7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

The Peace Keepers Review


It’s time to look at a very retro beat em up. The Peace Keepers is pretty interesting and I feel like it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways. The combat is very smooth and holds up really well today. While 2D beat em ups tend to have a little less variety than the 3D counterparts (Although this is heavily debatable of course) this one has quite a few moved up your arsenal. It’s old school and yet you feel like you can do a whole lot here which is impressive. It’s a game that will hold you over rather well for an hour as you play through it.

The plot is a little vague from the cutscenes although I’m sure a booklet will have more. That’s not to say there aren’t cutscenes because there are a lot but the story beats happen very quickly. So there’s one villain who’s been going around and making a mess of things. He kidnaps one guy’s brother so that the guy has to work for him. The villain turns the brother into a zombie and then turns a girl into a monster that we are forced to fight. He can’t fight very well on his own but he’s hurting a lot of innocents along the way so the main character needs to put a stop to this.

There are some twists here and it is implied that the main character is actually an android. It would explain why he has the ability to transform and massively upgrade his fighting potential. His Super Saiyan form looks pretty awesome and you actually get to play as it for a full level which was really cool. In that form you don’t take damage and you can fly which is unheard of in this genre. I had a blast and then you’ve got the villain’s son who is also an android with this ability. Now that was a tough boss and it took me about 5 lives. You’re given around 10 lives in the game which is a good amount.

As for the gameplay, you can go for quick hits, jump moves, kicks, or power shots. The power shots are easily the best moves to use of course, but they come with a huge drawback. Every time you use the attack you actually lose some health. It’s something to take note of because if you start to spam them then you could find yourself with low health despite not getting hit once. That’s not a spot you want to put yourself in even if the attacks are good. At the same time, if you go with normal blows but the enemy hits you a lot, then maybe you would have been better off using the power move. At the end of the day the ball is in your court here. After you land the first combo you’re good to go for grabs. You need to position yourself right above the opponent while they get up and then you’ll be able to slam them back down. If you ask me that’s definitely the best way to go about things here.

The graphics are definitely pretty solid as well. The character models are good and there’s a solid amount of detail here as well. The stages all look different and the attack animations are on point. The Super Saiyan mode looks good and so does your final smash. There’s a way to activate it but I couldn’t figure that out. I was able to do it by just button mashing though so do that and you should be good. It’s probably one of those Street Fighter type inputs so I know how to mash in a way that it tends to activate those most of the time.

Overall, The Peace Keepers is just a really fun game. It’s short so you’ll beat it in about an hour but that’s not unheard of for games back in this era. The fact that it’s free with the Switch Online service doesn’t hurt matters either. I’m definitely all here for it. There isn’t really any replay value although there are multiple characters so maybe they all have variations of the story. If that’s the case then I’d say that adds a bit of replay value since I’m sure they’ll all handle things differently. I wonder if they all get Super Saiyan modes or if that’s a main character advantage. Either way I highly recommend checking this game out, it’s one of the more enjoyable games we’ve gotten in the updates.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Icey Review


It’s time for a look at a beat em up I wasn’t really familiar with. I definitely hadn’t heard of it until the game arrived. Pretty neat cover though and right away you can see the fun sci-fi/anime aesthetic they’re going for. The game also has a lot of breaking the fourth wall moments and has an Undertale kind of vibe. It’s definitely on the short side though as you should beat it in about 2-3 hours but the difficulty helps it from getting much shorter than that. The enemies absolutely don’t mess around in this game.

The game starts with Icey waking up in her tube. Her mission is to destroy Judas since he wiped out the planet a long time ago. It is now a desolate wasteland overrun with monsters. Icey won’t stop until he is destroyed but is this really the right thing to do? Icey has started to lose track of who she is and her true goals. Is she after Judas because it was her idea or is someone manipulating her? The truth seems to fade in and out now to the point where everything is brought into question. The narrator of the world himself offers up suggestions and talks to her quite a bit as well. A common theme in the game is, will you listen to this guy or make your own choices?

