Saturday, December 28, 2019

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards - Top Five Most Disappointing Games

As SPC has stated so many times when bringing up subjects like this, you gotta take the good with the bad, and while we've all enjoyed a lot of great games so far during the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards, now we take a slight detour from our highway of positiveness to a negative back road. It's time for the Top Five Most Disappointing Games of 2019. These were games that didn't meet expectations, were plagued with plenty of problems, or were just outright baaaad. Let's get to the list of "winners" with the countdown.

5) Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

We kick off this list of disappointing games with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD. The original Banana Blitz was a Wii launch title that incorporated some wacky and imprecise motion controls, bad, sometimes infuriating boss battles, and a jump button. All but the first returned with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, instead having players use a traditional analog stick for movement as opposed to motion controls. This meant that many of the level layouts were altered and remixed somewhat to make for a more challenging game. Sadly, beyond the relatively short adventure mode, there is a dearth of content available here. It's a shame that more substantial and quality content weren't put into this game, as the failure of the game might put off SEGA from returning to the Super Monkey Ball series for a while.

4) Contra: Rogue Corps (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

Speaking of games that might have spoiled the chance at a franchise's future, we have Contra: Rogue Corps. Apart from the grotesque art style that takes Contra and tries to give it an overly edgy makeover (what is this, 2005?), Contra: Rogue Corps played horribly with its massive performance problems and sub-par gameplay that worked about as well as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest, pardon the cliche analogy. Make no mistake, though--Contra: Rogue Corps kicked no butt whatsoever. The game was an utter bastardization of the Contra franchise, and one that might have put the franchise to rest for good.

3) Mario Kart Tour (iOS, AND)

Nintendo's mobile offerings have been less than stellar, and that trend continued with the scummy business practices offered in Mario Kart Tour. The actual racing was fair enough, but all of the trappings on top of that were not. For one, the rates for acquiring characters is ridiculously low, meaning that you can blow through plenty of the in-game currency and have little to show for it. Given that these Rubies are difficult to come by in the first place, and you have a game that's sensationally stingy. Throw in a subscription pass that's more expensive per year than a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and you have a great reason to stick with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe over this shameless cash-grab.

2) Crackdown 3 (XB1, PC)

Gears 5 was a fantastic success story for the Xbox One, as it was a high quality first-party effort, which as we all know and have been beaten over the head with multiple times is something that the Xbox brand is currently short on. While Crackdown 3 is hardly a bad game, the extended wait time from multiple delays really made it so the final product wasn't really worth the aforementioned wait. There was potential here, but at the same time, that just makes the final result of the final product that much worse. In the end, Crackdown 3 still feels like it's stuck in the past with regards to its gameplay. Really, in the almost decade span between Crackdown 2 and Crackdown 3, it seemed like the latter was a product of a lost time in gaming, one in which the industry had long since moved on from.

1) Anthem (PS4, XB1, PC)

The "winner" of this awards category is a game from a prestigious studio which has provided a plethora of quality games. Unfortunately, Anthem was not one of them. After the disappointment that was Mass Effect Andromeda, developer BioWare had a lot to prove with its next project. The unfortunate thing of this was that with Anthem, nothing positive was proven--at least from the outset. Instead, the Destiny-like Anthem failed in most regards, whether it was the immense amount of grinding one had to do to make progress, the story--one which was unusually lackluster for a BioWare game, and an exhaustive amount of technical glitches and issues. While the game has gotten considerably better, most of the gaming world seems to have moved on from Anthem. To further twist the knife, Anthem did not meet EA's sales expectations, despite the game's success right from the starting gate. BioWare has essentially had two stinkers in quality in a row now, and perhaps that is the most disappointing aspect of them all.

Friday, December 27, 2019

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards - Top Five Games That Kept On Giving

The second awards category featured on SuperPhillip Central today is a brand-new one in SuperPhillip Central's Best of Awards history. It's for the Games That Kept On Giving, These are the games that provided the most enjoyable new content, either free or paid, in gaming this year. One of the biggest characteristics when thinking about this category and list was value. There's a wide range of games featured on this particular list--everything from violent fighters and epic showdowns featuring Marvel's finest to wacky racing games and lighthearted platforming fare. Let's get to the countdown.

