Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 3: Night of the Quinkan Review

Ty and friends are back for another big adventure as we conclude the trilogy. This one takes elements from the first two games which is neat and I would even say that this is the best game in the trilogy. It’s really a good way to end things off and while there is one big quality of life update I would have liked to see, it makes for a very fun adventure all the way through.

The game starts with Ty and friends taking down a big alien invasion and it’s a very climactic opening. Just when it seems like the game is ending before it’s truly begun, Ty gets trapped in the wormhole due to an outside attack. By the time he returns to the real world, 6 months have passed. Bush Rescue is disbanded and the villains have basically taken over the world. It’s a shame how everyone has absolutely no heroic instincts without Ty. One of the members went off to be a professional racer while the world is falling apart! Well, Ty has to bring the band back together one last time to stop the Quinkan from taking over the world. Can he pull this off or is it already too late?

So from there you might expect a really focused plot with constant action but it turns back into game 2 where you have a bunch of stand alone quests from there. Where the game improves from game 2 though is that the missions feel far less like filler this time around. Usually they all end up tying into the story in some way or another. You’re always getting closer to the truth of the invasion and finding a way to stop the Quinkan. The hub world and map appears the same from game 2 so get ready for a lot of exploring. They’ve also brought the shop back but fortunately this time there are mobile vans where you can buy the upgrades at instead of having to go all the way back to base each time.

That does lead into my one main complaint though which is that we really should have had fast travel here. I guarantee that would have been an amazing quality of life update. See, you have to drive back and forth along a really big hub world after every single mission which can get old. The car isn’t super fast so you’ll be driving quite a bit and quick travel would have solved that entirely. I suppose you’d spend less time on the hub world but that’s fine by me. This just makes sense for any game with a hub world this big.

Not a super big deal and the game’s pretty short as it is so you’ll still be finishing quickly. The gameplay has some more combat moves this time around so aside from throwing the boomerangs you can also smack opponents. This does mean that sometimes you’ll punch an opponent instead of throwing your weapon by mistake since it’s the same button though. I would have put the different attacks to different buttons personally but you should be good since both attacks are strong anyway. I found the actual combat gameplay to be rather weak but fortunately it is rarely necessary. You can almost always just skip the enemies. There’s no level up system in the game so fighting them doesn’t really matter much.

The game is split up into several gameplay styles so you have the levels where you are in the ground but you also have plane levels and mech suit ones. For the plane levels, you typically have to bomb enemy installations and shoot at others. Then in the mech suits you have a lot of fights and powering up generators. My favorite levels were probably the mech suit ones, it’s just a lot of fun to be in the suit and spamming lasers the whole time. Now that’s a good way to just barrel through the levels.

The graphics are solid as expected. Some of the night levels can get a bit dark but the game knows how to build the atmosphere up well. The action in the cutscenes is really good too. I question how someone was able to outrun a laser in the final part of the game but sometimes adrenaline will help you pull off some really good feats I guess. Either way it worked and that’s the important thing. The soundtrack is good too, it’s really got that retro platformer feeling to it.

I also enjoyed the story. I think it would be even better if you would just continue the story each time without having to go through the missions structure, but at the same time it is really nice that every single cutscene is voice acted. I can’t state enough how impressive that is and it always makes me feel like the game had a good budget behind it. This makes the whole game so much more immersive than if there was no voice acting like that. Ty’s parents also get to step in near the end of the story but their role is super small so I wouldn’t blame you for wanting something more this time.

So in all this was just a fun all around game. The gameplay is fun and while the combat may not be the best, it is almost never necessary so you don’t have to worry about it. The level designs are fun and I liked the various bosses. The final boss in particular is quite a bit of fun even if I bluffed my way through most of it. I would definitely be up for a new Ty game someday. The boomerang gameplay would lend itself really well to some modern mechanics with that. I think they would be able to do a tremendous job of taking things to the next level.

Overall, Ty 3 is my favorite game in the trilogy and even has an emotional ending. If you are looking for a fun platformer or just want to see Ty and the gang again then you can’t afford to miss out on this game. It’s really got everything you could be looking for here and then some. There is also some replay value as you can buy the rest of the boomerangs. There aren’t a bunch of other levels to play but still enough where you can have fun running around the island and checking out all the sights.

Overall 7/10

Mario Sports Mix Review

Mario Sports Mix is a game that definitely fell to the backburner on my wish list for a while. It always looked like fun but at the same time not fun enough to buy. I think it’s because when Mario focuses on one sport you know that you’re going to get something amazing. When it’s a bunch of different sports in one game then you assume they will probably be a lot weaker. Still, I finally bought this game and I would say it’s pretty fun. It’s certainly not touching most of the other Mario sport titles but it’s a game you can certainly have fun playing with some friends. The replay value will be considerably lower if you play by yourself though.

So lets talk about each of the sports here. First off is Basketball since that’s definitely the biggest draw here. At least it’s the sport that pops out at you from the cover. It’s pretty fun even if it may not be quite as strong as Hoops 3 on 3. You do have all the rules in and making the shots is satisfying. I think making the block a little more complicated by having you shake the Wii remote is unnecessary but I’m sure they wanted to push the motion controls a bit. The game is fun but one issue here is how long each game takes. You can be playing the same game for a very long time as there is no mercy rule and each score shuts down the clock. After I was winning by a massive amount I just started running around to waste some time. I think a mercy rule should always be enabled to prevent that. It’s not the standard though so I suppose I shouldn’t expect this game to have that necessarily.

