Fire Emblem Warriors [Game Review]

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Title: Fire Emblem Warriors
Developer: Omega Force, Ninja Team
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform:
Nintendo Switch (also available for the 3DS)
Category:
Hack-and-Slash Action RPG
Release Date:
October 20, 2017 worldwide
How we got the game:
Pre-ordered a physical copy

krismii
Fire Emblem Warriors is a crossover game between Koei Tecmo’s Dynasty Warriors series and Intelligent Systems’ Fire Emblem series. It’s the second such crossover since Hyrule Warriors — using characters based on the Legend of Zelda franchise — for the Wii U back in 2014. I had enjoyed Hyrule Warriors and playing with some of my favorite characters in a new game style back then, and being a sucker for the Fire Emblem series, I was looking forward to Fire Emblem Warriors as well.

gameplay

Being a hack-and-slash game, the gameplay consists of the player taking control of up to four characters on a given map and demolishing the opposition. Each character attacks by the player more or less button mashing, but if you wanted to be more precise, there are combo attacks that you can trigger by pushing buttons in a certain order (generally the Y and X buttons). The more enemies one defeats, the quicker one can unleash a special attack that can be particularly devastating on hoards of enemies and even the sub-boss characters, such as Fort Captains. The controls themselves were fluid and responsive, which is excellent considering how quickly one is dropped into the fray of the battles, even if there were times when it seemed my character was running too quickly for me to make a turn!

Characters can be given orders on the battle map, such as directing one person to fight a certain enemy or to guard a teammate. While the player can switch between four characters, there is usually four additional teammates on the map to aid the playable characters. The AI of NPCs was well-done, in my experience, as the majority of them were eager to complete the goals and sub-quests that popped up with the map.

The majority of the characters in Fire Emblem Warriors are sword-users, but there are a few who use lances, axes, magic tomes, bows, and dragonstones, which are a special item to some unique Fire Emblem characters to transform into a dragon. Like the Fire Emblem games, characters are able to level up in their weapon rank, allowing them to use stronger weapons and attacks as the game progresses. In Warriors, this is achieved by crafted crests, which are used for attacks, defensive purposes, and enabling special skills. Crests are crafted with materials that enemies drop as well as collecting items from characters themselves when they increase their Support rank with one another. The more two characters fight together — by being on the same map, helping to guard one another, healing each other, or by literally pairing the two up as a support pair — the higher their Support will be. A Support Conversation between the two characters can be unlocked once they reach an A-Support rank.

The major flaw with the gameplay is how little diversity there is amid the weapons and characters themselves. Slashing away at enemies with swords is fun and all, but having more variety would have definitely helped me explore the maps of the game multiple times and giving it more replay value. Daggers and shuriken, lance-users on the ground instead of being regulated to Pegasus Knights, more axes and magic, beaststones for laguz from the Radiant series…

To go along with the lack of weapon diversity is the character roster. It mainly focused on the cast from Awakening and Fates, along with Marth as one of the Fire Emblem series’ first protagonists. Fire Emblem Warriors stars a pair of twins who both use the sword as their preferred weapon. The Heroes that we must track down as per the story mode all use swords as their preferred weapon. While I have nothing against any of the characters that are on the roster, I would have loved to see characters from more Fire Emblem games.

Let’s get Ephraim from Sacred Stones as a lance-user Hero. Hector from Blazing Blade can be the axe-wielding Hero. There are laguz characters from the Radiant series — Ranulf, Lethe, Tibarn, Naesala — who could be Heroes in their own right. Lilina from the Binding Blade as not only a mage Hero but also another female.

Perhaps it would have been a little too much to throw so many different timelines into Fire Emblem Warriors, but there was so much more weapon and character variety that could have been packed into the game!

graphics-music

One of my favorite things about the Nintendo Switch is the graphics. The graphics of every game we’ve played so far on this little console have been crisp, clear, and beautiful, and I loved seeing the dynamic Fire Emblem Warrior battles on the Switch. The animated movies were fairly well-done, being on par with most of the animated scenes in most of the more recent Fire emblem games.

