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  1. Discuss all the latest and greatest Playstation VR titles. What have you been playing? What are you excited for?
  2. Square is absolutely doing their best to ensure you have no spare time with their onslaught of re-releasing, remastering, and re-everythinging their games, and I am loving every second of it. Their awesome looking remake of Trials of Mana is coming next April and looking at the new TGS trailer, it is looking fantastic. Blurb: Square Enix Ltd., have unveiled that the highly anticipated remake of Trials of Mana will launch worldwide on 24th April 2020 for the Nintendo Switch system, PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and STEAM. The latest trailer introduces viewers to the game’s cast of characters and beautiful accompanying orchestral score. Players will get a closer look at the upgraded character models, switching classes, and new combat system as it plays out in an epic battle against fearsome foes, as well as hear the English voice over for the first time. Originally released in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 3 in 1995, and later making its debut in the West with the Collection of Mana on Nintendo Switch earlier this year, Trials of Mana is a full, high-definition remake of the third entry in the classic Mana series. Trials of Mana seamlessly brings the beloved story and characters to a new, modern era of players with real-time combat, beautiful 3D graphics and updated gameplay. The game tells the story of six heroes as they battle against the forces of evil that threaten a world where Mana has been weakened. Players will craft their own experiences by selecting a party of three from these unique characters as they embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Those who preorder the physical version of the game for the Nintendo Switch system or PlayStation 4 system will receive a Rabite Adornment DLC, allowing players to gain more EXP after battles up to level 10. Trials of Mana will be available physically and digitally for the Nintendo Switch™ and PlayStation®4 systems, and digitally available on STEAM® from 24th April 2020.
  3. The Final Fantasy that landed on GameCube in 2004...so was played by none of us, is coming out on the 23rd of January next year. Having never played a GameCube I am very curious and excited about this one. Blurb: Square Enix Ltd., has announced that the beloved action-RPG adventure FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES will return with brand new features as FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition for the Nintendo Switch system, the PlayStation 4 computer entertainment system and iOS and Android mobile devices on 23rd January 2020. The co-operative action RPG FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES has been completely remastered, now with brand new features to make the experience more enchanting than ever! Playing with friends or solo, explore a stunning fantasy world and make new memories as you bond with fantastic characters through fun action-RPG gameplay. New features for FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition include: Updated Visuals and Audio – Experience the world of FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES in stunning new ways, with upgraded graphics and audio updates enhancing the magical adventure like never before. New Character Voiceovers – Playable heroes come to life with brand-new voiceovers as they cast spells and battle ferocious monsters. New Online Multiplayer – Play online with up to three friends to overcome the dangerous monsters and dungeons that fill the world*. No players are left behind, as FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition supports cross-play functionality. New Dungeons and Bosses – Challenging new dungeons and bosses have been added to the game, allowing for even more fun and exciting gameplay opportunities. New Character Appearances and Items – Stand out with brand-new looks and artefacts to equip and use throughout your magical journey. FINAL FANTASY CRYSTAL CHRONICLES Remastered Edition will be digitally available for the Nintendo Switch system, PlayStation 4 system, the App Store and Google Play Store on 23rd January 2020.
