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Dragon Age Inquisition - PC
Dragon Age Inquisition - PC
Price: $39.99
54 used & new from $28.00

3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A return to form for the Dragon Age series but still failing to live up to the original, February 21, 2015
Inquisition is truly a great game. It does a wonderful job of answering questions from the previous entries and taking us down a whole new path. As always my reviews are split into 3 different categories. Story, Gameplay, and Characters with story getting the most weight.

Story: 10/10

Simply awesome. The story was a great, epic tail of saving the world from an ancient evil. The level of story telling, the twists, the everything was on par with the original's brilliance. DA2 suffered in the story because, while it was an interesting story and well written, it didn't live up to the scale and epicness of the first. This game does not suffer from that. You take on the role of the inquisitor, who has inexplicably gained the ability to open and close rifts into the fade. At the same time a full on civil war is breaking out between the mages and templars. You are tasked with bringing peace back to the world as well as closing all of these strange rifts that threaten to destroy the world. It took me about 110 hours to complete the game and do everything. The story telling does not suffer like an elder scrolls game where the focus is on gameplay and you lose a bit in the story. Truly a wonderful story here. And a great entry to the Dragon Age series.

Gameplay: 8/10

Bioware games usually have some great gameplay to them. And this was no different. But unfortunately, for all of the little things they added and changed that made the gameplay better, they did some really dumb things too that detracted from it. First the good. HOLY CRAP. 110 HOURS OF GAMEPLAY! Yes. The world is huge, the areas to explore are huge, and everything else about this huge. You aren't going to run out of things to do. Hundreds of side quests. Hundreds of caves and dark dank places to explore. I really like how inquisition tried to force your hand a bit into having a balanced party. There are places on maps that only rogues, or mages, or warriors can get into. I really like the way they brought back custom inventory for your whole party. And man the addition of crafting your own weapons and armor, and also improving them with better stuff as you pick it up was a flipping awesome addition. I absolutely loved the war table aspect. Sending your lieutenants on missions to collect things, solve problems in the land, or destroy a fortress was a brilliant addition. Now for the bad. For all of it's hugeness, I couldn't help but feel a huge portion of it was just filler. Picking up shards from around the continent to open a door for marginally good loot was filler. Many of the quests you pick up have no reward upon completion, or if they do, it's simply a little bit of power or a little bit of influence....which you will have a plethora of throughout the game. Some other small irritating things like not being able to pick something up when it should have been obtainable because your mouse couldn't find the appropriate area on the screen to trigger you were trying to pick it up. And oh my god they just need to take the whole jumping thing out. While jumping itself was fine but then putting things in places where you could spend an hour just trying to jump to a certain ledge to get a meaningless shard. The jumping aspect needs to be improved upon if it will remain in future entries. Unfortunately for PC players, the controls are rather clunky. No longer can you right click something in your environment and your character go over there and open it, or pick it up. You have to manually run to it and basically stand on it before you are given the option of picking it up. After about 10 hours or so you get used to it but the controls definitely took a backwards step from the other 2. You used to be able to tell your players to move to a certain spot in combat pretty easily. Now you have to scroll to tactical view, tell your party members to go to a certain spot, only to see your players run right back after they get there. Telling them to hold position doesn't help as if you do that they just sit there and do nothing for a bit. Bioware definitely needs to revisit some of this for the next installment.

Characters: 8/10

One of Bioware's strengths is their characters and character development. So any bioware game is going to have a great cast of characters. But this cast, in comparison to other bioware games, really didn't live up to expectations to me. First off, like most bioware games, you have a cast of party members who have their own sidequests that you can do once they trust you enough, love interests, and cameos from other characters in previous installments. Some characters were great. I thought Sera, Cassandra, and Blackwall were great entries. Cassandra and Blackwall especially had wonderful, deep, moving side stories that really rival any other personal quests in the entire DA series. Sera's was a bit disappointing but the character herself was hilarious and really a great entry. While some characters had amazing personal quests, like Blackwall, Cassandra, Varric, and Iron Bull, the rest had largely forgettable and boring sidequests. And unlike the other entries, you even had a few members that were basically so unimportant that if they had been left out entirely the game would have not missed them. Here's looking at you Cole. You have an awesome character that is half human half spirit and you basically make him so uninteresting you forget he's even there sometimes. Your lieutenants are great. Leliana, Cullen, Josephine, and another that I will not name because of spoilers were awesome additions to the game. This cast of characters would have been infinitely better if I could have brought along Leliana, Cullen, and the unnamed lieutenant instead of some of the others. I found myself more interested in my unplayable party members than some of the ones I could choose from. And lastly, as a heterosexual male, that enjoys playing as a heterosexual male, I was disappointed with my options this go around. I mean in DA:O you have the option of either Morrigan or Leliana. I romanced both in two different playthroughs and thought the relationship with Morrigan was probably the best written out of any video game relationship ever...even to this day. The second offered Merrill or Isabella. Two complete opposites that both in their own right were great partners in the relationship. This go around a hetero male has the option of Cassandra or Josephine. Cassandra is so rough around the edges it's quite off putting and the character model for Josephine is just...well..unattractive. Nevertheless...the characters in DA:I are great...but comparing them to other bioware games...just meh.

