7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yoshi Topsy Turvy Review

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Yoshi has always been a pretty solid supporting character for Mario. He’s a trusted ally who is always ready to help the plumber whenever the hero is in a tough spot. I am definitely glad to see that Yoshi has gotten several games. We had fun with his adventure with Mario on the GBA so a Yoshi solo game should be fun as well right? I’m happy to say that it was definitely a blast and it’s a very unique Mario game thanks to the tilting feature.

The game opens with Bowser going on the attack once again. Using his magical spells, Bowser makes pretty short work out of the opponents. They just don’t have what it takes to defeat these guys. Mario and friends are busy somewhere else to it’s up to Yoshi to save his island. Before he can accomplish such a feat, a new character with unlimited power throws the whole island inside of a book. Yoshi will have to quickly adapt and take out Bowser himself if he is ever to get this being to let him out. It’ll be Yoshi’s toughest adventure yet, but he’s definitely ready for it!

The gameplay is what you would expect from a Mario side scroller right? Well, I’m happy to say that this is not the whole story. I’d be just as happy as the next guy if this played out as the next Super Mario World or Advance, but it’s good for Yoshi to be able to distinguish itself from the famous plumber. There are the usual 2D side scroller elements to be sure, but with a few new twists. The first one is the fact that there is the new tilting feature. You can walk on walls as they become the ground when you tilt the Game Boy. You can use this feature to jump higher, move obstacles out of the way, and much more. Using the tilting feature is all about strategy and it also makes the usual actions like jumping and walking a little more strategic.

Yoshi’s famous boots are back as well and it’s fun to jump on the enemies. I forget if his boots will allow you to stop on spiky enemies or not, but it’s a nice addition. Of course, you can always choose to eat your opponents, which is Yoshi’s most iconic attack. As with most Mario games, there are 6 worlds. There aren’t any bonus levels that I’m aware of, but given that this is like the Mario games…I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one for getting all of the Gold Medals. The 6 worlds vary in length. The last world had as many as 12 levels in it while the first only had 3. It’s a nice balance though and the game will definitely last you for a decent amount of time on your initial playthrough. (That’s before we even begin to count the replay value factor! Not bad if I do say so myself!)

As you play through the game, you will notice that there aren’t many boss fights. There is actually only one boss fight in the entire game and you also get a level where you have to avoid Bowser’s flames. Pretty tricky stuff eh? I’ll admit that the game loses some minor points by tossing out the bosses, but not enough to make it drop in the overall rating. The actual levels are still very fun.

Each level has a goal. There are the levels where you have to run to the goal, levels where you collect eggs, defeat enemies, spare enemies, and so on. It makes the levels a little more challenging since you can’t just worry about getting to the end. Each level has 4 sections as well, which helps to make them a little longer. Some levels even have two goals at once, which can really make you work for the win. Clearing the goals will give you a silver medal and you can earn a Gold if you really over performed on the requirements. Getting the golds can definitely be tough and you’ll really have to play the level a lot to get a feel for how you should go about completing it.

The graphics are pretty nice and I can definitely say that they are a cut above the King of Fighters game. They are still using sprites, but everything looks so neat and colorful. This is definitely what I want to see from a big Nintendo game. You can tell that they put the necessary effort into it. The drawings look pretty decent as well. The game may not be ready to challenge something like the New Super Mario Bros just yet, but we’re getting there.

The soundtrack is very good as well. This is to be expected for any game that is related to the Mario series. The stage themes are pretty soothing and they help to enhance the experience. Admittedly, they may not be that memorable, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that they are still some very good tunes. The sound effects are all iconic at this point and you’ll have fun zipping from one place to the next. This game definitely holds up pretty well in all aspects.

There are at least 5 different mini games to unlock in this title. There was one that was already unlocked when I got the game, but I don’t know how to unlock the others. Maybe I need to get all of the Gold Medals and all of the Eggs to get them. That definitely adds to the replay value and just trying to get all of the Gold Ranks will take some time. Moreover, the gameplay is a lot of fun so you may want to just have fun going through some of them without worrying about the goals.

Now, did the tilting actually improve the game? Well, it was an interesting effect and it did make the game more unique. It’s hard to say whether it actually helped or not though since I still would have had a lot of fun without it. The tilting was just there and it added another dimension to the gameplay. It definitely didn’t make it worse and I actually prefer it to the new concept of motion based gaming. It’s too bad that the whole tilting thing basically died out. I guess it’s because you can tilt while using motion controls anyway.

