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First Impression: Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe (Switch) ~ Let’s Explore For Tears

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I remember when ChubbyPixel asked me to review Woodle Tree Deluxe on the Switch in March. I felt like there could have been done so much more with the concept of the game. Recently, the company released the sequel to the Nintendo Switch. Woodle Tree 2 Deluxe. An expanded version of Woodle Tree 2: Worlds on Steam. Now, the asked me to take a look at the sequel as well. While a review key has been provided to write this review, I’ll giving my 100% honest opinion on this game. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section with your opinion on the game and/or the content of this article. 

Let’s explore for tears

WOODLE TREE2The story of this game is a direct follow up to the original. In this game, you play as a son of the hero of the original game. Now, the powers of evil have taken over the Wood Lands as revenge. It’s up to you to save the Wood Lands and find the tears again.

The way the story is being told and paced is a lot better than the original. In the original, you have a small cut scene at the start and you got thrown into the hub world. Now, the whole world is the hub world and there is a central place that acts as a sort of overview place where you can buy upgrades and cosmetics.

Before you can go explore the whole map, you go through a sort of tutorial section. The tutorial is quite decent. It teaches you the basic mechanics of the game without being too punishing.

After you have saved the three first tears, you will be allowed to find all the other tears. Right on the map screen, you can see that the game is divided up in several area’s where you can find three tears each. Right there on the map screen you can also notice that the checkpoints you activate also can be used as warp points. That’s pretty neat.

So, in each area there are three tears and at least 80 blue berries. You can find your progress of that collection on the mini map. There are also red berries but there is no counter for that on the map screen. The map screen is quite useful since it tells you where in the world you are and which level it is. The only thing I miss on the map screen is a sort of zoom in feature that you can use to have a better idea of the current area you are in. Also, it would be extremely handy that you could move the cursor freely around without being restricted to only being able to choose the warp points.

You can bring up the map screen by a simple press of the (+) button. If you use the shoulder buttons, you can use the pause menu. The menu after the map screen is the options menu. Where you can adjust the camera sensitivity, the volume, if you want to invert the X-axis or the Y-axis, if you want or don’t want anti-aliasing and the language. The controls are listed in this menu, but you can’t change them. In the most recent update, the developers added a lot of languages!

The 3rd and final screen in the pause screen is a total overview of your adventure where you can see how much red berries, blue berries you have and how many tears you have collected.

Now, most of the story is being told through text bubbles. There is no voice acting nor are there any “voice noises” in the game. There are sound effects, but I will talk more on that later in this review. You can easily notice when somebody has something to say, because there is a text box floating above their head. Now, you don’t have to worry to approach them from the wrong side since the text box sort of follows your character while staying on top of the character that’s speaking. The only thing is that the character itself doesn’t follow you.

Wall jumps and double jumps

WOODLETREEIf you played a platformer or the original, you will be right at home playing this game. The idea is that through platforming, you find the three tears. In this game, Woodle has few new moves in their arsenal. You have a double jump and a wall jump. You can also use your leaf to float around and to catch water droplets to water dead trees. To easily find your way around in the world, you can also use a telescope. Sadly enough, there isn’t a run button in sight.

It’s not that your character is moving slow, the world is a tad bit too big. It would be extremely helpful that you had a run button or some way to make the traveling faster. Thankfully the warp mechanic is really fast, so once you unlocked the way points, it’s easy to get there fast. It also helps you out in a pinch. Just take a look at this tweet. Yes, I got stuck inside a house I wasn’t supposed to get into. Or the moment I was able to let the character do a sort of moonwalk.

Now, the reason that I called this section, wall jumps and double jumps is because I feel like there is some sort of conflict in the code. I found it a bit difficult when I wanted to use my double jump to get onto a higher ledge because I jumped away from the wall since a wall kick was used.

This caused me a few deaths. Thankfully, there is no life system in place. After a few hits, you respawn at the checkpoint you used last. Checkpoints are also used as save points. So, whenever you need to save, you can easily warp to a checkpoint and the game automatically saves your progress. Now, the game only has one save slot, so it’s impossible that two or more people have their own playthrough at the same time.

Overall, the controls are quite responsive. While I sometimes have to fight the camera, I don’t think that the controls are that bad. They could use some polish, especially in the above mentioned wall jump mechanic. Now, the game drops the ball in two other area’s.

First of all, the visual presentation is something that needs some work. Overall the game looks fine and the animations are decent. Visually the game looks amazing for being a budget title. But, there are multiple popping issues and in some area’s I even had some major frame drops when the area was loading in. And in some area’s, the place suddenly totally changed like in this video/tweet.

The character is sometimes quite jittery, especially when you are floating down. You can attack during your floating down without loosing height or momentum. Textures and models pop in and out. The leaf you use sometimes just turns white, like when you are floating down… The game needs polish in the performance of the visuals.

Speaking of the visual presentation, the lighting is extremely off. Now, I can understand that when the enemies come and attack you, the scene goes dark. It are the powers of evil after all. But, for example on the beach, the lighting is so strong… the yellow that’s used for sand was sometimes quite painful to look at. Besides that, I had different lighting in a similar area without any rime or reason. I also posted that in a video on Twitter.

A final thing in the visual department I think that could have been improved is the design of some enemies. At first, I wasn’t able to tell some enemies apart from NPC’s. This was a problem during the tutorial since I was attacking an NPC that looked an awful lot like an enemy from the original game.

Now, a great thing about the visual department is how your health is being displayed. The size of the leaf is basically your health. How smaller it is, how closer you are to death. Unlike the first game, you can be hit multiple times in this game. This makes the game more forgiving and more fun to play.

It’s a shame really, since the game is looking quite charming and fun to play. If only these issues with the visual presentation weren’t present, then the game could have been so much better. Sadly enough, this isn’t the only major issue with the game.

Spooky silence

WOODLE TREE 3The game itself isn’t too hard. When you get used to the controls and the mechanics of the game, you are able to find your way around quite easily. Enemies can be easily avoided and sometimes just buying an upgrade can make the game a literal walk in the park.

Now, the 2nd big issue with this game is the audio design. Don’t misunderstand me, the music and sound effects of this game are all quite well done but there isn’t enough. Some things are lacking sound effects like hitting switches or elevators. But the biggest issue is the music. The music is amazing but there are a lot of areas where the music doesn’t play and you hear silence. You only hear the sound effects of the game.

It’s a shame, since each area has it’s own unique musical theme that really fits with the atmosphere of that area. But the area’s in between stay silent. But, sometimes the music just loops wrong as well. There are these flowers you can run into to get a speed boost. Each time you hit a flower, the musical jingle restarts. This is quite annoying in my opinion. I wish it just extended playing the jingle. And let’s not forget to mention that the animation is quite inconsistent with these speed boosts. In some area’s, a roll animation starts playing and in some area’s it looks like you are gliding over the ground.

Should I be so harsh on this game? The game is fun, has a lot of love and creativity in it. The game costs 12 bucks and is quite often on sale. The developers are quite responsive and if you find a bug and report it to them, they fix it in the next patch. Even when another game has come out. Still, I see the potential that this game has and I just wish that the game was more polished.

Something that I’m quite content with this game is the fact that this game shows a lot of potential for the following games of the studio. I have been working with this studio since the first Suicide Guy game. I have seen the quality of each of their titles improve and grow. And this game impressed me quite a lot. I’m quite thankful that I got a key from them to review this game since I think that this game shows a lot of potential for the future.

Now, something that I would love to see in a sequel to this game is less technical issues and more things to do besides looking for blue berries and the tears. Expand the game and the universe. Maybe have a cross over with the Suicide Guy series, besides being it as an easter egg.

So yeah, I think I’m going to continue playing this game. The charm of this game really has won me over. I can recommend this game to other players, but keep in mind that this game has some technical issues in it’s current state. Maybe some future patches will improve on this, who knows.

And that’s for now, everything that I have to say on this game. Thank you 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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Gamer’s Thoughts: Gaming Style & Reviewing

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The question I’m asking today is: “Does the gaming style influences the reviews of the games a reviewer played?” and more importantly, should that influence the review? How subjective or objective do you have to be to write a good review? Let’s have a chat about this topic. While I won’t be able to cover everything, I invite you to a discussion down in the comment section and who knows, a part 2 of this article might be written. So, let’s try and answer these questions. 

Gaming style & reviewing

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I recently finished Super Mario Odyssey. While it’s on my “write about” list, I haven’t written a review about it yet. Because I do have a big problem with it and that is the jumping controls.  Don’t get me wrong, they work amazingly, but I can’t for the life of me do those jumps using Cappy to go over further distances.

I have always been terrible at platforming. For my birthday, my best friend gifted me a copy of the game Celeste on Steam. A sort of Super Meat Boy inspired game where you climb a mountain while doing tricky jumping.

I didn’t get too far into the game before I got too frustrated with the game. I did enjoy myself and had a great time, but I haven’t played it too much since I closed it.

Now, how would I describe my gaming style? Well, I’m a jack of all trades. Since I’m a retro game collector, I play puzzle, racing, fighting, adventure, action, shooter… But, I don’t have a lot of genres I excel at. The genres I struggle the least with are puzzle & adventure games.

