PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures Review (PS3/360/Wii U): “PAC is Back in 3D”

Pac-Man Ghostly Adventures Gameplay 1

Namco’s iconic character from the past 20+ years returns in a new 3D action/adventure title, PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures. Published and developed by Namco Bandai, is PAC’s return to 3D platforming one worth chomping into?

Story: 3/5

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures is based on the new animated series that launched in the summer, so the story is like that of a typical Saturday morning cartoon. PAC-MAN, Spiral and Cylindria are all speaking with Sir C until they find out the ghosts of the Netherworld have escaped and are wreaking havoc on the citizens of PacWorld with the aid of their leader, Betrayus. The story is told through in-game cutscenes to help connect the plot with the gameplay a bit. There’s not a lot of storytelling to look forward to here, but it’s solid enough to just carry the gameplay along. Let’s be honest: You’re not playing this game to look for an amazing story, but what’s here is certainly serviceable. It’s a fun, cheery story that’ll you won’t find yourself terribly engaged in, but enjoy it enough to get through the campaign.

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Gameplay: 4/5

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures is a 3D platformer that harkens back to the days of classic platforming. For fans of PAC-MAN World 2 from the PS2/GC/Xbox days, you’ll be in for a treat here. If you’ve never played that, then you’re still in for a great game fundamentally. PAC-MAN is away from chomping down the infamous ghostly creatures roaming around mazes and is out in the open environment. The object of each level is to reach the end and collect one of the fruits that we’re accustomed to PAC-MAN eating (cherries, lemons, pineapples, etc). Controls are simple, with movement being controlled with the left analog stick, camera with the right analog stick, jump button (with a double jump incorporated), chomp button and special ability button. PAC-MAN controls very smoothly and platforming is done quite fairly, with a solid amount of challenge incorporated. One of the more satisfying elements in the game lies within the chomping attack. When ghosts are grouped together in a somewhat close radius, PAC will be able to chain together his chomps into quick combos. Simply pushing the analog stick in the direction you want him to go next, he’ll lunge toward the next ghost to chomp before touching the ground. Doing so when there are more than just a few ghosts (4-5+) always feels rewarding and fun to pull off.

Not only will you jump and chomp your way through levels, but also utilize numerous abilities that PAC-MAN can acquire through specific power pellets. Those specific power pellets will give him either an ability to throw fireballs, shoot ice beams, magnetize to objects, swing around with a chameleon’s tongue. roll around as a giant boulder, or even bounce around as a little ball. These all become essential throughout your platforming as each is pertained for specific scenarios and enemies. For example, you’ll come across fire ghosts which can’t be chomped unless you freeze them first. Same goes for ice ghosts but firing them up first before finishing them off. Certain environments have metallic platforms that are the only means of traversing forward, no matter how zany the platforms may look. This is where the magnetism would come into effect, allowing PAC to stick to the platform whether it’s right-side up or upside-down. The combat with these specific abilities adds even more satisfaction, with the fire ability being my personal favorite. Throwing fireballs non-stop as PAC locks on to each target effortlessly just feels tight and rewarding.

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PAC-MAN will traverse a variety of environments within the six worlds (such as Pacopolis and the Netherworld), each containing roughly 4-7 levels. Within each area, you’ll have to collect the pellets that PAC-MAN is known to collect for over 20+ years, as you’ll have to accrue certain numbers to unlock temples within certain regions. When on the World Map, you’ll notice you can choose paths to reach certain levels, but not all the levels need to be completed to advance. There are bonus levels that you’ll notice veer off the path as a dead end. These levels you’ll find a bit more challenging than the standard levels, mainly to earn some Arcade Tokens. However, if you’re a 100% completionist, you’ll be doing these as well. Occasionally you’ll tackle boss battles within levels, all of which require unique strategies to beat. Whether you’re facing a giant rock golem or a fat ghost chef, each boss will have you utilizing various skills and brings variety to the table. Speaking of which, that’s another thing PAC-MAN has going for it, variety. Throughout levels, there may be times where you’ll shoot PAC out of a cannon to bring down towering obstacles, ride a molten rock down a volcano and ski down icy slopes. These little elements help keep the game’s pacing smoother. Unfortunately, checkpoints aren’t always placed in the best spots, having you go back to some sections where frustration might ensue a bit. This isn’t too often of an issue, but often enough where it’s noticeable. Also, reviewing the game based on the Wii U version, the only feature the GamePad provides is off-TV play at all times. There’s no “special” uses incorporated into the GamePad but better to not force something gimmicky in there, as the off-TV play is always one of the most welcome features for a game on the Wii U.

When you’re not out saving the world from ghosts, you can explore the school PAC-MAN attends. Here you can talk with the NPCs, including the original four ghosts from PAC-MAN (whom are not out to get you anymore but are now friendly), as well as play some arcade games. While the arcade games are not rehashes of classic PAC-MAN games, they’re retro-styled mini-games that you’ll spend your Arcade Tokens to play (which you’ll find hidden within levels). For example, one of the mini-games is like a Defender clone (PAC-MAN style) called Cherry Copter Rescue. Here you’ll have to rescue those that are trapped in slime and escort them to the exit, while being careful of the ghosts trying to take them away. Another would be Lemon Blaster, where you’ll pilot the Lemon Rocket in a 2D side-scrolling shoot-em-up like R-Type or Söldner X.

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Additionally, there’s a multiplayer mode which puts a spin on the classic PAC-MAN formula where you’ll play as the ghosts and try to hunt PAC-MAN down through 3D renditions of eight mazes that you can choose from. For GameCube owners back in the day, you may recall this as “PAC-MAN Vs.” and is quite similar to that. You can play with up to four players or even solo with bots controlling the other remaining players. You’ll traverse through the maze trying to prevent PAC-MAN from eating all the pellets and put a stop to him and his friends. While you’ll be working together with your friends to put a stop to him, you’ll also be competing for who can nab the most points amongst each other. Here is where things get interesting. You’ll pick up power-ups littered throughout each maze. You can use these to help stop your opponents, with either traps, mines, missiles, etc. One particular power-up called “Ultra Berry” allows you to scare everyone blue except for you, making everyone a vulnerable target. Suddenly, the co-op nature isn’t so team-based friendly anymore. It’s a fun multiplayer mode to play around with for sure but lacks online play, which could’ve really made this a ton of fun to tackle with other live players. Regardless, the overall gameplay in PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures is just great, simple fun that’s accessible to newcomers and fans alike.

