Category Archives: Reviews


Some of our favorite memories of youth were sitting down around an arcade-style game with Krispy, whether it was a driver like Crazy Taxi or a vertical scrolling shmup such as the “1942” that used to be in our local A&W. Whatever it was, those short bursts of competitive and co-op gameplay were a drug that kept us coming back for more.

Inversus has tapped into that pure, endorphin-inducing goodness.

While playtesting, Krispy described it best when he said “It’s a twin stick shooter, without being a twin stick shooter.” This works great on the Switch because it means two players can double team a level, each wielding a single Joy Con. The player moves around with the thumb stick and shoots in one of the cardinal directions with the buttons on the right.

A typical level consists of you (and hopefully a friend) controlling a black square, emblazoned with up to 5 dots on the back, representing your ammo.

You start out in a small patch of white territory – which are the only ground you can roll across, but every shot of your cannon, that isn’t body blocked by an enemy square, continues across the arena clearing a path for you to travel. It never stays that way! A never-ending wave of baddies is sent in your general direction, some fast, some slow… some directly towards you, and others meandering around you. Initially, you’re assaulted by mindless red squares, each of these will cover up your white floor with darkness, but after a few waves of slaughtering these explosive little guys (they blow up and take out their compatriots, which can cause some impressive chain reactions) the upgraded enemies spawn into battle – a square that looks like you, but with the colors inverted, and which shoot back.

No one enemy is ever that difficult, though eventually they’ll take multiple shots, but the frantic gameplay comes from the overwhelming waves of cubes coming at you. It’s an overall concept that simple to learn and a bear to master.

The title flourishes in it’s simplicity, with basic controls, furiously fast gameplay, and an addictive quality that will make you say “One more try…” through gritted teeth.

On the other hand, it’s not for everyone… it’s a very simple title, so don’t expect to upgrade your ship. Which brings up another point, I wish there was some sort of story – am I commander of a lone space fighter defending against aggressive enemy aliens? Are you and a friend living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, conserving bullets as you try to protect yourself from a horde of the undead? (the latter is what I usually imagine) I guess it’s all up to your imagination.

Overall, it’s a minimalistic, retro feeling “twin stick” shooter that’ll give you reward you with some fun gaming with your bro.

The Good:

  • Fast, addictive gameplay means you can fit in a couple rounds anytime.
  • Controls work flawlessly
  • Customizable color palette works for anyone’s vision.
  • Can play co-op with a single set of Joy Cons
  • Plenty of levels
  • It’s co-op!

The Not So Good:

  • Lack of depth, I’m missing upgrades.
  • Score wall to unlock new levels is very high.
  • Not a lot of diversity in enemies.

Metroid: Samus Returns Review

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of the Metroid series. Ever since I played Super Metroid as a young lad, I have always had a strong fondness for the series. But since the release of Metroid: Other M on the Wii, we have been in the midst of a Metroid drought. And Other M wasn’t exactly the best note to leave the franchise in limbo on. But maybe that’s a story for another time. After this extended period without Metroid, many of us started to wonder when we would ever see another entry in the series again. Then in comes E3 2017. Not only do we get the announcement of a new entry in the Metroid Prime series, but also a remake of the classic Gameboy title, Metroid: The Return of Samus, and it was just months away.

The day is here. After years of waiting we finally have in our hands a new Metroid, and it is an adventure that proves to have been worth waiting for. The game, though being a remake, has introduced many new ideas and revamped many aspects of the original. Was it worth the wait?

Yes, yes it was. The game is jam packed with hidden areas and collectables to find, so it’s Metroid. The new features like the ability to counter enemies attacks, the 360 degree free aiming and the new “Aeion” abilities are all a great addition that add a certain level of excitement throughout the game. From beginning to end the game is a rather exciting troll through Planet SR388 and a great remake of the classic it is based off of.

The Good:

  • Playing as Samus in a return to the 2D play style just feels right again. Controls are smooth and responsive.
  • They did a great job giving Samus personality through the small, voiceless cutscenes. One scene in-particular proved she is still a certified badass.
  • First game in a long time where I actually enjoyed having the 3D on. All the background activity was a nice touch to bring life to the planet.
  • The soundtrack is wonderful. Has that epic spacey Metroid vibe we’ve grown to love.
  • THE BABY METROID. I want one.

