Fallout Shelter {phone game review}

image

Brief Summery: Congratulations! You are the Overseer of a new Vault out in the Wastelands! With only a handful of people under your care to begin with, it is up to you in how your Vault is built and maintained! Keep your dwellers alive, send them to the wastes fir supplies, watch out for raiders, and make some babies! All of this and more, good luck Overseer!

So, for those of you unfamiliar with the Fallout series, it is about post nuclear war where the government set up Vaults to “keep people safe” (more often than not they were experiments) however there are also those who live on in what remains of the outside world. The Overseer is the title of the leader of the Vault.

You begin by picking your Vault number and a small group of dwellers. The beginning is a tutorial which is well put together and doesn’t pull away from gameplay too much. You learn how to build different rooms, all costing Caps ($) and some with requirements that must be met to be unlocked. Most room types can be expanded 3 times, and upgraded 3 times. The size and upgrade of the room determines how many dwellers can work in it. Yes, the people have jobs! Each type of room has a S.P.E.C.I.A.L stat associated with it. Those with that stat set to higher are better suited for the job. There are rooms to train stats up in as well.

Once you have a few rooms and people working in them, it now becomes a game of patience and strategy. Most rooms produce something, water, power, etc. It takes time to make them, while at the same time they are being consumed. It’s a balance of supplies depleted vs supplies replenished. There is also making sure your dwellers are happy!

You can also send dwellers outside the Vault. They will get Caps, supplies, meet the nasties of the wastes, etc. So be sure to equip them with stimpaks and radaway!

image

After the initial startup the game can slow down a bit with waiting for supplies, more dwellers (via babies or the wastes), and fighting off the occasional fire or radroach infestation.

The music is nice and matches the previous games theme well. The graphics are top notch too, especially for a free game! The rooms even have depth and dimension. You can always use real money as well if you don’t wish to wait around for things, but you can enjoy the whole game without spending a dime. If you like Fallout or city-building styled games, then I suggest this!

Rating: 10/10

Burn Your Fat With Me: For Girls {Phone App Dating Sim}

wp-1450306544034.png

[Meet Kei: Your trainer]

Quick Summary: You are a young woman from a well off family who dreams of writing manga on day. Your prince who swoons you and loves you is a prince like figure based off the quite handsome and charismatic classmate at your academy. Unfortunately for you, your parents think an artist is not fitting for your position and you are instead destined to be apart of the theater troupe in this prestigious place, your princely figure there with you every step of the way-to berate, insult, and push you to become thin so you don’t embarrass the rest of the troupe on curl up at a time.

So this is an app that mixes working out with dating. There is a male version (sort of) called Burn Your Fat With Me that stars a cute anime style girl cheering you on. For this female version, you get less cheering and more jeering. This app has caused a bit of controversy when it came out, many finding the tactics too harsh and degrading. Fully voice acted in English and Japanese, you go through the story line as a strong minded woman who doesn’t really think you need to lose weight, but then again after some poking and prodding from Kei you kinda feel like you should.

To unlock the story forwards, and I’m assuming relationship with Kei, you need to do exercises that are accessible from the menu. The first one are curl ups where you touch the screen after each one, Kei counting for you for the set amount you choose. Depending on how many, and how fast, you do the workout, you earn points. These points unlock the next level in the story, Kei outfits, as well as future voice acting for other events. There is also an option to have Kei wake you up as an alarm, though the things that pop out of his pretty mouth aren’t the nicest. You can also unlock future events and outfits through real money purchases. I haven’t made it that far in it, partly because I’m lazy haha, but there are two other ‘dating’ workout men to choose from. Since I haven’t finished Kei’s route, I’m unsure exactly on how to unlock these, my assumption is after Kei you can pick one and use points to unlock theirs.

wp-1463289254830.png

[Prince View of Kei]

I can understand why this app is most certainly not for everyone. For those who have triggers or low self esteem, this game is at best insulting. Since it uses guilt and insults to help motivate you to workout, the pretty face doesn’t help you feel like moving at all. For others, it is more entertainment and funny with romantic options. It all depends on your own personality and preferences. Though I wouldn’t have put this at the top of my favorite games, it is interesting and innovative in a way. My husband was, however, not a fan at all and wasn’t happy with me playing it. I’ve had self esteem issues in the past about my own body and he was worried this wouldn’t be good for me. I assured him though, this is a drawn character who is trying to make me feel bad, not a real person. I can hit the ‘off’ button on them anytime and their non reality can’t hurt me in real life. We’ll see if I actually ever get around to finishing a whole story line. If I do, I’ll post an update!