I also rarely to never play a game on hard mode. I can’t explain why, but I like to play games on normal mode and if I want more challenge, I play the game on hard mode. I think this is because I don’t want to get stuck in the game. I’m always afraid that when I play on hard, I get stuck on a part that I have to do over and over again. I know that’s the point I’ll get frustrated and stop playing the game.

These are things that influence my review. Now, before we break open the whole Cuphead Demo thing again, where a reviewer was so bad at controlling the game; he was unable to get past the tutorial, I’ll always do research. For example, I wouldn’t criticize the Super Mario Odyssey controls too harshly because I wasn’t able to do the Cappy jump while almost every other reviewer was able to do it without an issue.

The gaming style influences the review for sure. That’s why I dislike reviewing games of the genres I rarely play. I only review games in genres I know I enjoy playing. Now, do I think that you need to be good at the game to review it? Well, that’s a tricky question. A very tricky question. More on that later in this article.

Objective vs subjective

maxresdefault.jpgShould you be objective or subjective in a game review? To be honest, I think you should be both. At least, that’s what I do in my reviews.

If I would be writing the Super Mario Odyssey review now, I would say something along the lines of: “While the jumping controls are excellent and work well, I wasn’t able to figure out how you do the dive and/or double jump with Cappy. Maybe I should look through the excellent list of tutorials again. Since I feel like I’m the only one who is unable to do that jump.”

If you stay 100% objective in a review, I dislike reading it. These reviews are playing it safe and don’t have any personality. I love reading and watching reviews because I want to know how somebody felt about a game.

Now, when does a review become a bad review? Well, I think I can explain my point with this example. What if I wrote this about the Cappy jump in Super Mario Odyssey: “The Cappy jump is too difficult to execute if you aren’t a master with the controls of the game. So, if you want to get these moons, you will have to make some frustrating jumps or grind for coins and buy them in the shops.” This is something nearing the edge of being a bad review.

I always recommend that you look up other reviews when you are creating your own. You can agree or disagree with what the masses are saying, but don’t assume things like: “you need to have mastered the controls of game X to execute Y.”

Now, does a reviewer need to be good at a game in order to be able to review it? Here are my two cents: sort of. I have seen various reviewers make the mistake of saying: “A game is easy or you can do X and Y to make things happen.” if they are very skilled with the game. This is a mistake because of one simple reason, not everyone has the same skill set as you.

256px-Indiana_Jones_and_the_Infernal_MachineToday I have been comforted by a perfect example. I showed my godchild how 3D adventure games work like Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine. An amazing game that I know inside and out. A game I even dare speedrun here and there. Something that comes extremely naturally to me is running around in a 3D space and using Aa running start to jump over big pits. My godchild wasn’t able to make that jumps and had to try several times. Yet, she still enjoyed playing the game and wanted to see more of the adventure. And before you ask, I was 11 (or something like that) when I had beaten this game for the first time and my godchild is 15 at the moment of writing.

Now, would my godchild write a bad review of this game? Well, yes and no. She would complain about how strange the controls feel and how the enemies scare her in a 3D-space. I think those kinds of reviews aren’t bad reviews per se, to be honest. I don’t think that a reviewer needs to be able to be one of the best players to review the game but they shouldn’t be one of the worst players. I have actually declined a few review requests because I wasn’t able to even beat the first levels. I didn’t want to review those games since I felt I couldn’t do the game justice.

You should at least be able to perform all basic mechanics of the game before you should review it. Otherwise, I think you shouldn’t review the game. Even when you write the review based on the input of other people who are good at the game or know more about the genre, you can have a malformed article, since the soul of the review isn’t there.

You can still enjoy a game even when you aren’t good at playing the game. Another perfect example is Pokémon. I just catch the Pokémon I like and use the same six throughout the whole adventure. I rarely swap my Pokémon for another one. When I have a water type in my party to beat the ground and fire, I’m happy. Even when it’s the weakest water type. This isn’t the best strategy and I always have a lot of trouble defeating the elite 4 or my friends in battle. Yet, I still enjoy Pokémon quite a lot. That much, that I still play it to this day. Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire and Gold & Silver are my favorite Pokémon games ever.

There is one huge thing that I haven’t mentioned throughout this whole thought exercise and that’s the goal of the review. In my opinion, you have two main types of reviews. One is the review to entertain and the other is the review to inform. Some people read reviews of games because they want to know if a game is good or not and/or if it’s something they want to play. Others read reviews because they enjoy reading them. I mostly fall in the latter category and I try to write for both categories.

Does the goal change the fact you need to be subjective and objective? No, not at all. The balance of the two changes. If you write a review to entertain, I feel like you can be more subjective. If you write a review to inform, you should be more objective.

Now, what’s a review to entertain and what’s a review to inform? That depends on the reader and which audience the writer is aiming at. I like people reading my content and coming back for other articles, so I try to make it as entertaining as possible. While I have seen reviews in the newspaper which are written to inform parents if the game is too violent or something of that nature. And the reader’s taste plays an important role here as well. I think that is self-explanatory.

Now, this was an interesting thought exercise. Should reviewers be good at a game? Well, the shouldn’t be the best player in the game but they shouldn’t be the worst. Should you stay 100% objective? No, some subjectivity in the article is good. So, what do you think? Let me know down in the comments. I’m rather curious what you think and what you think about my opinion.

Thank you for reading my 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.

 

 

Gamer’s Thoughts: A little ramble about blogging

blogging-encouragementLet’s do something totally different this week. This week I have been thinking about various subjects I wanted to write an article about. While I think I got some great ideas, I realized something. All of the questions I asked myself would make for a great article to discuss how I see gaming & blogging. So, in this week’s article, I’m going to talk about how I think blogs could improve and how I see games. It’s time to put some of these gamer’s thoughts on paper. And as usual, feel free to leave me a comment on the content of this article down in the comment section below.

Why do I blog about games?

1.7One of the most important things when writing a blog is that you are passionate about the subject. That you write a blog about something you know you won’t get easily bored of.

Since I play a lot of games, I picked that as a subject. But truth to be told, I tried to blog about other things. In the past, I wrote articles with my views on life, movies, anime and much more.

But the articles about gaming just stuck with me. I loved writing them and creating them. At first, I was thinking of making a YouTube channel and making video reviews. But after a while, I got bored of it and I stopped making YouTube videos.

Why do I continue to blog about games? Well, it has several reasons. For one reason, I want to share my love of gaming with the rest of the world. It’s so rewarding for me to see how many people read my blog.

But where is the root? Why do I BLOG about games? What got me started? Well, my story isn’t as any typical YouTuber would say that he or she got inspired by somebody or the community. I just gave it a shot. I thought it would be fun to write an article every week and 5 years later, I still enjoy it quite a lot.

Can (game) reviews contain spoilers?

Shep-Red-Background-Spoilers-BWhen I write an article, I’m always thinking about if it’s fine to spoil the game or not.

It’s an interesting question to think about really. Since I can find arguments that are pro and contra.

I think spoilers in a review are fine since a review can serve as a reflection. When you would limit yourself to not spoil the end of the thing you are reviewing… It feels incomplete. You can’t talk about the end part in depth. Here is a perfect example:

Today I finished an anime I would love to recommend but the ending of the 2nd season ruined the series honestly. I’m not alone in this. The whole final episode was just in a totally different style than the rest of the anime that I threw me off. I spent nearly an hour reading different forum discussions and watching rants on YouTube on people who got annoyed by the ending as well. Oh, and if you wonder… It’s Haganai. It’s an amazing anime but the final episode of the 2nd season is just terrible in my eyes. It doesn’t wrap up the story at all.

When I would talk a bit more in-depth, I could warn those who are interested, so they can prepare themselves for the ending. But then, on the other hand, I might scare some people of giving the anime a chance.

So, I think spoilers aren’t good for a review since you might scare potentially interested people away. Also, some people read reviews so they can decide if they would buy the game, anime, movie, book …

It’s a very difficult balance for a content creator. Should you or shouldn’t you include spoilers. One fact stands, I’m glad we have people who put up spoiler warnings. Since then I could stop myself from hearing things I don’t want to hear yet. Since spoilers can ruin an experience. That’s something we can agree on, right?

A thought I had was: if I would use spoilers, I would only use it in a review. Since it’s a reflection of the game I just played. But I would avoid spoilers at all costs in my first impression series. (Notice the letters I put in bold please.)

Why a tablet is a must have for any game blogger!

380kvIn the past, I wasn’t a big fan of tablets. I thought that they were just a cheap laptop without a physical keyboard. Apart from in business situations, I never saw a real point for them.

But then I found it. The reason I bought a tablet and why I actually am glad I bought it as because it’s a cheap laptop without a physical keyboard.

When I’m playing I game I used to write my notes in my notebook. But then one day, I forgot my notebook at work and I wrote down some notes in a different notebook. I think you can see where this is going. I have notes everywhere. So, yeah. A tablet is a perfect place to store them all in. And when I forget my tablet at home or at work, I use my PC and edit my notes that way. Since I got them synced using Dropbox, I always have the latest versions of my notes at hand.

