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Users with accounts on the HonestGamers site are able to contribute reviews and occasionally other types of content. Below, you'll find excerpts from as many as 20 of the most recent articles posted by phediuk. Be sure to leave some feedback if you find anything interesting!
Originally, “interactive movies” described games like Dragon’s Lair: literal movies where you pressed a button at the right time to keep watching the movie. In the late 90s, the concept of an “interactive movie” morphed into a hybrid consisting of segregated “movie” and “game” parts. You play for a minute, watch a really long cutscene, continue playing, long cutscene, etc. The story unfolds in the “movie” parts and all of the coolest scenes require no input from the player. The status quo has re...
Playing the original Sonic the Hedgehog is a lot like revisiting your old elementary school: you know your way around, and you’ve got some good memories, but the place just isn’t as big as you remember it. Sonic 1 feels like a footnote in platformer history—it’s so slight that it’s hard to comprehend why it was such a big hit. It’s decent, but the gameplay feels unrefined, the level design is a mixed bag, and the game’s look is neither as fast nor as colorful as its sequels. Sonic 1 plays like e...
Game: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PlayStation 2)
Posted: December 17, 2009 (06:40 AM)
Metal Gear Solid 2 is the point of the series where it it’s not just a game anymore. It was here that Hideo Kojima was convinced he was making History’s Next Great Epic. This was to be the Homer’s Odyssey of the video game era. The half hour codec conversations were to leave the viewer in a state of trance, convulsing with the uncontrollable aura of Truth. When Kojima tells us “Life isn't just about passing on your genes. We can leave behind much more than just DNA”, we are not listening ...
I have to wonder why the makers of Metal Gear Solid didn’t just make a movie. Here’s a game where the gameplay is never the focus, where interactivity is just a vehicle to get to the next cutscene, where the controller spends more time in your lap than it does in your hands. The best games use interactivity to tell their stories—it is, after all, what separates games from movies. Metal Gear Solid goes in exactly the opposite direction, keeping story and gameplay on opposite sides of a brick wall...
Chains of Olympus is a handheld version of the PS2 God of War games. But don’t be fooled: it wants desperately to not be a handheld game. In the transition from DVD9 to a 1.8GB UMD, nothing has been lost as far as gameplay is concerned. Content? Replay value? That’s another story. But as a technical achievement, you’d be hard-pressed to find any handheld game with production values this high. All of the over-the-top action of the PS2 games is here, as is their superb visuals and orchestral sound...
You need to be a Nintendo fan to enjoy Smash Bros. The entire appeal is playing as all those characters from your childhood you’re nostalgic for. I’ve tried playing Brawl with people who’d never played Zelda or Metroid or Kirby, and all I got was a bunch of bored shrugs. But if you have three friends who are interested, the offline multiplayer is some of the most fun you’ll ever have with a fighting game. Notice how I stress “offline multiplayer”, as the single-player game is dull, and the much-...
Apollo Justice is exactly like the Phoenix Wright games. The formula has been beaten to death at this point; what was fresh and original in the first game is feeling awfully worn-out now. Despite being the first game in the series developed with the DS in mind, and getting a new main character, almost nothing has changed for better or worse. None of the nagging flaws from the previous Ace Attorneys have been addressed, which is very annoying, considering the developers have had three sequels wit...
As I was playing through Mario Galaxy, I found I was having fun. But not the conventional type of fun. Let’s call it “half-fun”. It’s the kind of fun where you enjoy what you’re playing but at the same time you’re bored out of your mind. It’s like after you drink a big Slurpee; you feel very quenched but simultaneously very thirsty. It became increasingly clear over the course of Galaxy that the game would be a lot better if it wasn’t a Mario game. Forget being played out to death; Mario’s been ...
Game: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (GameCube)
Posted: February 15, 2008 (09:37 PM)
Boring. Stale. Rehashed. What do all these words have in common? They describe the Zelda series perfectly. There was a time when I was a Zelda fan; that was when Ocarina of Time was still called Ocarina of Time. I wasn’t a fan when OoT was repackaged and called Wind Waker. I wasn’t a fan when OoT was repackaged again and called Twilight Princess. I wasn’t a fan of Majora’s Mask, either, but I respect that game for trying something new. So what’s Twilight Princess’ excuse? This is as dull, vapid,...
