Panzer Paladin Review


Limited Run has returned with their next big game. Panzer Paladin is a run adventure that feels a lot like the recent Blaster Master. It has a similar style of letting you control the machine and the human but the actual gameplay I’d say is more similar to Megaman Zero. It’s very smooth and you can really go at the enemies. There are a few other mechanics which also help this game to stand out.

The main character of the game is Flame. She is a robot who wasn’t built for war but is forced to quickly prepare for it as evil forces are running rampant on the world. The villains are all monsters and mythical figures from around the world such as Medusa, an evil Snowman, Baba Yaga, Lilith, and many more. Flame decides to suit up and stop them along with her Paladin machine. Faced with no other alternatives, the government agrees to this and sends her off. The characters all warn her that evil is quickly approaching so she must not be tempted but the heroine realizes there is little chance of that as she has a world to save.

The story here is pretty fun. The visuals are all rather intense and the sprite style is used really well. You have a very apocalyptic vibe to the whole thing and it feels like even if you do win, it will come at a great cost. These machines have ravaged most of the planet at this point. Then you have a mysterious Protoman type figure and he even gets a catchy tune similar to how a tune would play whenever Protoman would show up in the original Mega Man games. This definitely had to be a homage of some kind.

As for the gameplay, it introduces a few new twists as I mentioned. Lets start with the basics which is that this is a 2D platformer. You can run, jump, and swing your weapon as you go through the levels. The goal is to get to the end of the level where you will take out the boss. You can also jump out of your mech and into your pilot form. There is a few seconds where you are invincible when doing this so it’s certainly a good way to dodge some enemy attacks. There’s at least one boss where I think this is what you are supposed to do in order to block their attacks.

Then for your blades you can hold 4 of them at once. You can switch depending on what you need for the situations. Some collectibles are hidden behind a specific blade for example while others are under a different one. Then there is also the fact that each blade holds a special ability. For example, one may have “Attack up” as its ability. If you intentionally break your weapon, it will give you a status boost for a while. Additionally if you don’t want to break a sword, be careful how often you use it.

Each weapon has its own health bar which goes down whenever you land a hit on an enemy or destroy a block. When it goes all the way down the weapon will break but you won’t get the special ability that way. So if you want to use the ability then you need to make sure you break the weapon yourself or you’re going to be in some trouble.

A lot of times you will want to strategically switch your weapons out. For example, if you are already holding 4 swords and then pick up a 5th one it will be automatically taken to your inventory. So you want to hold 4 swords as long as possible. The reason is you can fuse swords in your inventory so that they power your mech up to the next level. Additionally once you have it maxed out, you can just store them for their special abilities.

One sword I was saving for the final boss because it would heal all of my health. It was the only sword like that I saw in the whole game. In the end I didn’t need it for the boss but it definitely felt good having it with me. It’s the kind of thing that just brings you a good amount of comfort.

The graphics are pretty solid. The sprite art style works really well as mentioned before. A good amount of effort was put into the game on this front. Meanwhile the soundtrack is definitely on point with a lot of fast paced Megaman type tunes. They’re catchy enough where you’ll want to look them up after completing the game.

I should mention the game seems to have more than one ending based on what decision you take. I wasn’t totally sure there was a decision at the time so I kept going as normal but in the end I still think the move makes sense. As long as you have a strong will, then taking this would only be an asset. I won’t spoil what the decision is though so you can have fun choosing your ending. That also should give some replay value in case you want to see what the other ending is like.

Overall, Panzer Paladin is definitely a fun game. It’s a platformer that holds up really well and has an engaging story. It’s a bit of a short title that you should complete in under 4 hours. There are a decent amount of levels after completing all of the story ones though. The various extra modes will help in terms of replay value. Gathering all of the awards definitely won’t be easy and will keep you going back to the levels. If you want a fun platformer to play through then this is the one to pick.

Overall 7/10

Shantae: Risky’s Revenge Director’s Cut Review


While the first Shantae game felt a little more experimental as it worked with the mechanics that would one day become legendary, this one immediately feels very modern. It’s got a lot of the classic character illustrations from later on along with the great music tracks. It’s aged quite well as this looks and feels a lot newer than the GBC era. If you like platformers or Shantae then this is definitely one that you don’t want to miss.