Also, it’s really easy to access the internet without having a clutter of tabs open. When I write an article about a certain game, I have a lot of tabs open with other peoples their opinion and various other sites with information on the game. I see it as a sort of secondary screen I can easily set up and use. While you could argue that an actual second screen for my computer could do the same thing… Well, it keeps my mind focused. A tablet is for research and PC is for the actual writing part. It keeps me focused.

If you wonder, I got myself the Asus ZenPad S 8.0. I bought it on a sale so I got it pretty cheap. And after almost 2 weeks of using it, I’m really glad I got myself a tablet. The previous tablet I owned was a cheap one. One where the battery died after almost a year.

Other uses for my tablet are: being able to read my notes for class while I’m on the train to work. Testing out some things in simulations on the go. Being able to quickly look something up when I’m not at the computer. Being able to review the Android games a bit better on a bigger screen and most of all, it’s a really helpful organizer.

Closing off

Thank you for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. When I have more ideas for a ramble, I might write another article like this.

When you have something where you want my opinion… Well, feel free to contact me.

In any case, I think I’m going to wrap up this article here. Have a great rest of your day and I hope to welcome you in another article! But until then, take care :).

Gamer’s Thoughts: Pokémon Spin-Offs

Ipokemonspinoffs-header own and have played a lot of Pokémon spin offs. When I was browsing the Nintendo 3DS eShop earlier today, I thought it would be a fun idea if I wrote an article about them. Since I keep my articles around a 1000 – 1500 words, I might write more then one article. So, let’s get started talking about the Pokémon spin-offs. Also, I’m not talking about rom hacks. Since I wrote an article about those in the past. And as usual feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the games and or the content of this article. 

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon

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If you watched the first season of the Pokémon anime, you might remember that emotional scene where Ash decides to leave Pikachu behind with other Pikachu’s. That feeling of leaving a friend behind is the exact feeling each and every ending gave me in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series.

While the games aren’t perfect if you compare them to other similar games, I think they are the best spin-off games in the Pokémon series. I wish that this series got a bit more love. If you want proof that I love this game series, you might want to read my quite in-depth review of the “Gates to Infinity” entry.

So, if anybody from ChunSoft or Nintendo is reading this article, please make more Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. How you are currently making them, they are nearly perfect. Anyways, I think I better stop talking about this series since I wanted to write this article mostly to give some other spin-offs some time to shine on my blog.

Pokémon Pinball

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When I was young, my mom took me to a clothing store. As a young child, I would usually bring my gameboy along. Yet, in that store there was a pinball machine that kids could play FOR FREE. Yes, you read it right, no coins or anything, it was a free pinball machine.

When I got home, I started to look through my gameboy games and found this game back. I rarely played it but since I saw that free pinball machine I wanted to play it at home as well. In the Pokémon Pinball series, there are only two entries. Which is quite a shame. But they aren’t the only Nintendo-themed pinball games. There is also one of Mario, Kirby and even Metroid.

If you have the chance, I would pick this one up. If you play it on the Super Gameboy, a SNES addon, the blue board will actually appear red. I used to have a picture of that, but I think it was taken with a potato, so I will spare you the cruelty of it.

Pokémon Ranger

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I have talked about this series in the past. I have written an article about the first game in the series. I had a lot of fun with that game, and honestly I still have. It has been quite some time since Nintendo released a new entry of this series.

At first, you might think that this game is nothing more then simply drawing circles, but it’s more then that. It’s a puzzle game and it makes you look in a different angle to Pokémon. Now they are actual helpers to finish your quest instead of helpers in battle.

I mentioned most of my complaints in my first impression article, so I won’t give a long explanation here. It can be repetitive yet it’s so much fun to play. Also, when you look at the later games in the series, you see it clearly evolve into an amazing game. The latest game in the series is one of the best entries ever.

I advice people who where on the fence for this series to give it a try. Read some articles about it. I enjoyed myself with it. The difficulty can be a bit off, but hey, at least it’s something different from the main Pokémon formula.

Pokémon Trozei

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The biggest issue this game suffers from is that the story just seems so well, created just for the sake of having a story.

This game/series is actually a sequel to the gameboy color game: Pokémon Puzzle Challenge. It’s a Pokémon styled Puzzle Quest game. Pokémon Puzzle Quest was more Bejeweled kind of game.

While I’m totally not a fan of the latest free game that they released, I think the puzzle Pokemon games where all pretty amazing. When I’m bored, I sometimes start playing these games. And the time flies by. It’s one of those games that “one more round” really applies.

A big negative of this game is that you are expected to know which Pokémon has which type. If you have that knowledge, some bosses are way more easy to defeat.

A big positive in this game is that when fighting a boss-Pokémon, it will come inside your playing flied and remove some columns. You will have to adapt a new strategy and quickly, since those attacks can hurt quite a lot.

I wouldn’t recommend this game or this series to anyone. I would recommend it to hardcore Pokémon fans, casual gamers and puzzle game fans. Otherwise, this game is a safe one to pass. I’m not saying that these games are bad in any meaning of the word, but they aren’t for everyone.

PokePark Wii

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I almost forgot about this series. While I was about to write the closure to this article, I saw this game sitting on my shelve. These games are quite something.

This game is a more relaxing Pokémon game where you need to make friends with the Pokémon of an area before you can progress to the next one. The way you can befriend a Pokémon is by a race, hide-and-seek, quiz, quest or a battle.

During your adventure, you will get different Pokémon in your party that have different abilities in battle and in exploration. Also, the party games make for quite a nice time.

If you have a young child that loves Pokémon, I urge you to buy this game for them, I’m quite sure they will enjoy this one. I’m still playing the sequel of this game and it’s a lot of fun. When I am in the mood again to play on my Wii, I’ll most likely try to finish PokePark 2.

Closing the article.

Well, I have talked about most of the spin-offs I played. It’s quite clear that I haven’t played some big ones, but I’m planning to change that in the future. I hope you found some new Pokémon spin-offs that seem interesting to you or maybe you enjoyed reading my opinion about a Pokémon spin-off you played.

In any case, I might write a sequel to this article if I played some other Pokémon spin-offs that I find worthy to be talked about on my blog. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and I hope to be able to welcome you in another article on my blog. Until then, take care!

Android Games you should try #5: Requests.

Android-Green-Black-Wallpaper-ImageI love getting requests by people who actually develop games. I feel honored and I actually like doing them. It’s the reason why I put a contact page on my blog. Anyways, it has been quite some time since I actually wrote about Android games. That has a reason, I didn’t play a lot of Android games I wanted to talk about in the past few months. Yet, there are a few that slipped under my radar so I will correct that mistake. It’s time to talk about some Android games. I write a short review or talk about why you should play that game and give a score on 5! And as usual, feel free to leave a comment on this article with your thoughts on the games, content and or the games I should take a look at in the future!

Special guest: “Bubbliminate

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The developer of this game told me that this game is released rather recently and he was looking for some feedback and some exposure. So, when I booted it up, I didn’t know what to expect. The screenshots on the store page didn’t explain what this game is about.

That’s one of the issues I had with the game. I didn’t really understand the game. After a bit of trail and error, I think I got the hang of it. You play against another player or CPU. Each one starts out with one bubble. You can do one of three moves. Split, grow or move your bubble. It’s your goal to get rid of the other guy (or girl)’s bubble.

The suggestion I would give to the developer of this game is that he adds a sort of introduction area. A sort optional tutorial that teaches the basics to beat a CPU on easy mode with ease. On the store page he says that it’s interesting to young children. I’m sorry, but I put this to the test and the children, who were aged in the rage of 5 – 12, didn’t enjoy the game.

Before I talk about the other games, apart from what I mentioned above, the game is quite nice for a first game. Decent and responsive controls, amazing menu work, great music and nice visuals.

In conclusion, this game has potential, it just needs a bit more polish to make the entry level and the learning curve a bit less harsh.

Score: 3/5.

Bitcoin Billionare

Capture

I tried various games that tried to emulate cookie clicker. Since that game was released, I wanted to try it out as well. But I quickly lost interested. But when I saw this game in the Google Play Store, I was interested. A Cookie Clicker clone that’s IT-themed? Yes please!

It didn’t take long before I got myself hooked on the game and I spend various hours on it. If you follow me on Twitter, you might have seen this coming since I actually tweeted a few interesting news items of this game. The humor in this game is just amazing!

This game also needs to get an award. This is an amazing example how microtransactions should work. You can buy special red gems but you can get 25 of them free each day. The catch here is that you get them rather easily. Also, when you connect to WiFi, you get the option to enable ads for a few seconds for in game rewards. That’s just amazing!

The only negative of this game is that sometimes the prices are a bit unbalanced, but hey, how else they make getting the next level rewarding?

Score: 5/5.

Buttons And Scissors

Capture

I didn’t see this one coming. This puzzle game is one of most simple games I played in a while. I don’t mean this in a bad way! When you press any button, the game shows you the possible moves. And thanks to that, I was able to figure out how the game works in no time.

