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Mononoke Forest (3DS eShop)

Posted by Morpheel on October 7, 2017 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

 

Hello, Guru Morpheel here to talk about Mononoke Forest by Gamedo Inc. for the 3DS. With a name like that, you might be wondering just what is this game about and... That's an excellent question, actually! If I had to describe Mononoke Forest in a few words, I would say it's a city management game where you build the city by throwing Pokemon-esque creatures, called Mononoke, around. Yes, it is as weird as it sounds. 


But, what are the Mononoke? Well, the best way to describe them is, they are spirits of nature that feed on the happiness of humans; the happier they are, the better the Mononoke feel. Each kind of Mononoke has different abilities and powers over the environment, when paired with the right partner they can do a variety of things, like cleaning up the land, making grass grow or attracting wildlife, among many other things. There's also an antagonistic group of them known as Pest Mononoke, which instead feed on the unhappiness of humans. A third subset of Mononoke, known as Great Mononokes, are able to create a substance known as Cororoke; they are important, because Cororoke powers up the regular Mononokes considerably, without Cororoke, the Mononoke are almost powerless.



Our story begins in a land that has been ravaged by Pest Mononoke and left in a very dire state. Now without a Great Mononoke to provide a supply of Cororoke, the few remaining Mononoke can do very little to help the surviving humans that populate their village. One day by coincidence, an amnesiac Mononoke capable of producing Cororoke appears in town, which renews the possibility of cleaning up the place and attract new Mononoke to help develop the village again. As you clean and develop the town, new kinds of Mononoke start to appear, which gives you new tools to make the town a better place to live. Better living conditions means happy humans, happy humans means happy Mononoke. Of course, happy humans also means unhappy Pest Mononoke. The evil Pests will visit the town every now and then to try and hamper your progress. They are very powerful and can be debastating if left unchecked.


Ok so, that's the story, but how's the game? Well, as I mentioned, the main gameplay mechanic involves throwing groups of Mononoke around. During the day you can explore the town on the top screen and do various things on the bottom screen, from reading an encyclopedia to forming your party of Mononoke, among other things. To start the night sequences, which is where you actually get to play the game, you need to select a quest or tap the moon icon, this will initiate the action in the sector of town you have on the top screen. During the night, you now have your party of Mononoke in the touch screen, drag a lone Mononoke to another one and they will form a group. Depending on the members, the group may have a certain power, you can only bring five Mononoke with you, so it's important to learn the effective combinations. You also have Cororoke available, drag one to a Mononoke that doesn't have one equiped and now the area of effect of that group is increased, the more Cororoke in a group, the better the effect. While your Mononoke take some time to return to the touch screen, other Mononoke will be flying around on the top screen, they may decide to drop down for you to use, and you can make them fall by knocking them with a group, but they will leave if you ignore them too long. You have a limited number of throws per night, run out and the night is over.



Throwing the groups of Mononoke involves placing your stylus over the group and dragging it down, like a slingshot. The angle of your stylus directly affects the angle of the throw and it can be very spotty, sometimes you will accidentally fling your team in the wrong direction while trying to move them, other times you will end up messing the shot while lifting the stylus and hit the wrong square of the map with them. The game is overall very forgiving, but if you consider that this is how you ultimately design the town, getting the wrong thing in the wrong place can really end up runing your plans, which can be frustrating.


As you may expect, your ultimate goal is making a perfect town. In addition to the designing aspect of the game, you also have several metrics to keep an eye on: Evironment, Happiness, Wealth, Health, Food, Moral and Education. These all range from -100 to 100, and they all start at the worst rating. If you want to keep the town in a good state, you need to keep an eye on several factors that may affect several of them, for example, the season may affect the sources of food, which may decrease moral, which in turn will make the humans litter more, which will decrease health and evironment, and so on. It all sounds a lot more complicated than it really is, and can make the game feel overwhelming at times.



As you progress through the main quests, every now and then you will be visited by a Pest Mononoke, during every new day they will do something bad, like throwing bags of grabage around. To prevent them from staying too long, you need to fight them. Fights work very similar to the regular night stages, with the main difference being that you now have a time limit instead of a throw limit, and you can throw individual Mononoke at them. Unfortunately, they are very very strong, and your Mononoke are very very weak, combined with the ridiculously short time limit, they're guaranteed to take you several nights to fend off, which means you'll also spend several nights fixing their mess. Thankfully, the Mononoke do get a bit stronger as they grow.


Presentation-wise, the game sports some very nice and coloful graphics, the Mononoke in their various forms are cute and the many options you have available make it possible to create some very nice looking cities. The music is fitting and unobtrusive, which is nice. The various menus and options can get a bit hard to navigate, but it's nothing too bad, and you don't usually need to mess around too much, outside of a visit to the encyclopedia every now and then to check Mononoke combinations.



This game proves to be a bit overwhelming at times, and while the gameplay is extremely simple and easy to understand, it can also be a bit spotty. However, this is a very compete package with tons of things to do and many little objectives to work towards, like filling the encyclopedia, getting achievements, leveling up your Mononoke, and stuff like that, so if you enjoy the game, there's a ton of content for you. Witnessing your town grow and thrive is extremelly satisfiying, but if you're looking for a relaxing stroll in the forest, you could end up bitten by a Pest Mononoke.



I give it 7 Cororoke out of 10.


Astro Bears Party (Switch eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 30, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I'm going to have an intergalactic party with bears in Astro Bears Party. As the title suggests, it's a party game that involves bears and space, although it's not a party with board games and such. I'm gonna go attend this party, to see if it's a party I'd have with a jar of honey, or a party I bearly want to remember in the morning? Let's take a rocket to this party!


In space, these planets that look like futuristic disco balls were once inhabited, that is, until four bears in space suits decided to party on them. Their form of “revving up a party” involves running around said futuristic disco ball, but when they run around, they'll leave behind a trail of magical beary ribbons, which, if made contact with, will halt their party in an instant. If you've played the light cycle game from Tron, or any other version of that, you'll have a good understanding on how this game plays. There's no given explanation to why the bears are partying in this fashion, but with any party, does it really need time to waste for an explanation when that given time could be used for partying? The bears have an invitation, they gave it to you, no questions, just party!


There's a total of four bears who will be your party animal in space, they all control similar, but have different stats that differ from each other. Neil (Ursus Arctos Horribilis) is the all around bear, Igor (Ursus Maritimus) lacks speed and turning, but makes up for it with jet fuel that can make him hover for the longest at the cost of refuel speed, Xiaoli (Ailuropoda Melanoleuca) is the quickest of the bunch, but can be difficult to control at last second situations, and lastly Bishnu (Helarctos Malayanus), who uses up his hover time the quickest, but gains his fuel the quickest.


The first option on the main menu is for the party mode, where you and up to three other bears can all party on the same planet at a time, which at first may seem like you're creating the next Saturn with the magical beary ribbons, but in reality, are trying to make the other party bears collide with your (or any, including your own) magical beary ribbon. To try and thwart the other bears besides running, using the dash to cut them off would be unbearable if they ran into your ribbon trail, or you could also jump, leading the trail with you, but for further jumping, hovering with the jetpack will keep you airborne for a short period of time.


If you're partying by yourself, there's also the single player mode, which plays just like party mode, except the goal is adjusted for solo play. You go around the planet to locate some jetfish, which will add to your score, collecting another one in a given time will increase your score further, as well as golden jetfish which appear from time to time. As you collect a certain amount of jetfish, the stage will increase, getting more difficult as you progress, and it'll keep going until your party ends. The top three scores are saved on the highscores, showing the score and bear that was used during that run.


The competitive party action, while it can be enjoyable with friends or good while solo for a quick burst, that's pretty much all there is to this party. With party mode, the only thing you can edit is the amount of points needed to win, as well as size of the planet. Some more party games would've added a bit more meat to the party to keep it from getting repetitive, even having collect the jetfish in party mode would've added some variety to party mode. Visually the game looks good with the bears and surroundings, although after awhile, it'll start to look the same with the same planet and space background, and the same could be said about the music, which fits the space bears antics on the planet, but after awhile, wished I could hear a different tune for this space bear party. For the price at least, it'll still offer a party that you can take anywhere when you need it, and will have its moments especially with friends thanks to the switch's joy-cons being what they are, as well as hd rumble being included.

All and all, Astro Bears Party is a party in space with bears that I would attend whenever one was happening. While they don't have much to do at said party on the futuristic disco ball, the party itself is still worth it enough if you enjoy what you see at this party.


I give Astro Bears Party 7 futuristic disco balls out of 10!

 

Cost on the eShop: $4.99

Memory used: 256MB

Review code provided by: QubicGames

Robonauts (Switch eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 24, 2017 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, i'm going to hop into a robotic suit of armor and fly off from planet to planet in Robonauts. A “Robonaut” is a robot (still in development) that is built to resemble a person, so it could assist with tasks, especially ones in outer space, but when you add an “s” at the end, you get Robonauts, a Switch eShop game! I'll check it out, to see if you too should enlist as a Robonaut, or should enlist in the junkyard? Let gravity do the jumping from here!


The opening cinematic shows the unlikely janitor by the name of ROBO, going around a large spacecraft doing its duties. ROBO then stumbled upon a room with the high tech robotic mech (say that three times fast). Being filled with the desire of wanting to be that tall, the little bot manages to enter the robotic mech, only to accidentally start a mission and rockets into space, where things of course end with a crash landing on a mysterious planet. Now scared and alone, the poor bot sees a horde of creatures coming it's way, and makes a dash for it, where ROBO thankfully spots a deserted armor suit and equips it to fend off harms way, as well as trying to get out of this mess and back to safety. As you progress from here, the in game story begins, and instead of the story being told via a cinematic, A bot by the name of El Supremo will appear to speak dialogue about what's going on, and you're helping him do his deeds, but he may not be who he says he is...


ROBO can travel around the world, literally, as you'll be able to travel all around a planet, fending off baddies trying to stop you, but if you notice that they are starting quickly surround you and thankfully another planet is hovering above you, ROBO can planet hop from planet to planet. ROBO has two forms of attacks to fight back, first with the quickfire, shots that will rapid fire quickly at foes, but for dealing more damage, a bomb would be the best bet, but those don't accelerate as much. You can find power ups to increase power to shots and bombs, though they have limits before reverting back to their normal versions, or if you collect a different power up. Thankfully ROBO's line of fire has an auto lock aiming, so when a nearby enemy hops or soars around, ROBO an aim and fire in their direction, which works for the most part, but when enemies start appearing from all over the place, you'll need to decide who to focus on as you can be firing upwards when they're straight ahead.


So what is ROBO's goal with his line of fire and planet hopping? For the most part, you'll have to run and gun baddies to fill up this meter in the corner, once it's filled up, head for the goal to move on. A variety of enemies will appear more and more as you progress, though some of the later ones can be tricky to deal with, especially those Rampers, which can deal a large chunk of your health in an instant. When you're in a pinch and need some health to go tackle those creatures waiting for you on another planet, finding some bloobs would be ideal. These little green blobs appear from bested foes randomly, but they won't just stand there for you to collect, make sure to collect them before they travel off and disappear.


