7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy Deluxe Edition Review


It’s been a while but I finally managed to get a hold of the spinoff which concludes the Professor Layton series. Someday I hope we still get another Layton game though since I don’t want the franchise to end. It’s pretty interesting to be playing as a different character for once. The developers did a good job of making sure that this one also feels very different next to the main games with new mechanics and such. Ultimately the changes aren’t enough to help this game match up to the earlier ones but I did end up liking Katrielle well enough. She isn’t afraid to talk back to the other characters more than the polite Professor Layton would.

This game has more of an episodic plot compared to the main Layton games which had a core story. Still, there is an overarching plot in the background. Katrielle is the head of the Layton Detective Agency although not too many people know about her yet. She has a dedicated assistant named Ernest who is always ready to attend to her every whim. One day she bumps into a dog that she nicknames Sherl. Sherl isn’t pleased about this since he doesn’t think it’s a name for a guy, but Katrielle can’t be bothered with this. She also isn’t particularly impressed with the fact that he can talk. She’ll solve his case at some point but she’s more interested in helping the community with their issues as well as trying to find Layton who vanished many years ago. As Layton’s daughter, Katrielle has dedicated her life to finding him. She’ll have to put that on hold though as she solves various crimes fro theft to murder. Will Katrielle ultimately build an even bigger reputation than Professor Layton?

As with the rest of the series the main gameplay revolves around puzzles. As you go through the campaign the characters will often have various puzzles to challenge you with. There is a lot of variety with the missions as some will be solving a maze, math problems, logic questions, etc. It’s always a pretty fun way to test your mettle. There are well over 100 puzzles but to clear the game you only need to clear around 67. That leaves a lot of room for replay value after you complete the game. You are bale to warp between the various cases and the game even tells you exactly how many puzzles and hint coins are left in each section. I appreciate how thorough the game is in its reporting.

There is one thing that holds this game back compared to the other Layton titles aside from the story though. That’s the puzzles themselves. The movements in the puzzles ask you to be way too specific at times. That’s my main issue, the very first puzzle took me a while to complete as it is. I think they needed to allow for a bit more movements here. I think it may have been something about the transition from 3DS to Switch I imagine. The puzzles occasionally have an issue like that but for the most part the rest are all solid so I would hardly call this a big issue or anything like that.

Katrielle’s mission to find her father is probably the most engaging part of the story so the whole time you’ll be waiting for that to come back. It ties into the ending pretty well with a rather massive twist. It definitely makes you double think everything that has happened previously. If you’ve played River City Girls then you’ll understand the effect. She’s definitely a solid lead even if it feels like she may be taking advantage of Ernest quite a bit. They’re really close friends but she certainly must realize that Ernest doesn’t quite see it that way. I imagine that plot will likely move a bit if we ever get a sequel.

As for the talking dog Sherl, I’m not totally sure how that’ll work out. My personal theory is still that he is Layton because that would be pretty cool. His personality will certainly have changed quite a bit but memory loss will do that to you. Meanwhile Ernest is a solid side character. He’s a little older than Luke so you can take him a little more seriously but puzzles definitely isn’t quite his thing. He’s more helpful to Katrielle in daily tasks and such than with his puzzle skills. Another supporting character is Inspector Hastings who is pretty solid. You do feel like he should have more confidence in Katrielle after a while though since she’s always saving his career and reputation. Without her he would be quite doomed.

The various cases are pretty fun. In general the rest of the supporting cast is a bit on the weak side but since the core characters are good that’s the important thing for the cast. Meanwhile the graphics are definitely really good. I was glad to see the full anime cutscenes make a return here. Level 5 has been very consistent with including those. It always helps to give the game a bit more of a cinematic feel to it and I’m always going to give this kind of thing a thumbs up. The soundtrack has some new tunes and some returning ones. The music is pretty fitting with the game’s setting and keeps things rather peaceful.

The main campaign should take you around 15 hours or so and I think you could probably add another 6-7 in order to complete everything in the game. There’s definitely a lot of content here. Even outside the puzzles and main story experience you have a ton of different minigames. I didn’t really try them out but there are many options. I think there are more in this game than in any of the others which is pretty impressive. Every bit adds up after all.

Overall, This Mystery Journey makes for a pretty solid adventure. The title is a bit surprising since it gives you information on a plot point that you don’t otherwise learn about (or even hinted at) until the final chapter. I suppose it’s always good to have some foreshadowing though. At the end of the day this is a pretty pleasant story with solid characters and good gameplay. I’m not usually much of a fan of puzzles in games but I’ve found that games built around the premise tend to be better. You can’t even compare something like the Layton adventures to Flip’s Twisted World. Now all we need is a Katrielle and Professor Layton crossover and we’ll be set. If you haven’t gotten this game yet then you should definitely check it out.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dynasty Warriors 6 Review


It’s time to look at the next instalment in the Dynasty Warriors series. It’s definitely been pretty fun playing through all of the installments lately. From Dynasty Warriors 2 to now the series has definitely changed quite a bit. This one does feel a bit more modern than the last few even if the gap isn’t particularly wide. The story is more or less the same as the last ones so you’re really in this for the hype gameplay. Does it deliver?

When you boot the game up you’ll have a lot of different modes to choose from but I usually like to dive straight into Musou. This is effectively the game’s story mode after all so you definitely can’t go wrong there. The story consists of 6 levels where you have to defeat scores of enemies in order to proceed. It’s also a rather difficult mode and I highly recommend going into Free Mode and leveling up a bit if you want to really be ready for action here. Otherwise you can definitely expect to take quite a few losses in the meantime. The enemies have no mercy so if they catch you that’s it.

