Knighthood Review

All right it’s time to talk about a mobile game that sort of came out of nowhere and ended up being a blast. It’s the kind of mobile title that’s definitely very addicting with a whole lot of content to keep you busy. The campaign is likely upwards of 100 hours, I only just beat it now and I started the game back near the end of February. The iPhone sadly doesn’t track play time past 10 days, but I’m at 30 hours played over that time to multiply that by 6 for the 2 months and that’s even close to 200 hours. Especially considering that I was putting even more time in at first and you’ve got a big grind here. Of course that’s only the beginning as any player would tell you.

So the basic plot here is that you are a new knight ready to serve the kingdom and make a name for yourself. Your timing couldn’t be better as the kingdom is in desperate need of help now that monsters are invading. The legendary knights of old have all turned evil except for one who is determined to train you to be the best there ever was. Still, you will have to travel across several continents and defeat all of the knight masters. Are you up to the task?

The story is fairly basic but I do appreciate the fact that there are some actual cinematics here. Near the end of the game you even have a big team up among all of the characters you have met thus far against the main villain and it’s actually kind of hype. So the game’s story does hold up and the best part is that it’s a story which actually “ends”. Well….after you beat the main game there is a post game which seems to have a story of its own and there is a bit of a cliffhanger if you were to end after the main story. So it’s not 100% finite, but at least you could say you beat a saga as opposed to some games that like to just go on forever. From the start of Knighthood you know exactly how many levels there are and it helps you plan things out.

Now what is the gameplay like? Well, it’s a turn based RPG and you have 4 kinds of attacks. You have your weapon attack based on what you have equipped. Then you have your punch and the power is based on the gauntlet you have equipped. Then you have the hero abilities based on the heroes you have unlocked to fight by your side. Finally you have the Rage ability which you can charge up using your punch and then use for great results. This is an extremely simplified version of the controls though so expect a bit of a learning curve as you jump in. The game does a good job of being intuitive though so while it may be hard to explain it all in text, as you’re playing it will just make sense. Trust me on this, it’s a very smooth experience all around.

As you level up all of your stats improve so you really feel stronger each time. Mainly what will slow you down from beating it all in one shot is that you will run out of materials. Materials are used to strengthen your weapons and armor and the material you need changes every 10 levels. Additionally you need rank up materials as you approach the next 10. There are 9-10 different modes that you will be playing daily in order to grab materials but so you have to realize that this will be a gradual process. You won’t be getting everything at once, that’s just not happening. A lot of these are time gated as long as you’re a free to play user so keep that in mind.

That said, the game doesn’t feel very pay to win because you can eventually access all materials. You are given a good amount of currency each day so just spend it wisely. Additionally this is a game where most of the content is really PVE (Player vs Enemy) so it’s not like you’re watching other users beat you up all the time. There are two main PVP modes though in Arena and the Guild Wars. Note that you are fighting an A.I. in this case though so they aren’t live battles. Live battles would be cool but I’m glad that’s not the case here because I’ve experienced that in other games where the wait times get crazy. (Mega Man X Dive)

The Guild Wars can be rather unbalanced depending on your opponents. They need to work on the matchup criteria a little more. I’ve been in two Guild Wars so far. In the first we dominated 100% so we got every single reward (Which was awesome since I was a young player at the time and it gave me a huge boost in materials) but we got destroyed in the second one and couldn’t get almost any materials. So it can be hit or miss but at least you’re getting something either way right? The game can feel overwhelming at first with how much content there is but it’s ultimately a good thing because there is always something happening and there’s always a way to earn what you don’t yet have.

In terms of replay value it goes without saying that this game has a ton of it. With a main campaign well over 100 hours that’s a lot right there. Then the post game is guaranteed to take just as long I’d say. Put it this way, after completing the game I tried the first post game level and I lost in one hit to a normal minion. Needless to say the difficulty jump is quite extensive. Apparently the reason for this is that the post game came out like a year or two after the game’s ending so they were taking into account that people would have really upgraded their gear. There is something called “Mythic Gear” for example that is really strong but I’ve only obtained 1/9 of the gear so far so I have a ways to go.

Also in post game the enemies attack your health directly and that’s my weak point for now until I get some charms. Put it this way, my armor is at around 50000, but my health is at 10000. So you can take it down really quick when you’re skipping armor and that’s not something that level ups will help with much. So right now I am completely stuck with the post game and am just going to have to keep playing the side modes and leveling up my gear before I can get through. Once I have done that though, get ready! I’m going to be absolutely dominating, you can count on it. The max level in the game is 60 and at the time of writing this I am 48 so I’ve made good progress. Now again since this is based on the gear, just being level 60 doesn’t mean much as there will be 60s with much better gear than me.

For example I’m level 48 right now but most of my gear is around 41 and almost all of my heroes are level 20 or lower. So it takes a while to actually bump everything up, but I am getting up there. Slowly but surely is what I always say and you just gotta keep the grind up. As long as you complete the daily and weekly tasks each time you should really be good to go. Right now in my guild out of 17 people I’m the 14th strongest so I’d really like to boost that up but we’ll see. I’m pretty far at the moment.

