My 2019 Game of the Year

2019 has come and gone.

With it, some amazing new releases, such as Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, Death Stranding, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, and many other games which were probably all nominated for the official game of the year at this year’s Game Awards.

Though however, this article is going to be relatively brief as for my pick for Game of the Year, I’ve already written about.

But just to pad it out, I’ll give you some hints.

My Game of The Year includes engrossing social elements that give you an emotional connection to the characters you interact with.

It features fun strategy elements when in the battlefield, and a unique feature that allows you to turn back time should things not go as planned.

It won a Game Award for Best Strategy Game.

My choice for Game of the Year is Fire Emblem: Three Houses.

What can I say about this astounding game that I haven’t already?

This was my first foray into the Fire Emblem Franchise, not counting Smash Brothers of course, and it’s a great one. It’s not a sequel or related to past games in any sense, but it can stand alone.

So much about this game is breathtaking, from the music, to the design, and story and to the characters themselves.

This is not a game to be missed. Seriously.

Well. That’s it for 2019.

I’ll be coming at ya in 2020 with a post about what I picked up in December (of 2019, duh) and a look at Rock Band Accessories, so stay tuned.

FANTAVISION for Playstation 2

Fantavision opens with this:

A normal family having normal fun with virtual fireworks.

But do not let the age and happiness of these children fool you. I doubt they could possibly handle the challenging game that is Fantavision.

In Fantavision, your sole job is to explode fireworks in a spectacular show over a night city skyline. You do this by selecting three or more flares of the same color with your cursor, and exploding them using the ‘O’ button. The more flares you select, the bigger the combo, and the higher your score will climb.

However even as the first stage progresses, it gets more and more challenging. Not all of the flares launched at once will be of the same color, so you have to be quick to select the ones that are launched after. Otherwise if you fail to detonate the flares, they disappear and your life bar decreases.

Rainbow flares can be used in any combination, and star flares explode in a star formation, giving you more points.

The game also supports 2 player where you go against your friends seeing who can get the highest score.

Overall, Fantavision is fantastic fireworks, and fantastic fun, even with how challenging it likes to be, I wouldn’t mind picking it up and turning on my PS2 every so often just to mix things up a bit.

Edit:

I left some things out! Oh no!

First up is the STARMINE, collect enough star-shaped flares to set this off, and rack up points.

Second. Fantavision was originally a tech demo to show off the power of the PlayStation 2, but later was turned into a full game and launched alongside the system, making it a neat little launch title.

Five Nights at Freddy’s AR: Special Delivery for iOS and Android

I don’t usually review mobile games, but this is one I’ve been anticipating for a while.

NOTE: I played this game on a Samsung Galaxy s9, performance on your device may vary from mine

This game is a spin-off of the successful Five Nights at Freddy’s series made by Scott Cawthon. Of course when I first heard of this game, I wondered how it would connect to the plot of the mainline series, however, it doesn’t seem to, at least not substantially.

The plot is that Fazbear Entertainment offers a new subscription service to send their best animatronics to provide you entertainment and combat your rampant loneliness, straight to your door!

They’re heeeeerrre

Of courses though, as things in FNAF often do, things don’t go as planned, and it’s up to you to defend yourself from violent animatronics.

To do so, you are equipped with a flashlight and a taser. You shift your mobile device around, looking for areas where static interference messes appears, and keep your camera trained on it to lure out the animatronic, and once it gets close enough, zap it to ‘reset’ it. This is the bulk of the gameplay. You also need to look out for malfunctioning animatronics that are spazzing out and such, and quickly look away as to not get a game over. The main goal is to get a streak going by zapping each animatronic and keeping it from attacking you.

BONNIE! NO! NO!

In addition to animatronics, you can also collect remnant when an animatronic has not arrived. You collect remnant using your flashlight, and avoid collecting the shadowy remnant to avoid angering the shadow animatronics. They can also break your streak if you managed to get attacked by them.

Shadowy remnant

You can also collect endoskeletons and use the remnant to upgrade them. I believe you can also collect the animatronics, if you have an open slot. You can then send them out to either terrorize your friends (if you have any that play the game) or to salvage parts to repair them.

I mean, you could collect them more often if you’re better at the game then I am.

