Thursday, 15 October 2015

My Top 5 Games From PlatniumGames & Clover Studios

With Transformers: Devastation out it made me think about all the amazing games PlatinumGames/Clover Studios have brought us.

I have been a fan of the studio since Viewtiful Joe was released back on the Gamecube and still to this day I have loved every game that they have brought us. 

It is like they know exactly what I like and the games are catered for me personally. Every time they announce a new game coming out, I buy on it day one regardless of the length of the game. Even if it is a short game i still thoroughly enjoy every minute with it. 

The company knows how to make the perfect mix of gameplay, intense fights and epic moments making you go "wow, I cant believe I am playing this!"

Unfortunately most of the games dont sell enough for publishers to carry on bringing out their games, but luckily though other publishers keep seeing their potential, granting them exclusives to consoles like Wonderful 101 and Bayonetta 2 to Wii U and the future release of Scalebound to Xbox One. 

Back in late 2006, Capcom closed Clover Studios due to poor sales of the Okami and Viewtiful Joe series, but we was in luck when in early 2008 PlatinumGames was introduced with a 4 game deal with Sega, where they released Bayonetta, Infinite Space, Madworld and Vanquish.

Nowadays PlatinumGames is a more well known company. People eagerly anticipate their new releases, waiting for them epic moments that they always deliver on.

So because of this, I thought I would share my top 5 games I love from this company. 

5. Viewtiful Joe

First on my list is Viewtiful Joe, also one of the very first Clover Studios games I played, and what unique game it was. 

The story takes place when Joe is watching his favourite movie starring his childhood hero Captain Blue. All of a sudden the movie comes to life, with his girlfriend Silvia knidnapped by the dastardly villain group called Jadow. After Joe accepted a V-Watch from his hero Captain Blue, Joe transforms into the tokusatsu-style persona Viewtiful Joe and sets off on his first adventure to go save Silvia. 

Viewtiful Joe offered a 2D comic style graphics making it feel more like you was in a action movie. The gameplay of Viewtiful Joe offered something different for the time. It was a beat-em-up with a twist, as you had many different powers to change up how you tackled the enemies. These powers are called VFX, allowing you to speed up, slow down and zoom in. Each of these powers not only helped in fights but also had you using them in different ways to solve puzzles or for platforming. For example, throwing a bomb at a door, then slowing down time so the explosion is more powerful when destroying the door.  

With this great mix of gameplay, good story with cheeky witty characters and unique art style, Viewtiful Joe is still one of my favourite games to this day.

4. Metal Gear Rising: Revengence

The Metal Gear series is a hugely successful franchise so when we were told we were going to get a spin off with Raiden as the main character, some people were skeptical about how it would turn out. The good news is that we got one of the most action packed games out there, and now people cant wait for a sequel to be announced, hopefully one day.

Metal Gear Rising: Revengence takes place 4 years after the events of Metal Gear Solid 4 in the year 2018. While being a body guard for prime minister NMani, Raiden is attacked by a group called Desperado, a rogue PMC involved with terrorism. Raiden manages to fend of Desperado forces but Sundowner manages to kidnap and kill NMani. While chasing Sundowner, Raiden runs into Sundowner comrade Jetstream Sam. Fighting but losing hugely against Sam leaving Raiden severely damaged, he luckily survives to get revenge on the terrorist group. 

Originally the game was meant to be made by Hideo Kojima but unfortunately he had to stop production and go on to another project. With great luck PlatinumGames stepped in to take over development. At first fans didnt like the sound of this as they wanted Kojima to be the developer, but PlatinumGames proved they knew what they were doing as the final product turned out to exceed expectations.

The gameplay is a hack and slash with a bit of difference, Raiden has many different styles of fighting and speed making it fun to slice through the enemies. He also had the ability to enter Blade Mode which allows you to slow down time and slice most things into several pieces with precision. This made Metal Gear Rising: Revengence stand out from the crowd, allowing for a fresh experience and mechanic that never got boring. Revengence had some amazing boss fights, giving you some amazing memorable moments like taking down a Metal Gear Ray with just your blade. 

The only two bad things for the game was that level design could of been a little better and the game was only 6 hours long.

3. Bayonetta 2

Bayonetta 2 was nearly never made, even though the first game sold well. Sega didn't warrant it to be good enough to allow a sequel. Luckily for us, Nintendo stepped in to help fund the game to be made exclusively for the Wii U. At first a lot of fans were upset as the original came to PS3 and Xbox 360, so they wanted to see the sequel released on the other consoles, but due to Nintendo paying for the development this wasn't to be the case. Even though original fans couldnt play the amazing sequel unless they got a Wii U, Nintendo fans were treated to something very special that even out did the first game.

Set a few months after the events of the first game, Bayonetta 2 starts in middle of christmas shopping with Enzo when a group of angels attack the city. Bayonetta and Jeanne team up to stop them destroying the city. Unfortunately during the fight, Jeanne is attacked causing her soul to be claimed by the depths of inferno. So Bayonetta takes the fights to inferno to claim her friends soul back. 

