Archive for November 23rd, 2010

23
Nov
10

Super Metroid (10/10)

Now, when Super Metroid first came out, I was a mere 5 years old and about 2 years away from my first gaming console (Sega Genesis) so my experience with gaming was limited to only a few select titles I had managed to play.  It was not until the Metroid Prime Trilogy that I really got into Metroid.  But thanks to the joys of Nintendo’s Virtual Console, I can now play the classic Metroid games, including Super Metroid for the SNES.

Now, you can’t really review Super Metroid (or any Metroid game for that matter) without talking about the amazing atmosphere the game creates.  The planet of Zebes is diverse and wonderful.  The graphics are beautiful and the music is perfect.  You really get the sense that you are on this other planet and can become immersed in the game on a level that is rare for any game.  And while I could have used a little more story, the small narrative fits in well with the game and offers a lot more plot than many of the game’s contemporaries.

The platforming controls great and feels more natural than in most games.  I found that the aiming takes a little getting used too,  but once you have mastered it, it becomes second-nature.  There is a nice variety in the assortment of weapons and abilities available to Samus and the rate at which new upgrades are found progresses at a steady rate, so the gameplay never quite gets stale.

The level design is superb.  The world of Zebes is huge and each room seems to almost have its own personality.  The sense of exploration that accompanies this game is amazing, and there is always another little secret around the corner.  And you are encouraged to explore every nook and cranny as doing so yields special power-ups that will help out out later in the game.  However, this is where the game’s first problem comes into focus.  While exploring the world is endless fun, you are bound to get lost in the huge, non-linear world.  I have spent more time that I would like to admit wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out what to do next.  As much as I’d hate to admit it, I would probably still be lost if it were not for the innovation of  gamefaqs.com.

The combat is fun, and the boss battles are where it really shines.  There is a nice variety of bosses and mini-bosses.  Some of them require special strategy to defeat and others just have to be shot over and over.  Both types are fun and challenging and will have you yelling at the screen and cheering when the battle is over.  Though, there was one particular boss battle towards the end of the game where the difficulty spikes far too much.  This boss is insanely hard and feels more cheap than challenging.  However, if you can get past it and make it to the final battle, you will be well rewarded as the final battle of the game is quite possibly the most intense, most exciting battle I have ever played in a game.  It is challenging and will require all your skills, yet it is not like cheap like that other boss.  It is one of the few game segments so exciting and so intense, that just playing it causes your heart to race and will provide you with an adrenaline rush that will last far after the ending credits.

All in all, Super Metroid is a masterpiece of a game.  It was amazing then and it still holds up just as well today.  For 800 Wii points, this game is well worth your investment.

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23
Nov
10

Pokémon: Soul Silver Version (Mini Review)

As anyone who reads this site regularity knows, I love to review games.  And as I gain experience with reviews and analyzing games, my reviews are getting longer and longer.  However, there are some games that I don’t feel I can review in full.  There are many reasons why I may feel like this, but the prime reason would be time.  Sometimes when I want to review a game I look back and see that is has been months since I have played it.  I might can replay it (assuming I did not borrow it) but I would just be replaying levels and the game would have lost its initial freshness.

And this is where the min-reviews come in.  These are tiny reviews that just sums up my views on the game in a couple paragraphs.

So here it is, I promised it nearly a month ago, but I am finally getting around to reviewing Pokémon: Soul Silver.

It is tempting to say that if you’ve played one Pokémon game, you’ve played them all and in many ways that is true.  The same basic formula has not really changed.  However, having been one of the rare people to go straight from Yellow to Soul Silver I can see that the series has evolved quite a bit over the years.  Imagine my surprise at learning that you can breed your Pokémon!

The game is very addicting.  Collecting your Pokémon, naming them, training them, etc. is very fond and if you are anything like me, you will almost find yourself starting to develop an attachment them for the little buggers.  The dialogue sounds like a moody 12 year old wrote it, but I actually like that.  It feels nostalgic and childlike.  The fact that you can name your arch-nemisis is very fun (I chose Kevin…idk why, it just sounds menacing to me).

The world of Pokémon is expansive with lots of stuff to do and lots of areas to explore.  The game is cute, charming, adventurous, and just plain fun…for the most part.  Unfortunately the turn based combat of the game becomes boring to the point of painful after a while.  If you are a big RPG player and you don’t mind repetitive turn based combat, then you will love this game.  If you are like me and lack the patience to finish most turn based RPGs, then you may want to borrow it from a friend or something…because it does get repetitive after a while.

But if you can get past the combat, then this is a wonderful game and I can’t recommend it enough.




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