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Tue 8th May, 2012

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Carnuss commented on Review: Captain America: Super Soldier (DS):

This Captain America presentation is unfortunately a mediocre game. Although I've enjoyed the fighting parts very much (stealth missions and running sections are much less fun). Bosses are challenging and there's always a chance to be hammered by the waves of enemies. The voice acting, the background music and the WWII battle feeling are its benefits (especially the German soldiers or the unlockable extra outfits), while the poor game design sadly corrupts overall judgment (for instance the story takes place in one castle and there's no intro animation). The completion of the story took me circa 14 hours.



Carnuss commented on Review: Professor Layton and the Last Specter ...:

Another brilliant entry in the Professor Layton saga. It has more content than Curious Village and Pandora's Box. The main story offers altogether 155 puzzles. It took me almost 40 hours to find and complete all story puzzles (compared to the 24 hours required for the completion of Curious Village or Pandora's Box). In addition, 15 puzzles become available in the Layton's Challenges section after completion of the game. The Weekly Puzzle Download/Unlock section offers another 33 puzzles in my opinion.

This time, there are four mini-games (a toy train, an aquarium, a puppet theatre and a mouse catching game).

All-in-all, I've found the story less charming than in Curious Village or Pandora's Box, though it was obvious that Level5 aimed to please all fans of the Professor Layton series.



Carnuss commented on Review: Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ (DS):

I've imported it from the USA to Europe, because in my opinion, Little Red Riding Hood’s Zombie BBQ is a great shooting game (based on the use of stylus), however its developers decided to choose some weird gameplay features.

For instance, you cannot name your save file and its dull that game save slots indicate absolutely nothing in the corresponding main menu list (no player name, no game progression, no high score, etc.). Another ball missed is the lack of score points. For killing zombies you receive no reward. If you manage to arrange, you can survive some level parts by simply evading the incoming zombies. In addition, there are no check-points during levels. Finally, opponents become extremly hard to beat very early. I've stucked in the midlle of the game, because in the case of the Three Pigs, you have to defeat three bosses one after the other in a row.

To sum up, there are altogether 8 chapters (of which the final level is only available on Hard or Extreme mode), each one consisting of 2 rush levels and a boss fight stage. The graphics looks stunning (the main menu, level environments and bosses are all presented in 3D) and the music and sounds are also acceptable. On a DS Lite I've only experienced some moderate slowdown when too many enemies surrounded me. Despite its above described flaws I recommend it to any action game fans.



Carnuss commented on Review: Solatorobo: Red the Hunter (DS):

In my opinion, Solatorobo: Red the hunter was the best DS game of the year 2011 and is perhaps one of the best DS game of all time (because of its quality music, stunning visuals and action packed gameplay full of mechas and speaking furballs).

The main character (Red Savarin) riding his Dahak robot, along with his companion (Chocolat) are freelancer mercenaries who accomplish quests posted at a trade broker. To make a living, they travel across the beautiful floating islands of the Sepherd Republic by plane (Asmodeus). Rewards are rings (the money used) or P-crystals (for expanding robot customization space) or custom robot parts (for improving your abilities).

Solatorobo offers many gameplay twists unseen in any other video game so far. It is full of creative ideas. For example the fighting itself, where you cannot just punch the opponents, instead you can grab them, lift them, turn them over and throw them against other opponents. Your robot can grab the bullets and bombs of enemies which can be thrown back to the sender. At some quests you can operate a machine gun or a gun turret, where you have to load the necessary ammunition first. The opponents are very imaginative mechas and beasts.

The quests and side-quests are highly varied and interesting, helping to get familiar with the main characters. You can participate in many activities such as crab fishing, ore mining, air racing (which is also available as a separate game mode directly from the start menu, playable as a multi cart wireless multiplayer game such as Mario Cart with different tracks and racing aircrafts). You can participate in quiz contests as well and fight in a separate duel arena against other characters or beasts (sometimes with special rules like you cannot receive a single hit, otherwise you fail). My favourite part was when I had to fight droids and their control ships flying my robot through a series of mini islands.

