There are no stats…unfortunately. Still, this game was certainly very unique to play!
It’s been a while, but I finally got to go back and complete one of the old Yugioh games that I’ve had on the back burner for a while now. It feels good to finally take it down for the count. It suffers from the usual problem that Yugioh games have on the home console and that’s the long loading times. Still, that’s really the only main problem for the title as it still does a good job of capturing the Yugioh enjoyment that I’ve come to expect from the series. It’s long and it’s difficult, but the game can also be very satisfying. After all, what’s more fun than having a quick round of Yugioh?
This title also does have a plot which is something that you can’t really say for many of the other Yugioh games. Where this takes place in the anime is a little vague, but all that you really need to know is that many of the world’s greatest duelists have been trapped inside of a large tower. The only way to get out is to duel everyone and prove yourself to be the strongest. The problem is that there are no pushovers here and some of the villains may decide not to play by the rules. You control an original character who has arrived at this tower. He may not have a rep yet, but he is actually the greatest duelist of all time. Not too shabby eh? Can Terry (That’s what I called him) save the world or is he doomed? Time to find out!
We may as well go over the technical aspects of the game first. The graphics look fairly good here. Everyone is a little pixelated, but in retrospect, a lot of the Wii games had similar issues with the character designs. It still looks rather well considering. I also liked the designs for the new characters. They stood out and were original. Odin had a cool armor and his true identity was also pretty intense. That definitely worked well for the final boss. As for the soundtrack, it is fairly solid. A theme will come up if you are close to winning and likewise if you are close to losing. There are quite a number of good tunes here although the soundtrack definitely could have been larger. It’s mostly all fast paced and fits well for the duels.
Time to quickly explain the gameplay system in case you have never had a duel before. Each player starts with 5 cards and then you draw another one each turn. You summon monsters to the field (1 per turn although you can special summon others) and use them to attack your opponent’s life points. Spell and Trap cards are also allowed into the mix of course. The first person to land at 0 life points loses the round. The concept is simple enough, but there are many rules and complexities surrounding this so you’ll still have a lot to take in when you first boot up the game. I recommend working on building your first deck to start things off. Choose each card yourself so you know exactly what they do and when to activate each card.
I recommend holding down the B button during the turns if you know that you won’t be using a Trap Card. Otherwise, it will ask you this question throughout every phase of the turn, which can slow the game down considerably. I ended up going with a deck that was heavy on trap cards and anti trap cards. My deck was a little larger than most people would recommend it be, but this served me well twice. There is one character in the game who has an incredible defensive strategy. Her name is Luna and she won’t hesitate to time you out. Our duel went into the 80s I believe, but luckily my deck was a lot larger than hers so that ended up earning me the win. She tried the same tactic later on and I used the same counter. Don’t underestimate trap cards. They are extremely valuable in this game.
You will need to really enjoy the duels to get any fun out of this title. That’s because the game is over 20 hours long and that equals a lot of duels. There are roughly 13-15 levels in the game, but each one has up to 5 duels and sometimes even more. You also shouldn’t expect to coast by either as these guys tend to put up quite the fight. Many of them took me several tries to defeat, but naturally none of them could ultimately stop me from reaching the goal. Ironically, the second last boss is probably the easiest in the game. I happened to get a really good hand, but even considering that, a perfect 8000-0 battle is pretty rare.
As for replay value, there is a lot of that. After beating the game, you will unlock a few more levels where you can fight opponents with incredibly strong decks and get more cards. There are hundreds, if not thousands of cards in this game so collecting them all will be a very tough thing to do. That is sure to buy you a lot of time. One thing that I don’t like is that you can’t use some of the cards that you obtain because they are deemed illegal. If that’s the case, why put them in the game at all? Even if the computers keep on using them anyway, we shouldn’t be able to buy those cards if they are just going to sit around.
The gameplay’s a lot of fun as you can tell, but the game did have one thing holding it back. The long loading times. I can’t stress this enough. If a game takes a while to get through each duel, then the adventure will start to feel a little too much like a grind by the end. For some reason, this always happens to the home console version of these titles. The DS World Championships and the PSP Tag Force games are always lightning fast and I dare say that they are more intuitive. After all, in those games, you could activate magic cards whenever you want. Now, you have to wait until it’s your turn.
