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

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! Review


Whenever you think of a free to play running game you’re probably thinking of high energy titles with a ton of content and amazing replay value. The highest values of quality are associated with these titles because there’ a lot you can do with it. Unfortunately Crash ends up fumbling the ball on this one and it’s easily the weakest free runner that I’ve played. Sonic, Ladybug, and the others are all a lot better because they embraced the free to play elements while this one seems a little more hesitant.

First off, the gameplay is fine. It’s your standard auto runner so you can crouch and jump to avoid obstacles. There are power ups in the levels and even a little boss fight at the end where you have to tap the screen with precision. These are good mechanics that work well. I did not have any qualms with the gameplay. The levels are also nice and bite sized so there is a whole lot of replay value there.

What is my main issue? It’s the energy system. Now, longtime fans of mobile games will recognize that this isn’t new. A lot of mobile games have something like that to prevent you from beating all of the content instantly. The most confident games though like Pokemon Go, Godzilla, and Dr Mario have no such system. Others like Fire Emblem Heroes, Dragon Ball Legends or any other big gatcha game have it as a formality but it’s hard to reach. In those games you could play effectively with no limit for about a month and then after that you’re limited to about 4-5 hours a day. That’s fine, I’m unlikely to play a mobile game longer than that anyway and it seems like a pretty fair tradeoff.

The problem with Crash is that it’s immediate. Within about an hour you’re going to start running into a shortage of items. Your options at that point are to wait, buy the items, or play old stages to try and get more materials. Why should I need to play an old level when I just started the game though? That was my main issue throughout the game. It felt like you were always needing to go and grab other collectibles so you couldn’t really appreciate the game.

It feels greedy because most of the time your gaming experience won’t be interrupted until you’re fairly deep into the story. Imagine having to go back and raise more Pokemon in Pokemon Masters instead of blasting through all of the available levels? Or needing to go back and clear more Witch rooms in Madoka instead of continuing? That’s my issue with the Crash game, it seems like they heavily steer you towards playing a fee right off the bat rather than enjoying your free experience. If you ask me, that’s the real shame here.

Not even adding in the famous mascot “The Noid” was enough to save the game. I had already finished my playthrough of this one before he came out but let me say that he was not enough for me to change course and go back in. You would need to fix the fundamental issues of Crash’s item system first. Part of the issue is that there are several different kinds of items, materials, and levels you have to get. This should be simplified so there is only one kind of vial for example. Instead of 3 tiers to each item, make it 1.

I would also add a new player bonus like most games where clearing story levels for the first time replenishes your energy. That’s a great way to keep you playing uninterrupted for a long while and then you can really enjoy going back to clear up loose ends. I don’t see why the game decided to be so different from the other auto runners. At the very least the unique approach didn’t work this time.

The graphics are really good though. It’s clear that a lot of work went into making the game look as good as possible. The character models are really on point. They wouldn’t be out of place in the big budget PS4 games. Then the soundtrack and level designs are good. Each theme sounds good and is fittingly high energy for a running game like this. The levels all look like the traditional Crash levels as well.

In terms of replay value, there is a lot here even if we don’t count all of the material farming. The game launched with well over 50 levels and I expect new updates will bring more and more. You can unlock costumes, in game achievements and things of that sort. As with most mobile games, you can probably expect to keep finding things to do here all the way until the game eventually runs out of steam and just ends naturally.

Overall, My main issue here is just that the game feels rather greedy. You can make the case that all mobile games exist to make money since the free to play model is built on using ad revenue but some games certainly use it better than others. In a lot of mobile games you never even get tempted to pay money and it’s all rather harmless. Additionally, if there’s a mobile game you seriously enjoy and will play for 50+ hours anyway, then spending a few bucks may not sound bad. This one just won’t be that game though. I’d highly recommend playing just about any of the other free runners instead but if you have some time then I suppose this isn’t a bad bet. Getting around the time limits is really the most annoying part so if you get past that then there are the fundamentals of a good game.

Overall 5/10

Godzilla Defense Force Review


When they announced that three new Godzilla mobile games were coming to the app stores I quickly ran to see if they were already there. At the time none of them were, however there was an old Godzilla game that I hadn’t even known about. Needless to say, I needed to check that out right away! The mobile game is actually a lot of fun to the point where I have a hard time picturing the other 3 beating this one. I poured in over 20 hours in an instant and had to tear myself away from the game before all my time was spent. This is definitely a very addicting title.

The basic plot of the game is that you are an army commander, the final one on Earth. Everyone else has been wiped out by the aliens who have mind controlled each Kaiju including Godzilla himself. Furthermore, they have gone through time and plucked out different versions of each Kaiju. They have over 20 different Godzilla creatures at their disposal for example. You have to command the Army to slay each Kaiju and save the world. It will be difficult so as a last resort the army has also given you a time travelling device. If you are about to die, quickly run to the past and save yourself.

