Showing posts from 2018

Shiftlings Enhanced Edition (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Shiftlings Enhanced Edition is the latest in a series of fun ports that have carried over to the Nintendo Switch from the Wii U. This local multiplayer- focused puzzle platformer offers 55 challenging levels of hilarious action suitable for the whole family. Boasting colorful visuals and superb voice acting, Shiftlings Enhanced Edition presents us with the unexpected situation in which two aliens in space suits are tethered together to run an obstacle course for the entertainment of the universe. You must bounce, jump, and swap sizes through inflation to avoid traps and overcome obstacles.

Shiftlings Enhanced Edition offers a great variety of levels and impediments to overcome, with or without a partner in tow. The level design is creative and fair. There are a few thinkers throughout the journey, but it's not so intimidating that younger players will be overwhelmed. Scattered throughout are collecting soda bottles that can be collected to unlock new stages and challenges, and goi…

Weekly Update - External Reviews

Over the last week, I've been focusing on creating content outside of my own blog. Rather than making a new blog post providing a link to each and every one of those reviews, I've instead decided to begin doing a weekly round- up and putting links to all of these reviews in one spot.

As I have been saying since November, I am still planning on getting a YouTube up and running. There is no content, yet, but here is the link.
Soda's Fountain Arcade on YouTube.

I'll soon be migrating the site from blogger elsewhere, and will be changing the layout and I am getting some help with art. I'm hoping to avoid some occasional issues with links, and also making a variety of pages to more easily access different past articles.

I have some projects in the works with other indie content contractors. More on those as they develop.

I have a few upcoming reviews that will appear here, and will probably be republishing reviews from other sites here to add to the archives.

Without fu…

Lone Wolf and Project Aon.

In preparation for tomorrow's release of Joe Dever's Lone Wolf on Nintendo Switch, I wanted to take a brief trip down memory lane that I will expand on a little more in my review for the game, and in an upcoming video on my pending YouTube channel.

I had previously mentioned that I grew up balking at RPGs as my cousin played them, and he eventually convinced me to at least try playing one before I continued to bash on him for them. After I did play FInal Fantasy 6 (which we all knew as "3" back then), I was hooked, and I started asking him about more roleplaying experiences. He told me that he thought that I would enjoy reading the Lone Wolf series, which was a series of choose your own adventure books that let you roll up a fantasy character with his own inventory and equipment! He was right. I was hooked from the character creation section alone.

Now, I had read and played through all of the books that I could get my hands on through my local library at the time, …

Darkside Detective (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Darkside Detective is another great entry in the point and click adventure genre that has seems to have found new life on the Nintendo Switch. Obviously inspired by the old classics of the Monkey Island series, Simon the Sorcerer, and Full Throttle. In what is probably a serendipitous moment akin to "A Bug's Life" and "Antz", Spooky Doorway also developed a point and click adventure game that takes shots at the X-Files and Twin Peaks at the same time that Thimbleweed Park was being developed, and had a similar theme. While the games are both point and click adventure games that take jabs at a specific subgenre, they're completely different games.

Darkside Detective is set up as an adventure game to be tackled in quick bursts, which is a welcome take on the genre to begin with. We begin the game by learning that there has been an incompetent police officer assigned to the Darkside Division alongside our hero, Detective Francis McQueen, Officer Patrick Doole…

Furi (Switch) - First Impressions and Integrity

About a month ago, I received a review code for Furi on Nintendo Switch, and I had promised a review for the game. However, at this time, I am unable to do so. After multiple play sessions and many attempts to play a significant amount of the game to warrant a proper review, I have failed to make it past the first boss fight, which serves as a tutorial to the game's mechanics.

I began the game on normal difficulty, and after many short lived attempts, I progressively got a little further and further in to learning all of the intricacies of the combat system and attacks available to me. But, I always failed. After a solid 2 hours of this, I gave up on normal and switched to promenade (easy) mode, and played for yet another 2-3 hours in an attempt to clear this first boss. I couldn't do it. I'm the first to admit that I'm not the best video game player, and I have played more than my fair share of difficult games. However, they have mostly had a fair amount of difficult…

Opinion - Nintendo's Switch Rewards Leaves Questions Unanswered

Nintendo announced yesterday that they were going to be giving us what we've all been waiting for since launch day for the Nintendo Switch- a way to redeem our gold coins earned through their My Nintendo loyalty program on our Nintendo Switch!
While certain points sound enticing, the wording is a bit incomplete, and I have reached out to Nintendo for clarification on these points. While I'm awaiting a response, I'll go over the points as laid out by Nintendo on their site, and then raise the questions that I would like answered.
The following is a direct copy and paste from :

My Nintendo members already earn Gold Points by buying qualifying games. Soon they’ll be able to redeem Gold Points for eligible digital games and content for the Nintendo Switch™ system, too.

