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Pangya: Fantasy Golf - Sony PSP
Pangya: Fantasy Golf - Sony PSP
Offered by G Dreamer
Price: $1.00
59 used & new from $1.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's single player PangYa ... what more do you want?, August 7, 2009
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
Having played the PC MMO version since Season 2, I had always wanted to get a version that allowed me to just go through the game without needing anyone to play with. It's been one of the biggest problems with the PC version -- that you can't really go through tournaments or versus mode just by yourself because there is no support for any kind of true single-player mode. If you aren't with your usual group or with friends, the MMO version is harder to jump into and have fun with. Now PSP owners have Fantasy Golf PangYa to satisfy their single player needs, although it's a complete flipside of it's MMO cousin.

The game features nine of PangYa's many courses: the three Winds (Pink Wind, Sepia Wind, and Wind Hill), the three Wizs (West Wiz, White Wiz, and Wiz Wiz), the first two Blue courses (Blue Lagoon and Blue Water), and Dark Inferno. While lacking some of PangYa's most unique and fun courses in the mix, the selections make more sense when you actually play through Story Mode. Also, getting a game with 162 holes is a pretty nice deal, as each course hole presents a nice challenge.

One of the best features, especially for fans of the MMO, is the added player characters. In addition to the players from PangYa Season 3, the caddies from the MMO now get into the game as actual player characters. All new player characters have been added as well, but I won't spoil who they are -- you have to find out for yourself.

With 18 characters and 9 courses, you can tell that there's a lot of gameplay in here already, but mix in the various game modes such as Story Mode and the Tournaments (with their Qualifying Games), and you have a pretty enjoyable and nearly endless amount of gameplay opprotunities. The controls are nicely laid out and work well with the game, especially the trick shot system. After spending some time with the PSP version, the PC MMO's trick shots feel clunky in comparison. Other than that, the game is identical to the MMO version.

Graphically, one of the best features is impressive 2D cut scene artwork that compliments the game very well. To go along with the 2D art is slightly upgraded character models, with Scout being the most notably changed of the groups. The courses look like they were completely lifted out of the MMO version and look identical to their counterparts.

So, with all of this praise, what problems could there be? The biggest problem of them all for a game of this type -- no hotseat gameplay of any kind. This disappointed me greatly, as the only method of multiplay on this version is Ad Hoc mode over networked PSPs with the game loaded. That's it -- no server mode, no passing-around-the-PSP mode, just hosted networking mode. Remember, I mentioned above that this game was the flipside of its MMO cousin, and it's very much true. This game would have been perfect if only it had hotseat gameplay.

Otherwise, this is a must-buy app for your PSP. It's a tried-and-true golf sim unlike any other with a great story mode, lots of characters to unlock and play as, and excellent replay value through Tournament and Match modes.

Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life Special Edition - PlayStation 2
Harvest Moon A Wonderful Life Special Edition - PlayStation 2
Offered by GamerBacon
Price: $40.00
39 used & new from $14.71

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A GameCube RPG comes to the Playstation 2, January 1, 2006
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
Like others, being a Harvest Moon fan, I couldn't resist buying a copy of this Special Edition version and playing it. My main reason for buying it was that I was curious to the new features -- what parts of the GameCube games (A Wonderful Life and Another Wonderful Life) made it and what didn't.

After some time with it, I can say that while a number of things have been incorporated and improved from the GameCube version of A Wonderful Life, there were other things that are disappointing -- but, at least it's much better than Natsume's Harvest Moon: Save the Homeland.

Being a PS2 owner, I was rather disappointed in Save the Homeland. The game was very linear and time-oriented, not even offering enough of the open-endedness of the preceding Playstation game, Back To Nature (which has since been revamped into the Gameboy Advance game Friends of Mineral Town). If I only owned a PS2, I probably would be ecstatic to see this game and not really worry about the slowdowns and loading times -- I'd be more used to it.

The Special Edition, in comparison to the GameCube games, incorporates many elements from both. The Dog Training mode from Another Wonderful Life makes it into this game, although the useful mirror accessory does not. The minigames and other enhancements of Another Wonderful Life seem to be missing, which is too bad since Another Wonderful Life's additions were a great tweak of the original game's system in a good way.

The best reason for Harvest Moon fans to get this game is to finally get a chance at marrying the bride that wasn't, Lumina. She acted a lot like a potential bride, even saying that "if I were older, I'd probably marry you". Well, now you can get the chance, as she is now made the appropriate age for you to court her properly. Lumina was my favorite AWL character, so it is a very nice change they brought into the game.

Another standout in this game is the wonderful CD-quality music that has been added. I've never heard a better Harvest Moon version, with wonderful orchestral music throughout. The sound itself remains the same as the GC version - no surprises there.

For all the improvements, there were a few disappointments.

One of the worst problems noted was constant slowdown, especially around 5pm when there are around 5-7 characters walking through the intersections at one time. Without anyone around, though, your character still moves like he's jogging through town and not rushing through as in the GameCube version. Picking up items and ploping them into your backpack is also slow. Whether this is a coding issue or just the speed optimization differences bettwen PS2 and GameCube, Natsume should have spent a bit more time streamlining the code.

The loading times were the second thing I've become annoyed with .. but, as I mentioned before, I have played the GameCube versions and was used to speedy load times. Loading time was always the one thing GameCube had over PS2, so the slow loading times were sad to see but definitely expected.

