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  • Our picks

    • I finally got around to finishing Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn and I have to say I had a lot of fun with it. I don't mind the crude, verging on racist, humor and the play style is reminiscent of early 90s beat 'em ups. There's even a move where you hit A to land a size 22 kick that launches the enemy straight into the screen just like TMNT IV: Turtles in Time. Shaq Fu never takes itself seriously, poking fun at crowd funding and the game itself. All of the old beat 'em up tropes are present and accounted for; endless enemies, random things in the background and foreground to smash, the odd object you can use as a weapon until it breaks, etc. At $20 USD in the eshop I think that the price is a bit steep for the amount of game time you'll get from it, if you play it on easy you can walk through this game in one sitting and I don't see much replay value in it. Harder difficulties does make it a longer process though. There is a DLC pack called "Barack Fu"  that opens up a new story line where you play as President Obama, the humor continues as one of "Dirty Barry's" moves lets you call in a "Peace Prize" drone strike. Nintendo's eShop says it released on June 5, but I can't seem to find it. The game's website says that physical copies come with a code to download a "bonus game" later this month. I haven't seen what that game is yet but I would suspect that it is the DLC so if you really want to fight as Barack Obama the physical version might save you a bit of money. Overall I give Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn a solid 5 out of 7 Size 22 Reebok Pumps. Pick it up if you find it on sale, and you enjoy old school beat 'em ups (think TMNT IV style with some off color humor and a stupid plot).
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    •  Watch the Nintendo Direct E3 Event all over again!
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    •  Get it right now on the Nintendo Switch eShop!
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    • Proud to announce that as of today NintendoRadar is now available in app-form on all your favorite mobile devices! We had a feeling you might like one *cough, ahem, a'choo* 
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Public Opinion  

2 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you have Stardew Valley? How much do you like it?

    • Not much at all. (1/5)
    • A little, I guess. (2/5)
      0
    • It's a good game overall. (3/5)
      0
    • I like it a lot! (4/5)
    • AMAZING! (5/5)
      0


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I have delayed this review for way too long. You see, I wanted to write a review on Stardew Valley, but every time I thought of things I could write, I felt the need to play this game. So here it is at last, ladies and gentlemen. A review of Stardew Valley. 

stardewvalley-review-fiscus.png

 

Let me clear up a misconception about this game. This is not just a farming simulator. If you were to only farm, you wouldn't be wrong. However, there's much more to see. The main "activity groups" are farming, foraging, fishing, and mining. There are other things to do as well, but I'll start here.

Farming is the moneymaking option that is the most accessible at the start of the game. That being said, farming isn't your only option early on. The idea is, you buy seeds from your town's local general store, plant them, water them every day, and harvest them once they've fully grown. The crops available vary from season to season, and you can get better crops every year. you can buy accessories like scarecrows, sprinklers and seed makers to make your life easier, but they're not mandatory. In the beginning, you'll find that farming is a decent source of income and leaves you with plenty of spare time. As the game progresses, however, you'll find that watering your plants takes up more and more of your valuable time, to the point where you can't even water them all in one day. This is where tool upgrades come in. You can upgrade your watering can, so you can water more tiles with less stamina and all at once, upgrade your hoe to do the same, or build better sprinklers to make sure more crops don't have to be watered. If you decide to get married to one of the game's NPCs, they might occasionally water all of your crops before you even wake up.

Buying crops isn't always simple, however. There's a travelling merchant in the game who might sell you special and profitable seeds at a steep price, or festivals where you might be able to buy the best ones. You shouldn't just buy the cheapest ones because they will give you quick money. Seasons don't last forever, and you want to make each day as profitable as possible, so you don't lose any money. 

Then there are the animals, which I find to be a very interesting mechanic. The idea is, you buy a coop or a barn to house chickens or cows and then upgrade your buildings to house a wider variety of animals such as ducks, rabbits, goats and more. This requires minimal effort, as you only have to put hay on the animals' troughs and let them outside when it's not raining. In return, you get different animal products which can be sold or turned into artisanal goods for more profit. This will most likely be your main source of income in the winter around your second in-game year because crops won't grow and you only need a heater or two.

