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By John Kinsella On 24 Apr, 2017 At 03:55 PM | Categorized As Games To Watch, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Puyo Puyo Tetris has come to the Nintendo Switch and it is a fun puzzle game. Combining two of the greatest puzzle games into one really is interesting. While Tetris is known the world over and is popular world wide. Puyo Puyo has typically stayed in Japan for the most part.
I honestly have not played a lot of Tetris at least in the last decade. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of games but this was something new. But, I decided it was a good idea to review it to keep me sharp. Playing it I was reminded of a simpler time where a game like this could really trap me. The Puyo Puyo portion I was reminded of my time playing Sonic Mega Collection for the Game Cube. This amazing game had a classic Sonic Game called Dr.Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. This game was actually a localized version of a Puyo Puyo game and for many, was their first time playing the series. I played this game a lot as it was just so easy to pick up and play. Puyo Puyo Tetris is similar to that wonderful game as it also quite easy to pick up and play. I personally wasn’t drawn into playing it for long stretches of time. Picking it up here and there, for a little light game play made it and kept it fun.
The Adventure Mode is great as it offers 100 stages of play featuring characters from both game series. Some of the challenges are downright hard and that makes it all the more fantastic when you actually win. I honestly struggled through the early levels but that probably is because I’m rusty when it comes to this type of game. This game also offers a full on 4 player local co-op mode. With traditional Versus, Swap where Tetris and Puyo Puyo Boards swap out regularly and even Fuse where you play a true combination of both. There is also Big Bang Mode where its a race to complete boards and Party where you can help or hinder your opponents with hidden items.
In addition, there is also Online Mode with a full Puzzle League and ranking system, a Free Play mode for light online fun. If you feel confident about your skills, go all out for it. If you do well in the match and dominate, you can even save online matches. I usually am not one for online mode but I tried it and got royally destroyed. To hone your skills for online, never hesitate to go to the solo arcade. You can battle up to 3 Computer players, Compete in a never ending Endurance mode, and a robust Challenge Mode. It is certainly a game that is worth training for, as it happens rather fast. I will certainly work on my skills with training like this.
While I wait for other games and in between times I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, I will certainly make time for this fantastic game.If you like puzzle games I highly suggest you give it a try when it comes out April 25th. Plus, you can play a demo right now, to see if it fits you. So, puzzle on dear readers, Tetris blocks need to disappear and Puyo need to explode.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Apr, 2017 At 04:20 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap was a classic game for the Sega Master System. Regarded as one of the all time greats, it has now been given a modern remaster thanks to Lizardcube and Dot Emu, but is it any good?

WonderBoy; The Dragon’s Trap is a beautiful game that takes great pains to replicate the classic 8 bit game and turn it into a modern experience. It has gorgeous hand drawn art that is full of detail and liveliness. The music is also lovingly redone in tribute to the original. You can switch between the original and modern look and sounds at the touch of buttons, and just comparing the soundtrack between the retro and modern really shows how much care was put in to be true to the original music.

Everything has been given an overhaul, for example instead of passwords, you get hints ( the game autosaves now), the nurse is now full of snarkiness, and most useful of all, you can use the shoulder buttons to scroll though your sub weapons. This does come with a drawback however, in that the awkward parts of the game are retained as well. The game has a way of registering hits that is straight from the original game, but feels out of place in a modern game. This gets really annoying during boss fights, and can throw you off. As well, the confusion about where to go next is still here. You can get lost for a while and just wander around looking for wear to go, which is one way of expanding the play experience, which is only 3-5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game and I love it. I love finding all the secrets and the ways to progress and there is just a sense of charm that the game has, that most other retro revivals just miss out on. The different weapons and armors are great, the transformations are awesome ( but actually transforming has a bit too strong of flashing lights), and  the overall experience is really well done. If it weren’t for trying too hard to preserve what the game was in full, instead of filtering it to get only the good, this would have been much better. Still this is a game that is rewarding, that gives you a sense of satisfaction when you make progress and gain new abilities. People often forget how hard the master system games could be, so the challenge is welcome, even with the difficulty settings. Plus there is now the option to play as a female protagonist and if that is chosen, the title screen will say WonderGirl: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a nice touch and really adds to the experience.

Overall I really liked WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a retro game done right (with a few issues) and is genuinely fun and charming. I fully recommend it.

