Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

Any fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies will love this game! I will admit I was already a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean but playing this game just made me want to see all the movies again (preferably with Lego characters instead of the actual actors).

Lego games have already become very popular around the world due to the likes of Lego star wars, Lego batman; Lego Indiana jones and even Lego harry Potter. So what makes this game different to any of them? Well in all honesty not much. This Lego game is pretty much the same apart from it being pirate rather than wizards or batman etc.

Lego Pirates of The Caribbean Cover Art

Lego Pirates of The Caribbean is available on X-Box 360, Playstation 3, Sony PSP, PC and Nintendo Wii

The Lego “movie clips” like previous ones are rather comical, for example, before the menu comes up on the screen you get an opening movies sequence which like the start of the movie is Will being pulled on board the ship and Elizabeth realising he is a pirate. In the Lego sequence she punches his parrot, throws away his eye patch and throws away his hook whereas in the actual movie she just hides his pirate medallion. After this opening movie sequence you get taken to the main menu which gives you the option of Story Mode of Free Play (unfortunately you can only play the Free Play once you have completed story mode since the Free Play mode allows you to go back over the levels you have played).

Story Mode takes you through the movies from the start with a lot of added comical movie sequences. Of course if you don’t want to watch the movie sequences you can just skip them and pay the game but I personally would recommend watching them as they are very funny.

For those of you who have played the Lego games before the gameplay is exactly the same. You can change between the characters around you to get different parts of the task done and build up broken Lego models around you too.

My favourite thing about this game was the way they have made the Lego Jack Sparrow just as brilliant as the actual character from the movies (the Lego version even walks the same as him). Clearly a lot of thought has been put into this game to keep the little Lego characters as close to the real characters as possible.

Lego Pirates of The Caribbean Screenshot

Graphically impressive regardless of it being a Lego game

So why play this game? Well really it is for anyone who is a fan of the Lego games and/or a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean. If you enjoyed previous Lego games I would really recommend playing this one too as it kept me hooked from the start.

This game deserves a high score for the thought of characters and because I really enjoyed it but for the originality I will be making it down as it is the same gameplay as previous Lego games (the only difference is the storyline).

If you haven’t played any Lego games or are still a bit unsure if you would enjoy it then download a free demo of the game now from the PlayStation Store, from Xbox Live or you can go on the Lego Videogames website to download a free demo for your PC (not available for Mac).

Game Score: 8/10

Review stolen from a bilge rat and soaked in rum by rainbow

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Those who have read my two articles on DW6 and the preview on DW7 will by now know my opinion on the series; bit tedious at times, but still has a degree of enjoyment. While I enjoyed playing DW6, I felt it was starting to stagnate. Now I’ve played the 7th game, is it going to be the same deal this time around?

Dynasty Warriors 7

For the first time in the history of the game Dynasty Warriors now has a Story Mode

The plot is the same as all the other Dynasty Warriors games, which is based on Romance of the Three Kingdoms; you watch the unfolding story of the three kingdoms of Chinaas they wage war for complete control. The new addition to the new game is the inclusion of the 4th kingdom; Jin. These are formed during the downfall or Wei, Wu and Shu, and strive to unite the land. I always wanted to see how the story progressed after the final battle of Shu and Wei, as I felt the games ended rather abruptly.

In DW7, they’ve thrown out the two usual modes that have been present throughout the whole series; Musou and Free Mode. These two were basically the same thing, though Musou mode did try to tell the story of the Three Kingdoms. Unfortunately, it wasn’t told very well. Now, in the new game, they’ve included two new modes to play; Story mode and Conquest mode.

