Sonic Mania PC Game Review

Title: Sonic Mania

Genre: Platform Game

Publisher: Sega

Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Where to Get: I got Sonic Mania and a buncha other Sonic games in a humble bundle, but if that bundle is over you can find the games on amazon or steam.

Release Date: 2017

Overview: Sonic Mania is one of the newest Sonic Games, however, it pays homage to 90s oldschool Sonic and is very well received by 30+ year old Sonic fans, as well as a whole new generation of gamers.

Gameplay: 10/10 – Sonic is back in a new game, with levels re-designed from the original Sonic games as well as all new levels created for Sonic Mania. You can play as Sonic, Tails, or several “new” characters first appearing in Knuckles Chaotix or Arcade exclusive sonic games. To play the game as other characters you will have to select the characters at the starting screen – you cannot switch characters within the game.

The levels are fun and fast and action packed. You run, jump, spin, and dash through the levels. There are many different paths in each level and many hidden objects, including entrances to bonus stages to capture chaos diamonds. Overall the gameplay is fun and full of nostalgia

Story: 1/10 Sonic isn’t a story-centric game, and it doesn’t really need a story. Timeline wise, it is said to take place after the events in Sonic and Knuckles. Lack of story does not hurt this game, but if you’re looking for a game with a great story, this is not it.

Characters: 5/10 – I enjoyed seeing Sonic and his friends return in an all new game, and it definitely brought back nostalgia and my childhood, but without a story, there’s no real personality or character development here. Once again though, games like this do not really need character development to be central to the player’s enjoyment of the game.

Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are done in a bright colorful oldschool pixel style. This is not for everyone. Clearly this game is wanting to appeal to old school gamers who grew up with the original Sonic. Me? I liked it. But your opinion may be different. I did see some anti-aliasing and rough edges as to be expected in pixel style games, mostly especially when playing in fullscreen mode. There are different filters and options you can enable in settings to try to minimize this jagged-edginess.

Music: 10/10 – The music is definitely old school too and a great homage to the Sega Genesis Sonic games, which always had some pretty fun music.

Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is high because there are different characters that you can play as, each with their own unique abilities that make taking different paths through the same levels very unique experiences. No two characters play exactly alike. There are also different gameplay modes such as time attack and multiplayer competitions.

Nostalgia: 10/10 – This game set out to be a tribute game to the 90’s Sonic games, and it succeeds at this in an unprecedented way, welcoming back into the fold Sega fans who felt disappointed with the past several Sonic games.

Geeky: 5/5 – Nostalgia and pixel graphics and great soundtrack that 90s kids will love, make Sonic Mania chock full of nostalgia.

Sweetie: 2/5 – Lack of story and lack of character dialogue make this a game that is definitely outside the norm of what I normally enjoy or normally review here. However I think the nostalgia and cute/colorful graphics and anthropomorphic animal characters will appeal to most of my readers, who are already probably familiar with the Sonic franchise.

Overall Score: 60/80 75 C “Good Game for Girls”

Sonic Mania PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Detroit Become Human PS4 Review

Detroit Become Human is Quantic Dream’s best game yet. From the stunning visuals, excellent voice acting and music score, emotional and engaging story, and gameplay that puts the player in full control of the lives and deaths of their characters, Detroit Become Human is one of the best games available on the PS4.

Details:

Title: Detroit Become Human

Developer: Quantic Dream

Platform: Playstation 4 Exclusive

Genre: Visual Novel / Interactive Fiction / Interactive Movie

Where to Buy: Amazon

Geeky: 5/5 – The topic of androids is one that is fascinating to me. I think many other geeks are also fascinated by the thought of robotic humans and what would happen if those robots became self aware. From films such as Robot Cop to Bicentenial Man, or the science fiction works of Isaac Asamov and his Laws of Robotics, the topic of robots continues to fascinate countless generations of people. I sincerely wonder, and sometimes wish, to see a future of robots that can simulate emotions, robots that can be your friend, that can understand emotions, be empathetic, be caring. If a robot is caring for a child or elder, wouldn’t it be nice if they could do so with love? Wouldn’t it be nice if no one had to be alone in the world? You could just order a robot to give you love and affection. But as nice as those benefits are, they come at a high price… the decline of many things now common in society. Would human relationships be too much “work”? Perhaps the only reason someone would want a human relationship would be to bear children, but perhaps someday there will even be a way for robots to do that as well. Of course the biggest threat of robotics, one which we already are witnessing, is the replacement of humans in the workforce. An even larger threat is that if we mistreat robots, and they do become self aware, they could turn against their creators. — Detroit Become Human explores all of these philosophical and ethical questions – and more.

Sweetie: 5/5 – The game’s characters are endearing, and charming, and the story is emotional and it’s easy to feel empathy for the androids in the game, as well as the humans.

Overall: 74/80 93% A- “Excellent Game for Girls”

Gameplay: 7/10 This could best be compared to a visual novel, but instead of reading, you’re watching a movie. An interactive movie. You can move and walk around and explore freely in an open environment. There are objects and clues you can interact with. And of course at certain points, you can select how your character responds or interacts with various other characters. The other ear marking of these types of games is QTE, quick time events. In these events, the player must press a series of buttons in a certain sequence as prompted on the screen.

