Another post after an extended period of absence on my part, not only because I’ve been camping for 5 days and studying for tests and playing lots of games I’ve already written about but also because I’m working on getting a new URL, one that’s not ugly and lengthy and altogether stupid. The site is still a major work in progress, but the URL will be a much nicer http://www.maasoo.net/ , which will be where all content is posted from here on out, so check in there from here on out! This post was three sentences long, and I’m proud of that.
So, yeah. basically, a compilation of images of games I’ve either yet to review, reviewed and didn’t include, what I’ve been playing, and a handful of some Minecraft stuff too. Enjoy!
And now for something completely different….
So that’s about it. Do you like this type of post? Lemme know! Thanks for reading.
Torchlight wasn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a revolutionary game. Nothing really new was added to the dungeon crawler genre (which has been dominated by Diablo for the past 10 some-odd years), and many people skipped it. Luckily, I wasn’t one of those people. I like me a good RPG, and Torchlight definitely was that. What it lacked in story and non-linearity it made up for with good, solid gameplay, customization, and various elements that made it really fun to play. I’ve been waiting for Torchlight II for a little over 2 years, and it was definitely worth the wait.
Gameplay: Torchlight 2 is a dungeon crawler in the strictest sense of the phrase. And, in essence, most dungeon crawlers are pretty much the same. But that’s all right, since besides Torchlight and Diablo, there are really not many of them out there. A dungeon crawler is in essence an action RPG with heavy customization. There’s weapons to pick up, various items to use, spells, leveling up stats, enchanting and socketing items, looting caves, fighting bosses, etc. Torchlight 2 does little to stray from the norm, but that’s not bad. Not at all, in fact. Torchlight 2 features 4 classes at the start, each with different strengths and abilities, as well as their own skill trees to level up. I went with the pistol-packing Outlander, as I often like fighting from a range. As you make your way through the game (which is played almost exclusively with the mouse), you will fight all kinds of monsters over a variety of areas. As you fight, you’ll gain experience and level up. Each time you gain a level, you’ll get a point to spend on upgrading one of the skills available to your class, as well as five points to spend on upgrading your four base stats. When you defeat monsters or find chests, you’ll have access to a myriad of weaponry, only some of which your class will be able to use. Some of them will need to be identified, which will require the use of an identify scroll, and some will require a certain level or level of a stat. In addition to these basics, you have a pet, as with the other game. Your pet can be one of six species, and will fight alongside you, as well as be sent back to town to sell the things in its inventory for you. In Torchlight 2, the pets can be taught spells, given equipment, and be told to buy you certain things from town. All of this is awesome, and works great.
None of the mechanics bother me about this game. As you play through the quests (of which there are tons more than the first) and through the towns and dungeons (again, more than the first) the monsters you fight, rewards you get, and equipment you find level with you to create a challenge at all times. Various abilities can be assigned to a hotbar at the bottom, like spells you’ve learned, special items you can use, and abilities you gain by leveling up. There are many different types of monsters you’ll encounter, and numerous ways and strategies of getting rid of them. Though attacking repeatedly works well. The game also has a multiplayer feature, but, try as I might, I can’t find any servers with people that want to play and none of my friends have gotten the game, so I haven’t gotten to try it. Other than that, though, there’s really nothing bad I can say about this section. 95.
Story: Torchlight 2 features a much more heavy focus on story than its predecessor. Though that’s not saying too much. Torchlight 2 features the Alchemist from the previous title as the main villain of the story. Your character has to defeat him. Not much else to it, really, but it gets the job done with some pretty nice looking cutscenes. 80.
Graphics: Torchlight 2 vastly improved the graphics of the original. It uses cartoon elements reminiscent of TF2 as its primary style, and one of the best things about it is that all of your equipment can be seen rather clearly, and management of several menus at once can be done without ever taking you out of the action. While it is better than the original, it’s still a $20 game, and while everything looks great far away, when you zoom in you can see that there’s a surprisingly low polygon count, which is slightly disappointing. Overall, though, it’s a good looking game. 80.