Radiant Dawn is a direct sequel to Path of Radiance. The gameplay engine is almost identical and all the characters return (to the point of overkill), so if you liked PoR, you’ll like Radiant Dawn. On the other hand, if you’re not a Fire Emblem fan, Radiant Dawn won’t do much to change your mind. It’s not the best game in the series by a longshot, but RD is still a really addicting game.
Game: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (DS)
Posted: November 07, 2007 (09:09 AM)
Have you played the first two Phoenix Wright games? Did you like them? If both your answers are yes, then play Phoenix Wright 3. It is exactly the same as the previous games. And I mean exactly. No new gameplay mechanics have been introduced, and half the graphics are lifted directly from Phoenix Wright 1/2. The formula is stale, but there’s still some fun to be had with PW3.
Phantom Hourglass is a bore. It takes the same tired gameplay we’ve been seeing for 20 years and throws some touch-screen functionality on it. Does the touch screen add much to the game? Not really. For every way in which it helps the gameplay, it also hinders it. It’s the definition of gimmick. For all but the most die-hard Zelda fans, Phantom Hourglass will be a long, boring trial to keep yourself awake.
The first thing you’ll notice about Silver Surfer is how awesome the music is. Most of my experience with this game has been on the pause screen in the first level listening to the soundtrack. This game embraces the NES’ limited sound capabilities; it’s like a techno chiptune remix before techno chiptune remixes existed. The drum samples are the most authentic you’ll hear on the NES. The melodies are catchy as all hell. These tunes are among the best on the system. Seriously. Obtain a copy of th...
All you do in God Hand is whoop ass. The game doesn’t make a big secret of this; hell, the box art is just a fist punching some guy’s face. Do you like whooping ass? If your answer is yes, then you’d best ignore the so-so reviews God Hand received from gaming critics and give it a whirl, as it is some of the best dumb fun you’ve had in awhile. Yes, that’s right, fun. None of those conceited terms like “depth” could be used in reference to God Hand, but it doesn’t matter, because it provid...
Game: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES)
Posted: March 29, 2007 (01:21 PM)
When I was a kid, I knew Turtles in Time as the game where you could throw bad guys into the screen. Yes, that’s right. Into the screen. It’s the one unique twist in this otherwise typical beat-‘em-up. The game is about as brainless as it gets; beat up a bunch of foot soldiers, battle some big bad bosses, listen to the incredibly cheesy digitized voice samples along the way (“STARBASE: WHERE NO TURTLE HAS GONE BEFORE”), and generally have a good time. A monkey could have fun with this gam...
God of War II is not complicated. Multi-faceted plot? Pfft. How about five cutscenes in the whole game? Yeah, that's right. Even though the game is inundated with a stupidly self-conscious epic narrative and an equally pompous musical score, you won't care once you press the start button. From beginning to end, God of War II is Exhibit A for ass-kickery. You know those parts in other games where you're just forcing yourself along so you can get to the next cool part? They don't exist in GoW2. Ev...
Game: Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner (PlayStation 2)
Posted: February 06, 2007 (04:23 PM)
In Zone of Enders 2, you beat up robots. The game gives you as many robot beating options you could ever want, so naturally, there’s a lot to like about this game. However, the game ultimately suffers from a lack of content. The gameplay doesn’t get time to develop and the storyline suffers for it too. But if you’re a fan of beat-‘em-ups and you’re a fan of the anime that ZOE2 is so clearly inspired by, you’ll probably be able to see past these issues and have a good time with the game.
Klonoa 2 is a pretty good platformer, and I had fun with it. It doesn't do anything exceptionally well, but it doesn't have any glaring shortcomings either. It has a solid graphical style, a solid soundtrack, solid level design, and a solid control scheme. It may not be ambitious, but hey, it's just a solid game.
Game: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All (DS)
Posted: January 30, 2007 (01:26 PM)
Justice for All is a complete rehash of the first Phoenix Wright. The engine is the same, just about all of the graphics are reused, some of the music is recycled, and the gameplay is virtually identical. Can you live with that? If the answer is "yes", then you should enjoy your time with Phoenix Wright 2.
The last thing Portrait of Ruin could be called is innovative. This is the definition of the assembly-line, take-no-chances, use-all-of-the-assets-from-the-previous-game sequel. If you've played Symphony of the Night, any of the three GBA games, or Dawn of Sorrow, you should know exactly what to expect: you'll trek through a labyrinthine castle, upgrading your abilities to access new areas ala Metroid, and beat up a whole bunch of enemies along the way. Luckily, Portrait of Ruin is as well-craft...