Fire Emblem Warriors NSWITCH & NEW3DS [REVIEW] | Tactics Of The Emblem

To celebrate a new Fire Emblem crossover game with the Warriors formula, this time based on Three Houses in the same fashion as Age Of Calamity was from Zelda Breath Of Wild, let’s rivisit the older (and first) title, simply titled Fire Emblem Warriors, released back in 2017 for the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS… as in, only the New 3DS models, yep, it was one of those very few exclusive titles for that 3DS revision-upgraded restyling, arguably the only title of notice alongside Xenoblade Chronicles 3D in terms of New 3DS Only packaged retail releases.

I’m gonna review both versions as i first sunk 50+ hours on the New 3DS release (i didn’t had a Switch at the time) and then a little less once i got hold of a Switch and that version, and by that i mean i will just make a specific comparison in terms of performance and overall looks between the two versions, no need to review both separately, as in terms of contents they are 99 % identical.

Aside from that, prepare from a lot of comparison to Hyrule Warriors, it can’t be helped.

Also (as already explained in the hands-on on the demo for Three Hopes), don’t expect a review of Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes anytime soon, for the same reason of Persona 5 Strikers, i gotta play the main game, Three Houses, first, even though this is described as an alternate story in that world. And i’m never gonna finish that game and then start, finish and have a review of that out in any timely fashion.

Time is not on my side. 😦

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[EXPRESSO] Congo’s Caper/Joe & Mac 2 SNES | Sun Wukong Upon A Star

Ah, yes, the three inescapable truths of life: death, taxes and SNES caveman platformers that somehow you didn’t play or knew existed, like todays’s Congo’s Caper, just recently rereleased on the NSW Online subscription/retro apps.

This one it’s a bit more recognizable than stuff like Prehistorik Man, as it’s basically a spin-off of the Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja series by Data East, but also the second game in the series, since it was actually sold as Joe & Mac 2 in Japan and PAL regions.

And i kinda get why, as Data East also recycled some characters from the mainline Joe & Mac series, like the devil or the first stage t-rex boss , and the controls are similar, as it retains the high jump, but not the weapons, as you use only a small club to attack.

The more distinctive feature is the player character turning back into a monkey if hit, and regaining your human form with a red crystal (Mario style), with the ability to enter a “super saiyan” invincibility state too, you’re a half-monkey man after all.

Controls are actually pretty smooth, arguably better than the original Joe & Mac, the new protagonist has some new abilities like hanging from vines, so it should be better…. and it arguably is, it’s definitely more polished, has a lot more levels, BUT it’s too easy for its own good, it’s fun, but it lacks challenge, and the level themselves are very short, while also not providing anything you haven’t seen (or heard, as some of the sound effects are pretty much “ripped off” of Super Mario World…. or its sound libraries) done better in terms of level design.

So it’s not a bad game, but a decent one that could have been potentially quite good.

Shame, really.

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes NSWITCH DEMO [HANDS-ON] Hope Is Ascending

While i wasn’t planning to review the full game soon since i still need to play Three Houses first, the release of a demo at least give me an excuse to talk about the new Fire Emblem Warriors, so compromise it is! Dr. Killinger was right after all.

Since i have no familiarity with the aforementioned FE entry, i will not talk in detail about the plot seen in the demo, even though this is described as an alternative story set in the same world.

I mean, judging from the prologue’s cutscenes, narration and overwiew, it feels fitting that this specific FE game has a dedicated Warriors spin-off, since it feels like a medieval european take on the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms. Just with more school and church stuff.

It’s a fairly meaty demo, that lets you the entire prologue and ends just before the final battle of Chapter 4, for roughly 4 hours of content, more than usual and more than enough to know if you like the game or not.

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Dinosaurs and Snakes Of June (plus some Violet / Scarlet Pokeposting)

First, the EXPRESSO review of Jurassic World Dominion is coming a little later than expected, for personal reasons, basically. Wanna see it leasurely and shit.

Second, a full lenght review of GITS SAC 2045’s second season is coming.

Second, June will feature a decent number of snake movies’ reviews, as it will lead into what usually is Shark Month, but this year will be a “double feature” in terms of theme, for the hell of it. You’ll see.

Lastly, i feel like i should say something about the newly revealed gameplay trailer for Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, as i did post my musings on the Pearl/Diamond remake and Legends Arceus.

Maybe it’s because i’m old enough to have done this dance over and over, i’m kinda mild over what was shown. I like the “tribal vs technology” theme, the legendaries look like Yu Gi Oh 5DX bikes, and i’m happy there’s gonna be more emphasis on multiplayer.

The very few new pokemons shown really don’t do it for me in terms of designs, i do like the Spain-inspired look of the setting (and the player character with that spanish catholic schoolboy/girl vibe), and as i literally just happened to beat Pokemon Legends Arceus, i’m sure this will expand the formula, as Arceus’ open world template it’s not complex but it’s actually fun and well executed, exactly the good change of pace the series has needed since a while ago.

Maybe as we’ll get to see and learn more how the open world will be “more open” than in Arceus, what features will be returning and what new stuff will be added… i’ll most likely warm up to this new mainline game. We’ll see.

Didn’t help that it was announced very quickly after Legends Arceus launched, way earlier than anyone expected, i mean, come on Nintendo, it will sell zillions even if you slated this to release in early january 2023.

Guess they couldn’t wait even for december this time around. Geeze.

[EXPRESSO] Rival Turf SNES | Dashing Beat

So, Nintendo opened its maw again to spit out another meager assortment of old titles for the NES and SNES Online services, but this time it did add Rival Turf, as in the localized version of the first Rushing Beat, so i guess it’s time to complete my trifecta of reviews for the Rushing Beat trilogy, with the others being localized as Brawl Brothers and The Peacekeepers respectively.

