Friday, June 7, 2019

Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC) Reveal Trailer

Eschewing the 3D platforming playgrounds that were clearly an ode to Banjo-Kazooie and games of that nature, Yooka-Laylee's next adventure takes after Donkey Kong Country this time around, another Rare darling from the past. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair takes the franchise to 2D platforming fun and some top-down overworld goodness as well. Check out the reveal trailer below and look forward to the next title in Playtonic's franchise later this year!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

SuperPhillip Central Celebrates 11 Wonderful Years Online!

Today, June 5th, 2019 is SuperPhillip Central's 11-year anniversary! Yes, it was 11 years ago today in 2008 that SuperPhillip Central was born, posting amateur reviews and some really silly hot takes in the process. Thankfully, the quality of the reviews and takes has improved quite considerably since then! ...But your mileage may vary on that!

While the site's amount of content has lowered significantly since the first nine years--as one could expect from doing 300+ articles/reviews/etc per year for nine straight years each weekday--I do wish to continue my writing here. It's still fun to do in moderation, and I hope you'll continue to stick with me until I finally call an end to things on the site.

I don't have too special of a post planned for later tonight for our anniversary like I have in the past. However, we will be celebrating with a review of a game that recently saw its eleventh outing launch. Please look forward to that, and please keep on enjoying this site like I enjoy providing content for each and every one of you to read!

I'm always open to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how I can improve SuperPhillip Central, or just whether or not you like the content I provide.

Until later tonight, see you around!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Dragon Ball FighterZ (NSW) Review

There's no slowing SuperPhillip Central down now! A new review is here for the site, and it's for Dragon Ball FighterZ's Nintendo Switch port. Readers! Lend me your eyes, so we can read this review together!

To Z or not to Z on the Nintendo Switch with Dragon Ball FighterZ...

Last year I reviewed Dragon Ball FighterZ on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. I enjoyed it so much that it wound up being one of my favorite games of 2018 completely. You can bet that I jumped at the chance to play this excellent and enthralling three-on-three anime fighter once again because now FighterZ arrives on the Nintendo Switch. How does Dragon Ball FighterZ translate from the twin powerhouses known as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One to the smaller scale Switch? Well, thankfully, the answer is really well! 

One of the primary reasons I loved the original versions of Dragon Ball FighterZ was how accessible it was. There's no need to memorize complex control stick, D-Pad or button combos that are exclusive to one character or another. Each fighter's main moves are unleashed with the same button combos--generally a half circle motion with the D-Pad or control stick and a press of a shoulder button or attack button. Sure, to gain an advantage in battle you'll need to know which combination of inputs performs what attack so you're not using a move that is meant for aerial opponents while they're standing on the ground, but it's overall easy enough to learn the basics.

Apparently androids do feel pain... y'know, down... there.
The Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons together or with the Pro Controller there's a generous amount of buttons and each serves their purpose, whether it's charging at an opponent, unleashing a Ki blast, light attacks, medium attacks, or heavy attacks (all three of these are assigned to a different face button and even mashing on the same button can present some pretty awesome and impressive attacks). If you're lacking controllers, you can always opt to split up the Joy-Cons between two players and play that way, though it's obviously not going to be the preference of competitive players.

One of the only characters in Dragon Ball FighterZ who uses
a physical weapon, Trunks slices into Super Saiyan Goku.
Dragon Ball FighterZ on the Nintendo Switch sports the same amount of modes as the other consoles of which this version's a port. You have your arcade mode that has three unique paths that alters which opponents you face based off of your fighting performance, tournament mode, spectator mode, local multiplayer, online multiplayer, a shop where you can spend earned Zenny to unlock new profile titles and windows as well as avatars to play as in the game's online or offline lobbies, and much more, including character tutorials and the story mode.

The story mode presents several entertaining and high quality cutscenes that look absolutely glorious. Some scenes that play out only occur if you have a specific duo or trio of characters on your team in the same fight, so there's some motivation to go back and replay chapters once the final story arc of the three has been completed. That said, that motivation quickly loses steam when you realize how much of a grind story mode is. 

The fun moments between characters will certainly make any Dragon Ball fan happy.
You're moving along a map, choosing which adjacent point on the map to go to, and encountering a seemingly endless amount of clones in the process. Each map houses a boss to take on--usually just another team of clones--which then completes the map and typically reveals a new piece of the story. Your reward and carrot on the stick to continue playing and participating in the grind is those aforementioned enjoyable cutscenes that deliver an original story regarding a brand new villain made exclusively for the game.

Yikes! Android 17 and 18 make poor Krillin eat some asphalt.
The Nintendo Switch version of Dragon Ball FighterZ is a highly impressive beast of a game. It's an amazing accomplishment how the developer was able to bring the high octane, high powered visuals of the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions and seemingly effortlessly transition them to look almost just as amazing on the Switch. Holding a steady frame-rate in the process is one HFIL of a trick, too! There's seldom any noticeable slow-down and that goes for the stellar online play as well.

A true battle of the baldies--Nappa versus Tien!
The majority of online features presented in the original versions of Dragon Ball FighterZ are present and accounted for in the Switch port. There's the hustling and bustling lobbies where you can challenge other players at will and at your leisure, select from one of many game modes, and feel like you're part of a thriving community, which the Switch version does have in spades, surprisingly. Selecting ranked or casual matches with the ability to filter out other players who have a poor online connection is still here, and matches generally play nice and smoothly when both players sport a satisfactory connection together. 

