Tag Archives: Switch

NCG Review – SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy (PS4, Switch)

Many players know SNK’s long running “The King of Fighter” series, but have you ever wondered why they never released “The Queen of Fighters?” Well now they (sort of?) have with “SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy.” But is it really meant for the fighting game scene, or did they take on a different route with this title?1(1)

Visuals/ Audio

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has an awesome soundtrack that fits the theme of the whole game from the J-pop title screen to the quirky music while battling. I did enjoy listening to it all. Another part of the audio that I really enjoyed were the small sound effects when each charter attacks as well as the particle effects having random objects and confetti flying everywhere. Players will also notice that the character models look somewhat like KOF XIV, but upgraded just enough.6(1).png

Gameplay

SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is not your typical hardcore 2D fighter, but more of a casual party game with some unique elements. Fighting game veterans will notice instantly that the button layout is a bit strange as it consist of a light attack,  a heavy attack, special attack, throw, guard, tag and Dream Finish button. Light attack and heavy attack are your main buttons for combos, which are all auto combos, and the special attack button lets players execute specials with the press of one direction and a button, making the game more accessible to the casual gamers within the game modes.1(2).png

The title consists of 5 game modes, which are Story mode, Versus, Survival, Tutorial, and Online. In Story Mode players will discover the girls of the SNK universe have been captured and have woken up in weird fan service clothing. The actual story never really unfolds and ends of falling flat, but Story Mode in any fighting game title usually falls flat. Survival also doesn’t feel challenging since it never jumps up in difficulty. In short, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy has very little to offer for single player. The multi player, on the other hand, is where the game stands strong since the game doesn’t feel like a fighting game but a party game. 3.png

Verdict

If you are looking for an in-depth fighting game, or even a single player title, you will not find it here, but that doesn’t mean SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy is a terrible game. It does feel great for a party title and players who are not familiar with fighting game mechanics can pick up the game fast. At the end of the day, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzyis more of a fan service, casual game, and I would not recommend this title for the $49.99 price tag, but I would recommend trying it out. I give SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy a 5/10.

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NCG Reviews: Overcooked 2 (PS4, Switch, PC)

Team 17 is bringing Overcooked back with more kitchen madness! Jump into your food truck and find a way to defeat the un-bread!

Story

After reading the necro -nomnom- icon and accidentally raising the un-bread, you must hop in your food truck, hone your cooking skills, and defeat the un-dead bread monsters!  The story isn’t pertinent to the game, but the jokes and humor help set the overall tone for your kitchen journey.6-2

Gameplay

If you’ve played Overcooked, then you already have a feel for how Overcooked 2 will work. What I really enjoyed about Overcooked 2 is that it’s not a re-skin of its predecessor.  There are more features to the game, and more ways to utilize what you already know.2-3

Features

The throw feature is a new addition to the game.  You’ll have to figure out how to launch foods across the kitchen and chasms (and other obstacles) to ensure your team mates can cook/cut ingredients.  Throwing adds another layer of strategy to game as players learn how to send food to areas and players that can’t be reached.  Thrown food can  be caught directly,  land on a surface, or, of course, land in your hand knocking something important out of it.  The throw feature is limited to food, so you can’t throw dishes around the kitchen.  The plates would break, you know?

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Unfortunately, you can’t make your chef swear across the kitchen when you’re frustrated (*!@#$@*#$*@#$%@*!), but you CAN communicate what your chef is thinking, feeling, or doing.  This is especially helpful for online modes where you can’t yell at your friend sitting next to you.

Stages

Not only are there new game mechanics, but there are new types of levels with a variety of menus.  Dynamic levels force players to change their strategy and work around the level.  This means switching tasks between chefs and figuring out how the kitchen moves.  The complexity of the menu also poses a new challenge.  Overcooked did not require a variety of dishes to be made, but rather the dishes to be made in a complex environment.  In Overcooked 2, you really have to pay attention to not only your environment, but to what needs to be plated and which ingredients are required.  You’ll have quite a few errors if you’re not paying close attention.1-6

Dynamic levels create a new chaos, but in addition to a variety of stages, you get special levels if you meet specific requirements in a stage.  It’s like a special unlock feature! You’ll likely be looking at walkthroughs in a week or so to unlock the secret levels.  Or, you can see what you come up with on your own.  Whatever floats your boat.

Online

Overcooked 2 doesn’t require your friends to all be in the same room.  Instead, you can play online! This is a fun feature in case your friends are way across town and don’t want to come over (boo to those types of friends!).  This mode, however, can be particularly difficult if no one is using a headset.  Overcooked is a game that requires a certain level of communication that does not happen within the game.  Yes, you can tell your teammates what task you will take on while playing, but when the timer is ticking, chaos ensues!

