All posts by destinyzx1

A young man who has but one simple desire; to go back in time and relive his youth.

Jump Force Review

Jump Force Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for review.

Last year, Namco Bandai announced a game that would be ambitious and exciting. They said that characters such as Goku, Naruto, Luffy, Yugi and many others coming together in a manner similar to Marvel’s Avengers. As time went on, people were excited and then the game finally comes out in the form of Jump Force. Jump Force, a game that has the makings to be something great becomes nothing more than a disappointment. And even if the game was good, is it worth your time?

Jump Force’s story focuses on an organization called Jump Force and their job is to save the world from an evil organization known as Umbras. Players take control of a character they create in this game and it serves as the game’s protagonist. Many characters that you meet such as Goku, Naruto, Luffy and others serve as supporting characters. Together your character teams up with them to fight the Umbras but it ends up becoming a fight to save all realities from an evil that wishes to wipe the slate clean.

The story isn’t that great. It’s your traditional good vs. evil story but the difference here is that it follows in the veins of films like Avengers where heroes unite to save the world against evil. My issue with it is that it feels predictable, to the point where you can figure out who the big bad really is. It’s not that great and it feels underwhelming. By the time it’s done you feel like it could have been better. So yes, the story is a disappointment.

But what about the gameplay? It’s a 3D fighting game, similar in the vein of Dragon Ball Xenoverse and the Naruto games. However it follows in the vein of Marvel vs. Capcom where you choose a team of 3 characters and do battle but you can only have one on the field at a time, unless you do a team up attack. Your allies can either be swapped or used to do assist attacks. With a roster of 40 characters, players will find the right combinations to dominate the game whether online or off. Battles can be intense and it has a lot of mechanics that players should take advantage of like high-speed dodges, awakened status and team up attacks. Skilled players can be able to succeed in battles but it’s not an easy task.

As for your created character, it’s one of the good things that this game has. Not only can your character be customized on how they look but also how they do battle. Players can equip special attacks to mix and match, offering variety. They can purchase these skills and abilities in the market along with the ability to buy outfits. Abilities can also be upgraded by means of using materials and they can help provide advantages and disadvantages in battle. There are also traits and by using SP, you can give your custom character additional traits that can do a variety of things like boosting your stats, giving you advantages if your health is low, etc. Plus it has some RPG elements where you level up as you play the game. It isn’t limited to your created character but also every character in the roster. Some instances you’ll have to take part in limitbreaker missions and completing them allows you to continue leveling up until you reach 100 or so. It can get grindy but personally, it’s the one thing that I find to be good about this game.

Jump Force is mostly a mission-based game where you take part in missions whether you are progressing through the game’s story or if you simply want to have fun. There are four kinds of missions: Free, Extra, Key and Tutorial. Free comes in five different difficulties and here, you can choose any character you want and take part. Extra is where you tackle bonus missions. Key Missions are story based while Tutorial simply teaches what the game is about. It is what it is but it’s also one of the game’s many faults. Those who want to simply go in for the story, it’ll take you around 10 hours to complete. Post game extends it a lot more for those that want to complete everything and have their characters be much stronger. Plus the missions come in 5 difficulties for added length.

For all the good this game does have, Jump Force has a ton of issues. The story is unimpressive and in most cases predictable. It isn’t that great. Not only that but the presentation isn’t impressive. Sure the characters look good but in cutscenes, they don’t show much in terms of emotion. It has you wondering what happened during development. Even Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite did better in terms of its cutscenes and that’s coming from a game that is a disappointment in its own right. Music is forgettable and uninspiring. Voice acting is okay but it’s only in Japanese dub. No English dub sadly. Gameplay can be repetitive especially with the mission structure. That’s basically what it’s about: missions. It goes like this: you accept a mission, see a cutscene, load time, see another cutscene, load time, battle, load time, cutscene. It gets old really quick. Not only that but the load times are unacceptable. Load times can go up to 45 seconds and for a game like this, it’s unacceptable. Sure they did release an update that reduced load times but it’s still unacceptable. Online is at least alright and Jump Force will be having DLC in the form of additional characters. Personally I feel that they should focus on improving the game’s many issues. It’s a game that feels like an injustice to the many franchises that it represents. All these characters deserve better than this. The game is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. PC Players will have a lot more enjoyment since people will mod the game to make everything better. Console players get the short end of the stick.

Jump Force is a game that was hyped as an epic crossover game only to crash and burn when it reaches the end. A forgettable story, repetitive gameplay structure and a not-so-great presentation mars what otherwise would have been an ambitious product. The roster of 40+ characters feel wasted on this. Namco Bandai and Spike Chunsoft should have put more time to make this game worth your while. What happened? What went wrong? The game isn’t for everyone and there is some good deep within. There are some good ideas but the execution was a major letdown. It really is.

I give Jump Force a 5 out of 10.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review

Product purchased for this review.

It all started 20 years ago where characters from various Nintendo franchises would duke it out on the Nintendo 64 as Super Smash Bros. As the years go on, the series would continue and many others would join the fight, becoming one of Nintendo’s money-making franchises. March 2018 is when Nintendo announced a new Smash Bros. & at E3 2018, it would be revealed. Months of waiting and anticipation would soon follow & by year’s end, it would arrive. Fitting too because Sakurai states that this is the game where everyone is here! This is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Need I say any more than it has already been said?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a game that is packed to the brim with content. You have the Smash mode where up to 8 players can pick their stage, their character and then duke it out. In addition to standard rules, they also include Custom Smash, various special rules that help add a lot of fun to an otherwise great mode. They can range from stamina, super sudden death and many others. Smashdown is an interesting one where players choose characters and after a battle, they can’t use said character and must switch to the next. It’s a neat mode, requiring players to use multiple characters to win. Tournaments can also be created, where it can hold up to 32 players to see who will be the best. New to this game is Squad Strike, a team battle mode for Smash Ultimate where you choose from up to 3-5 characters and battle in either Tag Team or Elimination. It’s an interesting mode and a fun one at that. Yeah. That’s a lot for a simple mode.