Your goal is to cut all the buttons from the piece of fabric. You can only cut the buttons from the same color away, as long as there are no other buttons in between them. Since you can also cut diagonally, this game offers quite a big challenge. This game is nice to play in short bursts.

The only flaw in this game is that they don’t offer a mode for people who are colorblind. Since the contrast mode isn’t really that helpful if you are colorblind.

Score: 4,5/5.

1010!

CaptureI discovered this one only rather recently. At the start of this week actually. So, I can’t say that I had much fun with it since, yeah. I barely started getting into it. But it’s that good that it deserves a spot in this list.

It’s a puzzle game where you get various shapes that you need to fit in a grid. As soon as you put a whole line full with blocks, they disappear. Your goal is that you can keep placing the blocks that the game gives you.

The only negative I have with this game is that you only get new blocks if you placed all blocks from the bottom. A nitpick I have is that the ads when you loose are too much in your face. It’s something I don’t like at all.

Score: 4/5

Final words

Alright, I think I’m going to wrap up this article here. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed it. Hopefully you found out about some new Android games that you could play in the waiting room or on the bus.

If you ever find new interesting Android games, feel free to send them to me. I might cover them on my blog if I like them or if I dislike them. I love user feedback.

In the meantime, I will be on the lookout for new Android games myself. I actually want to write these kind of articles more often. Since this way I can give more then one game some time to shine. Anyways, take care and I hope to see you in another article!

Review #039: Club House Games (DS) review ~ Fun For Days.

Clubhouse_Games_coverWikipedia entry

This game has another name in my country. Literally translated it’s “42 Classic Games”. Usually, these kind of games are mostly regarded as bad, since only inexperienced developers create these multipacks to make a quick buck. But when you look at the box-art, you see that the developer is Nintendo. This is interesting, Nintendo made this game. I actually love this game, but is it really good or is it a game that I’m able to overlook the negatives of? Let’s take a look at this game in this review! As usual, feel free to write a comment on the game and or the content of the article. 

Modes

i_clubhouseAs you might have already gathered, this game doesn’t have any story. So, I can’t start with that. So, let’s talk about the actual games inside the pack first.

The main menu gives you an option between single player, multiplayer and settings. Here I have a minor complaint. When you unlocked the 2nd music tune, you can only change it there. It’s a bit bad menu design, but oh well. It’s a nitpick.

If you pick single player, you get three options. Free play, stamp and mission mode. Let’s talk about stamp mode first. In this mode, you get 5 levels to clear with each 8 sub-levels. In this mode you need to play different games and when you loose, you get one stamp. If you draw, you get two stamps and if you win, you get three stamps. When you get three stamps on a certain game, you may advance to the next game.

When you finished this mode, you get something visual in the chat to play around with. But not only that, you will unlock some locked games. There aren’t many games locked, which is actually rather nice and disappointing. It takes away the challenge but it makes it so that most of the games can be played whenever you want.

 More modes

Clubhouse-Games-CWIn mission mode you have different missions. If I remember correctly, 25 missions. When you clear a mission, you get a new icon you can choose for your profile. The fact that you can do these out of order, are actually really amazing.

Some missions are rather hard, so I recommend that you first practice the game in free play, since otherwise you might get a hard time in the mission mode.

In free play mode, you can play any game you want from the pack. The games are actually all board and card games. You can also look at the records. While that view is limited, it’s a neat touch.

Most of the games in the pack are perfect for single player and multiplayer. A few games are only suited for single player and a few games are more fun in multiplayer then in single player.

Some games have some minor nitpicks where they could improve. To avoid that this article becomes to long, I’ll list 2 things I would have changed in the games.

  • In the bowling game, I would have added an option that some players could have had the side railing. Since my younger relatives get frustrated when the ball rolls in the gutter.
  • In most solitaire games when you double click/double tap the card goes actually to a location that it can go. For example, double tapping on a red three makes it go fly to the nearest black 4.

Is it good?

clubhouse-games-20061003100055275So, each game plays really well. It’s obvious that this game is build for the Nintendo DS. Apart from the darting game, I have no complaints about the controls.

The darting game’s controls feel so loose. It feels that your arrow goes where it wants to go, and not where you aimed it to go. It feels floaty and loose.

Visually, this game looks amazing. It’s just perfect enough to draw you in for hours and hours. Talking about that, the game actually rewards you for completing a certain game a couple of times. You get another visual design for a game. That’s just amazing.

What is a huge bonus in this game is how you have a very clear explanation of the rules for each and every game. You can quickly access it by clicking on the rules tab and read about it. There is even a table of content in each rules section so you can quickly jump to the part you want more information about.

 This game has an excellent multiplayer mode. But how good that is, I’ll leave up to you guys for a surprise. The only complaint I have about it is that it lacks stats and things like that. As in, how many times your friends won or lost a certain game. But the positive thing is that you don’t have to have a copy to play this game in multiplayer. It takes a bit longer to load a game but hey, that’s forgivable.

While there isn’t a lot music in this game, the music that is actually in the game is rather catchy. While it doesn’t stick for too long in your head, it’s doesn’t become annoying after a while of playing. When I start to concentrate and getting into a game, I actually totally forget about the music.

I used to play this game a lot with my sister in the past. Nowadays I often play it with my niece. She enjoys it quite a lot. I can’t actually count anymore how much hours I lost with this game, single player and or multiplayer. It’s strangely addictive. Anyways, I think I’ll leave some things up to you guys to explore and find out. It’s time for the conclusion.

Conclusion

The bad:

– The music options are a bit hidden.

– The controls of the darts game aren’t all that good.

– The stats.

The good:

+ Amazing package of games.

+ Great multiplayer. Only 1 copy needed to play with friends.

+ You can unlock things by playing the games that don’t hinder your experience of the overall game.

+ …

Final thoughts:

This game was a tricky one to review in the length I usually write my review in. While I tried to take a look at most things, I ended up explaining most of the game.

If you didn’t notice it yet, I wasn’t able to come up with any major flaws in this game. It’s almost perfect. I actually take this game as a sort of benchmark when I play games like this. Not that many games can come close to this game. It’s so polished the minor flaws that Nintendo and Agenda made aren’t all that bad.

That’s why this game deserves it’s score. It might not be perfect, but it’s very close to be perfect.

Score: 100/100

BSP Ep 67: Anime you should watch (Christmas special)

My list

http://thebuttonsmashers.com/2014/12/bsp-ep-67-anime-you-should-watch-christmas-special/

AlanWake – American Nightmare

Kirby Triple Deluxe
Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney
Rise of Nations Extended Edition
Age of Empires II HD
Age of Mythology Extended Edition
Dead Island Riptide
Corpse Party – Book of Shadows
Retro Game Challenge 2
Ace Attorney – Miles Edgeworth – Investigations 2
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby
Kirby Mass Attack
Electronic Super Joy
Tomadochi Life
Electronic Super Joy – Groove City
Super Smash Bros 3DS
F.E.A.R.
Kirby’s Adventure Wii
Alice: The Madness Returns
Pandora’s Tower
Shovel Knight

Android Games You Should Try #4: Now with a special review

gooleplaySo, I got a mail from a developer. He asked me to review their game. This game will be the first entry in this article. I was planning to give that game a game quicky article but it has too few content for that. Anyways, welcome to a new Android games article. In June, I’m working on a ton of content for you guys. So, I’m playing more and more on my phone. As a short breaking between writing. Now, I have decided to be as strict as in my previous article. All these games are free Android games that you should try. They don’t have any or annoying ads. They are fun to play and they aren’t pay-to-win. These games are truly worth playing (and maybe taking a secret bathroom break during work). I also choose to take offline games. The reason for that is, not everybody their subscription included affordable 3G internet. So, yeah. Anyways, I have been talking too much again. Let’s start this new article in my Android games series. Oh, don’t forget! I quickly review, talk about each game and score it. I also give you the link to the play store page so you can download it! But before we start, feel free to leave a comment on the games, my mini-review and / or your opinion. 

Special “guest”: Adventure Birds

ss (2014-06-19 at 08.56.40)Now, I’m known on my blog to be fair. I don’t review the games I play very subjectively. Honestly, while I’m honored that this developer mailed me to ask a review on this game… I’m afraid to say that I didn’t like it.

If he didn’t ask, this game wouldn’t have made the selection for these articles. Now, this isn’t a bad game. It’s a well made Flappy Bird clone. There is some more variation in the scenery. But that’s it. Besides trying to beat your top score, there isn’t anything more to this game then that.

I honestly got bored. This game is not for the hardcore gamers. This game is better suited for an (casual) audience looking for the perfect replacement to Flappy Bird. But the low score isn’t because this game is a bad game, this is the score I would give it. But objectively, this game deserves higher marks.

Score: 2.5 / 5

Adventure Land 

ss (2014-06-19 at 09.05.36)I applaud this app! This game is truly fun to play. The only downside is that when you want to save your character, you’ll have to pay.

But this game gives you randomized hero’s each and every run. When I got my tablet, I played a lot of JetPack Joyride, but honestly, this is the better game. But by a close call.

