Tag Archives: 3DS

Review: Hey! Pikmin (Nintendo 3DS)

Hey! Pikmin makes a fun-filled, adventurous debut on the Nintendo 3DS in a game that is charming, cutesy and above all else fun.

It’s Pikmin but not as you know it as the familiar 3/4 overhead perspective is changed to a side scrolling game that sees Captain Olimar crash landing on a planet, meeting and befriending many different types of Pikmin. Anyone familiar to the game series will feel right at home as the mechanics behind the Pikmin are the same as are some of the enemies which show up from the previous console versions to the handheld. New players have a handy tutorial to introduce them to the game, the characters and the cutesy Pikmin.

The premise of the game sees your ship in need of repairs and in order to repair it, you’re tasked with finding Sparklium which can be obtained by finding three relics that are hidden across each level. These will give you a generous amount of Sparklium for finding them however by defeating most enemies, you also receive a smaller amount. The levels themselves are varied and make use of both screens so sometimes if you can’t find a way out, try looking at the top screen. There are water level, ground levels, underground levels and more and as you progress through the game, you gradually unlock more levels to explore.

There also some bonus level where it literally rains Sparklium across the screens so you can grab some to add to your total. These level are fun as you can stand on one side and catch them while you simultaneously throw Pikmin across the scene to catch some on the other side. Also of particular note is that this game uses the touchscreen constantly and you can’t play without it. It’s how you select items on the screen that you want Pikmin to attack or just to carry and bring back to you.

I’ve read some reviews that found the game fiddly, boring or otherwise lacking. I haven’t really encountered these issues. I’m not saying the game is perfect as some levels cam come across a little same but at the same time, there’s enough variety to keep you going. It’s also the perfect game to play in sporadic bursts as the levels aren’t too long making it ideal to play on public transport as well. Being that it’s on a handheld, there were always going to be compromises so I’m not sure what other reviewers were expecting but it really is a delightful game that keeps you coming back.

It has a great blend of nice, colourful graphics with a lighthearted soundtrack to accompany it. This is one game that I’ve always started on console but never finished but I can really see myself giving this one a go for hours. It has a nice mix of easy and harder levels as well. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it’s a war in the park because it’s on a handheld or it’s adorable appearance. Looks are deceiving in this game and believe me, it will keep you entertained!

*Thanks to Nintendo for the review copy*

Final score: 8.5/10

Cool Commercials For Dragon Quest XI In Japan

New commercials have recently hit Japan for the forthcoming Dragon Quest XI. It’d be great to say these ads are for the Australian release but no…it’s the Japan release. These ads are only for the Nintendo 3DS and the PS4 release while strangely the Nintendo Switch version is conspicuously absent. Anyways, enjoy the TV spots below.

https://youtu.be/BhfIyTOyaow

https://youtu.be/tJj8qkyIA94

https://youtu.be/NucpavRWK4s

https://youtu.be/QxoB2XNIFgs

https://youtu.be/nF-R-PhXmuU

And if you’d like some more DQ XI action, here’s a look at an extended cutscene:

Review: Fire Emblem Echoes Shadows Of Valentia (3DS)

Intelligent System are onto another winner with the release of the latest entry into the Fire Emblem universe, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia. The game is a remake of an earlier title that was never released outside of Japan until now where it had the title Fire Emblem Gaiden.

The game does have an aged appearance to it but this isn’t a bad thing and in fact, marks a very welcome change to the series even if it’s only for this outing. I’ve played quite a few of the FE entries and as an SRPG, they’re 100% solid and will challenge the most hardened strategy fan. One thing that was new to me was the ability to roam about dungeons in 3rd person mode which is a great way to roam about and find treasures. When you encounter enemies in this mode, the game switches to the familiar style of gameplay with the landscape showing the enemies and your group ready for combat.

The main protagonists are Alm and Celica, a pair of teenagers, who lead two different armies, are thrown into combat against the evil empire hellbent on taking over the land known as Valentia. As you progress through the main story, you’ll begin to unravel lies and truths that you thought weren’t there at all. It’s a great storyline which I can’t wait to see where it ends and is definitely one of the better stories in the series. There is a Casual and a Classic mode where the latter sees fallen comrades stay dead for the entirety of the game so you need to make very careful choices…or not get too attached to the characters.

You can also scroll through characters in your party and see their fatigue levels, this determines how they behave and perform on the battlefield. The moods are shown via the emojis so they’re easy to read and if anyone is feeling down in the dumps, you can feed them some bread or offer them a drink to lift their spirits. Using special abilities in battle also uses the characters’ HP and can be topped up this way as well. Along the way, you’ll have battles with enemy soldiers and some lackeys known as Terrors which can be challenging.

