Revival : FIFA World Cup Review

Revival : for the third time in a year, Electronic Arts has released a soccer title for Nintendo 64. Unlike American football, baseball, and basketball, soccer is a sport that enjoys rabid worldwide popularity.

EA knows that it is crucial for international sales that it deliver a killer N64 simulation of the world’s most popular sport. And with World Cup 98, it has finally succeeded.

Note : for fifa 20 chronicles follow sites like futboltecnic

World Cup 98 is essentially an improved version of FIFA

Road to World Cup (not to be confused with the grossly disappointing FIFA 64).

With the real- life World Cup competition in full swing, EA has wisely chosen to refine and re-publish the already excellent Road to World Cup.

World Cup 98 takes the same essential elements of its predecessor and modifies them to reflect the specifics of the competition in France. The game thus contains the official World Cup license, the necessary team licenses, and authentic French stadiums.

In an unfortunate oversight, there is no opportunity to riot. Perhaps EA will include English hooligans in the sequel.

World Cup 98 maintains the striking medium-resolutiongraphics of its predecessor. In terms of clarity, the game falls short of high-res games like All-Star Baseball ’99, but is far superior to low-resolution blurball titles like FIFA 64 and In The Zone 98.

While the medium-resolution visuals are crisp, they come at some gameplay cost. While World Cup 98 plays smoother and faster than earlier EA soccer entries, the game nevertheless displays a sometimes choppy frame rate. It never seriously affects gameplay, but it does hinder the visual flow of the action.

EA has added a number of excellent player animations in World Cup 98.

As with all EA Sports titles, the emphasis in here is upon realism. These players jog, run, jump, and fall with outstanding motion-captured movement. There are some great cinematic scenes that punctuate the ongoing action. EA is arguably the best in the business at motion captured animation, and World Cup 98 does not disappoint.

The default camera angle is functional, though somewhat removed from the action. Simulations of large-field sports like soccer face an unavoidable challenge: although gamers need to see enough of the field for broad strategic decisions, we also want to feel close to the action. Konami accomplished this feat in International Superstar Soccer; I’m not sure EA is as effective in World Cup 98. Some of the wonderful medium-resolution

player detail is simply lost if it seems like I’m watching the action from the Goodyear Blimp. But the camera problem in World Cup 98 is not severe; it is possible to adjust the camera angles to suit one’s tastes.

 

 

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Lost Odyssey : end of chronicle

The difficulty follows suit, zigzagging from trivial to near-impossible with little warning. Don’t fight the occasional urge to stroll about randomly fighting baddies in order to boost your levels; you’ll need to in order to pass some of the game’s tougher fights. Other times you’ll cruise from scrap to scrap just by mashing the “A” button.

Uneven, too, is a good way to describe the game’s writing. The dialogue is generally clumsy, rife with the awkward phrases that are so often present in hastily translated games. But Kaim’s dream sequences are superbly penned, demonstrating a real flair for their sentimental, almost proverbial style — they’ll actually make you think, and their sparse presentation is perfect. If only the whole game was so inspiring.

At least the character design is consistently good. You’ll face off against hulking golems, cute and blobby soldiers, and hopping, fiery bombs, each one full of life and originality. Kaim and his chums don’t have much personality, but nevertheless they’re packed with detail — so much, actually, that the graphics engine bogs down on occasion, and while this isn’t the deal-breaker it would be in an action game, it still interferes.

Kudos, too, goes to the soundtrack. Famed Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu has produced yet another stunning collection of music. If you’re a fan of his work, you’ll smile knowingly as pick up plenty of nods, conscious or not, to older Japanese RPGs. Much like the rest of the game, in fact.

But will you like Lost Odyssey ? At times, it’s a stunner, one of the best console RPGs to have crossed our path in years. But it’s a schizophrenic game, veering unpredictably from brilliant to disastrous and spending far too much time in troubled territory to be an unqualified recommendation. If you have the patience — and a nostalgic passion for this neglected genre — you’ll look beyond its shortcomings and enjoy Lost Odyssey for its strengths. If not, you’ll wonder what all the fuss is about

review of Odin Sphere – end

The combat initially feels ripped straight from 16-bit games of the mid-1990s. After all, you can only move left or right, and there’s technically only one attack button. However, Odin Sphere hurls several curveballs to keep you on your toes. The first is a literal ball: Each stage is circular, so you can actually run right and end up left of where you started. Why we haven’t seen this more often is a mystery, but it works really well – it’s a way to get behind massive bosses, or beat a tactical retreat against a horde of enemies.

