The Prince of Tennis II Rising Beat Review


This was definitely a pretty random app game that’s for sure. Who’d have thought that Prince of Tennis would be coming out with a rhythm game right? This is really the first one I’ve played. I can see the appeal but I think there’s room to improve on the execution. Ultimately this isn’t a game that I stuck with for very long as you’ll see based on the various brief stats page I’ll be uploading. It just doesn’t feel as interactive as I’d like although the songs are cool.

The plot seems to basically be handling the early parts of the New Prince of Tennis series. It’s been so long since I read those parts that this really feels brand new at this point. That also means no Ryoma at least in the levels that I played so you’ll miss him a bit. The game is still relatively early on so there aren’t a lot of story levels yet but I imagine that will change as the game continues to update.

Aside from the story mode there are a lot of other things to do like playing through normal battles or customizing your characters. In fact you have to play through some of these normal levels in order to progress through the story or you’ll get stuck very quickly. After two story levels is when you have to play your first side mission. I’d rather the game let you just play through the story without having to go on a side tangent. I suppose the gameplay is all the same so it shouldn’t make a big difference but I want to just see what happens next in the story.

The graphics are pretty good. The art style is colorful and I like the gameplay effects. On the other hand, it’s all fairly repetitive. Every stage looks very similar and the characters are chibi style which can be fun in short doses but I don’t think it works for the whole game. It’s fun and looks nice though which is the important part. The soundtrack is definitely impressive with all of the lyrical songs. That makes sense of course since you can’t have a musical game without the songs to accompany it right?

As for the gameplay itself, the goal of the game is to tap precision. It’s effectively like Dance Dance Revolution except instead of dancing to the beat you are tapping to it. If you click the circle when it’s in the right spot then you can either hit the ball or even return it. It’s not very hard to get the hang of it either. At times you will hold onto the icon in order to complete the action and other times you will just need to tap it really quickly.

A lot of mobile games have a heavy emphasis on tapping so this isn’t anything new but at the same time it just doesn’t feel very interactive. Maybe it’s because the animations are set and your actions don’t change it. Usually at least the animations change like in a fighting game or something. Here you will be seeing the exact same animation back and forth as the two characters hit the tennis ball around no matter what you do. There’s not really any variety either.

I think that’s really what hurt the game for me. It’s just not all that interesting after a while and I wouldn’t say the story is enough of a legend to hold the whole game up. For that you could probably just read the manga or watch some of the shows and movies. I wouldn’t call this a bad game but it doesn’t really have enough strong points for me to call it a really good one either. As a result it ends up lagging behind the other apps.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one. In terms of replay value there is certainly a lot as long as you enjoy the game. Customization alone is already quite extensive and then you have the level up system and wide array of characters to work with too. The game will likely continue updating as long as it gets support so you shouldn’t have to worry about content drying up anytime soon either. Just keep on chugging along and you shouldn’t have any issues. The game is free too so it’s not like you’re spending any money here.

Overall, I’m glad Prince of Tennis got a game even if this one didn’t really hit it off for me. I’m still surprised it came out since the title doesn’t seem too huge anymore, particularly the sequel. It was hard to find on the app store initially due to the way it appears in the search results too. Hopefully it does well enough for them to consider another game in the series but with a different gameplay style. A tennis focused game would absolutely have a lot of potential if you ask me. You can definitely achieve that with mobile. Now for mobile I’m really just waiting on Megaman X Dive to show up. That’s a title I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.

Overall 5/10

Final Fantasy II Review


This game has certainly been sitting on the backburner for many years. After beating the original Final Fantasy I tried to get in on the action with the sequel but I just couldn’t pull it off. The gameplay didn’t click. Well, I finally played it from start to finish and I have to say that my view hasn’t changed a whole lot. The story is the strongest part of the game even if it doesn’t touch the newer ones.

The basic plot is that the world is under attack by the Emperor. He has decided to rule over everything just because he can. The heroes are in a rough spot so the queen will now rely on a talented swordsman named Firian, a mage known as Maria, and a strong axe user named Guy. The three of them will need to travel the world and get strong enough to defeat the Emperor. Do they actually have enough strength to do so though? The Emperor has many powerful allies as well as pretty impressive tech at his disposal as well.

This is one of the first games where it took me way longer to complete than the estimated time on the “How long to beat” site. My time nearly doubled it I think at around 20 hours. It’s pretty difficult and that’s due in large part to how the level up system works. See, you don’t have straight level ups like 1, 2, 3. Instead you level up your proficiencies and stats in battle one by one.

Lets say you defeat a minion but you took a hit in the process. You have the potential to increase your max health, speed, defense, and attack power. If you used magic during the battle you may increase that as well. You passively level up your weapon skill as well depending on which kind you have equipped. You can already see how a lot of this is luck based. You increase the chance of increasing your proficiency but it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of other factors here as well like the strength of your opponents and the duration of the match.

It’s not a very satisfying way to level up though because it’s hard to see when you’re really getting better. You also need to make sure you choose the right spells and weapons or you’ll be wasting your time leveling up something that you’ll never need. Your 4th member of the team also tends to change every other chapter so don’t get too attached. Often times when they leave they will never return so say good bye to any level ups you got.

