Yahtzee is a simple enough game of chance with the main components of the game being five dice. It’s a game that we used to play all the time eons ago while vacationing with family, but we haven’t played it in a long time until recently.
I house-sat recently and we were going through the games they had. Admittedly, they didn’t have much and while we planned on playing something new, we saw they had Yahtzee and just had to play it again.
You have a scorecard that details what kind of rolls you should be aiming to get with your three shakes of the dice. The top part of the scorecard has you counting the numbers that you roll, such as twos and threes, while the bottom part is a little more complicated with three of a kind and full house. Of course, there is the Yahtzee part of the scorecard, where you can get fifty points for having all the dice land face up as the same number.
With each roll, you can take out certain dice that you want to keep if you’re trying to aim for a certain score. For example, if you have three threes, you want to take them out so you can aim for a full house by getting two fours, for example, or even a Yahtzee by getting two more threes. Of course, when we played, my luck was not with me.
I ended up winning all three games, haha! Honestly, Rachel tends to have higher luck in games of chance than me, so I was surprised. It’s a game that you can probably play just about anywhere as long as you have the dice and a pen and paper to keep score.
I kept rolling high which is more than I can say when we play DnD, but I couldn’t get the numbers that I needed. Once you get a score for something, you can’t score it again – even if it happens to be better. There’s also some strategy to the game too though which makes it so much harder. There’s a “chance” score where you can just count up the total of the dice and put that down as your score. However, there’s always the possibility of you scoring higher later. If you need to get some scores for having certain numbers, which one do you go for? It’s all chance.
It is just all chance. The game ends when everyone has something filled in on all spots of their scorecard, even if you’ve taken zero points as certain scores. You cannot pass your turn — rather, we’ve never played it that way — as I’m sure otherwise the game would be a lot longer than it really is. It’s a good game to pass the time and it’s fun to see just how the dice will roll for everyone.
It’s definitely one of those “classic” games to play. It’s great to play with friends but it’s also not a bad game to play with yourself either. Yahtzee is just a win overall.
Yahtzee gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
Title: Diddy Kong Racing DS Developer: Rare, Ultimate Play the Game Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo DS
Category: Racing, Adventure
Release Date: February 5, 2007
How we got the game: I got it as a gift long ago
Diddy Kong Racing will always have a special place in my heart. I remember playing this game originally on the Nintendo 64 when I was a kid, not that I was any good at it. I believe I got the Nintendo DS version for my birthday or Christmas the year it came out. Picking it up again, it was certainly a fun trip down memory lane.
This is a racing game so, of course, you choose a character and you race through various courses. The roster isn’t huge with only eight playable characters plus four more to unlock making a total of 12 playable characters. Still, that’s not too bad considering the time the game was originally made. Also, instead of playing as Banjo or Conker, they were replaced with Tiny Kong and Dixie Kong.
In the regular adventure mode, you choose a character, a vehicle, and a track. Then you race. There are three different vehicles to choose from – kart, hovercraft, or plane. I was only good with the kart. The hovercraft was okay to control, but I was horrendous with the plane. These vehicles can be used in most of the tracks. Some tracks allow all three while other tracks allow certain vehicles. For example, you can’t use a kart or plane in Pirate Lagoon because it’s mostly water.
Speaking of tracks, there are six different areas, each one with four racing courses for a grand total of 24 tracks. Each course has balloons scattered about which give you an item. There aren’t too many items in this game and you get a certain item depending on which color balloon you pop. For example, a red balloon will give you a missile. You can upgrade your items by collecting Rareware coins that are scattered about the tracks. However, I mostly through my items blindly because I was too focused on trying to stay on the road.
There is a story mode to this game, one that I didn’t complete. Taj the Genie is a blue elephant that rides around on a magic carpet. He aids you by giving you new vehicles and the like. Of course, to unlock them you need to beat him in a race and… well, that plane. As I said, I was horrendous with it.
Anyway, long story short, we need to race in order to stop Wizpig from taking over the island when Timber’s parents go away on vacation. Timber can’t fit Wizpig alone, so he calls on Diddy and the rest of the gang to help him out.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. It’s just a way to unlock more tracks and characters, which is a pretty clever way to do things. Although, I don’t think this particular game really needed a story.
