Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island – Episode 5: Rise of the Pirate God

After last episode, I had to see how this series ended especially after what happened to Guybrush. Even though I kind of seen it coming, I mean even the title of the episode said it plainly, I was still a little surprised. Sometimes title’s can be misleading and I thought that was what episode 4 was doing, but it totally wasn’t. Shocking. Keep reading to see what I thought of the episode as a whole.

I really thought I had seen where this episode was going especially with the demise of Morgan. I mean, throughout the episode I was secretly hoping that Guybrush would ditch the wife and end up with Morgan and now that they were both dead. Anyway, I was wrong and thoughout the episode Guybrush fights death itself to return to Elaine, who is now LeChuck’s demon bride, and live happily ever after. With a little help of both Morgan and Elaine, LeChuck is destroyed and everything in the world is set right again. Upon delivering LeChuck’s spirit to the Voodoo Lady, Morgan is granted her life back, and they all lived happily ever after.

While I was a little disappointed with the ending, I just could never actually get to liking Elaine throughout the whole series and thought that Guybrush was better suited for Morgan, I thought that it was fitting and the series as a whole came together full circle. This episode was much of the same as before with all of the fetch and come back quests, I really didn’t mind them this time around knowing that this was the final episode. After this episode I will say that even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the series I was hoping that they would do another series that maybe focused on Morgan.

The real downside of this episode and series as a whole is the playability. It’s like this with almost every Telltale game and I wish they would just get it right for once. I can’t stress enough how much the movements were awkward and there were the problems with the loading times along with some lag. These types of things really take away from the game and ends up hurting the game as a whole in the end.

Overall for this series, I really enjoyed the graphics. I thought that they were fitting for the theme of the game and fitting for the game as a whole. That being said, these types of graphics don’t always work for every game but when you have graphics that are fitting for a game it does enhance overall gameplay.

Finish this episode and do everything it has to offer and you’ll get your final 11 trophies. While there isn’t a platinum for this game, if you played through every episode you will end up with a total of 55 trophies to add to your gamer card which isn’t bad and you’ll also feel a sense of accomplishment since you completed the whole series.

As always no multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Great final story that wraps up the series nicely.
+ Fitting ending, even if it wasn’t the ending I wanted.
+ Nice graphics throughout the course of the game that were fitting to the game as a whole.

What’s Not So Great:
Common Telltale problems that I’ve talked about so much I don’t even think I need to detail them out anymore.

Even though I enjoyed how this series ended and enjoyed this series as a whole a hell of a lot more then Back to the Future, I’m still going to say that if you aren’t a Monkey Island fan then to wait until this one goes on sale. If you’re expecting The Walking Dead or even The Wolf Among Us type gameplay and quality from this game you’re going to be sadly disappointed.

This being the final Throwback Thursday Review, I want to thank everyone who stuck around for a little over a year and read these blogs. I really enjoyed going back and reviewing all of the games that I either got the platinum on or got the 100% on and I really hope you enjoyed reading about my experiences. My weekly Thursday blogs will continue though and since I really couldn’t decide whether to just answer some questions about video games that I got asked or do character profiles, I’ve decided to do a little of both. I’ll be starting off next week with my first Frequently Asked Video Game Question that I found popping up in my search box quite often.


Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island – Episode 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood

Moving right along with the Tales of Monkey Island series, I went into this episode with a lot of trepidation. I did this because I know that Telltale has a knack for having some really bad 4th episodes. Sure they lead up to the final episode, but not all of them are done well. Did this series do the same or was this one of the rare occasions where the 4th episode was actually good? Keep reading to find out.

After Morgan’s betrayal from last episode, Guybrush finds himself back on Flotsam Island. While Morgan is collecting her bounty, Guybrush is taken away by the townspeople who aren’t too happy with him after his last visit. I mean come on can you blame the people of Flotsam? Guybrush released the pox on the whole gulf, of course they’re going to be pissed! But it’s LeChuck to the rescue! Yes you read that right, LeChuck tells his story about how he created the pox and Guybrush is released. That’s not the end of this episode though, there’s more death, chaos, twists and turns, and then the death of Guybrush himself.

Overall this wasn’t a bad episode and it didn’t live up to the dreaded episode 4. It actually turned out to be not that bad and the story picks up a little bit more leading into what’s going to be happening in the 5th and final episode. While I didn’t enjoy this episode as much as the previous one, I still liked it a lot more then the first two. This time around it took a little time for me to actually get into the story and the game but I was eager to finish up and see how the story ended once this episode was over.