Story mode is the replacement to Musou mode, and a good replacement too. In Musou mode, you played as each individual character, playing pretty much the same battles over and over again. Now, in Story mode, you play as the kingdom, following their campaign to ruleChina. Instead of playing as one character throughout the story, you control a different character at the beginning of each act, or battle. On some occasions, you switch characters in the middle of a battle. I like this new change, as it means playing the story doesn’t feel repetitive.  The cut scenes play out really well, and do very well to convey the character’s emotions, and what’s happening at that moment in time. There’s a scene where Dian Wei sacrificed himself to save his lord Cao Cao. I was shocked to see him riddled with arrows and collapsing to the floor. That’s never happened before. Previously the cut scenes just felt shoe horned in, and just got in the way of the actual game. In previous games, when you were in the middle of a battle, you be treated to a sudden blackout followed by a pretty pointless cut scene, before resuming your march. These used to get in the way of playing, but that’s changed in the new DW. Cut scenes and game play flow fluently between each other, and feel integral to the whole experience.

The second mode included is Conquest mode. This is like a campaign acrossChina, completing different missions in different battlegrounds. These missions include escorting the commander to the escape point, storming a stronghold, and helping with an army’s defence. Each mission can vary in length, but they do not feel drawn out. It’s not like you have to sit for hours completing conquest mode; you can play a few battles in bursts and take a break. There are also legendary battles thrown into the mix. These let you take control of each character and take part in different scenarios. These can either be historical battles they took part in or what-if situations. For example, Zhang He, the ‘fabulous’ warrior of Wei has two legendary battles; one is defeating Cao Cao, and the other is convincing other generals to join his dance troupe. Yes… a dance troupe. These battles are quite varied and fun as well. These two modes are a huge improvement to the previous games, as they make the experience much more enjoyable.

Each battle plays out in a similar fashion; defending the main camp, while pushing the opposition back. You are usually given a particular task to complete, in order to carry out the army’s strategy. Previously, these felt tiresome, and I felt obligated to complete them, just because I didn’t want to lose the battle, and start over again. But this time it feels different. I felt motivated to carry out the missions. My reasoning is that the cut scenes and the story were presented so admirably, they gave me a reason to progress further, and achieve victory.

The controls have gone back to the classic layout, and abandoning the Renbu system. The classic controls involved the use of a light attack button and a strong attack button. Both can be use to deliver different combos, such as light-light-heavy. I liked the idea behind the Renbu system, but you were basically pressing one button for hours, which just felt tiresome. Visually it’s pleasing, but that’s about it. The classic system works a little better visually and doesn’t feel as tiresome. The Musou attack still hangs around, and of course that’s been given the old nip/tuck. Instead of the characters just swinging their weapon around, they have an over the top technique that can obliterate a huge crowd of soldiers. Huang Zhong launches his enemies in the air to deliver a barrage of arrows, Jia Xu releases a vortex of fire, and Sima Yi engulfs his victims in web, before blowing them up, to name a few. It always brings a feeling of satisfaction to see hundreds of soldiers fly around after one little button press, which is one of the reasons I love this series.

Special mention should be given to the weapons on offer, since there’s a new feature; the weapon switch. You now equip two weapons to take with you, and can switch between them at will. It now brings more opportunities to slap some goons around. You have your regular, run of the mill weapons to choose from; swords, spears, axes, pike, arm cannons, bows… wait… arm cannon? Never knewChinawas that advanced to have a hand held cannon. And somehow they invented a lance that doubles as a drill. It’s classic ancient weaponry, with that usual Tecmo Koei over-the-top style. Even a harp can be used as a weapon. Who knew?

Dynasty Warriors 7 Case Artwork

Dynasty Warriors 7 is available now on the PS3 and the X-Box 360

If I had to mark it down for something, it would have to be the skill point feature they’ve implemented. You level up your character by defeating enemy generals, and gaining skill points to spend on new abilities; from an extra attack, to a new musou attack. Now it’s a good idea, but the points are only given to the character that killed the generals. Any characters you don’t use don’t gain skill points. This can lead to difficulties later on. For example, if you haven’t used a warrior until you play their legendary battle (maybe because you haven’t unlocked them until then), then they will be pretty weak, and only able to perform basic attacks. This means they will be susceptible to getting wiped out with a few hits, which can get frustrating. My opinion would be to have a ‘pool’ of skill points to use on all the characters.

