6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Battle of Giant Dragons Review


It’s time to look at a game that I’ve passed by in stores on many occasions. The game has been dirty cheap practically since it first came out. The reason why I didn’t get it was because the gameplay didn’t look particularly engaging. Still, there was a lot of good games on sale and I needed an extra one for the 4 for 2 deal so I finally took the plunge. The game is about what you expect. The gameplay is actually pretty fun but the game is quite bare in terms of content. There’s not enough to keep you busy for very long and I would say that it is a weakness for the title.

The basic plot seems to be involving humans taking on dragons and such. There is a short prologue to this effect but there are no more real cutscenes after that so the story itself ends up fading away. Even when you beat the game there is absolutely no ceremony. The game just tells you to pick another dragon and beat the game again. Perhaps after beating the game with the main 4 dragons you would get some kind of extra ending or something but that shouldn’t really be necessary if you ask me. You deserve at least a normal ending for clearing the game.

It’s a pretty short game so you should have it completed within a few hours easy. There are 4 worlds and each one has 3 levels. The objective in each level is to collect 2 gems. 1 gem is obtained by beating a dragon located somewhere on the map with a dragon head symbol. The other one is achieved by defeating a dragon that can only be fought after completing a lot of different objectives. Usually this includes tasks like melting a bunch of gem stones, and navigating a maze. Once you have obtained both gems you tap on a device that gets you out of the level. These levels can be pretty quick as long as you don’t bump into any random dragons by mistake. They all trigger fights that are exactly the same as the boss fights. They’re extremely easy but it will take more time.

The gameplay style is a turn based combat style to an extent but it’s all based on speed. You tap on one of the squares to choose which attack you want to use and then flick forward. You can also block and dodge. After you attack you are given the option to absorb some energy from the opponent to power up your next move or use a quick super attack. Personally I usually just pick to absorb an attack once so you can use your final smash on the second round. Then absorb two more turns and another final smash on the third round is guaranteed to beat the opponent. I naturally chose the fire dragon and went on a rampage with his powerful attacks. The fire dragon seems to be the best one in my opinion since all his attacks boost his attack power even further so the odds of you not taking down your opponent in a few turns is slim at best.

The gameplay isn’t particularly balanced though. You never need to actually block or dodge. Just keep swiping up and the opponent will never be able to attack before you do. Even if they block it just delays the inevitable since they can’t counter attack. I assume this wouldn’t work quite so well in a multiplayer match or something like that but 1 on 1 it’s quite easy to take the win. The game is extremely easy as a result with no real challenge to be had. You’ll dominate the game without any real effort. That’s also part of why the game is so short I suppose. If you never lose then it’s like you’re playing the game full steam ahead.

In terms of graphics they aren’t bad but you can see how the game is pretty lazy. Almost all of the dragons are re-used assets. The lord of the first world has the same exact design as all of the minions you fought earlier after all. That’s just sloppy and it makes the boss feel a whole lot less special since he could be just about anyone. The game had a little fun with some random side bosses at least which was fun. One such boss was a cop car that came out of nowhere and another was a drum set. You don’t have to fight these guys but they’re super weak so you might as well. The game should have embraced this part a little more and it would have made the game a lot more memorable.

Overall, Battle of Giant Dragons is a pretty forgettable game. It’s incredibly short and the gameplay is 1 dimensional. These two things could have been forgiven if the story was really good, but that’s not the case either. When you’ve got nothing going for you other than a fairly enjoyable gameplay style it’s going to heavily limit your potential. The game is still fun enough for what it is I suppose and it’s cheap which means you can get a good value here. Gameplay is the most important factor so I’d still put this one in the green in the end, but just barely. I don’t really see myself seeking out the other games in this franchise but I suppose if I happen to be in store you never know. I may pick up a game like this at some point. If you want a good game with big enemies to topple though, I recommend checking out Budokai Tenkaichi 3 instead.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Bubsy: Paws on Fire Review


Long have I waited to check out this new Bubsy game. The first one was a little too short which ultimately limited how good it could be. I couldn’t help but feel that the game left a lot on the table. While the sequel is longer, it mostly thrives on artificial length which is regrettable. It has enough faults to where I can’t call it very good but it’s still a solid play through in the end. I’ve been a Bubsy fan for ages so it was disappointing to see this game not quite meet expectations, but I guess they can’t all be winners.

The game starts with an incredible opening cutscene where the kids tell Bubsy that his help is needed once more. Aliens show up to mock Bubsy but he ignores them and gets ready to save the world. Even if nobody is ultimately grateful to him for doing so that doesn’t stop Bubsy from doing the right thing. It’s part of why he is such a good hero, he just doesn’t get slowed down by what’s going on. It’s why Bubsy is a hero you can really rely on. The rest of the game unfortunately has no plot until literally the final cutscene where we get an epilogue. I was hoping for cutscenes between each world but I suppose that was too much to hope for.

