Saturday, June 18, 2016

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - Saturday Night Platformin' Party Edition

A Saturday night edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs? Will this segment ever return on an actual Monday like it's supposed to? Well, that's the plan for next week, but this week, E3 sort of threw a wrench into the whole scheme.

Last week we took a listen to some songs from various RPGs. This week we move on to the platforming genre with music featuring famous platforming all-stars like Mario, Sonic, Mega Man X, and more. Just click on the volume name to be taken to the YouTube video featuring the song mentioned.

We start with the intergalactic goodness of Super Mario Galaxy 2. Then, we head to the circus with Wario World. Sonic Advance delivers a catchy special stage theme while Mega Man X8 takes us to Booster Forest. Finally, the unsung Sega platforming star Ristar concludes this platformer-centric edition!

As per usual, check out the VGM Database for all previous VGM volumes featured on SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs. Now, on to this week's music picks!

v1161. Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii) - Starship Mario 3

There are three versions of Starship Mario's theme. Starship Mario is the hub of Super Mario Galaxy 2, one of my favorite games of all time. This is one of the few themes from the game that famous Nintendo composer Koji Kondo wrote. It's a song that gets you into the mood to travel to one of the game's countless galaxies and enjoy some fun platforming!

v1162. Wario World (GCN) - Wonky Circus

An oft overlooked entry in the Wario series, Wario World is a Treasure-developed 3D platforming starring everyone's favorite garlic-chomping plumber. The game contains a handful of worlds, each split up into two levels with a boss fight at the end of each. Wario World's soundtrack is particularly catchy, as songs like Wonky Circus definitely prove.

v1163. Sonic Advance (GBA) - Special Stage

The first Sonic the Hedgehog game to hit a Nintendo platform, Sonic Advance was a historic game for its time. I had to do a double take, thinking to myself, "Am I really playing a Sonic game on Nintendo hardware?!" The special stage in Sonic Advance involves collecting rings while moving through a 3D tube. The lack of depth perception made later stages a tad difficult, but who cares when you have this catchy theme to listen to as you do it!

v1164. Mega Man X8 (PS2) - Booster Forest

After the admittedly bad Mega Man X6 and Mega Man X7, it was a breath of fresh air to get an actually good Mega Man X game again. That's exactly what we got with Mega Man X8. Booster Forest, a rockin' theme with a nice guitar riff, comes from Bamboo Pandamonium's stage. The latter part of the stage incorporates an awesome ride armor section, leading to the fight with the robotic panda Maverick afterwards.

v1165. Ristar (GEN) - Round 5-2 - Ice Scream

(Don't mind Tails in this screenshot. This was the only good image I could find of the Ice Scream world.) With temps as hot as they are outside nowadays, thinking about winter is a nice idea. Of course, come actual winter I'll be whining about cold temperatures, snow, and ice, thinking summer is a nice idea instead. I can never be happy apparently! Anyway, Ristar is unlike any other platformer out there, using the character's arms to attack enemies and move through levels. It's a great platformer, too, so definitely check it out if you have the ability to.

MIA @ E3 2016: The Notable Games That Were Missing

E3 2016 is officially over, and man, what a show it was this year. If you're like me (and God help you if you are), you were excited to see lots of new and already announced games in all of their glory. At the same time, however, you probably also noticed that some games you might have been expecting to show up at E3 weren't there. This article delves into those games, the ones that disappointingly and unsatisfactorily so just weren't at E3 2016, making fans have to wait till who knows when to see them next.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (PS4)

Perhaps it was too foolish to expect Final Fantasy VII Remake to show up at E3 this year. After all, Square Enix wouldn't want to overshadow its own game in Final Fantasy XV, especially when it's releasing in three months. However, I'm just hoping we're not going to see another Final Fantasy Versus XIII scenario where Final Fantasy VII's remake turns into vaporware for many years before finally being unveiled again. Regardless, it's too soon for that worry. We can probably expect Final Fantasy VII Remake to appear at least at the PlayStation Experience this December, considering then Final Fantasy XV will have been out for just under three months.

Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XB1)

Sora, Donald, and Goofy will have to wait for another place to show off their skills, as they definitely weren't at E3 this year, nor was the game they all star in, Kingdom Hearts III. Unveiled a couple of E3s ago, it's pretty disappointing that the game seems to be slow going in development. Assuming we'll see the game this year in some form, there is always the Tokyo Game Show to think about, unless for some reason Square Enix doesn't want to cast any eyes away from Final Fantasy XV.

Red Dead 3 

(Screens from Red Dead Redemption on PS3, 360, and PC)
Some are perpetuating the rumor that Sony was intending to show Rockstar's latest in the Red Dead series at the end of its conference, hence the lackluster ending we actually received. The idea around this is that the trailer would have shown a shooting series, which would have been awfully tone deaf considering the absolute tragedy that occurred in Orlando a couple of days before. While some at Sony have denied that Red Dead's continuation would have been at the PlayStation press conference otherwise, there does seem to be truth in that the game is indeed coming. When will it be announced? That's the million dollar question.

Crackdown 3 (XB1)

Notably absent from Microsoft's Xbox One and Windows 10 PC showing, the cloud-intensive Crackdown 3 is set to release in 2017. It's anyone's best guess that Microsoft neglected to show it either because it wasn't at a good state to reveal progress on the game, or because it's a 2017 release and Microsoft didn't want to show too much stuff that wasn't releasing in the next six months. Whatever the case, you can bet that Crackdown 3 will be quite the showcase and jewel in the crown of the Xbox brand's lineup when it releases some time next year.

No Man's Sky (PS4)

For a game that releases in August, it was surprising to not hear or see hide nor hair of No Man's Sky at this E3. One could assume Sony didn't want to once again trot out the game at yet another media showing, much more another E3. Still, I'm amazed there wasn't a quick trailer or that the game wasn't even demoed at the PlayStation booth this year. While I won't go into any fear-mongering and say that No Man's Sky will see yet another delay, it's highly curious what Sony's rationale was for not having this highly intriguing game at E3.

Ace Combat 7 (PS4)

With such a focus on PlayStation VR at this year's E3, it's quite interesting how one of the marquis titles planned for the device wasn't even at the show this year. Ace Combat 7 is indeed a PlayStation 4 exclusive and will indeed use PlayStation VR. Maybe the game just wasn't far enough along to show anything, but hopefully we'll get to see the game soon. If not at the Tokyo Game Show, where it would definitely make sense to show it, then let's hope at the most we have to wait until the PlayStation Experience.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom (PS4)

Another missing RPG from E3 2016, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom looks like a Studio Ghibli animated film in video game form. It says something, though, about Sony's showcase that it had so much content for the PlayStation 4 that it really didn't need a lot more to hype gamers up. That said, ti's disappointing all the same that Level-5's latest RPG wasn't at E3. Perhaps we'll see it at a future event, whether it's at Gamescom, Level-5's own event, Tokyo Game Show, PlayStation Experience, or any other trade show that has slipped my mind at this present moment.

New Hot Shots Golf (PS4) 

Okay, maybe this one is more notable to me exclusively! Revealed last year at the Tokyo Game Show, the latest in the Hot Shots Golf series (currently without a finalized name) takes players beyond the boundaries of a single hole with seemingly fully traverse-able golf courses that have golfers swinging clubs, putting balls, and driving golf carts around various holes. I was hoping that like Gravity Rush 2, Sony just omitted the new Hot Shots Golf from its press conference and would reveal a new trailer after the fact, but this obviously did not happen, contrary to my inner Hot Shots Golf fan's desires.

Metroid Prime: Federation Force (3DS)

Although Nintendo's E3 presence this year mostly focused on the absolutely jaw-dropping new Zelda for NX and Wii U, the house of Mario still featured some games on its Nintendo Treehouse live-streaming coverage. A notable absence from this coverage, and a game that is set to release in about two months, was Metroid Prime: Federation Force. Now, this title has already gotten a lot of ire from fans, and it hasn't exactly proven itself as a competent game. Thus, this makes its absence from Nintendo's E3 all the more bewildering and all the more suspicious. Here's hoping that Federation Force actually turns out well and is a positively received game for Metroid's 25th anniversary this year.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Top Five Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Games

The latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film released in theaters a couple of weeks from today, and the newest Turtles game, published by Activision and developed by Platinum Games, released late last month. It's a totally tubular time to talk about some of the heroes in a half shell's best entries, from fighting games to the genre the Turtles' best excelled at, the beat-em-up. These five Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games will have you shouting "Cowabunga!" with their quality.

5) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters (SNES)

Back in the '90s a lot of publishers were chasing after the money that Street Fighter II claimed by creating a various amount of 2D fighters. This was true as well for Konami and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and their offer to the fighting game formula was none other than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters. I'll be referring to the Super Nintendo version, despite their being Sega Genesis and NES versions, as the SNES one is the best of the three. Combo-based fighting goodness with the Ninja Turtles performing Hadouken and Shoryuken-like moves, characters like Chrome Dome, Wingnut (from Mutanimals fame), and Armaggon (from Archie Comics fame) expanded the colorful roster of characters, and the music remains absolutely rockin'. A fantastic fighter that's quite unappreciated, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Tournament Fighters for SNES is not to be missed.

4) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project (NES)

A 2D beat-em-up which brought the Ninja Turtles to the sunny beaches of Florida before having their vacation ruined by yet another Shredder plan (Bummer, dudes!), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project saw the theft of the island of Manhattan by Shredder and Krang. It was up to the Turtles to put Shredder (and Manhattan for that matter) back in its place! Featuring encounters with traditional foes like Bebop and Rocksteady, The Manhattan Project also offered battles against foes from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' toy line, including bosses like Groundchuck and Dirtbag. Levels ranged from beach boardwalk beat-downs of Foot Soldiers to ocean-hover surfing goodness.

3) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist (GEN)

The first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for the Sega Genesis, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist was that console's answer to Turtles in Time, even featuring several elements of the game like the same combat (albeit without being able to toss foes at the screen) and even some levels verbatim. Though Hyperstone Heist possesses less levels than Turtles in Time, the levels that it did have were lengthier affairs, many of which were entirely original to the game. Compared to the SNES version of Turtles in Time, Hyperstone Heist featured richer backgrounds with more layers to them, crisper and faster sprites, and tougher enemy AI. Though it overall didn't win over Turtles in Time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist is still a game Turtles fans shouldn't overlook.

2) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1989 (ARC, NES)

The first arcade game, eventually released on home console marketplaces last generation, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' 1989 arcade romp had it all-- engaging levels from city streets to bridges, boss battles against foes like Bebop and Rocksteady to Baxter Stockman, and fun multiplayer for up to four players to take down Shredder's forces. A home version for the NES released, giving players the ability to enjoy a visually watered down version of the game, albeit with two special and exclusive levels to the home console version. It was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles '89 that established the heroes in a half shell as beat-em-up all-stars, and the fun would continue on for years to come.

1) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time (SNES, ARC)

Go back to the past, present, and future (i.e. be the Turtle equivalent of Marty McFly) in the most popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video game to have ever released. Another game that ate up quarters like ninja turtles gobbling up whole pizzas, Turtles in Time offered up the best combat in the series, allowing players to take down Foot Soldiers and other foes in a variety of ways with up to four players in the arcade version and two players in the Super Nintendo port. There's no better feeling than chucking a Foot Soldier at the screen. Alley-oop! With a wide range of locales and levels, featuring epic boss battles, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles in Time remains the favorite Ninja Turtles game for a lot of fans, especially those who were kids in the 90's.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rank Up! - Star Fox

Star Fox Zero has been out for over a month now, and with that, there are now six entries in the Star Fox franchise, ranging from traditional action flight games to a Zelda-like action-adventure game. It seems like a perfect time to bring out the old Rank Up machine and start delving into which Star Fox games are the best of the bunch starring Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, Slippy Toad, and all of the rest. These are the games I'll be ranking from "worst" to best:

Star Fox (SNES)
Star Fox 64 (N64, 3DS)
Star Fox Adventures (GCN)
Star Fox Assault (GCN)
Star Fox Command (DS)
Star Fox Zero (Wii U)

With these games in mind, let's get to ranking them! (Since Star Fox Guard is a total spin-off game of the franchise, not even starring Fox McCloud, it won't be included on this ranking countdown.)

