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About
Just an opinionated fan of rpg's and gaming in general who likes to rant about first world gamer problems because there are so many.

My blogs mostly consist of reviews/rants of games of all generations, particularly rpg's. I try to blend my reviews with both facts and opinion so that people can see from my own experiences and decide for themselves. i will also tend to review older titles because i still believe that there are few people out there who haven't played these awesome titles and deserve to give them a chance.

Oh and as for some negative's you might point out, i sometimes don't put images in my reviews/rants because images are a pain in the neck to obtain and they never seem to work properly. Plus i can't spell for my life and my grammar is terrible.

Heres my review rating system:

Masterpiece (Same as masterful but for overall score, will be based on opinion), of course it won't be perfect in every way but it will be close to perfect, no game is perfect.

Masterful - Perfect in every way (Formerly 9.5+) (definitely pick up the game if you are a fan of the genre)

Exceptional - Goes way beyond expectations (Formerly between 9.1 and 9.4) (definitely pick up the game if you are a fan of the genre)

Excellent - Does what it needs to and provides a first class experience (9.0) (definitely pick up the game if you are a fan of the genre)

Great - Does what it needs to, provides a high class experience (8.5-8.9) (recommended to all fans of the genre)

Good - Does what it needs to and provides a very enjoyable experience (was 8.0 - 8.5) (recommended to all fans of the genre)

Satisfactory - Does what it needs to, provides an experience which is just enough to satisfy the player (Formerly between 7.5 - 7.9) (Reccommended to read the review if unsure)

Decent - Does what it needs to, experience can very depending on the players tastes (Formerly 7.0-7.4) (Recommended to read the review if you plan on picking up the game to see if it's for you)

So-So - Not for everyone, has some issues, may be worth a try if patient enough to cope with it's flaws (Formerly 6.5 - 6.9) (Reccommened to read the review if you're interested in the title)

Flawed - Alot of flaws, difficult to recommend, some may be able to pass them by but will require a lot of patience (Formerly 5.0 - 6.4) (Reccommened to read the review if you're interested in the title)

Awful - (Formerly 4.9 and below) (If you see this, don't pick the game up for this catagory)

Kill It With Fire - (Same as Awful but for overall score, based on opinion which in this case is usually right if you see the game, you know what to do, don't buy this and if you do, get some gasoline and a match)

Lifespan:

Too Long (Legend Of Dragoon lol)

Very Long (Formerly 9.5 - 9.9)

Long (Formerly 9.0 - 9.4)

Quite Long (Formerly 8.0 - 8.9)

Decent Length (Formerly 7.5 - 7.9)

Quite Short (Formerly 6.5 - 7.4)

Very Short (Formerly 6.0 - 6.4)

Too short (Formerly 5.9 or below)

Worth Replaying?

Yes

Maybe

No
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Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you don't want to finish a game simply because you know that doing so would come at a price? This happened to me with this game, it's true, i didn't finish it and to be quite honest with you, this game doesn't deserve to be finished, i don't care how much work the developers went into the ending sequence or the final battle, i'm done.

Now i have gotten all the way to the end game where there is a huge plot twist so i believe i can break the rules just this once and review this game based on everything i already know... which is all i need to know. Salvation Prophecy is a massively underrated indie title that manages to rival even high budget titles such as Freespace but with it's own style. For starters, unlike space sims such as X and Freespace, Salvation Prophercy is a bit more arcady and easier to pick up and play making it a great game for newcomers to the genre and offers more to the table for those who want a more bizarre setting compared to the more realistic setting of X and Freespace.

There are 4 unique factions each with their own abilities and traits, you start as a mere recruit working your way up the ranks of your chosen faction. In the time, you will be picked to undertake missions involving fighting on enemy territory, there are two... no three types of game play in this game, two of which being space combat and ground combat. You will first be introduced to ground combat which puts you in the middle of a large scale battle against the opposing faction who will throw everything at you to protect their base.


This game really feels as close to real warfare as it can get in the sense that the enemies will throw all their might at you to protect themselves, when you think it's all said and done, they will throw in more reinforcements at you and every battle basically becomes a struggle to win. Protecting your squadmates is top priority to claiming victory and trust me, without them, you're screwed. The problem however is that your squadmates have a seemingly masochistic ai as they just love getting themselves hurt so it's difficult to keep them alive, your best bet is to stay close, help them kill enemy troops and then focus on buildings shooting enemies with rockets as they launch their second attack and following up with close quarters (if you are a drone like me that is). Admittedly, the ground combat is a little rough around the edges, weapons fire very slowly and it's difficult to aim at enemies from afar, especially troops. It is probably the weakest aspect of the game but that aside, lets talk about the meat of the game. Space combat.

Now the space combat on the other hand is really fun and easy to pick up yet challenging, there is always the threat of death and you have to be careful how you handle your ship in different situations. Once you reach rank 2 you will be given your own ship which you can upgrade to battle against the enemy, sadly, this game offers zero cosmetic modifications which is a shame but that aside, the space combat is really fun and engaging, it makes you feel awesome but also tense at the same time as does the ground combat (though admittedly not as awesome) but space combat feels much more polished, movement is fluid and there is an option for auto aim making the game easily accessible but if you want to up the challenge a little, you can by changing the difficulty/removing auto aim. The controls work surprisingly well... on the Xbox 360 controller at least (not sure about PC). You can click in the left/right stick to strafe from enemy fire and the right trigger to shoot, these actions cost energy so you will want to time your shots carefully.



