Tag Archives: Professor Layton

Favorite Games I Played in 2015

2015 was another good year for video games for me and I played a variety of them ranging from indie games (a rarity for myself) to big blockbuster hits and from JRPGS to an unique spin on the first person shooter genre.  Many of these games I’ll likely play again down the road but for now lets dive in!

Games I played in 2015

3DS: Link Between Worlds, Phoenix Wright-Dual Destinies, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Majora’s Mask

DS: Apollo Justice (started), Hotel Dusk: Room 212 (started) Fossil Fighters (gave up on)

PS2: Dragonquest 8

PS3: South Park: Stick of Truth

Wii U: Mario Maker, Splatoon, Xenoblade Chronicles X

PC Games: Her Story, Undertale, Huniepop, Tales from the Borderlands, Wolf Among Us, Star Wars: KotOR

image from gamerevolution.com

Biggest Timesink: Dragonquest 8

So I bought this game on a whim at my local video game store shortly before my internship last summer.  With no internet in the residence building, my primary entertainment indoors was either Battlestar Galatica and Dragonquest 8.  The funny thing was that I was planning on playing multiple games but this game was so big and I had sank so much time on it (last check was well above 70 hours) that not only was it the only game I played, even King Trode scolded me for lollygagging.  But I can’t help it!  The minigames, the sidequests, and those damn Minimedals took up a lot of my time.  The game was fun (even if the voice acting was a bit hokey), challenging, and entertaining all around.

Favorite Indie Game: Undertale

At initial glance, Undertale appears to be another SNES-style RPG with the only thing going for it a unique combat system. However, this is definitely not the case as the game will make you question many standard video game tropes and what it means to be the protagonist of your story. These ideas were further enhanced for myself as I had just played Dragonquest VIII, a fairly typical RPG, which adhered strictly to these tropes. The characters were stellar, the music was top notch, and the story was a wild ride, definitely check it out.

Biggest Guilty Pleasure: Huniepop

Okay, just hear me out; I initially bought this game because I saw YouTube-star Markiplier enjoying the hell out of it. From what I saw, it was a crude, raunchy, dating-sim parody that you play for laughs. What I got was not only a, dare I say, strategic game where you have to plan your gifts and puzzle actions, but a tongue-in-cheek look at how video games clumsily handle women characters. Is the game’s humor and overall appeal satirical or intentional? You’ll be the judge of that. Who knows, I might even dedicate an article to this game on my blog but for now, let’s just let it be.

Best Moment: The Fart Battle in South Park: Stick of Truth

God this game.  Unsurprisingly, this game was so damn funny and I understand why people like it so much.  There were so many great moments but the one that I have to go for is the epic Fart Battle I had against Cartman.  When this happened, I was simultaneously laughing my ass off while pressing the button as fast as I could.  This went on for at least five minutes and in the end I couldn’t make it but god damn was that great.

Worst Line Delivery: The Character Nikki Ann-Marie in Huniepop

In Huniepop, you can date a variety of girls that fit the standard tropes in anime, video games, and so forth.  One of those girls, is the geeky introvert, Nikki Ann-Marie.  Rather than trying to pass her off as aloof but still have some sense of humor, kindness, and passion, Nikki’s voice actress instead portrays her as a character whose constantly bored.  It’s kind of annoying after awhile as Nikki has the potential to be as memorable as some of the other girls.  I think what really seals it for me though is Nikki’s reaction towards your gifts comes off as feign interest rather than genuine intrigue and that’s too bad.

Best Supporting Cast: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

Ah KotOR, although I’ve had my fair share of amazing characters, especially in Undertale and Tales from the Borderlands, KotOR takes the cake.  You can’t help but love your ragtag team even if Carth is a wee bit of a nuisance with his “Carth wants to talk about something/no he actually doesn’t.”  What I like about my crew is that there’s always a situation for one of them even if I use some more than others.  Plus they got great chemistry!

Favorite Antagonist: Handsome Jack from Tales from the Borderlands

Flowey is evil because he has no soul, the Crooked Man does what he does to improve fable lives, and Dhoulmagus wants to resurrect the greatest evil of all time.  These are all noteworthy antagonists but the one to take the cake is Handsome Jack.  Although we see Handsome Jack prominently in Borderlands 2, the biggest change here is Rhys.  Now, Jack can directly interact with you and it’s awesome.  How far should you trust him?  He’s a smooth talker with bouts of rage and lots of charisma.  Jack dramatically affects Rhys’ storyline and makes him change for the better.  Jack is insane, conniving, and hilarious and I love every bit of it.