The Not as Good

  • The diversity in enemies is a bit slim for a Metroid entry. Especially with regards to the bosses.
  • Some content, whereas not necessary to the game, is locked behind the purchase of the Samus Returns Amiibo’s. Which is only made worse by their short supply at the time of this writing,

If you are a fan of Metroid, you should absolutely buy this game. Honestly if you are a fan and haven’t bought it already go out and do it! We have been begging the Big N to revisit the franchise and they finally have. And it is a very worthy trip back to the galaxy.

The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

What do you think of when you hear the words, “Game of the Year”? I’d think for many, your immediate reaction is an eye roll because it seems to be thrown around so often through out the year. We play a game, think it’s fantastic as we play through it and start flirting with that term, sometimes before the year is even close to over. Many times rushing the gun with that verbiage. I try really hard to stay away from that phrase because, quite often, something else comes out later that has me saying Game of the Year all over again.

But today, I am going to go against myself. Im going to make the very early prediction. I think Breath of the Wild could easily be my Game of the Year. If this changes by years end, feel free to mock me for saying it. But after over 150 hours in the game and a nagging desire to go back to it no matter what I’m playing or doing, I’ll be shocked if anything else succeeds at what this new entry in the Zelda series has done for me. If you’ve played BOTW you most likely have an idea of why I would make such a prediction. But If not, bear with me as I write this review.

I’ve been playing Zelda for quite a few years now. Even though I had an NES in the days of The Legend of Zelda’s introduction into the world, I was too young to appreciate it. I wasn’t formally introduced to the series until my friend Nick (Who you all know as Bigfoot) borrowed Link’s Awakening for the Game Boy. I was fascinated with that game. I later convinced my parents to buy me a copy, and from that point I have been a fan. A HUGE fan. So naturally I was excited for BOTW. I don’t know if I’ve ever had a game blow my expectations away so much so as this game.

When I first popped the cartridge (I love being able to say that again) into my newly purchased Nintendo Switch it didn’t take long for me to climb to the highest point possible and just be blown away. To look out at a world that is so vast, and know I have so much to explore Was just an impressive feeling. Little did I know just how much exploring I was going to be doing. As of the writing of this article, 2 months after its release and 150+ hours in, I still feel like there is so much I’ve missed, and so much I want to see still. What a feat for any game. Normally if I havent finished a game by this point it has either been shelved, or I start looking at how to blow through the rest of the game. Not BOTW. I want to savor every precious moment.

In the early part of the game I was disappointed. I wanted more town exploration, more large scale dungeon exploration like in old Zelda titles. But after doing shrine after shrine, that feeling started to dissipate. I just wanted more. I wanted to discover that next shrine, Uncover more and more Korok’s, complete that set of armor, help my friend Hudson build his town. I couldn’t stop. And haven’t. With the expansion pack on the horizon, I won’t be completely done with Zelda for some time. And I couldn’t be happier.

The gameplay obviously kept me busy. I think it would be safe to say that everyone has their own favorite shrine, or favorite gear, or favorite divine beast. The best part of that being, they are all good, so it’s easy for everyone’s to possibly be different. The mechanics from using your paraglider to fly through the air to using your shield to surf down mountains, or using Magnesis to lift objects and throw them at enemies or Crystalis to walk across bodies of water, all this kept the game repeatedly fresh and intriguing. Not to mention the first time you encountered one of the Lynel’s or any of the other “Mini-bosses” scattered about the world. The world just had so much to offer, and so much reason to try it all out. THAT is how a game should be.

The graphics in the game look so crisp too. The cellshading looks so good that its easy to forget that it is even cell shaded. Taking time to look at the mountains, the fields, the lakes… it all just looks so real when you immerse yourself in the experience. It may not be as graphically complex as many of the AAA titles these days, but that doesn’t stop it from looking just as good. the music in the game is also very well done as it always is in Zelda. There are many memorable songs throughout the game. If I was to have one nitpicky complaint, it would be the lack of music as you are exploring. This is such a small thing to nitpick as there is some music there, I just found at times missing the constant music that you get in all the old Zelda titles. But really, with a game this fantastic, that isn’t a problem.

In conclusion, I’m going to be honest. I wanted to dislike this game. I wanted to be upset about the lack of “true” Zelda like dungeons, the fact that their are no classic items like the hookshot, or iron boots. But as I continued to play this masterpiece I realized, I didn’t even notice they weren’t there. Times have changed and BOTW Director Eiji Aonuma and his team, have done a beautiful job of changing with them. I can’t say that at some point, it wouldn’t be nice to see a return to the classic style of Zelda. But for now, I just look forward to playing more of Breath of the Wild, and seeing what this team as in store for us in the future.

