Time Crisis 3 Review


This one’s fairly similar to the last Time Crisis in a lot of ways. It’s got the fun cinematics that you always want to see and has a good soundtrack but the game is just so short and it’s hard to get around that. It’s over in the blink of an eye and before you know it, it’s time to put the game back in the drawer. Still if you liked the second game then you’ll like this one since they’re very similar.

The game starts with the VSSE agents on another mission. They are attacked by another evil group and have to put these guys down real quick. Fortunately they are professional so this shouldn’t be hard. Along the way they meet up with a lady who is here to bail them out of some tough situations. The 3 of them are ready for any danger that comes their way because they know that their victory is inevitable!

I wouldn’t call the game identical to the last one per say but it is similar. The game has 3 levels and each one is divided up into 3 areas. You have to blast your way through every enemy in order to prove that you really are the strongest guy on the block. You have 40 seconds for each mob rush and so you have to blast them all away. Don’t get hit by one of their attacks or you will lose a health point. Lose all 4 health points and you lose a life. You gain a new continue each time you get a game over so eventually you will have unlimited lives. You can’t move so the only two controls are to shoot and hide. Of course you can move your curser though.

Now this game is considerably tougher than the last one. Remember that in Time Crisis 2 I didn’t actually have to wait until the unlimited continues to win. It took me a few game overs but eventually I was able to beat the game. Not this time, I couldn’t come anywhere close and just had to keep on losing until I got the free continues. Only at that point was I actually able to hold my own here. This game was just impressively difficult because there are so many enemies and their reaction times are amazing. I know this isn’t my genre but even so it is no easy feat to get me to have so many game overs.

The game still feels fair all the way through though. Every time I got hit I knew that it was an attack that I should have been able to avoid. Whether I was getting too greedy in getting extra shots off or not ducking when I needed to, each of the hits made sense. It’s just hard to stay super alert and consistent the whole time. The penalty of making even one mistake is really quite large in this game. So focus up and do your best but don’t feel bad if you need the unlimited lives by the end.

Like with the last game we get a good amount of cinematics here. This time you get one for each area in addition to each level which was nice. You also have some returning villains from the first game and the villains all have solid designs. The game is as out there as ever and that’s a good thing. It’s just all so chaotic but in a good way. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next and that’s exactly how you want it.

The soundtrack is also still very exciting. The rock themes just keep on coming and they help to get you pumped during the levels. I had a good time with the story and James Bond could take a few lessons from these games on how to make your secret agent stories as good as possible. This one just had the right formula in order to make everything feel like a win. It’s not as easy as it looks.

There isn’t much replay value here though which is why I have to dock a point from the game again. Ultimately after you spend an hour beating the game there just isn’t a lot left to do. You can do the normal stage levels I suppose and there seems to be some kind of rescue mode but it’s all still very short. It’s a byproduct of being an arcade game but there should be some way around this. In fact, Time Crisis 4 did get around this so stay tuned for my review of that game soon once I complete it.

As it stands, you’ll only want to buy this game if you can get it for a really good price. If you are able to get it for cheap then there is really no issue here. You can play through the hour and have a good time. If it’s expensive though then you may feel like you’re losing out so bide your time and wait until you’ve found a good deal. Then you’re really all set here.

There is one difference though which is that you can now switch weapons. It’s surprisingly not a big deal most of the time as you’ll stick to your pistol but now you can also use a machine gun, grenades, and a shotgun. I mainly would save these for bosses as it can be tough to get the ammo that you need for them but they do help to save you some time there. I would spam them as soon as a big opponent showed up and the grenade can take out half a life bar which is great. I think there is more you could do with these weapons but I understand why they don’t give you unlimited ammo. If they did that then who would ever use the normal gun right? One risk with the other guns though is that you could be having so much fun that you don’t notice when someone is about to fire and take some extra damage. That definitely happened to me at times.

Overall, Time Crisis 3 builds on what worked in Time Crisis 2. It’s virtually the same game just with a different plot this time around. The graphics and soundtrack are similar but that’s a good thing since I enjoyed them in the second game. Sometimes it’s not a bad thing to just be a copy of the last game since what worked before will still work now. That said, it really needs to improve the length because you’re done with the game way too quickly. Increasing the difficulty may buy some time there but ultimately it’s not enough. (I am glad they still give you more continues for each game over though. Getting rid of that would have been a big mistake)

Overall 6/10

Time Crisis II Review


I’ve had Time Crisis 4 on the backlog for many years so it was finally time to go ahead and buy games 2 and 3. Well, this one is fun and while I do think it’s a bit too short which takes a point off at the end, it’s still a fun game. First person shooters aren’t typically my favorite games and even less so when you cannot move since this is a rail-shooter but the game has a fun plot with several cinematics so that keeps things moving well.

