Game Reviews

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stone
Apr18

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stone

Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stone for the Nintendo DS By Michael “Beezledrop” Lester Fire Emblem is a game that has been around since the NES days, but it never got an American release until just recently. The Fire Emblem series is a turn based strategy game that was big in Japan. Americans were not exposed to this game until Super Smash Brothers: Melee added two characters “Marth” and “Roy” to their roster. When western audiences were first exposed to these two unknown swordsmen they were curious enough about their origins that Nintendo decided to finally bring the game to the West. Now there is a fair selection of Fire Emblem games available from the GBA to the WII. The game I’ll be reviewing is Fire Emblem and the Sacred Stones. Mainly because out of the games in the series released to the western market it is one of my favorites. Story: The story is about 6 countries who live together on one continent called Magvel. In the past 5 of the 6 countries banded together to defeat the Demon King with 5 sacred stones given to each ruler or each of the 5 countries. After the Demon King has been defeated the Magvel has been in an era of peace for 800 years. The story begins when the country Grado attacks the country Renais and invades it. The twins princess Eirika and Prince Ephraim have to embark on a journey to stop Grado from concurring Magvel and stop them from Destroying all 5 of the Sacred stones that each country houses. The story is pretty good and it lets you play through two different scenarios when Eirika and Ephraim part separate ways. Game Play: The game play is a turn based strategy style game, which the series is known for. It a lot like other tactic games like Final Fantasy Tactics or Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor. You’re given different types of units throughout the game each with his own personality and skills. The point of the game is to use your army to complete objectives given by the game for each map. One thing to note about the game is that each unit you’re given only has one life. So if any character is killed in game they stay dead and cannot be revived later. This makes it so you have to plan your attack carefully and use the battle mechanics and terrain to your advantage before you make your units attack or move. When it comes to the battle mechanics they have a system for each weapon and what they are strong and weak against. They call...

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Ace Attorney Series
Nov07

Ace Attorney Series

Ace Attorney Series for Nintendo DS By Michael “Beezledrop” Lester: The Ace Attorney series is for the Nintendo DS. It’s a point and click style series produced by Capcom. These games are fun, engaging and full of great story. The series mainly follows one protagonist by the name of Phoenix Wright. The first three games follow his journey solely. The two games after that star two other characters “Apollo Justice” and “Miles Edgeworth”. Though these two games star a different protagonist the game still anchors on Phoenix has a driving force behind the series. These games are very fun and thought provoking. If you’re a point and click adventure fan this game series is a must. Story: The story of the series is about an Attorney who solves murders while defending your Client from getting a guilty verdict in court. The first three games focus on a young attorney named Phoenix Wright. People like to refer to these three games as the “Phoenix Trilogy”. The next game takes on a new protagonist named “Apollo Justice” who is Phoenix’s apprentice seven years later after the first trilogy ends. The last game in the series takes a different approach and it focuses on “Miles Edgeworth” Who is a prosecutor instead of a defense attorney and focuses on a different style of game play. The story of each game focuses on each protagonist as they work their jobs as attorneys solving Murder cases. Their back stories and personal relationships are fleshed out throughout the series. The story for each murder is very well written. It’s is extremely engaging game that draws you in, and it keeps you in suspense until the very end. The Writing is humorous, riveting and full of unpredictable plot twists that makes this game a pleasure to play. The story and characters are a big reason this game has developed a cult following in the gaming community. Game Play: The game play in this series is mostly point and click based. There are two different types of game play in each game of the series (Miles Edgeworth’s game strays a little from the formula but I’ll talk about that later). The first type of game play is the Investigation. In the Investigation portion of the game play you are searching for clues, and getting information from witnesses and law enforcement involved in the crime to build a case for your client. You move from place to place picking up clues and getting information to solve the case. It’s a standard point and click type scenario for this part in the game. You have a cursor which you can...

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Shin Megami Tensai: Strange Journey
Sep03

Shin Megami Tensai: Strange Journey

Shin Megami Tensai: Strange Journey for Nintendo DS By Michael “Beezledrop” Lester: Atlas tends to be a hit and miss Production Company when it comes to video games, but Shin Megami Tensai: Strange Journey is in my opinion one of the best handheld games to come out in the last 5 years. It’s such a great game that I have dropped over 200 hours on it, and I have beaten it three times getting each ending. Like most Shin Megami Tensai games it’s a very deep game revolving around the occult and the summoning and interactions with demons and angels. Out of all the Shin Megami games I’ve played this one is my personal favorite. It’s like taking a D&D dungeon crawler game and fusing it with a Pokémon game. The game is a gem and it is a must play for any DS owner and RPG enthusiast. Story: The story of Strange Journey is about a growing inter-dimensional bubble growing in the Antarctic. This bubble or rift is growing in size and swallowing up everything it comes in contact with. The story begins with the world pooling its military forces together to send an elite team to go into the rift and find out how to stop it before it consumes the planet. Once the team enters the rift they find an altered dimensional reality which demons and angels are at war for the fate of mankind. You take control of a soldier who will have to fight his way through the rift to not only find a way out of it, but he will also have to choose the fate of the planet and all of mankind. It’s a very interesting story with multiple endings. Though the story is a bit slow and overly technical in the very beginning it’s a very captivating story dealing with some fairly dark subject matters. Game Play: The game play is the best part of this game. The game play is solid from the battlefield and over world maps, to the character and creature customizations. The game is a turn based RPG with a first person dungeon crawler point of view for the map traversing. The character your given wears a special advanced suit of armor that can be upgraded and leveled as you play through the game. The suit can install and utilize software called “Apps” there are two different types of apps in the game. “Main apps” and “Sub apps”. Main apps are applications that are mandatory things like Door unlocking applications to a “Creature proximity app”. The sub apps are customizable applications that give you different bonuses in...