Old Time Hockey Review

Here’s the thing about Old Time Hockey, it’s very true to it’s title. It is a game about Hockey, in the kinda “old time” setting of the 70s. Now that was before my time, but I still expected the game to be more like the 50s or so. But nonetheless, it really does capture that feeling that I assume is what hockey in the 70s looked like. It is to be commended for that.

Were you a fan of the Arcadey sports games in the 90s/00s? Then I can see you loving Old Time Hockey. The game definitely is reminiscent of the old NFL Blitz and even more so, the NHL Hitz series. It does a pretty decent job or recapturing that feel, all well making sure to do it in it’s own unique way.

The things the game does well, it does exceptionally so. The Career mode is rather clever and well done. I found the creation of the Bush Hockey League and the fact that they didn’t hold back on content to ensure an E rating refreshing. And the collectible cards in the game of its fictional characters were a neat addition. There was just something missing for me as I played, and for me I think it was the controls. There are 3 different control settings: two button, advanced, and beer mode. I played mainly with the two button. It did simplify the controls enough to help me have a more enjoyable experience. As far as the advanced controls, I never got the true hang of them.. maybe I’m just not advanced enough.

The graphics and character design are to me, a bit lacking. Sometimes I found them exceptionally hard to look at. I know it was what the game was aiming for, and they do hold true to their old time feel, which I respect a lot. The game also never toted that it was a graphically impressive game. But I just found the look hard to stomach sometimes.

What impressed me about Old Time Hockey is that the things the game does right, it does exceptionally right. I love the callback to old school couch co-op that the team at V7 Entertainment used as a focal selling point for the game, and said multiplayer does work. Plus the inclusion of the beer mode control scheme I mentioned earlier, made specifically for you to be able to hold a beer in one hand and play with the controller in the other, was ingenious. The career mode and creation the Bush League Hockey work well in this game. And frankly I love that they made this game very real, and the mature rating sells that point.

Old Time Hockey may not be my favorite game or my go to sports game, but when looking for a fun multiplayer game that’s rather easy to pick up and play, it will be added to the list. Especially if we’ve had a few beers! It’s not without its flaws, but Old Time Hockey is some good old time fun.

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.

Alwa’s Awakening

In Alwa’s Awakening you’re thrust into a fantasy world where you’re tasked with freeing the people from their harsh ruler and his four minions. Prepare to indulge in a wonderland of 8-bit graphics.

Like a baby who is starting to crawl, you’re not initially equipped with anything except your feet. What more do you need? Why back in my day I controlled a fast moving hedgehog, and I liked it! We didn’t ask to give that hedgehog weapons! Okay, but in this game you do need more and soon you get your staff, which is good for smackin’ baddies. While none of the non-boss enemies provide any real challenge, they do eventually cause you to dodge the best you can on a 2D plane. It’s a good thing Zoe can drastically change direction in mid-air. Eventually, after more exploring, you’ll find gems that fit in your staff and give you powers. For example you’ll be able to create green blocks to get to higher places, or to float across water, and floating bubbles to transport you even higher.

The controls – much like the NES games Alwa’s Awakening tries to give homage to – are simple, they don’t burden you down with expansive control schemes and instead focus on just what’s important. There’s only four buttons: attack, change magic, open map and jump. If you want to use your magic you press up + attack.

You’ll find yourself wandering back and forth in Alwa’s Awakening. If you’re hitting a brick wall in one area, perhaps it’s time to go visit another area and see if you’re able to unlock a new secret. Speaking of brick walls and secrets, don’t forget to check the walls, sometimes they’re passable and will get you into a hidden passageway. That’s the same with pits of spikes – while I’m not suggesting you go jump into every pit, that could be dangerous to little Alwa’s health, there are some that allow you to fall through into the room below, usually to collect a blue orb. It took me a few bosses before I figured out what those azure spheres were for – the more you collect, they do bonus damage to the boss before you even start battling! I thought that was an interesting feature and would like to see more of that in other games. While the pacing between areas does get old, especially hiking back to a boss after repeatedly dying, the puzzle aspect of it provides a level of enjoyment every time I discovered a new location.

Beating the bosses interspersed throughout the world is mostly a matter of watching for a pattern and attacking accordingly. Several of the bosses weren’t too difficult after you recognize the pattern. The final boss, though his actions seemed random, was one of the easiest of the five.

