Archive | January, 2013

Red Steel 2

31 Jan

With many games for the WiiU being ports I just don’t feel right posting a WiiU article just yet. That said I am a huge Nintendo fan and I love my 3ds and Wii. I guess its time to brush up my sword skills and dust off the revolver…I’m headed into the Wild West. Red Steel 2 the spiritual successor to the so-so Wii launch game Red Steel; developed by Ubisoft Paris and Published by Ubisoft exclusively for the Wii; Red Steel 2 does everything a sequel to a crummy game should do… make you forget the first one ever existed. Red Steel 2 is an exclusive for the Wii and it was released stateside on March 23rd 2010. I hadn’t touched my wii in a while (pun intended) but I was ready to fire up the machine and plug in my Wii Motion Plus accessory for a donnybrook in the wild west.

Red Steel 2

Red Steel 2

This game was played on a Wii and can be found new for 20 USD pretty much anywhere wii games are still being sold.

Dust it off

Dust it off

Visuals: Cel-Shading is quite a departure for this series as the previous title was in “realistic” 3-d. The style harking back to previous Ubisoft Paris titles such as XIII really fits well in this East meets West hack n slash shooter for the Wii. The characters were very colorful and the weapons all had a specific flair that truly popped thanks to the graphics. While the boss fights were incredible and the open area scenes looked like water paintings I do have to knock against the towns themselves. Different shades of brown fill a majority of the game and the fodder for your blade and revolvers all look the same. I think with the cel-shading they could have at least swapped the color palates on a few enemies.

Story: You play as the Hero and unnamed member of the Kusagari clan. You are the last of your kind after the opening events of the game and you become referred to as the Swordsman. You could probably guess the name has to do with the weapon he carries but more on that later. This games crux is that it is a revenge story and your entire mission is focused on avenging your clan; the story doesn’t really add to the ambiance and I found myself at a loss as to why this character cared so much for his clan after they…(no spoilers here) The story could have used more juxtaposition or cliches pick your poison.

Gameplay: This game is all motion control there is no gamepad option. Red Steel 2 does use the Motion Plus accessory so there is a greater level of control for the gun and sword action. As with any new technology however there is a bit of jarring from the camera if you twist your hand the wrong way or you get lazy and turn the other way on the sofa. When the combat and controls work the game is amazing you can block all sorts of attacks and shoot enemies square in the head from across the map. When the controls are off however; be ready for the Swordsman to spin around until you want to vomit, or you cannot pull off a combo or attack and end up retrying a level several times. Advice here keep calm and carry on!

The Hero in us

The Hero in us

Test of Time: Before testing the game out for this post I played the game in 2011. A year and some months later I still had fun swiping the Wii remote as if it were a 1000 year old Katana. With a lack of truly unique games coming to the WiiU anytime soon I would have to say this is a great 20 dollar purchase. The levels may get repetitive but the visuals will and swordplay will make this a game you’ll want to add to your collection.

 

BROS System:

Cy: What else are you playing at this point on the Wiiu or the Wii for that matter? Its a shortish game and for 20 bucks it’s a great show off game for your friends and family!

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Bayonetta

17 Jan

I’m going in for the kill, I’m doing it for the thrill. Enter Bayonetta a game full of jaw dropping moments and extreme guilty pleasures. Developed by Platinum Games and published by SEGA, Bayonetta is truly a one of a kind experience. Hideki Kamiya the games Director brings his distinct flair and action from his critically acclaimed Devil May Cry game for the PS2 and adds a bit more spice to this current gen action game. Bayonetta Launched in the US on January 5th 2010 for both Xbox and PS3. As I have said many times in the past Story is an integral part of my enjoyment of any game. While I don’t have a preference playing as a male or female protagonist I have struggled to relate to characters such as Nariko, or Lara Croft. I enjoyed playing as Bayonetta and the mystery that loomed over her was something I was excited to learn more about every time I popped in the disc.

What a Witch

What a Witch

This game was played on a PS3 at first but due to long load times I was forced to switch to the Xbox version. This article/review will apply to both but I would suggest playing the Xbox Version. The game is 20 USD at Gamestop and Amazon at the time of this article.

Xbox > PS3 for this one

Xbox > PS3 for this one

Visuals: Bayonetta is distinct; while it will not knock your socks off it is a game that is visually pleasing. Bayonetta is an attractive female that likes to bare her all from time to time and give the demons and angels a show while kicking them back to their respective homes. The enemies vary enough that you never get bored with them and you know just by the look of the enemies that each fight will be distinct. The locations are a big draw in the game; on moment you are fighting Angels in the streets and the next you are jumping from missile to missile in the atmosphere fighting another Witch. The game is colorful and the bosses memorable, I didn’t want to take my eyes off the screen while I was playing.

