This is a reblog of my site http://geekysweetie.com – Other stuff may appear here such as reblogs from other wordpress.com sites. I blog and reblog about anime, video games, kdrama, toys, technology, and kawaii fashion and decor.
Something a lil bit different today. RPGs and Mobile games are all well and good – but sometimes you just want something different right?
Sometimes you just want to be a dolphin and fly through the air doing barrel rolls and back flips while solving puzzles and eating fish. For that, I recommend Ecco the Dolphin.
Ecco made his first appearance on Sega Genesis. The title was a huge success and spawned many sequels and spin offs including Ecco JR, Ecco 2 – The Tides of Time, and Echo Defender of the Future. There was also another Dreamcast version in the works which never saw the light of day before Dreamcast’s untimely demise. There are also handheld versions, Sega CD versions, Playstation 2 versions, and a PC and Xbox port of the original game.
Title: Ecco The Dolphin
Genre: Platformer / Adventure / Mascot game
Platform: Originally Published On Sega Genesis but now available on PC
Concept: 8/10 Ecco is a young dolphin who lives a carefree life with his family and friends in a small bay until one day a friend challenges him to a dare to see how high he can jump in the sky. Ecco jumps so high that he causes a sea storm which causes all of his friends and family to be sucked up into the sky. Now Ecco must search for clues to help save his home. To do so, he will solve puzzles, swim at high speeds, and perform aerial stunts and tricks to get across obstacles blocking his path. There will be enemies he must face, as well as new friends along the way.
Gameplay: 10/10 As mentioned above, you must solve puzzles and / or clear obstacles by jumping, flipping, skipping, flopping, or flying across them. There are glyphs in certain areas which hold clues for you to get to the next area and also provide some story and context. You need to eat fish, watch your oxygen level, and defeat enemies while exploring the underwater environment. You can also use sonar to communicate with friendly creatures or obtain a map of the area. In the end, the appeal in the gameplay comes in the form of numerous puzzles and the fun of performing aerial maneuvers or darting through the sea.
Story: 6/10 The story is presented through solving puzzles and tied closely in with the game mechanics. Some terms and game mechanics are actually true to life of the behavior of real dolphins which shows that ample research went into developing these title, as well as a good deal of imagination and fantasy elements as well. Overall, while the story is good, and does entertain, it’s mostly a solitary journey through sea and space with an emphasis on puzzle solving and immersion. Story takes a back seat to the fast, and more action oriented gameplay mechanics.
Characters: 6/10 As mentioned above, for most of this journey you are alone. Remember that cyclone that sucked up all your friends? You do occasionally come across NPCs to interact with, but it’s clearly not the focus of this series. Since most of the “characters” are Glyphs – this makes them highly impersonal and not very memorable. But Ecco himself is a very interesting character – I don’t know of any other games in which you play as a dolphin.
Graphics: 8/10 Although dated by today’s standards, Ecco had some truly beautiful graphics for its time. The graphics really made it feel as if you were exploring a lonely, tranquil, and somewhat oppressive feeling ocean. Throughout the evolution of this series, Ecco has always pushed the limits of whatever console hardware he had available at the time. This is most evident in the dreamcast version which features extremely realistic looking character models.
Music: 8/10 The music and sound effects in Ecco also fit well with the atmosphere and mystery of the game and help build immersion.
Replay Value: 5/10 – While its a linear game, its novelty and unique gameplay, characters, and setting, make it a memorable and enjoyable experience that will be worth revisiting to play multiple times. There’s really no other similar games out there which means if you want to play a similar game you’ll have to replay the few available Ecco games over and over. However, once knowing how to solve the puzzles and ins and outs of the story, it does take a little bit of the mystery and fun away for the next play through.
As you should know by now – I’m no stranger to these types of apps having already reviewed countless others such as Dream Girlfriend, CocoPPAPlay, Pokecolo (Formerly Pokemini), Animal Boyfriend, and also an avid fan and long time player of LinePlay. The concept, which is essentially dressup an avatar and decorate a room, is nothing new. But Somehow, Nintendo’s new Miitomo app manages to stand out in a very crowded marketplace. I stayed up til 2am saturday night playing this game. And stayed up until midnight lastnight playing (after also playing it 10+ hours throughout both days) – only because I knew I had to be up for work today. (otherwise I would’ve stayed up later – I cannot put this app down!)
I think what makes Miitomo so successful is the social aspect of the app. It allows you to answer questions similar to the dating site OKCupid, and read your friends’ responses. This results in some hilarious conversations. For example, the funniest one I saw was simply about cereal and had over 90 comments. I started laughing so hard that I was snorting, and I’m still smirking from it now remembering the conversation. (Trust me you just had to be there . I know cereal might not sound funny, but it was.)
For someone shy like me, Miitomo encourages me to interact with my online friends (It uses your twitter and/or facebook friends). It encourages me to reach out to new people too – both via social media and also in the game. It brings me out of my shell – from lurker – to contributor by rewarding you for having conversations with your friends and amassing new friends and followers.
