Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy Review – Written by Jose Vega

Purchased product for the sake of this review.

Crash, Crash, Crash… for over 20 years, this Bandicoot has been in our hearts with games that offer a challenge while providing satisfying experiences. But after 2010 with Mind Over Mutant, no one ever thought that another Crash game would be possible. That changed. Last year, Activision announced that Crash would be playable in Skylanders: Imaginators but in addition, Vicarious Visions would be working on a remastered port of the original three Crash Bandicoot games, in the form of Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy. Did Vicarious Visions do justice that Naughty Dog has done all those years ago?

For a remastered trilogy, the presentation is a huge step-up compared to the originals. It’s marvelous. I’ll be fair. The original three still hold a lot of memories to players but you can’t deny how this port did them justice. All the characters look amazing. The locations look vibrant. Even the voice acting is a step up from the originals. It’s a delight seeing many scenes, especially the openings of each game to find that they are just as good, if not better and I like it. I like it greatly. The music is simply amazing to listen to. Every single song from all three games has been given a facelift. Honestly what more can I say? I’ll be honest. I was blown away when I first heard it. It’s a delight. They are all very addicting to listen to, especially for the bosses.

Now for the gameplay, and if you played the originals back on the PS1, you will feel right at home here. Unlike the originals, there are some features the remastered trilogy has that set it apart. For example, Coco is a playable character in all 3 games. With Crash 1 and 2, you need to defeat the first boss to unlock her whereas, in Crash 3, she’s unlocked from the start. She’s similar to Crash if nothing else but it’s nice that his sister is playable in not one but all three games. I commend Vicarious Visions for improving on Coco’s design and like Crash, she is also expressive especially in her death animations. The games are similar to the originals, minus a few changes they made to make the game feel accessible.

The controls are similar to the originals so if you played the game before, you’ll manage. There are some things that make this feel different from the originals. One example is the jumping. The jumping feels heavier. It can have its issues especially on levels where platforming is key. Not only that but I feel in sections like Crash 3’s jetski, the controls for the ski feel a bit rough. I believe that Vicarious wished to add realism to how you actually ride a jetski. Personally, I prefer the original in terms of controls since the physics feel close to perfect. Guess some sacrifices have to be made huh?

Speaking of accessibility, the N. Sane Trilogy has some tweaks to make the game less of a pain, especially in the first game. Originally if you die on a level, you have to restart it in order to get the gem. Here, unless it’s a colored gem, all you need to do is break all the boxes. This is a much-needed change for people that just want to play and complete everything. With Crash 2, they made changes to the hub area by having the boss room included and the option for you to access the hidden area where the secret levels are. It’s pretty nifty. As for Crash 3, there are no added changes. The game also includes time trials for Crash 1 and 2 so you can now try to get the fastest time and collect relics. Leaderboards are also included so you can compare times with other players, as well as the requirements to get a specific relic. Saving the game is easier as you can pretty much save on the overworld or level hub. It’s another welcome feature.

It will not make a difference since each Crash game will take quite a while. Depending on what game you play, the length can take around 6-8 hours each, longer if you want to complete everything. With all of this, your skills as a player will be tested especially for new players that have never played a Crash game. Expect some trial and error if you wish to complete each game and get 100%. There is trophy support for all 3 games as well so that adds length to a complete package.

But if I were to have any nitpicks, it’d be this. Since this is pretty much an updated compilation of three classic games, the difficulty is one thing I find to be the most problematic, especially in Crash 1. Some levels like Road to Nowhere & The High Road can drive any player into madness. At least the sequels alleviate the difficulty by toning it down and making them less stressful. It still doesn’t excuse the fact that some levels will have you throwing the controller in a state of rage. My advice for players is to take it nice and easy. At least the game will not punish you if you lose lives or anything. The boss battles are still easy if you figure out their patterns. Some can be tougher than others. There is paid DLC in the form of a level that was never completed called Stormy Ascent. Stormy Ascent was a level that never got into the final game due to its intense difficulty. If you plan to tackle the level, be warned. It will show no mercy.

