Review

Anime Fight Club

Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax review

What happens when your last hope for the world is a bunch of anime characters? This is the main concept of Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax. A fighting game for the PS3 and PS Vita. Now this game has been out for about a year ago in Japan. I’ll give this review in two parts. First gameplay and then graphics. I tried the PlayStation Vita version.

Gameplay

Let me preface this review by saying it has been a long time since I’ve played a fighting game. The last fighting game I’ve played was Mortal Kombat back in the early 90’s. I loved all the battle modes in this game. In this game there are five modes: Story, Dream Dual, Versus, Training and Network. I’ll explain the story below but that is what you expect. Move up the chain battling until you get to the boss. Dream Dual is the most fun. I won’t reveal too much but it does have some fun banter between the anime characters. Versus is your typical match between the computer or another player. Training is where you hone those fighting skills against the computer. In my opinion that would be the best use of your time. Since it has been some time since I’ve played a fighting game, this mode helped me gain some skills. Finally, the network mode is the multiplayer. This is where the game get intense. I lost so much but that just makes me want to train to reach my potential.

I want to say I was quite surprised on how simple this was to play. There are three main attacks: Light, Medium, and Heavy. These input commands simple due to the quarter circle motion. As with other fighting games, each character has an extensive move list with these inputs. Along with the moves, you also have Assists, Climax Gauge, Blasts, Trump Cards. Assists are rechargeable characters that help you in battle. Most of these NPCs have two attacks, one general and one directional. Your blasts are temporary blow backs to stop an attack but these also increased your health a bit. Also, you have a trump card. It is what you think. A temporary use attack with some invincibility. My character I played was Kirito from Sword Art Online. His trump card is a double blade attack. While using this power up, you can also chain up your attacks. Which in the heat of battle can help you a lot!

Graphics/Story

As with most fighting games, the story does not make sense. This doesn’t mess with the gameplay but nevertheless it puzzles the mind. Most of the anime characters that appear in this game were somehow pulled from their universe and transported to this digital world/battle realm? I really don’t know. Summoned by a girl wearing a dress that looks like a Sega Dreamcast controller, you are fighting a computer virus that lost all hope and thrives on despair. Since you are the last hope for all, this virus absorbs all others that came before you and that is who you fight. All of the playable characters and assists characters are from popular anime. Kirito and Asuna, along with their assist Leafa are from Sword Art Online. Other anime characters that are playable are: Kirino Kousaka from “Oreimo,” Mikoto Misaka from “A Certain Magical Index,” Shana from “Shakugan no Shana. The OLED screen really provides a great experience when you are playing this game. The colors pop on the character and the backgrounds. This was also the problem. All of the characters looked like they did not belong in these backgrounds. The various backgrounds came from Sega games and not the some of these animes. Why?


Overall, this is a great fighting game. If you wanted to put your favorite anime characters together, than this is the game for you. The backgrounds take you away from that immersion point when playing but that would be a small nitpick from me. Fighting Climax is a fun yet simple fighting game. This game does have me waiting for Dengeki Bunko: Fighting Climax Ignition when it eventually come to the North America.

8/10

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Sequel ASSEMBLE!

“And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth’s mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat.” A common threat, Ultron was not. There was only one person that could deal with it…Director Joss Whedon. It’s like cooking some crazy stew. Add five parts of superhero, one microchip, stir with super speed, finally add a dash of hex magic. Place in a pressure cooker on high and wait. There is a challenge when making a sequel to a hit movie. Without changing the dynamic of the movie, how do you top it? 2012’s The Avengers was so crazy that it worked. Age of Ultron worked but not in the way that you see. (More about that later.)

Lets all stand around and look pensive!

Lets all stand around and look pensive!