Also the artificial robot voices make for some really entertaining things. One guy on my friendslist has a “greeting” when they leave the room that says “It ain’t no lie, baby, bye, bye, bye” and it is SOOOOOO funny in the robotic voices of the miis.
The third point that makes Miitomo so successful is the customization. It uses your camera to make your mii (or optionally lets you create one looking however you wish you looked, or like any fictional character you can imagine). But where’s the fun in that, the camera feature is where it’s at. It will take 20-30 images (in a matter of seconds) and let you choose which one you want – And you can tweak it a bit afterwards. I left mine alone though because it does look quite a bit like me, and it’s cute in its own way.
You can customize EVERY thing – from the way it looks, to the way it sounds – to it’s personality traits.
Once your avatar is created, you can win prizes (outfits) to dress up in by earning coin or tickets to use Miidrop – which cycles in limited time outfits. Miidrop is strangely satisfying and addicting, you drop your friends onto a giant “Plinko” style board and try to get them to land on the prize that you want to win. The fact that the items are limited and retired pretty quickly, makes it very exciting. Rather or not those items will reappear is unknown – but I can tell you that in similar games such as those linked to above, they do not – once limited items are done, they’re gone for good (though sometimes they do get recolored variations). Some items in Miitomo even let YOU select the colors you want.
I find it’s best to save your coins – because in addition to Miidrop – there’s a time limited shop that rotates in and out new items each day and if you blow all your coins playing Miidrop you might miss out on an item here (unlike Miidrop though, I’m pretty sure that these items DO rotate back into the shop.) I have a lot of Miidrop tickets because two of the Miidrop “events” ended already and the currently active ones do not appeal to me – I am just hoarding my tickets right now for when new items become available via Miidrop.
There’s an item in the store that I want today, but it’s 1,760 coins and I only have about 1,120 – so I dunno if I will get it before it poofs. Which makes me wish I hadn’t spent coins when I first joined on playing Miidrop – because now I have tons of tickets and find coins harder to come by than tickets.
But you do get coins for interacting with your friends, replying to their responses to questions, answering questions yourself, visiting or adding new friends, etc.
Honestly, I’d like to see coins instead of – or in addition to candy – being added to Miidrop.
Beyond that, the fact that it’s Nintendo makes it “Too Big to Fail” While people have likely never heard of the EXTREMELY similar apps which I mentioned at the beginning of my review, chances are, they will download Miitomo because of the name behind it “Nintendo” and the marketing budget that Nintendo can pour into promoting their new app.
A word of caution “This is the Internet” – while Nintendo is INFAMOUS for censorship and child protection — the same has NOT yet been applied to Miitomo (though I suspect soon – very soon – we will see language/word filters and other annoying things because a few people think it’s funny to swear or write sexually explicit things in the app. THIS IS WHY WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS YOU GUYS. lol.) So if you are a parent, you really probably don’t want your kid playing this game right now until they “fix” this issue. There is ZERO censorship – yes you can report inappropriate responses, but by then the damage is done and your kid’s already been exposed to whatever it was that you did not want him to see. So yeah I would say Miitomo should be for users 16 and up.
So now that I’m done hyping over the game, let’s give it a proper review below.
Concept: 10/10 As mentioned above, Miitomo is a dressup game which also lets you meet new friends and have conversations with your social network. While it does little to innovate over other similar apps, the app is addicting due to the increased social element and simplistic “nintendo charm”. New items are available every day which keeps you wanting to play to get new items to dressup in, and customization options are quite impressive.
Gameplay: 7/10 The gameplay itself is pretty minimal / simplistic. It’s more of a social network / chat app more than a game – but yet somehow, it’s SO much fun, so many funny conversations happen and it’s the MOST SOCIAL of ANY of these “dressup games”. This makes the gameplay super addictive and rewarding. However, the gameplay itself is in fact a bit thin when compared to very similar apps like Lineplay which have pets, fishing, farming, and the ability to have more than one friend in your room simultaneously and more of a “chat” based instead of “forums” based method of communication. (Although, ironically, I prefer the forum method more, as the chat is only good if you’re all on at the same time really.)
Story: 0/10 – Sorry, I know this hurts the score – but there’s no story. At all. Period – BUT that does not make this any less of an awesome app – just that for my readers specifically, story is the paramount feature they look for so I have to point this out. But really you guys should play this because it’s so fun / funny — If you’re expecting a serious game – look elsewhere. But if you want a FUN game – this is it!
Characters: 10/10 – The characters are you and your friends! You meet new people, you learn about your existing friends, and you have so many funny conversations. Also as mentioned below, the Mii is an iconic character for Nintendo that fans love.
