Notebook Wars 3: Unleashed – Guidology’s OFFICIAL Review
Notebook Wars is a fantastic shooter that continues to be popular over the years with its solid top-down shooter gameplay and unique art. Now, Notebooks Wars 3: Unleashed is making a splash as it continues the excellence that was present in the previous games. Similar to the original Notebook Wars and its sequel, Notebook Wars 3: Unleashed lives up to its name with small air wars on, seemingly, a pieces of notebook paper. Throughout the game you’ll be able to upgrade your ship. It will start out with relatively weak guns and armor, but as you progress you’ll be able to upgrade your weapons (with such things as meteors and lasers) and build up your defenses with new ships. If you are a big fan of top-down shooters then you’ll love this game as I consider it to be one of the best in the genre for Flash.
As always, the game starts you off pretty slowly. You have access to a machine gun, but don’t let the name fool you as it does minimal damage, and a simple aircraft that won’t hold together too long under fire. While this combination isn’t too good, it will get you through the first few levels as you begin to save up for bigger and better weapons and sturdier aircrafts. Later in the game is where it really begins to heat up. As you progress further through the game you will find yourself face-to-face with fighter planes that will tear you apart if you aren’t careful. Another aspects that adds a bit of challenge are the different formations that the planes can appear in. Sometimes a group of some of the tougher enemies will join to create a little bit of chaos. A nice addition is the ability to change the difficulty of the game from Normal to Frenetic and finally to Hard. This gives you a bit more freedom and allows more experienced players to enjoy the game a bit more. Overall, the difficulty of the game is fair and continues to be later in the game.
As I have always found to be true with the Notebook War series is that the gameplay continues to be solid in every aspect, even from the first game. Levels continue to be fun throughout the game and the difficulty ramp allows for challenging levels (at least compared to your current weapons and armors) to be sprinkled throughout to spice up the game a bit from time-to-time. Along your way to the final level, you can buy a variety of awesome weapons that will shred your enemies. Also, depending upon what plane you are utilizing you’ll be able to use more than one weapon — so you can be burning your enemies with the Fire Gun and freezing others with an Ice Cannon. This has continued to be one of my favorite features of the game. While the gameplay continues to be great, I wish that there was more to the game. It seems that the only change between the games are the different upgrades that are available to you. As I mentioned in my review of Notebook Wars 2, there is no storyline. I feel that this is an aspect that the series has continued to not provide that is essential to any series. While the game continues to have a satisfying gameplay, I can’t help but feel that a decent storyline would make an already great game into an especially awesome one.
One of the main appeals to the Notebook War series is, of course, the hand-drawn, notebook-style that is prevalent in the game. This really helps to separate Notebook Wars from any other shooter that I’ve come across. All of the work that went into the different planes, as well as the weapons and animations is apparent and is much appreciated as it delivers a great visual experience. A neat idea that has been implemented in the previous games, and of course Notebook Wars 3 Unleashed are the different environment that you fly over. This keeps the game a little bit fresh as it usually changes every few levels. While the game looks fantastic, as the series always has, I would change up the art a bit. It seems that throughout the series the artwork has remained almost entirely consistent, with the exception of new aircraft and weapons that continue to appear. I’d love to see Notebook Wars 4 with brand new notebook art, just to change it up.
Another nice aspect to the game is the music. It works well with the game and creates a thrilling atmosphere that’ll get you prepared for combat. During the battles however, the music is dimmed and the sound effects really take over. Sound effects act out everything necessary in the game and helps create the scene of chaos and explosion. All of the weapons have different sound effects, but fit nicely together as they sound different, but are closely related (usually there is a change in how sharp or how deep the sound is). Overall, the music is really great and works well with the game and the sound effects play their role well.
All in all, Notebook Wars 3: Unleashed is a great continuation of the series. If you’re a top-down shooter fan, or simply love the action-genre then you’ll find yourself playing this game to the end as it is truly one of the best top-down shooters available in Flash. The difficulty level of the game was perfect. The game gives you a bit of time before it starts to turn up the heat and continues to keep the game challenging throughout. The gameplay has always been very solid and continues to be a great game. However, as I said in my previous reviews of the series, I feel that there needs to be a storyline of some sort. Even if the series has reached its forth game it still has time to introduce a neat storyline and hopefully elaborate on it from there. As always the artwork looks incredible, but after playing the previous games before, they are beginning to look like one another. I’d really love to see Notebook Wars 4 with brand new notebook art! Finally, the music is great, as well as the sound effects. If you’ve enjoyed the previous Notebook Wars games or love the top-down or action genre then this is the game for you. Be sure to play it today on Kongregate!
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