There’s a new addition to this title called a Convoy which allows you to swap out items between your different groups when you come across a village which is a handy inventory management tool. When you find items that you can’t carry anymore, you can opt to send them to the convoy. You can also recruit many different characters, each with their own motives for wanting to fight. You can also change the class they originally start with if you find your army lacking a mage or fighter, for example. This can only be done when you come across a statue of a deity known as Mila’s Statue. Another feature that Mila offers is a turnwheel option which is used to bring your Alm or Celica amiibo into the game to use in battles. You can also give up some of your health in battle which is then used to summon an Illusory Hero, which can then be used as a temporary ally. It’s also worth noting that previous amiibo such as Marth, Robin, Lucina, Roy, Ike, and the yet to be released Corrin can also be used in the game to summon Illusory Heroes too.

Another thing to note is that this game is entirely voiced and spoken in English which is a first for the series and adds another element of immersion and depth. Add into the mix some extensive and feature rich DLC that will be available and you’ve got yourself a very solid game that will allow you to sink 50+ hours and completely lose yourself in a new FE adventure.

*Thanks to Nintendo for the review copy*

Final score: 8.5/10

Nintendo Direct Update – 12/4/17

In case you missed it, there was a recent Nintendo Direct which looked at all things 3DS and Switch that are in development or coming out in the near future and let me tell you, there’s so much to be excited about!! For the 3DS, there was Pikmin, Monster Hunter Stories, new Yokai Watch, Miitopia, Fire Emblem Echoes and update on some eagerly awaited Amiibo releases. The Switch had some great announcements too with ARMS, Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Ultra Street Fighter II, Minecraft, Puyo Puyo Tetris and loads more action headed our way.

Here’s the Nintendo Direct broadcast below:

Monster Hunter & Sailor Moon Team Up

Monster Hunter XX looks set to receive an amazing collaboration for those lucky gamers in Japan or anyone lucky enough to have a Japanese 3DS in their possession. Capcom have recently announced that Sailor Moon, celebrating its 25th anniversary, will be teaming up with the monster hunting series. The team up will consist of DLC that allows you to craft weapons and accessories for your Felynes in the Sailor Moon theme. To see more of what I mean, check out the announcement trailer below:

Review: Pokemon Sun & Moon (3DS)

Alola, Pokefans and welcome to a brand new Pokemon adventure for the Nintendo 3DS, Pokemon Sun and Moon. First things first, this review was written after playing Pokemon Moon and secondly, I hope I do this review justice as there’s so much to see and do in this latest Pokemon outing!

There’s so many new things, I’m not sure where to start but let’s begin with were the game is set. Say good bye to the Kanto region and hello to the Alola region where the sun always shines, the birds always sing and everyday is more beautiful than the last. This region consists of four islands: Melemele Island, Akala Island and a couple of other islands that I am yet to unlock. But what I can tell you is that each island has a series of trials which you must undertake. These consist of a trial captain and their Pokemon facing off against yours in a familiar battle. Once you accomplish that, you then take on the Kahuna of the island. Each island has a kahuna and each island has a different number of trials to complete. There are no Gyms in Pokemon Sun and Moon, this is how it’s done in this latest offering. The prize for beating the trials and kahuna is a Z stone which unlocks the Z-Move in your Pokemon. These new powers have to be seen to be believed, they can turn the tide of a game in the blink of an eye but you have to choose when to use it as the Z-Move can only be used once in each fight. Each Pokemon in your party can hold their own Z-Stone as long they’re compatible with it. Once you use it, you can’t use it again until the next battle so it really makes you think very carefully about just thinking you can win each fight with your Z-Move.

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Team Rocket has been replaced with Team Skull who show up when you’re least expecting it and try to steal your Pokemon or they’re trying to steal some else’s Pokemon and it’s up to you to save the day. I can’t help but think of a past game for the DS, The World Ends With You, whenever they show up as their music is very reminiscent of that Square Enix title. Anyone who’s played TWEWY, trust me on this, you’ll know when you hear it. As can be expected, things never go their way but it’s always fun when they show up.

You can traverse the game using Pokemon to ride on land, sea or take to the skies with Charizard which is really cool. Each Pokemon that you’re riding also have abilities which you can use to access new parts of the game that you wouldn’t be able to if you were on foot. Riding Tauros around, for example, allows you to smash rocks which get in your path and stop from accessing more of the map. Speaking of the map, you always know where you have to go as there’s a handy arrow indicator so you can’t really get lost. I honestly don’t recall this feature being implemented in past titles and if it was, somehow I missed it but it’s really obvious in this game. If you’re unsure where to go and the arrow isn’t on the screen, walking around usually reveals it and the path you need to take.

