Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World is a brand new game by Koei Tecmo Games to celebrate 20 years of the series. Wow has it been that long already? I still remember the first 2 games way back when. And you know what else I remember, a little-known Nintnedo DS offshoot game in the Atelier Series called Atelier Annie: Alchemists of Sera Island which came out about 10 years ago.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World

So why Am I mentioning Atelier Annie? Because, if you’ve ever played it, then you know what to expect from Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists. Both games are unlike any of the rest of the Atelier Games, and instead put you in a role of managing a city and completing missions to advance.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

Nelke has some really negative reviews – at least on Steam, but I purchased Nelke anyways, on a hunch it’d be like Atelier Annie, and you know what, I’m not disappointed. If you liked Annie, you’ll like Nelke. Conversely, if you hated Annie, you’ll hate Nelke, and if you’ve never played either game, well there’s only one way to find out then, and that’s by giving it a go for yourself.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

The reviews on steam are complaining how different Nelke is — and to some — how boring it is… But honestly Atelier Annie was one of my favorites in the series. I loved the humorous story / humorous main character, and yes, I enjoyed the more “Sim Like” gameplay of building a city.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Gameplay

Nelke is not without flaws however; Unlike Annie, it lacks the humor and charm, and feels a bit dry and dull so far in the story. I’m 4 hours in at this point… which brings to another flaw, in that 4 hours in, I’m still in the tutorial… This game is very very very linear in the tutorial… Like almost everything will be on lockdown… for a long while… expect your first 8+ hours to be linear AF….

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

After that though there really is a TON of stuff to do in this game. It is NOT boring at all. You can craft items, gather materials, build new buildings, talk to your villagers, discover new recipes, sell items in your shops, and invest in new routes and tools to use in your adventures. There are simplistic turn based combats and different characters to recruit to your village.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

You have to complete some required, and other optional tasks within a set number of days within the game. This can make it difficult and frustrating, so save often and in multiple save slots to try to minimize time lost if you miss a goal.

The game either runs slow on my laptop, or just is really slow by design, to the point where its a little frustrating. It may just be my laptop though and can probably be improved if I adjust some settings.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

The main complaint a lot of people have is that while exploring you do nothing but watch your characters walk by on the screen. They will converse, gather items, and occasionally run into random enemy encounters. The battles are also slow and tedious. I do agree with these basic gameplay flaws. However, they don’t detract from my overall enjoyment of the other aspects of city building and mission completing and watching my city grow and evolve based on my decisions and choices made in where to invest and what to build next, etc.

The graphics are insanely adorable as always with the Atelier series.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Unlike a lot of the other games in the Atelier Universe, this one does not have English voice acting. I do like to have the original voice actors, but I also sometimes like to have an English cast too. I was disappointed they didn’t offer both.

I assume replay value is high because each city you build will be pretty unique and you will attract different stores, different npcs, and different quests based on how your city is developing.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

All and all I’d rate the score card like this:

Title: Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists – Ateliers Of The New World –

Platform – (for this review The PC version was used.) It’s also available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Where to Purchase: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FMZZYK1?tag=amz-mkt-chr-us-20&ascsubtag=1ba00-01000-org00-win10-other-nomod-us000-pcomp-feature-scomp-wm-5&ref=aa_scomp

Geeky: 3/5 – Points for bringing back some of the popular characters from this series over the past 20 years.

Sweetie: 5/5 – For the casual gameplay and kawaii art

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Gameplay: 7/10 – I do love the sim aspects, having been a huge fan of Atelier Annie (easily one of my top 3 games in the Atelier universe). But I do agree that the game is slow and the wait for the payoff/reward is pretty steep. The game also doesn’t run great, can’t tell if it’s just my PC though maybe.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Story: 3/10 – I’m not loving the story, or lack there of. I’m 4 hours in and there’s not much of any story to be found; it does keep hinting at solving a mystery about a fruit from a legendary tree. But compared to other Atelier games the story feels less engaging so far.

Characters: 10/10 – I love seeing popular characters from the Atelier games return all in a brand new game. I also love the new characters that were created just for this game.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review
Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World Review

Voice Acting: 7/10 – The original Japanese voice cast does a great job and sounds super cute, but where’s the dual English voice acting? A bit disappointing especially for a 20th anniversary edition, you’d think they would have put a little more time and effort into the localization on this one. It feels cheap and rushed to not have both to choose from.

Music: 10/10 – Always love the music in the Atelier games, and Nelke doesn’t disappoint here either.

Replay Value: 8/10 – I think replay value will be very high, but I’m not looking forward to dredging through 5+ hours of linear handheld tutorials each time.

Overall: 53/70 78% C+ “Good Game For Girls”

Overall I would recommend this game to anyone who does not mind slower paced casual simulation games, or to anyone who remembers playing Atelier Annie on the DS. I like Atelier Annie a lil bit more because of the humorous story; but Nelke’s story may pick up and become more interesting. I may come in eventually and update my review scores if I find the story to improve as I get further into the game. Gameplay wise though it is almost identical to Atelier Annie, so if that’s your thing, be sure to check Nelke out.

Nelke & The Legendary Alchemists Ateliers Of The New World PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

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Sonic Mania PC Game Review

Title: Sonic Mania

Genre: Platform Game

Publisher: Sega

Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One

Where to Get: I got Sonic Mania and a buncha other Sonic games in a humble bundle, but if that bundle is over you can find the games on amazon or steam.

Release Date: 2017

Overview: Sonic Mania is one of the newest Sonic Games, however, it pays homage to 90s oldschool Sonic and is very well received by 30+ year old Sonic fans, as well as a whole new generation of gamers.

