500 word game reviews Watch
super monkey ball deluxe
I first played super monkey ball 2 about 4 years ago on my friends gamecube. I loved it and my PS1 seemed a bit old. So I got a PS2 and guess what was on it ,super monky ball duluxe. I got it and I can't stop playing. with 300 levels and 12 party games this is a must GO ON GET IT!
The game itself looks like ass. I love Super Monkey Ball but this game is just pretty bad. The textures look like poop on both ps2 and ps3 and the fact the game freezes for like a second or three before the next level is loaded is absurd.
Also where the hell is the rolling 'Wu wu wu' sound from the previous games that are actually IN THIS GAME?
Buy the originals for gamecube. Not this.
Story: In the 1980s of an alternate universe, humanity has been fighting in space against an existential threat from beyond the solar system for decades, but that war is now over. Instead, the humans within this space program are now fighting each other, split into three factions.
Memorial Foundation remain loyal to Earth, feeling that there is no future for humans in space. Celestial Mechanics believe Earth will label their lab-grown pilots as aliens – and they're fine with that, wishing to sever all ties with their ancestral home. Finally, Cradle's Graces want to make space inhabitable for all, and once this is achieved, render Earth uninhabitable for all, forcing everyone to live in space together~
Each of these factions has a star pilot – Luna-Terra for Memorial Foundation, Saturn for Celestial Mechanics, and Pluto for Cradle's Graces. The story is as much about them, their relationships and personal struggles as it is about grand space battles.
If there's one problem with the story, its that it uses a lot of technobabble, and a lot of symbolism – add in the ship names, different factions, side characters and references to events from decades past, and it's a real information overload in an otherwise very short VN. I struggled to focus at times, not really my preferred style of writing, despite the interesting subject matter beneath it all.
Gameplay: Choose one of the three characters, and experience their side of events. They will be sent emails providing further backstory, take part in instant messaging to develop character, and be assigned missions which inevitably lead to them running into one of the two pilots you didn't pick.
Each encounter with another pilot will present you with a choice. One option will favour your faction, the other will aid the opposition. Whichever faction is the most successful in these missions will be victorious in the end - but helping the enemy out occasionally may lead to some steamy encounters...
This is a visual novel, so that's all there is gameplay-wise: read dialogue, make a choice, read more dialogue, then repeat.
Characters: All three characters are female (and two are implied to be trans), all have messy feelings and complex relationships, and all seem just as willing to make love as they are to make war.
As with most visual novels, it is recommended that you play as each character, unlock each ending, and switch choices in order to see the full story from all sides.
There is also a 'True Ending', if you balance the factions so that they're all equal in the end... I have yet to manage this, so can't comment.
Controls: Minimal, as this is a VN. Click stuff occasionally with the mouse. I think space bar works too.
Graphics and sound: The 2D anime-style character designs are great. Sci-fi/space backgrounds and ships are cool too.
The soundtrack is terrifying most of the time, reminiscent of the music used in Worst Girls Games' earlier title 'We Know the Devil'. Really unsettling, adds a level of tension to the missions.
Overall: I wish I liked this more, but the huge walls of complex text bored me at times. Not for me, though fans of visual novels and/or queer science fiction stories may get more out of it. 5/10
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (2014) - Point-and-click adventure, PC.
Story: Tex Murphy wakes up outside of his PI office, with a nasty head injury and a suspicious puncture wound on his arm. He soon realizes he's lost all memories of the last 7 years... and according to his acquaintances, he'd turned into a completely different person during those years.
Tex must now search 2050s San Fransisco in order to find clues as to who attacked him, and what he was doing beforehand that could've led to the attack – a search that soon links him to a hidden cult, a possible past life, and a conspiracy involving Nikola Tesla.
Cutscenes and interactions with other characters are via the medium of FMV, but with a top cast of actors – and for the first time in this franchise, all in HD!
Gameplay: Tesla Effect sticks to the point-and-click adventure game formula of the 3 previous Tex Murphy titles. Explore, pick up and combine objects, open doors and drawers, and use whatever clues you find to progress the story. You can also talk to the various characters in and around Tex's home neighbourhood of Chandler Avenue for information about any person or plot point you'd like.
