From Bare Beginnings to Heroic Heights: A Review of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom On Nintendo Switch

Hold onto your Joy-Cons! Nintendo’s latest offering, Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, is an enthralling joyride through a stark and massive post-apocalyptic world that keeps you on your toes!

Diving straight into the gameplay, our lovable hero Link is thrust into the wilderness, quite literally with no shirt on his back! You’ve got to dig in and figure out how to navigate this world, as the game doesn’t baby you with tutorials. Brace yourself for the ‘Grab’ ability; it’s one tough cookie using both Joy-Cons to master and manipulate the world around you.
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Early Impressions Review Of PS5 Hogwarts Legacy Videogame

I am only level 3 and just returned from my first trip into Hogsmeade and there’s still plenty I have yet to unlock or discover. I’m barely even through the game’s tutorial, but I thought, why not give my honest early impressions.

Sprinkled throughout here you’ll find some of my screenshots and videos of my brief time with Hogwarts Legacy so far. For future Hogwarts Legacy updates follow my twitter.

Love it, or hate it, Harry Potter is one of the most iconic books and movies of all time. Hated by various groups for various reasons, including religious groups who find the book demonic, or LGBT who hate JK Rowling for some unsavory political comments she made. Despite all the drama and backlash, Harry Potter endures for many a beloved classic. read more

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp Nintendo Mobile Game Review for IOS and Android

Title: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

Developer: Nintendo

Genre: Simulation

Release Date:

Price: Free with optional in-game purchases

Where to Get:

IOS: https://itunes.apple.com/…

Android: https://play.google.com/…

Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!

Geeky: 5/5 – Animal Crossing has a huge cult following because of its unique and strange gameplay and quirky cute characters. There is so much to do and see and it all takes place in an ever evolving changing persistent world that keeps you playing for hundreds or thousands of gaming hours.

Sweetie: 5/5 – Very few games come close to being as cute as animal crossing with its chibi anthropomorphic citizens and bright colors. This game is full of charm and wonder.

Gameplay: 8/10 – Animal Crossing is finally on mobile, which quite frankly is where this franchise has always belonged. It just makes sense as a mobile game given the style of gameplay which it innovated back in 2005. Now almost 12 years later, technology has evolved to where mobile makes the most sense for these types of games, having it with us in our pockets and purses, playing it on commutes, or while waiting in line at a busy store, or while at an appointment, or those few moments before sleeping or getting out of bed.

Animal Crossing is best enjoyed in these little breaks and little moments. It’s also best enjoyed when played often as things change and happen in a living breathing world inside of your game. There are holidays and special events and animals come and go in and out of your areas. Having it on your phone puts it always at your finger tips.

If you’ve never heard of Animal Crossing before (which is highly unlikely but just in case lol), Animal Crossing’s gameplay consists of quiet, calming activities, and cute, and quirky characters, who are, as you have probably guessed by now, animals.

These animals may ask you to complete quests for them and in exchange give you random furniture and clothing. You can also craft your own furniture and clothing as well. Certain games in the series even score you and award you more items and points for decorating your home such as Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer.

In fact, collecting these things and dressing up and designing has always been a big draw to the series. But it’s not the only thing that players love. Many players love to spend hours fishing, gardening, or catching bugs in the game. You can use them as items to trade with NPCs to complete quests or give them to other players or display them in your home or the museum, or sell them for bells (the game’s currency) to buy new items.

Buying new items is addictive too, every day you turn on your game, you will see new items to purchase. Only available for that one day, and completely unique to just you. Not that the same items won’t appear again for you, or for other players, but this particular “collection” of items is unique to you. You may have on one day, a boom box, kitchen sink, and pink sofa, while your friend may have a dining room table, expensive rug, and statue of Link from Zelda. – Of course some items are more rare than others, and since friends can visit your home, you can show off all your rare items and score bragging rights.

Nearly everything about these games are customizeable, from your character’s gender, name, appearance (initially determined by answers to questions presented when first starting the game), to your home, to your world around you. This also is another big draw to these types of games.

New animals will appear and disappear from time to time in your world. This also increases incentive to stay active and stay in touch with your favorite NPCs. After an NPC leaves (in the traditional versions of this game, not sure about mobile), they will send letters to you and sometimes give you gifts.

The games also feature night and day and weather cycles which add more variety to each play through. What you do on any given day is up to you! There is no objective, no goal, no ending, no progression it’s just a sandbox, a living breathing world for you to explore and interact with each day.