Graphics-wise, this game is definitely better than when it was originally released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Still, I don’t think the graphics are great. I’m not complaining though. It’s still charming.
The music is probably the best thing about this game. The beats are so energizing that even if I haven’t played the game in a while, I find myself humming the main menu tune.
This game is fun to play if you’re feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m sure I’ll get back to it and play it again at some point in my life, though this isn’t a game I’d go to all the time. It’s fun to play once in a while though.
Diddy Kong Racing DS gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Title: Yoshi’s Crafted World Developer: Good-Feel Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Action, Platformer
Release Date: March 29, 2019
How we got the game: We pre-ordered the game on Amazon
Yoshi’s Crafted World stars the adorable Yoshis in yet another adventure. A successor to Yoshi’s Woolly World, Crafted World is just as enjoyable and creative when it comes to the levels and the Yoshis’ abilities.
In fact, I think Yoshi’s Crafted World is more creative than Yoshi’s Woolly World. They definitely did a great job with this sequel.
Similar to previous Yoshi games, Yoshi is controlled smoothly with the Joy-Con’s analog stick, is able to jump and hover for a few extra seconds, and eat almost any enemy to create eggs, which are then used as projectiles. The controls are intuitive, although we did take a moment or two to get used to being able to throw eggs at the background and foreground of the levels.
Throwing eggs are easy enough, though you’re only allowed to have six eggs trailing behind you at a time. It definitely gets easy to run out of eggs if you keep missing your target or just wildly shoot your eggs around. There are a lot of things to interact with in each level – both in front of Yoshi, in the background and the foreground. This game really utilizes every nook and cranny of the levels.
Another hindrance to throwing eggs is that we always seem to get in each other’s way… That may just be us, though, as I’m sure other people playing may have smoother teamwork. Speaking of teamwork, if you’re playing with two players, you can have one Yoshi ride the other to keep from being separated and to gain stronger attacks. Poochy appears in levels every so often (as well as Poochy pups!) to give the Yoshis a hand, and Poochy just bowls over nearly every obstacle!
I like being able to ride on top of your fellow player, but it happens accidentally so much and yeah, you get in each other’s way. Poochy is OP, but I love having him appear in various levels! However, we do tend to miss a lot when we have Poochy because we like to plow through the level.
It was rather easy to go through the level, but Poochy is a good doggie, so I will not blame him. Even with Poochy, there were plenty of little tricks and puzzles in the side-scrolling levels that made us pause to figure out. Overall, the gameplay and mechanics weren’t anything new to the Yoshi franchise, but it was charming nonetheless.
The game as a whole is well one and a lot of fun to play. There’s a lot to explore and each button pretty much has a function leaving no room for anything more.
The graphics of this game are absolutely adorable. I mean, Yoshi is one of the cutest characters in the Mushroom Kingdom anyway, and the creativity that was poured into this game to design the levels is fantastic. It was fun to see all the “materials” that was used to create the levels and worlds that we explored.
Yoshi looks so soft and cuddly and I just want to snuggle with him! There’s always something to look at in every level, which was well crafted (no pun intended). Nintendo did a great job showing off what the Nintendo Switch could do pertaining to the graphics and “realism” of it.
The music was just as delightful, staying soft and usually cheery in the background while we played, and the sound effects were spot-on, especially the voices of the Yoshis. We were definitely cooing over every noise the Yoshis made whenever we first heard them!
Every time a Yoshi speaks, I need to stop talking and everything I’m doing just to listen. The voices are adorable and as is the music. This game is so chill overall.
The Yoshis’ Sundream Stone has the ability to make anyone’s wildest dreams come true, making it tempting to the likes of Kamek and Baby Bowser. One day, when the baddies try to steal the Sundream Stone, the gems go flying across the world. It is up to the Yoshis to recover the gems before Kamek and Baby Bowser can.
All the Yoshi are hanging around the stone when Kamek and Baby Bowser have to ruin their fun. Yoshi and friends do a wonderful job jumping right into action to get the gems back. The story itself is cute for a Yoshi game and the dialogue, from Kamek and Baby Bowser, are entertaining.