6) Star Fox Command (DS)

Experimenting with the Star Fox series is something Nintendo has seemingly always tried to do to varying degrees of success. Star Fox Command is what I consider the weakest experiment, despite having some really intuitive touch based controls. The mission design has players plotting a course on a map, making sure to engage with the enemy and missiles before either can reach the Great Fox. When actually engaging the enemy, Star Fox Command enters all-range mode, requiring shooting down specific targets. What this all amounts to is a very repetitive Star Fox experience that is greatly missing the on-rails action that so many fans of the franchise adore. And don't even get me started on the soap opera and fan fiction-like story of Command! (Is this a Star Fox game or an episode of Star Fox 90210?!) Yikes!

5) Star Fox Adventures (GCN)

If you're familiar with the development history of Star Fox Adventures, then you not only know that it was the last Rare-developed game for a Nintendo console before the developer's buyout by Microsoft, but it was also never intended to be a Star Fox game to begin with until some Shigeru Miyamoto meddling. That said, this Zelda-inspired adventure with Fox McCloud and new pal Tricky the Triceratops may have too much item collecting, but the actual game isn't bad by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, some of the trials in the game are a tad annoying, and the showdown with the supposed big bad of the game, General Scales, ends on a whimper instead of a bang, but Star Fox Adventures has interesting world design, fun puzzles to solve, engaging combat, and still looks phenomenal to me in the graphics department. Who knows if a better game would have been made if the Star Fox franchise had not been added to it like Rare originally envisioned, but what GameCube owners got regardless was an inventive expedition of the Dinosaur Planet.

4) Star Fox (SNES)

Perhaps it's my not playing the original Star Fox when it initially released despite being of age to play it back in the day that places Star Fox at the number four position on this edition of Rank Up. Then again, it might also be the incredibly dated visuals and horrid frame-rate of the game that lowers my opinion of it. Still, the original Star Fox is a blisteringly awesome corridor shooter that kicked off this famed franchise in a fantastic way. With three difficulties which spanned across numerous areas and planets-- hard being immensely tough even for a seasoned player like myself (or maybe I'm not as seasoned as I think I am!)-- Star Fox delivers exciting gameplay, a stiff challenge, and lots of nostalgia for gamers of the early 90's. The visuals themselves use the Super FX chip of the Super Nintendo, as most fans are probably already very aware of, offering technological effects that seemed impossible for Nintendo's second home console. At the time, they blew players away, and to this day, though as I said, dated, they remain serviceable.

3) Star Fox Assault (GCN)

After Star Fox Adventures teased players with its few Arwing sections, many Star Fox fans waited with bated breath for the next installment of the series to return more closely to its roots. While Star Fox Assault doesn't completely do that, it does offer intense dogfighting action, added gameplay mechanics and types, and delivers my personal favorite soundtrack of the franchise, played in mostly glorious orchestral sound. Assault not only possesses some fabulous Arwing on-rails action, but it adds on-foot gameplay as well. Depending who you talk to, this is either great or a detriment to the game. For me, I enjoyed moving quickly through levels with Fox's fleet feet, blasting away at foes while keeping my combo amount higher and higher to earn high scores. In addition to the fun single-player campaign, Star Fox Assault contains what I consider the best multiplayer the series has ever seen, allowing up to four players to fly, ride, and blast one another to oblivion through a myriad of well designed maps. My only wish is that the amount of customization and action available in Assault's multiplayer somehow returns to the franchise in a later game.

2) Star Fox Zero (Wii U)

The most polarizing Star Fox game in existence-- at least in my opinion-- is Star Fox Zero. For me, Zero offers the most immersive experience of flying one of the Star Fox series's many vehicles ever seen in a Star Fox game. The ability to use the GamePad to aim at foes while looking at a completely different direction allows for getting high scores and taking down targets that would otherwise be impossible with any other control scheme. Some of my favorite Star Fox missions comes from Star Fox Zero, including an intense dogfight in space in Sector Alpha, where a multitude of space fighters and ships threaten Corneria's forces, and Fox needs to infiltrate the armada's leading ship's shield in order to take it down. The two screen approach offers so much that couldn't be done with a standard controller, but the caveat here is that this control and dual screened system is most definitely not for everyone. While some like myself were able to adapt, many were unable to, unfortunately. Still, Star Fox Zero remains one of my favorite Star Fox games, and if you want further analysis on it, check out SuperPhillip Central's in-depth review.

