My Top 10 Games of 2016

2016 has been a rather unexpected year when it comes to gaming. We’ve had good games, bad games, disappointing games and games that end up getting canned for one reason or another. Regardless, it’s time for a list and it’s not going to be an easy one. I’m not limiting this to just Nintendo games. I’m involving all sorts of games so without further ado, these are my Top 10 Games of 2016.

Word of warning for everyone… if you find that a game you like isn’t on the list, you are welcome to make your own and share it. I won’t judge you and remember, the only opinion that should ever matter is your own.

Let us begin.

10) Song of the Deep – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

Kicking off the list we have Song of the Deep, developed and published by Insomniac Games. Song of the Deep is basically Metroid but in an underwater style. I will admit. This game had me intrigued because of its design and presentation. When I got to play it, it was a sight to behold. The presentation for it is incredible with the level of detail to be intense. It’s gameplay leaves a lot to be desired but it fits the world that this game is. Not to mention it’s a bit too simple and short, around 4 hours. I’ll cut some slack since the game is rather cheap and there’s replay value to back it up. This game deserves a bit more appreciation. Sure it’s not the best but for what it’s worth, it’s a soothing and satisfying experience. I recommend that you pick the game up, at least to see for yourself how good it is. It’s $10! It’s not the best but I feel that it deserves to be #10 on my list.

9) Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS – Nintendo 3DS

To think that Nintendo would take a risk and bring a game like this to their best-selling handheld is a challenge onto itself. But for its shortcomings, I say that they did a good job. Mario Maker for 3DS is what it is, a port of a game that was on Wii U now fit on the handheld. Nothing more. Nothing less. The only problems I have with the game is that there’s no Amiibo functionality, you can’t play others courses or share courses online and the only way you can share them is through its Streetpass function. But despite its negatives, the game is still really fun and can even push your skills as a gamer/level creator to the test. Had this game allowed you to share courses online and play others’ from the get-go, it’d be rated higher. I recommend playing this on a New 3DS XL because, on a regular 3DS, you can experience crashes. I just want to give you a heads up.

8) Final Fantasy XV – PlayStation 4, Xbox One (PC coming soon)

We waited a long time for this game. It originally was going to be part of the Fabula Nova Crystalis as Final Fantasy Versus XIII. Unfortunately, it was scrapped and then replaced with this. The wait was long but in the end is worth it. Final Fantasy XV is a great game. Its strong points are the gameplay, the open world location and the many things you can do in this said world. My problems with the game are its lackluster story and the characters. The four protagonists are fleshed out well enough but everything else feels flat. Made worse is that in order to better understand this, you need to watch stuff that’s outside the game like the film Kingsglaive and OVA Brotherhood. Other than that, I couldn’t find anything else wrong but at least Square-Enix is dedicated to making the game better while filling up story bits that should have been added. Thankfully I’m happy with that and it shows that they really want to make the game feel complete. I recommend giving this game a chance. Besides once the negatives are pushed aside, you have a game that’s very satisfying.

7) Overwatch – PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC

Blizzard has a lot of balls for trying their luck in the first-person shooter genre and it paid off considerably with this game. Overwatch is just that: a first-person shooter game where you and five others can take the fight against the opposition in various modes. They range from escort/stop the payload to capturing defensive points/objectives on the map. Okay. It’s a bit small but that’s not why it’s on the list. Overwatch’s strong points are its setting and characters. No two characters are similar. Each character offers something different and that’s what makes it good. Coupled with the fact that there’s a lot to do in this game, it’s nuts. We already got two new characters, a whole bunch of new modes and events and knowing what 2017 has in store, it’s going to get better. This game is better played if you have friends because it’s all the more satisfying when you achieve victory. I ask you… are you with me?

6) Paper Mario: Color Splash – Nintendo Wii U

I know what you’re thinking. Why is this game on the list? Let me explain. Sure this game uses the same style as Paper Mario: Sticker Star but that’s pretty much it. Why it’s on my list because it is a much better game. Design wise, it is awesome. It is a step up from the previous game and the theme involving paint and colors adds it in perfectly. You can tell when you travel through Prisma Island. The addition of restoring the world through paint offers something different. Using cards instead of stickers is a lot better. The humor this game has is spot on with some being very funny to listen. Color Splash offers a lot here and I say it is miles better especially since it’s released on a system that’s on its deathbed. I only wish that Nintendo could go back to its roots with the game offering what it should be, instead of this. But for what it’s worth, I say it’s a must buy. Truthfully it is a must buy and I recommend this game.

