Tag Archives: namco bandai games

Random Game #27 – The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean [PlayStation Portable]

The Legend of Heroes III Song of the Ocean

When you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

I want to say I purchased this game this year, although it may have been late 2013. My PSP collection has seriously expanded as GameStop shifted towards discontinuing the platform in the majority of their stores. Anyway, being a fan of JRPGs I’ve always been interested in this series but never took the plunge. I knew these games were remakes from a much older line of games, but reading about the series is a good refresher on just how many games remained exclusive to Japan in the late 1980s/early 1990s. This is actually the fifth game in the series, and the third in a trilogy. I haven’t played it and while I’d like to, I can’t say when I will.

The Legend of Heroes III: Song of the Ocean was originally developed and published by Nihon Falcom and released for the PC on December 9, 1999, exclusively in Japan. It finally reached North America as a PSP remake. This version was developed by Microvision and published by Namco Bandai Games on January 23, 2007.

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Random Game #4 – Galaga [Xbox Live Arcade]

GalagaWhen you have a video game collection like mine, it can be hard to play all of the games. This is especially true when additions are made on an almost weekly basis. Still, I appreciate nearly every game I’ve accumulated for this reason or that. In the hopes of improving my writing through continuous effort and promoting ongoing learning of these games, I’m going to compose brief, descriptive articles.

Ever since I can remember, my dentist’s office has had a few arcade cabinets. Between them were the likes of Ms. Pac-Man, Centipede, and Frogger, but my favorite was Galaga. The others were awesome, but there was something about the space setting and the shoot ‘em up gameplay that drew me in, and continues to do so. The port for Xbox Live Arcade was the first time I owned a home version of the arcade classic. As best as I can tell, it’s an arcade perfect port with minimal bells or whistles. It’s also an easy 200 Gamerscore, not that that matters, or anything (maybe a little). It’s a fine version of one of the best and most influential arcade games of all time.

Galaga was originally developed by Namco released as an arcade game in North America in December 1981. This port was published by Namco Bandai Games on July 26, 2006. Outside of a Japanese release on the Wii’s Virtual Console, this is the only standalone digital release of Galaga on the seventh generation video game consoles. However, it was released on many Namco compilations, and that’s without a doubt the best way to own it.

Katamari Amore – First Impressions

The Katamari games always have a vibrant art style and out-there soundtrack. They're very fun games to experience.

A new game in the Katamari series has been released this week. The newest title, Katamari Amore doesn’t bring anything new to the series, but according to some, it’s an improvement over the last iOS Katamari game, I Love Katamari.

The main criticism of I Love Katamari was the game’s reliance on tilt controls. It seems the major complaint was the responsiveness, or lack thereof. I haven’t played I Love Katamari but I can imagine how tilt controls would be a pain. Katamari Amore still has the tilt controls, but the default option is to play with a virtual joystick on the screen. This method worked fairly well; I didn’t feel like I had great control, I had a difficult time making sharp turns, but this probably works way better than strictly tilt controls.

My major complaint is the camera. I wish I could control the camera via a second virtual joystick on the right side of the screen, but there’s no camera control at all. The camera sticks behind the prince and slowly changes as he turns. It was adequate but not ideal.

I didn't see it myself, but this Pac-Man stage could be very cool.

I’m not sure how much of the content in Katamari Amore is new and what is rehashed, but for a paltry four dollars, it’s probably a solid game to have in a pinch. Even if the controls weren’t perfect, they did an adequate job of translating my actions to the prince.

Links:

Namco Bandai Games

Ace Combat: Assault Horizon – Demo Impressions

I played as two separate characters in two separate locations in the demo.

It’s a different article but a familiar introduction. I’ve begun a few articles by stating I’m familiar with a series but have never played a related game and Ace Combat is no exception. However, I played the recently released demo for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and was surprised by how much I liked it.

The demo had two missions. The first took place in the skies above Miami as I flew in a jet aircraft. I engaged in many dogfights and was introduced to a new mechanic for the series called “Close-Range Assault”. Some enemies could only be defeated by entering CRA. To do so I had to stay on their tail until a circle flashed around them; I then pressed L2 and R2 (or the triggers for the Xbox 360) and I was locked onto to the enemy. The view changed to a much closer shot and the camera was shakier; I thought it was intense. I had a blast controlling my plane and shooting down the enemies. The plane was very maneuverable and fun to pilot, yet it still felt like it had weight.

The second mission took place in Africa and much closer to the ground; this time I was piloting a helicopter. For this mission I was providing air support to soldiers on the ground as they were entering a town and taking objectives. It was fun to play from this perspective but this mission dragged on. Controlling the helicopter gave me more to think about. I quickly changed views as the helicopter continually obscured my vision. To take out enemies effectively I would zoom in on them which would lock me onto them and fire away. I had a few neat special weapons but that’s basically all I did in this mission and it took way too long.

While the HUD initially appears cluttered, you'll soon learn what to focus on.

So honestly I really liked fifty percent of the demo. The first mission was super fun to play. Piloting the plane was fun, the soundtrack added to the thrilling feeling of shooting down bogies and CRA was intense. The second mission was really cool in concept (providing air support) but it had me doing the same thing for too long. The demo boasts that there are more aircraft in the game as well as a story penned by an acclaimed author so the single player sounds diverse. It also features a multiplayer component, although the demo didn’t have access to this so I can’t comment on it. Ace Combat: Assault Horizon was developed by the Project Aces team within Namco Bandai Games, who will publish it when it releases for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 3, 2011.

Galaga Legions DX – Demo Impressions

From Galaxian to Galaga Legions DX, this series has really changed over the years.

Galaga Legions DX is a downloadable video game that was recently released for the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. It is a reimagining of the 2008 downloadable game Galaga Legions. The game is still about racking up a high score and competing for leaderboard positions, but the format is slightly different. Each stage is now more noticeably broken up as waves of enemies constantly appear. And control of the player’s ship and satellites is handled differently.

In Galaga LegionsI controlled my ship and the two satellites attached to it. However I could place these two satellites anywhere on the screen and they’d shoot whenever I’d press the fire button. When I was in a position I wanted one of the satellites to be in, I moved the right analog stick in a cardinal direction and the first satellite would stay put. I could also place my second satellite wherever and recall them at any point. This added strategy to the game as I was shown the flight patterns of my enemies a second or two before they appeared on the screen.

I like the aesthetic of the game, but the HUD probably blends too much with the play area.

In Galaga Legions DX I wasn’t able to place my satellites wherever. Instead I was able to directly control the direction they fired by aiming the right analog stick, therefore playing like a dual stick shooter. The satellites were able to shoot in two different modes too. The first mode had them shooting in the direction I pointed while the second mode had them shooting in separate directions. I initially stuck with the first mode, but found it useful to switch between the two during some enemy waves.

Compared to Galaga Legions, Galaga Legions DX seemed very easy. Galaga Legions was a very tough game requiring heavy memorization and I still haven’t beaten it. But instead of making a brutal shoot ‘em up, the developers of Galaga Legions DX have shifted the focus to defeating waves as quickly as possible. I love the look of the game, all the neon is great, but the heads-up display blends a little too well and is a bit hard to read. I’m not all that interested in the game however because it is too similar to Galaga Legions, a game I played a lot. If shoot ‘em up’s are your thing, and competing for leaderboard positions sounds like fun, check out Galaga Legions DX.