Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Review: Teleroboxer


Available On: Virtual Boy

Story: Teleroboxer takes place in the 22nd century, when a technology called "Telerobotics" is used, allowing people to control robots to do tasks not normally doable by humans. Teleroboxing was created by Dr. Edward Maki Jr., involving two robots boxing against each other. If you have ever seen the movie Real Steel staring Hugh Jackman, then this is that movie as a game (even though the game was released 16 years before the movie).


Game Play: The game plays similar to the arcade version of Punch-Out!!!. You use both D-Pads and the two triggers on the back of the controller to control your robot's jabs, uppercuts, hooks. and to dodge and block.

Look: This is probably the best looking game on the Virtual Boy. The 3D looks really nice and when I got knocked out, the loss screen looked great. I did love the designs for the robot challengers.


Sound: I thought that for the limited capabilities of the Virtual Boy, the sound effects and music for this game worked rather well.

Replay Value: It's a fun game to play over and over again. If you can beat every match without losing then you can fight the Champion.



Pros: This game is a lot of fun, if you are looking for a quick game to kill some time with. This was a prime example of what the Virtual Boy could of done with 3D and uniqueness, had it lived beyond its short lifespan.

Cons: The game is short due to it being on a "portable" system. There are only 8 opponents in total for the game.


Overall: If you are a fan of the Punch-Out!!! games, and you own a Virtual Boy (or have a Virtual Boy Emulator) then this is a must play. It has been listed as one of the top games for the Virtual Boy, and I felt that this is probably one of the best examples of the 3D capabilities on this system. If Nintendo ever decides to release the Virtual Boy games on the 3DS, then this would be a definite download.

Score: B

Friday, November 20, 2015

Review: Mother 3


Available On: Game Boy Advance (only available in Japan currently or as an emulation for USA)

Story: This game features a cast of colorful characters. I don't want to give away too much but to sum it up without any spoilers, the Pig Mask Army invades your home of Tazmily Village and sets into motion one of the greatest stories I have had the chances of playing in a game. The one thing to remember about this game is that the story style is similar to Dragon Quest IV, meaning it features chapters instead of one long continuous story. Mother 3 also features some social commentaries such as greed.


Game Play: This game is an RPG, but with some very different twists from your classic RPGs like Final Fantasy. Some of the unique features to Mother 3 are in the battle system. While battling, music notes will float above your enemy, and if you can hit the button at the proper time, then you will be able to deal multiple hits in a single turn. One thing to remember is that each enemy has a different tune, so memorizing one enemy's tune will not help against the other enemies. My favorite feature of the battle system is the rolling HP meter. It is similar to a Rolodex of numbers, and as you are dealt damage it will lower, depending on how much damage you are dealt. If you get attacked and it deals "Mortal Damage" then your character will become unconscious. One unique thing about this is that if you finish the battle before the meter hits zero, then you will stay conscious. This feature has only been in one other game, that being Earthbound, which is the prequel to Mother 3. One other neat feature are enemies doing funny things during battle, like "So and So gazed off" instead of attacking you.

Look: The characters are based on clay models, but the cartoon-like look of this game fits the theme and style perfectly. The modern setting of the game is a change from traditional medieval setting of most RPGs.


Sound: From the whimsical soundtrack to the crazy sound effects, the audio for this game is spot on.

Replay Value: This story has enough replay value for me to go through it again, for other gamers they may want to go back through it to talk to all the villagers or to collect all the items.

Pros: There are so many pros for this game that it would take a while to list everything great about it.

Cons: The only thing I did not like about this game is how hard it is to learn the tunes of your enemies. Some gamers may not like the level grinding this game requires to beat some of the bosses they will encounter.


Overall: From the game's amazing story and unique game play, to the spot on soundtrack, this is how a game should be made. This game is the best RPG, if not the best game you will play for the Game Boy Advance, hands down.

Score: A+

Monday, November 2, 2015

Review: Chibi-Robo Zip-Lash


Available On: Nintendo 3DS

Story: Aliens have invaded Earth, stealing resources along with everyone's favorite snacks, and it's up to Chibi-Robo and his partner Telly to save the day.

