Tag Archives: Worlds

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

Woodly TreeNintendo microsite

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

Raindrops To The End

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

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

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

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

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

Checkpoint mystery

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

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

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

A cute cover

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Review: Blossom Tales – The Sleeping King (Switch) ~ Cloned To Perfection

Blossom Tales.jpg

Publisher’s website

I’m quite certain that since the success of The Legend Of Zelda – Breath Of The Wild, the next games in the Zelda series will be more open world. But, 3D-Zelda games aren’t even my favorite games. My favorite Zelda titles are the Oracle games. So, when I was browsing YouTube and saw a video of this game, I grabbed my Switch and bought it without thinking twice. Now, thanks to the Switch, the developer of this game has been able to stay afloat. That’s quite impressive I must say. It raised the bar quite high for me, so I had high expectations. So, in the end, how is the game? Is it worth playing or not? Let’s find out. As usual, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts on the game and/or the article. 

Note: This game is also released on Steam. So, if you don’t own a Switch and you are interested in this game, you can play it on your PC. I haven’t played this game on PC so this review will be focused on the Switch version of the game.

Cloned to perfection

blossom-tales-2.jpgIn this game, you play as Lily. A character in a story that the grandfather of two grandchildren is listening too. I found it really charming that the heroine’s name is Lily since that’s also the name of the female grandchild. The boy is named Chrys.

At first, the grandfather wanted to tell the story of: “the brave elf boy who lived in a magical land called H-..” but the grandkids have heard that story a million times. So, that’s why the grandpa started to tell the above-mentioned story. During the story, the grandchildren don’t hesitate to intervene and give commentary, sometimes arguing between the two of them which enemy the heroine faced.

It also gives the game some minor replay value in some areas. Since you get the option to choose between which grandchild get his or her wish when they are arguing about the enemy you are facing.

I’m not going to talk more about the story since it would spoil the excellent humor and charm of the writing. The writing pokes fun at the original 2D-Zelda games and the tropes of telling a story like that. While the story isn’t THAT unique, it’s executed so well and with so much charm, I really enjoyed it. The references and pokes towards the Zelda series also made me smile and enjoy it even more.

At the start, you would be under the impression that this game is a clone of the Zelda series. Almost completely copying the gameplay of the Zelda series. But, this game is cloned to perfection. This game has a lot of elements from different 2D-Zelda games and they all work perfectly together. If you didn’t know, you would say that this game is a spin-off in the Zelda series.

The gameplay can be compared to every 2D-Zelda game like Oracle of Ages/Seasons, A Link To The Past, The original Legend of Zelda, Link Between Worlds… I felt like playing a “best of” from those games.

Exploring the open world, trying to find all hidden areas on the map, upgrading your gear to do more damage… It made me come back for more and more. Too bad that this game is short. According to HowLongToBeat.com, this game only takes you 9-ish hours to complete.

Wake up Grandpa, I mean King!

blossom-tales-1.jpg

It’s a shame that this game is so short. The dungeons are challenging to play through and the overworld is fun to explore.

I wanted this game to continue on for a while longer. Since, when I first started my journey, the visual design of this game gave me a wave of nostalgia. The game looks amazing. Vibrant and colorful, but most of all, nostalgic. The pixel-art feels almost like it would be possible on a Gameboy Color.

While exploring the swamp, I almost felt like my younger self again. When I was covered in a blanket, playing A Link To The Past at my cousin’s house on his SNES. The game mixes elements of fantasy and magic quite well.

Besides that the game looks amazing, the animations of this game are extremely well done as well. I really like the idle animation of this game since it fits the story so well. When you leave your Switch alone, the main character would nervously tap her foot. As if she is waiting to know how she needs to progress in the story. A small touch that would make this perfect is that sometimes the kids would yell at grandpa that “he fell asleep while telling the story.” But, that’s nitpicking at this point.

Now, you go on your journey to wake up the King. Now, the reason for that is something I will leave up to you to discover. During your journey, you get a rather big arsenal of weapons. Every weapon is quite unique and is used on various places in the overworld. So, experiment with your items.

There is also a collect-a-ton aspect to the game where you can pick up certain enemy drops. Enemies rarely drop coins or hearts; but they drop feathers, zombie brains, bee hives… and those can be traded in for coins or other great rewards. The game has a bit more depth besides the main quest. So, to tease the gameplay even more… I will mention that there are side quests like scroll collecting.

Now, this game has a great price. The game costs 12€, 15USD. It’s a great price for this game.

All of this sounds fine, amazing gameplay, great story, and excellent presentation. Are there negatives to this game or will I continue to praise it? Well, there are a few things that made me raise an eyebrow or two.

So close, so close.

blossom-tales-3.jpg

Something I didn’t like was that you were unable to choose the sword button. This might seem like a nitpick, but I found it impractical that it was the “A” button.

