Saturday, July 5, 2014

Shovel Knight

Console: 3DS, Wii U, PC
Genre: Platformer
Release Date: June 26, 2014
Date Reviewed: July 4, 2014

Gameplay:
Shovel Knight takes another whack at the classic plat forming genre. The style for Shovel Knight takes place in the NES era. With classic 8 bit graphics and 8 bit sounds/music. It has a mixture between Megaman, Castlevania, and Mario. It mixes these three great games together to make its own step into the classic plat forming series. The game plays just like you would expect it if you've ever played an NES plat forming game before. Feels exactly like the three games I mention above. Shovel Knight feels like a fresh entry overall. The basic principle of the game is going through different levels; beat each knight to advance forward and save the Shield Knight from the evil Enchantress. You are a knight that wields a shovel as his weapon of choice. You attack with your shovel and perform certain tasks to venture through each level with this mighty shovel. From downward thrusts so you can bounce on objects and enemies to swooping your shovel to deal with enemies, the shovel has many uses.  Each boss knight has its own special attack and abilities. Just like in Megaman you need to find out what their patterns are to defeat them. Some of these bosses are not the easiest.

Ahhhh Classic.

In Shovel Knight you can even upgrade your shovel to perform new attacks. Shovel Knight can also purchase new armor that has different effects to the player. Just like in Mario you are on an over world map and you are able to choose any level, any time. Sometime on the world map there are random events as in mini boss battles, and treasure to grab by using certain items. If you are the type of person that needs to collect everything than you can even collect music notes. Return these music notes to the bard in town and he will buy them off of you for 500 gold a piece. When you give the bard these music notes he will add them to your collection so you can go back and speak with him at any time and listen to the music you have unlocked. Shovel Knight provides an excellent difficulty level as well just like in the classic plat formers. It starts off moderately easy and then picks right up and ups the difficulty level. Some levels make you want to pull your hair out but in the end are very rewarding when you finally beat it.

Graphics/Visuals:
Shovel Knight is an 8 bit plat forming adventure. It takes place during the NES generation of plat form gaming. The visuals and style of artwork is outstanding. Very colourful game, great looking backgrounds, fantastic looking enemies, great animations and NPC’s. All in all it is a very nice looking 8 bit game and a fantastic edition to the NES plat forming series.

Epic Boss Battles!

Soundtrack/Music:
Wow. Shovel Knight has one of the most amazing soundtracks I have even heard in the 8 bit era. Each and every song is unique, different, and makes your ears sing. You can tell they put their heart and soul into this game, into the music. The music is so good that it’s making me unlock and find all of the music notes hidden in the game. I often find myself going back to the main town just to listen to the music I have unlocked. Each boss, each level, and zone has its own unique soundtrack and every single one of them is a breath of fresh air. You can even get the entire soundtrack on download; it is very well worth it. Some people even got this game just because of the amazing soundtrack.

Epic Soundtrack!

Final Thoughts:
Shovel Knight is a breath of fresh air to the 8 bit plat forming series. It feels very familiar yet very new. With a mixture of the greatest plat forming NES games with a hint of its own style, Shovel Knight is a fantastic addition. Beautiful music, addicting and challenging game play, and beautiful art work, Shovel Knight is a must purchase. In fact I purchased it for all three platforms! My recommendation is to buy it on the 3DS or the Wii U just because you can quickly switch between all of them items with just a tap of your finger. The PC version provided no quick select tool.

Overall Rating: 10/10

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Mario Golf World Tour

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Sports
Release Date: May 2, 2014
Date Reviewed: June 30, 2014


Ahhh good ol’ Mario Golf. I have fond memories from playing the very first Mario Golf game for the Nintendo 64. I was so into the game than I even remember one of the cheat codes from when it first came out 10+ years ago. KPXWN9N3 was the code me and my brother memorized and for some reason it is still stuck in my head. Mario Golf for the Nintendo 3DS is another great addition to the series.