The gameplay of Bayonetta 2 is the same as the original hack and slash just more responsive, tighter and way more flashy. Bayonetta offers amazing set pieces, epic boss fights, unique fighting style allowing you to attack with multiple weapons on your feet and hands, sassy lovable main character and interesting story. Once I started the sequel in 2014, I couldnt put it down. It just gripped me from the get go. I loved the amazing opening sequence that is, in my opinion, up there with Uncharted 2 train opening scene. 

One day I hope for a third game, but I guess we will see if Nintendo will fund another one or some other publisher.

2. Wonderful 101

Originally the Wonderful 101 was named Project P-100 which was shown back at E3 2012. At first when I saw Wonderful 101 I  thought that it looked good but wasnt too hyped for the game until release day. I was more excited for Pikmin 3 that came out during the same year. Wow, was I wrong to think that. Even though Pikmin 3 I loved and is my favourite Pikmin game to date, Wonderful 101 exceeded my expectations in every way and went beyond what I ever thought the game would of been. Earlier in the year rumours were going around stating that you could finish the game in 5 hours. Once the game was released it was clear that this was so far of. It was more than 15 hours long, giving you great value for your money. 

The story of Wonderful 101 starts with Wonder Red, one of the Wonderful 101 teaching his school students, when all of a sudden a alien invasion starts from the Geathjerk Federation Armada. With the other Wonderful 101 earth rest their hopes in the hands of these super heroes to defeat the invading forces once and for all. 

The gameplay had you controlling a horde of superheroes working along side each other whilst fighting many different varieties of aliens. Like all the previous PlatinumGames, it offered a unique gameplay mechanic that allowed you to combine superheroes into weapons like swords, guns, fists and even allowed you to use this ability to solve puzzles like making bridges to allow you to progress further, and many other things. The combat system was very deep, allowing for many different styles of fighting whilst allowing huge combos between different forms, making it very satisfying once you pull off something amazing. 

If you like anime I cant recommend this game enough, offering amazing epic fights in the same class as the amazing series Gurren Lagann, your jaw will drop to the floor many times during this lengthy game. It features great set pieces and a deep story that makes you care for these funny, well thought out characters which each have unique personalities, many twists and turns, epic boss fights (some of the best i have ever fought against) and a deep combat system. This title offers something unique but sadly I cant see it happening again with poor sales. Nowadays you can find the title pretty cheap, so please pick it up and give it a chance as it was one of my favourite games of 2013 and more people need to play it. 

Plus one of the best most epic ending fights you will ever play once you think it is over, it will just keep going up and up in scale until you finally finish the last boss battle. 

1. Okami

Unlike all the other games, Okami is more a dungeon adventure game along the lines of The Legend of Zelda series. Okami offers amazing stylised graphics, making it look like you're playing a Japanese painting the whole time. With the unique art style to this day, Okami still looks amazing. Every time I play Okami it still amazes me with what they accomplished back in the PS2 days. Even now you still cant find a game that looks as unique as Okami. The art style was special for its time and still will be in many years to come. 

Okami is about a wolf called Amaterasu, the sun goddess who is called forth by Sakuya the wood sprite and guardian of Kamiki village to lift the curse that has plagued the land. Nagi, the greatest warrior in the land has broken the seal to Orochi, a powerful dark being that has sapped all the life from the land.

Spanning a massive 60 hours of gameplay, it will take you to many lands where you will fight interesting bosses, enemies and explore dungeons whilst trying to cleanse the land of the darkness that has taken it. 

Not only did the art style offer something different the gameplay did too in a form of Celestial Brush techniques, what would allow you to paint different symbols in the game to help you fight enemies, solve puzzles and help you progress throughout the game. 

Okami gave you many different abilities and weapons throughout your adventure, making the combat stay fresh and never growing stale. bored of using a sword change to a whip, bored of using slash brush technique start using the bomb technique instead etc. 

I cant recommend Okami highly enough. Not only is it a game what keeps on giving even when you think it is about to end, it is also has deep intriguing combat, amazing touching story, stunning visuals, a vast amount of unique characters, lovely varied set pieces to gawk at and one of my all time favourite games ever.

This game is held very closely to my heart and the ending made me tear up from how wonderfully it is done. When i started it i wasnt sure if i would like it as only saw a little about it at the time but Im so happy i got it as it is still very unique game to this day, Im hoping one day Capcom will contact PlatinumGames to do a much needed sequel, but sadly I feel like this will be a series that is sadly forgotten. However, it'll be deep in the hearts of the people who have played and finished it.

So that is it my top 5 PlatinumGames/Clover Studios games, if you play any of the games in this list you wont be disappointed and they are highly recommended by myself. There are many other amazing games also done by Platinum, so please check them out and check out my future review of Transformers: Devastation coming soon. 

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