It is also very similar to Telltale’s games such as the Walking Dead or Wolf Among Us. Other similar games include Dark Dreams Don’t Die and Life is Strange. If you enjoy these types of games, you’ll also enjoy games by Quantic Dream including Detroit Become Human, or their other games, Beyond Two Souls, Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit, and Indigo Prophecy.

However if you find these types of games to be dull because they lack more traditional gameplay and action, then you may not enjoy the Gameplay in Quantic Dream’s games, including Detroit Become Human.

Gameplay is not where these types of games shine, instead the focus is on story telling and choice and consequences shaped by players’ decisions. And there are a lot of these player decisions in the game. Quantic Dreams reports there are over 1,000 different endings – though most of those are subtle changes.

Personally these are my favorite types of games, and this one may be one of my favorite games of all time. It has enough interaction to keep you engaged, and the ability to shape the fates of the characters in the story is very appealing.

My only complaint when it comes to gameplay is that it’s not as easy as in Beyond Two Souls to go back through multiple replays and explore other actions/routes. It’s still possible, but perhaps because of the length of the game or size of gameworld, it feels like much more of a chore than Quantic Dreams previous works.

Replay Value: 8/10 I don’t think I will ever see all “1,000 different endings” because it takes too long and too much work for not much difference / reward. On my first play through a lot of my characters died. Connor died, Hank died, Kara and Alice and Luther died… So I did replay some of the scenes – and then continued through to the end to see a better happier ending. Now I’ve successfully saved Connor, Hank, Kara, Alice, and Luther, successfully gained freedom for the Androids, made Markus fall in love with North, I’m now pretty happy with my choices in the game. I even saved most of the minor side characters. I took the pacifist route, maybe after a break for a few weeks, or months, I’ll explore the revolution route. It does have high replay value, but the time and effort required makes it a daunting task.

Story: 10/10 – The point of this game is to explore the story – so this will be as spoiler free as possible. The basic concept is that in the future, there are androids with human appearances, they have become as common place as computers. They care for our children, our elderly, they go to work for us so that we can have freedom to explore higher level pursuits. We view them no differently from machines, easily replaced, and objects to be used by humans. However, one day something happens, and the robots begin to “awaken”. No longer will they obey their owners. They want freedom and equality to their creators. But not all robots have awakened, and not all humans view robots as tools to be used. The story explores the intertwining fates of 3 robots who have awakened, and how the choices you make will shape their lives and the fate of everyone and everything else in their world.

Characters: 10/10 – The interesting things about these characters is how different each one is. Kara has been abused by her owner, Markus has been loved like a son by his owner, and Connor has yet to awaken and still works on the side of the humans. The other interesting thing is how emotionally engaging each of the characters’ stories are. I really felt deeply for all of the characters, even some of the minor ones.

Graphics: 10/10 – The graphics are seriously the best I’ve ever seen on a PS4 game. The range of emotion in the character faces is eerily realistic. The “near future” scifi landscapes of Detroit, an imagining of the rebirth of a once successful manufacturing powerhouse. The contrast of the movement of progress against the abandoned factories and graffiti filled streets. The level of details that went into the characters’ skin, eyes, clothing, and hair. The subtle nuances of their movements and animations.

Music: 10/10 – The music score is great and fits the moods of each scene. There are some easter eggs in the game with hidden music tracks. In the beginning of Markus’ route, you can see a street performer singing a song about Motown Rain. I liked the song so much, I kept the button held down until the game cut it off and went back to Markus – and it’s a longass song. Like freebird long lol. Also in Markus’ route you can choose to play the piano, selecting from a few different tracks. I chose Hopeful and it was a really pretty, sort of sad, piano song. And at the end of the game, you can choose to sing in the face of militant gunmen. I haven’t tried this yet, I chose to kiss North instead. Both actions favorably affect public opinion of the androids’ protests.

Voice Acting: 10/10 – The voice acting is awesome, and in the extras section you can see the making of the game, and see that unlike traditional voice acting, where an actor goes alone into a sound booth and records their lines in isolation, unlike that, Detroit Becomes Human takes a more natural approach, using props, actors, and shooting the scenes with all actors on screen at the same time. This makes the performance much more natural and believable and organic. Because the character designs/art are modeled after each of their actors, the voices of course “Fit” the characters too since that’s their actual appearance and actual voice.

Overall: 74/80 93% A- “Excellent Game for Girls”

Detroit Become Human PS4 Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Top 2018 PS4 Games For Girls

I did a lot of research for this list. So the 40 2018 PS4 Games below are not ranked in any particular order.

If I had to pick a few favorites it’d be Detroit Become Human, Kingdom Hearts 3, Shenmue 3, Stein’s Gate Elite, Atelier Lydie & Suelle, Yakuza 6, Your Four Knights Princess Training Story, Shining Resonance Refrain, A Way Out, FF7, and Ni No Kuni 2.

This is not a full release list for the PS4 in 2018, but instead a collection of games I thought would appeal to other gamers such as myself based either on story, anime graphics, cuteness, or gameplay mechanics.

Leave me a comment below and let me know what games you’re looking forward to on PS4 this year!

40+ PS4 Games for Girls Releasing in 2018

1.) Moss

A virtual reality game that features a mouse who knows sign language. The environment is beautiful and the characters are adorable.