Part of why the game feels so long is because the computer A.I. just isn’t very good on most of the settings. Either they’re broken hard or extremely easy but there’s not much of a middle ground. Then you have Dodgeball which may be my favorite from from the 4 sports. It’s never really gotten a big video game before and it’s fun to run around the field and try to hit someone. The controls can take a little getting used to but once you’ve got them down, you’ll be doing well here. It’s a game that is easy to understand and makes a lot of sense the whole time. It can also be a bit on the longer side but if you’re dominating the opponents then you can make the game quicker. There’s no big time limit you have to wait on after all, just knock everyone out instead.

Next up is Volleyball and that one’s fun. I would say that the minigame for it in Mario Party is still better but it’s hard to top that one. The Mario Party version is fairly iconic after all. This one has the motion controls to worry about as well, but it’s still fun to coordinate your moves and try to land a spike. You’ll be thinking of Haikyu while playing as you remember those hype volleyball moments. It may not top the first two sports for me but it’s another fun one into the mix.

Finally you have the Hockey game. It’s the weakest of the 4 but still makes for a good time. The controls are good and while it may be hard to score, that’s true for all hockey games. You get used to the goalie being super powerful after a while and just come to accept it. Either way the computer won’t be doing much against you so you can keep landing hits until you finally win. At that point you will have completed all 4 of the games.

Aside from the main sports there are also some minigames that use the same gameplay but switch things up a bit. They’re effectively using the game’s gameplay without the time limit. They’re fun and it’s a nice little touch that shows how the developers were trying to add some more content and variety in here. I appreciate that and the minigames are good so you can certainly have fun spending time there.

In general I would say the game has a good amount of replay value. You can play the sports in exhibition mode or in tournament mode. You have the minigames and of course the multiplayer content as well. So that’s enough to keep you playing for a very long time. Most multiplayer games by default have a lot of replay value for that reason. I’m still not prepared to put this up against most of the mainline sport games since I think they’re just on a different level, but this is a very capable game from start to finish.

The graphics are solid and will remind you of the classic Mario games for the Gamecube. It’s definitely got that kind of artstyle going for it. It’s also really nostalgic to see the characters one more time. It feels like a while since we’ve gotten some big Mario sport titles. Golf doesn’t really do it for me and the latest Tennis titles have gone in too hard with the gimmicks. We need a return to basics like this. The soundtrack is also good although it doesn’t really stand out the way it does for Mario Kart. Maybe next time they’ll be able to get in some really iconic tunes to go along with the game.

Overall, I enjoyed Mario Sports Mix. It’s a fun game and you can get it for a pretty decent price nowadays. If you enjoy Mario games and like your sports then this is one game that you don’t want to miss out on. If we’re lucky then maybe they’ll make a sequel at some point. Without the Wii Remote holding it back, I suspect the next ones will really be able to go all in on the fun gameplay. The sky’s the limit there and of course the game I’m really waiting for is Mario Football. One day they’ve gotta come out with that right?

Overall 7/10

The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning Reviewv

This game started Spyro off on a whole new adventure. I’ve certainly had this on the list for a very long time and now I can say that I’ve finally checked it out. It doesn’t really stack up to most of the other Spyro games though. While I do enjoy the combat aspect of it, the game ended up being really repetitive most of the time so even the story doesn’t totally make up for that. Still a good game in its own right, but I’m not ready to put this at the top.

The game starts off with Spyro being raised at the dragonfly village. He is the legendary dragon foretold by the prophecies but he doesn’t know that and so he just hangs out with Sparx and has a good ole time. The two of them are goofing off when the area is attacked and we find out that the entire world is in danger. There’s no time for the dragon elders to explain everything to Spyro just yet but he needs to awaken all of the elders so that together they can stop Cynder from waking up the ultimate evil. Is Spyro really ready for such a tremendous responsibility?

Right away there is one thing I do like a lot about this game and that’s the banter with Spyro and Sparx. Sparx is a character right out of an old, cheesy kind of film where every line has to be a joke about something. It’s a huge change from how he acts in the old games and it’s an improvement. This time Sparx is actually rather memorable. In general the game’s dialogue is a lot more fun than usual and that’s good since this game was all about having a deeper story than the rest. The big voices they got for the game were used well and it enhances the story. I would say this has the best story for a Spyro game.

That said, there is something which keeps this from matching up to the other Spyro games and that’s the gameplay. Initially I was pretty happy to see that this was going for more of an action approach. Gone are the collectathon days. At the same time, this means that the levels feel a lot more constricting as there isn’t free roam around the place now. Additionally, the gameplay is very limited. It’s more repetitive than you’d expect as you use the same two moves over and over. You either smack opponents in close range or you use your breath to attack them. You can level up by beating enemies but I would always skip the ones I wasn’t forced to fight because of how many there are.

At one point I thought I was stuck or not supposed to be fighting the enemies because I beat dozens and new ones kept spawning. I had to check online and it wasn’t a glitch I just had to keep fighting. After a long time they all went down. It just seemed to pad out the time for no real reason. That said, you’ll still have enough energy to max out at least two of your elements by the time the game is through. I would recommend maxing out electricity first because then you can cheese almost the whole game. See, the electricity allows you to throw enemies like telekinesis and almost every level has a ledge where you can fall off. Just park yourself by it and throw every enemy over. They instantly lose all health and that speeds up a lot of these never ending fights.

Additionally, even a small fall will destroy most enemies so if you see some stairs or small drops you can use them as well. Just keep on throwing the enemies and you’re good. As for the bosses, each time you take out a third of their health it’s considered a check point so if you lose one of your unlimited lives then they don’t recover that health again. So just make sure you land some hits and you’re good. Most of the bosses will end up being easy as a result. The only really tough one was this fire train you have to fight. It moves so quickly and there are so many constant explosions that it can be tough to even see what is on the screen half the time. It just all blends together as explosive smoke which makes it difficult to aim. That boss took me several tries to defeat before I was able to get a win out.