While this game is fun to play, there aren’t too many collectibles or reason to go back and play the levels. There are costumes for the Yoshis to buy with the coins you accrue, as well as “scavenger hunt” challenges to entice you to replay the levels, but they’re not too difficult. Being only for one to two players does cut down on some of the replayability as well. Even though the game is wonderful with just two players, it could have been fun with being able to play with more friends.
I agree. I don’t know how often we’ll go back to this game. There’s definitely the “completionist” factor to collect all the flowers, red coins, etc. However, we’re just aiming to beat the game. And yes, I wish it were more than two players. Our friends and cousins were disappointed to see only two could play at a time.
Yoshi’s Crafted World gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Words with Friends is actually the board game version of one of the many games that was on Facebook. I assume the game still exists on Facebook, but I honestly haven’t logged on in ages. Words with Friends is based off of Scrabble and was an interesting game to go back to for us.
Words With Friends is a popular mobile game, one that I used to play endlessly with friends and strangers. I love Scrabble though never played it much because I was never any good at it. We’re playing the Words with Friends version because our Scrabble is the original edition and the game is totally falling apart.
The game is fairly simple. Using the random tiles you pull from the bag — starting with seven — you create words on the board. Your word must branch off of the tiles of existing words already on the board, and you tally up the points of your word using the numerical value on each of the tiles. The more common a letter — such as A or S — the less points it is. Letters such as J or Q are worth more.
There are a certain amount of each letter in the game as well. For example, there are 12 E tiles but there’s only one Z tile. This is depending on how often a letter is used in words. We played two games – one we totally fudged and changed the rules halfway through. Admittedly, we’re rusty on the actual rules and ended up making rules up as we went along because… why not?
The important thing is we had fun! Seriously, we were trying to determine how to add up the score of the words, be they acronyms, additional words that were made with whatever word we were adding to the board, math in general… It was a bit of a mess. Our second game was, admittedly, more fun since we decided to have the words be game-centric.
Apparently, you’re not supposed to have acronyms but we did it anyway because they were in the dictionary. So… right or wrong, we played it our way. The second game was more intense. We wanted gaming terms and it was definitely hard to get started. Once we did though, the game sort of breezed through and, if I do say so myself, we did a pretty good job.
I think we did a good job as well. At the very least, we were more creative with our words, even if we did get a little silly at the end of the game. In the beginning, I was so close to having the word “Nintendo,” but I was missing a couple of tiles and there wasn’t a spot on the board for it, so I had to abandon the idea. Rachel, on the other hand, was able to use all of her tiles for the word “unlocked,” which was great!
Kris was kind enough to let me put down “unlocked.” There was one spot on the board I was able to use it on so I could use the letter “D,” which was already on the board. She was able to take the spot, but I went into the fetal position and she gave it to me. Thus, the rest of the game was filled with cheating because whenever she needed a certain letter, I just found it in a bag and handed it to her. Still, it was a lot of fun and we definitely need to play Scrabble more often.
Words with Friends gets a rating of… Skip It | Try It | Buy It
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!
This is one of the corniest and ridiculous shows that we’ve seen. It’s a product of its era, with the episodes following the similar plot line of Ganon creating a scheme to try to steal the Triforce of Wisdom while Link, Princess Zelda, and their fairy friend Spryte stop him. Each episode is about fifteen minutes long and is full of glorious puns.
The show didn’t last long at all beginning in September 1989 and ending in December 1989. The voice acting is over the top and the overall show is ridiculous, as Kris said, but… I kind of wish there was more.
More episodes would have been nice. It’s rather a shame that it didn’t do well enough to go past one season. Considering all the episodes follow a simple formula, it isn’t too surprising. Still, we enjoyed the characters, especially with how sassy Zelda and Link were to each other. Zelda was also just as much as a protagonist as Link was, even if she did need to be rescued many times. I also enjoyed the music and sound effects, which are lifted straight from the original games. They were fun Easter eggs.
Honestly, the music and sound effects were probably my favorite part of the whole show. That could be because we just played the original game on the NES, but still. It was refreshing to hear over the corny voice acting. There’s a reason Link is a silent protagonist. Neither of their voices is at all what I had expected for them, but they worked well enough anyway. Link and Zelda had a cool relationship with one another. They were friends even though Link’s job is to protect Zelda and the Triforce of Wisdom.
