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By Stark Wyvern On 26 Nov, 2017 At 03:06 PM | Categorized As NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Battle Chef Brigade is an amazing game that is being pushed by Adult Swim Games. This amazing game is simply one of those games that comes along and just mixes genres so well, while also looking so good. Seeing this game for the first time, I couldn’t help but adore this amazing game. It just has this amazing look to it that really, makes me smile. In Battle Chef Brigade, you play as either Mina Han, a human, or Thrash an orc like fellow. Both characters have their own motivations, and are both very deep in their own regard. Both also want to join the Battle Chef Brigade and join up with a tournament along with the other competitors.

The Battle Chef Brigade is a group that helps to heal the world by taking down monsters, and cooking. There are tournaments every few years that ensure the Brigade will continue to have members. It is really interesting seeing these characters appear in the story as they really are all so unique. Every character has their own motivations for joining and you can really see that they all really do want this just as much as the next. The characters are also super different, and I really enjoy seeing them come into the game. These characters are truly their own, and that is something special. From the stoic and intelligent Kirin, to the David Bowie-esque Ziggy, these characters all steal the show with their own ways of doing things.

The game itself is just such a blast, and for me that is interesting as I’m not always such a fan of match 3 style games. Though, this game really turns it up a notch by making it about cooking. For me, cooking is something that is quite fun, so  I really enjoy cooking by matching. This puzzle system isn’t the only thing that makes this game unique though.  Of course to cook, you will certainly need ingredients to make and what is the way to get them, fighting monsters.

Fighting monsters in this game is done in a beautifully done way as you run and jump your way to get ingredients. There are different monsters to take down, from little birds called Cheepchi, all the way up to huge dragons. This makes for ingredient hunting to be different depending on what you need to gather. All of these ingredients also will help you cook, by giving you new pieces to match and that is a good thing.

The true marriage of puzzle and monster hunting comes together in cooking battles. In these battles which the character must win seven of to win a seat in the Brigade things heat up. There are different types of cooking that need to be done, and different elements of wind, water, and fire need to be present in differing degrees to win. In these contests you will face all sorts of opponents, and some will not shy away from sabotage. Everyone wants to win, and some really don’t care how they do so. As you cook, and match, you will be forced to kill monstes to increase your chance of winning. You will have to gather certain ingredients that each dish must have. The judges will judge your dish for completion of their wishes and it gets nervewracking as they deliberate. But, serve them what they want, and they will be happy, that is all a chef really needs, right?

Battle Chef Brigade has a robust set of other trials to enjoy, in jobs within the game. Some will have you solving puzzles which really do get increasingly harder. There are also quests for ingredients which can be tedious. Endless puzzles are also par for the course, and you will find yourself freaking out as four customers come in at once. This game in its crazy way of using puzzles, makes you feel like you really are working in a restaurant and that is a special thing.

After completing the story or for more difference, you are welcome to try the other modes. Within this game there are two other modes, one simply being an endless kitchen puzzler. In this you must match the dishes to the patrons through having the right layout. This gets stressful as of course in this you can have up to four puzzles going at once. With both easy and hard modes, this will certainly test your mettle. There are also challenges that will test your platforming and monster hunting. Both of these game modes don’t affect the story so using them may teach you a thing or two to win the true game.

There also surprisngly daily challenges which you need to connect to the internet to attempt. In this mode you choose either Thrash the Orc, or Mina the human, and are thrust into battles where everything you have been taught comes to play. You play against others on a leaderboard, and hope to get the best food rating. This is crazy as the scores are actually quite high in this mode, and I honestly haven’t attained something over 350 yet so to see 600+ is unnerving. But, this is simply just another way to lengthen the game and I think its amazing. You will always have a new challenge and that is always a good thing.

Battle Chef Brigade is truly a special game. One that you will certainly enjoy if you like hand drawn anime styled games. There truly is something about this game that makes it truly shimmer and shine like a jewel. If this game looks at all interesting, I highly suggest buying it. Play it, enjoy it, make dishes and watch a magic story unfold. The artwork is amazing and the characters are all their own. Buy it today and start cooking, you know you’d want to be in this Brigade!

 

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided

No GravatarBattle Chasers: Nightwar is a game that promises turn-based old-school RPG battles, crafting, exploration and randomly generated dungeons with multiple difficulty levels. But do these elements embrace the glory of old-school RPG glory, or feel dated and old?