As with the previous episode there were the usual awkward movements, slow loading times, and various other bugs and glitches. I can’t stress enough how disappointing this is each and every time I play a Telltale game. The only time I didn’t have these types of problems was when I played The Walking Dead Season 1 and 2 on the PS4. This made me think that the times of the troubled playthroughs were over, but I was wrong. These problems continue to make a reappearance in a lot of the newer games including Game of Thrones and Tales from the Borderlands.

Being that this episode takes place on Flotsam Island again, the graphics are pretty much the same as the first episode. It’s not like the changed all that much in the series as a whole, but they were still pretty good and were fitting for this series.

Now to the fun part, the trophies! Finish this episode and do everything this episode has to offer and you’ll find yourself with another 11 trophies to add to your gamer card. Not a bad count of trophies especially if you played through the whole series. With each episode having 11 trophies you’ll add another 55 trophies to your gamer card which is pretty good for a game series, especially one that’s easy. As with the other three episodes you’ll have to either follow a walkthrough to get them done at once or play a couple of times to go back and clean up the trophies you missed.

As with any game in this series there is a total lack of multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 3.5 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Not a bad 4th episode.
+ Story twists and turns that set up what’s coming up for the 5th and final episode.
+ Enjoyable graphics that have been stable throughout the series.

What’s Not So Great:
The awkward movements, loading time problems, and other various bugs and glitches continue.
A little on the short side.

While the last two episodes showed a lot of promise for the series, it seems like a little too late. If I wasn’t someone who just has to finish an entire series then I would have stopped after the first two episodes. When it comes to these types of games, I think that you really have to grab your audience within the first two episodes or risk losing them. Anyway, if you’re a fan of the Tales of Monkey Island series you’ll enjoy this game, but if not and you just want to try this game out I would wait for a sale.

Next week is not only the final episode for Tales of Monkey Island, which is entitled Rise of the Pirate God, but it’s also the final Throwback Thursday Review. As I said last week, I have two ideas swimming around in my head for my next series since Throwback Thursday is ending. I might have recently been swayed to go in one direction, but you won’t find out until next week when I unveil my newest Thursday blog.


Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 3 – Lair of the Leviathan

I have to say that after the way episode 2 ended, I was pretty eager to see how the next episode played out so I didn’t hesitate to play the third episode in this series right away. As I said last week, this my favorite episode throughout the whole series and that’s kind of saying a lot. Anyway, here’s what I thought about the episode.

At the end of last episode, Guybrush and Morgan were swallowed whole by a giant manatee, which kind of makes no sense since manatee’s are gentle sea cows, but moving on. They were swallowed whole and now they have to find a way to escape in order to secure La Esponja Grande. I like saying La Esponja Grande over and over again as I write these reviews because it sounds so elegant when it really just means the large sponge. It’s kinda funny when you think about it. Anyway, while trapped inside of this giant manatee, Guybrush and Morgan discover the crazed pirate DeCava along with his crew who were also swallowed by this manatee. As always, Guybrush saves the day by rescuing the crew and healing the injured manatee, no wonder why the manatee was so pissed, and finally secures La Esponja Grande. A turn of events causes this game to not be over but end on another cliffhanger of sorts to get you ready for the fourth episode.

Out of all the Tales of Monkey Island episodes, I found this one the most enjoyable. I liked the story that went along with it and I enjoyed that Morgan played a bigger role in this episode overall. I think that out of all the characters in this series Morgan has the most development and is probably the most interesting out of all the characters. This was also the longest episode for me to play I think because there was a lot of running around. It was kind of like do this, go here, do this, go back to where you were, do this, go back again sort of episode and after a while it became a little tedious to play.

I never really see a change in playability from episode to episode in these types of games, especially these earlier ones from Telltale. It’s kind of like if movements are awkward in one episode there going to be awkward throughout the whole series. It was the same thing with the loading and lag as well and that really sucks and takes away from the game as a whole.

The graphics for this episode were just as good as the other episodes and it’s pretty easy to see that they aren’t going to change from episode to episode. I would think that if anything playability would change since that’s something that can be improved upon during the time it takes to create each episode but with the graphics it’s the complete opposite. Not like I’m complaining though because I like the graphics as a whole for this series.

Finish this episode and you’ll get another 11 trophies to add to your gamer card. As with the other episodes I would suggest using a walkthrough if you want to get all of the trophies in one shot so you don’t have to go back and get stuff that you missed or you can always play how you want knowing you’ll miss some trophies and then go back to clean up at a later time.