12 levels in total ROBO has to complete during the main campaign, and in all of those levels, ROBO will have to defeat what comes in its way. Other levels throw in some other objectives into the mix, such as activating switches to rev up a mining laser, or escorting a unit to disable shields, which is good for some variety, but they appear on a single level and that's that for those other objectives, which is understandable due to the 12 levels, which I managed to get through in a play through. While it may seem short and also might've felt a bit on the casual side, that might be due to playing the game on it's casual setting, thankfully for an added challenge, hardcore difficulty will drain your health before you know it.


Even if you have played the adventure already, you'd probably most likely go on it again with a buddy, as the game supports local co-op, which is pretty much always available on the switch version thanks to the joycons. Co-op plays similarly to solo, while thankfully keeping the smooth frame rate attached, but if one were to fall, the other player can revive the fallen player if they reach them in time, so staying nearby would be ideal. Couch co-op (or wherever co-op since Switch) is noice, but for the hunting grounds mode, not so much, as you and another player will compete with each other to see who can rack up the highest score to on maps that have different affects, such as timed missions or a toxic community to go around. Achievements can also be achieved in co-op (though some only in single player).


The presentation wraps up things with it's vivid colors to bring some brightness to outer space, which makes things just stand out with all that is going on. The environment all looks all good while docked, and even keeps looking good while in handheld mode. The atmosphere does feel like a big neon dance party, which it really does because of those techno tunes that would suit a dance club with lights on everyone's face. Each level contains a new freshly picked track, which helps keeps things fresh on each passing level. 


All and all, Robonauts delivers a space adventure that's easy to pick up and play with other Robonauts you come across. While may not be the longest adventure in outer space at first, to come back into it on a harder difficulty to check off some achievements with a pal will be good reason to rev up the mech armor suit again!


I give Robonauts 8 bloobs out of 10! 


Cost on the eShop: $14.99

Memory used: 693MB

Review code provided by: QubicGames

Chicken Wiggle (3DS eshop)

Posted by Undead_terror on September 20, 2017 at 8:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Guru Undead_terror here to talk about Chicken Wiggle for the 3DS, this game is a action puzzle platformer game that was developed and published by Atooi, the game costs $14.99 US/$19.99 CAN/£13.49 UK/€14.99 EU, and needs 278 blocks to download.


Starting things off right away, this is a very unique platformer game, it isn't really something like the Mario Bros games, it's more of a slower paced game that has more puzzles then a Mario Bros game would originally have. It has a lot of charm within the game, but let's get started and start from the beginning!.



The story of the game is simple, a witch has kidnapped all of the chickens from their home, however one chicken (named Chicken) fell from the bag that the witch put the chickens in and tried to go after the witch to save his fellow chickens, however he can't do it alone. A apple has fallen down with a worm in it (named Wiggle), Chicken and Wiggle became friends and decided to go after the witch and save all the chickens.


You start right away learning the basics of the game, Chicken can walk around and jump along with pecking at things with it's beak, a cute thing is that if it looks at the screen, you can peck at the screen which causes the screen to move like it's being pecked. Wiggle is used as a grappling hook for it's main feature, you can hook on to the roof/bottom of a platform and stay there until you need to jump off, and you can grapple to a wall but don't stick on it like the roof. Just watch out, Wiggle can stretch out to only one long distance which can be hazardous at times, so be careful and time correctly when using Wiggle.




Making progress throughout the game, you will find all sorts of puzzles, like jumping to make platforms appear, make your own paths, and finding the goal of each level can be a puzzle in of it's self. Within the 48 levels that the game offers in it's campaign, you must rescue a locked chicken from it's cage, while collecting all 100 gems each level has and finding all 3 FUN letters that spell FUN if you want to truly complete the levels (sadly there is no reward for 100% completion).


I just mentioned that there is 48 levels within the game, well there is 8 worlds to be beaten, each world being unique while each world having 1 ghost themed level which is similar to the ghost houses in Mario Bros games. Each world brings new items, enemies and even power ups, yup, can't be a platformer without enemies and power ups, each enemy attacks differently, you peck the enemies to defeat them, or use Wiggle to stun them or remove their armor, then peck them, just watch out, if you get hit once, you die.




Moving on to the power ups, there is a handful or power ups in this game which all can make the gameplay unique, like a Jetpack for double jump, super chicken to fly, running shoes to run, etc. The different thing about these power ups is that they are in boxes which isn't out of the ordinary, but you can put them back in the box, and these power ups don't give you any health upgrades, once again, if you get hit once, you die

.

Here is the thing that seems the most interesting...you can make your own levels and share them online!, I will start comparing to Super Mario Maker for this segment. Unlike Super Mario Maker 3DS and a couple other 3DS games I played that you can make levels but can't share them online, you can make levels and share them online as said. If you make a level and want to share it, you gotta beat it like in Super Mario Maker Wii U.


There is plenty of unique stuff to work with which isn't in Mario Maker, however Mario Maker got plenty more stuff to work with, with this game, levels can look like normal levels which isn't a bad thing, but Mario Maker got loads of stuff to make levels stand out from another. One benefit this game got over Mario Maker is that you can set level rules like save the chicken, collect all the gems, beat all the enemies to beat the levels, you can even place Chicken and the goal wherever you want.



The art style in the game is really nice looking pixel art, it all looks so good, the 3D effect is decent, but it's pretty much the same with all these 2D games. The sound effects is good, the music is good as well, the music is unique in in it's own world which sounded different then the last (spoiler: the last worlds theme...I don't really feel it fitted, but it makes sense as it's the last world with the final boss)


My complaints? I really don't have any, I really liked the game as it was, but if I did, well this paragraph will be spoilers. There is only one boss which is the witch, who is easy, but it was a bit challenging because of these enemies that kept spawning where I was jumping to which made me die a few times. You get nothing from 100% completion, in the level creator there was a Mutant Mudds theme you could use to make levels with, would of been neat if there was a secret world that used this skin.


At the end of the day, Chicken Wiggle is a fantastic game, I really enjoyed it, it has it's charm, it stands out from other platformer games, it personally made me want to keep playing the game!. I will personally keep playing this game and will make some levels and play other peoples levels. Hopefully the game gets updated to add even more stuff and gets a Switch port, right now the Switch could get some loving from this, and I hope Jools (the creator of the game) the best of luck for success of this game, at it's price, to some it might be pricey to some, but I think it's well worth it.


Rating: 9/10

Trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVO-jiwIH5c

Review code provided by Atooi

Puzzle Adventure Blockle (Switch eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 20, 2017 at 2:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I'm going to rotate the playing field to solve puzzles with a cat in Puzzle Adventure Blockle. The title of the game has what is says, it's a puzzle game that has an adventure to be told, and of course blockles. I'll be checking out the three words of the title, to see if it's something you'd want to rotate in with lot's of kitties, or to rotate out of with no kitties, let's......rotate!


As soon as you're about to get ready to start the adventure, the story will begin with a cutscene, basically telling you who, what, where, and why, all in the intro with it's bright and anime appearance. Kulu is given the task by the Mayor to collect the world stones for reasons that obviously don't relate to total world domination! Kulu can't do it alone, so the Mayor introduces Arika, who is a “goddess” that has the power to turn the playing field, but also has no background on who she is, not even species (could be a kangaroo maybe?). Now, Kulu and Arika will set out to find the world stones (for better or worse), and as you keep clearing levels, more dialogue will play, telling more of the story.


For the puzzle segments, you take control of Kulu, who can move around the playing field and interact with the objects and hazards inside of it. Kulu can't really traverse much if something is blocking his path, or out of reach, but with the rotating power of Arika, the playing field can rotate, and depending on where Kulu or some objects are, they will fall in said direction, if Kulu makes contact with stage hazards this way, he'll lose a life, and five will result in game over, though rewinding mistakes are possible, but your hearts will not be changed. Kulu's goal in each level is to reach the door by standing in front of it, so you can't just rotate to fall in the direction of the door. As you advance further into the game, more objects and stage hazards will be added into the mix, making traveling to each world feel a bit more refreshing.


Going from world to world, everything still retains that bright and chibi anime look that really gives expressions to the characters, as well as a way to keep the interest of the players' focus on the story. The worlds each contain ten levels with crowns to collect in each of them, though with some being easier to collect than others, though I wished there was more worlds and levels in this adventure, as it can end before you know it. Going for an extra challenge, getting a crown in each level will definitely make you think more when beating a level, even if you beat it. Getting a crown will require you to complete three missions all at once, which ranges from number of spaces Kulu can move, collecting pieces from locations, or even the amount of time you must clear a level, and it's a nice way to add a bit of replay value, as since some levels can be easier to clear than others, but to do it in a more complex way can make one think about new ways to clear the puzzles, or even puzzle those who have cleared the level already.


All and all, Puzzle Adventure Blockles rotates as another puzzle game that is revving up the Switch eShop with more options of puzzles. While the adventure didn't last as long as I wished it did, getting crowns in levels that I didn't before would help rotate me back into the game, and also, if you want to really rotate, total world domination would be the best bet.


I give Puzzle Adventure Blockle 8 total world dominations out of 10!


Cost on the eShop: $7.99

Memory used: 212MB

Review code provided by: INTENSE

Vaccine (Switch eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 17, 2017 at 3:45 AM Comments comments (0)


eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I'm going to explore a mansion full of undead terrors to find a vaccine in Vaccine. The 5th generation of consoles gave to rise of a certain evil that became a resident in the survival horror genre, but as time passed by and games grew, the genre has definitely evolved with new perspectives and scares, but for the genre defining games of yesteryear, how do they stack up? Vaccine attempts to recapture the feel and look of those games from the 5th generation...literally. I'm gonna load up my save from a memory card, and will see if the game still holds up today, or perhaps it's been outdated since it first came out? Let's use the vaccine to find out!


The new game begins with you selecting one of the B.R.B.S members, Rita O'Connor and Manuel G.P. Both play the same, except that their stats are a bit different from the start, though as you open doors and kill what stands in your way, you'll gain experience which you can use to upgrade your stats. Rita's upper stats are suited for handing her weapons better and dealing a bit more damage, Manuel's upper stats are suited for getting around faster and being able to take some more damage from the start. Regardless of which B.R.B.S. Member you select, your partner will make an appearance, but they won't be able to assist you, as they are on a bed in the process of turning, as it turns out, despite your best efforts, they have been infected with the virus and have half an hour of time left of suffering before they turn. Just because you know where the vaccine is, doesn't mean you'll be able to know it's location each time...