I’ve always been a sucker for Fire Emblem music, and Fire Emblem Warriors would be no exception… except for most of the, erm, “suggestions” that continued to pop up in the first half of the game. Since everything on the battlefield happens quickly, so do character dialogue boxes popping up with someone talking about someone else being trouble or telling you of a new quest that has arisen. The cacophony of the battle was interrupted much of the time for the game to continue on, which threw me off a bit at times. It was tolerable especially when I reminded myself that it went hand-in-hand with the chaos that was supposed to be the battlefield. It was quick and exciting, even if the voice acting had me rolling my eyes once in a while.
storyLike most Fire Emblem games, the story was a bit cliche, with it being way too focused on bonds and support among one another, and you defeat a dragon at the end.

The story opens with the royal twins of Aytolis, Lianna and Rowan, sparring with their friend Prince Darios of Gristonne. Monsters appear from Outrealm portals, attacking the castle, separating the twins from their mother, and starting the twins on their journey to protect their homeland. They journey across the land to find Heroes that have been displaced in time, Heroes that have Gleamstones to power up the Shield of Flames to defeat the evil dragon Velezark.

The characters spend much of their time focusing on friendship and their bonds with one another, which is a bit corny but sweet message. The twins work and grow together with the help of the other heroes to ultimately succeed in the end. The story itself had a few plot holes or threads that could have used more closure — such as the Darios subplot — but it wasn’t too bad for game.

replay-value

Fire Emblem Warriors has the story mode and a history mode. The story mode has about 25 “chapters,” or battle campaigns, in it while the history mode allows players to battle in scenarios from past Fire Emblem games that were re-imagined for Fire Emblem Warriors. Each has different levels of difficulties and goals, giving one a few more challenges if one wishes to replay the game.

While I wish that the roster wasn’t so sword-user heavy — really, seeing a thief character or more axes and lances would have been wonderful — and had characters from more Fire Emblem games rather than focusing mainly on Awakening and Fates, I did have a lot of fun with Fire Emblem Warriors. There’s something so satisfying about the hack-and-slash aspect of the game, and I know I’ll pick it up again.

Fire Emblem Warriors gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Mario Party The Top 100 [Game Review]

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Title: Mario Party The Top 100
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Party, Multiplayer
Release Date: 
November 10, 2017
How we got the game: 
We each preordered a physical copy

krismii
Mario Party is one of those game franchises that makes or breaks friendships. It was one of the games that were a stable in our childhoods as we grew with the generations of Nintendo consoles. We have lots of fun memories with the earlier installments of the games, but the newer ones were disappointing to us. We were hoping for the Top 100 to bring back a little fun to the franchise.

rachmii
I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much for this game, but I was excited nonetheless. They were bringing back old school mini-games, what could go wrong? Well, they did some wrong… but it was still nice to replay some of the old mini-games again.

gameplay

krismii
Mario Party The Top 100 celebrates the top one hundred mini-games from the main franchise. With several modes, the Top 100 allows players to compete and play mini-games either alone or by linking up wirelessly with friends. Each mini-game has been updated with their graphics and controls to bring it up to speed with today’s modern handheld technology, and they all use simple controls to play, usually only a couple of buttons and the control stick to move.

rachmii
There are five main modes of the game, one being only for the single player while you can play the other four modes with friends. 100 Minigames, Minigame Island, Minigame Match, Championship Battles, and Decathlon. Minigame Island was probably my favorite mode, but even that wasn’t too great, to be honest.

 krismii
100 Minigames is a free-for-all mode, where you can play whatever mini-games you’ve unlocked whenever you want. Minigame Island was the single-player mode, where you would go through a series of little “islands” connected via warp pipes and defeat minigames as levels. As a single player, you would choose your character at the beginning and the character you would like as your partner during two-versus-two games. Your opponents in the game are randomized, as are their difficulty level. Each minigame win earns you ten coins, which earns you a life after you collect 100, as well as star points similar to those in Mario Party 9 and 10. If you lose a minigame, you lose a life.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, if you come in fourth you lose a life. If you come in third, you get one mini star. Second gets you two mini stars, and first place gets you three mini stars. You want to collect all the mini stars you can (300 total) so that you can unlock something at the end. I liked this mode because it was completely random and it was all minigames, but it definitely would have been more fun playing with other people rather than alone.

