Kirby and the Forgotten Land Stats and Records

Stats time!

Game Completion 82%
Waddle Dees saved 217/300
Treasure Road Stages conquered 49/53


Volume 1 46/79
Volume 2 11/78
Volume 3 4/56
Volume 4 5/43

Kirby and the Forgotten Land Review

I knew as soon as they announced this Kirby game was coming out that I would need to buy it day 1. I’ve been waiting a little while for the next Kirby game and while I may not be caught up yet..I’m close enough. Outside of the first 2 levels, I ended up playing the whole game through in one batch. Not to say that it’s super short (Took around 5 hours) but Kirby games are not usually known for length or difficulty so it wasn’t all that difficult to do. It does speak to the enjoyment levels of the game too.

So the story starts with multiversal Kirby walking around when some kind of hole in reality appears and sucks everyone inside. Kirby’s now in a whole new world filled with vicious beats and monsters. He has to help this little blue creature along the way as he finds out who did this and how he can possibly get home. Will Kirby be able to get out of this in one piece or is it curtains for him?

In a way you almost would think this is still Planet Popstar if you skipped the cutscene because the first world definitely has that classic Kirby feel. It’s a green forest kind of planet that has an upbeat feeling to it. The level designs are all on point and there is a lot of variety here as we have the classic water planet, fire planet, etc. Each world has 4 levels and then the boss at the end except for the second last world which has 5 levels plus the boss and the final world which only has a boss. So you can see how you can go through the levels pretty quick.

I did die twice to one of the last bosses though. That one was deceptively tricky as it’s tough to dodge the ballerinas and the big guy’s spin move. Your best bet here is to rely on your quick dodge which is R2 and then pressing A at the same time. I didn’t even know about that until near the end of the game but it’s quite handy. There is an easy mode too but I recommend sticking to Wild. Having a little bit of a challenge is always a good thing and then you can really appreciate the bosses.

The gameplay is your classic 3D adventure. You can’t really spam Kirby’s flying too much though. The game developers probably figured you might cheesing the whole game so you can’t go too high and still have to use the ladder. You have over 10 copy abilities you can use though and each one can be evolved twice. You can even power them up further beyond that which is handy. Obtaining rare stones can take a little while but you will at least get enough to evolve everything by the time you complete the game.

I highly recommend focusing on the fire blast ability. It causes lasting burns to the villains which means that you are dealing constant damage even when you aren’t attacking. The ability is extremely useful. I would say they all mostly are but I didn’t care for the spike ball much. It tends to lag behind the other abilities in terms of how useful it is but you should still try to get used to it since you will need to use it for treasure road.

So it’s time to talk about the replay value here. Don’t mistake a short campaign for a short game as Kirby has tons of modes to keep you busy. Aside from the main levels you have Treasure Road which are a series of 8-10 challenges in each world. If you complete them then you will be awarded a rare stone and these are how you power up your abilities. You also earn extra gold to buy things with. Completing all of the challenges will buy you some time. Each one’s about a minute or two but there are a lot of them.

Then you have the tournaments. While Meta Knight sadly misses out on the story, you get to fight him here. He was reasonably tough even on the intro level so I imagine the more difficult tournaments could get crazy difficult here. You shouldn’t underestimate them and this could absolutely take a while. Finally you have the collectibles of which there are a ton. There are 300 Waddle Dees here and a ton of trophies. I’m assuming you unlock some kind of bonus content for getting everything so that’s some incentive to keep going for.

There’s also a bonus world for the post game here. It directly continues where the main story ended so you won’t want to miss that. The levels are considerably longer than the normal ones and have more parts so you should go in prepared to really give it your all. At the time of this review I’m still going through the post game so I look forward to seeing how it all goes. Between all of that, this game will take you a long while to achieve 100% completion that’s for sure.

The graphics are naturally top tier here. All of the characters look sharp, the designs are great, and as I mentioned the stage designs are really quite nice. You feel like each world is different and it doesn’t feel like they’re reusing levels. No corners were cut here. The soundtrack is also fun. There’s no theme that quite matches the classic Nightmare theme but it’s hard for anything to top that. There is a lyrical song that plays twice in the game which is fun but it would have been especially good to have had something in the climax too.

