Tag Archives: Review

Review: Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate (PSVITA)

Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate makes its way to the PSVITA. Originally released on the in Japan on the Nintendo DS in 2010, and the fifth entry from the rouge-like mystery dungeon Shiren the Wanderer series, and I can say this is a pretty interesting title. Even if you’re a hardcore JRPG fan and know your way around the ropes this is one of those titles that will take a lot of time and dedication to master. That being said, let us break down the game and see what it has to offer.

Visuals

This title is a remake of a Nintendo DS game from 2010, which means, sprite art! Yes, this title has sprite art which evidently sets the mood for the rouge-like dungeon crawler retro gamers are used to playing. The difference though, is that it is not just port artwork from the old game. The menus have been redone, the game is more colorful than ever, the hub has been made in HD along with the portraits of the characters, and the games aspect ratio. The aspect ration makes the port look amazing, not to mention the Japanese themed town are on point. Some of the big differences are when you hit the dialog scenes for the story, that is when the art really shines. The downside is that, when you play a good amount of floors in a dungeon map, they become bland and you eventually realize you have seen the same backgrounds over and over again due to the randomly generated maps. This is something very noticeable after putting some hours into the game. Visually, the game looks good but I can say newcomers might not like the retro visuals, fans of it will enjoy the mood it sets.

Sound

One word can describe the soundtrack, AMAZING! This is actually one of those soundtracks any fan of the genre will enjoy, especially any JRPG fan. Weather you’re in a dungeon fighting your way to the next level, making your way in one of the main story towers, or just exploring a town, this soundtrack will set the tone of the game. The game’s sound effects even helps draw players in with the retro sounds of hacking, and slashing from the original game. I really can’t complain much about any of the audio; the game does really well in this category.

Gameplay 

So this is where it gets complicated for Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate. This is not a game that everyone will like, and that being said doesn’t mean its a bad game, but more like one that only dedicated players with patience will get into too.

If you are familiar with the Mystery Dungeon games, for example Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, you will be familiar with how Shiren will work. The game is a turn-based tactical strategy game, mixed with a rouge-like dungeon crawler, and all in a somewhat real-time manner. Confused already? Don’t worry, the game will walk you through how the mechanics with its extensive optional tutorial in the “Beginner’s House” in the main village, Nekomaneki Village. After your lessons you are off on an adventure, where you’re intended to explore the dungeon floors filled with different creatures, and eventually end up filling the map which makes the game really hard from the start. Not to mention, once you die you lose all of your items you just found, money, equipment, experience, all to find yourself back at Nekomaneki Village starting all over again. This is where some players may want to drop this title, but players that will have the patience will find out what they did wrong , learn from it, and be off on their adventure again. As players progress they will also realize, not all items are helpful, be weary traps randomly placed on maps, nightfall (because enemies will strengthen up around that time), and be prepared to deposit everything you can once you complete a tower or dungeon because once you’re dead its gone. Players will also run into NPC’s that will join their journey as you progress in the story, but I noticed most of the time I would run into a trap and teleport away from them or vice versa, making my NPC’s useless. Another problem I did run into after hitting a certain point, the game started to make me feel like I never made progression, this actually drew me away , but I did eventually came back. Shiren the Wanderer: The Tower of Fortune and the Dice of Fate does pretty well in game play, if you like difficult, in-depth games, but that’s the thing with this titles game play, it is hard.

My standpoint for this game is that visually as a remake the title looks good, audio is outstanding, game play is very difficult and will eat up time, but I would recommend this title if  you’re a fan of the Mystery Dungeon games or JRPGs. If you are a newcomer, you most likely will be frustrated or overwhelmed with its difficult level.

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Tier1 4 Port USB HUB for Xbox One + Thumbstick Gel Caps product review

If you liked the previously reviewed products from TIER1, today we bring you two more items: The 4 Port USB Hub and the Thumb Stick Gel Caps.

4 Port USB HUB
First lets take a look at the USB hub. This is a small but useful hub that you can plug into the side of your Xbox One. This is excellent for local game play with friends because it enables you to charge 4 controllers at once . A plus to the hub is the shape. It is made to the same shape of the Xbox One, and once installed its pretty easy to forget it is even there. Having the hub located on the front provides easy access so you don’t have to reach around the console to plug one cord in the back.

TIER1 designed the hub to utilize USB 3.0 technology so you can expect a fast connection if you plug in a hard drive to the hub.Other items you can plug into the hub include accessories like Guitar Hero drums, microphones, and even fight sticks.  Fight stick accessibility definitely comes in handy for tournament play since players will have to plug their fight stick directly into the console. Lastly, this is a big deal for the current gen issue of game storage, you can use this hub to expand your Xbox One memory with all 4 slots and maximize your storage capacity.

The 4 Port USB hub can be used in multiple ways and well worth the $19.99 price tag.

