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First Impression: Woodle Tree Deluxe (Switch) ~ Raindrops To The End.

Woodly TreeNintendo microsite

In 2017, the developers behind Suicide Guy contacted me to ask if I would take a look at their game. Last year, they asked me to take a look at the sequel/follow-up of the game called Suicide Guy – Sleeping Deeply. Now, Chubby Pixel sent over a review copy of Woodle Tree Adventures Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch. While the developer provided me with a review copy for this game, you will find my 100% personal opinion in this article. I’m quite excited to see what this game has to offer and how different their other titles are. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the content of this article and/or the game in the comment section down below.

Raindrops To The End

Woodle Tree 1In this game, you play as a walking log. You are tasked by the Great Tree, that looks a lot like the Deku Tree from Ocarina of Time, to bring the water back to the world. Why do you have to bring the water back to the world? Because it’s going through a draught at the moment. After the Great Tree shows you the Fairy Tears you need to collect in order for you to save the world, you get teleported to the hub world. This hub world is the home that the Great Tree for you build and there you find a backpack (it’s called a rugsack in game) and your weapon, the magical leaf.

And that’s about it in terms of story. I haven’t finished the game yet, but I think the there will be a bit more story bits after I finished the last level. Now, I didn’t expect a grand story from this game. Because the stories in the Suicide Guy games was handled in the same way. It’s all about the gameplay in these games.

Before I talk about the gameplay, I want to mention one thing that I didn’t like about the story. In this game, there isn’t a button to skip dialogues. When I started playing this game and I read the first dialogue and I wasn’t able to advance, I thought that my Switch froze. But, you have a wait for a bit too long in order for the game to advance. It sounds like a nitpick, but it would improve the game quite a lot.

With that said, let’s focus our attention to the gameplay. In this game, you go through various levels looking around for these Fairy Tears. There is no tutorial in the first level, but a quick look at the controls by pressing the “+” key on the right joycon explains everything you need to know. The controls are easy to grasp and understand.

The goal in each level is to find the tree hidden Fairy Tears and bring them to the three cups at the end of the level. If you reach the end of the level without all three tears, you won’t be able to finish the level. While the levels are quite linear, to find all three tears, you will have to explore off the main path and look everywhere.

Checkpoint mystery

Woodle-Tree-Adventures-Deluxe-2Whenever you fall of the edge of the level or get hit by an enemy, you respawn at a checkpoint. Now, at first, I didn’t understand how the checkpoint system worked, but after some experimentation, I think I understand it. Let’s say there are 5 checkpoints in a level. When you die past the 4th checkpoint, you respawn at checkpoint 4. If you die again, you respawn at checkpoint 3, die again -> checkpoint 2. So, the punishment of dying is respawning at an earlier checkpoint.

In this game, you don’t have hitpoints nor lives. So, if you are hit by an enemy, you are dead. But, you will never get a game over. Speaking about enemies, they die in one hit as well. Some will chase after you, others will stand in your way to make certain platforming sections trickier to complete. The enemies were a small point of frustration in this game for me, since the attack of your character is so slow, I ran into them quite often. Thankfully, you don’t loose your already collected tears whenever you die.

But, there is something that was ever more annoying, and that was the camera. You don’t have full control over the camera in this game. You can zoom in and out in most places. I’m extremely happy for that feature since it made certain platforming sections possible. In other sections, the zooming in or out mechanic didn’t work properly or not at all. Making some sections extremely tricky, especially when you have trouble seeing depth.

A cute cover

Woodle-Tree-Adventures-Deluxe-3This game is a port of the Steam game “Woodle Tree Adventures”. In this version, with get an additional level, the new camera system and better jumping mechanics.

Speaking about the jumping mechanics, the animation of the jump looks a bit weird. It looks a bit floaty. I think that a few more frames of animation for the jump would give it a more natural feel.

Visually speaking, this game looks very good. The world is very colorful and vibrant. The visual presentation of the game is one of the strongest points of this game. The game even looks stunning in some places. Especially some lighting effects like the sun’s rays peeking through some models, giving a sunset vibe.

Yet, underneath this cute cover, the game feels unfinished. For example, the controls of this game respond quite well but they can be quite slippery sometimes. I lost count how many times I died because my character took one or two additional steps and feel into the abyss.

Also, I felt that there was something missing during my playthrough of this game. There is barely any UI in this game. I missed an on screen counter for the collected fruits in each level. With these you can buy various cosmetic items for your character, but it’s tricky to know how much you have already collected. You can see this in one space in the hub world, but the counter isn’t visible at the location you can buy these cosmetics at.

All of this happens in the hub world. And there is another element that I don’t like about this game. The placement of the levels. To start a level, you have to hit the orb with your magic leaf. But these orbs appear randomly in the hub world without any indication of which ones you already finished or which one is new.