Now, I only discovered that this could be changed after I finished the game. But, when you change your sword button, it also changes the button you need to press to accept dialogues. So yeaaaaaaah… Nitpicking much here. So, check your control options when you want to change that.

While the controls respond quite well, there are a few other things that I didn’t like. Like when you aim your bow, you are locked in the position you started aiming in. There is also no way to cancel the bow aiming. This is a problem since it takes a chunk out of your mana bar. And without mana, you can’t use your special items leaving you wide open to attacks.

If you have read other reviews I wrote, you know that I find the music and sound design pretty important for a game. Now, the sound design of this game is decent. While I would have loved a bit more sound effects for the monster grunts and people talking, it’s pretty okay.

The soundtrack, well, it’s good but some tracks are too short. And there are one or two tracks that I really didn’t like. The track for the race side quests worked on my nerves. At the other hand, it’s a great way to hear how much time you have left, but it made me just even more nervous while doing an obstacle course quickly. That said, the rest of the soundtrack is really enjoyable and I have to say that Visager did a great job with the music.

Now, there are a few things that could make this game even better. The first thing is a completion percentage. There are a lot of side quests and things like that, I would love to see a completion percentage or a sort of quest log so I can keep track of them.

A second thing that would improve the game quite a lot is polishing up the teleport system. Now, you step on the teleport stone and you choose in a lost of teleport locations you have activated. It would be amazing if you would see them on the map as well and instead of choosing them from a simple list, you would pick them from the map.

A third thing that would be nice is that there is a different sprite or some sort of identification if you have activated a teleport stone or not. This is a minor thing, I know, but it would be a great minor change.

The difficulty of this game is good. This game isn’t too hard or too easy. While it would be neat if the dungeon bosses have some sort of health bar, I think that the visuals give the health of a boss away.

Now, sometimes I felt like there was a bit too much going on with the dungeon boss. The more I have to keep in mind while fighting a boss, the more frustrated I get. There were two bosses that almost made me throw my Switch one or twice. Something that would help is an easier way to find the red potions. If that’s in the game, I overlooked it.

So, that’s everything I wanted to say about this game. I think it’s time for the conclusion and my final thoughts (which act as a TL;DR most of the times) for this game.

Conclusion

The good:

+ Amazing story

+ Excellent visuals

+ Addictive gameplay.

+ ….

The bad:

– Way too short. It’s over before you know it.

– Some bosses have a bit too much stuff going on.

– Locking in one direction when firing a bow.

– The soundtrack could have been so much more.

Final thoughts:

So, is this game any good? Yes! I never expected that this game was this good. While it’s highly possible that the nostalgia for the Legend of Zelda series overtakes me and makes me look over some flaws, but truth to be told, this game deserves all the praise it’s getting.

As mentioned above, this game isn’t perfect. But, the positives highly outweigh the negatives. This game is a lot of fun for casual and hardcore players. And because I finished this game and I want to see more, I’m well determined to support the developer even more. I want to see more of this developer.

You really owe it to yourself if you enjoy 2D-Zelda or adventure/action games to play this game to the end. For now, this game is one of the best games I have played all year. Yes, I enjoyed it that much.

In addition to that, when I was testing out the Switch screenshot sharing feature, I tweeted out a picture where signposts still tell what’s on it:

Knipsel.PNG

And yes, that’s the actual WRITER of this game replying to my tweet. The developers of this game are very active on social media! I love what you are doing with the fans and players of your game! Great work! Now, if you make another game; please notify me. I would love to see more of you guys. Even when it’s a sequel to Blossom Tales.

Thank you so much for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading this article 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!

Score: 90/100

 

Review: A Hat In Time (PC – Steam) ~ Time Pieces Everywhere

Ahatintime.jpgOfficial website

I could start this introduction to this game with talking about how this game took a long time to develop, how this game started on Kickstarter. Yet, that wouldn’t be needed, since that’s a well-known fact about this game. While I have beaten the game, I haven’t 100% it. I’m pretty close, but that doesn’t stop me from writing a review of this game. I played this game on PC, using a wireless XBOX360 controller. So, I hope you are ready to dive into this game since I’m ready to review it. As usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on the game and/or the content of this article.

“Mafia is here to collect”

a hat in time.jpg

In this game, you play as Hat Kid. She is flying home in her spaceship. When she gets into trouble with a mafia dude messing with her spaceship, Hat Kid’s timepieces drop down to the planet below. It’s your goal to find them and collect them all so you can get back home.

The main story of this game is really light-hearted, but it does the job pretty well. The writing of the characters is just amazing. All the characters you encounter on your journey are pretty memorable.

In addition to that, the voice acting is just perfect. Sometimes I really felt that these characters were real. The voice actors may pat themselves on the back for this. I really enjoyed that part of the game.

The story made me laugh several times and made me smile over and over again. The charm and attention to detail in this game is just astounding. In one outdoor level, rain is falling. And Hat Kit is wearing a raincoat in that level.

