Death Stranding Sales and Critical Predictions

Kojima’s name carries so much weight in the video game industry. Whenever one of his games is announced, it gets a lot of attention. Death Stranding is no different. The hype has been mixed, but since the game has been released to reviewers, it is getting some positive buzz. I am gonna predict how this game will do sales and critically.

Critical reception

This is so hard to predict. I do think a lot of critics will appreciate the game, but I also think there are gonna be a lot of detractors as well. I am gonna give a wide birth. This game will go between 74-86. I think it comes down to how much fun the reviewer has with the game. Kojima has said the game takes awhile to get going. Will some critics be patient? Will the payoff be worth it? I think some critics will love the mystery and story, while others will hate how convoluted and boring it is.

Sales

So many people have this game doing great. I don’t know. I think it depends. If the review scores are great, yes, it will do great. However, if the scores are mixed. It will start out strong, but fall fast. If the reviews are over 86, the game will sell 2 million it’s first week and 5-6 million overall. If the scores are below 79, it will do 1.5 million it’s opening week and 2.7 million overall. I think the latter is what’s gonna happen.

This game is an acquired taste. It’s not a mainstream game and it will baffle a lot of players and critics. It will have a following, but it’s not gonna break out like HZD did.

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.videogameschronicle.com/news/sony-commits-to-early-death-stranding-reviews/

Legend of Zelda Link’s Awakening: Review

By Michelle Lynn Tackett

Few things bring a smile to my face like a top/down Zelda game. The art style, enemies and dungeons bring back memories. That’s why I was excited when I saw Link’s Awakening trailer. Is this a legendary remake? Let’s find out.

Graphics
They are gorgeous and adorable. You will hug your Switch the whole time! The textures, lighting, and colors are fantastic. Some people talk about the frame rate dropping, such as when the game changes from one screen to the next, but I didn’t experience that. Grizzo did a great job with the graphics. Just because it looks cute, doesn’t mean it’s not a powerhouse. The animations are fluid. This is the best looking game on the Switch until Luigi’s Mansion 3 comes out.

Gameplay
There is nothing groundbreaking here. It’s a typical top/down Zelda game. That’s fine with me. Link gets the master-sword, Hylian shield, bombs, arrows, and more. Because of the extra buttons on the Switch controller, you don’t have to keep removing items. You can use more than one at a time. This is a major upgrade over the original. There are no major changes to the game-play, so if you’ve played any top/down Zelda games before, you know what to expect. Lots of post-game content including a colored dungeon, and a dungeon maker.

Music
The updated music is a delight to the ears! The remastered orchestras and strings give more power to the music. Plus, Ballad of the Wind Fish has lyrics! They will send chills up your spine.

Story
Without giving away anything for those who haven’t played Link’s Awakening. All I will say is Link wakes up on an island inhabited by strange creatures and likable characters. He tries to find a way off the island. How does he do that? Play the game to find out.

Flaws
There are a few flaws in the game. It’s not BOTW in size, but not every game is. The game does end a little abruptly, so that’s one area I would change. The biggest flaw is the Dungeon creator. It’s not Mario Maker 2.

Verdict: It’s a top/down Zelda Game, that’s all there is to say. The dungeons are great graphics are adorable and the gameplay is top-notch. Is this worth sixty bucks? Absolutely!

Grade: 4 Stars, a must-own adventure that plays wonderfully on the Switch.

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch/The-Legend-of-Zelda-Link-s-Awakening-1514327.html

Astral Chain is a GOTY Contender! My Early Impressions

I have been excited for Astral Chain since I first saw it. The style, combat and Platinum Games were enough for me! What else do you need? My expectations were high, so when I got my copy, I was nervous? Will it live up to the hype? Is it is as good as Bayonetta 2 and Nier? I couldn’t wait to play AC and give my impressions.

Combat

The combat is unique and fun. You have two characters to control, you and your legion. Thankfully, the control set up is simple. You use ZL to call your legion, and ZR is your attack button. Your legion attacks on its own while you use the control stick to do different moves (rotating your stick will help chain your enemies up, so you can attack without them counter-attacking). It does take a while to get used to, but once you do, it flows like water. There are lots of layers to the combat, but the game adds it bit by bit instead of pouring it on. This helps the player adjust to the complex moves in the game.

