Friday, February 26, 2016

Indie Review: Castellum (Alpha)

       Castellum is currently in it's alpha stages and I hope to be along during the Beta and full release of Castellum. I was one of the lucky ones to get invited into trying the alpha version and was asked to do a mini review. Remember this is an alpha which means it is subject to change at any time.

       Castellum is an arena based RPG where you pick your type of warrior and enter them into battle. Each battle is automated almost like Punch Club. After each fight you earn resources to use to improve your fighter with better equipment and new skills. During the alpha test a lot of the game was limited to what I was able to do. For the most part I was able to experience the core of the game. After a few attempts at playing Castellum I got a good feel at what the game was trying to accomplish. The gameplay offered is a smart decision because it keeps the player entertained for hours depending how much content gets added into the full game. After awhile the battles can get a little stale as you watch the same animation over and over with the odd time use of a skill.

       Some other features that Castellum has is an Arena where you can fight against other opponents including your friends or the best of the best. Each fight will cost you a ticket. Other players are able to challenge you while you're away as well. There is also a mini game building. This feature is not implemented in the Alpha version. There is a bar where you can join clans and gain followers. Not available in the Alpha version as well. There is a shop where you can buy various armors, weapons, runes, and potions to help out on the battlefield! Lastly there is your character screen where you can change your equipment, improve your traits, earn new skills, and check your stats and inventory.

       In conclusion I recommend keeping an eye opened for this lovely game when it becomes available. Lots of options, customization and really interesting art style. The audio is something I noticed right away as well. It is so cheery and suits this type of game immensely. You can tell the developer has put a lot of time and thought into this game. Really the only other criticism I can give is to make the battling animations a bit more entertaining or provide the player with something to do as you are fighting in combat. I also hope to see hundreds of different armors and weapons to give the player more customization options.

Great Start!


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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Mini Review: Sacred Citadel

Release Date: April 17, 2013
Genre: Action, Beat 'em up RPG
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360, PC
Platform Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Date Reviewed: February 4th, 2016

Sacred Citadel came out on the Xbox Live Arcade a few years ago. It was the most recent Games for Gold game on the Xbox 360. So I decided to do a mini review on it.

Sacred Citadel is a side scrolling hack and slash RPG. You have your choice in choosing which class you want to play as. These vary from a Warrior, Ranger, Wizard, or a Shaman. Each class has their own unique skills and abilities to use. Sacred Citadel is a short game with 4 different acts, co-op play, and challenges to increase the difficulty of each level. As you progress through the story you gain levels, new skills, new armor, weapons, and meet several new enemies which all increase in difficulty as your progress further through the story.

Fast Paced Action!

If you were to compare Sacred Citadel to another game it would be a more serious version of Castle Crashers. Just like Castle Crashers this game is enjoyed more with a friend. Sacred is a fairly challenging game but can be beaten in roughly two hours. Each class is unique so beating the game with all classes is recommended totaling up between 8-10 hours of gameplay, solo.

If you enjoy 2D side scrolling RPG's then I recommend you try this game out for yourself. It isn't a fantastic game but definitely a good game to kill some time with. Soundtrack is good, combat is fun but does get repetitive. The enemies are fun to kill except for the few really annoying ones. It would been great to have some sort of crafting system in place.


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Friday, February 19, 2016

Yo-kai Watch

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Release Date: November 6, 2015
Date Reviewed: February 2, 2016

        Finally we get this game over to the West after all of these years of being teased. Well finally the first Yo-Kai Watch is here and only on Nintendo 3DS. You are a young boy who magically discovers a capsule machine in the middle of the forest. You insert a coin and behold! A Yo-Kai appears! He quickly befriends you and explains what Yo-kai are and how you are able to obtain and see different Yo-kai's. You are on a quest to save the human world from the Yo-kai world which you find out is being ruled by an evil Yo-kai and you are trying to stop them from entering the human world.

         Yo-kai Watch is in kind of a way like Pokemon but very different from it. You do capture and tame wild monsters hiding out in the wild. You are only able to see these monsters with the power of the Yo-kai Watch which gets upgraded as you progress through the game. In order to see stronger Yo-kai you will have to keep upgrading your watch. Yo-kai's get stronger as you battle with them and some even evolve into stronger Yo-kai's. Fairly early in the game you also discover you are able to fuse certain Yo-kai together to create new and more powerful Yo-kai's.

