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By: Rob Kalajian from A Pawn’s Perspective

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition for the Switch isn’t a new title really. Hyrule Warriors has previously been released on both the Wii U and 3DS consoles.  Similar to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it’s everything we’ve seen before with much more polish and a few new goodies tossed in to entice owners of the previous-gen systems to repurchase the game on their shiny new Switch.

Luckily for me, this is my first time playing the game, so I’m not rebuying anything!

Hyrule Warriors is a Musuo game, made popular by Koei Tecmo Games’ Dynasty Warriors series. The are games where players take control of a hero on a battlefield trying to turn the tide of a conflict and (usually) taking down the enemy commander. The player must wade through hordes of enemies trying to capture key points on the field, stop reinforcements from arriving, taking out enemy generals, and finally unlocking the path to their objective.

Between battles, players can upgrade their hero’s stats and weapons, pay to level up heroes, switch weapons, and create potions that will help them find better items and materials in their next battle.

As players progress through the game they’ll unlock more battles, characters, side-stories, and more, often playing the story from multiple vantage points as the hero, villains, or supporting characters. Just when the players think they’ve completed the game they’ll find out its just part of the story-arc with more and more levels being added. There’s tons of content to play through here, and that’s just the story mode.

There’s also Arcade Mode and Free Play mode that gives players a bit more flexibility with what battles they want to play through and which characters they’d like to focus on. In My Fairy mode, players can even care for fairies who can help them out in their battles!

Is it a kids’ game?

Hyrule Warriors is rated T for Teen for Fantasy Violence and Suggestive Themes. The game revolves around mowing down thousands upon thousands of baddies (and good guys if you’re playing as the baddies) using swords, staves, spells, clubs, crossbows, and yes, even a pistol.

The real issue here is the Suggestive Themes, which pretty revolve around one character. Cia, one of the main villains of the game. She’s a highly sexualized sorceress with a giant bust, plunging (like all the way down) neckline, one completely exposed leg complete with garter, and high heels. Almost every shot of her in any cutscene accents these features, often lingering on them in close-ups before panning away to where the action really should be taking place.

There’s also Lana, another new hero character. While not as overtly sexual she’s still a bit different from the overall Zelda designs we’ve seen in the past with a large chest, exposed skin, and a stance that, while more innocent that Cia’s, is still more suggestive than it should be.

Can kids play it?

Yeah, kids can play it. The game is mostly button mashing, though some basic reading skills are needed so players know where to go, what allies are in trouble, and if win/defeat conditions have changed. The story isn’t very in depth, so players don’t miss out much if they can’t follow along.

Conclusion

Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition is an excellent game providing hours of hack and slash entertainment with a huge and diverse cast of characters for the Zelda franchise. Unfortunately, a bit of that is spoiled by Team Ninja’s “contributions” the game with the additions of Cia and Lana.

Still, if you’re a fan of Musuo games or Zelda, you’re going to have a great time with this title. Just know what you’re getting into before you subject younger eyes to the amount of flesh on display by the evil, crazy-lady.


Rob runs A Pawn’s Perspective and he has been writing about board games for over a decade. His website, A Pawn’s Perspective, is a great place to find news about board games! Check it out!
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by: Jonathan Goosetree of InkedGaming.com

Fortnite has taken the gaming world by storm.  Gamers of all types are joining the craze as it is playable on PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, and iOS. With often 300,00 viewers or more on Twitch, Fortnite is currently the most popular title in gaming. If you’re looking to jump into the action, our beginner’s guide to Fortnite will make sure you hit the ground running.

There are a few aspects of Fortnite which set it apart from any other game. In almost all other Battle Royale, FPS, and Third Person shooter games, players only need to work on their skills with weapons. In Fortnite however, building and gathering resources are just as important as weapon skills. You may be thinking this sounds intimidating and that Fortnite might be too complex for your family. Fortunately, we are here to help.

