NBA 2K10 Review


It’s time to look at another NBA 2K title. This one is a lot older than the others so was it as good? Honestly, this is the best NBA 2K game yet and I’m not just saying that because it’s the first one where I was finally able to take it to the computer. Not only did I win, but I won by 20 points. It felt pretty good to actually be in the lead for a change. Don’t get me wrong, losing is good sometimes and it definitely does build character, but I was definitely ready to be in the driver’s seat for a change. It’s a lot of fun and while the gameplay isn’t quite as deep as some of the newer games, it is deep enough for me.

I jumped right into the play now mode and I knew things would go my way when I was able to stop them from scoring 3 times in a row. I was quickly up to a 5-2 lead and from there the gap kept widening. It felt like everything was working this time. I would go for the 2 point shots or I would quickly pass it to my guy on the outside and he would hit the 3 point shot. It may just be some placebo on my end, but it seems like you have a better chance of making the shot if you take it right away. If you walk around for a bit before trying the 3 pointer it just won’t work. Of course I still did miss a lot of the 3 point shots, but I got the ones that counter. My strategy was to just run in and score and it worked pretty well. I was scoring at will and while they would stop me from time to time I was able to stop them more.

One gameplay mechanic that I still don’t understand is why my guy will randomly fire a shot at times. I’m just trying to hold R2 and accelerate, but my guy will throw the ball and naturally since I’m nowhere near the hoop then it basically gives the other team a free turnover. It just seems to happen randomly. I doubt it’s a glitch so it’s just something that I’m not doing right. Then you’ve also got players running out of bounds sometimes. That happened to me at least 3 times and it never occurred in the other games. I guess parts of the gameplay are a little unrefined, but all in all it still feels natural.

The biggest change which helped me win here was that my defense was finally going good. A good chunk of this is due to the fact that the A.I. seemed to be really good. Players would stick their hands up and stop balls from getting past them. I think my team got well over 10 turnovers in the game. I also got my share of steals (and fouls) which definitely helped out a lot. I’d then transition into my fast break offense and from there the sky was the limits. Nobody was going to stop me from making the basket and I don’t think any of them wanted to. Whenever they would jump in front I would still make the basket only now they had a foul so I was able to go for the third point. All in all, it was a pretty good deal.

There are the usual assortment of modes here so even if you get bored you can quickly try to spice up the gameplay. You can go through the franchise option or make your own player. Naturally there is also the option to just practice for a while or turn up the difficulty. After the win I did get a bit greedy so I tried another match only this time I intentionally chose a team with a very low rating to see how different it would be. I was losing this match by a few points so it was definitely different. It felt more like the other 2K games as I wasn’t getting any backup and the other team was stopping me more. I think the overall score seems to have a pretty big impact across the board with the various players. I didn’t actually get to finish the second game as I exited in the 4th quarter, but I wasn’t going to make it back at that point. Of course you also have the local multiplayer option at your disposal which is sure to add even more replay value to the mix.

The graphics are definitely as sharp as ever. They may not be as flashy as some of the newer games, but they do get the job done. You’ll be able to easily see the field and understand the situation at all times. Surprisingly the main menu didn’t really have a flashy theme this time, but I assume that the usual assortment of musical themes can be found somewhere in the game. At least the loading screens are also faster than the other 2K games I played so if you don’t like the presentation then you can skip to the game. Otherwise I do think the presentation was handled really well so you’ll probably enjoy it for the first few times at least.

Overall, NBA 2K10 holds up as well as the others. If anything it is currently my favorite NBA 2K game although I admit that it had the advantage of letting me win this time. It does feel pretty good to be holding the W instead of the L this time. On the other hand, the fundamentals are all on point as they are in the newer ones so it is basically like you’re playing the same game. If you liked the newer ones then I don’t really see any reason why you wouldn’t like this one. At the end of the day it’s all Basketball and the gameplay can only change so much. Considering that this game is only about a dollar I would definitely recommend snagging it.

Overall 8/10

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Bendy and The Ink Machine Review


It’s time to take a look at my first ever horror game. I may have played some other games that could be considered to be part horror like Scooby Doo, but none that go all the way like this one. Bendy is definitely an impressive game. It throws in a lot of intense visuals and a dark story without having to resort to over the top levels of violence. It really is quite impressive and this is definitely a game that I would recommend checking out. It has certainly done a good job of really making a name for itself and now I’m ready for the next game. (Even if it isn’t a direct sequel)

The plot of the game follows a guy named Henry as he heads back to his old workplace after having left a long time ago. The whole place seems pretty far gone but he wants to figure out what his old pal Joey wanted to show him. Unfortunately he is then knocked out and may not be able to get out as easily as he thought. The workplace is now filled with beings of darkness and they all want to destroy him. If he gets out of this alive he’ll definitely have some words for Joey, but in the meantime he’s going to make sure to clock in and keep a calm head at all times.

Henry is definitely one of the bravest characters you’ll ever see. It’s almost to the point where it’ll actually take you out of the experience for a few seconds because this guy just isn’t afraid of anything. He keeps a monotone voice throughout the game even when he is being directly threatened. The guy just doesn’t get phased. While it is just gameplay mechanics for him to talk about getting paid for this and clocking in, it does make the save feature pretty memorable and certainly a lot of fun. Henry is the kind of character that you want to lead the team because he is charismatic.