Avengers: Age of Ultron story starts out with our heroes cleaning up the mess from the last film. Loki’s scepter is in the hands of Hydra’s chief scientist Baron Von Strucker. His team has figured out a way to manipulate the human body. Their experiments result in the “enhanced”(not mutants) twins Pietro and Wanda Maximoff (Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Elizabeth Olsen), which they both volunteered for. The Avengers captured the Hydra facility and retrieved Loki’s staff. Jarvis (Paul Bettany) and Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) find that this large gem in the staff is highly complex and looks like it can think. Both Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) and Tony were working on an AI program to protect humanity, called Ultron (James Spader). Secretly working on this project, all attempts to create this AI fails. This was supposed to be the last gathering of the Avengers together. After a fun little game of “Who can lift Thor’s hammer?”, Ultron becomes self aware. Tony’s Iron Legion attacks our groovy gang of heroes, with Ultron leading the charge. Ultron’s reason for attacking is peace. Peace by wiping humans off the face of the planet. The same idea as Tony but without all the bloodshed. The twins join Ultron and the Avengers are there to stop them.


What surprised me with this film was that each character had a definite arc. Wanda’s manipulative hex power manifested each character fear into their head. Tony could not save people. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) feared for his homeworld Asgard. Captain America (Chris Evans) wants a “normal life”. Finally, Black Widow(Scarlet Johansson) was a loner. Speaking of Black Widow, she has a romantic interest in the Hulk. For this film, it makes sense. Trust me. Both of these characters are loners. Each could potentially fill a void for the other.
There was a standout character in Avengers: Age of Ultron: Hawkeye. After Ultron attacks, the Avengers go “off the grid” to regroup. I believe this is where the film shifts its focus to Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner). If you remember, in the first film he was mind controlled. Now he’s stronger and more focused on the main goal of saving the world. Hawkeye feels that he’s the least important Avenger. In actuality, he is the most important member and this shows what he has to lose if the Avengers fail. I didn’t even talk about how cool Paul Bettany was and how he was laying a Vision for the future of the Avengers(Hint Hint). Or the tantalizing tease at the end of the film.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a movie that had a whole lot to live up to. This was never going to live up to the first film and nor should it. What this movie was, is to lay a further foundation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Avengers had to bring these characters together. This film had to humanize them. Each one these heroes had to be broken down in order to build them back into the heroes they need to be.

8.2/10

It’s the Dandy Way

Space Dandy Series Review

What can say for a show that is so unpredictable. Nothing. Space Dandy was more than pop culture references, it was how to live your life. Most of you have no idea what I’m talking about. According to Wikipedia, Space Dandy is an anime that follows Dandy, an alien hunter who is “a dandy guy in space”, in search for aliens with his robot assistant QT and a space cat named Meow. Created by series directed by Shinichiro Watanabe and produced by Bones. The same creative team worked on Cowboy Bebop.

Though it only lasted two seasons, this show could have conceivably went on forever. The many Easter eggs that the show drew upon. These nods made the show more fun. Yes, some of the episodes were crazy and insane, like you were on some kind of drug-trip. Episodes ranged from the classic space race (a la Speed Racer), zombies, and the format wars. Space Dandy is one of those shows that can combine outstanding visuals and action with hysterical comedy. What makes the show work so well is that it does not care at all about its continuity and never takes itself too seriously allowing it to go all out when it comes to an episode’s plot and not worry about the ending. A giant explosion or a zombie apocalypse is just the tip of the iceberg for the crew as the adventures they take never cease to be funny.

Is that your final Dandy?

Is that your final Dandy?

One of my favorite episode was “Nobody Knows the Chameleon Alien, Baby”. Dandy and crew are starving aboard their ship. So, they bring an alien to get registered. They get challenged to find a Chameleonian. Which is an alien that no one its what really looks like. They unknowingly capture the creature on a fishing spree and bring their catch aboard their ship, where it begins impersonating the crew to outwit them and evade capture. One of the best scenes was of a completely random man who walks on-screen in the background whilst they bicker over whose fault it is. Of course, they don’t notice. Then Dandy finally theorizes that there’s a stowaway on the ship, prompting an exaggerated gasp from everyone including said random man. Again, no one notices. Then they decide to call roll call, and everyone, including said random man, calls in. No one NOTICES. HAHAHAHA!!!