Kirby games are known for really getting out there with the climaxes so you’re probably wondering about this one right? Well, I can safely say that it does go high tier. You don’t have to worry about that here. While I was underwhelmed with the big villain’s design initially, the super form makes it all worth it. You’ll certainly raise an eyebrow when you see the villain’s official title. A certain Sega villain will immediately come to mind. There’s always a lot you could do with Kirby lore and while this is not that kind of game, I’m always glad to see any kind of big plot climax like this. It works well and helps to really make sure you don’t forget this one.

Overall, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a pretty fun game. The story could have been longer but even at 5 hours it’s still a bit longer than Sonic Forces and Star Fox Zero so Nintendo’s still got the lead there. I’d like to see a proper 15 hour Kirby game some day as long as they can get to that length naturally and without forced collectibles. This game had a good amount on that front as you need to get some, but not enough where you feel like you have to go out of your way to grab them. The game’s fun enough where I went back and beat most of the treasure levels and am going through the post game so it succeeds there. I would definitely recommend checking this one out. You may want to wait until there’s a price dip but this is Nintendo so you may be waiting a very long time. In that case, just take the plunge and have fun here. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure.

Overall 7/10

Paper Mario: The Origami King Review

At long last it’s time to check out the latest Paper Mario adventure. This was always going to be an emotional ride right from the start but I don’t think very many could have ever guessed just how emotional. I nearly got this game day 1 but the gameplay style turned me off from doing that. After playing through the game I can safely say that the gameplay is not very fun but ultimately the game still manages to be a good adventure. It easily has the best Mario soundtrack I’ve ever seen and I would go a step further to say one of the best Nintendo soundtracks out there.

The game starts off quite suddenly as Mario and Luigi head over to Peach’s castle only to find out that she has already been turned. The powerful King Olly has taken her down for the count and she has now joined the side of Origami. Mario and Luigi are tossed out as Olly seals the castle away and then ties down the world. Mario will now have to take down each of the streamers in order to save Peach. Fortunately he will have the help of Olly’s sister Olivia. Will they be able to save the day or are they getting into a situation that’s far above their respective abilities?

Well, the game doesn’t quite manage to match up to the sinister atmosphere that the first cutscene had. Then again, I wouldn’t expect it to. It was a really effective way to start the game up since if even Peach could be turned then that truly meant that nobody was safe. Peach is usually seen as the most pure of heart so you can see why this would be greatly concerning to all parties involved. From there we go onto the normal adventure but you won’t see Olly again until you start to get near the end of the game.

The Paper Mario games have always had pretty fun dialogue. I may give Mario & Luigi the slight edge but it’s close and this game does not disappoint. It has a lot of fun dialogue throughout the game and certainly a lot of puns to go along with that. the story will keep you engaged well enough as you’re going through it. The supporting characters aren’t even bad. For example, I liked Bobby a lot. He’s a bob omb who really means well and just wants some good friends. It takes him a while to get going but once he does, there’s just no stopping him. He adds a fun element to the whole adventure and I was glad to have him around. It’s a shame that he couldn’t have appeared longer.

Olivia’s not quite as interesting. She tends to panic a lot and doesn’t really adapt to the situation in the same way. It is probably the fate of being the main heroine the whole time though. After a certain point of appearing for such a long time, you’re bound to start faltering at some point. She can transform and fight though which puts her above some of the other sidekicks at least in a combat perspective.

There’s not much to say about Mario since he doesn’t talk here but Luigi gets his own sub plot about trying to find the key to Peach’s castle. You feel bad for him because you know from the start that this is doomed to be a gag so he won’t be helpful for a while. At least his misadventures do end up helping in other ways so it balances out. While it’s not a high bar, this probably puts him as looking better than in most games which is really crazy when you think about it.

Bowser’s role is rather small though which is too bad. The scenes that he does get here are great and true show stoppers. The whole time it’ll remind you why you wanted him to appear so much in the first place. He’s made for these kind of moments and it shows. Without Bowser things would not have gone well for the heroes. Kamek and Bowser Jr also show up with satisfying roles so fans of all 3 should certainly be pleased here. That about wraps it up for the characters aside from Olly.

So for King Olly, I like the idea behind the character but I don’t think the execution is on point. Perhaps the opening cutscene set the bar too high but he just never gets back up to that level of hype. By the end you start to almost feel sorry for him which is rarely a good thing for a villain. No, this did not end up going over very well for the guy at all. It would have been cool if Bowser betrayed him and became the main villain for a minute there although I understand why that did not happen.