Thumb Stick Gel Caps
I bet you’re telling yourself, “But what makes these stand out from other thumb caps?” While there isn’t much difference compared to other brands these gel caps are definitely more comfortable than any other thumb caps I’ve purchased. The quality of the material did not feel like a cheap knock off. One thing that did stand out to me was that you don’t actually have to remove your entire thumb stick to use them.  Just slip them on over the top and you’re good to go. The gel caps have a custom shape, which is not only more comfortable, but more responsive because of the nicely formed gel grip section directly in the middle. This became very useful during shooters or games where precision is an absolute must.

The only drawback I can say about these is that the rubber toward the bottom of the caps will occasionally rub the controller, but nothing that would really mess up your pwnage, and the logo on the caps will spin around after a few gaming sessions. Other than that, I can say these are more of a check out before you buy, rather than a must buy. What I can say for the price they are set at ($9.99), you do get enough caps to cover two controllers, something most companies do not offer.

You can find these items plus many more here.

Overcooked review

Overcooked was released just recently and, let me tell you, this game is so much fun! Hear me out.

Overcooked’s game play is basically is working in a kitchen: grab the ingredients, prep them, cook them, deliver the finished food to the customer, wash dishes rinse and repeat. The game can get so hectic when the various stages have some sort of gimmick to make it harder for you to cook. For example, one stage is two cars that drive away from each other periodically making it hard to get ingredients or cook your food. In another stage, rats keep trying to steal your prepped food so you have to smack them away -those damn rats!

The graphics of Overcooked are nothing fancy and that’s ok; its not a game that lives and dies on them. The real beauty of Overcooked is the game play.

The controls are both simple and hard both at once. My biggest complaint of the game is on PC  you can’t really play with a keyboard and succeed (maybe you can, but I can’t). You definitely need a game pad, either a PS3/4 or Xbox controller. With controllers you only really use three buttons; chop/wash, pick up and put down, and dash. The craziness comes in when you realize that if you play as a single player you still have to control two characters, and they can both be controlled with the single controller. Doing two different actions using the same controller gets very hectic, trust me.

The real fun of Overcooked is the multiplayer. If you get three or four friends you can play through the entire campaign in your quest to become a great chef and stop the Apocalypse. You can also play against each other in a versus mode. Pick your teammate wisely. Overall, Overcooked truly shines brightest when played with friends.

Overcooked is available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC for $16.99. NCG highly recommends this game!

Review: TRIZEAL REMIX (PC)

Trizeal-Remix-1Overview
If you are a fan of the shooter genre you may know quiet a few shooters that never released over seas or were only released on arcades-TRIZEAL being one of these titles. TRIZEAL was originally released Internationally on Arcade in 2004 and later ported to the Sega breakfast and PS2 in Japan. TRIZEAL is a shooter that a lot of players might have seen and wanted to play. Now, TRIZEAL finally makes its way to the PC titled as TRIZEAL REMIX . TRIZEAL REMIX is part of the quadrology called Shooter Love 20XX from Degica Games, which consists of a few more shooters, but is TRIZEAL REMIX worth picking up for new players and veterans?

trizeal_remix_03Audio/Sound
As anyone who is a shooter fan, you know most shooters have music from the techno trance genre to bring players into the game and ready to shoot everything in sight. TRIZEAL REMIX has that plus more music genres. All songs are tracks from the original game, which is not a bad thing; I really enjoyed these soundtrack from beginning to end. Although the tracks are the original tracks, I would have loved to see an option for remastered tracks or even a whole set of redone tracks to make this game feel a little more new. As for sound, I  never get tired of hearing the explosions along with weapons blowing everything up as I made my way through the levels.

Sound wise, the game still has the beloved shooter soundtrack and audio but I would have liked to see some sort of remastered audio or a remade audio option for the whole game.

ss_d9cd684c97c4768076b262c702f38773c74afb85.1920x1080Gameplay
TRIZEAL REMIX shines in its gameplay from transforming your ship to change weapons on the fly,  playing with your buddy in the local co-op mode, and the difficulty ready for anyone new to the genre to join with ease.With all of this, you will find yourself wanting to beat your last high score and make your way to the end of each level. As a bonus,when you beat the initial game your are able unlock another ship with a different play style, which adds replay value to TRIZEAL REMIX. Not to mention, TRIZEAL REMIX supports Steam achievements, Leadership Board, and a replays saves which will make any shooter fan happy. With all of these options, you will want to show off how the made it through the bullet hell and reached that high score. One thing I did notice TRIZEAL REMIX is missing to stand out from the original title is, having a difficulty option. I would have loved to play through the same stages with even more ships and bullets flying my way.

TriZeal-Remix-PC-Announcement-Screenshot-3.jpgVerdict
TRIZEAL REMIX is a perfect game to veterans of the shooter genre, or even players that wanted to play TRIZEAL a few years back but never had the chance to. As for new players, it is a pick up if you want to get into a shooter, but it is not a must buy. Was hoping for some more options since the title has “REMIX” in it. That being said, I would recommend checking it out.