8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy Review


It’s time to take a look at the final Professor Layton game. This one’s been on my list to buy for a very long time so it’s nice to finally have it. It’s a nice conclusion to the series and I hope to see more games come out at some point. I’ll need to get the spinoff for the Switch soon. The Azran Legacy hits all the right notes that you’ve come to expect from the Layton series and it even added some platforming puzzles which was pretty cool. Throw in a lot of twists and turns and you’re in for a fun ride.

The heroes receive a letter from Sycamore asking for their help in solving the Azran legacy. The heroes need to find out what the ancient civilization left for the modern generation and if this is a good thing or not. Unfortunately there is a villain group known as Targent which is after the Azran legacy as well. Layton manages to save a girl named Aurora from their clutches. She has been in stasis for hundreds of years and is the Azran messenger although most of her memories are gone. Perhaps they will return as the heroes collect more of the Azran relics. If the heroes gain them all they will be able to open the door to the future. Time is not on their side though.

This game definitely goes more into fantasy/sci-fi territory than the previous ones. The Azran have technology that is quite advanced including lasers, robots, and the ability to keep people alive for hundreds of years. You can reasonably say that this is technology we will have in the future though. The Azran don’t seem like the nicest people out there even if they may have a lot of good points about how humans are still corrupt in the present. The Targent officials don’t paint the brightest picture of humanity. There are two main members of the group who function like Team Rocket. They’re not really a threat to Layton, but they always get up for another go at things.

The gameplay is the same as the other installments. You travel across different lands and gather information on the mystery. Typically people will only give you clues if you solve their mysteries. Once you do that then they become a lot more receptive to your cause. The puzzles come in all shapes and sizes and they’re pretty fair for the most part. On occasion you may see a puzzle that doesn’t make sense from the description, but it makes sense in hindsight after seeing the solution. Trial and error will get you far, but you’ve also got puzzle coins for the ones that really stump you. So long as you activate the coins you are given hints which make the puzzle a lot more manageable.

There are also a lot of minigames and other little features to have fun with. A new addition to this game is the newspaper which you can use to read about various events. The main game should take you around 15 hours or so to complete and the post game content of completing every puzzle will likely extend this to around 20 hours. It’s a pretty good deal for your buck and it could also take over 20 hours depending on how you’re able to handle the final puzzles. Some of them certainly get really difficult by the end.

As always the game doesn’t cheap out on the graphics. We get fully animated cutscenes which is a lot of fun and in general the graphics are quite clear. It all feels very polished which is always a good thing. The soundtrack brings a lot of the familiar tunes back. Although I would have liked some new themes too, these worked well enough for the scenes. It’s all got a very peaceful air to it.

Layton is a very solid protagonist as always. He’s a quick thinker and can usually stay one step ahead of the villains. He can also fight when necessary like when he got into a sword duel with the main villain. He was able to win despite having the inferior weapon. Layton also manages to stay as a gentleman no matter what is thrown at him and that’s absolutely crucial. You can’t break down when the going gets tough. Luke’s a good trainee to have as always. While he isn’t quite old enough to really help Layton out in all of the cases, he does what he can. He’s not the kind of kid to hesitate.

Emmy is a lot of fun and has really helped the group’s dynamic in this trilogy. She’s always upbeat and ready for a good puzzle. She has a bit of a rivalry going with Luke as she likes to mess with him quite a bit. As Layton’s official assistant she is also quite adept at puzzles and her martial arts are second to none. Then you’ve got Sycamore who is a puzzle genius like Layton. The guy is rich and resourceful so he is quite helpful in this game as well. He seems to have a solid honor code and is always ready to put the mission on hold to save people in trouble. He may have shown up out of nowhere, but is very important to the game’s plot.

