Frogger: Helmet Chaos Review

It’s time for another Frogger adventure. You know that things are going to get intense when this guy’s around. It’s a fun enough game but does suffer from being a bit short and not having a level select. It’s one of those games where when you beat it, you’re taken back to the opening cutscene. So that removes pretty much all of the replay value that you could possibly have had for this one. It’s a shame because there was some possibilities here to at least see if you can collect all of the coins but that’s gone now. You can have a good time here but it won’t last.

So the story starts with Lumpy getting attacked as a brainwashing helmet is put on him. He didn’t realize this until it was too late and now Frogger has to go and save him. Can he possibly pull this off? Well, to be honest he pulls this off almost immediately but it leads him deeper into the fray as he must now stop this villain empire before they go too far. Only Frogger can possibly stop these guys and so he is on his own now. If he can’t win this…then nobody can!

The gameplay is your classic Frogger experience so I don’t have any real issues with that one. Hop around and get to the end while trying to avoid enemies. One thing I do like here is that you don’t immediately die when bumping into things. I may be misremembering but it felt like in a lot of others you would die right away while here you have 3 health points. Additionally, the levels are all just constructed really well so you’ll have a good time going through the motions.

One thing I don’t like is that your jump has lost a lot of its ability and use here though. For example, now when you jump you don’t go over an enemy so you bump into them instead. A big part of what made the jump good was how you could actually just go through enemies that way. Now you have to run around them. I suppose you can say that it adds strategy but to me jumping was a key part of the strategy. It’s just a different one but not necessarily a better version.

As for the boss fights, I did like the fact that the game had them in the first place. They were very different from the actual levels too. They could and should have been explained better like the fact that some bosses can’t be beat and you have to dodge, but they all had unique mechanics. I felt like the devs paid extra special care to this part of the game which was appreciated. If the overall title could just have been a little longer then I think all of the hard work would have paid off.

It’s just hard to glance over the fact that the game is only a couple of hours long with absolutely 0 replay value. I probably would have been lightly salted if I had bought this game day 1. It just wouldn’t have felt all that enjoyable to have been done with it so quickly. The story is decent enough but it’s not like it’s something that could carry the game either. The story would have to be truly spectacular to pull that off in such a short experience and clearly Frogger was not going to be able to do that. It’s too far out of his wheelhouse.

The Frogger franchise hasn’t always been known for its high quality games. The gameplay tends to be solid but then like with this game you tend to come across some issues. If a game is too short and there’s nothing to do then it’s going to be rare that you get a really good score. I would say that the game is good but not very good. It’s still lacking just enough oomph to get it to the next stage.

At least the graphics and soundtrack are okay. I wouldn’t say it’s super memorable or anything with the music but the game looks nice. There is also full voice acting here which is a big win for me. I still say that having voice acting automatically bumps you game up a tier because it just makes the whole story more immersive. Even a story that’s not too impressive like this one gets better when you’ve got full voice acting to back it up. It’s kind of odd that the text doesn’t auto scroll while they’re talking so you have to time it and click A as it’s moving forward but that’s a small thing I can overlook.

Overall, There isn’t a whole lot to discuss with Frogger since the game’s so short. I will say that if you like the Frogger gameplay then you should check it out. It’s a straight forward game that should give you a good amount of enjoyment for 2 hours but you really need to make sure that you get a good price for it. If it costs a lot then it’s not worth it. Full stop. The price is the big deciding factor here because it’s a good game but one that you feel should be free the whole time. I can’t even imagine paying full price for this one. Now that would be a complete travesty. Hopefully Frogger comes back with a big budget full experience at some point. With this gameplay it would have a lot of potential but I suspect that we might have to wait a while for that.

Overall 7/10

Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 18h 42m
Game Complete 58%
Card Collection 23%

Character Levels

Naruto 17
Naruto (Sage) 11
Sakura 6
Kakashi 9
Shikamaru 14
Rock Lee 3
Might Guy 6
Hinata 17
Jiraiya 22
Minato 30
Danzo 35
Sasuke (Hebi) 28
Sasuke (Black) 28
Sasuke (Taka) 28
Itachi 20
Kisame 35
Deidara 15
Sasori 10
Hidan 15
Kakuzu 15
Konan 20
Pain (Tendo) 30
Madara 35
Killer Bee 22
Ay 31
Gaara 5

Chapter Stats

Chapter 0 77%
Chapter 1 71%
Chapter 2 68%
Chapter 3 55%
Chapter 4 53%
Chapter 5 40%
Chapter 6 31%
Chapter 7 47%
Chapter 8 56%
Chapter 9 64%

Naruto Shippūden: Ultimate Ninja Impact Review

Time to look at the final Naruto PSP game. The series has had a really impressive run on the console but all things must come to an end at some point. This one mixed in a Dynasty Warriors kind of gameplay which is a nice addition. I’m always up for some good 3D action so mix in a good story and you have another winner with this one.