The gameplay is that of a 1st person shooter without the shooting. Effectively most of the game is about investigating various rooms and areas to meet objectives. These objectives range from pulling levers to beating enemies. When you are holding a weapon you can swing away at the villains which is always pretty fun. The gameplay isn’t focused on the combat mechanics though so there aren’t many of them. It’s really just one swing so make sure you get used to it. There are also puzzles here, but none of them are all that annoying. Once you’ve played some of the puzzles you’ll start knowing what to expect as the game goes on.

It took me around 4 and a half hours to beat the game. Online I see that the average was 3 so this is actually one time where it took me a lot longer to beat it than the average player. That’s fine, it’s definitely not a game that you want to be rushing through anyway. There are a lot of little easter eggs all around the place and collectibles to nab. Listening to the audio recordings will help you get a better picture of the plot and story inside of the game as well. The Platinum trophy for this game doesn’t seem all that hard but you will need to play the game at least twice. I feel like the toughest trophy is definitely going to be trying to get all of the bacon soup cans though. There are just so many of them throughout the game and there is no way to see how many there are. Be prepared to play for quite a bit if you want to truly 100% the game.

As mentioned, this is a horror game so the atmosphere is clear. Fortunately this is an area that the game has on point right from the start. The factory that the lead is in is very dark and mysterious. You’re going to see a whole lot of creepy visuals throughout as Bendy and the other villains utterly wreck anyone who comes inside. It’s the kind of game where the Youtube theory videos will definitely have a field day. There’s a whole lot to unpack here and you could write essays on almost any part of the plot. I definitely enjoyed the story a lot and I’m sure you will as well. The ending of the game is perfect and there are definitely a lot of ways you can follow up on this title.

As for the characters, we’ve got a few of them running around. Naturally one of the big ones is Bendy and he is definitely a highlight. Due to the nature of the game he doesn’t appear a lot until near the end, but his scenes are definitely memorable. He’s got a great character design and makes for a solid antagonist. Then you’ve got Boris who is pretty much a Goofy homage. That guy’s probably the worst of the ink supporting characters because he’s always acting nervous and ultimately gets wrecked. He never really put up a good fight. Then you’ve got the Angel(s) who are definitely very solid. Don’t want to spoil anything with these characters, but the duality of the Angel definitely makes for a powerful role. Then you’ve got Tom who definitely doesn’t like Henry at all. The guy’s got a real axe to grind in more ways than one. Ultimately you’ll have to wonder if this guy is really trust worthy anyway.

Sammy is another big villain and he’s intense because the guy is the first big villain to show up. He commands respect and makes for a good boss fight. I like his design and the guy’s just an interesting villain. There’s also a camera enemy how is pretty tough although not Bendy level. I was actually able to defeat him the first time I ran into the guy which was pretty cool. I exploited an area that was too small for him and just kept whacking away at the guy until he went down. Trust me, that felt pretty satisfying since for the most part these guys are always kicking you around. The boss fights were definitely handled very well.

Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is very impressive. There are a lot of really solid tunes here. They definitely help to amplify the setting through and through. You need good music to really complete the world and Bendy had that on point. The graphics are also important and definitely work very well. I played about half of the game during the daytime and half at night. It’s definitely best to play at night, but works either way. This game really knows how to properly handle the jump scares and it left big shoes for the follow-up entry. We’ll see if it can match up to this one.

Overall, Bendy and the Ink Machine is one of those games that you might not have heard of before, but it’s worth taking the plunge. It’s an excellent game that is also quite original. You won’t think even for a second that this one is trying to copy another title. It’s going for a fresh take and that’s always what you want to see. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for the sequel even if i do wish it would come out as a full game right away and not using the chapter system that everyone seems to love nowadays. Be prepared for the array of jump scares!

Overall 8/10

NBA 2K12 Review


The NBA2K series continues! I’ve actually been pretty fortunate so far as the games have been working. While I’d say that 9/10 of the games I buy tend to work there are always some that do not and the chance of this happening increases when it’s a sport game. 2K12 is the first casualty as it does freeze quite a bit. Fortunately I was still able to get a game in and so this couldn’t deter me from getting in this next experience.

As always I jumped into the quick play option and I have to admit that I felt pretty goo about my chances. This was my 3rd to 4th 2K in a row so by now I was a bit more used to the controls and knowing how to go in and claim the win. The game didn’t start out quite as I had planned though. The computer jumped to a quick 14-4 lead so I knew that I had to do something and fast. I started playing tighter defense and actually got some good blocks and steals which was pretty cool. On the offensive side of the ball I went for more 3s and they were connecting enough. It was fun seeing the score gap shrink as each quarter ended. By the third I had gotten it down to 2 points, but unfortunately after that they widened it back up to 6 and that was basically game over. Still, it was a nice back and forth game.

Even though the normal NBA games are my favorite Basketball titles I do see more of the appeal on why people like 2K so much. I am starting to get into the controls and it does feel pretty realistic. I saw my first two NBA games last week (Had to watch the end of the Finals) and 2K does mirror what a real game is like pretty well. I think once you start playing it more like a simulation and less like an arcade title then you will just have more success. For example, I played defense a little less aggressively and let my opponents try to get their shots in. It’s better than constantly fouling them and then letting them make the free throws. I still did go for steals of course and did actually force some turnovers. It’s part of how I started my comeback. On defense by the end of the game I felt like I was actually getting some work done. It still does depend on how many shots the opponent was missing, but I was scooping up those rebounds. That in itself is an improvement from the last game.

