Saturday, March 27, 2010

SPC Mailbag - March 27th, 2010

Happy weekend to you all! Welcome to another exciting day here at SuperPhillip Central. It's time to bring out the old sack (no, not that one), and read some of your abridged comments and questions posted on message boards and via e-mail. Let's waste no more time and get to answering your questions!

What do you think about games being ported to other systems?

I think it's great. It gives more people the opportunity to play the game. The only time it's not okay is when a port is announced before the game is released on the original system, thus sabotaging the sales a la Resident Evil 4 (GCN > PS2). I believe it's pathetic when certain people (you know who you are and what blogs you run) cry foul over it. It shows unbelievable console patriotism, and it's just sad. We should be happy when more people get to experience a game such as Dead Space Extraction, Final Fantasy XIII, and Eternal Sonata, to name a few.

What is your opinion on Kevin Butler [the guy in the PlayStation 3 ads]?

I think those commercials are hilarious. I mean, they are really, really good, and some of the best video game commercials to hit the airwaves in a long time. That said, the console warriors who latch onto Kevin Butler as some messiah shows some eerie parallelism to Nintendo fans of 2004. Reggie Fils-Amie was quoted as kicking ass and taking names, and he got a lot of praise from fans for that. It feels like the same thing here with Sony fans. Third place console, needing someone to be their messiah, desperate fanboys, etc.


Do you have any favorite articles you have written in the past?

Why yes, I do. You're smart to have asked! haha
I really love my Most Overlooked series of articles as well top tens no matter how cliche those are. Here's a short and quick list of some of my faves:

A Decade in Gaming - Games of the Year
Games I Liked, Others Didn't
Games I Liked, Others Didn't Redux
Games Others Liked, I Didn't
Happy 15th Anniversary, Playstation.
Mini-Games: A Little Bit of Awesome
Rated "M" for Misnomer
Sequels I'd Love to See
STFU: Shutting the Fanboys Up
Terms in the Industry that are Overused
Third Party Woes on Wii - Who's to Blame?
The Wii, The Third Parties, The Casuals, and the You
Wiitriol: Ask your doctor if Wiitriol is wrong for you

There's just some of my favorites for you guys. Hope you enjoy them and stick around for even more of articles and editorials.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver (DS) Review

Let's end the week right with an all-new review. It's for the newest pair of Pokemon games, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver. I had never played the original Gold and Silver, so these two games were brand-new experiences for me totally. Let's see how they shape up in this review.

Gotta Catch 'Em All Over Again


Pokemon. Some called it a fad, but sales and popularity dictates exactly the opposite. While not as mega-popular as it was when it premiered, it still sells games and systems for Nintendo. The series' mantra of gotta catch 'em all is as addicting as it ever was in 1998. Now Nintendo and developer Game Freak have opted to remake the second generation of Pokemon games in Gold and Silver. The end result? Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver. Now with new locations, new Pokemon, and new surprises to be had, is this duo of Pokemon games as worthwhile as a Mew or Arceus?

You live in a world dominated by Pokemon. Pokemon are everywhere in the daily lives of the citizens of Johto. You play an up and coming Pokemon trainer starting his journey to the become the greatest Pokemon trainer there ever was. It won't be an easy journey, however. There's eight gym badges to collect through defeating the eight gym leaders each with different types of Pokemon. Then after all eight badges are gathered, it's time to take on the Elite Four in a final showdown to become the ultimate Pokemon trainer.

The path to the Pokemon League is perilous, but like any good trainer you have your Pokemon friends to help you. The formula of the game is simple. You travel from town to town along routes, capturing new Pokemon, training them through battle, and facing off against both gym leaders and regular Pokemon trainers. Beating gym leaders unlocks new Pokemon moves for your captured friends allowing you to access previously unreachable towns and areas. Of course, there's more to do than just go after the eight badges. A sinister group of Pokemon thieves named Team Rocket is back in business, and they're causing trouble throughout the land of Johto.

