Review: Symphony of Eternity (3DS)

SOEtitleFor the record, I was so tempted to write this review in 6-point type just to vent a little at Kemco and World Wide Software for this port of their otherwise decent mobile game, Symphony of Eternity. But I kind of like having regular readers so that plan died a merciful death and you get something a lot more readable. Anyway, the game, taken on its merits is a fine and dandy revisit to the nostalgic days of 8-bit console RPGs and there’s a decent amount of content for that low price point of $7.99 (yes, it’s worth a buy).

The big caveat is the playing the game on either the standard 3DS or worse, a 2DS will subject your eyeballs to some pretty darn tiny visuals on the main screen and a tinier map on the second screen. Worse, the game uses a few different camera positions and only one allows you to see what you’ve paid for with a full screen. Amusingly enough, that viewpoint is a standard overworld view… but you actually only use that map for getting from one point to another as the game has no overworld combat. Every fight takes place in dungeons of assorted size where that larger screen would have been very welcome, thank you much.

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Etrian Odyssey V: The Big Blowout Strikes

How “funny” is this? Yesterday I get my Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond The Myth review code (Thanks, Atlus!) and I’m giddy about that because it’s been a really good year for games and EO has been consistently awesome (although it needs to be on a more powerful system, in my opinion). Having put some quality time into the recent eShop demo meant I’d start off with a party pretty prepared for the challenge ahead (whee!). So, I fire up the game and play for a few hours until I need to recharge my 2DS, whip out the AC adapter, plug it in and about a minute into recharging… the adapter ups and dies on me. One word sprung to mind and yes, I have the WORST luck with technology of anyone I know.

(Sings) I’m Mister Tech Miser, I’m Mister Dumb… (now I need to write the rest of this at some point, but with my luck, the I’ll cut myself and bleed on the keyboard, which will summon a demon I can’t control or something) – back in a bit. It’s a good thing I have a few other games to review on systems that still work while I wait for my replacement charger to show up.

-GW

Review: NeverEnd (PS Vita)

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Indie developer/publisher Sometimes You also ports and distributes some interestingly nostalgic budget indie games for PC and consoles that aren’t perfect, but provide a bit of fun and challenge at a decent price point. Developed by Duck Devs, NeverEnd is a decent, simple looking top-down rogue-like/lite 3D pixel single player dungeon crawler (say that three times fast!) that’s influenced a tiny bit by The Legend of Zelda (without the overworld sections) with a tricky combat system that relies not only on weapon usage, but blocking and avoiding enemy attacks. While controls seem initially very clunky and off-putting, once you get the game’s mechanics and can deal with permadeath, things get much better. Granted, the game probably won’t win a ton of industry awards come the end of the year, but for $2.99 you’re getting your money’s worth and then some.

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Symphony of Eternity VS My Old Eyes

SoE_Nintendo.PNGGrrr. I like a few of Kemco’s old-school style JRPGs, but I avoid the mobile versions because I hate playing games on a phone and having ads pop up every five minutes because I’m a complete cheapskate who doesn’t like buying additional content if a game says it’s free to play or has a budget price point.

Amusingly enough, I’ve picked up a few of their PSP, Vita and Nintendo 3DS releases over the years and for the most part, like what I’ve played. That said, their latest Nintendo 3DS/2DS game, Symphony of Eternity, ($7.99, Nintendo eShop) is making me go cuckoo because while I like it so far, warts and all… it’s hard to see the darn game thanks to a kooky design choice.

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Review: Mary Skelter: Nightmares

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MSN_bg_pcIdea Factory/Compile Heart games can be hit or miss affairs, but their latest, Mary Skelter: Nightmares is (for my money) one of their best games (and best dungeon crawlers) to date thanks to taking chances with a few tried and true formulas and smacking most them right in their sweet spots. It’s got the turn-based dungeon crawl aspects of the Wizardry series mixed in with real-time chase/combat scenarios, excellent production values and yep, a bit of M-rated fan service lightly sprinkled on top for good measure.

While parts of the plot can be somewhat pedestrian in their usage of familiar anime/manga tropes, things take a few interesting turns as the game goes on. The use of well-known mostly female characters from popular fairy tales works quite well provided your brain properly detaches them from any imagery you might recall (or: you need to re-imagine everyone as anime gals). Of course, the gameplay is where it’s at and what’s here will keep you hooked in to the very end (and then some).  If you’re a fan of the aforementioned Wizardry, Etrian Odyssey, Demon Gaze, and Dungeon Travelers 2 among other dungeon crawlers, this one’s a drop everything and go kiss your Vita if you own one event.

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Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth Arrives on PS4, Vita


 

Bandai Namco’s Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth (now available on PS4 and PS Vita) should do well among North American fans of the Digimon games who’ve been starved for content for a few years. The game is a quite decent mix of action-based “dungeon” crawling and yes, features plenty of creatures to digivolve. The game skews older than previous entries with more mature looking main characters and a darker overall tone. But it’s still a pretty family friendly game at heart, so no worries about picking this one up for the kids if they ask.

My eye is set on the Vita version as it’s supposed to have bonus pre-order content if you buy it this month. That and this seems like the perfect game to take on the road to kill a few hours when traveling. I’ll probably play it most at home, however. Anyway, enough babbling on this end – you have a city to save (and Tokyo always seems to be in trouble in games like this, right?)

And remember, folks: You can peek over Bandai Namco’s digital shoulder anytime you like. Just follow Bandai Namco Entertainment at one or more of the links below. They won’t mind, really!

Er, unless it’s after work hours and you’re trying to follow them home:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BandaiNamcoUS
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BandaiNamcoUS/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bandainamcous/
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Twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/bandainamcous

Heroes of Loot: Budget Bitty Dungeon Crawling Hits The Vita


 

It’s a darn good thing I pay ZERO attention to what internet comment sections on game and video sites say. Absolution Games’ budget twin-stick dungeon crawler Heroes of Loot is actually pretty fun to play and dirt cheap at $2.99 on the Vita. The bite-sized dungeons, fast-paced gameplay and simple retro looks aren’t getting a lot of love from the usual suspects, but the game is great fun so far. You’re basically getting a Gauntlet homage with a bit more humor and difficulty that ramps up as you clear special optional side quests.

yeah, yeah, it was/is a tablet game, but so what? If you like your dungeon crawlers and teeny sprite characters zipping about laying waste to hordes of monsters, collecting loot and trying to stay alive, this one’s right up your alley. Or right down your dark dungeon hallway. Now, if you’ll excuse me… I have a LOT more monsters to kill. In the cutest possible manner, of course.

Halo: Spartan Assault Announce Trailer: Selling Points (Minus Some Common Sense)

Hey, I happen to like twin stick arcade shooters, so I was happy to see that this upcoming game is going to feed that need… provided I (*urgh!*) buy a twin stick-free Windows 8 PC, phone or other device. Which, by the way… is something I have zero intention of doing. Oh well. Still, I’ll give it up for Microsoft, developer Vanguard Entertainment and 343 Industries, who do have the right idea in trying to get fans to get into a portable Halo experience. Still, skipping the Xbox 360’s huge user base and Windows 7 PC’s (but probably not the upcoming Xbox One where it SHOULD be a free pack-in on the HDD to lure in more early adopters) and effectively enforcing an upgrade to play this one isn’t settling in with some folks who’d prefer the entire Halo series ported over at some point sooner than later… Continue reading