Category Archives: Reviews
Reviews on the latest games.
Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog. I hope all of you out there had an incredible fire cracking 4th of July weekend. As most of us prepare to return to our usual 9-5 occupations, some of us would like to know what is hot in the gaming world. Thankfully, I have come back to bring you yet another fantastic dose of gaming goodness. There are plenty of big names within the gaming industry, but for those of you who are not aware, indie games are making a huge positive impact within the gaming world.
Independent developer Yacht Club Games has launched their newest title Shovel Knight for the Nintendo 3DS and the Wii U. This title is a tribute to retro platforming games that many, if not, all of us are too familiar with. The question is, does Shovel Knight pay homage to a time period of great games? Or, does it insult the genre of retro platforming that we have all loved since childhood? Let’s find out shall we?
Graphics: Shovel Knight is a retro gaming platforming adventure that takes a risk with having 8-bit type graphics, but you can’t help but be mesmerized by the beautiful execution of this trip down memory lane. It dives back into the days of old without ever making the game look too outdated. The sprites and backgrounds are very well executed, the colors are unbelievably vibrant, and the blend of graphical elements from different gaming titles of the 8-bit era (you’ll see which ones shortly) draw you in to the point where you completely forget that you are playing this game on a next-generation gaming console. Yacht Club Games deserves high recognition and praise for their incredible and masterful execution of this element. Score: 9.5/10
Sound: The music of Shovel Knight is a retro gamer’s dream come true. It uses the 8-bit chip sound production beautifully, and more often than not, I found myself tapping my toes to some of these incredible tracks. This is a reminder to gamers that you don’t need a full scale orchestra to create fantastic memorable music. Score: 9/10
Gameplay: The meat of this package is within the gameplay. Shovel Knight is a side-scrolling platform adventure game. It borrows elements from many of the “in-crowd” Nintendo games. The controls are as basic as they come. You have move, jump, and attack. You side scrolling elements from Mega Man using your shovel as a pogo stick from Ducktales, and attacking foes in similar ways to Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania via swiping them with your shovel.
The map layout is very similar to Super Mario Bros. 3, one of the greatest Nintendo games ever (at least in my opinion). You traverse through different dungeon layouts and fight bosses in the same format as Mega Man. You also earn currency via digging up and or discovering gems, gold coins, and other shiny goodies along the way. Currency plays a critical role in this game, as it allows you to buy relics and potions that make your quest a little bit easier. It also plays a role when you die. Upon your death, chunks of your funds are sacrificed to bring you back. Don’t fret, you can return to you place of death and reclaim your lost funds, which are floating in bags.
You may think that this game is a “rip off” of other treasured games of the 8-bit era, but it actually feels like a stand alone title that really makes it’s mark in an incredible way. Some of us veteran retro gamers may find the difficulty of Shovel Knight a little bit mundane, but fear not friends, Yacht Club Games has provided a New Game Plus mode that is sure to scratch that itch for an extra challenge. Shovel Knight looks simplistic but it plays smoothly for those who are veterans of the Nintendo 8-bit era and those of us who were deprived of the joys of these gaming gems back in the days of old. Score: 10/10
Shovel Knight is a fantastic game. It has been years since I played through a platformer numerous times in one sitting, and it felt pretty darn good. Retro gamers looking for a hidden gem, or new age gamers wanting to find their gaming roots, look no further than Shovel Knight. A fantastic tribute to retro games and this will be a classic for many years to come.
Final Score: 9.5/10
Good day to all my fellow gamers. Welcome back to my esteemed blog. I apologize for this insane delay in posting, but recently work and night classes have syphoned my personal time, but once again I have returned and with some very late—but nonetheless excellent and non-bias gaming reviews. The summer is finally here, and kids, teens, and the more paleolithic gamers like myself are always looking to invest countless hours in some gaming goodness. So, I have decided to start by reviewing one of four games on my platter that I am playing and very much enjoying. The first review will be Ubisoft’s RPG, Child of Light. This title has had a lot of expectations. Does it live up to all these expectations, or is it another disappointing letdown. Let’s take a look.
Graphics: Elegance and beauty are understatements when it comes to describing the graphics of Child of Light. From the moment you turn on your console, even the “press start” screen draws you in like a spell. The colors and textures are beautifully drawn. The backgrounds are lush and vibrant with color and life, from the immense forests, to the dark and creepy caverns—It’s an eye-candy overload that fans will love. Ubisoft definitely proves to all of us that they poured their heart, sweat, and tears into providing us a product of pure visual delight. The characters of Child of Light are also brilliantly drawn in both story sequences and gameplay.
