44 posts tagged review
Tiny Review - Zelda: A Link Between Worlds ⊟
You don’t need us to tell you The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is amazing. Almost every reviewer (except maybe Destructoid) agrees it’s top tier, and you likely have the 3DS game shipping your way if it’s not already in your hands anyway. But since some of you insisted on Twitter, we’ll play our part as the arbiters of what’s fun on handhelds.
We’ve previously talked at length about all the changes Nintendo’s made to the Zelda formula have all been for the better: the Link-turns-into-a-drawing mechanic allows for new and creative puzzles, immediate equipment rentals let you explore the way you want to, and the game is full of welcome tweaks to streamline the experience. Since we’ve gone over all that, let’s just get to the usual bullet list of arbitrary observations.
Tiny Review: Tearaway ⊟
Tearaway feels like a AAA game. I don’t necessarily mean that in terms of production values, but rather in the sense that, like the stereotype of modern big-budget games, Media Molecule’s Vita platformer is strictly linear, guiding you from spectacle to spectacle as smoothly as possible. It is, to use the common comparison, an amusement park ride, complete with occasional keepsake photos.
But I’m not denouncing this game, despite its trivial combat, nonexistent challenge and rudimentary puzzles. For once, that kind of handholding is okay because Tearaway uses this AAA framework not to show us, like, how simultaneously cool and sad war is or whatever, but to show us something beautiful.
And it’s really, really beautiful.
Crying • Get Olde
Get Olde is my favorite chiptune release of the year, and I don’t want you to miss it — not like Dannel and I almost did, when someone sent us a link weeks ago and we forgot to check it out. Absolutely play through the entire thing, then do it again and again and again.
I struggled in deciding whether to declare this 2013’s best chip album so far, or dull my praise by qualifying it as my favorite. I don’t want to burden Crying’s debut release with impossible expectations and undeserved resentment from fans of other groups, so I’ll settle for the latter statement.
My tastes in the genre are very specific, and this surprise release from the Purchase, NY trio hits them all — chirpy Game Boy tunes paired with traditional instruments (Ryan Galloway on guitar, Nick Corbo on drums), servicable vocals, playful but personal lyrics, and catchy choruses.
Crying’s frontwoman Elaiza Santos goes far and beyond servicable, though, lending the kind of female voice to a video game life’s soundtrack that I haven’t heard much outside of Leeni on "Nice Young Man" or Jane Pinckard on The 1UP Show’s theme song (not actually a chip track, but I always imagine her singing over this cover).
Tiny Review: Spelunky (Vita) ⊟
I struggle to find a dessert metaphor to describe Spelunky, because that’s how I feel about it: it’s one small bite of delight after another. But to call it a dessert makes it sound insubstantial, when in fact Spelunky is infinitely deep … even though it can be played in tiny sessions and as seriously as you care to.
The Vita version, thanks to portability and the convenience of sleep mode, makes it even easier to eat just one more of this notional mega confection.
Spelunky, if you haven’t been indoctrinated yet, is a roguelike. Wait, come back, it’s not a turn-based thing with a text window to inform you that your @ has been cursed. Spelunky is a roguelike base built around a brilliant side-scrolling platform action game, allowing even dummies like me to finally get the appeal of roguelikes.
Tiny Review: SteamWorld Dig
I did not expect SteamWorld Dig to be a good game. While the pitch for a “hardcore platform mining adventure” sounds like a beautiful combination of words, I didn’t find the initial Beta Gameplay clips compelling and let this eShop game fall off my radar. And I knew little about Swedish studio Image & Form, other than that they put out a Tower Defense game on DSiWare and are more known for their iOS titles. Really, it didn’t sound like Dig had much of a future at Tiny Cartridge beyond a few screenshot and trailer posts.
But it’s a great game, one of the 3DS’s best during a summer when the standards for a great game on Nintendo’s handheld are very high. I was stupid and wrong; it’s totally my jam. Put that deal on toast with peanut butter, and I will eat it all day errday.
It’s Mr. Driller meets Metroid, another marvelous mix of words. You’ll burrow your way down miles of earth, leaving a labyrinth of mazes behind you while collecting weapons/upgrades that let you progress further and make your mining life easier. Dig is as addictive as Namco’s cute platformer (I went through it in one sitting over the course of six hours), but with the depth (both in systems and Mr. Driller's literal depth) and sense of isolation of Metroid.