Our Fortnite Beginner’s Guide will be broken down into two main sections: The first focuses on farming materials and building beginner level structures, with the second part focusing on the early, mid, and late stages of the game.

Use that Pick Axe!

Fortnite

 

Fortnite has three types of materials: wood, stone, and metal. Each has a different purpose and different in-game statistics. Wood has a five-second build time per panel, with 200 health, stone has a 12-second build time, with 300 health, and metal has a 20-second build time, with 400 health. Wood is the most commonly used resource, as it is used for exploring and fast cover. Stone is better used for when you have time to build a fortification in the mid-game, and metal should be used exclusively in the late game, as it is the only material that can withstand a blow from an RPG (Rocket Powered Grenade).

Materials are gained by swinging your pickaxe at various targets. One thing many new players miss, in spite of its importance, is the blue circle that appears on screen when you are attacking a resource. Swinging your pickaxe where this circle appears acts as a critical spot and striking near it will yield more materials per swing. The easiest way to strike the circle is to start in the middle of the tree or structure, then moving straight down with your mouse or thumbstick. Using this tactic, you will hit the blue circle almost every time.

It is always important to have enough materials to build when the situation calls for it, whether exploring or when being fired on by an enemy and protection is needed. Being caught out in the open without enough materials to build cover is often a deadly mistake. This is why farming materials efficiently is a crucial skill for any new Fortnite player. When moving from one area to another, always be aware of your surroundings and plan your route accordingly. You should not stray too far out of your way to farm a single tree or area. Instead, try to choose the path with as many trees along the way as possible. Knowing what to farm is also important, as larger trees and wood pallets provide the most materials per swing for wood, and vehicles are most efficient for farming metal. One important tip is that you should never finish chopping a tree completely, as a disappearing tree is a dead give away of your position to potential enemies!

You, the Builder

Now that we know the different types of materials and how to farm efficiently, let’s go over what those materials are used for. Materials are used to build four different shapes or panels: walls, floors, ramps, and roofs. Knowing when and where to use each shape and for what purpose is key to becoming a skilled builder in Fortnite. Your first few games of Fortnite should be focused on farming materials in a remote part of the map and practicing building. With three different types of materials and four panels, you will need enough practice to where you can switch between all 12 options in a split second.

Now that selecting the desired materials and panels is second nature, it’s time to learn what to do with them. Building is used for three main purposes: exploring, fast cover, and building forts in the mid to late game. Exploring in Fortnite means building ramps or floors to reach places that would otherwise be inaccessible. Common examples of these would be building a ramp to reach a loot chest in an attic or building a bridge to move between two buildings. Wood should always be used for exploring because it does not need to withstand enemy fire.

Building fast cover, which is one of the most important skills in Fortnite, can be used defensively and offensively. If you are out in the open and an enemy begins firing at you, quickly build walls and ramps for cover (Wood should also always be used for this). Something important to note is that although wood panels have a 5 second build time, during the build time there is a blue indicator for the panel that will immediately obstruct your enemy’s vision. This obstruction of vision is often more important than the finished panel itself, as you will have moved to a new location before the five second build time is over.

Ramps can be used either offensively or defensively. Building a ramp to run into the second floor of a building can often save your life as well as preserve precious materials because you will not have to build more panels to use for cover. Ramps are often used as an offensive tool as well. If you are moving out in the open and encounter an enemy, quickly build a ramp. Moving to the top of the ramp allows you to peek over with your medium to long range weapons and take cover when needed.

A slightly more advanced form of building is combining multiple panels to form structures. There are many different sizes of structures players use. The most basic structure is known as a 1×1 structure. This is made by building 4 walls with a roof or ramp panel in the center. Most often used when out in the open, this structure provides 360-degree protection, with the roof or ramp panel allowing the player to peek over the sides. The 1×1 structure is the most basic of examples and there are many more advanced patterns that can be found online. These more advanced structures are primarily used in the mid and late game, where players build extremely high towers in the ever-important battle for high ground.

