American name: Super Mario Galaxy
Japanese name: スーパーマリオギャラクシー, (Sūpā Mario Gyarakushī)
North American release date: November 12 (14 for Canada), 2007
Mario is THE nintendo's mascot. Bigger then Fox, Kirby and even Link, Mario's name has been pasted on a lot of shit. Let's be honest, since the hit Super Mario 64, no mario games really made it. Mario was more and more associated with Crap.
Then it came. The game that put back hope in the Mario fans's heart. Super Mario Galaxy. I think you already know what my opinion but why?
CHARACTHERS: As always, you play as our favorite plumber, Mario. All the classic characthers are back too! Peach, Bowser, Luigi, Toad, Koopa, Goomba, Pirhana, Bob-Bombs, even Baby Bowser make an apparence! There's also a bunch of new characthers such as Rosalina, a watcher of the stars that strangely ressembles Peach and Lumas, little star buddies that will help you along your journey.
WORLDS: It's one of the aspects that I like about the game. It takes all your classics worlds (Grass land, Fire land, Water land, etc) and turns them into galaxies full of planets. New worlds are also implanted in Galaxy like the Cooking Galaxy and Toy Galaxy.
STORY: The story is classical. Peach is kindapped by Bowser just as or when a big party is thrown at Toadstool. Where it changes is when Bowser takes Peach away into space (N/A: I know it's been made in Paper Mario but it wasn't LITTERALY in SPACE). When Mario wakes up, a little Luma bring him to the Observatory where Rosalina waits for him. She explains to our plumber that Bowser's been messing around galaxies to create his own at the center of the Universe with the power of the Great Stars. Saddly, the Observatory runs on star power and is currently dried out. So here you're off to collect stars!
WEAPONS: Mario has no weapons... he has powerups. Seven to exact. Through them, you will find the oh-so-awaited return of the Fire Flower and the (Rainbow)Star of incivibility. You can also make Mario fly in special levels with the Red Star but no wingy thing or racoon suit this time... In the novelty section, you will find the Fire Flower's alter ego, the Ice Flower. It allows you to freeze enemies and water...and even skate! Mario also three new suits that give him a little push when things get hard. The Bee suit gives Mario the ability to fly from a smal time, climb onto sticky walls and walk on clouds. It also makes Mario cute, kinda. The Boo suits transforms Mario into a red capped, mustached Boo! It allows him to float through air, become invisibe and pass through obstacles. Handy, eh? Finally, there's the Spring suit which turns Mario into a spring so you can jump higher. Honestly, I hate this one. Too hard to control. No Tanuki, Frog or Hammer Bros. suits in view though...
PLAYIBILITY: The playability is one of the major aspects that made this game so good. Mario responds to your command most of the time. If you thougth 64 was good, Galaxy's even better. The game environnement's itself is unique. Take your known sufaces (slippery, lava, sandy, etc), roll them into a ball and add screwed gravitationnal laws to the picture. THAT is the game's environnement. Depending of how far you are from a planet and how high you jump, you'll travel from planet to planet by jumping. Sometimes you will be upside down or sideways trying to play as good as you can. There's even places where the gravitation is set for you and will change just to screw with you. Other you will be floating into space, manoeuvring between spiky balls to go where you grabbed a blue star grappling. You also collect star pieces by waving the wiimote aroung through the levels. These are used to feed Lumas in order to unlock special stars. It gets so addicting collecting those little crystals, you'll die because you were too budy grabbing them. I could talk about it all day long but that would spoil the game.
MUSIC: I've always had been a sucker for the Mario music. Orchestra, catchy tunes, classics that survive time. Hey, I'm even listening to some as I'm writing this! Galaxy's music is no different then the great Mario games. Excellent. If you play, you may even catch yourself humming the song as you play like I do!
VOICE ACTING: Ah. But we need a but, don't we? Nintendo hasn't learned yet that gamers don't enjoy reading while they perfectly some guy could be paid for doing this. Back in the days, reading was th eonly options and we grew up with voiceless characthers but with today's technology and storylines, voicing is almost a must. Only classic games like that one can still be allowed as mute games and still make a hit. Yet, we all know Mario isn't the most talkative hero in history but we all know he has a voice. If you hadn't heard before today, at the end of Galaxy, Mario clearly says ''Thank you for playing my game!'' in all his italian gloryness. Anyway, if Mario doesn't talk, other characthers sure like to chitchat so why not spare the gamers a hour of reading they won't read anyway?
