Jumping for (Nurse) joy — A recap of the 01/09/2020 Pokémon Direct

I’m quite certain most of us can agree that today was a good day to be a Pokémon fan, as today’s Pokémon Direct hit us with three very cool announcements.  The most prominent reveal was that of the Expansion Pass that will add 200+ Pokémon and two areas to your journey through the Galar Region.  Some gamers were a bit aggro about a duo of Pokémon games having paid DLC ($30 or otherwise), but I have confidence the content in said DLC will be worth the dinero.

But Sword & Shield were not the only stars of the show, as the Direct kicked off with the reveal of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX, which is a Switch remake of Pokémon Blue & Red Rescue Team.  This remake is due for release on March 6, and there is an eShop demo available now.

The Direct wrapped up with Pokémon Home being announced for a February release.  Home is a hub app that allows for transferring Pokémon from game to game, and that includes importing from Go to Sword & Shield.

We’re not even a full month into 2020, and it’s already looking like it’s gonna be a fantastic year for the mega-popular Pokémon franchise regardless of how controversial Sword & Shield seem to be.  From Switch games to mobile apps, 2020 will no doubt be a fun year to catch ’em all

Should You AD(D) This?: Johnny Trigger

Like most people, I’m on my phone a lot, and because of that, I like to find some fun (and most importantly: FREE) games off the Play Store to download to play when I want to pass some time.

I’ve found some real fun little games that I enjoy playing, such as: Governor of Poker 3, Pokemon GO, 2048, Plague, INC., and FLOW.

But, with free games comes the greatest agony of gaming off of a phone or tablet: ALL. OF. THE. *breathes in* AAAAAADDDDDSSSSS!!!!!!

Specifically, ads for other games.

But then I did some thinking, and I started to wonder: Would it be worth downloading some of these apps? Are these games worth the 5 to 30 second ads I have to sit through to go download and take up space on my phone and SD card?

Well, starting today, I’m going to find out.

So here’s how each review will work:

Title of game (with pic and developer info if and when possible)

Average rating on Play Store as well as best and worst review rating (Sorry, Apple users)

My personal review

Star rating, 1 thru 5, with either an “AD(D) THIS!” Or “IGNORE THIS!” suggestion.

So, with all of that out of the way. Let’s get to our first review, shall we?

Game: Johnny Trigger (developed by SayGames)

Average rating on Play Store: 4.5

Top positive review: 5⭐

Top critical review: 3⭐

My review:

A side-scrolling shooter that puts you in the shoes of what appears to be a top secret spy who’s goal is to take down some baddies and save some hostages with a wide array of guns that you work to purchase or can unlock through a gamble by selecting one of three cases (though, if you can sit through 3 different ads for about 30 seconds each, you can unlock all 3 cases). As you’re about to take out some bad guys, time slows down and an aim assist comes up and allows you to line up your shot and PEW. Fire away. But be careful. If you miss a target while in slowmo, or get a hostage killed, you’ll fail the level.

Fortunately, each level has 1 or 2 checkpoints you can reach as you progress, in case you do goof up, you won’t have to go all the way back to the beginning.

At your disposal throughout the game is 3 types of weapons: Pistols, submachine, and special. Each weapon has damage amount and ammo amount. The pistols shoot one shot per ammo slot, the submachine’s fire anywhere from 3-5 shots per slot, and the specials, from what I know as of writing this, fire one per slot.

Another thing you can unlock throughout the game is different skins for your character, and, I have to admit, is probably my favorite aspect of this game.

There’s several “Great Value” style skins to choose from, (Mario, Lara Craft, Britney Spears even, I think) but these two (Mandalorian and Daft Punk, respectively) are my personal favorites.

With 16 costumes (that I’ve unlocked anyways) there’s a character skin for just about any play style.

Next I want to talk about the level design, enemy design, and overall aesthetic.

If I could use two words to summarize these things, it’d be beautiful… and repetitive.

This is probably the only real low point for this game. Artistically, each stage is very pleasant to look at. However, after taking handfuls of levels to get through each stage (with 2 boss fights per stage) it can get old really quickly. You will also find that the amount of ways you do these levels loses it’s luster rather quickly. Once you get through the first few stages, the game just recycles levels. I get it though. I’m sure the developers have legit reasons for this, but it is annoying and once you’ve unlocked over 90% of collectables in the game, it makes you grind hard for the other 10% with no real satisfying payoff.

Aside from the “bosses” all the enemies are, for all intents and purposes, literally the exact same, appearance wise. So are the hostages. They aren’t bad, but, again, do become mind numbingly repetitive. When you first start playing you feel like with each completed stage you’re going to get new enemies and learn who you are as Johnny and why you’re doing what you’re doing, but you don’t. I can understand why they didn’t add more depth, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t express my disappointment about it.