The Fortnite Beginner’s Guide to The Early Game

Fortnite glider

Fortnite has three different phases, early, mid, and late game. The early game is generally viewed as the time from when you first drop into the map until after the first storm circle closes. Knowing where to drop is the most important part of the early game. The named areas of the map have better loot and thus attract more players. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to avoid these areas and drop on a hilltop somewhere in a remote area that is away from the path of the bus. This way you can avoid firefights and practice building until you have a few games under your belt.

When you are ready to land in the more populated areas and go for better loot, it is important to start memorizing where the loot chests are. Chests are often in the attics of buildings, which can be found by listening for their shimmering sound effect. If you drop into an area with buildings at the start of the game, you should always land on the roof and break through with your pickaxe in hopes of finding a chest. If you are lucky, you may get a good weapon at the start and get an easy kill on another player who has not yet had a chance to loot anything. You can also reach attics in other houses by destroying ceilings and building a ramp. However, you must be careful to not destroy the ceiling the crate is resting on, or the crate will be destroyed as well. If you loot a chest with a shield potion right after landing and hear another player, consume the shield potion as fast as possible before engaging. The extra health will give you a considerable advantage. Most important in the early game, but important throughout all stages, is to always be active. You should always be looking for loot, planning your most efficient path, and checking around for enemies, never move around without purpose or using materials when unnecessary.

The Fortnite Beginner’s Guide to The Mid Game

 

After the first circle closes, we head into the mid-game. In the mid-game any remaining players will probably have a decent inventory of weapons and shields, so be ready for a fight. It’s important to have a balanced inventory at this point. A balanced inventory consists of a shotgun for short range, an assault rifle for medium range, and a sniper rifle or assault rifle with a scope for long range, as well as some consumables.

It is also important for the mid and late game to play around the enclosing storm properly. If you are in between the safe zone (The safe zone being the center circle) and the enclosing storm, you can use the storm as protection from behind. Try to move towards the safe zone as the storm closes in. However, it is possible that some players in the storm will fire upon you, so don’t treat the storm as complete protection. If you are already in the safe zone as the circle starts to close, take or build some cover and try to pick off any players moving in. These players will be caught between having to stop and return fire, risking damage from the storm, or continuing to run and being unable to fight back. This advantage should most often net you an easy kill. Also, be sure to farm some stone and metal when the coast is clear, as you will need these materials for your fort in the late game.

The Fortnite Beginner’s Guide to The Late Game

Fortnite female character

If you have made it to this point, then congratulations! Late game is the most adrenaline pumping phase of the game and begins when there are roughly 10-15 players remaining. If you are outside the safe zone, you should focus on getting as close to the center as possible. This is important because in the late game you will need to build your final fort, and you do not want to construct it somewhere that will end up in the storm before the game ends. Constructed with stone or better yet, metal, your fort should be three to five stories high. Three stories are the minimum and should be made if you are low on materials (Be sure to keep some materials in reserve so that you can rebuild destroyed panels). If you have a healthy amount of materials, then a five-story fort is ideal. A five-story fort will usually give you the high ground advantage while allowing you to hear the footsteps of enemy players on the ground. Since every player should have a sniper rifle or long-range weapon at this point, whoever controls the high ground has the advantage.

Once you have your final fort constructed, try to get a feel for where the remaining players are. As a new player going for the win, it’s best to let other players fight it out and eliminate each other. If you see two other players in a firefight, wait for one to take out the other before engaging. The winning player will most likely be low on health and an easier target. Keep moving and avoid peeking from the same spot or moving in patterns, keep your movements random to avoid becoming predictable. The late game is especially nerve-racking so keep your cool, focus, and wait for your opponent to make a mistake and you will be in a good position to take home the win.

Fortnite Victory Royale!