The Animal Crossing: New Leaf experience
[After spending a week with Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Francesco Dagostino shares how the life sim offers an experience players won’t find anywhere else, and why it’s the perfect game.]
I want to start this piece with a sincere apology. To my parents, lover, friends, colleagues, and everyone whose life intertwines with mine more or less directly: chances are I haven’t been available to you lately. I might have not replied to your calls and tweets, and I confess my IM status has been constantly set to “Away”. The fact is that I got my hands on Animal Crossing: New Leaf for 3DS last week, and I can’t stop playing it or even talking (and tweeting) about it.
Tiny Review: Hobonichi Techo 2013
It might seem odd for Tiny Cartridge to review a daily planner, but I’m always curious about anything Mother/Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi is involved in, whether it’s his copywriting work, his appearances on Iron Chef as a judge, or even his free DSiWare app for tracking your health.
Plus, when I shared the news last month that Itoi’s company Hobonichi released its popular Japanese planner in English for the first time this year, many of you showed interest in importing a copy. Hobonichi was kind enough to send a Techo (planner) over for us to review, so now you get to hear why you should (or shouldn’t) buy the planner.
Tiny Review - Fire Emblem: Awakening
Fire Emblem: Awakening is the best SRPG on the 3DS — that might not seem like much considering the limited competition, but the previous holder of that title, Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars, was fresh to death. I guess that would make Fire Emblem: Awakening fresh to permadeath.
If you demanded a more authoritative statement from me, a summary review to better communicate this title’s quality than comparisons to a 3DS launch game few played, I’d tell you that Fire Emblem: Awakening could be the finest TWRPG of all time. Yes, the combat and systems are as great as any entry from the series, but where this game soars, like the fragile, love-sick pegasus riders in your party’s employ, is in its Tactical Waifu RPG elements.
(The above GIF, by the way, comes from Cece.)
Ghostbusters and Pokemon recreated in Scribblenauts Unlimited, made possible by the new Object Editor.
I reviewed the Wii U version of Scribblenauts Unlimited over at Joystiq, which took a dark turn:
“Scribblenauts Unlimited is meant to be a redemption quest, one that forces Maxwell to examine the way he’s mistreated others and abused his notebook’s powers, but I was having none of that.
The game is filled with characters dropping their wishes at Maxwell’s feet, and I wanted to be the venomous djinn, the nefarious wishmaster that only granted them with a terrible twist. I became the devil on Maxwell’s shoulder, goading him into silencing my counterpart with his notebook by writing out ‘absent conscience.’”
At one point in the game, a girl wished someone would give her something romantic, like in the movies. I offered her a “cursed ring,” which she took happily, unaware that she’d accepted a doomed future in the exchange. Perhaps not the kind of film she had in mind.
Buy: Super Scribblenauts, Scribblenauts Unlimited
See also: More Scribblenauts Unlimited news and media
My Kid Icarus: Uprising review has just gone up on Joystiq, and it’s … I’m going to say “comprehensive.” That’s my euphemism of choice this time.
There’s just so much to talk about! It’s a complicated game, with complicated controls. Controls that made me really dislike the game at first — I came back from E3 convinced that it was a big old poop. I finally got used to the weird controls and found a very deep, very Sakurai action game.
One thing I didn’t mention in the review (it was already getting kinda long!): The soundtrack, by Motoi Sakuraba, Yuzo Koshiro, Masafumi Takada, and other such luminaries, is spectacular. I’d totally consider buying a copy. It’s really dramatic!
Buy: Kid Icarus Uprising Find: Nintendo DS/3DS release dates, discounts, & more See also:More Kid Icarus media [Image: the winners of Nintendo's nationwide Kid Icarus tournament]
Tiny Cartridge, the Metal Gear Solid 3D Photo Camo. There’s not really anywhere Snake wouldn’t totally stand out in a bright blue jumpsuit, but the game charitably allows it to function as decent camo “in water.”
This can be your circa-1964 CIA operative dressed in a pattern of a smiling blue cartoon face if you pick up MGS3D. According to this somewhat reliable Joystiq review, it’s a pretty good translation! Even though I’ve been reviewing Vita games for the last two weeks and thus my sense of what’s possible in a handheld game is all out of whack, I’m still impressed with the conversion of one of my favorite games ever to a portable format.
Summing up my thoughts on Tekken 3D: Prime Edition in a review posted at Joystiq.