You play as two VSSE agents who have to stop another villain group from setting off nukes and destroying the world. It’s a fairly simple secret agent kind of storyline but one that works well within this setup. There are 3 levels in the game and each level has 3 areas. So you’re going to be completing this game in under an hour but the catch is that there are no save points. If you get a game over then you have to start from scratch. That’s quite difficult so the game does throw you a bone here. Every time you get a game over, you start the next playthrough with an extra life. Obtain 7 game overs and you will finally unlock unlimited continues which is where you can really have fun.

Personally I’d like to have unlimited lives from the jump but I do get the rationale of having it be an unlockable. Ideally it means that you try as hard as you can on the first playthroughs and if you still couldn’t beat the game then now you can at least see the cinematics and everything with no pressure. Or if you don’t want to do that then you can quickly tank the playthrough and get a game over as soon as possible. The game tries to discourage that by making the first level rather easy so you feel like if you’re in that deep then you may as well finish out the run.

The game is very difficult though so good luck trying to get all the way to the end. I didn’t need all of the continues but I wasn’t able to win until I had 7 saved up. With those I was able to plunge ahead. The way the game works is interesting as you’ll always see a lot of people shooting at you but half the time they aren’t actually doing anything. The ones you have to watch out for are the enemies in red and blue since they mean business. When a real shot is going towards you then the screen will flash red so you know to dodge.

To dodge you have to let go of the square button which is what lets you aim. This makes you hide back behind a wall or another object. When doing this there is no way for you to be hurt. The reason you can’t do this forever though is because each minion rush has a 40 second timer. If you don’t beat them within that time then you lose a health point and each health point is crucial here since each life only had 4 HP. The trick is to react quickly so that you keep on firing and then dodge as needed. It’s easier said than done though that’s for sure.

The graphics are pretty good here. This is a PS2 game with a rather decent budget at least based on the looks. I was satisfied here. Then with the cinematics they’re a lot of fun. We’ve got full voice acting and a very intense soundtrack with a lot of rock. Mix in the explosions everywhere and the game went all out in making this as exciting as possible. I think the Time Crisis series would make for a really exciting action series if they ever wanted to make a TV show or movie out of it. In the meantime these games will do.

As I mentioned the actual game length is less than an hour but for replay value you could always try to beat your high score or do some free play. You’d probably need to be a fairly big fan of the gameplay to do that but it’s an option at least. Personally I wouldn’t try getting the game unless you can buy it for $10 or less because there just isn’t enough content. It’s a good game and I got it for a good price but otherwise if I had gotten this on launch day then I probably would have been a little disappointed.

Perhaps it comes with the territory of being an arcade game but even so I need some serious replay value to keep things moving at a high level. Titles like Pac Man and Galaga have a ton of replay value built in so serious fans of the shooter genre may find that same value here but for me it just isn’t the same. This is the kind of game you beat straight through in order to see the whole story and then you call it a day.

My final tip when playing through the game is to just hide as soon as a blue or red fighter appears. Technically you can try to shoot them before they get off the first shot but it’s risky. Your reactions really have to be great whereas if you hide right away then you have a good chance of their not shooting when you return. The game is realistic in that you can’t tell what they’re doing while you hide though. So be prepared to react quickly when you go out there again because if your timing isn’t good you’ll be escaping just to take a direct shot which would defeat the purpose of your hiding in the first place.

Overall, Time Crisis II is a good game. I wish that it was longer but at least it does still make for a complete story experience. You’ve got a serious plot here with quality characters and an engaging story. Full voice acting and cinematics is something that will always elevate a game for me. The actual shooting gameplay is smooth enough as well. It isn’t really my thing so the game felt extremely difficult but it seemed polished for what it was trying to do. If you’re looking for a quick PS2 game to add to your collection then this could work out. Otherwise you may want to pick up one of the newer installments instead.

Overall 6/10

Daive Story 6: Imperial of Nirsartia Review


It’s time for a very old school sci-fi shooter. Nintendo didn’t bother translating this one so you definitely won’t be able to get much out of the story but once I was able to figure out the gameplay then I had some fun with this one. It’s definitely not the kind of game that you’re just going to breeze through but with the power of access points and rewinding, there isn’t any game that can take you out forever! I think this one tries a little too hard to be different by adding a bunch of mechanics that don’t actually enhance the game but in the end I’d say that it’s still fun enough.

