Tag Archives: ds

Haven Review: Phoenix Wright Spirit of Justice

phoenixwrightCourt is back in order and with it comes a new Phoenix Wright title, now I for one am actually quite a fan of the series and have played some previous titles before on road trips with my parents.

aceattorney6spiritofjusticetrailerign-1462982664287_largeNow back with all his friends and colleagues court is heating up like never before as a Phoenix lands in a mystical land filled with spirit mediums and no defense attorneys and he begins to stand up for his newest friend and finds himself in a bind.

With the story unfolding Phoenix learns that if he loses a case here he will meet the same fate as the people he is defending which can be a quick and painful death. But don’t worry if he does die he can spend his time in the Twilight realm with everyone who also was killed or has died before.pwaa_spirit_of_justice_screens_05_bmp_jpgcopy_thumb

Because living in the land of spirits is fun and exciting, but seriously the game has a amazing story with a vast array of characters to call on an talk too. That helps just add more depth to the franchise in new exciting cases that will intrigue you and boggle your minds.

I found the musical score of the game equally enjoyable and great for setting the tone to the newest cases such as the first case with hippie heavy metal Jesus.

1472418410493Now the game itself takes not only the team you have made from the previous titles but also compiles everything you have learned or should have learned up to that point with flawless integration and if you are new to the series as well the game gives you the opportunity to learn about all the features in it with quick and very precise tutorials to make things easier for everyone.

So players who have never touched a Phoenix Wright title can start with this one if they wanted too and jump right into the action by yelling objection into your microphone and slamming your hands down on your desk.phoenix_wright_ace_attorney_spirit_of_justice_3ds_eshop_screenshot_2

In conclusion though the game is perfect in both its design aspect from its controls, to its music and even to the story it has with a great array of characters to watch and interact with. It ends up being one of the best Phoenix Wright titles I have ever played and I would highly recommend it to anyone weather they are old fans or new comers.

aceattorney6-0cfe1Capcom has really outdone themselves with this franchise and being innovative with new styles of games. I wish at times they would pay more proper attention to their blue bomber but that’s an article for another day.

-Daniel Clatworthy-

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Haven Review: Pokemon Gold and Silver

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Greetings trawler and welcome to the magical word of Pokemon, a place of untold mystery filled to the brim with mighty beasts, fluffy critters, a bucket load of weird things and a fair share of Eldrtich abominations wanting to feast on your soul. In this lovely pastel-colored world, children as young as ten are sent out to become a Pokemon trainer; someone who can wield the mighty powers each Pokemon contains. However I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s mostly children who did badly on their aptitude tests that have to travel across the land. This might also explain why fishermen with only “Magicarps” are in the party. In other words, these poor uneducated buggers throw fish at you…weak aquatic creatures that flop around on the ground.

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A move that involves only flopping and Splashing around in front of the opponent. It has no effect. Image found on Google.

As Pokemom participate in vicious fights against other monsters, they will eventually become stronger and “evolve” into a bigger and much more vicious version, though the process should be called a metamorphosis. After all I was taught that evolution was something that happened over a very long time through generations. But I’ll crack that up the likelihood that the local scientist in town could quite possibly be bonkers with no formal education. So I’ll stick to the term “evolution”.

The most common way to proceed through the game is via combat, though some rare exceptions occur. Either through elemental rocks or when night sets, some evolve through trading with other trainers, and a selective few by holding an item while being traded. These also seem to grow strong faster, as well. A new trend that recently occurred a well, is the ability to breed Pokemon by putting two of the same gender at the ever-friendly Caretaker’s place. Eventually they lay an egg that will hatch into baby, and if its nature is right will get a little stronger than the rest, by fighting certain Pokemon. Rumor has it that a Pokemon with different color might just appear…and it’s ultra rare! On my journey I got some new tools, as well. This includes a snazzy phone with a map function, though I’m not sure why these deadbeat trainers I fought on the way want to have my number. It’s not like the eventual rematch will be any less one-sided.

Fact of Pokemon life.
Fact of Pokemon life.

Unless you’ve lived under a rock for several decades or in The Congo, you have probably heard of or seen a Pokemon product. Whether this is a good thing or not is for you to decide. My first encounter was the pesky Trading Card Game (TCG), which almost no one played (yet everyone and their mother had a card or ten). I was clearly a target demographic when Nintendo launched its nefarious plot to make money off funky critters that fought each other in an arena…essentially a combination of cock fighting and match of rock-paper-scissors.