1) Star Fox 64 (N64, 3DS)

Not the most original pick for the best Star Fox game, but I was resigned to choose Star Fox 64 if only for its impact on the Star Fox franchise-- and just being an absolute blast to play. Star Fox 64 still remains my favorite in the franchise, offering seven levels to play in each play-through, and each run through the game can be a different experience depending on which of the 15+ paths you take from the starting planet Corneria to the evil Andross's home world Venom. Star Fox 64 is pure action all the time, focusing on both popular and exciting on-rails corridor action and the dogfighting fun of all-range mode. The game is also a meme lover's dream with so many quotes that are etched in the memories of players. Practically any quote can be said from the game and still brings back nice nostalgic thoughts of the game. The Nintendo 3DS remaster of the game, Star Fox 64 3D, brings the space drama to the small screen with gorgeous stereoscopic 3D visuals, redone music and voice acting, and some bonus features. Whichever version you decide to play (I prefer the former due to awesome rumble feature, which is still so dynamic and amazing in present day), Star Fox 64 will continue to make you feel like an ace pilot.

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (3DS) Announcement Trailer

Talk about a blast from the past! Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure originally released on PC and the PSP several years ago. Now, it's see a resurgence in the form of a Nintendo 3DS eShop exclusive port. If you're interested in the quality of Gurumin in general, I posted a review of the PSP version back in 2010. It's an early review of mine, so please be keep that in mind while reading it.

Star Wars Battlefront (PS4, XB1, PC) Bespin Launch Trailer

Coming in five days to Star Wars Battlefront, Bespin arrives with one location sporting four different maps, as well as new weapons. Bespin is my favorite location from the Star Wars universe, so it's very exciting for me personally to see the Cloud City and more represented in the newest Star Wars Battlefront. The content arrives June 21.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

LEGO Marvel's Avengers (PS4, XB1, Wii U, PS3, 360, 3DS, Vita) Review

It's the big Hollywood blockbuster season, so while we take a quick break away from E3, let's delve into one of the most popular forms of Hollywood blockbuster, the superhero movie! LEGO Marvel's Avengers actually is a double dose of Avengers goodness, retelling the plot of both Avengers films. Though the game was originally released earlier in the year, there's no such thing as being too late to this Marvel superhero jamboree. Here's the SuperPhillip Central review of LEGO Marvel's Avengers.

A LEGO game to marvel at?

DC or Marvel. As a child of the 90's, it wasn't as big of a battle with kids my age which one was better as, say, Nintendo or Sega. However, the struggle, as some say, was indeed real. While I loved Batman and still do to this day, the collection of superheroes that Marvel Comics has established over the years always appealed to me more.

LEGO has had multiple successes taking both DC's and Marvel's characters and putting them into game form. Now, LEGO has returned with another chapter in its Marvel line of games with LEGO Marvel's Avengers. As someone who hasn't seen any of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films yet, I was understandably confused by the organization of the plot of the game. LEGO Marvel's Avengers's main source for providing the story elements for the game itself come from the two Avengers movies. The slight bouncing around between Marvel's Avengers and Age of Ultron was a bit perplexing, but now after reading more about the movies, I know that the game starts with the opening of Age of Ultron before delving into a flashback from Captain America: The First Avenger, then goes to a more orderly structure, going from the first Avengers movie to Age of Ultron.

Looks like the gang is all here and ready to rock and roll.
LEGO Marvel's Avengers takes the humor of the LEGO series in the form of various sight gags and overlays them with lines directly from the films the game is based off of. One curious running gag is characters at various points of the game slurping from a strawberry milkshake. While that fell flat for me, other instances provide plenty of comedy, especially for the young ones. The lines used from the movies range from too quiet to too loud. They're imperfectly used and imbalanced. It's nothing overly jarring, but I made sure to have the volume up a little bit to compensate.

Most LEGO games released in the past few years have taken on a fully explore-able hub, filled with usually simple environmental puzzles (e.g. have Thor use his lightning to charge a panel which then opens a chest revealing your prize) or a series of environmental puzzles that unlock Gold Bricks. LEGO Marvel's Avengers has more than a handful of these instead of just one overworld hub. However, while there are different vistas and locales to visit, such as Asgard, Tony Stark's mansion in Malibu, Washington D.C., and more, Manhattan still remains the largest hub with the most things to do.