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Mr.Shifty which was created by Team Shifty is coming out tomorrow, on Nintendo Switch and Steam. I was lucky enough to score a review copy and let me tell you, I enjoyed it. This crazy game is similar to certain top down games like Hot Line Miami but has its own twist. The main character Mr.Shifty can teleport. It honestly is quite similar to Nightcrawler of the XMen and his teleporting skill.

This game may seem simple on the surface in that you just need to climb a tower and take down goons, but it gets hectic fast. This game is unforgiving in that if you die you start the stage over.

Enemies appear seemingly out of nowhere in certain stages. In other stages they are planned, but they do tend to walk towards sounds. You need to have quick reflexes in order to take down all of the goons.

Mr.Shifty’s power is hard to handle sometimes especially in moments of high stress. Taking down 50 enemies who all can one shot kill you makes things tense. This mission that Shifty and his assistant are on is something clearly worth it all, but it certainly isn’t a game for those who hate to lose.

I died plenty of times but honestly it felt good to start floors over. You honestly learn how to play the game as you die. You learn where you need to go and how you can wipe out more men in a single attack.

This game is certainly worth picking up if you need another game worth playing. It might fill some of the void of time you may now have after beating Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch!

So, if this game sounds at all interesting it is certainly worth the 15$. If you need some convincing they did release a demo online in February for people to try!

Feel free to watch the trailer below to find out if you may like it, and get ready to Shift into crime with Mr. Shifty tomorrow!

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By John Kinsella On 3 Apr, 2017 At 11:37 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Has Been Heroes which now has almost been out for a week, is made by Frozenbyte and officially came out on March 28th. Though it has actually been pushed back until April 4th in Europe and Australia.This game is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. For this review I did in fact receive an early copy for the Switch and it has been just a blast to play. This game may look like a typical RPG at first glance, but this game is truly something different.

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This game is about heroes who were once great coming out of retirement for one last quest. In the beginning of the game you start out with a simple swordsman, a mage, and a new Rogue. These three classes are pretty standard fare for an RPG so it wasn’t a shock.  This RPG isn’t a normal turn based game and instead it is more like Plants Vs Zombies, in that it operates on lanes.

But that is the only comparison as this game is a Roguelike game, where if you die, you need to start over. I have honestly not gotten through  a whole adventure which at the start consists of two different areas. From the offset you either are tossed into the Dark Forest or an Icy Tundra, with the third being a demonic and hellish landscape.

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As you trek through the area with two princesses behind you, you move a long a map. Scattered around the map are different events that occur from shops to games and even a restorative camp. You never know how things will be laid out, and you have to be prepared for the boss fight at the end of each area. The truly troubling thing is that if you go back to an area you already went to, you use a magic candle, if you do that twice you die.

This game is truly unforgiving but I found myself excited to start over. Will I ever unlock all of the 30 plus characters or gather all the spells in this game? I’m going to say no, but for a diversion when I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, it is certainly a game I will enjoy more. Don’t let the toughness push you away, a little adversity always makes things better in some way.

If you haven’t got your hands on this game, it is relatively cheap at only $20.00 for so much playability. I would highly recommend picking this up as it is a game you can pick up anytime and not worry about anything story related. Just remember it is deceptively simple but is truly a game that is not for the faint of heart!

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ghost pirate to try and defeat, though based on my track record he is going to destroy me.

 

Below are both the story trailers and Launch trailer for this game, which if you haven’t gotten your hands on yet, I do highly suggest you do!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 31 Mar, 2017 At 09:21 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Blaster Master is a beloved series that dates back to the 8 bit era. it sadly has never caught on as well as it should have, but that isn’t for lack of trying. Sunsoft has repeatedly attempted to bring the series back with new entries, and the latest, by Inti Creates might be the best one yet.

Graphically the game isn’t as impressive as the Wii entry, Overdrive, but it has its own charm with a style that updates the classic look while retaining its appeal. The game switches between two main styles, depending on if you are primarily traveling by the tank Sophia, or travelling in caves to find upgrades and maps or fight enemies.

Blaster Master Zero was the first time I ever experienced HD Rumble and I finally see what the hype was about. When sirens go off, you can actually experience that thanks tot HD rumble. it also impacts the way you attack enemies or make movements in general This was a great introduction to HD rumble for me, and I feel it was implemented very well.

Gameplay-wise Blaster Master Zero is the same Blaster master we all know and love, but with refinements to better the experience. Save points, a better map systems, better menus and more interaction, make this a worthy addition to the series. It is fun and that is the most important thing.