This game has a lot of attention to detail. Pretty much any Kaiju you have ever seen in a Godzilla film will make their way here. How the game works is you have around 5-6 worlds. Each world has 120 levels with a unique Kaiju showing up after every 10. There will be 3 points where Godzilla himself will show up and these levels are G levels so they aren’t numbered. The worlds can keep going endlessly after the 120 but only old monsters will cycle in. The final world is the Moon where you can make your final stand against the enemies. It should take you around 20 hours to make it there, I don’t see how you can do so sooner without paying.

The gameplay is a Tower Defense style where you have to tap the screen in order to proceed. The faster you tap the screen the more damage you do, at least for the initial weapon. As you defeat enemies you will earn money which you can use to power up your default weapon or to buy new weapons. Each world has around 6 weapons and usually they are a magnitude more pricey to buy. The first weapon might cost around $1000, the next weapon $100,000, then $1,000,000, and from there the numbers get insane. After the trillions they just start showing initials like BB, DD, EE, and so on. I made it to around the JJ amounts before stopping.

Earning the money is really where the game gets to be more of a grinding mobile game. You will inevitably get stuck on a boss many times because you are out of money. At that point you can choose to keep fighting them since you earn money for each battle until you have enough to get to the next level or you can watch a 30 second ad to get a ton of money. Additionally you can watch ads to slowly boost your units as well. The game is very ad intensive so be prepared to “watch” a lot of ads throughout the game to get the money you need.

There are also a wide range of achievements in the game. Completing them will earn you a lot of jewels. Don’t worry, the achievements come naturally like tapping the screen 1 million times or beating 10,000 Kaiju. You should have most of them by the time you’re done with this. However, no matter how many ads you watch and battles you fight, it seems impossible to make it to The Moon on your first playthrough. That’s when time travelling comes into play. The cost for time travel is that you lose all of your money, upgrades, and even all of your levels.

I know that sounds awful but the benefit is that you get time crystals. These let you buy artifacts with permanent upgrades. For example, dealing an extra 50% damage while you’re in Tokyo. I time travelled quite a few times and by the end I had a permanent +1050% damage increase. It’s really worth it to time travel but even then you have to decide when to do so. The longer you go without time travelling as you rack up Kaiju victories, the more shards you get. Ideally you want a ton of shards so that you can get as many upgrades as possible.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg for the various gameplay mechanics here. I recommend reading the Toho Kingdom articles on the game since they break down all of the mechanics. The game doesn’t actually tell you a whole lot beyond the basics so it’s worth knowing. For example, it’s heavily advised that you save your blue crystals. You can then double your time shards when time travelling which is incredibly handy. It’s a game changer and better to use them at that point than for a quick 1 time money boost.

The graphics are pretty solid. All of the Kaiju look goo. There isn’t a big variety in the level designs and effects but the fact that they got character models for every Kaiju is impressive. I’ll also give the game credit for having a real plot even if there isn’t much to it. It’s enough to connect the stages together but that’s about it. It won’t compare visually to the newer mobile games of course. The soundtrack is solid. I like that they incorporate various themes from the films such as original tunes and even Final Wars themes. My only gripe is that the music often plays for around 5 seconds before it’s quickly cut off by an explosion sound effect or something going on.

What Defense Force really did well is show you a solid rate of progression. You always felt like you were getting closer to the next level. It’s an important thing for any game that is centered around grinding because if you don’t feel like you’re making any progress then of course you will quickly lose interest. That doesn’t happen in this game so that’s impressive. Each battle only being 30 seconds long for the bosses also helps since you don’t have to stick around for a while to move forward if you don’t want to. Even while the game is off you will be earning money (At a slower rate of course) so that’s a nice feature too.

Overall, Godzilla Defense Force is a great game. Definitely one of the best mobile games I’ve played in a while. I didn’t even touch on some aspects of the game like the card collecting system or the Moon Stones but it just goes to show that the game really has a lot to offer. This title is also completely over so it’s a mobile game that actually has an end to an extent. I wouldn’t call it much of an ending story-wise but at least there are no more levels so you can feel like you’ve finished it all. If you’re a big Godzilla fan or like the tower defense style then I would really recommend this game. There are a lot of options to spend money to progress faster in the game but I can safely say that you can make it to the end even without spending a single dime. The free content here and rate of progression is quite solid.

Overall 8/10

Marshawn Lynch Pro Football Review


Time for another mobile game but unfortunately this one isn’t much better than Pac-Man Geo but for completely different reasons. This time we do get a nice sense of progression in each level with scores being tracked and your level improving. That’s all well and good but my main issue here is really just the fact that there are so many advertisements. That’s one thing that utterly ruins a game. I don’t want a full video ad suddenly playing after I complete a level. It was at that moment that I knew this game was doomed.

The plot of the game is that you’re a new recruit trying to make a splash in the NFL. To get there you first need to win a College tournament then head to the Practice Squad and work your way to being a starter. You are a running back in this game which is definitely a bit of a change of pace from most Football games where you do a little of everything. That’s just not the case in this title. So as a running back the objective in each level is to score. You do this by running straight forward and using two techniques as needed. One is the Bulldoze technique that lets you break through walls. Then you have the Accelerate which lets you go really fast. You also use the two juke buttons to dodge incoming defenders. The gameplay’s pretty simple but it works quite nicely.