So the story is fun. It lasts for quite a while at 20+ hours and there is really a lot to do here. There’s also some replay value as you try to save all of the toads and get the collectibles although I’m not sure if there’s any secret ending or any kind of prize that would really make the journey worth it. Hopefully though because it’d be a shame if there was no prize at the end of the tunnel or anything like that.

For the gameplay though, this one is quite unique. You have to spin some wheels with a limited amount of moves to get the enemies in position and then you attack. There are no level ups in the game so there’s no point in fighting except when you have to. The wheel makes each match take longer than it should and it’s always sad when you can’t win in one turn because your attack power is not high enough. The worst part is you can’t exactly increase your attack power aside from finding new health power ups so that’s that.

Not having a level up system is always a mistake in an RPG if you ask me. The ability to grow stronger by beating minions is part of the whole point of the genre. When you take that away, it’s like you’re taking the heart of the adventure away as well. It’s just not right and it certainly doesn’t suit the game. Because of that, every minion encounter just feels annoying because you couldn’t get away fast enough. The wheel also never feels fun so you’re constantly wondering why it is even here.

At least there’s no mysteries during the boss fights like in Color Splash or Sticker Star where you’d have to backtrack to get specific items. You never have to completely run away from a fight here which is a very good thing. That would have absolutely been annoying otherwise. I don’t like to have to backtrack unless there’s a good reason for it. So the gameplay does hold the game back to an extent.

The graphics look really solid here. With the paper style the game may not end up trying to look quite as impressive as the average big budget game but it’s still all very clear. You certainly won’t think this is an older game. The real highlight is the soundtrack like I said earlier though. Listen to any theme in the game and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good it is. The boss fights all pop out at you and it’s like you’re in a whole new world. The themes are heavy rock and get you into the zone. It even makes up for the bosses having the most uninspired designs and names imaginable because they at least sound hype thanks to the music. The game should be really grateful for such excellent tunes.

Overall, The Origami King is a fun installment in the Paper Mario series. I may not have been a big fan in some areas but it’s definitely an improvement over the last two games. I’d like the series to go a little more all out though like how it used to be with the first 3 titles. There’s no reason why your villains should just be ordinary appliance or why you need gimmicks with the gameplay. Give us a normal RPG gameplay style with a solid story and you’ll have a smash hit guaranteed. Maybe Nintendo doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the series without a gimmick but they really should since people would buy this regardless. If you like Paper Mario then you’ll have fun with this one. It’s still worth a purchase and it gives you a lot of value for your purchase. Now it’s just the long wait until the next one.

Overall 7/10

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review

Mario Kart 8 is a game I’ve been meaning to get for many, many years but it just didn’t work out. Well, that paid off in a way because then it came out for the Switch so I got to get the updated version there. The Deluxe version brings Link and everything unlocked from the jump. Throw in the smooth online and it really does feel like a Deluxe edition here. You are bound to have a lot of fun while playing through this one.

Now on one hand with everything unlocked from the jump you may feel less incentive to go and actually play through all of the cups but it also means that you can really relax and do everything at your own pace. You can play the tournaments, jump into online battles, play vs mode, etc. There is absolutely a lot of content here so you certainly won’t run out or get bored either. The amount of stages here must be a record. I’m not sure if that is a fact but at least it feels like this must be the case.

I’ve played a whole lot of stages and I’m not sure if I’ve played them all yet. Then there’s also the character roster which is just as impressive. I set a challenge for myself to play as every character before doing that review and so I took them all for a spin. It’s really cool to play as a guest star like Link here. I can definitely understand why people are getting hyped for a Nintendo Kart. You can’t go wrong with guest stars and it just enhances the amount of fun you can have. Characters are mainly cosmetic as well so you might as well throw them in.

It goes without saying that the gameplay is quite excellent here. The controls are really smooth and you shouldn’t have a problem driving around. I notice that the game does try to make it a little easier on you here as it’s hard to drive off the road. The game will usually auto correct for you to make sure that you stay on the road. That’s definitely a very useful feature to be sure. I don’t think it is quite as good as say Double Dash where you really have to be careful to master your vehicle at all times but it does make sense in terms of making the game more inclusive for everyone to have a good time with. Double Dash is still my all time favorite game after all but it’s safe to say that Mario Kart 8 is the next best.