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Graphics: 4/5

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures isn’t trying to be a graphical powerhouse, and that’s completely fine. What’s here though is certainly a lush, colorful, vibrant world that’s very easy on the eyes and more than suitable. PAC-MAN is animated and detailed very well, as are the ghosts and other characters that litter the game’s world. Environments are nicely detailed, with weather effects going on in the background, as well as ghosts flying rampantly around the areas. The game never dips in framerate at all, staying at a constant 30 fps, and no screen-tearing either. Even the ability effects look pretty good, whether it’s the ice or fire, it just looks smooth and appealing. This is all powered by Vicious Engine 2. Again, it’s not a game to showcase groundbreaking visuals, but it’s a great looking game that’s immensely enjoyable to look at.

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Sound: 3/5

PAC-MAN’s audio department is precisely what you would expect being based from the show. All the characters’ voice actors return to reprise their roles as PAC-MAN, Spiral, Cylindria, Sir C, and the ghosts. The ghosts all have certain lines they’ll say when they encounter PAC-MAN and they pertain to the certain attributes they are. It’s appropriate and fits the game’s style. The soundtrack fits the game pretty well, even if it’s nothing too memorable (although I was digging one of the songs on the Ice Realm world). Unfortunately, there were some audio glitches where certain songs that were supposed to play wouldn’t kick in until a random point later in the scenario. An example would be the boss battle with the ghost chef. It continued to play the music from the stage itself but about 3/4 of the way through, it randomly cut to the music that was supposed to be playing during the scene. Even during another few scenes this occurred again. The sound effects on the other hand are completely spot-on. All the classic sounds from the PAC-MAN series are in full force here and still sounds as awesome today as it did over two decades ago. The game’s audio sounds just like a Saturday morning cartoon, and that’s a good thing.

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Overall Score: 14/20 = 7.0 out of 10

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures doesn’t aim to break any new ground as a platformer, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t worth playing. What’s here is a downright fun game that any platforming fans would do very well to look into. While the story and audio aren’t anything to write home about, the great gameplay and lush visuals help make this overall package a very good one. For only $39.99, I still recommend platforming fans pick this game up, or at the very least, a rental.

PROS:

+ Great, varied gameplay

+ Nice visuals

+ Rewarding Chain Chomp mechanic

+ Has the vibe of a Saturday morning cartoon

+ Only $39.99

CONs:

– Generic storyline

– Soundtrack isn’t too memorable

– Multiplayer lacks online

A special thank you to Namco Bandai for providing us a review copy for “PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures”! Copy tested on the Wii U.

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“Pac is Back” this Fall in PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures

Pac-Man Ghostly Adventures Gameplay 1

It appears our iconic pellet chomping hero, Pac-Man, is returning to gamers later this year in “PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures”. The game will be a 3D platformer (similar to the Pac-Man World games, if you remember playing those on PS1, PS2, GameCube and Xbox) and is based on the new animated TV series that’s coming to Disney XD this summer. PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures will be releasing for the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS consoles. The 3DS version will be a completely different experience, being strictly a side-scroller. Namco released a trailer, alongside some screenshots, for the upcoming game so take a look! Being a fan of Pac-Man World 2, I personally have this game on my radar for the Fall.

Leading video game publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games Europe S.A.S. is thrilled to announce that Pac is back! PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures will be coming to North America this winter for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system and Wii U™ system from Nintendo. Built upon the timeless and wildly successful PAC-MAN™legacy, PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures will boast an entirely new and exciting gaming adventure that is currently under development.

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures follows the exciting storyline and charming characters from the highly anticipated PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures animated series created and produced by Avi Arad, acclaimed director and founder of Marvel Studios.  The animated TV series, based on NAMCO BANDAI Games’ classic PAC-MAN property, will begin airing on Disney XD this summer. The game revolves around the vibrant universe of Pac-World, where Pacworlders lived in peace until the mischievous Netherworld ghosts, led by their wicked leader Betrayus, escaped from their ghoulish domain to forcibly take control of Pac-World. Pac-World’s only hope lies in the last surviving yellow Pacworlder, our hero with a voracious appetite.

Not only will PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures feature an entirely revamped PAC-MAN universe, but it will also hearken back to PAC-MAN origins with classic elements such as Ghost encounters. The Ghost-chomping mechanics return from the original PAC-MAN but with exciting powered up variations in PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures, creating an innovative yet familiar gameplay experience.

“The PAC-MAN franchise has touched millions of gamers and non-gamers since its humble beginnings more than 30 years ago,” said Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing and Digital Sales at NAMCO BANDAI Games America. “With its long-standing history, PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures emerges as a new and reimagined PAC-MAN universe that still retains classic gameplay elements that will appeal to a whole new generation of gamers.”

PAC-MAN and the Ghostly Adventures will be coming to North America for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 system and Wii U this winter. A separate side-scrolling version of the game will also be available for the Nintendo 3DS™.

Naruto: Powerful Shippuden Review (3DS) – “A Whimsical Ninja Adventure”

Naruto Powerful Shippuden Wallpaper

While many game developers are content to release lackluster video game tie-ins to television shows and movies, the Naruto series of games has proven that the genre can be something more. The most prominent example of that fact is the Naruto: Ninja Clash series of games, giving birth to a totally new style of 3D fighter while remaining authentic and tied to its roots. With Naruto: Powerful Shippuden, Namco Bandai is taking a more whimsical shot at the series, presenting a mission-based side-scrolling brawler, featuring super-deformed versions of many of the series’ popular characters and a quirky, humorous script style. It’s a big departure from games past, but is this one a powerful new entry in the Naruto franchise?

Story: 5/5

The game’s story picks up right after Naruto finishes his two-and-a-half-long training period with his mentor Jiraiya, and follows a large portion of the story arc featured in the Naruto: Shippuden series of manga and anime media. The game is split up into missions that tell bite-sized portions of this over-arching plot, and most of them feature dialogs between characters before and after the mission takes place. The story will be extremely familiar to Naruto fans, but is easy enough to follow for players new to the series as well. While the story is great on its own, what really steals the show here is the game’s presentation style. All characters are presented in a cartoony, mini-size version of their normal counterparts, and act just as silly to match; in fact, I was surprised to see how early the characters were willing to break the fourth wall and let slip that they know they’re in a video game. This makes for some hilarious dialog between characters, and the game’s quirkiness evolves each character’s personality above and beyond their anime versions. The silliest of characters (such as Might Guy) will make you laugh out loud, and even normally-serious ones such as Gaara will garner a giggle or two in response to their effective (and seemingly-accidental) deadpan delivery. The developers have done an excellent job of pandering the story to all age groups – the cuteness of the story’s presentation will certainly appeal to the younger crowd, but even older gamers will find plenty of endearing qualities to enjoy.

