Donkey Kong Country 3 Review

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After all these years, I finally got to play Country 3. While the DK series never got quite as popular as Mario or Kirby, it turned into a decently large series in its own right. The games are always fun and they are pretty consistent. This one may be the weakest in the trilogy, but it’s still a good game that has a solid amount of replay value and the campaign length is fair.

There’s no real plot to this game unless you read the booklet. You just start off on the adventure as Dixie Kong and her partner Kiddy Kong. The two of them blast away at bosses as they go through each world. Eventually, you defeat the last boss and find Diddy Kong and Donkey Kong. It turns out that they were kidnapped while they had been dreaming about bananas. It’s a pretty big twist since it turns out that they were also controlling one of the many murder bots that had been chasing the heroes for a while. I don’t think DK will be able to talk his way out of this one!

You can’t really call spoilers on this considering that there is virtually no plot. The gameplay is why you’re playing a DK game anyway. It has the standard jumping and avoiding obstacles as well as some extra features. Dixie Kong can glide which you can use to cheese quite a few levels. Kiddy Kong can perform a roll which knocks out most enemies. Various animal friends will also come out to play. You can transform into a bird which lets you fly or into an elephant which can be pretty neat. Unfortunately, the elephant is afraid of mice so prepare for a lot of stopping. It’s usually better not to use the elephant, but you aren’t always given a choice.

There is something about the gameplay that does make it less engaging that the average side scroller. Granted, Mario and Sonic set the bar rather high. I think it is due to the fact that the DK levels are typically a little more slow paced. You can blast through the ones that are horizontal, but the vertical levels must be taken at a slow pace or you will hit enemies before they even show up on the map. That definitely wouldn’t be any fun now would it? Unlike Mario where you just jump along and hope for the best, you must use some more strategy and carefully decide what to do. If you lose, prepare yourself for the long climb back up at times since there are periods where you must wait.

Still, it’s definitely fun and the game does have a good difficulty curve. It starts off rather easy and by the end it gets a little harder. It never gets too insane though and ends up having a nice balance of “fun” and “tough”. The bosses are usually tough until you figure out what you are supposed to be doing. Once you figure that part out, they get quite a bit easier to deal with. The final boss definitely took me a few tries as I would beat one phase, but then die on the next. I did this again and again until I finally conquered all 5 phases. It was a well made boss fight.

For replay value, there are a lot of coins to collect. You’ll want to focus on the DK coins and the Gold Coins since the silver ones appear to be unlimited. The DK coins are obtained by defeating the shield wearing Kremlins. You must throw a barrel behind them in order to defeat this minion. It usually involves a fun puzzle. The Gold Coins are obtained by completing the B Barrel challenges. They are fairly quick, but mess up and you’ll have to replay the level again to give it another whirl. One unfortunate part about collecting these things is that there is no way to check which levels you have already done. That means you have to manually check them out and complete the challenge again to see if the Gold Coin is still around. This can be a little tedious if you plan to grab them all so you should have a notepad on hand.

Also, beware of the boat guy. He builds you a new boat after every few worlds so that you can travel to new ones. On the final expedition, he’ll ask for 50 Gold Coins. It may seems like you need to get them to make it to the final world, but you can actually go up the waterfall with your other vehicle. I’m sure that it’s a fun post-game vehicle, but you should at least be aware of the fact that it is optional. That’s probably a good thing since grabbing 50 Gold Coins would take a very long time.

Graphically, the game holds up well. Kranky Kong taking out his sunglasses at the end was pretty intense and all of the level designs look decently good. I do wish that more of the levels took place outside though. The best looking ones were the early beach levels. I didn’t care for the factory ones quite as much since the dark backgrounds and colors made everything a little harder to see. The brighter levels had a tendency of looking a lot sharper. As for the soundtrack, it was all right. Unfortunately, I can’t say that any tunes were memorable, or even all that good to be honest. It is certainly not ready to go to Mario levels of awesome quite yet in this regard.

Overall, Donkey Kong Country 3 is a decent way to end the trilogy. It’s a fun game, but I don’t think that the gimmicks worked all that well. The fundamentals were sound though. I would have preferred to have DK be the main character and we could have just had Dixie replace Diddy. Based on the dialogue, Dixie may actually be a little more intense than Diddy Kong. She got some good burns in on King K Krool. (I don’t see why the guy is a fan favorite. I never cared for him all that much as a villain) Diddy Kong basically spent the game being starstruck so he didn’t do much. I didn’t like Kiddy Kong at all, hopefully he’ll be better once he grows up a bit. More of a plot would have been fun to flesh out the characters…or at least an opening cutscene to show DK being kidnapped. The bosses are nice and imaginative and the game has a good amount of replay value. If you don’t have this game yet then I definitely recommend it. You don’t need to compare it to the other side scrollers and you can just enjoy it for what it is. A fun little game that help beef up your Nintendo collection and DK knowledge. Now I’m one step closer to being caught up with the series.

Overall 7/10

Yugioh 5Ds Duel Transer Review

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It’s been a while, but I finally got to go back and complete one of the old Yugioh games that I’ve had on the back burner for a while now. It feels good to finally take it down for the count. It suffers from the usual problem that Yugioh games have on the home console and that’s the long loading times. Still, that’s really the only main problem for the title as it still does a good job of capturing the Yugioh enjoyment that I’ve come to expect from the series. It’s long and it’s difficult, but the game can also be very satisfying. After all, what’s more fun than having a quick round of Yugioh?

This title also does have a plot which is something that you can’t really say for many of the other Yugioh games. Where this takes place in the anime is a little vague, but all that you really need to know is that many of the world’s greatest duelists have been trapped inside of a large tower. The only way to get out is to duel everyone and prove yourself to be the strongest. The problem is that there are no pushovers here and some of the villains may decide not to play by the rules. You control an original character who has arrived at this tower. He may not have a rep yet, but he is actually the greatest duelist of all time. Not too shabby eh? Can Terry (That’s what I called him) save the world or is he doomed? Time to find out!

We may as well go over the technical aspects of the game first. The graphics look fairly good here. Everyone is a little pixelated, but in retrospect, a lot of the Wii games had similar issues with the character designs. It still looks rather well considering. I also liked the designs for the new characters. They stood out and were original. Odin had a cool armor and his true identity was also pretty intense. That definitely worked well for the final boss. As for the soundtrack, it is fairly solid. A theme will come up if you are close to winning and likewise if you are close to losing. There are quite a number of good tunes here although the soundtrack definitely could have been larger. It’s mostly all fast paced and fits well for the duels.