The weapons also don’t seem very balanced to the point where I discarded them entirely by around the halfway point of the game. Instead I focused on using the barehanded techniques for the climax and honestly they seemed better than weapons anyway. I would always deal heavy damage while the weapons would falter at the worst moments. I have little doubt that the weapons would ultimately be better than bare handed but at least to the point where I was up to this did not seem to be the case.

The final boss was very difficult to defeat like this though. RNG is partially what got me through. See, his attacks were strong enough to not only finish me in a single hit but also replenish almost all of his health. Of course, that was only with physical attacks. On one of my runs I got lucky because he kept spamming magical spells which deal far less damage. I was able to buy just enough time to defeat him before he healed. Even now I think I would have a very hard time trying to defeat him again. It’s rare for things to work out in quite the same way they did here.

I don’t understand why the game went so far as to also make the equipment work against you. Wearing heavier items makes it harder to dodge but you can’t see how heavy something is without going to your character status page and leaving the item screen. Everything just did not feel very intuitive at all. Perhaps there was an easier way and I just didn’t find it. It seems like Final Fantasy II was meant to be very experimental but in this case I felt like it just back fired completely.

FF II’s spawn rate is also extremely high. Enemies are constantly attacking you every few steps. I was able to get in a lot of good reading during every dungeon. I would just keep spamming the attack button as I read through the God of High School chapters. I finished over 100 chapters as I played through this game because the battles took forever and there were so many of them. It was also uniquely useful to multi task in this game since I didn’t need spells and could just use normal attacks for every minion encounter. If I had nothing to distract myself with that would have hurt though.

Final Fantasy II also suffers from being unclear at times. You just don’t know where to go or what to do in order to advance the plot. The worst is when you’re supposed to talk to someone again and forgot to do so. So you go to the next temple but it’s still closed so you have to travel the world again in order to open it. You don’t get to fly until the very end of the game so prepare for a ton of walking. The game doesn’t give you any real shortcuts either so you really feel like an explorer. Just not in a fun way this time.

I could go on, but as you can tell pretty much none of the gameplay elements worked for me. It’s just a title that offered no qualify of life features. The graphics are good though. The character portraits are on point and I did like the minion designs. The game has a very retro sprite look which works well enough. The soundtrack is also very classic Final Fantasy with how each tune sounds. It’s all got a lot of energy and works really well.

As for replay value, by beating the game it seems like you do unlock some kind of new game+. I’m sure that will take you quite a while. Considering that the game is 20 hours long to defeat once, this is probably a 40 hour game or so. I’m not sure what the price is nowadays but it was pretty cheap before so I doubt it would set you back all that much.

Overall, Final Fantasy II is one of the weakest Final Fantasy games for me. In fact, I would have to say it loses to Final Fantasy VII and is my least favorite title. VII has the better gameplay, characters, and stories so II loses around the board to me. Don’t get me wrong, the story is fun and all but it just doesn’t make up for the game’s weaknesses. I don’t really see myself recommending this title to others as well. I’m glad that it helped continue the franchise into its current state but this is an entry you can skip.

Overall 5/10

Pokemon Unite Review


Pokemon Unite is the latest free to play Pokemon title out there. It’s loaded with all the microtransactions you want though so you can buy just about anything if you want to give some money to the gam. There was some potential to be had here for sure but ultimately I don’t think Unite quite lived up to it. The main issue with the game is how long each battle takes so I feel like you need a complete overhaul of the gameplay mechanics in order to go farther.

When you first start the game you get a pretty nice cinematic. The graphics are really on point and you can tell that you’re about to jump into the crazy world of Pokemon. I allowed my hopes to jump up as I told myself that this would be one of the greatest Pokemon spinoffs of all time. Then you’re taken to the main menu where you learn about the game. There’s a lot to the gameplay so it’s tricky to explain but here’s the basic rundown.

Unite is a 5 on 5 Pokemon battle that uses a real time overhead view. The goal is to knock out wild Pokemon or opposing team members to store up some energy. You then go to one of the opponent’s cores and use the energy to take it over. When you have accumulated enough energy to do so, you slam the energy down in a Basketball slam dunk of sorts and take over the area. Rinse and repeat until the time limit is up and the match is over.

Each match is around 10 or more minutes so that’s a lot of time to run around and explore. You will want to try and coordinate with your teammates but that isn’t easy in an online lobby. I’m not sure if you are able to connect your microphone but if you can then that is probably your best bet to get everyone on the same page. You can send generic orders using the control pad as well though.

Whether you run straight at the enemy or try and protect your own bases initially, it’s your call. There’s no best strategy I’d say, it’s really about how you execute it. Each Pokemon has their normal attack, two special moves, and a final smash. Yo want to master each ability so you’re ready for action. Of course, when the match is starting everyone has to scramble to choose which Pokemon they want to play so the odds of you getting to play the same one a lot is pretty rare. Unless you like playing as Slowbro or something since nobody seems to want to play as him.

Charizard is probably the best Pokemon from the ones that I played. Note that you start out as the Pokemon’s rookie form and gradually move up by defeating opponents. Eventually you will level up during the match and then you repeat the process for future rounds. So this all sounds pretty decent right?

Well, the gameplay is good in theory but it just didn’t really mesh with me. The time limit is too long for starters, I’d prefer a stock ruleset as opposed to time. Maybe do it by score instead but the problem with time though is that you will probably know if you are going to win or lose by the middle of the match. So you can either quit and live to fight another day or just stick it through. I’m not sure if you keep the EXP if you quit so keep that in mind. I didn’t put that to the test here.

