All posts tagged 'Television'

High Score: A Review and Retrospective on the Netflix Series

Recently, Netflix launched High Score, a new documentary series on the history of video games.  I thought it was entertaining enough that I wanted to discuss and review it here on this blog.  So here’s my thoughts on the six episode series!

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Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC, Apple Arcade)

Samurai Jack was one of Cartoon Network’s most unique, artful, and beloved action cartoons.  A heroic samurai from feudal Japan battles a shapeshifting demon named Aku.  But Aku sends the samurai into a time portal to the future where Aku reigns supreme.  The first person who sees the samurai in the future calls him “Jack,” so that’s the name he goes by here.  Now Samurai Jack must find a way back to the past so he can defeat Aku for good.  The cool thing about the cartoon is that it actually had an ending, although it took it long enough to get there.  Nearly two decades after the initial run, they added one last season on Adult Swim that was a bit darker and bloodier, but Jack FINALLY beat Aku!  This new video game takes place when Jack and his love interest Ashi are in the portal going to the past.  Aku has one final trick up his sleeve and grabs Jack and sends him to a place between time and space where he must fight familiar foes.  Flimsy story aside, it’s a great way for fans to relive their favorite scenes, enemies, and friends in this 3-D action game.  Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time is available on nearly anything you can play a game on, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Kandagawa Jet Girls (PS4, PC)

In Kandagawa Jet Girls, you race futuristic water jet bikes around rivers in Tokyo.  Your drivers are two young anime ladies, one steers and the other shoots a water gun at other racers to slow them down.  Kind of reminds me of Mario Kart: Double Dash in a way.  Apparently this game is based on an anime cartoon as well.  Huh, I didn’t know that.  Learn something new every day.  Anyway, this game is available on PS4 and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Pokémon Café Mix (Switch, Mobile)

You’re about to open up a café that serves food especially for Pokémon!  And the waiters and cooks are Pokémon as well!  Help prepare delicious dishes for your Poke-pals in this free-to-start puzzle game for Switch and mobile devices (reviewed on Switch here).  Stir around Pokémon head icons to match them and make them disappear.  It kind of reminds me of other action puzzle games on mobile like Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble or the Disney Tsum Tsum game.

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Pokémon Smile (Mobile)

Pokémon has delighted and entertained kids for generations, and now the little pocket monsters are helping make brushing teeth a little more fun.  Pokémon Smile is a brushing app for mobile devices (reviewed on iPhone here) geared towards very young children.  Best of all, it’s completely free with no in-game ads or purchases.  Not sure how it makes money, but good for them!  But will it make kids excited to brush their teeth?  You’ll just have to read on to find out!

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Gigantosaurus: The Game (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Gigantosaurus is a computer animated TV show with a unique art style aimed at younger viewers.  It airs on Disney Junior in the US, but I’m not sure if it’s still on there anymore.  Anyway, the show is set in prehistoric times and four young dinosaurs live together and learn life lessons.  Along for the ride is their friend Gigantosaurus.  He’s a huge ferocious dinosaur that sometimes helps them out, but the dino friends will keep their distance and run away lest they get squashed or eaten.  I’m not completely clear how their relationship works.  Anyway, the video game is based on the TV show and is a 3-D platformer.  An asteroid plugs up a volcano and is causing earthquakes and trouble, and you play as one of the four dinosaur pals to save the day.  The game is available on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Double Dragon & Kunio-Kun: Retro Brawler Bundle (PS4, Switch)

Hey kids!  Are you ready for a video game history lesson?  Sure you are!  Anyway, back in the mid-80s, game maker Technos created one of the first brawlers featuring a character named Kunio.  He’s a hot-blooded high school student who sometimes gets into fights, but always stands up for his friends and against bullies.  His first arcade game was a hit in Japan, and they brought it to the US under the name Renegade.  A few graphical and name changes were made.  The character now sported a sleeveless leather jacket instead of a Japanese school uniform, and instead of locations like an outdoor train stop, you fought in places like an underground subway station.  It was a modest hit in the US and got a version on the NES, but it was nowhere near as big as the original game in Japan.  The bosses at Technos wanted to recreate that success in the US, so they tasked the team to make another brawler that would really appeal to overseas audiences.  So they created Double Dragon.  Needless to say, that was a huge hit with countless arcade sequels and ports, a cartoon, and even a live action movie (it was famously bad, but fun in a B-movie sort of way).  And now you can play almost every NES and Famicom version of the Double Dragon and Kunio-Kun series in a collection on the PS4 and Switch (reviewed on PS4 here).  It even includes Renegade’s ‘sequel’ River City Ransom, as well as sports spin off titles like Super Dodge Ball!  Yes!  Super Dodge Ball was my favorite sports video game until Wii Sports came along!

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The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics (PS4, Switch, Xbox One, PC)

I was a child of the 80’s, and Jim Henson stuff was a big part of my childhood.  I watched TV shows like Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and Fraggle Rock.  I saw films like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and heck, the very first movie I ever remember seeing in a theater was the first Muppet Movie.  So I was very interested in seeing the new Netflix series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.  And I LOVED it!  I don’t normally binge watch things, but one day when I was off work, I watched two episodes of it in the morning and two more in the evening.  It was so good.  I’d watch it again if I had time.  So I was excited when I heard they were making a video game out of it, but I was disappointed that it was a tactics strategy RPG game.  I don’t like those.  Could my love of the series and Jim Henson stuff in general save this game for me?  Well you’ll just have to read this review and find out!  The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Tactics is available to download on all current consoles and PC, but reviewed on PS4 here.

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Doraemon: Story of Seasons (Switch, PC)

This is a crossover game but the two properties featured here may not be so familiar to many Americans.  Especially Doraemon.  Doraemon is a cartoon blue robot cat with no ears who is especially popular in Japan.  You may have even seen him and not realized it.  He’s been a star of manga comic books and anime cartoons and movies for decades, and is sometimes even called “Japan’s Mickey Mouse.”  Some of his comic books have been translated into English, and Disney brought some of the newest iterations of the Doraemon cartoons to the US under the Disney XD channel a few years back (good on them), but other than that, Doraemon has stayed relatively unknown in the States.  Some US gamers may be more familiar with Story of Seasons, though, as it’s a farming sim series that used to go under the name of Harvest Moon.  And now the two franchises are together in quite the unexpected crossover game you can download on Switch and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure (Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC)

Ice Age is one of the longest running computer animated movie series, and it stars a group of prehistoric animals like saber tooth tigers and woolly mammoths.  But clearly the crowd favorite has to be Scrat the saber toothed squirrel and his constant chase for his beloved acorn nut.  And now Scrat gets his very own game with Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure.  While chasing his acorn, Scrat stumbles across a hidden temple of the Scratazons, an ancient advanced race of saber toothed squirrels.  Now in order to get his nut back, he must collect special purple crystal acorns across the land.  Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is a 3-D platformer available for all current game consoles and PC, but reviewed on Switch here.

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