TJ’s Smashing New Club

May 27, 2015 by ·  


artwork by Alex Villescas

TJ’s newest club smashes the rest.

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Battle for Hyrule

November 19, 2014 by ·  

Hack and slash your way across Hyrule in this action-packed game.


Artwork by Alex Villescas

Hyrule Warriors is the brand new crossover between two of gaming’s most popular franchises, The Legend of Zelda, and Dynasty Warriors. Not a true Zelda game, or a full Dynasty Warriors game, Hyrule Warriors fills a much-needed void in the Wii U game library.

Hyrule Warriors is the first attempt by Nintendo to change the core feeling of Zelda away from exploration and puzzle-solving and toward to hack and slash combat. With all of the war and conflict referenced in Zelda’s backstory, it’s amazing that Hyrule Warriors will be the first time we see Link and Princess Zelda in an actual battle. The gameplay is nothing special, evoking the same button-mashing as the rest of the Warriors series. Your chosen hero takes down hordes of enemies by creating combo attacks. Combos can be created by combining basic and strong attacks in different ways, and the special attack meter fills with each enemy you kill. Each weapon type has different combos and attacks, making each character play differently from the others. For example, I can equip Link with a sword and shield, allowing him to do a lot more damage to bosses. Equipping Link with the Fire Rod enables him to do a large amount of area damage, making that weapon useful for taking down hordes of enemies. The other half of gameplay is the tactical side of capturing keeps, while also defending your own home base.

Overall, there are 16 playable characters in Hyrule Warriors, originating from the entire Zelda series. Three additional characters have been added since the release, in a downloadable content patch for the game. The amount of customizability in Hyrule Warriors is stunning, adding much depth and replay value, ensuring that one does their best to level up the characters, and get better weapons. The customization extends beyond simple weapon and character choices. One can also create badges through crafting. Badges allow for small changes in either attack or defense. Additionally, a separate line of badges assists with other aspects of gameplay, such as how fast one captures keeps, or resists magical attacks.

What I love about Hyrule Warriors is that it does something similar to the more recent Zelda games, it makes you feel like you are the only one capable of turning the tide of the battle. Your are stronger than the vast majority of huge monsters on screen, but the enemy captains and leaders are still strong enough to pose a threat to your mastery of of the field. It makes you feel so powerful, but your power does have a limit. The player cannot be everywhere at once, so one must carefully choose their battles. The battle changes based on where you choose to place yourself, meaning that if you fight in a skirmish at one keep, another may fall from enemy forces. I loved that the battle progresses on all fronts, no matter whether you are there or not.

I never knew that I needed to see a Zelda game in HD until I played Hyrule Warriors. Hyrule Warriors offers brand new character models for Link, Zelda, Impa, and a host of other characters. All of these models are highly detailed, and are the first HD realization of the Zelda world. When I stopped killing enemies, and looked around, I found that all of the maps are very faithful to their likenesses in the Zelda games, and that the new maps were also full of detail and life.

The biggest downside of Hyrule Warriors are the bosses. The gameplay against bosses was completely item-based, and I felt like I was playing a different game when I was fighting a boss. Items which had no bearing on gameplay suddenly became all-important when a boss showed up. Additionally, boss mechanics felt clunky in general. For example, King Dodongo has several breath attacks, but only one allows for you to attack him with bombs. If you are not standing in the perfect position, the bombs miss. Problems like these made boss fights feel like a chore, instead of the epic battles they should be.

I really enjoyed the story of Hyrule Warriors. The story brings in the usual characters of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf, while bringing in much-loved characters from other Zelda games, such as Impa, Demon Lord Ghirahim, and Midna. Cia, the antagonist, was a really strong addition to the story, as she had a lot of mystery concerning her motivations. I also loved how the story covered every character’s campaign through the lands of Hyrule, and culminated in a final battle. An interesting addition to Hyrule Warriors was the ability to play as the evil characters. All six antagonists are playable now, and are very well crafted.

Overall, I loved Hyrule Warriors. It was a great game to play, and I definitely look forward to spending a lot of time with it in the future. I haven’t even had time to begin the Adventure or Challenge modes. The campaign mode is very well done, and I would highly recommend Hyrule Warriors to anybody with a Wii U.

Score: 10/10
Platform: Wii U
Availability: eShop or Retail

Wayward Souls: a Masterpiece in Gaming

May 28, 2014 by ·  

After the 2011 Action RPG masterpiece, Mage Gauntlet, I’ve been hungering for more from Rocketcat Games.


Wayward Souls is a skill-based game, very different from the many pay-to-win games on iOS.

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First Impressions: The Elder Scrolls Online Beta

April 9, 2014 by ·  

I was recently invited to the beta test of The Elder Scrolls Online, the upcoming massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), and my conclusion is that it is one of the most promising new games around.


The Dominion, Covenant, and Pact battle it out in The Elder Scrolls Online.
Artwork by Alex Villescas

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MMO Forecast: 2014

March 26, 2014 by ·  

2014 is shaping up to be the “year of the MMO,” with lots of new ideas coming to the table.
Click Here to listen to Podcast!


2014 is looking to be a great year for MMO gamers, with some great installments for older franchises coming up, and new ideas making their way into the arena.  Artwork by Alex Villescas

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The Legend Returns

January 16, 2014 by ·  

The new Legend of Zelda brings back the feel of the epic adventure.
Click Here! to listen to podcast.


The newest Zelda game will leave you hungry for more. Artwork: Alex Villescas

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Winter Gaming Guide

January 9, 2014 by ·  

The console wars begin anew, and many sequels are getting released.
Click Here! to listen to podcast.


2013 brings a host of new games for all platforms. Artwork: Alex Villescas

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Third Time’s the Charm?

November 10, 2013 by ·  

An excellent standalone game, but longtime fans may be disappointed.


artwork by Alex Villescas

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Bike Race

May 13, 2013 by ·  

Up and Coming Favorite App

The new game Bike Race seems is very popular throughout TJ. Photo from Google Images.

The new game Bike Race is very popular throughout TJ. Photo from Google Images.

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Infinite Acclaim

April 21, 2013 by ·  

Bioshock Infinite has impressed the world over with perfect scores and critical acclaim. Is it truly worth the praise?

Infinite impresses the world over with intense gameplay, and an incredible story.Artwork by Ryan Woods

Infinite impresses the world over with intense gameplay, and an incredible story.
Artwork by Ryan Woods

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