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GameSpot - Game Reviews The latest Game Reviews from GameSpot

  • Poinpy Review - Moving On Up
    by Kyle Hilliard on June 23, 2022 at 9:14 pm

    To simplify Poinpy, you could call it the opposite of Downwell. The comparison is relevant as both games come from creator Ojiro Fumoto. In Downwell, you make your way down a well shooting enemies and collecting upgrades as you fall. In Poinpy, you make your way up a well and collect fruit to feed the giant Blue Beast that is chasing you upward. In practice, though, Poinpy has mechanics and a style all its own that expertly gamifies an action anyone who has ever used a modern phone is familiar with: the downward swipe. Gallery Poinpy is the titular bouncy dinosaur-like protagonist creature that wouldn't look out of place in a lineup with Kirby and Yoshi. In the game, you are outrunning a giant Blue Beast who always lingers at the bottom of the screen, demanding specific fruit recipes. To climb, you drag down on the screen to slingshot Poinpy upwards, bouncing them against walls and leaping off enemies while collecting specific fruit that randomly appears. The downward swipe action is the key to Poinpy's fun as it feels great to constantly launch them to progress. The mechanic perfectly encapsulates the video game idiom easy to learn, hard to master. My early runs were enjoyable as I awkwardly careened off the walls while not totally clear on my objective, but by the end of my playtime I felt like an acrobat expertly lining up my jumps to bounce off one enemy to collect the final banana and slamming down to deposit a mountain of juice into the blue beast's mouth below. All the practice in the world, though, does not overcome the occasional annoyance of making a mistake. Understanding how to gain additional jumps, earned from bouncing off of enemies and pots, is what leads you to success, and the on-screen icons don't do the best job of quickly reminding you how many jumps you have left. On more than one occasion, I would think I was in good shape to grab the last kiwi I needed, only to learn too late that I was out of jumps and came crashing to the ground. At that point, you have to restart the recipe, which is a huge bummer especially during the late-game. This is, of course, the challenge of the game--managing jumps to collect the fruit you need--but sometimes it feels a little too punishing. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Disney Mirrorverse Review - Shattered Dreams
    by Jason Fanelli on June 23, 2022 at 4:00 pm

    At first glance, Disney Mirrorverse looks and sounds like a child making up a story on the fly with action figures. Characters from all across Disney's catalog--heroes and villains alike--come together to fight off a malevolent force that threatens all of reality. These characters aren't their usual selves, trading in their children's movie personas for something with a little more edge. It's a bold and interesting choice, something never seen before from this group of characters, and this world's mere existence is an exciting prospect. Unfortunately, the boldness of Mirrorverse comes at a cost, literally, as the idea is buried beneath crystalline loot boxes, microtransactions, and convoluted progression. What could have been a whole new world for Disney is instead just the latest run-of-the-mill mobile game. Disney Mirrorverse is an action-RPG set in the titular Mirrorverse, where enemies called the Fractured are growing in power. You battle these hordes with teams of three heroes called Guardians, chosen from the 44 characters who make up the roster. Each of the 44 fills one of four archetypes, Melee, Ranged, Support, and Tank, which informs how they fight. These classes are standard fare: Melee Guardians use swords and other handheld weapons, Ranged heroes rely on magic and projectiles, Tanks stay in the enemy's face while soaking up damage, and Supports heal teammates, debuff enemies, and more. You get new Guardians through Crystals--Mirrorverse's version of loot boxes that are both earned through gameplay and purchased with in-game and real-world currencies. Crystals come in multiple forms, some highlighting specific Guardians or guaranteeing specific ranks, and are opened with typical loot box theatrics via the in-game shop. As a longtime Disney fan, I cannot stress enough how cool it is to see these characters in this new light. Belle from Beauty and the Beast steps out of the library as a powerful mage, wielding a staff powered by the magic rose itself. Her villainous counterpart, Gaston, has gone full Game of Thrones wildling with his massive bow and shoulder-spanning wolf pelt. The lovable bear Baloo dons his Disney Afternoon-era TaleSpin garb and uses a giant plane propeller as a broadsword. Not all characters receive such revolutionary designs--Elsa is an elemental who controls ice, for instance--but even those that don't stray as far from the source have their charm. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Capcom Fighting Collection Review - Family Feud
    by Jason Fanelli on June 21, 2022 at 3:00 pm