Yes, they were friends, even though one of the running jokes was Link always trying to get Zelda to kiss him. They flirted throughout the season, but Link never gets his kiss. There was respect between the characters, but familiarity to ensure the audience understood the friendships. Other jokes included the famous line, “Well, ex-CUSE me, Princess!” and a time when Link whistled the Super Mario Bros. theme song.
This show certainly has its charm. It’s fun to see these beloved characters in a new light. This isn’t the kind of show that I’ll turn on once in a while, but I’m sure I’ll come back to it again to get a good laugh.
Have you seen this show? Let us know in the comments below!
Title: Minit Developer: Vlambeer Publisher: Devolver Digital
Platform: Steam, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Category: Single player adventure, puzzle, arcade
Release Date: April 3, 2018 (Steam, Playstation 4, Xbox One); August 9, 2018 (Nintendo Switch)
How we got the game: Bought it on Steam
Minit is quirky little game where you play it in intervals of sixty seconds, or a minute. The idea seemed intriguing, prompting us to download it for steam, then lo and behold, it was announced as being released for the Nintendo Switch.
Even though we got it a little while ago, we finally got the chance to try it out. We weren’t disappointed.
Minit is simple in gameplay and concept, but challenging to pull off. You move around as a little character that we had dubbed Bill due to Rachel believing he looked like he had a duck bill. You have a key to use whatever item you’re holding, which is usually a sword, and you navigate through the world and trying to progress while only living for sixty seconds.
The sword is used to hit enemies, trees, and bushes around you in order to progress. You can eventually throw your sword like a boomerang once you get a certain item. There are a few items throughout the world you can collect, though we didn’t get to them all.
The gameplay is fairly open-ended like that. While there are certain items — such as coffee to give you a little strength boost and flippers to allow you to swim — that we felt were needed to progress, other items were more optional. It truly gives you different ways to explore and challenge yourself to solve the game’s plot.
Right. There are faster shoes you can buy if you can find seven coins. We couldn’t find the coins so we never got the shoes. Sure, we could have gotten more done in our minute, but we still beat the game anyway. There are many different areas you can explore and you can add a couple of “houses” to you home. So, when you die, you’ll start at the home again which is handy to have so you don’t have to backtrack again.
With the fact that you only have a minute to progress, the different houses as your save points certainly come in handy. Along with that, elements of the gameplay stay put as well from minute to minute, so you don’t have to rush through too many puzzles during each life.
While the gameplay is repetitive, the developers did a great job making it so it’s not too frustrating.
Minit is adorned in black and white, simple graphics with more sound effects rather than music. It worked with the arcade style of the game, and we were definitely move focused on doing as much as we could in sixty seconds rather than admiring the graphics and music.
The graphics definitely worked well for the game though. They were simple and I feel like the black and white helped our focus. Since the time is so limited you don’t really want to spend a lot of time exploring and staring at the colorful backgrounds in awe. So it worked.
One of the best parts about the graphics and sound effects, in my opinion, were the slight differences when the life clock was ticking down to zero. As the clock started from ten seconds, little sweat drops jumped off of Bill and the sound of a pounding heart was a subtle sound effect, ramping up the tension for the last few seconds of Bill’s current run.
I agree with that. It really added some tension to it even though you know you’re going to come right back. I did enjoy the sound effects of the sword when you hit things. I don’t know why, but that was satisfying for me.
Minit is about an unfortunate soul who picked up a cursed sword. With this cursed sword, he is doomed to live only a minute at a time. He must progress as far as he can with every minute to reach the sword factory and lift the curse from the sword.
It’s up to your protagonist to push past the constant death screen and continue his quest from his home, finding shortcuts, items, and solving simple puzzles.
Minit is a fun little game that is easy to pick up and keeps you going with testing you on how far you can get with each minute. Aside from multiple items to find throughout the runs, there is also a harder mode after you beat it the first time, cutting your time from sixty seconds to forty seconds.
