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Thread: Pumpkin's Video Game Diary!

  1. #256
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Man am I grateful for short games during school time!

    Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (PlayStation 4)


    Brothers is a story about... brothers. End review~! No, but really, these two brothers lost their mother, and now their father is ill. It's up to our two heroes to embark on a dangerous journey to reach the tree of life and return with his cure. This game has minimal dialogue, and what it does have is a made up language based on Arabic. This means that a lot of your journey will require you to question and use your imagination to understand the story fully.



    In Brothers, you will control both brothers, usually simultaneously, using the left and right analogue sticks, and the L2 and R2 buttons. You can also usually rotate the camera with the L1 and R1 buttons. It is very linear and you will be guiding the boys down a set path with a few side paths here and there to explore. By pressing the left analogue stick, you'll move the older brother, and pressing L2 will allow him to "interact" or "act" depending on what's near him. The little brother controls the same but by using the right analogue stick and the R2 buttons.



    You'll encounter a few minor puzzles that need solving here and there by learning how to use the brothers in tandem or playing to the strengths of one or the other. Little brother, for example, can fit in smaller spaces, whereas older brother has more strength for moving things. It is a bit awkward to control them both at once at first, but you'll definitely get used to it and it will feel more natural as you progress. You'll learn who to use and when and begin to pick up on the cues around you as to what to do next. And if you don't quite get used to it? No worries. Most of the time you can just try again at the exact spot you weren't successful.



    That's pretty much the gist of the game. It's mostly about exploring the world with the brothers as they try to save their father. Their struggles and victories, the people they meet and the obstacles they face. There's not much combat per se, although you will encounter some not friendlies and need to defend yourself. A few of the puzzles might stump you for a bit, but it shouldn't take long to overcome them, and all in all, it's a relaxing, interactive experience instead of a more action-packed type of game.



    Overall I loved this game. As I mentioned, it's very short and low stress, so it's nice to play when you just want to decompress with something touching and yet engaging. It's also short enough that replaying it will probably feel like going back to a movie you enjoy, rather than feeling like you have to commit a long period of time to replaying a very linear experience. The environments and sounds are gorgeous and it all fits together cohesively to tell a story and build a world without needing to rely on dialogue. Also, get ready for some feels because there will be much feels of both the good and bad kind. So if you want to try playing a touching little adventure game about the bond between two brothers, absolutely give this a try.

    Verdict:
    LOVED IT



  2. #257
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Eternal Senia (Steam)


    Eternal Senia is a short, free-to-play ARPG. In it, you play as the protagonist, Senia, who has entered the Tower of Eternity. She is looking for her 'sis' Magaleta, a sister of the Church. The Tower of Eternity provides the power of Eternity, a power that can grant any wish. However, in exchange for using this power, one can never leave the tower. Will Senia find Magaleta in time, or will she succumb to the curse herself?



    If you've played an old school Ys game, the gameplay in this might feel rather familiar. You attack by simply "bumping" or walking in to enemies. It will do damage to them and they will do damage to you in the process. HP and MP restore over time, so sometimes you just need to watch where and what you're bumping in to. There are also abilities that can be used with the Q, W, E, and R buttons as you unlock them during the story. These use MP and generally provide benefits such as group attacks, or a stronger attack while avoiding damage. Two of these skills can also be used to great effect outside of battle.



    In addition to combat, which is a major part of the game, you can also craft and upgrade your equipment and level up your abilities. When an enemy is defeated, they will generally drop a crafting resource. Each area of the tower offers new lines of equipment and weapons to be crafted using the item drops. Certain mini-boss type enemies will drop special items for the higher levels of equipment. The highest level items of that area require just enough special gems that you'll only be able to craft exactly one of each by defeating mini-bosses, so spend your resources wisely. You'll also find books which will up your stats permanently (you can use up to 4 of each type), and pages. When you find 4 of the same pages, you'll make a book. You upgrade your abilities by simply spending the points gained from defeating enemies.



    The game isn't very long, and there are only three major dungeon areas to go through, plus a beginning tutorial section. At the end of each section, before the boss fight, you'll find three quest givers. By defeating a certain number of each type of monster, getting the best equipment for the area, and finding all of the chests, these three will give you additional rewards. Be aware that fighting and beating the boss will move you on to the next level with no way to return, so make sure you do all of this while you can (if you care).



    Likewise, each area has a "bonus" dungeon area that will help you find some higher level crafting resources and ends with a mini-boss section. The rooms before the boss section in these are randomized but can also give special treasure chests and are a great way to grind. The monster count in here doesn't seem to count for the quest, however, so you'll need to fight the enemies outside of this to complete those quests. These bonus dungeons can be done as many times as you want before leaving the area. Save points in this game also act as transport markers so you can quick travel to other areas of the level.