Often times you also have to account for the fact that you’re not the only guy on the squad. It doesn’t matter if you beat 700 enemies if your captain’s about to go down. One key thing to remember is that if he goes down you go down. There is really no I in team here because at the end of the day it’s all about the camp. If your camp is captured before the enemy one then that’s going to be game over. Some levels have different win conditions so I highly recommend checking into them as soon as you start each level. Knowing what you have to do in order to win and what you should do to make sure you don’t lose are absolutely critical.

The gameplay is the same as always so you should be able to pick it up pretty quickly. It’s a 3D Beat Em Up where you have to take down all of the enemies in your way until you get to the enemy stronghold. You have your standard attacks as well as power moves and super attacks. I recommend keeping your super attack as a combo breaker of sorts. The enemies deal a ton of damage so if they start to hit you I’d say to very quickly use your super. It’ll also give you an opportunity to run.

One thing about the game is that it’s very easy to drop you guard. You just took down 300 enemies in a row so why should this one be any different right? Well, the trickiest thing about the enemies is that all it takes is one solid combo to take you down for the count. Especially a boss. Part of why I lost in one level was because I underestimated the fact that the boss could take 75% of my HP with a single combo. It’s also pretty demoralizing to lose in this game because of how long the levels are. You instinctively know that you just lost a ton or progress.

It’s why I recommend playing the levels as intended. It’s real tempting to bypass everyone and run straight to the stronghold. In most levels it doesn’t even stop you from doing that. The problem is that it takes several minutes to run all that way and then you have around 10 or more bosses running at you at once. If you mess up your combo or leave an opening even for a second then you’ll be going down. You can’t really afford to do something like this until you’re at a very high level.

That’s where Free Mode comes in. Additionally this game has a more robust level system than most of the other games. You can actually learn new skills as you level up and upgrade your stats through a skill tree. I definitely was not expecting anything quite like that here so it was a pretty welcome surprise. I can’t say enough how much I like level ups. Having trouble on a level? Just go back and beat some more enemies. The gameplay is fun as I mentioned so it’s not like this is a problem. Additionally I like when you can see the fruits of your labor and the level ups make a good difference here. It’s like night and day. I actually took down 1200 enemies in one of the levels after grinding up my level so that felt pretty good.

In terms of graphics the game holds up well. The more realistic setting does stifle the game in terms of how out there the graphics can get but we get some nice action scenes. The intro cinematic was a little shorter than usual though or it felt that way. The soundtrack is pretty nice. I always like the opening main menu riff that tends to play. It’s always a rock theme in this series which starts you off right.

The length of the game is pretty reasonable as well. The 6 level campaign should last you a few hours I’d say and then you can multiply that by all of the characters who have a campaign. Additionally you can try to complete the campaign on more difficult settings as you go through the game. Then you’ve got the whole level up system and a ton of bonus content so there’s no end to it here. This game will last you for as long as you want to enjoy it.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors 6 doesn’t hold back on any of its punches. It throws you right into the action and it’s all handled pretty well. You really feel like you’re on some kind of grand adventure the whole time. I would like them to take more liberties with the story at some point but as long as the gameplay is this good I don’t see Dynast Warriors ever faltering. The fundamentals are just too good and there’s a lot of content for the price you pay. It’s a steal!

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Sephirothic Stories Review


It’s time to look at a recent RPG for the PS4. These guys made the Asdivine Games and it really shows in some areas. The music and menus are grabbed straight from those titles. The original Asdivine was a masterpiece. The sequel may not have been as good but it was still a solid RPG. That’s where this game lies as well. It’s a pretty solid game but what holds it back is really the length as opposed to the characters holding the other one back. You’ll have this game completed in under 5 hours which is pretty unheard for an RPG. I have a theory on this but more on that in a bit. Either way if you like RPGs you should enjoy this one as it’s very smooth.

The game begins by explaining the story which is a bit out there so bear with me. Sephiroth is a giant tree that powers 3 planets. It drops fruits which then snatch up some vessels which allow them to become human. They will eventually be poisoned by the murk that appears on the planet. At that point they have to either find a new vessel or get erased. Sephiroth himself has to keep being replaced as the old one dies. It’s basically a cycle of death and rebirth that happens all the time. So the game follows a fruit named Harold and his best friend the lizard monster Izzy who try to find some apples for Harold’s sister. She is quite ill and won’t last very long. The village’s heroes are sent out to find the cure for her but only one of them returns. It would seem that they were ambushed by monsters.

Harold is afraid of monsters but he agrees to help them out. He was born with the ability to sense monsters which should help in avoiding them. That’s the idea at least. After obtaining the cure, the Grandma informs them that things aren’t right with the world. Harold needs to find the lost hero quick and also see why the planet is falling into ruin. Monsters are even gaining intelligence which shouldn’t be possible. Harold will get to the bottom of this one way or the other but is it already too late for the planet? Things get pretty cosmic towards the end.

One thing you may be wondering from the start is, was using the name “Sephiroth” a coincidence? I personally doubt it since there are too many similarities to the Materia and the whole lifestream of the planet stuff from the original game. Still, it’s a good way to get people interested. The idea of Sephiroth becoming a tree is pretty interesting but there’s more to it than that. Despite the short length there are a ton of plot twists so I won’t talk about the story much. Needless to say, there is quite a lot to tackle here and nothing is quite as it appears to be.