Graphics

Graphics don’t matter to me, but Astral Chain is a looker. Gorgeous colors, shinning textures, great details, and a solid 30fps will have your eyes exploding. The environments are incredible. I’ve never seen anything like them in a game before. The world is huge. It isn’t an open world, but open-ended. I am not a digital foundry, but this game shows what the Switch can do when the right developer gets ahold of it.

Music

One part of this game that doesn’t get enough praise is the music. Holy cow the music is incredible. This is one of the best soundtracks I’ve heard. Thumping techno, rebellious punk, and glaring rock will fill your ears with original sounds and beats. The opening cinematic plays out like an Anime with a wonderful track called Savior. I would buy the soundtrack if it was available.

Investigation

Some people may not like detective work, but I love it. Its a nice break from the action, and gives you a chance to use your IRIS which helps you solve cases and fight enemies. The cases you solve can be pretty simple, but they’re engaging and fun. Sometimes you have to chase down a civilian who broke the law. You never kill anyone, but you can use your legion to catch them and arrest them. This adds variety to the gameplay.

Final thoughts

I thought Fire Emblem Three Houses was game of the year, but along comes Astral Chain. This is one of the best action games I’ve ever played. It is my favorite Platinum Games game, even over Nier and Bayonetta 2. The variety, size, graphics, combat, gameplay, and music are mind-blowing. I cannot get over how good this game is. I will be back in 2 weeks with my final review. I am 15 hours in and I am not finished, so it is a big game, and I am having a blast. Get this game for the Switch. If you don’t own a Switch? What’s wrong with you? Get one, and get this game now!

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2019/08/feature_from_astral_chain_to_zetman_the_story_of_masakazu_katsura

Yoshi’s Crafted World Review

Some companies’ video games make you smile. Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man and Kingdom Hearts come to mind. However, no one makes games that will bring a smile to your face like Nintendo. They know how to hit that sweet spot with charm and cuteness that will win you over. Games like Mario, Kirby, Toad, Luigi, Pokemon, Animal Crossing and Yoshi will bring a huge smile to your face and you won’t be able to stop smiling.

Yoshi has had some great games over the years. Yoshi Island and Wolly World stand out as great games that still hold up. I think we may have the best Yoshi game since Island with Yoshi’s Crafted World. An incredible platformer with some challenge, but tons of collectables and an adorable style that’ll keep you smiling for weeks! Let’s get to it.

Graphics

The graphics are so darn cute! I can’t get over how adorable and cute the graphics are! The crafts sparkle with color and each item really looks like it was well, crafted. As for the “blurry” backgrounds, they’re done that way on purpose. You are supposed to really look for the hidden items sprinkled through the backgrounds. Giving the background some blur, helps hide some hidden items. It forces you to take your time and really look for them. I had no problem with the developers doing this. The frame rate is steady and clean, so you don’t notice any hiccups which is good.

Level Design

Each level has a personality. You will not see levels that repeat themselves, (cough Days Gone), sorry I had to get that boring level design of Days Gone out of me. From outer space levels, to big towns and haunted houses, (which are my personal favorites). Each level has a unique theme and this theme is executed to perfection. This game has some of the best level design I’ve seen since Super Mario Odyssey. That’s high praise indeed. Each level is packed with hidden goodies that you’ll want to find. It becomes an addiction! Unlike some games that make items a chore to find, (Hi Anthem, we’re looking at you). Yoshi’s Crafted World makes finding items a joy. My only complaint is, I wish there would’ve been two more worlds. Five worlds is nice, but I would’ve put seven in myself.

Gameplay

The gameplay is simple, but has some depth to it. Yoshi can fire into the background and you can move the cursor, (I like that myself). Yoshi has his flutter jump and bum stomp. I would’ve liked a few more moves for Yoshi, but it doesn’t take away from the game. as far as the challenge goes, no, it’s not Dark Souls, but it isn’t meant to be. It isn’t a cake walk either. I have died a few times, especially when trying to find all the collectables. Not every game is meant to make you throw your Switch against the wall. Yoshi isn’t that type of game.

Music

The music for Yoshi’s Crafted World is getting mixed reviews so far, but I personally like it. There are some cathy tunes, especially the main theme which is hum worthy. I guess it depends on your taste in music, it does have a more sublte approach to it.

