Breath of Fire Review


The Breath of Fire video game was a lot of fun so it was time to see how the manga would fare. Adapting a complete RPG in only 6 chapters is definitely quite the task. I’d say the manga did a good job but of course for obvious reasons it does cut a whole lot out. Things tend to move quickly here, particularly the climax which has to go at lightning speeds. Some of the villain generals also don’t get to appear here. For example you’re not going to see Goda here unless he had some kind of wordless cameo. Even in the game these guys didn’t appear much until the end though so it’s not too surprising.

The manga starts off with a ton of lore and the cliff notes version is that the world was once inhabited by a bunch of dragon clans. One day the Dark Dragons decided to go and murder everybody for some reason. The White Dragons were the only ones that could have stopped them but unfortunately they decided to become complete pacifists so they just watched as everyone got slaughtered instead. I’d be steamed if I was anyone living in that world tbh. Well, eventually the dark dragons got to the final survivors and nearly murdered them too but Ryu’s sister Sara made a deal to keep it as a 1 on 1 fight. She sacrificed herself so that Ryu could live.

Fast forward a few years and Ryu has made it his life’s goal to destroy all of the dark dragons. This will not be easy but he’s ready for this. Inn the meantime he also comes across other characters who have had their lives ruined by the dark dragons as well. The heroes will have to move quickly though or there won’t be a world left to save. They are also heavily outnumbered and so the heroes have to make sure that their plans are completely on point.

This feels like a very classic action adventure story. You’ve seen the characters and this kind of adventure before. It’s not trying to be super ambitious or anything like that and is just trying to tell a good story. It works well at doing this and if you like fantasy adventures then you will definitely have a good time with this one. Ryu makes for a solid main character. He’s your classic heroic kid who has a personal grudge against the villains. As the series goes on he learns that rage isn’t the way and that he must fight for justice instead.

Ryu never backs away from a challenge and will defend his friends to the end. He jumps right into action whenever there is danger and so I definitely don’t have any issues with him. I thought he handled all of the situations really well. Then you have the main heroine Nina who is rather retro in how she’s always beating up on poor Ryu. She can’t fight super well or anything but she does have healing abilities which come in handy. What Nina lacks is self confidence as she is easily set off by the sorceress Deis with rather light teasing. Nina needs to stay strong so she doesn’t cause any trouble.

Danc gets a fairly important role here as he has a tragic sob story as well and is ready to help out. The kid can’t really fight but helps give a motivational speech as one point. I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of his but he’s not bad. If you want a bad character, Manillo fits that bill. They try to play him off like a decent guy by the end but I wasn’t buying it. He wouldn’t let the heroes get a boat so they could go save the world because he wanted extra money. His offers to them were pretty bad on the kinds of other tasks they could do to raise money. I don’t see how any of the characters were cool with him after that. They should have just knocked the guy around instead.

Builder gets his moment to shine as well. Things started out rather rough for him but the heroes helped him regain his confidence and make a comeback. Ultimately he got a happy ending which was nice, things almost got pretty dark for him there. Gillian also has his own chapter and that’s probably one of the perks of being an early character. I feel like you get more time to shine since you’re also around in the background for the rest. He’s a good character and helps everyone stay calm.

Mogu is an example of a character who came in too late. By the time he appears the series is pretty much over so there’s not much for him to do. He is a nice enough character who wants to help out but you don’t really feel like he can fight as well as he may think that he can. Deis is the final member to join the group and she’s a fun character like in the game. Her abilities are actually really good so she can help Ryu on the front lines unlike the others. Her spells have a lot of versatility to them and you can count on her help in any circumstance. She does enjoy teasing Nina for sure but you can say that it’s to help make Nina stronger. Deis has quite the strong personality and definitely helped to enhance the overall team dynamics.

As for the villains, most of them didn’t really make the cut here so the roster is rather small. You have Zorgon who thought he was the leader but he is manipulated from start to finish and never actually gets to look all that good. In the end this guy was really all talk and his role is so small that you may chuckle at the end. Judas is definitely the standout villain. He makes his presence known at all times and is incredibly powerful. He lands a lot of super big blows to the heroes and is relevant for the whole series. He gets more to do than I would have even expected and it makes for a great character arc.

