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Average User Score: 7.3Dec 2, 2016The World Ends With You is a phenomenal game, both on DS and Smartphones. The smartphone version, however, is far superior to the DS versionThe World Ends With You is a phenomenal game, both on DS and Smartphones. The smartphone version, however, is far superior to the DS version in almost all aspects.
The rerelease of the game features many improvements from the original release. The graphics and music receive a much appreciated step up from the DS version, taking advantage of the higher specifications of most devices. The graphics are a huge improvement, with the tiny sprites from the DS being redrawn in HD. This includes backgrounds and pins, which look beautiful in HD. The music and sound effects have also had a drastic increase in quality, and this version even includes some songs not available in the DS version.
The gameplay, however, is often considered inferior to the DS version. Unlike the DS version, TWEWY (SR) has you control only one character, removing the unique feature that the DS game had. This is a common complaint about this rerelease, however, it is not necessarily a bad thing. The new combat system is a lot more accessible for new players, and the much larger screen than the DS is great for this 1-character system.
The story in The World Ends With You is my favourite part of the game. In TWEWY, you are dead, and you must compete in a series of trials to prove that you’re worthy of a second chance. These trials take place over the course of a week, with the main character, Neku, participating in three of them. It sounds simple, but over the course of the game, you start appreciating the messages the game tries to put across, and the different characters with a large amount of depth. TWEWY has my favourite story in any video game of all time.
The gameplay in TWEWY is very simple. The general idea is that you swipe the screen in different patterns, in order to activate the ‘pins’ that you have collected. This, again, sounds very simple, but with hundreds of combinations available, the game can have some real depth. The game also has a level-up system, which increases your hit point total. In the game, there are a number of methods of affecting item drops, and item drop rates. One of the most interesting of these is the ability to lower your level, which decreases health, but increases the drop rate by 1* for each level you sacrifice. This awards players who do a good job at avoiding damage. Another system this game uses is a difficulty system. Over the course of the game, you unlock different difficulties, which are as follows; Easy, Normal, Hard, and Very Hard. Depending on the difficulty you select, enemies will drop different pins. This also changes the attack and health of the enemies; so higher difficulty levels will reward you with rare pins. This also makes the game very accessible for more casual players.
The sound in TWEWY is also amazing. The game features a number of different tracks, most of them with lyrics. These songs are incredibly catchy, and play during battles, cutscenes, and in the overworld. Some of these songs are in Japanese, and some in English. Some even have different language versions, but still play in the English version. This adds even more songs to the soundtrack. TWEWY has my favourite music in any video game ever.
As for replay value, TWEWY does not disappoint. The game features a ‘chapter select’ screen after defeating the final boss. This chapter screen also provides missions for you to complete, each one awarding you with an item and a bit of lore. These are very fun to complete, most of the time, and add a lot to the game. The game also features an additional day, which depicts all of the characters in the story in an alternate universe. This chapter is a light-hearted take on the game, and provides a refreshing change from the main story.
Overall, TWEWY is one of my favourite games of all time. The graphics are unique and beautiful, the music is perfect, and there’s a ton of depth in the story and gameplay.… Expand
Average User Score: 9.1Dec 1, 2016Team Fortress 2 was a PC game released in 2007. It was originally a pay-to-play game, but was made free-to-play later in it’s lifespan. It wasTeam Fortress 2 was a PC game released in 2007. It was originally a pay-to-play game, but was made free-to-play later in it’s lifespan. It was also released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but these versions are obsolete. It has received many updates over the last 9 years, and has contended with the likes of Overwatch.
Team Fortress 2 is a unique take on a first-person shooter. Unlike the majority of shooting games, Team Fortress 2 does not try to be realistic. Instead, it is very stylised and colourful. The weapons and characters all have a distinct shape, allowing you to clearly identify any class from great distance.
The game is based around two teams, who fight over different objectives. The game itself has a backstory; however this isn’t apparent in game. Every game is a battle between RED (Reliable Excavation Demolition) and BLU (Builders League United). The colours of red and blue are well chosen, so that the two teams are very easy to distinguish. This is very important in-game, as it makes it a lot easier to identify who is friend and foe.
All of the game’s classes are very unique. The characters themselves are designed to be distinguishable between one another, even as a colourless silhouette. This is done to ensure that the player can make a decision about their course of action, without having to get a close up view of their opponent. The shapes of the characters have implications about the combat ability of a class, allowing newer players to pick and choose who to fight.
The characters have unique personalities. Each class talks about their environment as the games go on, commenting on objectives or kills. These comments are often humorous, and can give players an idea of who is coming around a corner, allowing them time to prepare for an assault.
