8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Cardfight Vanguard Zero Review


It’s time to look at a recent app that I downloaded. I’ve always enjoyed watching the Cardfight Vanguard show so I figured playing through an app game would be pretty fun too. It’s got a unique gameplay style that is different from Yugioh and I’ve never gotten to play it in action before. This was my chance to change that and the game is definitely a lot of fun. It’s also very challenging so you can rest assured that it will force you to become a better player as the levels go on. With an active user base and ongoing events there will be enough content to keep you entertained for the long haul.

As with most mobile games there are a ton of options that greet you on the menu. It can all be pretty overwhelming so the game wisely locks a lot of the options behind level ups so you experience them all gradually. You’ll likely be spending most of your time in the story of playing online battles. Aside from that you can also clear daily missions, fight practice battles, customize your deck, and buy more cards. While there are some paid options you can do the game is 100% free to play and you can do quite well without spending any money. It’s the kind of game where you can absolutely hold your own without spending a dime.

The story mode has 11 chapters which consist of around 50 rides. While you might think you can clear those right away, it will take a lot of time. Every 3-4 rides you have to go and do other tasks to unlock the next ones. These range from beating an opponent 5 times to fighting online for 3 battles. There are a lot of different tasks and it is the game’s way of making sure you try everything out. I could be a little annoyed at having to take a break from the story so often but I understand the logic. I don’t approve, but it is what it is and the rest of the modes are all fun as well which helps a lot.

The story mode covers the first season of the show although I expect as more and more levels are added it will eventually cover the entire series. It’s been pretty detailed at trying to grab almost every fight and the game actually plays whole anime scenes which is pretty cool. You don’t see a lot of mobile games do that so it was pretty nice. I made it through around half of the rides before doing this review and they’ve been fun.

I’ll quickly go over the gameplay but it’ll be difficult to go too in depth due to how many rules there are. First off you start with a hand of 5-6 cards and then each player rides a grade 0 Unit. As each turn passes you can ride a card with 1 grade higher until you get to the max of 3. (There are future cards that go higher but I doubt they’ll be added anytime soon) There are 3 columns and 2 rows which you can rill with monsters. Only the 3 monsters in the front row can attack and the one in the middle is your Vanguard. He gets a Drive Check which has the potential to strengthen your team, heal your damage, or do something else. The first player to get to 6 damage loses the match. The only way to deal damage is to attack your opponent’s vanguard with a monster stronger than his own. The attacking player has the advantages of having a support monster to boost attack as well as the drive check so attacking is quite easy.

You’ve also got a bunch of other mechanics like sentinels and intercepts so you’ll want to study a bit. There are a few rules that are simplified here compared to the actual show and I imagine it was to help balance the game as well as make it go quickly. Depending on how many rules were added each round could take forever. As it stands most duels aren’t very long although I can’t say that I’ve actually counted how long any of them took me. I imagine they may be around 10 minutes or so. The deck I went with was Kagero and it served me well. Ultimately the battle I ended up getting stuck on was Aichi on Hard mode. That guy’s pretty hard to deal with and he’s also got a permanent attack boost on all of his monsters which is a little suspect if you ask me.

As for the graphics, the game looks quite good. Aichi’s character model is the only one that looks unfinished but everything else is very polished and holds up quite well. The soundtrack is excellent with the full anime opening being the intro music. I definitely appreciated that nod and in general it’s all very high energy so you’re always right in the thick of the action. It makes every duel even more enjoyable and for a mobile game the key is making the game easy to pick up and play at a moment’s notice. This game achieves that because you’ve always got time for a quick duel. I think card games really excel in the card game format and this one is no exception.

Overall, Cardfight Vanguard Zero is a great game. You’ll have a lot of fun here and even if you’ve never played before you’ll be fine. The game gives very detailed tutorials and the online community will also be more than willing to help you out. There’s a good amount of support here and a lot to do. I’m definitely confident that you will be engaged for the long haul. Right now I’m pretty busy with Final Fantasy VII Remake but Zero was definitely a whole lot of fun and I look forward to seeing the game grow. As with most mobile games this is where my journey will end, but it was still a pretty fun experience.

Overall 8/10

8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Saint Seiya: Shining Soldiers Review


It’s time to look at a recent mobile game that I downloaded. Saint Seiya always looked like it would be another fun installment and I remember seeing a few articles about it. Mobile games are definitely on the rise as of late and it’s nice to see that the quality has stayed consistently high as well. I think that’s usually a pretty tough trick but with how profitable these games tend to be it makes sense to craft them really well. This is another great mobile game that will only get better with time.

When you launch the game be prepared for around 20 tutorials. It’s hard to keep track of all the information so I would usually head to Reddit if I want to know more. The game does its best not to be too overwhelming and I would say that the menu layouts are pretty solid. For a gatcha game like this you can only simplify it so much after all. You get free items every day which is always cool and it’s like a daily routine to start with. You then have an energy meter so you can play a bunch of matches and modes until you run out. You never have to worry about running out when playing levels for the first time though because they will recharge your meter automatically. This only comes into play when doing re-runs.

