5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Beyblade Metal Fusion Review


It’s time to look at a recent Beyblade game I got. We own the final 2 games in the series after this so I had been wanting to get this installment so we could finish the series. Unfortunately it is definitely the weakest title I’ve played from the franchise. It takes all of the fun and creativity from the earlier titles and replaces them with pure RNG and microphone mechanics. I’m already not a huge fan of the stylus controls so throwing in the microphone is overkill. There are some decent ideas here and the graphics are solid, but the negatives kept this game from going into the green.

The basic plot is that the main character has entered a Beyblade tournament as usual. He is ready to win, but quickly discovers that something shady is going on. It turns out that a villain group has entered and they aim to destroy all of the beyblades they fight. The heroes don’t like this and aim to stop the villains, but is the villain group really doing this or are they all getting played by a new character? One thing’s for sure, the world of Beyblade won’t be safe until all of the villains are thrown out and justice prevails once and for all.

So the gameplay is the problem with the game and I will describe why that is here. Each match is a best of 7 set against the opponent (Why 7? This just drags out each fight) and the goal is to either break your opponent’s Beyblade, knock it out of bounds, or hit it enough times where it stops moving. Each method of victory is worth a different amount of win. 3, 2, and 1 respectively. Each stage is a small circle where your beyblades spin around and whack each other. You can’t move your Beyblade, but you can determine where it charges by swiping with the stylus. Additionally you can tap the stage to recover health, tap really quickly to jump, or tap on your Beyblade to activate your shield. Then you’ve also got the two special abilities at your disposal which you can equip prior to the battle.

Your Beyblade will start out at rank F and as you fight it will improve. Additionally whatever support equipment you have on will level up as you play more games. Eventually your stats should be high enough where winning will be easy. It’s a long process though and you lose all of your progress when you leave the game aside from your rank and possibly the equipment upgrades. The story mode is structured like an arcade title so you have to beat the 8-10 levels in one shot. You get infinite continues so eventually you should be able to power your way through, but you do have to make sure that you don’t leave. It should only take around an hour so if you’re having fun then you’ll be okay.

Part of the problem with the game is your Beyblade is completely outmatched from the start. Even if you get a perfect launch and all you will lose in a straight up fight. Towards the end of the game the only way to win is to knock the other Beyblade out of the ring. Winning straight up in any other way appears to be impossible. Then to give yourself a little extra health at the end you have to blow into the microphone which is pretty odd. I’ve rarely seen games force you to use the microphone like this and it definitely didn’t award Beyblade any extra points. I’d rather not have to use that thing unless 100% necessary. It just feels like a gimmick.

So for most of the levels you are really just focused on swiping every which way until your Beyblade knocks the opponents out of the ring. You have to do this twice in each match to get the necessary 4 points to move on. If you do decide to fight head on, I’d recommend the Power Slam move which does a good amount of damage and the healing ability. Those make for a good pair and do work pretty well until you get to the final 2-3 fighters. At that point things get pretty dicey so get ready to focus on knocking the Beyblade away. I went with a full attack set of equipment, but there are a lot of different options so you may want to experiment.

In terms of the graphics I thought the game did a pretty good job of looking sharp. The illustrations were definitely on point and made the game feel dynamic even if there wasn’t much of a story to look at. Having more cutscenes definitely would have been very helpful to the game if you ask me. It makes the whole thing just feel more engaging. The bits of story we did get were pretty fun too. The villain was solid and his final line of asking the main character to be friends was definitely wholesome. It reminds me why the franchise looks so cool.

There isn’t much of a soundtrack to speak of. Meanwhile I wouldn’t say that there is a lot of replay value to speak of. I suppose you could work on beating the story mode with all of the characters. There are around 30 or more to choose from so that should definitely take you quite a while. By the time you’ve done that I think you’ll be ready to part with the title. Each story is around an hour to 90 minutes so you’re looking at a 30+ hour game. Hopefully there would be enough of a story mode there to justify it for you though because that’s a lot of Beyblade matches for this kind of gameplay.

Overall, Beyblade Metal Fusion was one of the harder games I’ve played, but not in a good way. The levels weren’t well designed or anything like that. It’s just that the gameplay was hard to wrap my head around and the opponents always had superior specs which didn’t really allow for the matches to be fair and balanced. Ideally the Beyblades should be around equal so then you can win with your own skill. I do have high hopes that the next game should be better. The series still does have a solid track record aside from this game. Unless you are a huge Beyblade fan I’d recommend buying one of the older ones instead or just taking a pass on this one. It really doesn’t have much to offer you.

