8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh Double Pack Review


It’s time to look at a Yugioh game that has been on the backburner for an extremely long amount of time. I remember playing this game for ages a super long time ago. I wish it kept track of the play time because it must have been at least 20 hours. Neither one of these games are short and they are both quite challenging. Reshef of Destruction in particular is extremely difficult and it’s a game with an almost impossible final boss. This is definitely one of the best Yugioh games I’ve ever played though and the duo probably has the best plot.

First up is The Sacred Cards. This game basically has the Battle City plot from Yugioh. A big tournament is underway which Kaiba is using to get the 3 Egyptian God Cards as well as to prove that he’s better than Yugi. The main character of the game enters the tournament as well and slowly but surely he begins to wreck every single character in the series. One fun thing about games where they make up an original character is that he is always unbelievably broken. Seriously, there is nobody who can even begin to challenge him which is pretty crazy. Can the main character stop Marik and his plans?

In the Reshef of Destruction game we get a completely original story which takes place after The Sacred Cards. It’s pretty cool that the games have a continuity. Well, the lead has saved the day but a mysterious villain known as Reshef is quickly approaching and threatens to plunge the world into darkness. Pegasus seems to be involved in this somehow and even Kaiba/Yugi are unable to stop him. It looks like they’ll have to call in the real champ to solve this issue, but can even Terry take this guy down? Seeing as how I was unable to beat the final boss I suppose the answer to that will have to be no this time. I’ll go more into that final boss in a second, but needless to say he is completely broken.

Both games have effectively the same gameplay and style which is why I figured I would go over both plots first. The gameplay is about as smooth as I’ve ever seen Yugioh. To date my favorite game in terms of gameplay is World Championship 2004 or 06 while my favorite aesthetic is Tag Force. This one isn’t quite able to top both of those, but it is able to keep up. One nice enhancement is that the game quickly auto scans the field after every turn instead of giving you prompts so it only gives you the option to use a spell card when it’s applicable. The turns go by very quickly as well. Using the back button to look at the details is a little odd so that takes some getting used to, but it’s fine.

One difference in this game compared to others is that you have to get strong enough to use various cards. Your duelist level and deck capacity goes up as you win duels. So for example you may need 250 deck space to use someone like the Summoned Skull and your Duelist level would need to be at least 50. I suppose this is to prevent you from going to the shop and assembling an intense deck but I don’t really care for this mechanic. Maybe I should specify that it is the execution which is a little dodgy. The concept could have worked but by the end game your level only goes up by one per duel and same for the capacity. It would take forever at that rate to ever get anywhere near where you would need to be to get some good cards. It’s pretty sad to have so many cards sitting in the trunk just waiting for their turn at bat. I had some great cards in Reshef which I never got to use because they were so high leveled. Keep in mind that I got to level 200+ but that still wasn’t enough.

The Sacred Cards was a difficult game but not an unfair one. With enough strategies and planning you could really end up having your way with the villains. That was more up my speed and I can tell you that it worked out quite nicely. I built a fire deck with a health amount of trap cards and I was set. As for Reshef, from early on you can tell it’l be tricky. For starters, your health points don’t regenerate between duels. This means that in some sections of the game you will have to beat up to 4 duelists in a row without gaining life points. This means you have to destroy them and even with a great deck it’s hard to show that much dominance. It took me ages to get to that point.

There’s also a new mechanic added into the game which are the type advantages. Effectively how it works is they surpass attack points. If you’ve got a fire monster with 4000 attack points and I have a water one with 200, my water type will bypass damage calculation and just destroy yours automatically. I’m guessing the game did this to counter how powerful some of the monsters are, but I don’t think it was a good idea. At the end of the day all it really did was widen the gap because the computers would really take advantage of this. I think now’s a good time to talk about the final boss and why he is easily the toughest boss I have ever faced. First off, this guy has 10,000 lift points. Next up, he has the Change of Heart spell which he will always save to snipe one of your strongest monsters. It’s hard to have any counter play to this and he can usually win the match here since it comes at such a dangerous point in the duel.

He’s also got a second version of this where he absorbs your monster and adds it to his own. Then he’s got two copies of Swords of Revealing Light which prevent all of your monsters from attacking for 3 turns. Good luck surviving this long because he can still attack during this period which can go up to 6 turns. He’s also got the wave trap which erases all of your spells and traps as well as a card that wipes out your hand. Basically no card you have anywhere is safe which adds another layer of stress. So good luck trying to beat this guy when odds are that you won’t have a high enough duelist level to use most of those abilities. They’re all just too broken and the fact that he has all of them at once is crazy.

Nevertheless, after about 50-60 rounds with him I won…or did I? After you wipe out his 10,000 life points he instantly revives. This time he has 20,000 life points. He’s got all of the cards he had before except there is one big change. He now has the God Cards in his deck. If he summons one then it’s basically game over for you. God Cards have more attack power than anything in your deck and they can’t be affected by spells or trap cards. How does a villain have this in his deck when you should possess the only copies of those cards? The whole thing is crazy and your life points don’t recover as I mentioned earlier so you’re fighting a guy at 2X power while you may be at half strength. I only made it up to this guy 2-3 times total and I got blasted away each time. Outside of codes and such he seems almost impossible to defeat nowadays. You’d need an incredible deck to put him down.