Graphics: 8/10 The mii’s are not as detailed (or kawaii (cute)) as the other very similar apps which I mention above. However, the customization and ability to make a mii look like almost anyone, and the cute expressions and emotes and animations, make the graphics very charming. It’s also a very famillar character and icon for Nintendo which many fans have come to love. The dressup items range from strange, to ugly, to utterly adorable. Some have very smooth, almost like no texture at all, while others have a very tactile feel, like real clothing – it’s rather hit or miss. The level of detail that went into some of the outfits though is amazing considering how small the area they had to work with really is. Also Miitomo is the only dressup app that’s 3D – games like My Dream Girlfriend – actually ARE 3D – but they use an engine called Live 2D (which I love more than anything in this world) (But it makes the characters appear as if they’re 2D.) Also Miitomo is the only app where you can pinch and zoom and rotate and drag your screen to see different angles of your character. You can create really fun, cute, or funny images and share them with your friends. It’s really funny and charming. Good job Nintendo!
Music: 3/10 Is there music in this game? I really can’t remember lol. all I can remember are the funny mii voices. I will maybe adjust this if there actually is music in the game – I’m at work right now so obviously can’t check — If there is music though, it’s not very memorable since I’ve spent 20+ hours playing this game, and last logged in (with sound at least) less than 6 hours ago, and can’t remember if there’s music or not – that’s not a good sign or indication of an awesome music track – when I can remember music from games which I played 25+ years ago LOL.
Voice Acting: 10/10 – The robot voice acting — OMG it’s so funny – it’s not “good” by any means – but my god, it makes the game so much more fun — And I LOVE the amount of customization you can do with the voice and how different everyone’s mii’s sound. It just adds that extra layer of goodness!
Customization: 10/10 I’ve said it a couple times but the customization in Miitomo is awesome, from how you look, to voices, and even personality traits.
Social / Community: 10/10 I’ve made some new friends and had lots of fun – Miitomo is different from every other dressup game out there because you are rewarded for chatting with your friends, and it is set up in a very intuitive and engaging way which facilitates discussion. You can learn a lot more about your friends, and have funny conversations. Highly recommend it!
Replay Value: 10/10 – I can’t put this game down!!! — And I bet neither will you once you start to play! You have got to experience this game.
Overall: 86 / 110 78% C+ “Good Game for Girls”
Note: If we don’t take into account the lack of story, it then becomes 86/100 or 86% B “Very Good Game for Girls” which more accurately reflects my own personal enjoyment of this app.
PS. Add me if you play Miitomo! You can scan my QR code below — OR follow me on twitter @Xenokitten and send me a note that you play Miitomo and I’ll follow you back so we can play!
Hi everyone! Happy April Fool’s Day. Awhile back I was contacted by Alexander who told me about a “Blogathon” event in which local bloggers from the Pittsburgh area exchange guest posts and invited to participate. Today’s the day that these posts go live!
And I’m hosting a post (seen below) from Blogger Josh Croyle of “Josh’s World” whose site is at http://joshcroyle.com/. Here’s what Josh had to say about what comics he’d recommend to my readers.
When asked to write a post for Geeky Sweetie, my initial thought was a review for a comic that girls might like. I noticed that there are no comic reviews on the site and figured mine would be a good addition.
Unfortunately, I realized a slight problem. I am a guy. What do I know about the tastes of geeky girls? It would be rather pretentious of me to say “hey ladies, you should read XXXXX comic because it is really cool. And I should know because I am a guy!”
Marvel, DC, and the other comic publishers have this same problem. They read some statistic about how many girls are reading comics and they immediately say “holy crap, we should make comics for them!” And then they release some terrible book and wonder why it fails.
Here is the secret that no one ever tells those companies: girls like comics for the same reasons that guys like them. In fact, I would imagine this rings true for video games, anime, and anything else. My females friends who read comics usually read similar things as me.
So with that in mind, I thought about this post in a different way. What comics would I recommend to anyone who does not read comics? Here are a few of my favorites that would be great starting points.
Watchmen-What kind of comic book fan would I be if I did not start out mentioning Alan Moore’s seminal work? If you are a fan of dystopian futures and deconstructionist stories, then this book is definitely for you.
Sandman-Perfect for fans of ancient mythology, especially Greek. Plus anyone who loves dreams and the heavy questions they can bring up. Neil Gaiman weaves a fantastic tale about the world of dreams and the nature of reality.
Superman: Birthright–Mark Waid does a great job of reimagining the Man of Steel’s origin. If you have always been intrigued by Superman and did not know where to start, then here is a great option. Marvel’s Civil War-You love the Marvel movies. You are excited about seeing Captain America: Civil War, then definitely check out the comic that inspired it.
Strangers in Paradise–Terry Moore writes an amazing story about a love triangle. At first it seems pretty straightforward, but then assassins, crime lords, and crazy connections become the norm. What makes it great though is the way Moore writes his characters. By the end of the series, you absolutely love all of them. You see faults in them and yet you realize they are people. If you are only going to read one comic from this short list, then just pick up the first volume and let me know how long it takes you to rush out to pick up the second.