Author Archives: thegamerpad

Yoshi’s Crafted World

Crafted World is a casually fun 2D platformer with a vast amount of hidden items and reasons to replay each level. Besides your standard red coin and flower collectibles, after completion the levels are flipped and played in reserve with a task to chase down hidden Poochy Pups. To add even more, you’re given a scavenger hunt of unique items to find in each level when you’re all done, it’s impossible to 100% a level in one play through. These hidden collectibles are the main draw of the game and is where you’ll find most of the challenge.

The platforming, combat and boss fights are fairly simple, the game is very laid back as previous Yoshi’s and Kirby games are. The level design is well done, but being able to hover jump infinitely undermines some of the maps. The game’s creativeness shines in the crafting styles, everything in the game looks like a hand crafted diorama project, it’s very charming. The music is repetitive and mostly the same recycled tunes, but the level’s actually have a good amount of variety, controlling a giant “mech”-Yoshi, Jet-Planes, Race Cars, and other ways that change up the gameplay. I very much enjoyed this game, it’s the only Yoshi I’ve ever beaten, and my favorite of the non-Island Yoshis.

  • Played it consistently for the first few weeks after release until completing the campaign
  • 100% completed close to half of the levels, I’ve collected over 350 flowers
  • Only played the first couple worlds of Yoshi’s Wooly World and hadn’t played Yoshi’s Story until 2019
  • I believe Yoshi’s Crafted World is the best non-Island Yoshi game.
  • Physical Copy

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

This is one of the best games for the original Game Boy and it’s a big step up from the original Super Mario Land. Bowser is again absent as the main antagonist, but in his place we get the debut of Wario! The visuals and music are up to par with the Mario series, and we even get some new power-ups like the Carrot.

The carrot gives the player Bunny Ears and lets Mario fly over a level easily (a little too easy). As a GameBoy Mario, this game was incredible for it’s time. Compared to the rest of the Mario series, the levels are a bit short and easy (besides the final level) and the game itself is short enough it can be completed 100% in a 2 hours or less. Still a great GameBoy game.

  • Mario is my favorite franchise ever.
  • I played and beat this when it originally came out, and I replayed it to the end again in March 2019
  • I previously looked back at this as a possible top 3 side scrolling Mario game, but after my recent play through I recognize that is untrue due to limitations of the GameBoy and the shorter/easier levels.
  • Physical Copy (Cartridge Only)
  • 3DS Digital Copy

Games From My Backlog: Spring Edition

If it’s not obvious by now, I have a lot of games, too many games and not enough time. My backlog of games builds quickly, I have a problem. Every once in a while I take a look at what has piled up and I try to prioritize what I want to play or finish. I just recently beat the newly released Yoshi’s Crafted World, and now I’m going to look at some stuff to play out of my backlog this Spring.

This is a list of some of the games I’ve already started, but never finished. I enjoyed playing all of these games and would like to go back and complete them.

Dragon Quest Builders – I put in over 40 hours of Dragon Quest Builders when it came out February 2018, but all of this time was spent building up my gigantic castle in the First Chapter. I never advanced to the other chapters because it apparently makes you leave behind/lose your creations. I figure I’ll just keep a save of Chapter 1 to go back to, and should now try to advance in the game before Dragon Quest Builders 2 comes out this Summer.

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle – I really enjoyed this game, I’m actually a big fan of both turn based strategy games and Mario games. When I last played in late 2017 I just made it to the 2nd Boss Fight. Life got a little busy right after this game came out, and I put most of my gaming time into Mario Odyssey instead of this…I really need to go back.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom – This was one of my favorite games of 2018. It came out in December and I spent the month playing it, I had just received the Lion abilities when I stopped playing last. I believe I’m close to the end and I’m definitely going back and finishing this soon.

Mega Man 11 – I’m a huge Mega Man fan, and I really loved what they did with this sequel, it was just as challenging and fun as the older titles. The first level took me a LONG time to clear. My second level (Acid Man) I was able to get to the boss fight much faster, but still never cleared it. As a huge Mega Man fan, I’d love to go back and beat this game.

The Messenger – This was one of my favorite games of last year, I need to play through it and get the full experience. When I last played I had reached the 16-bit era and defeated a red dragon boss. I don’t know exactly how far into the game is, I believe at least 2 hours…for how much I enjoyed playing this, I should finish it.

Read the rest of this entry

Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey delivers greatness that goes right alongside the best games in the franchises’s history. I personally believe Super Mario Odyssey is the best game available on the Switch. The worlds are stuffed with moons to find and other challenges to do. After “beating” a world, more content unlocks within that world, and when you beat the game, even more content is added to those worlds. This is probably the largest Mario game ever.

There are no regular power-ups, no fire flowers, no raccoon leaf’s etc, but you use your hat to possess over 50 different things. These possessions fill the void of no power-ups, as they will enable you to do abilities like fly and shoot fire among other things. The range of abilities, puzzles, platforming and the large amount of content are everything a Mario fan would want. This is a must-have for all Switch owners.

