Yoshi Touch & Go Review


It’s time to look at a Yoshi game I didn’t know much about. Thanks to the Gamestop deal it was effectively one of the 3 free games so no harm either way. That being said…it’s just not very good. This game has no story and the 4 modes it has have identical gameplay. There’s really nothing to do here because it’s like playing a Mairo Party title that effectively only has 1 minigame. How long is that really going to last you when you think about it? A single game can work if there’s a lot of effort behind it or it’s simply addicting but I’m not sure if this one really seals the deal on that. At the very least I didn’t find it all that entertaining at all and grew bored of it pretty quickly. This is definitely one of Nintendo’s weakest games.

The gameplay is divided into two phases. The first phase has you falling through the air as Baby Mario. The idea here is to grab as many coins as possible while avoiding enemies. Once you’ve fallen 1000 feet then your stats are used to determine the equipment for Yoshi in the next phase. The way to stop yourself from bumping into enemies is to draw clouds in the sky that you use as borders to steer Baby Mario while also blocking off the enemies. That’s really the only controls you have but it can be tougher than it sounds. Due to how the DS has 2 screens and all, you have to time the blockades really well or they will flat out miss the target. If that happens then things aren’t going to go all that well for you. You can keep retrying until you succeed of course but the gameplay is rather slow so it takes a bit.

The second half has you riding a Yoshi who automatically walks forward. The idea here it to throw eggs at enemies in front of you before you bump into them. Remember, a single touch will result in your destruction so you really do need to keep away. Also remember to build a bridge of clouds underneath you so that you don’t fall to your doom. It can be tough to multi task on everything but this mode works pretty well. Every enemy you hit also extends the timer on the level. The idea is to get as far as possible as there is no end. The only level with an end is Time Attack where you get to save Baby Luigi.

So that’s it, this is the extent of the game. The modes here are Score Attack, Challenge, Survival, and Time Attack. They all have the exact same gameplay though so there’s just not much to this. Additionally there is no way to skip the Baby Mario stuff. I feel like that would have gone a long way to make the game more fun since the Yoshi gameplay, while not perfect, is a considerable improvement. I can at least see myself having a little more fun there. The game just feels incredible rushed though. Couldn’t they have at least given us more stages or different ways to play? A very quick story or arcade mode would have done the job just fine and then there would not have been any kind of issue. That would have been absolutely fantastic so it’s a shame that it didn’t work out.

The graphics are okay though. It does look about as good as a normal Nintendo game. There’s not a lot to base this on because the gameplay is so limited but what we do have is fine by me. The character models are on point and the enemies look like how they should appear. The backgrounds are nice and it’s pretty nostalgic to see the sprites everywhere. The soundtrack is pretty forgettable but I wouldn’t say it’s bad either. It just doesn’t have the pop you would see in a more mainstream Nintendo title.

Overall, I just feel like this game was incredibly lazy. I feel bad for anyone who bought this day 1 and then immediately ran out of things to do. You can “conquer” the game within an hour. By that I mean getting your name in the top 10 leaderboard for each minigame. At that point it just depends how much you like the game so you can replay the modes over and over. The point of a game like this is to have you constantly try to get better and better so that your score goes high but it depends on how much you like the game. Usually there are a ton of minigames so you have a lot of options but in this case there’s only one so if you don’t like it then you’re sunk. It’s kind of hard to see why Nintendo would phone in a game like this. I’m confident they could make a better version of it for mobile now if they really tried. Ah well, maybe next time. In the meanwhile I highly advise you not to get this game. Even if Yoshi’s the main character, it’s just not worth it.

Overall 3/10

Wrecking Crew Review


It’s time to look at a game I never really got to try back in the day. It’s a fun one though and there are 100 different levels in the game as well so it’ll definitely last a while. None of them are super hard to the point where it’ll take you a while thanks to the rewind feature but the level designs are pretty well thought out. You will probably need a few resets to beat some of the levels. They just aren’t the kind that you can glance at and figure out the answer right away. As there are puzzle elements you also have to be careful what item you break first or it’ll become impossible to clear the level.

