Here are my creations of Cloud and Sephiroth.
Soul Calibur V, in my eyes, is the greatest of all the Soul Calibur games, including Soul Edge. This series has been around since 1996 and it just continues to get better. Character creation has existed for the last few games. For Soul Calibur V, the PS3 has made this game the greatest thus far. Why the PS3? Simple, on the PS3, when you create a character, you can save the photos through the XMB as a screen shot. Those who create characters are always very proud of their creations. Below is a series of characters I have created. There are a lot of familiar faces. I will list who’s included:
Achilles (Greek Myth)
Aphrodite (Greek Myth)
Cloud Strife (Final Fantasy VII)
Conan the Barbarian (Schwarzenegger version)
Ra (Egyptian Sun God)
Raiden (Mortal Kombat)
Sephiroth (Final Fantasy VII)
Super Mario 3D Land… yessss.
I purchased the 3DS when it came out. The game choice was poor and I believed Mario 3D was going to be out soon after the release. I was totally mistaken. When Mario came out, I was overjoyed! So what is the game like? 3D heaven!!
The game is like most other Mario games. Bowser, Princess, Toad, Luigi, Goomba, Troopa, etc. This game is a mix between Super Mario 3 and Mario Galaxy. It also has a tribute Zelda stage. This stage is a top down view, like Zelda for the NES.
The presentation and graphics is top-notch. The startup game menu is simple and clean. The 3D graphics are stunning and really make the system work. There are many boards where you can turn off the 3D, but there are many that literally use the 3D. It truly is a work of art. Unfortunately, looking at screen shots does nothing because they aren’t in 3D. You have to play it to realize it.
The sound is great. There are some great Mario tracks in this game. The sound effects are top-notch. I really don’t need to say any more about the sound. It speaks for itself.
The controls are great. It handles just like Mario 64. There are a couple of spots where 2D controls apply. This game has a lot of plat-forming as well. The controls are tough in some spots, but it has always been like that with Mario games. It seems the same gripes haven’t been fixed over the years. The main one is the difficult camera angle that happens at times while jumping. If you’ve played Mario 64 or Sunshine, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Nintendo has always done a great job with Mario and they surely picked up where they left off. There are 8 worlds and then secret levels beyond that. Collecting all the coins will take some effort and should keep people playing for a bit. Lovely game all around.
Lasting Appeal: A
Super Stickman Golf… WOW. I downloaded this little gem onto my phone and let me tell you something… verdammt fantastisch.
I’m addicted. I really am. So basically, you have this thing that is supposed to be a stickman, but clearly doesn’t look too much like a stick figure. Anyhow, he golfs in his little world. You have to basically hit the ball to different and often challenging spots. Sometimes you feel great about yourself and other times you close the program in frustration. But through all that, you will LOVE this app. It controls very well. Easy to learn touch controls. The sound is simplistic. The graphics are very crisp. The functionality of this game is wonderful. I was a bit leery of this game at first, but I was converted to pure “stickdom.” There are lots of courses and three skill levels. The levels are beginning, intermediate and expert. Pretty simple. I strongly recommend this game.
My only real grip about SSG is that if you have a lot of applications running, there can be some slowdown during swing and such, but close some apps and you’ll be fine.
It is FREE on Android, but it may cost something on a tablet. If you own Apple products, it is at the APP Store as well.
Lasting Appeal: A
Final Fantasy… I have had a loving relationship with the franchise since the original Final Fantasy for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I was always caught up between that, Battle of Olympus, Dragon Warrior, Rygar, and Zelda II. Those were my favorites. I have even played Final Fantasy II for the NES (Japan only at the time). I may not work for Square, but I have been around since the early days, therefore I feel I can honestly judge what they produce based on playing each one extensively.
So what are my thoughts on Final Fantasy XIII?
So many people had mixed feelings and complaints, which I can see where they are coming from. The complaints are about the linear approach and the story, etc. First and foremost, the graphics were amazing. Square’s CG is the very top in gaming. I would even stretch and say they are the best of all media, including film animation. Their cut scenes are BEAUTIFUL. I can’t wait to see what they do with their luminous engine. If you don’t know about the luminous engine, here’s the YouTube:
Now, I didn’t have a problem with Final Fantasy XIII. It reminded me of Mystic Quest. Mystic Quest (SNES) was very linear, but it was a great introduction into the series. XIII seemed that way to me. It felt like an introduction for new players AND a way for them to test the current generations system capabilities. I suspect XIII-2 and Versus will be far superior. As we have learned, the XBOX360 had a very hard time supporting this game at multiple disks and visual losses. As I’m sure XBOX fanboys will disagree, it is the truth.
The story wasn’t that bad at all. It was a little emotional, but so what? The pathways were linear, but so what? There are games that are even worse. For example, God of War was very linear, plus there is no control of the camera. It is fixed. I don’t think the linear style bugged me that much because the game was beautiful. Some of the bosses were tricky, but all in all, not bad at all. I really enjoyed it.
The battle system was simple, but difficult at the same time. You could figure out what to do, but paradigm timing was crucial for many battles. Maximizing attributes and weapons was a very, very long and tedious effort (similar to FFX sphere, but much more in-depth). It took well beyond one hundred hours to get full capacity for the missions beyond the end of the story. The best place to farm experience points is right before the final boss battles with Barthandelus and Orphan. Stake out there for 3-4 hours or until “level 4 max” is filled to have a great edge.
I will say that the story is somewhat forgettable. It is not as vivid as Final Fantasy VII or Tactics (for those who actually played through it), but it is not poorly written at all. It will be interesting to see how XIII-2 ties into it. Apparently, there is time travel and it is less linear. Square-Enix must have listened to the consumers and it has sold very, VERY well in Japan.
Lasting Appeal: B-