You would be a fool if you never got round to playing Redemption, it's one game you will continue to play. Also, story wise R* has most definitely come of age.
Lego Rock Band DS forces you to switch lanes because you have to keep the band players "happy." This is basically a simple gameplay mechanic to keep you moving from instrument to instrument. You can't really linger at all on an instrument after you've completed a portion, you really have to keep moving to the band member that is in danger of not being happy, lol.
Wouldn't call the DS version a music peripheral game.
Also I just looked up a video of it and I see what what's you're talking about in a comparison but it still seems really different from both Frequency and Amplitude :-\ Frequency even almost felt completely outdated by Amplitude (except that it had a really strong/different type of soundtrack). And this kinda feels like two steps back from Freq even. But I suppose they could only do so much on a portable with limited screen space. Also in the video I didn't see any logical instrument switching. Do sections eventually black out like in the originals if you complete so many bars in a row? It didn't really seem like it from the video.
There were a few other music games before those came out also, like Parappa/Umjammer and Space Channel 5. But certainly fairly rare until DDR started getting so massively popular.
And are you saying that we aren't the best gamers in the world? :P Nah, I really liked the difficulty of Frequency and you had to be really precise, unlike some music games (Amplitude seemed a bit more forgiving timing-wise and certainly switching lanes was easier too).
I've never been able to get into the music peripheral games, and this might be one of the few LEGO games I'm just not interested in. Glad to hear it's working its magic on you though.
Well, I'm about two thirds through Persona 4 right now, and let me tell you, I absolutely love it. I haven't played P3, or any other Shin Megami Tensei game aside from the spectacular Strange Story (though I intend to.) The consensus on the internet seems to be that it's Persona 3 with every single flaw in the game fixed.
The dungeon design is much better, for one, and some of the most creative concepts I've seen in a game. So far I've fought my way through a mad scientist dungeon, a gay bathhouse dungeon, a strip club dungeon, and an 8-bit dungeon, each complete with an anime style super-villain boss, a roses encrusted muscle man equipped with male signs (o->) as swords boss, a technicolored pole-dancer boss, and the hero from Dragon Quest, respectively. The social links are much better to, and there isn't a single character that makes me want to wring their necks (see the entire cast of FFXIII). The characters and social links are all genuinely likable, and the whole system is streamlined and improved. Boss battles are much better balanced as well, with much, much less monotonous grinding. Another thing is that the plot picks up right away, rather than P3 that waits half the game to get up and running. It still takes a few hours to get rolling, but once it does, you're in for a ride.
I'm having the best time on the PS2 I've ever had, apart from maybe Silent Hill 2, and once I finish, I fully intend to go out and pick up Digital Devil Saga, or maybe Nocturne. I might even get Persona 3 Portable, since its essentially Persona 3 with all the improvements from Persona 4. Bottom line, you owe it to yourself to see the peak of the Persona line. Its legions ahead of anything else on the PS2, RPG wise, and I've played Final Fantasy X and Xenosaga. Check it out.
...is my favorite of the DS games. Incidentally, Aria of Sorrow is my favorite of the GBA games.
Also, the 3D PS2 Castlevanias borrow elements from the 'Metroidvania' games. The second one was a lot better than the first, though. (can't remember the names even though I played them both twice)
I think I might actually have Harmony of Dissonance too. Probably played Circle and didn't get to Harmony.
Dawn of Sorrow was my first Metroidvania, and I've played all of them since then. They're all great. I also never realized just how quickly they get going, you've already done a lot of stuff. The games could really use is a save point radar or something, though, because save points are really easy to skip sometimes.
Circle of the Moon
Harmony of Dissonance
Aria of Sorrow
Dawn of Sorrow
Portrait of Ruin
Order of Ecclesia
I think Greg should adopt it for the entire site.
They've made six since Circle of the Moon? Wow. That's one of the few GBA games I have. And yeah that art style is definitely generic :(
I also support Count Chocola grading.
I really disagree with your opinion on mother 3 being better than Earthbound. I know it's a sequel, but it often felt like they were trying to do something different or original. They failed at this task tremendously. A lot of their music was completely ripped off of Earthbound, and then they made poor versions of those songs and sounds. I say poor as in, my opinion is that they aren't nearly as good as the original versions. In addition, the story line was -horrible-. Absolutely horrible, boxes with farts in them, the return of Porky and the idea that they were in a tiny pseudo civilization are a small number of examples of really poorly done things in mother 3. Something that really irritated me also was the aim to try to and do a quentin tarantino style story flow. Pulp fiction, this game is not.
Earthbound was something of an amazing masterpiece whos music is even something that you can listen to and cherish. Mother 3 was little more than a deformed clone who needed another 6 months in the pot and a new set of cloners. I could go on about things that bothered me about mother 3, but I won't. The game is really lacking in so many ways, but of all the ways it failed, the storyline was the greatest failure.
