[EXPRESSO] Metal Slug Commander iOS | Cards Frontline

While that other mobile Metal Slug game (the one looking like a proper Metal Slug title, previosly known as Metal Slug Code J and now called Metal Slug Awakening) is still yet to come somewhere this year and the really promising Metal Slug Tactics is in development, SNK dropped a new mobile “RTS” title for smartphones, with Metal Slug Commander.

Apparently it was on beta test since october of last year, but i didn’t even knew the game (developed by SNK’s Hong Kong branch) existed, so whatever, it’s in open beta and available worlwide now.

More intriguing than another tapper, i guess.

This time it’s not a tower defense dealio, but the other popular mobile gameplay set-up: cards based.

You arrange the position of your cards/units in the 5 spaces (divided in 2 lanes) against the enemy formation, the units attacks automatically and you can tap to unleash a skill/powerful move when they’re able to. Pretty standard fare through and through, nothing really complex or fancy in any way, and you’re encouraged to just let it go on auto-battle, but there is something to it, as positioning the units and selecting the right counters does matter.

And as far as balancing the “pay to win” bullshit, this is a step up from Metal Slug Attack (and an idle resource collecting feature eases the grind a bit), so it feels less of a facade to justify the gacha of new characters, some sporting quite good designs.

Which just makes me wish we could actually get a new proper side scroller Metal Slug for consoles and PC to make good use of the new designs, i mean, SNK should have milked the franchise through mobile free to play games enough to warrant it.

Or re-release Metal Slug 3D, why the fuck not?

Summer Power Nap

So yeah, as announced before, the blog is going on partial holiday, aside from EXPRESSO every other column and extended reviews will go on hiatus, and i will try to take a break myself, mostly focusing on maintenance and updating the goddamn lists.

We’ll be back to the regular roll-out starting the 1st of September.

‘night!

So, a “few” words about that Samurai Warriors 5.

While i won’t have a review for the game out anytime soon (as explained in a previous post earlier this month), i want to say a few things about Samurai Warriors 5, after getting the Treasure Box edition (because i’m a sucker for artbook and CDs) and clocking in 32hours (which include finishing the story mode, of course) into it, as a last piece before i give the blog (and myself, to some extent) some rest.

I have like 5 pages of text and notes written about it, but i’ll try to be “brief” here.

It’s better than Dynasty Warriors 9?

Yes, it would have been quite hard to do even worse than that.

But it’s amazing how Omega Force still kinda held unto some of the crappier design choices from that shit title, leading to some old problems of the Warriors series coming back in new, unexpected and baffling ways.

Continua a leggere “So, a “few” words about that Samurai Warriors 5.”

[EXPRESSO] Free Guy (2021) | Life Service

So while we wait for the multiple movie projects spawned from that time online users deliberately made Gamestop’s share value drop (IF they happen at all), another thing that felt already dated the moment it was announced it’s finally out, Free Guy.

While it’s surprisingly not that out of touch as i expected (the fake in-game graphics looking like those crappy mobile ads for free-to-play games is a nice touch), i won’t deny it does sound like something that shouldn’t work as anything more than a sketch on Mega64.

So, what’s the plot? Ryan Reynolds lives his routine of bank teller nicely, until he decides to break it (inspired by a new woman player that he falls in love at first sight), gets They Live-style glasses, and learns that he’s just a random, generic NPC in a open world game called “Free City”. Or he was, at least. Guy then decides to become a hero for the city and its fellow virtual inhabitants, and becomes essential to the other protagonists, a couple of indie game developers trying to prove that a big videogame company CEO ripped off their work for his Free City game.

For a movie that takes many elements from other movies, ending like a weird amalgamation of Wreck It Ralph, The Truman Show, and The Lego Movie, it’s nice that is not as cynical conceived and executed as it may sounds, there’s actually some heart to it.. when the movie manages to focus and stop itself from doing weird “references-corporate pop culture flexes”, pandering to stereotypes, or trying to reach for super-safe narrative and emotional appeal.

It’s a decent movie, bit of a mixed bag, one that includes a slightly miscast Ryan Reynolds doing a Jim Carrey style character and a really overacting Taika Waititi.

Not bad.

One Piece: Unlimited World Red (Deluxe Edition) PS4 [REVIEW] | Pirate Cruisin’

You know what, it’s summer, so a good excuse as any for more One Piece videogame reviews, even more as a coda to the One Piece TV Specials retrospective!

This time we’ll focus on the more recent entry in the Unlimited sub-series of One Piece videogames, Unlimited World R/Red, specifically on its Deluxe Edition re-release/port for PS4, Switch and Steam. It was originally released for 3DS, but it proved popular enough to see a release on PS3, PS Vita and Wii U. I’ve actually played (and reviewed) the Wii U version back in the day, but it’s been a while, more than enough for the experience to feel fresh again and for review purposes.

While the original version had cross-save (3DS to Wii U and PS3 to PS Vita respectively), i feel i should point out right away this Deluxe version… doesn’t for the PS platforms. I didn’t really expect it, but since even the Dragon Crown’s Pro re-release had it, it wouldn’t be absurd to have it here.

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One Piece TV SP 13: Episode Of Skypiea (2018) [REVIEW]

Director: Tetsuya Endo

Writer: Tomohiro Nakamaya

Runtime: 105 minutes

So, by the fact that Episode Of East Blue wasn’t followed up by a special with an original story later in 2017, you can tell Toei quietly just kinda ditched the promised output of One Piece TV specials with original stories following new adaptations of old material.

