4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

NFL Head Coach 09 Review


It’s time to take a look at a very different Football game. I’ve always enjoyed the Madden games as well as the 2K versions and pretty much any other football game. Unfortunately Head Coach is the first Football game that I did not enjoy. I would actually have to give this one a negative score because it’s just not any fun. The title is a giveaway so I knew what I was getting myself into. Still, I did expect the developers to do something to spice things up here. It’s really a very straightforward coaching game.

You can jump into a career or a quick game to see what it’s like. I chose the quick game option but there is nothing “quick” about it. One half took about 30-40 minutes and that was pretty surprising. A normal Madden game is way shorter. I believe it’s because this game uses 15 minute quarters like the real sport while Madden typically has 5 minute quarters. I always understood why the games don’t do 15 minute quarters and this game proves it. It makes the games incredibly long and while you may have fun if you’re in the match, being a coach doesn’t offer the same level of immersion. What happens is you get to select the plays before each action.

Then you watch the computers carry out your play. Rinse and repeat as you go through the game. Honestly it’s basically no different than watching two computers play each other and I dare say that it’s worse. Choosing the next play just slows things down. Since you know the A.I. is probably going to mess up your play you’d rather they just take the wheel. I’m sure this gameplay style will have its fans, but I am not one of them. Each play takes so long and you can just pick random plays so you can do this with your eyes close. Ultimately the game seems to heavily rely on luck/RNG so it’s not like your picking does a whole lot.

The graphics aren’t bad. It looks more like PS2 than PS3 so I’m thinking that this game was more low budget compared to the main title. Nothing wrong with that of course, if anything it does add a layer of nostalgia to the title. Even that was not enough to really help the game in the long run though. The presentation isn’t nearly as good as Madden either since we miss out on most of the festivities. You get to have the coach yell out plays and praise/insult the team depending on how things go. This gets old pretty quick though and I’d rather have the announcers yelling out the play by play.

There’s a lot of replay value here technically. You can start a career as a coach and that’ll last you a very long time. It never even really needs to end. At the same time, this is all with the same gameplay style. You’ll likely end up not playing through every game at some point. I got this game for a few bucks in Florida many years ago so it’s not like it cost a whole lot. I’m not sure if I would call it the worst mainstream sport game, but it really could be. Naturally the golf games are also up there and I’m not a fan of some of the newer Baseball titles. I’ll be playing a lot of Baseball soon though so maybe that’ll help my fundamentals.

There’s not a whole lot of other things to do here. You’ve already basically heard the entire gameplay which in a way is pretty scary. There are other things you can do between plays like subbing out players and calling timeouts. That is really the extent of the gameplay though. I was hoping there was a mode where you could become a player, but I suppose that would be an odd choice since it would then become a normal Madden game. Even if I would have liked that as an option I suppose I see why it was not added in. That would have been pretty awesome though.

Overall, NFL Head Coach 09 is probably the most boring game I’ve ever played. It’s not like it has poorly designed levels or puzzles to make the game bad. There’s not really any “bad” features in this title. The only issue I have with it is that the game just isn’t any fun to play. I can’t find any joy in leaving it up to the computers. I feel like the whole point of playing a game is to use my skills to make a difference. What difference am I making if I’m just letting the computers take the reins? There’s a reason why they don’t make Head Coach games anymore and I’m betting that it’s because people got burned out. You can only play this kind of game for so long before you throw in the towel. There is one more Head Coach game for the PS2, but realistically I doubt I will ever play that game. If it turns up for a dollar or two I’d quickly purchase it, but otherwise that’s a no go from me.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Tennis Review


It’s time to take a look at a SNES game that actually has not aged well. So far the games have been pretty solid with good gameplay and nice artwork. Unfortunately this game breaks the streak pretty decisively. This just isn’t a fun game and it’s probably the worst SNES game I’ve played.

When you jump into the game you are able to play quick battles with the computer or jump into circuit mode. There is also a multiplayer option you can try out here. There aren’t a lot of modes but you shouldn’t be expecting a whole lot anyway since this game did come out a while back. The modes aren’t an issue since the ones that we got are the key ones. The issue here is purely the gameplay and since that is arguably the most important aspect of a game it hurts quite a lot. It’s like the game is trying to be super precise with where you hit the ball and the technology just wasn’t there yet.

The goal of the game is to hit the ball into the opponents side of the court. If they are unable to hit the ball before if bounces back then you win the point. You just can’t hit the ball too far or you lose the point, too low, or too far to the side. That really limits your options but most tennis games do a pretty good job of letting you in control without hitting the ball out of bounds the whole time. In a way it’s ambitious of the game to not put any safety into the controls. If you hold right too hard then you will hit it out. In most games you have to try really hard to hit it out of bounds. It’s just that this makes it very difficult for you to actually play for any stretch of time. The only shot that seems to work is hitting the ball to the middle of the court and the computer always seems to hit those back anyway.

I did get a few points from when he would occasionally miss but it wasn’t very often at all. Typically the computer would just come back swinging and demolish me. You’ve also got to react quickly or try to predict the next play because you can’t run to the shot fast enough if you wait to see it. The computer will drop a quick ball near the front which falls almost immediately. The key is to just run on instinct but of course that ends up backfiring if he does a normal shot. The whole thing just feels futile at times, but I’m sure there is a trick. Games aren’t made to be unwinnable and people found ways to claim victory somehow. I just wasn’t able to figure out just how to do this.