Surprise Hit: The Wolf Among Us (tWAU) and Her Story

So I bought tWAU on a Steam sale around March, 2015 as I always wanted to try out a TellTale game but without paying full price for a game. After checking a few reviews online, I thought this looked good and dove into it. Wow, that’s all I have to say about that. I kept coming back again and again to play this game. Many times, I would start and end each chapter in almost one sitting. TellTale really told an immersive story that made you think about your decisions. Bigby is a great protagonist whose personality can range from angry law enforcer to a “jerk with a heart of gold” depending on how you play him. This game was great and I’m sad there’s not a sequel to it yet.

Her Story is another game that took me by surprise. I actually played it fairly late in the year (December) after I first heard about it in the Video Game Awards. Going into the game, the only thing I knew about it was the tagline “A Video Game About a Woman Talking to the Police.” Mary actually played this game with me and she was my note taker. We went back and forth what to look up next and she would write down many different dates and search terms to help us organize the story in our head. If you want a good detective game with no hand-holding, go for this one!

image from craveonline.com

Favorite Game I played: Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

In 2015, I sunk a lot of time into several games, especially when I was interning at Fossil Butte. Even after I turned off the TV, I still looked forward to playing these games again whether it was because of their comedic value (South Park), story (Wolf Among Us), characters (Undertale), or immersive gameplay (Splatoon+South Park). It’s quite hard to pick which is the overall favorite new game I played in 2015 cause a lot of the games were good for their own reasons. However, if I had to pick my favorite it would be Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic just edging out the Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds.  Both of these games were great RPGs that gave you a large degree of choice in progressing the narrative.  But while a Link Between Worlds basically retold a Link to the Past, KotOR told a whole new story using the Star Wars background.  So many characters were good and I wish I got to know more about them like Canderous, HK-47, and Jolee.  The morality scale, the missions, and the planets were so well done.  It’s too bad I got spoiled for the game or else it would have ranked even higher in my love for it.  After playing this game, I really wanted to try out Mass Effect so that may be for another day but still, this game was amazing and definitely my favorite game I played in 2015.

Favorite Games I Played in 2014

2014 was the Year of the New for me as I never before had played this many games that were either just released or released within a year that I played them.  This mainly stems from my 3DS which even though I got in October of 2013, I wasn’t able to exploit the games on it until 2014.  Another small boost came in the form of my used Wii U which I bought it and Mario Kart 8 at a decent price.

Even so, I still played many games that were released several years or more ago including quite a few for the DS, one on the PS3 (Arkham City), and one on the Gamecube (Metal Gear Solid: the Twin Snakes).

With this being a noteworthy year for my video games, I will give you my list of the new games I played for the 2014 year along with small awards for the “Best of” for that category.  Here’s the full list of them:

DS: 999: 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors, Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Miles Edgeworth Investigations, Phoenix Wright Trials and Tribulations

Gamecube: Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes

PS3: Batman: Arkham City

3DS: Bravely Default, Pokémon ORAS, Fire Emblem Awakening, Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright, Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Pokémon TCG (via Virtual Console), Super Smash Brothers

Wii U: Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Brothers

Most Hyped: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright

Okay, this was pretty close for me, it was either PLvPW or Super Smash Brothers.  True, I’ve been waiting for Smash Bros longer than PLvPW but I just love the professor and the lawyer so much.  It was very agonizing for me to just sit here in the U.S. seeing Japan get the game…and then Europe get the game…and we don’t!  I was sure it wasn’t going to come…and I was soooooo happy that it finally did.  You see, I knew Super Smash Bros would get to the U.S. eventually but not PLvPW.  But opening up that game and turning it on and hearing that music and seeing that title screen and seeing the characters gloriously animated was quite a treat and would have been hard to top.