Overall, Knighthood is a great game. The amount of content it has is just fantastic and that’s one of the positives of jumping into a game that has been going on for so long. Of course the only downside is you will be years behind the other players. For example I know I won’t be touching the upper echelon of players for at least a year or two because of how long the grind is. I don’t even know if I’ll still be playing the game that long. There are very few games that last that long, only Mega Man X Dive and Pokemon Go have pulled off such a feat and X Dive is nearly out of business based on the story ending so soon that’ll be gone too. In the meantime though I’m definitely having a fun time here and I would recommend this to players looking for a fairly unique mobile game. The rpg type combat here really is different from the average title and so it helps make the whole thing stand out.

Overall 8/10

Street Fighter Duel Review

Street Fighter came out with a new mobile game recently so I jumped in right away to give it a go. This is the only idle game I’ve played since that first Godzilla mobile game which I’d say nailed the concept a little better. Ultimately I don’t think idle games are for me or rather you would need it to either be an incredible franchise that I’m invested in or also have a big story mode to back it up. I think idle games will generally be decently fun and certainly super addicting but the ceiling is way lower than with most other genres. I wouldn’t call this game better than good but it’s still not bad. I’m actually writing this review in part so I can finally delete the game because otherwise it does eat up time and there’s only so many hours in a day.

The story is the minimum you need for this to be called a story and you can tell that there isn’t a focus on it. Basically mecha versions of various characters have appeared and we need to take them down asap! This also leads to a tournament being set up for some reason. Every 40 levels you will get a quick cutscene as you beat up a character who appears and that’s about it. I cleared close to 200 levels and the format never changed except for the chapters getting a little longer each time. At first they were around 36 levels and by the end they were 40 levels and more. It is really impressive that the game launched with more than 1600 levels though, I have to give the devs credit there.

Additionally I want to underscore that the game is not lazy by any means. Yes the story is but the rest of the game has a lot of content and various modes which is what people are playing it for. That is the impressive part to the point where there are so many modes that it is hard to keep track. I was still unlocking new modes as I went through the 5th chapter. There are so many areas to keep track of and I think the intent is for you to be a little overwhelmed. It can be tempting to spend some money so the game runs itself to an even higher degree but resist the urge! By definition an idle game will eventually give you the resources that you need in order to complete it, you just have to be patient.

Let me go into more detail on this. Remember those facebook gardening game? That’s the best example. As you go to sleep and keep the game off, your fighters are training and beating enemies constantly. This gives you EXP, orbs, money, and every other resource in the game. It caps out at 19 hours so make sure you at least log in once every 19 hours to collect the points so they start up again. Of course then you’re tempted to do the daily log ins, check each of the many modes to get those logins, etc. That’s where the game gets you. Yes you don’t have to do those things but it’s sort of hard not to while you’re there since each individual task only takes a few seconds, maybe 2-3 minutes max. But by the time you’ve done this for every single menu and mode suddenly you’ve been playing for 40 minutes. Then there are the levels. You can turn on “consecutive challenge” which will have all the levels keep breezing by but it still takes some time as you watch the characters take down the enemies.

You don’t really have to “play” the game at all and just watch the computers take care of business. You can take direct control to click on the special moves but the computers handle all the movement and normal attacks. You are basically the coach here and that’s not a bad thing but it is an acquired taste. I don’t think this kind of game will be for everyone. Hey, I found it addicting so I would say that it is doing something right but in general I love stats so seeing all the numbers going up and everything is great. You have to know when to cut out early though and after beating so many levels I figured I have the game a fair shake.

The graphics are on point and while the soundtrack is forgettable you can just turn on some background music. It’s not like you really need the game’s actual audio for checking in on your characters and materials. Ultimately you can do that in complete silence if you want although I feel like it’s always a bit comforting to have some kind of music on. I usually talk about replay value but it goes without saying that it is basically infinite here. You can keep playing for as long as you have time and if you opt to just log in once every 19 hours for a few minutes that is a valid strategy. Honestly they give you so many resources for free that you will be rich if you can just hold out for a few days without using it. You should be able to dominate all of the single player content the game gives you as long as you just give it some time.

Overall, I can tell you right now that the extent to which I covered the menus, modes, and overall game can’t possibly do the title justice to the sheer amount of content here. So if you are looking for a good idle game then this is a good bet. It will take you hours just to understand all of the mechanics and there are so many items to re-roll and develop that you should be busy for a very long time. This is definitely not a title that you pick up and master in an instant. I would just say to watch out just because I feel the risk of getting addicted here is much greater than any ordinary game. There’s something about it that just feels really aggressive but as long as your strength of will is good then you will have a good time here. I see this game being quite profitable so I expect it should be around for a long while. Maybe it will help fund a new Street Fighter anime or movie at some point.

Overall 6/10

Monster Squad Rush Review

There comes a time in everyone’s life where they see an advertisement for something that looks pretty cool but you know that it’s definitely got to be fake. Still you want to try it out and that was how I was introduced to the Monster Squad Rush. The advertisements for this looked pretty fun as it was an endless runner within the Pokemon universe. Who wouldn’t want to play it right? Well the game has fun gameplay and some pretty neat features but ultimately it is all completely squandered by the unrelenting barrage of advertisements everywhere you go.

The main mode has you running down a road and you will need to grab as many Pokeballs and gems as possible. Pokemon will stand in your way and you catch them by hitting them with the Pokeballs which is automatic as you run forward. At the end of the level you go up against a boss Pokemon and when you defeat him you will gain more knowledge of the Pokemon. Once that’s at 100% you can catch it. If you watch an ad then you can double the initial scan and catch him in less tries. After that you move on to the next level. Rinse and repeat. Its a very simple formula and you just keep on going so this had the potential to be really fun as you keep on going through. I know there are over 160 levels at least.