As for my offense, I’d say that it is still a work in progress. I can hit a decent amount of 3 point shots and I think my timing there is better. Likewise, my free throws are on point, I don’t miss those anymore. The problem is when I get into the paint and want to score what should be an easy 2 point shot. They just aren’t that easy here. If someone’s in your face then odds are that you’re gonna miss the shot. I still don’t really know how to consistently score the point anyway. It seems to me like no matter what I do the player ends up making the ball hit the rim and missing anyway. There’s gotta be a way around that, but I’m running out of 2K games to try it with.

As always the graphics are definitely on point here. The team uniforms look good and the character models are nice. The 2K games never really seem to age and I think that does speak to the quality of the game overall. I definitely don’t think it is easy to do this by any means. It’s always clear what is happening on the court and a lot of effort went into the presentation. There’s a pretty expansive soundtrack here although you probably won’t really notice it while you’re playing. That makes sense though and really mirrors the actual court experience.

There is also the usual amount of replay value and extra content that you would expect. You can start a new franchise or pick a player and go through all of the games as one person. You can play a lot of multiplayer battles or just hone your skills in general through practice. No matter what option you choose you will definitely have quite a lot to do here. As the going price for the game is only a dollar, it’s really not a bad investment. Another reason to get this game would be to see if you actually like the 2K series a lot. It’s way better to try one out for a dollar and know for sure compared to spending 60 on the new one and then discovering that you don’t like it right?

Overall, there isn’t a whole lot to say about 2K that I haven’t already. It’s a very fun Basketball series that has stayed very consistent over the years. If you like 1 2K then you’ll probably like them all. As long as you enjoy the sport of Basketball then I think you’ll definitely like this game quite a lot. You just can’t go wrong here. 2K12 still seems pretty recent though so we’ll see if this is still the case when I get to the even older ones. Usually those do tend to be good though. After all, NBA Live 03 is still my absolute favorite Basketball game and that one is extremely old by this point.

Overall 8/10

NBA 2K13 Review


It’s time for yet another NBA2K game down for the count. It’s definitely quite solid although I wouldn’t say it is quite as polished as 2K15. I mean that in the most low key way possible though because you really could mistake the two games for each other quite easily. In a way that’s cool as you’ll be able to jump right in if you’re a longtime 2K player but the flip side is that if you’re looking for a new experience this isn’t the way to go? Don’t fix what ain’t broke? Definitely a debate to be had there.

I jumped right into the play now mode of course as I was ready for some good basketball action. I do think that I’m getting a little better at the gameplay though because I’m keeping the games a lot more competitive than I was earlier. I’m not as good as I am at the NBA games but I’m not getting destroyed like in some of the other 2K titles. I’ll definitely take his and one of these days I’ll be grabbing championships! The gameplay is pretty much the same as always. The goal is to score more goals than the other team of course. You need to have good defense and be able to score at will. If you are able to do both then you’ve really got the game in the bag. I’m definitely better at offense than defense but I will keep working at it until I can excel at both.

It seems like the shot meter is back again since when you take a shot you’ll notice a few yellow bars under your character as well as a flash. It seemed to me that when I shot during the flash the ball would go in. The tricky part though is the fact that the flash’s timing didn’t seem consistent and I feel like it is too fast to react to. The yellow bars may also be unrelated so possibly it is just the flash that you want to look out for. For the free throws it is still all about holding the stick down and releasing when the player is at the height of his aim. I think I’ve pretty much got this down but the computers rarely draw a flag so I didn’t have too many chances to practice.

One area where I think the game could improve a bit is the passing. There is an option to pass to whoever you want to by holding down a button and then passing but that takes too long in the heat of the moment. During a full court press I want to be able to quickly pass it to the guy in position and score from there. A lot of times you’ll end up passing to the wrong guy and it’ll cost you points. While it is risky because of this, that is still my go to strategy for getting on the board and increasing the lead. (When I actually have a lead) I was able to get a lot more turnovers than usual so that was definitely pretty cool.

For shooting from up close I think I had the timing down a bit better. I was able to get within a good range a lot more often this time around but sometimes my guy would still flub the shot. Maybe I’m holding on to the ball a little too long or something like that. Fortunately my team was pretty tall so a lot of times my guy would get the rebound. The team you get does seem to be very important to be honest.

The graphics are definitely very sharp. Now as they are basically the same as 2015 then you may wonder how they can be good. Well, they’re just pretty timeless. I think I would still consider these graphics to look good 6 years from now and maybe even 6 years from then. It may not be the PS4 level but it gets the job done and you won’t be distracted. The soundtrack did get a little more fancy as they got some pretty big singers here. I’m sure there will be some kind of song that you’ll like here if you can find them. I think there is a soundtrack option where you can choose which songs play and how often so it’s probably worth finding that.

As always the replay value here is basically endless. You can keep playing basketball games for days without getting old. No two games are be same and you’ve got a bunch of extra modes as well like the custom player mode and your traditional franchise option. You can practice as well or face off against a friend. Basically as long as you like the basketball gameplay the you’re set. While you can always get a newer version instead you really can’t go wrong for 1-2 dollars. How many other games will give you this much content?