GRAPHICS: Awesome. Of course, compared to the PS3 or Xbox, the Wii's graphics are a bit prehistorical but still as I always say: Graphics don't do the game. If you play your games in function of graphics, I've gotta tell ya, man, you're missing a lot of good stuff. Imagine if your children never play the first Legend of Zelda or even Ocarina of Time because of the cheap graphics? What a shame. The graphics in Galaxy are fun, textured and colorful. Nintendo hasn't yet fell for into the so-dark-we-see-nothing-for-the-whole-game palet.
LIFE: Super Mario Galaxy is a long, long game. In fact, the last time I saw a game this long was when I played Tales of Symphonia. You can collect a smaller amount of stars to end the game for the lazy ones but you can collect up to 120 stars and that's where it gets harder. Once you worked your ass off to get all your stars and do the ending one last time, suprise! It's not over yet! You can now play the game as Luigi! Luigi jumps higher then Mario does but he slips when he runs which can be troublesome at times. I do not know what happends once you did the game with Luigi because I'm not done yet.
DIFFICULTY: The first part of the game before you can quick end the game isn't that hard. The part after that gets tougher tough. Galaxy is a hard game that will challenge every gamer of this Earth, even if you won't admit it. I'm an excellent gamer who misses the old school games' challenge. I didn't Game Over once but I still broke a few sweats here and there.
FINAL BOSS: Bowser!! If I remember correctly, you have to fight Baby Bowser first but I'm not sure...It's been too long since I played the game. Bowser is a fun boss to fight. You will face him three planets, each has its own way to damage the Koopa King. The first one is simply by hitting him while he spins. The other is by hitting when he spins AND hit him with a cahoutchouc tree while he's STILL spinning. On the last planet you have to make him jump on blue crystal dots that will break under his weigth and spray his spiky butt of lava. Haha! Good for you!
Multiplayer: It's possible but I never tried it. Basicly, the other is just collecting star pieces with another wiimote. I guess that instead of just watching a friend play, you play a little too.
AVERAGE SCORE: 9.5 POSSIBLE CLASSIC
VOICE ACTING: 3
FINAL BOSS: 8
American name: Pirates of the Caribbean: At world's end
Japanese name: Unknown
Type: Action, fighting
Platform: (played on) Wii
North American release date: May 22, 2007
Compagnies: Buena Vista
The stunning success of PoC is the cause of multiple spinoffs and derived products and the revival of pirates. As a great fan, I do own many stuff with pirates logo and when I saw and lightly tried the game, I bought it.
This game was made after the famous
box-office hit buster last part of the great trilogy Pirates of the
Caribean. You'd expect it to be good, right? Think again.
CHARACTHERS: The characthers all come from the movies of course. You get to play as Jack, Will and Elisabeth. You will also collect all the characthers you happen to meet trough the game for some reason. I didn't play that far. Sometimes you get some extra infos on tge Pirates Lords but nothing much.
WORLDS: You randomly walk into places of the movie, you can't walk back where you were.
STORY: The story starts at the half of the second movie. You start off with Jack trying to break away from prison. The rest of the story is confused and boring.
WEAPONS: You have a sword, some bombs, some daggers and that's that. No upgrades aviable.
PLAYIBILITY: IT SUCKS. IT'S ON FREAKING RANDOM.
MUSIC: It's bad.
VOICE ACTING: It's like the only thing that didn't seem to be bad. Plus, Jonny Deep is cool.
GRAPHICS: No comment. Just the usual.
LIFE: I didn't play enough to tell you accuratly
DIFFICULTY: It wouldn't be a hard game IF IT WASN'T ON RANDOM!!
