Assault Suit Leynos Review

I ended up printing out a coupon for 5 dollars off a new game instead of 10 dollars off of a pre owned one at Gamestop by mistake the other day so I went looking for a new title that I could get for cheap. Leynos showed up and this game always looked pretty interesting. I’d only come across it once or twice in the past, but I like Arcade style games well enough. A modern port is always appreciated since it adds continue points and a saving feature. It’s a fun game and while it is fairly short, the trophies help to add in some replay value. Considering that it’s only 15 dollars new and probably even less used, I’d say that it deserves to be picked up.

The plot is that a bunch of people were sent into space back in the day. Then World War 4 showed up (Yes, not 3. That was off screen) and all of our technology went out the window. We finally rebuilt our civilization and united the world in peace, but we told the space explorers to fend for themselves. They didn’t like that and created their own robot army in order to claim revenge. Can we defeat our own people…and should we? It is life or death as they intend to destroy Earth so I think that ultimately ends up answering the question. We certainly will not go down easily!

The gameplay plays out like a 2D Gundam game. You can equip up to 6 parts on your robot. You can choose to load him up with various guns and rockets or you can equip some boosters and extra armor. I personally went with 3 armors, my Machine Gun, and two sets of rockets. I definitely recommend the Machine Gun and the Armors are great since they add a whole new life bar for each one that you equip. They’re a real life savor. You can also fly if you have the booster and you can aim the guns up and down with the control stick as you go through the levels. You can also punch, but aside from a trophy that you can get for it…why would you ever punch? It’s a joke move in there just for fun I believe.

There are two different modes in the game, Arcade Mode and Classic Mode. Ironically, Classic Mode is the actual one from the arcade game as you play through the whole game and take it down a few pegs. There are less cutscenes and bosses and it feels retro. Naturally, I played the Arcade Mode instead. This one’s a little more modernized with extra features and all the new gadgets. I’ll try the other one out soon for a trophy though so no worries on that. I’ve heard that it’s tougher, but that’s what the save feature is for right? There are 8 levels in each mode and each one can be defeated in a few minutes. The game isn’t very long as a result, but the difficulty level should ensure that you replay some of them a few times which adds to the overall length.

There also is some replay value here since you’ll want to nab the Platinum trophy. It doesn’t sound too difficult, but will certainly take some 2D skills to achieve. For example, one level will have you win without using any guns, that one definitely sounds like it’ll be a pain. I’ll need to equip my best armors for that. Without the trophies, this game probably would have gotten bumped down to a 6. After all, the gameplay may be entertaining, but there’s no multiplayer. That would mean that there are only 8 levels to play and nothing more to gain from replaying it so the game would have sunk due to the fact that it just didn’t have much content. It’s why I am such a big fan of Sony’s trophy system. It really helps all games and certainly adds replay value.

The graphics are fairly retro as they’re supposed to be. The game is clear and you can always tell what is happening though. I’d actually say that they look better than Frogger: The Great Quest despite how much older this one was when it first came out. Some of the level designs will even remind you of Mega Man X. Of course, it would be neat to get a full PS4 sequel for this game with the latest graphics. That would be a lot of fun so hopefully this one sold well enough. The music is also pretty sound. It may not be the most impressive soundtrack of all, but it works well and adds a little more intensity to the campaign.

There’s not much to say about the actual story. It’s pretty decent and hits all of the usual mecha notes. We have the emotional death, the emotionless main character, the emotional heroine, and even the “sympathetic” villain who just wants revenge and to destroy the whole world. It’s good enough for me to still believe that it was good to have the story in the game, but it just serves the bare minimum of what a story should be. It adds context to the battles and gives you something to look forward to after each level. The final level was handled really well with that as you got to fight 4-5 bosses back to back to back. It took me quite a few tries to take that one down, but all bosses fall eventually right?

