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Persona 5 (PS4)
Persona 5 (PS4)
Offered by Level99Games
Price: £46.85

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing less than a Triumph, 3 July 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Persona 5 (PS4) (Video Game)
I honestly didn't think Atlus could top Persona 4; it just didn't seem possible.

When I heard that Persona 5 was in development, I was so excited and yet the cynic in me tempered this with caution - would be it as good as its predecessor, or would it be worse as most sequels are?
I had high hopes but realistically, it would probably be the latter.

How wrong I was.

After more than a decade of waiting, Persona hit the UK April this year and not only is it just as good as Persona 4 - not only that! - I actually think its BETTER in some respects!
I miss Inaba and Yu and his friends but the Phantom Thieves are just as delightful, madcap and charming as the Inaba crew ever were and your new silent protagonist is equally as engaging (my only tiny niggle is that he has lost the hilarious 'thought expressions' that permeated some of Persona 4's funnier scenes)
The story is first rate too and tackles some mature themes like the excessive influence of social media, online identity and justice versus vigilantism. At its heart, its the story of young people finding their own place in a changing world, 'rebelling' against the status quo and choosing their own path.

Like Persona 4, the framework of the story is a compelling mystery of murder and intrigue centered around the 'metaverse' and the unseen antagonists seeking to control its power. Their influence is felt but not seen and as the game progresses through its chapters, more of the mystery unfolds. The story is excellent and this alone would have kept me playing even if the gameplay was rubbish - fortunately, this isn't the case!

The standard MegaTen combat formula of press turns and weakness exploitation returns but Atlus have taken it up to eleven - battles have received a healthy burst of new features unlocked through Social Links.
Negotiation returns for the first time since Nocturne, allowing you to strike deals with your opponents to gain new Personae, shake them down for cash or items. Firearm ambushes and reversals are some of the new battle features you can unlock.
There are new attack attributes - Psychic and Nuclear - and the old insta-kill spells in the Light and Dark categories now get useful damage spells to complement their -mudo and -hama variants. This leads to greater variety in Personae and there seem to be more of them than ever before as well.

Outside of the outstanding combat, you can explore Tokyo, which feels busy and vibrant thanks to the better graphics engine of the PS4.

In short, everything about Persona 5 feels both familiar and new - and better.
Combat is improved, social links are fun and engaging - called Confidants - and are as well-rounded and human as the Phantom Thieves themselves are. The story is first-rate and while the game does have humor, it arguably explores more serious themes than its predecessor and as a result, is often not as light-hearted.
This isn't a criticism at all, though.

The only category in which Persona 5 is generally inferior to Persona 4 - in my opinion - is the music.
With the exception of one or two songs, I am not a fan of the Persona 5 soundtrack but that's just me.

Congratulations to Atlus - somehow they have managed to surpass a masterpiece!!

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PS4)
Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mysterious Journey (PS4)
Price: £19.85

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Overshadowed by its Predecessor, 18 Mar. 2017
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What a let down after Sophie...

Sure, on paper, a larger free-roam map to explore sounds great.
In practice, this is nowhere near as compelling as it seems. Here's why:

NOTE: Next section contains minor spoilers so avoid the paragraph below if it bothers you.

1) The doom clock is back! After complete freedom in Shallie and Sophie, you now have to worry about time limits again. You have a year to get to Reisenberg to take the alchemy exam and pass it or that's it. Now I now know that this is only the first part of the game and that the second part of the game has no time limit. I've never minded time limits in other Atelier games and I've played them all since Totori
Heck, my favourite games are Persona 3 and 4 and those are built around set calendars. I don't mind time limits as long as the game is well done.

....Firis isn't.

The characters are bland and two-dimensional, the titular heroine herself is the worst Atelier protagonist ever: shrill, whiny and irritating.
I was impressed with the visuals in and out of battle in Sophie but the graphics in Firis are quite poor in comparison and the larger world map is just a big expanse of gathering points.
The battle system is severely dumbed down and lackluster compared to Sophie and Escha / Logy, two Atelier games I consider to have the best battle systems in the series.
In terms of alchemy, you get better at making an item the more you make it, which is all well and good when you've cleared the exam and have infinite time but you can't spare the time in the first part of the game just grinding items out to increase their star level.
About the only thing Firis is great at making is Ingots, which I had to produce in large quantities for a certain story quest involving the ridiculous mass synthesis system. On the way to Reisenberg, most of what you can gather is dross and when mass synthesis requires you to have a certain level of quality to be successful, this was frustrating to achieve.