Before you even get into space combat, you need to jump to the enemy station, to do this you may need to go through a wormhole should you be fighting from far away. Jumping puts you in a mini game where you have to dodge electric sparks, wormholes are more difficult in the sense that they require you to stay within a thin passage and if you go out of the border, your shields take damage, this gives the game a bit more variety though it does admittedly get quite repetitive later on especially by the end post plot twist.

As you progress through the game, you will receive galactic news, this will be extremely important later as it informs you of all the new technology and battles between factions. Difficulty progresses in real time... which is a pretty rash move by the developers as it restricts the players sense of freedom, similar to Valkyrie Profile where you get punished for exploring but in real time. You have to constantly upgrade your character and getting better equipment for the battles ahead which to do so requires money, so you will probably spend most of your time doing missions. Despite this, the game is completely open world, you can travel just about anywhere should you will it, even to planets, colonized or not, you can explore them to your hearts content... however you will want to be careful as many of them will be held by the enemy early on. Nevertheless, you will probably spend most of your time doing missions though by the end of the game, you may have time to explore... should you manage to get there that is, i wouldn't know because i didn't finish it but i'd assume it is possible.

There are other types of missions available, bounty hunts allow you to make lots of quick cash though your rank progression is lower through these, they're great to do if you have the time (similar to the cave of oblivion in Valkyrie Profile) and there's an achievement for each one you complete. Bounty hunts are unlocked at rank 3 and can be quite challenging if you're not careful, enemies will likely overwhelm you since you won't have a squadron to protect you, i personally found these the most fun because of their challenge, you're on your own against the odds but the prize is well worth it and it's a great way to improve your ships reputation and get extra cash for upgrades. At rank 4, you will unlock planetary investigation missions where you go to another galaxy and investigate alien planets, there are also collectables to find there should you choose to explore which provide you with special powers.

Now had these missions been optional, they would have been great and they are quite fun to do occasionally, however this is where the main problem of this game comes in. It turns out that these missions are basically the main story of the game and are required to beating the game, at least that's what i was told by the developers. This was a bad move as it forces you to do something which should have been optional and considering the fact that i only did one of these missions (and there were 5 of them) i chose to stop playing the game due to the plot twist which conflicted with it.


Anyways, you will find that as you progress through the game, you will unlock more features in the game. Eventually you will reach rank 8, the highest rank in the game that completely changes the game entirely, you become the faction's commander, essentially their leader ans you are thrust into a semi-real time strategy in which you launch your own missions by choosing to invade enemy territories or you can make peace with the other factions by communicating with them via the terminal in the mission room. At first, i found this to be quite fun, it was hilarious to watch as i manipulated all the nations to attack the Wyr and force them into surrender, the other nations following them very quickly. By the end, i had every single space station in the galaxy, the other nations were scrimping on colonies with zero military might... i had won, or so i thought.

Then comes the horrible plot twist, possibly rivaling Star Ocean Till The End Of Time in terms of terrible plot twists. Now don't get me wrong, the idea is pretty cool and i see why the developers did what they did, it really makes the game more intense but because of the irritating way they executed it, the game starts to become frustratingly repetitive to the point that you want to stop playing, especially if you didn't complete all the planetary exploration missions. If you made peace with other nations and built up your territory you will likely lose half of your territory because of the horrible way that this game was designed, the worst part is, you will never get it back once you finish the game (well apparently it's not impossible based on what a developer told me recently but it's extremely difficult and opens you to lose even more territory if you haven't completed the game because the only way to do it is to attack them solo with no troops which can take ages), should you lose it. So essentially, all the territory you worked to acquire will be lost. It turns out that forcing enemies to yeild essentially has an opposite effect meaning that the only way to maintain your huge empire, should you have forgotten to to the planetary exploration missions is to take everything. It all boils down to all or nothing. Now sure if you did those missions, it wouldn't be so bad but if you didn't by the time of the plot twist, you have essentially screwed yourself, especially if you made peace/forced enemies to surrender to you (which has the same effect i might add).


The art design is great despite it's low graphical quality, some of the planets are very well designed though they can be a little empty, space battles look great also, there are asteroids flying all over and you can shoot them down if you want. Basically it has everything anyone would want from a space game, exploration, great space combat and even a small semi RTS game by the end. I would mostly recommend this to anybody who enjoys space combat but is looking for something a but different, this game is really great but it can be quite frustrating based on your actions later on. I will never finish this game, i'm going to just move on to my next game because i play games for enjoyment, not to get frustrated at the horrible design choice.

i'm not going to do a traditional rating for this game because it doesn't really have the features of my criteria and is hard to compare it to other games because of what it tries to be instead i'll just state my personal rating.
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Overall Score: Good

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And now a question for the community, have you ever chose not to finish a game because you know that doing so would cost you to lose something you worked hard to get? Or even a side quest such as getting Wenzel's sword in Gothic 3 (i never finished it because i wanted to keep the sword as my own)? If so, share it with me because i didn't think losing my territory over game completion was worth it.
Photo Photo Photo








I've had many thoughts about what direction the Pokemon series could go and i have many ideas as to what they could do with it, i thought i should list them here to see what others think about them. As it stands, Pokemon is starting to become a very dry
uninspired series which is aging terribly. I believe these 10 ideas would bring life back to the pokemon series and give Pokemon fans something different than just Pokemon Modern Warfare 69, the return of LT Surge (i wanna buy that actually, sounds fucking beast).