This is a single player game which means no multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ The best story throughout the series. (I’m sensing a trend that all of the third episodes in Telltale games are some of the best…)
+ Nice character development.
+ Fitting graphics.

What’s Not So Great:
Common playability problems that plague this series as a whole.

With one more episode down, there are only two more to go. As always I’m going to say that if you’re a fan of Tales of Monkey Island then you’ll enjoy this game, but if you’re just wanting to see how the earlier Telltale games played out I would wait for a sale in order to pick this one up.

Next week will be a continuation of Tales of Monkey Island with the review of episode 4 – The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood. No spoilers there huh? As I promised last week, I do have a couple of ideas swimming in my head about what to replace Throwback Thursday with when I’m finished with it in just two weeks. I was either thinking about doing a Video Game FAQ since I get a lot of questions typed into the search box. Most of which I know the answers to, no surprise there. Or I might start a character profile on some of the most memorable video game characters. At the moment it’s a toss up and hopefully I can figure out what to do within the next two weeks.


Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 2 – The Siege of Spinner Cay

After sensing another Back to the Future type of game coming my way from the first episode, I decided to just push myself through and play each of these episodes back to back. While I did enjoy this game a little bit more then Back to the Future, I’m still not a big fan of these earlier Telltale games which is why Jurassic Park is sitting on my PS3 just waiting to be played. Here’s what I thought about episode 2.

In episode 2, we continue right where we left off with Guybrush. After discovering what was causing ships not to be able to leave Flotsam Island and reversing it, Guybrush is on his way to the Jerkbait islands to find La Esponja Grande. Since this is Tales of Monkey Island, you could just imagine the fun that Guybrush gets himself into this episode. He’ll become involved in a dispute among some pox infected pirates and the residents of a new area to explore as well as have his pox infected hand cut off by the one and only Morgan LeFlay.

While I think the story as a whole that plays out through all five episodes is interesting, playing the game at times is tedious which in turn makes the game a little less enjoyable. I’m a fan of the whole point and click adventure games to a certain point and I think that this one just goes a little too far. Any game that becomes tedious to play and then continues on that path will always be less enjoyable for me.

Like the previous episode, the movements of this game are stiff and awkward and those are paired together with the fact that there are atrocious loading times as well as other various problems with lag. These have to be the number one complaints that I have with all Telltale games and I really can’t be the only one. As I said with Back to the Future, you would think that these things are fixed in the later games but sadly they are not.

I continued to enjoy the graphics for this game as with this episode you got to explore a whole other area that was different from Flotsam Island. I once again thought that the graphics were fitting to the series as a whole and were one of the winning points.

If you play correctly the first time or have multiple playthroughs you’ll get another 11 trophies to add to your gamer card. While you might get some of these trophies on your own the first time you play, unless you use a walkthrough there is no way you’ll get all of them yourself. If you don’t want to go back and make multiple playthroughs it’s best to use a walkthrough.

At this point you should already know that there isn’t any multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 3 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Interesting story progression and the introduction of new characters.
+ Fitting graphics that enhance the game.

What’s Not So Great:
Another tedious point and click adventure that soon becomes boring and tiresome.
Awkward and stiff movements, long loading times, and lag.

The ending to this episode made me eager to play the next one because I just had to see what happened. This was one of the shorter episodes of the series as a whole and I’m going to say that if you like Tales of Monkey Island this game is for you, but if not I would give it a pass or at least wait until the discount to purchase is really high.

Next week I’ll be reviewing episode 3 for the Tales of Monkey Island series, Lair of the Leviathan. I would say that this was probably my favorite episode out of the 5 in this series. I’ll also be trying to come up with something to replace Throwback Thursday after this series is over. I have a couple of ideas swimming around in my head that I’ll probably expand on next week.


Throwback Thursday Review – Tales of Monkey Island: Episode 1 – Launch of the Screaming Narwhal

Oh PS Flash Sales, how I have this love/hate relationship with you. You dangle these games in front of me with a price tag of only $0.99 always tempting me to buy, but then I get to play the game and then realize why the game was priced at $0.99 to begin with. I picked up this game along with Back to the Future and a couple of other games during the same sale, and playing Back to the Future should have given me some kind of indication of what this game was going to be like. You would think I learn from these kinds of mistakes, but I don’t so I got sucked into playing yet another episodic adventure from Telltale and here’s what I thought about the first episode.