And that's pretty much the farming aspect of this game. The other things to do aren't as complicated, and it's clear that they weren't made to be your main focus. That being said, you can make just as much money as you would farming if you focused on any one of these other groups, and they're all available since day one.

Fishing is pretty easy. All you have to do is purchase a fishing rod from your local fishing shop and cast your rod in the water. There are different fish to catch depending on where you fish, and you can buy bait and tackle to be used with better fishing rods. I focused only on fishing during my first winter, since I couldn't farm, and I was rolling in a decent profit every day towards the end of that season. It can be a bit slow and it's easy to get bored of just the same mini-game over and over again. I would say this is a good idea for a game like Stardew, but It was just a bit lacking, and you always seem to catch the same fish.

Mining is a bit harder. Just like fishing, you can start this at any time. You go in a weird looking hole in the mountains, and down the ladder. You'll find "slime" enemies and break rocks with your pickaxe, trying to uncover the next ladder. If you go down far enough, you can find minerals like copper or iron, which you can use to build new things for your farm or upgrade your tools. It works well enough, and I assume that once you go deep enough in the mines you could start to turn a profit, but it takes too long. It's discouraging when I only need an earth crystal or a copper bar to build my mayonnaise machine and I have to go all the way back to the mines and spend a good thirty minutes finding that one rock. It feels like mining is a pointless sidequest that I need to complete to build my tools, and I usually just end up buying the ores from the blacksmith.

Foraging is simple. You walk around and collect the things you find on the ground. You'll find different things in different seasons. It's not very useful, but it's a great way to find gifts for the townsfolk. That's all I have to say about it.

 

To answer @Buzz's question, there is an end goal in this game. Very early on, the town's mayor shows you the community centre. It's a run-down building that the town has abandoned. By speaking to the valley's resident wizard after reading a scroll, you gain access to various "bundles" that you can complete by sacrificing some of the items that you've collected. These bundles range from spring foraging to an adventuring bundle.

You have to play at least two in-game years to complete it, so you've pretty much beaten the game if you finish it. You get some cool "post-game" content and a nice cutscene. There's also a surprise at the end of year 2, which I won't spoil, that is impacted greatly by the community centre's completion.     

 

Overall, I like Stardew Valley a ton. It does a lot of things right that make the game seem just perfect. It makes this game feel truly open-ended and like it's yours. My one complaint is that, when you don't really know what to do, it might get overwhelming, even though some of the gameplay isn't up to par with the rest (although that might just be because farming sets the bar pretty high).

 For someone like myself who enjoy "life simulation" games, this is a must-have. If you're not really sure, give it a chance. It might just surprise you. But hey, I left a poll so you can read what others think about this amazing game. You're welcome.

I rate Stardew Valley four and a half duck eggs out of 5.

Live long and prosper,

Fiscus OUT.

Edited by Fiscus
made a few aesthetic changes, Thanks a ton @Buzz
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I've been putting off buying this game for so damn long, everyone seems to love it. It seems interesting but what is the end goal in this game? What do you spend your money on? Or is the purpose of the game just to grind grind grind?

And is the multiplayer out yet on Switch? And oh, was going to promote this on the our picks page but it seems like you are still working on it? Lemme know when you want me to promote it! It's shaping up and I enjoyed reading what you've done so far!

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I really struggle with Stardew Valley. It might be how I tried to get into it that's the problem, but I'm not sure. I had just gotten through TSA at the Denver airport and found my way to my gate where I was going to have 45 minutes or so to wait. I pull out the Switch and purchased Stardew Valley (it was between this or Golf Story). By the time the game is installed and I'm through the stupid long intro it's time to board. I find my seat, get settled and pull out Stardew Valley for the few minutes while we wait for the door to close and again I feel like I get nothing done. Get in the air, and start playing, finally. So I decide "well this is a farming game right? let's make some farm land!" After what seemed like two minutes of smashing rocks, cutting trees and tilling soil my guy is tired already. I decide to power through it, this is a simulator thing right? I power through being sleepy at 10 AM all the time. Nope, my character drops where he stands. Apparently someone found me and took me to bed (creepy!) so I wake up in my house. I decided that was lame so I wander into town, I feel as though I have no goal, nothing to do, so I'm just wandering. But not a fun wander like Breath of the Wild. More of a "meh" wander. About that time they're taking drink orders on the plane so I put the Switch away. I haven't looked at Stardew Valley since. 