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It’s really the relationships between the different characters – and the art style that enhanced them – that make Powerful Shippuden’s presentation so endearing. These little details make themselves just as important as the overall plot. You’ll be playing as both Naruto and Rock Lee, and both characters serve as equally-important protagonists to the game’s plot. The gameplay supports this idea very well, and encourages you to switch between the two characters to complete story missions in each of their mission maps. Some missions for one character can only be taken once making some progress in the other’s mission map, so there is a lot of presence from both main characters.

The game does unload a bit of backstory on you in the first few minutes of play, but it’s not so much to leave you chomping at the bit to skip the cutscenes and dive right into the gameplay. It’s a real achievement to be able to say that the story isn’t just supplemental to a game’s overall enjoyment, but is actually a central component of it.

Gameplay: 4/5

Powerful Shippuden isn’t the first side-scrolling adventure game in the franchise’s history, but it’s clear that Namco Bandai took cues from the other games in its history to heart when creating the game’s combat system. There’s a good mix of the familiar and the fresh here, and remains accessible while rewarding players who delve deeper into the game’s mechanics. While there’s a lot of depth here, the game does a good job of presenting new gameplay elements to you at a fair pace through its tutorial system; it’s handled very well and teaches you the game without feeling like a chore.

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Each character can unload a series of normal strikes by repeatedly hitting the Y button, or use some of their Chakra to use special techniques and strikes with the X button, which are more powerful and may be helpful in taking down tougher opponents. These moves can be chained together to form powerful combos. Chakra is also used defensively, allowing characters to dash quickly from enemy to enemy, block attacks, or even avoid them entirely, and is refilled by collecting Chakra orbs or by landing normal strikes. If a particularly-strong enemy crosses your path, you can perform a special technique by pressing R+Y, which will use up a chunk of Chakra but is usually guaranteed to take an enemy out in one hit.

Both Naruto and Rock Lee have access to the abilities listed above, but that’s where their similarities end. The two protagonists present completely unique combat styles to master; Naruto is a competent fighter but also has a selection of tricks up his sleeve, being able to summon Shadow Clones to fight for him and take down tougher foes with his Rasengan. Rock Lee, being unable to utilize Ninjutsu at all, focuses on being a strong fighter, and can unleash a flurry of powerful blows to knock enemies flat. He even gains the ability to enter a super-powerful state by activating his Eight Gates ability, allowing his strikes to hit a lot harder but being unable to regenerate Chakra through attacks during the duration of the ability. Eight Gates can be toggled on and off (almost) whenever it’s needed, so it’s not uncommon to blaze through a swath of foes and then disable it to regain your Chakra.

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Each of the game’s missions has the player trying to complete a victory condition (such as defeating all enemies or reaching the stage’s exit by a certain time) while avoiding a defeat condition, but there’s also a lot of leeway in letting you play a mission the way you want to. Each mission also feature five personal challenges to choose from, placing an extra stipulation on the mission (such as completing it within a time limit), but rewards the player with an experience point multiplier if they succeed. There’s no downside if you fail to meet those conditions, so it never hurts to pick one before entering a mission. You can repeat completed missions later on to try to beat your score and earn additional experience.

Speaking of which, experience points are earned as you complete missions, and are given based on your performance in performing combos and meeting objectives within a time limit. These points can be spent on improving your character’s strength through extra health and attack power, extra Chakra reserves, improving special abilities and techniques, increasing resistance to status problems, and even powering up your support characters and granting access to special ninja items. This system rewards experimentation, and allows the player to withdraw any experience points spent on a certain aspect of their character to assign elsewhere.

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Similar to some of the Naruto fighting games (and others, such as Marvel vs. Capcom), your character can also collect support characters to call on during a mission, requiring time to charge up but presenting unique and powerful attacks and support abilities whenever they’re ready. Up to three can be brought into a mission, allowing you to customize your support team to fill in any gaps in your strategy. If a particularly tough group of foes is stacked on a spot, call on Sakura to smash them with her fists. If your health or Chakra is low, call in Tenten to throw you a random assortment of recovery items while launching throwing weapons at your foes. There’s plenty of characters to collect, so it behooves you to complete as many missions as possible to collect them all.

Powerful Shippuden’s gameplay mechanics don’t take any major risks, but is great because of how well it blends several well-established gameplay styles into an overall-enjoyable experience. The missions are varied and exciting and lend themselves well to the game’s pick-up-and-play style. At the same time, the addictive combat will keep you itching to try out that next mission or unlock just another upgrade to improve your character. It may not be groundbreaking, but Powerful Shippuden is a rock-solid gameplay experience.

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Where Powerful Shippuden falls short of perfection is in a couple of features it could have included. Most glaringly-absent is any sort of co-op mission mode, normally a staple of side-scrolling beat-em-ups. Given the ability to go back and re-play missions, it would have also been cool to have had an online leaderboard system to allow for competing with your 3DS friends for high scores. Despite this, there’s plenty of play to get out of Powerful Shippuden.

Graphics: 4/5

One of the Naruto series’ trademarks is its beautiful art design, and while Powerful Shippuden may not boast the jaw-dropping 3D cel-shaded graphics of its console cousins, it takes the series in a new direction and presents a game centered around a cast of “chibi” (or super-deformed) cartoon characters. The artwork is beautifully-rendered and appears crisp and clean on the 3DS’s dual screens. The characters are drawn in an adorable, endearing style both in dialogs and in gameplay, and while the animation may not be as fluid as other current 2D games, it harkens back to the style so prevalent in 90’s arcade games, adding a nostalgic touch.

