Mighty No. 9 Review

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It’s time to take a look at the controversial Mega Man homage game. This is also game number 2 from the Christmas batch. It’s definitely a very solid game when we look at pure gameplay, but it could definitely use some work in other aspects. The main culprit here is the level design as some just don’t make a whole lot of sense and are pretty unfair. The game has a habit of not telling you anything either, but I’ll take some very slight blame on that since I guess I could have experimented with the controls a little more. Given that the price crashed so quickly though, it is definitely worth purchasing.

The game follows Beck, The Mighty number 9, one of the last robots who is currently not corrupted. His fellow Mighty numbers have also started running amok and are causing terror in the streets. Doctor Sanda and Doctor White instruct Beck to save the day by defeating the robots and clensing them of the violent bug. It’ll be tough, but Beck is the strongest robot ever created so he should have the edge here. Who is controlling these robots though? Doctor Blackwell is a suspect since he has had many iffy crime dealings in the past, but he is currently in prison. With only one other actual character in the game, that means that we have 2 suspects. Well, lets start taking back the city!

Beck’s a decent lead although it’s hard to say what his personality is. He seems kind of sassy during some brief points, but for most of the game he is basically Mega Man when it comes to personality. He doesn’t like fighting and he’s super heroic to the point where you have to wonder if he’s faking it. He’s a good guy, but there just wasn’t much to him and you would barely even guess that he doesn’t like fighting if Call didn’t mention it a few times. Call is basically the Roll of this game. She gets one level to herself, which is cool since you get to fight as her, but she is given a terrible moveset. Her blasters deal next to 0 damage and she can’t power slide so you have to crawl the old fashioned way. Her level was also one of the very bad ones when it comes to design. She was a good main heroine though and I am glad that she isn’t reluctant to fighting.

All 3 of the doctors are fairly bland. Blackwell is easily the best of the three. He was framed and arrested so maybe the guy isn’t all that bad, but Doctor White certainly doesn’t like him. The game seems to be setting White up to be the villain of a sequel, which would certainly be interesting. White is even hiding the fact that he is related to Blackwell by changing his last name. Blackwell doesn’t like robots, which seems to be how the game is leaning him towards the dark side, but he doesn’t seem like a bad guy yet. The sinister design is probably an indication that he will do something drastic at some point, but he’s certainly no Wily yet. Sanda is the comic relief guy who constantly panics and stutters throughout the whole game. He definitely won’t be turning evil, but I wouldn’t want to see too much more of him. He doesn’t really serve any purpose in the story and is just there to be there.

The Mighty Numbers are fairly decent. They all have different personalities and none of them appear to be all that bad. They’re like the classic robot masters, but the game did a good job of not making them too identical. There is an obvious Proto Man homage, but we definitely did need a rival in the game. All good franchises develop one at some point. He was easily the best one in the game of course. Trinity was also pretty cool though and she is easily one of the stronger bots. I’d expect her to play a major role in the sequel unless they nerf her for some reason. Now that would be a shame.

As I got the PS4 version, it came with the free Ray expansion pack. I’ll definitely play that at some point, but for now that’ll go on the backburner. The character definitely looks cool though and I expect that he’d be a really good antagonist or rival figure. When I play that mode, I’ll upload an update post so that I can discuss it properly. I need to do the same with Shovel Knight at some point although this game certainly feels a little quicker so it would be higher on the list.

Lets talk about the gameplay. The positives are that they worked with the classic Mega Man style and improved it in some ways. Being able to air dodge is a lot of fun. It can be a little sensitive, but nothing too crazy. You may only slip and die a handful of times. I also like how strong the normal Mega Buster is. You’ll rarely want to use anything else, although the missile is certainly a very handy backup weapon. One thing you should know is that pressing on the PS4 touchscreen will let you use a health pack that you may have obtained during the level. If you see a blue icon under your health bar, then that’s what it means. You’ll lose them when you lose a life so use them before you die. I didn’t know about this until I was at the final boss. If I had only known earlier, I could have beaten the game way sooner and the final boss wouldn’t have been so difficult. The game never really mentioned anything about it though and I wasn’t going to surf the tips section until I found something. Again, I won’t blame the game too much, but this was a fairly important detail. You can also do back jumps while shooting by hitting the R2 button and that’s also very useful for the final boss. It only has niche uses though so you won’t be using it all that much.

One area where the gameplay failed is switching between weapons. Why wouldn’t they leave it simple like in the Mega Man games by just hitting L1 and R1 to instantly switch? Instead, that allows you to cycle through and then you have to activate the switch with triangle. It’s too many steps and will likely cause you to get hit once or twice during a boss fight. I also have to take a shot at the level designs. Purple spikes KO you instantly, but some levels have a Mario Maker esque moment where you’ll fall down and just bump into them. There’s no way to know that they’re there so you’ll always lose a life the first time that you encounter this. As the game is pretty short, there aren’t too many of these moments, but the ones that are there will certainly get on your nerves. Some segments have various jumps around the purple spikes and one death can send you pretty far back. Some of the checkpoints simply weren’t placed well.

The graphics are definitely pretty sharp and this is how retro inspired games should look if you ask me. It has the retro side scroller feel to it, but you can still see the updated graphics through the character designs and level layouts. Everything looks pretty smooth and modern, especially the aerial boosts. The game definitely looks quite good and that also helps get you into the game. The actual plot may have been somewhat underwhelming and the graphics never looked good for the cutscenes for some reason, but the actual gameplay visuals were always on point. The soundtrack is also pretty solid. Some of the themes are rather generic, but they are generic futuristic themes, which is still a win for me. The themes go very well with the moderate to fast paced gameplay. There were no “bad” themes in the game, which is always good as well.

There is a good amount of replay value to be found here. Getting that Platinum Trophy will take a very long time since the trophies are very hard. Can you imagine beating the whole game in 30 minutes or completing it on hard without any continues? Those two in particular sound crazy and there are a slew of others that will be just as hard. It would take dozens upon dozens of hours to do this unless there is some kind of save stalling technique that I’m not aware of. It’s certainly possible I suppose, but it would still take quite a while. Getting all S ranks on the normal levels will also be tricky and then you’ve got challenges and online leaderboards to worry about. It’s quite a lot of content so that’s a good thing considering that over 70000 people backed the game and that it got way more money than it ever needed. The controversies surrounding the game were certainly interesting to follow along back in the day.

Overall, Mighty No. 9 is a solid game. The level designs and the plot help to keep it from getting an 8 though. The main story won’t last you all that long either so if you’re not a big fan of the bonus content, then this game wouldn’t really be worth the 30 dollars for you. It currently goes for 10-15 though so that’s a very reasonable price if you ask me. This will also help alleviate the wait til the next Mega Man or Mega Man X game since it seems like it’ll be a very long time before Capcom gives us another one. I don’t get how a company can drop the ball so hard on one of their franchises, but that’s Cashcom for you. So, I definitely recommend this game and it was about what I expected, if not a little better. This is controversial, but I think it’s even better than Shovel Knight so that would make it my top indie game. It’s a little murky as to whether or not it counts anymore I suppose, but given that it was from kickstarter, I think we can still call it that. We’ll see if Shantae can take the crown though. The gameplay is pretty sharp and the plot is much better, but Mighty No 9 does have some advantages like the soundtrack and the graphics. Only time will tell and that review shouldn’t be too far off either!

Overall 7/10

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Marvel Contest of Champions Review

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Just looking at that cover should remind you just how changed Marvel is from the good ole days. We have a lot of heroes trying to replace the classic ones and most of the old ones have had drastic makeovers. No worries though, this game manages to include an enormous amount of characters so the classics are still here as well. With new characters constantly being added to the game, I don’t see Contest of Champions ending anytime soon. It’s simply too expansive at this point and I’m glad to see it doing well. The amount of content can be intimidating, but it also shows that you can do quite a lot even when under the free to play format. Someone should have told Super Mario Run about that.

There’s actually a plot this time. The Collector is having another game and has decided to pit the Marvel heroes against you. You are the chosen one and your opponent is Kang. Both of you collect Marvel heroes and duke it out until there is only one fighter still standing. The plot will probably have some wrinkles along the way though because there are dozens and dozens of levels. I only played about 10% of Act 1, which was already fairly long. Since they keep on adding new chapters and acts for special events, I can easily see this reaching an RPG’s length by the end. The story isn’t all that engaging so you’ll be playing it for the gameplay. Console games are still my priority though, which is why I didn’t play the game for too long. I played it enough to see what it was all about and then it was time to delete the app.

The gameplay is fairly straight forward. Tap the screen for standard attacks. Swipe forward to dash or back to dodge. You can also use charge attacks and special moves. Each battle will play out in pretty much the same way and the various special abilities will all blend together after a while. This is still a game with a reasonably small budget so you can’t go in expecting Marvel vs Capcom. Still, the graphics are very impressive considering. All of the character models are on point and it’s pretty surreal to see Marvel’s large array of characters all show up. The soundtrack is rather bland, but decent.

One issue is that the gameplay can get a little repetitive. I suppose that can be said about most mobile games, but other titles like 1010 and Pokemon Go are super fun anyway. You may be doing the same thing hundreds of times over, but it never gets old. Contest of Champions will get old after a while so you shouldn’t play it for too long at a time. If you play it seriously for collecting all of the heroes though, then this may not be a factor. I also have to give the game some props for not making the pay to win element too prevalent. You can still play for a while each day before hitting your limit and that’s a good thing. Madden Mobile got annoying for how quickly you hit the daily limit along with Pokemon Shuffle.

The main menu is a little cluttered and complicated, but at least it shows that there is a lot to do here. There are all kinds of modes to explore and crystals to earn. It just never stops and you can be lost in the menus for a good 20 minutes before deciding what to do. The replay value here is endless and that’s what we’ve come to expect from these apps. With this one gone, it’s going to be back to Pokemon Go for me. That’s really the only long term app game that I need. These other titles are good, but ultimately can’t compete.

Overall, Marvel’s Contest of Champions is a fun enough game. The graphics are sound and assembling your team of heroes can be addicting. Eventually you’ll either start to get frustrated by obtaining duplicate heroes even though you only have 5 or 6, or you will be completely into the game by then and just hooked on all of the future updates. If you’re a big mobile player, then I recommend adding it to your roster. If not, then this one can probably be passed. It’s good, but you could always just buy Marvel vs Capcom instead for the superior fighter. I know that DC also got a very similar fighting game on the app store, but I don’t plan on trying it out anytime soon.

Overall 7/10

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Review

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The Star Wars marathon continues! The last game was exceptionally good and set the bar quite high. Unfortunately, this one is not able to quite reach the same level when it comes to the pure gameplay, but the exciting story and multiplayer turn the tables. There are some obvious problems with the gameplay that hold it back just a bit, but it overcomes those odds. While it could be more polished, the rough gameplay actually helps to make the multiplayer mode more interesting. Just press some buttons and hope for the best!

The game covers the events of the third movie. Anakin and Obi Wan continue to do their best to stop the Sith forces and all of the other villains who are around. The main problem is that the head of the Republic is also evil so the heroes have to watch out for threats from both sides and one of their ranks allows the pull of the Dark side to sway him. This game covers the birth of Darth Vader!

I have to say that playing this game again reminded me why Episode III is still the most epic and exciting Star Wars film to date. It may not be the best, but it does make sense why it would be the coolest. This was back in the days where there were many Jedi warriors and lightsaber battles were commonplace. The film had a bunch of awesome fight scenes within and the game adapts them all and then some. It’s something that all of the movies since have lacked and I’m hoping that Episode VIII gives us a bunch of hype battles. I could definitely get behind that and I’m expecting great things from it.

This game starts off rather slow, but quickly picks up once Anakin joins the dark side. Suddenly you’re fighting other Jedi warriors instead of mindless droids. This makes for more enjoyable battles and also an engaging plot. The banter between the characters is brilliant during the fights and you’ll actually like some of the characters more than you did in the film. One warrior who showed up and confidently took on Anakin is safely one of the cooler Jedi warriors. It was a quick moment, but one that separated her from the common masses who were all dying in an instant.

The game didn’t adapt the cool scene where Palpatine took down the 3 warriors though. I had to quickly watch that scene myself and saw a cool video explaining why the Jedi masters lost so quickly. It was simple, they lacked the speed needed to defeat Palpatine. Apparently that is his strongest skill and he can strike so fast that he barely appears at all. Mace was only able to hold his own because he used a forbidden technique that granted him the power of the Dark as well so it was definitely an interesting watch. Needless to say, despite the video hinting otherwise, I’d still take Anakin over them even at his current level.

There are 16 levels like in the other Star Wars game. In addition, there are 4-5 bonus levels and you can unlock Darth Vader for multiplayer mode. That will be your main source of replay value since fighting friends never gets old, but you can also go back to the levels and grab the secrets. Each level has secret health and Force power ups which permanently increase the size of each. I found a bunch of them by breaking things so I imagine that’s how you find them all. The campaign is only around 3 hours long, but couple it with these other factors and I’d say that the game has a fair length. It’s just a lot easier than the last game so it goes by a lot quicker.

The gameplay is purely about hand to hand combat. It may be more accurate to call it Lightsaber combat. You have standard slashes and power moves. There are also your Force abilities of course, which allow you to lift opponents, stun them, and even push them away. I didn’t properly learn how to use the force until the final 2 levels so I recommend trying to learn it a little sooner. Boss fights in this game are quite difficult as they will block or parry just about anything that you throw at them. Ironically, the final boss is easily the weakest one in the game as he refuses to block just about anything. For the others, I recommend whacking them a few times and then going off to heal. (Yes, you can heal yourself in this game) Then rinse and repeat until the job is done. You can usually run fast enough to get this strategy to work. Alternately, you can master the rock, paper, scissors gameplay, but it didn’t make much sense the whole time so I just reverted to classic button mashing. It’s never failed me before so I have always trusted this legendary technique. Your character will gain experience after each level and you can use it to improve your force abilities (Like healing. I highly recommend focusing on that one) and physical abilities. By the end of the game, your character will be close to being maxed out.

The graphics look quite good. The lightsabers really stand out the whole time and they did a good job with the blasts getting deflected off of the swords. It’s aged pretty well and I can definitely see why this game would be thought of as an older Force Unleashed. There are a lot of similarities to be found here and I look forward to trying that game out at some point. The soundtrack is just as good. It has all of the classic Star Wars themes that you may wish for and the battle themes are all intense. It’s definitely a rock solid game on a technical level.

Overall, Episode III may have gotten off to a rough start initially, but it really grows on you. I was sure that it would only be getting a 7 at first, but the plot really picked up and the gameplay is definitely a lot more fun when you’re fighting actual sword fighters. There is a lot less variety when it comes to the gameplay compared to the other title, but how can you not like a classic 3D sword-fighter styled gameplay? It never gets old and none of the levels are painfully long so that also helps a great deal. It’s the kind of gameplay where I also wouldn’t have pictured a multiplayer mode so it’s really cool that it was featured. The cast could be longer, but I guess we’ll save that for an official Star Wars fighting game. The series certainly has enough characters for it by now. I definitely recommend checking out this title. My Star Wars marathon will likely go on a brief break here since I’ll be getting some new games for Christmas, but it’ll be back at some point.

Overall 8/10

Mercury Meltdown Revolution Review

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One can never get tired of playing these obscure Wii games eh? Mercury Meltdown Revolution is one of the many games that I bought a while back when Gamestops were emptying out their Wii inventory. The sheer amount of levels deterred me from starting this one for a while, but I decided to finally take the plunge. I didn’t play all 160+ levels, but I went as far as I could without grinding out some levels to get the final worlds. It’s a pretty fun puzzle game and it’s quite a bit better than most of the other Wii games that I’ve played. There are a few iffy levels and the controls aren’t explained too well, but this one’s a keeper.

The gameplay is fairly similar to Super Monkey Ball. You control a blob of Mercury and you have to get from the start to the finish. At first, the levels are fairly linear. You just have to use the Wii’s motion controls to get across. Later levels turn into intricate puzzles where you have to bump the mercury across a corner to split it and then navigate through the level along both paths simultaneously while not letting any of them fall. The levels continue to get tougher and tougher as you move along so expect to have to retry many levels multiple times. You need to pay close attention to the primary colors and subsets since some levels will only allow you to complete them as a certain level. Once in a while there will be levels where you can be dead without even knowing it. This happens when you turned into the wrong color or left your Mercury pal behind.

One thing that the game doesn’t mention is that a certain levitation button reverses your direction. I died over a dozen times trying to perform the fall just right without realizing that I was only falling due to the reverse. Trust me, it wasn’t a very happy situation. There is a lot of strategy in this game and much more so than Monkey Ball. Monkey Ball’s still better though because I prefer the physical skill aspect to be the big focus. This game is good for making you play patiently as you think about the options, but sometimes you just want to rush in there and start completing levels. You won’t be able to do that very much in this title.

Still, it’s definitely a pretty calm game. It’s something you can play to relax or to compete with a friend over who has the firmer hand when navigating the tougher turns. There is apparently a party mode since I unlocked party games several times. I didn’t actually check out the mode, but I’ll probably play it at some point in the future. It’s a good thing to have for the replay value although the game has quite a lot of that already as it is. Going back to each level and trying to complete them with more Mercury is a fun way of adding a challenge. I’m not crazy about it being tied to the rest of the worlds, but considering that there is no story mode anyway, it’s a little less annoying than it would be otherwise. You’ll also want to grab the stars that are scattered in all of the levels to unlock more party games.

The graphics are simple and to the point. They’re pretty bright so you don’t have to worry about straining your eyes to see what is happening The only area where the graphics are lacking a bit is that it can be hard to tell what color your Mercury is at times. Yellow, Aqua, and Silver all look almost identical. It’s pretty crazy since Yellow and Silver should never look that similar. Beyond that, the graphics are good. They aren’t great, but they’re certainly passable for this game.

Surprisingly, the soundtrack is actually pretty good at times. It is annoying how the same victory theme plays for each level though. You’ll get annoyed by it fairly quick as it isn’t even a good tune. Seeing the Mercury try to dance around can also be fairly disturbing. Get rid of the victory theme and the music would be just about perfect in this game.

One of the crucial parts that made the game good was the fact that the controls are actually very smooth and responsive. You will rarely die because the controls forced you over the edge. That is very crucial because the whole game is about testing your steadiness and reaction times. Bad controls would defeat the purpose and make the game unfair. It’s especially impressive since most Wii games are downright terrible when it comes to this area.

There is only one kind of level that I didn’t like in this game. Those are the escort missions. As always, escorting someone is pretty annoying. You’re trying to get a square of jelly to step on a switch for you, but he doesn’t like to listen to reason and gets in your way as often as possible. There was one level with a green jelly who could KO you in one hit if you bumped into him. That guy was also very unforgiving and my best advice is to simply stay away from him. No good will come out of those levels and they’re not worth the time sink. Stick to the standard levels.

Overall, Mercury Meltdown Revolution is a game that is easily worth the 2-4 dollars that you’ll spend to get it. Having over 160 levels is quite the feat and none of them are copies either. The levels all feel distinct and offer their own original challenges within. Each level is an experience while you may not want to try and beat too many levels in one shot, you won’t burn out too quickly if you do. If you like puzzle games a lot, then I recommend this one. It is certainly no Professor Layton, but these challenges will still have you scratching your head. It’s the kind of game that I’d never buy for the original retail price, but it’s a fun brain teaser.

Overall 7/10

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review

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With the new Star Wars film in theaters it was only fitting that I go back and finally play the next Star Wars game. It’s had a pretty good track record thus far and this one continues the saga on a high note. It has quite a few different gameplay modes considering that this is a movie tie in and the quality is surprisingly good. Throw in the multiplayer feature and we have ourselves a winner. It may not be Star Fox Assault, but it does as much as it can to try and rival it.

The Empire continues to be quite powerful. I believe they are referred to as the separatists this time around and the Jedi warriors have their hands full. They are fighting a losing war and need something to tip the scales. Luckily they have their two aces, Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. The two of them are quite powerful and that is good since the heroes need every warrior that they can get. The real question is….will these two be enough? If they aren’t, then the Dark Force stealer will end up sucking their powers dry and bringing the universe to the brink of ruin.

Right off the bat you can tell that this game wouldn’t be at the level that you may have expected from it. For starters, the controls are seamless and you can play this game as well as any AAA title. There are several gameplay modes as mentioned earlier so lets run through them all. First, we’ve got the tank gameplay. You control a tank and move quite quickly through the terrain, blasting all who stand in your way. You have your booster and missiles at your disposal. An endless supply of energy blasts also makes your tank a force to be reckoned with. This mode was a lot of fun and may have even been better than Star Fox Assault’s version.

Next, we have plane mode. You fly around using your green lasers to smite your opponents along with normal blasters and bombs. You feel truly powerful while in plane mode and it’s fun to rain bombs on the dozens of robots that get in your way. Again, this mode is actually smoother than Star Fox Assault’s and it’s crazy just how much destruction you can cause. You still have to be careful not to just rush in and get blasted, but you can survive for a while at 1 HP. I got caught on my last breath in two levels, but took advantage of the high speed turns to complete the level anyway. It was pretty exhilarating!

One mode that only appears once or twice in the game is where you control one of the large Tripod robots. It’s very slow which is a big weakness, but more than makes up for it with overwhelming destructive power. Most enemies will crumble after a second or two of being blasted. This mode was also a lot of fun. Finally, we have human combat. This is the only area where the game failed. It’s incredibly hard to hit anyone because the controls are too sensitive. Using the Force isn’t recommended either because you’ll have gotten blasted many times as you try to land a single hit. Throwing your lightsaber is easily the best attack, but try not to move as you do so or you’ll start running in circles. We didn’t get many human levels and perhaps that was for the best. Typically that would be the best mode of gameplay, but it was clearly less refined than the rest. It was still not bad though. If anything, it was just a little campy and I can get behind that.

There was also one racing level where you had to jump on a little scooter and breeze through the forest. That was probably one of the toughest levels as it was hard not to crash against all of the trees. There were so many obstacles lying about that it was pretty crazy, but also very satisfying to get past. That’s one thing that the game really did well, it was satisfying to play and complete the levels. The check points were put in good places for the most part so redoing the sections over and over again wasn’t too annoying.

I had to go back a few times because the game is actually fairly difficult. I played it on normal mode and most levels took me 3-4 tries to complete. If you wander into an enemy ambush then you’re going to die. There’s not much that you can do at that point. I had to resort to run and gun tactics for some levels when I was low on health. It’s very tense when you’re at low health and are still outnumbered 20-1. The difficulty was at the perfect notch where it was too hard to beat in one shot, but not cheap where an opponent could one shot you. You had to treat some of the enemies like Mega Man foes where you memorize the pattern and then rush in. Even then, I beat several bosses with only a sliver of health left.

My recommendation is to really use the health packs sparingly. If you’re at half health, don’t waste the full health pack yet. Wait until you’re as low as you feel comfortable waiting. It’ll end up paying off big time by the end. The ammo packs are also really handy since I just spam my full arsenal as soon as I get it filled up. It makes a big difference when you’re outnumbered since the missiles will scatter the opponents and take a lot of them down.

The graphics are pretty good. I like how the energy blasts look and the character models are sharp. The faces can be funny to look at though as they do try to be very expressive and it can result in some interesting results. The game did the most that it could with the barren landscapes that it had to work with. The soundtrack is excellent as it uses many themes from the movies. You’ll probably recognize just about all of them. Even Darth Vader’s theme plays several times as you go through the game. A lot of the music is reused over and over again as the soundtrack is quite small, but it is effective.

Another factor that helps the game is its replay value. The title has a multiplayer mode in it so that helps a lot since you can always challenge a friend at the game. Multiplayer mode is a must if you want to earn an extra star from me and it really helps solidify this game as an 8 instead of as a 7. I haven’t tried it out yet, but I definitely will within the next few days or so. There is also some single player replay value as well as you can try to complete all of the bonuses to unlock illustrations and such. I got a good chunk of the bonuses naturally, but the ones that are left do seem quite difficult to unlock. Keeping your allies alive seems to be a recurring theme and that’s one thing that I’m not so good at.

If I had any complaint for this game, it’s that I’d like for less of the levels to be about protecting people. I lost quite a few times because my allies died as opposed to it being due to me losing. The levels where it was just me still had me die sometimes, but it felt more legitimate as in those cases it was just an instant where the villains planned better than I did. At 16 levels, the game had a good amount of missions in its arsenal so I just think that they could have redistributed it a little better.

Overall, This is a very good Star Wars game. I’m not going to say that it is the absolute best because I believe that Bounty Hunter may still deserve that title, but it is really close. The fact that it can actually beat Star Fox Assault in some areas really speaks volumes since that is a completely elite title. Star Fox ultimately wins though because of a superior story, multiplayer, graphics, and soundtrack among other things, but that’s not a strike against The Clone Wars. It has a good amount of content for the low price that you can get it for and I’d highly recommend it even if the game was a little more money. It’s just a solid game through and through. Trust me, you’ll have a blast blowing everything up with your crazy arsenal. I can’t say that I’ve played many games at all where you have this much power to unleash on the environment.

Overall 8/10

Super Mario Run Review

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I finally went and played a few Toad Rallies so now this game is set for the review. As you may know, you have to actually pay the 10 dollars in order to play the full Mario Run game. I’m not going to call that a ripoff because then you should just consider it like any other game. I suppose 10 dollars isn’t all that much, but I’m not willing to pay that at the moment so this review is of the free content. I acknowledge that the full game would probably be closer to the next level.

Well, this game’s a free runner so there isn’t much to say about the gameplay. You’re always running and you’ll automatically jump over enemies so you just have to focus on not falling into any holes. The game is super easy at the moment, but all Mario games have an easy World 1. It’s to build you up to what is to come. You can practice your tricks on the enemies and at least rack up the experience points. You are able to play the first three levels under the free form of the game. The other main thing to do is to play the Toad Rallies. Basically, they are time trials against other players and the winner is the one who gets the most coins. Grabbing Toads through cool tricks are a must if you want to win these. I’ve won a few battles and it’s fun to get the extra Toads, but it is a bit of a gambling game as you can also lose toads when you lose. That part will probably get annoying as you face tougher levels.

The graphics are sharp as you would expect them to be. The Mario characters all look good and it is clear that this is in the Super Mario Bros series. They even have the nice spin to get you some extra air distance. The music wasn’t working for me at first, but got better later on. It’s Mario so the musical themes and the sound effects are on point as you would expect. On a technical level, this game certainly does not disappoint at all. There is very little content under the free version so there isn’t much replay value at all, but the full game should give you a good amount for the 10 dollars, not to mention all of the extra characters that you’ll unlock.

You can also earn some My Nintendo Points here, which you can use for musical themes for your 3DS or even the occasional download game once every few months. What holds this game back a little is the Free Runner format. Honestly, I’d prefer to control Mario myself as this style could get a little annoying after a while. The extra challenge should definitely help with that though. I don’t see this becoming as big of a phenomenon as Candy Crush or Pokemon Go, but it is a nice entry to the Mobile Market for Nintendo. I hope to see them continue to participate, but I also want them to give us some epic games on the Switch. They have a lot of good series under their belt so they have to make the most of them.

Overall, I’d recommend Super Mario Run. It’s a fun little title and this game is probably worth the 10 dollars more than some other games. However, don’t expect too much out of the gameplay and there are other Free Runners that you could play for free…just throwing that out there. The game isn’t for Android yet and unfortunately, it appears that this may be the case for quite a while thanks to security concerns. Don’t worry, you guys aren’t missing a whole lot. I’ll probably play this game a little longer, but then it’s time to put it on the shelf. I don’t really play mobile games all that much anyway. For the most part, I like to just stick to 2 of them at a time and I already have Pokemon Go and Marvel’s Contest of Champions on the front. The latter is just about done though so I’ll probably have a review for that one up soon as well. Now I’m set for that Switch Mario game coming out soon.

Overall 7/10

Saint Seiya Soldier’s Soul Review

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It’s time for a cool fighting game that didn’t get a US retail release, but luckily there are other English speaking areas around so we can always count on them for backup. Between the great story, graphics, and gameplay, there is a lot to love in this game and not a whole lot to dislike. There is a lot to do here so it completely justifies any price that you may have purchased it for. Even if you are not familiar with Saint Seiya before this, the game walks you through just about the whole series.

All right, lets launch into this. The main Story Mode covers the 3 big arcs from the manga as well as one from the anime. You play as Seiya and the other Bronze Knights as they take down many foes who appear before them and work to protect Queen Athena. They go to the depths of Hades, to the beyond of Atlantis, and even to Olympus to protect their queen. The heroes die a lot and go through many trials, but they always get back up. That’s the true skills of warriors like these. It’s easy to see why people consider this to be a classic version of DBZ. Each chapter in Story Mode has between 11 and 20 battles and most of those battles are a best of 3 or even best of 5 once in a while. You’ll also have some levels that are just cutscenes so those are fairly easy. I believe that there are 49 levels total by the way.

Getting all S ranks is actually fairly easy this time around. That shouldn’t give you a lot of trouble, but completing all of the bonus requirements before a battle will be fairly difficult. Some of them involve doing long combos or blocking a lot. It won’t take an extreme amount of grinding to obtain though. If you want the Platinum trophy, most of your grinding will be in gathering titles and obtaining money. You have to buy just about everything in this game and money isn’t extremely lucrative. Still, that’s why it’s good that this game has very smooth gameplay and replay value. The story mode took me around 10 hours to complete and I expect that trying for the Platinum would probably take me up to 30 or maybe even 40 hours. I don’t intend on getting it anytime soon, but I do want to buy all of the characters so we’ll see how close that gets me to the Platinum in that time frame. I already purchased all of the stages so characters are definitely next.

Okay, lets get back to the gameplay. It’s a 3D fighting game like DBZ. You can attack your opponents with quick attacks, power moves, or energy blasts. You can string them together to make some fun combos and you also have burst moves, which are effectively special attacks. Charge up your meter enough and you can use a final smash. Most of them are a little too slow to be useful since you can just block them, but the Gold Saints get instant attacks, which are really handy. Naturally you can block, dash, teleport, jump, and more in addition to hand to hand action. None of the combos are too over the top so you don’t have to worry about dying after one mistake. Nevertheless, it is important that you know when to strike and when to evade. The story mode is fairly easy, but you’ll get your real challenge once you tackle the Galaxy Cups and Survival Mode. Those do not hold back at all.

The soundtrack is incredible and makes the game that much more epic. The actual theme selection is a little limited, but they are all good. They put you right in the battle and help to emphasize the high stakes that are at play. The graphics also look pretty good. They have that fun PS3 anime brawler look to them and the energy attacks are fun to watch. It’s not the kind of game that’s going to outshine Kingdom Hearts or Final Fantasy in the graphics department, but it is still all on point.

Aside from the main story mode, we also have the Gold Saints mode. You get to play as each Gold Saint in 3-4 battles. It’s mainly a way to see how they interact with each other after the drama in the main story mode. It’s a fun little adventure although some of the fights can be a little repetitive. The normal Story Mode was also a little repetitive with how every arc followed the same formula, but if it works….it works. Seeing the heroes split up and take out the villains will definitely be a lot of fun to see in the manga and the anime. The series kept on increasing the power levels to the point where it got pretty crazy. (In a good way)

As mentioned before, there is a whole lot of replay value here. By the end, this game will definitely be up there with some RPGs when it comes to length. Unlocking all of the characters is definitely my top priority and I already have all of the stages. I probably won’t bother with buying everything else for a little while, but I can see myself coming back to this title and earning more trophies at some point. I also got the PS3 version so I can go online and take some people down for the count as well. You have to love the PS3’s smooth online, the other companies could learn a few things from them.
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Overall, Saint Seiya Soldier’s Soul is a great fighting game. The gameplay is fairly deep and there is even an equipment system that will add to the strategic element of the game. You won’t run out of things to do here and the character roster is very impressive. I believe that there are over 70 characters to be found here and almost as many stages. With all of the technical aspects like the graphics and soundtrack being good as well, there’s really nothing to dislike here. I would call it one of the best PS3 fighting games. On a pure gameplay level, I’d say that it is better than J Stars and it is certainly a better overall game than PS All Stars. I have to still give Raging Blast and Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm the edge though. It’s definitely a must buy for any fighting game fan and I hope that more series get to have a big budget fighting game like this one. I think Bleach has earned a chance by now.

Overall 9/10

Sly Cooper Thieves in Time Review

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This game was on the backburner for many years, but I finally got around to completing it. The story takes a while to get good and honestly it is probably the weakest game in the series, but it was still pretty good overall. I just think that the game should have been a little less formulaic and should have gone for a more connected and changing story. It would have made the whole thing a lot more interesting and Ratchet and Clank is always adapting like this. It would have been simple enough for Sly to have copied that approach. Well, it is what it is.

Sly had finally gotten his happy ending after the third game. He pretended to lose his memories so he could live a peaceful life without having to force Carmelita to choose a side. Unfortunately, someone is messing with the timestream and Sly can’t just let this go unpunished. He must bring his thieving skills back to work with his old gang as they time hop to find the source of the problems. The trust that has been lost between him and Carmelita may be hard to repair so this case is going to be a very personal one. Is Sly up for the job?

As always, this Sly game is a 3D platformer. You use stealth for most of the game as you get from point A to point while getting past obstacles. You can also fight enemies and take them out easily enough, but it’s usually faster to slip past them or use the one hit KO stealth attack. Each area is very large so you have a lot of room to maneuver and you can also use that time to grab some extra collectibles. They’ll all come in handy by the end if you want to earn the shiny Platinum to add to your collection. You can never have too many trophies right? This is the only Sly game that I have not Platinum’d yet so I aim to fix that at some point in the future.

Aside from playing as Sly, you get to play as a lot of other characters this time around. That’s because one of the gimmicks in this game is that you finally get to meet Sly’s ancestors. Each era in time has a Cooper and they all have their own special abilities. One can climb walls and another has a gun. This results in some new twists that are added to the usual gameplay and that’s a good way to make the gameplay more diverse which was good. Bentley also gets his own minigames as one is like an overhead version of Tron and another is a 2D shooter. His minigames were always fun so I was glad to have them around. Murray’s is probably the least exciting as you just go around punching people. Finally, we can’t forget the short driving levels as you play in the mini car. Those were a nice change of pace as well, but in the end, the classic Sly gameplay is still the best.

As always, the gameplay is handled really well and the controls are very smooth. It makes the cases fun and going around the city is so streamlines that it makes the grind for all of the collectibles very manageable. The quick time event bosses were always handled well and they always feel great no matter how many games use them. Final Fantasy XIII-2 still did the best job out of all the games, but it’s a little hard to match the level of epicness that title was able to attain.

Graphically, Sly looks good. It may not stand out the same way that something like Super Smash does, but it holds up well on the good ole PS3. When it comes to the soundtrack, that part is a little more bland. You aren’t likely going to remember a lot of the tunes once you’re done. They’re passable, but just aren’t anything all that grand when you really get down to it.

There is a good amount of replay value here as you can go back to all of the chapters to grab treasure, collectibles, and open the safes. Buying everything from the shop will take some time as well and each story level is roughly an hour or longer. It’s certainly a game that gives you a lot of content for the money that you paid, which sounds good to me. It’s not artificial length like some other games either as you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you go through.

I do want to take a second to say that all of the past Coopers were annoying. I felt like the game wasn’t even trying with them as they were all super gimmicky. The cave man Cooper was the most annoying as you couldn’t understand what he was saying and he just wasn’t that smart. All of the Coopers had a lot of attitude, but it wasn’t deserved as we had to save them all from the villains. None of the Coopers were able to do anything on their own so you have to question how they got such a famous legacy. Evidently, Sly is the only cooper who can hold his own. It just makes you wonder.

Sadly, the classic banter that we had in the previous games is gone in this one between Sly and Carmelita. It’s an unfortunate side effect of their dynamic completely changing thanks to the third game. I’ll definitely miss it since the Sly games had the strongest dialogue from the three main Naughty Dog series for a while. The writing’s still good, but it’s just not as clever. Sly’s still a good main character even if he made a lot of the wrong decisions. Carmelita’s also good as the tough rival who is always making threats although this is not her best portrayal. Murray and Bentley are around as usual. I can’t say that they’re my favorite characters though. The villains are all right I suppose, but while they all technically have personality and character thanks to their origin stories, I never got too attached to any of them. The main villain is also a Skunk who is comic relief so he isn’t meant to be taken seriously either.

Overall, Sly Thieves in Time is a good installment to the series, but it’s not the game that I want to be known as the final in the series. It’s certainly a step down from the other games and that’s partially why it took me so long to complete it. I was never able to play the game with the same gusto that I tackled other titles with. It was a good throwback since a game hadn’t come out in a very long time for this series, but the plot did hold it back quite a bit. The supporting cast just weren’t all that good and this game lacked the impact that the first three did. It really survives on the gameplay alone because every other part of the game was either not that great or simply could have been better. To be fair, gameplay still is the most important quality in a game so that is enough to justify a good score. The cliffhanger for the game is pretty intense although to fully see it you better get that Platinum Trophy ready. It does make you wonder about some things though. All those months…what was Sly doing? It depends on how you interpret the ending I suppose, but another game would clear that up. This is certainly a must buy for Sly fans and generally, I think any platformer fan will be able to appreciate this title.

Overall 7/10

Pizza Delivery Boy Review

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This is a game that I’ve been playing for a very long time. I have to give the game a lot of credit for being a very long title. I bought the game for 3-4 bucks back during my Wii spending spree. It sat on the backburner for a while and I’d play some levels here and there. Finally, I buckled down and got the last few levels out of the way. The game is better in doses and you will get a little tired of it by the end, but you will also have a nice feeling of satisfaction. It’s leagues better than some of the other Wii titles that I’ve played in the past, but there are still some things keeping it from being better.

The game starts off with a bang as two great pizza chefs become rich. Unfortunately, the fame goes to their head and they become mean so the town decides to teach them a lesson. They rip apart their cookbooks and spread the recipes across 3-5 different cities. The pizza boys become broke and are forced to sell off their many stores until only one is left. They decide to hire a Pizza Delivery Boy so that they can regain a connection to the neighborhood. You develop bonds with the civilians as you deliver the pizzas and gradually you earn enough money to start buying the shops back. You must continue to do this until you are a pizza monopoly once more and you can prove that you are the greatest delivery boy of them all. It won’t be easy, but few things are!

The “cutscenes” are really just stills with dialogue slapped onto them, but I am still glad they are there. Having an actual plot gives the game some depth. You get a cutscene every time you level up your reputation or move to another town. The Chef will also make a comment or two every time you finish a daily task. The graphics are fairly good. The main character’s smirk is always pretty intense. In game, the graphics are good enough for you to tell what is going on at all times. The town is rather simplistic, but it still looks better than you might have guessed from a low budget Wii game.

Unfortunately, the soundtrack is not quite as good as the visuals. There are only 2-3 actual themes and they all get rather irritating by the end. They’re just a little too loud and in your face the whole time. I’d like something a little more subtle and relaxing. On the other hand, I’d like a nice fast paced theme when making a pizza pie for the 500th time. It can get a little tedious so a change in music could end up making a world of difference if you ask me.

There is no replay value in the game so don’t look forward to that. Once you unlock the final level, the game even tells you to watch out because you cannot go back. After you beat the game, you will never be able to make another pizza pie or head out to play another mission. You can only replay the Pizza Boy of the Year tournament match and that’s it. So, make the most of the game while you can because after you beat it, there is not turning back. That’s why it all depends on the main gameplay so lets launch into that right now.

The game runs on a daily system. Day 1 is always delivery day. You have to decorate the pizza pies with toppings and then drive around as you deliver them. Actually making the pies is very easy and you will always finish with a lot of time to spare. The game is lenient with where you put the toppings so you will always get some kind of credit for it. A perfect placing is worth more so you should try to be as close as possible. Cooking the pizzas is easily my least favorite part of the game. It’s too easy and even when the controls are working it is not all that engaging. Maybe doing it a few times wouldn’t be so bad, but it gets old very quickly.

The second half of day 1 is riding around in your scooter as you deliver the pies. This part is a lot more fun and the controls actually aren’t half bad. You will gain new abilities as you play through the game like doing a wheelie or bunny hopping. This makes travelling a lot easier and more convenient and you can feel the progress the whole time. You will get better vehicles until you finally get your own Pizza Car. The car is probably a little too fast for its own good, but it does feel like a nice achievement when you pull it off.

Day 2 is about fulfilling a task for the citizens. This can range from delivering newspapers to wowing critics with blind pizza assembling. Day 2 is infinitely more fun than Day 1 as you just launch into the task and you also earn money, reputation, and pages from the cook book. It’s as if Day 1 is filler and then Day 2 is when the plot kicks in. I’d say that this is the best way to think about it at any rate. Since you need money to unlock the next towns, you’ll always be looking forward to Day 2. If the whole game was day 2, then this title would surely be a 7. Unfortunately, the repetition of day 1 is the problem here. This game wouldn’t have taken nearly as long as it did if the game was more enjoyable. Lets face it, that’s how you can tell a good game from an underwhelming one. It’s the very definition of a 6 for me as a 6 is a good game that has one or two things keeping it back from being a normal fun title. A 6 has the potential to be a 7, but just doesn’t live up to it.

Overall, The Pizza Delivery Boy definitely appears to have had a higher budget than some of the other Wii games that I’ve played, but the extreme amounts of repetition and recycled cutscene animations expose it. The developers seem to have taken as many shortcuts as they could and I wonder how many people actually played this game through to its entirety. Each town has 24 days within it since there are 12 tasks and every other day is a delivery day. I had to do the full 24 days for the first two towns and was able to unlock the final town after the first 18 of Town 3. That’s still a lot of levels and a whole lot of pizza. You’ll be making up to 7 orders by the end of each town and you’ll just be tired of making it. I never get tired of eating pizza, but making it is evidently a different story. I recommend this game to you if you’ve ever been curious about a pizza delivery boy game. That being said, it’s best to play this along with another game and then take turns every day or so. It’ll keep the repetition from getting to you. Otherwise, you may as well play a game that’s a lot more enjoyable like Sonic Colors.

Overall 6/10

Pac-Man Pinball Advance Review

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I rarely give negative reviews to video games because I tend to enjoy them all, but this is certainly one of those exceptions. Pac-Man Pinball forgets the essence of what makes a Pinball game good. You want to try and beat your high scores and watch yourself improve. Even the legendary Pac-Man game wouldn’t be quite as good if you couldn’t save your scores. Add in the fact that this game seems to have a pretty small budget and little quality testing…and you certainly do not have a winner on your side. Pac-Man couldn’t save the game and if he couldn’t…who could!?

There are only two stages to choose from in this game. Each stage has a night and a day form. You then go around collecting pellets, but even when you do, more of them just pop up. It’s hard to know exactly what you are supposed to be doing. Maybe you have to light up the full Pac board instead of focusing on the Pellets or you have to enter the mysterious house. Either way, good luck with that since the controls are so bad and the house is only open for a very short amount of time. The controls just aren’t as smooth as Mario pinball and sending the ball where you want it to go is a surprisingly difficult task.

One ability that just makes the game more complicated is that you can shake the screen. It definitely has an effect on the ball, but it’s hard to say which direction it brings the ball or if it is even handy. There didn’t seem to be much of a point to the shaking gimmick. Maybe the developers were hoping that it would distract the players from the rest of the game. If so…I have to say that it was a rather clever move…or just a desperate one.

The graphics aren’t all that bad. The highlight of the game is the opening cutscene. I don’t even know if there is an ending, but if so, getting there is nigh impossible. I don’t plan to spend 20 hours mastering the gameplay and since it is partially luck based as well, it just wouldn’t feel worth it. The stages are clear and easy to see and all of the character designs appear to be on point. The game looks as good as you would hope and at least it means that you are in for a visually pleasing experience. As for the soundtrack, it is pretty nonexistent. You’d hop that the game could have grabbed a nifty Pac-Man theme or something, but it feels like free domain themes that won’t grab your attention for any more than a few seconds. It’s just how it is.

I barely even need to talk about the replay value because there is none. There is nothing to do in the game besides playing those 2 levels over and over again despite not having any incentive to do so because there is no high score. It really feels like this game was abandoned when it was very early in development. It’s just not complete and must have just been prepared to earn a few extra bucks. Certainly not a very nice gesture on their part and I’m glad that I only paid a few bucks for it.

Overall, This is one of the lowest scored games that I’ve reviewed. It’s just hard to get much worse than this and I’d say that you can make an argument for a 2. I’m just giving it a 3 because at the very least, the gameplay is fairly entertaining. It’s Pinball and I do enjoy Pinball, but it’s just so low effort that it is sad. You would have more fun playing Pinball on the computer, after all, that’s what I did for many hours back when I was a kid. The sound effects were a lot more hype and trying to beat my record was always a whole lot of fun. If you’re looking for a fun game to pass the time by, you can do a lot better. There is no reason to buy this game so I highly recommend staying away. Curiosity is not a good enough reason to buy this game although I suppose you may feel obligated to do so anyway if you’re a huge Pac-Man fan. If so, take the plunge, but prepare yourself. If anyone actually does beat the game (If there even is an end point to reach) let me know what the ending’s like. Surely it will be a great reward for those of you who stuck with the game for so long without any actual payoff.

Overall 3/10