Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords – Reviewed

August 25, 2008 by

There are many genres in video gaming. First person shooters, platformers, music rhythm games, RPGs, and puzzlers are several of the most popular. However, the latter two need to be singled out for a specific reason; they remain very much unchanged since their conception.

Enter Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords. One brief glance at the game would lead you to believe it’s your standard take on the genre. Match three gems of the same colour to clear them from the playing field. In this sense, it is a fairly traditional puzzler except, it isn’t just a puzzler. It’s an RPG puzzler. A blend of two distinct and vastly different genres. It’s an unlikely match-up that works shockingly well in practise.

Each different coloured gem on the board corresponds to particular type of mana. Mana is used to cast different magic spells with can have a variety of different effects such as damaging your enemy or changing gems from one colour to another. Yes, enemy and yes, damage. Two concepts that are completely alien to the puzzle genre.

Let’s take a step back. There’s a large, beautifully hand drawn map to explore in the game. You visit towns and cities to obtain quests and to buy new equipment such as armour and swords. The puzzle aspect of the game doesn’t come into play until combat is initiated with an enemy. In order to defeat your opponent, you must reduce his health points to zero. This can be done through spells but more usually through matching three skulls, which take off a sizeable chunk of health. It sounds simple and at it’s base level, it is. Puzzle Quest is both straightforward and complex. You can play it the way you want. Strategically make moves and plan ahead or hope that luck will carry you through. The game can be played in both ways.

What is both a blessing and a curse of is the aforementioned aspect of luck. There’s a heavy reliance on luck, as it is a puzzle game and some aspects are just out of the player’s control. One battle may be over swiftly and easily and end in your favour while the next may result in a hammering. It’s certainly frustrating when your opponent manages an endless streak of luck and almost feels cheap at times.  It’s an aspect of the genre that needs to be accepted, no matter how many white hot moments of rage it may cause.

A breath of fresh air is quite possibly the most accurate way to describe Puzzle Quest. It successfully manages to blend two genres seamlessly and provides for a very enjoyable experience. Even if the computer tends to be a cheating fucker occasionally.

[8]

Team Fortress 2 – Why Snipers are a hated breed

August 25, 2008 by

You pull the tigger. You hear the shot. You see the splatter.

Latest MGS4 trailer (with a touch of Muse)

April 26, 2008 by

I’ve always wanted to add my own music score to one of these trailers, and while not my own written score, I have added in one of my favourite Muse songs. There’s some slow-mo editing and the like in there too.

The Best of the Ace Attorney Soundtracks

April 23, 2008 by

The Ace Attorney series has proven that size doesn’t matter when it comes to producing an exhilarating and immersive soundtrack. I present to you the cream de la crop of the series’ soundtrack, including Apollo Justice. Only one song can be crowned No. 1 in each section, so as you can imagine, many tough decisions were made.

Best Courtroom Lobby Track – Courtroom Lobby ~ New Prelude, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Courtroom Track – Trial, Trials and Tribulations

Best Examination Moderate Track – Examination ~ Moderate 2001, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Best Examination Allegro Track – Examination ~ Allegro 2001, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Best Objection Track – Phoenix Wright ~ Objection! 2001, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Best Announce the Truth Track – Inform the Truth 2004, Trials and Tribulations

Best Cornered Track – Pursuit ~ Overtaken, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Suspense Track – Suspense, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

SPECIAL! Psyche(o)lock Vs Perceive – Percieve ~ Surging Eyes, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Investigation Opening Track – Search ~ Opening 2001, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

Best Investigation Middle Stage Track – Investigation ~ Core 2007, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Location Track – Tachimi Circus, Justice for All

Best Character Theme Song – Maya Fey ~ Turnabout Sisters’ Theme 2002, Justice for All

Best Victory Fanfare Track – Won the Lawsuit! ~ Another Victory, Justice for All

Best Reminiscence Track – Recollection ~ A Fate Smeared By Tricks And Gadgets, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Save Point Jingle – Jingle ~ That’s All For Today, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Detention Center Track – Detention Center ~ Tragicomic Interview, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Random Track – Ace Attorney 4 ~ Prologue, Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney

Best Credits Track – Ending, Trials and Tribulations

So there you have. 7 wins for Apollo, 5 for the original game, 3 for Trials and Tribulations and 3 for Justice for All. Do you agree?

PS By far the most difficult choice for me was the Character’s Theme song award. So many great tracks but in the end, one had to be singled out.

The GR Muse Experience

April 23, 2008 by

August 13th. Be there.