krismii
I wonder, if you play through the Minigame Island again, if the mini-game levels would be random? I agree that the island would have been more fun if that was a mode you could link up with friends to play. The modes were you could link up with friends weren’t too bad, however, what fans seemed to really want were boards like the original series had. Instead, Top 100 reuses the Star Rush board with some tiny updates, a small board where everyone moves at once one to six spaces, and you play a mini-game only if someone catches a mini-game balloon. It’s… not the most fun experience.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s boring, to put it bluntly. The board is small and not exciting at all. Not to mention that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Star Rush. It probably won’t be a mode I’ll play again. Another mode is Championship Battles and that wasn’t as great as it sounded. You play 3 to 5 minigames and see who can win the most. It sounds fun in theory, but they only allow 3 or 5 minigames. What about 10? What about 20 or 50? That would certainly raise the stakes and have a longer playtime with friends. It was easy for the games to become one-sided, especially when playing with CPU characters.

krismii
Decathalon was similar enough to Championship Battles, but players would compete for earning the most points depending on their ranking in the mini-game as well as time or your score, if they applied. The higher ranking you are in the mini-game, the more points you earn. After so many mini-games, the player with the highest amount of points wins. It seemed pretty skewed, to be honest. The mini-games were random and, once you become in first place in a couple, you seemed golden on the road to win the Decathalon. With players that are fairly even in their mini-game skills, it’s not much of a challenge.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Decathalon wasn’t too bad. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll be playing that again anytime soon. The game also had minigame packs as well. Each pack was its own category of minigames from the various Mario Party games. (Gamecube Pack, Nintendo 64 Pack, Action Pack, Sports Pack, etc.) This is a cool idea in theory. When playing Minigame Match (similar to Star Rush), you choose a pack. Then you and the other players vote from your respective pack on which game to play. This is a cool idea, but you can only choose from the five games in your pack. I would have liked to be able to vote on a set of 30 or something, that 30 would be random each time you played. I would have liked to see more variety.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics and music weren’t bad. They weren’t spectacular, but they weren’t bad. Graphics-wise, the game’s images are clear and crisp on our 2DS handhelds.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s certainly interesting to play minigames from Mario Party 1, 2, and 3 with updated graphics. I enjoyed seeing the characters and games in a new light, especially with their updated voices and such.

krismii
While the music wasn’t bad, as they seem to be reminiscent of the Mario Party series, it has changed. Many of the minigames have “updated” music, which are different tracks rather than merely updated versions of the original songs. We did notice that, in Minigame Island, the victory song matches the song that was played in the Mario Party game that the minigame came from. It was a cute, nostalgic-inducing touch.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I didn’t mind the music at all. I found it upbeat and lifting like any other Mario Party game. Also, there were the nostalgic tunes thrown in there. While updated, like Kris said, they were still nice to hear.

replay-value

krismii
The Top 100, while not what we wanted it to be, was decent for nostalgic purposes. It may be a game that I pick up once in a while if I have a little time to kill. Once you unlock all the minigames, it can be fun just to go around and replay your favorites.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with Kris. However, Mario Party is the kind of game you want to play with your friends and I felt as though this game was better in single player mode than with friends only because there was more to do. Still, I’m glad I could revisit old games again.

Mario Party The Top 100 gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Super Mario Odyssey [Game Review]

Super Mario Odyssey Game Review

Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Platformer
Release Date: 
October 27, 2017
How we got the game: 
We preordered a physical copy

krismii
Super Mario Odyssey has been hailed as one of the best 3D Mario games to date, with all of its homage to Super Mario 64 and the rest of the 3D family. It’s certainly one of the more fun games that we’ve played all year!

rachmii
When this game was first announced, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too excited for it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be with the hat. But it’s a Mario game and I had a lot of faith in it. It didn’t let me down.

gameplay

krismii
Super Mario Odyssey utilizes many of the Switch’s Joy-Con motion control aspects. With the Joy-Con, you move Mario and the camera with the control sticks and Cappy, Mario’s new companion, with flicks and twists of the Joy-Con. While you can also play the game with the pro controller and the Joy-Con grip, we found it easier to use the detached Joy-Con and their motion controls.

