Battle for Bikini Bottom is an adventure collect-a-thon that was released back in 2003 and is fondly remembered by those who played it. Including myself who has played this game back in 2003 on Christmas day. Now I am playing this game once again 16 years later.
The greatest aspect of Wizard of Legend is how fluid the combat is and how it revolves around skill and the loadout of spells that you use. You can customize the character the way you want by selecting your spells, outfit, and trinkets. Experiment with all of the various elemental spells that you can get your hands on, and find new and satisfying combos that you can work with that can help you complete the Chaos Trials. There is a large variety of spells you can use such as melee, ranged, status, AOE, and finishers that all cover the five elements (fire, water, air, earth, and lighting). Along with your spells, you can also equip an equally larger variety of trinkets that can provide a benefit to your wizard. They cover basic stuff like more health or damage, but you also get items that can allow you to take out projectiles with your basic attack, increase your signature charge rate, or even run really fast while wearing a horse mask. So pick out your spells, your trinket, and the right wizard robe (which also provides benefits like health or defense) and you have yourself the perfect wizard. Of course, this isn’t a wizard dress up game, you actually have to fight.
Your main goal is to complete the Chaos trials, where you must complete three zones, along with defeating three of the four master wizards each representing one of the elements (except lightning, which will be added later in an update). In the dungeons, you will come across rooms full of enemies, each covering a certain archetype like Knights, Spearmen, and Archers to name a few along with variants of those enemies that use elemental attacks. At the end of those dungeons, you’ll come across a boss that is essentially a larger version of those basic enemies but with more deadly attacks. As you progress the enemies will have more varied attacks and will be a lot harder to kill. Sometimes you’ll come across items and additional spells for your loadout, but often you’ll find Chaos Gems and gold. Chaos Gems which will be used to buy more spells or items in the main lobby, and gold which can be used to buy items and spells from the vendors within the dungeon. The vendors you’ll come across will always be random, but you’ll always find a vendor that will sell you spells and another vendor that will sell you items. Sometimes you’ll find some other random characters, like a hooded guy who will offer you one of three items he has laid out for free, the only caveat: they’re cursed. The cursed times work similar to the standard item buffs, but they will include a special condition. It’s usually something simple like doing more damage, but also take more damage, or even get more armor, but all of the vendor’s prices will increase. Once you have a cursed item equipped, you can’t get rid of it, but some items can provide some benefit depending on the situation.
Now this being a roguelike, there is one thing to keep in mind: YOU WILL DIE! A LOT!
When you’re starting out, you will only have a set of some basic fire spells, and you need chaos gems to buy more, so starting out is a bit slow. Like I mentioned before, it gets more difficult as you progress. Once you defeat the first master wizard, the enemies will have more varied attacks, along with the bosses. Experimentation is the key to this game. As you progress and buy up more spells you’ll find more ways to set up your loadout that fits your playstyle, whether it’s up close, ranged or a bit of both. You’re also not limited to the fours spells you picked out, you can also equip two additional spells if you find or buy them while in the dungeon, and also carry an extra spell that you can swap out. You will go from being your ideal wizard to a literal weapon of mass destruction, just as long as you don’t let yourself get hit. Health is pretty sparse in this game, and any health orbs you will find can only heal you by a very paltry amount. There are items that can increase the frequency of finding health orbs, but in my experience, it doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of difference since they are already hard to come by. Best chances of getting more health is to find the item shop and buy a health potion with the gold that couldn’ve been used to buy a new spell or a useful item, only for you to get combo-ed to death by a group of spearmen. You also don’t have to go on this adventure alone since this game also has co-op, but it’s local only, no online play.
Overall this game is great. Starting off is a bit slow, but as you progress you will get more spells, and find more ways to experiment. The pixel art is very nice to look at, even if the environments are limited (mostly just themed after the master wizard) they are very nice and the bosses have some very nice animation that reflects their personalities. Also, the soundtrack is very good.
The game itself is easy to learn but can be tricky to master, eventually, you will find a loadout that best fits your playstyle. Soon you will become a great and powerful wizard that can cover himself in flames, and beat down their enemies with their great stone fists, and their razor-sharp wind, while dawning the majestic horse mask. You will die a lot, but that is part of the journey, either change up your spells or take a different approach to your dungeon run, and eventually you will become the Wizard of Legend. Wizard of Legend is available on Steam and GOG for $15.99 USD.
Apex Legends is Respawn’s own battle royale game that is set within Titanfall’s universe (which sadly doesn’t include any mechs).
Before Apex Legends got released, no one really knew about the game, there was no marketing, or anything from the major publications, just a couple of people on youtube that has only heard about the game. Despite the game just coming out of nowhere, it managed to be a massive success… And essentially became not only my favorite game but my favorite battle royale.
To sum up this game: Take Overwatch, and turn it into a battle royale. Every character fulfills a different role, but all of them are viable. To name a few examples: Pathfinder uses a grappling hook, Lifeline heals, Caustic can place down gas traps, and Bloodhound can track players. Every character is different and viable, there is no better character or meta to worry about. A match in Apex Legends is your standard affair, pick your character, drop down from the dropship, scramble to find a weapon, traverse around a large map with a border that will damage you, and don’t die. Of course, you’re not alone at this, as this game is purely a squads game, so you will have two other players that have your back. (until duos and solo get added in). Also when your squad picks their character, the player that goes third will be declared as the jumpmaster of the squad where they control where the squad lands, but they can always pass it over to someone else, or you can just abandon everyone and go on your own.
Since the game is all about the squads, teamwork is very vital for victory. Of course, there is always the issue of getting stuck with a team that doesn’t have a mic, henceforth, they don’t communicate, but there is one simple system that fixes that issue: The ability to ping. Ping weapons, ping ammo, ping destinations, ping enemies, ping items that you need. This really makes a difference since players who don’t use a mic can still communicate with other players, without messing around with text chat. Of course as typical with Battle Royale games, if you die your pretty much out of the game, and you’ll have to leave your team behind, and have to queue for a new match… BUT! There is another standout feature: The ability to respawn. If you die in a match, you’re not completely out, your allies can pick up your banner from where you died, and head to a respawn point to bring you back into the action. You lose all of your stuff when you come back, but that’s a small price to pay just to keep playing. These two simple features really make Apex Legends stand out from the crowd (so much so that even Fortnite copied the respawn mechanic). The only real downside I can think of is the cosmetics store where the legendary skins are being sold for $18.00 in Apex Coins (the game’s buyable currency). Thankfully cosmetics are the only thing being sold in the store, and offered through the loot boxes. You can only buy the additional characters with Legend Tokens which is earned in game, or the Apex Coins. If you want to drop money into the game, just buy one or two the game’s characters or the loot boxes which will not give you any duplicate items. On the other hand, you can easily earn loot boxes, just by playing the game.
Apex Legends is only available through Origin and is free to play, there are optional starter packs, but are not entirely necessarily. Overall for the price of nothing, Apex Legends is a great experience if you’re looking for a battle royale with a bit more substance. Of course, that’s just my opinion.