saying that it’s preparing Lea and Kairi to train for the upcoming battle that lies ahead of them.


So there’s that but there’s a couple of things that I wondered…

Time traveling? really? – Yeah the biggest WTF was bringing this into the series because now the story is also wild and just more confusing and mmore than likely will be explained better in KH3.

So the Organization is back…sooooo >.> – The thing that got me WTF-ing is that Lea, Ienzo, Aeleus, Even, and Dilan are back and on the flipside Xigbar and Saix are back…notice that those two groupings are different.  I’m not sure how Ienzo, Aeleus, Even, and Dilan are even back (and I’m sure the other members are as well) but I think Xigbar and Saix are back because they have a little of Xehanort inside and were brought back due to the Time traveling shtick.

Is the story hard to follow? – I hate to say it but as a big fan of the series, it was actually a little confusing at the end.  Everything you thought you knew you were doing was kind pulled under your feet when you find out that Sora has been dreaming the entire time and Riku was just a Dream Eater.  It blows your mind and the story accelerates into high gear for the end, possibly leaving you lost and sometimes confused. 

Mementos / Chronicles – So to explain a little more of what was going on in the game we had Mementos which were essentially flashbacks.  Chronicles is text-written explanations of the previous games which are nicely done and it does explain the series without getting to redundant and confusing so the newbies can have an idea of what’s going on in the series because if you’re not a KH fan, this game will be hard to follow!

The power of dreams?: Yeah, it’s really how it felt like the story for this one was more of what dreams can and can’t do.  A good point is date (like the Tron world), they can’t dream because it’s data and it’s told what to do and think and is controlled by an outer source.  I mean The Grid itself was the original form before Space Paranoids so I thought that was cool to do.  Still the focal point was stopping Nightmares from winning so that’s pretty big….so KH1 = Light & Darkness, CoM = Memories, KH2 = Friendship, 358/2 = Lies and Honesty, Re:coded = Realizations, BBS = Belonging, and DDD = Dreams. 

7 Lights and 13 Darknesses? – I think that’s the main point to cover for the next game because while there are close to having it, it makes you wonder who’ll represent the darknesses and lights because we the players do not know this information. 

OVERALL: I felt the story part of the game was good but not the best.  I felt like it shoved you into the action a little too fast and things just felt rushed.  Then the storyline didn’t get really interesting until both character got to The World That Never Was…It was just like shoving all the information into the last section.


So the gameplay went through a LOT of changes, some good, some poor.  It still was essentially a hack n’ slash which is always good and I wanna keep hitting the Nightmares forever.  So lets get into the features!!!

Dream Eaters, PKMN (or at least Square’s take) – The first of two main points in the game, Dream Eaters take the place of Donald and Goofy in the game where two of these cuddly dream creatures will aid you in battle and well just support your ass XD.  They play a much bigger role though because they are they way Sora/Riku gets their powers!  You do that by going into the DE area and training them by mini-games of either popping balloons or a water thing that I can’t really explain xD.  You can also feed them to make them stronger.  When they get enough points you can go to their boards (all of them have a different board) and opens new spaces and get the benefits and new things for your command deck. 

Add the in-battle where you can link with them and they’ll do some wicked things (like limit breaks)…they can also die too which means you’ll lose them forever!

Now I thought it was a cute addition and they helped out nicely for me and to get the more stronger and rare ones, you’d have to do a lot of searching.  Plus the AR cards you got also got you a unique one to help out. 

The Drop System, pissing you off, but too lazy to actually try to stop it…logic blown – The other big thing this game utilizes the most is the drop system.  What it does is that you have a select amound of time with a character before they pass out (or drop) and you switch to the other character.  Now, the frustration comes from the fact that this still happens during bosses which doesn’t matter (or shouldn’t) BUT once you come back, the fight is back at the beginning so if you were fighting and were close to defeat and the drop happens, you’re going to be pissed off.  Now there are items that lengthens the time but I felt like it shouldn’t have been happening during bosses…why seriously?  Otherwise, the drop system didn’t bother me elsewhere.

Flowmotion, or how to cheapen the game – I’m not sure how to explain why and how it works besides being in dreams, but Flowmotion makes you faster and makes you travel all over the place at a high rate of speed.  I liked being able to fly around the worlds, bouncing off the walls and such…but this was like the Triangle button of KH2.  However, you can spam it as much as you want making fights a bit too easy.  It was still fun and you can customize it to not be there, but I do remember relying on this a lot.