Enjoying the list so far? Good because we’re now reaching the halfway point of this list. There’s no going back for us now.

5) Fire Emblem Fates – Nintendo 3DS

Three years after the release of Fire Emblem: Awakening, we get a game that not only is good but offers so much. I’m talking about Fire Emblem Fates and I speak on behalf of everything the game offers. What’s different from the previous games is its branching campaigns. You play as Corrin, a young noble who was born in the kingdom of Hoshido but was raised by the kingdom of Nohr. When both kingdoms declare war on each other, you have to make a choice on whose family you would side. Should you side with Hoshido, the kingdom you were born in as your Birthright. Should you side with Nohr, the kingdom that raised you and follows the side of Conquest. Or will you choose neither side and instead work to have both kingdoms unite under one banner and learn of a Revelation that threatens all. That is what makes the game stand out. The three campaigns: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation offer hours of gameplay and customization that can drive you nuts. Replay value here is through the roof, along with additional content via DLC drives it even further. I won’t go into too much detail but if you haven’t picked up this game, you should. I recommend trying your luck to get the Special Edition of the game, which has all 3 campaigns in one DLC. But if you are getting either Birthright or Conquest, expect to spend a lot just to get the rest. It’s why this game gets the #5 on my slot on this list.

4) Gravity Rush Remastered – PlayStation 4

In 2012, a game called Gravity Rush was released on the PlayStation Vita. It was a game that was fun, different and offered something new. Sadly not many people got to play it due to being released on a handheld that Sony never gave a damn about. Four years later, SCE Studio and Project Siren bring this game over to the PlayStation 4 and my god, it is incredible. Gravity Rush Remastered is marvelous. Seeing the game in glorious HD is jaw dropping. It’s nuts! What’s even better is that it runs at a solid 60 frames per second. Flawless 60fps. It is perfect. They also refined the game’s controls making things such as sliding across the city seamless. You can use the back buttons on the PS4 controller but there’s also the option to use the DualShock 4’s motion controls so it offers some variety for players. What’s even better is that the Remastered port includes all the DLC for the game and at a price of $30, how can you say no to that? You simply can’t.

This game is what made the PlayStation Vita stand out but now that it’s on a PS4, it’s the go-to game for anyone wanting this console. I highly recommend it. It is a must buy, without a doubt and it should prep anyone for the eventual release of Gravity Rush 2 coming in January.

3) Shantae: Half-Genie Hero – Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita and PC

WayForward should be praised and commended for making a game like this. Not a lot of people are going to like having this as my #3 spot but this is a perfect example of a Kickstarter campaign done right, aside from Shovel Knight. Shantae: Half-Genie Hero is amazing. There is so much good to say here such as the presentation. Design-wise, it’s a step up from the previous game. 2.5D at its finest with the character models being at its absolute best. Jake Kaufman does it again with the music here and all the tracks are addicting to listen to. Very addicting. The gameplay is similar to the first two games but it’s improved and easy enough for anyone to pick up and play. Hopefully, with the upcoming DLC like Risky Boots’ campaign, Half-Genie Hero is going to be one that’s worth every penny. Show love to WayForward. Get this game now!

2) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Spirit of Justice – Nintendo 3DS

The Ace Attorney series has endured for more than 15 years with a strong and devoted following. 2013’s Dual Destinies is one a lot of people were hyped for and though nowadays is a bit mixed it was a welcome addition. Three years later, Phoenix Wright returns in full force with the sixth game in the main franchise: Spirit of Justice. Similar to the previous entries, it’s a visual novel style game where as Phoenix Wright (or any of the others like Apollo & Athena) you must investigate witnesses, find evidence and discover the truth through the courts. This time around, the story takes Phoenix to the Kingdom of Khura’in and in that country, defense attorneys are outlawed. Spirit of Justice introduces the Divination Seances where it details the last thing the victim sees before they pass on. But the truth isn’t always black and white. That’s where we come in to figure out if what the victim sees is the truth or not.

Many staples that are prevalent in the previous entries return here but its biggest points are its story and music. The story is a bit dark and intense for a game like this and the music is still its shining moment. Believe me, there are some tracks that are incredible to listen to. Whereas Dual Destinies serves as a return to form for the well-respected attorney, Spirit of Justice serves as a passing of the torch for Apollo Justice, allowing him to take the spotlight he deserves. It’s reason enough why this gets the #2 spot.