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh Duelist of the Roses Review


It’s time to look at what I’d say is easily the strangest Yugioh game. For starters the game has nothing to do with the actual characters from the series and the plot seems to be based on a war from a very long time ago. The story definitely isn’t very interesting and there isn’t much of one in the first place so the gameplay will have to hold the game up on its own. Will it be able to make this title a success?

When you start the game you are summoned as the legendary Rose duelist by the Red Rose army who are currently losing the battle against the White Rose. You are their last hope to try and turn the tide of the war. Seto, who is the leader of the White side shows up and asks you to join him instead to rule the world. This is where you make your choice of which faction to play as. The game is around 10-11 duels long and the path you take determines which array of fighters you will be contending with. The goal is to get all 8 of the cards by beating 8 guardians and there are some extra fighters along the way.

When you first start the game you get to choose your starter deck. All of them are pretty awful if you ask me and you can expect to lose quite a lot of duels at first. Your opponents have everything whole you’ve got basic cards that aren’t strong enough to win. What I was surprised about is that the computer already has significantly more powerful monsters at 2700 from the start while your guys are limited to 1500. Anyone who was able to beat these guys with a starter deck right off the bat has my respect on this one.

Another complication is that the game doesn’t even follow Yugioh rules. I was surprised about this because of you don’t have the rules or the characters then why is this a Yugioh game anyway? I should mention that the main connection in the story is that the characters happen to look like Yugioh characters…that’s it. It’s like when a show does a Christmas Carol and they are all not themselves for that one AU episode. This is the same concept and I guess you’ve got the monsters even if the gameplay is different.

The gameplays a bit complex, but here’s my best attempt at a solid write up. You start out with your captain or vanguard if you will. You can move him one space a time along a board that is fairly large. Around 10 by 6 or something like that. The goal is to destroy the opponent’s guardian. Both guardians always start with 4000 HP but that can go up or down based on spell and trap cards. If you attack the opponent directly then your attack power will determine how much health is lost. You can summon 1 monster per turn and that monster can move 1 space per turn unless it has a type advantage and then it can move two times. All of the opponents you fight will have the type advantage so expect them to always be moving two spaces at a time. A spell card to change the terrain comes in handy for this although they have a very limited range so they aren’t always too great. It’s still a good balancer in the right circumstance, but keep in mind that playing this spell will prevent you from summoning a monster that turn.

You gain 3 stars each turn and monsters require stars to summon. The strongest monsters need 8 stars so you can choose to either wait a few turns and summon them or keep on summoning weaker ones. Usually you want at least one card to defend yourself with and then you start saving up. Then you’ve got all of the spell and trap cards to deal with and you can fuse some into monsters to make them stronger. You can also fuse monsters from your hand but the game doesn’t let you know if they’re compatible so it’s a lot of trial and error here. If you make the wrong call then you’ll lose the first card in each fusion which can be a bit tiresome. This is the best way to clear your hand out to get more cards though. Just smash all of the cards together and next turn you’ll get 5 fresh ones. There’s a lot more to this gameplay, but it’s so complex that the only way to really get it is to play the game first hand. That’s when it’ll all really start to make sense.

As for the graphics, the game has some pretty good illustrations. For the most part there aren’t too many cutscenes but we get a few paintings at the end and one at the start. I prefer animated cutscenes but there was a good amount of effort put into these pieces of art. In game the stages and effects are decent but not all that fun to look at. All of the stages are pretty similar and the whole thing looks pretty dreamy all the time. Better level designs would have been ideal.

I already spoke to the game’s difficulty level and I can assure you that it’s one of the toughest games I’ve played. Beating the whole thing with a starter deck is impossible so the idea is you beat the first few guys, take their cards and keep on beating them til you get a lot of good ones. Then you move on. It requires a lot of wins as well as rng to get the right cards. Then in the duel you need a fair amount luck to draw the right card at the right time. Ultimately I had to just grab some cards through the password mode to get through these duels. I recommend doing this if you need to save some time because otherwise you will be here for a very long time. It does help with the replay value I suppose. The game should last you for quite a while and once you beat it you get to play all over again as the other team.

Overall, Yugioh Duelist of the Roses is an odd game with a confusing gameplay system. It takes quite a while to learn how to really play the game and even then it’s hard to get invested into it. The duels feel like they take quite a long time although that’s normal for a Yugioh game. Once you turn the animations off it speeds up quite a bit. If you like a good strategy type game then this is the one for you. There are a few similarities to Fire Emblem after all. Otherwise I would definitely recommend playing a different Yugioh game instead. My top recommendations would be World Championship or any of the PSP titles. Those actually follow the Yugioh rules and have a better plot. (Note that some of the World Championships don’t have a plot so carefully choose which one you want to play)

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Star Fox 2 Review


It’s time to look at a pretty obscure Star Fox game. Not a lot of people got to play this game back in the day although that has changed to a degree since the game was included on the SNES classic and now it’s also available through the Switch Online. I can definitely see why Nintendo wanted to bury this game back in the day though. While I applaud Nintendo’s effort to make a new kind of Star Fox game, it really doesn’t hold up nearly as well as the original. The gameplay just isn’t that good and that’s always tough to get past for a video game.