Gameplay:
First off there is so much to do in Mario Golf. You can’t decide which mode to choose from first. I personally started with the Mii Castle Club. This mode allows you to gold with your personal Mii character in the game. The point of this mode is to challenge the three different course tournaments and try and get gold on each one. Doing so will reward you with an award ceremony cutscene with the Nintendo characters as well as a gold cup for that course. Winning one of these will also allow you to unlock the use of these courses in the challenge mode and all other modes. On top of that for completing certain goals in any golf game you will unlock a new piece of gear for your Mii character. These pieces of gear are used to upgrade you Mii. It could be to increase your Mii’s power, their sweet spot or control of the ball. So choose wisely and pick the gear based on how you play the game. You can even unlock character costumes to add to your collection for your Mii to wear. Wearing a Princess Peach costume as a man with a beard looks kind of weird. Once you complete the course tournaments you can then take to some challenge competitions to unlock more things for your Mii. Some of them are very challenging but worth it in the end. One other thing I would like to add is when you play in the Mii Castle Club you also earn a handicap rating depending on how well you do. This handicap is very smart because it allows the game to figure out the difficulty for the tournaments.

Great courses.

Another mode is the “Quick Golf” mode. This mode has other modes inside of the selection. Such as challenge mode to earn star coins. When you earn a certain amount of star coins you will unlock courses, and even new playable characters such as Birdo and Kamek. The other options are just basic modes to play if you’re in a hurry. It can be Vs. mode with a CPU character, Stroke Play to play a quick 9 or 18 hole round of golf by yourself and an offline point tourney mode. If you really want to test your golfing skills there is even an online mode where you play against other players. The online feature is really great as you can set your own rules, enter tournaments created by Nintendo to win in game prizes, and even community tournaments that other players make themselves.

In order to purchase the unlockable gear for your Mii characters you will need to buy them with coins. Coins are extremely easy to earn in Mario Golf. You earn them by simply just golfing. There are even courses that you can play where you need to get coins floating around the course which adds to your overall coin pool. With Mario Golf: World Tour there is an option to buy some DLC packs for the game. I highly recommend this because each pack adds a new character and a brand new course to play on. If you buy the season pass you get Gold Mario as a character which is a great way to earn some extra coins. Fantastic buy and really fun, especially for casual players.

Graphics:
The graphics and visuals in Mario Golf are actually really good for it being on the 3DS. All of the character models look fantastic with great animations. Each character has their own unique animation which really adds to the game. The environment on each course is very unique and is never the same. Each course has their own them like bowser’s castle or cheep cheep beach. You will always know which course it belongs too. Costumes look very nice; the customization option for your Mii also is great with a large variety of golf clubs, shirts, golf balls, etc…

Great Items Selection.

The 3D also adds a very nice effect to the game. I personally don’t really care for 3D but I was impressed by it. It adds a whole new perspective when you are golfing and is sometime breath taken. The best times to use the 3D feature are during the golf matches. It gives you a whole new view and the environment surrounds you. I find it really absorbs you into the game more than playing in 2D. Other than that the 3D doesn’t make too much of a difference while walking around or navigating the menus. It is still a nice feature overall.

Soundtrack/Music:
Not really much to say here due to it being a golf game. The music is pretty standard and quite. Nothing really unique about the in game music. The in game sounds are great overall and the menu music is really nice as well. Other than that it’s pretty average, not in a bad way just nothing the really WOWS you with the music.

Overall Rating: 9.0

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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mario Kart 8.

Console: Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Kart Racing
Release Date: May 30th, 2014
Date Reviewed: June 20th, 2014


I’ve been a big fan of the entire Mario Kart series since the very first one on the SNES. I have played and owned all of them at some point. I even enjoyed Mario Kart: Double Dash immensely for the Nintendo Gamecube. I just recently bought a Wii U to add to my collection and decided to buy the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition. I to this day love my new Wii U and the games I have for it. Enjoy the review!

Gameplay:
Mario Kart 8 (MK8) is a breath of fresh air to the series. The very first Mario Kart game to be HD on the big screen! MK8 plays like any other Mario Kart game. There is a great new mechanic in MK8 that adds a “WOW” factor to the races. The new mechanic is anti-gravity. With this mechanic you can basically race in any direction! You drive upside down, around in loops, etc… This adds new dynamic to the Mario Kart. With this new mechanic they can create new and refreshing courses to future Mario Kart games. Even with Mario Kart 8, these courses are really enjoyable. MK8 also offers some new items to use against other racers. One of these new items is the boomerang. Using this item allows you to, you guessed it, throw a boomerang ahead or behind you and it comes right back to you. You can throw the boomerang up to 3 times in front of you or behind you. When you throw it, the boomerang will go ahead and then circle back to you allowing you to throw it again. Very handy item if you have the accuracy to use it like the green shell. Another new item added to the game is the “8” item. When you use this you will get 8 items that circle around you. Some of these items include a star, a bomb omb, a banana and a green shell. Whichever item is in front of you circling, you will use that item first.