In terms of graphics the game isn’t bad. It’s pretty much par for the course and while it won’t be making a case for best looking SNES game, there are definitely worse titles than this one. The game makes sure that you can see the tennis ball at all times and the court looks pretty reasonable. All in all I’d say that the graphics are the least of this game’s problems.

Even though this game is free I just don’t see you playing it for very long. After you play a few games they’ll all basically feel the same. The lack of variety isn’t surprising but with the gameplay at this level it becomes a bigger issue. You could just go and buy a newer tennis game for a dollar or two and that would go a long way.

Overall, Super Tennis definitely fell way below expectations. It’s hard to even call it a fun Tennis game because it just didn’t have good gameplay. Solid gameplay is a must for a title like this and you never feel like you’re n control. I wasn’t able to even take a single game out of all the sets I played against the CPU. That was definitely not my best moment. There is one more Super sport coming up in this collection so I’ll definitely be trying that one soon. I assume it’ll beat this one but I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

One Punch Man: Road To Hero Review


It’s time to look at one of the weaker mobile games that I’ve ever played. There are many mobile games out there and I realize that there’s probably a ton of low effort titles. I’ve just been fortunate enough to only play the solid ones so far as I mainly stick to franchise games or ones that I’ve heard good things about. Well, I took the plunge with One Punch Man and I was surprised at how bad it was. A lot of mistakes were made here. It’s one thing to not be very Free to Play friendly as that’s not ideal, but a decision I can accept. Basically eliminating gameplay? I dunno about that one.

The game basically covers the first season of the show. I wouldn’t be surprised if they add in season 2 eventually through updates or something. Each chapter seems to cover an episode. There are 15 chapters so I’m wondering if some filler is thrown in towards the end or maybe there already is some season 2 lurking about. Regardless you won’t be able to enjoy the story much. The best parts of it are probably the stock images taken from the show so it at least feels like you’re living the show’s adventures on your own. The problem here is the gameplay and here’s why.

It’s automatic. Most mobile games give you the ability to let the A.I. control your players as you do something else. That’s not new and it’s a great feature, but it’s usually something you have to turn on and it’s certainly optional. In One Punch, you never actually get to control the characters. They attack automatically and the only form of interaction you get is to choose when they use their final smashes. It’s not exciting at all and I don’t want to be watching the computers playing each other for long periods of time. The battles also feel a lot slower as a result and you can’t help, but feel that you could have done a better job if you were behind the wheel. The computers just can’t keep up.

That’s my main gripe with the game, but I consider it to be a big one since you’re not going to be playing a game with what you’d consider to be a poor gameplay style. There’s also not much reason to unlock the other characters since it’s not as if you’ll get to play them anyway. That does bring me to the next point though which is that the game is going to be an extreme grind fest. In most of these gatcha games you head to the store and summon allies using points and gems that you’ve accumulated. That’s what you would expect to be the case here right? Well, you do get some gems, but you don’t summon characters. You summon parts of a character. Once you’ve collected all of the parts then you’ll actually unlock the characters. The problem is that all of the parts are randomly thrown in the generator as is the norm for these games.

So it’ll be a long time before you actually get the characters unless you’re ready to spend a little green. At least in the other games you could count on the fact that you would get a character each time you summon, not just a part. To this day Dr Mario World did it the best as you get characters each time and whenever you get a duplicate they are turned into a level. When your character is maxed out then he is taken out of the pool and that’s really just the right thing to do. Keeping them in the pool means a waste of time when you draw them.

As a result this whole game feels like a waste of time. I played through the first two episodes but even that was a drag by the end. Of course they throw in a bunch of time waster fights against random grunts to keep you busy until you face off against the boss. It’s not like there is a lot of content so they have to make do with these stall tactics. It’s not a great way to keep players interested in your game though. At least the graphics are decent. Definitely not nearly as good as the average mobile game, but I still wouldn’t say that it looks bad.

One good thing about the game is the soundtrack. The main menu theme is absolutely popping and it’s something you can definitely jazz to. More good tunes like that may not have been able to save the game, but at least it gives you something to come back to. After all it is free so the title has that going for it. Of course, once I delete an app game I’ve never gone back and this one is no exception. There are simply better games to play and so this one doesn’t really have a spot in my future. It had a good run, but it’ll have to finish the sprint on its own.

Overall, Road To Hero is really the definition of a quick cash grab. There’s no part of this game that feels like it had a lot of heart. The developers just saw the brand and used it as a get rich quick scheme. That’s not a good thing and I’d advise staying away from this one. You’ll have a much better time with titles like Dragalia Lost, Dragon Ball Legends, or Fire Emblem. All of those have better gameplay styles and do a much better job of rewarding you for your gameplay. You don’t have to worry about only summoning part of a fighter. That was still the most shocking part of the whole game for me.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

RWBY: Crystal Match Review


It’s time to check out the latest app game on my agenda. As it’s a RWBY title I pre-ordered it a while ago and was ready to see what the franchise would bring to the table. Unfortunately it isn’t the most creative app game as it’s just another copy and paste gem matching title. There wasn’t a lot of bug testing and quality control here either as I was hit with a game breaking bug where I am no longer able to even access the game. I’ve tried deleting and re-installing the app several times to no avail so while I had intended to play through a few more worlds before doing the review…I’ll just have to do it now.