The game starts with Risky attacking town once again and Shantae is unable to stop her from getting away with a magical lamp. As a result the Mayor fires her from her duties of being a protective genie of the town. It’s definitely a pretty rough day for her, but Shantae won’t let herself get down in the dumps. She still intends to save the day and to do that she will need to find 3 seals/artifacts. Her uncle won’t tell her why they are needed though. Is it possible that Shantae is actually putting the world in more danger now?

I do think the Uncle is being rather shifty with not just telling her what’s up. That would very easily put everyone on the same page and it would just make more sense. I mean, why all the secrecy right? Risky clearly knows what is going on so now the villains have an edge in information. Shantae’s other friends may not be super helpful either for the most part but she does have one useful ally. Sky is able to help her with a lot of missions here that are needed to complete the game like making a frappe.

Rottytops also makes her big debut in this game and she’s a fun character. Not exactly the most heroic one out there of course but as a zombie she is always expected to be rather unpredictable. She’s just a fun character to have around. Then you have Risky herself who is always a great villain. She really has fun mocking you if you end up losing the level which is a nice touch. The cast of characters in Shantae is fun. They’re a colorful bunch who always have a lot of energy.

I think that’s part of what has always given the series a lot of charm. Throughout the game all of the characters are bouncing with energy thanks to the exaggerated idle animations and the art style. The graphics look excellent and I’d say a big part of that is how well crafted the art style is. The soundtrack is also ahead of its time with the solid themes. The music themes have been remixed a lot over the years and they always land well.

As for the gameplay, it is greatly improved from the last one. The hair attacks have some real range now which is pretty huge. You feel like you can hit opponents without having to take a counter attack at the same time. Everything’s a lot faster. The only part you can tell hasn’t been fully finished is the dance transformations. Instead of a shortcut for each dance, you have to let the dance linger on longer for each transformation. Later games would add a button shortcut which is quicker.

As with all Shantae games, there is a good amount of strategy here as well. Each new form allows you to access new areas so it’s important to keep on back tracking to where you used to be each time to see if there are more collectibles to get. The hub world is rather large so make sure you wake up every teleporter you can. It’s not exactly instant travel but it will save you a lot of walking. There is a map but it’s definitely not the most helpful since it doesn’t show you your position on it most of the time. There’s also one point in the game where they get the directions wrong so you end up having to run around the hub world a bunch.

The main game isn’t very long. You should have it beat in 4-6 hours I’d say. In terms of replay value, you can always go back and try to get all of the collectibles and health upgrades. I believe the ending illustration also changes based on how quickly you complete the game so that’s fun as well. I wouldn’t say there is a huge amount of replay value for these things with the post game content but the game is fun so you should have a good time exploring the levels.

Unlike the first game you aren’t able to keep on rewinding and using access points. So in that respect you might expect the game to be a lot harder but I would say it’s easier either way. That’s probably why they felt that rewinding wasn’t needed. Thanks to your extended range you should be able to get through most areas without an issue. The only time you’ll be dying will be for particularly difficult platforming moments or if you’re trying to rush through an area since you’ve already been through it many times before. As long as you take your time then you’ll be good.

Around town you’ll see various side things you can do like joining the battle tower or buying upgrades at the shop. The tower’s a really good idea for earning a lot of gems. For the shop I would recommend maxing out your hair’s attack/speed since this comes in handy quite a lot. After that I guess maxing out your fire and the pike ball are good. Also you should buy the 9 pack set of health bars. Each drink completely restores all hearts so that means you can fight a boss while essentially having 10 health bars. Even with that the final boss did take me a pair of tries so this is definitely not someone to underestimate. As with most platformers the key is to figure out first how to hurt the boss and then you’ll be good from there.

Overall, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge definitely feels like the point where the series really became modern. All of my big issues from the first game were addressed here. Ultimately I would still put Half Genie Hero as the best Shantae game of course but this one holds its own. I definitely recommend checking it out if you can still get a copy from Limited Run Games or you can always go the digital option.