As for single-player content, there’s plenty. Classic Mode makes a return except this time they decide to change things up. Each character has their own path to take with opponents to take on along with special conditions to boot. Not only that but they can choose the intensity and the more skilled players get, the further it rises, reaching at a maximum of 9.9 Intensity, ending with a boss fight. It can range from a showdown with both Master and Crazy Hand or a fight against another boss. They aren’t long and only the most skilled can pull it off at the highest intensity. Not only that but it supports up to 2 player co-op. That’s cool. You also have Training Mode to test your skills and there’s also Online. Online is pretty much split between two modes: Global Smash and Elite Smash. Global Smash is pretty straightforward where you pick a character and play online with friends. You win matches, your global smash power rating goes up and vice versa. Elite Smash however is only accessible if characters reach a certain amount. It’s pretty much Ultimate’s version of Ranked Battles where you will fight the best of the best. Good luck, you’ll need it. Considering that the game has the biggest roster in fighting game history, you will definitely need it. Fortunately online is very good.

Speaking of which, the roster has without a doubt the biggest to date at around 74 characters. Every character from every Smash Bros. game is here from the 64 era to the Wii U. In addition there are several new characters joining such as the Inklings, the Belmonts Simon & Richter and many others. Not only that but some character appear as Echo Fighters, characters that are similar to other characters but have a few differences. Unlocking them is the fun part and it’s all the more rewarding & there are many ways to do so.

Smash Ultimate also offers something new in the form of Spirits. Spirits is the game’s main gimmick that replaces trophies and instead provides something unique. Many spirits you accumulate will come in two kinds: Primary, that comes in four varieties with 3 being of a weapon triangle with a 4th as neutral and Support, spirits that offer unique advantages when equipped with a primary spirit. Primary spirits can be leveled up in many ways and in some cases can evolve into more powerful spirits. Spirits also comes in two different modes: Spirit Board and Adventure Mode. Spirit Board is a mode where you pick a character and take on spirit-controlled fighters to unlock spirits. All the challenges come with special conditions. There are also events where you can acquire certain spirits and as of Ver. 2.0.0, up to 4 players can tackle the Spirit Board offline.

The other mode is Smash Ultimate’s adventure mode, World of Light. It’s plot has everyone in Smash Bros. Ultimate gearing up to take the fight to a new evil, an angelic being named Galeem, who has an army of Master Hands. It ends in failure as Galeem unleashes its power to wipe out everything and reshape the universe, as it wants with everyone else turned to spirits. As for the fighters, they end up getting captured and are used as puppets for the spirits to control. Kirby is the only survivor and he must travel to this strange world, rescue his allies and defeat Galeem & anything else that gets in the way. Compared to the Subspace Emissary, there isn’t much in terms of exposition. You pretty much end up in a strange new world and you explore, battle enemies, get spirits, free characters, etc. All the while the game has a bit of RPG where you use smash orbs to improve yourself in a variety of ways. Players can take around 20 hours to complete it with the addition of a New Game+ that happens after beating it. It’s a pretty good mode but it can get really grindy after a few hours. It shouldn’t stop you from giving it a chance and you won’t be disappointed.

There is so much more in this game that this review can’t do justice. You have access to multiple control options like Joy-cons (together and separate), Switch Pro Controller and even the Gamecube Controller. Each play well but the Switch Pro is a recommended. Amiibo support is in this game, similar to Smash 4 on 3DS & Wii U where you can train Fighters and use them in battle. Smash Ultimate has over 800 tunes that span so many franchises and all of them are awesome. There are over 100 stages for players to do battle in and they span over 20 years of Smash history. Presentation-wise the game is a major step up from Smash 4 and the game runs at a solid 60fps, even when it isn’t docked. What else is there that needs to be said? It’s truly ultimate indeed.

It’s not to say that Smash Ultimate isn’t perfect. There are some faults. World of Light can be a bit grindy at times and the Spirit Boards can have challenges that are outright be unfair. Should they stop players from enjoying it? Absolutely not.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate serves as a culmination that celebrates 20 years of the franchise history. Everyone is here with the biggest roster to date and it delivers in so many ways. So much content that will have players spend so many hours enjoying whether it be the single-player or multiplayer online or off. It plays great, runs great and is also a go-to game if you have a group of friends. Just like every other Smash, if you have a Nintendo Switch, this game is a definitive must buy. It’s great for those who have experienced Smash and a welcome start for those who haven’t. Everyone is here and it’s only missing one thing that would make this all the more worthwhile… you.

I give Super Smash Bros. Ultimate a 9.5 out of 10. It’s a must buy game, worth your time and money.

Kingdom Hearts III Review

Kingdom Hearts III Review – Written by Jose Vega

Copy purchased for review.

It began in 2002 when Squaresoft and Disney would collaborate to bring Kingdom Hearts. Combining the role-playing adventure of Final Fantasy with the cute and memorable side of Disney, the first game would give way to a franchise that tells a tale about light against darkness. Fans waited years for a sequel after Kingdom Hearts II but what they got is Square churning out more games that would help shape the lore of the series. But come 2013, Square-Enix announced that Kingdom Hearts III would be in development. After six years of anticipation, it has arrived. Being the final entry of the supposed Xehanort Saga, is it worth the wait? Is Kingdom Hearts III worth a chance?

Let’s begin with the game’s story and yes, Kingdom Hearts’ plot is a bit convoluted at times. Sora, along with Donald and Goofy are back yet again as they travel on a new journey, heading to different worlds and taking the fight against Xehanort and his true Organization XIII. While that occurs, Riku along with Mickey head to the realm of darkness to find Aqua, a keyblade master. Both of these plots eventually coincide, leading to two factions battling one another to determine the fate of every world. It’s a battle between the forces of light against the forces of darkness.