Overall: 9/10
Really this game's story just knocks it out of the park. The gameplay introduced a bunch of new things that really enhanced the gameplay of the first two games while introducing some things that detracted a bit. While the characters were a little disappointing from a Bioware perspective, they were still great characters and really well done in comparison to all other video games.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Playstation 3
Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Playstation 3
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $21.80
361 used & new from $2.98

3.0 out of 5 stars Great entry but the series is starting to show it's age, October 7, 2014
Uncharted 3 is another fun entry in the Nathan Drake story that in some ways delivers and some ways falls flat. As always my reviews are split into 3 categories: Story, Gameplay, and Characters

Story 7/10

The story is a typical Uncharted story. Putting pieces together to find out some great mystery. It's basically the same as the other uncharted stories. That's not neccessarily a bad thing but IMO, the story pales in comparison to Uncharted 2 which to me is the gem of the series. The game starts out with an awesome opening sequence where Drake and Sully show up to a hide out where someone is interested in buying Drake's ring. Drake and Sully use this opportunity to uncover a secret organization that needs the ring to unlock a great mystery. The story is similar in many ways to the other uncharteds but not quite as fantastic. Uncharted 2 was such a great and grand story that this one doesn't quite live up to it. The story does have a bit more heart and impact on the characters but we'll talk about that in the character section.

Gameplay 5/10

Ok. This is where this game really struggles. After 2 games with the exact same gameplay, Uncharted 3 really needed to refresh the idea. Don't get me wrong. Climbing cliffs and figuring out puzzles are fun and all, and some of the sequences were fantastic (like the chateau scene and the horse chase near the end) but really this gameplay has aged and quite poorly. In this day and age there is no excuse to have shooting elements as dated as these. There is no reason that when I'm aiming a gun at someone and they start to run they can fun faster than my cross hair. The game I played right before this was Tomb Raider. And the gameplay for that game was so much improved over this. These games are only 1-2 years apart in terms of release so there really shouldn't be any excuse for this type of antiquated limitation.

Uncharted 2 had one of the most fun battle sequences in video games when you were on the train running from the helicopter. Now there were some fun sequences but nothing that compared to that. The horse race and the entire chateau level was really fun so there are high marks to this gameplay. And if yo loved the gameplay in 1 and 2 then you will love it here. But overall it's just dated.

Characters: 8/10

They did their best work here. They really dove into the characters in this game. Lots of back story. Lots of character development. The relationship between Sully and Nate are really explored. They bring all the side characters from the other entries in as well and they are all superbly done.

Overall: 6.5/10

Not quite up to par with the 2nd but still a great and entertaining entry. But much like God of War, if the uncharted series has a future, it needs to have a revamped gameplay. Maybe the next entry on the PS4 will provide this.

Tomb Raider [Download]
Tomb Raider [Download]
Price: $19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars My first tomb raider, and a fun experience, October 6, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is the first Tomb Raider game I have ever played. Overall it was fun. Not really my kind of game but in the end still a quality and fun piece of entertainment. As always my reviews are split into 3 categories, story, gameplay, and characters.

Story: 7/10
The story is pretty basic. Good but basic. Really reminded me of an Uncharted storyline. Basically you are shipwrecked on a mystical island and come to find out there are other survivors. You end up going on a perilous mission to rescue your friends and escape the island. The story keeps you going. It is entertaining...but it does begin to drag on a bit. If you didn't explore and went straight through and only did story you could probably beat it in about 12-13 hours. It took me 16 because I wanted to do a bit extra. Really I think this should have been about a 10 hour game. And the story is quite predictable as well. Nonetheless, it was an adequate story that did keep you going through the game.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Like most shooters and survival games, the gameplay is really the star of the show. The shooting mechanics are fantastic in this game IMO. Climbing, jumping all the basics are superbly done. All of the survival minigames are done well as well. And the death are they dark. But well done. Finding the artifacts and diaries are also really fun and help unlock some of the mysteries of the island.

My issues with the gameplay are all very minor but they add up. First, besides a few little optional dungeons, there aren't really any sidequests that take you off the beaten paths to do some cool exploring. The optional puzzle dungeons are fun but the rewards were often not much more than a bunch of scrap. No cool weapons or artifacts...just more scrap.

