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New review: Lord of Arcana (PSP)

February 19, 2011 1 comment

Another review of mine up at Unknown Gamer. This one is Lord of Arcana, a game I was really looking forward to because it’s a spinoff of Lord of Vermilion, a game I wish I could play. Check out my review!

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First review at Unknown Gamer!

February 8, 2011 1 comment

Huzzah, my first review for Unknown Gamer has been published! Check it out, it’s a review of Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.

Review: Blade Kitten (XBLA)

December 2, 2010 1 comment

Did you know that Blade Kitten was based on a webcomic? No, I’d never heard of it either before the appearance of this nifty little title from Kroze Studios. You don’t need to have read the source material first though, as this is both a prequel and pretty light on plot. The main character is anime catgirl Kit Ballard, a bounty hunter in your standard sci-fi future world. There’s something about her “breaker key” (a license that allows her to legally hunt certain bounties) getting stolen at the start, but that plot point is resolved about halfway through and never really followed up on. Really, it’s just an excuse for a lot of 2D platforming action and quite a bit of fun.

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Review: Magna Carta 2 (Xbox 360)

November 25, 2010 2 comments

Magna Carta 2 is pretty. Very pretty. If you doubt its inherent prettiness, then you should look at the back of the box, where one of the bullet points encouraging you to buy the game is devoted entirely to how pretty it is. The character designs range from the awe-inspiring to the utterly-ridiculous, and androgyny rules throughout. Main character Juno wears a form-fitting armour tanktop and a sword that folds away for easy storage in most overhead lockers. Zephie, the female lead, shows off a classy dress whose fabrics look far too expensive to withstand any kind of frontline combat, betraying the fact that she is (in fact) royalty. It’s really quite par for the course when it comes to eastern RPGs, which sums up Magna Carta 2 on a whole quite nicely.

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Review: Phantasy Star Portable 2 (PSP)

October 20, 2010 1 comment

It’s always interesting to chart the evolution of a series, watching how each sequel or spinoff builds on what was made before, hopefully improving the existing formula or taking the series in a whole new direction. Phantasy Star Universe was the latter of this, taking Phantasy Star Online’s modest success and creating a whole new world and game system for it. After two expansions and one portable version, Phantasy Star Portable 2 for the PSP feels like the final draft of the Universe formula.

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Review: Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360)

October 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Dead Rising 2 is set in the not-Las-Vegas setting of Fortune City, Nevada. The main character is Chuck Greene, an ex-motorcross star who is now taking part in the gruesome game show “Terror Is Reality” (think Gladiators, but with zombie killing and no sense of shame) so he can earn enough money to pay for “Zombrex”, the medicine keeping his infected daughter from turning undead. After he collects his winnings from one show, a bomb goes off and soon the streets of Fortune City are flooded with TIR’s zombie supply. What’s more, there’s a reporter claiming that Chuck was the one who set the bomb. There’s seventy-two hours before the military gets sent in to clean up the zombie horde, so Chuck has that long to get to the bottom of the conspiracy while rescuing survivors and finding enough Zombrex to keep his girl from turning.

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Review: Chaos Rings (iPhone)

August 1, 2010 Leave a comment

When Chaos Rings was released for the iPhone by Square Enix, the main question asked was, “Is it worth it?” At £7.49 (at time of this writing), this JRPG was priced far above what most iTunes customers were paying for other casual games. Would the storytelling pedigree and production values generally associated with Square Enix games be present, or was the inflated price simply brand-name exploitation at its most cynical?

Four male-female couples suddenly find themselves trapped in a mysterious, baroque mansion known as the Ark Arena. Their host, known only as The Agent, informs them that they have been entered into a competition where they must fight to the death. The victorious couple will be granted eternal life and youth, while the losers will be condemned to oblivion. With little alternative than to play by the Agent’s rules, each couple must struggle through the Ark Arena’s trials while trying to determine just why they have been paired together. For example, why has a lone, cocky mercenary been paired with a woman who has sworn to kill him? Why has a lowly stablehand been paired with the princess of his country, and why is he so adapt at swordplay despite never having held a sword before? And why is there a strange tension between a young prince and his royal bodyguard?

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