  4. When I started researching The Church in the Darkness I came across the phrase ‘Designed by Richard Rouse III’ now I knew that name but didn’t know why. Luckily for me we have that handy thing known as the internet which promptly gave me the answer I was looking for. Richard Rouse III was lead writer and creative designer for The Suffering and its sequel Ties That Bind. Those games were amazing so I was more than in like Flynn to check out his latest horror action title which was inspired by real life cults. The Church in the Darkness has a very basic premise; you are an ex law enforcement officer looking for your nephew who has gotten himself caught up in a cult. That is pretty much all the information you need to go into each proceedurally generated map. You choose some items to start out with guns, ammo, health whatever items you want to cater to your play style and are then thrown into the task of making it to the Cults camp through whatever means you choose, stealth, guns blazing, it doesn’t matter as its all completely up to you. The Church in the Darkness when boiled down is an amalgamation of an isometric roguelike that wants to be more open narratively than other roguelike games currently on the market. This idea of an open narrative is far and away the games greatest strength and is achieved in a manner to other proceedurally generated items in games like enemy placements, item picks and the ilk. Each play through of the game you will find that within the camp things change and not just the usual map, enemies and items as previously mentioned. Instead you will find that Cultists and its leaders (played brilliantly by gaming voice actors John Patrick Lowrie and his wife Ellen McLain who you may recognize as the voice of GLaDOS from Portal) will have their beliefs changed. Not only will what the Cult believes change from play to play but all of the AI’s allegiances change as well giving greater options on how to end the mission but also a greater personality that a lot of its contemporaries are missing without relying on nostalgia. Navigating the maps is relatively with the right amount of onscreen prompts and a decent map making it easy to tell where abouts you are in a landscape which looks mostly the same. Green for the jungle, brown for the wooden cult compound but it works for its African setting. Graphics look nice for the most part with most important things being easily recognizable the downside to this isometric style is that everything else can be hard to differentiate from each other. For instance when stealthing through a level I found myself taking out cultist while walking right past guards as the red sash the guards carry isn’t always noticeable. As for the controls, while yes they work as intended and are completely adequate I couldn’t help but feel some of the buttons had a weird layout which is easily remedied but as a whole they all felt sluggish to command. All in all The Church in the Darkness isn’t a bad game, it has some really good ideas. I think the game will garner a dedicated fan base for the way it uses narrative and historical cult events to tell its stories and in that regard it is a runaway success. However the open narrative and way of telling this story are kind of its only huge selling points, everything else is perfectly adequate. It plays well enough, looks nice enough, sounds as it should but in this current gaming environment where indie devs are throwing out roguelikes at a dime a dozen it takes more than a couple of solid ideas to really stand out. Is it worth playing? Yeah I had fun for the first couple of hours seeing just how things would change and the cult would develop moreover show off its beliefs. After the novelty wore off however I was left with a serviceable game that would be fine to fill in 15 minutes here and there while I had other things to do.
  5. How can one sum up the experience of Observation in a sentence? It’s like The Cloverfield Paradox but good? It has all the tension of Alien without the haunted house vibe? Can leave you scratching your head in a DAFAQ Space Odyssey kinda way? They all work yet can only give off a slight presence as to what you actually get by playing the game. Observation is a Narrative driven Puzzle based game which sees you on the Space Station Observation in the near future. A strange event has caused it to lose all power and have issues with its orbit. It is here we are introduced to the games main character Dr. Emma Fisher as she begins to address the player as Sam. Sam or System Administration and Maintenance is the ships A.I. yes you read that right, it is a space horror game where you play as the Stations A.I. overseeing all that you can. After some strange lights and noises everything blacks out as you lose power, find your memory banks damaged and for some reason you have transported the ship to Saturn where it isn’t supposed to be. That is the first 5 minutes of the game, everything the game wants you to know about the story and mystery therein is presented straight up off the bat. The pacing in Observation is for lack of a better word; perfect. The story is constantly moving forward but not in a way that is hard to keep up with, questions arise and get answered only leaving you hanging when it needs to dial up tension or play something into the greater mystery. Plot and story telling are among the highlights of Observation however with this being said the ending may come off unsatisfying to some, I really liked with its less is more approach to telling it’s tale but the build up is better than the pay off which is a shame. Observation is a great game to look at earning some mad props to No Code for creating a game that looks as good as Observation looks for the budget it was made on. The main colour themes through out the games play time change from a white and blue to a black and grey almost sepia colour palette which creates a beautiful safety with a lingering sense that something isn’t right to pop the tension off with that uncanny valley effect sepia can give off with its nostalgic vibes. The games biggest flaw for me was controlling the AI Sam and the learning curve that comes with it. While it is never bad it does become rather sluggish. Throughout the beginning of the game its rather simple Five Nights at Freddy’s camera switching gameplay allows you to explore and get a feel for the Space Station you are stranded in. While in this mode will be zooming in and out to read signs to figure out logic puzzles, scanning objects and opening doors it all works simply enough press R2 to scan followed by X to open, touch pad to quick jump all over the Observation etc. The problems come when you get control of drones to explore everywhere in the ship you couldn’t before and even stroll through space in some very cool set pieces. The drones are sluggish mostly allowing you to move in XYZ Axis’ meaning you need to slowly course correct in what feels like tank controls. This wouldn’t be so bad but you can look around in normal sleek and speedy fashion often leaving you disorientated more over leaving you lost in the vacuum of space. Ultimately Observation is a game that is best going in as blind as you can as it is one of the ones where talking too much will ruin the experience. The bottom line is play it, aside from some clunky controls it is one of the best games you probably missed so far this year. Observation is all about narrative fire and foremost it is driven by the mystery surrounding it and its quick pace keeps up with all the thrilling events yet allows the player to explore while leaving its secrets behind a curtain until they need to be revealed. Skips the Let’s Play as Observation is a force that deserves to be experienced first hand. Zombie was provided with an advanced copy of Observation to review on the Playstation 4.