Title: Battle Chasers: Nightwar
Developer: Airship Syndicate
Available For: PS4, Steam (Windows/Mac), Xbox One, Switch

Battle Chasers: Nightwar kicks off with an epic air battle that crashes your ship and strands you on an island. You’re told that the aggressors that took you down and nearly killed you were random pirates, but the longer you’re there the more you learn of a deeper, wicked plot that must be stopped, and pirates are actually the least of your problems!

The game draws inspiration from the “90’s cult comic book” as well as the glory days of turn-based RPGs. Everything you’d expect from an RPG is here – turn-based battle, various equipment, grinding for experience and loot, side quests and even a fishing minigame – and while most of these don’t offer much new, the incredibly polished, gorgeous art makes up for it. Normally I couldn’t care less about art in a game, but the art here is stunning, the animations smooth and sharp, and even 30+ hours into the game I was amazed at how much I focused on watching the good guys and bad guys attack one another.

Because it’s what you’ll spend most of your time doing, the battle system is the cornerstone of Battle Chasers. I played nearly every RPG that existed on the NES, SNES and PS1-2, and while I used to love grinding out levels and getting that next piece of loot, the advent of action-RPGs made me nervous that I wouldn’t enjoy a turn-based RPG anymore. I was pleasantly surprised that the way Battle Chasers handles it, I still really enjoyed it! You’ll only ever fight enemies when you run into them on the screen, and one enemy on the screen is always exactly one actual enemy to fight; often when you get near them there will be a chain icon above two or three of them, and touching one initiates combat with all of them at once. This makes it so that you always know what you’ll be up against and allows you to plan accordingly. Each of your three-person party also has limited use dungeon skills that allow you to have an upper hand before entering battle: Calibretto the ancient war mech, for example, Calibretto can fire a bullet at an enemy and weaken them a bit before you even start combat. Gully can smash the ground, making nearby enemies stunned at the beginning of the battle. She also has a skill called “Stoneskin” that adds a little defense while making party members immune to damage from traps in the dungeon temporarily. These skills can really come in handy against the more difficult dungeon foes, and they can even be used to avoid damage from dungeon traps while exploring.

Once you touch an enemy, a turn-based battle begins. Based on speed/haste, allies and foes take turns battling. Each ally gets one action a turn and has two different sets of options to choose from – Actions and Abilities. The Actions are instant and typically generate overcharge, whereas the Abilities use up overcharge/mana. Overcharge is an incredibly unique twist and it definitely added a layer of strategy to battles. Each character has a max amount of mana, but they can also gain overcharge which is used in place of mana. So if you want to use an attack that uses 20 mana and have 30 overcharge, you won’t touch your actual mana reserves whatsoever. Unless you’ve selected skills that retain overcharge between battles, this amount goes away after each battle so there’s no reason not to use it when you can! The other side of this coin is that while the Actions are instant, the Abilities range from “Very Fast” to “Slow”, meaning the bigger, more epic attacks may take a while and allow enemies to attack first. Even the “Very Fast” attacks technically count as another turn, which can be beneficial when you have a buff that heals you every turn or negative when you have a debuff that hurts you every turn. Finally, there’s a Boost meter that’s shared by all available party members, and as the battle goes on it fills up. You can get this up to three tiers of boost, and each character has boost abilities that use between 1-3 tiers. These range from healing the entire party to doing massive damage, so it’s vital to have it as full as possible for a big boss fight!

After each battle you’ll gain experience (which is split evenly between all 3 characters currently in your party), gold and sweet, sweet loot. Most of this loot is used for crafting and selling, but sometimes you’ll just get a straight-up piece of gear. While there isn’t a huge loot pool, crafting and loot become more interesting through the use of rarities – most pieces of gear can be either standard, heroic or legendary, and each level of rarity adds to the attack/defense/etc of it. While crafting, each item has a minimal requirement, but if you add more of those items you can raise your odds of successfully crafting an item from 100-300%, with each 100% adding a level of rarity. You can also try to make something with as few as a 1-2% chance of success but, as you’d expect, if it fails you’ll lose your crafting materials.