Each run feels different. While this game hasn’t any fun special objectives for you to achieve. This game gets really challenging but encourages you at the same time.

You can also change the randomly chosen abilities before you start the run. And you get a safe zone before you start the adventure. This way you can quickly “relearn” the ability that you have for this run.

There is a still a bit more to this game. And I leave that for you guys to discover. But this game nearly gets full marks!

Score: 4/5

Lost Keys

ss (2014-06-22 at 04.15.24)This game is simple. Go from point A to B. The only catch here is that you need to get all the keys before you can continue to the next level.

The controls are a bit cluncky and require some getting used to. But in general, this game is a lot of fun. The only thing I dislike is how the game lacks a bit in terms of sound effects. Apart for dying and getting a key, there aren’t any sound effects.

This game isn’t too long either. This game only has 60 levels. This isn’t a bad thing, since in my opinion, this is just the right length.

The last remark I have to make is… Why can I select the area’s I haven’t unlocked? They are grayed out so I can’t play them, but I can select the area’s for some reason.

Score: 3.5/5

Strange Adventure

unnamedRemember my last rant? I talked about this game. Is this game worth playing? Heck yes! Does it has negatives? Well, it’s frustrating as heck. Narrow jumps and sometimes the solution isn’t clear at all.

But this game uses the cliches to it’s advantage. This game is truly a masterpiece on Android in my opinion.

It’s a more then just a platformer. It’s a clear parody with the problems of the current game industry. I might be looking way to deep into this, but this is what I think of this game. And because of that, the negatives are forgiven.

Score: 5/5 .

Closing words

This might be a shorter article, but blame the world cup. Belgium just won from Russia! And what a strange match it was. I think I’m running out of Android games I want to talk about. So, it’s quite possible that this series goes on a short break until I find new games to write about.

To all Android devs, do you want me to look to your game? Click on my contact page! I’ll gladly take a look at your game. And maybe it will appear here on this article.

Anyways, thanks for reading and hopefully I see you at the next one.

Android Games you should try #3 – New phone

gooleplaySo, it has been quite some time since I wrote an entry on my blog about Android games but since I got this new phone, Samsung Galaxy Ace 3, I started play a ton of Android games again. Now, it’s time to write a new entry in this series. Time to revive it from the dead. So, because it has been quite some time, I think I have some explaining to do. In these articles I talk about several Android games that got me hooked or were fun to play. But these games are casual games that don’t have enough content to make a fully fledged review. So, I short each game extremely shortly, give you a rating and a download link. And as a cherry on the pie, all the apps are free and I try to have as less ads as possible. So, yeah. Anyways, when you have suggestions for games I should try out, feel free to say it in the comments. But for the rest, I invite you to leave a comment about this article and or your thoughts of the games or one of them. 

New things in the series

Alright, before we start the actual listing of the games, I have a few new “rules” for this series. First, I will list these under “Game Quickies” and “Game Review”. Since it’s kinda both, it’s a quick review of a game. But it’s not really a full “game quicky” since I talk about more games then 1.

Another change I do is that I’m way stricter towards the quality of the games. What I mean here, is that the game needs to be addicting and fun. In other words, I’m going to try to avoid the clones of Bejeweled and games like that.

Also, games that require constant internet connection or accounts, have a smaller chance. Unless there is a benefit to having an account.

And the games need to be free! It’s possible that I list a demo on here but the demo needs to have enough content to be enjoyable. Games that allow you to play only a few levels for free and promise an overload of levels if you pay won’t appear on this list!

Oh, and games that require Facebook or any other social media… Oh heck no! I hate them so much. I don’t want to recommend you games where you possibly have to spam your friends for lives or spam your wall. Forget it.

So yeah, that’s a heads up before we start. I think I might have been a bit too strict on the games for this article, but hey, sometimes some quality control is good.

#1: Mine To Escape

unnamedThis game is quite fun, yet very flawed. I finished this game in the course of a day or three. I’m quite sure that you’re able to finish this game in one very long sitting.

First, the negative things. The fact that you need to do things one by one makes you swipe your phone like crazy when you want to sell eg 10+ iron ore. Also, this game has only one planet. So, it’s quite short. Once the addiction kicks in, you are nearly finished with this game.

The good is that this game is challenging. You truly need to keep an eye on that oxygen. Also, sometimes ores are hard to find.

And it’s fun. You literally tap your time away. It a game like Minecraft, were you just tap one more block before you stop. While some people would find the one and only song quite annoying, I didn’t find it that. I rather enjoyed the music. But truth to be told, this game could use various tracks.

Score: 3.5/5

#2: Choice of the Dragon

ss (2014-04-20 at 10.09.09)Besides cats, I’m a big fan of dragons. Besides that, I’m quite a big fan of visual novel and adventure games.

This game tries to revive a genre thought dead. The adventure “choose your own path” genre. Basically a RPG but with lots and lots of text.

But here is the twist though, you are a dragon AND there are extremely different playstyles. Sweet no?

Don’t I have your interest just yet? Oh, you can play this game with your own music at the background. What do you want more? What, text? Deep story? Yes, this game has this!

The writing is amazing. It’s almost you are reading a book where there is somebody talking to you when the main character, in this case you the Dragon, decides the actions.

I have two complaints. The fact you can’t choose your own name and the words used might confuse non native English speakers.

Score: 4.5/5

#3: 1001 Attempts 

1001Attempts

This game, yes please! If my memory serves me correctly, this game is ad-free! And it’s big fun! This game is simple, stay alive as long as you can.

This game is easily to learn but hard to master. Each time you pick up a jewel, the game gets more difficult. It throws more and more projectiles to you and it’s not so easily to follow all the action going on.

This game doesn’t waste time with unneeded things. You can easily jump straight into the game and play as long as you want. This game is highly addicting. Since you have that “one more try” feeling.

I have no complaints about this game. So, worthy of a download!

Score: 5/5

#4: Hoplite

hopDo you want to play a simple 2D rouge-like adventure game? Well, you are in luck! This game is just for you then! This is also a puzzle game.

One word of warning though, this game isn’t easy. If you aren’t careful, you can die quicker then you can say your curse words.

But it feels so rewarding when you are able to beat a floor and move on to the next!

What I like so much about this game is how simple yet deep this game is. There is a lot of strategy involved to it.

Maybe with a bit of shame, I have to admit that I haven’t gotten further then the 5th floor. Tell me in the comments how far you got.

I haven’t found anything negative about this game. So, it gets the full 5 stars!

Score: 5/5

Closing words

This article has seen multiple versions. Now that I finally have my finished version, I’m glad that it’s done. I have added and removed a lot of games. I think that I tried at least 50 games for this article. Don’t worry, there will be new games I recommend in the future.

Leave me a comment which is your favorite game I recommended here. Or have you played one of these games before? Or which game looks interesting? Anyways, grab your phone and start playing. Oh, and if you have suggestions, please drop them in the comments as well. Maybe I’ll add them to one of the future articles in this series.

Review #020: Evoland (PC – Steam) ~ I’m Sorry Smashy.

9221.jpeg

Official website

Alright, after such a long time of teasing this game… I’m going to review it. I’m sorry Smashy for two reasons. One, that I didn’t finish the series. Yeah, that Smashy in the series’ll be disappointed. And two, sorry NekoSmash, brother that we didn’t the planned co-op review. I wanted to get this review out of the way. Maybe we write something better together. I have something in mind. Anyways, Evoland. What an evolution. Puns. Okay, I’ll stop. Let me know in the comments what you think of this game and / or this review. But without further ado, here is the review.

Evolution in RPG’s.

624041-evoland-windows-screenshot-unlocked-mode-7-a-somewhat-popularThe first thing that falls victim to my criticism is the story of a game. If there is even one. Most RPG’s have a generic story like: “Save the princess” or “Kill evil dude X”. Yet, the way how it’s written is always different. And in this game it’s a lot different.

The game is based around the evolution of RPG’s. And some dialogue is based around that. The story gets from extremely simple to a deep story. And I like it. It’s extremely interesting. While it’s nothing unique in terms of new stories, it mixes a lot of great and memorable scenes from big legendary RPG’s.

The game raises a lot of funny moments when you play it. I had moments I’ll never forget. References to famous game creators and various references to RPG’s. From Zelda to Final Fantasy. A bit of Golden Sun even. And Dragon Quest. I adore the style of this game. And what blew me away is that there is a Diablo part!

Yet, with the story comes already one issue with the game. It’s on the short side. This game could have been longer. A lot longer. Sometimes it jumps a bit too quickly from one generation to the next. As a retro game addict, I know when there is something skipped or gone over too fast. I wish they payed a bit more attention to certain parts.

Frustratingly easy, I mean difficult… Ehrm, no easy.

624053-evoland-windows-screenshot-kaeris-apparently-is-a-healer-whichIs Evoland easy? Well no, at some places it’s really harsh. And that has to do with the controls. Maybe it’s just me not being used at PC RPG’s but the controls feel strange to me. It feels like I’m playing a game on an emulator. It doesn’t feel natural. I’m used to play my RPG’s on my PS2 or DS.