Reality Shifts, odd stuff but cool effects – In each world there was a special move called the Reality Shift which is different in each world.  There’s one that uses barrels to blast enemies, the other made traveling so much easier and my least favorite which had to deal with breaking chain links (it was hard to do).  They made the gameplay a little more fun but it just felt gimmicky all around…but a few were cool.

The command deck returns, and it’s a lot of familiar – Yup what started on BBS is back once again with new abilities and techniques but lack the leveling up that the original had.  It’s pretty good but, my problem was that the regulated the moving to the directional pad which is under the analog stick which made for some awkward issues.  When you need a Cure it’s hard to find it when you’re trying not to die.

Overall these new ideas made the gameplay with the existing platforming and such…It was varied and I liked most of it, but not all of it.  The camera is still a problem which hasn’t really been fixed ever and the game does lag a little when the screen is a little too crazy with enemies and magic attacks and the like all appearing at once.

Graphics / Sound

Graphics: Well it’s good to know that the graphics were pretty damn good and made the DS games look jarring.  I loved the textures and the cutscenes were done nicely.  Add the FMV scenes and you get a really good-looking game.  The 3D effect was also pretty awesome and made the game pop out a lot which is good for a game like this. 

Sound: You can’t go around without looking at KH’s music which has always been great to the series thanks to Yoko Shimomura and others.  I am starting to get a little tired of hearing Simple and Clean and Sanctuary being used as themes but whatever.  I was loving that they used 3 vocal themes from TWEWY which were sung by KM-reviewed artists OLIVIA and Stephanie.  The rest is pretty good but some of the Disney songs were a bit eh but most of it was good. 

Post-Game Activities

There aren’t as many things to do after the game but most of it is good to come by.  First off, you have the ability to create more Dream Eaters (look for the stronger ones) and them you could take the three you have and pit them in cups at Flick Rush tournaments at Traverse Town.  Flick Rush is essentially Pokemon but mixed with the Card battling system from Chain of Memories.

Then you have the secret boss of the game, Julius (who is pretty hard but not impossible, but he’s relentless and will take you out easily). 

The Theater Mode opens up and you can rewatch every scene of the game which excites me,

Or if you are really wanting to test youself out, replay the game in Critical Mode.

There are some StreetPass inclusions but I don’t think there’s really important to talk about hahha.




I think DDD is the best handheld KH there has been though BBS might take over after the fangasming.  It’s a pretty good game and represents the 3DS really nicely but there were some things that were not-so-good.  I will say that it does a nice job pulling the new players in the game because they explain things (not in HUGE detail but enough for people to get the gist) with Chronicles.  The story starts off a little bit too fast and sudden and then it slows for majority before bum-rushing you at the end with tons of story movement which was a problem for me.  Another problem was the drop system, while the idea of it was good and all, the mechanic of it was clunky and having it present during bosses and letting the fight start all over again was just stupid.  The rest of the new mechanics are cool enough and I hope some of them stay but some should leave entirely or change it so it works better.  I did love the more heart-wrenching parts and Sora/Riku’s paths and the Disney stories were still faithful which is good too.  Great game overall, just some gameplay flaws and story flow issues.


Tekken 3 April 25, 2012

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 9:44 am


The Tekken series is one of Namco’s dearly beloved series and one of two HUGE fighting game series done by the company.  The Tekken series have spanned a long time with 6 true sequels, 2 Tag Tournaments and a lot of ports and handheld versions.  Tekken 3 is the most critically acclaimed games and sold a butt-ton during the haydays of the PS1.  It’s also a port itself from it’s Arcade release (which turns out that the PS1 title looked better and played better on the console (well there’s some arcade purists that think otherwise though XD).  Also, this version of Tekken 3 came with tons of different modes that the arcade didn’t feature making it a more filled out release as well!


The story of this game is a monster is reborn and goes on a rampage killing (supposedly) everyone in sight and our new protagonist Jin Kazama seeks revenge on it for killing his mother Jun Kazama (sounds familiar).  Also this is set 15 years after the events of Tekken 2 (OH HEY DIDN’T SOULCALIBUR V JUST DO THE SAME THING?).  Of course there’s other stories that go on with each of the characters…about characters….