1) Pokémon Sun & Moon – Nintendo 3DS

Some people like the game, others didn’t. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the game. As a fan of Pokémon since Generation 1, I had a lot of expectations. They paid off when it came out. Nintendo, GameFreak & The Pokemon Company took a lot of risks in making this stand out over the previous generations. Removing some staples like Gyms, HMs seems crazy when you think about it. However, when I got to play it for myself, I can say is wow… they nailed it. The game does hold your hand a lot at times but you do get the chance to explore at your leisure. The Island Challenges are interesting and provide something different instead of going to a gym and earning a badge. It’s emphasized a lot and I like it personally. Z-Moves are also cool and how they look is amazing. But if I were to net any nitpicks, it’s the story. That leaves a lot to be desired. I wish it can improve but at least the game is still the way you remember it.

Pokemon Sun & Moon may not be for everyone but for those that put the time into it, it’s a pretty awesome game. I recommend it and yes, it’s one that I feel should be #1 on my list.

Honorable Mentions: Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, Pokken Tournament, Yo-Kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls, Ratchet & Clank PS4, Kirby: Planet Robobot

That’s pretty much it for this list. Remember, my list is 100% opinionated and you are welcome to disagree with me. If you guys have a list of your own Top 10s or if you feel that a game you played should be on the list, let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from everyone.

 

BlazBlue: Central Fiction Review

BlazBlue: Central Fiction Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased copy for the sake of this review.

Since 2009, Blazblue is one of these franchises that bring something unique to the fighting game genre. For almost eight years, the series has been through a lot despite following the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality. Now in 2016, the fourth game in the series arrives with Blazblue Central Fiction. Originally released in the arcades, the game is now here on consoles. The question is if a fourth hurrah will be the one that will give the series glory or if this will be the last?

Blazblue is one of these games where the plot can be as ridiculous as its characters. Continuing from the events of Chronophantasma, the story centers on a mysterious embryo in the sky and signs that foretell the end of the world coming. Trying to explain it would be complicated but it’s what Blazblue is. It’s not much of a bad thing but there are some moments where it goes into the territory of absurdity. Longtime fans that have played the previous entries will have a good understanding of what will transpire. But for those that want to get into the series, the game provides a good summary of what happened, helping people get up to speed.

When you think about gameplay, it’s one of Blazblue’s high points. Fortunately it’s similar to the previous games so long time fans can feel right at home. However, this game has added some new mechanics while providing added changes. One such mechanic is the Exceed Accel, a kind of Distortion Drive that serves as a follow up to activating Overdrive. It deals a lot of pain but also ends Overdrive. Another feature they added is Active Flow, the opposite of Negative Penalty. Basically the more you attack and go on the offensive you get rewarded with boosted damage and Burst Gauge recovery. It also increases Exceed Accel damage. It’s a nice addition for players that put everything in their offense. Blazblue’s Drive system is still the staple of the series, providing each character with their own distinct skill. With over 35 characters to choose from, it can get hectic. But it’s a good thing obviously. All the cast from the previous games returns here along with some new ones.

Central Fiction has many modes for players to enjoy. You have your standard Arcade Mode like every other fighting game. However in the case of this, Arcade Mode is split into 3 acts. It’s because the Arcade version started with Act I and then updated twice, adding new playable characters and story. You have the option of choosing to do any act, depending on the character chosen. Story Mode takes you through the game’s story. It’s long and it’ll take you roughly 15-20 hours, more if you want to 100% it. Other modes include Tutorial, Training, Challenge, Versus, Score Attack and Abyss. They provide a lot more time into the game. Replay value is very high with some of these modes. Online Play is well done. You can either go to a Ranked Match, Player Match or a Lobby. Lobbies are easy to set up and can hold a lot of players. Sometimes online matches can lag but it’s seamless and well done. There’s also customization with so many different options you can have to set yourself apart from other players. So many things to unlock that it raises the replay value even higher. Design wise, the game is beautiful. Many of the stages are vibrant, colorful and add a lot to the areas you battle. Sure some of them are reused from previous games but seeing them all in 1080p is simply a sight to behold. For a 2D fighting game, it’s awesome. The music is real awesome. Some characters have themes that really rock and are addicting to listen to. It’s a game like this where I really want to buy the soundtrack for it and I recommend it.

