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06-23-2008   #14 (permalink)
Solemn
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I'll just make a summation of all the posts here for you, as well as add some of my own opinion. I'm going to mention the old and the new, too, so be wary.

Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings is a pretty crazy challenge in many aspects. You'll need to be very tactical to keep your party alive while killing hordes of monstrous beings that will test your every wit and resource. If you're a tactician, I would suggest downloading this.

Final Fantasy III is a great game, if you haven't played it. While lackluster in the combat system and storyline due to its age, you'll find the revamped lush 3D visuals welcoming. I remember spending hours exploring the vast world while talking on a four-way line with some of my friends who also had the game. It was a memorable experience...as well as brutal. (Darn you, Iron Giant! )

Final Fantasy IV was magnificent on the GBA and well-received as a game with a revolutionary combat system as well as the first in the series to have a storyline with some decent depth. When it comes out next month on July 22, I'm sure it will be received even better, as it will contain new challenges.

Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift is coming out tomorrow, June 24. Accordingly, its gameplay has been refurbished somewhat, but it's basically the same fights but with all-new classes and skills. With great presentation, a superb musical score, and plenty of depth, this should provide you with long-lasting gratification (even better with the convenience that you can get your hands on a ROM by tomorrow). However, be prepared for unnecessarily long battles, excessively restricted battle rules, and poor stylus controls.

The World Ends With You is definitely a game to remember. It's heartfelt storyline is absolutely beautiful. Compelling and immaculate, this was a great way to start off a new franchise. Many played it because it was from the creators of Kingdom Hearts. Some played because it seemed fun. All were satisfied.

Luminous Arc/Luminous Arc 2: Will are both great games in their own respects, but they're basically Final Fantasy Tactics remixed. If you like Tactics, I'm sure you'll like these games, but I myself found them to be a bit stale. Your choice.

Rondo of Swords is a fantastical adventure across foreign lands with an eclectic group of followers. Again, like Luminous Arc, I found it to be lacking in that "must level one more time before bed" quality. That addiction that makes a game fun...but you can try it if you wish.

Etrian Odyssey/Etrian Odyssey 2: Heroes of Lagaard are both ridiculously difficult games. I mean, the first few monsters you meet will murder you in a matter of a few turns! If you're up to an addicting challenge, definitely check these two out!

Naruto: Path of the Ninja was a turn-based RPG released a while ago. It's actually pretty fun, if you play it for a while. It basically retells the story from its early roots up until the arc where they scout for Gaara. This is probably the first decent Naruto RPG.

Some other titles you might enjoy:

The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass is a great Zelda game that makes use of almost every DS control. Hopefully, your reflexes are decent so that you can slide your stylus quickly to get out trouble (or move your mouse, I guess). Don't be fooled by its childish looks; it's an extreme challenge.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village is, honestly, the greatest DS game I have ever played. I write a lot of reviews, and here's my review for this game (I have many others for the above games, but I feel this is the only one worth posting):

Deftly, Professor Layton outshines any and every puzzle game available with an immersive story and addictive gameplay.

Professor Layton is simply outstanding. It steps away from the traditional mediocre puzzle games, such as Brain Age or Big Brain Academy, and implicates an immersive storyline--and does so nearly flawlessly. I must admit, and as other reviews have stated quite accurately, the music can become extremely repetitive. Slight spoiler, here, but after finishing this disappointingly short but amazingly difficult game, you unlock a music database, as well as a few other enjoyable secrets. I listened to every track, and at least five of them or so repeat the same music remixed. The puzzles are highly addictive and require you to strain your brain to figure out the later puzzles that become increasingly difficult, especially those that involve sliding blocks. Moreover, the plot has so many twists and turns that one could not possibly expect, for nothing in St. Mystere is as it seems.

*From this point on, I will conclude with deeper detail, but cease your reading if you prefer not to analyze the opinions of a twelve-year-old.*

Perplexing puzzles and a suspenseful storyline are cleverly interwoven in this magnificent marvel of a game--truthfully, this is the first must-have DS game I've played in a long time and is definitely the first this year. Whether you're a puzzle fan or not, this is a superb game that is surprisingly addictive. I could not possibly put it down when I started playing, and if it were not for my five hours of playing outside with my friends daily, meals, showers, teeth brushing, bathroom breaks (oh wait, scratch that; I take it with me to the bathroom), etc. I would never have put it down. Unfortunately, Professor Layton's addictive aspect makes it unsatisfactorily brief, but considering the fact that these puzzles rapidly grow increasingly difficult, that should not be a problem. As for music, it can be enjoyable for a while, but it soon becomes a distraction, so tone down the volume. With that being said, this game will not only be difficult but will be difficult to put down. Is that necessarily a good thing? Try not to think about it too hard; focus on the puzzles instead. Overall, though, Professor Layton has made a welcome leap onto the DS to kick off this new year.

For now, that's pretty much it. I'll post more as I think of them. Until then, have fun!