Once you're ready to explore the mansion, the game will appear to look a bit rough, with polygons having sharp enough tips on the hair to poke an eye out, as well as a chilling theme and even the walking having this crackling sound to it. To gamers who grew up with this 1080p and season passes will probably get a bit turned off from these graphics, but for those who grew up during this time of gaming will have some nostalgia someplace in them, since this due to Vaccine literally looking like a game from the 5th generation of consoles, it looks and even feels like the original Resident Evil, and that includes the ever so early 3d gaming tank controls, as well as the cameraman passing the camera around with someone else to get those dynamic shots, even if that means you'll have a hard time knowing where you are or running into a zombie's hug. Many found it to be a hit and a miss, here, it'll take some time, but you'll eventually get used to the early, engineering layout if you keep going into the mansion. 


When running into the mansion randomly for the first time, you'll probably die, this could be due to not picking up the knife at the start, but it'll also be due to the early difficulty spike, but whatever the reason is, when you try again after opening the door from the starting room, the door will lead into a completely different room that was different from the previous attempt, as the rooms change each time with randomly generated rooms, which is good for keeping the game fresh each run, though it'll be an extra step for those starting out. Baddies preventing you from the vaccine are mostly zombies who will lunge and bite at you, as well as some bats and rats, however the one that crawls on the ground will make your experience hell if you don't know how to deal with it, as it'll deal a hug chunk of your health and if your stats aren't high enough, they'll make you their prey each time, and besides one more enemy by the vaccine, there's really not much else trying to stop you, which will kinda make getting the vaccine a bit shallow as nothing else is trying to stop you.


To stay alive and to keep your partner alive, finding items along the way is crucial, especially gold and silver keys if you want to get past locked doors, these items can be found by a tiny sparkle on the ground or desks, and if you have a good amount of luck, you'll pick up better items. Equipping items is as simple as pausing the game and picking what you want, which is good if you need to switch weapons and heal in the heat of the moment. After getting the vaccine to your partner, you'd expect your partner to be cured, however, you're given a promotion in rank and then your partner becomes infected again, except this time, they'll have less time before they turn, meaning less time for you to find the vaccine. Getting the vaccine in theory would cure your partner, but they'll shortly become infected again, except in a worse state with less time before turning...perhaps there's more to this mansion than what it appears to be, and if you want to escape with your partner alive, finding secrets along the way will help uncover the truth, though if you want to uncover the secrets, getting the vaccine a couple of times might be in order...


All and all, Vaccine will show off the roots of what defined the survival horror genre back in the day, even if that means it'll also uncover it's outdated roots. While it may not take that long to find the vaccine, for a quick burst of classic survival horror on the go, it'll be good to tackle that itch, as well as a speed running itch, though if that itch has a bite mark on it, I wouldn't recommend scratching it...


I give Vaccine 7 B.R.B.S. Out of 10!


Cost on the eShop: $9.99

Memory used: 309MB

Review code provided by: Rainy Frog

Piczle Lines DX (Switch eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on August 28, 2017 at 9:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, i'm going to be taking some pictures with a special camera that turns things into indie games in Piczle Lines DX. Originally on mobile devices, this fresh take on a puzzle that will connect with you has now arrived on the shiny new Nintendo Switch console. I'll be solving these piczle puzzles to determine if the completed puzzles reveals artwork, or art that doesn't work. Let's piczle right into the first eShop Gurus Switch review! 


In Piczle Lines DX, the goal is to connect the dots to rearrange a mess of dots with numbers on them, reveal a hidden picture that is in plain sight, but can only be revealed by a solved outcome. The dots each have a number on them, the corresponding dictates how many spaces you can move on the grind, but the dots must match the same color and numbers to be able to connect to one another, and just because the dots match with each other, doesn't necessarily mean it's correct, as you'll find out by dots you can't match with anything, if this is the case, you can erase a connected path to redo have you connected the dots, or to connect it to another dot (or both).


The two main modes you'll be tackling are story mode and puzzle mode, with both modes offering plenty of puzzles to solve. Over 300 puzzles are included from story and puzzle mode combined, but you don't have to clear in a time limit or one go, you can do a little bit now, and then save the rest for later. Story mode tells the misadventures of what happens when you accidentally drop a Piczle-Matic 3000, a camera that turns everything into piczles. Each puzzle on every chapter will have an item that has been turned into a piczle, and when you have solved the puzzle, the item will revert back to normal and be placed one by one in the environment the characters are in. Puzzle mode is like story mode, except for the story elements and just nothing but the puzzles that you can go into in any order you so desire. Puzzle mode has sections each with themed puzzles, ranging from smaller grid puzzles such as sports or pets, to larger scaled ones such as colossal structures or dinosaurs.


The game can be played on the tv via docked mode, it looks good with it's colorful and zany presentation, though on the tv, it can look a bit blurry around the edges. I usually found myself playing the game on handheld mode, which still looks good and colorful on the go, as well as being perfect if I still wanted to solve this harder puzzle while on a car trip, which I did do, and it made the time pass without even knowing it. The joy-cons are used to move around the grid and to connect the dots, but if you wanted controls such as those of a mobile device, the game in handheld mode can be played with the touch screen, which the switch can do since the screen itself is a touchscreen (if you didn't know already).

 

All and all, Piczle Lines DX is an addicting puzzle game that is a must for owners of the Switch that are also fans of the genre, and just need to have a puzzle game on the Switch to fill their needs of a puzzle game on the Switch. Once you're hooked, you'll want to probably solve all the hundreds of puzzles to uncover what each puzzle is, and for the price, plenty of puzzles are included, with more to come to fill up any piczle appetites with free updates!


I give Piczle Lines DX 8 piczles out of 10!


Cost on the eShop: $14.99

Memory used: 167MB

Review code provided by: Rainy Frog

Elminage Original (3DS eshop)

Posted by Undead_terror on August 24, 2017 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Guru Undead_terror here to talk about Elminage Original for the 3DS ware, this is a turn based dungeon crawler RPG game was published by Ninja Games Japan and developed by Starfish SD. This game costs $19.99 US, $25.99 CAN and needs 3108 blocks to download.

Originally a game for the PSP in 2011, this is a game that tells about a world created by gods, their power is in a tower which is surrounded by a barrier which is held up by rings. There is six of them, a dark sorceress plans on destroying the rings and only destroyed one, leaving five more which is scattered across the lands. Many adventures are trying to find the rings to stop the evil and earn fame.


Already the game seems sort of generic, a story you won't remember too much about which seems like the case for a lot of these budget looking RPG's, but looking past the story, there is only a couple interesting things which will we mentioned later.


To start things off, the game looks and sounds so much like any other RPG that it doesn't really have a proper identity, you basically got hand drawn sprites which look nice, but looks like something from RPG maker. All the NPC's, enemies, and backgrounds are done in hand drawn sprites, nice looking but generic, the NPC's are what you expect like a old man, shop keeper, etc, and the monsters are the basic slimes, bats, thiefs, dragons, you name it! (the game also has 3D effect which is ok at best). The music while nice, it still feels like it could be in any RPG game along with sound effects from the game.



But here is where it gets interesting, when starting a adventure, you can make your own group of six, you can go to a bar and get characters pre-made or you can actually make your own!, not to mention that you can use your own character avatars and body pictures via 3DS camera. There is nine races, 12 classes, you can choose your age from 10-999, their nature, and well of course you can name your own character.


Once you get to make your team, you may already experience that the menus are a bit of a hassle, especially when checking on your characters, switching items and such, if you have six characters on the team, have fun doing that six times!. Onwards to adventure!, except the only this is no RPG like Final Fantasy in which you can walk all over the world, you have a map, select where to go, and you end up there, like a old RPG.



The real action of the game is when you are in dungeons, you get this first person mode, move one step/block forward at a time and go around trying to find things and encounter enemies that pop at random which you won't see coming. This game is similar to Orcs and Elves (DS) and the Etrian Odyssey games (3DS), but not as good looking as those games when exploring around the dungeons which feel more bare-boned, but at least there is different dungeon themes.


In dungeons you are just trying to find things to complete quests you activated, but on your way, you will encounter enemies, like any other RPG, you can make a character attack/defend/use a spell/use a item/escape. Be warned this game doesn't show much mercy, even at the start of the game you can be overwhelmed by monsters. The first quest of the game you gotta find a Jewel ring in a dungeon, two minutes later you can come across between 3-6 monsters in one battle, these monsters can take away half of a characters health in one hit, this is the start of the game may I remind you, so you will either spam A on attack for everyone to attack or spam A on escape so the whole party can escape.



After winning a battle and getting EXP, you get a chest which will most likely have a trap which the thief class can deal with the easiest. If you get whatever from the chest harmed/unharmed, you will get gold and "junk", if you don't have a bishop class character with you to tell what the item is, you gotta pay gold at the store to find out what it is...sorta defeats the purpose of free loot huh?. So you must know what classes do what and have variety if you want to beat this game because each character is unique in their own way.


At the end of the day Elminage Original isn't the worst RPG ever, but it's no where near the best, with the generic RPG look of it which you can mistake it for another RPG game, the difficulty of the game, it can push people away. If you are willing to play this game can last up to 30 hours for the main quests or more if you do the side quests.


 

Rating: 5/10


trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=9OpOuSUSB-Q


Review code provided by Starfish SD

Coqui the game (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on August 9, 2017 at 9:25 PM Comments comments (0)


  Eshop Gurus SheldonRandoms here, and today, I'm going to hop to it in the world of Coqui the game. If you were wondering, a “Coqui” is really a type of frog that is native to Puerto Rico, and this frog is inside of a video game, so it would make the title of the game make sense since it's a game about a coqui. I'm going to see if this frog has enough hop as a kangaroo, or should it be hopped onto a plate as frog legs? Let's hop into this review!

The plot takes place on the beautiful island of Boriken Islands, where it was peaceful and what not, until that sudden day, where the evil mad Pumking and his army of pumpkins invaded and turned the once peaceful island, into a place of horror, and the trees of life are feeling the torment. Now, it's up to Coqui to save the Boriken Islands from the grasp of the evil mad Pumking before it's too late.

 


Once after the story is told, Coqui will be at some location on Boriken Islands, except in the overworld version. The map is akin to Super Mario World, although Coqui hops at a slower pace compared to Mario when he traveled in said game. Once you find yourself inside of a level, Coqui will find himself in a platforming adventure, going from left to right on a variety of levels on land, in the water, or even the skies, over 47 of them, to be exact, but it's not all a rush to the end as quickly as possible, but you must also collect a certain amount of blue butterflies to be able to get to the goal, as a frog, you'd expect Coqui to eat the butterflies? Nadda, Coqui just touches them to collect them, or he can hop on one to another, and doing so seven times in a row will net you a golden medallion, which you might want to save up, along with regular butterflies for when the time is right for a bonus.....Oh, that's right, evil pumpkin overlords would have ways to try and prevent Coqui from saving the day, which is why pumpkin themed baddies will try and stop you, along with other hazards, which is why Coqui can defend himself with a slam attack while in the air, or out of a cannon after clearing a level.