So, as I mentioned the opening cutscene is amazing. A few times the game disconnected my controller so I was forced to hear the beginning quite a bit. I think what really makes it so good is the timing of the music and the characters running in. I just haven’t seen that level of expertise in quite time so it was most impressive. In general the graphics are quite good and the soundtrack works well. The technical elements of the game really hold up quite well. It’s just too bad that the gameplay can’t match it so lets talk about that.

This is a 2D endless runner. Personally I always felt that endless runners are best in 3D because you can really see where you’re going. Think Subway Surfers or something like that. When it’s in 2D you run the risk of “cheap” deaths where obstacles come in a little too quickly or without warning. It was always my issue with 2D Sonic games. This one keeps the deaths to a minimum, but there are still times where you have to shake your head. There will be 2 paths and one leads to an eventual death but you don’t know this until you take the path. That’s an impossible obstacle then unless you already knew which obstacle to take so I have to give those levels a thumbs down. The level designs really weren’t the best here.

The actual gameplay is smooth at least. There are 3 playable characters and they’ve all got different styles of gameplay. Beyond running and jumping you might be able to glide, double jump, ground pound, or fire off blasters while flying instead of running at all. You’ll master all of the gameplay before long. There are 3 worlds in the game and each world has 9 stages + 1 boss level. That should be easy to complete in an hour or two right? Well, one reason why you can’t do that is because of artificial length. The game forces you to get a bunch of medals in order to unlock the next levels. Completing a level gets you one medal. You can complete a level 3 times (once per character) and if you got all the pieces of a collectible you can beat it a fourth time with another character. You will need to get 75 medals to unlock the final boss. Let’s do the math here for a sec, if you beat all of the levels once you will only have 27 medals. This means that you have to replay most of the levels 2 times. Replaying old levels isn’t really my idea of a good time.

I’ll do it of course, but I don’t like being forced to do it. It should totally be 100% your choice and the fact that it isn’t is what I don’t like. It’s really just a way to pad the game’s length without actually creating new levels. I was surprised when I saw that this was the case and not in a good way. This basically confirmed that the game wouldn’t be getting the solid 7 that almost every platformer is able to achieve. The game just feels really lazy in doing this and going through the levels can feel more tedious than fun. I’m down with playing each level once but not doing them all 3 times.

Overall, Bubsy: Paws on Fire should have been an amazing game. It was going to continue the revival of Bubsy just the way everyone wanted it. Unfortunately this just wasn’t in the cards. Bubsy ended up squandering his chance to be truly great and it ended up costing us all. This is still a good game and I would recommend it but you need to like endless runners. There is virtually no story here and there is no replay value to be had after beating all of the levels. At best you can try to get new high scores and buy some T shirts but there’s nothing noteworthy here. You just gotta go through these levels over and over again until you have the medals. If we get a third Bubsy game I hope it goes back to the series roots.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Megaman Zero Review


It’s time to look at the original Megaman Zero game. I’ve always thought that the Zero games had some of the most dynamic covers in the series. The overall art style helps you feel like the games do take place a lot farther in the future than the X titles. The plots were awesome and in many ways the games were ahead of their time. That being said, what holds this one back are some mechanics that fortunately didn’t make their way into the sequels. As a result while this game is good, it could have been way better.

The game starts with Zero being revived into a new body. It has been many years since he was active to the point where he is known as a relic of the past. Ciel is the lady who has revived him and she explains that X has gone on a rampage trying to murder all reploids. Zero doesn’t think this sounds right, but is quick to agree that X has to be destroyed. He’ll do what he can, but the resistance is fairly small and X has legions of powerful mavericks on his side. If Zero can’t defeat them all in time then there won’t be much of a planet left to save.

The idea of X turning rogue is definitely an interesting one. The guy was always so heroic that it’s hard to picture him turning evil, but being resurrected does tend to have a pretty big effect on a person’s psyche. X would hardly be the first person to turn evil from the experience. A game actually adapting the Elf Wars would be awesome, but Megaman Zero gets to start you off with a lot of suspense which is always a good thing if you ask me. The stakes are also high as you see guys in the background getting destroyed quite a bit as the game goes on. While the ESRB doesn’t list any blood in the game you may think otherwise as you look in the various level backgrounds. It’s clear that the mavericks aren’t pulling any punches in this game. The Zero saga is easily the darkest one in the Mega Man franchise.

The gameplay is pretty easy to get used to, but difficult to master. You have two main weapons, a buster and a Z saber. You can use these weapons to slay your enemies. You can also dash and jump so be careful to get out of enemy range. Of course, that will cause minions to re-spawn if you go too far back so always charge forward. The bosses are very difficult so the best thing to do is dodge their attacks entirely. Play it safe until you master their attack strategies and you’ll be fine. They all move very quickly so you’ve really got to get it all down to muscle memory. If you do that then you’ll be in good shape.

