An Email Review for Boom Beach

In a nutshell, as a RTS junkie, this was one of the best games I have played, ever. My opinion is based solely on the awesome storyline that will leave you in awe. Very unpredictable events, with a lot of subplots. A storyline like this has never been captured in a video game before that I know of.

The game play itself at times can go from either mind-numbing repetitiveness (what RTS isn’t?) to complete edge of your seat action. But, whatever skimping that was done by the developers, I’m glad they sacrificed some game playing bells and whistles rather than cut out any subplots to the story, since for Boom Beach, is its redeeming quality.
I will admit to being slightly disappointed when I first started playing Boom Beach. I was expecting more out of the IOS’s first wave of games. But as I played, I became more and more in tune with the way the game was designed to be played and before long was completely immersed in the storyline. By the time I finished the game, I was honestly left awestruck.

The gameplay seems to be the best of Gauntlet and a console version of Diablo combined. You will never see such a variety of stuff, armor, weapons, act, etc. The amount of control over your characters is really neat. If you need to change a character to meet a situation, no problem. Being able to program the characters support function is a cool feature also.

Game battles are done very well, I thought. Being able to pan out an overhead view of the terrain to see a whole mob a characters doing real-time battle on the screen is priceless. You can take control of a character at anytime to perform any specific function while in the middle of battle. A close examination of the animation of fighting characters reveals in unbelievable variety of movements, while always gaining new attacks and skills, this keeps changing through the game too.

This is a game that requires a lot of time and patients though. Tons of subplots, and quite a few situations when you might not be entirely certain as what’s suppose to be done next. And with a game this expansive, that could be a bit overwhelming. Anyone who is a fan of RTS’s, or reading fantasy crap must play Boom Beach. It’s an epic experience that is unparalleled.

There is some mixed feelings about the graphics. As everyone pointed out, the pop up is pretty bad. But the level of detail in general is pretty good. A great job was done capturing the mood and essence of medieval wartime. The game has a lot of “special effects” in terms of background animations and lighting effects and I thought the characters were render well, especially during the summoning sequences. Limited slots for unlimited diamonds can be accessed at

This has to be the most disappointing thing about the game. I thought the IOS was suppose to have 24 or more sound channels, and if that’s the case, I don’t know what the deal is with Boom Beach then. But it seems to be easily overwhelmed by too many simultaneous effects. Casting a spell for example gave about a 70% chance on actually hearing what was being done, even if it was the only thing you were doing. I also noticed that if you paused the game, when you returned, the sound was completely hosed for the remaining time you spent on that level as far as spell casting was concerned. That really sucks when you start training yourself to listen for the sounds of somebody or something to start casting a spell so you can take an appropriate action. Well, you can’t count on the sound effects, that’s for sure.

Besides this overwhelming glitch, the effects themselves are outstanding, when they play. Great use of music and sound to create mood and atmosphere.

SimCity Buildit Reviewed for 2016

You’ve heard of the little engine that could? Well, this is the little engine that couldn’t, and probably shouldn’t have bothered! Having played this game once on the PC, I foolishly assumed it would adapt nicely to the Mobile console…boy was I gravely mistaken. After day one of this rental, SimCity Buildit was securely put back in its case, never to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. Perhaps I am being cynical, but I paid for the rental…in too many ways. Please rent this game before you purchase, buyers beware.

Please forgive any spelling mistakes, I have been sitting only inches away from my television screen and am temporarily blind. The icons on this game are so damn small that it was next to impossible to clearly identify just what it was I was doing during SimCity Buildit. Was I buying something, or selling something? I frantically searched the accompanying book for help…what a waste of time that was. Gameplay is poor at best, and the cursor moves at a frustratingly slow pace. Money, like in real life, is hard to come by, but seeing as how this is a video game, it should be much easier. Choosing which speed to play SimCity Buildit at is redundant, because either way you will be bored silly in no time. It was like cracking out the Atari for kicks and realizing just how awful gameplay was in the early eighties.