The graphics are fun enough. It’s got a nice chibi style that flows well with the story. The illustrations we get are nice and there are a good amount of backgrounds to enjoy. I do think a solid amount of effort was put into these two games and they’ve aged really well. The soundtrack is a little more on the forgettable side though. Despite the shows having excellent soundtracks I feel like the games have always been quite a few steps behind. Only Tag Force had an awesome soundtrack all the way through.

You don’t need to worry about length. As I mentioned both of the games are pretty long. You’ll be playing for a very long while as you increase your level and improve your deck. Your deck has to be incredibly powerful to even stand a chance against the villains at the end of the game. For replay value there are a bunch of post game duelists to contend with and naturally you can expect those guys to be crazy strong as well. If you are able to take them down then you will have really proven your Yugioh skills beyond a doubt.

Overall, Yugioh Double Pack is really a steal. It’s bringing two RPGs inside one cartridge for a very small price. It’s just hard to beat that, especially when both games are top tier even if the final boss for Reshef is a little too powerful. I’m sure it will feel great when you do eventually defeat him, but that’ll probably take a very long time. He’s not the kind of enemy you can just show up and defeat without a plan.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Psyvariar Delta Review


Psyvariar Delta is a game I had never heard of until I happened to come across it at Gamestop. The cover art looked interesting enough and I’m always up for a sci-fi game so I quickly hit the trigger on this. The game ended up being a bit lackluster though as it doesn’t really have a story and is incredibly short. It would have been quite amazing as a SNES title, but on the Switch it feels quite a bit dated. The game is an HD remake of sorts so it is an old game, but I think they should have added a few illustrations to work as cutscenes or something like that. Even something minor would have really gone a long way to making this title more impressive.

When you start the game you don’t really have a lot of options. You can play Score Attack or jump into the main arcade mode. In the Arcade Mode you can choose between the two characters, 3 different music themes, and 3 different routes. All 3 routes are basically the same but I believe one is based on the original version, one’s from a remake, and then one is a remix. I couldn’t really tell the differences between the 3 of them so to me it almost felt pointless. Still, at the end of the day a little customization is better than none right? That’s at least what I tried to tell myself to justify the purchase a little more. Choosing between the two characters is also something that barely counts because while the ship looks a little different, the game doesn’t even go as far as to change the character portrait so it looks like you are playing as the same character. That’s not exactly what I had in mind.

As for the gameplay, this is a bullet hell game. What means is you’ll be faced with constant streams of projectiles. The levels are auto moving ones like Galaga where you can move left to right and up/down but you can’t go faster than the actual level. You have a main blaster which you can condense into a more powerful blast or keep as a wide attack. I prefer the condense version, but they both have their uses. You also have a few bombs which you can fire and then detonate. Make sure you press the bomb button a second time to actually blow it up or the bomb just gets wasted. You get unlimited continues in the game which makes the route pretty easy so you don’t really have to worry about playing cautiously. Just get in there and start blasting.

Some of the enemies/bosses have pretty original designs which is always nice to see. The graphics here don’t disappoint as the whole package looks pretty nice. Perhaps not out of this world levels of awesome, but you won’t really be complaining about the presentation. The controls are also smooth so I don’t have any real qualms with the gameplay. I think you should be able to move a little bit faster since it feels impossible to dodge the attacks at times, but I think that just means you had to make a different decision earlier. It would be a nice change, but it’s not exactly a deal breaker.

It’s the length of the game that’s an issue here. You can beat the arcade route in around 15 minutes. I beat the game 5-6 times in one day but there are no real rewards for doing so. It’s the same thing every time and I guess you can just try to improve your score. I played all of the routes just to see if things would change and it never really happened. I know you can’t win them all, but I was still hoping for an extra victory here and there. Maybe a cool cutscene or a big new boss who shows up to mess everyone up. These are the little details that I personally think would have gone a very long way towards making this game more of a real contender in the shooter genre.

As it stands, I can see why the game is only about 15 bucks nowadays. Even that feels like a little too much. I’m effectively docking a star for the length and lack of features here. If the game at least had a basic story to go along with it or something else then maybe we could have something here. 15 minutes just doesn’t really cut it. I don’t regret getting the game since the store was having a buy 2 get 1 free sale anyway and it wasn’t a bad game, but I was certainly expecting more than what I got.

Overall, Psyvariar has an interesting title and a dynamic cover. Whoever did the artwork should definitely get some praise because that person helped me buy this game. If you know what you’re getting yourself into beforehand then you should be okay here, but you really do want to be aware that the game won’t last you more than a few minutes. You should not be paying anywhere near top dollar for this one because it’ll be gone in an instant. At least it allowed me to bump a game off my backlog almost instantly so there’s always a silver lining there. Browsing through the Switch collection at Gamestop there are certainly a lot of interesting games for the system. One day I’ll nab em all.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Review


Time for another film type PS3 game. This one got a lot of hype since it plays out as a sequel to the original Ghostbusters films which is pretty cool. It’s nice to get some extra closure for the characters and it feels nostalgic right off the bat. The main character doesn’t add much but it gives the others an extra target to talk about so that works out well. It’s a very fun game and I can see why it ended up getting a remake. You really can’t go wrong here.