Time to quickly explain the gameplay system in case you have never had a duel before. Each player starts with 5 cards and then you draw another one each turn. You summon monsters to the field (1 per turn although you can special summon others) and use them to attack your opponent’s life points. Spell and Trap cards are also allowed into the mix of course. The first person to land at 0 life points loses the round. The concept is simple enough, but there are many rules and complexities surrounding this so you’ll still have a lot to take in when you first boot up the game. I recommend working on building your first deck to start things off. Choose each card yourself so you know exactly what they do and when to activate each card.

I recommend holding down the B button during the turns if you know that you won’t be using a Trap Card. Otherwise, it will ask you this question throughout every phase of the turn, which can slow the game down considerably. I ended up going with a deck that was heavy on trap cards and anti trap cards. My deck was a little larger than most people would recommend it be, but this served me well twice. There is one character in the game who has an incredible defensive strategy. Her name is Luna and she won’t hesitate to time you out. Our duel went into the 80s I believe, but luckily my deck was a lot larger than hers so that ended up earning me the win. She tried the same tactic later on and I used the same counter. Don’t underestimate trap cards. They are extremely valuable in this game.

You will need to really enjoy the duels to get any fun out of this title. That’s because the game is over 20 hours long and that equals a lot of duels. There are roughly 13-15 levels in the game, but each one has up to 5 duels and sometimes even more. You also shouldn’t expect to coast by either as these guys tend to put up quite the fight. Many of them took me several tries to defeat, but naturally none of them could ultimately stop me from reaching the goal. Ironically, the second last boss is probably the easiest in the game. I happened to get a really good hand, but even considering that, a perfect 8000-0 battle is pretty rare.

As for replay value, there is a lot of that. After beating the game, you will unlock a few more levels where you can fight opponents with incredibly strong decks and get more cards. There are hundreds, if not thousands of cards in this game so collecting them all will be a very tough thing to do. That is sure to buy you a lot of time. One thing that I don’t like is that you can’t use some of the cards that you obtain because they are deemed illegal. If that’s the case, why put them in the game at all? Even if the computers keep on using them anyway, we shouldn’t be able to buy those cards if they are just going to sit around.

The gameplay’s a lot of fun as you can tell, but the game did have one thing holding it back. The long loading times. I can’t stress this enough. If a game takes a while to get through each duel, then the adventure will start to feel a little too much like a grind by the end. For some reason, this always happens to the home console version of these titles. The DS World Championships and the PSP Tag Force games are always lightning fast and I dare say that they are more intuitive. After all, in those games, you could activate magic cards whenever you want. Now, you have to wait until it’s your turn.

Overall, It feels good to have finally completed Duel Transer. That game was certainly on the backburner for a long time so this is a big moment. Next up, I aim to take down the Yugioh game for the Gamecube. The plot is definitely very odd (and boring) and the game is even slower paced than this one. Ah well, we’re just going to have to wait a while before we get a really fast title I suppose. At the very least, this just goes to show how popular Yugioh is. It’ll always have more games to play. If you’re a big fan of Yugioh, then I definitely recommend this game quite a lot. You may never get to Synchro Summon since the rules seem more complex than usual, but at least you’ll get to fight many powerful foes. If you’ve never played Yugioh before, then you may want to start with World Championship instead as it does a good job of easing you into the challenge.

Overall 7/10

Myth Makers: Trixie in Toyland Review

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It’s time to take a look at another infamous Wii game from back in the day. While Trixie isn’t quite as well known as Ninjabread Man, it is on the same level. It is by the same company after all and the game is almost completely copied from the Ninjabread Man title. Seriously, it’s probably hard to believe but you are basically playing a reskinned game. Even the main menu theme is exactly the same. It does seem to be a little more polished though, but this works as a doubled edged blade. You’ll see what I mean in a moment. Trixie’s a bit of a bad game due to the short length, but it certainly could have been a whole lot worse.

As with the Ninjabread Man, there isn’t really a plot in this one. You’ll have to check out the back or read the booklet if you want to get the story behind the game. You play as a girl with rabbit ears who goes around whacking people with her weapon. Eventually, you reach the final boss and take the win, freeing the land from the oppressors. By this point, you will notice that the game did have higher production values than Ninjabread Man. For starters, there is actually voice acting in this game. “Take that buster” is Trixie’s catch phrase and she tends to say this when you hit one of the enemies with her weapon. As you can expect, this does get a little repetitive so I’m glad that it doesn’t happen every single time. It seems to be random, but at least I do like her enthusiasm. The villains also yell “Destroy” whenever they fire a missile. Those guys are tricky, but nothing you can’t handle.

There are two main types of villains. The robots are the strongest and I recommend taking out from afar. That being said, they’re a lot weaker than the counterpart from the Ninjabread Man so you can win in close quarters combat as well. The controls are a lot more responsive than Ninjabread Man so you can actually fight normally for a change. The other enemies don’t even try to attack you all that much so you can just swing at your discretion. The part of the game that is a little tougher than Ninjabread Man is the jumping part. The game loves to eat your double jumps so then you end up falling into the gap and plummeting to your doom. Trust me, it’s not a fun way to go out. This won’t be much of a problem until the final two levels, but you should expect to lose many lives at that point.

The main levels are all in 3D and you travel through the level trying to grab the 10 puzzle pieces to complete it. They can be a little hard to see, but luckily you do have a compass which helps you find them. It’s certainly not the most accurate one by any stretch of the imagination, but it works well enough. What does make things difficult is that the first level is very large. Even by this game’s standards, you’ll have a hard time locating anything. There are around 10 floors and all of the differently colored blocks start to look the same after a while. That level took me a very long time and naturally, losing a life can be very sad because you go all the way back to your latest check point, which may not have been all that close.

This is really what I meant when I said that the extra polish was not necessarily a good thing. The levels are a little too big now and while they have more of an actual design than the Ninjabread levels, it also means that it takes a little longer to find everything. The game is also longer than its rival, which should be a good thing in theory, but I wouldn’t have minded it only being the usual 4 levels. There are 10 levels in this title although 5 of them are fairly short.

After each main level, there will be a bonus one. The gameplay for those varied from overhead to side scroller. They were actually pretty fun and were more enjoyable than the main levels. You would have to reach the goal while surviving from these different gameplay styles. It’s hard to see where you are going so I recommend taking your time. As for the final boss level, it’s a small one that just has you work on getting through a few jumps. The actual boss is very easy and you shouldn’t lose any lives against him. Just run around the guy while shooting your darts the entire time. The damage will built up and the villain eventually falls. It’s much safer than actually trying to fight the guy in hand to hand combat.

Graphically, the game isn’t all that bad. It certainly looks better than Ninjabread Man, but still wouldn’t hold up all that well to the average Wii game. At the very least, I did like Trixie’s design, but the main villain could have been a little cooler. The soundtrack is pretty bad and the fact that it has the same theme as the other title is pretty lazy. It works for nostalgia like having Melee’s theme in Smash 4, but it shouldn’t be reused for convenience.