The Combat Screen

         The world which you explore is fairly large in size for a 3DS game. As you progress you unlock new areas to explore in this huge city. Each area also has their little hidden areas such as Alley ways, tunnels, and shortcuts. Everywhere you search you are always able to find Yo-kai. Yo-kai are based on their ranks, so the higher they rank, usually it means they are stronger. Each time your watch picks up a nearby Yo-kai the watch will actually tell you the rank of the nearby monster so you will know if you're up for a challenge or not.

         Overall the story of Yo-kai watch is pretty good with some moments of laughter and some moments of sadness. The animations are beautiful and full of life. Some clips are from the TV show as well. Sometimes I did feel that the story was kind of jumbled and sometimes you forget why you're doing certain things. Besides the main story there are several side quests and favors to do to earn some extra money and experience. Some even give you items to further power your Yo-kai.

         The combat is fairly weak in my opinion. It is very fun but half the time you're sitting there watching your Yo-kai attack since it is all automated. What really drove me mad sometimes is the fact you are not able to select which attacks your Yo-kai's use. The only way to "alter" that is to change their moods with items. Some will make them more aggressive and attack physically while some will mainly focus on healing. During combat you also have control of a wheel type system on your touch screen. This is the fun part of the combat ad you are able to rotate up to six Yo-kai to fight. You also use this to give your Yo-kai items, purify them or to use their specials which are for the most part really fun to do. To use their specials you will either be spinning the wheel rapidly, cracking the glass or tapping power orbs as quickly as possible.

Interesting Boss Battles.

         The only true annoyance I had with this game was Terror Time. Terror time has a random chance to trigger. It gives you a notification with your watch in the top right corner of the screen where you will see a count down from 3. In terror time you have to escape back into the waking world without getting caught by the huge Yo-kai trying to find you. There are special chests that you are able to get in Terror Time, some have powerful items. But as time carries on more monsters spawn and it becomes difficult to hide from them. If a Yo-kai see's you it yells and calls for the Yo-kai that is hunting you down. If you get caught you have to fight him which I recommend you never do.

         Overall Yo-kai watch was a very fun experience. Lots to do, lots of Yo-kai to obtain and a huge open world map to ride around in. I highly recommend this game for the Nintendo 3DS.



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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fallout 4

Platform: Xbox One, PS4, PC
Platform Reviewed on: Xbox One
Genre: Open World FPS RPG
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2016

        The long awaited fourth entry in the Fallout series has finally arrived for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Fallout 4, you return to the wastelands 200 years after being asleep in Vault 111 for reasons unknown. Shortly after you signed the form for securing your families safety if a nuclear war were to happen.......a nuclear war happens. You and your family quickly rush over to vault 111 where you are presumed to be safe. You wake up, cryogenically frozen only to discover your son is gone. Shortly after leaving the vault into the wasteland you quickly discover you have been in the vault for 200 years. You are now on a quest to find your missing son.

         Fallout 4 is an interesting game to say the least. I do appreciate the fact you have a somewhat massive open world to explore with hundreds of side quests and many stories to be told. Fallout 4 also introduces a new mechanic to the series. The ability to build your own outposts. You can almost literally build anything you'd like, that's if you have enough supplies, electricity, food and water. From fortresses of dooms, to simple housing, you can build it all. Sometimes these play an important roll when defending your outposts. You are able to build defenses so if your outposts are getting attacked, you have a fighting chance to fend them off.

         The guns are a plenty in Fallout 4. Several guns to be found, created and modified to your liking and play style. There are many different perks which you earn by gaining levels, and the beauty is that there is no level cap so feel free to pick and choose your perks. The character customization is wonderful because you are able to alter your characters feature to whatever you'd like. Some people have even re-created celebrities such as John Cena! Overall, Fallout 4 does have a lot to offer for anyone, even if you have never played a Fallout game before. But...