There are a ton of modes here of course. One of the big ones is online but I don’t recommend going there until you’ve played offline for a while and leveled up your characters. I’ve done pretty well for myself in most PVP options for these games but in Saint Seiya mine were too low level to bother with it so I skipped out on that part this time. You can also summon new characters with jewels or play through the story mode. As with most mobile games the story will be getting new chapters periodically. Surprisingly the story is very short at the moment. I cleared all of the levels in under 3 hours which is pretty much unheard of for a mobile title. Usually you launch with a ton of them. Just look at Seven Deadly Sins which had over 10 hours of story content at launch. Saint Seiya can learn a thing or two from that one.

Interestingly rather than go chronologically the game starts every arc with a few battles. The Golden Saints arc goes up to Ikki vs Shaka while the others all just have the opening fights. The Hades arc is another exception as it jumps right to Kanon vs the 3 Generals. It’s an interesting approach but there should have been way more story levels if you ask me. Then you have the temporary specials so you want to play those levels before they’re gone. There is one for Cassios and one for Mu. Most Gatcha games follow the same trends and this one is no exception. Since I played a lot of Dragon Ball Legends back in the day it was all pretty formidable.

The gameplay is a 3 vs 3 battle with 1 v 1 fights at a time. It’s similar to Pokemon so you want to switch out if you’re in a bad match up. You then choose your attack and the last team standing wins. The gameplay is very smooth and the attacks look quite solid. The graphics in general are definitely top tier here. The armors really stand out and everything feels high end and fresh. You couldn’t tell that this is a mobile game and that’s been true for so many lately that there almost isn’t even a point in saying so anymore. It’s just how it is at this point and that’s a good state for the games to be in.

The soundtrack is very limited, but effective. The opening theme is the old theme song which is really good because that one has aged quite well. During the cutscenes we have a nice danger theme and the music during the gameplay is solid. You won’t hear a lot more than that, but each theme is quite solid so the limited variety doesn’t really end up hurting you. You’re having too much fun with the gameplay to worry about it.

So my only issue with the game is the length, but unlike ARMS we have a lot of different modes to enjoy here. You can jump online as I mentioned or play in one of the many events. You will need to spend a lot of time upgrading your characters as well and grabbing materials. It can get very time consuming to build the perfect team and with new characters being added constantly you can’t really take a break. One thing about these kinds of games is that they are long term commitments if you want to be the best online. If the offline content is all you care about then you don’t need to worry so much as those battles rarely get all that difficult. In DB Legends it took a long time and tons of chapters to get to the point where you really needed to try.

Overall, Shining Soldiers is a great title. If you’ve got some time and want a good action packed mobile title then this is the one for you. It looks like it’ll be doing a good job of adapting the whole Saint Seiya series and it’s always nice to see Aiolos show up since the guy never got much of a role in the actual series. You’ll best enjoy the game if you’re not playing another Gatcha title right now. I’ve noticed that it’s always tough to balance more than one of them in part because they all tend to be the same game just repackaged a bit. Shining Soldiers can hold its own blow for blow with any of the others though.

Overall 8/10

8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross Review


It’s time to take a look at a fairly recent mobile game that came out. The Seven Deadly Sins game got quite a lot of hype because it looked to be very high budget for a mobile title. We have seen a trend of companies actually putting a lot of effort into these games because the free to play model works so well. I hope this game ends up succeeding because it really is quite impressive. I played through around half of the game and it was definitely very fun.

The game’s story follows that of the manga. It’s hard to say how far along the game is right now, but I’d expect it is still early on. Typically mobile games like this want to go very slowly, especially since in this case the manga actually ended so there is a tangible goal in sight. Most mobile games want to survive for 5-10 years so expect them to drip feed content soon. That being said, it’s important to launch with a lot of content and this game did exactly that. You’ve probably got 15-20 hours of content here already and that’s a very conservative estimate. That’s also only counting the story and there are countless other things to do here. I didn’t even make it to the more exciting parts of the story and I was hooked. The presentation and interface in the game are quite seamless. Grand Cross has a lot of energy throughout and it really brings out the best of the adventures.

Mobile games can almost be a bit overwhelming with how much content there is to absorb. First of all you’ve got the online battles you can jump into. Then there are the limited time events. You will also want to replay old levels to farm equipments and materials to level your characters up. There is no need to ever run out of things to do in this game with all that you’ve got going on. That’s why the key here is if the gameplay is fun and fortunately I can confirm that it is. The gameplay is your typical turn based mobile style. You get a few cards in your hand during every turn and you play them to trigger different attack animations.