When I just typed “other hazards”, I didn't mean by just additional baddies, other levels will add in some puzzle elements by slamming logs to make a path, or underwater levels where Coqui must use his bubble moves to defend himself underwater and remove blocks with faces on them. While some of these puzzles can be easily figured out, if you didn't know what to do, you'd be stuck, and hopefully someone on miiverse can assist, or if there was a sign or some hint as to what you could do, that would've helped. It's not just with helping progressing further into the game, but with saving in general, since the manual (digital one) says to “press + to save” it didn't work at all when I pressed it at first, and I thought the game had auto saved and didn't know how else to save, so when I quit the game to do my swell antics, I originally lost my entire save, but it turns out, the way to save is to find a tiki hut in the overworld, but the game didn't state that or in the manual, and the number of said saving tiki huts aren't plentiful, so if you wanted to save before a level or boss fight, you'd have to hop to one, and since Coqui isn't the fastest overworld hopper, it'll become repetitive in a matter of minutes.If you wanted to pause and quit a level to save lives to save before a tough level/boss, well you can pause via home button, but for quitting a level, you gotta clear a level or get a game over, and some levels can take a while when the pace slows down and a lack of checkpoints revs up (or down).

The graphics all take place on the gamepad, as well as the gameplay, controls, plot, etc, but the music plays from the tv, which is just a black screen as if your tv is off, as there is no option to play the game on the tv, gamepad only. The graphics on the gamepad were shrunk down because of this, but to the eye of some players, it might not be appealing to look at, and would make those hop away because of it. On the gamepad, seeing where Coqui is hopping around is not really so much an issue, but because the game is zoomed in, i've made some “leaps of faith” that didn't go into my favor, and on certain levels, Coqui will go into the background, which is neat for shaking things up, but it'll make Coqui the frog into Coqui the dot. I was able to play these sections normally, but for those who have trouble seeing sprites that small, it'll be a hassle to hop on a path of blue butterflies. The controls will take some time to getting used to, but they thankfully can manage for those sections, as well as sections in different levels of the game when needed


All and all, Coqui the game has some hop in it, but doesn't really stand out much with it's hop in general. I might've looked through some of the rotten parts of this avocado to eat some of the still good and ripe parts, but for others, they'll take a look of said avocado, and just toss it into the trash, since in their eyes, it simply wasn't appealing to munch on. If said avocado ever goes on sale for a good price, it wouldn't be the worst tasting avocado from the Wii U eShop, but it wouldn't be the best tasting either, but for the price, eh, why not.


I give Coqui the game 5 avocados out of 10! 


Cost on the eShop: $4.99

Memory used: 109MB

Review code provided by: Team One Studio

Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on May 9, 2017 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, i'm going to mech up in Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad. The Wii U over the course of it's life has had plenty of classic arcade beat 'em ups, however, most of those titles have been games seen already on previous retro consoles, with the number of original games in the genre appearing on the low side. It just so happens that a group of sciurdaes are going on an mission, and it just so happens to play like a beat 'em up, thus, filling the void. I'll be taking one of these mechs and will determine if this is something i'll go nuts for, or will I just tip over and crash because i'm a kangaroo in a squirrel sized mech? Let's get nutty!


The story begins with a group of colorful squirrels in the forest going about their day, with everything being peaceful and calm (and kinda boring), however, with most stories in beat 'em ups, that doesn't last long. Out of nowhere, a claw grabs pink squirrel Rocky (for better or worse for the other squirrels), as well as all of the other squirrels in the forest. The remaining colored squirrels, Flapjack, Pothole, Nitelite, and Foxglove begin to chase the claw machine with a cat logo on it that captured the other squirrels, but, things didn't go so well due to their tactic just bombing, and then they went crashing down. By some twist of fate, the four discovered four mechs in a cavern discovery, and what luck, they knew which ones to pick since each one matched the color of their fur! Now equipped with their new mechs (dubbed, “ACORNs” ), the four now go straight for the HQ of a certain cat ceo to save their kind from being forced to become an alternative source of energy!


You'll have the choice to play as one of the four members of the action squirrel squad, it'll show you what their acorns look like in base form, which in this form, they'll all play similar to each other, however, behind their base form is the armored form, which increases their size and gives them each a unique ability for a short period of time. You can take on the entire game yourself, however, I did say there was four members of the action squirrel squad, so if you can, you can have up to three others join in and help defeat the evil energy corps' evil doings in a four player co-op adventure, however, your friends must join you at the character select screen, as you cannot join during a stage. Playing in co-op is like playing in “mode b” of some games, where it might seem like you and others can just gang up on one particular grunt, however, if you all keep attacking by said grunt, one of you will be the last one standing, as you can damage each other by attacking, thankfully, you can't harm each other via armored mode. If someones health reaches zero (by an enemy or by friendly fire), you can revive each other by in a short amount of time. Player one using the gamepad also has the job of scanning objects and baddies, which reveals their health, but only player one can see this, and must inform the other players of the current health of bosses, although, the game does hint at the conditions of the bosses with added dialogue and movements, so stay alert of that other players!

 

Most of the levels will have your squirrel in their acorn, walking down the pathway with rage to settle the score in a final fight! On the gamepad, the d-pad is only used for moving, as the analog stick isn't supported. The standard combat consists of walking around with punches that you can combo for extra points, with your air game being taken care of by your kicks, two types to be exact, the regular and horizontal kicks. For the most part the combat works, however, sometimes when getting near some enemies and punching them, my punches didn't land, and because there is no grabbing present as seen In other beat 'em ups, before I could move back and strike back, the enemy lands a couple of hits, dealing some noticeable damage in the process. The game has health acorns that replenish two bars of health, but that can get drained almost instantly due to there being no short moments of invincibility for most enemies and bosses, in multiplayer it's not as big of an issue since you could always revive someone if they go down, but in single player, it's game over, not to say that makes the game impossible, but it makes it feel like it's trying to find a way to make me insert more quarters into the machine.


Some other stages add some variety to the mix, such as using your kicks to time timed bombs to hit switches, or telling gravity to get out! Other stages don't go the usual beat 'em route, since some stages have you outside of your mech, automatically running with only your dash attack for defensive, and one stage feel more like an auto scrolling horizontal shooter, which really added to the formula, however, it's only present in one stage, and you can't revive each other until you go to the next section. The game also has two bonus stages, with one of them making you want to say “OH, MY CAR!” since.....well you didn't really think smashing a cat ceo's car would be that easy, did you? I mean you're going to need some form of security for your car if you have wrestler mayors or birds spinning into your car windows, so except some form of security measures when things heat up. The bonus stages even save your high scores, you can even add your own initials if you wanted to, or, you could just give them all to the master of the high scores, “AAA”.

 

Presentation wise, the game is bright and colorful like the action squirrel squad themselves, and to add some depth to the characters, game adds some humorous dialogue throughout the stages, as well as hints that'll keep flashing in the text bubbles. It's not just one squireel doing the talking, it's all of them, no matter who you pick, which is cool if you're playing alone, as it'll make you feel like you're playing with other players. The soundtrack is pretty good, it really does add the atmosphere to the levels, and each stage has it's own catchy unique theme and name, which can be viewed (or, listened in this case) in the options. Your playthrough of the game will take you around the same time it does for arcade beat 'em ups and after clearing the game, you can view all the golden acorns you've collected throughout the game. You don't find hidden golden acorns in the levels, instead, you get them by clearing a stage, and these golden acorns aren't for eating, but instead, are used to view concept material for the game with a short description for each, and some of it goes to show that things really do change throughout development.


All and all, Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad delivers an original classic styled beat 'em up for the Wii U that is worth checking out if you're a fan of the genre. While the ACRONs have some loose bolts due to the knockbacks in them, you'll still find enjoyment to be had, especially if you have other squirrel squad members tagging along for the ride, just don't go down the rocky path when you go on the adventure, just saying.


I give Armored A.C.O.R.N.s: Action Squirrel Squad 8 acorns out of 10!


 

Cost on the eShop: $7.99

Memory used: 211 MB

Review code provided by: Nexcra Software

Aqua TV (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on May 8, 2017 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, i'm going to be swimming with the fishes in my fish tank in Aqua TV. The name suggests that the television is going to be aquatic, and you'd be correct, except it doesn't contain channels, but fish, as this is a virtual aquarium that you can make your own! I'm gonna dive right into these tanks to see if i'll live inside one of the castles, or will I just float right back up? Let's turn on the aqua tv!



Upon starting up, you're greeted with one of the best messages any fish tank owner would be pleased to hear; there is no mess you must clean up, no foggy tanks with those white drops on the glass, and no rushing home since you forgot to feed your fish in the scheduled time period. To put it simply, Aqua TV's virtual aquarium is to look at the wonders of aquatic life swimming right in front of you, as well as also gaze at the added environment that you throw in for your fish to give your tank some style.


 

You have four size options for your tank, and once a size is picked, you cannot change it, but you can always create another tank and pick a different size in the my tank menu. The smaller the size, the less fish you can have in the tank, which makes sense as fish need some space to look at you with those big eyes. If you want your fish to roam freely to get exercise, you can send them off into the largest tank you can find, a tropical reef. The main differences between the tanks and tropical reef is that you can't edit the reef with ornaments, change the background or the sand, however, the reef has exclusive fish too big for a tank, and because the reef is large, you have many more camera options to pick from compared to a tank. The more tanks you create, you'll have the option to shuffle between each tank at a certain time period, which is good for keeping things fresh each time you look back at the fish tank, and if you want, you can even change the music from three options, or keep it silent to just hear the fish tank at work (which you can also turn off if you wanted to).


 

To add in fish (as well as pimping out the fish tank) is as simple as touch of an arrow. The menus are navigated through the gamepad, so that way, nothing gets in your way of the fish party. When you tap on a fish, you can tap on a question mark to give you some statistic details on the fish such as where they come from and what gallons would be suitable, but it feels like a missed opportunity to give some quick facts about the fish you've selected. You can add in a single fish at a time, a couple at a time, or the max amount of a certain fish for a tank. It looks really good seeing the fish just pop up, as the game runs at smooth 60 fps with a normal amount of fish in a tank, however,, if you keep adding in fish, the frame rate will take a dive to around 30 fps.With that said, it still looks good seeing all of the fish swimming around despite the frame rate drop, and to keep it from dropping beneath the sea, each tank has it's limit of fish that you can add in, with the limit going up quicker depending on the fish you've added in.



While looking through the available fish, you'll notice that some of them have locks on them, the reason for that is you need to buy additional fish and accessories on the eShop. The game has an eShop menu that you can tap on to quickly bring you to the downloadable content section to purchase one of three available packs. The thetis and poseidon packs contain a couple new fish, along with added accessories to show off in your tank, while the oceanus pack contains aquatic life much too big for a tank, such as a white tip reef shark or manta ray, easily making it the pack that'll show off the most aquatic life (and also the biggest). The added content is good if you wanted to add some more variety to your fish tank, but because of all of the locked icons at the get-go, it makes whats already available in the selection feel a bit on the shorter side.