The meat of the game takes place inside one of the game’s eight dungeons. Each dungeon is randomly generated to some extent, but the overall goals, potential enemies and boss are the same. As you explore you’ll come across loot, light puzzles, lore (text) and enemies. At the beginning of each dungeon you can choose your difficulty – Normal or Heroic – and once you’ve completed the dungeon the first time you can re-run it on Legendary difficulty. Legendary difficulty not only has higher level enemies, it also resets if you get wiped out (Normal or Heroic  merely return you to the Inn and Tavern, fully healed with some gold missing, and you can easily return to the boss fight any time). After the boss is completed you’ll get a random loot box based on the difficulty, but the real reward is the experience – the higher difficulty enemies are vital as experience drops off rather quickly once you’re a level or two above the enemies.

As with any good RPG, Battle Chasers offers up side quests. While you’re exploring the overworld you’ll come across several places that just can’t be finished at the time, and returning later can grant some great rewards. These are often hinted at through varying hunts that have you tracking down some special, difficult side boss for unique, specific rewards. These also often have specific requirements to “summon” them, like lighting lots of torches with single-use, rare flint or exploring for hidden triggers at a cemetery. The more I played, the harder these hunts became, and I even got entirely stomped on by one or two of the bosses which is VERY reminiscent of the hidden bosses in older RPGs.

Unfortunately, these side-quests really don’t grant a great deal of experience, so the vast majority of the game so far has been exploring, doing what I can, beating a dungeon, returning to town to rest and sell extra loot, returning to the same dungeon and beating it on legendary difficulty, returning to town to sell stuff, and then repeating in the next area. This got old pretty quick, especially when I was expecting lots of side quests and unique things to do, and has me worried for the remaining 3 dungeons since each dungeon has required more and more grinding before successfully beating it. Will I have to run the same dungeon on Legendary 2-3 times in a row for the last couple dungeons? Older dungeons also don’t get any tougher with your levels, so if you’ve already beaten the second dungeon there’s no reason to go back to the first aside from completing your bestiary.

The bestiary was a nice touch. When you first encounter an enemy their HP and upcoming attacks are unknown, marked by question marks. However, as you defeat the same enemy repeatedly you’ll get to see these specifics, so you’ll know if your attack that does 80 damage will finish them off before they do their crazy charged attack or not. Killing even more of the same enemy (or any enemies of a particular type or a particular area) grant bonuses to your entire party, like those shown above. This at least gives you some reason to go back to old areas if you haven’t completed one of these challenges, and it guarantees a slight boost to different stats for your entire party as you continue throughout the game.

Speaking of the characters, you quickly get a party of three and then discover other party members who you can swap out until you’ve gathered all six. You’ll only gain experience for the three currently in your party, however, so if you really want all six characters to be equally powerful you’ll need to grind twice as long. While I tried swapping characters out a bit, I ended up sticking to the original 3 since grinding was getting dull as it was. You’re also only allowed to change characters at very limited times – while entering a dungeon and while at the Inn and Tavern for example – and you can’t check the skills or equipment of characters not in your party, so I often sold items that would have been beneficial to them, but by that point my main 3 characters were a good 4 or 5 levels ahead of the rest anyway. Each of the characters is interesting, and as someone who never read the original comics it was interesting learning about them. I really liked that the main character is a girl named Gully who’s a little badass and isn’t the one who heals the party (oddly enough, the giant war mech Calibretto is!). I was loving all of the characters until the fifth: a woman named Red Monika. Normally she’d probably have been my favorite – she’s a rogue fugitive who’s quick with a gun and constantly on the lookout for fame and fortune. However, her character is also barely covered with clothing, to such an extent that I’d be embarrassed if anyone caught her on the screen. As such, I purposely never put her in my party and never got to hear her wit in the heat of battle, which is a real shame. Surely this isn’t the developer’s fault as the characters were already designed, but I still wish I could’ve thrown a robe on her or something!