The game’s pretty easy at the start and it’s built in a way where your level will rise with the opponent’s so you should rarely be in trouble. That being said, you can have fun experimenting with attacks. It’s easy to learn the controls, but significantly more difficult to master them. Using proper strategy will help you a lot in the competitive aspects of the game. The gameplay is very flashy with a lot of really cool animations. Fortunately you can skip them though. As nice as they are to look at you won’t want to see the same thing 1000 times. You can also turn on auto battle so the A.I. takes care of things for you. I understand why some people are hesitant to use such a feature since it’s like you’re not playing but it helps with grinding. The A.I. isn’t that good either so for the more difficult levels you’ll need to beat them yourself anyway. It’s just a nice quality of life feature.

As mentioned the graphics are stunning. We get a lot of solid cutscenes with actual fight scenes in them. It’s a similar cell shaded style to something like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm and then you get a lot of great screen grabs from the show. The soundtrack is a lot more limited with the same tune showing up over and over but it’s a great theme so I can see why it was selected. For a mobile game you want a catchy track so it was selected quite well.

So far this review’s been super positive so you can tell that I’m a pretty big fan of it. If I had less games on the backlog I’d probably stick around with this one long term. It’s definitely one of the best mobile games I’ve played. The only boring part in comparison is maintaining the inn and wandering around town on side quests. Making a beer and the food dishes is easy but you don’t really feel engaged. I suppose it adds to the realism but I’m always ready to jump right back into the combat. Fortunately these tasks don’t last long so as long as the game doesn’t go down that route in the future I don’t expect that it will be a problem.

Overall, Grand Cross really does a great job of taking the Seven Deadly Sins into video game format. It takes the best aspects of the series while dropping the weakest elements. If you’re looking for a fun mobile game to play then this is one I would recommend. It’s free so it’s not like you have to worry about spending money. You can spend money to get items and such, but the game is quite generous so you never feel like you need to do so. You’ll be able to clear the game just fine without doing anything like that. I look forward to seeing mobile games continue to improve. At this rate they will really feel like AAA console games before long. This one for example could easily be ported to PS4 or the Switch and pass itself off as a home console game from the start.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Mecha Champions Review


It’s time to take a look at an IOS game that always looked like a Fortnite ripoff. Granted, you can be a similar game to something else without being a ripoff but that was just my first thought. Since Fortnite is so cool I thought I’d give this one a whirl. It’s got a lot of potential and honestly with a big mainstream release for PS4 and the rest it could probably hold its own to an extent. It’s definitely pretty bare bones compared to Fortnite, but has a lot of the same gameplay aspects while throwing in its own spin.

The gameplay here is that of a third person shooter. There are 100 people running around the map and your goal is to be the last one standing. Be sure to stay inside the safe zone as being in the storm will cause you to lose health quite rapidly. You can pick up guns as you run around the island. Once you down another player and you last long enough you can summon your mecha. In this form you deal a ton of damage and can move very quickly making it a very simple matter to take down the humanoid opponents who dare stand in your way. That’s the jist of it and the controls are pretty simple but it will take practice to really get used to shooting on the phone. It’s why I had a hard time even playing Fortnite on the mobile. It’s just way different than using a controller.

I am proud to say that I ended up winning my very first match in the game. It was squads mode, but I did contribute with 3 kills. I had to quickly get the win because I was playing this while at the theater waiting for the One Piece film to start. It took all of my fundamentals to quickly do this, but it worked out well. When I tried out Solo mode I didn’t fare quite as well. I got 96th place, but I did get one kill so at least I didn’t die without landing a hit right?

The graphics are pretty sharp. It’s all very colorful since you’re playing in a futuristic city filled with anime characters and giant robots. In terms of visuals it’s even more colorful than Fortnite. Fortnite still has the better graphics overall, but Super Mecha Champions is just very nice to look at. When it comes to the music I don’t recall any big themes from this game. At the very least there isn’t a sound as unique as the battle bus leaving.

You get bonuses for logging in every day like new mech suits. I don’t think they give you any special abilities are are like the Fortnite suits, but I’m not positive since I didn’t test any of them out. I just wanted to get in and test my battle royale skills. The map is quite huge so if you want to live it won’t be too hard to do so. Especially with how fast the characters move. One thing that will grate on you a bit though is how long it takes to travel from point A to point B. It definitely feels longer than Fortnite at times and I think that’s because the running speed is slower here. It’s not a huge deal but I imagine if you were to play the game more often then it would quickly start to take its toll on you.

Overall, Super Mecha Champions is a fun game, but one that is too big for a phone title. As great as the app games have been over the years there are still some limits to the IPhone. We saw that with the Sword Art Online game a while back where it played like the PS4 titles. That’s very impressive of the developers, but it’s just tough to truly appreciate it on the phone. The controls also aren’t quite as well suited. Of course most of the games can now use console controllers to play now so that’s a big improvement as well. A real controller makes a pretty big difference. If you like Fortnite a lot and want to take a look at what it might look like on the mobile then this is a good game to check out. At the same time, you could literally just play the actual mobile Fortnite game instead so odds are that you wouldn’t need to try this one out. I’ll give the game props for managing to copy so much of Fortnite though.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario Kart Tour Review


It’s time to look at Nintendo’s latest venture into the mobile world. Despite their rhetoric about not jumping into the pay to win biz it was always just a matter of time. Mario Kart Tour does take this to an extreme level with how many pay to win mechanics there are though. You don’t need any of them to I want to stress that you can still play this game at a satisfactory level without paying any money at all. You will be at a distinct disadvantage, but that is typically the case with almost any mobile game.