So, while I don’t know the plot, the goal of the game is to take over 14 planets. Enemies will be trying to take them over as well. The format of the game has 3 main phases. The first is that you start on the overworld and you fly to the planet that you want to conquer. You have to slow down so that you can enter the planet. Planets that you’ve taken over are in blue while enemy planets are in orange. Watch out because they can retake planets that you’ve won so you have to move quickly or else you have to beat a planet twice.

If you do have to fight them directly for a planet, then you enter a turn based ship battle where you both fire off your weapons. This one felt the most random but I only got to play this style once so I probably have to master it some more. I made sure to keep attacking quickly so that I wouldn’t have to play the worlds twice. Finally you get to the heart of the gameplay which is the 2D shooter part. So for this part you control a mech suit as you go through an auto scroll level with a big boss at the end. Before going in, you get to place 3 items on the board. 1 is a full health recharge, one is a rocket, and one is a bomb. You decide how deep into the level they appear.

For example, I set my health refill to appear around 80% through the level so that I could arrive to the boss with almost full health. Strategize and then set your items up accordingly to where you want to have them at the ready. The levels are quite tough though as you get endless bullets and laser blasts being fired at you. It’s hard to see how people did it back in the day, especially with no save feature. You may think there are only 14 levels in the game but that feels like a lot when you are on the back foot the whole time.

The controls are simple as you can only jump and shoot. That’s it but that also means that every movement has to be completely precise or you will be in trouble. Touch the bullets too often and that will be it for you. Then for the boss fights it’s especially tough as you have 6 different weapons being fired at you. The trick is to quickly focus on one and knock it out so there are less things to dodge. You win once you have beaten them all but it won’t be easy.

The graphics have held up rather well for this title. It could definitely pass for being an SNES title if you ask me. This game may not be super well known but it’s clear that a lot of effort was put into it. The soundtrack is also fairly decent. It’s calm enough to suit the gameplay style well enough. In terms of replay value there isn’t a lot for this game. It’s one of those titles where when you beat it, it freezes on the credit screen. So once you have beaten the game, there isn’t anything else to do. That’s just the end of the journey for you.

Overall, This is a game I’ve never heard of before so I’m glad that it made it to the online service. Part of the fun here is playing out a lot of games that I never would have gotten to try normally so that’s pretty cool. I would definitely recommend checking this one out if you have a few minutes. No need to play through the whole game but this way you can get a nice feel for it and just have some fun that way. Until you get the hang of it the game won’t be that much fun but once you enter the 2D levels then you can see the real appeal of the game. It just takes some trial and error.

Overall 6/10

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Review


I bought this game at the same time as Melody of Memory as part of my impromptu music batch but I probably should have played them in reverse. They’re both good games but Kingdom Hearts is just on a different level in virtually every category. This one also doesn’t really have a plot so the gameplay is solid as always but it’s naturally not going to stick out nearly as much. It doesn’t have the same level of content either but if you aren’t comparing this game to another one then it holds up on its own.

The game follows a fairly strict set up which is that every main Final Fantasy title from 1-13 has 3 levels in it. One is a standard rhythm stage where you have to press the buttons at the right time in order to score points and win the level. You have the cinematic levels where there is a cutscene playing in the background and your cursor is moving so it can be a little trickier to get the timing exact. Finally there are the boss levels but they play out the same way as the standard levels, only you see enemies getting blasted in the background as you land the combos.

That comes out to 36 levels and each one is only a few minutes long so it really won’t take you very long to beat this one. I cleared it in around 2.5 hours so you will probably beat it in around the same time since I didn’t lose any levels. Not to say there isn’t bonus content though. You can try to beat all of the levels again in challenge mode or tackle some kind of shadow level set up. It seems like survival mode since there is a ticker for how many creatures you have defeated.

The game also has an internal achievement system that they call trophies so that ought to buy you a bit more time as well. I barely got any trophies during my play through so you probably have to play other modes a lot. My total gem count was also really low and it seems like you unlock more characters that way.

The characters don’t play differently or anything but I suppose it would be fun to play as your favorites. One missed opportunity here though is that the characters all sound like robots. Before each level every character says a line but the sentences rarely make much sense. It seems to me like they have a random word generator and each character says something out of that which is then turned into a sentence. Felt kind of random but also pretty pointless because as a result there is no real dialogue here.