One word: POOR. Okay I lied…more than one word, AWFUL. This game has nothing to capture the imagination. The terrain is boring and lacks the dimensions and character that games like SimCity offer. Colors are very primary, and details are hard to make out. Upgrades to existing facilities take place seemingly on paper, not on screen. On the PC, sitting only inches away from the screen, maybe this game looks okay, but on the mobile console…NO WAY.

The sounds of SimCity Buildit are also poor. The sound I enjoyed the most was me shutting my console off. Remember the toy we all had as kids, the circular gadget with the alphabet and pull string? Line the arrow up on the T, pull the chord, and hear a pathetic sounding choo choo train? Seems like they stole that concept for their game. I really wasn’t happy with the repetitive sounds of the trains chugging along, making their rounds. Sound is key for a good game, and this is lacking in that department. Additional content can also be found on the other sites about SimCity Buildit, go check it out.

An Email to Clash Royale’s Developer

SuperCell’s Clash Royale is a blast to play. The game oozes style in the same way that Space Channel 5 did, and the control scheme uses the dual sticks of the Mobile controller better than anything since Ape Escape. Using the sticks, the player controls onscreen dancers that are determined to legalize dance in the city of Twin Ships, and the whole thing is controlled with symmetrical patterns that are taught throughout the game. It’s a bit heavy on rote memorization, but most won’t mind, as the game is both an aural and graphical pleasure. If dance pads were too much, this is the game to check out. No pads, no panting, no sweating — just good gameplay.

The story mode of the game starts with the player selecting Trill, Cela or Chilly (Normal, Hard and Very Hard difficulty, respectively) and then dancing through 12 songs in order to convince the evil Emperor Ducker that dancing shouldn’t be outlawed. After the first dance (to YMCA, no less), the girls form the group Clash Royale and start air-jacking Ducker’s broadcasts. Doctor Dance is the girls’ leader, and his Afro is nearly as big as the rest of his body. Throughout the game, a story is told where the player earns fans throughout Twin Ships by dancing well, and the ultimate goal is to win over a majority of the city, thus making dancing legal again.

If the whole thing sounds weird, it is. It’s very Japanese, both in its visual appeal and its storytelling. The story has a ton of subtle humor in it aimed at adults, much like the best Saturday morning cartoons, although a few of the musical choices are somewhat questionable. It’s not that the rhythm isn’t there or the music is bad; rather, the songs either contain bleeped out words (marijuana references) or sexual double entendres (Barbie Girl). Most of this will be missed by the younger crowd, but it is worth noting.

Each stage starts with a training mode that can be repeated endlessly. In training mode, Doctor Dance shows the proper moves for each song and the player tries to follow along. Each character (Trill, Cela and Chilly) has a different set of progressively more difficult moves, but this is the game’s shortcoming. Winning comes down to memorizing the player’s moves, and there’s not much more to it. While memorization and concentration can be fun, especially when put to the catchy melodies contained in the songs, a dedicated player can finish this game on normal difficulty in a day. Getting all of the dancers’ moves down will take a lot of time and patience, but it will probably become quite repetitive as well.

That said, the moves (both onscreen and those controlled by the player) are mostly symmetrical, and there are even some paradiddles (left-right-left-left, right-left-right-right) and other drum-based patterns thrown in. The dances performed on the screen are usually exaggerated in a cartoon-like fashion, with TV-style camera angles and presentation making for visual pizzazz. The graphics are quite good, with a lot of effects such as motion blur and mirrors showing off some of the MOBILE’s power. It’s all accompanied by mostly catchy music that’s all been remixed and “house-ified” — how they could take YMCA and make it even dancer is beyond us. Furthermore, you can check Clash Royale information regarding free gems at

In addition to Story Mode, there’s Club SuperCell, where the player can choose any of the songs that have already been cleared and practice them with any of the characters. Additionally, up to three people can play at once, and they can all control three versions of the same character or all separate characters. For example, each player can control his or her own Trill, or each can be one of the three available dancers. This is a great way to learn all the dances and dancers perfectly — and it’s also a great party game, assuming the players know the moves. Additionally, score is kept here, and high scores are meant to be broken. That’s the game. Sure, it’s possible to play “one degree of Kevin Bacon” with the storyline, and the story itself is loaded with more campy humor than a special episode of Full House, but at the end of it all, the game is a good time waiting to be had. We wish it was a little longer and didn’t rely so heavily on memorizing, but what’s a rhythm game to do? Regardless of the minor annoyances, it was difficult to not have a goofy smile plastered on our faces while playing Clash Royale; it’s just one of those games.