But even with the free movement update, the movement feels a bit stiff. And this has mainly to do with moving extremely slow. Well, not extremely slow. But the speed of yourself is sometimes a bit too slow. And this is an issue because some enemies are so fast they can drain your life easily.

Another issue with the game is the save points. I absolutely hate it in RPG’s. I can see them used in platformers, action games or adventure games but not in RPG’s. Why? Because grinding that’s why. And the battles are sometimes brutal. The enemies hurt a tad bit too much. One or two bad moves and you can die. Okay, you can level up. But you can barely see the stats. What’s the point then of placing stats while leveling up?

Where I pull the hair of my head is one of the biggest irritations I have with this game. Potions. Yeah, because of several reasons. One, you can heal your enemies… Two, you can only use it in battle. And three, you can’t use it at the parts when there are hearts. Speaking about hearts…

They are a bit flawed as well. Enemies can hit you for one heart. And when you pick up a heart, it fills up just 1/4th of a heart. Well, wait what? This doesn’t seem right.

Sadly enough, that’s not all…

Let’s take a look at this… messy diamond?

624054-evoland-windows-screenshot-oh-3d-graphics-and-16-bit-musicIt almost seems that I try to rip apart this game. I’m actually not trying to do that. The gameplay is extremely excellent. It takes you on a nice trip. Yet, it’s clear that this game isn’t for everybody.

Some secrets are not that well hidden for veteran gamers. Yet, some options are locked until nearly the end of the game. And that’s something that could have saved this game a lot.

The upgrades and treasures are given to you with chests. There is a reason to replay the game since you have collect-able stars. And the card game is lovely. And like I said earlier, the witty writing benefits the game a lot.

If you have played various older generation RPG’s, you’ll find this game even more fun. I loved the references. But truth to be told, I have something for references. It always puts a smile to my face.

One of the best things in this game is the music. Man, they may claim that they top the charts since the release of the game. But I wouldn’t be surprised they do. The music is lovely. I would even call it perfect for this game. The sound design is also great. I have nothing to point out that is bad about it.

The animation is pretty. It fits the generation and it doesn’t try to break the immersion with newer generation. I think games loses their charm when you try to make some new generation effects in an 8 / 16 bit style game. A problem that the Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures suffers from. It’s almost like the developers couldn’t decide which generation to put it in. Or which theme to take.

Lastly, the graphics. I can’t really judge them since they change an awful lot in the game. But in short, they are spot on for this game. I loved them from the start to the end.

Oh, one last thing. You know what would be amazing? If you finished the game, that you could play the original flash browser game as a bonus. But now with save points or something. Just an idea though.

Conclusion

The good:

+ Great story.

+ Challenging.

+ Has good replay value.

+ Unique gameplay concept.

+ Amazing music!

+ Amazing graphics.

The bad:

– Some gameplay flaws ruin the game.

– Mediocre controls.

– Way too short.

Conclusion:

So honestly, this game isn’t half bad. Some reviewers hold this game high in the ranking. Others go rip it apart. My opinion? Well, it’s an amazing game. I loved the experience a lot. But I can understand why people dislike this game.

It has some issues with it’s gameplay. Like I forgot to mention that you can’t change the options in game. Or like I heard in another review with my research, this game hasn’t an identity of it’s own.

So, in short: this is a great game IF you can look or agree with it’s flaws. Otherwise, it’s the best that you play the original flash game. If I remember correctly, it’s on their website.

Score: 60 / 100

CreepyPasta: You should have been playing. (Written by: NekoJonez)

As a hobby I maintain my own blog, forum and YouTube channel. For that I have made a Facebook page and people could request to join.

Writing is something that interested me since the beginning. When I discovered those horror stories about bewitched games and hauntings of cartridges my attention was caught right away. I watched a lot of video’s, read a lot of stories and enjoyed every second of them. Maybe with the help of some shameless advertising, I even made a few comments.

One day, a girl that wasn’t part of my forum wanted to join the Facebook page. I checked her profile out. She was pretty hot in my opinion. That aside, I checked her profile out to make sure it wasn’t a cover for some advertiser or some fake profile. And I accepted her. It didn’t take long before I got a friend request of her. I thought that she followed my links while reading my comments and to further spread my content, I gladly accepted the friend request.

After a week, we talked a lot over Skype and Facebook chat. Man, did we have a fun time. We also played a lot of games together. From Minecraft to Corpse Party. The single player games we played in screen share. Or we used something along the lines of TeamViewer. That depended on the resources the game asked to avoid lag.

But sadly enough, my holidays were running short and I had to go back to school. She was bummed out. She didn’t go to school anymore and she had nobody else to play games with. I felt sorry for her and I tried to spend my free time with her.

Winter arrived and I went out of town for a week. Enjoying my ski-trip with my classmates. Man, the teachers and we looked forward to it. But in the middle of it all, I realized that I forgot to inform her of all this. I shook it off, hoping that she would read it on my blog or the forum where I mentioned it several times. I didn’t need to be scared then… well yet.

When I arrived home, I hoped that she was online. Sadly enough she wasn’t. Yet her profile changed. It was much more filled with darker imagery. I rolled my eyes. I kept telling myself that it was another one of those times that she went obsessed with the games we were playing. And since we were recently playing horror games and games with a dark tone it didn’t came as a surprise to me.

But then strange things started happening. Thankfully nothing like “ultra-realistic blood” or “loud noises and freezing computers” like you read in many of these stories. Just something really scary. It started when I booted up my 3DS to play some Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. I found out that my capture device wouldn’t go out of my 3DS. I rolled my eyes and said to myself that it will be find. Maybe my desk was jamming the cable or something. I just wanted to play since I didn’t play the whole trip. Exciting.

So, those weird things. Yeah, those happened when I started my copy of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity. My savefile was completed. Everything was there, the whole story finished, all Pokémon captured and raised till the highest level. And the completion time was 12:12. I was confused. Did my little brother play on my 3DS? Could be, but finishing my game…. Nah, I can’t believe that. He didn’t know where I hid the charger.

I closed my 3DS and placed it away for the moment. I started up Minecraft to put my mind on something else. When I see that I can’t connect to the internet. I got irritated since I didn’t want to look like the default Steve. But my mom told me that it’s because a cable snapped in the garage that gave power to our router. My dad was out getting a new cable so I had to wait a bit for it to return.

I started up the world me and she had been playing the whole time. But when I entered the world, I found a lot of signs. Signs of one of her pranks I thought? But all signs said the same: “You should have been playing.” All of them. They were everywhere. Well, to be fair on all the places I had yet to finish building. And believe me or not, all parts where indeed finished.

I closed Minecraft. Another thing finished? Odd. And I can sit here the whole day talking about the other strange things I saw. But everything comes down to the same idea. Every game we played, was finished. To the max. And every game had a hint that I should have been playing.

I didn’t want to continue playing those games. I got scared. What sick prank are they pulling on me? Every game was finished. Who of my forum or my community was that bored to do all of this? I started up the last game we played together. Scared what I was about to find. It was a hacked version of Corpse Party some people on the internet made. It was a simple translation hack to make it in our native language.

But the final cutscene played when I booted it up. “We came home. Without the help of User-Laptop! He should have been playing.” Then I started to laugh uncontrollable. So, somebody just wrote a script that hacked my savefiles to 100% and he made a mistake there where he or she pulled my computer name and tried to use it as my normal name. “Hah!” I thought to myself. I was so glad that I took that name as pc name now. So glad that my laziness when I reformatted my laptop months ago pays off now.

Yet, it didn’t end there. A new chapter was unlocked. “Absence of friends.” I smiled heavily. I love Corpse Party a whole lot and new content, count me in. This would have been such a great distraction from this prank. I thought.

I explored around and when nearly finished the chapter, I found an empty-ish room. There was only a bed, desk with a computer and some other things. Well, in short, it looked like a bedroom. One I recognized. It was her bedroom. She once showed it to me when she turned her cam on at Skype. I was confused. Scared of what was going to happen, I saw there was a body on the floor. I stopped in my tracks. A connection in my brain was made that instant.

Did she commit suicide because I wasn’t playing with her? And did she finish all the games we played and killed herself out of sorrow? That might explain a lot of things. Mostly her profiles being so dark and empty. And the signs of me begging to play everywhere. I was about to freak out. This couldn’t be real. With major fear, I walked to the body and pressed “A”. …..

The story is too harsh and emotional to continue to tell. Yet, to this day I don’t know if it was real or if it was an effect of the darkening of my arrival here at Heavenly Host Elementary…..

Wait Jonez, what is this? 

Thanks for asking. Well, since this is my 50th article on this blog I decided to do something really special! I made my first attempt in writing a creepy pasta. Which is a story that isn’t true, made up. It’s written for your own entertainment.

It’s mostly a story about something really scary happening. Something unreal.

Anyways, let’s close this off with the usual cliché and generic stuff. Thanks everybody! Thank you ButtonSmashers for recognizing me and all the moments we spend together.

Thank you for helping me grow. My Arpegians and the ButtonSmashers. Even when you aren’t one of both, thanks for reading and supporting me. It’s so much fun to write, make video’s and do stuff like this. It really helps me get through the challenges that life gives me.