The game covers the Naruto story from the first arc of Shippuden all the way through the Kage summit. It’s an impressively long campaign and easily more extensive than any of the other PSP titles. Each arc is quite long and there are a lot of battles as well as cutscene events. There’s even two endings, you can go as Sasuke or Naruto for the final battle. I decided to go the extra mile and completed the game with both characters though. Now that’s when you know a game is on point!

For the gameplay, it’s really simple to get the hang of. The objective of each mission is to take down a ton of enemies and then make it to the goal. Usually you’re on your own but occasionally you will have a teammate to hold you back. In these instances you have to be careful not to go too far ahead of you will lose them in the waves of minions and they will be promptly taken down. Sometimes there will be a boss at the end of the level who fights you and sometimes they show up at the start.

You have your standard attack combos which are fast and do a good amount of damage. You’ll be using these a lot but you can also mix in power blows to keep the opponent honest. The power attacks are your ninjutsu moves which are usually good for dealing a lot of damage. Some characters have ninjutsu that is too slow though so it’s more efficient to use standard attacks. You can learn as you go which character is best for which techniques. I will say you will want to use the homing attack a lot no matter which character you are. It’s the best technique in the game and if the opponent tries it at the same time they get completely paralyzed. That means you can land a free final smash on them.

Aside from the beat em up gameplay, there is also a level of customization before entering the levels. For example, you can equip up to 4 cards to the character you are using which boosts your stats in various areas or gives you a special ability. As you play through the game you will unlock a lot of them and you can also buy some from the shop. If you level up a card, you can then use it for different characters. For example, a Naruto card can only be used by Naruto initially but if you max it out then Sasuke can use it as well. It adds a little strategy to the mix although the game is easy enough where it never makes much of a difference. Even if your character is 30 levels under the boss, it just means that the level will take longer. Only the final boss gave me a little trouble and I still clutched it out on my first try.

Naturally the graphics are really on point here as well. The character models are good and I liked the illustrations. The game also goes a step further than the others in that we have full quick time events in this title which is always fun to see. Some of the bosses will trigger this (You’ll know it’s coming if you see a diamond in the opponent’s health bar) and it’s always a lot of fun to watch. You need good reaction times though or you lose and have to start the quick time from scratch. The game is lenient on the time though, I only had to restart once.

As for the soundtrack, it’s excellent as expected. There are a whole lot of action tunes as well as emotional tracks throughout the game. The story is excellent which isn’t surprising since it is faithfully adapting the anime. You’ll really get to see the characters go through a wide range of emotions here. That said, the game does have some changes from the show on occasion perhaps just because they felt it would flow easier with how the game is or they just wanted to change things. It’s always fun when you notice them coming. It adds a little intrigue to the game.

There’s a good amount of replay value here as you can work to S rank each level and gather all of the cards. It may not be the most stimulating reason to go back and play but the gameplay is solid enough where you will still have fun. That’s the important part of going back to play the game after all right? As it is, the main campaign will easily last you over 10 hours so there’s definitely no problems of length to be found here.

As with the other PSP games, there is full voice acting here which is always great. It really helps you get immersed with what is happening way more than you ever could be without the voices. That’s why this is such a complete product, you could even give it to someone who doesn’t want to spend a long time watching the anime and it would work as a valid shortcut. It covers enough of the small details as well as the big events to keep you current.

It definitely gets you excited for the prospect of a true Naruto Warriors game similar to what One Piece and Bleach have already gotten. I just love these kind of beat em up games as it’s satisfying to be taking down whole armies with your combos. One level may have gone a little overboard where the requirement was to defeat 1000 enemies in a level but for the most part it never gets that high. That level was really an outlier and I suppose it was just a way to show you how powerful Sasuke was.

Overall, Naruto Impact is a great title and one you should definitely check out if you have a PSP. It really slams in a home run on all aspects such as gameplay, story, and technical elements. The length is also impressive so you can really spend a lot of time just going through the adventure until the end. It feels like a while since we’ve gotten a true story based Naruto title so hopefully we get more in the future. The story never gets old.