On the surface, Fortnite looks like a simple game but as you can see, there is more than meets the eye. Fortnite has many other features and advanced strategies not mentioned in this guide. Gaining confidence as you progress and learning more about the game is half the fun. As you play, try to remember in each game what worked and what didn’t. Learn from your mistakes, follow our guide, and with some beginner’s luck, you will surely be on your way to your first Fortnite Victory Royale.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By: Drew Habersang

One of the biggest surprises on Monday was the announcement of an all-new Battletoads, the legendary borderline impossibly difficult side-scroller. Microsoft announced the game Monday at its E3 2018 media briefing, stating that Battletoads will return in 2019 with “body-morphing genre mashups, three-player couch co-op, 4K hand-drawn 2.5D graphics, and broad non-specific feature declarations”.

While not specifically detailed in the announcement, all indications are that Battletoads will be a completely new game, rather than a port of the original first game. Battletoads was last brought to the Xbox One in 2014 as part of the 30-game Rare Replay Anthology.

Originally released June 1, 1991 by Rare (a studio owned by Microsoft since 2003) for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Battletoads has long been recognized as one of the most difficult games in existence. No doubt, this new iteration of Battletoads will be equally as challenging.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By: James Pisano

Sitting down for Bethesda’s reveal of Fallout 76, I expected to see something very different from Fallout 4.  Maybe something between Fallout Shelter and Fallout 4… maybe something totally different. But I HOPED it would just be another open world Fallout game.  That’s where my gaming soul lives!

Turns out that it’s a prequel to ever other t game… a “softcore” survival game, set in a VERY different wasteland and with one MAJOR departure from the franchise. It would be completely online… massively multiplayer.  My heart sank. HARD.

Thankfully, the good people at Bethesda understand that people like me exist, and they put a lot of time and attention into crafting this always online foray into the Fallout universe.  My heart rose little by little:

  • You can play completely solo.  You can quest, gather, survive and BUILD your settlement (literally anywhere on the map that is 4x the size of Fallout 4’s map.)
  • If you want to play with friends, you can, and it’ll make survival “easier” but it’s not necessary.  Each server (Which apparently, you don’t need to sign into, you’ll “never see a login screen”. Sounds intriguing…
  • There is a VERY expanded home building system called “C.A.M.P” (Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform) that will let you build alone or with friends literally *anywhere* in the world, and if you want to move your settlement, you can totally do that.  Oh, and did I mention flying Deathclaws can totally destroy what you built? Well, I just did. There’s a lot to unpack there. Considering how badly I wanted to like Fallout 4’s construction features, it was hard because of how clunky it was. But this excites the heck out of me.  A LOT.
  • They peppered the landscape with nuclear silos that you can use however you see fit, if you gather the requisite launch codes.  And if you don’t, or only gather a few, you can trade with other players and shoot off nuclear fire together, arm in arm.

Why would you want to do that, you ask?  Maybe to get back at a rival faction, maybe because you just feel like it, but either way, you will irradiate the target area creating rare spawns, rare loot, and of course, an all new landscape.

Regardless, I trust Bethesda to get this right and create an online realization of one of my favorite worlds, that 38 year old “My job and family make it so I can’t play online games a lot” I can play on November 14th, 2018, and still have a literal BLAST.  

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By: Drew Habersang

For those of you living under rocks, Anthem is Bioware’s spectacular looking open world online shooter. It’s basically Destiny with armor that serves a purpose and freakin’ JETPACKS!!!

Can we talk about how much Anthem looks like Destiny but is totally-not-at-all like Destiny?

First, the similarities: Anthem appears to be mechanically and structurally similar to the Destiny
Games including much of what was revealed about late game progression requirement co-op to complete endgame challenges like raids (Anthem calls them “Strongholds”). More to the point, Anthem looks like Destiny. I mean… just LOOK at it. The aesthetic similarities are undeniable.

But, a slightly closer look at the game reveals very many several and big and extremely exciting differences.

 

Friggin Jet Packs, gang!