  6. If you weren't too sure or haven't tried the series before, have I got great news for you. You can download the demo for Dragon Quest Builders 2 on PS4 now! Blurb: Square Enix Ltd., today announced that a downloadable demo for the upcoming DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 is now available for budding builders to download free-of-charge from the PlayStation®Store. The demo allows players to choose a boy or girl builder and includes two parts from the game including the Tutorial and Isle of Awakening areas. Additionally, the demo will give builders a taste of the gameplay while introducing the brand new story and characters, as they prepare in their battle against the Children of Hargon to bring the power of creation back to the land. DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 launches on July 12, 2019. DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2 is a charming block-building role-playing game and completely standalone experience featuring new characters, an expansive world, unlimited building combinations, and a storyline that’s sure to satisfy long-time fans and newcomers alike! For those new to the game, the recently released “World of DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2” showcases the new building mechanics and tools for players to build and harvest, a variety of locations to explore underwater and above ground, and powerful attacks builders can use on the battlefield to defeat monstrous beasts.
  7. When my wife looked up at me horrified as I screamed ‘Objection!’ during one of the animated courtroom battles, I knew I was hooked to this trilogy. Given its anime style, Phoenix Wright is a timeless delight that has transitioned perfectly from the DS to the switch. This is the Capcom’s anime courtroom comedy-drama with a fresh lick of paint and it’s a welcome remaster. For those haven’t tread the dangerous tightrope of the courtroom, you play as Phoenix Wright, a budding lawyer tasked with obtaining a “Not Guilty’ verdict on an increasingly bizarre and genuinely interesting mix of defendants. To do this you must first utilize your detective skills and scour crimes scenes and surrounding areas for clues, interview suspects and witnesses in order to build your case. Once you have gathered all the pieces for your trial arsenal you will enter the court and let battle commence. The Courtroom is the heart of this game and where the most fun is to be had. Though Phoenix is an enthusiastic, loveable character he is a rather clumsy lawyer who needs all the help he can get. He certainly wouldn’t be my lawyer should I ever decide to get on the wrong side of the thin blue line! Fortunately, on your first court case, you are hand-held through the basics of the court. You listen to testimonies of the witnesses in order to find inconsistencies that you challenge with the now iconic - ‘Objection!’ Finding these inconsistencies and seeing the witness squirm as you tear them apart is such a guilty pleasure. It’s not perfect, however. It can be frustrating when you lose ‘life’ when you pick the wrong one of two seemingly identical pieces of testimony whilst attempting to nail the witness to the wall. Compounded by the fact that sometimes you truly are grasping at straws to find connections that have only the most tangential of links. I’ll be honest, there was more than one occasion that I saved the game and kept trying random combinations till I hit home. My main gripe with the game strangely also happens to lead into one of the series’ main strengths. The exposition phase in-between trials, where you explore the world, finding information and evidence to bolster your client’s defense can be cumbersome. There is a lot of treading old ground moving through the same areas looking for clues and even more time traveling to link two clues together. As you progress in the series, new additions to gameplay try to add some of the drama from the courtroom to this part of the game by adding in the Psylocke capability. Where you can present evidence to witnesses that is clearly hiding something to break them into revealing an essential plot twist. It’s a welcome addition but it does little improve the issue. This is a text-heavy experience and not for the faint of heart, it is a visual novel after all. You are given the option to skip the dialogue; however, doing so would remove the main draw to the game. This is the combination of fantastic writing and the amazingly eclectic mix of personalities that populate the world. You can’t wait to hear more of the backstory of the colorful cast of characters. The story is tight and as you progress through the different cases the same characters weave in and out of the plot bringing continuity and charm. These include the judge whose verdict seems to swing back and forth like a metronome, a downtrodden cop Dick Gumtree whose sole pastime seems to be being berated by prosecutors and the prosecutor Miles Edgeworth whose single-mindedness to win makes victory against him all the more sweet. This is all wrapped up with humorous dialogue that throws every pun it can into the mix. The Phoenix Wright Trilogy was a blast from the intrepid introduction to the courtroom to the final crack of the gavel. It might not be for everyone, with its heavy focus on text dialogue but it is a charming adventure that’s well worth your time. Coffee received a copy for review