From my experience, I did enjoy the story. It has enough to get me invested but also enough to literally hit you where it hurts, emotionally. Every world has its own story to tell, characters to meet and things to do. But the plot itself connects since the bad guys are invading each world and it’s up to the good guys to save the day. However there is some criticism. People who haven’t played every game and going into this one will feel lost, not knowing certain things such as characters and plots. Thankfully the game has a Memory Archive where players can catch up in preparation for this one.

If you have played any of the Kingdom Hearts games, then this will feel really familiar to you. Kingdom Hearts III is an action RPG game that borrows elements from many of the entries and incorporates them into this one. You have access to your Keyblade, as well as Magic but this game also has some new stuff. One instance is the Formchange. Depending on what Keyblade Sora has, he gains access to a different form that can add a bit of flair to his offense. Some keyblades have more than one form with devastating finish attacks. Not only that but Sora can also hold more than one Keyblade. In fact he can hold onto three. This gives Sora the chance to mix it up and he can save a formchange for later if needed. Shotlocks make a return, from Birth By Sleep where you lock onto multiple enemies and deliver a powerful attack. This time, depending on the keyblade, you get access to a different shotlock and plus, some blades will have more than one. It’s a sense of variety that feels rewarding for players. New to the series is Attractions, giant amusement park rides that can do a variety of attacks. They all offer something new but some instances will give Sora rides that will deal heavy damage to foes. Another new feature is the Link command. Link Commands allow Sora to summon a special ally to the battlefield. They range from Meow Wow to even Stitch and can turn the tide of the battle. Only drawback is that it costs all your MP but your health does recover so it also serves as a lifesaver if things go bad. You also have access to team-up attacks with your allies and this time, Donald and Goofy don’t have to leave. In fact you can have up to 2 guest allies in your group, raising the party up to 5. It’s awesome and some of the support cast even comes with their respective team up attacks too.

In terms of content, Kingdom Hearts III offers plenty to do. You have the Gummi Ship but this time, Square-Enix decides to make it a free flight mode where you can travel around to wherever you want to go. Like in Kingdom Hearts 1 & 2, you can customize your Gummi ship however you want. Each of the three systems have plenty of quests and challenges to do. There’s also Little Chef aka Remy from Ratatouille and his restaurant, the Bistro. As you travel on your journey, you will find ingredients. They’re for Remy’s mini game. Most of it is simple but it’s trial and error cause if you screw up, you lose the ingredients. But when you succeed, you acquire meals and combining different meals together can boost stats for you and your party. It’s a nice temporary benefit if you feel the game is a bit challenging. There are mini games in each world, there’s the Classic Kingdom where you play handheld mini games to get a high score, there’s a lot to do. I kid you not.

Beating the game alone will take you around 20 hours but if you want to 100% the game, it’s double the length. Not to mention there are three difficulty settings: Beginner, Standard and Proud. If you want a real challenge, the Proud difficulty is your best option. There is no Critical mode sadly but I hope that Square-Enix will consider adding it in a future update. Kingdom Hearts III is amazing. It’s truly awesome to look at. Running at a rock solid 60 fps, the game runs great but is flawless too. Not only that but load times are minimal especially when it transitions from cutscene to gameplay. I love it. It’s seamless. As for the voice acting, it’s still top notch with many familiar voices along with new ones, especially from the more recent Disney films. It’s pretty good. The music is enjoyable. Yoko Shimomura is truly a goddess when it comes to music. I’m not kidding. She delivers on some amazing tunes, not to mention remixes of familiar tunes. Every world you travel always offer something enjoyable, even when you are at the end of the game as well. It’s just awesome.

But for all the good things that this game has, there are some flaws. One example’s the Attractions. They can be really overpowered and they come too frequent. Even when you turn off Attraction Extender, they still have a tendency to come in and can turn most fights into a joke. I wish Square-Enix could either tone them down or have them show up less. The game is also a bit easy, even at Proud difficulty. By the time you reach the end, Sora will probably have a lot of abilities that can help turn the tide of any battle, even the final boss. There is an ability that disables experience and it can make the game challenging but it isn’t enough. Sure this game is also meant to attract new audiences but it should offer something for players that want a tough challenge. The lack of Critical Mode doesn’t help matters. Last but not least, unless you’ve played every other game in the series, the plot will make your head scratch and wonder who some of the characters are. The Memory Archive does help for those that want to be up to speed but for anyone that has no idea, they may be in for a really confusing ride.

So in conclusion, Kingdom Hearts III is a game that fans waited years for. Is it worth your time? Absolutely. Does it have flaws? Definitely. For all it’s negatives, this game has a lot going for it. It looks amazing, it’s easy to get into and play and it has enough that’ll keep you going for a long while. A 13-year wait reaches its end and surprisingly, it’s also on Xbox One so that’s a first. This game serves as an end to the Xehanort Saga and the end of a journey that spans 17 years. Let’s hope that Square-Enix doesn’t take too long for the next entry… hopefully. Seriously get Kingdom Hearts III. It’s worth your time.

I give Kingdom Hearts III an 8.5 out of 10. It’s worth your money and your time.

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review

Spyro Reignited Trilogy Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for review.

Back in 2016, Activision released the Crash N. Sane Trilogy, remaking the first 3 games starring Crash. To say that it was a success is an understatement. It was a massive hit and a year later, the game would then be ported over to the Switch, Xbox One and PC. People wonder if Spyro would join suit and the good news is that they didn’t need to wait long. In April of last year, Activision announced that the original Spyro trilogy would be remastered with help from Toys for Bob. It would take a few months and a few delays for it to come, as the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Does this trilogy deliver justice and give new life to the Spyro the Dragon franchise?