It would have been even more difficult without having the fire attacks maxed out so focus on fire and thunder in the game. You’ll never need the other elements that you get. A little more variety in the gameplay would have just been nice or more depth to the combat system. With a good combat system you can have me fighting enemies for hours and I’d be good. Of course while this doesn’t match up to the other Spyro games I would still call it a pretty good one. I had a good amount of fun and the game isn’t all that long anyway so you’ll be done in a flash.

In terms of replay value it doesn’t seem like there’s much. I suppose you can try to get more exp but there’s no post game or anything. This is really the kind of game where you are playing for the story experience and you probably won’t pick it up again. The soundtrack isn’t very memorable but I thought the graphics were really good. I liked the artstyle here as it really pops out at you from the start. The colors are sharp and this has aged super well in that respect.

Overall, I’m looking forward to the sequel. Even if the gameplay wasn’t perfect, the story was a lot of fun. I’m hoping they can keep the good writing and solid enemy threats at the ready. It’s a shame that Cynder won’t be as powerful in the next installment but I’m hoping she will still get some action here. I don’t know how long it’ll be until I get the sequel but it’s definitely a title that’s on my list so I will get to it. The Spyro legacy cannot be left uncompleted. If you have not played this game yet then I would definitely recommend it!

Overall 7/10

DK: King of Swing Review

It’s time to enter the world of DK once more. This game was one that was on the backlog for the GBA for many years. Unfortunately my GBA console no longer works and the DS has L and R buttons that aren’t really responsive. So at that point it was time to finally just get this one on the virtual console. The Wii U E-shop doesn’t shut down for another 2-3 weeks so this was really my chance to get in there and make a difference. The game was short though so I ended up conquering it in around 2 hours which is pretty good. The controls are very unique and I would say they work out well. I feel like the Wii U does give it a bit of a buff over the portable version though as the controls feel smoother.

The basic plot here is that DK and friends were getting ready for the big race but unfortunately King K. Rool showed up to steal all of the coins. Now nobody can have fun racing so it’s up to DK to stop him. He won’t have any backup support on this one so he’s truly alone this time. Still, nothing will deter DK from getting out there and saving the day as only he knows how. Can he prove that he really is the King of Swing or is this game over?

So the controls are what makes this game stand out from the others. It’s not your typical platformer as you use the L and R buttons in order to grab onto platforms and swing yourself through the air. You then use the momentum to jump from place to place. You only use the control stick on the ground which is around for the first instant of each level and that’s it. You jump by holding down both L and R. Bosses are taken down by jumping in their direction by maneuvering on the blocks. This is one of those games where it’s probably a lot better to just see visually as opposed to hearing about it since it’ll be hard to get a solid visual due to how unique the concept is.

It’s not a bad concept. It’s original but at the same time I have to say that a traditional platformer would still have been way better. You want to be able to control the character the whole time, not just hold down L and R like this. It even does a number on your wrist because it’s hard to hold the controller like that. In part it’s probably due to the Gamepad being so large though, I think it wouldn’t hurt the wrist so much if it was your standard DS or GBA console.

The levels are very short and there are only 25 in the game. That’s including the 5 bosses by the way and 1 level which is effectively just there to give you more lives. See, in this game you don’t have traditional lives. Instead you have 3 health points and you gain a health point back by eating 10 Bananas. You can also use 20 to temporarily become invincible and blast through enemies. That said, you keep the totals that you had when you end the level. So if you just had 1 heart left upon clearing the level and 3 bananas, that’s how much you will have when you start the next one. Of course that does make things really difficult if you are up to a boss. So what you sometimes need to do is go back to an old level that was easy and beat it with extra bananas.

It may feel a bit tedious but it’s often quicker than trying to beat a boss with only 1 heart or something like that. I had to replay levels around 4 times by the end of the game but they’re short so it really isn’t a huge issue. Once you make it to world 5, you should only use 5-1 for the Bananas as it’s extremely hard to lose that level and you can grab 50 bananas in an instant. That’s effectively 5 heart points per level and it’s one of the shortest in the game. You’ll want to have those for the final boss against Rool which is a really creative boss fight as well. I like how that one was handled.

Beyond that, I wouldn’t say there is a ton of replay value. The game says that something good will happen if you grab all of the collectibles though so maybe they do have something nice in store for you. There aren’t a ton of collectibles either so it may not be a bad idea to try and grab all of them. What do you have to lose right? The game is short but it’s also very cheap on the Eshop. It’s normally $7 or you can grab it for $5 if you have some coins and get the discount. Either way, for 2 hours plus some replay value that’s a good deal.

As for the graphics, I’d say they’re good. The game has a very colorful art style at the ready here so all of the levels pop out. It looks a little overly zoomed in on the Wii U so you can see the pixels but it adds to the nostalgic nature of the game. Nintendo has always been many years ahead of the competition in this regard so even now the game looks good. The soundtrack is even better with a lot of really classic DK tunes. You’ll probably remember them from the Super Smash games. DK’s soundtrack may not be at Mario’s level but it certainly gets the job done.

Overall, King of Swing is a pretty good game. It may be short but it’s just a lot of fun to play. You can just sit down and knock the whole thing out in one session since it’s hard to pull yourself away. It’s not going to be one of the more memorable games and it does get overshadowed by almost all of the other DK titles but it is still good in its own right. I’d rather any potential sequel goes for more classic/standard gameplay though since that would enhance the game further. It really has been a while since DK got a big game to himself.

Overall 7/10

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 Bush Rescue HD Review

Ty 2 starts off with a bang and felt a whole lot like a Ratchet and Clank game at first. After that it dials things down a bit and so it isn’t automatically better than the first. It’s a close one as it easily wins in some areas and loses in others. I’ll answer the question of whether it was the better game or not at the end of the review. Either way it’s a solid sequel to the original adventure and does Ty proud.

