Video Game Tuesday: To Platinum or Not

Hey all, I’m back with another answer to a question I receive a lot for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! It’s whether To Platinum or Not!

To Platinum?: I mean to complete a game 100% or to unlock all the achievements (Trophies for those PlayStation gamers) in a game. This often involves beating the game on the hardest difficulty and/or doing so in a certain way. Whether that is a time limit or a character level limit, or even just a side quest completion rate it doesn’t really matter. The actual question I get asked however often goes like this, “As a Game Reviewer do you complete a game 100% before writing the review?”.

So do you?: As a general rule of thumb, the answer is a big fat NO. I do not achieve a Platinum Trophy in a game before reviewing it, because for most games that would take way too much time to accomplish. I’ll often do the story and if it’s an RPG any sidequests, before giving a review. There have been exceptions like the one time I reviewed Coffin Dodgers, which is my all time record of lowest score ever for a game I reviewed. Now if a game was to be so short and simple to beat that I was easily able to earn a Platinum trophy in a matter of hours instead of days I might end up going for the Platinum. That is if I find the game worth investing that time into. I have a busy schedule, and while I do what I love which is to review stories in all sorts of various formats, doing that takes up a bunch of time for me. So spending hours upon hours to Platinum a game that I find boring or even just mediocre I won’t bother going for a Platinum.

But have you ever fully completed a game you reviewed?: Yes I have, Final Fantasy XV and InFAMOUS Second Son are both games I’ve completed 100%. Earning the Platinum on Second Son was pretty interesting as you ended up hearing Delsin give you a message upon achieving the final Trophy. That was a fun way to reward the player alongside the Platinum Trophy. I’d love it if more games followed that example.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Do you go for a 100% completion in games you own? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

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Retro Game Friday: Worms

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real classic. It’s Worms!

Plot Synopsis: There is no plot.

Gameplay: There was really no plot for the game, it was all about the gameplay. It was turn based and allowed each player to direct their worms to fire in a certain direction. The goal was to be the one with the last worms alive. The multiplayer was quite fun, I remember playing the game with my cousin and having a blast.

Art: The art has aged, and while it’s 2D it doesn’t quite look as amazing as other 2D games of the time. However given how much effort was spent on the gameplay rather than art it’s not too surprising.

Music: I don’t remember the music, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to give it a whirl for a few minutes it’s worth it just to enjoy the classic gameplay. Of course you could probably play later games in the series and enjoy it more.

For those who like: Tactical Games, Turn Based, Oddball Games, Multiplayer.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Twisted Metal

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a classic from the 90s! It’s Twisted Metal!

Plot Synopsis: Once a year the legendary Calypso, a man who dwells beneath the streets of Los Angeles, holds the “Twisted Metal” competition. The contest takes place all around the Los Angeles area and calls upon drivers in various different vehicles to battle to the death. The contestants are selected and contacted by Calypso via an e-mail message that simply reads “WILL YOU DRIVE?” in red letters. The one driver still alive at the end of the night is granted a single wish, with no limits on price, size or, according to some, even reality.

Plot: I’ll be completely honest and say I don’t remember this game even having a plot, I was just playing it to have fun with my cousin. That being said the plot doesn’t sound too bad.

Characters: I don’t remember the entire cast, and my quick search online didn’t help all that much. That being said I do remember my favorite character wasn’t the clown, he creeped me out at the time. I liked the guy who as in the Lamborghini, Agent Stone, a car with which I was fascinated with at the time, although it being a fairly fast car might have something to do with it. I’ve always preferred smaller and fasert combatants compared to larger and heavier ones.

Gameplay: The gameplay was pretty fun, and was quite a bunch of fun to play with friends in local Co-Op.

Art: The art hasn’t aged well, but considering it was one of the first 3D games on consoles I’m not too surprised at how badly it has aged.

Music: Don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: If you get the chance to grab it really cheaply or for free, it’s worth playing for a bit if possible.

For those who like: Vehicular Madness, Vehicles, Cars, Action, Arena Battlers.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Bloody Roar

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that very few people remember now a days. It’s Bloody Roar!

Plot Synopsis: The game’s story centers on a group of warriors known as “zoanthropes”, who have the power to transform into half-human half-animal “Beasts”, and the Tylon Corporation, an underground organization that seeks to use zoanthropes as mind-controlled weapons.

Plot: The plot was decent enough for a fighting game, but it wasn’t anything amazing either. Average would be the best word for it. I’ve played games with worse stories though, so at least this has a semi decent premise.

Gameplay: The gameplay was pretty fun, even if I only button mashed at the time, I was a kid, bite me. The main draw of the game was to morph into each character’s animalistic forms to deal more damage, allow more moves, and be even more of a badass in general. The cast was pretty fun, although this being the first game in the series the character list to select from was fairly small.

Art: The art was great for the time, but it’s aged poorly like most 3D games do.

Overall: This is a great game, if you get the chance to play it do so. It’ll give you an hour or two of good fun.

For those who like: Weres, Fighting Games, Action.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Tales of Phantasia

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the first entry in my favorite JRPG series. It’s Tales of Phantasia!