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The game’s missions place character sprites in front of 3D backgrounds; these backgrounds add a sense of variety and vibrance to the action taking place and are surprisingly well-detailed, but don’t steal the show either; instead, they really let the characters in the foreground pop off the screen. The 2D sprites used for characters and items do appear slightly pixilated and scaled down during missions (unless the camera zooms in on you), but are not immersion-breaking. Perhaps one of the greater aspects of the game’s graphics is the full use of the handheld’s 3D capabilities. Characters in the foreground pop out from the backgrounds behind them, and create a true sense of depth during special abilities, which may engulf the screen in vibrant special effects. Landing a particularly-powerful blow on an enemy may even send him soaring out towards you, leading to some hilarious results. Powerful Shippuden may not push the 3DS to its limits, but it’s no slouch, and serves to admirably enhance the game’s presentation.

Sound: 4/5

Powerful Shippuden’s sound direction really works to capture the unique flavor of the Naruto mythos. The series’ trademark musical style is present here, blending traditional Japanese influences with modern rock guitar riffs and rhythms. The music always fits the mood of the situation, from the whimsical to the insense, and though the same tracks may come up frequently, it’s hard to get tired of Powerful Shippuden’s soundtrack. The Japanese voice actors from Naruto Shippuden are present, and even if you don’t speak the language, it’s easy to tell that the cast performs their roles admirably. There are no conversational oddities here – each character’s lines are delivered well; the right tone always comes through. These voice-overs are really only delivered during missions and are limited to simple exclamations, but they do their job. The game’s sound effects are also adequate, with familiar slashing and clashing sounds to accompany battle sequences, as well as whimsical and comical effects during really hilarious moments. Overall, the sound quality is very good in-game, with music, voices, and sound effects coming through crisp and clear on the 3DS’s speakers.

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Incoming!

Overall Score: 17/20 = 8.5 out of 10

Naruto: Powerful Shippuden is a fine example of how the experience of a television or movie franchise can be extended and enhanced through video games. Namco Bandai didn’t take the easy way out, but rather delved deeper into a portion of the Naruto storyline with excellent gameplay elements and a delightful, whimsical presentation style. Not just a game for the kids, Powerful Shippuden is an excellent portable game for series fans and newcomers alike.

PROs:

+ Mechanics are simple to pick up but reward exploration and practice

+ Story presentation is delightfully funny

+ Missions provide a nice variety and encourage play with both main characters

+ Look and feel of the graphics and sound direction are authentic to the series

CONs:

– Story may be predictable for Naruto fans

– 2D sprites appear pixilated at times

– Lack of a co-op mode or leaderboards

Enjoy the review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME for all the latest in gaming news and reviews!

A special thank you to Namco Bandai Games for providing us a review copy for “Naruto: Powerful Shippuden”!

“Project X Zone” Officially Coming to North America in Summer 2013

project x zoneThe collaborative project between Namco Bandai, Capcom and SEGA is finally coming to North America in Summer of 2013. Here’s the full press release below:

SAN JOSE, Calif., (January 21, 2013) – Leading video games publisher and developer NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc. today announced that Project X Zone™ (working title) will be coming to challenge gamers in both North America and Latin America in the summer of 2013, exclusively for Nintendo 3DS™ system. This epic crossover title brings together the fiercest and most popular legacy characters from NAMCO BANDAI, SEGA®, and Capcom’s most beloved franchises to create a Strategy-RPG experience that can only be described as the ultimate cross-over title.

Developed by Banpresto and Monolith Soft, Project X Zone features over 50 characters from 29 historic game franchises by three of Japan’s most prolific video game companies. In Project X Zone players will use a team of two characters known as a Pair Unit to explore the world within the game. An additional character known as a Solo Unit can be combined with the Pair Unit to assist in battles with Solo Attacks as well as augment the attacks available for players to execute. Throughout the game, epic battles are waiting to erupt at a moment’s notice. Players will have to master an array of screen-busting moves including Solo Attacks, Support Attacks, Cross Hits, and Finishing Moves in order to defeat a multitude of foes.

Project X Zone is the first title to ever combine such a large cast of characters from a varied list of game franchises into one grand adventure,” said Carlson Choi, Vice President of Marketing NAMCO BANDAI Games America Inc.  “Developing a cohesive game and storyline to encompass all of these great characters and their battle-styles was a huge challenge that has paid off greatly with the creation of a truly unique and groundbreaking gaming experience.”

Project X Zone takes place in a world surrounded by a hidden chaos with shadows and evil lurking beneath the peaceful cover of everyday life. When a rift in time and space suddenly appears, a doorway to various universes is opened allowing both heroes and villains from different worlds to cross paths. Players will be able to take control of a huge selection of paired heroes including favorites such as Jin and Xiaoyu (TEKKEN), Toma and Cyrille (Shining Force™ EXA), to X and Zero (Mega Man® X) and discover the cause of the rift and stop evil from coming through and spreading into their world.

Project X Zone will launch the summer of 2013; exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS system. For more information about Project X Zone or other NAMCO BANDAI game titles, please visit: http://www.namcobandaigames.com.

Are you excited to see this collaborative project see the light of day overseas? Sound off in the comments below!

ThunderCats Review (DS)

ThunderCats is a side-scrolling adventure game published by Namco Bandai and developed by Aspect Digital Entertainment. The game is inspired by the ThunderCats animated series from Warner Bros., and was released for the Nintendo DS.

Story: 2/5

ThunderCats is a game based on the new animated series, and as a tie-in, it shares many of the shows story elements. So much so in fact, that the game borrows exact scenes from the show to piece together a story line for the game. In the game, Thundera has fallen into ruin by Mumm-Ra and his evil Lizard Army. The leader of the ThunderCats (Lion-O) must wield the Sword of Omens, and along with his ThunderCats companions, stop at nothing to reclaim Thundera and obtain the Book of Omens. Along the way, the ThunderCats come into contact with other allies that help them on their journey, as they inform them of the dangers that lie ahead on their quest to stop Mumm-Ra. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll have a better understanding of who all these characters are, and why this quest is so important. Yet the game just takes snippets of scenes from the show, and tries to combine them together to give Lion-O a reason for why he is on the next level. It was nice seeing so many cameos and story elements from the show, but had I never heard of ThunderCats, I wouldn’t really know the important details that the game’s story fails to deliver.

