8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

The Seven Deadly Sins: Grand Cross Review


It’s time to take a look at a fairly recent mobile game that came out. The Seven Deadly Sins game got quite a lot of hype because it looked to be very high budget for a mobile title. We have seen a trend of companies actually putting a lot of effort into these games because the free to play model works so well. I hope this game ends up succeeding because it really is quite impressive. I played through around half of the game and it was definitely very fun.

The game’s story follows that of the manga. It’s hard to say how far along the game is right now, but I’d expect it is still early on. Typically mobile games like this want to go very slowly, especially since in this case the manga actually ended so there is a tangible goal in sight. Most mobile games want to survive for 5-10 years so expect them to drip feed content soon. That being said, it’s important to launch with a lot of content and this game did exactly that. You’ve probably got 15-20 hours of content here already and that’s a very conservative estimate. That’s also only counting the story and there are countless other things to do here. I didn’t even make it to the more exciting parts of the story and I was hooked. The presentation and interface in the game are quite seamless. Grand Cross has a lot of energy throughout and it really brings out the best of the adventures.

Mobile games can almost be a bit overwhelming with how much content there is to absorb. First of all you’ve got the online battles you can jump into. Then there are the limited time events. You will also want to replay old levels to farm equipments and materials to level your characters up. There is no need to ever run out of things to do in this game with all that you’ve got going on. That’s why the key here is if the gameplay is fun and fortunately I can confirm that it is. The gameplay is your typical turn based mobile style. You get a few cards in your hand during every turn and you play them to trigger different attack animations.

The game’s pretty easy at the start and it’s built in a way where your level will rise with the opponent’s so you should rarely be in trouble. That being said, you can have fun experimenting with attacks. It’s easy to learn the controls, but significantly more difficult to master them. Using proper strategy will help you a lot in the competitive aspects of the game. The gameplay is very flashy with a lot of really cool animations. Fortunately you can skip them though. As nice as they are to look at you won’t want to see the same thing 1000 times. You can also turn on auto battle so the A.I. takes care of things for you. I understand why some people are hesitant to use such a feature since it’s like you’re not playing but it helps with grinding. The A.I. isn’t that good either so for the more difficult levels you’ll need to beat them yourself anyway. It’s just a nice quality of life feature.

As mentioned the graphics are stunning. We get a lot of solid cutscenes with actual fight scenes in them. It’s a similar cell shaded style to something like Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm and then you get a lot of great screen grabs from the show. The soundtrack is a lot more limited with the same tune showing up over and over but it’s a great theme so I can see why it was selected. For a mobile game you want a catchy track so it was selected quite well.

So far this review’s been super positive so you can tell that I’m a pretty big fan of it. If I had less games on the backlog I’d probably stick around with this one long term. It’s definitely one of the best mobile games I’ve played. The only boring part in comparison is maintaining the inn and wandering around town on side quests. Making a beer and the food dishes is easy but you don’t really feel engaged. I suppose it adds to the realism but I’m always ready to jump right back into the combat. Fortunately these tasks don’t last long so as long as the game doesn’t go down that route in the future I don’t expect that it will be a problem.

Overall, Grand Cross really does a great job of taking the Seven Deadly Sins into video game format. It takes the best aspects of the series while dropping the weakest elements. If you’re looking for a fun mobile game to play then this is one I would recommend. It’s free so it’s not like you have to worry about spending money. You can spend money to get items and such, but the game is quite generous so you never feel like you need to do so. You’ll be able to clear the game just fine without doing anything like that. I look forward to seeing mobile games continue to improve. At this rate they will really feel like AAA console games before long. This one for example could easily be ported to PS4 or the Switch and pass itself off as a home console game from the start.

Overall 8/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Angry Birds Trilogy Review


It’s time to look at the Angry Birds trilogy on the PS3. The game was definitely an odd port when it first came out because you can get Angry Birds for free on the mobile. Why pay the 30-40 bucks for console when you can do that? I suppose playing on console is more fulfilling with the controls for most games, but with the way this one plays out the mobile controls are actually your best bet either way. In the end I bought this game for a few bucks and I’d say that it’s worth the price for the sheer amount of content. You certainly can still get it on mobile but if you look at this port in a vacuum it certainly is worth a buy.

