38 posts tagged review
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.
Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword is an eShop game about timing, about knowing the right moment to dodge and riposte, like Punch-Out!! but set in feudal Japan, yes, but it’s also about patience and gambling, sometimes literally with the coins you’ve pocketed from making short work out of enemies that have no business holding a katana, and other times with your life as you push your luck to see how long your sense of timing will keep you alive.
It’s in those gambles when patience comes into play — you can sidestep and attack the moment your foe pulls his sword up, or you can stand steady and wait a breath, wager a heart or two, then slip around your enemy’s swing at the last second for a counterattack and a Precision Point. You can dispatch your enemies efficiently, never wasting a movement, mimicking the proficiency of Samurai Seven’s Kyuzo or Zatoichi’s Gennosuke. Or you can toy with the clumsy conscripts that circle around you, skipping away from their strikes repeatedly, racking up Precision Points that you can later cash in at the village shop.
As you master Sakura Samurai’s timing and learn to practice patience in every encounter, those gambles begin to tip more and more in your favor, your pockets start to bulge with gold, and the corpses behind you multiply.
Dementium developer Renegade Kid releases its first self-published game this week, the 3DS eShop title Mutant Mudds. At first, it seems like a very simple game with a 3D gimmick: you can jump, shoot, and hover, and you can move to one of three different “planes” of action by jumping on certain blocks in the level, with the goal of collecting all the floating items in each.
However, it very quickly becomes obvious that Renegade Kid is not messing around, as the difficulty curve quickly jumps, and you find yourself dying multiple times just to learn the layout of each perilous world.
Finally, after a long Kickstarter/Indiegogo campaign, the fan-supported, extensible XStylus Crayon has been produced, and is now available for purchase. Greenbulb sent a few over, and I’ve been using one exclusively on my 3DS for the past week or so.
For the most part … it’s a stylus, and I’m not sure how much I need to say about a plastic stick you use to poke a touchscreen. But, like, this is a pretty nice plastic stick.
Three things that are fab:
- It gives you a “pen” sized stylus to hold, but still fits perfectly into the stylus holder on a 3DS and a DS Lite. Sorry, I didn’t have any other systems around to try it with.
- Even when not folded out, it looks and feels almost exactly like a normal stylus. So if you’re too lazy to unfold it, it still works totally fine.
- Each pack of four includes four colors perfectly matched to the 3DS. You’ll have to choose a “coordinating” color rather than a perfect match if you have a pink 3DS, but otherwise you can totally camouflage your stylus.
Three things that are butt:
- The grips only extend in two directions. I found that I had to get used to my stylus having a particular “side” to hold, instead of being perfectly cylindrical.
- You have to pay attention to make sure you’re folding it the right way. There is a tab that helps guide you, but you have to be thinking about it or looking at it.
- That tab sticks out of the 3DS slightly. It’s meant to make the stylus easier to remove, but it also sticks out of the 3DS slightly.
Score: More functional than the Hemingway stylus:
See also: More accessories
[Some doubted it would ever happen, but Solatorobo releases in the States tomorrow for the DS — Infinity Counter’s Francesco Dagostino provides us with this thoughtful guest review of the action RPG.]
Furry. Kemono. Call them what you will; associate them with the worst kinks on the internet. But anthropomorphic animals are also the symbol of a long-decayed video game era, lost to the encroaching desert of the medium’s Westernization.
They dwelt in an era made of happy-go-lucky worlds, now eroded by the obsessive pursuit of pseudo-Hollywood photorealism; creativity sacrificed as hypertrophic muscles contract, in response to the button-mashing of foolproof controls.
Obviously enough, there are still developers refusing to follow this sea change: software houses swimming against the current to preserve values that everyone else gave up on for the sake of easy revenues.
CyberConnect2 is one of these.
If my Tiny Cartridge output has been limited, terse, and kind of angry lately, it’s because I’ve been having my ass kicked by Donkey Kong Country Returns over the last few days. You can see the results here — and, to be clear, I mean the resulting Joystiq review, not my bruised ass.
The review seems to have been received better than I expected, because most of the comments when I looked were angry about my joke about the DK Rap, and not about the actual stuff I said about the game.
DKC Returns is just a really polished, brilliantly designed platforming game. But I’m glad I get to stop playing it for a while, at least in such concentrated doses. For the sake of my blood pressure. I may have said some things to my television that I regret.
Speaking of things I can enjoy now that I’m not playing it, Gamexplain’s Andre Segers noticed a Mr. Game & Watch cameo (above) in the background of one of the Factory levels. I didn’t notice it, probably because I was developing hella tunnel vision at that point.
Preorder: Donkey Kong Country Returns ($44.44!)
See also: Another cameo in DKCR
As tends to happen now and then, I’ve reviewed a game. This time, it’s Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which was beautiful and sweet and cute and just dreamy, which is why I gave it a 2/5. (Not really. Find out the real score at Joystiq (It was 4.5/5 (Not that the score matters all that much.).).)
I forgot to mention one of my favorite aspects of the game in my review: because everything’s made of cloth and yarn, but it still hits all the level theme highlights (lava level, ice level, etc.), you get these really weird mixes of elements. Like, a level will be made entirely of food, or musical instruments, or computer parts — but all that is still made of fabric.
Buy: Kirby’s Epic Yarn