rachmii
It took me a while to get used to the motion controls as I preferred the pro controller. I did end up using each Joy-Con separately for the motion controls and got used to it though. While you can get through the game without the motion controls, there’s a lot more you can do with them.

 krismii
Aside from the motion controls being used to throw Cappy in various ways, Mario moves very similarly to his Super Mario 64 counterpart. Many jumps were included, such as the long jump, the triple jump, and the wall jump, as well as a somersaulting move that was wicked fun to execute! Using all of these moves enabled you to help Mario collect the levels’ various Power Moons and, holy crap, were there a lot of Power Moons to collect!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Mario was super easy to control! I mean, I still fell off cliffs a lot, but he was pretty smooth either way. Yes, there were a lot of Power Moons. In a way, we felt as though there were too many. There’s a great amount that are deeply hidden within the levels, but there are so many that are just sitting out in the open for you to collect and it makes you go through the story mode so much faster. I feel like they wanted us to explore rather than complete the story. It’s almost as though they wanted us to rush.

krismii
Yes, I wasn’t too pleased with the amount of Power Moons — it seemed as if the amount was excessive. I would have been more invested in the game if there were less Power Moons but a greater challenge in finding them. With over 800 Power Moons available in the game, I feel as if we were stopping every five minutes for the, “You Found a Power Moon!” jingle, and I felt that it got old fast. I wanted to go through the story and have more meaning to the Power Moons that we found.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While I agree, I do understand why there were so many. I am looking forward to getting back to the game to collect them all. I just wish the main story didn’t go so fast. Once we had enough Power Moons to keep going, we just got so eager to move on. Before we knew it, the credits were rolling.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics are absolutely gorgeous — you can see all the details of Mario’s mustache! Granted, we expected nothing less after seeing the Switch’s capabilities with games like Breath of the Wild, but it was definitely a treat to see how much effort was put into the graphics and presentation of the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Each level is ginormous! I feel like they definitely took a page out of the Breath of the Wild’s book. While this game, just like any other Mario game, is about saving Peach in the end, they really just want you to explore each and every aspect of the level. It seems to be never ending.

krismii
There were definitely plenty of places to explore, and the graphics just emphasized your want to search every nook and cranny. The music was right on par with each level as well, and the sound effects for whenever Mario defeats an enemy or shimmies up a tree or is capturing a T-Rex were wonderfully done. The title song, “Jump Up, Super Star,” performed by Mayor Pauline in New Donk City was probably my favorite part!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve been listening to the Odyssey soundtrack on a loop while I work because I can’t get the songs out of my head. And Jump Up, Super Star is definitely a new favorite! I can’t get that song out of my head! story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The main story is more or less the same as any other typical main Mario game. Bowser has taken Peach and it’s up to Mario to save her. However, Bowser threw in a twist by deciding to skip everything and just go straight to the wedding.

krismii
Bowser looked super dapper in his white tuxedo, and all the effort he was putting into the wedding almost made us root for him. But, I digress. After a confrontation aboard Bowser’s flying ship, Mario gets knocked out and falls down to the surface of the Cap Kingdom where he meets Cappy, a ghost-like hat that is able to transform and help Mario take over other creatures’ minds and bodies.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
And that’s about it. Mario goes from level to level finding Power Moons to get his Odyssey ship up and running again so that he can make it to Peach’s wedding just to shout, “Objection!”

replay-value

krismii
Considering how many Power Moons are in the game and how much content is left to explore after the main storyline, Odyssey does have high replay value. It can be a little addictive to search for every Power Moon on every level and unlock all of the game’s secrets that you definitely wouldn’t mind picking up the game again.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Power Moons are everywhere, but a great deal of them are hidden. Plus, I know there are a couple more levels to unlock plus all the costumes to collect. I’ll definitely be playing again.

Super Mario Odyssey gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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The Legend of Kusakari [Game Review]

Game Review, The Legend of Kusakari

Title: The Legend of Kusakari
Developer: Librage
Publisher: 
Nnooo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Action, Adventure
Release Date: 
August 25, 2016
How I got the game: 
I bought it

rachmii
When I first heard about this game, I didn’t really know what to think. I thought it was an interesting “spin-off” of Zelda as the running joke with Link is that he’s always cutting grass with his sword. After I had watched the trailer I thought it would be something fun and simple to try though I wasn’t in much of a rush. Now, over a year later, I finally go the game. And it’s actually better and harder than I originally thought it would be.

gameplay

This game is simple. You play as Kusakari and cut all the grass on the field. There are minimal buttons – B to cut a single blade of grass, A to use a spin attack which could cut up to four blades of grass at once, and L/R to dash.