How the game starts off is you have to break everything in the level. This ranges from doors to ladders and everything must go as if this is some kind of mega sale. You just can’t afford to leave anything intact and that’s actually what stumped me for a little while on the first level. I just couldn’t figure out how to clear the level and it took a lot of running and smashing things to figure out that ladders counted as well. The gameplay is very simple. You press A to break the object in front of you. You can run from left to right as you go through the stages and climb ladders. You can’t touch any of the enemies or you die in a single hit. Eventually fireballs will also show up so make sure you avoid those as well. You can actually walk off stage so do that in order to avoid the enemies. It’ll at least buy you some time in that way.

It shouldn’t take you very long to master this gameplay. From there it’s just a matter of thinking things through. None of the levels are particularly long either so it’s easy to just boot up the game and start conquering some levels. With 100 to choose from this should definitely take you a few hours. The levels are similar enough where you may want to take some breaks though. Playing through all of them in one shot sounds like a way to get yourself bored of the gameplay style and that’s definitely not a good idea. The game is fun after all. You just need to pace yourself here.

The graphics are pretty solid as well. It’s pretty nice to see all these old versions of Mario. He really got around back in Nintendo’s original days. The enemies are also pretty interesting. It’s like a sort of creature but hard to say exactly what it is. The looks have definitely aged pretty well as with the gameplay. I can’t say quite as much for the soundtrack. It’s a very peaceful background kind of theme but not one that you are likely to remember for very long. It’s so quiet that you may not even hear it at all while you’re so focused on getting through the level.

Overall, Wrecking Crew is a pretty fun Nintendo game from their past. While I always remember Mario Bros and Donkey Kong, this is one game I tend to forget exists at times. It’s got a pretty unique gameplay style though and this is yet another Nintendo franchise that could use a modern revival. I think there’s a lot you could do with a modern take on the Wrecking Crew. Think of everything you could break in a more modern city environment and this time you’d have Goomba and Koopa minions to fight against. In the meantime I’d recommend checking this out on the Switch Online. It’ll at least buy you a few hours to have fun with.

Overall 6/10

Balloon Fight Review


It’s time to look at another NES game I recently finished playing through. Balloon Fight is definitely a pretty popular one despite the main character not becoming playable in Super Smash Bros yet. Don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time until they fix that. In the meanwhile it’s fun to look back at how the franchise began. The game has aged quite well and does something almost no other NES game at the time had even thought to do….it has 2 modes. In almost all of my NES reviews I have to mention that there isn’t really anything to do in the way of replay value. Well, that’s not the case for this game. In Balloon Fight you’ve got the main mode and an endless score version.

So the main gameplay of Balloon Fight is that you have to try and pop the balloons carrying your enemies. Then you knock them out before they can grab more. The game is endless so you just see how many levels of this you can survive. Each level has around 4-8 enemies for you to beat. At first this is pretty easy as there are no obstacles or elements getting in your way. The game gradually gets harder though as eventually you have lightning bolts being fired at you and things of that nature. It’s a challenging but fun experience. Your main incentive will be to keep trying to beat your old score.

Then you’ve got the other gameplay mode where you’ve got an auto scrolling screen and a bunch of balloons floating around. Every few balloons you grab lowers your ranking. Your goal is to make it to Rank 1 and then you’ll have beaten the mode. It keeps on going endlessly if you want to keep getting more balloons but that is your main goal. It’s pretty fun and certainly different from the main mode so I like the diversity. You can tell that this game had a good amount of development time behind it. This is what I like to see.

The graphics are simple but effective. The enemies are colorful and the background is catchy. The music theme is also pretty iconic at this point. There’s not much else to say on a technical basis but it doesn’t disappoint. Between the two modes this game should last you close to an hour. There’s also a little replay value in trying to raise your high scores although I wouldn’t say that the replay value is too high either. It’s just right considering that this is a free title with the NES Online.

