Game 1 34%
Game 2 27%
Game 3 21%
Game 1 62% 0/26 Relics 0/26 Emeralds 0/2 Keys
Game 2 53% 1/42 Emeralds 0/27 Relics
Game 3 30% 25 Jewels 0 Emeralds 0 Keys 0/30 Relics
Game 1 34%
Game 2 27%
Game 3 21%
Game 1 62% 0/26 Relics 0/26 Emeralds 0/2 Keys
Game 2 53% 1/42 Emeralds 0/27 Relics
Game 3 30% 25 Jewels 0 Emeralds 0 Keys 0/30 Relics
I don’t buy games on Day 1 too often. When I do it’s typically for a big franchise that I follow like Super Smash or Dragon Ball Z. If you asked me a few months ago if I’d buy Crash day 1, I probably would have chuckled. Crash always seemed fun enough, but I’ve never played any of his games so I couldn’t call myself a big fan. That being said, the collection got a lot of hype and just about everyone I talked too had also pre ordered it. I decided that I needed to see what the hype was all about. It’s not the greatest game of all time as I’ve heard some say, but it is definitely a very solid title. The fact that it is 3 games in 1 just makes this even more of a bargain!
Lets start with the first game. There isn’t much of a plot, but Cortex has decided to destroy the world. Crash must stop this mad scientist’s quest for power while he can. The problem is that Crash isn’t very smart so he just mindlessly runs around and beating people up. He’s a force of nature and fortunately he is acting on the side of the heroes. The 3 games have some similarities as they all have around 25 levels and in the same format. You have 5 worlds and each world has 5-6 levels. That’s where the similarities start to end. The first game is easily the hardest of the 3 and relies less on gimmicks than the others. All of the levels in the first game are classic platforming challenges in 2D and 3D.
One of the level styles is the overhead water ones. They were my favorite levels but they were admittedly the easiest as well. I found them to be pretty bearable as I jumped from platform to platform. There were also the boulder chase levels where you have to rely on your reaction times to jump when a pit appeared since you couldn’t see them. (You’re running towards the screen) Surprisingly, this is the one aspect where the sequels were a bit tougher..or maybe my reaction time just slowed down.
The meat and potatoes of this game are the sky levels where you have to get past crumbling bridges. Apparently you can cheese parts of the level by running on the rope, but I didn’t notice that so I had to beat them the old fashioned way. I must have gotten 30-40 game overs on this level style because I just couldn’t get past some of the obstacles. Finally completing them was always a very satisfying experience. There were quite a few levels that I just barely completed and can’t imagine going back anytime soon. The game is merciless with the difficulty and it’s no walk in the park. I usually would only beat 1 world every time I turned the game on because it wasn’t easy to beat them in large batches like the sequels.
The gameplay is simple as you just run, jump, and spin. It’s easy to know the controls, but the levels are still tricky because you have to be very precise. If you don’t time your jumps perfectly, then it’s game over for you. I have to give the game credit for never being unfair though. The challenges were tough, but they weren’t luck based or anything like that. The more you played the levels, the more you got used to the obstacles. Also, you would only have to restart the level so the penalty for dying wasn’t absolutely terrible or anything. It was an intense way to start the collection.
The sequel adds some more plot and cutscenes into the mix. Cortex has asked Crash for help because an asteroid is going to crash or some other villain is messing around. Anyway, he demands that Crash find all of the gems once again and gives them to him. Crash’s sister consistently warns Crash that the guy is lying, but Crash doesn’t seem to understand and after being threatened, gives them to Cortex. I may as well say it now, I don’t like Crash. He’s not smart and not endearing. He makes all of the wrong decisions time and time again. He’s just lucky that Cortex isn’t much of a villain either. He’s certainly no Eggman or dare I say even Bowser? At least Bowser was threatening for a time. Cortex is just a second rate Wily.