The main gameplay revolves around driving and trying to reach the end. Most of the levels are fairly straight forward so you shouldn’t have a difficult time getting to the end. There aren’t many areas where you can fall either. However, this means that more than ever you will need to make sure that your driving skills are polished so you can make the right twists and turns. Every second saved is quite important and also because the score makes a big difference here. Your score is ultimately what decides how many Grand Stars you earn in a race. Obtaining first place gives you a lot of points but it is totally possible to ace a level without coming in first depending on how well you do.

There are a lot of items at play here though so doing well doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll win. I had quite a few races where I lost due to a lot of cheesy circumstances at the last second. A Paratroopa slammed me near the end and then there was also the Red Shells that would get me. There’s a considerable amount of RNG here, but that’s always at play in a Mario Kart game. If anything you really need that or this would become just another racing game right?

The graphics are very nice. You can tell that this is a 2019 game with how vibrant all of the character models are. The stages are incredibly nostalgic and have also aged well with the graphical enhancements. There’s nothing to complain about on a technical level. The stage themes are also really good. I feel like for most mobile games the developers spend a ton of time on presentation since that’s what will really attract players and ideally get them to stay.

The gameplay is quite good. At the end of the day that part holds up pretty well. There’s quite a bit of auto assist so you can even play while you’re not by your phone, but don’t expect to get a good placing. This is actually discouraged compared to other games as well since there is an energy limit that you will hit very quickly. Once that happens your karts and characters won’t get EXP with each win which is a big drawback. You can keep playing, but it will feel like you’re losing out quite a bit.

That’s one limitation that holds the game back and another is how tough it is to get the characters you want. That’s true for many Gatcha games, but some are better than others. One problem with this one is that Karts and Gliders are included as opposed to it just being Drivers like in most other games. I’d really rather not get another car when I could just get more characters. You’ll also get a lot of duplicates since right now the pool is very small. Getting a duplicate feels like a waste because it takes multiple duplicates to get a single rank up so you’ll be here for a while.

The game’s definitely got quite a grind behind it which isn’t too surprising, but it could have definitely been handled better. Then the game also has a Gold Pass option which doubles your rewards for each box but it is quite pricey. I believe it’s around 5-6 a month which is absolutely crazy for a game like this. Honestly, there are almost 0 games I would even pay something like that for. Even Super Smash would have to get declined on this one. I get paying for a console’s online, but individual games?

I got Daisy near the end so that was good, but I wish I could have gotten her a little earlier. I can’t complain much on that end though. Then you’ve got the Cups and by-weekly challenges. I cleared a good chunk of them and apparently new ones are cycled in. It hasn’t happened yet so it’s speculation, but I’ve heard that they might all cycle in and out which would be annoying. I like to be able to play any level at any given time. All mobile games have the themed events which leave, but there should always be a good chunk of permanent ones.

Mario Kart Tour definitely makes a lot of odd decisions. It’s a good game and I think you can get a lot of mileage out of it, but you’ll need to really like the racing. You’ll also have to accept that it will be difficult to be at the top of the rankings for any month since the only way to increase your score on the gliders/karts/drivers is to level them up and it’s tough to get the resources for that without spending money. You will level up, but slower than the others. At the time of this review there isn’t even an option to race against other players which is crazy since that’s what Mario Kart is known for. The game is supposedly adding it in a day or two, but that’s a day or two too late.

Overall, Mario Kart Tour is a good game despite having a lot of negatives. At the end of the day it does succeed in being a good way to drive on the go and to hone your Mario Kart skills. It’s just not good enough for me to keep it long term. These kind of games are addicting for a little while, but you definitely end up burning out after a while. It’s rare that a mobile game will hit the big times and I don’t think this one will have what it takes for me at least. If you do stick around, then just have a blast and enjoy the features!

Overall 7/10

8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pokemon Masters Review


It’s time to look at Nintendo’s latest mobile adventure. Pokémon is one of those series that can really sell well so it makes sense to jump into the market. Just look at Pokémon Go after all. Unfortunately, this one does make some errors along the way which prevent it from being the ultimate title it could be. Still, it’s a great experience and one you may find yourself sticking with for a long time.

The basic plot of the game is that a big tournament has been announced which is called the PML. It is a 3 on 3 tournament with each trainer choosing one buddy Pokémon to team with in this grand adventure. The main character is a new trainer who has been steadily improving his skills. He quickly impressed gym leaders and elite four members and is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Of course to qualify he must first get all of the gym badges and then it’s off to the races.

