Showing posts from November, 2017

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle is...a third person fighting game with a story wrapped around it. I'm not entirely sure what that story is supposed to be, as it starts off not being very interesting, and it becomes obvious after your first battle that the story isn't really that important to the game itself.

While I love my story-driven games, it obviously isn't a necessity for every game ever made, and some games actually hurt themselves by trying to emphasize a throwaway story too much. I don't really feel that this was the case hear...but I also think that the game's biggest problem is that the meat of the game (third person 3d fighting), is incredibly boring.

In story mode, you progress from one bland battle to another, encountering the different cutesy anime girls featured on the cover, and then trying to destroy them with inconsistent ranged attacks and melee attacks with inconsistent hit detection. Remember going to rent a game from the local video store as a…

Serial Cleaner (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Serial Cleaner is a game that I previously covered for it's PC version as part of my 31 Days of Halloween series from October. I went in to quite a bit of detail there, but I'll refresh everyone on much of the details, and then discuss how the game translated over to the Nintendo Switch.
Serial Cleaner starts off with a very stylistic, and cinematic cut scene reminiscent of the great seventies cops and robbers action movies. The cheesy, but pulse pounding movie score sets the mood perfectly, and the hand-drawn paper craft like graphics make the game less grotesque than it ought to be, and add a lot of charm and personality. The autumnal shades of oranges, greens, and browns lend themselves well to the era, and the gameplay is well tuned. 
You use your analog stick to move around, A to interact with most items (besides bodies, Y to pick up bodies, ZL to activate cleaner sense (allows you to scan the map for bodies and items of interest), and ZR to activate the vacuum used to c…

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

OPUS: The Day We Found Earth is a brief, but charming point and click adventure title. The game takes place on a spaceship observation center, where you control Emeth, a scientific research assistant robot. 

The premise of the game is that after an unspecified long period of time away from Earth, humans have manipulated themselves so much with genetic experimentation that they fear their genome is breaking down, and need to locate the now mythical home planet of Earth in an effort to save the species. There are two scientists, Dr. Lisa Adams, and Makato on a mission to locate Earth from their observation center (much like the International Space Station). Dr. Lisa creates a robot to assist her I'm scanning planets for the project, and names it "Emeth". After a brief introduction where we meet the characters and become acquainted with the telescope used to scan the stars, an unknown problem occurs that leaves Emeth seemingly alone on an underpowered ship. 

An artificial …

36 Fragments of Midnight (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

36 Fragments of Midnight is another atmospheric puzzle platformer. While it isn't the only one, it is one of the more interesting ones.

You play as a small white cube named Midnight, and you are dropped into a shadowy world and beseeched by disembodied voices to recover their 36 star fragments. Each star fragment is scattered throughout a procedurally generated level, placed at random among the platforms and obstacles. There are saws that can be stationary, moving back and forth across the floor/ceiling, or rolling up and down on chains. There are lasers that travel back and forth, up and down, off and on, and they can be vertical, and/or horizontal. These same lasers are often static. While the world is dark, the location of the lasers is marked with a white triangle sign with an exclamation point. There are also the ever present spikes.

As Midnight, you must navigate your way through the labyrinth locating each and every star fragment, then return to your starting point. To get…

I and Me (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

I and Me is a cute little puzzle game that puts you in charge of two fuzzy cats that move simultaneously. You must navigate them through a serene country meadow, with the objective being to line the kittens up with picture frames that are placed in different areas at the same time.

The concept is a simple one, and the game starts off as such. We start off with the best kind of tutorial- we have a few successive levels of slightly increasing difficulty that require us to learn the basic methods of solving the game's puzzles without taking paragraphs of text to lay it out for us. We are presented with the picture frames, and left to our own devices as to how to get our kittens to line up with them.

Just when you start to get into a rhythm solving the environmental puzzles, the game throws us a twist by introducing other animals that work as moving obstacles, thereby adding another subtle increase in difficulty. These little twists are what keep the puzzles feeling fresh. Although t…

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is one of two Nintendo titles vying for many Game of the Year awards this year, and for good reason. While it takes the series to new heights, it simultaneously brings the series back to it's roots. In my opinion, this is the first time that a Legend of Zelda game has felt like Nintendo has finally brought the wondrous world of imagination and exploration we first experienced back in the eighties to the realm of 3D.  For my further thoughts on why I don't think that previous 3D Zelda titles really captured the feel of the first three games, you can read my lengthy diatribe here.

When I first pre-ordered my Switch on launch, I was actually remiss to discover that my initial pre-order for Breath of the Wild had been delayed because I updated my payment information a few days before shipment, and I had to scramble to figure out a way to get the game into my eagerly waiting hands as close to launch as possible. So, I contacted my wife's …

The Legend of Zelda: The Adventures of Soda

The Legend of Zelda is easily one of the most iconic and celebrated video game series of all time. In it's 31 years of existence, it has provided us with possibly the best track record of consistently great games that are well loved and revered the gaming world over. Beyond that, it's also one of the easiest franchises for even non-gamers to identify with, and every release is met with a knowing nod by those that know a gamer. It's kind of a big deal, is what I'm saying. I'm just preaching to the choir here.

So, when Breath of the Wild was finally confirmed for a dual release on the Switch and Wii U, and had a set in stone release date of March 3rd, 2017 to coincide with the launch of Nintendo's newest system, everyone took notice. Many people that I know whom haven't played games in a decade or longer were suddenly starting to ask me questions about the new Zelda game, and if Nintendo's new console was going to be worth it, whether it was for them or …

Red Game without a Great Name (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Red Game Without a Great Name might have an interesting title, but it definitely stands out, and the charm fits this touch based puzzler that takes place in a steampunk inspired world that boasts a bright scarlet hue.

