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

Mario Kart Tour Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

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

Pokemon Masters Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 8/10

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

One Punch Man: Road To Hero Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

RWBY: Crystal Match Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 4/10

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

Dr. Mario World Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 8/10

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

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

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

Bendy in Nightmare Run Review


It’s time to look at the latest Bendy game. It’s been a long while since I played a new mobile title so this was a fun detour. It’s not a game I would keep in the longrun because unlike most of the others it actually isn’t endless. You can actually get through all of the content pretty quickly I got through all of the worlds in under a week and by that point there isn’t a whole lot to do. It’s a fun game though and I do like free runners.

Naturally there isn’t an actual plot here. There are 4 main chapters and each one has 6 levels where you fight the same boss only he gets more health each time. As a result there are really only 4 unique levels so the game actually feels pretty low budget compared to most. The Ladybug game had a similar format, but a whole lot more content and a better reward system. In short, this is a free runner you would play because you like the franchise, but otherwise there isn’t really much of a reason to pick this one.

The gameplay is pretty easy to understand. You can move from side to side and there are 3 different lanes. You can jump and when you touch a weapon you tap the screen to fire it at the villain. The goal is to land enough hits to knock him out while dodging his attacks. When this is done you’ll have won the level. Rinse and repeat as you go through. The only thing that really tends to change in the level is how long the boss will last and naturally his attacks will also get a little quicker. By the time you’re in world 3 or so you’ll likely know the game well enough to beat the levels without taking a hit.

There isn’t much opportunity for the game to show the graphics since it’s all very repetitive, but the game looks fine. You can only expect so much out of a mobile title of course. It’s definitely not as high grade as the big Nintendo ones or something like Dragon Ball Legends, but ultimately I would say that it works out pretty well. You can at least see what is happening at all times. The soundtrack is pretty limited though and while it’s going for a happy feel since this is the more heroic Bendy, it would have been nice for some of the horror tracks to slip through. I think it would have made the game a lot more ominous.

As it’s a mobile game there is naturally the pay to play aspect of it. Rather than limit your game playtime through an energy meter the various level are locked behind soup limits. You need 15000 soup cans to unlock the final world after all. You can pay a few bucks to do it or just keep playing the old levels until you have enough cans. You can get around 1000 cans during a first play through of a level or you can just drag out the levels for as long as possible to get more cans. It will take a while to get everything though. Then you’ve also got special abilities which cost a lot of cans and you also need to buy extra slots to use them.

Unlike Ladybug it does feel like it takes a very long time to get all of these power ups so you can expect that you won’t have most of them by the end. At the same time once you have beaten the game it’ll be pretty easy in comparison to buy the power ups. They definitely aren’t as expensive as the main story chapters. Of course, with no more levels to play what would be the point in buying the rest of the items? I think where the game suffers a bit is in how there is no real post game. There isn’t a multiplayer or anything to test your skills and the actual amount of content is surprisingly small. It’s odd since for mobile games usually the whole point is to have endless content but I guess this one didn’t want to bother with that.

So it’s really going to depend on how much you enjoy the game. One thing you can also do to avoid the grind is simply download the game around 1-2 weeks in advance and simply log in. That will give you all of the daily bonuses and then when you play the game you’ll already have enough gems to blast through the story. I’ve thought about that for some titles, but once I have the game downloaded it’s real tempting to just start playing it right away. Still, if you really don’t like having to wait then it’s ultimately your best bet.

Overall, This is a good mobile game. It is really carried by the fact that it’s part of a franchise though. Ultimately there is no other real reason to play it when there are simply better versions of the game available. I always think you shouldn’t score a game relatively like that though. Just because there exists a game that is better in every way it doesn’t make the other title any worse. So, if you look at this game independently then it’s still pretty fun. Also, it’s a free title so at the end of the day the fact that it is good and will last you a few days is pretty satisfactory I’d say. Now that the game is completed I’ll be deleting it, but it had a good run. My next mobile game likely won’t be until the new Dr. Mario came comes out, but that one definitely looks like it’s going to have a whole lot of content so it may last a bit longer.