The basic plot is that Andross wants to conquer the star systems once again. Fox and friends don’t want to let this happen, but at the same time it’s going to be really hard to put a stop to this. The team splits up and prepares to defeat the opposing planets while protecting their own. This takes you to the hub world which shows you where everything is at. It’s a bit overwhelming but you’ll get the gist of it after a few minutes. Corneria is your home base and if it gets destroyed then that is an instant game over. Your goal is to stop the missilles heading towards it and taking down all of the enemy bases. Personally I feel like the easiest thing to do is taking out all of the bases right away. The villains won’t have time to blow up Corneria if you do that. That’s what I did and the game is over within 40-50 minutes.

The actual gameplay is a 3D shooter. You fly through the air and try to blast the ships out of the sky. This is the worst part of the gameplay because it’s hard to see anything. Your sensor is oddly not in the middle of your screen so you have to find it and then shoot from there. It’s just not very fun and the gameplay feels like it was slapped together. It’s always hard to tell where you’re at or even just moving in general. Fortunately not all of the levels use this gameplay style but it would have to be one of the worst shooter gameplays I’ve tried.

The other style is your ground missions which ties into the final level. You get to run around as a walker and blast various objects. It actually feels pretty similar to Star Fox Assault which is good since that is still the best Star Fox title. You can also switch back to your Arwing if necessary but I don’t see why you would do that. The walker is way easier to move around in and the blasters take down all of the enemies very quickly. The final boss even goes down quickly like this and the gameplay is a lot more fun. This would be a whole different game if you could just play in the walker the whole time. It’s just really solid.

If I had to describe why the gameplay didn’t work, it’s just a little too unfocused. It can be hard to know what is happening right away and it’s just too hard to turn around. The boss against the long snake is a good example of that as he keeps flying around you and it’s so hard to keep up with him. He barely ever tries to attack you so the boss isn’t hard, just a little on the tedious side. I think the first person view is what tripped the game up, it should have been more of a third person camera view like the original Star Fox. That’s always a safer approach if you ask me.

Team Wolf shows up in this game, but they don’t really serve much purpose except to give you a quick dogfight. The level is okay but surprisingly Leon was way more difficult than Wolf. Wolf went down almost instantly while Leon actually beat me the first time. The difficulty level here isn’t as crazy as some SNES games, but it’s still tough enough where you can’t just breeze through the whole thing. You will have to think through your moves and be very careful about how you approach each level. One loss means game over, but the rewind feature on the SNES should help you avoid that.

Meanwhile the graphics are pretty good. In this area at least I’d say it keeps up pretty well with the original game and maybe even surpasses it. I was glad we got little text cutscenes even if the game didn’t have the most elaborate story in it. At least having a bit of a story is better than none right? The soundtrack is also decent I suppose. Not the most imaginative, but it’s got those classic Star Fox vibes that always work well. As for replay value, I wouldn’t really say there is much. You can try beating the game in a different way but there’s not a whole lot of reason to do so. I suppose if you just like the game enough then that’s not a bad idea. Since the game is free it’s not like you need the game to be quite as long though.

Overall, Star Fox 2 is a fairly weak Star Fox game. I have to say that the franchise has had a pretty tough time over the years. The original Star Fox game was decently good, but then we had this one which wasn’t very good. Star Fox Assault was amazing and Adventures was pretty good but then we had Command and Zero which really could not hold their own on that level. I hope the next Star Fox game we get is more like Assault and brings the series into the elite level. The concept is still so much fun and Fox is always a great character to have around. I don’t really recommend this game, but if you have the Switch Online then you may as well check it out. Otherwise I’d say you should just pick up Assault instead.

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Major League Baseball 2K7 Review


It’s time for another Baseball game! This one could actually be the last one I review for a while which is pretty crazy. I have two more MLB games, but they haven’t been working. If they don’t start working soon then it’ll be time to cut my losses with them. Baseball is one of the few series where I actually tend to prefer 2K to the main line games. 2K7 is no exception and actually has the best batting mechanics I’ve seen yet. If you really like Baseball then this is the title for you. It’s still not really my sport when it comes to video games because I feel like there is too much RNG, but at least now I can hit the ball back.

