Monday, 11 March 2013

Asura's Wrath - Full Review

Woah, long time no post for this blog it seems. I'd love to say that I've not posted because I've been busy, bu that would be lying, I just haven't been playing as many games recently so haven't had much to write about unfortunately. Anyway though, I'm back and with a game to knock the socks off anime lovers, Asura's Wrath!
It's hard to talk about Asura's Wrath because it rides the borderline of what constitutes a game. Actual elements of play narrow down to QTEs (Quick Time Events), third person rail shooter type sections and beat 'em up style sections. The largest portion of the game is cut-scenes which involve QTEs. If you skip non-gameplay cutscenes; the entire game will only take a few hours to finish. BUT what gameplay there is in there I really enjoyed. Because these sections are fairly far apart, they never feel boring or tedious, and overall I just had fun playing. The issue is whether Asura's Wrath should be considered a game, as most of the time spent on it will be watching cutscenes to further the story. I'll touch on this again at the end of my review but gameplay wise Asura's Wrath is lacking in some respects.
Graphics and music are one reason I loved Aura's Wrath. The game takes an anime style throughout and the graphical style and music fit this very well. In a lot of games I have trouble noticing the music unless the score is exceptional but in this case, I just couldn't get enough. The score fits so well and every scene has an accompanying tune to enhance the experience, especially those involving two characters in particular. The graphics aren't exactly amazing, but in terms of style, they just fit. The more human looking characters have a very anime type style to them and because of this the more non-human looking characters don't look strange or out of place. The landscapes, as with most media of this style, look beautiful.
This section will be about the story, which in my opinion is the largest and most important part of the game. The section marked with *s contains spoilers so if you haven't played the game then I implore you to skip that section and play the game first. =)
Asura's Wrath to put it simply is based around a demi-god whose power stems from his anger, and he is always angry. The story surrounds 8 demi-gods known as the 8 guardian generals in a seemingly endless war with a race known as the gohma. Both sides are fighting for control of earth (Gaea) and the guardian generals overall aim is to eliminate vlitra, the largest and most powerful of the gohma from which all others spawn. I loved the story to Asura's Wrath and it is the real part of the game that will keep you playing. Every area of gameplay is fleshed out incredibly with a great story and I can't stress enough how much I loved it. My only gripe is that the final part of the game (the last 4 chapters) are dlc and these are what I consider to be the best part of the story, so if I were to give any advice to a potential player of this game, it would be to buy the final part. 
*My favourite elements of the story are Asura's immense anger at the thought of his daughter crying, but also his hatred of being worshiped or those who wish to be worshiped. Both of these points are shown clearly in Asura's first fight with Yasha after returning from naraka when he is clearly outmatched, but after hearing Yasha talk about his daughter and reffering to himself as god, it released a burst of pure anger inside Asura that makes him powerful enough for a moment to stagger Yasha. This also leads me to my other favourite element of the story which has to be the rivalry turned friendship between Yasha and Asura, my favourite scene from the entire game being Yasha's death where he sacrifices himself to give Asura one last chance.*

So, with all that out of the way, what about scores? I guess we better get to those.
Gameplay: 7.4
Graphics: 8.8
Music: 9.1
Story: 9.5
Fun!: 8.5

Overall score: 8.7

I love Asura's Wrath, my only issue is that I love is as a piece of media, not a game. As a game it leaves a fair bit to be desired, which is why despite my almost endless praise it only gets an overall score of 8.7.
Anyway, who else played and loved Asura's Wrath? Or on the other hand, who played it and hated it? I wanna know! So throw any opinions into the comments section below.
Thanks for reading, I hope to have new reviews and other such things up soon!
madseverus

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Brentalfloss: Bits of Me - Album review

So you thought it would be all game reviews on this blog? Well you were wrong! I love myself some music and brentalfloss is an awesome example of great music. brentalfloss recently brought out a new album (after a long period of waiting on the fans part) called Bits of Me, for the most part I thought it was great album but I don't think it was as good as the first one.
I'm gonna start with the new songs from the album.
The album starts of with a brilliant song, "This is the Album You've Been Waiting For" which is really one of my favourite songs on the album, which is ironic considering it's the first song and was featured in a video by brentalfloss back before the album was released. I love the energy and overall feel of this song, and it just sets a mood so well.
The next new song on the album is "Meet Me in the Dungeon Dear" which is... interesting. In my opinion it's the worst song of the album. It's not there's anything big in particular wrong with it, I just don't think it fits the overall mood of the rest of the album, plus, this particular song annoyed me to listen to. Most of the time voices brentalfloss puts on enhance the "experience" of the song, but for this one, it just didn't work too well.
"Introspective Man in Blue" is the instrumental song of this album, and I liked it. It's too easy to make comparison's between this album and the last one brentalfloss released "What if this CD had Lyrics?" and in my opinion, the instrumental from that was better. Don't get me wrong, I loved man in blue, but duck in space from the last album just was the better tune and therefore came out better as an instrumental. 
The last new song on this album was "Baby Mario and Papa Yoshi" which I love so much. The innocent sound of the music, brentalfloss's voices and the hilarious lyrics just mix so well and create a brilliant song.
The reason I started with the new songs is because I'm going to address the ones taken from youtube as a whole. My main issue with these wasn't that they were bad, but in fact the opposite. Pretty much all of these songs were amazing to begin with which meant that when it came for brentalfloss to improve them for the album, sometimes it either didn't have the same effect as the original or just didn't change much. The best thing about the first album was it took 20 of brentalfloss's original songs, which weren't as professionally done back then, and improved them to CD quality. This was great because the songs sounded so much better. The new album however was working with songs that were done better and didn't need to be improved, so the album is filled with songs that aren't much different or in fact worse than the ones you can listen to for free on youtube. The exception to this, I would say is "Star Fox: Space Oddity" which I believe to be a better version.
I may have sounded through that like I don't like the album but I do! In fact it's almost impossible for me to not like anything brentalfloss releases, I just think that a few more new songs would have been better than trying to improve songs that, in my opinion, didn't need improving in the first place.
If I were to give the album a score, it would be 7.2/10. It's still a great album, just not as god as the first one.