This game is noticeably easier than the first. I only got the game over screen a handful of times and in particular the first level of the final world. Part of why the game is easier is because they added a new dash mechanic similar to DK Tropical Freeze. You don’t have to be as precise with your jumps anymore because the dash grab can cheese almost any obstacle. All of the villains are slower now so it is easier to time when you should spin. The final boss takes this low difficulty to the extreme as you can beat him in about a minute. He literally can’t attack you so you just chase him down 3 times which is incredibly simple. I was shocked at how fast he went down. There was no final form though so I guess that was that.
The second title experiments with the game a little more as you get airship levels and other gameplay styles. This meant there was a little less time for the traditional Crash levels which plays a big part in why the game was easier. Although, the normal Crash levels have also been nerfed from the first game so it’s probably a moot point. While the first game may be more satisfying, I can safely say that the second one is better since it had more of an actual plot and I did like the gameplay variety.
Finally, we make it to the third game. This one ramps up the gameplay variety even more as you get racing levels, water racing, underwater submarine combat, Star Fox simulator, and then the occasional Crash level. This game easily has the fewest Crash levels which may be a little sad for gamers who had to wait until it came out back in the day but since this collection already had a bunch of those I was pretty content. This game is even easier and I only saw the Game Over screen once. Admittedly that was kind of my fault for underestimating the game. It got so easy that I allowed myself to get a bit sloppy for a while there.
The plot for this game is that Uka Uka has returned and is commanding Cortex to destroy Crash. They also halfheartedly try to trick Crash again, but don’t seem too committed to that as they flip flop around the issue. I doubt Crash figured that out anyway though. Despite the hype, I can’t say that I care much for the mask. I can’t really take him seriously and his design isn’t all that good. Honestly the Crash series needs a better supporting cast. Who knows, maybe I’ll like them more as I play more games though. There are definitely a bunch of others to get at some point right?
There is a lot of replay value here and that’s an understatement. Even after beating the three games, there are many collectibles to get in each. Obtaining the 3 Platinum Trophies in the game will also take a considerable amount of time. Games 2 and 3 are easy enough, but part of getting the Platinum in the first game involves completing all of the levels…without dying. That sounds pretty insane to me and I just can’t picture pulling that off without an incredible amount of work. I don’t think I want to spend quite that much time since the deaths will really get to me, but this is certainly great news for Crash fans. You’ll have a shiny trophy to prove that you’ve overcome all of the odds.
The graphics are pretty good and it is nice that the game completely redid them from the ground up. They have certainly modernized Crash and friends with the new designs. The soundtrack is also surprisingly catchy. Some of the themes are pretty memorable like the final boss tunes and some of the factory ones. Crash 1 certainly has the best array of songs, but they’re all pretty good in their own right.
I do have one big criticism with the game though…the unskippable cutscenes. You can’t skip the Gameover screen which is the saltiest part of the whole losing experience. You have to watch the Mask laugh at you a few times and there isn’t anything you can do about it. The cutscene isn’t incredibly long, but it is definitely long enough to make you wince and take a step back. It feels quite bad. You also can’t skip the opening credits to the game. Every time you boot it up you have to watch all of the logos fly by and the narrator try to hype the game up. I can understand doing that the first time, but I don’t want to have to watch it every time. That’s just a little too much product placement.
There are no other real negatives to the game, but I did find a glitch during one of the boss fights. If you hit the scientist who throws the bottles at you too soon, he’ll forget to drop the bottle and just stay in a permanent electrocuted position. You then have to get out of the game and retry. It’s a mild thing as you can easily beat the boss another way, but it felt like I was being punished for being too fast. Did the quality testers never see this because they weren’t fast enough to beat him that way? Not to toot my own horn or anything. I do like the fact that there is an auto save for the game active and that you can save at any time as well. It’s just a nice quality of life addition that makes the whole package better.