The game is highly customisable. In fact, it is a frequent joke amongst players that Team Fortress 2 is not a ‘First-Person Shooter’, but instead a ‘Hat Simulator’. Players may equip different items known as ‘cosmetics’. These, as the names suggest, have no effect on gameplay, but make each player feel unique. Each class has their own set of cosmetics, which may be bought or traded for. A small number of cosmetics are given away to players for completing certain achievements. However, since a lot of players will have these cosmetics, people will usually strive to obtain more unique items.
Despite the obvious differences, Team Fortress 2 is just like other first-person shooters in a few aspects. It has similar weapons, such as rocket launchers and sniper rifles, and objectives to complete. These allow players familiar with first-person shooters to enjoy the game without having to immediately adapt to new and unique weapons.
The game consists of nine characters, known as ‘classes’. Classes come in three categories; offense, defense, and support. Offensive classes are made to deal large amounts of damage. Defensive classes are generally classes who do best at defending the objective. Support classes can help deal damage from afar, pick off important targets, or heal friendly players.
The class groups help keep the game balanced, and to give a team a way to decide which classes are needed in certain situations. For example, a team with a lot of offensive classes but no support classes is likely to suffer against a team with support classes, as the other team could have a method of healing, a person doing damage from afar, or someone to take down the larger classes in one hit.
Despite certain classes having advantages over others, each class can be useful to a game. For example, a Scout, who has only 125 health points, can take down a Heavy with up to 350 health points, by taking advantage of the Scout’s unique attributes, such as his agility. The Heavy, on the other hand, is slow, and must track fast enemies accurately using his minigun.
Team Fortress 2 has effective methods of giving visual feedback to the player. The main way that visual feedback is used is the red marker used to indicate the direction from where a player is getting hit. This is extremely useful, not only for determining the location of an attacker, but also to determine the magnitude of the damage done. The game also has visual feedback in the form of a useful GUI. This GUI gives the player all sorts of information about the current match, and also informs you of your health, ammunition, and player deaths. Using these different facts can give a player an idea of where to be at times of need.
The game also has a lot of audial feedback in the form of hit sounds, something fairly unique to Team Fortress 2. Hit sounds are used as indication of successful shots, and are surprisingly informative. The pitch of the hit sound varies depending on the damage done. This information can be used to judge whether you have done significant damage to other players, and can decide your response. Other aspects of audial feedback are screaming players, and other sounds that can indicate danger or the capturing of an objective.
Whilst the game itself is a blast to play, it is not without flaws. One of the largest flaws in the game is the lack of team balance. A team can often stray from teamwork, leading to uncoordinated efforts to capture an objective. Often, several players will play as the same class, such as Snipers. This often leads to an oversaturation of that type of player, and a lack of necessary support. One of the most infamous examples of Team Fortress 2’s balance was the autobalance feature. The autobalance feature aimed to balance teams by ensuring that each team has the same amount of players. Recently, Valve decided to do away with this feature, which has lead to unbalanced games, often with a few players facing a full team.
Updates are few and far between, with most updates being a large disappointment for the community. Announced updates can take years to actually be implemented, and new gameplay elements are not often added, which can sometimes make the game seem stale. Most updates only add a small amount of cosmetics or ‘beta’ maps, which are never actually finished. Cactus Canyon, for example, has been in beta for over 2 years, with no word of a full release. The item servers are also frequently down, leading to a large amount of frustration.
Despite my love for this game, the recent ‘Meet Your Match’ update has taken away a great deal of the fun for me. The forced matchmaking in this update can often take up to 10 minutes. As aforementioned, the ‘autobalance’ feature is now long gone, which initially met with approval from the community. However, after months of games without autobalance, people have stopped appreciating the removal of the system.
The game also has a whole host of performance issues, making it hard to recommend to someone without a decent computer. The main problem with Team Fortress 2 is Valve’s refusal to port the game to their new engine, Source 2. This is understandable, as the development team is very small, but unfortunately, it’s absolutely necessary. As it stands, Team Fortress 2 can only use 2 cores of your processor, limiting performance drastically. The updates also seem to make the problem worse, with every addition to the game causing more and more lag. Even someone with a powerful computer would have trouble keeping Team Fortress 2 at a steady framerate.
Yet another issue with the game is the fact that a player is generally judged by their appearance. Players with more expensive items are nearly always regarded as better than someone with less expensive items. This can lead to bullying, and neglect of players who have not played for as long.