This retro platformer transported me back to when I was younger. Those days when we used to play such classics as Super Metroid, Zelda, Super Mario World, it all comes flooding back. Dive in and play through a dungeon and you’ll find that next-gen graphics just aren’t what makes a good game. Elden Pixels opens up the game with a note to the gamer, letting you know that they spent the last two years pouring their heart into this game. It shows! We look forward to seeing them step up their game and what they bring to the table next.

Stories: The Path of Destinies

When you first looked into this game, what was your initial impression? It’s got an anthropomorphic fox with an oversized sword, this sounds like something out of a cutesy Disney title, right? “I know how this story will end: happily ever after! I hope the gameplay is at least original…” Ok, maybe I didn’t sound quite that cynical. It was less than 5 minutes into the game [spoiler alert] when you’re chasing a young boy that you’re supposed to protect and he gets slaughtered by the emperors ravens that I discovered… I knew nothing about this wonderful title developed by Spearhead Games.

You control Reynardo, a fox with a sword large enough that it would make Cloud jealous. Another thing that reminds me of FF7? Gems can be equipped to increase your abilities. You’re also packing a Zelda-inspired hook shot, perfect for hopping from island to island via small, ornamental posts in the ground, and for pulling baddies over to you like some Mortal Kombat obsessed Vulpes, shouting “Get over here!” (Which the narrator does occasionally, a nod to Scorpion)

I don’t mention those references to lessen Stories any, or to downgrade it’s originality. Instead I want to highlight one of my favorite parts of this game: it’s full of fun, little pop culture references. I found several nods to Star Wars, Lord of the Ring, Mortal Kombat, Galaxy Quest and more. It really makes me appreciate the love the developers put into this game. Keep an eye out for them and let us know what your favorite was.

I found the battle system unique. One neat feature of it is that anytime you’re about to be attacked by an enemy, there’s an “!” above the head of the aggressive raven. If you move in that direction and attack just before it attacks, you freeze time for everyone else for a second or two. Just long enough to gather your thoughts and gain the upper hand. Plus, if you choose, you can engage your final sword’s ability to speed up your actions even more. Watching Reynardo dash around the screen slashing from bird to bird while they stand, frozen in time, makes you feel quite epic.

The real meat of this game is that instead of being completely linear you’re given multiple options of how you want to proceed. It’s laid out like a storybook with beautiful illustrations that fit perfectly. It’s wonderfully highlighted by a quote from the narrator, “Reynardo wondered if you could design a puzzle that would be different every time you played it… wouldn’t that be fun?” I feel like that was probably how the initial conversation began that lit the fire for this to be created. They did an amazing job at crafting a story that has high replayibility, in fact in the beginning you’re forced to replay the story in order to pick a different ending, but that’s okay! Each time you play through you keep the XP and items from previous runs, so that you keep getting stronger and faster.

The downside to this is if you’re trying to get the Platinum trophy. There are 24 different combinations each with a unique ending. Unfortunately each play thru uses the same 10 or so base levels, in different combinations, which eventually gets repetitious – like a Rubik’s cube having 43 quintillion possible combinations, but they’re all made up of the same 6 colors. On top of this you need to level Reynardo to 43 in order to get all his skills unlocked, which takes more playthrus than those 24 times, you eventually just find a good level and grind XP for the sake of grinding XP. Thankfully, the story’s twists and the humorous voice acting make it worth the extra time you put in.

In the end this is probably one of my new favorites. I’d definitely recommend playing thru it, I think the narration and storylines will keep you coming back again and again. We look forward to seeing what else Spearhead has to offer.

Pokémon Sun/Moon Review

The night Pokemon Sun and Moon was being released I worked a midnight launch for it to help out a friend at his store. As I’m selling a copy to a younger guy, prolly around 16, I mention to him how I remembered how excited I was for the original Pokemon games and how excited I am for this new entry with its new features and Pokemon. I’ll never forget this next part, he looked at me and said, “Man I wish I was old enough to have been able to play the originals when they came out! My first games in the series were Black and White.” As I handed him his copy it clicked. Black and White. BLACK AND WHITE!! This kid most likely wasn’t even born yet when the originals came out! Now whereas this moment did succeed in making me feel old it did something bigger, it helped me realize just how much staying power Pokemon has. How many series can you say haven’t just survived 20 years in the video game industry, but flourished and grown? Not many, but Pokemon is one that can, and Sun and Moon is the perfect tribute to what the series was, and has become.

