Archive for the ‘review’ Category

Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light – In a World Covered by Endless Watercolor…

October 5, 2010

WE CAN BE HEROES

Final Fantasy, a series never content to remain the same, finds itself re-imagined yet again in Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light. Wasting no time at all, 4 Heroes‘ story revolves around Brandt who (I renamed Chrono), upon waking up on his 14th birthday, goes to the king to begin his rite of passage into adulthood. Turns out that’s to rescue the king’s kidnapped daughter who’s held prisoner by a witch in a cave. After meeting his brooding, impatient friend Jusqua (Xeno) and the stalwart female knight Yunita (Saga), together they rescue Princess Aire (Mana) and defeat the witch, whereupon they’re greeted by a giant crystal that informs them of the important journey they must go on.

All this happens quickly and efficiently with little text or fluff, and by the end of the intro you know exactly who everyone is, the kind of fairytale world they inhabit and most importantly, how the battle system works. It’s a nice, quick introduction to the game, which mixes some of the old (towns, simple story) with the new (swift, engaging battle system) of Final Fantasy, making for something entirely welcome on the Nintendo DS.

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Metroid: Other M – Fission Mailed

October 2, 2010

Metroid: Other M‘s plot is, as suspected from my early moments with the game, a poorly presented mess that takes the forefront to everything else, such as the actual game, which isn’t terrible or spectacular. It’s passable, something a legacy series from Nintendo shouldn’t be satisfied with being. It has elements of a Metroid game — item collecting, hallway running, speed boosting, and the controls for the most part are sound — but it is a very poor Metroid game, and if you want to get really dramatic Metroid: Other M is a confounding, depressing situation that’s frankly, kind of a dead horse at this point.

But here goes.

Metroid: Wrestling Anime Edition

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Mecha Scramble! – Macross Zero: Return to Zero

September 9, 2010

Welcome to the first in a new series we’re going to try out here on Grump Factory: Mecha Scramble! We’re fans of anime on this blog, and one of the enduring genres of the medium is mecha. What is mecha? Mecha is a Japanese term describing animation that focuses on robots (giant or otherwise) or complex machinery in general. Mecha is the place where mechanical designers are king! A good example of a mecha show is the original Mobile Suit Gundam; so iconic that it’s become as inextricable with Japanese pop culture as Star Wars or Star Trek is here in America!

But Gundam and all its myriad offspring shall be dealt with in due time. Today the focus is on the origins of another revered series: Macross. But not the original Super Dimensional Fortress Macross series, but the chronological origin story, Macross Zero! Macross has been mentioned before on this blog, but now it’s time to go back in time and uncover the shocking beginning of the Macross timeline!

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(First Impressions) Lords of Shadow – You Like Castlevania Don’t You?

August 28, 2010

Do these ice titans just wait around in frozen lakes for grieving warriors to show up?

I can’t help but compare Castlevania: Lords of Shadow to Metroid: Other M. Both long-anticipated, 3D-oriented sequels to well-respected, often troubled franchises trying to do a lot at once to please old fans who hold a certain “Metroidvania” title as the paradigm, while welcoming new players used to God of War and Ninja Gaiden.

It’s an unenviable task!

But from what I played of the final build yesterday, Lords of Shadow seems up to it. I picked up the Dual Shock in the middle of someone else’s playthrough, so after taking a few minutes to acclimate myself to the controls I was whipping and dagger-throwing like a, well, like a Kratos or Ryu Hayabusa.

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The Expendables – Expendably Delicious

August 18, 2010

Terry Crews, eyes shimmering with the intensity of a thousand nuclear detonations, throws a warhead up in the air to have Sylvester Stallone shoot it so it could explode a helicopter.

Besides Mickey Rourke’s teary, natural monologue about regret that was the best, most surprising thing about The Expendables. It’s exactly what you expect it to be. Not exactly the Commando 2.0 it should be, not as shocking as Rambo 4, but still a fun, stupid, homoerotic manly time at the movies.

And that’s the tooth!

hard-hitting film analysis

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game – A Baller Brawler

August 14, 2010

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game is about a Canadian 23-year-old named Scott Pilgrim who, along with his pals Kim Pine, Stephen Stills, and new girlfriend Ramona Flowers, must defeat Ramona’s seven evil ex-boyfriends before Scott can finally date her. A simple premise explained to us, if not by the absolute media overload of the past few weeks, then by the Marvel vs. Capcom 2-style attract demo that plays when the game boots up. Scott: The Game is a classic-style arcade game, calling back to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in TimeThe Simpsons Arcade Game and other classic brawlers, particularly River City Ransom.

Both Scott and River City Ransom have enemies that drop coins when defeated, shops both apparent and hidden where you can buy food and items that increase stats, punching, kicking, and  jumping. There’s also an indelible charm you can’t resist — unless you don’t like fun, nostalgia and gorgeous, gorgeous sprite work.

Hipsters unite! (more…)

Mega Man 10 – The Robots Are All Right

August 8, 2010

Let’s cut to the (Rockman Battle and) chase. Mega Man 10 is not as good as Mega Man 9. Which is okay. Mega Man 9 was the result of 18 years of game design knowledge funneled into a perfect downloadable package. It spoke right to the cereal-munching, Saturday morning cartoon-watching kid in me. It is, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, the best Mega Man game, which makes it one of the best video games, and a tough act to follow.

Though Mega Man 10′s still pretty good!

speed racer and racer x

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