Batman Arkham Asylum (2009)

Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review

Batman Arkham Asylum is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It is one of the finest video games of its decade.

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Tell me Bats. What are you really scared of?

Failing to save this cesspool of a city?

Not finding the Commissioner in time? Me, in a thong?

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

Joker manages to seize control of Arkham Asylum and its island and it is up to Batman to stop him. This is one of the rare video games where the story actually matters and it is so good and so well told that it can function as a movie of sorts. Not only is the storytelling excellent here, but the voice acting is top-notch as well and that’s even rarer for the medium. And I have to say that this mythos of the Batman universe is my favorite and the game features by far my favorite Joker with an excellent performance from Mark Hamill.

The gameplay is fantastic and so varied too. Action-adventure has always been my favorite genre, possibly even better than platformers. But unfortunately the genre took a major backseat during the 21s century and thankfully this game changed that and at least now we have one great action-adventure series for the PC in the new millennium.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

It perfectly combines the elements of action-adventure, platforming and stealth in it. To me the stealth elements were the most entertaining here and those gargoyle areas where you have to eliminate the gunmen one by one without them noticing you were by far the highlights. Detective Vision was excellent and although those in-game additional playables and achievements were boring, the game is long enough that it doesn’t need them.

The gadgets are phenomenally utilized and the fight system is too easy, but comes progressively more difficult. Some of the fight moves that Batman has here were phenomenally entertaining to watch and it made the game such a great movie for those to watch as the player plays. All of the five or so gadgets were magnificently utilized and they made the game much more diverse to play.

As for the boss fights, here lies the big problem. Batman Arkham Asylum’s flaws are twofold – one is that the overall game isn’t as difficult to beat and could have been harder in some areas. I always like more difficult games and this one is only very hard from time to time. But the bigger problem are its boss fights as some of them were extremely disappointing. The last fight with Joker is ridiculously simple to beat and it is just pointless to have the last level of the game so easy when the rest was at least somewhat difficult to beat. And the fight with Killer Croc could have been shorter in length.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

But other fights are solid and some are even great. All of those fights with the two physically enhanced prisoners were very well designed in a wonderfully old-fashioned platforming manner and were also quite demanding to finish off.

I loved the characters here with Harley Quinn being so memorable and of course Joker being fantastic. This is the Joker that the movie versions never created – strong and capable, but also very funny and maniacal. And I loved every villain here and I have to add that Poison Ivy is memorable and her fight was superb. Riddler was boring at times, but Scarecrow’s fights were superbly realized and were some of the most creative and imaginative levels in the game.

Batman Arkham Asylum has terrific graphics and it’s actually some of the most impressive looking games of its time with superbly done faces and characters and some very good imagery. The cut-scenes were all very well done and engaging to watch and the game looks polished from start to finish. The sound is also great and the score is pretty terrific and accompanies the atmosphere quite well.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

The controls weren’t the best and I guess that it’s okay as it would have been too easy to beat with easier controls. The game has very good world building and it perfectly recreates the feel of the superhero comic-book and film. The level designs were mostly excellent and the game is very entertaining. It has fantastic replay values as I actually played it twice and both times I’ve had a blast. The game isn’t original, but it is authentic in its mix of familiar genre elements that it becomes a great gaming experience. It has its flaws, but is mostly terrific and easily one of the best modern games.

Batman Arkham Asylum has its problems such as some of the boss fights which were weak and the difficulty level which is at times too easy, but it is otherwise a superb video game with excellent graphics and score, strong plot, characters and acting, some very difficult and fun levels and a great gameplay with a terrific mix of platforming, action-adventure and stealth.

My Rating – 4.7

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Plants vs. Zombies 2 (2013)

Plants vs. Zombies 2 video game review………………………………………………………….

Plants vs. Zombies 2 Video Game Review

Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a 2013 tower defense video game developed and published by PopCap Games for Android devices. It is an improvement over its predecessor.

Yes, as a sequel to 2009’s ‘Plants vs. Zombies’, I have to say that it is definitely better in almost every regard. It is bigger, more diverse and much more interesting. Let’s first talk about the gameplay. The game was being released from 2013 to 2016 as they have been adding a new world from time to time, but it unfortunately ended eventually which is a shame as there was even more potential for new worlds.