This sounds like a huge plus – and in many ways it is, but it can also be a drawback as there is very little urgency or pressure or nothing really compelling you to keep pushing forward. Many times my love for these games starts strong, but 3 or 4 months in and I find I’m barely logging in, but without fail always 6 months later I’m back to being addicted and wanting to play daily. My interest in these types of games goes through spurts like that. I think I burn out from the casual nature, but then find myself wanting to relax and enjoy a cute game and gravitating right back to it, for the same reason that I left it in the first place. It’s almost a double edged sword.

Anyways now that I’ve given you the basics of the franchise, let’s talk about what Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does differently than the other games in the series. For starters, as the name suggests, the entire game takes place in the great outdoors. You’re given a campsite you can decorate. And you have a camper trailer that you can decorate both inside and out. You travel and visit other animals (or visit your friends) and you can take quests, craft, shop, and do all the good basic animal crossing stuff.

Some areas will be blocked from exploring initially. You need to either pay leaf tickets (special in game currency obtainable with real money (but quite often also given for free as quest rewards), or get the help of friends to enter these new areas.

New areas open sometimes for special events like right now there’s a Christmas area where you can get more candy canes to help craft the time limited Christmas themed items which you need 5 friends to help you unlock.

You can link the account to your nintendo account or link your facebook and twitter to find more friends! 🙂 Playing animal crossing with your friends is now easier than ever.

So those are a few of the positive features.

On the downside, they’ve removed the actual houses, so that’s a bit disappointing for those of us who liked modeling our homes.

Also my biggest gripe is too much is just “handed” to us. In previous games, we each had a random fruit. In this game, when I get to the tutorial, I’m given tons of different fruits I can hoarde to plant back at my own campsite. Making the need to work with friends less important in this game.

I also don’t know / haven’t tested how inviting a friend over to your campsite works and how or if you can communicate with them and what activities you can do together. I feel like it may be more limited than in the other games, but maybe I’m wrong.

Other than that, the game offers a feeling of playing the console and handheld Animal Crossing games right on your mobile phone.

Story: 4/10 – Story has never ever been Animal Crossing’s strong suit, and I think for me personally, that’s why I get bored of the games so fast and have an on/off love/hate relationships with them. I play games primarily for story above anything else. So lack of really much to offer here makes it a bit dull to me.

Characters: 10/10 – The characters are charming and cute and have always been the best part of the animal crossing games.

Graphics: 10/10 These graphics look just as good as any Animal Crossing game I have ever played, and it’s a free mobile game, now that’s impressive!

Music: 5/10 Music is just sort of average. Nothing to write home about. Sometimes it can be cute and catchy, other times repetitive and annoying. Depends on my mood and the song in question.

Replay Value: 9/10 – The very nature of Animal Crossing as a franchise is a slow and steady journey meant to be enjoyed through several (often times daily) small playing sessions. Animal Crossing offers much to do, from fishing, bug catching, gardening, to crafting, to shopping, to collecting, to decorating your home and dressing up your avatar. However, it does get repetitive because of the slow and lackadaisical gameplay style. – Which don’t get me wrong, that gameplay style has also always been the game’s strong suit and its unique charm, and what makes it so much fun. There also are time limited goals, time limited items, and time limited quests to complete which will keep you logging back in. However, it’s also the type of game you can play for 10 hours a day for 6 months straight and then feel bored of. It’s much better to enjoy it about an hour a day, as if you immerse yourself too long, you will burn out quickly. But kept in small doses, you will be playing this, or any other animal crossing title for years to come. Now that animal crossing is on our mobile phones we are all doomed to be playing it religiously for the foreseeable future. And future updates will make this even more enticing.

Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!

Other Games You May Like:

Castaway Paradise – pretty much an animal crossing clone. It was fun, but ain’t no animal crossing. Now that animal crossing is on mobile, I see no reason to play this.

Animal Days by Gree  Sadly this is no longer around, but probably one of my all time favorite mobile games, you should check it out since there’s still a wealth of images and info available online with a quick Google search; it’s interesting to read about just because of how unique and fun it was. It had the cute animals, moving in and out of your village, and most excitingly, you could BREED your animal villagers to create new villagers. There were time limited release villagers, and all kinds of really cute things to decorate your home, and a cute story too. I was sad when it closed. I heard they underestimated how popular it was going to become and couldn’t manage well with the production schedule for new releases and updates. I wish someone would buy the code from them and revive this project, but it’s been dead for 5 years now, so it’s not likely to happen. I would rather play Animal Days by Gree over even the best Animal Crossing game, because the breeding and randomized aspects make me so excited.