While the final boss shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who played the first few levels of the first world, the way how the ending is handled and the motivations of the characters wraps up the game nicely. There was even a moment I had to pause the game and put my controller down. The game had hit a personal chord with me. I’m not going to explain why and how to avoid spoiling the end but it’s just great.

Something I really like about this game is how no cutscene drags on for too long. You are right into the gameplay after a few minutes. This is a feeling a lot of other reviewers share with me.

Pretty worlds

A Hat in Time2I could continue to talk for quite a while about the writing, but a review of a game should talk about more than just that. The writing brings so much charm to the game just like the visual presentation. The game just is eye-candy.

The atmosphere that’s created with the visuals is just amazing to look at. I had several moments where I was in awe just finding little secrets in Mafia Town. The world feels alive. Just like the writing, the visual presentation adds so much charm and personality to the game.

Something I only noticed when I watched Nitrorad’s video about A Hat in Time was the different idle animations Hat Kid has. She is so cute and adorable. If I could, I would love to have her in my friend circle without a doubt.

So, the visual presentation, animation, and writing all help build an amazing world. While there are only 4-6 worlds in the game currently, depending if you count the final boss level and the hub or not. This might seem that the game is rather short, and it is.

The game can be beaten in one day if you know what you are doing. Yet, there are rumors floating around that there is more content coming in the future. I also heard that this content is going to be free. Yes, two new free worlds! I can’t wait to play them. If you can’t wait, there is a Steam Workshop and mod support in this game. So, you can play a lot of player created content to ease the wait.

I’m playing this game casually and taking my time with it. I’m taking everything in and think I can complete the game in 20 hours. But, I don’t want the game to be over. I just want to continue to run around in the unique worlds and explore each level as much as I can.

The theming of each world is just amazing. While a lot of people say that their favorite world is the 2nd world, the Bird Studio world, I have to disagree. In that world, there is too much focus on stealth. A game mechanic I don’t really enjoy. I really loved the 3rd world. The more creepy world. Something just clicked more with me in that world.

I can’t put my finger on just why, but maybe the music has to do with it. The soundtrack and sound design of this game are just wonderful. I even bought the soundtrack and I put it on my phone in my day-to-day playlist. It’s that good.

This game is mostly an adventure/platformer game in the style of Super Mario 64/Mario Sunshine. For those games, you need great control or otherwise, you won’t be able to fully enjoy this game. For no special reason, I started playing this game with a controller and to be honest, it clicked. While I think you would enjoy this game with mouse & keyboard, I think that playing with a controller is the way to go for this game.

The attention to detail in the game continues with the controller actually. I have seen so many games where when you boot it with a controller, keyboard input is disabled. This isn’t the case in this game. Also, when you boot the game with a controller and press a key on your keyboard, the on-screen button prompts change to the keyboard layout and give a quick pop-up at the side: “new input found: keyboard”. That’s a great feature.

The control is really great for this game. The only thing I had to get used to is the wall jump mechanic. Hat Kid can climb a little bit up instead of sliding down. But, in order for this to happen, you have to press the button to move forward. The times I pressed the jump button and fall to my doom… Well, it happened more often then I dare to admit.

While I had an issue here and there with Hat Kid not being able to jump when she is under a ceiling, the patch that arrived earlier this week fixed a lot of those instances. Whenever you report a problem, the community is really helpful to try and solve it. Also, the developer actively reads the Steam Forums and tries to create a patch as soon as they can. I wish more developers did this.

The UI of this game is just excellent. I really enjoy how simple and to the point the UI is. I have nothing more to say about that.

What is this game exactly?

HatinTime3

So, I have been praising this game to the heavens and I haven’t talked about what you have to do this in this game. Well, let me fix that.

If you know how Super Mario 64 works, you know how A Hat In Time plays, somewhat. You have 4 different worlds that feature different levels each. In each level, you have a certain goal to achieve and your reward for completion is a timepiece. In some levels, you can also find a time rift. These bring you to special raw platforming stages that reward you in the end with a timepiece. You will have to find these time rifts since you only get a photo of the area where it is, so you will to explore the world to find the timepiece.

A minor complaint I want to bring up is that when you find a time rift and find the timepiece, you go back to the hub. The issue here is that you aren’t able to return to the world you were in, where you found the timepiece. And one time, I nearly finished a level and I hit a time rift by accident. For those curious, it was the lava level in Mafia Town.

Apart from each world having a unique theme, they also have unique gameplay styles. For example, in the 2nd world, there is more focus on stealth. While in the 3rd world, you have to do chores for the demon of the forest.

I really like the diversity the game brings to the table. Each world and level puts your skills to the test and challenges you with great challenges. You will have to use all your hat abilities multiple times. I felt that nothing went underused in this game.

I really enjoyed collecting the yarn balls to craft new hats. I really enjoyed collecting the green gems to buy new badges to further expand Hat Kit her skill set. You even have a badge that makes the game even harder, one that gives you one health point for example. You can quickly change between hats. Also, time slows down when you switch between hats.