In all, the main quest of either version of Pokemon will last at least forty hours. Not only is there the land of Johto to explore, but the second land, Kanto, which Pokemon veterans will know to be the land of the first two Pokemon games, will open up for exploration. That's eight more gym badges to collect, and this time it's in any order. Add in the Pokemon from all previous generations to collect, trade, and discover, and you have a game that will last players one-hundred hours easily.

The main draw of the Pokemon series is catching them all, and this optional sidequest is the main meat and potatoes of the game as there are nearly 500 different critters to capture. How do you capture these beasts? Meet the Poke Ball. It is designed to capture wild Pokemon (other trainers' Pokemon are off-limits). Of course, you can't just toss a Poke Ball and hope for the best. A wild Pokemon must be weakened first or even put to sleep or paralyzed. It's a Pokemon-eat-Pokemon world here, after all! Then there's evolution, something to make the religious right go nuts about. There's different types of evolution. Some Pokemon only evolve when they reach a certain experience level, others evolve through trading, while some need to have a stone used on them to evolve. Most Pokemon evolve at least once, with some evolving twice in total. For instance, a small caterpillar named Caterpie can evolve all the way to beautiful butterfly named Butterfree.

Pokemon battles are usually one-on-one contests, but occasionally (and not often enough in my opinion) you'll face off in doubles action. You can only have six Pokemon in your party at a time, and this along with each Pokemon only being able to learn four moves total before having to forget some add to the strategy of the series. What moves should I teach my Pokemon to give them the best advantage in battle? Should I use an HM slave (one that is only to use hidden moves outside of battle)? The trick is to choose six Pokemon that can tackle any sort of challenge or any other Pokemon type. You see, each Pokemon is a different type. There's seventeen types in all ranging from fire, water, electric, bug, dragon, and the two newest ones, steel and dark. Each type is strong and weak against other types, so it's a rock-paper-scissors type setup. Some Pokemon are dual types such as water/dragon, ice/flying, or grass/psychic. Each move a Pokemon has in its arsenal also is relegated to having a type. Rock is weak against water, water is weak against electric, electric is weak against ground, and so forth.

There are two varieties of battles in Pokemon-- wild Pokemon and trainer battles. Wild Pokemon battles are random encounters initiated by running through tall grass or inside a cavern while trainer battles are against human opponents and their Pokemon. They'll usually make eye-contact with you and demand a Pokemon battle without any input from you. Whereas trainer battles give out more experience as well as currency to buy items, wild Pokemon battles are the only way you can capture these cautious creatures.

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver don't differ too much in content. You'll virtually have the same journey to the Elite Four, it's just that some of the Pokemon available to capture are only in HeartGold and vice versa. This is where trading comes in. You can trade Pokemon locally between two DSes or you can hop online and trade. Going online you have two options of trading either with the GTS where you trade with anonymous strangers or trade with friends via friend codes. It's a pretty streamlined process that gets the job done though GTS isn't without its problems. You'll constantly see off-kilter trade guidelines such as a level 3 Rattata for a level 99 Celebi. Good luck with that. Outside of trading, players can also battle each other over Wi-Fi, chat in the online hub, and share Pokemon tips with one another.

Both versions of the Gold and Silver remakes come with something called the Pokewalker. This peripheral is used to store a Pokemon inside it, and while you walk and take steps, it grows stronger, perhaps finds new items and meets new Pokemon to befriend. It's perfect for placing in a pocket as you go for a jog or just wear everyday as you walk around. There's also a day care in the game where up to two Pokemon at a time can be raised without your influence. Throw in the Pokegear that lets you keep in touch with defeated trainers, listen to the in-game radio for clues on Pokemon whereabouts, and there's a lot of extra content provided in such a small game cartridge!