Aurora has been in stasis for a long time so she doesn’t know a whole lot about human culture. Fortunately the game doesn’t play that up to a crazy extent so she’s not a bad character. I felt bad for her near the end when everyone just watches as someone gets ready to stab her. Couldn’t someone have manned up to stop this from happening? If I were Aurora I’d be pretty sore at this whole chain of events. She took the situation well and didn’t take things personally…even if perhaps she should have. Then we have the main villain Bronev. He’s a fun villain leader although his screen time is incredibly short despite being the head honcho. I think adding in some more scenes would have helped to make him more memorable. It’s hard to have any sympathy for him even when he gets his origin story though. His actions make 0 sense and so I’m glad that Layton shut him down even if he wasn’t as merciless as he could have been. I’d have had Layton end with his first line and not say the last few.

The game is a mystery so we have a few twists and turns. There are 2 main ones. One of them you’ll likely have figured out from the opening level depending on how you’ve been watching the patterns. You may not guess the exact twist, but it’s one that the series has already used 2-3 times so you’re almost expecting it. The second twist was a lot more unexpected though and worked pretty well. The game really put Layton through the ringer having to deal with all of this. The twist does hurt the second character a lot though. The first character was never truly changed so that’s one thing, but for this character it’s a 180. It’s just hard to come back from something like that and it’s probably why the character got written out. (And because the series ended)

Overall, Layton and the Azran Legacy is a very solid installment in the series which can hold its own against the others. My favorite is still the time travel adventure but after that most of them are pretty neck and neck. One thing I’ve liked about the prequel trilogy is how all of the games tie into each other pretty well. The Azran were referenced quite early on in the prior games. Emmy also adds a lot to the dynamic so it’s hard to go back to just Luke and Layton in the present timeline games. Layton can fight, but usually chooses not to so having someone like Emmy who isn’t afraid to throw down definitely helps the group quite a bit. If you haven’t played this game yet then you can change that. The games work well as stand alone adventures so you don’t need to play the previous 5 games to understand this one although it would certainly help you know the characters more.

Overall 8/10

3 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Beyblade Evolution Review


This may possibly be the weakest Beyblade title and the series hasn’t exactly been firing on all cylinders before. I thought that the series was on an upwards trend after playing the last game, but this one brings the series down once more. It takes away all of the strengths of Metal Masters and goes back into a control scheme that is even more obnoxious than blowing into the DS like the first title. Sorry guys but this is one game that you should stay far, far away from.

Beyblade Evolution doesn’t really have a story which doesn’t help matters. Effectively you are playing as a new kid who doesn’t know the first thing about the game, but wants to compete in the World Championship. He’s clearly not a main character who thinks things through all that well, but I suppose you have to admire his enthusiasm at the very least. You go around fighting people and playing minigames until the tournament starts. Win or lose you are sent back to level 1 to replay the entire game again…….

The game uses a day system which is one of my least favorite gameplay styles. Several games I’ve played have used this including Armored Core, Megaman Zero, Pikmin, and Yugioh GX Duel Academy. It’s never once worked out as a positive. I get that it is a bit more realistic this way, but it forces you to hurry through the game and you can’t enjoy it as much. While I’m not the biggest fan of Majora’s Mask, at least it doesn’t trap you in the days the way that the others do. Beyblade Evolution has 50 days. Each action you take aside from accessing the main menu counts as a day. You want to go to the shop to buy some parts? That’ll take up a whole day. Wanna play a minigame to earn money? Another day gone. There are only 50 days in the game so you’ll very quickly find yourself at the very end.

This title seems to be built on the assumption that you’ll want to play through the game multiple times because there isn’t enough time to do everything otherwise. There is little reward for beating opponents either since you don’t get any money or parts. It’ll help you unlock more people to fight, but why would you want to do that? The most efficient way to play through the game seems to be doing the minigames. Some of them are quite easy so you can S rank them on hard and get about 3800 points. With these points you can buy superior parts and build yourself a pretty great Beyblade. Keep on doing this until day 47. Use the next two days to clean out both shops. (Why are there 2 shops? To make sure you waste 2 days buying parts instead of one.) You’ll have to hope that RNG is on your side though as the shops cycle through inventory quite frequently so if you pick the wrong day to go in they will only have weak points and you’ll have to waste another day to go in and get what you want.