All in all, since playing this game the day before Thanksgiving, I’ve really enjoyed it. Though it has its downsides its a fun, simple, and well designed game. If you’re looking for a good time waster, you need to download “Johnny Trigger.”

Rating: 4.5⭐

AD(D) THIS!

Thanks for reading my first game review. Let me know what you think of this game or if there’s anything I missed. I look forward to writing my next review. If you have any mobile game suggestions for me to review, leave a comment, or @ me on Twitter @TheRichieBuzz (no one has mentioned me in a tweet in like…3 years. It’d be nice to see a new mention notification)

For SSG, I’m Richie Bazurto.

Review of That’s You! — The first hurrah in Sony’s PlayLink lineup

Few things in this gigantic world are as humorous as us trying to introduce our relatives to today’s technologies — Smartphones, Skype, DVR’s, social media, you name it. My grandparents, aunts, and uncles have all gotten the hang of at least most of the above; But sadly, I can’t quite get their attention with videogames. Now maybe if I teach them to play a videogame using a phone instead of normal gamepads, there’s a chance we could find some sort of sweet spot, if that makes any sense. And yes, such a preamble is needed because of what game I’m commencing to review.

That’s You is a humorous PS4 party game that’s part of Sony’s PlayLink brand, a lineup of games that are played on mobile devices via an app downloaded from the app store that players have access to; In fact, this is the very first game of the PlayLink roster, and one of my personal favorites. Before the game begins, every one of the two-to-six players must download said app on their mobile devices, type in their name, take a selfie, and choose a card to use as an avatar; The host must then choose the number of rounds (Each taking place in a themed location) and how personal the minigames within said rounds will be, and then the hilarity begins.

There are several different types of minigames, each revolving around answering questions, snapping and drawing on photos, mimicking or drawing on images given to you, and completing phrases; The players vote on which submitted response is the best, and those in the majority vote score points. If you have one, you can drop a joker and double your points, but it can’t be reimbursed just because you voted incorrectly. In the final round, everyone takes selfies of themselves in a required pose and modify each other’s pictures in a series of challenges; If the game is close, there’s always the chance you can use one last joker and score the overall victory.

If you wish to add your own content into the game, you’re in luck; You can write your own questions and create picture challenges, both of which are converted into a Question Game. This feature is a haven for those who are adept at adding even more humor to an already-super-funny game.

As a whole, this is a clever PlayLink game that has provided lots of laughs for myself and my close friends, and I have hope that those who read this article will buy it and get the same results; If games involving smartphone controls have your attention, That’s You is a hidden PS4 gem that will appeal to and put many smiles on even the most inexperienced players.

Microsoft Might Bring Xbox Live Over To Nintendo Switch, IOS, & Android Devices!

It appears Microsoft wants to spread the Xbox Live love to other platforms as Gamespot.com reports that Microsoft’s agenda for this cross-platform initiative’s to “enable game developers to connect players between iOS, Android, and Switch in addition to Xbox and any game in the Microsoft Store on Windows PCs.”

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Image courtesy of IGN.com.

Apparently, this information comes from Microsoft’s upcoming GDC session’s description, where Gamespot.com believes this business endeavor will be explained in more detail. According to the GDC conference schedule website, Microsoft’s session’s titled, “Xbox Live: Growing & Engaging Your Gaming Community Across Platforms (Presented by Microsoft),” and this is where there they will go in-detail about this business move.

Gamespot.com cites Microsoft stating, “the expansion (…) will take Xbox Live to ‘over 2 billion devices with the release of our new cross-platform Xbox development kit.'” Then Microsoft discusses how engaged and active Xbox and PC players are now. However, Microsoft (via Gamespot.comargue that with this cross-platform endeavor, their current Xbox and PC consumers will be able to “take their gaming achievement history, their friends list, their clubs, and more with them to almost every screen.”

Though this news sounds like a wonderful idea, Gamespot.com states there’s no other details on the matter as we’ll have to wait until March 18th to the 22nd to truly know what Microsoft plans to do with this ‘Xbox Live cross-platform initiative.”

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Image courtesy of news.microsoft.com.

Based on this information, it seems Nintendo and Microsoft’s relationship’s building as time progresses. This observation comes with current cross-platform play between Xbox and Nintendo consumers with titles like Fortnite, Minecraft, and several others. Though I don’t expect Microsoft to willingly share this feature with PlayStation 4 owners, based on the information shared by Gamespot.com, it’s great to see opposite companies like Microsoft and Nintendo coincide with each other.

We’ll be sure to update you all when Microsoft discusses more about Xbox Live’s expansion to Nintendo Switch, IOS, and Android devices when the information’s publicly available.

What do you think about this news? Will this shape the way people view the video-game console wars? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more Microsoft game-related news, and everything else gaming-esque too.

