7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Wild Guns Review

It’s time to look at one of the newer SNES game to be added to the Nintendo Online Service. Wild Guns looked good right from the jump. It’s a shooter that was well ahead of its time and the gameplay feels like it is N64 level at the least. It’s really a blast and definitely one of the strongest games I’ve played in this catalogue. I’d highly recommend it and while the game is still pretty short, it’s longer than some of the others I’ve checked out.

There doesn’t seem to be much of a plot but basically a bunch of robotic villains have taken over various towns. Your mission is to take down all of these bandits and robots with your trusty gun. The gameplay is a pretty fun. It’s a third person shooter where you have to take down enemies until a time limit runs out. At that point the boss will show up. The more enemies you take out, the quicker the timer will run out so you want to keep fighting at all times. When the boss shows up you defeat him and move onto the next area. There are 3 areas per level and around 5-6 levels in the game. You should have this taken care of in around an hour I’d say. You’ll get the hang of shooting and moving a lot as the game goes on.

A single shot takes you down which is pretty realistic so part of the strategy in the game is never getting hit. You can jump from side to side as well as use basic rolls. What you typically want to do is fire off a few shots and then run a bit. If it’s 1 on 1 with a villain then you can just start blasting since they can’t counter but there will almost always be a ton of enemies shooting at you. The final levels are especially difficult with this as it can be hard to find a single moment’s rest. If you get yourself into a bad situation is can be virtually impossible to escape unharmed without rewinding a bit. So an important thing to factor here is your current position as well as the next few. Predict their moves and all that.

One of the reasons why this game is so impressive is because of the boss designs. They all look quite good and are very creative. As I mentioned, the game seems pretty ahead of its time in this respect. The level designs are all unique and the gameplay is just so smooth. This is the kind of shooter video game that I can really get behind. There’s clearly a lot of thought and development time that went into this one. Even aiming the guns is pretty interesting since you sort of have to move while firing until you got the cursor just right. Then you have to get ready to move again since by then the villains will be starting to shoot at you. That’s where all of the strategy comes in.

It pretty much goes without saying that the graphics here are quite good. Even taking the designs out of the equation, everything just looks so modern and solid. This is an SNES game that has really aged well in that respect and I’d be up for a sequel to this game. I heard something about an Unloaded version so maybe the game already got a sequel or some kind of big remake. Either way until you check that one out, this is the one you’ll want to look into.

Overall, Wild Guns is definitely a solid title. Hopefully Nintendo doesn’t wait so long for the next batch of games but at the very least this is already shaping into a very strong batch. It’s going to be very difficult for the other SNES games to quite match this one. There may not be any real replay value after beating the game but the campaign is strong enough to hold its own. The game is pretty difficult and it’ll take time to get used to all of the different weapons. Once you have managed to pull that off then you’ll really be a pro at this game and can hang your head high.

Overall 7/10


5 Ways Nintendo can fix the Switch Online Service

Nintendo has historically been known as the greatest video game company out there. Certainly they have a lot of great titles. The consistency and unchanging nature of their games is part of why they’re an easy pick for starting someone off on their first console. You know what to expect and the games are pretty high quality. That being said, they have their share of weaknesses though. A big one if their online services. For years Nintendo has lagged behind the other companies. At least they had the excuse that their online product as free though. Now you do have to pay for it so that makes the issue all that much worse. Let’s look at 5 things they can do to fix their online.

1. Make it Free

This is the most unlikely option of course but it is one that would solve a lot of the issues. The online would be terrible compared to the competitors but since you wouldn’t be paying for it you probably wouldn’t mind a whole lot. When things are free you tend to cut them some slack because you aren’t losing anything. Nintendo also doesn’t really need to charge for much. They opted not to go for dedicated servers anyway and their NES/SNES Online catalogue is basically just a bunch of emulators that anyone can download for free online. As such we know that the space for these is tiny and it doesn’t take a whole lot of power to have them online. Still let’s look at more realistic options.

2. Use dedicated servers

This is an easy one. If you boot up a Sony or Microsoft game right now and head online you can expect to have close to 0 lag in your matches. That’s because the connection isn’t peer to peer so even if one of your opponents has a terrible online system it won’t affect your match. Compare that to Nintendo where if one player has a bad connection it will mess it up for everyone. That’s pretty inexcusable. Lag completely ruins an online experience when it’s at its worse. Input Lag can be crazy to deal with and normal lag is just as bad when it comes to trying to nail a solid combo. Nintendo’s really got to shape up in this area because it is very noticeable at this point.

