7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Diddy Kong Racing DS Review


It’s time to look at a Nintendo racing game from a while back. Considering how successful F-Zero and Mario Kart are you may wonder why Nintendo would have another franchise right? Well, everywhere I go people seem to love Diddy Kong racing so maybe it really did tap into another part of the market. I will say that it is definitely pretty fun. Personally I wouldn’t put it on the same level as the other two titles, but it’s still pretty fun. The game isn’t particularly long but with a racing title the main incentive is the replay value here.

There is also a basic plot. A mysterious pig has broken an amulet and is causing a lot of terror around the planet. Diddy must now conquer four different areas in order to foil this plan once and for all. It may not be an easy task, but it’s one that he knows he must accomplish. Each world has 4 main levels and then you fight the boss. Once you beat the boss of the world then you unlock 4 more races which have you aim at balloons in the level. The first 4 levels are traditional races while the other four play out like an FPS as you don’t control the car, only the blaster. This lets you fight the boss again and then claim the amulet. So effectively each world has 8 levels and 2 bosses so you’re got 40 levels here if you count bosses. It’s a pretty reasonable amount but you’ll still have the game beat in under 3 hours.

The levels aren’t particularly difficult for the most part and naturally the levels aren’t too long either. The average race will take you around 2-3 minutes. There are 3 kinds of races. You’ve got the standard car races, the awesome plane races, and the sluggish hovercraft ones. The car races play out about how you would expect. You try to cross the finish line first and grab items along the way. There are 4 different items triggered by hitting a balloon. You know which balloon spawns which item so part of the fun is choosing what you want for each scenario. There’s also an incentive to not using the item right away. If you store away say a red balloon and then hit another one you get the second ranked version of the item. It’s worth experimenting until you find your favorite item. My favorite was double red since it gives you around 6 rockets.

The plane levels are the same way but you’re in the air which is a lot of fun. It feels like this kind of race is the fastest in the game in terms of how fast everyone is moving. There are a lot of boosters everywhere so use them as much as possible. Finally you have the Hovercraft levels which are just really slow and kind of clunky. It’s hard to turn in these and it is just not nearly as much fun as the other two. Something had to lose out I suppose, but I was glad that there weren’t a lot of these levels.

In terms of graphics the game is quite solid. We actually got some voice acting in the intro and the cutscenes flow really well. In game the assets load up promptly and everything looks clear. You certainly won’t be bumping into things just because you didn’t see them or anything like that. That would be understandably a bit iffy so I was glad that the game managed to avoid that. The soundtrack isn’t quite as memorable as Mario Kart’s but it was still pretty fun. There’s a good amount of variety based on what world you’re in and the level. The final boss theme was also very catchy although I got to hear it quite a bit.

While the game isn’t very difficult for the most part, the final boss is extremely tough. I don’t see how it would even be possible to defeat him without buying upgrades to your car. The guy is too fast and he pounded me into the ground many times before I was able to beat him. Ultimately I had to max out my car’s speed and acceleration and then I was able to keep up. It’s not like the level is all that complex. It’s pretty straightforward so I don’t see how you can play it any differently. You’re either able to out speed him and claim victory or you can’t.

As I mentioned the game is around 3 hours but there is a lot to do after the game. You have extra levels in each world where you need to find a key or do various achievements to unlock. The hub world is quite large so you can explore for a while and buying every upgrade will also take a super long amount of time. I wouldn’t say that there are any huge unlockables to look forward to, but at the same time if you enjoy the gameplay a lot then the game is giving you a fair amount of opportunities to keep on going. The value here definitely justifies the cost.

Overall, Diddy Kong Racing DS is a fun racing game. To me it felt fairly standard but with that Nintendo seal of quality. Just having 3 different options of racing does mean you have more options than your typical racing game and it’s a complete package. If you want to enjoy some good racing then you will definitely have fun here. The ending will also give you a nice challenge which is always good. If we do get a sequel to this for 3DS or Switch someday I’d definitely be down with that. The ending is also pretty fun as Pig gets one last laugh against the heroes.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King Game Review


It’s time to look at a recent HD collection which brought two Disney games from a while back. I’m sure you know these two games or at least heard of them when they first came out. They were not very accessible until this remake came out though so you had to hope that you had one of the older consoles. Otherwise you would need to settle for online videos of the game. Aladdin was a lot of fun back in the day so it was nostalgic to play it again. I can definitely see how I got stuck in the fire level because that one is still pretty insane. This is a quality collection to check out.

First let’s talk about the Aladdin game since that’s the one I have nostalgia for. It follows the movie’s plot naturally and the gameplay is that of a 2D platformer. You run and jump across obstacles as you slay enemies and reach the finish line. The gameplay is pretty smooth so you don’t have to worry about glitches. If anything the difficult part is that you move very fast so a lot of the time you may run into enemies. It can also be hard to defeat them without taking damage so as the level goes on you may end up dying a lot.