We missed a lot of the items our first time around. I wouldn’t mind going back to try to get them just to see how “easier” the game would be. I also wouldn’t mind trying it on hard mode, especially now we know what to do.
Minit gets… 4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
The Sims franchise is a favorite of mine ever since a coworker back from college let me borrow her collection of Sims 2 expansion packs. Sims 2 turned into Sims 3, which I still have installed, before Sims 4 came around. Sims 4 is how I find myself wasting and enjoying time nowadays, especially with the newest expansion pack, Seasons.
The Sims 4 Seasons expansion pack came out a couple of weeks ago on June 22. Being a Sims expansion pack, I bought it for myself just in time for Camp NaNoWriMo, a monthly writing challenge, and I’ve been playing it as a reward for whenever I reach my word count goal for the day.
The Pets expansion packs always tend to be my favorites, because who doesn’t love virtual dogs and cats? Aside from that, though, Seasons is right up there as it gives so much more variety to the world that you’re playing in. The temperature changes, holidays, the new clothes and accessories for the sims, Seasons was always a coveted expansion pack for the Sims.
The Sims 4 Seasons comes with all of those. The temperature changes bring about new deaths and interactions for the sims, depending on how hot or cold the weather is. A thermostat is a new item for homes and businesses, allowing sims to make the temperature inside the house comfortable… supposedly. I still had my sims automatically dress up in their outdoor winter gear around the house in the colder weather despite the thermostat being set to warm (not to mention a fireplace or two in the house).
Holidays were interesting, especially since you can create your own. A calendar button is included in the interface, allowing the player to see the coming seasons and holidays in the next couple of weeks. Each holiday has “traditions” that you can assign it, actions that your sims can take in order to really celebrate the holiday. For example, Lovefest is the Valentine’s Day equivalent, and traditions can include gifting flowers to someone or going on a date, while Harvestfest’s main tradition is eating a Grand Meal. A sim’s personality traits also effect how they feel about the individual traditions. A romantic sim loves the idea of going on a date during Lovefest, while a loner sim ignores the same tradition. It’s pretty interesting to play around with, creating your own holidays as well as being able to plan events like birthday parties in advance.
The biggest addition to Sims 4 Seasons is the Gardening career. The gardening skill got an overhaul, making plants seasonal, while also adding the Flower Arrangement skill. With the Gardening career, you can either become a botanist or florist. Botanist focuses more on research and the gardening skill, while florist utilizes the flower arrangement skill as well. Gardening is the type of career that allows you to work from home if you wish like the careers from City Living, or you can create your own retail store for your floral arrangements if you have Get to Work.
One of the disappointing aspects of the expansion pack, in my opinion, is that there was no beach world or beach area to allow the sims to swim in the ocean or just hang out, really. Imagine being able to have a 4th of July-based holiday on the beach or just a beach party to go with Seasons. In Sims 3, with its open world, being able to swim in the ocean was a major development, and I feel that Sims 4 is missing out on this.
Still, there are plenty of extra activities, such as rollerskating, ice skating, beekeeping, having snowball and water balloon fights, along with the new holidays and Gardening career to keep you entertained should you choose to purchase the expansion pack. If you’re a big fan of the Sims and have the cash to spare, Seasons is a pretty good expansion to add to your game.
Do you play the Sims 4? Have you gotten the Seasons expansion pack? What do you think of it?
Title: Undertale Developer and Publisher: Toby Fox
Platform: PC, Playstation 4, future release for Nintendo Switch
Release Date: Sept 2015 (PC), August 2017 (PS4), 2018 (Switch)
How I got the game: I bought it on Steam.
When this game first came out a couple of years ago, I really wasn’t sure what to think of it. It’s popularity surged, but it wasn’t until we saw a Let’s Play of the game last year that I was actually interested in playing it. I finally got the game on Steam a little while ago and then, lo and behold, the game got announced for the Nintendo Switch this year!
Undertale is a role-playing game where you play as a child who has fallen Underground, a dark place filled with Monsters. It’s in a top-down perspective, and you move about the overworld, navigating the land while interacting with other characters and, usually, solving puzzles. Depending on how one solves the objectives of the game determines the kind of ending one will receive.