There are some glaring faults Central Fiction has in spite of its positives. One of the biggest is of a lack of English Dub. Central Fiction is the first and only game in the franchise where at release there is no English dub, only Japanese. Rvery other game in the series always had both an English and Japanese dub. This doesn’t and it caused a bit of problems for fans. So much so that a petition was made to convince both Arc System Works and Aksys Games to release an English dub down the line. It’s disappointing there’s no English dub at launch but I hope that they’ll deliver it down the line. Also, it’s not a game like Blazblue without micro transactions. Most are purely cosmetic and minor but characters such as Es and Mai Natsume require money. They’ve done it before in previous installments with other characters but it’s upsetting that you need to pay to unlock them. I have nothing wrong with micro transactions if they’re done right but if its done in a way like that, no way.

Despite some negatives, Blazblue Central Fiction is a game that provides so much to do at full price. You have refined gameplay, a cast of over 30 characters, a story mode that can get you engaging, very strong online and various modes that offer a lot of replay value. Overall it’s a package that provides so much in one game. In a way, it feels complete. Truly. Had this game include an English dub from the start, I would rate it higher. Regardless for a fourth entry in the series, I can say that this is the best one. If you haven’t got a chance to pick this game up, now is the time.

I give Blazblue: Central Fiction an 8 out of 10.

December 2016 State of YouTube Address

I figure I would have to post this eventually but yeah, it’s time for the State of YouTube Address on my channel.

This is very important so if you haven’t seen it then go watch it right now.

Mario Party Star Rush Review

Product provided by Nintendo. Special thanks to Nintendo for giving me this opportunity to cover this game.

Mario Party has always been known to be a game where you and a few friends can sit back, have fun and see how much hilarity can ensue amongst each other. The franchise hasn’t had much success in recent years. It started being a turn based game and has stuck from the first game all the way to Mario Party 8. However the game went in a different direction with the use of vehicle based movement in Mario Party 9 and the overreliance of Amiibo functionality in Mario Party 10. The franchise wasn’t limited to consoles. They tried their luck with handhelds. After the mixed reception of Mario Party Island Tour, Nintendo and Nd Cube try their luck with Mario Party Star Rush. Will it suffer the same fate as its previous entry or have they got something up their sleeve that’ll make it a well-needed hit?

Mario Party always had a formula that worked while adding little things to improve the game experience. In the case of Star Rush, the turn-based gameplay that has been a staple since the beginning has been removed completely. Instead once everyone roll the dice, they all move at the same time. You can also determine where you go before you move. This adds a layer of strategy but at the same time you need to be aware of what your opponents will do. It’s a matter of predicting the best course of action on the playing boards. If you want to make sure to have an advantage, careful planning is key. At first I didn’t like that they removed the turn-based gameplay but it grew on me over time. I like it. It saves me a lot of time while providing something fresh, new and fast paced. Future Mario Party games should implement this style. Imagine the craziness that can ensue with everyone moving at the same time, trying to reach where they need to be.

Star Rush has multiple modes for you to tackle with Toad Scramble as the main mode. Up to 4 players can play as a Toad and trek through various boards, gathering Mario characters as allies and taking on bosses in mini games to recover Power Stars. Each character has their own unique ability and dice and it can help turn the tide. You can have up to 4 ally characters in one time and having more allies mean more of an advantage. Bear in mind that it can be a disadvantage if your opponent has more allies than you so be careful.

Items are aplenty in this game though not as big as in the previous games but they do add something to the game that can be good or bad. It’s random and it’s what Mario Party boils down to in a nutshell. Mini games are also the name of the game in Mario Party and there are many. They depend on the control scheme. Some are simple using buttons and an analog stick (or d-pad) while others take advantage of the touch screen. It works, giving it variety. However some mini games can be a bit of a pain to do than others and depending if you either have a regular 3DS or a New 3DS XL then some can be without a doubt annoying due to the microphone.

In addition to Toad Scramble, there are other game modes. Coinathlon is a race where up to four players collect as many coins as they can in minute long designated coin mini games to progress through three laps. They get hectic and it comes in two modes: Free Play and Rival Race. Mario Shuffle is a two-player game that uses Amiibo functionality. Using Amiibo figures, players race across a one-way board to the goal with one going right, the other left. If you don’t have Amiibo, cardboard cutouts are used. Balloon Bash is like Toad Scramble but you collect coins and stars in a mini board with a turn limit and mini games. You can also play as any Mario character so that’s a plus. Rhythm Recital is where up to four players work together and play classic Mario tunes using the Touch Screen. Challenge Tower is a single player game where you have to climb a tower with LED Spaces on it. There are varying difficulties with some being harder than others. Last but not least is Boo’s Block Party, a puzzle game where you spin sides of a number block to earn points. If you move enough of the same block, they get sent to the other player. It’s addicting and challenging if you want to get the high score.

