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Tag Archives: Review

Video Review: Mad Dog McCree: Gunslinger Pack

I recorded this audio and cut the video over a year ago, but for this, that, and the other I was never able to put it up on YouTube. Because of this, the audio is a bit low as to avoid the ambient noise my old microphone picked up. Aside form that, this is a fresh new video review for your viewing pleasure!

Laters,
Jsick

 
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Posted by on 01/27/2016 in Wii

 

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Pokemon Picross Adds a New Twist, But Isn’t the Picross Game I Was Looking For

Pokemon Picross Banner

Whenever someone asks me what my favorite games are, I have a really hard time answering since I really do enjoy a lot. Instead, I come back with my favorite types of games to play, which include (in no particular order) fighting games, RPGs, and puzzle games. I think that last one is the most endearing of them all: puzzle games have been around for ages, but more recently they’ve been relegated to social media and/or smartphone titles that probably aren’t worth your time. But every now and then a good puzzle game is all I need to pass the time enjoyable. Take the Professor Layton or Picross franchises for example: both are epitomes of what I want in a portable puzzle game, and both are easily some of the best games I’ve ever played. So you could imagine my excitement when a Pokemon-themed Picross game came out a few weeks ago on 3DS.

On the surface Pokemon Picross seems to have everything a Picross game should: familiar puzzle gameplay, the same old strategy as before, and that sense of accomplishment when you’ve completed a tough level. But now with Pokemon to adorn every puzzle! Don’t even mind the “Free to start” mentality and the microtransactions to continue playing the game: just drop $30 at the beginning and the game is you’re, entirely unlocked without any other financial roadblocks. So what’s not to like

Well, for starters (get it?) this actually makes some big changes to the Picross formula. Usually in a Pircross puzzle there are definite ways to uncover which tiles to chip away and which to leave alone. Think of it like a jigsaw puzzle: you might have several pieces that are shaped the same, but only one piece will slot into another and make the picture look correct. In Pokemon Picross however, there are several times where you literally get to a point where you can’t logically choose the next step. You’ll just be poking around to see what might work without any definite strategy behind it.

Pokemon Picross Greninja

And that’s where actual Pokemon come in! After clearing a stage and revealing the Pokemon, you catch it! From then on, you can select that Pokemon before a new puzzle to use it’s special ability to aid you in solving the next challenge. Each Pokemon type has a unique ability. These include abilities that reveal columns or rows of tiles correctly at the start of the match, highlight rows that you can use accurately figure out which tiles to eliminate, and even some abilities that automatically correct a tile if you incorrectly use it. Honestly, these changes are pretty damn awesome, and I really like using them! It feel cool having Snorlax take out some tiles in the beginning of the match, or having Oddish tell me when I’ve done something wrong. Future Picross games should try to incorporate these mechanics in some way, because they add a lot of fun to the puzzles, and give players with less skill a better chance of winning!

Despite all this the game just ins’t doing it for me like I want it too. I’ve been happily travelling through zones collecting Pokemon, but I get dragged down when there’s a puzzle, even with the special Pokemon abilities, that just can’t be beaten because you don’t have enough information available to win. It sucks! I understand the game wants me to go forward, collect bigger, more powerful allies, then come back to tackle these harder challenges, but it’s a drag! I praised this series in the past for it’s thoughtful puzzle design and how it made you feel like a genius when your brain finally figures it out! Now that’s all up in the air and determined by which friends you bring into battle with you. I wish there were a way to still use these powers but give the player a fighting chance even if you don’t have the most powerful Pokemon at your disposal.

Pokemon Picross Pikachu

I’ll still be playing Pokemon Picross for the time being, mainly because I don’t have anything else right now in y 3DS. Also, it still has the great pick up and play mentality of previous Picross games, which makes it super easy to play one puzzle or one hundred before getting old. I think my expectations were set high on this one, so the only thing I could do was be let down, which is exactly what happened. That being said, Pokemon Picross is still a fun game, it just isn’t as fun as the past entries I’ve played in the series.

Laters,
Jsick

 
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Posted by on 12/22/2015 in Nintendo 3DS

 

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Video Review: Fortune Street

It’s been months since I was able to get behind my desktop, record some voiceover, edit a heck of a lot of video, and make a new review, but here it is!

Fortune Street on the Wii is not like any other “Party” game I’ve played. I think the misconception about the game is just that: it’s a party game. While Fortune Street is best enjoyed with other players on your couch, it’s just not as endearing as a Mario Party or a Monopoly. Unless you’re a stock broker who moonlights as a Mario junkie.

Laters,
JsickA

 
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Posted by on 10/29/2015 in Wii

 

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Skylanders Trap Team is the Best Way to Play with Toys in Video Games

Skylanders Trap Team Bosses

By now the formula for a Skylanders game shouldn’t surprise anyone: you purchase/use toys in the real world to use the digital version in the game world. Gameplay is your standard action RPG blend of combat, level progression, light puzzles, and boss battles capping off each stage and world. I was pretty happy with the very first game, but thought after Giants came out the following year that the fad was done. Surprisingly, Swap Force released and it was somehow the best game in the series. Well surely after three games Activision and Toys For Bob have put all they could into the game and couldn’t possibly make it any better, right? Hmmm… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 10/16/2015 in PlayStation 4

 

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Tao’s Adventure is a Portal to When Designers Didn’t Know How to Make DS Games

Taso Adventure Banner

You take some risk when playing games from nearly a decade ago. In that span of time many developers and game designers have time to hone their craft and really get a grip on what a system or console can do. The Nintendo DS is a perfect example of this, because not only was it a more powerful version of Nintendo’s handheld line, it also introduced a second touch screen to play around with. Early games on the DS used that second screen as an inventory management screen, a place to show the map, or a different way to control the game. Perhaps we’re all spoiled now in 2015 after 10 years of successful games on the system, because going back to Tao’s Adventure on the DS just reminds me how far we’ve come. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 10/12/2015 in Nintendo DS

 

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Skylanders: Swap Force on 3DS is an enjoyable, albeit simple, platformer

Skylanders Swap Force Banner

The Skylanders series of RPG/Platformers is the grandfather of the NFC toys-to-life genre so rampant today. With the LEGO games jumping into the fray, kids/parents/gamers have a mountain of toys to buy for a variety of games. While the first Disney Infinity attempted to bring the game to the portable 3DS (and failed), only Activision’s Skylanders series has maintained an enjoyable presence on Nintendo’s handheld since the very first game. With each iteration of the Skylanders franchise something new is added to enhance the gameplay, sell more times, and convince you that $100 purchase last year is obsolete compared to this year’s bundle. On the 3DS though, the game’s offer a completely different story and gameplay experience, and Swap Force on 3DS is no exception. It’s nothing compared to the console versions, but it’s still a good play for someone who’s invested money in lots of plastic figures and portals! Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 10/04/2015 in Nintendo 3DS

 

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Fallout Shelter is a Fun Way to Waste Time

Fallout Shelter Title

One of the most pleasant things to come out of this year’s E3 show was Bethesda’s announcement of a brand new Fallout game, and I’m not talking about Fallout 4. A little iOS game (soon to be on Android) called Fallout Shelter was released directly after the Bethesda Press Conference, and I, like many gamers, downloaded it immediately. Having little to do with the actual world of Fallout and instead focusing on the Pipboy renditions of persons and the Vaults themselves, Fallout Shelter is a fun way to waste a lot of time. If you’re looking for something substantial to hold you over until Fallout 4 releases this Fall, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on 06/27/2015 in iOS

 

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