Post by Nester the Lark on May 7, 2006 12:34:17 GMT -5
TPCGW: Tales of Symphonia from Namco
There isn't a lot of variety as far as hard core RPG's on the 'Cube are concerned. The main three are Sega's Skies of Arcadia Legends, Nintendo's Paper Mario: The Thousand-year Door, and Namco's Tales of Symphonia. ToS is the most traditional of the three. Any RPG fan will immediately recognize the typical character types and story cliches. Not that these are bad things, however.
Symphonia is a huge game that spans two discs and can last you at least 60 hours. The world is huge, the story is complex (even if it isn't very original), and there are tons of mini-games and side quests to keep you involved for a very long time.
The graphics are wonderful! The cell shading is, in my opinion, on the caliber of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. It's truly a pleasure for the eyes. There are few anime cut scenes, but they're so rare, they're almost inconsequential.
The battle system is what sets Symphonia, as well as every other installment in the Tales series, apart from traditional RPG's, and it really helped keep me engaged for the long run. While it can boil down to simple button mashing, I found that experimenting with different combos and discovering the hidden techniques (even if they're not all that helpful) kept the hundreds of enemy encounters from getting too boring.
Tales of Symphonia is on the Player's Choice label, so the budget price makes it quite a bargain. If you're an RPG fan, don't be hesitant to add Symphonia to your collection!
Ah, Tales of Symphonia. A wonderful game. Here's my take from my Top 30: Wow, this game is really amazing. I haven't played a RPG so full of depth since Skies of Arcadia, and although this game isn't quite the near flawless experience Skies is, this is certainly a high class title. The game's graphics are simply amazing; at times jaw dropping. This is by far the best example of cel-shading I've seen, outside of Zelda: Wind Waker. The characters are very enjoyable and attachable (I like all of the playable character's voices and personalities...enough to get an art book of it), and despite a somewhat trite storyline (that at times seems ripped right out of Grandia II...which was ripped from elsewhere), it is compelling and kept me interested. The game has so many sidequests it's mind boggling, the battle system is one of the best I've played (I like having a bit of real time control in combat, and this is ALL real time ^^ ), there's plenty to do and explore, and it's a blast to play. The music is great on the whole (I own the soundtrack), and the ability to choose your battles is a nice plus. There's hardly any complaints here - even the ones who said the game ramps up on difficulty too quickly apparently aren't too knowledgeable at RPG's, for I had no problems with that (it's called leveling-up, folks ^_~ ). I am very satisfied and pleased with this game...enough to proclaim it as my favorite game of 2004. Thank you Namco for releasing it here.
It IS a great game... I enjoyed most of the voice acting, and the story was great, even if I did see a couple of the plot twists coming (I'm looking at you, Regal). I'm still yet to finish it, but one thing bothers me... from what I hear, it sounds like there is very little on the second disc compared to the first...
The music... actually, I thought it was fairly dull. I have the soundtrack, but I never listen to it. I would recommend this game to anyone who likes RPGs, though. And you can play the battles with friends controlling the other party members, too!
Post by Nester the Lark on May 14, 2006 17:21:06 GMT -5
TPCGW: Resident Evil 4 from Capcom
With the recent excitement of E3 '06, we're all eagerly looking ahead to the future, to new experiences, to new games, and daydreaming about playing with our Wiis. (Gah-ha-ha-ha!) So it's unlikely that anyone will really care about some old, third party Gamecube game that wouldn't have gotten any respect anyway. So this week, I'll just get a really obvious one out of the way.
Resident Evil 4 is the third party game for the 'Cube. It's a gem. A legend. An undeniably elite experience. And frankly, it's shocking how few of the people here actually own it (or so it seems).
You can pick just about any aspect of the game, and it's simply outstanding. Graphics? Incredible. Sound? Stunning. Control? Feels great! Story? Voice acting? Length? Re-playability? Mini-games? It's all terrific! RE4 stands with only the best the Gamecube has to offer and is second to none. Owning games like Zelda: The Wind Waker, Metroid Prime and Super Smash Bros. Melee simply isn't enough unless RE4 is right there with them.
So many great third party 'Cube games get the snub from Nintendo fans. Don't let fanboyism cheat you out of this one. Resident Evil 4 is one of the greats not only from E3's past, but of today as well.
Post by Nester the Lark on May 21, 2006 19:02:11 GMT -5
TPCGW: Metal Arms: Glitch in the System from Vivendi Universal/Sierra
This is another one I have yet to play myself, but I've heard plenty of good things about it. It's an action, platform, shoot-em-up in the style of a Ratchet & Clank game. The story is humorous and light-hearted, but the action is fast and tough.