There is also quite the character cast here. You’ve got Brock from Pokemon, (No Ash despite all the ads) Iron Man, Spider-Man, Venom, and Lady Deadpool from Marvel. Superman from DC. The girl from Overwatch. And finally Naruto himself. Thanks to a glitch I unlocked them all even though you’re supposed to play tournaments and do a bunch of events to slowly get them. Obviously the game doesn’t have the rights to these guys so it’s impressive that they got them all together. It feels like a true superstars endless racing game. They don’t effect the gameplay at all as this is purely a costume change but it’s still cool.

Now the issue here is the advertisements as I mentioned. After each level there is an ad that plays for a while before you can skip it. When you’re starting a level there is another ad that plays. When you beat the boss there is another ad that plays. All new hats, characters, and bosses are hidden behind ads as well. Each of these ads are complete videos for the same games over and over again which is annoying. By the time I made it to the 8th level I knew that was it for me. The ads are just too annoying and frequent.

I know you have to keep the game free somehow but there’s no way you have to include this many video ads. I’ve played my share of app games in the past and this has to be the most egregious yet. There’s just no way to really play the game smoothly. On the way to level 8 I passed well over 10 video ads and so at that pace the game is way too slow. I really enjoy endless runners but not enough to put up with that for very long. So this is a game that I definitely would say to stay away from. It’s not like there is a ton of content to unlock either. I think that’s why it is padded out with ads because otherwise you’d beat the game quickly and then there wouldn’t be much else to do. Sure you could keep playing the endless runner levels but with nothing to unlock that wouldn’t be quite as smooth.

Another big shot against the game is that there is no music. Not “Barely any music” but literally no music. They couldn’t be bothered to even get free domain songs in there so you’re going to need to open up Pandora in the background so you have something to listen to. There are sound effects yes but that’s it and it’s always eery to play a game with no music but just the sounds going in. It didn’t really work for me tbh. It certainly doesn’t do anything to try and make the game a little more fun.

I’ll say that the graphics are okay at least. I would consider it to be fairly low among app games and doesn’t look nearly as good as any of the official ones but at least you can tell who the characters are. It’s not so bad that everyone is completely off model or anything like that so I can still give the game some credit there. Bright visuals just aren’t going to be nearly enough to get me to stick around either, I need more than that.

Overall, Monster Squad Rush is a bad game. It relies too much on ads instead of developing good game content that will keep you going. It also boasts about paying some money to remove the ads for a while which shows you how greedy the game is. If you want to have optional video ads to increase your points or something then that would be fine. I’ve played many mobile games that had optional ad videos which worked well but the issue is when they are all mandatory. That’s when you really get into quite the pickle and end up sabotaging your entire game right at the jump. If only the game could have played things a bit smarter but as it is I’ve now deleted the game from my phone and it’s back to the Mega Man X Dive/Pokemon Go tag team combo.

Overall 3/10

Backgammon Live Review

Backgammon is a board game that I didn’t really know anything about until recently. I’m more of a Chess guy but I do like a good game of Stratego, Parcheesy (I know it’s not spelled that way but that’s how I say it), Checkers, Trouble, etc. You name it and I like playing it. Board games are fun in general but someone challenged me to Backgammon so I figured I needed to get good on it real quick. So I downloaded this app and learned the ropes. The game is definitely a little complex and there’s a lot of luck involved but I had a good time with it. It’s definitely a game worth playing.

So the general goal here is to get all of your pieces to your side of the field. You move in one way and the opponent can move in the other. Neither player can move backwards which is where a lot of the strategy comes in. The map is divided into 4 squares and you have pieces that start out on every side. So as you try to get your pieces to the goal, you can land on opponent pieces which sends them all the way back to the start. Their starting area will be your side of the field and vice versa.

There are 6 columns on each side and any column that has 2 or more pieces cannot be landed on by the opponent. So you can probably guess that a good strategy is to fill up as many of your columns with 2 pieces as possible. Then when you land on an opponent square, they may end up being frozen without a turn to play. You can’t get a piece back on the board if there is no space open after all so if you freeze up all of the columns then you almost guarantee victory. No guarantees 100% of course since the luck of the draw is around but it’s the strategy you probably want to use if possible.

There is a ton more to the rules beyond that so I recommend watching a few videos or studying up. This one’s not exactly a cakewalk to learn. As for the app itself, you can use it for local battles if you are next to someone but otherwise it’s mainly for online. You earn XP by winning, playing games, and eating opponent pieces. I was able to grind up to level 19 pretty quickly and 29 appears to be when you get the final unlockable so in a way it’s like I’ve almost beaten the game. I even won my challenge bout which was cool. The online battles are very seamless and I like the controls so the app is spot on there.

As for the dice rolls, I dunno it can feel a bit rigged to me. There’s no way to prove it of course but sometimes I’ll totally lock an opponent down and they get the perfect draw to move out of my trap. It happens just enough where it doesn’t feel like luck but of course that can be luck as well. It’s pretty funny that almost every review accused the devs of cheating as well but they respond to each and every review that they don’t cheat. I won’t actually make the accusation here but it always feels fishy to have luck in an online game.

I even dare say that a lot of the opponents I’m playing are bots and not real people. Supposedly they’re all real but a lot of them look so generic that I have serious doubts on that. Surely I’d be meeting more people without an avatar right? The game does have a lot of limitations though like not being able to change your profile picture. You would have to link your account to a Facebook account but can’t do that without resetting your progress. So my account just has an empty avatar which feels hollow but I guess I can put up with it.