#10 Clans + Co-op
Ok so they've been in the game since... Diamond/Pearl? Regardless, i think they need to expand on this feature. Give players a ranking system too and perhaps have a clan logo/badge that they wear. You could also play co-oparatively with clan mates too by inviting them to join your game and you can explore the region together, they can double battle with you too or even just challenge you on the spot.

#9 Easier character customization
Instead of having to go to clothes shops, why can't you just change your characters appearance directly on your trainer card. And remove the clothes shops entirely, just give the player the ability to change their appearance to how they see fit including their facials directly from the trainer card. Heck, OR/AS hints at customizable Pokemon, how about instead of just dressing them up for contests and stuff why don't they just let us customize the appearance of pokemon in battle too? It would help give players pokemon a bit more personality.


#8 Enough with the 10 year old kid who leaves home trope
You know a trope i like in games? Tropes that make you awesome at the beginning but you lose it all. Kinda like Assassins creed. Start your trainer off as a well known and respected gym leader who is popular amongst the masses and give him/her a full team of level 50's... then a certain incident appends causing him/her to lose them all and he/she has to snag them back (see #3) from the people that took them and you'd have to regain your reputation back as a trainer. I think that would make a great story arc to begin the game (see below). As a kid, i wanted to be cool, so why can't they make us cool from the get go?

#7 An actual storyline
Pokemon Colosseum did it, so did Pokemon XD. Surprise us guys. I don't care if game freak have to collaborate with Genius Sonority to make it happen, let us play a hero for a change instead of some kid with ambitions. I know it seems like i'm replacting one cliché with another but it's about time this series did something differrent. Oh and remove the Pokemon League and make Gyms totally optional, perhaps like a sidequest. Becoming Pokemon master comes second, saving Pokemon from the evil doers comes first. Heck we don't even need a criminal organization, how about an evil pokemon? Kinda like Mewtwo, something original for a change.



#6 Egg Incubator
My god this is needed. The egg incubator can manually set the EV growth and nature of your Pokemon, based on your parents, you would also be able to learn hidden moves guaranteed if they have them. You also get to pick an ability and the egg hatches in real time (it could hatch with the game turned off) basically it would be like the purification chamber in Pokemon XD but for eggs. Oh and every Pokemon would have perfect IV's, no bullshit breeding like crazy. Breeders would still have the luxury of obtaining shinies so they can continue to have fun breeding hundreds of the same Pokemon if they so want.

#5 Difficulty Levels
I know Black/White had this but they need to bring it back and give you the choice right from the beginning. Some players want a challenge where as others want to breeze though it, adding a hard difficulty would allow us to relive out childhoods and play through a challenging game where gym leaders Pokemon would be 10 levels higher than yours again and you'd have to use your brain more rather than just spamming the same move over and over and win like in Pokemon X and Y.


#4 Achievements

Hang on there, i know what you're thinking "don't turn Pokemon into an achievement whore game" but lets face it, it already is. I can guarantee that 80% of hardcore Pokemon fans are achievement whores already. Now of course, there are no literal achievements but the point is that players make achievements of their own plus they do challenges such as nuzlocke and stuff, what if the game made record of this stuff and rewarded players for doing it? Thats where achievements come in. From everything to pokedex completion, reaching a certain level, fully Ev training a Pokemon, beating the game on multiple difficulties, or just simple tasks such as catching 20 Pokemon in an ultra ball (remember, this is a game designed for kids) or catching a legendary in a pokeball or even just an achievement for evolving a Pokemon for the first time. Now you're probably thinking... why do this and what's in it for me? Well you know all those event legendary Pokemon that everybody wants? How about actually unlocking the ability to capture them in game? Unlocking so many achievements could reward players with new areas to explore containing legendary Pokemon like Celebi or even Arceus so that everybody has equal opportunity of getting legendaries but it would still require a lot of effort to accomplish as they would have to get a certain number of achievements for them to appear so only the most hardcore Pokemon fans will be able to get them. I think this is the biggest reason for achievements as legendaries are so easy to get right now and pretty much everybody has them. Thats not to say that we should remove conventional legendaries, oh no, casuals should still keep the thrill of catching legendaries as everybody else and those legendaries will be just as powerful as legendaries you would obtain via achievements.

#3 Bring back shadow Pokemon+snagging

Shadow pokemon were cool and i believe that they should return, especially considering the fact that Pokemon XD expanded on them so much. Snagging should return too, perhaps it could lead to some achivements such as "snag every Pokemon" heck you could even breed shadow Pokemon to make new ones should you wish to purify them. That way you could play as an evil trainer muhahahaha fear my shadow Pokemon army!!!

#2 New Game +
So many RPG's have it today so why not Pokemon? In fact, Pokemon would be perfect for new game + because you can carry over every single Pokemon in your box, as well as online battle data and pokedex data. You could play the game all over again, perhaps on another difficulty. Lets face it, nobody wants to lose hours of grinding Pokemon by starting a new game and although Pokemon Bank lets you do this... kinda, it would be better to have a new game + anyways because it's more than just the Pokemon and it wouldn't cost $5.00 a year, plus you can carry over other data too.



#1 Be a Gym Leader

This would take secret bases to the next level, imagine if you could be a Gym leader... you could design your own badge through an emblem editor like in Mario Kart and unlock new items to build your own puzzle for people to get through. You could also hire trainers by kicking their asses and sharing phone numbers like in Pokemon Gold/Silver so they can join your gym and act as obstacles to defend it. You could challenge other players gyms online and every players gym would have a records board of everybody who challenged it, whether they won or lost. You could also set up a clan gym where other players can join and replace the ai trainers so that if anybody wants to beat your gym, they have to go through your clan mates first. There would be two different types of gym challenges, ghost and online, there would be a different ranking board for each one. Ghost gyms could be challenged any time whereas to do an online gym, you'd have to send a request to another online player to challenge it. The difference being that online challenges let gym leaders bring clan mates to join so that everyone could battle in real time and the ones who aren't battling can spectate.

