Category Archives: Joey Splats

Let’s talk about Smash Ultimate

However before we do, you need to know my background on this series and of my love for Nintendo. I grew up with Nintendo and have always enjoyed the games that I have been privileged to have played. Anyone who knows me will know that my three favourite game series are Zelda, Animal Crossing and Metroid. I have played ALL the games in these series. Knowing this about me you can imagine me as a kid picking up Super Smash Melee for the GameCube. Now yes it wasn’t the first Smash Brothers but it was my first. Seeing my favourite characters from different games coming together to fight was mind blowing to my child’s mind. What made this game great was there was so much to do, you had all these different modes and they had characters that unlocked depending on certain criteria, always remember the moment that I unlocked Mewtwo after playing the game for 100 hours.

You can probably see where this is going but let me try and explain why I feel Smash Ultimate is game that is good but has missed the mark on being the Ultimate Smash game. There are three areas that I would like to discuss and compare between the two games in the series. These are;

Character unlocking
Modes
Tournament

What I hope to show you is that this the way in which this game is built differently, upon these reasons and that by having these opinions doesn’t stop making Smash Ultimate from being a great game, but instead just to show how for me it hit the mark on lost potential.

Character Unlocking

It’s funny to me that one of the complaints that people have about Smash Ultimate is that it’s too hard to unlock characters. That all the characters should come unlocked already like with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. For me this is ridiculous I find it too easy. Why is this?

There are two primary ways of unlocking characters within Smash Ultimate. These are
Unlocking one character every 15 mins in any mode
Unlocking one by one in World Of Light
I will get on with the problems of World Of Light in the modes section. However most people will unlock them using the first method. Which means countless repetitive gameplay trying to unlock these characters.

In Smash Melee there was a lot les characters but each character had a specific ‘quest’ behind, as said above you got Mewtwo after playing 100 hours. Maybe it was playing classic mode 10 times or playing as a specific character or on the hardest difficulty. This made the game interesting because you never knew when you were going to get a new character. Also at this time we didn’t have Nintendo spoiling EVERY character. The first time I got Mewtwo I was genuinely surprised and excited by it. Now I know exactly who is in the game and the element of surprise has been taken from me.

I honestly think that all the characters that have come to Smash Ultimate are amazing. I was super excited that Isabell was coming. But how cool would it have been to stumble across her in game doing a quest/achievement that we weren’t aware of? This is how Smash Melee was to me. As a kid I was super excited every time I found one of those secrets.

Modes

So Nintendo has all these amazing characters that arguably could have been dealt with better. But let’s look past that for a minute. Lets look at what content is in the game. Straight from the home screen I see four options.
Smash
Classic
World of Light
Online play
The initial thought that comes to mind is ‘wow so much to do where do I start’. Then you start playing the different modes. Then you realise each mode is exactly the same. Smash mode you Smash. Classic you Smash. World of light you Smash. Online you Smash. The entire game is one giant mode. All you do is fight.

New people to the series are probably confused by that paragraph, surely buying the game I knew that all you did was fight? What these people don’t know is that the series used to be an Adventure/fighting game. In Smash Melee there was different modes and things to do.

Adventure mode was my favourite. It was a mix of stock battles, 2d platform and puzzle adventure challenges, with a boss fight at the end. It was great fun. What do we get in Smash Ultimate, stock battles with one crappy chase puzzle near the end.

You also had different modes like a target practice mini game. This was amazing. Each character had there own map and targets to break. You had to get all targets in a certain time limit. This was hard and challenging, pikachu’s was the easiest imo. And then there was the baseball game where you had to throw a punchbag as far as possible.

There was just a normal Smash mode but this was just used when you had friends or you wanted to have a tournament. In some respects it was the secondary mode to the game the main reason and top of the home screen was adventure mode.

I hope that from this section that you can see where I’m coming from coming from Melee, I was coming into the game from an adventure background, the next section will explain why I feel the direction of the game has changed, From it’s past. Going from a game with so much to do, to a game that promotes it has a lot of content but than it’s just repetitive gameplay.

