All posts by destinyzx1

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

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.

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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!

Yakuza 6: The Song of Life Review

Purchased product for this review.

It’s always never easy to end a story and it’s the same way when it comes to video games. Last year, SEGA celebrated Yakuza’s 10th anniversary with the release of a prequel called Yakuza 0, a remake of the first game as Yakuza Kiwami and the announcement of an all-new Yakuza game. Come 2018 and the new Yakuza game arrives, serving as a final chapter to Kiryu’s story called Yakuza 6: The Song of Life. Its theme is of family and how far one would go for family. Does this game serve as a farewell to a recognizable hero or come down as a fall from grace?

Yakuza, or Ryu Ga Gotoku, has always been known for it’s story, characters and gameplay and this game is no exception. The story takes place 4 years after the events of Yakuza 5. Kiryu returns to Kamurocho after serving time in prison but something seems off. Haruka is nowhere to be found and the only clue that he can find of his whereabouts is a young baby boy named Haruto. If that isn’t enough, Kiryu becomes the target of a rival clan. It’s up to Kiryu to find Haruka, protect the boy Haruto and find out what’s really happening. But what he’ll discover will lead him to a secret that may bring Japan to ruin.

From my own personal experience, the story is great. I was hooked to see how it would play out and how they would handle Kiryu’s final tale. There are some twists and turns that do surprise me at times and the ending is one it’s best you see for yourself. You will be in tears by the time it’s over. I am a bit bummed that some characters aren’t in this game but it’s mostly for the sake of the game’s plot. Not much anyone can do.

If you played any of the games in the Yakuza series, you will feel right at home with this game. Kiryu is the only playable character in this game and don’t worry, he’s just as good as you remember, if not better. Yakuza 6 is an action RPG game where you go through the story, complete side quests and take part in activities that can offer plenty to do. Yes. Yakuza games always deliver in terms of content. As for Kiryu, he kicks butt just as you’d expect and this time he’s packing new tricks up his sleeve. Instead of multiple styles, he has only one style that offers a mix giving him offense and defense. Not only that but he has access to a heat gauge that fills up as you deal damage to enemies. When it’s full, Kiryu can go into a powered-up state called Extreme Heat Mode that gives him access to stronger attacks. The heat gauge can also be used for Kiryu to pull off flashy attacks. It offers him versatility and how it goes depend on the player.

Since it’s an action RPG, players need to level Kiryu up and they do so in a variety of ways. Kiryu can obtain experience points that are split into 5 categories: Strength, Agility, Spirit, Technique and Charm. You get experience by completing various activities whether it is the main story missions, sub missions, eating or even awards. The experience you acquire go towards four categories: Stats, Battle Skils, Heat Actions & Other Skills and depending on the player can have Kiryu be upgraded however they wish. It offers a lot of versatility for players and in some ways, a necessity in order to go through the game itself.

There is a lot to do in Yakuza 6. In addition to the city of Kamurocho, Kiryu also has access to the small town of Onomichi. Each of the areas offers many activities and missions to take part in. Kamurocho has access to places like arcades, hostess clubs, a gym, karaoke, online chat rooms, etc. It has a lot and it shows and Onomichi is no slouch either with its fair share of mini games like spear fishing and baseball. Yakuza 6 also gives us Clan Creator, a tower-defense like mini game that has you using a group of units to take down enemy groups. They are short but is very useful if you want to grind for yen, the game’s currency. There are also sub missions that show the daily life of both areas including some that are familiar but also surprising. One example being a quest where you must unite a bunch of people together to form a baseball team. For length, beating the main story will take you around 15-20 hours to complete, as it’s 12 chapters long but the side content extends the length to a lot more. Premium Adventure returns, letting players complete anything they missed out on and New Game+ with its Very Hard difficulty extends it further while testing players. You are getting a lot for your money’s worth and it shows.

The game plays great and it also looks great too. SEGA decided to incorporate a new engine for the game, the Dragon Engine. This allows Yakuza 6 to run seamlessly at 1080p with a stunning 60 fps. Not only that but battles also is seamless too. Compared to games like Yakuza 0 and Kiwami where battles start as enemies meet you, here once enemies spot you and race to you, it happens immediately and they end the same way as well. It’s well done. Voice acting is what you come to expect for a Yakuza game and it’s great. There is no English dub sadly but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the game. Music is awesome too with many great tracks, especially some that contend with boss battles. There are bosses in the game and they are without a doubt challenging. Plus it makes it all the more satisfying when you beat them too.