It’s a pretty short game so you should have it beat in around an hour or so. The toughest level is definitely still the fire cave. In that level you ride the carpet and have to move up and down to avoid obstacles. The tough part here is aside from how fast the obstacles show up after the warning, towards the end there are one or two obstacles that don’t have a warning. It doesn’t really feel like you have much of a chance outside of luck to beat the level on your first shot. Eventually you can memorize where the obstacles will be though but without the handy save feature that we have in this collection it would still be incredibly difficult to clear this level. Ultimately you could do it with practice and determination, but it would not be a cake walk.

Then you’ve got the Lion King which is also pretty difficult. In this game the platforming is what will take some time to get used to. There is a lot of climbing and jumping across enemies involved which has to be done quite precisely or you are out of luck. The second level took me the longest to beat because I just kept dying before I would make it past all of the jumps. The other really tough level is the maze near the end of the game where there are a bunch of tunnels and you have to pick the right one. Each time you choose the wrong one the enemies all re-spawn and you have to take them all down win order to win.

The final boss is definitely a lot of fun as Mufasa really gets a lot of props. You’ve got a thunderstorm in the background for dramatic effect and the background is even on fire. Mufasa also puts up a really good fight. I was landing blows on him for a long time before I realized that there had to be some kind of trick to this. After button mashing for a bit I found out you could flip Mufasa so the trick is to jump him over the cliff. If you do that then you end the fight and claim ultimate victory.

Both of the games are pretty short when it comes to length. Each one is about an hour or two so you should have the collection done in about 4 hours I’d say. It’ll depend on if you use the new features or not. The game added a new save feature that you can use after each level which is definitely handy. Alternatively you now have a rewind feature which you can use whenever you die. With this feature there is no challenge too difficult to overcome since you can just keep redoing your actions until you pick the right one. It’s a nice quality of life upgrade and I’m always game for this feature to be around.

In terms of replay value there isn’t much inside of the actual games but the collection does give you other methods for playing them. You can play different versions of the game like the console port, game boy port, arcade edition, etc. both games have several versions to choose from which is pretty cool. It may not be extra levels but it should make the experience a little different so you have more reason to replay the game. You can also aim to get all of the PS4 trophies in the game as well.

The graphics for both of the games are pretty solid. It’s nostalgic to see the old sprites and the artwork does a good job of resembling the actual backgrounds of the movies, there was certainly a lot of effort put into this part. The cutscenes also used illustrations to get the story across. As for the soundtrack, both games went for music that would be fitting in the setting. Neither ost is super memorable or anything like that, but they work well during gameplay.

Overall, This is a fun double pack for all to enjoy. It’s a pretty difficult pair of games to try and complete if you don’t use the new features in game. I at least recommend the save feature between levels even if you don’t want to use the rewind button. The difficulty also helps to extend the overall game length since it is unlikely you will be able to beat the levels on your first shot. Perhaps if you go really slowly but I always like just charging into the fray and taking names. Now that they’ve been remade it’s time for a AAA sequel to one of these. I’d vote for Aladdin since there’s a lot you can do with a 3D adventure through Agrabah.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle Review


It’s time to look at a fighting game that I didn’t really know even existed until I tried it. The Touhou Kobuto series seems fun enough. I enjoyed the Bullet Hell game they came out with as well. The characters all like to have a good time so the plot isn’t really life or death. It’s more like the characters all enjoy a good fight so they use any excuse to beat each other up. A fighting game makes perfect sense for the universe.

So the game starts out with one of the Shrine Goddesses realizing that fewer people are coming to pray for her. She finds out that this is because of a rumor that she is going around attacking people with another vicious god. The heroine decides to go find out how these rumors started and her best bet is to find the other goddess who is supposed to be her partner. Along the way she will have to beat up a bunch of other characters who are doing their best to be as unhelpful as possible.

The plot isn’t fairly large but it’s still fun. You’ll quickly get a handle on the various personalities at play here and each character has an Arcade Mode. Interestingly the game doesn’t let you pick which character you want to play as. You have to beat the story modes in a specific order. You get an achievement every time you beat the game. The arcade mode is only around 6 battles long so you’ll be acing them before you know it. The average battle may last 2-3 minutes although it depends on how aggressively you fight the opponents of course. If you want to beat the game with all of the characters then it should last 2-3 hours I’d say.

That makes for a fairly short game, but you don’t really expect a long campaign in a fighting game. This is more about playing with friends and such. A good fighting game only needs to rely on gameplay and that’s what this one is going for. All of the characters have pretty diverse movesets and you’ll quickly have to find out who your favorite one is. This game is a 3D fighter so you can run around the arena and even fly for a limited time. You have 3 main attacks. These are your standard, power, and scatter shot moves. You can also beat people up in hand to hand combat if you get close and then try to use the standard move. This makes for a lot of different attack options which is good since it definitely opens up the gameplay quite a bit. I certainly tried a lot of different combinations myself although by the end I found that standard is always the best. You can also aim it up by holding either L1 or L2. This does massive damage.

