4 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Clu Clu Land Review


It’s time to take a look at an old NES game that I actually wasn’t really a fan of. The gameplay is unique so that is always nice to see. I haven’t played a game quite like this one. The closest would probably be DK King of Swing which has a similar concept just with a completely different gameplay style. That one succeeds a lot more than this one though. Clu Clu Land is ultimately okay in a small batch but beyond that you need to really enjoy the gameplay to stick with it. Considering all the other games on the NES I wouldn’t really be spending much time with it.

So here’s how the levels go. You play as a creature that automatically flies through the stage. The goal is to turn the stage into an image or something. As such, there are hidden coins around many of the turns. You have to bump into them all to complete the picture. Since you don’t know what the picture even looks like at first your opening strategy is really to bump into as many corners as possible. Once you’ve got the general idea of the shape then you can target the gates that you want to pass. You turn by sticking your hand out and grabbing a pole and use that momentum to go in a new direction. You can only reach out one hand at a time so try to plan your movements a few steps ahead of time. After all, each action will need another one.

Additionally you need to avoid the enemies. A single hit will take down your life so you want to live for as long as possible. The lives aren’t exactly easy to come by after all. I liked seeing the various shapes that would form. Clu Clu Land definitely has really nice visuals that have aged well. I can definitely appreciate the difficulty of making so many images using only coins. The stages remind me a bit of Pac Man with how they’re set up. It looks like a very similar style at least even if the gameplay is different. The music is less memorable, but fast enough where it’s pretty fitting while going through the levels.

So in the end the reason the gameplay didn’t click with me is that it just didn’t feel like enough was going on. Ultimately all you’re doing it turning. While you can probably break many games’ core gameplay down into a simple structure like that, you still feel like a lot is going on. This game doesn’t disguise that quite as well to me. I think a lot of the appeal will be from seeing the pictures that you create which are nice to look at, but I need more. Throwing in some physical movement would have been nice. Maybe allowing you to move the character back and forth and then you only need to use the hand feature when you want to turn. Ultimately that would still be very similar though so maybe that wouldn’t change very much at all.

In terms of replay value this game technically has quite a lot. You can keep on playing the levels over and over again to improve your score and move on to the next. I assume the game basically has unlimited levels although I imagine there will be a point where they start to loop. At that point you can really say that you conquered the experience and it really would be pretty impressive. These games were definitely not a walk in the park back when they came out and certainly not today either.

Overall, Clu Clu Land is the weakest NES game I’ve played in a bit. I definitely wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s the weakest NES game or anything like that but it just didn’t work out for me. If you like the general concept then I believe you’ll enjoy the execution. The gameplay is pretty smooth and I certainly didn’t notice any lag or anything like that. The gameplay’s also a bit familiar so I believe I probably played a demo at some point like in NES Remix or something. I think this game would be more enjoyable as a minigame.

Overall 4/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pursuit Force: Extreme Justice Review


It’s time to look at the sequel to the first Pursuit Force! I definitely enjoyed the first game and I’m happy to report that the sequel even improves upon it in pretty much every way. This time we have more of an actual story and the car gameplay is really smooth. The only area where the first game wins is in the gameplay when you’re on the ground. For some reason this one is a lot clunkier but beyond that this is a sequel that improves in every way which is always important.

The game starts with the commander about to get married to the heroine of the first game. Unfortunately their wedding is crashed by a few gangs. Pursuit Force fights them off, but the heroine ends up getting murdered in the crossfire. The Commander decides to avenge her so Pursuit Force goes a little harder on crime than usual. Let’s just say that they aren’t taking any prisoners in this game. There are a lot of gangs on the loose right now including a Russian organization. The heroes have some backup in a new group called Viper but these guys are pretty arrogant and don’t seem to like the Force. Can we really stop all of the villains and is something else happening behind the scenes?

As with the first game there are exactly 30 levels in this game. Each level is around 10 minutes long so they’re definitely longer than the first game. This one should take you around 6-7 hours if you factor in the cutscenes. The difficulty level is considerably lower than the first title but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park. You are still going to need to apply yourself if you’re going to get out of these levels in one piece. There’s a good amount of replay value outside of the main campaign though. There are challenges and unlockables to try and earn. There looked to be quite a lot of them to go through so I think that’ll end up buying you quite a lot of time for sure.

