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Found 8 results

  1. WildCardCorsair

    Review: Pokemon Shuffle

    Developer: Genius Sonority Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: February 18, 2015 ESRB: E for Everyone Oh Nintendo. My poor, sweet Nintendo. What have you done? Genius Sonority, developers behind the Pokemon Trozei games (also known as Pokemon Link in Europe) are back with Pokemon Shuffle, a free-to-play title with microtransactions for the Nintendo 3DS. To date, I believe this is only the third free-to-play model game Nintendo has released, with the other two receiving generally positive reviews. Well I guess that streak was bound to end sometime… Much like Pokemon Trozei and Pokemon Battle Trozei, Pokemon Shuffle revolves around match-3 mechanics, using the stylus to match the cute widdle faces of various Pokemon in order to deal damage to your opponent which is, you guessed it, another Pokemon. Like its spiritual predecessors, the game also gives you the chance to catch the Pokemon you face, adding them to your party in order to take advantage of type advantages in future matches. Though types are simplified (dual-type pokemon count only as their primary type) it“s certainly a staple the Pokemon franchise is known for. This time around, though, matches are not timed, with opponents attacking you as well, but are limited to a certain number of moves before you simply fail to take a Pokemon down. It“s a design choice I“m certainly in favor of, especially considering I wasn“t exactly a fan of Trozei“s timed battles. Pokemon Shuffle“s merits don“t end there. Also new is the ability to select up to four Pokemon for your party, making type effectiveness a much easier goal to achieve in this game. This makes battles far more approachable, especially when combined with another great inclusion. Pokemon you use in battles actually earn experience and “level up” which in turn raises the damage they deal when you match three or more of them! Shuffle certainly isn“t the first match-3 title to do this, but most of the best ones do. What does this mean? Well, players who have a hard time with certain matches can always level those Pokemon up in order to make their next attempts a bit easier. Basically, so much win. Pokemon Shuffle also features Mega Evolution, which fans of the series will recognize as the major new mechanic added in the mainline Pokemon games of Generation 6. Here, it“s a tad different, though. If you acquire a mega stone for a particular Pokemon through special battles, you can move that Pokemon to the first spot in your party. As you match that Pokemon, a mega evolution bar will fill up, and when it fills, that Pokemon will be in it“s mega evolved form for the rest of the match, granting an increase in damage and adding special effects like taking other Pokemon with it to increase the combo count, making it a pretty awesome and indispensable feature. I mean who doesn“t love themselves some super-OP Mega Kangaskhan shenanigans? No one, that“s who! Sadly though, as great as the gameplay and mechanics are to this point, there is one very obvious element which I“ve not discussed—yup, the microtransactions. Because every game has to make money, right? Right, and that“s totally understandable, but what players for F2P games loathe more than anything is unbalanced and unfair microtransactions. While the game is (so far) entirely single player (eliminating the possibility of those dreaded pay-to-win scenarios), what Pokemon Shuffle does ask you to pay for is ridiculous. The game allows you to have five hearts at once, with one being needed to start a match. Once all five are gone, you“re going to have to wait 30 minutes for a single heart to regenerate. Yup, that“s two-and-a-half hours for all five. Considering matches rarely last more than two minutes that means you“ll be spending 10 minutes on and nearly three hours off. Seems a bit… unbalanced? AYUP. It“s like being given the keys to an expensive sports car but only having enough gas to get out of the driveway. The frustration really kills the mood more than realizing a hot redhead only wants to make out with you so she can break a curse. So with those limited matches in mind, how well do they really add up? Completed matches net you coins and experience if nothing else, so if you“re having trouble catching a particular pokemon, the game will allow you to spend those coins on a Great Ball which (I believe) doubles your catch rate. Great balls can be expensive—2500 coins a piece—so the game allows you to also spend gems on coins as well. Coins can also be used before matches to enhance EXP, add moves to your move total, start the match with a full Mega Evolution meter, stuff like that. The problems is the coins don“t come as easy as you“d like, creating another opportunity for you to be tempted to buy jewels, so you can in turn by coins. Oh, and if you fail a match? Well, you can add another five moves if you pony up a jewel. And jewels themselves? Those will cost you a buck a pop, with “bonus jewels” for those who opt to buy in bulk, with 75 jewels for just short of $50. I should mention that you can get jewels by playing the game, but in nearly 50 matches and nearly 3 hours of play time I“ve only managed to get three. I“m not liking those odds. For every positive this game has, it“s a shame that there is only a single, glaring negative that brings the entire game down as a whole. The microtransactions were implemented so poorly, in fact, that it ends up creating a perfect storm of how not to develop a free-to-play game. It“s honestly so upsetting that it“s hard to have any fun here at all, which is a complete shame because there is really so much going for it otherwise. Pokemon Shuffle even has a daily check-in feature that will net you 500 free coins and the occasional special event, but even with that the game remains a very obviously money-hungry blight on Nintendo“s current track record of decent free-to-play games. As it stands, Pokemon Shuffle is really hard for me to recommend, even to fans of match-3 games because even at the price of “free” it still seems to cost way too much. Pros: +Clever puzzle gameplay that could easily become addictive +150+ Pokemon to catch, level up, and use +Cute Pokemon designs Cons: -Terrible reload timer for hearts stops the fun just as it begins -IAP is on the more expensive side of F2P Overall Score: 3 (out of 10) Poor Pokemon Shuffle does plenty to create a great puzzle experience but suffers from outrageous in-app purchases that ultimately prove to be its downfall. Disclosure: This title is free-to-play and was reviewed on the writer's own time.
  2. Leah