Speaking of challenge, the part that gave me the most challenge were the bosses of this game. They are all unique and have different attack patterns. Something I recommend that you do when you are stuck with a boss is trying to figure out their patterns as soon as you can.

This game isn’t too challenging. The penalty for dying is starting the stage over from the last checkpoint. And the game is very forgiving with health pickups littered all over the stages.

All in all, there is a lot to experience in A Hat In Time. The gameplay offers quite a lot and I can’t wait to see what the end worlds will offer. I think it would be cool if we have an Egyptian or Greek themed world. But, we will have to wait and see until more information is released.

Another big positive of this game is that the game only costs 28€ here in Europe. Believe me, I find this really cheap for the content you get.

Now, is this game perfect? So far, I have sung a lot of praises about this game and I haven’t mentioned anything negative about this game apart from the game’s short length and the nitpick about time rifts.

One flaw this game has is that the camera can be really annoying to control. Something a lot of other reviewers mentioned as well. I do have to agree with them, the camera can be annoying sometimes. But, it works amazingly more often than not.

Another flaw is how underdeveloped the time rift tokens are. You find them in hard to reach or hidden places. You can use three of them to spin a roulette wheel for new visual costumes/colors/remixes of songs. Now, when you exit out of the roulette wheel without picking a price, you lose your rift tokens. Besides that, when you want to unlock everything, you can’t. Since there are more things you can unlock than there are rift tokens.

I also don’t like how the game completion percentage only tracks the number of timepieces you have. It would be cooler if it also counted if you have unlocked all the hats and things like that.

The only minor issue I have with the UI is the fact that sometimes it didn’t display when I reached a checkpoint in the game. It didn’t happen once or twice, and it’s a real bummer.

One of the biggest things that annoyed me in my playthroughs is the hat changing. Now, this is a minor flaw and a nitpick; but it’s something I would love to see changed. Sometimes, when I quickly changed a hat while I was using the controller, the game didn’t register it. I have to wait a little bit longer before the hat is changed. Now, this issue isn’t present when you play with a mouse and keyboard since you see a visual line going to the hat when it’s selected. This isn’t present when you are playing with a controller.

Here is another nitpick. When you alt+tab out of the game, the music is still playing.

The biggest issue is the occasional glitch in this game. There are a few things that bug out, like Hat Kid getting stuck on walls while she uses her grappling hook but these things are easy to recover from. Also, with the frequent updates, a lot of these bugs are fixed as long as you report them.

But, I think you see my point here. The issues with the game aren’t game breaking or made me enjoy the game less. I do admit that the game isn’t flawless, but the flaws that are present are more minor problems.

So, that’s everything I wanted to say about this game. There are a few features and things I left out this review about this game. It’s time to give my final thoughts on this game in the conclusion.

Conclusion

The bad:

-There are some occasional moments where the game glitches out.

-Switching hats with a controller don’t always work when you do it quickly.

-The camera can cause some issues here and there.

-The game is way too short in its current condition.

The good:

+ Amazing visuals.

+ Fun and lighthearted story.

+ Great level design.

+ Amazing variety.

+ …

Final thoughts:

Apart from Super Mario 64, I haven’t played a lot of games in this style. When Yooka Laylee released earlier this year to mediocre reviews, I didn’t have a high expectation for this game.

After a few minutes of playing this game, I was hooked. The charm and atmosphere of this game are just so addictive. I really enjoyed my time with this game. A Hat In Time has grown on me. I wish I did back the Kickstarter for this game back in 2013.

This game is so much fun to play and I can’t wait to fully complete this game. After I have beaten the game, one thing is for sure, I’m going to try out the community created mods and wait for the new worlds to arrive.

This game is one of the best games I have played in 2017. The amount of effort this small time put into this game is just mind-blowing. This game has no major flaws and it comes highly recommended from me.

While some people would say that this game does nothing innovative, I think you shouldn’t hold it against this game. It’s clear that this game is highly inspired by other titles but it’s a great homage and it does everything in such an amazing execution.

The game has flaws, yes. But, the flaws didn’t stop me from enjoying the game an awful lot.

Thank you Gears For Breakfast for delivering such an amazing game and I can’t wait to see where you take this game. I also hope you guys are also thinking about either more worlds or a sequel since I’m hungry for more Hat in Time! You have put a smile on my face from beginning to end.

That was everything! Thank you so much for reading this article and I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it. I hope to be able to welcome you in another article but until then, take care and a have a great rest of your day!

Score: 100/100

Review #033: The Legend Of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds (3DS) ~ Merged.

1382344384First Impression – Official site

Warning: This is a longer review. 