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver keep with the graphical prowess of Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Both games feature lush visuals, a 2D viewpoint with 3D buildings that leap out at the player, and a very catchy soundtrack with remixed tunes from both Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver. One bothersome aspect are the Pokemon cries that are as grating as ever to listen to. They're still the 8-bit sound effects you know and (don't) love. Would it really be so difficult to have the Pokemon voiced like in the anime cartoon? Other than that minor caveat, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver run very smooth, look nice, and musically sound great.

As someone who skipped out on the original Gold and Silver, I can't imagine the nostalgia one must feel replaying these games all over again with the new bells and whistles. As for me, these games are without a doubt some of the best I've seen from the series. There just needs to be more innovation the next time around or else this series will risk feeling samey. Overall, Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are fantastic titles worth picking up for anyone who needs yet another Pokemon fix.

[SuperPhillip Says: 9.25/10]

Hydro Thunder Hurricane (XBLA) Debut Trailer

Another impressive title for the Xbox Live Arcade. I'm more interested in XBLA titles than I am retail releases on the darned system! Here we have a Dreamcast classic getting a second life with a new installment. It appears that Microsoft now owns the Hydro Thunder I.P. They must have purchased it from Midway. The real question is if this isn't my daddy's Hydro Thunder, and this game was around for me to play and not him... am I my own daddy?



WarioWare D.I.Y. (DS) Commercial

A game Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor would be proud of, WarioWare D.I.Y. launches with the grandpa and grandma version of the DSi this Sunday. Are you planning to pick this title up? Even if you don't have a creative bone in your body, you can at least download others' creations, right? Hopefully, creating is a lot less time-consuming than some other games I've played over the past couple years. It takes a lot out of you!



Red Steel 2 (Wii) Commercial

This advertisement has been playing nightly on your Spike TVs and your Adult Swims. Unfortunately, I doubt ads matter anymore. The third party ship has sailed for Wii. Three years of little in the way of quality, and the Wii user base has moved on. This is shown by sales of Boom Blox compared to its sequel, Shaun White to its sequel, and The Umbrella Chronicles compared to Darkside Chronicles. The real question here is who the hell but baseball coaches pats people on the butt nowadays? Argh, indeed, my pirate friend.



Thursday, March 25, 2010

Most Overlooked Gamecube Games - Part Three

For about a year now we've been taking a look at the most overlooked and unappreciated games in each consoles' extensive libraries. Today we'll be doing the same with the Gamecube on this third edition. The Gamecube sold the least last generation, so it's obvious that it had the most glanced over games in its catalog. No longer as we explore the various overlooked games in the purple lunch box's library.

Donkey Konga 1 & 2

The bongo drum peripheral, like many Nintendo peripherals, was used but for a handful of games. Donkey Kong Jungle Beat held the most extensive use of the controller. Regardless, that didn't stop the trio of Donkey Konga games (the third never reached anywhere but Japan) from being drum-banging good times. As the colored circles hover over the impact zone, you use the left and right bongos or both in conjunction to play in time with the music. You are also told to clap during certain parts of the song. Of course, my hands were already rubbed raw, so I just smacked the side of the bongos. With a varied music selection, many modes, and hilarious multi-player action, the Donkey Konga franchise is a great music game to get your heart beating along with the music.


Mega Man X: Command Mission

Mega Man in an RPG? That's like putting Mario in an RPG only not as good! Despite it not being the best RPG on the block, it was extremely commendable that Capcom tried something new with the Mega Man X franchise. Overall, they succeeded with an intriguing story, good old fashioned turn-based combat with three members in your party at the same time, plenty of enemy types and bosses to tackle, and lots of zenny and experience to earn. For RPG-starved Gamecube owners, this game among others was like a breath of fresh air.


