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

UehaEEMx6j-Tr787OriArPp25Q2-LI-u

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 Pokémon-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***

1432743390-9631-card

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.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Pokemon Shuffle ***Rating 3/5***

pokemon-shuffle1

My enjoyment of this Free-to-Play game for the 3DS family of systems came to a quick end once I noticed some fairly large faults. Other than the fact that this game is merely a clone of Bejewelled, with slightly tweaked gameplay, the first thing that got me was how long it took to regenerate lives in the game. 5 minutes is fair, 10 minutes is reasonable, but 30 minutes to wait to regenerate a single life is far too long to wait, and I find myself only playing 5 rounds at a time and then giving up after those 5 rounds are up. But I totally understand that that is how Freemium games work, you pay to make your way through it at a faster rate.

Even with the negative aspects the base game is still fairly enjoyable. There are incentives for playing daily, you can unlock Mega Pokémon and Legendaries, and as the game progresses, the difficulty progresses accordingly as well. As the form factor for the tiles is pretty small, the character designs can be lacking or just very basic, usually featuring just the head of the Pokémon or a morphed body. These designs though are clean, simple, and still pleasing visually.

If you are a parent and are downloading this for your child, please make sure that there is not a credit card connected to your eShop account, as there is the possibility of your children charging you for extra lives in game. As one of Nintendo’s first attempts at a Freemium game, Pokémon Shuffle is fun, although it suffers from generic traits of this game type.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Nintendo new 3DS XL Majora’s Mask Edition ***Rating 4.5/5***

Dragon Dude Collecting

What can be said that hasn’t been said already? While the new 3DS XL is only a minor upgrade to the last version, I can honestly say I am very happy with the system and having purchased it! The presentation of the system is beautiful with the striking artwork on the cover of the system, featuring various masks alongside the titular Majora’s Mask. I cannot condone spending hundreds of dollars above retail value to obtain one of these, but you can still purchase the standard Red or Black versions in Canada for 229.99$.

So here are the differences between the 3DS XL and the new 3DS XL: 2 extra shoulder buttons, c stick in place of the circle pad pro accessory, stabilized eye-tracking 3D, NFC support for Amiibo figures, switch from SD to microSD, and a better processor. Otherwise the only thing worth mentioning are the minor cosmetic differences, such…

View original post 404 more words

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Nintendo new 3DS XL Majora’s Mask Edition ***Rating 4.5/5***

What can be said that hasn’t been said already? While the new 3DS XL is only a minor upgrade to the last version, I can honestly say I am very happy with the system and having purchased it! The presentation of the system is beautiful with the striking artwork on the cover of the system, featuring various masks alongside the titular Majora’s Mask. I cannot condone spending hundreds of dollars above retail value to obtain one of these, but you can still purchase the standard Red or Black versions in Canada for 229.99$.

So here are the differences between the 3DS XL and the new 3DS XL: 2 extra shoulder buttons, c stick in place of the circle pad pro accessory, stabilized eye-tracking 3D, NFC support for Amiibo figures, switch from SD to microSD, and a better processor. Otherwise the only thing worth mentioning are the minor cosmetic differences, such as the relocation of the charging port, cartridge slot, and memory card slot.

This next point is the biggest one for those of you that are not certain about what the new 3DS XL is exactly. It is just an updated 3DS that will still play all the 3DS and DS games that the old 3DS could play, but in the following months games will be released that are optimized for the new 3DS XL that will only function on the new console. If you plan on purchasing games such as the port of the Wii RPG Xenoblade Chronicles, or wish to play games that feature the use of Amiibo figures then you will need to purchase the new 3DS XL.

So if I praise the new 3DS XL so much, why did I only rate it a 4.5/5 and not a perfect 5? Three reasons really, no charger, the price has jumped an extra 30$ in Canada, and lastly, it doesn’t come with a download code or physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D! But these are not huge factors in my mind. If you have owned a DSi, DSi XL, 3DS, 3DS XL, or 2DS in the past, then you do not require a new charger, because the exact same charger is used for all of those systems. If the game was included then the price would have also been bumped up to 259.99$ like the other variant system that was released, the special edition Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate new 3DS XL, and in the end it is the same price as the basic Red and Black new 3DS XL’s.