I wouldn’t be surprised if this game already has a lot of theory videos out there. There’s definitely a lot to explore within this game and there’s certainly room for a sequel. I didn’t actually go and try out one of the other endings but the game makes it all very accessible. You can use the level select to go back and try something else. There are only two main decisions with regard to the ending as far as I can see but throughout the game you can choose to ignore the narrator and do whatever you want. I did that a lot early on but it would usually backfire as I would just get a few coins or something. It can be worth it just to troll the guy though. Sometimes he would also be right and by disobeying him you would end up going up against a boss that was too powerful or something like that.

As I mentioned, the game is definitely very difficult. Be careful how you answer the opening questions as that determines the difficulty level. Initially I ended up starting the game on hard mode as a result and quickly had to restart so it would be on normal. Even on normal I lost quite a few times. The checkpoints are pretty nearby at least. Grinding isn’t the easiest thing in the world here but it is possible through the level select. I recommend amping up your health and attack power first. Those will come in handy right away and you feel the immediate benefit which is why they’re good picks. They’re attacks you can count on but there are a lot of different attacks you can go for as well so at the end of the day it’s up to you.

There isn’t any hitstun in this game so when you get hit prepare for the opponent to combo you for a little while. Button mashing helps you get up a little faster so I recommend it. Mainly just try to make sure you’re never in between two enemies. You can dash so I recommend using that a lot. It’ll help you evade attacks and even counter strike if your timing is on point. It’s definitely something worth spamming. By the end of the game I did quite a lot of button mashing to activate combos. It has always worked well for me in Marvel vs Capcom and the same was true here.

The graphics are definitely fun. It reminds me of Gunvolt or at least that style although there aren’t sprites in this game. The attacks are pretty flashy and the backgrounds stand out. There’s always something going on in the screen which is good. The whole thing has a lot of detail which is good. As for the soundtrack, that part’s a little more forgettable. I don’t really remember any tunes. I think a little rock could have been a nice touch to the game. I think it would have worked rather well especially with all of the bosses running around. Those guys command respect as it is.

For a sequel I’d like to see Judas either return and try to fight back a little this time or maybe have the narrator try and do something. The guy seems about as shady as they get so he should definitely have a good influence here. A prequel could also work but I almost prefer not knowing how everything went down. Why ruin the mystery when we’re so deep in right? If we never know how this all started it allows for quite a lot of extra possibilities. It also lends itself well to online theories in the meantime.

Overall, Icey is a fun game. It’s definitely going for a unique vibe which is fun. I like a good mystery and the whole plot is fairly shrouded. The gameplay is naturally pretty hype as well. I love a good beat em up and mixing that in with Sci-Fi is a good combo. Ultimately the only thing that holds the game back is the length. It really feels very short. It only lasted as long as it did because I kept dying and even had to restart the game once. Otherwise you would likely beat it even quicker. It’s sort of like a boss rush though so you do get your share of fights in the meantime. If you get the game for a decent price then it’s definitely worth it. Will you take the enemies down or spare them? Only time will tell.

Overall 7/10

Game Records

Icey Stats and Records

Stats time!

PS4 Trophies 10/34

Brutal Blade Level 2
Back Slash (Ground) Level 1
Cyclone (Air) Level Max
Skull Shaker Level 0
Cloudsplitter (Air) Level 0
Bounceback Level 1
Pummel Level 1
Skewer Level 1
Sweep Level 1
Uppercut Level 1
Deadly Disc Level 0
Shadow Dance Level 0
Overload Level 1
Shadow Slice Level 1
Vertical Cut Level 2
Vitality Level Max
Bubble Level 1
Perception Level 1
Regeneration Level 2

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Streets of Rage 4 Review


It’s time to look at the new Streets of Rage title! The original games came out a bit before my time so I never got to experience them in their time. Well, now I’m in with the party this time and it’s definitely a fun beat em up. You’ve got to take back the streets from the gangs that have taken the city over. Everyone is against the 4 lone heroes so they definitely can’t let their guard down.

