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By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Aug, 2017 At 11:30 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Retro City Rampage is a beloved indie gem and has now come to the Nintendo Switch. But does this version hold up well? Or is the game overrated? Well, if you saw the title, you might have a hint as to what I felt.

Retro City Rampage is many things in one. It is a demake of the GTA series as well as a loving homage to the 90’s and early 90’s. Pop culture references abound from movies, tv and of course gaming, but then there is the modern ideas that are celebrated as well. These include jabs, lighthearted and otherwise, at modern gaming, as well as references to other indie games. In fact, with some like bit.trip, this goes so far as including crossover content along with some internet personalities. It seems like an odd combination but it blends really well.

Gameplay is similar to the original GTA games but also with more throwbacks to the NES era to shake things up.  Platforming segments, swimming segments reminiscent of TMNT and more abound. But in addition to including parody, the game actually does have a decent narrative. It is completely bonkers but that is part of the charm and it just fits well. Plus running around in a rampage is oddly satisfying….and yes I realize how disturbing that sounds. But the best part of the game being a throwback are the cheats. Cheats aren’t done much today so this was a welcome addition. They will disable your ability to save, so it is more for having fun than completing the game. Enter some well known cheats from older games and you may be surprised.

The last thing I want to mention is how the game has a great 8 bit soundtrack and the developer went above and beyond to create and awesome audio variety for the game.it takes a great game and makes it even better, yes there are issues like the driving segments being awkward, but you get used to it. I fully recommend getting this on Switch!

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Bandai Namco has brought their first game to the Switch, and what better way to start than with a collection of their classics. Namco Museum brings classics like Pac-Man, The Tower of Druaga, Splatterhouse, Rolling Thunder and more, along with Pac-Man VS as well. This is not just another collection however, as numerous additions have been made to enhance the experience.

The games included in this collection are:

  • Pac-Man (1980)
  • Galaga (1981)
  • Dig Dug (1982)
  • The Tower of Druaga (1984)
  • Sky Kid (1985)
  • Rolling Thunder (1986)
  • Galaga ’88 (1987)
  • Splatterhouse (1988)
  • Rolling Thunder 2 (1990)
  • Tank Force (1991)
  • Pac-Man Vs. (2003)

 

Among the changes made to the games in this collection, include a challenge mode for the games that help provide additional replay value and help give more fun to the experience. In addition, Namco Museum on Switch takes full advantage of the system’s HD rumble. This is excellent with games like Splatterhouse, with the HD Rumble giving more of a sense of immersion to the game. This is not always for the best though, as some games like The Tower of Druaga do not really need HD rumble and it ends up taking away from the experience.

But aside from these additions, is the game worth getting? Well that depends on how much you like retro games. If you do not like the older era which could be more simplistic, then you will not like this collection all that much. That said, these are excellent games, and the addition of Pac-Man VS. is a great one, even with the need for multiple systems to use the multiplayer to its full effect.  With the games included, it comes out to a reasonably priced package and could be a great introduction to the retro scene. HD Rumble and challenge mode may not appeal much to some, but if you are curious about the older games but need just a little more to push you into buying them, you could do a lot worse.

For retro fans, I would definitely recommend this collection. For fans of modern gaming, I would say take a look before you buy. These aren’t the 90’s era bombastic arcade games but a more simplistic style. That said, I think I for my money’s worth with games like Splatterhouse, Sky Kid, The Tower of Druaga, and Rolling Thunder. It is worth checking out, but be aware it may not be to your liking.

 

By John Kinsella On 28 Jul, 2017 At 02:58 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, PC Games, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I and Me, is a short and sweet game, about a small cat. Now this is no ordinary cat, as this cat has a clone of sorts. They both do whatever the other does and it is up to the you to guide them. Throughout the story and its 90 level delving through the four seasons you will learn about this main character. The main character originally is interested in this clone, but as the game progresses it is clear this excitement begins to wane. It would be like that really, you’d be excited for a new experience but as it wore on it would of course get tedious. Finding notes throughout the platformer you will learn about this cat, a smart and witty creature who is just trying to get through life.

This is a peaceful game led by beautiful music where you guide two kittens through trials. Dodge porcupines and spikes, and take a picture when you are done., this game is unbelievably charming. It is one of the cutest games I’ve played in a long time, and after losing my old cat in June this game affected me in a way I didn’t think possible. I imagined my cat living in an idyllic world like in this game, just trying to get through this. The world is a beautiful one and playing as a cat of course my mind would wander. I really think that this was a good thing as I realized that she was probably doing well, and even though I cried, she wouldn’t be happy about it.