One last point worth noting is the system transfer process; this is only valid for those of you that already own a 3DS system. I cannot stress the fact that if you are in the position where you are upgrading to the new 3DS XL, please use the PC method alongside a microSD card with an SD card adapter. It is much faster, especially if you have downloaded content and the only thing the system transfer process will take care of is the transferring of licenses from the old system to the new. But don’t worry, there are many sites out there that have made videos and blog posts about the process, step by step. Here is a link to help you out in the system transfer process:

http://ca.ign.com/wikis/nintendo-3ds/3DS_to_New_3DS_or_3DS_XL_System_Transfer

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Pokémon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire ***Rating 4.5/5***

Even though there have been over 20 main series Pokémon titles, including the remakes, in my opinion the release of these two games were the most anticipated of all! for years people had been asking for a Hoenn Region remake game, and we finally got it just a few days ago on the 21st of November. It has only been 4 days, but I’ve gotten through a good chunk of the game and I base my review on what I have experienced in the game up to this point.

To start out with one detailed I noticed from the beginning, it seems that the game has become far more personal than any other Pokémon game in the past, even more so than X&Y, with its customization. The inclusion of segments where we get to experience the game from a first person perspective really made me feel a stronger connection to the character I was playing as. Another little and all too necessary addition was the range of facial expressions different characters had throughout the game, especially when coming into contact with your rival.

I won’t comment on the base gameplay or the story much because they are pretty much the same as always, so I will skip ahead to some new things I really enjoyed! The biggest new game mechanic you will notice in the game is that after you encounter the legendary Pokémon of whichever game you chose, you will get access to the Eon Flute which let’s you call Latios or Latias to fly you anywhere you would like! Instead of flying like you would earlier in the game, or in previous games, this time around you have control over your Pokémon and you can fly anywhere on the map, that you have previously visited, including routes, caves, and other locations, which were never accessible by flying in the past! While in the air you can encounter some random Pokémon, mostly flying types, as well as access some uncharted locations where you might encounter a legendary. In these random locations you will be able to fight and possibly catch almost all the legendary Pokémon from all the other main series games. The only downside to this is that you have to meet exact requirements in order to unlock these hidden locations so that you can have an opportunity to catch these legendaries.

Every aspect of this game has received a well wanted facelift, and now we can all finally enjoy our classic games in a new format. One aspect of the game that I really disliked in the original has even been reworked in the remake and in my opinion it’s for the better, that aspect is the Pokémon Contests. I disliked these when I was younger, couldn’t make heads or tales of what attacks did what, but now it is all so simple. While the changes to the Pokémon Contest are minor, I enjoy performing in them much more now than in the original series. These Contests were supposed to show off your Pokémon and their attacks, and I finally think they have managed to achieve that.

Even though I have defeated the 8 Gym Leaders, I feel like there is a lot more to come, and the story is definitely nowhere near done yet. I have enjoyed playing the Pokémon games since Yellow Version in the late 90’s, and now over 15 years later I find myself still playing. You might have expected me to give the game a perfect rating, 5/5, but I just can’t do that to a game that is in a series that is quite repetitive and to a game that is a remake of another. Even though it is an amazing game, it did not push the envelope far enough to give us a totally unique Pokémon experience. So I do give the game a 4.5/5 because every other aspect of the game is absolutely amazing as usual. I did not pay much attention to the series in the 5th generation, but following the conversion from 2D to 3D art style I find myself getting drawn back in. Who knows, maybe the next generation will offer something that we have all been craving for some time, something that will make us all come back to a series we grew up on.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Fantasy Life ***3.5/5***

Fantasy Life is one of the latest RPGs to be released for the Nintendo 3DS and whats the first thing that comes to mind? meh… While the game is not terrible, by any stretch of the imagination, its also not great. Story is nearly nonexistent in this game, even though there is a story to it. I can say now that my character is level 38 and I’ve played for a little over 40 hours, but the story itself was completed back at about 12 hours into the game. But the story takes a back seat in this game and the true reason to play this game is to experience all that the world has to offer, craft new items, banding together in parties to defeat strong enemies, and to solve absolutely everyone’s problems in the region.