The controls are very smooth as well and I like how the physics are handled. You can’t just turn at the drop of a dime or anything like that. You do have to account for gravity and everything. If you tried going somewhere very quickly then you will not be able to stop as fast as you would have liked. Also, one fun thing about the game is that crossing the edge of the screen actually doesn’t result in you losing a life the way that it does in most games. That’s a fun little element that may seem pretty random, but I think it does serve to help make the game even more unique. It’s all pretty impressive if you ask me.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this game in part because of how simplistic it is. The gameplay you’ll understand within seconds of playing it because moving and floating is really all you can do. You beat all of the enemies the same way after all. Sometimes it seems like the simplest games ended up being some of the most addicting ones. It’s the same principle behind a lot of current mobile games that hit it big. There’s just something fun about doing repetitive actions. You start to do them real automatic like and it works out quite well if you ask me.

Overall, Balloon Fight is definitely one of the better NES games. This is exactly why I played a bunch of the low budget type games first. I figured that the longer I kept putting off the big games the more satisfying it would be when I ultimately started playing them back to back at the end. Now all I’ve got are the really big games and the marathon works quite well. I’d definitely be up for a big budget sequel to this someday. I think that would really work well since there is a ton that you can do with the balloon setup. You could even throw a plot in as that’s not something you typically saw a whole lot of back in the classic days.

Overall 6/10

Shadow of the Ninja Review


Time for another classic Nintendo game. This one I was definitely not familiar with but it looked like Ninja Gaiden so it had to be good right? Well, the gameplay is definitely pretty similar although I would say that Ninja Gaiden still has the edge overall. The gameplay was just a little tighter in that one and it also had more of an engaging plot. Still, this one is pretty close in all respects which is quite impressive. I’m surprised that the game isn’t more well known. I think there would definitely be a pretty good audience for it.

The United States has been taken over by a powerful new villain who needs an empire. The two Ninja are called in to take this guy down. You’ll probably have a whole lot of questions about this. Why is the U.S. banking everything on two ninja warriors? Why do ninja still exist in a futuristic America? Well, the game has no time for these questions because it throws you into the thick of the action right away. The goal here is to just stop the villain and so the heroes march their way through various levels and lots of different enemies.

The game does a good job of taking advantage of this future setting. You fight a lot of robots and at times the game feels a bit like a Megaman X title. When you blast at the robots they even split into two different ones in a similar fashion to some of the original X villains. The backdrops have a ton of variety and the bosses are pretty fun too. One guy gets swallowed up by his bird and they merge into an armored bird which was pretty cool. The final boss also has a pretty good design. One thing I found interesting about the bosses is the game would try to keep you in suspense about what their weak point was for a while. During the first bit of each boss fight they have an extra health bar but you can’t see it so it looks like you may be hitting the wrong point.

The fact is you are hitting the right spot, you just can’t see the damage it is taking. On the other hand it’s pretty risky business because with at least one boss you did have to hit him in a specific way (crouch hit) so if you were not doing that you would be there for quite a while. Each boss is different which may sound like a pretty small thing but I always appreciate when each boss is different. It speaks to the effort of the developers. Cloning different bosses is pretty easy but it also feels a bit lazy at times.

The gameplay is pretty straight forward. You rush through the 2D levels in order to reach the end. You standard weapon is a sword but when you break crates you can change weapons to a chain, throwing knife, sword with shockwaves, etc. The one I recommend staying away from is the chain to the point where I would rewind if I grabbed that one. It’s hard to tell which weapon is in the box and I believe it’s intentional. It’s like a roulette game where you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. I doubt the chain is meant to be a terrible weapon, it just did not click for me.

The graphics are definitely solid although I think you already get the picture from how I was describing it earlier. A lot of effort was put into this game for sure. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is pretty light but works quite well either way. Couple that with the smooth gameplay and this title’s ready to go. One really fun enemy was this little robot square that would keep circling the stage and trying to blast you. This is one of those games where attacks deal massive damage so let me tell you, you do not want to get hit by that guy. Figuring out the right strategy to beat the various enemies who would show up was half the fun of the game.