5) Mortal Kombat 11 (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

Mortal Kombat 11 is a sales juggernaut, as it's one of the top selling games of the year. Being a Netherrealm fighter, Mortal Kombat 11 was jam-packed with features, characters, and content--or should I spell it "kharacters and kontent"? Regardless, the developer added even more characters and cosmetic goodness to the game, creating even greater value. Of course, the new characters weren't free, requiring individual purchases or buying a season pass, but one cannot deny that the amount of content added to Mortal Kombat 11 in addition to what's already there with the exhaustive Krypt and Kombat Towers modes make it one of the games that continues to give reasons to keep players coming back for more.

4) Tetris 99 (NSW)

Originally a free* game for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, Tetris 99 is a Tetris-themed battle royale that pits you against 99 other players. Everyone is gunning for everyone else. Nintendo has happily added new content in the form of brand-spanking-new modes, as well as a Grand Prix mode. Here, players compete to aim for the #1 spot. The closer they are, the more points they earn, which can then be used to purchase various Nintendo themes for their Tetris 99 experience. Between the marvelous amount of modes and the collectible themes, Tetris 99 is one gift that keeps on giving.

3) Super Mario Maker 2 (NSW)

Super Mario Maker 2 launched this past June as a fully featured game. However, one notable feature was missing, and that was the ability to play levels online with friends. This feature has since been included into the game, as has a massive update that adds new course elements. One of these new course elements is particularly legendary, the addition of Link as a playable character in the Super Mario Bros. course theme. Furthermore, Link comes alongside new enemies like Spikes and Pokeys, new course elements like frozen coin blocks and dash panels, and a new Ninji mode that gives players Nintendo-made courses to speed run against the world with. Excitingly enough for intrepid creators and players, more free content is on the way, and what's better than free, right?

2) Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order (NSW)

Seldom before has there been such a massive collection of Marvel heroes and villains to play as in one game. Nintendo Switch-exclusive Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is that game, and it packs over 50 playable characters into one epic roster. That collection of characters only grows as time goes on with the additions of Cyclops and Colossus as free inclusions and characters like Blade, Moon Knight, Morbius, The Punisher, Gambit, Cable, Iceman, and Phoenix as paid DLC. As part of the new content are new modes and costumes, some free and others paid. When you consider the size and scope of the roster, the countless new modes, and the amount of hours one will need to put aside to get through it all, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order definitely delivers as a game that shows no signs of stopping showering its dedicated players with presents.

1) Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (PS4, XB1, NSW)

Activision may be quite stingy when it comes to providing content without the use of heavy and dirty monetization practices, but it was relatively hands-off on Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, apart from purchasing Wumpa Coins, which one can easily obtain simply through playing the game anyhow. CTR's revival brought with it monthly Grand Prix events, each with a brand-new, well-designed track, new characters, new karts, new designs, and so much more--and it was all for free. All one had to do was participate in the events through playing the game. With so much unbelievably free content added to a game already rich with content, what other game could possibly have won SPC's award for the game that kept on giving than Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled?

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards - Top Five Most Overlooked Games

On a new day here at SuperPhillip Central, a new awards category and a new top five list are here to greet us. This time around we'll be taking a look at the top five Most Overlooked Games of 2019. Overlooked games are no stranger to the site, as they're constantly covered, so it only makes sense to devote an entire category of the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards to the most overlooked titles of the year. The following games were sales disasters, games that failed to catch most of the gaming populace's attention, and/or didn't make a heavy impact in the overall conversation this year. Let us get started with the countdown!

5) Daemon X Machina (NSW)

Enter into your giant Arsenal mech and do battle in over 50 unique story and side missions, as well as dozens of online missions. The latter have you do battle with behemoth-sized bosses as a team of up to four players, and the new update allows you to venture into a randomly generated dungeon with players, too. Daemon X Machina was a fixture of Nintendo's Direct video presentations, but despite the coverage, the game did not soar into the skies of splendid sales success. (Pardon the alliteration, but I couldn't help myself.) That said, while Daemon X Machina sports an impressive amount of customization and lightning quick aerial and ground combat, it can be an immensely challenging game at the start due to its learning curve.. Perhaps the initial inaccessibility of the game players found in the various demos of Daemon X Machina were the short circuit--if you will--in producing stellar sales.