There isn’t really any replay value here so that hurts the game a little. It’s still very short even if you do end up getting lost a few times so this wouldn’t even last you the full afternoon. Luckily, you can grab it for a few dollars, but that’s why I definitely could not give the game a positive rating. Honestly, it would have probably dropped to a 3 if it had gone on for much longer. The final boss level was pretty frustrating as I kept dying to the same jump and the final main level was a little too much of a maze. It also had tricky jumps that could be quite tragic.

Overall, Trixie in Toyland is actually not as good as Ninjabread Man even though it seemed to have been more refined and to have gotten more of a budget. Sometimes more content isn’t always a good thing. I did appreciate the voice acting though and the fact that the game actually had a final boss was also a nice improvement. The minigames were solid too so if not for the main level designs being so bad, this title would have had a decisive victory. I certainly recommend trying it out for the novelty value, but you won’t be missing much if you decide to skip out on this one. I’ll be trying out the Trixie racing game soon so we’ll see if that game is able to surpass this one. I don’t see how someone could mess up a racing game so maybe we’ll finally see a 5-7 star game from this company.

Overall 4/10

Ninjabread Man Review

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Have any of you ever heard of the Ninjabread Man? This game may have flown under the radar for a while, but it does have quite the reputation and it is certainly well deserved. This is known as one of the worst Wii games of all time although I have to say that this may be overdoing it a little. Sure, the production values are quite bad and the game is extremely short (Roughly an hour) but it does have heart. If anything, the game would have been more annoying if it had been longer…but maybe that just means that this game really isn’t that good. Regardless, it is getting a negative score, but it could have been a lot worse.

There is no real plot to be found in the game as it stays on the cover. You simply start out as a living Gingerbread Man who wields a sword. You go around destroying Cakes and Tomatoes. The Cakes are very overpowered so don’t engage them in close quarters combat. Instead, spam your Shruikens. They can take out any enemy from a safe distance and they also get stronger the more that you use them until you get to the point where every enemy will die from a single hit. It’s a nice way to effectively break the game. The controls are very spotty though so watch out for that. We’re back in the classic motion controls era after all and this isn’t exactly a AAA title. The sword swinging rarely worked which is why I switched to throwing in the first place.

The gameplay is in 3D and you can jump. You now know all that their is to know about the gameplay. The objective of each level is to find 10 puzzle pieces to fix a generator. You then jump in to automatically complete the level. There are 4 levels total and one of those is a tutorial level so there are really just 3. There are no bosses whatsoever and no real ending either. The credits just play and that’s it. The 3 real levels all have the exact same format. There is a compass towards the bottom of the screen which lets you know which direction to go. Unfortunately, it’s not always the greatest way to find a piece as the terrain messes with its sensors, but it does its best I suppose.

The final level tries to be more linear which helps with the finding. As long as you don’t make a wrong turn, you should be fine. Each enemy that you defeat gives you one health point and defeating 6 of them gives you a one up. I recommend stocking up on those. Not really because of the enemies since they’re reasonably easy to deal with once you start spamming the projectiles. You’ll want them because of the jumps since the sensor bar will often times not record your jump or it will merge them together so you won’t go far enough. It will rarely lead to a death, but there is one section where you can die. I got through it fairly easily, but I wasn’t so lucky in another title from this company. (I’ll be reviewing that one shortly)

On a technical merit, Ninjabread Man is no more impressive than with the gameplay. The soundtrack basically consists of free domain type music that don’t seem to have much emotion. It just feels like the music was put together in roughly 5 seconds and the developers just figured that you wouldn’t get tired of it. There’s no real variety and while the theme can be a little catchy after a while, it’s no fun compared to titles like Sonic and Mario. I want my hype themes. Meanwhile, the graphics are naturally not all that good. They’re pretty low budget and while they aren’t terrible, Ninjabread Man will lose in a head 2 head fight against just about any other title. It may look better than Balls of Fury at least.

There is no replay value to be found here whatsoever. I suppose you could just replay the game, but there is literally no reason to do so as it doesn’t keep track of your score and there are no collectibles around either. This game didn’t even get any real voice acting so the game is very silent. I imagine that the game must not have cost a lot to make so the developers probably made a profit off of it. It’s a scary thought to have considering that this game was just not all that good. Again, it wasn’t terrible considering all of this.

The concept is decently sound. How bad can a 3D platformer be right? The controls are the main frustrating part. Luckily, I didn’t come across any big glitches so that was good. If the jumping was more stable, that would have gone a long way. That being said, the overall length is really what keeps this game from getting a 5 or higher. There’s no way I can justify a game being about an hour long or less. Even if it had multiplayer this would be a bit of a stretch although it would certainly help out quite a bit. This game now goes for around 1-5 dollars so at least you won’t be losing a lot of money.

Overall, Ninjabread Man is for the hardcore Wii owners who want to own all of the titles. I honestly purchased it because of how bad the game is known to be. I’m the kind of guy who gets curious about things like that. It’s still not the worst game that I’ve ever played by any means and I actually think that it was more fun than the higher budget spinoff that I played afterwards. That review is coming soon and it will help you remember that sometimes bigger isn’t better. Quality still trumps quantity even if both of them are in very short supply here. If you’re curious about Ninjabread Man, I recommend satisfying your curiosity. If won’t cost you much and then you can finally count yourself among the select few who got to play this game. It’s truly something else!

Overall 4/10

Super Mario 3D World Review

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I’ve been meaning to buy this game for ages, but it just never happened. Luckily, I ended up buying a Wii U from a relative and got a few games for free. This one happened to be among them so I finally got a chance to play the final 3D Mario adventure. While it isn’t quite as good as the others, it’s still a great game and one that I’d recommend to all Mario fans. With 4 Player Mode, you can imagine how chaotic a lot of these levels are. There’s also a lot of content here so you won’t be cheated out of 60 dollars like with Star Fox Zero. Not that this matters much at the moment though since the game goes for 20 nowadays. At that price, how can you not get it?

The plot is pretty simple and to the point. Bowser has kidnapped a bunch of fairies and Mario has decided to get them back. Bowser has amassed quite the army this time though so Mario has enlisted the help of Luigi, Peach, and Toad. Together, the four of them are ready to take down all the foes who would dare stand in their way. Rosalina also shows up to help, but only after Bowser has already been defeated so it was a little too late by that point. Awesome character to play as though.

By now, the gameplay is likely self explanatory to most Mario fans. It’s a 3D Mario Platformer where you have to try and reach the end of a level. They are all linear so the levels work more like the 2D games or Galaxy to an extent rather than the more complex/circular levels from the Super Mario 64 and Sunshine days. (Still the best two Mario games) Each character has a special ability that will help you complete the levels. Mario…is Mario. The sheer hype that his cap brings to the table is all that you need. Luigi can jump extra high which should help you reach the flagpole just about every time. Toad has some super speed which can help in the races/speed levels. Finally, Peach can float for a limited time which is like having the Raccoon Tail permanently. Her ability is easily the most useful and I’d say that she is unquestionably the best character in the game. Getting the Green Stars with her is almost too easy. As for Rosalina, she can spin, which works as an attack like having the Tail. It’s pretty useful against bosses and enemies alike. That being said, I’d still give Peach the edge over her. Once you start floating around, you don’t go back!