The gameplay is a turn based combat system although it uses speed as a factor so it’s more like Mega Man X Command Mission than Pokemon. You can attack when it’s your turn but the villains can use abilities to slow that down. You then have your normal attacks or skills to use. Interestingly general magic and physical skills are both merged into the same icon for this game. You’ve also got Fusion which is a combined attack you can use later on in the game. It deals a ton of damage so save it for bosses since it can pretty much 1 hit KO just about all of them. Don’t even think about wasting it on a minion.

The graphics are pretty nice. I miss the sprite style but the 3D models look good. At most it can just be a bit clunky as characters start to walk around aimlessly during cutscenes or open their mouths for a bit before talking happens. Seems to me like some opening hiccups with the style but I’m sure they’ll have it down before long. The soundtrack is excellent though. It’s very nostalgic hearing the classic Asdivine Heart themes in there as those never get old. They’re all so fast that it really builds up your excitement for the whole thing. Then we’ve also got the quality menus that those games had. Just about everything is customizable which is fantastic.

One thing against the game though is it looks like it wasn’t tested/balanced very well. You’re simply given too many options in the game which makes it a piece of cake. For example, you start the game with a ton of premium coins so you’re able to buy one weapon of your choice. I bought the Sephiroth Sword which made Harold the ultimate glass cannon. He could take down any non boss throughout the whole game in one hit. Even bosses didn’t last much longer than that. You won’t have enough premium coins to buy anything else for the rest of the game but you don’t need too anyway. Then there are plants which you raise to enhance all of your stats and weapons you can keep on merging. Really, what this boils down to is that it makes it very easy for you to blast through the game. Part of why it was so short is you could take down bosses in a matter of seconds. I love the speed but I think they probably could have given you less options.

It does make you feel in total control though which is always good. As for the characters, they’re not bad. Harold isn’t my favorite lead since he’s so scared of things though. I prefer my main characters to be a bit more confident and just blast aside anyone foolish enough to stand in their way. Harold’s a lot more timid than that despite everyone saying how awesome he is. Clarice is the main heroine and she’s decent. Not quite as strong as most but she talks tough. She always makes sure Harold doesn’t get the wrong idea about things. Izzy’s a pal though. He’s always here to encourage Harold and make sure that he stays on the right track. The main cast may not be the most interesting but none of them are bad which is always important.

Overall, Sephirothic Stories is a fun RPG. I would have liked for it to have been a little longer though. As it is, it almost feels like you’re playing a preview to the real game. As a result the pacing is tight though as you jump from one event to the next. It also could have been more difficult but I’ll never fault a game for being too easy. After all, there are many ways to make a game more difficult for yourself. One of those ways would naturally be to just turn the game’s difficulty setting over to Hard. That’s a pretty simple way or going about things right? I’d be game for a sequel to this or maybe some kind of crossover at some point. One thing’s for sure, the developers have really mastered the menus at this point. All RPGs should have some of the quality of life bonuses this one has like turning battle effects off and speeding up the turns. Auto battle would be amazing for helping with grinding in other games. Since your characters can only use the standard attack when in auto mode it also ensures that you don’t use it as a crutch. If you’re always wondered about going into the RPG genre but was unsure about them because of the length, this is a good one to start out with so see how you enjoy it all.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Wargroove Review


It’s time to look at a game I had never heard of prior to buying it. Still, the price was really good at Gamestop and I needed a third game for the buy 2 get 1 free sale so it made a lot of sense. It’s definitely a pretty fun game and definitely the most tactical one I’ve ever seen before. Before now I’d say that honor would have gone to Disgaea but this one has even more moving pieces. At a time you can have around 80 guys running around the board and if you forget about any of them it can spell big trouble down the line. This is also a pure tactical game so there are no level ups. That means there’s no way to train, you just have to come up with new strategies. One level in particular had me stumped for a while (6-2) to the point where I had to see what strategies people would use to conquer it. Seems like you have to move in very specific ways to beat that level. I don’t know how long it would have taken me to figure that out.

The game starts with a vampire appearing and murdering the king of a kingdom. His daughter finds out about this, but by then the kingdom has been overrun by the enemy and she is forced to flee with her trusted advisor. The two of them need to find some allies so they get ready to approach the other kingdoms for help. The only tricky part with this is that not all of the kingdoms get along and there are also a number of bandits who are around and ready to score some quick money. Mercia will have to keep her guard up, but she will not rest or relent until she has avenges her father and saved the Kingdom.

It’s a pretty direct plot and one that is filled with a lot of fun characters. It actually has a very Shantae type feel to me with the character designs and level layouts. At least that’s the vibe I got from it. Maybe it’s all the boats or the fact that one of our main allies is an undead veggie monster. Ragna, one of the main villains also looks a bit like Risky Boots. It’s a good ensemble cast and there are a lot of twists and turns. The vampire who murdered the King definitely gets a solid role and I would say that she is definitely the best villain. Prepare for a lot of infighting among the different groups though until they all come to an understanding.

There are 7 chapters in the game. Each chapter only has 2-3 levels but they can be quite hard in part because of how many characters and turns there are. Don’t expect to be breezing through this game. Interestingly though the game actually starts you off on hard mode by default. I highly recommend lowing it to standard unless you are very experienced in the genre. Otherwise it feels like you’re just making things more difficult on yourself for no real reason. Trust me, standard will still be a pretty big challenge for you right from the start. I like to say I’m pretty good at these strategy type games and some of these levels still had me stumped.