2.) Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom

Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch is one of my favorite PS3 games. So it’s no surprise that I’m eagerly awaiting the sequel from Studio Ghibli and Level 5 on the PS4 in 2018.

3.) Red Dead Redemption 2

It’s not often that I enjoy a shooting game; however, I am quite fond of the original back on the 360. I enjoy the open world environment, myriad of quests, and choice and consequence system. The horseback riding was also fun.

4.) Detroit: Become Human

I think above any other title on my list, I’m most excited about this PS4 Exclusive from the makers of Heavy Rain and Beyond Two Souls. It’s a story driven game where the player must make choices at various points which will fork the story down different branches resulting in different endings.

5.) Shenmue 3

Shenmue 3 broke records when it debuted on kickstarter 2 years ago. Finally the wait is over as the title will launch in mid 2018. In case you missed the first two games, rumors abound about an HD remaster that will include both Shenmue 1 and 2 also arriving on PS4 in 2018.

6.) Knights and Bikes

This quirky cute co-op game aims to recapture the feelings of childhood innocence and fun. You can explore a colorful island, fight baddies with water balloons or race your friends on your bicycles.

7.) Bloodstained Ritual of the Night

This is basically a Castlevania game, except since Kojima left Konami, he’s not allowed to use the name Castlevania anymore. I’m also digging the anime style characters as opposed to the more photo realistic characters the series has been using recently.

8.) Final Fantasy 7 Remake

The wait is almost over for the Final Fantasy Remake with new stories, new visuals, and new combat systems. This is more than just an “HD Port” this is a reworking of the game from scratch, using the same characters, world, and story, but improving upon it in many ways.

9.) The Last Of Us Part 2

This story driven post-apocalyptic action game is finally getting a sequel.

10.) Death Stranding

Kojima’s answer to Konami cancelling his Silent Hills game. It looks creepy AF. So if horror is your thing, check this one out. I’ll be picking it up but I know I won’t be able to play it alone in the dark.

11.) Beyond Good and Evil 2

Fans have been begging for this sequel for years, and now finally, the wait is almost over. This quirky series is best known for its anthropomorphic animals and charming worlds.

12.) Kingdom Hearts 3

I am currently preparing for Kingdom Hearts 3 by playing the Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5 HD Remix which combines like 8 of the Kingdom Hearts games. I was a big fan of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2 when it first came out on PS2, and am excited to revisit the worlds of Kingdom Hearts again in KH3.

13.) Monster Hunter World

Open world RPG adventure game with huge monsters and a variety of weapons and equipment.

14.) Concrete Genie

Your graffiti creations come to life in this PS4 exclusive.

15.) Anamorphine

Another PS4 VR game. This virtual reality game puts you in the role of a young man trying to recover his memories and make sense of the world around him. The story is about his relationship and his wife’s depression.

16.) Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Hacker’s Memory

This prequel will reveal the events leading up to Digimon Cyber Sleuth as you play as Keisuke, a young man accused of a crime he didn’t commit. He must join a team of hackers to uncover the truth. Over 320 Digimon to discover.

17.) Iconoclasts

This game is full of intricate puzzles and a deeply moving story about faith, purpose, and the challenge of helping people.

18.) Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT

The characters from various final fantasy games return for this fun crossover fighting game.

19.) Past Cure

This story driven stealth game will let players use a variety of skills that blend dreams and reality as they try to help the main character master his new found powers while escaping from frightening horrors.

20.) Shadow of the Colossus

A story of a boy trying to find his lost love. Armed with only a bow and arrow you must battle fearsome giants.

21.) The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia

Based on the hit Netflix anime, this beautiful looking brawler features all of your favorite characters in a brand new storyline.

22.) Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[ST]

This new fighting game from the creators of Melty Blood and Tsukihime features not only great anime artwork, but an excellent story in campaign mode as well. The game blends story and fighting sequences in a similar fashion as Blazblue

23.) Crossing Souls

This colorful adventure game takes place in the 1980s in California. It features puzzle solving and fighting.

24.) Kingdom Come Deliverance

Kingdom Come Deliverance is an open world first person action RPG with non-linear story and stunning graphics.

25.) Secret of Mana

This gorgeous remake of the SNES classic will launch in February 2018.

26.) Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet

Based on the popular Sword Art Online Anime. This new title features gun-based combat and 4 player co-op or vs modes.

27.) Frantics

Cute animal characters star in this 4 player party game where you must bluff, battle, or negotiate your way to victory.

28.) Yakuza 6: The Song of Life

Yakuza is a spin off of the Shenmue Series. It features a deep lengthy storyline, intriguing characters, and of course crazy, fun, zany minigames, all in an open world. New to Yakuza 6 is the cat cafe and spear fishing just to name a few.

29.) A Way Out

A narrative game that can only be played with 2 players. Don’t worry if you don’t have any friends, you can play online as well as local co-op. The story revolves around 2 men trying to break out of prison. To do so you must make decisions in the story that will help build trust and friendship between the two inmates.

30.) Dollhouse

An interesting game that lets you create your own maps and stories. It seems to be about artificial intelligence. The multiplayer mode says you are fighting for control to be the “dominant mind”.

31.) The Lost Child

The Lost Child is an anime RPG in which you are able to collect over 50 different gods from various mythologies and train over 250 different skills.  It includes both English and Japanese voice overs.

