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18.04.2016
If you enjoy global sightseeing, but feel it needs the excitement of a flea market exploding all over it, then Selectsoft’s series of hidden objects games are made for you. It’s all really simple and straightforward, and you’ve seen it all before if you played City Mysteries.
As a child, Tim once spent an entire month staring longingly at a copy of Kirby's Dream Land his parents had kept atop the refrigerator until he could play it on an upcoming road trip. Every once in a while, a game comes along that is so unique and so far from the ordinary that it's bound to raise more than a few eyebrows.
One of the really interesting features in The Secret World is the ability to create your own character in the way that you want. Capcom has announced that Street Fighter V has added the popular character Guile to the game. The Secret World is a MMORPG that takes place in the present days and which delves into dark and terrible myths, legends, and conspiracy theories that endanger the world. After a brief look, The Secret World reveals that it is a deep game with much background, in which exploration, missions and environments are awesome and allow you to enjoy hours of fun. The Secret World is a game in which the elections (and the freedom to choose them) are something personal and important in relation to the game mechanic. The amount of choice available can be overwhelming to a novice player, but makes the level of customization that players can achieve enormous. The game has different types of missions: you have a Story Mission that pushes the central theme of the story, one Main Mission, which can be of various types including “Faction”, in which you must complete an objective for your faction, an “Action”, which are the typical missions here you have to kill some enemies. The missions are not available all in the same quest hub, they are spread throughout the map, and many NPCs that give them to you are often hidden; these missions always have several steps in them making each one a quest chain.
Another detail that seemed curious is that our character never speaks; the NPC that give us missions always seems that they are doing a monologue, it’s an understandable omission given the amount of voice-acting in the game, but alienates you from the experience. The locations are interesting and well designed, you can really believe that you are in the real world. The dungeons of the game are based on the trinity of roles in which tanks must maintain the agro, and healers keep the group alive. The game also has PvP, but only in certain battlefields, in which the different factions will face each other for the control of certain strategic points in the world like Stonehenge, El Dorado, and the Fusang Projects. Visual effects are practical, not annoying nor too flashy so it maintains the game’s realistic feeling. In addition many NPCs have extensive dialogues, which reveal mysteries of the zone, or explains his personal history, putting you more in the game. The Secret World has decided to have a buy-to-play model so once you purchase the game, you can enjoy all the contents of the game, with a few small exceptions. In the game you don't have any limitation with respect to weapons or skills at your disposal and all main areas, battlefields and dungeons are available from the beginning.
On the other hand, certain updates that bring new missions or adventures must be purchased for a small fee ($5), which is the only content limitation of the game. You can also buy some boosts that increase the amount of skill points that you can gain, which give you more space in your inventory or in your Bank, and allow you to change the name or the appearance of your character, or with which you can change the server of your character. The truth is that it is a very complete system, and only limits few things, as far as we can tell. In conclusion, The Secret World is a fun and entertaining game, perfect for those who like PvE, terror and conspiracy theories. Momo says:I use Chrome and play on Facebook, but it crashes my laptop in under 5 minutes of gameplay.
I reviewed Arrietty during its brief theatrical release in 2012 but I’ve finally gotten around to watching the Blu-Ray disc.
I harshly criticized Disney’s theatrical release for giving the human characters Anglo names.
Fortunately the home video release gives you an alternative: select the excellent Japanese soundtrack and the English subtitles which provide a reasonably accurate translation. Shou (Ryunosuke Kamiki) is a Japanese boy from an affluent family whose parents are much too busy to take care of him–especially now that he needs an operation for a heart condition. The actual main character of the story is Arrietty (Mirai Shida) a 15-year-old Borrower who lives with her parents in a reasonably comfortable home that they have built underneath the floorboards. Pod, Homily and Arrietty have often wondered if they are the only Borrowers left in the world.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. Perhaps the greatest achievement of nearly any movie coming from Studio Ghibli is that, despite resting their milieu in the magical and the whimsical and the downright gonzo, the emotions and truths they express could not be grounded more firmly in the real world. That trademark expertise of all things animated is as prevalent as ever with Ghibli’s latest feature, Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s The Secret World of Arrietty.
While I am unfamiliar with Mary Norton’s The Borrowers, the children’s book off of which Arrietty is based, I understand they are conceptually quite similar. The same day Shawn arrives, Arrietty primes herself for to follow Pod on her first-ever “Borrowing.” Beside herself with anticipation, Arrietty’s enthusiasm is quickly dashed when, while attempting to borrow a tissue, she is caught yet again by Shawn. Following that unintended encounter, much of Arrietty tracks the developing relationship between the young bean and the young borrower.