This time Mr and Ms Y have taken over the city. It seems like last time Mr X was the villain based on the dialogue. This pair of villains work pretty well in the story. They have intimidating designs and since they did take over the city that means that even the cops are on their side. It makes for a pretty intense dynamic here because the heroes really have no backup. They seem to usually be vigilantes anyway though so I don’t think they take it all that hard here.

You can play as any of the original 4 characters and I believe you can unlock a few more later in. There are 12 levels and each one is around 10-12 minutes so the main campaign should last you around 2-3 hours depending on how well you do. The levels are reasonably difficult so don’t expect to just be blasting through them. Even I died once or twice in some of the big battles. The bosses really go in and it can be difficult to deal with the minions if you let them overwhelm you. A common theme in the game is to make sure and divide your enemies so you can conquer them a lot easier. If you let them group up then your chances of victory will continue to grow slimmer and slimmer.

I found that the most difficult enemies to deal with were the ones that would jump kick you. You really have to plan your gameplay around them or you will take heavy damage. The damage really adds up and you want to have a good amount for the boss at the end of each level. One thing I would say is to make sure and break anything that seems suspicious. A lot of objects are hiding health items or money. Even if you have full health make sure you use the health items since they increase your score, same with the money. When your score is high enough you will be able to get another life. My score was never high enough to get 2 lives in one even but apparently it seems that this is possible.

The gameplay is that of a 2D beat em up. You have your standard attacks and can move up and down to be in a different lane than your opponent. Always move around because it makes it a lot more difficult for the enemies to really do anything against you. Additionally, I would recommend using the power moves sparingly. Each power move drains your health. You can earn that health back if you land some hits on other minions but if they hit you just once it will crush your combo and you will lose the health for good. It still comes in handy for the bosses though. I wouldn’t have been able to deal enough damage in time without it.

Memorizing the patterns of the bosses can be tricky. I beat quite a few levels with just about no health left. I beat the final one with literally no health showing on the bar so that was really close. I was pretty proud of that win though because I was able to perfectly memorize the boss movements. I have 0 health for most of the fight but once I took out one of the opponents I was able to deal with the other one well enough. You’ll be at the edge of your seat for most of these battles.

The graphics definitely look real nice. I like the hand drawn style they use for the illustrations. I wouldn’t say that the cutscenes themselves are all that animated though as it’s more like a comic book. The soundtrack is also pretty fun. It’s got that retro arcade feel to it which works well for the retro aesthetic the game is going for. It’s all like a blast to the past so you should have some nostalgia here especially if you played the first ones.

There’s also a decent amount of replay value here. For starters you can beat the game with all of the characters. Obtaining all of the trophies will probably take some time as well. This still won’t end up being one of the longest games out there but there is definitely enough content to keep you busy once you’re out there. If you have someone to play with that will also boost the playing value as you can have fun one upping each other and trying out the different characters.

Overall, Streets of Rage 4 is definitely a game worth checking out. It’s a bit on the short side so you should check the price before going through, but the gameplay mechanics and story are on point. You will definitely have a good time here and I’m up for some more Street of Rage installments. There’s still a lot you can do with the city since there is no end to the amount of gangs that want to terrorize the city after all. There will always be a need for these vigilantes.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce Review


It’s time to look at a Dynasty Warriors spinoff. The concept behind this is pretty interesting. What if you took the usual Dynasty Warriors setting and then added a bunch of supernatural elements to it. I’m talking full dragons, super forms flight, energy blasts, etc. It’s definitely going in a different direction here. You’ve also got a few different crossover missions you can tackle and even a whole new section after the credits. Unfortunately a game is only as good as its gameplay and that’s where this one faltered. It was ultimately unable to live up to its true potential.

The story follows the same plot as the rest of the Dynasty Warrior games. You are tasked with uniting the kingdom under your rule using whatever tactics you need too in order to do this. I went with the classic Team Wu of course since those guys are always pretty neat. From there you’re off to the races. The game has 5 main chapters which each tend to have around 7-10 levels in them. After the credits you unlock a 6th chapter which which I would assume probably has another 5-7 levels in it but hard to say. Looks like you need to beat at least some of the request levels before you can tackle the story one. Not sure I’m a fan of that concept but it applies to the other chapters as well so the game is consistent.