The battles also feel repetitive very quickly. You don’t feel any real weight behind the blows. I think a 1 vs 1 battle or 2 vs 2 would have worked better than 5 v 5. This is really aiming more at the World of Warcraft/League of Legends crowd with the widespread battles. I can’t speak to those titles since I haven’t played them but for Pokemon it hasn’t yet worked. The game is a little too limiting.

So even though it’s free I don’t see you sticking with this one for very long. Ultimately it’s a fun game to bide your time with but that’s about it. Eventually you’ll be ready for the next thing. Still, I will say that the graphics are good even after the opening cinematic. The Pokemon character models are on point. Additionally, I’d say that the soundtrack is pretty solid as well. You get some classic Pokemon themes. Maybe nothing too exciting but it’s good enough as background music to keep you going.

Ultimately to move up this game just needs more content. Whether they add in a 1 vs 1 mode or maybe even a story mode, that would help immensely. You need that here to give the game an extra kick. Something to help it stand out in a crowd and give you reason to play it. Otherwise there are just too many good alternatives out there and you don’t want to miss any of those.

Overall, Pokemon Unite may not have lived up to the hype for me but it was fun to give it a shot. The game may appear very greedy with how it wants money for everything but it is still a true free to play in the sense that you don’t need to buy anything. Stick on the free path and you will still have every option available to you. Now that’s a good bargain if I’ve ever seen one right? What we need now is a free to play Pokemon runner game. Now that would have lots of potential.

Overall 5/10

The Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 3D Review


As I entered the final dungeon, I started writing this review back in April 2015. Little did I know that I would be stuck in that same dungeon for the next 6 years. It’s pretty fun to see how I may have sounded 6 years ago and why waste the writing right? So I’ve kept my old review in italics and will throw in some additions at the very end of this review for some modern thoughts
Majora’s Mask is one of the few Legend of Zelda games that is a direct sequel. It takes place after Ocarina of Time. Despite this it seems to be forgotten or pushed to the wayside more than the other big titles. Part of the reason is that it is a sequel so it could not be thought of as the next core Zelda game. That being said, it does have a strong fan following and it is talked about to this day.

Link’s adventure begins suddenly as he is confronted by a mysterious kid. He calls himself Skull Kid and his powers are incredible. He takes Epona away and transforms Link into a scrub. Link will have to stop strong guardians in different parts of the world if he is to stop the moon from crashing. He only has 3 days to do this, but let’s not forget that he is the hero of time! Time has never been a problem for Link before and it won’t be one now.

Graphically, the game holds up pretty well. You are bound to feel nostalgic if you played Ocarina of Time. Of course, the area is not quite as happy as it used to be so things are also different. I am also sure that you are familiar with the many fan theories for this game. There are loads and loads of them to be found and the developers likely had this in mind when they were making the game. It is certainly a lot darker than the average Legend of Zelda game.

The sad fact for the resistance is that Link is simply too late this time. Most of the heroes are already dead and Link simply pretends to be them so that he can inherit their powers and keep up morale. It is certainly scary just how many casualties there were in this game and the whole atmosphere can seem depressing at times. It is as if all hope is lost.

The soundtrack is a little limited, but it is still good. The danger theme holds up well and that’s the main one that I continue to remember. It is catchy and returns again and again as you play the game.

Unfortunately, I do think that this game is a big step down from the average Zelda game. It certainly loses to all of the big titles. There are two main reasons for this. The first of which is the new 3 day system. As it is, the 3DS version added more save features to make this a little less tedious, but the system still hurts the game. It is a unique gimmick as Pikmin is the only other game that I can think of which uses it. That being said, it simply acts to delay you. If you are in a dungeon when the 3 days are up…then too bad. You can slow down time to make it more manageable, but it is still an issue which the adventure could do without.

What acts as the ultimate 1-2 punch here is the large amount of puzzles. Legend of Zelda has always had this element to separate it from the traditional hack and slash games. In the past, it has worked really well like with Wind Waker and Skyward Sword. (Which was still a very fun game) Unfortunately, Majora’s Mask is unable to find a good mix of puzzle and action. It is skewed heavily in favor of puzzles. Towards the end of the game, we finally get more action but for the first 70-80% of the game the action is minimal.

Puzzles can be fun if handled right. You always felt a sense of accomplishment when you solved one in Wind Waker. Of course, there was no timer there. Even without a timer, Majora’s Mask’s quests are not nearly as fun as they could have been. One big reason is the actual gameplay.

The gameplay is your average 3D title. You can’t jump, but you have a lot of gadgets and you traverse through the unknown. It works very well for the action segments. The puzzles are the dicey part. Some temples like the water one require you to walk a great distance between areas multiple times. Link isn’t very fast so it makes the experience that much worse when you have to head back to a place where you have already been. It is not as if Link is abnormally slow, but for some reason, if just feels like it can take forever to get to where you want to go at times.

Many of the puzzles simply start as well and you just have to wander around until you find out what to do. It is difficult, but in more of an artificial way. I love a nice challenge, but not because I am unsure of what to do. Look at Capcom vs SNK’s God Rugal/Regal boss or the Subspace Emissary on intense in Super Smash. Those can be very difficult, but you do know what to do from the start. It will test your gaming ability, but in a fun way.