The game is fairly short being 50 levels long, but each level is unique and gets progressively harder as you go along. So, it’s not a long game to beat (I beat the game in 3 hours total), but you won’t beat all the levels in one try. There were some levels that I had to try a few times before beating it and being able to move on.

Within the levels, the grass can be spread out far and wide throughout the area. You can dash to get to the grass, but it’s hard to control sometimes and can make you slip up. There are also various enemies throughout the area as well. Sometimes heroes are battling the enemies and other times the enemies are just wandering around. They don’t go after you, but if you walk into them you’ll be sure to get hurt.

Speaking of getting hurt, these levels are timed. No, the timer doesn’t tick down, it actually just counts how long it takes you to beat the level and then you get ranked on how fast you can complete it. But when I say you’re timed, I mean you health ticks down progressively throughout the level. You only have three hearts and you lose half a heart periodically. I assume this is because Kusakari gets tired and is using up energy. Still, it adds pressure to cut that grass as quickly as you can.

There are five different kinds of grass, by the way. The simple kind that takes one hit to cut down, a slightly bigger bush that takes two hits to cut down, and another bigger and darker bush that takes three hits to cut down. There are also two kinds of blue grass. One replenishes a heart and the other is bigger and sparkles and it replenishes all of your health. The blue grass, however, can’t always be found in the levels or they’re scarce in the levels.

In some levels, the blue grass is pretty common depending on the terrain. Some levels have sand or swamp or purple poison. That slows you down in which case tires you out which makes it that much easier to lose health.

Remember when I said you got ranked on each level depending on how fast you beat it? Well, if you get a certain amount of S ranks, you’ll unlock bonus levels. I didn’t unlock any bonus levels. I tried to. I went back to the first level where I had a rank A and beat it in 12 seconds. When I went back to it, I beat it in 6 seconds. It was still a rank A. I didn’t find it worth it enough to go back to all the different levels and try to get a rank S on all of them. Because to me, 6 seconds is worthy of an S rank, despite it being the first level.

graphics-music

The graphics were cute in this game. The various enemies were interesting, such as blue slimes, evil trees, and the occasional dragon or enemy soldier. Overall, the graphics aren’t anything fancy, but I think they work well for the game.

I especially enjoyed the level designs. As I said earlier, the levels varied from being in a forest to having sand, purple poison, or swamp around them. Towards the end, the levels were designed in a castle where the main hero was battling the big boss.

The music wasn’t bad either. I found the victory music and the music before beginning a level to be a bit much. It was fine enough to be enjoyable, but it did get old. The music during the levels was good. Some of the music was subtle while some were adventurous. Overall, it was enjoyable.

story

You play as Kusakari, a grass cutter. The world is being run by monsters and enemies. Soldiers and the “hero” of the story are working hard battling the bad guys, making it to the castle, and defeating the big boss. You, on the other hand, decide to help in a way no one else thought possible.

You’re going to clear all the grass so the soldiers will be able to play on an even battlefield and not trip over the long blades of grass.

It’s definitely an interesting story and I think it’s cool how the hero of the story isn’t the “hero,” it’s not the person who defeats the big bad guy. It’s certainly silly too, but it’s fun nonetheless.

replay-value

This was a fun, challenging game. I don’t know if I’ll ever pick it up again. Maybe someday I’ll feel good enough to go back and try to get those S-ranks on a few levels and it’s certainly a game that you can pick up at any time and do a couple levels here and there. Still, I don’t know if I’ll personally pick it back up again.