The fifth installment of the Monkey Island series, this game was released as an episodic adventure rather then a complete game and follows the continuing adventure of Guybrush Threepwood, a wannabe pirate who was turned into an actual pirate even though he’s dimwitted at best. Guybrush seems to have it all in the beginning of the episode, but that damn LeChuck just won’t give up. LeChuck steals Guybrush’s wife, I say good riddance to the annoying wife, and in other events causes Guybrush to accidentally release a voodoo pox. This first episode takes place on Flotsam Island where Guybrush must try to find a way to stop this voodoo pox and find the cause of the winds not allowing ships to ever leave Flotsam Island.

While the actual story of the game and the way the game progress’s is enjoyable, there’s just something about it that left a sour taste in my mouth. I think it has a lot to do with the whole static nature of the game. Instead of making this a more adventure type game, this is a very basic point and click puzzle solving game. I understand that the game wanted to stay true to the original series, but it should also be understood that at a certain time games need to progress and reinvent themselves. The two hours that it took to play this episode soon became tedious making the episode as a whole less enjoyable.

The movements of this game as well as the playability as a whole were extremely stiff and awkward most of the time making the game less and less enjoyable as time progressed. Nothing seemed to flow smoothly from movements to the solving of the puzzles, everything just seemed stiff. Of course this game also had its fair share of loading issues along with a couple of glitches here and there.

A winning feature of this episode was the graphics. They fit perfectly into the whole Monkey Island series and enhanced the game as a whole. The graphics were the one thing that made playing this episode a little more enjoyable as each scene and area was vibrant and full of detail.

Yay trophies?? Not really. While there are 11 trophies for this episode, this is yet another game where you have to play a certain way in order to get all of the trophies. This doesn’t really matter all that much since this isn’t really a decision based game, but I think in this case the trophies sometimes ruin the experience of playing especially if you realize that you missed something half way in and you’re going to have to go back and play again.

As with any other Telltale game there was no multiplayer.

Overall I give this episode a 3 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Interesting story that pulls you in.
+ Great graphics that are fitting to the series.
+ Good writing making the game and characters enjoyable.

What’s Not So Great:
Awkward and stiff movements.
Tries to be an adventure game, but is still just a point and click game.

While I enjoyed this series as a whole a little bit more then Back to the Future, I still think that this earlier game of Telltale’s was still a little tedious to play and really not up to par with their later games. While it’s nice to see a company progress, my wallet doesn’t really like it all that much and I would suggest only picking this series up if you can find it on sale or if you’re a Monkey Island fan.

Next week I’ll be letting you know what I thought of the second installment of this episodic adventure, The Seige of Spinner Cay. I will say that in this episode comes the introduction of one of my favorite characters for this whole game Morgan LeFlay. I enjoyed this character way more then I did Elaine and secretly hoped that Guybrush would end up with her. I know, I know, scandalous!


Throwback Thursday Review – Bejeweled 3

So this game was part of my gaming phase of where anything you can do I can do better. It’s a horrible way to game and it makes you play a bunch of games that you really don’t want to in order to show someone that you’re better then they are. In the end things get messy and you end up not wanting to game for a while, which is bad. These are the types of lessons that you learn from gaming. Anyway, I had put this game on the shelf for a little while before going back to clean up the trophies and here’s what I thought about it.

There really isn’t a story or a story mode in Bejeweled like there is for Plants Vs. Zombies. You match a bunch of different colored jewels in different play areas and score a bunch of points a bunch of different ways. Some games don’t need stories, and this is one of them so I was happy to play each different mode and just be able to play without some kind of back story or adventure type mode.

Like I said before there are a bunch of different ways to play and for this one reason you really can’t get all the bored when playing this game. When it comes to different game modes, there are eight of them which include classic, zen, lightning, quest, butterflies, diamond mine, ice storm, and poker. Each mode is basically different even though you play the same way. When you get bored with one mode you can go ahead and switch to the next. There are so many things to do that I found myself very often wanting to play for half an hour but then playing even longer.

I never took much interest in this game when it was on PC, I played it a few times but that was it, but this is one of those games that are better on PC only because of the point and click with a mouse / touch screen which makes the game operate a lot quicker then trying to move a cursor around the screen and then switching jewels with the PS3 controller. During the timed levels this became frustrating and often times I couldn’t get to where I wanted in time to switch the jewels around and lost the game. This also isn’t so great when you’re trying to get specific trophies.