Overall, Shadow of the Ninja is a very fun game. The story is definitely solid and the gameplay really holds up quite well. It may be pretty short but the game is really diverse so it feels like they kicked in a bunch of content. This game did take me about an hour which is definitely longer than most NES titles. It’s a pretty challenging experience so don’t expect it to be a walk in the park either. You will definitely have to work at beating this one and mastering those fundamentals quite a bit. This is definitely one of the best NES games available in the service.

Overall 7/10

Blaster Master Review


It’s time to look at another classic NES game. Blaster Master is pretty well known compared to most of the other titles on the console. This is due to an extent to newer games in the series being released but also because the original was simply ahead of the curve at the time. It has two different gameplay styles and even switches from 2D to 3D at different points. This is something that was really unheard of back in the day so that’s pretty crazy.

The game even has an intro cutscene which is also super cool. Basically a frog falls into the Earth and gets lost somewhere in the caverns so now the lead has to find him. Fortunately the main character has his trusty robot at the ready and is definitely going to cause some waves. He’ll destroy monster after monster until he finds his friend. That’s part of why this main character is so good. He is absolutely determined to find his pet and won’t rest until he does so. I’d be game for this getting a film at some point. The sci-fi/fantasy elements would really work quite well.

The gameplay varies as I mentioned, but for the most part it’s a 2D shooting platformer. The hub world has this style and then it switches to 3D when you enter a labyrinth. As a result it’s fair to say that you’ll be spending most of your time here. Make sure you figure out how to leave your robot to run around, that part took me a long time and I can guarantee you that you won’t get far if you stay in the robot. For one thing it’s impossible to climb ladders or enter labyrinths if you stay in the bot. The robot is fun though with how it can shoot powerful energy blasts. Naturally it’s a lot stronger than your human self. It seems like you can recover your health if you leave the robot for a little while so if you’re low on health that may be a good exploit. I only used this briefly though so I can’t guarantee that it works all of the time.

When you’re in the labyrinth you need to keep exploring until you see a boss. Sometimes these mazes can get confusing so you’ll find yourself back at the entrance but don’t leave. I did that a few times but ultimately I would need to go back and it would turn out that there actually was a boss there. I’m not sure if every labyrinth has a boss so it’s possible you will be aimlessly wandering but in all of the ones I went too there seemed to be bosses. The game gives you a cool special effect where the whole screen goes dark and then the boss shows up. The game seems to low key have some horror elements to it with that. It’s incorporating some Resident Evil/Metroid there. I’m curious how the final boss would look. Maybe like one of those creatures from the box art?

The graphics are pretty solid. There are quite a few backdrops to explore here and a lot of moving character models. The energy blasts are solid and I like the design for the robot. It feels like a real threat and not a machine you would want to fight in a life or death situation. The soundtrack is less memorable, but it sounded okay to me. The story mode being real was still overloading my mind at the time. The story is a pretty good length especially when you take into account that a lot of the levels are mazes. It can take a while to clear these dungeons. I managed to beat around 3 before I ran out of time. These are the real deal.

When it comes to replay value I don’t imagine there is much after beating the game. I guess you could try to beat the game quicker or through losing fewer lives but there aren’t really any other modes. Your main incentive for playing through this game is absolutely the story. Fortunately it’s a good story and with the quality gameplay at the ready that’s a winning combo. The game is also free if you have the Nintendo Switch Online so you can’t really go wrong there either right?

Overall, Blaster Master is one of those classics that actually lives up to the term. This is a game that has aged quite well to the modern day. You can plug it in and start playing right now. As long as you enjoy platformers or shooters then you will have fun here. It’s also got that Legend of Zelda dungeon exploring so that helps it appeal to even more audiences. This game was surprisingly sophisticated so I’m definitely up for playing future installments at some point.

Overall 7/10

Tank! Tank! Tank! Review


It’s time to look at a game I’ve had my eye on for quite a while. The cover and screenshots looked pretty good and it has a 3D multiplayer option. You can’t really beat that. Alas, there’s a reason why this game isn’t getting the critical acclaim that you might expect. The reason is that the game is quite limited in content and won’t last for very long. At full price this would be quite dicey.