Story: You play as Bayonetta a Witch who has amnesia, ironically she still remembers how to kick ass and take names. As the game progresses you learn about the Umbra Witches and why spirits from all realms are after Bayonetta. What really drew me in was the little girl Bayonetta starts to protect early in the game. Her hard exterior shell is protecting what appears to be a soft and caring inside. Duality plays a huge role in Bayonetta, Good vs Evil, Heaven vs Hell, even the levels have a strange Paradise vs Inferno feel to them. While that may appear deep, I must emphasize this game is very Japanese. Over the top characters and dialogue and  some cheesy moments that just don’t work as well as the writers/translators would have hoped. If you watch any Anime such as DragonBall, One piece, or InuYasha you are accustomed to the banter and awkward moments. The mystery will sink its hooks into you early and while it may seem convoluted at times, the pay off at the end is worth it.

Gameplay: Fast and Furious; similar to Devil May Cry or in a loose sense God of War you walk into an area you get locked in and you fit to the death. Bayonetta has guns on her feet and a hairy dragon figure that aids her along with an assortment of other mystical weapons! Combos are key  if you want to succeed. Being able to chain together combos can offer you the ability to slow down time or have flashy finishers (well worth the price of admission) Similar to other Japanese games you are graded for every battle with a final score at the end. The better the score the bigger the reward the faster you can buy weapons and move upgrades. The game does move quite fast and is fairly responsive; I do have to knock against the camera though as it may lock on to you from time to time and you will be battling behind a wall with no way to see what is happening.  There were times when I would throw my controller in a fit of rage because I could not remember button combos or I felt there was a bit of lag (your Mileage may vary)

Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious

Test of Time: I played the game for the first time on PS3 in 2012 and then on the Xbox later on. Playing a few levels again these past few days have reminded what fun it is to play such an over the top game. The controls are fine for this game and the visuals still are fun and psychedelic. If you own the WiiU and either an Xbox or PS3 I would suggest playing it as the sequel is a WiiU exclusive.

BROS system

Cy: Rent; unless you are an avid collector of games or you see yourself playing the game 3 or 4 times its hard to suggest buying the game as it clocked just under 8 hours for me. Still 20 dollars isn’t too much to spend for a good game with an upcoming sequel!

A Look Forward

15 Jan

Hello everyone, thank you for coming and checking out Ltapgamer every week for reviews of “vintage” games. It has been a fun and interesting couple of months and I wanted to thank everyone for their comments and give you some insight on what to look forward to in 2013.

There are a couple games in the back

There are a couple games in the back

In the Month of January I hope to get a podcast up that will center around news and discussing some older games. The Podcast will be all encompassing talking briefly about a game from each system (Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, DS, WiiU, and PC) With the inaugural Podcast you will also get some insight on how I came to pick the games that have been on the site and maybe hint at some other games in the future.

DJ LTAPGamer in the Mix

DJ LTAPGamer in the Mix

A new addition to the site within the next few weeks will be a Tuesday post for Trilogies. We will take a look at some of the biggest Trilogies to have graced our systems and talk about one series a month. It will be a fun piece that I will be working on from the beginning of the month to the end of the month to ensure quality. On the other side of the spectrum; something I believe the site has been missing is fun trailers. I will be looking into adding clips for classic games that we discuss to spark interest in older games and give everyone something to watch.

Trilogies in bound

Trilogies in bound

I am tweaking the review system as with any hobby/dream all the pieces didn’t fall into place for the BROS System.

I cannot thank you all enough for your comments and I look forward to a great 2013

Ltapgamer

Prince of Persia

10 Jan

I swear Nolan North does not have anything to do with this blog! This will be our third Nolan North game featured on Ltapgamer and probably one of my favorites. Prince of Persia which was first introduced in 1989 has seen several iterations over the years; from a ground breaking 2D side-scroller to a redefining 3D action game Prince of Persia has seen its share of changes in its 23 years on the market. Today we are going to cover the Xbox 360, PS3 game from 2008. Developed by Ubisoft Montreal and released in the US on December 2, 2008 Prince of Persia takes the action adventure hero into a cel-shaded romp into the desert.

Not sponsored by Nolan North

Not sponsored by Nolan North

This game was played on the Xbox 360 and can be found at GameStop for 5 dollars or less!

Weapon of Choice

Weapon of Choice

Visuals: Prince of Persia (POP) takes the game series from its 3D world and adds Cel-Shading to give the game a water color vibe. This game oozes with color and adds a certain art vibe that will capture you from the first sandstorm til the final boss fight. There is quite a variety in color here and the world becomes more beautiful when you clear the baddies from the area. Cel-shading doesn’t always work for games as it takes some “realism” away from animations or visual effects; I feel as if the world of POP was meant for this art style as the characters though new seem like friends you grew up with as a child. Whenever I booted the game up I felt nostalgic as if I was opening up my favorite children’s book on a rainy day.