Game Play: This plays like your standard Platformer game where you control Chibi-Robo and use your cord to lash at enemies or to propel yourself around the area.


Look: This game has the look that Chibi-Robo fans have grown to love from previous games. The easiest way to describe it to someone who hasn't played the series before is a tiny robot in our normal size world.

Sound: I liked the sound effects used in the game, but I met the music was OK at best. A better soundtrack would of really helped with the games final presentation.

Replay Value: Earlier levels have hidden items and areas that are only accessible by features you unlock later in the game. 



Pros: I did like using Chibi-Robo's cable to wipe enemies and to zip around the levels.

Cons: My biggest pet peeve with this game is the stage select screen. Its a rotating wheel. While you can get chances to increase your odds of getting a different stage, I hate this feature. Why not just have the traditional way of having a level order or a map that you can move around to choose your level order.


Overall: While it is fun whipping your enemies and zipping around the levels, I feel this game is not that great as a physical release. I have enjoyed previous Chibi-Robo games but this one seemed to fall short for me. The only reason I am now happy I got the game is because I really wanted the Chibi-Robo Amiibo figure and its only available bundled with the game.

Score: C-


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Review: Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest


Available On: Gamecube

Story: You play as a cube shaped creature called a Cubivore. You must eat other creatures to become stronger and then find a mate to evolve your species. Eventually you will take on the Killer Cubivore, who is at the top of the food chain, and controls the land.



Game Play: This is an action adventure game that also plays like an RPG too. Evolving into different types of Cubivore species affects your stats (speed, jumping, blocking, etc.). You tear your opponents apart and eat them to help with your evolution. You then find a mate and your offspring will have the new characteristics. This game is basically Darwinism: The Game being it's all about natural selection.

Look: The look of the game is cube based. I like how this look works for this game. If you're not into simple graphics than this is not a game for you.



Sound: The piano music really fits this game perfectly in my opinion. The sound effects in this game seemed pretty basic to me.

Replay Value: The only thing to do once the game is done is unlocking all the variants of the Cubivore.


Pros: This is a nice change of pace to the action adventure series by adding the RPG element and the natural selection twist. If you liked the game Spores for the PC, then this game is right up your alley.

Cons: I wish the levels were larger with more selections to customize your Cubivore.


Overall: This is a game that I would recommend trying only if it really interests you because it will cost you a pretty penny to get as most copies are on eBay for around $100+ dollars.

Score: B-

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Review: Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer


Available On: 3DS

Story:
You play as the newest designer for Nook's Homes and you design houses and buildings for the newest members of your town.

Game Play: You drag and drop the items around the house or buildings using the stylus on the touch screen. You can also walk around using the joystick. If you own any of the Animal Crossing Amiibo Trading Cards, you can tap them on the NFC Reader device or the NFC Reader in the New Nintendo 3DS to have that villager visit you.



Look: This game has the same look that Animal Crossing fans have come to love.

Sound: The Villagers have their own language and the sound effects work for the all the items that make sounds. It also includes all of K.K. Slider's songs so you are able to use them while designing, which I love.



Replay Value: Once you have completed working on all the villagers houses and buildings, you can still participate in the online contests they will be holding or design for the villagers on the Animal Crossing Amiibo Trading Cards.

Pros: This is a fun change from the normal Animal Crossing games being it does not rely on real world time.

Cons: I feel that this game would be nice as a downloadable but not as a full price release.



Overall: I like the game and think its a nice change of pace from the regular Animal Crossing games but I don't think this should be be a full price game. I hope they incorporate the features of this game into the next main Animal Crossing game.

Score: C

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Review: Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow



Available On: Game Boy

Story: This is the game that started Poke-madness in the late 90's. You play as an 11-year-old boy who is summoned to your local Professor's lab to become a Pokemon Trainer, and to help him complete his Pokedex (Pokemon Encyclopedia). You then travel the Kanto region, battling the 8 Gym Leaders, taking one a gang know as Team Rocket, and battling other trainers along the way. You also have a rival (who is also the Professor's grandson). Once you have beaten the Gym Leaders, you must take on the Elite 4. The goal of the game is to beat the Elite 4 and capture all 151 Pokemon to complete the Pokedex.