4) Team Sonic Racing (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

We move on from mechs to a well-known mascot in the world of video games, but not even notoriety was enough to make this arcade racer cross the finish line in first place. Instead, the relatively low budget of Team Sonic Racing and the complete lack of post-launch DLC in the form of new characters or tracks gave little for the already minimal amount of players who picked up the game to have a reason to return to it. With Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled releasing a little under a month after Team Sonic Racing, Crash's racing remake not only ate Team Sonic Racing's lunch, but left the game in its exhaust as well. Considering the team mechanic was an interesting approach to the arcade racer, which I would have liked to see explored further, and the base game was enjoyable enough, it's a disappointed that so many overlooked Team Sonic Racing.

3) MediEvil (PS4)

Speaking of PlayStation remakes, MediEvil launched this past year around Halloween, and it brought its classic action-adventure gameplay to PlayStation 4 owners with a budget price. However, not even its $30 price tag was convincing enough to bring players to it, unfortunately. Between how obtuse the game can be (as well as how difficult), in addition to MediEvil just not being as fondly remembered by PlayStation fans, MediEvil couldn't scare up sales or much attention from the gaming populace. Hopefully the lackluster debut of MediEvil doesn't mean that other PlayStation classic franchises stay buried like MediEvil once was. You better believe you're in trouble if you cost me my Ape Escape revival, Sir Dan!

2) Concrete Genie (PS4)

Another release from this past October, Concrete Genie was a pet project of passion for its developer, Pixelopus. The intriguing and innovative gameplay mechanic of painting to bring graffiti to life to solve puzzles was a clever one that made for an enjoyable game. Slowly seeing the town of Denska start from a dilapidated bureau into one full of life by the end of the game thanks to hero Ash's efforts was a delight. Further a delight were the visuals and art style, showcasing immense artistry and creativity that shined brightly in every aspect of the presentation. If you have any doubt that the PlayStation brand and moreover Sony do not provide first-party efforts that flow with originality and creativity, then perhaps Concrete Genie as but one of many examples will correct your thinking.

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

After the original Yooka-Laylee did its best to ape the gameplay and structure of Banjo-Kazooie but ended up disappointing plenty of players and people, the chameleon and bat's return in Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair got the fanfare of crickets at most. This was despite the game reviewing relatively well, and featuring gameplay more akin to Donkey Kong Country this time around. Despite multiple sales on digital platforms, including a system known for being kind to platformers like the Switch, the game still didn't make much of an impact. How much this game was overlooked was another example of yet another sales shame from this year, as Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is not only a fantastic 2D platformer with an ingenious method of traverse between levels, but it's one of the better games of 2019 bar-none.


Another awards category and top five list premieres tonight as the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards continues!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards - Top Five Best Original Soundtracks

The festivities officially begin here with SuperPhillip Central's Best of 2019 Awards! For over a decade now, SPC has awarded the best and boldest of gaming each year. What follows these next 7-9 days is a variety of categories in top five form and one final top ten for SPC's favorite games of 2019.

Let's get things underway with our first category: Best Original Soundtracks. With music being something that is of a highly subjective nature--more so than a lot of other categories lined up for this week of awards--it all comes down to whatever tickled SPC's fancy--or in this case, the ears--the most. These five games sport the best soundtracks that come solely from gaming and no outside source such as heavily licensed music. Without further ado, let's kick SPC's celebration of gaming off with some great music!

5) Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown (PS4, XB1, PC)

Starting off this soundtrack countdown, we soar in the skies with Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown's monumentally marvelous and memorable musical score. No doubt the highlight of the soundtrack is the piece of music that caps the entire journey, Daredevil. It's a piece of music that brings with it a tremendous emotional punch and gives just the right amount of energy to deliver some serious feelings. Elsewhere on the soundtrack are themes that bring a great sense of urgency, action, and impact, all perfect for a grandiose aerial adventure.

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

Be forewarned: we may see a lot of this next game in numerous categories of SuperPhillip Central's Best of 2019 Awards. Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair made no attempt to hide its clear inspiration from the Donkey Kong Country series, and it helps that several folks who worked on those games worked on this one. That includes one of the composers of the game: David Wise, who was joined by a bounty of talent in the form of Grant Kirkhope and two relatively newcomers, Matt Griffin and Dan Murdoch, who contributed several tracks to the game. Some of these are my favorites on the entire soundtrack, such as the Aquatic Ambiance-esque Factory Fright - Flooded. The Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair soundtrack does not hit the same highs as the best in the Donkey Kong Country series, but it's no slouch in the musical score department either!