For the gameplay, there are 3 main styles here. First is the combat racing. Your goal in these is to either eliminate all of the enemy cars or make it to a destination in time. You have your main handgun at all times but you can take over enemy cars to steal their weapons. It’s a pretty nice gameplay mechanic and definitely one that you don’t see very often. I found it to be pretty fun at least. This is definitely the best gameplay style and most of the levels use this so I imagine that a good amount of work was put into it. It’s really what the series is known for. Next are the first person shooter levels. In these you are typically manning the gun on a car or helicopter. Your goal is to protect your allies or blast away at a bunch of enemies who are trying to get somewhere. These levels are pretty solid as well but I’ve always preferred the third person view which is why the other two styles win.

Finally you have the levels where you are on the ground and ready to roll. These have you running around and blasting people or handcuffing them if you get close. The first game treated these levels more like the arcade so it was simple and precise. This one puts more emphasis on having proper aim so you usually have to stop moving in order to fire. I feel like it breaks up the rhythm which is why I prefer how it was handled in the first game. If you ask me the first game had the ideal setup with regard to how it was operated. Still, I wouldn’t say that the gameplay was bad either.

One thing to note is that you have a justice system. It gets a boost every time you defeat an enemy or bump into them. When it’s filled all of your attacks do more damage. You can also spend your meter to heal yourself and your car. Finally in the first person levels you can use up the meter to fire a volley of rockets which is pretty handy as well. Knowing when to use your meter will often be the difference between victory and defeat so keep that in mind when playing. It’s very likely going to be the most important thing to remember in the game.

The graphics are definitely solid and there is a noticeable improvement from the first game. We’ve got fully rendered cutscenes in this one which gives the game more of a cinematic feel. The stakes are higher and everything feels more advanced. Then you’ve got the soundtrack which is pretty reasonable. It’s also going for a thriller kind of feel but with mostly public domain type music. None of the themes are all that unique but they’re not bad. I don’t think you’ll be very focused on that aspect anyway while running through the levels.

The story itself is also pretty good with a lot of twists and turns. You may see most of them coming but I do appreciate that this wasn’t super basic. The game can be quite tragic though from start to finish. It’s not the best of days for the squad, that’s for sure. I think there’s definitely enough material here to make a third game someday. With nostalgia being all the rage I feel like a PS5 title would sell quite well. As I mentioned, the gameplay here is pretty unique and I believe a lot of people would enjoy it. I certainly did.

Overall, Extreme Justice lives up to its name. The whole premise of the game is that the heroes are being quite extreme here. While some of the bosses’ deaths may be accidental, some seem quite intentional. Even the ending was pretty surprising in that regard. The main characters maybe can’t even be called heroes by the end as they become more like vigilantes (aka the Punisher) with their emotions running high. Still, the perspective of being on the law at least officially is a nice change of pace since a lot of racing games have you playing as the bad guy. If you’ve got a PSP then this is definitely a solid game to get. You don’t even really need to worry about the first game since it didn’t really have much of a story. Everything really starts with this one.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Journey to Silius Review


It’s time to look at an old fashioned shooting video game. This one brings in a nice sci-fi feel to it as you go through the campaign. I appreciate the fact that this game has a real intro so it’s definitely got more of a budget than the average title. The gameplay is definitely on point. Don’t expect a walk in the park though. This is easily one of the toughest games that I’ve played in a long while. Each level throws quite a lot of challenges and projectiles at you so dodging them all is not easy. There are only 5 levels but they should take you a good amount of time to conquer. I expect the campaign is about 40-50 minutes depending on how often you die of course.

You have your standard gun which has unlimited ammo. The pellets it fires are similar to the Mega buster in the Mega Man games. I didn’t realize I had other guns for most of the game so I relied on this one. It’s reasonably powerful so you can definitely use it to conquer the game. The controls are pretty simple here. You can run and fire as you go through the game. Ducking is also highly recommended and even essential in some parts of the game. You gotta think quickly because once the enemies come running in it’ll be too late to do anything. Expect a lot of rewinds using the Switch Online feature because without it you may be in a pickle.