The gameplay is definitely rock solid. It’s not going to win any awards for beating titles like Tenkaichi 3 or Ultimate Ninja Storm but it’s a level of gameplay that can hold its own no matter what the competition is. The graphics also look pretty solid. The illustrations are good and there is a good amount of detail in the character designs and stages. You really can’t go wrong here. The soundtrack is not quite as impressive though. You probably won’t remember any of the themes by the time you complete the game because they’re all basically the same. I would have liked to have seen some rock themes or something here.

In terms of replay value, the game does have some content although I wouldn’t say a ton of it. Once you beat the game with everyone you can try score attack or some other modes. At the end of the day the vs mode is what’ll need to keep you. Technically that would equate to almost limitless replay value so long as there are opponents to fight. The gameplay will have to be the main incentive because there aren’t really any big unlockables here. You can choose to buy more characters on the EShop though which is always a tempting offer for big fans.

I hope they eventually make the giant head at the end of the game playable. That’s the kind of joke character that would bring some extra life into the game. You gotta admit that the character has a ton of potential and she is what made the story so much fun. Whenever she starts spinning around and shooting the giant energy blast you know things were going to get real. I don’t think the game should charge for too many characters though. Titles like FighterZ and Super Smash can get away with it because we all want the new characters, but Touhou Kobuto? I don’t think the series is quite big enough where everyone would be paying top dollar to grab em all.

Overall, Touhou Kobuto is a fun game. I do think it would have benefited from a little more story content or a larger character roster though. The roster is surprisingly small for a current gen game. If the title had gone for either option it would have been able to add an extra star to its score. Nonetheless it is still a very fun game. It’s the kind of title you could whip out at parties for a little fun and to shock everyone who likely don’t even know that it exists. The game is best in short doses though as it just doesn’t have the same lasting appeal as other fighting games.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Review


Time for another film type PS3 game. This one got a lot of hype since it plays out as a sequel to the original Ghostbusters films which is pretty cool. It’s nice to get some extra closure for the characters and it feels nostalgic right off the bat. The main character doesn’t add much but it gives the others an extra target to talk about so that works out well. It’s a very fun game and I can see why it ended up getting a remake. You really can’t go wrong here.

The game starts with the Ghostbusters hiring a new guy to help them out. It’s been a bit of a tough stretch lately with the mayor hiring someone to keep an eye on the team. (Peck) Peck really doesn’t like the Ghostbusters and aims to run them out of town even if it means losing his job. I guess you have to give the guy credit for persistence because that’s really taking his job to the next level. I feel like a lot of other guys would have quickly faltered once their job was on the line. There’s no time to waste on him though as more and more ghosts have been appearing around town. Looks like the Ghostbusters are going to need to bring their A game here.

It’s nice to see fan favorites like the Marshmallow Man making an appearance here as well. He makes for a pretty intimidating boss in the early levels. The plot is solid and the main villain finally fighting himself instead of summoning more monsters was certainly impressive as well. The game gets to go all out with the supernatural aspect this time around as the characters go to different dimensions and the ghosts really mean business here. All of them are pretty fun even if the romance bit doesn’t really work out so well. I think the gag should have ended with the main character failing once again. The guy was persistent so getting one last rejection would have been perfect.

The game has pretty strong writing throughout as we get quite a lot of solid banter. All of the characters have an answer for everything and they’re constantly bringing up the past to try and mess with each other. You can really see how they are a close knit group that has been through a lot. They all make fun and stuff, but at the end of the day end up helping each other out. It reminds me why we need a proper third Ghostbusters film. Not what we’ve gotten lately. Hopefully the new one is good, but the focus on the kids is an early red flag.

As for the graphics, they’re definitely quite good. Like Terminator Salvation this is a very cinematic heavy game. It feels like an interactive movie to an extent as the story keeps going and you throw in your guns to blast away at the enemies. The gameplay is like your typical shooter only with a Pokemon capturing thing thrown in. The goal is to capture the ghosts in little devices that you carry on hand and then you keep it moving. The game also has various detective portions of the level where you have to find the ghost or solve some kind of mystery. For that you have a pair of goggles that let you see the invisible things in the air. This may sound like a lot, but you’ll quickly master the controls.

You can also buy upgrades for your various guns. By the end of the game your gun has 4 modes. The ones you’ll be using the most are the ooze version and the standard laser. All of them have their perks though. Then the game has a great soundtrack with the iconic theme showing up every time you hit the main menu or lose a life. It helps you not feel so bad about losing because otherwise it is a bit of a long loading screen. Throwing in a fun little song like that was the way to go for minimizing how long it feels.

In terms of length this is another short one at around 5 hours. There are a lot of collectibles to grab and monsters to scan though. If you’re aiming for the Platinum and have to grab these then the game’s play time should likely double for you. There’s a good amount to do and the price is still quite low here so it’s a good investment. What else could last this long and be this cheap to buy? There is also one puzzle that can be a bit tricky so if that ends up stumping you then you may end up being here a little longer than you would have expected. It took me around 10 minutes before I cracked it. In terms of difficulty you shouldn’t have any big problems although one level near the end with fire owls crashing everywhere was tricky. I definitely lost that one quite a few times before being able to take them all down.