    The Denpa Men 2 - Overworld

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Genius Sonority Inc.

  3. Developer: Genius Sonority Inc. Publisher: Nintendo Platform: 3DS ( eShop) Release Date: May 8, 2014 ESRB: E for Everyone Though I“d heard of them, I“ve never actually played a 'Denpa Men' game before. Even still, I“ve always been curious about them since they seem to have a decent following, so when I was asked to review THE “DENPA” MEN 3: The Rise of Digitoll, I figured it was my chance to see what was special enough for this title to be in its third iteration on the 3DS. Now, after a brief radio silence, I“m ready to broadcast my thoughts! As someone completely new to this franchise I expected it to be more of an augmented reality game. In truth, that“s really only a small part of the game. What it really is, is a light-hearted RPG with pikmin-like characters that can throw themselves valiantly at foes or use their antennae to cast spells to wreck stuff. In fact, it's actually surprising how much of a traditional RPG this feels like, from the overworld exploration that opens up in the same way that classic Final Fantasy titles do, to the elemental effectiveness chart you need to exploit if you want to get the most out of battles. Even the amount of equipment that's available is pretty impressive, making it easy to see why these games are considered top eShop titles. In fact, this game took me nearly 45 hours to complete, and that's not even counting some of the post-credits content that is available or many of the side quests or optional dungeons. So don't worry about getting your money's worth here because there really is plenty of content for you to play around with. Right from the start there“s always something a little funny about the experience. Much like watching your dinnerware dance around the room, beckoning you to be their guest, many things or ideas take on new life in THE “DENPA” MEN 3. Continual references to all things radio provide a steady stream of tongue in cheek puns to keep the attitude of the game light and cheery. For instance, one of the antagonists, Squelch, is a mud monster with a grass stalk for an antenna. "Squelch" actually refers to that gross sound your foot makes when you step in mud, as well as a circuit that prevents radio broadcasting if the signal gets too weak, making the name all too appropriate on two levels at once. Even the home of the Denpa Men, Digitoll, is a play on “digital”, another form radio communication can take. Not to be outdone, AP, which normally stands for ”ability points“ in other games stands for "antenna power" here. Even the word “denpa,” which in Japanese means “electromagnetic wave,” gives us good reason for why these parallels exist. These charms carry the game even more than the story, which is really light, but I get the suspicion previous Denpa Men games really carry the weight of character and world building. I“ve mentioned before that The Rise of Digitoll is my first game in the series but I was more than a bit frustrated with the idea that you can't directly control battles. I spent literally 99% of my playthrough selecting the various auto battle commands like "All out attack" or "Pinch!" for emergency healing. In auto battles, the AI does a decent job at trying to expose enemy weaknesses but won't bother choosing a basic attack if the enemy will resist a special attack like Jay-Z brushing a little dirt off his shoulders. It wasn't until the final boss fight that I realized you can, in fact, select individual actions for each member of your party, rely on auto attacks, or mix the two. The fact that there was no tutorial to explain that little bit of info is a perfect example of how developers can easily alienate players who are new to a franchise. I did manage to find out battles are most easily navigated by bringing denpa men with specific resistances and special attacks that take advantage of enemy types, so it wasn't entirely an uphill battle, I just wish basic tutorials weren't completely omitted. So what's catching denpa men like? Well, it can be a little awkward. Head to Antenna Tower on the island of Digitoll and soon you'll be waving your 3DS around to launch nets at the otherwise invisible people flying all around you. Thankfully you can turn off the camera for a static background (which I highly suggest) but the experience still leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The gyroscope technology