I think this would not only help spice up the competitive PVP but it can also bring back the secret bases in a whole new style plus you can be a gym leader, who wouldn't want to be a gym leader?

Anyways those are my 10 ideas, i could picture the perfect pokemon game in my head... i do so every day. I hope one day, this will happen and then everybody will be happy.

Forgive the mess on #8, stupid editor...
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So I've been putting up reviews here on the C-blogs for a few months, they seem to be getting some attention which is good and all but my question to people is what are the expectations for review blogs and if you make review blogs, what is your style? Also do you even read review blogs?

I know a few people on here appreciate review blogs though they don't seem to get half as much attention as other blogs do. My theory behind this is that review blogs cover a particular game, if you are not interested or do not know of said game, you likely won't be interested in reading it. I find this is a problem that reviewers such as Lord Spencer often has. Whenever i see his reviews, he doesn't seem to get many comments which is a shame because of the amount of effort he goes into writing it and even formatting it, something which i have yet to do or care about, props to him. I tend to not read his blogs that much though, why? It's silly really, it's mainly because half of the games he reviews i have likely never heard of, in a way, i should read his blogs more but it's due to my own stupid judgement that i don't and i feel that the same thing is happening to mine and other peoples reviews here on the C-blogs. The point is, there just isn't an audience for reviews unless the game has just been released within a week.

Sure i like to go into the past and play the games i missed and reviews help me find the gems but there are a lot of people out there who don't care, or so I'm led to believe. I find that a lot of people are too quick to forget the past and it saddens me a little to see people with that perspective. You could say that I'm stuck in the past but you'd only be half right. I do play games of this generation but i honestly couldn't care less about console generations or anything. All i care about is games. Considering the fact that my gaming history started off as me being completely driven by the mainstream is an embarrassment as a gamer. Put metaphorically, my gaming history is that of climbing a giant apple tree, sure i've found many good apples and a few golden apples here and there but the quantity of apples is starting to dwindle and i may have to wait next season for more and even then, the apples never seem to get sweeter. heck half of the games i reviewed i haven't even played and that's due to many reasons, firstly being that unlike many of you older folks on here (not meaning to offend here) I'm only old enough to experience the late 90's of gaming and even so, back then my tastes in gaming was narrow. I have gradually become the gamer i am now by looking back and playing games that i would never have played back then and i believe that there are others out there who should follow my footsteps or encourage me to do the same. That is why i do reviews in the first place and is why i try to give games as high of a rating as possible.

There are many reviewers out there that indulge in giving a game a bad rating, to me i find it quite saddening to have to give a game a bad rating and that's because if a game is really, really bad, i give it a rant usually due to the fact that i wouldn't want my hateful emotions to contaminate the review and because it would be extremely biased to the point that i would fail to emphasize the good points properly. This is an issue that certain popular reviewers such as Spoonyone and Pro Jared (to name two of them) have and don't get me wrong, these reviewers are very entertaining individuals and are talented at what they do but they aren't reviewers, they are ranters at heart (well for the most part though i believe they are mostly game analyzers) and you can tell by the format of their reviews, heck the Angry Videogame Nerd could be considered the same. I believe that reviewers should go out of their way to give a game as good of a rating as possible whilst keeping an eye out for potential flaws and issues the game has giving neither any imbalanced emphasis. It turns out that many of the reviewers i watch are not very well known or are only slightly well known. This is mainly because they are just plain simple reviewers who do their job well.

And then there are the front page reviewers on here. I believe their status and experience in other areas lead to their popularity. There is already a lot of controversy about video game journalism, something i don't want to get involved in but i believe that the individuals on the front page use their talents to manipulate an audience in the sense that their writing is a form of marketing. It would be interesting to see a front page reviewers standpoint on this as they may have completely different viewpoints on it which is completely understandable. Deep down i believe that there are a lot of unrecognized talent amongst the reviewers and that they merely lack the ability to get themselves known. Then again brings another question, does reviewing actually require skill? This is a question i ask myself a lot, how hard is it to analyze a game. Yes there are some who do it really poorly and to be honest i question how it is possible to make a bad review. To me, the only skills required is good English, vocabulary and knowledge of marketing, these are traits that i do not have but it doesn't stop me from making reviews and they seem to get positive feedback whenever someone comments. Perhaps reviews such as mine aren't really needed anymore, that is what i theorize at times.

However this is where the community comes in, it really doesn't matter what anybody says, i will continue to make reviews because i enjoy doing it but are reviews really that important? Do you even read them? Does it really require skill to write a review? What do you believe makes a good review and what skills do you believe got the front page reviewers where they are today? Do you plan on getting/playing a game from the past? I've given my thoughts now it's onto you guys.








The Starfox series has always been around piloting arwings, cheesy one liners and barrel rolls... well I suppose that statement would be true if Starfox 64 Lylat Wars was the only game in the series but we all know that Starfox 64 was you're typical 90's gem which shot many fans with poisonous darts of nostalgia the moment they laid their hands on it. The same could have been said about Starfox Assault had it not been for Starfox 64's amazing success.

Everyone had high expectations for the next Starfox game despite the abomination that was Starfox Adventures though to be fair it wasn't really supposed to be a Starfox game and personally I enjoyed the game as much as I despise the adventure genre for their mind boggling puzzles. Sadly Starfox Assault didn't satisfy these expectations but one would be foolish to think that they didn't try.

