Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review


This is one of those games where before even playing it, I knew it would be an elite. Beat em up games tend to be awesome and then the Nintendo titles take it a step further. Well, this one does not disappoint and it has to be one of the most expansive warrior titles to date. There are just so many different mechanics in there that it’s hard to know where to start when optimizing your team. Fortunately you can ignore the mechanics and still get to the end if that’s how you want to do it.

The game starts out by introducing us to a mercenary named Shez. Shez is fairly tough but one day his whole crew is murdered by a guy named Byleth. Byleth is one of the most powerful guys around and his abilities are absolutely crazy. A mysterious being from another dimension appears and lets Shez know that they can be partners and together even Byleth can’t stop them. Shez doesn’t have much of a choice in this to be honest but he’s a good sport about the whole thing and agrees to work together. Gradually Shez learns how to let go of his rage and how to press on normally. It’s a pretty emotional story and one that’s over 15 hours long so you can bet that there is a lot of character development here.

While I wouldn’t say the story is quite as dynamic as the first FE Warriors game, that one was a crossover so it had a lot of advantages built right into it. This one had to make do with the cast of the three houses game and I’d say that it did well with that. You choose a team to align yourself with early on and then the rest of the game is built around that. That’s part of the impressive nature of the game if you ask me because that means there’s over 45 hours of content here. Your playthroughs with the other two teams will be almost completely different.

Additionally, there is a lot of extra story content beyond the main campaigns. There are a bunch of paralogues which are effectively bonus story events, extra levels, side quests, and around 15-20 different activities you can do. Even just getting new weapons can turn into a big thing as you grab a lot of weapons you can level up, change your rank, class, etc. I barely scratched the tip of the iceberg in terms of content when going through this game. There was certainly a whole lot of other things to do and it’s the kind of game that would be extremely intimidating to try and 100%. Good luck with that!

It also means that you are getting an incredible amount of value for your purchase. This is well worth the $60 and then some. You could easily play this game for weeks and weeks. The graphics are top notch of course with Nintendo giving the game their A team. I had no complaints while playing through it and the action scenes are epic. Likewise the soundtrack is really good. The game even saved the best tunes for the end of the adventure which was great because then you get to end the whole thing off on a high note.

The final level was also difficult, it was the first time that I actually lost in the whole game. You have to win without letting Shez or Edelgard die but you can only control one so the A.I. was determined to take me down. I had to leave, level up, and regroup before going back in. The final level is rather long at over 20 minutes so that was quite the experience. Still, it’s good that the final level isn’t a cakewalk or anything like that. It probably would have been if I bothered to do any of the side content too so this was a fairly good compromise.

Naturally the gameplay is a blast here. It’s your typical 3D warriors gameplay, you blast through the levels and have to usually defeat hundreds of opponents before you get to the end. Your objectives will range from helping civilians to defeating bosses. You can also assign orders to the computers to help you out so you aren’t just fighting on your own out there. You have standard attacks, power moves, final smashes, and an awakening move. Switching between them is absolutely key if you aim to rise to the top and complete any challenge that gets in your way.

Personally what I found to be the most effective method was to have all of my allies converge on one spot. I felt like they produced much better results that way than having them spread out to do whatever they wanted. Even then you will beat 3 castles in the time it takes them to beat one but at least it’ll help you a bit. Send them to the farthest ones so you don’t have to worry about it. Sometimes you will have to change your orders depending on the situation.

Shez’s movement ability to turn intangible is extremely valuable too. For that reason I would rarely switch who I was controlling because nobody’s ability was nearly as good. This one was in a class completely on its own. There’s a decent amount of depth to the gameplay as well so be sure to learn as you’re going. Weapon types with advantages and disadvantages tend to play a rather big part here so you’ll want to keep that in mind as well. Defeating an opponent who has the advantage will naturally take longer.

Overall, Fire Emblem Warriors is a blast. I highly recommend this to any gamer out there. The action is nonstop and there’s just so much to process and think about here. It’s not a game that you’ll pick up and start dominating. At the very least you will want to have some kind of a plan while you’re in the level or you will just be setting yourself up for disaster. If you want a super challenge you can also set it up so if someone dies then they will be gone forever. That’s a very bold way to play and it’s not for me since losing out on all of those level ups sounds painful, but it definitely makes you think twice about all of your decisions. Hopefully they keep this up and get us a third fire emblem warriors game at some point. There’s still so much you can do with the premise. Of course the same will be true of any other Nintendo property as well.

