3DS

TheatRhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call

Format Played: 3DS
Publisher(s): Square Enix
Developer(s): Square Enix
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Score: 9.2/10

Theatrhythm_Final_Fantasy_Curtain_Call_US_coverCurtain Call is the TheatRhythm game that the first should have been!
This is the second version of TheatRhythm to hit our shelves and comes jam packed full of goodies. Not to say the first wasn’t good, on the contrary it’s great! I played it for 60+ hrs and every now and than I would still pick up and have a quick blast.

My gaming background covers 90% of the Final Fantasy games released.  I own at least 1 version of every numbered series and have completed nearly every one at least once.  One of the aspects I absolutely love about the series is the music within the games. I don’t just love the music I have bought some of the official and LE soundtracks and have watched Distant Worlds at the London Albert Hall.

Taking this in mind you can see why this would be an entertaining game for me.
The game is much like the first but with a hell of a lot more tracks, 221 to be exact!. The layout of the tracks have been improved and it’s now easier to navigate through tracks, you can also place a heart against your favorite tracks and than sort through that way.  A Co-Op mode has also been added however I’ll come back to that a little later. Airship sections have been added into the field music which are okay but not as good as the normal Field levels.

The game flows a lot better than the first however issues still remain.
On ultimate difficulty I found that sometimes the touch screen doesn’t pick up your taps or strokes, this maybe due to the speed and sensitivity, it’s an improvement on the first game but seems to sometimes still happen. The other issue is with the EMS, the sections you tap does not seem to be in sync with the music at all.

theatrhythmcurtailcallheaderThe game really is just a tap and swipe in time with the music game along to Final Fantasy music but boy is it addictive!

The Co-Op is a nice addition.  It does seem to take a while to load up and find an opponent but the battle offers a different style of play with the ability to dish out status effects on your opponent which disorientates them by speeding up the symbols or blanking them out completely but while you are dishing them out so is your opponent so watch out!

The three difficultly levels are open from the start, offering you a chance to chose between Basic, Expert or Ultimate. The step up in difficulty between them are quite big so you may want to watch yourself however I find the once you have played a few of the tracks on Ultimate it’s the only way to play!

Few other mentions
– The RM is no longer capped at 99999 as I currently stand at 171248rm
– if you don’t feel you have enough tracks there are 50 more for you to download through DLC and a few more characters too! This is more justified over the first game as you have over 200 tracks built into the game already.
– 65 Characters to unlock and play as.  Once you hit level 99 you can reset them and start again
– Tracks of the day! there will be 5 Tracks of the day to chose.  These give you small bonuses

The Quest medleys are separated into 4 sections including Short, Medium, Long and Inherited.  These are sections where you travel along a path playing random field or battle tracks to progress.  At the end you have a boss who will drop items or crystals to unlock new characters.  This is a good way to play new tracks but once completed and the next one is unlocked I found the difficulty spiked very quickly.  Not an issue for me but may be to difficult for some.

All in all over 80hrs of happy gaming and I still go back for more.  Personally this type of pick up and play game never gets boring.  You will find yourself humming along to tracks, hording items you will never need and sometimes get frustrated but I promise you if you are a fan of Final Fantasy and you have a 3DS this is a must buy!

Enjoy

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3DS

Pokémon Y

Format Played: 3DS
Publisher(s): Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Developer(s): Game Freak
Release Date: October 12, 2013
Score: 8.5/10

PokemonY_3DS_boxartHaving never completed any Pokémon game in the series and not having played one for quite a while I decided to give the latest version a try. Gamefreak finally decided to put more effort into updating what can only be described as the same style game since the Gameboy days I decided I too would also make the effort.
Joking aside the game actually looks beautiful and for the first time it feels like a next gen Pokémon title, something that was missing from previous games.  I have always enjoyed the series but could never tell you why I have never ever finished a single one.  Sure it does essentially feel like you keep playing the same game with different characters and added Pokémon from the last one but there is something about the series which makes you enjoy the experience.

I don’t have a lot of bad points to bring up apart from the fact the 3D isn’t always on, something I find highly irregular for a big Nintendo based title.  It’s not that I used the 3DS much anyway but I am sure some people do and I cannot understand the reasoning behind only having 3D in certain sections of the game.