Characters 7/10

First off, they did Lara extremely well. Nice backstory. Nice development. Really great. Roth was also a quality character. Unfortunately, the rest of the cast was little more than back drop and not really that interesting. Alex and Whitman were memorable due to the parts they played in the stories. But really what carries this is the great job Squeenix did with Lara Croft. After all, she is the one you are playing.

Overall: 8/10

Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII
Offered by NYC Electronics
Price: Click here to see our price
90 used & new from $14.99

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ends the series as well as anyone could have hoped., August 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Overall this game really did a great job wrapping up the story. It is kind of sad to see this series end. I know it got a lot of flack for some of the choices Squeenix went with this series but overall I thought it was a great one. Lightning Returns is probably the best of the series. It's close but I feel comfortable saying that. As always my reviews are split into 3 sections: story, gameplay, and characters with story getting the most weight.

Story: 9.5/10
So I have to say that overall the story of this game was potentially the best one of the 3. The first of the series had a great story as well but really this one really does do a great job. You play as lightning again, brought back by God to save the souls of the living 13 days before the end of the world. During those 13 days, you make your rounds around the world and lead your old friends to salvation. Now, I will talk about this more in the character section but they really did an outstanding job with the stories around the characters in this....well that is with the exception of Sazh. Like I said, the story does a nice job of having it's own main story to tell and wrapping up all the side stories of your characters. I do have to take a little off though because the story seemed so choppy. And that's probably because each area in the game has it's own "main story" and they don't really tie together that much until the very end. So the presentation can come off a little choppy and abrasive at times. And really..the sazh story...c'mon.

Gameplay: 8.5/10
Man the gameplay is just a mixed bag all the way around. Don't get me wrong it's still a great gameplay but the gameplay in XIII-2 was soo great that this one had a tough act to follow. First the good. I really enjoyed the way they brough the dress sphere/jobs system back. You play as your only party character for most of the game and have complete control over Lightning. She's a one man wrecking crew. The world is extremely well done. The wildlands specifically were just a thrill to explore. Once again they do a great job with the sidequests. Some were really fun and exciting and worth the time investment. Plus I really liked how they changed the entire experience/leveling up thing they normally do and now you get stat increases for the quests you complete. No grinding which is great. Now the bad: Let's start with the worst thing. THE FRIGGIN GAME CLOCK. Yes the game gives you ample time to complete everything but it doesn't matter because you have a clock over your head telling you you have to hurry all the time. It really was awful and took away from the overall greatness of the game. Some other minor things...the graphics took a noticeable step back in this game.

Characters: 9.25/10
This game really does have the best rendition of all the characters out of all 3 games. I absolutely hated Snow in both of the other 2 games. He was really a great character in this. I thought noel was pretty pointless in 2. Great side character in 3. The character development for all of the characters was just outstanding. The writers really did a great service to the characters in this game...EXCEPT for Sazh. He was relegated to a cranky old man that couldn't get past himself. After all of the great work the first game did making him an interesting character, the following games relegated him to mere fodder. They barely put him in the last scenes of the game. It really was a pity seeing him reduced to what he was. Alas

Overall 9.25/10
I rated XIII-2 the same exact overall score but I would give this one the nod simply because the story and characters were so much better. It's really hard for me to pick a favorite out of the 3 because each game had it's clear strengths and unfortunately it's clear faults. XIII's fault was it's gameplay, XIII-2's was the characters, and LR's was the gameplay. But in the end, LR had less glaring problems and higher positives I think. It's close. It's like picking a favorite bacon. They are all pretty darn good. Like I said I'm so sad to see this series go. It really was a well written story. But i am blown away with how well LR ended it. Just a wonderfully written ending.

The Last Story
The Last Story
Offered by goHastings
Price: $29.95
42 used & new from $27.86

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting game but just overall an average experience, June 16, 2014
This review is from: The Last Story (Video Game)
The Last Story is a fun game and a good game for the JRPG lover. However, there really isn't anything about it that stands out. As always my reviews will be split between story, gameplay, and characters with story having the most weight.

Story: 6/10

So the story is good enough to keep you interested but really that's about all you can say about it. It's a good story but nothing that is just going to blow your socks off. It really fealt like I was playing an old FF like FF 3 or 4 with updated graphics and gameplay. This is one area that I think the japanese writers have been surpassed by the western writers. The stories in JRPGs have just become lack luster and the Last Story is a perfect example of this. Don't get me wrong. The story was interesting and well written but overall just kind of bleh.

