Daily Archives: May 16, 2016

To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever be in the position to review Super Smash Bros. Why? I can objectively look at all of my favorite games. I could talk your ear off for hours about what makes Paper Mario great. Or my favorite game of all time, Xenoblade Chronicles. I would consider my review of that game to be very objective. Those are two of my favorites, and I feel perfectly comfortable looking at them both as a consumer, and as an aspiring designer. Smash is easily the most complicated game series I’ve ever tried to address as a game journalist, even dating back to the old blog.

I have played every game in the Smash series extensively. I mean truly extensively, but I have to say, contrary to popular opinion, my favorite of them is Brawl. So that’s the game I want to talk about when I really try to critically break down, not why Brawl is objectively a good game, but what is the “wow” factor that makes it truly resonate with people.

To give some background, I am by no stretch a competitive Smash player. I would consider my skill level at the game to be above average, but by no means professional level. So I don’t look at these games from the angle of their competitive viability, as I don’t believe they’re supposed to be taken that seriously. Perhaps the combination of the super cartoony aesthetic and the overall tone give me that impression, but I see Smash as a fun way to settle those schoolyard debates between Mario and Link, or Peach and Zelda…nobody ever debates for Luigi. 🙁

Nintendo's greats all in one spot!

Nintendo’s greats all in one spot!

I don’t think there’s ever been a game that paid better tribute to Nintendo than Brawl. It manages to hit nostalgia points in ways no other in the series could do. Be it the new characters, such as Pit from the obscure classic Kid Icarus or Meta Knight from the Kirby series, the expansive cast includes characters that were seemingly forgotten in previous titles. Yes, Smash for Wii U and 3DS have even more classic characters, such as Duck Hunt, Little Mac, and even Pac-man, but it still doesn’t compare. Brawl introduced Assist Trophies, which allowed us to drag into the fray, those interesting characters that just didn’t make the cut for the main game. Characters like Waluigi and Isaac from Golden Sun.

Brawl introduced Final Smashes, which truly brought the best of each character to the foreground. Seeing Bowser turn into the mighty Giga Bowser from Melee for the first time, and learning that you could control him, was an incredible experience. Seeing Link’s Triforce Slash or Ike’s Great Aether showed us the light in which our favorite heroes could shine. It was a beautiful tribute to the majesty of these legends. Final Smashes in Smash 4 are better, don’t get me wrong. But the leap from Brawl to Smash 4 doesn’t compare from the leap Melee took to achieve the awe that Brawl could induce.

Along with these things, Brawl had a huge selection of interesting trophies, but it also had this huge book of stickers! Stickers from games as popular as Metroid Prime to games as obscure as Fire Emblem Sacred Stones. The sheer amount of content in this game surpassed everyone’s expectations.

Regardless of how you feel about its quality, the biggest and most impactful addition to Brawl was the Subspace Emissary. While I realize it wasn’t received as well as I enjoyed it, I gave it a real good think and understood why people didn’t like it. That being said, it was the first time in series history that we got some context (albeit not much) to the scenarios that made up the premise of Smash in the first place. We got to see our childhood heroes fighting alongside and against each other in a riveting adventure. Like this was a big deal, guys!

The cast of Brawl standing over the ocean.

The cast of Brawl standing over the ocean.

Alright. Now that I’ve gushed about Brawl, I think this post is starting to get a little long so I want to get to the point. The actual mechanics of Smash are fun. They’re awesome, and someday when I review the game officially, you’ll understand why I think they’re awesome. But most importantly, Smash is a tribute to decades of culture, and that is why people are always so excited. With stages, characters, music, and many more elements that honor the heroes and villains we hold near and dear, Smash will forever prove its mettle as one of the best options out there for gamers of all ages.

Thank you all for reading! Two posts in one day. Crazy, right? Gotta love Super Smash Bros! I can still think back to all the hours me and my brothers poured into Brawl. I could talk about it all day. As much fun as objective reviews can be, nothing really measures up to anecdotal recollections. I mean, that’s kind of what makes this whole thing fun. Exploring the way games impact us as people is probably the main reason I started doing this. Anyhoo, I’m getting rambly. Thank you all, it’s been a great day on the Game Room. For more on games like Super Smash Bros, and other kick butt titles for all ages, come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

This is the written review for DMC Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition. For the video review, click here.

Capcom and Ninja Theory collaborate to reboot the classic action franchise Devil May Cry. DMC Devil May Cry Definitive Edition brings this exciting action reboot to current gen consoles to create a comfortable, mechanically sound experience for fans of the hack’n’slash genre. While this game’s story and characters leave much to be desired, its controls and style make it one of the best Capcom games of the generation.