The gameplay reveal trailer focused a great deal on that sweet sweet jet pack action, demonstrating the flight capabilities and apparently fluid controls as players careened through the skies of Anthem’s massive open world, cartwheeling past towering trees and gargantuan menacing monsters and even diving into cavernous lakes and exploring their depths. I am, by far, most excited about the jetpack action. Because c’mon – jetpacks! To quote our fearless leader, Stephen Duetzmann, “Everyone is Iron Man.”

The Social Space is anything but social


In Destiny and Destiny 2, players can go to any of several social hubs with up to 24 other players to get missions, upgrade gear, and retrieve rewards. Anthem’s hub “Fort Tarsis” is not a multiplayer lobby but instead offers a single player hub full of NPCs. And, as with previous BioWare titles, decisions players make will alter the space and, by extension, the game.

Armor Matters

Unlike Destiny 2 where armor is largely cosmetic, in Anthem, armor is EVERYTHING. Players suit up in one of four giant mech suits (woot!) with a wide range of abilities. And, as is the case with Tony Stark, the “Iron Man” style suits constitute the sum total of the players’ physical powers.

No PVP

You read that right. In an AMAAA (ask me almost anything) on Twitter, BioWare’s Mark Darrak stated unequivocally “No PVP. This decision allows us to have a much wider array of weapons and gear and make the loot chase more interesting.” No doubt, fans of PVP are disappointed by this revelation. PVE is my jam so I am completely unbothered by it.

(Potentially) Cross-platform Saves


While Darrah made it perfectly clear that BioWare has no plans to implement cross-platform play, he was a little vaguer when it came to cross-platform saves. Note: Darrah did NOT confirm cross-saves. What he DID say was, “I am looking into cross-platform saves as we speak”. So, despite the high probability that cross-platform saves are impossible, cross-platform saves confirmed but not confirmed but totally (potentially) confirmed, you guys.

We have several months until we’re able to get our hot little hands on Anthem, but I’m glad that BioWare is being so forthcoming with information about the game.

Anthem releases on February 22, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By: Drew Habersang

If your tastes are anything similar to mine, you sort of cringed watching the announcement trailer for “The Adventures of Captain Spirit”; a new companion game to Dontnod’s Life is Strange. While I’ll concede that I kind of loved the premise of a kid playing make-believe with dramatic cinematic overlays of spaceships and fireballs and so forth, I was unconvinced that there was much of a story there. At least, I was certain that anything I or anyone else could conjure in our minds would easily outperform a game essentially trying to emulate the same thing.


(I know that isn’t the ‘point’ of this or any game but follow me…)

Today, I rewatched the exact same trailer. And, while I wasn’t completely won over, there were a few elements I hadn’t noticed on the initial viewing that led me to believe I had underestimated the game. Yes, the awkwardly proportioned protagonist looks a little old to be playing pretend in a cape, but there was something so downright charming about peering in on the awkward machinations of a lonely nerdy kid and being invited to see his play as he imagines it.

I’m not yet sold that a compelling story can be derived from this premise, but I am very slowly be charmed into believing that such a thing might not be as important as I first believed.

The Adventures of Captain Spirit launches on June 26 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC for the perfectly reasonable price of $0. With literally no barrier to entry, I cannot imagine I won’t at least take it for a spin. I imagine it might be worth it.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By: Nicole Tanner

The latest trailer for Shadow of the Tomb Raider was shown during Microsoft’s E3 briefing on Sunday. The third in the series since 2013’s reboot of the franchise, Shadow looks to take Lara on a different type of emotional journey than either of the previous games.

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is set in the jungles of Mexico where Lara is looking for a sacrificial dagger. She’s trying to outrun Trinity, the shadow organization that was introduced in Rise of the Tomb Raider. She gets to the dagger first, but it seems like she’s made a huge mistake in taking it.  We see her confronted by a man who tells her the “cleansing” has begun.

It’s apparent in the trailer that Lara has honed her combat abilities. She looks more brutal in her killings than either of the previous games, but the biggest difference seems to come from her state of mind.

