Category Archives: Reviews

What Jake Played – Feb 2013

Welcome to the start of a monthly feature here on Gamers Corner, What Jake Played. It’s a short recap of the games I played in the previous month and my thoughts on them. A bunch of mini-reviews if you will.

So, without further adieu, lets get started!

To The Moon

To The Moon – The graphics aren’t much but the story and soundtrack are inspired.

To The Moon (PC) - I bought this game from GOG.com a number of months ago when I was on a point n’ click kick. I only got around to playing it last night though while I was backing up my PS3 to an external HD (rendering it out of action for 18 hours!).

To The Moon in an indie game made using the RPG Maker engine, however it’s a true point ‘n click game. You play the part of Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts, who have the job of altering the memories of dying people so they can die with no regrets. They do this by jumping through the patient’s memories from their latest memories to their earliest, to alter their childhood desires. In this case the patient’s dying wish is to go to the moon.

However the patient (Johnny) has lived a complicated, and at times mysterious life, and Dr. Rosalene and Dr. Watts find the job much more difficult and normal. Will they get to the bottom of why Johnny wants to go to the moon? Will they be able to fulfil his wish before he dies?

The game is very short, I completed it in about 3 hours, but it was an incredibly rewarding experience. If you enjoy point ‘n clicks or interactive novels then I would definitely recommend this game.

Click Here to Buy To The Moon

 

Persona 4 Golden - Marie is a new character waiting for you in the Velvet Room.

Persona 4 Golden – Marie is a new character waiting for you in the Velvet Room.

Persona 4 Golden (PS Vita) - Persona 4 was one of my favourite JRPGs on the PS2 so it was a no brainer for me to buy this new enhanced edition on the Vita.

You play the part of a boy who was moved to the country to live with his Uncle and cousin for a year and joined a new school. What sounds like quite a dreary setting soon picks up with the introduction of a murder in the sleepy town and the discovery of a shadow world full of monsters that seem to be killing off residents one by one.

Golden has added scenes and various bonuses, but the best thing about it is how it has improved the pacing of the original. You can now skip cutscenes and blocks of dialogue that you don’t want to see and movement feels much more quick and fluid.

If you enjoy RPGs then this is one to get. If you played Persona 4 on the PS2 then this isn’t essential but it is an improvement on the original.

Click Here to Buy Persona 4 Golden

 

Let's Fish Hooked On! - My dud of the month.

Let’s Fish Hooked On!…My dud of the month

Let’s Fish Hooked On! (PS Vita) - This is a download only game on the Vita. From the description I was expecting a JRPG/fishing game combo. While there are a couple of JRPG elements this is really just an arcade fishing game…and not a particularly good one at that.

The camera is awful, the fish often miss the lure they’re trying to bite (and it’s clearly a glitch), there’s no free play mode and the tutorial is very basic.

Don’t buy this game unless you love bad fishing games and have money to burn.

 

Sleeping Dogs - The man with the golden gun.

Wei Shen – The man with the golden gun.

Sleeping Dogs (PS3) – I got this game on PS Plus and have spent a few days playing it now.

You play Wei Shen, an undercover cop given the task of taking down the Hong Kong triads. As with most undercover games, Wei finds himself getting sucked in deep and questioning where his loyalties really lie.

There’s triad missions, cop missions, missions where you help out random people, martial arts tournaments. car and bike races, and even some cockfighting. There’s a heck of a lot of things to do in Sleeping Dogs and it’s all well done.

This is the game that GTA IV wishes it was. Lots of action, good fighting mechanics, interesting characters and story, and a vibrant setting. Well worth a buy.

Click Here to Buy Sleeping Dogs

 

Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni (PS3) – I’ve not played as much of this game as I’d like as I’ve desperately been trying to complete games downloaded onto my PS3 and Vita to clear up some memory space. PS Plus + 1 Year Birthday Vita Sale were harsh mistresses.