Overall, NBA2K13 is definitely another winner to add to your collection. I’m now getting close to the end of the NBA games. There are 6 left but only 3 2K titles left so then I’ll need to get used to the other styles for Basketball again. Should be nostalgic to go back to the big NBA titles. They may not be the most realistic ones but I have to admit that between the fast paced nature of the games and the nostalgia goggles I’m always wearing, I don’t think NBA will ever be beat.

Overall 8/10

NBA 2K15 Review


Yes guys, it is Basketball time once more! I’m still not the biggest 2K fan out there, but I will admit that they spared no expense with this one. There’s even more content than usual and of course the graphics are really good as always. There’s really nothing to dislike here so as long as you like Basketball then you’re gonna be in for a pretty great experience.

As always I started out with the classic Play Now mode. It’s always a good way to quickly get used to the controls and just get yourself acquainted with the game. I’m still not quite ready to take on the higher difficulties here as normal mode is enough for the computers to start to overwhelm me. I was doing pretty good, but gradually the small lead the computer had kept getting bigger and bigger. By the end of the game it was a genuine blowout. I tried adjusting mid-game but it’s definitely easier said than done.

The main issue here is the fact that on offense I am definitely not guaranteed to score and that’s always a bad thing since I can’t really stop the computer all that consistently. Sure, I can stop them here and there, but they score almost every time and I’m typically scoring 50% of the time. It’s odd that I’m missing so much so In know that I’m getting something wrong as opposed to the shot% just being really low here. It seems like there is some kind of shot meter like in some of the newer NBA games only it is invisible unlike those. So make sure you’re timing your shots since that seems important.

Even with that it is tough to get the shots because you need to learn how the mechanics work for all the various situations. A lot of times I would try to get a shot off but the player would try to dodge someone so the shot didn’t go off. It definitely takes a lot of practice. You also can’t get away with the risky passes you might have tried in the normal NBA games because here they’ll steal the ball almost every time. The defense is relentless.

On the other hand, it’s hard to stop the team when they’re on offense. Most of the time you’re just hoping that they’ll miss the shot and you can get the rebound. Of course, rebounds are really tough here. On one hand I almost always got the rebounds when I would miss a shot, but by the same token they would tend to get their own rebounds as well. Defense just felt almost impossible at times, but that’s usually how it is for me.

So, I decided to play some more of the bonus content here that I usually don’t really touch upon. One of these was the franchise mode. In this one you start out as a new recruit in college and you play one game before the actual draft starts. It’s pretty interesting since you’re an actual player so you can’t just keep on jumping around like you would in a normal game. You have to just play the game as a selfish player constantly asking for the ball or just waiting for your opportunity. I tried being selfish since it’s not like I was going to be playing this for a long time anyway. I ended up getting an F grade….so that didn’t work out well.

From there you go to the draft and then some actual interviews which was pretty interesting. I do love the concept as this makes the realism grow to even greater heights. It’s hard to imagine the games getting even more realistic than this. It’s the full draft experience, but the one thing I don’t like is that you can’t skip the cutcenes. You get 3 interviews back to back and I like how you have different options for your answers, but it is very long so if you don’t care and just want to get into the action you’ll be waiting for quite a while.

Meanwhile the graphics are naturally top tier as always. You won’t have any complaints here for sure. The players are naturally on point and on model. The court is clear and a lot of effort was put in here as per usual. The soundtrack is definitely less inspired. It’s pretty much the same as per usual but either way you’re in it for the Basketball right? The soundtrack would just be a bonus.

There’s pretty much endless replay value here as you can keep on playing the various basketball matches or you can jump into these various franchise modes. I probably prefer the classic Basketball gameplay the best, but I do think the novelty of sticking to one player could definitely be a lot of fun as well. I don’t know about being pulled out of the game though, that seems like it would be annoying pretty quick. Then of course you’ve also got the PS3 trophies to earn so you’ll definitely be here for a while. I didn’t try the online, but since this is 2K15 I wonder if the servers are still up. I definitely don’t know for sure though so don’t count on the online still being active just in case.

Overall, NBA 2K15 is probably the definitive installment in the 2K series. At least from the ones I’ve played. The gameplay still isn’t quite as fast paced or intense as the NBA ones in my opinion. It’s definitely a very different take and for longtime fans of the 2K series I’m sure they’ll love it. It’ll take a little longer for the normal NBA fans to get into it of course, but once you do then you’ll see the great amount of depth that is to be found here. I’d recommend picking this one up and soon I’ll be playing the older installments so it’ll be fun to see how the game has evolved over the years.

Overall 8/10

Toejam & Earl Back in The Groove Review


It’s time to look at a sequel to a game that came out quite a long time ago. I know the name of Toe Jam & Earl because of how crazy a title that sounds. Beyond that I can’t say that I know almost anything else about the franchise. You don’t really need to know much else though because the plot isn’t all that expansive. It doesn’t seem to matter whether or not you played the other games as you’ll quickly understand what is happening anyway. The gameplay is definitely pretty unique, I wouldn’t say that it’s all that good, but I suppose I can see the appeal if you’re playing with friends or something.