Best Multiplayer: Super Smash Brothers (WiiU)
This should be pretty obvious, Mario Kart 8 was super fun and it’s nice to play against your friends on the 3ds version of this game but come on, 8 players!  That just seals the deal for me right there.  Playing with my friends on a variety of controllers with a variety of characters was just simple fun with simple madness.  Can’t be beat.

Best Game to Play with Mary: Animal Crossing: New Leaf

We smashed, we raced, and we played Pokemon together but Animal Crossing is the best game to play with her.  True, I love doing all three of the previously mentioned games with her before but Animal Crossing is different.  We are in a town together with our own homes interacting with our own villagers.  And though we can’t directly interact with each other, our interaction with the town and its quirky villagers makes this a nice gem to play.  Animal Crossing towns do have a vibe of loneliness if you’re the only human player but this is cured if you have other people inhabiting your town, it makes it feel more active.  Plus it makes funding projects that much easier!

Best Story: 999
I played games that had a good story in them whether it was the trials in Phoenix Wright, Snake infiltrating Shadow Moses, or Professor Layton duking it with Phoenix Wright but none took me on the twist and turns of 999.  Perhaps it was because I was not familiar with the series but the game took me on a wild ride and that never stopped (until I failed an ending and had to restart).  I was legitimately creeped out by some of the moments in the game and I regretted playing it while I was in bed.

Special shoutout though has to be done for the story behind PLvsPW as that story took me on an emotional roller coaster with some good twists.  Another special shoutout has to be done for PW: Trials and Tribulations because that final trial was definitely a doozy and remains among the best in Pheonix Wright’s cases that I have done so far.

Unexpected Hit: 999 and Pokemon Trading Card Game
These two are on top of the list for different reasons.  I knew 999 was critically acclaimed but I just didn’t get why until I played the game.  I devoured this game in less than two weeks (normally it takes me at least a month to finish games).  On the other hand, Pokemon Trading Card Game was just so much fun to play.  I first played this game more than ten years ago and I suuuucked at it even with the cheat codes.  My brief dance with the TCG in real life made me learn how to play the TCG and so when I bought it on the Virtual Console it was just too much fun.  Creating your own deck was fun and beating the game (which is hard mine you) was quite rewarding.  I definitely hope Nintendo decides to release an updated version of this game!

Biggest Disappointment: Bravely Default

For all the hype and praise surrounding this game, I was honestly burned out by it.  The amount of grinding I had to do was intense and it just got to me.  I haven’t played the game in awhile but I’ll probably pick it up again later.  The same thing happened for Fire Emblem Awakening (which was fantastic btw) where I got frustrated by it and stopped playing for three months.  I picked it up again, powered through it, found out I loved it, and finished it rather quickly.  I’m hoping BD will be the same thing but I won’t be touching it again for awhile.  I’m still surprised by people’s praise, anyone want to give me their thoughts on this game and why you might have liked it?

Best NPC: Joker from Batman: Arkham City
999 had a host of characters that I enjoyed interacting with.  Most of the characters I originally passed off as Trope characters that had only one particular trait, however, as the game went on, they would continuously surprise me by the things they did, their knowledge, and their history.  Number 7 was one of my favorites.
However, Joker was by far the best NPC.  Mark Hamill was as usual great in his role as the Clown Prince of Crime.  Plus, Joker’s role in the game was a I think better than his main antagonistic role in Arkham Asylum.  His joking personality was at his height here and let’s not forget those hilarious answering machine messages he left for Batman.  Classic Joker.

Best Line Delivery: Twin Snakes

Enough said.

Best Sequel: Pokemon ORAS
I played a lot of sequels during this year of franchises that I love.  A good sequel in my book is one that retains the original charm of the first game while adding new stuff to it that makes it a refreshing experience.  For that, Pokemon ORAS was probably the best sequel of them all.  ORAS not only was a good Hoenn remake but a good step forward in the evolution of Pokemon games.  The sneaking mechanic for Dexnav made catching pokemon a whole new level of fun!  Hidden abilities, special moves only learned normally through breeding, and held items made it fun to find the best pokemon.

Not only that but the map and pokedex features improved a lot making you want to catch odd pokemon even if you didn’t want them in the first place.  The New mega evolutions are great and Hoenn getting a full 3D remake was just amazing.