There isn’t really a plot here as you just jump into the game and have fun. As a tutorial of sorts Cinder and Neo do show you how to play the jewel game and depending on how you interpret this it is possible that you are actually playing as a member of the White Fang or something. You are fighting the RWBY characters after all, but since this is the Chibi cast it could all just be in good fun. There are over 400 levels available from launch which is pretty impressive and so this game will definitely last you for the long haul. The real question is really whether the game will be fun enough for you to still be playing it at that time.

It’s self explanatory on how to play the game but in case it isn’t there are multiple tutorials as you go through the first world. The goal is to match 3 of a single color of gems and once you have done that they get converted into energy. The goal of the game is to match all of the jewels that you need to conquer in this specific level. Sometimes you need to match the red ones and sometimes it’s the blue ones. Other times you have to defeat enemies by matching jewels next to the creature. Either way you should be good to go and while the gameplay may not sound amazingly simple here, you’ll definitely get the hang of it after a few rounds. There are more advanced techniques as well like matching jewels in an L shape or using bombs and other items to blast a lot of gems out of the way.

Every few levels there is another new mechanic added so by the end it will be quite a handful, but since they’re added so gradually it never feels too overstuffed. The graphics look pretty good. It’s nice to see the effects of the jewels turning into energy and the character models are very clear. It’s RWBY Chibi designs so you won’t be seeing the characters in their prime, but I suppose it’s about time that this part of the franchise got its turn in the spotlight. Unfortunately the game was unable to get the RWBY music or voices which is a little disappointing. In this day and age you’ve just come to expect this. Maybe not an app game from 5-6 years ago, but one today? It should have more than a random voice that congratulates you as you play.

This game just doesn’t feel like a whole lot of effort was put into it. Lollypop and Fruits Mania both feel more intuitive and less cluttered. Part of the problem here might be how the RWBY game already has a ton of content locked behind paywalls like characters and costumes. You can eventually earn the right to unlock some of these things in-game, but the amount of time the developers spent on this is likely what ends up hurting the gameplay. The loading times are quite long and that adds up when you’re playing dozens of levels. The low user base is pretty fun in one aspect though. I actually claimed the world record in quite a few stages before my account got corrupted. That was definitely pretty fun and I really would have played the game more if not for the glitch.

There’s a lot of content here so the replay value is definitely very real. You could play this game for many hours without any worries. There is an energy system in place but it won’t really become a concern until you are several worlds in and the levels get really difficult. At that point you’ll likely have an issue since each level drains so much out of the meter, but I guess you can’t win em all. They have to find some way to make you pay right?

Overall, RWBY: Crystal Match is a little disappointing. It’s mostly what you would expect the instant that you see the gems, but even then there are much older app games with the same premise that handle it a lot better. While the title is enjoyable, I can’t reasonably give the game a positive score while this glitch exists. The only way for me to get back in would have been to start an entirely new account which I was definitely not doing. I’m ready for the Pokemon Masters game because I really need a mobile title that I can sink my teeth into. In the meanwhile I’ll just have to be content with the memories I forged here I suppose. If you really want a matching game then you should download Fruits Mania instead.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

RWBY: Amity Arena Review


It’s time to take a look at the recent RWBY game that came out. No, not the super awesome Chinese one that arrived this year, but the watered down Tower Defense game that America got. I had pretty low hopes for this one from the start because Tower Defense just isn’t my cup of tea, but I figured I would give it a shot just in case it was good. Well, unfortunately it is not and the game is incredibly bare bones. There is little to no content to be had here so if the gameplay isn’t particularly fun then it’s dead on arrival. Lets look at the missed opportunity that is Amity Arena.

So what is a tower defense game? Well, you start off my assembling a team of 8 characters based on the cards you have. A typical starter pack is Ruby, Jaune, Yasuhashi, and a bunch of Grimm and Atlas soldiers. The game then loads you onto a small map. There are two mini generators and one big one on your side of the field and the same is on the opponent’s. You can your cards into battle to watch them run over to the opponent’s side while they do the same to you. You win as soon as the main generator is defeated, but if the time runs out then whoever destroyed more of the mini ones wins. If it’s a tie then nobody gets any rewards. That’s the whole game in a nutshell there. The matches don’t have a lot of variety since you’ll be using the same cards over and over for a very long time until you can buy others. Unfortunately you don’t get a whole lot of money per win either. This is definitely more of a P2W title than the other mobile games that I’ve played as of late.

There’s nothing wrong with a P2W title, I just want to put that out there. However, it can still be a little rough to see how small the rewards are. There’s not too much reason to keep playing if you’re F2P. Of course, I’d argue that there isn’t much reason to keep on playing regardless since there’s just not much to the game. Lets get away from the PVP mode for a second. What else is there to do? Well….nothing. There are no other modes aside from a practice mode where you just play against the A.I. to test out strategies. That’s the entire game. This is a game that is made for PVP. You can go to the shop and buy stuff, but that’s also it. There’s no story mode or galleries or anything like that. This game seems to have been made with no real budget which is a shame.

There’s only one good thing about this game and that’s how great the technicals are. First is the soundtrack. There are remixed themes for many of the songs from the first 4 volumes and maybe even some from volume 5. You at least get to hear a lot of cool tunes while playing. Still, if I wanted some music I would just boot up Youtube. Then we’ve also got the fact that the game looks really nice. There’s a lot of cool artwork here and the character models are on point. The aesthetic of the game makes it easy to look at and the colors are very vibrant. I feel like most of the effort went into making sure that the game looked veyr fancy and appealing. That’s certainly nice and I’m glad that the game doesn’t look ugly. Still, there isn’t a good reason to keep on playing this game if we’re talking about the gameplay. That’s what I’d say the disappointing part of this is. Even if you’re a tower defense game, couldn’t the developers have added a story mode? I’d keep playing if there was a story, but without one the game is sunk. Not all app games need a story of course, but if not then you have to have a lot of other modes to keep you busy. Say what you will about Pokemon Go, but there is enough content to keep you busy there for years. Not so for Amity Arena.

