Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows — Review

Shovel Knight is one of the best, if not the best, retro games made in the 21st century.  Developer Yacht Club Games really hit the nail on the head with the original game in all aspects: pixelated graphics, chiptune soundtrack, humor, difficult platforming, etc.  Shovel Knight has it all.

It also has the fantastic Plague of Shadows expansion which is free to owners of the original game.  Truth be told, I forgot about this expansion until I heard about the second one, Specter of Torment, slated for spring 2017.  It’s a good thing I was paying attention because Plague of Shadows is an absolute joy.

This game is fantastic. Plain and simple.

This game is excellent, plain and simple.

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Pokemon Sun and Moon — Review

I have been a Pokemon fan since the original Red/Blue days, playing through every generation along with the recent mobile sensation.  What’s not to love between collecting, battling, growing as a team, and attempting to become the champion of the land?  The newest pair of mainline games, Sun and Moon, promised to put a new spin on the 20 year old franchise and they certainly did.  A wonderful, fresh spin.

Three new starters for a new Pokemon adventure.

Three new starters for a new Pokemon adventure.  Pro tip: Rowlet is the best.

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Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire (3DS) — Review

I’m a big Pokemon fan.  I’ve still got my original Red cartridge (long live Blastoise!).  I was such a big fan of Pokemon Y that I wrote three separate articles about it.  So you can be damn sure I was excited to play the Gen 3 remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, especially since I never played this generation back when they came out.

The short of it — Pokemon: Alpha Sapphire is awesome.  The long of it — well, let’s get down to it.

If only being 10 years old was actually this exciting.

If only being 10 years old was actually this exciting.

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Super Smash Bros (3DS) — Review

Super Smash Bros is a franchise that I’ve devoted a lot of time to.  I never owned an N64 (criminal, I know), but I played a lot of the original Smash.  Melee is easily in my top five games in terms of time played.  Hell, I treasure the memory card I have where I’m two trophies short of 100%.  Brawl is the last game I ever waited in a midnight line for.  I even played in a tournament at my GameStop while waiting in line (shout out to my roommate who came in second place).

But, even with all of that, I wasn’t that excited for Super Smash Bros on 3DS.  The couple of action-based 3DS games I’ve played, Kid Icarus and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, just didn’t feel great.  My final verdict?  Super Smash Bros on 3DS is a very solid game and a great step in the Smash franchise, but the inherent lack of local multiplayer and horribly laggy online multiplayer hurts it dramatically.

It's certainly no less chaotic.

One thing that hasn’t suffered is the chaotic play.

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Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS) — Review

After recently playing through the emotional roller coaster that is The Last Of Us and patiently waiting for Destiny to come out (T-minus three days at time of writing), I’ve been looking for something short to play.  When Comcept, the creators of Mighty No. 9 that I backed on Kickstarter, told me about Azure Striker Gunvolt, I decided to give it a go, figuring I could beat it over the weekend.

I’ve done that… actually, I beat it in an afternoon, but here’s the gist of it — Azure Striker Gunvolt is my second favorite retro-themed platformer for 3DS this year (first place goes to Shovel Knight).  I promise I’m done with the links.

You can see where the “volt” part comes into play.

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Shovel Knight (3DS) — Review

Kids have it so easy these days.  What, with their auto-saves and regenerating health.  Back in my day, you had to write down your save codes and EARN your boss fight wins!

Well, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, Shovel Knight is here to bring back the glory days.  It’s made up of ingredients from some of gaming’s oldest franchises.  It’s a game you didn’t know you’ve been pining for, but once you play it, you’ll be glad you did.  Flat out, Shovel Knight is great.

Glorious, pixellated nostalgia.

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