First of all the arwing missions returned, and they're better than ever, Starfox Assault brings back the same feeling of Starfox 64 but with a higher level of challenge, not to the standard of Starwing but more so a challenge that people could be content with, not too hard, not too easy. As I said the arwing sections are as great as ever, the controls are easy to get used to, the arwing's movement seems more sensitive this time round and feels a lot slower but the boost is faster than ever and can be helpful during certain boss fights in all range mode, particularly the boss on mission 8.

Alongside the arwing missions, there are now ground based missions allowing you to play as fox himself and shoot enemies with all different kinds of weapons. The levels are quite large and are filled with a ton on enemies for you to shoot down. At first the on foot levels are a lot of fun as you get to explore on foot and go inside buildings and stuff and adds another side to the game play giving the game more variety. Sadly the controls are disappointing which is often a standard for the GameCube when it comes to shooters due to the controller, the controls are similar to that of the Metroid Prime games, so if you enjoy them you shouldn't have too much of a problem here.

It would have been nice has the game had a lock on feature allowing you to sidestep in combat but even still you would have to turn your character around which is the problem, to move forward you simply push up on the control stick, but to move left... you can't. Pushing left on the control stick steers your character, but you can press the L button to evade so it doesn't affect the game play massively, it just effects the movement. You can also jump to the left with Y.

There are three control setups, the first one being the most useful. One of the main problems I have with the controls is the fact that the C stick is used to switch weapons, couldn't they use the d-pad instead? I mean whats the purpose of the d pad anyways? Well according to the manual it's used to switch maps... I've never had the need to switch maps in the game so why couldn't they use it to switch weapons? Great logic Namco Nintendo or whichever one of you were responsible for the controls I blame Nintendo anyways for the GameCube controller's horrible trigger buttons.

The game redeems itself with it's fantastic art/level design, never in a video game have I had a reason to deter myself from the objective and get myself a lower score just to explore the maps. Many of the levels are so unnecessarily huge it's ridiculous but they're fun to explore, some examples would be Sauria and Corneria, this being one of the reasons why I welcome the on foot stages to the series because they really show the quality of the level design. I love exploring Corneria city and reading the holographic bill boards on the road, most players miss these things which makes me sympathize with the level designers and the art designers for their efforts, the art design greatly surpass some of the levels in Starfox 64 (Katina anyone?).

Now lets talk about the sounds and the music of this game, for starters the sound effects are more realistic this time round and really adds to the immersion (assisted by the art design of course). It really makes you feel like you're in the middle of space combat (if you can get over the animal pilots and some of the strange looking buildings and ships).

The story follows after the events of Starfox Adventures which follows after Starwing/Starfox 64 (both have the same story). SPOILERS of the first three games story, skip this paragraph if you plan on playing Starfox 64 (Lylat Wars) or Starwing...





-----------------------Spoilers For Starfox 64 and Adventures------------------------

After the defeat of the maniacal scientist Andross (for the second time if you consider adventures canon which it most likely is considering the fact that Krystal and Sauria are in this game) Andrew Oikonny, once a member of Star Wolf (who has a terrible voice in this game i might add) has started a rebellion and has hired mercenaries to war against the Cornerian fleets and the Star Fox team appears to stop him under the orders of General Pepper (well probably). Fox and co assist the Cornerian fleet in defeating Oikonny only to find a new threat known as aparoids.

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The story itself is somewhat darker this time around as the bad guys are more serious and pose a greater threat to not only Corneria but the entire world. The aparoids are like parasites, kinda like the flood in Halo (in the sense that they can consume people) but they are rather insects than giant brown flesh monsters (funnily enough Fox's blaster greatly resembles that of the assault rifle from Halo) and proclaim themselves the alpha beings. The characters are more serious this time around which helps keep the story's tone but it's nothing overly impressive. The story simply put lacks depth but the concept isn't that bad and by the end, you become driven to stop the aparoids so the story does it's job well enough for a Starfox game.

The voice cast is a lot more flamboyant this time round and they try way too hard whereas others are just plain bad, get ready to puke when Leon (yes Leon) opens his mouth when you first meet him. Fox's voice sounds very monotone at times and is a bit too serious this time round swapping catchphrases such as "Sorry to jet but i'm in a hurry" with "It's under control" whether you like the new or old fox better is all subjective but many fans of Starfox 64 probably won't like the new fox but like Dante in Devil May Cry 2, Fox is older and a lot more serious but that makes him portray a better leadership figure. Falco is the same as always, cocky and egoistic yet cool and probably the most reliable wing man of the three. Slippy's voice is more... tolerable this time around and you are no longer confused over his gender and Krystal's voice is way too flamboyant, I can't stand to listen to it personally. Peppy is back as the pilot of the Great Fox but his voice is a lot less comical and is more serious here. No barrel rolls here i'm afraid, but he's not a completely unlikeable character.

The soundtrack is orchestral and really brings the game to life and compliments the level design well, though the music sounds a bit too flamboyant in some levels regardless it gives the game a great feel. I cannot fault it, it gives the game a sense of urgency, if only the voice cast were as good as the soundtrack, this game would be winning Oscars if it was a movie... well maybe not but it would definitely give the game more immersion.

Overall the single player is very short, a disappointment at that but at least the game was fun to play whilst it lasted despite the few minor annoyances it was an enjoyable game.