Overall this is a well rounded out game, and honestly graphically impressive for a mobile game. Although the fear factor is knocked down a few notches as jump scares have less of an effect when in order to play the game you have to be in a bright room. Still, I can wholeheartedly recommend this game to anyone, and I hardly play mobile games.

Custom Gameboy Cases

A bit of a sequel to my ‘Cases, Cases, Cases!’ post. But this time we’re handling my Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance collection.

Lots of us that collect Gameboy games are familiar with the plastic cases we can hold them in, you know the ones. Clear and clamshell. I happened upon this storage solution when trying to find a way to store my games in a way that would be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. So as I do, I took to the internet!

Big shoutout to TopSpot123 for this one. I happened upon a video of his and was led to his blog for the template for inserts for the Gameboy Cartridge cases.

From there, it was astonishingly simple. Edit the labels in a photo editor, add some color, and finagle around with print settings, print, cut, and BAM, you have some pleasing mini game cases for the cartridges. If you want to see more of the details about the process, check out TopSpot123’s post.

A great thing about these inserts is they have spine labels, so they are easily identified on the side or viewed from above

Next game the problem of GBA carts. I actually contacted TopSpot on Twitter for this one. As such we figured out the Gameboy carts can hold one GBA cart. The process for making the labels are the same.

Next came some experimentation in affixing the labels to the cases. (It bothers me whenever I pull out the cartridge, the label likes to ride along too)

First Experiment: Spray on Adhesive.

Issues with this was that it’s EXTREMELY sticky, impossible to get off hands, and you have to commit to a placement, so there is no room for error. I ended up having to trash a failed attempt.

Second Experiment: Double-Sided Tape.

I ended up going with this one when I decided to affix my labels. The tape has a bit of wiggle so you can move it into place, and on most labels, is virtually invisible. However on darker colors it is more noticable, so at that point I threw in the towel and just decided not to affix those few.

Here’s the complete cased collection:

Again, I couldn’t have gotten anywhere without TopSpot’s videos. Go check his blog and YouTube channel out!

Pokemon Sword for Nintendo Switch

Wow.

So amid all the controversy, with Dexit and #GameFreakLied, it really put a damper on this game for me. Still, I pre-ordered it anyways (and paid ten dollars for shipping! Fuck you, GameStop!) and I couldn’t be happier.

Pokemon Sword is a refreshing return to form after Sun and Moon, yet also brings a refreshing breath of air to the franchise. Sword takes place in the new Galar region, Pokemon’s version of England. Here in this region lies an amazing phenomenon, Pokemon have the ability to ‘dynamax’ in special spots where they grow to Godzilla-Sized proportions and people gather in stadiums to watch them for sport. (All it would take is one missed move and everyone in the stadium would be vaporized…think about that).

Gym battles make a return in the Galar Region, albeit in a bit of a different format. First you complete a ‘Gym Mission’ such as a quiz, or getting through a maze of sorts, and battle trainers alone the way. Once you get through that, you can challenge the gym leader in the stadium, one of the places you can Dynamax in battle. Once you manage to conquer all right gyms however, this is where things get different. Traditionally, you would face the elite four, instead, you enter the Gym Challenge Semi-Finals. Here you face other trainers that have been undergoing the same gym challenges as you, and once you beat them, you face the gym leaders once again, and finally the Champion of the Galar region.

Something else that is new is the Wild Area. I could compare it to the Safari Zone from earlier titles in the franchise, here Pokemon roam the landscape and you can catch higher level Pokemon and join in Max Raid Battles, where you and up to three other players can face off against a Dynamax Pokemon.

Not only is the Wild Area beautiful, but it’s broken up into different environments, large lakes, a snowy area, plains, a desert area, it’s all beautiful to behold. Here is where you also can see the changes to encountering Pokemon in tall grass.

Instead of simply wandering into tall grass and getting a wild Pokemon randomly, which you can still do, now Pokemon roam through the tall grass, and you can even lure them out by whistling, allowing you to target specific types of Pokemon.

Sword of course introduces more new Pokemon into the mix, my favorite being one that looks like a coal cart, which is my favorite of the new additions. And there are Galarian Forms of Pokemon as well, such as of Meowth and Ponyta. I won’t extensively talk about the other Pokemon, just because I find it exciting to discover then for yourself.