Secondly, with all the new characters, you never really get to use them in story mode. I would like to see the origins of some characters, like Ma Dai of Shu, and Cai Wenji of Wei. If you’re going to include new additions, an origin story would be nice. But these two little flaws don’t really get in the way of the game.

I was thoroughly impressed with Dynasty Warriors 7. It feels like an actual sequel, with noticeable upgrades, and a better playing experience. DW6 was good, but number 7 is much better. This is the sequel I was waiting for, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Score: 9/10

Review written with the help of Sun Tzu by: Satchel

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Those of you who know me know my views on the 3DS and those that don’t know me please read my Nintendo 3DS Preview Post Now we’re all caught up to date, who wants a review of Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the 3DS.

Link vs. Robin Hood Comparison

Seriously!! Link meet Robin, Robin this is LInk

Firstly, I feel as though it would benefit us all if we took a look at the original and told our readers who don’t know about Zelda what the game is all about. You play the role of Link – a hero who looks strangely like Robin Hood. You travel around a kingdom called Hyrule in a sacred attempt to defeat a guy called Ganondorf who is attempting to find a relic known as a Triforce. (Keeping up) The triforce has the power to grant its owners’ wishes and Link is seriously against this. And all of this because you are the chosen one who gets woken up by a damn fairy, referred to as Navi. (Still keeping up) So with your trusty fairy, (Did I just say trusty fairy) you navigate caves, search through dungeons, get eaten by a big whale (No, I’m not joking) all in your attempts to stop this guy (Ganondorf) from petty theft. The ocarina plays a major part in the game, as you have to play it to go back and forwards in time, and other things such as summon your horse (If memory serves me well)

So why would you want this and not the original, here’s my review. This is not a re-working, so anyone who questions my reviewing abilities can go and stand on a very busy motorway. Although they have updated the graphics and they have included two new ‘never before seen’ modes for those who want something a little different from the original (Although why would you want to change the original) The extra modes (At least according to Game) are Master Quest and Boss Challenge. The Master Quest mode though just seems rather useless as the only differences are that the land of Hyrule is mirrored (A rather boring novelty in most games) puzzles appear harder and you have to think about them (Isn’t that why they are called puzzles) items and enemies will appear in different locations and enemies will prove more difficult to beat (Has anyone even attempted beating Ganondorf on the N64, he was difficult to begin with) The Boss Challenge mode, does what it says on the tin and offers the player the ability to ‘face any of the previous Bosses they have defeated once again, or, the option to face and confront them one-by-one, all in a continuous battle.’ This made me, once again wonder if Nintendo are just taking your money for the re-release of a game, as this mode seems mundane, and I wonder just how many people would use it.

Graphics / Screenshots of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for the Nintendo 3DS

Is it me or are these graphics just not as impressive as expected

Now knowing that my reviews and previews for anything Nintendo get scrutinised quite a bit it would make sense for me to tell you the other features, in case someone points out that I haven’t. Well I’ll tell you some of the main new features. The first main feature is that it’s all in ‘glorious’ 3D, and I used the quotation marks because I know a lot of my fellow gamers see this feature as a novelty, and other people see this as a nauseous experience. (Their words, not mine) The original control scheme has gone out of the window to be ‘improved’ by an all new and intuitive system. Now I played the original and I am happy to report that I understood how to play the game and completed it. I can’t see how you can improve the control scheme, although I know that the 3DS doesn’t have as many buttons as the N64 and this is probably why they have had to redesign the controls. The only other major feature is that you get to use the built-in gyro sensor to look around your world by moving the 3DS. As far as I can see that feature is the only feature that I would class as a feature, it is a good idea and a great use of the gyro sensor (If it works properly).

This review seems very biased, and I don’t like to swear in my reviews so you fill in this blank space ______ you. I am not biased towards any console, manufacturer or religion, I loved the original version of this, I feel as though the N64 was one of the most undervalued consoles of its time and this is one of the best games on that console.