World of light, you’re saying to me. Isn’t that adventure. No, no it’s not. It pretends to be and you would think that’s what it should be. However take away the amazing cutscene (credit where credit is due) all it is a series of stock/timed battles for nearly 40 hours. Granted there is a few boss battles every now and again. But these are far and between. Unfortunately this game mode REALLY misses the mark.

Tournament

So what do I mean by this section. This is what I personally feel Smash Ultimate is Ultimate at being. There is no doubt in my mind that some amazing and hard work has been into making all characters perform well under tournament conditions. This however has been done while forgetting that 90% of players are not going to be playing in tournaments but as single players or with friends. This means that a whole demographic has been forgotten.

This is more evidence of what I was trying to communicate in my last section that the game has changed from what it first was. The stock/battles which used to be a secondary mode in Melee have taken full stage. This is down to the success of Melee and its rise in popularity in tournaments. The key with that game was that it was never created to be that way. Where as Ultimate was designed from the ground up to be that game.

This is great if you want to get into tournaments or just fight and Smash. But for the average player there seems to be lack of coherence gameplay to comeback time and time again. I was looking on my friends list, splatting 2 average 150 hours, this appeal to all gamers. Average for Smash 1 month down the line, 22 hours. Think these numbers speak for themselves, one person had 120 hours which brought the average up. Surprisingly they like tournaments.

Conclusion

In conclusion I hope that this retrospective has illustrated why I was left disappointed in Smash Ultimate. I also hope that you know that I don’t think Smash is a bad game, but as I said in the introduction I feel it missed the mark on being something awesome. There are many other aspects I could talk about such as Trophies vs Souls. But if I were to comment on every detail this retrospective would be a lot longer. My hope is that people recognise these problems and the next game be made with the common player in mind. I honestly hope you enjoyed this retrospective and feel free to get in touch to answer any questions.

State of Anarchy Master of Mayhem Review

By Joey Splats

 

State of Anarchy: Master of Mayhem

Aliens, Guns, Burning, and a whole city to master await you. Absolute mayhem sums up this game. However, it does it in such a way that made me want to come back again and again to fight these aliens. Published by Sometimes You, the game is about destroying all the enemies in a city while upgrading yourself. There are 48 stages/missions that get increasingly more difficult as you progress. There is also a variety of weapons and upgrades to unlock which adds to the fun.

The Mayhem

The game drops you into a world that has a retro stick-man graphic style that works for this type of hectic game. You see a few enemies which you kill, and that’s the game. You see an enemy in the world, and you shoot. However, with different weapons and vehicles, it provides enough variety to keep the game fresh. The game offers a variety of stages that kept me interested. I was never bored! This game is challenging and does not hold back. To beat the game, you need to strategize and work your way around the bosses.  From the onset, the bosses get increasingly more difficult.

The bosses in Master of Mayhem are fun and challenging. The first real boss you face is an alien spaceship that you must chase down in your vehicle. Once destroyed the alien appears and you must kill him, and it is not as easy as I expected a first boss to be. I died a couple of times before finally beating him. This is the magic of the game; its difficult but its charm brought me back again and again to ether kill or be killed.

The upgrade system is central to the game-play. You can upgrade stats such as accuracy, power, reload speed. This means that you are ever getting more powerful. It also has a semi Metroidvania style of finding weapons that allow you to upgrade your arsenal that instantly made me feel more powerful after unlocking.

The Verdict: Q4P Pass or Play?

I recommend this game to anyone that enjoys a quick pick up and play style of gaming.  The simple art style adds to the fun in this immersive game.  For $7.99 (£7.19) this game is well worth your investment.

 

Q4P: PLAY!

Disclaimer: This game was reviewed on the Nintendo Switch using a retail code provided by the publisher.

 

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Henry The Hamster Handler Review

By Joey Splats

 

What Can I Expect?

When first happening upon Henry the Hamster Handler, I wasn’t expecting much! With the number of indie games appearing on the E-Shop, it’s getting harder to distinguish between “shovel ware” and games you should buy. Henry the Hamster Handler by Pocket Money Games, surprised me with how fun the game was. It provides a quick to learn game element that is quick to learn and hard to master.