The other weapons you have include a machine gun, pocket rockets, a shotgun, and more. I mostly liked the rockets. These things did a ton of damage and would help me clutch out a win against all of the big boss in the end. I think the last two bosses in particular would have been pretty difficult to defeat without this. They just deal so much more damage than the normal gun after all and you can fire them just as quickly. They do use up your gun energy though so you can’t just spam them during the level. Personally I recommend saving them entirely for the bosses. Otherwise you just won’t have enough to go around.

Silius has great graphics throughout its run. The level designs are on point and it definitely gets that nice Sci-Fi feel to it. The enemies also look pretty impressive. It’s all aged really well visually and I can say the same for the soundtrack. It’s pretty ominous but also has a bit of hope like some of the classic Mega Man games. I’d draw a lot of similarities between the two. This game just works really well and the gameplay is also quite smooth which is also very important. At most it can just be a bit hard to jump if you’ve been running so I recommend stopping before switching actions. The rewinds can make you lose your tempo at times so keep an eye out for that.

Overall, Journey to Silius is a pretty fun game. It’s definitely one of the better NES titles and so I was glad to be able to check it out. While only having 5 levels may sound short, the incredible difficulty levels of the game prevent you from beating it in an instant. You’ll have plenty of time to try and work out some strategies for dealing with the villains. Additionally, it’s a pretty fun game so even when you have to replay sections multiple times it never feels like a drag. That’s definitely the beauty of good game design. There are no levels where I felt that it was just unfair. With practice you can just go through the whole thing very smoothly. I’d recommend definitely checking this game out.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mighty Bomb Jack Review


It’s time to take a look at the Mighty Bomb Jack! This game’s pretty interesting. It’s a very unique platformer and I like the gameplay style. There’s a bit of an iffy game design moment near the very end of the title but for the most part this game really doesn’t slow down the pace throughout the whole game. In a way I’d say the closest game I can think of as being like this one would be the Kirby titles since this guy can also float around for a while.

The basic premise of the game is that the King is captured so you need to save him. The levels are mainly long platforming types where you have to float to the end. Unlike Kirby you can’t increase your height once you jump, but by mashing the A button you can keep the same level of height for a pretty long time. When you get to the end of a level you’ll see a gate you can go through. If the gate isn’t open then that means that you will need to collect all of the bombs. This isn’t true for all levels but in some they do make sure you collect them all. You just have to touch the bombs which is easy enough. I tend to skip them unless the game forces me to grab the bombs though because otherwise I figure there is no real point to doing so right?

There are around 17-18 levels in the game which is a good amount for a NES game. I’d say that it’ll take you around an hour. The levels aren’t particularly long and some of them seem to reuse the level design so you’ll already know where to go. For a minute there I actually thought I was in a loop so I quickly had to look the game up online to make sure that wasn’t the case. Fortunately the game does have an ending. The only dicey level as I mentioned is the final one. So, you’ll blow up all of the balloons and will notice that the gate is still closed. Well, there are 3 completely invisible blocks you have to destroy in order to open the gate. There’s no way to tell where they are except to jump on every block which takes a while since you’ve got a ton of enemies on your tail. This is one of those games in which a single hit will meet your doom so confronting the enemies is pretty tricky.

After you do that there is an invisible block in the next room as well. Once you find that you enter the King’s chamber. To break him out you need to jump on the blocks above him a bunch of times. That was difficult to figure out. Initially I thought that I may need the powered up forms which would have meant my doom because there were none left. You can power up with some S tokens along the way but I never really grabbed any. So, the whole game is pretty straight forward except the climax. I don’t think the invisible blocks are very reasonable to be honest, especially since this is a factor that simply wasn’t present during the rest of the game. How is anyone possibly supposed to know where to go or what to do in that situation?

Still, the core gameplay is quite fun. I do like how high you can jump and your movement speed is also on point. The graphics here are very good as well. Everything is very bright and easy to understand right from the start. Additionally, the enemy designs are pretty inspired. The music is all right as well. The length may not be amazing but I’d say that it will do. According to the box art there are 4 endings as well although I’m not sure how to get the others. I got the standard ending I believe which is pretty simple. You grab the king and sink into the pyramid. I don’t imagine that the other endings would be much different but that is a complete assumption on my part.