Gameplay: 10/10 – Sonic is back in a new game, with levels re-designed from the original Sonic games as well as all new levels created for Sonic Mania. You can play as Sonic, Tails, or several “new” characters first appearing in Knuckles Chaotix or Arcade exclusive sonic games. To play the game as other characters you will have to select the characters at the starting screen – you cannot switch characters within the game.

The levels are fun and fast and action packed. You run, jump, spin, and dash through the levels. There are many different paths in each level and many hidden objects, including entrances to bonus stages to capture chaos diamonds. Overall the gameplay is fun and full of nostalgia

Story: 1/10 Sonic isn’t a story-centric game, and it doesn’t really need a story. Timeline wise, it is said to take place after the events in Sonic and Knuckles. Lack of story does not hurt this game, but if you’re looking for a game with a great story, this is not it.

Characters: 5/10 – I enjoyed seeing Sonic and his friends return in an all new game, and it definitely brought back nostalgia and my childhood, but without a story, there’s no real personality or character development here. Once again though, games like this do not really need character development to be central to the player’s enjoyment of the game.

Graphics: 7/10 – The graphics are done in a bright colorful oldschool pixel style. This is not for everyone. Clearly this game is wanting to appeal to old school gamers who grew up with the original Sonic. Me? I liked it. But your opinion may be different. I did see some anti-aliasing and rough edges as to be expected in pixel style games, mostly especially when playing in fullscreen mode. There are different filters and options you can enable in settings to try to minimize this jagged-edginess.

Music: 10/10 – The music is definitely old school too and a great homage to the Sega Genesis Sonic games, which always had some pretty fun music.

Replay Value: 10/10 – The replay value is high because there are different characters that you can play as, each with their own unique abilities that make taking different paths through the same levels very unique experiences. No two characters play exactly alike. There are also different gameplay modes such as time attack and multiplayer competitions.

Nostalgia: 10/10 – This game set out to be a tribute game to the 90’s Sonic games, and it succeeds at this in an unprecedented way, welcoming back into the fold Sega fans who felt disappointed with the past several Sonic games.

Geeky: 5/5 – Nostalgia and pixel graphics and great soundtrack that 90s kids will love, make Sonic Mania chock full of nostalgia.

Sweetie: 2/5 – Lack of story and lack of character dialogue make this a game that is definitely outside the norm of what I normally enjoy or normally review here. However I think the nostalgia and cute/colorful graphics and anthropomorphic animal characters will appeal to most of my readers, who are already probably familiar with the Sonic franchise.

Overall Score: 60/80 75 C “Good Game for Girls”

Sonic Mania PC Game Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Top 2018 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls

30 New Games For Girls on the Nintendo Switch in 2018

One of the most popular posts on this site is our Top 2017 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls

With a new year, I decided to take a look at the upcoming releases for the Switch in 2018 and make a few suggestions as to what games girls should be looking out for in the year ahead. (There may be a few games that released in Q4 of 2017 also on this list as I wasn’t sure of a few of the release dates). Enjoy! And leave me a comment to let me know what games you’re looking forward to on the Switch in 2018. 🙂 I’ll also soon add a list like this for PS4 and PC games as well.

Top 2018 Nintendo Switch Games For Girls

1.) Project Octopath Traveler

Originally scheduled for a 2017 release, and part of our Top 2017 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls list, Octopath Traveler blends gameplay elements from 16 and 32 bit classics such as Chronotrigger and Saga Frontier. The retro game feel is sure to appeal to many visitors of this site. But that’s not all, Project Octopath Traveler also offers a variety of endings and a branching plot line that is shaped by decisions you make within the game.

 2.) Kirby Star Allies

He’s pink, cute, and the gameplay is fun. Kirby has been a fan favorite of Nintendo gamers for several decades now. In his new adventure, up to four players can join in and you can combine different power ups, as demonstrated in the Nintendo Direct Video above.

3.) Toe Jam & Earl Back in the Groove

Toe Jam & Earl was a childhood favorite of mine. I spent countless hours (or days, or weeks) playing the original two games on Sega Genesis with my best friend. It’s one of the best multiplayer games of my childhood and this new take on the classic, originally slated for 2017, will grace Switch consoles now in 2018. For those unfamillar with the franchise, you run around colorful crazy worlds with zany characters and crazy powerups playing as 2 funky hiphop aliens.

4.) My Time At Portia

My Time At Portia is a cross platform title that features sandbox gameplay in a large open world enviornment. It blends together many gameplay elements from Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Rune Factory, and Atelier. In this game you can raise animals, grow crops, and restore an abandoned workshop. The developers say the game takes place in a post apocalyptic world where humans are few and that you search for relics from the past to create inventions for the betterment of society. Also just like in Harvest Moon and similar games, all of the NPCs have their own schedules, they will go to work, school, and have their own stories for you to discover by interacting with them.

5.) Avabel Online

This is perhaps an interesting one to make the list. Avabel Online is a free to play MMORPG that is already available on many platforms, including Android and IOS devices which makes it already portable and playable on the go. Despite that, I’m including it in the list because I do think the gameplay will appeal to girls. Right now, for example, they are running a special Sanrio promotion (makers of hello kitty). You can get cute (sometimes strange) items to decorate your house or dress up your characters. https://avabelonline.com/landing/sanrio

6.) Moonlighter

A Shopkeeping RPG Simulation game with retro style graphics. You can explore and fight for valueable treasure, as well as craft your own items, and then sell them in your shop. You can also communicate with the NPCs to discover what items they want to purchase. The dungeons are procedurally generated and present new challenges and new loot each time.

