måndag 7 augusti 2017

Game review: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

This game is a merge of two game series, Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright. It’s a sort of collaboration where puzzles and exploration is made like in the Layton games and evidence gathering and court trials are held like in the Ace Attorney games. The two companies who made the game, Level-5 and Capcom chose to bring in their own main game characters. You get to play as Professor Layton and some kid companion of his and Phoenix Wright together who is paired up with a female companion. The female companion is also somewhat young, but not a kid. Shortly into the game everyone is transported into a medieval world full of magic and witches. Normally in Ace Attorney you get to have trials in a world where stuff like fingerprints and normal criminal forensics exists. In this game however, people are reasoning like if they lived in the 13th century and magic existed. This leads to the fact that you get to be the defense attorney for witches. And when you argue in court you need to reason given certain spells and such things. So, you get to use logic in a world where supposedly ‘magic’ can cause stuff to happen. On the professor’s side, you get to solve cool puzzles. I think the game may be a bit too easy on people not being able to solve the puzzles. You can namely spend coins to unlock hints for the puzzles. As far as I can remember the puzzles were fine in the game. It’s a bit ridiculous that the assistant to the Professor has such a friendly personality. You keep hearing 24/7 in the game that the assistant is a “gentleman in training”. Supposedly that should mean that he is not a gentleman, but trying to be? If not, then why would he be training, unless it means that most people besides him are not a gentleman and he is just boasting nonstop. But you get used to that nonsense as you play the game. When you have played a few hours, and heard the sentence “a gentleman in training” a thousand times your brain will finally go with it and not care.

Should you get this game? Yes. It is very funny, challenging, easy if you use hints and it has an interesting story/plot. Do not read YouTube comments or whatever for this game, or else someone will probably spoil the story. The catch is that you need a Nintendo 3DS or DS to play it. I borrowed a 3DS, and I also borrowed the game. I should consider getting a 3DS if they are to make a sequel or if I’m going to play one of the new Ace Attorney games. Is this game worth getting a 3DS for? I guess it might be if you have cash. You could just sell the 3DS when you’re finished with the game…

In the courtroom, the judge believes in magic and have no clue about modern forensic evidence like fingerprints. But he is possible to persuade using rational thought and logic. Even if the evidence is 100% based on magic spells and magical wands. As long as there are rules, the rules can be used to come to conclusions and prove which conclusions are correct. The witnesses are goofy and whatnot. They will lie and cheat, so it is your job to make that clear for everyone. In fact, you will see many suspicious characters everywhere in this game which is something to take note of. This game is one of the reasons, or perhaps the main reason, that I also recently bought “Layton’s Mystery Journey” that I also blogged about. I haven’t really played that game a lot yet, but I felt that the puzzles in this game “Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney” had better and more challenging puzzles overall. But yeah, the mix of puzzles and court trials in a magical world was top notch. Get this game.

söndag 6 augusti 2017

Game review: Lifeline (recycling old post)

A long time ago I made a post on another blog called the boring blog. I haven’t really made many posts at all on that blog. I did make one game review however that I would like to recycle by copy-pasting it into this blog. It is written in a bit of a jokingly manner so read with caution:

Ok so this page is about gaming ON. A. PHONE.

The evolution of gaming has really taken a turn for the worse! awesome. However, every week Apple launches a "free app of the week" and sometimes that free app is a fun game... or a terrible children’s app with no imagination.

The latest free app of the week I got was called "Lifeline" and is a story (visual novel) game where you get to make binary choices from time to time, but instead of having a yes or no button there is sentences on the buttons instead of just "yes" and "no". It seems to be written by someone either pretending to be young or really is young. The character in the game is called "Taylor". Taylor is stranded on a moon in outer space. He was a student that won a lottery ticket and got to board some random spaceship that later on crashed on a moon. That pretty much sums up the introduction of the story line.

