Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Review: (Nintendo Switch)

Early in december last year we got this addition to the Nintendo Switch library, and while I wasn’t a big fan of the other games in the series, I couldn’t ignore one of the first Rpgs made specifically with the Switch in mind and eagerly started playing it as soon as I picked up my Special Edition copy.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2 takes advantage of certain jrpg tropes like anime cliches and minor fanservice without damaging the compelling narrative told to us through Rex and his journey of helping Pyra find Elysium. Through this journey in the world of Alrest we see people living on titans that are slowly on the verge of death, armies of said people dealing with the lack of resources and war that comes from it, and deep lore that connects it with the other games in the xenoblade universe. I found myself deeply immerse in how everything played out while exploring the world and seeing Rex, Pyra, and the other main characters grow.

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Like with its predecessors, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 uses a combat system similar to certain mmorpgs where characters auto attack while you press buttons at certain times to use special attacks.  This was a total turnoff as it felt more like i was watching battles happen then actually contributing. It wasn’t until some other abilities (chain combos, blade switching, etc) became unlocked that i felt more immersed.


Graphics and Quality


Everything from the character models to the textures on a Titan’s back were vibrant and beautiful even with me playing on the lower resolution in portable mode 99% of the time.  I did notice however that while things transitioned seamlessly without lag it came at the cost of certain textures and objects taking a good couple of seconds to appear while near the entrances of towns and dungeons.

The User interface in the main menu felt a bit overwhelming and crowded compared to other menu layouts in rpgs, and the split second tutorials they show you don’t really help uncomplicate things since you don’t have access to read them again until you get them from informant NPCs.


Music and Sound

While only a couple songs really stood out to me; I did appreciate how every song seamlessly transitioned from one to another whether it be from walking around a city at day, Resting at an inn with your party at night, or heading into battle after roaming around on the map.

Since I started playing this after the Japanese language DLC was available , I did not have many complaints about the English voice acting. I only really noticed how annoying it was during battle and world map segments due to the repetition and tended to avoid switching it to English except for some cutscenes.


Conclusion: Even with certain things like the constant tutorials and lack of control during battle slowing things to a crawl early game; the story, characters and massive explorable world more then make up for it. A must play for any switch having rpg fans!

By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru

*Review Copy Purchased by Reviewer*

Pokemon Ultra Moon Version Review: (3DS)

With the hype train going full throttle due to all the trailers and announcements throughout the year, I was extremely excited to pick up the last 3ds pokemon game to be released before the series moves to the Switch. We haven’t seen an Enhanced “Yellow” version of a game since Pokemon Platinum in the ds era (Black 2 and White 2 were sequels while X and Y didn’t have one) and after playing through it all still filled with excitement I was starting to see why.


True to tradition, the main story is slightly modified with focus now on helping the Ultra Recon Squad deal with Necrozma instead of with Ultra Beasts in general. There was also some new side quests and dialogues of older characters that added some character development in some unusual ways. In particular Hau and Lillie got a bit more fleshed out while Lusamine’s motives for doing what she does makes her seem less effective as an antagonist.

A main gripe I had was that most of the more interesting newer story content was only accessible late and post game, yet it felt very worth it when I got to it.





While battling stays the same there is a ton of other things that keep things fresh and fun: Access to a larger portion of pokemon from older games to team build with, certain trials (Mallow’s and Sophocles’ in particular) having faster and more interesting puzzles, and Totem Stickers as the new collectibles that you can get at anytime in game.

Surprisingly while minigames have been lackluster excuses to get extra items in the older games, the ones they added in here , Mantine Surf and Ultra Warp Ride were pretty fun and useful to play, I think I spent a good couple of hours playing them for fun as well as for rewards.

Only real new feature I was annoyed with was Rotom. While his new abilities helped from time to time, most of it is spent hearing him constantly speak advice when you are trying to look at things on the map. It would have been nice if there was a way to speed through it or cancel it altogether.




