Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Delicious 2 (Gamehouse.com)

Thanks to Emily’s cousin Marcello, her uncle Antonio has a huge debt to pay to Freddy Fries.  Now Emily has to help pay them off so her uncle can keep his establishments.

This one has more of a storyline than the first one did.  In the last game, it was because of Emily’s uncle that she was able to run restaurants in the first place.  Now she has to help him in return, but Emily’s not alone.  Marcello’s ex-girlfriend Nora’s there to help and so is Emily’s friend Francois.  Francois is an interior decorator, Emily’s loyal friend and my favorite character.  He helps Emily decorate her restaurants and occasionally cleans them up.

            The game play has some similarities to the first one with a few minor adjustments.  When you finish a level, you get $100 for decorating if you reached the minimum goal, $200 if you reach expert.  In each restaurant, you get an entertainer to help keep the customer’s mood up.  You also get a cleaner to clear tables for you.  Like the last game, the customers will either get their food to go or eat at the restaurant.

Certain actions will help you win trophies for the game.  After you’ve beaten the game, you can play the restaurant through the happy customer mode.  Each one has a scenario for you to complete and you can get extra points.

Good storyline and fun game play.  I give it 7 out of 10, better than the first.

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Cooking Academy (Playfirst.com)

Congratulations, you can attend the cooking academy.  Make appetizers to desserts and try to do well on your exams.

            There’s not really much of a story to tell, but there’s plenty of game play.  You start with making appetizers and then you make desserts.  For each meal, there are systematic instructions and after you’re finished with each section, you take a few exams.  There are just a couple of problems with this game.  One is that when trying to cut out shapes from the dough, the game doesn’t give you an outline of what to cut so you just have to make a guess.  Another is that if you’re trying to get an A+ on all of the recipes and you only do mediocre on one step, you’re going to have to start it all over.

The game has no storyline, but it’s not that bad.  I give it 7 out of 10, cooking without getting your hands dirty.

X-Note (Zeiva.net)

Requested by kristi78968

10 years ago, Essi’s mother died in a tragic accident.  Now a man named Yuon recruits her to help him solve the murders that have been occurring at Xen Institute.  Is there a connection between this and her mother?

Okay, before I got the request, I originally bought it because, at the time, I had just gotten back from seeing X-Men First Class.  The game had X in the title and there were hints that the Xen Institute was a school for gifted students.  The game wasn’t exactly what I expected, but I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

For one thing, the story is an intriguing mystery.  What is the Xen Institute?  How did Essi get her psychic powers?  Why does Yuon need her?  Whom is the mysterious boy only called X?  The character interaction is also something the game handles quite well.  Essi has a choice between three characters, Yuon, Oure and Anon.  Each one as a different personality, so Essi reacts to each one differently yet still remains the same person.  Yuon is a mysterious recruiter so Essi has no idea how to handle him.  Oure is a sweet young boy that Essi treats as such.  Anon is the school pervert, so he tends to piss her off big time.  Each one also has a hidden depth that you can discover by playing each of their plots while answering a few questions about the mystery.

The game is a visual novel and a dating sim.  In between days, you participate in mini-games to train Essi’s psychic powers.  Each power has a connection with a specific guy.  Clairvoyance is Yuon, Psychokinesis is Oure, and Telepathy is Anon.

During the game, you can also collect notes related to the mystery.  At the end of each chapter, the game gives you a password so you can continue where you left off.  After you’ve reached eight endings, you get a password that unlocks the extra gallery of the game.

The game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 9 out of 10, it choked me up a bit but I never cried.

Duplicity: Beyond the Lies (Roseverte.net)

Requested by kristi78968.

Yukina Kudou may seem like your average high school student with health problems, but she hides a dark secret.  She works as an assistant to her principal’s science experiments; her current job is to observe Youji Kataoka.  If she fails, her principal can’t be responsible for the consequences.

I try to avoid giving anything away in reviews, but I’m not sure if I can do so in this one.  If you have not played the game, let me warn you there might be spoilers.  The game is about identity, people who put on a fake personality in front of others and hide their real one from the world.  Yukina seems like a shy and sickly girl, but is actually a determined assistant.  Youji seems like a nice and polite guy, but is actually a withdrawn rebel without a cause.

Kouichi seems like a polite gentleman, but is actually a scientist with a dark secret.  The mysterious boy seems like a happy observer, but hides his own pain deep down.  Even Yukina’s friend Nao actually has a separate personality inside of her.  Yukina has four routes she can go on, she can become Youji’s girlfriend for real, she can have a deeper relationship with Kouichi, she can discover the truth about the mysterious boy, or she can find out the truth about everyone else.  I have to admit, the relationship with her principal is somewhat creepy.  Yukina has memories of him raising her and admits that Kouichi is her legal guardian.  Not to mention the fact that she’s a clone of his dead girlfriend.  It gives me this stalker vibe and it feels like wife husbandry.  Maybe I’m supposed to be feeling like this, it’s difficult to tell with this game.  At least with Cafe 0 you’re supposed to find the protagonist’s relationship with her school counselor creepy.