So in this game you make yes or no.... err I mean complex decisions that affects whether or not Taylor finds a way out of the moon and other moral issues. I died on my first try, and I slayed one of the people you had an opportunity to save (by accident of course). My impression of the game was that you run into various obstacles and then Taylor starts to whine about how difficult it is, that he can’t do it, its physically impossible etc. and you have to press the "do it anyway" button a hundred times. If you DONT press the right button one hundred times it only takes on click for Taylor to do something else. This was kind of an issue for me at first because I didn’t fully realize this, but when I did the game got a bit easier. And Taylors anxiety is very contagious. There are even some attempts to break the 4th wall in the game but not very successful ones imo. The game was quite good overall although a not very professionally written story, however the user interface was excellently, sorry if that isn’t a real word, made. What I really think made it look space-ish was that there’s like a graphically constructed glass overlay above the text so it looks like you’re looking at a monitor on a spaceship. I give this game 4 out of 5. I even got myself the sequel called "Silent Night" for approx. 1 dollar. The original game is better though. The game is unfortunately no longer free but it was sort of fun so I recommend getting it.

Game review: Layton’s Mystery Journey

I recently started playing Layton’s Mystery Journey due to having a positive experience of another game that partially included the same game concept. That game was called "Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney". I may do a review of that other game soon. I have just begun playing this game and is far from finished playing it. In the game, you get to have some form of case given to you and your agency that you are to solve. As far as I have experienced it yet, you don’t really need to do anything but talking to people and travel to destinations pointed out for you on a minimap and the game eventually tells you that the case is solved. So not much problem solving in that perspective but that’s not why I bought the game. Btw I got the game for iOS. Furthermore, the game is childish, or at least kid-friendly. The game has mentioned a murder at one point so it being children-friendly or not depends on how sensitive you are. The game is rated age 4+. The game universe takes place in a jolly good ol’ place called London where everyone is really friendly. Just like in real life, friendly and outgoing Londoners, right? Not that I have ever been to London, but I can imagen that it may not be like that in real life. It being kid-friendly is somewhat part of the game concept I would guess however. Another thing I noticed playing on the phone is that conversation text is a bit small, I would like the text font to be bigger. It is readable but still a bit of a nuisance. Besides just having a too small text font it gets worse by the fact that the story is so far from action oriented you can get. No explosions or horrors or anything thrilling at all. So, in my view the reading conversations and following up with the story is not all that interesting in my view. Probably a very subjective thing if you like a story or not. The reason I got this game is because that this game has something surprisingly no other game tends to focus on. This game has puzzles, well-made ones, that required thinking to be solved. Some of the times at least, absolutely not always… Sometimes the ‘puzzle’ blurs into being a riddle perhaps.

What I can say about the puzzles in this particular game is that they have been OKish. Most puzzles have been way too easy to solve. This may be due to the fact that this game isn’t for adults? Some puzzles are harder though. What annoys me is that sometimes I get the impression that the answer to a puzzle is wrong, or that the instructions for a puzzle lack information or explains it wrongly. To give an example, one small puzzle with two options went like this: “Which path should you choose given this road sign if you want to avoid traffic? One path is always busy so everyone taking this road choses the quiet path. Chose the quiet or the busy path.”. My reasoning for solving this riddle was that given the instructions the busy path is always busy. We do not know how many other cars go through the path we are currently at besides us. Given the instructions we know that one path is always busy, and the other path may have a chance of being quiet. Therefore, I reasoned that the quiet path had the highest (or only chance) of actually being quiet. The answer was that you can never rely on an old road-sign to tell you if a path is busy or not. Then it also said that everyone chose the quiet path so it would be very busy and no one would take the busy path so it would be free of traffic because of it. I could comment on many things here, but what annoyed me is that I got the impression that the instructions implied or said that the busy path was always busy and not that the “old” road sign said it. Also, while choosing an option to submit as a result, there was a picture of the “old” road sign. All that was on the picture was a sign with two arrows with the names of the given paths. I have learned in this game to never trust the images. The images are very misleading and have made me try to reason given what I have seen being displayed on the image of a puzzle. On another occasion, the artwork for a puzzle showed digital numbers. So, I thought that I was to solve the puzzle given the numbers being showed on the image. It was later that I discovered that the digital numbers being displayed on the image were supposed to be “off”, i.e. not showing. When the puzzle was solved another image was showed with the digital numbers being lit as if the machines having the digital numbers were “on”. I must be honest though. If I had been smarter and understood the instructions better I could have arrived at the correct result by myself. You can spend “coins” in the game to use hints to help you solve a puzzle. After using many hints, I managed to solve this puzzle. The puzzle was good, it’s just that I was misled by the image and didn’t understand the problem sufficiently.

