Thursday, July 28, 2005

Super Smash Bros. Melee Techniques

Wave Dashing

Wave dashing is probably one of the hardest techniques in SSBM to perform. But its effects pay off like no ones bussiness.

As you probably know, you can hold down the "L" or "R" triggers to pull up a shield, and then press left or right on the joystick to roll in that direction as an evasive attack. Wave dashing is when you jump, and immediatly do a diagnal (downwards) arial dodge. It makes your character slide along the floor for a short distance, and it is an evasive attack, so while you are sliding, Enemies cant attack you! and, once you finish sliding, you can immediatly execute a counter attack, or even pull up your shield for immediate protection!

It's very effective with characters such as Yoshi and Samus, whos rolling dodges are K-Rap. (THEY SUCK) but, this move doesnt come to those with slow fingers! you have to pull it off almost immediatly. some characters have a few exceptions. say, Mario, who jumps almost the second you press 'jump' you can wave dash immediatly, but with a character like Bowser, who sort-of crouches down first, must wait a split second before executing the rest of the move.

Good Luck Soldier! and Check out forums.nintendo.com for more information on Wave Dashing.

--
The Evil Ryan Von Levingston

Monday, July 25, 2005

PointlesScape

What's the deal with RuneScape? It seems like a good game at first glance, nice graphics, attention to detail, etc. etc. etc. But it runs out of "funness" after a while. Why?

There is no point to the game. Get exp, earn levels, get items. Then what? Get more exp, earn more levels, get more items! It never ends. So when an update is made, what gets added? More quests, more skills, more items. Get more, get better! That's the only point!

The problem is exactly this: the game is unbeatable. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you can never "win." You just have to keep playing. So what happens? People quit, and never play again.

True, there are people that love this type of gaming. There are fanatics that sit around and play RuneScape all friggen day. But what's the point? To keep playing! This is insane! RuneScape needs to add some way to win, to beat the game, to finish. Until then, I ain't playing and neither should you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tales of Symphonia

Graphics

Tales of Symphonia is a perfect example of what happens when the game designers put everything they have into making a pretty world for you. Simply put, this game is absolutely GORGEOUS. The cel-shaded worlds in the game are beautifully designed, making the entire game a beautiful work of art. Of course, there's more to beauty than still worlds...the game also makes art out of the heated battles that will be faced throughout the game. Every single attack has a different effect, and each one looks simply amazing. As odd as it may seem, even the action-packed battles in Tales of Symphonia are things of beauty.

Graphics score: 5/5
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Story

I would like to give a huge "THANK YOU!!!!!!!!" to the people who wrote the story for this game. Though the plot may seem confusing at first, it quickly becomes a very mysterious sequence of events that are all masterfully written. I was actually moved to tears at a few points. Nothing about ToS' plot is generic...everything is purely original, and you'll never expect a lot of the proverbial curveballs that the game will throw at you. As much as I would like to give examples, I can't tell you anything about it for fear of spoiling the awesomeness that is this game's storyline. In short, the story is like an expertly written novel...it is something far above what anyone could ask for from a video game.

Story score: 6/5
(What? I can't do that? Dang...)
Story score: 5/5
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Gameplay

At this point, I focus my attention on the part of every game that most influences my final ratings...how the game plays. In the case of Tales of Symphonia, all I can really say is...YAHOOOOO!!!! I just can't help it, the game is a pure joy to play! ^_^ Unlike in most RPGs, battles are not completely random...rather, you can see the enemies before they attack you, and if you want, you can simply dodge around them, although the game does not encourage this, since you need some high levels to take on the huge bosses in the game...and the bosses are REAL bosses...you won't be able to take them out by just mashing buttons, in this game, you'll need to be prepared and use some strategy. On another note, the game strogly encourages you to form combos by linking your normal attacks together with special attacks, and by working together with your teammates to continually hit your oppenent without stopping. Naturally, mindless button-mashing won't get you anywhere in that field. So, to put it simply, everything about this game is wondefully designed, and the battles never feel slow, boring, or tedious, since they're just so much fun to fight out!