Like the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, the Spyro Reignited Trilogy consists of the first three Spyro games: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro: Year of the Dragon. They had their work cut out for them remaking the Spyro trilogy, despite having the game delayed twice. You got to at least commend them for trying. Presentation-wise, all three games are awesome and consistent. You can tell that Toys for Bob put a lot of heart and soul when remaking the Spyro games and it shows. It’s fantastic. Even the voice acting is good. Tom Kenny reprises his role as Spyro and he does a fantastic job portraying him. Even the music and sound is improved. Everything has improved and like the N. Sane Trilogy, it’s done with the intent of providing a proper experience for players new to the series and for those who grew up with the old school PS1 games. Fun fact: the original 3 Spyro the Dragon games were developed by Insomniac, who would go on to make the Ratchet & Clank games for PS2.

What about the gameplay? Thankfully the game not only looks good but plays good too. If you’ve played the original PS1 Spyro games, you will feel right at home here. Movement is done either with the D-Pad or Analog Stick and all of Spyro’s basic moves such as gliding, breathing fire and charging with your head are there too. Depending on each games, Spyro will also obtain additional abilities that help in terms of exploration and battle. Speaking of which, all 3 games specialize in being collect-a-thon kind of games, having players travel to many areas collecting gems, relics, dragons and in some cases freeing dragons. Not only that but the game has free-flying sections where Spyro flies about. It also became a time-attack mode where you need to hit 4 objects or enemies for a total of 8 times. Some of these also have additional missions as well. For completionists that want to find and unlock everything, there are also skill point challenges. Completing them unlock access to a collection of concept art so it’s a nice bonus. You are getting a lot for a $40 game and like the Crash N. Sane Trilogy, it’s one heck of an experience.

As for length, each of these are long in their own right taking 10-15 hours but those who not only want to complete everything, get all the trophies and acquire all skill points, expect to add a few hours more to each. Again, it’s a lot for a $40 game and you got to commend these guys for putting the effort. Not only that but they also include the option to allow a map for players to see where they are. It’s a nifty feature but people most likely won’t need it. Now based on my experience, the compilation is well done. There were some bits that prove to be challenging, especially in the first Spyro game but at least it has the right amount of difficulty when it comes to the rest. And if you plan on buying the game physically, expect to wait a while. The physical disc only contains Spyro 1, not all 3. Yes. People were expecting to have all 3 Spyro games in one disc but Toys for Bob and Activision were unable to make it possible because of how big the games are. At least they tried and they should be commended for what they could. Oh and all three games are complete games too.

Activision and Toys for Bob did justice to the Spyro franchise with this compilation. Three Spyro games, rebuilt from the ground up with a strong presentation, familiar gameplay and a fair amount of challenge is something anyone should obtain. It’s enjoyable for those who have played the Spyro games but it’s also a welcome introduction for those who are new to it. If you never got to experience Spyro back during the PlayStation era, there’s no excuse now. The Reignited Trilogy is what does the trilogy justice and then some. Don’t take my word for it. Get it and play for yourself.

I give the Spyro Reignited Trilogy an 8.5 out of 10.

My Top 15 Best Games of 2018

My Top 15 Best Games of 2018 – Written by Jose Vega

If you thought that 2017 was a great year for gaming, think again. 2018 has blown it out of the water and there’s a reason why. What better way to celebrate this year than by looking back at what I consider to be the best of the best. This will not be an easy list and remember that my list is an opinionated one. So let’s get underway with a list that’s good. So let’s get to the cream of the crop, the pedal to the metal. These are my Top 15 Best Games of 2018.

Before I begin, here are some rules.

Rule #1: Straight-up ports or compilations to newer consoles will not be included. If they were, I would pretty much have half of the list devoted to them. There will be a few exceptions.

Rule #2: This list focuses on games that I’ve played and put time towards. So yes, expect the list to be not to your liking.

Rule #3: If you feel a game you like isn’t on your list, feel free to provide your own.

Now that we’ve got them out of the way, let us begin.

Number #15: Octopath Traveler (Nintendo Switch)

Kicking off the list is an RPG that has a simple premise yet works. It centers on 8 different characters, each having a story of their own to tell. What makes it so good is how players go about it. The game is a love-letter to old school RPGs, offering up something exciting while challenging you. Everything about it is great whether it be the gameplay, music, presentation, voice acting, etc. Plus with the fact that you can customize your party however you like adds replay value. Don’t take my word for it, even though I still need to beat it. Get this. Octopath is an RPG that deserves all the love it can get. Who will you choose to start your journey?

Number #14: The Alliance Alive (Nintendo 3DS)

In 2018, the 3DS continues to get support from companies like Atlus. This game is no exception. The Alliance Alive centers on a group of characters that must work together to free their world from creatures called Daemons. What makes this game stand out is the battle and leveling system. Battles take place on a 3×5 grid where your group can be in different formations offering unique and interesting strategies. Not only that but towers also help provide advantages in battle. Leveling is similar to games like the original FF2 with its nurture vs. nature mechanic. Not only that but the cast can wield whatever weapons they can use offering a lot of variety and strategy. It’s a very underrated game that deserves more appreciation. Give it a chance. You won’t regret it.

Number #13: Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PlayStation 4, PC)

If there’s one thing I will say regarding 2018 is that this year is home to RPGs and this list is going to have plenty of these. It had been seven years since the last Ni no Kuni game and people wonder what happened. Well we didn’t have to wait that long, as Namco Bandai would give us a sequel, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Taking place hundreds of years after the events of the first game, Ni no Kuni II centers on Evan Tildrum and Roland Crane. Together the two must gather allies and save the world while dealing with those that threaten it including a sinister evil. It’s an RPG that I should have put more time towards. Plus its story is a journey for everyone involved. Thankfully the game did sell well enough that we’re getting DLC in the form of new campaigns and exclusive gear. Hopefully these guys can add more and let’s face it. The game is fun, the battle system is interesting and the building mechanics for the kingdom is interesting. It deserves your time and money.