All and all, Aqua TV will be a channel that will give entertainment if looking at virtual fish is something you'd be interested in. It doesn't contain the hassles of owning an actual fish tank (or tropical reef) which is always a plus in my book. For those who don't enjoy watching the daily lives of fish being fish probably won't get too much interest from this channel as it's mainly for just viewing instead of interacting, but for those who do, just having it running while company is over would brighten the room definitely, but if you wanted some extra spice for said fish tank, there's always the paid option which at least would cost much less than getting it in real life (and much safer since buying a shark could result in your leg being its snack).



I give Aqua TV 8 fishes in a tank out of 10


Cost on the eShop: $4.99

Memory used: 258 MB

Review code provided by: Extra Mile Studios


Mini Golf Resort

Posted by Morpheel on December 24, 2016 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)



 

 

 

Guru Morpheel here to talk about Mini Golf Resort for the 3DS, by Teyon. 


My previous experience with a mini golf game made by Teyon wasn't exactly a positive one, being 101 Minigolf World for the DSi. It was an extremely rough game in all senses of the word, to say the least. So when I learned about this new entry by them, my expectations weren't exactly high. Is Mini Gold Resort another triple bogey or a hole in one? Let's find out.



  


As you start the game, you will notice the game is entirely reliant on the touch screen. The only use the other inputs have, is to rotate the camera during the mini golf gameplay, and to show the "help" screen in the world map, everything else is controlled via touch.


Upon creating a new file in one of the two spots available, you'll be taken to the character creation menu. Here you can customize your character from very limited pool of options. The characters are in general kinda ugly and the limited options don't help much. The most mind boggling thing about this whole character creation process is, however, that it seems completely inconsequential and useless; The only time you will ever see your character is when you choose your file and between holes, in a strangely dark abyss. Standing there, doing nothing.


 

 


Now that we are done there, we are sent to the resort itself. Well, it's more like a planet, but you get the idea. Here you have access to the four locations where the golfing takes place. Each island has its own theme (pirate, Egypt, Rome and "spooky") and 14 courses with 18 holes each. This gives us a total of 1008 individual holes to play through, if it sounds like a lot it's because it is.


Quite conveniently, you're not just dropped in the place with all the courses available at once, there's a progression to things: each island functions as a mini map, you start with only one course open in each map the others are unlocked as you play through them. This map structure helps keep things manageable and gives the game a sense of progression that helps the experience. Unofrtunately, you can't suspend your games mid-course. So if you need to go to the in-game shop, or have to change games, then you'll need to start again from the first hole.


 

 


Well, now that you spent a few minutes figuring out how to explore the map and where to begin, you selected a course and are ready to golf. Unfortunately, this is where you realize your suspicions were right; this game is not exactly very good. Now, don't get me wrong, the game is enjoyable, but it is still a rough, unpolished experience. The ball is a fuzzy pixely thing, definitely not a 3D model of a ball, and the physics are rather slippery and bouncy.


You can use the touch screen, or the many buttons, to rotate the camera around the ball and adjust your aim. Once you're done with that, just tap the ball icon on the touch screen to initiate the "golf mode", where a power bar appears and sliding your stylus across the screen now instead acts as hitting the ball with the putter. The power bar, as expected, controls the amount of power your hit will have; go too high and you may risk going out of bounds or missing the hole, and believe me: it will happen much too often.


While having a way to gauge the amount of power is nice, there isn't really a way to tell how far the ball will go, or if it will be enough, you'll need to eye it based on experience. There's also the fact that, while you can adjust the camera and align you ball perfectly to where you want it to go... The direction of your swipe still affects the direction the ball goes, so you need to be very precise with it.


After each hole, you will be scored and rewarded some money, which you can use to buy power ups and new clothing items for your avatar. These are a bit expensive though, so it will take several dozens of holes before you're able to use them. There's also this odd thing where for some reason the holes in the spooky island seem to give consireably lesser amounts of money. If it's intended or a glitch, I don't really know, but it's a noticeable difference.


An important thing to say is that the obstacles are very inconsistent, sometimes they work fine, other times they simply refuse to. For example, I've seen the ball fail to go up a ramp, instead bouncing back out as if it had touched a wall. And the less we talk about the loop-the-loops the better. Then there's some graphical issues, like fans looking static, or the particle effects meant to signal a warp hole not appearing. Then there's the fact that the world outside the play field is completely intangible, if you go out (and you will) the ball will simply phase through the ground and into the void before it re-spawns.


 


  

In terms of presentation, the game looks fine, if a bit incosistent. The mini golf itself looks fine, of course, when the stage isn't blocking your view of the game. But then you have the ugly characters, inconsistent lighting that makes the world map and the "between holes" screen oddly dark, things that should move that sometimes don't, and the ugly blurry backgrounds used on the touch screen whenever you're playing mini golf. Sound is also fine, featuring different background music for each theme, and all are inoffensive enough to listen to for extended periods of time.


For some lasting appeal, the game keeps track of you final scores for each course and the overall total. There's no detailed data or anything like that, but it's at least nice to have the final scores since you can try and better them later, and the game also ranks your skill and style, although I have no idea what it bases those on. Finally there's some achievements you can work your way to, these range from stuff like getting a hole in one and getting a lot of money to beating all the courses in one world- the usual stuff, but it's nice to have.


This game is in general a bit of a mixed bag. In one hand you have tons of content for a nice price, even if you find a hole you despise, you won't need to touch it ever again (unless you really want to improve your score); there's other 1007 holes you can play instead, it's a game that will last you a long time if you play it casually. On the other hand, it's clear that they went for quantity over quality- and it shows. If you don't mind the roughness and wonky mechanics, there's certainly hours of mini golfing to be had- after all, in the end it's a game about pushing a ball into a hole; however those wanting a more polished and focused experience are better off going for other options.



I give it 4 fuzzy pixely things out of 10.

 

 

Review copy provided by the publisher.

 

 

 

Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II (3DS eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on November 8, 2016 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (4)


eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to animate on my 3DS with the newly hatched Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II. As the name suggests, this is a follow up to the original Inchworm Animation that launched way back in 2011 on the Nintendo DSi shop (and later the 3DS eShop when it was available, and I don’t when in Inchworm came out, I mean the eShop in general). The DSi version was a good alternative if you wanted something else besides Flipnote Studio to animate or add more colors to your animations than just black, red and blue (and sometimes purple). Flipnote had two features that gave it an edge, however, first being it was a free app that eventually came with the system starting with the DSi XL, but most importantly, it provided an online service within the app, something Inchworm didn’t have. Times have changed and both apps each got a 3DS installment, with one feeling like it made the correct choice to improving itself over its predecessor. I’m going to see if the five year hibernation in the cocoon was worth the effort, or should a frog have just eaten it (or stomped if they don’t eat cocoons)? Let’s animate! 


The plot here in Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II is…..however you make it in your animations. You’re greeted with the inchworm animation butterfly at the title screen, where you’ll go over the basics in a short tutorial, and once you get with that out of the way, it’s time to animate or draw doodles (or animate doodles!). Once you start a new animation, you’ll have some starting choices for the layer configuration, which can be further edited in the timeline. Compared to flipnote, it’s not as simple to just jump in and create animations, not saying it’s too overly complex, but there’s some learning to be done. The tools provided here can have an unexpected depth to them for your animations, you could just draw a line with the line tool, but you can also change its opacity, size, growth, etc., or, add a firework effect trail instead with the mop tool. If you have more than one layer, you can even create animations in 3D, but if you do, you’ll have less cels to work with, and there’s only about 99 cels, so your animations won’ be the longest, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create detailed animations, because thankfully, overdraw and underdraw help with drawing on top and underneath the current layer. These and the other tools will take some time to learn, but once you play around long enough, who knows what you’ll create!

 

Besides animating, there are two other features that you can use for your animations. First up is the ever so loveable camera animation, the one where you just gotta take a bunch of pictures juuuust right to create an animation of pictures. Depending on how many cels are used will determine how many pictures you can take. All cameras (inner, outer left and right) can be used one at a time, having the 3D on won’t affect the pictures due to only one of the outer camera being used. Three options can be used with the camera to take pictures. First is stop motion, where you have to take each picture one at a time, next is video, where you can record instead of taking pictures, and lastly is time lapse, where it’ll countdown and take a picture depending on how long the countdown was set, be aware that for all of them, when a picture is being taken, a shutter noise is made. The other feature that you should listen for in here is sound. This is where you’ll be recording audio and/or sound effects for your animations, and if you get any extra background noises after them, don’t worry, you don’t need to cover it up, just crop it out. If you can’t create the sound effect or just want an idea to animate using a sound, it comes with a list of sound effects, ranging from animals to weapons, or, it can range from saved recordings that you can add to the list. There’s also DrPetter’s SFXR (sound effect generator), with this, you can create custom sound effects that you can tweak and mess around with some provided sounds tools, however, you can’t use your own recordings for this.

 

After creating something, whatever it may be, you’ll probably want to share it with the world! With the previous installment on DSiware, this was only possible by saving an animation to the SD card and uploading it to your computer, which you can do in butterfly if you want, but this time, the cocoon has also hatched up an online gallery. The online gallery functions similarly to how flipnote hatena did back in the day, having a service that you can go on via your 3DS, or even go on it on your computer or mobile device. Once an account is created, you’ll be able to post your animations into your studio, where others can view, as well as comment and rate on your work. On the 3DS, viewing animations with sound a correct speed requires you to download them first, on the website/mobile version, it’ll play like a youtube video. The website version also provides tutorial videos, as well as a forums section, which, like the online gallery itself, will hopefully continue to grow in the future with more users that want to make whatever they can think of from their imaginations.


All and all, Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II does what it did before it’s five year wait in it’s cocoon, provide owners of Nintendo’s current handheld an animation studio they can fit in their pocket. While you can’t create the longest of animations, what you can create can still have an effect if you can get used to learning the basics. If you prefer to animate or just view animations, the online gallery will definitely keep you coming back to check out what others have created. Flipnote Studio 3D may have had its online gallery cut, Butterfly offers something that’ll help restore the cut wounds.


 

I give Butterfly: Inchworm Animation II 8 Butterflies out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $4.99

Memory used: 72 Blocks

Review code provided by: Flat Black Films

 

Bit Dungeon+ (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on October 22, 2016 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)


eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to be entering a plus sized dungeons many, many times in Bit Dungeon+. Bit Dungeon originally first brought it’s dungeon exploring adventure onto mobile screens, which eventually got some added additions that explains the “+” in the title, now, that plus sized dungeon has opened up to Wii U owners. I’m going to enter this dungeon…..If I don’t make it out alive, I’m sure I’ll get another chance to explain how it went, I just hope I can remember what it was like though.