7.) Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings

Coming in March 2018, Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings is the first Atelier title to hit the Nintendo Switch. Atelier games focus on gathering ingredients and crafting new items. As you can see from the trailer, they feature beautiful anime graphics, and deep stories. Their gameplay is often long, and at times it can get tedious, however, for those who love crafting and exploring, Atelier offers the ultimate crafting system.

8.) Destiny Chronicles

This game looks beautiful, and it is inspired by many classic JRPGs. It features action combat and extensive skill tree customization as well as a light hearted humorous story line. You can enchant and upgrade your equipment, as well as interact with your party members and NPCs.

9.) Revenant Saga

With a level cap of 999, and tons of equipment to collect, Revenant Saga looks to offer some incredible replay value. The ability to tranform in battle and unleash special powers makes combat fun and exciting. While the cute and colorful graphics and dark fantasy story are sure to appeal to fans of classic JRPGs.

10.) Wonderboy: Dragon’s Trap

This remake of Wonderboy III lets you play as a girl. It also lets you toggle between the original Sega Genesis graphics and soundtrack, or the all new graphics and soundtracks created for this release.

11.) Untold Legacy

The retro style graphics appeal to me (and probably most of the readers of my blog). But what really appeals to me is this statement that the Devs make about the storyline: “You will be brought to tears as you uncover the twists and turns in this emotionally story-driven experience that will leave you shocked and surprised as you discover the secrets the world of Touchstone has to offer.” – I am a sucker for a heart tugging story. The Devs also indicate that “The Untold Legacy sets out to recreate some of the most heartfelt and gut wrenching moments imaginable.” These two statements make me very interested in this game.

12.) Yoshi

This game features an art style similar to Paper Mario, and the main character is the lovable, Yoshi, the green dinosaur who first debuted in Super Mario World. The colorful graphics and addictive platformer style gameplay make this game perfect for our list of 2018 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls.

13.) Croixleur Sigma

With a 9/10 and “Very Positive” Rating on Steam, this anime style hack-n-slash RPG is coming to Switch in 2018. The gameplay is reminicessent of several of the newer Hyper Dimension Neptunia games. The local 2 player co-op makes it perfect for the Nintendo Switch. And playing as the cute anime girls make it a game girls will love to play together.

14.) Your Four Knight Princess Training Story

A “Raising Sim” similar to games such as Princess Maker and Graduation 95. Gematsu has an excellent article detailing how you will train your princess in this new 2018 Nintendo Switch Game. Basically it involves scolding or praising your princess at various times, for example during conversations or while exploring dungeons. The story and characters change based on your decisions and how you raise your princess. The princesses each have various parameters that you can train to unlock new skills or increase their stats to help them in battle.

15.) Legrand Legacy Tale of the Fatebounds

Legrand Legacy Tale of the Fatebounds is an impressive indie title with full 3D cinematics and FMV cutscenes. It features tactical turn based combat and interesting city building and mini game mechanics. I’m really looking forward to this title which releases later this month (January 2018).

16.) Shin Megami Tensei V

I haven’t taken time to organize these recommendations in any kind of “ranking” system, but if I had to pick just one game on this list to play in 2018 it would be Shin Megami Tensei V. Atlus’ dark RPG franchise that sparked the Persona spin off games is one of my favorites.

17.) Tohou Sky Arena Gensoukyou Kuusen Hime

This looks like an anime brawler with cute girls and exciting special moves. It’s visually very pretty and looks like combat will be fun too.

18.) Valkyria Chronicles 4

A new title in the tactical Strategy RPG series, Valkyria Chronicles. I’m a huge fan of this series, and this one looks great. It’s due out in March 2018. Valkyria Chronicles is a Sega series known for excellent characters and story lines as well as fun Strategy RPG combat.

19.) The Longest Five Minutes

This humorous RPG launches in February 2018. The tale begins at the end, as you are facing the demon king, but suddenly you’ve lost all of your memories. From there, regain your memories, remember who you are, where you’re from, where you’re going, and your reason for fighting the demon king. The cute and colorful graphics and retro feel are sure to appeal to my readers.

20.) Mulaka

With gameplay reminiscent of Zelda or Castlevania, this action RPG features a story and game world that draw inspiration from Mexican culture. The gameplay trailer above shows various abilities and fighting styles, including the ability to transform into different animals.

21.) Yono and the Celestial Elephants

How could this game NOT make our list??! Look at that elephant. LOOK AT IT!! Has there ever been a cuter video game character in the history of video games? Nope. This adorable little game looks kawaii and charming AF and seems to have some fun puzzles to solve too.

22.) Wandersong

Play as a traveling bard in this cute, happy, colorful paper-cut-out style world. Coming in early 2018.

23.) Goragoa

This puzzle game features gorgeous artwork and requires some outside the box thinking. The soundtrack is also lovely and I’ve heard the story is quite sad as well.

24.) Wargroove

Wargroove promises to be easy to pick up, but difficult to master. Up to 4 players can take control of an army and command it to victory. The colorful retro style graphics really look great and gameplay looks fun and interesting.

25.) Penny Punching Princess

An Action RPG in Which Money Makes the World Go Round. That’s what Nintendo has to say about their latest RPG that lets you bribe monsters to fight for you. Many are comparing this game to Tingle’s Rosy Rupee Land – a game which I’ve never played (nor even heard of).  The colorful and cute graphics caught my eye. I’ll be checking this one out in 2018.

26.) Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory

Nintendo promises new content and features in this release. “Combining both Fallen Legion: Flames of Rebellion and Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire for the first time on one console, Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory includes all new art, Exemplars, monsters, bosses and challenges not found in the original releases. I’d somehow not heard of this game until now, so now seems the perfect time to pick this one up.