Later, 4 robot types become available, each with different skills and appearance. You can buy or receive different custom parts to boost the performance of your robot in various fields (such as hydraulics, attack, defense, movement speed and life revival).

The greatest merit of Solatorobo is still its incredible 3D environment which is presented using an amazing and truly vivid graphics. There are birds, flags, aircrafts and moving elements everywhere in the backgound. The intro and cut-scene animations are also amazing. The musical scores and background sounds are also top notch. There are even some distinctive voices for every speaking character (mainly French words). In the cabin of your airplane (called Asmodeus) you can replay any collected cut-scenes, musical scores or browse your photo album or explore a library of the involved world. You can save your gameplay here or at frequent physical save spots or at the end of story chapters.

I recommend to unlock the 12 bonus side-quests connecting to an Internet Access Point before the main story ends (in the European version). It took me 56 hours to complete the main story and almost every side-quests. It is very unfortunate that world-wide sales are disappointing, because I also would like to see a sequel.



Carnuss commented on Review: Elite Beat Agents (DS):

Although I've found other rhythm games unfortunately not appealing for me (such as Rhythm Heaven or Beat City), this one has excellent manga-style graphics, a brilliant background organization and even the theme songs and voice actings are great. True classic.



Carnuss commented on Feature: A Visual Guide to Nintendo's Handheld...:

It's funny, because I've purchased a cosmos black 3DS on it's premiere day and because of the short battery life time and the rescaled resolution issues later I've decided to buy a cheap silver DS Lite too. In the meantime I've built a considerable DS game library, so nowadays I play games mainly on the DS Lite (instead of the 3DS). I suppose my approach is well, quite unusual.



Carnuss commented on Review: Aliens: Infestation (DS):

I've really enjoyed Aliens: Infestation. To be honest, because of the Alien universe and the action packed 2D platforming gameplay I regard it as one of the best DS games.

It offers 4 locations to discover (the Sulaco spaceship, a military base at LV-426, the ruined spaceship of the aliens and a research facility at Phobos), 5 weapons to acquire (pistol, machine gun with grenades, shotgun, flamethrower and minigun), 5 level bosses to beat, 2 special quests (operating the gun-turret of an APC-vehicle and fighting with aliens in a spacesuit in outer space) and 1 minigame (called knife trick). It took me almost 21 hours to complete the story (which is supposedly at least 5 hours long).

Unfortunately, there are some minor flaws (such as not random respawning of aliens, weird placement of supplies and some NPC human characters are not isolated from the hordes of aliens), but my greatest sorrow is that the game does not offer an extra option to directly replay former stages (for instance at least boss battles) and alien encounters are scarce in mounting shafts. On the other hand, I was truly impressed by the detail of the retro hand-drawn graphics, the musical score and the variety and intelligence of the aliens.



Carnuss commented on Review: Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS):

Game mechanics is truly unique, I like it, but I get stuck repeatedly, because it's not obvious what I should do next. In such cases only long experimenting (with repeated conversations) and later cheating helps (I mean the uploaded game guides on YouTube).



Carnuss commented on Review: Thor: God of Thunder (DS):

Golden Axe style 2D platformer game with fantastic graphics including parallax scrolling. Really enjoyed it.

From the 7 chapters the first 3 are the most amazing (especially the presentation of ice and snow), but very easy to complete. From the 4th chapter difficulty level increases highly, boss fights become extremely tough. In my opinion, overall level design becomes flat for the last two chapters (while bosses become more gigantic and interesting). I voted to throw Mjölnir at approaching enemies (plus certain rune caused additional damage around me and gave inviolability for a moment when throwing my hammer).

To sum up, it took me 9 hours to complete the game, because of the mentioned tough boss fights at later levels (7/10 is a fair rating).