I know, I know. This game has been released for such a long time. I have only just recently beaten it. The reason for that is that other games distracted me and I was annoyed at one dungeon. But hey, now that I have finished it, I finally can take a look at this game. I already reviewed a Zelda game earlier this month, but I hope you guys can forgive me for two Zelda game reviews back to back. There will be one guy that will read my review for sure! Isn’t that true, Dark_Legend? Since I know you are looking forward to any content about Zelda. We are both big Zelda fans. Zelda is love. Zelda is LIFE! Anyways, enough with the randomness in this introduction. Let’s take a look at this game. And as usual, feel free to leave a comment with your opinion on this article and or your opinion on this game. Before I continue with the actual review, I want to say that this review has been written quite some time after the first impression article. So, it might be quite possible that my opinion changed quite a bit compared to the first impression. Hopefully you readers can understand that. 

Let’s start.

3DS_ZeldaLBW_ComicCon_ScreenShot_08

While I was playing this game, I was also playing the remake of Ocarina of Time on 3DS. The story has lots of similar elements. While the set-up is quite similar to A Link To The Past, the story takes it’s inspiration from Ocarina Of Time.

That doesn’t mean that the story isn’t unique. I’m a little bit disappointing to see that the story was created using two other Zelda stories with a new element in it. I don’t have any complaints in terms of story besides that. I just felt like I was playing through two quite similar stories. The medallions were the paintings in this game.

It’s by all means, not a bad story. I liked the characters and it was really interesting to see how this game throws a twist in the end. I can’t say it’s predictable, only a person with a lot of experience in the visual novel genre or in writing might see the ending of this game coming.

I can understand that this game is a remake of A Link To The Past, so I can forgive the story being mediocre. I’m actually glad that we got a different game then another remake of A Link To The Past, because it already got a remake on the GBA.

Also, because this game tries out a ton of new things with the Zelda formula, I can’t complain that much about it’s length. A complaint I read often is that this game is too short. I can agree. For veteran Zelda players, you can beat this game quite fast. I didn’t beat it as fast as I could because I didn’t like one dungeon. I’ll get into that later.

Not that good?

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I’m quite sure I’m going to get some hate for this, but I think that the scores this game get are quite high. Honestly, a bit too high. Let me explain myself. Before I look like a troll.

Graphically, this game left me with a “meh” feeling. I enjoy the style using in Phantom Hourglass and Spirit Tracks more. You won’t hear me complaining about the more realistic and detailed art-style of Ocarina Of Time. This game is a mix between the two styles.

It tries to have a realistic look on the characters while some enemies and part of the world have a more cartoon-like look to it.

I also didn’t like some character and enemy designs. My favorite race in the Zelda series must be the Zora’s. In this game they look like blown up frogs. So, long story short, I don’t think that this game looks all that good.

This game does make more mistakes then that. The final boss is way too easy. I was able to beat the final boss on my first try. I even didn’t need my 2nd health potion. The solution was way too easy for a veteran puzzle game player. It left me with a very disappointed feeling. The story might have a sweet climax, but the gameplay hasn’t.

What I’m trying to say here is that the difficulty is messed up. All other reviewers said the same. Because you can do the dungeons out of order, they programmed the game in a way that the difficulty is somewhat equal in all the dungeons. There is the big issue, since you get stronger through-out the game, it truly becomes a cake-walk. I haven’t played through Hero Mode, but the overall difficulty isn’t good throughout the whole game.

Good?

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Sadly enough, I’m not done yet with talking about the negatives of this game. A huge improvement is that you can put pins on your map to locations you want to visit in the future! This is quite a nice feature. I used it from time to time to be able to get to certain hart pieces later.

But I do have a problem here. All the locations of the dungeons have been marked. This is both a good thing and a bad thing. It helps the player not getting lost, but it kills the exploration. Now, it’s less fun to be able to say: “I found the entrance to that dungeon.”. It’s marked on the map. You can’t overlook it.

Let’s talk dungeon design then. Earlier in this article I talked about the issue I had with this game. In the forest dungeon, you are stalked by a wall master. While it’s a very original idea and it creates some amazing puzzles, it can be quite annoying from time to time.

In general, I think that the dungeons are very well designed. The ice dungeon breaks a Zelda tradition. You can get the boss key almost right away. In some dungeons you can find suits to upgrade yourself. You can even find the master shield in one of the dungeons. The dungeons are filled with challenging enemies and great puzzles. I might had to use a walkthrough once or twice because I wasn’t able to figure out a puzzle. It was one in the Ice Temple. The lay-out is a bit confusing.

You can do the dungeons in what ever order you wish. You can rent the items from a weird guy that invades your home. This is very unique and quite fun. Because you try to get to secrets early and things like that. You can also buy the items later on. And here is where the issue lies. The dungeons feel less rewarding to go through. At least for me, they do. Because you got the dungeon item in advance, you can easily go through it without an issue. There is less reason to try and find each and every item.

 I could sink into the floor… I mean wall.

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So, is this game really not worth playing? No, that would be the wrong thing to say and think. This game provided me with a lot of fun. The main mechanic really helps with that. In this game you are able to merge with almost any wall in the game.