A relief to me was that the flight controls for characters like Iron Man are vastly improved over the last LEGO Marvel game. Makes jetting around this game's hubs much more enjoyable.
These hub areas are a lot of fun to explore. When you're not looking for Gold Bricks from doing various puzzling tasks, you can participate in races, initiated by pressing the confirm button whilst in near the starting line in the form of a ring (there are both ground and sky races to partake in, with the sky races being much improved over past games due to better handling with the flight controls); help fulfill various Marvel superhero and villain requests, which reward that character for use in Free Play; find various vehicle and character tokens; and help out famed comic book artist and storyteller Stan Lee out of some problematic predicaments. Everything is connected between a map-- that includes other hubs as well as the various fifteen levels of the game.

The aforementioned fifteen levels that LEGO Marvel's Avengers possesses are nothing new to anyone who has played a post-2005 LEGO game. You move around contained stages, essentially destroying every object in the area with your Marvel character's fists or other form of weaponry, using specific broken LEGO pieces to form new structures to solve environmentally based puzzles. In the first run of a level, you won't be able to collect everything it has to offer. This encourages replaying levels through Free Play, which allows you to call in any unlocked Marvel superhero, villain, or other character to interact with level elements that your original characters weren't able to do on your first run of the level.

Careful, Iron Man, this ain't no jolly green giant you're dealing with.
Each character in LEGO Marvel's Avengers follows the established LEGO formula, containing a specific power or ability. Some characters have multiple powers and abilities. For instance, Iron Man's red hot laser beam can destroy gold brick objects while Black Widow can use her cloaking ability to slip past security cameras and beams without being detected. It can be annoying switching between characters as much as you need to in Free Play, but thankfully, you have two characters in a level at the same time-- one you control and one the AI controls.

Not one to run from a fight, Captain America simply lost his sense of direction here.
However, you need not stick with an AI teammate if you do not wish to. LEGO Marvel's Avengers brings the well loved cooperative gameplay to the LEGO series once again, offering local play for two players in one form of split-screen or another (the Wii U version offers the ability for one players to use the GamePad screen while the other uses the TV). Unfortunately, with the Wii U, PS3, and Xbox 360 versions, co-op results in some occasionally very sluggish frame-rate issues that are quite noticeable.

Perform two-character combat moves to slightly alleviate the otherwise boring fighting in this game.
The design of levels tries to keep players engaged, but it's a bit of a problem whenever the game throws in multiple enemies for you to dispatch. The combat in all LEGO games are extremely basic to the point of being effortless. Being a game for the family, particular young children, a character losing all their hearts just results in a loss of some LEGO studs, the currency of the LEGO series, an incredibly minor inconvenience at that. This means when you have segments of the game where you have to take on a boss or defeat upwards of 30 enemies in a row, the ennui definitely kicks in.

There are 250 Gold Bricks to find-- many gained from discovering them through solving simple puzzles around the various hubs of LEGO Marvel's Avengers, while others come from completing the story missions, collecting enough LEGO studs in a given level, finding all 10 mini-kits in a level, and helping to rescue Stan Lee from some sort of perilous and compromising position. Then, there are the Red Bricks to find, 15 of them, that unlock bonus cheats, as well as all of the characters and vehicles you can unlock. If you're a fan of collecting stuff, and doing so in a fun way, you'll find a lot to love and enjoy with LEGO Marvel's Avengers-- just like any other LEGO game, really.

LEGO Marvel's Avengers might seem a step back compared to the innovative and fresh new things the developer's own LEGO Dimensions is doing, but if you're looking for the gaming equivalent of comfort food which is good for the whole family, then take out a controller and have a healthy helping of LEGO goodness.

[SPC Says: B-]

Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U) Official Game Trailer

A game that nails the aesthetics perfectly but I don't know about the gameplay, Paper Mario: Color Splash looks absolutely gorgeous with its visual style. Those who didn't like the direction that the Paper Mario series went with Sticker Star, though, won't like the way things are going with Color Splash, unfortunately. I'll wait to cast any further judgment on the game, however, waiting till early October for the game to release.