One of the developers once said in an interview that the graphical style of the game was inspired by Metroid Prime while the gameplay was more similar to Halo.
It's a little strange that I've never played it since I've been curious about it since it first came out in November, 2003. Then again, a lot of high profile (and not-so-high profile) games came out at that time, and many of them ended up getting lost in the mix. So while Metal Arms seems like a franchise game, it never had the chance to develop into one.
Post by Nester the Lark on May 28, 2006 11:00:58 GMT -5
TPCGW: Super Monkey Ball 1 & 2 from Sega
The original Super Monkey Ball was one of the Gamecube's most notable launch titles. It's often likened to an update of Marble Madness. You have a monkey in a ball, and you tilt the playing field in order to maneuver it through the obstacle courses, collecting bananas along the way. A series of mini-games round out the package.
The sequel was essentially more of the same, but no one complained. It's also a lot easier to find (and available as a Player's Choice title), at least around where I live.
The series has managed to become one of Sega's most notable current franchises. Go pick yourself up a copy of either (or both!) of these games, and get your hands on some monkey balls... er, that is... Start flinging the... um... Let's just say it's more fun than a barrel of... Eh, forget it.
Drat, I missed your RE4 post. That was E3 week, wasn't it? That would explain it. I LOVE RE4! Best game of this generation, bar none (in my opinion).
Taken from my website: This game is the pinnacle of this generation's console titles. Capcom has outdone themselves with RE4 on just about every level that they could have. By reworking the RE scheme into a new and much better camera system that places it behind the character, changing the enemies from brainless zombies to infested villagers, zealots and commandos who have actual AI, who weave, block their face, gang up on you, duck, arm themselves with sickles, scythes, crossbows, rocket launchers, chain saws, pitchforks, axes, tasers, dynamite, hammers and gatling guns, and can actually communicate with each other (in Spanish, no less), adding in a merchant who upgrades your weaponry, giving you control over two characters at certain points, adding in "dodge" and "action" commands to increase the tension, superb boss fights and excellent ambiance...everything about RE4 is amazing. This game has been drifting in and out of my dreams, reminding me of the gameplay bliss I have been experiencing for the last few months. The amazing graphics, voice work, sounds, level design and controls round out the best game in the last few years. I must recommend that you give this a try ASAP. It won Game of the Year from many gaming sites and publications, and it came out in January! It easily won mine. ^^ To anyone who STILL hasn't bought (or even worse, played!) RE4 can now pick it up for the GC for $20. That is an absolute steal. BUY IT NOW!
As for Metal Arms, I didn't like it, myself. The controls bothered me. I haven't played any of the SUper Monkey Ball games...they didn't really interest me, alas.
Post by Dances in Undergarments on May 30, 2006 2:29:51 GMT -5
I heart Monkey Ball. I have SMB2, and each of the minigames is almost as good as having the a game completely devoted to it - Tennis stands up to Mario Tennis, Soccer is a hell of alot of fun, etc, etc.
And RE4 is fantastic. Everybody knows that. Or at least, everybody should.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jun 4, 2006 16:11:35 GMT -5
TPCGW: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time from Ubisoft
Jordan Mechner's original Prince of Persia set new standards in animation and gameplay. The series was reinvented in 2003 with Mechner's help with Ubisoft's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. The game, once again, set new standards in gameplay, but initially went unnoticed, just as many other great games from the end of that year.
The game is essentially an action platform game. There are sequences where you must use the Prince's cool acrobatic moves to maneuver through obstacle course-like areas. These are the most fun parts of the game as the control is smooth, easy and fun. They alternate between fighting sequences which aren't quite as fun, but they're not bad, either.
The hook for the game is the ability to manipulate time itself. If you make a mistake, you can actually "rewind" the game for a specific number of seconds and try again. You can can also slow time down, or perform other cool moves.
The story is surprisingly creative and well told, and it manages to do it without relying entirely on cut scenes. The banter between the Prince and Farah happens automatically during gameplay, and is also extremely entertaining in its own right.
The sequels, Warrior Within and The Two Thrones, are also available, but Sands of Time is still considered the best of the bunch. (Jordan Mechner, in fact, was not involved with them and did not like the artistic direction they took.) Be sure to grab yourself a copy of this game. It's perfect for those hot, Arabian nights.
I would like to add that PoP:SoT was originally released during the Christmas period on PS2, where it was lost among the cacophony of other releases that year.