Number #12: Hollow Knight (Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

This is the one exception that is on this list and for a very good reason. Though it came out last year on Steam, the fact that Hollow Knight had come to consoles, especially the Nintendo Switch is more than enough to convince me to give it a shot. This game is part-Metroidvania/part-Dark Souls. It’s a game that I can’t put down and yet it offers so much more. Its atmosphere is dark, creepy and enticing. There’s a lot to do in the game. The challenge is there and will push you to your limits but when it’s all said and done, you will feel satisfied knowing that you made the impossible possible. It’s a reason why I put over 20 hours and there is so much more to do. The fact we get the final expansion Gods and Glory is meant to end it out on a high note and it did. Hollow Knight is an amazing game and if you haven’t bought it, you should. My review I did should be proof enough.

Number #11: Mega Man 11 (Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, Xbox One)

We waited 8 years for a new Mega Man game and then Capcom decided to enter its dork phase and cancel anything relating to the blue bomber left and right either out of spite or stupidity. We would reach Mega Man’s 30th anniversary and Capcom announced a brand new Mega Man game in the form of Mega Man 11. Its plot has Mega Man stopping Dr. Wily once more as he uses a strange machine to capture eight new Robot Masters and use them in his goal for conquest. Mega Man is still as fun as you remember except he has a new trick: the Double Gear system. It can be used to either slow down time or power up his attacks. My only complaint with the game is that it’s not a long game. It’s still fun but I only wish that Capcom can consider adding DLC down the line such as Proto Man and Bass. That would help add more to the game. At least it’s not at full price because if it was, that’d be another story.

Number #10: Soulcalibur VI (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Never thought Namco Bandai would ever go back to this series, especially after Soulcalibur V. This is a game that’s going to make or break the series… thankfully it helps give the series new life. Soulcalibur VI serves not only as a reboot of the series but also a celebration of the franchise. It goes back to its roots meaning the game’s fast paced and really fun. With a roster of 21 characters and additional characters incoming such as 2B, it’s a game I feel that breathes new life to the series. In addition the game also has a really good story mode where you create a character and travel on a journey in the Soulcalibur world. That’s amazing. A game like this deserves all the love it can get. I don’t want the Soulcalibur series to die.

Number #9: Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee & Let’s Go, Pikachu (Nintendo Switch)

There’s going to be somebody here that will complain at me wondering why it’s so low on my list. To be fair, this game is a bit divisive but honestly, this is a spin off and it’s meant to hold us over until Game Freak actually releases Generation 8. Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee takes us back to Kanto where it all began except in a very different way. The difference between that the game incorporates elements from Pokemon Go. That’s not necessarily a bad thing since it’s only done to make the game a bit easier. It’s accessible for people new to the franchise while bringing something that has us old-school veterans feeling nostalgic. Let’s only hope that when Gen 8 does come, its gameplay should be like every other main line in the series. Don’t screw it up guys.

Number #8: Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country (Nintendo Switch)

A DLC making this list?! You don’t say but thing is, this is no ordinary DLC we’re talking about. Monolith Soft surprised us with something that could almost be a full game if it wants. Torna ~ The Golden Country is set hundreds of years before the events of the main game. It focuses on a pair named Jin and Lora who travel the continent of Torna. Meeting new and familiar companions, their story details how Torna had fallen and how it all leads up to Xenoblade 2. This feels like a full game and it does. It offers a lot of customization for the cast, quests to complete and plenty to do. I am amazed that they were able to pull it off and it’s another that I recommend you should get on the Nintendo Switch. Heck it’s available as a separate game so there’s that.

Number #7: Dragon Ball FighterZ (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

When it was announced, everyone was excited for it especially when Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite turned out to be a dud. Dragon Ball FighterZ is pretty much Marvel vs. Capcom 2/3 but it incorporates characters from Dragon Ball Z. The result is absolute beauty. Dragon Ball FighterZ is the definition of an amazing fighting game. 3-on-3 action that’s intense, addicting and satisfying. We even have a story mode that’s split into three acts, each just as good as the next. It felt like a breath of fresh air and even the roster has everyone you ever want and then some… almost. Though the game is real fun and it has its moments, I only hope that the tournament scene doesn’t get screwed over… hopefully. Yeah. DBFZ is great. It really is. Also Android 21 is best waifu. Don’t @ me.

Number #6: Yakuza 6: The Song of Life (PlayStation 4)

2018 should also be the Year of Kiryu. Why? Well, because in addition to a fantastic remake of the 2nd Yakuza game, we also get one that serves as a fitting yet emotional finale to his tale. Yakuza 6: The Song of Life has a simple theme: “How far would you go for family?” For Kiryu, it’s more than you realize as he’s on a journey to save those that matter to him while uncovering a secret that could rock the fate of Japan. It’s Kiryu’s tale and it feels so strong and emotional. Not only that but Yakuza 6 is awesome in terms of gameplay and content. The Dragon Engine allows the game to run amazingly at 60fps. Not only that but there is much for Kiryu to do and so much more. This may be the final tale for Kiryu but not the end of the series. With the announcement of a spin-off titled Judgment coming this year, it’s flame will not die out. It deserves the #6 spot and it’s a bit fitting too.

Number #5: Spyro Reignited Trilogy (PlayStation 4, Xbox One)

After the success of the Crash N. Sane Trilogy, Activision figured that if one franchise found new life, why not do the same to another. The result is the Spyro Reignited Trilogy. Activision and Toys for Bob delivered a trilogy that was remade from the ground up and treated with love and respect. We know all about the struggles of the game’s development & that Activision did the right thing by delaying the game. For all the negatives the company has done, they did at least something right. As for the game itself, the game is completely redone. It looks amazing, plays amazing and is just so good. It made me now be a fan of Spyro and I feel that the praise will convince Activision to give the franchise another shot. Let’s hope it does. It’s why Spyro Reignited deserves to be in the Top 5.