Graphics and Quality

As expected nothing really changed from the original versions other than some minor user interface design and placement during battles and in the main menu , one change in particular that was helpful was having the save button accessible at all times on the main menu making space for more buttons to be shown.

There is still some noticeable lag during double battles and z-move animations sadly. 





Music and Sound

The new songs were amazing, one that particularly stood out to me was a boss battle theme that combined with the scenery gave a feeling of a classic snes jrpg battle. Unfortunately like with most of the new content you won’t get a chance to hear any of these until late game.




Conclusion: It was fun but I was expecting a lot more. The new changes sprinkled throughout make the game feel like less of a slog, the similar journey to get to the new story content as well as certain annoyances throughout left me a bit disappointed. If you are new to the series or have good patience then you should give it a chance.


By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru

Metroid Samus Returns Review: (3DS) 9.5/10

With the last couple of games not being up to par and sporadically released, it seems like the Metroid series was going the same route of many other antiquated Nintendo series.  All hope returned when at E3 earlier this year Nintendo Announced two new games including a 3DS remake of Metroid 2. Will this remake bring back the space-faring Metroid melting Samus?

Story: 2/2.5

While the original game, and many other games in the series have focus more on game-play than on story, this remake manages to tie in with the rest of the series pretty well. It was satisfying seeing certain lore and characters being referenced without having to scroll through walls of text from outside sources like fansites and strategy guides.


Game-play: 2.5/2.5

You can expect the same great side-scrolling gameplay that we know and love with some modern (and optional) mechanics that make back tracking and exploring less infuriating.
One of the most noticeable new mechanics were the melee counter attacks which you could use to gain an advantage against enemies by stunning them and doing extra damage with your beam.

A slight bother I had was that the button scheme for the controls were unusually mapped for a Metroid game (B was for jumping instead of shooting, and A was for activating skills instead of jumping etc) and were unchangeable. Though after playing for a bit I was able to get used to it.

Graphics and Quality: 2.5/2.5

Thanks to using a 2.5D approach like The more recent Street fighter games; Samus Returns takes great advantage of the 3DS hardware while still retaining its side scrolling roots. Details in the background pop out but not enough to distract you from all the action in the foreground.

Even though i was playing on a New 3ds xl I did notice some framerate issues during certain screen transitions which reminded me of early Playstation era cutscenes; but since they were only prevalent during those scenes it didn’t mess up the rest of the game for me.

Music and Sound: 2.5/2.5

The soundtrack as a whole was astounding. I felt the wonder of exploring every nook and cranny, the curious yet tense atmosphere when searching for a Metroid, and the
exhilarating tenseness when fighting a boss and learning its pattern.All for the sake of not dying to it another 5 times.

Conclusion: Nintendo gave us exactly what we wanted and what the series deserves. I see this a great precursor to more great Metroid games in the future. Samus is back!!!!

By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru

Edited by: Carson Hiltbrand

GAMING GURU JOINS THE DESTINY ELITE (Informal Editor’s Review at the End)

“As a writer for Gaming Guru, I get do something pretty special, I get to share my experiences you readers. I have been a HUGE Destiny fan since very early on, often cheering on my friends that played. But I hadn’t been off the bench myself until late in the third quarter. In the beginning of vanilla Destiny my friend played a Hunter and after an off-class exotic drop I started the game as a Titan. The Helm of Saint 14 was a helmet that blinded enemies who entered the protective bubble my Titan dropped down. I was a shield by which my allies broke the endless tide of enemies. After some time I felt the rush as my first exotic engram dropped in my game. It was an Insurmountable Skullfort, another exotic helmet this time for the Striker subclass. I ran through swaths of enemies with ease, punching and smashing all before me. Destiny was a glorious experience.”

” I’m no casual gamer, I’m not your weekend warrior looking to get on for an hour or two and grind a bit before bed. I’m one of those try-hard players that has logged nearly 7 and a half days of in game time since the third weeks of this games release.”