In this JRPG (you may be sensing a theme in the type of games I play) you play the role of Ollie, a young boy who’s mother has recently died. Thanks to some well directed tears he awakens the power of a faerie who tells him of a magical world parallel to his own, how everyone has a double in this world, and how there may be a way to bring his mother back to life. So Ollie goes on a adventure to save the magical world and his mother along with his faerie friend Drippy.

I’m only a few hours into this game, but so far I’m enjoying it a lot. It feels like I’m playing a high quality anime movie and it’s abundantly clear how much love and care was put into making Ni No Kuni. Definitely give it a try!

Click Here to Buy Ni No Kuni

A Fresh Way to Play with New Super Mario Bros U

The arrival of Wii U in November was exciting for many reasons. The home console promised a whole new experience in gaming and entertainment thanks to the innovative Wii U GamePad. But there was another reason to get excited – and that was New Super Mario Bros. U.

With a fresh new adventure to embark on, fans of the series had all sorts to look forward to. But now that it’s here, what special features and modes are there that have built on a legacy that began way back in 1983?

Get your hands on Super Mario Bros. U.

Get your hands on Super Mario Bros. U.

New places to explore

Those familiar with the Mushroom Kingdom map of Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo will no doubt feel a pang of nostalgia when they see the World Map that features in New Super Mario Bros. U. You still get the usual side-scrolling platform action across levels, but the game is a lot easier to navigate with this seamless layout. Keep an eye out for secret shortcuts and hidden exits, as well as the strange ‘Nabbit’ creature that will give you the chance to grab special items like the P-Acorn.

New ways to challenge friends

Coins have always been a big part of Super Mario games. But while they’re great for challenging yourself in solo mode, they get even better for multiplayer clashes in New Super Mario Bros U. With Coin Battle Mode, up to four players can race through a level while trying to come out the other end with the biggest haul of gold coins. You can even add the GamePad into the action so someone can add Boost Blocks and create customised courses.

New ways to challenge yourself

As if Coin Battle Mode wasn’t enough, New Super Mario Bros. U offers some great options for solo gaming. If you opt for Challenge Mode, for example, you’ll be challenged with a specific task. This might involve clearing a course with a certain number of coins at the end of it or without touching the ground. There are four individual options like this for solo play – Time Attack, Coin Collection, 1-Up Rally and the miscellaneous ‘Special’ category.

There are loads of things in New Super Mario Bros. U to enjoy. And as far as platform games go it could be a great choice if you want a title that you’ll be playing well into 2013. If you do complete it though, expect more Wii U games in this category next year – including Rayman Legends.

Courtesy of Info Nintendo

Hitman Absolution Review

Today is the day that the latest instalment of the Hitman series is released. Over six long years have fans waited, and expectations will be unbelievably high. And it’s these expectations that may or may not be met, depending on what you’re looking for.

Agent 47 and Silenced Silverballers

The Hitman series started life out on the PC, with the game Hitman: Codename 47 being released in 2000. This was followed by Hitman: Silent Assassin being released in 2002 for both PC and consoles, with Hitman: Contracts following in 2004 and Hitman: Blood Money in 2006. Now the idea behind the Hitman series is simple; you’re paid for your services as an assassin, taking on missions where you navigate a sandbox full of enemies, killing/knocking out the bad guys, taking their uniforms to blend in to the environment, then assassinating the target. You’re not given currency, or the ability to buy equipment in all the games, but in every game you are given the opportunity to try each mission with differing weapon load-outs, even if it is only after you have completed the game. This time, however, you aren’t given such opportunity.

The storyline in this Hitman revolves around Agent 47 running for his life with a young girl called Victoria, whom he has sworn to protect. Equipment is limited, with 47 going through what feels like a large portion of the game WITHOUT his trademark Silverballers. One level even starts out with 47 having no equipment at all, even his fibre wire is gone. Luckily, 47 has gained some new moves, being the ability to subdue opponents, or if needed, to snap their necks. While this is a step forward in what 47 can do, it also feels like 47′s identity was being stripped away. He even starts several missions without his red tie, wearing his his shirt with the top button open. While this seems like nitpicking on my part, I feel that the full suit, Silverballers and fibre wire are all part of what makes 47 such an iconic figure. As well as this, many of the levels are broken up into bite-size chunks rather than the bigger sandbox levels we’re used to in a Hitman game, making some segments really linear. Given the lack of 47′s identity, the segmented levels and a cover system similar to every other shooter out there, the game seems more like Deus Ex: Human Revolution than the new Hitman.