As for the bosses, most of them were pretty easy. The only challenging ones were in Game 1 as you’d expect. It took me a little to realize that I could jump on the first boss so that took a bit. Any boss that involved aerial combat was a breeze. The final boss in Game 1 was reasonably difficult since dodging the energy bolts was tricky. Game 2’s was easy as I mentioned and Game 3’s was also very simple. It wasn’t all that hard to dodge his attacks. There was a lot of variety in the bosses so the game did good on that front. Very rarely was a boss similar to a previous one.
So, how does Crash stand up next to the all time greats? Clearly he is no match for Mario or Sonic, that one’s a given. I’d also give Ratchet and Clank as well as Jak the edge. Crash does surpass Sly and Klonoa though. I think that’s roughly all of the main platformers. I’d mention Rayman, but I haven’t actually gotten to start that one yet. One of these days though, it’s just around the bend.
How do the 3 games stack up? Well, as I said Crash 2 is the best, then 3, and then 1. I do appreciate Crash 1’s challenge and difficulty of course, but you can see how the games got a little more polished after that. As I mentioned, I like how they shifted the gameplay a lot in the sequels. The first will always be a classic, but the addition of a plot is just too big of an advantage to miss either. I will say that the first does give you the most bang for your buck since you’ll be there a while.
Overall, I’d definitely recommend picking this game up. It’s quite a bargain considering that you’re getting 3 full games for the price of 1. They are all classics as well so it’s not like you’re getting Flip’s Twisted World or anything like that. They have a seal of quality on them with solid level designs. It’s an all around pleasant experience. The 2nd and 3rd games are great for relaxing as you can breeze through the levels with minimal effort which lets you enjoy the scenery more. Then the first game helps wake you up every day as you have to bring your A game to conquer it. I suppose I may buy the next collection day 1, (After all, the 3rd game does end with a cliffhanger!…even if you can’t take it seriously) but it likely won’t be an issue because I plan to buy the sequels way before such a collection comes out. Gamecube/PS2, here I come!
PS4 Trophies: 7/10
Water Sprites 82/100
It’s time to look at a game that everyone was talking about a while back. Mutant Mudds was the next big thing back in the day, but there was no physical release. Well, now there finally is one and I can safely say that it’s a fun game. It’s pretty short and you can tell that it had a limited budget since there aren’t a lot of levels. That being said, the gameplay is solid and ultimately that’s all you really need to be a good game.
The story follows a young kid as he decides to save the world from mud monsters. There’s not much of a plot as you are just thrown into the action and there are maybe 2-3 text bubbles that pop up. Of course if you were expecting a long story, then you’ve come to the wrong title. The main experience here are the levels. There are 20 levels in the game and each one comes with a 3-5 minute timer. You will have to run and jump to get through them. Fortunately, the main character has a jet pack which lets you hover for a few seconds. It’s a very useful ability and you also have a blaster with can defeat enemies. Furthermore, you unlock 3 power ups as you go through the game although you can only activate one of them at a time. There’s the super hover, (I recommend this one) the vertical boost, (Fun, but only use it when you have too) and the Super Blaster. (No real purpose aside from bonus collectibles)
The toughest parts of the levels are typically when you have to make some real precision jumps. That being said, they aren’t all that hard when you compare them to real extreme titles like Mario Maker or even the DK games. Fortunately, the game does manage to increase the difficulty through the extra levels. Each of the 20 levels has a ghost counterpart where you play the levels again but this time you cannot let yourself get hit. It certainly raises the stakes since your platforming skills are really put to the test now. This works as part of the replay value in the game. It’s a bit of a forced time extender so if the levels had been longer I would have been a little upset. As it stands now, the levels aren’t very long I found it to be fairly reasonable.
Another form of replay value is the fact that all of the levels have 100 gems. You want to get all of the gems to complete the game and also to get closer to getting all of the game’s trophies. There is no Platinum unfortunately, but you can still get 100% completion to show off your true skills. To do that, you’ll have to beat the 40 levels as well as the 20 levels inside of the normal levels. To get to those final 20 levels, you have to use your power ups to get to the secret entrances. The tricky part is that you don’t know which one is in which levels so expect some trial and error here as you figure out what’s up.