    There are a total of three endings, all of which are pretty bittersweet. The way to determine which ending you get is decided very close to the end of the game, so you can just make some extra saves and not have to worry about restarting the whole thing to get the other endings. Which one is the "best one" is probably pretty subjective. In addition, by completing a small survey linked at the end of the third ending, you'll unlock a code to do some bonus dungeons, but I haven't done that myself yet. Eternal Senia also has difficulty settings for those who want a challenge or a more easy going time of it.



    I'm consistently impressed with free-to-play titles on Steam, and this one is no different. It's pretty short, not the most complex, and the translation is... well, awful. But it has a lot of heart, a sweet story, and is very fun to play. If you want a touching little story with some fun, old school Ys style of gameplay, absolutely you should check it out. And I mean, hey, it's free. I would easily have payed money for this game so it's very easily worth the price of free. It's not the best game you'll ever play but it'll be worth the five-ish hours of your time, and I would love to see a more fleshed out and better translated version come out in the future.


    Verdict:
    LIKED IT



  3. #258
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    Golden Sun (GBA)


    Story:
    Golden Sun follows the story of a young adept (essentially a magic user) named Isaac. His peaceful village living is interrupted immediately as the story begins with the sacred mountain going a bit crazy. A while after this, Isaac and his friends Garet and Jenna head on up the mountain to investigate with their scholarly old friend. There, they find Jenna's brother who seems to be working for the "badguys". The badguys are using the four elemental stones to light the matching lighthouses and presumably bring about bad things. Also, they kidnap Jenna. Isaac and Garet then set out on a journey across the country to stop the baddies and find out why their old friend has turned to the dark side.



    Gameplay:
    Golden Sun is a JRPG. You walk around dungeons, towns, and the overworld map. Dungeons and the overworld will lead to random battles. Here, you can attack, use items, defend, and all of that normal JRPG good stuff. The magic in this game is referred to as "Psynergy" and it works in a bit of a unique way. As you travel, you'll be able to collect "Djinn", which represent one of the four elements (Mars, Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter). From there, you can assign these Djinn (up to 7 of each flavour) to your characters and "set" them. Doing so will change the character's stats, available psynergy, and job class. Mix and match to find out what works best for your team, or just keep everyone with their natural elements, it's up to you!



    The Djinn also serve another purpose in battle. You can use your Djinn to perform additional attack and support skills. However, doing so "un-sets" them from your character. This will add a little elemental notch to the battle, depending on what kind of Djinn you used. These little elemental notches can be used to "summon" for a very strong ability. The more Djinn you use, the stronger the summon options available to you will become. However, when you un-set your Djinn by using them in battle, all of the skills and stat bonuses they gave your character will be removed. They'll also need a cool-off period after being summoned before they can be set again.



    Outside of battles you can socialize, shop, do some bonus dungeons later on, and a few other things. At one point there will be a carnival/casino where you can gamble and play mini-games. Certain Psynergy can also be used outside of battle to help you find hidden places and secrets, and you'll even gain the ability to read mind if you choose to.



    World:
    The world is, overall, rather small since you're only exploring one country. It doesn't really feel small though and you'll have a variety of places to visit over a decent period of time. It's also pretty open at certain times in terms of where you can explore and in what order, and it rewards exploration by giving you hidden stuff like Djinn to find. Most of the game also allows you to backtrack and go back and visit previously visited places when you have new Psynergy to try out or new things to report.



    Characters:
    (In no particular order)
    Isaac: Our mostly silent protagonist, Isaac is a Venus Adept on a mission to save the world and find his friends.
    Garet: Isaac's BFF, Garet is a Mars Adept who is usually rather rash, although he means well. He also really wants to rescue his friends.
    Ivan: A young Jupiter Adept on a rescue mission of his own. He can read minds and is a very smart and level-headed young man.
    Mia: A Mercury Adept, Mia is very sweet and kind-hearted and comes on your journey to help save the world.

    Overall:

    I really enjoyed Golden Sun. It was rough around the edges in a lot of ways and was pretty short for an RPG, but it was cute and very fun. I really liked the Psynergy system and experimenting with it to see what I would get out of my characters. The summon system was a neat double-edged sword that made me think through my boss plans beyond just spamming my best moves. The battles, while not the most engaging, were fairly entertaining. I loved how the magic system is integrated so well in to the story and the game. Instead of just having people who can use magic and never mentioning it, it plays heavily in to the narrative, and you even get to use it outside of battle for extra function. The story was interesting and makes me excited to play the second part, and I liked the characters pretty well, even if it was a small cast. It was also just super adorable. Overall I had a lot of fun with it and would recommend JRPG fans give it a try.

    Verdict:
    LIKED IT A LOT



  4. #259
    Pinkasaurus Rex Cid's Knight Pumpkin's Avatar
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    I have decided that for now I will not be updating this thread for a good while. I'm actually working on some top games lists in different genres and would like to take a break between writing reviews for this and writing reviews for that. Thanks for reading

  5. #260
    Witch of Theatergoing Karifean's Avatar
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    Alrighty, looking forward to it~

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