Play Time 15h 23m
Baby Mario 23
Baby Luigi 23
Play Time 15h 23m
Baby Mario 23
Baby Luigi 23
It’s time to look at a DBZ game that I’ve been working on for quite a while at this point. It was the second big attempt at a card game version of DBZ based on the real one. The problem is that this is the kind of game that works better in person than in a video game. When you’ve got a game that’s completely luck based like this one, you can’t trust the computers not to cheat. Of course they’ll do whatever they can to win and that’s the problem. It’s never an even playing field with them and then that just makes the journey feel futile. 20 hours in and it was time to call it a day on this title.
The game adapts the first two arcs of DBZ. We get to wage our war against the Saiyans and Frieza’s Army in the first and then Cell and the Androids strike after that. I made it as far as the Ginyu Force showing up before I was ultimately forced to call it a day. Those guys are a lot tougher than you would suspect at first glance. There are also a lot of levels to even get that far. This game makes sure that even the briefest of skirmishes in the manga are turned into full blown boss battles in this one. You can expect a very long experience here. Honestly I don’t see how you could possibly complete it in under 30-40 hours. This game is definitely a long one so I do appreciate that the developers were trying to make this a complete experience.
The problem is that it’s long for all of the wrong reasons. One of the issues the game has is that each match takes forever. You have to wait for the cards to load, then you pick the cards and you get a little animation as the cards group up. If you win the encounter then the game plays a cutscene of you blasting the opponent. Rinse and repeat in every turn until one of you goes down. As you progress through the game you’ll deal less and less damage due to your level not going up quickly enough. If you want to fix that then you’ll need to go back and play the old levels again. Also if you lose during a level you don’t keep any of the XP from the fights. This can be tough as some levels can have up to 8 boss battles and if you lose to the last one you have to start all over again from your previous level. That means you’ll be stuck in a loop unless you go to an old level and do more grinding.
It’s not very fun either because in the last level the enemies just aren’t that tough so you’re not getting a lot of XP here either. It drags the game out even further. Still, I worked on doing a lot of grinding because I figured it was all worth it to beat the next level. Eventually I got Vegeta to level 23 to try and handle Captain Ginyu and to my dismay he started pulling out reverse cards. Now to understand how bad this is lets quickly recap the game’s controls. It’s very complicated so I’ll do my best to give a very condensed version of the rules. You have to use power or ally cards to attack your opponent and this works if your attack is higher than the other player’s power points. So if you roll a 7 and they have a 4 then you’ll get to attack and the damage will be based on their defense so for example the opponent may have a defense of 6. So just go for high numbers right?
Well, starting in this level the opponent has a reverse so if you have an 8 and they have a 2, it flips and they get your high number. The issue with this is that you’re now never sure of what to do. Do you try to go for a number higher than the opponent or lower? It’s a big issue because the computer always manages to somehow guess the correct number to dish out. I was far stronger than him at this point in the story yet he countered all of my blows until I eventually lost. That’s when I realized that there wouldn’t be much of a future in this game. It took the card mechanics one step too far to the point where there was just no return. You can’t use card game tactics like this and then also throw in a reverse card. If you’re not sure how to even aim your points then the whole thing feels futile.
It’s a shame because I do like the idea of the various characters having their own stories so you keep on alternating. The game has 4 main characters: Goku, Vegeta, Piccolo, and Gohan. Each character has their own fights and because of that you can also see why Arc 1 is so long. Some of the stages are also very long and can last for 20 turns or more. Each turn takes a while too. On average I’d finish a level in around 20-30 minutes I’d say. I’ve seen games with longer levels but that’s still a lot of time for a card game. It’s why the best Yugioh games are the ones that have low loading times since you’re really able to get into the action without having to slow yourself down.
The graphics are okay. They’re classic sprite animations which look fun enough. It’s got a very retro feel to it. The soundtrack is less impressive though. It’s not bad, the game is clearly going for a bit of a peaceful theme that you won’t mind hearing over and over again. I definitely see the logic in this approach because with this gameplay you can bet that you’ll be hearing the theme effectively on loop forever. So I’d say the game succeeds in that respect. I’d like more tunes but if this is the one we have to have it could definitely be worse.
In terms of replay value the game technically has a ton of it. The main campaign is huge and then after that you’ve also got extra leveling up you can do and things of that nature. You won’t be finishing this game anytime soon but with the gameplay as it is you’re unlikely to want to play through the whole adventure. This game really should have just tried being more fun. I should mention that you are able to exploit the quick save mechanic so that you are actually able to save within the levels. It’s extremely handy because this game would be even trickier otherwise. 2 quick fixes the game could and should have done would be to add actual save points and also to allow you to keep your XP when you lose. Those two things would have made a world of difference in the game.