As mentioned, my main gripe here is with the gameplay. Gone are the classic beat em up controls where you would go around and take down whole armies. This one plays out more like a mobile title as you have to take down enemies in small locations. Once you beat all of the enemies in one square then you can go into another room. Mind you, you don’t have to always beat everyone in the room. It depends on the mission and sometimes you can bypass rooms all together. I’m not sure if this would be a different genre or still just called your usual beat em up. There’s a lot more platforming in this game to be sure though as you have to jump around a lot and dodge the water. No swimming in this game.

The enemies are all pretty difficult including the minions. They’ll readily interrupt any kind of combo you try to use. The minions in level 1 have a higher A.I. than the minions in the final levels of the main games. So that’s pretty impressive but when you couple it with how unrefined the gameplay is then what you get is a scenario where you’re never actually able to cut loose. Everything you try to do is interrupted by the opponent without missing a beat. It makes the combat not very satisfying at all. You don’t even have a parry system or anything like that to stop them. You just have to eat the damage or waste a super. Unlike the main games the minions will never drop items either so restoring health just isn’t done unless you can find the rare vases scattered around.

In the end I had to resort to some cheese tactics. I bought the best bow money could buy and loaded it up with poison orbs. Poison deals a percentage of the opponent’s health which is incredibly helpful for bosses since it effectively bypasses health. It’s also good for staying afar since going up close is just asking to be completely wrecked. I was able to buy a bow with 268 attack power at the end and that was able to get me through the end. I did need to stock up on 30 potions and 10 Max Ether type items in order to do it though. You’ll be going to the shop quite a lot to make it through.

Strikeforce has a full hub world which is different from the others as well. You are able to manage a bunch of shops in the city and you level them up after waiting a while. Time passes in the game whenever you finish a level so the quickest way to get time to go by is to start a level and immediately surrender. Rinse and repeat as you watch the levels go up. Once a level is maxed out you have to use some items to upgrade the store further. Try to have the stores to at least level 3 so you can get some good items to buy. For the weapon shop, the higher level you can get it the better. I think you can’t get the 268 bow until it’s at level 4 so keep that in mind. There’s a lot to watch out for.

If you opt to fight with a sword instead of cheesing through with an arrow then just know that you’re going to need a lot of level ups. Earning levels isn’t the easiest thing in the world but by the end of the game I was nearly at level 50 which is the max so I guess it wasn’t so bad. The first level is the easiest one to grind. Just make sure you defeat 1000 enemies there and then clear the level. If you do it on hard mode then you’ll get 1000 EXP each time you do it. Not a bad deal right? Still, I can’t really picture beating some of these guys using a sword. In particular the various dragons and monsters you fight seem like they’d be a nightmare or the levels where you have 4 bosses running at you at once. Divide and conquer is always your absolute best strategy as long as you have some items with you.

The graphics are pretty good although they’re definitely a cut under the main games. It also feels a bit lazy at times because they actually reuse animations from the older Dynasty Warrior game for the cutscenes. They actually play the same cutscene after each chapter except for the final one where we get a new one but no voice acting from the characters. For that you have to wait until the after credits scene which is admittedly pretty hype. Now that’s a good way to really get the blood pumping I’d say. The soundtrack is pretty good. Maybe not too memorable but it gets the job done.

In terms of content this game will last you a while. The story mode took me around 10 hours and I didn’t do the extra chapter at the end. Trying to beat that game should add quite a bit more time into the playthrough and same for maxing out all of the shops. Achieving 100% completion status in this game definitely would not be very easy. Still, that means it’ll be around for a while at least and the going rate is pretty low. I’m confident they would be able to improve upon this one quite a lot if we ever got a sequel.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors Strikeforce is definitely one of the weaker ones in the series. It really takes out a lot of the positive elements from the series. It’s a spinoff though so I suppose that’s the best place to test out these new gimmicks. They didn’t work out but this was the right way to do it as opposed to risking it on a main installment. If you want to see a very different kind of Warriors game then it may be worth a shot. The gameplay just isn’t all that fun to me which is unfortunate as a beat em up but it can be satisfying to finally get the feel of the bow and start launching some counter offensives of your own. I also like the whole superhero aspect they went for here with all the powers being thrown around.