You can level up your weapons by using them a lot on minions. One easy way to max them out is to go back to one of the first levels and attack the tower that never moves. Just keep attacking it for about 40-50 minutes and you’ll have the weapons maxed out. They don’t learn a whole lot of new skills, but the Z Saber has a charge attack that’s neat and the buster gets to charge faster which is handy. You can also farm Elves this way which you can then use in the levels. An Elf aids you either in a direct way or through a supportive role. These can mean the difference between life or death in a fight. Just remember to activate them manually or they won’t take effect. You also lose the Elf whether you win or lose in the level.

This brings us to the mechanic that slows the game down though. You have 3 lives in the game and you don’t get any more. The only way is to beat a lot of enemies and hope they drop a life. I beat many enemies and I never saw a single extra life but apparently it is possible for them to drop one. It’s just really rare. This is a very difficult game so you’re going to really need those lives. The final level is one of those classics where you have to fight all of the bosses again. I was able to beat 2 bosses, but then I lost to the 3rd. Doing all of this with a single life is pretty crazy hard. Additionally you have to click through the cutscenes each time you re-start since the file loads you to before the conversations.

The game also made it so if you lose a level then it vanishes completely. You only get 1 chance for all of the levels except the big ones like the intro, finale, and a level near the middle. Otherwise the bosses just get away and Ciel thanks you for trying to stop them. It’s an interesting mechanic to have the game continue, but I don’t personally like it. I can’t think of a game where I was glad such a system was implemented. It didn’t work in Armored Core or Pikmin and it didn’t work for this one. It’s the main reason why this is the weakest Zero game for me. Between that and not getting any more lives it feels like the game is being way too harsh.

As for the graphics, Megaman Zero is definitely top tier there. The colors are very nice and the effects are ahead of their time. This could easily pass for a DS game. It’s sprites at their finest and so it can challenge the earlier shaded style of the DS and 3DS. It all looks perfectly dark and dreary to match the tone while still using a lot of colors. Zero is more of a dark purple than a light red like in the old games for example. Then the soundtrack is top tier as well. A lot of the tunes here would go on to be fan favorites and I often enjoy listening to them online.

Overall, Megaman Zero is a fun game, but one that does have its share of issues. The game is very short and you would be done with it in about an hour if you actually manage to win the levels. I got to the final level in about an hour after all and it would have been sooner if I didn’t stop to grind out the weapon levels. The difficulty should make this longer than an hour of course, but it feels artificial to an extent. The lives should not be limited and should replenish when you get a game over like in other titles. The soundtrack and smooth gameplay ensure that you’ll still have a lot of fun. You’ll probably end up watching the cutscenes online so you actually see how it ends. It’s all very engaging. If you don’t mind only experiencing some of the game then I definitely recommend buying it. Otherwise you should start with Zero 2.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario Golf Advance Tour Review


It’s time to take a look at a Mario game that I’ve had on the backburner for many years. Golf is already not one of my favorite sport games to play so even with the Mario factor I wasn’t sure this would be a hype one. I would play a few rounds here and there but the game just didn’t click. Well, now that I’ve played through the whole game I can say that it is better than the average Golf game. I think Nintendo did a reasonable job of making this as accessible as possible. That being said, it still wasn’t quite ready for the big leagues.

There isn’t much of a story beyond the intro. You’re playing as a kid who is trying to get into the game of golf. It’s tough though because you are in a world where everyone is really good for some reason. You’ll have to improve your skills before you can even challenge the top tournaments. There are 4-5 tournaments in the game and every time you clear one you unlock another. Once you’ve beaten all of the human tournaments you will finally be given the opportunity to take on Mario and friends. It’s the ultimate goal and a one in a life time opportunity. You can’t let this chance pass you by.

I’ve got to give the game credit for the amount of content in this game. There is really a lot to do at all times. Aside from the tournaments there are a bunch of mini games in each area. You can work on landing your shots next to the pole in one hit or exploring different tracks. Additionally you can upgrade your racket although I’m not sure how you get the guy to build you more after the first one. The game seems like it’s going for an RPG angle so talking to everyone is a good idea. There’s just a lot going on and this will also help you get more of a story out of the game. If that’s not your thing then no worries, you can just enter the tournaments and ignore everything else. Each tournament has a singles mode and a doubles option. I just did all of the Singles but I wonder how Doubles works in this context.

Each tournament has 18 holes. Your score is tallied over the course of these shots and the goal is to have the lowest amount of points at the end. The quicker you get the ball into the hole, the lower your score will be. When you finish a tournament you gain EXP which you can use to improve your stats. I always improved my maximum shooting distance. The others are things like control and spin. Just be careful because as you increase your skills it can be harder to control yourself. This is rarely an issue in anything beyond racing games but it is something you will want to keep in mind for this game. Especially since learning the controls isn’t the easiest thing in the world.