Overall, Assault Suit Leynos is a good game. It’s fundamentally sound and arcade gamers from the olden days will probably be able to appreciate this even more. It’s not a game that I could see myself playing for too long as I’d get burned out at replaying the same level too much, but it’s good for a quick run through. I don’t have time to stick around and replay many of my games anymore regardless so as long as it’s fun for the first run through, then I’m set. If the game got a sequel, I’m confident that I would check it out. I’m still a little behind in Gundam games, but maybe this will spur me on to get one in the near future. I’m always up for any more robot games that aren’t called Armored Core. If you hadn’t heard of this game before this review, then hopefully I helped give you some extra knowledge so you could decide if you want to purchase it or not.

Overall 7/10

Rodea The Sky Soldier Review

Honestly, Rodea’s situation was pretty sad for its fans. It’s universally agreed that the Wii version of the game is the definitive one, but it was held back for around 5 years so that the Wii U one could get made. Furthermore, the only way to get the Wii version is to buy the Wii U game day 1. Pretty interesting eh? I like to draw myself away from the crowd though so I went ahead and played the Wii U version (But I have the Wii one as well for future reference) anyway. Besides, I don’t care how bad the controls are supposed to be. They’ve got to still be better than using the ole Wii Remote right?

It is the future and robots are the enemy of humankind. One day, a robot named Rodea is fixed by a girl named Iron. She isn’t afraid of robots and just wants to have a good time. Rodea has lost all of his memories and doesn’t know why but he has made a promise to protect Garuda. (Earth’s greatest civilization. Or Garuda is actually the name of the planet) Together, the two of them aim to save the planet and hopefully restore Rodea’s memories, but knowing the past could force the team to part ways so…do the memories really need to come back?

It’s definitely a fun game and I easily would have awarded it an 8..if not for the controls. Unfortunately, the reviews are right about the Wii U’s controls being quite bad. Naturally, I can’t vouch for the Wii ones, but I have heard that they are significantly better. Prepare to die a few times because you end up flying in a different direction from where you wanted to go. Jumping and flying often ends up being a lot riskier than you would have guessed. It’s also worth noting that the Wii U version changed a lot of things from the Wii one. The Wii U took out all of Rodea’s power gimmicks. Think of Sonic Colors or another video game where you would find items that give you temporary powers. There’s none of that in the Wii U version so it’s more of a straight platforming adventure as you try to reach the goal with your original abilities.

The most intriguing change is that the Wii U has a very dark color scheme. It’s more grayscale and takes itself very seriously compared to the Wii version which has a more anime type feel to it. The Wii version certainly looks far superior, but the graphics for the Wii U are still quite good. It’s relatively bad, but absolutely good so just don’t let yourself compare it to the Wii version or it’s cooked. I enjoyed the soundtrack as well. There aren’t a whole lot of themes, but most of the ones that are present are quite catchy. Upon beating the game, you even get a lyrical song that you can play during the levels instead of the background music. It gives the game a more cinematic experience although since it’s just one song, you don’t want to overuse it.

The game takes a lot of cues from the classic Sonic Adventure days. The final world looks a little like the climax of Sonic Adventure 2’s Hero story and Rodea’s whole character arc very closely mirrors Shadow’s from Adventure 2 Battle. Even the gameplay feels a lot like Sonic’s if you used your homing attack a lot back in the day. Naturally, flying is very important in this game and the aerial combat is fun. You’ve also got a gun which you can use and while I never used it at first, it came in handy towards the end. Don’t forget that you can also roll away from an attack, but typically jumping is your best bet. Your homing attack (Dash Attack) is your best form of attack against most villains and just remember that you can use it in rapid fire mode against bosses in order to end them quickly.

The bosses typically have fun attack patterns. The only one that wasn’t fun to fight was ironically the last boss. He’s a classic example of why bigger isn’t always better. It’s not so much a fight as it is just a long adventure of trying to get close to him. More parrallels to Sonic here as it’s very similar to Sonic DX’s Final Chaos, but with more jumping around before actually charging in. The best boss was probably in the second last level with the Geardo attack followed by his subordinate. It was pretty tough.

That being said, all of the bosses were a little limited in the sense that they would have 3-4 attacks and would always use them in the same sequence. The whole time I was expecting them to shift tactics upon crossing the halfway mark of their health bar, but it never happened. As a result, the battles would be more about waiting for the inevitable weak spot than actually doing anything. Still fun fights though and they never felt “cheap.”

