Retro Game Friday: Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance II

This week for Retro game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Dark Alliance. It’s Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance II!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins by revealing the fate of the three protagonists from the first game; after jumping through the portal at the top of the Onyx Tower, Vahn, Kromlech and Adrianna are taken prisoner by the vampire Mordoc SeLanmere. Meanwhile, outside Baldur’s Gate, fate brings Dorn, Vhaidra, Ysuran, Borador and Allessia together. Upon meeting on the Trade Way, they learn that since the collapse of Xantam’s Guild, the route has become increasingly dangerous due to the rise of the Red Fang Marauders, a goblin army who prey on travelers. After infiltrating a nearby Marauders cave, and freeing the caravan guard Randalla, the heroes head to Wayfork Village, a nearby fiefdom. There, they rescue the village from the Marauders and kill their hobgoblin leader, Harnak.

Plot: The plot was okay, but due to certain circumstances I can’t really count it as being good. I won’t mention what they are, but play through the game and you’ll understand.

Characters: We get 5 new characters to play as initially, personally I played as Vhaidra, the Drow Monk. There are also two secret characters, Drizzt and Artemis Entreri, but those are unlocked after beating the game and Extreme mode respectively.

Gameplay: It played a lot like the first game, and was fun to play co-op with a second person with. I think my brother was the Human Barbarian Dorn when we played together. There were some additions, but really it’s not that much different from the first game.

Art: It’s aged poorly, but was pretty amazing back in the day.

Music: Don’t remember a whit, sorry.

Overall: A great sequel if somewhat lackluster in the plot department.

Video Game Tuesday: An Amazing Community Project

Hey all I’m back with a more brief article than usual for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s all about An Awesome Community Project!

What project?: Well user Aelrindyl on the Final Fantasy XIV subreddit had made a post asking for the game’s community to send in images and birthday wishes for the games director, Yoshida Naoki. They’d be professionally bound and printed and sent to him for his birthday. I sent in a submission myself, although I made a mistake on the email address so it didn’t get to Aelrindyl for the project. Nonetheless the book was over 250 pages of printed birthday wishes, thanks and many, many screenshots from the community. It was an awesome project and frankly I don’t remember anyone doing something as awesome as this for a game’s director.

Why not?: Most game directors tend to be reviled or tolerated at best, but Yoshida is universally well liked and is best known in the community by his nickname Yoshi-P. The time he gives the community and the humble and eager manner with which he deals with all issues is frankly amazing. He took a game that was universally disliked and remade it into one of the most popular MMORPGs in the world. Despite all that he still gives nearly monthly broadcast sessions he calls “Live Letters”. These Live Letters often touch on upcoming features for Final Fantasy XIV, or things that people are asking about. Are people upset with a certain game design choice? It’s most likely going to be discussed and explained in the next Live Letter.

So special shout out to Reddit user Aelrindyl on making such an awesome community project, here is the link to the thread where Aelrindyl relays the dev team’s thanks and messages after Yoshi-P got his birthday present. And once more a Happy Birthday to Yoshi-P!

Retro Game Friday: Star Wars Obi-Wan

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a relatively obscure Star Wars game. It’s Star Wars: Obi-Wan!

Plot Synopsis: It takes place in around 32 years before the Battle of Yavin, in the weeks prior to and during the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

Plot: Yes it was a prequel to the first prequel movie. Frankly I don’t remember the story being all that great, but at the time I was obsessed with all thing Star Wars, and was only a kid, so cut me some slack.

Gameplay: The gameplay was pretty interesting in that you used the Xbox’s two thumbsticks to control both Obi-Wan and his lightsaber. It was a pretty bold move, although it really didn’t save the game, which if you haven’t ever heard of it isn’t surprising since it got a fairly low score from critics back when it released.

Art: The art is really aged, but that’s pretty expected given that it’s 3D.

Music: I remember it being classic Star Wars music, other than that I don’t remember anything.

Overall: An easily skippable game, unless one is incredibly bored don’t bother with it even if you get the chance.

For those who like: Star Wars, Lightsabers, Action

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

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to cover the topic you all knew I would eventually. It’s all about Destiny 2!

Destiny 2: It was announced on March 30th that Destiny 2 was a real thing and would be released this year, but there were some big “surprises” announced. It would release on the PC and everything, or close to everything, wouldn’t transfer from the first game and it’s “expansions”.