The basic plot of the game is that Jam and Earl are on a spaceship with the two heroines. They’re ready to finally head back to Earth, but by mistake they press the black hole button and end up sending themselves and the planet into another dimension. They must now recover all of their rocket parts in order to head back home, but that will not be an easy ordeal. No, if anything it may just be the hardest thing they’ve ever had to do, but the toughest choices require the strongest wills. They will have to be careful as the humans would like nothing better than to destroy the aliens who messed up Earth.

Now I’ll describe the gameplay so follow along as best you can. The game starts you off on a level with an overhead view. On the level you have a bunch of interact-able objects which include humans, demons, creatures, bushes, trees, houses, phones, etc. To get off of the level and onto the next one you have to hop in an elevator. It will take you to the next level. Also, keep in mind that the levels are used much like in the real world so by “Level 2” I’m saying that you are one floor higher. The game has 25 levels and the goal is to reach the end while obtaining 10 rocket parts. If you don’t have the 10 rocket parts by the time you reach the top then you have to go back down to find them. To get back to an earlier level just keep jumping off the level and one by one you’ll get down. You can also take an evil elevator to go down by one, but that’ll hurt your health a lot. Keep in mind that villains can also knock you back down floors so then you have to run to the elevators again.

The levels each have a map which automatically appears when you start, but it is all covered in fog until you move around. Every square of the map that you explore will give you 50 XP. When you level up you randomly get an increase to 3 of your stats from the local wiseman. These stats include speed, (Easily the most important stat) health, luck, present skill, and a few others. You get 300 XP every time you open a present, but they are always risky. One present is a bomb that will cause you to instantly lose a life. Another one is a thunder cloud that will follow you around for a long period of time until you lose a life, etc. Others are good as they give you a speed boost or some health back.

These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gameplay mechanics. It’s a lot easier to understand once you’re actually playing compared to when you hear about it. Basically the goal is to go through all of these levels and dodge the enemies. You can’t fight back except for when you have certain items so really it’s like a stealth game. Just dodge everyone and try not to get hit. Problem is that you’re slower than just about all of the enemies so you need to always be prepared to jump into the water to avoid them. Don’t drown though as your air meter goes down real quick.

There’s not a whole lot to do here though which is the big issue for the game. As I mentioned there are 25 levels, but that’s it. Some levels can take you seconds to beat while others are significantly longer. I managed to beat all of the levels in what’s considered the tutorial arrangement, made it to 13 in Fixed Mode and 15 in Random. Still, even as the names switch it is the same levels each time. It has the feel of an arcade game as you just play it over and over to get a high score. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the game feels a lot more like a free to play than a modern PS4 title that you would pay for. You can potentially finish this game in around an hour.

There’s no real replay value unless you really love the gameplay style. Your progress is always deleted once you get a game over so aside from remembering your level or how quickly you beat them all there isn’t even a record to try and break. That’s one of the things you would at least expect to have when you’re playing the same campaign over and over. After the opening cinematic the plot is also over so you won’t see anything else until you beat the game. You also won’t see the ending unless you beat the game in Fixed or Random mode. Basically, it would be fair to say that the game doesn’t really have a story.

Based on the trophies it does seem like the game is mostly geared for multiplayer though. You can play the levels online which allows randoms to join your game. That should make the levels a lot easier to beat even if it will make things more chaotic. I wonder how the screens would work there like if the 4 players have to stay on the same level or if you can divide and conquer. I’m sure that would add a little more flavor to the game, but multiplayer can theoretically do that with any game.

I think at the very least there are 3 main improvements I would have the game do to really make a difference. One it to get rid of the auto death from the presents. The presents shouldn’t have the risk of destroying you in one hit for using them. Why make the presents that risky? It’s very hard to live without them especially since they are your main source of XP, but completely dying from one seems unfair. (Yeah, I died from one…) Another part that is lacking a bit is the constant loading screens. This may be unavoidable depending on the budget, but every time you go inside the elevator you have to sit through a long loading screen as the elevator goes up and the hero makes some snarky comments about it. These are unskippable and while they aren’t quite Sonic 2006 level, they happen a lot more frequently. Put it this way, every playthrough you are guaranteed at least 25 loading screens minimum. That’s a bit much. For number 3, I would add actual save points. I don’t think dying should erase all of your progress. I understand that this is a game decision though, but it’s one that I would have changed.

As far as the graphics go, they look like the online computer games you would play as McAfee. (Probably spelled a little different) You could easily see these kind of graphics in online computer games form 10-15 years ago and definitely can’t compete with modern ones. To an extent the graphics are likely intentionally old to mirror the retro style the game is going for though. It’s extremely undetailed and looks more like a NES game than a PS4 title, but as an artistic choice it’s not terrible. It won’t take you out of the game or anything. The soundtrack is pretty limited, but the tunes aren’t bad. It definitely gives you the feel of the game right away.

Overall, Toe Jam & Earl is definitely a unique game as I mentioned. The name is still a little hard to actually say with a straight face so I’ll mostly be sticking to calling it Jam & Earl IRL. It feels more like an experience game or one of those really old arcade style titles but without the high scores. The gameplay is fun enough, but there wasn’t a lot of incentive to keep going. At least it’s not really my cup of tea but if you want a shot of nostalgia and grew up with the series then I’m sure you’ll like it. While there isn’t a whole lot of content the game can still last you for quite a long while if you just keep replaying it a lot. I’d sooner recommend Asdivine Hearts and Owlboy though. I’ll wait for the next re imagining of Jam & Earl to see if this franchise can really make its mark on the industry.

