SpeediUrdi Reviews!
New Super Mario Bros 2! or Why Did I Buy 2! (copies) (3DS)

I have an unhealthy addiction to Nintendo.  How else do you explain the hundreds of dollars I’ve given to their dealer, Mario? There is just something about that mustache that makes even those free of the addiction want a taste. For 25 years Mario as been making appearances and he has become one of the most iconic characters in history. Mario has been everywhere. He’s been 2d, 3d, paper-D,at the beach, fighting different stars, at the Olympics  all through time, and even in space. But the question stands, where do you go after space? Nintendo’s answer? Why, back to the beginning of course! To be more specific, back to the third game from the beginning.

It seems that Nintendo views Super Mario Bros. 3 as Mario’s Magnum Opus and has been using a similar formula while making the series known as the ‘New Super Mario Bros.’ The first game appeared on the DS and was a nice 3D take on the classic Mario games cherished in our youths. New Super Mario Bros Wii took that exact formula, changed up some of the levels, and added fun and frustrating 4-player multiplayer by introducing Luigi in the mix as well as a Toad and a…..another Toad? 

Enter New Super Mario Bros 2; where Nintendo took the same formula, changed up some of the levels, added multiplayer, AND made the object nobody really cares to collect the main focus. Coins, Coins everywhere.

Whats there to say really? It’s Mario  Peach gets kidnapped you have to save her. Well there is something else. COINS! Other than the “story”, you need to collect every coin you possibly can with the goal of 1 million. Whether you play by yourself or with a friend, you want to collect coins. Why? Because Nintendo is running out of gimmicks for Mario.

  • There is a carefree, whimsical feel that comes from a Mario game, and this game is no different. 
  • Seeing your coin count rise does give you a bit of satisfaction. 
  • The return of the flying tanooki is a nice touch and the gold power ups (like the block head and flower) are really fun.
  • Having the same feel as the previous games in the series isnt necessarily a bad thing. It does provide some mindless fun that makes you want to progress to the next level.
  • Some minibosses return from previous Mario games (like the triceratops wheel from Mario world) which is a nice little nod to the fans.

  • The multiplayer is horrendous. First off, you need two copies of the game to play it (instead of using download play); Secondly, both screens only follow one person. This might not be such a problem except the screen is too close to the leading character. If you run too far ahead, the other person dies. Even if the other person goes ahead of the leader, they still don’t become the leader by default and they die. You can switch leaders by bubbling but it does help anything.
  • Save for the coin aspect, there is nothing new or worth while about this game. Its the same as the DS and Wii versions.
  • God awful ‘3D’ effect. The only thing the 3D slider does is blur the background.

My Verdict

I see the point in the near future where Nintendo runs out of things for Mario to do. You can only sell the same product so many times before people catch on and stop buying them. Adding a new feature here and there doesnt help anymore. The coin aspect doesn’t give enough incentive to make the game re-playable at all, it just provides filler. You can get the same enjoyment by finding the ‘Coin Get’ sound clip and playing that second on repeat for 10 hours. 

With terrible multiplayer, no REAL new game aspects, and bad 3D; New Super Mario Bros 2 just doesn’t cut it. It’s not worth the money for one copy, let alone 2 copies for multiplayer. If you want a 3D mario game, Mario 3D Land is a much better title (even if it is super easy). If you really want to collect coins for hours, wait for this game to drop in price or borrow it. Just play the original DS version or get some friends and play the Wii version. Your not missing anything.

2/5 Dont Bother!

P.S. NOT ENOUGH COINS!!!

Theatrythm Final Fantasy: Hold, Tap, and Slide your way down memory lane. (3DS)

  Final Fantasy is one of those game series that I didn’t grow up with. While other kids played Final Fantasy games on their NES, SNES, PSONE, etc.; I was delving into different series like Zelda and Spyro. In fact, I hadn’t played a Final Fantasy game until FFX, and unfortunately there haven’t been much good ones since. I did go back and play 1-12 (exception being 11) and I’ve watch about half of 13. So when it was announced that they were releasing a rhythm game based on the series, I was shocked to say the least. I expected a remake or another ‘crystal bearers’ game from Square Enix for their first 3ds FF game. Hearing the word ‘Rhythm’ got me curious. With the wonderful music from the Final Fantasy games at their disposal, could Square Enix get fans re-hyped about the franchise with a rhythm game?

