Review Quickies, Vol. 15

Bayonetta 2
(WU, 2014)

+ super smooth, usually rock solid frame rate
+ pretty good soundtrack
+ fantastic variety of many new enemies and weapons
+ pacing is improved from the first game
+ comes with a good port of the original Bayonetta for no additional charge
– boss battles are less memorable

This is THE game of 2014! THE one I have been waiting for! THE one game I bought a Wii U for and it was worth the wait! Bayonetta 2 is the sequel fans like me have been wanting and it doesn’t disappoint…much. It’s the refined sequel you would expect: nicer graphics, better frame rate, a lot of new enemies and weapons, and more crazy boss battles. The main new setting you get to spend some time in is Hell. This where you fight a bunch of new demons enemies, but the angels are still numerous elsewhere in the game with a bunch of new ones too.

The disappointing aspects for me were the boss battles and the soundtrack. The soundtrack doesn’t have the memorable two tunes from the first game: Mysterious Destiny and Fly Me To The Moon. The new tracks have the Bayonetta feel to them, but they don’t stand out as much. The boss battles are good overall, but the one that I was least impressed with was the final fight versus Aesir. It just feels like almost any other boss battle in the game, whereas the final fight from the first game with Jubileus was much more epic.

Overall, I’m not sure exactly how I feel when comparing this game to the original. I think I might still prefer Bayonetta 1 by a slight margin, but regardless of that, they are still both the best in the genre.

RATING: 6 out of 6

(PS4, 2014)

+ fantasic art direction
+ shooting gameplay is second to none
+ great soundtrack
– need to be in it for the long haul to get the most out of the experience
– lore and narrative is virtually nonexistent
– not a lot of unique content

Destiny. A lot has been said about Destiny. I feel a lot of people don’t quite get this game. Many people seemed to have played this game like any other game in that they played it enough to see everything once, put it down, and opined that it was okay at best. I feel playing it that way is missing what this game is all about. Destiny is about playing with others. It’s about sticking with it for the long haul. It’s about wanting to do the high level strikes and raid. It’s about wanting to grind for that legendary or exotic weapon and the materials to upgrade it. If that doesn’t sound like your thing, then this isn’t the game for you. I have been surprised that it is my thing and I have been greatly enjoying the tons of time I’ve put into Destiny. This is one of my favorites of the year!

FYI: The appropriate comparison for Destiny is Warframe, not Borderlands, Halo, or anything else. You wouldn’t know because you’ve never played Warframe.

RATING: 5 out of 6

Dust: An Elysian Tail
(PS4, 2014)

+ nice hand drawn 2D visuals
+ combat is pretty good
– way too easy to out-level the game very early on
– too much down time listening to characters speak

Dust: An Elysian Tail makes a good first impression with it’s nice visuals, animation, and combat, but after that it’s downhill. It becomes very easy to get upgrades very early on in the game to where the game becomes a cakewalk and then it feels more like a chore to play as you realize there’s not much reason to use many of your combat abilities. Boss battles also become super easy too. I am glad to finally be able to try Dust, but I am also glad it was free to play via PlayStation Plus.

RATING: 4 out of 6

Azure Striker: Gunvolt
(3DS, 2014)

+ beautiful 16-bit style graphics
+ interesting twist on the Mega Man style of gameplay
+ soundtrack is solid
– a bit too grind heavy for upgrade materials

Gunvolt is a game that is a very interesting take on the Mega Man X style of 16-bit action/platformers. Instead of shooting enemies directly, the main way to attack is to tag your enemies and then zap them with electricity. You can tag a single enemy multiple times or multiple enemies. The more you tag a single enemy the more damage your electric attack will do. You do get special attacks you can equip to slots on the touch screen from the bosses and they aren’t the bosses powers like in Mega Man, but they’re still pretty cool. Gunvolt also has the ability to craft equipment, but in order to get the items to craft you really need to replay levels a bit too much to get what you need and what you get from a level is mostly random. Other than being a bit too grind heavy for those upgrade materials, Azure Striker: Gunvolt is a fantastic action romp for the 3DS!

RATING: 5 out of 6