Category: Rant’n’Rave


dotHAckBox

Because I can’t separate myself from the hours of mind-numbing boredom and agony this game/series has been, I’m changing this format.  Since I’m not trying to be totally neutral and rule out my biases, and because I’m not going for pure objectivity, I’ve decided to refrain from using the expression ‘Review’.  It sounds professional, and this is not.  This supposed to be personal, a gaming diary, and while I’ll still recap good and bad, I don’t want to feel limited in what I’m going to say and I want to be able to go at length on any facet I choose.  Therefore, I’m adjusting the title to “Rant’n’Rave”, which in the most literal sense is what I’m doing, talking up the good and down the bad.  This change will also be retroactive, ’cause I like organizing things.

So… Dot Hack.  What can I say about you that I haven’t already whined about out loud to people over the course of the last 6 years I’ve been playing you?  Since the second game, when I realized there wasn’t going to be any changes from game to game, just more of the same, and I was tucked in for a 100+ hour grindfest?  How about I start with a reason why?  Why play this game (series) if it’s such torture?  Why whine and bitch and play this thing when there’s other stuff, other fantastic games, that I could be discovering and playing and loving?

Because it builds character.

Because sometimes you’ve just gotta see something through to the end, even if you hate every minute of it.

Because at one point, my naive self was so excited to be playing you.

I’m sorry, Dot Hack.  It just didn’t work out, and now we need to go our separate ways.  And it’s not me.  It’s you.

RANT AND RAVE!

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DmCBox

Let me start off by saying that I’m an open-minded guy.  I like new twists on old ideas and while I cherish retro and nostalgia, I also understand the march of progress, in pop culture if nothing else.  When Capcom showed the very first video of the new Devil May Cry reboot, I was genuinely excited.  And really, all throughout it’s development, I was really looking forward to this game.  Each new trailer and screenshot filled me with giddy excitement at the thought of how totally awesome it could be.  And despite all the fanboys and haters whining about it for months, it looks like I was right, suckers; DmC is a marvelous game.  The worst thing about it is it’s title.

It’s Review Time!

Kirby64BoxArt

Kirby 64 seems like a step backwards at times, despite being a fun game with some new ideas.  As a first-party title it receives special attention to detail and quality, and you can tell the team really wanted to make a new and fun Kirby game.  While the standard series director wasn’t directly involved in the creation of this entry, it retains much of the charm that’s inherent to the character and creates a fun and colorful world to explore.  While it’s not exactly a stellar platform game on it’s own merits, it tries enough new ideas to keep the levels fresh and the game engaging.

It’s Review Time!

Halo4Box

Halo 4 is the latest game in the venerable Halo series, the flagship franchise from Microsoft’s Xbox consoles.  While Bungie Studios created and produced the original series, this latest iteration is produced by the relative newcomers at 343 Industries and marks the beginning of a the new Reclaimer trilogy in the Halo universe.  As a result, Halo 4 is almost a misnomer; with a new studio and new storyline direction, this Halo jettisons the Earth vs. Covenant trappings of previous games and start an entirely new story with only tenuous relation to the previous games.  Although it presents a solid game that doesn’t deviate much from previous entries, it’s deeper connection to the established Halo universe’s lore is both a blessing and a curse.

It’s Review Time!

 

DreamLand3Box

 

As the very last first-party Nintendo game released on the SNES, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 has a lot to live up to.  Besides being the third (numbered) entry in a venerable series, the Nintendo 64 was already showing itself as a graphical force to be reckoned with and was facing ever-growing competition from both Sony’s Playstation and Sega’s Saturn (but not really, y’know?).  The SNES was on it’s way out, but the developers at HAL decided to give it one last hurrah.  While it’s not a genre-bending as Kirby Super Star, Dream Land 3 does a number of things right and cements itself as a solid entry in the series.

It’s Review Time!

KSSBox

IT’S 8 GAMES IN ONE!!

Kirby Super Star was released on the Super Nintendo in 1996, right towards the end of the console’s lifespan.  1996 was also the year the N64 stormed onto the market, and despite having the misfortune of being released in the same month as the iconic console, Kirby Super Star went on to sell a million copies in Japan alone and became heralded as one of the best games in the franchise.  Not bad for a latecomer to the party, right?  After it’s original release on the SNES, it saw an excellent enhanced remake (Kirby Super Star Ultra) on DS in 2008 , a Virtual Console re-release in 2009, and a re-re-release of the Virtual Console port as part of Kirby’s Dream Collection (which is how we’ve played it).  And regardless of the endless re-hashing, it remains one of the premier games on the SNES and one of the best Kirby adventures out there.

It’s Review Time!

Whew… finally, the long-awaited ‘final’ instalment of the Assassin’s Creed series.  After two numbered entries, another two AC2 sub-story games, not to mention a couple DS titles, a PSP game, and a new Vita game, it’s certainly not the tightly-focused trilogy that we were expecting, instead turning into a sprawling franchise with yearly iterations (count ’em, 9 games in 6 years).  I’m not necessarily knocking the behemoth that the franchise has become, but one almost wonders if some restraint might have produced a stronger series, despite having less entries.

It’s Review Time!

Kicking off the first Retro Review, we have Wario Land 2, for the Gameboy Color.

In Up To 32 Glorious Colors!

I’m not just gonna blab on about how much retro rocks. Well, actually, that’s the point of this entire review. Wario Land 2 is easily one of the most inventive, fun, and challenging platformers released for the Gameboy, and maybe for any console ever.

Full review after the jump