Overall 7/10

Shantae Review


I’ve played all of the newer Shantae titles but I hadn’t gone back to play the older ones before now. Well, Limited Run comes in handy with these remakes/ports so now I can experience the original game with the full Nintendo Switch experience. The game holds up pretty well. There are definitely some areas where you can tell it isn’t quite as polished as it would be for the future games but the core essentials are all already there.

The story follows a half genie named Shantae who is the guardian of a village. One day everyone is attacked by a pirate known as Risky Boots. She is trying to assemble 4 mysterious rocks that each have a lot of power. Shantae will need to try and grab them first to avoid calamity. Still, it’s unknown exactly what these rocks do so Shantae will have to be careful. She’s also effectively on her own with this mission since nobody else dares get in Risky’s way.

One difference with Shantae compared to other platformers is that the entire world is connected. In a way it’s like Metroid but it’s more of a straight line. The world is essentially flat in this title. If you start out at Oasis town for example, you can run to the left and eventually you will make it back to Oasis Town. It goes without saying though that the game won’t let you do this until near the end since you would need the flying ability to pull that off and it’s the final power up that you get. Makes sense though because otherwise you would be blasting through the areas a little too easily.

There is no map in the game so proper navigation can be a little difficult at times. The characters technically give you a hint when you’re trying to figure out where to go next but the hints are always not very helpful. They hype up the place itself more than giving straight advice. You’ll see them say something like “The mountain is pretty cold up ahead” but that doesn’t really help you out since there are exits to the town from left and right so you can’t be sure what ahead means. At times I basically travelled across the whole world and back when looking for the right spot. Fortunately the world isn’t huge so you can do this but it will take a little extra time.

The game has access points though which is great since you’re going to need them. If you aren’t sure which way to go, just leave yourself a backup save so instead of walking all the way back you at least have a checkpoint. It’s also helpful just when you’re walking around or for boss fights. The enemies can be rather tricky and the spikes come out of nowhere so having regular access points will help you get through without a hassle. Access points are something that I’m always quite glad to see in these games. It’s a great way to add a modern twist to the more retro styled games.

As for the gameplay, it definitely feels a lot like your classic Shantae experience. You use your hair to smack enemies out of the way. You can also dance to turn into animals like a monkey, elephant, and even a bird to get past obstacles. The dances definitely get very handy when you are trying to get to the next point of the game. Your hair’s length is pretty short though so timing your attacks is absolutely critical if you don’t want to get countered right away. You can find upgrades to your health along the path as well as new attacks so search each area carefully.

The soundtrack is also a lot of fun and you should recognize the tracks from the newer games. They may have been remixed a few times since then but the core beats and energy still remains the same. The game definitely sounds really good particularly considering how long ago it came out. It just goes to show that good music is quite timeless. The graphics are a lot older since they’re from the Game Boy era but they work well. The stage designs especially stand out and I liked Risky’s design here. She looks like some kind of evil vampire with the way the graphics look here.

In terms of length the game should last you around 6-7 hours I’d say. It’s a pretty decent length especially considering the difficulty level. If you are able to not get lost or shred your opponents really quickly then you can probably shake that timer down just a bit. In terms of replay value you can work on getting all of the power ups so that you really destroy that final boss but there isn’t a post game in this case so for the most part you are just focusing on playing through the main campaign. There are minigames and such you can find along the way though and if you gather enough squids you won’t have to walk quite so much since you can teleport from town to town. Now that’s a great incentive to grab collectibles if you ask me.

Overall, It’s good to finally have gotten to play the original Shantae title. It’s definitely a solid platformer that I would recommend. It’s considerably more difficult than the newer Shantae games since you can’t amp up your speed and attack into broken levels but you do have access points which really evens the playing field. Just be smart where you save it and you’ll be good. Also, note that losing a life doesn’t reset a boss’s health so having multiple lives is a great way to prepare for the boss. In particular the final boss is really tough. Even now I can’t say that I figured out a strategy for her beyond just getting hits when you can and staying far away so she doesn’t counter.

