Fighting Familiar Puzzles

 

I need to start this review with a warning, this game is meant to be addictive and does have gambling elements to it. If you are aware of being susceptible to any form of gambling or have issues spending money in-game to the point it impacts your everyday life; then please turn away now. I am not putting this here as a slight against Puzzle Fighter alone, but this cash grab model that is in most of the mobile games out there. I would feel disingenuous without giving attention to this aspect of the game.


Puzzle Fighter from Capcom, has been one of the bigger puzzle games in history. Nothing too special about it, it is a Tetris-style game with exploding gems instead of pre-shaped blocks, break the blocks down to attack your opponent and first one to cause their opponent to overstack wins. This game gained fandom by featuring Pocket Fighter renditions of Street Fighter and Dark Stalkers characters as playable avatars just clicked.

The game has been re-released and has had some slight tweaks to gameplay since its original PlayStation release. Some of them consist of it includes being available for download on the Playstation Store (PS3) and Xbox Marketplace (360). However, the mobile release now features 3D character models and a roster expanding with more Capcom characters such as Viewtiful Joe, Dante, Nash, and Phoenix Wright.


GamePlay Change

With it being a mobile game you obviously can’t have matches going on too long, and I think that this aspect of the game is pretty interesting. With the inclusion of health bars you need to cause enough damage through breaking chains of gems, as well as combine larger gems to accumulate enough damage to defeat your opponent. Also, destroying enough gems will build your special bar which will allow you to perform a single press Super Attack that deals direct damage to your opponent. And to keep your opponents guessing, the moves your avatar performs can be changed out to perform more damage or cause status changes to make the matches a bit more strategic and dynamic. To top all of that off, you play with a team of 3 and their affinities and assists will help to add wrinkles to your gameplay style.

Gameplay isn’t flawless though. A level up system has been added, along with a card collecting aspect to level up your avatars and their moves. However, unlocking characters seems to be done so by pure luck. To add to that, you have to rank up to gain access for the chance to unlock a new character at random. All of these aspects are built in as a clear attempt to make the game pay to play. Annnnd, it kinda does?


Randomizing

There is a level of excitement to be had in getting something at random. It makes getting the thing you want feel more significant than if you could just purchase it (hopefully with in game currency), but the game has so many randomized elements it grows tiring really quickly. You see, part of the appeal of this franchise is playing as your favorite character and playing with your skill to compete or just play a quick mindless game. When the player has to worry about leveling up their character constantly to stay relevant or have to use characters they do not want to in the hopes of unlocking MegaMan X through ranking up it lessens the experience. Winning enough boats and chests, or paying for an in game loot-box(chest) that will guarantee a character and some random cards and in game coins doesn’t seem very exciting either. To add frustration to anxiety, in order to upgrade a character; not only must an increasing amount of cards be collected to keep level up a character’s moveset, an in game currency is required to upgrade those moves. The standard pay out of these items is definitely tipped to make you either grind to unlock what you want, or cave and pay to be the best.

Really there is just too much randomized chance in this game and not enough player choice. If you have a friend or look online for people to post their ID Names to add them, you can choose to play with someone from your friend list if they are online as well, but the search option isn’t a search option. You’d need to know the exact ID to add someone and cannot search for active players. The Rank up matches would be your only access to other players online. And since winning those matches comes with prizes, that would most likely be the best option for a quick player vs player match.

To be completely fair, there are some milestone chests that can be unlocked through doing daily missions, playing the mission matches, and playing lots of PvP ranked games. Season and Mid-Season chests given to every player to which the contents vary depending on the player’s rank which break up the monotony. And there’s also a fair amount of drops for every kind of item in the game that makes it feel a bit fair. The high spikes in costs for items however, (you’ll start hitting them around level 6 for most characters) quickly unbalances the game with level caps at 15.


Satisfaction

The gameplay itself stays true to the series. Customizable characters, an expanded roster help a lot. And the addition of supers as well as a health based win system feels different in a good way. However, it’s slowed down by the money grab being done by Capcom with the game’s grind/pay to play nature. I still enjoy having a game or two if it’s just for a couple of minutes and if I am worried about my connection, I can do a mission for a for sure quick uninterrupted game. On a side note, I’d recommend this on tablet over the phone, as interruptions can ruin some PvP matches.

For those who do not like the changes, there are occasional classic style events where you can win up to 12 matches, but if you lose more than 3 you are out. I really like the set up of these tournaments, and while every player has their character set to max level to even the playing field, you are still limited to characters and moves you have already unlocked. But it is an event so it is not always available.


Final Thoughts

The game itself is good for a quick match every now and then. I turn off the notifications and just play it when I have an itch. If you have friends that are into this game it’ll be fun to play with them from time to time, and the gameplay is enjoyable, just some of the mechanics are broken purely for greed.


Recommends

Honestly, I think this game shouldn’t be free. I would have been willing to pay mabey $3-$5(?) for a complete offline mode of this game to really enjoy quick matches on the go with optional online features. I’d also either remove the level up system or make it less of a hassle to do. I wouldn’t even have everything unlocked right away either.