There’s a lot to do in the game and let’s face it. Half of the time you’re going to be spending it trying to complete the modes to level up. Star Rush has a leveling system where as you play, you earn points. Once you gain enough, you level up and unlock either a new mode or a new character. It’ll take hours trying to unlock everything and it can be quite a challenge. It can get a bit repetitive too having to do it over and over just to unlock everything. The game offers a lot but I wish there’d be something to alleviate things. But if I had any issues with it, it’s that most of the time you’ll be playing it in single player. If you want to play multiplayer, each of you must have your own 3DS and a copy of the game or the free Download Play that you can get on the eShop. It’s like Smash Bros. for 3DS.

Overall, I can say that Mario Party Star Rush improves the formula in some ways. Having a fast paced style where everyone plans their moves adds layers of strategy. Various modes add replayability plus with 4-player co-op equaling insanity. What else can I say? I know games should try to implement new things but this is a step in the right direction. If you have friends and a few 3DS handhelds, then you will have a fun time.

I give Mario Party Star Rush an 8 out of 10. It earns my personal SEAL OF APPROVAL.

Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls Review

Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits & Fleshy Souls Review – A Review by Jose Vega

Special thanks to Nintendo for providing me these games.

Pokémon… it’s a franchise that revolutionized the world since the 1990s. There have been many that tried to capitalize on the franchise success but none would ever come close. In 2013, a game called Yo-kai Watch would be released in Japan, ending up becoming a huge success. From its success, many things would spawn from it such as an ongoing animated series as well as a manga series, two animated films and it would eventually be brought overseas in 2015. The rest is history. Now a year later, we in America now get to enjoy the sequel to Yo-kai Watch. This is Yo-kai Watch 2 and it seems the game is following the Pokémon route, splitting this experience into two games. Does this divide the overall experience or is Level-5 believing that this is the best way to go?

Before I continue with this review, I do want to say that I never played any of the Yo-kai Watch games. This is my first time and my review reflects on this. Let’s begin with the plot. It starts with an unknown force wiping away the memories of the main protagonist Nathan “Nate” Adams. What follows are events that have been relived in the previous game but with an unexpected twist. After reuniting with some Yo-kai that Nate encountered before, Nate along with his new friends set off on another adventure.

I don’t want to spoil anything relating to the plot but I feel that the story can get a bit crazy. There are twists and turns that will send you all over the place. And for anyone that has never played a Yo-kai Watch game, they may get lost. You don’t have to worry. Everything will feel spot on as you play. Take it from me. I got hooked into the game a few hours in. If a game like that has something that can get you hooked, it’s a win in my book.

Now I know what you’re going to say, “This game is a rip off of Pokémon” right? Guess what. Wrong. It’s not. It may have a similar way to Pokémon but this is Yo-kai Watch and it has stuff that sets itself apart. The game is split into two sections: Exploration and battle. You’ll be spending an equal amount of time doing both, trekking all over town, finding and battling Yo-kai, obtaining items and completing quests. Your Yo-kai Watch is a very important item to have. You need it in order to find the many Yo-kai that are located. They come in a variety of ranks, attributes and tribes. No, I’m actually serious. That’s how things work but you’re more concerned about how battling works. I’m getting to that so hang on a bit.

The game follows a chapter-based system and in order to move on to the next chapter, you need to complete quests. Quests come in three different categories: Important, Requests and Favors. Important Quests are ones that when completed will allow you to continue the main story of the game. Requests are one-time jobs provided by anyone that has a blue “!”. Favors are like Requests but they have an orange “!” and can be done as many times as you like. Completing any of these nets you rewards ranging from money, experience, items or to even raise your Yo-kai Watch Rank. It’s needed if you want to continue on with the game but it never hurts to complete them.