3. Time to add GameCube Online

This is a big one, the GameCube needs to be online. There are too many crazy amazing games for them to not be here. I’m guessing Nintendo wants to make us pay 60 bucks for an HD Remaster but that’s not the play here. Putting these games online would be hype and it’s not like Nintendo would have time to port all of them either way. Give us a few big ones like Mario Sunshine and Melee. If those are going to get remasters then give us Pokémon Colosseum and F Zero GX. Either way GameCube games are a huge jump from the level of quality and replay value of the current titles. The NES and SNES games are fun to be sure but they are also very short. Adding in GameCube will really be the ticket to get people buying the online pass. I dare say you could even skip N64 and go back to it later. GameCube is what the people want and trust me, it would definitely go a long ways to getting Nintendo’s online into the big leagues.

4. Time to get Leaderboards

This is a big one that all of the other consoles have. We need some kind of online rankings here. Whether it is through trophies, achievements, or something else it would be immensely helpful. It would also be an extra incentive to get online if that was the only way to see your position. It’s always fun to try and get everything so this would also greatly help the replay value of all the Switch games. It’s never too late to start and this would be a good addition. It’s also worth adding into individual games like Super Smash Bros should have had this at launch along with a few other online features. This editorial is more about general Nintendo Online though so I’m just giving it a small nod here. In general the Switch needs some kind of ranking system.

5. Miscellaneous free stuff

Finally, we just need more freebies. Xbox and PlayStation give you random AAA games for free at times, backgrounds, and other perks. When’s the last time you got anything for free from Nintendo? At best they give you times freebies like ARMS and Mario Tennis which you get to play for a little while and then it’s gone forever. That barely counts as a freebie because you can’t keep it. No sir, I want a freebie that I can actually keep for the long haul. Even small things like new layouts, Switch backgrounds, emblems, etc would go a long way. You need to give people something, by not giving any freebies it definitely makes us feel bad. It’s like Nintendo just isn’t looking out for us. It wouldn’t take very long at all. Nintendo’s track record with reward programs is pretty bad though, I still remember how bad Club Nintendo’s rewards were for a long time.

In short, Nintendo needs to shape up on their online offerings. It is totally within their ability to do so if they really apply themselves. Until they fix these things they will continue to get mocked by everyone all the time. Even recently Super Smash couldn’t make the cut for EVO in large part because the servers are so bad. Make no mistake, that’s absolutely the big reason why it was cut. It’s a shame because it would have been good for everyone to have seen the state it is in on the big screen. That would have been the best chance to get Nintendo to change something ASAP. That boat has sailed though.

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

TwinBee Review

I actually played the sequel to this game before the original back when I was blasting through all of the SNES games. So it’s definitely pretty nostalgic to go back to the original here. The cover still looks like it’s saying TwinBoo to me until I look at it closer. I blame it on the fancy way they wrote the boxart. Either way this is a fun shooter game. It’s definitely one of those really quick one that loops almost right away though. It’s got a pretty fun dynamic to it though and some interesting mechanics even if they take a while to figure out.

So the gameplay here is that of a shooter where the screen is always scrolling up. You have to keep up with the screen and blast away at all of the enemies that get in your way. There are enemies on the ground as well which are tough to deal with since your normal blaster only shoots forward. At the beginning of the game you are able to shoot down a bit with the other button (A or B) but I ran out of ammo very quickly and couldn’t figure out how to get more. I’m sure there’s a way though. For the most part you just keep focusing on blasting away and eventually you will reach the top. At the end of each level there is a boss that must be defeated. There are 6 levels so this may take you around 20 minutes give or take a few.

One interesting mechanic here are the bells. They show up when you blast a cloud and change colors as you blast them. I only noticed white and blue, but I believe yellow and red may be present somewhere too. I couldn’t really figure out what they do though. White seemed to just increase your score and Blue would maybe give you a bit of extra speed. Beyond that they didn’t have a noticeable impact. It’s an interesting mechanic to have to blast your power ups as you go through the stage. I can’t think of any other games that really do that and it gives you an extra thing to focus on. It gives the gameplay a little more depth because now you have to decide what to prioritize, getting the power up or blasting the enemies away.

As always the rewind feature will be super helpful here. Without it the game may ultimately prove to be a little too tricky. These games have definitely proven to be extremely difficult in the modern day. I still think I wouldn’t be quite as big a gaming fan back then as I am today with all of the modern conveniences. If anything I probably would have mostly stuck to RPGs once they started coming out since they always had save features at least. RPGs and fighting games, the rest of the genres would have lagged behind a bit.