27.) Lost Sphear

From the creators of I am Setsuna, comes a new JRPG for the Nintendo Switch in 2018.

28.) Dragon Quest Builders

Originally part of the 2017 Top Nintendo Switch Games for Girls, this title got pushed back to February 2018.

29.) Mega Man 11

Fan favorite, and often requested, a new sequel in the Mega Man franchise is arriving on Nintendo Switch in late 2018.

30.) Bayonetta 3 – NINTENDO SWITCH EXCLUSIVE

Perhaps one of the most exciting announcements, and why I saved it for last, is that a new Bayonetta Game has been announced and it will be available ONLY for the Nintendo Switch.

Top 2018 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Win a Razer Blade Gaming Laptop – 12/13/17

Enter To Win at: https://player.me/?invite=geekysweetie

Player.Me is giving away some awesome epic gaming loot this holiday. The contest will have 2 very lucky winners who will win one of every tier that has been unlocked so far.

The winners are determined as follows:

1 winner will be chosen by random draw.

a 2nd winner will be chosen based on the number of referrals he has earned.

Some of the prizes at stake include a Razer Blade Gaming Laptop, Nintendo Switch, and PS4 Pro, just to name a few!

Full Prize Breakdown:

Currently Unlocked Tiers:

Razer Blade Gaming Laptop

Logitech C922 / Elgato Streamdeck

SNES Classic

Tiers that Remain Locked At Time of this Posting:

Nintendo Switch

PS4 Pro

Xbox One X

Razer Phone

Each Tier unlocks at an additional 50,000 sign ups.

So sign up at https://player.me/?invite=geekysweetie

and help spread the word to unlock more tiers.

a Blade from Player.Me Enter at: Ends December 13th 2017.

Win a Razer Blade Gaming Laptop – 12/13/17 was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

New Pokemon Games on Nintendo Switch in 2017

Nintendo just announced some “new” (more like “enhanced”) Pokemon Games that will be available on the Nintendo Switch this Fall, 2017.

The games include:

Pokken Tournament DX

Pokken Tournament DX arriving on September 22nd, 2017 which introduces new game play features and battle modes along with a roster of over 20 different Pokemon to play as.

Pokemon Ultrasun and Ultramoon

Pokemon Ultra Sun and Pokemon Ultra Moon

Pokemon Ultrasun and Ultramoon arriving on November, 17th 2017 and including new rare forms of Pokemon.

Pokemon Gold and Silver on Nintendo Eshop

Also on September 22nd, 2017, Pokemon Gold and Silver will be re-released on the Nintendo E-shop with a few enhancements such as Pokemon Bank compatibility which allows you to take Pokemon caught in Gold and Silver and port them over to Pokemon Ultrasun and Ultramoon.

Which Pokemon Games are You Most Excited for in 2017? Personally, I’m hoping we’ll also see a new Pokemon Mysterious Dungeon Game sometime soon! Check out our list of the top 2017 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls.

New Pokemon Games on Nintendo Switch in 2017 was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Stardew Valley Review

As mentioned in another post here, I spent much of this past weekend playing Stardew Valley on the PC. Stardew Valley is a game that harkens back memories of popular retro games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory. The game is fun and relaxing… however, like most games in this genre, the gameplay can get tedious and repetitive at times. Stardew Valley also suffers significant development delays and setbacks, which is not surprising considering the entire game, from the graphics, to music, to programming, was all made by just one person. It doesn’t get anymore “indie” than that. Despite these few small flaws, the game is one of the highest rated Steam games of all time with nearly 50,000 Overwhelmingly Positives since its release in February 2016. If you’re still wondering if Stardew Valley is worth playing, read my Stardew Valley Review below.

Title: Stardew Valley

Developer: ConcernedApe

Publisher: Chucklefish

Platform: PC (also recently released for Xbox One, PS4, and soon to be released for Nintendo Switch)

Genre: Farming Simulation

Where to Buy: PC Version on Steam Here.

Release Date: February 2016

Geeky: 2/5  –  This is a low budget indie game, so you won’t see triple A graphics here. And given the genre and nature of farming simulation games there isn’t much action going on. I also feel the controls and UI are clunky, to the point of detracting from the gameplay (read more about that later in this review). However, given that 1 man made everything in this game, that’s pretty impressive and worth an extra star at least for effort!

Sweetie: 4/5  – Everything about this game exudes charm and cuteness. However, the characters feel impersonal and the story a bit lacking, costing it to lose 1 heart for “sweetie” factor.

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Concept: 8/10 It’s hard to believe this game has been out for less than a year; it’s so wildly popular and became an instant fan classic, that even games by fully staffed development teams have not made nearly as successful games or seen as many sales or positive reviews in years worth of time. And day by day new fans come to experience Stardew Valley for their very first time and fall in love, and continue to share their experiences. I was somewhat late to join the party, starting back in maybe July of 2016.

At that time, people were growing restless with lack of progress made on features that had been promised such as multiplayer. Here we are another 6 months later, and there’s still no word on when multiplayer will be added, just simply that it is in the works. The game has received several updates and improvements, including finishing “routes” for “new” characters (The characters were already present, but now you can date more of them).

And that’s important because really… the game of Stardew Valley is like the game of your life. Stardew Valley’s open sandbox environment and multiple choices and decisions that you will make, all shape what will happen. Will you get married? have kids? Choose a life of adventure exploring dungeons, fishing all day, or focus on rebuilding your grandfather’s farm? Or maybe just sit at the tavern, playing games, and wasting your virtual life – the choice is yours.