The game starts with the Ghostbusters hiring a new guy to help them out. It’s been a bit of a tough stretch lately with the mayor hiring someone to keep an eye on the team. (Peck) Peck really doesn’t like the Ghostbusters and aims to run them out of town even if it means losing his job. I guess you have to give the guy credit for persistence because that’s really taking his job to the next level. I feel like a lot of other guys would have quickly faltered once their job was on the line. There’s no time to waste on him though as more and more ghosts have been appearing around town. Looks like the Ghostbusters are going to need to bring their A game here.

It’s nice to see fan favorites like the Marshmallow Man making an appearance here as well. He makes for a pretty intimidating boss in the early levels. The plot is solid and the main villain finally fighting himself instead of summoning more monsters was certainly impressive as well. The game gets to go all out with the supernatural aspect this time around as the characters go to different dimensions and the ghosts really mean business here. All of them are pretty fun even if the romance bit doesn’t really work out so well. I think the gag should have ended with the main character failing once again. The guy was persistent so getting one last rejection would have been perfect.

The game has pretty strong writing throughout as we get quite a lot of solid banter. All of the characters have an answer for everything and they’re constantly bringing up the past to try and mess with each other. You can really see how they are a close knit group that has been through a lot. They all make fun and stuff, but at the end of the day end up helping each other out. It reminds me why we need a proper third Ghostbusters film. Not what we’ve gotten lately. Hopefully the new one is good, but the focus on the kids is an early red flag.

As for the graphics, they’re definitely quite good. Like Terminator Salvation this is a very cinematic heavy game. It feels like an interactive movie to an extent as the story keeps going and you throw in your guns to blast away at the enemies. The gameplay is like your typical shooter only with a Pokemon capturing thing thrown in. The goal is to capture the ghosts in little devices that you carry on hand and then you keep it moving. The game also has various detective portions of the level where you have to find the ghost or solve some kind of mystery. For that you have a pair of goggles that let you see the invisible things in the air. This may sound like a lot, but you’ll quickly master the controls.

You can also buy upgrades for your various guns. By the end of the game your gun has 4 modes. The ones you’ll be using the most are the ooze version and the standard laser. All of them have their perks though. Then the game has a great soundtrack with the iconic theme showing up every time you hit the main menu or lose a life. It helps you not feel so bad about losing because otherwise it is a bit of a long loading screen. Throwing in a fun little song like that was the way to go for minimizing how long it feels.

In terms of length this is another short one at around 5 hours. There are a lot of collectibles to grab and monsters to scan though. If you’re aiming for the Platinum and have to grab these then the game’s play time should likely double for you. There’s a good amount to do and the price is still quite low here so it’s a good investment. What else could last this long and be this cheap to buy? There is also one puzzle that can be a bit tricky so if that ends up stumping you then you may end up being here a little longer than you would have expected. It took me around 10 minutes before I cracked it. In terms of difficulty you shouldn’t have any big problems although one level near the end with fire owls crashing everywhere was tricky. I definitely lost that one quite a few times before being able to take them all down.

Overall, Ghostbusters the Video Game is a solid experience and I recommend checking it out. It’s one of those games that just flies by because of how much fun it is. The characters all act the way they do from the original show and the gameplay is solid as well. Your A.I. partners may die quite a lot so you end up having to carry but that’s fine because you are the new recruit so it’s to be expected. I’m certainly down for a new Ghostbusters game. Building off of the story in this one would work quite nicely.

Overall 7/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Terminator Salvation Review


It’s time to look at a PS3 game that I’ve been meaning to buy for a very long time. Terminator’s always been a pretty fun film series and it makes for solid games. Who doesn’t want to try and save the future from the Terminators right? This one is especially well known because it’s supposed to be a pretty easy Platinum trophy game and it’s quite short. It is a shame that it couldn’t be a bit longer, but I thought the game accomplished a lot in the time it had. It feels like a cinematic experience and had more cutscenes than I expected.

The plot of the game follows a man named John Connor. He is the child of destiny and has always been targeted by the machines. One day he decides to finally take more responsibility and heads into a war zone to save some men who have been trapped. The army believes this is a suicide mission and doesn’t follow him so right now it’s up to him and one lady who accompanies him. Can they possibly travel across a vast city in search of these survivors without getting destroyed by the opposing armaments? It’ll be difficult but John is ready to try.

It’s a very enjoyable story. It’s been quite a while since I watched the film so I don’t know how closely it follows the plot, but the game at least did a good job of building up the characters and the world. One interesting thing here is how much of a threat the Terminators are. They don’t appear very often as you usually fight drones. When they do appear you really can’t try to fight them in the open field. They will drain your health away almost instantly with their fast machine gun shots. It’s nice to see them as such a threat because in the films it is usually very difficult to defeat even one of them. They have grown a bit weaker in newer films as the humans can take some of them down, but in the originals you just weren’t going to win. The final level of this game even puts you in a position where winning is nearly impossible.