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Plants vs. Zombies 2 Video Game Review………………………………………………………….

It has eleven worlds or areas in it which is much more than the five that the original had and that is the major reason why I loved this one more. And not only that, but the number of levels was even bumped from ten to 25 or even 32 in later worlds which makes this game incredibly long. In fact, it took my month to complete it which was awesome and I continue to play it after the campaign has been finished which just goes to show how much diverse content you have here and how much of a repeat/longevity value it truly has.

Ancient Egypt is the first world and it isn’t as good as the rest and is weaker in terms of difficulty. Pirate Seas is much more memorable, especially in level design which is terrific. Wild West is even better as it introduces a lot of cool new things in its gameplay such as moving platforms and many more new plants and new, tougher zombies.

Frostbite Caves is a bit annoying as it only has a couple of truly horrible to beat levels, way too difficult, but the rest is just too easy which makes it a bit uneven in the long run. Lost City is unique in design, but much too easy compared to the others. Far Future is also easy, but it features new and compelling additions such as those great tiles.

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Plants vs. Zombies 2 Video Game Review………………………………………………………….

Dark Ages is the similar to Caves as it has its difficult levels, but is otherwise pretty easy to beat. Neon Mixtape Tour I wasn’t such a big fan of as I do not like these fast levels and they don’t appeal to me as much as other more tactical and slower levels do. Jurassic Marsh is awesome in its superb use of dinosaurs that can either help you or become a nuisance.

Modern Day is solid and it benefits from a great level boss spread throughout three levels, but Big Wave Beach is easily the most difficult world here. Wow, is it insane! It literally took me days and even weeks to finish a couple of them as they were just so hard even with all of the power-ups. That is done for better and for worse as it was all the more rewarding when I’ve finished it, but it was frustrating that you had to use all of the powers and helping methods to do it as it is almost impossible to do in your own.

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Plants vs. Zombies 2 Video Game Review………………………………………………………….

The animation and graphics in Plants vs. Zombies 2 continue to be strong, but the score takes a backseat this time around as it is just never as iconic as was the score from the original. All of the different worlds had appropriately fitting tunes in tone, but they were either too forgettable or too low in volume.

The controls continue to be great and even the plot is solid and better than in the original. Crazy Dave is again such a character, but he is even more memorable and more present in this sequel and his sidekick robot Penny is awesome and her harsh, deadpan delivery was so funny at times. It is mostly pretty coherent and the difficulty level for the most part was well utilized. The designs of the levels were mostly excellent, all the worlds are memorable and the game is smooth with no bugs and it has great longevity which I mentioned before.

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Plants vs. Zombies 2 Video Game Review………………………………………………………….

It is also pretty original in terms of zombies and plants. Here you have much more plants at your disposal and the zombies are so great not only in terms of high difficulty but also of how well they are incorporated within their worlds and with the plants you have to use to defeat them. The only problem in terms of the arsenal is that most of the plants can only be bought with real money and that is something that really hurt this game. And even though Endless is a bit boring, Vasebreaker is just so awesome a mini-game (infectiously entertaining and wonderfully strategic) that it made PvZ2 much more playable after the main campaign is over.

In the end, even though most of the plants have to be bought by real money and the score is weaker, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is still better than its predecessor thanks to a much bigger world with a lot of new areas and with a huge number of levels plus the designs are great, the game is incredibly entertaining and at times even very difficult and it has such a great longevity factor to it that it is a real winner by all means.

My Rating – 4.5

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Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge (1994)

Mickey's Ultimate Challenge Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge Game Review

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is a 1994 puzzle video game. It’s an awfully short and easy, but still very charming experience.

Mickey is reading a book of fairy tales and is transported in a dream to a fairy tale land where he must help five people with their problems and then climb the beanstalk and wake up the giant. Now because the game is awfully short, I will describe each and every of its five games in detail.

Horace Horsecollar’s challenge is sorting books. Here you have to jump from one book to another searching for the books with letters. The goal is to jump on every lettered book in the correct order which is unknown. I liked this challenge quite a bit. In fact, it is one of the most difficult mini games here and one that is probably the most interesting.

