56 posts tagged review
Pix the Cat: adventures in the micro-labyrinth ⊟
Take one part Pac-Man: Championship Edition, one part Snake — like, the thing for your old phone — and one part the unimaginable microcosm inside every living creature, and you get Pix the Cat. It’s an arcade maze action game that takes you, much like the Tuck Pendleton machine, ever deeper into Inner Space.
Tiny Impressions: Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS ⊟
[Tiny Cartridge contributor Francesco Dagostino has played the dickens out of the new Smash Bros. — bet you didn’t know Dickens was an unlockable character — and offers up his enthusiastic impressions here, including thoughts on the “portable” aspect of the new game. GIF via GeminiSparkW!]
Even after trying the E3 demo, in the back of my head I still worried that Super Smash Bros. for 3DS (urgh, what a bad name) would just not work. I don’t have a specific reason to justify this fear; it was a vague “Man, how will Nintendo turn this huge, complicated game into something that works on a portable system”?
While this new iteration of the Smash series was clearly built from the ground up to work on a tiny system, there’s nothing tiny about it: it’s super meaty! It’s full of content, and the game plays and looks better than its predecessor.
Review: Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney ⊟
Professor Layton and Ace Attorney games take place in the same universe now. As soon as I started playing Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney, I started pondering the implications of this crossover, and my delight in that fact continued throughout the whole game.
Here’s what it means: there is a version of Earth much like ours, except… England is a collection of old-timey, cobblestone-laden villages where swordfights are common, people look like Tintin characters by way of Muppets, and absolutely everyone is obsessed with puzzles.
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the USA is Japan, kind of, but also kind of not – a land of yokai villages, mystics, and ramen carts, all rendered in oversaturated color; it’s a land where everyone is shocked at every piece of new information, and everyone screams at all times. There is one judge.
Gunvolt and the sliding scale of perfection ⊟
Azure Striker Gunvolt is not a Mega Man game, and I mean that in the best way. While it clearly takes inspiration from the series – a blue guy gets weapons from wacky, colorful bosses – developer Inti Creates built on that foundation to create something more flexible, with more room for individual expression and variation on the part of the player.
In that way, it reminds me more of Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien… a game I needed an excuse to write about anyway!
Catching up with Magical Beat ⊟
I’ve had Arc System Works’ Magical Beat for a few weeks now, and I haven’t really been able to post impressions for various, totally not exciting reasons. But I wanted to make sure you all knew about this neat Vita puzzler, because its concept totally captured my imagination – and it’s a fun execution of that concept!
Don’t sleep on Siesta Fiesta ⊟
Siesta Fiesta takes one of the oldest, most iterated but least innovated genres in games, and makes something totally new out of it. And it does this in an upbeat, cute setting with a beautiful presentation that almost seems too graphically impressive for the 3DS.
I didn’t pay much attention to this game before its release. I’m a big dummy, and I’m telling you now that you shouldn’t be like me.
Siesta Fiesta is basically a Breakout game with a simple twist that CHANGES EVERYTHING FOREVER: instead of requiring you to clear the whole screen to move to the next stage, each stage scrolls from left to right. The goal is not to break everything, but to break as much as you can to get a high score by the end of the stage - while still being careful to preserve your life.
Shovel Knight: all diggity, no doubt ⊟
I usually prioritize work over games, unless I have a hard deadline for a review. Even then, most of the time. Whenever I get some free time, I’ll play a game for a bit, then turn it off, write a post, and go clean. I usually feel guilty and put the game down before long.
But that didn’t happen with Shovel Knight. Shovel Knight, I couldn’t put down. There is at least one original Tiny Cartridge feature that languishes unfinished in our drafts folder because I couldn’t not be playing Shovel Knight during the time I allotted myself for writing features. This never happens! That’s not a brag, either; I usually cannot relax, it’s a problem.
Shovel Knight is a game made by people who understand all my favorite games better than I do. It wears its influences on its
sleeve gauntlet?, referencing everything from Super Mario Bros. 3 to Mega Man to Castlevania to Zelda 2 to Ducktales – but not just to elicit nostalgia. It takes elements from them because they are fun, mashing all the best of the NES’s classics into a surprisingly cohesive whole, with just the right amount of modern technique.
Tiny Review: New PS Vita ⊟
We used to do a lot of reviews in a list format that accentuated what was “fab” versus what was “butt.” I’ll be using a variation of that format for this review, based on how it compares to the original model.
I’ve covered a lot of Nintendo handhelds in the past, and comparing them is usually much simpler: this one’s big, this one doesn’t fold, this one has a camera, etc.; whereas Sony handheld changes tend to be less clear in their direction. Some things get better, some things get worse, some things are just different. It’s a lot more of a lateral move, I guess.
Basically, this format works well for a device that I really can’t make any strong definitive conclusions about. It’s a Vita!
Review: Kirby Triple Deluxe ⊟
Kirby Triple Deluxe has almost certainly been in the works since the early days of the 3DS. It’s absolutely loaded with 3D gimmickry – stuff going in and out of the screen with all the subtlety of those old 3D Three Stooges shorts. These days, nobody really puts in the effort to sell the “3D” aspect of the 3DS, and the arrival of the 2DS has all but deprecated the feature anyway. So this game must have been made before the world cooled on 3D.
Triple Deluxe is also really beautiful and polished, another point suggesting that it’s been cooking a while.
Tiny Review: Hatsune Miku Project Diva f ⊟
The Hatsune Miku game, just released on PS Vita (PSN-only), is a really intense sensory overload experience, and a simple-to-understand but exciting rhythm game.
It’s also a perfect illustration of the difference between translation and localization.
Danganronpa: The Ultimate High School Murder Mystery ⊟
Note: This isn’t really a review of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc for PS Vita, because I’m nowhere near finished with it. I have put in enough time that I’m confident about having played a representative sample, but I didn’t want to be disingenous about having a complete picture of the game. I’m still playing it! I don’t want to rush!
I always want to be a visual novel fan, but it rarely works out. I bailed out of 999 after I got stuck during a plane ride with no idea how to solve a puzzle. I’ve tried over the years, but the only ones that really stuck were the Phoenix Wright games (and Jake Hunter).
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc just refuses to let me lose interest. It’s utterly crammed with weird gameplay mechanics, constantly introducing a new minigame or adding a layer of complexity to one that’s already been introduced. That’s not always a good idea, but it’s always interesting.
Threes is your new iOS jam ⊟
We don’t talk about iPhone games too much on TC, but sometimes I’m driven to because they’re so dang fucking good, like Threes is. It’s definitely a tiny game on a tiny device (or an iPad WHATEVER) so I don’t think it strays too far from our mission! And you should totally get it if you can!
Threes is the work of Puzzlejuice designer Asher Vollmer and Puzzlejuice/Ridiculous Fishing/Solipskier artist Greg Wohlwend, which tells you right away it’s a) going to have a clean, colorful look, and b) it’s an intuitive-as-hell puzzle game.