It doesn’t help that Amity Arena was completely glitched out for the day of release. Not a particularly good look although I’ll give the developers props for fixing it up with a patch by day 2. I’m sure they were all super stressed at that point. I’m sure the game will still make a reasonable amount of cash given how many micro transactions are in the game. People tend to eat that stuff up. I also do like that Pyrrha and Penny are currently the two top tier characters in the game. It’s a nice way for the fans to be able to remember those two at their best.

Overall, Amity Arena did not impress me. I dare say that it may be the weakest app game I’ve played since the Domino’s one and at least that one gave me real points so I could order a pizza pie. Amity Arena is just one of those games that seems to be made to earn a quick buck and doesn’t strive for much beyond that. You always want to make money as an app developer of course, but at least put in the effort to make this a complete title. Who knows, maybe they’ll improve the game and I’ll find myself back here one day, but as of right now the app is getting uninstalled as soon as I’ve finished uploading my stats page. Hopefully we can get the other RWBY game to show up soon since that one looks a lot more fun. It’s a fighting game for starters and does have an actual story. That’s two checks for that one. It may not have full voice acting and such like this one had, but there’s not all that much point to it with no story. There is a mysterious mode that is labeled as “Coming Soon” so lets keep our fingers crossed there.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Metal Arms Glitch in the System Review


It’s time to look at a third person sci-fi shooter. That likely sounds pretty good, but I’m afraid that the game was certainly more on the underwhelming side. The levels were poorly designed and the game isn’t always clear on what the objective is. Throw in the game’s crazy difficulty level and you have a title that is best left on the shelf. The 10 hours it takes you to complete the game will feel like forever, but at least you will get some satisfaction out of this achievement.

The story focuses on a robot named Glitch. All of his friends and family have been taken down by the Mills. This is a different robot faction that wants to conquer the whole universe. So far their plan has gone over quite well, but Glitch will fight to the last man. To do that he must find the leader of the enemies and also destroy as many bases and factories along the way as possible. It won’t be easy, but this guy has spunk and the will to make it happen.

First off, I have to say that the story is quite bad. One of the game’s big selling points is the strong language where almost everything has to get beeped out in certain cutscenes because of how intense everyone is. It’s certainly not a joke that works well and it’s stretched out so long that it simply never had a chance. It’s rare for me to say that the writing in a video game was bad, but this was definitely one of those times. You couldn’t wait for the cutscenes to end in these instances. I guess the only good part would be the stinger that sets up the sequel. The odds of us getting a sequel are virtually 0 at this point, but a person can dream right? A sequel could be good if the game was fixed from the ground up and I have a feeling that it would be. The plot and characters are another story of course, but there’s always a chance.

The main villain is wrecked by the end as well. For the whole game you are convinced that he is a very cunning and powerful leader. He had a secret agent infiltrate our ranks and considering his large army the guy must know what he is doing right? Well, we find out by the end that the guy can’t talk and just likes to beat his chest like King Kong. He has no real character and can’t think too well. It turns out that the right hand man was the real brains behind the operation but the game could have done that without wrecking the final boss. Meanwhile none of the heroes are any good except for Glitch. I’ll say that he was a reasonable lead. The game lightly tries to make him a Hal Jordan/Han Solo kind of guy except he rarely gets to talk so it’s hard to see that. With more of a presence in the story I think he would have worked quite well.

As for the gameplay, as I mentioned it’s a TPS. When you first start you only have Glitch’s main arm cannon. As the game goes on you get a variety of weapons including the 3 best ones, a Gatling Gun, Rockets, and a Sniper Explosive. There’s also the Shotgun, but it’s basically useless until you upgrade it to level 3. At that point it becomes the best weapon in the game, but the ammo runs out almost instantly. I highly recommend upgrading all of your weapons, but getting the parts to do it can be tricky. You also always want to keep some money on hand in case you need to buy some health during a level. The levels are typically platformer style so you have to get to the end while fulfilling some kind of objectives. Keep blasting and the way will be known to you. If you pause the game you will also see a vague mission outline as well which can help you if you’re stuck. The game’s pretty dark so make sure your TV screen has a nice brightness level or you’ll really be in a pickle.

There are 42 levels in the game and it should take you around 10 hours to complete them. After that you can go back and find all of the secret chips to unlock extra multiplayer levels. Naturally as this game has such a multiplayer mode the replay value here is basically limitless. I’m sure it’ll be a blast too since the only thing holding the single player mode back was really the insane difficulty and glitches so the title could live up to its name. If you leave your vehicle behind be prepared to restart the level. Same thing happens if you leave an explosive behind. Also watch out for making it to a checkpoint with low health because you may end up dying quite a lot as you try to survive. Sometimes it’s better to just re-start the whole level. I actually had to replay the first 5 levels again because I initially played the game on normal mode before having to go back to Easy. This game simply didn’t play.

