AK the Twilight has a blog
I mostly post here concerning games and my reviews, which I try to upload thoroughly and/or as frequently as I feel. If you comment on one of my blog posts, I'll return the favor and comment on yours. Hope you like the reviews and the blogs!
I remember a couple years ago when MadWorld was first announced. I didn't know what to expect from its monochromatic screenshots, odd story, and action-based gameplay, something like a slightly altered No More Heroes idea. But as time slowly moved forward, my eyes began to open to its interesting control setup, clever level design, and hilarious commentary. From maybe early 2008 to March 11, 2009, I eagerly awaited MadWorld.
So the time has come. MadWorld has hit stores and I was able to pick it up. As I began the game, I was captivated by the gratuitous red that filled the world as protagonist Jack threw enemies into spiked walls, exploding barrels, and rocket-propelled subway trains. The content is ridiculously over-the-top.
One of my biggest concerns initially was the control setup, which thankfully, doesn't saturate the system with waggle. It took a while for me to get the motion controls together with the actual button combinations, but once I took on the different challenges, I definitely found some finesse. It was apparent that the developers took the controls into serious account. I did find my arms getting tired after a few windmill throws or escape tactics, but I like the controls for one serious reason: they work best on Wii.
There was a guilty pleasure in binding an enemy with a tire, slamming a signpost into his skull, and hurling him into a gigantic press or spiked wall. And when in doubt, I found myself using the chainsaw to top off a combo. The one problem that I'm finding in the game that really bothers me is that there just isn't enough ways to score huge points. Spiked dumpsters, electrical machinery, or simply a giant pit are cool. I just expected more diversity.
I consistently found myself comparing this game to Viewtiful Joe in its gameplay. You're equipped with a few moves, but it's stringing the moves together that really proved beneficial. The commentary is a riot. It's undeniably vulgar, but it's hilarious to hear John DiMaggio and Greg Proops ramble off after Jack's wild killing spree.
So far, MadWorld is living up to the expectations. The controls feel tight and the action is over-the-top, just as promised. Look for my full review soon!
To all who were awaiting another AK review, here it is. It took a while, but here's AK's take on Gears of War 2.
The handheld market is definitely shaking up these days. With rumors of a new PSP buzzing about and Nintendo's DSi debuting later this year, it's become rather exciting.
The DSi looks to (once again) put Nintendo at the top of the handheld market. Camera, new design, music player, SD card slots, and the ability to download DSiWare are cool, but the question remains: should I replace my DS Lite? My answer, at least at this moment, is no, and for one specific reason: the GBA slot. Now, I don't like living in the past too much. I got the DS Lite once it arrived and I must say that it was a definite improvement over my older DS model. The improved lighting and slimmer design was great, but I still felt discouraged that my GBA games would stick out of the slot like it did. But I was glad to be able to take two games with me on the go.
The DSi doesn't have a GBA slot at all. I know that there are many people on Gamespot who appreciate older GBA games. Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga, WarioWare: Mega Microgame$, and Metroid Fusion are just a few of the amazing GBA games I still enjoy playing. Nintendo is still being secretive about giving the DSi its own form of the Virtual Console (I mean, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe would be a great starting point), but I'm not jumping the gun, and I plan to stick with my DS Lite for the moment. Once Nintendo sheds more light on the DSi's capabilities, I may consider picking one up.
And let's not forget about Sony. I originally bought a PSP for its multimedia capabilities and the extensive line of RPG's like Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness, and although I don't play it much these days, news of Assassin's Creed, Little Big Planet, and "Rock Band" (c'mon, it's Frequency) really got me interested. Even weirder is the rumor of a redesign, which I'm not buying until we get some proof. Am I the only one who doesn't like having the screen exposed? It looks so vulnerable, like it could scratch or something. I dunno. It seems that some developers have taken interest to the PSP. Why now of all times? Who knows. Regardless, I'll be keeping an eye on emerging details about Sony's handheld system and whatever comes its way.