I also love how the Golden Rule for the Borrowers – “borrow only what you need, and only what would go unnoticed” – informs the logic of Arrietty’s family life. Yet for all the charm and impermeable logic this Secret World exhudes, little about it truly beguiles, at least not in the way that other Ghibli universes have beguiled me. The most unusual move in this story, especially when considering Arrietty as a Ghibli work, is the choice to employ a clear-cut antagonist to raise the plot’s stakes. So much of what makes The Secret World of Arrietty operate – the simplistic characterizations, the sense of moral clarity – is the kind of storytelling mechanics that Studio Ghibli at its best wouldn’t be caught dead using. Bottom Line: The Secret World of Arrietty may be a lesser effort from Studio Ghibli, but that doesn’t mean it won’t charm your socks off. Two of these stages involve ticking off a list of items to find by tapping them on the screen.
The location photos, wherever many of them may be, are of very nice quality, looking good both in full on the upper screen and zoomed in on the bottom. In Timed you are given three “lives” to complete each stage within an allotted limit, receiving points for every item found and subtracting a small amount for each incorrect tap.


It’s a cut and dry hidden object game that’s somewhat short on content but still replayable. Even rarer is when a game does this and is actually such a fantastic game that everyone should experience it for themselves. Creatures such as vampires, zombies and other deadly spirits are well known and actually tie in to the rich history of the world.
Classes and specific level-based progression methods have been taken out of this game, and you can choose to customize your character with any skills you desire.
Exploring caves or dungeons are required in most missions, and there are plenty of tough boss battles to encounter.
The addictive gameplay combined with the freedom to do what you want, how you want, whenever you want makes the game fantastic, and the game's attention to detail and rich mythology is just icing on the cake. The game has recently made the leap from a subscription model to the Buy-to-Play model, this means that you just have to pay once when you buy the game and then you can keep playing for free without a monthly subscription, so we decided to try it without spending a penny to play and share our experience. Upon entering the game players are invited to choose one of the three factions of the game.
When you gain experience you can unlock a huge amount of skills for different weapon ranging from swords and Voodoo dolls to bazookas and chainsaws and roles that you can play, either tank, healer, DPS or hybrid.
Despite the wide range of skills players can only choose 7 active skills, 7 passive skills and 2 weapons, so you have to choose your skills carefully, and take into account the synergy between them.
There are also “Investigation” missions, where you have to complete puzzles and riddles (the game has a browser that will allow you to look for clues of fictitious organizations of the game, verses of the Bible, or pictures of famous painters) and “Sabotage” missions, in which you will need to use stealth and cunning to complete objectives, 3 secondary missions, which you will find scattered around the world, for example in corpses, on notes hanging on doors, or in abandoned vans, and a Dungeon mission, which sends you to explore a dungeon. As a personal note I will say that the investigation and sabotage missions are very funny and entertaining, because you are forced to look for information on the internet to solve complicated puzzles, or must act quickly and efficiently without being detected, which makes it different from what we are normally accustomed. You’ll visit brooding forests, haunted theme parks, cursed towns and many more horror-inspired locations. These battlefields have the typical battlefield goals, and give certain bonuses to the winning side. The designs of the bosses and the dungeons are spectacular, for example in the first dungeon the final enemy is equal to a monstrosity of Cthulhu, something that will delight the fans of Lovecraft.
The sound effects accompany players very well, from the crackle of the flames to the groans of the enemies. Another thing to keep in mind, is that all missions are narrated and explained very well by the NPC’s in English and in some missions in Shanghai are in Chinese, but with subtitles. Also in the game store you have a huge selection of pieces of clothing, accessories, titles or pets to customize your character, that only improve its visual appearance.
If you really don't want to spend a penny in the game, after purchasing it, and play it freely, you can do it. In addition to having a Free-to-play system almost unrestricted, the game gives you tons of fun with almost no limits. Some scenes may be overly frightening for preschoolers but it should be fine for anyone old enough to read the subtitles. In the context of this particular scene it seems subtly inappropriate–and this is the sort of subtlety that Japanese writers tend to be particularly sensitive to.