Zelda: Ocarina of Time Cover Art

Is the updated features and functionality going to make this a legend?

So should you buy it? Well the game RRP’s for £39.99 so a quick search on Amazon (Actually does do a quick search on amazon too) and you can buy both the Nintendo 64 and the original game for £30. So, personally I would buy that and here’s why. The original is always best (Godfather 1, Saw 1, Halloween1 etc.) so why would you go and buy a re-working that isn’t even a re-working.  You would get the chance to own one of the most under-rated consoles of all time. Also, you would get to play some of the greatest games of all time (Zelda, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye, Mario Kart, Super Mario 64 the list really is endless)

OK, that’s great, but I already own an N64 and Zelda, so do I buy this? No you don’t, you keep the £39.99 and buy an extra-large mallet to hit yourself over the head for the suggestion of buying this. The improvements, if you can call them that are minimal and boring, not to mention that the 3D effect causes nausea, headaches and a free visit to your local chemist for something to counter act the nausea and headaches (Not to mention the trip to the hardware store for the extra-large mallet).

So to finish my review, the original gets a score of around the 9.9999995 mark. (Or would if I was reviewing it) But I’m not so…….

Score:  5/10

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of  Time will be available to buy from the 17th of June 2011

Review carefully drafted whilst watching scrubs and making reference to it in this review by: parkergordon

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If you remember in my first ever review, I thought the Dynasty Warriors series never really offered anything new, and that it was rehashing the same things with better graphics. Well, after scouring the internet, I found the official site to Dynasty Warriors 7, and it seems I am not the only one who thought that; KOEI may have actually listened to gamers, as DW7 looks to have been given the much needed enhancements.

Dynasty Warriors 7

For the first time in the history of the game Dynasty Warriors now has a Story Mode

You are all aware the game is set during the Three Kingdoms era (based on the historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms). Well now they’ve extended it to include the Jin Dynasty, which came after the wars between Wei, Wu and Shu. This means they have added a new kingdom: Jin. This I’m looking forward to, since I wanted more settings than just the same plots done again and again. And the player gets to find out what happens after the fall of the Three Kingdoms, when Sima Yi (the cunning Wei strategist) takes over and starts the Jin Dynasty. Another kingdom means more characters, meaning more methods of decimating thousands of lowly soldiers (joy).

Reading further into the site, KOEI claim that cut scenes blend seamlessly into the gameplay. So you could be watching a scene where a character charges through a forest, stops by the enemy camp, and you can now start the mayhem straight away. No more blackouts that take you away from the experience.

Dynasty Warriors 7 Case Artwork

Dynasty Warriors 7 will be available on the PS3 and the X-Box 360 from the 8th April

According to the site, characters can use a wide variety of weapons; from swords, to spears, to axes, for example. You can additionally equip two weapons, and switch between them on the fly to deal greater damage, a technique known as a “switch attack”. Now this is pretty good, as you now have a much bigger move set at your disposal, but I liked how the characters had their own weapons; like Sima Yi had his claws, Xiahou Dun has the mace, and Zhuge Liang uses a fan. I’m on the fence with this feature, so I won’t make any judgements until I see the game.

One of the biggest additions is Conquest Mode. This looks promising, as you can travel through ancient China, battling for dominance. It allows you to visit cities, recruit new allies, create new weapons, and so on. This is what DW was lacking I felt; just to have the chance to travel the country, and visit towns, as well as taking part in epic battles is what might add more enjoyment to the game.

I do enjoy the series, but I have never been one to look forward to their release, mostly because I know there wasn’t going to be anything new. But after reading up on the 7th game, I am now quite excited. The full review will come when the game is released, on the 8th of April.

Stay tuned, Gamers.

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So here we are on the latest edition of Pokémon and what we find is that very little has changed…….But that’s not necessarily a bad thing

I remember when I was a little person I used to love playing Pokémon, I went to all the trading fairs, bought all of the merchandise and even owned a Pokédex. That’s right I was poke fanatic.

