Anime Connect

Entertainment to the Max

The original IT girl returns in Tomb Raider Chronicles July 18, 2016

Why do people always berate her and her tomb raiding escapades? Mario and Sonic have had just as many games released on their backs.
Well, that’s true. But the gripe most people have with the Tomb Raider franchise is that the sequels are released with exactly the same game engine behind them. There’s no dynamic redesigning when follow-ups are issued.

I could never finish the last one anyway. Every time I thought I was near the end some damned spider came and bit her.
Doh! You did reach the end then. Everybody knows Eidos killed her off – or, at least, they left us with a ‘is she/is she not dead’ mystery.

So she’s raiding her own tomb this time?

Well she can’t come back from the dead surely?
Surely not, which is why the story is more a collection of reflections on previously unknown escapades – or, indeed, chronicles. It starts with Lara’s family and some well-known friends attending her memorial and reminiscing about the lost soul. As they reminisce about certain exploits, you’ll find yourself shot back to the time of their occurrence to re-enact the episodes yourself.

Cool. Do we get to see her pre-pubescent without those polygon pounding peaks?
Things don’t go back that far. But you will be pleased to hear that there are a total of four episodes for you to play. The first is based in Rome and is, reputedly, standard Tomb Raider fare, full of weapons and bosses. The second is more action-based and takes place on a Russian submarine, requiring a good deal of stealth. The third sees a young Lara (16 in fact – it’s her birthday party) trapped in a haunted castle, and the nice twist here is that you’ve no guns. Dodging, outrunning and outwitting the ghostly ghouls is the name of the game. Finally, Crofty goes all Matrix-stylee (another cash-in!) as she grapples against sophisticated traps that demand sophisticated puzzles.

Wow, it’s progressed from simple switch-switching then?
Allegedly, though I wouldn’t hold my breath. It seems they have tried to vary the gameplay a little through each scenario though, which is something considering the total lack of imagination displayed by its predecessors.

Bah. Stop being so cynical. The bottom line is that people enjoyed playing them.
And Eidos enjoyed making buckets of dosh without having to put in much effort.

Whatever. Anyway, tell me about weapons. Any new additions?
So excited I can barely write! There’s a sniper rifle chucked in there, and, I hear, you get to learn some nifty hand-to-hand combat moves. But she does have a total of four outfits to strut about in, making her a contender for the title of Li’l Kim of the Gaming World. And what’s a game if the main character always looks the same?

Have you anything constructive to say?
Okay, okay. Having seen the screenshots I’d have to admit the graphics on this DC version do look like they’ve been worked on. They’re bright, polished, detailed – I was pleasantly surprised.

Do say:
It’s the fifth Tomb Raider title in as many years.

Don’t say:
And it’s hardly changed a bit.

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MotoGP could very well be the two-wheeled cousin of Gran Turismo December 26, 2015

Yet another PlayStation racing game it may well be, but Namco’s MotoGP is certainly a little bit special. It’s graphically superior to pretty much everything we’ve played on the machine thus far, it zips along at breakneck speed and get this: it’s really good fun!

Choose from 32 authentic bikes, including that lovely one with the Red Bull paint job, and tear up the tarmac on five of the most famous tracks in the world, including Suzuka and Donnington. Other tracks can be unlocked in the Challenge Mode, which bears an uncanny resemblance to the licence tests from Gran Turismo. We spent more time in this mode than any other, trying to shave hundredths of a second off a single corner in order to progress. It really is compelling stuff. Later challenges really do get rather tricky and you’ll find yourself tearing out handfuls of hair before trying again, and again (repeat to fade).

All the usual modes are on offer: Versus, Challenge, Arcade and Time Trial, although the real meat of the game lies in Season Mode. Here you’ll choose one of the smaller teams and then try to fulfil the season’s criteria (for instance, achieve a podium finish in three of the five races). If you do rather well another team may try to poach you, with the offer of a bigger, more powerful bike. That’s incentive enough for us!

With Carl Fogarty out of the way, and a copy of this in our PS2, Daily Radar UK should have a world champion in next to no time.