Not much to say here as far as story goes. The main part of the game involves you moving your stylus to the beat of popular songs from the series. There are 5 songs from each of the 13 main games with several different difficulties to play at. By completing songs, you obtain points for your crystal. The more points you have, the more stuff you unlock.

There are 3 types of stages. Field stage, which involves a traveling theme from the game; Battle theme, self-explanatory; and a cinematic theme, which shows different scenes from the game and has one of the popular songs from that game used in it. 

  • The songs are gorgeous. Even if you haven’t played all the games, you will find yourself humming these songs as you play them repeatedly trying to get a better score.
  • There are a lot of unlockables. Between all the different modes, the unlockable cinematic  the items, the characters, dark notes, the moves, etc; You’ll find yourself busy trying to collect them all.
  • The RPG elements such as leveling up and equipping moves gives it the Final Fantasy feel, its a nice reminder that you ARE playing a game from the franchise.
  • With more downloadable content coming over all the time, I don’t see this game being put down for very long periods of time.
  • Choosing your own difficulty level is key. This game can get DEVILISHLY HARD in several parts if you have it up too high.

  • Maybe its just a personal thing, but the sprites are a little too ‘chibi’ for my taste. All the characters have smirky smiles and blushed cheeks; it ruins the character personality in my mind. It would have worked better without the cheek blush.
  • Once you get to a certain amount of rhythm points, you stop unlocking things that way. After that, they pretty much become useless to obtain.
  • HELLISH DIFFICULTY MAKES MY HANDS HURT.
  • Once you have played the songs so many times, you can get bored with them. Sure they release more songs through DLC, but with each new song costing a dollar, that adds up fast. Its almost not worth paying for them.

My Verdict

Even without the nostalgia goggles  I can see the charm in Theatrythm. Watching those cinematic  I felt like I DID grow up with these games. It made me proud to be a fan, even if I’m not a life long one.

Hearing the music from Final Fantasy is always a treat to the ears, but hearing them repeatedly can just get irritating. I did at time find myself playing this for hours sometimes. Other times I found my self playing it for a minute before getting bored with it. You can only hear Aerith’s Theme so many times before it loses its effect on you.

Regardless of my little complaints, I cant deny that I had fun with it. It’s not something I would play over and over again, but it will keep you occupied for awhile. Fan or newcomer, this isn’t a game you want to pass up on. You’ll find yourself rap, tap, tap’n to the beat of the One Winged Angel all night long.

4/5 Give them your money!

p.s. Kupo.

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Pokemon Conquest! or Mewtwo shouldn’t be in this game. (DS)

Ah Pokemon. How you have shaped my childhood in a way I’ll never fully be able to explain.I still remember they day I first played Pokemon Red. I had asked my dad for Blue Version and a gameboy color. He instead returned home with a gameboy pocket and red version. At the time I was a little upset, but looking back on it now I’m glad he did. Nothing could have made my body ready for the adventure I felt just looking at that black and white screen.

Fast forward 15 years later and the series is still going strong with 5 generations and about 650 pokemon compared to the original 151 from the first generation. It also has several spin off series; such as mystery dungeon, ranger, pinball, and several others. Recently, a game was released called Pokemon Conquest. By mixing together the fun of Pokemon with the tactical system similar to that of Fire Emblem and Final Fantasy Tactics, Nintendo tried making an awesome pokemon game unlike any before it. But did they succeed?

