My mini review
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I just purchased this, and despite owning it on the PSP, I thought this game was getting a bad rep from its demo, and thought that it would help if I gave my 10 cents on what I think so far. Mind you, I completed the PSP version with most of the achievements, so I have a fair amount of experience with this game.
For starters, the overall look of the game has been improved IMO. Your main character animates nicely on the world map screen. More importantly, the battle sequences look great now. I know they looked bleh in the handheld versions, but here, the equipment is animated nicely and LOOKS the part it should. When your avatar is kitted out, he LOOKS the part of a barbarian. The enemies also look very nice, as do the attack animations. Mind you, I'm not too far just yet, having only just made it past the first area, so take my comments with a pinch of salt.
The music and sound effects are as to be expected. Plenty of blade clashing effects, and the occassional battle cry. The music...to be honest, I didn't really pay any attention to the music. I suppose that means its passable. Nothing mind blowing.
Controls are a bit hit and miss. You can use a mouse for everything, but that tends to lead to slippage, and when you're in a particularly heated battle, can lead to ALOT of mistakes. ie, rotating when you didnt want to, or slipping and sliding your blocks one column too far. Using the keyboard is alot easier, and helps keep the pace. I haven't used a pad myself, but I suppose it would work better than the keyboard. Still, I imagine a sensitivity adjustment option would have benefited the mouse users immensely.
Altogether, the gameplay coupled with the adjustments made for the PC platform really give this game a new life. I really wanted to like the PSP version, but the bland animations and ATROCIOUS load times killed it for me. Speaking of which, the load times are fine in the PC version. Atleast, they didn't bother me as much as they did on the PSP.
This game has/had alot of potential. And I believe that its only being realized here on the PC version. The whole package comes together and delivers a solid game, with plenty of replayability, and some rather engrossing puzzle action. I'm a HUGE Puzzle Fighter fan, and I'd been ACHING for a game in the same vein to come out again. Puzzle Chronicles scratched that itch in such a satisfying manner, I have only compliments for it. Its not without its flaws (controls, mainly) but I believe the whole package comes together to deliver in spades.
Hope this helps anyone interested in this after the bad rep the handheld versions got...
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