  8. I am sure we have all had those games that aren’t by a well known developer but there is something about the artwork, thematics, stories or trailers that piques your interest. This happened to me with Fade to Silence, each new thing I saw regarding the game just expanded my curiosity about it so I jumped at the chance to review it. However we all know exactly what curiosity did to the cat right? Fade to Silence was developed by German studio Black Forest Games who previous gave us Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams which I remember had some massive hype to it and was a decent platformer… that they are still pimping out to this day… But hey they also made the Giana Sisters remake for the DS which was a cool way to pass some mindless time. They also had the distinction of bringing back every bodies beloved gaming feline Bubsy with the Woolies Strike Back in 2017 but every dev is allowed one not so great game under their belt right? This wasn’t a sign of things to come, right? So ya boy Zombie downloaded the game, as ya do, sat down excited to dive into this world moreover to satisfy all those curious nudgings running around my noodle about Fade to Silence. The game booted up to greet me with the main screen, normally this doesn’t need to be mentioned in a game but in this instance I was kind of baffled as the games title screen simply had a flashing triangle. I don’t mean like a ‘Press triangle’ on a PS4 controller to open the main menu I mean more like play button on anything kind of triangle. I mean I guess at that screen you do want to press play but no new game, load game, select chapter or anything just play consequently this shocked me as I’m just not used to it I guess. However it can’t be a sign of things to come right… right? Boom we start the game and get presented with the difficulty select screen with Fade to Silence offering the ‘Easy Mode for story focused player’ and the current trend of ‘Git Gud Scrub’. Along with the standard brief of what the the difficulty is really doing you are informed that if you don’t play the Git Gud setting 75% of the game will be locked out to you. By all means have different difficulty settings, sometimes I just wanna sit back and get absorbed into the story while other times I hate myself and need to be tortured by doing a 2 Player run on Battletoads but what is the point of this? I know a few games during the PSX era like Twisted Metal would cut off after the first boss with a pat on the head and a sign saying you are now good enough to try move up in the world. That gives you a sense of accomplishment… along with some slight annoyance not just well this is clearly too hard for you so we need to get rid of most of it for you. Why bother? Then after I finished ranting I got thrown into the story, I think, I’ not really sure as it just throws you knee deep into a chase scene where you die, but you don’t and there is disembodied voices talking to you but not actually explaining anything. This, this is a trend you will need to get used to as anything and everything is explained in a way that just doesn’t make much sense, its a snowpocalypse there are monsters called Rippers and you need to go find survivors but maybe you don’t as you need to look after them all with micromanaging, crafting, feeding and resource gathering. That my friends is one core ingredient to this game, micromanaging induced false morality, yay. The other is combat ripped right out from the SoulsBourne franchises only those games are good with technical skill and thought actually put into them. Combat in Fade resorts to dodging and hitting while paying attention to a stamina bar (sounds familiar right) only your stamina bar here is so small you only really get one action before it depletes. What do you with only one action? Do you dodge and live? Or do you attack while they block (the enemies are either attacking or blocking there is no inbetween)? Maybe you want to wait for that sweet spot where they are open just before attack, good idea only you have used up your stamina attacking so you can’t block or dodge so goodbye health. Not that you could do much with the stamina anyway as the controls are sluggish and just god awful. Sure you could try running away but you get locked into the battles and the