Overall 5/10

Star Wars Rogue Squadron III: Rebel Strike Review


All right guys, this is a milestone game. It’s my final entry in the Star Wars series! There’s still one or two games I need to get someday, but now I have at least beaten all of the ones that I own. Rebel Strike is definitely a good one to ends things off with. It’s not the best Star Wars game by a longshot, but it’s definitely a quality title all the same. It’s a classic aerial shooter title with some ground elements thrown in as well. While those parts feel more button spammy than the rest it does help make the game feel more complete.

The game’s plot roughly covers the trilogy as per usual. It seems to start with the second movie rather than the first though, I’m guessing Rogue Squadron II probably covered that one. The Rebels are losing ground against the Empire so their only chance is for a young jedi named Luke and another aerial fighter to take back their home and win the war. During the game you get to pick your path as you progress through the story. Depending on which level you pick will determine which character you play as. It’s a pretty interesting way to go forward for sure.

There are around 10-12 levels in the game although if you pay through all of the routes then you can add a few more levels. (Only 2 routes and 4 levels are shared) Most of the levels have the normal aerial combat gameplay. It’s pretty fun as usual although definitely a lot less polished than the others ones I played which is almost odd. Good luck trying to lock on to anyone as the enemies move too quickly. There was a long tutorial level to start the game off so maybe I missed a few things, but it seems to be like there may not even be a traditional lock on. The enemies also camouflage into the space sky really quick. It’s hard to get a read on them so at times the best thing to do is to just blast wildly. You can also turn infra red on which helps but it doesn’t look quite as fun when used for long periods of time. That said, I’d give a thumbs up to the gameplay overall.

The next gameplay style in the game is the human combat. This is the best part of the whole game so it’s a shame that it only shows up 2-3 times. You basically play as Luke or Han and go around blasting people. It’s definitely a style where spamming the A button is enough to get you through, but it’s very satisfying. It’s extremely simple and feels like you’re back in the arcade. Just run around blasting everyone until you get to the end of the level. There’s nothing more that you need to get to the end and if you ask me that’s exactly how it should be.

Finally you have one level where you’re on a scooter. This is the worst level in the game so I’m glad it only popped up once. The goal is to ride to the end of the level and take out all of the scouts along the way. There are about 11 and then one that you can’t beat until the cutscene plays. The level is annoying for a bunch of reasons, but one of those is the fact that the level explicitly tells you to eliminate all of the enemies. It even gives you an attack to help with that. So what’s the scam? Well, if you attack them then they start attacking back and they’re a lot stronger than you. The best way to win this one is to actually not even try ramming into them. If you just fly peacefully to the end you can just turn right and left and the guys will fall into trees. It feels cheesy and I doubt it is really the intended option. This level just wasn’t made all that well.

The graphics here are pretty good. We actually get some scenes from the movie as well which is always pretty fun. The space levels are a little hard because of how everything is covered by the shadows. I don’t really think this was intended so I will say that this does hold the graphics back a bit though. As for the soundtrack, it’s all themes that you’ve already heard a few hundred times before. They’re still good, but there’s nothing really new to talk about here. Star Wars uses the old themes as a crutch so I look forward to hearing some new tunes once that EA game comes out in the near future.

There isn’t much replay value here, but it’s still a little better than some of the other games. You can go back and play the other paths to experience the full story. There are also some unlockables and you can try to earn a gold medal. Ultimately this may not be a whole lot so I would say to keep that in mind. The main campaign is only a few hours long as well so this is the kind of game that won’t really last very long. That means that the gameplay has to be tight and I thought it was. As long as you like aerial fighter games then you’ll be fine.

Overall, Star Wars Rebel Strike is definitely a good one to get. It’s to be expected though since it did come out for Gamecube. That console is still the ultimate gaming machine and I don’t expect that will ever change. It was really a pivotal moment in gaming history. Star Wars Rebel Strike may ultimately be lacking a little polish in some areas, but its core fundamentals are strong and that’s what counts. If you haven’t played this game yet then it’s worth buying, especially if you can find it for a good price. If it’s overpriced and out of print then I would just suggest getting a different Star Wars title. Most of them have a similar feel to this one so the price is key.

Overall 7/10

American Chopper 2: Full Throttle Review


It’s time to look at a driving game that I’ve had on the backlog for a long time. I’ve tried playing through it several times in the past but I could never get past the first level. I’m not really sure why since when I played it this time I didn’t find the level to be challenging. Ah well, I’m guessing I just didn’t understand the objective of the game. It’s a pretty decent title, but one with no real replay value and the lack of content holds it back a star.

There is a basic plot in the game. There is a big motorcycle contest coming up and the 4 main characters each want to build a bike to win the contest. Naturally none of them get along which leads to a lot of bickering among them. This contest is the way to prove who has the best plan and strategy towards winning. Will it really be that simple though? There are little cutscenes before most of the levels which is pretty fun. I like the voice acting here as all of the characters are a bit over the top with their monotone voice, but it’s really what stitches everything together quite nicely.

One thing that will take you out of the plot a bit is the fact that the final contest is apparently a team one. So this means that everyone gets to win and team up together. That kind of defeats the purpose right? At least to me it felt that way. I guess it gives us the happy ending this way though as now they all get along and look forward to the next season. I do admit that I probably wouldn’t watch this kind of show, but maybe I would pick up a sequel game if the price was right.