Like The Peacekeepers the throwing and suplex moves are so overpowered that you’ll rely too much on those, especially since the enemies knows this as well, and can deal way too much damage even without using throws, made worse by the fact this is the only beat ‘em up i know that has “recovery damage”, as in you lose life even by getting up from getting knocked down.

At least it works for both you and the enemies, but still, weird.

Everything else is crappy bootleg Final Fight, from the bootleg enemies with smaller sprites, the iffy collision detection, the punches and moves lacking much “oomph”. The only difference being the “run” button which allows to also execute dash moves, despite the hilarity of the character not so much running (there’s no running animation per se) but “walking-gliding” at a faster pace.

It’s also such a blatant rip-off of Final Fight you really have to compare it to that game, and its own only reason of being was the 2 player co-op mode that the SNES release of Final Fight lacked, but nowadays means squat.

It’s aged crap from Jaleco, and while the sequels – mostly – improved gameplay…. there’s very little reason to bother with the original Rival Turf/Rushing Beat, unless you’re a beat em up buff on a mission to play them all for fun, education and/or profit. There’s worse.

Musou May + an updated rant on Tecmo Koei’s horrible monetization practices

While i would have loved to splooge and do a full fledged Warriors retrospective, i simply can’t at the moment due to time lacking for such an endeavour, so we’ll have a musou game review each Sunday in May, starting from the 8th, which will alter the bi-daily posting routine we entered since February a little.

I wish i could do more, but i already know will not be able to get, play and review the upcoming Touken Ranbu Warriors before May itself ends, for one (as to why, basically because they are going with a digital only release in European territories, more below=. Though i can update my previous rants on Tecmo Koei’s monetization practices and content culling, as the Switch eShop page for that game went up recently and showed us that Tecmo Koei’s will simply NOT stop inventing new ways to “nickle and dime” hundreds of moolah from you for very little effort.

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Where the on-rail shooter compilations at?

(A review of Mamoru Hosoda’s Belle is coming VERY soon, btw)

As the remake of the first House Of The Dead game is set to release soon on Switch (as a retail packaged release too), i’ve just realized how incredibly really no company before Sega with this remake has tried to bring on-rail shooters to the only current-gen (kinda) popular console that still retains Wii style pointers controls via the Joycons.

Given how the nostalgia market will only grow even larger in time, i’m surprised Namco didn’t dig from its huge backcatalog and pushed out a Point Blank or Time Crisis collection, or made compilations of some of the many others games of this kind that only existed as arcade cabinets.

I named Namco, but heck, even Konami and Sega were quite prolific back in the day, though Konami nowadays it’s better when they just licensed compilations-ports of their older titles to people who care (like Digital Eclipse, also handling the recently announced TMNT Cowabunga Collection), and Sega quite likely simply doesn’t care.

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Nintendo Direct 9/02/2022 | Rites Of N

That time again, time to put on your robe and attend the ceremony with expectations so far out to make worshippers of the Old Gods looks like wannabe zealots!

Especially since all fair criticism of the company is dropped by most people (and publications) when a Direct happens. But again, this is sadly “business as usual”, let’s move on.

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Jump Force PS4 [REVIEW- FUNERAL] | To The Digital Graveyard With You!

One might wonder why review Jump Force now, as it got “internet spanked” quite enough when it came out in 2019. Aside the fact i don’t need a reason to do so… Namco Bandai gave me a big one, by announcing they would remove the game from digital storefronts, alongside the 2 season passes, the DLCs characters and content by february 8th 2022, with online functionalities and features shutting down entirely by August 24th 2022, this on all platforms.

Now, i know this would be reason for joy to many, but i’m an archivist at heart, and while i won’t miss the microtransaction laden bullshit, i find it silly that they didn’t even managed to make a complete edition of it with all the content on disc, only the Deluxe Edition on Switch with the Season Pass 1 content baked in the cart.

So years in the future you won’t be able to play the Season Pass 2 characters at all, which isn’t exactly a loss given the game wasn’t good to begin with, but it’s even more soon-to-be legally lost content. The loss of the online functionalities was inevitable, to a point, but the rest not so much.

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[EXPRESSO] Cruis’n Blast NSWITCH | LETS GO CRUISINNNN

I knew the Cruis’n series was a fan favourite since the N64 days, but i never played one until the recent Cruis’n Blast, developed by Raw Thrills… and boy i played the shit of the arcade cabinet in these years. One of my favourite arcade racer ever, and i don’t even particularly care about racers.

Guess i wasn’t alone since an updated expanded version arrived on Switch (boxed to boot) for Halloween 2021, costing 40 bucks as MSRP.

In terms of content, it has the 5 tracks found in the arcade version, plus 24 brand new ones, now all laden with extra collectables necessary to buy and unlock new cars, also coming in more variety, regarding both regular vehicles and the triceratops n stuff.

Obviously stuff like the helicopter isn’t given away immediatly but will require getting gold trophies, collecting a lot of keys and money, levelling up cars and stuff, but there a good amount of content for the single player experience and gameplay it’s still such pure mindless arcade racer fun.

The controls and mechanics have been slightly altered and improved from the arcade version, but it won’t take much to discover how to “wheelie” over other cars, spin in the air and drift to collect a boost (Mario Kart style). Just remember that the original cabinet didn’t have a brake pedal, it’s that kind of uber arcade experience, with lots of spectacle and shit happening on the tracks, like the London Eye breaking loose, Yetis, etc.

More importantly, it’s indeed the absolute “Blast” the subtitle claims it to be, the IA isn’t bad even at Normal difficulty, and obviously it’s even better with 4 players.

I can’t recommend it at full price to due some performances hiccups and no online multiplayer, but i do recommend it, absolutely.