works fine, but you can only catch denpa men where your 3DS has an internet connection. Not a problem for most people right? Well, your 3DS knows when you've caught all the denpa men in a particular area (by the IP address, perhaps?) and they don't repopulate very quickly, meaning you'll likely have to venture out to other places with wi-fi if you want enough denpa men with different attacks and resistances. Basically, you“re going to have to wave your 3DS around in public if you want plenty of denpa men, and we all know how that“s going to look, right? On a side note, you can transfer your denpa men from previous games but I'm not sure how that works. As for the graphics, The Rise of Digitoll is pretty good-looking for an eShop title, but certainly not the best the 3DS has to offer. Of the visuals, the 3D environments in battles are certainly the most eye-catching. The stereoscopic 3D effect enhances these even further, giving depth to a world filled with a goofy smiling sun and plenty of cartoony enemies that keep the light-hearted feeling alive. Attack animations are pretty cool, and varied enough remain fresh, especially if you switch your party members out regularly. And while the music in the game can be pretty decent, the main battle theme remains the same throughout the game so you might get a bit sick of that one. Even when the credits roll there is still plenty to do. In a strange parallel to Animal Crossing, your home on Digitoll can be expanded and customized with quite a bit of furniture and other decorations. I“m not really sure if anyone can ever see it… especially since posting screens is disabled in MiiVerse. Perhaps StreetPass, but as I“ve not StreetPassed anyone else with the title yet I can“t say for sure. There are also plenty of optional dungeons, including one which really puts your team to the test with level 99+ enemies. There is even fishing in the game with a multitude of fishing spots away from enemies and a few fishing related quests as well. In an eShop game. Who knew? Though I can't say I was on the same wavelength as this game for my time with it, I can still admit it has some very impressive elements to it. I“m still dazzled by the size of the world THE "DENPA" MEN 3 provides for a meager $9.99. The old-school RPG feel is something I certainly appreciate quite a bit too. Unfortunately, this game also assumes you“ve played the previous titles, something that really puts a damper on things, not just story-wise, but gameplay-wise as well. In fact, as impressive as this game is at times, it feels like this game really exists for the fans of the previous titles, so definitely keep that in mind before tuning in to The Rise of Digitoll. Pros: + Classic 8-bit and 16-bit era RPG feel + Lots of exploration, side quests, & other content. + Challenging turn based combat Cons: - Lackluster story - Heavy reliance on previous titles - Very real lack of proper tutorials Overall Score: 7.5 (out of 10) Good THE "DENPA" MEN 3: Rise of Digitoll sends out plenty of good vibrations, especially for traditional RPG fans, but has a considerable barrier of entry for new players. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  4. Good news for fans of eShop games on the 3DS—Genius Sonority has announced that The Denpa Men 3: Rise of the Digitoll will be coming to the 3DS eShop in just a few short weeks. A demo will also be made available next Thursday, May 1. For those new to the series, Denpa Men are small, quirky, unique little beings that have different appearances and abliities, and they exist in radio waves. In the games, you'll use the 3DS's camera to catch them in different real world locations, then use them to help you progress through dungeons and the like, somewhat like Pokemon. Rise of the Digitoll will introduce new features such as getting new islands around the hero's home, Digitoll, which include Residential Islands where more Denpa Men can live; Garden Islands where you can grow fruits and trees; and other islands that include a Bazaar and even one where you can rent Denpa Men. The Denpa Men 3: Rise of the Digitoll will release on the 3DS eShop on May 8. If you're interested in hearing more about what they're like, be sure to check out our reviews for The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave and The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves. Source: Press Release Are you looking forward to The Denpa Men 3?