Game Play: This game plays like your standard RPG where you travel from area to area battling and leveling your team. An added feature that was new at the time is trading and battling your Pokemon with a friend using the Game Boy Link Cable. Pokemon Yellow added in features from the TV show like starting off with Pikachu, being able to talk to your Pikachu to see how he is, a surfing Pikachu mini-game, and fighting Jesse and James from Team Rocket.

Look: This game has a look that is similar to other RPGs released at the time for the walking part of the game but set in a more modern time. The big difference is when it gets to the battles. Once a battle starts, you are introduced to the Pokemon or its Trainer. The view at this point looks like you are actually have your Pokemon in front of you, unlike other RPGs where you do not see your team members sprites at all or a side view.



Sound: The soundtrack is really memorable, and each of the 151 Pokemon have their own call. They even made a symphony out of the music from the game, and the theme to Lavender Town even inspired a Creepypasta about it.

Replay Value: Once the main story of beating the Elite 4 is complete, you still have to complete your Pokedex. Once you complete the Pokedex, the only thing you can do is trade or battle friends using the Game Boy Link Cable, or fighting the Elite 4 again and again and again.



Pros: At the time of this game's release and for the fact it was a portable game, this was an amazing amount of content. It normally takes me around 23 hours to beat this game from start to finish without completing the Pokedex. If this is your first time or your twentieth time playing it, this game is still a blast to play.

Cons: Until you get the BICYCLE or have a Pokemon that can use FLY, it takes forever to get around the map. Eventually RUNNING SHOES would be added to the series and made it less of a hassle walking between towns at the beginning of the game.




Overall: I am still a huge fan of this game. It was a classic for the Game Boy and definitely worth checking out if you have never played it before (I have actually met people who haven't), or if you want to take a nice journey down memory lane. If the internet was as big as it is now back when this game was release tons of children (myself included) would have logged fewer hours on our game chasing schoolyard rumors of secret Pokemon and areas. That was all the fun though, trying to be the very best like no one ever was, and trying to catch them all. That still holds true almost 20 years later.

Score: B

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Review: Batman: Arkham Knight


Available On: Mac, PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One

Story: On Halloween, Scarecrow forces an evacuation of Gotham City after threatening to unleash his potent new fear toxin. You must stop him, or die trying. Going into this game, I had very little knowledge of the "Arkhamverse" being I had played Batman: Arkham Aslyum, but had not played the other games in the series. Batman: Arkham Knight came with my Playstation 4 and it was the only game I had so I gave it a try, plus the Red Hood (Jason Todd) is one of my favorite Batman characters and they hyped him being in the game. I was not prepared for how quickly all hell would break loose in this game and all the twists this game would take. 


Game Play: This is an Action Adventure game that puts you in the role of Batman. You glide, grapple, run, and drive your way around Gotham, hunting down the Scarecrow and a host of other Batman villains. There are a ton of missions to complete, and in order to get the true ending you must complete all the missions.

Look: I love how this game looks. Being a fan of Batman comics, this game is like seeing the comics come to life better then any movie has done yet. There were some classic Batman comic scenes that were remade into this game, like the infamous Killing Joke scene involving Barbra Gordon. I also love the design of the Arkham Knight in the game.



Sound: My biggest gripe I had with this game was how much dialogue was reused with the thugs. I can only hear the same lines about Two-Face, the Penguin, and Scarecrow so many times before it gets repetitive.

Replay Value: The game's main story clocks in at about 15 hours, and all the side missions add another 10 hours. That brings the game up to 25 hours, which isn't terrible. The current DLC of Harley Quinn, Red Hood, and Batgirl add about 2 more hours to your play time. There is also a DLC mission staring Nightwing but it has not been released at the time of this review. Finding all the Riddler's Trophies and Challenges will take the most amount of time to find over any of the other missions.


Pros: The story was great, and your "Spiritual Guide" helps keep the game flowing. I had a great time hunting down some major Batman villains but I do wish that a few others were included (at least the ones they picked were great). It was also fun having the A.I adapt to your take-down techniques (If you used grates to take down guards, they will try to flush you out with grenades).