As always, Mario 3D World has an impressive soundtrack by its side for the levels. While they aren’t quite as ironic as the other titles, there are still a few themes that may become iconic from this one like the boss theme. The game did a very good job with that one since it is fast paced and gets you excited for what’s to come. Graphically, the game is also as good as ever with the colors really standing out. Nintendo’s definitely done a good job of staying near the forefront in this area.

As mentioned earlier, there is a lot of replay value here. After the initial 8 worlds, there are 3 bonus ones and then a final secret world. The last world is a little on the small side, but to unlock it you will need to collect all of the Green Stars and stickers, which should take you a very long time in and of itself. The stickers were actually a neat touch, but I don’t like the fact that you have to beat all of the levels with each character in order to unlock some of them. That seems like it would be a little tedious after a while. Most of the levels are only about 2-5 minutes long so it’s not terrible, but you shouldn’t have to do all of that to unlock the world. All of the Green Stars is reasonable, but not the rest of the requirements.

The game does have a little bit of an issue with repetition though. You can guess what will happen in each world based on the first. You’ll get to the castle, where the Fairy will yell “Help!” You’ll save her and then she’ll build a pipe to the next world. This happens at each world with the same music and everything. Both of the Bowser battles are identical and the game also reuses mini/normal bosses in the game. I suppose with a title this long that’s an efficient way to do things, but the repeated cutscenes is certainly a no no. At least switching up the music would be a nice switch.

The Mario games live in a staus quo that they don’t want to switch and that’s fine. I can get used to fighting Bowser at the end every time because it’s classic. That being said, It would be fun if the games would throw in more of a plot. I feel like Mario Sunshine took a large step forward with that as it had actual cutscenes and a talking character. Granted, Mario didn’t handle his arrest as well as Sonic did in Adventure 2 Battle, but..heh, few characters are quite as cool as that hedgehog!

One of the big selling points with this title was the fact that you could play with 4 players through the story. That was certainly fun. It comes at the expense of the gameplay mechanics to an extent as there has been a noticeable drop from the Galaxy titles, but it was still good overall. I do think that splitscreen should return though as one player shouldn’t die if he goes too far from the other. This can get tricky in the stages where jumping switches them all around or when you’re running away from lava/Bowser. It makes for good tactics though and Peach can typically cheese the levels anyway. You’ll always want to play as her.

This game also saw the debut of Captain Toad so it was nice to see him around. The gameplay is fun and these are the kinds of puzzles that I can get behind. They are like brain warmers with one correct answer and not too much guesswork. You’ll either know the answer of you’ll have to walk around and figure it out. You don’t have to sail across the world in order to find the goal. (Final Fantasy VII…..) I definitely wouldn’t want to buy Captain Toad for 40, but if it drops to 20 then that could be reasonable. It would be ironic if I bought that game before New Super Mario Bros U or Luigi Mansion Dark Moon though since it’s more of a spinoff than those two.

Another minigame of sorts in this title was the box challenges. You could earn up to 10 Green Stars in those by winning really quick contests. These tended to be a lot easier with co-op than they would have been otherwise for missions where you had to defeat several enemies in 10 seconds. I liked these bite size challenges and would be up for seeing them reappear in the NX Mario title. I want the Hub World to come back for next time though. Just look at Mario 64 or Sunshine for how to do a Hub World. Galaxy had it as well, but it was a lot less interesting so the next game shouldn’t take a leaf out of that book.

Overall, Mario 3D World is another solid title from Nintendo. It feels like a well polished title with enough fun and extra content to keep you busy for a while. It’s still the weakest Mario 3D platformer, partially due to the fact that it plays out more like a 3D New Super Mario Bros than a full fledged title. The soundtrack also wasn’t quite as epic as those and it felt like it was less of a grand installment. I imagine that it wasn’t a system seller the way that the others were. Still, Nintendo’s seal of quality is certainly found here and I invite you to try and match your gaming skills against this title. Are your Mario skills as good as you think they are?

Overall 8/10

Reign of Fire Review

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It’s time to look at an old Game Boy Advance game that I’ve had for a very long time. I finally managed to complete it the other day as I just barreled through the game from start to finish in 2 batches. It’s a game that definitely feels like a cash in and even embraces this, but still has some potential. There are fun aspects to the gameplay, but the overall product definitely needed more polish. In the end, this didn’t end up being a surprise hit or anything like that, but if you’re looking for a fun way to spend 2-4 hours, this is your ticket!

The story of the game roughly follows the movie, but it only contains the bare minimum requirements of a plot. The game starts off with characters yelling about supplies and that dragons are dangerous. You spend a few missions growing crops, destroying Dragon Eggs and adding more people to your crew. Rinse and Repeat for 9 missions. I was fully expecting one of the groups to betray the heroes since I feel like that happened in the film, but instead they all jump into the alliance wholeheartedly and say the exact same things. “Why fight each other when we can fight dragons?” They all seem so sincere that you will naturally be very suspicious the entire time. I know that I was! Still, you probably aren’t playing this game for the plot.

Instead you are playing this for the gameplay. It uses an overhead style similar to Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance. You have an unlimited ammo of missilles that work just like bullets as you mow down the legions of dragons that chase you down. You don’t have to worry about the flying ones as they will rarely even fire a single shot, but the ones on the ground are the tricky ones. The Red Dinos can fire off multiple fire blasts and your allies will typically get hit every time, leaving you to fend off the armies on your own. You can find health supplies along the route so use them whenever necessary. Most of the missions will involve you searching for something so follow the compass and you’ll hopefully be fine.

The core mechanics of this game don’t seem all that bad. Walking and shooting can work well as a decent, linear experience. Think Super Mario or Pac Man, the games are simple, but effective. The problem is the technical limitations of the game. For starters, you can’t run. The characters move very slowly while the environments are incredibly large and sparse. This makes for a bad combination since you can be walking for several minutes in a row. There’s a reason why they give you a full 30 minutes to complete each level after all. Furthermore, the compass is rarely accurate. As I just said, the levels are huge and there are mountains blocking off several paths.

Let’s say the compass is pointing straight down. You’ll start heading that way only to be stopped by a long row of mountains as far as the eye can see. You must now guess whether the path to get lower is right or left. Choose incorrectly and you won’t make it back within 30 minutes. You can literally spend that entire time just walking around. This is partially due to the fact that all of the levels seem to share the same map and each level covers a different part of town. If you make a wrong turn in level 6, you may wander into the level 1 area and that journey takes a very long amount of time. Personally, I’d say that each level should have had its own stage. At the very least, you shouldn’t be able to walk between them by mistake, that doesn’t seem right.