The game’s story was pretty fun whenever the villains would show up. I didn’t really care for the supporting characters here. Ion’s grandfather was a boring character who would always yell each one of his lines because that was the only personality that he ever got. The other townsfolk were just there to slow Rodea down. Ion’s a good heroine. Her personality is essentially that she’s ultra happy the entire time and may be smarter than she lets on, but her fixes don’t always work. It would be great if she learned how to fight in the sequel, but I couldn’t ask for much more out of her.

Rodea’s a pretty hardcore main character. It’s too bad that we couldn’t see too much of him though since he’s still in shock for about half of the game. Once he decides to just roll with the current situation, he becomes a lot better. He’s similar to Shadow The Hedgehog at first and then Pit from Kid Icarus Uprising. He’s now a little cocky and overconfident, which are great traits for a main character. I doubt that he will be remembered all that much as the years go on, but I was satisfied with him.

The villains were a little less engaging. Most of them were Rodea’s friends, but as they never grew a heart, they were forced to simply obey their orders. They were like the enemies in Mega Man Powered Up and Maverick Hunter. Rodea destroyed them all, but they all missed the days when they were comrades. It was interesting how Rodea took no prisoners, but the ending was still happy for everyone since Rodea ended up going back in time and the future is essentially a utopia. The only one who didn’t turn good was Geardo and he was a pretty poor villain. I liked his design in the second to last level, but his giant monster form was pretty bad. He also went delusional and thought that Ion was his daughter, Cecilia. He may regret it now, but Geardo is the reason why Cecilia jumped off a cliff so the villain is way too late. He should have changed his plans sooner.

Speaking of which, the whole scene was a little odd. Rodea went back in time to save the princess, but made a very half hearted attempt to do so and basically watched as she plummetted down the mountain and died. Then he somehow found out that she survived the fall and nursed her back to health as she led a golden age. It was all rather unbelievable. She’s a good character and essentially the Maria of the Rodea universe, but it felt like the writers couldn’t actually think of a way to make her survive so they made the reason up. Also, jumping off of a cliff is essentially giving up and it would only delay Geardo’s plans so she may as well have just kept on rebelling for a while. Even if she was kidnapped, she would have been fine since Geardo was definitely not planning on destroying her.

One level was a total 3D flying stage, which was cool. It would have been more fitting as the final level or if it at least had a boss in it. It came out of nowhere and was a fun level although I wonder why the game didn’t take advantage of this more. Meanwhile, the game has a lot of replay value if you want to keep on playing through. You can try to get all S ranks and all of the medals to unlock various things like more level ups, music, and levels for an island where you can grab more materials. Beating the main game took almost 9 hours so gathering everything else should take a considerable amount of time as well. The actual gameplay is pretty fun as well so this is definitely a game that’s worth the time and commitment.

Overall, Rodea is a very fun game and I agree with the opinion that this would have been known as one of the Wii’s final big sendoffs had it actually come out on time. The story and presentation make this feel like a big AAA game (Which it may be, I actually don’t know what it’s categorized as) and it’s a blast. Unfortunately, the controls are quite annoying. You’ll learn how to effectively make do with them by the end, but they’re a lot more trouble than they should be. At 25 levels, the game’s duration is quite good so you won’t feel cheated out of your purchase. You can easily think of this game as a spinoff of the Sonic Universe since it really plays out like one and it’s a game that you should add to your collection. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of cash grab games as of late so when I play a game that’s really polished like this one, you can feel the difference. Just remember to grab as many materials as possible so you can upgrade your gun, it always comes in handy.

Overall 7/10

Luxor 3 Review

I got Luxor 3 from Gamestop for about 2-3 dollars. It was a bargain considering that this game prided itself on the fact that it has over 100 levels to complete. It looked like my kind of game and I spent hours going to many different Gamestops as I tried to buy as many Wii games as possible. This was one of my winners as the game was pretty fun and had the kind of gameplay style that I could easily get behind. If the gameplay was no good then 100+ levels would have been very dicey.

