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.
Of course, as you can see in the comments section, the game has a lot of bugs and issues with bad controls right now so it is not a good indicator of how the final game may play out.
Beasts of Maravilla Island is an adventure game through nature where you research and photograph wildlife as you explore the island. Very similar to Pokemon Snap which is also coming soon to Nintendo Switch. It looks like Pokemon Snap won’t be the only animal photography game on the Nintendo Switch. And for fans who don’t have a Nintendo Switch, but do have a PC, they can get a similar gaming experience with Beasts of Maravilla.
I’m torn on the graphics, they don’t look that great yet. The environment looks really pretty but the humans and beasts leave much to be desired in my opinion.
Still for $5 to pledge for a digital copy, and to support indie game development, you can’t really go wrong backing Beasts of Maravilla Island.
There’s only 40 creatures and 3 zones, so the game is quite small and short, presumably. Also the game will eventually be available for free it says on kickstarter.
Kickstarter has allowed them to add some new unique features such as a selfie mode to the game. And if they reach new stretch goals they will add more beasts to the game also. So I still think a $5 pledge is well worth it if you enjoy these types of games – which I do.
It seems like a cute and calm relaxing little game about exploring and photographing nature. I am looking forward to playing it. I have not played the demo yet, and dunno if I will play the demo as it is rumored to be plagued by bad controls and bugs. I think I’ll just wait for the commercial release or at least a newer version of the demo with fewer bugs :).
Hi, Welcome to my Review of Pokemon Shield. I know the title says Pokemon Sword and Shield, but I only have Pokemon Shield. I figure the games are similar enough that I can use this review to help people thinking about purchasing either version.
Pokemon Sword is similar to Pokemon Shield, but Shield is the version I chose to buy. Pokemon Sword’s Legendary is better overall, focusing on attack, while Shield’s Legendary focuses on defense.
And let’s be honest Pokemon Sword’s Legendary has a better overall design – a Pokemon that carries a sword in its mouth looks way cooler than a Pokemon whose neck scruff is vaguely shaped like a shield lol. So why did I buy Pokemon Shield instead of Sword?
I like the underdogs, and when you look at the stats, Pokemon Sword players dominate in every category compared to Pokemon Shield. Pokemon Shield is the lesser liked on the two versions and rarer and has fewer players.
Also that means the exclusive pokemon on Shield are rarer than the exclusives on Sword. And there is at least one Pokemon Shield exclusive that I really love – the Pokemon Shield Galarian Ponyta! It has a tiny striped horn, white body and extremely curly fluffy lavender and tiffany blue mane. – I don’t have one yet though! I’m 16 hours deep and only to the 3rd gym because there’s so much to do in this game!
So let’s start by looking at the gameplay.
Gameplay: 10/10 – I have played almost every Pokemon game, since the very first Pokemon Red and Blue. And I have to say, Pokemon Shield might be the best Pokemon game I’ve ever played.
Pokemon Sword and Shield have a ton of great features. Let’s break down a few key features right now.
As always, the main objective in any Pokemon Game is catching cute creatures known as Pokemon, completing your Pokedex, while progressing through a linear storyline in which a young Pokemon Tamer chooses his or her first Pokemon and leaves home for the first time in order to help the Professor research new Pokemon. While doing so, the player will face off against Gym Leaders and earn Pokemon badges. The basics do not change. This formula has existed ever since the first Pokemon games and it continues to be the case still for Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield.
The following features may not be new to Sword and Shield. Many have appeared in various Pokemon games in the past, even the mobile games, but seeing all the features in one giant game, gives it a sense of so much to do and see in one game.
As in previous installments you can dressup your Trainer character and choose from male or female trainer characters. Your initial look is determined by selecting a face picture from among many different options. Each town sells new outfits and accessories.
One really neat thing about Pokemon Sword and Shield is the diversity! I honestly don’t remember a Pokemon game with such a diverse cast of characters. About half of the gym leaders and your rival are people of color. Many of the NPCs, even just random people walking around town or in shops or buildings are also people of color. The colors range from dark to medium to light. Pokemon Sword and Shield was doing the whole BLM thing before it became popular here :).
I’m all for a more diverse world. I also really appreciate the ability to pick a female main character although I know that has been pretty standard the past 5 games or so. There’s a lot of diversity options for hair styles too with some truly authentic natural hair choices for people of color.
Having all of these people of color gives a sense of inclusion and also offers some nice cosplay ideas for people of color to explore (not that they can’t choose to cosplay a white character or asian character or any other character, but I’m just saying now they have more options available to them.) My favorite gym leader is the dark and beautiful Nessa. She’s stunning and gorgeous.
Whether you’re white, black, brown, yellow, Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Indian, or Asian, you will see your race represented in the world of Pokemon Shield and Pokemon Sword and I think that’s awesome, especially for a game created in Japan, where people have been traditionally xenophobic. It’s nice to see game developers taking steps towards inclusion and honestly, it adds immersion to the gameplay.