I didn’t really go into detail on the gameplay so here’s a brief description. The goal is to either take down the enemy commander or break their base. Sometimes your goal is also simply to escape rather than fighting at all. In each turn you can move your current units and have them attack enemies or capture bases. You obtain 100 gold coins every turn for every base you currently have occupied. The same goes for the opponent so one of the strategies here is to slowly weaken their forces while strengthening your own. Ultimately you want to press the attack and then you win. Each type of character you can summon has a different type and attack range. Some also have special abilities like healing. You want to have a few good anti air types to fend off the aerial assaults in later levels. Then you’ve also got water creatures and air fighters. All in all there are probably close to 300 different summons so budget your gold accordingly as you take them all on.

The gameplay is a lot more complex than that, but I think it gives you a good gist of what to expect. Personally I usually would focus on capturing a ton of bases and that would ultimately lead to a win. In some of the later levels though the best play is to completely ignore them and then just go for the base. On 6-2 which is the crazy level, the only way to beat it was to ultimately just skip most of the enemies and bases and just take the castle down directly. If you try to go for a skip strategy like that I highly recommend equipping a lot of dragons. I also like the golems, but they are super pricey so it takes a while to get them ready.

The graphics are pretty smooth. The art style is nice and it helps with the level designs as well. It’s all pretty clear and also helps make the gameplay more enjoyable. Believe it or not, graphics can make quite the difference there. The sound effects and ost are also solid. I think it would have been nice if we could have gotten full voice acting in this day and age though. Only a few sound bites here and there feels like something more from the GBA era than PS4. It’s also not like there were a ton of lines to go through here. Since each character did already have a voice, why not just give them a few more lines right? It’s a small thing, but I think it would have helped the experience as well.

Overall, Wargroove is definitely a pretty fun game and one that I would recommend. It takes tactics to a whole other level. The characters are good and the plot is enjoyable as well. The campaign is a decent length and there is a lot of replay value. You can work on getting all of the PS4 trophies as well as the epilogue. The game ends on a huge cliffhanger but since there is an epilogue to unlock I’m assuming that it will probably tie things over. That said, it would be really cool if we did get a sequel. I’d certainly keep a lookout for it. I need more experience with these strategy games so that would be the perfect way for me to get back into the mix. As long as you’re in the mood to really test yourself this is a brilliant game to check out!

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Luigi’s Mansion 3 Review


It’s finally time to look at the final entry in the Luigi’s Mansion series. The series has always been pretty nostalgic because the first Luigi’s Mansion is the first Gamecube game I remember playing. It was pretty intense to chase after those ghosts and had a ton of replay value. To date I’d say that it is the best game in the series. It’s just hard to top it as I don’t really see Nintendo ever getting quite so dark again. Parts of that game were legitimitally intimidating like heading to the higher floors of the mansion while knowing that you were getting one step closer to Kign Boo. Still, I do put Mansion 3 above the second installment and it’s a pretty hype way to end the series. I’d definitely be up for a 4th game someday though.

So the plot of the game is that Mario and friends are invited over to a hotel. Luigi sadly has nobody to sit next too, but fortunately his loyal ghost dog is along for the ride. Things get pretty dicey when everyone vanishes during the night. Luigi finds out that King Boo and the hotel owner are behind this. He’s going to need to summon up his courage and free his friends from the paintings once more. It sounds simple enough, but when dealing with the King of the Boos and an army of ghosts you know Luigi is actually going to be in for quite a challenge.

The gameplay is pretty similar to the first two games. You use the Poltergeist to suck in ghosts after flashing them with the flashlight. You can also slam them around to weaken their health. That part’s a new feature as the originals didn’t have a big focus on combat like that. In this game prepare for a ton of slamming as it’s the most efficient way to deal with villains so why wouldn’t you use it right? You also have Gooigi here to help. You can summon him to go through objects that Luigi wouldn’t be able to. He can’t touch water though so keep that in mind for the various puzzles. There are a number of those so you do have to be sure to stay sharp. Let your guard down and the puzzle may end up defeating you.

It’s a classic style that works quite well. Part of why it’s weaker than the first game is ironically the combat mechanic though. The slamming can be a bit repetitive and lacks the same tension as in the original game where you have to hold on tight. Having to press A to shine the ghosts rather than moving the flashlight also isn’t quite as streamlined. Ironically the first game’s gameplay is simply a lot smoother. I also miss some of the extra aspects of the gameplay like having elemental attacks and stuff like that. It gave the game a little extra to it.

This isn’t the time to talk about the first game so much though so lets get back on track. The story here is pretty fun but my one main complaint is Luigi. It’s similar to the Scooby Doo set up where after a while you wonder why Shaggy and Scooby are still scared. Luigi has already beaten up King Boo twice. At this point you’d think he wouldn’t even care much when the guy shows up. Just knock him out a third time. Unfortunately Luigi doesn’t end up getting brave even at the end of the game which was unfortunate. I was waiting for a moment where Luigi finally mans up and does what needs to be done. Unfortunately even to the end it’s more of a reluctant thing which is a bit iffy.

It was nice to actually see more of Mario and Peach though. Mario’s role is small but we do see his confidence right away. The guy may have actually been a little overconfident this time, but I suppose you can’t win them all. I actually thought maybe he would get possessed or something in the end which would have made for a fun boss fight. Teaming up with him would have also worked out really well if you ask me. We’ve never really seen that before so it is completely uncharted territory. The final boss still manages to be pretty intense though. We get to see some more of King Boo’s attacks and the backgrounds are pretty hype.

