Quickie Review: Mega Man Maverick Hunter X

This was seriously the only cover I could find that wasn't watermarked.

As you probably already know, Mega Man Maverick Hunter X (referred to as MM:MH from now on) is a remake of the original Mega Man X for the Super Nintendo.  However, much like Mega Man Powered Up was, is much more than a simple port to the PSP.  This isn’t really a short ‘quickie review’, but hey, it’s not really a full-on review, either.  Regardless, let’s get started on the comparing/contrasting.

When you first boot up the game, the only thing that’s available to you is ‘X Mode’, which would obviously let you play through the game as X.  The game overall plays much like the original: You run through the eight Maverick stages, finding power-ups and stealing the bosses’ weapons, then you blast through Sigma’s palace to take on the main baddie himself.  The levels are overall unchanged, though a few things are moved around, most notable of which being the locations of X’s armor upgrades.  In addition, some of the bosses get some new tactics in this game, which can make them easier or harder (in my opinion, mostly easier).  Overall, the game is easier than the original (at least, it was on Normal Mode… that may not be the case on Hard), which can be good for Mega Man newcomers, but not so much for veterans of the series.

Moving on, though, when you beat X Mode, you get two things: An anime short and Vile Mode.  Let’s touch on the movie real quick… it’s about twenty minutes long, and it explains some of the events before the first game.  It’s interesting if you’re interested in the actual story of the series, and it surprisingly doesn’t spoil any plot points in other games.  Of course, if you don’t care about the story, then you probably won’t find much good in the anime.

However, the most interesting part about MM:MH is the new Vile Mode.  Vile plays completely differently from X, featuring the ability to use three different kinds of weapons at once.  He also gets a bunch of new weapons every time you beat a Maverick, so he gets to be really customizable.  However, Vile’s mode is also a lot harder because of this:  You’re gonna have to find new strategies for the bosses.  Thankfully, Capcom did a good job tweaking the levels so that the enemies sets and other things are better suited for Vile’s playing style.  What that basically means is that the difficulty doesn’t stem from cheap deaths or an enemy that’s hard for Vile to hit.  It’s also interesting to note that Vile’s story stays pretty canonical to the original story (or X’s, if you will).

MM:MH is a pretty good remake.  It offers stuff for both the newbie and the old veteran, and the price I paid for it ($15) was worth it.  Of course, this is a game where mileage will vary, and you can see why by everything above.

Sometimes You Have To Laugh At This Stuff.

Minecraft’s been all the rage lately.  I’ll be honest, I haven’t played it myself, and I don’t know what the game really consists of.  However, I just get a feeling that the Christian Gaming Zone has gotten the wrong idea.

Go ahead, read the review:  It’s very creative, to say the least.  I have to wonder if the writer truly believes what they are saying, or if they’re just really trying to form any parallel they can, at the fear of the webmaster calling down the fury of Hell on them.  I really want to think the latter, with a quote like this…

“…there are clues to the Christian purpose of the game. The most obvious is the name: Minecraft Alpha. This is of course a reference to Jesus’ revelation that He is the Alpha and the Omega (Rev. 22:13).”

…Or maybe because it’s the final build, thus the ‘Alpha’ tag?

Oh, there’s even a picture of the writer doing some missionary work in the ‘Classic’ area, claiming that the user he chatted with became born again.

I”m really not one to mock people, or make fun of them because of their different, skewed views… but come on.  Seriously?  This is on a whole other level.  But I guess some good does come out of it… I’m sure a lot of die-hard Christians will enjoy some Minecraft now, too!

Review – Ys Seven

Information about Ys Seven…
Consoles Game is Available For: Playstation Portable
Genre: Action RPG
Developer/Publisher: Falcom/XSeed
US Release Date: August 2010

The Ys series has always been an odd one for me.  I was always fascinated with the series, but the only game I played was a homebrew patched version of Ys Eternal (it’s a remake of the first and second game, though I never got to the second) for the PC.  The game entertained me greatly, and while I wanted to try other games in the series, I just… never did.  Ys is essentially my favorite little series I’ve never played.

So… back to Ys Seven.  I hadn’t known that the game had come out… hell, I didn’t even know the game was ANNOUNCED.  My boyfriend and I picked it up because of the awesome special edition (cloth map of the world for the win) and that the GameStop employee insisted that it was the ‘last copy we like’ (i.e., in any sort of decent shape).  I put the game away for a day or two, but I decided to open it up and try the game out.  I mean, it’s Ys, after all.

When I first booted the game up, I was a little skeptical.  The graphics were okay, but some thing about it irked me (They couldn’t animate someone getting up off the ground?  Really?), and I got lost in the town I couldn’t exit for god knows how long.  I had finally gotten somewhere after about an hour and a half, and it really wasn’t speaking good for Ys.

But then… I got outside.

And swung my sword.

And all my doubts went away.

Ys Seven, and I can say this without a doubt, is the mechanically best Action RPG I’ve played.  Ever.  This game is fast-paced, streamlined, and insanely fun.  You can have up to three members in your party (obviously to facilitate the three different attack types), and you can switch between them with a tap of a button, making battles go at a brisk pace.  In fact, all of the controls are easy to learn, so that you won’t spend much time trying to figure out what does what.

Boss battles in Ys Seven are just as fun as the rest of the game, but also very challenging.  A word of advice:  You better learn to dodge well, or the bosses will hand you your ass.  All (well, okay, most) of the bosses require strategy to beat, but you never need to grind to get past them.  Ys Seven nicely throws away ‘fake’ difficulty (you know, the kind you need to be higher level to get past) for a true challenge.

What about the other aspects of the game?  Well, the graphics aren’t bad, like I said before.  They’re actually pretty good.  There are just a few points that I consider lazy on the part of the designers (like the point I stated before), but overall there is nothing wrong ar garish about them.  The story is basically standard RPG fare, and if you’ve played a lot of those like I have, you can probably guess most of the plot twists a mile away.  The music, as the Falcom standard, is awesome, with only a few tracks that I thought were just okay.

I guess my point is… this game is fun.  The most fun I’ve ever had with an Action RPG.  Its battle system is streamlined for fast-pace awesomeness, and I am pleased with this entry in the Ys series.  Even though I know it’ll be different, I can’t wait to play another game in one of my favorite series (that I still haven’t played much of).