There isn’t really much of a plot here. The evil pig empire wants to take control of the birds base of operations so now the Angry Birds are being called in to put a stop to this. Keep in mind that the cutscenes don’t have any dialogue or voice acting so you have to interpret this as best you can but the games did get a movie so that also helps you get the plot across. You get some quick cinematics at the end of each chapter for the main game but not really any for the two spinoffs.

I’m not sure what the name for this kind of gameplay is, but I’d call it a motion shooter. Basically you have the bird on a slingshot and you launch him towards some constructs which have pigs in them. The goal is to hit all of the pigs before you run out of birds. From the start you can see how many birds you have so that’s how you start budgeting where to fire them. Sometimes you’ll aim for the pigs directly but other times you need to hit a part of the base and get it to all topple down. There’s a lot of factors to consider with each shot and towards the end there is a lot of trial and error or at least I ended up using a lot to get the wine.

As you go through the game you’ll start getting more advanced birds to use. The Red bird is the basic one that you launch into the air. The Yellow one can use a booster after launching so you can really power through some of the obstacles. The small blue one can turn into 3 birds after launch but they are all pretty weak so be careful on what you tackle. There’s the egg bomb bird which can drop a bomb below which deals a lot of damage. Finally there’s the actual bomb bird which blows up after a short time or you can trigger the explosion early. You’ve definitely got a lot of options for the birds and ultimately you will need to master them all.

You’ll have a lot of time to do so because the game has a crazy amount of levels to go through. We’re not just talking one or two hundred, but significantly more than that. I don’t know exactly how many there are but there’s enough content here to last you for an extremely long amount of time. You’d have to be a really big fan of the series to stick around with it for so long though. After a while you are effectively playing the same same stage. While that can be said for many titles, you really feel the repetition in Angry Birds. It’s just unrelenting even if the actual gameplay can be fun. I think it just needs more cinematics or razzle dazzle to make you want to stick around. Otherwise you’ll probably just stop playing after 100 or so levels. That’s what I did at any rate.

There are 3 games here, but they all have the same gameplay style so that doesn’t really solve the problem. My favorite was actually the summer game because I liked the level designs the most but they all have their charms. The graphics are pretty good I’d say. It’s not as if there is a lot in the game that really needs graphics so that probably made it easier for the company to focus on making those sections look good. We also get a few cinematics in the first game, but not really in the others. Calling them “cinematics” may be a bit strong since it’s mostly just stills that try to make you think they’re moving. I’m definitely still glad to have them though.

Angry Birds can be surprisingly difficult as well. Some levels took me dozens of tries to complete so they definitely weren’t your average mobile levels. The spike happens quite suddenly so even if you have a pretty good understanding of the birds and their various abilities I expect you will have some trouble here. I wonder how the final levels would be. They’ve got to be crazy since I was relatively early on in the game when I ended up putting it down. I have this nagging feeling that some of the birds have extra abilities that I don’t know about, but more likely I just wasn’t hitting the right angels.

Overall, The Angry Birds Trilogy is a fun game. It’s just not the kind of title that you want to play in long batches. I think it’s at its best a few levels at a time like most mobile games. It’s just not really convenient to be turning your console on and off so often the way you can on a cell phone. You’ll likely enjoy the game more if you play it on the mobile, but if you do choose to get the console version it is nice to have all of the content available right away. I do think more mobile games should try to port over to console though. It sounds like it should be fairly easy to do so the companies should make at least a bit of a profit in the transition.

Overall 6/10

7 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Mecha Champions Review


It’s time to take a look at an IOS game that always looked like a Fortnite ripoff. Granted, you can be a similar game to something else without being a ripoff but that was just my first thought. Since Fortnite is so cool I thought I’d give this one a whirl. It’s got a lot of potential and honestly with a big mainstream release for PS4 and the rest it could probably hold its own to an extent. It’s definitely pretty bare bones compared to Fortnite, but has a lot of the same gameplay aspects while throwing in its own spin.