Making matters worse is the fact that 1-2 levels can’t be completed if you go in swinging. You had to play the levels with no guns equipped so the robots wouldn’t shoot at you. There’s almost no way to know that in advance so it feels a little cheap. I cheesed a few levels by just making a beeline for the goal. I had quite a few close shaves there. Now, this isn’t to say that difficulty is a bad thing. Games should be hard and you want a good challenge. However, this difficulty just feels cheap as you die to a few hits or the enemies infinitely respawn. If you don’t have the right grenade to mind control the robots then you’ll be stuck there for a while. I think this game just wasn’t nearly as polished as it should have been and will ultimately go down as one of the worst shooters that I’ve played. The gameplay could possibly be overlooked a little more if the story was any good, but it’s not.

The soundtrack is pretty solid at least. When you hear the main menu theme playing near the climax you know that things are finally getting serious. It was a pretty emotional moment and the other sci-fi themes aren’t bad. The graphics I won’t really fault either. It’s hard for me to say one way or the other if the game is too dark because my TV is always pretty iffy there, but it definitely could have been brighter. The destruction effects are pretty solid. Technically the controls are fairly good as well. You won’t miss a shot that you don’t want too.

Overall, Metal Arms is a bit of a missed opportunity. The game could and should have been amazing. The story of a robot rebellion rising up against its oppressors should be a classic. At the same time, it just missed every easy opportunity that it possibly could and by the end of this game it’ll be hard to remember the good times. The developers were slick by having the best levels be the final ones, but it’s simply too little too late. Unless you’re a huge fan of shooters and want to test your skills here, I would recommend avoiding this game. It’s simply not worth the pain and effort of trying to clear it since the story won’t even act as a reward.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Paper Mario: Sticker Star Review


Paper Mario has always been pretty ambitious for a Mario series. The plots could get pretty serious and were certainly darker than the main series as they selves into Luigi’s psyche and had Peach turn evil. The Thousand Year Door was the peak of the series and could hold its own as an rpg against the mainstream ones like Final Fantasy. Then….this game came out. It’s basically a Mario game masquerading as a Paper Mario title.

The plot is paper thin compared to the old ones as Peach is kidnapped. Bowser has taken her away to his castle and Mario is going to need some help if he wants to save her this time. Fortunately he had a pal named Kersti who is some kind of Princess I think. I can’t remember to be honest but she talks a really good game and insults anyone who gets in her way. She reminds Mario that he will need to obtain the 6 World Crown Stickers to save the world and stop Bowser’s evil plan once and for all. Can Mario do it or will he end up panicking throughout the entire game!?

Right away the game’s main problem presents itself in the form of the stickers. Not only is the entire game built around them, but the mechanics aren’t even fun. You need them to perform any kind of action in combat from jumping to using your hammer. This means you really do need to take the time to pluck them off the walls or you’ll run out during a boss fight. The stage will throw you a few extra ones when you’re empty but only cheap stickers that won’t do a lot of damage. This gets very tedious very quickly. It doesn’t help that the bosses have an enormous amount of hp so the fights drag on for eternity. That’s also why running out of stickers becomes a legitimate concern since you will need a lot of stickers to finish them off.

The final boss in particular has around 5 phases and keeps healing between each phase. This just drags on the fight more and more as opposed to being exciting. You can’t jump on this opponent either so even though I made it to the final phase with a lot of stickers left, I couldn’t do anything. None of my jumps would do anything but hurt me and so I had to watch as my efforts went to waste. The game is built around trial and error to a large extent which is certainly not how a game should be if you ask me. You should be able to reasonably guess what to expect and win if you thought about it enough as opposed to just needing more stickers from the shop.

You’ll likely need to farm some coins at one point or another so I’d recommend 4-1 for that. There’s a shiny goomba right when you enter the level and a ice flower in the box next to him. Grab the flower and you can beat him in one hit which will get you around 100 coins. You can do this very quickly so just keep at it. I saved to about 2500 coins for the final boss and it was certainly worth it. The super stickers do have cutscenes that are unskippable which is unfortunate but they are worth it for the damage they dish out.

Another massive problem with the game are the puzzles. You probably know this if you’ve been reading my reviews but one thing I’m really not a big fan of are poorly made puzzles. It’s to the point where they can easily lower a game’s score on their own like Final Fantasy VII, Metroid, and Majora’s Mask. The same thing happens here but to a larger extent. Some puzzles require you to go all the way back from world 5 to 2 for example as you look for an ice sticker that can freeze the volcano. I had to resort to Gamefaqs a few times here because these puzzles are absolutely terrible. How could you possibly think to search a new world? Why would the ice be in the desert world instead of…..the ice world? The game is actively trying to troll you which I don’t appreciate and there are so many puzzles here that don’t make any sense. I think the only way you would figure some of these out is if you were planning to 100% the game anyway so you investigate every book and cranny. Even then, the same thing happens with the bosses as you have to try and figure out how to deal with them. My sticker “pal” mocked me after every fight as she pointed out that I used too many stickers so certainly don’t use my tactics.

This game just wasn’t all that fun and it’s a shame because the gameplay minus the stickers was good. Some of the levels had a little platforming so you would jump around and try to reach the goal. It gives you a small glimpse of what the game could have been like without the odd gameplay style. It also makes you wonder what the point of the stickers was because at the end of the day it is still basically a turn based style of gameplay. It’s just far more limited than the usual ones since you always have to worry about running out of stickers which is a really pointless feature. Throw out all of the many, many puzzles and this could maybe will be a good game even with the sticker system. Of course, then we are looking at a completely different game since this one was really built with all of those puzzles in mind.

