Hinty, hint, hint.
The Video Game: Katamari Damacy (and We Love Katamari)
System: Playstation 2
Release Date: September 2004 (September 2005)
- The Gist: You play The Prince. The Prince’s father, The King of All Cosmos, got drunk one night (it’s implied) and destroyed all of the stars (and planets) in the universe thinking it was all a dream. This is where you come in, he commissions you to fix his blunder by making you go to Earth (the only thing he didn’t destroy along with the sun) and roll up stuff to make the stars again.
- Sight and Sound: The game locations vary in size (and activity if you’re playing We Love Katamari). One minute you’re rolling under a table picking up paper clips, the next you’re rolling around the world picking up islands. In We Love Katamari, you could go from rolling on a high-speed race track to underwater to rolling up clouds in the sky. The music is Japanese Pop and quite addictive.
Why It’s Fun:
Before new releases became bogged down in sequels, this game was one of the few innovative, fresh, new ideas to come out.
You typically play with the two analog sticks controlling the direction, speed and tilt of the katamari collecting small things while building up to bigger ones.
This game is fun because it’s different. It offers a variety of tasks and venues allowing you to roll up anything and everything. A timer keeps it challenging and an overly critical King of All Cosmos keeps you on your toes (because he’s almost never satisfied with the size of your katamari).
There aren’t any limits to what you can roll up in this game and that’s what makes it so great.
We Love Katamari expands on this by providing even more challenges for rolling up your katamari while allowing you to fill up the rest of the universe that you neglected in the first game.
This game tries to appease the “fans” of the series, some wanting you to roll up origami for a sick friend or wanting to take katamari damacy back to its roots by rolling up snow.
The sequel provides enough variety and interest that it can easily stand alone without the original.
Both Katamari Damacy and We Love Katamari are games everyone should play and if you’re like me, will never stop playing.
*I do not recommend the other games in the series simply because they aren’t as great as the first two. Feel free to play them but I wouldn’t hold them to the same standards.
The Video Game: Jet Force Gemini
System: Nintendo 64
Release Date: September 1999
- The Gist: You play Vela, Juno and Lupus basically space rangers who become wrapped up in a rescue mission to save Tribals (cute bear people who can be massacred right in front of your eyes if you don’t save them) from the tyranny of gun-toting bugs.
- Sight and Sound: The game worlds vary from planet to planet, ship to ship all unique and most quite eery.
Why It’s Fun:
If being a space ranger wasn’t cool enough, you get to be three each with their own special ability.
- Lupus: The dog can hover!! He has jet-pads under his feet and a simple double-jump engages them.
- Vela: Personally, I think Vela’s ability is the coolest but it’s mostly due to my childhood trauma involving water. That being said, Vela can swim and breathe underwater.
- Juno: Finally, there’s Juno’s ability to walk on lava and even though it might seem that Juno’s ability isn’t quite so useful, it is. It does come in handy at certain points in the game.
Aside from being a space ranger with bad ass abilities, you get a wide-range of weapons with which to blast apart every deserving bug leaving their heads for you to collect.
Just to give you a taste of the kind of weapons I’m talking about:
- Machine Guns
- Homing Missiles
- Tri-Rocket Launcher
- Sniper Rifles
- Cluster Bombs
Nothing is more satisfying than watching your enemies colored guts splatter all over the ground as you blast them with a Tri-Rocket Launcher (or whatever gun you like).
Another awesome edition to this game is Floyd. Floyd is essentially a flying robot machine gun (…well more like a pistol) that is utterly invincible and will allow another person to play with you. The story mode is 1 player but this will let someone else play with you even if it’s only helping you kill bugs (and hopefully not the tribals).
There are tons of elements in this game that make it worth playing and incredibly fun but I’ll let you figure those out when you play Jet Force Gemini yourself.
The Video Game: Skies of Arcadia Legends, (Original: Skies of Arcadia)
System: Gamecube, (Original: Dreamcast)
Release Date: January 2003 (Original: November 2000)
Not too many people are familiar with this title but boy is it a gem.
- The Gist: You are the son of a sky pirate captain and what starts as a rescue mission turns into a full scale adventure around the world.
- Sight and Sound: When Skies of Arcadia was remade for the gamecube, updating the graphics was not much of a priority nevertheless, the visuals are very much appropriate. I’m not saying that they couldn’t use updating only that they don’t hurt the game in anyway. The music fits very well and manages to make the world come alive and inspires your adventurous side to come out.
Why It’s Fun:
Now I don’t want to give away any spoilers but just know the developers of this game went above and beyond what would normally be the limits in other games. It doesn’t make sense now but play it and you’ll see.
Okay… I’ll give you an example.
When you’re playing the game, you’re limited by two bounds but as you go further in. You become able to surpass these and see even more of the world than you ever thought the developers would allow.
Still vague but making this discovery on your own is most satisfying.
Anyway, the game is absolutely wonderful.
Being a sky pirate adventuring around the world, this is the stuff of young people’s dreams.
The dialogue is well-written. The world is huge. There are several things to collect. Lots of people to meet. You even get a chance to design something of your own.
This adventure is linear but you don’t feel stuck on a path. You are free to explore if you so choose.
Trust me, this game is the very definition of fun. I undoubtedly recommend this Skies of Arcadia Legends.
A hint concerning my next post.
The Video Game: Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations
System: Nintendo DS
Release Date: October 2005, October 2007
I know. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney isn’t exactly a hidden gem but you have to admit, most people have never even heard of the series let alone have played it.
- The Gist: Essentially you play a rookie lawyer accompanied by a young psychic and you defend people (usually) wrongly convicted of murder.
- Sight and Sound: The game is heavily dependent on dialog and is essentially a text-based adventure. It is accompanied by hand-drawn animations that are simple, involving minimal movements. The music definitely works to put you in the moment especially tipping you off when you’ve finally cornered your witness.
Why It’s Fun:
Yes. This game is simple. You talk to witnesses, you look at crime scenes, you go to trial and pound the truth out of every witness you cross examine.
What really sells this game is the dialog. It’s written so well that it captivates and keeps you playing from beginning to end. The dialog makes you feel as though you ARE Phoenix and every case won becomes a personal achievement of yours. Trust me on this. It’s good. Really good.
The reason why I only recommended Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations is because the entire series is not that fun but these two are.
- Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney Justice For All: Justice For All just feels like Capcom was giving us something to do until they thought of something better. (After all, it did come out the same year as Trials and Tribulations).
- Apollo Justice Ace Attorney: Apollo Justice wasn’t that much better. Although it gave us more involvement in the investigation process, it felt like every new investigation was a tutorial. Not to mention, the dialog was not on par with the others earlier in the series.
- Miles Edgeworth Ace Attorney Investigation: Finally, we have Miles Edgeworth Investigations. This game is the WORST in the series. It tries to take the series to a new level but it fails. This time you can control Edgeworth and walk around the environments when you conduct investigations but it’s not a useful thing in fact, it feels slow and unproductive. The worst thing about the game is that all you do is investigate. The courtroom is gone. You don’t even dust for fingerprints.
Regardless of the track record of the series, I highly recommend playing Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney and Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations.
Hi, I’m Claire.
After seeing so many video game review sites fail at their only job, I decided to put my opinion out there so there was at least a little truth to balance out the sell outs and the misinformed.
I want to judge games on how fun they are because that is why we play them right?
I think I’ll post reviews/recommendations for games that are definitely fun and should not be missed. These games will be for a variety of systems and I recommend all my readers to play them.