There are a lot of modes as always here but the one you will want is the exhibition mode right off the bat. I just wanted to test my skills against another Baseball team and so I dashed over. Much to my surprise I actually put up a pretty good fight here. It started out badly as I was down 3-0 after a few innings. I just couldn’t manage to hit the ball. I checked the settings and the reason for this was that the game was using motion controls. You were supposed to tilt your controller in order to swing. This is all well and good except for the fact that my PS3 controller has no such feature. I switched the controls to what they listed as “Classic” which allowed me to hit the ball normally. It went back to a classic “Press X” control scheme which is way more my speed.

So I started to make my comeback. I was hitting balls left and right. A lot of them went foul but others would actually be home runs. Eventually the game ended with a score of 9-6. I may have lost, but I got really close compared to most games where I lose 18-0 or something like that. At least this one made me feel like I was in the game at several points. It still doesn’t really take away from my main issue with these Baseball games though. My problem is that none of it feels like it’s in my control.

When pitching, the guy will just hit the ball sometimes. It doesn’t matter if you hit the perfect pitch, sometimes the guy will simply be ready for it. Likewise when you’re batting you can be in just the right spot and still not hit the ball. Perhaps it was outside and it just looked like it was in. Even worse is when you hit the ball and it goes out of bounds or straight into someone’s mitt. I know there are ways to angle your hit better and if you don’t want to go out of bounds then you’ve got to work on timing but there is too much that is out of my control for me to enjoy it as much as the others.

Basketball, Football, and Tennis are my three favorite sports to play in video game format and that’s because RNG is kept to a minimum there. What you see is what you get. If you mess up then it’s all on you. Sure, there is RNG present in every game and those are not exceptions, but they don’t feel nearly as frequent as they do in Baseball. No matter how refined the controls get, I feel as though that will always be holding the series back to an extent.

As always the graphics are good though. The players all look lifelike and the Baseball field is very clear. A lot of effort went into this even if it’s not quite up to Madden level. The presentation is also nice with a lot of quick cutscenes showing up between plays or after the game. Even seeing everyone heading into the stadium was a lot of fun. Slowly but surely the games are all starting to have big presentations like this and I think it’s definitely a good thing. It makes the whole thing look and feel even more realistic.

There’s a lot of replay value to be had here so you don’t have to worry about running out of content. That’s never really been a concern in Baseball games though so I would have been surprised if there was a lack of content. You can play endless matches against all of the teams and there are a lot of modes to try out. Considering that the game is only about a dollar or two nowadays it’s really a great deal for sure.

Overall, Major League Baseball 2K7 is probably one of the best Baseball games I’ve played. It’s quite solid for a Baseball game, but still doesn’t solve the things that were issues for me. I think the games need to take a bit of inspiration from the Mario Baseball game for Gamecube. Of course they wouldn’t grab the special abilities or anything like that, but the batting mechanics were quite solid. There you felt like every ball went exactly where you wanted it to go and that’s a really good thing. I’m confident it will happen in a main Baseball game someday.

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07 Review


Time for the next golf title. This is the final one that I own so I feel like the golf marathon will be over just as suddenly as it began. It’s still a pretty peaceful game and I dare say that I had more fun playing it than Baseball. Perhaps it’s because it’s less of a structured match here so I could just hit the ball around. I mainly played a bunch of the minigames and did some practice mode this time. I lost all of the games which was unfortunate since I was super close to winning one of them. Ah well, can’t win am all right?

When the game loads up it drops you into what’s effectively a normal match by yourself. You can whack the ball around for a while and practice on your swings. After that you can hop onto the main menu. I spent a little time here having fun even though I kept firing my shots into the lake. It looks like you can switch clubs and direction when you’re hitting the ball. Which club you use will determine how far you hit the ball and eventually you should be able to understand which club you want to use. I was getting the hang of it a bit, but at the same time most of my shots were still hitting trees and such.

After that I jumped into the minigames, but to be honest most of them were basically the same thing. You have to shoot at these rings in a lot of the modes and the goal is to get the ball in the ring. The closest person to the ring after each shot claims it. Whoever claims 5 first gets the win. The funny part with these was that even the computer didn’t know what to do. The two of us kept missing the shots over and over again. Eventually the CPU won, but it took an extremely long amount of time. Considering that this was the main minigame, I’m surprised it wasn’t programmed to do better shots. I have a sneaking suspicion that it scales down.