Anti Gravity is the new Mechanic.

Coins make their way back into MK8 as well. These coins will help you unlock new karts, wheels, and parasails. There are a lot to unlock with these coins so make sure you collect them. You can collect up to 10 per race. Drift boosting also makes a return to MK8 but it is much easier to do this time around. Simply press and hold the right of left trigger to drift and continue to hold it to get a boost when you let go of it. There are also many different characters that you can unlock in MK8. Unlocking characters is extremely easy. By completing courses and earning cups you will always unlock a random character. Some of these characters include Rosalina, Toadette, and all of the Koopa Kids. The Wii U tablet can be used as a controller or can be used as a secondary screen which displays the race track and all of the racers. The same modes are back as well including Grand Prix, Versus, Time Trials, and Battle. All of these can be played online while Time Trials gives you uploaded ghost data to race against.

Online racing in MK8 is fantastic. The Wii version had a lot of lag issues while racing online. MK8 puts you up against 11 other people per race and I have not experienced any lagging or hiccups in my connection while racing. If you need something to do besides earning trophies in Grand Prix then give the online modes a try. It is great if you are racing competitively or just for fun. You start off with 1000 points and depending how well you do you will earn a certain amount of points. But if you’re coming in 10th, 11th, or 12th all of the time then you will slowly start to lose points. It’s a good system especially if you are very good at the game. What I mean by that is Nintendo tries to promote “just have fun” feel online instead of “you have 18 losses and 2 wins, you suck”. This way people don’t really care and race to have fun. At the time of this review my score is at 1600.

Awesome character Roster.

Overall reaction for MK8 has been very positive for me. I am still having a lot of fun with the game just by racing online and with communities I know and enjoy playing with. I am very happy that you are able to join communities to play with your friends, live streamers, youtubers, etc… MK8 is very fun, beautiful, fast paced and cheerful as it always has been. This is a great edition to the series and probably one of the best since Mario Kart: 64.

Graphics/Visuals:
MK8 is the first Mario Kart game to enter the HD market with Wii U being able to do so now. The characters look so good; all of them have received a major HD upgrade. The character animations are very good as well. The biggest thing you will notice when playing MK8 are the environments of the courses. I have caught myself multiple times not paying attention to the races themselves because I was just amazed by the environment. They are very colorful, detailed and look outstanding.  The visual effects are extremely well done and the game runs incredibly smooth. No lag, no frame drops, just smooth gameplay all the way through.

Soundtrack/Music:
The second you load up MK8 the music starts up. The menu music is fast paced and sounds great. Gets your adrenaline going. The menu music has a nice rock feeling to it with small sections with an electric guitar. Compared to MK7, the music in MK8 is much much better. The new courses are no remixed versions of older tracks. All music in the new tracks is brand new editions to the series. The music in the older tracks from previous games are the same obviously but sound so much better and updated to today’s standards.

Menu music is sooooooooooo good.

Final Thoughts:
MK8 is a breath of fresh air. Yes it remains to be basically the same as the previous games but the game has been amped up to HD quality with a brand new anti-gravity mechanic that adds a lot to the game itself. With the amazing quality, to great online play MK8 is definitely a breath of fresh air. You will enjoy this game immensely with endless game play. I highly recommend this game to everyone.



Overall Rating: 9.5/10

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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Wolfenstein: The New Order



Console: Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3, PC
Genre: First-Person Shooter
Release Date: May 20, 2014
Date Reviewed: June 5, 2014



Wolfenstein has always been a huge part of my life. I have played every single one including Wolfenstein 3D. I have always held this series close to my heart and always found each game in the series to suck me into the action and story. This is my review on the newest edition to the Wolfenstein series. Wolfenstein: The New Order. I am reviewing this for the Xbox One version.