Battles happen in real time the instant the battle begins. Your party can have up to a maximum of 6 Yo-Kai and how you go about it depends on how you play. But you can only have 3 on the field. See it as like a Triple Battle but you don’t give them orders. They do their thing. Your job is a bit more on the micro managing side, courtesy of the Yo-Kai Watch. You can do many things such as healing Yo-kai with food, rotating Yo-kai out for other ones and activate Soultimates. Whenever a Soultimate is activate, you need to do a mini game on the bottom screen to fill up the gauge. When it’s charged, the Yo-Kai can unleash a special attack with various properties. In this sequel, it gets taken up a notch with the addition of Moxie. Once you receive an upgrade to your Yo-Kai Watch, you’ll have the option to get access to these powered-up Soultimates. The only difference is that you need 3 Soul Gauges to pull it off. It’s a high risk/high reward move and it can turn the tide of battle. My advice is to use it only when necessary. Boss battles are aplenty in this game and unlike regular battles; these have some strategy involved so you’ll need a good combination of Yo-kai to help take down these threats. Sometimes they’ll have something that you need to target and other times they can inflict some nasty problems at you. You need to use the Yo-kai Watch to either target said thing or to use Purify to rid the curse away from the Yo-kai. It rewards you for doing it, making this a required thing to do and sometimes you need to poke enemy Yo-kai at specific areas to get rewards.

Another difference between this game and Pokémon is that in order to get more Yo-kai, you need to befriend them aka earning their trust. You do that by giving them food. In addition to Yo-kai having various characteristics, they also have varying tastes. Depending on the Yo-kai you’re up against, you’ll need the right food to earn their trust. Sometimes it works and other times it doesn’t. It’s all trial and error. It’s also time consuming too because even if you give them something that they may like you a ton for, they won’t always befriend you. As I said, it’s luck based and if you plan on befriending Yo-kai, you’ll need the right food for the right one. Some instances, you may need to evolve Yo-kai in order for them to be stronger and other times, you need to use Fusion by combining Yo-kai with specific medals or items. There are many combinations and it can take a lot of work. I did mention that this game is split into two right? Yes. There are two versions of the game: Fleshy Souls and Bony Spirits. There isn’t much in terms of differences between the two. The story is the same but depending on which version you play will have you meeting Yo-Kai that are exclusive to it. Combined, there are over 300 Yo-kai you will encounter, befriend and battle with. A game like this that has so many Yo-kai to find will take you hours, even after beating the game. The post game that follows is just as long. It’s something that is worth spending a lot of time on.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, there’s more. Like Pokémon, you can battle or trade with your friends locally or online. It adds more to the game’s content along with many other modes. Exclusive to both versions is Yo-kai Watch Busters where four players can choose a Yo-kai to battle against dangerous Oni Yo-kai. There is so much to do here that it’s incredible. The story can take roughly around 15-20 hours if that’s your focus but if you plan on covering everything, finding all the yo-kai, completing quests, mini games, etc. then let’s just say that the overall length explodes into hundreds of hours. I am not kidding. It is nuts. Only the most dedicative of players will be pouring a lot of time and skill into finding every Yo-Kai that’s in both versions.

Presentation wise, the game looks amazing on the 3DS. Truly awesome! Character models are well done. The environments are vibrant, full of life and they provide something different depending on location. Music is well done with my favorites being during battle as they provide a sense of intensity to the fight. There are cut scenes in some parts of the game and they capture the feel of the franchise real well. It’s like you’re watching the anime and I’m going to give it credit. The dub for it is good especially since they did bring some good talent like Johnny Yong Bosch of Power Rangers fame.

I’m going to be 100% fair. I did find some faults in the game. The difficulty curve is fair but there’ll be times where the game can throw a curve ball at you and put like a real tough threat in your face and wipe your whole party out in minutes. Training is a good thing but it’ll get to a point where it can be a grind, just to take down something that drives you nuts for hours on end. Also the battle system is similar to the first game. That’s not to say its bad but I wish they added something unique to make it stand out. Nothing wrong with it but the least the game can do is to give the player a bit of leverage. Another nitpick I got is like I said, trial and error when it comes to befriending Yo-kai. It can happen especially when you don’t have the required food to use to befriend them and you end up using something you have one of that would work but doesn’t. It can be disappointing but it also convinces you that you need to prepare more. It isn’t pretty.

Issues aside, Yo-kai Watch 2 provides an awesome experience with both Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. It’s weird that they decided to split the game into two versions but with so much to do, it’s hard not to deny that having it all in one game won’t cut it. It won’t at all. New players will get on this game quick while veterans will spend all their time finding every Yo-kai that’s there. I could go on and on about how good the game is but I’ll say it here. This guy is worth the full price and it’s something I recommend. If you feel that Pokémon isn’t giving you enough of an experience, try these games. You’ll find it to be something that has it stands out over others. Now if only Level-5, the same guys that give us the Layton series of games can give us the third version of Yo-Kai Watch 2 or maybe the third game. Who knows? Nothing’s for sure.