There are no stats beyond your level to keep track of like play time or total battles. I’ve probably put in about 10-15 hours I’d say but there’s no way to know for sure. The final annoyance is that your collectibles are temporary. For example I’ve unlocked a lot of dice but you can only use them 10 times before they go away and you have to buy them again. Since I like to be a completionist what I did was I just don’t use them after I buy them. I use the default ones that never run out but the whole mechanic just feels annoying and pointless. I want to be able to actually use my stuff.

I’ve also got a few lucky shakers and items but doesn’t “lucky” imply that I’ll be given better odds for using them? That doesn’t feel very fair and sounds like pay to win. Hmmmm….there are definitely a lot of pay to win stuff you can do here like buying coins to help you level up faster and all. The prices are absolutely outrageous so I’d never even consider buying something but it’s there if you want to go fast I suppose. It doesn’t affect me as long as the dice rotations are still fair so I’m cool with it.

At the end of the day this is a fairly basic Backgammon app which is really just here to allow you to play people in real time at least in theory. So I’d say it succeeds in that area and I have a good time with it. It’s as barebones as can be but it lets me play the game which was my objective in the first place. If you want to play Backgammon then this is probably the best way to do it. It looks better than the other apps at least but I don’t know that for sure without playing them.

Overall, Backgammon Live is a fun game. Don’t expect any frills or extra features beyond the matches themselves though. So just do your best and win a lot of matches as you get used to the game. It doesn’t have any annoying ads or anything like that so I can pretty safely recommend it. I’ll probably have it around just in case I get any challenges but otherwise it’s not a game I’d be actively playing. I can now call myself a Backgammon pro though! Luck or not you can count on me to get the Ws heh heh.

Overall 7/10

Pikmin Bloom Review

Niantic really hit a home run with Pokemon Go. It’s gone on to be one of the greatest selling app games of all time and is still a household name even after so many years. Unfortunately for them, their other projects like Harry Potter have not been quite as successful. Pikmin has the Nintendo brand behind it but I can’t see this one lasting too long either, at least not in its present state.

Pikmin Bloom takes a lot of the mechanics and visuals from Pokemon Go while also removing a lot of the aspects that make it so much fun. Basically when you start the game you are introduced to the concept. The goal of the game is to walk around and you can create memories with your Pikmin as they bring you back snapshots of where you have been. At the end of the day you can even watch a little video showing where you’ve been and how you did in terms of steps and planting flowers. It’s been a few days and this info is still saved on my end so that’s a cool way to look back at things. That also gets to the core of whether you will like the game or not. A big chunk of it is really about creating memories and having a good time so if you’re not into that then this probably won’t hit quite as hard.

To level up you have to walk a certain amount of steps and also complete another task. Typically this is something like raising a Pikmin, completing an expedition, or planting flowers. Each mechanic is completed through walking. Someone called this an official pedometer game online and I would agree with that. The whole intent seems to be to get you to walk and at first the levels are quick. I walked enough in 3 days to get through the first 11 levels so only completing the other tasks is what would take a little longer. I’m not sure how many levels there are but it seems like a game where you should level up pretty fast.

You can also keep the game off and it will track your steps so that part’s convenient. But aside from walking, what can you do? Well, you can plant Pikmin by putting them in the soil but they are raised only by walking so it once again comes down to just taking a good walk. Most Pikmin wake up after 1000 steps so you’ll be hatching them really quick. You need the vase to put them in though and to get those you have to send your Pikmin off on expeditions which takes around 3 minutes on average with the longest ones being 3 hours.

You can feed your Pikmin honey and then have them send you flower petals to plant flowers in the world around you. You can see the flowers go up as well which is fun. That’s really the extent of the game though. As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot of gameplay. It’s really just a fun way to encourage people to walk and I’ll give a thumbs up to the game for doing that but it’s hard to truly call this a game. It’s more like an activity to do. Niantic is trying to really be at the forefront in terms of locational data and AR so this should help them get a lot more capture data. It’s a good way to help the company out while also having fun. That said, I only really have time for one main walking game in Pokemon Go

The graphics are good though. The game is very bright and vibrant. It’s clear that Niantic didn’t spare any expense here. It looks almost identical to Pokemon Go so I wouldn’t be surprised if they reused those assets here. If it’s not broken why fix it right? Pokemon Go has always looked really good so it makes perfect sense as a template for other titles. The soundtrack is more on the nonexistent side but Pikmin’s always been more of an experience title so usually it doesn’t have any really eye catching tunes like that. You play it to enjoy nature after all.

There is a lot of replay value here for people that are hoping to get their steps up though. While most phones do have built in sensors that track your steps, this is a fun way to get rewards for doing so. If you’re a big Pikmin fan then this will be a must have. That said, I do think Niantic is going to have to add some new features quick to keep people engaged. I just don’t know how long you would go on with this without some other kind of features. Maybe bonuses that you can transfer to Pokemon Go? Something like that would be huge but otherwise just like how you may set a Summer goal to walk more, it’ll usually be gone with the season. Likewise I don’t see this game staying big for very long although it’s certainly getting a ton of promotion everywhere.

Overall, Pikmin Bloom is a calming experience but I wouldn’t call it a very fun one. It’s made to be relatively low effort to play which is nice since you can just keep the app off all day and just open it for 5 minutes to plant a Pikmin. That said, for that I may as well just keep on with Pokemon Go where the gameplay options are truly endless. At least to me that seems like the way to go but I’ll certainly stay on the lookout for the next Niantic adventure. Now if they finally come out with the Shonen Jump Go game, that would be a blast.