Best Item(s):  The Brave Weapons from Fire Emblem Awakening
In the Awakening game, weapons matter a lot to you especially for the higher ranked ones as they can give more damage with better bonuses as well.  The brave weapons as such were among the best weapons in the game that I liked to equip my warriors with.  True, they may not be the strongest ones, but they’re among the best weapons to buy and that goes a long way.

Best BossThe Grand Masters from Pokemon Trading Card Game

As said before, defeating the Pokemon TCG was challenging mostly thanks to the Grand Masters.  All of them were packing Legendary cards that I couldn’t access yet.  Getting my butt kicked by Courtney, the first Master, several times made me rethink deck strategies to the point of dismantling them entirely and working from the ground up again.

Ironically, one of my easier battles came from the final battle against Ronald, your rival in the game.  He flat out refused to call back his Zapdos despite the fact that he only had fire and water energy cards.  I chose not to kill him on a gamble that he wouldn’t return him so I just outwaited him.  He ran out of cards before I did and I won.  One of the most hilarious victories I ever had.

 

Possible New Super Smash Bros Characters

With the new Nintendo Direct approaching soon, I thought I would offer my thought on possible characters that Nintendo might be introducing in the new Super Smash Bros games.  I’m already happy that one of my favorite characters, Little Mac, got in.  However, there are still other characters who I would like to see as well.  Who would be added to the roster as well?

Masahiro Sakurai, creator of SSB, has said when concerning characters “When we’re looking at candidates for new characters, we get a list of characters that people are interested in and we go through those with a fine tooth comb. The biggest feature we look at in Smash Bros is, what does this character bring to Smash Bros that other characters don’t?” (http://www.nowgamer.com/features/2034386/super_smash_bros_sakurai_speaks.html).  As such, here is my list of characters I think are very likely to be picked in the upcoming games based on SSB history and on what they would bring to the overall roster.  It’s entirely possible that NONE of these characters will be chosen, but I’m hoping at least one of them does.  I go from most likely to least likely, enjoy.

Mii

Mii:  The Mii character is perhaps the most likely character to be included in the new SSB game.  With the Mii available for both Wii U and 3DS, personalizing your fights has never been so easy.  Also, the Mii has already been used in the Mario Kart games so it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to include him in SSB as well.  His attacks could include tennis racket, golf club, baseball, and other wii sports and 3ds mini games that he has done.

Why it wouldn’t happen: the Villager is already the “everyman” type of character, do we really need a second similar character as well?

New Challenger Approaching?  Very Likely

Chrom_(FE13_Artwork)

Chrom:  Chrom is an obvious choice as well for the next SSB game.  Since Melee, we have had a Fire Emblem character that was featured in a recently made Fire Emblem game.  With Marth making a return as usual, it stands to reason that this time, the unique Fire Emblem character will be Chrom.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Another sword fighter will bring down the uniqueness of Chrom.  Chrom’s character needs to have a different approach to fighting with his sword if he wants to stay in.

New Challenger Approaching? Very likely

Tails

Tails: Tails is definitely a character that the new SSB game will benefit from.  Tails can be a combination of Sonic and Diddy Kong; light and fast, with use of gadgets to help him in a fight.  The Deathbattle Youtube series definitely highlights Tails’ fighting diversity, check it out.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Sega already has Sonic which more than covers the Sega franchise.  Why need another character?

New Challenger Approaching? Likely

Simon-belmont-captain-n

Simon Belmont: Whip it!  WHIP IT GOOD!  With Mega Man and Little Mac joining SSB, Simon Belmont would round off the classic NES characters and create one Hell of a nostalgiafilled roster.  A variety of attacks would make him a unique and interesting fighter who could kick balls and take names.  Also, Snake was from Konami, so we know that Konami isn’t a stranger in allowing Nintendo to use their characters.  Do it Nintendo, do it for the fans!

Why it wouldn’t happen: It’s just too good to be true.

New Challenger Approaching?  Likely

bomberman

Bomberman: Bomberman has been a recurring character in Nintendo history ever since the NES days and has appeared in almost every major Nintendo console since.  He is also very different at what he does which is BOMB THE HELL OUT OF EVERYTHING.  He can kick bombs, throw bombs, make bombs bigger, throw even more bombs, and…ride kangaroos??  Regardless, Bomberman is awesome; he’s a unique fighter who would be a welcome addition to the roster.

