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Review #531

December 10th, 2013

Nintendo 3DS Guide: Louvre
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Museum Guidebook/Art History Lessons
Release Date: 4/11/2013 (Louvre Only)/11/27/2013 (Worldwide digital release)

Nintendo has always tried to be a little more intellectual than other companies, offering educational software in addition to video games. There’s not a lot and the ideas don’t always work as well as they do in theory. Take 2010’s 100 Classic Books. This was a wonderful idea, there was free DLC for it and the books included ensured everyone would find multiple things to enjoy. Unfortunately it came out about the time the Kindle really look off and so you could get the same books for free on Amazon’s e-reader while also not having to worry about the problems that come with trying to read from a back-lit screen. It was a good idea that simply came too late and while applauded by critics everywhere, when was the last time you heard anyone mention it?

Fast forward to April 2012, when the Louvre, arguably the greatest museum in the world jettisoned its old audio tour and, in pairing with Nintendo, started offering 3DS with a Louvre guide built in to its customers – for a five euro rental fee. This was a wonderful idea in all respects. Nintendo really got to push the boundaries of what one could do with a 3DS. The Louvre got to make itself look hip and ahead of the times (similar to the whole JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure thing they did a while back). Critics of video game culture had to eat crow as even they had to admit Nintendo had made something pretty awesome. You could even purchase a region free cart version for twenty euros from the Louvre’s gift shop. Neither Nintendo nor the Louvre were prepared for how well received this collaboration was and like all good things, they discovered a way to make money off it.
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Review #530

December 10th, 2013

Disney Infinity
Developer: Avalanche Software
Publisher: Disney Interactive
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: 8/18/2013

I know, it’s a bit late to be reviewing a game that came out in August, but my review copy didn’t come until Thanksgiving for whatever reason. Now that it’s here and I’ve played through the game entirely, it’s time to review it.

The trend of games that interact with figures really started with Skylanders. This physical/digital interface has only taken off since then with two Skylanders sequels and Pokémon Rumble U as a Nintendo Wii U exclusive. Unfortunately, where I am a huge fan of the previous two games, there was very little I found likeable in Disney Infinity.
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Review #529

November 27th, 2013

Rainbow Moon
Developer: Sidequest Studios
Publisher: East Asia Soft
Genre: SRPG
Release Date: 12/3/2013

I’ve had the PS3 version of Rainbow Moon sitting on my PS3 hard drive untouched since I purchased it back in July of 2012. I just had too many things to review and so it went on the backlog shelf. I’m a big SRPG fan though and with a price tag of fifteen dollars, purchasing it was a no-brainer. Rainbow Moon also turned out to be the swan song for Chuck Platt as it was the last game he ever reviewed before leaving us to concentrate on family and guitars. Unfortunately, Chuck really did not enjoy his time with Rainbow Moon, as you can see from his review of it. That review is also why I put the game off for so long. However, EastAsia Soft has ported the game to the Vita for a whole new audience and when they offered us a review copy, I decided to take it – partly because it was an excuse to finally play it and partly because if the game really takes 100 hours to do everything in it (There’s a trophy for logging 100 hours in the game. Insane,), I’d probably be the only one on staff to be able to get through it and review it before launch. So now that I’ve spent WAY TOO LONG on Rainbow Moon I have to say – Chuck Platt was right. This is one of the dullest most uninteresting SRPGs I’ve ever played and I’ve sat through everything from Hoshigami to the Luminous Arc series. It’s an extremely generic, highly linear affair and there are so many better options for the same price point on PSN that I am at a loss to see how anyone has enjoyed their time with this. The game is not horrible mind you – just simply lackluster in all respects. Let’s take a look at why.
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Review #528

November 25th, 2013

The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths
Developer: Neko Entertaiment
Publisher: Ynnis Interactive
Genre: Puzzle/Adventure Game
Release Date: 11/21/2013