Welcome to Ransei! Another region you’ll never see in the mainstream games. Based on Feudal Japan, there are no pokeballs. Instead pokemon and their trainers, called Warlords in this game, form something called a ‘link’ which make them partners. Why am I telling you this instead of the story? That’s because this is the story. After a few still shots showing you this, you are thrown into a ‘dot dot dot’ protagonist role where you make a friend with a girl. No introduction of your own characters back story or the girls. Just ‘Hey! You’re a Warlord now and you control this whole kingdom!’

After beating some rival kingdoms, more of the story is revealed. There is a legend that; who ever controls all 17 kingdoms in Ransei will be able to meet the regions creator  There is a man named Nobunaga who’s evil because the game said so. He wants to control all the kingdoms and meet the creator for his own diabolical purposes. I assume to control the Ransei region, but you have to control Ransei to meet the creator anyway so…

However after you beat that story you unlock over 30 extra side stories. But once you beat a few of them you realize how cookie cutter they really are.

  • I love tactical games mostly because of how much thought goes into them, and while this games play-style doesn’t require much thought being that its meant to be for all ages, It still has that same feel.
  • It’s pokemon.
  • With the main story and the forced 30+ ‘extra’ stories, this game holds several hours of gameplay. This could mean you get your moneys worth time wise.
  • The difficulty has a nice steady increase, rather than shooting from tutorial easy to legendary hard. The difficulty grows as your team and army do, and its nice.
  • The Extra stories allow you to use different Warlords and Pokemon to complete which ever goal that character has, and it provides some nice variety instead of always using the same main team.

  • The story is weak. Usually the story is what makes me want to proceed through the game, but there is nothing here. The ‘main story’ if you will is generic and uninteresting. Even the small ‘twist’ just seems thrown in for no reason and the side stories are there for filler and nothing else.
  • There are only about 200 of the 650 pokemon usable in the game. Don’t expect to see a lot of your favorites. Not even all the starters are here.
  • A lot of the warriors have the same sprites making it hard to tell your units apart outside of battle after recruiting alot of them.
  • Hope you like repetitiveness because you’ll find yourself following the same process of harvesting gold, battle, train, harvest gold, battle, train; over and over again and it can get annoying.

MY VERDICT

Pokemon Conquest has a very similar feel to Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and even uses similar battle schemes. Though it may sound good on paper, when it came to the actual game it falls just short of its goal. With a severely lacking story and repetitive gameplay, Pokemon Conquest ends up just being a mediocre tactical game. That being said, It does have a certain draw to it. I did manage to play through it completely and while I do have my dislikes about it, I had fun with it. It does hold several hours of gameplay and that pokemon ‘gotta link with them all’ feel.

It seems Pokemon Conquest was created for one real reason. To keep fans entertained until Pokemon Black and White 2 is released. In that aspect, it does succeed. You’ll find yourself concurring kingdoms and linking with new pokemon a lot in your spare time. Just make sure you have something else to play on the side so you don’t get bored. With all that said, I give Pokemon Conquest my ‘give it a shot’ approval.

3/5 Give it a try!

 

p.s. Jigglypuff Sucks.

Corpse Party! or Dafuq: The Game. (PSP)

From RPG maker, to PC, to PSP, to Ipod. This game is growing in popularity. But is it really worth it?

Now, first of all, I’m not the bravest guy in the world. In fact, I am quite the coward when it comes to things that pop out at you and say ‘Boo!’. I played about 30 seconds of Amnesia the Dark Descent before slamming my laptop closed yelling ‘NOPE!’, crawling into my spongebob onesy pajamas, and watching old Barney re-runs in the fetal position. So I was very skeptical about trying out this game. However, after about five minutes into Corpse Party I found myself unable to set my PSP down. I felt drawn to finish the story and discover the fates of those involved.

The game begins with seven high schoolers, a teacher, and one of the students younger sibling cleaning up after the school Culture Festival (see JAPAN for more info) when they decide to preform a ritual found online that is supposed to keep them together as friends forever. But it is somehow messed up and all nine of them are sent to an abandoned school and separated  forcing them to navigate the haunted halls in search for one another as well as a way back. All the while trying to avoid the traps set up to take their lives, the ghosts traveling behind them to take their souls, and possibly each other after losing their minds.