I guess the game is OK in general. Maybe a bit too happy and not so problem filled so far for my taste. Something that I haven’t mentioned that this game also has showed some anime clips that also were a bit long. Anime clips being long in a game is good in my opinion. Usually I have found them to be very short. There’s also tons of artwork in this game if you like that. They have focused on making pretty drawings. The characters in game are ugly/goofy or childish though. The puzzles are okay but sometimes a bit too easy.

tisdag 1 augusti 2017

Game review: Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies

Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies is a visual novel developed by Capcom. As far as I understand most games in the series “Ace Attorney” are for the Nintendo DS game console. However this game is also available for phones, both Android as well as iOS. Gaming on a phone compared to a DS or 3DS is better in the sense that you have a HD screen (unless your phone is trash), as well as all the other conveniences that comes with using a phone. Portability being one of those conveniences, instead of carrying around both a phone and a DS you just need to carry a phone. So already this game gets a plus for being available for smartphones.

In Ace Attorney you follow up with certain characters who are attorneys in the same agency. These people are named Phoenix Wright (age 33), Apollo Justice (age 23-25) and Athena Cykes (age 18). Phoenix Wright also has a ‘daughter’ Trucy Wright (age 15-16). Athena Cykes is a ‘new’ character in this game has supposedly just recently finished her education as an attorney and earned her badge. Due to her young age, most people don’t believe at first sight that she’s an attorney.  As an attorney in the Wright agency, you get to defend clients in court. Defending in court is the main part of the game. Usually before you end up in court however you get to investigate a crime scene and interview various individuals before the court starts. This is very important in order to gather evidence (you can’t skip this anyway, but still very important nonetheless) and to get some idea(s) of how things looks like regarding the current case. When you are in court you get to listen to either the defendants or some witnesses’ testimonies. When that is done their testimony is split into pieces which you can press the person being cross-examined for further information. 90% of the time your job is to check what evidence you have available to you and present one such evidence to the part of a testimony that contradicts the given evidence. If you get it wrong you get a so-called penalty by the judge. Too many penalties and you lose the game. This isn’t really a problem because the game lets you just continue back from where you left if choose to do so.

What is different about this game is that you need to think and figure things out before you can make progress. You need to listen to what is being said and be able to work out what is correct and what is contradictory yourself. Often testimonies and evidence change or is added which means that you must rethink everything that you once thought were correct. This is a very common occurrence in this game unless your Einstein and can figure out what happened before the trial begins.

The game is well made, like many Japanese stuff. You get to watch anime clips every once and a while. Watching clips helps you to get a mental image of the story, and it is also entertaining. All attorneys have a special power. This power can be used to help you during tough times in court or when investigating. Phoenix can untangle mind locks, Apollo can sense twitches as a reaction to a lie or an uncertainty and Athena can hear emotions. In court, you get to use Athena’s power to find contradictions between a testimony and the emotions being felt. All in all I found this game fun to play and hopefully I also learned a thing or two about debating and objectivity. This game is worth the money. If your still hesitant getting the game moneywise, you can buy one episode at a time. The first episode is also the cheapest.

It’s kind of hard to talk about what happens in the game without spoiling the story. There is a red thread spinning across most episodes in the game which is good. It makes you want to investigate more and keep playing new episodes. What I can say is that the bonus episode is sort of weirdly both not connected to previous episodes as well as a little bit connected at the same time. I guess they wanted to keep some stuff as obvious without spoiling the story in the game. Or, the bonus episode just takes place in some sort of strange time period in between the normal episodes. I liked the bonus episode but the normal ones were a bit more exciting.