Even the descriptions before each game are so random that they may as well not be there. You certainly won’t get what is happening and for people who have played the game, they didn’t need the recap in the first place. So this is something that could have been improved. In general I feel like the game could have used more polish. It’s really just a way to listen to the classic songs from the Final Fantasy games and it felt like the devs didn’t want to go too far beyond that.

The soundtrack is top tier at least though. Final Fantasy has always had great tracks historically and that doesn’t change here. Final Fantasy XIII still sounds very grand and operatic and Sephiroth’s theme is fantastic. You really can’t go wrong with intense themes like this. Since the game is music based, it would have been a shame if the soundtrack wasn’t amazing all the way through.

It’s actually a little harder to get S ranks then you would think so if you intend to max out the ranking everywhere then you better prepare to put in the work. You can’t just select a single stage after all, you do everything in pairs of 3 stages so that means if you mess one up then it destroys your whole set. I would definitely prefer if it was just the one level for that reason. There were many games where I got S ranks in two out of three but then the three one tripped me up. Not being able to just replay that stage right away is a hit unfortunate. Not that I was aiming to get all S ranks just yet but that immediately makes the trial that much more difficult.

I didn’t talk a whole lot about the gameplay but there are less buttons to worry about here which should help at least a bit in acing the levels. For example, you don’t use the d pad or l and r buttons here. In fact, you don’t use any buttons. Its all on the stylus which means that you never have more than one object coming at you at a time. That’s considerably different from Kingdom Hearts where they routinely would throw 3 items at once. I would say this game is easier as a result and if you put your mind to it you should get the objectives down without too much trouble.

Overall, Theatrhythm is a good game. I feel like it leaves a lot of meat on the table so if this were sold at full price I would probably have been disappointed. I got it for very cheap though which helped a lot. Additionally, I do see this as the kind of game I could go back to and play a lot if I had more time and less games to play. Back in the day I tried to 100% many games like this one on the DS. I feel like it would be a very pleasant ride. I suspect the sequels will do more with the concept but if you’re looking for a title to test the waters before you really get into the music genre then this is a good one to use. Since there isn’t a true story, you can just focus on the gameplay.

Overall 6/10

Congo’s Caper Review


Congo’s Caper is a fairly traditional platforming title. You get to travel through different lands as you jump and fight your way to the goal. You can swing at enemies with your club and duck under obstacles. It’s a fairly short title but a fun one all the same. If you like platformers then you’ll definitely enjoy this and you can’t go wrong since the game is free after all.

The main character was enjoying a nice peaceful day when the heroine gets kidnapped by the main villain. He now has to save her before all hope is lost. The characters are now monkeys but with an item he can turn into a human. It’s an interesting gimmick. Instead of shrinking like Mario when you’re hit, the player turns into a monkey. I can tell you that the gameplay is a lot smoother when you’re a human so I advise you not to get hit. Sure, that’s easier said than done but I recommend that all the same. It’s just way easier to land blows and fly through the stage when you’re a lot bigger.

Each level is fairly different so the game deserves a lot of credit for keeping things fresh. You never feel like the levels are recycled or anything like that. The stages are also at a good length where they don’t drag on or feel too short. It’s actually a rather well polished game considering that you’ve probably never heard of it before. The gameplay is smooth as well and some of the bosses can actually be rather difficult. You’re probably going to have to break out the rewind and access point features a whole lot here.

Now the story is rather basic and by the numbers so you’re definitely here for the gameplay. The heroine getting captured is extremely standard but at least the game has her getting captured more than once which is a little different. Clearly the heroes need some kind of security detail at the ready since the villains can just waltz in and do whatever they want otherwise.

The bosses have cool designs and the boss battles themselves are rather creative. For one boss you have to avoid all of his legs and wings as you try to hit the head in the center. This boss is particularly difficult because he can move so fast and making any kind of contact with him will damage your health. You really need an air tight reaction time and a good plan in order to take him out. Otherwise you’re just doomed.

Throughout the game there were several moments that seemed incredibly difficult. You had to run ahead of some spikes or the ground collapsing. I died so many times to that and had to keep rewinding until I cheesed it. It wasn’t until the final level that I realized what was going wrong..there actually is a run button. It explains why the character was moving so slowly. I was actually walking for the majority of the game. In my defense the game didn’t make that particularly clear. It was fun to finally have this at the ready though.

The graphics look pretty good. I’d say that the style they used is one that ages really well. The colorful animations and character models are still rather sharp and the same is true for the environments. It’s closer to the high end on the side. The soundtrack is more on the forgettable side. Some decent tunes and all but nothing that will keep you up at night. It could have used some more high energy tracks which would have taken this to the next level.