Space Dandy had lots of laughs, touching scenes, great voice acting and interesting twists and turns. The soundtrack was amazing, the animation remains consistent and fluid. This anime just keeps giving and giving. I’ll leave you with the music video tribute that Toonami gave it on it’s last episode. Stay dandy, baby.

9.7/10

Data is Everywhere

“Hacking is everything”. That is core approach for Watch Dogs. If you remember back to when we first seen this game at E3 2012, this game was a breakout hit. This game is about the personal data that we hold dear yet share on the internet freely. If nothing more, Watch Dogs is about what can happen where information is power and power corrupts.

Story
You play as Aiden Pearce. He was a criminal hacker, trying to make some easy cash. One job took away all that. He is haunted by the death of his niece. It was not his fault but Aiden lives with the pain. He is not your typical hero. He will cross that line to keep his family safe. Yes, this is your typical revenge story. That might be the negative in this game. I was hoping for some more meat to the story. ctOS is the main villain here. That is a computer system that runs and records all. As that first teaser trailer back at E3 2012, information is power. With varying hacks Aiden uses the ctOS to his protect his family.

Gameplay
What can I say? It is a game based in a open world Chicago. All you do is hack. For Aiden and now you, hacking is a way of life. It is very simplistic in its working. Yet it does work and works well. If you are running after a criminal. There are a multiple options available to you. Breaker, steam vents, valves, and electrical boxes. Hacking is as easy as judging the distance of the enemy to the hackable object.

In some ways the gameplay will remind me of Batman Arkham Asylum and Arkham City. You have in different sections of the Chicago a ctOS stations. By gaining access to these stations, this allows you to use hacks and profile citizens. At these highly guarded facilities, you need to find the access code and then hack the main grid. By using the security cameras perched above, you can do this without a shot fired being fired from any side. One of the fun things about this game is the freedom to play the way you want. I stand outside of the stations, access a camera, maybe mess with a guard or two, find the codes, hack the system, and leave.

Yes, the run and hack is mostly what you do. With most of the gameplay being driving to a destination and taking out a group of guards or hiding from the police. That brings me to the driving. It is like driving a high speed tank down the street. In some instances, instead of speeding away. You peel out for a second. Wasting valuable time if you are trying for catch someone. From a company that made the Driver games, you would think the driving would be better.

I don't think this is how a police chase works.

I don’t think this is how a police chase works.

As in most open world games, you also have side missions. These can range from chess to digital trips. Spider is the best! You play as a robotic spider, with one goal: Destroy. It seem that this could have been a easter egg. It reminded me of the spider slayers that are after Spider-Man. Also, this game has some glitches. Nothing serious but funny. You might have seen these on the internet. I would say these glitches give this game some personally.

Overall

Watch Dogs is a fun game. With varying hacks, missions and unlimited people to surveil, you will come back to this place. It has some flaws but if you can look past the driving and the lackluster story, this game property has great potential.

8.7/10

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes Review

Let me preface this review by saying I have never played a Metal Gear Solid game. It just never caught my attention. When Konami/Kojima announced that Metal Gear Solid V would be split into 2 games and both would be set in an open world. You have my attention now.

There is a lot of story in this small game. Which does not present it in a cut scene and puts it actually in the game. The story is great for people who knew what went on in the previous games. It gives you a timeline which helps a little. Still it could be confusing for someone. Here is the story in a nutshell: Snake (also called Big Boss) is dropping in a “black site prison” on the tip of Cuba. He has to traverse this prison to save Chico and Paz. Simple, right. I won’t spoil the ending but it left me wanting more. This should be solved in the next game The Phantom Pain.

