The Sword of Hope II / Kirby’s Pinball Land
Okay Nintendo, you’re starting to burn me out with the 8-bit summer. An RPG and a pinball game in the same week? Are they even worth it? Find out after the break!
The Sword of Hope II
Ahh, the old menu based RPGs of the past finally see a release on the eShop this week with The Sword of Hope II. Oddly enough, the original in the series was not released first but prior knowledge isn’t exactly needed in this story.
You play the role of young Prince Theo who is out to retrieve the sword of hope once again and the magic crystals of earth, wind, fire, and air, and there’s a dark dragon… alright; it isn’t exactly ground-breaking fare but the story is actually quite well told for a game of its age, not to mention it both looks and sounds fantastic.
Gameplay is menu based with combat being very similar in nature to the Dragon Quest series. When you first start out, it feels incredibly slow paced due to this and how spoiled we are in modern RPGs, but once you get the hang of things it’s incredibly smooth sailing. I do have a couple of gripes, however: the game lacks any sort of an in-game map which can be frustrating at times, but not a deal breaker as the game itself is fairly linear in nature and a teleport spell is eventually learned in game. Also, if you’re no stranger to RPGs, you will probably find this game incredibly easy, and learn how to break and exploit the combat system incredibly early on in the game after Theo learns a particular spell.
Needless to say, I enjoyed my time with The Sword of Hope II and for 3 bucks, it’s a decently meaty RPG for people to sink their teeth into. If you’re down for a little light RPG fare this title may be the one for you this week.
Kirby’s Pinball Land
There are times in my life where I just think that Kirby is Nintendo’s guinea pig for any game they so choose. Then I play these games and am quiet because they’re always fantastic little romps. Kirby’s Pinball Land is no exception to the rule.
These pinball tables are not your everyday pinball fare: there are three tiers on each table, bonuses, hidden stars, enemies and bosses for you to fire the poor little pink guy into as he tumbles around the table. The graphics are great in black in white with great shading to differentiate everything. My only regret is that we don’t get the upgrades the Game Boy Color produced (seriously Nintendo, please get on that).
Music and sound are laden with classic Kirby tunes and sound effects or songs very similar to the originals. They are all of course very upbeat, happy, and catchy tunes. Sound effects were also fantastic from the bounces to the noises made when scoring; it’s an all-around pleasure for the ears.
The controls I must are awkward at first, but they become second nature as the game goes on. Left on the control pad moves you left flipper, and A your right. The others save for start and select, are used to tilt the table, which I will admit, is difficult to use efficiently.
This game is incredible fun, and I found myself itching to pick it up and play again in between gaming sessions just to have something light and incredibly fun to play. The replay value on this is incredible, just like many other pinball titles (Pokemon Pinball anyone?) and I can honestly say I could play this for hours with its simplicity and fun.