Overall 7/10

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

RWBY: Amity Arena Review


It’s time to take a look at the recent RWBY game that came out. No, not the super awesome Chinese one that arrived this year, but the watered down Tower Defense game that America got. I had pretty low hopes for this one from the start because Tower Defense just isn’t my cup of tea, but I figured I would give it a shot just in case it was good. Well, unfortunately it is not and the game is incredibly bare bones. There is little to no content to be had here so if the gameplay isn’t particularly fun then it’s dead on arrival. Lets look at the missed opportunity that is Amity Arena.

So what is a tower defense game? Well, you start off my assembling a team of 8 characters based on the cards you have. A typical starter pack is Ruby, Jaune, Yasuhashi, and a bunch of Grimm and Atlas soldiers. The game then loads you onto a small map. There are two mini generators and one big one on your side of the field and the same is on the opponent’s. You can your cards into battle to watch them run over to the opponent’s side while they do the same to you. You win as soon as the main generator is defeated, but if the time runs out then whoever destroyed more of the mini ones wins. If it’s a tie then nobody gets any rewards. That’s the whole game in a nutshell there. The matches don’t have a lot of variety since you’ll be using the same cards over and over for a very long time until you can buy others. Unfortunately you don’t get a whole lot of money per win either. This is definitely more of a P2W title than the other mobile games that I’ve played as of late.

There’s nothing wrong with a P2W title, I just want to put that out there. However, it can still be a little rough to see how small the rewards are. There’s not too much reason to keep playing if you’re F2P. Of course, I’d argue that there isn’t much reason to keep on playing regardless since there’s just not much to the game. Lets get away from the PVP mode for a second. What else is there to do? Well….nothing. There are no other modes aside from a practice mode where you just play against the A.I. to test out strategies. That’s the entire game. This is a game that is made for PVP. You can go to the shop and buy stuff, but that’s also it. There’s no story mode or galleries or anything like that. This game seems to have been made with no real budget which is a shame.

There’s only one good thing about this game and that’s how great the technicals are. First is the soundtrack. There are remixed themes for many of the songs from the first 4 volumes and maybe even some from volume 5. You at least get to hear a lot of cool tunes while playing. Still, if I wanted some music I would just boot up Youtube. Then we’ve also got the fact that the game looks really nice. There’s a lot of cool artwork here and the character models are on point. The aesthetic of the game makes it easy to look at and the colors are very vibrant. I feel like most of the effort went into making sure that the game looked veyr fancy and appealing. That’s certainly nice and I’m glad that the game doesn’t look ugly. Still, there isn’t a good reason to keep on playing this game if we’re talking about the gameplay. That’s what I’d say the disappointing part of this is. Even if you’re a tower defense game, couldn’t the developers have added a story mode? I’d keep playing if there was a story, but without one the game is sunk. Not all app games need a story of course, but if not then you have to have a lot of other modes to keep you busy. Say what you will about Pokemon Go, but there is enough content to keep you busy there for years. Not so for Amity Arena.

It doesn’t help that Amity Arena was completely glitched out for the day of release. Not a particularly good look although I’ll give the developers props for fixing it up with a patch by day 2. I’m sure they were all super stressed at that point. I’m sure the game will still make a reasonable amount of cash given how many micro transactions are in the game. People tend to eat that stuff up. I also do like that Pyrrha and Penny are currently the two top tier characters in the game. It’s a nice way for the fans to be able to remember those two at their best.

Overall, Amity Arena did not impress me. I dare say that it may be the weakest app game I’ve played since the Domino’s one and at least that one gave me real points so I could order a pizza pie. Amity Arena is just one of those games that seems to be made to earn a quick buck and doesn’t strive for much beyond that. You always want to make money as an app developer of course, but at least put in the effort to make this a complete title. Who knows, maybe they’ll improve the game and I’ll find myself back here one day, but as of right now the app is getting uninstalled as soon as I’ve finished uploading my stats page. Hopefully we can get the other RWBY game to show up soon since that one looks a lot more fun. It’s a fighting game for starters and does have an actual story. That’s two checks for that one. It may not have full voice acting and such like this one had, but there’s not all that much point to it with no story. There is a mysterious mode that is labeled as “Coming Soon” so lets keep our fingers crossed there.