Story: You play as the Prince of Persia who seems to have drifted in the wrong direction in the midst of a sandstorm. You literally fall into the lap of a damsel in distress and your adventure begins. Elika is the female non playable character that follows you along in this mysterious land. We won’t spoil why she needs your help but you piece things together as you progress through the game. As usual with any Nolan North voiced game (insert wink and smiley face) you immediately have a strange romantic tension with the female character which starts as annoyance builds into friendship and inevitably ends with love.  Elika is a fun character that never got on my nerves and serves as a catalyst to the story. I found myself interested in chatting with her to get some background on her and the mysterious land we were trying to save.

Gameplay: POP has some great controls both on PS3 and Xbox. The prince will be scaling walls, hanging from ceilings, and fighting several baddies. The controls are intuitive and you know that it’s your fault when you missed a jump or didn’t parry properly. POP adds a new “don’t die” mechanic with the help of Elika that I found to be quite fun and never took me out of the game; the mechanic allows Elika to save you if you fall from a high point or if you get slain in battle. Some people found this to be obtrusive and thought it made the game too easy (your mileage may vary) Camera is good for the most part though with any game that you are climbing and jumping it may take an extra millisecond to catch up from time to time.

Prince and Elika

Prince and Elika

Test of Time: POP is fun, of the “newer” Action-Adventure games I think Ubisoft did a great job bringing the prince to next-gen consoles and I hope a sequel is in the works. If I did have one gripe with the game it was the ending of the story but again (No spoilers here.) I think if you are out shopping and you want to buy something for yourself or maybe a gift for a friend or family member pull out that FIVE DOLLAR bill and purchase the game; you really cannot go wrong with this game.

I think were going to get rid of the BROS SYSTEM for now

Cy: Pick it up its 5 bucks

Uncharted Golden Abyss

3 Jan

Fortune Favors the bold, throw in a pinch of luck as well! When I found out Uncharted would be on Playstation Vita I was very excited about taking a another romp through Drakes crazy fortune hunting world. Uncharted Golden Abyss is the 4th game in the Uncharted series by Naughty Dog but the first on a portable system. The kicker here is not only is this the first portable uncharted, its the first Uncharted headed by a different studio. Developed by Bend Studio known for Playstation and PS2 classics like Syphon Filter, Uncharted Golden Abyss Launched onto handhelds as a Launch Title in the US on February 15th 2012. Uncharted Golden Abyss makes the jump from Home console to Portable handheld with a few bumps and bruises, but it’s definitely a ride worth taking.

It's going to be a climb

It’s going to be a climb

This game was played on a PSVita. If you are a PLUS member this game is free for a limited time and can be found between 30 and 40 dollars retail!

Weapon of Choice

Weapon of Choice

Visuals: Uncharted Golden Abyss (UGA) is a vibrant game with great  contrast between day and night shots. Some moments you are in a deep cavern that is only lit by a few fires, while other times you are standing on top of a mountain with the sun glaring in your eyes. The game might not compare to Uncharted 3 Drakes Deception, but for the system its on I feel it really pushes the hardware to its limit. If I was to knock something I would say that the animations when climbing ropes is a little funky and the characters move like robots. Nate’s eyes are a little strange as well but you may enjoy the change in color.

Story: UGA is a prequel to the original three games on the PS3. We see a younger? Nathan Drake running around the jungle with a new character Dante who is Drakes friend and partner in this new game. A new female interest Chase also comes into the story and as usual plenty of quips will build as does the sexual tension. The three are looking for a secret treasure buried within the Panama jungle; a daunting task for sure, but throw in a General who wants the treasure for himself and were now roaming in Uncharted territories.

Gameplay: UGA gets to be one of the first 3rd person shooters to get full use of the right analog stick on the Playstation Vita. While I did love moving the camera and aiming it felt a little slow from time to time. Headshots that I would have easily have made in the 2nd and 3rd uncharted games were much harder in this game due to sensitivity issues (Your milage may vary). This being a launch game for a new system comes with all the perks of showing off the robust plethora of “stuff” the vita can do. You row with the back touch pad on a canoe, you make charcoal rubbings by rubbing the front screen, sometimes you even have to hold the camera up to the light to show cool puzzles. While some of these gimmicks are fun it did get daunting after the tenth charcoal rubbing or photo shot. I would definitely give this game a break on the gaming mechanics because Bend Studio has no where to go but up from here. Its a solid base and I am certain when they make another game these little things will be sorted out.

Test of Time: Uncharted has a great story and beautiful visuals; the irony with launch games are that they look great for the first year or two and then dwindle into the shadows. Uncharted 2 and 3 had time to grow and develop but Naughty Dogs original outing was far from perfect. I think Uncharted will be a game that is talked about quite a bit especially if a second one comes out but I could never see this game as the “best of the best” I am an Uncharted fan and I loved the characters and story so I am torn saying these things but unless you have Playstation Plus or get the game for cheap I would suggest renting this adventure. You will love every minute of your adventure, its just that the end result leaves you feeling a bit hungry for more!

No BROS SYSTEM this week:

Cy: Buy on the cheap or download for free!