The graphics are pretty nice and I dare say that they are one of the game’s highlights. Everything is bright and colorful which is always good. The presentation is really nice and if you lose a match you definitely can’t blame the graphics. Then the soundtrack may not be the most memorable but it works pretty well if you ask me. It’s all just got a very calm/peaceful feel to it.

In terms of replay value the game also has a lot to offer. The main tournaments probably won’t take you much longer than an hour, but then you’ve still got the minigames and doubles tournaments to play through. You’ve also got the post game tournament which is sure to be pretty difficult. Finally you can max out your character’s level. I’m sure this will still be around 10 hours or less, but it’s a pretty good deal. I don’t think you can really ask for much more in the end. It took Golf about as far as you could on the GBA.

If I have any complaints with this game it is that the Mario characters should appear more. I’d say that the Mario Tennis for GBA game did a better job with this. They felt like end boss characters and had a presence. That isn’t really the case here largely due to the fact that the story really doesn’t get to happen. If we had gotten Bowser to show up or another villain I think that would have done a lot to make the game a little more memorable.

Overall, Mario Golf Advance Tour is impressive. The gameplay is pretty smooth and the loading times are virtually nonexistent. That being said, it is still Golf so there is a hard limit on how far it can go. In the end it’s just not my thing. It’s fun enough in short doses but I can’t see myself going back to this one. If you like Golf then this is a must buy. If you’re not really into Golf then the only reason to get this title would be to see Mario and the others, but you don’t see them much at all so I don’t think that would be the best option. With Mario Golf you should know what you’re getting yourself into. It delivers on everything it is trying to be.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Psyvariar Delta Review


Psyvariar Delta is a game I had never heard of until I happened to come across it at Gamestop. The cover art looked interesting enough and I’m always up for a sci-fi game so I quickly hit the trigger on this. The game ended up being a bit lackluster though as it doesn’t really have a story and is incredibly short. It would have been quite amazing as a SNES title, but on the Switch it feels quite a bit dated. The game is an HD remake of sorts so it is an old game, but I think they should have added a few illustrations to work as cutscenes or something like that. Even something minor would have really gone a long way to making this title more impressive.

When you start the game you don’t really have a lot of options. You can play Score Attack or jump into the main arcade mode. In the Arcade Mode you can choose between the two characters, 3 different music themes, and 3 different routes. All 3 routes are basically the same but I believe one is based on the original version, one’s from a remake, and then one is a remix. I couldn’t really tell the differences between the 3 of them so to me it almost felt pointless. Still, at the end of the day a little customization is better than none right? That’s at least what I tried to tell myself to justify the purchase a little more. Choosing between the two characters is also something that barely counts because while the ship looks a little different, the game doesn’t even go as far as to change the character portrait so it looks like you are playing as the same character. That’s not exactly what I had in mind.

As for the gameplay, this is a bullet hell game. What means is you’ll be faced with constant streams of projectiles. The levels are auto moving ones like Galaga where you can move left to right and up/down but you can’t go faster than the actual level. You have a main blaster which you can condense into a more powerful blast or keep as a wide attack. I prefer the condense version, but they both have their uses. You also have a few bombs which you can fire and then detonate. Make sure you press the bomb button a second time to actually blow it up or the bomb just gets wasted. You get unlimited continues in the game which makes the route pretty easy so you don’t really have to worry about playing cautiously. Just get in there and start blasting.

Some of the enemies/bosses have pretty original designs which is always nice to see. The graphics here don’t disappoint as the whole package looks pretty nice. Perhaps not out of this world levels of awesome, but you won’t really be complaining about the presentation. The controls are also smooth so I don’t have any real qualms with the gameplay. I think you should be able to move a little bit faster since it feels impossible to dodge the attacks at times, but I think that just means you had to make a different decision earlier. It would be a nice change, but it’s not exactly a deal breaker.

It’s the length of the game that’s an issue here. You can beat the arcade route in around 15 minutes. I beat the game 5-6 times in one day but there are no real rewards for doing so. It’s the same thing every time and I guess you can just try to improve your score. I played all of the routes just to see if things would change and it never really happened. I know you can’t win them all, but I was still hoping for an extra victory here and there. Maybe a cool cutscene or a big new boss who shows up to mess everyone up. These are the little details that I personally think would have gone a very long way towards making this game more of a real contender in the shooter genre.

As it stands, I can see why the game is only about 15 bucks nowadays. Even that feels like a little too much. I’m effectively docking a star for the length and lack of features here. If the game at least had a basic story to go along with it or something else then maybe we could have something here. 15 minutes just doesn’t really cut it. I don’t regret getting the game since the store was having a buy 2 get 1 free sale anyway and it wasn’t a bad game, but I was certainly expecting more than what I got.