Overall 5/10

Mega Man X Dive Review

I downloaded this game as soon as it came out in America but I hadn’t actually reviewed it until now because I wanted to clear all of the story levels first. Well, I’ve done that and so now it’s time to give my thoughts on the game. Needless to say this one is a definite masterpiece. It’s a mobile game that will have you spending many, many hours on it. The game is highly addictive and just a whole wave of fun.

There is a story mode here although it almost feels like a formality at times as it doesn’t really go anywhere. Basically you are the “Player” someone from the real world who has played the Mega Man games and knows them well. It turns out that someone is ruining the data for each of the games and causing anomalies. It’s now up to the Player to save the day along with Rico and Via, two characters who mysteriously look like existing characters. Can we really destroy all of the corrupted mavericks and is there something more behind the scenes?

At the time of this review there are 14 chapters in the Global version. Each chapter has 6 levels so that’s almost 100 levels and the story hasn’t changed much at all. At this point it’s clear that Via is hiding a lot from the heroes but they aren’t able to do much of anything to stop him so those plot elements may as well not be around. It is nice to see the Mega Man characters so that’s cool but you feel like they could do so much more with the concept. It’s extremely formulaic and with this kind of character roster there’s a lot of experimentation that could and should be done.

It almost goes without saying that the graphics are excellent. Mobile games have been knocking it out of the park in that area for a very long time so there’s no surprise there. The soundtrack is also a 10/10 with all of the amazing Megaman tracks at the game’s disposal. It’s really fun to hear all of those nostalgic tunes one more time. You won’t have to turn the music off because it’s just so catchy.

If you want to talk replay value, well there is a whole lot of that. Now as a disclaimer, if you want to play story levels or boss battles those do require energy so you can’t play them for an unlimited amount of time. You are given a free 80 energy pack 3 times a day though and can get another 80 from friends each day so that’s an easy way to replenish. You also get full energy from leveling up.

Aside from Story Mode, you have 3 modes in Challenge. Boss Battles, The Ladder, and Race Mode. Each mode is important to play each day to grab the rewards. Then you have the event modes, you can complete each permanent event twice a day and then the limited ones have a meter as well so you can usually clear those 3-4 times. The Raid feature was also just introduced into the game and in that one you can fight a giant boss and hopefully contribute a lot of damage to the team. The more damage you land, the more reward points you will get in the end.

There are also the online arena battles and you can play an unlimited number of those. Just keep battling and keep winning to rise up into the ranks and maybe even make it up to GA which is the highest rank in the game. Trust me when I say that running out of content is unlikely. Even just trying to complete all of the daily tasks to maximize your rewards will take a while. I’m talking 3-4 hours a day which is a serious commitment. I make sure to at least get 100 points for the day to open all of the daily prizes but I still lose out on a bunch of rewards by not doing the ladder and various other modes each day. I just don’t have enough time.

But the game does reward your dedication. You will level up quicker and gain more power if you play a lot. Your power level is incredibly important here because that determines how much damage you deal with each attack and how much you take from enemy fire. My power level right now is 424,000 which is enough to clear all story levels even though they have a higher recommended power level but it’s close enough where I need to work on that. I’m at level 78 right now, I feel like if I can reach Level 100 then the sky’s the limit.

There are a lot of other things to keep in mind as well like ranking up your characters, weapons, chips, lab skills, etc. There are just so many mechanics and items in the game that I wouldn’t even know where to start on listing them all. The key thing here is to use your materials carefully. Don’t just start using them all at once. In fact, I would say to hold onto your metals and anything that looks precious until you really start to learn how the game works. Especially because at the beginning of the game you are given a ton of rewards which quickly start to dry up. Definitely keep that in mind.

Still, here are two quick tips to help you get started. One is to always complete the daily tasks as best you can. They add up quick and get you the most amounts of EXP in a short amount of time. This includes cranking your free gatcha every day. The second is to always upgrade your armor, weapon, and chips every time you level up because those have a direct effect on your power level. Keeping those at the top is a good way to keep making progress.

Additionally, you will want to keep working on completing your gallery by playing as different characters and using different weapons because that really makes a difference. Each bit helps after all. Also, you gotta be patient with your metals. That is how you spin the gatcha to try and get a new character. Let me tell you, it’s a very brutal system where you won’t always have great luck getting a new character. I’ve spun the wheel many times and still don’t get the new characters. If you’re patient enough to wait until you have 25000 metals and use them on a dive fest banner then you can guarantee a character but that’s a lot of metals. For context you will probably get around 100 metals a day after you’ve cleared all of the main content.

There are always events running around which give more though so the wait won’t be as long as all that. Personally I just wait until I reach 1000 metals each time and just try my luck. I like to see quick returns but am determined to also stay as a freemium player. Spending money on the app just doesn’t seem worth it to me and I’m having a lot of fun anyway. This is the kind of game where you can still do really well as a freemium player. You might not be at the top of the ranks but you’ll be close enough.