Overall, TF2 is a fairly solid experience, and is probably the best Free-to-Play game around. Unfortunately, with the recent updates, and incredible drops in performance, I find it hard to recommend to anyone. Even I have stopped playing it recently, as the drops in framerate are infuriating, often occurring at vital moments. I would appreciate the game much more, if Valve would actually show some courtesy for the game.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.1Nov 27, 2016Sonic Advance 2 is a major step down from Sonic Advance. The basic gameplay is the same, but, unfortunately, there are some key differencesSonic Advance 2 is a major step down from Sonic Advance. The basic gameplay is the same, but, unfortunately, there are some key differences that ruin some of the fun. It's not a bad game by any means, but Sonic Advance is just much better.
The story is pretty much the exact same as Sonic Advance 1, so no points for originality. However, as I said in my review of the first game, it's the gameplay that counts. It's a Sonic game.
Sonic Advance 2 does everything Sonic Advance does. Like Sonic Advance, the game goes back to the roots of Sonic, taking gameplay from the Genesis trilogy, and moving it to the Gameboy Advance. The main mistake this second iteration makes is it's over-reliance on speed. Sonic Advance 1 sacrifices some speed in order to keep the game fun and simple. Sonic Advance 2 goes over the top with speed, and as a consequence, the controls are much less tight. This wouldn't be a problem if the stages were built around speed. Unfortunately, this isn't the case, as another place where Sonic Advance 2 steps down from the original is level design. The first 3 or so Zones are fine, but after that, the number of cheap deaths via bottomless pits is unbelievable. That said, the Zones are generally still enjoyable, you just have to slow down. This focus on slowing down in later Zones just ruins the whole 'fast' thing.
The Special Stage access is also a severe downgrade from Sonic Advance, which is saying something. Instead of the only slightly annoying spring system, Sonic Advance 2 forces you to look through the level for special rings. These rings will never be picked up by accident. You have to actually take time to look around the level, which yet again, makes me wonder why they tried so much to focus on speed.
The graphics, however, are yet again brilliant. They even took the time to create new animations for all of the characters, which is greatly appreciated. The zones are also even more beautiful than Sonic Advance's, most of them being colourful and fun to look at.
This game, once again, features four playable characters. The four characters that this game features are Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Cream, a new character. Cream is essentially an 'easy mode', with Cheese easily taking out bosses without effort at all. This is fine and all, but where's Amy? Amy is actually a secret fifth playable character this time around, and you must obtain all 7 Chaos Emeralds as all 4 characters to unlock her. This sounds like a joke, but it's true. This is a choice I just can't comprehend. Why is she only playable after putting yourself through literal torture? Who thought that Amy Rose, of all characters, was something people would put this much effort into unlocking? If that wasn't bad enough, they changed Amy's moveset into a Sonic clone. No longer does she have a unique way of playing through the game.
The music in this game is a step up from Sonic Advance. Every track is memorable, my favourite being both of Music Plant Zone's tracks. Not only is the music itself amazing in this zone, but the sound effects from the various objects in each act make it the most memorable Zone in the entire Sonic Advance series.
Overall, Sonic Advance 2 is a good game, but it doesn't quite reach the level of the original. It's essentially Sonic Advance with worse level designs and faster speed. It's still really fun, but I'd recommend playing the first game over this one.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Nov 26, 2016This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Pokémon Sun and Moon does very little to add to the long-running series that is Pokémon.
First off, let's talk about what Sun and Moon do right. The most obvious change from previous iterations of the Main-Series games is the removal of HMs. This is a huge step in the right direction, as HMs have always been widely regarded as a bad game mechanic. Now, you don't need to teach your Pokémon unuseful moves in order to progress. Now, we can only hope they continue this trend in the future, but I have little faith in Game Freak as a whole.
Sun and Moon are potentially the first Pokémon games with interesting characters. Lillie and her mother, Lusamine, both have some depth. Sun and Moon also bring Pokémon one step closer to the 'modern' age, by introducing cinematic cutscenes.
The new Pokémon are overall fairly well designed, even if their shiny variations are less than spectacular. My personal favourites are Brionne and Mimikyu.
And finally, the change of formula is mildly refreshing, but overall, underwhelming.
Now I'm going to talk about what Sun and Moon do wrong. And let me tell you, there's a lot of it.
First of all, despite Game Freak's attempt to 'change the formula', the game once again feels very samey. This is Pokémon, after all, so what do you expect? The only problem is that the games promised a change from the status quo, and changing Gyms' names to 'island challenges' doesn't really feel all that different. Almost every challenge is played very similarly to how gyms are, but somehow, a whole lot less satisfying. The rewards of an TM after defeating a gym seem to be long gone, and unlike beating a gym, completing an island challenge doesn't feel like a milestone. You don't get a badge, but a 'stamp' in your passport, which is a whole lot less exciting, and doesn't feel like something to be proud of. Not only that, but these challenges are even a whole lot easier than the gyms of previous games, usually involving you to walk through an area and battle a single Pokémon.