The story is pretty good. I am glad that the game already covers grabbing all of the badges and the tournament has even begun. I am wondering how the game will stretch this story out for years like the other mobile games. Either we will keep fighting old teams who jump ship or Team Break will interrupt the tournament at some point. One thing that the game could have made clearer are the rules for the tournament though. Originally as it is a 3 on 3 tournament you assume that losing knocks a team out as you proceed. Instead when you beat a team their members are allowed to join you. That means you’re stuck in a lengthy loop if everyone keeps rejoining teams. I feel like once you have lost you should be eliminated from the tournament. By the end of the current campaign the main team may have up to 60+ teams which is pretty insane. This tournament definitely doesn’t seem all that balanced.

The characters also bring up a valid point about how the tournament organizer’s plan doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t believe in friendship or bonds so why did he make a tournament where it’s mandatory to have both of those? It just seems a little odd to be honest. Maybe it’s just his chance to beat all the opponents and prove that the bonds were fake, but it’s a pretty roundabout strategy.

Now when it comes to the soundtrack this game is top notch. It’s comprised of a bunch of awesome remixes for previous battle themes from games of all previous generations. Not a single one is left out and they are all quite catchy. I dare say that the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the game. I ended up turning off the special effect sounds and voices so I could focus on the music. A lot of these remixes even beat the originals. Then you’ve got the graphics which are quite incredible. This does not look like a mobile game and could hold its own with the mainline titles. The character models are on point and there is some actual voice acting so the game did get a good amount of effort out behind it.

I haven’t spoken about the gameplay much yet. It’s a turn based style similar to the main games only you’ve got a meter that lets you know when you can attack again. This way you are more focused on coordinating your attack strategies quickly instead of waiting for the opponent to make a move. Weak moves only take one bar of energy while the stronger ones take 3. Usually anything weaker than 3 is not worth using. Support abilities are crucial though so definitely bring those into play. The gameplay is easy to get the hang of so you should be fine.

There is a lot of content in the game aside from the story. (and the story is fairly long as it is) Every day you get 3 extra levels with 3 difficulties that you can play 3 times each for a lot of items which are used to raise your level cap. You’ve also got the permanent ones which you can play all day to further stockpile your materials. Each character you recruit comes with an extra mission that is basically a long cutscene. Leveling up each character is quick, but they’ve got multiple caps which can only be broken with a considerable amount of materials. Once you have to get the gym notes you are really going to be stuck for a while since you have to beat incredibly hard levels. These levels cannot be beaten on your own so you’ll have to jump into the online content which the game seems to be heavily pushing.

Unfortunately the online is the weakest part of the game so it’s too bad that it’s effectively mandatory. The online matches take forever because the speed is set to 1. I always have it set to 4 to make the matches go a lot quicker so by comparison 1 feels like we are moving at turtle speed. Even then the gym notes aren’t guaranteed so you’re starting to see the grind. This game definitely has a ton of grinding within it if you want to go far. I played for well over 15 hours and didn’t even get a single gym note. You need around 3-5 just to unlock the cap again.

The good news is that there is no energy meter so you can really play the game for as long as you want. Some speculate that this is why there is so much grinding and I suppose that makes sense. Still, I think the game overdoes it with the grinding. After you’ve beaten the main story up to the current update then it becomes really apparent just how much grinding you are expected to do. So, it’s definitely a tradeoff.

It’s still an addicting game of course, but one that could use more of an end game. It does feel noticeably emptier once you have beaten the main story and I know that I would never be all that thrilled about the multiplayer stuff. I like fighting other players but the co-op option won’t work if the speed is stuck to 1. Maybe that will change down the road. I imagine that this is the kind of game that will only get better and better as it goes on so there is a lot to be hopeful about here.

Overall, Pokemon Masters is definitely a great game. It’s got some flaws, but they are not enough to overcome the smooth gameplay and top tier music/graphics. This is a game that big Pokemon fans will get a kick out of for the story as well. It’s nice to see all of the classic characters again and in particular the team up with the Black & White main characters was really nice. I’m sure that when Red shows up that will be a powerful moment as well. This game will probably last years so maybe in a decade or so I’ll check back in and see how far the story has gone.

Overall 8/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

One Punch Man: Road To Hero Review


It’s time to look at one of the weaker mobile games that I’ve ever played. There are many mobile games out there and I realize that there’s probably a ton of low effort titles. I’ve just been fortunate enough to only play the solid ones so far as I mainly stick to franchise games or ones that I’ve heard good things about. Well, I took the plunge with One Punch Man and I was surprised at how bad it was. A lot of mistakes were made here. It’s one thing to not be very Free to Play friendly as that’s not ideal, but a decision I can accept. Basically eliminating gameplay? I dunno about that one.

The game basically covers the first season of the show. I wouldn’t be surprised if they add in season 2 eventually through updates or something. Each chapter seems to cover an episode. There are 15 chapters so I’m wondering if some filler is thrown in towards the end or maybe there already is some season 2 lurking about. Regardless you won’t be able to enjoy the story much. The best parts of it are probably the stock images taken from the show so it at least feels like you’re living the show’s adventures on your own. The problem here is the gameplay and here’s why.