I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate their twentieth anniversary then what they did with Pokemon Sun and Moon. There are so many beautiful throwbacks to the earlier entries in the series and so many steps forward in making this a unique entry in the series, and possibly, steps forward to changing up the basic formula that has been in the series for so long.

You start off the game arriving to your new house in the Alola region, which is made up by a series of islands, having just moved here from the good ole Kanto region. From the Ditto pillow in your room to your families pet Meowth, you can get a sense of the throwback love right from the beginning. The game kicks off pretty quick and shows glimpses of what turns out to be a pretty decent story for a Pokemon game, since their stories are usually minimal, and introduces you to some of the games main characters. The games rather bro-like Professor, Professor Kukui, your “rival” Hau and Professor Kukui’s assistant Lillie. All of whom play a rather big part throughout the story. I will say that this game takes the longest of all the games to get you to where you pick your starter Pokemon. But that is a small thing because it all moves very fast. From that point on the game seems to flow in a very well paced manor. Never feeling like its going by to fast or taking to long.

You’ll quickly notice as you progress through the game that Gyms and Gym Leaders are no more. You now instead complete various trials, led by Trial Captains. Trials may have their own unique gimmicks usually ending with you fighting a trial Pokemon, a stronger version of a certain Pokemon surrounded by an aura that strengthens it. After you fight all of the Trial Captains on a certain island, you then fight the island Kahuna. These battles are pleasantly tough and I felt rather accomplished as I finished them. This whole experience is not necessarily better then the Gyms we are so used to fighting in, but it is a welcome change for now nonetheless. It’s just nice to see how Gamefreak is willing to try new things, even when what they had, was established and loved. It shows that they know their games well enough to change the formula up a bit and still create a compelling experience. Each game in the series has always had its gimmicks of sorts, but this was a big change. And it doesn’t disappoint.

In my opinion the area that this game flourishes the most is it’s new Pokemon. Not since the Gold/Silver/Crystal generation of games have I personally had so much trouble deciding what to raise. Not because I wasn’t a fan of the new entries, because I was SUCH a huge fan of so many of the new entries. I know many had their complaints about some of the starters, but I actually liked all three of them and struggled with who to choose. As I usually play through a new Pokemon I will cycle Pokemon in and out has they evolve to fill up my Dex. All the while only having about 2, maybe 3 Pokemon being used in battles. This time It was so much harder. I kept wanting to keep everything in my lineup because I enjoyed using them. Pikipek, Crabrawler, Rockruff, Mudbray and Salandit just to name a few. I thought they looked cool and unique. I liked their attacks and typing. I was just happy with the outcome of this Dex. Not to mention the Alolan forms of some of the original 150! This is one of those things I think Gamefreak did beautifully. Making alternate forms of some of these classics was incredibly cool. It added to my plight of what to raise and it was just unique. This forms to range from the awesome (Marowak) to the strange (Dugtrio) to the downright bizarre (Exeggutor, grass dragon typing??) It was nice seeing some of my old favorites get a nice breath of fresh air. Honestly I hope to see more of this in the future.

Another big new addition are the Z moves. The last gen brought us Mega forms, which were cool enough but I wasn’t a huge fan of. I found Z move sot be more appealing because they can give you a huge advantage, but you can’t spam them. It’s one and done. Teaching your Charizard Solar Beam and then giving it the Grass Z crystal so it can use Bloom Doom is pretty darn cool. Maybe not the most effective use of a once a battle move, but cool! These moves are cool looking (See Snorlax Pulverizing Pancake) and were a very welcome addition to the series. I’m sure that they will have a nice impact on competitive play as well.

After almost 20 years with the series, it amazes me that I always get so excited for the new entry in the series. When Pokemon Blue came out I remember thinking I would never get sick of playing Pokemon. But I also said the same thing about Pog’s and Tamagatchi’s and I have long sense lot, gotten rid of, or thrown those in storage. Yet Pokemon stays strong. I look forward to new releases and think about going back and replaying old entries. That speaks wonders of a games staying power. Pokemon Sun and Moon may not have been my favorite entries in the series, but they are my favorite in a long time. That alone is saying something for a series with nothing but strong entires. This is the game in the series that should appeal to all. Long time players, new comers and those who have been away but want to feel like a kid again. This game is worth owning a 3ds for in of itself. So do yourself a favor, get a copy. Sit there and play it while watching some Saturday morning cartoons. Just enjoy, let go of the stresses of every day life and go back to being a kid with the series we’ve almost all grown up with.