The creature designs are almost out of a child’s story, but not in a childish way. Each creature is well detailed and some can also be a bit fearsome. Being a person with a hummingbird attention span, I found myself constantly getting lost or distracted from my path, but I didn’t get frustrated with the game. I simply wanted to keep wandering and soak in the beautiful atmosphere of this amazing world. Score 10/10
Sound: Canadian singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate (Béatrice Martin) brings to Child of Light a musical score that is timeless and beautifully done. Every track seems to fit the environment of the game. From the soothing melody played in the forest, to the climactic boss battles, every piece of music is a joy to behold. Score 9.5/10
Gameplay: This game focuses on the heroine Aurora who, after falling victim to a physical ailment—wakes up in the world of Lemuria. She then begins her quest to save her father from the evil queen, Umbra. Thus, she journeys through mystical Lemuria, gathering very unique allies along the way. A bow-wielding mouse, a jester who can’t seem to complete one rhyme, a golem, and a wizard—yes these are some of the different varieties of characters that you will encounter through your 12-15 hour quest.
While most heroes in video games tend to have a stereotypical look from an abnormally muscular hero, or a sexy seductive heroine—Child of Light has none of these stereotypes. It introduces pretty average characters that still make an impact without all the muscles and sexiness. The battle system is one that is familiar to many fans. It uses a turn based gaming engine similar to the Grandia series. Characters and monsters take turns while small icons in line on the screen races to the “action” button. This determines who gets to act first. This element provides a lot of strategic challenges, because your quick thinking will determine whether you can get the jump on your enemies before they can act, or fall victim to their onslaught. Aurora’s companion Igniculus also plays a vital role in your quest as a distraction blinding your enemies and slowing their progression on the action bar. It is a refreshing element and a fantastic tribute to the gaming franchises that introduced these engines. Score 9.5/10
Child of Light is a game that should be in everyone’s library. It is a beautiful tribute to past games, and it is a brilliant masterpiece to behold. If you have not downloaded this title yet, don’t wait another minute—download Child of Light today.
Final Score: 9.5/10
Welcome back friends to my esteemed blog. As many of you know, the Playstation 4 console has been released and I have been very busy enjoying all that it has to offer. Look at the image below for the launch line.
I want to start off by reviewing one of it’s launch titles, the new adventure game Knack. Like most new consoles, the launch titles are usually hit or miss. So, does Knack make the cut as a good premiere title? Read on to find out.
Graphics: Knack delivers a very Pixar Studios like world with colorful characters and vibrant worlds. The enemy designs are very well done, and you can’t get over how cute Knack is in his tiny initial form. It all blends in to bring a cute package. Score: 9/10
Sound: The music in this particular title really makes a stand above the crowd. Each scene has a musical track that is fitting in exploration, combat, and story sequences. The voice cast is equally awesome. I was very amazed at the quality of music that was in this title, and I can assure you that you will be too. Score: 9/10
Gameplay: Knack’s story is unique in it’s own ways. War is rampant on humans as a result of Goblins led by their ruthless and cunning leader, Gundahar. A scientist and his assistant, along with the assistant’s uncle try to stop the goblin’s reign of terror with the help of Knack, the three-foot tall protagonist who is blessed with a unique ability. Knack can utilize pieces called relics to attach to his body, causing him to grow anywhere from eight feet to three stories tall. At the same time, Knack’s story tends to divide into fighting the goblins and butting heads with another antagonist Victor, along with his partner in crime Katrina. This is all combined with beat ’em up combat and platforming elements that bring together a fun-filled adventure.
The battles in Knack can range from moderate to very difficult. Some areas require Knack to combat very large enemies in his tiny form, which results in one-hit kills from most foes that attack him. Of course, when Knack is giant-sized, he delivers the same one-hit kill style beat down to his now insect sized foes. There are tanks and combat planes that can knock giant Knack on his big behind, so play your cards carefully. Score: 9.5/10
There have been many critics who have given this game bad reviews, and I still can’t see anything wrong with this game. Don’t be fooled by biased reviews, Knack is an adventure that is definitely worth checking out. I believe critics were expecting too much from Knack, and decided to whine about it when they didn’t get what they wanted. Even though writer Mark Cerny said initially that the game will be a blend of Crash Bandicoot, Katamari Damacy, and God of War. In my opinion, Cerny delivered on his promise.
Final Score: 9/10
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow my blog, and spread the word about me. This is going to be a busy week, but I will continue to keep the posts coming. Tune in soon when I post my review for Contrast, ResoGun, and Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.