3) Team Sonic Racing (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

Our next video game soundtrack of 2019 incorporates several remixes from past Sonic the Hedgehog games in it, including music from Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Unleashed, and past Sonic racing games. It's Team Sonic Racing, and aside from the expertly crafted new remixes by a wide array of musical talent, such as Crush40, Jun Senoue, Tee Lopes, the Hyper Potions, and more, there are several brand-new tracks. Of course, there's the prerequisite of a modern Sonic game to have a vocal main theme, and Green Light Ride rocks and hits all the right notes. That notwithstanding, the all-new music themes heard in the Planet Wisp series of races, for instance, all deliver fantastic high-energy themes.

2) Fire Emblem: Three Houses (NSW)

Fire Emblem never fails to feature a stirring, riveting and sensational soundtrack--especially these past few entries--and Fire Emblem: Three Houses certainly does not buck this trend. Whether it's gallivanting around Garreg Mach Monastery to the peaceful and restful theme that plays, or hearing Fodlan Winds, Tempest of Seasons, or one of many of the stellar battle themes that accompany the action and terrific tactical combat of the game, Fire Emblem: Three Houses devotes itself to a high level of polish. This no doubt seeps deeply into the soundtrack, so hopefully these examples remain available to listen to in order to give you an idea on just how remarkable the music really is.

1) Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XB1)

The splendid Yoko Shimomura, whose mastery of music making is well known, brought her "A" game once more to the Kingdom Hearts series with the third numbered installment of the series, Kingdom Hearts III. Taking numerous past themes from the series and reworking them with the full majesty of a full orchestra, as well as composing wholly original pieces of music in addition to this, made the Kingdom Hearts III soundtrack resonate greatly with me. That said, I shouldn't give total credit to Ms. Shimomura, regardless of her excellent ability. The soundtrack's breadth and depth was helped by Takeharu Ishimoto and Tsuyoshi Sekito who contributed to the music, too. Kingdom Hearts III was a team effort, and emphasis on the effort, as it truly shows with the magnificent music and sounds one can hear from the game.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Top Five Winter Wonderlands of Gaming in 2019

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through SPC,
Phil was posting up a storm, as hard as he could be.
With a new gaming list that he checked twice,
One for the top five snow and winter levels of 2019, how nice!
So sit back, relax, and grab a nice, hot cup of cocoa,
As we start this themed countdown, and away we go!

5) Ice Mountain - Team Sonic Racing (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

A vastly overlooked racing game from this past May, Team Sonic Racing may have been lapped by its competition--a game that we'll look at a little later on this list--but it did feature a stellar snowy and icy race track full of wintry wonder to watch out for. Ice Mountain is based off Sonic Unleashed's Cool Edge level, and it sports a wild ride through icy twists and turns, banked curves, and multiple trick opportunities in the form of high-flying ramps and jumps.

Weave through gigantic icicles to avoid a nasty wipe-out, and then speed through a series of shipping containers as you approach the final turn, home to some incredibly deep snow racers will want to avoid unless they wish to slow down heavily. Ice Mountain comes complete with an awesome remix/mashup of Cool Edge's Day theme and Sonic Colors's "Reach for the Stars" theme, solidifying its placement on this list--though the greatness of the track itself was more than enough to do so.

4) Slip-Slide Isle - Yoshi's Crafted World (NSW)

We move on from an arcade racing game to one of our two platforming genre representatives of this list with Yoshi's Crafted World's ice level. Just be careful, Yoshi, as there's no tread in those boots of yours! Yes, as the name of the level suggests, Yoshi will slip and slide around across icebergs floating on the frozen seas. Avoid some pushy penguins named Bumptys that, true to their names, will do their best to bump Yoshi into the frosty drink. This themed level has everything--icebergs that tilt and sway with characters' weight, a humongous whale that can shoot Yoshi up through its blowhole, a seaside voyage via a ride-able beach ball, and icicles that fall down from the ceilings of caverns once Yoshi passes underneath them, also serving as makeshift platforms. Good Feel shows off such incredible creativity throughout its levels in Yoshi's Crafted World, and Slip-Slide Isle is no different in this regard, making it one of my favorite winter wonderlands in gaming this year.