The music in the game worried me initially, as the trailer had very sharp sounds that hurt my ears. That said, the actual game doesn’t have this issue, and the game has great music and audio in general  Plus when it gets in sync with the HD rumble, it is truly amazing to experience in a game like this.

Overall, I think Blaster Master Zero is a good game, a great addition to the Blaster Master series, and a good pickup for the Nintendo Switch. I recommend it.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Mar, 2017 At 09:44 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I Am Setsuna was a game I had been meaning to buy for a long time on PS4. I ultimately didn’t, and when it came to the Nintendo Switch, I ended up getting it there. It is a game billed as the spiritual sequel to Chrono Trigger, one of the most beloved games of all time, so how does this game hold up?

I had heard very mixed things about this game, so I was not sure what to expect. I had heard it was fairly generic, and to an extent that is true, but to me that works as part of the charm. The story is nothing we haven’t seen before, but the play mechanics are the shining stars here. The game has a great battle system that is indeed reminiscent of the one in Chrono Trigger. I found battles to be increasingly enjoyable the more I played and learned how they worked, and I love the twists they pulled on the genre. What they did with loot from victories is very much inspired, and a much better idea than most RPGs/

The music in I Am Setsuna is stellar, with tracks that are very much reminiscent of some of the classics, while still putting their own spin on it. You have never heard the piano played as inventively as you have with this game. I can see where people have issues with the minimalist nature, but to me, it just worked out so much better. Likewise with the art. It goes for HD  2.5D visuals but still has the look of a classic game in its own way.

The story isn’t anything super great as mentioned before, but it isn’t bad at all. It serves the game well and helps get things going, towards the fun and engaging gameplay. This honestly feels like more of a sequel to Chrono Trigger than Chrono Cross felt. Do I feel you should get it? Absolutely, it is a great throwback to classic JRPGs and is fun with a great soundtrack and gameplay to boot. There is no reason to pass this up.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Mar, 2017 At 02:29 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Shovel Knight was a one of a kind game. It was the kind that is often imitated but never replicated, so when Yacht Club released the expansion, Plague of Shadows, it was an extremely welcome addition. Now Yacht Club has released a second expansion, with Spectre of Torment.

This expansion serves as a prequel to Shovel Knight, focusing on Spectre Knight establishing the Order of No Quarter. You are based in the Tower of Fate and warp to various areas. You can interact with the denizens of the Tower, as your basic hub town and your interactions grow as you progress in the game. A lot more story is established for the series, with players getting more insight into the characters and to what the basic motivations are.

Before I go any further, I must note that this expansion plays a lot better than Plague of Shadows. The controls feel much more intuitive and tighter and are just easier to get used to. In fact, the whole expansion just feels a lot more polished than Plague of Shadows, and gives a lot more satisfaction to the player.

Spectre Knight’s story just feels like coming in to a whole new game that feels like a sequel more than an expansion. The music from the stages have been reworked in great ways, but also subtle ways at the same time. King Knight’s stage in particular had standout music to me, for how it was changed from the original game.

Do I think this expansion is worth buying? Oh most definitely. Spectre of Torment is fun, has innovative gameplay, great bosses, neat power-ups, and more. This is just a good solid game, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Before I end here, I want to mention the Body Swap mode that has been added to Shovel Knight. it is a small touch but it really does help change the perspective of the story somewhat. The changes aren’t too much and are sometimes unnoticeable, but when you do see them, you appreciate them. I love the work that Yacht Club Games has been putting into Shovel Knight, they have a lot to be proud of.

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Neo Geo games are now available on the Nintendo Switch worldwide and many are enthusiastic to play Metal Slug 3 and King of fighters 98 on the system. But there is another game that is far more noteworthy than those.

Also having come out on the Switch is Waku Waku 7. This is one of the most unusual and off beat fighting games ever made, The characters are parodies of other games, of anime, manga, comics and of movies, both Japanese and western made, such as shotoclones, sword fighters and anime action girls. It is hard to explain but this is one of the most awesome fighting games you can play. Easy to learn but difficult to master, this is just fun to play and enjoy.

The game had a western release in arcades….but not on the home console scene. It only received home console releases in Japan. That is why this release is so notable, this is one of the first times western players will get to play this. And to be honest, this is a game everyone needs to try.