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14 minutes ago, MrMischief said:

I really struggle with Stardew Valley. It might be how I tried to get into it that's the problem, but I'm not sure. I had just gotten through TSA at the Denver airport and found my way to my gate where I was going to have 45 minutes or so to wait. I pull out the Switch and purchased Stardew Valley (it was between this or Golf Story). By the time the game is installed and I'm through the stupid long intro it's time to board. I find my seat, get settled and pull out Stardew Valley for the few minutes while we wait for the door to close and again I feel like I get nothing done. Get in the air, and start playing, finally. So I decide "well this is a farming game right? let's make some farm land!" After what seemed like two minutes of smashing rocks, cutting trees and tilling soil my guy is tired already. I decide to power through it, this is a simulator thing right? I power through being sleepy at 10 AM all the time. Nope, my character drops where he stands. Apparently someone found me and took me to bed (creepy!) so I wake up in my house. I decided that was lame so I wander into town, I feel as though I have no goal, nothing to do, so I'm just wandering. But not a fun wander like Breath of the Wild. More of a "meh" wander. About that time they're taking drink orders on the plane so I put the Switch away. I haven't looked at Stardew Valley since. 

The thing about stardew is that it's about managing your time and resources. it may be a simulation game, but if you choose to power through it without much planning, you won't get very far.

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2 hours ago, Fiscus said:

The thing about stardew is that it's about managing your time and resources. it may be a simulation game, but if you choose to power through it without much planning, you won't get very far.

I can barely plan my own day-to-day, let alone an entire season's worth of planting and harvesting. This game has never interested me in the slightest. I'm just a stick in the mud when it comes to farming sims. Well written review though!

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8 hours ago, Jonny B. Goode said:

I can barely plan my own day-to-day, let alone an entire season's worth of planting and harvesting. This game has never interested me in the slightest. I'm just a stick in the mud when it comes to farming sims. Well written review though!

Fair enough. Life sims aren't for everyone.

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thoroughly enjoyed reading that Fiscus! Great work. I made some aesthetic changes to the thread, changed the image/banner and promoted it to the 'our picks' page! For the price of it I may go ahead and buy it and give it a shot. I am glad to have read your review as I'll know more about what I'm getting into and what to expect whereas before I may find myself in a situation like MrMischief.

I do like the whole progression aspect, the more you grow the more you can upgrade your equipment and I especially like the fishing aspect. I love the detail you mentioned about being able to buy bait/tackle!

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56 minutes ago, Buzz said:

thoroughly enjoyed reading that Fiscus! Great work. I made some aesthetic changes to the thread, changed the image/banner and promoted it to the 'our picks' page! For the price of it I may go ahead and buy it and give it a shot. I am glad to have read your review as I'll know more about what I'm getting into and what to expect whereas before I may find myself in a situation like MrMischief.

I do like the whole progression aspect, the more you grow the more you can upgrade your equipment and I especially like the fishing aspect. I love the detail you mentioned about being able to buy bait/tackle!

I'm loving the new banner! Yeah, this game has a lot of care put into it and you really feel like you're getting somewhere after you see how much money you earned at the end of each day.

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2 minutes ago, Fiscus said:

you really feel like you're getting somewhere after you see how much money you earned at the end of each day

Ahhhhh I know and love that feeling, like when I played Rollercoaster Tycoon back in the day and after pouring time and effort into building my park, that satisfaction I got after opening it and at the end of each day getting to see my earnings which felt earned (the taste of success) and funded new goodies for the park. I think once I get my feet wet I will love it and it'll become a classic!

I have so many other games I need to play/finish though, that's the only thing holding me back. That and money.

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