With simplistic, boring battles, terrible characters and an alchemy system you can't fully explore until the first part of the game is over, I feel Firis is a huge let down compared to Sophie

Final Fantasy XV: Day One Edition (PS4)
Final Fantasy XV: Day One Edition (PS4)
Price: £19.99

6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not a true Final Fantasy but good nonetheless, 28 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Prefacing this review by saying I've played every single numbered Final Fantasy (excluding the MMOs - they don't count)

Is it a good game? Yes.
Did I enjoy it? Undeniably.
Did I love it? No.
Is it true to the halcyon days of the franchise? Not at all.

I had fun with this game; I can't deny it. Just over 80 hours on the clock, most hunts done, all side quests and endgame completed.
Its light years better than the dismal Final Fantasy 13 but still fails to achieve the glorious highs of Numbers VII - X. Its an action game, pure and simple.
Oh, you get damage numbers, items, bare bones magic and even random summons but its still an action game. Its open world and that's truly a joy after the boring corridors of 13. But its still an action game.
Cid is there, Chocobos are there - the FF traditions and tropes are all ticked off...but its still an action game. You can listen to awesome soundtracks in your pimp wagon (one of my favorite bits of the game actually).....but its still an action game.
This is a hack and slash game masquerading as an RPG. There are parry and dodge mechanics but its not much more complex than that to be honest. Magic is heavily watered down, consumable and its just down to finding a monsters weapon and element weaknesses and beating on them til they submit.

There's nothing wrong with that, I suppose. Square Enix have gotten with the times but I can't help but feel a little bit angry every time I boot it up and see the slogan 'A Final Fantasy for First Timers and Fans Alike'....because it isn't. Not really.
I liked this game. I put 80 + hours into it. I enjoyed my time with it. But it isn't perfect, and it isn't Final Fantasy.
A more appropriate title might be:
Kings Quest: A Final Fantasy Story.

And that's one of the main letdowns of the game: its story. So to be fair, I think a lot of it is explained and prefaced in Kingsglaive and Brotherhood but I didn't feel any of the characters were engaging. Its messy and you're just supposed to accept things 'just because, roll with it' - you won't get much in the way of explanation so just make the best of it. I also didn't engage with any of the characters, unlike many other Final Fantasy games. The 'just go with it' theme got a bit aggravating towards the mid and end part of the game but I stuck with it.

In summary, this is a step in the right direction and maybe we'll never get the glory days of Final Fantasy back but this is a solid offering.
Its still miles better than thirteen so Square Enix are starting to get it right.
If they lean a little more towards the RPG and keep the free-roam, open world elements, we might have a winner.

Price: £7.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Regretfully Weak, 19 Dec. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Clearview (MP3 Download)
Along with Revolution Roulette, this is now jointly my least favorite Poets Album.

When every other Poets album (except those I've named) has been consistently good with great songs across the board, bar the odd one, Clearview seems to me like a collection of songs I dislike, which is very strange. I've listened to it through about six or seven times now and just cannot bring myself to get into most of it.
I like only three songs on this album (FYI Drama for Life, Children of the Sun and Centre Stage if anyone's interested), which is unheard of for any other Poets release - that's a shame.

But everyone's different and I'm sure that for some this will be their top release from a consistently great band.
Not me, though

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (PS4)
Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (PS4)
Offered by GAME_Outlet
Price: £15.40

3.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad I waited, 5 Oct. 2016
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I deliberately waited until the price came down on this item as the negative views put me off. However, its a star ocean game and deserves a chance.

I'm glad I waited, though.

This game is average across the board and only the fairly enjoyable, fast-paced combat saves it from being a complete mess.
The story and characters manage to tick the box of every JRPG stereotype going - no small feat, and sadly, the only achievement this game makes.
The camera angles outside of battle are terrible and you can't enjoy any of the scenery because the camera seems to float just over Fidel's back the entire time, as if he was the star of some bizarre day-in-the-life documentary.
Everything is seamless, except when you transition between areas - this means the story segments are seamless too. You can't skip the dialogue and have to wait, pacing around in a small semi-circle, while everyone spouts their lines. Okay, so maybe text boxes are outdated but they did have a use!

The role system is fairly innovative in that you can use them to customize your AI characters and make them behave a certain way - I liked this idea. The star ocean crafting returns and is actually improved as you don't have to be aboard a ship or in town anymore so that's good.

