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spyrofan (England)

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The Last Tinker (PS4)
The Last Tinker (PS4)
Price: £13.68

5.0 out of 5 stars Good, Old School platforming!, 17 Jan. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Last Tinker (PS4) (Video Game)
When you grow up playing games such as Spyro, Crash, Jak & Daxter and Ratchet & Clank, sometimes you just long for a trip down memory lane and to just play a game that reminds you of that innocent era of gaming. For me, The Last Tinker fulfilled that need perfectly.

This game just oozes charm and humour, and is in very much the same vein as games like Banjo-Kazooie and Jak & Daxter. The story is simple enough but carries a very good message. It is kid friendly, but never patronises the player by being too easy.
The game is very, VERY colourful and has an "arts and crafts" feel to it, slightly similar to games like Tearaway. the landscape and objects in the game all look like they were crafted with cardboard and paper mache and then coated liberally in poster paints. Even the character's speech bubbles are made of cardboard. Speaking of which, the characters are all very likeable in this game. Dialogue is full of wit and charm yet never gets cutesy or patronising. Your Character-Koru- is a silent protagonist but he is joined by his sidekick Tap, an adorable, yet sometimes slightly snarky floating multicoloured....sheep...thing..........yeaaaah! You then have the mushroom guy Biggs who, along with his alter-ego Bomber, are central to figuring out many of the puzzles.
The gameplay is pretty solid- full of the sort of puzzles you'd expect in a platformer, which range from musical mushrooms to solving a crime scene. One thing to note is that this game does not have a jump button- most platforming actions such as jumping and climbing are performed by holding down the R2 button. While this does take a bit of getting used to, it fits the gameplay quite well. The other main aspect of the game is combat, and this could take some getting used to. It took me a while to get to grips with the dodging, and sometimes when fighting multiple enemies Koru will accidentally target the wrong enemy during a combo, but as the game goes on you will unlock new abilities and buy upgrades that will make combat more varied and fun. Also, this game is very good at ensuring that you're not stuck by not knowing where your next objective is- just press the down button, and Tap will whizz off ahead of you in the direction you need to go, leaving a stream of colourful confetti in his wake.
Other than the gems that are used as currency, there aren't that many collectables in this game- there are some gold floating paintbrushes hidden throughout the game that will unlock cheats and concept art though, but they're not too much of a challenge to find. Once I made a point of looking for them, I found them without too much trouble- though they do provide an incentive to explore every nook and cranny. Also, thanks to the difficulty setting, you can tailor the game to be harder or easier if you wish- ranging from the "Kid mode" to the decidedly less lenient "Instant Death" mode, which will cause you to lose a life if you take so much as one hit.
Overall, is this game groundbreaking and innovative? No. Is it charming and entertaining? Definitely. Is it worth playing? Absolutely!
I've always thought that just because a game doesn't bring any new elements doesn't mean it can't be good. As I originally stated, this game perfectly captures the mood of playing those good old platformers that I grew up with. It's not overly difficult- I completed it in a relatively short amount of time without much difficulty yet I found it a joy to play from from start to finish.
This game is perfect for kids, or for those young at heart who want to relive those experiences given from those Spyro/Banjo Kazooie/Jak & Daxter type games again.

Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force (PS3)
Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force (PS3)

5.0 out of 5 stars Online multiplayer can be very addictive!, 3 Jan. 2016
Firstly, I owe this game a big apology- I actually got it a couple of years ago, being a huge Ratchet and Clank fan, but was a bit disappointed that the gameplay style was quite a big change to what I'm used to from the series. I initially just couldn't get into the new tower defense format and the game lay forgotten for a little while. It was not until quite recently when I watched my brother give it a go and get quite far into it that I realised there was fun to be had here. So, I too gave it another try, and have been coming back to it almost every day since!