I can honestly say I’ve never really watched The Mysterious Cities of Gold. When I was a kid, I was more a G.I. Joe, Transformers, Captain Power, Visionaries and the like fan. I’ve always thought the theme song was incredibly catchy though. I think I’ve seen maybe two or three episodes in my life. My wife however ADORED the show as a child and so when I saw that Ynnis Interactive was trying to do a Kickstarter for their video game based on the cartoon series, I thought I’d chip in so that she could get a chance to play it. After all, if the Kickstarter wasn’t successful, the game would only be available in French. Luckily though, the Kickstarter was amazingly successful. 1,158 of us backed the game, giving Ynnis Interactive 50% more funds than they were initially asking. This allowed the game to not only be brought to North America and fully dubbed into English, but also provided subtitles in Spanish, Italian, Polish, Swedish, German, Portuguese, Brazilian Portuguese and Arabic, making this the first Wii U game to be released with an Arabic localization. Now many of these languages are coming in a patch, along with some add-on content and a corrected credits list thanking the Kickstarter backers, but it’s pretty awesome to see all the people than can now enjoy this game in their native language, English speakers included, especially since The Mysterious Cities of Gold was a huge international hit thirty years ago when it first debuted.
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Review #527

November 6th, 2013

Sonic Lost World: Deadly Six Bonus Edition
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: SEGA
Genre: 3D Platformer
Release Date: 10/29/2013

I used to love Sonic games. The first two for the Sega Genesis were amazing as a little kid and even to this day I have a lot of fun with them. Sonic CD is another game I have fond memories of and I happily purchased the digital remake for my PS3 on launch day. However, there’s no denying that Sonic has really had his ups and downs since entering 3-D gaming. People seems to either really love or really hate Generations, Colors, Heroes and titles all the way back to Sonic Adventure for the Sega Dreamcast. About the only Sonic titles people seem to agree on is that Shadow the Hedgehog is terrible and Sonic All Stars Racing is pretty good. I’ll admit that I haven’t really enjoyed Sonic’s 3D forays myself, but that’s more because I don’t care for 3D platformers than any slight towards Sega’s second mascot. However Sonic Lost World needed reviewing and no one else on staff would touch it, which is odd as we have a lot of Sonic fans on staff. I had really enjoyed the last two of the three platformers I reviewed (Rayman Legends and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures) and the third was okay - if limited and shallow (Wipeout: Create and Crash). I figured either I’m growing to like the genre or I’ve just been lucky in getting good platformers to review.

Well, that luck ran out. I HATED Sonic Lost World. I mean HATED IT. It’s one of my ten least favorite games of 2013. It was all my gaming pet peeves, and especially platformer pet peeves, rolled up into one. At the same time, even though I loathed every second I had to spend with this game, I can’t deny that there are some definite aspects of the game fans of Sonic titles will love. So just remember even though this review is going to be HIGHLY negative and critical, I’ll try to point out the things I did like about the game and that this is one person’s review – not word from on high that anyone who likes the game is a stupid lame loser that should be forced to eat elephant dung every morning.
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Review #526

November 4th, 2013

Paper Sorcerer
Developer: Ultra Runaway Games
Publisher: Ultra Runaway Games
Genre: First Person Dungeon Crawl RPG
Release Date: 11/02/2013

I’m a pretty big fan of Wizardry and its clones. Generally if there is a first person dungeon crawl to be had, I probably own it and have played it. I’m not the only one of staff with a deep love of Sir-Tech’s venerable creation. Mark, Sean, Joel, Kennedy and pretty much everyone on staff either loves Wizardry or one of its clones like The Dark Spire, Elminage Original, Class of Heroes or Etrian Odyssey. Although the genre has become more or less something you play on a handheld system, veterans of the genre like myself can’t help but wish there were more Wizardry clones for the PC. Well, enter Paper Sorcerer - a game by fledging development studio Ultra Runaway Games. I, along with 1,190 other Kickstarter backers (including another DHGF staffer) backed this crowdfunded effort, and why not? It was only three dollars to get a copy of the game!THREE DOLLARS. Of course if you buy it now, it’s a whopping five. The game raised almost triple its original goal. Of course extra funding means stretch goals which in turn means a long dev time. Paper Sorcerer, originally scheduled for release in August of 2012, ended up coming out fourteen months later. The bad news is that the game is still pretty buggy, but since release a second build has been released and by the time this review goes live, a third will probably have been put out as well. The good news is that for three dollars and as a first time effort by a company, Paper Sorcerer is incredible and it’s easily one of my ten favorite games of the year.
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Review #525