Galaxy of Heroes (Mobile)

Galaxy Of Heroes cover

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Remember that one scene in Star Wars where Boba Fett led a rag tag team made up of Chewbacca, Anakin Skywalker, Qui Gon Jinn and Luminara? They were an impressive force to deal with… such a great movie. No? That never happened? Well it should’ve, and that’s one of the fun things about Galaxy of Heroes. 

In GOH you unlock and upgrade characters via shards, which are collecting by fighting battles or by purchasing them. Each character has a rating between 1 and 7 stars, which can be upgraded by collecting more shards. 

In addition to rarity level (the stars), each character can reach a maximum level of 85 (until they increase the level cap), and you can “build” better gear for your characters through collecting hardware pieces. Each of these pieces contribute to making your character stronger. In a semi-recent update “mods” were introduced. 

Mods were an interesting addition because, while everyone who has a certain character starts at predefined baseline stats, you could now increase the stats of a weak skill, or strengthen an already powerful skill, it’s really up to you. It allows for a whole new level of customization.  

The game is not a boring, one-dimensional fighter. It takes a great deal of strategy to put together characters who have synergies and feed off each other. One character may have a strong ability to stun, but be slower than a 56k modem – but then you assign a different character with a leader skill that raises everyone’s speed. You might take a character who seems useless, but combined with the right group could be a part of an unstoppable force. 

The last large update brought ship battles, which means you need to spend some of your energy to unlock ship blueprints, which can also be increased to 7 stars, and a level of 85. In addition, the star level, character level, gear level and mods of the pilot increase the power of the ship. Each fighter can only be flown by a preassigned pilot. Only Poe Dameron can pilot Poe’s X-Wing, for example. 

Overall I’d say it’s one of my favorite Star Wars mobile games, and definitely one that I’ve spent the most time on. I think you’ll enjoy it too! If you’re already a player, make sure you shoot us a message in the comments so that we can exchange ally requests!

Grim Fandango

Every once in a while a game comes along with so many great pieces that you just know it’s going to be a smashing success – and then it proceeds to flop like that kid in your hometown community swimming pool. These games become cult classics. So many people know their names, but how many people actually played it? Not that many. Grim Fandango is a classic example: LucasArts was on a roll with their point & click adventures in the 90s; It was a brain-child of Tim Schafer (@TimOfLegend @DoubleFine); Grim Fandango had story, graphics, voice acting; Haven’t even mentioned the critical acclaim.  It was sure to be a slam dunk! Unfortunately, sales proved otherwise. 

Grim Fandango’s stage is set in a land that’s part film noir, part Aztec legend of the afterlife. You play the role of Manny Calavera, travel agent for the deceased. It’s your job to sell the dead an attractive travel package to get them to their final destination. The most virtuous get a golden ticket to take the short ride on a fast train, while the others… well, it might take 40 years and a journey fret with peril, but there’s always walking. 

The adventure revolves around your attempts to track down Meche, one of the newly dead who gets picked up by your office. A lady who’s life was so clean, she should’ve applied for being a saint. Not just that, but she’s attractive too! Surely, she would be a shoe-in for a golden ticket… only, you can’t find her information on your computer. Embarrassed, she sneaks away to begin her long walk, leading to you following on her heels the whole way. 

The voice acting is delightfully well done, and riddled with quirky quips that are bound to bring a chuckle. Often times these interactions aren’t required to move the story along so you may miss them if you’re not on the look out. 

The remastered edition features two types of controls, either “tank controls” where pressing up moves Manny forward, left and right makes him rotate like a first year ballerina, and pressing down makes him back up. (Hint: playing the whole way through using these controls will fetch a pretty trophy on the PS4) or a standard mode for the kids where you just press the direction you want to move. 

The puzzles are entertaining, but mind numbingly difficult at times, as there’s sometimes little to no instruction, and you’ll have to re-do things repetitiously in hopes of finding the right combination. A couple of the maps were more like mazes, as well. It’s difficult to find where you need to go because the path isn’t so clear (or is just plain hidden) I found myself referencing a walk thru at times so that I could enjoy the story. 

As mentioned, the PS4 comes loaded with opportunities for trophies which only go to further the point that this game is really difficult – only 9% reached chapter 2? – but for the completionists will give plenty of reason for a second playthrough. 

Overall I’d highly recommend downloading and giving it a shot. With the resurgence of point & click games hitting it’s full stride, it’s a great idea to go back and play one of the classics and as long as you don’t give up early, Grim Fandango is sure to not disappoint.