Yakuza: Dead Souls
The west finally received its first taste of a Yakuza spin-off (Japan already saw Ryu ga Gotoku: Kenzan! for PS3 and Kurohyo: Ryu ga Gotoku Shinshou for PSP) and it’s not a particularly good one. In fact, I’d say Dead Souls is the worst of the games in the series so far. This one is a third-person zombie themed shooter instead of the action-adventure RPG beat-’em-up the main games in the series are. Having said that, I feel it is pretty decent for what it is, but the gun-play is pretty meh with loose and strange aiming. The narrative still has a lot of the great returning characters and locations fans have come to expect. My favorite returning character is Ryuji Goda from all the way back in Yakuza 2 when he was one of the main antagonists. Unfortunately, the narrative is less compelling this time around than average as it is simply stopping a guy from infecting people with his super virus of sorts that turns people into super powered zombies and sometimes other crazy mutant beasts. This game also heavily restricts where you can go any given time within Kamurocho which is a bummer. The difficultly is incredibly easy and I think that’s probably because Ryu ga Gotoku Studio knew it needed to do that to compensate for the flawed gameplay. In the end, Yakuza: Dead Souls can only be recommended to diehard Yakuza fans. Everybody else that might be interested in giving a Yakuza game a try, choose any one of the other main games.
RATING: 4 out of 6 / 6.5 out of 10
Looking for a World War II themed shooter where Nazis and the occult combine for some supernatural thrills with WWII weaponry and cool “Black Sun” powers and weapons? Look no further to quench that very specific thirst, my friend! Wolfenstein from 2009 is a solid and fun first-person shooter with some very good shooting and great boss battles in the quest to rid the Nazis from Isenstadt in which they have taken complete control of in order to mine rare Nachtsonne crystals necessary to access the “Black Sun” dimension. When you finally tire of the same old “modern warfare” shooters you’re playing, take a look at Wolfenstein. World War II as a setting hasn’t seemed this fresh since the early 2000s.
RATING: 5 out of 6 / 7.5 out of 10
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
Enslaved is an action/adventure similar to the Uncharted series, but instead replace Uncharted’s shooting mostly with simplistic melee action. The Uncharted-esque platforming is all there, but probably easier. Even so, I still didn’t like that part much because there are times when it’s difficult to see what is shimmering (depends on the color of the surrounds) so you know where to go, which was my same problem with Uncharted’s platforming. The animation can lead you to getting killed because of the transition from standing still to running and getting kinda hung-up on cover. I did mostly enjoy the game thanks to the great voice acting and animation, but the characters weren’t as enjoyable as in Heavenly Sword. The ending was pretty surprising and somewhat ambiguous which was interesting. Most other reviews seemed to like it more than I did, so perhaps you will too.
RATING: 4 out of 6 / 7.0 out of 10
Recently Sega released three arcade fighters for download on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that used their mid-1990s arcade hardware known as Model 2. Fighting Vipers is the one I bought (the other two are Virtua Fighter 2 and Sonic the Fighters) since I think it’s a more fun take on Virtua Fighter 2. Fighting Vipers has a more interesting cast of fighters and a cool armor system where you can break the opposing fighter’s armor off in spectacular fashion and open them up to taking even more damage. These moves can also be used to finish your opponent off and send them through an arena wall! These armor moves do have drawbacks in that they have more start-up than normal strikes and thus can be beaten by quick strikes or throws. However, they can only be beaten at the very start, once they get going most normal strikes will be absorbed by these moves and they will blow right through said normal strikes. It’s an interesting extra dynamic that VF doesn’t have. Unfortunately, this new release is missing any real modes outside of Arcade, Offline Multiplayer, and Online Multiplayer. There isn’t even a Training mode! Luckily it was only $5 and is still worth it if you enjoyed any of these fighters before or are curious about Sega’s early 3D fighters.
RATING: 4 out of 6 / 7.0 out of 10
New [1CC’d] video! This time the game is Winds of Thunder on PC Engine. Enjoy!