Happy Street – “sort of” a clone of animal crossing, but completely different gameplay, still, animals at random move into your village, and you fish and mine and craft and so on. but yeah, just it’s different, it’s more like mobile clicker type gameplay, but it has the same charm and theme as animal crossing and is a fun and different enough game that you should play both! 🙂 — There’s also a version of this put out by Line Play, and the name is escaping me right now. Same game / user interface, but different graphic assets and run by different companies. It still has cute animals moving in and out of your village and same gameplay mechanics. I think Happy Street was marketed more and took off more rapidly, and thus the Line Play “clone version” is a lot less widely known – might be worth checking out for you if you love Animal Crossing or Happy Street though!

Seabeard – This has a huge massive open sandbox world and captures some of the unique gameplay aspects of animal crossing.

Line Play – for the fishing and dressing up and decorating and kawaii style.

Stardew Valley Review

As mentioned in another post here, I spent much of this past weekend playing Stardew Valley on the PC. Stardew Valley is a game that harkens back memories of popular retro games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The game is fun and relaxing… however, like most games in this genre, the gameplay can get tedious and repetitive at times. Stardew Valley also suffers significant development delays and setbacks, which is not surprising considering the entire game, from the graphics, to music, to programming, was all made by just one person. It doesn’t get anymore “indie” than that. Despite these few small flaws, the game is one of the highest rated Steam games of all time with nearly 50,000 Overwhelmingly Positives since its release in February 2016. If you’re still wondering if Stardew Valley is worth playing, read my Stardew Valley Review below.

Title: Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe

Publisher: Chucklefish

Platform: PC (also recently released for Xbox One, PS4, and soon to be released for Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Farming Simulation

Where to Buy: PC Version on Steam Here.

Release Date: February 2016

Geeky: 2/5  –  This is a low budget indie game, so you won’t see triple A graphics here. And given the genre and nature of farming simulation games there isn’t much action going on. I also feel the controls and UI are clunky, to the point of detracting from the gameplay (read more about that later in this review). However, given that 1 man made everything in this game, that’s pretty impressive and worth an extra star at least for effort!

Sweetie: 4/5  – Everything about this game exudes charm and cuteness. However, the characters feel impersonal and the story a bit lacking, costing it to lose 1 heart for “sweetie” factor.

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Concept: 8/10 It’s hard to believe this game has been out for less than a year; it’s so wildly popular and became an instant fan classic, that even games by fully staffed development teams have not made nearly as successful games or seen as many sales or positive reviews in years worth of time. And day by day new fans come to experience Stardew Valley for their very first time and fall in love, and continue to share their experiences. I was somewhat late to join the party, starting back in maybe July of 2016.

At that time, people were growing restless with lack of progress made on features that had been promised such as multiplayer. Here we are another 6 months later, and there’s still no word on when multiplayer will be added, just simply that it is in the works. The game has received several updates and improvements, including finishing “routes” for “new” characters (The characters were already present, but now you can date more of them).

And that’s important because really… the game of Stardew Valley is like the game of your life. Stardew Valley’s open sandbox environment and multiple choices and decisions that you will make, all shape what will happen. Will you get married? have kids? Choose a life of adventure exploring dungeons, fishing all day, or focus on rebuilding your grandfather’s farm? Or maybe just sit at the tavern, playing games, and wasting your virtual life – the choice is yours.

Although the game starts slow, once it picks up, there will be numerous choices you must make (which you’ll start to notice around maybe Fall of the first year or so)… Things such as deciding if you want to let fruit bats live in the cave near your farm or if you want to use the cave to grow mushrooms. Hopefully by Fall of the first year you’ve had time and resources to upgrade your house or add new buildings that let you craft new recipes and add new gameplay elements such as making pickled vegetables, fruit preserves, wine, cooking meals from your crops in your new kitchen, etc. Characters at times may also ask you questions which may impact the game or change their friendship towards you, such as asking you what types of books you like to read, etc. Lil bit by lil bit you will begin to see how YOUR farm in Stardew Valley differs from that of your friends’ farms. (Or how it will differ for you on subsequent playthroughs).

There are also numerous in-game events held throughout each season such as festivals, cooking contests, dance parties, and more. If you’ve been working on your social skills in the game and making friends, or even romances, these special events will be even more special, having someone to share them with.

You start with little in way of resources to begin the game and with little to do. When I first started playing, it was tedious. It felt like work, like real life. It was made somewhat worse by bad controls and UI… However now, as my first year in Stardew Valley draws to a close, the game has me firmly hooked. I couldn’t believe I stayed up until 1am playing it lastnight, and I want nothing more than to go home and play it again as soon as possible. — Soon you will be able to take Stardew Valley with you everywhere you go with the Nintendo Switch! For many, this means starting all over from scratch though and replaying through these tedious first few hours of gameplay as I seriously doubt it will sync your game saves — though it would be awesome if it did!