Overall, Caveman’s Congo is a solid game. I won’t overhype it and say that it’s great or anything but you’ll have a good time with it. The game lasts for about an hour so if you need something quick to play then you should just jump on this one. You’ll be glad you did and I think it could do really well with a modern remake someday. Caveman type stories aren’t really my thing but for a platformer the gameplay is the most important part and I think this game proved that it could make this work.

Overall 6/10

Frogger: Helmet Chaos Review


It’s time for another Frogger adventure. You know that things are going to get intense when this guy’s around. It’s a fun enough game but does suffer from being a bit short and not having a level select. It’s one of those games where when you beat it, you’re taken back to the opening cutscene. So that removes pretty much all of the replay value that you could possibly have had for this one. It’s a shame because there was some possibilities here to at least see if you can collect all of the coins but that’s gone now. You can have a good time here but it won’t last.

So the story starts with Lumpy getting attacked as a brainwashing helmet is put on him. He didn’t realize this until it was too late and now Frogger has to go and save him. Can he possibly pull this off? Well, to be honest he pulls this off almost immediately but it leads him deeper into the fray as he must now stop this villain empire before they go too far. Only Frogger can possibly stop these guys and so he is on his own now. If he can’t win this…then nobody can!

The gameplay is your classic Frogger experience so I don’t have any real issues with that one. Hop around and get to the end while trying to avoid enemies. One thing I do like here is that you don’t immediately die when bumping into things. I may be misremembering but it felt like in a lot of others you would die right away while here you have 3 health points. Additionally, the levels are all just constructed really well so you’ll have a good time going through the motions.

One thing I don’t like is that your jump has lost a lot of its ability and use here though. For example, now when you jump you don’t go over an enemy so you bump into them instead. A big part of what made the jump good was how you could actually just go through enemies that way. Now you have to run around them. I suppose you can say that it adds strategy but to me jumping was a key part of the strategy. It’s just a different one but not necessarily a better version.

As for the boss fights, I did like the fact that the game had them in the first place. They were very different from the actual levels too. They could and should have been explained better like the fact that some bosses can’t be beat and you have to dodge, but they all had unique mechanics. I felt like the devs paid extra special care to this part of the game which was appreciated. If the overall title could just have been a little longer then I think all of the hard work would have paid off.

It’s just hard to glance over the fact that the game is only a couple of hours long with absolutely 0 replay value. I probably would have been lightly salted if I had bought this game day 1. It just wouldn’t have felt all that enjoyable to have been done with it so quickly. The story is decent enough but it’s not like it’s something that could carry the game either. The story would have to be truly spectacular to pull that off in such a short experience and clearly Frogger was not going to be able to do that. It’s too far out of his wheelhouse.

The Frogger franchise hasn’t always been known for its high quality games. The gameplay tends to be solid but then like with this game you tend to come across some issues. If a game is too short and there’s nothing to do then it’s going to be rare that you get a really good score. I would say that the game is good but not very good. It’s still lacking just enough oomph to get it to the next stage.

At least the graphics and soundtrack are okay. I wouldn’t say it’s super memorable or anything with the music but the game looks nice. There is also full voice acting here which is a big win for me. I still say that having voice acting automatically bumps you game up a tier because it just makes the whole story more immersive. Even a story that’s not too impressive like this one gets better when you’ve got full voice acting to back it up. It’s kind of odd that the text doesn’t auto scroll while they’re talking so you have to time it and click A as it’s moving forward but that’s a small thing I can overlook.

Overall, There isn’t a whole lot to discuss with Frogger since the game’s so short. I will say that if you like the Frogger gameplay then you should check it out. It’s a straight forward game that should give you a good amount of enjoyment for 2 hours but you really need to make sure that you get a good price for it. If it costs a lot then it’s not worth it. Full stop. The price is the big deciding factor here because it’s a good game but one that you feel should be free the whole time. I can’t even imagine paying full price for this one. Now that would be a complete travesty. Hopefully Frogger comes back with a big budget full experience at some point. With this gameplay it would have a lot of potential but I suspect that we might have to wait a while for that.

Overall 7/10

Mario Party: The Top 100 Review


Mario has returned! It’s been a while since I got a Mario game but in my defense, Nintendo doesn’t churn them out nearly as quick as they used to. Back in my day it felt like Mario games would come out every other week. Well, this one’s not known as one of the better Mario Party games and I can see why but I had a good time with it. You just wouldn’t want to have paid opening day prices for it because it is extremely short. You can complete the entire game in 2 hours which is really not very impressive.

