#NintendoSwitch First Impressions Reaction Video

Killatia’s First Impressions of the NX….. I mean the #NintendoSwitch!

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415: Mirror’s Edge Catalyst for PS4, Xbox One, and PC Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

When games that attempt to try something original, you want to be very supportive about it. However, you also have the conflict of the potential of this “unique” game not being good. So, do you support the game due to its unique gameplay, story, and setting, even if it is flawed? Well, in some ways, yes, but for me, I won’t give a unique game a free pass if there are legit flaws with the game. This is where Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst comes into play. The original game was a surprise to everyone, with its focus on fast-moving platforming, and less of a focus on combat and gunplay. Catalyst, a reboot of the series, attempts to refine the experience by being more about melee combat and improved platforming. Does it succeed? Well, let’s find out.

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The game is a reboot/prequel to tell the origin story of Faith Conners, voiced by Faye Kingslee. She recently got released from prison, and rejoins a group of rebels that try to take down the big corporations that are trying to be in full control of the entire city and its people. Yeah, you can say I didn’t put too much focus onto the overall story, but when you see one “a free spirit taking down a giant conglomerate” story, you have seen them all.

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If you played the previous game, then you should be fairly familiar with this new game in the franchise. It’s a first-person fast-paced platformer that relies heavily on platforming design inspired by those parkour specialists, where you use the surrounding buildings around you to traverse the city. The gameplay has been definitely improved upon, with the platforming feeling more fluid and easier to control. The levels don’t feel so clunky, and it felt great being on the move and knowing how to wall-run, wall-jump, and running across buildings to evade the bad guys. They took out gunplay in this game, and instead put more emphasis on the melee combat, the first game’s biggest weakness. It definitely feels more varied with the ability to punch, kick, push or kick enemies into a wall or into other enemies, and while there is one section where you can’t avoid enemies, you can pretty much go through some major areas without punching a guy. The game is now open-ended, with a huge world to explore, and multiple side-objectives to take part in, like racing challenges, deliveries, and hacking large signs. There is even this “multi-player” element, where you can compete with others and beat their time challenges. The game will take about eight or so hours to complete the main story, and a few more if you decide to take on the side challenges or keep playing the “multi-player” aspect of the game.

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Graphically, this game is beautiful. It might be a sterile, mostly egg-white-looking world, but what were you expecting with a world of oppression and big business? The facial details and textures of everything are really pretty to look at. It actually looks as good as that ambitious, if forgettable Quantum Break. The music is once again atmospheric and techno, which fits into this bleak futuristic world into which you are placed. If you are curious about the composer, it’s the same individual that did the soundtrack for the first game, Solar Fields. The voice work is solid, but I would say it’s done well enough to show that the actors were trying to make this script work.

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So, what is wrong with Catalyst? Well, unfortunately, a lot. First off, the story is forgettable. It’s yet another generic “screw the big companies that we must take down so we can be free” stories, and I’m sorry, but it has been played out so much in recent years, that it’s not very creative. I didn’t really care to remember anyone’s names, because the characters were boring. I know DICE probably doesn’t have the best scriptwriters, but they could have put more effort into the story. I also found the lack of gunplay not a bad idea, up until you reach an area that you can’t escape and have to fight a horde of enemies. This part is tedious, because they will throw in a few too many long-range enemies that you can’t deal with, due to the fact that they won’t let you shoot anyone. The melee combat is good and all, but the level itself is not equipped enough to give you a fair shake. It’s the one part of the game that goes against its own rules, set for no reason. It’s infuriating, and it doesn’t auto-save after each round. I wouldn’t mind all this, since I have played a lot of games with a bunch of mediocre sequences that no one in the testing group thought to speak up about, but since the story isn’t great, why should I complete the game? The game is also rather repetitive, with not a lot of variety in terms of platforming and challenges. I’m sure it would be challenging to make a huge variety of memorable challenges for a game all about platforming, but still. The world also feels fairly empty. It sort of makes sense, but I wish they had put more life into this stale, clean city. I also ran into some glitches, like soldiers shooting at walls, and yet the bullets would still hit me.

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I really want to be supportive of Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst. It’s a solid game with some truly fun and satisfying platforming, but it’s weighed down by a boring story and sometimes tedious combat. I think it’s fair to say that if you haven’t played this game yet, give it a rent, and if you like it, get it for cheap. It’s good to always try something new, but sometimes, being different and unique isn’t enough.

