Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire ***Rating 4.5/5***

Even though there have been over 20 main series Pokémon titles, including the remakes, in my opinion the release of these two games were the most anticipated of all! for years people had been asking for a Hoenn Region remake game, and we finally got it just a few days ago on the 21st of November. It has only been 4 days, but I’ve gotten through a good chunk of the game and I base my review on what I have experienced in the game up to this point.

To start out with one detailed I noticed from the beginning, it seems that the game has become far more personal than any other Pokémon game in the past, even more so than X&Y, with its customization. The inclusion of segments where we get to experience the game from a first person perspective really made me feel a stronger connection to the character I was playing as. Another little and all too necessary addition was the range of facial expressions different characters had throughout the game, especially when coming into contact with your rival.

I won’t comment on the base gameplay or the story much because they are pretty much the same as always, so I will skip ahead to some new things I really enjoyed! The biggest new game mechanic you will notice in the game is that after you encounter the legendary Pokémon of whichever game you chose, you will get access to the Eon Flute which let’s you call Latios or Latias to fly you anywhere you would like! Instead of flying like you would earlier in the game, or in previous games, this time around you have control over your Pokémon and you can fly anywhere on the map, that you have previously visited, including routes, caves, and other locations, which were never accessible by flying in the past! While in the air you can encounter some random Pokémon, mostly flying types, as well as access some uncharted locations where you might encounter a legendary. In these random locations you will be able to fight and possibly catch almost all the legendary Pokémon from all the other main series games. The only downside to this is that you have to meet exact requirements in order to unlock these hidden locations so that you can have an opportunity to catch these legendaries.

Every aspect of this game has received a well wanted facelift, and now we can all finally enjoy our classic games in a new format. One aspect of the game that I really disliked in the original has even been reworked in the remake and in my opinion it’s for the better, that aspect is the Pokémon Contests. I disliked these when I was younger, couldn’t make heads or tales of what attacks did what, but now it is all so simple. While the changes to the Pokémon Contest are minor, I enjoy performing in them much more now than in the original series. These Contests were supposed to show off your Pokémon and their attacks, and I finally think they have managed to achieve that.

Even though I have defeated the 8 Gym Leaders, I feel like there is a lot more to come, and the story is definitely nowhere near done yet. I have enjoyed playing the Pokémon games since Yellow Version in the late 90’s, and now over 15 years later I find myself still playing. You might have expected me to give the game a perfect rating, 5/5, but I just can’t do that to a game that is in a series that is quite repetitive and to a game that is a remake of another. Even though it is an amazing game, it did not push the envelope far enough to give us a totally unique Pokémon experience. So I do give the game a 4.5/5 because every other aspect of the game is absolutely amazing as usual. I did not pay much attention to the series in the 5th generation, but following the conversion from 2D to 3D art style I find myself getting drawn back in. Who knows, maybe the next generation will offer something that we have all been craving for some time, something that will make us all come back to a series we grew up on.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Fantasy Life ***3.5/5***

Fantasy Life is one of the latest RPGs to be released for the Nintendo 3DS and whats the first thing that comes to mind? meh… While the game is not terrible, by any stretch of the imagination, its also not great. Story is nearly nonexistent in this game, even though there is a story to it. I can say now that my character is level 38 and I’ve played for a little over 40 hours, but the story itself was completed back at about 12 hours into the game. But the story takes a back seat in this game and the true reason to play this game is to experience all that the world has to offer, craft new items, banding together in parties to defeat strong enemies, and to solve absolutely everyone’s problems in the region.