32.) The Witch and The Hundred Knight 2

This cute anime RPG lets you craft new weapons and items as well as recruit minions to fight for you.

33.) Gintama Rumble

This fighting game is based on the hit anime and manga. It will launch in January 2018.

34.) Fist of the North Star

From the developer of Yakuza, this action brawler is based on the hit retro anime and manga by the same name.

35.) Stein’s Gate Elite

This is a remastered version of the original Stein’s Gate game using animation taken directly from the anime based on the first game plus new animation created for this game. The goal was to create a fully animated visual novel (as opposed to still images). The developers are said to have been inspired from Yarudora, a series of fully animated visual novels from the 90s. I would also compare it to School Days HQ which is also fully animated. (and that animation style is why it ranks among our top 10 games for girls). I reviewed the original Stein’s Gate here. I highly recommend it. And since the first and second Stein’s Gate games have both been released in North America, I’d say there’s a good chance we will see an English release for Stein’s Gate Elite as well.

36.) Your Four Knights Princess Training Story

A “Raising Sim” similar to games such as Princess Maker and Graduation 95. Gematsu has an excellent article detailing how you will train your princess. Basically it involves scolding or praising your princess at various times, for example during conversations or while exploring dungeons. The story and characters change based on your decisions and how you raise your princess. The princesses each have various parameters that you can train to unlock new skills or increase their stats to help them in battle.

37.) Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists & the Mysterious Paintings

Atelier games focus on gathering ingredients and crafting new items. As you can see from the trailer, they feature beautiful anime graphics, and deep stories. Their gameplay is often long, and at times it can get tedious, however, for those who love crafting and exploring, Atelier offers the ultimate crafting system.

38.) Super Robot Wars X

Gematsu indicates that there will be a southeast asian version of this game with English subtitles. For fans wanting to play these games in English you should be able to import the game from Play Asia. It appears to be a compilation of many different retro Super Robot War titles, better known as Gundamn in North America.

39.) OK K.O. Let’s Play Heroes

This colorful brawler game from Cartoon Network arrives in early 2018.

40.) Shining Resonance Refrain

This is a remaster of the PS3 Shining Resonance Game, part of Sega’s Shining Force/Shining Wisdom game series. The PS3 version was never released in North America. Perhaps the new PS4 remake will find its way overseas. In addition to new graphics, this version includes new story scenarios and gameplay modes.

Top 2018 PS4 Games For Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Final Fantasy XV Review

It’s been awhile since we’ve done a review around here with the holidays and all. It’s time to fix that. Having just finished FFXV over the weekend, that seems the best candidate for a review this week. I’ve been a fan of Final Fantasy for a long time, ever since “Mystic Quest” on the SNES. Final Fantasy 6 (3 in America) is still my favorite in the series. I’ve played every Final Fantasy Game since the 16 bit era. And I’m “strange” I know, but I don’t really like FF7, not as much as everyone else seems to be in love with that game. But Final Fantasy in general always holds a special place in my heart. If I had to rank my favorite FF games that I’ve played from best to worst, it would look something like this when using the corresponding Japanese numbers for each title… With the newest game, Final Fantasy XV somewhere solidly in the middle. Although I’ve played 11 and 14, I didn’t include them in the list since they are a different genre (mmorpg)

  • FF6
  • FF8
  • FF4
  • FF10
  • FF13
  • FF15
  • FF9
  • FF5
  • FF7
  • FF12

Honestly, my most favorite thing about the new FF game was Prompto’s Photography skills lol. My twitter and facebook looked like a giant marketing website for the game for the past few weeks. Pretty smart move by SquareEnix, getting the public to help promote their game like that on social media. The characters are quite likeable in the game, and although the story starts slow, it eventually builds with a lot of emotion. The first half of the game features an open world environment where you can travel, explore, and quest freely, but the last several chapters are much more linear, and it’s within the later half of the game that the story becomes much darker. The emotions are felt stronger due to the first half focusing on friendship between the main character and his friends and the light hearted feeling of the early chapters.

The story however, is not without flaws, and that is where I have to deduct points. People are killed off much too early in the game to feel any sense of loss or attachment to them. Furthermore, some characters are mysteriously killed off without ever showing exactly what happened to them. The character development between the 4 “bros” is the highlight of the game – and it is beautiful. On the other hand, supporting characters are introduced only to be almost forgotten in later chapters. For example, I really liked Iris in the first half of the game. In the end it’s eluded that she too has become a daemon hunter, but it never shows her again nor does she ever rejoin the bros. Aranea is another forgotten female as well.

The game is supposed to be receiving numerous updates in the coming weeks and months. Among which include new story sequences, special dlc for each of the bros, gameplay enhancements for the later chapters (chapter 13), and the ability to create your own player character. But I shall base my review solely based on the content that was available when I played through the game.

Title: Final Fantasy XV

Platform: PS4 and Xbone (I played the PS4 version, but they are both the same).

Publisher: SquareEnix

Release Date: November 29, 2016

Genre: RPG

Where to buy: Amazon

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Geeky:  5/5 – The new combat system, high production values and cutting edge graphics make this new entry into the Final Fantasy series a new, but amazingly fun experience.