 

image

[Kei Motivation]

Available for free, with in app purchases, for Android and Apple.

Rating: 7.5/10

 

 

Dream Girlfriend {Phone App Dating Sim}

Quick Summary: Have you wanted a girlfriend who was made as if just for you? Shared interests, adoration, and cute clothes? Have conversations, give gifts, and go on adventures with a virtual girl all your own.

So this is a dating sim style app. You have a “blank slate” personality for your girlfriend, which basically is an over all cheerful and supportive personality. Her features and clothing are a ‘standard’ setting as well. This all starts out when you accidentally run into a mysterious girl who decides that for some reason right at that moment you are ‘the one’ who might just be the ‘right one’ for this type  of application. Surprise! You now have a girlfriend!

The basis of this is pretty standard. You can talk to your girlfriend using ‘points’ throughout the day to learn more of her personality, blank slate and the eventual one you can choose, and to trigger events that can be saved in your album. You can buy her clothes, facial features, accessories, using free points earned through playing or of course use real money that converts into game money. There is an event each month that is themed where you can win  backgrounds, clothes, and accessories for your girlfriend. Dialogue is different in these events as well and they use a different set of points. Again you can get more points through waiting in real time or buying them in real life. There is also an option to join a single ‘group’ where you can interact directly with other players on a message board. These can be private, invite acceptance, or open. Lastly there is also a way to interact with other players girlfriends by rating their outfits, giving advice, and your girlfriend talking to them. Oh yes, and you have to make sure your lady sleeps to regain points, you can buy outfits and pillows for this as well.

image

[Maho: Motion Event Outfit]

One note on the outfits, there are some that can only be received if purchased with the coins you get from real money. There are also some ‘special’ outfits which make your girlfriend move in real time when talking to her instead of just having different facial expressions. Some of these are of course very sexual in nature, while others are more sweet.

What are all these points for? Well there are a few things. You can use them to ‘unlock’ different personality traits of your girlfriend. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, you can also have her study which increases or decreases desired personality traits to choose a personality model. You can also have her go to work to earn you money to buy her more things. These personalities need different things, such as a Sporty personality might need high points in cheerfulness and playfulness, but low points in sexy and cool. Some of the different personality models are Sporty, Tsundere and Yandere. Different personalities need a certain character level. That’s right! You also level up in this game. Higher levels unlock different physical features, clothing, and personalities of your girlfriend.

Wait, there’s more! After you reach a certain level, you can be rewarded with a second girlfriend! This is because you are responsible enough to handle two women at once now. This second girlfriend is the same game play as the original, buying clothing, talking, etc. However, be careful spending too much time with one girlfriend, because you could make the other jealous or hurt their feelings. I’m not sure how many girlfriends you can have, I only made it as far as the two.

image

[Second Girlfriend Meiko]

Overall thoughts: I’m not sure exactly if I like this game or not. It is really easy to get into and spend time on, generating enough points without spending real money is easy, dressing up and having monthly events is a good way to keep people interested, and they seem to keep a steady flow of new accessories, backgrounds, etc that you can get. However, on the flip side, I’m not sure how I feel about having a girlfriend who I build from scratch to meet my personality wants. She’s pretty much just there to please me and make me happy. I’m a little sad too that the two girlfriends couldn’t be friends and work together instead of not liking each other, however I wonder if this is due to different personality types or not? I suppose the point of a dating sim is  to have a fantasy character who falls in love with you and does what they can to make you happy. It just rubbed me a little the wrong way that I could so easily change her personality if I decide I don’t like it. I can see this game sticking around for a long time, especially if they keep it fresh and updating it regularly. I know a call for a male version is wanted (they have an animal-man based one, however it is no where near the level of this app in variety or motion).

You can find this app on the Google Play store, and I believe it is on Apple as well. These photos were saved with the photo save option in My Dream Girlfriend App.