You play as a mercenary trying to make a life for himself and his friends until one day you meet a beautiful girl on the run from the soldiers. You find out that she isn't just any girl but (stop me if you've heard this a million times) a PRINCESS. Woah didn't see that coming did you? But she's being married off by her evil uncle the count. One day you receive a special power and only you can stop the coming destruction....yeah yeah it's been done before. And this game's story is well done...but how many times are we going to rescue the land and the princess people. It was nice how they added a little sci fi in the story (not spoiling anything) which spiced it up a bit. Thus the 6/10 and not a 5.

Another complaint is that the story is tooooo predictable. They pretty much slap you in the face over and over about who is going to be the surprise (if you can call it that) boss and who is behind all the evilness. I thought in this decade we had gotten past this kind of foreshadowing. Apparently not. Oh well. Like I said it's a story that was well written and still interesting enough to get you through but one that was overly predictable and one that has been done a million times over. With JRPGs that have great stories like Xenoblade and the FF13 series...there really is no excuse. 6/10

Gameplay: 8.5/10

Now here is the really charming part about this game. As unoriginal the story is the gameplay is not. A completely new system. Very much team and tactics oriented. Just a really fun system. The developers really came up with something fun that I have not seen before. You basically have two types of players, warriors and mages. And each play off each other to use different and unique tactics to win the fight. You can pause the game and issue commands based off of how much stamina you have. Mages can cast spells that leave a magic circle on the ground. Warriors can then use these circles to cast spells of their own like causing physical damage, healing the party, debuffing an enemy, or buffing the party. Each character learns a special skill. Warriors it's usually some sort of new attack, and mages it's a spell of some sort. Each player will also learn a "Limit Break" if you will that you have to build up spirit points to use.

There is a ton of loot. And loot upgrading. You can collect weapons and armor and upgrade them with money at first and then special materials you gain along the way. You are constantly updating your gear which is always fun to me. And as you upgrade you can visually see the differences in the armor/weapon which is a very nice touch. More RPG's should do this.

Now for the bad. CAMERA ANGLES...oh geez. Seriously? We are still having camera angle issues in video games these days. Nothing more infuriating than being in a big fight and not being able to turn the camera around. Sure there is a button that turns you around automatically...but when you do that and you still can't position the camera get's pretty maddening real quick.

The only other negative are the sidequests. There aren't that many really...but at least there are some (here's looking at you FF13). But really the sidequests are really ridiculous time sucks like "Go catch 3 frogs" or "I have hidden 10 coins in this city go look for them". And the sidequests give you little more than junk usually. Pretty much a waste of time. The arena was a nice touch but not enough to pull this part up. Overall though the gameplay is truly the best part of this game. 8.5/10

Characters 5.5/10

The characters are probably the worst part of this game, with a few shining exemptions. First the good.

Ok. Lowell and Syrenne are the best characters in this game by far. Maybe some of the best supporting characters I have played in quite some time. They have more personality than your general RPG side characters and more personality and human nature than the rest of your party. Truly funny and truly gems among rocks in the characters of this game

Now for the rest. They are once again, your generic 1990's RPG characters. The main character plays the stoic warrior with little to say. The damsel in distress plays the shy girl with not much to say. Then you have some supporting characters that have daddy issues and another that was raised in the forest but still..doesn't have much to say. Then one more that plays the stoic warrior again. The enemies offer little in personality as well.

Overall the characters are just dull. They belong in an old 1980's or 1990's JRPG. I like the thought of capturing the nostalgia of the old days but one thing about the old days is...well it's old and we are looking for something with the same charm but a little more interesting. 5.5/10

Overall 7/10

All in all this is an average game with some really fun and unique gameplay. If it wasn't for the gameplay it would be a solid 5 or 6 maybe. The story is interesting but completely unoriginal and predictable. The gameplay is truly fun and unique while the characters are just dull and usual except for a couple more interesting additions. Overall this game should be played by huge fans of JRPG's but will fail to interest those that are just casual fans. Without the lush history like a Final Fantasy or a huge adventure with a completely unique story like Xenoblade, The Last Story comes off as a quaint charming game that really just screams mediocrity.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 17, 2014 11:41 AM PDT

The Last of Us
The Last of Us
Price: $27.99
187 used & new from $16.44

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the better stories and character combinations in all of video games, March 5, 2014
This review is from: The Last of Us (Video Game)
The Last of Us is one of those games that I took a chance on. It's not normally in my wheelhouse of games I typically enjoy so it kind of went in with a strike already against it. Nonetheless, this game is unlike any game I have ever played. It grabs you from the start and simply refuses to let go. As always, this review will be split into three categories: Story, characters, and gameplay with story getting the most weight.

Story: 10/10

Simply, this story is just amazing. It's a story of a wounded man taking a young 14 year old girl across the country as a favor to a friend in a post-apocalyptic world that has been taken over by zombies. The man has some serious baggage and is simply not the best or easiest person to be around. But the girl endures and slowly their characters grow and change as they journey together.