I and Me is a game worth playing for anyone who likes platformers and anyone who wonders what it would be like to have a clone follow you around.The writing is witty and the game is pretty easy. Now, for me it wasn’t so easy because I’m not much of a platformer but it doesn’t take itself so seriously so playing levels again and again felt good.

I and Me is available on Nintendo Switch and Steam. If you have a hankering to play as two cute kittens, then download it. It really isn’t all that expensive especially with 90 levels to travel through!

By Zoe Howard On 27 Jul, 2017 At 07:43 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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You would think with the backlash from games like Titanfall 1 and Star Wars Battlefront developers would have learned that releasing games that are only a glorified versus modes is a bad idea, especially when your game visually mirrors (almost to a point of infringement) the already popular hit Minecraft. Yet Cube Pixel Action Hero offers enough of a novel concept of the classic FPS game that it was worth the look.

Let’s start with the basics. Typically that would be to explain the story, but this game doesn’t have one. Even though it says it has a single player mode, it is simply practicing against A.I. enemies. Why this actually exists when the game only allows you up to two players seems kind of odd.

The main mode is called creative which allows you to build your own levels to fight in. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being allowed to build and save your own levels to fight in is actually a fun idea for a first person shooter. If you have played Minecraft then you already know how this mode works. Remove the blocks you don’t want and place the blocks you do. You won’t be lost trying to use the game interface and items either. The in-game menus work and look a lot like those in Minecraft. This will allow for the quick building of levels since there isn’t that much you actually have to learn.

The biggest downfall of the games create mode is the size limitation. The space you are given to build in is extremely small. Blood Gulch from Halo Is like a whole continent compared to the space you have to work with here. Once you see the maps already available in the game you will realize this is how they all are. The whole game is close quarters combat, which makes sense when you realize this game, based on FPS multiplayer, is local play only. There won’t be any massive online skirmishes here. In fact, there is only two players maximum in the game so getting friends together to play is barely an option unless you like playing one-on-one tournaments.

In practice mode, you fight A.I. opponents who have guns. You get five maps to chose from and five lives to survive. This is where the game’s core idea comes into play. With the game being a first person shooter that utilizes Minecraft mechanics, you can break through walls and the ground and create your own traps and paths to the enemies. This means the world is yours to work with and use to try to gain an advantage. This mechanic actually works really well. I was in the game quickly breaking walls to escape enemies as soon as it began. The only problem is the poor programming of the computer opponents. There is no diversity in what the A.I. opponents do. They just move towards you from across the map and make no attempt (outside of Halo jumping) to avoid the bullets. Knowing exactly where you are at all times, they can move on you quickly. This takes a lot of the creative elements out of the game and makes it strictly a kill them all as they approach scenario.

Zombie mode is just your average wave challenge in an incredibly small area (about the size of a basketball court). You get five maps that are slightly smaller than those in practice mode. There is no variety in how this is done. The item drops are frequent and keep you well stocked. The zombies either just run at you or Halo jump to avoid the bullets. Run backward in a circle and time your shots and you will generally plow through them. It took me no real effort to get to wave 18. The biggest challenge this mode offers are the runners who move as fast as you do. The first wave boss at level 10 never got close to me.

There are pre-made characters that are all caricatures of action heroes. Much in the style of BroForce, the characters are pretty obvious. Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Lee and many other likenesses are represented here. Sadly there is only one pre built female character out of the 18 prebuilt templates and if she is supposed to be someone famous then I don’t know her. Seriously, how hard would it be to make an Ellen Ripley from Aliens or Sarah Connor from Terminator 2? The character likenesses are as far as the references go. They all share the same bland male voice that really does nothing. This includes the lone female character.

The game does have a character designer mode that lets you customize a character to use in the game. This is a pretty good feature considering you can use the stylus on the Game Pad’s screen to do some creative work. This would be a pretty nice feature if they actually included a few other options. As with the pre-made characters, they all share the same voice. Considering that is the main source of reaction from the character (pre-made or custom) it makes the experience bland and makes the characters forgettable.