The game starts off with Ty’s arch nemesis breaking out of prison. Ty tried to stop the villains with his mech suit but Ty’s friends get away and so that puts a damper in his plans. Fortunately, Ty has formed a rescue operation within the city so that he and his friends will always be around to help those in need. If any villain decides to appear in spite of this, Ty will take them down. All we know for now is that the villains want to build a device of some kind.

The gameplay is similar to the first in some respects like the boomerang throws. It still makes for a unique weapon and you get several versions of it. That said, it’s been streamlined quite a bit so that it’s more in an action context as opposed to being a platformer element. You can now take down dozens of enemies as you’re running through the level and blasting the enemies. It’s part of what made the first level so much as you may as well be holding an energy gun with how quickly the boomerangs shoot out. It was impressive to be sure.

A new element here is that Ty has his own battle mech suit. It’s very powerful as you can spam punches, hover, and one even has an an infinite laser beam. See, there are several robots that you get throughout the game. You can only use them in certain levels but when you have one it’s always quite a bit of fun. The best robot is saved for the final level which makes sense since it’s so incredibly powerful. It would break any older level if you were able to use it. The final level gives you a boss rush of all the guys you had to take down throughout the game and it’s fun to see how fast they go down to the mech suit. Clearly Ty should be using this all of the time. Even his friends get their own mech suits for the ending.

The stages are quite varied so you will get to battle in a whole lot of different environments. Most missions are actually rather small but occasionally you will have a long one. There was one fire level for example that surprised me because it just kept going on and on. At one point I fell through the exit by mistake and when that reset my progress I just skipped it. The game uses a mission system where you get to play a story event every 6-7 completions worth. So you don’t have to complete every mission to beat the game. Given that this is the case, you can certainly choose to skip any level that you don’t feel like playing. Most missions are very short so you might as well beat a few of those instead of a randomly long one.

Unlike the first game, the map is always active which is a very good thing. This is one game where you will never get lost. The map is very specific and always shows you where to go. On the flip side, the hub world is huge and you can only use the car when you’re outside. Be prepared for a whole lot of running and driving from place to place to the point where the journey can sometimes be longer than the actual mission. Pro tip though, if you have a mission that takes place at home base, just save and exit. When you re enter the game you are always taken home and it’s a big shortcut compared to what could be several minutes of driving from your location.

The graphics here are good as you would expect. The colors are still dynamic and I like how the levels look. The mech suits look like something out of Adventure 2 battle and Ty no longer has his face looking like he is permanently upset. These aren’t graphics that will win records but they look good and the cinematics still help to really make the game pop out at you. We get more snappy dialogue in this game which I like to see. Ty and one of the villains even get some banter going. As for the soundtrack, well once again I wouldn’t say that it is very memorable but it does the job while you are playing through the game. There is a very good chance that you just won’t remember the songs afterwards.

It was good to see Sly return too. At this point he is totally a good guy though so we are far removed from the days of being an evil Ty. He’s a good enough side character but like the rest of Ty’s friends you never feel like he is actually useful. In a way they all just hold Ty back but maybe one day he can train them. Then he would really have a solid squad that is ready for any kind of situation. In the meantime, Ty just has to count on his own abilities.

In terms of length, the game felt a bit shorter than the first. In part that’s because you just don’t have to beat a lot of side missions here. After a few you have enough to challenge the story level and so you can beat the game at a rather low completion percentage. Still, that means there is more replay value here. If you beat all of the levels and buy every kind of boomerang from the shop, that should buy you a few hours. Maybe with everything combined this would be a 10-12 hour kind of game. The main story I’d say’s probably closer to 6.

If the game could have made the day to day missions feel a little more relevant I think that would have been really good to tighten up the story. It loses a bit of steam there compared to the first game where it all felt focused. There are also a very small amount of sounds for the characters so prepare to hear the townfolk saying the same thing over and over. Beyond that I wouldn’t say the game has any big weaknesses. Certainly nothing that would hold it back for very long.

Overall, Ty 2 is a fun sequel to throw into the mix. I’ve left you in suspense for a while so it’s time to answer the question of whether this beat the original or not. Did it? Well, in the end I would say it did. While the first game may have won in some areas like the levels being a little more thorough and packed with content, the sequel improved on the gameplay and action. It was more exciting and most of all, there was no forced collectibles here. That’s a big win right out of the gate. It may be a little longer until I play the third game but we’ll see if it keeps up the positive trend. If you haven’t played this game yet then this is a good time to change that.

Overall 7/10

Ty The Tasmanian Tiger HD Review

Remasters are a fun way to bring along hype titles from the past. Ty is one of those platformer series that got a little overshadowed by the other big shots like Mario back in the day but he had a full trilogy to himself. That’s definitely impressive and after playing through the game I can say it holds its own. It’s a good all around title that you should have fun with.

The game starts with Ty finding out that the rest of the Tasmanian Tigers were taken down by an evil bird a long time ago. This includes his parents so Ty is all alone in the world now. To try and survive, Ty must gather all of the relics. This will prevent the bird from taking over the world and will also have the added benefit of bringing all of the tigers back into the world. These relics are all in dangerous places though so Ty must keep his wits about him or he will be doomed. So begins the most dangerous adventure of Ty’s career.