After all, you are playing to have a good time and that is one area where Majora’s Mask is lacking. It simply isn’t fun at times, which certainly hurts the score. It takes away the replay value factor and makes this title dangerously close to not being a good game. All right, that’s enough for negatives, let’s close out with what the game did right.

While the gameplay doesn’t suit the puzzles, it is still a lot of fun for the combat. Striking with a sword or using one of your gadgets ensures that you are in for a very flexible boss battle. The boss fights are also fun. They can be direct like in traditional 3D fighters, but often times they are unique in a good way. The ocean boss fight with the large fish was certainly fun. A lot of the boss designs are certainly good. It is also fun to see the ReDeads/Undead appear once more to strike fear into the hearts of many. They are still one of the most intense minions out there and facing them is always a lot of fun.

Link is naturally about as heroic as you would expect. He tackles the enemies with complete confidence in his abilities and never loses sight of his goals. Naturally, this game came out a long time ago so it can’t make him look quite as epic as a modern title would, but Link tries his best and that’s the important part. He is knocked down many times, but he always makes sure to get back up.

I am definitely not a fan of Skull Kid though. He is lacking in willpower from the start and he just isn’t my kind of villain. His design certainly isn’t bad though. Majora is the real threat and makes for a really epic villain. Even before playing the game you’ll have seen this guy’s crazy super form designs since it’s so iconic. The developers really gave it their all to ensure that Majora would spook the audience as the fight began. Certainly an epic way to end the game.

Finally, Majora’s Mask is very interesting. It is like looking at a twisted alternate reality if Link had not saved the world from Ganondorf. Which, it is still surprising that Ganon completely missed out on this title. That is certainly rare for a LoZ game.

Overall, Majora’s Mask 3D will continue to be known as the deepest Zelda game. It has the mechanics of Ocarina of Time, but ends up losing out due to the extreme number of puzzles as well as the two gimmicks. Those being the masks and the 3 Day system. More action and play time as Link would have done much to improve this title. Either way, the graphics and soundtrack hold up well. The iconic “You’ve met with a terrible fate haven’t you?” line holds up very well to this day. It makes the merchant appear to be sympathetic, sarcastic, or gleeful depending on how you read it. I wouldn’t trust him though since it seems like he destroyed Mario…heh heh. If you are looking for a nice challenge for your puzzle skills or are a big Legend of Zelda fan, I recommend checking this one out. It is also a good bet if you just want to analyze the game and create some theories of your own about it. If not, Skyward Sword is probably a better bet.

My views on the game haven’t really changed much since I originally played the title. I would still say this is certainly the weakest of the 3DS titles. It really boils down to the 3 day system more than anything else. It adds a layer of pressure to the puzzles to be sure, but in a way where you dread them rather than enjoy them. After playing through the stone temple dozens and dozens of times, you start wanting some qualify of life updates like not having to solve the room’s puzzle every time you have to go back and forth. Being able to equip more items at once so you don’t have to keep on substituting them out would be ideal as well.

I didn’t get to play as Fierce Deity Link so that was too bad. I guess maybe that’s more of a bonus thing if you get all of the masks or something like that. At least you definitely can’t say that the game is short though. It took me over 50 hours to conquer and even then there is a lot of extra content to try and grab like the masks and collectibles. Finding everything in this world is definitely not for the faint of heart and not something that can be sped through. You’ll really want to master these temples.

Overall, if you really enjoy puzzles and like the idea of the day system resetting your temple progress every 3 days then it’s probably about time you picked this one up. Otherwise I would say to just buy Ocarina of Time or Skyward Sword instead if you want more of a definitive Link experience. Both of those 2 are what I would call the definitive title in the franchise because they capture everything you would expect to see in a Link title. If we ever get a Majora’s Mask sequel, I’m confident it would work out a lot better since the 3 day system should be gone…at least in theory.

Overall 5/10

Kaiju Brawl: Godzilla vs Kong Review


Over the years there have been quite a few Godzilla app games. One of them was really quite great while a lot of the others have been fairly mid to even awful. Unfortunately this one’s not very good either. It definitely does beat some of the others I’ve played but it’s weighed down by constant ads and glitches. Not exactly the mobile atmosphere you were hoping for. I’ll give the developers credit for actually getting this published though because it does not look official in the slightest.

The game has 2 real modes, Arcade Mode and Survival Mode. Survival puts you in nonstop matches against monsters while Arcade mode is sets of 3 rounds. When you clear them all you’ve completed the first level, then rinse and repeat as you go through. The game only has a small handful of monsters so expect to be fighting them over and over again. You have King Kong, Godzilla, Mecha Godzilla, the Skullcrawlers, and some jello thing. That’s it, so each level you will see one of these guys.

As for the gameplay, it’s a 2D brawler. You move the character by tapping on the screen and then you can use a few moves. You have the close quarters combat attack which is what you will mainly be using. If you wait a bit, your special meter will charge and then you can fire your ultimate attack which does a good deal of damage. The final button lets you jump but there’s no scenario where that is even slightly helpful so you don’t need to bother using it.