Overall, It feels good to have finally completed Duel Transer. That game was certainly on the backburner for a long time so this is a big moment. Next up, I aim to take down the Yugioh game for the Gamecube. The plot is definitely very odd (and boring) and the game is even slower paced than this one. Ah well, we’re just going to have to wait a while before we get a really fast title I suppose. At the very least, this just goes to show how popular Yugioh is. It’ll always have more games to play. If you’re a big fan of Yugioh, then I definitely recommend this game quite a lot. You may never get to Synchro Summon since the rules seem more complex than usual, but at least you’ll get to fight many powerful foes. If you’ve never played Yugioh before, then you may want to start with World Championship instead as it does a good job of easing you into the challenge.
Well, I’ve started another new series! This one comes off as a little generic at times, but the action scenes are good and the main character has his moments. I am slightly worried that this series will be one of those titles where the main characters are completely outranked throughout the entire series, but maybe their power ups are close. I’ll have a review for the series when it’s done.
It’s time to take a look at another infamous Wii game from back in the day. While Trixie isn’t quite as well known as Ninjabread Man, it is on the same level. It is by the same company after all and the game is almost completely copied from the Ninjabread Man title. Seriously, it’s probably hard to believe but you are basically playing a reskinned game. Even the main menu theme is exactly the same. It does seem to be a little more polished though, but this works as a doubled edged blade. You’ll see what I mean in a moment. Trixie’s a bit of a bad game due to the short length, but it certainly could have been a whole lot worse.
As with the Ninjabread Man, there isn’t really a plot in this one. You’ll have to check out the back or read the booklet if you want to get the story behind the game. You play as a girl with rabbit ears who goes around whacking people with her weapon. Eventually, you reach the final boss and take the win, freeing the land from the oppressors. By this point, you will notice that the game did have higher production values than Ninjabread Man. For starters, there is actually voice acting in this game. “Take that buster” is Trixie’s catch phrase and she tends to say this when you hit one of the enemies with her weapon. As you can expect, this does get a little repetitive so I’m glad that it doesn’t happen every single time. It seems to be random, but at least I do like her enthusiasm. The villains also yell “Destroy” whenever they fire a missile. Those guys are tricky, but nothing you can’t handle.
There are two main types of villains. The robots are the strongest and I recommend taking out from afar. That being said, they’re a lot weaker than the counterpart from the Ninjabread Man so you can win in close quarters combat as well. The controls are a lot more responsive than Ninjabread Man so you can actually fight normally for a change. The other enemies don’t even try to attack you all that much so you can just swing at your discretion. The part of the game that is a little tougher than Ninjabread Man is the jumping part. The game loves to eat your double jumps so then you end up falling into the gap and plummeting to your doom. Trust me, it’s not a fun way to go out. This won’t be much of a problem until the final two levels, but you should expect to lose many lives at that point.
The main levels are all in 3D and you travel through the level trying to grab the 10 puzzle pieces to complete it. They can be a little hard to see, but luckily you do have a compass which helps you find them. It’s certainly not the most accurate one by any stretch of the imagination, but it works well enough. What does make things difficult is that the first level is very large. Even by this game’s standards, you’ll have a hard time locating anything. There are around 10 floors and all of the differently colored blocks start to look the same after a while. That level took me a very long time and naturally, losing a life can be very sad because you go all the way back to your latest check point, which may not have been all that close.
This is really what I meant when I said that the extra polish was not necessarily a good thing. The levels are a little too big now and while they have more of an actual design than the Ninjabread levels, it also means that it takes a little longer to find everything. The game is also longer than its rival, which should be a good thing in theory, but I wouldn’t have minded it only being the usual 4 levels. There are 10 levels in this title although 5 of them are fairly short.
After each main level, there will be a bonus one. The gameplay for those varied from overhead to side scroller. They were actually pretty fun and were more enjoyable than the main levels. You would have to reach the goal while surviving from these different gameplay styles. It’s hard to see where you are going so I recommend taking your time. As for the final boss level, it’s a small one that just has you work on getting through a few jumps. The actual boss is very easy and you shouldn’t lose any lives against him. Just run around the guy while shooting your darts the entire time. The damage will built up and the villain eventually falls. It’s much safer than actually trying to fight the guy in hand to hand combat.