  • This game is horrifyingly descriptive.  If anything at all happens to one of the characters or if you find a body, it WILL tell you every little thing that happened to them. From falling from a higher floor and having their bones snap or from having their skull bashed in by a spirit, this game holds nothing back. 
  • The voice acting in this game helps the atmosphere tremendously. While most games have bad voice overs that remove you from the game, Corpse Party does a great jump of displaying the emotions of pure terror that these kids are feeling. Also, get used to screams; because they scream. A lot.
  • Even when you think you know the story, even when you think you may understand whats going on, Corpse Party likes to throw little curve balls here and there. I wont go much further because I don’t want to spoil it, but the game has a way to make you want to continue playing.
  • Seeing bodies in horror games is nothing new, but you never really care about them sense; hey, its not like you know them. However in Corpse Party, when you inspect a pile of flesh and bones in which maybe they died from cut leg tendons or choking on their tongue do to thirst, you can find their name tag on their clothes. The name tag gives them an Identity. You learn their name, what school they went too, and even if they were High school, Middle school, or even Elementary school kids. It makes them more human like and makes a stronger impact.

  • Corpse Party suffers from what I call ‘Radio Syndrome’. At first, the music is catchy and somewhat creepy but it eventually becomes repetitive alittle irritating to listen too.
  • I fought myself not caring much for the characters. Most of them seemed pretty generic. You have the doubtful hero who has to step up, his love interest  the white haired tough guy, the serious guy with glasses, the cheerful one, and the throw away character. The one character in the game I was looking forward to see what happens too is left out of most of it. I wasn’t disappointed when they were onscreen, but I wish there was more of them.
  • Corpse Party is not that long. It consists of five chapters which can take anywhere from an hour to two each. It does have some extra chapters that can be unlocked through out the game that focus’ on different groups of kids but they don’t last very long either. I breezed through this game in about a day.
  • Don’t expect to be too stumped on puzzles, DO expect though to be confused on where to go. They give little to no direction on what your objectives are so have fun exploring. Also SAVE OFTEN because you will make wrong choices and it will cost you a game over.
  • You have HP….but its useless. There are no enemies that do damage to you, its insta-kill for the most part. There is only one part that I can tell that takes away HP, and its impossible to do until later on in the game anyway so the whole HP aspect is pointless.

  MY VERDICT

Corpse Party delivers a short, yet satisfying experience that any horror game player will enjoy. Even if it contains little gore and pop out scares, it makes up for them in story telling and descriptions.  Its 16 bit graphics and still image cut scenes take away from the fear a little bit, but if this game was remade with HD graphics….Horry Sheet. As I said before, I couldn’t bring myself to put it down and even when I did, I found myself wondering what would happen next. 

A good game is a game you enjoy while your playing. A great game however, no matter its flaws, has you enjoying it even when your not playing. That’s why, I give Corpse Party my full approval.

 4/5 Give them your money!

*Please note that I do not, in fact, own Spongebob Onesy Pajamas

Rating system

 I rate on a 5 point system.

5- Make love to it!: A game that keeps you interest all the way through, both story wise and gameplay wise. Enough even to make you want to do every possible thing in the game. High replay-ability.

4- Give them your money!: Makes you want to play all the way to the end of the story at the very least. Maybe play through some of the extra content. Driven by a good story and decent gameplay, you may find it to have moderate replayability. Great game, but not without its flaws.

3- Give it a try!: Mediocre story and lousy/repetitive gameplay stop this game short of being great. However it does hold a certain charm that makes it endearing and impossible to fully hate. Low replayability. Dont buy, just borrow or rent it.

2- Don’t Bother!: Not even worth play past the tutorial. Dont buy, dont borrow, dont rent. Watch a video of someone else playing it if you really want to.

1- NOPE!: NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPEWHYDOESTHISEVENEXIST!