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

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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

Pokemon Go Review

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It’s time to finally review the big app sensation of the last few months. I played it quite a lot and got all the way to Level 32. The game’s starting to die down now with the cold weather stopping many players so now felt like a good time to review it. I’ll still be sticking with it but my pace has slowed quite a bit so if anything, I’ll just add updates whenever I reach a new level. I can certainly say that it has lived up to the hype although I’ll admit that it was a rough road at first with all of the bugs. The game isn’t 100% smooth yet, but we are getting there and the game continues to add updates. As this is an App game, the review likely won’t be all that long, but still longer than most similar titles.

You are given some Pokeballs to start the game with. You catch Pokemon and every time you do this you get 100 stardust and 3 candies for that Pokemon. You can use stardust to power up your Pokemon and you can use the candy to evolve them into stronger forms. You can transfer duplicates that you don’t want to the Professor. As you level up in the game, you’ll get more items like Great and Ultra Balls as well as access to stronger levels for your Pokemon. The end goal for players is usually one of two options. The first is to simply complete the Pokedex. That’s my end goal although it is certainly a very tough one. I don’t count Regional Exclusives, but even so you have to get lucky to catch some of the rare ones like Snorlax and Lapras. The other goal is to get to Level 40, which is quite the achievement as well since the EXP needed for each level grows tremendously as you go through the game. I’m at Level 32 and I believe that means that I am just barely over half way or maybe not even there yet.

The game itself is very simple. You’ll understand how to play it in a matter of minutes. What made it a sensation is the fact that you find Pokemon out in the wild and you can activate the camera so you can see the real world at the same time. I never use that feature because the battery drain is already quite high without considering that. It’s fun because it loosely tracks the distance that you walk and it’s a way to keep you active and about. You may walk more while playing the game because you want to catch Pokemon and get some more EXP. It’s a game that you can’t play quite as well indoors as outdoors.

If the game had been handled smoothly, I think it still could have been a big sensation right now. Unfortunately, the game has a tendency of shutting off, heating up your phone, glitching your gym battles and locking you out, and a whole plethora of issues. I’m not even going to go into them because you’re probably well aware of them thanks to the internet and how popular the title was. The only bug that really bothers me now is the Gym one. Whenever I try to take over a Gym, I’m blocked out because of a random glitch. It’s gotten to the point where I haven’t taken over a gym in a very long time. That’s tough on coin earning since it’s the only way to earn coins. I have a survey app which has helped quite a lot with that, but it’s still not a very fun issue to have.

I don’t want this review to give off a negative vibe though. As you can tell, I’ve played the game for a very long time. It’s a highly addictive title much like Mario or Pac Man and it’s a game that can last you for well over a year. They may raise the level cap when they add in future generations which could be fun or frustrating depending on how you look at it. That’s not til the summer though and I have my doubts on whether I’ll be playing that far into the future, but you never know. I don’t plan to delete the app even when I’m playing rarely so I can always go back and look at it. Ultimately, it is an app and those are great for passing the time. The game will likely be even smoother and more polished by that point.

The graphics for the game look pretty good. Considering that it’s a mobile title, everything is clear. The soundtrack is limited as it only has one or two actual themes. The main theme isn’t very good, but the other one is all right. I’d love the ability to add in your own musical tracks, but I play on mute 99% of the time so I suppose it wouldn’t actually make a huge difference to me in the end.

Overall, Pokemon Go was a sensation and I’m glad to have been apart of it. It’s definitely the kind of thing that you’ll have fun telling people about many years down the road. This is the company’s second project of this kind so I wonder if they’ll ever do another franchise. I doubt it would get quite as much traction since nothing is quite as big as Pokemon when it comes to catching them all, but it is a very successful formula. At Level 32 with 137/150 Pokemon caught, I’d definitely say that I’ve come far. If you haven’t played the game yet, then I recommend giving it a whirl. It’s not the same as when it first came out of course, but there are still a lot of lures around to attract Pokemon with and it’s better to start now than later. More players is always a good thing for the game since it means that the gyms will stay active and you’ll have actual competition. Just remember that Team Valor is the way to go!

Overall 9/10

World of Final Fantasy Review

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I finally finished up the Postscript in World of Final Fantasy and completed all of the Interventions in the end as well. I didn’t get to complete all of the townsfolk quests although I did almost all of them and I’m fairly close to completing the Colosseum as well. All I can say about that is that it feels good. World of Final Fantasy was a game where you really felt like going out there and completing it all. It was an excellent game and continues to keep the reputation of the Final Fantasy franchise high. I only really have one complaint with the game and I’ll mention it below. Beyond that, the game was just about perfect.

Lann and Reynn are two siblings who run a coffee shop. Life was pretty quiet and normal for them until a mysterious god walks in and asks for a coffee with a lot of sugar. The strange thing is that she entered the shop while it was still closed and had apparently been there for quite a while. She tells Lann and Reynn that they have lost their memories. The two heroes quickly realize that they have never actually seen anyone in their town and don’t have any memories either. The lady tells them that to regain their memories and find their parents, they will have to explore the world of Grymoire and capture a lot of Mirages. (Monsters) The two heroes do just that as they explore this huge world which crams together all of the past Final Fantasy universes.

Naturally, it’s not all fun and games. There is an evil group of monsters who wish to destroy the universe. They stop the heroes at every corner and there final plan will be difficult to stop. Lanna and Reynn have to beef up their attack strength by grabbing more Mirages, but they will also need the help of their friends if they want to win this round. Teamwork is the name of the game and who can stop these two siblings in that department?

At first I actually thought that this was going to be a fairly short Final Fantasy game. There are 21 chapters and each chapter felt rather short. However, this was not the case as you need to factor time in to grind up the heroes and power up your monsters. Not to mention that after the 21 chapters is a Final Chapter which is quite difficult. There are also many Intervention quests which act as epilogues for all of the characters and there are even some Main Story quests in there as well. That results in a bunch of cutscenes and the game spared no expense as we even get full anime cutscenes at several points in the game. I ended up completing the game in 35 hours, which is a pretty good length. That’s slightly longer than Ocarina of Time and White Knight Chronicles, but not as long as Skyward Sword or the Kingdom Heart games.

There is also a lot of bonus content to do. I don’t think it will take you all the way up to 100 hours, but probably to at least 50 and maybe even more than that. If you want to get the Platinum in this game, you’re going to have to master all of the Mirage Boards and find all of the Treasure Chests in the game. That is bound to take a while. The leveling up part doesn’t sound all that bad to me, but finding chests when minions are constantly attacking you will be quite the trick. I got over half of the trophies so I’m pretty satisfied. I’d like to go and complete the final two town quests and the rest of the Colosseum battles at some point, but that’s probably where I will stop. At some point, it would be fun to have the bragging rights for getting the Platinum here though. I imagine that it will be very rare.

I really think there might be something to the whole “Great Graphics can make a Great Game” argument. Naturally it’s not that simple and I wouldn’t be talking about just the graphics. However, couple that with a great soundtrack and solid writing and then you’ve got a masterpiece. See, an old PS1 game could have a plot that is just as good and a dynamite soundtrack as well, but without the graphics, it could get hurt a little. (Final Fantasy VII comes to mind, but that game had a whole array of issues with it so graphics was the least of its worries) On the other hand, a game can have a fairly boring plot, a nonexistent soundtrack, and unimpressive writing like Knack, but you can still be decently engaged thanks to the good graphics. So, I do think that graphics play a bit of a role and I do find that newer games draw my attention a lot more than old ones. There’s just something very high tech and awesome about new games. That doesn’t take anything away from World of Final Fantasy though. I’m just happy to add it to my collection of other modern games that are awesome. Cyber Sleuth, Pokken, Super Smash Bros for Wii U, Dengeki, etc. They feel crisp and solid through and through.

I mentioned that there was one area where the game could have been a little better. Are you ready for this? Well, I think that Cloud and the others should have turned into their Jiant (Yes, it’s spelled that way) forms at least once. Sure, it isn’t really them and they’re just using the bodies of this parallel dimension where they are all clones, but it would have been awesome. The game could have saved up one of its anime cutscenes for the final battle and we could have seen Cloud fight the leader of the Bahamut army. Obviously this isn’t a negative that will impact the score in any way, but you have to admit that this would have been awesome and was a bit of an oversight. We needed to see big Cloud wreck everybody!

Beyond that, navigating through the Mirages could have been a little easier. It’d be nice to mess with their Mirage Boards without having to add them to the party. That’s minor though and since the loading times are very quick, it’s not much of an issue. The game is also clear on what to do next aside from the Postscript. To save you some time, I’ll just say that you need to capture the 3 elemental spirits from the Colosseum before it’ll let you complete the game. The map will never tell you this and the game never really explains how to catch Mirages all that well. It tells you about how you have to wait for a circle to appear of course, but I assumed that it was like Pokemon. I figured that weakening them would do the trick, but apparently not. Each Mirage has a different catch requirement and I believe you can use a skill to find out each time or you can just go to Reddit and they’ll help you out. Those guys are always willing to lend a hand and they have a large spreadsheet for just that purpose. I think World of Final Fantasy should have gone the Pokemon route when catching Mirages as it’d be a little simpler.

The most convenient ability at the end of the game is certainly the power to travel wherever you want whenever you want to do so. You won’t have to walk around too much aside from when you’re clearing dungeons or catching Mirages. It saves you do much time and it’s a great feature. You can really customize your party roster and everyone’s abilities quite nicely which is another good addition to the series. The whole concept of stacking monsters on top of each other is a new one and I like it. It adds a lot of strategy to the gameplay so you have to really think about who you want to use in battle. I recommend training the small Behemoth dog right from the start of the game. He’ll end up becoming your best monster once you get his XL form. Seriously, I wouldn’t have beaten the final boss without him. He can take down half of the final boss’ health in one shot thanks to his Revenge attack which gets stronger as he gets weaker. Just use the Last Hit technique so he goes to 1 HP and then prepare to one shot any boss that stands in your way. It’s awesome. The final boss used a cheesy technique that reflected the attack in the end, but the damage was done and I got my narrow win. I shudder to think about how tough that boss would have been otherwise. It’s worth mentioning that the game probably has one of the best troll endings. If you don’t decide to play the Postscript, then you’ll be in for quite the experience.

Both of the main leads are pretty good characters. Reynn does spend a lot of time insulting Lann throughout, but he takes it pretty well and it’s all in good fun. It’s just the dynamic that they have. She’s the calm and reasonable character for the most part, but she doesn’t like to be messed with and will enter full combat mode at that point. She actually taught Lann how to fight and defend himself so that shows how she was always a fighter. Lann isn’t very smart and all of the characters mock him as a result, but his heart’s always in the right place. He’s a lot more enthusiastic about saving the day and helping everyone out even if it means going out of his way. He’s also willing to make the ultimate sacrifice when necessary even if he jumps to that conclusion a little too quickly. I’d say that he was the best character from the new ones introduced in this game.

Tama is the animal mascot of the game and she is a fairly strange being who works for Enna Kros. She has the power to stop time and get the heroes to safety and can exploit a lot of game mechanics through her reality warping. She even has the power to create new timelines and mess with the past. The power never goes to her head though and she has a fun gimmick where she will use the word “the” in between words for no reason. It’s a gimmick that could have gotten old if it was misused, but I thought that the game did an admirable job. I actually liked Tama quite a bit and the execution was sound.

Enna Kros is a good high above being, but like most cosmic entities, she never really does much. Her reasoning is that Lann and Reynn are the heroes of the story so they have to do everything on their own, but she should really step in when the going gets tough. That is…unless she doesn’t have the large amounts of power that she wants us to thinks she possesses. It raises a lot of interesting questions. She was fun though and adding extra sugar to the coffee gives her some extra personality.

As for the villains, Brendires is the main one. He is a dark overlord who wants to take over the world. We don’t see a whole lot of him beyond that, but he works well as a villain and has a great design. He’s certainly very powerful since he took down Cloud and Lightning, but I’m calling plot hax on that. Even with a weakened vessel that houses his soul, Cloud should have been able to take him down. Brendires never gave up and had a lot of determination for a villain. He’s easily one of the cooler Final Fantasy end bosses. His two main minions were a little more on the bland side. The winged fighter got some hype for a while, but never did much about it. I do like the fact that she was the only one to get up after being knocked out the first time though. That’s considering that her vessel was supposedly putting up a large fight. The other villain reminded me of Fang from Street Fighter V. His constant rhyming was a gimmick that didn’t work and I couldn’t take him very seriously.

Naturally, all of the old Final Fantasy game characters showed up as well. They were all in character so there’s no need to say much about them. Lightning and Cloud are still the coolest two members. We got a tease about Sephiroth showing up and that could be a DLC quest at some point. It would definitely be neat to see him show up and thanks to owning the Day 1 Edition, we do have his Champion Medal. It’s a fun tribute to his ultimate attack from the original game.

Overall, World of Final Fantasy is a great game. I’d probably put it under both of the Final Fantasy XIII games, but it destroys VII and defeats X-2. It goes without saying that it beats the original as well and I haven’t completed any other main titles at the moment. The characters are good and the plot is engaging. You’ll be breezing through the game because it’s hard to take yourself away from it. It also has a great opening cutscene that is similar to a Kingdom Hearts intro. Even the little dance by everyone at the end is fairly intriguing since you’ll rarely get to see Cloud outshine everyone on the dance floor. If you haven’t picked up the game yet because you’re worried about the Chibi style or just dread playing long games, I’d recommend getting it anyway. It’s fine if you don’t play the post script since the normal ending is actually quite great since it’s so unexpected.

Overall 9/10

Rayman Arena Review

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It’s finally happened. I’ve finally gotten around to playing one of the Rayman games! Honestly speaking, I can’t say that he’s probably going to become one of the more likable main characters. I just can’t get behind this guy in the same way as the hardcore platformer leads like Sonic, Pac-Man, Mega Man, Mario, and Roy(?). That being said, I do like fighting games and I really like 4 player ones. That was a huge advantage that the Gamecube always had over the other consoles. It’s the one thing that the Playstation consoles have lacked. If they ever got this feature for most of their games, it would be Game Over for the competition. This game is great when playing with friends and just good if you’re by yourself. You need to have others around to make the most of this adventure.

There are two main forms of gameplay here, Racing and Fighting. Each of these two options have two more options so lets get right to it. The normal way of fighting is a time limit is set to around 2 minutes and you have to blast each other. The player who scores the most points takes the win. You can use your normal blaster to take away life points from the other player or you can use the power ups which are scattered across the stage. I highly recommend going for these super weapons since they are incredibly overpowered. Grabbing the Green Multi Rifle basically guarantees a full 5 life wipeout for the opponent. There is no way to escape once you have been hit which is why the next 4 shots are confirmed. You can also grab bombs, (Which are terrible) self guided missiles, (Also terrible. They should have grabbed a page from Star Fox Assault’s playbook) and Barriers. (Which are awesome) There are a few more weapons, but those are the main ones. A nice defensive option is a magnet, which lets you steal the opponent’s weapon. Use these tactics to win the fight! You can jump and hide to cheese out the opponent if necessary. It may not always feel fun, but if it works then it’s time to use it.

The other form of combat has both opponents try to grab as many objects as possible. Both players get a freeze gun to start the match and shiny objects are placed around the field. They switch positions each time someone grabs one. The matches are all right I suppose, but these are definitely very luck based and once you have a large lead, you can just stand in place and wait out the clock. I definitely prefer the standard combat. The main racing game has you try to dash to the goal. There are many obstacles around the stages and you have a purple energy blast which you can use to activate traps and grab aerial rings to give yourself a boost. Activating traps may not sound like it’s in your best interests, but you can really trip up an opponent that way. This was definitely the toughest mode as the A.I. is quite good. Just remember to pace yourself and look for the shortcuts. They will certainly come in handy.

The alternate racing style is a one on one fight. You have to get ahead of your opponent by 6 seconds in order to win. This results in a lot of incredibly short 1 lap fights in one player mode, but I don’t see how it’ll work in multiplayer mode when you’re facing someone of similar skill. Maybe you just lose if you’re behind when a certain amount of laps end or something like that. Both players get freeze guns once again so you can try to freeze your opponent at a tricky spot so they lose a lot of time I suppose.

Graphically, the game holds up pretty well. The character designs have that solid Gamecube feel about them. They have depth and everything looks pretty sharp. The color scheme is a bit dark if you ask me, but it’s solid otherwise. The soundtrack is very forgettable though and it doesn’t help that the game doesn’t really have any cutscenes. World of Final Fantasy puts this game to shame in that aspect among others. It doesn’t hold the game back, but having some more up beat tunes would certainly make the game a lot more fun.

There isn’t a whole lot of replay value to be found here. There are 4 tournaments for each event and you can play each event in two difficulties. That makes 32 tournaments or 96 actual matches since each tournament has 3 rounds. You can beat each tournament in around 10 minutes and possible less depending on the event. It’s not a terribly long game, but there’s not much point to beating the hard mode versions aside from a few extra shirts for the characters. It wasn’t enough of an incentive for me honestly and that’s the only post game content available.

Of course, there is one form of replay value that does save the game. I’m talking about multiplayer mode of course. The fact that it is compatible with 4 players opens up a lot of doors that had been slammed. The game would still get a solid 7 if it was just single player, but it would be lacking quite a bit in content. Fighting games get around this through the multiplayer and that’s exactly what Rayman does. This kind of gameplay would work really well with 4 players. It has less depth than others, but the core gameplay is solid. The racing works really well and I can only imagine how chaotic it gets with 4 people around. Likewise for the shooting events. That ultimately helps bump it up an extra star as it’s a game I can definitely see myself picking around Christmas time for everyone to have fun with.

Overall, Rayman Arena is definitely a solid game. Adding in both racing and fighting was definitely a good idea as it adds some variety and also adds more content to the title. A little more of a story would have been appreciated though. It would possibly help me like Rayman more as a character and it would make Story Mode more interesting. Just look at Pokken, they were able to squeeze in a nice story during the normal campaign. Trust me when I say that it makes quite the difference. Of course, Pokken was just a complete masterpiece in every sense of the word so that’s another story. Rayman’s great, but Pokken is amazing. It’s scary how large the jumps are between scores. Look at Super Smash Bros, Pokken isn’t even in the same league because Smash is the ultimate game. It’s like the saying goes, there’s always something better. I digress. I definitely recommend picking Rayman Arena up if you want a new fighting game to play or just something fun and chaotic for a session with friends and family. This game won’t let you down and it’s very easy to simply plug and play. The controls are intuitive.

Overall 8/10