The gameplay is your standard 3D adventure. You run and jump across and through obstacles to get to the goal. Each level has the main objective which is to get to the end and then 7+ other missions inside. Each level has a few missions that will be the same across the game like getting all collectibles in a level and others will vary with requests from characters inside. The game is part collectathon so you will want to complete most side missions before going to the next level. This will ensure you don’t get stuck by not having enough Thunder Eggs (You get 1 egg per mission) and have to go back to replay the level. It’s worth noting that each world has a Thunder egg requirement to get to the next world and it doesn’t roll over. So if you need another egg to unlock world 3, don’t bother going back to world 1 to get an extra egg as it won’t count. It must be from word 2.

By and large the requirements for unlocking new worlds are not very large. You should be able to easily beat enough sub missions per level where you don’t have to go back and do any replays. What helps is that you can see the total needed to unlock the next world as soon as you enter it. That’s certainly handy. I’m not a fan of collectathons in general as I think that should never be required for the story. Make that a post game challenge and then everyone’s happy. That said, the game at least makes this one not as punishing once you know that it’s coming so I’ll give the game some credit there. It’s not ideal but I’ll manage.

Now I should mention the biggest unique gameplay element to Ty, which is your boomerang. It’s your main method of attack as well as activating buttons throughout the levels. You fire it off and the boomerang comes back to you. You can also use it to glide which is very handy. The controls are basic so you should be able to master this quickly. Some of the jumps require really good precision so expect to fall a few times but usually there is solid ground under the tougher jumps so you don’t have to worry about dying. As you go through the game you will unlock more powerful boomerangs like the fire and ice ones which are very handy. It’s a fun gameplay style and boomerangs make for a good weapon. The combat is also fun and doesn’t get old.

As for the story itself, Ty gets props for having full cinematic cutscenes here. You’re not going to get any of that plain text box stuff. The Bird is a decent villain and while you might have a hard time remembering some of the names pretty quickly, you will at least remember the designs. It’s a rather standard platformer plot but the cutscenes help take it up a notch. The battle with Ty’s ancestors and the bird’s mech was a really good one after all. Ancestors may be misleading since it seems really recent but it was a lot of tigers at the very least. We get a dark Ty which was a very interesting concept but while I was expecting someone like Shadow the Hedgehog, this guy turned out to not be on that level. The most surprising thing about Sly (Dark Ty) is that he doesn’t even seem to be a match physically which is really rare. Usually the shadow version is at least equal or a bit stronger but Ty takes this guy out whenever they meet with ease. I suppose it works as a twist but you end up feeling a bit bad for Sly if anything because he lost all of his mystique. I’m rooting for the guy to do better but from this game I don’t think he would be getting a lot of fans.

The graphics are solid. The colors all stand out and I like the level designs. Ty always looks like he is really upset or scowling due to where his mouth is but it makes for some amusing moments. The soundtrack is a little more in the forgettable side, I can’t really remember any tracks in particular which isn’t really a good thing. I do think it worked well enough while in the game though so while it isn’t remarkable, it isn’t bad either.

The game length is fairly decent at 5-7 hours. I’d consider that the standard platformer length at least. There is a good amount of replay value with the collectibles and gathering all of the boomerangs. That should take you a decent amount of time. You should also be able to get Ty for a good price so it all balances out. If you want an extra challenge on top of everything, try to beat all non bosses with just the normal boomerang and bite attacks. That said, I did that for most of the game anyway since the other boomerangs don’t have a huge boost in attacks I’ll or anything like that.

Overall, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger is a solid game. It’s certainly a nostalgic kind of platformer that looks and feels like the ones you would have played back in the day. It’s got a nice plot with decent characters and strong gameplay. Those are all the fundamentals you need to have a good experience and so Ty pulls that off. This remaster brought a code for the second game so you can bet I’ll have a review up for that one shortly as well. You can never have too many adventures with Ty after all. If you haven’t played this game yet then I would definitely recommend picking this game up. It’s the kind of game that’s really accessible to anyone and so I would recommend it to any gamer.

Overall 7/10

Double Dragon IV Review

Double Dragon IV is a fun game and definitely does a good job of being a very retro experience. You’ve got all of the classic sprites here and the levels feel like something out of an SNES game. The gameplay is on point and you’ll enjoy blasting away at the enemies. The game is a bit on the short side but throwing in the survival mode and multiplayer aspects will help with the replay value. Now I’m ready for a Double Dragon V someday.

The game introduces a new villain group in the Renegades. They want to cause a lot of trouble but most importantly they want to defeat the Double Dragons. They have a whole army of minions and allies to help them accomplish this goal and even kidnap the main heroine. This forces the two heroes into action once more. They don’t care how many minions they will have to beat up, they’re going to put a stop to these guys and fast! Are the Renegades going to regret getting on the heroes’ bad side?

As you’d expect the gameplay is definitely on point here. The combat is very smooth and feels like it’s a little more diverse than your average 2D beat em up. You have a little more control and don’t feel like it’s pure rng when you get up close to an opponent to land some blows. I found the best thing to do in a lot of cases was to get right next to the opponent once they were down and just start throwing some punches. It should work most of the time. That’s the fastest way to do it if you’re trying to burst through the levels. There is a much safer way to go about this though even if it is a bit slower.

That’s to walk up and down a bit. The enemies can only strike out at you if you are directly in front of them and the same is true for you. So the trick is to be a bit above them so when they get to your point of view you can immediately strike. You can do this quicker than they can so it’s foolproof in a one on one battle. Of course it’ll be a little more difficult to gain position when there are a bunch of enemies running at you so you will want to keep that in mind.

In a way it’s pretty realistic because in the game if you get jumped by a bunch of minions there isn’t a lot that you can do. It’s like being jumped by a group of thugs, if you’re just a normal guy with a baseball bat then it’s going to be really tricky. Even if you know what to do in this game, you’ll have a hard time getting out of that situation. It’s cool though as it adds to the danger. Just make sure you’re never trapped in the middle of two groups and you should be fine. Always stay on the offensive and get the enemies in the corner if you can.