As far as the characters are concerned, this Mario game plays it by the books. Mario is your classic lead who is always ready for a good time but really does panic at just about everything. Peach gets kidnapped as per usual, but gives a pretty nice speech at the end so that was cool. Bowser essentially gets controlled by the stickers so it wasn’t his best appearance. Seeing all of the old bosses was pretty cool like Gooper Blooper and Petey Piranha. Bowser Jr and Kamek also has pretty solid roles. The main heroine Kersti was also pretty decent even if she was rather generic the whole time. The big sacrifice at the end was certainly a pretty emotional moment when you think about it. Mario didn’t really put up much resistance to the plan but I guess we can assume that he knew about the true power of the stickers and figured it would all work out. The climax was pretty intense and in a main Mario game it would have looked awesome since Mario effectively got Super Saiyan mode at long last. If you ask me, it’s about time.

As far as the presentation goes, Paper Mario’s graphics hold up pretty well. They’re certainly. not amazing or anything like that, but they are good enough and get the job done. The character models are solid and the level environments are pretty striking as well. It’s a oh as good as I’d expect a modern Paper Mario game to look. The soundtrack is certainly less impressive compared to the average Mario games but it’s not bad. At the very least the main menu theme is quite iconic after hearing it so many times. I’m not likely to forget it anytime soon.

In terms of the replay value Paper Mario is fairly decent. There is a set amount of large stickers to obtain so gathering them all would be an accomplishment. You can also try to find Luigi in his 5 appearances which will hopefully trigger some kind of cutscene. The main game is around 15 hours of more if you get stuck so that’s a very good amount right off the bat as well. So technically there is a lot to do here but you probably just won’t be all that tempted to accomplish all of this since the fun factor isn’t quite there. The post game is st least more enjoyable than the main game since the puzzles are already taken care of. It becomes a little more of a straight job from start to finish while you complete everything. Prepare for a lot of back and forth either way.

Overall, it’s rare for me to say that a game is actually bad. Over 90% of the games I’ve reviewed at least make it to 5 and most are over 6. This one just goes way too far with the sticker mechanics and the problem that the game isn’t fun. It’s not really a title that you look forward to playing which is the problem. It has its moments but every time you think the game is hitting its stride it comes back at you with another puzzle. They just keep on coming and never stop so the game could not save itself. I highly recommend playing the other Paper Mario games first as this one will really give you the wrong impression of the series. I can only hope that the next Paper Mario game has improved a lot from this one.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Hail to the Chimp Review


Hail to the Chimp is like the roughest of waves. It looks fun to play from a distance but once you’re on it you start thinking about how much more fun the kiddie pool would have been. The game had a lot of potential since it is effectively a 4 player fighting game with various themes built in to make the gameplay diverse, but it ends up falling flat. This is because the controls aren’t all that well thought out and the gameplay wasn’t very polished. I’ll give it some props on the unique premise of the story, but the way it was executed wasn’t great.

So, the plot is that a bunch of animals are trying to be President. Each level has you play as one of them as you become President I suppose. It was hard to tell if it meant that you won the primaries and could be President now or if you actually became President. I’ll go with the latter I suppose. Either way, it was a pretty intense moment as each character got a commercial first and then an interview after completing the level. I like to think that this must have been some kind of political satire as all of the candidates were really bad. One of them couldn’t even talk in a way that we could understand since it only knew alien talk. I wonder how it won so many votes. Anyway, that’s the main campaign. The Monkey got the last level so I’ll assume that he is the President. It is called Hail to the Chimp after all. The story was fairly amusing even if getting to the cutscenes could be a drag.

There isn’t really a lot to do in the game. The story will last a little while, but after that the only thing to do is Vs. Mode. I did unlock various videos during the story so I suppose that replaying the stories could help you get more. The problem is that the game is super vague about how or why you unlocked the videos so you wouldn’t know exactly what you would need to do. Furthermore, this came out before trophies so those can’t help the replay value. Vs. Mode is nice in that regard, but I have a sinking feeling that you won’t be playing it for very long. The game is only a few bucks to purchase though so at least it won’t set you back all that much.

The graphics aren’t anything special. The colors actually make it difficult to see the characters at times. It certainly doesn’t look like a PS3 game at all and the PS2 titles from the good ole days had more heart. The soundtrack is pretty bad as well with no good themes. I can’t think of a single catchy one and that’s too bad. I’d expect nothing less from Hail to the Chimp though. In theory the gameplay can save it so lets talk about that now.

The actual gameplay style had a lot of potential. It’s an overhead 4 player brawler so it’s similar to TMNT Mutant Melee. You swing at each other with your standard attacks and can use parts of the environment to hurt other players as well like cranes. You can even decide to do a link attack with another player if both of you press the team up button. Use this move strategically though since another player can quickly steal your teammate by running in first and also pressing the team up button. It’s incredibly overpowered and will always net you a few KOs. One issue that you’ll notice from the get go is that the controls are very limited. Every character only has one combo…that’s it. That sort of limits your options quite a lot if you think about it. Furthermore, the game rarely has you actually fighting it out with your opponents in a Last Man Standing ruleset.

The game gives you a few different goals depending on the level. In some you have to rig the voting machines by destroying them and others have you paint the machines. The vast majority of the levels are in this style and that’s the problem for me. I only really liked the combat ones. The others are all heavily luck based since the opponents will team up and sometimes they won’t. If you fall in the wrong place then you’ll waste a lot of time or all of the computers will gang up on you. There really isn’t much to look forward to during these battles and the fact that you have to play them over and over again really doesn’t help. I wouldn’t have minded the gameplay as much if it stuck to being a fighter, but the problem is that it wanted to be a party fighting game. That blend only works for the best of titles and this one lacked the budget as well as the gameplay to complete such a move. As a result, the game grows tedious very quickly.