I think that because in a different minigame the goal was to hit 3 shots towards the flag and the closest wins.(You can see how all of the games start to play the same way) Well, I got startled or something on my first shot and hit it way out of bounds so the opponent won that round. Then I hit a hole in 1 and the computer matched my effort. I gotta tell you, I was feeling pretty good about that hole in one until he matched it. How do you match a shot like that? I should have been running away with the lead by this point so you can imagine that I was a little disturbed. If you ask me there’s no way that the CPU should have been even close to matching me.

So I lost all of the minigames. Still, it was fun to play them all. I think the best part about the game is how fast everything loads. I never felt like I was stuck anywhere for too long. When hitting the ball I liked seeing my player’s facial expression as he would quickly start to panic. He had a look of dismay about him the whole time which I thought was pretty neat. It shows up every time you hit the ball and the little animations that pop up each time are great. They really make the whole thing feel a little more realistic and presentation like this is nothing new for the EA crew. They always hit it out of the park in this regard. The graphics are just very good throughout. Everything is on point and you wouldn’t guess this was a game from back in 2007. At most the humans might look a little blocky but the atmosphere is everything you could possibly want in a modern game.

There’s definitely a lot of replay value here since you can keep on playing the golf matches over and over until you get better at them. While the modes are all pretty similar, there are still a lot to choose from which is important. I have always believed…and still do, that all sport games should have a lot of replay value. The whole point of sports is to keep on playing and playing so why should that change anytime soon? I think the only counterpoint for the golf game’s replay value is that you could buy a newer version for basically the same price so there isn’t a whole lot of reason to get this one in particular. It’s a very fair point.

Overall, Golf games aren’t really my thing. For me they work best when I don’t play it as a golf game and just play for the scenery. There’s something really calming about just hitting the ball and watching it soar. I think it’s due in part to the graphics but also due to the sound and interface. You just don’t feel stressed out playing the game and I think that’s definitely a good thing. It’s the kind of thing you want to see when playing any game because then you can really get back into a recreational spirit. If you’ve got a buck to spare then this is a good game to check out. If you don’t…then you’re not missing a whole lot.

Overall 5/10

Games, 5 Star Games, Reviews, Game Reviews

Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 Review


It’s time to look at a golf game that I’ve owned for a very long time. Golf is easily my least favorite sport at least from all of the mainstream ones. It’s just never really peaked my interest whether it be playing the game, watching on TV, or playing it through video game form. Still, it was only around a dollar so what’s the harm in giving it a whirl right? I’ll give the game this, it’s a fairly peaceful title. I could see this being enjoyed in the same way as something like Journey where you just admire the surroundings. Ultimately I wouldn’t be playing it for very long though.

So there are a few modes here like usual. You can jump into the practice, tournaments, or a quick game. Well, it’s not all that quick, but it’s a standard match. In Golf a standard match takes 18 holes and you tally up the score at the end. You want to have as low a score as possible since the higher it is, the more turns it took you to clear each hole. You start off a long way away from the golf ball and the idea is to get it in the hole in as few turns as possible. It’s a simple objective, but it does take a whole lot of skill to get to that point. You’ve got multiple clubs which each have a different use to them. You’ll have to get used to how much power each swing should have behind it or you’ll constantly be hitting to the wrong spots.

You can alter the trajectory once you have launched the ball and even apply a back spin once it lands. At that point you have so many things to worry about that you will need a lot of practice to get it right. Then depending on where you are with the ball you have obstacles that will cause you to recalculate eveyrthing once more. If you’re stuck in a ditch for example then the ball won’t really want to travel very far so you’ll have to overcompensate by hitting it extra hard. Sometimes it’s worth just doing a small pop up to get it out and then going for the real strike.

After each hit you get nice little cinematics where your player will shake his head or celebrate a bit depending on what you just did. No worries, these little scenes are entirely optional, but I think it’s a pretty nice effect. It makes the game feel a little more cinematic for sure. It’s the kind of thing that’ll be fun if you’re playing multiplayer since everyone can banter and chuckle it up for a while between plays. The 18 holes took me around 30-40 minutes to play so ultimately it felt a little longer than most of the other sports. It really depends on how quickly you can get the ball in the holes though.

As expected the graphics are really good. This is especially important for a sport game like Golf because the greenery should look amazing. I enjoyed just taking in the sights between plays. Even when losing you don’t feel all that bad in Golf. This is because the game is just so peaceful and it works out quite well. I haven’t played a game this peaceful in quite a while. Meanwhile I can’t recall a soundtrack. Just enjoy the sounds of nature instead and become one with the game.

