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Nintendo Impresses, I Expresses

Nintendo showed up in a big way last week and I wanted to give my thoughts. No one cares? Yerp. But I need that quest. 

1. Donkey Kong Country Returns
This was probably the biggest announcement for me at the Nintendo press conference. I marked out hard when I saw that my favorite 2-D platformer was returning and it was being developed by the fine folks at Retro Studios. Just like what Nintendo did with New Super Mario Bros. Wii, you take an old, proven formula that people know and love, add a fresh coat of paint, and tweak the gameplay a bit. Everything is looking great so far, but how about that music? Well according to an interview with Satoru Iwata it looks like the original stuff will be returning! Very exciting stuff.
2. Kirby's Epic Yarn
Kirby is finally returning to his roots and he's doing it with style. After years of appearing in some fairly lackluster titles it's good to see he's getting the proper treatment. The overall look of this game is unlike anything we have ever seen and the way Kirby interacts with the enviornment with his yarn is very clever, like pulling a zipper to reveal a hidden door. Here's hoping King Dedede makes an appearance.
3. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
We all knew it was coming and after the announcement at E3 the reactions seem to be split. I'm in the camp that was impressed and I'm excited to play the final game when it comes out sometime in 2011. Despite the botched stage demo, thinking about a Zelda that game utilizes Motion Plus technology is very exciting stuff. If the archery and sword fighting mini-games found in Wii Sports Resort are any indication we're in for one hell of a treat. 
4. Nintendo 3DS

The Helghast and Kratos dominated my weekend! I liked it

I didn't have much time to game this weekend due to family obligations such as graduations, birthdays, and of course, Father's Day. The little time I did have I spent finishing up Killzone 2 and playing God of War: Chains of Olympus from start to finish in one sitting. (Yikes!)

Thoughts on Killzone 2: What a nice looking game with terrible controls. I was eager to finish up the game I started back in February after hearing about the control patch they put out. If you ask me, that patch didn't did much to improve the game. I slogged through the last 3 or 4 missions in the game and other than the Mech part, I was fairly unimpressed. The final part in Killzone was both challenging and frustrating. I didn't have much patience waiting for the enemies to pop out of cover and being ambushed from all sides was just aggrivating. I just want to shoot enemies to hell and move on. It wasn't a bad game, and while the multiplayer sure is fun, I actually enjoyed COD:WAW a lot more.

Thoughts on GoW:CoO: This game was fantastic. It was rather short, hence me beating it in one sitting, but everything in it was top notch. The sound effects, the music, the graphics, and above all else, the gameplay. The game moves along at a brisk pace. I never once got tired or bored of what I was doing. Other than one "puzzle" involving a hidden passage on the side of a moving stair case, the game didn't give me much trouble. I'm not sure if the Guantlets of Zeus are over-powered or what, but once I got those the game got helluv easy. You can beat most enemies in 2-3 hits. They were pretty satisfying though!

I also took some time to hit up Best Buy where I picked up Transformers S1($20) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine($40). I haven't opened either as of yet, but I'm pretty excited about reliving my childhood watching Transformers again. Wolverine look alright and I'll get around to playing it eventually. I'm glad I got it on sale though.


Persona 4 First Impressions - Wow!

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Having just finished up Resident Evil 5 I was looking for a new game to sink my teeth into. I was asking around and had countless people recommend Persona 4 to me. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of games infused heavily with Japanese culture, nor am I fan of anime so I was hesitant to cave in and try out the game. After doing some research and lurking various forums I found that the games unique look and an interesting premise was enough, along with the recommendations, to encourage me to pick up the game.

After firing up the game last night and playing for about 2-3 hours I'm left thoroughly impressed. I wasn't expecting the story and characters to be that interesting. I went in to this game knowing well that it was text heavy, but at this point I don't even care thanks to an incredibly engaging plot. I can't wait to see what happens next! The presentation is top notch and I think that it is  handled so well that it helps keep you engaged if only on a subconscious level. The changing days and constant changing settings give a small sense of constant progression. The brief anime cutscenes are a nice touch and come up at the perfect times. I also find that the music is very well done and it fits each scene perfectly.

I haven't experienced too much as far as actual gameplay is concerned as of yet. I've fought a couple of battles here and there, but complete control isn't in my hands at this point. The battle system seems competent thus far and using the different Personas is a neat idea. I like the fact that certain Personas give you different moves. At this point it seems like the battle system is typical turn-based stuff, so I'm not too worried about it letting me down. Still, I can't really pass judgment until I play around with it more. Hopefully the story can stay interesting and more control is put into my hands later on. If it does, this will probably go down as one of my favorite games of all time. I'm really digging it.