Gameplay: 2/5

I’m a big fan of ThunderCats, and was happy to see that a game was finally in the works. Unfortunately, the game isn’t as good as it could have been. While the game does a decent job of incorporating many elements from the ThunderCats animated series, the gameplay itself can be a bit rough. For starters, you can only play as Lion-O, and while the other ThunderCats are in the game, they only act as assists for the player. While it’s a shame that an opportunity to use the other ThunderCats is absent, at least we see them aid Lion-O throughout the game. However, Lion-O needs all the assists he can get, because combat can be a bit difficult for a number of reasons. First off, Lion-O has a very basic skill set: he slashes with his Sword of Omens, can double jump, and slide. Yet Lion-O has no way of actually defending himself. This means that while battling enemies that slash and fire at you, Lion-O will undoubtedly get hit again and again. I’m not sure why a block feature wasn’t implemented, as it would have come in handy to somehow block enemies that are firing at you from a distance. Not only that, but Lion-O seems to get stunned long enough to get hit two to three times before he actually falls backward. This can prove especially daunting during boss fights, and you will need to utilize every assist (you can carry up to three) to help defeat the enemy.

While Panthro, Tygra and Cheetara come in handy with their attacks (which normally eliminate any enemy on-screen or brings damage to a boss), I basically used Wilykit/Wilykat for the majority of the time, as they are the only ones that provide you with health and icons (to call a companion) during some of the more difficult stages and bosses. The game also had an unbalanced checkpoint system. I found myself redoing an entire level if I died, and even if you manage to make it to the boss battle at the end of the level, losing meant restarting the level from the beginning. While I did appreciate seeing many characters from the animated series during the boss battles, I felt that it was difficult to determine if some of my hits were damaging the bosses more than others. Without a life bar, or any visual indicator of my attacks, each hit felt the same. Whether I attacked with my sword, or used a special assist from the other ThunderCats, or even unleashing a powerful Sword of Omens attack (which builds up from enemy attacks and collecting sword icons), there was nothing to let the player know how damaging any of these attacks were. Luckily, the game wasn’t long enough for me to become too frustrated with these issues, as I completed it in about an hour and a half (which is something else to consider when purchasing a game of this length at $29.99). Overall, I feel that ThunderCats could have been more enjoyable if these issues were better handled.

Graphics: 2/5

As a DS game, ThunderCats is not going to be a graphical powerhouse. Lion-O and the other ThunderCats characters are simple sprites that are hard to see because of their size. The backgrounds are uninspired, and the cut scenes are nothing more than stills from the show. I suppose that this is to be expected from the aging system though.

Sound: 2/5

“ThunderCats, Ho!” is a very popular phrase from the ThunderCats, and I loved hearing that when I was a kid when watching the original cartoons, or even from the more recent animated series that the game is inspired by. Yet I got sick of hearing this when it’s the only sound in the whole game. When Lion-O starts a level, when Lion-O unleashes his Eye of Thundera, when you continue after losing a life, when Lion-O requires an assist from a companion; he constantly responds with “ThunderCats, Ho!” It gets old fast. The music is decent though and reminded me of old 8-bit games, but it’s nothing memorable.

Overall Score: 8/20 = 4.0 out of 10

ThunderCats is not a horrible game, but it’s not great by any means either. It was fun to finally play as Lion-O and to experience the world of ThunderCats as a console game. In small bursts, the game is somewhat enjoyable, but that doesn’t hide the fact that the game has its problems, and that many people will tire of it quickly.

PROS:

+ Finally get to play as Lion-O in a video game

CONS:

– No Defense against Attacks

– Repetitive Enemies and Levels

– No Checkpoints

– Annoying Sound Effects

Enjoy our review? Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @GamersXTREME 

A special thank you to Namco Bandai Games for providing us a review copy of ThunderCats!

Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection – Original vs HD Screenshot Comparisons

Curious to see how Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection is turning out? Namco Bandai is currently putting the final touches on their HD Collection coming November 6th in North America and they’ve released over 20 screenshots. The screenshots showcase the comparison from the original PS2 versions to the new HD versions coming to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Check them out and be sure to sound off your thoughts in the comments below!

Dragon Ball Z Budokai

Title – Original

Title – HD

Stage Select – Original

Stage Select – HD

Character Select – Original

Character Select – HD

Main Menu – Original

Main Menu – HD

Gameplay – Original

Gameplay – HD

Dragon Ball Z Budokai 3

Title – Original

Title – HD

Character Select – Original

Character Select – HD

Main Menu – Original

Main Menu – HD

Dragon Universe Menu – Original

Dragon Universe Menu – HD

Gameplay 1 – Original

Gameplay 1 – HD

Gameplay 2 – Original

Gameplay 2 – HD

Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection Heading to Consoles

If there’s one thing I remember, it was how shockingly big DBZ Budokai 3 was back at my High School. Never having a ton of interest in the series, I kind of shrugged off the hype and played other titles. One day, I went to go hang out at a friend’s house and sure enough, they were all taking turns playing Budokai 3. I gave it a shot and was pleasantly surprised at how solid of a fighter the game was, especially with little knowledge on the subject matter…aside from how convoluted the overall plot was.

Well, fast forward roughly 8 years later and many games later, Namco Bandai is looking to bring back DBZ Budokai 1 and 3 as an HD collection for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Oddly, DBZ Budokai 2 is missing from the compilation but according to Namco Bandai, it wasn’t up to their “standards” to have on the collection (it did score the lowest of the three games).

Here’s the trailer for the HD collection:


Will you be picking up the DBZ Budokai HD Collection? Do you have fond memories of the titles? Sound off in the comments below!

Soul Calibur V Review (PS3/360)

Soul Calibur V is the latest installment in Namco’s fighting franchise, taking place 17 years after the events of Soul Calibur IV. Published by Bandai Namco Games and developed by Project Soul, is this installment a simple update or a deep refinement?

Gameplay: 4/5

To get this out of the way, Soul Calibur V isn’t just a simple update to its predecessor. Project Soul listened to the fan feedback and tweaked the gameplay mechanics to near perfection. The fighting remains practically the same as the previous installment but is noticeably faster paced and more accessible than ever before. First off, gone are the “Critical Finish” moves that were introduced in Soul Calibur IV. In place of this are “Critical Edge” moves which are similar to your “Super” or “Ultra” moves from Street Fighter IV. This is a much more intuitive system as it gives players a whole new strategic element to utilize in battle. Your soul gauge will fill up throughout a fight and can store up to two full gauges. Also new to the fighting system are the “Break Edge” moves. These are similar to the “Enhanced” special moves in Mortal Kombat in which it will give extra emphasis to a particular move, causing more damage. Ezio Auditore is the main guest of honor in Soul Calibur V and is easily the best addition of guest rosters since Link for the GameCube version of SC II. His ease of use and agility will easily grab the attention of Assassin’s Creed fans as he utilizes a good amount of his move set from his game.

