Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Micro Review (handheld edition) featuring Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

Micro Review Handheld Edition
Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

When it comes to world building strategy gaming on the DS the experience for me to date has been decidedly hit or miss.

Maybe it is a fairly decent though ultimately shallow experience like Age of Empires Age of Kings. Maybe its an engaging though ultimately one trick pony like city building sim Sim City Creator, or its an oh my god this game is impossible even after reading the gamefaq walkthrough 1606 aka Age of Discovery! Either way the simple matter of fact is that I don't have the best track record with city or world building sims on the DS. Does this game change that? Well... yes, but I emphasis that with astericks and warnings that this can fulfill your world building needs... if shown a proper respect of its limitations and shortcomings.

The main driving force of the game is its line up of scenarios to play through. Unlike other games of this caliber like Age of Empires, Revolution does not have a story mode. Instead you have a sandbox open play mode, a mode to play preset scenarios... and there used to be a map of the week mode... years ago when this was new, forget about this. The meat and potatoes is freeplay and scenario play.

The first, and biggest fault I have with this game is a lacking online multiplayer mode. At best if there is multiplayer it might be ad hoc local, and good luck finding a second DS owner with a copy of this game. Then again I for one was never a big fan of the pre-3DS era DS wifi so go figure. Having a game like this with lacking wifi hence is no real surprise for me, disappointing yes but not surprising by a long shot.

The game itself is a pretty fun world builder overall. Build armies, build up cities one settler built or invaded or converted city at a time, and work your way to the future, doing research, fighting barbarians as well as rival nations... overall lots to do so that's good. However even with all that? Ultimately the game feels very repetative, and the AI seems unbalanced (too easy on the first difficulty, hard as heck on 2nd, and jumping leaps and bounds from there). Also, another fault of the AI, is a lack of unpredictability. Yes it is a straightforward strategy world builder, but even I enjoy a good twist in a game now and then. Having an AI that can think past simple aggression slash passive responses would have been great.

Long story short if you embrace it's limitations you'll find a pretty addictive fun game here... wish it had online multiplayer, yeah, and I hope they fix that if they port Civilization to the 3DS but... try it. Pretty fun for a DS world building strategy game. A 4 out of 5. Enjoy!

Waiting to Recharge

Start of a brand new week (though I am abit late, sorry) so once again its time to check what is incoming and coming up while waiting to recharge... wait a sec... OK plugged in my DS Lite and GBA SP so now we are truly waiting to recharge.

Ins and Outs
Since I couldn't finish either if my very exsistence depended on it, I threw Aliens vs Predator (Game Boy) and Aliens Thanatos Encounter (Game Boy Color) up for trade over at gametz. Hopefully whoever gets these fare better than me playing these.

Otherwise nothing up either way. Walkthrough wise I am going to be playing through abit of Final Fantasy Legend III in coming episodes.

Nothing really happening here trade wise. Going through the walkthrough of Shaman King right now on the podcast.

The trade for LEGO Indiana Jones The Original Adventures should be wrapping up this week, so the walkthrough begins shortly, as we continue with Pokemon Heartgold at the same time.

Just did a Demo Time! with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate here, and talk about it in an episode of Pocket Gamer that is going up shortly. Stay tuned.

In the meantime going over more Demo content soon, so stay tuned.

Since the Wii is hardly a handheld I am presently working on a cast specifically for the Wii. It is just getting started development wise so stay tuned for updates.

Since the topic of Monster Hunter has come up again, what with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and all, I will be digging into the PSP and walking you through Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, one hour at a time.

Slowly but surely I am working to get the reviewing aspect of things up and running. Starting off with Micro Reviews and working upwards from there.

I have a few reviews in mind and working to get them down and out ASAP.

Help Wanted?
Think I posted this past weekend about trying my hand at submitting for a reviewing job over at RPGamer. Not sure if I got the chops to make the cut, but we will see. Update shortly no doubt, stay tuned.

Game cast recommendations?
Good question! I can recommend quite a few comic casts, and a few of my favorite animation and pony related casts... but I am abit low on gaming casts. In fact the only one I am presently listening to is the RPG cast from RPGamer... so I am looking for recommendations on this front. If you are listening to any good gaming casts please post in the comments and tell us all about it.

Well that was a pretty busy update! Well now, time for me to get back at it! See you next time!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Content I am working on for this blog

Here is some of the regular articles I am working on tfor this blog in particular...