The gameplay here is that of a third person shooter. There are 100 people running around the map and your goal is to be the last one standing. Be sure to stay inside the safe zone as being in the storm will cause you to lose health quite rapidly. You can pick up guns as you run around the island. Once you down another player and you last long enough you can summon your mecha. In this form you deal a ton of damage and can move very quickly making it a very simple matter to take down the humanoid opponents who dare stand in your way. That’s the jist of it and the controls are pretty simple but it will take practice to really get used to shooting on the phone. It’s why I had a hard time even playing Fortnite on the mobile. It’s just way different than using a controller.

I am proud to say that I ended up winning my very first match in the game. It was squads mode, but I did contribute with 3 kills. I had to quickly get the win because I was playing this while at the theater waiting for the One Piece film to start. It took all of my fundamentals to quickly do this, but it worked out well. When I tried out Solo mode I didn’t fare quite as well. I got 96th place, but I did get one kill so at least I didn’t die without landing a hit right?

The graphics are pretty sharp. It’s all very colorful since you’re playing in a futuristic city filled with anime characters and giant robots. In terms of visuals it’s even more colorful than Fortnite. Fortnite still has the better graphics overall, but Super Mecha Champions is just very nice to look at. When it comes to the music I don’t recall any big themes from this game. At the very least there isn’t a sound as unique as the battle bus leaving.

You get bonuses for logging in every day like new mech suits. I don’t think they give you any special abilities are are like the Fortnite suits, but I’m not positive since I didn’t test any of them out. I just wanted to get in and test my battle royale skills. The map is quite huge so if you want to live it won’t be too hard to do so. Especially with how fast the characters move. One thing that will grate on you a bit though is how long it takes to travel from point A to point B. It definitely feels longer than Fortnite at times and I think that’s because the running speed is slower here. It’s not a huge deal but I imagine if you were to play the game more often then it would quickly start to take its toll on you.

Overall, Super Mecha Champions is a fun game, but one that is too big for a phone title. As great as the app games have been over the years there are still some limits to the IPhone. We saw that with the Sword Art Online game a while back where it played like the PS4 titles. That’s very impressive of the developers, but it’s just tough to truly appreciate it on the phone. The controls also aren’t quite as well suited. Of course most of the games can now use console controllers to play now so that’s a big improvement as well. A real controller makes a pretty big difference. If you like Fortnite a lot and want to take a look at what it might look like on the mobile then this is a good game to check out. At the same time, you could literally just play the actual mobile Fortnite game instead so odds are that you wouldn’t need to try this one out. I’ll give the game props for managing to copy so much of Fortnite though.

Overall 7/10

Game Records

Pokemon Masters Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 15h 59m (Phone shows up to the last 10 days so this isn’t totally accurate but close enough)

Missions
General 28/56
Launch Celebration 30/30
Reach for the Top 8/15
Pokemon Trainers 47/66
Trainer Levels
Rosa 82
Brock 64
Roxanne 58
Marley 53
Pryce 45
Marion 45
Maylene 45
Shauntal 43
Olivia 85
Cheren 85
Nanu 80
Misty 75
Kris 70
WHitney 65
Hau 65
Terry 60
Barry 60
Candice 60
Clay 60
Flannery 60
Skyla 60
Brandon 55
Wilkstrom 50
Gardenia 50
Sophocles 50
Noland 50
Siebold 50
Blaine 50
Claire 50
Flint 50
Viola 50
Koga 50
Tate 45
Erica 45
Iris 45
Norman 45
Brock (Gym mode) 45
Bugsy 45
Korrina 45
Hapu 45
Roark 45
Janine 45
Cheryl 45
Liza 45
Brycen 45
Wulfric 30

8 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Pokemon Masters Review


It’s time to look at Nintendo’s latest mobile adventure. Pokémon is one of those series that can really sell well so it makes sense to jump into the market. Just look at Pokémon Go after all. Unfortunately, this one does make some errors along the way which prevent it from being the ultimate title it could be. Still, it’s a great experience and one you may find yourself sticking with for a long time.