So, firstly, this game is a tower defense game, not a platformer like the other entries in the series. If you can just get past this change and not compare it to the other games, you are likely to find some enjoyment here. The main aim of each level is to restore power to the planetary defense centre, while protecting your base from waves of enemies who are trying to destroy the 6 generators that your base holds. If all 6 generators are destroyed, you lose. You can use the bolts that you collect around the level to buy defenses for your base such as barriers, turrets and mines to help keep the enemies at bay, and you seek out weapon nodes throughout the map to unlock your weapons (old favourites such as the Buzz Blades and Mr. Zurkon return here). The single player campaign isn't too long- about 5 levels overall- but you can always go back and replay each level to find the medals, gold bolts and skill points you missed, as well as fully upgrade all your weapons, giving some replayability.

However, it is the online multiplayer competitive mode where this game really shines! In this mode, the game is separated into 3 sections- Recon mode, where you must capture as many nodes as you can to unlock weapons and keep a steady stream of bolts coming in, Squad mode, where you use the bolts you have accumulated to buy enemy waves to attack your opponent's base, as well as defenses to protect your own, and then Assault mode, where your army (or you, if you feel brave enough) launch an assault on your opponents base to try and destroy their generators. The game ends when someone loses all 6 of their generators. The 3 stages repeat 5 times, and if no-one has won by the end of the 5th round, get ready for the crazy final Full Frontal Assault phase- a sudden death situation where you keep fighting each other until someone loses all their generators.
I have found myself quite addicted to these matches, trying to earn and maintain a decent rank- I find myself quite outmatched by a lot of players out there, but it's still fun.
The game comes with the cross-buy and cross-save feature so you can get the PS Vita version as well for free (please be aware that there is quite a drop in quality on the Vita version such as graphics and frame rate etc, but I tend to play the PS Vita version more just due to convenience, and I've got used to the differences so they don't bother me anymore) and the online multiplayer works between the PS3 and Vita versions, although you get more options with the PS3 version such as 2 vs 2 and other modes.

Overall, if you are a fan of Ratchet and Clank or Turret Defense games I would give this game a try. It's a fun game to keep coming back to, and once you look past the fact that it is different to the rest of the series, you may just have a good time!

Mort the Chicken
Mort the Chicken

4.0 out of 5 stars An odd game full of charm- and chicken puns!, 3 Aug. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Mort the Chicken (Video Game)
This game is probably the most odd game that I've played in a long time! I bought this game on a complete whim- I wanted to buy just a simple game that would pass some time and I came across this one. The best way to explain the gameplay of Mort the Chicken is basically a fully 3D version of games such as Flicky or Sonic 3D (which was in itself a game based on Flicky)- you hunt around the level looking for lost chicks and take them to a well. Getting hit will cause the chicks you've collected to scatter. Unfortunately, the camera is a little slow, and the controls aren't exactly the tightest there is, but none of these were ever such a problem for me that it badly affected the gameplay, but could have done with some polish. It's also really easy, with enemies that can killed with a couple of hits at most, and plenty of health pickups scattered about, I doubt you'll ever find yourself losing a life.
The story is the following- a bunch of cubes from another dimension are spying on the chickens and think that the hay bales in the barn are cubes that chickens have held hostage, so they kidnap chicks in retaliation......yeah, I did say this game was odd! But the cutscenes between levels are pretty cool. Most are told in the style of breaking news reports updating on the situation (all absolutely bursting with chicken related puns, I might add!) other cutscenes are just random chicken joke type things.
The graphics are....well, to be honest the graphics are not much to look at. Everything is cube shaped, blocky and bland. Even the enemies are just moving cubes. But hey, for this game, it's fine- in a simplistic game like this, equally simplistic graphics suit it down to the ground. It has nice loading screens though- they're all chicken parodies of famous paintings!
The music is quite nice too- not exactly memorable, but seems to fit the feel of the game pretty well.
The game's length is pretty short- you could probably beat it in just a couple of hours. It's really weird, but I was playing it, and just really getting into it when it just...stopped. Seriously, there was no indication that I was getting near to the end of the game, I just beat a boss then suddenly I was done and had the end cutscene. It's almost like the developers just ran out of ideas and decided to just end it there!
For all its flaws though, I just can't bring myself to dislike this game. It's one of those that by rights, I should hate, but I just don't. It may be low budget and unpolished, but you can see that a lot of charm and humour was put into it and it made me smile. There's something relaxing about the simple gameplay and if you complete this game 100% you are rewarded with some rather nice cheats (also take a look at some cheats for the game online- there's some pretty cool ones).
In summary, the game is really unoriginal, short, easy, unpolished and with a lackluster storyline. But when I played through and finished it, I found myself wishing that it had gone on for longer- and that can't be a bad thing, right?