Although the game starts slow, once it picks up, there will be numerous choices you must make (which you’ll start to notice around maybe Fall of the first year or so)… Things such as deciding if you want to let fruit bats live in the cave near your farm or if you want to use the cave to grow mushrooms. Hopefully by Fall of the first year you’ve had time and resources to upgrade your house or add new buildings that let you craft new recipes and add new gameplay elements such as making pickled vegetables, fruit preserves, wine, cooking meals from your crops in your new kitchen, etc. Characters at times may also ask you questions which may impact the game or change their friendship towards you, such as asking you what types of books you like to read, etc. Lil bit by lil bit you will begin to see how YOUR farm in Stardew Valley differs from that of your friends’ farms. (Or how it will differ for you on subsequent playthroughs).

There are also numerous in-game events held throughout each season such as festivals, cooking contests, dance parties, and more. If you’ve been working on your social skills in the game and making friends, or even romances, these special events will be even more special, having someone to share them with.

You start with little in way of resources to begin the game and with little to do. When I first started playing, it was tedious. It felt like work, like real life. It was made somewhat worse by bad controls and UI… However now, as my first year in Stardew Valley draws to a close, the game has me firmly hooked. I couldn’t believe I stayed up until 1am playing it lastnight, and I want nothing more than to go home and play it again as soon as possible. — Soon you will be able to take Stardew Valley with you everywhere you go with the Nintendo Switch! For many, this means starting all over from scratch though and replaying through these tedious first few hours of gameplay as I seriously doubt it will sync your game saves — though it would be awesome if it did!

Stardew Valley is slow paced, and definitely not for everyone. There is some combat; however, at least on the PC, the combat is simple and basic at best, and involves no strategy, and just mindless clicking. The controls also make any actions, from combat, to fishing, to farming, a real pain at times. However, despite these flaws, Stardew Valley shines because of the charming retro vibe and relaxing gameplay mechanics. It’s one of the best casual games around and guaranteed to make you feel warm and fuzzy. It is just simply a “Feel Good Kind of Game”.

Gameplay: 6/10 If you’ve ever played a Harvest Moon or Rune Factory game then you will be right at home in Stardew Valley. The basics of gameplay include planting, watering, and harvesting crops, conversing with townsfolk, dating/marrying a townsfolk, upgrading/decorating your home, exploring dungeons, collecting and crafting items, and joining in various events. — It was also marketed as an “Online or Multiplayer” farming game (which drew many fans who have long dreamed of an Online Harvest Moon — however, that feature, which arguably is the game’s MAIN feature, is still no where to be seen and with no estimated release date a year later.

I’m critiquing the gameplay for the PC version right now since it’s the only version I have played as of time of review. While the features of the gameplay would get high marks here in terms of the vast amount of things to see, do, choices and consequences, and customization, the score ultimately suffers due to terrible controls and UI. Please note for this review I play on a laptop and do not use a mouse. I am a keyboard only user. As such, there are some things that just DON’T work. Period.

Like for example, I read that to put bait on a fishing pole you left click the bait then right click the fishing pole, but nothing happens when I do this. Luckily, you can fish without bait, but with some tools you aren’t so lucky. I assume that loading the slingshot with stones also works in the same fashion but can’t figure out how to load it with ammunition either which makes it completely useless to me. At the fall grange faire, the controls for fishing were different than fishing on the main map too! In the main map I can use my button shortcode which is C as opposed to mouse clicking, — this for some reason does not work at the fall grange faire and you have to use the mouse (in my case keep in mind, I’m using my laptop’s “touchpad” which you can click/scroll/operate like a mouse.) —

I have read that PS4 controllers will now work in Steam so I may have to try that and hope they are supported in Stardew Valley. I also do have a usb mouse – but given that I play largely from my bed, it makes finding a place to put the mouse a challenge. I am surprised because quite simply, this is a casual game. If I were expecting to smoothly play a triple A title without a mouse, from my bed, well that would be my own fault for having unreasonable expectations… but the truth is, there’s nothing here that should require finesse or skill.

And it’s not just a little bit cumbersome, it’s that things completely don’t work in some cases as illustrated above at worst. At best, I find myself constantly turning away from my target while fighting in the dungeon, or watering an empty square next to the plant I’m trying to water. Or I’ll forget I have an axe equipped and accidentally kill a crop I’m trying to work with (OK so that last one is my fault 🙂 lol).

The gameworld is not that large, but you walk really slow, which makes it seem a bit larger (Please note for this review, I’m critiquing the default map, not the new ones added in after release). You will also find that you get weak from exhaust and/or injuries easily when you first begin playing, and that even adding new weapons, armor, and accessories, doesn’t seem to speed up combat as much as you might hope.

Despite these weaknesses, the gameplay is actually fun and enjoyable with a wide variety of things to do and see. In fact, there’s often not enough in-game hours in a day to do everything. I love rainy days in the game so I can go fishing or explore the dungeons without wasting half a day tending to my crops. I also love that as you continue to do something in game, such as fish or fight monsters, you gain levels of proficiency with different skills and at certain levels, these skills branch off and force you to choose a path, with different pros and cons, which further customizes your experience from that of your friends – and also greatly adds to replay value.

There could be some other features added that would further enhance gameplay, difficulty and challenge, such as making certain foods expire – would also create need to use the preserve machine — or making for example icecream melt after so many in-game hours. As it stands right now you could buy or grow an item in year one, and eat it 5 years later without risk of getting sick, etc. They could even add a temporary debuff “Food Poisoning” that would wear off after so many in game hours.