 

The backstory before the dungeon crawling is that you (the hero in armor) and your loved one (loved one of the hero in shining armor), were surrounded and captured by demons. The demons took and separated them into the mysterious dungeon, and have locked them in a cell. When one is trapped in a cell like this, it seems like they’ll meet their end in a matter of moments, at the very least, they’ll be reunited in the afterlife, but this wasn’t the case. Our hero has somehow managed to sleep for a thousand years in the cell. The most important thing he can think about now is not how did he survive sleeping for a thousand years, but to slay the demons and other monsters in the dungeon, to rescue and be reunited with his loved one, but to do that, he needs to find her soul. With a nearby weapon at his deposal, our hero explores the dungeon, putting his soul on the line in the progress.


Once you begin your quest, the layout will remind you of the earlier Zelda titles, the overhead perspective ones where you ran around the place (in this case, the dungeon segments) and battled foes with your trusty sword and other means of attacks. You’ll be exploring the dungeon trying to save the soul of the hero’s loved one, but on your first try, you’ll likely get ambushed and killed by these purple canine beasts and not know how to handle them. “It’s alright” you’d think to yourself, “As they devour my character’s body, I could always try again and use a special attack to deal with them”, but when you try and do that, you’ll notice something about your save data…….It’s gone! Did the monsters that had feast on the remains of your body eat your save data, or perhaps the battery inside of the cart busted, but for real, what happened was real life, once you die in this dungeon, you don’t comeback, no checkpoints or extra lives, you remain dead, but perhaps if you had another soul…But technically, it’s not completely wiped away as you might think, your result stats are stored and shown whenever you die, like the one telling you how much you’ve died, that’ll remain to remind you of times you've fallen in the bit dungeon.


You start out with low tier gear, the ones that won’t get you anywhere in the long run. You’ll have a sword (or a different weapon) for attacking, a shield for blocking enemy attacks, but if you keep blocking them for too long, you’ll get dazed and be open for attack, which means you won’t be able to use magic either. As you explore the dungeon, you can find gear and weapons to equip, which can either increase or decrease your stats, and whenever you start again, you can select them from the start from the avatar screen. If you can’t find the gear you’re looking for, or just want one that’s more powerful, check out the shops hidden in locations inside of cracked walls, but you’re going to need some form of currency, and that’s where the old-school grinding kicks in! Sometimes, the baddies can leave behind money that you can spend at the hidden shops behind the cracked walls (such a swell name choice), and, like most games, the better gear and weapons will require more currency.


Like mentioned before, the layout reminds me of the classic overhead perspective Zelda titles, although a bit more dark and grim compared to those games, as well as bloody, you can step in a pile of blood and leave behind a footprint trail of blood. The sprite work looks good and (of course) retro, it’s nothing extraordinary, but it gets the job done for clearing dungeons. The music sounds (once again) retro, again, nothing too special, but it still gives off that retro vibe, which is always a plus. When the action is brought to the gamepad by pressing the minus button, it’ll switch the map from gamepad to tv, and gameplay from tv to gamepad (and vice versa). When the action is on the gamepad, the chiptunes just feel more chiptunish, I guess that’s due to the smaller speakers on the gamepad, but whatever the case, if you want it to sound more retro, play on the gamepad.


The bit dungeon (that is plus sized) has ways of making you return to the dungeon. When you first start off, you don’t know where you’ll end up, the dungeons can generate differently each time you play, creating a different gameplay experience with each adventure, but it doesn’t just change each time you play, it can also end each time you play, as there’re multiple different endings to uncover. While that’s a positive, when you keep going deeper and deeper into the dungeon, it’ll get a bit repetitive, with enemies repeating themselves but being harder to strike down, but even then, by that time, you’ll have upgraded gear to tackle them. If you want more of a challenge, set it on the hell difficulty, where it’ll give the baddies more of an advantage at the start, which will make you think twice when just running and slashing away carelessly. Perhaps you want to find the soul of your lost one with a loved one right next to you, as you and another player can explore the dungeons together, but, sharing is not caring, as items, weapons and currency aren’t shared with the other player. To try and spice things up, the babel tower has it’s doors open, welcoming you to challenge it. In this mode, you must keep fighting and explore as much as you can to find the red door that’ll lead you to the next area in a set amount of time, how many floors can you complete under the time limit?


All and all, Bit Dungeon+ is a dungeon that has pluses in it that’re worth going into. While some negatives can occur along the way such as some repetitiveness later on, it’s still a dungeon worth looking into. It’s a game, while playing a bit like the classic Zelda titles, still holds its own, but just make sure to keep holding your own, or else you’ll be forced to let it go and lose it all.


 

I give Bit Dungeon+ 7 Dungeons out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $6.00

Memory used: 302 MB

Review code provided by: Dolores Entertainment S.L.

 

Wings of Magloryx (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 29, 2016 at 9:05 PM Comments comments (0)


eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m gaining the wings of a Dragon Lord to take flight in Wings of Magloryx. In this game, you take control of a dragon that must return to it’s home world to save it from destruction. With the wings of a Dragon Lord, I’ll tell you if these wings made the experience for me, or was I better off just walking? Let’s take flight into this review!


The plot of Wings of Magloryx can be accessed through the main menu via “story”, it’s nothing too long or anything, basically a summary of why Magloryx is taking flight. Basically, it says that a long time ago, a dragon named Magloryx, ruled over the Hover Realm as the titled “Dragon Lord”. When Magloryx was catching some z’s, the Druid Horch managed to steal all five of the realm’s relics, the ancient artifacts of the realm, as well as taken over and corrupted the land. When Magloryx awoke, he discovered what has happened, and will soar across the Hover Realm to reclaim the re restore balance and defeat Horch. It’s not the deepest of plots out there and it does differ a bit in the manual, talking about how Magloryx has to cross worlds and find his way home in the progress, which was not explained in the story scroll, however, I’ll get back on that, for now, I’m going to use these dragon lord wings to explain the gameplay.


As Magloryx, you must fly around parts of the corrupted Hover Realm and blast away structures in the area to clear the stage. In some stages, they’ll be captured peasants, which you can save for a bonus, however, they’re not required to clear the stage. The left analog stick is used for hovering, while the right one is used for rotating Magloryx around, and controlling his elevation, pressing on the right analog stick is how you’re going to rescue captured peasants (if you want) and collect scattered gold pieces (because dragons want to always be golden, even while sleeping). Magloryx is always in midflight, he never bothers to use his dragon feet to run across the islands, so you can’t land, but this is called “Wings of Magloryx”, not “Feet of Magloryx”, so it’s kind of expected. The gamepad’s touchscreen is used to interact with the rune books, and the rune book that you can use depends on the menu you’re on. The red one can only be used via gameplay, it showcases your stats, as well as items that you can use at the moment, the brown one acts as a “shop”, you can purchase spells for Magloryx to that’ll help you bring fear to your foes, and lastly, the black one is the rune code, a.k.a. “passwords”, if you have a rune code, perhaps it’ll grant Magloryx power ups to use, or net you something, the only way you’ll know is if you find them.

 

Magloryx’s main source of attack is usually his fiery breath in the shape of fireballs, and with that, it’s used to blast at foes, as well as to destroy the structures that stand in your way, just becareful around structures, because just touching them (or the pieces of them that’re floating in midair), can actually damage Magloryx. While you can just fire away at foes, the problem is that there is no lock on aiming, not even a reticle, so you’ll have to keep firing and firing until you hit your target. When aiming while not moving, it’ll be easier to hit your foes, but when enemy fire is near your tail, it’ll be harder to land fireballs on your target, as the fireballs can tend to just not hit their targets, and this can become more of an issue because you could easily get an “out of bounds” message due to going too far off, the game doesn’t have a way of letting you know exactly how much space around some areas are, just that message and a door noise. When fire is being revved up from both sides, it can take a chunk of the framerate down with it, and it happens when too much is on the screen, as well as just hitting some of the structures. When the game has less on it’s dragon scales, it tends to run better, except don’t expect that to last long sometimes, because something else might bring that framerate back down.


As I was soaring across the Hover Realm, the objectives pretty much remained the same, “ destroy this many structures”, and after a while, it began to feel the same, I expected more objectives to offer a bit more variety, but it wasn’t there. To try and shake things up, each colored section of the map has a boss battle after clearing the four main levels of structure smashing (and repeat) objective. The boss battles control a bit differently compared to the main levels, as Magloryx can now rotate in place, although that doesn’t really have that much of a use for the battles. The battles themselves either had you firing at the bosses themselves, or firing at even more structures, even if the boss wasn’t attacked at all, if the structure falls, the boss has failed. The final showdown with Horch felt unfair, he has this move where he wrecks a structure and it just OHKO’s me each time, despite none of the pieces hitting me, if bosses are being a real pain, a spell in the rune book might be the trick you need to tackle some bosses.


Fantasy words can be as creative as one can imagine it, but in here, it can look bland and empty, with the backgrounds just looking like it’s one or two colors with nothing flying in them (besides projectiles and Magloryx of course), making it almost feel like a wallpaper really, because the main menu layout shows off more life and expression in it than the stage backgrounds in the game. The models on the characters look alright, and do show more to them when the game is preforming with a higher framerate. The music sounds alright, nothing too special or catchy, but it gets the job done when it needs to, especially at that main menu or boss battle themes. Even though it’s lacking in some designs in looks, when you pause the game, you’ll see what appears to be a screenshot from a comic that looks like it takes place in the Hover Realm, that is because on the developer’s website, there is a companion comic that explores in greater details about the world of the Dragon Lord Magloryx. The comic screenshots show off greater details of Magloryx and the baddies he’ll be up against, compared to the details of the character designs from the comic and Wii U title, it almost looks like they’re separate characters in different series. The comic also has secret rune codes you can enter in the game, so if you want another comic to read, this might catch your interest.


All and All, Wings of Magloryx has some power in the wings of the Dragon Lord, however, the wings couldn’t support it as much as it could had supported it, leading into some bumps in the air. While the Hover Realm has a world that wants to be explored, it doesn’t offer much of a world to me, I didn’t feel connected to the realm or Magloryx as I could’ve, perhaps if Magloryx can sleep on gold for a long while to dream up another, improved adventure, I’d feel more connected to this world or Magloryx.


 

I give Wings of Magloryx 5 dragon wings out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $14.99

Memory used: 782 MB

Review code provided by: Arbelos Interactive

For more details on the companion comic: http://wingsofmagloryx.com/

 

Piano Teacher (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 22, 2016 at 4:25 PM Comments comments (0)

eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to be playing a virtual piano in Piano Teacher. This game advertises itself to transform you from a piano playing beginner, to a piano-playing pro. I’m just a kangaroo that sorta knows how to play the first part of twinkle twinkle little star, so I’ll see if this can make me become a pianist like Jen Msumba, or will I just continue playing the first part of twinkle twinkle little star on the piano? Let’s play the piano!