I actually died the first time in this level because I tried to beat them at the end. The trick is instead to run to the nearby chopper and that cuts you to the ending. If you stay and fight then you die and that’s the overall message of the game. You can’t stay and fight every time. Sometimes you just have to beat a hasty retreat. Espionage is heavily focused on in this game. You hide behind cover and then take shots in order to guarantee success. The mechanics of this are pretty solid. I like to just run in and shoot but the game makes that almost impossible to do. Your best bet is to hide behind things and even then the game can be a little difficult at times. If you pick the wrong route then your only route left may be the death screen. You have to really think about every move you make before you do it.

The best weapon in the game is easily the rocket launcher so I recommend having that on hand whenever possible. Usually you don’t see this weapon very often in the game so save your few shots for when you are in a really tight spot. I liked to save it for when I would actually be fighting a humanoid Terminator. They are easily the trickiest opponents to fight and the rocket only needs 2 good hits to take them down. Otherwise I used a shotgun for most of the game. You’re allowed to carry two weapons at all times so those were my two. There are other good weapons to be sure, but these are the two that really worked out quite well for me.

The graphics here are quite impressive. This is a PS3 game with a lot of effort put behind it. It doesn’t feel like your average movie tie in and is more like a AAA title. The backgrounds look nice and while the game does get a little too dark at times, I believe that is more due to my TV having that issue as opposed to it being the game. The soundtrack is also good with all of the usual Terminator themes you should be used to. You can beat this game in around 5 hours or so and the only replay value is to beat the game again on hard to obtain all of the trophies. The game won’t last long but it goes back to quality vs quantity. It’s short but you’ll feel like you got your money’s worth.

Overall, Terminator Salvation is a great game. It definitely exceeded my expectations of what I was expecting here and I would rank it pretty highly among the others. My favorite is probably still the third Terminator game since I really liked the combat system there and it also adapted one of the most exciting movies which doesn’t hurt. Still, if you’re got 5 bucks to spare then this is a great game to check out. You’ll really get to learn how to play a shooter game very carefully and the skills should transition into others. Before long you’ll be a pro at the ole run and gun style.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh 7 Trials to Glory: World Championship Tournament 2005 Review


It’s time for another Yugioh game as I get closer to playing through them all. This one goes back to the whole calendar system which still should not be a thing if you ask me. It’s one of the World Championship titles too which is odd because those are usually all about just taking out all of the duelists a bunch of times and calling it a day. Why mess with a good thing? The actual gameplay is still pretty solid but it feels like there just isn’t a whole lot to do here so you’re spinning your wheels a lot.

There really isn’t much of a plot to be found here. You are playing as a new kid on the block who is going around dueling everyone. As you beat more and more players you feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. There are also tournaments you can enter on the weekend. That’s really just about it as far as plot goes. Keep on dueling and having fun. Unlike the other Yugioh game a day doesn’t end here until you click on the bed and go to sleep. That means you can have a ton of duels in a single day if you’d like. There really isn’t much of a rush either as you can’t even see the calendar so it’s hard to say if there is an end game. There didn’t seem to be any kind of change for me even after playing through a few weeks. It was the same tournaments every weekend and the same duelists on the block.

So I went around town dueling as many people as I could. For the most part the duelists around town are made to be very easy so you can beat them with your starter deck. It makes sense since our deck isn’t all that powerful. You’ve got some great spells and traps like Trap Hole and Change of Heart but most of your monsters are pretty bottom of the barrel so it’s hard to deal with stronger opponents. A good example of this was in the tournament when I fought Mako. That guy’s cards were just way above my own. My spells carried me to a victory in one round but he won the set 2-1.

Around town the characters have monsters with numbers like 800 attack points so there isn’t much of a threat. You don’t directly get cards for winning in this game but you do get money after every duel so that is very helpful. I bought a bunch of packs and in theory the best way to really get a good deck in this game is to keep farming wins off of the weaker opponents. Do this long enough and you should have a winning combo before long.

The problem again is that there isn’t too much of an incentive to doing so. I assume that winning tournaments and beating duelists enough will cause new ones to appear or do something but without knowing that for sure there isn’t a great reason for continuing to duel. That’s often the problem with no story mode. At least nowadays you can duel online to still feel like there is some kind of end game but that wasn’t really an option back in the day. I’d say making some kind of internal goal for yourself like beating every duelist once makes sense, but it’s not quite the same.

The graphics are pretty solid here. There’s not a whole lot for the game to really do with them since not a lot is happening on screen, but I’d say what we do have looks solid. You certainly won’t be confused as to what is happening at any given point or anything like that. The music is also catchy enough to enhance your dueling experience which is all that I would ask of it. It’s not the most impressive Yugioh game out there, but still a solid way to learn the game and have some fun in the mean-time. The actual UI is better than some of the other titles.