Story: 6/10 – Well the story is that you write your own story. You decide exactly what you want to do, who you want to be with, and shape your own virtual life. It offers a ton of customization and the story does branch and reveal different routes based on who you date and other decisions you make within the game, but largely, by the end of the first year, the story has felt weak and bare bones at best. The in-game events do help to spice things up however, I suspect that after the first year they will be less exciting since you’ve already seen them. — However, it makes up for this in the amount of customization, freedom, and exploration that these open world sandbox games are best known for. Watching slowly as your farm takes shape and beginning to set a path for yourself and discover how to make your farm uniquely your own is truly the best aspect of this game, and that will become even more of a big selling point once multi-player finally gets implemented so you can visit friends’ farms.

Characters: 6/10 – Well, there’s a lot of them, but none of them are terribly interesting… They will recycle through the same dialog over and over. In the beginning, as to be expected, many of the characters are distrustful of you (You’re a stranger afterall!), and so they do not talk about anything meaningful or overly deep. Getting close to people, just like in real life, takes time. Relationships take work, and Stardew Valley is no exception to that rule… I have yet to see if the characters, or story for that matter, get more interesting past the first year, but with well over 30 hours of real life put into the game, that’s more time than one should be expected to “wait and see” if things improve.

Right now my highest relationship, according to the fortune teller at the fall grange fair, is with Shane, one of the newly added routes in a recent update. He is sorta the Tsundere type. Rough on the outside. He often plays guitar in the tavern. He likes Hot Peppers, Spaghetti, and Pizza for presents, and he is a cold unfeeling jerk lol. At least initially. I think there may be more to him, which is why I was curious to pursue him. I think his route shows the most promise for “character development” if written correctly. It will be nice to see him warm up and hopefully be less of a jerk over time lol.

Other characters seem to pay homage to various Harvest Moon games, there’s a guy named Linus (not dateable) living in a tent who reminds me of Gustafa from Harvest Moon on the Gamecube. There’s Harvey who is a doctor, Demetrius a scientist (who at time of this review is not dateable), Sebastian who is a stereotypical Emo/Goth guy, Alex a fitness nut,  a Magician (I don’t believe he’s dateable either), Clint who is a Blacksmith, and Elderly couple. The tavern workers, a Museum worker, a Carpenter (female), Goth girl, Librarian (female), and a handful of others.

Despite not having much “depth” to the characters (at least after almost a whole year of time passing in game), the characters themselves are charming, and always busy and on the move. They breathe life into the game and keep it feeling active and bustling year round. Not only these human characters, but the animals on your farm, the monsters in the dungeon, and even just little touches like birds and butterflies randomly flying or a squirrel quickly climbing a tree, or a rabbit running through the bushes, they all make the game seem… living. It seems as if every character has a mind of their own and a life of their own. This is a big plus and part of the game’s unique charm.

Graphics: 8/10 – Keep in mind, this is an indie game that wanted to go for a retro-vibe. If you’re not a fan of “outdated” graphics, RPG Maker style games, and Isometric Top-Down view style games, then this is not the game for you. — That said, Stardew Valley is for you if you grew up with the 16 bit Harvest Moon games, don’t mind “indie-retro” games, like to customize the appearance of your character, and like “cute” bright graphics.

Everything about Stardew Valley is exceptionally charming. And there is a lot of work that went into everything from the tile sets used in town or your farm, to the dungeons, character portraits, or animations. As mentioned above, the environment really feels almost like it’s alive somehow, with so many small details and little touches, falling leaves, wind, rain, animals, and background animations that really add to the charm and little extra love that was poured into this game.

I’d like to see maybe a tad more detail on the character sprites, and even more options added for character customization and more interior decorating items, or more various monster designs and not just recolors – but that’s just a wishlist, already, the artwork is pretty great if you’re a fan of pixel style games.

I did take off a few points for the following:

  • It gets pretty hard to see where I’m going at night. I dunno if it’s my monitor settings – and I am well aware you can craft items like torches and etc to brighten things up, but I get pretty lost.
  • Also some items can be hard to see if they’re behind trees, or other tall graphic items, and this too, can at times cause you to feel “stuck”.
  • Lastly, back to the UI again, it is just a lil bit clunky and could use some refinement.

Music: 10/10 – The soundtrack is one of my favorite things about this game. It is infectiously catchy. Not only does it feature great music, but sound effects are skillfully used to further create immersion and once again give rise to a game world that feels bursting with life. Sound effects for weather effects, animals, monsters, and machines and tools all help paint a picture of what life in Stardew Valley is all about.

Replay Value: 10/10 – Despite myself criticizing many things in this game such as terrible controls and user interface, lack of promised features and development setbacks, and a rather barebones story and characters who are dull and cliche, there’s just something indescribable about the gameplay itself. It is just a fun game. It’s not a perfect game… but it is one that I would recommend. I can seriously see myself sinking hundreds, or even thousands, of hours into the game, a single playthrough takes probably a hundred hours or more, and if you want to try a different profession or pick a different husband or wife, you’ll be starting a new farm, as the game autosaves every night which takes the freedom of creating multiple save files from a single playthrough out of your hands.

When I play Stardew Valley, I feel like I’m living a second virtual life, I come to care about my character, her friends and relationships, the farm, the city, and everything that’s going on in the game world. It offers me a challenge with several aspects being only discovered later in the game, and that too keeps the experience feeling fun and fresh and wondering what will happen each time I play.

Stardew Valley is a game that pulls you in with all of its charm — However, it could do with some fine tuning to greatly improve certain gameplay and story aspects.

Would I play it again? Absolutely. Given the sheer amount of things to see and do, it is impossible to accomplish everything on a single playthrough and no two farms are exactly alike.

It is that feeling, that my farm, my village, my animals, my crops, my house, my little virtual family, that they are unique and truly unlike anyone elses’ that is the driving force that makes me want to sit down and invest my precious time and energy into this game. That and the kawaii cute graphics and charming nature of the game that seem to just suck you right in.