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The multiplayer aspect I haven’t really been able to explore due to very few people having the game in this region but what little I did play was really cool as it’s all accessed through an area called the Festival Plaza.In here you can use the communication features of the game for trading and battling but you can also meet other players in a hub of sorts.You can play games and win coins which are then redeemable for items which will help you along the way. This is one part that I can’t wait to really play with once the game is out, it looks like a lot of fun will be had.

Your friend in the game is Hau who happens to be the grandson of Hala the Kahuna of Melemele Island. He’s a very likable young kid and you end up having battles with him on your journey which get harder as the game progresses. You also receive guidance and assistance from Prof. Kukui, he’s just like the Oak version only he walks around topless a lot.

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Two things that I always like to talk about in games I review are the music and the visuals. The music is amazing, it’s so good! It’s a blend of Hawaiian with gentle drums and changes up for nearly every part of the map so just as you start to get bored of it, it changes with the terrain. It’s a very Caribbeanesque soundtrack which may not be for everyone but after hearing subtle changes in the score in previous Pokemon games to this score which is vastly different and matches the environment perfectly, it’s a very welcome change. Add some ocean breeze and the sound of palm leaves waving in the wind and the sound is totally on point. Visually, it’s also a feast for the eyes. Everything is so lush and colourful that it’s very hard to put the game down once you start playing. It’s so nice to have such a bright landscape with rich colours and warm tones that help to really draw you into the game and make you forget how long you’ve been playing for. The new Pokemon look great! I’m not going to pretend that I know all their names but I loved encountering new ones purely for the new experience of seeing what they look and what their abilities are. Older generation Pokemon like Rattata and Zubat look amazing and have received a facelift so they blend in effortlessly among the newer looking Pokemon.

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I have to be completely honest here and say that I’ve only ever completed one Pokemon game and that was Pokemon Black but I can wholeheartedly say that this new entry will keep me going until I reach the end and so far, it’s been the only game to tear me away from Monster Hunter Generations. I really don’t want to say more unless I spoil it and I sincerely hope that I haven’t done that. I think Pokemon fans will be extremely familiar with the game mechanics as the core of the game hasn’t changed at all. What has changed is how it look, sounds, feels and to a certain extent, how it plays. The Z-Moves will keep you on your toes and by now I think we’ve all seen the countless videos showing them but seeing them right in front of you at a pivotal moment of the battle is a fist pumping moment.

In this new game, for me personally, I feel that any little gripe I had with past games have been addressed and polished to perfection. You can see the amount of testing and work that went into this game, it’s a very well rounded product and one that must be experienced for both existing fans and newcomers to the series. I’m really having a lot of fun with this one and found it extremely hard to put down to write this. This is the pinnacle right here for Pokemon games. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Final score: 10/10

Review: Yo-kai Watch 2 (3DS)

Yokai Watch 2 is a game that I wasn’t expecting, a game that I honestly thought was going to be a clone of Pokemon. I never got a chance to play the 1st game in the series but I’m so so glad that I gave the sequel an opportunity. This game look, plays and sounds like a dream. Bright and quirky, smooth with an element of strategy and with a delightful blend of modern and boppy tunes that help along a game that has been so excellently crafted.

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For this sequel, developer Level-5, have adopted a familiar approach and released two flavours of the game, Bony Spirits and Fleshy Souls. Both games are identical but there are some yo-kai you can catch in one and not the other. And that’s about where the similarity to Pokemon ends.

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The story revolves around the main character you play, waking up one day and having no memories of the events of the first game or that yo-kai even exist. It doesn’t take long however for the action to kick in and things resume with you along your new adventure. You’re able to see these ghostly yo-kai using a handy wristwatch which ends up doubling as a handy aid in the game as many add ons become available to you along the way. The game essentially consists of having different tasks or mini quests to complete and along the way you meet, fight and occasionally befriend the titular yo-kai which are scattered throughout the map. The yo-kai are extremely varied in appearance, personality and temperament. You can often thrown a candy to one during a battle and they’ll stop the fight and ask to be your friend.

Speaking of battles, I wasn’t expecting a battle system like this and it took me a little while to get my head around it. Effectively when you battle, you don’t have any control over the moves that the yo-kai do with the exception of the powered up super moves, healing your yo-kai and removing other abnormal statuses. The super moves are quite fun and really well animated but then again, that’s one of this game’s huge strong points: the animation.

It’s a game that looks so beautiful and better than a lot of the other games on the 3DS. Really vibrant visuals with lush colours and an extremely high level of detail for handheld graphics. I would easily say it’s one of the better looking games on the 3DS but let’s not forget that it comes from Level-5, these guys are absolute masters in what they do.

This is one game that I can’t recommend highly enough, I was telling friends about this game within 30 minutes of playing it, it hooked me that bad. Another stellar game from Level-5!

Final score: 9/10