Sonic Forces: Speed Battle Review

2017-forces-speed-battle-logo
It’s time for the latest app game that I decided to check out. Given that Sonic Forces was basically hype confirmed I was thrilled to hear about the mobile app. On the surface Sonic Forces is just another free runner so there’s nothing really special about it. Sonic already does have a free runner game when you think about it and that one has many more levels and characters. At the same time, I’ve never played any of those before so it all felt fresh to me. It’s definitely a fun game but one with diminishing returns unlike Pokémon Go which only gets more enjoyable as you level up. It’s a fun game but one that won’t last for very long.

There is only one mode, free run. If you were hoping for 1V1 battles or mini games/a story then you’re out of luck. Every race brings 4 random racers together and you race for the goal. 1st Place will give you around 10 trophies and it typically takes 500 to level up. As you can see it takes a lot of races to level up towards the end and especially when you are fighting tougher opponents who won’t let you take 1st. You start out with 2 stages to play on and as you level up you unlock better stages and better rewards. The rewards are the points you get towards unlocking a specific character. It’s randomized and the characters are divided into rarity tiers so you’ll see how eventually you will have far more cards for characters like Sonic than Metal Sonic for example. Since this is the only mode in the game you will want to really enjoy it.

The game suffered from bad connection errors for a little while but eventually it was able to fix itself. Now there are no issues with the gameplay which is certainly good since that is the entire game in a nutshell. There is definitely a lot of skill involved as you jump over obstacles and slide under others. You want to optimize your run and figure out the fastest way to clear a level. Given that you will be playing the stages very often, that shouldn’t be hard at all.

There are three different levels in the game. The first is your user level. Upgrading this will help you with rings and your special attacks will be stronger. You get the exp for it by leveling upyour characters. Second is your online level, this is what gets you the better loot boxes and allows you to play more stages. You level this up by winning battles online. Finally there are the individual character levels. You beef these up by getting their cards from treasure chests. They amplify the character’s abilities by a small amount but it’s enough to rip the scales your way. As far as I can tell each character has 16 levels total. I can’t confirm that of course as I don’t have anyone who is over level 8 but it’s based on a little guide they have in the game on what you unlock with each level. I’m sure the exp requirement skyrockets by the end so only the most serious of players, or the ones who pay a bunch will reach that point.

The graphics are really sharp. The character models are really well done and the backgrounds are a blast. It at least does feel like a lot of effort went into the graphics. I also enjoy the music but it’s just the one theme which can be a bit repetitive at times. It’s the inspirational version of the main Sonic Forces theme so it’s fitting for any fast paced race I’d say. They should definitely add more themes in as you level up though. Each stage should honestly have its own theme and I can’t even see how that would be tough to implement. Shouldn’t they just grab the songs they need from Sega and put it in?

There’s definitely a lot of replay value to the point where it’s infinite but how fun is this replay value? After all, there’s no point if you’re not going to try and collect everything. As I alluded to in the intro, the game slowly loses the joy that it had from the start. I think the biggest detractor is how you will actually lose points once you level up if you get 3rd or 4th which is unfortunate since the competition does get a lot stronger do it will be tough to get in the top 2 after a while. The sheer repetition of playing the same level over and over again will get to you. If you think about it, most mobile games effectively have you doing the same things over and over again but they cleverly mask this or the gameplay is so fun that it doesn’t even matter. You can say that Pokémon Go is incredibly repetitive but at least it is also a blast at the same time. That’s not to say that this game isn’t fun though. I think it’s the kind of game that is best in small doses. Just play a few races every day and you’re set. I’ll give it some props for being lenient on how long you can play as well. Some games have an energy meter so you can only play a certain amount each day. Fire Emblem has that but it’s so lenient that it barely ever matters. Forces limits how many chests you can get in a day, but that’s all. You can keep playing to your heart’s content.

