Retro Game Friday: Bastion

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a real classic. It’s Bastion!

Plot Synopsis: In the immediate aftermath of the Calamity, a catastrophic event that suddenly fractured the city of Caelondia as well as the surrounding areas into many floating pieces, disrupting its ecology and reducing most of its people to ash. The Kid awakens on one of the few remaining pieces of the old world and sets off for the eponymous Bastion, where everyone was supposed to go in troubled times…

Plot: The plot is pretty great, not super intense or deep, but good nonetheless. Along with the fact that the constant narration is pretty freaking hilarious at times.

Characters: The cast is rather small, but it’s not bad. Though I have to admit I like Rucks the most, if only because of his voice.

Gameplay: The gameplay plays a lot like a Diablo game, with the player defeating enemies from an isometric view. That being said it also is a bit like classic 2D Zelda games in that you can only choose to use two weapons at a time, although unlike Zelda you can’t choose to switch your two weapons except at specific areas. All the while you hear the narrator speak about what you do in the game, which is pretty funny sometimes.

Music: The music was awesome, and that’s really all I’ll say about it. I enjoyed the hell out of it and the voicework, especially the narrator.

Art: Being somewhat 2D and cel-shaded the artwork has aged rather well, which is always a plus for me.

Overall: If you’ve never played Bastion, you ought to go do so as soon as possible.

For those who like: Action, Adventure, Drama, Awesome Narration, Good Plot, Fantastic Gameplay, Great Cast of Characters, Excellent Artwork, Spectacular Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: All of the above, but how can you hate all that?

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Retro Game Friday: Crysis

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that was the benchmark for graphics in gaming for a while. It’s Crysis!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins on August 7, 2020 when North Korean forces led by General Ri-Chan Kyong take control of the Lingshan Islands. A team of American civilian archaeologists, led by Dr. Rosenthal, send out a distress call indicating that they have discovered something that could change the world. A week later, Raptor Team is dispatched to the islands, with the core mission of evacuating them and securing any valuable information that they have. The team consists of Nomad, Psycho, Aztec, Jester and team leader Prophet (all under code names); they are outfitted with Nanosuits, which help protect them from gunfire and explosions, as well as giving them superhuman strength and abilities. As they perform a high-altitude jump onto one of the islands, an unknown flying entity disrupts the jump by smashing into Nomad, and the team is separated.

Plot: The plot is okay, but it’s not super amazing either. That being said it wasn’t terrible either. It just was, and while Mediocre isn’t quite the right word I want to use, it’s the best I can come up with at the moment with a splitting headache.

Gameplay: This plays like a lot like other FPS, the big “gimmick” for Crysis though was the ability to switch between various power armor modes. There was Speed, Armor, Strength and Cloak. Frankly I preferred Speed as I enjoyed getting reloading faster, but that might just be my personal preference for speed archetypes in almost every game.

Graphics: This game’s max settings were incredibly expensive to be usable at the time of release because of how much strain they caused. You might remember hearing the question “Can it run Crysis?” as a way of determining how much of a powerhouse your PC was. So yes, the game looked pretty damn amazing. That being said it still aged not particularly well, but a hell of a lot better than Halo CE did, although that is a game from the previous generation of gaming.

Music: Honestly don’t remember it, and frankly I might not have ever listened to it as I was using a roommates computer to play it during college.

Overall: A good game, but mostly famous for being a graphical nightmare for PCs if you didn’t have a powerful enough computer.

For those who like: FPS Games, Sci-Fi, Military Fiction, Drama, Action, Awesome Artwork (especially in the day).

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

Retro Game Friday: Kingdoms of Amalur

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the only game made by the infamous 38 Studios. It’s Kingdoms of Amalur!

Plot Synopsis: A mortal known as the “Fateless One”, who, having died before the game’s outset, is revived in the experimental Well of Souls by the gnomish scientist Fomorous Hugues. The first and only success of the experiment, the Fateless One must escape the facility when it comes under attack by the Tuatha Deohn, a subsect of the immortal Winter Fae, who are currently waging a “Crystal War” on all the mortal races in the name of their new god “Tirnoch”.

Plot: The plot is okay, and there are plenty of sidequests, however it’s not completely original enough to be truly noteworthy to me. The fact that there is obvious and blatant nods to actual Earth mythology is a big demerit for the writing. That being said the story was enjoyable enough.

Gameplay: This played a lot like both Skyrim, in the freedom aspect (mostly although not like Breath of the Wild or Metal Gear Solid V), and Fable in the button usage and combat system.  There was enough customization to feel like you your character was unique and special for you, but not so overwhelming that you are required to spend 10 hours to get the perfect look. Although I suppose almost any game with a customization system could count as such if you want to be really picky. The combat was frenetic and fast paced, and it felt like if you put World of Warcraft and made it a single player console game. Sort of. That’s just the feeling I got from playing it.