 

Once your finger is set on playing, you’ll notice an island with a piano on it, it’s music has summoned an army of fish to go out and about, it makes the experience seem promising, as if it’ll be there with you, except for the giant, amputated finger on the top corner of the screen………It’ll go away if you tap it, and it’s not there to scare you, it’s a tip suggesting to use one finger, which you can use, but I preferred using the stylus, as the Wii U gamepad can only be touched once instead of multiple times like on smart devices. To view what songs you can play, go to view song list, which contains 20 songs in it that Piano Teacher will go over with you, although, by going over with you, well, let’s go over to the next paragraph and I’ll explain how that goes…


…You’ll notice 20 different numbered icons, with the first one being the only one that has three stars on it. You can listen to a short demo of the other songs, but to play some of the later ones, you’ll have to start from the top, and as you keep playing songs, the difficulty will increase with each song, as told by the meter, the higher the blue goop in the meter is, the more challenging the song will be to play. Once playing, it’ll go over how to play one piano key at a time, a key will lash red, and you gotta press on the key when it does, so it can continue, depending on the song, the key will flash at different rates. Once you played a song, you’ll be graded on your performance, with the highest being three gold stars, to a flunking failed!You’re going to need at least a gold star rating to proceed to the next available song, and you’ll keep doing this and doing this until you reach the 20th song, and once you do……that’s it.


After clearing each song, do I feel like I can play the piano somewhat? Do I have what it takes to become a pianist like Jen Msumba? Not quite. I’ve mentioned that name earlier before in the review, Jen Msumba, who is she? She’s a pianist that actually played the piano examples provided, if you liked or want to see more of her piano playing, check out her Youtube channel, it’ll make you say “Hey, look, it’s the piano girl!”. While she’s great at what she does, with Piano Teacher, you won’t reach that kind of level anytime soon. The main issue is that it advertises you’ll become a pro at playing the piano, the problem is that how are you supposed to do that when it doesn’t really go over the steps on how to play the piano? It does state that it’ll help you to “easily” play 20 different known songs, but the issue with that, is that is just basically lights up what note to play next, what would’ve been a better way at teaching would’ve been to teach you some parts of the song, little by little, and then after showing you how to play a little of the song, you’ll have to play the part without any hints. This could’ve been easier to take in, but the asking price is asking for too much for something that feels like false advertising, it costs 40 bucks, again, too much for something that’s false advertising.


All and all, Piano Teacher is lacking the piano keys needed at becoming a piano teaching app that could’ve taught a piano noob at becoming the next Jen Msumba. It has potential in that, if it were truly a teacher, it would’ve went over the lessons better with it’s student. It could’ve at least taught you how to play some songs, it didn’t need to teach you how to play in the big leagues, but the main kicker is that it costs way too much for something it doesn’t say it would do.


I give Piano Teacher 3 piano keys out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $39.99

Memory used: 121 MB

Review code provided by: Skunk Software

Jen Msumba's Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMy3NRvWiNbGu24FfJrs61A

 

The First Skunk Bundle (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 21, 2016 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (0)


Eshop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m opening up a bundle of games with a skunk logo on the box in The First Skunk Bundle. This bundle contains five titles created by Skunk Software, which each differing in different genre of games. I’m going to open up this bundle, and one by one, give my thoughts on each game, and see whether or not this bundle is worth the asking price of 25 bucks, and to give better judgement on each game, I’ll pretend that each game really costs 5 bucks and say if it’s at least that amount. Once this bundle is opened, will it stink up your room so that it smells like a skunk? Hey, at least you’ll have tomato juice to drink if that’s the case, but anyway, let’s open this bundle!

 

The five games will be listed on the main menu, with a piano playing for the music. The first game is Haunted Hotel, which is in first person (sorry I had to). What you have to do is explore a hotel in search of keys to unlock doors to try and get to the roof, however, if your battery runs out…good thing extra batteries are scattered across the hotel, so they can keep your flashlight lit. So what makes this hotel so haunted? Mostly the jumpscare that keeps revving up from some picture with a woman with some edited face that looks like it came straight from a creepypasta with walls oozing green slime. The game has an audio battle, two tracks are playing at the same time, fighting to be the games main soundtrack, one of them is some creepyish tune, while the other is a rendition of Welcome to Hotel California. The environments look bland, it doesn’t make it that more creepy, and it can be very choppy, so choppy, the framerate drops to less than half of 30FPS. You’ll be looking for keys, getting jumpscared and listening to a music battle trying to reach the roof of the hotel room. Overall, Haunted Hotel is a hotel that offers too little for the asking price of 5 bucks to see what it has to offer, it can get a good laugh, sure, but for 5 bucks, meh, I’d say the most it’s worth at max is $2.99

 

Snake, Snake!?! SNNNNAAAAAKKKKKKEEEE!!!!......Anyways, Snake Classic is the classic snake game usually called snake. If you don’t know how this plays or already know, then allow this kangaroo to sum it up in a realistic way. You’re a “snake” and you must slither around to devour your scared and helpless prey. Each time you do, your stomach is thankful, and it digests the prey in almost an instant, adding nutrient and other vitamins to your snake insides, causing the snake’s body to grow by one. The bigger you are, the more you score, literally, it adds to your score each time you do this. Sometimes, you’ll find a clear prey, these contain more nutrient and other vitamins than in just a single prey, chomp one down, and you’ll grow even larger at a faster progress. Since you’re growing at a faster rate, you can’t stop, but yet, you’re still hungry, and want to eat more, whatever you spot, you want inside your stomach, and you want it in there now! If you just so happen to chomp on your snake body, you’ll bite yourself and most likely would eat yourself, resulting in a game over, also, you’ll get a game over if you touch the walls containing the snake, most likely an electric fence…….I could go on and on, but to sum it up as the classic snake game, you’re trying to get a high score each time, and overall…..It’s snake, you’ve probably played it before, is this version worth 5 bucks? Not in this era of gaming. A cheaper price of 99 cents is probably the best asking point for this version of the classic game that looks like it belongs on a calculator, not saying it’s a bad thing, but there’re better modern versions of this game available.

 

Right off the bat, I’ll say that Catchy is my favorite game included in this bundle, and if it was sold for 5 bucks, it would be worth the asking price (although, some would disagree with that). In the oddly named Catchy, you’re a faceless pyramid explorer (who reminds me of Indiana Joe from the Super Mario Bros. Super Show, they even look alike…could they be the same person!?!) in search of all the ankhs that’s inside of the pyramid, once found, you must negative to the elevator to go deeper into the pyramid. “Indiana Joe” controls a bit like a car, most notably when he’s turn reversing, the direction has to go the opposite direction, so right is left and left is right, and after a while, I was used to the controls, any little flaw with them got overlooked as I kept going deeper into the pyramid. So (many) ankhs, Such Pyramid (to explore). As you continue to clear levels, more challenging ones are unlocked, with a total of over 50 of them, and they can provide to be a bit of a challenge later on, although, it can start to look the same the further and further you go, and make it feel a bit repetitive. There’s also a variety of baddies and traps that you’ll encounter, such as disappearing platforms and ones that’ll fall when you step on them, although some are just “we touch you, you die” type of baddies, such as the Anubis and mummy, who just walk off the platform if they keep walking straight. You can’t battle the baddies, since Indiana Joe didn’t bring a whip or a gun, he’s defenseless, so it might be a good thing the Anubis doesn’t launch aura spheres like Lucario (because Lucario looks like an Anubis, if you didn’t know), or the mummy doesn’t wraps you up and toss you in the trash, because otherwise, you’d be toast. Catcher is overall, the game that has caught my attention the most in this first ever skunk bundle, and would be worth it if it were sold as a standalone release for 5 bucks, despite some of it’s flaws.

 

Bomb Blaster is the next game to ignite in this bundle. In this game, you must place bombs to knock over the baddies on platforms into the ground. You’ll start with a set number of bombs, and you can place as much as you can in a level, once you’re ready to blast em’ to smithereens, press the detonator and watch the bomb(s) go BOOM, as well as those baddies hopefully. Not all the creatures in this are guilty for those crimes that is never explained as to why they’re guilty, but they must’ve done something wrong those baddies, which is why the brainless are innocent, do not hurt the brainless, well, maybe a little, as you can still knock them around with the bomb blasts, just don’t knock them to their falling doom. To add some challenge, you can unlock a medal in each level by clearing the stage while using a certain amount of bombs, and you’ll need to do them to unlock more levels, perhaps more are “coming soon” via this method? Each passing level, more baddies are included, which adds to the strategic thinking you’ll have to rev up, although, some of the later levels can be a bit tricky to pull off, especially if you’re trying to do it in a certain amount of bomb blasts. Bomb Blaster, to best describe it shortly, is Angry Birds if you can place the bomb bird around the pig’s defensive, the music (which you can turn off if you find it to get annoying), graphics and layout all remind me of a mobile game, is that a bad thing? Not really, but for what it is, it’s decent and could provide some fun with more added levels, but for what it offers for 5 bucks at the moment, it would’ve been better off as a separate download for $1.99 the max.

 

The final game in the bundle, Zombie Epic, you must survive in a zombie apocalyptic world after getting captured by cannibals. It’s a top down shooter in the zombie apocalypse which reminds me of those sessions that I played with my buddy in SAS: Zombie Assault 3. Zombie Epic has a short story mode, as well as an endless mode. When I say that the story mode is short, I mean, it’s short, and doesn’t take that long to complete. During the story, voice acting is included, which makes going through the story the more amusing to go through, the “F” and “S” words are even used in the dialogue. In a nutshell, it’s just one guy who got skinned alive by cannibals going around, getting two other guys to come along with him, and they fight the endless horde of zombies, which, is the basically also the endless mode in a nutshell as well, because the ending to the story mode is the endless mode. One hit deaths are also a thing in this, which isn’t really an issue with the story mode, it’s the endless mode where this is a problem, as after killing a couple of zombies, the entire screen is just filled with them, and they take a couple of hits to kill, so after getting touched by a single zombie, you’ll be seeing a skunk spraying a game over with the “WA WAA WAAAAAAAA” sound effect, which, for a “bloody mature zombie survival game” isn’t all that mature. The controls work for the most part, although, sometimes, I get stuck when I’m rotating the aim. Zombie Epic overall isn’t as epic as it makes itself out to be, and isn’t worth 5 bucks mainly due to the short story mode acting like a cutscene for the endless mode. The endless mode could provide some replayability to tackle, but you’re just overwhelmed to soon, even with the powered up guns and backup from the other two shooters, at most, it’s worth 99 cents.

 

All and All, for the asking price of $24.99, The First Skunk Bundle offers not enough bang for your bucks. All the games with the exception of Catchy, are not worth the asking price of at least 5 bucks, and would’ve been better off if they were separate downloads. It feels like the games were picked at random to throw into this bundle, because would a game like Catchy or Snake Classic be included into an M rated game? That’s something else, due to Haunted Hotel and Zombie Epic’s more mature themed games, this bundle is rated M for mature, which is like if Super Mario All-Stars included a GTAV mod that replaced the characters with Mario ones , would that make sense? Nadda nadda nadda. This is the “first” skunk bundle, hopefully for the second one can fare better than the first one, mainly if its priced better, it would be easier to recommended, which I wish I could say for this one, perhaps if the price dropped low enough, it would be alright, but for the current asking price, it’s hard to do so, and really, that’s the main reason that’s bringing it down.