This story is extremely well written. It plays like a big budget film almost. And that's not a bad thing. The writing in this story and the details are just superb. The prologue is one of the better beginnings of a game that I have ever experienced. Simply it's well written. You are in a post apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by a fungus that changes people into zombies. You play as and interact with characters that have lost everything. The game continually reminds you, this is not a pleasant place anymore. It sprinkles in light hearted moments where for a few minutes you start to laugh or start thinking everything is going to be ok then it harshly reminds you, NO this is a world that has fallen apart...and there is no happy ending. The ending ends well and really provokes feelings to the player that few video games can do.

Characters: 10/10

As well as the story is written, the characters are equally well done. Joel is a deeply damaged man that has had his entire world ripped from him. He has lived a life of surviving and has paid the toll since the outbreak. Ellie is a typical young 14 year old girl but instead has been raised in a society that is in chaos. Whether you are defending yourself from infected zombies or humans that have turned on other humans to survive, these characters live in a unique world. The writers did a great job of letting you get attached to these characters but then harshly reminding you that they are damaged and they have their flaws. As the journey proceeds, you watch as Joel grows from a harsh, deeply damaged man with a ton of baggage to a man who accepts his past as his past and tries to move on and do the right thing. Ellie goes from the typical 14 year old naive little girl to an adult in a 14 year old's body. The weaknesses of each character play off each other wonderfully. I simply have not seen character development or dialogue like this in any video game ever.

Gameplay: 8/10

If there is a weakness for me to this game it's the gameplay. But nonetheless, it is still a great gameplay. First the good. The detail in this gameplay is beyond spectacular. From upgrading your character with more health, or with less weapon sway, to collecting parts and upgrading your weapons. I thought overall the upgrading your character and weapons part of the game could have been better but just the fact that they included those elements really enriched the game. Probably the best part of the gameplay though was finding materials and crafting supplies like first aide kits and molotov cocktails. This really enriched the feeling that you are in a ravaged world and scraps of fabric can be the difference between life and death. The combat was also stellar. I loved the stealth feature that the game almost forced you to take in some areas. Sneaking around and shivving zombies in the neck and being able to take out an entire room full without being seen was awesome.

Now, I'm probably a little more critical of the gameplay for this type of game (combat/shooter/adventure) than I normally would be as this is really not the type of games I normally enjoy. So keep that in mind. There really wasn't anything HUGE about the gameplay that detracted but there were several little things. For instance like the upgrading you character's abilities and your weapons. Those features were great but I felt there should have been more to them. Learning new combat moves, being able to make attachments for your weapons are just some examples that could have really enriched this part of the game. The load times when booting this game up were horrendous. HORRENDOUS. I also thought it would have been a nice touch if they could have added a few choices into the gameplay and story. I know that they had a story to tell and I wouldn't want it to have alternate endings or anything, but I really thought it would have been a good idea to give Joel options from time to time in what to say to help the player make Joel a little more or less personable depending on how the player wanted him to be. And I guess my biggest complaint about the gameplay were the collectibles. They were a nice touch but really served little purpose. Some of the notes were interesting and even sparked some dialogue between Joel and Ellie which was a nice touch. But really, other than trophy completion, the collectibles served little purpose.

Overall 9.5/10

Overall, this game is just fantastic. The story and the characters are some of the best written in all of video games. The characters were human in the most basic sense of the term and the story was a stark reminder of what humanity can be in it's darkest hour. The gameplay could have been sharpened a bit but it's hardly enough to detract from the utter brilliance of this game. If you enjoy a good story, and good characters, then really there is no reason to not play this game.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Price: $16.29
138 used & new from $8.48

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly deep game that delivers on all fronts, January 26, 2014
I enjoyed this game thoroughly. On all fronts this game delivers and won't leave you disappointed. Whether you like JRPG's or not, it's hard to discount the beauty and charm of this game. As always my reviews are split into 3 areas with story usually getting the heavier weight.

Story: 9.5/10
The story is great and surprisingly deeper than you would expect for one that the main character is a little boy being followed around by a fairy. You are Oliver, a young everyday boy who lives in a small town called Motorville. One day when his mother unexpectedly dies, a doll his mother gave him springs to life and tells him he can bring her back but he needs to save another world. Oliver travels to this "other world" where cats are kings, cows are queens, and monsters are all over. It's a gripping journey where Oliver finds himself and creates friendships that help him on his way.

Really the story is very charming. It's straightforward and does a great job capturing the player and keeping the player's interest. It is a little on the kiddy side (but surprisingly the story is more mature than what you might expect). And the story is fairly straightforward. Thus the .5 deduction. I personally prefer a few good story twists and unexpecteds but the story was fairly straightforward. Nonetheless, this is a very minor complaint as the story is unique and charming that everyone should enjoy.

