- Aug 29, 2018
27. KickBeat - Special Edition (2014, Wii U) ★★★☆☆
Fun concept: this is a rhythm game dressed up like a brawler. Play as the lamest guy in the world while he roundhouses fools on the dance floor! I fear this is the closest we'll get to a Romeo Must Die game adaptation. Thank God the cut-scenes were skippable because the story is a unique flavour of cringy awfulness I haven't endured in a long time.
Rhythm games live or die by their music selection, and this one's rather focused on 2 genres: early-to-mid 2000s rock (Rob Zombie, Papa Roach, Marilyn Manson) and a whole lot of EDM (Pendulum, Celldweller and a few others). There's maybe two hip-hop tracks to to add some variety (including one by Styles of Beyond). Bummer there weren't more of those, hip-hop beats work really well for this!
Anyway, the game's decent, and has a lot of replay value if you really wanna get into it. The final boss battle took some getting used to, and I'm not sure why. I don't think there was a sudden spike in input lag, but it took me a dozen tries to nail the song.
28. Koi DX (2016, Wii U) ★★☆☆☆
Short, stylish game in which you play as a fish. Swim in ponds, lakes, and polluted sewers, find other fish and solve minor puzzles with them. Clocking in at maybe an hour of playtime, it's clear this is meant as a short, relaxing experience. The game partially succeeds in this regard, but its meant-to-be-chill music is a bit too twee and saccharine for my tastes. I'm sure many folks will find it relaxing, but it got on my nerves after half an hour.
Overall I kinda liked playing this, and it does succeed in telling a kinda cute story if you bother to pick up the collectables, but ultimately it's just a very slight experience.
29. Swords & Soldiers HD (2014, Wii U) ★★★☆☆
Had begun playing this earlier in the year but got sidetracked by CastleStorm, amusingly. Having now finished Swords & Soldiers, I can say it's sort of interesting, especially for what once was a WiiWare title, but I'm still not massively enthused by it. The game's played as a side-view strategy game in which you manage 2 separate resources in order to spawn units and use various magic powers respectively. Most levels are doable by a sort of slow-motion Zerg rush, battle-of-attrition style, but a few of them basically have a sequence of unit deployment you need to crack in order to win. Good mechanics but it does get old quick.
Swords & Soldiers is all kinda neat, works well, feels polished... But the style is a real bummer for me. Basically all the factions are just motivated by food ("we must conquer the giant chilli", etc.) and not a single joke landed for me, despite the game fielding its very best 2010 Internet meme references. Sigh. The three campaigns (Vikings, Imperial China, Aztec) also means the writers & artists went for a lot of cheap cultural jokes and caricatures. The Chinese troops sometimes speak in broken English, that sorta stuff. Very dated shit. Since the gameplay is decent I'll go with three stars, but just barely.