Another feature of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield is the ability to set up camp to play with your Pokemon and cook curry. You can gather ingreedients from shaking trees or talking to other “online” players. Playing with pokemon raises their affection and friendship towards you. And it’s just plain adorable. Cooking for your pokemon can raise their EXP, heal their HP, and remove status ailments. Other online players can visit your Pokemon camp or you can visit theirs (but I haven’t seen much point in visiting others camps honestly). You can even customize your Pokemon Camp colors.
Playing With Pokemon
One of the best features is the online play capabilities of Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. Online play really adds a great deal to the game. You can trade pokemon and I’ve gotten some great Pokemon by using the surprise trade. Players sometimes send junk, but you can just keep trading until you get one you like.
There does appear to be a small bug at least in my opinion. 95% of the time when I trade a pokemon and receive a new pokemon, the pokedex will update with the new Pokemon’s data… However, in some cases, the Pokedex does not update. For example I received a bulbasaur but my Pokedex didn’t update. There’s been a handful of other cases but I can’t remember all of them. It seems to happen more often if the Pokemon has a nickname or if the Pokemon has a Japanese name, which makes me think it is a bug of some kind. Has anyone else run into this?
Along with trading Pokemon, you can also trade league cards. You can customize your own league card with your character and a variety of facial expressions, poses, and backgrounds. As you progress through the game you can unlock new options for designing your league cards. You can also choose from shiny or matte finish.
The level of customization in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield is off the hook. I am loving these customization aspects.
One of the biggest parts of any Pokemon game, are Pokemon battles. You can battle other players online or join together in max raid battles with a chance to capture rare Pokemon.
Pokemon NPC Battle
Catching a Pokemon
Your Pokemon can also take on a number of different jobs in which you will earn experience and items or money. You can choose to let them do the job the whole day, or various lengths of time. The longer you let them work, the better the rewards. This helps level up those pokemon who are just sitting around in boxes and not actively in your party.
Like any Pokemon game, understanding Pokemon types weakness and advantages will help you progress quickly through gym challenges or NPC battles. This keeps you on your toes as you plan your perfect party of Pokemon for any given situation.
Each Pokemon Gym has a puzzle to solve, and the puzzles increase in difficulty as you progress through the game. Another difference between Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield is each version has 2 different exclusive gyms and gym leaders.
The Pokemon Nursery returns allowing you to leave two Pokemon of differing genders and same or similar species who will not earn EXP but may leave behind a Pokemon Egg. If you place the Pokemon Egg in your active party while playing, the Pokemon Egg will hatch. Some Pokemon can only be obtained by breeding Pokemon Eggs.
Are you looking to get fit? If you already own a Pokemon Ball Plus which can be used with Let’s Go Pikachu, Let’s Go Eevee, and Pokemon Go, you can also use the Pokemon Ball Plus with Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. This device lets you place a Pokemon inside to earn EXP or help hatch your eggs. It counts your steps and helps you stay active while playing the game. Pretty neat!
The one new feature that Pokemon Shield and Pokemon Sword bring to the game is Dynamx. This strange new Pokemon ability allows your Pokemon to grow to ginormous sizes and unleash powerful new moves. It looks pretty cool!
In fact, everything about this game looks amazing. Which brings us to talking about Graphics.
Graphics 10/10 – I already mentioned how diverse the game world is including all types of people from all walks of life. Colored people. White people. Cute young kids. Old People. Facial Hair. Ethnic Hair. Dad Bods even. Look at Chairman Rose’s Dad Bod, come on LOL.
But everything about this game is simply gorgeous. It is the best looking Pokemon game ever. Everything from the people to the pokemon to the sky to the sea to the trees and grass and the horizons the buildings, oh so much detail, color, beauty. The world is truly alive and beautiful. I love taking screenshots, as you can see all my screenshots throughout this blog post. I have taken over 250 screenshots and videos in the 16 hours I’ve played because I’m so in love with how this game looks.
Alright so there are a few flaws I must say… And that is in the story and character development. Or lack there really of. Yes there is the mystery of the darkest day and the hero with the sword and shield and a loose kiddy story about leaving home for the first time to battle gym leaders.
Story: 5/10 – As mentioned there’s not much story here. A 5 is generous even… There is the mystery but you won’t solve that for a long time, and the story is linear without freedom of choice or multiple endings, its basically like every other Pokemon game ever before. It lacks originality or depth or really any substance. And honestly for me, the British slang is a huge turn off. I legit had to google some things because I had never heard of such expressions in my life.
Characters: 7/10 – They lack depth. But they do have diversity. I like most of the characters a lot. But they are a bit dull, because they lack back story, lack emotion, lack depth, or character development. But it’s the first time I ever recall seeing such a diverse cast in color, shape, size, gender, etc. Is it the first time there’s a female professor? I think so but I might be forgetting one. It’s definitely the first time we’ve seen so many main storyline characters represented by people of color.
Also why is there no voice acting in Pokemon Sword or Pokemon Shield?
Voice Acting 0/10
Music: 5/10 – eh most of the music is just remixed from previous Pokemon games nothing really stands out.