There are two big gripes with this game. The first is the first thing you will experience in the game. The title screen and the options all require the touch pad to use. There is no ability to use the arrow keys and buttons to move through the menus. I don’t know if this is maybe because it was planned as a mobile game or what, but it makes the game really annoying every time I had to go back to the menus.  What makes this even funnier is that the touch screen isn’t used at all in the actual game. While this is a good thing, it just makes me ask why they have touch screen function at all, especially considering how hard they are to use. You have to be precise with how you touch the buttons or it won’t register.

The second issue in the game is the gun mechanics. The target reticule is pretty big for most of the guns. The zombies will run fast and Halo Jump (seriously, why is this an acceptable mechanic?) when you target them. You have to be precise with your shots. This is made more difficult with the wide bullet spread of many of the guns. While this isn’t impossible to get used to, it does point out that the targeting could be tightened a bit.

In the end, this game was just not that fun. The little bit of creativity they added to the FPS genre doesn’t hold the game above its shortcomings. This honestly feels like it should be called My First Multiplayer Shooter. It really gives the impression that it was made for kids. Yet there is some creativity and challenge that they tried to put in place for the adults.

The game is six dollars and some change. If you want a game that is like Minecraft with guns, you could have some fun with this. I think my nephew might enjoy it, but this is a really hard game to recommend. I want to end with a positive thought. Their seed of inspiration. The idea of using the Minecraft mechanics in a FPS is still a solid idea. While it missed the mark in this one it could be nurtured into something far more creative and a lot more fun. I hope the company doesn’t give up on the idea and finds a way to make it more compelling.

Side note to the entire industry (both big and small developers). Single player story modes are fun and get people used to your mechanics and world before going into the multiplayer. Games without them tend to do badly. It makes the characters bland and lifeless.

By John Kinsella On 20 Jul, 2017 At 01:31 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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In the 90’s a new game style arose, a scary and brutal game style with games like Resident Evil coming out,showing a scary new world. Vaccine which came out on the Nintendo Switch on July 6th is trying to bring this back. In a world where graphics and beauty have become amazing, this game wants to bring back what was lost. It is really like a game from the past and while the idea is novel, it is also not really a good thing, as this style of game has aged horrendously. The characters look melty and it is hard to distinguish things. This of course is also because that is how the games in that era were, but still.

Though that isn’t to say that the game is actually bad. Vaccine tells the story of two people and one of them is always infected with a terrible virus, with you being given a half hour to save the victim before they die. The story isn’t all that important as it stays the same no matter which protagonist you choose. The whole mansion is always different after the first room where you will always find a knife. You might find a gun or other items but usually you just find the undead. You can’t just go and learn the mansion which makes the game all the more tense and strategic. One playthrough, you might even be lucky enough to instantly find the antidote.

This game is unlike other games like this though, because of an RPG like experience system. Your characters gain experience which will carry through if you win. This game also has one more twist up its sleeve. When you win, you can play again of course. But this time you will have less time and this continues to decrease with each victory. Not only does this game pose the challenge of changing up the mansion with each playthrough, but each win subtracts precious time.

Personally, I cannot for the life of me, see myself playing through this game enough times to see how many minutes get taken off, but it is an interesting idea. Certainly there will be people who play it until the clock will not drain anymore and I salute them for that drive.

While this game might have a lot going for it, it really shows how far we have come. To see a company decide to make a game in part for nostalgia shows that this is important in a way. But, honestly this style really has aged poorly. The game looks terrible blown up on a TV, but it does look good on the Switch in handheld mode. The music drives the tenseness as well, and makes it worth playing in handheld mode. CRT mode is also usable though, which brings on even more nostalgia. So turn on CRT mode and plug in some headphones and try not get to scared.

All in all, Vaccine is a game that is worth playing. If you want a cheap horror game and were a fan of 90’s horror games than this is for you. Younger gamers may not enjoy this game simply because of how it looks but it really is worth it. Really though this game could be the start of a younger gamer’s new fascination with older games and that really would be cool.

So, take your Switch, turn off the light and save your ally from the terrible virus. With only a will to succeed and a knife you will be in for a long fight.

Vaccine is out right now on the Nintendo Switch!

By John Kinsella On 19 Jul, 2017 At 05:56 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games To Watch, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Picture this if you will, a young boy on Christmas opening a package to find a Nintendo Gamecube. That in and of itself is exciting but when this console is accompanied by Super Smash Brothers Melee and Pikmin this young boy knows he is in for something new. Back in 2001 I remember opening up Pikmin and popping it into my Gamecube. I was so excited to play this game, little did I know I was going to regret this excitement. Pikmin is one of those games where everything you do is critical. As a young boy I had never come across a game like it before. I had never played a game where if you do something wrong, you risk even being able to complete the game. I was and still am not the best and these types of games. It can often take the fun out of it for me.