Now onto the multiplayer which is really surprisingly the bread and butter of this game. they really put a lot of effort into the multiplayer with lots of unlockables. It's great to play with friends though some of the maps are unbalanced which can be a problem for serious players but if you're just looking for a fun shooter to play with friends, this is it, just be sure that you pick levels without the Landmaster because that vehicle is ridiculously powerful. Aside from that the controls remain the same as they are in the single player which can be quite annoying and most battles tend to be who can fire the fastest and roll away or who has the rockets.

Regardless the map design is good overall and the multiplayer adds to the re-playability, there are unlockable weapons and characters too as well as maps which you can unlock by playing the game, overall the multiplayer is ok, it's nothing amazing but it's not too terrible, it's recommended for casual tps players. You can also pilot the arwing but most arwing battles turn out to be shoot, somersault, shoot, somersault, shoot, somersault rinse and repeat, I do not recommend arwing battles for they are repetitive but the on foot matches have some variety at least.

And finally lets go over the re playability in general, Starfox Assault has a lot of unlockable content including a bonus arcade game made by Namco called Xevius making this game worth the purchase in itself if you wish to play a classic arcade title. You can also unlock more multiplayer content via the single player, there's also survival mode and multiple difficulties if you want a challenge, I'd say overall, the game is worth the purchase as the positives far outweigh the negatives in terms of quality. There are a lot of problems but they are generally minor, the only major ones being the map balance and the on foot controls though they don't make the game any less fun to play and for this reason I strongly suggest picking it up, especially if you're a Starfox fan. If not, consider playing the other games in the series first then come back to this one if you like what you see. Just don't expect this one to be as good as the other games. Even if you are disappointed you will enjoy what this game offers.

------------------------------

Plot/story: Decent
Presentation: Great
Game play: Good
Music: Excellent
Multi player: Satisfactory
Replay-ability: Great
Lifespan: Too Short
Worth Replaying: Yes

------------------------------

Overall Score: Good

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This review is very late due to having trouble getting images, sorry about that.
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Most people consider Overdose to be the last true Painkiller game, some believe it's where the series began to deteriorate into mediocrity. I can already tell you that the latter is very wrong. Painkiller Overdose does everything the original Painkiller does but puts you in the shoes of a new character, Belial a angel/demon hybrid and my god does he make Daniel Garner look stale, Belial comes complete with a new assortment of weapons, one of which being a key component that was missing in the original Painkiller, the somewhat whimsical one liners, what else could be more satisfying than blasting an enemy with a bonegun and telling them to "Kiss my half angel ass". Pretty much every other old school FPS has them so why were they absent from the original Painkiller?

Loony Park was the best level in the expansion of the original Painkiller and still stands strong in this game.

In any case, lets get the game play out of the way. Expect your standard Painkiller fare here, Painkiller is an old school FPS which pits you against waves of enemies and gives you an assortment of exotic weaponry in which to dispatch them with and i kid you not when i say exotic especially considering the fact that your primary weapon is the head of the very demon who guarded your prison... and it shoots lasers, awesome! There are of course many other weapons including the ever reliable Razor Cube which serves as the Painkiller for this game (then why didn't they name it Razor Cube Overdose? Because it wouldn't make any sense!) which serves as your melee weapon with infinite ammo but it also has a grapple laser allowing you to pick off enemies at long range, it's ridiculously powerful and shouldn't be underestimated, expect to fall back on it often, especially since it's the only weapon which can juggle enemies to acquire jewels, break containers for loot and even solve some tricky puzzles to find hidden items, you'll be using this weapon a lot in this game, don't waste your ammo on small fries, mastering the Razor Cube is the key to dominating in Painkiller Overdose (as was the Painkiller in the original...Painkiller). There are plenty of other weapons out there and they all compensate with their own strengths to match the Painki... i mean Razor Cube. You will have to use different weapons for different situations, some are more useful than others but for the most part, every weapon has it's job and they're all as equally satisfying.

A sword that shoots skulls? What is this i don't even...?

In comparison to the Original Painkiller, the weapons feel slightly more balanced this time round though they have been considerably buffed for the most part leaving once useful weapons such as the SMG in the dust. It's no joke when i say that the machine gun is the worst weapon in the game (and yes they replaced the SMG with a Machine gun) as every other weapon outclasses it and you barely get enough ammo to make good use of it, i only ever used it on the flying enemies in Dead Marsh and Haunted Valley because it's just so weak and takes about 30 rounds to kill most enemies, it's only use is stopping power and even then, the Evil Eye does a better job at keeping enemies stunned not to mention the fact that ti is more accurate. Thankfully like most PK games it's primary fire, the rocket launcher is just as powerful as it was in the original, just don't expect the overpowered mini gun secondary like the first game had. Many of the weapons will feel familiar to the original Painkiller but tuned up with a different aesthetic though some weapons are unique.

The story, like in most Painkiller games is but a means to an end, basically Belial has been imprisoned by Lucifer (the villain from the first game) but certain circumstances has caused him to be released so he can now start plowing through hordes of demons using the head of his own jail guard, man is this guy spiteful, speaking of spite, Belial is off on a personal mission to get revenge on those who imprisoned him, considering the fact that Lucifer is already in his grave, Belial goes for the next best thing, Sammael who is a heretic angel and that's all we learn about him (great villain...). Fortunately Belial is a far more interesting character than Daniel Garner and i find him to be more fitting as a protagonist to a painkiller game considering his background than Daniel Garner plus his one liners add to his likeability, he's the only thing Painkiller needs in a protagonist and he plays his role well, considering the fact that Duke Nukems one liners have gotten old, Belial is probably up there with Serious Sam competing for top spot right now.