Final tip, I almost forgot to mention this but it’s huge. If you don’t have time to play the game much in a day, don’t worry about it. You can auto skip levels in story mode that you have already completed with 3 stars and it won’t cost any skip pass. The rewards are lower but that’s well worth it for beating 10 levels in a second. The key thing is that you don’t want to waste your energy since you can turn it into EXP. So if you know you won’t play for a few hours, just auto skip all the levels with the click of a button to get your EXP. Note that doing this for special events will cost you auto skip tickets but they are so plentiful that you should just do that. The number one rule for gatcha games like this is that you don’t want to waste your resources if you can help it. So keep on skipping and you’ll see your levels rise at a steady rate.

Overall, Mega Man X Dive is really the dream game for any Mega Man fan. You can play through the levels as many times as you want and you can even play as fan favorite characters like X, Zero, Proto Man, Bass, etc. The roster continues to grow and as long as people spend money, this game should keep on going for years. I certainly hope it continues to go strong without ever stopping at least. You can expect this will be the one mobile game where I am in it for the longhaul alongside Pokemon Go.

Overall 9/10

The Prince of Tennis II Rising Beat Review

This was definitely a pretty random app game that’s for sure. Who’d have thought that Prince of Tennis would be coming out with a rhythm game right? This is really the first one I’ve played. I can see the appeal but I think there’s room to improve on the execution. Ultimately this isn’t a game that I stuck with for very long as you’ll see based on the various brief stats page I’ll be uploading. It just doesn’t feel as interactive as I’d like although the songs are cool.

The plot seems to basically be handling the early parts of the New Prince of Tennis series. It’s been so long since I read those parts that this really feels brand new at this point. That also means no Ryoma at least in the levels that I played so you’ll miss him a bit. The game is still relatively early on so there aren’t a lot of story levels yet but I imagine that will change as the game continues to update.

Aside from the story mode there are a lot of other things to do like playing through normal battles or customizing your characters. In fact you have to play through some of these normal levels in order to progress through the story or you’ll get stuck very quickly. After two story levels is when you have to play your first side mission. I’d rather the game let you just play through the story without having to go on a side tangent. I suppose the gameplay is all the same so it shouldn’t make a big difference but I want to just see what happens next in the story.

The graphics are pretty good. The art style is colorful and I like the gameplay effects. On the other hand, it’s all fairly repetitive. Every stage looks very similar and the characters are chibi style which can be fun in short doses but I don’t think it works for the whole game. It’s fun and looks nice though which is the important part. The soundtrack is definitely impressive with all of the lyrical songs. That makes sense of course since you can’t have a musical game without the songs to accompany it right?

As for the gameplay itself, the goal of the game is to tap precision. It’s effectively like Dance Dance Revolution except instead of dancing to the beat you are tapping to it. If you click the circle when it’s in the right spot then you can either hit the ball or even return it. It’s not very hard to get the hang of it either. At times you will hold onto the icon in order to complete the action and other times you will just need to tap it really quickly.

A lot of mobile games have a heavy emphasis on tapping so this isn’t anything new but at the same time it just doesn’t feel very interactive. Maybe it’s because the animations are set and your actions don’t change it. Usually at least the animations change like in a fighting game or something. Here you will be seeing the exact same animation back and forth as the two characters hit the tennis ball around no matter what you do. There’s not really any variety either.

I think that’s really what hurt the game for me. It’s just not all that interesting after a while and I wouldn’t say the story is enough of a legend to hold the whole game up. For that you could probably just read the manga or watch some of the shows and movies. I wouldn’t call this a bad game but it doesn’t really have enough strong points for me to call it a really good one either. As a result it ends up lagging behind the other apps.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this one. In terms of replay value there is certainly a lot as long as you enjoy the game. Customization alone is already quite extensive and then you have the level up system and wide array of characters to work with too. The game will likely continue updating as long as it gets support so you shouldn’t have to worry about content drying up anytime soon either. Just keep on chugging along and you shouldn’t have any issues. The game is free too so it’s not like you’re spending any money here.

Overall, I’m glad Prince of Tennis got a game even if this one didn’t really hit it off for me. I’m still surprised it came out since the title doesn’t seem too huge anymore, particularly the sequel. It was hard to find on the app store initially due to the way it appears in the search results too. Hopefully it does well enough for them to consider another game in the series but with a different gameplay style. A tennis focused game would absolutely have a lot of potential if you ask me. You can definitely achieve that with mobile. Now for mobile I’m really just waiting on Megaman X Dive to show up. That’s a title I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.

Overall 5/10

My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero Review

The next mobile game I gave a whirl was the My Hero Academia title. This one was getting a good amount of promotion and it’s clear that there was a good budget behind it. As MHA is really big right now they wouldn’t want to weaken the brand with a total cash-in. The title definitely delivers on that front although at the same time it’s so high budget that it has the same weakness as the Sword Art Online title in that it’s a lot harder to just pick up and play.

The game starts you off with a nice introduction movie complete with cinematics and voice acting. You learn about who Deku and All Might is before being thrown further into the story. You’re working with pro heroes on taking down crooks so I want to say at minimum this takes place midway through season 2. Deku seems to have a good handle on his Full Cowl already after all and while the gameplay uses his shoot style, that may be more of a mechanic than confirming that this is in season 3.

The story is separated into chapters which are separated into acts. Each act has a few missions which range from finding civilians to taking down villains. You can also navigate through the city to locate radio towers and collectibles which increases your view of the city. I have no doubt that the objectives in each level will continue to expand as you play through the game.

For the combat this is a 3D action title. You use the buttons on the touchscreen to attack, use super moves, and dodge. By mixing light and heavy attacks you can also perform various combos to take the enemy down more quickly. The gameplay is pretty versatile with each hats yet having many moves and they are all upgradable.