The basic plot of the game is that a big tournament has been announced which is called the PML. It is a 3 on 3 tournament with each trainer choosing one buddy Pokémon to team with in this grand adventure. The main character is a new trainer who has been steadily improving his skills. He quickly impressed gym leaders and elite four members and is one of the favorites to win the tournament. Of course to qualify he must first get all of the gym badges and then it’s off to the races.

The story is pretty good. I am glad that the game already covers grabbing all of the badges and the tournament has even begun. I am wondering how the game will stretch this story out for years like the other mobile games. Either we will keep fighting old teams who jump ship or Team Break will interrupt the tournament at some point. One thing that the game could have made clearer are the rules for the tournament though. Originally as it is a 3 on 3 tournament you assume that losing knocks a team out as you proceed. Instead when you beat a team their members are allowed to join you. That means you’re stuck in a lengthy loop if everyone keeps rejoining teams. I feel like once you have lost you should be eliminated from the tournament. By the end of the current campaign the main team may have up to 60+ teams which is pretty insane. This tournament definitely doesn’t seem all that balanced.

The characters also bring up a valid point about how the tournament organizer’s plan doesn’t make sense. He doesn’t believe in friendship or bonds so why did he make a tournament where it’s mandatory to have both of those? It just seems a little odd to be honest. Maybe it’s just his chance to beat all the opponents and prove that the bonds were fake, but it’s a pretty roundabout strategy.

Now when it comes to the soundtrack this game is top notch. It’s comprised of a bunch of awesome remixes for previous battle themes from games of all previous generations. Not a single one is left out and they are all quite catchy. I dare say that the soundtrack is one of the best parts of the game. I ended up turning off the special effect sounds and voices so I could focus on the music. A lot of these remixes even beat the originals. Then you’ve got the graphics which are quite incredible. This does not look like a mobile game and could hold its own with the mainline titles. The character models are on point and there is some actual voice acting so the game did get a good amount of effort out behind it.

I haven’t spoken about the gameplay much yet. It’s a turn based style similar to the main games only you’ve got a meter that lets you know when you can attack again. This way you are more focused on coordinating your attack strategies quickly instead of waiting for the opponent to make a move. Weak moves only take one bar of energy while the stronger ones take 3. Usually anything weaker than 3 is not worth using. Support abilities are crucial though so definitely bring those into play. The gameplay is easy to get the hang of so you should be fine.

There is a lot of content in the game aside from the story. (and the story is fairly long as it is) Every day you get 3 extra levels with 3 difficulties that you can play 3 times each for a lot of items which are used to raise your level cap. You’ve also got the permanent ones which you can play all day to further stockpile your materials. Each character you recruit comes with an extra mission that is basically a long cutscene. Leveling up each character is quick, but they’ve got multiple caps which can only be broken with a considerable amount of materials. Once you have to get the gym notes you are really going to be stuck for a while since you have to beat incredibly hard levels. These levels cannot be beaten on your own so you’ll have to jump into the online content which the game seems to be heavily pushing.

Unfortunately the online is the weakest part of the game so it’s too bad that it’s effectively mandatory. The online matches take forever because the speed is set to 1. I always have it set to 4 to make the matches go a lot quicker so by comparison 1 feels like we are moving at turtle speed. Even then the gym notes aren’t guaranteed so you’re starting to see the grind. This game definitely has a ton of grinding within it if you want to go far. I played for well over 15 hours and didn’t even get a single gym note. You need around 3-5 just to unlock the cap again.

The good news is that there is no energy meter so you can really play the game for as long as you want. Some speculate that this is why there is so much grinding and I suppose that makes sense. Still, I think the game overdoes it with the grinding. After you’ve beaten the main story up to the current update then it becomes really apparent just how much grinding you are expected to do. So, it’s definitely a tradeoff.

It’s still an addicting game of course, but one that could use more of an end game. It does feel noticeably emptier once you have beaten the main story and I know that I would never be all that thrilled about the multiplayer stuff. I like fighting other players but the co-op option won’t work if the speed is stuck to 1. Maybe that will change down the road. I imagine that this is the kind of game that will only get better and better as it goes on so there is a lot to be hopeful about here.