 

Handler Handles Well

Each level you are presented with a screen. See the image below for reference. The Hamsters appears at the top, sometimes in multiple directions, and each time they get to one of the blocks the player needs to press the button that corresponds with the key on the block. Easy right? Well, the game has multiple of these blocks, so as the hamster goes on you need to progressively watch numerous hamsters. As I said before, easy to learn, hard to master.

What About That Hamster Story Though?

There seems to be a story, but its almost like it was an afterthought! With a game like this, there doesn’t need to be a story. It is nice to see they tried to make an effort. As the Hamster Handler, you are trying to create as many near-death experiences for your hamsters that will eventually make your hamsters change color, to gold and silver. It’s quite a weird story, but the central element of this game is the game-play, which I feel is on point.  It is especially great when you get into the more intense levels of the game.

 

Verdict –  Pass or Play?

This game is well worth its bucks. This is an example of a game that has passed the limelight of the ever-growing E-Shop. For $3.69 (£2.49), we need to bring this game back to the spotlight and give it the praise it deserves. Everyone has Gold Points saved up enough for this game. Let’s all buy this game and play it because it’s well worth it! Challenge time! Let’s see who can save all the hamsters in the first three levels in their first try! Give it a go!

 

Quest 4 Pixels: Play!

 

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Soccer Slammers Review

By Joey Splats

 

Soccer Slammers is a game made by Atooi, A great Indie development company ran by the main man Jools Watsham. Atooi has made some outstanding games in the past and Soccer Slammers is another game in the long lists of games they have produced.

This game is an excellent arcade game which has released at a perfect time; Just in time for the World Cup. Compared to past games I have found that this game has a lack of polish which most of his games have had in the past, which I’ll explain later.

So what’s the score

The game is simple, and that’s its charm. You control one person in a two-person team (Multiplayer has player 2 controlling the second) and the goal is simply to score in the others goal. Come on we have all played Football before we know how this works.

You have four moves you can make. B = Pass, A = Shoot, Y = Tackle and R = Boost. I tell you this now because of the tricky things about starting the game up first time is that unless you go into the options the game does not tell you what the buttons are. Which is not a problem, but something that could be incorporated into the start up sequence for first time players.

However once you learn what button does what the game play is refreshing and challenging, the AI is on point and Jools needs a well done for how well it responds to you and how well it works, all leading up to a great experience.

 

Two Modes

The game comes with Two modes. A quick match mode and World Cup mode.

Quick match lets you pick any team and choose there difficulty and your enemies and then pits you head to head with that team. This mode lets you play with up two four players. Which is a huge selling point because it is quick and easy fun. However, I have one annoyance about this mode. There is no acknowledgment of the game you have played. As soon as the game is done it sends you straight back to the start, there is nothing saying “You won” or just acknowledging that you have played a game. This has meant that this mode has not been my mode of choice because it feels like I’m not accomplishing anything.

The beef of the Content however is in World Cup mode. This is exactly what you would think it would be. Every team and one winner. This is so much fun. However, disclaimer I’m rubbish at the game and never won. But playing it was truly fun.

That’s one thing to note about this game. This game is hard. Its not simple. Be prepared to lose and shout at you’re Switch Screen.

 

The Verdict.

As you can tell from the review I have mixed feelings for this game. Some aspects of it shines and other parts of it falls short. As stated at the start Atooi has made some excellent games and they should be commended. And that’s why it’s in my opinion if you have yet to try their other games I would suggest going there first. But I would also not tell anyone not to get this game because at times its really fun and I can see it being right up some people’s street. For £8.99($9.99) I would give this game a Maybe score.

 

Q4P Pass or Play: Maybe

 

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Drago Dino Review

By Joey Splats

 

Drago Dino was created by Plug-In Digital. Unfortunately, it failed to impress. You control a Drago Dino called Bob (Yes, Original) who you guide through 10 levels in search of his lost egg. You do this by traversing through 2D platform levels which are very lackluster. Bob doesn’t control very well but is designed very well and looks cute enough. Once you get used to his flaws, he does seem to bob-along.

Many Modes

There are two difficulties to choose from. You can choose Normal or Hard. In Normal, you get three lives and checkpoints whereas in Hard, you get one life and no checkpoints.