Again, it’s hard to really talk about the length since it’ll depend on how you handle this. I’d say that the game is probably about 2-3 hours if you just want to go and duel a bunch of people. If you want to get good enough cards to win some tournaments then you’ll probably need to increase that to around 10 hours. It will really depend on a ton of factors though like what cards you get from the shop or how good you are at building your deck. I imagine that most people’s decks will look incredibly different as they go through the game.

Overall, Yugioh 7 Trials to Glory is a fun game. It may not have changed the world the way that some of the other Yugioh games did, but I’d make the case that it is still a fair experience. You can buy this game for a few dollars at this point so you really can’t go wrong here. That being said, I’d advise you to get one of the other World Championship titles instead. I prefer having the tier system where as you get more and more wins you unlock stronger duelists. It makes for more of a linear campaign and that’s something I always like to see. Now I’ve only got one more GBA Yugioh game to work on, but it is by far the hardest Yugioh game I’ve played so beating this one should be tricky.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts Review


It’s been a little while since I went back to one of the SNES games, but it was time to change that and what better game to jump into than Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts? It’s a pretty classic 2D platformer and a title that holds up quite well over the years. The game’s rather short, but it is very old so that is pretty understandable. The ending is the only thing that limits the game to an extent but I wouldn’t say that it affects the score.

The plot of the game is that demons have kidnapped the princess. The main character must now head off into the unknown in order to save her. To do this he will need to conquer legions of monsters and other deadly foes until he makes it to the castle. It won’t be easy, but this guy does have some experience in this arena. The game has around 8-9 levels and you should be able to clear it in about an hour. It’ll depend partially on how often you die and if you use the rewind feature or not. I certainly spammed the life out of that button but for those of you who do not wish to resort to such tactics you will likely appreciate the difficulty level. I wouldn’t say that the game ever gets unfair, it’s just unrelenting if you make a mistake.

A single error on your part will likely result in your death. I don’t know if you have to restart the level or the whole game when you lose since I never let it get that far but if it’s like most titles then you would need to restart from scratch if you get a game over. So long as you can avoid doing that then you should be fine. As you go through the levels you will encounter various weapons. You can only have one weapon at a time so you really have to think carefully about getting a new one. My personal favorite was the fire ball so once I had that I was not going to go back to a sword or any of the other options. None of them seem flat out worse than the others except for the slow boomerang so it’ll depend on how you want to play the matchup. Once you find your perfect weapon then it’s off to the races.

The graphics are pretty solid and the game actually had an opening cutscene which impressed me. Even if there isn’t a lot of story beyond the intro I’m still glad to have that much. It’s something that was not always a guarantee back in the day. The soundtrack is pretty reasonable. I wouldn’t call it the most memorable tune out there, but it worked well enough if you ask me. I was able to get behind this and the gameplay is always more fun when you have something to listen too.

I realize that I didn’t speak much on the gameplay, but it’s pretty self explanatory. You use your weapon to slay any enemies you get in your way as you aim to get to the end of the level. At the end there is a boss you will face and upon defeating the creature you are able to get into the next level. There are no crazy jumps and the platforming is actually pretty mild next to most of the others. It’s more combat focused than anything else.

There isn’t really any replay value after completing the game though. So the full game should last you about an hour and then if you want to 100% that maybe make it 2 hours. When you reach the end of the game the ending you get will depend on some factor in the levels. The Princess seems to hint that you had to grab some collectibles along the way but I must admit that I did not notice anything like that in my travels. So I got the fake ending where they start you back at the beginning of the game again. No way I was going to do the whole thing again just for a quick cutscene but if that’s up your alley then it’s certainly something to look into.

Overall, Super Ghouls is a pretty cool sounding title and the game is a lot of fun. I really can’t see you not having a blast with this one. It’s really got everything you could ask for in a game and then some. Keep in mind that it’s a short one but if you already have the SNES Online package then it’s effectively free. There’s no real downside to giving it a shot so you may as well do that. We’re getting some new games added to the service soon so I’ll definitely be ready to try those. The collection for the SNES is getting more and more impressive with each passing month.

Overall 7/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh The Eternal Duelist Soul Review


It’s time to take a look at a GBA Yugioh game that I’m pretty sure I played back in the day. I remember going through tons of duels and really getting to master the strategies of taking them all on. The data even reset, but it’s been a long time so I went through the full first tier before doing this review. The game holds up quite well. What keeps it from being one of the definitive World Championship titles is the fact that the loading times are a little on the slow side compared to the others. You can hold B to speed things up, but then it’ll skip your chance to use trap cards which is risky. The game also constantly asks if you want to use the cards in your hand which is a little overdone.

There isn’t a plot in this game. How it works is you go to the campaign mode. There are 5 duelists you can challenge. Once you beat all 5 of them twice then you unlock the next 5 duelists. Beat all of them 3 times and you unlock tier 3. Rinse and repeat through the 5 tiers. So you can expect to get quite a lot of duels in. The duelist in Tier 1 are basically a cakewalk and you shouldn’t have a problem, but as you go through the tiers the difficulty level certainly spikes up. You’ll definitely need to re-tool your deck quite a bit as you go on and will have to hope for good cards through RNG. You get around 6-7 new ones every time you score a win.