Rayman 2 Revolution – What it looks like on the old PS2?

Rayman 2 may not be the masterpiece that Mario 64 is, but it’s pretty damn close. We first played Rayman 2 way back in November of ’99 for the N64, and since then we’ve played excellent versions on the PC, Dreamcast and PSOne. Every version has been a delight to play, and the same can be said of Rayman’s first appearance on DVD. Although it doesn’t make full use of Sony’s new 800-pound gorilla, it does have spectacular and colorful graphics, ingenious level design, a wonderful cast of characters and an enormous game world to explore. There is some choppiness when the screen is crowded, and strangely there is more loading on this version of Rayman 2 than on any other platform. But these are minor flaws on an otherwise beautiful and terrifically fun game.

Just in case there are some hardcore gamers out there who want to get into cross-platform debates, if we had to choose which version of Rayman 2 to go with, we’d probably take the Dreamcast version with a VGA adapter. It’s a tough call, because the Dreamcast version is the most visually spectacular, even eclipsing a high-end PC, but the PS2 has a digital optical out that delivers amazing sound to home theatre system. Either way, there is no disputing that Rayman 2 Revolution is one of the best platform games we’ve played in at least two years.

For those unfamiliar with the game, the story in Rayman 2 Revolution is simple and fun: A nasty group of Robo-pirates has invaded Rayman’s little glade, shattering the heart of the world into a thousand “lums,” or spheres of energy. Rayman takes up arms, or in his case just gloves and no arms, against this mechanical rabble with the help of friends like the fairy Li and the purple Globox, a big lovable lump. Throughout the game players free the downtrodden from the pirates’ clutches, gaining Rayman new abilities like longer life, double fire and ricochet shots. There is plenty of humor in the plot, and we were certainly charmed by the basic story, which equates the evil pirates with pollution and soulless industrial expansionism.

< It is surprising just how wide a variety of gameplay there is in Rayman 2. In addition to the standard jumping puzzles, some maps require players to ride an enormous cannon shell with legs, as if it were a bucking bronco. Other levels have Rayman use his spinning ears to waft up airdrafts, or surf on a piece of slag down a molten river of lava. Never were we bored with the level design in Rayman 2, although some of the later bosses are fairly difficult and would likely be frustrating to younger gamers. But other levels were actually relaxing rather than anxious; in one instance Rayman has to swim behind an enormous purple whale named Carmen through a crystal blue bay at night. The lovely, gem-colored graphics and the eerily beautiful whale song make for a compelling level and bring an excellent sense of pace to the game. The production values are first-rate, and Rayman 2 Revolution, like the PSOne version, features voices to go along with the subtitles, although strangely the voices are different in the PS2 iteration. Graphically, there are few games that so successfully pull off the look of a children's book, with glowing moons slowly eclipsed by gorgeous curlicue clouds. Rayman's animation is full of detail and character, despite the fact that his limbless body is a concession to the lower-powered consoles of yesteryear. It doesn't take too long to get absorbed in the game. The controls, however, do take some getting used to. The game supports the Dual Shock's analog stick, but not its analog buttons, so jamming down on the "X" button isn't going to goose Rayman to jump any higher. L1 and R1 can be held down simultaneously for a first-person perspective (but not in every situation) and the camera, which often rotates freely, occasionally has to be snapped back in place with the L2 button. Although it is rare, sometimes camera placement will cause a problem, but there are so many "save here" lums in the game that it never detracts from the fun.