Overall, Mighty Bomb Jack is a cool game and one of those gems under the rug. I doubt I would have ever come across it if not for the Switch Online. It was a good game to leave til near the end of the batch so I always had something to look forward to. If you like the Kirby games or platformers in general then I definitely recommend checking this one out. It’s a pretty fun experience and definitely a high quality way to spend an hour or so.

Overall 6/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Rygar Review


It’s time for the newest addition to the NES Online selection. Rygar had an interesting look to it. You don’t really play a lot of games where the main character uses a weapon like this. It’s sort of like a spiked shield. You do get other weapons as the game goes on though. This title had a lot of potential but does falter early on. As with some old games the main issue here was the lack of a map and how you had to solve puzzles to get through. That’s a bad combo because solving puzzles is difficult enough so throw in the fact that you’ll be lost and it gets even trickier.

This is one of those games where there isn’t much of a plot unless you check the booklet. You are thrown into the action and must now try to complete each level. Each level has a ton of enemies chasing after you so you have to beat them back and keep it moving. It’ll be tough but your attacks move very quickly so as long as your reaction times are on point you should be fine. Additionally you can jump on all of the enemies as well which helps a lot since that’ll stun them for a little while. I highly recommend jumping if the enemy numbers start to get a little too crazy.

What ended up stumping me is that I eventually reached a point where the mystical statue told me that I could not get any farther without some new weapons. The problem is that I could not find any new weapons. I back tracked my steps and ran all around but no dice. Without a map this ended up being a pretty futile mission. The game wasn’t quite big enough where I was about to check online and see where I should go. I searched for a long time and after I found no results I called it a day. It definitely was not the most impressive way for things to start on my end.

It’s a shame because the actual platforming is pretty fun. It’s very smooth both in how fast you move as well as in how strong your attacks are. It’s a pretty good blend. I could see myself really enjoying the bosses that would appear. It’s almost like a beat em up to the extent of how well you can fight while keeping in the platforming elements. I don’t understand why so many games want to throw in some puzzles anyway. This game just didn’t need them and would have been better off without these weapon limits.

The graphics are pretty solid. Everything looks to be on point which is certainly good. I like the enemy designs as well as the weapon. It’s all very clear and I didn’t notice any lag either. The music is okay from what I recall. The length is pretty hard to say but it’s likely around an hour or longer depending on how often you get lost. I believe that will end up impacting the replay value of this game but ultimately it will last you for a little while which is definitely a good thing.

Overall, Rygar has solid gameplay. It’s really some of the smoothest that I’ve seen on the NES. That said, it’s ultimately hindered by needing to switch weapons at certain points and not knowing where to switch the weapon. That really did the game a disservice. If you like that sort of thing then I’d recommend checking this game out. Otherwise this is a title that you should skip. Other games are on the NES that are just better platformers. In fact, one game coming up is a good example of that. When you just focus on platforming and ignore the gimmicks and extra stuff then you can ultimately end up having a terrific game on your hands.

Overall 5/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Donkey Kong 3 Review


It’s time to look at the third Donkey Kong game. This one brings yet another new gameplay style into the mix. It’s pretty impressive how Donkey Kong would keep switching things up. It definitely ensures that the players will always have a new experience. I liked the style, but as with the first two games it is extremely short and it’s really hard to even say what the general plot is. The game starts looping before a plot can even really begin which does make things tricky.

Well you’re playing as a guy with a blaster. You have to blast DK back up into the trees when he tries to get down. That sounds easy enough right? Just keep blasting and you’ll have the levels over in a snap. The main obstacles that try to get in your way here as little insects that are running around. They try to jump in front of your shots to protect DK. The key is typically to blast them before they get close or ignore them and try to beat DK first. That’s really it. You can jump of course and I recommend it to get the blasts in a little quicker. That’s the extent of the gameplay though and before long you will be all done. Then you can just keep replaying the levels til you get bored or lose. The levels do continue to get more and more difficult with each cycle so you don’t have to worry about lasting forever.