As for the gameplay, it is fine. You can crawl, crouch, or run, like with previous Metal Gear games. The varying enemy type helps you keep on your toes. Now you can interrogate your foe with a simple push of a button. These interrogations will reveal locations of ammo, side entrances, or collectables that are scattered throughout the open-world.

I'm in.

I’m in.

One of the new features the Kojima has thrown into this franchise is “reflex” mode. It is like a bullet time for when an enemy spots you. I often would this to be a hinderance than a help. As you can play this game anyway you want. Once you are spotted, time slows and you can choose what you want to do. For me I would just shoot them but sometimes this does not work. A few times, a guard in the tower would see me just below the tower. The “reflex” feature starts and your shot hits the tower and not the guard. This feature is great and it does help you but there is something that needs to be fixed about it.

Looking at the graphics of the game. It is amazing! You can see every detail on your screen. It is best to play on the next-gen. The next-gen systems will produce a better product but it is not imperative. The game looks like a playable movie. The sheen of the rain falling on Snake’s back is just gorgeous. Textures in Ground Zeroes look real. Kiefer Sutherland does a fine job as Snake. There is no doubt that this Kojima took great care in making this game.

I had heard that some people were calling this a glorified demo. It might be true. It looks like some tech demo that is for the next game The Phantom Pain. The main mission only last for 2 hours but you have many other missions to completes and numerous collectibles to get.  For the price, you have of 30 dollars (next-gen) and 20 dollars (current-gen) ,you can’t beat it! I can see people vying for the fastest speed run of the main mission. The replayability of Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes is high. While short, I say bring on The Phantom Pain.

8.2/10

Deadpool Review

 

I was looking forward to play Deadpool ever since the announcement at the VGA’s. Now I am not a fan of Deadpool but having read some of the comics beforehand made me want to play this game. As of this review, I wish someone would mindwipe me.

There are few words that can describe this game. Most of them cannot be spoken in present company. Except Deadpool speaks them. In all my years of playing video games, this is the first time the ESRB rating is appropriate. The ESRB describes the “Merc with a Mouth” as “Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Mature Humor, Strong Language”. This is hits the target right on the nose. For those few people who do not know who Deadpool is. He is a Marvel character, as Deadpool narrates- a anti-hero that worked with the X-men. He is insane super-mutant breaks the fourth wall constantly. Wade Wilson was drafted in the Weapon X program, experimented on, and turned nuts. Now having the same healing power as Wolverine, he will fight the war on justice or disfigure it.

What did I just play? Deadpool knows he’s in a video game. He frequently breaks the fourth wall to communicate with the player, barking complaints about the gameplay, level designs, and mission objectives. After finishing a level, one of the end scenes has Deadpool riding on a tiger with wings. His imagination takes control after the first mission. As I said he knows he is in a video game. When Deadpool does not like something he will change it. Some of his changes draw the ire of High Moon Studios; the game director calls him on the phone to complain about spending too much money on a scene filled with explosions, death, mass destruction, and effects galore. I wish I could change this game too.

Deadpool favors crude jokes and prop gags. Voice actor Nolan North nails the role of Marvel’s odd super-mutant, giving the voices in Deadpool’s head distinction, and his main voice captures the grating and annoying tones I always thought he had when I read the comic books. He not only voicing Wade Wilson but the two voices in his head as well as himself in a phone call in Deadpool apartment. Sure, he spits out legitimately funny lines occasionally, but he’s always talking and complaining and saying ridiculous things. The soundtrack is often drowned out by Deadpool saying some stupid illogical thing. I would say the voice acting and the characters are best things about this game.