Overall, Speed Battle is a good app. I think it’s definitely a title that you can have fun with for a little while. I don’t think you will enjoy it quite as much if you’ve played any other free runner though as then this one won’t even feel fresh from the start. Even aside from the fact that there isn’t much variety in the gameplay, I’d at least like for the rewards to be more reasonable. You’d have to win hundreds of races to get to one of the higher levels and I just can’t see myself doing that. It would be such a large time commitment and at the end of the day these apps are fun for playing a little here and there. Not for big play sessions. I’d recommend checking this game out as it is free and all so there’s really nothing to lose but don’t expect the game to hold you over for very long. That’s just the kind of game it is and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There is a lot of missed opportunities here though. (No Infinite?)

Overall 7/10

Advertisements

Ingress Stats and Records

Stats time!

Level 7
634564 AP
2 Silver Medal
7 Bronze Medals
9 Locked Medals
376 Unique Portals visited
37 KM walked
1725 Resonators Deployed
181 Links Created
32 Control Fields Created
345 Portals Captured
258 Mods Deployed
131 Resonators Destroyed
58 Portals Neutralized
11 Enemy Links Destroyed
11 Enemy Control Fields Destroyed
1102 Hacks
111 Glyph Hack Points
Longest Hacking Streak 32 Days

Ingress Review

ingress-main
It’s time to look at the game that came before Pokemon Go. Not many people know this, but Pokemon Go was actually copy and pasted from another game that Niantic made first. Copy and paste may be strong, but both games are quite similar and you can see how Ingress is essentially the beta version. As a result it’s pretty fun, but it really lacks the key aspects that make Pokemon Go so addicting and thus you’ll find yourself bored before long.

In the first place I picked up Ingress only because I wanted to be able to submit ideas for Pokestops in Pokemon Go. That seemed like a pretty fun goal to me, but then they said you had to be at least Level 10 to do so. That was when I stopped playing. I made it to Level 7, but each level doubles the EXP you need so it would have taken me a year at the most but at the minimum probably 8-9 months. That would be time that would have taken away from Pokemon Go and it was simply too much of an investment and I’ll let other players handle that one.

The goal of the game is to take over various points in the world for your team. There are the Green and Blue teams in the game so I went with classic Blue. Each location is essentially a Pokestop. (A little circle with a picture) You can drop off shields at the place and little generators to claim it as your own. If someone else owns it, then you have to destroy their generators before placing your own. If you take over multiple locations, you can use a Field Link to merge them and control a larger area. Nobody can take over a space that is in your area so it’s a good way to shut the opponent down. There isn’t really an end to the game but like Pokemon you can effectively say that you’ve beaten the game when you’re Level 16. That would take a really impressively long time to accomplish as well.

It’s tough going when you’re in the early levels since your weapons and defenses are weak. It will be impossible to take down any barrier that a high level has placed so stick to visiting all of the stops and getting what EXP you can. It’s really a game that is meant to be played while you’re exploring since there’s not a lot to do otherwise. There’s nothing to do if you stay in one place unless you live on a stop. (I live on two which is helpful but after spinning them then you’re stuck again) It’s a good game on the road and I may enjoy it more if Pokemon Go didn’t exist. This game is Pokemon Go, but without the Pokemon or the Gym Battling which makes it quite a bit less encicing.

Once you start playing you’ll get hooked on it, but eventually the fad will pass. I’d say that I lasted quite a while all things considered. Maybe I’ll check out the game again someday if they lower the level limit, but all mobile games stop eventually and this is just my time for checking out. The graphics are okay, but it’s not as if there is much to show. There are no creatures or anything, just a few simple animations. There is no real music in the game. There may be a main theme although I can’t remember it, but it won’t be earning any stars in that regard. As far as replay value goes, it’s essentially infinite so that’s a plus I suppose.