Number #4: Monster Hunter World (PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC)

Where do I even start with a game like this? Monster Hunter World is just incredible. A game that is not only accessible for newcomers but also offers something veterans can enjoy. The best of both worlds and it’s great. A game like this is more fun when you have friends along. You can play it solo if you want. Plus the fact that it continues to add more content in a way that can get people back in is just stunning. This is how you get people coming back to your games. With the announcement of it’s first expansion, Icebound coming this year, what better time to get into this game is now. Did I forget to mention that it looks great with a great amount of accessibility? Yep. Monster Hunter World is the franchise at its highest point and it’ll only continue to get higher.

Number #3: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)

If I wanted to, it would be #1 but it’s not and there’s a very good reason for it. Sakurai and Nintendo should be praised to high heaven. No one ever thought that there would be a system seller the way Mario Odyssey and Breath of the Wild were. Well look no further than this: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. It’s the game where EVERYONE IS HERE! Yep. Every character from Smash 64 all the way to Smash 3DS/Wii U have made their return along with the arrival of many new characters such as Ridley, K. Rool and Simon Belmont. The game is fun, simply fun whether online or off. Not only that but the game’s Adventure Mode, World of Light will take you quite a long time to do. I can’t do it justice. This is truly a game Switch owners MUST HAVE! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the magnum opus of the franchise. Immediate recommendation and if I wanted to, this would be #1. But it isn’t and like I said, for good reason.

Number #2: Spider-Man (PlayStation 4)

After years of the Spider-Man license being dragged through the mud courtesy of Activision & Beenox, Insomniac comes in and delivers a game that gives the webhead justice. Marvel’s Spider-Man is a blessing. It’s not a movie-licensed game but it is one of the best Spider-Man games ever. The gameplay is amazing. It has a lot to do in terms of content such as side quests, challenges, bases and it goes on and on. It’s story is real good. They skip the origin story and give us an older Peter Parker who has to deal with the Daemons and I really don’t want to spoil the rest. The DLC, while nice could be better but it shouldn’t dissuade anyone from enjoying this. I hope that they get the opportunity to do the sequel. They set the bar for Spider-Man and I hope with the sequel, it’s set even higher. Oh and if this doesn’t convince you to get a PlayStation 4 and play this, the next will.

Number #1: God of War (PlayStation 4)

Here’s the thing. My brother got me this as a birthday gift and I swear, the sooner I started playing it, I was hooked. God of War for PlayStation 4… I have no words to express my real feelings on this. This game along with Spider-Man and many others are pretty much a big, fat, FU to Electronic Arts & any others that say, “single player games are dead and that online & live services are the future”. Future my ass! The fact that it’s a PS4 exclusive says a lot. Sony killed it this year. They really did.

God of War is simply incredible. Everything about the game is awesome. The story is well done and crafted. Combat is real good and the customization for both Kratos and Atreus is real good. Speaking of which, Kratos and Atreus are two characters that share a bond and you see it grow throughout the game. It’s so good that it makes you cry when it’s all over. When a game like this makes me cry, you know it’s a game worth your time. I’m not kidding. As I said already, if Spider-Man isn’t the reason why you should get a PS4, this definitely will. You will not be disappointed. That’s a guarantee.

Honorable Mentions

Not every game that was good is on this list. Therefore I will provide some honorable mentions, games that are real good along with my reasons why.

Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

I’ve heard a lot of good things about the game and I was able to give it a shot. I liked it but I truthfully should have put more time into it. It deserves an honorable mention because you should give it a chance. It’s a Dragon Quest game made for the current generation of gaming. My issue is with Square-Enix behind the scenes. They didn’t bring the 3DS version overseas, the Switch version is delayed to 2019 & they even have the gall to say that they won’t release any more Dragon Quest games westward if the game doesn’t meet expectations. How petty & pathetic. Should this stop you from trying DQ XI? No.

Hitman 2

Another game I got my hands on but never got around to playing, so much so that I also got the Definitive Edition of Hitman 2016. iO Interactive had their work cut out for them when developing this. Square-Enix pulling out and de-investing them didn’t help. Thankfully they stuck to their guns and gave us a game that is just as addicting as the original. They continue to add more content in the form of elusive targets & they’re bringing back the missions from Hitman 2016 but revised and improved. It’s truly good. All of this may want me to give it a shot. You should too.

Kirby Star Allies

When I first played & reviewed the game, it was all right but it lacked in some ways. Almost a year ago, the game feels now complete. I want it on the list but I always review games based on as they are. Thankfully the game has a lot of additional content in the form of new modes, allies, the works. It now feels complete and I commend the people at HAL for devoting their time to this game. I love it. All of this may want me to go back. The game is more fun if you have friends and it shows.

Mario Tennis Aces

We haven’t had a proper Mario Tennis game in a while and the Wii U version was a major dud. Camelot Software Planning had their work cut out for them. At least with this game, it fixed many of the problems the Wii U game had. Although I still feel Mario Tennis Aces could have been a lot more. Though they added new characters and modes, I feel it’s not enough. The Adventure Mode was okay. Now I only wish Camelot Software can maybe give us a brand new Golden Sun game. It’s been too long.

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

Another 3DS game I should have put more time into and I feel bad because if there’s any company that deserves praise for their commitment to Nintendo’s handheld, it should be Atlus. This game is an updated port of the original DS game but with a lot of updated bells and whistles such as visuals and music. It also has a new sub-plot where you explore alternate timelines and what happens there can unlock new stuff in the main timeline. It’s awesome and a game like this really should get you interested. I mean it. Why do you think I wish I could put time into it huh?

Red Dead Redemption 2

There’s going to be somebody here saying that Red Dead Redemption 2 should be on the list. Look… I know. This game broke sales records. It defied expectations and then some. The game is incredible. Rockstar has a reputation for delivering amazing single-player experiences. RDR2 is no exception and I should have at least put some time into it. I didn’t and I regret it. My only issue is the multiplayer and I feel it’s going to be the same way they did it with what they did to GTAV. I’m worried since GTAV suffered due to online making them more money. That is my only worry. I will enjoy RDR2, just not the online though.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas

Originally, it was going to be on this list but after much consideration, I changed my mind. Starlink has some good ideas. The game is like No Man’s Sky but with ships, ship combat and a lot of battles. If you plan on getting any version of it, get the Switch version. The Switch version is a recommended because you get an exclusive character and ship, Fox McCloud and the Arwing. Not only that but an exclusive campaign regarding the Star Fox team. It’s good. My issue with it is the DLC. Unless you got the $80 digital deluxe edition, expect to spend a lot of money to get everything. Plus the toys-to-life stuff while good is a bit problematic. That’s what turned me off but its Ubisoft so what else is new. Give it a chance if you can.