Gameplay score: 5/5
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Overall

ToS is a pure video game work of art that has been wonderfully designed and made, and never gets boring, even after it's been completed, though that won't happen for a while, since the game is HUGE...it'll easily take up at least 60 hours of play time, and likely more than 80. After all, the game covers two jam-packed discs! Once you finish the game, you can play again with new stuff! This will let you keep a lot of the things you got the first time, and this also gives you a good chance to complete any side quests you missed. However, I'm getting off of the point...TALES OF SYMPHONIA ROCKS!!!!! I've never felt this excited or gotten this addicted to any video game, not even my previous favorite, Fire Emblem. Tales of Symphonia has reminded me just how much fun a video game can be. Normally I would take some time to talk about the flaws in any game I review, but...to tell you the truth, I just can't find much of anything wrong with this game! It's pure fun, plain and simple. In other words, TOS PWNZ!!!!
...Sorry, I've always wanted to say "pwnz" in a review. ^_^ Heh, I can't help it if ToS is just about the greatest game I've ever played. ^_^

Overall score: A BAZILLION/5
(I can't do that, either? Dang...come on, I told you that I've never felt so much emotion over a video game before! ...Still no? Oh, all right...)
Overall score: 5/5

Monday, July 11, 2005

Descent 2

Descent 2 is an oldie that was ahead of its time. A completely original 3D space shooter, itmade great use of the hardware and provided great original game concepts and an enjoyable experience.

That said, I wanted to point out a few of its major strengths and weaknesses.

First of all, the graphics were superb by the standards of the time. The system functioned well and had no glitches while still incorporating some cool effects, like translucent ships (when they were using cloaking). Lots of things could definitely be improved about the graphics, but all in all they were very good for the day and made good use of the hardware.

The sounds were great too. Building onto and expanding the dark-back-alley feel to the game, the music was intense, and often increased the suspense level. The sound effects were right on target as well, providing the player with truly wierd machine sounds for the robots and great original weapon noises.

What really made the game a smashing success was its use of a 6 degree-of-freedom movement system. Something that had never been used before, it allowed the player to move freely through the 3D world while pulling off all sorts of moves not possible in flight simulators. Sometimes it was fun just to see what moves you could pull on a robot before moving in for the kill.

The weapon variety is what really made this game awesome though. While no weapon is more powerful than the last, they each work in a different way, forcing you to alter your strategy depending on your weapon while simultaneously causing you to develop favorites. Although the laser is the default weapon, they can range from mega missles and smart mines to vulcan cannons and homing missles. Each provides a totally different kind of gameplay, making replay value a huge factor.

Another fun feature is the level editor. Using the level editor the player can create missions of any type with an easy to use interface and a powerful texture engine. Triggers, secret walls, hidden powerups, even customizable textures allow the player to create any world he wants to play in.

Gameplay is really kicked up a notch when two or more players play multiplayer over a LAN. Suddenly the game is not learning the robot's strategy, it's about outsmarting real live opponents with moves that you can't predict or expect.

Overall, Descent 2 is an awesome game. You can find it for PC here. Unfortunately, Descent 3 doesn't pick up where 2 left off. It becomes a different game altogether as it took on the standard "complete the mission" style of the time. No more blow up the reactor. Now you have to rescue Dr. Somebody. The story is okay, but it doesn't fit. Better to settle for its predecessor.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Banjo-Tooie

Story- 8.5/10

The story is about as zany as any other bizarre game made by Rare, and that there really.....isn't much story. You play as Banjo and Kazooie, trying and stop Grunty the witch once more, and in a hope to revive Bottles, who was zapped by her magic. There's dozens of other plotlines throughout the levels, each involving someone more eccentric and hilarious then the last. You have to buy moldy fries at a theme park, retrieve an item from a talking ice cube, and try and wash out a tipsy pirate! So much fun that I actually burst out laughing a couple times while playing it.

Gameplay/Controls- 9/10

The controls in this game are excellent, and moves are extremely easy to learn as you go along. The levels are zany and colorful, and full of somewhat tricky puzzles. Getting to and from the levels through the main world can be frustrating at times, and often you can lose track of just where you're trying to go. The extra items, like honeycombs and feathers, are scattered throughout the lands, and can keep the gameplay going a little longer.

Graphics- 7.5/10

I love these graphics to death, and would still prefer the slight blockyness over the modern GCN sleek look. The bright colors signify everything this game was meant to be, and lets you know just what kind of an atmosphere you're in. However, without a sharp TV, some things don't appear very clear when viewed from afar.

Sound- 6.5/10

Meh. The voices of our heroes can get repetitive, with the squawks and hums, but the loopy sound effects average it about right. The "talking" noises, should be able to be toggled off, also.

Difficulty- 8.5/10

This one is sort of a toss-up. Your first time playing through can be extremely tough, when you meet new bosses and locked doors. But after you lose once, or play through again, it easies up a bunch.

Extras- 10/10

You can unlock and go back to a whole bunch of things in this game. There's a truckload of minigames and mock-trivias in the title menu, including a purposeful GoldenEye knock-off that seems disturbingly like the real game. Once you unlock cheats, you can go back with infinite this and that, and turn your feathered friend into a fire-breathing Dragon. You also can go revisit the classic cut-scenes and ending scene.

Final Vote- 8.5/10

GET IT!