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End of Year Reviews

On 12/28/2021 at 02:00 AM by Cary Woodham

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Happy New Year!  I thought I’d end this year with one last blog with reviews I’ve written lately over at  Please click on the links and read as many as you can and maybe even post a ‘like’ or comment or two.  OK let’s begin!

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water (PS4)

All right folks, I’m about to reveal one of my guilty pleasures.  I like ghost shows.  You know those shows on the Discovery Channel where investigators or ‘ghost hunters’ will explore haunted places to try and find proof of ghosts?  Yeah I know those shows are dumb and probably are over exaggerated and maybe even faked at times.  But I still like ‘em anyway!  I just think ghosts are cool.  But there’s not a whole lot of horror themed video games where you fight ghosts.  It’s usually zombies or something else.  But even though I usually like happy, colorful, kid friendly games, I do have a passing interest in the Fatal Frame series, where you use a special camera to fight ghosts by taking pictures of them.  This series of games goes all the way back to the PS2, and the latest one, Maiden of Black Water, came out on the Wii U.  But now it’s getting a second lease at life as it’s being re-released on nearly every current console, but reviewed on PS4 here.

The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf (Switch)

In the distant past, long before streaming services and 24-hour cartoon channels, there was a thing called Saturday Morning Cartoons.  Kids back then, me included, looked forward to this time because it was one of the only times TV was made just for kids.  And as a child of the 80s, one of the most popular of these cartoons I remember was The Smurfs.  Originally a European comic strip, The Smurfs gained popularity in the US from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon.  I was never a super big fan of it, but I watched it anyway because, one, kids will watch pretty much anything.  And two, it came on right before the Pac-Man cartoon.  In recent years, The Smurfs have had a bit of a resurgence with a handful of computer animated movies and specials, and a new series on Nickelodeon.  And now there’s a new Smurfs 3-D platformer game.  In Mission Vileaf, the evil wizard Gargamel has created a plant that can capture Smurfs and lead him to their hidden village.  But luckily, Handy Smurf has invented the Smurfizer, a backpack spray gun that can destroy the plants and restore the vegetation that the Vileaf has contaminated.  Now it’s up to Hefty, Brainy, Smurfette, and more to use the Smurfizer to de-contaminate their forest home and stop Gargamel’s plans. 

Clockwork Aquario (PS4)

There once was a video game company called Westone that made a lot of popular titles, such as the Wonder Boy and Monster World series, and was even responsible for some of the Adventure Island games, too.  But did you know their last arcade game was never released?  It was called Clockwork Aquario and was supposed to be out in the early 1990s.  But because of the popularity of one-on-one fighters and a low score in test markets, this 2-D action platformer never came out.  Until now.  Join a heroic boy, girl, or robot as they venture to an underwater city to stop a fish-man from taking over the world with his robotic sea creatures.

Pups and Purrs Animal Hospital (Switch)

Become an up and coming veterinarian and take care of cats and dogs in Pups and Purrs Animal Hospital.  It’s kind of a cross between Nintendogs and Cooking Mama in that you play mini-games to take care of pets. 

Castle on the Coast (Switch)

Meet George the Giraffe!  He has blue hearts for spots and is the mascot of Valley Children’s Healthcare, a hospital in California.  And now he’s starring in his own 3-D platformer!  This game was designed for children to play while healing at the hospital, and some of the proceeds from the game will go to the establishment.  In the game, George explores an old castle where wizards live.  He’ll make friends with wizards and try to figure out why some of them are being mean.  Tromp around the winding halls of the sprawling castle, explore crystal caves and stunt areas and warp to alternate dimensions via stained glass windows. 

Super Sami Roll (Switch)

You are Sami, a cute little reptile critter who can roll around in a ball and has a long tongue.  An evil business monkey has kidnapped your best friend Vera, and now you must save the day.  Super Sami Roll is a 3D action game similar to Super Monkey Ball, but with platforming elements as well.

Angry Alligator (Switch)

Play as an alligator as you eat prey and grow bigger to eat even larger prey in this endless cycle of a 3-D game.  There’s a story about an organization doing experiments on alligators in the swamp and you have to stop them, but it doesn’t seem to matter much in the minute to minute gameplay.  This game is really bad.

Mastho is Together (PS4)

According to the press release for this game, you are a sugar-free marshmallow.  Wait, does such a thing exist?  Aren’t marshmallows just pure sugar?  Well after doing a search, apparently they do exist.  Who says video games don’t teach you anything?  Anyway, in this game all you see of yourself is a white square and you must travel through single screen super challenging levels in this 2-D minimalistic platformer. 

And that’s all for now!  Thanks for reading and posting ‘likes’ and comments on my reviews, I do appreciate it.  Hope everyone has a great New Year!  --Cary




12/29/2021 at 06:45 PM

Clockwork Aquario had me intrigued but the art style is a little too much for kids for me. 

I didn't realize Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water was out on Xbox too. I'm going to look out for it. 

Cary Woodham

12/30/2021 at 06:18 AM

Too much for kids?  Aw man, you're killing me!  You'll never get addicted to Animal Crossing with that attitude!

The new Fatal Frame game isn't bad, but it is a bit slow and repetitive.


01/13/2022 at 12:16 PM

Haha. I have no fear of kids games, although, the other day I played a kind of Mario Kart kids game that was so kiddie that it really got to me. Too boring. I think I've found my limit playing easy games for achievements. 

Cary Woodham

01/14/2022 at 08:07 PM

I'm kind of curious about that Mario Kart game you speak of now.  This coming year, I can't wait for Chocobo GP!


01/20/2022 at 11:06 PM

It was called Race with Ryan. You get real video of this kid Ryan and his family in between races. It wasn't a bad game but there are only a handful of tracks and you race them forwards and backwards over and over again. 

Cary Woodham

01/21/2022 at 08:29 AM

Oh yeah, now I know why you thought that game was too kiddie!  Ryan is a little kid who has a series of YouTube videos that are super popular.  More popular than what they deserve to be, in my opinion.  The kid even has his own Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon!  Sheesh!  


02/01/2022 at 12:46 PM

Wow! I did not know that. It was on GamePass and I needed a simple game to try for achievements. I've found some of these "family" games kind of fun from time to time as well. This one got pretty boring after finishing a few championships. I even saw DLC for it the other day - new tracks. Maybe if I need some quick achievements to stay ahead on my monthly leaderboards, I'll consider them, but probably not because there are plenty of other games to try on Game Pass that are much more interesting. 

Cary Woodham

02/02/2022 at 08:47 AM

Yeah I tried to get a review copy of that Ryan racing game, but didn't get one.  I don't feel too bad about it. :)

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