There’s not much point to playing Survival mode but I made it through around 10 rounds to be safe. You get money to level up your characters so that’s a start. Arcade Mode is where you feel like there is at least some progression. I think there are 60 sets available in the game currently so clearing all of those should take some time. The main issue is that after playing 1 set you will already have seen exactly what the game has in store for you. It’s not a very elaborate title.

Now that’s not a bad thing per say but the game also feels very low budget. It crashes quite a bit and sometimes the icons will disappear from the game. You won’t be able to see your level or attack meters so you have to hope for the best. It doesn’t look like the game was formatted all that well to the screen size so some things will usually get cut off. That’s all the tip of the iceberg though. I could get around that but not the next part.

After each set you have to watch an unskippable commercial for another app game. This is also true if you click the wrong button after finishing a survival mode or when trying to navigate the menus. If this happens you have to either wait or just close the app and re-open. The game feels incredibly greedy with how frequent the ads are. The ads should be something you watch as a bonus but not something you have to watch. That’s an easy way to take someone out of the game immediately. Ads have no place being an intrusive mechanic when you’re just trying to play for a bit.

That alone meant that this game wasn’t going to get a positive score. Still, it had help from all the other aspects of the game being underwhelming. Just take a look at the graphics, it’s not that good. I’ll give them credit for the drawings I suppose as someone probably had to work on those characters models but it doesn’t look nearly as good and detailed as it should. The lack of content is also quite telling since the game has to throw a bunch of levels in just to inflate the count.

There are no good themes to listen to hear so you can forget about that. The menu says there is a Story Mode coming soon but I have serious doubts on that. It’s one of those “I’ll believe it when I see it” kind of things. Not that I’ll have the game still downloaded on my phone by the time this review pops up though. Space isn’t exactly unlimited so these games get the boot as soon as I’m done. The only nice thing about the ads was I found another Godzilla ripoff game so I’ll be checking that one at some point.

What does the game do well? Well, I suppose the actual combat gameplay is really not that bad. It actually has some reasonable mechanics to it even if it’s extremely basic. Like I said earlier, I could get behind this if you just take away all of the negative aspects. Then you would really have something here. Maybe if they worked on it another year or so to add content before throwing it in the app store then I’d be singing a different tune.

Overall, As it stands there just isn’t anything to really keep me here. A story mode of some kind would have really helped. There isn’t a lot of replay value and earning coins seems like a long process from what I got so far so unlocking the other characters without paying the big bucks would take way more of an investment then I was planning to give. If you want to play a Godzilla mobile game definitely give this one a pass.

Overall 5/10

Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 Review


I’ve played quite a few Baseball games in my day but the Simulator title looked like it would bring a bit of a different experience. When these games show up for free through the Nintendo Switch Online service I know that I have to try them all. Well, this one certainly lived up to the hype as I expected it to. Baseball titles still really aren’t my thing as it almost feels too luck based with the gameplay. After all, after you hit the ball who knows where it will go? It’s different from Football or Basketball where you really know where it is going to go.

What makes this one a little more interesting is we do have some fun SNES music going on the whole time. It helps give the game a lot of extra energy. To date the best baseball game is Mario Sluggers for Gamecube. That one was fantastic. This one doesn’t get quite that detailed but you do feel like you have a chance when you’re swinging the bat around. I decided I would play this one until I at least managed to score.

In the first game I walked away with 0 runs which was rough. My batters just couldn’t manage to hit the ball and the other team was scoring every few seconds. Well, I eventually adapted and by the third game I hit a Home Run. In fact, I hit 2 more in that game but ultimately I still lost 11-3. Still, it felt like I had made some real progress so that was really cool.

My gameplay tip would definitely be to not try and go for bunts. 99% of the time it will fail and on the other 1% it’s not like you’re getting more than one base. It’s better to swing for the stars. The tough part is that the fast balls are almost impossible to react to. You just need to swing as soon as he pitches but if it’s a change up or a slow pitch then you’re not going to fare so well. It definitely makes for a tough dynamic but that’s how it’s got to be.

When it comes to fielding the ball, it can also be tough to catch without finding yourself in the wrong spot. It took me a bit of getting used to but with the way the other team kept on hitting the ball I certainly had enough opportunities to get good there. Pitching is pretty straight forward but it’s hard to make it so the CPU doesn’t just hit the ball out of there. They don’t bite on any ball that’s too far out and they would hit even if I used a curve ball or a fast one. Far as I’m concerned you need to get great at batting because otherwise you’re just going to get out scored.

The graphics look pretty good here. I wouldn’t say they are completely out of this world or anything crazy but the game looks good while you’re playing it. Between that and the smooth gameplay that’s why I would say this title was fairly decent. It’s the kind of game that is a lot more fun when playing with someone else as opposed to a computer. It’s tempting to boost the score up a bit more but I’d say in the middle is fair.

Overall, I wouldn’t say there is a ton of replay value here but there’s definitely enough content to keep you busy all the way through. If you like Baseball gameplay a lot then you’ll like this game. I’d even say the mechanics are better than some of the big budget ones. Considering that the game is free you definitely can’t go wrong.

Overall 5/10

Super Bomberman R Online Review


It’s time for the latest game in the classic battle royale style. At this point there are quite a few that have tried this our such as Mario, Tetris, Pac-Man, and now we have Bomberman. Unfortunately this one may be the weakest of the batch. It has some interesting ideas but it does feel like they put less effort into it compared to the others. The menu layouts aren’t great and the tutorial doesn’t even cover a lot of the controls. There isn’t a practice mode where you can try this out for yourself either. So at the end of the day what that means is this one just doesn’t hold up.