I give Yo-kai Watch 2 Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls a 9 out of 10. These two games are a MUST BUY and they deserve my Seal of Approval.

If you want to see more info in relation to Yo-kai Watch including detailed walkthroughs, guides on obtaining specific Yo-kai or anything else in general, please be sure to check out the Yo-kai King himself, AbdallahSmash026’s YouTube Channel: http//www.youtube.com/user/AbdallahSmash026

Paper Mario Color Splash Review

Paper Mario: Color Splash Review – Written by Jose Vega

Special thanks to Nintendo for providing me a copy of this game.

Paper Mario is a franchise that had some ups and downs. It started as an RPG series that were hits on the N64 and GameCube before going into a different direction on the Wii with Super Paper Mario and then abandoning what made it good in favor of something that turned everyone off with Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS. Now we have a new Paper Mario game and unfortunately, it has been under controversy due to it following the formula of the previous game. So much so that videos relating to it would be the most disliked on Nintendo’s YouTube channel. However the game had been released by accident two weeks early and people got to experience it. I got my chance to play the latest entry in the series. The question’s this: Will Color Splash be a repeat of Sticker Star or is this a game that’s worth the moniker of “Paper Mario”.

Let’s start with the plot because that’s the one thing you should probably wonder about this game. It centers on Mario, who along with Peach and a Toad head to Prisma Island after they receive mail that came in the form of a color-deprived Toad. What they find is a place that has been devoid of color and with it life on the island. Upon encountering a strange bucket named Huey, they soon learn that someone has been draining color from the island and using it as a means of destruction. So Mario now must travel all over Prisma Island and seek out the Paint Stars in order to bring life back to this once vibrant island.

I am going to give Nintendo credit. This is a story that I can get behind. Sticker Star’s story was just nonexistent whereas here, it always has incentive. It made you want to see what became of the island, its inhabitants and what can you do to help out. The story can be quirky with the dialogue and I love that. It makes the game good and it’s a step in the right direction. I don’t know if it can be the same for the rest of the game itself. Let’s find out.

One of the biggest controversies this game has had was its gameplay. Yes, the gameplay is similar to that of Paper Mario: Sticker Star. A lot of people hated it due to its simplicity and the fact you needed to use stuff like stickers to attack during battle. With Paper Mario: Color Splash, that’s out the window. The theme is of course, paint and your job in this game is to travel from one area to the next battling enemies, acquiring items and restoring life to said areas by means of using paint. Depending on where you are, you have various options. For example, outside of battle you can jump and use your hammer to hit anything, even enemies. But if you hit something with the X button, you let out paint. Remember: the gimmick here is all about paint and you have to use said paint to restore Prisma Island and it’s many areas. But there’ll be times where you think there’s no way out but in fact, there is. Color Splash has the addition of “Cutout”. Cutout lets you take advantage of your environment and literally lets you cut out a bit of the area to reveal something new. This can lead to some unique results and sometimes hidden goodies. It adds more on the exploration side and gives you an incentive to find every hidden spot and obtain its secrets.

In battle, everything is like Sticker Star but with some differences. Instead of stickers, you have cards. I do like the mechanics in this game better because you use cards to deal damage to enemies. Depending on the card, you can either deal damage with your trusty hammer or stomp them flat with some jump attacks. There are many variations and they can help turn the tide of battle if you’re lucky. Also, battles emphasize on how you do it successfully without suffering damage. Doing these net you bonuses like more coins and you’re going to need a lot of coins to get more cards so that you can dish the pain to your opposition. Sometimes you’ll get cards that are devoid of color. You use paint to give it life and in turn use it to attack enemies. Expect to do it a lot since most times you’ll get stuff that have no color. The same can be said for Things. Yes, that’s what they are. Things return in this game and like the previous game, they have a lot of use. Not only that but they have all new ones that can have various results. I like some of the things they included but if you look and at times listen hard enough, there may be some Easter eggs if you can spot them.

Speaking of battles, there are boss fights. They’re a plenty as you travel and they’ll need you to plan accordingly and with what you have at your disposal. The game does provide you some hints on what you’ll need to tackle a specific foe. I like it as for new players, it’s a great opportunity. Don’t let your opposition fool you. If you are not prepared, expect to get beat. That’s a fact. Preparedness is key.