While it is an interested RPG, the way you play the game depends greatly on which of the 12 classes you choose to play as. You can change your class at any point in the game and all that it affects is your class based quests, and certain tools and gear you have equipped. If you choose to play as a Paladin, Hunter, Mercenary, or Wizard, you will mainly be playing an Action RPG, going on journeys, banding together and taking down strong enemies. But if you pick any of the other classes, such as Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, Alchemist, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Cook, or Tailor, get set for some true RP. While Miners, Woodcutters, and Anglers require you to explore the land, it is highly recommended that you level up as a Paladin, Hunter, or Mercenary first just so that you have a stronger base attack and are able to fend yourself in the wild. With Miners, Woodcutters, and Anglers you need to travel the map finding rare ore, rare trees, and rare fish that you can only obtain after learning those prerequisite skills. Following these two groups come the lesser classes that mostly involve creating items out of components you have collected on your journeys. This third class should really be left to play after you have at least completed one of each of the previously mentioned classes. In my play through of the game I started as a Paladin, became a Miner and a Woodcutter, and finally I have moved on to the third category, playing as a Carpenter, Blacksmith, and Tailor. These three classes play exactly the same, by creating new items through perfectly timed button presses. The reason to eventually play as every class though is to be able to complete each and every side quest in the game.

Throughout the game you have an ever-growing list of quests belonging to three separate categories you must complete to either progress the story, get Dosh (the currency of the game), or to level up your character’s class ranking. Later in the game quests increase drastically in difficulty, making near impossible to complete them on your own, such as taking on the Silver and Gold Dragons. Another thing that proves difficult are the countless rare ores and trees that you cannot mine or chop down until you have increased your skill level, increased your overall level, and equipped the best gear. At level 38 with high mining and woodcutting skills, I am still unable to do any damage to the rarest of items, but in time that will change.

Fantasy Life is the game for the person that likes to explore and sink hundreds of hours into one gaming experience. If you are looking to just play a game for its story and be done with it, this is not the game for you. In completing the story you will have only finished a small percentage of what this game has to offer. In the end I gave it a 3.5/5 rating because it can be lacklustre and drawn out at times, but the world looks amazing and offers so much to explore! but the score also dropped down because the story is far too short for the shear amount of gameplay available in this game. It almost feels as if the story is a fond memory that I long to return to. But who knows? Maybe the DLC will add more chapters to the story and will help me in reconsidering my  rating of 3.5/5.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Tales of Hearts R ***4.5/5***

North American Cover Art

Tales of Hearts R is the latest entry into the Tales series of RPGs made by Namco Bandai Games. This entry is a remake of the 2008 Nintendo DS game Tales of Hearts. The updated version features all new 3D game play, with 3D characters interacting in a 3D world. It features new animated cut scenes as well an all new voice acting throughout main story events. Admittedly I am not well versed in the Tales series, only having played Tales of Symphonia myself, but I do appreciate the longstanding series for producing many interesting stories and characters as well as some solid gameplay throughout the years.

To get into game details lets start with one big fact, it’s Playstation TV compatible! If you so please you can play it on the go, or sit down on the couch and enjoy it with the experience of a PS3 controller! When being scaled up to a big screen TV the quality of the image diminishes somewhat, but that will be a given when looking at almost any Vita game being played on the Playstation TV. The combat system is very good and led to some rather enjoyable random encounters. I like the quality of the lock on in that it can easily switch from one target to another without much effort. The tutorial portion of the game though was a little too detailed for my liking, but it would be necessary for any gamer that is entirely new to the series, although it does play like many action RPGs. The dungeon design was fairly lacklustre in that most of the time you were directed exactly down the path you needed to take, or the path itself was nearly entirely obvious. From my first 1 1/2 hours of gameplay I can say that the core gameplay will be enjoyable and the scenery and cut scenes will look amazing, but as for storyline, I can’t really say much at this point.

I give the game a rating of 4.5/5 because the game itself is easy to control and fairly enjoyable. Tales of Hearts R can be played on the go or on the big screen. While dungeon layouts are somewhat lacklustre and I can’t talk for the progression of the story, for the time being it is shaping up to be a great entry into the Tales series. The only other downside is the game’s availability. It is only available in North America at EB Games and Gamestop locations across Canada and the US. In Canada the price is 44.99, but hopefully with time the game drops in price or receives an HD port to the PS3 or PS4. But if you are a fan of the Action-RPG genre and a fan of the Tales series, I could not recommend this game any more!