There are a few modes to play here, but Adventure Mode covers them all so let’s start there. There is a brief plot and it involves the Egyptian gods being taken down be Set(h?) so the hero must save them all. Set is firing energy balls at each of the gods so we have to shoot them down before they can invade the pyramids. Rinse and repeat for the 100+ levels. The plot isn’t a major factor here to be honest. It’s like playing a game of Pac Man or Galaga and getting a little bonus plot. It’s not necessary, but it’s still fun to have.

There are 11 worlds and each one has 8-10+ levels. The bulk of the levels are comprised of the mission that I already mentioned. There are balls that roll towards the goal and you have to match 3 or more of the same color. Whenever you do this, the balls will explode. Rinse and repeat until they are all gone and you must not let them get past you. You can grab various special attacks after getting enough matches like a lightning bolt or a bomb. They are extremely handy so grab them whenever possible.

In each level there will be a statue until you’ve collected the 4 needed in each world. You don’t need to get them and I’m not sure what they really do yet, but at the very least they open up bonus levels where you can grab some extra coins, which are good for buying new power ups or changing the look of the balls. At the end of the game it’ll be nice to see all of my statues lined up. I made a great effort to grab as many statues as I could throughout the game since it’s pretty easy to do so. Why not right?

Some levels will be called Onslaught Mode. Typically there will be one per world. It’s the same as the standard level except for the fact that statues will rise up to block your shots so you have to be very strategic about how you tackle the level. It’s not bad, although I definitely prefer the standard stages. You’ll find that the standard levels are almost always the best ones in the game.

There will also be one or two puzzles in each world. These are the least enjoyable to be honest and the more that I see puzzles in my video games…the ore that I realize how out of place they are. Puzzles just aren’t fun if you ask me. Luckily, you don’t have to actually beat them in order to clear the world so you can just skip them. That’s good since the puzzle levels could have gotten old very quickly. There were actually one or two that most people thought were literally unbeatable due to a glitch until someone proved them wrong.

Finally, there’s the boss level at the end of each world. Basically, you have to survive for 3-4 minutes as an infinite number of balls are shot at you. Survive until the end to win! These levels are cool and they can definitely hold their own against the standard versions. There’s only one per world, but at least they do give you a sense that the level has more weight than the others. That’s what a good boss level should always do. Surprisingly the final world has no end boss so the game just ends rather abruptly…it was odd, but not a negative I suppose.

The soundtrack is amazingly good. There is a steady flow of intense opera music that will attack you from all sides as soon as you start the game. It is dramatic and it is epic. This helps you to realize just how high the stakes are for this particular adventure and I was not expecting anything like it in this puzzle game…or any puzzle game for that matter. Even fighting games like Super Smash Brothers would have a tough time trying to match the grand scale of these themes. (Although Smash Bros can pull it off)

I also enjoyed the graphics in this game. They’re fairly clear and that’s good since everything happens so quickly once the level begins. You can change the color styles of the balls that you are shooting by spending your hard earned $$$ in the game so that’s always an option if it’ll help you focus. Of course, if you can deal with the default color, then I’d recommend it so that you can spend your money on better endeavors like powering up your super attacks. Trust me, those will end up helping you out quite a bit more than a color change.

You can really tell that a lot of effort was put into this game and I can admire that. Each world took me anywhere from 30-60 minutes so that’s a 10+ hour game right there. The replay factor is also alive and well in the sense that you can keep on using your money to buy equipment. It’s not a game that I see myself going back too and it’s not quite as addicting as other classics like Pokemon Shuffle or Pac Man, but Luxor gets the job done.

Overall, I definitely recommend this game to all gamers. It’s the kind of game that you can easily play for hours and hours. The 100+ levels is a great bargain considering that the game sells for 1-2 dollars. It’s true that this is the kind of game that you could picture playing online for free, but 1-2 dollars isn’t going to hurt you and now you can play it on the big screen. The Wii remote controls are actually pretty smooth and they don’t tend to go chaotically out of control on you either since your movements are fairly stable the entire time. It’s definitely still one of my least favorite control schemes and I’ll never get into motion based controls until we’re in the virtual world, but it works well enough and isn’t too detrimental to the game. I’d be hyped for a Luxor 4 if they ever went ahead with it.

Overall 7/10