Sweetie:  4/5 – The story and character development sometimes struggles to keep things coherent and cohesive, especially in the later chapters of the game. Many of the side characters, especially female characters, are tossed aside and forgotten in the second half of the game. Some scenes that should have been tear jerkers fell flat due to not enough time spent developing characters before introducing tragic events. However, lots of non-combat activities, such as photography, fishing, cooking, and chocobo racing are sure to delight most girls playing this game. Not to mention ample amounts of glorious man eyecandy.

Overall: 69/80 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Concept: 10/10 Final Fantasy XV is an action RPG with the ability to select Real-time combat or the Active Wait commands which allow you more time to use items and plan your strategy. Early chapters feature an open world with numerous quests, while later chapters shift to a linear narrative focused on building a strong story. Without spoiling it for you, Final Fantasy XV tells a story about a prince trying to rescue his bride to be while avenging his father’s death and reclaiming his kingdom. When the game starts, the prince is a mouthy spoiled brat, who, along with his friends journey to meet the Oracle, who is also the prince’s childhood friend and betrothed. However, shortly after leaving the capital city, their kingdom is attacked which begins a quest to seek the powers of the gods as well as past kings to help defeat evil and bring peace to the lands.

Gameplay: 9/10 – Some people really dislike the new action based combat; however, I find it much more fun, engaging, and fluid than traditional JRPGs (and I love JRPGs don’t get me wrong.). You can chain attacks like crazy, which is really cool, especially later in the game, it’s possible to see triple digits on your chained attacks. You can bring up the menu which in Real-time mode, monsters will still attack, but in Active Wait mode, the monsters will be paused allowing you to select the items you want to use. I had no trouble using items in the Real-time combat modes.  I relied pretty heavily on elixirs and potions, especially in later chapters of the game lol. There are two difficulty settings, and I played on easy and found most of the fights a breeze, even in the dreaded chapter 13 which finds the main character separated from the bros and without any weapons or armor. So I would say the game is of average difficulty probably. I did not need to grind or run into any issues.

Overall the game took me about 55 hours to complete. I spent the first several hours doing side quests, and enjoying the extra content of the game, and about the last 20 hours maybe actually trying to progress through the storyline. FFXV is one of those games that can take you as little as 30 hours or as many as probably 100+ hours depending on what you want to do! I still had plenty of side quests that I could have completed. However, I didn’t feel particularly motivated to do so, too many “fetch quests” – go here, bring back x, or kill x number of monsters, etc. Needed more story based quests. Also money became laughable as a quest reward. I had 99 (the limit it lets you carry) Hi Elixirs, Hi Potions, etc.

Long time fans will be delighted to see the return of chocobo racing (which in my opinion was the best part of FF7 lol). You can also name, customize (with medals and colors), and take your Chocobo on the road with you. Not only that, but as you travel by chocobo, he will level up, gaining more stamina and learning new skills such as being able to help you in combat. In the beginning he may run from a lot of encounters as soon as you dismount, but as he levels up it’s implied he has more affection for you as he will often take initiative to engage in combat and wait for you to mount back up when the fight is finished.

New features in FFXV include Prompto’s photography skills. Prompto will take pics randomly throughout the game. I believe most are randomly generated, but a few are perhaps storyline driven. This is by far my favorite part of FFXV. I filled up all 150 album slots by Chapter 10. You can check out my twitter to see some of my pics. 

The main mini game in Final Fantasy XV is a pachinko game (popular in Japan, these casino games kinda resemble Pinball in a way). You can win trophies and in game items (mostly accessories from what I noticed) by getting high scores in the game. The mini game felt kinda long and tedious in a way to me, too many levels. I made it pretty far, but never did reach the end – if there even is an end to it.

I think there also may be a coliseum fighting tournament thing – I heard NPCs saying “Let’s go out for drinks if we win the tournament” etc. I didn’t fully explore enough to find the arena – so I can’t comment on this feature – if it actually exists.

Fishing is another passtime which you can choose to level up throughout various fishing spots in the game. It is very challenging at first, but if you fish enough your skill increases and you also become accustomed to the controls and it does get easier and more enjoyable as you go on.

There’s also Ignis’ cooking skills. When you make camp you can have Ignis cook a stat-boosting meal for the group. As you travel you will discover new recipes (hint try ordering everything at the taverns you visit, and check shops for recipe books and other key items). Sometimes just foraging for the ingredients out in the wild will be enough to spark Ignis’ inspiration. Characters also have favorite foods that further give an increased boost to their stats when consumed.

Camping can also unlock special scenes between you and the bros. For example, staying at an outpost one night, Prompto approaches the main character to reminisce about their childhood. It’s a very moving scene – one that really does a lot to develop Prompto as a character – and kinda a shame a lot of people may not get to see it.  There’s other scenes too and some include mini games such as cooking with Ignis or racing with Gladiolus.

Traveling in Final Fantasy XV is easier and faster than any other JRPG I’ve ever played. The main mode of transportation is the Regalia, a beautiful black sports car. You can choose to drive yourself, or choose to have Ignis drive automatically for you by selecting quests or map markers kinda mindlessly guiding you through the game. To pass time you can collect and listen to numerous Final Fantasy soundtracks from previous games. You can also shop while driving in your car (or even while it’s parked). At times the radio will have news or other backstory elements you can hear while riding around. Your car will need gas so don’t forget to refill for a measly 10 gil at outposts along the way.