So what did you guys think of the album? Got any comments on it? Leave them in the comments section =)
Thanks for reading,
madseverus

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Batman Arkham City - Full Review

Despite never playing Arkham Asylum I decided recently, due to the high praise for the game,  to play Arkham City. I watched a few people play Arkham Asylum back when it was new and my first impression was that it was kind of boring, so I was prepared to be slightly disappointed by this one. I was pleasantly surprised. My favourite thing about this game has to be the combat system, it is fast and fun. The combat starts with 3 hits then you enter freeflow mode whereby as long as you hit the attack button and point batman in the right direction then he can hit any enemy you like in the area, even if they're halfway across the map. I'm exaggerating, but you get the idea. Batman also has a load of gadgets which can be used in battle, my favourite of which has to be the freeze grenade, nothing is more fun than freezing an enemy and then smashing the ice before taking them out. 
A lot of the game is also based around stealth and areas where getting spotted means death. I've never been a fan of stealth and to be honest most of these areas bugged me at first. I'd just run in thinking "Yeah! I'm batman!" and I'd immediately get shot to pieces and have to start over. Luckily after a while I got used to the stealth concept and I have to admit, it's a lot of fun picking off enemies one by one without them noticing you.
That's most of the gameplay to be honest. The rest of the game involves flying round the city finding people and things, with some puzzles thrown in here and there, this is fun too but for the most part during these sections I was just waiting to get to the destination so I could kick some more butt...
I won't go into the main plot too far because it's the sort of thing you have to experience but I did enjoy it, there were a couple of good twists which do come seemingly out of no-where if you don't pay attention. The side quests, although not very compelling in the sense of story, are also fun. Sometimes it's good to have a distraction from the main story for a while and the side quests do just that, they also flesh out the game, meaning that it never feels overly linear or boring.
I'm not going to talk about the music of the game because, frankly, I never really noticed it. As I see it, the music of a game or other bit of media is important, but only really worth considering in a review if it stands out in some way. The music from Arkham City never really stood out for me so I'm not gonna bother with it.
The graphics are something that sort of bothered me in this game. I'm not trying to say that the graphics are bad but something never quite seemed right. In game I liked the graphics, they were smooth and fit the style and feel of the game, but during some cutscenes I just felt like everything was a bit stiff. Maybe it's just me being nitpicky but something just never seemed quite right to me. Also the game is very dark and a bit dull, other than a couple of the villains everything was a bit murky and boring.
Anyway, what about the scoring? I'm gonna give the game a score out of 10 for each section of my review and then an overall score based on these. I'm also going to give a score for fun, because not enough reviewers take into account how fun a game is whereas that's normally the first thing I think of.
Gameplay: 8.7
Plot: 8.4
Graphics: 7.7
Fun!: 8.7

Overall Score: 8.4

So there you have it, my thoughts on Batman Arkham City. It's a fun game to play and I especially enjoyed the combat system. What do you think of it? Or better yet, what do you think of my review? Any comments, suggestions or opinions are welcome in the comments section!
Write y'all later,
Madseverus

Friday, 3 August 2012

Eternal Sonata - Initial Impressions

Eternal Sonata is an old game. Simple, elegant, no trophies or gaming clich├ęs that have been born in recent years. I bought the game pre-owned on a whim and I'm finding it fun so far. The game is based entirely around the pianist Frederic Chopin and how in the last hours before his death he dreams of a fantasy world based around his music. My first impression of this game was that the cut scenes were too full of heavy topics, things like war and human greed are brought up in conversation in the very first cut scene, every cut scene after this brings up other similar topics. I find it a bit intimidating when a game tries to drill serious topics into my head, especially when it's done blatantly. On a better note, I find the gameplay extremely fun, the battle system is innovative and it's a shame I haven't seen anything similar in new games. Battles work with light and dark affecting how monsters fight and also what magic can be used. I love how the fights work, they're the thing I like most about the game and it's what keeps me playing, they're challenging whilst still being fun. I even find fun in grinding for experience! Travelling in the game is very linear at times, I've only so far met one puzzle, the rest has been simply walking from point A to point B, which get's boring at points but the stunning visuals do distract from this. My overall impression so far is that the gameplay is fun if very linear at times, and the musical score and visuals are simply stunning. My biggest gripe is that the story is't the best, it focuses too much on major issues and doesn't at all match the fantastical nature at all. Anyway, these are my initial impressions, I'll do another post when I've finished the game to give my informed decision of the game and also a score based on the music, gameplay and other such aspects of the game.


Hope you enjoyed the post, talk to y'all next time.
madseverus