Multiplayer mode is the only reason this game should even deserve a glance. It fixes most of the game’s issues as you can simply limit yourself to playing the survival mode of combat and the luck/cheese factor is eliminated for the most part. You may still grow bored of doing the same combat for so long but it’s a slight improvement. Beyond that, I suppose the videos will give you some chuckles. There are quite a few of them after all and the game wasn’t too popular so you may have a hard time finding them on Youtube unless you just skip through a walkthrough to nab them all.

Overall, Hail to the Chimp is not a game that you’ll want to play for long. The story mode wasn’t thought out too well as each minigame is way too long so nobody wants to play a 7 round tournament. Losing at the very end is also devastating because then you have to do it all over again. It’s quite telling that you’ll be hoping there is no secret final level just so you can finish the game already. That’s just sad. Since the soundtrack and graphics aren’t quite up to snuff either, there’s not much holding this game afloat. If you see it for a few dollars then I suppose you can’t go wrong, but you should still question whether you should do such a thing or not. It’s not worth it if you ask me. Just go buy a Mario Party game instead.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

M&M’s Adventure Review


It’s time for another game in the M&Ms saga. The previous ones weren’t all that bad. The DS game’s gameplay was pretty interesting and you can’t really mess up a racing game. This was the first one to be a full platformer though so that naturally came with some considerable risks. It has quite a few glitches and plays out like a slightly higher budget version of Ninjabread Man at times. The game definitely makes some mistakes and I’d have to call it a bad game. It’s not on the same level as some of the other disaster titles, but it makes enough of the wrong moves to sabotage itself like having to replay a whole chapter if you lose. Lets dive in!

The game starts on Christmas Eve as the M&Ms are getting ready to lock up for the night. Unfortunately, a security breach occurs and all of the M&Ms are stolen. The heroes have to quickly re grab all 120 of them before leaving, but they are now being guarded by a Snowman who likes to yell “Its hot”, The Easter Bunny who is very hungry, The Nutcracker who wants to blow everyone up, and the Halloween Man who is trying to scare everyone. Fortunately our brave heroes won’t back down when candy is on the line.

The gameplay is very straight forward. It’s a 3D adventure that “should” play out like a Mario game. You move and jump as you cross the level. Getting to the end is your destination, but not the goal. You must find all of the M&Ms in each level or else you’ll have to replay it anyway. Each level has 3-4 areas which can be as large as an average level in another game. You must beat them all without losing all of your lives or you’re sent back to the beginning and you’ll need to grab the M&Ms again. That is definitely the most annoying part of the game. Most of the levels aren’t all that difficult, but the last 2 are tough. There is a huge jump in difficulty between levels 2 and 3.

Level 3 has you go through many jumps with metal birds trying to peck you along the way. It seems like you can possibly step on them or lure them to a bomb, but it’s much harder than it looks. With enough repetition you’ll get through it, but the levels can be long so you don’t want to have to replay them too much. Fortunately to counter this, the bosses are incredibly easy. The only one that is even a little difficult is the final boss which is also very generous with health bits everywhere. For the Cupid you just have to hit a bunch of switches. Taking down the Bunny just means luring him to candy and you lure the soldier to poison smoke. You lure the Lantern to bombs and take out the Snowman by hitting a lot of switches. Either the developers didn’t put too much thought into the bosses or they just didn’t want to make them too difficult. Imagine having to go all the way back at that point.

There is one part of the game that is just unfair though. In Green’s last level there comes a point where you have to board a boat as cannons shoot at you. The problem is that you die instantly for no reason. It’s possible an unintentional glitch in the game or something, but that’s it..you’re done. The only way around this that I found was to just jump in the ice cream and swim to shore. It takes up a lot of health, but at least I lived. I wasted a lot of lives trying to figure out why I was dying though. It would be like an invisible energy blast hit me or something.

Fortunately the game has so many glitches that you can exploit them as well. You can jump on air to skip parts of levels by just mashing jump and you can also achieve infinite lives. The way to doing the latter is getting a lot of coins like 98 for example. Then you reach a checkpoint. After that you grab the final 2 and keep on going. You get the extra life from this and then even if you die, you’re brought back to 98 coins at the check point. Since the coins reset despite the life sticking around, you can keep on getting lives forever. Figure out what section it the toughest for you and do the coin trick at the nearest checkpoint. This helped me a lot in the Snowman level. Hey, if the game is going to pull out cheesy tricks to stop me from winning…then two can play at that game!

The graphics are nothing special, but they get the job done. You can always tell what is happening and the level designs are pretty clever. The Christmas levels have the best designs for sure, but the Halloween level is surprisingly spooky as well. There are creepy portraits everywhere and even the music feels rather dire for the heroes. I think they put more effort into the soundtrack and levels than the gameplay so their priorities may have been a little mixed up. It was fun hearing Jingle Bells and Sleigh Bells ring at the end. It helped show that the developers cared about this game at least a little.

There isn’t any replay value here though. Once you gain the 120 M&Ms you are completely done with the game. That’s the end of your adventure and it’ll be time to put the game back in the drawer. The campaign isn’t all that long, but it is artificially lengthened by having to play the same levels as all 3 characters each time. If you ask me, you shouldn’t have to collect all 120 M&Ms to see the ending. That’s like having to grab all of the Stars in a Mario game. It’s something you should want to do, not something you have to do. Mix that in with the tedious nature of having to replay levels while looking for M&Ms and the game definitely gets hurt quite a bit.