I thought the graphics for this game were vibrant and did the Bejeweled franchise justice on the PS3. The butterflies was my all time favorite mode and I liked the way the butterfly jewels looked on the screen as well as the spider looming up above trying to capture my butterflies. Butterflies wasn’t the only mode that was this vibrant and detailed, because all of the modes were like this and it enhanced the overall game.

Trophies! What’s a PS3 game without them? There are 12 trophies from this game ranging from easy to hard. Some of the easy ones you’ll get naturally from playing but there are some trophies that require you to do specific things and that’s where it becomes a little difficult. Playing this game for easy trophies is a mistake! It’s possible to miss out on the two particularly hard trophies Blazing Speed and All That Glitters. Blazing Speed requires you to obtain blazing speed in a game of lightening which is no easy task and All That Glitters makes you complete all the badges in the game to gold level or higher. Expect to be playing a lot of Bejeweled 3 if you’re in it for the trophies.

Trivia Question! There’s also another game that has an All That Glitters trophy, do you know which game it is? I’ll have the answer below.

There’s no multiplayer for this game and that’s fine with me.

Overall I give this game a 3.5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ A lot of different game modes keeps things interesting.
+ Vibrant graphics on the PS3 does the game and franchise justice on the jump from PC to PS3.

What’s Not So Great:
Point and click controls are better and more efficient on the PC. PS3 controls really don’t work all that well on the timed levels where speed is everything.

Even though I started playing this game as a competition based game, I ended up thinking it wasn’t all that bad. Although it’s one of those games that I’ll never play again, I’m glad I had the experience to play. If you’re a fan of Bejeweled or just PopCap games, I would recommend giving this a try. If you’re happy playing this game on the PC I would say you can give it a try on the PS3 but beware that the controls aren’t as smooth.

Next week starts the beginning of the end for my Throwback Thursday blog. There’s only five games left on my list and it starts with Tales of Monkey Island – Episode 1: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal. I’ll let you know what I thought of that episode next week and we’ll end the Throwback Thursday blog with the last episode in this game.

Trivia Answer! Did you guess what game has a trophy with the same name? It’s Diablo III! In Diablo III the All That Glitters trophy required you to pick up 5,000,000 gold. Funny how both trophies were named the same and were equally annoying.


Throwback Thursday Review – Plants Vs. Zombies (PS3)

This is one of those games that I originally played on the PC and then one day just discovered that there was a Playstation version and had one of those mind blowing moments. Needless to say, I was eager to play this game on my PS3 and even though it took a little while to get the 100%, here’s what I thought about it.

There’s a zombie on your lawn, we don’t want zombies on the lawn. If you’ve played Plants Vs. Zombies you know this little line is from the Plants Vs. Zombies song at the end of the game and if this song is now stuck in your head, I’ve succeeded for the day. Anyway, that’s the main point and the story of the game. There’s an outbreak of zombies and it’s up to you to plant a variety of different plants to stop the zombies from breaking into your house and eating your brains. Simple right? Maybe…maybe not.

I’ve always been a fan of time management / strategy games, and this one is no different. The combinations of different plants mixed with the combination of different zombies that are thrown at you each wave is different making the game never boring. Each level you have to defeat wave after wave of zombies by planting your lawn, pool, and even roof, full of different plants that each have different strengths and weaknesses. Of course as a seasoned PvZ player, I have my own set of strategies for each level that never really changes and never becomes boring either because sometimes it works, sometimes it barely works, and then sometimes it completely fails. That’s the beauty of this game. It rarely becomes boring no matter how many times you play. Not only is there adventure mode that will take you through all the levels of the main game, but there are also mini games and a survival mode. Also, there’s a zen garden for those of you who like to garden but don’t really have a green thumb. At least these plants will never die.

Playing on the PS3 is a completely different experience then playing on the PC or the PS Vita where you can basically point and click on the PC and use the touch screen on the PS Vita. Here you have to use the controller, of course, and at times things get a little awkward especially in the more advanced levels. Even though movements and just basic controls are awkward, it’s nothing that can’t be handled and everything else basically runs smoothly. I did run into a lot of lag though during my survival 40+ waves run. After wave 30 there is just way to many zombies and everything lags to a point where the game almost comes to a standstill. This basically just sucks especially if you’re going for the trophy associated with survival, but this is the only time the game does this and other then that I didn’t experience any bugs or glitches.