You’ll need pretty good reaction times though. If you move too quickly then you’re gonna get slammed and if you’re too slow out of the gate then you also get hit. It’s all about really reading the defenders and moving once they are about to make the lunge. Of course it’s definitely not an easy task by any means. There are well over 200 levels in this game so get ready for a whole lot of juking and moving around. I like the fact that there is a lot of content to be had here though. A lot of the levels do seem to be pretty similar so you do need to enjoy the gameplay a lot. It’s the kind of game that would feel really repetitive otherwise. That said, there are a healthy amount of cutscenes here so it does feel like you have a real story. That’s something I would not have expected here.

The graphics are pretty solid. There isn’t much of a soundtrack to speak of but at least the game looks really good which is always important. It’s definitely got a modern feel to it and I’d say there was a good amount of effort put into the game. Really what it all boils down are the advertisements here. I enjoy the gameplay and the game’s visuals look nice but it definitely takes you out of the immersion with advertisements playing after every level. Even clicking around on the main menu can trigger ads as well. You are not able to skip them until after a good portion of the ad has already run through. That’s definitely not a good thing. It really encourages you not to play the game for long or even to not look at all the features of the game because clicking on the wrong one will waste a lot of time. This has got to be one of the greediest games I’ve seen in a while with all of this going on.

Overall, I definitely did not expect that Marshawn Lynch would have his own game. It’s definitely pretty impressive that out of all the players he was one of the first to get one. At least when surfing the app store I didn’t see any other individual player games. There are cool concepts here and the gameplay is executed well but at the end of the day what really hurts here are the advertisements. It’s just not a trend that you want to see appearing in games going forward and is the only thing holding this back from being a positive review. No matter how much content and polish a game may have, it is ultimately wasted here. You can do much better with other Football games so I would definitely advise giving this one a skip.

Overall 5/10

Pac-Man Geo Review


PAC Man has had a lot of games over the years but it’s been a while since he had anything fresh and different. While this app game may not be the homerun hit fans have been waiting for I would say that it’s not terrible or anything. It’s got a lot of missed opportunities and flaws inside of the package of course but at the end of the day it has some interesting ideas. With a little polish this can be a really good game in the future. Unfortunately for Pac that day isn’t now.

The idea of the game is that you can have a lot of custom Pac-Man maps based on real world locations. You can zoom around New York or London. Eventually I imagine they’ll want to grab all of the levels although right now it’s just a limited amount that cycle through. You eat up the ghosts and prove to the other players that you have what it takes. There are also limited tournaments that are run from time to time where you can get a higher score. They all boil down to the same issue that I have with the game in general though. I’ll get to that in a minute but I have to say that the game has some deep flaws if you ask me.

The gameplay is the same as your classic Pac-Man experience. The goal here is to collect all of the pellets. By absorbing the larger ones you can quickly eat up the ghosts that get in your way and prevent them from launching a counter attack. It’s a pretty good strategy if you ask me and it’s a fun gameplay style. There’s a reason why the original game is so iconic after all. Lets talk about why this game lacks compared to that original: Progression. In the original game a lot of the fun is in seeing your high score and trying to top it. Unfortunately you don’t have that here. There is no high score that the game saves. Worse, you can’t tell which levels you have already completed after exiting. That to me is a huge problem with the game. I absolutely need to know what levels I have beaten because nobody wants to play the game levels more than once if they don’t know it.

I’d like to beat old levels again to improve my score of course but right now there is really no benefit to doing so. If you don’t know what your score is then there’s no point. I’m just puzzled as to how the game would launch without this. It’s such a core concept to any game like this where you are trying to complete levels and improve your standings. Without a sense of progression then it’s like you’re just spinning your wheels and not going anywhere. I expected better out of Pac-Man Geo. I’m hoping it’ll add some new content soon but this is something they really should have had at launch. Due to that I’m certainly not keeping this game around.

The graphics aren’t bad, but they’re definitely nothing special either. It’s basically standard fare of what you would expect and the game doesn’t feel particularly high budget. It’s basically Pac-Man just in mobile format and for that you can play the normal game. The soundtrack is okay, the theme is pretty true to form for the series and fairly catchy. At least on a technical level I wouldn’t take any credit away from the game. That’s good since poor visuals and music would have definitely done some extra damage.

Overall, Pac-Man Geo is not a game that I would recommend. I’d give it a middle score because at the end of the day I don’t think it’s a bad title. It’s just lacking in a whole lot of content and I don’t see the point in really playing through it. That being said, if you’ve never played Pac-Man before then you may get drawn in simply for the gameplay. The gameplay style itself is fun, I just need more of a reason to play. Hopefully they’ll give Pac-Man a more impressive title the next time one of his big anniversary milestones rolls around.

Overall 5/10