Cons: Besides the reused dialog, finding all the Riddler Trophies and Challenges (over 230 to find scattered all over the city, in every possible place) to be able to fight the Riddler was an annoyance more then a challenge. At times the Batmobile's turning felt sloppy, especially during the Tunnel Chase with the Arkham Knight, which caused some unneeded annoyance. The last thing that I felt was a problem with the game was the Cobra Tanks. These are tanks that you must track from behind to destroy, that's not the problem the problem is when they have 6 of these and they all stay in the same area together (this seemed to happen more when Batman had Alfred raise the bridges to prevent a person from escaping the area), so every time you go near them to try to destroy one, you get blown to hell instead. 


Overall: I really enjoyed playing Arkham Knight. I was not expecting the twists that happened in the story, so I was always on edge when a cut-scene happened.

Score: B+


Monday, August 24, 2015

Top 13 Indie Games

Limbo


Limbo is an artistic indie game is about a boy traveling through Limbo while avoiding traps and attacks. This game is a 2D puzzle platformer. You do not have a set number of lives, so you try and die until you are able to progress. There are also many fan theories about the story behind the game and the meanings in the game but the creator is keeping quiet about the truth.This game is available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Mac, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, iOS, Android, and Wii U.




Super Meat Boy 


I did a full review on Super Meat Boy in a earlier post (Review: Super Meat Boy) but the short of the entire review is this game is a must play. Not too shabby for the team of 4 people who made this game.




Five Night At Freddy’s



Five Nights at Freddy's is extremely popular for it's scares. You play as an overnight security guard working at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza (think similar to Chuck E. Cheese) and must survive five nights. Animatronics walk around during the night and if they catch you they will kill you by shoving you inside an empty mechanical suit. This game is unique with its gameplay because you protect yourself by shutting the doors, turning on hall lights, and using the cameras to track the animatronics. If you use the items too much it will fully drain your power and you will be unable to use any of them resulting in no protection at all. This game spawned 3 sequels, an upcoming movie, and countless reaction videos on sites like YouTube. This game is available on PC, Android, and iOS.


 
Fez 

Fez is a 2D platformer sent in a 3D world. You can rotate the world to discover new paths, doors, and golden cubes. You must collect these cubes to progress to the next level. This game was most known for its rocky development which is chronicled in the move Indie Game: The Movie. This game is available on PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and Playstation Vita.


 
Minecraft

Minecraft is a game with no goals for the player to complete. This allows players the freedom of choosing how to play the game. Gameplay is first person, but players can switch to third person mode. You can build anything you want in this game with the cubes from the world. This game became a massive success and has spawned a large merchandise line, and a convention called MineCon. This game is available for PC, Android, Mac, iOS, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, and Playstation Vita.



Slender: The Eight Pages



Slender: The Eight Pages is a First Person Survival Horror game based on the Slender Man character from the Something Awful Internet forum. The player is given only a flashlight to see and Slender Man will occasionally appear in the player's view. Game over happens when the player has taken too long to find a note, the player stares at Slender Man for too long, or if Slender Man touches the player. Besides being know for the many reaction video on YouTube, and its scare factor, Slender Man is mostly known for being the inspiration for some recent violent crimes committed by teenage girls.


 

Braid 

Braid is a 2D platformer where you must rescue the princess from a monster. You must collect puzzle pieces and book pages to progress and learn the story of the game. What sets this game apart from other platformers is the ability to manipulate time to solve puzzles and to avoid death. Braid is actually the top rated Xbox Live Arcade game. If you like a great story and want a platformer with a twist, then this game is a must play. Braid is available on Xbox 360, PC, Mac, and Playstation 3 .


 

Ark Survival Evolved 



Ark: Survival Evolved is a Action-Adventure Survival game. The game is played a third person or first person view. Players use firearms and makeshift weapons to defend against other people and creatures. The game can be played either single player or multiplayer similar to a massive multiplayer game. This game is most know for the ability to tame and ride/utilize dinosaurs include the famous T-Rex. This game is now in early access for PC and Mac with Playstation 4 and Xbox One getting a release next year.