This game gets a 6 out of 10

414: ABZU for PC and PS4 Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. I did get a review copy of this game, but got no financial compensation for reviewing the game. I got the code and nothing else. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

Here we are with the second game from PlayStation’s PLAY 2016. This is ABZU, an “experience” game done by the art director of Journey. This was easily one of the most anticipated games from the last couple of years. I think it’s obvious when you watch the trailers why people got so excited by this game from developer Giant Squid. Its bright colors, pleasing art style, and atmospheric gameplay looked like it was going to be this console generations’ Journey. So, does it reach the heights of Journey? Or does it sink to the bottom of the ocean? Let’s put on our snorkel and goggles, and find out.

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You play as an individual in a swimming suit, flippers, and an interesting helmet as you wake up in essentially Water World, but without the multi-million dollar loss. Essentially, you need to find out where you are and what the heck is going on around you. There is actually a plot and an interesting twist, but I won’t divulge it here. Unlike a lot of these “experience” games, I was kept pretty invested with the overall story, which is something that rarely happens.

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ABZU, if it wasn’t obvious from what I have said or from its trailers, is a game where you swim your way through an enchanted world of water and sea life. The main goal of doing so is to bring a world back to life while finding out where you came from. You do this by solving simple puzzles and going to shrines to bring more sea life back into the water world you are in. You can obtain little robotic helpers to help solve the simple puzzles, and you are able to swim around and grab onto large sea creatures. The overall game will not take you long to beat at about two hours, like most of the “experience” style games. It’s definitely a calming game to whip out every other day if you want some soothing tunes to listen to while you meditate or work.

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ABZU is one of the prettiest games of 2016. It has an incredibly bright and colorful pallet, with dark blues to represent the deepest parts of the ocean. It easily captures the beauty and the unknown of the ocean world. The music is also calming and whimsical at points. This should be no surprise, since the composer, Austin Wintory, also composed the music for Journey, worked on The Order: 1886, Leisure Suit Larry: Reloaded, The Banner Saga, and The Banner Saga 2. It’s one of the best soundtracks of the year.

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Unfortunately, there are some problems with this experience. I found the controls to be clunky. The best part about Journey was that it was easy to pick up and play. The controls here just felt slightly awkward, which is a shame, since I recently got done with Uncharted 4, and that game had really solid swimming controls. While I did love my experience with ABZU, I do wish the overarching plot was more substantial, along with the gameplay. For example, they had the experience part down, but they forgot to make the predominant plot worth anything, like Bound. I do love this game, but I do wish there was more to the overall game than just being light on story experience.

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Still, despite my criticisms with the game, I really enjoyed my time with ABZU. It’s another home-run in terms of the four PLAY 2016 games. It might be a tad too pricey for some at $20, and I can understand that you want to wait for a sale to pick it up, but if you love Journey,Bound, or any other kind of game that is calming and unique, then definitely pick ABZU up. Just make sure you know how to swim.

This game gets an 8 out of 10

Cam’s Eye View: 413: Dungeons II For PS4 Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. I did get a review copy of this game, but got no financial compensation for reviewing the game. I got the code and nothing else. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

When you think of real-time strategy games, you think of the PC market. Not that it’s a bad thing, but when I think of these types of games, I think of keyboard and mouse controls. For a while, the genre was stuck on PC, due to the controls on console controllers. That was, unless you worked around the controls. This has happened before with games like the ever-amazingPikmin franchise. Brutal Legend, while still clunky was also a valiant effort in terms of the RTS genre. That is why I was excited to see Dungeons II make it to the PlayStation 4. I contacted the developer, got a review copy, and found myself really enjoying this game on the PlayStation 4. Sure, there are a few clunky elements, but if you love games like the oldDungeon Keeper games, then you will fall head over heels for this game.

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The main goal of Dungeon II is to go through different missions, building up your dungeon with loot, traps, guards, and special rooms, and then once you obtain enough to take over a small town, you venture out of your dungeon, and take down those goody-two-shoes that put you into the ground in the first place. You are essentially playing a real-time-strategy game mixed with a Sim City-style building mechanic, where you expand your dungeon with a floating evil hand. Throughout the game, you will gain little goblin creatures that will act as your servants as they break down different blocks to open up new rooms. So, you got servants, but what about minions that can take down the heroic individuals that want you taken down? Well, you get a vast array of monsters like orcs, snake people, and tech-savvy goblins, to name a few. You will need to manage your resources to build new rooms, traps, and ways to keep your army strong, drunk, and ready to beat down on some good guys! As you build up your rep and army, you will also be able to use magical spells, and gain special unit types that can give your army special abilities. The overall experience will take you about 15 addictive hours, and that’s not counting the multiplayer mode.