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Mickey's Ultimate Challenge Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

Donald Duck presents you a board where you have to move the potion bottles into a magic mirror and of course there are usually only a couple of ways to do this. This is a typical logic game, but the one that isn’t particularly original or difficult.

Picture Matching is a card matching game where you have to match all of the cards with each one having one correspondent. It is a very well known game, but the one that was here well utilized and always fun to play.

The pipe challenge is a typical memory game where you have to repeat the correct combination of notes. I found this one to be the most boring challenge as I never really liked this game to begin with.

And naturally Goofy’s challenge is the most memorable and difficult one of all. You have several attempts to guess the correct tools in his toolbox and what is great here is that it contains three games in it with varying difficulty and the last one was pretty hard to beat.

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Mickey's Ultimate Challenge Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

Next, you have to exchange the items that you gathered from each of these people to the right owner. Then the beanstalk appears, you climb it and you have to wake up the sleeping giant by playing a puzzle game where you have to sort a ruined puzzle. I loved that game as it was somewhat difficult and very entertaining.

As I said before, the biggest problem in Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is its difficulty level. It is just way too easy. It is great for children, but it would prove too easy for adults. And that is why I loved this game as a kid, but now I finished it too quickly. Not only is it easy, but it’s also way too short. It can be beaten in about fifteen minutes. Yes, it’s that short! Needless to say, it has zero repeat value and I think that it could have been a great game had it been at least thrice longer.

But it is still a very endearing experience, the one that is always entertaining in most of its games. The animation I loved as the graphics looked phenomenal, very polished and wonderfully cartoony which is a perfect fit for a Mickey Mouse video game. The scenery is great and the score is also pretty good with all of the sounds being solid. The controls are simple, but effective. The plot is typically simplistic for this type of game, but still sweet and solidly incorporated. I liked the level design and how the game progressed, but its short running time definitely hurt it in the long run.

Mickey’s Ultimate Challenge is definitely way too short and awfully easy, but it’s so charming, the games here are varying in their type and most of them are fun, the animation is pretty good and the entire experience is an endearing, albeit short one.

My Rating – 3.6

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Plants vs. Zombies (2009)

Plants vs. Zombies Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

Plants vs. Zombies Game Review

Plants vs. Zombies is a 2009 tower defense video game developed and published by PopCap Games for PC and Android devices. It is to me one of the most original games recently.

The gameplay here takes the tired tower defense trope and literally reinvigorates it with an entirely unique, yet simplistic concept to it. Zombies move on your lawn towards the house where they want to eat your brains and it is up to you to defend yourself with the help of the various types of plants. I loved that it has just five lanes as that was just enough in my opinion. Zombies are awesome here and the highlights are those dancing ones as well as of course the giant.

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Why’d I give you so much money for a taco? BECAUSE I’M CRAAAAZY!!!!

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Plants vs. Zombies Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

But the plants are just so well imagined. From the basics such as Sunflower and Wall-nut to the more complex like Kernel-pult and Torchwood. My favorites are Tall-nut, Melon-pult and Bonk Choy as those three are the most effective when combined together. The animation of the plants as well as their characteristics, all of it is just so admirable and meticulous in detail.

Plants vs. Zombies is in my opinion inferior to its successor mainly because the length is just too short. You can easily beat it in a couple of days. And it is too easy, but more on that later. Also, there isn’t really much to do after you complete the adventure mode and the big problem is that all of the mini games are too pricy and difficult to unlock. But I loved the almanac that contained some really funny and pleasantly childlike explanations for all the plants and zombies.

Yes, the game is, as I said, way too easy. ‘Plants vs. Zombies 2‘ is a much harder game and this first one is mostly incredibly easy with the exception of the last level which is quite hard. As for the worlds, there are just five, but they are all pretty good, if not great as they are too simplistic and easy. Day is boring, but Night is great with the use of the mushrooms, Fog is quite interesting as well, Pool I really liked and Roof was the highlight as it was the most difficult and the most entertaining one.

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Plants vs. Zombies Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

The controls are fantastic. It is great to play with the mouse on PC, but it is even better to play on Android with your fingers as it is so superbly incorporated into that system. Simplistic, yet highly effective as is the entire game.