The main mode of course is to jump in and start a 64 man free for all. You run around the map and drop off some bombs in order to knock the other players out. You have two health points so if you get hit twice then that’s it for you. When the match starts you are effectively boxed in and have to blow up crates to get out of there. Each bomb destroys some tiles on all 4 sides of it. You want to stay out of range since your own bombs can certainly hurt you. After a while the stage will start to explode so you have to go and run into a different room. Once the blocks fall again you restart the process.

It may sound simple enough but you also have to factor in the special abilities. Each character aside from the main Bomberman fighters have a special ability to watch out for. For example, Solid Snake is in this game and he has the ability to turn invisible. That way you can’t see him until he throws the bomb and it is too late to dodge. Another character seems to have some kind of magnet. A lot of the characters need to be purchased so I didn’t try their abilities out but this is an interesting twist.

In most free for all games each character has the same abilities. Changing your character is purely cosmetic in order for everyone to have the same playing field. Well, that’s not the case here. Your characters all have way different stats. Another example is how many bombs you can put down. For example the average character can only drop one at a time but some characters can drop more than that. Then you have characters with bombs that have a longer reach, can throw farther, etc.

Due to each of the characters having different stats, I definitely expect we’ll see characters belonging to different tiers before long. Not every character is equal this time around so I imagine this game will be less balanced than all of the others. That being said, we’ll see if enough people are playing the game for that to become a big concern.

On one of the first days of the game it was already taking a while to get a match. I suspect that’s more an issue with the servers that they’re using and not a lack of player base though. It just seems like it would be way too soon for that to really become a factor just yet right? It does make it a little harder to really get into the action as well. There’s just a whole lot of waiting each time which gets old. You’ll want to be reading something as you wait.

The graphics are good though. It all looks pretty modern and you can really feel the energy behind all of the character designs. The levels look nice as well and the game reminds me a lot of the Mega Man Powered Up game from back in the day. It’s got that kind of a vibe/look at the very least. So I have no complaints with the graphics. The music seems a bit limited but it’s not bad either. You won’t have much time to think about it to be honest.

It is rather odd that the game doesn’t properly teach you how to play the game though. Figuring out what each of the power ups do will be up to you. Additionally the same is also true for learning how and when you can pick up and throw bombs. If anything I think the game could have done without that. It makes the strategy aspect a little more intense if you have to run around and dodge as opposed to just throwing the bombs away. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of the labyrinth?

In the end, the game just isn’t nearly as fun as it could have been. Pac-Man was hype with how the gameplay worked and Tetris was absolutely stellar. The shooter games like Fortnite and Call of Duty have the style on lock of course. I don’t think any of these will be passing those but at least you want them to put up a fight. Tetris did that really well by adding a ton of bonus content through the years and the gameplay just really works.

Bomberman feels more like a cash-in with no real content to speak of. You have a battle pass so eventually you will unlock some costumes and such but it takes forever. I played 5 battles but with all of the waiting between levels that wasn’t as quick as I would have liked. It’s not a bad game but it does feel like one that is just trying to grab ahold of the battle royale trend. The problem is, with so many others to choose from I don’t see why you would stick with Bomberman for more than a few days.

Overall, Super Bomberman R definitely underperformed. I would have to say that it just couldn’t quite keep up with the others. It really didn’t feel like it was trying either. There’s not a lot of heart to this game. There would need to be some big fixes/patches to really get this one back on the right track. If you’re a huge Bomberman fan then you should check this one out, but otherwise I’d say to give it a skip.

Overall 5/10

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! Review


Whenever you think of a free to play running game you’re probably thinking of high energy titles with a ton of content and amazing replay value. The highest values of quality are associated with these titles because there’ a lot you can do with it. Unfortunately Crash ends up fumbling the ball on this one and it’s easily the weakest free runner that I’ve played. Sonic, Ladybug, and the others are all a lot better because they embraced the free to play elements while this one seems a little more hesitant.

First off, the gameplay is fine. It’s your standard auto runner so you can crouch and jump to avoid obstacles. There are power ups in the levels and even a little boss fight at the end where you have to tap the screen with precision. These are good mechanics that work well. I did not have any qualms with the gameplay. The levels are also nice and bite sized so there is a whole lot of replay value there.

What is my main issue? It’s the energy system. Now, longtime fans of mobile games will recognize that this isn’t new. A lot of mobile games have something like that to prevent you from beating all of the content instantly. The most confident games though like Pokemon Go, Godzilla, and Dr Mario have no such system. Others like Fire Emblem Heroes, Dragon Ball Legends or any other big gatcha game have it as a formality but it’s hard to reach. In those games you could play effectively with no limit for about a month and then after that you’re limited to about 4-5 hours a day. That’s fine, I’m unlikely to play a mobile game longer than that anyway and it seems like a pretty fair tradeoff.

The problem with Crash is that it’s immediate. Within about an hour you’re going to start running into a shortage of items. Your options at that point are to wait, buy the items, or play old stages to try and get more materials. Why should I need to play an old level when I just started the game though? That was my main issue throughout the game. It felt like you were always needing to go and grab other collectibles so you couldn’t really appreciate the game.