The graphics, although simple in nature, look great on the PS3 and do justice to the PC version. Each level is full of detail as well as the detail on the actual plants and zombies themselves. All of this combines for a pleasant visual experience on the PS3 and on a bigger screen.

No platinum trophy for this version, but there are trophies. Complete this game and do everything it has to offer and you’ll add another 12 trophies to your profile. While most of these are easy and require you to just play the game to the fullest, the most difficult trophy to get is the Alive and Planting trophy. To get this trophy you’ll have to complete at least 40 waves of zombie attacks in survival mode. In order to get all the trophies as well you’ll also need a second controller and a co-op partner.

While there is no multiplayer for this game, there is a co-op mini game mode that if you’re a trophy hunter you’ll have to play. Good news is you could just hook up the second controller to where you don’t have to actually play with someone else although playing with someone else is pretty fun. There are two co-op modes and they are Wall-Nut bowling and Vs. mode. Each of them are equally fun to play where Wall-Nut bowling is you and a friend bowling for zombies on the same team and the Vs. mode is where you and a friend will compete against each other where one of you will play the zombies and one will play the plants.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ It’s Plants Vs. Zombies on the PS3
+ Different combination of plants and different combination of zombies for each level means it never really gets boring.
+ Adding to the adventure mode are mini games and co-op games along with a zen garden.

What’s Not So Great
During the Survival mode the game lags a lot and almost stalls because there is too much going on at once.
As with any point and click type game, the controller makes things a little awkward at times as you try to move around the board.

Even though I really enjoyed this game on the PS3, I have to say that I enjoyed it just a little bit more on the PS Vita. It had a lot to do with the mobility of the PS Vita and the touch screen. Although the PS Vita’s touch screen was a little inaccurate ad tricky at times, I still liked it better then the PS3 controls. If you had to make a choice on which version to play, I would say play both. At least on the PS Vita you get a platinum trophy and it’s worth it to play on the PS3 as well for a different experience.

If I’m being completely honest, then I have to tell you that the last couple of Throwback Thursday Reviews took place because of my highly competitive nature and so will this next one. Flower, Plants Vs. Zombies, and Bejeweled 3 were sitting on my trophy list for a while and when I seen that someone else on my friends list was playing them and I had to finish it before they did just to prove a point which only went to prove my point that friendly competition is never friendly in the end. Anyway, next week I’ll let you know what I thought about Bejeweled 3.


Throwback Thursday Review – Flower (PS3)

After playing Journey I was eager to play another game from Thatgamecompany and decided that Flower was it. Sometimes you just need a little break from all of the shooting and looting action-adventure games and Flower seemed like the perfect game for that. After playing through a couple of times and finally getting the 100% on the trophy list, here’s what I thought about the game.

What do flowers dream about when they sit in their little flower pots growing by an open window? Do they dream of pleasant things or do they have nightmares just like the rest of us? In Flower you get to see what six different flowers are dreaming of as they all grow in their little flower pots, and dream of different things. Some of them are pleasant and some not so much making this game one the most emotional games that I’ve played since Journey. In each dream you take on the role of the wind as you guide at first a single flower petal through the level collecting other flower petals along the way making this massive ball of petals once you reach the end.

I absolutely loved this game. I don’t know how Thatgamecompany does it, but you can seriously take this game as a metaphor for life. There are ups and downs and sometimes things are great and sometimes they aren’t. In the end though things usually work out the way they should have. For such a small game there’s so much meaning to it and so much beauty that it makes the game as a whole emotional without the need for dialog. This game is truly a beautiful experience and it’s all told in the point of view of a simple flower.

Playing as the wind, the movements are all about pitch. You’ll tilt your controller in order to blow the wind and you’ll hit any button in order to make the wind blower harder and have the petal move faster. I will say that the movements are a little awkward at first and take a little getting used to. At times this gets a little frustrating and takes away from the game as a whole just a little. Once you have the movements down though you shouldn’t have a problem playing.

The graphics for this game are one of the major highlights of the show and are simply stunning. Each of the six different environments shine and bring the game as a whole to life. The graphics are one of the things that makes Flower so beautiful and will really catch your attention with their beauty and simplicity.

Even though there are trophies for this game, they shouldn’t be your main focus when playing. If you’re playing this game because you think that the 14 trophies will be a breeze to get, then you are sadly mistaken and you’re missing out on a really awesome story. Yes, there are some trophies that are easy, but then there are certain trophies that will have you pulling your hair out. I would say play the game naturally a couple of times before going back and trying to get all of the trophies.