Graphically, the game isn’t all that bad. It certainly looks better than Ninjabread Man, but still wouldn’t hold up all that well to the average Wii game. At the very least, I did like Trixie’s design, but the main villain could have been a little cooler. The soundtrack is pretty bad and the fact that it has the same theme as the other title is pretty lazy. It works for nostalgia like having Melee’s theme in Smash 4, but it shouldn’t be reused for convenience.
There isn’t really any replay value here so that hurts the game a little. It’s still very short even if you do end up getting lost a few times so this wouldn’t even last you the full afternoon. Luckily, you can grab it for a few dollars, but that’s why I definitely could not give the game a positive rating. Honestly, it would have probably dropped to a 3 if it had gone on for much longer. The final boss level was pretty frustrating as I kept dying to the same jump and the final main level was a little too much of a maze. It also had tricky jumps that could be quite tragic.
Overall, Trixie in Toyland is actually not as good as Ninjabread Man even though it seemed to have been more refined and to have gotten more of a budget. Sometimes more content isn’t always a good thing. I did appreciate the voice acting though and the fact that the game actually had a final boss was also a nice improvement. The minigames were solid too so if not for the main level designs being so bad, this title would have had a decisive victory. I certainly recommend trying it out for the novelty value, but you won’t be missing much if you decide to skip out on this one. I’ll be trying out the Trixie racing game soon so we’ll see if that game is able to surpass this one. I don’t see how someone could mess up a racing game so maybe we’ll finally see a 5-7 star game from this company.
There are no stats to be found here whatsoever. You complete the game and then that’s it.
Have any of you ever heard of the Ninjabread Man? This game may have flown under the radar for a while, but it does have quite the reputation and it is certainly well deserved. This is known as one of the worst Wii games of all time although I have to say that this may be overdoing it a little. Sure, the production values are quite bad and the game is extremely short (Roughly an hour) but it does have heart. If anything, the game would have been more annoying if it had been longer…but maybe that just means that this game really isn’t that good. Regardless, it is getting a negative score, but it could have been a lot worse.
There is no real plot to be found in the game as it stays on the cover. You simply start out as a living Gingerbread Man who wields a sword. You go around destroying Cakes and Tomatoes. The Cakes are very overpowered so don’t engage them in close quarters combat. Instead, spam your Shruikens. They can take out any enemy from a safe distance and they also get stronger the more that you use them until you get to the point where every enemy will die from a single hit. It’s a nice way to effectively break the game. The controls are very spotty though so watch out for that. We’re back in the classic motion controls era after all and this isn’t exactly a AAA title. The sword swinging rarely worked which is why I switched to throwing in the first place.
The gameplay is in 3D and you can jump. You now know all that their is to know about the gameplay. The objective of each level is to find 10 puzzle pieces to fix a generator. You then jump in to automatically complete the level. There are 4 levels total and one of those is a tutorial level so there are really just 3. There are no bosses whatsoever and no real ending either. The credits just play and that’s it. The 3 real levels all have the exact same format. There is a compass towards the bottom of the screen which lets you know which direction to go. Unfortunately, it’s not always the greatest way to find a piece as the terrain messes with its sensors, but it does its best I suppose.
The final level tries to be more linear which helps with the finding. As long as you don’t make a wrong turn, you should be fine. Each enemy that you defeat gives you one health point and defeating 6 of them gives you a one up. I recommend stocking up on those. Not really because of the enemies since they’re reasonably easy to deal with once you start spamming the projectiles. You’ll want them because of the jumps since the sensor bar will often times not record your jump or it will merge them together so you won’t go far enough. It will rarely lead to a death, but there is one section where you can die. I got through it fairly easily, but I wasn’t so lucky in another title from this company. (I’ll be reviewing that one shortly)
On a technical merit, Ninjabread Man is no more impressive than with the gameplay. The soundtrack basically consists of free domain type music that don’t seem to have much emotion. It just feels like the music was put together in roughly 5 seconds and the developers just figured that you wouldn’t get tired of it. There’s no real variety and while the theme can be a little catchy after a while, it’s no fun compared to titles like Sonic and Mario. I want my hype themes. Meanwhile, the graphics are naturally not all that good. They’re pretty low budget and while they aren’t terrible, Ninjabread Man will lose in a head 2 head fight against just about any other title. It may look better than Balls of Fury at least.