Art: The art is okay, and while it’s aged somwhat poorly it’s not as bad as games from the 90’s or 00’s in terms of aging.

Music: Pretty standard fantasy fare, not too amazing or too spectacular though.

Overall: This is a fun game, although it has it’s flaws. Worth a shot playing it if you can find a copy.

For those who like: Action-RPGs, Fantasy, Drama, Frenetic Combat, Good Plot, Decent Artwork.

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

Retro Game Friday: Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Hey all I’m back to daily posts, and it’s starting back up with Retro Game Friday. It’s all about Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood!

Plot Synopsis: Desmond’s story continues where it left off, in 2012. After escaping the Templars’ attack at the end of Assassin’s Creed II, Desmond Miles, Lucy Stillman, Rebecca Crane, and Shaun Hastings flee to Monteriggioni, establishing a new hideout in the ruins of the Villa Auditore. After restoring the electricity in the old tunnels under the villa, the player once again takes control of Ezio Auditore through Desmond’s genetic memory, using the Animus 2.0 (which is the game’s memory interface). Their mission is to find the Apple of Eden, an important and mysterious artifact that could prevent the impending disaster that is coming in that same year, believed to be perpetrated by the Templars…

Plot: The plot of Brotherhood was pretty amazing, and while it’s the first game which featured the same person as the main character in the past, it wasn’t bad at all. Frankly I really enjoyed the plot of Brotherhood, although it’s not quite as good as ACII, for reasons I won’t name due to spoilers.

Gameplay: This plays quite a bit like ACII, although it included use of horses inside Rome and added the Brotherhood function, which was more than a bit overpowered if you took the time to level the members up as soon as possible. Doing so would allow you to pretty much empty entire missions of guards by whistling for an assassin to take each of them out, which they would do flawlessly after getting to the max rank.

Characters: While many characters re-appear from prior games, I still think that Da Vinci was the best side character in the entire game.

Art: The art has aged, however good news for those who haven’t played Brotherhood is that it along with ACII and Revelations were remastered for HD quite recently for the latest generation of consoles.

Overall: A solid entry in the series, although the Brotherhood functions were more than a bit overpowered.

Retro Game Friday: Tales of Vesperia

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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.

Video Game Tuesday: Honoring the Xbox 360

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to talk about what happened last week. I’m Honoring the Xbox 360!

Last week Microsoft ended production of the Xbox 360, making it one of the longest lasting video game consoles ever made! It started with Perfect Dark Zero and arguably ended with Halo 4 ten and a half years later! It also really goes to show how developers can really bring out the power of the hardware as time goes on. Compare Halo 3’s graphics with Halo 4 and the difference is astonishing.

So I’m going to list some of my favorite Xbox 360 games of all time in honor of the consoles lifespan!

Halo ODST: arguably one of the best Halo games of all time, ODST was loads of fun to play and had some of the best gameplay in the series.

Soul Calibur 3: One of the more complex fighting games, I enjoyed Soul Calibur 3 quite a bit.

Tales of Vesperia: The only Tales of game on the system, Vesperia is one of my all time favorite JRPGs, with it’s amazing plot and cast, Vesperia was amazing from start to finish.

Skyrim: Sure playing an Elder Scrolls game on consoles means no mods, but hell if I still didn’t have loads of fun playing that game. That all being said a Mage/Thief Hybrid is still the most overpowered class combination in the game, with the ability to drop in and out of stealth being an incredibly broken perk. Or was it a part of an armor set?

That’s all for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What were some of your favorite 360 games? Comment down below!

Retro Game Friday: Phantasy Star Universe

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the “sequel” to Phantasy Star Online. It’s Phantasy Star Universe!

Plot Synopsis: At the start of the game, Ethan Waber, the main character, and his little sister, Lumia Waber, are at the celebration of the 100th year anniversary of the Alliance Space Fleet on the GUARDIANS Space station. The celebration is interrupted when a mysterious meteor shower almost destroys the entire fleet. During evacuation, Ethan and Lumia split off of the main evacuation route and collapsing rubble separates Lumia from Ethan.

Plot: The plot isn’t that great, in fact it’s terrible compared to most other RPGs. Ethan wasn’t that likeable a character and the rest of the cast was only so so.

Gameplay: The gameplay is just like Phantasy Star Online, with a few additions like the ability to dual wield a sword and gun. This was probably the only reason I even borrowed the game from my friend, because I remembered the good times I had with PSO and wanted to see if this was at all like it. It was, but it also wasn’t that great after having played a real MMO on a computer.

Art: The art was pretty much just like an updated version of PSO. There is nothing wrong with that however and the game looked nice.

Music: The music for the game wasn’t as good as PSO, which is a shame because the opening themes for PSO episodes 1 and 2 were amazing.

Overall: Skip this game, unless you had a case of nostalgia like me.

For those who like: Phantasy Star Online, Dead MMOs.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above, or a medicore plot and cast.

P.S. Sega hurry up and freaking release PSO 2 here in the west please.