When encounter enemies, the battle mode will trigger. The battle mode involves controlling your character’s soul, which is represented by a red heart. In each battle, as the heart, you must avoid attacks from the enemy that attack you similar in a bullet hell shooter. Various elements to the battles are introduced further in the game, such as different obstacles to dodge and conditions for controlling the heart.
Players have different options in battle. You can either choose to attack, act (such as talking to, mimicking, or even flirting with an opponent), use an item, or mercy, which allows players to either flee from the battle or spare the opponent if the time is right to do so. Depending on the players actions will sway the battle and, ultimately, the ending of the game. It is possible to beat the game without harming any enemies.
Undertale also employs metafictional elements. When a player replays the game, dialogue and certain sections of the game will be altered depending on the previous play through. How the player interacts with the game’s characters — by slaying, sparing, or befriending them — determines how the end of the play through will go. A player can achieve a True Pacifist run, Neutral runs, or a Genocide run, and subsequent play throughs will be effected by the ending of the previous play through.
Undertale’s graphics are pixel-y and charming, reminding me of older video games from the NES and SNES days. Despite that, every character — whether they were major, minor, or just background — was distinct in its looks, dialogue, and even sound. When characters spoke, their words typed out to distinct sounds, giving the characters voices without voice actors.
The game, being set in a place called the Underground, was filled with dim colors, dark blues, grays, and some red-hot areas. Some spots were a little spooky, or tried to be, but the music was always coupled well with the areas, such as a relaxing waterfall setting or the snowy town at night. I was very impressed with the quality of music and sound effects, especially since the composer was also the developer and publisher.
Undertale’s story opens up with a child falling into Mount Ebott, which brings them to the massive Underground that is populated with Monsters. The first character that the player encounters is Flowey, a sentient flower that explains the basic mechanics of the games before attempting to kill the player. The player is then saved by Toriel, a kind, goat-like, maternal monster who teaches the player how to navigate through puzzles and how to end battles without killing.
Once the player leaves Toriel’s home, you explore the vast Underground while meeting many other new characters, such as Sans and Papyrus the skeleton brothers, Undyne the Head of the Royal Guard, and Alphys the royal scientist. The player’s main objective is to get home. Along the way, you learn about how the Monsters came to be Underground.
Long ago, there was a war between humans and Monsters. Humans, with their stronger souls, pushed the Monsters Underground, sealing them with a barrier. Despite their magic, Monsters are not strong enough to break the barrier. However, if the Monsters collect enough human souls, they will grow powerful enough to break the barrier. As the child, you learn that that is what Asgore, the King of the Monsters, intends to do.
And you are the last needed human soul.
As you explore the Underground and meet other characters, your interactions with them will determine the outcome of the adventure. Many Monsters will want your soul for their king, and it is up to the player to either befriend or kill them. When it comes to escaping the Underground, it is up to you on whether or not you want to help the Monsters… or just yourself.
With the charming graphics, awesome music, and quirky characters, Undertale is a game that I would boot up multiple times just to visit the characters over and over. Along with the fact that there are different endings with metafictional elements, Undertale has some great replay value.
…Although, because I enjoy the characters so much, I’m not sure if I really want to do a Genocide route! I prefer the happier endings, haha!
4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Title: Super Mario Kart Developer: Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment Analysis & Development Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: NintendoSNES (SNES Classic Mini Edition)
Release Date: 1992 (2017 for the SNES Classic)
How we got the game: We bought the SNES Classic
I felt so old booting up this game. Super Mario Kart was one of my first introductions to the gaming world when I was first able to pick up a controller. It was amazing to play this game again and be able to actively compare it to the latest installment of the Mario Kart series, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which was the most prominent game we played this past summer.
This game was familiar to me when we turned it on. The music especially caught my attention, though I’ll admit I barely remember playing it. I wasn’t even born when the game was originally released. In fact, I think the only reason I recognized any of the levels was because Nintendo remakes them from newer Mario Kart games.
Super Mario Kart is a simple racing game. You use the D-pad to steer and the buttons to either accelerate, brake, or throw items at opponents in an attempt to sabotage them. Super Mario Kart was also the installment that enabled you to “hop” rather than drift around corners.
