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Archive for October, 2012

Review #478

Monday, October 29th, 2012

WWE ‘13
Developer: Yukes Yokohama
Publisher: THQ
Genre: Wrestling
Release Date: 10/30/2012

The years have not been kind to Yukes, THQ or World Wrestling Federation Entertainment. Yukes recently gave up their OWN wrestling federation (New Japan Pro Wrestling) without having released a single game for it in years. As well, being forced to do yearly WWE releases has caused the quality of these games to drop dramatically as the titles have become little more than a roster update and a few tweaks to a story mode or a “season mode” and as such, the same complaints constantly lobbed at other sports titles like Madden can be applied here. We all know THQ’s massive woes. As for the WWE? Well, their roster is shallow and stretched to the limit and the current guys just aren’t as interesting to myself or every other wrestling fan I encounter. It’s okay. Wrestling is cyclical. One second you are riding the rock and wrestling wave and the next you are wondering why attendance is down when you’re sporting such quality characters as Saba Simba and Damien Demento. Obviously all three companies have taken note that they are all…well, let’s just say not at their peak. So it makes sense to try to return to a time where great. The last time that can really be said for all three companies working together was in the Attitude Era. Sure the most beloved games from that time period were by Aki on the Nintendo 64, but why split hairs. Back when THQ and Yukes took the WWE license from Aki and Acclaim things were great for all three organizations, so why not try an recapture a bit of that golden era by making a video game that reminds people of when THQ was on top, when the WWE was exciting and appealing to a wider audience and Yukes was making amazing video games like the Toukon Retsuden series?

Enter WWE ‘13. This game features an “Attitude Mode” which is a throwback to the era when wrestling was at its peak financially and perhaps creatively. It was more mainstream than when Geraldine Ferraro was telling Roddy Piper that he was going down at the hands of Hulkamania. WWE ‘13 promised to push the nostalgia factor into the stratosphere while still giving the modern WWE fan some of the current roster to fiddle around with. There was only one problem. The game’s predecessor, WWE ‘12 was a pretty crappy game. Everyone from Game Informer to myself panned the game’s massive collection of bugs, terrible story mode and “Universe Mode” which was mostly the same as the year before. It was not a good game. Of course, if you ask the staff here at Diehard GameFAN, there hasn’t been a WWE game that we’ve universally liked since Smackdown Vs. Raw 2006. That’s a long time since the WWE had a quality video game. Still, THQ and Yukes did seem to listen to the dump truck load of criticism WWE ‘12 received and it WAS a new-ish engine, so horrible bugs were to be expected. God knows all three companies needed a big win here – THQ most of all. So do we have the first WWE video game that I can enthusiastically recommend in seven years (SvR 2006 actually came out in 2005), or do we learn that the only good Attitude era releases require going back to an older system and/or a video game company that currently makes like Pretty Rhythm Mini Skirt and Style Savvy: Trendsetters?
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Review #477

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Hotel Transylvania
Developer: WayForward
Publisher: GameMill Entertainment
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: 09/25/2012

To say that platformers are my least favorite genre is an understatement. I’ve never understood the appeal. All that jumping around with very vague (if any) story. Nothing about the genre has ever clicked for me. So then you’re probably wondering why I agreed to review Hotel Transylvania. Well it’s not just because of the time of year coupled with my name. It’s because WayForward made it. WayForward not only makes quality games on a regular basis, but they’ve repeatedly made platformers that I ACTUALLY really enjoy like A Boy and His Blob and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, both of which have awards from us come our annual GOTY time. They’re also behind the upcoming Silent Hill: Book of Memories, the first Silent Hill game I’ve been excited for in almost a decade and Sigma Star Saga, one of my favorite games for the venerable GBA. So with all this in mind, how could I NOT give Hotel Transylvania a try?
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Review #476

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Mugen Souls
Developer: Compile Heart/G-CREST
Publisher: Nippon Ichi
Genre: SRPG
Release Date: 10/16/2012

Compile Heart games tend to a company whose games you either love or hate. Games like Astonisha Story, Cross Edge, and Record of Agarest War have reviews all over the place, from “What a terrible game” to “Best JRPG of the year.” I myself tend to have fun with the games even if they aren’t keepers or games I’d nominate for an award at the end of the year. Look at Hyperdimension Neptunia. I platinum’ed the game but it wasn’t a game I held on to for very long after that and I didn’t bother with the sequel because the original had a fun story but was pretty meh in the gameplay department (plus it didn’t help that both the bets version of the North American game that reviews got and the Japanese original had some…interesting bugs). With that in mind, I agreed to review Mugen Souls several months ago because hey, I tend to like Compile Heart games. I even wrote a preview about the game back in late August

Unfortunately after two months of playing it on and off, I’m still not enjoying it. At all. It’s just very dull and I constantly have the feeling that it’s a second rate Frankenstein’s Monster - comprising of multiple things from other, better games and slammed together into one product. This is one case where the whole is not more than the sum of its parts. So what about Mugen Souls made this one of the least interesting games I’ve played this year? It’s time to find out.
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Review #475

Thursday, October 4th, 2012


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pokémon Black Version 2 and White Version 2
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo of America
Genre: Turn Based RPG
Release Date: 10/7/2012

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