FINAL BOSS: Never reached
AVERAGE SCORE: 0 CALAMITY
VOICE ACTING: 3
FINAL BOSS: N/A
Full Name: Unknown
Blood type: O+
Birthday: March 26th
Mother toungue: French
Favorite type of game: Action RPG
All time favorite game: Mario Bros. 3
Favorite plateform: Nintendo Wii (Revolution)
Favorite trademark: Nintendo
Favorite characther ever: Link
Favorite moment characther: Reno/Roxas
In moment game: Kingdom hearts 2/Final Fantasy 7
Possessed consoles (oldest to newest): Nintendo Entertainement System (NES), Nintendo 64, Playsation, Gameboy Color, Gamecube, Gameboy Advance, Playstation 2, Wii
Soon to be possessed console: PSP
Less favorite type of game: Shooting
Less favorite game: Pirates of the carabean
Less favorite plateform: XBOX
Less favorite trademark: Microsoft
General gaming level: Expert
Figthing: Mild begeinner
American name: Final Fantasy VII
Japanese name: ファイナルファンタジーVII (Fainaru Fantajī Sebun)
Serie: Final Fantasy
North American release date: September 7th, 1997
Final Fantasy VII revolved the gaming universe for it was in 3D. Wow, today it doesn't sound that awesome but back in 1997, it was.
Final Fantasy VII is a RPG, a real one. It regroups well-known characthers such as the infamous Cloud Strife and the terrible Sephiroth who will later became the Final Fantasy's trademark like Mario is for Nintendo.
CHARACTHERS: The characthers simply rock, all of them, even Caith Sith rocks. They do because they don't wear off the usual ''pure-hearthed hero'' or the ''evil but confused and that's why he hits stuff vilain''. Cloud is one fucked up puppy and Sephiroth is more then gone beyong return. Those statements could be made for all the characthers, important or not. Reno's a kinky bastard who's taken side is unclear and Hojo wins the palm for the maddest scientist in the whole game industry. The characthers also bear unique design such as Red XIII's and Jenova.
WOLRDS (CITIES): Gaia, VII's world, is divided in about 11 main cities and various alone spots. You will have buisness in every city except for Wutai if you stick to the storyline. Some cities are fun and nice like Midgard, Golden Saucer and Wutai while others make you wonder why they were even created like Kalm.
STORY: Big part of why FF7 became a legend is for its intriguing story. The theme is life. Life has fascinated humans since they exist and gamers are not excluded from that fact. Touching the human guinea-pig subject and to our effect on the planet, it's centered about life and how it affects other lives even in death. That is on the second degree. On the first one, you'll enjoy the story because it's fun and variable in its challenges. You will also get attached to the characthers some by love... other by hatred.
WEAPONS: All of the possible weapons is reunited in this game. Guns, swords, animals, fist fight, magic, sound, it has it all. Like any RPG, the more you progress in the story, the stronger your weapon is.
PLAYABILITY: It's the weak point as it was the weak point of all ps1 games. You have to be at exact spot to access the action. Prived of a joystick, the square button is used to make Cloud run. A fun feature but walkingg should have been the button since you will mostly run in the game. The battles can hardly be quoted for it only requires the press of a button. The battles are fun tough. One last thing is that the ''x'' and ''o'' button has been switched which can cause some frustration at first.
MUSIC: I love the music so much I got myself the 4 OST cd pack. Simple as that.
VOICE ACTING (TEXT): Since that at the ps1 era, voice acting wasn't possible yet, it will be judged by its texts. What makes FF7 so lively, reachable is the normal reaction of the charathers. For example, when Cloud is asked to keep fighting by Jesse at the Sector 7 event, he replies he doesn't feel like it since his characther is cold and rude. In other games, he would have suddenly see the ligth and yeah... you know the rest. Also, when the party is suprised by something, they all go ''what the fuck man?!'' instead of ''Oh, I knew it was there''. Another winning thing is that, at this time, we could ''swear'' in games. Of course no colorful words were typed, instead *?*(&#)**(& was put but we all get it but soft words such ''damn'', ''asshole'', etc. were not censured. It gave the Avalanche group the extra authencity it needed.
GRAPHICS: It's sure that compared to today's graphic, FF7's graphics suck... Maybe it's cause I'm a girl, I still think it's cute tough. Anyway, for the year 1997, it was a great revolution. WOW. We had entered 3D for these games. It changed to gaming world forever.
LIFE: Final Fantasy 7 is three disc long adventure. Three. The only game who could beat that is Final Fantasy 8 with its 4 disks. I have only done cds yet for I am trying to get a golden chocobo before kicking Sephiroth's ass one last time maybe (I,m not sure so I'm not pushing my luck) but so far, each had at least 20 hours of game. The first cd is the one with the most hours. Even if you go crazy on this game, if you do it well, you're not out of your room before at least a week... even for a midly experimented gamer (Crazy psycho experts are excluded for they have a way to beat speed records).