Overall, Pokemon Masters is definitely a great game. It’s got some flaws, but they are not enough to overcome the smooth gameplay and top tier music/graphics. This is a game that big Pokemon fans will get a kick out of for the story as well. It’s nice to see all of the classic characters again and in particular the team up with the Black & White main characters was really nice. I’m sure that when Red shows up that will be a powerful moment as well. This game will probably last years so maybe in a decade or so I’ll check back in and see how far the story has gone.

Overall 8/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

One Punch Man: Road To Hero Review


It’s time to look at one of the weaker mobile games that I’ve ever played. There are many mobile games out there and I realize that there’s probably a ton of low effort titles. I’ve just been fortunate enough to only play the solid ones so far as I mainly stick to franchise games or ones that I’ve heard good things about. Well, I took the plunge with One Punch Man and I was surprised at how bad it was. A lot of mistakes were made here. It’s one thing to not be very Free to Play friendly as that’s not ideal, but a decision I can accept. Basically eliminating gameplay? I dunno about that one.

The game basically covers the first season of the show. I wouldn’t be surprised if they add in season 2 eventually through updates or something. Each chapter seems to cover an episode. There are 15 chapters so I’m wondering if some filler is thrown in towards the end or maybe there already is some season 2 lurking about. Regardless you won’t be able to enjoy the story much. The best parts of it are probably the stock images taken from the show so it at least feels like you’re living the show’s adventures on your own. The problem here is the gameplay and here’s why.

It’s automatic. Most mobile games give you the ability to let the A.I. control your players as you do something else. That’s not new and it’s a great feature, but it’s usually something you have to turn on and it’s certainly optional. In One Punch, you never actually get to control the characters. They attack automatically and the only form of interaction you get is to choose when they use their final smashes. It’s not exciting at all and I don’t want to be watching the computers playing each other for long periods of time. The battles also feel a lot slower as a result and you can’t help, but feel that you could have done a better job if you were behind the wheel. The computers just can’t keep up.

That’s my main gripe with the game, but I consider it to be a big one since you’re not going to be playing a game with what you’d consider to be a poor gameplay style. There’s also not much reason to unlock the other characters since it’s not as if you’ll get to play them anyway. That does bring me to the next point though which is that the game is going to be an extreme grind fest. In most of these gatcha games you head to the store and summon allies using points and gems that you’ve accumulated. That’s what you would expect to be the case here right? Well, you do get some gems, but you don’t summon characters. You summon parts of a character. Once you’ve collected all of the parts then you’ll actually unlock the characters. The problem is that all of the parts are randomly thrown in the generator as is the norm for these games.

So it’ll be a long time before you actually get the characters unless you’re ready to spend a little green. At least in the other games you could count on the fact that you would get a character each time you summon, not just a part. To this day Dr Mario World did it the best as you get characters each time and whenever you get a duplicate they are turned into a level. When your character is maxed out then he is taken out of the pool and that’s really just the right thing to do. Keeping them in the pool means a waste of time when you draw them.

As a result this whole game feels like a waste of time. I played through the first two episodes but even that was a drag by the end. Of course they throw in a bunch of time waster fights against random grunts to keep you busy until you face off against the boss. It’s not like there is a lot of content so they have to make do with these stall tactics. It’s not a great way to keep players interested in your game though. At least the graphics are decent. Definitely not nearly as good as the average mobile game, but I still wouldn’t say that it looks bad.

One good thing about the game is the soundtrack. The main menu theme is absolutely popping and it’s something you can definitely jazz to. More good tunes like that may not have been able to save the game, but at least it gives you something to come back to. After all it is free so the title has that going for it. Of course, once I delete an app game I’ve never gone back and this one is no exception. There are simply better games to play and so this one doesn’t really have a spot in my future. It had a good run, but it’ll have to finish the sprint on its own.