It’s automatic. Most mobile games give you the ability to let the A.I. control your players as you do something else. That’s not new and it’s a great feature, but it’s usually something you have to turn on and it’s certainly optional. In One Punch, you never actually get to control the characters. They attack automatically and the only form of interaction you get is to choose when they use their final smashes. It’s not exciting at all and I don’t want to be watching the computers playing each other for long periods of time. The battles also feel a lot slower as a result and you can’t help, but feel that you could have done a better job if you were behind the wheel. The computers just can’t keep up.

That’s my main gripe with the game, but I consider it to be a big one since you’re not going to be playing a game with what you’d consider to be a poor gameplay style. There’s also not much reason to unlock the other characters since it’s not as if you’ll get to play them anyway. That does bring me to the next point though which is that the game is going to be an extreme grind fest. In most of these gatcha games you head to the store and summon allies using points and gems that you’ve accumulated. That’s what you would expect to be the case here right? Well, you do get some gems, but you don’t summon characters. You summon parts of a character. Once you’ve collected all of the parts then you’ll actually unlock the characters. The problem is that all of the parts are randomly thrown in the generator as is the norm for these games.

So it’ll be a long time before you actually get the characters unless you’re ready to spend a little green. At least in the other games you could count on the fact that you would get a character each time you summon, not just a part. To this day Dr Mario World did it the best as you get characters each time and whenever you get a duplicate they are turned into a level. When your character is maxed out then he is taken out of the pool and that’s really just the right thing to do. Keeping them in the pool means a waste of time when you draw them.

As a result this whole game feels like a waste of time. I played through the first two episodes but even that was a drag by the end. Of course they throw in a bunch of time waster fights against random grunts to keep you busy until you face off against the boss. It’s not like there is a lot of content so they have to make do with these stall tactics. It’s not a great way to keep players interested in your game though. At least the graphics are decent. Definitely not nearly as good as the average mobile game, but I still wouldn’t say that it looks bad.

One good thing about the game is the soundtrack. The main menu theme is absolutely popping and it’s something you can definitely jazz to. More good tunes like that may not have been able to save the game, but at least it gives you something to come back to. After all it is free so the title has that going for it. Of course, once I delete an app game I’ve never gone back and this one is no exception. There are simply better games to play and so this one doesn’t really have a spot in my future. It had a good run, but it’ll have to finish the sprint on its own.

Overall, Road To Hero is really the definition of a quick cash grab. There’s no part of this game that feels like it had a lot of heart. The developers just saw the brand and used it as a get rich quick scheme. That’s not a good thing and I’d advise staying away from this one. You’ll have a much better time with titles like Dragalia Lost, Dragon Ball Legends, or Fire Emblem. All of those have better gameplay styles and do a much better job of rewarding you for your gameplay. You don’t have to worry about only summoning part of a fighter. That was still the most shocking part of the whole game for me.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

RWBY: Crystal Match Review


It’s time to check out the latest app game on my agenda. As it’s a RWBY title I pre-ordered it a while ago and was ready to see what the franchise would bring to the table. Unfortunately it isn’t the most creative app game as it’s just another copy and paste gem matching title. There wasn’t a lot of bug testing and quality control here either as I was hit with a game breaking bug where I am no longer able to even access the game. I’ve tried deleting and re-installing the app several times to no avail so while I had intended to play through a few more worlds before doing the review…I’ll just have to do it now.

There isn’t really a plot here as you just jump into the game and have fun. As a tutorial of sorts Cinder and Neo do show you how to play the jewel game and depending on how you interpret this it is possible that you are actually playing as a member of the White Fang or something. You are fighting the RWBY characters after all, but since this is the Chibi cast it could all just be in good fun. There are over 400 levels available from launch which is pretty impressive and so this game will definitely last you for the long haul. The real question is really whether the game will be fun enough for you to still be playing it at that time.

It’s self explanatory on how to play the game but in case it isn’t there are multiple tutorials as you go through the first world. The goal is to match 3 of a single color of gems and once you have done that they get converted into energy. The goal of the game is to match all of the jewels that you need to conquer in this specific level. Sometimes you need to match the red ones and sometimes it’s the blue ones. Other times you have to defeat enemies by matching jewels next to the creature. Either way you should be good to go and while the gameplay may not sound amazingly simple here, you’ll definitely get the hang of it after a few rounds. There are more advanced techniques as well like matching jewels in an L shape or using bombs and other items to blast a lot of gems out of the way.

Every few levels there is another new mechanic added so by the end it will be quite a handful, but since they’re added so gradually it never feels too overstuffed. The graphics look pretty good. It’s nice to see the effects of the jewels turning into energy and the character models are very clear. It’s RWBY Chibi designs so you won’t be seeing the characters in their prime, but I suppose it’s about time that this part of the franchise got its turn in the spotlight. Unfortunately the game was unable to get the RWBY music or voices which is a little disappointing. In this day and age you’ve just come to expect this. Maybe not an app game from 5-6 years ago, but one today? It should have more than a random voice that congratulates you as you play.