If I had any nitpicks, it’s that the game really does emphasize grinding. If you plan to max out Kiryu, it’s essential and thankfully there are plenty of opportunities to do so but players won’t be able to max out Kiryu completely unless they spend a lot of time on the game. Also Kiryu is the only playable character and it’s sad that we don’t get to play with anyone else. Characters like Shun Akiyama and Goro Majima are mostly relegated for the sake of the plot. But it’s Kiryu’s last tale so basically all the focus is on him and him alone.

Yakuza 6 serves as the final tale for Kazuma Kiryu and it holds up really well. The game not only looks amazing but plays amazing too, offering something new while feeling familiar. It’ll challenge you don’t get me wrong but by the time you are finished, you can’t help but feel good and wanting more. With SEGA announcing a spin-off entitled Judgment, it will not be the end of the Yakuza series. Far from it, to be honest. This is Kiryu’s last tale and it’s one you do not want to miss out on.

I give Yakuza 6 a solid 9 out of 10. It earns my personal seal of approval. A must-buy.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Review

Starlink: Battle for Atlas Review – Written by Jose Vega

Note: Purchased product for review.

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a action-adventure free-flight exploration game created by Ubisoft, the same company that give us Assassin’s Creed, Rayman and others. It has a lot of good ideas but the execution is a bit mixed. Ubisoft Toronto pitched an idea of a toys-to-life game in the same way that other games like Skylanders. It was given the green light but the only difference is that its main idea is the gimmick being to customize flying ships to however players want them to be. Starlink came about as a result. Does this game soar high or crash and burn?

As I said, the game is an action-adventure game and you get to play as a fighter pilot who flies on a starship traveling from planet to planet, freeing each one from a band of evil forces called the Legion, led by a prophet named Grax. It’s simple enough but that’s where the game takes it a step further. In each planet, your job is to free it from the Legion and you do so by driving the Legion back, build bases to raise your Alliance meter and explore. Yes. Exploration is the big focus as each planet is home to various sights, and wildlife. It helps for players that want to achieve 100% completion on each planet but it can get repetitive and boring quick. Having to do the same thing in the game 7 planets can get dull. The same can be said for outer space. Time is mostly spent on battling outlaws, traveling from one point to the next, finding supplies and in some cases battling giant capital ships called Dreadnoughts. Dreadnoughts do offer a bit of challenge but that’s about it. Though they also provide an advantage if they are destroyed and can help make the trek a bit enjoyable.

Starlink is also a toys-to-life game, and this game has plenty of customization in the forms of weapons, ships and pilots. Players can use toys that Ubisoft has provided along with the game to customize their ship however they like. New weapons are obtained with the toys they collect and having it physically means they can get it in the game. No fuss, no muss. The toys themselves do look cool and for collectors, it’s a nice touch. But for those who don’t want to waste money on buying toys, they can buy weapons in the form of DLC packs. The DLC packs, called Starship Packs, each consist of one pilot, their ship and two weapons. There are also weapon packs and pilot packs, providing new weapons and pilots. But to those that want everything from the start, they offer a complete $60 pack. It’s a lot and it does give people a choice but if they bought the $80 digital deluxe edition, that’s only an afterthought.

Speaking of the ships, weapons and pilots, they can be leveled up. You gain experience by doing many things such as defeating enemies, completing objectives, etc. Once a ship part such as a ship or weapon levels up, the respective pilot gets a skill point they can use to improve their abilities. In addition players can obtain mods to customize their weapons and ships. The mods can be upgraded as well to be more powerful. Players can also be able to upgrade their team abilities in exchange for Electrum and Cores. The only drawback is that unless you have every pilot, you are a bit limited on what you can upgrade. There’s a lot of customization here and Ubisoft does have some good ideas with this. It’s that the execution is, as I said, really flawed.

As for story, it revolves around a group of individuals travel to the Atlas system on their ship, the Equinox only to get attacked by the Legion. Grax, leader of the Legion kidnaps the lead scientist in charge of Equinox in the hopes of finding anything regarding an extinct species called the Wardens. Now the crew of Starlink travel from planet to planet to send the Legion packing, stop Grax, save their commander and free the Atlas system. It’s a simple story at best with most of it told during the game as you play. For players who got the game on Nintendo Switch, there’s an added story where Team Star Fox appears to help the crew of the Equinox. But they also have a reason for being here, as Wolf O’Donnell of Star Wolf has been spotted on Atlas. So the two groups join forces to save Atlas from the Legion and Wolf O’Donnell, who’s here to seek power to rule the Lylat System. The Star Fox story is all right but it makes you wish there was more. Ubisoft does have good ideas and it makes you wonder what it’s like had they make their own Star Fox game.