I love this game, but you really hit the nail on the head with this review. I find myself reluctant to replay it just because I don't want to go through the slow start. I don't think the game really gets going until after you gain full control of your shapeshifting. Still, I think it has the best final boss battle out of any of the Zelda games and, for my money, it ranks just behind LTTP as the second best game in the franchise.
I shelved the game for a few weeks after playing the first couple of hours. One of the slowest starts to a high-profile game ever.
For laughs, rename Link "you dick." I usually go with "Dude" but "you dick" resulted in quite a few humorous moments.
funny page. FUNNY GAME!
I guess I'll not be using your reviews to decide my purchases in the future. ;)
Actually, even within those bounds, I've found that as long as the reviewer recognizes the same things in the game as I do, I can decide if I'll like the game or not based on the review, regardless of whether their assessment is positive or negative. To be honest, I can read your review and tell that I might like the game even though you didn't, which is, to me, indicative of a solid review. In similar cases, I have read reviews of games that the reviewer loved, and because they did a really good job of describing the aspects of the game, I knew that I would not like it despite how much they did.
Reminds me of a movie reviewer in my old home town newspaper. It was a smaller town and only had 1 movie reviewer in the paper (this was before online review sites). This guy and I were polar opposites. I knew...........KNEW......that if he disliked a movie, I would like it and vice versa. I hated the guy, but loved his reviews because they were so helpful, in their own bizarre way. Now that I think about it, this "relationship" was probably somewhat foundational in my taste for video games. Ugg, I hate pop psychology, especially when it's right. Anyway, keep up the good work!
Yeah, it's clear that we played the same game and found the same strengths and weaknesses, the only difference is we have different priorities and/or expectations. That's why I think it's important to find a critic that shares your views when using reviews to trigger your purchase intent.
Reading your review and re-reading mine, they are very close in a lot of respects. But the end result was positive for me and negative for you. It's like we both agree on what the game is and isn't, but those things worked for me. This is the kind of comparison and review I find interesting.
Having finished the game now, I can't say I really enjoyed it. The story and presentation are definitely the game's strong point, and even those have their ups and downs. The final battle really emphasized the game's strengths and weaknesses to me: it was half an hour of button-mashing that ran at ten frames per second and was incredibly hard to tell what was going on...but at least it kind of looked cool.
Nice review. When I did the full review of this a while back, I was curious to hear what someone here might think of the game. It sounds like you aren't enjoying it as much as I did. You do a great job of pointing out the weaknesses, which definitely popped up in the first hour.
So lots of great topics here both in the article and comments, just thought I would defend my use of the 1-10 range again. I did write this up a few months ago and it is still valid in my mind: http://firsthour.net/scores
Basically, I'm very numerically oriented, I like ranking things, ordering them, etc. and scores of 1-10 make that very easy. The scores aren't so unbelievable defined like IGN or Gamespot with 7.9's or whatever, but a reasonable abstraction of my total thoughts. My main problem is that I don't play enough bad games to average out the scale. I have fully intended from the start to use all 10 numbers of the scale, but since I'm not paid to do this, part of me still demands I play games that I know I would enjoy in the first place.
Anyways, I'm fine with reading any scoring system as long as it is reasonable, be it letter grades, stars, EPIC WIN, whatever.
Also, for the record, I've given out scores of 2, 3, and 4 :p
Oh, and don't complain that my scale doesn't have a real middle, the middle is 5, I just haven't found a game that deserves a zero yet!
"I'm not saying 5-star systems are bad, they work fine too and offer immediate concrete and easy-to-understand results. A little more accuracy never hurt things though."
I totally see what you're saying, but for me personally, I would look for the additional accuracy in the text of the review. Accuracy without context and comparison isn't of much use.
But yeah, again, great writeup and ensuing discussion. :)
I think this is an awesome site, with great people (who also happen to be quite talented) and lots of unique content. I'm proud to be among you, even if, currently at incredibly limited capacity. Way to go Greg and everyone.
1-5 feels the same to you because the current scoring is broken where all low scores are pretty much all equally bad, so you'd still have that idea in your mind. If 5 is average, it becomes much easier to designate between below average, bad, and just terrible.
And I'm not sure, but it isn't that hard for me to think of decimal ratings. At least single decimals, not sure if could go to hundredths or thousandths lol. It certainly would make it more difficult to convert the score into words if you're thinking that way; but if you're just thinking relative numbers it can make sense.
Also it could be argued that the American school letter grade system is generally fairly broken and has many of its own problems (including inflation), although I didn't feel like getting into that (despite how it's a good example of the concept).
I'm not saying 5-star systems are bad, they work fine too and offer immediate concrete and easy-to-understand results. A little more accuracy never hurt things though.
I wouldn't summarize those categories with a score, it's just more to talk about them since each can legitimately make-or-break a game for a buyer, based on their personal preferences.
Such a dichotomy could be a problem for someone focused on style, and thus would be stated as such.