As mentioned, I did like the gameplay. It’s interesting to see Nintendo come up with more of a shooter gameplay style since most of their games don’t work with that as much. They did have Metroid though so it’s not like it is completely unheard of. It’s definitely on the repetitive side though because there aren’t very many different enemies to worry about and the levels are so short. After a little bit you’ll feel like you’re in the cycle so it’s not surprising that this game never got quite as big as the first two.

As for the soundtrack, it’s definitely pretty good. It has that old Nintendo feel about it. The graphics are also good. I like the colorful enemies here and the nice backdrops. Nintendo always delivers here. It’s just a shame we couldn’t get more of an ending cutscene or something to make the game feel like it had a proper conclusion. Without that the loops feel a little more on the pointless side because you never see anything end which is pretty unfortunate.

One thing that would have made a real difference here is one extra level in the loop. In this one maybe there would be no insects and it would just be DK throwing barrels at you. The goal would be to to blast away at him while dodging his attacks until he is all the way up. That would feel more like a real end to each cycle and increase the stakes quite a bit. Trust me, doing that would definitely go a long way to making the game more memorable as well as more enjoyable.

Overall, Donkey Kong 3 is a game that has pretty much been forgotten to time. If you don’t have the Switch Online then chances are that you’ll never come across this game. It’s a shame but sometimes that is just how the ball bounces. I’d say you should give this game a quick play if you have the Switch. You should be able to beat it in about 15 minutes or less and then you can say that you’ve played one of the original Donkey Kong games. Pretty sweet deal right? I’d say it is at least. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll get a proper Donkey Kong 4 or something like that. It’s been a long time since the games used these various styles.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Donkey Kong Jr Review


The first Donkey Kong was pretty fun so I was ready to jump into the second one. JR definitely switches up the gameplay quite a bit though. This one’s all about climbing and is a pretty nice change of pace. I actually thought it was a pretty solid sequel. It may not be as iconic or riveting as the first one, but it did a solid job of filling in its shoes. The game is over in the blink of an eye though since it only has 3-4 levels before it starts looping endlessly. That’s consistent with the first title though.

So the basic plot is that Mario has finally captured DK. It definitely took a lot of skill to do so and the hero is ready to call it a day. His plans end up changing though as Jr has arrived to rescue the former villain of the first game. Mario sends out a bunch of creatures to try and stop him, but Jr isn’t afraid of getting mixed up with a little action. He’s never backed down from a fight before and he certainly isn’t planning on starting now. The villains will have to watch out because Jr is definitely not playing around.

The gameplay here is pretty simple. You have to climb up the ladders until you reach Mario. You can move up and down as well as sideways as long as there is a vine there. You can’t touch any of the enemies of course so the idea is to always make sure you are going around them. You move a lot faster if you have one hand on each of the vines as opposed to totally being on one. This should help you breeze through the game a little easier. At the end of some levels you also have to bring some keys to the top and being on two ladders helps a lot since then you are bringing up 2 keys at once.

The gameplay doesn’t have any other wrinkles to it so you’ll master it within a few minutes. You can easily beat the game in under 15 minutes as well. So in terms of length this is definitely one of the shorter ones present. You can play it over again and again for replay value I suppose, but since the gameplay is so basic I doubt you’ll be doing that. It’s not quite as fun to replay over and over as something like Pac Man. There are less variables here and as a result that means there are less things to try. A lot of times you’ll just be clearing the levels in the same way over and over again which doesn’t provide much of an incentive to play through it some more.

The graphics are definitely really solid. Everything is very clear and this could pass off as an SNES game. Nintendo really didn’t hold back. The soundtrack is catchy enough as well even if it’s not very memorable. One thing Nintendo always kept in mind for a lot of these games was not to lose sight of the fun factor and that’s what helps keep Jr afloat. No matter what at least you know that you’ll be having a good amount of fun as you blast through this game.