PC?!?: Yea color me not that surprised, it was rumored for months prior to the announcement that it would release on PC, so I’m really not that surprised. It was a surprise it didn’t release on the PC in the first place to be honest. And just to clarify I probably won’t be playing it on PC as my main platform if I should happen to receive codes for both PC and PS4.

Wait our stuff?: Yea all that time you spent on gearing up your characters, getting cool things like Exotics, fancy looking ships, awesome Shaders, and cool Emblems was wasted. The only confirmed thing that will transfer over is the appearance of your characters, but that’s hardly a thing to be excited about. It’s not like we were ever all that attached to our characters since Destiny never had much of a story. I’d hope at least cosmetic stuff like Shaders, Emblems, Ghost Shells, Sparrows and Shaders would transfer over, but that isn’t confirmed and probably won’t happen.

My Hopes?: I hope the game transfers over the cosmetic stuff, has a story that isn’t a piece of crap, and has a loot system that doesn’t exploit players. My expectations that any of those will be met is very low, and all of them being met? Practically non-existent. I hope Bungie can redeem themselves, but I highly doubt that is possible at this point.

Retro Game Friday: Baldurs Gate Dark Alliance

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a spin off of the Baldur’s Gate series. It’s Baldur’s Gate: Dark Alliance!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins with Vahn, Adrianna and Kromlech arriving in Baldur’s Gate, whereupon they are attacked by a group of thieves led by Karne. The thieves are about to kill the trio when they are interrupted by the city watch, who take the newcomers to the nearby Elfsong Tavern to recover. There, the bartender, Alyth Elendara, assists them in earning some money by giving them the job of clearing the tavern’s cellar of rats.

Plot: The plot is pretty decent, not the most amazing story, but definitely not the worst either.

Characters: The characters are pretty interesting and while they aren’t super deep, there is enough to them to keep them from being dull.

Gameplay: The game plays a lot like Gauntlet in that it’s very linear,and while there are some sidequests they are few and far between. It’s a hack and slash style game, so don’t expect to be entering intricate combos to rain destruction on your enemies. It can get repetitive, although with each of the characters playing very differently it doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up by starting a new file. You do have the option of playing local co-op however which was pretty fun.

Art: It’s definitely aged poorly, but was pretty decent back when it was first released.

Music: I honestly don’t remember any of it, sorry.

Overall: If you want a game that you can play pretty mindlessly, this isn’t a bad choice. That being said there are better choices like Diablo.

For those who like: Hack and Slash Games, Linear Gameplay, Okay Plot, Co-Op Gameplay.

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

Video Game Tuesday: That Berseria Scene

Hey all I’m back, and I’ve got the promised discussion that I talked about in my Berseria review. It’s all about That Berseria Scene. Major Spoilers after the jump, so proceed at your own risk. It will ruin the game for you if you haven’t gotten significantly deep into the story.

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Retro Game Friday: Tales of Vesperia

tales_of_vesperia

This week for Retro Game Friday, I’m covering a game I truly am surprised I haven’t covered already. It’s Tales of Vesperia!

Plot Synopsis: When the aque blastia core is stolen from Zaphias’s lower quarter, denying water to the lower class who live there, a young swordsman named Yuri Lowell attempts to chase down the thief…

Plot: The plot of Vesperia is definitely one of the best in the series. It’s darker than most of the other recent entries, but it’s definitely worth experiencing. That being said it’s a pity that the PS3 version of the game, which has a slightly expanded plot and cast of characters, has yet to be released in the west.

Characters: The entire cast of Vesperia is pretty awesome, although it’s a shame that western players don’t get to meet the entire cast as those in Japan do with the PS3 version.

Gameplay: This is one of the more solid entries in the series, especially in the item and battle systems. Battle isn’t as flawless as the most recent entries, but Vesperia is also the last entry in the series to have an overworld, so there is that.

Art: The art is a little dated, but it’s pretty damn good for a game that was released almost a decade ago.

Music: The music is pretty awesome, and even the opening theme is pretty catchy.

Overall: Like with other entries in the series, if you’ve never played it you are truly missing out.

For those who like: Tales of, JRPGs, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Excellent Plot, Great Cast of Characters, Good Art, Awesome Musical Score.

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