The game is at its best if you’re playing it with a few friends. Since it’s about taking over the neighborhood, it’s naturally fun with a group. On your own, you’re outnumbered and you’ll just have to really enjoy the process of playing the game since anything you do will likely be undone by the time you go back home. This will depend on how busy your area is of course, but at least in mine there are a ton of active players. Then there are also the likely bots and spoofers running around as well.

Overall, Ingress is a well made game, albeit a limited one if you’re on your own. It’s just very repetitive and while you can say that for just about every mobile game, it’s not quite as enjoyable as those. The game is also very vague on everything so if you want to learn what you’re actually doing it is advised that you look for the information online or go straight to Reddit. If you’re outside a lot and like visiting places then it’s a good idea to download this app and have fun getting the points. On the other hand, I’d recommend doing the same with Pokemon Go. At the end of the day, you need to decide which game is more fun and just pick one. You can’t have both open at the same time with one phone so if you play both then one is always missing out. That’s why I ended up choosing Pokemon. Ingress definitely wouldn’t rank as highly as most of the other Mobile games I’ve played, but it is tragic to an extent since it probably would get a much higher score if Pokemon Go didn’t exist. It’s just how it goes and you can’t help but compare the two as you’re playing. Maybe one day they’ll link both games with rewards or something, that would definitely be interesting. I am also interested in the new Harry Potter game that the company is working on as well. That should definitely be fun but like Ingress I’d probably only check it out for a little while. Ingress lasted a month and a half before I called it quite, we’ll see if Harry Potter can even last that long!

Overall 6/10

My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Stats and Records

Stats time!

Picross Levels Completed 45/45
Picross Levels Completed in under an hour 29/45
Mega Picross Levels Completed 1/45
Mega Picross Levels Completed in under an hour 0/45

My Nintendo Picross: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Review

cover_large
It’s time to take a look at a Picross game. I’m a little ashamed to admit that I’ve never played one before, but there is a first time for everything right? I earned a bunch of MyNintendo points for playing Fire Emblem Heroes, but there wasn’t a whole lot in the rewards section. I figured that this game would be better than nothing so I took the plunge. It’s a relatively simple game that can be pretty addicting as you’d expect from this kind of game. It’s very similar to Sudoku in many ways and it’ll really test your brain power. Throw in the Twilight Princess backdrop and you’re all set for hype.

There are 45 puzzles in the game and an additional 45 Mega Picross battles. I took a peak at the Mega Picross levels, but honestly they didn’t seem all that appealing. The rules were super convoluted and since I had just gotten used to the original ones I didn’t want to have to learn a whole new set of rules. As a result I stuck to the classic ones. The goal of each puzzle is to solve it in under an hour. Every time you make a mistake it adds on another 3-5 minutes to your total. I did fairly good for myself overall as most of my puzzles were conquered in under an hour, but some managed to persist.

In case you don’t know what Sudoku is, here are the Picross rules. You have 10 rows and 10 Lines. Each one will have a number at the start. The number shows you how many boxes in that line/row have to be filled out. You know the length, but you don’t know where it starts and that’s where the detective work starts. You have to cross check the numbers with the other rows and lines and that is how you’ll figure out what to fill out. It’s a pretty intense ame and this one tries to help by starting you off with some squares filled in. I don’t know how you could hope to solve it if you started with a blank board to be honest. That would be impressive though.

The graphics are good. I mean, there is almost literally nothing that you are using the graphics for so it would have been almost impossible to have been bad. Still, I’ll take what we can get. The music is also good since it is music from Legend of Zelda. That makes the puzzles more engaging and gives the game an extra bump. As I mentioned, the gameplay is a lot of fun as well. Since it is basically free, then that’s already a positive outcome.

There is only one weakness to the game and that is its lack of content. Since there are only 45 picross challenges you can finish that in a few days. Then that’s it. Of course, for the price this lack of replay value isn’t terrible. It’ll keep it from being a 7, but it’s still a good game in the long run. I wonder what a AAA Picross game would be like.