There is no replay value to be found here whatsoever. I suppose you could just replay the game, but there is literally no reason to do so as it doesn’t keep track of your score and there are no collectibles around either. This game didn’t even get any real voice acting so the game is very silent. I imagine that the game must not have cost a lot to make so the developers probably made a profit off of it. It’s a scary thought to have considering that this game was just not all that good. Again, it wasn’t terrible considering all of this.
The concept is decently sound. How bad can a 3D platformer be right? The controls are the main frustrating part. Luckily, I didn’t come across any big glitches so that was good. If the jumping was more stable, that would have gone a long way. That being said, the overall length is really what keeps this game from getting a 5 or higher. There’s no way I can justify a game being about an hour long or less. Even if it had multiplayer this would be a bit of a stretch although it would certainly help out quite a bit. This game now goes for around 1-5 dollars so at least you won’t be losing a lot of money.
Overall, Ninjabread Man is for the hardcore Wii owners who want to own all of the titles. I honestly purchased it because of how bad the game is known to be. I’m the kind of guy who gets curious about things like that. It’s still not the worst game that I’ve ever played by any means and I actually think that it was more fun than the higher budget spinoff that I played afterwards. That review is coming soon and it will help you remember that sometimes bigger isn’t better. Quality still trumps quantity even if both of them are in very short supply here. If you’re curious about Ninjabread Man, I recommend satisfying your curiosity. If won’t cost you much and then you can finally count yourself among the select few who got to play this game. It’s truly something else!
The trilogy of Star Trek films ends with this installment. Does it go out with a bang? Not exactly, but the film doesn’t end on a whimper either. Rather than feeling like the climactic finish, this film decides to take the unique approach of being “just another day in the office” for the Star Trek cast. It succeeds in acting like an extended Star Trek episode which is a good thing in some areas. We finally get to see more interaction between the crew and the banter between “Bones” and Spock is something that the films had been lacking. However, the fun dialogue and adventure on the planet does come at the expense of stakes. Sure, the crew is in danger and technically the threat is real, but Beyond never feels quite as intense as Into Darkness. It’s a good film and Beyond is content to stay in that realm.
As you may remember from the ending of Star Trek Into Darkness, the crew has been tasked with a 5 year expedition into deep space. Naturally, this could be a little dicey for the rest of the Federation since the Enterprise is their greatest ship and the universe could probably use Kirk and the others if a firefight starts. Ah well, they’ll manage I suppose. 3 years have passed and Kirk’s group has to dock on a planet to grab some supplies. After doing so, they receive word that a ship is stranded past a cluster of asteroids. The crew walks into this trap and the ship is torn apart as all of the members are left to fend for themselves on this planet. Can they escape this ruthless alien race or is this the end for the crew?
One thing I feel that I have to point out is that the Federation feels doomed if they were to ever encounter a competent alien race. The Enterprise is apparently their best ship and it is extremely weak. For starters, while its design is legendary and iconic, it is not suited for combat in the slightest. There are weak points everywhere and it is not very agile. The villains in this film exploit this quite easily. It doesn’t bode well for the smaller ships in this alliance. In the entire trilogy, I don’t believe that we have gotten to see Kirk’s ship win a single round. Maybe in the first film as it has been a while, but I don’t recall that occurring. They definitely need a new ship.
I’d also like to point out that the plot does seem a little iffy when you take a close look at it. I’m keeping this review spoiler free, but the villains are not in a position to obtain a whole lot of resources. Even if they got off of their planet and toured the universe for a while, I don’t see how they could get such advanced weaponry. It’s one thing to see their ships take the Enterprise down after a quick fight, but it’s extremely one sided and apparently these mini ships can take down an entire planet in the blink of an eye as well. I feel this was definitely exaggerated a little too much. There wasn’t a whole lot of plot hax luckily due to the weakness working well, but I think the ships should have been nerfed a little.