camera wont let you focus on much else during these moments… or any moments really. The camera is almost as sluggish as the controls this however doesn’t really matter as there is nothing to see, unless you love the colour white as the games entire colour palette is either white or black. All monsters look alike and you’ve seen that style of monster done plenty of times, black, spiny and a little bit of red mixed in to give it some colour every now and then. There is also a whole magnitude bugs and glitches throughout the game which are supposedly worse on the Xbox version, the devs are aware of these and are apparently working on with a recent patch coming through at 10GB but I didn’t notice much difference. Normally when I review a game I don’t like to focus on the negatives of a game as there is enough people out there who do that as it is. Instead I like to focus on why you should play a game, factors that make a game worth your time or not. I want to let you people know if its something you should grab when you can or wait till its on sale to check out if it looks like something you are into. Fade to Silence on the other hand is just not a good game, it is completely comprised of elements which have been popular as of late but with no real knowledge of why they are or how they work. Fade to Silence is at best a Frankenstein patch work of jigsaw pieces from multiple puzzles crammed together to try and capture the magic of others. Zombie was provided with a promo copy for review.
  9. Quirky JRPG fans rejoice. Super Neptunia games have gone in a new direction with Super Neptunia RPG, and it's coming west to Switch and PS4! Check out the screenshots, opening cut scene and blurb below for why I'm getting my hype on. Blurb: Story The self-proclaimed hero, Neptune, awakes in a familiar world, but has no recollection of anything other than her name. With the help of a mysterious girl named Chrome, as well as three other familiar faces beloved in the Neptunia series, Neptune embarks on a journey through the mysterious dimension to try to regain her memory. Little do they know, the world they inhabit is under attack by an enemy who wants to take civilization back to the time where 2D reigns supreme. Can Neptune and her friends save the world and 3D games as we know it, or will they be flattened into two dimensions forever? Key Features New Me in 2D – Your favorite Goddesses jump from three dimensions to two! Artisan Studios and Compile Heart proudly present new, vibrant backgrounds and newly developed 2D animations hand drawn in this action-inspired side-scrolling RPG! With Artisan Studios and Tsunako collaborating to create new background and character art, fans and newcomers alike can see Gamindustri in a new 2D perspective. Where You Lead, I Will Follow – With four Goddesses to rotate on-the-fly during battle, players can change their formation type and unleash devastating attack combos. Depending on which Goddess is leading the pack, players can strategize attacks from four different formations: Strike, Magic, Support and Heal! Goddess ‘bout to Break! – Strut your stuff and dish out your special Break Attack to ensure victory! Armed with their classic ability to transform, the Goddesses gain additional stat bonuses that enhance their attacks and lay waste to any enemy! Put a +2 Str Ring On It – Strengthen your Goddesses by utilizing Skills and Abilities that can be unlocked with weapons, armors, or accessories! Strategically assign Skills and rearrange your abilities for each battle.
  10. Before you finally put the final box on the one containing your Vita, it may be worth pulling back out for this charming looking gem.... or just play it on your PS4. About Furwind Furwind is a colorful, pixel art style, action-platformer game that evokes the challenging classics of the gaming days of past. Embark on this epic adventure in which a little fox will fight the ominous darkness that is invading its homeland. Features: Guide a little fox in his adventure to defeat forces that are devastating the Forest. Complete the different episodes, exploring levels full of life and color with a unique pixel art style. Navigate dangerous areas, filled with traps and risky characters! Use your powers to reach inaccessible places, heal your wounds, and bring destruction to your enemies. Enjoy an inspiring OST with ambient and atmospherics sound effects that bring life to the world you’re exploring.
  11. Thanks to the latest PS4 update you can now play your PS4 games in your bed...if you have an iOS device. Apparently it only works on WiFi though, so no luck for those who want to jam Days Gone on the bus. PS4Trophies has a handy video to show how to get it going on:
  12. Could not find a topic for it, surprisingly. Anybody still play this? Whats ya favourite weapon, monster etc, and any thoughts on the game?
