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Hyrule Warriors – A Review by Lou-Cyo

“The Triforce is the harmonious union of Power, Wisdom, and Courage.”

…a hero clad in green would restore peace to the land.”

Warning: As always, here’s the complimentary “read at your own risk because there will be spoilers” message.  With that, lets get down to business.

Overview: The land of Hyrule is facing dark times yet again by the hands of malevolent forces.  Enemies of the Royal Hylian Family are on a quest to reconcile the 4 fragments of the Evil Spirit: Ganondorf.  Once the Evil Spirit materializes, it will begin a quest to gather the fractions of the Triforce to rule the Land of Hyrule under a midst of evil and terror.  It is up to Link and his allies to travel through perilous terrains and engage in tenacious battles to maintain the wicked forces at bay.

Sorceress Cia and the Triforce

Gameplay: Hyrule Warriors has the options of using the Wii U’s GamePad or any Wii U compatible controller.  Personally, the Pad is a buzzkill if you’re a person who looks at the map in these types of open world games – the map so minuscule you can barely see entrances.  Memorizing the controls is effortless.  You may have a tough time memorizing the combo moves for each character, but that’s about it.  There’s 4 difficulties: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Hero; and I have to say each of them live up to there names.  Hero mode is NO JOKE – learn your dash and block.  The game has Legend Mode, which is basically the story of the game.  Adventure Mode deals with challenges you complete to obtain new, powerful weapons and characters.  Lastly, Free Mode let’s you play any mission with any character unlocked.  Hyrule Warriors not only promotes the importance of battling for the forces of light, but also engulfs the player on the other side of the battle field and get a taste of the darkness.  Classic items like Bombs, Hookshot, Boomerang, and Potions are available.  Hyrule Warriors is a level based game.  This is where the Training Dojo comes in handy – where you can pay to level up characters.  Blacksmith services are available to create custom weaponry.  Weapons add attack power to your character and/or special skills (e.g., material droppings ratio increase) that take effect in the battle field.  Some weapons have “locked skills” and you will have to meet certain requirements to “unlock” the skills.  Normally, it is killing a certain amount of enemies with that specific weapon.  There is also a Badge system which lets you gain new skills for each character by collecting specific material drops from your enemies.  Characters also get combo moves and special attacks each unique to each character.  Hyrule Warriors also supports 2 player mode, one uses the Pad while the other person gets the television screen, for every scenario.

 
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 The Cast

LouCyo’s reaction: Overall, Hyrule Warriors gets a 8.5.  Just to get it out of the way: the GamePad-Map issue mentioned earlier in this post is totally warranted.  It’s annoying.  Apart from that, even though Hyrule Warriors is not a breakthrough game, it is a nice twist to the usual gameplay of all prior Zelda games.  Especially by letting you take control over a plethora of characters which were always at a arm’s reach, but never accessible.  Playing as anybody in the Hylian world but Link is actually exciting – refreshing in some way.  Getting a chance to actually watch the abilities and celestial powers of well known characters like Zelda or Impa themselves is mind blowing.  While we’re on the “classic icons” wagon, you’ll also get to see legendary enemies like Fire Breathing King Dodongo and Arthropod Cyclops Monster Gohma in a whole new light.  Again, refreshing.  Moreover, characters are not limited to one type of weapon.  For example, not only is the Hero in Green skilled with blades, but also he masters the arts of magical rods and gauntlets.

One of the features I thoroughly enjoy is being able to play 2-player on this game without having to split the screen is a godsend.  Oh, my how AMAZING it is to not be distracted by the other person!

Players have the choice to storm through the game while on Easy Mode and get to know the twists and turns of this new chapter of Hyrule’s history.  After you “win,” there’s really nothing else to do but side quests.   Side quests are the heart of this game, hands down.  So, unless you’re an anal Gamer (like myself)  and want to collect everything as if it was one of your major life’s goals, you will easily lose interest once you finish story mode.  Without scenarios like the Gold Skulltulas hidden all over and Adventure Mode, the game lacks some luster.  I do want to point out that Adventure mode is challenging.  It is challenging as fuck.  Don’t care how skilled you think you are, it is not easy.  Especially when you get your new characters on level 1 and need to get a defeat 500 bosses on a level just to get a Piece of Heart.  Also, good luck unlocking the Master Sowrd’s skill.  I dare you.

 

What do YOU think about Hyrule Warriors?  Am I judging it too harshly?  Let me know!

See you around!

 

P.S. – A friendly warning: Cuccos are still a thing and, yes, they are still evil.

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Posted by on October 31, 2014 in Total Score

 

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Mario Kart 8 – A Review by Lou-Cyo

Today’s review is brought to you by…

Warning: As always, my reviews WILL contain spoilers as they’re crucial for thorough discussions.  However, I encourage you to read anyways.  Just because you can.