Overall 7/10

Asdivine Dios Review


It’s been a while since I played my last Asdivine game but they definitely never get old. The Asdivine series consistently delivers with excellent gameplay and a solid cinematic experience. Pretty much any RPG title could learn a thing or two from this series on quality of life updates. Granted, this one gives you so many different features that you’ll likely be stomping your way through the game but of course you don’t have to use every feature.

The game starts by introducing us to the world of Asdivine. In this world humans exist in relative peace as they are guarded by the guild. The world also contains many spirits and sprites who protect the world from the shadows. Or, at least some of them do. Unfortunately monsters have been attacking a lot more lately. Izayoi, the creator of the world was having an ordinary talk with Iris when all of a sudden he loses a lot of his magical abilities including teleportation. The same is true for Iris as well.

It seems that a human by the name of Odium is going around and destroying all divine beings. One way to destroy a god/goddess in this game is to take down their tree which is what he is doing. Izayoi needs to stop him but without his teleportation that means he will actually have to walk the ground as an ordinary person. He never liked humans in the slightest but he’ll have to get over that now. He will team up with his three most powerful followers, Iris, Minerva, and Friya. Together they aim to save the world and themselves by taking Odium down. Meanwhile there is a guild fighter named Keith who also wants to save the day but doesn’t exactly know who the main threat is.

We’ve got a proper gods vs humans kind of dynamic here and it’s pretty fun. In these things I’m usually with the humans side since the gods tend to be pretty corrupt but naturally it does depend on the setting. In this case the gods do seem pretty suspect like Izayoi basically ignoring the humans for hundreds of years. Based on his character setting it seems to me like he would have let a ton of humans die over the years since he couldn’t care less. Iris likes humans but she really seems to be the exception for the most part. Of course, the humans show their negative colors quite a bit too though like the random mobsters who assisted in murdering a town or everyone immediately thinking the worst of Izayoi.

As the creator, Izayoi isn’t really good at everyday conversation. He’s not sure how to act around humans and is even awkward around his friends. He’s pretty oblivious and lets them beat up on him if it makes them feel better. He definitely doesn’t have the same charisma as Zack from the first two Asdivine games but in fairness that is a very high bar. The original cast was always likely going to be the best. Izayoi gets better as the game goes on but he’s never all that passionate about anything. You’ll probably need to wait for a sequel to really see that.

I found the main cast to be a little on the weaker side as Iris was the only one I was a big fan of. She’s always trying to help out and do the right thing. No matter how often the other members of the group tease or even attack her, Iris always stays strong and keeps on smiling. That’s not exactly an easy thing to do in these circumstances to be sure. She manages to play around a lot while also getting her work done. Minerva is the more serious member of the group who is always taking shots at Iris. She eventually mellows out a bit by the end but it’s not easy to forget all the low blows. She’s also the youngest/weakest member of the group since she’s only around 100 years old so don’t expect her to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Then you have Friya who is probably one of the more violent teammates you’ll ever see. She’s constantly threatening the other characters and even threatens Izayoi quite a bit. She isn’t afraid to rough him up a bit either if it’ll get her point across. As the most powerful ally, she fears nobody including Izayoi. It was impressive to see her dispatch Odium when he first attacked. Up to that point none of the other characters had been able to do much against him. She’s a powerful ally to have but at the same time, probably not an ally you will want to have with you since you will always be in danger.

Keith is the main supporting character and he’s fun. He’s pretty much a homage to the classic RPG hero. He has a lot of shiny armor/weapons at the ready and likes to talk about justice. He takes some losses but always gets right back up to fight again. It can be hard to reason with him but then you have Izayoi being intentionally vague at times too so a fight was basically inevitable from the start when you think about it. I liked Keith, he was a good rival to have at the ready. The main villain Odium was also really good. He’s definitely one of the standout characters here with the classic goal of wanting to destroy everyone. Effectively he blames the gods for standing by as everyone got slaughtered and now he aims to destroy everyone. The guy is pretty strong but to be fair his plan wouldn’t have gone very far at all without his partner Adusk.

So in a lot of ways Odium was really lucky throughout the game. He also did take his share of defeats so he’d have to keep teleporting away. The heroes didn’t have the best reaction times to be sure but teleporting is pretty much instant, so what are you gonna do right? Adusk doesn’t really have any character personality until the literal end of the game but he is a pretty interesting character. I enjoyed his origin since it makes a lot of sense and added some depth to the game.