Puzzle solving is the other major gameplay element. You'll have to work out passwords to locked doors and safes, activate (or de-activate) machinery, reassemble broken clues etc. They provide some variation from the regular point-and-click stuff. Most were easy, some were fun, but a couple were really difficult and frustrating.
Fortunately for players who are stuck, the in-game hint system will tell you where to go, who to speak to, what to pick up etc. All puzzles can also be skipped entirely. You will lose 'points', but that doesn't actually impact on gameplay or the ending in any way, aside from a post-credits detective ranking. For lower-level hints, shining your torch on objects will cause them to sparkle if they are important (easier difficulty level only).
Tesla Effect has multiple endings, depending on what dialogue choices you make as the game progresses. In this case, it's all about which woman out of several potential love interests that Tex will eventually end up with. I guess these could add some replay value, but given that the only thing which changes is the ending video, and that a single wrong choice will take you to one of the 'bad' endings, you're probably better off watching the ones you didn't get on Youtube.
Controls: Aside from the graphics, the one major improvement from the mid 90s games! Walk around using WASD, and seamlessly look and interact using the mouse. No more switching between 'move' and 'interact' modes; as great as they were back in their day, they'd be clunky and pointless now.
Graphics and sound: The FMV scenes were in full HD. Great quality, if you can handle copious amounts of green screen. Fantastic to see so many of the original cast members back again.
The game graphics were decent enough, recreating some features of Chandler Avenue in true 3D for the first time! Great BGM, mostly the kind of jazz you'd associate with detective noir.
Overall: A decent reboot and tribute to a fantastic franchise, let down by a confusing plot, some poor-taste jokes in places, and an awful final puzzle. 7/10
Story: A boy sees a dragon through his window. After looking it up in a book, he learns that in order to appease this creature, he needs five apples of different colours. Rather than pop to his local supermarket, he chooses to travel through space, time and fantasy to gather these elusive fruits.
...that's as much as I can gather, at least. The game has no dialogue, telling its story only through its amazing visuals.
Gameplay: Gorogoa takes inspiration from sliding puzzles, where you move scrambled tiles around to form the correct picture. However, it is far more interactive, allowing you to zoom in and out, move within one tile into an adjacent room, and take parts from one tile into another.
The objective is to guide the protagonist from one scene to another, until he reaches a fruit. Problem is, he's stuck in a tile, so you'll need to make sure the adjacent tile lines up with his. Or find him an exit to fit his empty doorway, etc.
Gorogoa is filled with puzzles, most of which make use of scale and perspective. Zoom in on a small chimney in one tile, and it can become the base of a huge tower in another.
As the game progresses, these puzzles get more difficult. You might find the staircase you need for the boy to proceed, but it's upside down, and there's no easy rotate feature. Instead, you may have to search inside a picture book for some assistance. Clock not telling the right time? Maybe steal the hands from a similar device. You'll need to literally think outside the box(es) in this game.
I got stuck and frustrated once or twice, but the fact that you only have (at most) four tiles to work with, and limited ways to interact with them, means that it's just a case of trial and error. I ended up clearing the whole game in under 2 hours, with no need for walkthroughs or outside help.
Controls: Entirely mouse-based. Drag and drop tiles around as and where you want - even diagonally, or on top of other tiles. Click objects or buttons in each tile to zoom in or out, or move to adjacent areas (where available).
Graphics and sound: The visuals and art are the game itself - thousands of panels, all hand-drawn by a single person. Individually, the static tiles are beautiful, but seeing them interact when you correctly line them up is just amazing, a great reward after a hard puzzle.
The music is also worthy of praise. There aren't that many tracks, as it isn't a long game, but they provide ambient yet haunting background music for each stage. Not something I'd listen to on its own, but it certainly works in-game.
Overall: This review, and these static screenshots, do the game no justice. It needs to be seen, played and experienced to be fully understood and appreciated. The only real downside for me was how short it was for the price, but it was certainly an enjoyable two hours. 9/10