Overall 4/10

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

Dragalia Lost Review


It’s time to take a look at Nintendo’s latest mobile adventure. Just like Pokemon Go Nintendo seems to be here to provide the promotion while they handled every other aspect of the game to a third party. It’s a good strategy since I’m sure it takes up less manpower this way and the third party has more experience with mobile titles. The game is well made and quite polished although it’s one that I won’t be sticking around for. It has its weaknesses, but as long as you have the time it makes for quite the investment.

The plot is a little generic though as you are a prince who didn’t want to be King. Unfortunately all 7 of your brothers have turned evil and the same goes for your father The King. It’s hinted that they are being mind controlled but either way it is time for the main character to rise to the occasion. In this world all proper fighters need to have a dragon companion so his first order of business is to tame one. Now he has to go save the world, but can he do it?

As this is a mobile game the answer to that question is likely a flat no. These games just never seem to end which is one of the main things that ends up deterring you from playing after a while. It’s all a matter of preference though. I typically play console games but those always have a start and an end. If I wasn’t a big console fan then I’d probably stick around for this one. As it is the only games I’m actively keeping up with are Dragon Ball Legends and Pokemon Go. That’s enough to keep me busy, but it’s always fun to at least check these other games out for a bit.

The gameplay is an overhead real time combat system. You swing your sword by tapping the screen and you can use super attacks once you have charged up enough energy meter. There is also a separate energy meter for turning into a dragon. Turning into a dragon gives you a huge boost in health and attack power so I highly advise doing so. Each level is typically a short run where you beat up a bunch of enemies and then the boss room at the end of it. The fact that the levels are so short is definitely a good thing since it makes it very easy to play the game in batches. Of course it also highlights the fact that the story moves so slowly so that’s the only drawback.

The graphics are very good. They wouldn’t look out of place in a home console title. The character designs are smooth and the colors are very vibrant. Likewise, the soundtrack is pretty solid as well. It’s very fast paced and makes the game feel energetic as well. These aspects of the game are just as well polished as the gameplay and keeps up the appearance that this could be a AAA title for the Switch.

As for the replay value it’s basically infinite with everything going on here. New content is added all the time through online levels and new characters. As it is the actual story is quite long as well and with all of the bonus raids you can’t run out of things to do. You do have a stamina meter so you can’t play for too long in a row without breaks. While it is a lot more lenient than the Dragon Ball Legends one, it’s not quite as long as Fire Emblem Heroes. Still, it’s certainly enough energy for you to play for fairly long sessions.

Honestly at this point I wish we could get a full Super Smash Bros gatcha game for mobile. See, the only reason I’m not sticking around with this one as long as I stuck around with Fire Emblem and Dragon Ball is because all of the characters are OCs and naturally I’m less invested in them. If the story was about Nintendo mascots I wouldn’t care that 90% of it is stalling for time and not going anywhere. It would still be priceless just to see the Super Smash characters interacting and everything. Hopefully one day we get that.

Ironically I’d say that the mobile games that are less complex and complete tend to work better. I’m looking forward to the Mario Kart app and I’m sure I’ll stick with that one for a while. RWBY is also coming up although I don’t think that one will last. I can’t think of any other mobile games that are coming up soon, but I’m sure some will pop up. Those games seem very simple to the point of almost just being point and click. Even Dragon Ball Legends which has a lot going on seems simpler than Dragalia Lost. Dragalia is just a little too complex. If you want to actually get all of the mechanics in the game you’re going to need to dive into Reddit. Otherwise you’re gonna get hopelessly lost with the dozens of mechanics and such going on here. It’s all a little overwhelming. If you do decide to play this game, I highly recommend not spending any of your orbs and materials for the first few weeks of the game. Wait and see who you want to actually power up since these materials are often going to get scarce as the game goes on.