It wasn’t until a year (a year and one day, to be pedantic) after that we got another special in the summer of 2018, with Episode Of Skypiea, another abridged remake of a story arc from earlier in One Piece’s storyline. BUT i find that this one makes a bit more sense, as Skypiea is such an unfairly hated story arc for many fans (which often made a lot of videogame adaptations of One Piece just completely skip it over it, while keeping a lot of minor story arcs)…. because someone shunned it entirely due to Ener’s ability being basically doomed to begin with against Luffy’s. But Amazon Lily’s arc that features Luffy making women marvel at his golden balls is perfect.

It makes even more sense to give Skypiea the “Episode Of” treament since we didn’t get any tangental piece of re-animated material from this arc in any of the specials before.

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One Piece TV SP 12: Episode of East Blue – Luffy and His Four Friends’ Great Adventure (2017) [REVIEW]

Director: Takashi Otsuka

Writer: Tomohiro Nakayama

Runtime: 106 minutes

Remember how i touched upon that plan Toei had about putting out One Piece TV specials in summer and winter, with abridged retellings and original stories?

Well, since we got two original stories back to back with the two previous TV specials, guessing it was yet again time for abridged remakes of older One Piece material was a safe bet to make.

Indeed it was, heck, and “safe” it’s also the perfect way to describe the choice made here.

Or stale and creatively lazy, as one would preferably talk of it, because we already had an East Blue story arcs abridged recap to be found in various bits of other “remake recap specials”, we didn’t really need to make another one of these so we could insert some previously not redone parts of the story. And even that comes off as a compromise on top of a compromise, since it’s only covers the origin or main arc of Luffy and his first four crewmember, Zoro, Sanji, Usop and Nami.

Continua a leggere “One Piece TV SP 12: Episode of East Blue – Luffy and His Four Friends’ Great Adventure (2017) [REVIEW]”

Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal PS4 [REVIEW] | Godfrey Hoppai

Expect to see more Senran Kagura reviews in the future, for now we’ll talk about the remake-port of the first game in the series, arriving in the west on 3DS alongside the extra campaign added in the “Burst” version, and later remade for PS4 and PC. I choose the PS4 version, but it’s also on Steam.

Having played the 3DS version throughly, i wasn’t opposed to a remake like this, unlike many fans that didn’t want to accept the fact the game was crap. It was. It had something to it, but like most of the Oneechanbara games (and overall a lot of Tamsoft’s output), too many flaws and a lot of repetition harmed the experience, and in the case of the first SK game, it didn’t help it tried to pull off a 3D style beat em up while having the set-up of a 2D beat em up. And being really long just to be long, without any variation and the 5/6 stages backdrops re-used again and again.

One thing that didn’t change is the story or it’s presentation, they just upscaled and used better polished assets, models and sprite from the more recent main Senran Kagura games, but even so most of the visual novel segments and illustrations are preserved, alongside the anime opening. Which is fine.

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One Piece TV SP 11: Heart Of Gold (2016) [REVIEW]

Director: Tatsuya Nagamine

Writer: Tsutomu Kuroiwa

Runtime: 105 minutes

It’s not not a recap, it’s not an entirely original story, this time we have a TV special made for tie-in purposes. Like the title gives away, this is a special made to advertise the movie One Piece Gold, and it’s not even the first one, as there was also One Piece Gold: Episode 0 (which we discussed during last year’s retrospective), a featurette taking place before the movie that amounted to a sumo version of the Kintarou story and plenty of Nami bikini fanservice. And the Silver Mine filler arc.

This actually takes place before Episode 0 and can be seen without it (especially since the featurette predictably didn’t further any plot or set up anything relevant for the actual One Piece Gold film than this special already does), and it’s intriguing they actually got Tatsuya Nagamine to direct him, after his work on One Piece Film Z and before the pretty good Dragon Ball Super: Broly.

And indeed, we’re in pretty good hands. We are.

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One Piece TV SP 10: Adventures In Nebulandia (2015) [REVIEW]

Director: Konosude Uda

Writer: Atsuhiro Tomioka

Runtime: 106 minutes

We’re finally taking a somewhat extended break from the recaps extravaganza (but not that extended, as we’ll find out) to have a TV special that actually features an original story, and calls back to a noticeably under-represented story arc, the Davy Back Fight, often completely eschewed from pretty much any adaptation of One Piece, and low-key hated by the fanbase, i feel.

Yeah, the premise sees Foxy and his crew send a false distress signal to the Straw Hats, seeking revenge after their Davy Back fight. The two crews begin another Davy Back, starting off with a mushroom eating contest as the first round of the challenge, but it’s a trap, as the new Foxy Pirates member, Komei, has made them eat the so called “Drousy Shrooms”, then reveals himself to be a Marine Vice Admiral and brings the four incapacited crewmembers as prisoners to Nebulandia.

The rest of both pirate crews follow them, but things get hairy as Nebulandia is an island that nullifies Devil Fruit powers due to its vegetation having adapted to live off sea water, acting as a natural prison for the many “gifted” pirates, so even more people get captured and it’s up to the few remaining to find a way to reserve the effects of the vegetation and escape the island.

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