However, while the game was fun overall, the worst part of all was just how often it crashed. The first time it happened I had just finished a dungeon and was paranoid the autosave hadn’t kicked in, so I would have to redo at least the brutal boss fight. I was so relieved when I found out that wasn’t the case – getting back into the game put me back on the main menu with all of my hard fought loot. This was far from the only crash though – crashes were so frequent that every time I returned to the overworld map from dungeons and small areas I was paranoid it would happen again. I never lost progress, thank goodness, but crashes had other terrible effects – every time the game starts you’re forced to watch a good 10-30 seconds of the intro movie before it can be skipped, and then the first several battles take a while to load (sometimes upwards of 10-20 seconds each!). The longer you play, the less time the battles take to load until they’re instant, but if you have to restart the game every two or three hours those load times can get rather brutal. [Reviewer note: I quickly tested the game out after a month of updates since this review was written and noticed the battle load times have been entirely removed, which is AWESOME! I haven’t been able to test for crashes, but the intro movie still takes just as long to skip.]

Overall I did have a good time with Battle Chasers. I still plan on playing and finishing it, and even now I’m itching to grind enough to beat another hunt. The game utilizes strategy far more than I’d have expected: one boss annihilated me my first try, then I went in again (without any leveling up) and destroyed him with a better strategy. It’s also amazing that this was a Kickstarter game, and it’s easily the best Kickstarter title I’ve ever played as far as I’m aware of. As soon as the glitches are fixed, this will definitely be a game to check out, especially if you’re itching for the good old days of RPGs.

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the publisher

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I love classic style turn based RPGs. There is something about them that just takes me back to an older era and lets me enjoy myself without worrying about all new combat mechanics ( for the most part), and one company that makes this style of game still is KEMCO. I noted in my review of their game Revenant Saga that KEMCO had begun to move out of their paint by numbers approach to making RPGs. While the games they made are great, they had a problem of being formulaic and not deviating much. They were fun to play and lose yourself in for hours but eventually they all became the same. Revenant Saga brought some refreshing change and now Antiquia Lost pushes them further in that new direction.

Antiquia Lost follows a bit of the typical KEMCO formula but plays with it so much, that it becomes new. The game eschews the 3D battle screens KEMCO has been using lately, in favor of a classic 16 bit style battle screen. Its a nice touch and helps the general feeling of the game :making . I must also note that the visuals are surprisingly excellent on Switch, with the art looking sharper than in previous games. I must say though, that I am not happy about the miscrotransactions being in the console versions, as it feels like a step back from KEMCO’s work with consoles. Still they can be ignored, but locking some staples behind a paywall doesn’t feel right.

Antiquia Lost introduces new play mechanics as well, but keeps them grounded in their previous games and they don’t feel overwhelming. I do like that the way the characters interact is different, and using a different character is much more involved this time. The story of the game also immediately deviates from KEMCO’s normal pattern and I must commend them for that. Right away we are given an experience that uses what KEMCO utilized before, but doesn’t stay firmly in the past. Instead, Antiquia Lost takes what was done and uses those ideas to chart a new path, and it is a most excellent journey. It doesn’t overwhelm you and it is familiar enough while still being a fresh experience. Even with the flaw of microtransactions, I recommend it.

 

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by KEMCO

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No one did arcade games like SNK with the Neo Geo. Everything with them was on a completely different level than the rest of the industry, with games that were both intense and fun. Sports games on the Neo Geo often took sports that didn’t seem like they would action packed and made it work, like with Neo Turf Masters. So imagine what they could do with Soccer/Football, a game known for its passionate fans.

Soccer Brawl was like an early predecessor to later games like Sega’s Soccer Slam and Super Mario Strikers/Mario Smash Football. It was less of a sports game, rather than an action game that used sports as basis for the action. The game is set in the future with soccer that is played with bionic people or cyborgs as the players. And with that description, how can this not be awesome?

Soccer Brawl is is a two-player game where your team is representing one of eight countries,. These countries are Germany, Japan, Brazil, The United States, Italy, Spain, England and South Korea. After selecting a team, you will then select one of two stadiums which will be a dome or an open field. Then you begin with a 5-on-5 match and the action gets intense. Forget all the rules for the game, because in this, there are no fouls and anything goes. This makes the game much closer to an intense brawler than you would expect.

Many cite Midway’s arcade sports games as being the games that defined what an arcade style sports game should be. Those people should look instead to SNK and games like this, because Soccer Brawl makes NBA Jam look tame in comparison. SNK threw out any pretense of realism and made it all about fun and action. This is a game that sadly hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Neo Turf Masters is well known ( deservedly so) and I cannot understand why Soccer Brawl doesn’t also get as much attention. Every modern sports game that uses arcade style action to differentiate itself ends up owing something to this game. I urge you all to check it out as it has just been released via Arcade Archives on modern systems. This is a damn good game, and one that I would love to see SNK revisit in the future.  It is too good to just be left in the past.