Replay Value 10/10 – There is already one expansion available – I do not have it yet as I just began the game last month. A second expansion is due out by the end of this year. Even without the expansion, the number of activities and the online features make it a game that you can continue playing even after getting all of the gym badges.
Customization: 10/10 – I mention throughout the review but customization really shines in this game.
Cuteness: 10/10 – The game looks amazing and some of the new generation of Pokemon are sooo cute. I’m a huge fan of Yamper, the corgi looking Pokemon, and Pokemon Shield’s unicorn looking Ponyta.
Diversity: 10/10 – Mentioned many times already, but this game really gets diversity right. It creates a living world with people of every color, gender, and shape.
Geeky: 5/5 – A true classic reimagined in 3D in a colorful world. Enough to make any geek’s mouth water. A game that stays true to its classic roots and combines many fun features from previous games with the new Dynamix morphing features.
Sweetie: 5/5 Pokemon are cute. You can play as a girl. High levels of customization and dressup. The world is diverse. It has all the ear markings of what most female gamers value in their favorite games. It does suffer from weak story elements, but it has enough features to make up for it.
Overall: So overall I would definitely recommend Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. I’m only 3 gyms in and there’s probably even more features I have yet to discover. But already I know enough to say it’s one of the best Pokemon games ever made.
Overall: 87/110 79% “Good Game for Girls” Missing an 80% by just 1 point, which would have landed it our score of “Very Good Game for Girls”. Close to being “very good” but landing at just “good” – If it had a deeper story, it’d score even higher. Really story is the only flaw I can find in this game.
I picked up Animal Crossing New Horizons on its launch day, and I’m still playing it today. I don’t care how you play or choose to enjoy Animal Crossing but this is my little Animal Crossing story… It’s a deeply personal story actually…
I have played every Animal Crossing game ever since the first one – at least those that were brought over for American Gamers stateside that is.
I like the relaxing gameplay, and I play many similar games such as Harvest Moon, Atelier, and Rune Factory, just to name a few. Other similar games include the Sims, “Tycoon” type games, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Sim City, Zoo Tycoon, and indie games like Terraria or Stardew Valley, or taking it back old school style with Azure Dreams. Or Zelda Breath of the Wild other open world PC games like Elder Scrolls or Fallout Or Red Dead Or … Basically any type of semi open world game that allows you to craft or farm or build a village or customize things in kinda a never ending kinda almost aimless type of gameplay…
Now the problem with all of these games is that after awhile, inevitably, they all become tiresome, and dull, and boring, no exceptions. And the rate at which such boredom sets in is dependent upon 2 things, one the game itself, how large the world is, how much there is to do, etc, and 2 being how much time you spend playing said game… And adding a 3rd, being who you have to play it with.
Now in the case of animal crossing new horizons… here’s where my story gets personal and different from your story… so your experiences may vary…
The game had just come out, and I was so excited, I had the game for maybe 3 or 4 days… when tragedy struck… I became seriously ill. I don’t get personal on this blog very often… and I’ll spare you the details in what is meant to be a game review… but I was diagnosed with Epilepsy, which happened while I was playing the game one morning… I began having grand mal seizures and was hospitalized. Eventually the seizures lessened and are more controlled but only due to medication which has other side effects in and of itself. And when you are sick… not only does your health change but so does your mental state, and I was shocked, depressed, scared, and had about a million questions… Even now… almost 3 months later… I’m sitting here as I type this while wearing a heart monitor as tests are being done still to determine the cause of my seizures.
Now not all Epilepsy is caused by flashy lights, in fact, only a small percent of Epilepsy is caused by “photo sensitivity” – but it was still advised that I limit my screen time accordingly until tests have been able to rule out that cause. I’ve had MRI, EEG, ECG, you name it, I’ve had it these past 3 months. Being in and out of hospitals, and because of Covid19, also having to do testing at home as well.
Needless to say, between doctor visits, hospital stays, medical testings, procedures, my depression, and health factors, I didn’t have a lot of time for animal crossing… so much so to the point where I didn’t play it for over a month after about 3 days into it after release…
While everyone else online was time traveling and had the perfect islands and perfect villagers already, I was just beginning my life in Animal Crossing.
For many, Animal Crossing was a way to connect during the Pandemic when you couldn’t go outside or see friends or family or do anything in real life, Animal Crossing was dubbed as the game everyone needed right now.
And because of the Pandemic and Unemployment and no school for the kiddos, people were playing it hours and hours on end… That’s never been how I like to play these games… I feel like they aren’t meant to be played that way… They’re meant to be spent maybe an hour at the most. Some days I only spend 15-20 minutes.
I find this keeps me wanting to play every day…. No wonder so many other players are burnt out and have either left the game completely, or taking a long break now 3 months after release…
Meanwhile overhere, I just built my Campsite 2 days ago, and just opened Able Sisters Tailors today, and still haven’t filled my Museum, and only have maybe 5 animals living on my island currently.