That part was easily the most frustrating aspect. It’s not as bad as a bad puzzle or anything like that, but it really does slow your momentum down. The game isn’t very difficult once you understand what to do, but the game really does leave you to your own devices right from the start. For example, I died in level 1 many times because I didn’t know how to enter the Harvestor vehicle. Once I found that out, it was smooth sailing and the rest of the levels were pretty easy. There actually is a final boss so that’s neat. You have to fight against a giant dragon. The anticlimactic part is the fact that this dragon isn’t really any stronger than the minions. It has a lot more health, but it won’t even try attacking you since it just burns houses in the meantime.

After completing the human’s campaign, you unlock Dragon Mode. I wish this had been around from the start since it is certainly a lot more fun than the first mode. Granted, I probably would have started with the humans anyway. The gameplay is similar except you play as a dragon so you can fly and you also have super speed while walking. That really fixes one of the big negatives that I had with the gameplay. It is a little lazy that all of the dragons have the same emoticon/facial picture though. It’s interesting to see things from their point of view. I only completed two of their levels and probably won’t go and beat the others anytime soon. It would be fun, but I have other games to play and spent enough time on this one.

It does help the replay value though. Make sure that you jot down the password saves after each level because you likely won’t be able to find them online and then you’d have to start all the way from the beginning again. I do wish that the game had a save feature and I’m glad that it has become the standard for games nowadays. It really can make a world of difference. I would like to quickly point out that one of the pictures used for one of the characters instantly reminded me of a twitch emote. I dunno, the resemblence may not be all that striking from this angle, but go to Twitch chats for a while and it will all start to make sense.
Emoticons

The graphics aren’t bad, but they’re not great either. The title didn’t put a whole lot of effort into the character models. Everything is clear in the sense that you can distinguish between all of the objects, but they do tend to be a little blurry and unrefined. The soundtrack is fairly limited although I did play most of the game on mute. I made sure to listen to it a little afterwards though. It’s just not all that special or spectacular and you may want to keep it off as the constant sound effects from shooting and all of the explosions make it a very loud experience.

Overall, It feels good to be done with this game once and for all. The first level had be worried that the game would be quite terrible, but it picked up quite a bit from there. It’s still not a great game or even a very good one, but it can at least hold its own now. I think you’ll enjoy playing it and the game should be up for sale at less than 5 dollars online. For that price, it’s a bargain to snag. There are around 18 levels if you play both campaigns so that should buy you enough time to make the purchase worth it. With this game gone, I’ll have to see which game takes the top priority spot next time. It may be time for Yugioh to make a comeback.

Overall 6/10

Mirror’s Edge Catalyst Review

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I never played the original Mirror’s Edge, but seeing as how Cayalyst is a reboot of sorts, I may as well go with the updated version. The game takes some time to start building up the universe around it, but unless there is a sequel, you’ll ultimately wonder what the point of it was. I suppose that it’s admirable to build up such a universe even if there is no sequel as you can decide how it will end on your own, but that will probably vary from person to person. It’s a fun enough game although it is a little on the short side.

Faith is a runner who was captured by the government and thrown into prison. The world is currently a dictatorship with the government being quite corrupt as always. They have come out with a new nanite virus which can control people once it is installed. They aim to set off the signal across the entire city and someday the world. If this happens, then they will be able to physically control everyone. Faith decides that she can’t let this happen, but unfortunately the leader of the resistance thinks it is too risky to actually…resist. He just wants to talk tough on smaller matters, but believes that they shouldn’t actually attack the government. Well…looks like Faith is on her own!

This is a first person game, but it’s actually not a shooter. As you’re a Runner in this title, you can imagine that running is what you’ll be doing most of the time. You typically have to run from point A to point B while performing some athletics and occasionally fighting with the authorities. As you play through the game you will acquire gadgets that will help you out like gliding between buildings or using a rope to pull yourself up. You even acquire an EMP weapon, which is very handy to have when you are surrounded by enemies. For combat, you can use the weak or strong attacks on your opponents. You’ll want to mix them up or the opponents will counter attack. Personally I found that the best way to beat them was to always jump off of something or just jump into them as the A.I. can never react to such an attack. Beating the enemies is pretty easy provided that you don’t try to rush it by running towards them. You will want to use strategy here.

The gameplay is pretty smooth, but occasionally you’ll find yourself at a jump where the camera angles make it difficult. I died quite a few times during the mission where you had to climb a 4 sided tower to deactivate a cannon. There are also a time where I jumped a little too high and found myself on a roof. It was very difficult to get down from there since I wasn’t supposed to be that high in the first place. Luckily, I managed at some point. That was rare though and on the whole the controls were easy to learn and proved to be intuitive.

Unfortunately, there is no final boss in the game so you don’t get to really show off your skills. True, you get to fight some minions towards the end of the game, but I wouldn’t call them a “final boss” to be honest. We did get a nice cutscene which had a fight between Faith and Kat which was neat though. I wasn’t expecting any fighting considering that the game was just about over by that point and it was a good action scene. Faith’s a solid hand to hand fighter even if she does tend to get a little distracted from time to time.

Graphically the game looks good. I wouldn’t call it great though and I think that a PS4 title can do better, but it’s not bad either. You still wouldn’t go and mistake this for an older generation like the PS2. The game opts for a very realistic style which is likely what hampers the graphics a bit. Just look at a game like Super Smash Bros and then at the latest Metal Gear. Metal Gear looks good, but Smash Bros looks a lot more vibrant and modern. Embracing the fantasy elements of a video game can certainly make it look a lot better in the long run. By the way, the cover of this game does sort of spoil the ending design from one of Faith’s choices though so prepare yourself!

As far as the soundtrack goes, Mirror’s Edge is okay. There aren’t really any standout themes, but they were fairly decent while playing through. I just can’t remember any of them at the moment so that’s a little bit of a strike against it. While the main campaign is pretty short, there is a lot of post game content to help the replay value. There are 50 trophies in the game. You’ll get around 20 of them by beating the game and then the other 30 are related to finding a lot of switches and completing many side missions. I’d say that doing all of that should definitely triple your overall play time or maybe even go a little beyond that. There seems to be some kind of multiplayer mode here as well. I’m not sure what that’s all about, but it could be a fun thing to try out if you have PS+.

Faith is a decent main character I guess as she is less annoying than the others, but I wouldn’t call her a great character either. She is the “tough” character of the group who isn’t afraid to break the rules and defy the government. Pretty much all of her lines are meant to remind you of this. The problem is that she shows moments of weakness quite regularly to the point where it destroys this image and she doesn’t seem to have a clear idea of what she even wants to do. Of course, it doesn’t help that she is surrounded by cowards and villains though. She’s the best character, but the bar is set rather low and I’d like to see her decide to fight the villains on her own at some point.