Incredible graphics and speed
32 authentic bikes
Excellent Challenge Mode
Easily amongst the best PS2 games so far
No AI opponents in Versus Mode

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Categories: Video Games

Tasting the Beauty of Clash of Lords 2 June 13, 2015

The problem some of us have always had with the Clash of Lords 2 is that it is a little too, well, cheery. Many of the series’ characters are almost disturbingly wholesome. Heroes a Pulp Fiction vibe to an otherwise Forrest Gump universe. At long last, someone has had the nerve to put gamers right in the captain’s chair on a Hero Bird of Prey. No more pesky prime directive — we can get right down to bloody oppression

Clash of Lords 2 takes place 70 years prior to the current timeline. So there won’t be any contact with regulars from the crew we’re familiar with. But there will be no shortage of punks to kick around. Clash of Lords 2 puts the player in the middle of power play between bases.  The game will feature both heroes reprising their roles, so it looks like the production values and acting will be top notch.

With Boom Beach and Clash of Clans released, we’ve got plenty of great space sims to play. But Clash of Lords 2 plans to differentiate itself. First off — those pretty nebula you’ve become used to won’t just be gorgeous background bitmaps. Space will be something you can actually interact with. Although ships will have a form of warp drive to navigate the vastness of the map, Clash of Lords 2 captains will have to contend with close range dangers. If you’re not careful, you can run into asteroids, planets, planetary rings, and even black holes.

But if the player can avoid those hazards, they’re in for a comprehensive and, judging by our new screenshots, awesome looking battles. There will be more than forty ships in the final version, including the famous B’rel’ Bird of Prey and the Accuser class capitol ships which measure in at more than 1000 meters. The combat ships will feature all of the weapons Clash of Lords 2 fans are familiar with such as the photon torpedoes, disruptors, and phasers, but the designers also promise some new, more exotic means of mass carnage.

Gameplay is still being tweaked with, and there will definitely be some form of cloaking used in combat. But designers are still not finished tinkering with the balance of combat. One interesting new addition is the implementation of VOS, or Verbal Orders System. This will relieve players from having to jump from bridge to bridge during battle in order to control all members of the fleet. Instead, the VOS will allow players to hotkey certain orders, so that they can be “barked” out in a moment’s notice. This way players won’t have to take their eyes of the screen in order to control their troops.

That’ll be a good thing because judging by some of the shots here, taking your eyes of the screen will be a hard thing to do. Clash of Lords 2 is going to take full advantage of your 3dfx chipset with some beautiful uses of colored and dynamic lighting. When ships get torn open, gamers will be able to see the electrical systems arcing, the plasma venting and the individual decks inside the ship. The fire and explosion effects already look awesome, and the colors are deep and gorgeous without being garish.

Whatever else players may think of previous installments of games, Clash of Lords 2 cheats could be that one killer tool that wins them over. With first rate acting, intense space combat, managing system and crew resources, this could be a game that appeals to a lot of hardcore gamers. Throw in multiplayer and a mission editor, and this could be one tasty Clash of Lords 2 Pie

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Pokemon Mania on the Roll for 2015 June 12, 2015

The year 2015 of this century is going to be a big one for Nintendo. Their plans to continue supporting the Nintendo 3DS / 2DS throughout the year with blockbuster games will face some tough challenges from Sega with their Dreamcast and Sony with their upcoming PlayStation Vita Plus. However, one major factor in Nintendo’s court is a little collection of weirdly named creatures, affectionately known as Pokemon.

These little critters have covered the world with their cute little sounds and happy little battles. The craze started four years ago in Japan with two Game Boy games has grown into a billion-dollar industry, and they’re not likely to go away anytime soon. Nintendo plans on capitalizing on the Pokemania Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire with several new games for both the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS, and that’s not even counting the endless supply of licensed products like lunch boxes, mugs, pencils, pajamas and anything else a child would want.

Here’s a list of all the Pokemon-related products coming up in the next year. Although most of them were already known, there are at least a couple of surprises.

Pokemon Omega Ruby Rom. The big excitement about this game is the ability to transfer Pokemon from the Game Boy games (Ruby) to the latest 3DS console. All 151 Pokemon will be represented, with full 3D models and unique attacks. For Pokemon fans, this game will be a dream come true — not only can they fight with their precious Pokemon, but there are Pokemon minigames and the ability to transfer Pokemon from one Game Boy game to another via the Transfer Pak, which will debut with Pokemon Stadium. Check out the preview.

