I’ve wanted to play CIMA: The Enemy since reading about in Nintendo Power around its November 2003 release. It’s a “bucket list” game in that sense, in this case personal rather than universally agreed upon. Initially, it was such a disappointment as my perception of it had been as a more straightforward action-RPG (perhaps in spite of the marketing that touted it as something new and unique). About three hours in, I was ready to call it quits. I planned on writing a scathing first impressions article since my experience to that point had been mostly unenjoyable. Around this time though, things clicked. My understanding of the various gameplay systems coalesced and I was able to successfully execute plans. It was formulaic to a fault and routinely frustrating but I’m glad I saw it through to the end, if anything for closure. Continue reading CIMA: The Enemy [Game Boy Advance] – Review→
Pretty varied week last week. I wrote two reviews of old games (Soul Blazer and Jigsaw Madness) and one preview of a soon to be released game (Ace Combat: Assault Horizon). I also added two pages: reviews and first impressions. They compile all of my articles that fall into those two categories so it’s pretty handy.
Last week I picked up Gears of War 3 and I’ve played that in the little free time I had. My friend and I have completed two acts in the campaign thus far. There are five acts in total so we’re almost halfway done. We also played a bunch of the versus mode and also a lot of the Horde mode (for the unfamiliar, a survival mode). It’s more Gears for sure, but that’s a very good thing. I’m surprised by the amount of content in the game, it’ll keep people busy for a long time.
I also randomly started Front Mission on the DS yesterday. I’ve had it for a while (a couple of years) and have always meant to play it. I’m not so sure I’ll complete though; I like strategy-RPGs in concept, but at some point, they require too much trial and error for me.
Hopefully I’ll be able to write about some demos this week. I have a few downloaded, it’s just a matter of finding the time to check them out and write about them. During the school year, school always takes precedent. That’s been going well too. I took the first test in my Principles of Finance class and got an A so I’m ecstatic about that. In my Accounting Information Systems class we began a month long project and I just finished reading a 90 page instructions booklet yesterday, I’m not so ecstatic about that.
Anyways, I’ll be playing a lot of Gears of War 3 this week, probably a dab of Front Mission, and hopefully some demos.
It’s not every day I have a half-off coupon to my favorite video game store. So when I received one I used it wisely and picked up a relatively expensive Super Nintendo RPG. I decided on Soul Blazer, a game I had no previous knowledge of. More specifically, it was an action-RPG developed by Quintet and published by Enix for the SNES in 1992. I thought it had a simple plot and simple gameplay, but it was exciting to return life back to the world of the Freil Empire.
Primarily a tale of greed, Soul Blazer at first has a shallow plot, but it gets interesting. The king of the Freil Empire has captured a famous inventor and forced him to create a machine that allows the king to communicate with a seriously bad dude, Deathtoll. Deathtoll wants souls and the king wants money so they strike a deal, souls for money. Here’s where the player character comes in.
The player character, the soul blazer is sent down from the heavens by The Master to remedy the situation in the Freil Empire. As the soul blazer I was capable of defeating the numerous monsters throughout the dungeons of the empire as well as communicating with the souls I released.
There were seven stages in all and I thought the way they were structured was interesting. Each stage was basically a village with access to a dungeon or two. The first stage was a mining town with a mine serving as the dungeon. The second stage was a settlement in the woods of woodland creatures, and so on; the stages were diverse and they contained all sorts of different creatures.
Like the villages, the dungeons were set in interesting locales; one on a model town and another in a fantastically rendered version of space were my favorites. The dungeons were very straightforward and not very difficult. I followed the path and killed monsters as they spawned from portals. Once the portals were depleted, they changed into a switch that would release a creature back in the village.
There wasn’t any puzzle solving in the dungeons, I just followed the path and killed any monster I came upon. The villages on the other hand did require a bit of thinking. After freeing creatures and restoring the stages to their original glory, I could chat with the creatures and sometimes get some info on a stronger sword, better armor, the location of magic, or a necessary item.
For the most part, Soul Blazer wasn’t very challenging. The monsters were really dumb, basically walking into my sword and the dungeons were quickly completed, about an hour for each. The bosses on the other hand were challenging, but not excessively difficult. The only puzzle solving that was tricky came at the very end when I had to retread a few of the earlier dungeons defeating previously indestructible enemies. But my favorite part of the game would have to be the soundtrack. I thought it was phenomenal and hummed along with practically every track. Soul Blazer was a good game and in the end, well worth using a half-off coupon.
For some reason last week is a blur. I can’t remember what all I did but I know I did so much. I posted first impressions for four games: Renegade Ops, X-Men, From Dust, and Red Johnson’s Chronicles. I also played the demo for Ace Combat: Assault Horizon and I’ll post my impressions of that tomorrow. I started playing Soul Blazer for the Super Nintendo… and I’m almost done with that. Depending on my schedule I should complete it and have a review this week, maybe next week. My girlfriend and I also completed another level in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure and we played Rock Band 3 with another couple and that was fun. That’s pretty much it for games I guess.
This week was a blur because of school and work too. Work was pretty much the same schedule as always so it’s a constant, but it seems like I did a lot of work in school. Heck, I’m in the middle of helping a classmate as I type this. Anyways, time permitting I’ll have a review of Soul Blazer, demo impressions of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon, and another demo impression or two this week.
I’m coming to you a little late tonight. After an early day at work, my friend and I spent the day playing some video games and looking for some deals. We began the afternoon by playing X-Men on the Sega Genesis, and it was terrible. It’s not a port of the well regarded arcade game, but a game developed specifically for the Genesis and Game Gear. We couldn’t make it past the first stage, but I’d like to play it solo before I give up on it.
We then tried Spider-Man and Venom: Separation Anxiety (or rather Venom/Spider-Man: Separation Anxiety, but I don’t like that title) and it was better, but nothing to write home about. It was a pretty simple beat ’em up and didn’t grab us. Like X-Men, I’m going to play through some of it by myself before I put it on the shelf.
We finally moved on to a standout beat ’em up on the Genesis: Streets of Rage 3. After initially seeing that it fetched a rather high price for a complete copy, we shelved the idea of playing it anytime soon, but I found a copy cheap locally and picked it up, and it’s a blast. I prefer Streets of Rage 2 to it, but it’s still a very good game. We also played Rock Band 3 on the Xbox 360. It was my first time playing that and it’s very good.
After defeating Doom 3, I took a day or two off from focusing on any one game. My girlfriend and I made it past another level in The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventure on the GameCube and I played a few races in Tube Slider, a futuristic racing game, also on the GameCube, but I took it easy and focused on school and work. I have decided to play through Soul Blazer on the Super Nintendo now. It’s a top-down, action-adventure, hack and slash, role-playing game, and that’s all the descriptive terms for it I can think of immediately. It has a really killer soundtrack.
And that’s pretty much last week in games. I don’t know what I’ll write about this week, but I will have a post or two for sure.