3) Cliffside Quest - Cold - Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair (PS4, XB1, NSW, PC)

Like Team Sonic Racing, Playtonic Games' Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair definitely didn't see the commercial success that fans of the game like myself would have liked. That said, that doesn't stop the game from being fantastic, nor having one of the better wintry levels in gaming in 2019.

Cliffside Quest's Cold version takes the familiar Cliffside Quest village setting and puts it under a deep freeze. Snow and ice covers everything as far as the eye can see, though the goal to complete the level is the same. Instead of simply going from point A to point B to reach the level's goal, the goal is right in front of Yooka and Laylee at the start of the level. The objective of this level is to collect five different colored gems to rescue the Bee trapped inside its crystal prison. This means exploring all corners of the level in various rooms, each with their own platforming perils and challenges. Cliffside Quest - Cold ends up becoming one of the more cleverly designed and original levels within a game filled to the brim with fantastically designed levels brimming with personality and creativity.

2) Gingerbread Joyride - Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled (PS4, XB1, NSW)

While Team Sonic Racing didn't take the checkered flag at the end of the day, this next game certainly did: Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled. With the latest Grand Prix update, this new circuit is featured. Gingerbread Joyride screams "Christmas" with its houses and spectators crafted in the cookie delight, gumdrops littered across the sidelines, including two troublesome ones before the race's final turn, snow banks, a warm glow that emanates from the starting gingerbread town, and plenty of Christmas charm to put anyone in the holiday spirit. This circuit requires mastery of power sliding and drifts in order to complete it without trailing behind at the back of the pack, and learning how to take both of the shortcuts that Gingerbread Joyride possesses is the difference between crossing the finish line in first and ending up on Santa's naughty driver list. Gingerbread Joyride is one fantastic track that continues the game's penchant for excellence when it comes to its continued quality content.

1) Arendelle - Kingdom Hearts III (PS4, XB1)

With Frozen 2 in theaters, it's a perfect time to bring up my favorite gaming winter wonderland of 2019 with Kingdom Hearts III's interpretation of Arendelle, the Frozen world of the game. Word has it that Disney was rather strict with what Square Enix could and couldn't implement into this chapter of the game, but I think it turned out well regardless. Between facing winter-themed Heartless in a snow-covered forest, scaling a humongous, sprawling vertical section of cliffs on the side of a tall mountain, exploring an icy labyrinth dungeon, or going wild while sledding down the slopes on Goofy's shield as a party, Kingdom Hearts III's Arendelle featured a multitude of memorable moments making it my favorite of the winter-themed locales I had the pleasure to experience in 2019. Plus, who doesn't like getting treated to a 1:1 rendition of "Let It Go" with Sora, Donald, and Goofy interspersed in between? Not this writer, that's for sure.

Monday, December 23, 2019

America's Greatest Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy! (NSW) Review

It's Christmas Eve's Eve, and SuperPhillip Central has a game that is perfect for families as they get together for the holidays. It's a compilation of two game show video games bundled together in one package: America's Greatest Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy!, and here is the SPC review.

Two iconic American game shows in one package reviewed by SuperPhillip Central. 
"What are Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy?"

Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! are two classic game shows that have been mainstays in American television for over thirty years. For such iconic game shows that follow a fun, easy-to-follow format, they haven't really translated well to video games, for one reason or another. Ubisoft is the latest publisher to have its teams tackle these two game show icons, and the final package: America's Greatest Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy!, while enjoyable, lack some essentially features and suffer from some presentation issues to make for a lesser experience than many players may desire.

Of the two game shows, I found myself enjoying Wheel of Fortune more. Now, part of that is because of my personal preference of this particular game show, but another comes from Wheel of Fortune feeling like a fuller, richer experience. Wheel of Fortune offers the glitz and glamour of playing the big game in a studio, but allowing you to do so from the comfort of your TV with you actually interacting with the game instead of just shouting, "No! You should have bought an "A", idiot!" at the screen.

Along with the colorful studio, there are the sights and sounds of Wheel of Fortune--familiar jingles, TV show graphics, and even video clips when a player wins a prize. You also get not-Pat Sajak and not-Vanna White as your respective host and hostess, and the ability to customize some aspects of the game, such as your character, the Wheel of Fortune set, and even not-Pat Sajak and not-Vanna White's attire. That said, with all the numerous presentation touches to provide an authentic representation of Wheel of Fortune, there are some graphical and audio hiccups which, as an avid watcher of Wheel of Fortune, I know don't happen on the actual show. It brings down the look of the game and screams "budget"--if the lackluster graphics didn't do that already.