Here’s how it will work:
• Buy a qualifying digital game for Nintendo Switch, Wii U™, or Nintendo 3DS™ family systems or a physical game for the Nintendo Switch system.…

An update on Soda and my Fountain Arcade

This will be a short rant, by my standards.  So, what am I up to? Why did I slow down so much in December and January when compared to October and November?
A lot of reasons. I'll summarize a bit, because as is usually the case, there is more depth than a few sentences can communicate.

First, I got a second job. Then, my grandfather past away during the second week of December. I flew across the country to mourn his passing. When I returned home, it was just in time for solstice and Christmas. During the holidays, and stretching into the new year, all 5 people in my house seemed to have passed a flu/cold/minor plague around like it was hot potato, but the hot potato makes everyone miserable for days at a time.

Of course, coupling all of this with the insane amount of reviews that I was churning out, and I kind of got a little overwhelmed. I wouldn't say that I bit off more than I could chew,  but spending basically every waking moment of my life occupied by work of some kind …

Steamworld Dig (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Steamworld Dig is the latest enhanced port for the Nintendo Switch from Image & Form Games. Following hot on the heels of Steamworld Heist: Ultimate Edition, it is another fine example of engaging gameplay and quirky robots.

Steamworld Dig was actually the second game that I purchased on 3ds eShop, after Gunman Clive, but it would have actually been the first if I weren't so broke at the time from buying my 3ds with Luigi's Mansion Dark Moon . I immediately fell in love with the exploration aspect, and the premise of mining resources for upgrades along the way. I spent hours getting lost in the randomly generated mine below Tumbleton. There were even a few times where I felt that I had dug myself into a corner and had to start over, but each playthrough was just as fun as the previous one, and kept me coming back for more. Considering this, imagine my delight when I saw the announcement of a Switch port!  Even with the phenomenal sequel Steamworld Dig 2 being released alr…

Shu (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Shu is an adorable platformer with cute visuals and ambient music that hits all the right notes- especially when you trigger those scales by collecting GPS butterflies.

While Shu has beautiful modern graphics and a lush landscape to traverse, it is a loving homage to the old school platformers that we all grew up with and loved. Developer Coatsink eschews the popular Metroidvania formula that many other throwback platformers utilize, and instead goes for an endearing mix of classic Sonic games and Rayman. The paths are linear, but there are still a half dozen collectibles to be found scattered throughout the levels. Finding these does require some deviations from the course, but does so in a circuitous manner that often leads right back to the intended path.

The emphasis in Shu is definitely on the stupendous level design, which are littered with checkpoints to help assuage the well balanced platforming puzzles. They can sometimes be a bit challenging, but are easily overcome by repe…

World to the West (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

World to the West is Rain Games' standalone follow-up to Teslagrad. Taking place in the same world, and a similar character design, they borrowed some of the puzzle platformer elements and integrated them into an engaging and beautiful 3D adventure game that calls to mind old school Legend of Zelda games in a delightful way.

The art style, as is always with Rain Games, is gorgeous. Moving away from the bleak landscape of Teslagrad's depressing dystopia, World to the West is full of beautiful pastels and soft lighting that really sets the mood for this pleasant trip through an idyllic world which hides some darker themes.

You play as four different protagonists, each of which starts off on their own journey.
We start the game in control of Lumina, a Teslamancer that harnesses control over electricity.  Her basic attacks and abilities are as follows. Each character has unlockable skills that I won't divulge here to avoid spoilers, so I won't mention them below.
B to swi…

Baseball Riot (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Baseball Riot is a physics based puzzler released by 10tons. It is the sequel to Tennis in the Face, and the story is just as ludicrous. You play as Gabe Carpaccio, who is upset over the fact that his former team has been sponsored by the corrupt energy drink corporation Explodz, so he is out for bruises.

With 10tons rapid release schedule for the Nintendo Switch to get all of their games ported over before releasing their upcoming new title Tesla vs. Lovecraft, we get the odd situation in which many of us, myself included, are playing the sequel to a game released less than six weeks from it's predecessor. With that in mind, how does the sequel stack up against the original? Do we have a home run, or a strike out?

Whenever a company releases a sequel, we as fans expect them to have taken what we appreciated about the first game, and to add on mechanics and features that improve upon the original. Baseball Riot knocks it out of the park in this regard, as they bring back the absu…

Energy Balance (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Energy Balance is a puzzle game based on mathematical cross-equations with a light narrative that plays out in between puzzles.