Overall, Ghostbusters the Video Game is a solid experience and I recommend checking it out. It’s one of those games that just flies by because of how much fun it is. The characters all act the way they do from the original show and the gameplay is solid as well. Your A.I. partners may die quite a lot so you end up having to carry but that’s fine because you are the new recruit so it’s to be expected. I’m certainly down for a new Ghostbusters game. Building off of the story in this one would work quite nicely.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts Review


It’s been a little while since I went back to one of the SNES games, but it was time to change that and what better game to jump into than Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts? It’s a pretty classic 2D platformer and a title that holds up quite well over the years. The game’s rather short, but it is very old so that is pretty understandable. The ending is the only thing that limits the game to an extent but I wouldn’t say that it affects the score.

The plot of the game is that demons have kidnapped the princess. The main character must now head off into the unknown in order to save her. To do this he will need to conquer legions of monsters and other deadly foes until he makes it to the castle. It won’t be easy, but this guy does have some experience in this arena. The game has around 8-9 levels and you should be able to clear it in about an hour. It’ll depend partially on how often you die and if you use the rewind feature or not. I certainly spammed the life out of that button but for those of you who do not wish to resort to such tactics you will likely appreciate the difficulty level. I wouldn’t say that the game ever gets unfair, it’s just unrelenting if you make a mistake.

A single error on your part will likely result in your death. I don’t know if you have to restart the level or the whole game when you lose since I never let it get that far but if it’s like most titles then you would need to restart from scratch if you get a game over. So long as you can avoid doing that then you should be fine. As you go through the levels you will encounter various weapons. You can only have one weapon at a time so you really have to think carefully about getting a new one. My personal favorite was the fire ball so once I had that I was not going to go back to a sword or any of the other options. None of them seem flat out worse than the others except for the slow boomerang so it’ll depend on how you want to play the matchup. Once you find your perfect weapon then it’s off to the races.

The graphics are pretty solid and the game actually had an opening cutscene which impressed me. Even if there isn’t a lot of story beyond the intro I’m still glad to have that much. It’s something that was not always a guarantee back in the day. The soundtrack is pretty reasonable. I wouldn’t call it the most memorable tune out there, but it worked well enough if you ask me. I was able to get behind this and the gameplay is always more fun when you have something to listen too.

I realize that I didn’t speak much on the gameplay, but it’s pretty self explanatory. You use your weapon to slay any enemies you get in your way as you aim to get to the end of the level. At the end there is a boss you will face and upon defeating the creature you are able to get into the next level. There are no crazy jumps and the platforming is actually pretty mild next to most of the others. It’s more combat focused than anything else.

There isn’t really any replay value after completing the game though. So the full game should last you about an hour and then if you want to 100% that maybe make it 2 hours. When you reach the end of the game the ending you get will depend on some factor in the levels. The Princess seems to hint that you had to grab some collectibles along the way but I must admit that I did not notice anything like that in my travels. So I got the fake ending where they start you back at the beginning of the game again. No way I was going to do the whole thing again just for a quick cutscene but if that’s up your alley then it’s certainly something to look into.

Overall, Super Ghouls is a pretty cool sounding title and the game is a lot of fun. I really can’t see you not having a blast with this one. It’s really got everything you could ask for in a game and then some. Keep in mind that it’s a short one but if you already have the SNES Online package then it’s effectively free. There’s no real downside to giving it a shot so you may as well do that. We’re getting some new games added to the service soon so I’ll definitely be ready to try those. The collection for the SNES is getting more and more impressive with each passing month.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh The Eternal Duelist Soul Review


It’s time to take a look at a GBA Yugioh game that I’m pretty sure I played back in the day. I remember going through tons of duels and really getting to master the strategies of taking them all on. The data even reset, but it’s been a long time so I went through the full first tier before doing this review. The game holds up quite well. What keeps it from being one of the definitive World Championship titles is the fact that the loading times are a little on the slow side compared to the others. You can hold B to speed things up, but then it’ll skip your chance to use trap cards which is risky. The game also constantly asks if you want to use the cards in your hand which is a little overdone.

There isn’t a plot in this game. How it works is you go to the campaign mode. There are 5 duelists you can challenge. Once you beat all 5 of them twice then you unlock the next 5 duelists. Beat all of them 3 times and you unlock tier 3. Rinse and repeat through the 5 tiers. So you can expect to get quite a lot of duels in. The duelist in Tier 1 are basically a cakewalk and you shouldn’t have a problem, but as you go through the tiers the difficulty level certainly spikes up. You’ll definitely need to re-tool your deck quite a bit as you go on and will have to hope for good cards through RNG. You get around 6-7 new ones every time you score a win.