Stardew Valley is slow paced, and definitely not for everyone. There is some combat; however, at least on the PC, the combat is simple and basic at best, and involves no strategy, and just mindless clicking. The controls also make any actions, from combat, to fishing, to farming, a real pain at times. However, despite these flaws, Stardew Valley shines because of the charming retro vibe and relaxing gameplay mechanics. It’s one of the best casual games around and guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is just simply a “Feel Good Kind of Game”.

Gameplay: 6/10 If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game then you will be right at home in Stardew Valley. The basics of gameplay include planting, watering, and harvesting crops, conversing with townsfolk, dating/marrying a townsfolk, upgrading/decorating your home, exploring dungeons, collecting and crafting items, and joining in various events. — It was also marketed as an “Online or Multiplayer” farming game (which drew many fans who have long dreamed of an Online Harvest Moon — however, that feature, which arguably is the game’s MAIN feature, is still no where to be seen and with no estimated release date a year later.

I’m critiquing the gameplay for the PC version right now since it’s the only version I have played as of time of review. While the features of the gameplay would get high marks here in terms of the vast amount of things to see, do, choices and consequences, and customization, the score ultimately suffers due to terrible controls and UI. Please note for this review I play on a laptop and do not use a mouse. I am a keyboard only user. As such, there are some things that just DON’T work. Period.

Like for example, I read that to put bait on a fishing pole you left click the bait then right click the fishing pole, but nothing happens when I do this. Luckily, you can fish without bait, but with some tools you aren’t so lucky. I assume that loading the slingshot with stones also works in the same fashion but can’t figure out how to load it with ammunition either which makes it completely useless to me. At the fall grange faire, the controls for fishing were different than fishing on the main map too! In the main map I can use my button shortcode which is C as opposed to mouse clicking, — this for some reason does not work at the fall grange faire and you have to use the mouse (in my case keep in mind, I’m using my laptop’s “touchpad” which you can click/scroll/operate like a mouse.) —

I have read that PS4 controllers will now work in Steam so I may have to try that and hope they are supported in Stardew Valley. I also do have a usb mouse – but given that I play largely from my bed, it makes finding a place to put the mouse a challenge. I am surprised because quite simply, this is a casual game. If I were expecting to smoothly play a triple A title without a mouse, from my bed, well that would be my own fault for having unreasonable expectations… but the truth is, there’s nothing here that should require finesse or skill.

And it’s not just a little bit cumbersome, it’s that things completely don’t work in some cases as illustrated above at worst. At best, I find myself constantly turning away from my target while fighting in the dungeon, or watering an empty square next to the plant I’m trying to water. Or I’ll forget I have an axe equipped and accidentally kill a crop I’m trying to work with (OK so that last one is my fault 🙂 lol).

The gameworld is not that large, but you walk really slow, which makes it seem a bit larger (Please note for this review, I’m critiquing the default map, not the new ones added in after release). You will also find that you get weak from exhaust and/or injuries easily when you first begin playing, and that even adding new weapons, armor, and accessories, doesn’t seem to speed up combat as much as you might hope.

Despite these weaknesses, the gameplay is actually fun and enjoyable with a wide variety of things to do and see. In fact, there’s often not enough in-game hours in a day to do everything. I love rainy days in the game so I can go fishing or explore the dungeons without wasting half a day tending to my crops. I also love that as you continue to do something in game, such as fish or fight monsters, you gain levels of proficiency with different skills and at certain levels, these skills branch off and force you to choose a path, with different pros and cons, which further customizes your experience from that of your friends – and also greatly adds to replay value.

There could be some other features added that would further enhance gameplay, difficulty and challenge, such as making certain foods expire – would also create need to use the preserve machine — or making for example icecream melt after so many in-game hours. As it stands right now you could buy or grow an item in year one, and eat it 5 years later without risk of getting sick, etc. They could even add a temporary debuff “Food Poisoning” that would wear off after so many in game hours.

Story: 6/10 – Well the story is that you write your own story. You decide exactly what you want to do, who you want to be with, and shape your own virtual life. It offers a ton of customization and the story does branch and reveal different routes based on who you date and other decisions you make within the game, but largely, by the end of the first year, the story has felt weak and bare bones at best. The in-game events do help to spice things up however, I suspect that after the first year they will be less exciting since you’ve already seen them. — However, it makes up for this in the amount of customization, freedom, and exploration that these open world sandbox games are best known for. Watching slowly as your farm takes shape and beginning to set a path for yourself and discover how to make your farm uniquely your own is truly the best aspect of this game, and that will become even more of a big selling point once multi-player finally gets implemented so you can visit friends’ farms.