Anyways, if you want me to write more Creepy Pasta’s, I wouldn’t mind. Just leave me a signal and I’ll try to come up with some. But feel free to write in the comments your thoughts of this story and/or how you would improve it. Thanks for reading and hopefully I see you here a next time.

Review #009: James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes (3DS) review ~ A lot of cheese!

James-Noirs-Hollywood-Crimes-cover

Wikipedia entry of this game.

Before I got myself the latest Professor Layton, I played this game on my 3DS. It’s one of the first games I finished on my 3DS. All over the internet people find this a mediocre game. In this review I will tell you if I agree or don’t agree. Let’s try to look at this game separate from Professor Layton. In  my previous review of Corpse Party on the PSP, I compared the game way to much with Virtue’s Last Reward and thankfully a forum member pointed it out. Thanks for the feedback BloodCatNS. Anywho, this game is created by Ubisoft, the guys behind the load of pet games on the DS and the very successful Assassins Creed. Did they create a great game here or are the reviews pulling at the right end calling it mediocre? Let’s solve this bad-boy and crack the codes. Time to review this game on the 3DS. Oh, the game has it’s own site, but I didn’t link it since it’s inside a collection site of all 3DS games Ubisoft made. But the Wikipedia article contains all your information needs. 

Loads of cheese

James-Noirs-Hollywood-Crimes-3DS-Screenshots-1

Let me tell you, this game suffers from a lot of cheese. Wait, you aren’t following me? Well, the story is extremely cheesy. It’s a story you don’t need to take serious at all. The story was one I could predict nearing the end.

The voice acting added towards the story being cheesy. I’m glad to see that this story doesn’t take itself seriously and frankly, it helps in this game. The story feels a fresh change of pace instead of having a weak flat story that you barely remember in the end.

The consequence is that the story is somewhat memorable. It has been a few months since I played this game, and I still remember parts of the story. And that are signs of a good crafted story.

I’m not going to lie or praise a bad story too much, but it isn’t too bad that it takes you out of the experience. The point I’m getting across here is that it does it job but doesn’t go beyond that to try and impress you. But what’s unique is that at the start of the game, you have to take a profile picture of yourself and when your character looks in the mirror, you actually get a live feed from the 3DS camera, which is an amazing idea. This pulls you in the game even more since you feel involved.

Creative, yet done before. 

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This game gives me the impression to be a very creative one, yet I sometimes felt that some puzzles have been done before. This is mainly because of the unique use of the puzzles. There are sliding puzzles and many classics but there are also new puzzles I haven’t seen a lot in games like these.

Many puzzles are quite challenging. Like the puzzle in the screenshot, I even needed to take out a notepad to make notes. And if a game manages to make you do that, it’s a good game in terms of puzzles. I heard in other review that the puzzles feel fresh, and I agree. In the story, you play in a game show to look for a killer. And thanks to this, you can choose which puzzles you solve. This helps with the replay value of the game and when you don’t feel like solving a sliding puzzle, well, you can take other puzzles.

You also get fan mail and hate mail too. This is an extremely neat addition in the game. It feels a bit like the downloadable puzzles from Professor Layton but you don’t need to do the effort to actually download them.

The amount of puzzles is great too. As far as I know, there are about 150 puzzles you can solve. And this will take a great deal of your time.

The 3D doesn’t add a whole lot to the game but I think that isn’t such a big deal in these puzzle games.

Far from perfect.

JAMES_NOIR_3DS_Screen_1

Where does this game fall felt on it’s face? Well, that’s an easy question. The game repeats the story way to much. I rolled my eyes at the amount of times the game got stopped where you got an overview of what happened. I have seen games that do this way better. Another Code: R for example has a small quiz at the end of each chapter and Professor Layton displays a summery before loading your save file.

Also, the graphics is where I think they made a wrong turn. While the backgrounds and the puzzles look great, the characters actually don’t look all that neat. They feel like early green screen and quickly pasted on the backgrounds. They feel somewhat out of place. And I don’t like it.

Another part of the game that doesn’t do a great job is the music. Normally I remember the music of each game I play but from this game I can’t remember any melodies. Vaguely I might remember parts but the music is a missed opportunity.

Also, there is an issue with the length of this game. It might have 150 puzzles, this game can be easily beaten in a few days. The game is short, way to short for this style of game.

And what’s a big shame is, yes there are typo’s in the game! And not one or two, there are a few. Almost like they forgot to proofread this game. An example is this screenshot you can easily find some grammar issues. “TOUCH tiles tohighlight a path to cross the grid.” Yup, that’s this game for you.

I’m out of things to say about the game, time for my conclusion.

Conclusion

The good:

+ Unique puzzles.

+ Challenging.

+ Details like fan mail is a nice touch.

+ Your face in the game, man I have never felt more involved.

+ Great freedom in choosing your puzzles.

The bad:

– It’s over way to quickly.

– Graphically, the animation and characters feel dated.

– The music is generic.

– Typo’s in a visual novel?!

– Way to many times you get reminded of what happened.

Conclusion:

Is this a good game? Yes, it is. Is this a great game? No, it isn’t. The game has a certain charm that hasn’t been created in a long time. Yet, it’s too flawed to stand out. It also doesn’t do anything new. It’s just a puzzle game. I can barely bring up arguments to tell you why this game is better then the others.

Comparing this to Professor Layton isn’t doing it any good either. Then this game feels like shovelware. Yet, this game has enough value to not be a bargain sale.

This game comes recommended as a snack, to play between two game releases you are waiting for. But don’t expect an amazing game. It has too many missed opportunities for that.

Score: 68 / 100

Review #008: Corpse Party (PSP) review ~ The school of doom.

Corpse Party (USA)

The site of this game.

First Impressions article

Warning for gamers & parents: This game is for 16 year and older. This game contains a lot of gore, blood and foul language. This game can be extremely creepy. For those who are easily afraid, play with caution. 

I started to play several XSeed games before, and I didn’t realize things about this game since I started reviewing it. While researching this game, I learned that this game is a port of a Japanese PC-98 game made by one person. He won a competition with that, nearly 5 million yen. The game is then ported to the PSP year later. These are signs of an extremely good game. But, is it? Or is this game an experiment of that Japanese developer to check if the game is ready for western releases? It’s obvious from my first impression article that I liked this game an awful lot. Now that I finished the main story line, it’s time to give this a proper and full review. Is this game truly worth the praise I gave it? Or is the game now going to fall flat on it’s face? Let’s dive into Corpse Party. 

The ritual

corpse_party_3It has been quite some time since I got scared from a video game. Horror games are usually a no-go for me. It contains jump-scares and cheap tricks for scaring you. Games like 999 and Virtue’s Last Reward are major exceptions on that rule.

But I wanted to change that one night and I booted up this game, just before I went to sleep and I started to play this game with earphones in. And I am glad that I did. Like I said in previous articles, I love myself a good story. And this story really drew me in.

The game is also based on a manga. And I now want to read the manga, to see how good the recreated it. If the manga or the game was first, it isn’t clear to me, I can’t tell.

But this story made me gasp, be silent and got all my attention. The pacing is just perfect. The game is creepy. Very creepy, but it doesn’t overdo the creepiness at any point. The game is creepy if you read the text. The point here is that the writing is extremely well done.

What adds to the game is the voice-acting. The voice acting is where I think this game shines. The Japanese voices really add to the story and make you feel the emotion that they tried to show. Also, the sound of the voices matches the characters displayed on the screen quite well and I didn’t have any character where I would use another voice.

So, the story is extremely well done. And it really gets thrilling. Plot twists are around every corner. Sadly enough, it’s obvious sometimes what the fate of some characters will be but how slow or how fast it goes down really makes the game unpredictable.

Uniqueness

6289325919_6407efd37c_zThe gameplay caught me off guard. I’m quite surprised how many visual novel games have such unique gameplay.

Your goal is to escape a cursed school and find your classmates and teacher. But, at that cursed school something extremely terrible happened. And something is there to stop your progress. That’s all I can tell you without spoiling the story too much.

The game has 5 chapters. The length of each chapter continues to grow larger. With the amazing finale with over a 2 hour playtime if you don’t get stuck anywhere.

There is a twist. The game has multiple endings each chapter. And these can be triggered by one wrong move. This makes the game difficult to play. This game won’t hold your hand and you fell a sense of reward if you finish a chapter. There are points that give you hints but overall, it will be all up to you.

There is one major flaw with the gameplay though. The save system. I didn’t like it one bit. You can save by using candles placed all over the map. But some are so far out that when you get a wrong end, you get frustrated. Also, you can save your system data, which means you save the tags you found and the game also saves that you achieved a certain wrong ending. Which can get confusing. There is also a save feature that you can only use once. If you load that save file, the save deletes itself after loading. This isn’t such a great feature. For a good save file system, Virtue’s Last Reward got it right.

I’m here.

images

The music and sound are extremely well done. The music does what’s supposed to do. For some players, it can feel a bit out of place but for me, it actually worked. I really gave me that Virtue’s Last Reward vibe and really got me hooked. If I can buy the album somewhere, I certainly will.