The old and the new version.
The old and the new version.

The first in the series I actually played through was Pokemon Gold, the sequel to Red and Blue, which added more of everything; new monsters, new locations and a lot of post-game content. The formula mostly follows the idea of fighting eight gym leaders, then challenge the elite four and lastly the champion. As part of the post-game content, there were eight more gym leaders to beat and to have a climatic battle against. Red was the champion from the previous game.

Slightly upgraded graphics.
Slightly upgraded graphics.

Eventually Gold and Silver got a remake named Soul Silver and Hearth Gold, which included a lot of the new elements introduced in later games. This includes Pokemon that need a certain level of happiness to evolve. Aside from better graphics and the addition of some mechanics the game includes a pedometer, a device that counts the number of steps the user has taken during a walk. It is also possible to transfer a Pokemon into the device to level it up while walking, and trade a random item with another person who also has such a device.

The main series is formulaic as all hell and is an example of how to make a highly addictive, turn-based role playing game correctly.

Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

While you’re at it, check out this Pokemon fancomic.
http://pokeventuras.smackjeeves.com/

Njål H Sand

Haven Review: Umihara Kawase

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Umihara Kawase is an interesting platfomer puzzle game. You play as a little girl with a fishing pole. The original game was released in 1994. In 2015 the game was reworked and launched on Steam. The game dealt with some legal issues, and after a change of developer the game is ready to be played. This review will be for the Steam edition of the game, but of course I can’t really talk about that without touching on the original game, as well.

First off, this game is incredibly difficult. You must complete 10 level chunks with a total of 8 lives. If you run out of lives then you start back at the beginning. The Steam edition has changed a handful of levels throughout the game. These changes seem more about smoothing out the difficulty curve than for anything else. The starting levels of the Steam edition definitely ease you into the control scheme and concepts of the game; more so than the starting level of the original title.2016-02-28_00003

You use your fishing pole in two ways: You can either attach it to enemies and “reel” them into your backpack (accomplished by simply running over them) or you can attach it to walls and use it as a grappling hook. This is your main way of traversing the level. There are definitely routes you can take that require intricate maneuvers with the pole, which I have yet to master. There are also the slower, safer routes. However even these sometimes require precision grappling in order to get through.

One thing that I feel is unnecessarily difficult to pull off is flipping yourself up onto solid ground while hanging from a ledge. At times it can be pretty arbitrary whether or not your character actually succeeds, or just limply dangles…flopping around just like the fish you prey upon. Numerous deaths were wasted on trying to make a jump, only to be caught on an edge rather than anything solid; then dropping into the water below instead of pulling myself up. This is the one area where the controls don’t feel as responsive as they need to be for this kind of precision. This was an issue with the first iteration of the game that wasn’t really fixed in the Steam edition. In all honesty, this more than likely won’t be an issue for experienced players. But for someone casually playing, this is definitely an area of frustration.2016-02-28_00002

The weakest area of the game are the boss fights. At the end of 10 levels you fight a boss. The fights tend to be heavily reliant on trial and error. With limited lives and one-hit kills, you can quickly get a “game over” without figuring out anything. This, however is mostly mitigated by one of the game’s best features: a practice mode. Once you’ve reached a level in the main game, you can jump over to practice mode and replay that level again and again until you’ve gotten it down. The result of adding in this practice mode means that you have to go through these training sessions to figure out these unforgiving levels. This means smoother runs through the main game and fewer lives wasted on figuring out what’s going on. However the down side to the practice mode is that the game gets away with not adding important context clues in the level design to help you navigate an area. It will occasionally throw you into a level that may take you several attempts to figure out. Again this is a pretty small complaint, since trying the level a few times in practice mode isn’t a big deal. You can pretty much figure everything out after a few attempts.2016-02-28_00005

The updated art style in the game is really nice. They took great care making the game look likes its 1994 counterpart, but with modern touches to really make the retro look work. All the fish look weird and wonderful. The colors make the whole world vibrant and the random stuff lying around the levels, like giant carrots and school supplies, add a lovely hint of the bizarre. Umihara Kawase has its flaws to be sure, but it’s still a lovely little experience; given you have enough patience for it.fishgame

Disclaimer: We received this game because we wanted to review it, and as such all views in this article our are own. No money has been exchanged for this review.

-Jordan Kamm-