In terms of modes, Soul Calibur V doesn’t have the deepest set compared to SC 2 and 3 but it’s substantial enough. The modes consist of Story, Arcade, Vs, Quick Play, Training, Online Play, Legendary Souls and Creation. However, what it sacrifices in modes it makes up for in a more balanced fighting system. The game’s main mode is the “Story Mode” which will take you through Patroklos’s journey to find his missing sister. The story is pretty interesting and engaging to want to advance through it’s 20 episodes. Unfortunately, it will only take you roughly two hours to finish. Upon completion of the story mode, you will unlock the “Legendary Souls” mode which the name doesn’t joke about. This mode is vile, ruthless and downright cruel for newcomers to the series but those who’ve mastered the game may have a chance at this. This mode will have you facing the game’s main bosses on an insane difficulty and making the slightest mistake will cost you the battle.

You still have your standard “Arcade” mode (it’s more of a “Time Trial”) which has you taking on six stages. The interesting implementation here is the ability to choose your “route.” You can choose between Standard, Europe, Asia and Extra (unlockable) routes which tailor to which fighters you will take on from the roster that are from those areas. There is also a Ranking route so that you can aim for the fastest time and post it on the leaderboards. The only catch with Arcade mode is that upon completion, don’t expect a character’s ending. While for some it may not be a terrible omission, those looking for character backstories may be upset in this area.

A great feature that Project Soul incorporated into SC V is the Player License (similar to Marvel vs Capcom 3) in which you can choose a title distinguishing yourself and use a photo for your card. To make the license system deeper, you can add up to three rivals to your card to keep stat tracking and compete for better records amongst each other. Also, the more you play, the more Player Points you will earn. Player Points are gathered to increase your Player Level in which you will earn more content as you keep doing so. This will keep players engaged with that “just one more fight” syndrome as you try to level up and earn more unlockables.

The Creation system is the meat and bones of this game (aside from the main fighting system of course). Those familiar with SC IV and Broken Destiny will feel right at home with the creation system. It’s an incredibly robust feature that allows you to create the fighter you’ve always wanted. However, gone is the armor system that was only in SC IV (thankfully) because that feature truly hampered the whole idea of creating whoever you wanted without worrying about their attributes. Whether you try to create your own original character or just give one of the main characters a new look, the options are endless here.

Online play is a delight in this game. SC IV had serious network issues that made it more of a chore to play than it should’ve been. The new network code implemented here truly gives zero lag during matches. Aside from your Ranked and Player Matches, the new “Global Colosseo” lobby puts players in specific locations around the world to match up against each other. You’ll start off by selecting your continent, followed by the closest city to you (i.e. New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, etc). Once selected, your player card will be placed on an abstract map showcasing all the other players in the room. You can choose to move your card around, check other players licenses, voice/text chat or challenge them to a match. It provides for a more social environment that encourages players to keep coming back online.

Sound: 4/5

Soul Calibur’s soundtracks always had a powerful orchestrated score that nailed the setting and time period, while adding a cinematic feel to ensure intense battles. Soul Calibur V’s is no different. Sound effects are what you’d expect when weapons clash and provide that extra intensity during battle. An interesting audio feature is the ability to adjust whether you want the effects to sound “realistic” or “exaggerated” which is a first in the series. Not only can you choose between these two audio styles, you can also adjust the effect’s tone to be stronger or weaker for that style. The audio is excellent to say in the least…with only the voice acting being the main complaint here. To be fair, some of the voice acting is fine and fits the scenario. However, some characters and their lines are just odd and pull away from the immersion.

Graphics: 5/5

If there’s one thing that always stood out in the Soul Calibur franchise, it’s the luscious and beautiful visuals that run at an astounding 60 fps. Every character has an immense amount of detail to them and incredible animations to go along with them. The created characters all have the same attention to detail as the main characters, making them seamlessly blend as if they were original characters themselves. The arenas are all beautifully detailed and as in the previous installments, you wish you could just explore the vistas.

Replay Value: 4/5

While the story can be completed in roughly two hours, the Player Level system will keep players hooked. The creation system will certainly invest a great amount of your time as well, especially when you keep unlocking more equipment as you level up. As for the online mode, this will surely keep fighting enthusiasts hooked for quite a while, especially Soul Calibur fans.

Overall Score: 17/20 = 8.5 out of 10

Soul Calibur V is the best installment since Soul Calibur II, hands down. The combat system is more balanced and accessible since its predecessor, the creation system is more robust and the online has been entirely restructured, providing one of the best fighting experiences over the net. If you weren’t crazy about the Soul Calibur franchise before, it still may not be your cup of tea. For fighting enthusiasts and Soul Calibur fans, this is an excellent installment that vastly improves upon the issues of it’s predecessor. Is it worth purchasing though? Most of the game can be experienced as a rental but if you aim to unlock every piece of customization equipment and play online extensively, then you may want to consider purchasing it.

PROs:

+ Astounding Visuals

+ Strong Soundtrack

+ Balanced Combat

+ Refined Online Mode

+ Deep Creation System

CONs:

– Mixed Voice Acting

– Short Story Mode

– Slightly Lacking Modes

TEKKEN Hybrid Review (PS3)

TEKKEN Hybrid is the latest installment in the franchise developed and published by Namco Bandai Games. Exclusively released for the PS3, this disc includes an HD remake of the fan favorite TEKKEN Tag Tournament, a playable teaser of TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue and a 3D movie of TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance. Selling for the special price of $39.99 (or $59.99 for the Limited Edition), is TEKKEN Hybrid worth your investment?

Gameplay: 4/5

TEKKEN fans know exactly what to expect here. TEKKEN Tag Tournament was one of the PS2’s best launch titles and is considered the best in the entire franchise. TEKKEN Tag Tournament HD plays exactly the way the PS2 one did and includes everything unlocked for you from the start. All the unlockable characters are available from the get-go, all the endings are available and prepare to get your bowling skills on cause TEKKEN Bowl is back and ready to play from the start.

For those unfamiliar with how TEKKEN Tag Tournament plays, you pick two characters from a selection of over 35 characters. Each match will have you strategizing between switching your characters because if one’s health bar depletes to zero, then the match is over. Luckily, tagging your partner in is as simple as a single button press. The fighting system is fluid, fast-paced and technical giving it that “easy to learn, difficult to master” feel.