Although, on very rare occasions you can make the music glitch out and not play. And some parts don’t have music. But this is so nitpicky.

The soundeffects, something I always am very strict about, well made me zip my review mouth. Really, they are good. Everything sounds like it’s supposed to sound and it doesn’t have any sound effects too much or too little. They got it right with this game.

Graphically, this game looks dated. And is this a bad thing? Not at all. If you compare it with how it was in the PC-98 version the game got quite a big improvement in the graphics. But I love how they didn’t make the graphics become “too new”. It still has that feel of the original games without being too “ugly” for the graphic lovers. The characters look nice and the location of the game is lovely. But, there is one flaw in the graphic department.

The animation isn’t all that great. Lines where bridges need to come, walking in less then 5 frames, some characters seem to slide over the scene instead of walk. It feels extremely basic. It doesn’t take you out of the experience but it really brings the game down in my opinion. It’s a big missed opportunity.

Before I forget, this game also got the amount of gameplay and story quite right. There are parts where you need to go through large chunks of text, but you get a lengthy part to play too.

There are also 10 additional chapters. I think you can unlock them by getting the wrong ends or collecting certain tags. I haven’t played these yet, but it surely adds to the replay value.

And that’s about all I can say about this game, let’s go on to the conclusion.

Conclusion

The good:

+ Bad-ass story.

+ Memorable characters, setting, story…

+ Graphics feel rightfully old school.

+ The music is one of the best I have heard in a while.

+ Soundeffects are well done.

+ The voice acting really adds to the game.

+ Lengthy game.

+ It will truly challenge your skills.

+ Different endings.

The bad:

– Save feature.

– Animations aren’t polished.

– The rare music issues and silent area’s.

Conclusion:

I barely score games a full 100. And this game got close. The game is really well made and got me into gaming once more. I was slowly growing out of gaming and wanting to review and write again. Yet, this game made me change my mind.

The story is unique, doesn’t exploit the usual cliches and takes twists and turns without getting too complex. The music is great and the voice acting adds to the game. I can’t repeat it enough.

If you play this game in the dark or not, it’s up to you. But pay attention, it will draw you in and hold you there for as long as you can play the game.

Apart from the major flaw of the animation and the bad save features, this game feels flawless. Leave in the comments what you think of this game.

Score: 95 / 100

Simple Android games you should try out.

AndroidWallpaper

I’m a big fan of the Android Market. I often find myself playing games I find on there. While waiting for the bus the other day, I played a few games on my tablet. The following games are games I won’t have enough to write about for a full review but games you should check out. But before we do that, I have a few questions where you guys can have some input on. First of all, it’s most likely possible that I’ll find more then the games I’m going to mention here. So this will maybe turn into a series. Which name should I give it? Does NekoJonez plays Android sound okay? Anyways, I’m also going to link these apps here so you can easily download them when you are reading my blog from your tablet or mobile phone. In addition to that, give me some feedback on the format I write for each game. If you want to know more about the game or things like that. Oh, my goal is that all games are 100% free too. Some might have in-game things you can buy or ads. Welp, lengthy intro is lengthy. Let’s dive in. 

2 Player Reactor

(This app contains adds)

2_player_reactor_for_android-474583-1318928025I’ll start the list of this article like the extremely bad NES game Action52 did, with the game that requires two players to enjoy.

In this simple game you have to be quick and precise. Your challenge will be always above your square, as well as your score.

You have to do simple tasks. Like guess the capital or check if the squares match each other.

When you tap on the correct moment, you’ll earn a point. When you tap on the wrong moment, you’ll loose a point. Self-explanatory. But there will be fun reactions, some you won’t expect.

You can go in minus, like you see in this screenshot.

This game has been translated in various languages, so you can enjoy this game in your native language. I played this game with my sister often in Dutch, since we Dutch people our brains don’t work in English THAT fast.

With various options and settings, you can leave modes out. Who has the most points at the end wins. There is also a “pro” version that supports 4 players.

I have one minor complaint with this game, and that’s on smaller screens, the text isn’t broken up to fit the screen.

Score: 4 / 5

Line Puzzle

unnamedAs simple as this game looks, as simple as you’ll get it. Made by DevSquare, this game has some amusing music.

In this game, your goal is that you have dots connect to other dots. The numbers represent how many dots you can use from that given square.

There are many puzzles, and some can get very big.

There is a “daily puzzle” which reminds me from the Professor Layton downloadable puzzles.

With the points you earn, you can buy hints, helpful for when you are stuck.

Some bad points are:

– The bad English translation. The option menu is a great example.

– They use the technical terms for music (BGM) and sound (SFX).

Score: 4 / 5

Card Game

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(This game contains Japanese)

To finish off this article, I would like to talk about another free game released by the guys of Beasty Bay.

In this game, your goal is to put the same number on your main card OR one of the same kind.

You have 3 “jokers”. The mascotte is a wild card, the monkey’ll change ALL cards that you can’t use and the lady’ll show you the card up next.

You can bet, with virtual coins. The more you bet, the more you can win. You need to have a chain of at least 17 cards to play a mini-game and earn your coins back.

You can choose to skip the mini-game and get your coins back or play the mini-game and win the double amount, or more, of coins back.

You can’t go broke in this game because when all your coins are up, you restart with a fresh 50 coins.

Each match is random.

This game might be in a Japanese interface, but it’s easy to find your way. After playing it for a little while, you can get easily the hang of it and enjoy playing.

The music is adorable too, like the graphics.

Score: 4,5 / 5 (A 5 if it was English)

Closure

So, that are 3 games that are free that I recommend. I will scout the market and come next article with more games. Also leave great recommendations here in the comments.

I hope you enjoy yourselves with these games and that you find some new studio’s or developers you can follow on the Android market. Have fun and I see you next blog entry.

Rant #002: Broken Menu’s

Broken menu minecraft

Don’t you just love it? You are playing a game and the menu’s are all glitched up? Like in this screenshot, where the “Done” button is too stubborn to move. This is a curse that many modders have in Minecraft. But in my current playthrough of certain games I have encountered some issues with menu’s for me to talk about in this rant. But before I continue, what problems did you guys have had with menu’s before? Let me know in the comments. Maybe I’ll add them in a follow up article if I ever write one. So let’s dive into the menu’s and my rant about them. 

Standard menu’s?

I often ask myself, why do developers not have some rules about menu’s? I recently tried out Call Of Duty and the options to change the controls are separate. Great, I looked over it since I expected them to be under an option tab.

All the menu’s in the games are different. I have no big issue with that. The might try to fit the style of the game. But, the issue is mainly that all options have a different spot in each game. What really makes me nervous is when developers don’t give you a chance to play a game in a windowed mode or in full screen. Some games stay full screen anyways. Or when you can’t change the screen sizes to the screen size of your monitor.

A big example of bad menu design is Overlord. Yes, for the options there are two menu’s. Awesome! But the most useful options like screen size and the changing of buttons is in the launcher and you can’t access that in game. This made me close and restart the game often to try to really fit the controls to my likeness.

To accept or not to accept?

Why do so many games have menu’s where you need to click on “accept” before the changes happen? For older games, I can forgive that, but in more recent games I have seen so many examples where the game changes the settings as soon as you change the setting. Even a preview button would be sweet.

This extremely confuses me, to the extend where I look in every game for an accept button or I get mad went the changes didn’t happen because I missed the “accept” button.

Another annoying example is how messy the Devil May Cry menu’s are. The buttons to accept options are, well displayed if they would be on a controller. What in the holy name of flying cows? Not everybody has a XBOX guys so, not everybody has a controller to attach to their computer.

This actually gives me the opportunity to do a small additional rant. Who plays with a controller on a computer? For emulators, yes, but for PC games? Oh heck no, this just silly. That shows to me that you rather have the console version. It’s so silly to sit there with a controller when you have a whole array of buttons to press on your keyboard.

Tooltips

Tooltips are a great way of letting the player know what option does what. But oh so many games don’t have this. They just throw the option in your face and you have to guess what it is.

What I really like is how some sound menu’s have a sample that plays when you lower or raise the volume. All that games need to have that, it’s great to just tweak it to your hearts content.

But truth to be told, you have games where the menu’s are so extreme, that it’s a game in itself to navigate them. Most sandbox games like SimCity have this. Where you are actually playing with menu’s most of the time.

RollerCoaster Tycoon, the first game, has a big issue with menu’s as well. Each option is a menu. You can open a menu by almost clicking anywhere in game. It’s extremely difficult to keep track of them all and I find the screen get easily cluttered with menu’s. And there is no real way of closing them all at once.

I can agree that some games are lacking options. But I will mention that in my reviews then. I think I’m going to leave it here for this rant. Actually with my conclusion.

Menu’s can be messy, different and not easy to navigate. There is a lot of improvement in this part of gaming. But once you see some touches in other games, you get annoyed that some games don’t have them. I realize that I haven’t talked about how bad the menu’s can be on Kinect games, and that’s simply because I don’t own one.

So, that’s all for this rant. Happy gaming and NekoJonez signing out!