The handheld market looks to be rocked. We'll just have to see what comes next.
So, I got around to trying out Gears of War 2, and quite honestly, I'm not particularly impressed.
I liked the gameplay innovations in the original Gears, and Gears 2 takes all that was good and pretty much does the same thing. These innovations aren't innovations anymore; we've seen them used before, so the novelty of taking cover or curb stomping an enemy seem like standard fare in Gears 2. Things like punching a downed enemy to death or using them as a quote-on-quote "meat shield" really don't push the game any further. They just feel tacked on.
There are some dynamic moments and the shooting sequences are fun, but as I move deeper and deeper into the Locust Horde's home turf, I'm worried that the game will falter the same way the original did: it's a "grey/brown" game. After seeing such stylized games like No More Heroes, Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts, and even The Orange Box, Gears of War feels flat. The environments lack distinction and uniqueness.
Keep in mind that this is a first impression, so my verdict is not yet final, but really, it just isn't shocking me.
But let's move on to MadWorld, a game that I cannot wait to play.
The graphic style to me looks like a mix between the ultra-violence of No More Heroes with the stunning comic-book shading of Viewtiful Joe, two games that possess undeniably distinct graphic styles. I admit that screenshots of MadWorld have had a tendency to look the same, but in motion, the game shines. In the footage I've seen of MadWorld, there are some amazingly obscure ways to turn an opponent into a blood fountain. From what I've seen, the controls follow context-sensitive events where you can swing the Wii Remote to make something violent happen.
But aside from the clean and stylized graphics and the viscerally satisfying gameplay, the commentary is hilarious. John Dimaggio (known for his work in Futurama as Bender and, yes, Marcus Fenix from Gears of War) and Greg Proops (a famous improv comic) work together to make some absolutely hilarious commentary while main character Jack is beating the crap out of enemies. It's over-the-top to say the least, but unforgettable.
When I played No More Heroes, I could officially confirm that the Wii is a good home for action games, and Platinum Games knows it better than anybody. MadWorld could well be the Wii's crowning moment since Twilight Princess and Brawl. I'll be sure to pick up this game once it arrives in March.
After a long hiatus, AK has returned with a new review. This time it's Beautiful Katamari. Check it out here!
I also got to play the Resident Evil 5 demo. As great as the game is, I was a bit disappointed. After playing through Resident Evil 4 more times than I can remember, on Gamecube, PS2, and Wii, RE5 seemed to lack that scare factor. The demo wasn't long, but it did throw you into a heated zombie attack.
First, the good. The game does add a shortcut to switching weapons, and while it was a bit unintuitive at times, it does help after practice. Also, the enemies do use some stronger weapons, including a psychopath with a giant axe.
Next, the bad. Dragging along the other character as a CPU was pretty bad in my eyes. Yes, it actually felt WORSE than Ashley. I'll no doubt check the game out with one of my friends on co-op, but through the whole battle I felt more worried about my CPU character than myself, which isn't good. Also, the game wasn't the least bit scary. The scariest part was when Mr. Giant Axe appeared, and it was nowhere near as scary as when Dr. Salvador revved up that chainsaw. Perhaps the daylight had something to do with it.
I'm very excited for RE5, but the game doesn't look to match the near-perfection of RE4, despite its minor improvements. We'll see in March how well Chris Redfield's newest adventure goes.
Yeah, I know you've been waiting for this one.
Okay, so you really weren't, but don't count this one out. I really enjoyed the original Scene It? game for the 360, and Box Office Smash really is a good sequel. It's not entirely new, but I hope you'll take my word for it and try it out. I mean, you'd be surprised how much you know about these movies. And yes, The Dark Knight is in it.
Not much else is going on, though. I've mostly been drawing and listening to music more than gaming, but don't worry. I'll try to keep reviews coming in a streamlined fashion.
To all who've been reading my blogs, checking out my reviews, and recommending them, I sincerely thank you. I try my best to keep my writings interesting and worthwhile to read. Awesome job, everyone!
