[EXPRESSO] Pac Man 99 NSWDDL | Last Pac Standing

It has got to this. We knew it would eventually come to this.

And to be honest it doesn’t necessarily have to be bad, or half-baked by design like Super Mario 35, which was clearly not that well thought out, but also had a very short expiration date decided on birth, so why put more effort in if we decided we’re gonna kill it 6 months later regardless?

Like Tetris 99 once was, this is currently available as a free download for NSO subscribers, but this time it’s clearly being built as a freemium thing, since it had locked modes (the single player offerings of Score Attack, CPU Battle, and Blind Time Attack) at launch and paid themes. YAY.

Even more “YAY” how even private matches are walled beyond a paid upgrade.

But the main, free attraction is obviously the eponymous “Pacman 99” mode. While everyone plays in their separate mazes, by eating ghosts you sent mini-Pacmans into other players’ games, which aren’t deadly but will slow you down, and this can be used alongside the… NOT explained at all ability to choose how the power pellets operate to create more strategies: stronger power pellets will do more damage, but the time the ghosts will stay vulnerable for less time, etc. Also, while the mini-Pacs can be simply eaten, it’s better to not ignore them completely either…

There’s a bit more to digest here in terms of extra layers over the time-tested Pac Man formula in comparison to (take a swig) Tetris 99, so it may not be as immediatly intuitive, but regardless if you use the more advanced strategies or not, it’s yet again a surprisingly simple, addictive & effective way to adapt an arcade classic, enhancing the formula for modernity without compromising or ruining it in the process.

[EXPRESSO] Asterix & Friends iOS | SPQR

Asterix & Friends iOS.PNG

While it isn’t very popular in the U.S. (or anywhere outside Europe, i guess), the Asterix & Obelix comic series its fondly remembered here in Italy, and it’s definitely one of the best things to come out of the “Italy VS France” senseless rivarly, as it focuses on a small Gaul village resisting the Roman Empire conquest with the titular heroes and a magic potion of superstrenght.

Many adaptations were made, as animated and live-action movies (the last one came out in 2018), and of course, videogames, from Atari 2600 onwards, and since 2019 marks the 60th anniversary of the series (i guess this the reason), we got a remastered port of 2006 Asterix & Obelix XXL 2: Mission Las Vegum, with an upcoming third game.

And in 2016, Namco Bandai released… this for smarthphones.

I stalled talking about it because there’s really nothing to say. You’ve played any of those Facebook/browser games where you run a farm or something? You’ve played this. You click on things to get resources, you use them to build facilities in the village, you collect characters to stack as fighting fodder in the mindless battles (represented as classic cartoon “scuffle clouds”), use said resources to power them, and fend off the always encroaching roman assaults, which keep happening even if you’re not playing.

Because the timed events, the trifecta of currencies, daily log-in bonuses aren’t enough, let’s really force the hand of “retention” upon the players, either you play this forever every day or fuck you with a rusty menhir. No middle ground.

And to do that you mostly wait out timers or cough up the green, with aggressive in-game ads to boot. At the very least the cartoony graphic style is in tone with the works of Renè Goscinny (RIP) and Albert Udenzo.

Go read those, instead, i highly recommend it!



One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2: Awakening Of A Hero WII [REVIEW]

One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2 Awakening Of A Hero Wii cover pal.jpg

Copy Purchased
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Developed by: Ganbarion
Players: 1-2 (local)

The first Unlimited Cruise was quite the crap game, but it was a crap licensed game, so sequel…. i’d say, but i simply don’t believe this wasn’t a game split in two separate – AND full priced, too – titles just to maximize profit, as i will explain in this review.

Minor spoilers, i guess. Continua a leggere “One Piece Unlimited Cruise 2: Awakening Of A Hero WII [REVIEW]”

One Piece: Unlimited Cruise 1: The Treasure Beneath The Waves (WII) [REVIEW]


Copy Purchased

Platform: Nintendo Wii

Developed by: Ganbarion

Players: 1-2 (local)

If you’re a fan of One Piece in america, my guess is that you aren’t exactly happy with the videogames based on Eichiiro Oda’s series, since most of them either didn’t receive an american release, received one but it was based on the craptastic cut version done by 4Kids, or were released as a digital download only.

Since i live in Europe (italy, to be precise), i didn’t have that problem, due to the series being more popular here, but that doesn’t mean we always received good stuff based on One Piece, despite the Pirate Warriors sub-series being pretty good if you like musou games (and i do).

So time to review both Unlimited Cruise games for the Nintendo Wiii, which ironically had a predecessor of sort (One Piece: Unlimited Adventure, also on the Wii) released in America but not here in Europe for issues with international rights (and legalese stuff like that), and were later ported to the 3DS as separate titles again, even though the japanese version had them bundled together.

Namco Bandai said it was made due to having to fit the various languases, i don’t buy it, since they marketed it as one game and just days before launch news reported of the game being split in two single, full priced games, and  – most important – they felt like a title split in two separate games to begin with.

We’ll start from the first one (makes sense), One Piece Unlimited Cruise Episode 1: The Treasure Beneath The Waves, developed by Ganbarion and released by Namco Bandai in PAL territories in 2009. Continua a leggere “One Piece: Unlimited Cruise 1: The Treasure Beneath The Waves (WII) [REVIEW]”