Overall 8/10

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 9h 43m
Naruto’s House 56% Complete
Items 52% Complete

Stage Stats

Chapter 1

Act 1 100%

Chapter 2

Act 1 92%
Act 2 60%
Act 3 53%

Chapter 3

Act 1 50%
Act 2 45%
Act 3 57%

Chapter 4

Act 1 88%
Act 2 86%

Chapter 5

Act 1 75%
Act 2 82%
Act 3 100%
Act 4 44%

Chapter 6

Act 1 73%
Act 2 60%

Chapter 7

Act 1 84%
Act 2 71%
Act 3 35%

Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 Review

It’s been many years since I played the second Ultimate Ninja Heroes title but at long last it’s time to enter the third one. This one decided to add some platformer elements to the game which is a rather odd option but it reminds you of the old Ninja Council games on the GBA/DS. I don’t think it was necessary but it does help to pad the game out as with only fights it would have been really short.

The game follows the Shippuden story midway through Sasuke’s arc and also has an original story thrown into the middle where we have to fight a new villain group know as the Leaf Anbu. Unlike the normal Anbu who are some of the weakest guys you’ll meet in Naruto, these guys can actually fight rather well. They want to use their visual prowess to grab some of the secrets in the village and do something dangerous with them. Kakashi and Naruto will have to stop them from breaking in, but maybe it’s time that Naruto is told the truth about all of this?

The original story isn’t bad, it introduces some new characters and it’s all worth it for the climax where Naruto and Sasuke have a big team up. Yes, Bonds did it first where they had to team up in the movie but I was always underwhelmed by that title because it was so brief. It’s brief here as well but with the end of the world upon the characters, the stakes were so high that you can see why they went right down to business. The scene where Sasuke first shows up to taunt Naruto one last time was the highlight of the whole game. It just filled you with a great sense of excitement and you get to re live it later on when playing as Sasuke.

The game also deserves a lot of credit for having full voice acting. Every line is said out loud by the voice actors from the show and this is the kind of attention to detail that I like to see in any modern title. It’s crazy that even nowadays some titles don’t have full voice acting while the PSP pulled it off so many years ago. It really does enhance the experience and make the whole thing feel that much more real. The soundtrack also had some fairly good tunes. I wouldn’t say any of them are Earth shattering but they’re good enough to be noticed. The danger theme, Sasuke’s overworld theme, one of the battle tunes, etc. This was a very solid setup.

In terms of replay value the game is a little smaller in pure single player content. By playing through the game naturally I got over half of the collectibles in the game. The main story will take you around 10 hours to complete. Considering that this is most of the stages you should be able to clear everything within 14 hours or so I’d guess. Earning money will be the toughest thing in the end as you have to buy each collectible. That said, there is endless replay value for the multiplayer mode and as a fighting game you can always have fun just beating the A.I. since there are so many characters to choose from.

Naturally the graphics here are really solid. The character portraits are good and occasionally you’ll even get an illustration that looks just like a screenshot from the anime. The filler arc in particular was impressive here since you’d almost think there was an anime episode you might have missed. Most of the time there aren’t any true cutscenes but occasionally you will get a moving image like with Naruto and Sasuke’s combo attack at the end.

The gameplay remains rock solid from the first two games. It’s a 2D fighter where you try to overwhelm your opponent with ninjutsu and taijutsu. Use your combos well to win. The main thing that separates this from most fighting games is how you can use some energy to teleport away when being combo attacked and this can create a chain of teleports between you and your opponent as you both start teleporting everywhere. Your final smash uses up a lot of energy so while it does a lot of damage, you have to decide if it’s worth it since it will use up your teleport energy. Some good strategies to be had in the game for sure and some of the story levels can also be rather difficult when they pit you in a 1 vs 2 battle later on.

Then you have the platforming gameplay. You have to run to the goal, sometimes defeating enemies along the way. The actual platforming isn’t bad, you move and jump rather well with controls that are on point. That being said, it’s the combat in the platforming levels that isn’t very good. It’s hard to land any attacks because all minions have super armor and will just hit you through the blows. Your best bet is to use a ninjutsu on all enemies as it is the only consistent way to bring them down. There are spike balls and other kinds of classic platforming obstacles to content with but it’s very by the book. With most levels having a 60 second timer, you’re really done in a flash.

Overall, Naruto Ultimate Ninja Heroes 3 is a very fun game. It’s nostalgic in a sense as it reminds you of the old days of Naruto. It brings back all of the classic action you could want in a Naruto title and has solid voice acting, graphics, and soundtrack. This is the definition of a super solid game. At 10 hours it’s also the perfect length in that it’s just long enough where I wouldn’t say it’s too short. I’ll never turn down a game being longer but 10 hours is really the minimum length you should always strive for. It’s also good to see a fighting game with a proper story like this. It’s nothing new for anime related titles but many other franchises still struggle with this.