Skies of Arcadia Legends

This Dreamcast port with added features such as new boss battles brought with it a lot of hype with the message board Gamecube faithful and scored highly with critics. Unfortunately this didn't bring awesome sales. It doesn't matter though as this game is now deeply sought after and fetches a pretty high price on eBay and other sites of its ilk. There's lots of combat and exploration to be had in this sky high world including airship battles and turn-based affairs. Add in a delectable soundtrack, and you have the makings of a memorable RPG. Yes, the random battles can come as too frequent (and this was actually worse in the Dreamcast version), but overall, Skies of Arcadia Legends is a fantastic and worthy addition to anyone's Cube collection.


Baten Kaitos Origins

Getting about average reviews and coming at the end of the Gamecube's life cycle, Baten Kaitos Origins wasn't your typical turn-based RPG. That just wasn't in the cards. Speaking of cards (did you appreciate my segue?), that was the main focus of the game-- cards. You bought cards, you sold cards, you gained cards through battle and as spoils of war, and you used them for everything from attacking, using magic, and even leveling up. There were over 600 cards to collect in all, and each one taunted you that it wasn't in your collection. This addicting nature added in even more hours to the already long wide-open quest for players to adventure on.


Super Mario Strikers

Some know it as soccer while the rest of the world refers to it as the more understandable name of football. No matter what you call it, Super Mario Strikers takes the sport and kicks it up a few notches. While it didn't sell poorly, it didn't really get a fair shake from critics who called the game lackluster and lacking options. The sequel, Mario Strikers: Charged, definitely changed that by upping the ante with more modes, more items, more characters, and online play thrown in to boot. The original Strikers was a fun local multi-player game with plenty of hectic action and crazy goals. Sure, Mario never ran around the field with his shirt draped over his face, but what can you do?


There goes another edition of Most Overlooked. Stay tuned in the near future for a look at some of the most overlooked Game Boy Advance titles! Did I miss one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments section.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Max and the Magic Marker (WiiWare) Review

Let's do a WiiWare review. The first review this month was a downloadable game, so let's continue that trend. It's Max and the Magic Marker for the WiiWare service as well as PC and Mac.

The Game Where You Draw Your Own Conclusions.


The WiiWare service, like the Wii retail game library, is filled with a lot of garbage. Fortunately, there's a lot of expertly-designed, high-quality games as well. We've seen games that utilize the Wii remote well like NyxQuest, fun puzzlers like Toki Tori, and great arcade titles like the Bit.Trip series of games. Add one more excellent game to the list with Max and the Magic Marker. While not the best WiiWare has to offer, this game is one to write, draw, and doodle home about.

The gameplay of Max and the Magic Marker by design is your typical run and jump side-scrolling platformer except with a twist. That comes from the titular magic marker Max acquires. When there's a dangerous villain up ahead that will harm Max, you can draw a weight to fall on top of the skull of said baddie to defeat them. The marker is also used in a wide variety of ways from simple bridges over deadly chasms for Max to cross to drawing a set of steps for Max to reach a higher platform. The ingenuity of this mechanic is very impressive.

Argh! A pirate's life for me!

At certain times, Max and the Magic Marker is more of a puzzle game than a platformer with puzzling predicaments for Max to overcome. See a row of wheels leading to another platform? Draw a line and have Max balance on the drawn line to cross the chasm. See a treadmill without a lift? Draw one! There's usually more than one solution to every problem Max comes across be it death-inducing rain clouds that need Max to hide out under a drawn fortress of impenetrable protection or see-saws that require Max to drop something on the other end in order for him to be propelled into the air.

You can draw some crazy contraptions in Magic Marker.

Of course, you can't just doodle things willy-nilly and expect an outcome. For one, you'll quickly run of ink. Secondly, the game requires precision. Unfortunately, unlike a mouse that is grounded to a desk or table for added precision, the Wii remote is held in the air with no force feedback meaning less precision. It makes portions of the game where you have to draw something delicately extremely frustrating. Add into this one reviewer whose arms shake uncontrollably due to medication side effects, and you have one troublesome game at certain stages.