The Legend of Kusakari gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Breath Of The Wild Gushing

Breath of the Wild Game Review

krismii
This is more of an informal review because everyone and their dog has already reviewed Breath of the Wild. And, while we’ve done a lot of praising for the game because it is phenomenal, we haven’t yet gushed about the ending of the story. Considering we just recently beat it, we can finally do just that!

rachmii
We took our time getting to the end of the main story because there was just so much to do in the game. We wanted to complete and beat everything, not just Ganon. The open world was amazing, but it made me feel like we had no attention span at all. We’d be doing one thing and then get distracted by something shiny and new on the way there. It was easy to get off track. Our to-do list kept growing and it was great.

krismii
After finding the memories and unlocking the key elements of the story, we needed to find and complete all the shrines before going after Calamity Ganon. We’re not those kind of speed-runners who were able to rush to the final boss of the story immediately after waking up from the Shrine of Resurrection! Considering I can be a bit reckless at times with exploring, I needed to gather all of the stamina and hearts I could from the spirit orbs.

rachmii
Though… I do want to try barging into the castle right away next time we play. I think that would be interesting. But yeah, we wanted to get everything. The memories, all the orbs from the 120 shrines, and I also wanted to collect all the clothes, upgrade all the clothes, and complete all the side quests and such. It got to the point where we were so eager to just battle Ganon, that we just did it.

krismii
We have about 20 side quests left to do, along with finding and upgrading the rest of the clothes. Hyrule Castle was amazing to explore, though! I adored all the areas that we could barge into, from the Library to Zelda’s Room to the Lockup area. All of the attention to detail just gave me so many feelings of nostalgia, excitement, and adventure!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Yes! The castle was definitely my favorite part. We didn’t get to explore it all though. We somehow found ourselves outside the room where Ganon was waiting and ended up just going for it. So we have to finish exploring the castle among getting and upgrading the clothes and finishing the side quests. Other than that, we’ve done all we can in the game. What was your favorite part, Kris?

krismii
Oh, yes, there’s definitely more to see in the castle! We seemed to stick more to the west side while climbing up to where Calamity Ganon was waiting. Wait, I have to pick a favorite part of the whole game? The final boss battle — with the Champions cut scene and Zelda finally appearing — was amazing, even if it did take only about twenty minutes to complete. I spent much more time wandering around and getting lost in the Divine Beasts. I just adored the open world and all the nods to previous games in the Zelda franchise. Taming a horse and wandering around while it took the lead while I enjoyed the scenery was fantastic. What about you?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The final battle and the cutscene before it was fantastic! It really made you feel something for the characters and the whole atmosphere of the game. It was epic. I certainly loved tracking down all the memories. I loved piecing the story together and it was fun to explore the world. It was like a big scavenger hunt. I also loved hunting down all the shrines as well. At the beginning of the game, they seem to be all over the place, but towards the end we really had to keep our eye out for them and solve puzzles to find the hidden ones.

krismii
It was really satisfying to see the end of the story after finding all of the memories and speaking to those who remembered what had happened 100 years ago. Rachel and I sat Link outside of the castle and rewatched the memories in order to get a really good feel as to the events that lead up to that moment. It was breathtaking to see the Champions all band together one last time to help defeat Calamity Ganon! Now we need to beat the game in Hard Mode!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
We need to “beat” the game by getting one divine beast, two divine beasts, three, and none as well. Apparently there are alternate endings. We must get them all! The game is “over,” but there’s still so much to do!

Breath of the Wild gets…
10 out of 5 lives.

Soooo, what did you think? Were you satisfied with the ending of the story? Let us know in the comments! 

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36 Fragments Of Midnight [Game Review]

36 Fragments of Midnight game review

Title: 36 Fragments of Midnight
Developer: Ratalaika Games | Petite Games 
Console: 
Nintendo Switch
Release Date: 
September 14, 2017 (for Switch) 
How we got the game: 
We won a free review code from Miketendo64

krismii
This game was cute and engaging. There wasn’t much to it, allowing us to easily just hit the start button and start playing.

rachmii
It was certainly not at all what I was expecting. But it was charming and we had a lot of fun with it!

gameplay

krismii
36 Fragments of Midnight is a simple game to just pick up and play. As a little square of light, you explore various areas of a large map to retrieve star fragments. With the analog stick, you move left or right and the A button allows you to jump and double jump.

rachmii
It’s that simple and that hard. As you collect the star fragments, you have to dodge spikes, saw blades, and lasers. Sometimes dodging those things are as simple as just waiting for them to pass by or you have to do a quick double jump as the fragments happen to be right on top of a saw blade.