Characters: 6/10 – Well, there’s a lot of them, but none of them are terribly interesting… They will recycle through the same dialog over and over. In the beginning, as to be expected, many of the characters are distrustful of you (You’re a stranger afterall!), and so they do not talk about anything meaningful or overly deep. Getting close to people, just like in real life, takes time. Relationships take work, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule… I have yet to see if the characters, or story for that matter, get more interesting past the first year, but with well over 30 hours of real life put into the game, that’s more time than one should be expected to “wait and see” if things improve.

Right now my highest relationship, according to the fortune teller at the fall grange fair, is with Shane, one of the newly added routes in a recent update. He is sorta the Tsundere type. Rough on the outside. He often plays guitar in the tavern. He likes Hot Peppers, Spaghetti, and Pizza for presents, and he is a cold unfeeling jerk lol. At least initially. I think there may be more to him, which is why I was curious to pursue him. I think his route shows the most promise for “character development” if written correctly. It will be nice to see him warm up and hopefully be less of a jerk over time lol.

Other characters seem to pay homage to various Harvest Moon games, there’s a guy named Linus (not dateable) living in a tent who reminds me of Gustafa from Harvest Moon on the Gamecube. There’s Harvey who is a doctor, Demetrius a scientist (who at time of this review is not dateable), Sebastian who is a stereotypical Emo/Goth guy, Alex a fitness nut,  a Magician (I don’t believe he’s dateable either), Clint who is a Blacksmith, and Elderly couple. The tavern workers, a Museum worker, a Carpenter (female), Goth girl, Librarian (female), and a handful of others.

Despite not having much “depth” to the characters (at least after almost a whole year of time passing in game), the characters themselves are charming, and always busy and on the move. They breathe life into the game and keep it feeling active and bustling year round. Not only these human characters, but the animals on your farm, the monsters in the dungeon, and even just little touches like birds and butterflies randomly flying or a squirrel quickly climbing a tree, or a rabbit running through the bushes, they all make the game seem… living. It seems as if every character has a mind of their own and a life of their own. This is a big plus and part of the game’s unique charm.

Graphics: 8/10 – Keep in mind, this is an indie game that wanted to go for a retro-vibe. If you’re not a fan of “outdated” graphics, RPG Maker style games, and Isometric Top-Down view style games, then this is not the game for you. — That said, Stardew Valley is for you if you grew up with the 16 bit Harvest Moon games, don’t mind “indie-retro” games, like to customize the appearance of your character, and like “cute” bright graphics.

Everything about Stardew Valley is exceptionally charming. And there is a lot of work that went into everything from the tile sets used in town or your farm, to the dungeons, character portraits, or animations. As mentioned above, the environment really feels almost like it’s alive somehow, with so many small details and little touches, falling leaves, wind, rain, animals, and background animations that really add to the charm and little extra love that was poured into this game.

I’d like to see maybe a tad more detail on the character sprites, and even more options added for character customization and more interior decorating items, or more various monster designs and not just recolors – but that’s just a wishlist, already, the artwork is pretty great if you’re a fan of pixel style games.

I did take off a few points for the following:

  • It gets pretty hard to see where I’m going at night. I dunno if it’s my monitor settings – and I am well aware you can craft items like torches and etc to brighten things up, but I get pretty lost.
  • Also some items can be hard to see if they’re behind trees, or other tall graphic items, and this too, can at times cause you to feel “stuck”.
  • Lastly, back to the UI again, it is just a lil bit clunky and could use some refinement.
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    Pixel x Pixel Games Announces Guardian of The Rose Action RPG With Branching Plot and Multiple Endings Based On Your Choices

    If there’s one thing that I love in a game, it’s a branching plot and multiple endings, as you’ll see from many of the games reviewed or news given here on this website. So I was really excited when Pixel x Pixel Games emailed me yesterday to promote their new Action-RPG.

    This game looks really great for retro game lovers. It was clearly made with a lot of love and fond memories of someone growing up in the 90s playing all of the classic games.

    I’ll just include the message I received from Pixel x Pixel Games below because it pretty much highlights all of the features that I would want to highlight about this game. I’ve bolded the bits that I thought were the most exciting. Check out what Pixel x Pixel Games has to say about Guardian of the Rose below.

    Guardians of the Rose is a story of high adventure, taken on by a small group of companions, that are seeking to overthrow the Great Witches that have assumed control of the kingdom. You are a newly christened member of the Royal Guard, the magic-keepers of the king. With the Royal Guard now tainted by witchcraft you have no choice but to take it upon yourself to form a new Guard that will overthrow the witchcraft that has enslaved the kingdom. Encounters with river spirits, groundlings, giants, and dragons alike are some of the adventures that will befall you.