Bring back in-game unlockables. I mean, there’s no better feeling than pulling off a combo, or beating a certain opponent, or completing a character’s arcade mode run. Then there’s the added bonus of getting a reward in the form of a new character or a secret special move. Unlocakbles don’t need to be insane to achieve, and I’m sure there would be people to double their payment to unlock everything. But honestly, both those ideas beat the all to common loot box scheme going on everywhere else.


Pros:

Updated gameplay that stays faithful to the series
Large cast of characters (Still expanding as of the writing of this article)
Strategic layers
Easy to pick up and put down

Cons:

Pay to win
Limited Player Choice at first
Hard to make friends in-game
3D models (This is my preference, but the 2D models from previous entries are superior)


Riley R. is a contributing writer for Teh Lunchbox Publications! For all your news, up to date information, previews, and reviews on the entertainment world, keep it here on tehlunchboxpub.wordpress.com and LIKE and FOLLOW us on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch!

Bethesda Land and Beyond

The hour was Midnight. Sitting on the edge of my workspace in the first heat wave of the summer. I eagerly watched the countdown for the Bethesda’s E3 2017 conference. the screen was filled with familiar icons of the bread and butter that are their main titles for the Bethesda franchise. As well as a few avatars I did not recognize.  Soon enough the countdown dial hit zero and I was treated to a charming intro video.

We see the kids from the various people and teams that make these games possible, being asked what they thought their parents did for a living. In a plethora of cutesy and positively adorable answers (that only kids can give) we are then cut between such cuteness by their parents giving their titles and brief job descriptions. It gave a sense of real life perspective of what the game creators and developers go through to give us such endearing and beloved games. And then, the big reveal… Bethesda Land! In all its glory! Clear cut and color coated much to the happiness and excitement of many. Fans got a precise idea of what games and titles Bethesda has worked on and had in the wood works: and this is where the real conference begins.


We have a first look of sorts into Bethesda’s VR titles, DOOM and Fallout Shelter. To be honest, they couldn’t have picked better titles to segue into the VR world with than the fast-paced, beat ‘em up gore that is the Doom Guy. You now have the chance to get up and personal with the demons of hell as you can personally dish out some righteous and ,visceral violence. In the event you want to cool off from your hellish campaign, you can switch over to Fallout Shelter for some open world cool down where killing the radiated monsters are optional (no one will think less of you if you run away).

Other Notes

  • Morrowind is now included into the Elder Scrolls Online Universe, just in time for the Morrowind 15th anniversary of when the game was first made.

 

  • For those of you that have the PS4 and/or XBOX: ONE, both Skyrim and Fallout 4 Creation Club are now available. Taking customization to a whole new level, you can now download any new creations to these games where the option is available. Form bows and swords to the mud-crabs that are freaking everywhere. Whatever you create will appear in-game as you made it, making your already diverse world even more colorful.

 

  • Skyrim: Legends the card game has received some added bonuses of multiplayer matches and more loot for each game you win, added bonus the game is now available for Android and IOS. Ready to play by next month July 2017.

 

  • As if you couldn’t get enough of Skyrim, now you can literally play Skyrim anywhere with the partnership alongside Nintendo; Skyrim: Elder Scrolls can now be played on the Switch further giving Nintendo’s new system some much-needed diversity.

Upcoming Titles

  • Dishonored: Death of the Outsider Release date: TBA 
  • The Evil Within 2 Release Date: Friday October 13TH 2017 (I see what you did there)
  • Wolfenstein 2: Release date: TBA (supposedly later this year)
  • Quake-Con: An Esports World series event where you and your team can train in the ways of Quake for the chance to win 1-million-dollar grand prize. Located in Dallas Texas where the first Quake campaign took place.

All in all, the Bethesda Conference was short, sweet and to the point. Taking advantage of the late slot and limited time to showcase the titles that are coming out soon, and just in time for the holiday season. In due time I am more than certain the updates for your favorite games and titles will arrive soon. I for one can’t wait to see what’s next in Bethesda Land.

For more information or to view the Live stream in post follow the link below.

 

Watch Dogs 2 Story Trailer!

Ubisoft recently released a new trailer revealing bits of the plot for Watch Dogs 2. Check it out below!

Players take control of Marcus Holloway, a rising hacker who teams up with an elite group of other hackers called Dedsec. Their main mission? To take down the ctOS 2.0 system and it’s creator.

Watch Dogs 2.jpg

What do you all think? Tell us in the comments below!

Watch Dogs 2 releases for the Playstation 4, XBOX One, and PC on November 15, 2016.

Grand Theft Auto Online Update: Bikers

Hey GTA Online players!

Already tired of playing pre-made goofy tracks? Are you done getting motion sickness after going over ramps? Never fear, Rockstar Games is giving you a brand new update called Bikers.

bikers

This brand new update allows you to create you own motorcycle club with up to eight players, sort of like your own FX’s Sons of Anarchy gang. From there, you can assign club roles and have new levels of both competitive and cooperative gameplay to expand. New items include new weapons, tattoos, motorcycles, and high risk jobs will also be included.