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With Destiny 2 I jumped into the fray at my first opportunity. I got the pre-order deluxe edition and poured my time into the game. In the first couple minutes of the game we were thrown into a familiar setting, the Tower. As a destiny 1 social space this was an area populated by NPC’s and guardians at all hours of the day. Here you would pick up your bounties, and decrypt our engrams for new guns and armor. Destiny 2 begins with the player fighting waves of hyper-aggressive space turtles punks. They were a race called the Cabal and this faction, the Red Legion had come to Earth with one purpose; to destroy The Last City and steal the Travelers gift. Immediately the player is graced with a sound track unlike any game score I have heard before. Directed by Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, C. Paul Johnson, Rotem Moav, and Peter Schlosser this is arguably the best part of this game. Vivid cut scenes flush out the developing story as our Guardians are striped of their Light; the gift bestowed by The Traveler that gave us our super-human powers and the revive capabilities of our trusty backpack companions, the Ghosts. In Destiny 2 our story is one of perseverance, against all odds the guardians defend the people from the Darkness like the Night’s Watch of Westeros. Some of us fight for glory, some fight for blood, but all of us fight for loot.

The Good

Destiny 2 is an enticing loot shooter, with shiny new loot around every corner. The social interaction of a new integrated clan feature will encourage you to find players that will quickly become a second family.

d2 slide 4 Continue reading “GAMING GURU JOINS THE DESTINY ELITE (Informal Editor’s Review at the End)”

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds(PC) EARLY ACCESS REVIEW (9/10)

How is this not the most talked about game on the internet right now? It absolutely should be on your radar if you’re a fan of first person shooters. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds(PUBG) is an electrifying 100 person survival shooter. If you enjoy the sound of your heart racing in your ears, and the thrill of ambushing other players you are in  for a treat. The hundred player death matches are quick to Match up and the pregame lobby is a fun place to test the games guns… After about a minute you’re in a cargo plane flying over the island. Think carefully about where you jump, and try to jump directly above your intended landing zone so you can dive straight down and beat other players to a gun. Then stay alive. Also, I’m not very good at the game, but I still find it incredibly fun. PUBG shatters expectations, and presents groundbreaking new ideas to the genre.

 Atmosphere and Ambiance: 2.5/2.5

The abandoned isle is an amazing place to explore, made even more exciting by crackle of gunfire going off in the distance. Using sounds to track your opponents is a key-aspect of the game, you learn to pick up exactly where the noise is coming from on your compass fairly quick. Everything you do in the game makes a noise, and that noise often times will get you killed. The games graphics look nice and modern with good reflections and silhouettes designed to trip you up as you scan a ridge for a foe.

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Combat, Guns, Weapon Upgrades: 2.4/2.5

The best thing about the game is the feeling of stumbling across the weapon you were looking for. With every gun starting off stock and parts lying around everywhere you have a lot of room to play around with different scopes, stocks, silencers, compensating devices etc. The long-range weaponry is fantastic, and being able to adjust your zeroing gives you greater control of your shots. Scavenging better helmets and vests so you can survive a little longer all adds to the frenzied pace of collect, cower, move in.


Exploration and Mechanics: 2.5/2.5

The environments are fun to move around in. Crouching and running through a field is incredibly slow, but has saved my life more than a few times. The vehicles all drive fantastically, even if they are still a bit buggy. The aiming is precise but punishing. The circle is an incredibly awesome mechanic that brings the pace of a 100 player survival death match(which if everyone just hid around could take HOURS) usually wraps up in about 30 minutes. I usually survive 15 of them. I still enjoy being bad, because the thrill of a kill is intoxicating, every player killed is satisfying experience and every match of PUBG is terrifying.