Starlink isn’t a long game and players can beat it within 8-10 hours but to 100% everything, including maxing out all weapons and pilots, it’s a lot longer since exploration takes priority. As for presentation, it’s at least better than No Man’s Sky. The game does look good and plays good. Controls are simple, easy and intuitive. Voice acting is good and believable and it gets you interested into the game.

But although there is some good ideas in the game, there are various flaws. In fact, this would be summed up with just three complaints. First is the DLC content. Now to anyone who bought the $80 digital edition, consider it an afterthought. To many that didn’t are expected to spend money whether via the toys or the digital content. And considering that ships also count as additional lives, players start with 2 unless they get everything. Sadly you don’t get any new ships as you play so that’s a bummer.

Second is the gameplay and mission structure. Players go from planet-to-planet freeing them from the Legion. It does start off fun at first but as you keep going, it does get tedious. Nothing changes and no matter what planet you travel, it’s the same grind since it does help offer advantages down the line. If the game offers a bit more variety that would be fine and they do provide it with showdowns against Primes but it’s also the same grind. Of course destroying Primes does free the planet so it’s a bit of a reprieve. However, I wish that Starlink could offer more.

The last complaint is lack of boss battles. Primes and Dreadnoughts do count as boss battles but they can be dealt with if players know how to figure out the best strategy for them. Even the final boss feels underwhelming. It can be taken down with little effort, offering no challenge whatsoever. That alone also seems that Ubisoft didn’t put much effort in offering more. Also the Star Fox stuff is exclusive to the Nintendo Switch version and it gets a pass because playing as Fox McCloud and his Arwing is simply satisfying.

In conclusion, Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a game that has good ideas. Very good ideas that if they put more time into it it would be a really great game. However several issues mar the game. Is it a bad game? Absolutely not. You can have a lot of fun with the game but the fun only lasts for so long. The Star Fox content on the Switch version does provide some variety but it makes you wish it’d be longer. But playing as Fox McCloud makes up for it. At least it’s better than No Man’s Sky since the game does feel like a game and not a bait-and-switch. If you plan on getting the game, get the $80 digital deluxe edition. You’ll have everything from the get-go and you’ll have a good time, especially if it’s on the Switch. Starlink is a journey, albeit one filled with a bit of trouble.

For the Nintendo Switch version, I give Starlink: Battle for Atlas a 6.5 out of 10.

For the PS4 and Xbox One version, it gets a 5 out of 10.

Mega Man 11 Review

Mega Man 11 Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for review.

It has been eight years since Mega Man had his last adventure and that was a return to form. Since then, the franchise went into hibernation as Capcom shifted their focus onto other games while leaving Mega Man in the dust. Despite that, it would continue to live on in other media like the Archie comics and in various compilations that Capcom would create. Fans wanted a new Mega Man game. Mighty No. 9, meant to be the spiritual successor to the series was a massive dud. But then on December of last year, Capcom announced that a new entry in the series would come to celebrate the franchise’s 30th anniversary. It would come to be known as Mega Man 11. After eight years, does this game deserve the honor of being part of a long-lasting franchise?

Let us start with the game’s presentation and it follows a 2.5D style. Basically it’s a 2D game but has 3D elements that affect other areas like the enviroments and characters. This was first seen in Street Fighter IV back in 2009. Capcom did well in keeping the game grounded in 2D while giving everything else a needed facelift. In addition, this game has voice acting and unlike Mega Man 8, it is much improved. All the voice actors did a good job and this game has both English and Japanese voices. For those that prefer one or the other, there you go. Music is really well done and many of the songs are real good like the main theme. It looks and feels like a Mega Man game and with it, a return to form for the series. I also like how Mega Man looks in the game. It’s the same Blue Bomber we always know but Capcom updated his look and it’s just perfect. He does have a similar look to how Mega was in Smash Bros. 4 but hey, it’s good for me.