Even with exploration, battles, there is a lot to do here. There are mini games too in the form of Roshambo. Roshambo is rock paper scissors and your job pretty much is to win. There are Roshambo temples spotted all over the map and your job is to take on each temple and win. Be warned that you’ll be up against foes that will beat you. It comes down not only to a matter of patience but skill. Only the most skilled of players can be able to pull it off and the rewards are high, along with the incentive. Roshambo Temples are also a good opportunity for you to get coins with the max being at 9999. Just like Sticker Star. There’s replay value here in the game and if you want to get 100% and complete everything, you’ll have to spend a lot of time on it… roughly 20 hours or so. At least in this game it’s worth it because the game’s charm helps add to it.

Presentation wise, the game is a step up from Sticker Star. Many of the areas you’ll travel are vibrant, full of colors with various different themes. They range from volcanoes where heat is high with bits of red and orange to the beach side and the area fills with lots of blue. It gives the game and its areas a bit of atmosphere. I love it personally and it has you enjoying everything it has to offer. Humor is aplenty in every area. Some bits will make you laugh out loud and other instances they throw stuff that have them break the fourth wall. It’s impressive. I could go on and on but in my honest opinion, it’s a game that’s best enjoyed if you play it yourself. Though if I had any flaws with the game, it’s that the game is using a system that really didn’t work aka Sticker Star style. Had it be using the RPG elements from the old games, it would be a surefire hit.

Paper Mario: Color Splash may follow a formula that didn’t work the first time but it makes up for it in various ways. An improved battle system, great story, interesting characters, strong humor and replay value helped give the game a boost it definitely needs. But I can’t help but feel that the Paper Mario franchise should revert back to its roots. I will commend Nintendo for at least trying something different. They did try but unfortunately, you know what they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Color Splash is an exception because what it offers more than makes up for its shortcomings. This game is a must buy on the Wii U and considering that this console is on its last legs, I recommend it. No doubt about it. This game is worth the full purchase price.

I give Paper Mario: Color Splash a 9 out of 10. This game is a MUST BUY and it deserves my Seal of Approval.

Been a While Isn’t it?

Yeah… I wanted to express my feelings on it here in this blog because it’s better than having it anywhere else.

This isn’t easy for me to say it but fuck it, I’m going to say what I want to say and without any regrets. Basically now that we’re in the month of October, things have started to slow down. Despite the fact that Ace Attorney: Spirit of Justice has concluded with the DLC case as well as two special videos showing All Breakdowns and Cutscenes, I feel that now the channel is declining again. I tried my best that no matter what I would say that my channel would bounce back. In September it did bounce back and I was happy that it did. However when it was all over and done with, things start to slow down to a crawl. I noticed because people are less inclined to watch and comment. It’s very sad. Despite the fact that I’m doing games like Paper Mario: Color Splash and Azure Striker Gunvolt 2, it isn’t enough. It just isn’t.

2016 has been a year of ups and a lot of downs. The many downs were the result of Arc System Works terminating my YouTube Channel and basically signing its death warrant. It in turn caused my channel to suffer. It’s like my YouTube channel is being punished for something that it didn’t do. It’s not fair, truthfully. It just isn’t and as I said the many people I know, watch and support continue to get bigger and bigger while I just sputter and chog down. It’s just not fair. It isn’t fair that others get to be bigger and I can’t. I do the same thing as everyone else but yet why don’t I get this chance? Tell me. Why.

I don’t know if I should be worrying about it but as someone that just wants to make a name for himself, it’s becoming difficult. I have been on YouTube for a decade and I have never even come close to what I hope to achieve. All I ever achieved is a negative reputation and no appreciation. It sucks that this is the fate I will eventually have and it has me wondering if it is time for me to move on. Part of me says that I should move on to maybe getting a job but part of me says I can’t because this is my job. I may not be making much money but at least it helps keep me afloat, for better or worse. I personally feel that this year was NOT a very good year… not only for my YouTube channel but also for myself as things just didn’t seem to go right for me. It never did. Part of me makes me feel like I should rage and another part shouldn’t but this is the least I can do. I need to let this all out. I have to.

That’s about it. I only say this because my channel has no future years down the line and when I do get a job, I’m more than willing to say goodbye to my YouTube channel and say… it’s time to move on.

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