Chaos Blogg 44: Gravity Rush Jet

Welcome to the first Chaos Blogg of 2014. In terms of games this a pretty good start with 4 title included here ranging from old school to new school. Hopefully there’s something for everyone here anyway lets enjoy some remixes.

Mega Man 3 (Wii U VC):

I’ve now completed 10,2,1,5 and 3. It seems I’m working my way through the entire Mega man series and that’s probably because the games are a fun challenge that don’t take up heaps of my time. Mega Man 3 is probably close to a second favourite for me although it’s a very tough choice with Mega Man 5 nipping at it’s heels. While no Mega Man 2 this is an excellent game with a catchy 8-bit soundtrack. The music is some of the best from this era of gaming and I hope you enjoy the examples bellow. The final fortress theme in particular does a great job of sounding foreboding and catchy although irony has that the fortress levels are the easiest in the game. Actually the difficulty curve for this game is strange with the game getting harder gradually until the doc robot levels which see a difficulty spike and then there’s a sudden difficulty drop in the fortress levels. In fact this strange difficulty curve is probably my only complaint about the game as the doc robot levels are just re-workings of 4 other levels in the game with tougher check-points and boss fights along with a difficulty spike in platforming as well. To be honest it would have been less painful if they added more checkpoints and I might have enjoyed these levels more as the level design is still pretty sweet. Bar from this I have no complaints here as the game looks pretty good and it’s the game-play is top notch. The story was pretty meh but that’s a series staple by now, anyway back to gameplay. This game introduced the slide mechanic and saw the implementation of Rush both of which are used very well here although you could argue that the rush jet is broken. If you’ve played 2 then I can highly recommend you play 3 as well (and then 5) it’s a great game and pretty nice way to start the year.

Little Busters: Refrain (Anime):

If anyone remembers my review of Little Busters well first of all thank you and secondly you might like to know the second season is done. Little Busters was a VN that I played last year (it’s only the second time I dabbled into the medium) that was very emotional and bought me to tears at the end. The anime adaptation though felt unsatisfying as it removed several elements and the story felt somewhat hollow. However with Refrain they’ve at least done a better job this time and while it still lacks the impact of the source material it might just make some newcomers to the story cry. The whole thing is a bit of an emotional roller-coaster although I personally found the first few episodes to have the most impact (mainly because I knew the twist before-hand I guess). The first season was a slice of life drama with the occasional strange supernatural element, it had it’s moments but it lacked heart. Refrain is more of the same but with more strange stuff and more heart. You maybe confused most of the time but hopefully you won’t be turned off. The music is still pretty good as well although the OP was a little disappointing. A good effort and one that makes this worth seeing if you can’t be bothered reading (I don’t blame you).

Gravity Rush (PS VITA): 

That’s right I bought a Vita after all the shit I went through last year I decided I needed to buy something new and shiny. To start off my journey with new handheld system I downloaded some games of PS+ (I only really plan to play two of them to completion though). I also bought a couple of game cards and some classic downloadable titles. I got Gravity Rush through PS+ and it’s a title that I kind of wish I had bought with actual money (compared to a couple I did get anyway). This game is beautiful and I mean that in terms of art-style as well as fancy graphics. In fact the style is a little similar to wind waker mixed with more of a comic book feel. This isn’t the best description though and I’m sure you could make better observations than I but the point is that this game is beautiful and I love the style here. The music is also on a similar level of beauty and it really gave off this heroic vibe although it did feel rather generic at times and it isn’t the best soundtrack I’ve heard recently. The story is pretty engaging, it’s told mainly through comic book style segments with the occasional spoken line (in this beautiful French sounding giberish) and cut-scenes. The story is heart warming and the characters are likeable although it is a little predictable (*cough*Raven*cough*). Overall the story and characters are charming and mysterious, although the mysteries aren’t all solved and the game has pretty much set it’s story up for a sequel but thankfully it didn’t set up a complete cliff-hanger like some games. The main point of Gravity Rush is that it’s game-play is really fun but rather difficult to master. The whole shifting gravity thing is really fun and exploring this open and searching for excessive amounts of upgrade gems (like currency) was a blast. It’s a mechanic that is the focus of the game and it’s not exactly easy as you can find yourself getting lost in all the tumbling motions. The game is a tone of fun although it’s lacking in content as there are very few collectibles and only a handful of missions and challenges, I hear there’s DLC though so I guess that could add more life to the game. You’ll also notice that the platforming (as in just normal jumping) isn’t that flash and it feels like it needed polishing. The challenges are all very challenging and if I had patience I would try to master them all for the platinum. What stopped me from considering that though is the gravity slide mechanic which is very difficult to control but fun to mess about with. To use the gravity slide you need to use the touch screen and tilt controls at the same time and some of the challenges require you to race through circuits to near perfection with the slide and it’s just a bit too frustrating. I love this game though all it needs is more polish and less forced on motion and touch screen stuff. I guess they can do that in the sequel.

Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaete mo Omaera ga Warui! (Anime):

Watamote, just call this anime watamote as it saves a lot of time. Watamote is an anime that came out last year about a girl who suffers from anxiety and is socially inept. She’s an awkward character and one that I found easy to sympathise with (In fact I’d probably say she’s adorable but that’s just me). Anyway the show looks pretty amazing with lots of visual references to various other shows and the like. The opening and ending themes are also pretty freaking amazing and the soundtrack is nice to boot. As for story well it’s pretty much a straight up comedy that doesn’t really have a satisfying conclusion but there is an overarching story as well follow the protagonists struggles to gain popularity. It’s very much character based and I thought it did an interesting job of showing what having social anxiety is like while at the same time providing comedy. Although it is funny, I did feel second hand embarrassment for the character as well as a strong empathy so it’s certainly not a shallow experience as you may get from other comedy anime. It’s not for everyone but I do recommend it.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (PSN):

It’s been years since I’ve played a Crash game, in fact it was Crash of the titans for Wii back when retailers forced you buy a poorly made game when you bought your consoles. Of course since Crash of the titans was barely a Crash game at all that would set me back all the way to Wrath of Cortex on the gamecube which against the popular opinion I really enjoyed. Suffice to say it’s never been a series of games I’ve talked much about on my blog but it’s probably one that had a large impact on childhood. The one game that I never really got to play though was this one (also twinsanity) except for the one time I tried to play and got freaked out by the huge cortex head yelling at me (I was a kid). After all this time though I decided to retry this game and yeah my childhood reaction was quite unfounded as the dialogue is comical. For starters let me say that playing this on the Vita was a little painful as the D-pad was the only option of control. The controls pretty well though and it’s a lot more fun thanks to the slide mechanic (heh maybe this should be the blog about slides in video games). My only gripe with controls is the fucking obnoxious jetpack levels at the end of the game that are just so damn awkward (worst levels in the game they are). Any other frustrations to be had with the game play come from the level design which for the most part is very well done. However there are at least 3 levels that require annoying backtracking segments if you decide to 100% the game. I’m not sure but this might be the first time I 100% a crash game. Overall the gameplay is a lot of fun and a huge improvement over the original. I have to say I loved the collectibles this time and there’s a whole bunch of interesting secrets. I love the character designs and the game looks pretty good for 3D on the PS1, although I wish Crash had stuck with the world map screen idea. The music is also pretty sweet which when combined with the visuals gives an excellent presentation. Also this game lets you save after each level and has a comical story to it. In fact my enjoyment of this game has made me consider it to be my favourite game in the series and it’s the one I encourage you all to play. (I’m probably forgetting a tone of details I should have put in here).

Thomas Was Alone (PC): 

A gift I received from an amazing person who I hope see’s this review so they can know how much I enjoyed their gift. Thomas Was Alone is a brilliant game that manages to attach a heartfelt story to a bunch of coloured rectangles. It has beautiful music that serves it’s purpose despite not being very catchy, it has excellent visual presentation and some awesome British narration. The story is told through this awesome narration in a way that only bastion and morgan freeman can rival, the narration explores the thoughts of each character one by one and in doing so creates an attachment to these shapes. The game is very short though and I was able to 100% the same day I finished up Crash 2. Of course I have another niggle and that’s the ending chapters that feel a bit strange narrative wise, I do like the end but the sudden shift undid a lot of the immersion I had in the game. Anyway the gameplay itself is a fun little puzzle platformer  as you must guide each square to it’s own exit in order to complete the level. This requires switching between characters and exploiting many of their abilities. You’ll probably notice common platforming tropes and while this game doesn’t really do anything extraordinary for the genre it’s certainly an amazing experience and one well worth the price of admission.

Well that’s another blogg done, I hope you’ll leave some comments and if you didn’t enjoy this blogg please enjoy the picture bellow.