Naturally Ryu’s sister Sara is also really solid. She’s determined and has a lot of power just like he does. She never backs down and doesn’t end up playing second fiddle. Sara just goes in and keeps on fighting all the way through to the end. She gets one of the most emotional moments in the manga. Finally you have Myria who is really the big bad here. The destroyer of the universe and she has other cool titles like that. She can fight and has kept up with the power creep over times.

While her goals may not be much more than total destruction, she does a good job of setting this into motion. Myria is strong and I liked her well enough as a villain. She may not stand out in terms of personality but her abilities are the real deal. This is where I would have liked another chapter or two though because the final fight ends up being a little rushed due to the length. In the span of 10 pages the heroes have to try and land their first blow on her and then the series ends. Not a lot of time for a real fight considering how powerful she was right?

The artwork is nice and retro. This looks like a very old time manga and it does adapt the video game designs well. At times the action can be a little hard to follow along so I think the manga could have been clearer there. It’s still good but it’s what keeps the good art from being very good. This would lose to a lot of modern titles for example but it’s solid enough where I wouldn’t call it bad. You’ll be able to blast through the chapters either way. The series has a little fanservice like with the obligatory river washing and Deis messing with Ryu but for the most part there’s not much here. It feels more like the series was ticking off a box than they were trying to add a lot of this. I’d argue that’s a box you don’t need to tick off since the scenes don’t add anything but they’re minor enough where they don’t bring the series down.

The story has good vibes to it and stays upbeat for the most part. There are a lot of tragedies as each character has a sob story but there is no time to really dwell on it. Even the characters are quickly back to having fun as they travel the distance. I’d say the manga does a good job of showing just what an adventure would feel like and how the characters adapt to it. It’s fairly low key even with the world at stake which helps on the retro feel.

I still say that the manga should have been longer but ultimately that’s not something that would shave a star off of the final product. It just means that this will probably encourage you to play the video game to really get the full experience. That’s my recommendation here as well, if you like the manga then definitely play the game. You get the bullet points here and all of the big story moments but it’s just not the same compared to a 20-30 hour experience on the game version. You get more time for the twists and character development there.

Overall, Breath of Fire is a solid title. It’s a very quick read at only 6 chapters long. It’s ultimately 2 volumes long as a result but they would feel like fairly short volumes to me. At least you could also say this speaks to the quality of the series as you will have no problem binging it all the way through. It’s what I’d consider to be a fairly safe pick. It’s not really going for any outlandish twists or bold story choices. This is a traditional adventure with fun characters and really plays out exactly how you would expect it to. So it’s a fun story that should appeal to most without trying to test the waters. I’ll be checking out the Breath of Fire 2 adaption soon and we’ll see how that one stacks up. I’d say I’ve got pretty good hopes on that one as well. Should be a solid adventure too.

Overall 7/10

Yu-Gi-Oh Nightmare Troubadour Review


Feels like quite a while since I completed a Yugioh game. They definitely tend to be on the long side so you always get a whole lot of content and satisfaction from them. This one even has a full story along with the usual duels. It has a day and night system that I don’t particularly care for but ultimately it’s still a great game. One that would be nearly impossible to complete without the internet though as everything is so secretive. I suppose eventually you could pull out the win but the play time would certainly skyrocket.

The story is sort of an adaption of Battle City but extremely loose along with minor adaptions of the Noah and Rebecca filler arcs. You play as a new character who I called Terry and you have to try and be the best duelist of all time. To do that you will need to become the World Champion and crush every opponent who tries to get near you. It won’t be easy but this wouldn’t be satisfying if it was a cakewalk right? Will Terry really be able to adapt and take out the villains or will he be wishing that he could just duel for fun?

Lets jump right into what works about the game. First off, there are a lot of cards here so you can customize your deck really well. Initially it’ll take time to build up enough funds to get the cards that you really want but gradually this won’t be an issue. Eventually you will have all that you need to make a deck. So far I have never made 2 decks that were really similar. My deck ends up being really different in every Yugioh game and I think I know why. See, the cards that you get at the beginning of the game are super important because subconsciously you start to build around them. For example, even after I had a lot of really good cards, I kept in a ton of my originals.