I honestly think that the music is really well done. I love the touch that the music sounds more distant as soon you merge into a wall.

Also, you can be a bit more careless with your bombs and arrows. Thanks to the magic meter, you never run out of them. That saves a whole bunch of grinding, something that shouldn’t be in a Zelda game in the first place.

The side quest to find the baby squids (?)

The animation is extremely well done. This game really plays nice in 3D as well. While I’m not a big fan of the visuals, I think the 3D is good. There is a lot to do besides the main story line. The fact that you can upgrade your stuff, makes the side quests rewarding.

Maybe a little spoiler, but there is a “hero” mode in this game. With this mode you can replay the whole game but in a more difficult fashion.

Also, there is a multiplayer aspect to this game. It’s more spotpass related, but I think it’s really fun. You guys should check it out!

Anyways, I think I have said the most important things I wanted to say about this game. Let’s go to my conclusion.

Conclusion

The bad:

– Visually lacking in my opinion.

– The end game is extremely easy.

– The wall master hunting you down in the forest temple can be annoying 😦

– The map can be annoying to use.

The good:

+ Pins on the map!

+ Great soundtrack.

+ Great idea’s to change up the gameplay.

+ Amazing use of the amazing meter!

Closing thoughts:

This game isn’t perfect, it’s good. But it is anything but worth the big scores that big magazines are giving it. I’m a big Zelda fan, but I put this game down after I got annoyed by that wall master in the forest dungeon chasing you. There is even one in the first room of the dungeon. When I don’t play a Zelda game until I finish it, it means that there is something lacking.

The game was originally meant to be a remake of “A Link To The Past”, and that’s what this game is holding back. This is a reworked remake. Somehow I have the impression that the developers changed the main idea of the game somewhere mid-way development. They needed something simple to set this game apart, so they started reworking the game with the wall merging mechanic.

If I look past my fanboy-ism for the series, I see a game that has some issues but still provides a fun ride. This game isn’t an outstanding Zelda experience, but it came close. They only had to flesh out the game a bit more. To add a bit more difficulty to it. Yeah. That might have been better.

Score: 70/100

Gaming Music – Number 7: Moar good tracks

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More music articles

Oh yes, it’s time to write a new article for this series again. In this article, I didn’t look for artwork that has to do with game music but I used the first screen from Electronic Super Joy. A game that’s good because of the music. Anyways, I’m a huge fan of game music. I admit that I listen to it nearly all the time. Even when going to work. It’s just addicting to listen to the amazing tunes they create for games. The atmosphere is just so… amazing thanks to the music. Now, I do have some rules. I can’t pick two tracks of one game in each article. Also, I avoid picking two tracks from the same series in one article. I hope I never slip up and pick one track twice. If that happens, feel free to leave a comment. Oh, and do feel free to comment on my music picks for this article. Anyways, here we go!

#1: The Legend Of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds (3DS) – Lowrule Overworld Theme

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Such a shame that I haven’t finished this game. Yet, the music is amazing. I really enjoy the melody of this tune. Yet, I have written a first impression of this game.

You truly recognize the melody of the overworld from Hyrule. This theme gives a more acapella-remix, one where the major leading instruments are taken out.

To be honest, this was my ringtone while I was playing the game. It happens frequently that a track from a game I really like becomes my ringtone.

Something I dislike about this track is how it doesn’t fit the mood of Lowrule as I image it. I honestly think it should be a lot darker. Then again, this track might be in such a light mood since our hero is bringing light and peace to this realm.

Yeah, this must be it.

#2: Professor Layton vs Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright (3DS) – Objection Theme

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Remember my extremely long review of this game? Or my first impression. The game is amazing in my eyes. It really deserved all the hype and it totally met all my expectations. As usual, I ignored the posts with new screenshots to avoid spoilers. This way I can totally hype up myself.

I’m still enjoying the additional content for this game. Maybe one day, I might write a game quicky about it. Who knows. I’m changing the formula of game quickies anyways.

But I really enjoy this theme, it’s one of the best in the series. I’m hoping they are making a sequel for this game in the future since it deserves one. This is one of those kind of games where you’re sad it’s over. And be sure that I put the music of this game on replay. Just like this track. No question about it.

#3:  Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald (GBA) – Legendary Pokemon

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When this track played when I found the legendary Pokémon for the first time in Ruby, I was hyped. While I think that the second generation is the best Pokémon generation, the 3rd game is the actual game I really got into the series.

This track still stays with me until this day. I fondly remember decoding the braille marking on the stones on get the Reggies.

I love listing to this track when I’m riding my bike home through the rain. I get the same vibe then from fighting a legendary Pokémon.

What kind of memories do you have with this track? Please let me know in the comments. Since I’m really curious.

#4: DuckTales: Remastered (PC ~ Steam) – The Moon

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I haven’t played a lot of this game. Yet, this track got posted on my forum by one of my friends who finished the game. He says that they keep this track until the end of the game. And dayum, is this a track to close off the game.