You might think the game is just another visual novel, but you couldn’t be more wrong.  It starts out as a life simulation, you choose what path you want to take and after it’s set you play through a story.  You can choose between gossiping, studying, observing Youji, helping Kouichi, or resting.  During weekends, your only choices are studying or resting.

Your skill rises depending on the activity and you activate events depending on either skill or love points.

In the middle of the game, you take a test.  How well you do affects Yukina’s status among her classmates and the ending you get if you fail to find a set path for Yukina.

The game is intriguing and addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10, not as good as Cafe 0.

Long Live the Queen (Hanakogames.com)

Princess Elodie’s mother has just died but she doesn’t have time to grieve.  14-year-old Elodie has to train to become the next ruler of Nova.

Will she become the queen her people are looking for, or become corrupted by power?  Will she even survive to reach her coronation?

Elodie has a difficult road ahead of her and it shows.  She has all the luxuries of royalty but it also comes with responsibilities.  Every action she takes determines the fate of Nova.  Every decision she makes shows if she is capable of the task given to her.  Various subplots can show her relationship with the other characters.  Her relationship with her father is very special because he’s trying to point his daughter in the right direction, yet he still sees her as his little girl.  There’s also a fantasy element to the game where Elodie discovers that she has a hidden power inside her and can train it if she gets the crystal.

This isn’t your typical princess game.  You’re not just wearing pretty dresses, having parties and falling in love.  You actually have responsibilities as a ruler.  You can train in a variety of subjects ranging from the athletic to the intellectual.

If you raise your stats enough in a specific skill, you unlock a new outfit and only one of them is a beautiful dress.

You can attend parties in the game but if you haven’t trained yourself in social skills, well let’s just say that the other nobles won’t think well of your abilities as ruler.  You can even marry but it will be more for political gain than for love.  During the game, various scenarios will test whether you’ve trained Elodie enough in certain skills.

You can also take a break in your studies to do an activity of your choice.  What you pick affects your mood.  The choices you make affect what type of ruler Elodie will become.  If you don’t make the right choices or fail to train Elodie enough in certain skills, she might not survive to her coronation.

The game is challenging yet addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10, an original take on a game about royalty.

Go Go Gourmet: Chef of the Year (Bigfishgames.com)

After visiting many different restaurants and opening her very own, Ginger signs up for the Chef of the Year contest.  Can she win against the seven best chefs the world has to offer?

Again, we have plenty of wacky characters.  Each one has worked their whole life as a chef while Ginger’s only started last year.  You can imagine that she does feel out of place, but it’s played more for comedy than drama.  Therefore, you don’t have to worry about any annoying whiney scenes about Ginger’s low self-esteem.  Like I said, the chefs are insane in their own way and once again, Ginger is the only sane woman there.

The game play’s not that much different from the last game, except you’re serving judges and trying to get first place.

If you serve a few of them quickly enough you’ll get a special power up.  You can also win trophies and new outfits for your character.

In each country you visit, you earn one outfit that increases your speed, one that increases the judge’s patience, and one that adds bonus points to every dish.  After you complete each country, you get a recipe that you can print off.

In the final round, you have to complete a recipe before the only remaining opponent finishes.

It’s very funny and not a bad waste of time.  I give it 9 out of 10, not a bad sequel.

Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes (Demo)

When Bruce Wayne beats Lex Luthor for the man of the year award, he teams up with the Joker in a fiendish plot to destroy Gotham City.  Now it’s up to Batman, Robin and the entire Justice League to stop them.

You’re never too old for Legos, but you can be too broke for them (I’m serious; one Lego set costs over a hundred bucks).  That’s why these video games exist in the first place.  It’s the digital experience of Legos without having to shell out all the cash.  You can build stuff, you can destroy stuff and you can collect stuff.

In this little demo, you play as both Batman and Robin.  Each character has their own specialties; Batman’s suit gives him stealth and x-ray vision and Robin’s incredibly acrobatic.  You take on Harley Quinn, the Riddler, the Penguin and the Joker in that order.  You also have hints about future super heroes that you can play.  Along with using the Penguin’s own weapons to stop him and using the batarang to bring down a few bad guys.  You have to defeat a number of goons and you can collect coins during the adventure.

This game is an awesome use of the DC Universe.  I’m definitely getting the full version.

Bionic Heart (Tycoongames.eu)

Luke Black’s just a regular guy living in 2099 London, a world that’s constantly raining.  His fiancé of ten years, Helen, wants him to stop toying with her and tie the knot.  Later, a bionic being named Tanya comes to his home on the run from her creator.