If playing with friends is not an option, you can also jump online and play against strangers.

Graphics/Audio

This time around, the graphics and audio weren’t really beefed up.  Instead, the focus was the mechanics and game play.  Graphics do look a little bit nicer, and there are a couple new tunes to the sound track.2-6

Verdict

Pros:

Team 17 did a wonderful job incorporating new mechanics and levels to the game.  It’s enough to make the game feel “new” but it’s not a complete overhaul of the original title.  There’s enough balance that new players can jump in and learn the game, while veteran players can still feel challenged.

New modes, such as online and arcade mode, give the game a different dynamic.  You’re not limited to only couch co-op; you can now play with chefs across the world!

Cons:

While the new online feature adds another game dynamic, it’s difficult to communicate with other players.  You do have the emote option to share what your chef will be doing, but when the clock is ticking down it’s difficult to stop and alert your teammates. Although, that is part of the challenge.

Even though there are a variety of new dynamic stages and complex menus, the game can start to feel too easy.  What I enjoyed about the first title was that the challenges weren’t exactly explained to you. You break the challenge down as you play and adapt to what needs to happen in the kitchen.

I would rate this game an 8 out of 10.

Score

The game isn’t perfect but it’s a fun addition to the series.  Have you played Overcooked? How do you and your friends/family get when you play the game? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

NCG Review: Pixel Junk Monsters 2 (PS4, PC, Switch)

I’m not a Pixel Junk junky, but I have to admit, Pixel Junk Monsters is one of the funnest, yet most infuriating games I always find myself jumping back in to.  I was thrilled to see a follow up was coming out.  Does Monsters 2 exceed it’s former counterpart?PJM2_SS10

Gameplay

Please note: the game calls them “chibis” but I will always, and forever, call them tiki babies.  This term will be used throughout the rest of this review. Just saying.

The point of the game is to protect your tiki babies at your base from the swarm of monsters trying to attack them.  In order to do this, you must build an arsenal of defense towers to kill the monsters before they are able to get to your base and eat the tiki babies.

The game relies entirely on strategy. There are different types of defense towers that need to be used against certain types of monsters (i.e. ground, air, air/ground).  During the swarms, you’ll need to plan your line of defense and build based on the type of monster that will be coming or which monsters you know will be coming. Building is limited since you need to collect coins and gems in order to build the defense towers. You can collect these by wandering through the trees or gather them after a monster has been killed.  During raids, you will also need to upgrade your towers.  You can do this by using a gem you’ve collected from a monster or stand on a tower to level it up – the stronger the tower, the stronger the defense! You have to work between building, upgrading, and preparing for what is coming.

Two-player co-op was an option of PSP players who each had their own PSP, but Monsters 2 allows for co-op on one screen for up to four players! This can get slightly chaotic since players need to be within a certain proximity to player 1, but it allows couch cooperation -you definitely need to communicate with your team to know what you plan what you need to build next, where to upgrade, where to invest your coins/gems.PJM2_SS14

With the addition of up to four player co-op, there are new features to use within a level.  If you have enough gems you can purchase a fruit (during a raid) that temporarily buffs up your character.  On top of that, there are interactive items in the level, such as boulders, that you can use as a backup line of  defense.  The game also throws in some challenges at you for certain. For example, you won’t be able to collect coins from monsters throughout a raid.

Aside from the game play additions, there’s a really fun cosmetic feature that allows you to change the mask and shield of your tiki man.  You can purchase masks by collecting coins after completing a level.

Graphics

The most notable graphic difference from Monsters is 3D graphics which creates more dynamic levels.  Rather than an overhead view, you get to explore the area. Otherwise, not much has changed in terms of character or monster design.PJM2_SS9

Audio

What makes this game so easy to get in to is the relaxing audio track. The tracks are similar to the original Monsters which brings back waves of nostalgia (if you played the original).  The track will change when the final monster approaches, but not to the extent where you feel stressed to build your towers -only to defend your precious tiki babies!

Verdict

Pros: The game is addicting, fun, and easy to pick up.  Despite getting furious when your tiki babies get eaten, you’ll still jump back in to the level with a different plan of attack.

Cons: I know I shouldn’t complain much, but the new levels feel less challenging compared to the predecessor.  After about one unsuccessful raid (meaning only 1 tiki baby was eaten), it was easy to grasp where you needed to build and what needed to be leveled up.PJM2_SS6

Although there is an option for multi-player, only player one gets to modify their character with a new mask and shield.  It’s almost unfair if you’re stuck being player 2.