         Personally I could not get into this game myself and had to force myself just to beat this game. The engine is very out of date and you can tell as soon as you load up the game for the first time. The textures are bland, the models on some of these characters are brutal and look like early last gen. The controls are sluggish, the voice overs on some of the characters are horrible. The outdated system has had a huge toll on this game and it shows. I am not sure why they were using such an old engine on "next" gen. It is a bit more tolerable on PC but not by much.

         One of my biggest pet peeves with Fallout 4 was the dialog. All previous Fallout games had some form of dialog for your character to respond with which what made Fallout so great in the first place! They have completely removed it in Fallout 4. The dialog options are abysmal with simple answers such as "Yes, and No". It just made the game feel so shallow and empty, even in a huge open world. Very disappointing.

         Overall Fallout 4 was a huge let down. Don't get me wrong, I did have some fun with it but not from the main parts of the game. I enjoyed the side quests because some of them had a better story than the main game! But for what it's worth I do not recommend this game. Please try it before you buy it and save yourself some money. I hope overtime with the free updates they improve this game immensely. We waiting so long for this game.


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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: RPG
Release Date: January 22, 2016 (NA)
December 10, 2015 (Aus)
December 4, 2015 (EU)
December 3, 2015 (JPN)
Date Reviewed: February 10, 2016

            Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is another entry in the Mario & Luigi RPG series this time releasing for the Nintendo 3DS. Paper Jam is another Mario & Luigi game which combines the Paper Mario universe as well. You control Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario using A, B, and Y for each individual character. This also introduces a new bros. style which is called Trio Attack. This allows all three characters to perform a special attack similar to the Bros. Attack. Paper Jam also adds in one more additional block during combat. This is called the "Copy Block". When hitting this block you create up to 6 additional paper Mario's to stack up beside each other to perform stronger attacks. Instead of the normal two jumps you can now jump 6 times on each enemy. It is weaker but overall a bit better than Mario or Luigi's jumps.

Two Bowsers!?

               The main villain of Paper Jam is once again, Bowser. This time you need to rescue both Peach and Paper Peach as Bowser and Paper Bowser have captured them vowing to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom once again. Paper Jam starts off like it normal does in the series previous to this one. Give's you a quick tutorial on how to play, control each bro, and combat tips. As you progress through the game you retrieve new specials, and Paper Mario. Each time you receive something new the game does a good job explaining the purpose of each new mechanic. The special system is also amped up a bit where you can practice or demo each special move while you are in combat and you can practice as long as you'd like. Really great for newer players to the series.

                 In Paper Jam you explore big open areas, battle lots of enemies, and gain levels to make your characters stronger. The ranking system has made a return and is based on your levels. Unlike the previous entry the ranks in Paper Jam do not allow you to visit different stores based off your rank. There are ranks and each rank allows you to unlock a stat boost, or an effect to make your characters stronger. The story overall is average to say the least, the humour is still there with a lot of little hidden pieces that make a good laugh. Combat is good as always just would've been nice to have more "gear" options like a traditional RPG. Unless you are a dodging maniac you need to fight every enemy you come across in order to take down the bosses reasonably.

The Power of the Copy Block

                Paper Craft battles is another new mechanic to Paper Jam which feels it doesn't fit at all. They are boring, time consuming and offer next to no challenge. There are about 5 paper craft battles which you need to do. Whenever I came across one I was tempted to turn it off a couple of times. It's always great to try new things but this one was not cut out for Paper Jam. Paper Craft battles are basically giant paper statues of Mario Characters. Each battle you enter you receive a different character with different abilities. Most of the time it simply involves stunning an enemy and jumping on top of it to do damage.

                  Overall, Paper Jam is another welcomed Mario & Luigi game for the 3DS. Not the best in the series but not the worst either. Combat is smooth controlling three characters at once, a lot of the specials are reused from previous games. Trio attacks are really fun and do huge amounts of damage. Challenges make a return with thee different modes. Paper Craft battles, Boss Battles, and Specials Challenge. Paper Craft does fill the itch like all previous entries have done. I recommend you pick this game up. It roughly has 30 hours of gameplay in order to beat it, not including challenges, and achievements.

Excellent Soundtrack!


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