Overall 6/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dynasty Warriors 8 Review


It’s time for another Dynasty Warriors experience. It’s definitely a step down from the last one which is unfortunate but it’s still a great game. For some reason they just stripped out most of the voice acting and story that made the 7th game so good. Perhaps fans felt that the story was too expansive and overshadowed the actual gameplay. Maybe there were time constraints. I don’t know, but it’s definitely noticeable when playing the games back to back. For once I changed sides over to Wei this time just so I could get more of a fresh experience this time around.

So you’re playing the same story as usual as you try to unite the country. Most of the key battles are the same as always but it’s interesting playing as the side that is often treated as the “bad guys” of the story. Of course each faction sees each other as the enemy so it’s hard to really say who the true heroes are. That being said, I’ve always been partial to the fire group which is why I would side with Wu. The story has around 14 battles and after completing them you can unlock some what if stories based on if you completed all of the objectives along the way. If not then you’ve still got free mode and a bunch of other options to work with as well.

The gameplay is largely the same as in 7. It’s not quite as crisp but it’s hard to say exactly why that is. I think there may be a slight time lag in switching weapons or something. It’s hard to quantify but otherwise this is still one of the cleanest beat em ups I’ve played. It’s still very smooth and every hit is pretty satisfying. I actually took out 1200 opponents in one level this time which is now a new record for me. I’m not sure if I’ll ever top that because that number is just too crazy to think about. My favorite character was one of the new power types since you can use an axe and it just shreds opponents.

One thing that’s a little different here are the command grab supers. Before now your super attack would always be some kind of massive blow that dealt a lot of damage to everyone. Now you have more personal supers which target one enemy but do a ton of damage. You could effectively one shot even whole bosses using this technique. That was always a blast but it can be hard to effectively aim at the guy you want. There’s also a new mechanic where you somehow trigger a mini animation where you start swiping at a lot of enemies. I never got exactly how I would do this but I was always glad to see it because the damage was massive and even does more than your super move. You really can’t go wrong there.

As with the last game I also like the way they managed the horseback riding. It’s so much smoother than in the old games and makes navigating the level a lot more convenient. It’s hard to imagine going back to the days of having to run everywhere. Now that feels a lot more tedious in comparison. You can’t even compare the two speeds and it’s also handy for tracking down opponents who are trying to make a break for it. Now you just jump on the horse and you’re all set for action. A lot of quality of life upgrades like that have stuck since the last game which is great.

As always the graphics and soundtrack are on point. All of the super attacks and combo moves look incredibly flashy and high-end. Then you’ve got the solid soundtrack which the series is known for. There are a ton of great rock themes to enjoy here and they fit in quite well as you take down all the armies that try to oppose you. You won’t particularly remember any of them but the fast beat is really the important element here and the game definitely delivers on that.

There’s just a lot of content to enjoy here. You can play as all 3 of the usual factions and then you also have an extra group. I’m wondering what they do or how they factor in. Should make for a pretty fresh take. After you complete all of the story modes you can work on gathering all of the PS3 trophies or playing free mode and maxing everyone out. There’s a lot of replay value here and the game goes for pretty cheap nowadays. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth here.

Overall, Dynasty Warriors 8 is a great game. In some respects it can feel a bit lazy though. I don’t see why they had to get rid of the voice acting. It’s part of what made the last game so ahead of its time. Going back to text boxes just feels like it’s a pretty big step back even if we did get some cutscenes still. It’s definitely not quite on the level of 7 but it’s still great so I recommend checking it out. The series has definitely come a long way since the olden days. It’s also pretty cool to know that I’m finally almost caught up with the series. One more game and I’ll finally be at the end.

Overall 8/10