Your starter deck is already quite nice though. You get a Monster Reborn card which is still one of the best in the whole franchise. You’ve also got Raigeki which destroys all opponent monsters, Trap Hole which destroys a new monster who has been summoned, Mystical Space Typhoon which blows up a spell or trap card on the opponent’s side of the field, etc. Your deck is quite loaded with the only weak point being the monsters as most of those are intentionally pretty weak. If you get your Summoned Skull onto the field you will be in good shape though. It’s a long process but by the end of the game your deck will be quite formidable indeed. In my experience the best thing to do is to always arm yourself with a ton of spells and trap cards. Those will really help the monsters out. The strongest monsters won’t do much if the opponent is constantly destroying them with effects after all.

The graphics are nice and fit the game pretty well. The UI is on point and everything is pretty streamlined. You can always tell what is happening even if there are minimal effects in the actual game. You don’t really need to be flashy in Yugioh because the gameplay is strong enough to stand up on its own. That being said, it is fun when the games go a bit extra in that like with Tag Force. Those games are really awesome in part because of how flashy they are. this game isn’t quite going to be in the same league. The soundtrack is also a bit on the dull side. You’ll want to put on some background music while playing this one to shake things up a bit.

There’s a lot of play time you’ll need to put into this game so you don’t have to worry about a lack of content. By the time you’ve beaten all of the duelist a number of times in order to unlock the next tier you’ll probably have played this game for 15-20 hours. When you put that into perspective then playing the 5 or so dollars to buy the game is a steal. Yugioh really had a ton of GBA games to the point where they are all dirt cheap to buy at this point. In comparison it feels like they don’t really make a lot of them anymore. That makes sense though because we have the mobile game now so there isn’t a lot of reason to make more of them. The mobile game has everything you could really hope for in a Yugioh title. That one has a ton of content to explore.

Overall, Yugioh The Eternal Duelist Soul is a really fun game. It’s a bit bare bones next to a lot of the other titles in the series, but if you judge the title on its own then it’s as good a game as you can hope for. I expect you’ll have a lot of fun here so long as you enjoy the Yugioh series in general. At the end of the day the actual card game has always been a lot of fun and I don’t really expect that to change anytime soon. Especially the original days where you don’t have to worry about too many combos. Synchro Summoning is about as complex as I get in my dueling strategies, anything past that I don’t really tend to include in my decks.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Beyblade: Metal Masters Review


It’s time to take a look at a Beyblade game that I’ve owned for a very long time. I had been waiting until I had Metal Fusion and now that I beat that one it was time to look at the other big Metal game. This one is a huge improvement over the other title. For starters the controls have been fixed and there isn’t a pesky leveling up system this time around. It’s an arcade mode type game so it only takes around 20 minutes to beat a story but there are a lot of different characters to help with the replay value.

The basic plot is that the main character has been offered an invite to the latest big Beyblade tournament. He decides to enter of course, but it turns out that there may be more to this tournament than it would seem at first glance. Yes, this is the plot of every Beyblade game but in its defense it’s a plot that is always quite solid. Who wouldn’t want a tournament? The fun part about the concept is that it’s a good excuse to get all of the big characters in the series to meet up once again. There are around 5-7 rounds int he tournament and then you’ll have completed the Arcade route.

This game is fairly easy unlike the last one. The goal is to knock your opponent out of the ring or smash him to bits. Gone are the days of using the stylus and the game even gives you a pop up at the beginning letting you know that the stylus will not be used at all. It was probably the best message I’ve ever seen in a game like this. I was pretty stoked right off the bat. So you use the D pad to move your Beyblade. Press the A button twice to use your standard dash attack. B is to jump, Y to shield, and X to use your super attacks. I couldn’t find out how to use the final smash but you won’t need it. My advice is to spam the dash attack. It does a lot of damage and also has a chance to push the other Beyblade out of bounds which results in an auto win. You just can’t top that.

The game does force you to think about things a little more towards the end though. One enemy has a flame tornado and another has a suction ability so if you just run into them then you’ll be defeated. In these cases it’s best to take a punish approach. Wait for the opponent to use a move and then hit them. At that point retreat and then start over from scratch. Rinse and repeat your way to victory. I don’t imagine any match will take you more than 2-3 tries to clear it. It’s not a game that was made to be super difficult or anything.

So, the game is pretty short as I mentioned. An arcade mode is around 20 minutes. If this game was still at full price then I’d say that it wasn’t worth it. You can get the game for 5-10 bucks nowadays though. It’s also worth noting that there are around 30 fighters here so if you multiply that all you’ve got a game that’s around 10 hours. That’s pretty good right? There’s barely a story though so there’s not a lot of incentive to playing the game with everyone. Most games nowadays I don’t do all of the Arcade Modes but it really depends. If it’s something like Marvel vs Capcom or Dengeki Bunko then you can bet that I’ll at least play most of the stories for all the characters I like a lot. For a game like Beyblade where there are no opening and ending cutscenes and I don’t know the characters as well..it’s less of an incentive. I didn’t even beat more than one story in Sengoku Basara and that’s a series I’m fairly familiar with.