There isn’t really a story in this one after all. Instead what happens is you go onto a map where you have to clear each minigame to go forward. There are 4 worlds and around 25 minigames per world. There are 300 stars to collect in total with each level having 3 stars to obtain for coming in first and 4 for boss battles. You can lose every non boss battle minigame and still get to the end of the game so there’s no pressure. That said, I expect you’ll still complete most of these with ease since the game’s not difficult like that. The only exceptions are the luck based games.

But of course now you can see why the game is so short. Most minigames can be completed in around a minute after all since they’re so short. Since you can skip the enemy turns that makes the minigames even shorter. You’ll be breezing past the game like it’s nobody’s business and then there isn’t a whole lot of other things to do. There is free play with the minigames of course and little tournaments you can do with the computers. It just boils down to the fact that you have to like going up against the computer or you will end up getting bored very quickly here. For the most part the Mario Party series are famous because you get to play with others.

That’s really the main draw of the series after all so if you don’t have that then you’re not going to be having fun for nearly as long. Sure enough, I would say that this is the kind of game where you complete it and then you’ll probably never turn it back on again. The games are fun and all so I do enjoy them but there just isn’t a whole lot of reason to play the game unless you just never got a chance to play all of the mainline games. It is cool seeing them grab so many iconic games to play through but there should have been more content here.

This is the game’s biggest weakness. It’s even shorter than Sonic Forces and you definitely don’t want to see that for a Mario title. What I would have done is add a challenge mode so at least for all of the minigames like Booksquirm where it’s about surviving, you could play it on your own and try to get some super high scores. I think that would be the best way to effectively add a lot of single player content to Mario Party real quickly. It may feel like it goes against the spirit of the Mario Party series but what else are you going to do to get around the whole multiplayer angle?

If you ask me, this is just what you gotta do. Still, the game deserves some props for the solid graphics. It looks like a really solid game and they didn’t cheap out on this one. Even if the developers probably knew that this one wasn’t going to be the next big thing, they still put in a lot of effort here. The game would fit in with any of Mario’s other 3DS adventures. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is catchy enough. You should definitely recognize all of the minigame tunes right away.

It’s all very nostalgic just playing the games again. While they won’t beat the home console counterparts since squishing the minigames into a smaller screen is always tricky, they’re still a lot of fun. I even played a few extra minigames after I cleared all 100 to boost my score up a bit. After all, you can sort of say that collecting the 300 hearts is like completing the post game. I beat the normal campaign with over 250, but I didn’t actually 3 star all of the levels. A part of me was tempted to quickly go and do that just so I could say I’ve made it to the top.

What stopped me here is that some of the minigames are luck based which means it could be a little annoying to try and get the top spot. For the luck based ones I guess you just gotta keep on playing until you’re at the top but something about that didn’t sit right with me. Why include luck games at all here? The ones that are purely luck should not have made the top 100 at all. It feels like a cheap way to extend the play time a bit since you would have to just keep on playing these until you get the 3 stars. Realistically it won’t take too many tries I’m sure but more than I was planning to go through.

Overall, Mario Party will always be a blast and a half to play through. There’s just so much to go through in the series but you can’t really access that with a 3DS port. It’s a fun game but the experience is over way too quick which does end up shaving a star off. If you can get it for a good price then by all means you should check it out, but otherwise I’d say it’s time to give this one a skip. There are a lot of other Mario Party titles to check out which are all considerably better and feel like they give you the complete experience.

Overall 6/10

Dig Dug II Review


Dig Dug II is a pretty fun game. I wouldn’t say it quite holds up to the first one but it’s hard to say how much of that is just pure levels of quality and how much is nostalgia. If I were put to the ultimate test though I would still say the first just wins on merit. The underground levels worked perfectly for the series and same with how the gameplay was set up. There’s a reason why it became an all time classic after all. The sequel is still good though and it was certainly good enough where I kept going until I beat all 75 levels.

There isn’t really a story here though so just go in and start blasting all of the enemies. Your objectives will be clear from there. Now there is a tip I found out while going through the levels that will help you out. So you know from that start that you just press A to start plugging the enemies full of air so they pop right? Well, you may feel like pressing A as fast as you can is the way to go but that’s not quite right. It’s actually more effective to be pressing A while moving forward. For some reason that speeds everything up really quickly so you can potentially take out several enemies before they get to you.

The reason why this is huge is because in the latter levels you need every second. You have numerous enemies rushing at you and a single touch will mean that you lose a life. So every enemy you can knock out is one less that you will have to worry about later on. To clear a level you have to beat all enemies so it stands to reason that destroying them all as fast as you can is the way to go right? Beyond that you can also use your drill to make little barriers that the enemies will have to navigate around or try to dig under. Both options still buy you some more time as well.