Overview: Mario Kart 8 portrays in essence what the title implies – Mario and various assortments of karts.  Classic Mario game characters battle it out through 8 cups (translating into 32 different tracks) with fireballs, shells, boomerangs, and much more to obtain 1st Place and bring home the gold!

Gameplay: Mario Kart 8’s gameplay is relatively the same as previous titles.  You have your accelerator, brake/reverse, item, and drift buttons.  Easy to remember.  Players get two options as to how to steer: 1) the use of the joystick or 2) actually steering with the control.  Items continue to hold a big part in the game since a Banana Peel can stand between you and a gold trophy.  IGN compiled a nice list of the items which you can take a look if you’re curious.  Nonetheless, I want to give an honorable mention to the wondrous Super Horn.  This magnificent item has the ability to destroy the fucking Spiny Shell by pulverizing it with its sound waves.  It has made my life so much better and worth living…

 

Mario Kart 8 also features air gliding and anti gravity. The latter not only let’s you race on ceilings and walls, but also gives the opportunity to speedboost when bumping other characters or special obstacles.  Gliding and anti gravity happen automatically when reaching certain parts on each course.  The camera follows you the whole time, so don’t fret thinking you’ll suffer motion sickness.  The goal of the game is simple: place first to win all the gold trophies you can.

Lou-Cyo’s Reaction: HOLY SHIT!  The minute I saw the intro on my screen, I knew this game was a must have.  To say the graphics are beautiful is an understatement.  Nintendo was not playing when highlighting numerous times the fact that Mario Kart 8 was the first in its saga to be in high definition.  The characters, items, courses…  The smoothness of the illustrations make the pixels seem tangible.  A treat to the pupils as you glide through the courses after exiting anti gravity zones.

You remember how 150cc was MAYBE a tad hard in previous Mario Karts?  Mario Kart 8’s 150cc poses a real challenge.  If you’re anal like me and need every single unlocakble in the game, prepare yourself for overwhelming emotions ranging from crippling anxiety to irrational rage when attempting to place 1st on every track on 150cc.  I cannot even count how many times I got CLOBBERED with a plethora of shells when on the LAST LAP of the LAST COURSE and SECONDS away from the damn finish line.  Thinking about it makes my skin crawl with anger…  But in a good way!  Unlocking the characters and kart parts in this game is such a treat.  I enjoyed getting the Koopalings the most. Do you remember them from Mario Bros. 3?  Apart from the blissful nostalgia these characters embody, they get a cool HD touch up!

The game features mirrored racetracks to spice things up once you have collected all golden trophies the first time around.  The online gaming options have expanded to phenomenal degrees by letting players customize tournaments.  You have control over basically everything – from the race difficulty to what items and karts are allowed.  Meaning you can have a 150cc races with only Mushrooms to be used.  Can you imagine that in any of the 2 Rainbow Roads featured in this game?  Sounds deliciously evil and fun to attempt!  I recently got to play MK8 with 3 other people and the fun never stopped.  We played for hours and the adrenaline was pumping nonstop.  Mario Kart 8 is a game that will make you come back again and again.  No matter if you’re alone, online, or with friends.  I give Mario Kart 8 a 10/10.  The game is just too much fun.

Have you played Mario Kart 8?  What are your thoughts on the game?  Let me know on the comment section.  I wanna hear from you!

See you around!

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2014 in Total Score

 

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Killzone Shadow Fall – A Review by Lou-Cyo

Hello and welcome to my review of…

Warning!  

Warning!  

Spoiler alert!

Before you read on ahead, let me warn you there WILL be spoilers of the game in my review – read AT YOUR OWN RISK!  With that out of the way, let’s start!

Overview: There’s a war beginning to uproar between two (very human-like if I may add) species, the Vektans and the Helghast, who live on the same planet.  It’s around the 2300’s and you, Vektan native Lucas Kellan, joined the Shadow Marshall Academy and became a Shadow Marshall working for the Vektan Security Agency (VSA) headquarters.  While following orders and infiltrating the Helghast to take hold of enemy’s military intel, Lucas finds himself in a compromising position when discovering not only the monstrous plan of the Helghast leaders, but also the true intentions of the VSA.