Stability, Network, Fun Factor: ****1.6/2.5

So the biggest problem with PUBG is the fact that it is still an early access title, and as such is still being actively developed as it’s played. That means the client crashes. Often. Sometimes buildings wont load. Sometimes your enemy will disappear and reappear. It can be frustrating, very frustrating. But a loss is a loss and if happened due to client error you’re strangely relieved… Your eagerness to find a level 3 vest will probably kill you if the client did not. I could see losing a Chicken Dinner( #1 player in the round is winner, and they get a chicken dinner) due to a client error as massively frustrating. But the fun factor carries the score here. Also, things could be very different by the time the game officially launches and could be incredibly stable. Don’t let a few bugs scare you away from this amazing indie title.


Review copy was provided by a website supporter who asked me to cover the game, not the publisher/developer Bluehole Studios.

Carson- As always guys Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the article, if you didn’t let me know! If you want me to cover something specific CONTACT US. Have a great day!

Looking for another opinion, Check out Metacrtic.

Looking for another opinion, Check out Ign.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review 10/10(Wii U Version)

TLDR: The game was incredible, the variety of content, beautiful vistas, creative combat and mechanics, was all held back by FPS and performance issues. Probably the best Zelda game ever made, but I still love Wind Waker More…


I know, I’m late to the party. Fair enough. But, what I offer is a complete review of the game, I’m at 120 of 120 shrines cleared. I found most of the secrets just naturally exploring the world. Things I really liked about the game, well most of it. Exploring is just so damn fun in the game that you can’t help but glide around and kill things(btw… Cool way to glide as far as you want, fire arrows and grass. Shoot one at the ground as you decline to keep gliding as long as your stamina and fire arrows hold out…) The sneak gear really helps when you’re sneaking up on horses, animals, etc. but not so much on monsters. It’s okay sometimes, but for taming and riding things it’s downright awesome. The sandbox is amazing, you have so many options for weird combat that the breakable weapons never actually feel like to much of a burden, and if you progress through the main quest objectives that problem mostly resolves itself.

Critical Score Values:

Art Style Atmosphere and Ambiance(includes music score): 2.5/2.5

The game looks incredible the draw distance and scenic vistas of hyrule are down right amazing, the music while sparse, is always around, amplifying the mood of the quite travel during exploration. It’s the score for bosses and more intense sequences is incredible as ever.


Combat, Collectibles, Armor and Weapons: 2.5/2.5

The way all of the games abilities and combat situations can work out are amazing. All you need to kill most things is a magnetic boulder, as one you-tuber likes to do. But whatever approach you take to combat is your own, is Link a crafty mage who uses his environment to fell foes? Is he a brutal gladiator who gets right into the action with sword board and food buffs galore? Or do you prefer the sneaky rogue link, the one who sets traps and prefers to deal with enemies via their weaknesses. The sheer number of different albeit fungible weapons is fantastic. My friend told me I used trash weapons, and that’s fairly true, I love to kill foes with their own weapons, and if it doesn’t quite break. Armor, well, did you want Link to be a girl, are you cool with cross dressing? Yeah, they covered that angle, as well as the heavy armor favoring folks. Using your armor to fit the environment is one way to tackle the problem. Food works too.

Exploration and Mechanics: 2.5/2.5

Yep, the exploration and mechanics are where the game loses it’s point one off of a perfect score. Why does it lose .1 of a point? Well simply put performance issues. The games inconsistent FPS spikes is the major killer of the game, and it’s worth a whopping .1…(A recent patch even reduced most of it so I’m revising my final score after completing the game) Anyways, gliding, bombing(try both sometime!), sneaking, taming, freezing water, stopping time to exploit physics, making your own aircraft, talking to monsters, what-not and what have you, the game is fun and even more fun to tinker around with. The world is chocked full of things to catch your eye, and no matter what way you go you run into cool stuff.

Taming horses wasn’t really my thing, but I did name all of them Roach.


Narrative: 2.5/2.5

The narrative is told at your own pace, by going to places where things happened. Trying not to be to spoilery as that’s one of the core mysteries of the game. I’m still not sure what Zelda timeline it takes place in. Some people say they know, but I haven’t found anything conclusive(IF YOU HAVE YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO SHARE IT WITH ME….) But, yeah, even if you don’t actually believe you’re Link and wanna assume a new identity as professional mountain climber and explorer, the game will pay off. The idea, the player creates mini-stories was fully delivered, the overarching story-line exists, but if you don’t care, it doesn’t need to be done, although as with any game it does come with some amazing rewards.