Aside from the combat you also have some platforming sections where you have to jump on or over some obstacles to get to the end. These can be some of the toughest spots in the game since falling once will take out a whole life. Make sure you go slowly in these levels or the computers will just keep pushing you off. Fortunately you do get a lot of lives. You have around 15 before you get a game over but keep in mind that the deaths carry over. So I got my full game over on level 11 out of 12 which was pretty good. For a minute there I thought I would have to start all over which would have been rough but fortunately the game does give you a checkpoint at the last level you completed. So if you got a game over on level 11 then you have to go back to level 10 which is a fair penalty for losing. The game is no walk in the park either so it’s good you get this many levels. As a challenge you can try to complete the game without needing a game over although I warn you that this will be a difficult challenge. I went 6 deaths over the limit if I was doing that challenge.

The graphics are nice and retro. As mentioned, it’s definitely going for a very old school look. Naturally as a result it isn’t touching games from the PS1 era or beyond but as a faithful SNES type look it works well. I think the game could have gone for a more modern aesthetic and it would have been a lot of fun like the newest Streets of Rage but the graphics are an intentional art decision so I can roll with that. The soundtrack is also fun, definitely has that very high tempo, upbeat kind of feel to it.

The only real strike against the game is that it’s super short. You’ll have the complete game beat in around an hour. After that your replay value will mostly be from survival mode and multiplayer. That will give you a good amount of activity to play with. You can test your skills to see just how high up you go and as long as you’re getting the game for a good price then this shouldn’t be any kind of issue either way.

Overall, Double Dragon IV is a fun game. It has a nice story and the cutscenes give the characters a lot of personality. You just know how everyone acts right from the jump. The level designs are all very distinct as well. The battle gameplay is on point and the platforming elements can actually be rather difficult. It’s a nice blast to the past and continues the saga well. I think there’s a ton of potential for a big AAA title in this franchise someday. You don’t see a whole lot of the Double Dragons nowadays but stopping gangs and saving your friends is always a good formula. I have quite a bit of confidence that the series can go places.

Overall 7/10

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling Review

Bug Fables is a fun story about a group of bugs that must ultimately band together to save the world. It’s fairly common knowledge that this was inspired by the Paper Mario series and the game does a really good job there. It does feel like the classic paper experience with no gimmicks to hold the title back. The story is definitely fun and there is quite a lot to do here so this is the kind of RPG that can really last you for quite a while.

The story starts with Kabbu and Vi both trying to convince the kingdom to let them become explorers. The thing is, both of them aren’t exactly qualified for this. Still, a concession is made and they can do this if they team up so they at least have a 2 man squad like everyone else. They reluctantly agree to this and head off to the first dungeon to prove themselves. That’s when they meet up with a guy named Leif who seems like he may have time travelled or something as his descriptions don’t match with the current reality. There is little time to think about this though as the Wasp Kingdom continues to make moves against the Ants. The only thing that can stop them is to find the Everlasting Sapling to give to the queen and we will need to find some relics to locate that. It is a race against time!

As you gather the relics in the game you gradually begin to learn more about the kingdoms and exactly what is going on here. Think of it like Dynasty Warriors where you have multiple warring countries and nobody gets along due to grudges passed on through generations. Vi is a bee, Leif’s some kind of cricket, then you have Kabbu the beetle. The kingdoms are run by a bunch of different insect tribes and none of them get along very well in part due to the current Ant Queen not being a great diplomat. As the game goes on all of the kingdoms start learning to work together against the wasps.

It’s a fun story and the main villain is solid as well. His fire abilities are impressive and he has some solid lines like when the heroes say “Think we’ll fall for that again?” to which he responds “Yes” as he one shots them with his fire abilities. As the characters are all insects you can imagine how useful a fire technique would be. Most fighters go down in a single hit to that kind of move and it’s what makes the main villain such an impressive threat. The cast is fairly memorable here and the adventure is long enough where everyone gets to have their moment.

There are even some rivals at the ready like a famous singer and her bodyguard who tries to keep up a tough image while he is in her presence. Ultimately he is always ready to put up a tough fight although it’s safe to say that the main characters are the strongest ones around. From the 3 I would say that Vi steals the show. Vi’s always talking tough and is the most aggressive of the 3. If anyone tries to talk the team down then Vi will set them straight. Kabbu is also solid and he’s the wise mentor of the group. He doesn’t jump into action as quickly as the others but has enough power to defend himself.

Then there’s Leif who is a lot more sarcastic compared to the other two and isn’t quite a people person. That said, you can certainly count on him in a pinch. Even the Ant Queen gets some solid development by the end of the game and isn’t just some figurehead that you don’t see until the end of the game. She does contribute in the game when needed instead of staying in the shadows the whole time.

The graphics are good and are certainly Paper Mario inspired just like the gameplay. The worlds are colorful and quite memorable. The towns can be a bit large though and there is no map so you really have to find everything out through trial and error. If there’s one thing the game lacked, it’s a better map system. Something to let you know where to go and what to grab. It took me a while to find one of the shops for example but at least once you find a place you are unlikely to forget where it is.

The soundtrack is also good. In particular there’s one danger track that I liked a lot and it shows up whenever a boss is approaching. The main campaign is also fairly long so you’re going to get the full RPG treatment here. On the whole I wouldn’t say the game is too hard but there will likely be one or two times where you may need to get an extra level up. As far as RPGs go I would consider this to be one of the ones on the lower rung in terms of grinding. You don’t need to worry about spending hours fighting minions or anything like that. If you’re really in a pickle, just buy some recovery items and you’ll be all set.