Sly Trilogy (Playstation Vita)
Sly Trilogy (Playstation Vita)

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the Sly Trilogy is now portable!, 24 May 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was very impressed with this trilogy. I already own the PS3 version of this trilogy but decided to get the vita version as well anyway.
I'm slightly confused as to why only Sly 1 and 2 are on the actual game card, and Sly 3 has to be downloaded with the supplied code, but hey.
A lot of thought was put into porting this for the Vita. Firstly, the controls have been reworked to better accommodate the PS Vita- for example touching the screen will bring up the Binoc-u-com, and touching the rear pad will "ping" the waypoints in Sly 2 and 3. (The characters' dialogues have also been redone slightly at some points so that they mention the touchscreens instead of L3 and R3 too).
The game looks great on the small screen too, and look as good as they did on the big screen. I did very occasionally encounter some slowdown, but usually only when there was a lot going on and it never lasted for more than a second or two so it isn't a big problem.
Also, it may just been my imagination, but I think they have slightly improved the problem that the PS3 version had with Mz Ruby's boss fight issue where the music was out of sync with action- It still isn't perfect, but it is easier to listen to. I was also pleased to find that they have put Bentley's narration back into the credits of Sly 3.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides to this version. The biggest one is that since there are only 2 shoulder buttons and one is used for sprinting, this only leaves one free for assigning moves in sly 2 and 3, meaning that instead of 3 being available at once, you now only get 1. The game's still perfectly playable like this, but means you have to switch the moves around a bit more, making it more fiddly.
I'm also still not too impressed with the remixed music in Sly 1- This was also present in the PS3 version, but I always preffered the original PS2 soundtrack. Oh well...
Overall,this is an excellent version. If you like the Sly games and have a Vita, I highly recommend you get this trilogy.

Tearaway (PlayStation Vita)
Tearaway (PlayStation Vita)
Offered by Shaw's electricals
Price: £16.94

5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant, 30 Dec. 2013
This is without a doubt one of the very best games I have played this year. Everything about it just took my breath away- the charm, the graphics, the gameplay gimmicks- all add up to make a gaming gem.
The presentation is just amazing- absolutely everything in the world of this game is made out of paper- you really feel as if you've stumbled into a giant arts and crafts project. It doesn't just look great either, the sounds in this game are perfect; whether you're walking up a wall of glue, or paper is flapping in the wind, the sound effects really make you feel like you are experiencing it.
Of course, none of this would matter if the game wasn't fun to play. Luckily this game does not fail here either. Every single one of the Vita's functions are utilised in this game, whether you are taking a photo of the real world to use in the game, to pressing your fingers on the rear touch screen which causes fingers to actually burst through the background, to the general platforming gameplay- all of this is pulled off flawlessly.
There is so much to do and play around with in this game. On my first day of playing I struggled to put the game down I was having so much fun. I cannot do this game full justice in a review- it really needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated.
If you own a PS Vita, then this game is a must have.