I liked the plot here and I loved the characters. I loved how each and every plant and especially zombie has a personality clearly expressed in their movements and of course Crazy Dave is just awesome. You can’t help but love this guy who is super hilarious with his obsession with tacos and his clearly crazy behavior. The humor here is really phenomenal.

Plants vs. Zombies has amazing graphics, I just love its looks. I love it because I am a fan of animation and this is clearly animation and some of the best of its kind in gaming. It is so cute, but also quite dark with zombies and that mix is greatly conveyed and so authentic. The character design is absolutely magnificent and the detail is evident. It is again simplistic, but wonderfully so. And I liked how childlike it is.

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Plants vs. Zombies Game Review………………………………………………………………………………

The game is incredibly original and it is one of the most unique and groundbreaking games of the decade in my opinion, so influential. And it is great because everyone can like it and play it, even the non-genre fans such as myself. The level design is great, the worlds are well realized and the game is smooth in that there are no bugs to be had here whatsoever. It is so fun to play, but frustratingly short unfortunately. And I have to talk about the score. It is amazing and one of the best aspects of the entire game. It is catchy in its tunes, but also perfectly accompanying the action in screen as well as the atmosphere. So good.

Plants vs. Zombies is too short and easy, but still so original, so influential and so wonderfully effective in its simplicity and broad in its appeal. It also looks great, it sounds fantastic, it is so detailed in approach, it has a great concept as well as the execution and it is just such a charming and fun experience that is great for almost everyone.

My Rating – 4.5

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Grow Home (2015)

Grow Home Game Review……………………………………………………………………………

Grow Home Game Review

Grow Home is a 2015 adventure platform video game developed and published by Ubisoft. It is an authentic and overall satisfying, albeit frequently frustrating experience.

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Grow Home Game Review……………………………………………………………………………

The gameplay is pretty unique here. Yes, the goal is to climb to the highest point and that in and of itself is obviously an archetypal gameplay originated way back in the 80s platformers. But it takes that formula and does something entirely different with it. First, it adds an open world aspect to it which is great. Secondly, it contains gems and other collectibles suited for the needs of those who wish to complete one hundred percent of the game. And the last but not the least, it has such a unique gameplay style to it in terms of the climbing and jumping.

You climb the trees and when you find a bud, you grow it in a different direction towards the sky and you have to continue doing that until you reach one of the islands. When you get all of the islands, you can get to the ship and the game is over. Also, you get various other helping tools along the hiking trip such as a gliding leaf and of course the leafs can  bounce you higher and there are transportation points as well. Although I liked those tools, I still didn’t find them useful as most of them aren’t even that easy to unlock, let alone use. But the overall gameplay experience is awesome here and even though it can get difficult climbing 2000 kilometers, it was still a rewarding experience whenever you reach a higher, important point.

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Grow Home Game Review……………………………………………………………………………

Whereas Grow Home succeeds in terms of the gameplay, it mostly fails in terms of the control system which is so troublesome. It was at times even difficult to maneuver the character and the fact that the game lacks any tutorial whatsoever is even more problematic.

I liked the plot here which is simple, but works really well. The world building is absolutely magnificent. The designs are great, the world looks detailed, there is night and day etc. Not only is it original, but also entirely engrossing in its world and characters. It is also a really good mixture of adventure and platforming genres and it succeeds at both of those fronts.

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Grow Home Game Review……………………………………………………………………………

Let’s talk about the graphics. Grow Home has a very simplistic look to it, but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. Yes, its square look is at times distracting, but it is mostly visually appealing and I really enjoyed some of the sky shots that were so pleasing. For an indie game, it surely looks good.

The character design is where the game shines visually. B.U.D. is so incredibly endearing that you can’t help but love him. He is a perfect protagonist with a cute appearance as well as personality. Also, I have to talk about the physics. This game has possibly the best incorporated physics ever in a game, at least of those that I’ve played. Everything is so realistic as all movements are so natural and the meticulous approach that went into this product is evident.

The score is also absolutely magnificent. It is wonderfully atmospheric and fittingly otherworldly. It perfectly accompanies its well realized world and great visuals. The pacing is also pretty good and I don’t know why many argue that it’s short, but I found the game to be pretty long. At least it took me countless days to beat it.