Plot Synopsis: A heroic battle between four unknown warriors against an evil sorcerer, Dhaos, the outcome of which changed the fate of the world. The warriors are victorious, but Dhaos escapes through time. However, four different heroes await him: they seal the weakened Dhaos away by using the power of two pendants, thus returning peace to the world. In the town of Toltus ten years after Dhaos was sealed away, there lives a young swordsman named Cress Albane and his best friend Chester Burklight…

Plot: The plot is pretty amazing, and it really is a classic. If you’ve never played it, you are truly missing out on a great story.

Characters: Cress and Chester are the first of the cast we meet really, but the entire cast is awesome. There are some amazing quotes that can be taken from the game including one that the game opens with (at least it did for the GBA version, which is what I played). “Truly, if there is evil in this world, it lurks in the hearts of man.” It’s a classic and probably one of my favorite quotes of the series. Right up there with “Prepare to die Eggbear!”…

Gameplay: The gameplay is dated and frustrating by today’s standards, but it was truly unique at the time. Instead of controlling all of the party, you only had control of one character, although you could order the other ones to use specific skills in battle. I enjoyed the gameplay, but it could get frustrating.

Art: The art is pretty great, and while it isn’t super amazing by today’s standards it’s stood the test of time much better than 3D games.

Music: The music is also amazing.

Overall: If you’ve never played Phantasia, you are truly missing out on one of the classics.

For those who like: The Tales of Series, JRPGs, Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Excellent Plot, Fantastic Cast of Characters, Great Music, Awesome Art.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’ve got an old game I keep forgetting to cover. It’s Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater!

Gameplay: There wasn’t any plot, the point of the game was to score the highest amount of points by performing tricks in the various levels. There were also secrets to be found by exploring said levels as well. Frankly looking back the gameplay of this game wasn’t super spectacular, which isn’t surprising given that I’ve forgotten to cover the game until now. That being said despite it being simple it was one of the best selling games of the time.

Art: It’s dated poorly, but given that it was released during the N64 era of consoles, that isn’t surprising at all.

Music: It wasn’t well done, and could easily be noticed that it was looping.

Overall: If you get the chance to play it, go ahead, but there are games out there with more depth and they are probably a better way to spend your time.

For those who like: Skateboarding, Sports, Tricks, Simple Gameplay.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Video Game Tuesday: E3 2016

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Hey all for this week’s Video Game Tuesday I’m going to go over about each of the various conferences and my thoughts on them. It’s all about E3 2016!

Day -1:

EA: Nothing really surprising came out of the EA conference on Day -1, except that FIFA 17 would have a story mode. Other than that we heard more about Battlefield and their other yearly franchises. Frankly EA was as always a disappointment. I’m honestly surprised that we didn’t get much info on Mass Effect Andromeda, but than this is EA we are talking about. Titanfall 2 was also shown, although frankly we’ve known that it would be coming to PS4 for a few years now, so it wasn’t too surprising.

Bethesda: More about Dishonored 2 was learned, We also heard about the Skyrim Remasters for the current gen with mod support planned. That is pretty cool, but frankly I would’ve loved to hear about Elder Scrolls 6 being in development rather than hearing that it wasn’t going to happen for at least a couple years.  We heard about ESO getting more love, but frankly I could care less about a game that tries too hard to be an MMO Skyrim and fails miserably.

Day 0:

Microsoft: Lots of surprises here, with not only did we get to learn about the upgraded Xbox One S, we also learned we can now make custom Xbox One Controllers, which is nice enough for those of us with more money to spend. Dead Rising 4 was announced, A sequel to State of Decay, A card game spin off of The Witcher series for Gwent, hilarious card for Roach by the way, ReCore and a game from the developers of Limbo. Than to end it all we learned about Xbox Scorpio, which Microsoft said will be the most powerful console ever. Unfortunately we later learned that the main reason it has so much hardware behind it is to deliver on Microsoft’s VR machine. Wether or not it will flop remains to be seen, but the fact that it won’t have any significant impact on gameplay compared to the One S is worrying.

Ubisoft: Opening up with Just Dance, a series I never got into, Ubisoft than showed off more stuff about future games including future developments for The Division, their attempt at capturing Destiny’s players. We also got further looks into Watch Dogs 2, which sounds awesome, hopefully they can refine the concept from the first game and make it much better than what we got the first time around. We also got a look at an open world sports game, called Steep.

Sony: Sony started with gameplay from the upcoming God of War 4, another series I’ve never gotten into. Resident Evil 7 was announced, and it will be Sony VR compatible for those horror junkies, two things I’m definitely never going to enjoy together. We also learned about a new Quantic Dream game called Detroit: Become Human, which looks to be interesting, though I have no hopes of it actually being more than a glorified choose your own adventure made into a game. We saw tons of gameplay footages from upcoming games, including Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Horizon Zero Dawn (That game with Robot Dinos) and Final Fantasy XV. FFXV is also getting VR compatibility, which might be pretty interesting although reports from E3 say it was disappointing. Than we got a real surprise in the fact that Kojima is working on a new game with Norman Reedus called Death Stranding. The trailer was pretty creepy, and pretty vague. Honestly don’t know what to think about it. Probably the biggest news however was that The Last Guardian finally has a release date of this year on October 25th.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. I’ve left out some stuff, but feel free to comment on it below!