Rayman Legends (PS3)
Rayman Legends (PS3)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £13.31

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 2D platforming perfection!, 17 Sept. 2013
This review is from: Rayman Legends (PS3) (Video Game)
This game is absolutely amazing! I was apprehensive that this would not measure up to its predecessor Rayman Origins, but i had nothing to worry about- I was hooked from the beginning!
Firstly, I'm so glad that they released this across all platforms, rather than making it a Wii U exclusive which is what they were originally going to do. They did a terrific job adapting this outside the Wii U console's controls, specifically the Murfy sequences which are played by pressing the circle button to make Murfy perform his actions. I personally think this works just as well as the touch pad method on Wii U.
The graphics are beautiful. I thought Origins was pretty, but this is just breathtaking. A lot of thought and detail has gone into this, while still retaining the cartoonish humour and charm that this series is well known for.
The gameplay for Rayman Legends is just top notch- there is so much variety here that you will not easily get bored. One minute you are playing a standard platforming level, next thing you know you're running a frantic gauntlet, and then there's the music levels- these are awesome sequences that involve running, jumping and punching to the music- often to a well known song. These need to be experienced first hand as writing about them does them no justice. In place of the time attacks from the previous game, you now have "invaded" levels. You still need to go fast, but they are less repetitive than time trials.
If you want to take a break from the main gameplay, the online daily and weekly challenges are a welcome addition- I thought I'd just try them out, but I soon found myself playing them over and over saying "just one more try!". They're completely optional, but are a good way to earn extra Lums, especially if you want to unlock that final character.

If you enjoyed Rayman Origins, then I cannot recommend this game enough. It improves on it in every way possible, and I cannot put all its good points into one review. It really needs to be experienced to be fully appreciated. A near perfect game, and easily the best thing I've played all year.

Spyro Adventure
Spyro Adventure

5.0 out of 5 stars A truly great game, 18 May 2013
This review is from: Spyro Adventure (Video Game)
Of all the Spyro games on the GBA, this one is definitely my favourite. Spyro must find and collect all 12 "hearts" to fix a space rift that he, Sparx and the Professor have accidently created. Each level, or land, has a Heart. The gameplay style is pretty much the same as the previous installments, but has a new twist:

You must collect the Heart from each land, but the keepers will always have a problem that prevents them from just handing it over. This always results with the same solution. You must find them 7 specific items which can then be traded for the Heart. Sounds straightforward, right? Well, unfortunately, these items are not in the land that needs them- they are all scattered throughout the whole game! So basically, what starts as a typical Spyro adventure of collecting required items soon turns into a multiple scavenger hunt. Just in case that wasn't hard enough, many items are locked in the various coloured treasure chests- red, green, purple and yellow, and you can't open them until you found the corresponding key.
This is where the other 2 playable characters come in. Throughout the lands, you will come across air vents that lead to either a Sgt. Byrd or Agent 9 level. Completing these will reward you with half a key, and once you have a whole key, you can then open the chest of that colour. It all sounds a bit much, and does mean a LOT of backtracking, but its very fun, and it feels really rewarding and satisfying when you have finally collected all 7 items to a set.

Aside from the gameplay, the music is very, very nice. Each music track really feels that it fits the mood of the level. The dialogue is also very good, and the banter between Spyro, Sparx and the other characters is at times very funny, and just adds more charm to the game.

If I had to criticize one thing about the game, it's that sometimes, it does get just a tad too cutesy. Spyro has always been friendly to a younger audience, but this game takes it a bit too far with a few bits of dialogue. For example, at the beginning, the professor instructs his new robotic butler to "fetch some milk and cookies for Spyro"- He's a fire-breathing dragon! He doesn't need "milk and cookies"! This, and a couple of other moments in the game did make me roll my eyes a bit, but at least its not that often, and shouldn't put off older gamers.

Overall, this game is refreshingly different and very enjoyable, with a good balance on difficulty that both younger and older gamers. A must-buy for any fan of the legendary purple dragon!

