Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Video Game Review: Kingdom Hearts 3D

Kingdom Hearts II is my favorite video game of all time. That being said, I always go into Kingdom Hearts Games with high expectations. Kingdom Hearts 3D continues the on-going story of Sora, protector of light, in his fight against Xehonort, bringer of darkness.

This time Riku's along for the ride as well as the second playable character in the game. In order to utilize both characters, the game implements a "drop" system in which the player can only play as one character for a certain amount of time before automatically being "dropped" and switched to the other character. While an interesting change from the typical "go to the menu to switch characters," the drop system can be a bit inconvenient at times, particularly in the middle of boss battles where if you don't defeat the boss by the time your drop meter runs out you'll have to start the battle all over again.

Now did I mention there are Disney characters in this game? No? That's because there aren't many. Well, comparatively at least. There were only five Disney worlds in this game compared to the six+ in other portable games in the series, and only three of them introduced some new characters. Sort of disappointing.

Gameplay-wise the game was great, perhaps one of the best in the series, although I did miss the crazy 10-hit combos from games like Kingdom Hearts II and 358/2 Days. The music was good, particularly in the Fantasia world which essentially used music directly from the movie of the same name. The game is also graphically impressive, looking even better than Kingdom Hearts II.

But I do feel that in a JRPG the story is particularly important, and that's where I was the most disappointed with this game. Basically the whole game is Sora and Riku taking the "Mark of Mastery Exam" by traveling inside the seven sleeping worlds and waking them up by defeating the "Dream Eaters" inside of them. This would have been okay if each of the worlds had some interesting content, but the only ones I really found interesting were the Tron world, the Pinocchio world, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame world. And don't even get me started on the ending.

Highlight the following for spoilers:
There were four ending bosses. One for Sora and three for Riku. The hardest one is the second battle with Riku. The two remaining after that are easy, and really leave you feeling like you didn't accomplish much in the end. I honestly was shocked with how anti-climatic the final battle was compared to the ones in the rest of the series. And the secret ending for the game was just terrible. Kairi can wield a keyblade?! No waaaay~! We only learned that way back in Kingdom Hearts II...

So to sum it up, great gameplay, poor story. Since gameplay is always the most important thing when it comes to a video game I'll give it a bit of a score boost. Kingdom Hearts 3D gets a 7/10.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

First Impressions: Sword Art Online

Okay, so this anime is pretty cool so far. It's a lot like .Hack, but better. At least better than the anime. The games were great. So in the first episode, a guy logs into new virtual reality game Sword Art Online and meets some other guy who asks him to teach him the ropes since main character guy was a beta tester. This MMORPG stuff fits in perfectly with all the GW2 I've been playing lately, haha.

After a little bit of training, the characters soon learn that the Game Master has trapped everyone inside the game and the only way to escape is for them to complete it. It may sound a little cliche since it's been done before, but the presentation is excellent so far. Anyway, hope it stays this good. About 10 episodes are out so far, and I'm only on episode 3, so I have quite a bit of catching up to do.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Phoenix Wright 5

This just in - A new Ace Attorney game is on the horizon and Phoenix is back! Details released about the game thus far are as follows:

- For the Nintendo 3DS
- New girl sidekick (I'm gonna miss Maya...)
- Set one year after Apollo Justice
- It will be in 3D

I haven't played an Ace Attorney game since Trials and Tribulations, but I'm pretty excited. Now I'm gonna have to go back and play Apollo Justice and the Edgeworth game to see what I missed...