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4.2 stars 4.2 Stars Average score of 103 user reviews

Still infinitely playable after all these years 1

The Legend of Zelda, Shigeru Miyamoto’s magnum opus that solidified Nintendo’s reputation as the best game developer in the world, is a true masterpiece. In fact, players knew it before even playing it. Opening the box for the first time to the wonderful surprise of a golden cartridge (rather than the typical drab gray) was super cool, even if it was just a marketing gimmick. There had been other adventure games before Zelda, but let’s be honest, Zelda far surpassed them in just about every way....

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

It has its control issues, but there's a solid game here 0

Having lost money on the N64, Konami virtually ignored the GameCube completely.  So it was nice to see Konami taking a chance on the Wii with a brand new IP, the fun but shallow Elebits, making excellent use of the Wii’s pointer functionality.  Dewy’s Adventure, the next original IP from the Elebits team, focuses on the Wii remote’s tilt sensor as its core gameplay mechanic. Presentation The first thing you’ll notice about Dewy’s Adventure is that it is one of the best looking Wii games to dat...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An Action-RPG/Brawler hybrid that is short & sweet 0

Known as The Story of Thor in Japan and Europe, Ancient’s Beyond Oasis is an action RPG in the vein of The Legend of Zelda.  Taking a page from Aladdin, Ali (the game’s protagonist) finds a magical golden armband while exploring some old caverns.  The armband speaks to him, telling him he must stop the one who wears the silver bracelet, possessed by the spirit of Agito who wishes to bring chaos to the land of Oasis.  Ali dons the armband and begins his quest, thus concluding the cool little intr...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

This game KICKS ASS 0

 Zone of the Enders was one of the better PS2 launch titles, but sold primarily due to the included demo for the then-unreleased Metal Gear Solid 2.  It had promise, and The 2nd Runner delivers on it and then some by dramatically improving every aspect of it.  The storyline no longer focuses on the timid Leo Stenbuck, but Dingo Egret – a hard-boiled runner disenfranchised with the military.  He unwittingly becomes the 2nd runner, and unlike Leo he’s ready to kick some ass. Jehuty – Not Your Gr...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

It's not perfect, but damn is it good 0

Fresh off the critical success of ICO, SONY’s top game designer Fumito Ueda began toying with the game engine, and Shadow of the Colossus was born.  It plays out remarkably similar to the Greek myths, such as the conquests of Hercules, and like its predecessor somehow successfully reinvents and renews the traditional clichéd video game plot of “save the princess”. Mood, Tone, and Atmosphere The aesthetic style of Shadow of the Colossus will be familiar to fans of ICO – from its fabricated b...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Resident Evil 4 re-animates the corpse of a dead franchise 0

Capcom begins 2005 with a bang, with the release of the highly anticipated Resident Evil 4, directed by series creator Shinji Mikami to be nothing less than the greatest survival horror game of all time. Designed from the ground up to bring back players who had given up on the series while at the same time inviting a whole new generation of gamers to give the series a try, Resident Evil 4 revitalizes and revolutionizes the genre from decapitated head to chewy toe. Leon S Kennedy is back in H...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Pikmin 2 improves on the original in almost every way 0

 Pikmin 2 plants the seeds for a new game in Shigeru Miyamoto’s original real-time strategy series.  Growing out of the design of the first game, Pikmin 2 now features 2 new types of Pikmin, expanded Pikmin abilities, 2 playable characters, a new 2-player competitive mode, the addition of underground caves, and no 30 day time-limit.  In addition, though this feature has no gameplay function, they’ve added the Piklopedia; a veritable encyclopedia of all the different treasures and alien species O...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Under-appreciated classic 0

Skip’s first Gamecube game, Giftpia, never made it across the Pacific despite the intense interest of curious gamers starved of RPGs.  Luckily, Chibi-Robo didn’t suffer the same fate. Chibi-Robo shrinks players down to the small size of its titular star, a tiny robot built only to make people happy.  Like Mr. Mosquito, Pikmin, Katamari Damacy, and The Minish Cap, Chibi-Robo places a large emphasis on exploring the world from a worm’s eye view.  The entire game takes place in and around the hous...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Eye-popping, rhythm-thumping, masterpiece 0

2009 marked the 10th anniversary of the SEGA Dreamcast – a console which despite its limited success had a number of great and unusual games, Rez being among the best.  United Game Artists (UGA), the formal internal development team of SEGA led by Tetsuya Mizuguchi (now heading up Q Entertainment), is well known for its offbeat creations.  First there was the rhythm dance game Space Channel 5, and now REZ, inspired by “the creative genius of Kandinsky“.  Kandinsky’s style is certain...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The battle system alone makes for a very unique RPG 0

The first two Panzer Dragoon games were coined “dramatic shooting games”; a rail-shooter with a plot and character development in a dazzling setting reminiscent of Miyazaki’s Nausicaa.  So dramatic, in fact, that the designers decided a third game in the series should be an RPG to expand on the setting, the end product being a massive 4 CD game.  Perhaps due to the failing Saturn sales, or because of the production costs (the first 4 CD console game), SEGA made only 32,000 copies for North Ame...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Difficult, but totally worth the effort 0

Much to the surprise of his fans, Yasumi Matsuno’s follow-up to the massively popular Strategy-RPG masterpiece Final Fantasy Tactics was Vagrant Story, the third game in history to receive a perfect score in the long-running weekly Famitsu magazine.  Mixing together elements of both strategy and action RPGs, Vagrant Story emphasizes weapon customization and exploration.  The strategy lies in using the right weapon for each of the different enemy types, along with traditional RPG elemental tr...

6 out of 6 found this review helpful.