In Tomb Raider and Rise of the Tomb Raider, Lara’s missions are about doing the right thing – not only in her own mind, but also in the context of the story. In Shadow she seems to be placed in a conflict between what she thinks is right and the negative consequences of her decisions.

It’s an interesting place to take her character. At the end of Rise, she had come into her own and became fully confident about her purpose in life. In Shadow it looks like her problem might be overconfidence. Having a humbling experience will add another level of depth to her character, furthering the developers’ goal of making her a believable and relatable character.


Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be released on September 14 for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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By: Drew Habersang

Bungie finally revealed its next Destiny 2 expansion, Forsaken, today and, boy oh boy, are there LOTS of changes coming.

 

New Raid & Raid Location: The Dreaming City

While not exactly tight-lipped on the new location, Bungie was understandably vague when talking about the new raid. One comment of note from Bungie highlighted that this raid will have more bosses than any previous raid in Destiny. What they have said for certain is that the location in which the raid takes place is also intended to be the location for much of the endgame content.

New Game Mode: Gambit

Gambit is a wonderfully strange mashup of PvP and PvE (Player vs Player and Player vs Environment respectively). Two teams of four fight in separate “Prison of Elders” style arenas, collecting ‘motes’ to power up a central terminal. The goal is to be the first to defeat all enemies and bosses. Most interestingly, it appears that opposing teams will be able to cross over into each other’s arena and cause mayhem. Sweet.

Annual Pass

Destiny reveal a new “Annual Pass” offering as a new way to deliver content. Presumably for a fee, Annual Pass owners will get access to the three expansions planned after “Forsaken” is released this fall. The Forsaken Expansion will cost $39.99 and the Annual Pass will cost $34.99.

Gear Collections & In-game Triumphs

FINALLY Bungie is bringing back progress & achievement logs and, for the first time, is providing a kiosk for previously collected weapons and armor sets.

Bungie stopped short of further details offering coly that the abundance of questions relative to answers inspired by this reveal was “by design”.

Bungie. promised a full story reveal during next week’s E3. We will be on the scene and will report back on everything we find!

 

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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By: Drew Habersang

***Mild spoiler warnings for those who want to stay spoiler free – I’ll be discussing game elements and largely avoiding plot, but there will be a few very small reveals – consider yourself warned.***

God of War -is back and it is better and more different than ever! 

In the previous games, Kratos ascended to Godhood in an all out one man war of vengeance against the Greek pantheon who betrayed him. This time around, Kratos is battling the Norse Gods and their underlings, but for entirely different reasons.

For those of you not familiar with the franchise thus far, don’t sweat it. The latest entry in the series is a soft reboot that leaves enough room for newcomers to get somewhat familiar with the story. Rest assured, you’ll have a deeper more meaningful experience if you’ve played the previous three playstation releases, but it’s hardly a requirement.

Until this release, apart from a few minor variations, the series has stayed close to the form and style of the first game. And, while fans would no doubt have been entirely fine to leap into another round of God-slaying, this game takes a decidedly different tone. Like many popular franchises that have gone the soft reboot route, the new God of War includes a number of open-world RPG elements. Kratos has evolved from the previous games and now has levels, armor, loot and different equipment, and his equipment will affect Kratos’ ability to take on various threats in their unique environments. Enemies in the new God of War have levels as well and these scale as Kratos levels up.


Note that, while these shifts constitute massive changes, the core of the game remains unchanged. Kratos is still absolutely brutal death dealer, but the tone of the game has changed considerably. The modulation in tone is largely thanks to the addition of Kratos’s son, Atreus. Kratos’s unhinged fury has been tempered into patient calculating resourcefulness. These changes are largely observable through Kratos’s relationship with his son, Atreus. Kratos has in no way abandoned the violent tendencies that made him a horrifying revenge-monster. However, with his young son Atreus to protect and guide, we also get to see Kratos patiently (most times) mentoring his son as they both discover more about the world around them and each other.
.