I’d already been dueling with them for so long so why remove the right? My deck was more trap oriented so I could block opponent moves and then win with my 5-6 star monsters. I always have a hard time condensing my deck to 40 cards though so I tend to have around 60 or so. It does mean that sometimes you won’t get one of your cards in time but it also means that you will never be timed out. That has happened in the past and sure enough in this game I did have to win at least one match that way. Always make sure that your deck is larger than your opponent’s to be ready for such an attack.

The duels themselves can be a bit long and to this day no game has optimized the speed more than World Championship 2007. Still, it’s way better than the older GBA games which just couldn’t load the screens as quickly. Some of the menus in this game aren’t great so deck construction can be long but the duels themselves are very polished and work well. Ultimately I don’t have any real issues there. The gameplay is solid and in general I like Yugioh a lot so it’s a blast to be able to play through the duels.

The soundtrack is also good. A little repetitive though to be honest. Given how long you’re going to be playing the game, I think they should try to have a larger soundtrack just to keep things fresh. Usually there are only a few themes and it works like in Tag Force when all of the themes are amazing, but when they’re fairly ordinary you just feel like you’d like to see something else. The graphics are okay but the series is not really known for its visuals and I would say this game is in line with that. There’s nothing that jumps out at you.

I already mentioned the game’s length before but don’t expect to beat this game in under 35 hours. It’s an extremely long game due in part to how many duels you have to go through. I played over 100 duels in the game and there are story events you have to go through to get to the ending. These events are dependent on your dueling various people so it really adds up. You also can’t see who you are dueling ahead of time until you beat them a bunch and become friends with them. Hypothetically if you didn’t know what to do, the way to get through the game would be to keep challenging everyone over and over until you registered everyone as a friend. Some seem quite resistant though, like I beat Rex over 20 times and he wouldn’t become my friend.

Now on the downsides to the game, the biggest one is how the story is presented. Without a guide I really would not have been able to figure out where to go next. The randomness of the story is not a strength but a liability. Additionally, I don’t like how duelists randomly attack you at night and if you lose then it’s a game over. At least make it take you back home but don’t threaten me with losing a bunch of save data. I had to save constantly when it was night time just in case. Same with all shadow duels, if you lose then it’s all over. So if a shadow duelist sneaks up on you then it’s really going to end up being messy.

My deck was great but not unbeatable. I would still lose from time to time and sometimes I would get a bad draw. Part of the fun in Yugioh is how many different variations of the same duel you can have based on what you draw. So in that sense I thought the game was a little too merciless with this. There’s also a leveling up system but it seems almost pointless to an extent. You unlock decks by leveling up but that just seems like a way to really keep you from getting good cards for a while. It takes a lot of duels to level up too so I think that could have been really reduced.

Overall, I had my issues with some of the mechanics like the day and night system which keep this from being an elite Yugioh title. The core gameplay still ensures that it is great though and I did appreciate that we got a full story mode. Some of the decisions may have been a bit odd and it certainly aims to be one of the loosest adaptions that I’ve seen but I’ll take that over not having a story mode. If you want to check out a Yugioh game with a lot of content then this is definitely one to check out. You’re not going to regret picking this one up even if it doesn’t quite beat the top tier Yugioh games.

Overall 8/10

Ninjala Review


It sure took me a while to play this game but it definitely lived up to the hype. This may be a hot take but pure gameplay wise I actually prefer this to Splatoon. Of course a big part of that is the fact that you’re on your own here and don’t need to fight as part of a team. Then you’ve also got the close combat gameplay which is even better than the ink shooting.

The game even looks a lot like Splatoon which I have to assume is intentional. The game has a lot of modes but naturally you’ll be most interested in jumping online to get right into the battle royale. There are around 8 players in a given match and you have to try and get the most points. You obtain points by grabbing orbs around the stage, more points by breaking these little sandbags all around, and a ton of points by knocking out other players. The gap in points is rather large: 20-100-400 so knocking out players is your best bet. They’ll be trying to get in your way regardless so it makes sense to try and take them out right off the bat.