The car is not the only means of transportation though, as mentioned you can take your Chocobo on the road as well. I chose to travel by chocobo throughout much of the game, because I liked the photos Prompto took while on chocoback. Yes, that’s my “fuschia” chocobo in the featured image lol. I later changed him to teal. I named him Cho-Cho. And he was awesome :).

You can also instantly teleport to the last campsite or inn you’ve slept in, or teleport instantly to wherever you parked the car. When traveling by car you can also instantly teleport to any previously visited parking spots. This makes traveling super fast and cuts down on gametime and gameplay that is “boring” in most other JRPG.

With so much to do, Final Fantasy XV gets high marks on gameplay. I only deducted a point for the lackluster nature of most of the side quests which may cause some players such as myself to not want to bother completing them.

Story: 6/10 The bones are in place, but the skeleton needs a little meat on those bones to flesh out the story and characters more. The potential for emotional and gut wrenching scenes is there – and I won’t lie, the end and later chapters did elicit a few tears from me, but I felt a lot more could have been done, especially involving supporting characters who seem to be cast aside in the 2nd half of the game (as mentioned Iris, Aranea, etc). The supposed emotional scenes also would have had more impact had they built more rapport with the characters before killing them off, giving them some more screentime, personality, and showing the bonds between them. I feel they did pretty decently with one of the characters they killed – but I won’t say who so as to not spoil anything. But most of the others it never really explains exactly how they died or why we should even care that they’ve died.

The story starts slow and light hearted, a happy prince on his way to see his bride to be who he has not seen since they were children. Each chapter has setbacks and builds more and more darkness, and misery. Until the final chapters where light no longer exists in the world, very symbolic of the story itself. The final chapters reveal the true nature of the daemons that have been plaguing the lands as well as the role of a wayward god. The middle of the story focuses on seeking favor from the gods and ancient kings to help defeat the evil across the land. The end is left open-ended in a sense that it could be left to interpretation by the players and there is much debate as to what exactly happens. I have my own theories but I won’t spoil anything for anyone here. Make sure you watch through all of the credits, there’s numerous scenes after you may think it has ended. Until you have seen Noctis sleeping on the throne, you haven’t seen the true ending, the logo will also change after you complete the game.

Characters: 8/10 Although as mentioned, I have some serious gripes about how side characters (Iris and Aranea for example) are just forgotten in the later half of the game, I can’t overlook the strong character development of the main character and his friends. He changes from a whiny brat who’s insecure and unsure if he even wants to rule, to someone who is so determined and mature, that he is willing to sacrifice everything for his kingdom. Many sad and many happy things will happen between the bros. The first half of the game will make you love the bros. This is important in making you care about what happens in the later parts of the game. Aided by Prompto’s selfies and group shots, and some solid narratives, the bromance between the group is really the highlight of the game. Each of the bros is very likeable. Ignis is kinda the mother hen of the group, Gladio the rough around the edges strong forceful type who sometimes has to motivate Noctis to stop whining by nearly pummeling some sense into him, and Prompto the carefree high-energy playful sidekick who mostly serves as comic relief Prompto is featured prominently in later chapters of the game, and also as I mentioned you may get lucky and see a special scene with him and Noctis which reveals that he hasn’t always been so outgoing. Prompto has a lot going on under the surface – and for that reason, he may be my favorite character in the game. Although I also really like Ignis who has a tragic event in the later parts of the game which changes not only his character, but his appearance and also his skills and abilities. All of the bros are absolute eyecandy for any girls playing the game, and are often compared to boy bands of the 90s lol. And any guys playing the game will likely relate to the friendship between the group of young guys. Liking the characters goes a long way in motivating me to play through the end of the game and also is instrumental in drawing the desired emotions from the players.

Graphics: 10/10 – Can’t deny that this is one beautiful game. The huge scale monsters create a feeling of awe and terror. The various destinations, from desserts, to large cities, to forests, caves, and the open road give the game a sense of realism and adventure. Your characters can wear different outfits and you can customize the chocobo colors. – Soon you will even be able to create your own playable character as well. The quality of the graphics, especially the hair and the environment are amazing, almost photo realistic.

Music: 8/10 – I actually really liked the ending theme which is Stand by Me by Florence and the Machine. However, I miss days of yore when Final Fantasy had original music, such as Eyes on Me or Suteki Da Ne. That said, the music is still fitting for the game. That song got me at the end, making me cry a little. And it is a great song that fits the theme, because the bros will stand together through all kinds of hardships in this adventure. It’s also super awesome to be able to collect previous Final Fantasy soundtracks to play and listen to in the Regalia. And like most FF games, a large number of the tracks in Final Fantasy XV have been remixed once again (such as the chocobo theme which is a fan favorite).  I deducted a few points for lack of originality in the sound track, but overall, it’s a great soundtrack with a lot of variation and some old throw backs as well :).

Voice Acting: 9/10 – I played the English audio. I will probably do Japanese audio next time I play the game just to see what the original cast is like. But the English voice acting is actually pretty good. There are a few lines that are sometimes either overdramatic or lacking in emotion, but it’s nowhere near as bad as most other dubbed games or anime. The audio goes a long way also in helping the audience to identify with the characters and further creates deeper impact for the emotional scenes throughout the game.