New Mobile-Game, Dr. Mario World’s Planned To Release This Summer, Says Nintendo!

Today, the Nintendo of America Twitter account announced a new Dr. Mario inspired action puzzle mobile-game titled, Dr. Mario World. This mobile-game’s scheduled for an early summer 2019 release and will be developed for IOS and Android devices.

This is made possible thanks to Nintendo’s partnership with “Line, and NHN Entertainment, a developer and operator of mobile games,” according to Polygon.com. The Nintendo of America Twitter account account also posted a teaser image featuring the game’s logo which you can view below.

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Photo edited by me. Logo courtesy of the Nintendo of America Twitter account.

According to Nintendo’s news release, these two companies (including Nintendo) “will take part in the development and operation of Dr. Mario World.” The mobile-game will be “free to download with optional in-app purchases” and may initially release “in approximately 60 countries/regions including Japan and the United States,” according to Nintendo’s news release.

The game will include “multiple languages including Japanese and English.” I assume the mobile-game will play similarly to the NES Dr. Mario game that’s currently available on Nintendo’s Online Service’s NES App for the Nintendo Switch, the NES Classic Edition video-game system, and various other Nintendo systems.

According to Polygon.com, “earlier today, Nintendo announced it was delaying another of its upcoming mobile games, Mario Kart Tour, to summer.” On that note, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume that Nintendo wants to lay a dual-release on its consumers with Mario Kart Tour and Dr. Mario World. This means players can expect a mario-influenced summer this year. Whether that’s good or bad is up to you to decide.

We’ll keep you posted if and when Nintendo decides to release more information about either mobile-game, as the year continues.

What do you think about this news? What are your expectations for this newly announced mobile-game? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter, and follow us for more Dr. Mario World news, and everything gaming too.

First Impressions: AC Rebellion

The past few weeks have been quite busy for me, especially with the lead into finals week. Naturally, this has left me little time for properly sitting down at my PC and playing Assassin’s Creed Odyssey. However, one game I’ve been able to keep with me has been the relatively new Assassin’s Creed Rebellion mobile game. It’s been perfect for me to get a small AC fix in the breaks between study sessions, and it’s quite fun to play.

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Part of the fun is the strategic gameplay. It’s very reminiscent of XCOM: Enemy Unknown in the sense that the core gameplay is based upon making tactical decisions. In order to navigate through levels using characters of different classes, you have to decide how best to use the abilities of your team. Whether it’s best to clear a room the stealthy way or not is up to you. Only one hero can be controlled at a time, however. Choosing which classes to use prior to embarking on missions can also yield an advantage.

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Completing missions will result in an experience increase for your base, as well as resources to upgrade it and your heroes. Different rooms are unlocked as the base levels up, and the different rooms yield unique benefits. Some rooms, like the intel room, passively produce resources which need to be collected. I found that this reminded me of XCOM quite a bit, with a hint of Fallout Shelter.

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Assassin’s Creed Rebellion is a fun little game to keep in your pocket which holds a surprising amount of nuance. I haven’t found myself playing a lot of it, but it’s good fun if you’re just looking for something to fill time during short breaks throughout the day.

Nintendo’s New Mobile Game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Announced for Late November

October 24th’s Nintendo Direct stream finally revealed the anticipated new Animal Crossing mobile game. This is the first time that that the franchise has left Nintendo systems, and changes up the traditional gameplay. First announced over a year ago, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a free to download game for iOS and Android that sets you up as the manager of an empty campsite. Though you are tasked with decorating and adding amenities to the camp, the game also features old Animal Crossing tasks such as fishing, bug catching, and gathering fruit.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is a game in which you build a cozy camp life with friends and your favorite animals.

Already miss the concept of customizing and remodeling your house? Fear not, because with the help of the guys at OK Motors you can customize your own camper, and even make it bigger inside. With plenty of items, furniture, and clothing to collect, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp promises to become your new favorite mobile game.

Stop by and say hello to animals visiting nearby recreation areas. You can grow your friendship and earn rewards by helping them find the things they need.

Like the best mobile games, there will be seasonal events to keep the game exciting, and they are supposed to bring in new favorite characters. I just want to see Tom Nook and KK Slider. There may be in game purchases available, but there are no details available yet.

The majority of fans are still waiting for news on a Nintendo Switch title, but this is hopefully a step in that direction. It is no secret that Animal Crossing is as big of a hit now as it was when it initially released on the GameCube, and there is probably a good reason that it did not come to Wii U. Perhaps console sales had played a big role in that, which should excite fans because the Switch is the fastest selling Nintendo in history. Until then, we will have our own little Pocket Camp to pass the time.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp releases on iOS and Android in late November.

Are you excited for Animal Crossing on mobile? Are you still hoping for a Switch version? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook for more information, and our review!