Overall, Psyvariar has an interesting title and a dynamic cover. Whoever did the artwork should definitely get some praise because that person helped me buy this game. If you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand then you should be okay here, but you really do want to be aware that the game won’t last you more than a few minutes. You should not be paying anywhere near top dollar for this one because it’ll be gone in an instant. At least it allowed me to bump a game off my backlog almost instantly so there’s always a silver lining there. Browsing through the Switch collection at Gamestop there are certainly a lot of interesting games for the system. One day I’ll nab em all.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005 Review


It’s time for another Yugioh game as I get closer to playing through them all. This one goes back to the whole calendar system which still should not be a thing if you ask me. It’s one of the World Championship titles too which is odd because those are usually all about just taking out all of the duelists a bunch of times and calling it a day. Why mess with a good thing? The actual gameplay is still pretty solid but it feels like there just isn’t a whole lot to do here so you’re spinning your wheels a lot.

There really isn’t much of a plot to be found here. You are playing as a new kid on the block who is going around dueling everyone. As you beat more and more players you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. There are also tournaments you can enter on the weekend. That’s really just about it as far as plot goes. Keep on dueling and having fun. Unlike the other Yugioh game a day doesn’t end here until you click on the bed and go to sleep. That means you can have a ton of duels in a single day if you’d like. There really isn’t much of a rush either as you can’t even see the calendar so it’s hard to say if there is an end game. There didn’t seem to be any kind of change for me even after playing through a few weeks. It was the same tournaments every weekend and the same duelists on the block.

So I went around town dueling as many people as I could. For the most part the duelists around town are made to be very easy so you can beat them with your starter deck. It makes sense since our deck isn’t all that powerful. You’ve got some great spells and traps like Trap Hole and Change of Heart but most of your monsters are pretty bottom of the barrel so it’s hard to deal with stronger opponents. A good example of this was in the tournament when I fought Mako. That guy’s cards were just way above my own. My spells carried me to a victory in one round but he won the set 2-1.

Around town the characters have monsters with numbers like 800 attack points so there isn’t much of a threat. You don’t directly get cards for winning in this game but you do get money after every duel so that is very helpful. I bought a bunch of packs and in theory the best way to really get a good deck in this game is to keep farming wins off of the weaker opponents. Do this long enough and you should have a winning combo before long.

The problem again is that there isn’t too much of an incentive to doing so. I assume that winning tournaments and beating duelists enough will cause new ones to appear or do something but without knowing that for sure there isn’t a great reason for continuing to duel. That’s often the problem with no story mode. At least nowadays you can duel online to still feel like there is some kind of end game but that wasn’t really an option back in the day. I’d say making some kind of internal goal for yourself like beating every duelist once makes sense, but it’s not quite the same.

The graphics are pretty solid here. There’s not a whole lot for the game to really do with them since not a lot is happening on screen, but I’d say what we do have looks solid. You certainly won’t be confused as to what is happening at any given point or anything like that. The music is also catchy enough to enhance your dueling experience which is all that I would ask of it. It’s not the most impressive Yugioh game out there, but still a solid way to learn the game and have some fun in the mean-time. The actual UI is better than some of the other titles.

Again, it’s hard to really talk about the length since it’ll depend on how you handle this. I’d say that the game is probably about 2-3 hours if you just want to go and duel a bunch of people. If you want to get good enough cards to win some tournaments then you’ll probably need to increase that to around 10 hours. It will really depend on a ton of factors though like what cards you get from the shop or how good you are at building your deck. I imagine that most people’s decks will look incredibly different as they go through the game.

Overall, Yugioh 7 Trials to Glory is a fun game. It may not have changed the world the way that some of the other Yugioh games did, but I’d make the case that it is still a fair experience. You can buy this game for a few dollars at this point so you really can’t go wrong here. That being said, I’d advise you to get one of the other World Championship titles instead. I prefer having the tier system where as you get more and more wins you unlock stronger duelists. It makes for more of a linear campaign and that’s something I always like to see. Now I’ve only got one more GBA Yugioh game to work on, but it is by far the hardest Yugioh game I’ve played so beating this one should be tricky.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Angry Birds Trilogy Review


It’s time to look at the Angry Birds trilogy on the PS3. The game was definitely an odd port when it first came out because you can get Angry Birds for free on the mobile. Why pay the 30-40 bucks for console when you can do that? I suppose playing on console is more fulfilling with the controls for most games, but with the way this one plays out the mobile controls are actually your best bet either way. In the end I bought this game for a few bucks and I’d say that it’s worth the price for the sheer amount of content. You certainly can still get it on mobile but if you look at this port in a vacuum it certainly is worth a buy.