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Nov, 2017 At 11:22 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Shoot em Up games are awesome, there is no denying that. But then there are games that are pushing the genre is new directions. Whether it be through adding story, platform elements, or more ways to interact with the environment, developers are now realizing that there is a lot more that can be done than was previously thought. Enter Two Tribes with Rive Ultimate Edition on Nintendo Switch, the definitive edition of Two Tribes genre bending shooter.

Rive Ultimate Edition is certainly unlike other shoot em ups, and not just because it involves more of a narrative. The game truly gives the shooter genre some new ideas ,by forcing you to think of how you are supposed to progress. This is not to say the game is slow paced in any way, as the action is fast and intense and will keep you coming back for more. It is just that Rive is a different beast altogether. I called this a genre bending shooter above, and I feel that is the best way to describe this game. Rive changes the rules and innovates on the shoot em up genre in ways that have not been considered before. Is this even a shooter? Or has it become something else altogether?

Rive uses the Switch to its full potential, with full HD Rumble support, new modes and more achievements. What new modes? Co-Pilot mode, where two players can play simultaneously with one Joy Con each. Both players control the same ship, and must work together to progress. It sounds awkward but makes for a surprisingly fun time. The HD Rumble is also very well integrated, which makes the experience more immersive and intense.

I feel that Rive: Ultimate Edition is one that Nintendo Switch owners should not pass up. While the Switch has a lot of great shoot em ups, this is one that sets itself apart in a good way. I highly recommend it.

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by Two Tribes.

By Stark Wyvern On 17 Nov, 2017 At 11:51 AM | Categorized As Nintendo Switch, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarOctodad is a weird and hilarious game about a proverbial Wolf in Sheep’s clothing but in whole different way. In this zany game, the player controls an Octopus, who is dressed in a suit, and is somehow married to an average human woman.

This woman for some reason has no idea that this cephalpod is not a human. That is where the game really lives. You play as this strange character and are forced to go through life, trying to make sure no one notices that you are not a human.

How, no one can tell a yellow octopus isn’t a human is beyond me, but it is a funny premise. This game is truly a marriage of a bizzare type of stealth plus living in a normal world.

While, this game has in fact been on other systems, there is something about the Switch that just works. Playing on the Switch, you have to controllers and thus really feel like you are controlling the character.

It is certainly far more intuitive then say using a keyboard or like a Playstation controller. If you are feeling up to a little couch co-op you can even play with a friend. This adds another layer as you can really see how hard it is to not have all the control of the character. This was actually, probably the most fun I’ve had with the game. I played a few levels with my sister and not playing much with her anymore, it was a challenge, but also was just the epitome of fun. 

The game itself is rather challenging as you need to work to avoid a certain chef who is out to eat you. He is the only one who seems to know right off the bat that you are an octopus and thus is your biggest demon.

The game slowly continues to bring you into more dangerous circumstances. The more people see you, wander about with less skill, the more they will begin to wonder. This will of course lead the chef to find you quicker. Though really, it does push you into dangerous territory a little quicker than I thought was reasonable.

Every moment, you can mess things up. Picking up items is hard because you don’t have hands. You aren’t able to just pick things up, you need to be able to do things right. When moving you walk by slowly lifting and dropping your legs. This is also awkward and can add difficulty to the game.

Octodad, is a game all about humor, and you can always find something to laugh about while playing it. You might learn how to beat the levels quicker, but there is certainly something in this game that just makes it too fun to put down. Try playing it with someone who hasn’t played it and let them figure it out. This is one of those games, that might make some people throw a controller, and others make others wonder at video games. It is a game that laughs at its own premise, and with that notion makes you laugh too. Just imagine seeing an Octopus in a suit trying to pick up a christmas tree! This game lends itself to the players imagination even when not playing, and that is magical.

Octodad: Dadliest Catch is out now on Steam and Switch along with other systems. Come try out this weird and wacky game, if being an octopus in a suit doesn’t persuade you, than I don’t know what will.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Nov, 2017 At 07:06 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Elder Scrolls is a legendary series and Skyrim, its most recent main entry, has now come to Nintendo Switch. As should be apparently by my many articles, I am a fan of the series and was eagerly awaiting this release. Skyrim has never been available in such a portable fashion before, and that is a game changer, but is it enough to warrant a purchase?