Rating: 7.5/10

Tales of Xilla-II (PS3 Game Review)

[credit: wikipedia.com]

                  [credit: wikipedia.org]

Quick Summary: Time to go back, between two worlds colliding together, though this time there is so much more at stake. Ludger, a young man who, though skilled with a skillet, wants to be so much more with his government. Unable to reach the level of his older brother, he proceeds onward to be a chef and makes his way to board a train for his first day on the job. If only things could have remained so simple. Colliding with a young girl holding a mysterious watch, Ludger is thrust into a conspiracy involving not only his government, but the entire world. Allied with a group of strange yet talented folk who all know each other from a previous world altering adventure, Ludger must make choices that effect his relationships, and that of the world as he knows it.

I spent way, way too many hours playing the first Tales of Xilla, and loved every grinding minute of it. When it ended I was a little nostalgic and saddened, I had spent so much time seeing all these characters develop and grow, fighting towards a certain goal. Well, in truth I only really got to see one half of such a tale, for in the first game you can choose between two characters (I chose Milla). this game though similar to its predecessor, it also wildly different. You have only one main character, Ludger, who unlike the former game is mostly silent throughout the entirety of game play. Through cut scenes and post-battle snippets he may utter a few words or a sentence, yet mostly his responses are more  onomatopoeia with a facial expression to match. I feel this pulls away from the character slightly and is so vastly different than the previous game that it took some time to get used to. I feel they chose to go this route so that the player is a bit more of a blank slate personality wise and therefor may be able to connect to Ludger a little more than if all of his responses warranted set lines.

To make up for this more quite character and to counter the dual character play through, you as the player get to make dual choices in-game for Ludger. You get to pick his actions or words to a specific situation or conversation. This will change how the characters around you respond, as well as their affinity for you. It has a bit of a standard of passive/aggressive,  mild/outgoing. This couples with the different familiar characters who get personal quests at different stages through the game. Here you can further your relationship or stunt it by the choices you make, as well as learn more about how these people have changed or grown since the last game. This is one thing that followed into the sequel, the previous characters personalities haven’t changed so drastically through the years that it flows nicely into the second game.

Without giving away too many spoilers, the new and old characters deal with time and dimensions, which makes you as a player and the following characters question their own morals and the difference between right and wrong pertaining to your own survival and existence as well as those whom you may destroy.

One of the things that took some time to get used to due to the lack of total control, it actually made things simplified. The skill leveling system used to be a giant web that you could pick and choose what is leveled up with the points you earned. This time around there are set skills in a line that you can learn if you choose that set. Such as Shine or Droplet. In a way this is handy because as you play you earn elemental points and learn those skills and abilities as you go without having to pause and choose which ones to upgrade or learn. Each set line is different for each character as well. So Shine for Ludger was different than Jude’s Shine. You can only have one set ‘Line’ to each character at a time, but in the end it is really nice because you don’t have to think about it as you play, you just learn what you need to learn. As the game goes on you can learn different lines that combine lesser Lines with greater. Such as Shine being Sunburst. Sunburst has the abilities of Shine plus more. So you get to play with it.

Like all Xilla games there is a mix of drama and humor, main story and subplots, pushing you to level up and learn as much as you can about all the world around you and more beyond. This game is well worth the money and time if you are into JRPG type games, or any of the Tales games. It helps to play the first Xilla game to learn about the complexities of the characters and how the world you are in now came to be. However, it is possible to play through the game without doing so because the characters describe their previous relationships and issue of the lands beforehand. It might be a bit confusing, but still passable.

Rating: 9/10

Whispering Willows (PS Vita game review)

[credit: Personal PS Vita capture]

      [credit: Personal PS Vita capture]

(Edited to correct some information and added photos!)

Quick Summary: Elena Elkhorn has a nightmare about her father, a groundskeeper who has gone missing shortly after accepting the job. With nothing but her wits and family pendant with her she dashes off to the grounds of the historical mansion of the towns founder. There she must solve puzzles to find out what happened to her father and the dark past of the town she never knew. Along the way Elena also discovers a power within herself to aid in her search.

So this is a darker puzzle game, the inrto being hand drawn stills before getting into the beautiful gameplay. Elena’s movements are easy to command, if there is a tunnel she automatically crawls, going up and down stairs is a simple up and down motion. The game kindly reminds you of all the action moves (for the most part) each time you come across them. This way if you put the game sown for a while it won’t take long to recall the mechanics.

