Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Puzzle & Dragons Z + Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition ***Rating 2.5/5***

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Now don’t be mistaken by the low rating, I do not think that this is a bad game in any capacity. I will go into further detail as to why my rating is so low later on but I thought it’d be better to start off with the aspects of this game that I enjoyed. For a Nintendo game developed by a third party developer it does still look to have the appropriate Super Mario art style as well as a Pok√©mon-esque character design for Puzzle & Dragons Z. The developer Gugnho Online Entertainment from my understanding has mostly developed PC MMORPG’s as well as a few Vita and DS games. I personally played more of the Mario game, but I have played both and I’ll say this, the gameplay is exactly the same between the two games with it only being skinned differently, with the only noticeable difference between the two games being that in Z you have a overworld that you are free to roam and experience, while in the Super Mario game you have your typical Mario overworld map. The game itself is a pretty straightforward puzzle game akin to bejewelled but the key difference is that it is a puzzle RPG in a sense as it requires that you chain together combinations of spheres to attack enemies. I like that the Super Mario game features classic Mario enemies as well as the Koopa kids. I am unfamiliar with the Puzzle and Dragons series prior to this so I can not make any real claims about the dragon designs within the Z game. There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with this game other than the fact that it can be boring and needlessly difficult at parts.

The learning curb is serious in this game. It is pretty straightforward when it comes to learning what types are strong against each other, that I got from the start, but what does make this game needlessly difficult is as follows: the stylus controls have to be spot on or else you might lose grasp of the puzzle piece you are holding, the fact that you only have a fixed amount of continues and you cannot gain more, and that the puzzle is unlike any I’ve ever played before. Basically when playing this game you select a certain piece and you can place it anywhere on the board within a short period of time. The thing that complicates this even more is that when you move a piece, it displaces all the pieces in its path, so chaining together massive combos can prove to be problematic if you don’t have a plan of action set in your mind going into it. Even worse is that in most puzzle games like this if you pick up a piece but don’t move it your turn is not actually concluded, but in these two games the second you come into contact with a puzzle piece if you let it go even on its original position you automatically lose that turn, so sometimes you might find yourself losing a turn because you didn’t quite have a firm enough grip on the puzzle piece.

In the end for a puzzle game, while being ok as a time waster, I don’t see myself playing this game constantly and I have no draw to finishing the game of Puzzle & Dragons Z in any capacity. It is ok and offers up a mixing of different genres which I typically like but it is still lacking something, and I do not think that that something can be added in DLC or patches. If you are looking for a simple enough game to play for a few minutes a day I can recommend this to 3DS owners, but if you do not own a 3DS this game is definitely not a reason to buy the system. I give this game a 2.5/5 because it lacks the feel of a true Nintendo game, it can be needlessly complicated, but it is simple enough to pick up and go, for the most part, and it can be a relatively enjoyable experience, depending on the duration of gameplay.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Splatoon ***Rating 3.5/5***

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Hey everyone! Apologies first for being away for a few months, but here I am with another review. This time I will be talking about the new Wii U Nintendo game Splatoon. Simply put this game is a child friendly and fun to play third-person shooter with some light platforming elements. The character designs while simple are still very enjoyable to experience and the constantly changing set of environments to play in offers a lot for the eye to see. While I was playing I even noticed a poster on the wall of one stage that featured graffiti of Dr. Zoidberg from Futurama and it said “Why not Zoidberg?” which I found to be an amusing little detail. Overall the aesthetics of the game are a cross between American and Japanese as to be relatable to a larger market and as typical with all Nintendo Wii U titles, Splatoon just looks amazing! 1080p and 60 FPS makes for a great viewing experience. The main focus of the game is based on online play with friends or against complete strangers where the goal is to use your variety of ink weapons to claim the most amount of territory. There is also a 1v1 mode where you can play against another person in your own home, as well as another game mode that follows the single player experience and plays more like a cross between a puzzle-platformer and a third-person shooter. From playing online matches you accrue in game currency that you may use to purchase weapon upgrades as well as new gear. The Amiibo launched alongside the game itself even offer up more functionality than any other Amiibo released prior to this date. Instead of simply offering up a skin or outfit like in games like Mario Kart 8, in Splatoon, the special Splatoon Amiibo offer new outfits, weapons, and even new challenges, which definitely helps to substantiate buying them. While the positive aspects are great and make for a very enjoyable overall experience, where I find fault in the game is in the small details that seem to disrupt the game’s full potential.

In my opinion most of the faults that I have experienced have been minor and should be easily fixable, but one fault still looms over me. Firstly I wanted to mention the controller support issue, which allows you to use the Pro Controller or a Wii Remote along with the Classic Controller, but only for the second player. There should be support to opt out from using the GamePad as the mandatory Player 1 controller. Next up I noticed a significant amount of Network Errors. Now was my internet to blame? I don’t know, but if it continues to be an issue it will make playing online games impossible, so if anyone else has experienced this problem please let me know. I also noticed that the online matches pair people together randomly and it has no sense of putting people of a similar level together, which can create some really one-sided matches! But my number one complaint about this game is that it does not offer local multiplayer or local multiplayer online! By this I mean that you cannot queue up for a game with a couple of friends in your own home on your Wii U system, instead you can only play online with friends if hey each have their own Wii U and a copy of the game. And although you can play a local 1v1 battle mode, it just doesn’t feature the same challenge or fun of the online experience.

I know that some of these issues are considered non-issues to some and most likely some of these will be addressed in further updates as this game only just came out on the 29th of May, 2015, but I have to stand by my rating of 3.5/5 at this moment because a game like this, a third-person shooter with puzzle-platforming elements should really offer up a decent story mode as well as a wide variety of online or local multiplayer options. I know more game types for the online mode are coming in the near future, and I might re-review the game at that point but currently it is just a 3.5/5. Now I’m not saying don’t go out and buy it, but instead I just want everyone to know that it just isn’t quite where it needs to be but it is still a fairly enjoyable experience. I recommend this game for all age groups, at any skill level, and as a fun online multiplayer game, but as for local multiplayer we just have to wait and see if it’ll get better.