Thursday, July 1, 2021

Review Round-Up - June 2021

June 2021 saw a lot of great things for SuperPhillip Central--13 years online and our 1,000th review: Resident Evil Village!

What a month here at SuperPhillip Central for the month of June! It was a massive month on the site, as we celebrated our 13th anniversary, as well as the arrival of SPC's 1,000th review! While we're on the subject of reviews, let's take a look at all seven of the reviews published on the site for the month of June with the good, ol' Review Round-Up!

The month started out mellow enough with a wonderful photo expedition starring hundreds of cute, adorable, and amazing Pokémon in New Pokémon Snap, which earned a B+. Also earning a B+ but a decidedly less mellow experience was that of the Donkey Kong Country-inspired Kaze and the Wild Masks. From safaris and platforming escapades, we then took the ocean waves with King of Seas, which rocked the proverbial boat a little too much, getting a C- for its excessive grind and repetitive content. Another indie title quickly followed, Piczle Cells, and this short but sweet puzzler impressed, getting a C+.

What came after was what the review SPC has been teasing and hyping for months now, and it finally arrived--the 1,000th review! Resident Evil Village took the honor, and it wowed (and scared with its quality) with a stellar A grade. From there, we wrapped up the month with two platformers, one retro remake with Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World (which got a B-) and the Super Meat Boy-esque Super Magbot, which was quite the attractive game, getting a B.

Finally, for your convenience, check out all seven of the reviews, with links and excerpts, below. And don't forget to check out the SPC Review Archive for every review--all 1,000+ of them--ever published and posted to SuperPhillip Central!

New Pokémon Snap (NSW) - B+

With 10-15 hours of playtime to complete the initial campaign, and dozens of hours more to snap every Pokémon, fully explore every area, and earn every title (achievement-like challenges), New Pokémon Snap is very much worth its price tag. It won't enthuse every player out there, but if you're the type who loves Pokémon, the idea of seeing them in natural surroundings, and taking pictures of some Pocket Monsters, then I certainly recommend that you snap up New Pokémon Snap.

Looking for an entertaining but relatively short 2D platformer that invokes wonderful DKC-style gameplay while adding a few interesting twists of its own? Then, Kaze and the Wild Masks is indeed worthy of your time. It's challenging, it's gorgeous to look at, and it's packed to the brim with exceedingly well done designs in both levels and boss battles. I waited quite a while for the retail release of the game to arrive, but fortunately and blessedly so, my wait was most definitely worth it.
Between the groan-worthy grind that is the campaign and utterly uninspired side quests, and tons of time wasted within its slow sailing, lack of fast travel, and punishing deaths, King of Seas is a lot of floundered potential. The base of the game is inspired with regard to controlling your ship and presents some excellent ideas, but the game's economy, glacial sailing speed, and campaign woes all lead to a game that capsizes not too long after the adventure starts to unfold.
As a puzzle game, Piczle Cells will put your brain through the wringer, giving you 100 brain busters of cell sliding, combining, and solving to enjoy. The core concept and gameplay mechanic is structurally sound, but once these 100 puzzles have been completed, there's not much else to keep you returning to the game. While puzzles have multiple solutions, there's really no incentive to find new ways to solve them, unless you really, REALLY are loving the game. The appearance of that aforementioned touch screen control-related bug made that control option less than functional, so go into the game thinking you'll be using analog exclusively (unless you have more patience for bugs than I) and you'll be fine. At any rate and even with these issues, Piczle Cells is hardly a puzzle game that I would call a tough cell--er, sell! In fact, I recommend it.
[Village is] an almost perfect combination of action and survival horror elements, taking the best from past Resident Evil games, most notably Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 7. Between the astounding assortment of villains in Village--some of the series' absolute best and most memorable--the wide range of awesome moments that stun and delight to the point that you'll want to replay them many times over, and a combo of gameplay and level design that stand head and shoulders above other modern games, Resident Evil Village reigns as one of the best installments of the series to date. One heck of an accomplishment, for sure, and one treasure of a game--one that the Duke would most certainly buy for a high price.
Compared to previous remakes of Wonder Boy/Monster World series games, Wonder Boy: Asha in Monster World feels a bit too simplistic for its $40 price tag. Yes, the visual style is lovely to look at, and the increased personality in Asha's animations--whether she's sliding like a figure skater on ice, or shaking her can as she prepares to open a treasure chest--is also pleasant to see. However, by a gameplay and game length standpoint, Asha in Monster World isn't the strongest experience. Again, the gameplay is rather simple, and the length is quite short. These aspects notwithstanding, there is a lot to like about this remake of Monster World IV (especially if you get the physical version as--at least the Switch port received the original game on the cartridge), and now a new generation of players can join Asha on her fun-filled adventure.
Despite being a game that did once again reveal that I'm not the mellowest platformer player out there, after personally witnessing moments of gnashing my teeth together, cursing to the heavens, and having my blood pressure noticeably rise at times, Super Magbot was an overall fun and enjoyable platformer. If you crave an almost Super Meat Boy-like challenge from your platformers, then you'll most definitely discover something great to enjoy from Super Magbot. For everyone else, you may find yourself "repelled" from the level of challenge on display in this game.
Meanwhile, a vastly different game tonally, SPC started this momentous month for the site
with a review of the cozy and quaint New Pokémon Snap!

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