There isn’t really much of a plot here. The evil pig empire wants to take control of the birds base of operations so now the Angry Birds are being called in to put a stop to this. Keep in mind that the cutscenes don’t have any dialogue or voice acting so you have to interpret this as best you can but the games did get a movie so that also helps you get the plot across. You get some quick cinematics at the end of each chapter for the main game but not really any for the two spinoffs.

I’m not sure what the name for this kind of gameplay is, but I’d call it a motion shooter. Basically you have the bird on a slingshot and you launch him towards some constructs which have pigs in them. The goal is to hit all of the pigs before you run out of birds. From the start you can see how many birds you have so that’s how you start budgeting where to fire them. Sometimes you’ll aim for the pigs directly but other times you need to hit a part of the base and get it to all topple down. There’s a lot of factors to consider with each shot and towards the end there is a lot of trial and error or at least I ended up using a lot to get the wine.

As you go through the game you’ll start getting more advanced birds to use. The Red bird is the basic one that you launch into the air. The Yellow one can use a booster after launching so you can really power through some of the obstacles. The small blue one can turn into 3 birds after launch but they are all pretty weak so be careful on what you tackle. There’s the egg bomb bird which can drop a bomb below which deals a lot of damage. Finally there’s the actual bomb bird which blows up after a short time or you can trigger the explosion early. You’ve definitely got a lot of options for the birds and ultimately you will need to master them all.

You’ll have a lot of time to do so because the game has a crazy amount of levels to go through. We’re not just talking one or two hundred, but significantly more than that. I don’t know exactly how many there are but there’s enough content here to last you for an extremely long amount of time. You’d have to be a really big fan of the series to stick around with it for so long though. After a while you are effectively playing the same same stage. While that can be said for many titles, you really feel the repetition in Angry Birds. It’s just unrelenting even if the actual gameplay can be fun. I think it just needs more cinematics or razzle dazzle to make you want to stick around. Otherwise you’ll probably just stop playing after 100 or so levels. That’s what I did at any rate.

There are 3 games here, but they all have the same gameplay style so that doesn’t really solve the problem. My favorite was actually the summer game because I liked the level designs the most but they all have their charms. The graphics are pretty good I’d say. It’s not as if there is a lot in the game that really needs graphics so that probably made it easier for the company to focus on making those sections look good. We also get a few cinematics in the first game, but not really in the others. Calling them “cinematics” may be a bit strong since it’s mostly just stills that try to make you think they’re moving. I’m definitely still glad to have them though.

Angry Birds can be surprisingly difficult as well. Some levels took me dozens of tries to complete so they definitely weren’t your average mobile levels. The spike happens quite suddenly so even if you have a pretty good understanding of the birds and their various abilities I expect you will have some trouble here. I wonder how the final levels would be. They’ve got to be crazy since I was relatively early on in the game when I ended up putting it down. I have this nagging feeling that some of the birds have extra abilities that I don’t know about, but more likely I just wasn’t hitting the right angels.

Overall, The Angry Birds Trilogy is a fun game. It’s just not the kind of title that you want to play in long batches. I think it’s at its best a few levels at a time like most mobile games. It’s just not really convenient to be turning your console on and off so often the way you can on a cell phone. You’ll likely enjoy the game more if you play it on the mobile, but if you do choose to get the console version it is nice to have all of the content available right away. I do think more mobile games should try to port over to console though. It sounds like it should be fairly easy to do so the companies should make at least a bit of a profit in the transition.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

WWII Aces Review


It’s time to look at an airplane fighter that I’ve had on the Wii for a very long time. I tend to enjoy airplane gameplay well enough like in Starfox but I prefer fictional plots so this game never rose that high. We are approaching Christmas though which means an onslaught of games is fast approaching and I needed a short title to see if I could beat it in time. This one was quick enough so I went through and conquered it. It’s definitely a well made game and one that you will have fun with as you master the controls but hold your controller real steady or the motion controls will mess you up.

The game takes place during World War II as you would probably expect. There are 3 campaigns to choose from. You’ve got Germany, Great Britain, and a third one where I didn’t recognize the flag. It appeared to be Russia. Each campaign takes you through 24 missions as you fight through iconic battles. It’s time for you to almost single handily win the war. Are you up for this?

To an extent this game can feel like a beat em up with how many enemies are on screen. There’s one mission where you have to take down over 30 fighters on your own. It’s always a satisfying feeling since you pretty much feel like a champ. Make no mistake though, this game is not very forgiving and you will have to stay on your toes at all times. The game really throws you into the action and doesn’t cover the important controls.