Other than that not-so-little caveat, Max and the Magic Marker plays wonderfully. Max controls like a dream with tight, responsive platforming. You can freeze time so you can draw any object you want. You can also connect doodles together to form one standing unit. In each stage there's a number of collectibles from bubbles giving Max more marker ink to special black blobs that unlock content into the options menu like developer interviews. All of this is optional, but makes a three hour game play much longer than it actually is. Who doesn't love getting the most out of their hard-earned Wii points? Not I, for one.

It's not the heat, it's the hot bonfire!

Max and the Magic Marker is a very nice-looking game. The colors are bright, the characters and backgrounds are well-animated, and everything is just a pleasure to look at. Sound-wise, the music is infectious in that it's not very good when you start to listen to it, but as it continues and incessantly plays, it gets into your mind. Soon enough, you're humming along with it for whatever sick, sadistic reason. Overall, the package is presented in a great manner.

Ultimately, Max and the Magic Marker suffers from not-as-always accurate drawing that a game like this needs. The Wii remote itself is competent, but something about not being able to hold the Wii remote against a hard surface hurts this game overall. If you can get past the minor moments where aggravation occurs, Max and the Magic Marker is a good game with plenty of replay value, constant discovery, and a specific charm that is hard to find in games these days.

[SuperPhillip Says: 7.0/10]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Phantasy Star 0 (DS) Review

There's something about dungeon-crawlers that just get my heart a-blazing. Is it the looting? Is it the needless grinding? Perhaps it's the big, bad boss at the end of each dungeon? Who can say? But enough questions-- let's take a look at the latest action-RPG from SEGA, Phantasy Star 0.

Final Phantasy


Long ago, a little known RPG series by SEGA known as Phantasy Star used to be all about turn-based RPG action. You wouldn't notice this now as the new themed Phantasy Star Online games are all about online and real-time hacking, slashing, and looting. Hey, I'm not complaining! It started with Phantasy Star Episodes I-III, continued into current-gen with Phantasy Star Universe, and now rolls on with Phantasy Star 0 for the Nintendo DS. Does this star shine bright for the series?

Phantasy Star 0 occurs in an alternate universe on Earth where it's been 200 years since the Great Blank. This war nearly turned the planet into an inhospitable wasteland. Now the survivors are slowly but surely rebuilding their towns, cities, and civilizations. You play as a new Hunter, a group of mercenary who ventures outside said cities to tackle challenges and take down monster forces threatening the survivors' civilizations. There's more to the Great Blank than the history books let know, and after a mysterious girl crashes into the planet, the fate of the Earth and its moon will never ever be the same.

You start the game by setting up your avatar. This is the character that you'll be controlling throughout your experience with Phantasy Star 0. Unlike some games, one avatar is used in both the story and online modes of the game. Customization options aren't a terribly strong suit for Phantasy Star 0. There's but a few color choices between each of the fourteen character types. Some are proficient melee attackers while others excel at magic. There's a class and character type for every kind of player.

Fans and veterans of the original Phantasy Star Online will feel right at home with Phantasy Star 0. The combat and gameplay is close to being essentially the same. You journey through dungeons, traveling from room to room, slaying all of the monsters in a given room in order to open the way to the next. Occasionally, you'll do things such as collect card keys to open barriers, but most of all you'll be killing monsters, or as the game calls them, hostiles. You'll be taking on monsters in groups, and they don't just sit around and let you damage them either. There's seven areas in the game each with two parts. The second part concludes with a battle against a giant boss or onslaught of foes.

Combat is performed with the face buttons. Your palette has a list of button commands available to you. There's three to choose from, and then three more button commands available by holding down the right shoulder button. Combos are the meat and potatoes of an attacker's offense. It's not a simple button-masher either. You have to time your button inputs in a certain rhythm which depends on the weapon equipped. You can attack up to three times in a combo with stronger attacks being more viable and with more accuracy placed near the end of a given combo. Combos can be chained together for maximum destructive power. Your character can also roll out of the way of attacks with a push of a button as well as cast magic and use items. Overall, combat feels smooth, but the camera can be a constant enemy in some firefights.