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past (3DS) Official Game Trailer

Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past has been known to be coming to the West, and now a North American release date has been ascertained: September 16, 2016. This remake of the PS1 Dragon Quest VII looks the part of a Dragon Quest game-- excellent turn-based combat, lovely setting and characters, and Slimes!

Mario Party: Star Rush (3DS) Official Game Trailer

Despite its huge Zelda focus at E3, Nintendo has also unveiled some new games for the event. Such a game is Mario Party: Star Rush, which takes the Mario Party formula to a new frontier with simultaneous dice rolls between players and a recruiting system. It's unknown if this is the main mode of the game or the only mode within this new Mario Party, but I'll wait to jump to any conclusions. Mario Party: Star Rush brings the party back to the Nintendo 3DS on November 4th, along with a new line of Super Mario series Amiibo, including Waluigi, Daisy, Donkey Kong, Boo, and more.

Ever Oasis (3DS) Official Game Trailer

Protect that which you hold dear with Ever Oasis, a new action-RPG from the man behind the several games in the Mana series, the designer behind the Final Fantasy V class system, and the character designer behind Final Fantasy's own Chocobos and Moogles! The cute chibi art style looks great to me, and the town-building and Zelda-style dungeons are quite appealing as well. Ever Oasis is being developed by Grezzo, who shined with their Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask 3D remasterings. What do you think about this new RPG series from Nintendo?

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Shantae Half Genie Hero (Multi) E3 Trailer

Releasing late September in both digital and physical forms, Shantae: Half Genie Hero from Wayforward brings the platforming action the Shantae series is known for, throws in animal transformations, a beautiful new art style, and makes an exciting looking game because of it. Don't believe me? Watch this trailer, and you, too, ought to be impressed. Though, personally, I can take or leave the vocal song played over the trailer. Probably just me, though.

And a "programming" note: the first half of E3 week here at SuperPhillip Central continues to be all about new trailers debuting at the big show. However, the second half will be comprised of new content for the site. I figured any new articles on the site would be overshadowed by all the E3 fun, so as the show settles down, the new content goes up!

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness (PS4) E3 2016 Launch Trailer

"Can something so wondrous exist here?" Hopefully so, as Star Ocean's fifth entry is launching on the PlayStation 4 later this month. While critical reception when the game released in Japan was mixed, soon Westerners will be able to try Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for themselves to generate their own opinions, bizarre looking faces and all!

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, NX) Official Game Trailer

There's something special when a new Legend of Zelda game finally has its curtain opened and it is finally revealed. We've had teases and short glimpses, but now, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's gameplay is more well known. This open world game seems to create new conventions for the Zelda franchise while having the adventuring spirit of the original NES Zelda simultaneously. As a big Zelda fan, I had hopes that this Wii U and NX entry in the franchise would wow me. Fortunately, it did that and more.

God of War (PS4) E3 2016 Gameplay Trailer

Shown last night to great fanfare at the PlayStation E3 2016 press conference, this new direction for the long-running God of War franchise looks to be a breath of fresh air for the series. This trailer for the game shows off some early gameplay, featuring Kratos in rare teacher form. We're sure to get more information about this new entry in the God of War series later this year.

Gravity Rush 2 (PS4) E3 2016 Trailer

Not part of Sony's PlayStation press conference last night, but worth mentioning all the same, Gravity Rush 2 brings all the gravity-manipulating fun of the original, but adds some much needed color to the environments. Gone are the brown and green saturated areas of the original.

Spider-Man (PS4) E3 2016 Teaser

There were rumors of a PS4-exclusive Spider-Man game, but it was to be developed by Sucker Punch, known for its Infamous franchise. However, this rumor was debunked days before the official word and trailer for Spider-Man for the PlayStation 4 appeared, being developed by Insomniac Games of Ratchet & Clank and Sunset Overdrive fame. Open world and not related to the upcoming Spider-Man film, this PS4 exclusive looks absolutely incredible.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dead Rising 4 (XB1, PC) E3 Announce Trailer

I absolutely love this trailer for Dead Rising 4, announced during the Xbox E3 press conference. It's humorous, chock full of action, and doesn't take itself too seriously, all things that I like about the Dead Rising franchise. Dead Rising 4 launches this holiday season. It's unknown at this moment whether it's an Microsoft exclusive.