Borrowers live by borrowing supplies from the humans without asking permission and not returning them. They find out the answer when Pod meets Spiller (Tatsuya Fujiwara), a young borrower about Arrietty’s age who lives in the forest.
The Japanese animation powerhouse responsible for masterpieces like Spirited Away and Grave of the Fireflies has never been one to shy away from blending bitter dissonance with heart-warming sentiment, and the result is nearly without exception a final work as singular and as electrifying an exercise in storytelling as it is in sheer expertise with animation.
The landscapes are painted with more colors than I previously believed had existed and each character is drawn with their own distinctive personalities while still maintaining an aesthetic that is consistent with the most definitive of Ghibli’s works. Arrietty introduces us to a sickly boy named Shawn (voiced by David Henrie), who moves in to his aunt’s remote country home to rest in preparation for some serious heart surgery.
Though Shawn attempts to be friendly toward her, the terror-stricken Arrietty scurries off with her father. As Pod and Homily continue to ruminate over their decision to leave, Arrietty slowly begins to acquiesce to Shawn’s curiosity, and an unlikely friendship is forged. Even though their daily routine is fairly conventional – the father wins the bread, the mother watches the home, the family reconvenes for meals each day – it is consistently built around the conveniences of their surroundings (their home is built around a tiny pipe leak, their primary water source). In the case of Arrietty, it’s a nosy housekeeper (Carol Burnett) obsessed with finding the oft-discussed “little people” Shawn’s been interacting with. While it may be a little unfair to hold one movie’s creative standards to the studio that spawned it, I’m nonetheless surprised that this film was written by Hayao Miyazaki, the same person whose most transporting works either added complexity to these tired concepts (Spirited Away) or saw no need whatsoever to introduce them (My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo). The cornucopia of objects you need to find also look pretty good, although they’ll never blend in seamlessly with the environment. Most players should get through this just fine, thanks to an ample amount of time given and the offering of three “hints” per level that zoom in on the location of a still missing object.
Fans of the genre who enjoyed City Mysteries will find a safe pickup here, but others might find more interest perusing old issues of National Geographic.
Games such as Halo, Borderlands, and most recently Lollipop Chainsaw come to mind, and gamers around the world should prepare to add The Secret World to that list.
This world also contains three secret societies known as the Templar, the Illuminati and the Dragon who fight these monsters and each other in an endless struggle to gain the most power over one another.
This clever customization mechanic allows for so many unique character combinations that you'll find yourself constantly changing the layout and skills of your character to ensure you have your favorite skill set possible or just to simply try something different. In most fights, you'll want to use a variety of short and ranged attacks to defeat your foes, and you'll continue in this method until your mission has been completed or you've found a specific treasure or item you were searching for.
By allowing players to create their own character from the game's start with over 500 abilities to equip, The Secret World has created a revolutionary new character creation system that very well could become the foundation for many games in the future.
You can choose the power-hungry Illuminati, the evil vanquishing Templars or the chaotic Dragon faction.
The enemies are certainly shocking, and you can see that they are based on many myths and legends, for example the first area of the game, Kingsmouth, is plagued by zombies, and a sort of enemies that clearly recall monsters of myths of Cthulhu. The combats against the bosses are very dynamic, and you have to be attentive to what they do and what happens around you. The game does not focus much importance to the PvP, being mainly PvE, although we can’t deny that it’s appreciated that The Secret World has included this option. The animations are well-tended and give the feeling that we are really crushing an enemy with a hammer, or shooting him with an assault rifle.


The game's music achieves the desired effect; you can feel oppression, terror, or a terrible evil lurking in the corner. No honest translator would try to hide this and no reasonably literate viewer would be fooled since plenty of Japanese signs are visible.
The American voice actor seems to be be taking things in a completely different direction–but perhaps he was just thrown by the problem of lip-synching 4 syllables of English to 6 or 7 syllables of Japanese. But Arrietty is also a rarity in that – thematically, at least – feels as if it is part of an entirely different animation studio’s canon, like the works of Disney animation studios or the Pixar masterpieces. Almost immediately, Shawn catches a fleeting glimpse of an extraordinarily small girl; so small in fact, that she could fit comfortably in the boy’s hand.
Ever-curious about this strange little creature he has found, Shawn continues to pry, and looks to befriend Arrietty and to help her family “borrow” a little more easily. It’s easy to buy into the sense of enchantment and discovery Shawn experiences upon meeting Arietty.
