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Fire Emblem Warriors | Review

Posted on November 15, 2017 by Meghan Kass

In 2014,  Hyrule Warriors was released by Koei Tecmo, Ninja Theory and Omega Force. These developers had a novel idea, to combine Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda. It was a beautiful game that got better than average critical reception and was a unique use of both the combat style of Dynasty Warriors and the characters and world of Legend of Zelda. It is now 2017 and it has brought with it a new entry into this fusion of Nintendo franchises and Dynasty warriors, Fire Emblem Warriors. While Ninja Theory and Omega Force stayed on the development team for this game, Koei Tecmo was not involved and instead Intelligent Systems contributed their talents. Does the change make the difference? Has 3 years been enough to learn and improve on the already well done Hyrule Warriors to make Fire Emblem Warriors the best possible product?


In short, Fire Emblem Warriors is fine. It is on par with Hyrule Warriors, if not graphically more impressive. As far as the gameplay is concerned, the major change between Hyrule and Fire Emblem is the tactical element. In keeping with classic Fire Emblem, you can issue your warriors tactical commands along with the game having the hack and slash Dynasty Warrior combat. This tactical element definitely improves this game as you can more easily manage characters to go to certain areas of a map or perform certain tasks to complete your goals. Of course, you can also switch between certain characters when needed as per usual Dynasty Warriors gameplay. Unfortunately, unless you are playing on the hardest difficulty, the game is not hard and does not a lot of strategy to get through. If you are looking for a challenge, start on the hardest difficulty and just jump right in. I personally breezed through missions on normal mode and would occasionally go back and replay some missions on the hardest difficulty just to challenge myself. There is also an easy mode as well if you have trouble with hack and slash type games. The game does increase in difficulty a bit as you go on, but after getting used to the gameplay and mission types, it shouldn’t be a problem. Local or, “Couch” co-op is also available for this game just like Hyrule Warriors. I found the co-op to be fun, though the split screen can be a little squashed and at times the game would lag if there were too many enemies on the screen at one time which was quite annoying considering the appeal of Dynasty Warriors lies in the destruction of many enemies at once. Surprisingly, the controls for multiplayer on the Switch were better than anticipated. I did not think splitting the joycons was going to work and I would have to buy a whole new controller, but to my surprise they were fine split up and it didn’t really hinder the gameplay.

If it feels I am focusing mostly on the gameplay, that is because that is the meat and potatoes of this game. There is a story, but it is fairly lackluster compared to the gameplay. You start as either Rowan or Lianna and you must join with various Fire Emblem characters must stop evil from being revived and destroying the world by finding “Gleamstones” and recruiting warriors to help in the fight.

Overall, this is a fun and well made game that is a welcome addition for Fire Emblem and Dynasty Warriors fans. If you enjoyed Hyrule Warriors, this should definitely be on your radar. Unless you are not into Fire Emblem at all, you should definitely check this game out and enjoy all the fun of Fire Emblem’s world with some Dynasty Warrior flavor.



Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice | Review

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Meghan Kass

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice has made quite the splash in the gaming scene as of recently. It is the indie game with the AAA quality looking to make a point to publishers, that it can be done without the AAA publishers sticking their fingers in the pie. Ninja Theory has labeled this game as the “independent AAA” game because of its focus on their strengths of strong character story, combat, and unique art style. They wanted to take these three key elements are far as they would go without anyone holding them back, but with that large ambition comes huge risk. Did this game pay off? Did it prove its point? A look at Ninja Theory’s claimed three key elements of story, combat and art will help make a conclusion. Is Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice more than just it’s slightly silly name? Or is there something deeper.

When we look at Ninja Theory’s first claimed key strength of character’s stories, there is a huge advantage that Senua has over many large budget AAA titles. It can take the story in directions that would scare off a lot of big publishers. In order to portray the main character’s psychological illness and psychosis with a degree of accuracy, neuroscientists were consulted along with non profit organizations who specialized in mental illness. Senua’s Sacrifice uses this aspect of Senua’s character to not only give subtle hints and guidance to the character through whispers informing you of incoming enemies and someone being behind you so you can evade or block them, but it allows for some interesting and even eerie imagery and visual storytelling. Senua’s visual hallucinations also allow the player to explore this character more deeply because we see how she reacts to different, sometimes extreme situations even though she wasn’t there, like when you meet a character named Druth and experience his horrifying story from when he was a captured slave through Senua’s psychosis and a bit of the supernatural. She also interacts with her auditory hallucinations occasionally or they sometimes try and speak for her intentions or her feelings. This could be assumptions that we have to decide are truth or mockery, but it adds to Senua’s character by showing the player her vulnerability and insecurities about her journey at least. Deep down, she has these thoughts and fears in her mind, adding greatly to her fairly silent character. Overall, Ninja theory has great characters and uses Senua creatively to tell an interesting and haunting tale that had me shaken down to my core at times.