There’s a lot of replay value here of course since you can keep playing golf games at your leisure. There isn’t any kind of story mode here so there doesn’t ever have to be an ending to the game. Just keep going ahead full speed and you’ll be quite fine. As always you will just have to decide if you want to keep playing this game because while the price is great, you could get a newer golf title for almost the same value. It’s just something that you may want to consider is all I’m saying.

So in my normal match I had a score of around 36-39. I know that’s a pretty bad score, but surprisingly the game didn’t show me the score of anyone else so it’s hard to say just how bad it was. Who knows, maybe I still would have made top 5 or something. I think it would be nice to have computers playing against me there. Most games have them in every mode, but here it looks like I would have needed to enter tournament mode or season mode. Perhaps I’ll try a match for that in the next Golf game I play, but if not I’ll still do my best to sink all my shots. Then I can feel more confident in my golfing abilities.

Overall, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08 isn’t really for me. I’d have some fun messing around here as I enjoy the view, but I wouldn’t really be playing the game the way it was intended. Perhaps as I play I would gain a lot of skills and gradually get to the point where I would be playing Golf again. More likely though I would just be along for the ride. It would be incredibly difficult for any golf game to really suck me in to be honest. It would have to start messing with the rules and naturally I don’t think that would be a really good thing for actual Golf fans.

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Major League Baseball 2K8 Review


It’s time for yet another Baseball game. I haven’t exactly been tearing the place up in the MLB games, but even I was surprised at how badly I got beat here. I ended up losing 23-0 by the sixth inning which is where I had to pull the plug. In that time I only managed two hits and never got even close to a run. Hitting the ball in this game is insanely difficult, but 2K titles usually do ramp things up. I’ll be trying to do a little better in the next one since I do have one more 2K title in the vault. If all goes well in my next review you’ll see me winning 10-6 but lets not get ahead of ourselves. It’s time for the review.

So right away you’ve got your usual assortment of Baseball modes. You can jump in and have some quick games or you can throw yourself into a season. Either way will give you a lot of fun for sure and having options is a good thing. I naturally went into the quick play mode ready for some action. I probably should have went into practice mode, but the MLB games barely even have one so I made the dangerous assumption that 2K’s wouldn’t work all that well either.

Hitting the ball sounds easier because it’s all about going through the motions. You flick the joy stick down to get prepped and then back up to whack the ball. However, while I was hitting the ball pretty cleanly each time it would always just pop right up and the other team would catch it for a quick out. There must be some kind of tactic to this which the practice mode may have shown me. It didn’t feel right though because hitting the ball should at least give you a chance. At the very least it did make the game more entertaining than MLB though since there I would rarely be able to make any kind of contact with the ball.

As for pitching, that part seemed to be about as difficult as MLB. I just couldn’t get the ball to go where I wanted. I pitched a few balls where the area turned green so I suppose it was a “successful” pitch, but even then the guy would just whack it away for a home run. That’s how the score would quickly get out of hand for me. Landing an out was mostly about luck as I would hope they would pop the ball up in the air and then I’d catch it. Even fielding the ball wasn’t easy though as my guys would randomly drop the ball and then the opponents would get another base. In a game that is already filled with so much RNG I thought this was a bit much, but I suppose in real life people make mistakes at time so they were trying to emulate that.

As expected the graphics do look pretty good here. Sport games tend to age well which makes sense since at the end of the day there aren’t a lot of crazy effects at play here. As long as I can see the field and identify all of the players I feel pretty good about my odds and am satisfied with the game. There isn’t really much of a soundtrack though so you won’t be able to count on that. In all fairness, I wouldn’t really expect much of a soundtrack here either. It’s not something you really look for in a sport game.

There’s a lot of replay value even without online options. The game is difficult as you could guess from how I got beat down so you could play a lot of games just to try and get used to the controls and how the opponents play. Then you can work on full seasons and baseball seasons have a ton of games so this will buy you a lot of time as well. Considering that you can buy this game for a dollar or two that’s already reason enough to pick this game up. I think the only point against it would be that the other games are just as cheap and newer so there isn’t a real reason to go this far back into the past.

Overall, If you don’t have this game and you like Baseball then you should pick it up. If you are new to the sport and looking for a title though this would not be the game for you. I would recommend picking up MLB instead because the controls just make more sense to a newbie. Unfortunately for me Baseball is not a sport that translates well into electronic form. I have to get more control over the game to have fun and Baseball feels like a whole lot of RNG to me. That always kept it from being more of an enjoyable experience. My final word of advice is if this is your first Baseball manga, definitely be sure to play the practice mode. You won’t regret it.

