Saturday, October 18, 2014

Super Smash Bros. 3DS


Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Fighting
Release Date: October 3rd, 2014
Date Reviewed: October 17th, 2014

       The latest Super Smash Bros for the 3DS is the 4th entry in the series and a very popular and high demand video game. This version brings another huge roster as well as plenty of new characters to the game. The 3DS version brings a bunch of new modes which really extends the life of the game as we wait for the Wii U version. You have your classic mode where you fight random characters. This version you get to choose which patch you want to go. For example if you choose the red path the entire time it will be harder. Blue is easy and green is normal difficulty. The higher the difficulty the more coins and rewards you will get. Some of these rewards offer coins, new customizable moves, costumes, and trophies. The next mode is All Star mode which has been in the previous games. In order to experience the entire All Star mode you will need to have unlocked every single character. This mode takes you through the years of Nintendo characters like in the previous ones. Multi-man melee makes a return as well but instead of wire frame enemies you face a bunch of Mii characters. Home Run mode is back where you see how far you can hit the sand bag with the home run bat for each character. A new mode added is target blast. In this mode you have 10 seconds to launch a bomb from the platform and blow up as much targets as possible. Sort of like angry birds. You also have trophy rush mode where you are able to get a ton of coins and trophies. You also have a challenge mode. This really isn't a mode it's more like an achievement system where you complete certain challenges and unlock new stages, trophies, costumes and skills. Then you have your typical online mode where you can fight for glory or for fun. For glory is just a battle mode where every map is a final destination mode and no items are allowed. For fun is all default maps and all items are allowed and enabled. The last mode I want to cover is Smash Run. Now Smash Run would be a lot better if it was allowed to be played online but do not think will work well due to the lag. You start smash run in a huge dungeon where you complete objective and kill as much enemies as you can to power up your stats. At the end of the run you fight with 3 others and see who comes out on top. You can be climbing to the top the fastest, have a basic smash battle, or even race to see who wins and who uses their stats wisely.

Tortimer Island!

       Super Smash Bros. also has a fantastic soundtrack with a lot of returning tracks as well as brand new ones. A lot of the new ones are remixes like Dr. Wiley's Castle which is just great. The entire game runs at 60FPS with some pretty nice visuals which is very impressive for the Nintendo 3DS. However the animations for each of the assist trophies are at 30FPS which is completely fine. The Nintendo 3DS can only handle so much. Since the 3DS is much smaller than a TV each character as a dark border around them to see them much easier which can also be customized to make it thicker or thinner. Another cool feature is you can use your Mii characters as fighters and completely customize their abilities, stats and their costumes. There are three different types of fighting styles that the Mii's can use. They vary from swordfighter, fist fighter and gun fighter. You can even unlock badges and equipment to improve your Mii's stats so if you want to stack speed or power you can. Only thing is you cannot use these stats or customization options when you are fighting other players online. On top of that you are able use different skills for current characters which again you can use online against other players but is a great addition to the game to try the different abilities and combos.

Little Mac makes and Appearance.

       Overall in Super Smash Bros. 3DS there are a ton of features that will keep you occupied for hours on end. Tons of modes, options, unlockables, customization and decent online multiplayer. Super Smash Bros. is a must own game for all Nintendo fans and current fans of the series. This makes me even more excited to purchase the Wii U version which is set to release on November 21, 2014. The Wii U version will offer even mor modes and options apart from the 3DS, will have the same characters, different levels, and much higher visual quality. Great work Nintendo.

Fantastic Game!
9/10

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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hyrule Warriors.

Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Genre: Action
Release Date: September 26, 2014
Date Reviewed: October 1st, 2014

       Hyrule Warriors for the Nintendo Wii U is created by the company who made the Dynasty Warriors series. Hyrule Warriors is not part of the Legend of Zelda storyline, it is its own separate entry. Hyrule Warriors is almost exactly like Dynasty Warriors with the main difference being that it takes place in the Zelda universe where you can play with a wide variety of characters such as Link, Zelda, Ganondorf, Agitha, and even Princess Ruto of the Zora's. With Hyrule Warriors there is a lot of different modes to play on such as your Legend Mode which is the story mode. There is also Free Mode where you can play as any character on any mission you've completed on Legend Mode. There is an Adventure Mode which seems to be the favorite, including mine. In Adventure Mode you play on a classic map from Zelda 1. There are 128 different tiles to unlock and explore from the original Zelda game. In each tile there is an objective to complete to unlock additional rewards, weapons, and even characters. Adventure Mode is pretty unique, challenging and very fun. With Adventure Mode you may have to do some grinding with certain characters to increase their level, get better weapons and giving them more abilities to take down some of the challenges. You also need to play Adventure Mode in order to unlock the final four characters in the game. The rest of the Characters can be earned playing Legend Mode. The final mode to play is called Challenge Mode which is to take on difficult challenges.

Fast paced action, hundreds of enemies.