Okay, this isn't the review I was originally going to post, but I really can't get enough of this game. I got it long ago, but still, it's amazing. Read the Jump Ultimate Stars review from AK right here!
So, plenty of big news around here.
First up, Guitar Hero: Metallica. I'm not a huge Guitar Hero fan, mostly because I can barely play those guitar controllers. I remember trying to play Scream, Aim, Fire on World Tour on Medium and failing. So it goes...oh well. I'm also not a big Metallica fan. But after hearing snippets of their Death Magnetic album, I may consider checking it out. Although, the better idea would be to buy the album on Guitar Hero: World Tour so I can play it on drums or sing like James Hetfield. Anyone who has played the Death Magnetic album on Guitar Hero: World Tour; is it any good?
Next up, MadWorld, which is only getting better. If they can jump off of the No More Heroes anti-waggle system (which they seem to be doing) then MadWorld will be absolute awesome in a box. Chainsaws, Human Darts, and more! Can't wait till its release!
Oh. And the RE5 demo. Pure win.
My next review is going to shock you. Trust me.
I've persevered through it, so my Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories review is finally ready to go. Check it out here!
Not much else is going on around here. I've been listening to some new CD's I got: Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine, and another Lewis Black comedy album. 90's rock is growing on me. After listening to music by bands like Soundgarden, along with some from the Rock Band series, I've been enjoying these 90's hits. Talking about this makes me want to grab my Rock Band microphone and rock out to "Spoonman". That's Soundgarden for those who don't know.
As for games, I haven't been focused on much. I don't want to spoil anything from Re:Chain of Memories so all I'll say is that the major bosses are DIFFICULT. I was able to make it through in one piece, even on Proud Mode. But even on Normal Mode, it's tough.
Beautiful Katamari on the other hand is leaving me a bit disappointed. The mission objectives aren't as open-ended as those in the previous two console Katamari games. You need to collect a certain type of item to get the best score. While playing, I keep wanting to just collect whatever and allow the Katamari to reach colossal size. It feels restrictive.
Regardless of my skepticism, I'll keep going. Look for the review soon, but not before another review I'm patching up. As a matter of fact, my next review may surprise the lot of you. See ya!
I was able to purchase Shadow of the Colossus many months ago, and finally I got around to reviewing it. Here's AK's review of Shadow of the Colossus.
I was also able to pick up four new games for a bargain price of $25. All are for the 360: Virtua Fighter 5, Condemned 2: Bloodshot, Devil May Cry 4, and what I'm playing on my 360 now, Beautiful Katamari.
I already played and reviewed Devil May Cry 4, but it was a bargain and I do recall enjoying it. Virtua Fighter 5 and Condemned 2: Bloodshot were big games upon their release, so I thought I'd check them out too.
Beautiful Katamari is the next game in the amazing Katamari series, a series that I absolutely was amazed at. If you've played any game in the Katamari series, you'll know where I'm coming from. It's flat-out insane, but incredibly well-designed. The second you roll up a person in any of the Katamari games, you'll know that the series doesn't mess around. It's fantastic, and I'm really eager to see what Beautiful Katamari has in store (including but not limited to competitive multiplayer over Xbox Live).
I'll most likely have the Beautiful Katamari review up soon, but not before the Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories review.
Hope you're ready for a couple of new reviews! This time it's Sonic Unleashed for Wii and Sonic Unleashed for 360. Trust me; the games are very, VERY different.
I've also visited Castle Oblivion once again, this time on the PS2. I played the original Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories on the GBA a few years ago; the card idea was a bit weird, but the complexity of the battles really showed what the GBA could do. RPG's are great, especially on portable systems and Chain of Memories was no different.
Re:Chain of Memories takes the whole idea of Chain of Memories and mixes in the Kingdom Hearts II control setup. Sleights are now assigned to the triangle button instead of both triggers, and some sleights require Reaction Commands to get the most out of the attack. These subtle inclusions make Re:Chain of Memoriesa more complete package. The new voice acting and full-motion video cutscenes are just icing on the cake.