Flaws

More moves and worlds, I said that eariler. I also would’ve liked more uses for the outfits Yoshi collects. I know they add protection, but nothing else. I would have liked it if they had different functions. Some could help you jump higher, some could help Yoshi run faster, etc., you get the point. That’s pretty much all the flaws I could find.

Final Throughts

Yoshi’s Crafted World is one of the best platformers on the market. Some complain it doesn’t break new ground, but who cares! The gameplay is great, the graphics are beyond charming and the amount of collectables is astounding! This is a great single player experience, or you can have a friend join in for the fun. You will easily spend at least 30 hours finding everything. Yoshi is about having fun exploring giant levels with clever design, and Crafted World is a home run in that department. With fun boss battles and tons of collectables, you’ll spend hours having fun and smiling all the way.

My score: 10 out of 10. A glorious platformer that holds its own with Mario Odyssey. A must buy.

When Will See The First Footage of Metroid Prime 4?

I wish Nintendo had given MP4 to Retro Studios in the first place. It hurt that Nintendo delayed MP4, but it was for the better.

Here is the question, when will we see the first piece of footage? It is way too soon to show it now, or at the E3 this year. I am gonna predict Nintendo is going to show off MP4 at E3 2020 or the VGA 2020. I hope so, fans will want to know how the game is progressing along. Show us the money Nintendo!

Photo Courtesy of: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/01/nintendo-throws-out-metroid-prime-4-work-restarts-with-retro-studios/

Why Is Anime So Popular?

In the 21st century, Japanamation (or Japanese Anime), has exploded in popularity. Names like Miyazaki, Hosoda and Shinkai mean as much to animated fans as Pixar does. What is causing this? Let’s take a look!

Different Style

Anime has a distinct style that allows bigger facial expressions and over the top humor that wouldn’t work with western style animation. This can lead to bigger for audiences and it can convey different story telling methods to the audience.

The Forgotton Hollywood Category, Drama.

Let’s face it, Hollywood don’t do good dramas anymore. Some independent movies can do it well, but big budget dramas are almost dead. In Anime though, it’s alive and well. You feel the pain the characters do, movies like Kiki’s Delivery Service, Your Name and Ponyo will have you in tears when they feel pain, and cheering when they are happy. Drama when it’s done right can be so rewarding.

Less Cynical

Aren’t you tired of cynical movies? Don’t you want movies with real heart and sincere emotions? You get that a lot in anime. Wolf Children is a great example of a loving family who works to stay together and you really know that the family loves each other. It is real and the characters don’t wink at you to let you know it’s a game. This makes you more invested in the story and the characters.

Great Escapism

When you turn on TV or go to You Tube, you can come across so much harsh reality. We all need to deal with it, but too much can bring you down. Watch a sweethearted anime movie. You can see relatable characters overcome obstacles and hardships. You’ll see lots of gentle stories like the Secret World of Arrietty. What a sweet story about a loving family who happen to be small and how they deal with it. You’ll feel so good after you watch it. Forget your problems for over 2 hours and enjoy. There are other movies like The Girl Who Leapt Through Time and Ponyo that will make you feel great after watching them.

Imagination

Oh the things you can do with animation. Spirited Away is a great example of this. You’ll see creatures you’ve never seen before and a world that will make your sensors go wild. Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro are packed with imaginative images that will fill your mind with gorgeous colors, character designs and weird creatures which will blow your mind. You’ll feel like you are on cloud nine seeing all of these incredible images.

Diversity

Anime has a lot of different sub-categories. Some are wild sci-fi, sexy, some are dark and some are wonderful family movies. You don’t get a lot of adult animation in the west (adult swim used to, but not now), anime knows there are fans who crave adult animation. Vampire Hunter D, Death Note and Akira are great adult animes that are smart, dark and edgy for older . Then you got cute and wholesome animes like The Castle in the Sky and Summer Wars that are great for the whole family.

Relatable Characters

No matter how wild the images or creatures, anime gives you very relatable characters. Taki and Mitsuha from Your Name, are typical college kids who are trying their best to get by. Working jobs, going to school and trying to balance their home life. Who can’t relate to that? Even though there is a sci-fi element, the movie never forgets to give us characters we can relate to and care about. Wolf Children is another great example of this. Hana, Yuki and Ame are a typical family. Yuki is a regular housewife who is trying her best to raise her kids on her own. This makes the drama real and we feel for them when something happens. No matter how outrageous the story.