Overall, The game’s design just isn’t very good. It makes a whole lot of mistakes and ultimately is not able to come back from them. DBZ games need action and excitement. If you’re going to go for a card game format then you need to make sure it’s fun. Dragon Ball Heroes uses cards to a much greater effect. This one still beats the GBA game though. That one had similar controls but the execution was ultimately even worse than this one. At least this one tried a lot more with the story and such. There is a huge amount of dialogue in this game. I recommend playing Attack of the Saiyans instead.
Play Time 24h 24m
Goku Level 17
Gohan Level 18
Piccolo Level 12
Vegeta Level 23
It’s time to look at a quick Kirby game from a while back. I say quick, but due to the fact that the game forces you to collect a ton of medals it actually isn’t quite as short as it would appear. Expect a lot of backtracking here unless you managed to grab the medals the first time around. It’s not super likely though as the game forces you to lose your pals every time you go to a new world. It’s not until you have completed the first 4 worlds that you keep your full squad each time. It’s a bit of a dicey mechanic if you ask me. I always feel like grabbing collectibles should be completely optional. Ah well, I wouldn’t say it’s incredibly long or anything like that I guess. At the end of the day the controls are what hold this one back a bit.
The game starts with Kirby trying to enjoy a normal day but getting attacked by a mysterious villain. Kirby has now been split into 10 different mini Kirbys. He will need to regain the scepter and stop the forces of evil in order to emerge as the one true Kirby once more. Is that even possible? Only time will tell. One thing’s for sure, Kirby won’t rest until he saves the galaxy once more. While I may write Kirby up to be more heroic than he is, the guy always does have a knack for saving the world at the end of the day and that’s what counts. He’s a guy that you can count on to get the job done. Without Kirby the heroes would definitely have been doomed in this world.
The gameplay is very stylus centered as I referenced earlier. This isn’t your classic Kirby platformer. In fact, you can’t even move without the stylus. How it works is you tap wherever on the screen you want your Kirbys to run to. They follow the stylus and will collect anything that is in their path. To attack an enemy you just tap the enemy and they will do the rest. The more Kirbys you have on your squad, the easier it will be for them to clean shop and take these guys down. 10 is the maximum amount of Kirbys you can have at once. With them at the ready you can activate a lot of different mechanisms in the levels and really have your pick of how you want to complete some levels.
There are around 3-5 medals in each level. You only need to care about the rainbow ones. Those are absolutely critical to getting the final world unlocked so pick up as many of them as you can. You’ll be happy you did this up front so that you don’t have to replay too many levels. It’s also worth noting that obtaining medals unlocks more minigames so those might be something you’ll want to check out. It does help the replay value. If you take away the replaying levels part then this game is probably around 7 hours or so. Throw in the replays and I’d say that this extends the game to around 10-11 hours easy. It’s forced replay value though so it’s not as helpful to your enjoyment of the game as you might think.
I also couldn’t get around the controls even by the end of the game. Why would you have your character controlled by the stylus? It’s way more fulfilling to just control the character yourself. At least, that’s the way I see it for sure. I like to just be able to move the characters and things are a lot more entertaining that way. The characters don’t always respond very well either which leads to some extra deaths that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. At least the game gives you a chance to save them. When a Kirby gets hit, they turn into a ghost and you can use another Kirby to grab them and bring them back to Earth. If that happens then you keep the Kirby. If the Kirby goes away then you lose him until you earn 100 fruits again to get a new one. Obtaining a new Kirby doesn’t take too long but since they’re crucial to obtaining some of the Rainbow Medals you want to take good care of them.
The graphics are pretty solid. This game holds up with the rest in that respect. The level designs are fun and all of the worlds do feel different. I’d say it’s fair to make the case that a lot of effort was put into the game. It’s certainly not a cash-in or anything like that. This game did try its best. Then we’ve also got a solid soundtrack filled with a lot of solid Kirby tunes. I’d say that some are new, some are old, and some are remixes which is a pretty solid balance. I’m not the biggest Kirby fan though so I’m not 100% sure on the music balances.
The bosses are pretty fun and they’re all fairly unique. They have different attack patterns and things like that. The only problem is that due to the way the controls are, it barely matters. No matter how they play, your controls are the same. You just tap the Kirbys onto them and that’s it. Because of that, the best boss is probably one who fades into the background so you have to attack him by jumping into barrels as if this was a DK country game. It was a solid boss fight that tests your reaction times and makes for a satisfying victory once you do manage to win. This game is also a little more difficult than the average Kirby game I should mention. It’s not particularly hard next to the average game but definitely way more intricate than the typical Kirby experience.