This game just doesn’t feel like a whole lot of effort was put into it. Lollypop and Fruits Mania both feel more intuitive and less cluttered. Part of the problem here might be how the RWBY game already has a ton of content locked behind paywalls like characters and costumes. You can eventually earn the right to unlock some of these things in-game, but the amount of time the developers spent on this is likely what ends up hurting the gameplay. The loading times are quite long and that adds up when you’re playing dozens of levels. The low user base is pretty fun in one aspect though. I actually claimed the world record in quite a few stages before my account got corrupted. That was definitely pretty fun and I really would have played the game more if not for the glitch.

There’s a lot of content here so the replay value is definitely very real. You could play this game for many hours without any worries. There is an energy system in place but it won’t really become a concern until you are several worlds in and the levels get really difficult. At that point you’ll likely have an issue since each level drains so much out of the meter, but I guess you can’t win em all. They have to find some way to make you pay right?

Overall, RWBY: Crystal Match is a little disappointing. It’s mostly what you would expect the instant that you see the gems, but even then there are much older app games with the same premise that handle it a lot better. While the title is enjoyable, I can’t reasonably give the game a positive score while this glitch exists. The only way for me to get back in would have been to start an entirely new account which I was definitely not doing. I’m ready for the Pokemon Masters game because I really need a mobile title that I can sink my teeth into. In the meanwhile I’ll just have to be content with the memories I forged here I suppose. If you really want a matching game then you should download Fruits Mania instead.

Overall 4/10

8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dr. Mario World Review


It’s time to look at another mobile game that I’ve been going through. This is definitely more of a Fire Emblem than a Madoka in terms of how long I’ve been playing it. Dr. Mario World is a simple yet addictive mobile title which will keep you coming back for more. With over 200 levels available at launch Nintendo really did a good job of making sure there was a lot of content here.

The basic plot of the game is that viruses have launched an invasion on the mushroom kingdom and even on surrounding lands like Bowser’s kingdom. The only way to stop these viruses is to have them take some medicine. Dr. Mario and Dr. Bowser form a reluctant alliance to end the threat, but will they really be able to stop these guys?

So far we’ve only had the one cutscene after the opening which is where Bowser stepped in. I honestly think more cutscenes could have easily been added considering that they are basically just still images with the characters. It wouldn’t be too crazy to have added them after every world right? In the game’s defense, it did freeze after I beat world 3 so I had to restart and enter world 4 so there is a slight chance that there was a cutscene there I suppose. I haven’t looked on YouTube or anything but at least in my experience I’ve only seen the one cutscene.

The gameplay is basically an upside down Dr. Mario which is pretty interesting. I’m thinking they switched the gameplay style so it would be easier on the mobile but that is just speculation. Regardless you’ll quickly come to love the style. I dare say that I much prefer it to the classic gameplay. It’s a lot easier for me to dive into and I’ve been tearing through the levels. You have to match 3 of a color to eliminate the locks and viruses. Most levels are won by eliminating the viruses but some are about collecting coins or other such goals. The game is very clear about the goal from the start so there is no guess work. As you go through the levels the game continues to add new versions of enemies and obstacles. New things continue to be added after level 100 and I wouldn’t be surprised if the game isn’t done yet.

Graphically, Dr. Mario World doesn’t pull its punches. All of the screens are quite clear and the visual effects when eliminating the viruses are pretty satisfying. All of the visuals can hold themselves over as if they were from a big console game. The soundtrack is very small as is usually the case for mobile titles but the main theme just fits the game so well that you probably won’t notice.

As for replay value, the game definitely has a lot of that. As mentioned the main game has 200 levels plus speed levels in each world. These levels get progressively harder so even if you beat a lot of the early ones in one shot you definitely won’t be doing so in the later ones. You also do have an energy meter so if you lose a level 5 times straight then you will need to take a break for a few hours. That hasn’t been much of a problem because of all the maintenance though. They give you an extra 10 hearts for that each time. While going through the levels you will also be earning coins which you can use to buy more doctors and assistants from the shop. These guys have effects that are pretty subtle but they add up during a match. You can equip 2 assistants to help you. As for the doctor, you get to pick one at the beginning of the game and get a random one later on. I decided to go with Dr. Bowser and have not regretted that decision at all. His ability to destroy 2 rows is very handy and makes up for the fact that he is pretty slow.

Then we can’t forget about versus mode either. The gameplay is similar but more like the speed version. You get the matches as quickly as possible in order to launch an attack at your opponent and cause more lines to appear. The actual levels are a lot simpler than the story ones but that goes both ways. I really found my stride in this mode and got up to 1200+ points which brought me all the way up to tier 4. Now I’m starting to have a win ratio close to 50% so this seems to be the right area for me. It’s definitely a lot of fun going through the matches and after every 7 wins you get a box filled randomly with coins or other collectibles. I do think that throwing viruses in there was unnecessary though as getting nothing as a prize after 7 wins is pretty harsh. After your 7 wins in a day the rest does not help you get another box. Only 1 box per day.