Also like the other versions, DLC characters like Cooler
must be purchased separately in the Switch version.
Dragon Ball FighterZ on the Nintendo Switch is some kind of a miracle in how well it runs on the little hybrid console that could. Seriously, some must have summoned Shenron and wished for the game to run as great as it does on the Switch. Whether you're in love with the Dragon Ball franchise like so many millions are out there and wish to have battles that are true to the anime in both action and visuals, or if you're like me and have little to no interest in the series at all, as long as you have a love for highly competent, accessible 2D fighters, Dragon Ball FighterZ is a superb pick for your Nintendo Switch library.

[SPC Says: B+]

Sunday, June 2, 2019

De Blob 2 (NSW) Review

We have a rare, elusive Sunday evening review on SuperPhillip Central tonight! As the sun gets ready to set here in Central City, De Blob 2 returns to the site's forefront with a review of the recently released Nintendo Switch port. Does this port paint a pretty picture? Find out with the SuperPhillip Central review!

Make the INKT Corporation feel the pain[t]!

De Blob 2 brings back the colorful prankster Blob, and it also brings back the nefarious INKT Corporation and their leader Comrade Black. The villain once again aims to turn Blob's world into one completely devoid of color! Teaming up with a ragtag gang of rebellious rogues known as The Underground, Blob gets ready to paint the town red... and blue, and yellow, and green, and purple, and brown!

Made up of 12 open levels, De Blob 2's playgrounds of painting fun take you all across INKT strongholds that were once home and monuments of the peaceable Raydians. Whether it's eschewing the black ink pouring out of the once colorful Soda Falls to kicking out INKT enemies from the local Raydian college campus, Blob has a duty and overall objective for each level.

Don't know where to go? Look for these red mission markers in levels
and let your compass guide the way.
Levels themselves play out in 3D and new 2D sections that task you with a new perspective and simplistic platforming challenges. These aren't too terribly taxing, but they break up the overall experience of De Blob 2 well. Additionally, they offer a change of pace, too. When you're not entering into sewers and buildings via holes in them to enter these 2D sections, you're roaming levels as Blob, moving to each red story marker, one mission after another. Missions range from defeating all of the enemies in a given area, painting buildings a specific series of colors, hitting switches to open gates, and reaching certain points in the level safely.

"2D or not 2D?" In De Blob 2 you get both, so no need for the question!
Of course, there's optional exploration to be found in the form of colorizing every part of the environment--from buildings and billboards to trees and captured Raydians--as well as collecting tokens to unlock gallery art and help upgrade Blob's maximum capacity of ink, armor, and lives.

Collectible spotted! ...But we have more important things to do right now, Blob!
When it comes to painting Blob's world, Blob has a set capacity of paint he can hold. This capacity also serves as his health gauge. If hit by an enemy or submerged in hazardous ink with a small number of paint points available to him, he'll lose a life. While lives are handed out generously if one explores levels well enough, it can be aggravating to progress in these lengthy levels for a fair amount of time (many ranging over an hour in length if you wish to complete everything in them) only to lose all your lives near the very end.

Color Blob's world to make dull and drab INKT-infested areas turn fabulous with visual vibrancy.
Blob is a walking...well, blob of paint. When he enters a pool of paint or slams into a paint canister, his body will turn that color. There's only red, yellow, and blue canisters to stumble upon in levels, but through mixing colors together Blob can create the other three colors: green, purple, and brown (the latter being a combination of all three primary colors). Simply touching other objects will transfer his color to them, instantly painting them fully. As this is performed, levels become much more vibrant and animated. It's really cool to see how dull, drab, and barren levels start off as, only to have them become happening homes of colorful goodness. The crescendo of music that occurs through a level's entirety, starting with subtle sounds, and as more and more is painted, more instruments and parts are added until the full jazzy score for that level begins fully playing.

De Blob 2 doesn't shake the majority of the problems it presented in the 2011 original (but thankfully, there are no forced motion controls in this Switch remaster unlike the Wii game). For instance, it can be difficult to home in one the correct object or enemy when you're facing a mess of foes littering the screen. Many times I would accidentally hit a paint canister instead of home in on my intended target. This meant for missions where I had to paint buildings a specific set of colors, I would unintentionally turn buildings the incorrect color. What that ended up doing was costing me time and patience, as I would have to paint Blob the right color all over again and repaint the buildings. It's a minor inconvenience, as you can't "fail" these missions outside of dying in them, but still, an inconvenience all the same.

These particular green platforms allow our bloated hero to jump off
them in successive fashion to reach new places.
Furthermore, the camera is still rather troublesome, and the jumping physics don't have a great feeling of tightness or control to them. Many missed jumps were had in my time with De Blob 2, and I'm no poor player when it comes to platformers (though, that's not the case with many other genres...).

De Blob 2 took me just over 15 hours to 100% complete, and for the most part, I enjoyed my return to the game. However, the bare minimum was put into this port, as issues like massive hits to the frame-rate when the camera shows off far distances with lots of geometry in them and mediocre draw distance in terms of objects popping in and out of the background are present.

I'm not a fan of the lack of color here, either, Blob. Let's get to work!
Still, De Blob 2 remains a delightful, family-friendly game for Nintendo Switch owners. Sure, it hasn't evolved much since its 2011 release, but it's nice to have in both docked and totally portable play whether at home or on the go--but mainly if you're never played the game before. The humor and story are on point, the characters and cinematics are charming, and the levels are genuinely enjoyable to explore. Now, excuse me while I pour one out (a paint can) for the developer Blue Tongue who was disbanded shortly after the original De Blob 2's launch in 2011.

[SPC Says: B-]