The fighting is great as mentioned earlier, the visuals are excellent and while blurry on Switch, Hamster is patching the Arcade Archive series to fix that. It has that look that games like Street Fighter III and Darkstalkers had ( one character is a parody of a Darkstalkers character in fact), while still being in the SNK style, which still looks amazing today. And the music is absolutely fantastic. It is a great soundtrack for a fighting game and extremely energetic, and really gets you into the fight.

With great characters, a ridiculous yet decent plot that works, and fun gameplay, I cannot understand why this game languished in obscurity for so long. It has now received an arcade perfect port on the Switch and I have had a great time with it. I would love to see a modern sequel that continues the story and adds to the parodies.  As I mentioned earlier, this is a very significant release for the game, and I am hoping it sells well enough that there will be interest for a new game. That would be the best case scenario here. If you have a Nintendo Switch, I implore you to get this game.

See a trailer below to see what kind of game this is!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 1 Mar, 2017 At 11:29 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Switch may be upon us, but we at Real Otaku Gamer still have one last game to review for the Wii U. In this case, Plantera, a gardening game that has a unique flair to it. But is that a good thing? Or does the game fall flat?

Well, I can say that Plantera isn’t really what I expected, but then again I wasn’t sure what to expect. There are simplistic controls and a minimalist setup, but it works well for the game. You are thrust right into the garden and put to work, and this can be a big of a struggle for a few minutes as you figure things out. Once you do figure everything out though, it all becomes simple and rote, and that isn’t a bad thing in this case.

The game is very basic in that you planet and tend to the garden, you obtain what you need, and you fight off pests. Yet in doing so, the game gives you a relaxing feeling. I do not know how else to describe it but as therapeutic in some ways. You wont have any tense moments, you wont have a big adventure, you are just tending to a garden and helping keep it safe.

On Wii U, you can play this entirely on the GamePad, as the TV screen only shows the garden and cannot be used to interact with the game . You need the touch screen to interact and on the GamePad,  you see the garden as well as the shops where you buy things.  Regarding buying things, there are a few categories. These include vegetable patches, bushes, trees, animals and specials,  with the first 3 for crop growing and the animals for other products to obtain. Specials help improve your garden and make it more efficient and you can even expand the garden.

Plantera has very simple music but it just works so well with the game, in that it is calming and brings a sense of peace to the player. If nothing else, this is a great game to relax and distress with.

Would I recommend it? This one solely depends on your tastes. For me, I enjoyed it as it helped me relax.

No GravatarThe following is an opinion piece and only reflects the author’s views and not neccesarily that of the rest the Real Otaku Gamer staff.

 

2016 was a big year for gaming. Some new franchises came into being, and some series received amazing sequels. Join me as I list my top ten games of 2016. Just a note, I will only include games that I have actually played, so no Overwatch or Uncharted 4. This list will also include indie games.

10) AVGN II ASSimilation

Angry Video Game Nerd adventures was a brilliant indie game and spoof of bad retro games. AVGN 2 picks up where the first game left off and builds on it to make a game that is bigger and better in everyway. A full worldmap, a lot more levels, new powerups and ecouraging of replays, and tons of crass humor that just makes you laugh. The game referenced more games, the AVGN movie and even Board James, and is a treat for fans of James Rolfe. I cannot say enough good about this game, it is a brilliant parody of bad games while being awesome in its own right.

 

9) Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

The sole Nintendo game on the list, TMS #FE was a great RPG for a sytem starving for more of that genre. What was thought to be a fusion of Shint Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem’s play styles and elements, it actually turned out to play much more like Persona for the Wii U with the Fire Emblem as the personas and enemies. While some were put off by what the product was, it ended up being one of the best Nintendo games of the last decade. This was a brilliant game with a fun combat system and detailed plot that a player could lose themselves in for hours. This in many ways is a new IP with guest appearances from the FE characters, and hopefully this gets a sequel. Nintendo got themselves a brilliant RPG and this is one to be remembered.

8) King of Fighters XIV

While Street Fighter V got all the attention this year, it was actually SNK’s fighter that was the superior game. A complete experience and not barebones at launch, KOF XIV had something for everyone. It had good signle players modes as well as multiplayer modes, and there as inceintive to play the arcade mode with different teams to unlock secrets. The new characters were mostly fun and engaging and even some of the ones receivess less warmly turned out to be well thought out. SNK has been quick to fix any issues with the game, including fixing the online, and an upcoming patch to upgrade the visuals. As well, they have been evaluating fan interest in DLC characters for the game, so expect to see this title be supported for a while at least. This is perhaps the second best fighting game of 2016.