That so much of this is shown rather than told speaks to the thought that went in to building Arrietty’s story. Save for Arrietty herself, no other characters are ever given a real chance to transcend their tried-and-true archetypes. Her purpose in the story seems only to remove any doubts that Pod’s decision to uproot Arrietty from her home is perhaps the right decision. Arrietty may still be a thoroughly imaginative and deeply enjoyable fantasy, but its most unfortunate shortcomings – especially compared to what we’ve come to expect – render it almost disappointingly normal. The names of the cities don’t seem to be noted anywhere within the game itself, and not a lick of information is provided for any shot that is used. Once in a rare while, though, the colours of an object and the background may match a little too well, making an object almost impossible to find. Aside from wanting to beat your own personal best scores, though, the points feel rather meaningless.
By combining several traditional online RPG game mechanics with numerous unconventional methods, The Secret World has managed to become a completely unique game in a genre of its own while still managing to be more entertaining and addictive than most any other PC game on the market. Each secret society have their own histories and own reasons for fighting, and you're about to learn about all three, the deadly monsters that roam the world and the rest of the game's deep and enthralling narrative when you signup for one of the three groups and join in the ongoing war.
You can also find and team up with fellow society members to take down the game's more dangerous foes or join them in their adventure for even more fun. The Secret World has been in development for nearly ten years and the high quality gameplay is indicative of that hard work.
Each faction has different objectives and points of view regarding how to cope with the evils that are hidden in the Secret World.
As a detail, the city streets have names like Lovecraft Lane, Poe Cove, Elm Street or Dunwich Road, all references to myths and horror writers, a very fun nod to the originals in our opinion.
Still, to the extent that it can be done in a natural-sounding way, a translation should try to preserve the original meaning. Given my affection for Disney and Pixar, such comparison should come off as terribly complementary. In that mindset, admittedly, there is much to love about Arrietty.
That miniature girl, we learn, is the eponymous Arrietty (Bridgit Mendler), who happens to live happily with her father Pod (Will Arnett) and her mother Homily (Amy Poehler) underneath the floorboards of the house.
Wisely knowing that the young bean’s curiosity will only precipitate in further disruptions to the small family’s existence, Pod and Homily prepare to uproot their family life and to find a new home. This is in part because Yonebayashi does so wonderful a job of building a universe we want to know more about, that we share the young bean’s feelings of wonderment. We don’t ever care too greatly for Shawn, as he functions primarily as a vehicle transporting us between our human world and Arrietty’s. It’s an unnecessary addition, and it ultimately distracts from what makes the story work. An educational opportunity is once again lost, and when that happens, Carmen Sandiego wins. Casual mode throws away the time limit and hints, letting you cycle through and try stages at your leisure.The ambient sound of City Mysteries has been replaced by a mix of soothing and ethnic music.
Combating these fearsome foes will call for the right tactics, and each enemy is different in regards to how they should be approached in battle.
10 matches, and there's also massively multiplayer matches where the three secret societies attempt to capture important territories scattered around the game's map. This Fourth of July, celebrate your independence by playing one of the best PC games to come around a long time in The Secret World. After that, the players were brought to a fairly complete character creation screen that lets you customize your avatar in depth. But considering the studio’s fearless embracement of the bizarre and fantastical in the past, this latest effort from Ghibli comes off as a fantasy of almost vanilla proportions.
Every so often, Pod will venture inside the house to “borrow” goods throughout the house like sugar, tissues and various other household supplies that no “human bean,” as they say, would ever miss should they disappear. Day-to-day tasks like acquiring food or warding off bugs and wildlife are given a whole new sense of exotic meaning by pure virtue of their being accomplished by people who can fit in our hands.
As Arrietty’s parents, Pod is almost too benevolent a father figure (think Tom Hanks’ Extremely Loud character with a Gob Bluth grumble), and the ever-worried Homily resorts too often to broad, slapstick hysterics to be taken seriously either as a competent adult or as comic relief. Mixing and matching different moves and skills is the key to victory and one of the best features in The Secret World. When you have created your character, you start your story in New York, London or Shanghai, depending on the faction you've chosen.
It also feels like Ghibli’s most naked effort to appeal to Western audiences (and by association, their wallets). Some areas give off a more chilly and frightening vibe while others are more action-packed, but you'll always hear appropriate music and sound effects no matter where you are or what's going on.
The game's simplistic in-game menus look great and ensure you can easily outfit your character as you'd like and get back to the action quickly and efficiently.



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