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Secret of Mana
Aug18

Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana for SNES By Michael “Beezledrop” Lester: Secret of Mana this game holds a special place in my heart. It’s a game I grew up with and one I fondly remember playing multiple times with friends. I was a poor kid back in the early 90’s so I didn’t own very many games. The only time I really got to try games out was at the video rental store. Secret of Mana is a game I did own and since I had a limited number of games it’s a game I played through multiple times. I consider it to be in my top 10 favorite games, and it’s a game I’m always happy to revisit from time to time. Story: The story is about a boy who falls down a waterfall and finds a sword in a stone. The sword is a legendary sword that defeated the fearsome Mana Beast in the distant past. The removal of the sword will disrupt the balance of peace in the world and will reawaken the Mana Beast. The people of the village find out he has pulled the sword from its resting place and banish him from the town. The boy must take the sword and embark on a quest to reset order to the world, and defeat the Mana beast that has been resurrected. It’s a simple story with likeable characters, and a few plot twists to keep it interesting. Game Play: The game play is my favorite thing about this game. It’s an action RPG style game in a three quarters down perspective in the same vein as The Legend of Zelda or Illusion of Gaia. The thing that sets this game apart from other action RPGS is the fact that it can be played with up to 2 other players. You get different types of weapons and they can be switched between characters. There are also a mess of spells you can use both offensive and defensive. The thing I love is how solid and smooth the game plays. The characters move swiftly and the hit detection is spot on. The only thing I don’t like about the game play is in multiplayer when you go into the menu it pauses the game interrupting the flow of the game for the other players around you. It’s slightly annoying but it doesn’t hurt the fun factor this game offers in a multiplayer setting. Music: The music in Secret of Mana is amazing. The music I’d say is on par with some of the other greats like Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger. The music is catchy, it sets the...

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Sweet Home
Aug07

Sweet Home

Sweet Home for NES By Michael “Beezledrop” Lester: Sweet home is Capcom’s 8-bit Resident Evil. The game in actuality has nothing to do with the story line of Resident Evil. The game is actually about a film crew made up of five different people going into a haunted mansion to do a report and restoration of a famous artist’s frescoes. The game is based off of the Japanese Horror Film of the same name. Capcom did however use many of the ideas and concepts that were featured in this game and used them in Resident Evil (Door opening load screen, Characters trapped in a mansion, and a lot of the puzzles in the game.). Many consider Sweet home to be the first survival horror game considering you’re only given a handful of items and each character can be killed permanently. Story: The Story is about a film crew doing a documentary on a local artist and his frescoes he created in his mansion. They go into the mansion and get trapped by the spirit of the artist’s wife “Lady Mamiya”. The story revolves around the crew trying to escape the mansion, it’s also about how Lady Mamiya became the vengeful spirit she has become through a tragedy that happened to her and her baby. The game really doesn’t tell you much about the story until you meet up with the character Ken’ichi Yamamura; a mysterious old man who knows the history of the mansion. If you plan on playing this game I’d recommend watching the Japanese Film the game is based on. It will give you information that has been omitted in the game. Game Play: This game is a RPG style game. You explore the mansion in an overhead style view like most RPG’s of the time (Final fantasy, Zelda and Dragon quest). You are only allowed to have 3 members in a party at any given time. You switch between parties and place each character in any party you like at anytime. This game also has a Survival horror aspect to it. If a character dies in the game the character cannot be revived. Every character is given a unique Item that they can use to get through different barriers in the game. If a character should die you can pick up an item that can do what the characters unique item can do. Other then the unique item each character has they can only hold two items. You’ll find yourself picking up and dropping items frequently in the game to solve puzzles and to heal yourself with. The battle system is a standard turn based battle...

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Mr Gimmick
Jul22

Mr Gimmick

Mr Gimmick for NES By Michael “Beezledrop” Lester: Mr. Gimmick is a game that I was unaware of until just recently. I was introduced to the game through Pat The NES Punk. His review caught my attention, and sold me on the game immediately. Mr. Gimmick is an unreleased game slated for the NES in 1993 by Sunsoft. At the last minute the game was scraped and it never saw the light of day in the US Market. The games prototype for the NTSC region was found and dumped onto a playable cart available at Retrousb.com. This game was very ambitious and offers a lot to any gamer. It’s a shame that it was never officially released State side. Story: The story is about a little girl who gets a new Mr. Gimmick doll for her birthday. The Mr. Gimmick doll becomes her favorite toy. The toys are furious that the girl favors the new Mr. Gimmick doll and in a jealous rage they abduct the girl, and take her to a toy like dreamland. It’s up to Mr. Gimmick to track down the girl and rescue her from the other toys. The story is pretty simple and child like. It’s not the best story in the world but the rest of the game make up for it on many levels. Game Play: The game play in Mr. Gimmick is rock solid. The game is an action platformer that uses a realistic physics engine to move both Mr. Gimmick and his weapon in the game. Mr. Gimmick has weight to his little body and he moves based on momentum. He walks before he runs, he slides down hills and slopes, and his jump height is based on the speed and momentum he is moving at. His weapon also works in the same sort of way. He shoots a shooting star from the horn on his head. The star when thrown will bounce around depending on the angle and trajectory it was thrown. Mr. Gimmick can also jump on to the star and use it as a mode of transportation or as a boost to help him reach high places. This physics engine works wonderfully with the game and being able to manipulate your star attacks to solve puzzles and kill enemies is very satisfying. The next thing about the game play is its difficulty. This game is pretty hard. Though it’s not impossible to beat but there are a few things about this game that make it very difficult. The AI in this game is very good. The creatures and bosses in the game are not simple, they are...

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