The trading card phenomena has been running rampant for quite a while, and now even teachers in elementary schools are prohibiting kids from bring them to class. Collecting the cards seems to be a bigger hobby than actually playing, but this Game Boy game combines both — players can play the game itself as they work their way through this rather unique title, but they can also collect rare cards and trade them with their friends through the Game Link cable. Check out the preview.

One of the surprise announcements; not too much is known about Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. However, we do know that it’s going to be a puzzle game using the Pokemon license and will likely be a departure from the typical Pokemon games. We hope to find out more about this title during a visit to Nintendo at the end of this month.

The games have already been released in Japan, and they’re selling off the shelves. Even import stores in the US were hit hard by the mad rush to get a hold of these games, and Nintendo is still having a difficult time keeping them in stock. There’s little doubt that they’ll do well in the States. Featuring an additional 100 Pokemon, these games will bring the total count up to 251 little critters. Pokerap that!

Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire’s the announcement wasn’t so much a surprise as it was a confirmation. Tentatively titled Pikachu VRS, it will be an English translation of Pikachu Genki Dechu, a voice recognition game where players can talk to Pikachu and interact with the little electric rat. The game comes with a new peripheral — a microphone — that players use to talk to Pikachu. It’s virtual life lived to the fullest, and we expect Pikachu fans to go crazy for this overly cute title.

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MoHo is another god-game? September 26, 2014

Like a rubber ball I come bouncing back to… well, to retro bouncing ball games actually. Welcome to MoHo, the first Dreamcast game from hotly-tipped developer Lost Toys.
Lost Toys? Should I recognise that name?
Perhaps not, but you’ll certainly recognise the background of its core team. Founded by three ex-Bullfrog employees – like about a trillion other developers – Lost Toys has people who worked on the original Populous, as well as titles like Dungeon Keeper and Theme Hospital.

Well, no actually. Surprisingly, for their first game, Lost Toys opted to create a quirky future sports game where you play a little fella with a big ball.

That’s enough of the ball jokes. The idea behind MoHo is that you’re effectively a gladiator. You start off as a prisoner, so to win your freedom you have to take part in a series of challenges against, well, other balled-up gladiators. For some reason, you’ve all had your legs replaced by giant marbles. Which means you’re mobile, but have a bugger of a time getting down stairs.

Much like Daleks, in fact?

So what do you have to do – fight each other?
Sometimes, but sometimes you just have to race or play tag. The game takes place in arenas, and each one has its own mode. To complete the game, you’ll need to have mastered the different types of challenge, rather than specialising in just one.

Tell me more…
There’s a few characters to choose from, and a well-implemented multiplayer mode. The game was much hyped before it came out earlier this year on PlayStation, but many of the reviews expressed… puzzlement.

Well, that it’s not to everyone’s taste. MoHo is certainly quirky, and from the in-progress Dreamcast version we’ve seen, that’s still the case. It takes a while to get used to the motion of the marble, meaning that a fair few people will be confused enough not to persevere. But that’d be a shame, since there’s plenty of depth to it.

So tell me about these characters.
Well, there’s five to choose from, each with their own comedy nickname. They are: Apostle, Benny, Lockdown, SO-PH-1E and Angel.

Comedy nicknames?
Well, Apostle is the Bringer of Chaos, while SO-PH-1E is War Machine.

Er.. I see. So how are they different?
They’ve all got vital statistics – speed, strength and so on – which make a difference depending on what event you’re playing in. For example, when racing, you’d probably want to use Angel, as she’s a bit nippy. However, if there’s rumbling to be done, you’d be better off choosing one of the stronger characters.

Right. So how’s it shaping up?
Pretty well – it definitely looks like it’ll be worth checking out when finished. We’re particularly looking forward to seeing the multiplayer mode, which wasn’t in the version we’ve been playing.

Okay. I suppose this is where you close with a comedy ball pun?
We would, but we can’t think of any.

Life’s a ball?
Cheers, that’ll do nicely!

Do say:
Well, it makes a nice change from bloody racing games

Don’t say:
Course, it’s not a patch on Marble Madness…

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