So for the gameplay it’s your classic driving title. You’re on a motorcycle and you either have to win a race, collect objects, or make it to a specific destination in time. You don’t have to worry about falling off the bike unlike most other game of this genre so that is appreciated. It lets you focus a little more on the actual driving and just having fun. That’s always the preferred option if you ask me. The driving is very simplistic so you should have it mastered pretty easily. The levels are never all that difficult and the only times you will have trouble is when the directions are vague.

One point against the game is the fact that you can never look at a full map. This will result in you taking the wrong path sometimes in the level and then you’ll lose. One annoying thing about how the levels are set up is that if you lose a mission in the level you have to start the whole thing from scratch. Some levels are fairly short so it’s not really an issue but others can be up to 10 minutes. You never want to have to restart such a large portion. It would have been a lot more annoying if I had actually been losing. Since I only lost a few times it wasn’t too bad, but it’s one of those design choices that I can’t say I’m a big fan of.

The graphics are definitely pretty good. It’s got that classic Gamecube feel to it which has always aged well. The character designs are on point and I like how the bikes look. Once in a while you’ll get a character model that doesn’t load in time so you have to count on your reaction times to dodge. That’s to be expected I suppose. The soundtrack is definitely not great though and the songs aren’t even properly set up to last for the whole level. As a result you’ll come across parts of a level that are completely silent which is always a bit iffy. Music should always last for as long as it needs to.

There are 24 levels in the game as each of the 4 characters gets 6. After that you will end up playing the “Final” level where you have to play as all 4 characters in the game. I’m thinking this story will take you around 2-3 hours tops so that’s not very long. After that there really isn’t anything to do. Sure, you can go back to replay the old levels again and have fun doing that, but is it really what you want to do? It’s not like you’ll be unlocking any more stages or any of that so there isn’t much point. That’s what hurts the game, there is 0 replay value so the question is simply whether you even want to buy this one when you can get Need For Speed.

Again, I do have to stress that the gameplay is pretty good. The racing controls are on point and even if the game may seem a little too easy, I do think some good work was put into the controls. The story is pretty entertaining and you’ll like all of the characters pretty well before long. It’s a quite solid game, but I just wish there was a little more to it. Throw in a map and more specific instructions and then you’d have really had a winner here.

Overall, American Chopper is definitely a pretty wholesome experience. It’s better than some of the other motorcycle games that I’ve played and I am glad that it does actually have a story. Some of the missions are so outlandish that it makes them work even more than you’d expect. You never really know what the main characters are going to do next and maybe that is how it should be. They keep you guessing all the way through even if you ultimately might end up rooting for someone else instead. Can’t root for the heroes every time right? With this game done I don’t think I’ll be playing another racing game for a bit. Then it’s probably time to delve back into the world of Need For Speed!

Overall 6/10

College Hoops 2K7 Review


It’s time to play my first 2k title in quite a while. People really tend to like this series quite a bit even though I’ve never been a particularly big fan of it. 2k definitely feels more realistic with its controls but as a result it is a lot slower and less intuitive. You won’t be able to just run up to the basket and score here. Instead you will be having to think or plays and strategies if you want to win.

Despite being a different series 2k has most of the usual modes that you would expect to see. One of these is a simple quick match of course and then you’ve got the season mode. You can practice your skills as well and as you play you will unlock achievements. This was a welcome addition to the game even if the achievements don’t necessarily translate into trophies. This may have been before that era as I don’t think I got any trophies despite beating quite a few achievements. Hey, it’s not easy landing 3 3 point shots in a row!

The graphics definitely look pretty good here as well. I’d say that 2K is going for a bit of a grittier look than the NBA titles and since it’s a college title it makes sense that it would be a little less refined than the NBA stadiums. The game definitely still holds up though. There’s not much of a soundtrack as per usual but that’s not a really big deal.

As I mentioned earlier the gameplay is a lot more difficult here. Don’t expect to jump to the highest difficulty level and take names as you might in the other version. Here even the default difficulty will show you no mercy as it goes in for the win. I found that the best thing to do if you can stop the opponent at times is to simply go for 3 point shots. You’ll make more than you miss and the fact that you get more points than the basic shot will balance things out. Of course the key part here is being able to stop the computer consistently. If you can’t do that then this will only lead to your inevitable demise. If you can’t stop them and have to resort to a shoot out then you need to win the battles inside the paint. Go with quick passes to dunks or close shots. Those have a good success rate and at that point you just have to watch out for steals. I don’t really know how to prevent them but the quicker you release the ball the more likely it is that you’ll be okay.

I’m not all that familiar with how college basketball rules differ from the NBA but it does seem like there are only two quarters (called halfs) rather than 4. Maybe that’s just a game thing but I feel like it’s unlikely the video game would change up the rules like that. It’s a lot more likely that at the college level they just switched it up. This may also determine how much you enjoy the game since a lot of NBA fans don’t necessarily care about the college level and vice versa. You may not be quite as invested in a game that has the same gameplay as one of your favorites but without the character. As long as you’re just a big fan of the sport in general you should be fine though.

Overall, This is a pretty solid Basketball game. As always you can play this for a long time without getting bored as there is a good amount of replay value and every match is a little different. At the same time if you are a casual basketball player then this game will likely get frustrating at times because of how relentless the computer is. They definitely won’t be cutting you a break here that’s for sure. You can buy the game for a buck or two so check it out and let me know if it does best the NBA titles for you.