The N. Sane Trilogy does the original trilogy justice in so many ways while adding and refining them to make the games better. The presentation is amazing in all categories, the game feels familiar while challenging and it overall feels like a big improvement to a series that is considered classic. Though there are some issues, it shouldn’t stop anyone from picking it up and playing it. Whether you are a new player that wants to experience it for the first time or someone who wants to relive memories, the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy is a package I feel that’s worth the purchase price. The best part is that this is $40. You get 3 remastered games that have been given a lot of love and respect at an affordable price. How can you say no to that? You can’t! Get this game now! Show Activision that we need more games like this and maybe we may get a remastered Spyro trilogy! Get this game now! It’s worth the full price.

I give the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy an 8.5 out of 10. If you haven’t gotten this game, you should. Do it. Now!

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Fire Emblem Warriors Review

Fire Emblem Warriors Review – Written by Jose Vega

Product provided for this review was made possible by Nintendo.

Since 1997, the Musou or Warriors series are known for their games that specialize on fast, intense button-mashing action. They range from the main series of Dynasty Warriors to even spin-off titles that cross over into other avenues such as One Piece and in some cases, they take characters from franchises and put them together to make something new. In 2014, Nintendo, Koei Tecmo, and Omega Force collaborated together to bring Hyrule Warriors, a game that offered a lot of fun despite some flaws. Three years later, they’re back at it again with Fire Emblem Warriors, bringing the Fire Emblem franchise into the Warriors series. Does the game deliver?

The story focuses on twins Rowan and Lianna in the Kingdom of Aytolis. On one unexpected day, the kingdom is covered by darkness and strange gates appeared out of nowhere, bringing with it monsters. In time, the kingdom would be consumed by darkness but not all hope is lost. Rowan and Lianna escaped and now they go on a journey, finding allies from other worlds in the hopes of saving their kingdom and the world from the darkness that threatens all.

I really enjoyed the story of this game. It’s one that is easy to get into and follow along. The main characters are likable but they have this predictable cliché that they got to save the world and all that. It got a bit stale by the end. Don’t get me wrong. The plot is simple to get into but I feel that maybe that’s how the Warriors series. The story is an afterthought since the gameplay is most important but in my honest opinion, it should have a balance. Having it guarantees that players will be invested.

Since the game follows the Warriors-style of gameplay, it’s straightforward. If you played any of the Warriors games, you’ll have a very good idea of how it goes. All you do is mash the button to beat down waves and waves of mooks while you trek through a map and complete objectives. You have access to 19 different characters to choose from, each having different advantages and disadvantages. Having the right amount of characters can help a player handle any situation but it never hurts to ensure they are strong as well.

Elements from the Fire Emblem series are implemented into the game such as the weapon triangle, where characters wielding certain weapons have an advantage against enemies who are weak against what they have and vice versa. In addition, characters have access to skill trees where they gain new attacks and skills at the cost of materials that can be farmed in battle. Characters can level up to get stronger and can also promote to advanced classes that offer additional skills and abilities. Weapons can be forged by transferring attributes from collected weapons for a fee and in doing so offer different bonuses. Items like vulneraries and healing staves give characters the ability to heal themselves or other units over a range. Like in Fire Emblem Awakening & Fates, characters can pair up offering some support in the form of Dual Attacks and Vanguard. A lot I know but for a game like this, it delivers.

The game offers three different modes of play but overall, the overall length is through the roof. Story Mode consists of 23 chapters, giving an overall playtime of about 6-8 hours, depending on difficulty and even after beating the game, the lengths skyrocket since you can go back and play any chapter with any character of your choosing. Like Fire Emblem, there is Permadeath in the form of Classic style where if a unit other than the main character goes down, they don’t come back. You can revive them at a temple but for a very hefty fee. It’s one addition I feel is a benefit to the game but if that isn’t to your liking, you can switch to Casual where units that have fallen come back after a battle.