There isn’t an easy way to see what parts you do have though. Your best bet is to go into the sell window and look at your parts that way which is a lot of extra clicks. There isn’t even an inventory option to see how many total parts you have out of the full collection. There’s a lot of quality of life updates that just aren’t present in this game. When you think you have a good Beyblade, head to the tournament and hope that the force is on your side. Be careful…skill doesn’t play much of a role here.

I was surprised to see that you cannot move your Beyblade. Basically you launch the Beyblade by flipping your 3DS backwards (which is really bad for the screen so I’d recommend holding the screen in place but it will mess up your launch) and then you watch it fight the opponent. I couldn’t move it in the slightest with the stylus, D Pad, or by moving the 3DS. You just have to watch it roll around. The only support you can give it is by shooting energy into the Beyblade by aiming with the motion controls. After that you can watch grimly as the A.I. jumps off the track and you lose by default. In the big tournaments you need 4 points to win the match. Winning through survival is one point so you have to win 4 times while if the opponent knocks you out of the ring they get 3 points in an instant. It’s really not very balanced if you ask me.

There’s no fun to be had with the gameplay. I want to be able to move my Beyblade and feel like I’m actually doing something. Otherwise I may as well be watching two A.I.s going at it because that’s really what’s happening. Half the time sending energy to your Beyblade doesn’t even help much since they just spin out of control. I didn’t think the gameplay could get worse than the first DS one I played, but it definitely happened. I’ll even take the microphone gimmick over the motion controls. I already didn’t like motion controls in the Wii, I can guarantee you that they are even worse on the 3DS. The 3DS wasn’t made for motion, I don’t see why a game was developed with that as the intent.

Ah well, the graphics aren’t bad I suppose. The character designs are nice enough and we get some decent backdrops. There aren’t a lot of areas to see though as it’s the same locations over and over with the same re-used character models. All of the tournament cutscenes start out the same way. The amount of recycled footage is pretty staggering to say the least. As for the soundtrack, it’s fairly generic. There isn’t a lot of variety to be found here.

In terms of replay value the game is pretty light. You’ll be ready to leave as soon as the 1-2 hour playthrough to day 50 is over. After that you can keep on playing to either get a better ending or get all of the parts. Those are the only things left to do anyway and for the latter you’ll never know if you have anything because the game never gives you a place to check how many parts are in the game. With the shop constantly changing inventory it’s also hard to keep track of how many are left. It’s a bit of a tough predicament.

Overall, Beyblade Evolution is a game that I’d advise against purchasing. It’s just not very good. It’s barely even a game and more like you are just watching a demonstration among the computers who are fighting to see who is the best. That’s not very entertaining if you ask me. I now own all of the main Beyblade games from the modern era and I can see why they haven’t made any in a while. The series doesn’t seem to understand how to make the series fun which is surprising because it should be pretty clear. Look at the Gamecube Beyblade game as an example of how to do one of these titles. Now that was a masterpiece!

Overall 3/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword Review


It’s time to look at another one of the MyNintendoReward games that I got recently. With this, the only one that I haven’t completed yet is the Legend of Zelda one which admittedly could be a while. It’s been a fun ride and these small games have been a nice break from the big ones. To say that this game is short would be an understatement, but since it was only 2-3 dollars that really isn’t bad. Naturally it isn’t quite as spectacular as Freedom Planet, but it’s a very unique game with a gimmick that works quite well.

The plot is fairly basic as the princess is kidnapped by some villains. The poor Kappa is the only one who remembers her getting kidnapped, but he isn’t a fighter so he waits until someone can back him up. Hundreds of years pass and no one is worthy, but finally a samurai shows up. The Kappa gives him petal powers which allow him to slice and dice the zombies. Finally, a hero has emerged. Still, will this kid really be able to stand up to the evil armies that are before him?

The gameplay is a reaction game which is the first of its kind that I’ve played. I don’t even know of any others. Basically you are in a 3D environment surrounded by enemies in each level. You have to wait for them to attack you and then you either dodge to the left/right or backwards. After you dodge you rush in and land a counter blow. If you time the dodge right you will get to strike back twice. However, if you attempt a second strike but didn’t dodge quickly enough then your sword will take damage instead. Mess up too many times and your sword will quickly become worthless. Sharpening the sword is pricey so if you aren’t sure about going for the 2nd strike just be satisfied with 1. The more you fight the enemies the more you will master the timing.