Game play:
Wolfenstein: New Order is not your ordinary FPS. It has two campaigns, mostly very similar to one another but different outcomes. Without spoilers you basically choose a campaign for one of two characters. At the beginning you do not have that option. You have to select which character is part of your campaign right off the first mission. Once the game has been beaten you are able to go back and choose the other character for you campaign. Wolfenstein has stealth mechanics and well as full blown action packed mechanics. Depending on which difficulty you choose you will be using more stealth the harder it is and more running and gunning on the easier difficulties. Wolfenstein is a very challenging game. If you're looking for a real challenge then go and try the Uber difficulty. You may throw a controller or two. Wolfenstein has a mixture of good FPS action, movie like cinematics, stealth gameplay, a perk system, and a fantastic story that action made me use some of my emotions.

The Perk System is great!

The perk system is a fantastic way to customize your play style. Whether it be stealth, demolitions, run and gun, etc... Each tier of perks has it's own prerequisites you need to do in order to unlock that perk. One example is you have to kill 5 guards while being stealthed with throwing knives. Once you do this challenge you unlock a new perk allowing you to carry more throwing knives with you. If you're a completionist then you will want to try and get all of the perks. But that is not all there is too do for you completionists out there just like in the other Wolfenstein games in the series.

In New Order, there are a ton of things to collect. Some of them are harder to find then others due to them hiding in secret locations. Sticking to the old Wolfenstein system you are able to find secret doors and switches to open up secret areas to add to your collectables. One set of collectables that I really enjoyed finding are the golden items. They are scattered everywhere and most of them are tough to find on your own. They can be hidden behind the smallest cracks and you will walk past them. Besides golden items you can also find encryptions. When you find all of the encryptions you can go into the main menu under extras and try to encrypt the codes to unlock cheats and funny little additions to your campaign. There are also things like models, letters, and audio files to collect which make exploring much more enjoyable.

The gameplay overall is very fun and addicting. If you rush through the game you will complete it in roughly 5-6 hours. But if you spend the time exploring and collecting everything it will take you 10+ hours. Keep in mind that there are two campaigns you can play. The cinematics and cut scenes pulled myself into the game even deeper. Some characters make you hate their guts and want to hunt them down while other events and characters make you want to sob and weep. Each character has their own unique
story and some of them you really get to know. Finally, there is a wonderful easter egg hidden in the game. When you are in your hide out go to the very top floor. You will see a mattress with pictures above it. Look at the mattress and it will show an icon to examine called "Nightmare". Hold X to sleep on the mattress. When you fall asleep you will be in the very first Wolfenstein game and you have to fight your way out of it.

Duel Wielding guns!

Graphics/Visuals:
This review was done on the current gen consoles. It was reviewed on the Xbox One so it will be graphically superior to the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions although it still does look great on the last generation.

The graphics in Wolfenstein are overall very well done. I wouldn't say exceptional due to it being on Xbox One. It doesn't look "next gen." The cut scenes are very beautiful and cinematics are great and really get you involved in what's going on as well. The gameplay visuals are good but like previously stated, doesn't feel "next gen". Overall I was still impressed with the visuals in the game. There is a lot of gore in the game and some people may feel uneasy. In one cut scene after you escape the labour camp there is a cut scene that happens and it was even making me somewhat uneasy. But it added great effect to the game overall.

Soundtrack/Music:
The audio in the game was really great. The soundtrack really impressed me overall. I have always been a fan of heavier music. As soon as you enter the main menu you hear this wonderful soundtrack. It has a "Wolfenstein" feel to it. The music in game and music in the cinematics and cut scenes were all very well done and added to the already great experience of the story and action within the game. Overall it was fantastic!!

The Main Menu music.

Overall Rating: 9/10

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Update!!

Hey everyone! Sorry for no new posts! I will explain why! So I recently moved to a new province and the move has been tough. On top of that I recently started a new job as well that's been keeping me very busy. So I have had little to no spare time. I will be doing a ton of reviews soon as I now have an Xbox One! Stay tuned and you will see some posts very shortly.

Thank you for the support!

- Aerialslayer (Cody)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Top 10 Games of 2013!

Top 10 Personal Games of 2013!