It’s always nice to have the option though and so I have to say that the game has a fair amount of replay value. The gameplay is also just pretty fun so it is definitely a game you can have a good time going back to. In terms of graphics the game is also pretty solid. We get some cutscenes for finishing moves and the standard ones pop out well enough as well. Don’t expect a ton of detail or anything like that, but there’s enough to keep you pretty well satisfied all the way through. The soundtrack is about as bland as you can get though. There aren’t exactly a lot of choices to pick from here so you’ll quickly find yourself tuning it out. I wish we had gotten a rock theme or something like that.

I should mention that in the Arcade mode it’s a best of 3 set. You get to pick two supporting characters to help you out as each character gets a round. The first character you pick is the one who will get the story though so choose with that fact in mind. Each character also has slightly different special moves and controls so you’ll want to keep that in mind. You can also check the garage to equip new parts that you unlock as you unlock 2 for each round that you complete. There seem to be 86 parts in the game so at that pace you’ll get them all very quickly. I wonder if they’ll slow down at the end because otherwise you’ll have all of the parts long before you beat the game with every character. Hopefully it doesn’t go the route of giving you duplicates later on. I always thought that strategy was a forced way of adding length to the completion time.

Overall, Beyblade Metal Masters is better than the last DS game, but it’s certainly nowhere near the level of any of the home console installments. I’m not sure why the games aren’t trying to be more ambitious on the portable. I do have a 3DS game I’ll be playing soon so we’ll see how that one fares. Regardless, this is the definition of a pick up and play title. Even if you put the game down for years it’ll always be right there for you to play through again. It’s pretty good and accomplishes in what it sets out to do. If you see the game for a few bucks I’d recommend playing it. Who knows, maybe the arcade mode will be so much fun that you’ll end up watching the show as well.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Blur Review


It’s time to look at a racing game that made a lot of noise back in the day. There aren’t a whole lot of item based racing games and even fewer ones that go for a realistic angle. The only other one going on at the time was probably Wipeout. This game had been on my radar for a very long time so now was a good opportunity to finally pick it up. It’s a pretty fun game and having a straight forward arcade mode is nostalgic but I do feel like the game was missing something.

The main mode is the career and what happens here is you start off with the first chapter available. Each chapter has 6 races and if you complete extra objectives during these levels you will unlock the boss level at the end with an opportunity to unlock your opponent’s car. Each level has up to 7 stars that you can earn with 3 being the minimum that you need in order to clear the level. These stars are important because they are how you unlock the next chapters.

By the end of the game I got a little over half of the stars and unlocked all but the final chapter. It’s usually not too difficult to get up to 5 stars in a level but going beyond that is definitely a challenge. The game really wants you to ace the levels in order to unlock the final chapter. The star requirements are surprisingly high. Most likely you will need to replay levels a bit if you want to get to the end.

There are a few different gameplay styles to be found here. The one you will see the most is definitely the racing levels. These play out pretty much as you would expect with the goal being to get to the end of the level first. Along the way you will see the mini challenges. Some of these are “fan challenges” which are little icons that will give you an item and 40 seconds in which to use it properly. Then you’ve got the gates and the objective here is to go through them all in time. These give you a star for completion so do your best to clear them all.

As I mentioned earlier there are also items in this game so you will want to take those into account. There are a few basic items. First you have the booster which is self explanatory. Then you have the land mine which you can place behind you or fire in front at short range. It’s a pretty handy item and one of the best in the game. Of course you also have the energy blast weapon or the mini energy gun that can fire 3 times. The wrench item heals you back to full health which I think is a little excessive but it does make this the most valuable item in the game. There are certainly other items to be found but those are the main ones.

Other modes include Checkpoint which is really just a race with yourself as you try to get to the end of the level. These levels can be a little tricky to get the main 5 stars in, you will sometimes want to go for the booster instead of the clock if it’s more of a direct route to the goal. Then there is Knockout where the goal is to take down as many others cars as possible. There is no end to the level so you keep blasting cars until the timer runs out.

The graphics here are pretty solid. The levels have a lot of variety and the cars look great. There is a decent amount of customization like changing the color of the car without it being overwhelming. The soundtrack isn’t really anything to write home about but it supplements the game well enough. This game can be fairly long depending on how many tries it takes you to unlock the final chapter. That’s the thing with racing games, especially ones with items. In the end you just have to get really good at the fundamentals and hope no big item slams you in the end because it’s not like you can spend time farming enemies to get stronger. You do get fans win or lose which unlocks new cars so eventually you will get a car that gives you more of an edge which will be handy.

The campaign is fairly long on its own and the game has a lot of replay value through the PS3 trophies you can earn as well as the multiplayer option. You definitely don’t have to worry about not having enough content for your purchase. In general racing games have levels that can feel a little long since you’re so focused on the road and the other cars so as it is you’ll likely need to take quite a few breaks along the way. This is not the kind of game you can beat overnight in one shot unless you’re some kind of racing prodigy.

