Category Archives: Nintendo WiiU

This category is for Nintendo WiiU games. This includes titles released directly for the console, as well as those ported to the Nintendo WiiU from other platforms. The reviews are listed in chronological order, and if you’re looking for a particular title please use the search bar at the top of the screen.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about our reviews, be sure to message us on our contact page or email the author and we’ll be more than happy to discuss our viewpoints.

It should also be pointed out that this area doubles as an archive, so reviews may go back quite a bit.

Haven Review: Shiness The Lightning Kingdom

Shiness the Lightning Kingdom, I have honestly been looking forward to this game for a incredibly long time, from the moment I saw it on kickstarter I have been following the game obsessively waiting as patiently as I can to get my hands on a copy of it and honestly, moment of truth?

It was so worth it, there are a few minor bugs here and there like getting stuck when you jump up and you land on a area connecting two zones. But outside of that one really annoying bug, and some crashing the game is surprisingly good.

Now, the biggest thing I’ve noticed with the game is its combat system. It is a very unique combat system, unlike traditional RPG’s where you have the lineup of characters fighting by your side this one takes a cue from Street Fighter where one character fights one enemy, however you can trade out during the fight for another character to best match your enemies this ability is also granted to the enemies as well that you fight.

The biggest difference is that the battles are handled in a arena concept. When encountering a bunch of enemies, it makes a dome around the fighting arena and you are forced to battle one on one with all the enemies until there is a victor, subsequently everyone gets EXP from the battle and they don’t need to participate in the battle to get EXP.

However if you plan on learning new skills, or moves you must use them in battle or else that character will never learn them. So it’s a double edged sword, you can have one good character or if you want a team of good characters you need to individually train them all.

Another fun factor of the game is its stage mechanics, where each character has a special skill to help them solve various problems that occur in the stages you play in. Chado can throw rocks or place them, Poky can connect electrical current with his wrench, and the other guy has psychic powers. I forgot his name, but he looks cool!

The story thus far is to primarily get to a place called the Land of Life which for the most part is the grueling aspect of the game. Although having only played the game for several hours at this point, I have been really enjoying the combat and the interactions with the other characters in a comic book mischief type of setting.

Action scenes are done with comic panels and audio dialog instead of a more interactive experience to give the game more of a fun and mischievous kinda feel and honestly? It works really well for the game.

I really enjoy the characters, the story so far, and the soundtrack to the game which helps add a bit more life to the game. I also absolutely enjoy just how colorful and vibrant the game is and its something I openly look for in games because I love to see actual color in games. Not some monochrome gray scaled game that says it’s fun, but a game that openly embraces color, antics, and understands that not everything has to be dark and gritty to be a game.

The interactions with the other characters, the jokes, the chance to jokingly insult a villain, these are aspects which help breathe life into this game and are the main aspects I really love about this title. I feel at times there is just not enough games out there that have these aspects. It’s not always about assassinating someone, it’s not always suppose to be grim. Sometimes we need a bright, cheerful, and fun loving game to break up the grimness of reality not only because it helps immerse us in a fantasy world, but also because it helps bring a freedom and joy that we cannot experience in the real world.

Shiness the Lightning Kingdom is one of those games that help share that fantasy to our reality and helps bring us back to the roots of gaming with its colorful and cheerful atmosphere and array of interesting characters.

-Daniel Clatworthy

 

Haven Review: Batman Arkham City [Return to Arkham]

Batman Arkham City the continuation of the Batman Arkham franchise from Rock Steady. In the first installment Joker had a great plan which involved making Batman out to be a terrible monster like the Joker himself but ultimately it backfired.

Now the story continues and Quincy Sharp the old warden of Arkham Asylum is now the Mayor of Gotham City and from it he created Arkham City a place for all the mentally deranged, criminally insane and all around scum of Gotham to be imprisoned in.

Throw into this prison run by a Professor Hugo Strange the inmates are left to go about their own business. With the return of the famous voice crew again from Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamil and Tara Strong reprising their roles again for Batman, Joker and Harley Quinn.

Now like its predecessor the musical score is on point bringing a great depth and also grim atmosphere to the area. Where Batman is forced to fight for his life and learn the truth behind Arkham City before countless lives are lost to a madman who lurks in the shadows.