Whereas the main mode is all about following the story and growing stronger, the online mode, which can be played with up to three other friends via friend codes, is all about leveling up and finding rare item drops. There's no voice chat included in this package, but there is touch-screen based chat a la Pictochat to be used to draw pictures and write messages to players. Online is smooth with friends, but unfortunately I didn't get the chance to play online with a stranger. The online at this juncture is a desolate ghost town. Regardless, playing with a smart team feels excellent and extremely rewarding. Taking down a giant dragon with your friends is an awesome feeling.

Phantasy Star 0's story mode won't take players far too long to complete, perhaps around ten hours. Then there's the abundant number of optional quests including a one-hundred plus floor dungeon that takes a day or two to complete. By the end of the story mode, I was at level thirty with a maximum of level 100 to reach and new gear ready to obtain in the hard and super hard modes. These difficulty modes include stronger monsters that net more experience, meseta (the currency of Phantasy Star), and better item drops. All the while playing with friends will send you playing into the wee small hours of the night. There's a lot of content here to dive into much like there are stars in the night sky.

Phantasy Star 0 boasts impressive 3D visuals for the DS. Sure, there's plenty of jagged edges here and there to watch out for (those things can cut, y'know!), but overall everything looks great. The soundtrack isn't the series' best, but it's not horrible either. It's just not very memorable. The small amount of voice samples occur during the game's few animated cut-scenes. These are handled well, and it made me wish there were more sequences like this. If Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days can do it, why not Phantasy Star 0?


Overall, Phantasy Star 0 is an incredibly competent action-RPG with plenty of online and offline content to justify it's thirty-five dollar cost of entry. It may be too familiar to some veteran Phantasy Star fans, but there's enough here to feel fresh. The combat is smooth, the visuals are lovely, and the online is fantastic as well. For those tired of grinding on their Dreamcast or Xbox 360, Phantasy Star 0 is waiting here for you.

[SuperPhillip Says: 8.5/10]

Monday, March 22, 2010

SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs - Fighters Megamix Edition

This week the VGMs and I have something special in store for you. All edition long we're dedicating the VGMs to the fighting games you know (and may not know) and love. This week we have Marvel VS. Capcom, Street Fighter IV, and Super Smash Bros. Brawl to name a few. Let's get the music moving, shall we?

v516. Marvel VS. Capcom 2 - Clock Tower Stage

I just recently got into this game since it went half off on the PlayStation Store. It's quite fun even though I completely blow at it. I got into the series thanks to Tatsunoko VS. Capcom which we've heard music from earlier in my list of VGMs. Whether you like 2-on-2 or 3-on-3 combat, either game is the right choice for a fighting fan! The theme I've selected to first represent this game is a jazzy piece for the Clock Tower Stage.



v517. Tatsunoko VS. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars - Yatterman's Workshop

Let's continue the fighting theme with another song from Tatsunoko VS. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars for the Nintendo Wii. This time we're taking a listen to the jazz fusion track known as Yatterman's Workshop. Between Ryu, Zero, Ken the Eagle, and Mega Man Volnutt, there's a lot of characters I really enjoy playing as. Who are your favorites?



v518. Street Fighter IV - Volcanic Rim Stage

We continue our pugilist's passion with another fighting game to add to the list. We've yet to do a Street Fighter song on this entire list. We change that with Volcanic Rim from the Street Fighter IV soundtrack. It's my personal favorite track on the entire soundtrack. While I personally couldn't get into SFIV, I realize that it is a great fighting game all the same.



v519. TMNT Tournament Fighters - Metal Works Stage

The Metal Works stage is home to none other than the intimidating Cyber Shredder. This is the Super Nintendo version of the game featuring the best sound and graphical quality of the three released versions (SNES, Genesis, and NES). TMNT Tournament Fighters was a very competent fighting game, and it was one of the best as a child growing up.



v520. Super Smash Bros. Brawl - Main Theme

We conclude our fighter fantasy with a game that is arguably in the genre, Super Smash Bros, Brawl. The main theme was composed by none other than the incomparable Nobuo Uematsu, and it sounds absolutely heavenly. The latin choir, the full symphonic orchestra, the epic-ness of it all... it's just a terrific song to represent the best and newest installment of the series.