Biker Club.jpg

There is no planned release date for the expansion, but keep it here and we will be sure to update you on the news of it’s release.

Gears Of War 4 Launch Trailer!

Next month is going to start well for both XBOX/PC owners and fans of the Gears of War series.

Old Marcus.png

XBOX and The Coalition released a brand new launch trailer for Gears of War 4…wait a minute, was that THE Cole Train? Check it out below!

Taking place after the events of Gears of War 3, players take control of J.D. Fenix, as he and his friends Kat and Del, go out and save their loved ones from an enemy more fearsome than the Locust. What better way to save everyone by teaming up with dear ol’ dad, Marcus?

How excited are you? Tell us in the comments below!

Gears of War 4 releases on October 11th, 2016 for XBOX One and PC.

Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection Announced

Earlier this year, Ubisoft announced news that the next installment of the Assassin’s Creed series would not be releasing this year. Although, even with the news that doesn’t stop the studio from releasing a title related to the series.

The Ezio Collection.jpg

The studio announced the release of Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection. The entire collection contains three games that were feature on the last generation consoles, Assassin’s Creed 2, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, and Assassin’s Creed Revelations. Addition in having all three games in glorious HD comes with a bonus, such as a free movie ticket to watch the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie when it releases in December.

Assassin’s Creed The Ezio Collection hits shelves on November 15, 2016 for the Playstation 4 and XBOX One.

The Last Guardian Delayed

No surprise there.

the-last-guardian

Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony’s World Widestudios for Computer Entertainment Inc., took to the Playstation Blog to update the progress for The Last Guardian. Here’s what Yoshida had to say:

The Last Guardian development team is fast approaching major milestones in production and has made the tough decision to delay the release of The Last Guardian a few weeks. The Last Guardian will launch on December 6, 2016.“.

With the amount of games coming out between now and December 6, we can all agree to the fact that we will be busy with another title until then.

The Last Guardian hits the Playstation 4 on December 6,2016.

Super Mario Run Announced for iOS & Android, Pokémon GO to Apple Watch

In recent months, we’ve seen Nintendo slowly get comfortable with the idea of publishing games and apps to mobile devices. We’ve seen Miitomo earlier this year, and their partnership with Niantic and The Pokémon Company to bring out the super popular Pokémon GO. Now, it’s time for one of their main stays to have a crack at the mobile limelight.

Yesterday during Apple’s iOS conference, we received a surprise visit from famed Nintendo developer Shigeru Miyamoto where he unveiled a new game, Super Mario Run for iOS. The game is runner, similar to that of the recent Rayman mobile games, where you swipe and tap to run, jump, and ground pound through various levels. The game will have various modes, including one that will race the time of other players and collect coins in doing so. While the game possibly might have IAPs, the game will be a paid app (at a yet undetermined price) that will not require additional money to complete and enjoy. The game is set to release on iOS first this December, with release for Android early next year.

super-mario-run

On top of this, there was also the announcement of Pokémon GO soon to be playable on Apple Watch. While the details were very slim, it should be a full port of the popular game tailor made for the Apple Watch experience, so you won’t have to keep your phone in your hands at all times.

Pokèmon GO

Excited to see more Nintendo representation on your mobile devices? Let us know what you think!

Batman: Return To Arkham Release Date & New Trailer!

 

batman-return-to-arkham

With news from the official announcement to a delay with no planned release date, Batman: Return To Arkham bundle is coming and you don’t have to wait that long. Check out the comparison trailer below!


Originally announced back in June and stated for a July 26 release, the bundle has you playing the original two Arkham series games that debuted on the last gen consoles, Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham Knight. The remaster will cost about $50.

Batman: Return to Arkham hits store shelves for the Playstation 4 and XBOX One on October 21, 2016.

Call of Duty XP Briefing Recap

This past weekend was the Call of Duty XP event that took place in Los Angeles, California. What better way to start the convention by via briefing on Friday and here’s the rundown on what happened.

Call Of Duty XP Event.jpg

To start, Activision and Infinity Ward revealed the Multiplayer aspect of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The player uses combat rigs, each with their own distinctive classes, load outs, and traits along with the customizable weapons and equipment. New maps have you fighting on moons and lava filled planets and modes, such as Defender, will keep you busy.

For those who own a Playstation 4, you’re in luck. If you pre-order your game now, you will receive a beta code which starts this October on the 14th.

Not interested in Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer? Don’t worry, Infinity Ward got you covered. The team along with Raven software revealed the multiplayer for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered.

The Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare will come with the Remaster along with 16 multiplayer maps, with the first 10 coming at release and the 6 coming in December. The single player campaign will be available thirty days early as part of the deluxe and legacy editions of Infinite Warfare if you pre-order.

Last but not least is the worldwide reveal of the last map pack of Black Ops III’s Season Pass called Salvation. Four new maps (Outlaw, Citadel, Rupture, and Micro) and the climax of Treyarch’s Origins Zombie saga, Revelations will be released today first on Playstation 4 and later for XBOX One.

What are your thoughts behind these announcements? Let us know in the comments below!

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare hits Playstation 4, XBOX One, and PC on November 4, 2016.