Traditional Animation

Remember when Disney did movies like Aladdin, the Little Mermaid and the Lion King? Nearly all western animated movies are CGI now. Don’t get wrong, I love CGI, but there is something about hand drawn animation that is appealing. The colors are brighter, the textures pop and there is a quiet charm about it. Princess Mononoki, Your Name and A Silent Voice can stun you with beauty in ways CGI can’t. The gorgeous colors that will make your eyes do somersaults and the fluid movement that will cause your brain to work overtime. Hollywood has forgotten that a lot of people still prefer hand drawn animation to CGI. Anime is one of the few places where someone can get that nowadays.

Final Thoughts

For all of the reasons above, Japanese Anime is gathering a huge following in western Countries now. It isn’t just movies or tv shows either. Video games as well are showing a growing interest in anime. Games like Persona 5 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 both have sold over 2 million copies. America is taking notice. JJ Abrams is remaking Your Name, (please let it turn out to be good), and stores like Walmart are carrying more anime. This is great! If you haven’t checked out anime, do yourself a favor and check some out. There is something for everyone. Long live Anime!

Links to some of my favorite anime:

https://www.amazon.com/Your-Name-Blu-ray-Michael-Sinterniklaas/dp/B074R4KSTM/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?crid=14AP5PSLP62RF&keywords=your+name&qid=1556481013&s=gateway&sprefix=your&sr=8-3

Links to Anime becoming popular:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/comicbook.com/anime/amp/2018/05/03/anime-overseas-popularity-study-released/

https://www.infoplease.com/us/arts-entertainment/manga-and-anime-japanese-invasion

TV Shows:

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.snaptubeapp.com/how-to/anime/japanese-anime-movies.html

Nintendo Will Have the Best Summer in Video Games Ever

Summer is usually a slow time for big video game releases, well someone forgot to tell Nintendo that. The Nintendo Switch is going to be loaded with big exclusives like Fire Emblem, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Yokai Watch 4, Daemon X Machina, Astral Chain and the big one Mario Maker 2. That is from June to the end of August alone. I can’t remember a time when a console had so many huge releases in the Summer. Last Summer Nintendo scored with Toad Treasure Tracker, Mario Tennis and Octopath Travler. I think this smart, Nintendo is filling a void for gamers who are hungry for new content during the long summer months. Who says gamers don’t want to buy games during the summer? Look at how well Splatoon 2 has done, and it was released during the summer. Look for Mario Maker 2 to post similar numbers to Splatoon 2 when Mario Maker 2 releases in June.

I also predict Fire Emblem to post the biggest opening week for a Fire Emblem game and Astral Chain will become the next big IP for Nintendo. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 and Daemon X Machina will do great and Yokai Watch 4 could be a Super Mario Party sized hit. What a line up of games! This will keep Nintendo’s momemtum going until the fall when four of the biggest titles of the year will be released. Pokemon Sword and Shield, Animal Crossing, Luigi’s Mansion 3 and Link’s Awakening remake.

What a brilliant strategy by Nintendo that I think will pay off in spades. Couple this, along with the big third party releases like Dragon Quest Builders 2, God Eater 3 Oninaki and Wolfenstein Youngblood to name a few. May the Gods have mercy on your wallet, because the Switch won’t.

Photo courtesy of: https://www.target.com/p/nintendo-switch-with-neon-blue-and-neon-red-joy-con/-/A-52189185

500 Bucks For PS5?

There is a rumor going around that Review Tech USA did a video on. There is a rumor that the PS5 will cost 500 bucks when it comes out. This is a rumor, so we do not know if it’s true, but if it is, then the PS5 will cost 500 bucks. It seems like Sony is getting too arrogant, and they think they can do whatever they want. This is more anti-consumerism from Sony. Will you buy a PS5 if it is 500 bucks? I will put the links to the video and articles where this comes from.

Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wYd0MQS9SA

Links: https://comicbook.com/gaming/2019/04/15/ps5-playstation-5-price-release-date-specs/


https://money.cnn.com/2006/05/08/technology/ps3_pricing/

Photo Courtesy of: https://www.animatedtimes.com/rumor-playstation-5-price-leaks-and-it-aint-cheap/

BTW, the image is NOT what the PS5 looks like, they are only guessing. It is a mock up of what it might look like.