krismii
The map itself consists of several levels, with you hopping up or gentle falling from area to area. Each section of the map contains a star fragment and an obstacle or two in an attempt to prevent you from reaching it. The areas themselves change where they are on the map each time you load the game, providing you with a fresh challenge every time you hit start.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I found the map to be pretty cool. I wanted so badly to zoom out and look at it overall, but then that would have defeated the purpose. The puzzles were simple and quick, but it was enough to keep up going and playing.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics were probably one of my favorite parts of the game. It was sleek and clean, with your character and the star fragments being the brightest aspects of the game. The background was darkening night, allowing shadows to aid the traps and tricks in providing you with a challenge around the puzzles.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I found the background to be gorgeous. There was no map at all so you had to use the background as an indication of whether you were near the bottom of the map or near the top. It was snowing or something throughout the game, which added a certain ambiance to the gameplay. Midnight, the square of light, was cute and it was very satisfying watching a beam of light trail after you.

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There was more ambient sounds rather than music, which was fitting. The scene appeared to be a wintery evening, with howling winds being a prominent sound that you heard while playing the game. I would have liked to hear more of a tune or other ambient sounds to help round it out, but the winds did help to keep you focused rather than distracted when trying to time your double jumps over a spinning blade.
story

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There wasn’t much of a story to this game. At least, we don’t know what it is. Still, I’m intrigued. You, Midnight, is trying to retrieve the 36 star fragments that these black spike-ball-looking-demon-things lost. I want to know who they are, why they need the fragments, and… how they lost them in the first place. Then again, I could be overthinking things.

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Perhaps that’s also the writers in us, haha! What’s the point of this plot? Who are these characters? Were the black, spikey, fuzzballs even the friends that had lost the star fragments? We had believed they were enemies at first, trying not to touch them if possible. Short and simple, the story was for Midnight to retrieve the star fragments for, I presume, friends. That’s it. The puzzles and controls were engaging enough for us to play the game without a need for a deeper storyline.

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Yes, that’s true. It was a good enough game without a full story. The gameplay, music, and graphics were good enough to keep our attention as we tried to collect all the fragments in one go.

replay-value

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Being a quick game, one that players can beat in less than ten minutes if they wished to, 36 Fragments of Midnight has a little replay value in the fact that it is so quick and easy to pick up. That, and the puzzles and map vary each time you load the game, disallowing you from memorizing all the spots that the star fragments are.

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The puzzles are more or less the same, but they’re in different spots on the map. This is a fun, casual game to play anytime. Not to mention that once you beat the game, you’re going to want to play again to beat your time score.

36 Fragments of Midnight gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Miitopia Game Review

Miitopia game review

Title: Miitopia
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 
July 2017 
How we got the game:
We downloaded it onto our own Nintendo New 2DS XLs. 

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Holy crap, this game is adorable! Designed to let you create whatever characters you want from Nintendo Miis and thrust them into classic and not-so-classic RPG roles on a fun adventure, Miitopia was enjoyable to play every time we turned the game on.

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This was certainly an addicting game! From the moment I started playing, I knew I was going to fall in love and not want to turn the game off.

gameplay

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The gameplay for Miitopia is simple, with you as the player being fairly passive when it comes to the game unfolding. You read along with the story and the word bubble dialogue of the characters when they spoke, along with controlling your main character in battle. The battles were a turn-based, classic RPG style where you would pick to attack with a basic, physical move or with a magic or skill move based on your character’s class. You could also choose to run from the battles or eat a snack to help improve your characters hit points or magic/skill points.

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This is the definition of a casual game. There’s a world map where you bounce from area to area. In each area you watch your team wander through until a random encounter happens: they talk to each other, they find a treasure chest, enemies arrive, etc. New areas and levels arrive as you finish each one so that you may progress through the game.

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While it was casual, there was the challenge of being sure your team grew, both in levels for fights and with their friendship status with each other. One of the most unique aspects of Miitopia was the relationship growth among the characters, where their relationship status could help or hinder the fights. As their affection for each other grows, allies will help one another out more in fights, from praising, showing concern, attacking together, or even taking hits from enemies for one another.