Characters 10/10
Here is the strength of this game. The characters are so developed and so well written that the player can't help but fall in love with the characters. Oliver is a boy that is mature for his age but is the eternal optimist. You may get a little fatigued with his optimism and positivity but really his character development is so deep that these things are easy to overlook. Esther, a girl that helps Oliver on his quest, is also developed well and really is a strong presence throughout the game. Her banter with Swaine (the third character of your crew) is great and feels really genuine. Swaine is hilarious and developed equally well as Oliver. The best character I feel though is Mr. Drippy. Just simply hilarious and keeps you rolling throughout the game. They knocked it out of the park with him. The secondary characters are really well written and you can really see Studio Ghibli in them. Really just an awesome cast.

Gameplay: 9/10
The gameplay is one of those areas that have awesome strengths but some glaring weaknesses. First the good.

You will never see a more beautiful game. The artwork in this game is just beyond amazing. The world map is a thing of beauty. The animated cutscenes seem like they came right out of Princess Mononoke or Spirited Away. I could go on and on about the visualizations but really I wouldn't do them justice. I for one loved the battles. I thought the way you can switch between three familiars, pick the familiars that you want in the parties for awesome customization, and really control the tactics of your party was beyond outstanding. The whole familiar system was great too. Very similar to pokemon. There are something like 300 different familiars that can be caught. Training them, evolving them, and tricking them out with sweets is just an awesome touch.

Now the bad. And it's not really terrible but it is rather distracting. THE AMOUNT OF TEXT IN THIS GAME. Oh wow was it bad. I am a fan of RPG's and i know there is a lot of text but this takes it to another level. Just for a simple sidequst you may scroll through what seems like pages of text. I almost wish they had put more cutscenes in this game just so you weren't reading everything all the time. I know this seems minor but with all the sidequests and story elements you have, you quickly get tired of reading the entire game. The other negative is some of the capture percentages of a lot of the familiars (monsters you use in your party). In short you have to beat them and then you get a random chance to allow them to join your party. Some of the familiars have a ridiculously low capture rate...almost to the point of being ridiculous. Some may have a 4% capture rate. They could easily make this more bearable by increasing the capture rate for a certain type of familiar each time you fail to capture it. Another thing that seems minor but when you have quests to capture specific familiars and the capture rates are absurd, you quickly find that this part of the game can get maddening rather quickly.

Overall 9.5/10
This game just delivers. I mean it has undeniable charm, wonderful characters, a gripping story, and some of the most beautiful visuals with a completely unique gameplay. It does have a few things that can get on your nerves in a major way and the story might not be the MOST imaginative thing in the world, but all in all every JRPG fan should play it and even if you don't like JRPG's this game is such a revolutionary game that you should give it a shot.

Mass Effect 3 - PC
Mass Effect 3 - PC
Offered by BLS Mart
Price: $12.33
54 used & new from $1.90

4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the series, November 15, 2013
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This review is from: Mass Effect 3 - PC (Video Game)
Overall I believe that this is the best of the Mass Effect Series. Now don't get me wrong, some of this game doesn't hold up to the ones that came before it, but the overall game proves to be the best of the series. As always my reviews are broken down into 3 categories with story getting the most weight

Story: 9/10
The story of this game is by far the strength of the game. This story has been building up for 3 games now and you finally get to finish it. With each game in this series the story kept improving. Commander Shepard gets his crew and finally takes it to the Reapers. As far as the endings go, yes even with the new endings Bioware put in, the endings does leave you wanting a bit but I think the uproar was vastly blown out of proportion. The endings ended it satisfactorily. Really the only negative to the story was indeed the ending. But with a story building up for so long as this one did, it would have been near impossible to meet the games standards.

Characters: 8/10
Some of these characters are some of the best in all of video gaming. Tali is beyond cute and hilarious and Wrex is beyond hysterical. I am glad that in the last two entries of this series, they made Shepard less robotic (he was terrible in the first). Ashley grew so much as a character through the series. The first game she was just filler, the little bit in the second she was ok...but man she was one of my favorite characters in this one. Liara was...well just Liara. Didn't really like the character after the first game. Garrus...simply awesome. I hate that Thane wasn't really in this one but I suppose we can't have our cake and eat it too. I guess the knock on this game as far as characters go is just that their relationship with Shepard just didn't seem as deep as they had in previous entries. In the second series, there was just SO much character development and relationship building but this one...not so much. Still good though

Gameplay: 6.5/10
This is easily the weakness of this game. I thought that the seconds gameplay was perfect really. The first was too detailed. Too much driving around on random planets...too much time wasted. This one they pretty much dumbed everything down. From choosing your characters based on what strengths they had for each mission to completely dumbing the mining process down. Don't get me wrong, the basic level ups and fighting maneuvers stayed the same..But I thought the second game had more to offer.

