BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! Review — Learning From Nintendo’s Best

Originally published on DualShockers on April 25, 2019. I have republished the introduction of the review here for myself. If you would like to see the original post, check it out here.

Puzzle games go hand-in-hand with portable devices. There’s something snappy about booting up a puzzle while waiting in a doctor’s office, passing the time during commercials, or simply taking a break. I often find myself wanting to dabble for a minute or two just to look up and see half an hour has flown by. It’s this loop of consumption that keeps me coming back to countless puzzle games on nearly any device I have with me on the go. I find a great puzzle game essential to my arsenal of daily devices.

When Nintendo released BoxBoy! on the 3DS in 2015, it looked like a game right up my alley — I just never got around to it. Then the sequels came out in 2016 and 2017 respectively, but I still never picked it up, despite glowing praise from critics I trust. Maybe the 3DS was fading to the background of my regularly used devices or maybe I was too cheap in college, but I never took the plunge into the boxy world cooked up by HAL Laboratories. The third entry was released shortly after the Switch’s launch and it left many, including myself, hoping to see the series make the jump to Nintendo’s hybrid machine.

It would take a couple of years, but Nintendo decided to cook up an all-new BoxBoy adventure for the Switch and I am glad that I finally had a chance to pick apart the blocky puzzles I had heard so much about. BoxBoy! + BoxGirl! packs a mind-bending punch that stole more of my time than I expected. With the 3DS entering its final days in the portable gaming zeitgeist, it’s nice to see a 3DS series make the jump to the Switch to carry on the puzzle platformer for the foreseeable future.

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Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy Review — No Objections Here

Originally published on DualShockers on April 9, 2019. I have republished the introduction of the review here for myself. If you would like to see the original post, check it out here.

I remember the first time I played a Phoenix Wright game. It was back during a time where my local mall had both a GameStop and an EB Games. My pal Alex had been recommending this game where you play as a lawyer for quite some time. My parents had just reneged on letting me buy the Metal Gear Solid: The Essential Collection for my PS2, so I decided to take my cash and buy this lawyer game instead.

I ended up getting the second game, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Justice for All, for some reason. Despite being the second game, it worked out quite well in my favor. The first trial, which is more or less a tutorial for the grander experience, involves everyone’s favorite spiky-haired defense attorney getting bonked on the head and suffering short term amnesia. As I played the game, I fell in love with the cast, writing, and core mechanic of catching people in a lie. I immediately followed up and bought the first game and then the third.

Cut to eight years later and that core trilogy of games (along with Apollo Justice) still strikes a chord with me now, just as much as it did back then. Capcom has remastered the trilogy for the umpteenth time with Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy. Bringing the visuals to the modern era with streamlined controls helps reaffirms that the courtroom drama is still relevant today and should not be missed by fans, both new and old.

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What The Golf? Makes Mini Golf Fun With its Insane Mash-ups

I’ve always had a thing for mini golf: Both the real deal and video games. I think it’s all because my older cousin Jake showed my brother and I this online flash putt-putt game based off Live Savers candy. We were obsessed. I’ve been a sucker for mini golf style games ever since. I actually have a couple on my phone right now.

I’m also rather picky about my golf games. I’m not into hardcore simulation and accuracy. I want something that’s fun and packed with memorable courses, trick shots, puzzles, and a lighter tone. Mario Golf games are about as hardcore as I get. From the moment that I saw the announcement and Fig campaign for What The Golf? early last year, I was immediately sold on the game. Developer Triband is taking the over-the-top charm of mini-golf courses and mashing it with video game references, puns, and cheeky mechanics.

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Shovel Knight: King of Cards is One Expansion to Rule Them All

As soon as I got the green light from the Editorial Team here at DualShockers that I’d be one of the staff writers going to and covering PAX East 2019, there was only one studio that I had to see while I was there—Yacht Club Games. I simply love Shovel Knight and each free expansion Yacht Club has done to fulfill their Kickstarter stretch goals. It’s a franchise near and dear to me alongside millions more.

The final expansion was set to be released this April, but hit a delay earlier this year. A delay is never a fun announcement, but if it means the game will be better for it than it is definitely the right call. Going to PAX East gave me a perfect opportunity to try out the final playable knight expansion to help tide me over until its inevitable release this year.

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Cyber Shadow Expertly Blends the Matrix and Ninja Gaiden

If you had told me a month ago that the first game I’d play at Yacht Club Games’ booth wouldn’t be Shovel Knight: King of Cards, I’d probably would have been very confused. Yacht Club Games is one of my favorite developers in the business. I’ve bought Shovel Knight five times for myself, plus as a gift for friends. I’ve beaten it countless times, earned the Platinum on Vita, and snagged each vinyl of the killer soundtrack. But Yacht Club Games threw me a curve ball the day before PAX East 2019 and announced the next game they are publishing—Cyber Shadow.

I showed up at my appointment with my favorite developer at the show and booted up Cyber Shadow right off the bat. It did not disappoint. If there were more levels available in the demo, I easily would have played this for the entirety of my appointment, forgetting to check out Shovel Knight: King of Cards altogether, because Cyber Shadow is so good.

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My Friend Pedro is the Max Payne Follow Up I’ve Dreamed Of

My friend Logan knows me incredibly well. We were friends growing up but I moved. He later stumbled across me on Twitter and we have been friends ever since. We’ve podcasted, partied, and traveled together since that fateful Twitter interaction. Logan knows my taste in games so well, that he often tells me “You’ll like this,” or “You’ll never play that,” and he is usually pretty spot on. Before my appointment for My Friend Pedro by Deadtoast Entertainment and Devolver Digital, Logan said, “You’ll like it.”

My response after playing: “MY FRIEND PEDRO. GOOD GRAVY.”

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