The soundtrack is excellent with a huge variety of songs to choose from. Every stage has its own distinct theme and nothing is reused here. You’ll hear a lot of nostalgic music throughout the game and of course modern twists as well. It’s definitely a game that’s very soothing to play with how peaceful some of the songs can be and even the fast paced tunes just feel good. This is a game where you can see how Nintendo put a ton of effort into every aspect. Naturally the graphics are included with that. The game looks quite excellent at all times. The gameplay is sharp and the stage designs really pop out at you as well.

For the online modes you can play in tournaments, single races, battle modes, etc. I tried all of the options and it’s nice to be playing against other opponents in real time. I played a ton of matches and didn’t experience lag in any of them. Imagine if Super Smash had that level of attention to it? Now that would really be something. It’s also fun how you have a little point total next to your name as you play through the stages. It’s not really a ranking since you don’t know where you stack up but it does give you something to aim for as you win more and more races.

As for the battle modes, you’ve got quite a few here. The most fun one is probably the cops and robbers game as you have to dry and get out of the area before you are whacked by the other team. You can free other members who have been captured though. The game seems to favor the team making the arrests here but you do need to have strategy and doing that online can be tricky. There’s also a capture the flag game which is fun. You have to try and hold onto it for a while in order to win. This can be tough if you’re not the first to grab it though. It’s not that hard to buy 20 seconds in the initial skirmish.

There’s also the bomb and balloon modes although unfortunately the balloon one is no longer about survival. I suspect the developers were worried about players dragging the matches out too long so they turned this into a pure score battle but I always liked the idea of a survival mode since it really makes you have to drive carefully to try and stay on top there. With a score system it’s a bit more chaotic. I don’t think you will be spending quite as much time here as in the races anyway though so it’s really just more ways to play the game and you can’t go wrong there.

Overall, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is definitely a great game. There is a whole lot of replay value here which you probably guessed from everything above. This is really a complete game in every aspect. I can’t think of a single weakness that it has and so Mario Kart 8 will really end up leaving a strong legacy behind it. You will be hard pressed to find a better racing game available and of course playing online with others is a lot of fun. The items ensure that you will have a fresh experience in each race. No two races will be identical after all and the item frequency is really quite high. The stages are the right length as they aren’t too short or too long. There really must have been hundreds of hours of research pumped into this and it paid off. The bar for the 9th game is really set quite high at this point.

Overall 9/10

Ty the Tasmanian Tiger 2 Bush Rescue HD Review

Ty 2 starts off with a bang and felt a whole lot like a Ratchet and Clank game at first. After that it dials things down a bit and so it isn’t automatically better than the first. It’s a close one as it easily wins in some areas and loses in others. I’ll answer the question of whether it was the better game or not at the end of the review. Either way it’s a solid sequel to the original adventure and does Ty proud.

The game starts off with Ty’s arch nemesis breaking out of prison. Ty tried to stop the villains with his mech suit but Ty’s friends get away and so that puts a damper in his plans. Fortunately, Ty has formed a rescue operation within the city so that he and his friends will always be around to help those in need. If any villain decides to appear in spite of this, Ty will take them down. All we know for now is that the villains want to build a device of some kind.

The gameplay is similar to the first in some respects like the boomerang throws. It still makes for a unique weapon and you get several versions of it. That said, it’s been streamlined quite a bit so that it’s more in an action context as opposed to being a platformer element. You can now take down dozens of enemies as you’re running through the level and blasting the enemies. It’s part of what made the first level so much as you may as well be holding an energy gun with how quickly the boomerangs shoot out. It was impressive to be sure.

A new element here is that Ty has his own battle mech suit. It’s very powerful as you can spam punches, hover, and one even has an an infinite laser beam. See, there are several robots that you get throughout the game. You can only use them in certain levels but when you have one it’s always quite a bit of fun. The best robot is saved for the final level which makes sense since it’s so incredibly powerful. It would break any older level if you were able to use it. The final level gives you a boss rush of all the guys you had to take down throughout the game and it’s fun to see how fast they go down to the mech suit. Clearly Ty should be using this all of the time. Even his friends get their own mech suits for the ending.