Overall 8/10

Final Fantasy II Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 19h 43m
Steps 49366
Gil 372999
Bestiary 68% Complete

Character Levels


Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 6
Staff 1
Axe 1
Spear 1
Bow 1
Shield 9


Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 2
Staff 1
Axe 1
Spear 1
Bow 5
Shield 10


Fist 10
Dagger 1
Sword 3
Staff 1
Axe 6
Spear 1
Bow 1
Shield 9


Fist 4
Dagger 5
Sword 8
Staff 6
Axe 10
Spear 7
Bow 4
Shield 5

Final Fantasy II Review

This game has certainly been sitting on the backburner for many years. After beating the original Final Fantasy I tried to get in on the action with the sequel but I just couldn’t pull it off. The gameplay didn’t click. Well, I finally played it from start to finish and I have to say that my view hasn’t changed a whole lot. The story is the strongest part of the game even if it doesn’t touch the newer ones.

The basic plot is that the world is under attack by the Emperor. He has decided to rule over everything just because he can. The heroes are in a rough spot so the queen will now rely on a talented swordsman named Firian, a mage known as Maria, and a strong axe user named Guy. The three of them will need to travel the world and get strong enough to defeat the Emperor. Do they actually have enough strength to do so though? The Emperor has many powerful allies as well as pretty impressive tech at his disposal as well.

This is one of the first games where it took me way longer to complete than the estimated time on the “How long to beat” site. My time nearly doubled it I think at around 20 hours. It’s pretty difficult and that’s due in large part to how the level up system works. See, you don’t have straight level ups like 1, 2, 3. Instead you level up your proficiencies and stats in battle one by one.

Lets say you defeat a minion but you took a hit in the process. You have the potential to increase your max health, speed, defense, and attack power. If you used magic during the battle you may increase that as well. You passively level up your weapon skill as well depending on which kind you have equipped. You can already see how a lot of this is luck based. You increase the chance of increasing your proficiency but it’s not guaranteed. There are a lot of other factors here as well like the strength of your opponents and the duration of the match.

It’s not a very satisfying way to level up though because it’s hard to see when you’re really getting better. You also need to make sure you choose the right spells and weapons or you’ll be wasting your time leveling up something that you’ll never need. Your 4th member of the team also tends to change every other chapter so don’t get too attached. Often times when they leave they will never return so say good bye to any level ups you got.

The weapons also don’t seem very balanced to the point where I discarded them entirely by around the halfway point of the game. Instead I focused on using the barehanded techniques for the climax and honestly they seemed better than weapons anyway. I would always deal heavy damage while the weapons would falter at the worst moments. I have little doubt that the weapons would ultimately be better than bare handed but at least to the point where I was up to this did not seem to be the case.

The final boss was very difficult to defeat like this though. RNG is partially what got me through. See, his attacks were strong enough to not only finish me in a single hit but also replenish almost all of his health. Of course, that was only with physical attacks. On one of my runs I got lucky because he kept spamming magical spells which deal far less damage. I was able to buy just enough time to defeat him before he healed. Even now I think I would have a very hard time trying to defeat him again. It’s rare for things to work out in quite the same way they did here.

I don’t understand why the game went so far as to also make the equipment work against you. Wearing heavier items makes it harder to dodge but you can’t see how heavy something is without going to your character status page and leaving the item screen. Everything just did not feel very intuitive at all. Perhaps there was an easier way and I just didn’t find it. It seems like Final Fantasy II was meant to be very experimental but in this case I felt like it just back fired completely.

FF II’s spawn rate is also extremely high. Enemies are constantly attacking you every few steps. I was able to get in a lot of good reading during every dungeon. I would just keep spamming the attack button as I read through the God of High School chapters. I finished over 100 chapters as I played through this game because the battles took forever and there were so many of them. It was also uniquely useful to multi task in this game since I didn’t need spells and could just use normal attacks for every minion encounter. If I had nothing to distract myself with that would have hurt though.

Final Fantasy II also suffers from being unclear at times. You just don’t know where to go or what to do in order to advance the plot. The worst is when you’re supposed to talk to someone again and forgot to do so. So you go to the next temple but it’s still closed so you have to travel the world again in order to open it. You don’t get to fly until the very end of the game so prepare for a ton of walking. The game doesn’t give you any real shortcuts either so you really feel like an explorer. Just not in a fun way this time.

