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Archive for June, 2013

Review #511

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Project X Zone
Developer: Banpresto/Monolith Soft
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: Tactical RPG
Release Date: 06/25/2013

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Review #510

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
Developer: Sonic Software Planning/Camelot
Publisher: Sega
Genre: SRPG
Release Date: 06/13/2013 (Originally 1994)

Man, it’s nice to see another portable Shining Force game. The last one was back in 2004 with the remake of the first game in the series. The Sword of Hajya is an odd duck though, as it is often considered the weakest in the series in terms of balance and story, but also because it’s the direct continuation of an earlier Shining Force Game Gear release, Shining Force Gaiden. In fact, a good deal of the story in The Sword of Hajya references back to Shining Force Gaiden and although you can still understand and enjoy what takes place here, the full impact is lost because Gaiden was never translated into English for the Game Gear. To get the full effect of the story and how intricate both halves are, you’ll need to experience Shining Force CD, which takes both Game Gear games, gives them enhanced visuals and audio and adds more two more unlockable full length games that you can play after beating the original Game Gear titles. Obviously Shining Force CD is the best version of both games and the extra material makes it a truly stellar release, but how many of you own a Sega CD and Shining Force CD. So, unless Sega decides to localize Gaiden (and even better, Final Conflict!), this 3DS port of the Sega Game Gear classic is as close as many of you will get to experiencing the full awesomeness of classic portable Shining Force. The good news is that even taken on its own, The Sword of Hajya is a wonderful experience and still holds up today as a great SRPG title. Even better, with a price tag of under four dollars, it’s arguably the best RPG for your buck on the 3DS right now. Let’s take a look at the good and the bad of The Sword of Hajya and why it really was a system seller for the Game Gear all those years ago.
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Review #509

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara
Developer: Iron Galaxy Studios
Publisher: Capcom
Genre: Side Scrolling Beat ‘Em Up
Release Date: 06/18/2013

Last week you may have read my preview slash secrets list articles for both Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara. Now it’s time for the actual review – one written by someone that owns the original collection for the Sega Saturn and both arcade cabinets. These two games, along with Captain American & the Avengers are the only arcade cabinets I’ve ever purchased (although I’d love to get CarnEvil) and my friends and I have played them to the point where I think I’ve memorized everything about them. It’s no wonder then that Capcom sent me the game weeks in advance to really test the mettle of. So are the games arcade perfect? No, there are some noticeable control issues and field detection problems, and I’d even go so far as to say the Saturn version is better. However this new version is only FIFTEEN DOLLARS ($40 for the disc based version in August) whereas the Saturn version will cost upwards of $100 and you’ll need a ST KEY to play them and the cabinets…well, they’re as cost prohibited as they are rare, so only someone that had no other choice should go that route (ahem). For the amount you’re spending compared to what I did back in the late 90s, I am MORE than willing to overlook the minor issues in this collection. Plus hey, It’s Iron Galaxy – I guess I’m used to their HD remakes being inferior to the Arcade and Sega system versions of games.
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Review #508

Friday, June 7th, 2013

The Starship Damrey
Developer: Level 5
Publisher: Level 5
Genre: Adventure
Release Date: 05/16/2013

I’m a big point and click adventure game fan but one thing you don’t run into often are games of this genre set in space. I can think of From Software’s Echo Night Beyond and well…that’s it. At least until now, as The Starship Damrey gives me a second title to name off the top of my head. Originaly part of The Guild 02 collection in Japan, this three game collection has been broken up into stand-alone downloadable titles similar to what happened to The Guild 01 when it came stateside. I thought Liberation Maiden was fun, fell completely in love with Crimson Shroud and…didin’t bother with Aero Porter as it didn’t look interesting to me. I knew I had to play The Starship Damrey the second it was announced. I love my point and click horror and it’s so rare to find a console exclusive version of this genre for a handheld or console system these days. Generally console/handheld adventure games are PC exclusive or bad ports of one.
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Review #507

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

Class of Heroes 2
Developer: Zerodiv
Publisher: Monkeypaw Games
Genre: Dungeon Crawl
Release Date: 6/4/23013

Class of Heroes II has been an interesting saga from day one. The first game in the series was published by Atlus and it was not well received by fans or critics. I myself savaged the game. Generally when that happens, it spells death for a series being brought stateside and localized. Undaunted, Victor Ireland and Monkeypaw Games felt the sequel was so improved that they could drum up interest for it through a large Kickstarter project, which, at the time, had the highest goal for video game Kickstarter ever - $500,000.
They failed miserably.
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