In addition to Story, there’s the History Mode where the game recites battles from Fire Emblem’s history. It’s split into maps based on various moments and in here, you take part in battles where you complete objectives to get high ranks and unlock new items such as characters, weapons, and items. Also added maps can be unlocked by collecting Mementos from Anna. All of this adds the length of the game to insurmountable heights. There’s also a Coliseum mode where you can take on Fire Emblem characters. Nothing fancy. The game also has some local co-op where you and a friend can team up so that’s a plus.

Another good point is the game’s music. Many are remixes of songs from previous games and I like how the use of rock helps the game considerably. In a way, it adds a bit of flair to a game that offers this intensity. Compared to Hyrule Warriors, this game has full-on voice acting and it’s done pretty well. The voices for Rowan and Lianna are pretty good and the same can be said for all the other characters. They’re faithful and well done and I feel that they delivered on that front.

However, despite the game having many positives, it has a few flaws. The presentation is one of them and I feel it’s one thing they should have put more effort on from the get-go. I’m reminded of how Hyrule Warriors looked on the Wii U. Don’t get me wrong. The characters look great in cutscenes and stills when they talk but on the field, I feel as if they could have put a bit more effort. Same for the environments but it fits for a game like this.

Another complaint is the roster and I feel this is one of the game’s biggest shortcomings. The Fire Emblem series is home to hundreds of characters that could have helped make the game feel like a serious hit. It can even introduce people more to the series. However, they only brought along characters from Shadow Dragon, Awakening and Fates. It’s a problem because yes, you need characters that people can recognize but would it hurt if the game could bring in characters from Binding Blade, Sacred Stones or Genealogy of the Holy War. Heck, even the Tellius series. That would help the game big time. In addition, some characters like Lyn from Blazing Sword and Celica from Shadows of Valentia can only be unlocked in History Mode and they have no importance to the main story. That is a bummer. At least in the 3DS version of Hyrule Warriors, they added new characters that have a role in the plot.

Like Hyrule Warriors, the game also has Amiibo support. Mostly it’s done to provide players stuff needed to help like weapons, items or currency. The game also has 2 exclusive Amiibo: Chrom and Tiki and they unlock exclusive gear. Also, the game has upcoming DLC that will add new characters, gear, and additional content. Fortunately, you can get a Season Pass and it’s one of the few things I find that’s done right just like in Hyrule Warriors. The game is also on the New Nintendo 3DS. I’m thankful it’s exclusive to it for if it came out on the 3DS, the game would have suffered big time.

Does Fire Emblem Warriors hold up compared to Hyrule Warriors? Yes. Does it have problems? A bit. Should it stop you from buying the game? No! The game is all good fun and if you put the time into it, it’s satisfying. Sure the presentation and the roster needs work but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a great game. Nintendo, Intelligent Systems, Koei Tecmo and Omega Force collaborated to give us a game that’s enjoyable in the long run. I only hope that if a sequel is possible that they should learn from this game and provide players a better experience. Fire Emblem Warriors is really fun and if you want to get into the fight right away, you can. It’s worth it.

I give Fire Emblem Warriors an 8 out of 10.

Monster Hunter Stories Review

Monster Hunter Stories Review – Written by Jose Vega

Product provided for this review was done by Nintendo.

Monster Hunter… known to be a series where players team up to take down monsters that would normally tear them apart. It’s one of Capcom’s profitable franchises and is been going strong. A spin-off of the series titled Monster Hunter Stories, was released in Japan last year to great success. Its success would lead to an animated adaption called Monster Hunter Stories Ride-On. A few months later, Capcom brings the game overseas. Now that it’s released, does it carry the tradition that the main series has always had?