You make it sound so easy. While I didn’t find myself steering the controller itself, I wished I was able to. The controls are simple enough, but I couldn’t drive straight to save my life. I gave up on hopping quickly after I jumped right off the stage a couple of times. Most of the levels have a lot of twists and turns to them as well making it hard to remain on the pathway.
This game was definitely harder than I remember it being, but then I began to wonder if it’s because the newer Mario Kart games became easier. Super Mario Kart has limited control options while the newer installments are customizable to fit a player’s preference. Not only that, but it seemed as if the computer opponents were more difficult. There were multiple times where an NPC Yoshi would be chucking eggs at us on the course when eggs weren’t an available item to us from the item blocks. Yoshi seemed to have an endless supply of them, as well (which, for the character, makes a little sense, but it seemed like cheating for a race!).
The NPC characters were brutal, I agree. Though I can’t complain because it made for a nice challenge. What shocked me was that you have lives in the game. If you get below fourth place, you lose a life. After you lose three, you’re out of the game. There were quite a few times Kris had to finish the cup for us because I kept getting a game over. It made for some good laughs if anything else.
The graphics and music are such throwbacks to the past! Compared to games nowadays, the graphics aren’t up to par, but I think the game aged rather well. The graphics are enough to paint the scene and let you follow the road well enough to keep going with the race.
The game is very bright and colorful. The sprites are hilarious to look at. The characters look as though they were stuffed into karts that are ten-times too small for them. Still, it works.
The music was very nostalgic as well, but there obviously wasn’t a different tune for every race nor a variety of instruments, if you will, due to the computer-generated tunes. Still, the music did it’s job as always, making you raring to go as a race started up.
That music will stay with me forever. No, there wasn’t much of a variety, but it was still catchy. It’s the kind of music that I could hear randomly and say, “That’s from Mario Kart.”
Like the rest of the series, Super Mario Kart has several cups for the grand prix races as well as a handful of different characters for players to try out. It’s a good challenge to best your high scores and win the gold trophy in every match of races, giving the game decent replay value.
I have to play this game again. I need some serious practice.
Super Mario Kart gets…
4 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Title: Sonic Forces Developer: Sonic Team Publisher: Sega
Platform: Nintendo Switch, Microsoft Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One
Release Date: November 7, 2017 Worldwide
How we got the game: Received it for Christmas for the Nintendo Switch
My interest in Sonic the Hedgehog grew mainly from comics rather than the video games. Growing up, my main source of Sonic the Hedgehog video games was from an arcade cabinet in my childhood dentist’s office. I would be able to zoom through the first couple of levels of Sonic the Hedgehog 2 before I got called for my turn in the dentist’s chair. Sonic Adventure DX and Sonic Adventure 2 Battle for the GameCube were some of my favorites after that, even if they haven’t aged that well. Since then, Sonic games have been… meh. Sonic Forces, though, wasn’t that bad.
Sonic Forces consists of levels that star Modern Sonic, Classic Sonic, or the Avatar. There are a few where the Avatar teams up with Modern Sonic as well, allowing you to use the skills of both characters. Levels with Modern Sonic consist of the 3D game play style while Classic Sonic is mainly side-scrollers that do well inducing nostalgia within the player. Most of the Avatar levels are similar to Modern Sonic’s.
It was pretty simple to get into the game control-wise, yet I will admit dying more often than not because I decided to hit the Stomp attack button rather than Jump/Homing while flying over an abyss. The levels in general were decent, but most were not very challenging. In true Sonic form, zipping through a level was usually enough to reach the goal, even if a few levels had a couple of hiccups when it came to moving on.
The Modern Sonic levels were probably my favorites just because they’re Sonic. He’s the guy the games are named after, the reason why we pick up the games in the first place, however misguided the past few Sonic the Hedgehog games have been. His levels emphasized speed and were awesome to just breeze right through! There were a couple of issues when he went too fast and ran right off a cliff once or twice but, overall, they weren’t bad.