As one would expect from a Star Trek film, the special effects were very well done. The space fights look great and the environments are also very good. That being said, I was super glad to see the city return at the end. Everything feels fairly glossy and futuristic as opposed to being super realistic, which is a positive for me. The alien world could have felt very Tarzanish, but instead it feels like a film version of the location, which is a definite improvement for me. The soundtrack is less impressive, but we get a throwback or two to the classic themes and one of the music themes from the first film of the trilogy returns. It definitely works well for the scene and I’m always ready for something that’s fast paced. It’s not a bad soundtrack by any means, but it does come across as a little generic.
As mentioned earlier, one of the strengths in this film is the banter. As a whole the writing was fairly good as well. Some language as I’ve come to expect, but not all that much and nothing super drastic. For the most part, if Kirk, Bones, or Spock is present in a scene it’s going to end up being a good one. It is good to see the team actually do some exploring for a change and we finally get to see more TV show related items. The team has their communicators out, they use the phasers a lot and we even have the Tricorder that Bones uses.
This is probably the first time that I can ever say this, but Captain Kirk was actually portrayed as a really good character. In the second film he was greatly improved from the first, but still had a pair of scenes to remind you that he was not going to rank too highly anytime soon. There is nothing like that here. He is still having some doubt issues, but they don’t play a huge role here and I do agree with him to an extent. A 5 year cruise in the middle of nowhere seems completely pointless and they should be doing something constructive instead. Unfortunately, Kirk is only human so he doesn’t do too well in the fight scenes, but he still tries his best. He actually comes up with plans and makes saving his comrades top priority from start to finish. He was definitely surprisingly good in this film.
Meanwhile, Spock is a fairly good deputy as well. One thing that definitely does get old is the fact that Spock is supposed to be the emotionless character, but he breaks character constantly. I think the classic show did a better job of only having him break character once in a blue moon. He still does look good for the most part though. I will be glad to have his romance drama with Uhura done with since the back and forth throughout the entire trilogy got old really fast. Considering that they are all stuck on the ship for such a long time, the constant separating and coming back together would make things awkward. On that note, it is completely Spock’s fault this time. It was Uhura’s in the second film, but Spock basically gave her no real choice in this one due to his making some fairly bad decisions. He gets one fight in this film, but is unable to join the fray for most of the film so that’s too bad.
Bones is the stand out character this time and is easily the best one here. His small role in the first two films may be part of the reason why the films never had a whole lot of witty banter up until now. Granted, there wasn’t a whole lot of time for it, which is one of the reasons why having more of an everyday adventure is a good idea once in a while. When the big events happen, it’s typically one fight after the other so there’s no time for dialogue. If you think about any great TV Show or film, you’ll remember that dialogue can be important as well. Just look at Yugioh, how much fun would the duels be without the constant trash talking and witty puns? It would certainly lose some of its depth without that element. Hopefully Bones gets a large role in the next film as well.
The main heroine of this title is Jaylah. Debatably Uhura’s role is almost as large, but Jaylah was made up for this film (As far as I’m aware) so she was more integral to the plot while Uhura spent most of her time trying to reason with the main villain. Jaylah’s a good warrior and she does a better job of being the hardened female veteran than most of the iconic ones. The lady from Alien, the warrior from the Hobbit, Gamora, Jaylah’s a better character than all of those if you ask me. Perhaps it’s because the film doesn’t really go into her tragic past all that much. It could also be due to the fact that the film doesn’t spend a lot of time trying to overhype her or having the characters all make statements to support this. Truly cool characters only need actions to back them up and holding her own against one of the main villains is a good way to accomplish this.