You can also buy kunai which you can use to preemptively attack with or a frog that distracts the enemy while you strike. The best items in the game are the rice balls and revive though since they can help back you up against the stronger enemies. There is also a gold cloth that works the same way as in Saint Seiya and it will give you absolute protection against any attack. It won’t last forever though so use it wisely. Each level typically consists of around 5 enemies, but the boss level on each land is comprised of 6-8 rooms with the same amount of enemies so bring a lot of health items for those.

The final boss is definitely very tough and the game jumps a few levels there. The game is never easy but that’s likely the only part where you will have serious trouble. I had to do some minor grinding to quickly stock up on enough gold to buy the maximum amount of every item. Even then I just barely won. If this doesn’t work out for you, try to complete a bunch of the side missions in town to increase the amount of health items that you can hold. This game is pretty fair in how it rewards repetition so as long as you keep playing you will definitely be able to vanquish the boss sooner or later.

The graphics aren’t the best, but they’re not bad. I just don’t care much for the main character’s design as it has the crushed nose look which hasn’t aged well. The villains look reasonable even if none of them are all that memorable. I do like the petal effects whenever you hit an opponent. I can’t really recall the soundtrack all that well either so you’re mainly in this for the gameplay. Of course, at the end of the day that’s the reason you’re playing any game right? The gameplay holds up quite well and makes the 3 hours fly by. I ended up playing the whole game in one sitting except for the final boss where I had to put the game down for a bit.

There isn’t much in the way of replay value though. You can beat the challenges as I mentioned, but that’s about it and it won’t take you very long at all. You also unlock some survival modes in the main menu which can be handy. They’re pretty simple tasks like beat 30-100 enemies and shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for you. Maybe the 100 one depending on how strong they allow your sword to be. Pro tip, upgrade your sword as soon as possible whenever you get the chance. It makes slicing through the armies a whole lot quicker and in general it is just more convenient. It’s a permanent upgrade so it’s better than buying something that will just go away. Don’t be afraid to lose either, whenever you fail the Kappa appears to help you earn some gold.

Make sure to go into town and save from time to time as well. I couldn’t figure out how to save the first time around so I made it to the castle and then ended up losing my progress. It won’t delete your data unless you attempt to go to the main menu, but that’s still not something you want to risk. Going into town is always handy in general as well. If you land a good combo without getting hit you can sell the combo to the local shop for some money as well. It’s a good way of rewarding your dodging skills.

Overall, Sakura Samurai was a pretty fun game. It’s definitely short, but at a rate of an hour per dollar that’s not bad at all. I’d recommend checking it out even if just to test your reflexes. Are they as sharp as you think they are? If so then this game will be a breeze, but if not then you could be in for some trouble. Now it’s going to be time to finally check out the critically acclaimed Sonic Mania. I’m ready for those fast paced levels!

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Kirby Fighters Deluxe Review


It’s time to look at a rather obscure Kirby game. Between Kirby Star Allies, Battle Royale, and Robo Kirby who had time to remember to pick up this title? If not for My Nintendo giving a pretty big discount for this game I probably would have ended up passing on it as well. Still, it’s a quality game with good gameplay, it’s just a shame that it isn’t longer or that it doesn’t have more content. I realize that you can’t ask for much when a game is only about 2-3 dollars, but I’d still expect something a bit longer.

There are 2 game modes to choose from here. Single Player or Multiplayer. In Multiplayer you fight against other people who own copies of the game. In Single Player you go through a gauntlet of 9 battles which is in a format very similar to Super Smash Bros. Once you complete that you will have effectively completed the game. On average I would complete a Single Player mode in about 5 minutes. There are 10 characters total so if you play with all of them then the game is about 50 minutes long which isn’t half bad. I managed to squeeze in about 2 hours, but you will ultimately struggle to play this game for very much longer. After all, there is almost literally nothing to do once you have beaten the game 10 times. I suppose you can just keep trying to beat the single player mode over and over again…but why?