So for me, personally, the game is still fresh, and yes, I know eventually, inevitably, I too will grow tired of the game… move on to other more interesting games, games with objectives, games with story, games with combat, games with more meat and more depth…. but for now… I’m still enjoying Animal Crossing New Horizons….
I started the game with Flo and Lyman, I later learned everyone starts with one Uchi (Caring) Female and One Jock Male character. My island has grown a tiny bit now with Drago, Rodney (I know everyone hates him, but uhm I kinda like the teal color – honestly lol.), and Olive. I might eventually kick Drago, Rodney, and/or Flo out for more cute, pink, pastel, kawaii looking characters, but for now, there’s room for everyone still.
I still only have one bridge in my village, and I just have wild trees, flowers, and shrubs everywhere.
I’ve downloaded some QR code custom outfits, and feel cute in the game. I also feel it looks a little bit like me. I appreciate the customization aspects. I like the ability to design an island and fish or catch bugs (although bugs creep me out irl – I feel ya Blathers lol). I love though to go look at the museum, the bug section is so calming, the trees and sunlight, and the aquarium section, and the massive dinosaurs. I like going to museums in real life too, so that’s not a surprise.
There are some things already that I don’t like about the game.
The rapid rate of progression, I was advised that after building the campsite and getting KK Slider to visit the island, the game is basically over. There’s nothing new to strive for or achieve, except for just redesigning your island, moving buildings around, expanding your house, deepening your friendships with the villagers, enjoying in-game events, and collecting items, or fishing, or whatever you like to do in the game.
But the fact that the progression ends in what has maybe taken me 2-3 weeks, is a tad disapointing.
The island also seems small… It’s been years since I last played animal crossing and I can’t recall how large former islands in previous installments of Animal Crossing series were, but this one feels really small, and can only hold a max of 10 villagers…
Some people dislike that it’s one village per switch console, but I’m really the only one who plays so it isn’t too bothersome to me.
I do like that you can play co-op with other people – I’ve tried to get my boyfriend into it but he just isn’t into games much, especially not “anime” type ones like Animal Crossing. He still lives in a tent in my game even lol. He played it one time on launch day with me and that was it.
I would like us to be able to just fish or walk or explore together, but the small island and the awkward sometimes co-op kinda is a buzz-kill. Why don’t they make split screen games any more? I know maybe having 2 switch consoles or switch lites or something could solve that problem, but I’m not paying hundreds just to have more screen space or more freedom.
I hear horror stories about people robbing your island on internet play, but I haven’t even tried it yet. I added hundreds of people from facebook in a community set up just for the game, but then I got sick, and then just never did anything to visit or invite them to visit me
The communication tools and keyboard also aren’t the best/fastest way to communicate. I dunno if it uses voice too or not. I remember one of the older games used a headset and I find that preferable over the chunky keyboard components.
When it comes to single player, one of the worst flaws is lack of story which for me personally kills my interest in a game faster than anything. I play games 98% just for story alone.
The other major flaw is that most of the items are just for looks or for show. You can’t interact with the vast majority of items on your island. The game would be more fun if the world was more life like and interactive. Like seeing little animations for example using a stove, roasting a marshmallow, playing a guitar, using a vending machine, whatever, just something, to make the world more dynamic.
Still flaws aside, Animal Crossing stands the test of time, for being cute, colorful, pure, peaceful, and being about anything YOU want to do with it. Your game, and your story, and your experiences in animal crossing – or similar games like it – are your own! What you do is up to you. That’s the best thing about it. The cute colorful animal characters are just a plus.
Overall: 61/90 68% D+ “Average Game For Girls”
Geeky: 1/5 – Not much to do, small island, few residents at one time, 1 island per console, gets repetitive fast, some weird co-op controls/experiences, difficult online communication tools, definite room for improvement here.
Sweetie: 5/5 – Cute colorful animal residents, customization, and relaxing enjoyable gameplay, wholesome, pure, cute moments with real or online friends or computer controlled animal characters
Gameplay 5/10 – I put it right in the middle, it has its moments, because in the beginning it’s fresh and fun, but gets tiresome and dull, and the small island and other limitations I’ve mentioned throughout the article put some snags in the gameplay for sure.
Story: 0/10 – Non-existent unless you create your own in your head or with your friends.
Graphics: 10/10 – totally cute – totally my aesthetic
Characters: 6/10 – Cute as they are – they are also empty hollow shells and not very interesting at all, due to lack of story, lack of any character development, story or character progression or growth, I can’t give full marks, but there are lots of them (around 320 of em), and most, if not all, are cute. So they have that going for them at least.
Music: 6/10 – cute/catchy but a little repetitive, you can change your island tune, as you can customize just about everything about this game
Customization: 10/10 – gotta give some extra points her for that above mentioned remark, you can create any kind of house, with any kind of decor, any kind of character with any kind of outfit, any kind of outdoor or indoor furniture, gardens, plants, etc… even customize the music in the game. You craft and create a lot of stuff and gather materials, that’s the main objective. And if that’s what you find fun, this game is boss.