2015-08-29-233740

Speaking of the game itself is pretty simplistic in its options. You can read notes or Elena’s journal entries, check you items, or explore in her Spiritual mode. There is no map feature which I rather like, the layout of the game isn’t so big that you can’t find your way around with a little searching. One thing that was a bit of a bother was the fact that you can only run when outside. This normally wasn’t too much of an issue except for when in the mansion or catacombs that had a larger layout. In this way though I suppose it makes it harder to miss things.

Being a puzzle type there is a lot of back and forth within the game. Some areas aren’t accessible till completing someones request or finding a certain item. The puzzles aren’t too hard if you are aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the red highlighted words in conversation. Some talks are just for humor or filler, a few well placed jokes are laid in the dialogue and trophies. One nice feature is that any time you exit in or out of a room it saves automatically for you. I also purposely died to see what would happen and luckily it just starts you at the last autosave without needing to go to a menu.

2015-08-29-234352

The music was nice in the way that it wasn’t distracting. There were a few key changes for important scenes or characters which was nice. One thing I wish was to be able to turn off the dialogue sound when reading through the bubbles, a few times of long talks it was a little distracting. Other than that it was really nice in the fluidity of the music and sounds.

Elena was the most rounded of the characters, her body language changing if she stood still for too long, hearing things that l can’t see unless in Spirit form, and running. You get to delve into her emotions the more she learns about the mansion through journals and her thoughts through short conversations. There are a handful of characters who don’t get much of a background but they add small bits to the plot or what the townspeople were thinking back when the town was first growing. The touches of Elena’s ancestral background was nice too, it is a group rarely explored or touched upon in games and ties in her the reasoning of her Spirit form well.

[Elena's physical form doesn't move while in Spirit mode]

[Elena’s physical form doesn’t move while in Spirit mode]

Overall it was a nice game in looks and story, though I felt it was completed all too fast. My husband purchased it on a sale for under fifteen dollars, which I felt was a fair sales price, mostly because the length of the game felt too short and puzzles a bit too easy. That being said I still really enjoyed the game, it was relaxing and even though it was shorter it didn’t feel rushed. For those who enjoy graphics and plot more than the puzzles themselves, this would be up your alley. I believe it is coming out in the PS4 here shortly as well, but is available for the Vita at the moment. Below I’ll throw in a couple more photos I captured using my personal gaming device.

Overall rating: 7/10


2015-08-29-2358572015-08-30-0130562015-08-29-233939

Nameless: The One Thing You Must Recall (PC game review)

Quick Summary: Eri is still struggling with the passing of her grandfather whom she shared a home with as her parents are away abroad most of the time. Alone in the big house she takes solace in her loneliness by a hobby kept secret from her few friends in fear of ridicule. An expensive hobby of buying Crobi Dolls, highly made dolls with movable joints, finely crafted and each with their own name and backstory. These dolls she poses for photos, buys clothing for, and talks to daily about her life. After a strange dream, Eri walks out into her kitchen to find it full already of beautiful familiar faces. Somehow her dolls have come to life, their spirits (so to speak) connected to the dolls still on her shelf. Now she must go to school with them all as they live at her home, each wanting to be with her, each with some dark secrets. Who brought them to life though? And what strange voice speaks to Eri in her dreams?

So this game was made by the same people who made Dandelion: Wishes Brought to You. Though this is a very different breed of game. Instead of using stats like the previous game, this is more like a visual novel. You have multiple choices that pop up, and depending on which you choose with lead you to a good end or one of the many bad ends. I like this better because you don’t have to wait around for your stat to get high enough, or for the next cut scene to hit if you’ve maxed out already. Another thing is you can change the name of the MC, making it seem more personal in game play. Eri’s personality is more enjoyable as well. She is an introvert and a bit shy, but not naive. Often she calls out lecherous comments with disapproval or embarrassment.

Secondary characters include two female friends who encourage and tease Eri in her daily life as well as with the beautiful boys. They don’t know about Eri’s hobby and she often feels guilty about this. There is also a creepy and interesting male nurse who works as the school and a cafe that is frequented with interacting characters.