Overall, Yoshi Topsy Turvy is definitely another great sidescroller from Nintendo. I still find the regular Mario games to be more fun, but it’s a very tried and true formula. It’s good to see Nintendo taking some risks with the tilting effects and Yoshi deserved to have another title for himself. It’s not every day that we see the happy dinosaur take on Bowser! Trust me, Yoshi is not to be trifled with. “Yoshi was not amused” is one of the final lines in the game and Yoshi’s expression is pretty fierce in that instant. This dinosaur definitely has the bite to back up his bark. I definitely recommend this to any gamer and especially to Nintendo fans. Don’t let the tilting effect scare you away since it’s done pretty well. This game has enough content to keep you busy for quite a while and the most important part is that it’s just fun to play. It’s easy to just pick it up and try out a few levels at any time. This is why the Mario games have gotten so popular over the years. This definitely makes me a little more excited to get Yoshi’s new 3DS game!

Overall 7/10

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6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

King of Fighters Ex: Neo Blood Review

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The King of Fighters series has never been quite as popular as Street Fighter. It got pushed over to the obscure arcade brawling side along with Virtua Fighter. There are definitely many fans of this series, but it just doesn’t get a lot of publicity anymore. At least the PS3 game is typically in stores. (And I will get to that era someday) I’ve owned the sequel to this game for a long time to I always knew that I’d buy the sequel someday. What I couldn’t have expected…was that I’d be playing over 400 rounds in this game!

Yes, I played over 400 rounds in this title. Shocking isn’t it? Well, there are over 20 characters and you have the typical Arcade Mode for each of them. The matches consist of a best of 5 rounds set so you’re guaranteed to be playing at least 3 rounds for every match. There are 8 battles per character so then you just do the math. 8*3*22= Over 400 Matches. The only problem with the Arcade Mode is the fact that it’s not very well done. There usually isn’t a whole lot of effort plugged into it, but you still expect some kind of opening and ending. There are no openings, but each character does get an ending. The problem is that most of the cutscenes are identical for each character. The dialogue is slightly reworded and it doesn’t even make sense half of the time. The writing can be so bad that it’s funny.

Of course, you begin to tire of the gameplay after the first 200 matches or so. I would actually say that it’s a decently good feat that I was able to complete the 400 rounds without feeling too exhausted. So, I have to give the game some props for that. Unfortunately, Arcade Mode is really the only thing to do in the game. This was in the era before Wi-Fi so I can’t say that I expected a real multiplayer option. Connecting two Game Boys together as a last resort was fun back in the day, but I need Wi-Fi!

The actual gameplay barely needs to be explained, but I’ll quickly reference it anyway. You essentially press your buttons as fast as you can to try and attack the opponent. There are likely combos and other tricks that you can try, but button mashing is enough to win. It’s like Street Fighter, but the gameplay isn’t quite as deep yet. This is a GBA game so it definitely had its limits at the time. The actual gameplay can still be fun for a while, but it’s not a real page turner like Smash Bros.

The soundtrack is pretty good for the game. The themes are pretty catchy although you may find yourself putting the game on silent to tune out the sound effects. The characters yell for every action and that can definitely get old pretty quickly. The graphics are decent. The game uses sprites and the actions flow together pretty smoothly. The sprites could definitely look a lot cleaner, but they do have to be compressed into a pretty small screen. The graphics definitely aren’t bad considering that this is a GBA game. The Battle Network titles definitely show this one up though.

I bought this game for a penny and then I gladly paid the 4 dollar shipping. For this price, it’d be a shame not to play one of the big fighting titles! This won’t make the series begin to compete with the others like Street Fighter and Tekken, but it’s a start. I remember Terry from the olden days of Capcom vs SNK. Terry is my official gamer name across all of my titles so it’s definitely good to see a fighter with the name. I can assure you that he is one of my go to fighters in the game. Assuming that I ever play it again of course.

The problem is that there is no replay value. Beating Arcade Mode 2-3 times will likely be enough for most people. After that, there is only so much that you can do with the game. The rest of the modes are more of the same. There is a team option, but it will just mean that each battle will be a whole lot longer. You can always increase the difficulty to test your limits and to see what the game has in store for you, but that will only buy you a little time at best.

Overall, This was a decent fighting game. It’s basically what I expected, although the score is slightly lower than I had envisioned. The one thing that didn’t come through for me was the Arcade Mode. I expected better endings to be honest and a more diverse experience. Having the same thing happen over and over again can get pretty tedious. The roster of characters is pretty large, which is always great and their attack methods are diverse. I recommend this game to the truly hardcore fighting fans who want to see how the mechanics will work on the Game Boy. The game is going for a pretty cheap price right now so it’s really a steal. I recommend going for it, but if you want more of a lasting experience..get Ultra Street Fighter IV!

Overall 6/10