Just play as fast and hard as possible. Your instincts will quickly catch up and then from there you will know what to do without an issue. The game is very intuitive after all. While I didn’t think the levels or gameplay style beat the original, it’s still a fairly high quality game here. There was a lot of dedication put into the title so you know from the start that this one’s a keeper. It is easy to just plug in and play plus it has a lot of replay value in trying to beat your high score. It may be a little more slow paced than some other arcade games so it can take a while to get to your turn if you’re sharing at an arcade but if you’re just trying to beat yourself then it’s perfect.

As for the graphics, they hold up pretty well. The game is nice and colorful with good minion sprites as well. You always know what is happening nd I wouldn’t say anything is blurry. It’s just a solid experience. The soundtrack is less memorable though. While you’re playing you probably won’t notice a thing because you’re just concentrating so hard. Not necessarily a bad thing though, just means that you’re really invested into the game the whole time.

If there’s something I would have liked to have seen in this game, it would be boss fights. I think a solid boss fight would have been really fun and if you spread them out to once every 10 levels or something, it would be a nice way for you to feel like you’re really making progress. I’m not exactly sure how you’d program the boss fights but feel like there is a lot of potential with how the gameplay is. That may have been the thing to help this one beat the original.

Overall, Dig Dug II is a fun game. There isn’t a whole lot to say about it because of how straight forward the game is. You either get it or you don’t but it’s not like there is a lot to learn or describe. It’s really just the same move that you used over and over again to get to the end of the level or to block off the enemies. Once you’ve learned the ropes then it all comes down to your reaction times and planning. I want to say you’ll get pretty far even without using the access points but defeating all 75 levels without restarting or rewinding once would be extremely difficult. Definitely not a challenge for the faint of heart.

Overall 6/10

Mappy-Land review


Mappy-Land is a fun game and one that manages to have a fairly unique gimmick to it. Instead of jumping on all of the enemies or heading to the goal, each stage is a mini collectathon. You have to grab all of the parts in each level to proceed. Some levels even have a second set of collectibles to grab as well so you’re always on the move here. At times the level’s goal can be a bit too vague for my liking but on the whole this is definitely a fun game that you should enjoy. It’ll be over in a breeze but the level designs are all solid and I have to imagine that if this was before the Switch Online version it would have been extremely difficult to complete. I would have died so many times if not for being able to alter my fate.

There’s not much of a story here but what we do have is told through little cutscenes like Pac-Man. It even follows some of the same story beats as we meet the wife and kid. Definitely an emotional kind of moment right there but it’s safe to say that you’ll really be here for the actual gameplay either way. So with that as the main hook you should have a good time. My advice would be to learn the attack items right away since those help when you’re in a pinch. Also, you can actually jump over the minions which is extremely handy.

At first I would just run away from them whenever they showed up so being able to keep going where you wanted was a game changer. Naturally the risk is a lot greater since if your timing is up even by an instant you will lose a whole life there. You definitely gotta be careful about that but otherwise you’re all set. When you’re on the balloon for the aerial levels, just try not to get too close to the enemies. You can blast them from afar and then move forward. Your weapon has a lot of range.

This tricked me a bit at first so once you get the usual collectables you need to go inside of the Church. That’s where you will find the key item that will let you go further. Without it you will end up being essentially stuck in place so you definitely want to keep that in mind. I remember wasting a bunch of time on the train in one level because I wasn’t sure what to do next.

When you wait too long, an unbeatable enemy will appear. It’s like a floating plate that keeps going after you and any contact means defeat. Of course, that is true of any enemy in this game since Mappy has 0 durability but this thing is extremely fast and can fly so jumping won’t cut it. If you see this enemy in a level it’s fair to say that it may already be over for you. Dodging it or staying our of the way are both incredibly difficult and nearly impossible to actually pull off.

Meanwhile the graphics are pretty fun here. I thought they were nice and colorful and the art style really holds up even to the modern day which I find impressive. It’s not easy for a game to hold up over decades but it is absolutely possible if you play your cards right. The soundtrack is more on the forgettable side though. Not bad…just good luck actually remembering any of the tunes. It’s not as iconic as Pac Man or as energetic as Mario which leaves it in a bad spot. It just doesn’t excel the way that it could have.