No multiplayer for this game as it is a single player experience.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Another amazing story that can be a metaphor for not only life, but a bunch of other things.
+ Stunning graphics that enhance game play.
+ Highly emotional and will leave you feeling things.

What’s Not So Great:
Controls take a little while to learn and can be frustrating at times.

Do not miss out on the opportunity to play this game. If you enjoyed Journey then you’ll definitely love this game as it takes you on another emotional roller coaster. I would seriously add this game to my list of games that every gamer should at least experience once. Even though I picked this game up on sale, I would say that the $6.99 price tag that comes along with it isn’t a bad one especially if you’re a trophy hunter because you’ll be going back to get all of the trophies. Even if you aren’t a trophy hunter you’ll want to play this game more then once.

So what’s in store for next week? Next week’s Throwback Thursday will be the review of Plants Vs. Zombies on the PS3. I started this game way before I played the Vita version, but I never finished it. After getting the platinum for the Vita version I knew I just had to go back and finish this game to get the 100%. I’ll let you know what I thought about it next week.


Throwback Thursday Review – Rain

While I didn’t get this game free via PS+, those of you who did are pretty lucky, I did pick this one up at a discounted price. I heard really good things about this little game and was more then happy when it finally came on sale for a good price that I couldn’t turn down. After spending a few days playing, here’s what I thought about the game.

Taking place in Paris, you take on the roll of a curious young boy who goes chasing after girl who seems to be in trouble one night. There is a catch though, the girl is invisible and can only be seen when standing in the rain and once you step outside, you also become invisible. You’ll also be chased after the same monsters that are chasing after the girl once you’re outside as well. Throughout the game you’ll soon come to discover that both you and the girl aren’t really outside in the rain. You’re both tucked in your beds unable to be woken up. Being chased by the Unknown, it’s up to you to save yourself and of course the girl.

Kudos: I really liked how this game had a much deeper meaning to it making it on the same level as Journey. It’s rare that games can introduce a plot and then it’s discovered that there’s more to the plot then originally intended. When it’s done correctly, a huge kudos is in order because that is no easy feat.

Although I really enjoyed playing this game and liked that it had a much deeper meaning then I had originally thought, I did think that the game stretched out a little too long. This was one of those games that felt like it should have been over about half way though the game but was stretched out in order to be longer and it ruined the game for me just a little bit. One of my gaming pet peeves is a game overstaying it’s welcome and trying to get my to play even more even though the game felt like it should have ended half way through the game.

The gameplay is super simple for this game and puzzle like. Each puzzle is easy to solve and really just depends on whether or not you’re seen by the monsters chasing you. Stand under an awning where this is no rain and you’ll become invisible to everything surrounding you. Step out into the rain and you’re visible and vulnerable again. Each level is easy to solve and just takes some planning and patience as you learn how to move effectively throughout the level.

I really enjoyed the graphics for this game. I thought that they were pretty stunning for the PS3 and for a game of this size. Paris really comes to life in this game and although the game takes place in well, the rain, it’s not really an issue. You would think that seeing the two main characters would be hard considering that they are invisible, but the way it’s done makes it look like they are a part of the rain with a silhouette marking their existence.

There are 12 very simple trophies to get for this game. While a few of the trophies have to do with collectibles this game makes it easy with chapter select so that you can enjoy the game and progress through it naturally and then go back to get the trophies and complete the game.

Yay for no multiplayer because not every game needs it.

Overall I give this game a 4.5 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Simple story with an overall greater meaning then oringally thought.
+ Simple gameplay with easy puzzles that let you focus on the story.
+ Stunning graphics on the PS3.

What’s Not So Great:
Story was dragged out just a little bit too long.

Overall I really enjoyed this game and I just really wish it was a little shorter and didn’t drag on as long as it did. This is a pretty solid game that had a well thought out story with a deeper meaning thrown in there for fun and some deep thinking. The graphics were one of the highlights of the game and they really shine on the PS3. If you didn’t get this game for free, I would suggest waiting until it goes on sale. The $14.99 price tag is a little hefty for a small game that if you’re diligent shouldn’t take you longer then a day to play.

The countdown to my final edition of Throwback Thursday continues next week with a really serine game that I really enjoyed and not only super relaxing but also found super frustrating at the same time. If you’ve played Flower then you know what I’m talking about and I’ll tell you what I thought about the game as a whole next week!


