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#1 Tom Henrik

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 03:42 PM

I bought two "new" games for my Playstation 2, yesterday. They were in a "2 games for 20 bucks" retail bin, and it's been a long time since I bought any games, so I figured what the heck?

The first game is Drakengard 2 by Square Enix. When I looked at the back of the cover, I saw some really amazing graphic (on par with Final Fantasy X, if not better) and since I am really big fan of the stories that Square Enix manages to create, I immediately bought it.

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Earlier today, I took the game out for a test spin, and while the graphic in the intro was one of the best I've ever seen, the story (or lack thereof) made me go "wtf?".

It switched from scenes to scenes quicker than the Duracell Bunny on speed. Not that that was a big problem, really, as that happens a lot in Square Enix' games. But when you combine that with speech and text that doesn't seem to belong anywhere (and especially not with in connection to the shown scene), it makes me wonder what is going on, and where I fit into the story.

Anyways, the game is an action game, where you play an 18 year old boy named Nowe. Since birth he has been raised by a Blue Dragon, named Legna, and now that he is an adult, he has decided to join a gathering of knights called The Knights of the Seal. They are the protectors and guardians of a seal that has bound a mighty Red Dragon, that will destroy the world if it's set free.

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You've just joined the brotherhood, and the game starts off by pitting you against an entire squad of senior knights, in a annual dual.

I won't go into further details of the story, but apart from the intro there is a really good story in the game, and one that it is definately worth buying the game for. Drakengard 2 also successfully combine standard swordswinging mayhem with aerial dragon warfare, and lets you use different characters later in the game.

The only negative points to the game is the confusing intro (I don't even think it would make sense if you had completed the prequel game first, most likely not), repetitive slashing (press the Square button repeatedly, and more often than not, you'll crush anything in your path), and a very unfitting voice-over. For some reason all the characters in the game speak with a stuck up British Harvard accent, that somehow is not quite fitting for warriors and the like. Priests? Fine. Headmasters? Of course. Kings? Alright with me. Lowlife scum? No. No. No.

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All in all, I would recommend this game to fans of the action genre. Sure the gameplay can get a bit repetitive, but the story and colourful graphic far outweights that. And although the voice acting could have been better, it is by no means bad. If I were to rate the game, I'd give it a perfect 4.


The other game was Maximo vs Army of Zin by Capcom. I bought this game simply because I needed 2 games to get the deal, and I really wanted Drakengard 2. It looked somewhat good, but I didn't really have any high expectations.

Boy, was I surprised! Maximo is a 3D platformer that is created for kids. As such it has cartoony graphic and somewhat easy monsters and levels. But once you start to really take a closer look, it is amazing the level of details in the game! First of, the graphic is mindblowing. Cartoony, yes, but every face, tree, bush, and enemy has a plethora of details.

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And let's not forget the equimpent in the game! Everything you have on you, from underwear to keys are all masterfully crafted on the main hero. Yes, you can see his underwear in this game, but it is done with humor. You have different levels of armor (4 levels being the highest), and if you drop all the way down to the last level, you will be fighting in your underwear alone.

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The story in the game is quite simple, but doesn't really require anything more elaborate. You play Maximo - a king without a country - looking for your lost love, Sophia. In the first game, you struck a deal with the Grim Reaper (Grim, amongst friends), when you saved his domain. Grim will not let you die, as long as you can pay his price. A very interesting take on a continue credit system, that works really well.

One day while camping in the forest, Maximo is interupted by a screaming woman who is being chased by a mechanical monster. Grim kills the monster, and discovers that it was fueled by a trapped human soul. Burning up with rage, Grim wants you to find out who has dared do such a thing with the souls of the dead. And thus the game begins.

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The game is split into sections, and you basically walk a path from A to B, killing monsters in your path, but there is much more to the game. There are a number of secret areas in each section, lots of hidden treasures and plenty of innocents to save. Each person you save will help you in one way or another, and it is often wise to talk to the same person several times. You also have wandering merchants that sell you upgrades. These upgrades ranges from magical underwear (No joke. Some underwear will start vibrating when there is a hidden chest close by, or let you equip the 4 level of armor.) to Hint scrolls and other useful items. Another very helpful group are the old guards. These men will teach you weapon skills that will unlock new attacks that mow down enemies in a whirlwind fury of sharp steel.

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I can't really think of anything negative with this game. A perfect 5, if I ever saw one! Highly recommended!

Yo!

#2 Blood-Pigggy

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 03:58 PM

The original Maximo for the PS2 was SO FREAKIN HARD!

I almost killed myself near the last levels.

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#3 DeathDude

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:01 PM

It's been probably a couple of months since I bought a game, (I don't buy many nowadays) but last one did buy was Unreal Gold, which came with Unreal and The Mission Pack 1. Mainly to see the original and how it was like.

Although the game's graphics by todays standards are not hugely impressive, they were still pretty decent, some of the enemy sprites though were not so great but no matter, the idea of a prisoner's ship that is taking him to a planet getting attacked and starting off after the attack was interesting, and just the beginning portion of the game when on the planet was pretty cool.

The problem was the game really dragged on, it's about maybe 30 levels total within the planet and other areas, and it just sort of started becoming the same, kill the skaarj, find a switch to open the door, keep moving on, that sort of idea. The Skaarj though was an interesting enemy at first, with it's quickness and moves and the whole pasting together of the mission logs you find was pretty interesting. The fact that no one except the Nali and other enemies is alive was not so great, but that's the way it goes, prob would give the game a 3 since it is pretty linear and no real story.