    Open-Ended Adventuring – The world is laid out specifically so that you can choose to explore in any direction you want. You can choose to progress the storyline at your own pace while immersing yourself inside the lore and sidequests of the kingdom. These sidequests are not your typical “save my chicken” type quests but instead are designed to make the player feel like he is making a significant difference in the lands around him.

    High Fantasy pitting Magic vs Witchcraft – Magic was taught to the people by a legendary hero that saved the world from the Great Witches long ago. Ever since, witchcraft has been outlawed and users of the craft have been hunted mercilessly by the Royal Guard. Now that witchcraft has risen to power again, you are tasked with saving the Kingdom but you have no magical ability like the great heroes of times before.

    Compelling Story – Guardians of the Rose was heavily inspired by the classic tales of Homer, Viking Sagas, and high fantasy novels like Lord of the Rings and Winds of Fate. Not only is the main storyline compelling but there is a focus on enveloping the entire game in epic world lore.

    Choose your own way to play – The player must choose what path to take, good or evil. The only goal of the game is to restore peace to the land. How it is done is up to the player. You can choose to incite revolution from the stealth of the shadows or you can wage all out war. With a completely customizable stats and skills system there is very little the player does not have control over.

    Multiple Endings – Depending on how you play the game, which path you take in your exploration of the lands, and who you decide to party with, the game’s story and ending can change fairly drastically.

    Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG. It controls like a modernized, fast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.

    Along with the inspiration from classic books and stories the games style was inspired by old school Arcade games that I would play as a kid at Pizza Hut and the local bowling Alley.

    Check out the press release provided by Pixel x Pixel Games below:

    Press Kit

     

    • Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/broc/guardians-of-the-rose-story-driven-2d-action-rpg
    • Developer: Pixel x Pixel Games
    • Platform Availability: DRM-Free Download; Steam and all of it’s counterparts for PC, Mac, and Ubuntu/Tizen (Linux); Xbox One and PS4
    • Press Contact: broc.copeland@gmail.com
    • Socials: Kickstarter, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine

    DESCRIPTION

    Guardians of the Rose is a story-driven 2D action adventure RPG.

  • Controls like a modernizedfast-paced version of old-school Zelda and Gauntlet games with the RPG elements of the Elder Scrolls Series.
  • Inspired by the Classics of the 8-bit and 16-bit Generations
  • Pixel Art Graphics and Chiptune Sounds
  • Hidden Secrets around every corner
  • Compelling, charming characters
  • Open World Exploration
  • Epic Boss Fights
  • Long lost magical Artifacts
  • Choose how you complete the story: wage all out war, incite a revolution, or something in-between
  • Alternate Endings based on how you play the game
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    D4 Dark Dreams Don’t Die Game Review

    Title: D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die

    Genre: Sandbox Game with elements from Simulation Games, Dressup Games, Point n Click Games, Visual Novels, Adventure Games, and “TellTales Style” Games.

    Developer: Access Games

    Publisher: Microsoft Studios (Xbone) and Playism (PC)

    Release Date: September 2014 (Xbone) June 2015 (PC)

    Platforms: Xbone and PC

    Where to Buy: If you’re lucky, the humble bundle sale may still be going on which includes the entire first season of D4 and a buncha other games for $10. You can check here to see what the weekly humble bundle currently is. Otherwise, you will need to purchase either a season pass, or buy the episodes individually (if that’s even possible everywhere I look appears to be selling “Season 1” for $14.99 (or less with steam holiday sale). You can check steam for the PC version here or Xbox Store for the Xbone version here.

    Geeky

    Sweetie:

    Overall: 70 / 80 88% B+ Very Good Game for Girls

    Concept: 10/10 I picked this up in the weekly humble bundle – I’ve had my eye on it for awhile now but wasn’t sure if I’d like it or not enough to pay full price. I cannot stop playing it. I was up well past my self imposed bedtime lastnight lol. It’s a fun little sandbox style game with a really interesting story that plays similar to telltale’s games with “QTE Quick Time Events”

    Story: 10/10 In the game, you play as a retired police officer, who left the force when his wife’s murder remained unsolved. He has amnesia surrounding the events about his wife’s murder, and a nasty scar that he received as well. Before his wife died, while in the hospital, she told him to “Find D”. The nasty scar left him with a super power of sorts, he can “dive” into the past if he has a memento (a personal belonging) from the suspect and he has been researching and eliminating potential suspects trying to find who murdered his wife – I have a pretty good feeling who it was, because of the cat hissing at him in the prologue, but I could be way off too as I’m only on the 2nd episode right now lol. So this isn’t a spoiler, just my speculation. “Diving” into the past is not without consequence though; similar to Life is Strange, which I’ve reviewed here, our main character gets bad nose bleeds and begins to experience some weird things as a result of using his powers.