The game definitely has excellent graphics. It’s Nintendo so I certainly expected nothing less. The character models are on point and I like the stage designs. The enemies are also pretty neat. They’re not quite as memorable as some of the first game bosses like the baby but the game holds its own. It’s definitely always easy to see what’s happening. I don’t really recall much of the soundtrack to be honest. It’s not a game where there really is much of one. I suppose it would probably go against the overall atmosphere of the game but I’d definitely be on board with some solid rock themes or something.

This game should last you around 10 hours which is pretty good. I’d say that it’s probably even a bit longer than the first two games because I remember those being pretty short. There is also a solid amount of replay value here as you can go back to try and grab all of the collectibles. That definitely won’t be an easy feat because there are a lot of them. You can’t forget the Boos after all. I was a little surprised that the game didn’t actually make you grab any of them. It’s good for the post game though and I always support it when games make such things optional. They should never force you into something that you’re not in the mood to do. You just want to get on with the story after all.

Overall, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a pretty solid game. It’s definitely a fun experience and I’d recommend checking it out. The length is just right and it does reference the older games which is pretty neat. Some of the puzzles could be a little dicey at times and whenever the cat would appear it would be a bit annoying to backtrack. Still, the core gameplay is very solid and streamlined. It’s also fun to see Luigi as the lead again even if he is more terrified than usual. We need a Mario’s Mansion game for this reason. Imagine sucking up ghosts but you have Mario confidently laughing the whole time or something like that. That would definitely be pretty neat!

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Demon’s Crest Review


Now it’s time to look at the final SNES title currently available in the Switch Online outside of the RPGs. Demon’s Crest is a really fun game and I was surprised at how good it was. Not to say that I expected the game to be bad or anything like that but it’s way ahead of its time. The gameplay is extremely smooth and it has a real plot with solid cutscenes. The main character is pretty strong which makes for a pretty unique style of combat. The levels are straight forward and you always know where to go. There’s even a bit of a hub world as you fly around a planet that looks like Final Fantasy. This game was way ahead of its time to be honest and so it’s great to be able to play it.

The game starts with Firebrand being chased by a Dinosaur/Dragon hybrid. We take him out and then decide to take out the King. In order to get to him we’ll have to go across the opening 3 worlds and take down the various bosses. After that we’re ready for the final battle, but will taking this guy down actually help the world or will it doom us all? Firebrand isn’t exactly here as a hero after all. You’re effectively playing as a demon and just hoping that he is the lesser of two evils. It makes for a very interesting dynamic. The ending also feels a bit like a cliffhanger so either there is a sequel out there/will be a sequel or there’s some kind of true ending you can get.

This is a sidescrolling game first and foremost. The goal is to make it to the end of the level and get past all of the enemies and obstacles. You can run and jump as normal or you can fly. Yes, you can fly permanently in the game. The one catch is that you can’t go higher once you start flying but you can go lower. A lot of times I would use the Kirby tactic where I would stick to the top of the stage and it would really work out quite nicely for me. It’s just hard to beat that. You can also shoot fireballs which I highly recommend doing because they deal a lot of damage. The enemies don’t have a whole lot of answers for that.

The game still isn’t easy by any means although it’s not nearly as difficult as Ghosts n Goblins. You feel like your character is a lot stronger from the jump which is very helpful. In the boss battles the main thing to watch out for is how quick they are. The enemies can be startlingly fast to the point where you see them coming but are still unable to dodge. I would usually recommend pre-emptively dodging but that will possibly end up cornering you. You also have to be ready to run under one of the bosses who will try jumping at you and so if you move too quickly it will be impossible to do this. It’s all about strategy and reaction times so just stay on guard and you’ll be fine.

Unsurprisingly the graphics are quite amazing here. The character models really stick out and a whole lot of work was done on the backgrounds and enemy designs. This would not be out of place on the N64 or even as a modern indie game. Demon’s Crest is very polished and definitely deserves its respect. The soundtrack is decently good as well. The real power is definitely in its cutscenes which are quite impressive. The game’s length isn’t anything special as it’s around 30-40 minutes but it manages to capture a good story in there which is the important part.

Overall, I highly recommend Demon’s Crest. It’s easily one of the best games available on the SNES Online which is pretty impressive considering the competition there. One thing that works in its favor is I imagine a lot of people never got to play Demon’s Crest back in the day. Well, now’s your chance to do it. It’s never too late to go in and try out a new game. Now I just need to wait for another update so we can add more SNES games to try out. I know there are definitely a ton left to go.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice Review


It’s time to look at the sequel to the first Pursuit Force! I definitely enjoyed the first game and I’m happy to report that the sequel even improves upon it in pretty much every way. This time we have more of an actual story and the car gameplay is really smooth. The only area where the first game wins is in the gameplay when you’re on the ground. For some reason this one is a lot clunkier but beyond that this is a sequel that improves in every way which is always important.

The game starts with the commander about to get married to the heroine of the first game. Unfortunately their wedding is crashed by a few gangs. Pursuit Force fights them off, but the heroine ends up getting murdered in the crossfire. The Commander decides to avenge her so Pursuit Force goes a little harder on crime than usual. Let’s just say that they aren’t taking any prisoners in this game. There are a lot of gangs on the loose right now including a Russian organization. The heroes have some backup in a new group called Viper but these guys are pretty arrogant and don’t seem to like the Force. Can we really stop all of the villains and is something else happening behind the scenes?