Overall a solid 8/10. This game is the best of the series. The gameplay and character relations don't quite hold up to the second game but it more than makes up for it with the story and the build up.

Far Cry 3 - PC
Far Cry 3 - PC
Offered by J&S GAMES
Price: $9.79
40 used & new from $3.49

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun and thrilling game but left me wanting more, September 9, 2013
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Far Cry 3 - PC (Video Game)
I enjoyed this game. For someone that prefers RPG's to any other style of game, this game was really fun. Nonetheless, beyond the pretty graphics and the fun gameplay, there wasn't a whole lot to keep you going. As always my reviews are split between story, gameplay, and characters.

Story: 6.5/10

Yeah the story is basically you and your friends are partying on an island when you are kidnapped by pirates. They kill your brother and you escape and are trying to rescue the rest. But other than that, there just isn't a lot there. Yeah there is some weird voodoo going on on the island but just not much there. Now, I fully understand this is a FPS. FPS games by and large do not have a great story as the focus is on the gameplay. That being said, the story was still pretty shallow. If this had been an RPG i would have given the story a 2 or a 3. Nonetheless the story was there and it was decent enough to carry you through the game. There are two endings and both endings are just kind of...well they end the story.

Gameplay: 8.5/10

Now the gameplay is the obvious strength of this game. The shooting mechanics are phenomenal. The stealth aspect of this game is probably the best of any game I have played. Simply phenomenal. The whole hunting aspect to improve your gear was simply wonderful. It was awesome. Sniping, flamethrowing, grenades, assault rifles, machetes, rocket launchers, BOW AND FRIGGIN ARROW, just simply awesome. The whole, taking over compounds and winning back parts of the island was simply awesome. 10/10 on all that. I wish you could periodically lose parts of the island, I think that would have been fun but there was enough there that it really didn't detract from it.

Unfortunately, there was some annoying things about the gameplay that just detracted from the overall experience. First the whole loot and exploring to find loot was largely pointless. The entire island was riddled with chests to find but every flipping one of them consisted of money ranging from 5-45 bucks and a item that could only be sold for 1-200 some ammo. No awesome armor, or cool weapons, or neat explosive bullets or something. Just money and an item that turns into money. They did have some neat items like finding special letters and artifacts but other than achievements and experience, those were rendered pointless as well.

As far as the sidequests and missions and such went it was a mixed bag. All of the missions were awesome. Hunting a pack of rabid wolves with a rocket launcher? AWESOME. Taking out a group of pirates and being forced to kill the leader with a knife and only a knife. also AWESOME. Taking over a compound with the extra challenge of not triggering any alarms and never being seen? FRIGGIN AWESOME. Racing to get medical supplies from point a to point b in a certain amount of time. Fun but not as awesome as the rest. Overall these missions were great. BUT those are the ONLY missions there are. Hunting for an animal, taking out a pack of pirates or baddies with a knife, delivering medical supplies, winning compounds. That's it. Sure there are a few random sidequests that don't exactly match those 4 quests sprinkled throughout the island. But most of them consist of little more than go fetch this, or go talk to this guy and come back.

Largely, the game consists of you opening up a sector of the island, winning the compounds, doing the quests associated with the compounds that are either hunting or taking out a pack of bad guys, do the medical supply drop then moving on to the next sector. That all being said, the quests themselves are really fun. But it would have been nice if there was a little more variety.

Characters 6/10

The characters are completely forgettable and really not even worth mentioning. Ragtag group of rich kids gets captured on an island and the one guy that actually seems like he could survive on the island gets killed in the beginning. You take over as that guy's brother Jason and go on to kill a crap ton of pirates and mercenaries while becoming a member of some weird tribe, while trying to rescue your friends. Jason goes from pansy to rambo over night. Didn't really buy that but it is what it is. The rest of your friends consist of rich boy, little brother, two chicks with little personality, and a pot head. There really isn't anything here. HOWEVER...the reason it didn't get a 1/10 is because of two characters. The first was Vaas. The first villain. This dude is legitimately insane and friggin hilarious. One of the better villains in video games. Very crazy, very intense, very funny. The second was Sam, your undercover assistant on the second island after Vaas. German guy who is just simply hilarious. Hardcore dude. But very entertaining.