The controls are fairly simple here. You can run along the ground and up the walls as well as jump. You have a dash attack which lets you get up close and from there you have your standard attacks and a super attack once your meter gets high enough. It seems like characters have different moves so you’ll want to learn them but your main method of attack will be with classic attacks. Land a good combo and you’ll take your opponent out in an instant. It’s definitely the way to go if you want to be the one wearing the championship belt.

The thing I don’t like about the gameplay is that it has a rock paper scissors mechanic going like in Pokken. So when you clash you both have to choose a direction and hope it’s the right one. I never cared for this kind of mechanic and don’t get why it tends to pop up every now and again. Why would you want to throw some random variables into a fighting game? That seems like the last genre to add such a thing since you want it to all be about your individual skill right? Seems to me like throwing this in just muddies the waters.

It’s also pretty much inevitable that you will have several clashes in every fight so get ready to see this mechanic a lot. Personally I’d say the game should drop it and then it would feel a lot more balanced. It would really make you have to focus on when you want to attack and try to stay cautious so nobody ambushes you. Yes that would definitely be the best way to do it and I think that would work out for everyone.

Well, even with that I did manage to win my first few rounds but I suspect the game threw in some bots. I can’t prove it, but I was fighting several opponents with very generic names like Paul and Chris. No extra letters or numbers so I find the odds of them getting those names to be rather slim. I was also dominating throughout and sure I’m great at picking up on a game’s mechanics right away but I was a little suspicious. It was almost too easy which started to tip me off. Maybe I’m overanalyzing this, it’s possible but I’m not buying it.

After a few wins then I started seeing a lot of fancy names and the games quickly grew harder. Ninjala is certainly a game that is easy to start but hard to master. Don’t expect that you can just walk in and start claiming wins. This game isn’t quite so easy as all of that. There are quite a few mechanics to master and that makes sense since the tutorial seemed really large. I quit out of it after the first lesson but you’d want to study it all if you intend on playing for a long while.

I should also mention that there are some bonus stars. You’re scored by total points at the end of the round but you then gain some for doing the most damage, most KOs, etc. So keep that in mind, just because you have the most points when entering the results screen doesn’t mean that you will win in the end. That actually bumped me down from 1st to 2nd once. It’s an interesting idea but I think the game should go by base points. If you win then you win, no worrying about extra factors or any of that.

The graphics are solid. This definitely looks like a very modern game and it’s also very colorful. There’s a lot to look at and the levels have a lot of detail to them. I definitely have no issues there and the soundtrack is good as well. This really is a solid all around title and if you ever threw in a big cinematic story mode then this could be a great game even without online. The gameplay is certainly polished enough to make it work.

Overall, Ninjala is a fun game. I don’t really see people talking about it anymore so its window of fame may have already ended but the fundamentals are sound. I like that you don’t have to enter in teams like a lot of the similar online titles. You can just jump in and take names. While the battle royale results being based on points does mean that you can lose even while playing super well, it won’t be too likely. Beating opponents gets you the most points so as long as you do that well then you should be in high spirits. I would definitely recommend checking this game out for a fun blast.

Overall 7/10

Yu-Gi-Oh Nightmare Troubadour Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 37h 48m
Level 15
Cards: 961
Dueling Record 177 Wins-33 Losses -1 Tie
Win Ratio 84%

Duelist Records

Yami Yugi 7-4
Yugi 16-2
Joey 8-6-1
Kaiba 4-3
Mokuba 9-1
Yami Bakura 3-2
Bakura 5-2
Tea 12-0
Mai 5-2
Serenity 7-0
Rebecca 4-8
Solomon 5-2
Bonz 3-0
Mako 6-5
Espa Roba 13-0
Rex 21-1
Weevil 5-0
PaniK 2-0
Dox 4-0
Para 2-0
Pegasus 7-0
Bandit Keith 3-0
Big 1 1-0
Big 2 1-0
Big 3 1-0
Big 4 1-0
Big 5 1-0
Noah 1-0
Gozaburo 1-0
Rare Hunter 1-0
Lumis 3-0
Umbra 3-0
Odion 1-0
Ishizu 3-0
Yami Marik 1-0