The stages are quite varied so you will get to battle in a whole lot of different environments. Most missions are actually rather small but occasionally you will have a long one. There was one fire level for example that surprised me because it just kept going on and on. At one point I fell through the exit by mistake and when that reset my progress I just skipped it. The game uses a mission system where you get to play a story event every 6-7 completions worth. So you don’t have to complete every mission to beat the game. Given that this is the case, you can certainly choose to skip any level that you don’t feel like playing. Most missions are very short so you might as well beat a few of those instead of a randomly long one.

Unlike the first game, the map is always active which is a very good thing. This is one game where you will never get lost. The map is very specific and always shows you where to go. On the flip side, the hub world is huge and you can only use the car when you’re outside. Be prepared for a whole lot of running and driving from place to place to the point where the journey can sometimes be longer than the actual mission. Pro tip though, if you have a mission that takes place at home base, just save and exit. When you re enter the game you are always taken home and it’s a big shortcut compared to what could be several minutes of driving from your location.

The graphics here are good as you would expect. The colors are still dynamic and I like how the levels look. The mech suits look like something out of Adventure 2 battle and Ty no longer has his face looking like he is permanently upset. These aren’t graphics that will win records but they look good and the cinematics still help to really make the game pop out at you. We get more snappy dialogue in this game which I like to see. Ty and one of the villains even get some banter going. As for the soundtrack, well once again I wouldn’t say that it is very memorable but it does the job while you are playing through the game. There is a very good chance that you just won’t remember the songs afterwards.

It was good to see Sly return too. At this point he is totally a good guy though so we are far removed from the days of being an evil Ty. He’s a good enough side character but like the rest of Ty’s friends you never feel like he is actually useful. In a way they all just hold Ty back but maybe one day he can train them. Then he would really have a solid squad that is ready for any kind of situation. In the meantime, Ty just has to count on his own abilities.

In terms of length, the game felt a bit shorter than the first. In part that’s because you just don’t have to beat a lot of side missions here. After a few you have enough to challenge the story level and so you can beat the game at a rather low completion percentage. Still, that means there is more replay value here. If you beat all of the levels and buy every kind of boomerang from the shop, that should buy you a few hours. Maybe with everything combined this would be a 10-12 hour kind of game. The main story I’d say’s probably closer to 6.

If the game could have made the day to day missions feel a little more relevant I think that would have been really good to tighten up the story. It loses a bit of steam there compared to the first game where it all felt focused. There are also a very small amount of sounds for the characters so prepare to hear the townfolk saying the same thing over and over. Beyond that I wouldn’t say the game has any big weaknesses. Certainly nothing that would hold it back for very long.

Overall, Ty 2 is a fun sequel to throw into the mix. I’ve left you in suspense for a while so it’s time to answer the question of whether this beat the original or not. Did it? Well, in the end I would say it did. While the first game may have won in some areas like the levels being a little more thorough and packed with content, the sequel improved on the gameplay and action. It was more exciting and most of all, there was no forced collectibles here. That’s a big win right out of the gate. It may be a little longer until I play the third game but we’ll see if it keeps up the positive trend. If you haven’t played this game yet then this is a good time to change that.

Overall 7/10

Ty The Tasmanian Tiger HD Review

Remasters are a fun way to bring along hype titles from the past. Ty is one of those platformer series that got a little overshadowed by the other big shots like Mario back in the day but he had a full trilogy to himself. That’s definitely impressive and after playing through the game I can say it holds its own. It’s a good all around title that you should have fun with.

The game starts with Ty finding out that the rest of the Tasmanian Tigers were taken down by an evil bird a long time ago. This includes his parents so Ty is all alone in the world now. To try and survive, Ty must gather all of the relics. This will prevent the bird from taking over the world and will also have the added benefit of bringing all of the tigers back into the world. These relics are all in dangerous places though so Ty must keep his wits about him or he will be doomed. So begins the most dangerous adventure of Ty’s career.