Whilst I praised the mildly interesting story, it's impossible to ignore the cutscenes. It feels like there is a cutscene every 5 minutes in this game, making it drag on for no real reason. In fact, if you want to restart the game to get a female starter, or one for a specific nature, the cutscene for getting your starter lasts around five minutes, so tough luck. This, coupled with the low framerate on the o3DS makes the cutscenes unbearable.
This brings me to the next problem: Performance. On the New 3DS, I have heard that the game has a relatively stable framerate, but with the occasional drops in Totem/Double battles. On the original 3DS, this is taken to the next level, with moments where you can actually count the number of frames per second. Fortunately, it doesn't affect the gameplay, as it is a turn based game, but it's still unpleasant to look at. On the other hand, though, the overworld seems devoid of lag during regular play, which is actually slightly impressive. However, after playing ORAS again after S/M, the difference in the overall experience was obvious. Faster encounter times, less loading, smoother framerate, it's just painfully obvious that the 3DS lacks the power needed for Sun and Moon to work.
Overall, Sun and Moon are a huge disappointment. They just don’t feel like a new generation. It’s as if Sun and Moon are just X and Y with a coat of Hawaiian paint. Let’s just hope the possible Switch version is more enjoyable.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.9Nov 26, 2016Sonic Advance is everything Sonic the Hedgehog 4 should have been. High-paced yet precise sidescrolling. Physics that rival the originalSonic Advance is everything Sonic the Hedgehog 4 should have been. High-paced yet precise sidescrolling. Physics that rival the original trilogy. Characters that provide new levels of fun. It's tragic that the Advance series as a whole has fallen into obscurity.
The story is very much standard for the old-school 2D Sonic games. Eggman has captured a bunch of animals, and has decided to take over the world. Why? For plot convenience, of course. It's not the most interesting story, but it's a Sonic game, and gameplay takes priority.
The gameplay is almost as if it was ripped from the genesis games themselves. The physics are pretty much perfect, and the level design is, for the most part, enjoyable. There are a few levels where trial and error are involved, but this is true of all 2D Sonic games. After playing it through once or twice, you'll know where to control your speed, and you will do absolutely fine.
However, there is of course, a catch, as is tradition for Sonic games. The special stages are absolutely horrendous. They're slightly reminiscent of Sonic 2, which is fine in itself, but it involves a 3D plane, which really doesn't work well on the Gameboy Advance. It's incredibly difficult to determine where to place yourself, and as a result, makes collecting Chaos Emeralds tedious and frustrating. Fortunately, they're not necessary to enjoy the bulk of the game.
The graphics are truly some of the best GBA games have to offer. Most of the environments are vivid, and the character animations are incredibly detailed. Sonic Team did an amazing job of the spriting. Even idle animations capture my attention, giving the characters a huge amount of personality.
The game features four playable characters; Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and most interestingly, Amy. All play in a unique way, offering different paths and speeds. Sometimes these differences will benefit you, and at other times, you'll wish you picked another character. Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles play as they did on the original Genesis games, albeit with a few extra moves, such as Tails' (useless) tail swipe, and Knuckles' (useless) punches. This game introduces Amy as a playable character for the first time in a 2D Sonic game. Amy is most certainly the most enjoyable character to play as- She offers a whole new level of depth to the game, requiring you to master your timing, as she lacks the ability to curl up. Instead, she can use her hammer to attack, which is actually advantageous in many situations. For example, she can jump higher using a special move, and has a longer range than Sonic's insta-shield. She can even defeat certain bosses easier than the other three, as her range far exceeds the others. It is a common complaint that Amy is "not fun" and "too hard", but to that, I say, unironically: Get good. These characters introduce a large amount of replay value, as well as fun, new ways to play.
The sound of this game is, as always, very memorable. Sonic games almost never get this wrong. However, whilst the tracks are memorable and the sound effects are great, it definitely suffers due to the limitations of the GBA sound card. This doesn't stop them from being catchy and appealing, though.
Overall, Sonic Advance is a brilliant game, and most certainly the best out of the trilogy. It keeps speed to a good pace, but isn't too fast, and also has 4 unique ways of playing. It's not without flaws, but it's still an extremely solid experience. I definitely enjoy them more than the Genesis games, myself... but that's a matter of opinion.… Expand