Kratos as a dad is spectacular and his relationship with his son is the emotional core of the game. This almost goes without saying, however, this is where to storytelling really excels. What could have easily been an overwrought predictable maudlin “escort journey the game” is instead handled with deftness and subtly. My favorite scenes are spare in dialogue and disarmingly sincere. Kratos still wrestles with his past. The game acknowledges this, yet gives him a way to redemption by way of his son, Atreus.  If nothing else, Kratos is determined to guide his son toward a different path than the one Kratos chose for himself.


The original game was intentionally bawdy and fantastically violent. In this latest iteration, the quick-time sex events (seriously) and over-the-top violence have been replaced with something far more sincere – Kratos holds his son’s tear streaked face in huge blood-stained hands as they both cope with unspeakable grief and it is, without a doubt, a most natural and necessary evolution.

I’ve loved every game in the God of War series but this one managed to incorporate emotional scaffolding upon which new stories can be built.

I’m already chomping at the bit for the follow up.


What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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This Guest Review was written by our goods friend Rob Kalajian! He runs the board game website Pawn’s Perspective! You should definitely check it out!

What would happen if you took an older 16-bit Action RPG, oh, let’s say Zelda: A Link to the Past, crossed it with The Princess Bride, and released it on a modern day system? Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King. That’s what. When I bring up a Link to the Past, it’s not just for comparison sake. Blossom Tales plays like a love song to the classic SNES title. It’s a retro gaming lover’s dream, even if it’s a short one.

If you’re familiar with Zelda: A Link to the Past, or top-down action-RPGs in general, then you know what to expect from Blossom Tales. Players take control of Lily, Knight of the Rose, trying to save her king and kingdom from a dark wizard. You’ve got a sword, shield, and special items to help get Lily through all sorts of puzzles and other sticky situations. One major difference here is that unlike most similar titles that may limit your supply of arrows, bombs, etc…, Blossom Tales doesn’t. Instead, you’ve got a Special Meter that depletes as these items are used. One that recharges rapidly. It gives the game a bit more of a fast-paced feel than those that have come before it.

I mentioned The Princess Bride before. That reference mostly comes from the fact that Blossom Tales is a story being told to two children by their grandfather. As he tells the story the children often interrupt him, arguing with his storytelling technique and offering the player choices on how to change the story in tiny ways. It’s a really cool mechanic, but one that’s a tad underutilized.

Some Concerns

That brings us to the first gripe with the game. The whole idea of the grandfather telling his grandchildren a story that they influence is excellent. The choices given, however, really have a very little effect on the story as a whole. I would have loved to see the choices made have a bit more control over what happens in the game, possibly opening different dungeons or providing the player with some sort of different item or power that they couldn’t have gotten otherwise.

The next issue with the game is its length. You’re only getting a handful of dungeons – four to be exact. The entire game rounds out to about 15 hours of gameplay. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for the younger gamers in a household, but for those of us who grew up on similar titles, it’s a bit short and straightforward. There are no real story twists that change the world or shake up the main objective.

Putting those two minor complaints aside, Blossom Tales is smooth, polished, and a blast to play. It’s family friendly, and while the game is based on combat there’s nothing explicit here. The game safely falls in its E10+ rating and can be enjoyed by younger players as long as they have the ability to read. While the game certainly feels like it’s aimed at fans of old Zelda games, it certainly has an appeal to new players with it’s colorful, retro styles and approachable gameplay.

Conclusion

Blossom Tales is available on both Steam and the Nintendo Switch at a price of $14.99. There’s really no excuse to pass up on this one. My preference would be the Switch version since it makes it easy to take the game on the go, but both the Switch version and Steam version are identical.

 

Developer: Castle Pixel
Rating: E10+ (Fantasy Violence)
Platform: Switch, PC
MSRP: $14.99
Reviewed On: Switch
FCC Disclosure: A Switch code was provided gratis for this review.

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