As for gameplay, if you’ve played any Mega Man game then you will feel right at home. It’s easy to pick up and get into and you can modify them at anytime. Even something like the slide can be set with a button and it makes the game better. Mega Man 11 also has multiple difficulties. The harder the difficulty, the more challenging the game is with Superhero being the hardest. Like in previous entries, Mega can collect screws that can be exchanged for items and parts. It offers players an incentive to stock up and acquire parts and is a necessity especially in harder difficulties. The bosses are challenging but since they do follow the Mega Man formula, finding the right weakness helps alleviate things. Fortunately every weapon that you get in the game is useful in one way or another. Also this game has the option of letting you use the right analog to switch weapons on the fly. Nifty. They also do get dangerous due to one of the game’s new features.

One of the biggest additions to the game is the Double Gear System. This gives Mega Man 2 different enhancements. Power Gear boosts his strength and his charge shot can be either 2 blasts or a full power shot. Power Gear also enhances special weapons though. Speed Gear slows everything around Mega Man allowing him to either use the time to take down an enemy or escape a dangerous situation. Each of them offers something new and thankfully it isn’t broken. There is a cool down that occurs after use so using it wisely is your best option.

Speaking of which, the game’s plot has Mega Man trying to stop Dr. Wily yet again. This time around, Wily has a new tool at his disposal: the Double Gear System. After using it to obtain eight new Robot Masters, Mega takes it upon himself to stop him and save the captured robots. The plot also delves into both Light and Wily and how their differing views and ideals drove them to follow different paths. It’s pretty nice and I like it. It helps add more to the game and the lore.

Mega Man 11 is not a long game. If you plan on beating the game normally, it’ll take you 2 to 3 hours to complete. Skilled players can complete it in under 2 hours. Replay value is high with the multiple difficulties and the game has other modes. The game has challenges, giving players a chance to test their skills in various modes. Leaderboards are also here too so any challenges you complete, you can share it with others around the world. Achievements are also in the game and trying to get them all will require players to pour a lot more time into it. Some are harder than others but still. The Switch version of Mega Man 11 has Amiibo support and using a Mega Man amiibo can provide you nifty items but you’re only limited to once a day.

For a lot of good that Mega Man 11 has, there are some faults. Length being one of them but I will give it a pass because this game is released at $30. If it were a full priced $60 game then that would be another story. Also the game is challenging. It isn’t an easy game but it’s not hard either. Having multiple difficulties is nice for players to choose but even with that, the level design can throw people off. Some levels can have a lot of bottomless pits where one mistake and you will lose a lot of progress. It can be really upsetting. Also the hardest difficulty, Superhero, will really test players and it doesn’t help that you don’t get any life or weapon capsules. Not even extra lives. It is a true test for players and anyone who beats it should feel rewarded. Despite the negatives, the game is fun and a return to form for the blue bomber.

After 8 years, Mega Man is back once more and this time he’s here to stay. Mega Man 11 is everything you would expect from a game in the series and then some. A fresh coat of paint with 2.5D graphics, familiar gameplay with new additions such as the Double Gear system, good music, replay value and a fair amount of challenge. There are some issues but it shouldn’t dissuade anyone. It’s as if Capcom realized they screwed up and decided to make amends to all they drove away with this and it worked. I hope that this will lead to more down the line and hopefully a return for the Blue Bomber.

I give Mega Man 11 an 8.5 out of 10. It is a must-buy and a fun game to enjoy.

Marvel’s Spider-Man Review

Marvel’s Spider-Man Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased game for the review.

Spider-Man has had his fair share of video games over the years. Some were good, others not so much. After the disappointment of Amazing Spider-Man 2, Activision decided to call it quits leaving Marvel to find a company who could give the webhead justice. E3 2016 revealed a new Spider-Man game but it wouldn’t be under Activision’s helm. It would be Insomniac, a company responsible for the Ratchet & Clank series. After 2 years and a lot of waiting and anticipation, Insomniac’s Spider-Man arrives as a PS4 console exclusive. Did Insomniac do him justice where Activision could not?

Let’s start with the gameplay. Why gameplay? Because the instant you start playing, you know that Insomniac nails being Spider-Man to a T. Getting around is outright fun though it can take a while to get used to it. Once you do, it becomes second nature and it makes being Spider-Man so awesome. It can get addicting and it’s proven a fact. In fact, it’s so good that it surpasses how Spidey goes about in Spider-Man 2 back in 2004. Not only that but the combat is great and simply seamless. Sure it has some similarities to the Arkham series but that is where it ends. The difference is that Spidey has access to a variety of moves at his disposal. He still has punches and kicks but Spidey also has gadgets that can help against tough enemies. They can range from simple web shooting to using gadgets such as Web Bombs, Electric Webs and even the Suspension Matrix. Spidey also has access to different suits that unlock various focus power-ups. By clicking L3 & R3, he can use a power that can help turn the tide. Plus he can have up to 3 suit mods that can provide unique advantages. Spidey isn’t invincible however so constantly moving takes priority. Perfect dodges can help avoid attacks while stunning enemies and focus attacks can help deliver the smackdown.

