Category Archives: Xbox One

A Major Minecraft Update Is Being Crafted

You have to love being able to load up Minecraft on your Xbox (PS4, PC, iPhone…) toss your friend a controller and work together with your buddy to survive those seven minutes of night time / build a neighborhood / castle / dig a hole. But what about when your other friend texts…

You’re about to invite him into your virtual world and set him to work, when you remember he’s a Nintendo Switch Fanboy! Different console versions of Minecraft will never play together, why that’s a disgusting level of cross play that just can’t be allowed. It’s unheard of! Without precedent!

That is, it was, until 2017.

The “Better Together” Update is in the works! Soon they’ll do away with most of the separate versions and unify Minecraft console, mobile, and Windows 10 versions into one shiny, yet blocky and pixelated, version: Bedrock Engine. Soon you’ll be able to create, mine, dig, build and discover on massive servers with your friends no matter what platform they’re using… almost!

The developers of Minecraft are still trying to convince Sony to jump on board, and start building in the shared biome, but as of yet there is no confirmation.

Look for it Autumn 2017!

Update: The Beta is available for Xbox

Links:

Minecraft: Bedrock FAQ

Sonic Mania Review

“Sonic, he can really move! Sonic, he’s got an attitude! Sonic, he’s the fastest thing alive!” Every day before elementary school I would get up early enough to catch the back to back episodes at 7:00 AM to hear that theme song! I loved Sonic. So much so that I begged my parents to make chili dogs just because it was his food of choice! Bigfoot and I would play Sonic 2 all the time, and it was great. But since the Genesis era we’ve all been clammering for a Sonic game to recapture that feel of speed, and it’s true they struggled with it. Is Sonic Mania the Sonic game fans have been longing for?

The Good:

  • Sonic can really move again. The game has the proper speed of a Sonic game for the first time in what feels like forever.
  • The graphics are a wonderful recreation of the Genesis era, and looks beautiful running at 1080P and 60FPS on the Switch docked, 720P and 60FPS undocked.
  • Being able to play as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles or Sonic & Tails gives added reason to replay the game.
  • The new levels are great additions and the old levels and music are still fantastic.
  • The bonus areas are a fun challenge to unlock extra bonuses.
  • The homage to Dr. Robotnic’s Mean Bean Machine was a wonderful addition.
  • at $20 it feels like you are really getting more then your money’s worth.

The Not So Good:

  • 10 minutes just doesn’t feel long enough on some of these rather long levels.
  • The bonus stages, where a nice challenge, come up too often, and somewhat take away from the speed of the game at times.
  • At the time of this writing, the Switch version has some weird issues. Not game breaking, but not convenient.

Is Sonic Mania worth your hard gathered Rings? Yes.

If you are even reading this it is almost definitely because you are a fan of either old school Sonic the Hedgehog. The game is a perfect homage to the old games in the series and it gives me a lot of hope of what may be to come as far as the 2D Sonic games go. Flying through the levels continues to be a blast, even on my third play through.

Final Fantasy 15

Final Fantasy and I go back a ways now. I didn’t start playing as early as most, but at 13, I got my first taste. Bigfoot let me borrow his copy of Final Fantasy 7, and I was immediately hooked. All of a sudden I needed it all, I wanted to play the 6 before it and the new ones coming out (it was at 9 at the time). Ever since, I’ve been a fan of the series, even at it’s lower points. The question is, do I consider this a high point or a low point for the series? Whereas it’s not my favorite in the series, I definitely consider it a high point! Very, very high. The game has its misses, but all and all as the credits rolled I found myself satisfied! Here’s why:

First, brief spoiler-free synopsis. You play as the young Prince Noctis. The story starts as you are sent out on a road trip of sorts by your Father, the King, with your three protectors and closest friends. What ensues is part buddy road trip movie, part epic blockbuster. One of the fantastic parts of this game is how quickly I became attached to this group of friends and the bond that they forged on their adventure. The ups and the downs. The good decisions and the bad. They were there for each other like few friends are. They even got upset with each other and fought at times, just like real friends do. But they forgave each other. These were more then just characters in a game, these were friends. As someone who has had the same best friends since Kindergarten, this really hit home with me as something that I truly appreciate.

This entry is different then most Final Fantasy’s. It has a huge open world with a ton of quests. You travel to most locations in your car, the Regalia. Once you’ve been to a location you can fast travel from one point to another. But where is the fun in that? By actually just putting it on auto pilot and letting them drive from location to location you can gain AP, but even better, you can see a living breathing world that is just phenomenal to look at. To make things better, you can collect soundtracks from your favorite FF games, and listen to them while you drive. There’s something to be said about turning on the soundtrack to FF8 and just watching as they drive. Looking at the wildlife and the creatures as they cross the street. Night time is a different story though. At night, out come the real baddies. Being stopped on a long drive in the middle of the road as an Iron Giant comes from a portal in the road, is both frightening, and exhilarating. The side quests can range from being interesting and fun, to repetitive and cumbersome. Either way they also allow you to see a major part of this world you inhabit, adding to the overall scope of the game.