Icarus is the new member of the resistance who talks tough and doesn’t get along with Faith. By the end of the game he is basically the damsel in distress though and loses all of his confidence. No worries, Faith is here to help him out. This guy was annoying from the get go and while it seems like he could be a better character now (He better not become a love interest) I will probably find it difficult to like him. He’s better than Faith’s original boss though. That guy was afraid to make any waves and was scared of the villains. I don’t know how he became the leader of the resistance, but he was holding the group back whenever he appeared.

Then there’s the leader of the more extreme resistance, but she’s also a villain by the end. She wants to destroy everyone who leads privileged lives so they can know how she feels. Faith doesn’t like the government, but the world wouldn’t be any better under this resistance movement either which presents her with a dilemma. It’s one that she doesn’t really worry about though and she is still rather indecisive by the end so it’ll be intriguing to see which side she ultimately goes with. It’s lightly implied that the government may not be as corrupt anymore as a new leader has been elected, but it could very easily just be a political front.

Along the way we are also introduced to a computer genius who helps Faith out a lot. Her gimmick is that she takes everything literally and constantly insults everyone. It’s a decent gimmick I suppose, but one that can get a little tiring. There’s also a guy who Faith owes a lot of credits due to being in jail for so long. They have a rather weird dynamic as he’ll be insulting and threatening her one moment to giving her a pep talk the next. I definitely wouldn’t trust him if I was Faith since he seems a little unhinged. He seems to be the leader of the black market or something like that. I’m sure that we would meet other characters through the side missions as well, but those were the main ones. There’s also a lighthearted runner who asks you to do things for him once in a while, but he never becomes an important character.

Naturally, we can’t forget the main villains either. The main villain can actually fight a little which is cool, but he’s your average evil scientist aside from that. I’ll give him some credit for actually being fairly interesting though. I actually didn’t mind rooting for him a little since he’s actually more likable than 90% of the heroes. It’s just too bad that he left the cure that could stop his big plans in the middle of a room on the top floor with absolutely no security. I guess being overconfident didn’t pay off for him this time.

His right hand woman also gets a bit role and delves into Captain America:Winter Soldier issues. She murders quite a few people and even tortures one or two of them before putting them out of their misery. She’s completely evil, but then a plot twist happens. As Marvel would say “No, she’s not a clone or being mind controller. This is really her!” She should be held accountable right? Well, not really according to Faith. This whole thing is very personal and stopping the resistance from murdering her is one thing, but this lady still needs to be locked up for life at least. Even if she turned over a new leaf, she’s got to pay for the crimes. Faith seemed to completely forget everything that the lady did and it was a little iffy. If we got a sequel, it would be interesting to see if Faith tried to keep on convincing this lady to join her or not. Everyone seems to have gotten over the murders and such though so maybe Faith did as well.

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Overall, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst is a good game. The story could have used a little work though. Essentially, it feels like you’re thrown into a world which is established around you, but then you’re taken out just as quickly. You got to see a glimpse of a whole new world, but there was no ending. Hopefully a sequel could work on that a little as the ending certainly doesn’t feel like anything has changed. The gameplay is solid though and trying to get the Platinum Trophy will help with the short length. The game does well on technical merits as well and ultimately gameplay will always trump the story for me as long as the story isn’t terrible, which this one certainly was not. I just wish that we had gotten some more likable characters and maybe a boss fight or two. Also, did anyone else miss the cool secret agent who was murdered so quickly by the right hand woman? He had the potential to be awesome, but so much for that. He didn’t even get a plot twist to himself. I recommend checking out this title, but maybe you should wait until the price goes down. I don’t think it will take too long for that to happen as price reductions happen all the time now. Now, it’s back to working on Final Fantasy VII for a while longer. I’m about halfway so just like 20 hours left until I wreck Sephiroth!

Overall 7/10

De Blob 2 Review

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I actually enjoyed the first De Blob game quite a bit. It was a lot of fun and took a unique approach on the Platformer genre. Painting everything in the city before moving on was a lot of fun and it made for a peaceful adventure. My main problem with the game is the fact that it drags on a lot this time around and they actually decided to switch the gameplay up rather dramatically. It makes for an easier Platinum, but that’s about all that I can say for the game and trust me…it’s not saying a whole lot anymore. It’s a shame that De Blob 2 couldn’t stay true to the original.

Comrade Black is back and once again he has decided to eliminate all color. Yeah..the plot is basically the same exact thing as the first title. The story is easily one of the weakest aspects in the game. Who thought it would be engaging for every character to speak gibberish while gargling water the whole time? It gets annoying very quickly. Even ignoring that, all of the characters are really annoying. None of them come across as particularly annoying and could Blob have been given a worse design? He is always making a lot of “cool” poses after accomplishing a mission, but they all come across as arrogant or mean. A cool character can pull that off, but not Blob.

For example, Blob was actually trembling when he first made it to the villain lair? Really!? Keep in mind that Comrade Black is a baby himself who is always getting teased by his subordinates and crossdresses once in a while. He has a little horsie float to keep himself from drowning and he’s comic relief the whole game. To be fair, every character is comic relief in this game and a lot of innocent civilians die and are blown up, but this is also used for comic relief since they are just made out of ink.

The only deep part of the game is at the final level where Blob must make a difficult decision 3 times. Save the civilians who are stranded on a planet which is about to explode or keep on going to stop the main villain. I went to save these guys two times, but it never helped at all and the people weren’t even grateful. It’s still heroic to save them, but I didn’t want to by the end. I did try to help the third group once, but then I died and the game took me 10 whole minutes back. I was not going to make that mistake a second time. A cutscene played and we saw the planet blow up with all of the civilians on it. For a second I was worried, but for the wrong reasons. I thought that maybe it wasn’t optional after all, but luckily it was okay. The sidekick didn’t even care and told me to keep on going.

That brings me to another negative, the lack of check points. If you die in a section, prepare to possibly be brought back 10 or more minutes into the level. When you consider the fact that each level is around an hour or even 2, this can get old fast. Towards the end of the game, a single hit from some enemies can easily destroy you. Multiplayer mode helps a little with that as you can have a second player fire some blasters at the enemies. Still, the enemies were a little overpowered. I like a challenge, but I don’t like it when one mistake can send you back such a long ways away. This isn’t Chess after all! (Chess is hype)

Luckily you do have power ups that you can give to Blob. I decided not to buy any upgrades during my playthrough for an extra trophy, but if you do use them, it should make the task a little easier. I highly recommend grabbing more lives and decreasing the cost to roll out since these are related to my two biggest problems. The roll out will help you get rid of the Helmet enemies and the lives will keep you from losing 10 minutes of your time. Keep in mind that if you are trying for the Platinum, then you shouldn’t buy any upgrades. If you don’t, you only need to complete the game two times to be done with it. If you do use the upgrades, it’ll possibly take you 3 times or just a verrry long twice.