As with the first game there are exactly 30 levels in this game. Each level is around 10 minutes long so they’re definitely longer than the first game. This one should take you around 6-7 hours if you factor in the cutscenes. The difficulty level is considerably lower than the first title but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. You are still going to need to apply yourself if you’re going to get out of these levels in one piece. There’s a good amount of replay value outside of the main campaign though. There are challenges and unlockables to try and earn. There looked to be quite a lot of them to go through so I think that’ll end up buying you quite a lot of time for sure.

For the gameplay, there are 3 main styles here. First is the combat racing. Your goal in these is to either eliminate all of the enemy cars or make it to a destination in time. You have your main handgun at all times but you can take over enemy cars to steal their weapons. It’s a pretty nice gameplay mechanic and definitely one that you don’t see very often. I found it to be pretty fun at least. This is definitely the best gameplay style and most of the levels use this so I imagine that a good amount of work was put into it. It’s really what the series is known for. Next are the first person shooter levels. In these you are typically manning the gun on a car or helicopter. Your goal is to protect your allies or blast away at a bunch of enemies who are trying to get somewhere. These levels are pretty solid as well but I’ve always preferred the third person view which is why the other two styles win.

Finally you have the levels where you are on the ground and ready to roll. These have you running around and blasting people or handcuffing them if you get close. The first game treated these levels more like the arcade so it was simple and precise. This one puts more emphasis on having proper aim so you usually have to stop moving in order to fire. I feel like it breaks up the rhythm which is why I prefer how it was handled in the first game. If you ask me the first game had the ideal setup with regard to how it was operated. Still, I wouldn’t say that the gameplay was bad either.

One thing to note is that you have a justice system. It gets a boost every time you defeat an enemy or bump into them. When it’s filled all of your attacks do more damage. You can also spend your meter to heal yourself and your car. Finally in the first person levels you can use up the meter to fire a volley of rockets which is pretty handy as well. Knowing when to use your meter will often be the difference between victory and defeat so keep that in mind when playing. It’s very likely going to be the most important thing to remember in the game.

The graphics are definitely solid and there is a noticeable improvement from the first game. We’ve got fully rendered cutscenes in this one which gives the game more of a cinematic feel. The stakes are higher and everything feels more advanced. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is pretty reasonable. It’s also going for a thriller kind of feel but with mostly public domain type music. None of the themes are all that unique but they’re not bad. I don’t think you’ll be very focused on that aspect anyway while running through the levels.

The story itself is also pretty good with a lot of twists and turns. You may see most of them coming but I do appreciate that this wasn’t super basic. The game can be quite tragic though from start to finish. It’s not the best of days for the squad, that’s for sure. I think there’s definitely enough material here to make a third game someday. With nostalgia being all the rage I feel like a PS5 title would sell quite well. As I mentioned, the gameplay here is pretty unique and I believe a lot of people would enjoy it. I certainly did.

Overall, Extreme Justice lives up to its name. The whole premise of the game is that the heroes are being quite extreme here. While some of the bosses’ deaths may be accidental, some seem quite intentional. Even the ending was pretty surprising in that regard. The main characters maybe can’t even be called heroes by the end as they become more like vigilantes (aka the Punisher) with their emotions running high. Still, the perspective of being on the law at least officially is a nice change of pace since a lot of racing games have you playing as the bad guy. If you’ve got a PSP then this is definitely a solid game to get. You don’t even really need to worry about the first game since it didn’t really have much of a story. Everything really starts with this one.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Operation Logic Bomb Review


It’s time to look at a game that seems to have borrowed some inspiration from Wolverine. I don’t really know which one came first though so it’s possible that the reverse happened. Either way Logic Bomb is a pretty solid SNES game and one that has aged quite well. It’s a lot of fun and the bosses are pretty unique and challenging. If I had an SNES back in the day this is definitely a game I would have been glad to have owned. It’s got all of the solid gameplay that you could ever need.

The game starts with a lot of vague cutscenes but they seem to amount to a guy being fitted with metal into his bones. You are now a super soldier and you’re ready to save the world. Some scientists seem to have created powerful machine hybrids that naturally turned evil and are breaking the place down. You’re sent in to take these monsters down. As the game goes on you are able to access various computer terminals which give you a better understanding of what’s going on here. It’s definitely a dangerous place but you’ve got a lot of skills so you should definitely be okay. The key here is to destroy all of the monsters and advance to the end of the facilities.

The gameplay is that of an overhead shooter. Think of Centipede Infestation or Alien Syndrome and that’s the gameplay you have here. You have a standard gun with you but as the game progresses you unlock more like a flamethrower and a gun that bounces off walls. You have unlimited ammo so you never have to worry about finding any. I definitely liked that since it meant I could really go all in and not have to worry about anything. The gameplay is tough enough as is since the enemies deal out a whole lot of damage. At times you will need to pace yourself as you go in because the enemies will just completely overwhelm you due to sheer numbers. You have to hit them at an angle or trick them into approaching you one at a time.

One ability that you obtain later on is a shadow double and it is without a doubt the most useful ability you will learn. It tricks all of the minions and keeps them out of your hair as you take them out. That’s another positive about the game. I always like feeling as if the power ups are making an active difference. You should always feel like you’re at the next level with a new upgrade. If you get a weapon that’s weaker than your current one, then what’s the point right? That’s basically the same concept here and the game handles the situation well. That’s not to say that the game gets less challenging. It just has to offer up new enemies and such to try and slow you down. The final boss was certainly tough to deal with and took me quite a few tries.