Overall 9/10

Ninjala Review


It sure took me a while to play this game but it definitely lived up to the hype. This may be a hot take but pure gameplay wise I actually prefer this to Splatoon. Of course a big part of that is the fact that you’re on your own here and don’t need to fight as part of a team. Then you’ve also got the close combat gameplay which is even better than the ink shooting.

The game even looks a lot like Splatoon which I have to assume is intentional. The game has a lot of modes but naturally you’ll be most interested in jumping online to get right into the battle royale. There are around 8 players in a given match and you have to try and get the most points. You obtain points by grabbing orbs around the stage, more points by breaking these little sandbags all around, and a ton of points by knocking out other players. The gap in points is rather large: 20-100-400 so knocking out players is your best bet. They’ll be trying to get in your way regardless so it makes sense to try and take them out right off the bat.

The controls are fairly simple here. You can run along the ground and up the walls as well as jump. You have a dash attack which lets you get up close and from there you have your standard attacks and a super attack once your meter gets high enough. It seems like characters have different moves so you’ll want to learn them but your main method of attack will be with classic attacks. Land a good combo and you’ll take your opponent out in an instant. It’s definitely the way to go if you want to be the one wearing the championship belt.

The thing I don’t like about the gameplay is that it has a rock paper scissors mechanic going like in Pokken. So when you clash you both have to choose a direction and hope it’s the right one. I never cared for this kind of mechanic and don’t get why it tends to pop up every now and again. Why would you want to throw some random variables into a fighting game? That seems like the last genre to add such a thing since you want it to all be about your individual skill right? Seems to me like throwing this in just muddies the waters.

It’s also pretty much inevitable that you will have several clashes in every fight so get ready to see this mechanic a lot. Personally I’d say the game should drop it and then it would feel a lot more balanced. It would really make you have to focus on when you want to attack and try to stay cautious so nobody ambushes you. Yes that would definitely be the best way to do it and I think that would work out for everyone.

Well, even with that I did manage to win my first few rounds but I suspect the game threw in some bots. I can’t prove it, but I was fighting several opponents with very generic names like Paul and Chris. No extra letters or numbers so I find the odds of them getting those names to be rather slim. I was also dominating throughout and sure I’m great at picking up on a game’s mechanics right away but I was a little suspicious. It was almost too easy which started to tip me off. Maybe I’m overanalyzing this, it’s possible but I’m not buying it.

After a few wins then I started seeing a lot of fancy names and the games quickly grew harder. Ninjala is certainly a game that is easy to start but hard to master. Don’t expect that you can just walk in and start claiming wins. This game isn’t quite so easy as all of that. There are quite a few mechanics to master and that makes sense since the tutorial seemed really large. I quit out of it after the first lesson but you’d want to study it all if you intend on playing for a long while.

I should also mention that there are some bonus stars. You’re scored by total points at the end of the round but you then gain some for doing the most damage, most KOs, etc. So keep that in mind, just because you have the most points when entering the results screen doesn’t mean that you will win in the end. That actually bumped me down from 1st to 2nd once. It’s an interesting idea but I think the game should go by base points. If you win then you win, no worrying about extra factors or any of that.

The graphics are solid. This definitely looks like a very modern game and it’s also very colorful. There’s a lot to look at and the levels have a lot of detail to them. I definitely have no issues there and the soundtrack is good as well. This really is a solid all around title and if you ever threw in a big cinematic story mode then this could be a great game even without online. The gameplay is certainly polished enough to make it work.

Overall, Ninjala is a fun game. I don’t really see people talking about it anymore so its window of fame may have already ended but the fundamentals are sound. I like that you don’t have to enter in teams like a lot of the similar online titles. You can just jump in and take names. While the battle royale results being based on points does mean that you can lose even while playing super well, it won’t be too likely. Beating opponents gets you the most points so as long as you do that well then you should be in high spirits. I would definitely recommend checking this game out for a fun blast.

Overall 7/10

Congo’s Caper Review


Congo’s Caper is a fairly traditional platforming title. You get to travel through different lands as you jump and fight your way to the goal. You can swing at enemies with your club and duck under obstacles. It’s a fairly short title but a fun one all the same. If you like platformers then you’ll definitely enjoy this and you can’t go wrong since the game is free after all.

The main character was enjoying a nice peaceful day when the heroine gets kidnapped by the main villain. He now has to save her before all hope is lost. The characters are now monkeys but with an item he can turn into a human. It’s an interesting gimmick. Instead of shrinking like Mario when you’re hit, the player turns into a monkey. I can tell you that the gameplay is a lot smoother when you’re a human so I advise you not to get hit. Sure, that’s easier said than done but I recommend that all the same. It’s just way easier to land blows and fly through the stage when you’re a lot bigger.