Hit the Skip button now! Not-Pat Sajak is creeping me the "F" out!
Playing with other players locally is the optimal way to play Wheel of Fortune, as the AI is not the brightest. On even the hardest difficulty of simulated opponent, they will pick the silliest letters for puzzles--letters like "Z", "X", and "J"--the ones that appear the least in typical puzzles. With friends and family, you can opt to all use different Joy-Cons or share the same controller. However, sharing is particularly awkward during "Toss Up Round" puzzles, where a player must buzz in when they think they can solve the puzzle. As you can imagine, the workaround here is not the best, but it still stays fun.

"A Group of Pill Pushers?" (Sorry. That's a deep dive Wheel of Fortune reference.)
While Wheel of Fortune stays true to the presentation of the show and features a studio, Jeopardy! ventures off into blander, more sterile territory. There is no studio to speak of, no characters to customize, and no embodiment of a host, save for a female voice. Though to be fair, her voice is rather soothing. The rules remain the same as ever for Jeopardy!: The player in control of the board selects a category and dollar amount, and then all three contestants get a chance to "answer" the "question" in typical Jeopardy! "answer/question" format.

The smaller Jeopardy! board seen here is the one used for Quick Play matches.
The only catch here--and it's understandable given that I wouldn't want to have to type each and every answer, especially since I'm not the world's foremost authority on how to spell every name and word in history--is that instead of typing out an answer, players just buzz in and choose from one of three possible answers. The possible choices aren't shown until a player has buzzed in, so that makes things a little more challenging. What isn't so challenging is, again, the AI. Many times they'll select an incorrect response, making it even easier to ascertain the correct one from the two remaining choices.

Stat tracking is a rather cool if not superfluous feature of Jeopardy!.
Both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! support quick play options that lower the amount of rounds with regards to Wheel of Fortune, and decreases the amount of categories and dollar amounts in Jeopardy's case. So, with Wheel of Fortune, instead of the traditional game show's 3 toss-up rounds, 3 normal rounds with one being a prize puzzle, and one final spin of the wheel by not-Pat Sajak for players to take turn guessing letters to solve the last puzzle, plus the bonus round, the game is a quick two round affair and bonus round when Quick Play is chosen. Further, Jeopardy! sports a kids' mode, offering simpler questions great for families.

Additionally, both Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy! also have individual leveling systems to them, where the more money you end up with at the conclusion of a round, the more stars you earn. Earn enough stars and you gain new levels, unlocking new content. With Wheel of Fortune, it's things like new character customization parts and articles of clothing, new sets, new prizes to place on the wheel, and new outfits for not-Pat Sajak and not-Vanna White. With Jeopardy!, it's all about new categories to choose from. Wheel of Fortune's selection of customization options is already paltry from the beginning, and the little you unlock as you progress in levels only adds figurative drops of water in the canteen of a man dying from thirst. Still, it's content to unlock for playing the game every now and then.

The amount of parts for customizing your characters are extremely limited
at first and get only marginally better.
Each of the two games come on the same Switch game card, but they're accessed separately, meaning that you need to back out of and close one game from the Switch menu completely to enter the other. Not the most efficient way of switching between games on a system called the Switch, and yes, I definitely see the irony in saying that. Online play is also available for both games separately, but good luck finding anyone to play with unless you set something up with a friend or family member so you're both online searching for a match at the same time.

America's Greatest Game Shows: Wheel of Fortune & Jeopardy! do offer a competent version of these two enduring game shows. They're serviceable enough, accessible enough for beginners, and entertaining enough to give some short bursts of game show goodness here and there. It's just a bit of a disappointment that game shows deemed as "America's Greatest" don't have truly great enough video game representations. Because this package certainly isn't.

[SPC Says: C-]

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Announcing the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards!

After a year's hiatus, the SuperPhillip Central Best of Awards are back in full swing with nearly ten categories from every subject in gaming from Most Overlooked to Most Disappointing. Hey, you gotta take the bad with the good every now and then! That said, aside from that latter category, the SuperPhillip Central Best of 2019 Awards will be more of a celebration of the past year in gaming with daily top five lists and a final top ten list of the best games of 2019.

The fun starts on the day after Christmas--December 26th--so get ready for some fun times and enjoyable reminiscing of the year that was 2019 in gaming!