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

Boris and the Dark Survival Review


I’ve had this game downloaded for quite a while but it took me a bit to have enough time to really play through it. It’s a pretty fun game and definitely worth a shot if you got it while it’s free. I wouldn’t recommend paying money for it though as the gameplay is a bit on the limited side. It’s good to see Bendy expanding its horizons though and with at least 2 mobile games that’s more than most franchises have. At this point in time I don’t think there’s any reason for a franchise to not have a mobile game. It just makes so much sense to pop out a couple of them in.

The gameplay is effectively an overhead version of the classic Bendy game. You have to move through the rooms of the floor to find 6 objects. After you find around 4 you run the risk of Bendy showing up. Grabbing all 6 guarantees an appearance so you need to run to the elevator as quickly as possible in order to escape. There are a few charge terminals across the floor that you can hide in but they’re pretty much pointless once you have all 6 objects. If you didn’t make it to the elevator in time then there is no way to win. Bendy waits right outside the door for you and you’re basically soft locked out and just need to let him finish you off. Win or lose then you repeat the game from the elevator.

Each time you start the game there seems to be a different room loaded up so that’s pretty neat. There isn’t really much of n ending as far as I can gather as collecting the 6 items just gets you ready for another round. It’s possible that collecting the items of every room will get you some kind of cutscene but I’m not so sure about that because the rooms are generated randomly. Perhaps a room you’ve completed won’t appear anymore but that seems rather sophisticated for a mobile title. So if my gut it right, then the game is really more about seeing how many runs you can do in one shot or something like that. It’s all about beating your previous score.

The gameplay is pretty smooth although moving the character is difficult. This is where it would have been good to have that mobile controller people always talk about or maybe even the PS4 one since it apparently works with a lot of games now. Whenever I would move the control stick it just wouldn’t stick with me so I would end up freezing. The levels are pretty short at least which definitely helps a lot but otherwise that could have been pretty tricky. I think expanding the control stick on the menu would have helped a great deal to make the moving process a bit more smooth.

The graphics are fine. It’s going for a bit of a dark aesthetic so they won’t particularly standout or anything like that. It does a good job of keeping the main game’s look and feel though which is good. It shows that mobile games have really come a long way and you can turn just about anything into a mobile creation if you really want too. The soundtrack is more on the nonexistent side though. You won’t really recall any themes afterwards.

Overall, Boris and the Dark Survival is a fun little game to check out. It’s definitely a bit limited though which is what ultimately holds the score back. You’re just not going to be sticking with this game for very long which is unfortunate. I think throwing us a bone with some story details or a few cutscenes would have really gone a long way. Right now it just feels like there is no real replay value. Still, if you’re a big Bendy fan then it’s probably worth checking it out. I was able to check it out while the game was still free so it was definitely worth it. If you have to pay a price to play the game now then I would definitely double think it a bit. You may just want to wait for the next full Bendy game which should be coming out fairly soon at this point.

Overall 5/10

Cardfight Vanguard Zero Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 8/10

Saint Seiya: Shining Soldiers Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 8/10

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 8/10

Super Mecha Champions Review


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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall 7/10

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

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

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