I should begin by noting that while this version lacks mods, some things have been changed. Not major details that many would notice, but some bugs have been fixed, such as invisible wall issues and such and it is a welcome change. In fact there are many subtle improvements that make this a very polished version of the game. This isn’t to say there are no issues, as the first time I played, the game encountered an error and closed, but that only happened once.  It just feels like this version is for lack of a better term, a cleaned and refined version.

But what about how it plays? Very well I must say, as aside from the initial crash and a bug or two ( not unheard of for a game in this series at all), I encountered few problems. The controls were responsive and the motion controls were far more than a mere tacked on gimmick. A big issues for The Elder Scrolls series is that the combat is a bit dated and tends to be clunky. With motion controls though, the combat felt far more immersive than ever, both in terms of weapons and magic abilities. Blocking with the shield, aiming with the bow and wielding the sword all felt very intuitive, and motion controls and spells feel like they were made for each other. I must say that this is one of the best implementation of motion controls I have ever seen, so kudos to Bethesda and Iron Galaxy  for this.

A big deal made about the game was the amiibo support and Zelda content. I must say that I found the Zelda items a little overpowered, but considering they act a s a stand in for mods right now, this is fine. It is neat to see the dragonborn dress like Link and use his equipment to save Skyrim from the dragons. The location the items are in, if you choose not to use amiibo, is also both very lore friendly and a great shoutout to another series as well.

Skyrim performs great on the Switch, which surprised me. There was a mostly solid 30 FPS with only minimal dips, no screen tearing and visually the game actually seemed more colourful somehow. Some visuals were sacrificed to make the game run better, but to be honest, that actually helped give the game is more colourful and vibrant look in a way. In terms of audio and music, the game is still amazing and hearing the Zelda chime is a cool bit, along with Skyrim’s own amazing music.  This is Skyrim like you have never experienced it before and I cannot get enough of it. If you own a Nintendo Switch, you must get this game!

By Ramon Rivera On 15 Nov, 2017 At 06:57 AM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Let me tell you this, when I first started playing Ittle Dew I thought “great another Zelda clone” but boy was I wrong. At first glance the cartoonish characters give the impression that it will be a parody game, that doesn’t take itself seriously and all is fun and games and in a certain way it is. But as you plow through the game, you find yourself in a deep game with some really fun moments and challenging puzzles,not to mention a lot to do in game, which ultimately for me its all in the replay value.

At the beginning of our adventure we find our heroes on a raft on the middle of the sea, no food, no potions, and everything looks dire until they find themselves ashore in a new island (wink wink). When our dynamic duo enters the island, they find the island caretaker, Passel, who tells you that there is nothing to see on the island and that they have to leave it. Then he blurts out about the 8 raft pieces, and noting his mistake, he disappears and thus your adventure begins. Now the game play is what you would expect from a top down Zelda-esque adventure.  You explore each of the dungeons and find the item, beat the boss, etc. However, one of the things Ittle Dew 2 really shines is the freedom you have to explore!  Normally in Zelda, you beat each of the dungeons in order because the item recieved in dungeon #1 will help to get to #2 and so forth.  In Ittle Dew 2, the formula gets changed so that you can beat the dungeons in the order that you want (except for dungeon 8 since you need all items obtained in other dungeons to be able to beat it).

Now the areas that you can explore in the game are varied.  They range from the pillow forest, an art gallery, candy beach (yep, with candy canes), so there is a lot of variety and things to see. The enemies that you find in the over world are funny and fun to beat.  Some range from muscular platypus to muscle builder cactus, and some impossible to beat as Slayer Jenny (haven’t been able to so just run when you see her). The bosses are fun to beat and needless to say they beat the crap out of me until I got the hang of it the first time (yep its part of the inside jokes and everything) as you progress to the game and beat the dungeons you find yourself with them again (albeit in more powerful forms).  They are just challenging enough to keep you in your toes.

Now for the completionist like me, there is a lot A LOT to do on Ittle Dew 2.  In your map, you can see all doors that you have entered and 100% completed dungeons appear with a crown on top.  Besides all of this, there is also optional dungeons in which you can get more powerful versions of your current items.  There are also challenge dungeons that you unlock with Secret Shards.  These are really a test of your mettle and your adventurer skills IMO.  It adds even more value to an already amazing game.