I'm really enjoying Re:Chain of Memories, just as I did Chain of Memories on the GBA. Look for the full review soon!
Yeah, I really liked Rock Band 2, but I can't mention it without addressing its rival: Guitar Hero: World Tour. Thanks again for all the recommendations and readings. Here's AK's review of Guitar Hero: World Tour for the Xbox 360.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. I got some great gifts. Along with some games, I got the Death Note DVD Box Set 1, the Gorillaz: Rise of the Ogre book, an Xbox Live point card, and more!
My favorite gift would have to be the Shaman King manga. I got volumes 17, 18, and 19, and just recently purchased Vol. 20. In between games, I've been reading through them over and over. I'm incredibly excited for the next volume! If you don't know what Shaman King is, I may revisit the games and give them some reviews. However, I have a bunch of games to review as well.
If you check my Now Playing, you may notice Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories. Talk about a solid remake. I got it alongside Gears of War 2 and Sonic Unleashed (Wii version).
To round out a lot of my gifts were a Lewis Black CD and Dragonforce's new album. Ultra Beatdown is a great album and although it may sound a bit like the previous work, it's Dragonforce at its finest. Fast, powerful, and great to listen to. Afterwards, I read my Shaman King manga again.
Well, my next reviews will likely be Sonic Unleashed for the 360 and Shadow of the Colossus. Be patient, everyone!
Well, happy holidays to all! It's the time of year that many enjoy. It's great seeing my family during the holidays. I'll be playing games in the meantime as well, writing reviews too. My cousin's son is a big Sonic fan; he's getting to be quite the gamer. I'm proud of him. Well, I hope the holiday season is great for all! Happy holidays!
And to those anxiously awaiting my next review, here's AK's take on Sonic Unleashed for the Wii. Things are about to get hairy...AHAHA! Pun!
It's about time that I put this review up. Here's AK's review of Rock Band 2! Hope you all enjoy it!
Also, thanks to everyone that has been reading and recommending my reviews. It really means a lot, friends, so thanks!
So many games to review! I'm working on my Sonic Unleashed 360 review, and my Sonic Unleashed Wii review is almost ready, so look for both in the near future!
In addition to that, I've been playing Guitar Hero World Tour, which really is better than I had originally assumed. The different gameplay tweaks really do add a new degree to gameplay. The songlist, however, could be a bit better, in my opinion, and the DLC still isn't as good as Rock Band 2's. I'll try to work on a review for that soon.
Recently, I've decided to revisit some older PS2 games as well. Kingdom Hearts II still has that great balance of story and gameplay, though I've mostly spent my time playing Shadow of the Colossus again.
Well, as you can probably guess from all this, I've been diligently playing games and writing reviews. Once again, thanks for the support and look for more from AK soon!
Hello, friends! AK is back with a new review: Fallout 3. Here it is!
Well, I really enjoyed Fallout 3. Definitely a good pick for Game of the Year (second to Brawl, in my humble opinion).
But enough about Fallout 3. Let's talk Sonic. Yeah, I know a lot of people were disappointed at Sonic Unleashed, and for good reason. The 360 version is bad. It's not awful; I did enjoy Sonic's levels, but the Werehog levels feel slow, unresponsive, and long. But what really bothered me the most was the hub. It's slow, pretentious, and annoying.
But shift to the Wii version, which eliminates the hub, makes levels streamlined, and basically fixes almost everything that was bad about the 360 version. At least, until you play the Werehog levels, which still are a pain
I'll have the review for Sonic Unleashed for the Wii up soon, and the 360 version will follow soon after.
On the brighter side, I decided to download World of Goo from the Wii Shop. I haven't gotten too far, but it's promising. I also picked up Persona 3 for cheap; I can't wait to play my PS2 again for it!
So with the year coming to a close, I realized that I haven't played a ton of games this year. So here's a question for you all? What game could you have played, but didn't? I really missed out on Soul Calibur 4. How about the rest of you?