I talked about the plot for quite a while so I should quickly talk about some other aspects. Needless to say, the story was a lot of fun. The gameplay is your standard turn based combat system but you are given a lot of freedom. You can turn attack animations off for example to streamline the battles. You learn magical abilities, physical skills, and normal attacks. You can also put your character on automatic but the catch is that he will always use the absolute weakest attack in his arsenal so choose wisely. As for battle strategies, personally I would recommend making Friya the leader over Izayoi because that grants a +5% stat boost to all attributes while he gives a 10% but only to speed.

Then for equipment there is the Berserk talisman which is actually really good. It raises your strength by 40% but the catch is that you can’t control your character. The boost is worth it. Additionally, you will earn ADP every other fight and a lot of buster tickets to exchange for weapons. This is where things get interesting. With the ADP you start the game with 1000 so I highly recommend as your first purchases buying the double EXP, double ADP, and double SP upgrades. That will leave you with around 400 so you can also get double coin or something but after that I would usually recommend the ability seeds. These abilities are key because you’ll be playing literally hundreds of battles as you got through the game so the doubles add up.

Near the end of the game you unlock the S level Buster minigame which can get you powerful weapons that are easily stronger than anything you will find in the story. I highly recommend grabbing these are any cost. It’s all luck based but you should get something good. With these weapons I was one shotting even the final bosses to the point where I made sure to crank up the difficulty to expert which made the final phase of the final boss a lot closer. You really feel like a champ by the end of the game and that’s always fun. There are a few features that the game is missing from Asdivine like triple speed for gameplay but the battles go quick anyway.

If I have one thing to say against the gameplay it’s that the enemy spawn rates are crazy. A battle is triggered every few seconds so if I wasn’t one shotting my opponents that could get old quick. There is an item called Mighty Salt that you can use to bypass minions but you can’t buy it so you just have to hope that you run into it. I think this could have just been made an option in the shop since I had literal millions worth of gold and would have gladly bought 100 servings of it. Pretty minor thing in the end though.

The graphics are really good. The game stands out and really looks top notch. The artwork for the Asdivine games is always super solid though so this definitely does not come as any surprise. Then you have the soundtrack which is top tier. The Asdivine games always have fresh themes that sound similar but are quite different. This is more of the same with each tune being perfect for action and really throwing you into the heart of things. There’s just no way to come out of this one without immediately looking up some of the tracks on Youtube.

Overall, Asdivine Dios is a great game. The main campaign should take you a little over 15 hours and then there are a bunch of trophies and multiple endings to try and acquire as well. It’s definitely something to work towards although I hope there is an easy way to get each ending without having to go all the way back. The gameplay is very streamlined and what I like about this series is that pretty much everything is customizable. You can really adapt the gaming experience to your preferences and have maximum fun. You won’t get lost as the directions are always quite clear. The story is satisfying and I’d definitely like to see these characters return and meet the originals at some point. This game did mention there being a ton of different worlds and universes so it is set up perfectly for a crossover.

Overall 8/10

Asdivine Dios Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 15h 28m
PS4 Trophies 3/21
Gold 3419805

Character Levels

Izayoi Level 77
Iris Level 77
Minerva Level 77
Friya Level 77

Steps 169170
Enemies Defeated 1809
Skills Used 65
Magic Used 227
Max Damage 999999
Max Hits 25
Overkill Count 4
Treasure Chests Opened 134/375
Max weapon synthesis 183
Weapons Dropped 13

The Mummy Demastered Review


While the Mummy film may not have exactly lit the world on fire, that doesn’t mean the video game can’t be a solid entry. WayForward has always delivered consistent products and this one’s also a blast. It’s a tad short but made in a way that encourages replaying the game and ultimately getting to a speed run level. The challenge of beating the game without dying once definitely sounds like it would be a really difficult one to achieve. This is a good example of how to handle a Metroidvania experience. There’s a precise reward system here that makes exploring fun.