But this was in the age of Ant and Dec being on TV early in the morning on a Saturday, when they had programs called SM:TV Live and CD:UK and I used to sit down and enjoy a Saturday feast of Pokémon action

Of course now I am an old person and games like this don’t excite me anymore……..right……..wrong!

Pokemon Black UK Case

Pokemon Black UK case

On first glance of this game it seems as though it’s a new game, the graphics have been tarted up to look like it’s a different game, but underneath all of that there is a game that I have been eagerly awaiting. Whilst most people eagerly anticipate the new COD or the new FF game, I and my 7 year old child inside are desperate to get their hands on this game.

The gameplay is as easy as it has ever been, and has had very few changes made to it which makes it a game that’s worthy of telling the kids to go to bed. As a matter of fact it’s worth telling them that they’re grounded and not allowed to play on their DS until they’ve learnt their lesson.

You start off in the brand new region of Unova, which, unlike previous versions of the game, isn’t based on a location in japan. Anyways, as per usual you start with a Pokémon and try and catch ‘em all. Those of you who like change will be happy to know that there are some for instance, along with day and night cycles in the game there are also seasonal changes. Rather than sticking with the Gregorian calendar changes the season changes every month on a four month rotation. Some Pokémon will be able to be caught in winter and others in summer, spring or fall. The C0-Gear replaces the Pokétech and allows the player to control the various wireless capabilities of the DS and the game itself and include the new ability to video chat with a friend. (So long as you and your friend have a DSi or 3DS) There are also two new battling systems called Triple Battle and Rotation Battle. In triple battle you and your opponent send out three Pokémon each and take it in turns to battle each other. However, the Pokémon can only battle the corresponding Pokémon; so for instance your first Pokémon could only attack their first Pokémon and so forth. Rotation battle is different in the fact that you still both choose three Pokémon and play a 1-vs-1 style game until the person left standing is the winner.

Pokemon Black and White Starter Pokemon

The three starter Pokemon Oshawatt, Snivy and Tepig (Left to right)

You can also transfer Pokémon from older games (Such as heart gold and Pokémon diamond) which integrate a mini game where you must throw poke balls at the Pokémon to try and catch it. There are countless new modes for new gamers to be interested in, but if you’re like me you just want to get down to the nitty gritty and become a Pokémon legend.

So with all of these new features, is this game a game that the older generation of Pokémon lovers can play? I would say so, I don’t particularly care for the new features and hardly any of them will I use. But Pokémon is Pokémon and the gameplay has stayed the same, it still shares the same ideals as in the past, and it still makes me reminisce about when I was barely able to cook my own dinner.

Is it worth £30? Of course it is, haven’t you been reading? Whilst this game is great, there are still things that could be changed. For instance I don’t want to waste 30 minutes having some new professor (Prof Juniper BTW) telling me what a Pokédex is. I know what it is I used to own one remember. Maybe some sort of quick start mode would be a great addition for those who have played Pokémon before.

And if I were to poké (get it) holes in to the game it’s that they have changed it. Apparently the old adage don’t fix what isn’t broken doesn’t make sense to Nintendo, but the changes don’t actually make a massive change to the gameplay.

Other issues include that Nintendo’s demographic is younger children. (Although I spent most of last year playing Pokémon Heart Gold) That and the fact that you really need to spend a lot of time to get anywhere, especially if you’re trying to train a Pokémon up to level 100. Of course that is an issue with most games these days, and those that like Final Fantasy know that levelling up will take time.

Other than that this game ticks all of the boxes whether you’re new to Pokémon or not there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy and I think I probably will.

So to summarise, Pokémon Black is great for adults and kids alike, whether your 30, 13 or 3 (Well 3 maybe pushing it a little) But in either case it’s an easy game to just pick up and play when  you have five minutes. The gameplay hasn’t changed, the graphics have gotten better, and whether you used to play this when you were younger or your new to Pokémon this game has it all.

Score: 8/10

Review rushed through by: parkergordon

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