The game also operates on a few different layers so you can jump from the front of the screen to the back at certain points. Always be careful that you don’t land right on an enemy. The trickiest parts of this are usually when you can’t tell if an enemy is next to you or on a different layer. It makes for some good mind games as you have to figure out what’s happening before you get slammed. You get 3 hearts and recover full health whenever you make it to a check point. Each level has a check point which is really helpful because even if you lose, you have somewhere to go back to.
This game brings you back to the retro world of sprites when it comes to graphics. That’s always fun to see since sprites really were a lot of fun back in the day. We’ll always be sad to see them go since they were a big part of the gaming world. The graphics aren’t going to look like a modern game’s, but the actual sprite models hold up pretty well. The soundtrack is less inspiring though as the tunes have all already faded at this moment. They weren’t bad tunes, they just didn’t sound as good or unique as they could have been.
If I have any complaint, it’s that I would have liked a boss battle. At least one for the very end to help give the game a grand ending. I don’t imagine it would be too difficult to code one in. Send in a giant version of a minion if necessary and make the battle take place in a room where you can drop things on the monster. It will keep the fight a little difficult while not being insane either. It would be a nice middle ground for the game.
Overall, Mutant Mudds is a pretty solid game. It’s short so you shouldn’t spend 60 dollars on it, but for 30 or so it’s not a bad buy. Considering that you have to beat the levels more than once, it has enough content to last you for a few hours. It’s not quite ready to hang with the likes of Shovel Knight, Shantae, or Mighty No 9, but the fact that it got a physical release already helps to put it above many of its rivals. If you’re looking for a good side scroller, then I’d definitely recommend checking this one out. It’s like a Metroid game only without the puzzles and you can’t go wrong there. I can definitely see myself going back and grabbing all of the trophies one of these days and hopefully the next installment gets a Platinum. It’s games like this one that give Indies a good name so hopefully they can keep up the good work. I can also see why people really like retro games like this one. They’re simple, but easy to get invested in as you watch yourself play for long periods of time. I’ll always be more of a big budget AAA gamer myself, but I like to enjoy all the styles.
Play Time 45h 21m
PS4 Trophies 33/45
Character Level 29
Floatia Prosperity 122
Digimon 1 Generation 12
Digimon 2 Generation 13
Item Space 20
Digimon Field Guide 79/231
Jijimon’s House Level 2
Square Level 1
Warehouse Level 4
Sender Level 2
Builder Level 2
Item Shop Level 3
Hospital Level 2
Restaurant Level 3
Stock Market Level Max
Advanced Item Shop Level 2
Field Level 3
Lab Level Max
Digievolution Dojo Level 2
Training Hall Level 1
fishing Hole Level 3
Colosseum Level 2
Arena Level 1
Museum Level 1
Treasure Hunter Level 1
Spacetime Transporter Level 1
It’s time for the big, hyped return to the Digimon franchise! I’ve been waiting for Digimon to make its return to the big screen for quite a while at this point. Unfortunately, I can’t say that the Digimon World series is my favorite from what I’ve heard. The idea of growing and raising Digimon just doesn’t strike my fancy. That being said, World 4 was pretty hype so surely this would be hype as well right? Unfortunately, it is the worst Digimon game so far. It has its moments, but the overall gameplay mechanics are just bad.
Lets start from the top since there is definitely a lot to discuss at this point. The plot is about a kid who finds himself in the Digi world for some reason. The actual reason isn’t important and the game doesn’t really address it either. “Stuff happens” is the best explanation really and it’s all because the kid entered a Digi tournament and came in the top 5. The other contestants also made it to the Digi World, but it seems like the top ranked fighter is evil. The other top fighter might also be a traitor. Luckily, Terry (That’s what I called the main character anyway) still has two other friends to help him out. The problem is that one of them is always bragging about herself and the other guy has self confidence issues. Terry basically has to defend the world on his own. To do that, we need to find a lot of Digimon and force them to move to our town. After we’re confident enough, then we can head for the villain stronghold.