Short Review
Specifically a handheld and Wii version of short reviews.

It's Demo Time!
Game demo first looks, mostly from the 3DS but a few occasionally from the Wii as well.

Bits and Bytes
My thoughts on the latest things in gaming both good and bad

Waiting to Recharge
What I am trading for to bring to you review wise in the coming days.

Working now on fresh content for you so stay tuned!... also, knock on wood, I dropped a brief inquiry looking for work over at (home of the RPGamer podcast that I presently listen to)... well, worst thing they can do is say no thanks and I'm off looking for work again in this regard. Still, fingers crossed and all that. Stay tuned.

It's Demo Time with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Nintendo 3DS)

Demo Time!
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Intro
Nintendo 3DS
Publisher - Capcom

I never thought we would get to this point. Honestly. This was a long time in coming.

After being promised in a past Tokyo Game Show that we would get Monster Hunter 3DS then Monster Hunter 4, only to see the first get a Japan only release we FINALLY get a 3DS Monster Hunter release!

Its only a year or so late but better late than never.

So we have this brand spanking new demo on the 3DS, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Something about that name clicked and rattled in my brain for a bit, so I went and refreshed my memory as to the history of Monster Hunters. Sure enough I found out that this is the long promised Tri G release we should have had last year! What the heck! Why did it take THIS LONG to get released! Boggles the mind, I tell you.

OK. So lets just jump right in and try this demo out shall we...

The first thing we are going to cover is not so much what the demo has as to what it doesnt have. Mainly this means no village. The village represents the largest single portion of the game, where you manage and upgrade all your character's gear, weapons and armor. You also do your side stuff like farming, fishing, mining and more... maybe the best reason to not show you the village though is to hide the fact that only the Wii U version of this game sports online multiplayer. Yes, online on this game literally is dead before arrival.

So with that said what does the demo hold? Two random levels. The basic level is another snowy mountain level though I have to credit the game for not recycling the mountain level from Freedom Unite (which probably recycled it from Monster Hunter Freedom 2 in turn). It is in the same spirit, but just different enough to feel fresh and new. The second harder level has you fighting a waterborne dragon in a sea level... and yes this is your first exposure to the swimming mechanic first shown in Tri from the Wii. Each level is a 20 minute taste of the game, gtiving you a general idea of how they play out and for the most part the game plays out like past versions. Buttons are even pretty much the same as, say, Freedom Unite and the spirit of the game is basically the same. Forage and kill for resources, some you sell and some you hold onto for improving your gear. Cooking is easy once you get the hang of pulling the meat 2 seconds after the music stops and the meat quickly shifts color. All in all getting a hang on the game shouldn't be so hard, especially since quite a few things can be done just with the A button alone so... what is the downside?

The downside of the demo is that it gives you a taste, but a rather useless taste as you can't start building your character right off the bat with it. So while it will tempt you it wont sell you. Furthermore alot of the issues that drive most RPG gamers away from Minster Hunter are still present and in your face (but I will cover that in a future review from the franchise). The game will appeal to long term addicts of the franchise, but it won't be winning any new converts even in this iteration. Not having online multiplayer will hurt sales even more in my opinion as hardcore gamers will migrate to the Wii U version for it's online capacity, completely ignoring the less than fully developed 3DS version behind.

Hopefully by the time this sees release they actually do get around to creating a n online service for multiplayer, which can be added on via a game patch at launch. Otherwise this will just be picked up by 3DS only owners, and maybe even not that much either in comparison to other games with multiplayer that you could be playing on your 3DS.

So I am kinda looking forward to this... I am just not all that excited over it, even after trying the shallow limited demo. Stay tuned for a full review down the line.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Getting back on track with gaming

So let's see about getting back on track with gaming shall we? What do we have...

We have a new podcast for gaming, Pocket Gamer, which if I remember right is a revival of a past series with new added content (episodic walkthroughs of games). We start off with Episodes 1 (a new guide to the travelling gaming kit in case of emergency evacuations) and Episode 2 (Part 1 of Poke'mon Heartgold Walkthrough on the DS). with more to come.

Working on posting quick shot reviews here too as I work on new stuff. So stay tuned to that.

Coverage will be of...
Game Boy/Game Boy Color/Game Boy Advance
Nintendo DS
Nintendo 3DS


Hope to add on new stuff in the future but we'll see.

So that's it. Time to get back to work.