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Dungeons II runs on the Unity engine, and it uses pretty cartoony graphics. Think of pre-World of Warcraft Blizzard games like Warcraft 3. It looks great with also a bit of visual reference to the Overlord games. It also has a great sense of humor with the narrator and the world they have built that is similar in tone to something like Shrek. The music is also very similar to something like Shrek or the Overlord series, with grand scale fantasy music that fits within the game’s quirky world.

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If I had to complain about a few elements of the game, it’s easy to make it hard to pick out certain units to deploy first when you are attacking the enemy. What I usually do is simply send out the large group, and while controlling everything in the game is done well enough, knowing how limited you are with a controller, it can still be a tiny bit overwhelming and clunky to maneuver certain menus. I also experienced some slowdown when opening up huge areas in the dungeon.

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Overall, Dungeons II is a great game, and a great port to the PlayStation 4. If you love strategy games, and are not a PC gamer kind of individual, then you should definitely pick this game up. It not only shows the great use of the Unity engine, but it’s also a great example alongsidePikmin and Prison Architect, in terms of how to port these games to consoles. If you are interested, you can get it for the PlayStation 4 and PC. Just sit back, and enjoy slapping some goblins!

This game gets an 8 out of 10

Killatia at Fusion Con Spetember 17 2016

My vlog of the recent Fusion Con Cnvention here in Pasco County.

Music provided by Twitch Jams: http://benbriggs.net/album/twitch-jams

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My Thoughs on Super Mario Run

 

Just my quick thoughts on the new iOS game Nintendo recently announced. Not sure if a running game was the best choice but I am keeping an eye out on Super Mario Run since Nintendo is known for making quality games no matter what

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How To Connect Your iOS Devices To A HDTV or HD Capture Device

Just a simple tutorial on how I connect my iPhone 6 or Iad Mini 3 to an HDVT or a HD Capture Device.

Here is the adapter you need: http://amzn.to/2aEL5Vy

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Cam’s Eye View 412: Headlander for the PS4 and PC Review

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(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

I got really excited for this year’s PlayStation PLAY 2016 line-up. Over the past couple of years, it always felt hit-or-miss in terms of the games. Some would be brand new titles, while the rest were more or less PC ports of indie games. This year though, they are all brand new, and quite frankly, some of the most anticipated games of this year for me. I am getting review copies for two of the games, and I’ll make sure to make note of which ones I do get in my reviews, but for now, I think it’s time we step into Double Fine Productions’ newest hit game, Headlander. This is easily one of the oddest games of 2016, where you play as a head inside a jet-propelled helmet. It was published by Adult Swim Games, and is the first of the four titles released for PLAY 2016. So then, does this Headlander land successfully as a game, or should they have maybe stayed in the vacuums of space?

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Like I mentioned above, the story puts you in the, well, head of the last human in the galaxy. You start out in a ship called the Starcophagus, and then you are broken out by a helpful AI program, and are sent off to stop an evil robotic overlord that has essentially made everyone transfer their body and mind to robotic bodies. The most interesting part of this game’s setting and story is the tone. It still has a lot of that great humor Double Fine Productions is known for, but it’s also a bit more serious. It’s probably one of the more serious stories they have ever done. Don’t get me wrong, I laughed a lot at the dialogue and the voice work, but it’s interesting to see Double Fine do something a tiny bit more serious.

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Headlander is a 2.5D metroidvania-style action game, where the main mechanic of the game and your main form of traversal is your flying head. You sound pretty weak by that description, but the game has a fun and unique mechanic. Any time you see a robot, good or bad, you can essentially vacuum off their head and land your head on their body. You will need to do this if you are going to survive the metallic locations that you are going to be floating around in. You will need to use different colored robots to open specific doors, and be able to fight back against other robots. You will even need to use your head-hacking ability to solve some side-quests, like finding a dog, or taking down multi-colored robots. The combat is very much like the gunplay you see in games like The Fall, where you use the right analog stick to aim your gun. Along with being able to steal robot bodies, you can also gain upgrades to move faster, be able to break through barriers, and slow down time to get through tricky situations. The overall game will take you about six hours if you want to get through the entire thing, but add on an hour or more if you decide to find all the upgrades. It’s a pretty solid game in terms of difficulty, and you will probably die a couple of times, due to how hectic the game can be when lasers are hitting the fan.

