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    jp's Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition (3DS)

    [September 7, 2017 06:52:07 PM]
    I wasn't terribly amused by the mobile version of this game (without Mario) but I was still interested on trying out the 3DS version (with Mario) mostly because I wanted to see how the experience worked when the business model is completely different. There's no events, no micro-transactions, no social elements. Etc.

    I guess it sounds like I was either expectant of a "pure" (and really positive) game experience where gameplay was now king or, a complete disaster because the core gameplay experience only works - as engaging for the player - when all the other elements are there.

    I guess the answer lies somewhere in between?

    My experience so far, and I'm only two worlds in (I think there are 6) is that it's ok. Mostly ok. Nothing special or exciting to write home about. However, I've now realized that the gameplay is MORE interesting than I had realized initially on mobile.

    So, the core idea is that matching three (or more) lets your "team" attack an enemy. But only the team members that are aligned with the match get to attack. So, match 3 red, and a team member that's red attacks.

    Ok, that's interesting enough. You have some strategy as you select your teammates and consider what kinds of orbs will be available. Should you go strong on one color to do lots of damage in one big punch? Diversify so that you always do damage even on a lowly 3-match? Enemies also have strengths and weaknesses against certain colors as even a full all-team attack might not be that effective, and so on. So, there's interesting choices to consider there...

    BUT, there are also tactical choices to consider when you match! I hadn't realized this when I played the mobile game (that's mostly my fault, though it's made harder because you use your finger - that obscures more of the screen, instead of the stylus). Match-3 works by dragging an orb to anywhere on the playfield - then let go, and then if matching happens stuff disappears, new orbs fall in, etc. The (to me) NEW thing here is that as you slide an orb around it swaps places such that you can create several matches just by dragging an orb to its final spot. So, making a match matters but choosing the right orb to drag AND dragging it along a patch where you benefit from the swapping ('cause it creates more matches) makes this a much more interesting (and deeper) match-3 experience! Wow!

    So, far matches are usually better than close (e.g. adjacent) matches and, as soon as you start dragging an orb a timer kicks in. You have to plan your path before starting because once it's started you have to execute it quickly. This is a much more interesting game!

    One of my biggest "gripes" against match-3 games is that there's usually limited tactical choices. You can sometimes see a combo (where a match creates a drop that then creates new matches), but for the most part if you get a lot of combos it's because your kind of lucky that the right orbs dropped in from above. Here, you can plan multiple combos from the start! There's a definite layer of expertise you can develop as you play.
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    jp's Puzzle & Dragons Z + Super Mario Bros. Edition (3DS)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Got Bored

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 1 August, 2017

    GameLog closed on: Thursday 7 September, 2017

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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