There’s not much more to say so I’ll start to close by giving a tip. When the hint roulette comes out to give you a row and a line, try to get them both in the same corner. That’ll give you a huge step forward into solving the Picross. The roulette moves very quickly so it’ll be difficult to do, but it certainly isn’t impossible. With enough practice you are sure to succeed.

Overall, I’d recommend getting this game. It is still the best prize on the MyNintendo Rewards site so you may as well. It’s also a good way to relive the Legend of Zelda adventures while stretching your mind as well. Solving these puzzles will make you think and that’s always a good thing. If you’re going to get some exercise, it may as well be while you’re having fun. Hopefully Nintendo adds some more game rewards to the site though as it is sad that Picross is all by itself the whole time. It needs a partner.

Overall 6/10

Fire Emblem Heroes Stats and Records

Stats time!
Heroes 71/172
Feathers 24710
Orbs 2
Castle Level = Max
Story (Normal) 13/13 Complete
Story (Hard) 12/13 Complete
Story (Lunatic) 8/13 Complete
Paralogue (Normal) 13/13 Complete
Paralogue (Hard) 13/13 Complete
Paralogue (Lunatic) 3/13 Complete

Hero stats

Ike Level max Grade max
Roy Level max Grade max
Tharja Level max Grade max
Eliwood Level max Grade 4
Anna Level max Grade 2
Eirika Level max Grade max
Mathilda Level 36+3 Grade 4
Olivia Level 30 Grade 4
Peri Level 29 Grade Max
Roy Level 31 Grade Max
“Marth” Level 28 Grade Max
Caeda Level 25+2 Grade 4
Selena Level 22+1 Grade 4
Bartre Level 21+1 Grade 4
Roderick Level 21+1 Grade 4
Hinata Level 20 Grade 4
Stahl Level 18+1 Grade 4
Camilla Level 23 Grade 4
Niles Level 1+3 Grade 3
Donnel Level 14+1 Grade 4
Clair Level 1+1 Grade 4
Beruka Level 28+1 Grade 4
Leon Level 28+1 Grade 4
Clarine Level 1+1 Grade 4
Seliph Level 14 Grade 4
Henry Level 1 Grade 4
Lukas Level 17 Grade 4
Oboro Level 1 Grade 4
Est Level 1 Grade 4
Subaki Level 1 Grade 4
Mae Level 1 Grade 4
Arthur Level 1 Grade 4
Frederick Level 1 Grade 4
Merric Level 1 Grade 4
Rebecca Level 1 Grade 4
Felicia Level 1 Grade 4
Jakob Level 1 Grade 4
Kagero Level 1 Grade 4
Maria Level 1 Grade 4
Serra Level 1 Grade 4
Sakura Level 1 Grade 4
Priscilla Level 1 Grade 4
Fir Level 1 Grade 3
Lon’qu Level 1 Grade 3
Hana Level 1 Grade 3
Laslow Level 1 Grade 3
Sophia Level 1 Grade 3
Jagen Level 1 Grade 3
Sully Level 1 Grade 3
Shanna Level 1 Grade 3
Odin Level 1 Grade 3
Barst Level 1 Grade 3
Cherche Level 1 Grade 3
Nino Level 1 Grade 3
Robin Level 1 Grade 3
Cecilla Level 1 Grade 3
Virion Level 1 Grade 3
Setsuna Level 1 Grade 3
Matthew Level 4 Grade 3
Gaius Level 1 Grade 3
Azama Level 1 Grade 3
Alfonse Level 1 Grade 2
Raigh Level 1 Grade 2
Gunter Level 1 Grade 2
Narcian Level 1 Grade 2
Lissa Level 1 Grade 2

Fire Emblem Heroes Review

ogp
It’s time for a new App game! Since I got to Level 40 in Pokemon Go I figured it would be fine to finally check out another free game. This one got a lot of hype back in the day, but I think I got on the gravy train before it completely passed me by. After playing it for a few days I can definitely see why everyone loves it so much. The game is incredibly polished for a free game and it has helped make me a much bigger Fire Emblem fan than I was before. There’s so much to do here that if I took it seriously I would be here a while. It’s going to be more of a side project as new levels come in I’ll complete them and all but I won’t bother going for the more competitive goals.