Throwback Thursday Review – Backgammon Blitz (PS3)

I remember learning the game of Backgammon when I was really young on a really old fashioned board and just absolutely loving it. It’s a game that is not only based on luck, like most dice games, but it’s also based on strategy. How do you move your pieces one you get your dice rolled? If you know the board and develop a strategy to move your pieces then it isn’t a problem. Being the Backgammon enthusiast that I am, I was more then excited when this game became available and I downloaded it day one. Here’s what I thought about this game.

This is just a new take on a very classic board game plain and simple. No story is required and in this version you can play against the AI from any type of difficulty all the way up to master as well as play against other people whether it be co-op or online. So the main point of each and every Backgammon game is to get your pieces into your home base. You’ll start your game in your opponent’s territory and roll two dice in order to move. Beware though because you’re opponent can have the chance to send you back and block you from moving which is where the strategy part comes in.

Unfortunately I could never really get into this version of Backgammon long enough to actually play for a substantial amount of time. I think the longest time I played was for a couple of hours and that was when I was trying to play against a friend in the multiplayer, but I’ll tell you about the multiplayer later. Playing against the AI even in the master difficulty section soon became boring as I really didn’t see a different level of difficulty while playing against the master AI. There is a new Blitz version of the game that allows you to use different power ups to help you win, power ups like blocking moves, sending your opponent back, and freezing your opponent. Although this is a new and fun way to play, it’s just not really the type of Backgammon that I like.

The playability for this game should have been easy since it’s just really rolling the dice and then moving your pieces, but it can sometimes become a little awkward when moving the pieces around the board. Although it’s highlighted where you can move your piece making it easy to see where to move your piece if you’re unsure, sometimes when you think you’re moving one place you actually move in a different place. Coming from a complete strategy way of playing Backgammon, this can really ruin your game.

The graphics on this game are what I really enjoyed simply because their classic board is like an exact replica to the actual board that I learned to play Backgammon on. While not all the boards are as clear as the classic board, there are some that just don’t blend well, the classic board is not only detailed but the surrounding environment is detailed as well making the game have an overall nice feel to it.

Trophies! There are trophies for Backgammon and if you complete the full game you’ll get an extra 13 trophies to add to your collection. It’s not a lot but it’s a decent amount and they’re all pretty easy to get.

I have to say that the multiplayer was one of the things that I was most excited for when I first got this game only to be totally let down by it. I really disliked that this game basically has no matchmaking options and is only based on offering challenges to other players on the leaderboard who may or may not ignore you. Not to mention that this is given the Chess treatment to where you’re opponent doesn’t have to be online to actually play. This can be a turn based game to where maybe you make a move one morning and you’re opponent doesn’t move until the next morning and so on and so on. As I said earlier, the only time I played this game for a long period of time was when I played with a friend who was currently online. Even then the multiplayer took way to long to play as each move, this is with both of us actually sitting in the game room and actively playing, took anywhere from 2-3 minutes to complete no matter how quickly I moved my pieces or how quickly my friend moved his pieces. This quickly became boring and after our one match, we never played again.

Boo! Backgammon is not Chess! It is meant to be played at a quick pace and although it can be played using a strategy you do not have to take more then 1-2 minutes to make a move. Treating this game like it was a Chess match completely ruined the experience as a whole, not to mention that the servers were down on this game for over a month!

Overall I give this game a 2 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Classic Backgammon with a new twist of the game thrown in for fun.
+ Classic board looks amazing and looks like an actual Backgammon board.

What’s Not So Great:
There doesn’t seem to be a difference between the levels of difficulty. I found the AI to behave in the same way whether it was on easy or master.
Horrible back and forth multiplayer and it’s not how actual Backgammon is played. While this structure might work for a Chess game, it doesn’t for Backgammon.
While some boards are nice, others are just hard to look at and everything blends together.
Horrible servers that go up and down and were even down for over a month.

I’ve long since given up on this game with the back and forth movements and the length it takes to play an actual full game so I got rid of it from my system. I’m not sure that after the whole server debacle if it’s even up and running again or if it’s still up and down. I was totally let down by this game being a huge Backgammon fan and basically found it to be a waste of money. If you’re going to buy this game, beware because even though it’s available on all three systems as far as I know it is not a cross buy which was really disappointing as well.

Unfortunately my Throwback Thursdays are coming to a close, which is sad but I’m seriously almost done with every single game that I’ve completed to 100%. Fear not though because we aren’t there yet and next week I’ll be giving you my review for Rain. I picked this game up because I had heard good things about it and was eager to play. I’ll let you know how things turned out next week.