Cuteness: 10/10 – in a world filled with pandemics and violence and fear, Animal Crossing is the light this world needs right now…
Replay Value: 8/10 – Although it does get boring, you could endlessly keep wiping your island, changing in/out villagers, moving houses, landscaping, creating not just gardens, but waterfalls, rivers, whatever you wanted, planting various plants, and partaking in limited time events which often reward new rare and limited items.
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.
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 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.
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 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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Play as a traveling bard in this cute, happy, colorful paper-cut-out style world. Coming in early 2018.
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.
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.
Geeky: 5/5 – Animal Crossing has a huge cult following because of its unique and strange gameplay and quirky cute characters. There is so much to do and see and it all takes place in an ever evolving changing persistent world that keeps you playing for hundreds or thousands of gaming hours.
Sweetie:5/5 – Very few games come close to being as cute as animal crossing with its chibi anthropomorphic citizens and bright colors. This game is full of charm and wonder.
Gameplay: 8/10 – Animal Crossing is finally on mobile, which quite frankly is where this franchise has always belonged. It just makes sense as a mobile game given the style of gameplay which it innovated back in 2005. Now almost 12 years later, technology has evolved to where mobile makes the most sense for these types of games, having it with us in our pockets and purses, playing it on commutes, or while waiting in line at a busy store, or while at an appointment, or those few moments before sleeping or getting out of bed.
Animal Crossing is best enjoyed in these little breaks and little moments. It’s also best enjoyed when played often as things change and happen in a living breathing world inside of your game. There are holidays and special events and animals come and go in and out of your areas. Having it on your phone puts it always at your finger tips.
If you’ve never heard of Animal Crossing before (which is highly unlikely but just in case lol), Animal Crossing’s gameplay consists of quiet, calming activities, and cute, and quirky characters, who are, as you have probably guessed by now, animals.
These animals may ask you to complete quests for them and in exchange give you random furniture and clothing. You can also craft your own furniture and clothing as well. Certain games in the series even score you and award you more items and points for decorating your home such as Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer.
In fact, collecting these things and dressing up and designing has always been a big draw to the series. But it’s not the only thing that players love. Many players love to spend hours fishing, gardening, or catching bugs in the game. You can use them as items to trade with NPCs to complete quests or give them to other players or display them in your home or the museum, or sell them for bells (the game’s currency) to buy new items.
Buying new items is addictive too, every day you turn on your game, you will see new items to purchase. Only available for that one day, and completely unique to just you. Not that the same items won’t appear again for you, or for other players, but this particular “collection” of items is unique to you. You may have on one day, a boom box, kitchen sink, and pink sofa, while your friend may have a dining room table, expensive rug, and statue of Link from Zelda. – Of course some items are more rare than others, and since friends can visit your home, you can show off all your rare items and score bragging rights.
Nearly everything about these games are customizeable, from your character’s gender, name, appearance (initially determined by answers to questions presented when first starting the game), to your home, to your world around you. This also is another big draw to these types of games.
New animals will appear and disappear from time to time in your world. This also increases incentive to stay active and stay in touch with your favorite NPCs. After an NPC leaves (in the traditional versions of this game, not sure about mobile), they will send letters to you and sometimes give you gifts.
The games also feature night and day and weather cycles which add more variety to each play through. What you do on any given day is up to you! There is no objective, no goal, no ending, no progression it’s just a sandbox, a living breathing world for you to explore and interact with each day.
This sounds like a huge plus – and in many ways it is, but it can also be a drawback as there is very little urgency or pressure or nothing really compelling you to keep pushing forward. Many times my love for these games starts strong, but 3 or 4 months in and I find I’m barely logging in, but without fail always 6 months later I’m back to being addicted and wanting to play daily. My interest in these types of games goes through spurts like that. I think I burn out from the casual nature, but then find myself wanting to relax and enjoy a cute game and gravitating right back to it, for the same reason that I left it in the first place. It’s almost a double edged sword.
Anyways now that I’ve given you the basics of the franchise, let’s talk about what Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does differently than the other games in the series. For starters, as the name suggests, the entire game takes place in the great outdoors. You’re given a campsite you can decorate. And you have a camper trailer that you can decorate both inside and out. You travel and visit other animals (or visit your friends) and you can take quests, craft, shop, and do all the good basic animal crossing stuff.
Some areas will be blocked from exploring initially. You need to either pay leaf tickets (special in game currency obtainable with real money (but quite often also given for free as quest rewards), or get the help of friends to enter these new areas.
New areas open sometimes for special events like right now there’s a Christmas area where you can get more candy canes to help craft the time limited Christmas themed items which you need 5 friends to help you unlock.
You can link the account to your nintendo account or link your facebook and twitter to find more friends! 🙂 Playing animal crossing with your friends is now easier than ever.
So those are a few of the positive features.
On the downside, they’ve removed the actual houses, so that’s a bit disappointing for those of us who liked modeling our homes.
Also my biggest gripe is too much is just “handed” to us. In previous games, we each had a random fruit. In this game, when I get to the tutorial, I’m given tons of different fruits I can hoarde to plant back at my own campsite. Making the need to work with friends less important in this game.