7)  Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

A late entry into this list, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was a major surprise to me in terms of how much of an upgrade it was over the previous entries. The visuals were bright and beautiful and the game was nothing like I expected. I don’t know why, but I believed this would just be a game on the scale of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, just with better visuals. It turned out to be a dramatic leap for the series and showed that Shantae can be a heavy hitter in gaming. Excellent power-ups, tons of replay value ( with even more coming) and a fun, engaging narrative, made this one of the best indie games of the year.

 

6) Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator

The greatest fighting game released in 2016, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator did something so few fighting games do these days, and did as much as it could to make itself accessible. The tutorial was unlike anything else and truly taught you how to play the game. The fighting was top notch and perfected from previous iterations, and the online was much better than ever. In fact the lobby system in the game was extremely innovative and helped make the experience much more worthwhile. While the story mode lacked the English dub of the previous title, it still was a welcome experience and did its job in answering details about the Guilty Gear story. This was just the most refined fighting experience in a long time and needs to be played by all.

5) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

This game can be best summed up as bigger and better. Bandai Namco took all the positives of the first game while taking a look at what didn’t work, then went about fixing those issues.  The fighting feels more epic, the visuals are far better, and the story mode feels a lot more engaging this time.  With a large amount of characters, including some from Dragon Ball Super, Xenoverse 2 has something for everyone. Even the online is overhauled and this time it feels far more worthwhile to do co-op. It does reuse much of the original game but that isn’t a bad thing. This just feels like a better version of the first game.

4) Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

This one caught me by surprise. A game that combined the world of Digimon, with the design and feel of the Persona series, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a bold departure for the series. This game is one that I would recommend not only for Digimon fans, but also non-fans, as it is extremely accessible to all. The game feels like nothing else Bandai Namco has done with the Digimon series yet and I want more of this.  A detailed story, deep combat system and likeable characters, Cyber Sleuth has a lot to offer players of the RPG genre, especially those who are still waiting for Persona 5. This game was a hidden gem this year and I recommend it for all.

3) Shadow Warrior 2

This one is good. The previous Shadow Warrior was a game that helped get first person shooters out of the rut they were stuck in. It successfully revived the series while not compromising on what the original was, and made it a great experience. Shadow Warrior 2 makes the first game seem like a tech demo in comparison. Everything is on a grander scale, with vastly improved graphics and combat. The game uses a procedural generated level system to ensure no two replays are the same and it is better for it. This time around, there is a co-op mode that allows you to team up with 3 others and coordinate your playthrough differently. The best part about that is that the gameplay is scaled for co-op so it is never too easy or too hard. Also important is that the game does not act condescendingly towards people who play on easier settings. That is something that is sadly not common anymore.

2) Dishonored 2

Dishonored was an amazing game but this one takes it to the next level. Dishonored 2 is an epic experience that offers so much more than the previous entry. You can play as Emily or Corvo, with both having unique playstyles. This allows for a lot more replay value, especially when you are given multiple ways to play with those characters. The visuals are far better and the overall presentation is excellent. Even the music is great and helps bring you deeper into the gameplay. This is the best stealth game released in a very long time, if not ever and the action elements are so expertly woven in, that it just feels completely natural to shift to attacking. The various abilities you get in the game just make you feel like a badass and that is a welcome feeling. The game brings so much to the table that I cannot say enough good things about this

1) DOOM

The absolute best game of the year bar none ( that I’ve played), DOOM shows you how to revive a classic IP. We were all worried about this game based off the beta, which only showed the multiplayer, as well as the fact that the game wasn’t given to critics in advance. The fears were for naught luckily as DOOM is amazing. Fast paced shooting, with gory action, yet a well developed character who doesn’t need to say anything. The game perfectly marries story telling and gameplay into one in a better way than Half Life ever did, and the result is amazing.  This just feels like a proper return to form, not only for the Doom series but for the FPS genre in general. Many have been too dragged down in storytelling or rote gameplay, but DOOM shows the right way to do it. An amazing soundtrack that really gets your heart pumping for battle, and an amazing arsenal that keeps things fresh. The game’s SnapMap function also brings a form of modding to consoles, as well as giving you an endless amount of content to play through. Bethesda and Id software have been consistently updating the game with both free updates and DLC and all of it is welcome. This is an absolute must play for everyone.