  5. Developer: Genius Sonority Inc. Publisher: Genius Sonority Inc. Platform: 3DS eShop Release Date: May 30, 2012 ESRB: E for Everyone A download code was provided by the publisher for this review What the heck is a Denpa Man? Well, if you never played the original last year, then I“ll fill you in. Denpa Men are little dudes that inhabit the “radio waves†around you. In THE “DENPA†MEN 2 Beyond the Waves, you“re able to catch them and go on an adventure with them. It“s a much more exciting and improved adventure over the first as well. The focus of The Denpa Men 2 is to rescue your family that has been taken hostage. The only way to do that is to travel the land in search of them with a team of strong, trusty Denpa Men! So you know that they“re floating around you, but how do you catch them? With the 3DS camera, of course. When you make your way to the Antenna Tower in Digitown, you“ll enter the Denpa Men catching mode. With your 3DS“s camera on, you must move your 3DS around to see the Denpa Men floating around. Make sure one is not noticing you and simply catch it with the A button. If you want a wide variety of Denpa Men, then it“s time to get out of your room and visit different places. Go to your friend“s house or a restaurant – the “radio waves†(Wi-Fi signals) there harbor completely different Denpa Men. So, now you have some new friends and you“re ready to kick some butt. It“s time to leave Digitown and enter a whole new world! The Denpa Men 2 features a large overworld, various towns, and secret areas that are completely new to the series. For RPG fans, it“s a much needed and appreciated addition that adds a lot of depth to what the previous game lacked. There are also a few other tiny things added to The Denpa Men 2 that are fun and cute. Fishing and growing plants are two features that are entertaining, and also help your Denpa Men out in the long run. Online battles also make their appearance, in which you can fight other players“ Denpa Men teams for medals. Exchange your hard-earned medals for prizes! And then there“s the “Street Lamp.†StreetPasses exchanged with other The Denpa Men 2 players power it, and the more StreetPasses you have, the longer you can explore special dungeons. Battling has remained mostly the same for The Denpa Men 2. It“s a typical RPG affair where you must strategize your attacks and abilities, as well as keeping certain colored Denpa Men in your team. Despite its innocent appearance, The Denpa Men 2 can be very difficult, especially if you don“t have a Denpa Men with certain colors or abilities. Your little guys may die often, but thankfully it“s a lot cheaper to resurrect them in here than in the previous game. As soon as The Denpa Men 2“s title theme played, I knew I was in for a treat. This is a lovingly crafted dungeon-crawler for the 3DS, and deserves to be played by anyone that enjoys playing RPGs. Check it out and make some new Denpa friends! Pros: + Bunch of features and a lengthy main quest offers a lot of bang for your buck + Catching Denpa Men is a unique and fun element + Great music, graphics, and humor Cons: - Might be too unfair/difficult for some - Grinding, grinding, and more grinding Overall Score: 8 (out of 10) Great The Denpa Men 2 is something different and eccentric that“s sure to relieve that dungeon-crawler itch.
  6. From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Genius Sonority Inc.

  7. Leah

    The Denpa Men 2 - Battle

    From the album: Leah's Review Images

    © Genius Sonority Inc.

  8. Remember The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave, the weird little dungeon crawling RPG that came out of seemingly nowhere last year? If not, then you really should check it out since it's pretty great. In any case, it looks like Genius Sonority Inc. is bringing the sequel here to North America! The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves appears to improve on its predecessor in every way, as well as including some exciting new additions. For example, dungeons must now be found on your own in an overworld map, your town can be personalized with flowers, and Denpa Men combat and customization has become much more polished and advanced. You can also battle with your Denpa Men against friends and take on a challenging StreetPass dungeon. You won't have to wait long for this exciting game either! The Denpa Men 2 will be available to download through the 3DS eShop on May 2nd.
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