2021 is more than halfway over. Here’s what I have been playing (new releases) and what I’m looking forward to releasing for Nintendo Switch this year. They’re not in any particular order. The first one is my favorite, the next 20 are in reverse chronological order (newer games or unreleased games first) – After that, who knows lol. There’s of course many more great games that I just couldn’t cover all of them here. Nintendo Switch is truly the best console for gamer girls.
Title: Stormfall Age of War
Genre: Strategy Game
Platform: You can play it directly in your computer browser. Or they also have a mobile app for both android and IOS when you are on the go.
Where to Get the Game: It’s free to play and you can find the apps or browser version at the official website. Link at top of this post.
Overall: 84/100 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”
Geeky: 5/5 The ability to lead huge troops and the skill tree and city building aspects make this game high on the geek list.
Sweetie: 3/5 It’s a “pretty” game, but there’s not much “cute” – there’s also not much customization as far as appearances go. The story although funny, is mostly just there to move you through the quests and progress through the game, and not there to give you a sense of who’s who, why your kingdoms are at war, or about the lore or setting in the game world.
Concept: 9/10 Stormfall is a smart, sarcastic, witty, funny browser game which offers a large variety of quests, areas to explore, massive scale combat, ability to customize which research you take on, an awesome musical score and beautiful lush graphics with voice acting by a smart-alec narrator. While it does little to innovate the strategy genre, it is still a fun game for anyone who loves these city building types of games, and the high production values will keep you entertained, while daily quests and lots of things to see, do, build, and explore will have you replaying this game often.
Gameplay: 10/10 Like most strategy games, there is a city building aspect which the game introduces early on. You build farms to feed your troops, iron mines to get materials to arm your troops, and earn taxes to help fund your troops. You build libraries to research magic, and other structures to help build new types of weapons, armor, and unlock new units to add to your armies.
There’s also a skill tree element called the “Art of War” where you can customize which talents you learn, learning them in different order will branch off to letting you learn different skills, such as fortification, bows, thieves, trading, smuggling, etc. This is where a lot of the initial strategy comes into play.
The tutorial really helps new players jump right into the game and learn the mechanics. The narrator keeps the game entertaining and gives it a fresh perspective. From research, to city building, to intrigue, alliances, and battles, this game offers many options to let you take charge of your kingdoms.
The user interface is clean and intuitive, and combat feels dynamic but yet not overly complex or frustrating. The game has a good sense of balance between building and researching and battling to progress your kingdom.
Story: 7/10 – This game cracks me up – it is so funny LOL. You’ll see the humor right away within the first few seconds of the tutorial. The humor is accented by great voice acting! I’ve never seen a strategy game take such a sarcastic approach. It’s very refreshing! It makes it stand out in a sea of similar mobile games. It makes it unique and memorable and keeps me playing for longer. Beyond the humor though it seems like not much is revealed about the world, characters, lore, history, or setting of the game.
Characters: 3/10 The only character that’s given much personality is the narrator. I kinda feel this is a missed opportunity, as your advisers could have been given much more personality, and dialog even if it was only written and not voiced. I also think the game is missing a gameplay element by not letting you “recruit” advisers or having some bonuses/enhancements for different advisers, or aging/dying/marrying/mentoring etc of advisers, like many other games in this genre offer.
Graphics: 10/10 – The game is brought to live with beautiful detailed 3D environments and rich fantasy artwork and animation.
Music: 10/10 – For a little mobile/browser game, this game has some seriously wonderful music. It reminds me a lot of the music from Lord of the Rings or the Hobbit. Very pretty and the same “fantasy” vibe. It’s very dramatic music. There’s a good variety too, from very intense drum solos, to calming harp-like music.
Voice Acting: 7/10 – I’m surprised there’s voice acting throughout much of the game, and it’s actually pretty good. I like the tone, humor (at times), and deliverance throughout. However, very few of the key characters in the game are voiced and voice is given primarily through a narrator.
Community: 10/10 – Whether it’s chatting in game, forming alliances, recruiting your friends, joining a league, trading at the market, or using the official forums this game has a great sense of community that offers a break from the routine tasks of managing your kingdom.
Replay Value: 10/10 The daily quests, and sheer amount of things to build, do, and learn about this game make it worth logging in daily to work on your kingdom.
Overall: 84/100 84% B “Very Good Game for Girls”
Regardless on where you stand on this issue, my question is, will this significantly impact your decision to purchase this game? The fan translation begun nearly a year ago and from what I understand, the translation is complete and available (with a little effort and searching and digging) for those who seek to play the game as the creators intended, without censorship. How you go about getting said fan translation – I will leave that to your imagination. You could for example, support the game creators by buying the original Japanese language Nintendo cartridge for your 3DS and patching it with the translation — or you could use less ethical means which I won’t discuss here, and never indicated that I support. – It’s not just as simple as buying the English version and applying the patch to that version to restore the lost content, as the patch will only work on the Japanese version. However, if you choose to import the Japanese version you may be locked out of DLC content available only in the Eshop.
So you’re missing out either way. In the end, if you really like the franchise and wish to support Nintendo you could even buy both versions of the game. But ultimately, for most western gamers, the changes are small enough that they likely won’t be missed. Still for a small but vocal group of core fans, or Otaku (anime obsessed fans – such as myself) these changes are enough to be upset over. Many Otaku buy Fire Emblem solely because of the relationship aspects which differentiate the series from the slew of other strategy games available. By censoring and “Westernizing” the series, Nintendo runs the risk of deterring the fans who would want to buy such a game in the first place. Perhaps they are not satisfied with such a small market share and strategically removing the content to make it “less” Japanese and more appealing to “mainstream” gamers.