The platinum is fairly doable as just completing the game should get you over half of the trophies. That being said, replaying the levels sounds like a huge drag at the moment. Even if there are only around 13 levels, beating them all again could take around 20 hours. Who has that kind of time for a Platinum nowadays eh? If the levels were shorter, that would help this game tremendously. I recommend that to all games. Having a bunch of short levels is better than having a few long ones. I’ll take 60 3-5 minute levels like the Mario games over having 7-13 1 hour long levels. It’s just a lot easier to plug and play with the shorter levels.

This probably won’t come as much of a surprise, but the graphics aren’t all that great. They actually aren’t all that bad though. This game certainly looks like it is a PS3 title so I’ll give it some props there. The soundtrack isn’t even all that bad either. It goes for a full on party feel, but it’s one that works pretty well for De Blob. At the very least, De Blob is actually good on a technical level, I just wish that the gameplay could have held up as well. After all, gameplay is the most important part of a game.

Instead of painting everything to move on in the level, you have to beat a lot of missions. “Beat all of the enemies.” “Infiltrate a building” etc. This gets very repetitive as per usual and of course, if you die while infiltrating a level, get ready to do it all again. You can’t skip cutscenes either by the way so that also adds onto the time. I’m not sure how long it took me to beat this game, but it may have actually been around 20 hours, which is crazy. To think, I had actually picked this game as the next one to play because I thought it’d be a short breather before tackling FF VII as my next RPG. I couldn’t be more wrong!

The sidescroller parts aren’t even that terrible once you’re in the buildings. If that was the only part of the game, I would probably like it a lot more. There are some puzzles, but none of them are all that bad and it’s fun enough. The 3D part which I liked so much in the first game is what hurts this sequel because of the bad level designs. Ironically, the game only gets good once you are close to beating the level. After the final challenge, you are given the option of leaving the level of playing around for a while. By this point, the timer is gone so you can take your time having fun. That is when the game finally looks appealing, but by then it’s a little too late. It is convenient for the trophies of course, but beyond that….it’s way too late. By then, you’ll have very little interest in taking the game up on its offer.

Overall, De Blob 2 is a very underwhelming sequel to the first game. While the final level is the best one and the game shows promise at several points, it simply comes across as lazy and uninspired. There are only two bosses in the game and they’re both tackled the same exact way. The final boss even turns large for no reason except for the fact that it could then have the same boss mechanics as the first one. The rest of the mini bosses are the same wheel that you fight over and over again. The plot is terrible and one of the worst…if not The worst plot that I have ever played. The game should have been as good as a 7, but all of the negatives add up rather quickly and the result is that we’re given a game that I never want to play again. Trophies may lure me back in, but otherwise…it’s over!

Overall 4/10

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan Review

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It’s been a while since I played a Ninja Turtles game. Platinum has been doing a good job with their titles and they are well known for their combat mechanics so this definitely looked like a fun adventure. Reviews have not been kind to it, but this is definitely a solid game. It may not be quite as polished as their Transformers title or Bayonetta, but it’s definitely still a solid game. Platinum leaves their signature combat mechanics and level of difficulty on this title so don’t expect it to be a walk in the park.

The Turtles are called back into action when their old villains start to make some moves. Alien Invasions, Bank Robberies, and more things occur as the villains continue their onslaught of attacks. What is their goal and are these just distractions? The turtles will have to stay on their toes if they don’t want to be caught off guard, but can they really hope to defeat the Shredder? The plot is fairly standard for the TMNT and it doesn’t go for anything grand, but it’s possible that it’s meant to feel like a normal episode. To an extent, that’s what Platinum seems to do for their retro games.

While the gameplay is fairly intricate, I don’t think it’s all that good. The way that the buttons are configured does take quite a bit of time to get used to. You may have beaten the game by then so I suppose it could be useful for the second run through. R2 is to block and evade while attacking is with the SQ button. You can also throw shruiken with L1 although that is really never necessary. It is good for getting some trophies like blowing up cameras though. It’s just very difficult to utilize the blocking button on instinct with how quick the villains strike and how odd of a button it is. I’d prefer for blocking to be R1, but you can possibly switch that somewhere.

You do have quite a few options for attacking though and a lot of ninjutsu can be purchased. I personally liked Stealth Mode, Combo Attack, Super Shruiken, and Healing Circle for my set. You can have 4 at a time. Charms can also be equipped, but they didn’t make much of a noticeable difference. I may just need to buy better ones. You can switch between turtles at any time and you only lose a level if all 4 of them are defeated at once. In that case, you are taken back to the lair to eat some pizza and recharge your strength before going back to the level. For most levels, you are taken back to the exact point of time in which you died, but some bosses regain their full health. It seems to depend on the level.

There are a lot of collectibles and trophies so obtain so there is a solid amount of replay value here. That’s definitely a good thing because the campaign isn’t all that long. It’s around 4 hours, which is quickly becoming the average for games nowadays. That, or maybe games were always that short and I never noticed. Maybe that’s why people love RPGs so much. If nothing else, they’re always long, but I gotta admit that turn based gameplay can also be a real blast as well. Seriously, I love grinding those level ups. There are over 50 trophies so it should take you a while to collect them all. I only got 11 of them while beating the game. Most of them aren’t hard though, but simply rely on repetition. Play the levels again and again enough times and you’ll earn most of them. For example, one of them is saving 10 pizza trucks. I maybe saved one during the whole game. It’s partially chance that you end up getting that mission which is what makes it a little tricky. I’m not a huge fan of that and some trophies are tricky and may require online help from other players. It’s a doable Platinum, but not an easy one by any means.

As per usual, Platinum hits us with a great soundtrack. The rock themes are always a blast to have even if it seemed like the game started to reuse them a little after a while. It’s fine, I’ll still take this over 70% of boss fights in the average games. A good theme can go a long way. That being said, the actual boss fights could be a little annoying at times. I feel like the bosses had too much health and our attacks didn’t deal enough damage. It could take quite a while to take some bosses down and I can only imagine what it’s like on Hard Mode since they gain even more health on that difficulty. Each level isn’t all that long with the boss taking the most time, but it does hurt the replay value of the level a little. Especially with the annoying bosses like Wingnut.

Graphically the game looks good. There is only 1-2 day-time levels though so the graphics usually have it a little easy in the dark. It’s not as impressive as Transformers Devastation by any means, but it certainly doesn’t look bad. The graphics will suffice. Whether it was a glitch or not, a funny thing occurred during the final level though. The game actually replayed an old cutscene in its entirety. For a second there I thought I had clicked on the wrong level, but nope, it still ended up being in the right place. So…what’s up with that? It wasn’t a particularly good cutscene either which was unfortunate.