Overall 7/10

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Review


It’s time to look at a Mario game that came out quite a while ago. This was back during the first days of the Switch. I nearly got the game back then, but ultimately Fire Emblem Warriors won out and so this one took the backseat for a long time. After finally playing it I can definitely confirm that this game is a lot of fun. The plot may not be all that solid, but as every other aspect of the game is on point it's definitely easy to get into this one. There aren't a whole lot of strategy games quite like this one.

The main plot is that the Rabbids have infected Mario's world. They are contaminating everything and in particular this can be traced back to one Rabbid who has on a pair of glasses that allows him to manipulate reality. It'll be tough for Mario and pals to deal with this, but they are ready nonetheless. Bowser Jr. wants this rabbid for his own purposes as well though so the heroes will have to contend with him. Fortunately Mario and the gang have arm cannons now so they can blast away at any who would dare oppose them. It's definitely handy to have a long range weapon like this.

So in this game you control 3 characters at a time. You're put on an overhead map much like Fire Emblem and the goal is to strike at the enemies. Well, most levels are about defeating all of the enemies but some are simply about getting to the goal at the end. It's a turn based system and when it's your turn you are able to make a movement, launch an attack, and use a special ability. Once you've finished moving all 3 of your fighters then the opponent gets to have their turn. The villains can sometimes have up to 8 people on a team so they get a lot of turns in a row. Ideally you want to always be hiding behind a rock or something as otherwise they'll finish you off very quickly.

You always want to be thinking one or more turns ahead of the match. You also have to take into account that there are some variable features to look out for like critical hits or moves that have a special element to them. Usually it will work in your favor, but that won't always be the case. I hadn't played an Xcom game quite as advanced as this one before. The one I had played previously was on the GBA and it's definitely not as intricate. I can definitely confirm that I like this system. It's pretty fun and definitely challenging. You won't be fast blasting through this game so easily.

That said, as long as you patiently look at the enemy patterns then you'll be okay. I certainly did die a few times along the way, but after a loss you will always have a better idea of what to expect the second time around. Usually my plan was to keep my 3 members pretty close to each other so we'd overwhelm the opponents when they got close. My go to team was Mario, Peach, and Rabbid Peach. With two healers on your team you're ready to go for the win. Not to mention that the healers can also survive on their own for a while. There are multiple battles where 2 of my teammates died and I was fighting 2v1 or 3v1.

One of the most hype moments came during the final boss battle as rabbid Peach was the only one left against 4 of the big bruisers and the final boss. It was intense and it took me 22 turns because I had to rely on running and gunning it, but it all worked out. It was definitely a pretty intense boss battle. I did manage to beat it in one try, but it's no walk in the park. Going slow was really all I could do in order to ensure that I got the victory.

I also tried other characters along the way like Luigi and Yoshi. Luigi's pretty handy, but he feels like a glass cannon. Often times he would be the first one to be defeated. Then you've got Yoshi who is pretty good and a nice power hitter, but I just really needed two healers on my team. Only having one made things tricky. That's also because Peach tends to hit people with collateral damage a lot. I really love her high attack power, but with her eagle eye skill she would end up hitting me pretty much as often as she would hit the villains. The damage adds up very quickly and she is partially why Mario died after 1-2 turns in the final boss level. Gotta keep an eye on her cannon.

The graphics are definitely pretty sharp here. The colors are vibrant and the cutscenes that we get look really good. I can't say that I'm surprised since Ubisoft always runs a pretty tight ship. The same can be said for Mario games in general so there was no way this one wasn't going to look good. The soundtrack isn't quite as good as most Mario games, but maybe that's the Rabbid influence. It works well enough I suppose.

There's definitely a lot of replay value here as beating the story is just the beginning. There are many challenges to conquer and new areas to explore. There are also a lot of collectibles scattered across the levels so getting those will take a while. The main story is also pretty long. It's hard to say how long it took me to complete this one but it was at least 10 hours and likely quite a bit more. My Switch won't show the play time yet since it's still too new, but it'll show soon and then I'll upload that stat to the rankings. The game has also had quite a bit of DLC so you've got a good amount of content to work through once you play this title.

While the plot is still "Mario" I do appreciate the fact that there is a lot more dialogue than usual here. It gives the characters more personality and I'd like to see more of this in an actual Mario platformer title. The extra story details and such would definitely help and without the Rabbids to distract you it could really go far. Fans of Bowser may be a little sad at his portrayal here, but while he doesn't look tough it was nice to see him as the considerate father figure to Bowser Jr. In general Bowser always seems like a nice guy aside from the whole kidnapping Peach thing. Not really something you can overlook though.

Overall, Mario + Rabbids is definitely a successful experiment. Of course, that's mainly attributed to the gameplay. I'd definitely like to see more Mario games adopt this style. I can see how it would be a little tough for kids, but they do have an assist built into all of the levels where you can start the match with extra health for all of the characters. I think that should help the kids get through it a little easier. I definitely recommend not using that feature though because it will take away from your ability to adapt to the level. If you've got a crutch like extra health then you simply won't see the point in honing your skills. If you haven't played this game yet then you should change that. It'll give you a run for your money.

Overall 8/10