Each character is a little different, but you’ll be executing plenty of button-mashing combos no matter which you’re controlling. Direction plans an important part in things, and you often have the odds against you. It’s not overly complex, but it’s incredibly fun. Odin Sphere is designed to keep you strategizing despite its simple combat. Besides, a pretty game with boring gameplay wouldn’t do anyone much good.

Unlike most RPGs, buying equipment and amassing a large inventory aren’t priorities. You’ll often find yourself full up on items, and can only have one thing equipped at a time. This may annoy some diehard role-players. Also unlike most RPGs, Odin Sphere is very forgiving if you happen to die: You’ll start back at the section you were on. You also have a choice of three difficulty levels, and may restart a level with all the items and experience you’ve amassed intact.

Odin Sphere takes video games to a place they rarely tread: a place where true art meets real entertainment. It’s recommended for anyone with a PlayStation 2. Yes, the graphics are the main draw — and rightly so — but you’ll be captivated by the story and enthralled by the 2D gameplay at the same time. With games like Odin Sphere, we’re hoping this “last-gen” hardware sticks around for a few more years.

review of Odin Sphere [PS2]

This two-dimensional game for PS2 shows the naysayers that video games should, in fact, be considered art.

Don’t call it a comeback! With one fell swoop, Odin Sphere proves that the PlayStation 2 and 2D gaming are still very much alive. In fact, this is a top-tier game for what is arguably the most successful video game console of all time.

The quick description is that Odin Sphere is a 2D action/role-playing game. In and of itself, that would spark some curiosity from the gaming masses. After all, since day one on the platform Sony has preached 3D gameplay with an iron fist. On a deeper level, Odin Sphere deals with how video games are an art form, and shows us that masterpieces do exist in our entertainment medium of choice.

Allow us to gush about the graphics for a bit. This is one of the prettiest games that has ever existed. Every sprite is hand-drawn, large, colorful and well animated. Characters are fighting-game size at smallest, and often approach end-game boss proportions. Yet they always move fluidly and feature higher resolution than any arcade game you can think of. The backgrounds themselves are a sight to behold, and the word-bubble speech comes off as clever. It’s the 2D equivalent of Okami, for example, and crushes anything done by Square-Enix or similar big-name developers. Amazing, then, that it comes from Vanillaware, a company only the most hardcore of gamers have even heard of.

The audio is expertly done, too, though it doesn’t shine quite as brilliantly as the graphics. It’s great that Atlus recorded voiceovers for every bit of dialogue, even if the actors sometimes sound a little bush-league. The music is orchestrated nicely to boot.

Odin Sphere tells the tale of a world in ruin. Each group of citizens suffers their own plight, and you’ll eventually see things through the eyes of five playable characters. These include a love-starved Valkyrie, a nomadic witch, and a demonically intense warrior. The script has its share of cheesy melodrama, but compensates with plenty of surprising twists. You get plenty of touching and intimate moments with the characters, and by sharing their vulnerability, you built up a connection with them.

 

 

Lost Odyssey -Xbox 360

Odyssey is the perfect way to describe this personality-packed epic.

Ever wondered why the Final Fantasy games changed direction so radically around 2001 ? Hironobu Sakaguchi – or rather, the lack of Hironobu Sakaguchi – is the answer. This near-legendary designer stepped away from Final Fantasy creator Square after the completion of Final Fantasy X, forming his own studio with the backing of Microsoft.

Why should you care ? Because if you understand where Sakaguchi comes from, you’ll understand Lost Odyssey, too. It’s the spiritual successor to the classic Final Fantasy games, with all the pros and cons that come with the genre, and thus in order to enjoy it you’ll need to be in a forgiving mood.

Lost Odyssey kicks off with what’s surely the biggest cliches in RPG history : protagonist Kaim has lost his memory. Groan. Cliches aren’t in short supply in Lost Odyssey, but thankfully, there’s a twist to this one. Kaim’s an immortal, and his missing memories add up to about a thousand years of life. As you plod through Lost Odyssey’s story, he’ll gradually recapture them through a series of enchanting dream sequences.