       Hyrule Warriors also offers co-op where one player plays on the television and the other plays on the Wii U tablet. Co-op mode is very fun but has some flaws due to the Wii U's limitations. In order to allow co-op on the Wii U they had to lower the resolution for the player who is on the television. It looks like a Wii game and the frame rate is lowered with noticeable choppiness. This does not make the co-op mode any less fun but people who are all about "DEM GRAPHICS" probably will be turned off by the visuals. You can play any mode with another player. There is however no online co-op which I think is a good idea because you will be experiencing a lot of lag with all of the action that is going on the screen at all times.

       The visuals of the game overall are very nice and runs at 60FPS on single player. The in game cinematics look fantastic, the huge environments, and the visual effects are all great as well. Most of the soundtrack is from previous Zelda games in the series. Some of the soundtrack are new and you can tell it feels like they belong in the Dynasty Warriors universe but it does get your adrenaline pumping when fighting bosses or even large crowds of enemies. The story is nothing new and overall not that great but I can see why. It would be very hard to create a fascinating story with what they had. You travel through different time points in the Zelda universe. You travel through Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and also Skyward Sword. They will be adding a lot of new content every month up until February so get the season pass if you want to experience more. On average to complete all mission in the game you're looking at about 50+ hours to get it all completed. There is a lot to do and this game can be played for hours and hours, heck you don't even notice the time passing while you are playing it half the time.

King Dodongo is back!!

       Overall Hyrule Warriors is a fantastic entry into the Zelda series. They took a very different approach to Zelda and it is very nice to get away from their basic formula and go all out killing hundreds upon thousands of enemies all at once. There is so much to do in the game and it is really fun to be able to unlock a lot of different weapons for each character, unlocking new abilities, combos, etc.... There is so much to this game and is a fantastic addition to the Wii U family. If you like Zelda, and Dynasty Warriors then I highly recommend this game to add to your collection.

Great Soundtrack

GREAT GAME!
8/10

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Gauntlet

Platform: PC
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: September 23rd, 2014
Date Reviewed: September 29th, 2014

      Finally a new Gauntlet game. Well....it's a remake of the original Gauntlet. It feels and looks new. Gauntlet is back, better than ever for PC only. You can get this game for $19.99! Gauntlet plays just like the original. You start off with 4 classes (like in every Gauntlet) and you can choose between a Warrior, a Wizard, a Valkyrie, and a Ranger. Each class are unique and have their own strengths and weaknesses. when you start the game there is a mini tutorial that lets you try a quick demo of each class to get a feel for them. After you complete the tutorial you are able to choose what class you want to play as. After you choose the class it will give you an option to play with mouse and keyboard or a gamepad. The mouse and keyboard work well for the Ranger, Warrior and Valkyrie. However, the Wizard is a bit more complicated and is easiest with the gamepad. You start off in the Gauntlet and if you complete that Gauntlet you will be rewarded with piles and piles of gold and riches. However, as you play through that doesn't seem to be the case at all...

      A lot of people compare this game as a Diablo clone. They are all false. Gauntlet is it's own style and has it's own very unique gameplay. Gauntlet has never been a Diablo clone, it has been out for a long time and was always a different style of gameplay. Gauntlet is however an action RPG but there are no levels, no experience, no loot, just lots and lots of gold. In this version of Gauntlet you go through each dungeon to get the shard which lies at the very end. There are three zones, and each zone has 4 levels. Each level has 3 levels of it's own where the final area in each zone is always a big boss battle. Gauntlet is very challenging especially on the higher difficulties. With this Gauntlet you earn gold, you use this gold to buy items which you can equip two at a time with your "Q" and "E" keys. Each relic does something to help you out. It could be summon clones of yourself or create a crystal that taunts enemies and blowing up after it is damaged enough. You can also use the gold to upgrade these relic to make them more powerful.

The Mastery System.

       As I said earlier there is no loot. As a reward for completing certain difficulties you can unlock and purchase cosmetic armor for each class with gold. Each class also has a mastery tree. Every time you complete a mastery like "Kill 12,000 Monsters" you will earn a buff for that class. Each mastery starts off as bronze and goes to gold. One buff can increase your damage by 10%, others will give you more gold from breaking crates or vases. With Gauntlet there isn't ALOT of replay value but there is some. After you have completed the 4 hour game you can go back with different classes, play a higher difficulty to get more cosmetic armor, or even complete all of your masteries. Do not forget there is also co-op mode which is way more fun and frustrating playing with your friends.

       There is nothing really visually amazing about Gauntlet. If your PC can run it on Max setting which should not be a big problem for most PC's running this game then it will look pretty good. The visual effects are nice, the level designs are repetitive but look good. Each level is not randomized, it is always the same design which is okay but this day in age a lot of games are taking advantage of that technology. The music is fantastic as well as the audio effects. Has a classic Gauntlet sound to it which I think people who've played the original Gauntlet will enjoy immensely. Even when you pick up items it still used the classic sounds from the original game.