Overall: 7/10

The game is worth playing but I don't think it deserves all the hype that it got when it came out. The strength of this game is easily the gameplay. It is phenomenal as far as game mechanics. However, there are plenty of little things about the gameplay that are just annoying and overall the play through gets repetitive after a while. With the expected shallow story, annoying tidbits of gameplay, and mostly forgettable characters, there is enough negative about the game that blemish it's overall awesomeness. There is an awesome game here that with a little polish and a little more depth could have been an amazing game. Nonetheless, this game is worth playing and is an enjoyable ride.

XenoBlade Chronicles
XenoBlade Chronicles
Offered by PNP Games
Price: $95.95
64 used & new from $82.50

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique world with a unique story that makes a wonderful game, July 1, 2013
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: XenoBlade Chronicles (Video Game)
Wow this game is just awesome. I haven't seen a story or setting like this in any game I have played. It was very long. Probably a little too long but every time I thought it was starting to drag on a little the story would kick into a new gear and I'd be completely interested all over again. As always my reviews rate the game on Story, Characters, and gameplay with more weight being given to the story.

Story: 10/10
This story is just wonderful. I mean it is completely unique. I mean, after all the story is about people living on the bodies of two titans. How cool is that? You play as Shulk, a young boy with a mysterious past who becomes the new heir of the "monado" a sword with seemingly infinite power. He begins to have visions seeing the future which guides him in his quest. Sharla, a girl Shulk cares for deeply, is killed by the mechon, robotic beings that live on the other titan called the mechonis, who have been at war for ages. Driven by revenge, Shulk sets out for revenge with the monado and discovers a world and it's history he simply can't believe. The story is just great and is really the best thing about the game. It keeps you guessing, there are constant twists, and it ends extremely well. Actually, one of the best endings ever.

Characters: 10/10
The characters are also really great. The story is clearly the strong suit of this game but the characters are right there with it. Each character is fleshed out really well. One of my biggest pet-peeves when it comes to gaming is when a video game doesn't give enough back story to the characters and thus you are not emotionally invested in them. Xenoblade goes above and beyond when making sure the characters are developed well. Some characters (Riki for example) don't have a lush back story to base their character on but overall these characters are great. (And admittedly, Riki's purpose is more of a comic relief character anyway) The main enemies are also fleshed out very well. Each enemy as a good back story and some of them you even become attached to.

Gameplay: 8/10
The gameplay for this game is in some cases amazing and in some cases very dry. However, overall the gameplay is still great but in comparison to the characters and story of the game, well it's obvious the weaker of the 3. First the bad. The fighting is very dry. You control one of your characters while you have 2 others in your party. Once you target an enemy, you activate auto-attack. your character then attacks at will and you can command him/her to perform special skills called "skill arts" which can range from a back slash for extra damage, heal the party, perform a combo, or buff your party/debuff the enemy as well as several other arts. Each character has unique arts assigned to each character. Shulk has the added skill set of the "Monado arts" which are special arts that can be performed using the monado. But after a while the fighting does become rather dry and does get rather old. There are added things that spice it up like chain attacks and different strategies with different parties but this is easily the weakest part of the game. And unfortunately, you do A LOT of this in the game. The sidequests are vast. There are over 750 sidequests in this game. Oh geez wow. Unfortunately though 95% are fetch quests or kill quests. Go kill this scary monster please. Go get 2 of these and 3 of these please. Some of the quests result in higher powers for shulk and the others but most are pretty simple. Now the good. The rest of the gameplay is just awesome. While the fighting itself is rather dry, there is another depth to the gameplay that you can seriously play around with forever. You can raise the affinity between your characters and so depending on how much each character likes the other, they can learn attributes of the other characters. Also, the higher affinity a party has, the better they will perform in combat. LOOT geez man you get a lot of loot in this game. You are constantly picking up new weapons and armor and crystals. Your characters are extremely customizable and you can constantly upgrade their armor and weapons (other than shulk, who pretty much is locked in on the monado). You collect crystals that can be formed into gems that can attach to armor and weapons for added affects like boosting one's strength or HP or adding defense to a certain type of debuff. And while the fighting is rather simple, there is so much you can add to it and it really can become a strategy game.

Overall: 9.75/10

In the end, Xenoblade Chronicles is just an amazing game. It took me 95 hours to beat the game which is about average for someone who plays the main quest and does a bit of sidequesting. You can run through the story and only do the story in probably about 70 hours or you can seriously play this game upwards of 300 hours. yes it's expensive and yes it's hard to find. My suggestion is go find a gamestop that has some in stock. And if you have to buy one off ebay, think of it this way. You are dropping 100 bucks on a game but you are going to get 100 hours of entertainment out of it. If you bought a game like god of war 3 or something like that, you paid 60 bucks for about 15 hours of entertainment. It's worth the money if you enjoy JRPG's. If you enjoy JRPG's then do yourself a favor and invest in this game.

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