The game actually has a plot which is already cool. Terry (Your original character protagonist) is summoned into the World of Fire Emblem. The realm is under attack by an evil sorceress with immeasurable power. She has enslaved whole worlds and almost the whole cast is under her power. Terry can tip the balance because he can summon heroes of his own to combat her and he is immune to mind control. You have to team up with the ones who summoned you to stop this foe and rescue everyone who has been enslaved. It’ll be tough though as you’ll have to defeat tough combatants like Lucina, Roy, Ike, and many others. Also, there are so many worlds that as soon as you leave one, the sorceress goes back to reclaim it.

It seems like new levels are added every once in a while, but I don’t expect the game plans to end the campaign anytime soon. The most recent level did end with a big plot twist though. It was one that was certainly expected, but it still counts as progression. There are 12 Story chapters I believe and 10 Protologues, with 2 Xenologues. It’s a pretty good amount of content. I beat the story part of the game in about 2 days, but there is a lot of other content to explore. There are online Arena Battles where you fight other players, Training Stadiums to level up and collect gems, Special Battles where you can fight new matches every day to get more characters and items, Voting Gauntlets, and several other modes.

This game is not lacking in content in the slightest and I probably didn’t even get to try all of the modes for about a week or so. It’s actually very overwhelming at first, but you gradually get used to it as you play more and more. Too much content is never a bad thing after all. If I don’t want to play a mode, then nothing is forcing me to do so. The main currency in the game are Orbs. You get around 5-8 every day for logging in. You can use 20 to purchase a full set of 5 characters. You can also use 1 to replenish your energy each time you run out and you can use 1 during a fight to restore all of your characters and they all get an extra turn. You don’t want to be too frivolous with the Orbs when you start because they get more scarce as you go on.

I mentioned the energy earlier and that determined what you can do every day. Each action costs energy and when you run out you have to use an orb or just stop playing for the day. That’s how they get you as you can purchase extra orbs. I know quite a few people online who’ve spent hundreds on orbs so they could get their favorite character. I definitely won’t be spending any money on this game though. In part it’s because Pokemon Go was my only exception to that rule and also because the game is quite generous with the orbs. I have never been in a spot where I was out of orbs and needed energy or even been in a situation where I was close to that. You would also need to play quite a lot in a single day to approach that limit. It should be a non factor for most players.

Once you’ve beaten the available story chapters in the game, I’d say that the main focus is now to collect all of the Fire Emblem characters. There are currently 168 and I have about 60. The ultimate final goal would be to get all of them to Grade 5 and max them out to Level 40. Of course that increases your time exponentially as doing that is really a long term goal. As such I won’t really be gunning for that. At most I’ll log in every day for my new fighter and eventually maybe I’ll have them all. Even if they’re grade 2 or 3 that’s fine. To improve their grade you have to level back to Level 1 with that character and spend 20,000 Feathers and 20 Shields which are not easy to come by. It can take weeks to obtain that and I personally can’t say it’s worth it unless you’re super competitive in the game.

The gameplay is extremely smooth and highly customizable. It’s classic Fire Emblem gameplay as you position your pieces on the map and attack. All of the characters have special abilities and there are 3 types, Green, Blue, and Red. Each type is good against another one and week to another. There’s also a blank class, but I’m not sure where they fit into all of this. Different characters have different styles of attack like close range or long which you need to take into account. If you want to fight and know that you’ll win anyway, you can set the game to auto fight and let the computer handle the fight while you get a bite to eat or something. I admit that I started doing this quite a lot after I beat the game to save time. You can also turn off the animations for each attack which saves a bunch of time and I wish more games did that. It would be very useful.