To describe the gameplay a bit more, you are in a plane at all times. Each level will give you an objective such as blowing up all planes or protecting ally ships. There is always a lot happening in each level so be careful not to focus too much on the mission or you’ll get blasted from behind. You have an unlimited machine gun but always let go of the trigger between targets so you don’t overheat the weapon. You also have unlimited bombs which are incredibly handy for attacking ground forces. It does take a few seconds for the bombs to reload but you have so many that it is rarely a factor.

There is one move that the game doesn’t tell you about though and it is a very useful one. In fact, it is the most useful element in the game and without it beating the levels is next to impossible. Holding down the B button slows down time and allows you to really fight the enemy ships. You are slowed down as well, but this helps fight off the motion controls. I basically had it on nonstop during every fight in the game. As soon as a ship would appear I’d activate it.  I think the tutorial should have covered such a useful move….

I really don’t see how you could stand up to the legions of planes attacking you without this. They are very fast so you have to turn a lot and if you miss the shots you’ll be wrecked by another ship behind you. Since you are incredibly outnumbered you can expect a ton of sneak attacks from the back. Another handy move is to do a barrel roll. I wasn’t using fancy tricks like that for most of the game but in the final two levels it is something you will want to do.

The toughest confrontations to have in this game are when a fleet of 5-6 planes are heading towards you. If you run or fly at them you’re gonna take a lot of damage. The best thing to do is fly towards them at an angle and barrel roll out of their line of fire. You can then snipe at least 2-3 of them as you head back. Their ships are almost as fast as yours so be sure to slow down at times to aim a bit better.

The graphics are very good. Each ship is pretty detailed and the game brings in different models for each country. There is a lot of good attention to detail here. You can see objects clearly even from a good distance away so there was good effort out here. Then you have the music which is surprisingly sound. The main theme sounds a lot like Final Fantasy music. I’m still pretty surprised at that to be honest. It’s just not what I would have expected to see here but it was a pleasant surprise. It makes the game feel a little grander in scope.

There’s definitely a good amount of replay value here. The 24 missions won’t take you very long at all, but beating them with all factions will help buy some time. Additionally the game is very difficult. It’s one of the harder games I’ve played as of late and as there is no level up system here the only way to conquer the level is simply to get good. There are no shortcuts to success here so you will just have to fight your way to the top no matter how difficult that may seem. Just keep on trying and eventually you will ace the level. If something’s not working I recommend just trying to beat the game from another angle.

Overall, WWII Aces is a solid game that is hampered by the Wii’s signature motion controls. It’s quite challenging so you always have to stay sharp. Aerial combat games often give me a tough time so I was glad that the levels are so short. At least this way I did not have to replay large sections of the game. If you still have a Wii and don’t have this game yet I’d recommend picking it up. I got it for around 2 bucks and that is certainly a steal. You’ll be glad you got it.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Punch-Out!! Review


The SNES Online finally added some new games so I was definitely ready to go and check them out. Starting out with Super Punch Out felt right since it’s a pretty classic fighting game and I’m always in the mood for some boxing. It’s pretty fun, but the game definitely does feel its age a little more than the others. One of the reasons for this is the attacks all look pretty similar to it’s hard to know how to block them the first time around. You’ll definitely get the hang of it after getting knocked around by the combo a few times though.

There are a few modes here, but I dove straight into the championship option which is the main one. There are 3-4 circuits and each one has 4 rounds. If you win all 4 rounds then you have cleared that circuit and can move on to the next one. Effectively it is like going through the cups in Mario Kart. Each one gets more and more difficult so you have to work on your skills. The first circuit you can probably clear just by spamming the punch option. Once you get to the second circuit all bets are off. You have to bring in your A game if you really want to stand a chance here. Anything less and you’re going to get completely wrecked.

The gameplay is pretty simple. It’s close to being a first person game but you do see your character so I guess it might be 2nd person camera view. You have to throw punches to knock the opponent to the ground. If they stay down for 10 seconds you win or you could also win by completely knocking them out. Try as I might I could never get a real knockout. There’s probably some kind of trick to it where you need to use a specific move or something. You can shift to the left or right to dodge attacks or dodge by crouching backwards. You can throw a normal gut punch or an uppercut. Those were the only two punches that I could find at least.

Punching is all well and good, but the opponent will block a lot of hits. Typically the best way to hit him is to either hit right before he lands his blow which will deal a lot of damage or blocking his strike and quickly countering with your own. Both of these strategies require a good amount of reaction speed as well as confidence in your punch. Otherwise if you just spam punching, the timer may run out. That actually happened to me in one match. I think it’s a little iffy since I definitely had the lead in terms of health, but it counts as a loss either way. I’m guessing my opponent has the home field advantage here because that’s just not right. So that’s why you want to be careful and pick openings so the damage will build up faster. Also when the opponent hits you he will steal some of your health at times and add it to his so you do not want to get hit.