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Graphically, Headlander captures that cheesy, funky sci-fi vibe that the 70s and part of the early 80s brought to the table, with a lot of disco-ish style choices thrown in throughout the game with the design of the robots and the color pallet. The game, for the most part, ran pretty smoothly, with slowdown happening only once during my time playing through the game. The humor of the game is like I have mentioned above, a bit more subdued their usual outings, but when the jokes do land or the writing gets full of quips and clever, it’s all that Double Fine Production humor that you are used to, and love. The voice cast provides a lot of great talent, including the main villain being voiced by Phil Proctor of Rugrats fame as Howard DeVille, the friendly AI ERL voiced by Jon Lipow, MAPPY was voiced by Invader Zim himself, Richard Horvitz, Nika Futterman, David Kaye, and Steve Blum to name a few. The music was also well done, capturing that vibe that you would get in films by John Carpenter or the recent Netflix series, Stranger Things.

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Unfortunately, a few bad circuits did pop up with my playtime with Headlander. I found the game could have used a bit more variety in terms of gameplay. It doesn’t really kick in until the halfway point. It would have been nice to see more bosses that took advantage of the mechanics given to you. You literally get two major bosses, and that’s it. The action screen can also be a bit too hectic at times, with too much visual stimulation.

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Headlander definitely starts the PLAY 2016 off strong, and is easily one of my favorite games from this year. It’s funny, creative, and overall fun to play. It’s worth the price of admission. If you love the quirky Double Fine Productions-style of gaming, or metroidvania-style games in general, then you will fit right in with the company’s newest game. I guess you can say this game will cause heads to roll with joy and laughter. Sorry about the pun.

This game gets an 8 out of 10.

Cam’s Eye View 411: The Magic Circle Gold Edition for PS4, Xbox One, and PC Review

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. I did get a review copy of this game, but got no financial compensation for reviewing the game. I got the code and nothing else. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

It’s hard to feel optimistic about the game industry sometimes. It seems like we can’t go a day without something shady happening in e-sports, a game industry higher-up saying something stupid and inconsiderate, games being rushed out with buggy results, a lack of creativity from bigger budgeted games, indie games hive-minding around trends and killing them as fast as they can, Kickstarters failing to deliver or delivering at all, certain minorities in the fan communities ruining it for everyone, and you get the idea. It’s partly a reason why I have slowed down on writing game reviews. Not that I don’t still enjoy it because I do, but sometimes my interest for the industry drops off as I work on other articles for my website. I think a game that encapsulates that whole cynicism is The Magic Circle Gold Edition. No, it doesn’t represent everything that is wrong about the game industry, but instead builds a rather humorous and interesting experience around it. It might have its flaws, but it’s easily one of the more memorable games that I have played in a while. Let’s dive in and see what’s up.

The Magic Circle puts you into the shoes of an unnamed individual who happens to be the hero of a fantasy RPG stuck in development hell. As you complete the rather pathetic condition the game is in, you get contacted by what is essentially the creative spirit of the game. You are then given the powers to essentially edit everything around you. Can you screw over the almighty designers’ plan? Can you salvage an actual game? The best part about this game, like I mentioned above, is its cynicism. While it is a jab at all the tropes of what could possibly go wrong with a game stuck in development hell and delusional dreams of grandeur of a designer voiced by Dr. Venture from The Venture Brothers, James Urbaniak, it’s still optimistic and hilarious. Some of the jokes don’t hit, but you will pretty much get a laugh out of the majority of the clever writing and how the story progresses in the game.

The Magical Circle is essentially a first-person puzzle game, where you gain the abilities of a PC god. If you see an enemy about to turn you into deleted data, you set a trap and catch it. You can then edit the beast, and either make it useless, or attack your enemies, or do I what I did, and make an entire army of monsters with different abilities and have their attacks do the hard work. This is pretty much all you do in The Magic Circle. You hack, explore, hack critters to solve puzzles, and so on. It will take you about three or so hours to complete, and maybe an hour or two longer if you want to complete everything. The only real reason to replay the game is to find other creative ways to solve the puzzles in the game.