Players can also play in Co-op mode. In addition to that, there is a practice mode with a practice map.  The practice mode came off as a bit strange.  It’s almost as if the developers knew that this particular Drago Dino was going to be hard to control.

The Verdict.

It’s not a bad game by any stretch. Its one high point is that the game looks incredibly cute. I simply can’t recommend it as lackluster as it is.  Drago Dino as mentioned already, failed to impress me and I fear it will fail to impress you.  For £8.99($9.99) it seems a tad expensive for what you get. it took me roughly 1:30 hours to complete, so it’s not a long game.  Q4P Pass or Play? PASS

 

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Pokemon Quest – First Look

By Joey Splats

 

New Pokemon on the Way!

What a way to start the day! Three new Pokémon games announced for the Nintendo Switch and a full main RPG core title announced for next year. Here at Quest4Pixels, we will be talking a lot about these games in the coming days so for now let’s focus on Pokémon Quest the latest Pokémon game to hit the switch this morning.

This is just a  first look at the game, what the game is, how the game is played and whether or not you should download it. First off, everyone needs to download this game, I have 3 hours already under my belt because it’s so addicting.

Cubed Pokemon

The game is based on an island called Tumble cube Island. All the Pokémon on this island are from the Kanto region, and Yes they are all indeed cubed versions of the Pokémon.

The game lets you choose a partner Pokémon, Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Pikachu or Eevee. I chose Pikachu. You use your Pokémon to face waves of Pokémon in ether 3-4 waves with a boss Pokémon on wave 4.

There is nothing new here in the core gameplay, lots of games have horde modes. What makes Pokémon Quest stand out is that you can customize a team of three Pokémon with all the Kanto Pokémon Quest, the catch, you must catch them all.  You do this by cooking nice treats in the cauldron in your base camp.

What to Expect

Your base is the main Hub for the game. Here you make meals which attract new Pokémon who become your friend and then can use in the main horde mode. Throughout the game, you unlock statues and other decorations that you use to decorate. You’re base, and some of them add benefits like leveling up faster.

Yes, Pokémon levels up like in the normal RPG games. However, there is also extra ways of strengthening your Pokémon charms. These add strength and HP to your Pokémon and the rarer ones even give you extra benefits like 5% critical hit chance.

A Final Word

A final word of warning. This is a mobile style game, which means it is free, but uses an in-game currency which you can buy more off through the Nintendo E-shop. However, this is not needed to play the game. I personally purchased the cheapest DLC called the expedition kit which for $5 gives you an extra cauldron some in-game currency and some decorations.

 

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Timberman VS Review [Nintendo Switch]

 

Timberman VS Packs-a-Punch

When I first got my hands upon Timberman VS I thought that it was going to be a game which you play once and never pick up again. However, the opposite is true. The game is simple but hilariously so much fun. Its packed with a ton of features that you wouldn’t expect from a game of this level. It has multiple unlockable characters that are fun to unlock as you go along.

Trio Modes

Timberman VS has three modes which all share the same core gameplay. The core gameplay is that you’re a lumberjack and there’s a tree. Chop Chop Chop and avoid the branches. As you chop the first layer disappears and the tree falls down a layer bringing those deadly branches towards you. So you have to keep switching sides as not to get hit. The first mode is to get as far as you can as fast as you can. The second mode has you saving bird Eggs from the top of the tree. The first mode is an endless game where you can keep on going. Whereas the second is limited to a random set number of layers and if you manage to reach the Eggs and rescues them you get bonus experience.

Experience Points.

You gain experience by playing the game and ether getting higher and higher up the tree or by saving the Eggs in the second mode. Each time you level up you unlock a new character which is fun because it means that’s there is always a goal to achieve which adds to the fun.

Multiplayer Madness

A hidden gem of Timberman VS is the multiplayer. This is the third mode and it pits you and three of your friends to cut a set number of a layered tree as fast as you can. We had a blast trying to beat each other and was hilariously good fun which I cannot believe is only on the E-shop for £1.49($1.99) this game is a MUST BUY. This isn’t one of those games you can pass by in this humble reviewer’s opinion. (Also my Highest score is 769, if you beat it screenshot it)

 

Play or Pass?

                                                PLAY!

Reviewed by: Joey Splats

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