The basic plot is that you are fighting off an alien invasion. We don’t know why all of these Kaiju and robots are attacking but it’s up to you and your tanks to fight them back. Show these guys that Earth is not on the menu. Defeat is not an option so fortunately you will have quite a few tanks to choose from by the end. The story is also co-op enabled or you can have an A.I. jump in.

The basic gameplay is probably just as you would have imagined it to be. You control the tank and drive around 3D environments as you take it to the monsters. You have your main weapon and you can also grab 2 other temporary ones during the level from enemies you defeat. You will naturally be driving around during this as well to try and dodge as many shots as possible but be warned that some tanks have a very hard time moving. Sometimes it’s best to just find a good spot and hold your ground. It definitely looks and feels like the arcade game that it is which adds a nostalgic twist to the title. The gameplay may not be quite as smooth as you would like but it feels natural.

The graphics are nice and bright with colorful designs for the monsters and the levels. It all looks pretty solid even if not groundbreaking. It’s a game that is very nice to look at visually. The soundtrack is less impressive as the game has a very small amount of tunes which keep on looping. The tunes aren’t bad but more of a selection would have been good. You can only hear the same tune so many times before it loses some impact.

Now lets talk about what hurt the game quite a bit. It’s the fact that the title really tries to artificially extend its length. There are around 35 levels in the game but at first you can only play around 8. How do you unlock the next batch? You have to beat all of the levels again with a different tank. The game runs on a star system. You get 1 star every time you beat a level. To complete the game you need dozens and dozens of stars so you have to complete each of the levels over and over again. It’s done to a very tedious degree.

I understand that the game wants you to play it a little extra, but you can’t lock the main story behind such a thing. What that shows is that the developers were nervous and thought people wouldn’t willingly replay the levels purely for the tanks. They have to trust in their game or put some good unlockables in. I played their game for a while and did the replays, but when I saw that I had to replay the 20 levels again deep into the game I just put it down. There’s just no way I was going to do that many levels just to play a few more reskins.

Yes, towards the end of the game you started fighting the same bosses and opponents over and over again. The stage limit is limited and same with the character models. As a result you can tell that this should be a short game. It just didn’t have the production values to be extended so much by just reusing the levels. The game could have been clever with shifting the levels or the goals a bit to make it more unique, but didn’t do any of that.

So, Tank Tank Tank is a fun game, but it is stretched out to the point where it loses some brownie points with you. It does have a good amount of replay value though I suppose. Beating all of the levels with all of the tanks will take quite a while. Each level is fairly short at only 1-2 minutes, but beating it over and over again just isn’t the most enjoyable experience. You also have to take into account the short cutscenes that play before each level which cannot be skipped. They’re short, but it’s the little things like this which hurt a bit. Fortunately the game does have a multiplayer option which is where most of the real replay value will come in. Now that’s a mode where you can play for a long time without getting bored.

Overall, I would still recommend this game. It goes for bargain prices nowadays so that will help with the lack of content issue. It’s a good low price option for getting in some multiplayer fun. You also have to give it some credit for the cool monster designs. The whole thing feels like a big Kaiju homage at times. You have characters like Ghidorah and King Kong running around and again, the core gameplay is fun. That’s still the most important part of any game and this one nails down that part so you’re still going to have fun. It’s best in short batches and if you follow that you’ll be entertained for quite a while.

Overall 7/10

Blazblue Cross Tag Battle Review


It’s time to take a look at one of the most eagerly awaited games of 2018! The instant that the first teaser trailer came out I knew that this was going to be an all star title. RWBY characters were finally getting a chance in the spotlight and I was also finally able to experience the Blazblue fighting style. Needless to say the game is a blast. Unfortunately while the game was expected to be relatively low budget, I still did expect a little more than what the game had to offer. It’s a great title, but perhaps one that I cannot call masterful.

The premise of the game’s story is that every character from 4 different worlds have been kidnapped. Each world gets 4-8 different fighters who compete in a big tournament to decide all of their fates. The champion must grab all 4 of the Keystones and make it to the end. Sounds simple enough, but will this mysterious cosmic being really let them go so easily? You typically can’t trust these mysterious characters. Most of the characters here just want to fight so don’t expect most confrontations to end calmly.