Overall, Blur is definitely a fun game. The items work out pretty well and the graphics hold up to this day. The level designs are solid and there are a lot of cars to choose from. I would definitely recommend it if you are looking for a quick car game to play and don’t mind having the items to look out for. I tend to prefer the racing games without items but I still enjoy both kinds. Racing games in general are just pretty fun and this one is going for cheap now so it’ll be hard to get a better price than what it’s at. This is your chance to snag it.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Brave Review


Video games based on movies always have a certain reputation that comes along with them. People just expect these games to not be very good and this is warranted by the multitude of games that came out in the early 2000s…..or did they? See, a lot of games based on movies did come out in that era, but I’d argue that a lot of them were really good. The Matrix, Spider-Man 1-3, X-Men 3, etc. These games were actually a lot of fun and then you’ve got titles like The Incredibles or Superman Shadow of Apokolips (Based on a show at least) which were also solid. Now there have been some terrible ones like Finding Nemo, but I’d argue it balances out well. Brave is a solid game in its own right and I’d recommend checking it out.

The plot seems to cover what the movie did in abridged form although I have not watched the movie yet so I can’t say that with 100% confidence. Basically the main character’s Mom is turned into a bear so now she must find a way to turn her back. Meanwhile there is an evil bear who is spreading evil throughout the world and corrupting everybody. If he isn’t stopped soon then there will be no going back. The lead has to learn that bravery is something that comes from within and the way to save her Mother may have something to do with this. The only thing left to do now is fight!

The gameplay is fairly standard. You start out at the Ring of Stones which is effectively the hub world although I hesitate to say that because there is nothing to do here. It’s a blank field you can run around in and it leads you to the 9 levels. Each time you clear one level then the gateway to the next one opens up which allows you to challenge it. There’s not really much more than that to do here so maybe lets just call it the hub. Once inside of the level the goal is to get to the end. This is done by running and jumping through the obstacles. You’ll have to beat a lot of the levels as it is part beat em up. When you beat all of the enemies the force field will leave and you can proceed forward. The levels are fairly quick and you can knock out the full game in a few hours. I don’t know exactly how long it took me, but it was between 4-6 hours I’d say.

In combat you have two weapons. The first is the sword which the game seems to think is your main weapon but don’t let that fool you. It’s nice and you can slice enemies up pretty quickly but there’s no reason to use it. The reason for that is you have a bow which fires unlimited arrows machine gun style. While the damage is slightly lower it compensates well with how many arrows you’re shooting. You can also run at full speed while shooting which is rare for any game. As a result there is no downside to constantly shooting as you are running. Not a bad idea right? I went with the arrows for the whole game and it was worth it. I didn’t die at all throughout my whole playthrough (until the final boss) which yeah that isn’t too impressive considering what game it is, but it still felt pretty good.

As you play through the game you will find upgrades for your sword and arrows as well as other costumes and tapestries which increase your base stats. You can also buy other upgrades at each save point which are pretty handy. They aren’t hidden all that far away from the main path so I was actually able to get almost all of them despite focusing on just clearing the game the whole time. It’s really not much of a time sink to quickly turn around and grab them so I’d recommend doing so. Additionally if you aim to get the Platinum trophy you’ll need to do this at some point anyway so what better time than the present right?

The graphics are fairly decent. It does look more like a PS2 game than PS3, but it’s not like the character models are blocky or anything. You’re always still sure of what’s happening next and there are a good amount of cinematics here to give you that movie feel. There isn’t really a soundtrack unfortunately so that does keep this from feeling like a higher budget title. I’d say that the main giveaways to this not being a big AAA game is how there are some re-used cutscenes and how simple the controls are. I don’t think simple controls is inherently a bad thing though. With good level design and a solid gameplay option you can really make this work out. Just look at the old Sonic or Mega Man games. There weren’t a bunch of controls but they were still a lot of fun.

If anything holds this game back it’s the length, but you can buy this game for cheap nowadays so I don’t think you’ll feel too badly about it. There is also the replay value thanks to the trophies which keeps this from being too short as well. Brave is just a fun game and it feels like a nice relic of the past. You don’t really see quick cash-in games like this anymore and it’s a shame. It’s not the kind of game you’d buy for 60, but it’s one that is always fun to stumble upon in Gamestop. It’s easily worth the price nowadays.

Overall, Brave is a very good game. I’m not saying it’s great and it’s not going for game of the year awards, but there’s really nothing bad to say about it. The ability to shoot endless arrows is admittedly very cheesy, but it does help this feel more like an arcade game. You can just dive into the game and take down as many enemies as you can. You can even turn it into a minigame with yourself to see how long you can go without getting hit. Some of the last levels will give you a nice challenge there and as I mentioned I did die a few times during the final boss. That one throws enemy after enemy at you so taking them all down isn’t the easiest thing in the world. It’s good reaction time practice since if you jump at the right time you should be able to dodge any attack.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Wario Land Shake It Review


It’s time to take a look at a Wario game that I hadn’t gotten around to purchasing until very recently. It’s always nice to see him take the center stage. While Mario is certainly the more heroic character, Wario’s definitely a guy that doesn’t let everyone push him around. He just goes at the villains with all he’s got and makes for an entertaining lead. Shake It is a solid game that is slightly held back by the treasure mechanic, but does bring a breath of fresh air into the usual Nintendo platformer.