The levels are pure eye candy, whether it's gruesome and bloody or colorful yet demented, Overdose has a lot to offer in terms of art design concepts, so much so that it even manages to top the original Painkiller in this catagory. The only level's i can complain about are the Nuclear Plant and Villiage Of The Damned for being completely bland in comparison to the rest but lets face it, the original Painkiller had them too, Atrium complex for example (well it's just my opinion but i thought that level was completely bland and uninspired). Levels such as Asteroids and Haunting Valley in particular are really great, it's easy to ignore the detail they put into the game but they put a lot in. The art designers are obviously very creative and the level designers are too... for the most part (stupid sewer tunnel in Nuclear Plant drops them a few points).


Music is a little different this time round, unlike the original, there is less emphasis on metal but the out of battle music makes up for it, particularly the Haunting Valley... so melancholy yet so tranquil. Some of the battle music such as the studio's is great and very fitting too. Personally i quite enjoyed the music though it's not RPG standard, it complements the game well.

Now here comes the bad. Painkiller Overdose is a great game that you should play if you can pick it up for cheap as it is a short but sweet shooter with a great art design, atmosphere and satisfying game play which never gets old. Content wise, this game is a definite recommendation to any FPS fan and even if you're not, it might allow you to appreciate the genre more.


The problem with Painkiller Overdose is that is is chock full of bugs and framerate issues. Not all the levels suffer this and i can tell you the levels which suffer the more critical issues. These are: Desert, Dead Marsh Animal Farm, Haunting Valley and Air Combat. The first and last ones have yellow grade framerate issues, the others all have save bugs. This can be a problem as you can lose all of your progress on that level. My recommendation is that you replay those levels on Daydream to get their respected tarot cards to save you the frustration, otherwise just focus on plowing through the levels quickly whilst trying to stay healthy and use any tarots you might have just in case because if you die, you might end up having to restart the level from the beginning. This can be even more annoying as when you load a corrupted save, it crashes the game and sometimes freezes your PC forcing you to restart, either that or you are unable to launch PK Overdose so you will have to restart your PC just to do so.

Now how do i get out of here?

This is completely unacceptible but it is possible to overlook this. I really want to give this game a good rating but i'm afraid i might have to give it a So-So just for these issues. I strongly recommend this game if these issues do not bother you though as i had a fun time with this game... when it worked properly.

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Plot/Story: Decent
Presentation: Excellent
Gameplay: Great
Music: Good
Lifespan: Quite Short
Worth Replaying? Yes
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Overall: So-So

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That is the question...

A question that plagues my mind every time i beat a game. It's easy to beat a game and say "yeah lets do it all over again" only to remember the horrors of unskippable cutscenes (in some games), horribly tedious puzzles and that one boss battle you barely managed to scrape by last time. The question is... is replaying a game worth it? Yes i am talking mostly about RPG's here.

There are so many rpg's out there that offer new game + that it's sort of expected that you play through the game multiple times. Now there are many things i can't stand about games that encourage replayability. First of all there is new game + itself. Who doesn't want to plow through the game all over again with beefed up characters and kick every single bosses ass? "Hell yes" you're probably thinking but when the novelty dies out, you simply find yourself bombarded with cut scenes which you have to either constantly skip (if it has that option) or sit and watch the cutscene play. Now don't get me wrong, i like cutscenes but then there are games like...


Noooooooooooooooo!

Relating to the image above, this is what i like to call pure RPG hell. You know the ones guys... the scenes where you have to press the X button (or in this case a) over and over and over again! Worst part about it is, these scenes usually aren't skippable, the developers usually assume that scenes like this don't need a skip function because the player can button mash their way through dialogue yet they forget to realize that the character animations are unskippable so pressing X to move on doesn't work until the animation is finished. If they just added a skip function, a feature that has been a staple for RPG's since... i don't know, mid 2000's?

Yet there are still so many games out there that continue to lack this important feature. The Tales games only recently implemented it with Xillia (not sure if Graces had it correct me if i'm wrong) yet they literally pride themselves on new game +, i mean it's not like you're going to buy out the grade shop on your first playthrough is it? I hate the entire concept of grade but moreso it's execution. The concept itself encourages players to replay the game all over again only to get frustrated at the unskippable dialogue which requires you to manually scroll through with the X button, that alone is a sin in itself. Why do you need to encourage players to replay your game anyways? It's not like grade makes replaying a game any easier, in fact it makes it worse because you have to buy the rights to carry over statistics to your next playthrough which defeats the whole purpose of new game +, to make tedious battles easier to get by so that the player can enjoy the experience all over again but without having to worry about all the bullshit that comes with it.

But that is only the beginning. My hatred for grade is basically a rant in itself and i'm going to go over it here and now. Grade works similar to a K/D ratio you would find in shooters, it goes up sometimes and down other times. In other words, it's a currency that can actually decrease during battle due to getting a negative grade. This is usually frustrating especially considering the fact that you can curb stomp an enemy skillfully and still get negative grade because of how the game stupidly calculates it and this varies throughout each game in the series. It's seriously a pain in the neck only to find out that by the end of the game after fighting over 2000 monsters, you don't even have half enough grade to buy out the grade shop, this means that you won't be able to carry over levels, gald or sometimes devil arms. Instead you have to pick silly stuff such as collectors book progress or stupid gimmicks such as increased tension, heck you can even purchase the right to make the game more challenging by decreasing statistics and stuff. All this stuff should be available from the get go but Tales seems to fuck it up.