I also don’t know / haven’t tested how inviting a friend over to your campsite works and how or if you can communicate with them and what activities you can do together. I feel like it may be more limited than in the other games, but maybe I’m wrong.
Other than that, the game offers a feeling of playing the console and handheld Animal Crossing games right on your mobile phone.
Story: 4/10 – Story has never ever been Animal Crossing’s strong suit, and I think for me personally, that’s why I get bored of the games so fast and have an on/off love/hate relationships with them. I play games primarily for story above anything else. So lack of really much to offer here makes it a bit dull to me.
Characters: 10/10 – The characters are charming and cute and have always been the best part of the animal crossing games.
Graphics: 10/10 These graphics look just as good as any Animal Crossing game I have ever played, and it’s a free mobile game, now that’s impressive!
Music: 5/10 Music is just sort of average. Nothing to write home about. Sometimes it can be cute and catchy, other times repetitive and annoying. Depends on my mood and the song in question.
Replay Value: 9/10 – The very nature of Animal Crossing as a franchise is a slow and steady journey meant to be enjoyed through several (often times daily) small playing sessions. Animal Crossing offers much to do, from fishing, bug catching, gardening, to crafting, to shopping, to collecting, to decorating your home and dressing up your avatar. However, it does get repetitive because of the slow and lackadaisical gameplay style. – Which don’t get me wrong, that gameplay style has also always been the game’s strong suit and its unique charm, and what makes it so much fun. There also are time limited goals, time limited items, and time limited quests to complete which will keep you logging back in. However, it’s also the type of game you can play for 10 hours a day for 6 months straight and then feel bored of. It’s much better to enjoy it about an hour a day, as if you immerse yourself too long, you will burn out quickly. But kept in small doses, you will be playing this, or any other animal crossing title for years to come. Now that animal crossing is on our mobile phones we are all doomed to be playing it religiously for the foreseeable future. And future updates will make this even more enticing.
Overall: 56/70 80% “B-” Very Good Game for Girls!
Other Games You May Like:
Castaway Paradise – pretty much an animal crossing clone. It was fun, but ain’t no animal crossing. Now that animal crossing is on mobile, I see no reason to play this.
Animal Days by Gree Sadly this is no longer around, but probably one of my all time favorite mobile games, you should check it out since there’s still a wealth of images and info available online with a quick Google search; it’s interesting to read about just because of how unique and fun it was. It had the cute animals, moving in and out of your village, and most excitingly, you could BREED your animal villagers to create new villagers. There were time limited release villagers, and all kinds of really cute things to decorate your home, and a cute story too. I was sad when it closed. I heard they underestimated how popular it was going to become and couldn’t manage well with the production schedule for new releases and updates. I wish someone would buy the code from them and revive this project, but it’s been dead for 5 years now, so it’s not likely to happen. I would rather play Animal Days by Gree over even the best Animal Crossing game, because the breeding and randomized aspects make me so excited.
Happy Street – “sort of” a clone of animal crossing, but completely different gameplay, still, animals at random move into your village, and you fish and mine and craft and so on. but yeah, just it’s different, it’s more like mobile clicker type gameplay, but it has the same charm and theme as animal crossing and is a fun and different enough game that you should play both! 🙂 — There’s also a version of this put out by Line Play, and the name is escaping me right now. Same game / user interface, but different graphic assets and run by different companies. It still has cute animals moving in and out of your village and same gameplay mechanics. I think Happy Street was marketed more and took off more rapidly, and thus the Line Play “clone version” is a lot less widely known – might be worth checking out for you if you love Animal Crossing or Happy Street though!
Seabeard – This has a huge massive open sandbox world and captures some of the unique gameplay aspects of animal crossing.
Line Play – for the fishing and dressing up and decorating and kawaii style.
I just came across a press release in my inbox sent to me by someone at Viz Media with details about the upcoming Legend of Zelda: Four Swords – Legendary Edition which compiles all 10 volumes of Akira Himekawa’s manga based on the Legend of Zelda video games. Each Legendary Edition Contains 2 volumes of the manga. This is the 5th, and final Legendary Edition.
Amazon currently has the Legend of Zelda: Four Swords – Legendary Edition available for Preorder at the link below. It will begin arriving on door steps on July 11th.
The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords -Legendary Edition- (The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition) [Akira Himekawa] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Link must defeat evil at every turn in his perilous quest to help Princess Zelda!
The Legend of Zelda: Legendary Edition contains two volumes of the beloved The Legend of Zelda manga series
Ah! There’s a Link to the Past Legendary Edition. I really want that, because Link to the Past is still my favorite Zelda game :).
Full Press Release Below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
VIZ MEDIA ANNOUNCES LATEST THE LEGEND OF ZELDA MANGA RELEASE WITH THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: FOUR SWORDS –LEGENDARY EDITION–
Fifth Deluxe Edition Of The Manga Series Based On The Classic Nintendo Video Game Property Debuts This Summer
San Francisco, CA, June 28, 2017 – VIZ Media, LLC (VIZ Media),a premier company in the fields of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing, invites manga readers and adventure fans to enjoy creator Akira Himekawa’s classic THE LEGEND OF ZELDA story in a whole new way with the release of THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: FOUR SWORDS –LEGENDARY EDITION– on July 11th.