The combat in my opinion is the weakest element, but still effective. Using the voices in Senua’s head to guide her during combat was a creative choice by Ninja Theory. The enemies are intimidating and while there are only but a few at a time, that works in the game’s favor as it makes the fight seem more intimate, intense and have more weight. There is no horde to slice through like a hot knife through cheese, but just you and your literal demons and a few strong monsters at a time. They won’t go down with a simply slice, you need to be fast and reactive and know when is best to hit and when is best to dodge. You also don’t want to forget your ability to slow down time and get some well placed hits in that hard to kill enemy which is especially effective for a more casual or less talented player. This is good, considering you are warned at the beginning of the game that if you die too often, your story is done and you need to start over with your save file deleted. Play on easy mode if you are the more cautious sort.

The art in Hellblade is the third element Ninja Theory mentioned and is very striking to say the least. There are often bright colors against dark colors to make the, at times, frightening images stand out so you take notice and allow it to stick in your head. The puzzles that have you searching for a matching symbol in the scenery are a great excuse to take your surroundings in and appreciate the well detailed textures and eerie environments. Senua herself is a beautiful character design with her face paint, large emotional eyes and strong looking body., It’s also haunting if you begin to fail your combat and see the black rot take over her body slowly.

Overall this game is a wonderful story of love and devotion and strength told in the most disturbing and eerie way possible. With its striking art and imagery, intimate and intense combat and haunting story telling, this is a homerun for Ninja Theory and its team. It is easy to tell they had a goal and were determined to reach it and they succeeded. Hopefully, more indie developers show that AAA publishers are not always needed to put out AAA quality products.



DmC: Devil May Cry | Review

Posted on March 7, 2013 by Jason Fayta

Version tested: PlayStation 3

Devil May Cry returns as DmC, a new vision for the series by developer Ninja Theory, who are responsible for Heavenly Sword and Enslaved, two games that lean more on adventure than action. With that statement alone, Devil May Cry fans have expressed their displeasure, to put it mildly, with the shift in direction, and in some cases, have written the game off entirely. But, a new vision doesn’t necessarily translate as a wasted effort, and DmC is no slouch when it comes to delivering stylish action.Read More


Dead or Alive 5 Plus Announced for Vita

Posted on December 3, 2012 by Jason Bassett

If you wanted to get more and more of those beautiful women that will kick you into next wednesday, well, we have your fix. Dead or Alive 5 PLUS has been officially announced for the Playstation Vita. The announcement was made on Youtube by the head of Team Ninja: Yosuke Hayashi.

While Hayashi didn’t give away too much, he did mention that players will be able to play on the go and that there will be more to look forward to. A tentative release date has been set for “an early stage next year”, so while there is nothing concrete other than the fact that Dead or Alive 5 is coming to the Vita, it’s still pretty promising.

You can check out the video after the break.Read More


A DmC Demo Is Coming, And Mundus Is Back

Posted on October 14, 2012 by Seung Lee

Great news for the few people that are actually excited for Ninja Theory’s DmC. Earlier at New York Comic Con, Capcom announced that the game will have a demo on the PS3 and Xbox 360, sometime before its actual release date. There was no word on a PC demo, though.

In addition, Mundus has been confirmed to be returning in DmC. If you’ve ever played the first Devil May Cry, you’ll remember that Mundus was the Demon King and big bad, which Dante had to defeat. It’s probably safe to say that Mundus will also be the main villain in DmC, or at least a major one. Lastly, people who care about story might be excited to know that the game will take a more in-depth look at Dante and Vergil’s parents: Sparda and Eva.

DmC is set to release on January 15, 2013 for the PS3 and Xbox 360. The PC version’s release date is still up in the air.


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