That sort of changed with the mission pack, except your prisoner now had a voice and there were mission reports that he would make describing the situation, the voice acting was not that great, and really it's just a repeat of Unreal sort of premise, with some new weapons and new enemies and new areas to explore. Granted by mid game with what happens was a bit of shock storywise but still same sort of game as Unreal.

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#4 Blood-Pigggy

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:07 PM

If you had the chance to play Unreal, try Unreal 2, I think it was pretty underrated.

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#5 DeathDude

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:12 PM

Definitely plan to try Unreal 2 sometime in the future. :( Once get a newer computer, cause yeah have heard some good things about 2.

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#6 Potatoe

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:22 PM

Hmm, nothing really, I think the most recent one was Shadowgrounds.. And before that I bought Earth 2160. Both for PC. I liked shadowgrounds, but Earth 2160 is just boring. :(

I plan on buying FPS creator if it's good.

#7 Frodo

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:54 PM

Tom, that red dragon from Drakengard is AWESOME.   :max:



The last game I bought, was Fahrenheit for the pc a few months ago.  Someone kept telling how good it was, so I finally bought it.  It has a brilliant story about saving the Indigo Child, the graphics are impressive, the gameplay is brilliant.   :ok:

I'm glad he persuaded me to buy it.   :(
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#8 Blood-Pigggy

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 04:56 PM

Ooh that is a good game Frodo.

But how much did you buy it for? I forced myself to buy a copy that was $20 dollars or less because I heard there's not much to do after you've finished it once.

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#9 Frodo

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:10 PM

View PostBlood-Pigggy, on Sep 17 2006, 05:56 PM, said:

But how much did you buy it for? I forced myself to buy a copy that was $20 dollars or less because I heard there's not much to do after you've finished it once.

I paid 25 for it, and it is worth every penny.

There is lots to do.  The game has several endings.  And you can do different things in the game which affect the story line slightly.  You can say different things to people, and act differently towards them.  There is so much to explore.  Play it again, and make different choices.  You won't be dissapointed.   :(
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#10 BeefontheBone

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 05:55 PM

I preordered Company of Heroes (and got MP beta access thrown in) and I'm rather looking forward to it - it's gotten very good reviews.

I wasn't impressed with Unreal 2 - I thought it was rather lazy and cliched in terms of the story, but it might've improved as it went on, who knows?

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#11 Blood-Pigggy

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 06:08 PM

I pre-ordered Company of Heroes and picked it up a few days ago.

And I've started to notice WHY it got good reviews. The presentation is nuts, it's one of the most chaotic and incredibly good looking games I've ever seen, it looks and feels like real war.

But that's the thing, they're focusing too much on the presentation, after you play for around more than 10 hours, it starts to lose the veil of its fancy graphics and sound, and it turns out to be at best, just a "good" game.

Can't go wrong with buying it, but just lower your expectations a bit.

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#12 Potatoe

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 06:19 PM

View PostBeefontheBone, on Sep 17 2006, 05:55 PM, said:

I preordered Company of Heroes (and got MP beta access thrown in) and I'm rather looking forward to it - it's gotten very good reviews.

I wasn't impressed with Unreal 2 - I thought it was rather lazy and cliched in terms of the story, but it might've improved as it went on, who knows?

Incidentally, Harvard isn't in Britain, Tom :(
I think he meant Oxford?

#13 Sean

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 06:59 PM

Recent purcahses include:

Saints Row (Xbox 360) - GTA Clone.
Test Drive Unlimited (Xbox 360) - Refreshing spin on the racing genre.

Really looking forward to the next Splinter Cell and more so the next Rainbow Six.
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#14 Sabreman

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 07:01 PM

Working in a game shop has the perk that I barely have to buy anything (what I call the try before I don't buy factor), but I have slapped money on the counter recently for a few things:

New Super Mario Bros, which ironically I'm liking because it's a complete throwback to the kind of platform games I used to love (I have never managed to happily make the transition to 3D platformers, other than a brief period of bliss with Super Mario 64). It's just superb - brings a smile to my face every time I play it, and amazingly for this jaded gamer I'm quite happy to make several attempts in a row at a section that's proving difficult. Normally these days I'd switch a game off if I screw up a couple of times or if anything at all frustrates me. There's some testament to the quality of the game in that, I think.

Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis - my endless love-hate relationship with SRPGs continues. I have a huge compulsion to play them because the sheer amount of depth and pointless stat-tinkering appeals to me, yet I find myself angered, frustrated and bored at almost every turn. It took me four years to play through Final Fantasy Tactics, and the battles in that aren't a patch on the scale of the battles in this. I own loads of these things, the Nippon Ichi titles, the FFTAs, Front Missions, Ogre Battles, not to mention PC stuff like Civilization, Alpha Centauri, the Total Wars and Galactic Civilizations. I think I've missed the point that you're supposed to ally yourself with only one of these games, and play it until you die...

#15 PrejudiceSucks

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Posted 17 September 2006 - 08:23 PM

Stronghold 2 - Good game, actually prefer the "Peaceful" side of it, as the maps are much more detailed and it's a much better campaign that way.

X2 - Again, good game, a slow burner, but that's not a problem.

Morrowind - Not bad, although I'm not as pleased with it as I'd have imagined from some of the reviews it got.

Guild Wars - S'alright... not having to subscription fees is nice, but there's not much to it.

(sorry about the very short sub-reviews, if I can be bothered I'll make them a lot longer).




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