Valkyria Chronicles 4

A game I got for Christmas and one I should put time towards. I never thought we would get another Valkyria game after that awful Valkyria Revolution. I was worried but SEGA surprised us with a game that takes us back to what it should be. It’s well done. It has characters that you will like and the gameplay is back to how it was in the original Valkyria Chronicles. Expect to spend a lot of time towards a game like this and yes, there is additional content as DLC. So yeah, you are getting more for your money’s worth and then some.

Yakuza Kiwami 2

Yakuza Kiwami was a major hit and then SEGA announces that they are remaking the second. But it isn’t just any remake. They just went the deep end with this, implementing the Dragon Engine used for Yakuza 6 in this game. The story is awesome, the combat is refined and there’s so much to do it would take you hours. I kid you not. Not only that but this game also has a side-story centering on the Mad Dog of Shimano himself, Goro Majima. It’s not long but it does add more to the overall plot of the game. With the Judgment spin-off coming next year and hopefully HD remakes of Yakuza 3-5, the franchise is going strong. Very strong.

And that’s my list in a nutshell. If you feel there’s a game you like that came out this year that should be on here, feel free to tell me. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee & Let’s Go, Pikachu Review

Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee & Let’s Go, Pikachu Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for review.

After 20 years of being the flagship of Nintendo’s many handhelds, Game Freak brings the Pokémon franchise onto Nintendo’s most popular console, the Switch. They announced that the newest generation of the series will come in 2019 but for 2018, it would be a return to Kanto, where everything began but with a twist. The twist is that players would relive the experience of Generation I in the form of two games: Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee & Let’s Go, Pikachu. With a return trip to a familiar place, do these two games hold players off until the inevitable Generation 8?

The game’s story is as easy and straightforward as you’d expect. You play as either a Boy or Girl and afterwards, you start your journey as a Pokémon Trainer. Unlike previous games, you either start with an Eevee or a Pikachu, depending on the version played. With partner Pokémon by your side, you travel through Kanto catching Pokémon, battling Gym Leaders and collecting their badges and stopping a criminal organization from using Pokémon to take over the world. It’s the story in a nutshell. Pretty simple at best with some liberties being changed around such as having a new rival and characters we know having supporting roles.

Gameplay in this game is similar to previous entries in the franchise, with a twist. Most of it is the same where you travel to areas and catch Pokémon, raise them to get stronger and use them to take on trainers and gym leaders in hopes of becoming Pokémon League Champion. Game Freak however decided to simplify the grinding aspect of the games. They incorporate mechanics from Pokémon Go, a mobile game with a devoted fan base. You don’t encounter Pokémon randomly in the wild. Instead they appear and running into one triggers a capture section. Using either a JoyCon or a Poke Ball Plus, you use it to capture Pokémon. Succeeding it will net rewards like experience points. They’re used to level up all your Pokémon, not just one. It’s as if the Exp. Share has been replaced with this method. Honestly it’s a better alternative as it makes the grinding less of a hassle. In addition any Pokémon you catch is placed in a capture case and you can you’re your party out at anytime with a few button presses. It’s better than Bill’s PC in previous iterations and plus you can be able to catch all 3 Kanto starters too. Also you can’t weaken the Pokémon before capturing them. You have to capture them and be lucky if it succeeds or not. There are exceptions. Legendary Pokémon is where you have to battle them first before capturing them. Plus you are on a 5-minute time limit too. Fortunately you can be able to stock plenty of Poke Balls since they made them cheaper.

The rest of the game is the same where you do battle trainers, explore areas, find items, etc. but some things have changed. One of them is the Secret Techniques. They replace HMs and allow your partner Pokémon Eevee or Pikachu to learn them and they don’t take up a move slot either. They both can also access special moves offering them some versatility. Another change being the Go Park, replacing the Safari Zone. Go Park allows players to transfer Pokémon they caught in the Pokémon Go Mobile game into this game where you can catch them to fill up the Pokedex. However only Pokémon that existed in Generation 1 are allowed with the exception of Meltan and it’s evolved form Melmetal. Other additions include mega stones, double battles, new trainers and various tweaks that make the battles like they were when the series began. The trainer and their partner can be customized as well with various outfits, giving them a cosmetic feel. It’s a plus and it’s more of a plus to see your partner looking spiffy as you are. The game isn’t a long one, taking roughly 20-25 hours to complete and 10 hours more if they want to catch all the Pokémon and complete everything. There’s post-game content in the form of the Master Trainers, legendaries like the three birds of Kanto and Mewtwo and rematches with the gym leaders. And like every other Pokémon game, you can also trade and battle with players online. So for anyone that wants to challenge others or trade with people to complete the Pokedex, there you go.

Now I wish to say that the presentation is pretty good. The game is great to look at. It only runs at 30fps and personally it’s for the best. The character models look good whether it be the trainers or even the Pokémon. Music is nostalgic. It’s as if Game Freak took the original Generation I and gave it a needed facelift. It’s pretty good. Not only that but the game has co-op. You and a friend can work together to catch Pokémon, battle trainers, etc. It offers a new experience to the game and a step in the right direction. All of this is just a taste of what Generation 8 will be like when it does come.