In summary, while not perfect, this is out of the three the best Playstation Harvest Moon game. There is a lot to see, a lot to do, and many people to talk with. Other than the timing issues, the game did not have many other serious problems. My only observation is that they should have worked to put in some of the elements of Another Wonderful Life that enhanced the gameplay.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 29, 2007 1:13 PM PDT

RPG Maker 3 - PlayStation 2
RPG Maker 3 - PlayStation 2
Offered by Video Games Galore
Price: $52.99
35 used & new from $7.25

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Currently the best of the RPG Maker series., September 27, 2005
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
If you have never seen or heard of RPG Maker before, it's not surprising. The line is much more well-known on the PC platform, where the software continues to be accessible and feature-filled. The previous two Playstation versions, on the other hand, have been limited by the size of the memory card and suffering from simplistic graphics and clunky interfaces.

Now we have RPG Maker 3, and you can finally say it is the definitive version of RPG Maker, and a must-have for anyone who wants to make a compelling PS2 RPG.

The first notable change will be the game engine itself. Gone are the "toonish" 3D sprites that were in RPG Maker 2, replaced by a much more "serious"-looking mapping engine and object model renderer. Building very large worlds is now possible, with a lot of options to choose from. The map painter is smooth to use with the analog thumb controller, but a USB Mouse might be an even better tool for mapping with. The amount of detail in this game that can be added is impressive, as you can go from massive world-building to nice-sized towns and castles, and even design all of the interiors of those towns and castles. Making environments just couldn't be easier.

The storytelling engine is pretty basic, but you won't mind it. Like everything else, it is very easy to set up backgrounds for your story sequence, and there are a lot of options that can be used -- background environments or pictures, spinning objects, and character portraits that can be silhouetted. If you are serious about crafting long-texted stories, however, it's best to use a USB Keyboard -- thumbing in text can be time-consuming, but comparatively it's still the best text entry interface of the three.

The best part of the creation process is definitely the character creation parts. You can create characters with a lot of depth to them, or not. PCs, NPCs, Monsters ... it's all here, and it's all extremely easy to use. Finding game balance will take a while to learn, but the samples (and sample game) available on the disc will really help out in this.

So, when all of this is put together, can you make a game with the same quality as popular RPGs like Final Fantasy X? Well, that's where you have to step outside the editor and become a player. After spending some time with it, the game engine itself is pretty good. The environments can be astoundingly large to traverse, the character models are well drawn, and the objects are nicely textured. The battle interface, on the other hand, is good but reminded me too much of the battle interface of Final Fantasy 1 more than Final Fantasy X. It's very simplistic, but still leagues above the previous titles' battle engines.

Even though Enterbrain's latest RPG Maker version (RPG Maker XP for the PC) has many flexible features, it is RPG Maker 3 for Playstation 2 that will eventually win the mass market over and usher in a new age of RPG Maker. After giving RPG Maker 3 nice polish and a more "serious" RPG look, I can't wait to see what Enterbrain's PS3 RPG Maker will look like.

Harvest Moon Another Wonderful Life - Gamecube
Harvest Moon Another Wonderful Life - Gamecube
Offered by DealTavern
Price: $49.98
41 used & new from $16.94

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth buying if you are a Harvest Moon fan, August 22, 2005
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
One of my favorite experiences with a Harvest Moon game was with Harvest Moon 3 for the Gameboy. On that game, you could choose to be a boy or girl, and have a choice of animal (cat or dog). Since that game, though, Natsume split the girl and boy stories into two separate games for future releases -- a disappointing turn, since it's nice to have the option to play both genders.

So, the question on most people's minds would be, "What would make me buy this game for $30 and not A Wonderful Life for $20?" (or, "Why should I buy this when I already have A Wonderful Life?")

Put simply, this isn't just "A Wonderful Life with a girl", like others will tell you -- it's an all new A Wonderful Life (which could be called "version 1.5") with all kinds of neat updates and changes from A Wonderful Life:

- First, you get a chance to play a girl, which was never really done outside of Japan since the aforementioned Harvest Moon 3. The storyline, while on the whole the same, really does change quite a bit to match your new gender (since females wouldn't treat you like the same character as in A Wonderful Life). The beginning, especially, changes for the girl character -- instead of being "given the farm" like the boy character was, the girl was bored with the hectic life in the city and decided to move out to the country (Friends of Mineral Town and More Friends of Mineral Town also have these beginnings).

- In A Wonderful Life, you have three options when viewing the diary: "Sleep", "Diary", and "Status Book". In Another Wonderful Life, this menu has been reworded and expanded into a much better diary menu:

- "Save": works just like "Diary" did

- "Sleep": same as before

- "Assets": This is NOT the same Status Book as before. While you still have some of the same options, there are all-new lists to look at that really help plan your farm even more (such as Diary and Produce Income and Item Lists)

- "Look in the Mirror": A new item that apparently works just like the mirror you can buy in Friends of Mineral Town. The mirror allows you to see your personal status -- the more tired you get, the more your character will mention it and the more tired she will look in the mirror.

- A brand new feature of this game is the addition of training your dog, and this is one of the best updates to the original game. In A Wonderful Life, all you could really do with your dog was pick him up and carry him around to show your affection -- not very exciting. Now you can train your dog to Give Paw, Turn Around, Jump, and Stand Up.

- You must now buy and use Vesta's fertilizer on your grass field to make it grow.

- A subtle change to the game is slightly sharper and smaller graphics, and smaller, slimmer text.

- New minigame challenges have been added: Teritory Capture and Milk Drinking. (These I picked up from the Assets screen, and haven't yet had a chance to play. There might also be more minigames, too...)

Overall, while the goals are pretty much the same as before, there is so much that is new here that Harvest Moon fans should not hesitate to buy it. Forget-Me-Not Valley is one of the best environments to come along in the Harvest Moon universe since Mineral Town, and now there are all kinds of new challenges and features that make it worth going back to for another farming adventure.

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