Any how this concludes my first game review for Gaming Guru. Thanks for reading. Comment,  Share, RSS.

Carson Hiltbrand

Stardew Valley Quick Guide

Some tips and tricks for the best results in stardew valley!

Pick the Fishing Farm or the Forest Farm as they offer you the best spring income! Fishing is hard at first but it gets easy fast, so keep fishing! Buying berries in spring(at the first festival)! is very worthwhile, as they sell quite well! To ensure you finish the greenhouse by the end of year one prioritize the quality crops bundles and seasonal crops ASAP round out everything else in fall/winter! DONT BUY ANIMALS TILL WINTER 1!!! Animals offer stable income in winter, but have an enormous resource buy in. So don’t build them till you have to in late fall/winter. Fruit Trees grow in winter, buy all of the trees in winter 1. The Larger your crop fields, the more money you make. Go forth and farm forage fight and fall in love enjoy!!!

Carson Hiltbrand, Founder, Editor, and Writer for Gaming Guru Inc.

Bloodborne 2? Teaser?

Bloodborne 2 is probably announced. Not much to say, but “shadow’s die twice” and the workshop scroll in the background. I’m gonna call this Bloodborne 2, but it could be something else. No matter what, after a dead silent year by FromSoftware I’m excited to see anything. Pretty sure those look like more “Runes” It’s all theoretical.


Crunchyroll Expo 2017

Conventions are usually something I personally avoid, I’m not a big fan of crowds, lines, or fanaticism.  I’m this boring dude, who loves games and tearing them apart in reviews. Glenn however loves to go to “cons” as their regulars call them. However, I do love Anime and Manga. So having the opportunity to have Glenn on the ground at the Crunchy Roll Expo was deeply gratifying. We’ll be doing a follow up article on his panel interview with the Anime/Manga Group Noir Caesar. Glenn noted that the convention was already to big for the space they were using this year, a fantastic sign for a first convention, and we look forward to giving you more complete coverage next year!



Ever Oasis Review: (3DS) 8/10

With RPG’s still being scarce on the switch. Again I turn to my 3DS to fill the void. Will this cute yet intriguing Action RPG do the job?

Story: 1.5/2.5

While the main story is the standard “Protect the world from evil” deal, the quests given to you by your playable cast of over 60+ Oasis dwellers really flushes out the world, with its surprising mentions of war, famine, and love lost. I found myself enjoying the optional quests far more than the main story.


Game-play: 2/2.5

Being a spiritual successor, the game-play takes many influences from the Legend of Mana series of games (especially the battle system) while also sprinkling in puzzle solving elements from the Legend of Zelda series and town managing elements from the Harvest moon and Animal Crossing series.
One of the main things I favored was that the UI (user interface) of the town management and quests were so streamline and helpful that it didn’t feel like i was held back from exploring and fighting monsters.
The only real problem that I encountered was that the camera and auto lock targeting in battle felt a bit wonky at times, but it wasn’t enough to dampen the fun during combat.


Graphics and Quality: 2/2.5

Usually with games that happen in desert settings , they contain a ton of bland tones and atmosphere. Ever Oasis awesomely averts this by having vibrant colors and textures pop out among its frequently similar desert landscapes and dungeons.


Music and Sound: 2.5/2.5

The mystical Middle Eastern style of the songs blends greatly in a game taking place in a desert to no surprise. I found myself constantly humming to the oasis town theme while taking care of the quests and other errands around the Oasis.


Conclusion: This awesome quest filled desert adventure is a must play for anyone looking for a Mana series successor or a great Action RPG in general.

By Glenn Brooks, the JRPG Guru

Edited by: Carson Hiltbrand

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