When it was released on Gamecube and X-Box it sold surprisingly well. Some think that the PS2 had become a victim of its own success. That's why Ubisoft released the next two installments at the same time on all formats.
PoP:SoT is fantastic. The gameplay is solid stuff (some of the best 3D platforming in any game), the game's level design is top-notch, and although the enemy battles get a bit frustrating from time to time, the overall enjoyment is quite high. Warrior Within on the other hand is a debacle of bad ideas merged into one game. Turning the prince into a badarse was lame, the metal music was lame, and I got tired of it very, very quickly. Sands of Time however is brilliant. Get it if you can find it.
Post by Nester the Lark on Jun 11, 2006 12:46:44 GMT -5
TPCGW: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 & 4 from Activision
The Tony Hawk series is the skateboarding video game franchise. Somehow, Activision has managed to release a new Tony Hawk game every year since 1999, and each iteration has been successful. However, some might argue that the series began going downhill since Tony Hawk's Underground came out in 2003. The two previous games, Pro Skater 3 & 4, are often considered the pinnacles of the series.
Essentially, you pick from a variety of professional skateboarders and take them through levels that each have several goals to achieve. Some simply require getting a high score, others demand collecting items or performing specific tricks. There are also, of course, several unlockables. You can also create your own skate parks with the park editing feature. There's definitely plenty to do.
Control is solid, though there is a learning curve. But once you get used to it, the skating is pretty satisfying. The envronments are also very interactive. You can grind or trick off of almost anything.
Later this year, the Tony Hawk series is really going downhill (literally) with the debut of the spin-off game Tony Hawk's Downhill Jam, being released exclusively for Nintendo consoles, including the Wii, DS and GBA. It looks to be more of a racing experience, similar to SSX (and you know how I love SSX). But until then, brush up on your ollies and grinds with two of the classics.
Nester the Lark: Speaking of the song "Reincarnation," perhaps it might have sounded something like this if the game had gotten an English dub.
Jan 26, 2021 10:25:09 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: According to Nintendo's IR calendar, they're going to release their financial information up to December 2020 on 1 Feb. Switch sales (68.30 mil at Sep 2020) may very well surpass that of the 3DS (75.94 mil), but how will it compare to the GBA (81.51 mil)?
Jan 31, 2021 12:10:02 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: It's closer to the GBA sales than I thought. Switch hardware sales up to December 2020 is 79.87 mil, while I expected about 78 mil.
Feb 1, 2021 8:07:53 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Also, while they stopped counting 3DS and Wii U hardware sales, software went up from 385.12 mil to 385.85 mil and 103.27 mil to 103.31 mil. Switch software sales went from 456.49 mil to 532.34 mil, surpassing that of NES and Game Boy.
Feb 1, 2021 8:09:41 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: So now that I have a capture device, I've been looking at my games and tried to figure out the resolution and frame rate they run at. Trials Rising is 540p30, Project DIVA Mega Mix has the UI at 720p60 and the simpler, single-singer PVs run at 540p60…?
Feb 6, 2021 11:42:34 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: All the Atelier games I've seen so far (Arland 1-4) run at 1080p30, which is a bit surprising as I expected a lower resolution for Lulua. Void Terrarium and Puyo Puyo Tetris 1 and 2 all run at 1080p60. PPT1 also ran at 1080p60 on Wii U, so no surprise.
Feb 6, 2021 11:45:41 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: ↑ In Atelier Lulua, the system UI and even some parts with 3D models (like the synthesis screen) run at full 1080p at 60 fps. That's a huge leap from the previous two games in the series. World map runs at 30 fps though, despite not being intensive.
Feb 8, 2021 11:13:44 GMT -5
nocturnal YL: Rune Factory 4 Special runs at 720p60. Fire Emblem Three Houses is a weird case; it looks like 900p30 to me, but because of the way the edge of the models are drawn, the graphics end up looking very ugly.
Feb 8, 2021 11:15:06 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: I've been doing the same thing I do every time I consider getting Smash Ultimate: playing Smash for Wii U. It turns out there are still plenty of people playing it online. Makes me curious about Splatoon 1.
Feb 20, 2021 10:08:42 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: The online also worked better than I remember. Maybe because there are fewer people...?
Feb 20, 2021 10:10:09 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: My skill curve in Smash Bros seems to be the opposite of other games: the more I play, the worse I get.
Feb 23, 2021 17:28:27 GMT -5
Nester the Lark: TIL I had not yet unlocked all the stages in Smash for Wii U. Just unlocked the last one today, six years after getting the game.
Feb 24, 2021 18:35:31 GMT -5