That's about all the praise, I have for it really. Its so very average across the board. Even so, if like me you are waiting for FF 15, this might kill a few gaming hours until November :)

Tales of Zestiria (PS4)
Tales of Zestiria (PS4)
Price: £18.00

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Xillia and Xillia 2 were both pretty good; not as a addictive as Graces but ..., 22 Nov. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I was really looking forward to this game, as I do every Tales game.
Xillia and Xillia 2 were both pretty good; not as a addictive as Graces but still fun.

Zestiria is a disappointment.

Boring characters, a storyline that is the textbook definition of 'fantasy stock' and - certainly in comparison to older Tales games - a somewhat lackluster battle system. Its still fun (thank Christ because this game has nothing else going for it) but not as fun as Graces and Xillia.
Different characters handle differently in combat, which is a plus, but the system encourages you to 'armatize' too often for my liking. I much prefer fighting with the maximum of four characters rather than going down to two.
At least its harder. Bosses can be a challenge and hit pretty hard, especially on higher difficulty settings.

Now for more of what I DON'T like:

HP - You need to collect spheres from bosses and mini bosses to boost HP. Good luck trying to backtrack to do that because the story prevents you returning to certain previous areas and will charge you insane amounts of gald to go back to the few areas you CAN get to. You can level grind but it won't do anything for you apart from increase your Title proficiency and let you learn new artes, based on said title.

Titles - I loved the title system in Graces. It was one of the most addictive things about the game. Here, your 'proficiency' in a title goes up with your level and lets you learn new artes. That's it. Oh, and you have set stat and utility boosts depending on your proficiency level but you need that title equipped to get its effect. Terrible system. Bring back Graces titles, I say.

Equipment - Who the hell came up with this system?? Not only is it unnecessarily complicated, but its also completely RANDOM. Shop stock is random; monster drops are random. With the 'luring' skill, you can get more of what you might want but there are still no guarantees. Its completely pointless fusing equipment as you'll need so many pieces to get past +10. The only time to bother grinding a decent set of equipment would be end game. I wouldn't even bother for most of the story. Just slap on whatever you get as you progress.

All of this adds up to a disappointing experience, to be honest. I'll finish it because I paid for it but I don't expect to be spending any grade at all for a replay. Hopefully, the next Tales installment will give back some of that old addictive gameplay...

In all, I have to say I'm disappointed. This was one of the reasons why I bought a PS4 in the first place.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 3, 2015 11:27 AM GMT

MT Styles - sweatshirt hooded jumper jacket S-131 - Size M
MT Styles - sweatshirt hooded jumper jacket S-131 - Size M
Offered by Mytrends

4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 30 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Was sent the wrong color but otherwise very happy with it. Fits well and comfortable

KAMLIN T22 Anthracite L [1A1] Warm Transitional Sweastshirt Winter Jacket Hoodie
KAMLIN T22 Anthracite L [1A1] Warm Transitional Sweastshirt Winter Jacket Hoodie
Offered by Bolf

5.0 out of 5 stars Looks good, great fit and exceptionally warm, 30 Oct. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Looks good, great fit and exceptionally warm, which is why I bought it
The size chart seems to work as intended so order a size larger than you need (needed medium, so large in my case)

Naruto Shippuden The Movie 2: Bonds [DVD]
Naruto Shippuden The Movie 2: Bonds [DVD]
Dvd ~ Junko Takeuchi
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Awful, 22 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Terrible, terrible movie.

This would have gotten one star if it wasn't for the great potential at the beginning, with the Sky Ninja fleet attacking. I thought that was pretty good but it all went downhill very, very quickly. The sky ninja remnants have very little background, beyond a quick, ten second explanation by Tsunade (some of her only lines in the film, I believe)
The Leaf Ninja get virtually no screen time at all and thats criminal. The extra characters brought in for the film are quickly introduced and poorly developed. I like Jamison Price as a voice actor but even he can't do much with such a boring and lackluster villian. The whole thing is just an ordeal from start to finish, despite a brief return of camaraderie between Naruto and Sasuke.

Persona 4 Golden (PlayStation Vita)
Persona 4 Golden (PlayStation Vita)
Offered by Netro Enterprise
Price: £19.98

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Games Ever just got...Better?, 22 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
What's there to say?

A bigger, better version of one of the best games of all time, period. I actually bought playstation TV just to play this and you know what?
One of the best game purchases I ever made. Do it again in a heartbeat.
If you've only ever played Vanilla, get yourself a PSTV - its about 60 quid, plus 15-20 for Golden - so thats 80 max. You won't regret it.

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