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

MLB 09: The Show Review


It’s time to look at another Baseball game. This one’s a little newer than the last one and you can actually see how the gameplay has improved. I can actually pitch without every ball going out. There’s still a lot here that I just don’t get, but at least I had a little more fun. It’s hard to see myself going for more Baseball games in the near future unless I see them for under $5 but at least this is helping me wrap up the ones I do have. This review’s probably going to seem pretty similar to my last one since the games are basically identical.

Usually I jump right into the quickplay mode, but this time I really wanted to try out the Practice Mode to see if I could get a little better at this sport. After all, any skills I pick up now will be quite valuable down the road. Unfortunately the practice mode really isn’t very helpful. It’s just free reign as opposed to actual tutorials so that bit was a little disappointing. I got to practice my batting but without direction it really didn’t do me a lot of good. Ah well, I tried right? That was enough for me to go back into quick play.

I didn’t get destroyed quite as badly as last time so that is a bit of a start. For one thing my pitching was okay. I can’t angle the pitches or anything so they were all right down the middle, but the real important thing here is the fact that the ball was getting over the plate. The batter would land a lot of hits but I caught a good chunk of them. In the end the team scored about 6 runs so I always felt like I was right in the thick of it. Unfortunately I couldn’t score any runs so realistically I wasn’t going to be making any comebacks. I only got 1 solid hit as everything else got caught.

My bat couldn’t even reach most of the pitches which I thought was a bit sketchy. That shouldn’t have been the case and yet…it was. I couldn’t figure out how to move but I’m sure there is a way to move your bat a bit. That or those balls were simply out of range and I wasn’t supposed to be swinging at them. It can be really tough at times because sometimes the ball just looks really good when I’m pitching but they’ll call it a “ball” anyway. There’s something that never clicks for me in these games.

As for the graphics, those look pretty good as you’d expect. The character models are on point and the field looks good. It does feel significantly lower budget than the NBA or Madden games but maybe that’s because those just have a lot more to look at. In comparison you’re basically on the same field all the time here so maybe it makes sense that it looks bland. There is less of a presentation or soundtrack as well so you can feel awfully lonely here at times.

There is a lot of content though. You can jump into a season or keep on having fun with normal games. Since you can buy this title for about a dollar or so you really can’t go wrong here. You just have to actually like the gameplay enough to pick this title up now and again. Also you can probably just buy a newer version of the game and then you’ll be all set. There is little reason to pick up this game, but if you do then I expect you’ll enjoy it. At the very least I do think it is a big improvement over MLB 08. That’s for sure!

Overall, MLB 09 picks up where the last one left off, but improves in every way. Baseball still isn’t the sport for me and is certainly the weakest one I’ve played next to Golf. I feel like too much of the game is left up to chance and so naturally that ends up hurting my enjoyment factor. Still, it does feel really nice to land a hit. I’m sure landing a home run would feel even better. Train up a bit and perhaps you can get really good at this game. I was unable to accomplish this and I don’t expect I would return to the game since I don’t even think it has PS3 trophies. I haven’t personally checked though so hopefully I’m wrong. I still have a few more Baseball games on the backlog so this isn’t the last you’ll see of them. This sport will return!

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Soccer Review


We’re getting closer and closer to knocking out all of the SNES games. Only 5 remain which include an RPG, a LOZ title, and 2 side scrollers. It’s been a good run, but this tells me that Nintendo needs to hurry up and start adding more games to the lineup. I don’t want to have to go back to the NES games just yet, but I will if necessary. That one still has a whole bunch that I haven’t checked out to be honest. This Soccer title isn’t all that good. Of course the controls were limited for its time, but even so it just doesn’t age too well and you won’t be playing it for very long.

The film throws you onto the soccer field and the camera angle is from above so think of it like playing Foosball from the old arcades. Instead of flipping the pieces you still do run for the ball, but everyone moves like one unit. When you’re on defense you are controlling all of the players on screen at the same time which is definitely pretty interesting. It means that there is a lot of team unity here, but at the same time it also means that it can be difficult to cover multiple people. Defense was pretty challenging here and I lost my first game 6-1. It’s definitely not like the other Soccer games where I barely even allow 1 goal.

Then we’ve got offense gameplay. On this side of the ball it really feels like you can’t do anything. You can move, shoot, and pass and that’s it. Without a way to accelerate the other players would always trip me up from behind. I’d try to pass it away, but they steal the ball in midair. The defensive players really were not playing around at all and just kept getting in the way over and over again. They were all like perfect players. I appreciate the A.I. being pretty sound but it was getting out of hand. I don’t even begin to guess what the answer to this would be. How do you get around such gameplay? The gameplay doesn’t even seem that bad, it’s just not all that balanced.