There are numerous modes available for play as well. Aside from your standard Arcade mode, you also have Time Attack, Survival, Team Battle, Practice and as mentioned earlier, TEKKEN Bowl. Time Attack is essentially the Arcade mode but with the difficulty scaling up as you progress through the stages and having to win two rounds each match. Any of the settings that are changed in the options menu will not apply here as everything is preset for this mode. Survival has you testing your skills and endurance to try and last for as long as possible. Your tag team’s health will replenish a little bit for each win you earn. Once one of your characters has been taken down, you’re done. Similar to Time Attack, this is a mode where the difficulty scales up each fight. Team Battle has you choosing between a team comprised of one to eight characters. Same premise as the other modes in terms of battle but each time an opponent is taken out, the next person on the team will jump in for the downed teammate. TEKKEN Bowl has players choosing their favorite TEKKEN characters to take to the lanes. Surprisingly, this mini-game is actually pretty in-depth in that every character has their own pros and cons and you need to figure them out as you play. While the physics for the pins (gold Heihachi trophies) are a bit wonky, it’s certainly playable and entertaining. You can even throw the bowling ball (which is actually a disco ball) into the crowd and the announcer will actually state “K.O.” which is quite humorous.

TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue is a nice bonus on the disc and certainly has me very excited for the much anticipated installment. You get to choose from Alisa, Xiaoyu, Devil Jin and Kazuya from the demo and advance through a few stages by getting a feel of how it’s going to play when the finished product is released. However, what is here is very cool and TEKKEN fans will surely test out the game’s fighting system with the available four characters until they’ve mastered them. Even though it’s a demo, Namco decided to include 12 trophies to try and unlock for added replay value. The only problem with this demo is that it is a tease and gets you nothing but excited for the full version of the game.

TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance is a pretty decent 90 minute movie to check out on the disc as well. Many have stated they thought it was “awful” but I personally found it entertaining and the best attempt at a TEKKEN movie so far. The action scenes are really well choreographed and the story wasn’t too bad either. I won’t go in detail about the movie, but I will say that it’s worth checking out.

Graphics: 4/5

TEKKEN Tag Tournament was an outstanding graphical achievement when it launched for the PS2 back in 2000. In 2011, the game may look a bit dated but it still holds the test of time very well and retains it’s glorious 60 fps. Thanks to the HD treatment, the character models and environments have become more vibrant and look sharp. Character animations are still impressive, even 11 years later. There were times that I honestly forgot I was playing a game that was released 11 years…and that’s saying something.

TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue however, looks absolutely stunning! TEKKEN 6 was a great looking title but some of the characters had a plastic doll look to them. Based on this demo of Tag 2, the character models have been entirely redone from scratch and seems to be really utilizing the PS3’s power (being that TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 is a PS3 exclusive). However, this is just a demo so the graphics score doesn’t apply here unfortunately until the full game is released.

Sound: 4/5

TEKKEN games were known for their upbeat, techno club music which provided for some intense fights. The TEKKEN Tag Tournament soundtrack provides some great tracks that you will be wanting to put on your iPod to listen to after playing, but there are also some tracks that are not as strong. The sound effects are that of which you’d expect of a fighting game and gets the job done well. The TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue soundtrack is the real standout here though. From the opening movie (which is a remix of the opening movie music from TEKKEN Tag Tournament) to the character select, you will be blasting your speakers to get your adrenaline going for the matches ahead.

Replay Value: 4/5

TEKKEN Tag Tournament HD will easily provide fighting enthusiasts many hours of game time, whether it’s going solo or having all your friends over. While there’s no online mode unfortunately, it does make sense as the game is built off the original PS2 code. If you like nabbing trophies, then you may be happy to hear that TEKKEN Tag Tournament HD has 36 trophies to grab, as well as a hidden platinum trophy. With everything in tact from the PS2 version, fans and newcomers will find enough to keep this game running in their PS3. TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue may not be played as much as TEKKEN Tag Tournament HD, but it’s a solid bonus to revisit here and there until Namco Bandai comes forth with it’s imminent release.

TEKKEN Bowl returns!

Standard Edition vs. Limited Edition:

While the standard edition is $39.99, the limited edition priced at $59.99 is the way to go. The limited edition gives you a very nicely put together hardcover art book of the series with some of it’s history, as well as the 2-disc soundtrack of TEKKEN Tag Tournament 1 & 2. The soundtrack alone is worth the extra cash. You receive a downloadable voucher for PS Home avatar items in the box as well. If you don’t care for any of the objects mentioned here, then the standard edition is for you. But if you want the best bang for your buck, then no question get the limited edition.

Overall Score: 16/20 = 8.0 out of 10

TEKKEN Hybrid is a solid purchase for fighting enthusiasts. It contains one of the greatest fighting games of all time remastered in HD, a demo to the upcoming sequel and the CGI movie TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance (which can be seen in 3D for those lucky enough to have a 3DTV). TEKKEN Tag Tournament still plays like an absolute gem over a decade later and TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue is looking like an excellent sequel that should bring back all the TEKKEN Tag fanatics. Now if Namco Bandai Games would just give us an official release date for TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2…

PROs:

+ HD version of TEKKEN Tag Tournament

+ TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance is pretty good

+ TEKKEN Tag Tournament 2 Prologue excites fans for it’s release

CONs:

– No online mode

– Games are fully installed onto the XMB as opposed to being run off the disc

Time Crisis 4: Arcade Edition Trophy Guide

Time Crisis 4: Arcade Edition was the first trophy guide I wrote on PS3Trophies.org and I would like to share it with you fans on Gamers Xtreme.  Being a big fan of the Time Crisis games, I was determined to nail 100% of the trophies and apparently did so before many others (due to many people not knowing what the “hidden” trophies were).  Check out the guide below for all the help you may need in nabbing every trophy!

Overview:
Estimated trophy difficulty: 3/10
Offline: 10 (3,6,1)
Online: N/A
Approximate time to 100%: 3-6 hours
Minimum number of playthroughs needed: 3+
Glitched trophies: None
Missable trophies: None
Do cheat codes disable trophies? N/A

Road Map

Introduction:
Welcome to the Time Crisis 4 Arcade Version trophy guide. This game is bundled with Time Crisis: Razing Storm. Time Crisis 4 is a light gun shooter that has a simple cover-and-shoot mechanic. There’s a bit of variety where the game throws “mini-missions” which are essentially a specific scenario that last between 30-40 seconds. These scenarios usually consist of protecting your territory or escaping “Terror Bites” (you’ll find out what those are when you play the game  ). The trophies are very straight forward and shouldn’t take too long to get 100%. You don’t have to play through Ranking Mode for any of the trophies.