Why it wouldn’t happen: At this point, he’s been snubbed so many times that it just makes you wonder why Bomberman has not been recognized at this point.  Plus, if Konami had to go for one character, they probably would choose Simon over Bomberman.

New Challenger Approaching? Likely

Paper Mario

Paper Mario: If Dr. Mario was in SSBM, why not Paper Mario?  However, unlike the good Doctor, Paper Mario has skills and equipment that regular Mario doesn’t have.  Hammers, stickers, badges, partners, the list goes on.  His main draw though would be his paper powers like paper airplane, paper tube, and other papery gimmicks.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Mario is already in the house so Paper Mario’s chance is kind of low.  However, if Toon Link is making a return, why not Paper Mario as well?

New Challenger Approaching?  Likely

250px-150Mewtwo

Mewtwo: I know I’m not the only one shouting this Legendary Pokemon’s name, many people want him back.  His chances of coming back would be really low if it wasn’t for Pokemon X and Y.  The return of Mewtwo in the recent movie and in the game has brought a popularity surge for him.  Also, his Final Smash attack would obviously be his Mega form, either X or Y.  If there was a chance for him to return, it’s now, or never.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Freaking Lucario.  With Lucario returning, Mewtwo’s chance has plummeted.  Nintendo can’t have too many characters from one franchise and they have to pick carefully who they want to fight.  Perhaps if they got rid of Pokemon Trainer?

New Challenger Approaching? Somewhat likely.

225px-Ryu-tatsunoko

Ryu: HADOKEN!  Street Fighter may not be popular with Nintendo as it once was, but that shouldn’t stop Ryu from joining up with SSB.  One of the best fighters in the Street Fighter universe going toe-to-toe with Mario and co. would be fantastic.  And since CAPCOM already has Mega Man, why not Ryu as well?

Why it wouldn’t happen: CAPCOM may decide to stick to just Mega Man.  Also, Ryu may be too similar to Mario or Little Mac.  But Mario’s fighting style has been changing these last few games so Ryu might stand out more as such.  Aw well, there’s always Blanka.

New Challenger Approaching? Somewhat likely.

KingKRoolDKJC

King K. Rool: More enemies!  We need more enemies!  GET KING K. ROOL!  The different outfits for him would be hilarious.  His attacks would be just as diverse as well; crown attack, blunderbuss, boxing gloves, body slam, and so forth.  They can definitely play around with him since he’s not very restricted at what he does and how he does it.  Many people have been calling for Ridley but I don’t see it happening, I’m putting my money on the King.

Why it wouldn’t happen: There’s already a lizard King on the battlefield.  Plus, King K. Rool may be a little out there.  I don’t know, he just doesn’t strike me as someone Nintendo will be like, yeah, let’s choose him on our roster!  Fingers crossed though!

New Challenger Approaching?  Somewhat likely.

Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton

Phoenix Wright and Professor Layton:  These two sleuths go hand in hand.  Both of them are featured prominently in Nintendo’s handheld consoles by consistently chugging out great hit after great hit.  Their crossover game also showed that their parent companies aren’t afraid to lend their characters elsewhere.  They don’t traditionally fight in their games though Layton isn’t afraid to swing a sword and Phoenix has gotten his hands dirty in a recent Capcom vs. Marvel game.  Nintendo may have to think a bit on how they fight but if the Villager can get in, why not PW and PL?

Why it wouldn’t happen: Unfortunately, as stated before, they aren’t really fighting characters so that’s a barrier they may have to overcome.  Also, both of them may even be the other’s worst enemy as their brains over brawn manner may eliminate the other character’s chances.

New Challenger Approaching?  Somewhat likely.

banjo_kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie: Holy crap, yes.  They starred in two of the (arguably) best platformers in the N64 era.  Their fighting would be similar to Ice Climbers but probably with the two characters more closely tied to each other and less independent.  Unfortunately, I haven’t played any of their games yet but from what I have seen, not only would they bring their own unique style to SSB, but they would fit in extremely well with the rest of the crazy cast.

Why it wouldn’t happen: Microsoft currently owns Rare, as such, any chances of getting B-K are extremely low.  Aint gonna happen.

New Challenger Approaching?  Highly unlikely.