The gameplay has moments of brilliance. Deadpool’s “gun-fu” blends the slicing and dicing of swords with forceful shotgun blasts. Other then that there is not much to offer. There is a Batman Arkham-like dodging system with the teleportation system. This has some drawbacks. You will button mash. It is repeating the same combo for all three melee weapon types. I used the same combos for most of the game. The upgrade system is successful in making the weapons and their wielder more powerful, but doesn’t offer much in terms of expanding Deadpool’s acrobatic arsenal. From the katanas to the huge hammers it the same combo, both light and heavy attacks. The repetition in moves pairs well with what else then repetition in enemy types. Deadpool is opposed by waves upon waves of clones. When new enemies are introduced, many are enhanced versions of the same types, wielding a shield or a new power. Gunplay and swordplay I do not think matter. I shot one enemy 50-something times and it looks like he took no damage. The aiming is horrible. You literally have to behind them to get a headshot.

When I finished this game, I walked away unfulfilled. After a day away from it, I found myself chuckling over the crazy things Deadpool said and did. His obsession with Wolverine is particularly funny. I loved Rogue in the game but other then that. If you love Deadpool then get the game if not rent it.

6.3/10.0

So, what do you think? Did I get it right or wrong tell me in the comments below. This is your friendly neighborhood MXAGhost writer… Signing off for now.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes Review

Originally posted on December 11, 2013

Until the last brick falls. That sentence has nothing to do with my LEGO Marvel review but I liked how it sounds. Today I am reviewing next installment in the Lego series “LEGO Marvel Super Heroes”. I reviewed the PS4 version. I will talk about the differences between the PS3 and the PS4 later in the post.

Gameplay

Like all the past Lego games over a 150 characters in this game. Ranging from the well-known Spider-Man to almost unknown Squirrel Girl. The gameplay is very simplistic but that does not mean it is not fun. Iron Man can shoot missiles and his heat ray. Most of the characters have a variation on these powers. Some of the characters can fly. The flying mechanic is good but there is room it for improvement. My only problem is the boost of a flying character. When boosting you have double tap the flight button but when you do that you fly straight up. If you even yourself out, your boost stops. You can also create your own character like with most Lego games. On the level design, it is like most standard platformers, you have to clear the certain part of the level to move on. There are mid-level bosses plus a final boss in each level. Most of your standard enemies take three hits to eliminate. Amazingly, most of the Marvel character have their own finishing move. Lego studs are the money in world. Most any that you destroy in the levels or the outer open-world setting will give you these studs. With this money you can buy characters and vehicles. Also, you have gold bricks scattered throughout the open world area. These can be collected and “traded in” for extra Deadpool levels. The Deadpool levels are fun short levels, that combine Deadpool humor with the Lego humor. In these levels you can collect Deadpool bricks which unlocks the extras. Extras include festive hats mode where your Lego characters wears hats to stud combo levels. I love playing as Deadpool after you unlock him. He will say “Are these plastic swords?” Gets me every time.

Graphics


The graphics are amazing in this game! This could be due to the performance of the PS4. Travellers Tales has always made the best games out there. I love exploring the open-world! You can see all the famous Marvel sites, even Marvel HQ itself. The draw distance is great but could be better. There are some minor glitches in ending level screen. It will freeze up for a second or two and Stan Lee will say “Excelsior” twice, overlapping the sound. I did discover some major glitches on that has caused the game to shut down. This was when I was a exploring the open-world. This only happened two times. My PS4 did send an error report. I could not tell you if there was a difference in the graphics on the PS4 and the PS3. It seems it was this was a direct port to the PS4. There are few differences in the game between the two versions. For instance, the map function on the PS4 is mapped to the touchpad and on the PS3 it is by pressing the select button.

All in all, I love the game even if this is a direct port. Travellers Tales made an amazing game. I can’t wait for the next game in the series. I would want more and different characters in the game. Like Rogue(hint hint). This is an excellent game with some amazing graphics and gameplay.

My rating: 8.5/10

So, do you agree with is review or disagree? Also, who would you want in the the next LEGO Marvel game? Tell me in the comments below. This is your friendly neighborhood MXAGhost writer… Signing off for now.