November 3rd, 2013

Lilly Looking Through
Developer: Geeta Games
Publisher: Geeta Games
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 11/01/2013

Back in June of 2012, along with 1,622 other Kickstarter backers, I funded Geeta Game’s first release – a point and click adventure entitled Lilly Looking Through. Originally scheduled for May of 2013, it was hit with the usual Kickstarter project delays, but it managed to come out on November 1st, making one of the better video game turnarounds from a crowdfunded operation. The game reached nearly double its requested funding and by crowdfunding terms, that makes it quite the little success story, doubly so when you consider that it was released before the glut of larger developers trying to make a few hundred thousand dollars off sits like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. However, a crowdfunding success story doesn’t always make for a successful video game. For every Shadowrun Returns, you have two (or more)Ouyas. Where does Lilly Looking Through fall? It’s time to find out.
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Review #524

November 1st, 2013

Wipeout: Create and Crash
Developer: Be Havior/Endemol
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Platformer/Game Show
Release Date: 10/15/2013

I’ve never actually watched an episode of the game show Wipeout. Sure I’ve seen a few seconds of it flipping channels from time to time but the hosts seemed annoying and I didn’t find anything funny or exciting about people slipping and falling their way through an obstacle course. Maybe if it had been more like American Gladiators. Although I’ve never watched the show, Wipeout has been a hit as a gameshow AND a video game. This is actually the fifth Wipeout video game since 2010. We had ML Kennedy review the original game for the Nintendo Wii and he rather liked it. Create and Crash is the second for the Wii U (Wipeout 3 was the first) and it is the first in the franchise’s history to have a course creator, allowing you to design courses of your very own.
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Review #523

October 28th, 2013

Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures
Developer: Namco Bandai
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: 3D Platformer
Release Date: 10/29/2013

I’ve never been a big fan of 3D platformers. In fact the last three I can remember liking in reverse chronological order are Psychonauts, The Haunted Mansion and Muppet Monster Adventure. That’s three in thirteen years. Well, I like Pac-Man. Whether it’s running around a maze in the original classic, exploring Pac-Land on my TurboGrafx (I can’t believe that’s not on Nintendo’s Virtual Console!), engaging in hilarious multiplayer action with Pac-Man Versus on my Game Cube or one of the many other games I have featuring him, Pac-Man games are generally fun. Still, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures is not just a game in a genre I dislike (Platformers), but it’s also a licensed platformer, which is generally the biggest red flag for a bad game there is.

Wait, how can a Pac-Man game be a licensed platformer, you ask? After all, Pac-Man is owned by Namco Bandai! Well, THIS Pac-Man game is a video game based off the new cartoon airing on Disney XD. So it’s a game based on a cartoon based on a game. Crazy, huh? Well, it’s not the first time. I have fond memories of Pac-Man and especially the old cartoon from the 80s by Hanna-Barbara, so I was going into this game hoping that it was worth playing and that the cartoon was worth watching. Well, one of the two things turned out to be true, at least for me. Let’s see which one it was.
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Review #522

October 23rd, 2013

The Guided Fate Paradox
Developer: Nippon Ichi
Publisher: Nippon Ichi
Genre: Roguelike
Release Date: 10/25/2013 (Europe)/11/03/2013 (North America)

Although not a direct sequel to ZHP: Unlosing Ranger Vs. Darkdeath Evilman, The Guided Fate Paradox is a spiritual successor as it uses an almost identical engine to that game while changing the plot and characters as Nippon Ichi brings us their first ever roguelike for the PS3. I’ll admit I had a lot of fun with ZHP, but I’m also a huge roguelike fan, having spent a lot of time with games as old as Azure Dreams up to more modern renditions of the genre like Adventures To Go!, Baroque and of course, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon franchise. Roguelikes, while still the least popular subgenre of RPG in the West has been making a comeback as of late, which is something I’m quite happy to see.
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