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Grow Home Game Review……………………………………………………………………………

Which brings me to my next point – the game is too difficult. But not in a good way unfortunately. Because the controls are needlessly complicated and because the tutorials are lacking, it makes it more difficult to understand and play. And the major problem to me was the fact that in my opinion you can’t possibly finish Grow Home in its entirety without at least sometimes watching some walkthrough videos. I know I had to do that. Couple that with some rather unfortunate and annoying bugs and a pretty low repetitive value and you’ve got a very flawed game indeed. But because it is so original, cute and interesting, I found it satisfying nonetheless.

Grow Home is very problematic in terms of difficulty, controls and bugs, but it is visually pleasing, it has a great evocative soundtrack, it is so endearing with a cute protagonist and it has such greatly incorporated physics in it. But it is above all fun and unique enough in its gameplay that it mostly manages to transcend its many problems.

My Rating – 3.8

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Ice Climber (1985)

Ice Climber Game Review…………………………………………………….

Ice Climber Game Review

Ice Climber is a 1985 platform video game developed by Nintendo for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It is a flawed, yet mostly satisfying and admirable early platformer.

The gameplay consists of 32 levels that are basically mountains that you have to climb all the way up to recover stolen vegetables and get picked up by a giant condor. And of course there are various obstacles and enemies on the way up. I really liked the concept of this video game mostly for the fact that it is so original and very detailed and complex.

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Ice Climber Game Reveiw…………………………………………………….

Let’s talk about those enemies first. The short yeti is called Topi and he is such a fascinating creature that I absolutely loved here. Not only can he kill you, but he also has his own business and doesn’t notice you at all. That I loved and his ice repairing was without a doubt the most fascinating aspect of Ice Climber because it leads to many interesting moments during the game. He sometimes is on your way and you just want to stop him from repairing. However, sometimes that repairing can be very helpful and even necessary and those are the moments where you have to wait for the little guy to do his thing and then hit him in the head. That was so funny and authentic.

Nitpicker is this very annoying pink bird who is much more of an enemy than Topi is. Not only can he cross and go wherever he wants, but genuinely goes for the target and sometimes even at exactly the crucial moments making him somewhat difficult. And of course you have the Polar Bear whose task is to move the screen to the next height when time is up.

All of those creations are so well designed thanks to some strong character design at display here. I really liked the Eskimo protagonist as well as the aforementioned characters above as they all look great. Really, the graphics is absolutely fantastic, extraordinary even in the context of time. This looks magnificent for 1985 as it is quite polished with good designs and fine colors.

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Ice Climber Game Review…………………………………………………….

I also really liked the technical aspects in Ice Climber mainly the sound effects which are terrific and the score at the end of the levels which is so good and done in that great 80s arcade style. The level design is mostly great as some levels are so tough to get through and are perfectly constructed. I also adored the attention to detail that went into this game not only in its characters, but also in its surroundings as well as its technicalities.

But Ice Climber is far from a perfect platformer as it is plagued by some big problems. One of those problems is obvious and that is its uneven structure. Of course, you can’t expect that all of the levels get progressively harder with just the right amount of more difficult level design and tougher enemies. But again, this was ridiculous here as the levels are so clearly unconnected as you basically get one level that is super hard and then the next one is as easy as they come. That was so frustrating.

Another problem is the overall difficulty level which is not high. Yes, some levels were annoying and quite difficult, but not one of them was excruciating and too many of those levels were either too simplistic or way too easy to beat. And I have to say that the level designs were sometimes uninspired and that the overall mountains should have been higher. And yes, the longevity has to be taken into account and this game only has 32 levels and all are very short leading to a frustratingly short game and a very quick gaming experience. But despite those obvious flaws, I still liked Ice Climber, quite a bit actually because it was so fun and entertaining to play and it was charming in its humor, animation and detailed originality.

Ice Climber is a bit too easy to finish and of course uneven and short, but whereas it lacks in terms of difficulty, it more than compensates that with some great level designs, extraordinary graphics, superb humor and details, evident originality in its concept and obvious entertainment and replay values to it.