Gameplay: Killzone Shadow Fall is a fist person shooter.  Apart from virtually standard controls (e.g., pressing one button to reload, another to aim your weapon, and the other to change your weapon), this game uses the newly installed touch screen pad on the controller. While playing as Lucas (and yes, you get to play as another character at the end of the game), you have control over a flying droid called OWL.  Apart from being able to revive Lucas if he has an adrenaline pack handy, the OWL has multiple options that are activated by swiping on the touch screen pad which include: hacking, stunning, firing, zip-lining, and shielding.  Also in KSF there’s a one hit kill by pressing R3 in which Lucas uses a knife to slash his enemies’ necks open, if not opting for breaking their necks with his bare hands.  Both lethal.  Both graphic.  Both awesome.  Multiplayer mode is available presenting three classes – Scout, Assault, and Support – each with unique weapons and abilities. Also on multiplayer, you get to pick from between developed maps (i.e., Warzones) by game creators or players. An online season pass for $20.00 is available for purchase containing expansion packs. Furthermore, many of the weapons have dual functions with the second function having more fire power – yes, the more powerful the weapon, the slower it’s going to be.  But if you time your shots right, it will always be worth it.  Another beautiful aspect of KSF’s gameplay involves several free falling scenes where you have to use the joysticks to maneuver through the the laws of aerodynamics. Overall, the controls run smoothly and are easy to remember.

Lou-Cyo’s Reaction: Killzone Shadow Fall gets a solid 8.5.  Apart from the obvious stunning and smooth graphics, the background story is intriguing and thought-provoking.  Following a massive detonation, the planet Helghan was destroyed to the point of being inhabitable.  Helgahst survivors where granted protection by the Interplanetary Strategic Alliance (ISA) – an alliance group who protects the colonies of the United Colonial Nations which includes all colonies under the government of planet Earth.  ISA decides it’s a wondrous idea to give Helghast refugees half of planet Vekta.  As a consequence, half of Vektans are being evicted out of there homes – if not executed in the process.

Can you imagine evicting half a planet?  As if that’s not fucked up enough, Lucas’s father gets killed in the process.  Great.  But it is during these times of evacuations and family loss where Lucas commences to develop as a character.  Also, the way the game’s story takes you from being a loyal Vektan to a total outcast was flawless.  Lucas, who risks his life in every single operation, is being placed on the front lines just to find out all his efforts are not to prevent the use of a deadly bioweapon, but to facilitate a genocide in a war he believes to be preventing.  The emotions displayed by Lucas throughout the game connect with the player to exhilarating levels since you are basically being hunted by two opposing organizations – one of them being the VSA.  The feeling of being unsafe lingering throughout…  Brilliant.

I appreciated the effectiveness of the OWL.  When you actually send the flying bot to shoot down some motherfuckers, the OWL actually gets the job done.  It’s not one of those scenarios where you get “assistance” from in-game characters that either run the wrong way or shoot everything else but actual target.  I can’t count the times OWL had saved my life serving as a bullet shield and an efficacious turret – I think I fell in love with the little fellow!

OWL

The coup de gras which definitely places Killzone Shadow Fall as one of the best games out there for the PS4 is the game’s ending.  During the last mission, Lucas finds the leader of the Helghast and the bioweapon.  However, the game’s story takes a sharp left turn as Thomas Sinclair, who took care of Lucas after Lucas’s father was murdered, ends up shooting Lucas in the head when seconds before Lucas was on the ground pleading for his life and the credits follow.

Thomas Sinclair

Not only sad, but IRRITATING as fuck!  I couldn’t believe it!  My jaw was probably on the floor until a cutscene interrupts the credits letting you know the game is not over and you have one more shot at revenge.  In the last scene, you play as Echo in a mission to assassinate Sinclair and put an end to the war.  Echo scampers through the city of Vekta; gets her hands on a sniper rifle; and after positioning herself in a hidden area she whispers, “For Kellan,” and shoots – the camera following the bullet that will pierce Sinclair’s skull. The amount of emotional distress this game’s ending made me feel was unimaginable.

Echo

I deducted some points because the game is indeed short.  There’s only 10 Chapters in which more than half are not lengthy.  Once you have finished the game, you’ll be able to breeze through the missions if you decide to play a second time around.  You can always challenge yourself by trying to get all the collectibles and trophies which indeed will take more time, but the game itself won’t be consuming much of your time.  I also took some points off because the presence of Sinclair during the last chapter where he kills Lucas seemed rushed and, to some level, random.  Also, when Echo snipes at Sinclair, you don’t get to see the effects of the shot.  You are left to assume Sinclair died.  I don’t understand why we don’t get the opportunity to see Sinclair’s brain matter on the floor after witnessing Lucas slitting throats all throughout.

There you have it!  Hope you enjoyed my review and please, do yourself a favor and get a copy of Killzone Shadow Fall – I recommend it.  If you played the game, do you agree with my review?  If you haven’t played it, what vibe do you get from the game after reading?  Let me know what you think!  See you around!

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Total Score

 

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