Each level is fairly different so the game deserves a lot of credit for keeping things fresh. You never feel like the levels are recycled or anything like that. The stages are also at a good length where they don’t drag on or feel too short. It’s actually a rather well polished game considering that you’ve probably never heard of it before. The gameplay is smooth as well and some of the bosses can actually be rather difficult. You’re probably going to have to break out the rewind and access point features a whole lot here.

Now the story is rather basic and by the numbers so you’re definitely here for the gameplay. The heroine getting captured is extremely standard but at least the game has her getting captured more than once which is a little different. Clearly the heroes need some kind of security detail at the ready since the villains can just waltz in and do whatever they want otherwise.

The bosses have cool designs and the boss battles themselves are rather creative. For one boss you have to avoid all of his legs and wings as you try to hit the head in the center. This boss is particularly difficult because he can move so fast and making any kind of contact with him will damage your health. You really need an air tight reaction time and a good plan in order to take him out. Otherwise you’re just doomed.

Throughout the game there were several moments that seemed incredibly difficult. You had to run ahead of some spikes or the ground collapsing. I died so many times to that and had to keep rewinding until I cheesed it. It wasn’t until the final level that I realized what was going wrong..there actually is a run button. It explains why the character was moving so slowly. I was actually walking for the majority of the game. In my defense the game didn’t make that particularly clear. It was fun to finally have this at the ready though.

The graphics look pretty good. I’d say that the style they used is one that ages really well. The colorful animations and character models are still rather sharp and the same is true for the environments. It’s closer to the high end on the side. The soundtrack is more on the forgettable side. Some decent tunes and all but nothing that will keep you up at night. It could have used some more high energy tracks which would have taken this to the next level.

Overall, Caveman’s Congo is a solid game. I won’t overhype it and say that it’s great or anything but you’ll have a good time with it. The game lasts for about an hour so if you need something quick to play then you should just jump on this one. You’ll be glad you did and I think it could do really well with a modern remake someday. Caveman type stories aren’t really my thing but for a platformer the gameplay is the most important part and I think this game proved that it could make this work.

Overall 6/10

Fall Guys Review


It’s great to finally have Fall Guys as a free to play game. I remember that one got a ton of hype along with Among Us and really broke out into the mainstream. Well, I can say that Fall Guys lives up to the hype and is definitely a fun title. There is a lot of downtime both between and during matches so you’ll want to have something with you to read or play in those moments but the actual gameplay is a lot of fun.

The controls are extremely simple here. You can move, jump, dive jump, and grab things. That’s it, the idea is to survive until the end and have everyone else be eliminated. This is done over the course of a few different events that will test your platforming skills. At the end of the day the big thing here is definitely being able to react quickly and get to the end. The really fun part of course is that you’re up against a bunch of fellow players who are presumably good at platformers too. So it’s not like you’re styling on a bunch of A.I. or anything like that. You’re going up against potential world champs.

It’s also not easy to win because the levels themselves are also reasonably challenging. So between that and the other players then you’ve got quite a lot to balance out. I managed to get 1 win during my first day of playing but it still did take quite a few rounds before I got there. Don’t expect to get a win right away. No matter how good you are at platforming, it’s still going to take a little bit to get used to exactly how this works. Also, there are quite a few different levels and they randomly alternate so eventually you just want to be really good at all of them. Otherwise all it takes is one tough minigame to knock you out of the event.

Once you lose you can choose to stay and watch the others or leave. I personally recommend leaving so you can start the next event a little sooner. On the flip side if you win a level early then you have to keep on watching until the rest of the players make it. This is the downtime I was talking about before and so you’ll probably want to have a plan for that. Otherwise it probably can drag a little which could hurt the experience for you. It is necessary as I don’t see how the game can get around this though. So just stay ready and then you go up against all the rest in the next minigame as well. Rinse and repeat until you are the single champion

Naturally the game does have a level up system and lots of quests so you can work on those as you play the game normally. It’s always fun to have some kind of progression system and I dare say that any free to play game which is lacking in this will probably end up having a rough time. You need some kind of way to keep people coming back after all and this is a very tried and true way of doing it. The replay value never ends that way and the devs will just need to hit that sweet spot of getting new levels from time to time without removing all of the classics too quickly. I feel like they will be able to pull this off though.

It’s a rather simple formula that is hard to mess up. Who doesn’t like platforming anyway right? So long as the rest of the levels are fun like this one then I think you should be in a really good position going forward. The graphics are nice and while the little characters themselves may not be super stylish yet, you’ll unlock different wardrobe items to fully customize them. I expect within a year or so you’ll have countless items with which to make them hit the next level.