After you have explored everything the island has to offer, there is also the Dream World, which is a set of optional dungeons that are the ultimate test for your adventurer skills.  This is a bonus to the normal story.

Bottom Line, Ittle Dew 2 is a pleasant surprise on the Nintendo Switch, with tons of secrets, challenging puzzles, different outfits and fun areas to explore, and with optional dungeons to please your adventure hunger. Ittle Dew 2 shows how to get inspiration from a popular game franchise, and turn it into something special and unique, with charm and its own identity. Seriously, it is more than recommended if you own a Switch.  You owe it to yourself to play this legendary raft adventure.

By Jessica Brown On 13 Nov, 2017 At 02:57 PM | Categorized As NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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VITALS:

  • TITLE: RiME
  • DEVELOPER: Tequila Works
  • PUBLISHER: Grey Box & Six Foot
  • GENRE: Adventure/Indie
  • PLATFORM: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4, XB1, & PC)
  • RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2017 (eShop); November 21, 2017 (physical)
  • PRICE: $29.99 eShop; $39.99 physical

RiME is an indie adventure game from developer Tequila Works that was originally released on the PlayStation 4, XBox One, and PC back in May but which has just been released for the Nintendo Switch. While the Switch version of RiME was originally planned to release at the same time as it did on other platforms, the developer ended up delaying the Switch port because they felt like it didn’t meet their quality standards and wanted a bit more time to work on it. Ultimately, they hoped, the game would present a similar play experience on the Switch as players would have gotten on other platforms. I’ll talk about whether or not this paid off later on in the review, but let’s first jump into what the game itself is like.

At its heart, RiME is a beautiful journey that the player embarks upon that is entirely experiential in nature. The game has no dialogue or written notes to find, but rather it focuses completely on the desire to explore the mysterious island the player wakes up on, solving a few puzzles along the way, in the hopes of unraveling the mystery of why you ended up there in the first place. Within the game’s opening moments it is quite apparent that the main character (an unnamed young boy) has washed ashore on a strange island after a major storm, but the circumstances around it are left up for us to interpret. And, while the young boy may initially feel alone on the island (apart from the various wildlife that happens to call it home), he soon meets a fox that seems eager to aid him on his journey as well as finding himself being watched by a figure in a bright red cloak. The game is non-combative in nature, instead forcing the player to rely on their skills at platforming and their drive to explore the island, finding hidden collectibles and figuring out the path forward. The game does provide some clues about what you should do next or how you should interact with certain items, but ultimately most of it is left for you to discover for yourself.

Although the island is quite big and the game does encourage you to explore its various nooks and crannies for secrets, the game ultimately is fairly linear in nature, driving you to make your way towards a large tower that stands high above the island. Most of the time it’s pretty clear what you ultimately need to do next, but it may take you a bit of time to figure out how you need to accomplish it. Yet, because there are no enemies and the game isn’t time-limited, you are entirely at your own pace to uncover the island’s secrets.

Unfortunately, despite the developer’s delay of the game in order to ensure that it met a similar quality standard to that found in the other releases, I personally found that RiME has fallen considerably short of that goal on the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t, in my opinion, a failure of the Nintendo Switch itself but rather I feel that this version of RiME is merely a poorly-optimized port.

One of my major issues with this port is that the framerate leaves a lot to be desired. In the best of situations the game feels like it is sitting at around 30 FPS (which is quite playable, even if not ideal), but there are plenty of instances where the frame rate seems to choke out. In particularly egregious instances, I’d say it dropped close to 15 FPS or less. Given that the Switch version of RiME, while pretty, doesn’t look like it should be that taxing on the console, this feels like a major failure if the goal was to create a functionally-equivalent port. Beyond the issues with poor and inconsistent performance, there are bugs with textures (odd color patterns here and there), an overall sluggish (and sometimes unresponsive) menu, and random glitches that I’d have hoped would have been fixed (such as the game suddenly transitioning from the middle of the night to midday without any reason at times). In addition to all that, the overall visuals, which still quite beautiful in their own way, feel like they are rendered at fairly low settings, giving this port a look closer in aesthetic to a PlayStation 2 game.