There isn’t much negative to say about the game except that it’s maybe a little too stingy with how you get new doctors and collectibles. If you’re playing to get everyone that will probably never happen or at least not for a very long time. I do like how once you’ve maxed out a character they take him out f the pool so you won’t get duplicates. More gatcha games need to do this, but since even maxing out one character is incredibly difficult it won’t really come into play. The game also has a habit of freezing at times when you’ve won a level and then it only counts the win sometimes. That one is a bug that should be pretty easy to fix though. It’s definitely an annoying one but it hasn’t personally affected me much yet and I’ve played a lot of versus battles.

Overall, Dr Mario World is definitely an excellent game. It’s a very simple title with straight forward controls so you never have to worry about getting lost or being unsure what to do. It may look like there isn’t a lot to do here but the amount of content is definitely satisfactory. I recommend checking it out and since the game is free it’s not like you will be risking much in doing so. Just give it a whirl and if it’s not your thing then you can delete it just as quickly.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record Review


It’s time to look at an app game I downloaded a while back. I remember seeing this one as a twitter ad and figured that I may as well check it out. The posters looked nice and the Madoka series has always been excellent so I was down with seeing what the side story would be like. It’s a fun game that I would probably stick with if there was less to do, but from what I played it is a very complete title.

The game’s story follows a girl named Iroha on her own magical girl adventure. There are a lot of parallels to the show as she meets up with a very aloof magical girl who’s like Homura, a happy one dressed in yellow like Mami, a tough red colored one like Kyoka, etc. So…the story isn’t very original I’ll admit. Iroha’s memories are all in disarray as she doesn’t remember her childhood friends and this seems to directly be related to whatever wish she made with Kyubey to become a magical girl. Iroha wants to find out the secrets of her past, but she doesn’t have any idea how to do that. It may be related to a mystical law of forsaken friendships. As Iroha tries to find out about her past she also helps other magical girls learn to get along and beats up witches in the process.

With these gatcha games you never want to get too invested in the plot because it’s just never going to finish. These games are made to basically never end or if they do end it won’t be for many years. America actually got this game real late so in Japan there are a bunch of sagas out but even there the story isn’t over yet. You just gotta roll with the premise and then get ready for a bunch of inevitable filler. Still, if the adventures are fun then that’s not a problem. I thought the story was pretty reasonable. By default it’s the weakest RPG plot I’ve experienced in the mobile, but the filler isn’t quite as tedious as in Integral Factor. At the very least you always feel like things are happening.

We also do get a true opening that is fully animated which was really cool. The visuals are definitely on point and the soundtrack is awesome even if a little limited. You’ll be hearing the witch theme endlessly but it’s just so catchy and epic that it’ll rope you in. It makes every fight feel epic even if you’re just fighting the same old guys over and over again. The chapters follow a classic formula of fighting 3-5 waves of minions before you get the next round of cutscenes. On a technical level this game definitely shines through.

The gameplay is also very easy to use. You pick one of 3 attack types for each of your 3 characters and then take down the opposing forces. Using the same kind of attack more than once can give you a bonus and naturally there are also elements to keep in mind. You won’t really have to worry about tactics in story mode as at least where I was up to it was very easy. I imagine in PVP or other online modes that it would be a lot more important. The gameplay is very intricate if you are trying to master it though. There are a ton of mechanics which I barely even scratched the surface on. I recommend a lot of studying when you’re first starting up the game.

That’s the only tough part about the mobile RPGs. There are so many things to remember and keep track of. I managed to learn it all for Dragon Ball Legends and Fire Emblem, but I’m sure if I went back I probably wouldn’t remember it as well. The main menu screens are downright confusing here as there are over a dozen different kinds of things to collect and they all have different purposes. You can get lost trying to find things here and since the game barely explains anything you’ll want to run to Reddit right away. Reddit’s always a great database for these mobile games if there is something that you need to know. My main advice is if you do plan on playing this for the long haul, don’t spend or buy anything for the first month or 2. That’ll give you time to really understand the game rather than spending collectibles on things you’ll never actually use. Make sense? It’s definitely something I do with all my mobile games now even though I don’t tend to keep any of them for the long haul except for Pokemon Go.

Overall, Magia Record is definitely a fun RPG for fans of Madoka or people who just like this style. As with most mobile games like this one there is almost endless replay value. New events happen every week and the story is extremely long as well. There’s a lot to like here and the game was developed with a lot of care so there are no areas that feel slapped together. It would take a lot to keep me in a mobile game for very long though and while I love the franchise, I am overall still a bigger fan of FE and Dragon Ball. If you’re a big fan of Madoka though this is really a solid one for you to stick with for a while. One big thing here is that it’s a free to play with an energy meter that is almost nonexistent. Unless you are playing this for many hours at a time you won’t have a problem with being told by the game to take a break for a while. This is the kind of Free to Play game that does the industry proud.

Overall 7/10