Red Game Without a Great Name is actually the original game in a series that also includes Green Game: Timeswapper. However, the publisher, iFun4all, got approval for Green Game first. In fact, those game released today on the EU eShop, but won't be coming to the North American region until December 7th.

The game has very simple controls, much like it's already released sequel. Instead of being able to control jets of air to guide your unwitting bird through the level, you now teleport your bird with a swipe. To do this, you press on the bird itself, and wherever you drag your finger to will be the point to which your bird will appear.

Complicating things are the sharp objects and barb wire obstacles that need to be avoided. There are optional collectibles in ea…

Crimsonland (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Crimsonland is an updated remake self-published by 10tons. The remake of the earlier released twin stick shooter shareware title from 2004 includes updated graphics, weapons, perks, and game modes.
Many twin stick shooters often end up playing out the same, but Crimsonland has quite a few tricks up its sleeve to help keep the gameplay fresh and enticing.

First of all, the game is extremely difficult, and extremely bloody. If you're not into blood and guts, turn back now. If you don't like the satisfaction that comes from practicing your skills in a game until you become good enough to progress through the current stage and it's challenges...maybe hang around for a minute and hear me out. You see, while Crimsonland is incredibly difficult, even on normal difficulty, it has quite a few ways of helping to level the battlefield, as it is. You see, Crimsonland often provides you with the guns you need at the right moment, supposing that you can wipe out enough enemies in the i…

Stick it to the Man (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Stick it to the Man is Zoink Games' first release for the Switch, and this is a game that really wants to get into your head...and my head, and, well, everybody's head. With good reason, too.  The game is absolutely phenomenal, and I regret not having picked it up earlier on Steam. All is well, though, as Zoink has made my wait very worthwhile. More on that a little later.

So, as my frequent readers will know, and my new readers should be able to surmise based on most of my review articles having the subtitle "Ramblin' Review", I sometimes like to go on a tangent based on the game I'm discussing at the moment.  So, a few years ago I discovered a new podcast centered mainly on Nintendo as it released it's very first episode. That show is still going strong today, and can be found here It was the Warp Whistle podcast, and midway through the first year, they had on Klaus to discuss Stick it to the Man on Wii U, and also talk about Zombie Vikings, which was …

Portal Knights (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Portal Knights is an interesting little gem that is sure to please fans of both survival- crafting games like Minecraft and life simulators with action RPG elements like Fantasy Life alike.

You start off by customizing your character. You can be male or female, and have a wide variety of skin tones, haircuts, eye, nose and ear shapes to choose from. You can choose colors for eyes and hair, as well. Then you decide if you want to be a warrior (specializes in strength and constitution for strong attacks and high HP), a ranger (who specializes in dexterity and
agility for ranged attack and speed of movement), and mage (who specializes in wisdom and intelligence for Mana points and spell damage). You choose whether you want to have a small world generated, or a large one. I started off with a small one just so that I could get my bearings and familiarize myself with the game itself. Fortunately, you can have multiple save files on one account, and can choose from any of them when you dec…

Letter Quest Remastered (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Letter Quest Remastered is the updated version of Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey. It pioneered the "scrabble meets RPG" gameplay that we just visited a couple of days ago with Spellspire. While the latter wears it's Letter Quest influences on it's sleeve with a bright neon sign pointing at it, we will have to go over what Letter Quest is and why someone might prefer one over the other.

Letter Quest Remastered gives you the choice between fifteen tiles with which to make your words, and once you've used a title, it disappears. You can take as long as you need to find your words, and use that time to plot out your next move. The length of your words and difficulty of the letters used influence the amount of damage that you can inflict on your enemies.
You and your opponents take turns attacking each other, so it is very important for you to make sure that you're trying to maximize your damage done on every attack. Your enemies can sometimes affect the tiles…

League of Evil (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

League of Evil is a great little hard platformer in the vein of I Wanna be the Guy and Super Meat Boy. The idea is that you have to masterfully navigate your way through platformer levels with a steady stream of deadly obstacles to avoid. One hit from anything or anyone will kill you, and send you back to the start of the level.

Thankfully, League of Evil is designed in such a manner that levels are very short, and so having to start over from the beginning never becomes too frustrating an affair. In addition, the levels are well designed, and the controls are very responsive and allow for a lot of versatility. Because of this, it never feels cheap to die, even if it happens frequently. You know that when you die, it's because YOU mistimed your jump, or YOU forgot to check the enemy's pattern and compensate for it. There will be times when you encounter a new spinning death blade that you don't quite know how to avoid it, but that is just part of the learning process.


Kid Tripp (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Kid Tripp is an endless runner style game with lots of old school charm. Its pixelated graphics, intense difficulty, and infectious chip tune inspired soundtrack harken back to the good ol' days of the NES and Sega Master System. This was a time when a game's length came not from it's exorbitant amount of content, but by being so difficult that you needed to learn all of the stages' intricacies and enemy patterns to make it through the level.

Speaking of which, this game has amazing level design! You quickly learn that you'll need to time your jumps just right to make it through the level, and you'll have to be just as precise when targeting an enemy headstomp. When I first started playing the game, I had no idea that I had the option to throw rocks, and almost gave up on the game because getting by the first monkey was nearly impossible until I figured that out. Since then, I've figured out other ways around the monkey without using the rock, but it was r…