While it is an interested RPG, the way you play the game depends greatly on which of the 12 classes you choose to play as. You can change your class at any point in the game and all that it affects is your class based quests, and certain tools and gear you have equipped. If you choose to play as a Paladin, Hunter, Mercenary, or Wizard, you will mainly be playing an Action RPG, going on journeys, banding together and taking down strong enemies. But if you pick any of the other classes, such as Miner, Woodcutter, Angler, Alchemist, Carpenter, Blacksmith, Cook, or Tailor, get set for some true RP. While Miners, Woodcutters, and Anglers require you to explore the land, it is highly recommended that you level up as a Paladin, Hunter, or Mercenary first just so that you have a stronger base attack and are able to fend yourself in the wild. With Miners, Woodcutters, and Anglers you need to travel the map finding rare ore, rare trees, and rare fish that you can only obtain after learning those prerequisite skills. Following these two groups come the lesser classes that mostly involve creating items out of components you have collected on your journeys. This third class should really be left to play after you have at least completed one of each of the previously mentioned classes. In my play through of the game I started as a Paladin, became a Miner and a Woodcutter, and finally I have moved on to the third category, playing as a Carpenter, Blacksmith, and Tailor. These three classes play exactly the same, by creating new items through perfectly timed button presses. The reason to eventually play as every class though is to be able to complete each and every side quest in the game.

Throughout the game you have an ever-growing list of quests belonging to three separate categories you must complete to either progress the story, get Dosh (the currency of the game), or to level up your character’s class ranking. Later in the game quests increase drastically in difficulty, making near impossible to complete them on your own, such as taking on the Silver and Gold Dragons. Another thing that proves difficult are the countless rare ores and trees that you cannot mine or chop down until you have increased your skill level, increased your overall level, and equipped the best gear. At level 38 with high mining and woodcutting skills, I am still unable to do any damage to the rarest of items, but in time that will change.

Fantasy Life is the game for the person that likes to explore and sink hundreds of hours into one gaming experience. If you are looking to just play a game for its story and be done with it, this is not the game for you. In completing the story you will have only finished a small percentage of what this game has to offer. In the end I gave it a 3.5/5 rating because it can be lacklustre and drawn out at times, but the world looks amazing and offers so much to explore! but the score also dropped down because the story is far too short for the shear amount of gameplay available in this game. It almost feels as if the story is a fond memory that I long to return to. But who knows? Maybe the DLC will add more chapters to the story and will help me in reconsidering my  rating of 3.5/5.

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Tales of Hearts R ***4.5/5***

North American Cover Art

Tales of Hearts R is the latest entry into the Tales series of RPGs made by Namco Bandai Games. This entry is a remake of the 2008 Nintendo DS game Tales of Hearts. The updated version features all new 3D game play, with 3D characters interacting in a 3D world. It features new animated cut scenes as well an all new voice acting throughout main story events. Admittedly I am not well versed in the Tales series, only having played Tales of Symphonia myself, but I do appreciate the longstanding series for producing many interesting stories and characters as well as some solid gameplay throughout the years.

To get into game details lets start with one big fact, it’s Playstation TV compatible! If you so please you can play it on the go, or sit down on the couch and enjoy it with the experience of a PS3 controller! When being scaled up to a big screen TV the quality of the image diminishes somewhat, but that will be a given when looking at almost any Vita game being played on the Playstation TV. The combat system is very good and led to some rather enjoyable random encounters. I like the quality of the lock on in that it can easily switch from one target to another without much effort. The tutorial portion of the game though was a little too detailed for my liking, but it would be necessary for any gamer that is entirely new to the series, although it does play like many action RPGs. The dungeon design was fairly lacklustre in that most of the time you were directed exactly down the path you needed to take, or the path itself was nearly entirely obvious. From my first 1 1/2 hours of gameplay I can say that the core gameplay will be enjoyable and the scenery and cut scenes will look amazing, but as for storyline, I can’t really say much at this point.