And once Multiplayer gets implemented, kiss your real life goodbye, as the 50,000 people who think “Overwhelmingly Positive” things about the game, as well as thousand of new players, will be busy visiting their friends’ farms and experiencing brand new gameplay elements.

Stardew Valley is constantly evolving with new maps, new characters, new skills, new recipes, and new fun!

Overall: 60/80 75% D- “Average Game for Girls”

Stardew Valley Review was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Top 10 Nintendo Switch 2017 Games for Girls

Like a few of our lucky readers, I was fortunate enough to get a day-one Preorder for the Nintendo Switch. Sadly had to get the plain grey one, but beggars can’t be choosers right? 🙂 What games are you most looking forward to? For me, the only launch title right now that has caught my eye is Zelda, but that’s sure to change as we get closer to release. There are a ton of interesting looking games coming out by the end of the year for the new console.

Here are the Top 10 Nintendo Switch Games Due out in 2017 that I am most looking forward to.

NEW UPDATE: Check Out our List of Upcoming 2018 Nintendo Switch Games for Girls here.

Top 10 Nintendo Switch Games

Mario Odyssey

Mario Odyssey

Mario Odyssey – The new Mario Game looks amazing. It reminds me a lot of Mario 64 with a huge open world full of lots of fun and crazy looking levels. Mario has some new abilities too such as being able to throw and jump on his cap to cross large areas. Mario will fly on an airship to travel to “strange new worlds” (for Mario and his friends), but the world is actually made up of different places that we know in real life such as New York City, and Latin and South America. Mario Odyssey’s release date is December 29th, 2017.

Pokemon Stars

Pokemon Stars

Pokemon Stars – Although it is still a rumor at this time, several retailer leaks such as one that has since been taken down on Gamestop seem to refer to the existence of a new Pokemon Game for Nintendo Switch. The rumor is that it is a new version of Pokemon Sun and Moon with over 20 new pokemon added in. This rumor has not been confirmed by Nintendo and so no release date has been given.

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley – I actually spent the majority of this past weekend playing the PC version of Stardew Valley. True, you can already play this game right now today on PC and other consoles… But imagine being able to play it ON THE GO, away from home. This will be the title’s first entry into mobile or handheld gaming. Stardew Valley is an amazing “tribute” to classic Nintendo games such as Harvest Moon and Rune Factory – so it makes sense that it would find a home on the Nintendo Switch as well. It is such a relaxing game and the type of game that you can pick up and play as little as an hour, or easily spend 20+ hours straight with. The Nintendo Switch ability to switch from handheld to console form lets you play Stardew Valley whenever, wherever, and however you want. Although it is definitely for sure coming to the Nintendo Switch, there is no official word on a release date.

Seasons of Heaven – Seasons of Heaven is a confirmed Exclusive title for the new Nintendo Switch. Graphically it looks pretty amazing for a Nintendo console and much more like something that we would see on a PS3 or PS4. The game is based on a novel by the same name and features a boy with his dog as they travel a post-apocalyptic fantasy world. The fact that it’s exclusive to the Switch gives Nintendo some more advantage. In my opinion a console is only as good as its exclusives! I’m looking forward to learning more about Seasons of Heaven in the months to come. No Release date has been set yet for this title.

Dragonquest XI

Dragonquest XI

Dragonquest XI – There will now be three versions of the newest Dragon Quest game all set to release in 2017. These include a fully 3D version for the PS4, a 2D/3D style for the 3DS and a 3D style version for the new Nintendo Switch. Clearly still, from trailers and screenshots, the PS4 version is going to still have the upperhand when it comes to graphics and resolution. However, the ability now to have a version where you can play on the go (as with the 3DS) OR play on the big screen (as with the PS4) all in one version now (on the Nintendo Switch), gives one some pause into deciding which version of the game to pick up. Regardless of which version you get, this already looks set to be an amazing game. Dragonquest has long been the best selling RPG franchise of all time (yes, even more so than Final Fantasy) and many fans around the world are anxiously awaiting the newest installment into the Dragonquest saga.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Another exciting Nintendo Switch exclusive. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a direct sequel finally to cult classic Xenoblade Chronicles from back on the Wii. The Wii U also saw Xenoblade Chronicles X – However, that was more of a side game, and not directly related to the first. Xenoblade Chronicles remains one of the greatest games on the Wii and until the recent release on the Nintendo E-Store, it was a highly sought after collector’s item. Not only that, but it is a fantastic RPG. I’m so thrilled to see it getting a sequel that I’m almost just as excited for this title as for the new Zelda or SMT.

Fire Emblem Warriors – There is extremely little details known about this title yet. There’s going to a live event on January 18th at 5pm EST dedicated fully to the Fire Emblem series. Speculation includes that the live event will reveal more details not only about Fire Emblem Warriors but also about the upcoming mobile game that was originally announced for 2016 but got delayed until “Sometime in 2017”.

Shin Megami Tensei

Shin Megami Tensei

Shin Megami Tensei – I am the biggest Atlus fangirl ever. Tokyo Mirage Sessions is my favorite Wii U game – and I’ve been hooked on Persona and SMT games ever since Playstation One days. I suspect that this will be a much darker game than say Tokyo Mirage Sessions or Persona, and go back to gameplay similar to that in Devil Summoner and Devil Survivor. I’m really excited to hear that a new SMT game is in the works. It is such an underloved and underrated series. I was most surprised by this announcement at the Live event last week. There’s barely any details yet, just that it will coincide with the series’ 25th anniversary.