Let’s start with the story. The story is set in Hakum Village, an isolated place where riders coexist with monsters. You play as Lute, a child living in the village until a monster infected by the Black Blight attacks the village causing much tragedy. Now much older and having earned the right to be a Rider, Lute must venture the outside world, alongside his companion Navirou to seek out and befriend monsters known as “monsties” and find a way to deal with the threat of the Black Blight.

The story is basic but easy to get in to. Most of the stuff can be a bit predictable but it’s not in a level that’s considered bad. It’s more light-hearted but it does have its dark moments. Personally, it kept me intrigued and I wondered how things turn out so the story is a positive for me.

Monster Hunter Stories is a departure from the main series in terms of its gameplay. For starters the game is an RPG adventure. As a Rider, you battle monsters, explore Dens to steal eggs, hatch eggs and train Monsties to make them stronger. The game splits between two sections: Field and Action. On the field you can explore and do many things like travel to towns, find items, accept side quests and so on. It’s standard stuff. Sometimes you find eggs in Monster Dens and you head to towns to hatch them. In turn you can choose up to 6 Monsties to have in your party, similar to Pokémon. But you only have one to have with you and you can change at any time. Monsties also have skills that help in various areas. With Quests, they come in two varieties: Story and Side Quests. Story Quests are accepted automatically and they’re needed to continue the game. Side Quests however can be done anytime and they depend on the request. They can be accepted via bulletin boards or by the NPCs you meet in towns. Completing them nets you money and experience, which can be used to buy gear and strengthen your party.

Battles however are where the game differentiates from the main series. The combat is traditional RPG-based with you and your monsties fight opposing monsters, sometimes up to 3. You can attack, choose a kind of attack and see what happens. You can also choose Skills to have your character do various things. As you battle, you have access to three kinds of attacks: Power, Speed and Technique. The game follows a rock-paper-scissors on how battles go with each type having an advantage over another. Sometimes using some attacks can result in combos dealing more damage. Getting the advantage in battle is a necessity especially for your side because you get a boost in damage and kinship. The fights also have quick time moments, depending on the monstie, where motions or button presses are needed to win the fight and deal damage. There’s a lot to do and they help make the fights feel intense.

Speaking of which, the Kinship Stone is an important feature. As you battle against monsters and succeed in clashes, the kinship gauge fills and when it’s full, you can ride on your chosen Monstie boosting your attack but making you susceptible of falling off if you fail too many clashes. Succeeding levels up the Kinship and when the time’s right, your monstie can let off a powerful Kinship attack that can deal major damage, especially in boss fights. It also has a secondary use and it can be leveled up so you can be able to befriend Monsties of higher levels and rarities. The game has its fair share of boss battles with many having more than one section to attack. Focusing on each part and taking it down can help make the battles less stressful.

Another important feature is Monster Genes. Each monster has a 3×3 grid that contains various abilities. To add them, you can channel genes from one to another offering a plethora of different combinations. Matching three of the same kind causes a Bingo effect that boosts the Monstie’s stats. It provides unlimited possibilities for your Monsties to have all sorts of abilities and advantages, adding more to an otherwise huge game. Your player character can also be customized with various weapons and armor. With armor there’s a lot of different kinds. Weapons however, you are limited to four: Greatsword, Sword & Shield, Hammer & Hunting Horn, each with advantages and disadvantages. They can also be upgraded in exchange for money and materials just like in the main series.

All of this adds up to a game that offers a lot for your money’s worth. The game will take you a really long time, upwards to around 40-50 hours if you plan on completing every story and side quest. So there’s a lot to do and there’s more even after beating the game. You can also battle other players either via local, online or by Streetpass so you can put your skills to the test against others. The game is a wonder to look at. It’s presentation is to the point with each area being different to set themselves apart whether it be the plains, inside a volcano or even on a tropical island. Characters are expressive more in scenes where they talk with Navirou and the main character being very expressive. Cutscenes are good as well. The monsters are faithful to how they look in the main games with the Monsties being cute. Music is good to listen to and can get you pumped, especially in battles. There’s no voice acting but the cast like Navirou speak in a gibberish tone. It’s all right since their expressions can pretty much speak for them.