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However, when traveling together for such a long time, one can get on another’s nerves. Not to mention that some attacks can annoy your teammates. For example, you can use your teammate as a human cannon or feed them spicy food so that they’ll breathe fire on an enemy. This attacks can annoy your teammates, thus putting them into a “fight.” Instead of their friendship growing, they need to make up with one another first. This is helped by putting them into the same room at the inn.

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Having characters room at the inn raises their affection for one another, which is helpful in making them hug it out whenever they’re arguing! The inn serves as the main save point in the game, and Miitopia is rife with them — after every level, there is an inn for your Miis to comfortably stay. It’s also at the inn where you can see if a character wants a new weapon or outfit. If you can afford it, it’s best to shell out the cash so they can raise their offensive and defensive stats for the battles ahead.

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At the inn, you can also play “games” like rock, paper, scissors to win 500g or spin a roulette wheel where you can win a new outfit or weapon, food or extra experience points, a travel ticket (that helps two of your Miis gain friendship faster), or an HP banana or MP candy. However, these games are only available if you have game tickets. Those tickets go fast, but you can find them pretty easily throughout the game. In addition, you can also feed your Miis at inn with whatever food you find from defeating monsters. Each food helps increase either attack, speed, defense, magic, etc. However, if they don’t like it, it won’t boost it as much.

graphics-music

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The graphics were charming, using the Nintendo Miis as the characters to populate the world. The locations and field areas were designed to fit the mood of wherever you were on the map, with colors and shapes falling into the background in favor of watching your Mii characters travel along the predetermined road. Everything about the game was pleasing to my eye.

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I’m glad they made a game surrounded by your Miis, other than Tomodachi Life, but you actually play in Miitopia. The graphics were adorable and your Miis could make all sorts of expressions. The backgrounds were pretty and certainly fit each area whether you were in a desert, a forest, space, or a snowy area.

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The backgrounds were engaging enough to complete the scene, but they didn’t take away any focus from the characters themselves. The music accompanying the areas and battles were fitting, completing the mood without disrupting anything from the storyline. The final boss song, especially, was utterly amazing!

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The music was amazing throughout the whole game. This is definitely a soundtrack I would buy and listen to all the time. When first turning on the game, before officially “starting” the game, the menu screen sings a different song depending on where you are in the game. It can be cheerful or somber or omenous. It was certainly an interesting feature!

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I wouldn’t mind just sitting there and listening to the menu screen for a while, in all honesty. It’s just adorable gibberish, but it’s amusing and catchy!
story

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In Miitopia you begin as a simple traveler. It’s not until you run into monsters with odd faces that you realize something is amiss. You run to the nearest town and there you meet the Dark Lord. He’s stealing faces from others and putting them onto monsters to terrorize Miitopia. With the help of a spirit guardian, you get a “job” where you choose to be a mage, cleric, thief, warrior, pop star, or chef and take on the task of saving Miitopia.

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Every so often, another party member will join your team in your quest to take on the Dark Lord. Throughout this quest, you will meet many other characters in the hubs of Miitopia, and helping them will help you with your ultimate goal of defeating the Dark Lord. The story itself is broken into three parts, each more challenging than the last for your Mii characters, even if the basic concept is the same — your main character is your first Mii, party members will join throughout the story, and together you will defeat enemies to rescue the faces and the land of Miitopia.

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The ending of the story is quite epic, I must say. I won’t say anything for the sake of spoilers, but it was certainly a fitting ending, especially for a Nintendo game. Each character gets their moment to shine and you find out the true meaning behind the Dark Lord, which is a bittersweet tale. But I loved it.

replay-value

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Even after I defeated the main story line, I wanted to dive right back into the game to keep playing. There were more options for quests for your party, as well as plenty of extra room to include even more party members, allowing you to try out as many classes and team combinations as you want. The only downside that I could find was that there are no extra save files that I saw. Other than that, it’s a game that I can see myself picking up to play here or there again to coo over my Miis completing quests and growing friendships with one another.

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This game was perfect. It wasn’t too long, but it wasn’t too short. It was satisfying to beat, yet I didn’t want it to end. However, it seems as though there are so many other things you can do in the game even after the main story. I’m looking forward to diving back into it to see what else I can do and what other characters I can make.

Miitopia gets…
5 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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