Review – Gladius

Gladius
Developed by Lucas Arts
Published by Lucas Arts
Released 10.28.03

Welcome to our highly experimental and likely to fail review of Gladius. The concept came to me after having a discussion about interactive reviews with my friend Robert. This is hardly interactive, but maybe it’s a step towards something, but probably it just sucks. Without further ado, I bring you:

Clicky here to see the review – it’ll open in a new window.

Review – Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay

Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay
Developed by Starbreeze
Published by VU Games
Released 6.1.04

The guy in the purple sock thing deserves to die for crimes against fashion.

I have seen neither Pitch Black nor the Chronicles of Riddick (I like being uninformed, it gives me a unique angle). I am not sure Vin Diesel doesn’t suck, and yes, I know he likes D&D. I also know I saw the Pacifier, though that was more strawberry margarita’s fault than his. Combining my hesitation about Mr. Diesel with my general apathy for FPS’s, and the fact that most games based on movies are secretly designed by Satan, I was not convinced the Chronicles of Riddick game would be anything more than god awful.

The first cut scene in the game did little to allay my fears. →  Sounds mildly entertaining, I guess.

Review – Baten Kaitos

Baten Kaitos
Developed by Monolith Soft
Published by Namco
Released 11.16.04

Fruity woman
This sort of looks like a still life from the 16th century. (My art major girlfriend informs me I’m wrong, nevermind.)

Here’s a tip for designers and translators. One of the words in your title must be in the language of your market. I worked on a game called Elrelis Bled once upon a time and the name worked because the second word of the title is a verb we all understand. We can deduce then that Elrelis is a person, place, or something that can bleed. What exactly is a Baten Kaitos? Does Baten Kaitos or does Kaitos Baten? Are both words nouns or is it just gibberish? Am I ignorant for not understanding Japanese or should the localization team tried a bit harder? →  It’s time to read and chew bubblegum… and I’m all outta gum.

Review – Weird Worlds

Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space
Developed by Digital Eel
Published by Shrapnel Games
Released 11.4.05

Deep space
Unknown seldom means good in deep space…

I am one of those lucky people who is blessed with a job that is mostly unsupervised, and is prone to periods of downtime. As a result, I often find myself paid to play video games. Unfortunately, I am often required to get to work on a moment’s notice, thus precluding most online games from combating my work boredom. Further, my work laptop can’t quite run Civilization 4 at the speed I’d like it to. I found myself stumped for something good to pass the time.

I had seen a plug for Weird Worlds: Return to Infinite Space on Penny Arcade a few weeks ago, and figured what the hell. →  I can has post?

Review – Kya: Dark Lineage

Kya: Dark Lineage
Developed by Eden Studios
Published by Atari
Released 11.18.03

Evil vegetable woman
Fear my banana horn.

Kya: Dark Lineage is usually compared to Beyond Good and Evil, most likely because they are both action platformers with female leads. The similarities just about end there, since BGE is damn close to the epitome of the genre, while Kya is more a stock, run of the mill, average game. Of course I played to the end so there had to have been something there that made me play it.

The game starts off with you and your brother getting sucked into an alternate dimension via your father’s basement laboratory. You arrive among a few anthropomorphized dog like creatures who are all running away from some anthropomorphized wolf like creatures. This opening sequence introduces most aspects of the game, as it includes fighting, running, jumping, problem solving, and sneaking. →  Zone of the Readers: The 2nd Reader

Review – ChoroQ

ChoroQ
Developed by Atlus
Published by Takara
Released 11.14.04

Choro Race
Win this race to unlock secret driver Lindsey Lohan.

ChoroQ caught my attention because it claimed to be a racing RPG, a genre I didn’t know existed, much less one I had any experience with. I figured, even if all I got out of the ten bucks it cost was another obscure game for the collection and a few minutes of distraction, it would be a worthwhile purchase. Disclosure: my experience with pure racing games is limited to a ton of time spent with Gran Turismo 3 and a de minimus amount of time spent on a few other, minor titles (not counting the Mario Karts of course). Gran Turismo 3 was a great game, and this was apparent to a novice in the genre such as myself, because of the depth of the gameplay, and the level of customization.

 →  SNK Article Classics Vol. 1

Review – Mortal Kombat: Deception

Mortal Kombat: Deception
Developed by Midway
Published by Midway
Released 10.04.04

Ta da
I got a small role in a Broadway play, it’s not much, but it’s a start.

I grade games on a 100 point scale broken down into several categories. Each category gives a maximum of 20 points. The combined total is score of the game.

A 100 = perfect.

Graphics: 15

Music: 15

Game play: 20

Plot: 15

Replay ability: 20

Total Value: 85%

Moooortaaaaaaaaaaaaaaal Koooooooooooooooombaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat! Test your might! Do do doooo dooo doooo!

Here is a cute story. When I was a young lad I was a Mortal Kombat master. I won a tournament at a local arcade out of 100 people for the best Mortal Kombat II player. I must have spent somewhere between $10,000.00 to $20,000.00 playing that dangfangled game. →  Devil May Read 2

Review – Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade

Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade
Developed by Sony Online Entertainment
Published by Sony Online Entertainment
Released 3.24.05

I grade games on a 100 point scale broken down into several categories. Each category gives a maximum of 20 points. The combined total is score of the game.