Finally we come into one of my favorite parts of the game, though is likely to be under-utilized by most players, Pokemon Camp, this generation’s version of Pokemon Amie which was introduced in X and Y. Here you can set up a campsite and interact with your Pokemon, allowing you to play with them, or even have conversations with them (not too sure how that’s possible but ok.). This part of the game actually uses motion controls to allow you to play fetch with your Pokemon or wave a cat toy in front of them. You can also cook curry using berries which can heal and grant exp to your Pokemon.

Overall while Dexit does put a bit of a damper on this entry, it is an enjoyable and welcome one. We can’t yet bring over Pokemon, that’s coming next year in the form of Pokemon Home, which I will review when it releases as well.

Pokemon Home allegedly allows you to not only bring over Pokemon from the 3DS but Let’s Go and even Pokemon Go, I’m eager to see how this all works out, as it might make me want to use Pokemon Go a bit more…

Customized Rock Band Guitar

Rock Band is a big part of my gaming endeavors, I often play hours on end a day playing it.

Recently, I’d acquired a Rock Band Guitar for 360, and also picked up a Legacy Adapter for the Xbox One. As such I wanted to make my otherwise boring Black guitar something that reflects my tastes in music and what I like to play in Rock Band.

I started by brainstorming, originally I wanted to paint the black part Blue, but that would require tearing apart the entire guitar, something I wasn’t entirely comfortable with. So I came up with the idea to simply use stickers, so I took to the internet for inspiration!

Here’s the image I ended up taking inspiration from. I ended up screenshotting it for some reason, but whatever. Here’s the source of inspiration, the guitar was decorated by Reddit user nnnnurrr.

Soon I realized with the vision I had I would have to pull apart the guitar anyways, as I would have to remove parts of the guitar to put stickers under the plate on the front. So I carefully took the controller apart, and disconnected some wires, careful to remember where they go to, and proceeded to sticker the hell out of it!

After I’d finished stickering it, I reassembled it….and it didn’t work. After freaking out for a good thirty minutes, it turned out I needed new batteries, but my problems didn’t end there. Later the Xbox button got stuck, so I had to disassemble it once more, but I managed to simply get it working once more, though the indicator light on the guitar no longer lights up. Although it’s annoying, the Legacy Adapter and Xbox 360 have lights on them that can show you that the controllers are connected, so that will work at least, as I’m a bit afraid and over opening up this controller.

I’m pretty happy with the finished result, and I ended up adding a bit of duct tape for the aesthetic, the vibes I get it are pretty Grunge/Punk.

Well, anyways, I’m back. In the coming week (hopefully) I hope to get my Pokemon Sword review out, so keep an eye out, if you’re interested in that!

Tetris 2 – Game Boy

Tetris 2 is….interesting.

It’s certainly not Tetris how you remember it, hell, even that tune that you know and love isn’t present in the game.

Instead of your usual Tetris of getting a complete row and getting rid of a line, it’s more akin to Dr. Mario, get three or more in a row of a color, and make the dots on the screen using tetrimonos.

I think it’s fair to say that Tetris 2 was inspired by Dr. Mario, I mean, it was released a full three years after Dr. Mario. And while Tetris 2 certainly isn’t bad, it doesn’t feel like Tetris.

Not only do you have your classic tetrimonos, you also have some very irregular designs, with squares that float off the sides of them. Once a tetrimono hits the bottom, or another piece, the dangling bits will fall and stack upon each other, as I said before, if you get three in a row of the same color, they will disappear.

Tetris 2 is certainly a tougher Tetris challenge, but like I said, it doesn’t feel like Tetris. It feels like Dr. Mario.

Still, I’d like to see Tetris 2’s gameplay make a return. Perhaps as an extra mode in Tetris 99 or something.

That would be cool.

The Quest Continues: Wheel of Fortune for Nintendo 64 and PlayStation

“I’ll sPiN!”

Here we are again, in part two of who knows how many, in my search for the best Wheel of Fortune video game adaptation out there.

Here’s how this works.

I’ll play one game (assuming I can win on the first try), on each games default or medium difficulty. I will judge each game based on aesthetic, accuracy to the game show, and over all fun factor.

