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.

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!

Nintendo Direct 9/1/16 Rundown

Nintendo Direct Sept 1

Nintendo has been gaining major flak lately for their lack of communication about upcoming releases. While they’re not yet ready to pull back the curtain on the NX, they granted us a new Nintendo Direct focusing solely on 3DS titles. Here’s a detailed list of the things they showed during the presentation: Continue reading

The Coalition Put Gears of War 4 in the Spotlight With Horde Mode 3.0

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This weekend is the annual  PAX West convention and It’s no surprise that The Coalition will be there to promote the next installment of the critically acclaimed Gears of War franchise. And what is probably the most entertaining thing about any Gears of War game is Horde mode. It’s you against an army of enemies who are ready to take your head off. Horde mode has brought popularity to this type of gaming allowing others to reap similar benefits from their fans (Halo’s Firefight, Call of Duty’s Zombie mode). It becomes no surprise that The Coalition would give us our first look at the new and revamp Horde mode v 3.0. Check out the first look below.

Lots of new things coming for this new version. From class systems to which lets you pick your own role in the team to a Fabricator option which essentially allows you to build your own base of defense. We even a return to boss battles every 10 rounds. A mix of fresh new ideas with the classic elements that made Horde mode a hit to begin with makes this an interesting development. The question is, will it be a hit or a miss? We’ll find out on October 11th when Gears of War 4 hits the shelves.


Stephon W. is the Assistant Editor In Chief and 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!

Microsoft’s E3 Recap

E3_MicrosoftNow it’s Microsoft’s turn and they had quite a few things to show off as well. Let’s jump into it.


Xbox One S

We begin with Microsoft giving us a first look at one of two new consoles set to be released over the next two years. While project scorpio (which will no doubt change in name as we approach its release), won’t be for a couple of years, the Xbox One S will be available in August will a few notable differences. The smaller and more compact design, and larger hard drive are expected, HDR support for gaming and media playback and 4k for media playback and bluray. There is so much to say about how there is so much right and wrong about this, but at least it looks nice.


Battlefield 1

Battlefield looks great upon its return and with a revamped multiplayer experience which will allow up to 64 combatants to join in on the war theatrics. No doubt it’s gonna be your classic war story with some original wrinkles in it. But the calling card for Battlefield has always been its multiplayer features and with that many potential players in one party it sounds like the focus is on making as genuine and as epic a war experience as possible.


Forza Horizons 3

Forza is still going strong after all these years and now they’re ready to get back in the driver seat with Forza Horizons 3. It’s vibrant, and now it is multifaceted with the inclusion of off-road vehicles to use now. Australia will be your racing scene this time around so get your game on down under Forza Horizons 3 it drops September 27.


Killer Instinct

Chapter 3 for Killer Instinct will have a very VERY big bug problem when General RAAM wreaks havoc on the fighters. If you’re a fan of Gears of War (which face it, most people probably are) then you know RAAM is all about business. And his business is pure destruction.


Tekken 7

I don’t know if this is officially the end of the Mishima saga which has dominated the Tekken lore for decades, but if it is it looks like it’s getting the right send off. New fighting mechanics should make for smoother transitions and a more palatable experience for players. But that’s not what everyone is excited for. Akuma is here. I don’t know why he’s here, and I don’t care. I just want to break fighters with purple hadokens.


Dead Rising 4

It’s the only game that makes the zombie apocalypse your own personal playground. It’s been a decade of making fun of the un-dead in the most gruesome way possible with Frank West so lets keep it going. As long as they stick to whats worked so far, this time around should be just as fun as the last. And what’s better is that Dead Rising 4 will be here just in time for Christmas!


Halo Wars 2

And what would the Microsoft showcase be without Halo. The official trailer for Halo Wars 2 dropped and it was not short on the theatrics. While the game itself is not set for release till 2017, the beta is already available. You know more companies should do this more often. Really makes the time waiting go by a lot easier.

Bethesda at E3: Recap

Bethesda-Logo (1)

Well, it’s time to start recapping some of the big news that’s been breaking over the last couple of days at E3 this year. Over at Bethesda, there is no shortage of news.

1. Quake Champions

Id software stuns again for the second year in a row. Last year it was Doom, this year is the return of Quake with Quake Champions.  Classic games never looked so good. With the success of Doom, expect the new installment of Quake to break ground again when it hits stores.


2. Elder Scrolls: Skyrim is Coming to PS4 and Xbox One

Most had suspected the move for awhile and the confirmation was a delight to all. Elder Scrolls: Skyrim will be moving up to the flagship platforms! Full mod support should give the game new life for gamers in the form of a sharper and more enjoyable playing experience.


3. The Elder Scrolls Online will give full access to content

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For those who don’t know exactly what that entails, that means no level restrictions! You can roam freely throughout the expansive universe. This is a fairly unprecedented move for an MMO. No one knows how this will affect the overall gameplay and fans are interested to see what is to come.


4. Prey is on its way

Well, no one knows exactly if this is a remake of the first game entitled Prey, but it sure looks to be in the same vein as such. It is stated to be a re-imagining of its predecessor so one can only assume it’s at least a soft remake. Whatever the case, the trailer didn’t reveal a whole lot so lets hope that there’s more to it than what was shown.


5. Dishonored sees new setting in upcoming sequel

If the trailer didn’t say enough then that’s not a bad thing entirely. But I would say we got everything we needed. This is E3 after all. The biggest this is that we got a clear change of scenery and some pretty gruesome scenes following the previous game nicely. Karnaca will have a hell of a lot to offer when fans get a chance to traverse the new location when Dishonored 2.

Injustice 2 Officially Announced

All it took was one poster leak for Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios (Ed Boon and the studio behind the Mortal Kombat series) to release an announcement trailer for Injustice 2.

Injustice: Gods Among Us was a fighting game first released three years ago, having players fighting against each other using the DC Roster of both heroes and villians.

What’s new for the sequel? Here’s what we know so far

  • The story mode will take place right after the events of the first game.
  • You can be Iron Man! Just kidding, however! There is a new “gear system”, having players place customizable armor pieces on their hero or villain to enhance their strength, speed, health, and agility.
  • Returning characters such as Batman, Superman, The Flash, and Aquaman return with new faces such as Supergirl, The Arkham Knight, Gorilla Grood, and Atrocitus.

Hopefully we shall see some gameplay next week at E3 2016?

Injustice

Injustice 2 releases next year for Playstation 4, XBOX One, and PC.