    Characters: 8/10 There’s definitely a lot of interesting characters. Your cat turns human, your wife appears as a ghost, there’s drug lords, henchmen, a crazy looking doctor, a paranoid crazy woman, a really quirky fashion designer, and lots of other oddities. The characters are all over the top and a lil crazy, but highly original and entertaining.

    Gameplay: 7/10 It’s really fun to play. The controls are kinda “wonky” on the pc version though. I wish I could just walk around with W A S D and explore freely like in most adventure games; instead it’s kinda like walking around in IMVU, because you just click on one spot after another, and you can look left/right or down as well as turn around in the spot you’re standing to explore further. The combat is fun, and simple, you make swiping movements and it feels a lot more fluid and interactive than telltales games even though its a similar concept. I think the adrenaline pumping music as well as the wild animations and fun things that the characters use in their fights help keep it feeling a lot more fluid. There’s also multiple dialog choices when interacting with people. Interestingly enough, there’s also a ton of customization in this game; you can find outfits and accessories everywhere. Some give bonuses to your stats, but most are just cosmetic. Not only do you get to dress your main character, but also a plethora of other characters that you meet as well. You also need to eat to keep up your energy which slowly depletes itself as you are exploring, interacting, or talking to other characters. You also have a life bar, which will take a dip when you mess up in the quick time events. You can purchase or find first aid kits and bandages to restore your life bar. As for the food, it’s fun finding new foods to eat, they’ve made it into a sort of collection type game where it shows you how many different types of food you’ve eaten, how many calories, etc. Really neat. Loses quite a few points from me for the controls, but the gameplay itself is actually one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in gaming.

    Voice Acting: 8/10 The Boston accents annoy me – sorry to anyone from Boston here. lol. But no, to be honest, the voice acting is actually pretty darn good. There’s a lot of emotion into the script and the entire thing is fully voiced by a wide range of different characters with different voices and nuances.

    Music: 10/10 The music is really unusual, sometimes heavy metal, other times, almost angelic or gospel sounding. But always fitting with the theme and in a way, the music itself is used to help tell the story. The metal music is used in fight scenes or action scenes, while more mysterious and soft music is used at home or when exploring.

    Graphics: 9/10 The game is cel-shaded, but with a sorta grungy film-noir effect. I really like the character designs, they’re rather “anime-ish” looking in a way, despite how they are colored in a more western fashion. The environments are also very nice with lots of things to explore and collect. a lot of detail went into designing each of the levels. I would have preferred it to be a more clean cel-shading similar to Catherine, which I’ve reviewed right here, but overall, I really like how this game looks.

    Overall: 70 / 80 88% B+ Very Good Game for Girls

    If You Liked This Game You’d Also Like: Wolf Among Us, Heavy Rain, Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, and Sam n Max Hit the Road.

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    Steambot Chronicles | Retro Game Review | JRPG | RPG | PS2 | Playstation 2

    I hope everyone had an excellent holiday. Today I’m reviewing Steambot Chronicles for PS2. This is one of my favorite games because of the amount of things to do and see as well as the unique steam punk setting within the game.

    Title: Steambot Chronicles

    Publisher: Atlus

    Platform: PS2

    Release Date: 2006

    Where to Buy: Amazon seems to be the only way to go (aside from ebay of course). The game was a commercial failure in north america, so not many copies exist; and it was before Atlus “struck gold” (and attainted a cult following) with games like Persona 3 and 4. There are currently 2 copies available on Amazon at time of this review for $90 – $120. You can keep checking back. Here is the page for the game on Amazon right here. Edit: Actually there appears to be 2 pages on Amazon; and this one has 11 copies of the game available; some for only $45 – You can check this page also for where to buy Steambot Chronicles on PS2.

    Geeky: 

    Sweetie: 

    Overall: 71/80 89% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”

    Concept: 10/10 Steambot Chronicles combines traditional JRPG elements with a rhythm game. Mechs also play a huge role in the game, as the player can buy or find new mechs, new parts, and customize their mechs to their play style with either fast moving, but weaker mechs, or more heavy duty but slower mechs. Similarly, you can customize your concert experience by purchasing new instruments. You can also find and purchase new outfits and accessories for your characters as well. At the beginning of the game you can customize your hero’s personality by taking a personality test (similar to Tactics Ogre – which I have reviewed here) which will change some of the dialog throughout the game in terms of how the other characters will interact with you. The game is mostly linear with the illusion of choice, with lots of options for you to choose but often resulting in similar outcomes; except for one important choice near the end of the game. In all, the game has a total of 3 different endings. There’s also cooking, dating, and minigames that add to the depth of the gameplay as well.