Like I said, Tekken 3 is set 15 years after Tekken 2 so clearly there’s going to be a lot of changes…well there was and there wasn’t in a way.  While there were a bunch of new faces to be seen a lot of them were just updates/replacements for characters previous…it’s weird but interesting.  The only characters that did return were Yoshimitsu, Nina Williams, Paul Phoenix, King (though a new man under the mask), Lei Wulong, Kuma (who is a secret character), Anna Williams (who is a secret character), and Heihachi Mishima (who’s the sub-boss and secret character).

As for new characters I’ll talk about them a little bit ^_^

  • Jin Kazama – The new protagonist of the game who is the son of Kazuya Mishima and Jun Kazama (must’ve been some fierce ass sex…or possibly some kind of forced shindig…because who can see this happening?  It shows though since Jin’s fighting style is a mix of Kazuya’s and Jun’s.
  • Forrest Law – Marshall Law’s son…same fighting style and everything…doesn’t really become popular as a stand-alone so he only appeared here and Tekken Tag Tournament.
  • Xiaoyu Ling – The new youthful Chinese (but talking in Japanese) gal who’s motives are a bit childish but it works!  Very fast and has a lot of different positions for moves.
  • Eddy Gordo – The infamous Capoeira user!  Or Tekken players dub as button mashing friendly because of his very fluid moveset.  My favorite of the bunch!  He also has an alternate outfit but a character himself in Tiger Jackson.
  • Hwoarang – Jin’s rival makes his first appearance here and is a student of Baek Doo San’s…so it he shares a bit of Tae Kwon Do (but once again a little more youthful and dynamic).
  • Bryan Fury (secret character) – Of the new characters, he seemed to be made out of nowhere with little to no connections in Tekken 3 but somehow got a bit of Bruce Irvin’s moveset.
  • Panda (secret character) – Xiaoyu’s pet panda…but really was just a aesthetic change to Kuma (they both shared the same movesets and still do for the most part today >.>)
  • Julia Chang (secret character) – It turns out Julia is Michelle Chang’s adopted daughter so essentially she was the replacement for her. (funny that both her and Michelle were in TTT but no Marshall or Forrest) XDDDDD
  • Gun Jack (secret character) – Just an updated Jack-2 really though I’m not sure if he incorporated some moves from Prototype Jack. 
  • Mokujin (secret character) – Finally the series gets their random character selection IN a character.  Yup, Mokujin changes fighting styles each round and he’ll be anyone cept a couple few for obvious reasons.
  • Dr. Bosconovitch (secret character) – The Playstation version had two bonus characters added in for a little more completion and yays for the fans.  The first is actually someone rather important to the storyline because he’s been involved in a lot of characters’ stories like Yoshimitsu, Bryan, Nina, Anna, and Alisa that it’s hard not to say he’s important to the lore.  His fighting style is very bizarre because he does have a rather unfortunate minus.  He always falls like he’s dying and his moves are hard to pull off with this arrangement going on. 
  • Gon (secret character) – The other character only on the PS1 version is more of a guest character because he’s originally a character from a manga.  I mean animal characters aren’t new to the series so it’s not odd…but his obvious height issue and the fact every characters has a hard time because he has fireballs, gas attacks, and other nonsensical moves make him a cheap character too (and easy to get Dr. B with).
  • Ogre (secret character) – Ogre is the first form of the final boss of Tekken 3.  His moveset contains a lot of the missing characters in the game here so you’ll see moves from Kazuya, Lee, Wang, Kunimitsu, Bruce, and some others.  His true form, True Ogre is a lot more bulkier and has some moves of his own like breathing fire and such.


The stages are colorful and varied but they still haven’t totally gotten very realistic with them.  What I mean is that walls have still not been applied to the series (since I think it would’ve made the game even harder to deal with.  They are scroll stages (meaning, the stage does not end and it feels like you’re always going on in a circle.  Xiaoyu and Eddy’s stages are colorful and pleasant while Hwoarang’s is more traditional.  Ogre and Heihachi’s are tomb-like while playing as/or against True Ogre makes the stage go black…It’s a pretty impressive set of stages and beats Tekken 2’s outright.