The game controls are pretty much the same, the battle system also hasn’t really involved much either but the main difference really is the graphics and I can’t stress how much better this looks to previous titles.
The story is ok, not great but enjoyable, hell, I even made it to the end and captured the legendary Pokémon, something I have failed to reach in previous games, although having said that the Legendary Pokémon did seem a little too easy to obtain.  In fact the game as a whole is pretty easy and I rarely faced any sort of challenge along my journey.  I know this game is aimed at younger gamers but come on! wouldn’t a difficulty option hurt?  I mean a lot of people growing up with Pokémon games would now be in their 20’s and 30’s!

The moto that has always stood behind the Pokémon series “gotta catch them all” has long since departed as I felt no need to collect every Pokémon, heck half of the ones I did capture I never used anyway.  I just found my favourite 6 and stood with them to the bitter end.
Hmm said I wouldn’t find bad points but I seem to be finding more as I write this! Oh well I might as well continue. I felt there were too many abilities and items being thrown at you (didn’t use half of them), the abilities like Cut and Strength are back forcing you to use them to gain extra items (you probably won’t use), however this time you can’t create a utility Pokémon to dump all abilities on,  you are forced to use different Pokémon if you want to use them.  On top of that you are unable to delete the ability once you give it to that Pokémon.  For example if I wanted to fast travel the world map I had to use the only flying Pokémon in my party which happened to be the legendary one, Um no thanks, I’ll walk!
pokemon-x-and-y-yveltal-screenshot
These are all little issues I had with the game. As I previously said this is the first Pokémon game I have stuck with until the end and I found myself playing for long periods at a time, on the small sized 3DS which cramps my hands when playing for long periods (anyone wanting to buy me a 3DS XL Pokemon Red I would be grateful).

So in summary, looks great, familiar gameplay and story, lack of 3D for those who use it and also something I failed to mention was the music was catchy and enjoyable.

If you are a fan of the series this is a welcome familiar addition, if this is your first Pokémon game, this is an enjoyable pick up and play game, even if there is a coffee shop around every corner!

3DS

Luigi’s Mansion 2: Dark Moon

Format Played: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Developer(s): Next Level Games
Release Date: March 28, 2013
Score: 8.5/10

Luigi's_Mansion_Dark_Moon_(Boxart)Loved the original game on the GameCube as it was different to all the other Mario games out there and I wondered why it never got a sequel until now.  I don’t tend to play games through in 3D but always flick it on now and then just to check it out and it does look pretty good compared to some other 3DS games I have played but personal preference it’s not for me.

The game is essentially the same mechanics as the first Luigi’s Mansion.  Anyone who has recently gone back and played the original will notice that there has been a huge leap forward with the look of the game (not even including the extra 3D element).    The controls remain the same, see a ghost flash them with your torch then suck theme up until their number depletes to 0.  Yet this never seems to get boring through the game.  The ghosts later become a bit more of a challenge but not by much.

The little touches are what make this game, The Gameboy Color Luigi uses to contact the Professor is now a DS, Luigi still hums along with the music which always tickles me and I love the comedy of the ghosts themselves, very enjoyable.

I don’t really have anything bad to say about this game although I would have liked more of a variation in ghosts like the original.
The bosses are all fun to play and they all have to be tackled in different ways, some of which may take a little time to figure out.

Other points to note = the game seems longer than the original; however I did aim to finish everything which meant collecting all hidden Gems and Boos which I must add didn’t seem to reward you much for doing so and because I spent ages looking for things I got more annoyed when I did happen to die as you have to restart the whole level again including revisiting Boo’s and collected Gems.