Big Bosses.

       Overall it is a good game, nothing spectacular but a great nostalgia trip and is much more greater with your friends to experience Gauntlet. Playing on normal you will complete it in about 4 hours. Play on hard or Unfair mode and it will take you much, much longer. Overall I give gauntlet......

GOOD GAME
7.5/10



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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Red Sea Exodus

Platform: IOS, Android.
Genre: Point and Shoot
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Date Reviewed: September 9th, 2014   

    First off I would like to thank Runway Games for letting me beta test and review their first game! Looking forward to more from you guys!

    Red Sea Exodus is a game on the IOS store and Android store. As of writing this review it is currently only on Android devices. It will be on the IOS store very shortly. Red Sea Exodus is a simple point and shoot game. You help people cross the red sea. While you are helping them cross there are soldiers trying to stop them. The main goal of the game is to escort them to safety by using the water and other elements to stop the enemies. Your basic attack is the water around you and your enemies. The longer you hold your finger on the water the bigger and stronger the attack becomes. If it gets to hectic then you can always use the elements to help you. You may choose from powers such as a firewall, lightning, earth, and others. These powers have to be bought though with in game currency. While defeating some enemies they may drop coins which can be used to purchase more powers. They also offer a way to purchase more coins at very reasonable prices. Better yet, some of the profits go to charities! So by helping the developer you're also helping charities such as Brothers Brother Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House (of Pittsburgh), and K.I.D.S (Kids in Distressed Situations). Also, once per day you earn a free bonus token which you can spin to get a free power up. Bonus spins can also be purchased in game.



 Charities your purchases go to.
 
 Bonus Rolls can win you Powers!

Pesky enemies!

     Red Sea Exodus overall is very well put together considering it is Runway Games first game. It's a challenging game and a great game to compete against your friends and people around the world. The Leader board function is fantastic for that. I hope in a future update they will add a feature where you can challenge different people on the leader boards. The animations are very smooth and look really good. Very colorful. The music, although repetitive is very soothing and catchy, really suits the game. The game has Facebook connectivity to see your friends scores. I also like the look of the enemies.

Leaderboards! (I'm #8)

    Overall Red Sea Exodus is a great game, especially for the challenge and competitions. It does need a little work regarding a few bugs that aren't that noticeable, needs for variety in each level, and a challenge option would be great! They are however are adding updates to the game which is fantastic. I cannot wait to see how this game will evolve over time and I look forward to future games from Runway Games. Pick it up, it is a free game and please help support the developer it all goes to a good cause. Fantastic work on your first game!


Overall Rating: 7.5/10

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas

Platform: PC
Genre: Online TCG
Release Date: July 22, 2014
Date Reviewed: July 26, 2014

A different review today. I will be reviewing the popular game Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. To be more exact I will be reviewing the very first expansion for this game. This will be reviewed differently since it is a card game based in the Warcraft Universe.

Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas is the very first expansion set for Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft and it is a single player adventure. This expansion comes with 30 brand new cards including golden cards as well as a single player addition to the game. There is a new tab on the home menu which has been renamed from "Practice" to "Solo Adventures". When you access this option it will give you the choice between practice mode and Naxxramas. Naxxramas introduces us to 5 wings just like in World of Warcraft where you have to take down each boss in each wing. The first wing which is the Arachnid wing is open and
free to all players for the first month. Each other wing will open the following week after each other. You can spend real money to open these wings or spend your hard earned gold. It is 700 gold per wing or $6.99 each. It will cost you 2800 gold to get access to all of the wings, including the Arachnid wing when the free trial runs out.

My personal battle! Also a look at the naxx board.

Curse of Naxxramas offers a very fun and difficult challenge. Like in a typical raid in World of Warcraft you start off by facing each boss in normal mode. Defeating each boss will reward you with new cards to add to your collection. Defeating the final boss of each wing will reward you a legendary of that boss. So when you beat Maexxna you will be rewarded with the legendary card of Maexxna. Normal mode is not overall to difficult. After you beat normal mode you unlock two class challenges. I believe these are random classes. Right after you beat the class challenges you unlock the heroic mode version of the bosses
in Naxxramas. These are much harder with higher health (45 instead of 30) and a much stronger player power. The challenge is definitely there and might make you punch your monitor a few times.

The only issue I have with this expansion is that when you beat the heroic bosses you do not get nothing out of it. Personally I would have loved to gotten golden cards from defeating them. The only reason to beat heroic mode right now is mainly bragging rights, and nothing more. But if you're looking for a good challenge then please try to conquer heroic mode. For any new players out there with just the basic cards there is always a way to beat these bosses even on heroic mode without purchasing
new cards. There are a lot of guided out there you can follow that show you how to build your deck with the basic cards in order to beat these bosses. I am looking forward to conquering the other wings and highly recommend this expansion. It is free, so why not?

Just SOME of the cards that can be earned.

Overall Rating: 9/10

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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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