Whew. Finally managed to get this review written. This game is awesome, one of my favorites ever, so I hope I do it justice. :P
Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King
Console: Wii (WiiWare)
These Crystal Chronicles games just seem to be getting better. Ring of Fates was incredible; and while this game takes a turn down a slightly different path, even a much more risky one for the series, it does not disappoint.
Plot – [10/10] The story of this game takes place shortly after the events of the original Crystal Chronicles game. The miasma created by the Meteor Parasite has been dispelled, and the world has, for the most part, been reduced to nothing. The only remnant of the times before the miasma are the ambiguous crystals that reside in the towns.
Enter the world of the young son of Epitav, the nation’s king – he has been chosen by default to be the new king of the land. The only problem is the lack of citizens, and buildings.
Upon arriving in his old town, along with his father’s chief advisor, Chime, and noble knight, Hugh, the new king must make use of the promised land left for him by his deceased father, and the mysterious power of Architek, to form a new society.
However, soon after the town’s re-creation, disaster strikes, and a terrifying secret from the past resurfaces. Questions about Epitav himself, and his loyalty arise, and the entire kingdom is forced into a battle of good versus evil – but the lines between are blurry, and you are at the reins.
Gameplay- [10/10] Incredibly original. I cannot stress that enough. The style of this game is unlike anything I have ever seen before. Some classify it as a tycoon game, some an RPG, some an adventure – but it truly is everything in between.
Everything you yourself do is within an unlimited amount of short days, within the boundaries of your own town. The purpose of the game is, essentially, to build new structures with Architek, the magic used to build such structures. However, to fuel the Architek, you need a material known as Elementite. This is where your adventurers come in.
You commission adventurers to go out and seek Elementite for you, as well as other things, through royal beheths posted at bulletin boards in the town. While you do not explore the dungeons yourself, you are almost entirely responsible for your adventurer’s jobs, stats, weapons, armor, etc.
Most commands are completed through your advisor, Chime, with a flick of the Wiimote.
All in all, the game runs very smoothly, with basic controls that are easy to get used to.
Graphics- [9/10] Typical Wii graphics – there really is no change from the FFCC title for the Gamecube (which were albeit incredible graphics for the GCN). There is minimal lag, but usually only when buildings are being erected, and you attempt to move, or call Chime once more.
Final Score- [10/10] This game has by far surpassed the other two in the series in addictiveness. An excellent plot, simplistic controls that appeal to more casual audiences and a strategic element that attracts the more sophisticated gamer, and an overall unique experience that is unlike any other, make this game the the best in its series, and one of the best of the year so far. Square Enix walked in uncharted territory, risked the reputation of Crystal Chronicles, and pulled it off. Definitely go out of your way to buy this game. A+
Verdict: Buy it
This is how I will be scoring games from now on. There are three possible scores for retail games, and two for WiiWare and VC games. Buy, Rent and Don’t Buy, for retail games and Buy, Don’t Buy for WiiWare and VC.
LostWinds was one of the most anticipated WiiWare launch games. It had a lot of hype, and it deserved it. LostWinds is an ambitious game, its fun, looks good and plays great. It’s another gem to add to the Wii’s library, another must-buy.
WiiWare launches this Monday. I know everybody must be excited for at least one game. But I think there is one game everybody should download first…
Yeah, its gonna cost you 10$, but its gonna be worth it. Its the most ambitious launch title, and its better than spending 10$ on Pokemon Farm, which I know hundreds or thousands will download. So c’mon, don’t let Pokemon Farm lure you in. Support Lost Winds, download PKMN Farm later (or never).
*walks in, stumbling over coffee table*
I finally… got it! Mario Kart Wii!
Mario Kart Wii – Review
Since the great disappointment that was Mario Kart: Double Dash for the GameCube, Nintendo stepped up their game with Mario Kart for the DS. So, that left fans wondering – could this series get any better?
That question was answered in April of 2008; and was it ever.
Playability- [8/10] (Replacing “Plot” with this, because there’s really no plot to Mario Kart)
While there is a lot to unlock in Mario Kart Wii, its only downfall is a lack of modes to play on. For me, the single most frustrating point is the lack of a mode that does not involve 12 characters, all racing at once. I personally enjoy a race with just two or three people [i]more[/i] than a gigantic Grand Prix. But that’s just me.
As I said before, there is plenty to unlock – there are a grand total of 15 unlockable characters (I’m partial to King Boo and Rosalina), as well as four hidden Cups with four new courses each, and lots of karts and bikes as well. While it can get repetitive, MK Wii has decent replay value.
Gameplay- [10/10] When you get the game, you will most likely spend a good ten minutes swearing and screaming at your television screen, while you get used to the Wii Wheel. But after that, it’s pure bliss.
The Wii Wheel provides an immerseful, intuitive gameplay experience that has been attempted by other games (Such as Excite Truck) but not truly perfected. Mario Kart Wii has perfected it, and it is smooth in the same way that the controls of Super Mario Galaxy were – completely faultless. The way that the turning of the wheel makes your kart turn on screen is addictive, and leaves you wanting more.
Of course, if the Wii Wheel isn’t what tickles your fancy, you can always use the Wii Remote & Nunchuk, the Classic Controller, or the ever-popular GameCube controller.
Graphics- [10/10] The graphics are just about as good as a Mario game can get. It’s hard to make cartoon people look any more realistic. The game utilizes similar graphics to Super Mario Galaxy, which was incredible, so of course this game will receive the same score.
Final Score- [8/10] While Mario Kart Wii is lots of fun to play, and certainly the best Mario Kart title thus far, it’s not much different in playability than its predecessors, a fact which brings down the score to an 8. Overall, however, Mario Kart Wii is definitely a must-buy if you are a Wii owner. [b]A[/b]
PS2 ports are one of Wii owners’ worst nightmares. But in Okami’s case, it should be considered a dream. A wonderful, lengthy, polished, beautiful dream. Yes, Okami is an absolute gem and easily seats itself at the top of the Wii’s library. From the game’s beautiful presentation, to its masterfully told story. Okami is a piece of art, throughout every aspect of its design, a must own for every Wii owner who calls themselves a hardcore gamer.