Some tips for playing the game: The enemy soldier that are in “red” suits are much more likely to get a clean shot at you as opposed to the normal “grey” soldiers and ammo-filled “yellow” soldiers. You’ll notice that the game gives you a split second heads up that an enemy is about to hit you direct when the bullet, axe or grenade are highlighted in “red”. Don’t forget this because this is difference between life and death…in the game of course, I’m pretty sure this stuff wouldn’t be highlighted in “red” in real life . The “grey” soldiers can occasionally get a shot at you (depending on difficulty) but as long as you shoot everyone that pops up on the screen, you should be fine. The “yellow” soldiers are great, they can rarely hit you and when you shoot them, you get ammo for one of your sub-weapons (machine gun, shotgun and grenade). Every enemy can be shot up to 3 times after killing them (kind of like a juggle in a sense). You keep your combo meter up this way, get more points and shooting the “yellow” soldiers 3 times will net you 3 pieces of ammo as opposed to one.

In terms of a weapon breakdown, your 4 weapons are the handgun, machine gun, shotgun and grenade. The handgun has infinite ammo but has 9 bullets per clip before you have to take cover to reload. The machine gun can carry up to 300 bullets and there’s no reloading for this gun. Shotgun can carry up to 30 shells and is an excellent way to take care of stronger enemies up close, no reloading. The grenade has a capacity of 5 but it essentially obliterates anything that stands in your way, highly recommended for boss battles or to get out of a tight situation, no reloading.

Walkthrough:
Step 1: First Playthrough
You can choose to play either Free-Play or Ranking Mode for your first playthrough. I personally found Ranking Mode to be the easiest way to complete the game the first time through since you get 9 continues to go through the game as opposed to 3 continues in Free-Play. However, if you choose Free-Play mode, you earn an extra continue each time you do game over. When you complete the game, you automatically unlock 9 Health bars and Unlimited Continues. There’s really no difference between the Giorgio and Evan except for different perspectives you’ll see the action in.

Step 2: Clean Up
After completing the game once, follow the trophies tips I left below and you’ll be able to get all the trophies in no time.

Trophies
Finished Game (Giorgio) 
Finish a one player game with Giorgio.Self-explanatory. Just beat the game once with Giorgio on either Free-Play or Ranking Mode. However if you die and do game over mid-game, do not stage select to where you left off. The trophy will not unlock, you need to finish it in one sitting. Thanks to “Crazyaejay” for pointing that out. Finished Game (Evan) 
Finish a one player game with Evan.Self-explanatory. Just beat the game once with Evan on either Free-Play or Ranking Mode. Same as Finished Game (Giorgio). Finished Game (Two Players) 
Finish a two player game with Giorgio and Evan.

See Ultimate Duo

 Sharpshooter (Giorgio) 
Finish a one player game with Giorgio with a score of 3500000 points or more.

This trophy should be attained on the second playthrough if you didn’t get it on your first. Once you have the infinite handgun unlocked for beating the game once, just keep blasting away at every enemy! A good way to rack up more points is to constantly fire at the bosses, even when they can’t take any damage (when their health bar is brown-ish). A breakdown of points should be 1.5 million after stage 1, 2.6 million after stage 2 and then you should be able to get 3.5 million at the end of the game. Accuracy and speed are key to getting this trophy.

 Sharpshooter (Evan) 
Finish a one player game with Evan with a score of 3500000 points or more.

Same as Sharpshooter (Giorgio) but you’ll notice that during Stage 1-2, you’ll probably earn a little less points than if you were Giorgio due to the fact that you’re firing a missile launcher instead of a heavy machine gun so it’ll take less hits to destroy enemies. However on Stage 3-1, it will be the opposite since Evan uses a heavy machine gun this time and Giorgio would use the missile launcher.

 Speedster (Giorgio) 
Finish a one player game with Giorgio in 31 min. or less.

You should be able to do this automatically when going for the Sharpshooter (Giorgio) trophy. If not, then you didn’t shoot at everything fast enough evidently…remember, if it moves, SHOOT IT! 

 Speedster (Evan) 
Finish a one player game with Evan in 31 min. or less.

See also Speedster (Giorgio). It’s the same concept, shoot everything the second you see them. The faster you are, the faster the game advances.

Secret Trophies


Top Agent (Giorgio) 

Finish a one player game with Giorgio without using any continues

The best way to complete this trophy is to have the Speedster (Giorgio) and Sharpshooter (Giorgio) trophies done first. The reason I say that is because you will unlock Infinite Sub-Weapon Ammo doing so. Yes, that means infinite machine-gun, shotgun and grenades! Using the machine gun is the safest gun to use as opposed to grenades and shotgun. The reason is the shotgun has a slow fire-rate and the grenades can occasionally get you hit because the explosions on-screen can make you not see a bullet, grenade or axe flying at you to dodge in time.

This trophy can be obtained in Free-Play mode. However, make sure you are playing Free-Play:One Player, not Free-Play:Two Player mode. I highly recommend that you set your Health to “9” and Difficulty to “Very Easy” to get this as easily as possible.

Top Agent (Evan) 
Finish a one player game with Evan without using any continues

See also Top Agent (Giorgio). Just follow the same guidelines I gave above and you’ll nab this trophy in no time.

Ultimate Duo 
Finish a two player game with Giorgio and Evan without using any continues

This might sound like a pain but it’s actually really easy. If you have a second player who’s really good and you guys want to actually earn this the old-fashion way, be my guest. Personally, I found an alternative to get this on my own.

Select Free-Play:Two Players, set the Health to “9” and Difficulty to “Very Easy”. Now for the second player controller, change the “Reload Setting” to “Release” in the “Control Settings” menu. This way the second player can’t get out of “cover” unless they hold down the button. Now just play the game and focus on doing everything yourself while the second player does nothing but stay in cover not taking any damage.

Now here’s the good and bad side to this. The good side: is if your character is about to die, pause the game, switch the “Control Settings” for you controller to make you stay in cover as mentioned above. Then switch the controls for player 2 to your liking and you have a whole extra set of health to work with! The bad side: all enemies that have a health bar take double the hits to go down in Two Player mode.