As for the graphics, I’d say that they hold up pretty well. The levels are nice and bright with a good amount of variety. The enemy designs are good too and I didn’t notice any lag during the game so the system was able to handle all of the models pretty well. The sound is more on the generic side so I don’t think you’ll be remembering much there. Lately quite a few games haven’t exactly wowed me with the soundtrack but they can’t all be winners.

Sometimes I’ll throw in a tip or two for a game like this, but there isn’t a whole lot to say beyond the obvious. Be careful with going too high up in the screen or you’ll be surrounded and will likely be defeated. Always take down as many enemies as possible. If you can’t take down the grounded units then at least beat the aerial ones. I’d also say to keep all of your aerial bullets during the opening levels because they will be incredibly handy later on in the game. That’ll be when you will really wish that you had some at the ready.

Overall, TwinBee is a pretty fun game. Ultimately what holds it back from a higher score is what holds most of the NES games back. It’s just too short. As fun as a game is I can’t totally recommend it when it’s under 30 minutes. This one’s free so you should still check it out but it won’t last long. There is also effectively no replay value here since there is nothing to do after beating the game. I suppose you can work on increasing your score at least.

Overall 5/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Review

It’s time to look at the Pac-Man Championship Edition title now that it’s free on the PS4 for a little while. I’ve always been a fan of the Pac-Man style gameplay. It’s simple yet effective. You could play it for hours as you try to get a higher and higher score. After a while though when your score is super high you have to play for very long periods of time before you even think about smashing the record. Well, this one’s a remixed style of the game. It’s not quite as fun as the original, but it still works out well and it’s nice to see Pac-Man experimenting.

When you boot up the game you’re forced to run through a bunch of tutorials. These shouldn’t take you long though and there is a second wave that is optional. I’d recommend playing through them as well. Then you jump into the mission mode where you take on a bunch of levels and try to get good ranks. Eventually this unlocks the Adventure Mode where you blast through worlds with a bunch of levels and a boss at the end. It’s pretty fun although fairly similar to the Mission Mode. I think you could have put them in the same category but the more content the better right? I played through a bunch of the levels although there are quite a lot so I didn’t beat them all.

The levels tend to all be about the same in the end with some slight differences in between them. For the Score Attack levels you have 5 minutes to get as many points as you can. You get infinite lives in the meantime I believe or at least it never seemed like you were in danger of losing them all. I got a few A ranks but it seems like it would be incredibly hard to get an S rank. Perhaps there is some kind of trick to moving faster or getting more points. It was pretty fun though and I do like how high-tech the gameplay feels. Even the fact that you can bump into ghosts intentionally to get them out of the way is definitely something new.

One area where the game missed out on though was not having the original game as an option here. I would have very quickly jumped on that. Pac-Man is just so much fun to play and I suppose the developers would be sad to see you playing that instead of their game but at least it would push sales a little more too right? It’s a win-win in my book. My main issue is that the variety of content seems very low. You’ve got a lot of levels to play through here but they’re all effectively the same level in the first mode and in the Adventure Mode they’re all super short. There isn’t really a mode here where you can just free play until you’re defeated and match scores with everyone. At least you can match scores on the 5 minute levels but in those you know you could have lived longer if they didn’t cut you off.

The graphics here are definitely pretty solid. I like the colors and the backdrops. It all works out pretty nicely if you ask me. It’s not like it’s AAA level but it’s all very clear and I like the art direction. As for the soundtrack, it was nice enough. It’s very fast paced which is important for a game like this. I dare say that you need fast music since slow tunes would throw you out of your rhythm very quickly.

It’s hard to say quite how long a game like this is. If it’s about how long it’ll take for you to beat all of the levels then I’d say around 7-8 most likely. Of course you’ve also got the replay value of trying to increase your score or getting the Platinum Trophy. It seems to me like that would be incredibly hard and even a lot of the individual trophies are tagged as Ultra Rare on the site which is not something you see every day. The game doesn’t have a lot of trophies so if you’re really good at Pac-Man then this could be one to go for.

Overall, Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 is a pretty solid game. I never got the first but this seems like it would be a solid sequel. At the very least it does hold up on its own which is always the important thing. I don’t know how long it”ll be free or even if it still is so I’d advise dashing if you want to play it. Who wants to turn down a free game right? This is the perfect opportunity to make a move for it so you should definitely do that. In the meantime I’ll keep on waiting for a new Pac-Man game to show up. I feel like it’s been ages since we got a big title.

Overall 7/10