Overall, I rate Monsters 2 and 8/10.

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If you like Monsters, and Pixel Junk games, this is definitely worth the buy.

Do you have a favorite Pixel Junk title? Let us know in the comments!

NCG Reviews: BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle ( PS4, Switch, PC)

Arc System Works is known for making some top-notch fighting games such as Guilty Gear, BlazBlue,  Person 4 ArenaUnder Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] , and Dragon Ball FighterZ, the company is ready to introduce a new title. Although the game has BlazBlue in the title, it is not exactly a new addition to the BlazBlue Franchise. Rather, it places characters from BlazBlue,  Person 4 ArenaUnder Night In-Birth and RWBY in a tag team battle frenzy. blazblue-cross-tag-battle-screenshot-5

 

Visuals

BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle brings back assets from all of the older titles,such as the sprite animation, backgrounds, and music. The game also brings in characters of RWBY into the same art style which, I have to say, looks fantastic. But not everything takes from the old titles.

The menu is now an overworld hub where players move their avatars around the “arena” of the game in third person view. This is somewhat similar to Dragon Ball FighterZ, but with its own distinct visuals.BLAZBLUE CROSS TAG BATTLE_20180605221208.png

Audio

All of Arc System Works games always have a great sound tracks, and BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle reuses tracks from each franchise except for the new tracks that were made specifically for the RWBY characters. The soundtrack is enjoyable, but I did want to hear new arrangement of older tracks for  this title, which I feel like this title lacks. Sure, there are a few menu tracks and video tracks that are new, but that is all you get.

Gameplay

If you came to this game expecting each character to play like the franchise they came from, you are in for a surprise. The core gameplay of BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle revolves around using and switching characters as the main mechanic. This is a different approach for a fighting game and most players will not see what the developers were going for if they don’t jump into the Tactical mode, which does a fantastic job breaking everything down. Don’t let this give you doubt though.2610-4

Combos are still in the game but now have a different purpose. Instead of a long one character combo with an assist to reset combos like other tag titles, the combos are more of a universal set for all characters like Dragon Ball FighterZ, and are more of a set up for your next character to jump in while assisting. This will give the player the option to switch while their second character is attacking, or keep both characters for a short period of time, or even just use the other character to do a reversal counter to swap the other character out with very little punishment. And its gets more complex than just that.

Players will notice 3 different meters on the bottom of the screen. There is the: Skill gauge, which lets you do Extra Sills/EXs and Distortion Skills/specials; Cross gauge, which is consumed when using cooperative actions, such as Active Partner Skills, and Cross Combos; and Resonance Blaze meter, which is leveled up upon how much you use both characters. This can be activated when one character is left standing on your team, and recovers red health, increases chip damage, fills the Skill gauge, and allows you to cancel skills to a distortion skill during a combo. After you get to know all of this you might be ready for the story mode or even the online.E2

The story mode is broken down into chapters that are represented by each franchise with a visual novel form like usual. Players will find the story enjoyable….until you get to the other franchise stories. Players will fall out of the story not caring much to know what happens because when entering another franchises story for this game, it is soon realized that it’s just the same as the first story they finished. Online, on the other hand, feels great and on all the systems it feels perfect. I haven’t felt any lag as of yet on the Nintendo Switch version as well as the Playstation 4 version. You’ll also be pleasantly surprised playing the lack of lag when wi-fi on the Switch.  This might be because of the lack of 3D aspects built into the game or maybe it just has some really good net code.

Port Conversion

I had the opportunity to try the PS4 version and the Switch version when doing this review, and I can say the Switch port does everything perfect.  You’ll find that on the Switch there is no frame loss and as I mentioned, no lag.  Of course, you are likely to find more players on the PlayStation version of the game. Players will find a lot of enjoyment on what ever console they play on, now all we need is some sort of “CROSS PLAY”. Don’t forget to get your DLC packs which will be free for the first two weeks.  The DLC pack will give you 4 extra characters.

Verdict

BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle reuses a lot of assets from the older games it took characters from, maintaining the look and sound of an Arc System Works title. Even though the story lacks depth, the gameplay is addicting and brings a different approach to the fighting game genre. The amount of depth will have players finding out more unique ways to play for the titles life span.PREVIEW_SCREENSHOT4_164885

I can say I didn’t enjoy the game much when I went in blind; I thought it was a normal fighting game. But after taking the time to do the Tactical mode it brought the game to life and made me appreciate the title as a whole. I highly recommend going though the tutorial before jumping into competitive matches. That being said, I give BlazeBlue Cross Tag Battle a 7/10.

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