The gameplay in Tekken 3 though was the winner though for sure.  Unlike Tekken 2, the series got a big change and with that the series became a WHOLE lot better for that.  The first introduction and probably MOST important is side-stepping.  I mean you can dodge attacks and do moves to punish them for it and the fact that the stage doesn’t really glitch out during this is impressive!  Also in Tekken 2, your jumping height was as ridiculous as Virtua Fighter….no one can jump that high and that was fixed in Tekken 3 for a more realistic approach and more moves being implemented into that.  All the characters have filled out movesets to also work with ^^.  I’m surprised they’ve stuck to the side-stepping for as long as they have (especially since the Soul series have been utilizing the more open 4-way run.  It’s just a pretty damn good game with deep gameplay that has only been getting better since this game.


  • Graphics: For the time this was released, this was pretty damn good and I still somehow like them today for its nostalgic value.  A lot of interesting hit effects and the powering up was awesome (each character had their own).  The backgrounds looked nice and spun around when places are changed and the camers focusing in on some attacks was a cool thing.  Even the replays were awesomes xD.  It was a little blocky, but it’s a PS1 game what can you do? 
  • Sound: The attacks sound great and the music while some were forgettable was a nuce buch of awesomes.  The voicing on some things were a little funky but still cool. 

Other Things, Modes, etc.

Like most other fighting games, it features a bunch of other modes to make it a better game.  Of course an Arcade mode (best place to unlock most of the characters), Versus, Time Attack, Survival, and Practice.  There were some interesting other things

  • Team Battle – Even though there wasn’t 2 on 2 (that’s the next game, Tekken Tag Tournament) but the best is have battles with any number amount (well up to 8) and then just battle it out.  You can even make it random so you don’t know who’s butt ur kicking with a character you don’t know until then…I love it and I wish they keep this!
  • Tekken Force – If you like stuff like TMNT, Final Fight, or even Double Dragon…this might intrigue you but this pits you in four stages in bouts with the Tekken Force (your opponents) and you can choose your favorite fighter to make it through them all (though you have to play it four times to get Dr. Bosconovitch).  IMO I didn’t like it and it was hard especially not being able to freely move since everytime you wanted a different direction you end up jumping or sidestepping…meh.  *whispers* use Gon, he’s great for this!
  • Tekken Ball – Weirdest mode of the game was this little side game of volleyball…but not really.  The point of it is to still defeat your opponent but it’s hitting the volleyball with powerful attacks…the stronger the more damage.  There’s some other odd nuances about it like the UBER powerful moves and performing a throw on the ball…which makes things weirder xD.  I love it and surprised it has never returned!
  • Theater: Kind of a staple to the series, the Theater mode lets you watch all the character endings (well you have to beat the game with every characterin Arcade mode to have all the endings.  Also you can watch the intro and listen to music from the game.  HOWEVER, if you have saves from both Tekken and Tekken 2, the movies and music from that game also show up too. 




Tekken 3 is definitely my second favorite Tekken (the other one I’ll review eventually).  It just felt so good playing this on the Playstation and having feel and sound and overall as a package be better than its Arcade version is amazing.  Now people seem to bitch about SCV taking that time hop, but Tekken 3 also did it but this became huge so I wonder why else the game failed (well…ok the story sucked but still).  It’s weird because all we really figure out is that Jin turns into Devil Jin for the first time and Ogre/True Ogre gets owned…so this game’s storyline also kind of felt less important than say Tekken 4 to 6.  Still a great game!


Super Mario Kart January 26, 2012

Filed under: ~Video Game Reviews~ — solarblade @ 9:32 am


Ahhh, the game that started a new series of an already-existing one.  I mean side-games btw.  Super Mario Kart was released and it became one of the better SNES games for its interesting take on a racer (but I think we all know it was popular because Mario was involved).  It was also using the Mode 7 tech which gave the game a lot more to work with. 


It’s not bad that the first game of the series only had 8 characters: Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Toad, Yoshi, Donkey Kong Jr., Peach (though going by Princess Toadstool) and the oddest one IMO was Koopa Troopa.  They were all split off into 4 sub-groups, Mario & Luigi being the beginner, average characters, Yoshi & Peach were more of the ones with better acceleration that the Mario Bros.  Toad and Koopa were super light and DK and Boweser were the heavyweights. 