The LEGENDARY EDITIONS adapt Akira Himekawa’s 10-volume manga series based on the classic Nintendo® role playing, puzzle-solving, action video game into a line of deluxe omnibus 2-in-1 editions that each feature new cover art and color illustrations. THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: FOUR SWORDS –LEGENDARY EDITION– is the fifth release in the LEGENDARY EDITION series. FOUR SWORDS is rated ‘A’ for All Ages and will carry a print MSRP of $17.99 U.S. / $24.99 CAN.
In FOUR SWORDS, Link finds himself broken into four different versions of himself – Green, Red, Blue and Violet Link – and pitted against a fifth, the malevolent Shadow Link who has kidnapped Princess Zelda. The Links must find the Four Sword, the only thing that can combine them so that they are strong enough to stop Shadow Link and save the princess – and the world!
“The latest volume of our LEGENDARY EDITIONS tells the classic FOUR SWORDS story arc,” saysJoel Enos, Senior Editor. “Whether it’s the first or fifth volume of the LEGENDARY EDITION that you pick up, all fans will enjoy Link’s enduring and timeless adventures in these deluxe editions filled with bonuses and extras!”
THE LEGEND OF ZELDA manga series was created by Akira Himekawa, which is the pen name of two women known simply as A. Honda and S. Nagano. The pair createdTHE LEGEND OF ZELDA manga series which was inspired by several games and story arcs in the Zelda video game series. They have created a variety of manga adventures, which are published by VIZ Media, featuring Link and the popular video game world of THE LEGEND OF ZELDA, including OCARINA OF TIME, ORACLE OF SEASONS, FOUR SWORDS and more.
Additional LEGENDARY EDITIONS that are currently available from VIZ Media include THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: OCARINA OF TIME –LEGENDARY EDITION–, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: ORACLE OF SEASONS / ORACLE OF AGES –LEGENDARY EDITION–, THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: MAJORA’S MASK / A LINK TO THE PAST –LEGENDARY EDITION– and THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: THE MINISH CAP / PHANTOM HOURGLASS – LEGENDARY EDITION.
Readers also are invited to enjoy VIZ Media’s THE LEGEND OF ZELDA: TWILIGHT PRINCESS, the latest and ongoing manga series based on the beloved Nintendo® video game with story and artwork also created by Akira Himekawa.
For additional information on THE LEGEND OF ZELDA and other manga titles distributed and published by VIZ Media, please visit VIZ.com.
About VIZ Media, LLC
Established in 1986, VIZ Media is the premier company in the fields of publishing, animation distribution, and global entertainment licensing. Along with its popular digital magazine WEEKLY SHONEN JUMP and blockbuster properties like NARUTO, DRAGON BALL, SAILOR MOON, and POKÉMON, VIZ Media offers an extensive library of titles and original content in a wide variety of book and video formats, as well as through official licensed merchandise. Owned by three of Japan’s largest publishing and entertainment companies, Shueisha Inc., Shogakukan Inc., and Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Co., Ltd., VIZ Media is dedicated to bringing the best titles for English-speaking audiences worldwide.
Learn more about VIZ Media and its properties at VIZ.com.
The original is one of my all time favorite games. I love all the songs, the heart warming, touching story, the cute characters, adorable graphics, simple grid based turn-based Strategy JRPG gameplay, and use of the puppets in battle.
I greatly prefer the version by Atlus on the PS1, much more than the version by NIS on the DS, because Atlus dubbed all of the songs in English, while NIS only left them in Japanese. If I remember correctly, the version by Atlus let you choose to play them in the original Japanese as well. If it’s a musical, it’s more fun in English, so we can sing along, am I right? 🙂 I still can remember the words/melody to a lot of the songs even though it has been years since my first or subsequent play throughs. NIS also changed the gameplay from a grid based system to a straight forward turn-based traditional JRPG style of combat.
For the purpose of this review, since I prefer the original, and the two games are significantly different in terms of gameplay, this review only covers the PS1 game by Atlus. Now onto the review…
Title: Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure
Alternate Titles (Also Known As): Marl Kingdom, Little Princess Marl, or Marl Okoku no Ningyo Hime in Japan. Also referred to as The Adventure of Puppet Princess.
Overall Score: 73/90 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
Geeky: 3/5 – Dated as this game may be, its bright colorful graphics are still quite pretty. The combat is nothing spectacular and it is linear and simple. The big “geek” points go to the fact that the game is literally a musical. The characters break out into song and dance and the soundtrack very much tells us the story. There are well over a dozen or more vocal tracks and all of the characters are fully voiced. Interestingly enough, wikipedia tells me that it was almost entirely a one girl show, what a talented voice actress! She gave voice/song to all except for 3 or 4 of the characters.