If there were any negatives, I’d say that the game doesn’t have multiple save files like in the main game. There’s only one file and if you want to try again and start differently, you got to delete it. In addition there isn’t much else in terms of post-game content aside from a tower you must trek making the replay value stagnant. Sometimes the game can get hard but grinding and leveling up can help. Like most Nintendo games, Monster Hunter Stories comes with Amiibo support. Tapping Amiibo from this game can net you bonus items and materials that can help with your quest. However they are only available in Japan and Capcom hasn’t decided on whether they’ll bring them overseas. Thankfully they are region free so if you are lucky to get them, they can be usable.

Overall, Monster Hunter Stories may feel like a Monster Hunter game but it offers a different experience. With RPG elements thrown in along with the ability to hatch and train Monsties, it offers a lot. The presentation is solid, the challenge is there and though there are some faults, Capcom did a stellar job providing a game that anyone can jump into. For anyone that’s new to the Monster Hunter series and want a first hand experience, this is the game for you. Be prepared to spend hours upon hours on this as once you start, it won’t stop until the journey is over. This game is a journey that’s truly well earned.

I give Monster Hunter Stories a solid 9 out of 10. It’s worth the purchase and you will not be disappointed.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions Review

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions Review – Written by Jose Vega

Product provided by Nintendo for this review.

14 years ago, Nintendo and Alphadream released Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga for the Game Boy Advance. It focuses on the Mario Bros. as they journey to rescue Princess Peach’s voice from an evil sorceress. It launched a franchise with each sequel stepping up to deliver a satisfying experience, mostly. During E3 2017, Nintendo announced that the game that started it all would be getting a remake, with a twist. It came to be known as Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, with the addition focusing on Bowser’s entourage of mooks seeking their master. On a handheld like the 3DS, does this remake stand tall alongside the original GBA classic?

The story centers on Mario & Luigi on yet another adventure. What starts as a goodwill meeting goes south when an evil sorceress named Cackletta and her assistant Fawful steal Princess Peach’s voice and replacing it with an explosive vocabulary. But they aren’t alone. They get help from Bowser who also wants in. Together the three head for the Beanbean Kingdom to recover Peach’s voice and deal with Cackletta and her cohort.

It’s the same as the original and I have no complaints with it. The story is just as enjoyable and in some cases, hilarious.

The game plays exactly like the original in both field and battle phases. On the field, Mario & Luigi play the same way with the D-Pad (or analog stick) moving them and both A & B buttons have the two do various actions such as jumping, using hammers or various other abilities. It’s needed to solve the many puzzles you’ll encounter in the game. In battle, it’s the same way. You use Mario & Luigi respectively in turn-based battles against enemies. As you progress and get stronger, you’ll have access to a slew of different abilities that can be used in both field and battle. They can also be upgraded to Super (Advanced) versions that are stronger, giving players a variety of ways to take down foes. With the 3DS hardware, the game offers a lot more features. The touchscreen, for example, provides a map of the areas you visit as well as shortcuts for the commands they can use on the field. In battle, the bottom screen details your characters’ stats and when you do moves, they provide instructions on how to use them. It’s great for beginners but an afterthought for those who have already experienced the game. The game also includes an Easy Mode for those who feel the main game is hard and it can be turned on and off at any time. It’s good for new players but for those who already played it, it’s an unnecessary addition.

In addition to the main game, you also have Minion Quest, a side-story that tells the story from the perspective of Bowser’s minions as they journey to seek their fallen master. It’s a mix between RTS and RPG as you lead a squad of minions to battle against enemies. You take control of a Goomba who becomes Captain and the objective in each fight is to take out the other captain before he takes the Goomba out. After completing each stage, you get experience used to level up your units. You can have up to 8 units in your group and hold up to a total of 40 units. It also follows a rock-paper-scissors mechanic in terms of advantages. You have three types of units: Melee, Ranged, and Flight. Melee beats Range, Range beat Flight and Flight beats Melee. Limiting your army to 8 units requires players to plan well for each encounter and if things go bad, you can retreat and try again. It’s a nice and enjoyable side game that adds to the story of the overall game. Plus you can go back to previous levels to strengthen your units.