Also the CPU in this game couldn’t use items themselves which is odd >.> and gave a couple unique items instead.  Mario/Luigi had invincibility for a short time like the Star power.  Peach and Toad had mushrooms that turned your (or any kart that ran into it) into miniature versions and can be squashed XD.  Koopa laid green shells or shot them depending on placement and DK with bananas.  Bowser and Yoshi though had unique items though…Bowser had fireballs which he laid or shot forward and they go in a small circle round the area it was placed.  Yoshi’s egg was stationary but both items spun you out…which by the way…


Let’s talk about the items.  Like any kart racer out, they share a lot of the same type of items.  I mean Mushroom for extra speed, banana peels and green shells act as traps (the latter moving).  Red shells homed in on the opponent in front of you (if you have any) and the Star made you temporarily invincible.  There were three other interesting items though.  The Boo makes you go invisible and possibly steal your opponents item (SWEET).  The lightning bolt shrinks everyone BUT the user and the forgotten feather just makes your kart hop super high (AKA making shortcuts happen). 

Of course coins also come into play as well since the more you have the better you are.  If you have none at the moment any kart that comes in contact will spin you out so be careful with that!


I find it interesting as SMK is the only game from the series to have 4 cups with 5 tracks in each of them…kind of odd nowadays when compared to multiple releases after this.  As far as locales go this also has the weakest assortment IMO since there’s some recycled areas (ok every locale has at least two tracks representing it except for Rainbow Road).  Also, sharing with MK: Super Circuit, all of the tracks are FLAT but this was just because it was limited to be honest, so the creativity in the tracks isn’t as great as later releases show (and most of the tracks were given new facelifts in the later games too).  I will say, the Special Cup tracks were the best of the bunch.


Simple, it’s a racer and you have to win.  Though I will say every Mario Kart has a different feel to it and this one is honestly the easiest one to get into because there’s no true importance to it.  I mean you still drift but not in the way it was implemented in 64 and up.  The game does have a little problem with its A.I. called rubberbanding.  Kind of means that the harder the cc is, the more obvious it is.  What that is is if you’re too far ahead the CPU will ungodly chase your ass down and prevent you from winning (unless you’re good at this game and used to it). 

Graphics / Sound

  • Graphics: So as I said earlier, it’s under Mode 7 which is a rather unique mode of graphics which induced a 3d-like scene…but in 2D….A couple other games used this (like the other Nintendo racer F-Zero).  I have to say, it worked well for sure and it worked.  There was a way that if you won a time trial without hitting walls or falling off…you could swing the camera around the kart….it was awesome at the time!  Otherwise, there wasn’t too much to gawk at besides the bright colors.  Characters looked stiff and didn’t do much in their kart…hmmph weird. 
  • Sound: Sound though was a plus here IMO.  I mean I can remember the exact way the Mario Circuit theme went and most of the characters winning themes (the only one the had character-specific win themes actually).  The tracks songs are great and all of them are actually memorable in its own way. 

Other Things To Do

Well…let’s be honest there’s not a lot to do in this game…just 4 things….

  • Cup Races: Like I said split into 4 cups each having 5 tracks isn’t going to last long but you can race them in 50cc, 100cc, 150cc.  Meaning the higher the cc the harder it gets (it’s a well known sentiment in the series),
  • Time Trials: Get your best time here!  There’s even times where you can race a ghost of yourself which is pretty cool and makes you want to defeat yourself in the race.
  • VS. Races: Actually this could’ve been put above time trials…but essentially 2P races.  Though I think you could also do singularly too…?
  • Battle Mode: Though if you have a second person with you, you’re more than likely to find yourself here where you can battle your friend.  It’s essentially pop ur friend’s three balloons before he/she does and vice versa.  Having only four choices though of battle courses kind of suck…but the Ice one and Beach one is the best! 



As it is the first of a happy series (especially for Nintendo’s sales) SMK was such a smart move for them to be honest and really blew the kart racer genre out.  I mean it brought out another GREAT one but that’s a different review for later.  The original Mario Kart might not be as held on a high pedestal as before but it’s still a pretty fun game.  I will say that the flat tracks is probably one of the reasons (same problems goes with Super Circuit but that one is the least popular).  Nostalgic game for sure ^_^