[EXPRESSO] My Hero Academia: The Strongest Hero iOS | Smarthphone Smash!

So i missed my chance to play it and review it when it first launched here, but figured now, when the third My Hero Academia movie just released, would also be a sensible “fit”. So here it is.

There’s plenty of licensed anime games on mobile, a plethora, doesn’t matter if its popular or something like Karakuri Circus, there’s always a chance of an anime/manga series resurfacing as a free to play smarthphone title, because that’s were the microtransaction zillions are made.

And also because if the official licensed version don’t appear quickly, some bold faced obvious ripoffs will surface on the App and Play Store.

So of course there’s a mobile game for the uber popular MHA, with MHA The Strongest Hero, which does give you the very basic gist of the series and it’s setting, a world where 80 % of the population has superpowers, and sadly protagonist Izuku Midoriya happens to be in the latter 20 %, until a fated encounter with his idol superhero, All Might, changes his life forever…

It gives you the basic gist but it has its own story and it’s more focused on provide you with missions to do, in order to level up, scrounge resources, upgrade stuff and get addicted to the gacha.

But honestly it’s actually kinda impressive, it has various open ares you can actually explore, talk to characters, accept side quests and whatnot, it looks quite good and the main bulk of the game, as in combat missions, are actually satisfying thanks to a very solid and fun combat system that reminds me of the one in Honkai Impact 3rd, even better, with a lot of moves and systems based around each character’ superpower, making each feel different enough to play as.

Yeah, this is surprisingly pretty good!

The Initial STEAM [REVIEW] | School Swords Gals Fight

Have been meaning to get around this one for a while, so much i eventually got a PC to run most games decently, in the meantime. As in, 3 years ago.

So, do you like games like Oneechanbara and Senran Kagura, are you into the niche of “anime ladies fighting with scanty clothes and swords”? Want more of them?

The Initial is borne of that mentality, and comes from a niche indeed, a chinese 5 people team called Restory Studio, who clearly know their audience, so much that one of the first paragraphs on the Steam store page says “THE INITIAL is a hyper action game about pretty schoolgirls battling against evil.”, which is a very apt and synthetic description.

Because you already know if you’re in or out after that.

You know where i stand on the matter.

Continua a leggere “The Initial STEAM [REVIEW] | School Swords Gals Fight”

Fist Of The North Star: Ken’s Rage X360 [REVIEW] | Ai Wo Torimodose!!

I’ve been wanting to revisit the Ken’s Rage series for a while, especially because it seems like a no-brainer to make a Warriors style game about one of the most beloved shonen series of the 80s, Fist Of The North Star, with Kenshiro and his cast of powerful, larger than life foes, with more post-apocalyptic muscle mountains and the array of martial arts that explode people from the inside, cure them from all ailments, and do whatever insane mystical, awesome bullshit they do.

Not that Fist Of The North Star lacks videogames based upon it, but aside from the first NES game (released without the FOTNS license as Black Belt), most of them never left Japan, or did reworked due to licensing into something else. In either case, here in Europe we almost got nothing of that for decades, so Ken’s Rage was actually a nice treat for starving fans that wanted to experience Kenshiro’s post-apocaliptic odyssey in videogame form on their modern consoles.

Continua a leggere “Fist Of The North Star: Ken’s Rage X360 [REVIEW] | Ai Wo Torimodose!!”

Knack II [PS4] [REVIEW] | Knack Me Twice

Developed By: Japan Studio

Players: 1-2

The very existence of this game is big “?”, not only because it came out 4 years after the first Knack, bamboozling the gaming community at large, given how widely hated and reviled the first game and its titular protagonist were. Again, it’s worth remembering that the fist Knack was both a critical and a financial failure, and didn’t do worse in revenue because it was a launch title, so there wasn’t much else to play at the time on the newborne console.

In a way, i can understand why someone at Sony did ultimately greenlit this, as an underdog story for this pitiable franchise (and main characters) would have been nice, and proof you can turn thing around with a sequel; it has been done before, after all, so why can’t Knack be redeemed of his sins?

There are many reasons for that, but let’s start from the beginning, meaning the story.

(review based on a playthrough on Normal, for review purposes)

Continua a leggere “Knack II [PS4] [REVIEW] | Knack Me Twice”

[EXPRESSO] Brawl Brothers SNES | OH, Maize!

Played via the SNES – Nintendo Switch Online’s service.

Since i reviewed the last game in the Rushing Beat trilogy (as in, what became of it when Jaleco brought it over as The Peace Keepers), might as well do the second one, or – more appropriately – the western release of Rushing Beat Ran. But since it’s an emulated game, the old code for playing the japanese version works here as well.

And if you go to The Peace Keepers back to Brawl Brothers, you’ll find it hard to believe this one came before, because it’s noticeably the better game, right away it’s obvious, as absurd as it is.

That said, while the gameplay is decent, it apes Final Fight , yes, it also has 4 stages, each being twice as long than usual, long for the sake of it, without the enemy variety to fully sustain it (even for the era)… AND if the pacing wasn’t hampered by the maze-like sections. On paper they should spice things up, make the game less mindless, but they are just obtuse and stupid, as the level design doesn’t comunicate or hints at the “right way”, but its quite happy to still tell you to “GO=>” even when it will lead you into looping into the same ¾ nearly identical corridors.