 

I give The First Skunk Bundle 3 skunks in a bundle out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $24.99

Memory used: 936MB

Review code provided by: Skunk Software

 

Free Balling (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 18, 2016 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, free balllin’ in…Free Balling. Free Balling is a sandbox drawing game where you can create a track made out of lines, and watch a ball be feel free to roll around it. It’s similar to another title called Line Rider, which was one of my favorite games to play in school while I was on one of the computers (hoping it was not blocked on certain websites), but I’m going to see if dropping these balls will either give me a similar experience of joy like I had back then, or will the balls keep falling away until the ends of time? Let’s drop some balls!


Once you’re in, you’ll get a message saying to use the Wii U stylus, as the touch screen is the only way you’ll be able to make some balls become free. First thing you’ll notice in the area is a black hole, that’s where your free balling adventure will begin. You’ll also notice a bunch of icons on the top, but to get started, you’re going to need to use either the blue or red pencil. The blue or red pencil are used to draw a path for your balls to be able to land, roll, etc., those are the only two colors you can make paths with, there is no other option for different colors, although, they have slight difference, with the red pencil trail making the ball accelerate at a faster speed than the blue version. If you make a mistake while drawing, freight not, for you can erase your problems with an eraser, however, this eraser doesn’t erase where your stylus is, and it’ll erase the entire line that you’ve drawn, regardless of the length of the line.

 

When you’re ready to make some balls become free, wave the green flag and press the ball icon to make them freeeeeee-*ahem*, uh, spawn from that black hole. You can make one ball appear, or, if you’re feeling daring today, rev up a total of ten balls at the same time, as well as change the color of each ball. Releasing all the balls all at the same time can open up to some new directions if your balls were to crash into each other, if that were to happen, during a ball spawning parade, you can freeze time by waving the white flag, halting all movement of the balls so you can keep the party going by continuing the path, wall, drop, etc. If all of these balls are hard to look at from close up, you could zoom out (or in) with the magnifying glass. The controls for all the functions for icons work for the most part, however, the one with the arrows feels a tad bit clunky. The directional arrows icon are used to be able to move around the area once it’s tapped, however, it moves around at a slow pace, although, that’s not really the issue, the issue is that you have to use the touch screen to move around, which isn’t a bad thing, but here, you have to go to near the corners or edges to be able to travel around your creation, and it can be clunky to do around corners, especially if you have a screen protector on. To be able to drag where to go or use the analog-stick would’ve been a better option to have.


  Presentation in Free Balling’s looks basic, nothing amazing, but nothing really falling face flat on it’s face. The backgrounds can change to different skies during different parts of the day when the earth icon is tapped, changing it to any part of the day doesn’t affect the brightness of the paths or balls in anyway. When designing your creation, you’ll have the option to listen four music tracks. The music tracks all mostly techno tunes, with one of the songs containing lyrics from a song. After making your balls become frrrreeeeeeee- *ahem x2*, uh, dropping them from the black hole after a while, I wished some more content was in this, more tools and items and gadgets to increase my creative thinking on how to deliver more creations, it felt sorta limited to what I could do with the amount that was included in the package.


While creating tracks with red or blue lines can be amusing, it suffers from one major flaw, you can’t save your creations at all, and this applies for tracks during development and completion. Without this, you can’t show off your tracks to anybody, unless if they’re there with you at the moment you’ve created it. The most you can do in terms of “saving” your creations, is if you posted a screenshot of it via Miiverse, but if you had a long course and wanted to show it all off, it’ll be a hassle taking screenshot after screenshot (and those 30 posts a day limit won’t help either). An option for posting QR codes could’ve been the way to be able to share your creations, and at the same time, to be able to save them in general.


All and all, Free Balling as a sandbox drawing game offers something that those with creative minds can get some enjoyment out of, despite some of the limitations holding it back. It’s not the worst of it’s kind, but it doesn’t fall into glory as it could have reached. For the asking price, I’d recommended if you’ve played something similar in the past, and would recommend more if it were ever on sale.

 

I give Free Balling 6 free balls out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $9.99

Memory used: 132 MB

Review code provided by: Skunk Software

 

Skunky B's Super Slots Saga #1

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 16, 2016 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)

eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to create a saga for myself by playing a bunch of slots, in Skunky B’s Super Slots Saga #1. I’m going to see if I can conquer all of Skunky B’s slots, will I become filthy stinkin’ rich, or will I stink like Skunky B…..I’m sure Skunky B smells fine, he’s a skunk, skunks usually smell fine, you just gotta get on their good side, but enough on biology, time to rev up those slots!


Once you begin your saga, you’ll find yourself with a bunch of locks in front of a background of a city at nighttime, most likely being good ol’ Viva Las Vegas. The first icon, the ace of spades, however, is not locked, but is just spinning around, it’s the first themed slot on your very long journey to conquer all 24 of Skunky B’s slots. Once in, you’ll start with a thousand bucks. You can set the bet amount from as little as a cent, to as high as the thousand bucks you have at the moment (just one line from the start), and, let’s just say, you play and spend it all on once and lose, you’ll have no money left, would you get another chance to play? Nadda, you’ll be forced to go back to the lobby to click on the arrow icon, where your entire progress is cleared, starting you back at the beginning with all locks and one ace of spades, just be careful, because if you pressed it by mistake, there’s no “are you sure?” message, it’ll just refresh to square one, so beware.


Is this just slots gambling similar to Skunk Software’s other slots based Wii U eShop title, “Slots - Pharaoh's Riches”? The main principle is basically the same, it’s slots, where you tab or pull the handle, the pictures keep spinning until they stop all one at a time, however, in Skunky B’s first slot saga offering, it offers a bit more depth to it. At the top, an empty bar will display a total amount next to the zero amount, whenever you bet at the slots, the empty bar will get filled up with a yellow bar inside, the more you bet, the higher it’ll keep increasing. When you fill up the entire bar, it’ll start over with a higher amount to reach, as well as leveling you up. When you level up, that is when one of the many locks one at a time unlocks itself, offering a new background to play slots in. At first, it’ll seem like you can get through them all pretty quickly when you place high amount of bets, however, later on, the highest amount of bets won’t seem to fill up the bar as much, this will occur during the middle part of the saga, and it can really take a long time to do, because the amount needed to level up keeps going up by doubling whatever the previous amount was. This can become repetitive to do after a while, and will make Skunky B’s bizarre slot adventure become tedious to get through. An option to purchase the next slot could’ve made things go by a bit quicker, as it could’ve made the player think to either continue with something new, or keep trying to build up first.

 

Skunky B’s slots look decent, although, they all seem to share the same basic layout, a mostly grey color scheme with a picture in the background, with one of the icons in the slot representing what the theme of the slot is. The backgrounds are just still images, they don’t move or have any effects in them, which can make them look tiring to look at after a while, because even with what does change in each slot, it’ll feel too similar with each other. Two songs will be heard mostly through this entire saga, the first one on the slot select screen is a relaxing, sorta jazzish theme, with the other one during the slot gameplay being something that’ll more than likely get overheard by the slots themselves. Another jingle will play when you get to the cherry picking mini game, that occurs when three trees are having landed in the slots. In this mini game, a tree with cherries are on it, and you have to select three of them, once you do, you’ll receive an amount of cash based on the number that was behind the cherries you’ve picked. It’s an alright bonus game, although, more bonus games could’ve helped increase the amount of variety in the slots.

 

All and all, Skunky B’s Super Slots Saga #1 will definitely fill up your slotting needs if you have them, as you’ll be hitting that spin button a lot, however, later on with the spinning, it’ll start to feel the same and can get tiresome when trying to level up and unlock more slots. If you’re a fan of slots, for the price, you’ll defiantly save money instead of playing the real deal, however, don’t except that much fancy lights to go with Skunky B’s slots.

 

I give Skunky B’s Super Slots Saga #1 5 slots out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $14.95

Memory used: 226 MB

Review code provided by: Skunk Software

 

Super Hero Math (Wii U eShop)

Posted by SheldonRandoms on September 10, 2016 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)


eShop Guru SheldonRandoms here, and today, I’m going to become a super kangaroo hero that has the power to fly and add addition to my resume of powers in Super Hero Math + Addition. As the title says, you’re a super hero that has powers and works in the field with math, mainly addition. I’ll be seeing if this super hero’s powers add up, or if it’ll divide by zero? Up, up and awwwwwway!

 

When you first get to the main menu, you have the option to select either the girl or boy hero, there’re no differences between the two stat wise, only by looks and gender. Once selected, your hero is flying in the sky via in a vertical shooter style, where they’ll keep flying, and keep flying after that, until they freeze in midair, where they’ll have to solve an addition question, answering correctly will unfreeze your hero so they can continue flying, but answer incorrectly, and they’ll be frozen for a short while. Obstacles and baddies appear out of nowhere, you can blast them out of the sky with an energy blast, which can be spawned many times at once, doing this will get you some points, as well as coins you collect in the sky which gives you some points as well. Once the super hero you picked gets hit, it’s a one-hit instant death with no extra lives or continues, only the option to start over again. After a couple of more flights, it’ll all feel the same after a short while.


The environment of the city is packed with blue shaded buildings with a sunset in the sky, which can look a bit generic for a city. The super heroes and other objects in the sky coming towards you look alright and have some decent animation attached them, nothing really too special though. To accompany the graphics is this standard super hero tune that pretty much is a rule in the super hero handbook, which would probably state that “All super heroes, at least those that wear capes and super suits, MUST have this heroic theme with trumpets played by an orchestra attached to them wherever they go”. One theme for the main menu, and another one that is a bit more actiony during the gameplay, it overall sounds alright and gets the job done at the end of the day.


The amount of content found in Super Hero Math is a bit lacking considering the asking price of $7.99. The game is called “Super Hero Math” and shows a super hero man, wearing a super suit with a cape holding a basket of apples, yet he doesn’t really make an appearance in the gameplay at all, just on the main menu and startup screen. The two super hero kids don’t have any backstory or even names, just “Girl” and “Boy”, making them feel like just generic heroes thrown into this game without any reason just to be there. The blue shaded city doesn’t change regardless of how far you fly, no other cities or baddies coming your way or additional powers to gain, making your duty as a super hero feel pointless. The main offer this can has to fly in this blue shaded city again is to try and tackle your high score, though with so little to do, flying that far again might not seem like the ideal way to fly, and would eventually become tiresome due to addition problems that keep revving up almost every 10 seconds to halt your progress ,

 

All and All, Super Hero Math doesn’t add up to the correct amount when it tries to take on the role of an additional based super hero game. While it does have math questions that would be alright for those still learning about addition, the rest just lacks enough depth to justify the $7.99 asking price, so for super heroes “Girl” & “Boy”, it’s back to super hero school for them.


I give Super Hero Math 3 math problems out of 10

Cost on the eShop: $7.99

Memory used: 94 MB

Review code provided by: Skunk Software

 


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