If there’s something that can hold the game back it’s that it can be easy to get a little lost. The teleport pads take you to different places in a set loop but because of that you might stay in the wrong room for a while before finally trying the portal out. Once you’re free then it definitely feels satisfying to be out. A better map system would go a long way to helping out here. Still, it’s far better than something like Metroid in that regard so you still wouldn’t be lost for too long. The puzzles aren’t too crazy. The game is also a little longer than the other retro games I’ve been playing. It should last you for about 2 hours which really isn’t that bad.

The graphics definitely look pretty good here. The game handles the sci-fi backdrop rather well. The blasters are on point and the enemy designs are also good. The soundtrack also works really well and is fitting for the overall game experience. It’s all pretty ahead of its time. There is also a real story which is nice. There aren’t any text bubbles or anything like that though so you have to get the context from the little cutscenes and animations that go on. There’s more than enough context for you to put the pieces together and gets what’s going on though. Even if it may not be what the creators ultimately intended, you will still have a general story which is good.

Overall, Logic Bomb is a really fun game. It’s got solid gameplay, graphics, and a good soundtrack. The premise is really interesting as well and I’d like to see more games of this in the modern era. Nintendo’s been slowly feeding us more and more SNES games and this latest batch was definitely a very good one. I’d like to see more in the next few batches and hopefully we have more hidden gems like this one. After all, I definitely didn’t know this game existed before and now I’m glad that I got to check it out.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pursuit Force Review


It’s time to look at a pretty exciting PSP game. This is definitely not a title that I had known about until I received the second game as a gift. Naturally this meant I needed to hunt down the first title. It’s sort of like Need For Speed only this time you’re actually on the side of the law. We also have quite a few different gameplay styles which is interesting. It’s a fun game, but one that is relentlessly difficult. Completing the final levels will likely prove to be some of the toughest racing you’ll have to do and should give you F-Zero GX flashbacks. It’s definitely a game I’d recommend checking out.

There isn’t much of a story here. There are 5 different chapters with each chapter having 6 levels. Completing them all lets you see a quick cutscene as you put the boss away. The main character never talks or anything so you have to sort of think about what the guy’s character is really like. His boss does all of the talking as he takes constant shots at you and always threatens to fire you when you lose. The gangs range from the Mafia to Ninjas, to Jewel Thieves so there is a good amount of variety here. With 30 levels there’s a decent amount of content to get around here but the game shouldn’t take you a super long time. You’ll have it done in under 10 hours for sure and then I suppose you can work on getting higher scores. Unfortunately there isn’t really anything in the way of replay value so the main campaign needs to be what hooks you.

Let’s take a look at the gameplay. The main style is the car sections of course which makes sense. Usually these missions are about blowing up all of the enemy cars or recovering an artifact. The idea is you drive after the cars and start blasting at them with your gun. There is a strategy aspect to this as well though. You can choose to finish them off from your car or jump over and take control of it by taking out the drivers. Usually it’s better to take over the cars but near the end of the game you have to be careful about it. You have two different health bars, one for the car and one for the pilot. If you just finished blasting the enemy car to near death and then jump over, you’re about to take over a car that is severely weakened. Additionally, their guns pack a punch and when you leave your car you are pretty defenseless.

Sometimes it’s better to avoid a confrontation a bit so you can get some health back since it regenerates over time. You also want to build up justice meter as fast as possible since it recovers all of your health and is really good to have when you’re in a jam. Trust me, this will help you out of a whole lot of sticky situations. The time limit will be your biggest enemy in the boss fights though. In those levels you have to beat the boss before he/she escapes so you’ll have to adopt more of a risky style here. I haven’t played combat racing games quite like this one so it was a lot of fun. I could see Need For Speed borrowing some ideas from this someday.

Then you have the first person shooter levels where you are riding in a helicopter and have to blast away at the boats and cars that the villains are using. These levels don’t show up often so they were a fun change of pace. I would say that the car levels were still better of course, but I’ll give the game some props for deciding to switch it up like this. Finally you also have the levels on the ground where you have to strike your enemies down. These are pretty fun even if it feels like not a lot of time went into them. The controls are not quite as smooth as in the other two areas but it does give this more of an arcade kind of feel. You basically run around blasting everyone. If you get close to someone you can also activate a quick cutscene where you knock them out and put on the handcuffs. That’s always pretty satisfying and I actually had the most fun in this mode. I just love a good third person shooter gameplay and you just don’t see a whole lot of those anymore.

As for the graphics, those are pretty good. The PSP always was pretty ahead of its time in terms of the graphics it had. I’d make the case it can hold its own with the 3DS despite that console being a lot newer. As a result you definitely won’t be disappointed at the visuals here. They’re all on point for sure. The soundtrack is a bit more limited since each world seems to only have one main theme but they’re still solid. My favorite theme is probably the one that plays all throughout the Vixens chapter. It’s very fast paced and really gets you ready for the high speed race that’s about to start. For any game it’s important to have a good soundtrack, but especially for a racing/battle title because you need quick tunes to stay in rhythm.