  • Super Mario series is my favorite game series/franchise
  • I’ve beaten every Super Mario game
  • I own all of the mainline Mario games
  • Picked this up at launch, took me a little over 2 months to beat the main campaign. I recently picked it back up to do the post-game content and finished the final-final level. I still have about 400 Moons to get!
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Switch) – Physical

I Need To Play My PS4

The Playstation 4 was easily my most played console between 2014 – 2016, but for the past 18 months, I haven’t even turned it on. In the 6 months before that, I had played it for less than 10 hours. So what happened in 2017 that affected my Playstation 4 time? My tastes in gaming changed, I wasn’t happy with what I had been playing recently, and then around this time, Nintendo released the Switch. A few things in my personal life had also changed, and in respect to my privacy I’ll just say I had a career change, and I also had a some family events occur that reduced my playing time. But I still managed to play games these past 18 months, I just shifted away from the bigger titles on PS4.

Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Play Super Mario Week

All week I’m going to be playing various Mario games from my collection! I’m going to keep a list of the games I’ll be playing, and expected play schedule up here. My twitter feed will also have updates to the schedule

Games Played

Achievements & Trophies: Addiction Unlocked

When Microsoft introduced Achievements with the XBox 360, it changed gaming, it changed the way developers made their games and it changed the way we played games. Sure there were games with collectibles, tasks, and a completionist % design to them, but now every game incorporated it. When I first bought a XBox 360 (Elite model in July 2007) I didn’t think much of achievements, when I played and they unlocked I shrugged it off and didn’t think much more. One night while playing through Gears of War online with a friend, he got excited that he unlocked one, I noticed how it meant something to him.

As months went on, I had played a variety of games, I’m usually picking something up new to play every couple of weeks. I had started to notice achievements more, after they’d unlock, I’d pop-up the menu and see what exactly I just accomplished. A few games later, I started looking through the list and seeing what else there was I thought I could possibly do without getting too off-track and wasting too much time. Eventually, it reached a point where I was looking at https://www.xboxachievements.com/ before a game released, or before I rented it at GameFly and seeing if the achievements seemed obnoxious, time-consuming, and possible. If a game required several play throughs, or online specific goals, such as getting a high rank, I would avoid them. I specifically remember being interested in the game Lost Planet by Capcom, but I avoided playing it because it required 4 – 5 playthroughs to get 100%.

Read the rest of this entry

Bomb Chicken

With a retro style, a creative concept and a familiar feel, Bomb Chicken seems like a hit early on. You play as a bomb laying chicken that stacks and kicks bombs to maneuver through the levels and solve puzzles. While the mechanics feel like a mix of other older games, I don’t believe there is anything else like it.

In the first half of the game, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and clearing each level. I was actually thinking this game had 5/5 potential. But as I reached later levels, I started to encounter flaws in the level design and mechanics. Some of the later levels challenges relied more on luck, being thrown into a room full of hazards while trying to open a timed gate seemed nearly impossible. I knew I’d eventually get it, but I also felt like my strategy wasn’t bad, my skill wasn’t poor, it was just too much for the limited abilities of the Bomb Chicken. When I’d finally clear these later challenges, I only felt like I “finally” got lucky that things worked out in my favor.

The game is still a fun experience, it’s not expensive and it’s not long either. The end levels exposed some weakness, and left me with an “average” feeling but I’d still recommend it to those interested in it.

  • Purchased it at launch for $14.99
  • Played it periodically over a 6 month time frame
  • Beat all of the levels, but did not 100% it, nor do I want to
  • Took under 5 hours to beat all the levels
  • Bomb Chicken (Switch) – Digital

Nintendo Switch: Year 2 In Review

The Nintendo Switch just finished it’s 2nd Year of availability, and it is undoubtedly a huge success. We continue to hear about the device breaking sales records and it seems like every week new games and more support are announced. But besides sales, how was Year 2 for the Switch? I wanted to go back and Grade the releases by Nintendo, the support and releases by Third Parties, the Indies games released, and the Services and Systems Updates the system got throughout the year.

Read the rest of this entry

My Review System & How It Works

I do not doubt at all that my system has flaws in it and someone can come along and pick it apart and tell me why it doesn’t work for them, that’s fine.  I just figure if I’m going to post reviews and score games, I should at least give some explanations to how my scoring works.

My reviews and scores are based on my personal experiences I had with the game, sometimes that may result in some outlier scores, but I believe this is how reviews should be done.   I also like to keep my reviews short, and to the point. I feel as all it really boils down to is the game good, average, or bad, and that’s how I score them.

Pretty much any game I play or review, I have an interest in it.  Most likely, I also purchased the game (I don’t receive review copies), and I only want to spend my time and money on games I am interested in.  I find it very frustrating to read a game review from someone who has no interest in the genre, or series and had to begrudgingly play the game.   Readers read reviews for games they’re interested in playing, they want that reviewer to be interested too, with similar tastes.    Even if I spend my own money, or I’m a fan of a series/genre, I can acknowledge when a game falls short of expectations or isn’t very good…this doesn’t mean everything gets good scores.

I do not doubt at all that my system has flaws in it and someone can come along and pick it apart and tell me why it doesn’t work for them, that’s fine.  I just figure if I’m going to post reviews and score games, I should at least give some explanations to how my scoring works.

Read the rest of this entry