Overall, Donkey Kong Jr is a pretty fun game. I liked the gameplay style and it all looks pretty high end for the console as Nintendo always tends to provide with their big games. The extremely short length is unfortunate but I suppose if you’re playing for score then you won’t really mind that too much. I’d definitely recommend giving it a try if you have the Switch Online service. It is free at that point anyway so it’s not like you’re really going to be sacrificing any cash to check it out right? I’ll be reviewing the Donkey Kong 3 game shortly which will be a nice way to end off the trilogy. Once that is over the NES games are also near their end. I’ve only got around 8 of them left although that isn’t counting the next 3 reviews which are already in progress.

Overall 6/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore Review


It’s time to look at a fun action RPG. This game was on my radar for a very long time even though I ultimately did not end up picking it out when the game first came out on the Wii U. I just ended up waiting until finally it came out for the Switch and I knew I needed to pick it up. Cut to my video game backlog going under 70 for the first time and to celebrate I got this game along with a few others. The game is definitely a blast and I always love playing a big RPG adventure like this one. It’s definitely a very fun game that is also quite difficult. Without the Bloom Palace and it’s super grinding areas I dare say that I could still be playing this game right now.

The game starts by introducing us to the mass disappearance event. A show was being conducted by two mega famous idols but then suddenly everyone vanished. Cut to 5 years later and people still don’t know what happened. Our main character Itsuki is waiting at the mall for his friend when he bumps into a childhood friend of his, Tsubasa. She is trying to be an idol herself and is pretty close in the auditions to finally hitting it big. Unfortunately, that’s when tragedy strikes. The director is actually being controlled by a mirage and kidnaps her. Itsuki heads in as well and ends up harnessing the power of the mirages to save her. He is bonded with Chrome and Tsubasa also gets a Mirage of her own. They find out that there is a larger war between humans and mirages at play right now and they all have a role in it. Can the heroes find out why everyone at the concert vanished 5 years ago and stop any future threats? In the meantime they also have to work hard because they now work for an actual Idol company so Tsubasa’s dream of being a professional is almost complete.

While this is partially a Fire Emblem game to the loosest extent, it’s totally a stand alone adventure. It’s also a very character driven game so the main story takes a backseat for the most part. Each chapter will have someone get possessed and then the heroes head in to save the victim from going over to the dark side. In the final chapter or two we find out about the real main villain and that starts the climax. In between each chapter is an intermission where you get some dancing instructions and it’s also a chance for you to hang out and complete some side quests. The story may not be the deepest, but it’s still pretty fun. I’m always up for seeing the Fire Emblem characters even if they’re basically just ghosts here.

The game also shines with how it throws in fully animated cutscenes at times. It’s pretty epic when the transitions happen. The normal cutscenes are also pretty solid though as they go for more of a cell shaded look. There are quite a few cutscenes here to be sure so this really feels like a AAA title. The soundtrack is also pretty good I’d say. There are a wide range of themes here and they all work rather well. One of the things I like about RPGs is they are long enough where you get to really know all of the characters and enjoy the wide range of activities in the world. There is a ton of replay value to enjoy here after all and the main campaign is over 20 hours long. If you don’t take advantage of the Bloom Palace then it’ll probably be even longer.

So the main gameplay is that of a classic turn based RPG. When it’s your turn you can choose to use one of your skills or an item. The game has an elemental system so some attacks will be super effective on different kinds of enemies. A pretty fun thing the game does is make those elements secret until you use an attack. So if it’s an enemy you haven’t fought before then all of his elemental resistances will show a question mark. Once you beat him then for all future occurrences you will see the strengths and weaknesses. It’s something that could work well in Pokemon if you ask me since it would give more reason to actually fill out the Pokedex.

You can use 3 characters in a party and when you use a super effective attack then the others can jump in and get an extra attack if they have an applicable skill. As you level characters up and gather materials you can also unlock passive abilities for the cast. These can be quite helpful. For example, there is one passive skill that allows every character in the back row to get a turn as well. What this ultimately means is that you can have 7 attacks in a single turn every turn. You can see how much of an advantage this would be right? Ultimately I only unlocked one of these skills before beating the game though. You need a high bond level to unlock them and that requires fighting with the character for a while or working on their side quests. You also need materials and since I did all of my grinding in the dungeon I didn’t really have almost any materials.