The game is reasonably short so you’ll probably beat it in a day or 2 if you’re focused up. Either way there is some replay value. This game keeps going on loop after you beat it so you can still try to work on your high score as you go through. That’s at least something to aspire to right? I don’t see you sticking around for too long on this one as there are just so many other big titles to check out but all in all it’s just a well balanced title.

Overall, Mappyland is definitely a game that I can recommend. It’s just a fun little experience and one of those games that is extremely easy to plug and play at any time. I certainly had fun with it at the very least. A modern remake of this game could be a lot of fun and it’s also a good way to show people how to do a collectathon. A proper one should have the collectibles built into each level so you can’t proceed without them. That way you aren’t suddenly blindsided by having to go back and grab them later. I feel like this series is so forgotten that a remake is unlikely but never say never right?

Overall 6/10

Driver 2 Advance Review


I don’t recall how old I was when I was first told that I was the Wheelman but it was definitely a while ago. The original Driver game was a blast as you drove around town in the huge open world environment. It was fun to work on the story but it was also neat to just have fun in free roam. I’d spend hours following the law there and then hours running from the police. It was really an ambitious game with a really intense final level involving the president. This game is a lot more low key and a step down in all areas but still a good title in the end.

Tanner is still as involved in the underworld and mafia business as ever. It’s definitely not the safest job and you’ll see a lot of people getting shot all the time. Well, some big gangsters have run off with more money than their fair share so Tanner is going to take them down. It won’t be easy since these guys have a lot of connections but that isn’t scaring the lead here. He’ll still jump right into action and take down anyone who stands in his way. He has the skills to back it up so the villains better be worried.

There are around 30 levels here and most of them are pretty short. You can easily beat this game in around 2 hours if you don’t lose but I think it’s safe to expect that you will lose sometimes. I wouldn’t say the game is super hard or anything like that but it’s not a cake walk either. You will occasionally get defeated by RNG a few times as well.

See, the gameplay initially starts off like your average driving game. You have to get to the destination located on your map to beat the level. Other levels will have you trying to take down an enemy car instead of running to a different car. The levels where you have to go out on foot are few but they do happen. It’s a mechanic that doesn’t seem to have had any point being here by the end though. You could take it out and things wouldn’t really change.

Now where does the RNG come into play? Well, the police cars will randomly appear at times to get in your way. If they happen to teleport right in front of you then you’re doomed from the jump. Sometimes they would appear as soon as the level started and I had to quickly restart because there was no chance of making it through. I wouldn’t say this is an issue too often but you always feel a little fear when turning the corner because a car may suddenly be there. It’s clear that this one did not have a whole lot of processing power. Things would disappear right when they are out of sight and a lot of times what you see isn’t really there. There are countless times you will see the ocean ahead before the buildings load.

The game is also quite glitchy in general. I lost 2-3 levels because of glitches. One involved the computer being unable to move and since it was one of those “Tail the villain” missions, that meant I couldn’t win. In another one the enemy fell into the ocean which counted as a loss for me since I was supposed to take down all of the health points myself. Those glitches would always be quite unfortunate. The game’s fairly short so at least even with all of that I didn’t have to replay too much of the game but there should have been more polish here.

On a technical level the game just isn’t very impressive. The GBA graphics are some of the weakest ones I’ve seen in quite some time. Definitely on the weaker side for the console, no doubt about that. The way the story cutscenes go is also not very inspired. The text is very slow as it auto scrolls and it just follows still images which aren’t stylized at all. The story isn’t super engaging but the way they put this in did not help matters at all. The only thing I could say that’s really good about the game from a production perspective is the soundtrack. I actually thought that was really catchy the whole time. I had a good time with it at the very least and while they tend to replay the same tunes a lot, they still really get to you.

The gameplay is also pretty good. It’s nowhere near the level of the first game but it does still manage to capture the essence of what this is all about. The game is short so you won’t get to enjoy this for long but while you’re playing you will have a good time. So in the end what does this really mean? Well, Driver 2 is a game that I can recommend if you really like driving around but there’s no real good reason to pick this one up in particular. There are countless amounts of better titles in the genre to pick up after all so no reason to stick it through here. In a vacuum it can hold its own but it won’t be winning any awards.

Overall, I think Driver 2 could and should have been a little better. At the very least the story should have been more engaging since the first game had its fun moments. There is absolutely no replay value in this game which is unfortunate. That could have at least been a way to spice things up and keep you here for the long-haul. Instead that also shows how this game will be one that you complete and then forget forever. I’m hoping Driver 3 will be the game that really takes things up to the next level because I know the potential is here for the franchise. It just needs to live up to it and soon.

Overall 6/10