DMC Devil May Cry

From the time you start playing DmC it wastes no time establishing tone. Dante is surrounded by strippers, and is engaging in debauchery to showcase his edgy untamed nature. Then his carelessness is displayed as he bares all in front of a visitor at his front door. Things take a turn as, without any explanation Dante is dragged into Limbo, a parallel dimension where demons exist, and they don’t hesitate to launch an attack on him. Turns out, it’s the work of Demon King Mundus, who wants Dante’s Nephilim head on a platter.

You spend the entirety of the first mission getting comfortable with the controls as you fight hordes of rather basic demons. The controls are very easy to learn, and you’re adequately limited. The best way I can describe this game’s combat is by saying that it’s like a juggling routine. You start off with three balls to juggle with and you’re doing a good job. With each new move you learn, and each new style of demon introduced, you’re getting another ball, and while it’s more complex, your routine looks and feels amazing once you master it. By the time you’re able to swap between all of your available weapons and abilities to string together epic combos, you’re left with some of the best game feel in the industry to date.

The definitive edition compliments this quality with its incredible specs, running fluidly at 1080p and 60fps, allowing Dante’s delicious attack animations to flow like water. Combine that with different amounts of tension and screen shake, as well as different weights and sound effects associated with each weapon, and you have the most realistic feeling action experience available in this genre.

That being said, the story does fall short quite a bit, with characters feeling very edgy for the sake of being edgy. Thankfully, the definitive edition removed some of the cringe inducing lines by Mundus’ mistress, as well as Vergil’s fedora. But that doesn’t change Dante’s slurred, angry, almost unprovoked attitude that plagues the game’s dialogue. You will find some reward in completing the game as characters do go through interesting development curves.

Dante and Kat.

Dante and Kat.

The actual game flow of DmC is interesting. The game is divided into missions, which allows for short bursts of gameplay. Yet with so many different enemies, and styles of combat you can pursue, you never quite get a monotonous atmosphere from the game. This is a good balance, as you get to post-mortem your approach to any given mission based on your grades and percentages awarded at the end of each mission.

The game demands you to learn, as boss battles do build off of the basic enemies patterns in some ways. There are few boss battles, unfortunately, but they are impactful and effective.

Outside of the main game, there are side modes. These include special missions where you are forced to fight under specific conditions. For example, enemies will only die in the air. Or Dante will die in one hit. On top of this, there’s the post game DLC Vergil’s Downfall. Quite fun, and similar in tone to the original series. I’d recommend ignoring it until you’re done with the main story, but thankfully it comes bundled with the definitive edition.

DmC Devil May Cry is a special experience on current gen consoles. I’m normally not crazy about “complete” editions of games, but this one truly does offer enough content for the value it’s sold at. Anyone looking for a rad action experience should give this game a go!


Thank you all for reading and/or watching! This is the first of a new wave of Game Room Reviews. I’m setting quite a bit in motion, and you can expect the blog to keep growing as I keep working hard. For more on games like Devil May Cry, and other dynamic action experiences, come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!

Though few have heard of it, “Game and Watch Gallery 4” was one of the greatest experiences available for the Gameboy Advance back in the early 2000s. Now, the game is being brought back for the Wii U Virtual Console, and every kind of player has a reason to try this old gem. The arcade-like expGallery 4erience remastered classic “Game and Watch” titles games like never before, bringing the games to life while incorporating the heroes of the Mushroom Kingdom.

The Super Mario crew arrives in classic titles such as “Fire” or “Chef” in recreations of the handheld games created by Gunpei Yokoi. Being the fourth installment of this gallery series, players can expect that the formula has been explored in numerous ways, and perfected. In a simpler time before smartphones were popular, this game could have easily substituted most app games.

While the “Game and Watch” might be technically weak by the standards of modern games, the understanding of basic design principles shines through, showing that good graphics and orchestral soundtracks simply aren’t enough to make a good game. Risk and reward are at play in these easy to learn, difficult to master gaming gems. Iconic characters from the Super Mario franchise make the game feel familiar from the time it’s powered on.

Placing these characters in different scenarios, such as saving Toads from a burning building, or cooking food for a baby Yoshi, brings the world to life, and makes the games feel slightly connected. The soundtrack is beautiful, amplifying the already peaceful atmosphere that the vibrant colors in
the art style create.

With over twenty Modern and Classic style games to play, “Game and Watch Gallery 4” is a great game for killing time and having simple fun in a classic way. This game is available on the Wii U eshop.

I apologize for the short review, I have something kind of big in the works for tomorrow. I still think Gallery 4 was a blast, and I remember it from my childhood. Tomorrow, I’ll be posting something brand new in the Game Room, starting a new segment on our journey! In the meantime, thank you all for reading and come back soon for more from the Game Room!!!