K.O.! The VGMs are down for the count this week, but next week they'll be back for more. That you can definitely count on! For more VGM goodness, just search SuperPhillip's Favorite VGMs in the search bar. See you next week.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Ode to the Strategy Guide - Part II

Last week we took a look at various Nintendo and Prima players guides in Ode to the Strategy Guide - Part I. If you missed it or need a refresher, you can check it out here. That said, this week we're going to take a look at various BradyGames strategy guides in my collection, and I'll share my insight regarding them. Let's start turning some pages, shall we?

We begin with the series of Final Fantasy guides for the mainline titles. All were terrific, spoiler-free unlike a certain Tips & Tricks issue, and had all the in-depth tips and tricks (har har) that you'd expect from the leaders in the strategy guide business. The only bad one of the bunch rests in the middle of this pile. It's Final Fantasy IX. The game was fine, but the strategy guide was a ripoff. Constantly they'd refer you to go online to PlayOnline.com, type in the keyword, and then you'd get the answers you were looking for. I'm sorry, but isn't that why we bought the darn guide in the first place? I remember ogling the Final Fantasy VIII guide wanting to find all the Triple Triad cards possible. Man, that game was addicting, was it not? Then there's the Final Fantasy VII book that was one of the first BradyGames guides my older brother and I ever purchased. Unlike certain Prima guides, this one hasn't fallen apart yet (knocks on metaphorical wood).


Even more Final Fantasy guides for your viewing pleasure! Starting from the left and going to the right, Final Fantasy (PSP), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, Final Fantasy IV (DS), Final Fantasy Tactics A2, and Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions. Phew! I love guides with plenty of maps and that are well-designed, and these guides fit that description perfectly. I especially love the Final Fantasy Tactics: WotL one as it replaced my Prima guide that, yep, you guessed it, fell apart on me.


RPGs seem to be the most popular BradyGames strategy guides, and for good reason: they're extremely in-depth with plenty of content, maps, strategies, art to ogle, and secrets you'd have to spend hours circling the net for. I also like how maps are much clearer than some 15 year-old kid's instructions of "turn left at here. Turn right at second intersection that is perpendicular to the first intersection. Then run past third clock that faces south." ...What? Anyway, the Kingdom Hearts guides are pretty thick with content, and that's why I love these.


More RPGs, I say! More! I recently picked up the Till the End of Time guide of Amazon for a pretty low price. No highlighting, no penciled-in notes of any sort. Just a good condition guide. What can be said about these guides other than that, yet again, they're well-designed. It's easy to find the information you want to know whether it's item synthesis, the bestiary, or how to make your way through that particularly puzzling puzzle or dungeon.


Finally, we have two LittleBigPlanet guides for the price of one. Actually, they cost me for the price of two, but for you, the price of one! The first is just the original LittleBigPlanet while the second is the PS3 and the PSP editions. Two games covered for the price of one. The maps in these guides are extremely helpful in identifying, finding, and collecting all of the games' prize bubbles to be used to in creation of levels. More importantly, I've selected these two guides as they are the ones that weigh the most and easily have the most pages. Both books round out at around 500 pages apiece. That's a lot of writing!!!

Stay tuned next week as Ode to the Strategy Guide concludes with a look at Versus and Piggyback. We'll see you then. Have a favorite strategy guide or insight you'd like to share? Let everyone know in the comments sections. I do read every comment posted.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...