It feels greedy because most of the time your gaming experience won’t be interrupted until you’re fairly deep into the story. Imagine having to go back and raise more Pokemon in Pokemon Masters instead of blasting through all of the available levels? Or needing to go back and clear more Witch rooms in Madoka instead of continuing? That’s my issue with the Crash game, it seems like they heavily steer you towards playing a fee right off the bat rather than enjoying your free experience. If you ask me, that’s the real shame here.

Not even adding in the famous mascot “The Noid” was enough to save the game. I had already finished my playthrough of this one before he came out but let me say that he was not enough for me to change course and go back in. You would need to fix the fundamental issues of Crash’s item system first. Part of the issue is that there are several different kinds of items, materials, and levels you have to get. This should be simplified so there is only one kind of vial for example. Instead of 3 tiers to each item, make it 1.

I would also add a new player bonus like most games where clearing story levels for the first time replenishes your energy. That’s a great way to keep you playing uninterrupted for a long while and then you can really enjoy going back to clear up loose ends. I don’t see why the game decided to be so different from the other auto runners. At the very least the unique approach didn’t work this time.

The graphics are really good though. It’s clear that a lot of work went into making the game look as good as possible. The character models are really on point. They wouldn’t be out of place in the big budget PS4 games. Then the soundtrack and level designs are good. Each theme sounds good and is fittingly high energy for a running game like this. The levels all look like the traditional Crash levels as well.

In terms of replay value, there is a lot here even if we don’t count all of the material farming. The game launched with well over 50 levels and I expect new updates will bring more and more. You can unlock costumes, in game achievements and things of that sort. As with most mobile games, you can probably expect to keep finding things to do here all the way until the game eventually runs out of steam and just ends naturally.

Overall, My main issue here is just that the game feels rather greedy. You can make the case that all mobile games exist to make money since the free to play model is built on using ad revenue but some games certainly use it better than others. In a lot of mobile games you never even get tempted to pay money and it’s all rather harmless. Additionally, if there’s a mobile game you seriously enjoy and will play for 50+ hours anyway, then spending a few bucks may not sound bad. This one just won’t be that game though. I’d highly recommend playing just about any of the other free runners instead but if you have some time then I suppose this isn’t a bad bet. Getting around the time limits is really the most annoying part so if you get past that then there are the fundamentals of a good game.

Overall 5/10

Lunar: Dragon Song Review


What were they thinking with this one? Dragon Song easily has some of the worst video game mechanics I’ve ever seen. Another issue here is at least most titles stick to just having one awful gimmick that was thrown into the game. This has a bunch of them and we’re definitely going to have to talk about why they are an issue. There is a decent game buried in here somewhere but the game makes it as difficult as possible to try and find it. I can see why the franchise basically died with this one.

The story takes place many years before Lunar Legacy so now we can see why everyone looked up to the Dragon Master and why all of the dragons were in poor shape from the start of the first game. Well, Jian is just your average main character who looks up to the old legends of strong fighters. One day he and Lucia are on a usual delivery job from their guild when they wander into a town and fight some monsters. That’s when they find out that the town general is actually a mad man chasing power. He takes out the dragons and becomes the Dragonmaster. After that he kidnaps Lucia.

Jian has to get her back but the only one who can defeat a Dragonmaster is another Dragonmaster. Jian needs to take down all of the dragons and get some powerful friends by his side if he is to save her but it won’t be easy. Fortunately Jian is the kind of guy who learns really fast and isn’t afraid to mix it up with the enemies. In fact, he does have more character than the first game’s protagonist even if he is unreasonable a lot of the time. Get ready to hear Jian constantly talk about how he has to save Lucia and he will do whatever it takes. He says this a whole lot.

Dragon Song has a fairly weak character cast though. You won’t remember any of the heroes for very long which is a shame. Additionally, the main villain is so unremarkable that the game doesn’t even let you fight him. Yes, you have a main villain who actually goes out without a fight. If that’s not anticlimactic then I don’t know what is. It was such a bad way to go out too. Then for the heroes you have a revolving door here as your party members keep on changing. Maybe that’s part of what makes it hard to really sync up with them. They also don’t level up with you so be prepared for a level 1 guy to join you when you’re past level 10. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.

While Jian’s determination to save Lucia is good, he does come across as unreasonable parts of the time. A big moment of this is when the world is at stake and he has deliveries to do but gets baited into joining a tournament to prove that humans are just as cool as the Beastmen. It wasn’t really a good time for that and he ended up being cursed for his efforts. The game has a theme about humans vs beast men similar to Arc the Lad, but it is not handled nearly as well to be honest.

Lets talk gameplay now though. On its surface this is a turn based combat game where you attack enemies and level up to victory. Here’s the first issue..you can’t choose who you attack. Yes, it is completely random by the system so get ready to always be attacking in the worst possible combinations. Enemies who you should defeat easily suddenly become an issue due to this. At least you’re earning EXP the whole time right?

Wrong! You only earn EXP if you switch to EXP mode but then you won’t earn any materials or items. Moreover, the enemies and bosses level up with you. The issue with this is that your efforts are largely wasted as the bosses get a whole lot of extra health for leveling up. Grinding up your levels just isn’t as satisfying as it usually is. Also, you don’t get money from minions no matter which route you choose so earning enough to buy the good equipment takes a long while. The best way is to just farm guild missions which is still quite slow and tedious.