It’s actually something that caught up to me by the end of the game. I got all of my characters to level 99 but without materials it meant that my characters still had really weak weapons. Surprisingly those make such a difference that even being level 99 didn’t help to balance things back out. So if you do decide to train up there then be sure to still go in and fight some real minions. Those materials are absolutely essential and I can confirm that you will be really glad to have them on hand. I really love how in depth the complex the game goes with the mechanics though. Each of your weapons also have passive effects you can unlock which encourages you to fight with the sub weapons as well. Then you can use dust to increase your stats. There are a ton of ways to beat each boss so the strategy is entire up to you. Choose wisely.

The cast also isn’t bad although they’re fairly weak compared to most RPG titles. Itsuki for example is a reasonable main character, but he’s borderline an avatar character because the guy has no real character. He’s a nice guy who’s super humble and always does the right thing. That’s nice and all but he never really shows much personality. Tsubasa is also a fun heroine but shows a similar level of energy. Her thing is that she tends to mispronounce words. It’s a reasonably solid gimmick I’d say. The best character here is probably the rival who shows up a few times to get in your way. He’s definitely not someone to be trifled with.

Overall, Tokyo Mirages is a game that lived up to the hype. The story may not have been the greatest compared to other big RPGs, but I was still entertained the whole way through. The most important thing is the gameplay of course and that was definitely on point from start to finish. I’d certainly be up for a sequel at some point. I’ve definitely got more RPG titles to work on as well so I’ll be ready for another big adventure soon. In the meantime if you haven’t picked this game up yet then you should. Just don’t go in expecting a whole lot of Fire Emblem characters. They help a bit with the lore but that’s about it, no Roy or Ike or anything like that. If you remember your Fire Emblem elemental types for the weapons that should help you quite a bit with guessing what attacks to use off the bat though.

Overall 8/10

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Operation Logic Bomb Review


It’s time to look at a game that seems to have borrowed some inspiration from Wolverine. I don’t really know which one came first though so it’s possible that the reverse happened. Either way Logic Bomb is a pretty solid SNES game and one that has aged quite well. It’s a lot of fun and the bosses are pretty unique and challenging. If I had an SNES back in the day this is definitely a game I would have been glad to have owned. It’s got all of the solid gameplay that you could ever need.

The game starts with a lot of vague cutscenes but they seem to amount to a guy being fitted with metal into his bones. You are now a super soldier and you’re ready to save the world. Some scientists seem to have created powerful machine hybrids that naturally turned evil and are breaking the place down. You’re sent in to take these monsters down. As the game goes on you are able to access various computer terminals which give you a better understanding of what’s going on here. It’s definitely a dangerous place but you’ve got a lot of skills so you should definitely be okay. The key here is to destroy all of the monsters and advance to the end of the facilities.

The gameplay is that of an overhead shooter. Think of Centipede Infestation or Alien Syndrome and that’s the gameplay you have here. You have a standard gun with you but as the game progresses you unlock more like a flamethrower and a gun that bounces off walls. You have unlimited ammo so you never have to worry about finding any. I definitely liked that since it meant I could really go all in and not have to worry about anything. The gameplay is tough enough as is since the enemies deal out a whole lot of damage. At times you will need to pace yourself as you go in because the enemies will just completely overwhelm you due to sheer numbers. You have to hit them at an angle or trick them into approaching you one at a time.

One ability that you obtain later on is a shadow double and it is without a doubt the most useful ability you will learn. It tricks all of the minions and keeps them out of your hair as you take them out. That’s another positive about the game. I always like feeling as if the power ups are making an active difference. You should always feel like you’re at the next level with a new upgrade. If you get a weapon that’s weaker than your current one, then what’s the point right? That’s basically the same concept here and the game handles the situation well. That’s not to say that the game gets less challenging. It just has to offer up new enemies and such to try and slow you down. The final boss was certainly tough to deal with and took me quite a few tries.