Here’s where the problems start off. The actual gameplay revolves around you walking through various habitats and recruiting Digimon. Some of them will join you instantly while others will have you find sticks and stones, or other materials. Others will have you fight them, but most will just tell you to back off and you have to wait until you’re progressed further in the game. The kicker is that you can’t progress further without getting more Digimon so you’ll spend a good amount of time just looking around. The exploration is big in this game like with Legend of Zelda. The problem is that you can’t actually take your time since you have Digimon partners.
The game really tries its best to make the Digimon like realistic kids, but they went too far. They can’t go 5 minutes without yelling at you to bring them food, take them to a toilet, or that they want to go to sleep. If you don’t have the items on hand, then they’ll refuse to fight in order to spite you or they’ll get sick. Once they get sick, you have to spend a bunch of money to make them better again and that’s only if the Hospital is open. You probably won’t get that for the first 20+ hours though so good luck until then. Another issue is that your Digimon are constantly dying all of the time which reverts all of their stats back and you have to train them from the beginning. The whole system is made to be as aggravating as possible.
Now, I think the intent of this game was to feel like Shantae or Breath of the Wild. Everything is difficult at first, but as you progress through the game it feels a lot better since you have upgrades which are effectively quality of life upgrades to the game. The problem is that the whole Digimon death system works against that to a solid extent. While you can get upgrades later on that extent their life a bit and help them regain some stats through each reincarnation, you’ll still have to waste hours in the gym powering them up. The gym is as tedious as you’d expect since it is just about mashing the X button. You also can’t train for very long before your Digimon get tired and take a break, get hungry, or get sleepy. You have to listen to them since you need their Digibond for EXE fusion.
Did I mention that this game does a terrible job of explaining everything? I learned about most of the techniques and tricks online. The game never even tells you about EXE fusion. I’m sure an NPC mentions it somewhere, but I never ran across it. Without EXE, beating the game would be really difficult. It is only possible when you have maxed out your bonds with both of your partners, have 1 Mega, and both have 150 Order Points. It basically makes you invincible. Granted, I only got to use it once, but it was awesome. For the final boss, I just spent a whole generation fishing until I had 3 million bucks and then I did the gym and bought food at the Restaurant for 10 days. By that time, the final boss went down without even putting up a struggle so I didn’t need to bother with EXE. It was a glaring change from how tough the rest of the game was.
Once you’re in combat, you have to watch as your Digimon try and attack. You can give them orders to attack or block which helps, but they don’t listen to you if they don’t feel like it. Also, they may obey your order once they’re out of range so the attack will miss or they’ll block, but let it go before the attack lands. I definitely prefer to control the Digimon myself or to at least have a proper turn based system instead. The gameplay is absolutely not my cup of tea. To be clear, it’s not bad though, it just could be a whole lot better. The game could have easily gotten a 7 in spite of it had the rest of the game been good.
The problem is that it isn’t. I can’t stress enough just how bad the Digimon death system is. It gets incredibly tedious during the early part of the game. You’ll also have to just let the Digimon die sometimes because you know that they won’t get strong enough in the end. At least one good thing is that your Tamer upgrades are permanent since he never dies. His EXP is based on how far you walk and for how long you stayed out. The best EXP trick is to then just walk in circles over and over again and you’ll be getting level ups in no time. It’s cheesy and feels cheesy as well, but you can’t deny the results.
Also, make sure that you pick the easy difficulty setting. It doesn’t actually affect the enemy strength or anything. The only real change is that training in the gym is a lot quicker so Normal mode is literally just in existence to make the game more of a grind. I don’t see any reason to ever even consider playing that mode. As it is you’ll be grinding a lot for materials, training, and just general walking around. This review’s been pretty negative since I want to make sure you understand what’s limiting the game. It’s hard to really do it justice even now as you have to play the game to really understand. Now let’s talk about the positives.