After each level up you can decide if you want to increase your health bar, magic meter, or badge space. Personally I recommend focusing on magic meter and badge space since those are crucial. You can use badges to increase health as well so that’s why I rarely went with Health. Maybe upgrade that 2 ties but the rest you can pour into the other attributes. There are only around 37 levels in the game so you want to choose where you allocate everything pretty carefully so you’re in a good position.

The gameplay is a turn based system where you use your reaction times to maximize the damage and how much you shield from their attacks. For example you may have to input commands as shown on the screen or tap one button repeatedly. The more you master each skill, the better you will do in a fight. When you’re not in combat there are some puzzles you will need to solve by using each character’s signature move. The puzzles here are well done though and you shouldn’t worry about them being unclear or cheesy. Each one can definitely be solved with the knowledge the game gives you.

Overall, Bug Fables is a solid RPG. It’s a good bit of fun throughout and the characters are likable. The story gradually raises the tension throughout to the climax so you get to end off with a bang. There’s a decent amount of replay value here as you take on the side missions. It seems like doing so will allow you to learn more about each of the characters as finishing up their stories is like a post game to each of them. It’ll be cool if the game gets a sequel, there’s definitely more you can do with this world for sure.

Overall 7/10

Fast & Furious Crossroads Review

It hasn’t been too long since I played the last Fast and the Furious game so it was time to check out the latest one. It has certainly raised the bar compared to last time and it’s a fun playthrough. It’s a bit on the short side though, you’ll certainly be able to beat it in under 10 hours. Aside from the first two levels which I played on day 1, I conquered the rest in one sitting. This is not a game you buy to play for a full month vacation.

The story starts by introducing us to the two main characters Vienna and Cam. They seem to be running away from some kind of dark past but have finally found themselves at peace in a new city. This doesn’t last though when one of Vienna’s friends gets himself wrapped up in some mob business that’s connected with a global terrorist group. Dom and Letty have been on this case for a while but the villain group led by Emil is rather tricky to pin down. They always seem to be one step ahead. Perhaps Vienna and Cam can help Dom’s crew gets the edge here. It’s high risk but then again, the main characters are probably doomed otherwise. Will they be able to gain enough skills to actually take down the villains or will it be curtains for them.

Right away you can appreciate the solid graphics here. The level designs are on point and the world feels really large. It’s really like something out of a Need for Speed game. Granted, I don’t think there actually is a free roam option although I could be mistaken. Each level makes you feel like you can just go off track and do whatever you want though. There are a lot of shortcuts you can use in each level by going off the path. Occasionally you will bump into an invisible wall though and the short cut ends up being the long way around. You have to choose your routes carefully but it’s certainly a good feeling when you find the right path.

The levels are polished and that’s absolutely what you want to see in a game like this. Now once in a while they can go a bit overboard on the effects like the desert level where you can’t see anything. It might be realistic but I’d actually like to see the level instead of sand clogging up the mirror. If you throw on your nitro while in the sand storm it’s really a trippy experience as the whole screen turns a dark red and it’s like you’re in the underworld. Beyond that level it’s always clear to see what is happening though.

The game isn’t very difficult. You should be able to beat most of the levels on the first try. The only two that gave me some trouble was one mission where you couldn’t let your partner die and one where you have to beat the main villain before he got too far away. That one was tough because of how fast he goes but fortunately each level has a lot of checkpoints so you never have to go too far. That’s definitely a critical point because having to replay a whole level would be unfortunate so this was just really good stage design.

The soundtrack’s more on the forgettable side. I doubt you will remember it at all. For the characters, they’re okay but the film crew steals the show so I wouldn’t have minded if they were the main characters instead. Vienna get a tragic backstory that we don’t fully learn about until the final 2 minutes of the game so the writers really took their time here. She has a clear reason to fight and a lot of development throughout so they did a good job with her. Cam is here as the tough character who is always disobeying orders to run in and get the job done. This tends to work out more often than not and seeing as how everyone is always defying orders here, Cam fits right in.

From the movie cast you’ve really just got 3 characters who get a lot of screen time here. First up is Roman who has to handle the undercover part of the job. He really does take the biggest risks here so you feel bad for him with how nervous the guy gets. It’s fortunate that he is able to stay so calm under pressure. I would have liked to have seen more of him since he was great in all of his appearances. Then you have Dom coming in clutch as always but he might get the smallest role of the 3 since he’s always dashing off. When the game enters the climax and a huge rocket appears you know that he is really their only chance now.

Letty has a lot of connections and is also the one to find the new main characters so she contributed quite a lot to the group. Vienna tries to make things personal quite a few times and fortunately Letty doesn’t back down. She’s not the kind of character who will take any disrespect without some kind of comeback. The villains in the story are less noticeable though. The leader is a guy named Emil but there really isn’t anything to him. He’s just an old guy who wants to cause a lot of chaos and deal a blow to America. It all comes down to money for him.

There actually aren’t a lot of races in this game. Most of the gameplay is following other cars, getting somewhere on time, or even fighting against other cars. There are only maybe 2-3 races if I recall correctly. The races are typically the toughest levels in the game though so it works out that they’re gone. I would win them but it would come down to the wire because it took me some time to get the turning under control. Once that was in the bag then it was off to the races for me. There are also some quick time events like jumping onto a truck but you never control anyone outside of the car so this isn’t completely like Pursuit Force just yet. Maybe for the sequel.

There isn’t a whole lot of replay value here though. So the main story will last you some hours but after that you really just have online and some trophy hunting to keep you busy. I don’t expect either option will last you for too long. I mean, the online will take a lot of matches to get the Platinum if you pursue it, but if you don’t have PS+ then I don’t see the offline options keeping you around for very long. This is definitely a game that you beat and then put away.