Overall, Dragalia Lost is a fun game. It’ll probably take a long while to get invested in the plot, but at the same time the game did launch with a ton of story levels to sift through so that’ll help. An impressive aspect is also that every single character has an individual story mode as well which consist of a few cutscenes. Since there are going to be hundreds of characters by the end of this that is a lot of content. I can’t stress enough that this is basically a full RPG on the phone. It’s probably the most convincing one I’ve seen since Sword Art Online Integral Factor. That one had the better plot, but this one has the better level designs and less filler.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Sword Art Online: Integral Factor Review


Sword Art Online has always been known for having video games where the plot seems like a bit of a backdrop. Sometimes nothing actually happens until the very end as the characters just hang out and have a lot of fun. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and I have enjoyed the last SAO games to an extent. At the very least the gameplay is always a lot of fun. However, that’s the catch. If the plot isn’t too engaging then you need the gameplay to be top notch and I’m afraid that this one just didn’t quite make it that far. Part of me feels like I needed to give it more of a chance, but considering how long I’ve had the game I think it is just that the gameplay didn’t pop out enough. It could have done better.

The premise of the game is what if Arc 1 happened, but you were around to save everybody. While Kirito is usually known as the hero of this world, what if you were the one actually responsible for saving it? You play as a bland character with no real name who shows up one day. Naturally there is a new heroine as well and since she isn’t used to fighting games like this one she is counting on you to lead the way. So far…that’s really all that’s happened. I made it up to somewhere around the halfway point of episode 1, but the game refuses to progress. The task master keeps sending you into the forests to grab a bunch of plants and potions over and over again. Rather than sending you to get all of them at once he is doing it one at a time. By the 10th trip back and forth you will be wondering what the point of all this was. I just want to go ahead and fight the boss. The current mission I’m on is to grab more plants.

I’m fine with a slow boiling plot but the missions should at least feel slightly relevant. These just don’t make any sense and usually a mobile game should try to suck you in at first. You need to start off with some big events and then tone it down and throw in the filler missions to buy time. This game just didn’t have the balance right and the story is the main reason why I finished so quickly. It just wasn’t even trying.

Then we have the gameplay which fortunately was on point. This part is actually the most impressive bit. The screen adds a little control pad onto it that is actually interactive. Meaning that for once you can actually move around and fight in 3D. The gameplay is the same as your average beat em up which is something that I didn’t really expect to see on the mobile side of things. It’s pretty impressive and that’s the highlight of the game. In terms of pure gameplay it is probably the best mobile game to date. It helps take away the repetitious nature of the game a bit. I have heard that the gameplay gets repetitive though and since there are only 1-2 attacks I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case. Still, at the moment it hadn’t had that affect.

The animation looks really stunning for the main menu, but in game it’s a little less impressive. I’ve heard that the game also diverges a little further from the actual arc as characters like Leafa show up. Essentially think of this as an alternate version of the arc where all of Kirito’s friends from the future also got to appear. That should make clearing the game a whole lot easier right? Unfortunately the game doesn’t really have a soundtrack. Just another element that hurts this game quite a bit.

As with Dragon Ball Legends there are a lot of features here that I don’t really understand but the game doesn’t even try to spell them out for you. It’s like a big mystery, but one that the game doesn’t want to help you out with. I didn’t really try to get into all of that stuff. I figure that I’ll still be strong enough to beat whatever bosses go my way right? The Story Mode is really the only mode to play here, but you can choose to fight the levels with online players helping you out or doing it offline. I’ve heard tat it gets near impossible to do it all solo by the end so we’ll see if that’s true. (If I ever go back)

The campaign seems like it’s quite long and the game has a ton of replay value so you don’t have to worry about a lack of content here. Really, the only issue is whether the game will hold your attention long enough for it to matter. See, mobile games are good for short sessions on the go or when you don’t have time for a normal game. Online Mobile games already destroy the first part and if they are too intricate with long levels than it beats the second one as well. This game is unfortunately in both categories as I believe even when playing solo you need an internet connection. There’s also not much that you can do in a short play through. This game would have ironically been a lot better as a full fledged SAO game. Not to mention that the plot would be perfect for it as well.

Overall, I do applaud how ambitious the game is when it comes to the gameplay. The way it is set up this game could last for quite a while. Still, it just isn’t interesting enough to play when there are so many other options on the field. Perhaps that will change and I still have it downloaded so perhaps I will check it out at some point when I have less games to juggle, but that will be a long ways away. If this sounds like it’s up your ally then check it out, but my recommendation isn’t quite as confident as for most of the other games. This one just isn’t on quite the same level.

Overall 6/10