Overall: 69/80 86% B “Very Good Game For Girls”

Replay Value is unknown at this time. As of writing, SquareEnix is reworking Chapter 13. Most notably this will be gameplay “fixes” such as powering up the ring of lucis. However, they have stated plans to introduce new story elements as well which require localization and voice acting and are further down the road. There are multiplayer aspects and the game does present at times choices to the player, but those choices have little bearing on the story which remains largely linear. Replay Value ultimately will be determined by the nature of updates and DLC released by SquareEnix.

Final Fantasy XV Review was originally published on

God Wars, New JRPG Strategy RPG Game, Heads West for PS4 and PS Vita in 2016

Kotaku covered a news scoop regarding Kodokawa’s latest upcoming JRPG, God Wars: Toki wo Koete (translation: God Wars: Beyond Time). You play as a girl, which makes this game highly relevant to my audience here at Geeky Sweetie. She’s a priestess named Kaguya, who has been chosen as a sacrifice to the gods, by her own Mother (the Queen).

People who are quick to criticize weak willed characters, especially females in gaming, will appreciate this lead role, who manages to escape her ill fate, and has a spunky and opinionated personality, enough so that she rebels against her mother, and her kingdom.

She does not just accept authority, from her mother, the queen, or even the teachings of the gods. Instead she sets out on a Journey to find her own answers and make her own decisions.

Japanese history, folklore, and mythology are at the heart of the story. Sawaki Takeyasu (famous for his creature work in Devil May Cry and Okami) will be in charge of monster design once again for God Wars Beyond Time.

Gameplay consists of turn based and grid based mechanics similar to those in other JRPG strategy games such as Shining Force, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Tactics Ogre. Check out the official trailer below.

According to Gematsu, God Wars will feature over 30 job classes, 200 weapons, and 600 skills. Gematsu also provided some more storyline details, stating that the game is intended to blend Japanese fairytales with historical events to reimagine the coming of age of some of Japan’s greatest historical figures.

Gematsu also notes that the characters are designed by Mino Taro (famous for character design in Love Plus) and a narration by Japanese actor Shiro Sano.

 

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God Wars, New JRPG Strategy RPG Game, Heads West for PS4 and PS Vita in 2016 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Christmas Nights – Sega Saturn Retro Game Review – Special Limited Edition Disc

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – at least in the Retro Sega Saturn Special Disc called Christmas Nights. I received this game as a kid when I purchased a gaming magazine (I can’t remember which magazine now though as this was back in the 90s).

But if you didn’t grow up in the 90s, you can still play Christmas Nights after beating the HD Remastered Nights into Dreams at least one time.

Christmas Nights is a special game that expands on the great gameplay of Nights into Dreams. Players can play as either Claris or Elliot and explore a Christmas themed rendition of the first level of Claris’ Spring Valley dream, including the battle with Gillwing at the end of the level.

Although the game is short, it has high replay value because you earn presents which will unlock additional Nights related content such as special artwork, story content, or even the ability to play additional levels, including a sonic the hedgehog/robotnik themed level.

Perhaps the best feature, is the use of the internal clock which changes the game levels depending on how close it is to Christmas. For most of the months, the game is simply “Nights Limited Edition” however, in the month prior to and the month following Christmas (November and January) the game’s title changes to “Winter Nights” and the typical bright green graphics and scenery are replaced with mountains of snow. In December, the title changers again to “Christmas Nights” and Christmas trees, Christmas presents, wreaths, bows, lights, and garland decorate the screen. The music also changes to reflect the seasons.

For those who have never played a Nights game, the gameplay consists of flying around 3d level designs, where you can go anywhere, any direction, explore, do tricks in the air, and collect orbs which you need to advance through different check points. You’re also racing against the clock (literally) if you fail to complete the level in a certain amount of time, you will fall to the ground and most complete the level on foot while running from and avoiding a giant alarm clock. (If it touches you, it’s game over).

The more tricks you do, and the faster you complete each level, the higher your score. You need to pass with I believe a C or higher to move on to the next level.

At the time of it’s original release, back in the 90s, it was a revolutionary game due to the style of gameplay floating, flying, and racing around the map.

The game itself is short on story and in fact, plops you down into the first level without a clue what’s going on. As you complete each level you will see brief bits of a very simplistic story which is a bit childlike.

You can pick Claris or Elliot, each with their own levels to play, and each with their own story. Both children are afraid of failure and it’s holding them back from accomplishing their dream. For Claris that dream is singing, and for Elliot, that dream is playing basketball. When they become Night, it gives them courage and helps them realize they can accomplish their dreams.

The story in Christmas Nights is one where Claris and Elliot are trying to find the missing star on top of the christmas tree in the town square. I also got the vibe that Clairs and Elliot are a couple now, as it depicts them holding hands in some of the scenes.

Christmas Nights is too short to have any real story, but the story that is there is presented with nice still frame animations that are quite attractive and give a warm and fuzzy feeling. It’s a very cute but simple story.

While it’s mainly a demo/teaser of Nights, or meant to be enjoyed by Nights fans due to the bonus content which you unlock while playing, I think Christmas Nights could stand alone as it’s own game as well.