My Rating – 4.2

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Cloudberry Kingdom (2013)

Cloudberry Kingdom

Cloudberry Kingdom Game Review

Cloudberry Kingdom is a 2013 indie platform game that is one of the most difficult games I’ve played.

The gameplay here consists of various alterations of game physics from double jumping to changing size to changing shape. I liked that as it led to a lot of interesting scenarios and different gameplay methods. I liked how you have to constantly change your tactics due to changing physics. But what wasn’t so great is its variety which is lacking as the game is authentic and different early on, but it gets repetitive in its later stages which was troublesome. Plus those obstacles also became repetitive.

Cloudberry Kingdom is one of the toughest games that I have ever played! Every world here (despite the first one naturally) is just so incredibly difficult to beat and that was great. I loved how frustratingly hard those levels were and especially the various obstacles could get really problematic to get through. The last two worlds were just so difficult that it took me hours to beat them despite their short length.

Yes, the game is very short and that is its flaw. It can be beaten in a couple of days, if you are capable of such a task. It should have definitely been longer and more varied. But the level design is absolutely fantastic and the highlight of the entire game. It is not only well realized, but also so incredibly convenient as every level and obstacle here can be beaten, but most just by a margin due to some excellent designs and timing they put through. The timing is crucial for the game to the point of being too important as the overwhelming emphasis on that aspect instead of the skill itself was unfortunate.

Cloudberry Kingdom is a flawed game because it isn’t very creative or original, save for some interesting game mechanics from time to time. And the plot is typical with the characters being forgettable. The sound during those cut scenes is just too low as it isn’t synchronized with the rest of the game. And speaking of sound, the score is quite poor and easily the worst aspect of the game. It is basically angry, overloud club music which I was never a fan of and although some themes were okay, most were too loud and obnoxious and just put me at unease.

The character design is odd, but the graphics isn’t bad for an indie game and is perfectly passable, but you shouldn’t have high expectations for it. The game is mostly coherent and I loved the fact that it progressively got harder as these game usually don’t have a great balance of difficulty, but here it is mostly well handled. Because the game is so frustratingly difficult, its short running time can be said to be a positive thing.

The game is masochistic to the point of being too much at times, but I mostly liked that approach and I especially loved how short the levels were as that made the game all the more fast-paced and approachable.  Cloudberry Kingdom is too repetitive and predictable in its later levels, but I liked its traditional feel and its level design and difficulty level worked well for me. It is an infuriating, but still addictive and brief game.

Cloudberry Kingdom is a very flawed game. The graphics and score are mediocre and it can be too repetitive at times, but the gameplay is mostly fantastic due to incredibly difficult  but satisfying obstacles, superb level design and some finely incorporated game mechanics that enhance the experience wonderfully. It is repetitive and problematic, but addictive and short and one of the hardest games there is.

My Rating – 3.7

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Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams (2012)

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams Review

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is a 2012 platform game by Black Forest Games. It is one of the best and most difficult recent platformers.

The gameplay is extraordinary here. The concept is genius not only in approach, but in execution which doesn’t disappoint. By shifting from cute to punk Giana, you always need to change quickly because the pace is quick and the enemies are always demanding. But both the movements from the two characters are superb with cute Giana’s movements being intended for slower and more leisurely falls and jumps and punk Giana’s movements being used for attacking and running through obstacles.

The bosses are superb with the last one naturally being the most difficult. The first one is great for having a chase first and then a fight and although it is not as demanding, it is pretty good having in mind it’s the first. The second boss is an octopus and it is phenomenal not only in its moves but also in level design. And of course the last boss is terrific. That dragon is incredibly difficult to beat and it got me at least a good 40 minutes or so of repeated attempts to successfully get past him. It has many obstacles in it and it progressively gets more frustrating and not to mention the fact that you are supposed to constantly be alarmed and moving and the right combination of moves gets you past this. It is so ridiculously hard and I loved it for that.

I liked the concept of the game. Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams has three worlds of which the first one is pretty easy, but the second is difficult and the third one is frustrating from time to time. But in order to unlock the levels, you have to find the required amount of collectibles of the previous levels. The last level of the game is somewhat hard to unlock and requires many repeated plays of the previous levels and only of the last world which makes the situation much more demanding. I liked how the diamonds are so well hidden and I liked the many secret passages present here.