The graphics are decently good. They’re not quite PS4 level, but they don’t look bad either. I’m guessing they just couldn’t make the graphics look too good because of how many character models are in the game or something. Either way, they suffice. The levels all look pretty clear and the character designs are good. The soundtrack is okay. Cyber Sleuth certainly spoiled me on that, but it goes well enough with the scenes. I would have liked one hype lyrical song, but maybe for next time.
I do have to say that the plot ends in one of the worst ways possible. It always felt like the story was just something added so it could have one, but wasn’t the main focus. There’s not much to it, but there was always that feeling in the back of your mind that something hype was gonna happen. After all, most RPGs take a while to really get going. The problem here is that there’s no payoff. The final twists with the main villain don’t make any sense and actually just hurt the character. I didn’t want a sympathetic villain, I just wanted a tough one! It just eliminated the hype. The post story boss was pretty fun though. I wasn’t initially planning to do any of the post game stories, but my Digimon were so overpowered at the end that I couldn’t resist. I went and fought Diaboromon along with quite a few bonus quests to help out the stat sheet at the end.
That’s actually where the game comes full circle and I have to admit that it can be addicting. It’s strange since on the surface, it sounds like the game wasn’t all that good right? Maybe it’s just one of those “Time sink” issues but I did grow attached to it by the end. The beginning of the game was very brutal. Nothing’s worse than playing for an hour or two and not really accomplishing. On the other hand, once you do start to accomplish in the game, you don’t want to start. How I see it, the game really gets going once you are near the end of the game. That may seem to be a bit late, but from there on, the game works quite well. The quality of life improvements are just that massive. Your Digimon will finally get stronger at a rapid pace and you will be able to keep them alive for a very long time due to the new partners that you can recruit. The whole thing is time consuming and the game never stops being a grindfest but you can’t help but want to play the game again. I even briefly entertained the thought of getting the Platinum here. My Digimon are certainly strong enough now and I just need to keep extending their lives and they’ll live forever. Still, it’s not something that I’d be doing anytime soon, it would just take too long.
Overall, This is one of those games where you have to be prepared to invest a whole lot of time into it. You won’t be completing this game in under 40 hours or at least it’s not very likely. Of those 40+ hours, probably around 10 will be on the story and the rest will be side quests and grinding. You’ll want to keep completing the side quests though because every Digimon that you recruit has a unique ability and helps your city become a better place. Furthermore, you can’t beat the game without getting your town’s reputation to 100+. Each Digimon that you recruit gives you an extra 2-3 reputation. There’s enough replay value here to last you around 80+ hours as well so it’s certainly worth the money. Know what you’re getting yourself into and you’ll enjoy the game more. The final half and the post game segment isn’t enough for me to give the game a positive score, but it’s certainly a very deep game. I could play it for 20 more hours and still not quite understand all of the mechanics. You’ll have to tear yourself away at the end if you can survive the first 30 hours. I’d recommend just playing Cyber Sleuth if you want a game that’s dynamite from start to finish.
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.
Stats time! I definitely gotta get that play time down on the second run through though.
Play Time 9h 52m
PS4 Trophy% 88%
It’s time to take a look at another one of the Christmas games. Shantae was definitely a lot of fun to play through and it’s an indie game done right. It’s not super long or anything since it’s a game that is made to be speed runned, but it’s still long enough for you to feel like you got your money’s worth. The level designs are all on point and the game just looks and sounds good in general. I can also finally say that I’ve played a game in the Shantae series!
Shantae was trying to enjoy her beauty sleep when the village has need of her services once again. As a half-genie hero, Shantae protects a village and in exchange they pay her or at least give her a place to live. Unfortunately, the mayor has a habit of firing her. The village is attacked by all sorts of villains, including Risky Boots. Shantae will have to take them all down and save the genie realm, but can she do it?