Graphically, it’s the only time where looking like a bad unfinished game is the point. The graphics look like a game stuck in development hell, and if you have played any game that was in this situation, like Duke Nukem Forever and Ride to Hell: Retribution, you know what I mean. The 3D graphics look pointy and rough, the pixel art is hard on the eyes, and it’s just a fitting presentation. The voice work is also really good, with I think James Urbaniak putting in the best performance of being an ego self-indulgent game designer with too high of goals for a game that has been stuck in limbo for years.

So, what’s actually wrong with the game you can’t write off as “that was meant to be the case”? Well, some of the solutions are obtuse, in terms of finding certain upgrades or puzzle solutions. I also found no real reason to pick up the game again. It’s fun, but I never got that personal feeling of “man, I want to play this again!”. Why should I buy a game if I don’t ever feel like playing it again? Open-ended puzzles aren’t a good way to bring me back. I can solve the puzzles a different way each time, but the story is going to be the same. The puzzles also weren’t fully satisfying. I don’t know, I never felt that feeling of, “aw yeah, that was great!” from The Magic Circle. In a way, it feels more like the game banked on its humor and cynicism more than being a great overall experience.

However, even with those complaints, I did enjoy my time with The Magic Circle, but I don’t see myself coming back to a game like this. Maybe in a long time I will, but not anytime soon. If this game sounds like it’s something you would enjoy, or if you like games that are similar in tone to Hack n Slash, then you will probably enjoy it. It’s not an underwhelming game, but just like the game itself, there could have been more to it.

This game gets a 6 out of 10.

Cam’s Eye View 410: Letter Quest Remastered for the PS4, Xbox One, Vita, PC, and Wii U Review

(If you like what you see, you can go to camseyeview.biz to see more of my work on video game reviews, editorials, lists, Kickstarters, developer interviews, and review/talk about animated films. If you would like, consider contributing to my Patreon at patreon.com. It would help support my work, and keeps the website up. I did get a review copy of this game, but got no financial compensation for reviewing the game. I got the code and nothing else. Thanks for checking out my work, and I hope you like this review!)

I recently got a hold of a few review codes for a bunch of interesting and varied indie games. However, two of those were essentially typing games. It’s been years since I played a video game/edutainment title that was worth a hoot. I decided to tackle the first one this time withLetter Quest Remastered, a 2D RPG-style game developed by Bacon Bandit Games. I received a code to check it out on the PlayStation 4 by the publisher Digerati Distribution. So, how is it? Well, let’s find out.

There really isn’t much to the overall plot, so I will combine it with the gameplay segment of this review. You play as the grim reapers Grimm and Rose, as you make your way through a horde of baddies using the mighty power of spelling! You essentially move to the right until you encounter a baddie with his or her own special attacks and abilities, and you must spell words to defeat them. Depending on the little icons on the letters, this will result in how strong the attack is. You will need to make sure to keep your health in check, and have a few potions to refill your health, due to the, quite honestly, difficult progression of the game. Not only do you have to deal with the baddies, you have to also take into consideration the different letter tiles that are in your possession. There are different tiles that will have different effects, like poison, virus, and so on, that you will have to keep an eye out for while conserving your best letters for words that can cause massive damage to the enemies. As you progress through the game, you will gain items to level-up your abilities from health, different scythes with different abilities, new sub-abilities, and be able to take down the tougher enemies as you make your way through the game. The overall game is about nine hours long with level ratings, side objectives, and two different playable characters giving you reasons to play through the game more than once.

Graphically, the game has solid 2D cartoony graphics with some cute character designs. The music is solid, but nothing I totally remember. I can say that it was good enough to keep me pumped to beat down the next challenge with the power of spelling.

For me, the biggest problem with this game is the feeling of progression. After you go through a rather challenging boss, the game becomes more of a war of attrition than actual strategy. It also feels like you are never given enough letters to make the combat feel fair or balanced, like a game that was meant to be a free-to-play game, but changed at the last second. I can’t even consider this issue to be something of trial-and-error, since that would mean I got the same exact letters each time I fought the boss, but that is not the case. It really drags the game down, and makes the overall experience feel like a chore and a huge pile of luck.

In the end, there really isn’t too much to talk about with Letter Quest Remastered. It has its charm and personality, but I think it needs some major balancing, and to give the player a better chance at combating the incredibly cheap or overpowered bosses and enemies. It’s a cheap game to obtain, so if you decided to get it for your PC or PlayStation 4, I could think of worst games to download, but I wouldn’t say it’s a high priority purchase. If you like these types of games, I think Letter Quest Remastered is one of the better ones, but there is no problem with skipping it for a later date.

This game gets a 5 out of 10.