You can only choose three of the five to play through in the beginning, after completing those three one more unlocks, then the last one. There is a suggested order if you look on walk throughs of which to play in which order, because with each play through you learn a little more about characters and they mystery voice. Though each boy has a distinct personality trait that categorizes them, they are much more deep and complex than you may expect. Each has flaws, dreams, fears, and unique endings. Warning: some of the bad endings involve violence and suggested acts, I was creeped out on a few of them to be sure. That is one of the draws to this game, it is a dating sim style, but it isn’t light and fluffy. There are parts that involve questionable behavior, dark secrets, and some chilling photos that are saved in a photo album on the main page.

The game is a bit expensive on Steam, but it is worth it for the multiple endings and learning about each individual character. If you’re looking for a dating sim game with an undertone of dark and not dealing with stat building, I’d give this one a look.

Rating: 8/10

Murasaki Baby (PS Vita)

Quick Summary:  A little girl wakes up in her room as a door opens as she sleeps. Stepping out of bed she walks through it calling out “Mommy?” In an adorable yet distorted voice. Accompanied by her pink balloon, which causes distress and tears if taken away or let go by surprise, she travels a creepy and dangerous landscape. With each opening door, she calls out to her mother, excitedly walking through in the hopes of finding her. Along the way she meets other people like herself, aggresive animals, and strange beings, all of which she (and you-pulling her along by the hand) must pass in order to get to the next door while dealing with the little girls fears and excitement.

I was a little unsure of this game at first glance, it looked interesting because of the art style, but the basic concept seemed like would would be lacking. Once jumping in though I found the game to be pretty enjoyable. Nothing I would power through, but do a couple levels here and there at a time. The nameless protagonist is a strange mix of adorable and freaky. With the behavior of a toddler it makes you feel endearing towards her, especially since you’re physically using your touch to lead her along the journey.

The main characters personality is so much like a little girl that after a while it was easy to look past the fact that her mouth was located in her forehead. The few words she speaks with a static sounding voice, “Mommy?”, “Hmm?”, “Wee!” are actually pretty dang cute. It also really shows how vulnerable she is while also being totally oblivious to this fact. She’s just on a walk to find her mom.

This game is all touch based. You use your finger on the screen to lead her, or the balloon, this way and that as she gazes ahead and at her surroundings. Depending on what is in front of her (a large gap or scary animal) she’ll pull away from your touch and cower. A range of emotions are shown quite simply through the protagonist. Black tears flow and she falls down if her balloon escapes. Scared of something she’ll gasp and whine while shaking. Also touched based is the back-touch. By popping different colored balloons through level progression you get the option to shift what is in the background. Each one is a different scene with a different color. Each one has a single ability, for example the Orange background has a windmill that when touched blows a strong breeze. You must switch between these to solve puzzles and get rid of obstacles along the way. In an interesting note, the little girl’s personality changes in relation to the background and the singular action. Again, in example with a Red background she looks scared and will cry so you have to catch her balloon. I really enjoyed this connection of the foreground and background, the character and her surroundings.

My one really big issue with the touch heaviness of this game is when there is a situation that causes her to be scared or nervous it can be really difficult to find and grab her hand. There were multiple times where I needed to lead her from one section to another, but due to her being nervous and usually the color of the background I had a hard time getting her hand. It goes from her mouth to her side in addition to be a bit difficult to see. This didn’t ruin the game and I was eventually able to grab it by chance after many passes over the character, but it did take me out of the atmosphere of the game as an annoyance.

The art style is something I really enjoy about this game. As I stated before it’s a bit of the cute with the strange. The style, monsters, and a few characters you meet along the way remind me of one of my favorite shows Invader Zim. In addition it hearkens to an old comic series Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. It’s simple with mostly monotone colors, so when you do get colors they’re of importance and significance due to standing out (like the main character herself with pink bow and balloon).

Like Monster Bag, this is a simple puzzle game that has a simple story that slowly unfolds its weird self to you as you go through puzzles. If you like these types of simple, dark, cute games, then this is one I’d suggest. It was on this months Free PSN game for /the Vita. Can’t beat free for trying out a game! It can get a little repetitive and boring if you play for more than a few levels at a time and none of the puzzles really present a challenge. Besides that though, not an overall bad game.

Overall score: 8/10.