While I say that, I have to say that the game is a good game. Screens are are busy with people, especially the Chinatown market, the Glacier II engine showing it can handle a lot of on screen movement with ease. People in the crowd don’t look anywhere near as good as the main players in the game, but they don’t in any other game either, and it’s good to see so many people just milling about with no problems. Sound is equally good, with music getting more tense as the situation demands, and gun shots and conversations being clear, even non-consequential chatting by people in crowds to each other. The world does seem real, people crowding around food vendors, people on phones, people wandering back and forth. On the combat front, when you’re discovered, enemies will call back up, dive for cover, all the things we expect from games nowadays. Enemies can be subdued, necks can be snapped, you can fire from cover, take enemies hostage, use objects lying around as distractions or weapons and you can make deaths appear as accidents.

There’s also contracts mode, where players can make their own missions and stick them online for other players to have a go at (the player themselves have to play the level to create the mission). After completing a mission in this mode, players receive payment with which they can buy weapons and upgrades for weapons. This mode alone makes the game have an almost unlimited replay appeal. There’s a lot in there, and while it’s all really well executed, a lot of it doesn’t feel like Hitman. And that’s the biggest problem for me. While the game makes a decent shooter/stealth game, and 47 has gained a few new moves and a decent control system (for once in a Hitman game,at least for the consoles), it doesn’t always feel like a Hitman game. A lot of the time it feels like a lot of other shooting games out there, albeit a really good one, so it may disappoint some of the hardcore fans of the series, and if you are a long time fan, you may do well to borrow from a friend or rent before committing to a purchase.

RATING: 8/10A decent game that would have scored even higher if it played more like the previous games in the series.

Rainbow Moon (PS3) Review

On the 4th July in the UK, game developer SideQuest studios released a role-playing game called Rainbow moon, which came out on the PSN/SEN. I was interested in getting this game after watching a trailer I downloaded from the PlayStation store, and couldn’t wait for the 4th to roll around. When it did, I downloaded the game at the earliest opportunity, and was eager to play. Between yesterday and today, between caring for my family, sleeping, eating and writing this review, I’ve clocked up 10 hours of game time. That’s in a window of about 30 hours since downloading it.

Rainbow Moon is a new RPG game that is in an old-school RPG mould. After a very short intro (just over two minutes in length), you’re released into the game world and given small snippets of information about how to play the game. While these little tutorial bits are portioned out, you’re given quests to do, doing various little jobs here and there, collecting rewards, usually in the form of equipment or keys for the next lock which you’ll need to access the next area. After getting to the next area, it’s more of the same, with quests consisting of finding a person or item and liberating them or it from a dungeon. It sounds simple and it is. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, as a lot of games nowadays can end up getting overly complicated.

inFAMOUS Review (PS3)

A few weeks ago I did an article on playing the bad guy in a game, and my inability to play the bad way. This last week, however, that changed when my missus bought me a couple of games for our anniversary. One of the games she bought me was inFAMOUS, and it was amazing to see how easily I slipped into a evil gaming persona. Because of this, I decided to do a review of the game in question.

For anyone who doesn’t know, inFAMOUS is a sand box game developed by Sucker Punch for the PlayStation 3. It is a third-person action game where gamers take on the role of Cole MacGrath, a dude inadvertently turned into a superhero or supervillain, who starts the game as a courier in Empire city. While delivering a package, he gets caught in a massive explosion. After dusting himself off and getting to safety, our guy collapses, only to wake up with the ability to wield electricity. After the usual tutorial missions, you’re let free to do what you like, whether it’s completing story or side missions or hunting collectibles, in the form of “blast shards” and “dead drops”.