Overall, Road To Hero is really the definition of a quick cash grab. There’s no part of this game that feels like it had a lot of heart. The developers just saw the brand and used it as a get rich quick scheme. That’s not a good thing and I’d advise staying away from this one. You’ll have a much better time with titles like Dragalia Lost, Dragon Ball Legends, or Fire Emblem. All of those have better gameplay styles and do a much better job of rewarding you for your gameplay. You don’t have to worry about only summoning part of a fighter. That was still the most shocking part of the whole game for me.

Overall 4/10

4 Star Games, App Games, Game Reviews, Reviews

RWBY: Crystal Match Review


It’s time to check out the latest app game on my agenda. As it’s a RWBY title I pre-ordered it a while ago and was ready to see what the franchise would bring to the table. Unfortunately it isn’t the most creative app game as it’s just another copy and paste gem matching title. There wasn’t a lot of bug testing and quality control here either as I was hit with a game breaking bug where I am no longer able to even access the game. I’ve tried deleting and re-installing the app several times to no avail so while I had intended to play through a few more worlds before doing the review…I’ll just have to do it now.

There isn’t really a plot here as you just jump into the game and have fun. As a tutorial of sorts Cinder and Neo do show you how to play the jewel game and depending on how you interpret this it is possible that you are actually playing as a member of the White Fang or something. You are fighting the RWBY characters after all, but since this is the Chibi cast it could all just be in good fun. There are over 400 levels available from launch which is pretty impressive and so this game will definitely last you for the long haul. The real question is really whether the game will be fun enough for you to still be playing it at that time.

It’s self explanatory on how to play the game but in case it isn’t there are multiple tutorials as you go through the first world. The goal is to match 3 of a single color of gems and once you have done that they get converted into energy. The goal of the game is to match all of the jewels that you need to conquer in this specific level. Sometimes you need to match the red ones and sometimes it’s the blue ones. Other times you have to defeat enemies by matching jewels next to the creature. Either way you should be good to go and while the gameplay may not sound amazingly simple here, you’ll definitely get the hang of it after a few rounds. There are more advanced techniques as well like matching jewels in an L shape or using bombs and other items to blast a lot of gems out of the way.

Every few levels there is another new mechanic added so by the end it will be quite a handful, but since they’re added so gradually it never feels too overstuffed. The graphics look pretty good. It’s nice to see the effects of the jewels turning into energy and the character models are very clear. It’s RWBY Chibi designs so you won’t be seeing the characters in their prime, but I suppose it’s about time that this part of the franchise got its turn in the spotlight. Unfortunately the game was unable to get the RWBY music or voices which is a little disappointing. In this day and age you’ve just come to expect this. Maybe not an app game from 5-6 years ago, but one today? It should have more than a random voice that congratulates you as you play.

This game just doesn’t feel like a whole lot of effort was put into it. Lollypop and Fruits Mania both feel more intuitive and less cluttered. Part of the problem here might be how the RWBY game already has a ton of content locked behind paywalls like characters and costumes. You can eventually earn the right to unlock some of these things in-game, but the amount of time the developers spent on this is likely what ends up hurting the gameplay. The loading times are quite long and that adds up when you’re playing dozens of levels. The low user base is pretty fun in one aspect though. I actually claimed the world record in quite a few stages before my account got corrupted. That was definitely pretty fun and I really would have played the game more if not for the glitch.

There’s a lot of content here so the replay value is definitely very real. You could play this game for many hours without any worries. There is an energy system in place but it won’t really become a concern until you are several worlds in and the levels get really difficult. At that point you’ll likely have an issue since each level drains so much out of the meter, but I guess you can’t win em all. They have to find some way to make you pay right?

Overall, RWBY: Crystal Match is a little disappointing. It’s mostly what you would expect the instant that you see the gems, but even then there are much older app games with the same premise that handle it a lot better. While the title is enjoyable, I can’t reasonably give the game a positive score while this glitch exists. The only way for me to get back in would have been to start an entirely new account which I was definitely not doing. I’m ready for the Pokemon Masters game because I really need a mobile title that I can sink my teeth into. In the meanwhile I’ll just have to be content with the memories I forged here I suppose. If you really want a matching game then you should download Fruits Mania instead.

Overall 4/10