I didn’t mind the Avatar levels. There were a handful of weapons that you can unlock for the Avatar to use in the levels, such as a flamethrower and one that throws around lightning, and each were fun to use, that allowed you to create plenty of strategies in how to best the level, but there could have been more variety. The Avatar had a grappling hook-like tool that allowed them to mimic Modern Sonic’s Homing attack, which was useful. They were, however, extremely similar to Modern Sonic’s levels.
Classic Sonic was… eh. It was fun seeing him appear and completing his levels, but he was definitely slower than Modern Sonic and had no Homing Attack. On that hand, his levels were more challenging than Modern Sonic’s and the Avatar’s, but being a Sonic game, I wanted to go fast. Aside from that, I don’t think Classic Sonic really brought anything to the game. He had a bit of a narrative part to Tails’ part of the story, but another established character could have played that role (or, hell, let Tails stand on his own for once with the ability to carry out what Sonic would have done).
The graphics in this game, especially on the Nintendo Switch, were amazing. Honestly, the Switch has yet to let me down when it comes to the graphics and designs of the games on the platform, and Sonic Forces is no exception. The character designs, while familiar, looked great on the Switch (even if the Avatar’s facial expressions sometimes looked dorky enough to be funny).
The music, though? The music was so much fun to listen to during the levels. Both vocal and instrumental tracks were awesome, reminding me that the music tended to be my favorite part of the games. The songs got you pumped up for the level, especially the boss themes, but didn’t distract you enough from the level to mess you up. The game was fully voice acted as well, which was a delight to me. The voice acting and writing were well done, even if there were corny lines about friendship and love being the ultimate reason as to why the heroes prevailed.
The story starts out a little darker than most Sonic the Hedgehog games. We begin with Dr. Eggman and some of his “allies” — antagonists from previous games — taking over the world. Eggman’s newest partner Infinite is a creature able to create illusions via virtual reality, having power enough to enable the virtual reality to harm the protagonists. Infinite takes out Sonic, leaving the world defenseless enough for Eggman’s robots to swarm.
With Sonic feared dead, a resistance is created by Knuckles, one that includes Amy Rose, Silver the Hedgehog, and the Chaotix. Rouge the Bat plays the role of spy for them, while Tails is too busy mourning the loss of Sonic to be of much use to the resistance right away. The Avatar — nicknamed Rookie — joins the resistance as well and plays a crucial role in freeing Sonic and, ultimately, the world from Dr. Eggman and Infinite.
It’s a standard story to go along with the game. Sonic is freed fairly early in the game and joins the resistance, as does Tails and Classic Sonic when the pair figure out the weakness in Dr. Eggman’s plan for total world domination. While playing the three main characters, you’re immersed in the story as important pieces to freeing the world.
However, the only character in my opinion that is truly “needed” in the story is Modern Sonic. Classic Sonic appears very conveniently to rescue Tails and appeared to just be a catalyst in bringing Tails back into the story line, considering he ran off in his grief about Modern Sonic. If they needed another character as a partner for Tails, the developers could have easily used E-123 Omega, the robot character that Tails was fixing when Classic Sonic appears.
As for the Avatar… it was fun, I’ll give it that. Fifteen to twenty years ago, I would have been wicked excited about creating my own character to join the heroes on their adventure to save the world, and it was great to do so this time around. However, the Sonic universe has plenty of unique characters that could have been in that third “main character” slot if it needed to be filled. Being able to pick your character before each level, a character from the resistance force, would have been an interesting twist to the story.
Let’s infiltrate the Death Egg as Rouge. Let’s destroy the power core as Amy Rose with her hammer. Let’s rescue civilians in Park Avenue as members of the Chaotix. The story could have been more intriguing with different takes on the levels with all the characters the Sonic universe already has.
Sonic Forces has some replay value if you enjoyed it enough to turn it on a second or third time. There are daily missions and plenty of challenges for you to continue playing, as well as the ability to create more avatars to explore the levels with. There is also the free Episode Shadow DLC that launched with the game that acts as a bit of a prequel to the main game, and gives a bit more insight to the new antagonist’s, Infinite, origins. And, honestly, the music in this game is enough to make me want to turn it on again.
Sonic Forces was pretty good. Not great, but pretty good. It was fun to see these characters again in a game that I enjoyed, for the most part, playing.
Sonic Forces gets…
3 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!