  13. During my childhood and adolescent years, I would often find myself exploring historical sites such as Roman ruins, ancient castles, and stately homes. Not only did it give my exasperated parents something to keep me busy during the holidays, but it also fueled my love for history. My strongest memories are the fantastical stories told by local people (often gardeners and housekeepers) that had been polished and refined with the generations. Stories about faeries leading fine people astray, devils waylaying travelers and princes locked away in towers fuelled my imagination. I was skeptical as a child but the environment in which the tales were recounted would ground the tale in real life and make it harder for me to push aside the ghost stories so lavishly told. Déraciné (from the makers of Bloodborne and Darksouls) has magically captured these stories and lovingly crafted a beautiful little tale that is perfectly told in VR. In Déraciné you take the role of a brand-new Faerie born on the grounds of an English boarding school. No one can see you as you pass hauntingly through the corridors of the school. You can move in amongst the inhabitants as they are frozen in time interacting with them in order to help them. You are rewarded with cutscenes showing how your tinkering has either aided or worsened the child’s plight. As you unlock these brief cut scenes you discover more about the mysterious past of the school as you unlock and open new areas you heartily want to explore as Déraciné is clearly the most beautiful game on PSVR. The School, chapel and surrounding grounds are so well realized in VR, with nooks and crannies that beg to be explored. The game maintains a dark and eerie sense as it progresses that constantly made me feel on edge for the children. The tale is tightly woven and even hours after putting the game down I would realize another branch of the intricate plot. With Déraciné, the team from Software utilized the move controllers for locomotion. A combination of teleportation to predestinated spots, click turning and gesturing with the headset control your movement around this world. Turn and look and you will see blue hotspots where you can teleport to. Circles that glow and have a greater aura surround points of interest where you get to investigate up-close and interact with characters and the world. Though I am a strong supporter of smooth motion in VR (I’m one of the fortunate few who doesn’t get motion sickness) this system works well in this setting. By highlighting certain areas, it streamlines the experience allowing the story to flow rather than getting stuck for hours when you either can’t find object A or you don’t make the connection. The one downside is it can feel slightly jolty having to haul yourself from one side of the school to the other. This does occur often as you suddenly find the item you’ve been searching for but overall, I felt it didn’t detract from the game. This is a point-and-click adventure game at its core, find item A that works with B and outcome C will occur. It’s a simple mechanic that is well worn in the world of adventure gaming. If you are used to the genre you will breeze through the gameplay and be able to focus in on the story as this game has decided to avoid the mind-taxing puzzles that you would find in games like Grim Fandango in favor of more beginner friendly ones. Though I would have liked more of a challenge, the intricate story and astonishing environment kept me firmly on track for the six-hour run time and brought me back for a second run. What I love is how VR and the proven team at From Software have taken this classical (some may say old) style of gameplay and elevated it to something new with the ability to be fully immersed into this fantastical world. 9/10 Coffee received a copy of Déraciné for review.