Spyro 2: Season of Flame (GBA)
Spyro 2: Season of Flame (GBA)

5.0 out of 5 stars A huge improvement on the previous installment!, 18 May 2013
This game is brilliant! Although at first glance it looks almost identical to Season of Ice, this game has noted all the flaws from that game, and fixed them in this one. The controls are nice and tight, the difficulty has been evened out, and the game just feels more cartoony and user friendly, without seeming patronising or childish. The inclusion of 3 different save slots is welcome, and so is the new Map feature, which really helps find places you haven't been to yet, so can help with missing gems.

The storyline is basically as follows- Spyro has returned home from a recent vacation to find that the dragon realms are freezing cold, and to top it all off, his flame breath has been turned to ice. He must therefore travel the realms and bring back the fireflies which grant the dragons their flame.

The minigames in this game are really fun, and as well as playing as Spyro, you also get to play as Sheila the Kangaroo and Agent 9 from the PS1 game Year of the Dragon. This gives a welcome mix in the gameplay (though did they really have give Sheila a stereotypical Australian accent in this game?).

As you progress through the game, you will earn back your flame breath, as well as a few other new abilties. Completing the game also unlocks a couple of new minigames, which are actually pretty good, and a nice reward.

Overall, this game is a real gem, and anyone who found Season of Ice a bit too hard should definitely try this one.

Spyro: Season of Ice (GBA)
Spyro: Season of Ice (GBA)

3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but can get frustrating, 18 May 2013
Firstly, I have to applaud this game for staying true to the original PS1 Spyro trilogy. The game serves as a sequel to year of the dragon, with Spyro receiving a distress call from the fairies, who have been frozen with magic spell.The task is to travel throughout the word and save the fairies from their icy prisons. The game even manages to keep the speedway levels and sparx levels similarly seen in the previous spyro games.

Unfortunately, while the game is fun to play, it does suffer from some flaws which does make it quite frustrating. The game has an isometric view to it,which is a good way to present the game for the GBA, but makes it hard sometimes to judge the height of some platforms. Many times I lost lives just because a platform looked as though you can glide to it, but in fact was actually too high.
Also, the game is very unforgiving when you lose a life- in each level there is a fairy which can only be found by flaming all of a specific item, for example, in one level, you find the fairy by flaming all the candles. However, if you lose a life before flaming them all, they are all reset, and you must find them all again. Very annoying since some are in quite hard to reach places.

One of the most annoying things is gem collecting- if you're missing a gem in a level, good luck finding it! The levels are quite big, and with the view, finding a missing gem is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack.

Lastly, there is only one save slot, so only one game can be played at a time. Not too big an issue, but does mean sharing the game can be a bit difficult.

Overall, this game isn't terrible. In fact, Spyro fans will most likely enjoy it. But its few flaws prevent it from being a favourite. On the plus side, its sequel- Season of Flame- does an excellent job of fixing these flaws.

Rayman Origins (PS3)
Rayman Origins (PS3)
Offered by Game Trade Online
Price: £12.29

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who says side scroller games are a thing of the past?, 1 Jan. 2012
This review is from: Rayman Origins (PS3) (Video Game)
This game is brilliant! The visuals are absolutely stunning, for one thing, but the gameplay itself is just top notch. If you loved the very first rayman then you're going to love this, as it brings back well known aspects such as the caged electoons, and riding Moskito, but has also included plenty of characters and attributes from the newer rayman games, and at the same time is perfect for people who are completely new to the rayman franchise.
The game is basically a side scrolling game, but is so packed with action and slapstick humour, as well as plenty to unlock and do that it gives plenty of replay value. If you're not a seriously gamer, then you'll have enough fun getting through all the levels, but if you're a hard core player, then there's time trials to go through, unlockable characters and medals for getting enough lums in a level, which are tough and leave no room for error.
The game also allows for up to 4 player co-op play, but is just as fun and playable for 1 player.
I really liked rayman 1, 2 and 3, but I'm so glad they have made another 2d rayman game, and cannot recommend this game enough. Give it a go!

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