DIFFICULTY: The game is not that hard since it's one button battle and luck but it's long. Not a long tiring way but long in the meaning you have lot of stuff to do before saying ''I beat the game!!''.
FINAL BOSS: To be completed
MAPS: World map was a nice...failed attempt that suprisignly really helps after all. The map is designed so you can't locate the precise spot of a city, it's more it's surroundings. Built like a radar, the map will pinpoint cities, flashpoint transport (Highwind, submarine, bogey, chocobo) and a fadding yellow square indicates wich way you're going. Two views are proposed: small one in the corner of the screen or large one who take 95% percent on the screen. You can still navigate for it's translucide.
VARIATION: The game is not just about running around, read text and press buttons. It will ask you to accomplish various tasks such as pressing a button at the same time or keeping your body temperature at right level. Many other tasks are asked by that, it's up to you to find it!
SPINOFF: A compilation is slowing being created around the game, proving how it has obsessed the fans to the point of making of 7, a one of a kind serie in the Final Fantasy serie. The spinoffs explore different characthers ans times such as Vincent Valentine (Dirge of Cerberus + Lost Episode - sequel to Advent Children), Zack Fair (Crisis Core - prequel to original and part prequel to Last Order), the Turks (Before Crisis -prequel to everything), Sephiroth and SOLDIERs Zack and Cloud (Last Order - prequel to original) and Cloud Strife (Advent Children - sequel to original). At the end, the games will make a perfect timeline but for when...?
AVERAGE SCORE: 10 MASTERPIECE
VOICE ACTING: 10
GRAPHICS (1997): 10
FINAL BOSS: N/A
American name: Kingdom hearts II
Japanese name: キングダムハーツII, Kingudamu Hātsu Tsū
Serie: Kingdom hearts
Platform: Playstation 2
North American release date: March 28, 2006
Compagnies: Square-Enix/Buena vista games production
Kingdom hearts II is a popular game indeed. It's hard to do a review on a game that has been declared a hit already and has had more then its share of fans and clubs but here goes!!
Kingdom hearts II is an action RPG based on the worlds of Walt Disney. Sequel to Kingdom hearts, it didn't have the same chilly welcome its ancestor recieved from older players. Walt Disney rang like a kiddie game but you can't judge a game on its logo!
CHARACTHERS: What did you expect? Of course Disney characthers are in the game. They don't steal the show tough, the action mostly concerns the SE designed characthers. Both bad guys, good guys and don't know guys count cool and sucky members in them. Roxas is simply adorable. Sora is not as bad as his reputation lets it sound like. Before I actualy played the game, I considered him as an overly happy stupid teenager but he's in fact very clever at times and hides his sorrow behind happiness. Still, he's overly too happy compared to the usual SE heroes. Donal and Goofy are annoying to no ends, I think it must be for the kids. When serious cutscenes happen, you can actualy see the different mentality Disney and Enix use by analysing the reaction between them. The bad guys, Organisation XIII, rock. Full of mysterious and lovable members, the Organisation claims to seek hearts but seems very busy keeping all its members in check. As much as they are, they all have a story, some more important then others. Finally, the guests Enix's characthers fill holes Disney could not full for their serious needs... of popularity. Seventeen Final fantasy's characthers appear in this game, most of them come from VII, VIII and X.
WORLDS (LEVELS): The worlds are good but some makes it to amazing. Most of them takes place into Disney worlds but some have been created espacialy for KH such as Twilight Town, Hollow Bastion (Radiant Garden) and The World That Never Was. Each world has its own specialty from singing in Atlantica (little mermaid) to kicking 1000 heartless'asses in Hollow Bastion.
STORY: The goal of this game is to eridicate the darkness living in all hearts... No, wait, that's the side goal. The real goal of KH2 is to find Riku, Sora's lost best friend. Eliminate Organisation XIII and save the worlds from darkness just happen to come with the guy. The story is really fun with good interactivity, many short cutscenes and some long ones. Some part will leave you confused, other laughing and other angry. It does not become warry except for the 12th time Sora explains he's looking for his buddy... That in my book is a good story.