So 15 minutes in and you will have to either keep trying to access the sewer’s doors in random order or go look up a guide if you wanna save some time. More baffling, this “maze crap”, while it bogs down an other decent – if flawed – game for the time, isn’t even a complete deal breaker, as it applies to just 2 specific sections of the whole game … and it wasn’t even in the Japanese version to begin with.

[EXPRESSO] The Peace Keepers SNES | The Suplexing Complex

Played via the SNES- Nintendo Switch Online’s service.

And i gotta say, despite Nintendo handling this service.. in a totally Nintendo way, sometimes there are surprises, like this forgotten SNES beat em up by Jaleco, actually the third of the Rushing Beat trilogy (which also includes Rival Turf and Brawl Brothers, the latter already released on the service), at least it was originally. I’d say this is a fairly obscure release, as i never even heard of its existence, even by name.

Playing it, i realized why it slipped into obscurity so easily. Just plain ol’ crap in a market – at the time – saturated with tons of titles like that, often better.

It’s hard to say The Peace Keepers is “bad”, as it pretty much plays like Final Fight (aside from a plot that throws movie clichès AND literary references into the pot, with mutants, villains named Iago and places called Ozymandias Island), but it’s not a fast paced affair. Also, the combination of slightly stiff controls and the screen never scrolling properly to the right leads to you dashing into enemies’ fists, not that the game really ever throws tons of foes at you. Which is “good” because each takes more hits than it should to go down in a game like this, making the throws (already a bit too efficient than punches, in a brawler) pretty much mandatory to get anywhere.

Branching paths leading to different bosses and endings are nice but aren’t enough to make the story seems more than a jumbled sequence of scenes. And for some stupid reason the game by default just has the sound effects and ambient noises, i almost went the whole game wondering if the game had no actual music. It does, but you have to change a setting in the options.

[EXPRESSO] Coffee Crisis NSWDDL | Bronco Blend

Coffee Crisis NSWDDL

I’m doing an Expresso review of this one because it doesn’t deserve a full review.

Coffee Crisis is retro brawler/beat em up inspired by 16-bit classics, as so proudly says in the marketing and description, and sports all the mandatory “indie quirks”, from mediodre-decent pixel graphics, a throwaway story so we can weaponize it as “joke” despite being a lazy and unfunny mish mash of overdone references and cringey exchanges regardless, so bad the writers should tar themselves, but clearly no one is vaguely ashamed.

I mean, we have to shoehorne appearences from Youtubers AlphaOmegaSin and MetalJesusRock (and somehow the legendary band Nile), need something to bait Twitch viewers in, clearly the plot about baristas fighting aliens that want to steal our heavy metal isn’t enough random “for the lulz” by itself.
Thankfully you can skip dialogues by pressing B.

Gameplay wise, it’s so faithful to its ispirations it’s downright obtuse, a prime example of not understanding the very genre you’re trying to serenade, not evolving or improving the combat system, and even badly aping them, with finnicky hit detection making most of the extra weapon useless, blows that don’t stop enemies so they power through your attacks, when they don’t snipe you with projectiles from outside the screen. Most of the difficulty is obtained via cheap bullshit, and it’s unbalanced as well, with boss fights that are usually piss easy and just annoying.

Its main selling point, the random modifiers, are such a liability the game improves when you deactivate them. Sadly you can’t turn off or ignore the password system as the sole mean to continue, and the game also quickly outstay its welcome, continuing on and on instead of ending.

At least the music is decent-good… but 30 years later, Bad Dudes it’s a way better game.

Still.

fondo-di-caffc3a8-icona1

Dorohedoro 8-Bit Game ~Living Dead Day Survivor (Browser) [REVIEW]

Dorohedoro 8-bit Game Living Dead Day Survivor.png

So yeah, we have a Dorohedoro videogame, finally…. kinda.

It’s a free browser game available on the official site for a limited time, and it’s a basically a NES style beat em up taking place – as the title explicits – during the Living Dead Day (recently depicted in the third episode of the anime series), an annual event in Dorohedoro’s world where the dead rise, and people kill them to obtain plates that can be exchanged for prizes, with food stands and stuff like it’s a festival.

Dorohedoro 8-bit Game Living Dead Day Survivor cayman and nikaido

Being it basically just an ad for the series (one with impending disappearance), i’m not gonna complain about it being basically a 5 minutes affair, but the pixel art and chiptune theme are well done, gameplay is what you’d expect from old school beat em up: never let enemies gang on you from both sides, use items, master the jumping kick, etc. You can play as either Cayman or Nikaido (they control and fight the same), and there’s local multiplayer, even if you’d have to huddle around the same keyboard.

The website and instructions are in japanese, but you can easily figure controls out anyway, so i’d recommend you try it before it vanishes from the web. I still haven’t seen the anime series (besides a couple clips), but i strongly recommend Dorohedoro anyway, one of my favourite series of all time.