If Half-Minute Hero taught me anything, it’s that a gimmick can make a game. Similarly, it can also break it. Jikandia: The Timeless Land’s gimmick is similar to the former in that you are timed to make it through each area. What’s more, you can name the amount of time you think it’s going to take you to clear a level. If you think it’s going to take you a mere minute to complete one stage, it’s your call. Time marches on whether you crash and burn or excel at felling each beast and bringing down the final boss. The longer you stay in the world, the better your rewards, and it’s all up to you. If you choose an insufficient amount of time, you’ll pay dearly and find yourself failing all too often. It sounds like a perfectly workable, modern concept, and a spiritual successor to the raucous and enjoyable Half-Minute Hero, right? So why did I find myself constantly itching to power the PSP off?
Archive for April, 2011
It’s tough to top the Noble Map Pack, a collection of all things classically Halo: Reach, and to be honest I was concerned it was a feat that could not be accomplished. But I have faith in 343 Industries, as well as Bungie, and the latest round of Halo: Reach maps certainly do not disappoint. This three-pack of two multiplayer-centric maps and one Firefight-only arena fit together like pieces of a puzzle to both tell a story and keep us pulling off Killtaculars one after another, and even though the game’s been out for quite some time now, it looks like things can only get better with each subsequent map pack release.
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If Castlevania, Metroid, and that Tamagotchi hidden in your closet (dead because you never fed it even though you promised Mom you’d never let it out of your sight ) had a child, they’d probably name it Monster Tale…and marvel at the fact that two video games and a virtual pet could conceive new life. It’s a colorful, playful tale that incorporates elements of adventure, fantasy, puzzles, and even pet-raising that hearkens back to the days of the aforementioned classics. It doesn’t innovate or re-invent the genre, but it’s adorable, addictive fun that can be enjoyed by gamers of all ages.
If you didn’t catch the daring adventures of Jade, Pey’J, and Agent Double H that graced the PlayStation 2 and its fellow 6th generation of gaming consoles almost ten years ago, nil desperandum. You needn’t dust off your trusty console and hit up Ebay just yet. If you’ve got an Xbox 360 and a few bucks to spare, you can dive into one of the best games that most people never touched in the here and now, all spiffed up in HD and paired with achievements to boot. That’s right – Beyond Good and Evil HD is all that you wanted and more.
Hand The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky to modern RPG fans and they’ll likely balk at its outdated sprites, lengthy conversations, and staunchly traditional values .”It’s so old,” they’ll say, all the while clamoring for more beautiful Bishonen and generic shooters. And as they make their way through the world of Liberl, which feels more alive to me than any wasteland or bullet-ridden country, they’ll look for any sort of gimmickry that could bring the game more into the modern age. And I’ll gladly ask them why they want to fix what’s broken. This class-act RPG from Falcom and publisher Xseed games, a departure from the popular Ys (though unrelated) series, is devoid of so many RPG trappings yet rife with the ones that make us nostalgic. And for that, it should be praised.