  14. NZ gaming and pop culture site CultureJam is giving away a PS4 or an XB1 with Read Dead Redemption 2, and some sweet runner up prizes. Jump over using the below links and enter every way you can, so some NZGC members can get some sweet sweet stuff. https://culturejam.co.nz/win-big-this-xmas-with-culturejam-and-pricespy/ https://culturejam.co.nz/win-big-this-xmas-with-culturejam-and-pricespy/
  15. The idea of jumping late into an iterative series of games can be daunting and in the past has been part of the justification of why I have personally not explored certain games. Fortunately, Warriors Orochi 4 allays my fears by warmly welcoming newcomers with a fast paced, crash course to the Warriors’ series that allows you to explore as much and as little of the world of Orochi as you wish whilst stacking up one massive hit combo. As a newcomer to the whole Warriors series, the aspect I feared the most was the story. Having three prior games in the series with a whole wealth of games from the initial Samurai and dynasty Warriors progenitors, I was fearful that I would be left clueless about the narrative, adrift in a sea of characters that I new nothing about, hacking n’ slashing through battlefields with no true understanding of the goal. Fortunately, the writing team lead by Yoshitaka Murayama have crafted an engaging tale that skillfully introduces people to the characters and history of Orochi, whilst binding classical Eastern Asian charters to Greek/Norse mythology. I was initially was skeptical of how they were going to clash these completely different worlds together but was genuinely intrigued by the winding plot, filled with alliance changes and surprise twists. Zeus brings groups of historical Japanese and Chinese warriors to another world where you win allies along your quest to find his nefarious reasoning . Though like Game of Thrones it’s easy to forget certain characters apart from your favorites the overall story is strong. For those of you who don’t like blocks of text for story exploration be warned, there is a lot of it in this game both in the main storyline and in the optional load screens. Fortunately, it can be skipped for the most part. Each of 70 levels in the main campaign is between 10-20 minutes long and consists of you taking your team of three elite warriors though a map wiping out hordes of minions whilst targeting enemy officers until you unlock your way to the final goal whether this is a boss or an escape point. Though this can sound a little repetitive it’s made more interesting as there are convoluted paths across the battlefields, multiple fronts that allies are battling that you need to bolster an almost endless ambushes and reinforcement. The game constantly keeps you on your toes by turning the tides of battle. For extra loot at the end of each level there are optional extra goals such as defeating certain enemies within time frames or not allowing certain allies to get defeated. The levels gallop by at an awesome tempo charged by some great techno and rock music. On normal mode you are godlike parting armies like Moses and the Red sea where the normal soldiers will barely touch you. I found it a bit too easy at this level and strongly recommend aiming for the harder modes, which reward you with greater challenges or loot. Your warrior has a multitude of attacks to use in their path to conquest. You have standard, musou, magical and union attacks to name a few. Musou attacks are powerful attacks unleashed after charging a two tier musou meter. Magical attacks are bestowed by sacred treasures with are elementally charged. What I enjoyed about the system was how well these worked together and complimented each other. The system allows instantaneous switching between characters allowing you to combine their skills to create maximum carnage. For instance utilising a crowd control character to bring everyone together using a vortex like attack to switch to a powerful magical character to obliterate the harvested minions works perfectly and the game encourages you to find such combinations in order to beat the level at the higher ranks. Warriors of Orochi 4 won a Guinness world record for the number of playable characters (170) and though this may sound great to some this raised multiple concerns for me prior to playing the game. Choosing my ideal team, ensuring even character progression and a lack of character depth were all potential issues with such a massive, unfamiliar ensemble cast. For the most part Tecmo has done an admirable job of dealing with those concerns with implementation of a mock battle system, character tit bits and a well-realized progression system. The mock battle system is a quick, painless way to explore multiple characters attributes and abilities before risking them in battle. Tecmo make it easy to slot forgotten or new characters back into your team due to the encompassing progression system. Active characters not only gain EXP but also a stockpile of growth points that can be used to level up any characters without the sometimes tedious requirement to go back through old levels. I was surprised at how smoothly this played on the Switch; even with swarms of enemies being torched by my magic boar there was no noticeable slowdown. Granted the faces of the multitude of enemies are a little bland and the scenery blocky in places but this is hardly noticed as you are swept up in the tides of war. The short runtime of individual battles was great for my commute and I kept finding time to squeeze in an extra game in order to try get the elusive S Rank battle grading. Putting aside the huge cast of characters and the long lineage of the game, you will find a fun action battle game that is easy to pick up to play in both small or long sitting that is ideally suited to the Nintendo Switch. I am unable to comment on how different this instalment is from its progenitors but as a standalone its a great game thats well worth your time. 8/10 Coffee received a copy of Warriors Orochi 4 for review.