Your starter deck is already quite nice though. You get a Monster Reborn card which is still one of the best in the whole franchise. You’ve also got Raigeki which destroys all opponent monsters, Trap Hole which destroys a new monster who has been summoned, Mystical Space Typhoon which blows up a spell or trap card on the opponent’s side of the field, etc. Your deck is quite loaded with the only weak point being the monsters as most of those are intentionally pretty weak. If you get your Summoned Skull onto the field you will be in good shape though. It’s a long process but by the end of the game your deck will be quite formidable indeed. In my experience the best thing to do is to always arm yourself with a ton of spells and trap cards. Those will really help the monsters out. The strongest monsters won’t do much if the opponent is constantly destroying them with effects after all.

The graphics are nice and fit the game pretty well. The UI is on point and everything is pretty streamlined. You can always tell what is happening even if there are minimal effects in the actual game. You don’t really need to be flashy in Yugioh because the gameplay is strong enough to stand up on its own. That being said, it is fun when the games go a bit extra in that like with Tag Force. Those games are really awesome in part because of how flashy they are. this game isn’t quite going to be in the same league. The soundtrack is also a bit on the dull side. You’ll want to put on some background music while playing this one to shake things up a bit.

There’s a lot of play time you’ll need to put into this game so you don’t have to worry about a lack of content. By the time you’ve beaten all of the duelist a number of times in order to unlock the next tier you’ll probably have played this game for 15-20 hours. When you put that into perspective then playing the 5 or so dollars to buy the game is a steal. Yugioh really had a ton of GBA games to the point where they are all dirt cheap to buy at this point. In comparison it feels like they don’t really make a lot of them anymore. That makes sense though because we have the mobile game now so there isn’t a lot of reason to make more of them. The mobile game has everything you could really hope for in a Yugioh title. That one has a ton of content to explore.

Overall, Yugioh The Eternal Duelist Soul is a really fun game. It’s a bit bare bones next to a lot of the other titles in the series, but if you judge the title on its own then it’s as good a game as you can hope for. I expect you’ll have a lot of fun here so long as you enjoy the Yugioh series in general. At the end of the day the actual card game has always been a lot of fun and I don’t really expect that to change anytime soon. Especially the original days where you don’t have to worry about too many combos. Synchro Summoning is about as complex as I get in my dueling strategies, anything past that I don’t really tend to include in my decks.

Overall 7/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Jak X: Combat Racing Review


It’s been a long while since I played a Jak game so it was good to see the franchise once more. The racing game always looked like a lot of fun back in the PS2 era so it’s about time that I got to give it a spin. It’s a racing game that’s really worth a purchase because it has the best racing plot I’ve ever seen as well as the best soundtrack. It’s a blast and a half while also being a little longer than the average racing game. That’s a winning combination if I’ve ever seen one.

The game takes place after Jak II and the main characters are all invited to hear Krew’s final will and testament. Since the characters were all involved with his demise in one way or another they decide to attend. Everyone pours a drink and while Jak refuses at first, he decides to drink anyway when he sees that Krew’s daughter drank as well. Unfortunately his initial suspicions were correct as Krew explains in his recording that he has poisoned them all. The only way to get the antidote is to win the world grand prix on Krew’s team. The heroes don’t want to help this guy even if he is dread, but now their lives are riding on this outcome. The heroes swallow their pride and get ready to race.

There are quite a few subplots here in the meantime. On one hand you’ve got the TV announcer who is enjoying the races because he is earning a ton of money. They had all been fixed for many years so with the addition of Jak and friends it is adding some extra spice to the whole event. The gangsters are also watching the races closely since the winner of the tournament will have a very strong standing in the community. It should be noted that most of the people entering these races are gangsters and crime lords.

The actual gameplay is like a typical racing game but with an extra big emphasis on combat mechanics. You obtain many weapons as you go through the course which range from machine guns to rockets. You can also get defensive weapons like land mines and little turrets you can leave behind to blast away at enemies. Then there are boosters to power up your boost meter and little health packs. Usually you will have to choose what to go for as when you get to the item points in the race there will be an option to grab either a weapon or a booster for example. The items are pretty frequent so you can always just alternate or something like that. The best weapon in the game is the satelite as everyone in front of you instantly crashes. It’s an amazing item but one you won’t likely see very often.

My recommendation is if you’re in first place then always go for the defensive item or the booster. You can use any defensive item to block a rocket which is very handy and boosters help you stay in first. If you’re not in the lead then always go for the attack item since you want to be back up there as soon as possible. The races are about 4-5 minutes at times so you don’t want to lose since you’ll need to start it again. In each world you need to collect 50 points to play the Grand Prix. 1st place is worth 3 points, 2nd is 2, and 3rd is 1. SO if you get a lot of 1st places it’ll help you get through the game a little quicker. I never lost a Grand Prix so I don’t know if you’d have to replay the whole thing or not, but each Grand Prix is 3 races so that would be a lot to replay.