How long you stay with this game will probably depend on wat else you’re playing at the moment. After all, picture playing a Mario level for a while. It’s a lot of fun but how long will you keep playing until you decide to call it quits? A progression system in and of itself is probably not enough to keep you on the title forever. That said, one of its strengths is certainly how easy it is to pick up and play at any time. You don’t need to actually remember the game at all to quickly remember how to jump and move around. So as long as you have it downloaded you can easily feel like just playing it on a whim at some point.

Overall, I had a good time with Fall Guys. The developers were really smart in deciding to make a game like this. It’s one of those things that feels obvious afterwards since this is just a really great gimmick to go with. Who wouldn’t want to just be playing a lot of platforming levels and having a blast like this? It was satisfying to get the 1st place that one time after all and no matter what happens you always feel like you won or lost by your own efforts. At least right you never feel like the level RNG elements override your abilities. That’s probably the main thing the game needs to watch out for. Keep on experimenting and bringing in new things but be careful not to go too crazy. I’m confident this game can pull off the balance though.

Overall 7/10

Knockout City Review


Knockout City is one of those free to play games that looks like a lot of fun but I wouldn’t say that it was marketed too heavily. It was certainly possible to just end up missing out on it. Well, I got to play it and it’s quite a bit of fun. Its main weakness is that it does rely on a team format meaning you can only do as well as your teammates. That is sure to get a little dicey for a while unless you can find a squad to join up with but it’s a solid all around title.

The games really follow the ole Dodgeball rules. It’s not instant elimination when you’re hit though and instead you respawn somewhere on the map. A typical match is a 3 vs 3 battle and the first team to 10 points wins. Getting hit by a car or falling off of the map will award the other team a point as well so you really have to stay vigilant at all times. Otherwise you could wind up giving the other team some instant points.

The controls are fairly easy to get the hang of. You can shoot the ball, pass, jump, double jump, and glide. The most important mechanic of course is catching a ball when someone throws it at you. You don’t actually knock them out by doing that but you prevent them from taking any points and can then fire your ball back at them right away. A good defense is a good offense right? This is the best chance to put that into practice and really dish out the damage. It take a little practice but before long you should be able to pull this off without too many issues.

There are different balls which all have different abilities so you’ll want to keep an eye out for them. The level has a little info section about the ball so you always have a heads up though. There’s only one kind of gimmick ball per level so you won’t be seeing a ton of them just show up. That said, it’s hard to beat the classic ball since it just feels really good when you’re able to secure the win there.

There are other modes too like a super hero one where everyone has powers and a 2 v 2 v 2 mode. Unfortunately there is no free for all or survival kind of mode. It would be nice to have at least one mode where you were on your own and I think the game should look into getting that mode available right away. There’s a whole lot of potential there right out of the gate and not using it just feels like a pretty big mistake.

So the game is fun but here are my brief issues with it. I already went into the lack of a solo mode. The other one is that the wait between matches can feel a little long. The announcer is trying to be very engaging with how he yells between the rounds but it’s more on the grating side. I would say you don’t need an announcer here and the game could just use that time in silence or putting you in a practice field like what Fortnite does. It would make the matches a little more seamless.

I also think the game could show where the dodgeballs are a little better. Sometimes it feels like you’re running around for a while trying to find them and I suspect this was not intentional. It just doesn’t seem to me like the game would want to make it hard for you to find the Dodgeballs so I suspect this wasn’t intentional. Perhaps there is a way to locate them easier and the game’s tutorial just didn’t cover it. That’s certainly possible so I don’t want to rule it out.

The graphics are solid here. They may not be cutting edge or anything as this is still a free to play game but it does well enough for itself. You should have a good time here. Then there is the soundtrack which is more on the forgettable side. You’re here for the gameplay either way though and that’s where the title excels. It does well with the Dodgeball mechanics and now we really know that the sport is possible to make into a video game. I’m surprised more titles don’t adapt this sport. I feel like there is a lot of potential here.

There’s naturally a ton of replay value as this game should go on for many years. You’ll have different modes popping in and out, new items, outfits, etc. As you progress through the levels you’ll unlock more things as well and one of the main advantages of a game like this is that the content never has to end. So if you like Dodgeball then this is a solid one to check out.

Overall, Knockout City does well in what it’s trying to accomplish. I had fun playing some rounds here and there. Ultimately it’s not quite as good as the big free to play title on the market in Fortnite though so it will be hard for this one to break out. It may end up getting a strong core fanbase but ultimately you need a lot of people if you want to become the next big thing and I’m not convinced that this one will make it in the long run. Guess we’ll see how it plays out.

Overall 7/10