The gameplay is your standard 3D adventure. You run and jump across and through obstacles to get to the goal. Each level has the main objective which is to get to the end and then 7+ other missions inside. Each level has a few missions that will be the same across the game like getting all collectibles in a level and others will vary with requests from characters inside. The game is part collectathon so you will want to complete most side missions before going to the next level. This will ensure you don’t get stuck by not having enough Thunder Eggs (You get 1 egg per mission) and have to go back to replay the level. It’s worth noting that each world has a Thunder egg requirement to get to the next world and it doesn’t roll over. So if you need another egg to unlock world 3, don’t bother going back to world 1 to get an extra egg as it won’t count. It must be from word 2.

By and large the requirements for unlocking new worlds are not very large. You should be able to easily beat enough sub missions per level where you don’t have to go back and do any replays. What helps is that you can see the total needed to unlock the next world as soon as you enter it. That’s certainly handy. I’m not a fan of collectathons in general as I think that should never be required for the story. Make that a post game challenge and then everyone’s happy. That said, the game at least makes this one not as punishing once you know that it’s coming so I’ll give the game some credit there. It’s not ideal but I’ll manage.

Now I should mention the biggest unique gameplay element to Ty, which is your boomerang. It’s your main method of attack as well as activating buttons throughout the levels. You fire it off and the boomerang comes back to you. You can also use it to glide which is very handy. The controls are basic so you should be able to master this quickly. Some of the jumps require really good precision so expect to fall a few times but usually there is solid ground under the tougher jumps so you don’t have to worry about dying. As you go through the game you will unlock more powerful boomerangs like the fire and ice ones which are very handy. It’s a fun gameplay style and boomerangs make for a good weapon. The combat is also fun and doesn’t get old.

As for the story itself, Ty gets props for having full cinematic cutscenes here. You’re not going to get any of that plain text box stuff. The Bird is a decent villain and while you might have a hard time remembering some of the names pretty quickly, you will at least remember the designs. It’s a rather standard platformer plot but the cutscenes help take it up a notch. The battle with Ty’s ancestors and the bird’s mech was a really good one after all. Ancestors may be misleading since it seems really recent but it was a lot of tigers at the very least. We get a dark Ty which was a very interesting concept but while I was expecting someone like Shadow the Hedgehog, this guy turned out to not be on that level. The most surprising thing about Sly (Dark Ty) is that he doesn’t even seem to be a match physically which is really rare. Usually the shadow version is at least equal or a bit stronger but Ty takes this guy out whenever they meet with ease. I suppose it works as a twist but you end up feeling a bit bad for Sly if anything because he lost all of his mystique. I’m rooting for the guy to do better but from this game I don’t think he would be getting a lot of fans.

The graphics are solid. The colors all stand out and I like the level designs. Ty always looks like he is really upset or scowling due to where his mouth is but it makes for some amusing moments. The soundtrack is a little more in the forgettable side, I can’t really remember any tracks in particular which isn’t really a good thing. I do think it worked well enough while in the game though so while it isn’t remarkable, it isn’t bad either.

The game length is fairly decent at 5-7 hours. I’d consider that the standard platformer length at least. There is a good amount of replay value with the collectibles and gathering all of the boomerangs. That should take you a decent amount of time. You should also be able to get Ty for a good price so it all balances out. If you want an extra challenge on top of everything, try to beat all non bosses with just the normal boomerang and bite attacks. That said, I did that for most of the game anyway since the other boomerangs don’t have a huge boost in attacks I’ll or anything like that.

Overall, Ty The Tasmanian Tiger is a solid game. It’s certainly a nostalgic kind of platformer that looks and feels like the ones you would have played back in the day. It’s got a nice plot with decent characters and strong gameplay. Those are all the fundamentals you need to have a good experience and so Ty pulls that off. This remaster brought a code for the second game so you can bet I’ll have a review up for that one shortly as well. You can never have too many adventures with Ty after all. If you haven’t played this game yet then I would definitely recommend picking this game up. It’s the kind of game that’s really accessible to anyone and so I would recommend it to any gamer.

Overall 7/10

Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling Review

Bug Fables is a fun story about a group of bugs that must ultimately band together to save the world. It’s fairly common knowledge that this was inspired by the Paper Mario series and the game does a really good job there. It does feel like the classic paper experience with no gimmicks to hold the title back. The story is definitely fun and there is quite a lot to do here so this is the kind of RPG that can really last you for quite a while.