10.
Bioshock Infinite

9.
DMC: Devil May Cry

8.
Metro: Last Light

7.
Diablo III

6.
Animal Crossing New Leaf

5.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

4.
Tomb Raider

3.
Pokemon X/Y

2.
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

1.
Fire Emblem: Awakening


Friday, December 27, 2013

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Release Date: November 22nd, 2013
Date Reviewed: December 27th, 2013

Gameplay:
LOZ: A Link Between Worlds is the newest game added to the Zelda series. A Link Between Worlds is a direct sequel to A Link to the Past for the SNES. After many long years they finally decided to do a sequel to the original. A Link Between Worlds is pure gold and is a must own for everyone. The game is like the original where the camera is a top view camera of Link. It does an excellent job as staying to it's roots from the original with the camera view, the enemies, the temples, and you are in the exact world from A Link to the Past. You start off by sleeping in of coarse and the Blacksmith's son comes to wake you up because you are late as usual for work. When you arrive to the blacksmith's shop he is talking to someone very important. As soon as the important figure leaves the blacksmith proceeds to give you trouble for being so late. After he finished yelling at you he notices that the man forgot his sword. Your errand is to find the man and give him is sword. From this point on, your adventure begins. A Link Between Worlds uses the 3DS extremely well. The game runs at a smooth 60 frames per second with no FPS drops at all. The biggest feature I love about this game is you can do the temples in any order you choose. You don't find your items in the dungeon anymore such as the bow or hook shot. Instead you can rent out all of the items or purchase them for yourself with rupees. This is a very smart thing to be added to the game because with this feature, the game allows you to do any of the temples in any order you choose. There is not a wrong way of doing things. This makes the world feel very open.

The Shop where you buy/rent items!
 
Each temple is fun with clever boss mechanics in each temple. Some of the bosses are beyond easy but what do you expect in a Zelda game now. There will always be a few easy ones. As you progress you discover that you can go into an alternate Hyrule. This place is called Lorule that is ruled by Zelda's counterpart Hilda. In order to access this world you are able to turn into a painting and walk along walls into tears which teleports you into Lorule. Although the overworld is largely the same as that of A Link to the Past, all the dungeons are totally new. Exploration of dungeons utilize the game's 3D effects and feature Link jumping between levels to solve puzzles and advance. It feels very smooth when you transition into new areas.

Like in previous Zelda titles there are always collectable items to be found. When you find all of the babies you get a new attack for your sword. Every time you return 12 at a time the mother will upgrade any of your items of your choosing to make them more powerful. Rupees are much more important in this game because you have to buy the items and they are not cheap. However, rupees are extremely easy to find and add up quickly.

2D Painting of yourself!  

Overall the gameplay is truly remarkable. It has a lot of nostalgia for the old fans and well as some new ones for people who started the series later on. This game has something for everyone. The world is huge, lots to explore, lots of puzzles, and collectables. All of these encourage the play to explore both worlds of Hyrule and Lorule.

Graphics:
The game follows the top-down two-dimensional gameplay of various Zelda games, especially A Link to the Past, though it is now presented with stereoscopic 3D graphics when played on the Nintendo 3DS. The top screen is used as the main screen, while the bottom touch screen contains the map, gear, and items. The loading screen consists of a black screen with a Triforce in the lower right corner. It runs smoothly at 60 FPS with new reduce in frames anywhere in the game. It is very colourful, the environments are large and very beautiful and full of life.

Comparison.

Sound:
The game features slightly updated sound effects from A Link to the Past. The music tracks are arrangements of the originals. In addition to the music from A Link to the Past, the Streetpass battle mode of the game includes two remixed and rearranged versions of the Temple Theme from Zelda II: The Adventure of Link. The Streetpass mode is inspired by the final "Shadow Link" boss fight from the NES game. It sounds fantastic and has a lot of nostalgia while just listening to the music.



Conclusion:
A Link Between Worlds is a highly recommend, must own game for the Nintendo 3DS. It is one of the best Zelda games ever created. New fans and old fans alike will find something they love about this game. Whether it be the nostalgia, music, graphics, or game play in general, people will find something they love about it. This game provides a lot to do and you can do it in any order you choose to. Fantastic, I hope to see more. Also, when you beat the game, test your skill in Hero Mode.

Overall Score:

10/10

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