 

Project Octopath Traveler – a brand new exclusive from Square-Enix. The trailer seems to hint at an open world with multiple endings and a branching plot that is determined by choices the player makes. These types of games are always my favorite, so I am super interested in learning more about Project Octopath Traveler. It is being developed by the same team who worked on Bravely Default. The artwork is retro which is an interesting approach because as we’ve seen with other titles such as Seasons of Heaven, the console is definitely quite capable of more “Next-Gen” style graphics as well. This leads me to believe that this title will try to pander to us older fans from the 16bit era. Graphics and gameplay seem to remind me in some parts of some older Square games such as Final Fantasy Tactics, Saga Frontier, Legend of Mana, Live A Live, and Ogre Battle. Very excited to see where this one goes.

zelda breath of the wild

zelda breath of the wild

Zelda Breath of the Wild is by far the most anticipated and exciting launch title for the Nintendo Switch. There are several different collector editions for quite a large price! The collector editions include things like a carrying case, replica sword, soundtrack, cloth map, and coin. Amazon and Gamestop both sold out of these sets already. Best-buy began preorders for them today. But no matter if you get the Special Edition, or Master Edition, Or the base game is available for $59.99  you will be getting one amazing game. Keep in mind, if ordering the digital version, it will take up over HALF of the storage on the Nintendo Switch. Yikes! It is the first time for Zelda to take a more “western” approach to gaming, emulating features commonly found in Elder Scrolls games such as an open world and sandbox style gameplay. It also will have more than 100 Shrines of Trial to explore. It’s going to be a huge game. And from the launch trailer video, I feel that the story is also going to be very emotional and exciting. More so than any other game on the list, this is the one that should not be missed.

I also have to give a nod to a few other 2017 Switch games that didn’t quite make the list including the new Bomberman Game, Skyrim’s first foray into handheld gaming, Minecraft Switch Edition (for much of the same reasons as why Stardew Valley made the list), Mario Kart, Sonic, and Splatoon 2. With strong support from third party developers, and a few iconic Nintendo franchises making appearances, the gaming library for Nintendo Switch is already looking extremely promising.

Also the fact that the console is not region locked gives the fan translation community a chance to shine and bring us all the great games that Nintendo of America will either censor, or simply take a pass and not localize for North America. This could in theory mean that we could see some visual novels or otome games or more JRPGs on this Nintendo console provided that the English speaking Fan Translation community get behind certain projects.

The one franchise I expected to see, and didn’t see, was Smash Brothers. Also would love to see a new Donkey Kong Country game.

Although it is still early days, the future looks bright for Nintendo’s newest console.

Let us know in the comments below what Nintendo Switch Games You’re most excited for!

 

Top 10 Nintendo Switch 2017 Games for Girls was originally published on GeekySweetie.com – Geeky & Kawaii Anime, Tech, Toys, & Game Reviews & News

Nintendo Switch Release Date March 3, 2017 Price $299.99

Tonight’s Nintendo live event revealed a ton more details about Nintendo Switch. But it’s almost midnight, so I’ll just leave you with the most important thing you need to know. The price is $299.99 and it will launch on March 3, 2017 worldwide.

I will update this post with more info from the livestream after a good night’s rest (and hard day of work tomorrow) 🙂

 

Nintendo Switch Release Date March 3, 2017 Price $299.99 was originally published on

Nintendo Switch Live Stream Events and Preorders Begin

Nintendo has announced plans to begin taking a limited number of preorders for the new Nintendo Switch hybrid handheld/console gaming system beginning tomorrow morning 1/13/2017 at 9am EST exclusively at the Nintendo store in New York City.

They are kicking off the event with two Live Stream events. The first of which is scheduled for 11pm EST tonight 1/12/2017 and will discuss the system specs, price, launch titles and availability.

The 2nd Live Treehouse Event will begin tomorrow at 930am EST and will focus on the gameplay from various launch games which will also appear on tonight’s Live Stream event. They will also offer a special live viewing event for the first 250 customers at the Nintendo Store in NYC tonight at 8pm EST.

You can watch tonight’s 11PM livestream for free on Nintendo’s site at http://www.nintendo.com/switch/

Tomorrrow morning’s 9:30AM event can be viewed online at http://www.nintendo.com/switch/nintendo-treehouse/

No other retailers have announced when Preorders will begin, but I would expect them to begin opening preorders shortly after tonight’s live events when pricing details will be made official.

Nintendo previously showed gameplay footage and introduced the new console in a teaser video from 2016.

Nintendo Switch Live Stream Events and Preorders Begin was originally published on

Nintendo Announces Limited Edition Black or White 3DS for $99.99

Nintendo announced plans to launch two new limited edition Nintendo 3DS handheld portable gaming systems on November 25th, 2016 for just $99.99. You can choose from either an all black, or all white, 3DS system with popular nintendo characters and icons embossed on the face plate.

It’s the first time an all black 3DS has been available outside of Japan, and also the first time that the 3DS has ever gone on sale for less than $100. There is no word on if this is just a temporary price cut for the holiday season, or a permanent new price for the entire 3DS lineup. I’m guessing that it will be the new standard price moving forward, as the new handheld, the Nintendo Switch, will be out in just under 4 months now.

The Nintendo 3DS game library has some amazing games if you like RPG, Simulation, or Strategy games (others too, but those genre seem to be the handheld’s strong suit (and happen to be some of my favorite genres as well). I still get a lot of use out of my 3DS and developers are continuing to push out new games still for the system despite being very late in the handheld’s life cycle.

If you don’t already have a 3DS now is the perfect time, and price, to get one for yourself or to give as a gift so you can play together with your friends and family.

white limited edition Nintendo 3ds
white limited edition Nintendo 3ds

Nintendo Announces Limited Edition Black or White 3DS for $99.99 was originally published on