Let’s get back into it!

Wheel of Fortune for Nintendo 64

This version of the game, made for the Nintendo 64, was made by GameTek, the same publisher responsible for their earlier Gameboy version.

This version of the game features something that I adore.

FMV.

Although it’s only in very small amounts, Vanna herself is in FMV, appearing on the screen saying things like: “You lost your turn, sorry.” Also in FMV are the contestants, flat FMV images of real people against the 3D polygonal graphics of made by the Nintendo 64. It’s a nice novelty for the game. Naturally they had to compromise a bit to fit the FMV into the game, but for a game such as Wheel of Fortune, it’s not bad at all.

Something I really like about this game is that the contestants talk, saying things like “are there any I’s?” or “I’ll sPiN!” (Yes one of the characters actually says it like that.) I feel this adds more to the ‘Game Show’ feel that the game is supposed to evoke.

The game also includes rumble for the spinning of the wheel, and the buzzer when you guess a wrong letter. You can raise the rumble to outrageous levels when using a TremorPak versus the usual RumblePak. This is a nice little touch that actually surprised me and is very enjoyable.

Another thing to note, this game uses the correct puzzle board for the era, (The game was released in ’97) while the wheel itself is from an earlier era, though I can’t quite date it myself.

Now, onto the round progression.

Something to note. This game runs off of a timer, rather than a strict number of rounds. I’m not too sure how long the game is, but when I had to play a second game, I had an extra round, and a hurry up round that I didn’t get on my first play through.

To keep this from getting to lengthy, I didn’t go in depth about how each round works, unless it’s a new one we haven’t seen. If you’d like to learn more about that, see my last Quest for the Best post.

  • Normal Round
  • Normal Round + $2500 Wedge
  • Jackpot Round
  • Normal Round + $5000 Wedge
  • Bonus Round

Time Permitting (Before Bonus Round) :

  • Normal Round+ $5000 Wedge
  • Hurry Up

As I said before this game runs on a timer. As such if there is enough time left in the game after the jackpot round, the normal rounds with a $5000 wedge on the wheel will loop. Once time starts to run out however, Vanna announces that we are out of time, and gives the wheel one final spin. From here, the ‘Hurry Up’ round plays out identical to the final spin of the past versions of the game that had it.

Onto the bonus round, here it is identical to the Game Boy version. There is no bonus wheel or W H E E L envelopes as there would be in the show at the time.

Overall, I actually quite like this version of the game. Partly because I love it when games include FMV, partly because it was released for the Nintendo 64. This is on my list of games to pull out when I want to chill with my friends and play some Nintendo 64 for sure.

Wheel of Fortune for PlayStation

I hate to say this, but of all the Wheel of Fortune games we have checked out, this is the most mediocre of the bunch. Though it does have some extra bits that the others don’t, it doesn’t especially stand out among the rest the of the adaptations.

Once again, we have Vanna hosting the show, and a distinct lack of Pat Sajak.

A bit of a surprise though for fans of Wheel of Fortune, we have Charlie O’Donnell doing the voice overs in the menus and the intro to the game. O’Donnell did voice overs from 1970 to 1980 and from 1989 until his death in 2010.

Now, onto the progression of rounds

  • Normal Round+ ‘Surprise’ Wedge
  • Prize Round
  • Jackpot Round
  • Normal Round + $5000 Wedge
  • Final Spin
  • Bonus Round

Once again this version of the game features a timer so once time runs low, Vanna makes the Final Spin. The Normal Round + $5000 Wedge would repeat until time begins to run out.

This game features a surprise wedge. The Surprise wedge was used on the show from 1992 to 1998. Landing on the wedge and guessing a correct letter would either award the lucky contestant a cash prize as low as $200 or a mystery prize.

I also discovered that when a puzzle is solved, some may have a bonus question. Such as those with the “Where are we?” category. There will be the puzzle’s solution : “Packer’s Dairy State University in Madison” and you’ll have to answer a question like: “Where is this located?” Of course the correct answer would be “Wisconsin”

Finally, we come to the Bonus Round. Here there is no bonus wheel once again, but finally we get to see the W H E E L envelopes and choose one. I ended up losing the bonus round, but the envelope contained a ‘Worldwide Shopping Spree”.