There’s also a glitch where you’ll turn invisible if you try to approach the M&M machine. I guess the game won’t even let me look at the cool candies that I’ve collected eh? Well fine, I didn’t want to look at them anyway. I should quickly mention that each M&M has an ability. Red can fly whenever you see a flight symbol, Yellow can double jump, Green can swing her tennis racket whenever she finds a tennis symbol. Red’s flight levels are the best part of the game so I wish they had appeared more. It was certainly better than the main part of the game.

Overall, This game had a lot of potential, but the gameplay’s just a little too weak. You know there’s a problem when some levels are purely luck based. I almost died at the very end with Green because you have to dodge falling rocks for about 3-4 minutes. I barely survived and since I had 0 lives left that would have been fairly upsetting. I do like the challenge at times as some of them can be fair, but then we should get more lives or every stage should be its own level. That would fix a lot of issues. I died a lot of times on the revolving Ice Cream door which is easily the toughest part of the whole game. Seriously, just try to get out of that one in one piece. It can hold its own with some of Mario Maker’s toughest levels. Having to go back all the way is just too much of a detriment. The game is only about 5 dollars so if you want a real challenge it’s worth taking a look. That being said, it’s not always fun to play and games should at least be fun. I’ll have to give this one a thumbs down and I recommend Mario Galaxy instead. Even the ending was very lackluster.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Rock ‘n’ Roll Adventures Review


It’s time for another Ninjabread Man esque game. No worries, this is the last one that I currently own from the game. Does the franchise end on a high note? (For the record, there is one more game that I plan on getting from these guys, but that is a day that may be far away) Unfortunately, it really doesn’t. In a sense, this game is better than the others because it never gets annoying or frustrating, but that may just be due to how many titles I’ve played recently. Since the levels are always reused, I already knew what to expect from it all. In a pure gameplay stance, this game is certainly better than Trixie, Ninjabread Man, and Anubis. However, it is extremely short and the easiest game in the series.

You play as Elviz. Yes, not Elvis, but Elviz. He always speaks with a very artificial voice, but the voice is drowned out thanks to the music so good luck making out what he is saying. The game plays out like a classic 3D platformer. You have to find 10 CDs scattered in the large area and then make your way to the teleport device. The levels are fairly large so the back of the cover is technically correct, but there is a lot of empty space in the levels. You also move very quickly so each level can be beaten very quickly. While you can attack enemies by swinging the Wii Remote, it is very unresponsive so it is best to just blast them with musical notes.

A tip that will make you life a lot easier is the fact that you can jump with the Z button. That could have made quite the difference if I had known for other games, but this time I was ready. The levels are fairly linear, certainly more so than Trixie or Ninjabread Man so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting through them. The compass is also fairly decent this time. There are only 3 levels and a quick tutorial so you should have the game completed in around 30-40 minutes. I really should have been timing myself to be honest, but I just didn’t expect the game to be quite so short. Trixie and Ninjabread Man at least forced me to die a few times due to tricky jumps and glitches, but this game was so easy that none of the obstacles bothered me. Even the minions are significantly weaker.

It worked out well to the extent that the game wasn’t super frustrating as a result, but at the same time, it really exposes just how short this game is. While it actually doesn’t feel as cheap as some of the others, the short length and absolutely no post game content definitely hurts it. There is literally nothing to do after beating the game so that means you will be paying for 30 minutes of “fun.” You can get the game for cheap so it won’t set you back all that much, but you’ll just have to ask what the point of it all is. By all means, buy this game if you are interested in playing it, but if you want a fun platformer, there is no shortage of alternatives out there.

I will give the game some credit for finally changing up the soundtrack a little though. After playing several games that had the exact same tunes over and over again, this was a very welcome change of pace. The main theme is actually all right, but you probably won’t notice it much. The graphics aren’t bad either. They are definitely an improvement over the other games in this series. It is as if the company decided to slightly increase the quality of the whole product at the expense of the length. It’s certainly shorter than Trixie and Anubis after all. It’s close with Ninjabread Man, but that game was more challenging so it balanced out. I am glad that the presentation improved, but the game should still aim for greater heights.

There isn’t even a final boss and the credits don’t play automatically when you beat the game. It simply sends you right back to the main menu. There is no sense of true accomplishment or anything like that and in the end you have to ask yourself, “Why?” I would have even settled for a quick montage of my awesome adventures in the game as the credits rolled. It would have been fun to see my character retrace his steps for 5 seconds before I skipped the credits anyway. Well, the game goes off my backburner list and I feel like I’m finally making a lot of real progress here. There will always be a backlog, but it is getting smaller and that’s always awesome to see.

Overall, There’s not much more to say here. The gameplay surprisingly isn’t bad since it doesn’t rely on the motion controls almost at all. It’s extremely easy so it can actually be played well by its target audience. Older folks may have a kick out of playing this with friends to poke fun at the graphics and the situation. If you enjoy playing “bad” games then this is the one for you. Otherwise, it’s safe to say that this is another one to pass on. With this title out of the way, I’m ready for some more positive game reviews. I’m nearly at the end of Final Fantasy VII and I’m making progress in Sly: Thieves in Time. One of those may be the next game review unless I end up beating another one of these short Wii games first. Only time will tell.

Overall 4/10