Does the turn-based tactical combat of XCOM work in a 2D game?
Adventuring through my backlog of games, one game at a time.
Developer: Image & Form
Publisher: Image & Form
Release Date: December 10, 2015
Available On: 3DS, PC, PS4, Vita, Wii U, iOS, Switch
Played On: 3DS
It’s been far too long since I was able to properly start and finish an older game from my backlog. My workload as a freelance writer continues to increase (and part of my job is to play new games), and 2017 in particular had a bunch of long games that have taken up a big chunk of my personal play time, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Divinity: Original Sin 2 (consequently, the #1-3 games on my Top Ten list).
But thanks to waiting in line every day to pick my daughter up from school, I’ve been slowly plugging away on my Nintendo 3DS, finishing a lot of recently released games like Pokémon Moon, Metroid: Samus Returns, and Monster Hunter Stories.
After those I fired up an older game that had been sitting in my digital library for so long that I accidentally purchased it again during a Steam sale at some point: SteamWorld Heist.
SteamWorld Heist is a spin-off of the SteamWorld Dig series that takes place in the same steampunk-robots-in-space universe. But instead of another action-platformerer, it’s freakin’ 2D XCOM, and it works brilliantly. Continue reading “Gaming Backlog Final Thoughts – SteamWorld Heist”
Prepare yourself for an all-out war, and keep your new friends, family, and allies alive with these tips.
Whichever version of Fire Emblem Fates you play, the biggest in-game decision has already been made for you. Your next decision should be reading these tips. Fates maintains the strict difficulty of its predecessors. Prepare yourself for an all-out war, and keep your new friends, family, and allies alive with these tips.
Expanded Weapon Triangle
Fire Emblem’s combat operates on a simple Rock-Paper-Scissors system with Axes-Lances-Swords. Fates adds ranged weapons into the mix, condensing magic into just a single category: Bows-Shurikens/Daggers-Magic respectively. Know which units and weapons are most effective at all times. You can always pull up the Guide at any time for a refresher, and double-check those up and down arrows in the fight summaries.
Examine the Map and Plan Ahead
Before each battle you can View Map to get a full perspective of the foes you’ll be facing and the general layout of the battle. Later battles can easily last over an hour. Take your time and analyze each enemy loadout and prepare accordingly. Lots of archers in a small map? Leave the fliers at home. Tons of cavalry? Equip those beast-killer lances. A wise 80s cartoon once said – knowing is half the battle.
Fans of Crystal Chronicles and online RPGs may find some enjoyment, though the action can quickly grow repetitive if playing alone.
Over a decade ago Final Fantasy fans were presented with an odd spinoff. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles used a much more action-oriented, real-time combat system. The big hook was allowing friends to venture together in a static world, not unlike your typical online role-playing game.
Final Fantasy Explorers offers the same quest-driven gameplay with a threadbare story and piles of loot to collect and craft. Online multiplayer lets you play together with up to three other explorers using a variety of classic Final Fantasy classes such as Black Mage, Knight, and Ranger. Fans of Crystal Chronicles and online RPGs may find some enjoyment, though the action can quickly grow repetitive if playing alone.
A list of helpful tips and advice for playing Yo-Kai Watch on Nintendo 3DS.
Yo-Kai Watch may be designed and marketed toward kids, but that doesn’t make it a simplistic game. Follow these quick tips and suggestions and you’ll be on your way to solving the mysteries of the Yo-kai around Springdale.
You’ll soon discover one of the best treasure rewards in the game—those colorful Crank-a-kai coins. Return to the machine by the tree at the Wildwood Shrine where you got Whisper at the beginning of the game to insert them. Most of the time you’ll get a random item, but rarely a Yo-kai will pop out. There’s a rare chance you could get a very powerful A or even S-rank Yo-kai early on. Since you can use it three times a day, use it every day!
The surprisingly awesome 3DS monster battler Yo-Kai Watch comes in at #5 on my Game of the Year list.
My Top Ten Games of 2015
#5 Yo-Kai Watch
Yeah, I’m as surprised as you are.
On the surface Yo-Kai Watch is another monster-collecting Pokémon clone aimed at kids. It has already become a massive franchise hit in Japan in the last few years, from toys and comics to movies and anime.
The Nintendo 3DS game really stands out thanks to some unique gameplay that owes more to Dragon Quest Monsters than Pokémon. The semi-open world, modern urban setting is a huge breath of fresh air in a stale JRPG genre. I also really respected the theme of helping people with their various problems rather than just trying to be the best, like no one ever was.
Pokémon Y made #3 on my 2013 list, and I’ve been playing and enjoying those games for well over a decade. I jumped into Yo-Kai Watch with all the skepticism and eye scrutiny, and came away with one of my favorite games of the year. Continue reading “My Top Ten Games of 2015: #5”
Yo-Kai Watch is a solid contender to Pokémon’s dominance of the monster-collecting genre.
A worthy contender has finally entered Pokémon’s monster-collecting genre. Yo-Kai Watch has exploded in Japan in the last few years, and American audiences finally get a taste of the action with the first game for Nintendo 3DS.
A likable, relatable story and modern setting combine well with the ghost-hunting and monster-battling formula to create not only one of the most impressive 3DS games I’ve played, but also one of my favorite games of the year.
The semi-recent mega Japanese franchise finally hits US Shores. I explain both the localized anime and new Nintendo 3DS game.
In the fall of 1998, Pokémon hit U.S. shores. The Japanese mega-hit descended on the West with a multi-pronged media approach. Eager kids and teens were bombarded with the anime TV show, Gameboy games, and an endless parade of toys and full-length films. This massive approach turned into a huge success, and Pokémon remains one of the most beloved and popular children’s franchises. Ask anyone (kid or otherwise) to identify the now iconic electric yellow mouse who’s become a staple at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and they will definitely know who he is.
Now we are poised on the precipice of an eerily similar situation. Yo-Kai Watch has been out for two years in Japan. It’s already spawned several 3DS games, a popular anime TV show, manga (Japanese comics), a feature film, and numerous toys and merchandise, including the watch.
Yo-Kai Watch just began airing on Disney X-D in the U.S. several weeks ago. The first game was released on November 6 for the 3DS. If Pokémon is any indication, Yo-Kai Watch could prove an equally big hit in in the U.S., despite having its roots in Japanese folklore.