Turn-based combat is the norm in Japanese role-playing games and Lost Odyssey is no exception, but it leans too far towards the conventional. If you’ve played any of the classic Final Fantasy games, you’ll already know almost all there is to know about it. You stack up attack and heal orders for your team, your enemy does the same, and the two sides slug it out while you watch. Not the most exciting of systems, but there’s a decent amount of tactical depth to the combat thanks in part to the unique method it uses to depict the shielding of back-row characters.

Once you start to rack up some hours with the game, you’ll discover our major complaint with it: the pacing is wildly uneven. Lost Odyssey blazes through crucial plot points at breakneck speed, and then takes an hour to trudge through the most inconsequential of irrelevancies. You’ll probably rack up ten hours of play time before you hit the party max of five characters and the combat starts getting interesting.

Disgaea 2- Cursed Memories – end

Once you start undoing moves to rethink your strategies, or hop into the randomly-generated dungeons inside items, it’s difficult not to smile — whether you’ve been there, done that in the predecessor or not. Gang-up attacks are as satisfying as ever, and there have been a few new ones added.

Picking up and throwing other characters always inspires some creative tactics, and now you can attack even while hoisting someone aloft. View bureaucracy in (slow) motion with the Dark Assembly to get better items at stores or unlock new characters to create and enlist. For this sequel, when voting on a proposed bill, a portion of the demonic senators will fall asleep instead of casting their ballot. The improved graphics are a nice touch, even if some may view NIS’ attachment to flat sprites as being old-fashioned.

Those who poured triple-digit hours into the original will likely repeat the performance in Cursed Memories. It still represents the best tactical RPGs have to offer. Yes, you may be challenged by certain stages, but the game is merciful in that you can always revisit old maps to level-up. In this way, also, newly created troops can get up to speed in no time. While some battles may take upwards of an hour, you can always rest assured that — upon completion — you’ll be able to go back to the hub to rest your squad, buy new equipment, and save your game. Disgaea 2 works hard, but it also plays hard.

Disgaea 2 does not surpass its predecessor, and in a way that’s a small bummer. It’s a lot like Katamari Damacy in that respect: The first title surprised a nation of gamers, and while the sequel gives us what we want, it’s also what we expected. But you’re not going to be getting that philosophical when you’re actually playing the thing. Instead, you’ll be chuckling along to the plight of Adell, Rozalin and their comrades; becoming immersed in gameplay that’s addictively involved both on and off the battlefield; and glancing out your window in awe to find the sun at a totally different angle than it was at when you first started your game session. And if you’re not having fun, you just plain don’t like tactical RPGs.

video game : Disgaea 2- Cursed Memories

The most anticipated sequel ever (for tactical RPG nerds) has a lot more going for it than just zombie penguins.

It’s painfully simple : If you like tactical RPGs, you loved Disgaea : Hour of Darkness. To this day, it’s still the best the genre has to offer, and the tightest 100-hour gameplay experience in the industry. Anyone who tells you otherwise either isn’t into the genre, or lost their sense of humor in a teeter-totter accident as a child.

Every subsequent Nippon Ichi Software title has had fans crossing their fingers, and almost convincing themselves that what they’re playing was as good or better than Disgaea. It wasn’t. La Pucelle Tactics is actually older than Disgaea, while Phantom Brave’s grid-free interface and necessity to summon allies from inanimate objects was too different for its own good. But now we have a true Disgaea sequel, and it’s safe to say it’s everything you love about the original game. The only downside is, there’s not much more than that.

The story has as many laughs as a Will Ferrell movie (the good ones, not Bewitched). Its cast is a polar opposite of the original Disgaea’s. Instead of being the bad guy, you’re the babyface hero. This time, you’re escorting a demon princess back to her dad — who you happen to want to lay the smackdown on for turning your village into monsters. Comic relief permeates every corner — from your demonized family to the quirky bosses to the zombie/penguin Prinnies to your multiple personality frog “ally.” It’s about time RPGs got another charismatic frog character since Chrono Trigger, by the way. Voiceovers are comically over-the-top to compliment the wackiness of the plot, and you won’t even notice the lack of animated cutscenes.

How does one tweak the gameplay of Disgaea, with its immeasurable depth and abundance of eccentricitie s? The answer is, you don’t. The first game was a lot to sink your teeth into, and fans will find a familiar flavor upon consuming Disgaea 2. As the play was essentially perfect last time, this isn’t as big of a disappointment as it could have been; however, you’ll have to squint really hard to spot any non-narrative differences with this new package.