Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King – Review

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

 

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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

Mario Kart Wii – Review

*walks in, stumbling over coffee table*

I finally… got it! Mario Kart Wii!

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Mario Kart Wii – Review

Console: Wii

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]

Okami Review

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.

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Super Mario Galaxy Review

Console: Wii

I’m not a fan of Mario games. Paper Mario, yes, but the attributes of games such as Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Sunshine are not typically something I look for in a video game.

Super Mario Galaxy, however, is an experience all in itself. I was wowed by the graphics, the gameplay and the enjoyable simplicity of the game. It has changed my opinion on Mario games forever.

Plot- [7/10] For the amount of good that this game brings to the world, it has a mediocre and extremely cliche plotline. Basically, Mario has been invited to attend the Mushroom Kingdom’s Star Festival, a sacred festival held every 100 years in recognition of the Power Star that gives power to the kingdom.

Of course, you can guess what happens five minutes into the festival. His menacingness, Lord Bowser, appears with a few new tricks up his sleeve (such as a UFO Confused). He makes quick work of uprooting Peach’s castle (where have I seen that before? Razz), with Mario still in it. However, before Mario can do anything, he is whisked off to another planet and introduced to a mysterious race called “Lumas”, shape-shifting stars, and their mistress, Lady Rosalina, who live on a large space station/observatory that passes beside the Mushroom Kingdom only every hundred years. However, the power from their observatory has been stolen by Bowser and hidden around the universe in the form of many Grand Stars. In order to save Peach from Bowser in the centre of the universe, Mario must first rescue all of the Grand Stars, so the observatory can fly once again.

Bleh. Very predictable and, to be honest, quite boring.

Gameplay- [10/10] Intensely awesome. Some of the smoothest, easiest-to-use Wii controls ever, in my opinion. Mario has the ability to “spin” instead of punching, an invaluable technique, and to execute this ability, all you need is one shake of the Wii remote. Unlike Twilight Princess, where the sword would sometimes lag for a few seconds after you swing the remote, this is perfect and smooth. The B button is used for firing Star Bits, and it is easy to use at any time, in the heat of any situation.

The rest of the controls are almost identical to those in Super Mario 64. It takes some getting used to to walk upside-down without problem, but it’s not too difficult.

Graphics- [10/10] Bless the Nintendo people for putting so much intricate detail and time into the graphics of this game, because they certainly succeeded. On most Galaxies, Mario can walk upside-down and all around any object. The detail on everything is amazing, and the graphics are smooth and without lag.

Final Score- [9/10] While the plot sucks, everything else is fantastic. In my opinion, this is debatably the best Wii game released thus far. A+

Guitar Hero III Review

Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock

Stars: *****

Review:

The first thing that anyone can say about this game, the first good thing they can say, is that the track list is amazing. I want to go buy the soundtrack. Featuring songs like My Name is Jonas by Weezer, and Welcome to the Jungle by Guns and Roses, it’s no wonder that this is by far the greatest Guitar Hero yet.

The Strum Bar: It was made longer, easier to strum on, and clicking was reduced.

The Whammy Bar: It was made easier to press down on rapidly, unlike previous games.

The fact that the controllers are now wireless, (with the exception of the PS2) It is now way easier when you memorize a song to jam about the playing area dancing and kicking without unhooking the controller, screwing up your jam session.

Once again, I state this is the best Guitar Hero yet, and something that will again bring more players to the game world. (Heck, I got my sister on there)

Super Paper Mario Review

Super Paper Mario- Nintendo Wii

Since the release of Twilight Princess, the Wii has had a drought of adventure/RPG games. It’s been one mini-game collection after another. Well, the clouds have come, and it’s about to rain. The drought is over, and Wii owners need wait no more.

It seems Mario can change to any genre, yet still be loved to death. Party, platformer, RPG, sport, mystery; yes, Mario has ventured into almost every genre imaginable. The man in red is doing it again in the platformer/RPG adventure, Super Paper Mario.
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WarioWare: Smooth Moves Review

WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Publisher: Nintendo
System: Wii

Here we have another quirky, zany, fast-paced not-so-mini-game collection added to the WarioWare franchise. Like all other WarioWare games, this one is no different. Over 200 (I believe) minigames within the game flash by you, in which you must accomplish the given task in a short amount of time. The star of the game is not the games; it is the Wii Remote. But, does this factor make the game stick out like Wario’s zig-zag mustache?

Let’s start with the basics. Behind the flashing mini-games, there is a somewhat storyline. Each character in the game has their own little “time to shine” stage. But, the main focus is that Wario accidentally stumbles upon the Form Baton (the Wii Remote) that allows him to move things. Of course, here’s another get-money-quick scheme of his that will have him rolling in a bunch of Franklins.

The game starts out simple: you begin with one single “Form”, called The Remote Control. You go through its mini-games, come to a boss, and you’re done, right? Wrong. Many more stages follow, many more Forms follow, from the Janitor to the Big Cheese (which has your hands at your sides, thrusting out your chest and pelvis).

Sadly, the game is dreadfully short. Though the game is super fun, it ends just as fast as its mini-games; you feel great playing it, but when it ends, you’re like, “Okay, what’s next?” And sometimes, the Remote doesn’t respond as well as you want it too. Get too close to the screen, and your actions become null. If you aren’t pointing just right, then the game falls flat.

But, on the bright side, the game makes you laugh. There is one game in particular that I enjoy; it has a falling woman you must catch. To catch her, you must reach out with the Remote and grab her. Simple, and fun.

WarioWare is a fun game, but it has its downsides. But, the good part of it outshines the bad, and it leaves you with a fun time all the while.

My Rating: 7/10