As mentioned earlier, he has access to a variety of gear such as suits, gadgets and suit mods. Many of these are obtained by exchanging tokens and you get tokens by completing side activities throughout New York. They can range from shutting down enemy bases to stopping crimes that happen in the city, finding backpacks scattered around the city and even taking part in challenges that test your mettle and skill. There is a lot to do in this game that it can take you a very long time. Not only that but there’s an experience system in play where you gain experience. You get it by completing either challenges or missions throughout the game. Leveling up will give you skill points that you can use to acquire skills for Spidey and they come in 3 categories: Innovator, Defender, and Webslinger. Not to mention a boost in health and melee damage. In turn, it makes Spidey stronger and it’s all the more worth it in the long run.

As for length, the game is split into three acts. Overall it takes you about 15 or so hours to complete but for those who wish to 100% the entire game, it’s extended by 10 hours. Is it worth it? Absolutely! The game has a good amount of length with a lot to do. But you aren’t just limited to being as Spider-Man. There are sections of the game where you get to play as other characters such as Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Their sections are a bit different like Peter going to meet with other characters or Mary Jane having stealth. Though there are a few of them, they can sometimes slow the game down, especially on the stealth sections where it’s all trial and error. The AI can be exploited if you are skilled enough but I wish those sections can be improved upon. It’s my only negative that I have with the game thus far.

Story-wise, the game focuses on an older Peter Parker. No origin story this time as it has been seven years since he donned the garb. He’s a college student working for Otto Octavius as an intern though his relationship with Mary Jane ended pretty bad. After defeating Kingpin, Spidey has to contend with a new threat in the form of the Demons. But the Demons are just one of many threats that will push Spidey to his limits & it eventually leads into a battle to save New York from someone who desires nothing more than revenge.

This game’s story is well done and it gets you hooked to boot. Since it’s not a movie-licensed game, Insomniac Games decide to make a story that lets the game stand on its own. It works. It really does as it has many twists and turns that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. Not only that but the voice acting is top notch. Yuri Lowenthal is great as Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He captured it well and you can feel his emotion in his performance. In fact, all the voice actors did a good job capturing the feel for many of the characters. It’s top notch.

As for the game’s presentation, it is stellar. Insomniac Games did a phenomenal job capturing the feel of Spider-Man all while making it stand out from previous games. It looks great and plays great but if you were expecting it to run at 60fps, prepare to be disappointed. The game looks great at 1080p but it’s locked at 30fps on both PS4 and PS4 Pro. Insomniac did state their reasons why but even so, it shouldn’t stop anyone from playing and enjoying the game. Music is great and really captures the feel of Spider-Man. Insomniac has high production values with the game and it only wonders how they’ll top it in the possible sequel. The game will have upcoming DLC in the form of additional stories and challenges. Thankfully they are better than most other DLC that has already been seen in other games.

For all the positives this game has, there are a few faults. Stuff like the faulty AI in the stealth sections have been mentioned but there are others. The side stuff such as combat and challenges can get repetitive. Sure completing them are needed to make Spidey better but having to do them repeatedly can be a bit of a slog. The game also has a fair share of glitches. They aren’t bad and have since been patched out but from what I’ve seen, they can be quite scary to look at. Fortunately, it shouldn’t dissuade you from enjoying this game. No way.

Insomniac took a gamble to make a Spider-Man game that can stand out. It paid off in major spades. A great story with solid voice acting, addicting gameplay with tons of content, high production values and a presentation that puts previous Spidey games such as Activision’s games to shame. A few negatives here and there shouldn’t dissuade the experience and the best thing about it is that Insomniac is the one behind this. Marvel made the right decision and this game is definitely a game of the year material. Spider-Man is worth your money and if you have a PS4 but you haven’t bought this game, what are you waiting for?! Get it! Now! You won’t regret it!

I give Marvel’s Spider-Man for PS4 a solid 9 out of 10. It earns my personal seal of approval and it’s worth your money.