    Capcom Fighting Collection feels like a family reunion. Ten games reside in this digital banquet, ranging from all-time fighting game favorites to a few relics of the past. They all play exceptionally well, particularly online, and each one is an arcade-perfect port. The main issue with the collection is balance, as half of the offerings are centered around a single series: Darkstalkers. While those games are good--the previously Japan-only titles are particularly appreciated--a little more variety in this collection would have pushed it up a tier or two. As it stands, it's a little too much of a monster mash. This isn't to say there aren't a few well-known, non-Darkstalkers games in the collection as well, as it showcases the breadth of Capcom's arcade 2D fighting game history. Both Hyper Street Fighter II--the 2003 port of 1994's Super Street Fighter II Turbo--and 1996's Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo are included in Capcom Fighting Collection. While each title has been ported multiple times since its original release--SFII is available pretty much everywhere, and although not as ubiquitous, Puzzle Fighter II Turbo has also appeared on more console generations than you'd think--this collection marks the first time the games have been sold together. Both play exactly as you remember them here: Hyper SFII is the classic one-on-one fighting game starring Ryu, Chun-Li, and more, while Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo replaces fighting with gem-matching in a format similar to Columns from Sega. Gallery Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix--also known as Pocket Fighter--ups the ante for Street Fighter-themed inclusions. It is one of the goofiest fighting games Capcom has ever made thanks to its chibi-style character design and light-hearted battle animations, and revisiting this particular page of fighting game history was an unexpected blast. I'd forgotten just how wacky this game was until I selected Zangief for the first time and watched him transform through the stages of evolution in a single combo, and revisiting this particular page of fighting game history was an unexpected blast. One of the stages features a giant Capcom-themed toy store in the background, with a child version of Cammy pointing at a toy in the window and tugging on her father M. Bison's coat as he shakes his head in disapproval. It's a silly, irreverent, and wonderful gem of a game and I'm glad Capcom brought it back. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes Review – Wars With Friends
    by Kyle Hilliard on June 21, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    With each new release from Dynasty Warriors developer Omega Force, the word "Warriors" gets further away from the word "Dynasty". The Musou action genre it created, where you play as an ultra powerful soldier against an army of hundreds, is borrowing more and more from the franchises it licenses story and characters from. Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity looked and even sometimes felt like Breath of the Wild. Persona 5 Strikers (which lacks "Warriors" in the title, but is a Musou game) played like an extension of Persona 5, but with a different combat style. This trend among Omega Force’s games is a positive one, as you can only press the Y button so many times before you want to do something different. Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes offers perhaps the most opportunity to entertain yourself outside of comboing through thousands of enemies that the studio has released yet thanks to its Fire Emblem: Three Houses-inspired content between missions. The result is a better-paced, more interesting experience than previous Omega Force games, but one that is still very much a Musou game. Where the original Fire Emblem Warriors presented an ultimately unfulfilled opportunity to meet and play with the larger history of Fire Emblem characters, Three Hopes reigns in the focus and is essentially a pseudo-sequel/alternate telling of Three Houses that is an action game instead of a tactics RPG. You won’t run into characters like Roy or Marth, but you do have the choice to join Edelgard’s Black Eagles, Prince Dimitri’s Blue Lions, or--the correct choice--Claude’s Golden Deers. If you’ve played Three Houses, seeing these characters and agonizing over the choice again is nice, but this time you’re playing as a new character named Shez, whose appearance throws the timeline out of sync and forces former Three Houses protagonist Byleth into the antagonist role. The departure gives an illuminating new look at that story, allowing you to interact with familiar characters under new circumstances. This change also made me admire Byleth in a new way, as she destroyed me the first time I met her, and proved to be a worthy challenge on nearly every subsequent rematch. Before and after combat encounters is where Three Hopes is the closest to Three Houses and doesn’t feel like a typical Musou game. Between pressing Y arguably too much, you visit base camp, where you can upgrade facilities, train, speak with your soldiers, make a meal, or even take care of horses. I enjoyed the reprieve from the repetitive combat and though I didn’t want to hear from every character between battles (and often elected not to), the opportunity to get to know the cast of characters, improve all the interpersonal relationships, and make them stronger during combat, made me eager to return to base camp. I even enjoyed the strangeness of going on the occasional date between slaughtering opposing troops. Base camp doesn’t change visually as a result of upgrades, which is disappointing, but leveling up and improving the facilities is rewarding for the bonuses they provide, like faster training or stores being able to carry more supplies. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]

  • Sonic Origins Review – Going Fast, Again
    by Heidi Kemps on June 21, 2022 at 1:00 pm

    There's no denying the appeal of classic Sonic--the 16-bit Sonic games are some of the most memorable and influential platformers around. No matter what happens with modern-day Sonic, the old games remain as wondrous and as exciting as ever; a sort of gaming comfort food you can keep coming back to for years on end. It's no surprise then that Sega has re-released the classic Sonic games many, many times over in various compiled and standalone forms. Sonic Origins is the latest such compilation, with its main selling point being that the games have been completely rebuilt by many of the staff behind the beloved Sonic Mania. And while the games remain as delightful as ever, the package as a whole feels a little disappointing. Sonic Origins contains four (technically, five, since Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles were sold separately) classic Sonic games from the 16-bit era: the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic CD, Sonic 2, and the combined Sonic 3 & Knuckles. Rather than the emulation most re-releases utilize, each of the games has been rebuilt in a new engine (the Retro Engine) to play almost exactly like their original versions--though with various quality-of-life improvements added. Sonic 1, for example, has a spin dash and fixes the infamous instant-kill spike bug, while Sonic 2 adds a new level (the mythical Hidden Palace Zone), and Sonic 3 & Knuckles has touched-up sprite animation for its cinematics and the Super Sonic transformation, and so on. In addition, characters who might not have been playable in the original releases also are made available, such as Tails in Sonic CD and Knuckles in Sonic 1. (Knuckles still isn't in Sonic CD, likely because his play style really doesn't match the way that game's levels flow.) Most of the original visuals and music remain intact, though some of Sonic 3's music (long theorized to have the involvement of Michael Jackson) has been changed, likely for legal reasons. All of the games have a new "anniversary mode" that increases the viewing area to 16:9 (as opposed to the original 4:3 aspect ratio) and removes the lives counter. You can still die, of course, but you'll just respawn at the last checkpoint, making the threat of a looming Game Over moot. The lives counter is instead replaced by a coin counter. Coins can be collected within the games from power-up monitors, getting lots of rings, and clearing Special Stages. You can then spend these coins to unlock extras in Sonic Origins' museum, or retry when you fail to get the Chaos Emerald in a Special Stage. It's a great feature for Sonic 1 and Sonic CD, where opportunities to enter and clear a Special Stage are quite limited--less so for Sonic 2 and S3&K where opportunities are more plentiful early on and you can then blaze through the rest of the game as Super Sonic after getting a full emerald set. Continue Reading at GameSpot […]