Not all stages are typical races though. You’ve got 4-5 other kinds of gameplay. You’ve got time trials where you run into clocks to keep your time up and you try to complete the stage as quickly as possible. Then you have Death Races where you have to blow up a number of cars before time runs out. There’s Traffic where cars will run at you and you have to run through them as you get to the end. Death Matches have you try to earn 10 points in eliminating other players. Then there’s Artifacts Race where you scramble to grab them before the other players and capture the flag where you try to get an orb into your base. There’s also booster mode where you’re at top speed and have to power up as many orbs as you can.

There’s a lot of variety here so the game has quite a lot to offer. It’s clear that this racing game had a lot of effort behind it. The graphics are top notch and I’m glad that they went to the trouble of adding so many cutscenes. It has more of them than the average platformer game which is pretty cool. Then you have the soundtrack which is great as there are a lot of rock themes. Every time you unlock a car you get a great tune and the stage themes are excellent as well. It really fits in with the game’s atmosphere.

The main story mode should take you around 7-8 hours I’d say. After that the main replay value will be trying to get all of the stars and maxing out each car. There’s not much reason to do the latter but I’m assuming you get something for doing all cars. Ironically powering up a car can backfire at times as it’ll go too fast and you’ll crash so my advice is to be careful with it. I did a lot of upgrades in the final world and it nearly cost me everything.

The writing here is top notch so all of the characters are entertaining. There are a lot of twists in the stories and a fun cast of characters. It’s nice to see all of Jak’s friends show up. Not all of them were the nicest to Daxter, but it’s hard to be when he’s always lying and you can’t tell if he’s on your side or not. The opening cutscene of the game is a good example of this as Daxter starts on one of his crazy adventures again. Jak’s appearance ends up hurting Daxter’s credibility, but it was already shot. You really have to experience the story to see why it’s so great. Jak’s the standout, but the reporter and Jak’s friends are also pretty entertaining. They all don’t tend to get along very well but in their defense, being poisoned does spoil the mood.

Overall, Jak X is a terrific game and it reminds me of why Jak is such a great character. He’s the best Naughty Dog lead for sure. Pretty much every line he gets in this game is terrific. He’s really not about to get intimidated the way a lot of others characters do when the villain shows up. Now that’s what I call talent. If you don’t have this game yet then you need to change that. It’s a lot of fun and really changes the way you think about racing games.

Overall 8/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Yugioh GX Duel Academy Review


It’s time to look at another game that uses the dreaded day system. I still cannot fathom why games would ever choose to use such a system. All it does is force you to miss out on huge amounts of the game so it’s like the developers are wasting their time adding a bunch of features that we’ll never get to use. The core Yugioh gameplay is still good which keeps this from being a negative game in the end, but it is heavily limited.

The story (albeit it there isn’t much of a story here) is about a new kid who has arrived at Duel Academy. He’s looking to perfect his craft and become one of the greatest duelists of all time. It’ll take a lot of semesters and training to do it, but practice makes perfect. That’s the extent of the game. Every few months you get to take an exam to try and rank up, but the questions are surprisingly tricky. I did well enough in the dueling part…I actually had a positive record. The problem is that if you don’t do very well in the written exam you go down in rank anyway. I thought this was a bit iffy, but I suppose it is what it is. After a bunch of duels and weeks went by I figured it was time for the review.

In terms of gameplay it’s the usual Yugioh rules that you should be familiar with. In every turn you get to summon a monster and play some spells or traps. The goal of the game is to get your opponent’s life points down from 8000 to 0. Once you do that you will have won the game and you get to duel the next person. Everyone’s always got a bunch of trap cards to play so you want to work around those. For example, always attack with the weakest monster first and if you have more than 1, put the others in defense mode. That way when Mirror Force is played you won’t lose all of your monsters. As you play more and more duels you’ll see why it’s very important to protect your backup monsters. Each day seems to have 3 segments so you can plan out quite a few duels per day. You then get to watch the week days go by with nothing happening except a chance to buy some cards at the shop. Then you go back to fighting off more duelists.

One thing that slows down the duels here though is the fact that the characters like to talk a lot. It’s an interesting idea but I think it should be done without interrupting the flow. I suppose voice acting would have been out of the question for a GBA game, but maybe have everyone talk as an intro instead of during the duel. I believe that would allow you to really get in on the dueling and not have to worry about the rest. I was pretty satisfied with my starter deck though. It had a lot of fun fire monsters that I always like to have along with some good traps and spells. I made a few modifications here and there, but mainly kept it in tact.

When it comes to the graphics I’d say that the game was pretty solid. you could always tell what was happening and the illustrations were nice. The dueling effects were good and we got a nice amount of backdrops. The soundtrack is also pretty good. It’s not quite ready to take on the GX anime ost or anything like that, but it has actual variety which is important since you’ll be dueling quite a lot.