Hey Pikmin however, feels like a great introduction to this cute series. You meet all of the wonderful Pikmin and Olimar, and it is like a simpler game that could certainly bring in new fans to the series. I am sure my younger self would have enjoyed playing this game before being dropped into an alien world. Through ultimately playing Pikmin I learned something new about games, that this kind of challenge can be good for you.

Hey Pikmin starts off like all other Pikmin games with Olimar traveling through space. He soon crashes and is told he needs to collect. This time he has to collect Sparklium and 30000 pieces of it. This is done primarily by collecting shiny buds. The game itself is a platformer like anyone knew from Nintendo and their footage. It throws out the old style in favor of a platformer and it works surprisingly well. The demo itself only shows off two levels, and both contain red Pikmin , with additionally containing Rock Pikmin as well. The Red pikmin are light and the Rock Pikmin break whatever they hit if possible, and you lead them and use them like in any other Pikmin game. Of course, you collect items that Olimar nicknames., and there is one item in the demo that made me smile.

All in all this demo is in a way like a soft reboot. Now, obviously we won’t lose the original style games but this like a simpler game to entice younger players in. Again I really think my younger self would have enjoyed playing this instead of the original Pikmin games. But honestly, I realize that Pikmin might not have become what it is today if this was its start. It is a solid game but it does leave some to be desired, then again it really isn’t meant to be all that challenging.

 

Hey Pikimin launches July 28th for the 3DS Family of Systems, the same day as Miitopia.Feel free to try out the demo and find out for yourself what you think of this new entry in the loved Pikmin series! While it may not be the best game in the series the demo is at least worth giving a chance too!He

 

By John Kinsella On 13 Jul, 2017 At 02:21 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Ever since I first set eyes on this Oasis I knew I wanted to play this game. After seeing game play and then trying out the demo I knew I had found another game to enjoy. Ever Oasis really is such a great game, and is is a game that just shimmers. It has cute characters and even some of it’s villains are cute too. The interactions between the hero and Esna are such a big part of the game., and you feel when your seedling gets hurt and are overjoyed when he is.

Ever Oasis is half Dungeon Crawler and Half Oasis Builder. You need to be working on both parts or your Oasis will decline. As you get deeper into the game you really need to keep working on your Oasis. The dungeon crawling is fun and can be quick paced. You need to fight monsters and change your team on the fly. With different races and weapons you will work to figure things out. You will also learn skills which may or may not help out depending on the situation.

The Oasis is your home and you need to make it great. By working on it you not only gain money but you help out people living in the desert. It is a nice diversion from all the fighting. You can complete quests and get closer to your villagers even if its brief. These characters will offer more quests and soon will sell even more goods. Of course with more goods, you will gain more money.

This game might seem like a lot sometimes, but it is totally worth it. As you travel through dungeons you will gain many items, which will be necessary to sell. It really can seem tedious as you travel back and forth between dungeons and the Oasis. But the developers have made it easy with the inclusion of the Aqua Gates. Using Aqua Gates makes traveling back and forth quite instantaneous. Plus, it makes it easier to save when you need to.

The story really plays into the characters and you can play the game quite easily by simply learning which monsters are weak to which weapons. If you want a game that has both exploration and a little town building then this game really is for you. It might not be the longest game but there is something about this game that makes replaying it an appealing thought. It is simple enough that newbies can get into it but also robust enough to sate true RPG Fan’s and their appetites. You can pick up Ever Oasis at stores or on the Nintendo EShop. The Oasis needs you and your seedling to save the day, don’t let Esna down!

By John Kinsella On 12 Jul, 2017 At 07:11 PM | Categorized As Games You Slept On, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I have always been a fan of RPG’s and have wanted to at least attempt to make an RPG for awhile. With RPG Maker FES for 3DS which came out on June 27th, I now have that chance. RPG Maker FES is actually quite the robust game. With this maker you can make any sort of RPG you can think of. Although you need to use in game assets it still is quite the treat. Playing this game, I cannot help but think of a myriad of games to make. I just want to delve deep into this maker and show off my worlds that appear in my mind. I feel like I could make countless games, and even honor some of my closest friends with games. This game could certainly take hours of time if played in earnest as it is really quite robust.