Well, it's been over a month, but here's a new review from AK. It's my verdict on Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. Here's the review!
The holiday rush has officially started! Thanks to a nice price drop from Microsoft, I downloaded Rez HD from the Xbox Live Arcade. I'll try to cut in some breaks between Fallout 3 to play through it. I want to get back on track with reviews, so I'm playing more games lately. My Rock Band 2 and Fallout 3 reviews should come shortly.
But let's move on to something a bit more discussion-worthy: Sonic Unleashed. I know that the Wii and 360 versions are different, so I plan on checking out both. I mean, the Werehog sequences do LOOK different, but I have yet to see what the two versions decide to mix up. To those who've played any of the versions of Sonic Unleashed, what do you think about it? Is it worth it?
Hey, folks! It's been quite a bit since my last blog, but I've been pretty busy lately.
Okay, I've severed my Fallout 3 addiction for awhile, but now I'm playing Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts. Originally I was playing Banjo-Kazooie XBLA version, which was amazing as expected. Even got 200/200 Achievements! Well, back to Nuts and Bolts. It's not a platformer, and I am a bit disappointed by that, but it's just so much fun. The missions run a bit thin and the controls take some getting used to, but it really doesn't matter.
The vehicle customization is robust and the different worlds are remarkably fun to explore. The first level, Nutty Acres, is a huge world, perfect for learning the moves and the challenges demand a little tinkering in the vehicle editor.
I was skeptical, but Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts is a surprisingly interesting direction for the series. I'm still awaiting a traditional platformer from Rare, but Nuts and Bolts is an addictive collection of great game design that in the end works brilliantly.
Looked for my detailed review coming this week!
Well, I decided to pick up Fallout 3 for my Xbox 360. I've been yearning to play a new game, but I've been hooked on Halo 3 and Gears of War up till now. While I've never been very fond of Western RPG's (I'm a bigger fan of JRPG's, specifically those from SquareEnix or even Nippon Ichi), I began to hear great things about Fallout 3, how it isn't a typical fantasy RPG. I never got around to playing the Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion, so Fallout 3 was a brand-new experience to me. I must say that from what I've played it looks to be good.
It takes a little bit for Fallout 3 to get going. You are introduced to the different controls and attributes of the character and are thrown into the Vault 101 sequence early on. I like the controls, though the jump command is a bit weak. The third-person perspective in-game, however, is clunky. Gears of War it is not.
Fallout 3 was a shock to me in that for the first time, I found a game where you actually get control over what occurs. I mean, your actions actually influence different events in-game. Killing someone will actually have consequences for different characters' actions. The conversation pieces are pretty cool; depending upon your skill you can manipulate people, ask for more money, or lie to their face. There's also the ever so popular good-bad scenarios, but being a bit of a consciencious person, I usually picked the good guy selections.
The combat itself is a weird mix of first-person shooting and RPG. You get the time-freezing V.A.T.S. system that lets you attack enemies in different body parts (though the head is usually the best bet). The V.A.T.S. system is cinematic to say the least, though the combat just doesn't seem to nail both shooting and RPG functions. The targeting is too wonky for shooting and the RPG functions don't seem to make significant impact, at least not yet.
Overall, however, Fallout 3 is different, something that the RPG genre needs to reach for. I still have a long ways to go, but it looks to be a really wild ride in the Wasteland. Look for the review from me soon.
But enough about Fallout 3; let's talk Banjo-Kazooie. The duo's newest game releases in less than a week, and as expected, I'm excited. The worlds look interesting; I'm very eager to see some familiar faces and areas, but the vehicular idea looks to be okay. Quite honestly, I'm more eager for the XBLA release of Banjo-Kazooie. I've played that game multiple times through on my N64, but I'm excited for the achievements included with the XBLA release. Either way, Rare could have a winner in Nuts N' Bolts, but the original will no doubt remain the top-contender between the two, at least in my eyes.
Hope everyone is enjoying the avalanche of games released this year. Then again, so much to play, so little time. Keep on gaming, friends!