But although I praise the game for its positives, there are some issues. The difficulty is one of them and yes, this is done because they want to make the game accessible to newcomers who never played a Pokémon Game. There is some enjoyment for those that played the originals but it’s a different sort of game. Not that there’s anything wrong with it as it can be challenging if you wish it to be. This game does provide players the opportunity to play the game however they want. Another issue, and it’s one that has divided everyone is the capture sections. Incorporating mechanics from Pokémon Go does make it easier to catch Pokémon, however some people are worried that this would be in Generation 8 and that the series would go downhill. The good news is that Game Freak has said that Gen 8 will be as it should be. Being that Let’s Go Eevee/Pikachu is a spin-off and not main game shows. One last issue is the Poke Ball Plus. Players who purchase it get access to the legendary Pokémon, Mew. But if the save file that has Mew is lost, then you are screwed. Though the Poke Ball Plus is a nice little add-on that doubles as both as a controller and something to hold Pokémon inside. There’s that.

Let’s Go Eevee/Pikachu is an interesting pair. Taking players back to where the series began while offering something different is a nice touch. It may not be as hard as other games but it gives new players a chance to experience what old-school players have played many years ago. The game has a lot to do and it will get you busy until the inevitable Generation 8. The games are really fun to play though. Let’s only hope that Nintendo and Game Freak can make good in providing something that hopefully serves as a jump from handheld to console. Let’s pray they don’t disappoint.

I give Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee & Let’s Go Pikachu an 8.5 out of 10.

Octopath Traveler Review

Octopath Traveler Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for review.

When you think of Square-Enix, you think of role-playing games. Nowadays the company isn’t the only one that put their time on the genre but they are one of the first that helped revolutionize it. Last year, Square-Enix announced a new game that would come exclusively for the Nintendo Switch. It began under the codename “Project OCTOPATH Traveler” with a special demo coming later on in 2018. A few months after that, Octopath Traveler would finally be released. Being a brand new franchise hoping to break ground on Nintendo’s new console, does it deliver?

Octopath Traveler is a really unique game, giving players the opportunity to play the game however they like. When the game begins, you have the option to choose one of eight different protagonists to start with. Once you choose, you get to experience the start of their tale. As you progress through the game, you will meet the other protagonists and see their tales unfold. Each tale differentiates from one another but all the while, the game provides a solid experience. Some tales follow themes such as family, redemption, revenge, and etc. but all of them connect in some way. The connection is best seen for yourself.

I like this concept. The idea that you can choose a protagonist, go through their journey and then travel to another area and meet up with another character to start their tale. You have a lot of freedom deciding whom you can meet next and it does help that if things get tough, you can go to a Tavern and pause the story so you can grind to get stronger and continue. It does offer a lot of freedom for players and I wish that more games implemented this method. Being an RPG, it simply works.

Now what about the gameplay? Is it any good? Of course. The gameplay is your standard RPG faire. You control a party of up to 4 characters and though you have 8 playable characters, you can only have 4 so choosing the best is crucial. Each of the 8 characters represents specific class types such as Warrior, Thief, Black Mage, etc., complete with skills exclusive to their class. In battle, enemies will have a shield with a number on it meaning how many hits it can take before their defense break. To break their defenses, players must figure out the enemy’s weaknesses. Once the shield breaks, they get stunned allowing your party to deal greater damage. In some cases, prevent enemies from attacking the party. This is what makes the game not only challenging but fun. In addition, Octopath also borrows a bit from Bravely Default where the more Battle Points you have, the more you can use to do a variety of actions such as attacking, defending or using special skills. It is an impressive system that works so well.

But it isn’t the only system that this game has. Each character has their respective job and they get new skills by acquiring Job Points in battle. Accumulating them not only gives them abilities to use but also support skills that are implemented in a variety of ways. Later in the journey, you’ll encounter shrines that give your party the ability to obtain sub-classes, offering more variety to your group. This allows for various combinations for all 8 protagonists and it doesn’t end there. There are also Path Actions, giving each character the ability to do different things on the field such as challenging civilians, stealing from them or having them join as temporary allies. It has a bit of a risk/reward where if you are careless with some skills, your reputation in said town would suffer. Visiting a tavern and meeting the owner to fix things will restore your rep but it can also be a hit on your wallet. Each town also has side quests and they lead to many rewards upon completing them so tackling them is crucial too.

Octopath Traveler is a long game and being that it’s RPG, it’ll take you around 50-60 hours to complete, especially if side-quests are counted along with any extras. It’s amazing how Square-Enix is able to deliver in its presentation, especially for a game like this. The game is 2.5D with the sprites being 2D and everything else is 3D. The backgrounds are amazing to look at, coming to life in some cases. Music is phenomenal with the battle and boss themes being a highlight. Plus each character has a respective theme that leads into a boss fight that helps build up tension and anticipation. It’s one of many things that I love about the game. Voice acting is great. Many well-known talents such as Patrick Seitz, Greg Chun and Christina Vee lend their voices to this game. They didn’t disappoint. In fact, I can say that they delivered. If you are expecting the game to be at 1080p with 60fps, prepare to be disappointed. The game runs mostly at 720p at 30fps. Sometimes sacrifices have to be made to assure the game would run smoothly and well enough. I personally didn’t find it an issue.

If I were to legitimately provide a complaint with this game, it’s the difficulty curve. In some instances the game will ramp up the difficulty, making things challenging. Unless you are prepared with the right party and equipment, you will get your butt kicked hence why grinding is needed. Expect to grind a lot and also expect each of your party members to have the right skills and abilities to tackle the game. It’s an RPG, like I said and the game will spare no expense in taking you down.

Overall, Octopath Traveler feels like a breath of fresh air for RPGs. It offers a familiar experience while giving players something new to enjoy. With 8 different protagonists and the ability to start with whomever you want and whoever you choose offering variety. Amazing presentation, addicting music and satisfying gameplay make it a title worthy of being on the Switch. If you are in need of an RPG craze, this is your best choice. Now I ask… who will you start on your journey?

I give Octopath Traveler a 9 out of 10. It’s worth your money and earns my personal seal of approval!