If there’s something that can hold the game back it’s that it can be easy to get a little lost. The teleport pads take you to different places in a set loop but because of that you might stay in the wrong room for a while before finally trying the portal out. Once you’re free then it definitely feels satisfying to be out. A better map system would go a long way to helping out here. Still, it’s far better than something like Metroid in that regard so you still wouldn’t be lost for too long. The puzzles aren’t too crazy. The game is also a little longer than the other retro games I’ve been playing. It should last you for about 2 hours which really isn’t that bad.

The graphics definitely look pretty good here. The game handles the sci-fi backdrop rather well. The blasters are on point and the enemy designs are also good. The soundtrack also works really well and is fitting for the overall game experience. It’s all pretty ahead of its time. There is also a real story which is nice. There aren’t any text bubbles or anything like that though so you have to get the context from the little cutscenes and animations that go on. There’s more than enough context for you to put the pieces together and gets what’s going on though. Even if it may not be what the creators ultimately intended, you will still have a general story which is good.

Overall, Logic Bomb is a really fun game. It’s got solid gameplay, graphics, and a good soundtrack. The premise is really interesting as well and I’d like to see more games of this in the modern era. Nintendo’s been slowly feeding us more and more SNES games and this latest batch was definitely a very good one. I’d like to see more in the next few batches and hopefully we have more hidden gems like this one. After all, I definitely didn’t know this game existed before and now I’m glad that I got to check it out.

Overall 7/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario Bros Review


It’s time to look at the classic Mario Bros game. I remember playing this one a lot back in the GBA days because it came as a special feature along with Super Mario World. It’s definitely a fun title to spend some time with. It’s also nostalgic seeing the level layout since the stage usually makes it into the Super Smash Bros titles or at least it’s been there for 2-3 of them I believe. The game uses the good ole jumping gameplay from the 2D adventures while switching things up a bit as the levels don’t have you going after a goal. It’s definitely a lot of fun and I’d recommend giving this one a look.

So the gameplay involves a bunch of enemies appearing out of pipes on the top layer of the stage. Your job is to jump and hit the ground they are walking on. This will cause the enemy to flip over. At this point they are vulnerable and you can jump onto the layer and kick them off. It’s definitely the tactic I would recommend here. The earlier you knock them off the better because once there are a lot of enemies on the map it can get difficult to isolate them. Additionally there are fireballs that roam through the levels and touching any of them means instant death. You also have a Pow Block that will hit all of the enemies at once but you should really only save that for when you are being completely overwhelmed. It’s not a resource that you just want to bust out at any ole time. Think of it as your secret weapon.

I made it pretty far here into the 20s. I don’t know how many levels there are but that seemed like a reasonable push. At latter levels you get to fight with minions that are a little faster than the original ones. You have to choose your jumping spots carefully because if they get past you then it may be all over for your chances of success. There are also little ice minions who will freeze the ground which makes it a lot more difficult for you to move around freely. You’ll end up skidding or stopping in your tracks whenever you try to change directions.

The graphics are definitely solid. This is also a game where the main theme is pretty catchy and memorable. It works well when you’re taking down the enemies. I didn’t see an option to play as Luigi but since this game is called Mario Bros I assume that there has to be some kind of way to choose him. Otherwise the title just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and I’d have to question why the game called it that. This is a very peaceful game but also so different from the other Mario games. The series really shifted gears after this one. It would be interesting to see more of a homage to this game in a future Mario installment. After all, this game did serve as a stepping stone to launch the franchise.

In terms of replay value it’s really all just about trying to see if you can beat your high score. Whether the levels have an end or not, there isn’t really an actual story here. You just jump right into the game and work on defeating the minions. It’s got that arcade feel to it where the levels are just a lot of fun to play through. You shouldn’t have any problem getting the hang of the controls and just diving in. Nintendo’s always done a good job of making the first levels pretty easy which gives you time to get comfortable with the controls. Then slowly but surely they start giving you some real challenges to work with.

Overall, Mario Bros is a solid NES game. As with most of Nintendo’s original titles it has a lot of character. You can feel the effort that went into this game. It’s just a very well designed one and so you won’t get bored here as you play it for a while. Ultimately the lack of content will prevent it from getting a higher score but I imagine it is always tough to add more content like that back in the day. The games could only hold so much space in them after all. I’m one step closer to completing all of the NES games which will be a cool milestone.

Overall 6/10