Overall, this game is quite easy. The only moment that this game can become difficult is when the controls become slippery or when the camera decides you can’t zoom in or out. But, it didn’t take me long to finish the first few levels of this game.

The music and sound effects are a bit lacking as well. While the music of this game is quite enjoyable, I wish there was a bit more to the soundtrack and a bit more sound effects. I think there are only 5 sound effects in this whole game. And that is a bummer. Speaking about sound effects, I noticed that the dying sound effect sometimes played multiple times when you fall off the edge.

Overall, this is a decent game. But, it’s lacking. The game could use a lot more polish and content. The concept is interesting and fun to play but with slippery controls, boring level design and especially an annoying camera, this game is hindered so much. This game could have been so much better then what’s released right now. With that said, I have a hard time recommending this game. While it has a ton of elements that work and work well, but there are just too many elements that need polishing or updating for me to fully recommend without any hesitation.

And that’s everything I wanted to say about this game. I want to thank you so much for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, have a great rest of your day and take care.

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Review #021: Pokemon X and Y (3DS) ~ Various Opinions.

3DS_PokemonY_pkg013ds_pokemonx_pkg01

Official Website

Wow, it has been quite some time since I reviewed a game. According to my sources, it has been since early November last year that I reviewed the latest Ace Attorney game. But today I’m back with a brand new review. I know that this game has been out for such a long time but I just got around finishing it yesterday. I took my time in order to review this title. I talked to a lot of people who have played the game as well and I was surprised of their replies. But before we start this review, I fixed my flaw in the numbering. I had two number 17 reviews. Now that’s said, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game. Or your views on this review. Anyways, let’s go! 

Iz verry pretteh

24So, dear fan boys, I’m going to warn you right now. I’m a Nintendo fanboy as well and I wasn’t extremely happy with the game. Don’t get me wrong, I think this is an excellent game but it has some flaws that people too quickly say it’s awesome because it’s made by Nintendo.

One thing I have to give to them is that this game is extremely pretty. The visuals in this game are extremely well done. The attack animations are just well done.

The pokémon are very nicely presented in nicely finished 3D. But one major irritation pops up here. Why have all bad guys a 3D model for their trainer sprite and why do the other trainers simply have a 2D sprite? Not even the champion or the elite 4 got a 3D model. This is a major oversight in the game’s design.

In terms of route design, in this game it’s clear that they went visuals over quality. The first route is laughable. It’s just a straight line to the next town. You are able to cross it in under a half minute. Admitted, it looks pretty amazing. Another sad cave is the victory road. At this road, the cave looks neat and well organized but it’s not difficult to get through it from your first try. Were are the days when the dungeons had puzzles? When you need to try to slide over ice or when you needed to push bolders down to ice to stop you? I felt quite a lack of that in this entry.

This game went visuals and action over exploration. While this game is extremely beautiful, the exploration is  not even worth it. Take for example the cave where MewTwo is hidden. As soon as you enter, you need to run straight ahead and he is in front of your face. Lame with capital L.

Mixed feelings

imagesFrom the start it’s quite clear that the geographical location of this game is France. The main city has a  big Eiffel tower in the middle. But you are blocked from doing the gyms out of order. Or even explore the whole city. There is always a problem with the road or power.

The main city, that’s one of the best places to explore. It’s a huge city and there is a lot to do.

Maybe what I’m trying to say is that this game is quite linear. Yeah, that’s it. But what strikes me as odd is that this game is quite less subtle. You are given items by talking to anybody. And if you simply talk to everybody, your inventory will soon fill up with nice TM’s and such.

But something that took quite a drop is the difficulty. I was blown away by how easy this game is. Honestly, I haven’t battled every trainer and I’m quite sure I have fled more from battles then finished them. And I was able to beat the elite four from the second try. Champion included.

I often had feelings that this game was lending elements from earlier games in it’s story. But they finally started to use more then just one character and your rival. Each character has his or her personal “mini-story” line which makes finishing the game quite interesting. But I didn’t like the sections where somebody followed you. I mean, it’s unique and refreshing to see but why did they give them the powers to heal your Pokémon? -Sigh-

Not quite done yet.

imagesWhile it sounds that I’m ripping this game apart, I’m not quite done with doing that just yet.  The music is just “meh” at best. Some tracks sound quite nice but themes like the gym leader theme are just lackluster. It doesn’t pack the punch previous themes had. One of my friends who played the game more extensively then I did, agreed with my views on the music. It’s not that good compared to the amazing tracks we heard in previous entries. My favorite entry for gym leader has to go to the Black & White generation.