I give the game a rating of 4.5/5 because the game itself is easy to control and fairly enjoyable. Tales of Hearts R can be played on the go or on the big screen. While dungeon layouts are somewhat lacklustre and I can’t talk for the progression of the story, for the time being it is shaping up to be a great entry into the Tales series. The only other downside is the game’s availability. It is only available in North America at EB Games and Gamestop locations across Canada and the US. In Canada the price is 44.99, but hopefully with time the game drops in price or receives an HD port to the PS3 or PS4. But if you are a fan of the Action-RPG genre and a fan of the Tales series, I could not recommend this game any more!

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call ***4/5***

theatfinalfantasycurtains

Curtain Call is proving to be even better than its predecessor. Curtain Call features the exact same rhythm based gameplay as the first entry into the series but this time Square Enix has changed up how the game is played. In a positive move, at least in my opinion, they have decided to go for a more open and varied feel, making multiple individual songs available to you to play at any time, instead of having to play preset groupings of songs from individual games. You can still choose from Event Music, Field Music, or Battle Music, but now if you want you can choose to play them in any order you like! For even more choice as well they have included 3 difficulty settings for each song starting at Basic, then Expert, and ending with Ultimate which offers some fast paced gameplay and a much higher degree of difficulty.

Along with this new choice of music Square Enix has included several new game modes that help break up the repetitive nature of most rhythm games. The new game modes include Versus and Quest. Versus mode has been a little difficult for me as it is competitive online play and you can choose to sabotage your opponents, which all depends on how well you are playing the game. In Quest mode you are able to play through a string of songs to collect items that help you progress in the quest, as well as other items such as shards that help you unlock more characters.

I have few complaints about the game and they aren’t very serious ones either. First off there is DLC. I do not like DLC, especially when it costs money. Available to purchase they have a selection of music for 99 cents each and a couple of characters as well. The only other thing that bothered me was that there was no way in game of telling how much you have unlocked so far and how much more is left to unlock. If only they had put into the game that you have unlocked 6/12 songs for a specific title, I feel like I would be able to gauge my progress better but it’s not available.

All in all I rate this game a 4/5 because the gameplay is as good, if not better than the first game, the faults are minor, and there is just a mass amount of content available to play with in the game. If you enjoy the idea of a rhythm-based game with RPG elements then this is your game!

Included below is my video unboxing of the game, featuring the included music disc. Enjoy!

Image

Review Time! with Dragondude2525: Kirby Triple Deluxe ***4.5/5***

Kirbytstest

I have to say that I am almost never disappointed in a Kirby game. This addition to the series was definitely the game I was waiting for and it had the same quality I would expect of any other game in the series! It’s colourful, cute, and oh so endearing, but even though it has these qualities, Triple Deluxe was still a challenging game. For the most part you can get through the levels easily while still finding all the secret areas and hidden key chain collectibles. I myself made it all the way to the sixth world before I reached the end of a level without collecting all the items. Unlocking bonus stages is a breeze and with 2 other mini games included with Triple Deluxe you will have loads more to do following the final boss fight. The power ups were great as usual with the standard fare of the series but this time there was the new Hypernova ability that while looking awesome did more or less what the giant mushroom did for Mario in New Super Mario Bros for the DS. This power up destroys everything in your path by super charging Kirby’s standard ability, allowing you to suck up boulders, blocks, various enemies, and even moving trains in one stage! Although Triple Deluxe has an extensive amount of content it still felt like it was lacking a little something, but that may be partially due to the ease at which I play the game. It might prove to be more challenging to other players but for me it was a fun and speedy adventure, completing it after having played for several hours a day over the course of a week. In the end HAL Laboratories has made another great game for Nintendo, propelling this classic character well into the future for us to enjoy in subsequent instalments. I rate the game at a 4/5 because while it is an overall enjoyable game, I felt that the main portion of the game went by too fast for me. If there was a larger degree of difficulty I believe that it would have masked the game’s quick pace, giving the illusion of a longer game by upping the difficulty on it, forcing the player to take more time in completing any given level. But you can take what you want from this short review and make what you like of it. This game will be enjoyable for both children and adults, and offers a little something for everyone. If it is for a new or experienced gamer, I believe both will get fun out of it!