After a long hiatus, AK is finally back! Well, I revisited an older game this past week and finally got around to reviewing it. You may have heard of it: Gears of War. I felt like preparing myself for the sequel. Here's the review.
I also got around to purchasing Rock Band 2. I was a huge fan of the first, so buying the newest installment in the treasured series was a no-brainer for me. I'm very impressed with the song list and being able to sing or play the instruments over Xbox Live against or with friends is great. I really like the different Challenges, where you must complete setlists of themed songs like 90's Hits or from single bands. Also, the downloadable content you purchase is integrated into the Challenges as well, so I was able to sing all three System of a Down songs on one setlist.
The Battle of the Bands leaderboard is cool too, as new Battles appear over time. I purchased the Offspring pack to play the Offspring Battle of the Bands.
Rock Band 2 will get the full review from me soon.
But it's difficult to talk about Rock Band 2 without talking about the similarly themed Guitar Hero: World Tour, which in my opinion, has a better songlist. Sublime, Bullet For My Valentine, Tool, Korn, and the Mars Volta are only a few of the songs I'm excited for along with a bunch that are also on Rock Band 2. I'll no doubt check out World Tour, thanks to the cross-compatibility of the instruments, but will it be better than Rock Band 2? We'll just have to see.
Thanks to all who have been reading my reviews during my absence. I'll try to be present more often.
Yo. New review up for the incredible racing game, Burnout 3: Takedown. Hope you enjoy it!
I haven't been on much lately, I know. I just wanted to get this review up, to combat my procrastination. I'll try to have a better post up in the coming days. Thanks!
My procrastination is becoming tiresome. I'm still polishing my Burnout 3 review, though I haven't been playing many new games lately. Perfect Dark Zero is okay, though the multiplayer, weird cover system, and inconsistent mission objectives make it a bit worse than other first-person shooters I've seen before.
But I also got tagged. Don't worry, I won't tag anyone else. It doesn't seem right to me.
1. Along with the unopened Musashi Samurai Legend, I have an unopened copy of Devil May Cry 2.
2. All time favorite song: Feel Good Inc. by Gorillaz. Great beat, awesome lyrics, and excellent instrumentals.
3. I find anime like Lucky Star to be hilarious.
4. I've been neglecting my DS since The World Ends With You. Don't worry, DS: you still rock.
5. I've been quite a few anime conventions.
I'll try to have a more productive post soon, maybe with that Burnout 3 review. Thanks for waiting!
Well, today I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled. Fortunately, it wasn't a problem. Now I just have to deal with a little pain and adjust some eating rituals to cope. I'm not too thrilled, but I heard that it's best to lose your wisdom teeth early than later in life, mostly to prevent crowding and other dental damage.
But enough about that: I got two new games last week! One was for the Wii, mostly because I want to balance my collection. I don't want to have too many games for one system. Well, the game was the extensive, beautiful, and awesome Wii version of Okami, a game I recently reviewed. I love the Zelda-esque gameplay and the many side-quests. Thought I'd pick it up before it becomes a scarce adventure and hard to find.
I also picked up another deal of a game: Shadow of the Colossus for the PS2. I loved this game, but never got around to buying it, even at its Greatest Hits status and cheaper price. Fortunately, I also wanted to pick it up before it became hard to find. If you haven't played Shadow of the Colossus, you really should. It has some of the most epic presentation and tremendous boss battles ever seen before in a video game. It's short, but there's so much action and beautiful imagery that you really can't go wrong.
I was torn between picking up Elders Scrolls IV: Oblivion instead of these games, but picked up Okami and Shadow of the Colossus instead. Question in point: how is Oblivion? More specifically, is the Game of the Year edition worth it? It contains the original, plus the expansion packs, but I'm sort of new to the western RPG scene and the Game of the Year edition is twice the price of the Platinum Hits standalone Oblivion. So, Gamespot folks, what's you guys' verdicts?
Thanks in advance!