Overall, Kirby Mass Attack is a pretty decent game, but one that is limited by some of the choices the developers made. The main two things holding the game back are the controls and the fact that you have to go back to get the Rainbow Medals. The latter decision is particularly the one that really doesn’t help things out. It’s just not something the game should have done. It only hurts the game by a star though. Ultimately if you can find a good price for it then I would still recommend Mass Attack. It’s definitely a unique Kirby game and it has a real story as well so that’s always fun.
Play Time 9h 14m
Story Mode 59% Complete
Medals Collected 98/186
Kirby Flicks 16524
Total Score 112560
Time SPent on Star 23m
KO’d Kirbies saved 241
Kirbys Acquired 74
Maxim Tomatoes 16
It’s time to look at a recent Kirby game for the DS. Kirby is one of those titles where I’ve lost track of how many portable games there are. There are just so many and then you have the remakes and ports to deal with as well. I figured I could at least get a little closer to being caught up with the series though and what better way than with this one? Squeak Squad is one of the shortest Kirby games out there as it’s barely over 2 hours. That means it is the perfect pick to blast through. The gameplay is pretty solid but the length is hard to ignore.
The plot involves Kirby getting ready to eat a nice slice of cake. Unfortunately the cake is snatched away right before his very eyes. It appears that the group known as the Squeaks have stolen it. Kirby makes it his mission to track all of these guys down so he can get his cake. He will have to travel across multiple lands in order to do this, but nothing is going to stop him from getting his meal. I know how good a solid slice of cake can be so it is definitely hard to pass that up. Meanwhile, is there something more sinister at play here?
The story doesn’t move much as you only get a quick cutscene at the start and then for the final few worlds. Still, I’m always glad to see a story of any sort. It may feel rather low stakes but this is Kirby so you know that something will change by the end. Kirby has come to be known as the title with all of the extremely high end cosmic villains by the end and the games do not disappoint with this. As they go on you can always count on some pretty big villains showing up to cause damage and take people down. The final boss here is enough hype being with a cool design. In general the boss fights are pretty solid.
I also expected them to be a walk in the park but 1 in particular was actually a real challenge where I lost some lives. A big thing in the Kirby games is to make sure you have the right power for each situation. If you lose a power then a boss or level can be a lot more difficult than it would have been otherwise. That’s exactly what happened here. I lose my boomerang power so that I could make a space for the chest. Then the cloud boss that showed up was hard to deal with. I kept falling or I would get stunned for a while. The boss design was actually pretty clever and worked quite well to be honest. This was a true threat that just wouldn’t go down very easy. The rest of the bosses were more standard but I was still reasonably impressed with this.
As for the gameplay, it’s your standard Kirby style. You run through a level as you try to get to the goal. A new wrinkle is that you can hold up to 5 items in storage in addition to the ability you already have. This can be pretty handy for sure. You’ll also need those spots because some levels can have up to 3 chests. They each take up a slot so this prevents you from holding more food or special abilities. You don’t actually need to collect all of the chests in this game to clear it, but I wasn’t taking any chances and grabbed half of them during the game. In particular the important ones appear to be the mega chests at the end of a level. These have the potential to carry the Star Brands and you will need those brands in order to access the final worlds. Most of the chests aren’t really hidden during the opening worlds and only get a little more difficult in the second half of the game. I’d say that’s the main thing to be aware of but otherwise you should be good to go.
The levels are a lot shorter than I expected which makes sense for why the game is so short. There are around 50 levels in the game and you don’t have to actually clear all of them. Each level comes with a bonus level that you can skip so most worlds just have 5 levels. Each level shouldn’t take you longer than around 2 minutes to complete if you’re looking for chests. I liked the pocket size of the levels. They’re part of the game’s charm and it makes this game very easy to just pick up and play. The level designs are quite excellent but that’s no surprise.
The graphics are definitely pretty good. I liked the little illustrations we would get to progress the story as well. The artwork was definitely on point and it helped to show that this game had a reasonable budget. The soundtrack is very good. That one has a lot of remixes from previous games and all of the tunes end up feeling pretty iconic. This is definitely more in line with what I would expect from a Nintendo title and they did not disappoint. These tunes are memorable and really get you into the spirit of things.
In terms of replay value there is some although not a whole lot. Completing the whole game with half of the collectibles only took a little over 2 hours. If you go back to get the rest of them then I guess you could maybe stretch this to 4 hours. That’s about it though so I can’t give the game a whole lot of credit for that. 4 hours for 100% completion rate is not really amazing at all but the sheer enjoyment factor of the game will keep this one operating at a positive level. If anything I would just say as a disclaimer that you shouldn’t buy this game for a high price. Make sure you get it for around 15 or something and then it’s a good deal.