Final Spin

Overall, these two Wheel of Fortune adaptions are pretty fun. However, my favorite has to be the N64 adaptation. Sure it’s not graphically superior to the PS1 version, but the ability to fit the FMV sequences onto the cartridge and the overall vibe of it, was pretty fun. I also may be a bit biased as the Nintendo 64 is one of my favorite consoles of all time.

Regardless, here are the current standings in the Quest for the Best Wheel of Fortune video game adaptation.

  1. Wheel of Fortune for Xbox One
  2. Wheel of Fortune for Nintendo 64
  3. Wheel of Fortune for PlayStation
  4. Wheel of Fortune for Nintendo DS
  5. Wheel of Fortune for Game Boy

Asphalt 3D for Nintendo 3DS

If you’re not familiar with the Asphalt series, simply put, it’s a road racing in locations across the world. Asphalt 3D is the eighth game to carry the series’ name, though it is not the eighth game in the main line of the series.

This being a racing game, the controls and handling are key to not only making the game playable, but also enjoyable. Bad controls can quickly ruin any game, Racing or otherwise.

Although I have a few gripes with the controls, they are mostly due to the system that this game was made for, the 3DS. Here the A button is used to accelerate, X to boost, and B to drift, and R to break. This is a very cramped playing style, using your right hand for all those controls. It quickly gets uncomfortable, clawing your finger at the R button, trying to break, and also when you try to hold down accelerate and boost at the same time.

The game does this cool neon-y thing when you activate a full boost bar

Controls aside however, the rest of the game makes up for this in keeping it enjoyable. The courses, such as Aspen, San Francisco, and Athens are all very beautiful for the 3DS, and the 3D effect works to a great extent for this game, and is probably one of my favorite games to play in 3D.

You can take out cars in a-la-Burnout fashion

The game also features a levelling system, after each race you gain XP that is used to level up and award you additional money aside from what you earn in the race. The money can be used to buy new cars, once you reach the level to unlock them, as well as upgrade the cars themselves. As such, it becomes a grindy game in that aspect. I was stuck on the first league for a while, until I got a new car that I could use.

If you’re looking for a racing game for your DS that isn’t Mario Kart, this is a good one to look into. It features real car manufacturers like Nissan, Ford, and Tesla. Asphalt 3D should provide you with some great fun.

Superbeat: XONiC for Nintendo Switch

As I’ve mentioned before, I love Rhythm/Music video games. However, this is my first time dipping my toes into the J-Pop side of the genre. There are plenty of J-Pop style music rhythm games out there, and I can assure you, Superbeat: XONiC is one of the best out there.

Superbeat: XONiC is considered the spiritual sucessor to the DJMax series, something I’ve never heard of nor played.

The game was first released on the PSVita in 2015, and released two years later in 2017 for the Switch, which is the version I own.

The gameplay consists of hitting notes either on the touchscreen or with the buttons on the Switch controllers.

There are three different modes of play 4 Trax, 6 Trax, and 6 Trax + FX. 4 Trax uses two buttons from the face buttons on the joycons, 6 Trax uses three buttons from the face buttons, and 6 Trax + FX adds in the L and R buttons. If you miss too many notes in a song, you fail the song. Mixed in with all three modes are the ability to use the analog sticks to push a special note in a the specified direction. Every game mode builds upon the challenge and all of this combines to make for unique and fun gameplay.

I will say though, I prefer to detach the joycons and hold the Switch like a tablet over using the joycons, as my hands quickly fatigue due to the placement of the buttons on the joycons. The only drawback to this, is that you can’t, from what I’ve figured out, play the 6 Trax + FX properly. I can’t find a way to hit the FX notes like I can hit the other notes in the other modes.

You can also change the “character” you play as. I put character in the quotes here as they aren’t a character in the normal sense, more like an item that you equip, as you unlock them from leveling up in the game. Each character gives special abilities such as increased health, or exp from the songs that you play.

Overall, Superbeat: XONiC is a fun, addictive, and unique rhythm game. I can wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone, especially if they enjoy the Rhythm Game genre as much as I do. This one is a win for me. And it should be for you too.

Create your website at WordPress.com
Get started