I think the toughest attack pattern I was was this one guy who would use a two hit combo and he would do it a few times in a row. It looks like you can dodge to the side, but that doesn’t work nor does hiding in the back. What’s the way around this? Well, you have to not move and that’ll automatically block the first strike, then dodge to the side. Rinse and repeat in order to get out of this fight without a scratch. As I mentioned earlier, a lot of this is just trial and error. Keep on attacking each boss and you’ll figure out how to dodge each attack without a problem.

As for the graphics, they look good. I like how expressive every enemy is. When you attack them you can definitely feel it. Additionally the colors are just good. The game may not look amazing next to something like Super Mario World, but I can definitely see the effort here. The soundtrack is less impressive though and I can’t say that I really noticed it all that much. Maybe all the punching sound effects just made it too difficult to hear.

In terms of replay value there isn’t much here. Once you beat all of the circuits then you are really out of things to do. It should take you around 2 hours or so to clear the 4 circuits but then that’s about it. The game is free with the Nintendo Online so it’s not a bad deal all things considered. You’re paying for the experience and the gameplay is sound so you can’t go wrong there. I also like how each of the characters has a little intro dialogue and everyone ends up talking pretty tough before their matches. The little animations before their super attacks are also handled really well. It can be hard to react to them because of how elaborate the animations are, but that makes it all the more impressive.

Overall, Super Punch-Out is a good game. I don’t think it’s the kind of game I would play for very long myself, but the idea is pretty sound. It does remind m that I need to get the Punch Out game for the Wii soon. I’ve seen it in Gamestop several times, but it just never made the cut. One of these days it will though and it’ll be fun to see how the series has changed and evolved over time. If you haven’t played this one yet then you should check it out. If you enjoy boxing then you’ll like this game.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Brawl Brothers Review


The SNES classics continue thanks to the Switch online. This time I’m looking at one of the old beat em ups for the console. I still think that beat em ups work best in 3D, but 2D ones still have their charm. The quality will naturally also vary with how much effort was put in and how new the title was. This one is a pretty reasonable game, but the fact that there are no save points and you do eventually run out of lives holds it back. You never want to have to try and beat a whole game in one batch. The rewind feature and access points mean that you can beat this game if you really want to, but it’ll certainly take some time.

There was a plot in the booklet I’m sure but the game just jumps you right into the action. Every time you beat a level someone joins your team so just keep going til you save everybody. Each level contains several areas. You have to defeat all of the enemies and reach the end to get to the next level. You have a standard attack which is your best move, but you can also dash attack and jump attack. Finally your character also has a special attack, but I don’t recommend using this unless you are completely desperate. That’s because this attack actually drains your health. Yes….your health actually goes down here. I can’t really see how that would ever be worth it here since health is a very rare commodity and your special attack isn’t even that good. It’s basically a flurry of quick punches.

All of the levels are pretty straight forward except for one where I really have to question the level design. It’s a maze and you never want to see any of those in a fighting game. You’re in the sewers and the goal is to get to the end. The problem is that all of the doors are fake except for one and they have you going through 4 different areas that all look the same. Without looking up a guide online you’ll be here for a very long time. I was beating enemies for about 20 minutes before realizing that something wasn’t right with how the level was still going. Sure enough I was going in circles over and over again. That definitely didn’t feel very legitimate especially since the level never gave any indication that it was going to be a maze. In a game like this you really can’t afford to have a level like that.

Beyond that level the game was good though. I do still like a solid brawler game even if this one definitely does feel dated with how many mechanics it is missing. A simple save feature and the ability to re-start at the level you’re up to would be a game changer. The graphics are pretty solid for its time. The levels look good and so do the character designs. Each level is different the game has a lot of different character models. The soundtrack isn’t memorable though, but you can’t win em all.

The game’s length seems to be about 2 hours since I beat the first half in under 1. It’s a tough game though and if you intend to beat it without save states or the rewind feature then you will be here for an incredibly long time. This title is no cakewalk and it will do everything in its power to take your lives away. The mechanics often make it easy for the villains to get cheap shots on you even if it feels like you were in the right spot at the right angle. Sometimes I would rewind up to 10 times just to get the hit because they would somehow move too quickly. It’s probably unavoidable I suppose. There’s not a whole lot of replay value here since after beating the game there is no post game content. That’s it, you’ve cleared the story and that’s its own reward. Considering that the game is free there is still more than enough content to satisfy you here.

Overall, Brawl Brothers is a game that may not have gotten very well known nowadays, but it did show us what a beat em up could do back in the day. Of course there were many others like Double Dragon which were more popular so this wasn’t quite the one that would change the genre forever. I’d recommend giving it a play. There’s a lot of fun to be had here. You may not clear the game but I think you’ll appreciate the setting and effects. I’m also getting closer to clearing the SNES and then it’ll be time to take a look at some of the other NES games that I skipped.

Overall 6/10