Your spaceship gets caught up in some kind of previously unknown anomaly that shuts down your engines. To get them back online, you must rearrange tiles with positive and negative integers that add up to the number specified at the end of each column or row. Just like in sodoku, each tile  can affect the row and column that it is placed into, so it also becomes a test of your deductive reasoning skills.

Energy Balance eases you into the mechanics of the game by making the first few puzzles relatively easy. There are only one or two overlapping row- column combinations, so it is a bit more forgiving while you find your footing. At the start of the game, and in between puzzles, there is some dialog between the captain of the ship and it's cat. These interludes add a bit of personality to the logic problems, and give you a short mental break from staring at…

Steamworld Heist: Ultimate Edition (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Steamworld Heist: Ultimate Edition is the first "port" to the Nintendo Switch by Image & Form Games. This sidescrolling turn based strategy shooter game was originally released on 3DS(where I initially played it), and later ported to every other platform imaginable. It finds a good home on the Switch, and is the second release on the console from the developer after last year's phenomenal Steamworld Dig 2, which really kicked me into high gear reviewing nindies on this very site.

In Steamworld Heist: Ultimate Edition, you play as steambot Captain Piper Faraday, a smuggler and sometimes pirate. You go across a steampunk galaxy recruiting steambots to aid you on your mission to loot enemy spaceships, primarily those controlled by the vile pirate steambot Scrappers, whom you are also trying to get under wraps. All of these steambots have their own charm and class with a specific skillset that will assist you on this quest.

Mission objectives range from the basic "…

Azkend 2: The World Beneath (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Azkend 2: The World Beneath is an interesting take on the match three puzzle genre that incorporates story and hidden object elements. With it being said that this is a match three puzzle game, we can now move on to what makes Azkend 2: The World Beneath stand out from all of the rest.

First of all, Azkend 2 brings a refreshing take on a puzzle game by having a storybook like narrative. Taking place in the nineteenth century, you and your party set sail across the Atlantic Ocean from Liverpool, bound for New York. On your travels, you encounter a gigantic storm that takes your ship to an unknown land. You are then tasked with completing puzzles in a time limit. Each puzzle rewards you with a piece of the item that you are looking for that will assist you in your journey. Once you complete all of the match three puzzles in a chapter, that object acts as a new special tile with it's own unique ability. You will also be met with the occasional hidden object bonus level to help you p…

The Next Penelope: Race to Odysseus (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

The Next Penelope: Race to Odysseus is a racing game with battle elements. You play as Penelope, searching a futuristic universe for Ulysses. The game starts off with a few tutorial levels that teach you the controls for turning, boosting, and firing your weapons.

You will traverse your way across the universe tracking down your lost love, racing and fighting bosses along the way. There are various upgrades available for your ship, and the game is dripping with style. Neon abounds, and adrenaline pumping music gets you hyped up for the races at hand.

The developer paid extra attention to the integration of HD Rumble, but that's where most of the game's plusses end. The races start to feel the same pretty early on, and having an open galaxy map to explore in whichever route you choose doesn't do enough to break this up. The bosses offer a suitable challenge, but it often starts to feel cheap when you fail repeatedly, no matter how familiar you become with the controls and …

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood is actually the sequel to Max & The Magic Marker, which was a Wiiware puzzle platformer that was eventually ported to PC, Mac, PSN, and the DS. In that game, Max draws a monster to life with his magic marker, and then must use that same magic marker to draw platforms and overcome obstacles on a quest to defeat that monster.

With Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, we find Max annoyed with his little brother, Felix, whom is playing rough with Max's toys. Max looks up a spell online to get rid of his little sibling, and when he recites it out loud, a portal opens and a giant furry hand emerges and takes Felix. Knowing that this won't end well for him, Max jumps into the portal on a rescue mission.

After what amounts to a tutorial teaching us the basics of the game, we find ourselves being chased by the aforementioned furry monster. Upon escaping this, we meet up with a strange little magical person that inform us that Felix has been taken to a far o…

The Coma: Recut (Switch) - Ramblin' Review

The Coma: Recut is a sidescrolling survival horror adventure game that places you in the role of Youngho, a student undertaking his final exams at Sehwa High School. We start the game off with a small explanation of how exams are hell week for Korean students, and soon learn that one of the students has apparently attempted suicide due to the stress over doing well on these exams. We meet the new girl at school and make an awkward attempt at flirting, and after a brief encounter with the school bully, we quickly make our way to homeroom for our first exam. Here we meet Ms. Song, the resident hot teacher that Youngho has a crush on, and she asks us to meet her after class. Youngho than falls asleep during the exam, and wakes up in a darkened classroom. Youngho just figures that he crashed out during the exam and slept until night time. Upon leaving the classroom, we run into Ms. Song, or at least someone or something that looks like her.

She acts very strangely, but when she asks Youn…