Anyways, enough of that, lets get to the next thing, the dungeons... more specifically, the dungeons which serve as obvious filler, have a half assed level design, sometimes art design and are filled to the brim with puzzles which bar your path. This is where you have to hope and pray your memory works and that you remember where the heck you're supposed to go. Depending on your strength of memory will depend on the tedium that awaits you, lets find an example shall we... heck no, we need two examples for this.


Pretty much speaks for itself...


and the dreaded Ymir Forest from Tales Of Symphonia which people have actually gone out of their way to find glitches to skip through the entire dungeon due to it's tedium.

These two dungeons may not be the worst dungeons out there but they are good examples of how not to design a dungeon in an rpg. Sure the art design and music of Ymir Forest is great and all (thank god) but the rest is godawful. The level design is confusing, i swear i got lost so many times walking on those tree branches but worst of all are the puzzles, particularly the one where you have to get the fish past those damn fisheaters (or whatever you want to call them) and if you fuck it up, you will have to start right from the beginning. Then there's one of the most criminally irritating dungeon's in RPG history, Ipsen's Castle from... (you know what from people). Ipsens Castle is basically a filler dungeon with no personality. It may as well be called X castle because there isn't an Ipsen to be seen in this place, just tonens of monsters who seemingly choose to gather there for whatever reason and heck they even laid pitfall traps there so that if you are unlucky enough to fall in then you have to walk all the way back through random encounter hell. Thankfully i'm not that stupid to fall for them as they are so painfully obvious. The worst part is that the worst videogame character in the history of gaming...


He hides his face for a reason people

Decides to run all the way back through the dungeon and you have to *sigh* go all the way back in the dungeon and rescue his sorry emo ass! Why game, why would you do this to me? Why would you make me run through a filler dungeon not once... but twice!? Seriously what is the necessity? We already experienced the dungeon already, why now do we have to go all the way back just to save some loser whose only use is to cast the overpowered aura skill and has no purpose or meaning to the plot? Seriously, this is the most tiring form of repetition and i've played Painkiller for gods sake. Shooting waves of demons in the face never gets old but battling random encounters does get repetitive and yes, i know that most RPG's have them but thats no reason to make us go through more of them just for the sake of prolonging the games lifespan. Final Fantasy IX is notorious for this and is quite possibly one of the most torturous RPG's to replay for this reason.

I feel as if i haven't given enough examples here so i shall show you some more:




One of the few games I've ever replayed multiple times and this till bugs me




If you haven't played this game, you might not get this one... hang on, theres more:


Ah of course, how could i forget the bane of my very existence when it comes to dungeons...

So there you have it, those are but a few of the many dungeons i hate in RPG's, each with their own reason, usually because of tedium but now we come to the big stuff. Remember that boss that you just managed to scrape by?

*possible spoilers below*













Ah yes, it's that one boss everybody remembers from The Last Remnant, scratch that, every boss post disk 2 was this hard


Of all the games to have such a boss...


I think we all remember this guy...


and this...thing.








*SPOILERS END*

I think this is pretty self explanatory, tough bosses are great the first time but the second time can be quite irritating, especially if you're not looking for a challenge and simply want to replay the game to get X characters ending.

This leads me to my other issue with replaying rpg's, multiple endings. Ok it's about time we brought up a certain game now:



Of course we couldn't bring up the topic of multiple endings and new game plus without mentioning Chrono Trigger, the game which started it all and despite this, they execute the replay value very well for the most part...


Just please don't make me go through the Masamune chapter again...

so what game doesn't execute multiple endings well? There are two noteworthy contenders:





of course i cannot spoil the endings of these games but each one of these games have multiple endings, two of them being terrible (or all of them in ME 3's case) seriously if you're going to have multiple endings, make each ending as equally enjoyable as the last. There are other ways to make multiple endings work such as Valkyrie Profile Covenant Of The Plume which gives you a choice of 3 paths to follow through the story based on plume usage.

Lets be honest here, as cool as multiple endings are, they don't always work. The worst part is when there's a sequel which follows on after a particular ending making all other endings seem completely worthless. When multiple endings are executed well on the other hand, they can be great.

Finally we shall talk about difficulty levels. Now when i start up a game, i usually want to select a difficulty level that suits me, however.

Some games require you to unlock difficulty levels via multiple playthroughs and sometimes don't even give you new game + bonuses either.

Look closely at the damage... the developers somehow thought this would be fun... the person who was crazy enough to make this video sped it up for your convenience. Yiazmat shits himself at the sight of this boss... How fortunate the damage limit lets you break through to the millions after many months of hardcore grinding.

Seriously though, don't make us play through a game twice to unlock the highest difficulty (let alone 50 times to unlock what you see in the video) because at the end of the day, it's just a difficulty level, it doesn't change the game besides making it tougher. The worst part is when the game has achievements which require multiple playthroughs for not just difficulties but also other stuff. For example, you forgot to do *insert thing here* see you next playthrough! Some games are absolutely ridiculous to platinum and lets face it, for the most part, achievement hunting is not fun, it's a compulsion, i know there are a lot of achievement hunters out there but even they won't deny that there are some achievements which are just plain cruel. I believe most developers forget what it means to add replay value to their games.

My question is, what games have you replayed and what is your experience replaying them (i'm looking for RPG's mostly)? As for me, not many, i replayed VP COTP for it's multiple paths, i replayed FF8 too because i lost my data on that game twice. i replayed Pokemon gold/silver/crystal multiple times. That's all i can remember.
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