WEAPONS: The Keyblade, KH's main weapon, is marvelous. Original and funny yet extremly dangerous when well used, keyblades come in a variety of sets like guns or swords. The farther you go in the game, the stronger your weapon his. The limits are fun to use for an extra push and the drive change the way you play for a short period of time depending of what form you chose (Valor attacks viciously, Wisdom form attacks from a distance with energy balls, Master form attacks quickly and viciously and anti-form depends of who you're facing.
PLAYABILITY: The battle seems hard but it's really only in apperance. ''Once you get your center, you are sure to win'' lolz. Sorry. But it still points out the whole thing, once you got the hang of it, the battles are easy. Sometimes, you will get to a point where the ennemies kick your ass but it's not impossible to win over... at worst you go back win a few levels before facing the hard one. The ''reaction command'' really makes the figthing tough. In addition to being stronger then the normal attacks, it's a beauty to watch or a funny sigth when missed. Other then battle, Sora is easy to manipulate, following your orders most of the time.
MUSIC: The music is good! You might catch yourself humming the songs a few times but when you've been hanging around in the same world for more then a hour, it gets on your nerves (espacialy halloween town). It's just like Lost Woods theme song in Zelda Ocarine of Time, you like it the first half hour then it drives you crazy. Also, in the little mermaid, Disney uses his musical well and makes Sora sing. Great work on that!
VOICE ACTING (english): The main accusations to all the voices is: IT LACKS EMOTION. It's always the same with english voice actors, they just seem to be reading the text, there's no emotions in the voice. When Sora is sad, you have make him SOUND sad too. Another example is that everyone knows Cloud tries to seem emotionless but is betrayed by his voice, in kh, it's the inverse, it's his body that indicates he's hurt. It's also a shame the original ff7 and disney movies cast weren't all used in the game but at least, they all have nice voices.
GRAPHICS: KH2 shows off some good graphics troughout the game. The most amazing ones settle at the first and last cutscenes naturally. Sora and all the SE designed characthers shows nice facial expression and good fluidity of the body. Too bad it isn't the same for Disney's... The graphics are nice but the facial expression is litteraly fixed on smilling. They also seem to always do the same gesture and some even looked forced but in general, you'll just be so thrown back in your childhood's memories it won,t bother you that much.
LIFE: A nice lifespan if you don't go crazy on it and ram into the game. until. you. have. finished. It took me about 45 hours of gaming if I don't count the 5 to 8 hours where it was just sitting there waiting for me to return from lunch. The game is full of sidequest some easier then others and to get to the hidden end, you have to do and succeed them all or do the proud mode.
DIFFICULTY: Three modes are offered to you when you start the game: Easy, Normal, Proud. Once you've made your decision, there is no turning back. Doing the game for the first time, I opted for normal mode. Normal mode is rather very easy for an experimented gamer but will just be hard enough for a average one. Funny enough, the hardest battle you'll face is against Demyx, the first member you have to vainquish. In the side quest, Olympus tournaments star off easy but will make you growl as their level progress and Sephiroth is fast and dangerous, beware of him.
FINAL BOSS: Xemnas. I must say that for once I wasn't completly disapointed by the last boss for it lasts a while. It's not of those bosses you take less time to beat then the rest of the game. I also got my ass kicked two times and that's where I got disapointed, the battle doesn't start over, instead you start for the last cutscene. I loved how Xemnas would talk while you were trying to reach out for him, it was like to confuse Sora and Riku. ''Riku. Are you sure you are not jealous of Sora?'' There is another good one where he's asking Sora something but i didn't hear it well. By the way, to predict which attack is coming, listen to him.
MAPS: Let's be honest here... MAPS SUCK. S-U-C-K. First, it's impossible to see a full plan of the map like Zelda has the ability. Then, it doesn't show where the treasure chests are hidden or where the ennemies (other then random heartless) are. Finally, the ''space'' map is utterly useless since it doesn't indicates you where you should head first. This choosing the world you want fashion thick me off.
GUMMI SHIP: Fun but... what the fuck? A cubic spaceship thrown into a lame remake of an old shooting game? It's fun once in a while but it gets annoying since it's at each world and you want to get to THIS world you've been craving for so long. Beside, the ''Gummi editor'' is confused and require a lot of reading.
AVERAGE SCORE: 9 AWESOME GAME
VOICE ACTING: 8
DIFFICULTY (NORMAL): 7
FINAL BOSS: 9