Even though you can’t upload your own images you can make any characters you want. Plus, you can really fiddle with the strength of the monsters and make them into whatever you want. You can even set them up into groups and unleash them on your unsuspecting heroes. Making weapons, armor and items is also part of the fun. You can make them godly or weak or anywhere in between. Plus, you can even make your own magic spells. Simply fiddling with these aspects certainly could take awhile as there is so much to twist to your will.

Now, you can always take it easy with samples but it really is the best working things out yourself. This game wants you to succeed and by showing you a sample you figure things out. There aren’t any tutorials so this game really just wants you to work to learn for yourself. Not only can you make maps of various sizes, but you can really do what you want. You really have free reign and that is what makes this game so appealing. You can make as many games as you want and really make them as you wish.

I might not be the biggest fan of maker type games, but there is something about making your own RPG. Having played so many RPG’s it feels good to have my own crack at it. This game is something I feel like I can play when I want and try things out. Just a fun diversion that could lead to fantastic things in the future. Plus, the greatest thing about it is that if you want you can share your games and let others play them. Plus, if they don’t own the game they can still play the games through a small download.

RPG Maker FES is a game that is certainly worth playing for anyone who likes RPG’s. While it might be tedious at times it is certainly something that when you finish it, you will feel good about it.

By John Kinsella On 9 Jul, 2017 At 03:40 AM | Categorized As NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI rarely find myself playing games involving numbers anymore but recently I was able to try out a new game for myself. Pic A Pix Color is a simple game on the 3DS and is rather cheap as it is only 5 dollars. This game certainly has a simple premise and that is to solve little puzzles.

These puzzles revolved around creating pictures with numbers noting how many of color will show up. Of course, as you play more puzzles they get harder and harder. With 100 puzzles to play you certainly have a lot to play. This game might be perfect for someone who enjoys puzzle games or even someone who just wants to get a little light stress challenge gaming in. You could say, play a puzzle a day for 100 days and see how good you feel.

This game doesn’t end there though as there are even time trials to complete. If you complete a puzzle in a good time and don’t ask for help, you will be awarded a medal. This game is certainly something you could play multiple times if you wanted to have the satisfaction of clearing it as fast as possible.

With 10 dollars worth of DLC, you can even get more puzzles to play all of the varying difficulty. While not my favorite game, it was certainly worth playing, and it is a steal for those who truly love puzzles and numbers. If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then you should get it as 5 dollars truly is a steal for a game.

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If you told me that one day, I’d be able to boot up a game on a console and then play it with friends through phones I would have said you were crazy. That is until I recently tried Jack Box Party Pack 3 which has come to the Nintendo Switch. This game is part of the You Don’t Know Jack series a series that has been popular for quite a while now.

Jack Box Party 3 is something that anyone can play as long as they have a smartphone, laptop, or tablet! It is a perfect game or entertaining as it really is something people can play for as long as they desire without the problems of time sink . Having it on the Switch is great too as you can play it on the go.There are 5 party games fit for making a party fun.

The say-anything sequel Quiplash 2 (3-8 players). Play all new questions or make your own! This game is certainly something to be played with people who have a knack for quick wits and humor. It is certainly one of the better games and is quite a lot of fun.

There is also the deadly quiz show Trivia Murder Party (1-8 players). In this, you must match wits with a trivia-obsessed killer. To be honest, this game is a little dark, but at the same time is is quite fun. You simply answer questions while dealing with a psycho. But watch out, because if you answer wrong  you might end up dead.

The surprising survey game Guesspionage (2-8 players) is next. In this, you guess the results to silly survey questions. This game really is all about surveying your friends, and as such it can play out in any way depending on who you are playing with which adds to the replay value.

After that is the t-shirt slugfest Tee K.O. (3-8 players). You must battle your custom t-shirts to the death! This game is fun even if you can’t draw, since you never know your terrible drawing could win it all!

Lastly, there is the sneaky trickster game Fakin’ It (3-6 players). One of your friends has something to hide and you must find this out. This game asks you a question but only one person knows what that question is. Better hope your poker face is ready, or someone will learn you are faking it.

Jack Box Party Pack 3 is truly a fun game to play at parties. No matter how many people play you are bound to have a good time if you play with Jack. It is out now on Nintendo Switch and if you are having a party it might not hurt to have Jack Box Party Pack 3! it is worth playing and is fun over and over again because it always changes depending on who you play with.