The other minor wrinkle is the occasional choppiness that crops up whenever the player enters a large area full of creatures. In other versions of the game, Rayman’s little glade was chock-full of happy-faced butterflies skittering to and fro, but in the PS2 version there are only a couple of butterflies here and there. This is likely due to the fact that even UbiSoft’s excellent coders need some time to cope with the PS2’s complicated innards.

But far less complicated is Rayman’s hub system, which lets gamers return to previous worlds to discover all the various hidden lums and familiars. The system could be simpler, because running between fields, piers and glades is ultimately unnecessary. Rayman 2 Revolution does feature some new, PS2-specific challenges from Li, three multiplayer minigames and two exclusive bonus levels that will take a lot of digging to uncover. But finding every last lum crumb (which is easier in this game thanks to the excellent addition of a “lum radar”) is part of the fun, and adds some replayability to an already excellent adventure.

RPG Maker — Give it a Try

RPG maker in short is… an interesting tool that, while not perfect or everything you hoped for, is still a good way to finally make the RPG you want to. But you have to work within its limitations. And, unless you want to beat your creation in a couple hours, you’ll have to spend months (!! yes, a couple at least) of long nights on it. But hey, if you’re a writer and you want to write a book like a Drizz’t novel, do you do in a week, or do you spend three months? A game is the same.

In the end, there is no point buying this game if you have anything close to a social life. Unless you have played a lot of NES & SNES RPGs, like dragon warrior and ff, and you loved the originals, don’t get this. Even after a serious amount of work, your RPG will have a NES feel to it more than an SNES feel to it. But if you have interesting characters and cool items and spells, and a half decent story you’ll still have a game that’s really fun to play. However, you better have HARDCORE! RPG friends or siblings that are like minded to share this with. And you better be hardcore too (and have money for extra memory cards) because something good will take a lot of time. I put in about a 140 hours in mine and I considered myself about a quarter of the way through (maybe) and had about 4 or 5 (well, maybe six hours, depends I guess) and 2 memory cards getting filled up fast. But I had a LOT of text. That’s what will take most of your time. That and making interesting dungeons/towns. But I had to stop after that because I needed to play something else and I began to yearn for people to hang out with again. So I took a two month break and now I continue.

What’s all this mean? It means that unless you want to create a game so bad you’d buy anything like this (FURA!!! If you don’t know what that is, search!! It’s really good!) like I did, rent it to make sure you want what it offers.

Personal, I think you’ll like it, but you’ll never make anything as good as FF3. :) And you’re only one person, so prepare to take the next few weeks off all other interests. Won’t you’re girlfriend be mad…

Your game when played will feel a lot more like dragon warrior than FF3, which is not that bad really. (Remember, although it’s hard to phantom, DW is more popular than FF in Japan, though I can’t imagine why). It lets you have four characters in a group rather than three like most games. If only RPG maker is capable of generating free gems for Clash Royale just like tools.The equip screen has most of the same elements as FF (like Relics), and you can name stats whatever you want. However, item creation, although there’s lots you can do, there’s some things you can’t do. Like when making a shield, you only can increase defense, no other stats. There are no multi stat items.

Dragon Warrior battles (black screen, only enemies can be seen), FF over worlds. The Dungeon creation graphic, while not a lot, can be used cleverly to make really outstanding looking environments. The whole game has a ‘bright’ feel. It looks a little too cheery. FF3 had a darker look about it with lots of dark mixed with small bright, but this one’s the opposite. It takes thought to make an area ‘feel’ evil. And the characters, with over 60 in four colors, look a bit cute but are still pretty good.

Well… the music is midi stuff, and I like most of it (plus there’s events that change the tempo and pitch) but again, not the really happy stuff (like something that could pass for joggle music. Yuck ;). There’s around 80 sound effects, and about 40 are really useful, i.e. explosions and the laugh (which can be changed from high and girly to deep and scary), but the other 40 aren’t immediately useful. But by altering pitch and changing them together, you real be able to make any sound you need.