Overall, Pursuit Force is a pretty solid action game. It’s a little on the short side but the difficulty level helps to ensure you won’t beat it so easily. You really have to master each level so some may take you quite a few tries. No worries though, you’ll get the hang of it the more you play. The gameplay is pretty tight and the music themes are also good. There’s not a whole lot more to ask for here. I’m looking forward to playing the sequel shortly and we’ll see if it’s able to match up to the first. I like to think that a sequel should always be better than the original so I’m expecting some big things here.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Bakugan: Rise of the Resistance Review


It’s time to look at a Bakugan game I’ve had for quite a long while. This one I would have beaten ages ago, but I got stuck in a bit of an odd glitch at one point in the game and couldn’t move forward. Ultimately what I did was cleared out the save data and started from scratch. It’s been so long since I played the game that it felt new anyway so I can’t really say that it was a chore to get through. The gameplay was just as fun as I remembered and the story is pretty good. It’s just a solid DS title that reminds you of the good ole days. They don’t really make quick portable adventures of this style nowadays.

The game starts with Dan’s Bakugan warning him that a new threat is approaching. Before Dan can say anything Drago transports the two of them to a new world where aliens are trying to take over. Dan saves a robotic girl named Eva who was under attack and decides to help out. Eva explains that these villains are after nothing short of total global conquest and so Dan will have to utilize all of his skills if he wants to win this match. Fortunately he is one of the best Brawlers on the planet so this shouldn’t be hard. Along the way his other friends show up to try and get a piece of the action. Teamwork makes the dream work after all right?

The story is very direct with the characters not opting to waste any time. The heroes got their development in the show and none of the villains get any kind of sob stories. Our mission is just to take them out and nobody bothers with any small talk. As a result the game goes by in a flash. You’re thrown into fight after fight until the game just ends. You’re able to pace yourself pretty well because the game follows a strict formula. You fight a few bosses and then rescue an ally. Rinse and repeat until you have all 6 allies and then you fight against the final boss. I always like to know how far along in the game I am so that’s a nice little touch if you ask me.

As for the gameplay, it’s actually a tower defense style game. I haven’t played a whole lot of these in the past. I played Locke’s Key and a RWBY game on mobile but that’s about it. It’s a gameplay style that I find fun enough. It probably wouldn’t work in super large doses or anything like that but for a short game it’s a fun change of pace. The idea is that you’re protecting a core and you have to set up fighters to attack the enemies coming your way. You can also actively intervene with your Bakugan to attack invaders. Part of the fun is choosing whatever setup you want. You have 6 different Bakugans to choose from and also 6 different kinds of guardians to summon. As a result, you’ve got a ton of creative freedom in choosing how you want to go about doing this.

Personally my ideal set up for the first 70% of the game was to use Dan’s Bakugan. His fire attack is incredibly powerful plus he also powers up any Bakugan he is next to. This really helps for your army of attackers. For a while I just used an all fire team. However, that changed when I got the Light Bakugan and I never went back. His final smash is he makes a barrier around the core which even blocked the hit from the boss of the level. As far as I could see this attack is incredibly overpowered. So long as you don’t get sloppy and start letting everyone cross, it’ll block the few enemies who escape you. As far as I’m concerned, that makes him a winner in my book. The Shadow Bakugan is also good because of how powerful his slashes are. If you’re going to pick a leader Bakugan, I recommend one of the main 3 but the light one is the best if you ask me.

From the bodyguard Bakugan fighters each one has a different special ability. I recommend the Time stop Bakugans to start the level out with. Post 2 of them by every entrance into the castle. Then summon the missile ones everywhere you can. You don’t unlock them til near the end though so during the early game I’d say to use the fire ones since they can spam their fireballs and later on you can add the light ones since they blast multiple enemies. I’d advise putting one aerial Bakugan by each entrance as well to deal with the flying enemies. There are a lot of strategies to use of course so this is just mine. The biggest key fact to remember is that the time stop Bakugan is the most OP. It slows them down to a crawl which gives you more time to make your move.

The graphics are pretty solid. I like the sprite style used here and all of the attacks look solid as well. The special effects are all on point and I wouldn’t really say that there are any points that look sloppy. In terms of soundtrack the game is very limited. There are probably 3-4 themes in the entire game so get ready to hear them on loop after a while. Every character only has 1 sound effect as well so get ready to hear the same one spammed to death over and over again. It may not be the highest budget game but it’s all pretty endearing. I do think they could have put more of a budget into the soundtrack at least though. Why not grab the tunes from the show?

The campaign is around 4-5 hours I’d say. It won’t take you very long to complete. Each battle can’t really be sped up though since they’re timed with how the waves keep coming. That being said, there isn’t a lot of platforming to do between battles so those parts go by very quickly. My playtime by the end was 11 hours but that was between the two playthroughs which is why I’d say that it’s around half of that. There also isn’t really any replay value. You can easily have almost all of the characters close to being maxed out by the end if you alternate them. You can also grab all the cards in the hub world to unlock them, but the cards barely help much anyway and it’s not like you’ll need them since this game isn’t all that difficult.

Overall, Rise of the Resistance is a pretty basic game. There’s not much to it outside of the battle system. That said, it’s the kind of basic game that you just have a lot of fun with. It’s all pretty smooth and since not many games use this combat system it ends up being pretty fun to play through. Who doesn’t like a classic alien invasion story right? I do think one way the game could have helped itself out a bit would be to have the characters move a little quicker. Walking from one part of the hub world to the next could take a whole lot longer than it should. I don’t really have any other negatives than that though. I’d definitely recommend picking up this game, you’re guaranteed to have a lot of fun playing through it.

Overall 7/10