I really liked the music in the original but the remix for the remastered version is really amazing. Thumbs up for the creator of this track, or the remixer. It’s really well done. It’s almost perfect. I feel a new ringtone coming up. Yeah, I think I might take this one as a ringtone for a while.

#5: Okami (Wii) – Giving Kushinada A Ride

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Man, I’m so bummed out that I saved over my save file. I need to restart this game. Now, this game isn’t too hard so it’s no real pain. The biggest issue is that I have to restart. And this game is pretty long.

Strangely, I haven’t written any article about this game. Well, I have mentioned it in an article of games I want to finish. But that has been an article of last year. Now, I added this game to the list to write a first impression about in the future. Maybe you will see this game appearing on my blog in August.

This game has beautiful music. That’s why I’m mentioning a track in the article of course. The music is very amazing. You really can image giving somebody a ride (to safety). Through a beautiful painted landscape, this moment is really memorable.

The rest of the soundtrack is pretty amazing, but none is so memorable to me as this one. Yeah, when you play it and get to this moment… You will understand what I mean.

And yeah, this track is my alarm in the morning. When I need to wake up and go to work. It really wakes me up. (And my mother, who is in the room next doors.)

Final words

There we go, another music article. I hope you enjoyed this one. For my next article in this series I have an amazing idea. I’m listing the remixes and game-related music tracks I love to listen to.

I have a few great tracks in mind. And it might not be the only one of it’s kind. So yeah, keep an eye on my social media for more updates on the releases.

Anyways, I think I’m going to end this article here. Thanks for reading and until the next time!

Top 10 games I played in 2013

masterengineeringtop10Alright, let’s do this. I have my favorite music playing in the background and it’s time to write some articles. 2013 is nearly over and I need to study. A lot even. But anyways, in this top 10 I’ll write about the games I played this year. There is one catch though. I’m not allowed to list games I have played before 2012. So, games I have finished and I’m now replaying don’t count. Anyways, I want for lay-out sake that this introduction is as long as the image here. And since that’s the case already, let’s start with the list. Leave me a comment from your thoughts of the games I have choosen. And try make a list yourself. I’m quite curious. 

#10: Delver (Steam)

imagesThis game. It took me by storm. I bought it on Steam because it caught my eye. And seriously, I don’t regret it in the slightest. I even wrote a review on it. I love playing this game because it’s simple.

You can pick it up from time to time and continue where you left off. I also get the feeling of freedom I get from Minecraft. It’s just mindblowing.

There is a similar game out on Steam, called Eldrich. Yet, I think Delver is clearly the better game.

#9: Pokémon Y (3DS)

3DS_PokemonY_pkg01Oh yes, this might piss off some people. Why is Pokémon X & Y on such a low spot. I think I might see a rage incoming.

Yet, while I haven’t written an article about it yet, I do think that this game has some flaws that made this game not the extremely nice title it’s supposed to be.

I have to give it to Nintendo. They did a lot of things right with this game. The improvements they made are well placed and work perfectly. Yet, there are some parts I think that they should have presented differently.

I’m not really done just yet with this entry in the series but when I’m done I’ll review this game. Although that the planned co-op won’t be happening since college got in the way and I was unable to finish the article in time and I delayed it and I started to be distracted by other games…

#8: Legend Of Heroes – Trails In The Sky

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This game is my favorite RPG on PSP. I’m so glad I discovered it. I’m nearly playing this game non-stop as soon as I start my PSP.

The writing in this game is excellent. The story is interesting and the gameplay is just great. The story comes close to a story I was writing on my forum in the past. I sometimes miss those days. Oh well, I’m glad I can write here on my blog and write for other things as well.

In the last months of 2013, I have been looking for games to play. And when I saw this game on the shelves, I was so glad I picked it up.

I even mentioned this game in my previous music article. The music is even worth listing to. Yet, it isn’t my favorite PSP game. I’ll talk about that one later.

It pains me to put this excellent game so low on the list, but oh well. I’m happy that I can include it. I would be ashamed if I forgot it.

#7: Broken Sword 5 – The Serpents Curse (PC – Steam)

gaming_brokensword5Okay, this game was fully fan-funded. And I haven’t beaten it yet. I’ll soon though. I’m trying to finish a lot of games now. And I’m replaying a lot of games to write an article on my blog for.

This game got some recent updates as well. Yet, there are some things that should still be worked on. Like I told in my first impression.

This point and click game proves that Revolution Software has still the making of these style of games mastered. Their way of coming out to their fans is just excellent. I love how they made this game happen.

I’m enjoying this game quite a lot and I’m ashamed that I don’t give this game the love it deserves. And I secretly hope that I get the collectors edition for Christmas so that my whole collection of this series is complete.

Next year, the second episode will be posted. When I finished that, I’ll surely write a full review about it!