Overall, Fast & Furious Crossroads is a solid game. I certainly would have liked to have seen the story be a bit longer but in the end I don’t have any big complaints. It ends up executing well on what you would expect for a game set in the Furious universe. You have high intensity races and car battles from start to finish. The story quickly goes off the rails with the rocket showing up and it feels out really crazy like the movies tend to be. If you want a vehicular battle game then this is the one for you.

Overall 7/10

Monster Viator Review

Time for the next Kemco game. This one may not be in the Asdivine series but otherwise it looks like it could be in that franchise. As always Kemco delivers with a quality game here but the gameplay is a noticeable step down from the other titles. Mix that in with the game not really having a big villain this time around and it isn’t quite ready to be challenging the other titles. Still, you’ll have a fun time playing through this one.

You start off as a kid who has complete amnesia. He has no idea how he got here or even what the world is all about. Fortunately he ends up near a fairly nice village. In this world, some people can talk to monsters and if they have a strong enough bond, the monster will be your pal for life. Most don’t have a whole lot of skill in this arena though so it’s considered a really rare skill. Well, Terry (That’s what I called the kid) seems to be a natural and can talk to any monster with ease. Is it possible that he was the world’s greatest monster trainer back in the day? It’s hard to say but he will need to gather his skills to stop a rather spoiled prince from causing trouble for everyone.

The prince will end up being the main antagonist by the end but for most of the game you’re really just travelling a lot and meeting new monsters. You help people at every place you go to and uncover some memories little by little. By the end of the game you get the full picture of what happened here. You’ll understand why he is always getting a lot of de ja vu and it works well as a final twist. The ending of the game also delivers with a classic final boss that’s super over the top. In an RPG the final boss always has to be some kind of deity with immense power after all and that’s an aspect I’m glad that the genre has continued to use.

The cast here is fairly small. There’s not much to say about Terry since he doesn’t really talk. He’s a lot more expressive than most of the prior main characters though as this guy will jump in the air, grin, do a spin move, etc. He’s having a lot of fun on the journey which is a good thing. After all, you have to enjoy the journey or else what fun will the resolution be right? It would all be futile if the whole thing wasn’t fun.

The main heroine here is Aira and she’s fun enough. She doesn’t have as much skill as Terry yet but she is training hard. Her flute allows her to still train her own monsters up and she is very determined to get Terry into fighting shape which is good. He at least has one ally who won’t rest until he gets all of his memories back. Then you have the villain Biscute who is more of a petty villain. He really just likes to show off and wants to own the most powerful monsters out there.

You have to give him credit for being skilled though. He actually did capture quite a few powerful monsters with no real tricks or sneaky tactics. It was just pure skill and you feel kind of bad for him by the end of the game. Things didn’t quite go as expected that’s for sure. So the story may not have been mind blowing, but it was entertaining enough to get you through the adventure.

The gameplay is a turn based style where you take turns slamming away at each other’s health points. You win by getting the enemy down to 0. You can use physical attacks, magical attacks, or skills. There are some unity moves too but I never got the hang of it. The gameplay itself is good even if it is a bit long. There’s no way to speed up gameplay or turn off encounters here. In fact, a lot of the big quality of life features I praise Kemco’s games for have been removed in this one.

I have to assume it’s because they brought another company in they decided to use that as an opportunity to test new things. It’s not as natural though and makes the gameplay more like any other RPG rather than really standing out like the other ones did. This one is more interchangeable with a classic RPG because there are no extra features. The biggest flaw here though would have to be that there is an extensive amount of grinding needed to beat the game. This is one of those games where it isn’t properly balanced so you go from a group of enemies being a little strong to suddenly being ultra powerful. Well over half of my gameplay experience was pure grinding.

The actual story was very short, likely under 10 hours. It’s the grinding that really stretches this out as you have to spend hours beating up on the minions to be strong enough to take these guys on. That’s really my only issue with the game. It just felt really excessive and then it also feels a bit sneaky when you realize that they sold a DLC pack where you could get triple damage and triple EXP permanently for the rest of the game. Seems like they intentionally made the end of the game difficult so you could buy the pack eh? I mean, it doesn’t even sound conspiratorial because that makes a lot of sense. Why else would you be selling a pack specifically for the two things that would help reduce the grind and allow you to beat the game?

There’s also a trophy for dealing 100,000 damage in a single blow which is incredibly hard without the DLC pack. It’s like a variation of the pay to win tactic and usually Kemco doesn’t go with that. Their other games have had DLC packs as well but you never felt like you absolutely had to get it. If you don’t have a lot of time, this would be one game where it is very tempting to just hunker down and pay the fee. I’ve got time though and knocked it out, but it felt extremely excessive.

The graphics are solid as always though. The game has a very colorful feel to it that works really well. The monster designs are on point and I liked the level layouts. Once you are able to fly, navigating the world isn’t too bad either. The enemies don’t spawn a crazy amount either which is good. So the terrain and gameplay outside of battle are good too. The game is also good with directions for the most part. Through beating the game I was able to beat pretty much all of the EXP monsters around the globe and felt like I almost 100% beat most of the game. The Platinum looks like it would still be really difficult but at least most of the trophies are straight forward. There is naturally a lot of replay value to be found here as well so you definitely don’t have to worry about that.

Overall, I thought Monster Viator definitely could have improved in some aspects. It really should have kept in the gameplay features that made Asdivine so much fun like being able to fast forward or even skip fights against enemies that were super weak. The story also won’t grip you quite as much even if this one’s going for more of an emotional feel. That said, this game may live in Asdivine’s shadow but if you look past that and consider this game as a stand alone experience, then you will definitely be pleased. It’s still a fundamentally strong RPG.

Overall 7/10