Lets take a step back for a moment and look at the gameplay. It is your classic 2D fighter. Each Kirby has a different moveset which relates to their weapon of choice. Some items will drop on the stage as well which you can use to try and seize the advantage against your opponents. It’s a pretty sound gameplay style and one that works well. It’s one of the reasons why I was able to complete the game 10 times over without getting bored. I probably wouldn’t have done so if there were too many more characters but 10 is certainly reasonable. My favorite character was probably beam Kirby. That guy felt pretty OP. Most of them are fairly good except Ninja Kirby which is probably the worst one in the game.

The graphics are fairly solid. It does look like a modern Kirby game so I’ll give the title some credit there. The character designs are on point and the stages look lovely. It’s really everything that you could ask for in a Kirby game and then some. I also enjoyed the soundtrack which has all of the classic Kirby tunes that you would expect to see. There is really nothing wrong on a technical level and I suspect that this is where most of the game’s budget went. After all, it certainly wasn’t put into the content.

Again, it’s not as if this is a bad Kirby game. After all, the gameplay is good and I just explained how the technicals are solid as well. I don’t need a game to be super long to be enjoyable but asking for more than an hour’s worth of content isn’t a big request. At least throwing in some more incentives to keep on playing would be nice. I’ve played free games that had a lot more content than this one and they weren’t by AAA companies like Nintendo. There is really no excuse not to have made the game a little longer.

Overall, It’s a fun Kirby game. I would only hesitantly recommend it though as you will have more fun just popping in Super Smash and fighting each other there. There’s not really a whole lot of reason to play this game aside from the novelty of a Kirby fighter. It’s only a few dollars though so honestly you aren’t losing much if you choose to get it. If you are a true Kirby fan then you may be honor bound to purchase it, but if not then I recommend buying the Kirby Dream Collection. Now that game had a lot of content.

Overall 7/10

Game Records

Pokemon Sun Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 38h 13m
Pokedex 32% Complete
Pokemon Registered 97
Battle Points 2

Pokemon Stats (Name and Level)

Shiny Zygarde 66
Slowking 59
Pelliper 51
Alakazam 32
Magnezone 41
Persian 42
Gumshoos 64
Harityama 61
Toucannon 64
Incineroar 65
Arcanine 32
Grimer 33
Klefki 30
Absol 28
Raticate 31
Zygarde 30
Oricorio 31
Sandile 30
Aerodactyl 40
Wailmer 40
Wingull 50
Exeggutor 40
Dugtrio 43
Solgaleo 55
Tapu Koko 60
Granbull 43
Lapras 53
Fomantis 16
Morelull 14
Feebas 10
Poliwag 14
Alomomola 14
Miltank 12
Cubone 19
Magby 19
Salandit 18
Comfey 19
Wimpod 19
Goldeen 22
Fearow 26
Skarmory 25
Magnemite 15
Nosepass 21
Phantump 22
Masquerain 27
Ariados 27
Trubbish 27
Ledian 25
Minior 28
Ditto 25
Haunter 29
Golbat 31
Turtonator 30
Geodude 29
Torkoal 29
Pancham 25
Cutiefly 8
Gastrodon 43
Smeargle 8
Vikavolt 37
Machop 9
Misdreavus 8
Crabrawler 10
Carbink 13
Roggenrola 13
Mudbray 14
Butterfree 15
Drifloon 8
Cottonee 9
Rufflet 11
Lillipup 15
Psyduck 15
Tentacool 18
Finneon 17
Magikarp 13
Wishiwashi 10

9 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pokemon Sun Review


Pokémon has always been a franchise that is stocked full of high quality games. It’s hard to recall a single main game that wasn’t absolutely amazing and that’s probably because one doesn’t exist. These games are 9 star worthy and Sun is no exception. While I do prefer Y, Sun adds a lot of interesting mechanics and even challenges the notion of what a Pokémon is by adding in a bunch of aliens and monsters much like Deoxys.