Length-wise, the remake of Superstar Saga will keep you busy for some time. The main game will take around 15-18 hours to complete while Minion Quest is a 6-hour romp. You’ll have a lot to do in this game. Presentation-wise, the game is a step up compared to the original. The many areas of Beanbean Kingdom are amazing to look at. In addition, the same can be said for the characters and enemies. They look good and faithful just like the GBA version. Battles are especially funny when it comes to the characters and when Bros. Attacks fail, they lead to some hilarious stuff. There is some voice acting but most of it is simply gibberish. It makes sense since it’s a Mario & Luigi game and it does fit well. Music is just as good as the original. Being that it’s on a 3DS, it’s a step up from the original giving us familiar yet good tunes. The game also has Amiibo support, using figures from the Super Mario line. They can be used to get stamps that can be exchanged for prizes. Pretty nifty.

From my experience, I couldn’t find anything that is deemed negative about the game. There are times where the game throws a curveball and make it hard but honestly, it’s a game that can be challenging if you allow it to be. Items are plentiful and by the time you reach the end, you’ll be more than prepared. Also, the game plays in 2D by default and it’s a good thing since it’ll be easier on the eyes. Fitting since the GBA game is the same way.

For a 3DS remake, Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions is a very good remake. The game feels and plays familiar. Minion Quest offers a nice side game. What else is there to say? Nintendo and Alphadream brought the GBA classic to the 3DS and they did it well. If you were unable to play the original GBA version, this is your best choice. It’s a good starting point for people to get into the series and for those that want to relive it. Nintendo didn’t disappoint. This game is a certified winner.

I give Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions a solid 9 out of 10. It’s worth your money, I mean it.

Star Fox 2 Review

Star Fox 2 Review – Written by Jose Vega

Borrowed a friend’s SNES Classic Edition for the sake of reviewing this game.

Star Fox 2… it’s a game that many thought never would see the light of day. It was originally supposed to be released in 1995 for the SNES but Nintendo at the last second canceled the game to put their focus towards Star Fox 64. Star Fox 64 would go on to be a huge success but Star Fox 2 would end up being lost to gaming history. The game would eventually be leaked out years later in the form of near-final builds but the true complete version never came to be. During E3 2017, Nintendo announced the SNES Classic Edition, including the completed version of Star Fox 2. Does it hold up or did Nintendo make a mistake by releasing it?

Before I continue, I am reviewing the game on its own merits. Later entries in the franchise used features from this game that were better implemented.

Taking place after the events of the first Star Fox on SNES, Andross returns with one goal: revenge. He would then unleash his space fleet to conquer the Lylat System. Gen. Pepper asks the Star Fox team for their aid against him. It’s a straightforward plot. Nothing special.

Star Fox 2 plays similar to the first SNES game. The controls are similar and you can choose between 3 different styles. However, this game incorporates a number of additional features. You can choose two out of six playable pilots to use. Along with the main team, there are two new characters: Miyu and Fay. They’re also categorized into three Arwing classes: Balanced, Defender and Interceptor. Fox and Falco are Balanced being in the middle. Peppy and Slippy are Defenders with more health but less speed and longer charge. Miyu and Fay are Interceptors with less health, fast speed, and quick charge. I like this option better than how it was in the first game. You also have the option to switch between your chosen pilots with the Select button. Useful in case one of your wingmen is near death and you need someone fresh. It makes me wonder why they never implemented this in future games.