I could go on, but as you can tell pretty much none of the gameplay elements worked for me. It’s just a title that offered no qualify of life features. The graphics are good though. The character portraits are on point and I did like the minion designs. The game has a very retro sprite look which works well enough. The soundtrack is also very classic Final Fantasy with how each tune sounds. It’s all got a lot of energy and works really well.

As for replay value, by beating the game it seems like you do unlock some kind of new game+. I’m sure that will take you quite a while. Considering that the game is 20 hours long to defeat once, this is probably a 40 hour game or so. I’m not sure what the price is nowadays but it was pretty cheap before so I doubt it would set you back all that much.

Overall, Final Fantasy II is one of the weakest Final Fantasy games for me. In fact, I would have to say it loses to Final Fantasy VII and is my least favorite title. VII has the better gameplay, characters, and stories so II loses around the board to me. Don’t get me wrong, the story is fun and all but it just doesn’t make up for the game’s weaknesses. I don’t really see myself recommending this title to others as well. I’m glad that it helped continue the franchise into its current state but this is an entry you can skip.

Overall 5/10

Taito Legends Power-Up Stats and Records

Stats time!

High Scores

Space Invaders Part II 5000
Space Chaser 15000
Crazy Balloon 0
Balloon Bomber 0
Lunar Rescue 5000
Phoenix 2260
Qix 30000
Space Dungeon 39540
Alpine Ski 7283
Elevator Action 10000
Chack’n Pop 30000
The Legend of Kage 200000
The Fairyland Story 50220
Return of the Invaders 20000
Ki Ki Kai Kai 49000
Rastan Saga 273100
Kuri Kinton 90720
The NewZealand Story 49000
Raimais 50000
Cameltry 15000
Space Invaders 960

Taito Legends Power-Up Review

This is a game that I sort of got out of the blue because I wanted to finally check out the original Legend of Kage. Not only did this collection have the original but it also had the remade version that had a more 3D look to it. There’s a pretty solid collection of games here as well so it’s got some pretty decent value. At the end of the day it’s hard to really deny that this title has a lot of replay value. Surely you should be able to enjoy most if not all of the titles here.

None of the games really have much of a story mode of course since these are really arcade titles. Mainly the point of the game is to play all of these titles out and get your high scores in there. You’ve got sci-fi games, ninja titles, and even a game that’s sort of like Monkey Ball. The amount of variety here is impressive and while you may not put these games up against the true classics like Mario and Pac-Man, they hold up well enough.

Super old games are usually not really my thing since I can only play them so long before I need a break. That being said, I’ll still have fun while I’m along for the ride. Since Legend of Kage is the reason I was buying the game in the first place lets lead off with that. The game involves you throwing stars and slashing away at the enemies. The goal is to make it to the end of the game before they take you down. It’s a rather difficult game but with enough tries you should be able to conquer it. When you lose you can restart as many times as needed so you don’t need to worry about getting a game over. That would have definitely hurt the momentum.

You’ve got games that feature skiing, monkey ball, a bunch of sci-fi shooters, and a game that works a lot like Pac-Man. Basically you have to race around the stage and get all of the pellets before these opposing airships tag you. It’s very difficult because they are much faster than you. I don’t want to say that the game is luck based…but it sure feels that way at times. Escaping these guys is really hard to be sure.

As a collection Taito Legends accomplished what it set out to do. None of the games may stand out on their own but when together they make for a decent game. The graphics are pretty solid here so the quality of the old sprites is on point. The soundtracks are good too. I wouldn’t say they are particularly notable but they do have a lot of energy so they fit right in while you’re playing through the game. You probably won’t even notice the tracks a lot of the time. Maybe if there was some extra rock or something.

Since a few of the games have the original version as well as the enhanced remake it’ll be interesting to see if any of the originals can beat their powered up versions. I find it is usually very difficult to beat a newer version but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Sometimes the new version may try too hard in trying to be better and miss something that gave the original its charm. This title allows you to try both versions back to back to see how it really stands up.

There isn’t a whole lot more to say about the collection due to the nature of the game. Really this will either be your style or it won’t be but you should know right away based on the kinds of games you enjoy. That is really the deciding factor here. I’m not sure I would buy a future Taito collection but if they ever decided to bundle up a lot of very new games that could have a lot of potential.

Overall, Taito Legends Power-Up is a good game. I’d recommend checking it out if you like playing the classic Arcade Games. Naturally you would want to skip it if you’re more into the modern titles with story and cinematics. That’s mainly where I’m at but at the same time it can be fun to relive how the games used to be. After all, for their time I’m sure these were considered to be top notch.

Overall 6/10