#6: Tomb Raider (PC)

This game. It’s the game I used to come back at the world of blogging and reviewing. Read my review about it here.

I still play the game here and there to make sure I’ll reach the 100% one day. And I’ll also replay this game next year in order to try and beat this game on hard.

This game was such a blast from start to finish and I was so sad when I had beaten it. It went by a bit too quick for me.

But thanks to this game, I have discovered my love for a bit more creepy games and I learned to play games I thought I would have hated.

Still, my urge to replay some old Tomb Raiders is big now. And I might start playing some old classic Tomb Raiders in the near future.

#5: The Legend Of Zelda – Link Between Worlds (3DS)

The_Legend_of_Zelda_A_Link_Between_Worlds_NA_coverWow! Hold your horses. NekoJonez is such a big Zelda fan and he doesn’t put the latest Zelda title on the number one spot?

Yes, I don’t. Since there are some games that changed my gaming life for good and this game didn’t do that.

While it’s one of the best Zelda titles to date, I have my doubts about some things in this game. And when I beat it, I’ll talk about it in my review. But I talked about my opinion already in this article.

Still, this game takes the spot for best game that didn’t change my gaming life. And congrats on winning the award of “Game Of The Year” on Gamespot guys. It was such a surprise!

#4: Phoenix Wright – Ace Attorney 5 – Dual Destinies (3DS – eShop)

This game changed my gaming life. It changed my views on DLC for good. I might have talked about it in a bad way in my review and my first impression. Shame on me for thinking all DLC is bad.

The additional case really added a nice case that makes this game worthy of a higher score. I wish there is a new case in the make for this game. One where we don’t have Simon as the opponent. Please, another one would be great!

If you haven’t played this title, it’s a great way to start the series. I restarted Miles Edgeworth actually after playing this and I might just write a review of that game soon.

#3: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon – Gates To Infinity (3DS)

PMGTIThis game is just worthy of a review. Oh wait, I already wrote that article. I finished this game already. And I wrote that long review off it.

Yup, this game got a more lengthy review from me and I think it was worth it. It learned me how a sequel can be both disappointing yet fun as well. There were some parts I thought they shouldn’t have cut out but hey, they gave us some great other options as well.

I still have to finish the post game. But you know me, other games that start to distract me. But what didn’t distract me was the ending of the game. I succeeded in making me cry once more.

Even when I could predict the ending of this story, I still ran into the trap of the ending being such a hit on my “FEELS”. Aw man, I wish I could restart this game without knowing what happened to experience that feeling once more.

#2: Corpse Party (PSP)

cover_largeWithout a doubt, this is the best PSP game ever made in my opinion. Although I might have lazily placed the box-art of the sequel here, I think it’s worthy to mention it as well.

As I’m nearly done with finishing the last chapter of the sequel, the original game made me start my first impression series. The article is here. And I reviewed it as well. That review can be found here.

This game is surely worth of a playthrough. This text adventure is actually scary. And yes, it’s even a freaking 2D game. It’s written in such a way it’s pretty scary. And I even had moments where I regretted playing this in the dark.

Even playing this game in full light, this game has the power to make people piss their pants. It once came to a close encounter for me.

But the sequel is on the list to review once I finished it. Man, I have a lot of games I want to play but I kind of refuse to play this game since I don’t want to end my adventure with this game.

#1: Alan Wake (PC)

Alan-Wake-PC-_capaLooking back on 2013, I have played a lot of games. 2013 was such a weird year for me. I had new experiences and learned a lot. But there was one game that made me love my passion of writing stories even more.

Alan Wake. It’s simply one of the best PC games ever made. The adventure is extremely well made and it even made me reading books again. And what a blast it is to read the novel based on this game.

It made me want to play the game without stopping. I have written two articles about it. My first impression and my review.

I’m so glad that I got this game as a gift from somebody of my forum. And yes, that’s a reason why this game might got the first spot on my list.

I’m playing the sequel now and I’m curious how the story will wrap up. I’ll keep you guys up-to-date.

Final words

This may or may not be my last article of 2013. Busy times are ahead. I’ll try to write a few new articles. I have some planned. And I hope that they get past the planning stage this time.

Anyways, I am glad that I finally was able to write this article. Since it was such a challenge to write this list. I played so many games, I didn’t want to exclude some games, but I had to not list some of my favorites.

I’m quite sure that there are a lot of games you guys haven’t played or never heard of. I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much I had writing it. But before I leave, let’s list the games that just didn’t made the cut for the list.

Elebits (DS), Tales Of Monkey Island (PC), NickTunes Fight For Vulcano Island (PS2), The Stanley Parable (PC), The Novelist (PC), Animal Crossing – New Leaf (3DS), Ape Escape (PSP), Fragile Dreams (Wii) and various others.

Well, I might just wish you guys happy holidays. Since I’m sure that makes me cover everything you possibly could celebrate. And I hope to catch you in one of my further articles!