As for the rest of the game, battles occur in a map similar to some RTS games. You have your mothership that can be used to repair your fighters. The objective is to retake planets captured by Andross while having to contend with his forces. At the same time, you must ensure that Corneria is unharmed since Andross will order all his forces to attack the planet. If you fall or Corneria falls, game over. You move from one planet to the next. When you cross paths with an enemy, the game shifts into a flight section where your job is to take out enemies before they get away. When you arrive on a planet, the mission shifts to activating switches to access the enemy’s base. Then you go into the base, reach the core and destroy it. Planets also allow the Arwing to turn into a walker for ground combat. A nifty addition that adds a change of pace. Some planets have bosses you need to take out to access them. They offer a bit of challenge to the game especially since you are timed. As you progress, so does the enemy. Skill and planning are needed to take down Andross and his forces. Along the way, you will encounter the Star Wolf team in 1-on-1 dogfights and they can be challenging.

Depending on difficulty, the game can take from 40 minutes to more than an hour. You start with Normal and Hard. After beating the game on both difficulties, Expert Mode is available. With each increase in difficulty, Andross raises the challenge by adding more occupations, ships, forces, etc. Expert is considered to be the ultimate test with Andross pulling out all the stops. The replay value is high as with up to six playable characters each having unique styles, three difficulties and a great amount of challenge, it’s a game that will test you. It will really test you but it also gives you this drive to keep going especially in the harder settings. The game also grades you for how skillful you are in completing the game. Beating the game in Expert skillfully in the highest rank nets a nice reward for future playthroughs.

Star Fox 2 also has its fair share of secrets with the Pepper Medals. Collecting them (depending on difficulty) will unlock a secret area that you can use to power up and take on the challenges aside. This, unfortunately, makes the game easier but it’s a reward for diligent players who put the effort in finding the medals. The music is good with some tracks being catchy. They don’t hold a candle compared to the original’s music but it’s acceptable.

Though the game offers a lot, it does have its flaws. The game can have a tendency to slow down when too many things happen on the screen. It’s similar to the original but not as much. Controls can be clunky especially when you operate the walker Being that it was a game that should have been released back in the mid-90s, it’s to be expected. Star Fox 2 also has its voice acting in the form of sound effects, similar to the original. Though they aren’t as memorable sad to say.

It took Nintendo 22 years to finally release it and does it hold up? Not really but it shouldn’t stop anyone from playing the game and finding out what they’re missing. Sure the game is flawed in some aspects but the game is an enjoyable one. Many features that were introduced in this game such as the Walker would be implemented a lot better in later entries and it feels similar to the original but with some additions. Regardless Star Fox 2 is a game that should have been released back then. Had they released it then, it would have been revolutionary but Nintendo felt otherwise or in some cases scared. It isn’t for everyone but for those who want to give it a chance, you should. Star Fox 2 is worth it. Good luck trying to get the SNES Classic Edition just to play it that is.

I give Star Fox 2 an 8 out of 10.

Pokken Tournament DX Review

Pokken Tournament DX Review – Written by Jose Vega

Product for this review is provided by Nintendo.

What do you get when you take two popular franchises and combine them together? You get something that caters to both. In this case, it’s Pokémon, an RPG franchise that specializes in capturing, battling and raising creatures and Tekken, a popular 3D fighting game franchise. Last year, Nintendo and Namco Bandai released Pokken Tournament, a fighting game involving Pokemon for the Wii U. It gained a lot of praise, despite being on a console not many owned. A year later, Nintendo would bring this to their new console and give it an upgrade in the form of Pokken Tournament DX. With this now on the Switch, does this surpass what the original lacked?