It’s also worth noting that your weapons and equipment can break. Yeah, this has never been a good gimmicku and Lunar Dragon of all games was not going to be the exception here. Did I mention that you can run at your own peril? The game encourages you to walk because if you run then you will rapidly lose health points. If you get too low on health then you have to walk until you can find the nearest healing statue. It’s incredibly inconvenient when you’re at lower levels and don’t have a whole lot of health to speak of.

There is no quick travel system for each town. You can use ports to skip some areas but at the end of the day be prepared to do a lot of running. If you want to open the chests in an area you have to defeat a bunch of minions within an allotted time while in EXP mode. The game really wanted to make sure every aspect of the game was as painful as possible. Now you may be wondering, why isn’t the game a negative score then? Well, the answer is because the game still has enough interesting points where I would say it’s worth a playthrough. Even if just to see how bad these mechanics are.

The graphics are decent even if I would definitely not call them very good. I would have liked actual cutscenes or at least some illustrations instead of the hard to read text that is spammed at you. The soundtrack is pretty forgettable though so you won’t remember it for long. The game took me around 20 hours to complete which is really not all that bad. It definitely could have been a lot worse that’s for sure. There isn’t really any post game to speak of though so forget about having any replay value.

Overall, Lunar: Dragon Song is definitely what I would call a soulless RPG. A lot of the decisions are completely baffling as to why you would ever even want to add them in. They straight up take a lot of the enjoyment out of the experience. This game should have been an easy 7 and yet I couldn’t give it a positive score. The gameplay is just slowed down far too much. To run away you even have to blow into the microphone which is also horrible. There are probably even more mechanics I could mention but you get the general picture. Dragon Song was just never going to be all that good because the gameplay is a huge part of any RPG. Same with the story and that was just pretty bland.

Overall 5/10

Subnautica Review


Time to check out another one of the PS Home free titles. Subnautica is a survival game and I haven’t played a whole lot of those. Unfortunately…that’s probably for good reason. Now, you can absolutely churn out some great titles for this genre, but this was not one of them. I think there is an ambitious game to be found here but it does leave you to your own devices a lot and it is maybe trying to be a little too realistic. More on that in a minute.

Your spaceship has crashed and now you are stuck in an escape pod. You are able to bust out but the main ship is infected with radiation so going there isn’t exactly an option. Additionally, you don’t have a lot of equipment. If you don’t rustle up some food and water soon then you will eventually die. Can you manage to survive in such a remote ocean or is it game over for you? There isn’t much of a plot beyond that but you’re not supposed to be playing the game for the story to be honest.

The gameplay is pretty smooth so that’s good. I was able to make a knife and a power up that let me swim faster so that was a good way to kick things off. I felt like I would do anything as I scooped up a bunch of mushrooms and equipment. The problem is that soon after I ran out of item space and couldn’t figure out how to clear my inventory. I put as much as I could in storage but even that filled up so then I was sunk. I needed to try and make some things to fix up a radiation suit or to at least fix my tech but I couldn’t find the elusive ingredients.

One thing is due to how large the game is, it can be very hard to find a specific item. It’s like digging for a needle in a haystack as they say. Along the way you can also meet a lot of fish and even some monsters. Watch out as some of the monsters can blast you out of existence with their spores or just eat you straight up. I wanted to see how far the ocean would stretch out so I made it a great distance before being eaten. I’m sure there is a limit to how far away you can go but it would take a while to get there.

The farther you go the more dangerous the Ocean gets as well which makes a lot of sense. That’s exactly how you would expect it to be right? Meanwhile you can’t go underwater for very long as you will drown so keep that in mind as well. In a way you have 4 different health meters now as you have to watch out for radiation, hunger, oxygen, and water. Fail to keep one of those meters up and you’ll die. As I mentioned the game goes very in depth. I could have done without some of that though like food which is probably the most annoying one. Dying of hunger’s kind of sad but at the same time I won’t want to waste item space on getting a lot of fruits or fish.

You’ll need to do it anyway but still, I think that’s where the game is getting a little too realistic. I’d be good with just hanging out in the ocean. The graphics are definitely really good though. The game’s visuals are sharp like the waves and the backdrops. It’s part of why you can be okay just swimming around for an hour or two. The soundtrack is pretty much nonexistent though so don’t expect to hear any big tunes like that. This isn’t exactly that kind of game after all.

Ultimately what keeps the game from going higher is that it’s just not a whole lot of fun outside of short spurts for me. It’s not really a very active game where you are doing a lot of things. You do have to plan things out and someone like Senku from Dr. Stone would probably appreciate the attention to detail. Outside of a scientific basis though, I wouldn’t be likely to go back to this game without some kind of extra story being added in or some cutscenes. Now that would be a lot of fun.

Overall, Subnautica is a game where you can tell they did put a lot of work into it. It didn’t quite click with me but if you’re really into the genre I can see how it could potentially work. The level is certainly huge so you can spend a lot of time in the game. The loading time may be a little long to start the game but considering how much has to be generated I can see why that is the case. It basically saves at any time as well so that’s cool. There are also some automatic events that play out the longer you play so that’s pretty neat. It’s free so you may as well give it a shot.

Overall 5/10