This sounds like Catherine except set in a sci-fi world.  While the plots are similar, the game is nowhere near as great.  Vincent, Katherine and Catherine all seem to have their own hidden depths.  Vincent’s afraid of change but later realizes that change isn’t so bad.  Katherine wants to get married but there are hints that her parents are pressuring her.  Catherine seems like a fun loving girl but then you realize just how crazy she really is.  When Vincent is on the latter’s path and eventually chooses her, you get the feeling that his sanity is slipping.  The case is the same in this game; a normal guy is having trouble with his girlfriend when this mysterious woman pops into his life.  Helen just wants to get married, no explanation why.  At the start of the game, she gives an ultimatum not getting the hint that if a guy doesn’t marry you after ten years of engagement he probably never will.  No matter how badly you treat her, she doesn’t leave.  You know that Helen runs her own shop, but she seems to have no life outside of Luke.  Luke is equally guilty in this, because he led a woman on that eventually he would marry her even though he despises the idea.  Still, the fact that Helen sticks with this guy doesn’t say much about her.  Sometimes I wonder if women this pathetic secretly don’t want to get married.

Tanya has a psycho side and Luke never seems to get the hint that he needs to get rid of her.  I’m well aware of Tanya’s back-story, but it doesn’t make up for what she’s capable of.  One wrong move from Luke and Tanya does something psychotic.  Luke claims that Tanya’s kind and polite, but we don’t see that.  At least Vincent admits that Catherine’s trouble.  There are endings that involve Tanya showing exactly what she’s capable of.  Not to mention that Tanya’s life revolves around a man, much like Helen’s.  There’s another hint that as long as a man keeps Tanya under control she won’t go psycho.  It’s like a sci-fi Bewitched.

The only woman who has potential is Tina, and even she constantly hits on her partner Roby, who is revealed to be engaged.  I have no problem with women hitting on men, but I do have a problem with people hitting on someone who’s taken.

Luke also has a friend named Tom who’s just a perverted mouthpiece for Luke.

The game is a visual novel, so you just read the plot and make decisions.  The decisions you make affect the endings you get and your relationship with Helen, Tanya and Tom.  You can end up with Helen, Tanya or no one at all.

This game has a decent plot, but is a poor representation of men and women.  I give it 1 out of 10; I hope the sequel will be better.

Order Up!! Demo (Nintendo eShop)

A chef dreams of owning his or her own restaurant one day.  Unfortunately, all he or she can get is a job at a fast food joint.

In the tutorial, you have the choice between playing as a man or a woman.  During the first order, a guy who sounds like the pimply face kid on The Simpsons gives step-by-step instructions.  You cook food on the stove or in the fryer and make sure it doesn’t burn.  In the case of the stove, you have to turn over the food to cook both sides.  You also have to tear the leaves off lettuce, cut slices of tomatoes and fill up soda.  Make sure to get a good score so that the customer will give you a decent tip.

You can also do a quick play, where you have to handle three orders.  You basically do all the stuff you do in the tutorial; only after three orders, you’re done.  I don’t have a whole lot to say about this part.

It seems like a fun game, so I might purchase the full version.  Not sure if I actually will.

The Flower Shop: Winter in Fairbrook (Winterwolves.com)

Requested by kristi78968

Natalie just finished a semester in college and all she wants to do is relax.  If only her parents didn’t insist that she get a job and become more responsible.  Fortunately, her roommate Clara manages to get her a job working in Susana’s flower shop.

Like Steve, Natalie is a slacker whose parents want her to grow up.  Unlike Steve, Natalie actually has a choice about where she wants to work.  Many of the characters from the previous game return along with one extra, Ryan who runs the General Store.

Natalie also has her own romance options, the timid Jacob, the bold Trent, the reserved Ryan and the hard-working Steve.  Steve has changed since the last game and it shows.  He’s taken a more responsible role in his family’s life, yet still retains his joking nature.  His relationship with Natalie is my favorite because they bond over their similar situations.

Like the last game, the boys have lives outside of you.  Your job is to become a part of their lives while having your own.  There are even a couple of scenes showing that, like the show Friends, many of the characters have bonded with each other over their screwed up families.

The game play is similar to the first game.  When you get up, you have to grow flowers in the morning.  You can use your weekly scheduler to decide what to do in the afternoons.  You hang out in the library, go running with Steve, go to the general store, stay at the flower shop, rest or continue working.  Like the last game, you need to have a life outside of the boy you pursue in order to raise a stat they particularly like.  Jacob likes determination, which is associated with Steve, Trent likes empathy, which is associated with Jacob, Ryan likes culture, which is associated with Trent, and Steve likes intelligence, which is associated with Ryan.  This time you only need to raise over four hundred dollars to get the special endings.

It’s addictive and can be funny at times.  I give it 9 out of 10, even better than the first one.

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