Pokken Tournament DX, like the original takes place in the Ferrum region. After creating your own character, you choose a Pokemon that you want to have as your partner. After that, you have the option to play whatever mode you wish. There are many different modes for you to choose from. For starters there’s the Ferrum League, a single-player mode where you and your partner Pokemon have to battle in hopes of being Ferrum League Champion. It’s also home to the game’s plot involving the Synergy Stone and how a strange Pokemon called Shadow Mewtwo siphoning its energy for some sinister purpose. It’s an all right story and it balances things nicely as you play. In addition to the Ferrum League, you can go into Single Battle for 1-on-1 against the CPU or if you have a friend, there’s Local Battle. For players that want to take the battle online, Online Battle is there. Online Battles give you access to ranked & player matches and you can set up tournaments too. There’s also the training mode for players that want to learn about the game and try their luck in the action or combo dojo in hopes of learning how the game and each Pokemon play. You can also customize your character in My Town and there’s a very deep amount. In addition Nia can be customized with different outfits as well. Pretty cool.

New to Pokken Tournament DX are the Team Battle and Daily Challenges. Team Battle has you choosing 3 Pokemon and using them to take on opponents in 3-on-3 battles. Daily Challenges have you battling with Pokemon that are assigned to you to earn Skill Points. I like this because it helps players be able to get Skill Points so they can raise their stats. Yes, there are RPG elements and it’s mostly for improving your Pokemon throughout the game. Not only that but the game gives you all the characters and stages right from the start. This includes Mewtwo and Shadow Mewtwo as well as five new characters. Four of them are characters exclusive to the arcade version while one, Decidueye is a character exclusive to this game bringing the total character count to 21. It’s quite a lot and it’ll give players incentive to try out each and every one of them. Support Pokemon are also included and like the characters, they are all unlocked from the start with the addition of a new pair: Litten and Popplio. Having them do help turn the tide of battle if things get rough and it’s always fun seeing them attack.

The gameplay is similar to the original with players using their Pokemon to duke it out on the field. Battles shift between Field Phase and Duel Phase and controls change depending on the current phase. Thankfully the controls are similar to the Wii U game and the game carries that Tekken feel. Pokken Tournament DX also follows a rock-paper-scissors mechanic in terms of attacking. There are three types: Normal, Grab and Counter. Normal beats Grab, Grab beats Counter and Counter beats Normal. Though the game is simple, it does offer a good amount of complexity in terms of its fighting system. Players who master it will dominate the battlefield, online or off. Each Pokemon also has a Synergy Burst they can use to deliver the coup de grace but it can only be done by filling up your Synergy Gauge.

Presentation-wise, the game is a big step up. The game runs at a solid 60 fps in both docked and handheld. I’m impressed that Nintendo was able to pull this off on a console like this. The stages do look colorful and at some cases, expressive. The Magikarp Festival is one example as you would never expect a stage devoted entirely to a Pokemon like Magikarp. Some stages do pay nods to the Tekken series and I like that. Characters are significant and well designed, whether it be during their attacks, animations or even their Synergy Bursts, they always have a way to provide something unique. The music is really good. Some tracks are addicting to listen to and can get you on your feet dancing. Controls are great and the game gives you access to multiple control opinions such as JoyCon, Pro Controller or even the Hori Pokken Pad. It’s pretty awesome. Gameplay is solid, load times are pretty short, customization is high and there is Amiibo support but it’s all for cosmetic purposes.

But if I had any negatives, it’s in the Ferrum League mode. Battling just to reach #1 and be able to access the Placement Test can get repetitive, albeit a bit too much. It does alleviate since you get experience to strengthen your Pokemon but some times, it can take upwards to an hour just to reach #1 and hopefully rank up. Another issue is Nia and at first, she can be very informative but her advice can be a bit tedious. Thankfully there is an option to minimize what she says in My Town so that’s a plus.

Overall Pokken Tournament DX is a big step up from the original. The game is just like the original but the presentation is a step up. There’s a lot to do and for $60, you have the complete package. With over 20 characters, loads of Support Pokemon, various ways to play and the fact that you can play it on the go really is the definitive version. If you haven’t experienced this game when it was on the Wii U, what are you waiting for? Get Pokken Tournament DX today! I promise you that you will not regret it.

I give Pokken Tournament DX a 8.5 out of 10. The game is a must own for anyone who owns a Nintendo Switch.

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