Sweetie: 5/5 – the graphic style is so cute and colorful, the characters are very full of emotion and there is a ton of humor, as well as romance, and a message about the meaning of family, and morals, and just… everything. Also strong female leads, which was pretty rare “back in the day”. This game is a must play for all girls.
Overview: 10/10 – There is simply nothing else in the world like this game. It’s an anime musical JRPG. It has adorable graphics, touching, amusing, and likable characters, and is brimming with “feels and emotions”. From a technical standpoint, there’s really nothing ground breaking here. It is very typical of gameplay in most other Strategy JRPGs of its time. But the music and characters set this game apart and make it an extremely unique experience.
Gameplay: 5/10 – Gameplay isn’t bad, but it’s not the reason you play this game. This game is very easy and simple. The main character takes a back seat, supporting her army of puppets who move around a grid and use various items, attacks, and abilities to thwart their foes. It’s a linear game that takes you from point A to point B, pretty monotonously and mindlessly. This game is carried by the music, voice acting, memorable characters, and touching story. There are different costumes you can find and different puppets you can add to your team, but other than that, it’s a pretty straight forward experience if you’ve ever played any other Strategy JRPGs before.
Story: 10/10 – Cornet is a kindhearted girl who has a magical gift in that she is able to communicate with dolls and puppets. One such doll is Cornet’s faithful sidekick, Kururu. Kururu has guided the young Cornet all her life. Cornet is often lonely as her mother passed away at an early age. However, despite her loneliness, Cornet remains cheerful, kind, and helpful to all of the villagers in part thanks to her puppet friends. She is regarded as a simple and sweet girl, and many of the villagers take pity on her for not having a mother.
Although she is just a common girl, Cornet has fallen in love with the Prince. Unrealistic as her love may be, Cornet has always believed in “dreaming big” and her innocent outlook on life leads her to hope that anything is possible.
Cornet isn’t the only one with eyes for the prince however. A beautiful witch appears in the kingdom one day with her sights set on the prince. When the prince refuses her advances, the witch casts a spell on him turning him to stone.
Thus begins Cornet’s series of quests to reverse the witch’s curse. The witch has many henchmen and lackeys who try to interfere in Cornet’s plans.
As she travels, Cornet will make new friends and enemies, both human and puppet alike. Also she will learn more about herself, her mother, and her unique gifts and talents.
Characters: 10/10 Cornet is the star of our show, a simple, pure hearted girl who can talk to puppets. She lost her mother when she was very young and has mostly been raised by a strange talking puppet named Kururu.
Prince Ferdinand is the prince who early in our story is turned to stone. Cornet and Marjolly are both in love with the Prince.
Marjolly is a wicked but beautiful witch who vengefully curses the prince when he refuses her romantically. Marjolly is also not very skilled at magic, and somewhat of a “bumbling idiot”. Her spells often have very unintended consequences and/or back fire. She is often less “evil” feeling and more of a “comedic relief” despite being the main villain in the game.
Kururu is a “living doll” who has always watched out for and guided Cornet. The two are extremely close. And there is a secret that Cornet does not know about her puppet friend.
Etoile is a wealthy and beautiful, but ill tempered and spoiled girl who is close to Cornet’s age. Although she is “better than” Cornet in almost every way, she still feels jealous and inferior and threatened by Cornet. The two have an interesting love/hate relationship, frenemies if you will.
There are many other delightful and wonderful characters as well.
Graphics: 7/10 – Although dated severely, the graphics remain bright and colorful and still attractive, even 17 years after its initial US release. Also in a time when retro gaming is very popular, and pixel art is “in” – what was once old, is now hot again. An interesting thing to note, although there are many, many cutscenes, these are done with the same sprites and pixel graphics as the rest of the game, unlike other anime games of that time such as Persona and Lunar which use a more hand-drawn or anime style for their cutscenes. This in one way helps keep things cohesive and flowing well from one moment to the next, however, it does result in less detailed cutscenes. The sprites are still adorable and animated and capable of conveying a lot of emotion despite the simple sprites. I would love to see a new release with anime cutscenes (like Lunar and Persona) and/or celshading used throughout the game and cutscenes (such as with Catherine).
Music: 10/10 – Easily 10/10 – one of the most memorable soundtracks of all time because of the huge number of vocal tracks and how they tie in so closely to the story – in fact, they ARE the story. Many of them are insanely, like seriously insanely catchy!!! I love the songs in this game!!
Voice Acting – 10/10 – They sing and act, and as I mentioned, one girl gives voice to about 6 of the main characters – very talented! If you hate dubs (which trust me, I usually do too!) you can also play with the Japanese audio. 🙂 But then you can’t sing along, or as easily get the song stuck in your head the next day lol.
Replay Value: 3/10 – It’s linear, and simple, and the only reason you will want to replay is to re-read the heartwarming story, and hear that awesome soundtrack again. I’ve replayed this at least 3 or 4 times now and love it every single time – but objectively, yeah there’s really nothing here story or gameplay wise for increased replay value.
Overall Score: 73/90 81% B- “Very Good Game For Girls”
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 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.