This game’s got a long amount of time if you want to truly complete the game. It’s hard to say exactly what beating the game entails but I imagine you would need to conquer all of the exams and reach Blue Rank. Assuming you have a great deck and don’t mind restarting the game during exams a few times maybe you would clear this game in around 20 hours or so. Technically there is a ton of replay value to be had here as well. Obtaining all of the cards feels like it would probably take a life time to achieve. Furthermore you’ve got to abide by the day system so you can’t just go to the shop whenever you feel like it.

It really all comes back to that system. Not to be repetitive, but I don’t like having the game force me to only be able to do certain tasks at specific times. I like being able to choose what to do next. While games don’t have to be linear I also like to have a concrete goal so I know exactly what I am supposed to do and when I am supposed to do it. Things like that really go a long way in my eyes. I prefer the retro Yugioh style where it used to be that you would fight 5 duelists, beat all of them 5 times to unlock the next row and then rinse/repeat the system. At least that way you always knew you were making progress.

Overall, This is one of the weakest Yugioh games. It’s a shame because I love GX and really wanted it to have a solid game to fall back on. Unfortunately this is not the game to do that. Tag Force would end up being a better option to represent GX. This one feels more like a cash-in and there is little that it can offer in place of other titles. I would highly recommend getting one of the World Championship games instead like 2006 which is still my favorite one. Those have more direct goals and the gameplay is completely streamlined. That’s all I really need in my Yugioh games and then I’m a happy camper.

Overall 5/10

3 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game Review


It’s time to look at a DBZ game that I’ve had for a very long time. Part of why I kept it in the backlog is because the game just wasn’t very interesting. I would play it a bit from time to time but the controls were confusing and since there wasn’t even really a story I didn’t see the need to keep on playing. Well, I gave this one another whirl and the game is as confusing as ever. It’s hard to ever make any headway here.

The game is based on the actual card game. Unfortunately it is hard for that to translate well to video game format. Unlike Yugioh or Duel Masters this game feels very clunky with matches that go on forever. Literally almost all of my matched went to time, which is the full 7 turns that a duel can take. Matches should not be going to the equivalent of sudden death every round. That tells me that there is something at least a little weird with the game. Since I don’t get it then the A.I. should at least be able to beat me up pretty quick.

Here’s the gameplay in the simplest way I can describe it. When you start the game you draw 5 cards. If you go first then you get to play any non combat cards you have. After that you choose to attack or pass. If you pass then you discard all but one card and draw a fresh 5. Once the opponent has done so as well then they will attack and you will pick a card to defend with. You have to try and take down all of the Life cards that the opponent has and they will do the same to you. You can win in one of 3 different ways. You can take all of their life cards away which will be a complete victory. You can also win via technical win by exhausting the opponent of all cards or maybe you can even grab the Dragon Balls and win via super victory. A final way you can win is also by raising your power level and anger level to the max setting. If you do any of these things then you will have claimed victory.

The problem is that the opponent will never let you do this. They block all of your hits and always seem to have more cards than you do. They don’t run out despite playing so many and every time you raise your anger level they reset it back to 1 using a spell card. As a result you just can’t claim the advantage and the rounds take forever. I was somehow able to beat Krillin and the second guy, but Guldo is where I met my match. After dozens of fights I still couldn’t conquer him and that’s where my DBZ card adventures concluded. It was time to throw in the towel. After all the only way to improve your deck is to keep on re-fighting the first two opponents, but I was only able to beat them once after a ton of tries. Doing so again just to hopefully get a useful card to make a comeback feels like such a long shot that it is barely worth it.

Then you’ve also got the fact that the game has no real effort put into it. There is only one piece of music in the entire game which keeps on looping over and over for every action that you take. You can only hear the same song so many times before you just have to take a break for it. How is it possible that the game wasn’t able to get more than one tune? It’s just crazy to only have 1 in the entire soundtrack if you ask me. There’s not much to say about the graphics either since there barely are any. You’ve just got the one illustration for each character as the squares match up with each other over and over again. The cards don’t look all that flashy either.

This game feels like a total cash-in and that’s not too surprising considering how long the loading times are. Each match takes forever in part because you can’t go through the turns quickly enough. You can spam the A button to at least get rid of the drawing phase and it speeds up the attacks but it also skips card effects so then the catch is that you’ll lose further track of what’s going on. It’s a pretty unfortunate situation all around. The length of the game is quite long as a result although it feels artificial. In theory you can probably get a good 20 hours out of this one and maybe more depending on how often you lose. There won’t be any real replay value, but at this point you wouldn’t need any since the campaign is so long.

Overall, Dragon Ball Z Collectible Card Game is the weakest of the DBZ games. It’s hard to picture any game losing to this one although since the DS also had a title based on the Card Game it is possible. What the title really needs is a better explanation of the rules and to speed up the gameplay a bit. I know the computer was able to use his avatar card at some points when the tutorial never even referenced how to do so. I tried using mine a bunch but every time I tried the game said that it wasn’t the right situation to do so. That’s not entirely helpful to be honest but it may not have mattered much. My deck simply wasn’t strong enough to beat my opponent’s so no matter how many times I would draw some cards it just wasn’t going to make up the difference. The only way you should get this game is if you are a really big fan of the official card game.

Overall 3/10