Sound: The music in T2 is really nice, with mostly ambient tones and some catchy classically styled music at certain segments. The effects are good, with various weaponry and enemies making relatively varied and different sounds. The voice acting is fairly sub-par, but it serves its purpose. 87.
Torchlight 2 is a great game. It’s fun, immersive, and on top of that fairly addictive. If you’re a fan of dungeon crawlers, this game is a must-have. If you like Action RPGs, it’s worth a look. 85%
As you may remember from Kirby Week last year, I’m a big fan of Kirby games. I’ve enjoyed every one I’ve played, and since this year is his 20th anniversary, Nintendo released a great compilation set with some of his best work. I’ll do a quick review now of everything Kirby’s Dream Collection has in store.
Kirby’s Dream Collection comes in a small package but contains some pretty nifty stuff. First, the game itself. The Kirby’s Dream Collection game disc comes with some pretty fun bonus levels for Kirby’s Return to Dreamland, a neat area filled with, among other things, music, history lessons on ever Kirby game to date, and 3 episodes of the official cartoon, Kirby: Right Back at Ya! (You better get it with a money-back guarantee!), which was actually surprisingly good. In addition to these is the main meat of the disc: six of the best Kirby games of all time (without Air Ride. Am I the only one that liked that game?). This list includes the original game, Kirby’s Dream Land from the Gameboy, Kirby’s Adventure, Kirby’s Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby’s Dream Land 3, and, one of my personal favorites, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. These games can be played with the Classic Controller (which I don’t have), the Wiimote, or the Gamecube controller. While some of the translations to the controllers of today were rather clunky (they button scheme on the SNES is different than that of the Gamecube), I’m pleased with the visuals and audio, as well as the fact that the games with available multiplayer actually retain the functionality. The games all are a blast to play and great for any classic Kirby fan. Super Star and Crystal Shards are still comparable to some of today’s games! Along with the game disc came a CD with a whopping 45 tracks from various Kirby games, most of which any Kirby fan will recognize, and they’re a blast to listen to. Some classically oriented, some more electric, and some dramatic, they’re all great to listen to, particularly some of the more recent ones. Last in the box is a nearly 50-page history of Kirby rife with information, concept art, and fun stuff about the pink puff.
Overall: While the book and CD may appeal more to the bigger Kirby fans like myself, the game disc is great, even if you’re not necessarily familiar with Kirby. It contains some of his greatest escapades, and with the whole thing being $40 it’s a steal. I mean, that’s the price a DS game goes for these days! Kirby’s Dream Collection gets an 85% for nostalgia and awesomness. Here’s to another 20 years!
Holy crap, as usual, This year’s fourth quarter is going to be a stinger for wallets everywhere. If you remember back in November and December of last year, tons of titles (Skyrim, Skyward Sword, Minecraft (doesn’t really count but shut up), Assassin’s Creed Revelations, Batman Arkham City, Uncharted 3, Sonic Generations, etc.) hit the stores and paid a hefty toll on all of our wallets. However, here is a list of the Q4 games you don’t have to worry about seeing on this blog: Borderlands 2, Call of Doody Black Ops 2, Resident Evil 6, and Halo 4 are definitely games I’m not going to worry about. But, chronologically, here are some games you’ll definitely be seeing here.
September 16- Kirby’s Dream Collection. It’s Kirby! In a collection! And it’s Kirby! I think I may have mentioned the Kirby thing already though.
September 20- Torchlight 2. I’ve been waiting all year for this game. Heck, even since early last year I’ve been waiting for this game. Its predecessor was fantastic, and this one is shaping up to be even better.
October 7- Pokemon Black and White 2- While it’s true that I wasn’t fond of the most recent installments in the Pokemon franchise, I’m still willing to give this near-and-dear handheld series another shot. I’d actually probably give them several more shots. They could probably target dirt and slap a Pokemon logo on it and I’d buy it.