On that note, did anyone else feel like the hand to hand fight scenes had too much shaky cam and cutaways? Some of the fights were super chaotic as a result and hard to follow. The action scenes were still solid though and I would have liked to have seen more of them, but the camera work could have been better. Back to the characters, Scotty has a fairly large role here, but with Bones back in the center stage, Scotty didn’t seem as charismatic in comparison. I also don’t really care for his sidekick. It’s not at the point where he is a unlikable character yet, but I think reducing his role for the next film could be a good thing. Chekov has probably surpassed him for me although I suppose he may not return for the next film or he’ll be recast. Sulu’s role here is also a little larger than last time, but it’s mainly just used for real life politics. To the point where we got a whole press release statement about it. As a result, he doesn’t really contribute to the story at all. Seriously, he’s present in many scenes, but it’s always another character who actually performs the action. His only big moment would be letting the ship fall and then signalling someone else to activate the boosters. With the politics out of the equation, the next film should hopefully give him more to do. He’s one of the team’s best fighters so giving him a close quarters fight scene would be a good start. (I was actually expecting that. Overall, the film had less fight scenes than I would have liked)
As for the main villain, he’s quite possibly the worst one yet. I didn’t care for the villain in the first film either though so it’s a tough call. I liked the minions though as they looked like the foot soldiers out of Halo or something super sci-fi like that. It was a good armor, even if the actual aliens were incredibly weak. Uhura takes down a few of them pretty easily and most of the others prove to be human level as well. The main villain’s deputy can fight, but doesn’t have much character beyond that. The main villain goes for sympathy and is the classic delusional fellow who believes in the ideals of the past. Needless to say, this didn’t help his cause. I do appreciate the fact that his final moment wasn’t him going for the power of friendship or something like that. I thought this angle may have been taken and while it’s usually great to see a villain redeem him/herself…it would have been extremely unrealistic in this case.
If there’s any real issue with most of the cast here, it’s that they don’t care all that much about the supporting characters. Like always, the red shirts die by the dozens/hundreds. Everyone’s still fairly chipper by the end though and I suppose you must be good at getting over things to be in this position, but it does make you feel bad for all of the new recruits. It’s like being the best friend in a horror movie, you always know that the character’s days are numbered.
Now for the big question….did Star Trek Beyond manage to defeat the latest Star Wars film? I have to say that it did. As it stands now, Star Trek’s current trilogy has been handily defeating Star Wars no matter which trilogy you pit against it. While Star Wars may easily be the better franchise due to the superior video games, concept, and characters, Star Wars definitely has the monopoly on the films. If the rest of the upcoming titles for Star Trek hold onto this solid level of quality, the franchise really could make a nice rebound and become more of a well known product like the good ole days.
Overall, Star Trek Beyond does a good job of checking the right boxes while avoiding the mis-steps that plague many films. It was good to see that the critics got this one right. It’s a well written film that doesn’t go for any crude humor or inappropriate jokes like other titles. Captain Kirk was portrayed very well and the supporting cast did a good job of supporting the film. The fight scenes were handled very well and the movie never dragged on. There was a good deal of plot hax and I don’t really follow the logic of how this villain amassed such a powerful amount of resources to deal with the Federation, but no film can be perfect on that regard. I still wouldn’t call this film great as it would either need to be a little more exciting or be extremely funny to get that extra star. As it stands, this is a solid “lost episode” for fans of the original Star Trek. As an added bonus, Captain Kirk even sniffs out a trap for once! I’m also liking the new Trek costumes. The classic yellow is good, but the blue navy-esque uniform looks really sharp as well. I’m inclined to say that the next film will win as it’ll probably be more of a big event film like the last two, but at the same time it needs to be careful not to lose the fun factor that this one acquired.
Suggested by JHG Kitten was a character who showed up in Teen Titans to stir up some drama and trouble, but her actual combat skills aren’t very good. She wouldn’t be able to keep up with someone like Pyrrha for very long. Pyrrha just needs one good sword slash to connect and that shouldn’t be too hard considering how adept she is at close quarters combat. Kitten never stood a chance against such a warrior. Pyrrha wins.
Suggested by Sonic Scream has the usual super strength and extra agility that comes with being a symbiote, but it won’t be enough to stop Dakki this time around. Dakki’s strength is formidable as well and a single swing of her fan is enough to emit great amounts of wind, which can stop Scream in her tracks. Dakki’s no slouch in the speed department either and ultimately will prove to be too much for the symbiote. Better luck next time Scream. Dakki wins.
Twilight Princess has finally gotten a manga. It’s still the only big LoZ game that I have not played so it’ll be cool to see how this title pans out. Wolves better not keep perishing though or that could end up hurting the series quite a bit. I’ll have a review for the series when it finishes.