They reuse a lot of gags in the story mode even though it’s fairly short. For example, Michelangelo always wanting pizza. The turtles should be used to it, but they still act a little surprised and reprimand him each time. I mean, the Turtles are known for this and it’s supposed to be nostalgic I suppose, but this definitely wasn’t my favorite portrayal of them. Leonardo definitely looked the best as he was down to business and had a plan each time. Splinter isn’t quite as good as he seems rather nervous the whole time and subtly recommends retreating for a little while. Seeing Shredder actually be a lackey for once was also rather interesting. Krang’s the boss this time eh? He’s certainly moving up the ranks and if he also calls the shots in the new live action film, maybe he will eventually replace Shredder in that role completely.

I tried going to the online mode, but nobody was online. That’s not a good sign considering how new the game is, but I may have just missed everyone. The online mode is basically a way to play the game co-op, so I imagine there is not a whole lot of incentive for people to do that besides the trophies. Local Co-Op should have been a thing. This isn’t bad if you have a friend who is far away, but it’s definitely not optimal. I suppose TMNT fans will still be thrilled that the series finally has a new game. Granted, it wasn’t amazing, but this game is still a big improvement from games like De Blob and maybe it’ll get a sequel at some point. Platinum doesn’t really do sequels very often, but you never know.

Honestly, I’d probably say that this game does lose to the rest of the TMNT games that I’ve played except for the PSP title. They’re all fairly close, but the Gamecube game was just a little more fun and the plot was certainly a lot more intense. Being related to the 2003 show helped quite a bit as well. It just shows that the series sets the bar rather high though. Transformers is also held at a high level, but each game tends to be roughly equivalent to the rest. Likewise with TMNT, but in the end its weak plot and less likable characters hurt it a bit.

Overall, This is a solid TMNT game, but not one that I’d really recommend for 60 dollars. There’s not enough content here to justify the price, but once it goes down then I’d definitely recommend snagging it. It’s essentially a beat em up with today’s graphics and that’s always fun. In the end, the plot may not have been great, but the most important part is still the gameplay and that’s solid. There are a lot of attacks to mess around with and for those who like difficult games, you’ll get a kick out of this. I lost quite a few times, but luckily the other turtles would revive me. I only had my full team lose twice, but if you don’t adapt and block a lot, prepare for that total to go up quite a bit.

Overall 7/10

AquaPazza Review

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AquaPazza is a game that I really decided to buy on a whim. It is a 2D fighting game with random anime characters, how could this not be epic? Well, the story mode is unfortunately very bland and the gameplay is rather lackluster which makes this one a bit of a miss. It is still a good game purely thanks to multiplayer, but there is so much lost potential here that it is quite scary. Seriously, the series that the characters are coming from are either the most bland ones ever or the writers just didn’t understand them. I can say with confidence that even if I did not know who the characters from Dengeki Bunko were, I would have still enjoyed the story quite a bit more.

As for the gameplay, it is your average 2D fighter, but it is simply not as smooth. The gameplay can be very choppy. This seems to be due to how slow the gameplay can be at times. After working on some trophies for a while in vs. mode and score attack, I grew a little more fond of the game. Not enough to say that it beats any other big anime fighting game, but I suppose it will still be a positive in the end. It is cool to see that every character has a fully animated super attack. That is a solid amount of dedication and work from the game.

Unfortunately, this game is also a prime example of cheating A.I. programs. The semi final boss/ final boss both have incredibly high attack power. This means that you can be winning the whole match only for you to die in one super attack. The opponent also gets to rewind time and get a full health bar back. It took me many tries to beat the semi final boss and I didn’t want to burn another hour or two on the next one so I just left by that point. The trophy was all that I needed, but I do think that the attack power was too high. If I had been playing the mode for fun, I would have definitely been more upset.

The story is as bland as you can imagine. A comic relief witch unleashed a spell that merged all of the worlds somehow. As a result, the heroes have to join forces and stop her. Unfortunately, the characters are not interesting. For some reason, none of them are intense characters. None of them are overconfident, tough talking heroes like I would have wanted. It is possible that a different story would be more interesting, but after the first one I knew that I was done with it. I even tried out the second story for the initial character, but it was not any better. Story isn’t too crucial in a fighting game but every pebble ends up hurting the final product a little more.

There is a decent amount of replay value to be found here. You can probably forget about getting the Platinum since nobody really plays online anymore, but you can still get a lot of the other trophies in the game by learning how to pull off some rather advanced combos. I grabbed quite a lot of them and someday I’ll go back to get a few more. It is definitely rewarding to pull them off. You can also work on clearing score attack and both stories with each character. That should definitely take quite a while and vs. Mode itself should add quite a bit of time to the overall length.

I didn’t really go into the specifics of the gameplay earlier, but each character has around 5 super attacks and one ultimate move. They all take up meter so you can choose to wait for the ultimate or go for a lot of supers. You also have an assist character at the ready who will jump in to help when you summon him/her. Some are better than others since they are vulnerable to attack so you probably want long ranged assist. As mentioned earlier, it is a little slower than most other fighting games. Getting close to the opponent can be tricky as a result since neither side will really want to approach as a result.

At the end of the day, I am still surprised that the character models are so bland. Most anime games are hype because the characters look really cool. Only a few of the characters have interesting designs in this game and most of the movesets could use some work as well. It is a PS3 game, but it is not even close to being as polished as Dengeki. I don’t see this one getting a sequel, but I’m sure that it would be able to improve most of the complaints that I had with this one.

Graphically the game holds up rather well. The animated attacks look sharp. The character models aren’t bad either and the stages are all right, although they can be a bit bland. The soundtrack is also on the generic side. I believe that I only particularly liked one theme and it was for the final boss or the semi final boss. The rest of them weren’t bad, but I certainly forgot them. I could use the time to compare this to Dengeki again, but by now you can the general idea. Anything AquaPazza can do, Dengeki can do better.

Overall, AquaPazza is a decently good fighting game, but that is where the buck stops. The story and characters aren’t all that great. Some of the designs aren’t bad, but the personalities just aren’t there. That being said, it is not all that strange for this to be the case in a fighting game. To an extent, this was the situation in Virtua Fighter and King of Fighters. That being said, Virtua Fighter had the clearly superior graphics and gameplay on its side. It was also more interesting due to how you would rise in rank as you fought stronger and stronger opponents. I’m very early in the King of Fighters series so that title still has time to improve as well. If you’re looking for a solid action title to last over the weekend and play with some friends, this could be a good purchase. Otherwise, you are better off….just buying Dengeki Bunko.

Overall 7/10