 

The battle system was fun, if not very different from past entries in the series. Gone are the days of turn based FF. these battles are very fast paced, active battles. The limit break can add for some nice strong attacks, but the link attacks you do truly add to the character growth in the game as you watch these characters loyally fight with each other, for each other. The really amazing thing about the battle system this time around are the summons. There aren’t many of them, and the qualifications for using them are a bit hard to achieve sometimes. But due to their scope and pure power, its easy to see why. I won’t go in to deep discussion on them but I will say, they are without a doubt the most epic of summons seen in a FF.

Is this to say this entry in the series is without its flaws? No. There were quite a few. For example, outside of the main cast of characters, a lot of the voice acting was not good at all. Like, I had to laugh out loud a few times when hearing the voice they used for certain characters. The quests can get extremely repetitive. Painfully so. If you want to do them all, expect to be doing a lot of backtracking and taking a lot of pictures. Catching frogs. Fishing.. Over and over again. But the thing I found to be the worst, was the pacing of the game. It was so easy to be distracted by side quests that once you get back to the main story, you forget what’s going on. And at that, personally, I thought the story happened so fast at times, that I didn’t always understand what was going on. Literally before I knew it I had reached the end game and felt like I needed more time and development. But that’s just me.

Honestly though, even though I do have some complaints, they are rather small in comparison to all the game does right. Even though I found the pacing to be off, the story was so epic in scope that I couldn’t help but marvel at what I was doing in game. And these four characters alone make up for a lot of the negative I could even find to say about the game. I grew attached to them and look forward to the future DLC and whatever expanded story may be added.

So is this my favorite entry in the Final Fantasy series? Personally, no. But it is now up there with what I consider the greatest in the series. And hands down it is the best title in the series for awhile there. If you are a fan of the series and haven’t given a try yet, I feel like you have to. The game offers too much to be skipped completely. It feels like Square Enix listened to the complaints from their fans from the last few entries and actually worked to fix them, and that deserves our respect. If you can find time, pop the game in and enjoy getting to know your new friends. You won’t regret it.

Mighty No. 9

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The game broke records because it reached its Kickstarter goal faster then any other game. But does that make Beck's adventure one worth playing? Check out our Almost Perfect review.

The story behind the creation of Mighty No. 9 was phenomenal. Keiji Inafune, the mastermind behind the Megaman series, announces the game and that it was able to be backed on Kickstarter. Within 2 days it reaches its funding and by the time its over, had surpassed it by 400%. Truly remarkable. The game seemed destined to succeed.

It ended up being delayed quite a few times before finally being released. Those delays show in what ended up being the final version of Mighty No 9. Am I saying that No 9 is a terrible game? Not necessarily, but its not necessarily good either. In Mighty No 9 you play as Beck, the 9th of the Mighty number robots. Long story short there has been a virus released and it has turned all your other Mighty brethren evil. Now its your job to stop them.

The problem with MN9 is that it just doesn't feel very heartfelt or inspired. I love the Megaman games. I always have. They are difficult yet rewarding, each level is unique in style with enemies you look forward to fighting. Plus the characters are compelling. MN9 offers none of these things. Im a huge fan of classic looking games. With indie games these days the look of old school games is back in full force. The art in MN9 is just not for me. Everything looks plastic, and not in an endearing way. The levels feel rather uninspired. Yes, each one does have a tone that directly connects to it's boss but that doesn't save it from being boring.

I'd say the best part of the game is the controls and play style. Everything works rather smoothly. You jump, Beck Jumps. You shoot, Beck shoots. You dash, Beck dashes. But that doesn't save the game from being just kind of uninteresting. Though the dashing system was fun at times. Dashing into your enemies, after shooting them a few times, will change their color, then you can dash into them and collect them as Xel, which in turn gives you temporary enhancements. Plus theres a combo meter... which is always kind of fun!

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I'm not saying I completely disliked MN9. There were points where I found myself having some fun, I actually enjoyed doing the challenges. I just kind of expected the game to feel more unique. Even if it was destined to be a Megaman clone! I went in to this game knowing that the reviews for it had been quite negative, still excited to play it. But there was no denying the game just didn't live up to its potential. Not to mention how many times the game froze in the middle of a level. I can't say I would recommend MN9 unless you are just desperately looking for a platformer to play and have worn out your other options. Even then, go in slightly weary. You never know though, maybe it will be the game for you.