The game starts off with a bang as we see a girl running away from a group of villains. Just as she is about to be defeated she manages to warp away just in the nick of time. We then cut away to the main character, Terry. He has moves to Alola and has decided to take the Island Challenge which is essentially this game’s version of the Gym Leader system. Nobody ever said the quest would be easy and our young hero knows it, but that has never stopped him before. Along the way he will have to deal with many villains and global threats but Terry is determined to take them down to prove that he is the best.

The gameplay is classic turn based combat at its best. To this day Pokémon is known as the best at this system and it’s easy to see why. The turns are fairly quick with almost nonexistent loading times and the game has a lot of depth even though you only get 4 attack options. A new feature for this game is also the ability to use wild Pokémon to get around instead of using HMs to teach your Pokémon these skills. It’s a pretty nice change since you effectively don’t need to waste a spot anymore.

Let’s talk a bit about the cast. I have to say that Hau is easily the worst rival of the series and possibly the franchise. Purely as a rival at least since this guy never even comes close to getting on Terry’s level. Almost as bad is the fact that he doesn’t care and seems to be content staying in second despite some half hearted dialogue that implies the opposite. As far as I am concerned Hau is just a bit of a miss and may have a shot at being the weakest character in the game. Not physically but in terms of character.

Lillie is a fun heroine and it’s nice to have one that learns about the importance of battling. At first she is certainly not a fan of it but by the end she has decided to start training in this style of combat. With or without the character shift her character already has more personality than many other such characters.

The main villain is also a very solid character and potentially the best villain yet. She has a solid design at the end and her ambitions are pretty decent. She is rather psychotic and doesn’t realize how evil she is but the justifications help make her a fun villain to root against since she is so in denial of what is happening. I do think the anime dropped the ball on this one.

Since Hau couldn’t cut it as a rival the game gives us a second one who is more of a match for Terry. Gladion has a pretty good theme and his Pokémon is interesting since it looks very unique. It definitely appears to be man made right from the start so of course you will start to wonder how this kid got one. He gets a big role in the climax and was one of the low key standouts of the game.

Then we have the leader of team Skull who never really gets to do a whole lot. Guzma could have been cut out of the game and not much would have changed. His team in general just wasn’t that good. I suppose it makes some sense that they would seem rather directionless since they were more of a red herring than anything else but it would have been nice if they could have been at least a little formidable. Instead they were a joke right from the start.

Going back to the man made Pokémon, this game definitely toyed around with the idea of different kinds of a Pokémon more than any of the other games. We had monsters who looked like Digimon from space and that helped to mix things up a bit. The Alola forms of the old Pokémon are nice but only when they are supplementary like in this game. I wouldn’t want them to take the place of a new generation or anything like that.

The graphics are the best that we’ve seen from Pokémon or at least the most cinematic. Now we can get full cutscenes throughout the game to ramp up the intensity. It does make the reused character animations a little more noticeable though as each character can only pull off one real animation and then keeps on doing it for a while. Our rival Hau likes to just grin for ages and ages. That’s definitely in character though.

Unfortunately this game probably has the weakest soundtrack among the main Pokémon games. In particular team Skull’s theme is just terrible and the main Alola theme is well below average as well. After seeing the incredible soundtrack of Pokémon Y it really feels like a step back. Most of the themes are still reasonable remixes but they are brought down by the first two themes.

The game will probably last you at least 30 hours and then you still have the post game to deal with. It’s one of the longer Pokémon post games in the franchise with a lot of new Pokémon to catch in the form of the aliens that escaped. It even acts like an extra story in a sense and then you can go to the battle tower and challenge all kinds of opponents. Assuming you also want to collect all of the Pokémon, you are certainly going to be here for quite a while.

Overall, Pokemon Sun is definitely a blast. While the new style of taking on Island challenges isn’t quite as fun as the normal gym leader system, it works well enough. It’s a decent gimmick but naturally not one that you would want to repeat for the next big installment. At the end of the day the gameplay is as great as always and that’s the most important thing. The game has a ton of content to get through and feels like a AAA game all the way through. I’d highly recommend checking it out.

Overall 9/10