Card Pack collection

Miracle of Nature 67%
Shadows in the Labyrinth 67%
Mechanical Trap Power 67%
Flight to a New World 67%
Broken Seal 67%
Inherited Will 67%
Infinite Illusion 67%
Cursed Darkness 69%
Legendary History 71%
Magician’s Soul 69%
Visitor from Beyond 69%
Beautiful Challenger 71%
Wonderous Sorcery 74%
Tricky Toons 71%
Royal Relics 67%
Chosen Warrior 65%

Kim Kaphwan vs Sasquatch



Suggested by iKnowledge Kim has some good hand to hand moves and slight elemental attacks like his Phoenix move but that won’t be enough to defeat Sasquatch. The difference in their respective power levels is just too high. Sure, Kim’s hand to hand can help him to an extent but without more significant speed or special techniques I don’t see this being enough to bridge the gap. Sasquatch only needs one powerful blow to take the win. Sasquatch wins.

1943: The Battle of Midway Review


1943 is a rather basic airplane type game. There may be a plot but you wouldn’t really know it from playing the game. I don’t tend to count booklet plots all that much. So you have to enjoy the gameplay as that’s really the focus of this game. I wasn’t particularly impressed with any one element but the game itself is solid enough. It’s a game built on its fundamentals and there are quite a few weapons and mechanics to learn. Ultimately they may not stand out but this is a really difficult game so good luck trying to beat it without using any of the advanced features like rewinding and such. This one is going to take all of your abilities to get through to the end.

The main gameplay here is an overhead style as you watch your plane go forward and land major damage. You are attacked by all kinds of ships and other enemies as they overload the screen. Your task is to take them out as they come through and survive until the end. Typically there will be a boss at the end although not every level has one. Sometimes you will just keep on going until the level ends.

Now when I said the game was tough, I definitely meant it all the way. A few hits can take your plane down for the count. Additionally your plane keeps changing weapons when you touch the power ups. Some are better than others so avoid these when you have one that you like. On the other hand, you can shoot a power up to turn it into a health item but you have to do that carefully. Shoot too much and it’ll be a power up item again, shoot too little and the same thing could happen. It’s all a battle of reaction times and you have to make sure that you are on point the whole time.

You’ve also got some kind of bomb/thunderstrike ability. This is really handy as it affects the whole screen but surprisingly it won’t necessarily defeat all of the minions that it hits. It’s strong but not a one hit KO move the way that most of these attacks tend to be. I was certainly surprised when some of the villains endured the attack. I guess it helps as per game balance but I’m used to it being a one hit KO in all other games so it took me by surprise.

It’s not worth using anyway though as it cost your health to use this attack. It takes a solid chunk out of your health bar so even if you land a lot of hits with it, it’ll rarely be worth it. I’d say at best, use it if you’re completely surrounded and are about to be shot down. Then you have nothing to lose and may as well give it a shot. Moves that take up health are just rarely worth it to me in any game.

The graphics are decent here. Nothing too special but the game itself is clear and you always know what’s going on so that’s worth something. The soundtrack is more on the forgettable side but it’s not bad. In general the game just doesn’t have a whole lot of personality. From a screenshot you could easily mistake this for any other aerial fighter. I think they should have done a better job of standing out. Even if this is trying to be fairly realistic, you could still pull it off if you thought about it hard enough. It’s an old game so I’m not expecting anything out of this world but I think it could have done more.

There also just isn’t much of an ending or a sense of accomplishment when you make it to the end. It just starts looping as if this is a super old NES game. I would have liked there to have been some kind of end cutscene or something. That would have done a lot of good if you ask me. Well, it’s not a bad game either way but you probably won’t see me picking it up again. This is very much a one and done kind of game. You play it through and then move on to the net thing.

Overall, 1943 is a decent game to play for a little while. Blackhawk Striker/Shooter is a much better plane game though. If you want a game with a lot of personality and energy then that is the one to check out. Without a doubt that one tends to blow everything out of the water in the genre. This one feels more like a dime a dozen and hey, that’s still not a bad deal for 40 minutes of free fun. It’s just not enough to take it to the next level so I’d recommend giving this one a try and then looking for something more long term.

Overall 5/10