    Gameplay: 10/10 Gameplay is really two fold – the main focus of the game is battling in mechs similar to games such as Xenogears or Robopit. Combat is in real time and you can run, jump, and try to out maneuver your opponent. You pilot your mecha with the two analog sticks and issue commands with the controller buttons. You work on upgrading your mech or can purchase or find new mechs and parts throughout the game. Mechs are used for everything, from travel, to battle, to even mini games. The other main focus is on music, you, and the other members of your party travel around the world putting on concerts. During these events, you, the player, interact with the game in a rythym game that’s similar to games such as Parrapa the Rapper and Umjammer Lammy. There are also other interesting “side” elements to the game such as a stock exchange, dating simulator, city building / interior decorating, cooking, arena battles, and dungeon crawling. There’s also day/night cycles and other elements which make the game feel more lively and immersive.

    Story: 6/10 I’ve only played the “good” side. You can also be evil in this game, if you want to, which drastically changes the second half / end of the game. In both sides, the story focuses initially on helping a girl named Coriander whose mother is very sick. This prompts you to join a band with the young girl and several other quirky characters who become your comrades and orchestra members. Most of the conflict and drama in the game comes from rival gangs which are taking over the cities and causing corruption. In the evil side, you cut ties with the band in order to join one such gang in exchange for profits and power. Police will be chasing you and most of the missions will involve things like stealing or breaking and entering. In the good side, you stick by your band members, but like most bands, there are growing pains, and conflicts arise which cause the band members to eventually go their own way. The ending is left somewhat “open” and you can continue to play in sandbox mode after completing the main story. The story is at times heart warming, and even heart breaking, but it takes a back seat to the gameplay. This is not really a game that you play for “story”. The story is not bad of course, but in no way is it the main focus of the game.

    Characters: 10/10 Each of the characters are truly unique and it shows through deep attention to detail in character development and the way in which they are all connected through a tragic backstory. It throws a few punches and has a few surprises in store for you when the story is played out and the cards are on the table. The band as mentioned above, has some “growing pains” and the cast who were once all childhood friends, face losing these friendships, or learning that perhaps certain people were harboring dark secrets all along. Actually you become very attached to the characters and when it throws its punches as it will, it will break your heart.

    Music: 10/10 – Music plays such a huge role in this game. Similar to Atlus’ other quirky musical rpg (Rhapsody), the localization of this game, in terms of voice acting and singing, is actually very well done. I am usually anti-dub, but I guess when it comes to musical games like this, I enjoy a game where I can “sing along” (in my head lol). I really liked all the tracks in this game, and the way it engages the user with the rhythm game aspects which makes you really pay attention to the music and appreciate it that much more. Also the music itself ties into the storyline and helps you feel closer to the cast of characters.

    Voice Acting: 8/10 – The voice acting is good, for a dub. I would have preferred the option left in for Japanese voice acting; but to be honest, not sure I would have played it in Japanese, because I prefer to play similar games such as Rhapsody in English (the later released portable edition of Rhapsody removed the English tracks; and kinda “ruined” the game for me). I think when it comes to a “musical” rpg it just “helps” to have it in your native language. I do listen to jpop and kpop music and enjoy it; but in this case, in Steambot chronicles, the music helps explain the story and helps tell key scenes or helps you to sympathize with the characters. So it’s one of those rare cases where I feel I’d probably enjoy the dub more than the sub. Rhapsody and the upcoming SMT X FE # are two other cases where I could see myself playing the dub more often. I think dubbing it was a smart move in the case of Steambot Chronicles. The dub is not “bad”. It had some big name Anime Voice Acting talent of the 90s.

    Graphics: 7/10 – The game is cel shaded and done in a cute and colorful anime style. You can see your outfits which gives it a sorta dressupgame style. You can see the customization to your mech too. The world is lively with traffic in the cities and day and night cycles. The overworld is large with mountains and bumpy terrain (the original japanese title is Bumpy Trot). There’s lots to see and lots to do. But the graphics have some pretty poor textures and the special effects in combat leave a bit to be desired. Still, overall it’s cute with lots of customization, so it gets high marks on graphics from me. The cel shading is not of the quality of say, Catherine (which I’ve reviewed here); but it is also one generation older than that, and a PS2 Game. I think given it’s timeline, the graphics in Steambot Chronicles are quite adorable and vibrant.

    Overall: 71/80 89% B+ “Very Good Game For Girls”

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