The basic plot is that a mysterious pirate has kidnapped a bunch of fairies. One of them manages to escape and convinces Wario to help in exchange for a bunch of treasurer. The fairy also heads to a local pirate for help as well and she decides to come along. Can this trio really stop such a powerful adversary or are their stories about to come to an abrupt end here? Only time will tell, but this could get dangerous.

The gameplay has your usual end goal. You have to get to the end of the level only that’s not where the level stops this time. You have to free the fairy there and then dash back to the beginning of the level with a 2-3 minute time limit. If you don’t make it then you’ll have lost. You get to keep whatever treasure you grabbed on the way to the start. You have a few different control options like the usual jumping and ground pounding, but also new ones like slamming into opponents or throwing them at obstacles. You’ll get the hang of these controls pretty quick and from there on it’s just a matter of plunging through.

Each world has 4 levels and there are 5 worlds here. You may think this sounds extremely short right? Well, it’s not a particularly long game, but it’s almost as long as the usual platformer. (Most platformers are around 6-7 hours) I’d put this game in at 5 hours personally. Each level won’t take you longer than a few minutes. So you may wonder why you can’t just beat this game in 2-3 hours or something right? Well, the game forces you to collect a ton of treasure in order to unlock each world. You’ll need 200K for World 5, 150K for World 4, etc. It’s around 700K in total I believe. I usually got around 20-30K per level so I only had to do a little grinding for the final world. If I didn’t have to worry about treasure I could beat the levels way sooner. As if the mock you each level has a very direct route from start to finish. However, if you want to get the treasure you’ll have to go through a bunch of alternate paths to get at it. The levels don’t become super long or anything like that, but you do realize the time you’re wasting throughout.

I’ve never been a big fan of forced items. I don’t like the idea of the game telling me how I have to play it because you are effectively being penalized for blasting through the game. As a bit of a speed runner myself I like conquering the games and just showing them what’s up. I can’t do that if the game is holding my hand the whole time and taking me down the various paths. Since the game does show enough restraint not to make the counts too obsessive it doesn’t hurt much, but it just limits the game from being quite as fun as it could have been. At least its upfront about how much treasure you’ll need for each world at the beginning so you can plan it out as you’re going through the game.

The graphics here are definitely really good. I was also impressed that we got a full opening anime movie to start the game off with and one at the end as well. Why does Wario get all this fanfare rather than Mario who is supposed to be the company’s mascot? It doesn’t make any sense to me and I was thinking about it for quite a long while. I’m sure there is some rationale to this and I’m thinking it’s that Nintendo can experiment more with Wario, but I’d love this treatment for the next big Mario platformer. The soundtrack for Shake It! isn’t quite as impressive as in Yoshi or Mario, but it’s a decent array of songs. None of them really stood out to me though.

Then we have the bosses which are pretty inspired. One of the final ones does get a little cheesy with the only way to beat it being a move that you were never formally taught to do in this situation. Ignoring that, all of the bosses have unique designs and ways to defeat them. There are no recycled fights like you would see in most of Nintendo’s other big games. In part this is because each world only has 1 boss instead of 2 and I think that makes sense to keep each fight fresh. They’re all a lot of fun, but the best boss has to be the final one. Not only does he have a proper two phases like a Mega Man villain, but his design and moveset are really something special. The guy can fire off giant energy blasts and makes it look easy. Additionally he just feels like a final boss. The guy has his own throne. I’d love to see him make a comeback at some point. He’s one of the few Nintendo villains I’ve seen who is played completely straight. He has no comedy moments to speak of.

There’s a good amount of replay value here after beating the game. You can work to find all of the treasure chests or even complete all of the bonus missions. Then with that treasure you can buy some extra heart containers or the opening movie to re-watch at your leisure. I don’t think the game will still last for much longer after all of this, but it’s a fair amount of content that really helps justify the price even further. The game goes for around 15-20 nowadays which is a fair price in my opinion. It’s rare that Wario gets his own game so I’m glad Nintendo put some real effort into it.

Overall, Wario Land Shake It! is a pretty fun game. It was more enjoyable than I expected as the motion controls were actually handled well here. You don’t use them much at all except for aiming and it was pretty responsive. Wario makes for a fun lead and the game just feels very unique. It can’t be compared to Nintendo’s other titles so easily. Hopefully we get a new Wario Land game at some point, I think there is still a lot that can be done with it. I also think Nintendo should consider a crossover game someday with Mario, Yoshi, DK, and Wario mixing and matching all 4 of the styles. That would have the potential to be Nintendo’s best platformer yet!

Overall 7/10