Retro Look Back : Pokemon Red and Blue

Pokemon Red Blue

Gotta Catch Them All!

Pokemon is, without a doubt, one of the most beloved franchises in video game history. With the original release of the Pokemon Red and Blue games in North America in 1998, the series became a staple of the Gameboy catalogue, and secured itself in the hearts of millions of kids, and some adults, including myself. In this look back, I don’t really want to review Pokemon Red and Blue as much as I want to try and figure out why these games were so great in a way that goes beyond the fact that I was nine, life was good, and I was having fun with the latest craze.

Everyone has that game, movie, and/or book that they can’t help but wish they could experience for the first time again. For me, that’s the original Pokemon games. Of course nostalgia probably plays a huge part as to why I think so fondly about my first time through Pokemon Red, but I think there is an appeal within the game’s mechanics that helped hook so many people the first time they played it, and it stems from two central aspects, the simplicity and the mystery of Pokemon and their evolutions. Continue reading

Retro Review: Digimon World

Digimon World Review

By: David Habinski

Developer : Bandai
Publisher : Bandai
Platforms :Playstation
Genre : Adventure, Virtual-Pet
Mode : Single Player

I wanted this game to be good. I really did. I wanted it to be good 12 years ago and I wanted it to be yesterday.

Digimon World is the first game based off of the once popular Japanese franchise….Kind of. What the game seems to be mostly based off of is the virtual pet toys that were similar to Tamagotchis. These toys were actually the starting point of Digimon and, from what I can tell, the game was developed and released before the anime in Japan, making the toys the closest thing to source material that the developers would have had to work with. So essentially, Digimon World is a game based off a different type of game, and it’s not all that good. Continue reading

Review: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy Theatrhythm Review

By David Habinski

Developer: Indieszero
Publishers: Square-Enix
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Rhythm and Music
Modes: Single Player, Multiplayer

Theatrhythm is yet another spinoff title in the Final Fantasy series. Unlike other spinoffs, however, which may feature familiar characters like Dissidia, or just a different style of gameplay like Final Fantasy Tactics, Theatrhythm is centred around some of the most well known and enjoyed songs within the series; spanning from Final Fantasy all the way to Final Fantasy XIII. While rhythm games may be a new genre for Final Fantasy, it’s one that is rather common on the Nintendo DS platform. So is Theatrhythm a game worthy of playing, or is it just another tap to the beat game with an all too familiar Final Fantasy coating? Continue reading

Review : Pokemon Conquest

Pokemon Conquest Review

By: David Habinski

Developer: Tecmo Koei
Publishers: Nintendo, The Pokemon Company
Platform: Nintendo DS
Genre: Tactical Role-Playing
Modes: Single Player, Multiplayer

Video game crossovers are nothing new to this generation of platforms. And why not make a crossover? May as well target multiple fan bases, right? Waiting for the release of a crossover title it always feels as though the game will be a shameless cash-in with minimal effort provided in order to make a quick buck. However, once these games are released, more often than not they prove to be at least decent games with recognizable effort put into their development. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Maybe people just seem to like these games because of the characters, or maybe it’s the joint effort of developers aiming to appeal to multiple fan bases. It may even be a bit of both. And while there are certainly exceptions to the success of a crossover, games like, Super Smash BrothersMarvel Vs. Capcom, and Kingdom Hearts seem to stand out in the minds of many gamers, and in cases such as these, even become their own franchises. So here’s a strange one, Pokemon ConquestPokemon meets Nobunaga’s Ambition. While the concept of mixing these two franchises is unique enough, it’s even more unique given it’s North American release; the lack of success Nobunaga’s Ambition has had in the west being what really raises question marks (an attempt to somewhat hide the lesser accepted franchise can be seen in the games change of name from it’s Japanese Pokemon + Nobunaga’s Ambition, to the North American Pokemon Conquest). Looking at it this way, the game is also a crossover of a series that found success in North America, and a series that didn’t. There’s a more important way of looking at the game, though; whether or not it’s worth your time. Continue reading

Review : Bastion

Bastion Review

by David Habinski

Developer : Super Giant Games
Publisher : Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Platforms : Microsoft WindowsMac OSXXBox 360, Google Chrome, Linux, Cloud (OnLive)
Genre : Action Role-Playing Game
Mode : Single Player

Following the success of the most recent Humble Indie Bundle, it only seemed fitting to revisit last year’s Summer of Arcade hit, Bastion. Up until the playthrough for this review, my only experience with Bastion was the trial version, when it was first released. With the trial, I found the narration gimmicky and the gameplay lack-luster, and at that time, I decided it wasn’t worth my time or Microsoft Points. That was a mistake. Continue reading