Kingdom Hearts 2 (Final Mix) Review – PlayStation 2 (JP), PlayStation 3 (NA/EU)

Kingdom Hearts is a series that was huge when it originally released on the PS2 back in 2002. Blending Square Enix and Disney franchises together was such a strange move, that it worked wonderfully. Seeing success, Disney & Square Enix decided to make a huge sequel on the PS2 in the form of ‘Kingdom Hearts 2’. Focusing more on action instead of exploration/platforming, Kingdom Hearts 2 pushes the series further into being an action game then ever before.

Exploring new Disney worlds and fighting heartless again, does Sora’s second adventure unlock gamers hearts? Or does it sink into the darkness? Get your Keyblade ready and go on Disney-themed adventure to find out!

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Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity Review – Nintendo Wii & PlayStation 2

Sonic is no stranger to the realm of racing games, as the blue blur drifted under sunshine filled tracks and SEGA worlds alike. But Sonic also took up some hoverboard action in 2006 in one of the franchises better releases of that year through Sonic Riders. Bending the trick-pulling action from games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater with Mario Kart styled race tracks, the end result was an enjoyable game with a high difficulty curve that sadly lead to divisive reception when originally released.

Fast forward two years and SEGA shoots for the stars with Sonic’s next racing adventure in Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity. Taking feedback many gave to heart, Sonic Team and CRI Middleware added new gravity mechanics alongside various refinements to the formula. Does it create a stronger racing experience? Lets go through gravity and race our way for an answer! Continue reading Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity Review – Nintendo Wii & PlayStation 2

Retro Review: Yoshi’s Island (SNES & Game Boy Advance)

Nintendo are famous for making quality platformers, but not all of them stared Mario and his brother Luigi. After the release of Super Mario World, Nintendo push Yoshi in more titles due to him being a popular character. This sparked the idea of making a 2D platformer using Yoshi as the main character. Mario would be present too, but as a baby.

The origins of Mario and Yoshi going on a grand adventure happening at the same time! A novel idea that offered very creative core gameplay designs that drastically changed the core 2D Mario formula. Does it hold up today as a timeless classic?

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Shadow the Hedgehog Review – PS2, Nintendo GameCube, Xbox

Sonic is a series that goes in various directions and is never afraid to try out new things. Sometimes though, those new things are head-scratching at first. Taking one of your more mysterious characters and completely making him dark, giving him access to fire arms and going for a more serious visual style turns heads.

People were shocked when the game Shadow the Hedgehog was announced and when it released, confusion on the title only continued.

Some enjoyed it but many did not for various reasons. Does this darker adventure for Shadow result in a good game? Fire arms in platformers have been proven to work and games like Jak II prove you can take colorful franchises and make them serious. Lets dive into the adventure that is Shadow the Hedgehog and see what it has to offer.

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Mega Man 1 Review – Nintendo Entertainment System

Mega Man is a series many love and enjoy. Starting on the NES in the late 1980’s, it was Capcom’s early effort to produce an original game for consoles after having much success making arcade games. While the series continued for many years and had many releases, it’s important to remember the origins of the series.

Through a blending of concepts from arcade titles and the traditional 2D platformer, Mega Man did a lot to feel unique in the genre. But does the original classic hold up today, more so in comparison of the other games in the series?

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Sonic Advance 3 Review – Game Boy Advance

This is the final platforming title for the Sonic series on the Game Boy Advance and it is in many ways, the Sonic 3&K for the Advance series. The highest stakes for the story, large cast of playable characters and it also re-introduces the Tag Mechanic that Knuckles Chaotix featured.

With the Nintendo DS on the horizon around the time this was released, many were looking toward the DS for Sonic’s future. But does Advance 3 close out the Blue Blur’s Game Boy Advance adventures well?

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Sonic Rush Review – Nintendo DS

Sonic Rush released during the ‘Dark Age’ of Sonic, the same year Shadow the Hedgehog came out. After the release of Sonic Advance 3, Dimps moved on to the Nintendo DS, producing the next game in the portable Sonic series.

Sonic Rush is the logical evolution of the Advance series, with it’s introduction of the Sonic Boost as a core gameplay mechanic. This later rippled into the console games and became a mainstay mechanic for the Blue Blur.

Does this humble origins of the Sonic Boost offer a great experience for the Nintendo DS? Or does it crash from going a bit too fast?

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Sonic Advance 2 Review – Game Boy Advance

This game is the sequel to Sonic Advance and it changes a lot from the original. Having a focus on speed rather than platforming and containing more linear level design, we have a very different 2D adventure.

This feels more like a ‘transition’ game between Classic Sonic-style gameplay and the 2D Boost Formula created with later Sonic games. With that in mind, Sonic Advance 2 blends classic 2D Sonic level design with a focus on speed evolving the core 2D formula in new ways.

Does this transitional game end up being a success for SEGA and Dimps?

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Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles Review – SEGA Genesis

Sonic the Hedgehog is a series that continued to improve as it got more releases back in the 90’s, with the series 2D run establishing the series strong track record as one of the best platformers on the market. With Sonic 1 and 2 being such successes, a lot was riding on Sonic 3 to be an even better experience.

With two massive games being locked-on to each other and new gameplay mechanics being added, does Sonic 3 & Knuckles continue to impress and continue the quality that past 2D Sonic’s established?

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Sonic the Hedgehog (1991) Review – SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive

Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive is one of the most iconic games in the industry, as it helped SEGA find footing in the console space against Nintendo’s SNES back in the early 90’s. Sonic is still around today but he had humble origins with his very first adventure.

Sonic was made to be anti-Mario and was built to have speed-focused level designs. It resulted in one of the most iconic gaming characters being created and many love the series to this day.

We covered the series many times on 3WIREL but I feel like today is a great day to dash through his Genesis adventures back-to-back. Lets take a look at the game that started it all and see if the game holds up today as a fun action/platformer.

Lets roll into action and see what Mr. Needlemouse has to offer in his very first adventure!

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