While I will miss the Skinship, I will probably still buy the western release. I don’t feel it’s enough of a significant change to boycott the series or Nintendo over. I am disappointed by Nintendo’s decision and wonder if anything will be added in replace of the Petting minigame, such as perhaps talking to, or giving gifts to your comrades, etc, as the Petting game offered bonuses and made a significant difference in the upcoming battles. It will be a shame to lose those stat bonuses just because of some controversial undertones within the minigame.
Skinship (or Petting as all of the media outlets are calling it) is not a new concept, not if you’re familiar with dating sim games – and Fire Emblem definitely has a strong Dating Sim component tied into each game. Skinship exists in other games in this genre – While the mainstream media outlets are loving to compare it to Pokemon Amie (possibly because it’s one of the only examples of Skinship in a Western Release) – and saying that it would be “creepy” or “odd” to pet a “human” character – this is nothing new for these types of games despite how “weird” or “sexualized” the media is portraying this mini game to be. For example, Tokimeki Memorial also has a Skinship feature, as does Ensemble Stars both are Otome Dating Sim games. Princess Maker 4 also comes to mind as having Skinship. The problem is, none of these games ever got “localized” – perhaps the Skinship feature is partly to blame as America is so up tight about anything with even a hint of sexuality – Meanwhile it’s fine for their kids to play games with blood, gore, violence, or foul language, but if anything is even slightly perverse, it riles up a frenzy in the media.
As other media outlets have pointed out, Nintendo’s entire marketing strategy has been on providing family entertainment for small children. While Fire Emblem is likely to be rated T for Teen, that won’t stop parents from buying it for their young kids anyways. So I do understand just why Nintendo has made so many changes. I may not like it, but I get it, it’s all about business at the end of the day and Nintendo’s business is all about very small children.
I am pretty concerned for what the future will held for SMT X FE #, another Nintendo release in the Fire Emblem franchise. While Atlus is focusing on the localization of that title, it’s even more “Japanese” than Fire Emblem Fates since SMT X FE # deals with the Idol Singing Subculture that proliferates Japanese pop culture. I worry that Nintendo of America may “Strong-arm” Atlus into making changes which will dumb down all the “Otaku Pandering” elements from the final release.
In case you haven’t heard news of these recent changes check out some of the major media outlets covering the story below for more info.
‘Fire Emblem Fates‘ Changes: The Censorship Is America’s Fault … iDigitalTimes.com–Jan 31, 2016
Trusting EA, Nintendo Censorship and the DeVito-chu The Escapist–Feb 1, 2016
Fire Emblem Fates wasn’t ‘censored‘, it was localised for good reason TechRadar–Jan 25, 2016
Nintendo Speaks on Fire Emblem Fates Censorship Nintendo Enthusiast–Jan 22, 2016
Fire Emblem Fates ‘Petting’ Removed for Western Release Game Rant–Jan 27, 2016
The Other Ways Nintendo Is Changing The English Version of Fire … Highly Cited–Kotaku–Jan 26, 2016
And then weigh in with a comment below and let us know which version you’ll be buying, or maybe you won’t be buying any of them. Do you feel Nintendo is making a smart business move to capture more audiences, or hurting themselves by isolating current fans of the Fire Emblem franchise?
Well Here’s A Good Opportunity For Nintendo To Release Mother 3
For fans of the MMORPG, Hearthstone brings back a lot of fun memories of your adventures, and gives you something to do to pass time when you can’t be playing your favorite MMO. For others, who have never played WoW before, fear not as no prior knowledge of the game world is neccessary to enjoy this deck building game.
In fact, if you like other board games and card games, such as Yugioh, Magic the Gathering, or the Pokemon trading card game, you will absolutely love Hearthstone as it lets you build your own decks and collect powerful cards. There’s a lot of strategy involved also in how you play each match against other players in real time making it one of the best trading card games for mobile devices.
Title: Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft
Platform: IOS, Android, or PC
Genre: Collectible Card Game / Deck Building Game
Go here to play it on your PC:
People who are quick to criticize weak willed characters, especially females in gaming, will appreciate this lead role, who manages to escape her ill fate, and has a spunky and opinionated personality, enough so that she rebels against her mother, and her kingdom.
She does not just accept authority, from her mother, the queen, or even the teachings of the gods. Instead she sets out on a Journey to find her own answers and make her own decisions.
Japanese history, folklore, and mythology are at the heart of the story. Sawaki Takeyasu (famous for his creature work in Devil May Cry and Okami) will be in charge of monster design once again for God Wars Beyond Time.
Gameplay consists of turn based and grid based mechanics similar to those in other JRPG strategy games such as Shining Force, Final Fantasy Tactics, or Tactics Ogre. Check out the official trailer below.
According to Gematsu, God Wars will feature over 30 job classes, 200 weapons, and 600 skills. Gematsu also provided some more storyline details, stating that the game is intended to blend Japanese fairytales with historical events to reimagine the coming of age of some of Japan’s greatest historical figures.
Gematsu also notes that the characters are designed by Mino Taro (famous for character design in Love Plus) and a narration by Japanese actor Shiro Sano.