Kingdom pic 1
Take these six points of damage! And you take these seven!!!.

A 100 = perfect.

Graphics: 15

Music: 15

Game play: 13

Plot: 15

Replay ability: 10

Total Value: 63%

The first thing I thought upon getting this title was “whoa my first PSP game!” Approximately 2 hours after playing the game my impression was “What the hell is this game trying to be? Handheld Diablo 2?” And I still think it is.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Diablo 2. My Amazon was something to be feared; even Jay’s nancy Barbarian trembled in fear from her when we were hunting Diablo in the depths of hell. →  All happy games are alike; each unhappy game is unhappy in its own way.

Review – Zelda: Wind Waker

Zelda: Wind Waker
Developed by Nintendo
Published by Nintendo
Released 3.24.03

Sexy pose
Mr. Link, you’re trying to seduce me, aren’t you?

I grade games on a 100 point scale broken down into several categories. Each category gives a maximum of 20 points. The combined total is score of the game.

A 100 = perfect.

Graphics: 20

Music: 20

Game play: 20

Plot: 10

Replay ability: 10

Total Value: 80%

What can be said of The Wind Waker? Gorgeous! Smooth! Colorful! An auditory pleasure! No plot. As with most game of the Zelda franchise the story is rather dull if not redundant. Collect your power up items (Triforce parts and weapons) kill the bad guy, and make sweet sweet underage lovin’s to the princess.

Plain wall
The environments are a little underdetailed but extremely sharp and clean.
 →  To be this lame takes ages.

Review – Wario Ware, Inc.

Wario Ware, Inc.
Developed by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems
Published by Nintendo
Released 10.17.03

Jump rope game
The Daddy Mac will make you…

Nintendo gets a bad rap (from normal people, not losers like me). They practically invented the platform game, brought video games back after the crash of the early 80’s, showed us how a 3D platformer should look, perfected the action RPG, pioneered handheld gaming and released a headset game system after even Sega pulled the plug on their Virtual (or should I say Virtua) Reality system (although not doing what Sega does is generally good business practice). Well add another accomplishment to Nintendo’s long list, because Wario Ware Inc is incredibly different.

Most games made up of minigames are crappy, but if the games are good enough then the game as a whole can be excellent, like Pirates! →  Final Fantasy Mystic Post

Review – Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones

Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones
Developed by Intelligent Systems
Published by Nintendo
Released 5.23.05

Eirika

Extra vowels make common names mysterious and fanciful.

As a kid fighting in the trenches during the Sega vs. Nintendo War, Shining Force was a potent weapon for the Sega legions. The only possible counter attack was mention Nintendo’s Fire Emblem, Japan’s first console strategy RPG. How I hated this series that I had never even seen. I took solace in knowing that only the most obsessed gamers knew of its existence; I did my best to block the name Fire Emblem from my mind.

Thank god that war is over. Having embraced all that video games have to offer, I can now play and love quality titles from all developers. Fire Emblem managed to come out with six entries before one was localized for the U.S. →  I’d buy that for a dollar.

Review – Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus
Developed by SCEA
Published by SCEA
Released 10.15.05

Huge horse
Your horse has been fed animal steroids.

Apparently all reviewers of Shadow of the Colossus must first reveal their Ico credentials. Ico was released in September of 2001, and I had my eye on it from early in its life cycle. For one reason or another I only ended up purchasing the game about a year and a half later. Since then, the more I’ve played the further it has climbed up my list of favorite games. I enjoyed the graphical style, puzzle elements, storyline, I even like the fact that the fighting was terrible, because it made the whole experience of being a young boy lost in a dangerous castle more believable. I felt the same way about the lack of menus and on-screen interface. →  Ratchet & Read

Review – Ys 6: Ark of Napishtim

Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim
Developed by Falcom Corporation
Published by Konami
Released 2.22.05

Big sprites talking
Character sprites displayed during key dialog are big and well done.

I lie somewhere between the average gamer, blissfully ignorant of the Ys (said to be pronounced “ease,” but I’ve been saying it “eyes” since I was 7 and I’ll be damned if I’m going to change my life for something as small as the truth) series of games and the ubercore, those who have played every Ys, including both versions of 4. You see, I know enough to know there were two Ys 4s, and I know that this game I’m supposed to be reviewing here, The Ark of Napishtim, is really Ys VI. I managed to play Ys on the Master System when I was a wee lad and then Ys 3 on my Genesis when I was a little older and many are the hours I’ve spent on eBay, contemplating a purchase of a Turbo Duo just so I might play Ys Book 2. →  Read, I am your father!

Review – Castle Shikigami 2

Castle Shikigami 2
Developed by Alfa Systems
Published by XS Games
Released 11.12.04


The shooter, it is said, is a dying genre. Debatabley the first video game created, Spacewar, was a one on one shooter, so it is also a proud and essential genre. News of its demise has not fallen upon hardcore gamers’ ears lightly. The shooter is an odd genre in some respects. Many critics of current games complain that games are too long, too involved, and too complex. To reach a bigger audience, games should be shorter and simpler. The shooter tends to be both shallow and quickly completed, yet it is not embraced by the general populace. Is this because they are far too hard for the average person or because companies refuse to publish and advertise this type of game?
 →  Let’s get read-y.