Thankfully, the game controls well with the Switch Joy-cons, so I never had any issues controlling the character and making him do what I needed him to do.

What makes the whole thing frustrating is that RiME, by all accounts, is a beautiful experience and a thought-provoking journey that shouldn’t be held back by such glaring issues with optimization and quality control. The game has the potential to not only look good but to handle well too, yet I feel as if Tequila Works really let us down with this port. I should point out that the game does have a rather wonderful musical score and that does make it through to this version of the game, but unfortunately that alone isn’t able to save this experience. While playing RiME, I did genuinely find myself having fun, but it was rather bittersweet. When the game felt like it was behaving itself I would get lost in wanting to explore the island, find new ways to reach different areas, and looking for various items scattered to and fro, but then the game would get bogged down in poor performance or have some jarring glitch that took me away from the experience.

Thankfully, there is always the hope that the team will roll out an update for the game that fixes some of the issues the game currently has, and if they do that I’d have no problem giving the game a solid recommendation.

As it stands now, though, I think I’d feel more comfortable recommending you pick up RiME on the PlayStation 4, XBox One, or PC.

 

……….

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the publisher

By Ramon Rivera On 13 Nov, 2017 At 10:20 AM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The rhythm genre has evolved since the days of Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up (the latter being my first experience in a genre that I have come to love).  We have evolved from being gamers that used our feet to enjoy the game to our whole bodies because–let’s face it–music is in our genes.  Time-immemorial music has become an important part of our different cultures, and there are so many different genres that truly demonstrate music as art.  Now cue in video games: rhythm games are an important staple in the industry.  Since their humble beginnings in the genre with DJ Max, PM Studios has been evolving and delivering more than games has been delivering experiences. After a lot of experience and with that pedigree of great games the latest in the genre has arrived on the Nintendo Switch in the form of  SuperBeat: Xonic.

Superbeat: Xonic is a rhythm game in which your objective is to match the light projectors on the screen with the mapped buttons on your controller. The layout plays really good on the Nintendo Switch and, for me, the Joycons are the way to play the game. Now you might think that this game is only for experienced players in the genre, but let me tell you that good guy Superbeat has you covered!  When you first boot the game, you get access to the opening movie.  It’s really good, and I love the song, though you’ll hate it later.  You get an interactive tutorial that tells you what’s what and how to play and ultimately enjoy the game experience to its fullest.  After that, you may choose to play on the Stages to hone your skills, or if you are like me and like adventure, you can try the World Tour.

The Stage mode is the bread and butter of the game.  There are different game modes: 4Trax for beginners, 6Trax for more advanced players, 6Trax FX for rhythm ninjas, and Free Style in which you can play the songs that you have to unlock thought your play time. There is also a variety of genres from Easy Listening, to K-Pop, R&B, Rock (and even Merengue or Salsa), so there is something that you will like. As you play the songs and get better you level up, the higher your level the better rewards, you unlock more songs and unlock more clubs to visit on the World Tour mission based game. There are also DJ icons to help you in your quest to be a rhythm ninja.  Some of them raise your experience gain, and some give you more HP increase your score.  There are also a lot of customization options such as the speed in which the light projectors appear as well as the sound that will play when you hit the keys.

The mode where your training pays off is the World Tour Mode.  In here, you go to a series of “Clubs” and in each one there is a ClubMaster that gives you a series of challenges, which can vary from achieving a set number of combo hits to completing the mission with the fewer break mistakes as possible.  In World Tour as you level up, you gain access to more clubs and more challenges, hence my advice to train in Stage Mode. As you complete challenges and clubs in Word Tour, you unlock more Key Sounds as well as songs that you can play in stage mode.  You play and beat the songs as they become available in Free Style, so there is a lot of replay value here, not to mention that the higher your needed for accessing each club.  The harder become the challenges.  Some of them use Effector (a handicap you can set yourself on Stage Mode), and some are really hard especially with the song Stargazer. In The Option Mode, you can change your game settings such as the way the music sounds and the difficulty settings (on Hard you gain more Experience)

Bottom Line, SuperBeat: Xonic feels right at home with the Nintendo Switch.  With more than 60 songs, there is a lot of variety, and the hybrid nature of the Nintendo Switch complements SuperBeat: Xonic even more because you can rock it on the go.  I definitely recommend it to fans and newcomers alike.