Showing posts from June, 2012

Mass Effect 3 Extended Cut

Created by: BioWare Release: 6/26/2012
Xbox 360, PS3, PC ESRB Rating: M My Score: 6
                Warning! Do not read this review if you wish to avoid Mass Effect 3 ending spoilers. I wrote this review mainly for those that have beaten Mass Effect 3 and wish to know the extended cut’s effects on the ending and the series as a whole. You have been warned.
                After several months of waiting, BioWare’s extended cut for Mass Effect 3 completed the unfinished ending of Mass Effect 3. That said, it still isn’t the ending I hoped for. The extended cut liberally clarifies not only the impact of your ending decision, but also several key moments between the last mission on Earth to the much reviled crucible/catalyst scene. Those that liked the endings will love the EC. People who liked the concepts behind the ending but disliked the execution will also enjoy the EC. For those that hate the ending’s plot holes (including the not so obvious ones) and betrayal of Mass Effect’s…

Dragon Age 2

Created by: BioWare
Xbox 360, PS3, PC Genre: Fantasy Action RPG Release: 3/8/2011 ESRB Rating: M My Score: 6.5/10
Dragon Age 2 is a dark stain upon BioWare’s name. BioWare, known for their great RPGs, marred the Dragon Age franchise and their reputation with Dragon Age 2. Although the combat improved for console owners, the game is beset by recycled environments, poor writing and worst of all, a lack of choice. All in all, much of what was great about Dragon Age is undermined, ruining the future of the Dragon Age series. The especially sad part about Dragon Age 2 is that it had so much potential. All of it, though, was lost in a rushed 18 month development cycle. Dragon Age 2 starts out with an ominous scene of a dwarf named Varric being dragged into a dark room. He is interrogated by a short tempered female church official. This woman demands that Varric tell her about some figure called, “The Champion of Kirkwall.” After some resistance, Varric tells the story and you take the r…

Dungeon Defenders Review

Created by: Trendy Entertainment Genre: Role-Playing / Action / Tower Defense Release: Oct 19, 2011 ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10 and Older) My Score: 8.5 out of 10
Dungeon Defenders, alone or with friends (via Xbox Live, or local splitscreen) is a great experience, no matter how you slice it.

Full disclosure: I love this very mix of genres (Action / TD / RPG), it's in my top 5 favorites because it's great that you can set up automatic towers to do the bulk of your dirty work for you, but when I can actually get out on the field and build, upgrade, or repair my towers plus kill hundreds of enemies all by myself - it really makes people feel more involved (because it involves your direct input now instead of you being some godly figure).

Trendy Entertainment does their name proud and delivers Dungeon Defenders, if not to only cash in on the success of the genre. The player has mana, and that mana can heal, repair, build, upgrade, activate spells, and even acts as a currency. Mana i…

Fire Emblem

Created by: Intelligent Systems

Genre: Turn Based Strategy RPG

Release: November 3, 2003

Gameboy Advanced

ESRB Rating: E

My Score:

                Of all the turn based tactical RPGs, few companies master them like Intelligent Systems. In 2003, they finally gave the U.S. one of their best series, Fire Emblem. Why it took so long to release Fire Emblem in the U.S. is puzzling, as it offers a unique and great tactical game coupled with a good story. The anime style medieval fantasy world of Fire Emblem offers dozens of hours of enjoyment.                 Fire Emblem takes place on the continent known as Elibe and has two unique stories. The first story, inspired largely by the fact that America never had a Fire Emblem game, is tutorial based and eases the player into Fire Emblem’s style of gameplay and consequences over ten missions. The second storyline is the meat of the game where the player takes on the typical quest to save the world from the forces of evil.                …

Chrono Trigger DS

Created by:
Square Enix Genre: RPG Release: 11/25/2008 ESRB Rating: E
Nintendo DS My Score:

Chrono Trigger revolutionized video games when it released in 1995, bringing together the best elements of RPG gameplay, story and music. The most recent iteration of the classic game for DS keeps what we all loved about Chrono Trigger while making some minor improvements that adds some extra content. For those unaware of the game, Chrono Trigger starts out in the land of Guardia at its 1000 year anniversary. The silent protagonist, Crono, sets out to enjoy a fun day at the Millennial Fair. After bumping into a young woman, Marle, he joins her to see the presentation of his friend’s teleporter machine. After Marle volunteers to be the test subject, something goes wrong and she is transported into another time. At this moment, Crono volunteers to rescue her, beginning the time traveling epic. Chrono Trigger’s gameplay style transfers well to the DS. The combat is typical of that for a JR…

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening

Created by: BioWare Genre: RPG Release: 3/16/2010
Xbox 360, PS3, PC ESRB Rating: M My Score: 7.0

Dragon Age Origins: Awakening stands unique among BioWare games. It is their only expansion pack to an existing game and not an outright sequel. Overall, BioWare succeeds in giving more meaningful content to fans of Dragon Age: Origins. Unfortunately, its story and true potential is derailed by countless bugs. The game allows the player to transfer their character from Origins or create a new one in a Grey Warden centered story. I am not sure why anyone wouldn’t want to transfer their old character, as it’s the most rewarding way to play Awakening. Thus, the game starts out a few months after the events of Origins. The protagonist travels to take command of a province given to them for their heroism in the first game. As soon as you arrive at the keep to take command, however, the area is besieged by darkspawn. Here begins your journey to mop up the darkspawn threat and govern the land…