The hub world is also quite large. You aren’t really allowed to explore until you cover the first 2 chapters but after that you can have some fun looking around. The graphics are really solid and would not be out of place on the home consoles. Once again I wonder why mobile games are not automatically ported to console at this point, perhaps there is some kind of licensing angle that would make it slightly more expensive than being a mobile exclusive. Since being a mobile title can be super profitable anyway, I could see that as a reason on why you would not port it. 

The soundtrack has a lot of the classic tunes from the show so you’re in good hands there. It goes without saying that there is a tremendous amount of content here. Just completing the current story chapters available will take you several hours. After that you also have all of the bonus missions to go through and then you can work on leveling up your characters as you wait for the updates. Usually this kind of game will update fairly quick with new levels and event missions so I don’t think you will have anything to worry about on that front. Each special event gives you the chance to farm materials and gems. Right now I’m not too familiar with each of the gem mechanics but one important rule for all gatcha games is that you want to save your gems for a long while. Never spend your gems early on because you need time to understand their true value and the game itself. Only then should you start spending them. The replay value here is quite extensive.

As mentioned, the game’s only weakness is in how expansive it is. One of the strengths of mobile games is being able to just turn it on real quick and knock out some levels. Perhaps while you are on the train or playing a bit before bed. This one needs a solid WiFi signal at all times so the train is out of the question. It also isn’t easy to just play for a few minutes because the loading times are quite long to boot up the game as it goes through the companies and loads the environments. It’s something you don’t really care about if you’re about to play the game for hours but if you’re looking to play for 20-30 minutes then suddenly that seems a little less worth it.

The Strongest Hero is definitely a game meant to be played like a console title. To make the most of it you really need to have some time and then crack down on it. It will be a very rewarding experience but at times you will feel like this should have gone on the PS4. I haven’t rolled too many characters yet so I can’t speak to how good the gotcha system is. At first they always appear to be pretty good and this one’s no different. Of course it’s easy to roll a new character when I only had one previously. I got Kaminari on my first spin which is cool, his gameplay is definitely fun to have. Naturally I was hoping for Bakugo but I suppose you can’t get there best character on your first spin. Right now characters are still being added to the game but we already have most of the important Class 1A characters waiting in the lottery zone.

Overall, My Hero Academia The Strongest Hero is definitely a mobile game I would recommend. It may need some more time than the others on the market but at the same time that speaks to the level of effort that went into this game. As I mentioned many times, it really could pass for a console experience. I definitely couldn’t complain if all mobile games were at this level. I’ve had a rather rocky string of mobile games up til this one so I was glad that it broke the streak.

Overall 8/10

Godzilla Destruction Review

Clearly making these mobile games is tougher than I thought because this is another one that just wasn’t very good. If all 3 of the Godzilla games that were announced at the same time are by the same developers then it makes a lot of sense. This one seems to be using a lot of the same assets from Run Godzilla. While the gameplay is slightly better there are still a lot of really weird game design choices. Ultimately it just feels pointless to play a lot of the game.

The game has no story this time so you can forget about that part. You’re thrown in without much of a real introduction or anything. The gameplay is simple. You move Godzilla around with the touchscreen and if he is near an enemy he will attack automatically. Pretty handy right? That’s the extent of the game, there is literally no other gameplay. Each level has 15 mini levels in it which have around 5 waves each. I wouldn’t say the levels are incredibly long but they’re longer than you may think.

Any level ups and power you get in the levels are lost afterwards as it is all temporary. If you’re lucky you will get enough flames and G Profile Pics to help level up your Kaiju and try the whole thing again. Of course if you die during the experience you won’t get almost any rewards which is unfortunate. The game is set up so you should be playing for a very long time if you want to get anywhere. Of course you can pay the big bucks to get the content up front. That’s really your only other option.

For a video game just about anything can be forgiven if the gameplay is good. The problem is that it’s not very fun though. It’s just not all that satisfying to watch Godzilla attack all of the enemies for you. You’d like to be the one blasting away at them. Instead it’s almost like you’re the driver and the computer is the actual player. You can see how that would make for a rather hollow gaming experience right?

The levels all blend together really quickly so it gets rather dull. It’s not as automatic as the Run version but it’s still almost all done by the computer. You don’t feel like you’re really doing all that much. The game also just feels very limited in what you can do. This is literally the only game mode. Everything else is looking at items or your Kaiju and things of that nature. In 2021 I don’t think you can survive on a single game mode unless it’s a Story Mode or something like that.

Additionally the menu layouts don’t make much sense. Good luck equipping any of the gems you unlocked in the game. I could not figure out who to do this since every time you try to put one on it just falls right off. Perhaps that feature just isn’t set up in the game yet? It wouldn’t surprise me a great deal if this game is just severely incomplete. If anything it may even add up quite a bit.

The graphics are not good. It’s using the same character model as mentioned earlier which was already not that good. The level designs are uninspired. I suppose the enemy tanks look okay but there’s nothing too special about them either. The soundtrack is basically nonexistent as well.

What this game needed is really a complete overhaul. Throw in some real gameplay, a bunch of extra monsters, and even a quick story mode. Do those things and you could have a real winner on your hands. I don’t think there’s a big target audience for just walking around as your player does everything on his own. Where’s the excitement and the danger? I’m sure a game could pull this style off with enough development time and unique ideas but this was definitely not going to happen here. This mobile game seems like it was finished awfully quick.