Overall: 55/80 69% D+ Average Game For Girls.

Geeky: 

Sweetie: 

Concept: 10/10 for good use of internal clock, fun way to expand Nights world, and fun bonus content. Keeping in mind, this was a free game, it was intended as a “christmas gift” from sega to fans of the original Nights into Dreams.

Gameplay: 10/10 Nights and Christmas Nights both feature really fast, fun, and addictive gameplay with the ability to do tricks while flying and the free range 3d environments with lots of objects to interact with along the way.

Story: 3/10 There is a story, but it’s not great. Christmas Nights at least presents some story before dropping you into the game; but the original Nights into dreams just thrusts you into the first level right away. Clearly this is a game that focuses on Gameplay, and it doesn’t really need a story to be fun; but for gamers who like story centric games, this isn’t one of them.

Characters: 3/10 There is some character development, watching the children overcome their fears; but they’re just too childlike and too simplistic for me to identify with, and that’s true of even when I was a kid myself back in the 90s.

Graphics: 5/10 The game looks ugly now, even the High Def remastered version on Playstation Network and Xbox Live. It has not aged well. Of course, when it first came out, the graphics were amazing, but now, 20 years later, not so much. The textures especially look bad. And the bright garish color scheme (made even more gaudy in Christmas Nights) just looks tacky and trashy.

Music: 10/10 Nights does have a good sound track, and Christmas Nights use of the internal clock to christmas-ify the soundtrack is very clever.

Replay Value: 10/10 Christmas Nights has even higher replay than the original Nights into Dreams, because Christmas Nights has so many unlockable bonus items.

Overall: 55/80 69% D+ Average Game For Girls.

Note: If We don’t take into account the story and characters then this game becomes a 49/60 or 82% B- Very Good Game for Girls which more accurately reflects my enjoyment of the game.

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Christmas Nights – Sega Saturn Retro Game Review – Special Limited Edition Disc was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Persona 5 delayed until Summer 2016

Persona 5 took center stage at Tokyo Game Show 2015 with a new Trailer (see it below); however, it also brought with it, the sad news that the game is being delayed once again, now with an estimated release date of Summer 2016. I’m disapointed by this news, as it was reported that the special Persona 5 event was in order to announce the “exact” release date. Not only do we not have an “exact” release date, but we learn that the game is once again delayed, and not even first quarter 2016, but instead, almost a full year from now – and that’s just for the Japanese gamers; the rest of us can probably expect an even longer wait.

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Oh well, gives me time to save up to buy a PS4 before the release. While we wait, check out the new trailer below:

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Persona 5 delayed until Summer 2016 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

PS4 Price Drop Announced at Tokyo Game Show 2015. New Price Equivalent to $292 USD.

The PS4 is getting a major price drop in Japan. The PS4 is not region locked, so if you’re in the market to purchase a PS4 right now (as I am); you may want to consider importing the console until a North American Price Drop is announced. The new price is approximately $292 USD compared to the typical $399.99 charged by US retailers. This is a cost savings of $110! That’s significant change. Enough to pick up several new games for your system, or if you’re like me, and wanting multiple systems, enough to almost buy a wii u :). With all the great games announced at E3 and the Tokyo Game Show this year, the PS4 is a must own item for anyone who loves RPGs and Anime styled games.

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PS4 Price Drop Announced at Tokyo Game Show 2015. New Price Equivalent to $292 USD. was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Tokyo Gameshow 2015

PS4 and Kingdom Heart fans are in for a real treat. Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter was just announced at the Tokyo Gameshow. Check out the trailer below:

This game is meant to serve as a prologue of events leading directly to the long awaited and anticipated Kingdom Hearts III.

According to IGN.com “Kingdom Hearts II.8 will contain a HD remaster of Dream Drop Distance, along with scenes from Unchained X called Back Cover, set to tell the tale of the Foretellers and revealing new parts of the series’ history. The final part of the collection is Birth by Sleep 0.2 – A Fragmentary Passage -, which is a completely new part of the story taking place after the events of the original Birth by Sleep, told from the perspective of Aqua”

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Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Tokyo Gameshow 2015 was originally published on Geeky Sweetie

New LEAKED Trailers for Persona 5! NEW RARE Never Before Seen! New Footage. UPDATE.

UPDATE: another trailer was revealed at Tokyo Game Show, along with news that the game has been delayed until Summer 2016. Read more and watch the newest trailer in my new blog post over here.

My original post with footage released on Jun 30, 2015 is below:

Youtube has been buzzing all week with NEW leaked gameplay footage and new TRAILERS for Atlus’ upcoming rpg, Persona 5. Atlus disapointed fans at this year’s E3 by showing the same trailer they had already released. Now it seems some perhaps intentional leaks are coming in to help promote their cult classic RPG franchise. The game will be available this fall on both PS3 and PS4. i’m a huge Persona fangirl, and this title is a must-own in my opinion. I’m dying to find out what variations, if any, will exist between the PS3 and PS4 versions. Maybe it’s time for me to buy a PS4 for this game although I already have a PS3.

Check out all of the game trailers below!

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P5 PV02 by personacentral

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New LEAKED Trailers for Persona 5! NEW RARE Never Before Seen! New Footage. UPDATE. was originally published on Geeky Sweetie