 

Shovel Knight 

Shovel Knight is a 2D side scrolling platformer. The game is presented in an 8-Bit style which adds to the nostalgic charm of the game. You play as Shovel Knight and you must beat the 8 bosses to reach the Tower of Fate to fight Enchantress. The game had a very successful Kickstarter campaign raising a total of over $300,000 when their goal was only $75,000. The game has received glowing reviews from many sources. Shovel Knight is available on PC, Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Mac, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, and Xbox One. Some versions contain features unique to that console, such as bosses or areas.


 

Journey 

In Journey, the player controls a robed figure in a vast desert, traveling towards a mountain in the distance. Other players on the same journey can be discovered, and two players can meet and aid each other, but they cannot communicate via speech or text and cannot see each other's names. This game was highly praised for its artistic direction and especially for its soundtrack. It was one of the fastest selling games on the Playstation Network and received numerous awards. Journey is available for Playstation 3 and Playstation 4.


Flower 


Flower is a visual poetry of a game. You start each level as a single petal in the breeze that as you blow by other flowers you collect more petals. Once you collect all the petals from an area, you will be directed to a new area. This game relies heavily on its visuals. This game is made by the same company that would go on to make Journey. In 2013, The Smithsonian American Art Museum added this game its permanent collection. Flower is available on the Playstation3, Playstation 4, and Playstation Vita.


Binding of Isaac: Rebirth



Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is a dungeon crawler where you must clear each room of the monsters before moving on to the next room. This game is loosely based on the biblical story of the same name. The artist and designer behind this title is also the creator of Super Meat Boy. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth received glowing reviews and is available on PC, Mac, Playstation 4, Playstation Vita, Wii U, New Nintendo 3DS, and Xbox One.



Angry Birds


The game that started the mobile gaming boom, and spawned numerous spin-offs and a sequel. If you haven't heard of this yet, you must be living under a rock. The concept is simple, launch birds with a slingshot to destroy the pigs. This game is available on iOS, Nintendo 3DS, PSP, Playstation 3, Playstation Vita, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Mac, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, and Android.



Honorable Mention:

Flappy Bird

This game was famous for being notoriously hard and for the creator pulling the game from the app stores. This caused players to sell their phones on Ebay for thousands of dollars. This game was available on iOS and Android but there are still ways to find it if you really want it.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Super Meat Boy


Available On: Xbox 360, PC, and Mac

Story: You play as Meat Boy and you must save your girlfriend, Bandage Girl, who was kidnapped by the evil Dr. Fetus.


Game Play: You must traverse each level and move Meat Boy from the starting point to Bandage Girl. This game requires you to make split second moves to dodge obstacles. This game is extremely hard at times but not hard enough where you don't want to play. It's hard enough to keep you playing because you want to beat the level. Don't be surprised if this game cause you to curse or throw your remote out of anger. 

Look: It has a very retro look to it, which fits the game perfectly. The game also features a bunch of parodies for popular games from the 8 and 16 bit eras.


Sound: The electric music that the soundtrack consists of fits the game like a gem. It makes you think of vintage games like Mega Man, Super Mario, or Sonic the Hedgehog.

Replay Value: This game has massive replay value between going back through the 300+ levels to achieve an A+ in each level by beating it within the specified time limit, collecting all the band-aids, finding and beating the Warp Zones, and lastly beating the "Dark World" (which are harder versions of each level).


Overall: This game is fantastic. I have not had this much fun playing a platform game in a while. It reminded me a lot of my childhood, sitting in front of the television and enjoying the challenge of having to beat a level, only to repeat it on the next level over and over again.

Pros: This game has so many pros, that it would take a while to list everything, so I will just list the major ones that I enjoyed. This game was a great value, 300+ levels, plus hidden levels, time challenges, and increased difficulty levels as a reward for $15. All the parodies of games that I enjoyed from my childhood. The retro look and soundtrack that fits the game perfectly. The game is actually a challenge.


Cons: My only problem that I had with this game is that I was unable to get it on the Playstation Network. This is not the fault of Team Meat (the developers/publishers) being they did want to release it be legalities did not allow it. Recently Team Meat has said that they will be releasing it this year on the Playstation Vita and Playstation 4. They also said that it will be free for Playstation Plus users.

Score: A