In terms of content I suppose I should say that this can last for hours I guess. You can try completing all 4 worlds which each have several levels in them. Additionally you can keep on replaying the levels over and over again to farm materials and get level ups. That at least gives you a reason to go on back right? Keep this up and you should be in a good spot. Of course the replay value will depend on if you like the gameplay enough to do those things but if you do, the content is certainly here at least.

Overall, Godzilla Destruction is another disappointing mobile game. It’s a shame because most mobile games end up being quite amazing but this one was clearly not at that level. It does beat the first one so if the third in the trilogy can win then we might be in a good spot. Otherwise I’m afraid they will forever be known as a very weak trilogy of games. Better luck next time and all that.

Overall 4/10

Run Godzilla Review

Oh no, this one was bad. This one was reeeeeally bad. It has to be one of the worst mobile games out there so my good run of mobile titles is definitely over between this one in Crash. This is an extremely lazy game to the point where you have to wonder how it’s official. Burning Godzilla is blue!! Yes you head that right…in this game Burning Godzilla is just the normal character model but turned blue. Oh no……this game wasn’t even trying.

Okay so lets get into it. The game only has a single main theme so get ready to hear this forever. The game starts with two guys throwing info dump at each other. Effectively they decide to pray to a shrine and Godzilla appears. These two can create Kaiju out of prayers…..but only temporarily. After 9000 seconds the Kaiju will die of old age or just wander off. The cutscene’s kind of meta so maybe he just leaves. Now that they have a Kaiju I suppose we’re going to save the world, fight other Kaiju or do something like that right? WRONG!

The two guys decide to have Godzilla race against other Kaiju. And that’s the extent of the game. Now you may be thinking this can be cool as you control Godzilla against these other Kaiju and use attacks to slow them down though. That’d be fun so of course that’s now what happens. The A.I. controls Godzilla completely. Wanna know what you can do? You can change the camera angles which has absolutely 0 impact on the race and you can cheer for Godzilla which makes him happy and speeds him up ever so slightly. Fortunately there is a skip option so after a few seconds you can skip to the end of the race. Your cheers barely have an impact as he’ll usually win even if you skip the race so I recommend doing that.

You can already see how futile this feels. I’m just getting started too. So in the hub world you can feed the people praying to Godzilla so they pray harder….it also extends their life. They’ll die in around 600 seconds otherwise. You can use gems to buy(?) more followers so maybe instead of dying if you stop feeding them it just means they won’t bother to pray anymore. You can also use gems to upgrade your forest.

Now the kicker, the game uses a time system. So all those upgrades you spent on the shop? All gone as soon as you participate in any kind of race…which you’re supposed to do. Your Kaiju also loses a lot of his remaining time left on the planet if you race. Yet, that’s the only thing to do in the game so why wouldn’t you race? There are 38 levels in the game. I managed to clear around 24-25 of them. Its a little tedious though because only 2 levels show up at a time and sometimes they’re both old. You have to keep exiting and re-entering the menu to shuffle the levels until a new one shows up.

At least you have a sense of progression though right? Wrong! When your Kaiju dies all of your data is erased as well. Yes, any record of your completing a single level is gone. You lose all of your apples, gems, followers, milestones, everything. The only thing that carries over is a fraction of your original Kaiju’s stats so your next one will be stronger. At least you’ll get a new one next time right? No, not that either. You have to pay 2 bucks a piece if you want any other Kaiju. Otherwise you’ll keep on getting color swapped Godzillas to play around with.

I admit that as it is I never like when games don’t let you control a character at all. Still, it could have at least tried to be decent but with the game completely erasing your data every time your Kaiju dies (Every 9000 seconds and you lose 200 seconds every time you enter a race) then there is really no point. The entire game feels completely pointless if it’s going to be erasing your data like that. Why bother getting invested or trying to have a good time if it’s just going to be like that? The game is punishing you for playing it a lot since you can keep the game off which will postpone how long your Kaiju has until it dies.

The writing is terrible as well. The info dump from the two characters at the beginning is handled poorly. They’re both talking in circles about things that don’t even matter while not even properly touching on the mechanics of the game. Instead they lazily tell you to just read the help section in the menu at the end. If you’re going to do that then don’t have a half hearted tutorial at the beginning.

The graphics are also awful. This is the kind of game that will forever taint the image of mobile games for someone. These have to be the least detailed character models I’ve seen in a long time. I’m sure a Godzilla fan with some good computer programs would be able to churn out something better in a day. It feels like the studio was given the budget of a snickers bar to come up with this. It would explain why there is only a single mode here and virtually no budget. The game still has the nerve to ask you for a lot of money to upgrade your facilities and buy new Kaiju. They’ll all be deleted within 9000 seconds anyway so why would you possibly spend that kind of money (20-50 for bundles)?

Overall, maybe I got spoiled by the first Godzilla mobile game which was actually great but this one was shockingly bad. It’s the kind of game you want to finish up and delete right away. Having the game delete my data made that a whole lot easier. This is the first of the 3 mobile games from Toho that were being hyped up and now I’m worried for the next two. I just downloaded the second game. While it’s too early for me to pass judgment I am a little worried. The next game has the exact same musical track, character designs, menu layouts, etc. It seems to be a clone, only this one is about destruction and you can move around. I just hope that doesn’t mean it also has a time system because that will absolutely be super annoying. This is easily the worst mobile game I’ve ever played in my life, I highly recommend staying far away from it.

Overall 2/10