Tag Archive | 3DS

Review: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

This review was originally written for 3DS Blessed, found here.

Videogame sequels walk a tightrope – especially ones in popular series. Developers have to decide if they want to build upon the past experience or forge a new one, and both choices have drawbacks.

A game too rigidly modelled after its predecessor risks stagnation. A game breaking new ground risks alienating an existing fandom.

With over a decade’s worth of games behind it, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate walks this same tightrope. There’s no doubt that it’s a bigger, better version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (like, duh), but does it stand out against the increasing numbers of rival Hunting Action titles out there?

The answer is yes – barely.

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Review: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies (3DS)

 

Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney, Dual Destinies

This review was originally written for One Hit Pixel, found here.

The Dark Age of the Law. The low point of the nation’s legal system, where the end justifies the means, false arrests and fake evidence run rampant and the line between prosecutor and criminal is heavily blurred.

…According to the Ace Attorney series, at any rate. Capcom’s point-n-click courtroom drama has been a cult favourite in both the East and West; firm proof that this breed of narrative-heavy game still suited the current generation. With the 3DS as fertile ground, the Ace Attorney series has stepped things up. The result is sharp and streamlined – both aesthetically and mechanically.

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Review: Shin Megami Tensei Devil Survivor: Overclocked (3DS)

Shin Megami Tensei, Devil Survivor Overclocked, SMT, 3DS

This review was originally written for One Hit Pixel, found here.

We face a lot of difficult choices in our lives. Many of you reading this are playing Pokémon X/Y and have had to decide between Chespin, Fennekin or Froakie as your starter Pokémon. It’s something that has kept me awake long into the night, eyes bloodshot and hands trembling. However, even when life’s choices feel overwhelmingly significant on the surface, they may not be all that important beneath; you may not even have to dig that far.

The same is true of video games. A game where every choice was immense and game changing would be seriously bloated. As such, the smarter games out there deftly weave in the big choices with the little ones, complete with enough polish and obfuscation where it’s hard for the player to tell the difference.

Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked both adheres to and totally ignores this paradigm – which is risky for a game thematically based around choices.

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Review: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS)

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, 3DS

This review was originally posted on One Hit Pixel, and can be found here.

I had fallen out of love with action RPGs. Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance played well, but is obsessed with its own terrible plot, and the less said about what I think of Dark Souls, the better. It was a genre that didn’t feel fun any more; then I played Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. It managed to do something I hadn’t seen in the genre for a few years – not take itself seriously, but remain in top form mechanically.

If you’re a Monster Hunter veteran, you already know this – but this review isn’t so much for you (reinforcing your opinions aside). Those of you who are cautious newcomers, please read on.

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Express Yourself: Being a Fashionista in the Gaming World

This feature is also available at n-Europe, found here.

Self-expression is an inherent part of almost all video games. By simply being a medium where the audience can interact with the work, they’re allowed to make an impact within the game. Even doing nothing at all is technically an expression.

But that viewpoint is pretty pretentious and nebulous. In a practical sense games have two ways most people consider outlets for expression – building environments and player customisation. There are deviations of course, but what you come across in mainstream titles will boil down to one of those two.

To be hyperbolic, building (or destroying) environments doesn’t give me much joy. I know there are plenty of people who spend countless hours crafting the perfect urban environment in SimCity or constructing a golden, penis-shaped fortress in Minecraft, but it’s not my thing.

What I can burn hours on is thorough character customisation – perfect for my egoistic nature. Most games are very mechanical about this (will you put points into attack, defence or custard pie resistance?), but the real draw is the fashionable side.

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Serial Gaming: Animal Crossing

 This feature can also be found on One Hit Pixel, here.When I committed myself to writing a set of features on my opinions of gaming series, it looked like a cakewalk. But after some thought, I found it needed a more tentative approach. You see, I’d like to say that I am ardently opposed to ‘sequelitis’. In my mind, the greatest gaming achievements are rarely held by sequels (sales figures notwithstanding). Ideally, I would want to say that I don’t have a favourite series, followed by many words about the indie gaming scene.

Sadly, that’s not true at all. I’ll hold my hands up and say that there are a few series where I’ve played most, if not all of.

Today, I’ll talk about one that’s not my absolute favourite, but one I’ve recently clocked as having some genius game design I didn’t appreciate way back when.

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