Yes, the level design truly is fascinating. I respect the game for making it really difficult to find all of the collectible items and that is achieved by having great designs with perfectly hidden passages and even having the whole, vast areas filled with them. Almost all levels are worth revisiting and are so beautifully constructed.

The graphics is also fantastic. I liked its colorful approach and the difference between the two modes is clear and distinct with the one being very colorful and bright and the other being moody and dark. But it is always pleasing to the eye and so beautiful with phenomenal backgrounds and excellent 2D mechanics.

The score is absolutely amazing and one of the highlights of the game. It is always so catchy and filled with many memorable themes. The distinction between the two modes is again distinct and greatly achieved with the one being more soft and the other being more metal. But it is always great to listen to and the theme at the end of the level in particular is so catchy and immensely satisfying to hear at the finish line of each demanding journey.

The plot is typical and simplistic, but well handled with great beginning and end. The character design is superb and the two girls are super cute. The game is pretty coherent and has a great repeat value and can be played over and over again. The enemies are also phenomenal and so well designed and the sound effects and especially score is unforgettable.

The flaws here are twofold. First, the game has its bugs and some of those can be incredibly infuriating and just so frustrating. That was a big minus. And also the graphics aren’t as variable as I wanted it to be and the video game is awfully short with just three worlds to be played. But that doesn’t change the fact that this platformer is easily one of the more difficult and naturally one of the best genre games of recent years. Without any doubt.

Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams is one of the best platformers in recent memory with stupendous level design, great graphics, amazing and memorable score, high difficulty level, great boss battles and the game can be played many times and is always entertaining and satisfying.

My Rating – 4.7

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Super Bomberman 4 (1996)

Super Bomberman 4

Super Bomberman 4 Review

Super Bomberman 4 is a 1996 platform action video game and the fourth game in the series. In a very good franchise, this is unfortunately a weak entry.

The gameplay once again consists of battle and normal mode. Let’s talk about the normal first. It has five worlds and each consisting of eight levels. The first world is incredibly weak and probably the weakest world in this whole series unfortunately. And I noticed from the first moment playing that something is wrong and I was right. There are many unfortunate choices here such as the one where you get to carry all the eggs behind you. That was unfortunate because it was such an easy way to beat the game. And overall this whole world was filled with me wondering what was going on as there were many puzzling things about it.

The second world is much better, has some interesting designs and is harder of course, but it is still lacking and still quite forgettable. The third one is more of the same, but weaker this time around. As for the fourth world, it is the first truly great one as the enemies are so difficult here and even extremely fast which made it all the more fun.

Now of course the fifth world is the reason why this game is worth playing in the first place. As is the tradition with the franchise, the last boss is extremely difficult. You get to play all of the previous bosses before playing the last one and that is awesome as it makes it truly hard to beat and at times even frustrating. And I honestly was stuck here for a pretty long time. The first two bosses are not a big deal while the third has some interesting moves, but is also pretty manageable. But the fourth boss which is a giant worm is the most menacing. This one bothered me for a very long time as its moves are so unpredictable and it overall requires a very precise combination of quick movements and clever, targeted attacks. It is definitely the highlight of the game. And as for the fifth and the last boss, it is nowhere near the difficulty level of the previous boss, but it is definitely a feisty one.

The battle mode is lacking to be honest. The A.I. isn’t particularly smart and the design is pretty repetitive from the previous games. The eighth arena has some clever and authentic design and properties, but is not particularly difficult, engaging or that well executed as is the whole battle mode. The seventh arena is one of the highlights as it has hiding places which makes the play more difficult as the A.I. knows those things pretty well. The ninth arena is stupendous because of its solid execution of a phenomenal playground property incorporated into the battle. And the last one is also pretty good and one of the harder arenas to get through.

The graphics in Super Bomberman 4 is really good and a return to the looks of the previous games after the old-fashioned style of Super Bomberman 3. I liked its visuals and found the graphics to be one of the strongest aspects of the game. The character design is also very good and pleasant, but the same cannot be said for the level design. The sound effects are good and the score is once again a good and catchy, if repetitive one.