There are 4 stories, one for each of the various series in the game. The stories have 8 battles within them and a general story in the background. Blazblue is the only story with multiple endings though. The stories are fairly quick at around 70 minutes each and only around 10 if you skip cutscenes. The cutscenes are pretty long and have voice acting which is great but each character only has 1 stock pose. This means that characters look like they’re about to fight in every scene even when it’s a peaceful discussion. The most obvious example of this is the Persona character whose illustration shows her throwing out a kick. You see this same kick for every single scene she is in. Most games come with at least 3 illustrations for exactly this reason and it’s actually a little crazy that this game only uses one. I’ve seen mobile games with what looks like a higher budget.

Also, the story doesn’t even make much sense at all. The high above being needs energy from the combatants in order to take over their worlds. She even has a rule in place that prevents them from fighting unless it’s a tag battle so as not to waste her time. Yet, she loses control of the characters randomly at times. Sometimes she is eavesdropping on the heroes to know their plans and sometimes she just doesn’t. She does such a glorious job of messing everything up that it makes it tough for you to take the game seriously. Her power level is just very inconsistent and most of the characters act completely out of character as well. I just think the story could have been way better and honestly it is the weakest part of the game. I wouldn’t even call the game low budget at all if not for the story. The story is what makes it appear that way with the writers just phoning in the plot and not really doing much with it. If we ever do get a sequel or a full fledged RWBY game, I hope they put ore thought into it.

The gameplay is your standard 2D fighter. You attack other players with long combos and finals smashes as you attempt to get their life bars down to 0. The battles are all 2 on 2 so tagging in and out adds to the strategy of it all. There are easy auto combos that you can use while you start the game, but eventually you want to move onto more advanced techniques or you will be doomed against the stronger foes. I have no complaints with the gameplay as it flows very well and is just very well done.

There are quite a few different modes to play here aside from the story. Naturally there is the training mode which is pretty handy as well as Tactics mode. There you learn combos and complete tutorials about the game. The vast majority of the game’s replay value is through it’s online and local multiplayer mode of course. Knowing this, most of the trophies in the game are obtained through these features. You can even obtain the Platinum in around 3 hours if you are truly rushing. If you don’t have online then you want to play a lot of multiplayer matches locally. If you are just playing for single player content then you will be done very quickly.

The game got a lot of controversy for locking half of the characters behind a paywall and rightfully so. The developers are basically just reusing the characters from previous games so it hardly costs them anything. I do appreciate the price of the game being reduced to help justify this, but it’s still not a good look. As a result you fight some characters in the game that you can’t even play as. We’ll see how much each character is, but I don’t think I will be purchasing any of them. I just don’t play the game enough to make it worth it as opposed to something like Smash 4.

One of the big positives of the game is its rich soundtrack. Blazblue has always had a bunch of great themes and now we get to hear the RWBY ones alongside it. Persona and Under Night’s themes aren’t bad either so it’s just a very complete soundtrack. It’s nice to have voice acting for all of the characters as well since it makes the game look more polished. The graphics are certainly top of the line so the game’s developers spared no expense in this arena. The Astral Finish move that each of the characters have looks great and the gameplay is very bright and dynamic. Even if some aspects of the game were rushed, these certainly weren’t.

Overall, Cross Tag Battle is a great game. You just have to decide on if you want to look at it in a glass half full view where you’re just glad that the game actually got made and licensed or in a half empty view where there is so much more that could have been done with it. It’s not perfect, but it’s still a game that I had a blast playing even if it was a rather brief experience. I’ll at least go back to unlock some more trophies and if I ever buy a month of PS+ to get some online trophies maybe I’ll even go for the Platinum. Surely getting to Silver Rank online won’t be that tough right? I’d recommend checking this game out if you’re a big fan of fighters or just want to be able to play as Team RWBY. That alone makes the purchase worth it.

Overall 8/10