I can see Dark Moon being a hit for kids and adults alike, there Is something for everyone, and the simplicity of the game really does help that.  It’s a fantastic game to add to handheld system and even the Mario games.
Luigis-Mansion-Dark-Moon-Preview-2

3DS

Super Mario 3D Land

Format Played: 3DS
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Score: 88%

It’s a Mario game so I’ll keep this short and sweet.  At first I was disappointed about how quickly I was progressing through the levels and worlds managing to easily pick up the 3 star coins in each level and collecting lives quicker then the amount of levels I was completing.  There was doubt in my mind that I would finish the game within a couple of days but thankfully World 8 isn’t the end of the game.  The game does however get a bit more challenging but my only downside is the star coins! These coins are relatively easy to find and pick up with the exception of a couple in the whole game that actually gave me any issues to find.  The star coins you can collect seem to become pointless by the end of the game, they are used to progress and open up new levels but they are so easy to collect you should never have any issues.  Not only this but you can still keep collecting them after you finish the game but to what purpose I am not sure.

 

By the time you get to the real end of the game you will come across a few levels which will eat away at your lives as you slowly start making silly mistakes the more frustrated you get.  Luckily no doubt you will have over 100 at this point so there is no real threat to seeing that game over screen.

The game itself no matter how easy is very enjoyable to play and you will find yourself finding it hard to put down.  The controls are easy enough a novice could pick them up with no trouble and graphically looks impressive in both 2D and 3D.  I did however find myself turning off the 3D view during some levels as I found myself missing jumps because I wasn’t where I thought I was.

The other issue I have is with boss battles becoming to repetitive, I would rather they mixes it up a bit instead of having the same fights throughout the game.

This game is very enjoyable to play but anyone looking for a challenge will be slightly disappointed despite a couple of very challenging levels.  Anyone who enjoys Mario will love this game, it’s a brilliant addition to the Mario games and it brings newness to the series without losing that familiarity.

 

3DS

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D

Format Played: 3DS
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Nintendo
Release Date: June 19, 2011
Score: 98%

When one of my favourite games get’s a re-release of course I am going to purchase it for the 3rd time! I tried to resist by telling myself I already own it on the gamecube but just got easily caught up in the hype and believe me I am not disappointed with the new improved port to the 3DS.

This review is more about the changes and my gaming experience rather than the story. If you are new to the game I only have two words for you “Play it”
The things that make this version so special are the improved graphics which look polished and fresh the whole game has pretty much had a makeover while at the same time looking and feeling true to the original. Looking around Hyrule you will be amazed to see light shining out of windows in Kokiri Forest, Link looks better if a little too green, flowers are coming up from the ground and trees look fuller, the moon and sun look stunning as they rise and fall and the shops are full making them seem less empty. Two things I forgot to mention but you already should know; the game is portable which means you can play it at work (I mean on the bus) and it’s in 3 smeging D!

The 3D really is impressive and should be played throughout the story, the depth is amazing to look at and certain areas really do show how good the 3D is on the 3DS. One area especially blew my mind is Kokiri Forest! All the fairy sparkles floating around really do seem to come out at you more than everything else and it really does drag you into what you already know will be an amazing experience.

The changes to the control layout personally for me is for the better, using the bottom touch screen as a map to get around is very handy in dungeons so you know where you have already visited just by a glance of the eyes and the quick change items/weapons come very handy when dealing with tricky enemies. You can now use the touch screen to play the Ocarina which makes following songs easier to remember and there is also a option to see the list of songs as a visual aid you have already learnt.

There is a new control feature that I both love and hate, you can now use the 3DS motion control to look around & also aim certain weapons like the boomerang and bow and arrow. Brilliant idea and really easy to use making aiming quicker than using the control stick. My issues with it are the fact you look a bit silly moving the 3DS around and if you want to look all the way behind you sometimes this isn’t possible. Luckily I played it during my lunch hour at work and I sit on a spin chair although I did get a few odd looks! The other issue is with the 3D on a small screen the slightest movement can cause ghosting and blurriness which can be frustrating when in combat however the laser sighting on the hookshot is a godsend for accuracy!

Everything is there as it was before including all the side quests just be warned that Navi will keep interrupting you every so often to give you a hint where to go next, this can be annoying hearing “hey” every once in a while!
Master Quest is also unlocked and the chance to do Boss Speed runs which will keep you occupied once you have finished the game.

All that said the updates are a huge welcome keeping the game fresh to play but not changing anything we fell in love with on the N64. Despite my minor issues this game gets full marks from me. A classic I will play time and time again.