Overall, Kirby Squeak Squad was pretty fun. It’s a brief experience but I certainly enjoyed the smooth gameplay and fun plot. This is a game I could recommend to anyone who likes platformers or wants to start the genre. Despite that one boss being a little tricky, the game is pretty easy so it works perfectly as an introduction. After clearing it you’ll be ready for some more adventures and slightly more difficult titles. I have another Kirby game coming up which is supposed to be tougher to complete so I look forward to seeing what challenges that one has in store for me.
Play Time 2h 22m
Collectibles Acquired 60/120
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.
Play Time 1h 17m
Score Attack 183
Marathon Mode 2856
This game has definitely been on my list to buy for quite a long time. Well, I finally took the plunge and did it live up to the hype? Well, the gameplay is pretty solid but there are some aspects that ultimately hold it back from being nearly as good as it could have been. At the end of the day just focus on getting this at a reasonable price and you’ll be good. It’s also nice that Peach finally got her own game instead of being kidnapped this time around. It’s a nice change of pace.
The game starts with Bowser’s minions storming the castle and easily taking Mario and Luigi down. This was made possible because of a scepter they obtained that can manipulate emotions. How can the Mario bros hope to stop someone while they’re sobbing right? That’s basically the concept here and it works out quite well. They leave Peach though which proves to be a fatal miscalculation. She enlists the help of a talking umbrella and together they fight off Bowser. No road left but the one to victory. Peach is going to prove once and for all why she is the ruler of the Mushroom Kingdom.
As far as original characters go the Umbrella’s not that bad but he’s very forgettable. He barely talks at all and has the same dream at the end of each chapter. That part’s a bit on the repetitive side because the scenes are just too similar. It’s like the Paper Mario Color Splash cutscenes although even those had a little more detail added to them. In this game get ready to see the same stills over and over again. At least they look decently solid I suppose.
There isn’t really a story outside of the opening and ending anyway. You’re really here for the gameplay. So part of the game plays out like your traditional Mario game although you can whack people with your umbrella. Peach also gets more abilities as the game goes on which you can buy from the shop like energy blasts and a ground pound technique. I also recommend buying the floating ability right away because it helps quite a lot with the actual platforming. It saves you a ton of time if you have this at your disposal. Be careful about going through the levels too quickly though as the game will absolutely try to penalize you for it.
That’s the main thing that holds the game back. It all goes pretty smoothly as you breeze through all of the worlds until you hit the final one. That’s when the game reveals that in order to challenge the final level you actually need to have collected all of the Toads in the game. Are they serious? Unfortunately yes. There are a ton of Toads in the game as well with 16 in each of the first 7 worlds and 15 in world 8. I skipped just about all of them initially so I had to literally replay every level. Most of the Toads aren’t really all that hidden but it’s still the concept of the thing. This turned the game into a 10 hour experience when it should have really been far lower. I never like when a game artificially extends the playtime like this and it felt pretty unnecessary. Collectibles should never be mandatory for the main ending. If you are going to go that route, then you really need to let the player know right away. This ended up shaving a full star off of the review.
The graphics are pretty solid though. It’s definitely got that Nintendo flair to it. The worlds have a lot of color and energy. As always Nintendo does a good job of making sure that each world feels very different. It makes the experience a whole lot more convincing. Unfortunately the recycled cutscene at the end of each world does make the whole thing feel a bit lazy though. It’s not really something I would expect from a Nintendo game to tell you the truth. You expect Nintendo to crank something new out each time so that was a bit disappointing. As for the soundtrack, it’s not as memorable as the big Mario games but I thought it sounded well enough. It’s just pleasant background music as you ride on through the levels.
There’s ironically not a whole lot of replay value here since the game makes you grab the collectibles anyway. Most likely the only things left might be to find a few music tracks of puzzle pieces you didn’t find over the course of exploring each level. Additionally there are a lot of things to buy in the shop but you should have finished purchasing almost everything by the time you wrapped this game up. 10 hours is a pretty solid amount of content even if it is pretty forced. Your whole perception of the game will depend on if you know about the collectibles so I recommend just trying to grab them all right off the bat.
Overall, Super Princess Peach is a fun enough game. If you like platformers then it’s worth checking out. I liked some of the new additions to the classic Mario gameplay like being able to fire off energy blasts. I was not a fan of having to grab collectibles though. That was a mistake from the game. I could do with or without the emotions system. As far as gimmicks go it’s not really in your face nor does it hamper the gameplay so I’m okay with it. I don’t think it’s all that necessary though. The game did a good job of bringing in all of the classic Mario villains so if we get a sequel someday I’d like them to continue on with that theme. There are certainly a lot of other good Mario bosses that you can bring into the mix and we already know Peach can fight thanks to Super Smash. She’s ready for some more action.