I scored a total of one goal across two games. After this I figured I should at least try the Penalty Shootout mode. I played that one twice, but still couldn’t score once while they made all of their shots. Super Soccer is definitely not for casual soccer players. I definitely see that now as I was completely crushed in the end. The computers just aren’t playing around here.

As for the graphics, they look pretty good. It’s not going to be something to write home about but at least you can always tell what is happening. There isn’t really a soundtrack, but that should come as no surprise. In terms of replay value there isn’t a whole lot to do in the game after you play a few rounds. The same can be said for most sport games, but especially one as old as this. There are just better soccer games to play whether you like the realistic FIFA titles or want something more like Ubisoft soccer. Either way this one wouldn’t make the cut.

Overall, Super Soccer is not a game that you will remember very well. It’ll get lost to the ages of time, but it’s still nice to have been able to play it at least once. If you’ve got the Switch online then you should check it out. It really can’t hurt to play it for a while since the game is free right? That being said, you’ll quickly move on to the next title as I have. This was the last SNES sport title I hadn’t played so next time it’s back to more of the side scrolling type!

Overall 5/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

MLB 08: The Show Review


It’s time to jump into the next MLB title. Baseball is next to Golf as my least favorite sport to play in a video game format. Neither one is all that exciting for me because I don’t really feel like I’m in control. In something like Basketball or Tennis, win or lose you know that you did everything you could. I feel like these games don’t give me the same amount of power. That may just be because I am not too used to these controls though. After all in Baseball I can barely pitch to save my life. The amount of balls I threw in this game was totally crazy. Then with Batting I could only manage a hit or two. Somehow I don’t think y skills will be ready for real opponents anytime soon. They’re all just too powerful.

There are a bunch of modes here of course, but I opted to start with a quick game. Little did I know there wouldn’t be anything quick about it. The other team quickly began running up the score. Before I knew it I was down 15-0 and I knew that I was doomed. The toughest part of the game for me is pitching. I was just trying to throw the ball straight across the base and yet each time the ref would say that the ball was out. A lot of the time I even felt like it was on target and somehow it wouldn’t go there. I’m thinking there is something I have to do with the directions, but it wasn’t too clear. In 09 I’ve decided that the first thing I’m going to do is look for a tutorial to try and at least get some fundamentals at the ready. Without those I really don’t stand a chance here.

As for batting, that is naturally all about reaction speed and being at the right place at the right time. There’s no magic trick here, you just got to be ready. The problem for me with this one is the fact that I end up taking swings at balls that are way out. As a result I can’t make the hit even if I time it perfectly. It’s just hard not to take the shot because then you run the risk of letting a perfectly good ball get right past you. I never want to lose that way so i just swing and hope for the best. Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll land a good homer.

Now, while I’m not a big fan of the MLB titles it’s not that all Baseball is low for me. I really liked the Mario Baseball series. Those games were done extremely well. I don’t know why the real ones are so much more difficult for me. I just can’t seem to find my rhythm here and without timing what else do I have? Trust me, it’s no fun to be pitching for 20 minutes as they hit everything or you keep throwing out of bounds. After I hit one player I even ran an experiment to see how many I could knock down. I took down almost half the team and they were still playing and that’s when I realized that I was truly doomed. Ultimately, I did a few more innings but by the 7th I had to retire gracefully. It’s not like I could somehow get 14 more runs in.

The graphics are good. The character models are on point and the game is pretty clear. I have no real issues there and while there isn’t much of a soundtrack the sound effects are real good as well. On a technical level I have no complaints. Even the gameplay while a little confusing doesn’t seem bad. I didn’t notice any glitches and I’m sure there is a trick to playing the game a little better. It wouldn’t be so popular if there wasn’t. Unlike the other sport games this one still feels like getting good is a very far off dream. Never say never though.

In terms of replay value there is definitely a lot for Baseball fans here. You can play a lot of quick games or even get ready to launch a franchise. Each game is unique so you never have to run out of content. The presentation may not be as exciting as some of the other sport games, but it gets the job done and you do feel like you’re in a real game. Batting is the offense of Baseball and so I’d be cool with the game giving us an option to automatically skip the pitching. It’s actually an option in the game so even if it’s not automatic, you can still do that if you really can’t get the hang of throwing the ball like me. I may exercise that feature a bit in the future.

Overall, MLB: 08 The Show may not be for me, but I’m sure fans of the sport will get a real kick out of it. How can you not have fun playing the sport you watch on TV? I have quite a few other Baseball games on the backburner so you can expect more reviews soon.. My personal goal for the next game is to make the score a lot closer than this one was. That shouldn’t be too hard since I got blown out here. We’ll find out one way or the other very soon.

Overall 5/10