Fire Emblem Heroes really shines when it comes to the graphics. They are exceptionally good and easily the best that I’ve ever seen in a mobile game. It spared no expense with the character portraits and attacks. It’s one of the things that really drew me to the game when I first started. It’ll be really cool if they can grab more animated cutscenes by the end of the game, but even if they don’t I’m still pretty satisfied. The soundtrack is also solid. The themes are limited, but memorable. All in all I’m sure a very large amount of money was put into this game and I’m sure that it has made it all back quite easily.

It’s time to go back and rank all of the mobile games. In 1st is clearly Pokemon Go. The game’s amazing and I’ve put in over 1000 hours by now. You just can’t overestimate just how influential the title is. Truly a legend. 2nd is Fire Emblem Warriors. The immense amount of content and reasons to keep playing speaks for itself. I also like the generous log in bonuses as you really feel like it’s worth it to keep showing up. 3rd is Marvel’s Contest of Champions. It was a fun game, but a big step down from the first two as the gameplay was very repetitive. It also had a very long story mode but it was considerably lower budget and you never felt like you were making any progress. Honestly it’s a very similar style to Fire Emblem Heroes but think of the difference being like Mario Galaxy vs Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. 4th is Ingress. It’s basically just like Pokemon only without the Pokemon and the Gyms. It may go up as some point, but my whole area is owned by the opposing team and I need to reach Level 6-8 in order to actually do anything about it. I dunno, it’s fun enough but I always can’t help but think of how many Pokemon I’d be catching if I had Go open. Finally in 5th is 1010!. It barely counts when placed with the others since it has no plot and it more of a very simple game app. Still, I did play through it so counting it is fair. It’s a lot of fun at first, but actually gets less so the higher your score gets. After all, who wants to spend 30 minutes trying to top your score only to come out short in the end? Definitely not me! That’s 6 App games that I’ve tried out now. It could be a while before another one so we’ll see how that does in the end.

Overall, App games are very addicting. It’s easy to see how this one got so far. For every great title like this one there are probably 100 low budget mobile games that are pretty bad, but I’ve done a good job of avoiding those so far. I hope Nintendo comes out with a Super Smash app at some point as you just know that would be really awesome. I finally got Roy, Ike, and Lucina in this game so I’m definitely very satisfied with my turnout. I’d like to get Marth at some point, but I suppose it could be a while. If you’re interested in the game, I recommend downloading it as soon as possible. Even if you don’t want to play it yet, download the game just so you can start receiving your daily rewards by logging in. That way you’ll be extra prepared with a bunch of extra items and characters by the time you really do start. There are still a bunch of features that I don’t fully understand or have barely scratched the surface of and we’ll see if I ever do. At least it’s nice knowing that they’re there if I ever need them. It may be time to get a real Fire Emblem game, but I’ve heard mixed things on the newer ones and the old ones are so expensive. It’s definitely a tough call.

Overall 8/10

Pokemon Go Update

maxresdefault (4)
I have finally reached Level 40! In a sense, I feel like I’ve finally completed the game. Getting to this point was always my biggest goal. Now that it’s completed my priority is completing the Pokedex. I’m just missing 2 (Not counting regional exclusives) which are Miltank and Unknown. After I get those two, the final main goal is to catch a Top caliber (81%LV or higher) of each Pokemon evolution route. This game has definitely been intense and soon I’ll finally have my own Blaziken! He is officially going to be my Buddy Pokemon for ages and I’m gonna take him to all the gyms

Pokemon Go Update

maxresdefault
I am now Level 37! Feels good! So apparently I’m about halfway to level 40 now. That’s not half bad and the current estimate says that I’ll beat the game in a little under a year. That’ll definitely be a huge accomplishment!

*This photo was taken from Google. I didn’t get to grab my own photo and there was no normal default level 37 pic like the other levels. I guess this is where a lot of people dropped off!*