October 20- Assassin’s Creed III. This game is the reason I am playing through the first four. The more I see about it, the more I want to play it. I seriously can’t wait. I mean, colonial America and assassins! What’s not to like there?
November 18- Dishonored. This game looks awesome. And it’s made by Bethesda. So we know it’s going to be pretty darned great. As long as there are no arrow in the knee jokes.
On another note of Q4 gaming stuff: The WiiU. It’s still dubious to me whether or not that system’s worth buying. The controller is kind of cool, but the fact that only one (or two?) person can use it at once is a massive turnoff, considering the fact that the only thing I frequently use a Nintendo console for these days is Smash Bros. However, Pikmin 3 might make everything worth it. Might.
So that’s the games you can expect reviews of in the coming months. More recent posts will include a Kirby’s Dream Collection review, something about Minecraft, and perhaps if I get a chance to even get to Revelations I’ll slip a review of that in here as well. Stay cheesy!
I’ve realized lately a few things. First, when you try to run a Minecraft server, maintain your schoolwork, and try new games to review, it really cuts out one’s free time in a day. Add to that the fact that I’m not home very much because it’s no longer summer and you get a really dismal amount of time spent playing Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. I’ve been desperately trying to finish it so I can play Revelations before III comes out, but the odds of that happening are looking slimmer and slimmer. This is all a really long way of saying I don’t think I’ve played enough of AC:B to give it a full review, so this will have to suffice. Enjoy it.
Brotherhood picks up exactly where 2 left off in the story of our two protagonists, Desmond Miles in the present day, and assassin and ladykiller Ezio Audtiore da Firenze in Renaissance Italy. Many of the aspects of the second game are carried over, which is good, but a couple of adjustments have been made, which are also good. One of the biggest is the new system of recruiting and using new assassins in your arsenal. About halfway through the game you’ll gain the ability to recruit new citizens to be in your assassin guild, and after this you can send them on missions, level them up, upgrade their stats, and call upon them to help you out in battles. This is especially effective if you want to remain discreet; if you use the auxiliary assassins to kill targets, you won’t be noticed. In addition to this, there are a whole new slew of customization options around Rome. In Brotherhood, you can invest in the purchase and renovation of buildings and shops to increase your overall income. In order to do this, you must take over and burn down a Borgia tower in the area to gain assassin power in that area. Various Borgia towers have different levels of difficulty when it comes to killing the Borgia captain of the region.
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood plays exactly the same way as the other games do, specifically II. The parkour elements are still in tact and a bit smoother, the weapons, shopping and mission system are nearly identical to that of II, and most of the areas are similar as well. However, the addition of a new, larger, and main area is fresh and fun to mess with, and I really enjoyed that aspect as well. In addition to some of the new features I mentioned, there’s now the ability to gain what’s called full synchronization in the story missions of the game. Completing specific tasks such as finishing the mission without being seen, taking damage, under a certain amount of time, etc. will help you get close to 100%ing the game, which is what I’ve been trying (rather successfully, too) to do as I play.
As far as the story, graphics, and sound of the game go, they’re all really good. The music and voice acting is top-notch (freakin’ Roger Craig Smith!), the game looks beautiful, and the story is pretty immersing and fun to watch unfold. I like how Brotherhood gives us a sneak peak of a modern AC game in the gameplay areas where we get to play as Desmond Miles outside of the Animus. Overall, AC:B continues in the upward trend of the Assassin’s Creed series, and I can’t wait to play Revelations and III. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood gets a 90%.
I’ve changed the background image and header from the Sonic-themed, low-res set to a more Minecraft related (though still holding onto our roots, at least in the background) set. Let me know what you think of them and if you liked the old ones better! I’ll be experimenting with new ways to make images for this site in the coming months to see what fits best. Any input is appreciated!