The premise of the game is that the Mummy has awoken and you need to take her down. You are part of a very secret, very low key organization that exists to stop supernatural enemies like that. You have to suit up and find out why nobody is reporting back. Well, turns out they have all been murdered and the Mummy only continues to grow stronger. Surrender is not an option. If we can find the 4 sacred scrolls then we will have the abilities need to stop her. It’s now a race against time!

The scrolls were a good idea here since super powers is really the only possible explanation for how a band of humans can hope to stop the Mummy. Otherwise she would just stomp us all into dust and be done with it. This way you can at least see how we can handle this. The game has a fun idea about the death system too. In this game when you die the character himself doesn’t respawn. You get a brief cutscene where the captain fills you in on the plan again and lets you know that the last agent died. Here’s the twist, the last agent kept all of the gear and power ups. You then have to go find and destroy him to reclaim your abilities. He’ll also use them against you in battle which makes for a difficult mini-boss.

I nearly got myself into the corner on this. At one point I died right before the boss so the issue here is that the save room was pretty far away. To fight your previous agent you have to get back to the same room. The problem is that not having any power ups includes your health bars as well. So getting past the hordes of enemies with only 1 health bar and no power ups was very difficult. I had 13 deaths in the game and I want to say that maybe even 10 of those was to this section. I kept on creating more and more dead versions of myself. I should add that the dead versions stick around until you blow them up so you can have an army of evil main characters after you.

That whole thing was pretty fun. The core gameplay here is a 2D shooter with platforming elements. You have a standard blaster and grenades but as the game goes on you will gain more weapons. The ammo upgrades are extremely handy here as well since a lot of the time the main issue here will be that you run out of ammo while fighting the boss. Your main gun is good but it is weak so if you run out of ammo too soon then you will really be in a jam. Likewise having extra health bars is huge. So you’ll enjoy exploring the world because often times it will really lead you to power ups that help you in the game.

Additionally, the map system is very clear. You can see what parts of the game you have not explored yet and there are also a few copters that serve as shortcuts. I ended up searching through almost all of the map because it was satisfying to do so. I’d be tempted to go back and get the % to 100% since that will net me a few more trophies along the way. It’s the kind of game where you feel like the Platinum is absolutely attainable. Perhaps not too quickly but it can be done. The replay value also helps to make the actual story length longer. I got lost a few times which bumped my own play time up but I can see people knocking this one out like clockwork.

The graphics are pretty good. It’s a more retro sprite style and while I wouldn’t say it’s quite as polished as some others, you can always recognize everything and know where you are going. The best effects would likely be some of the flashier attacks from the bosses or even the little color effects so you know what their health bar is like. The redder the opponent gets the less HP they have left in the bank. The soundtrack is also solid, it’s got a very sci-fi kind of edge to it. I’d say it reminds me a bit of Prince of Persia as well, sort of that relics, sand of the gods kind of vibe mixed in. All in all that’s a good combo.

Mainly I would recommend always keeping at least one bomb handy when going through the game. Almost every power up is behind either some debris or a gate where you need the bomb. If you use them all up you’ll have to take down enemies until you replenish so if you always have at least 1 on hand then you can just quickly grab the power ups without having to worry about anything. At the same time you shouldn’t be afraid to spam your super gun ammo on the minions. You’ll get it back quickly and a lot of times it helps you save your health since otherwise the enemy attacks deal a lot of damage. Re-obtaining health is a lot more difficult especially once you have 8 bars or more. One strategy you can do is to die on purpose next to a save point since destroying your previous agent will always replenish your health completely. Now that’s a tidbit I would remember if I were you.

Overall, The Mummy Demastered is definitely a fun game. The various gameplay controls and mechanics are all handled very smoothly so you never feel bad about backtracking. You can cross the whole map in a short amount of time so if you need to look around it’s not like it’ll take hours. Titles like Metroid can learn a thing or two from this. Additionally the power ups feel substantial. One of the things I really liked about this is with every new upgrade you feel a lot stronger than you were before. This is something I’ve always praised the Shantae series for so I’m not surprised to see it be the case here. At around 3-4 hours you will breeze through the game but I’d definitely recommend picking the title up. Those will be hours well spent and the replay value helps things add up as well.

Overall 7/10