Also, Nintendo, why did we map rollerskates to the circle pad again? This is one of the few games where the dpad DOES actually something and you map the rollerskates which are at times a tad bit uncontrolable to the circle pad? Just no. My main complaint here is that you can’t have certain set items like, if I recall correctly, the item finder with the roller skates.

One of the biggest downfalls of this game is the lacking of post game content. The friend zone safari is an utter joke. Just a square patch of grass to run around in? Don’t make me laugh. You are now allowed to catch two legendary’s and fight in a tower with a “trainer spawner”. Could they have made it any more boring? The only reason you would return is for completing your Pokédex… … Don’t get me started on that.

In my honest opinion, the Pokédex is a failure. Splitting it into 3 different Pokédex’s make the information gone all cluttered.

To finish off this section, there are a lot of small and minor things that the developers took out of the game for some unknown reason. You can’t clean your badges and according to trustful sources, I’m too lazy to check at the moment, you can’t put a signature at your trainer card.

So, up to the next section. To make this review a special one since I’m back with a review!

THIS GAME IS SHIT?!?

Horde-Encounter-screenshot-3Alright, while I don’t feel like cutting out the borders of this image in order to save time writing this review, the most important question is… is this game shit? Well, no. Actually far from it!

Nintendo actually did some amazing changes. First thing is the story. While for some it will be a tad bit annoying that there is sometimes a big gap between gyms, I actually applaud them for it.

Think about it this way, they gave Pokemon more depth instead of always going from one town to the next in order to fight the gym and then rarely to never return to that village.

I have talked about the amazing visuals earlier. The animation is something where this game shines extremely. When a wild Pokemon jumps at you from the bushes or drops down from the ceiling, it just makes you feel that Pokemon might be real.

Something that took me totally off-guard is how extensive you can customize your character.  When you pick your gender, you have three different styles to chose from. And above all that, you can go get a hair cut and also buy other clothes. And those clothes aren’t just for show, they can provide you to area’s that are restricted for “casual people”.

Some tweaks have been made to make the game better accessible then the DS entries. But the big change is that these games have more depth. Look at the screenshot for example, now Pokemon can attack in hordes. (Inb4 the next generation has zombie Pokemon).

And FINALLY Nintendo and Game Freak made a smart move and used their old Pokemon in Kalos. Yes, the amount of silly and no creative Pokemon in a new generation has come to an end. While there are a few exceptions to this statement, nearly all the newly introduced Pokemon get my stamp of approval.

Something I’m on the edge about is how sometimes “super effective” attacks  can take up so much HP. But when thinking about it for a bit and comparing it to the anime series, it makes sense.

What I also liked is the fact that there are minor story differences between both versions. And you get way more involved into the story which is quite nice as well.

The amount of side content, like the castle where you can battle to get your rank up is such a fun idea. Or the ability to walk and actually pet your Pokemon. Totally worth it. While the head bashing mini game is actually head bashing for me since I barely get it working for some reason.

And according to my friend, with the new Fairy type, the moves are quite balanced.

Also, this game has amazing online features, or so I heard. I’m not a big online player so I haven’t tested that out. But again, from what I heard from 3 class mates, it gets them a real fun experience.

If you try to catch them all, you get a big game. This game will last you for quite a while. And since it’s an RPG, the replay value is extremely high. And with the cutscenes and all that, it’s really worth it.

But this review is really getting extremely lengthy here. Time to wrap this baby up. There are some things I haven’t talked about in this review, but I think you should play the game in order to find those out. I know this is a cheap move but if you think the game isn’t already something for you based on this review, well the things I now hold as a surprise won’t pull you over for sure. I think.

Conclusion

The bad:

– Music could have been better.

– 3D sprites for the bad guys.

– Some nice features are cut.

– The game is a bit too easy.

– Worst post game content ever.

– Pokedex isn’t one of the best out there.

The good:

+ Great use of old and new Pokemon.

+ Beautiful game.

+ Best story in a long time in the Pokemon games.

+ Very lengthy game if you try to complete it 100%

+ Online features are a great thing.

Conclusion:

What this game lacks is the finishing polish. Don’t get me wrong, this game is extremely well made but made some stupid flaws that pull the game down.

This game takes the Pokemon series in the right direction but it isn’t there just yet. If you are a fan of the Pokemon series and you are thinking about buying this game, my advice is: buy it. Yes, it comes recommend. But be warned, the game has some flaws.

And those flaws are understandable. Since this game takes risks in order to improve upon the formula. With this kind of feedback from fans the game can only grow and we might receive a more improved new generation!

Thanks for reading my lengthy review. I hoped you enjoyed reading my wall of text about this game. I have the game for my next review already selected. I hope to see you then.

Score: 70 / 100