The story starts with Kabbu and Vi both trying to convince the kingdom to let them become explorers. The thing is, both of them aren’t exactly qualified for this. Still, a concession is made and they can do this if they team up so they at least have a 2 man squad like everyone else. They reluctantly agree to this and head off to the first dungeon to prove themselves. That’s when they meet up with a guy named Leif who seems like he may have time travelled or something as his descriptions don’t match with the current reality. There is little time to think about this though as the Wasp Kingdom continues to make moves against the Ants. The only thing that can stop them is to find the Everlasting Sapling to give to the queen and we will need to find some relics to locate that. It is a race against time!

As you gather the relics in the game you gradually begin to learn more about the kingdoms and exactly what is going on here. Think of it like Dynasty Warriors where you have multiple warring countries and nobody gets along due to grudges passed on through generations. Vi is a bee, Leif’s some kind of cricket, then you have Kabbu the beetle. The kingdoms are run by a bunch of different insect tribes and none of them get along very well in part due to the current Ant Queen not being a great diplomat. As the game goes on all of the kingdoms start learning to work together against the wasps.

It’s a fun story and the main villain is solid as well. His fire abilities are impressive and he has some solid lines like when the heroes say “Think we’ll fall for that again?” to which he responds “Yes” as he one shots them with his fire abilities. As the characters are all insects you can imagine how useful a fire technique would be. Most fighters go down in a single hit to that kind of move and it’s what makes the main villain such an impressive threat. The cast is fairly memorable here and the adventure is long enough where everyone gets to have their moment.

There are even some rivals at the ready like a famous singer and her bodyguard who tries to keep up a tough image while he is in her presence. Ultimately he is always ready to put up a tough fight although it’s safe to say that the main characters are the strongest ones around. From the 3 I would say that Vi steals the show. Vi’s always talking tough and is the most aggressive of the 3. If anyone tries to talk the team down then Vi will set them straight. Kabbu is also solid and he’s the wise mentor of the group. He doesn’t jump into action as quickly as the others but has enough power to defend himself.

Then there’s Leif who is a lot more sarcastic compared to the other two and isn’t quite a people person. That said, you can certainly count on him in a pinch. Even the Ant Queen gets some solid development by the end of the game and isn’t just some figurehead that you don’t see until the end of the game. She does contribute in the game when needed instead of staying in the shadows the whole time.

The graphics are good and are certainly Paper Mario inspired just like the gameplay. The worlds are colorful and quite memorable. The towns can be a bit large though and there is no map so you really have to find everything out through trial and error. If there’s one thing the game lacked, it’s a better map system. Something to let you know where to go and what to grab. It took me a while to find one of the shops for example but at least once you find a place you are unlikely to forget where it is.

The soundtrack is also good. In particular there’s one danger track that I liked a lot and it shows up whenever a boss is approaching. The main campaign is also fairly long so you’re going to get the full RPG treatment here. On the whole I wouldn’t say the game is too hard but there will likely be one or two times where you may need to get an extra level up. As far as RPGs go I would consider this to be one of the ones on the lower rung in terms of grinding. You don’t need to worry about spending hours fighting minions or anything like that. If you’re really in a pickle, just buy some recovery items and you’ll be all set.

After each level up you can decide if you want to increase your health bar, magic meter, or badge space. Personally I recommend focusing on magic meter and badge space since those are crucial. You can use badges to increase health as well so that’s why I rarely went with Health. Maybe upgrade that 2 ties but the rest you can pour into the other attributes. There are only around 37 levels in the game so you want to choose where you allocate everything pretty carefully so you’re in a good position.

The gameplay is a turn based system where you use your reaction times to maximize the damage and how much you shield from their attacks. For example you may have to input commands as shown on the screen or tap one button repeatedly. The more you master each skill, the better you will do in a fight. When you’re not in combat there are some puzzles you will need to solve by using each character’s signature move. The puzzles here are well done though and you shouldn’t worry about them being unclear or cheesy. Each one can definitely be solved with the knowledge the game gives you.

Overall, Bug Fables is a solid RPG. It’s a good bit of fun throughout and the characters are likable. The story gradually raises the tension throughout to the climax so you get to end off with a bang. There’s a decent amount of replay value here as you take on the side missions. It seems like doing so will allow you to learn more about each of the characters as finishing up their stories is like a post game to each of them. It’ll be cool if the game gets a sequel, there’s definitely more you can do with this world for sure.

Overall 7/10