3D Platforming Bliss 0

 Exact is a fairly unknown Japanese game developer, having produced only 3 PlayStation titles (Jumping Flash! 1 & 2, Ghost in the Shell), but have made a name for themselves by always taking advantage of the 3D playfield in new or unique ways.  In Ghost in the Shell, it was the ability to crawl on any surface (including walls and ceilings), and in Jumping Flash! it was the ability to leap hundreds of meters high into the sky. The world of Jumping Flash is in distress, for the evil scientis...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Puzzle Activity Book meets Point-n-Click Adventure! 0

 A new Professor Layton game was just released for the Nintendo DS, and you might be curious what it’s all about.  But before you jump head-first into the sequel, take a look at Professor Layton & the Curious Village – the first chapter in Level 5’s puzzling trilogy starring the titular professor and his plucky side kick, Luke. It combines elements of point and click adventure games with brain teasers to great effect. Story The brain teasers originally appeared in a series of puzzle books ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Great use of the Stylus mixes things up 0

 Phantom Hourglass, the first Zelda title designed for the Nintendo DS, picks up where The Windwaker left off.  A comical seafaring adventure in the cel-shaded style, Phantom Hourglass makes excellent use of the DS graphical capabilities as well as its touch screen, delivering one of the best games for the system yet. Story For those who never played it, The Windwaker’s story is quickly summed up in a cute cardboard cut-out slideshow at the start of the game.  Without warning a Ghost Ship appe...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An addictive action-RPG that has elements of card battle games 0

Remember the first time you played a Dragon Warrior game? Stepping outside the castle’s defensive walls, you were assaulted by a slime that drew near. The cute and cuddly little blob smacked you for 1 hp. Maybe he even called for help from his slippery friends. With a wave of your wooden stick you smooshed him, leaving only a small puddle of blue goop in your wake. Fortunately for the town of Boingburg you didn’t accidentally kill Rocket, the gelatinous star of Dragon Quest Heroes: Rocket Sli...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A decent, but somewhat shallow experience 0

 Having thoroughly enjoyed the highly original and inventive Chibi-Robo! on the Gamecube, I decided to pick up the DS sequel, Chibi-Robo! Park Patrol. Having read some reviews that said it was only passable or mediocre, I wasn’t expecting much. As it turns out it’s a very different sort of game, but a decent time waster nonetheless. Game play Park Patrol puts the player in the role of Chibi-Robo once again, but this time his job is to restore a barren yard to a beautiful green park. By tilling...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An addictive action-platformer with a unique spin 0

 Game Freak, developer of the massively popular Pokemon series, finally takes a break from that well-worn franchise to develop Drill Dozer, a refined action-platformer with a puzzle twist. Drill Dozer puts you in the cockpit of a drilling machine that can bore a hole through just about anything, including most of the GBA’s library. Setting Set in a vibrant cartoony world that looks a little like Pokemon and sounds like Advance Wars, players take on the role of Jill, the young daughter of the b...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Aria of Sorrow is the best of GBA's Castlevania games 1

Castlevania Aria of Sorrow is the third and final installment on the Gameboy Advance, and the first Castlevania to take place in the future. It’s also easily the best Castlevania since Koji Igarashi rocked the world with his 32-bit masterpiece, Symphony of the Night. Sharpen your fangs While the premise is sketchy at best (Drac’s castle was sealed into a solar eclipse, and a young high school student named Soma Cruz is magically transported there), the simplistic story does the job and someh...

5 out of 6 found this review helpful.

Breath of Fire 2 is one of the better entries in the series 0

 Capcom’s Breath of Fire series is one of the unsung Japanese RPG series that, while successful, never approached the popularity of Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest. Better know for their action games rather than RPGs, Capcom didn’t even release the original Breath of Fire in the states (allowing Squaresoft to publish it instead). Capcom did release Breath of Fire 2, and it has since been ported to the GameBoy Advance and is now available on the Wii’s Virtual Console download service. Story &...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Sun is Friend & Foe in this Vampire-slaying Adventure 0

 Boktai: The Sun is in Your Hand is the brainchild of master game designer Hideo Kojima (creator of Metal Gear): a vampire-slaying quest-adventure in the vein of Zelda with the hide-and-sneak shooting action of Metal Gear.  This alone makes Boktai fun but what makes it great (as the title suggests) is the added unpredictable element of the sun. The Importance of Sunlight Inside the cartridge a solar sensor detects sunlight, which affects the game world.  The sensor only works with genuine UV r...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Beautiful, but it has its issues 0

Back when the battle for 32-bit supremacy was all but over, there was a Japanese-only Saturn game called Princess Crown that caught my eye in the pages of GameFan magazine.  It was the most beautiful 2D game of its time; never to be translated into English what with the Saturn gasping its final breath.  Luckily Vanillaware’s follow-up to Princess Crown, Odin Sphere and Muramasa: The Demon Blade didn’t suffer the same fate.  As its name suggests, it’s an homage to Norse mythology stringing toge...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Unrivaled 2D Sexcellence & Blistering Action! 0

Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a side-scrolling action game developed by Vanillaware, known for director George Kamitani’s absurdly detailed graphical style and fluid animation. I live for this kind of stuff. In the majority of games today, the quest for realism blots out all traces of the artist’s individuality and expression. Colors become desaturated as 3d models rely more and more on photographic textures. Muramasa is the antithesis of this movement; it’s style is detailed but clean, crisp, an...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A Diamond In The Rough 0

 It doesn’t happen all that often, but now and then the Wii has gotten some truly exceptional original titles.  Little King’s Story is one of them.  Developed by some of the veterans responsible for hits like Harvest Moon, it has a hint of that game’s obsessive compulsive game design, mixed with the simple but fun strategy elements of Nintendo’s Pikmin series.  It’s all presented in a cute and charming graphical style, with music almost entirely from the catalogs of classical composers (which pr...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.