The game has a nice retro feel to it as the game uses sprites the whole time. The levels are all pretty bright and cheerful. Even the villain levels and burning remains are still bright enough for you to see where you’re going at all times and breeze through. The game has that simple fun factor that the Mario and Sonic titles of the past possessed. It’s something that some games tend to lack nowadays with their artificial length and unnecessary quests. This one had a few riddles that needed to be deciphered, but they weren’t anything too crazy. I found them all in a reasonable amount of time.
Ironically, I managed to find most of the bonus collectibles in the mean time. By the time I was able to get to the next story level, I was very overpowered. I had a large heart collection by then and a lot of power ups that made the rest of the game a breeze. Naturally, all of these collectibles help the replay value section. The main game should take around 5 hours or so, but in order to get the Platinum Trophy, you’ll need to play the game again and complete it in a mere 4 hours. Certainly doable, but it’ll take some practice and a nice plan in mind. This is a game where I actually do plan on getting all of the trophies sooner than later so stay tuned for that. I’ve already got 72% of the trophies and more are on the way.
The music selection in the game was certainly enjoyable. The song that played during the first level was definitely a lot of fun and so was the boss theme and the burning cafe. They helped make the game more exciting for sure. This game definitely really succeeded on a technical level as well as when it comes to the pure gameplay. The creators definitely put a lot of heart into it and I can see why the kick starter people would feel good about their contributions.
As for the gameplay, it starts out like a classic Mario game, but with her hair acting as a sword of sorts. As you play through the game, you’ll get gradually stronger to the point where the old levels will suddenly be a piece of cake. You’ll learn how to fly, swim underwater, grab onto ceilings, and also multiply your attack power and speed by 4x. It’s fun to see the contrast to the start as you really begin to breeze through all of the levels. It’s hard to believe just what a difference the power ups make, but they are well worth it.
As mentioned before, the level designs are really good, which help to further make the gameplay shine. The only part of one level that seemed a little overly difficult was the Flappy Bird homage in part 3 of the last level. Luckily, you can cheese it out by falling on the very left of the final spike platform and then turning into a Bat. I somehow think that this wasn’t intentional, but we certainly take those. Anything goes when it’s time to complete the game right?
Shantae makes for a good main character. She reminds me a lot of Lina Inverse from Slayers, but less obsessed with money and riches. Shantae’s just a noble hero who tries to do the right thing and save the day. She even takes time out of her day to chat with the villains when they’re not busy trying to rule the world or resurrect old pals from the previous games. There are a lot of references to the older games, but it’s certainly not necessary to purchase them to understand what’s going on. You’ll be able to get into the game rather easily. Shantae’s grandfather and two friends aren’t that charismatic so I don’t mind that they got a rather small role. This is one of those games that really leans on Shantae as she has the most personality by far.
Risky Boots does the same for the villains. She seems to be the only villain who is totally evil and doesn’t have time for niceties or cracking jokes like the others. Her plan was actually pretty intense and if you get the bad ending, she does succeed in destroying quite a few people. Naturally, I went for the bad ending since the good one needed me to grab more collectibles. I’ll probably see that one when I attempt the speed run at some point. If not, well..I can probably tell what will change anyway, but you’ll just need to find out for yourself.
The sheer fun factor of the game ends up putting it ahead of Shovel Knight and Mighty No 9. There is a lot of backtracking here and helping people out with side quests, but they were all fun to play through. The levels are also short enough where it isn’t a bother to go back and forth as you look for collectibles. It’s just a very well made game and if I were to have any complaints, it would be that you can’t skip the credits, but I suppose that’s cool for the people who pledged to this project.
Overall, Shantae Half-Genie Hero is definitely a good PS4 game and I’d recommend picking it up. It’s certainly not the longest game on the block, but it’s long enough and has a good amount of replay value. If we do end up getting some free DLC for it soon, that’ll be even cooler, but there’s enough base content to make it all worthwhile. Sprites also work perfectly for the game since otherwise the dancing and attires could be a bit much in this desert land, but sprites make everything 20% better. Hopefully this game did really well so we can get a sequel at some point. Of course, if Shantae is added into the Switch version of Smash, then she’ll have enough publicity to last a life time!