Now in Arkham Asylum you could only travel upon the island where the Asylum was. In this installment of the franchise Rocksteady has given us a more open world environment filled with buildings and the chance to explore quite a few of them. However the scale of the open world is still quite limited but at the time of the games release unless you are comparing to Skyrim the game’s map is quite huge.

However like its predecessor it still heavily relies on the two buttons used for combat one for attack and the other for countering. Although this makes it simple for new comers still, the combat is still a bit lacking. Although at times you will have to use two other buttons in conjunction with each other it still doesn’t offer any improvements.

The story of Arkham City though remains very on point, offering a new glimpse at old enemies and new enemies from Batman’s rogues gallery with Mr.Freeze, Two-Face, Mad Hatter, and even Catwoman joining the party. Catwoman being a particularly important character that you play as through a portion of the story.

Visually the game is breath taking, both original and remastered the game remains perfect in its representation of what we believe Gotham City should look like from the grim undertones we have been told about it. A place where villains like the Joker and Penguin fight to rule the place and cause chaos.

The game overall shows us and brings to life everything we have expected from Batman from the city he protects, to the villains he fights and people he protects. Like the character jumped from a comic book and into our gaming systems capturing the essence of Batman so well that the differences between comic and game character are almost indistinguishable.

Like its predecessor its a game I hope comic book fans and even non fans buy and enjoy. Weather it be the original copy or the Return to Arkham edition the game is worth it, and worth every penny.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Mighty No.9

    2942839-mighty+no.9_logo_brush+up1015Growing up there have been very few games that have left an impression on me. One of those games was Mega Man and the franchise it spawned. However in the declining years we have witnessed many attempts to create a better and better Mega Man title and we have blamed Capcom.

All the way to the point where Capcom has stopped producing Mega Man games which lead to them not even knowing who are fabled blue bomber is when Nintendo asked to put him in smash brothers.

However not long ago the former creator of Mega Man left Capcom and although he could not take his prodigal son with him. He decided to create a new IP in the name of Mighty No.9 or Beck if you want to call him by his proper name. A Kickstarter was launched and funding began to flow in for his new Mega Man and after a series of lengthy delays we ended up with a bad trailer and a game shortly after.
mighty-no-9-freeze Which I have had the dubious honor of playing both on Xbox One and the PC and I have come to a reasonable conclusion that! It probably wasn’t Capcom’s fault for the decline of Mega Man.

The first of many issues I encountered was its level design and lack of instruction for the game character. You see in the original games they went to great lengths to teach you the controls from jumping, to attacking and dodging, in this it gives you a very brief tutorial at the start of the game and after that.. We’ll it’s on your own after that.

Take for example the Power Plant stage in the game at one point of the stage it tells you to do a crotch dash and you have not been taught that anywhere in the game at all. So you try and waste countless lives because if you fail to do it you will instantly die.3083984-screens_07

The second issue also follows that the game is very unforgiving in terms of what to do. Once you learn the crotch dash is you literally dashing while pressing down on the D-pad you think you can finally avoid dying from the generators in the Power Plant stage. Well you are wrong in this case.

You see unlike the predecessors of his, you knew what the enemy or buildings hitbox looks like just by staring at it. You will understand this is where you go, this is where you avoid death and in this case you don’t get that. And this isn’t the only stage to do this, almost all the stages have this scenario somewhere in them that creates the issue of instant death that will frustrate and confuse the player to no end.mighty-no-9-screen-4

However the game has some good points, most notably the musical composition which remains very upbeat and the controls are pretty easy to understand as well. So the games faults just end up being bad level design, bad character design, bad dialog, and despite all the money they put into the title this does not have the polish we all were hoping for in terms of a Mega Man game.

Don’t get me wrong, he tried and he probably tried really hard and for that we give him credit. But there is no way I can honestly recommend this title to anyone, not even a die-hard Mega Man fan. It ends up being just a big pile of disappointment.

Sorry guy’s but the Super Fighting Robot we are looking for may never be seen again. At least Capcom released the classics on steam and other consoles again.

-Daniel Clatworthy-
Mighty No.9