It is such a disappointing entry as both Super Bomberman 2 and even the first Super Bomberman are better. And naturally Super Bomberman 3 remains the best in the series as it is so strong. This was unfortunately so disappointing and I wish the final entry will be an improvement.

Super Bomberman 4 has great graphics and character design, the bosses are once again so frustratingly difficult and the highlight of the game and it overall has its strengths, but it is still so disappointing and inferior to the previous entries due to inferior level design, weak A.I. and some rather unfortunate choices.

My Rating – 3.7

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Super Bomberman 3 (1995)

Super Bomberman 3

Super Bomberman 3 Game Review

Super Bomberman 3 is a 1995 platform action video game and the third game in the series. It is such a good game and a great addition to the series.

The gameplay once again consists of normal and battle mode. Let’s talk about the former first. There are five worlds here, each with four levels. The first world is the weakest and most forgettable one, but the second one is such a great world with the mining setting wonderfully put to use with some excellent level design and of course great enemies and excellent difficulty level.

The aqua levels in the third world are not as memorable, but are still so much fun, albeit the boss is somewhat stupid. The fifth world is the first one which is truly great. Not only is its Egyptian setting beautiful to behold with some great character design, but it is very difficult and sometimes frustratingly so which makes it wonderful.

The fifth world is excellent as well. The icy levels are a blast to play but it is the enemies that are the highlights here with some clever movements and quite stupendous difficulty. And of course all of them don’t matter in comparison to the final, sixth world. It is the last world but the one which, unlike the others, cannot be accessed by cheats and has to be beaten all at once. That makes it difficult naturally, but it is the opponents that make it frustrating! They are so well made and it is interesting how many of them have to be bombed at least twice to be destroyed and that was super hard. But the level design is great and also not easy. It is most certainly the hardest and the most entertaining world in Super Bomberman 3.

But the last boss is excruciatingly hard! It was maddening to me. It has to be beaten once which is difficult, but then you get another fight when it comes into a robot and that robot is so frustrating with its many missiles and weapons. It isn’t quite as difficult as the last boss in ‘Super Bomberman 2‘, but it is definitely near that level as he is so hard and it took me hours to beat him! Not to mention the fact that the whole world has to be played just to get to him as there are no cheats.

Once again, the previous bosses fail in comparison to the last one. Not only are they much weaker, but also much less memorable. But the character design is great, the enemies are excellent and the levels are really well imagined and the worlds are diverse. The score is really good as are the sound effects. As for the graphics, it is an interesting experiment. It is a throwback to the previous Bomberman games, especially ‘Mega Bomberman’ and that differentiates it from other entries in this franchise. And although that choice was weird, I appreciated it in the end as I liked that old-fashioned graphics in the first place. It is colorful and really pleasant to watch. It is technically a solid game.

As for battle mode, this is where it shines. Not only is normal mode great, but the battle mode is also really good. Most are great. The first, fourth and eighth zones respectively are lacking, but others are excellent with the second one being really inventive, the fourth one being very entertaining and the ninth one being so interesting and different from the rest. But the tenth zone named Swamp Boogie is without a doubt the standout as it is incredibly demanding. It took me hours to beat it! And although the rest are pretty easy, that one is so hard not only for its annoyingly difficult design, but also because the opponents are so good. Yes, interestingly enough, the A.I. in Super Bomberman 3 is really good. It is of course not as good as when you play with real people, but it sometimes comes close as they can be a nuisance and they can make some really clever movements and decisions. And that really took me by surprise.

When comparing it to the previous games, Superb Bomberman 3 just might be the best one yet because it has the modes which are both great. It is better than ‘Super Bomberman’ even in the Battle Zone and it is overall even better than ‘Super Bomberman 2′ as it is more diverse and at times more difficult. It is such a great entry in the series and I really hope the next two are going to be the same.

Super Bomberman 3 is nice to look at, really addictive and so fun. Both modes are well crafted, the opponents are great and the boss is superb which are all the reasons why it just might me the best entry in the series yet. Such a fun and demanding experience.

My Rating – 4.6

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