Impressions: CnC: Red Alert 3, Naruto: Broken Bond and Last Rem..

It's been somewhat of a busy gaming week for me. I'm currently playing the titular titles and I have only one week of classes left for the semester. So without further adu, some quick impressions of each game.

Hey it could happen...
Hey it could happen...
Russian war-bears? Tim Curry? Gina Carano? George f-ing Takei? Command and Conquer just seems to get better and better with each installment, and Red Alert 3 is no exception. Three well designed armies with unique units, a decent size campaign for each and then co-op play over PSN/XBL. The only issues I have so far are the lack of multiplayer options and the co-commander A.I. when playing solo.

The console controls are decent, but they seem somewhat cumbersome compared to previous RTS' on the 360. For some reason the developers made it more confusing to group units and the pinwheel selection tool isn't quite as effective as a simple list. While I prefer Red Alert 3's units and story, Tiberium Wars has the better set of controls.

Check it out if your a RTS junkie, but avoid the console versions if your PC can run it. The console versions are fine but honestly, do I need to explain?

No, I'm not going to make a witty Believe It! joke.
No, I'm not going to make a witty Believe It! joke.
How do you follow up the best game in your anime's history? Well you clone it with the next story line arc. If you're looking for any innovation in the newest 360 Naruto game, there isn't much to be found.

Take everything you know about Rise of a Ninja and then apply it to Broken Bond. It's a carbon copy with more characters (some clones) and a few improvements on the past games. One of the big additions though is the ability to play as Sasuke and follow his story which parallels Naruto's. Great news if your a big emo-angsty-Sasuke lover!

A few of the new characters include Akatsuki members Kisame and Itachi (Sasuke's older brother) and they are a blast to play with. You will also be able to control Tsunade, Jiriaya and fellow youngsters such as Shikamaru. The fighting engine is just as simple as the first games, but it's effective. You won't need to spend hours learning the move list and button mashing will make you the victor in more than a few fights. So far it's been a blast but if you're not a Naruto fan there isn't much reason to start playing now. My only hope is that the next game will skip the filler episodes and get right in to Shippuden.

Rush Sykes, almost as bad as Jet Brody
Rush Sykes, almost as bad as Jet Brody
Oh man, let me get started with this one. First off what is wrong with Square-Enix? The kings of JRPG-land seem to have taken a train ride through crap-ville. Now don't get me wrong, Last Remnant is not terrible, but about five hours in to the game, it's nothing special.

You play as Rush Sykes (awful name) who is searching for his sister whom was recently abducted. You wander on to a battlefield and get taken in by the King of the local city and his generals (yeaa.....) after falling in to a cave and revealing you have a hidden power (how original).

Predicatable storyline aside, the combat is unique combining typical JRPG style with strategy RPG elements. One grip is that you don't have total control over what attacks you make. A text box pops up asking if you want to A) Charge, B) Attack, C) Attack with Combat Art or D) Attack with Magic Art. You make your selection and then it's hands-off from there. So if you character unleashes a super attack that deals insane damage, there is no guarentee he will do it next time you make a selectoin. It's kind of a bummer, but at the same time you may be controlling anywhere from 10-20 characters at a given time. It could get pretty hectic selecting individual attacks for each person.

While the combat may be hit or miss with some, the technical issues that plague the game are pretty bad. Constant slowdown is rather annoying and even after installing the game on the HD, the problem wasn't resolved. Some of the textures aren't impressive, but the character models look nice. Sadly some of the characters are downright annoying to the point it's infuriating (looking at you frog people).

JRPG fans might enjoy the game just because it's a JRPG but if you're not keen on the genre, the Last Remnant won't be changing your opinion anytime soon.