  16. In the Summer of 1926 H. P. Lovecraft wrote the story The Call of Cthulhu and two years later in 1928 he unleashed it upon the world. The tale is a rather simple transcribing of notes about a statue which leads into investigation to cult worshiping the titular god; this then lead to an entire shared universe called The Cthulhu Mythos. Like many pulp authors of the time his popularity waned with the times leaving The Myth to slumber until the 60’s wherein it began to stir and infect the minds of the masses. Growing up I had a vague idea who Lovecraft was but it wasn’t until 2007 that I begun to submit my mind The Great One when a mysterious trailer for a movie (which later turned out to be Cloverfield) left the Interwebs arguing over whether or not the movie was about a lion, Voltron or Cthulhu. Since then he has dominated Pop Culture from South Park to this years Tree house of Horror, hell even before all this bands like Metallica and Black Sabbath were singing their praises about the Mythos. Now in 2018 I am presented with the gift of reviewing Call of Cthulhu based on the tabletop game of the same name (Arkham Horror in some later editions) and developed by Cyanide Studio. In Call of Cthulhu you play as Private Investigator Edward Pierce a World War I vet who in risk of losing his P.I. licence takes a case on Darkwater Island regarding the odd circumstances in which the Hawkins family perished in a fire. Call of Cthulhu wastes zero time in getting you where you need to be after setting up your characters statistics you get on a boat and are off to Darkwater. The bulk of the game is centered around investigation and to aid your character in that you have 6 skills in which you can invest Character Points; Eloquence, Strength, Psychology, Investigation, Spot Hidden, Occult and Medical. This system allows you to discover and investigate how you want to, if your strength is high enough you can TRY to intimidate some or force objects alternatively you may want to talk your way out of it and TRY some eloquence. I say try because it is just that, you may have the necessary C.P. in order to do that but since this is based on a tabletop RPG the game will roll some good ole RNG dice to see if it has worked out. Upon learning certain occult dealings the game really got under my skin and I ended up throwing my controller across the room in scary moment. Another flip side to this is just how it will impact the characters you interact with, early on in the game trying to be eloquent with the local fisherman will often alienate them as they aren’t a fan of the big words you use. As you investigate you will find certain things depending on your choices on how to do things and where you look, the more you find the more dialogue options will open up allow you to get closer to the truth. Call of Cthulhu will have you spending a good 90% of your time investigating even during stealth sections while avoiding monsters you will still need to keep on your toes to find all the information you can to help you move forward but the game does this with a huge warning; how much knowledge is too much knowledge? Being a detective Edward Pierce is a man based on fact. Being a WWI vet Edward Pierce is a man with many scars. These small aspects of backstory are incorporated into the game mechanics in a sly way, your sanity. Being trapped in small places gives you panic attacks, dealing with supernatural entities freaks you right out and facing a cosmological god… I bet you can imagine. So, throughout the game you will have to keep an eye on a bunch of different sanity meters which just like your C.P. can allow you to see different things and open up different dialogue options. Are you cray cray enough to drop down the rabbit or are you too sane to get the answer that lies at the bottom? Again you must beware as both come with a price. I am a zombie who loves him some Lovecraft and The Cthulhu Mythos in particular so it is with a slightly heavy heart that I say Call of Cthulhu is a hard game to recommend for everyone. The first two acts are really good, near brilliant even despite some less than stellar voice syncing. Unfortunately the last act falls to pieces in a sense that could very well leave the player scratching their head unless they discovered the right things and put the time in to put it all together. The game is at its best when it’s unsettling while messing with your mind leaving you unsure if that the creature in that flash of lightening was there or if it is just your mind playing tricks on you. If you want a game that doesn’t hold your hand, leaves it up to the player how they want to play and what they want to get out of it I say submit and become what the voices are telling you. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn. In his house at R’yleh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming. Zombie was provided with a review copy of Call of Cthulhu.
  17. Possession is nine tenths of the law I have my father to blame for my love of adventure games. He was the one who introduced me to the self-depreciating humor or Guybrush Threepwood in Monkey Island and the comedic calamity exhibited by Rincewind in the Discworld series. Because of this when I heard of Flipping death, an adventure platforming game that stirred memories of another great, Grim Fandango, I couldn’t wait to delve deeper. There are many interpretations of what occurs once you slip off the mortal coil depending on your beliefs but for Penny of the recently deceased things are not what she expected. You see poor Death is a bit knackered after centuries of guiding souls to their resting place and needs to take a break, so given a comedic set of circumstances Penny is given the temp job of being the Grimm Reaper. You’re tasked with the duty of solving the real-life problems that are anchoring the ghosts in limbo so that they can move on. For anyone who played Zoinks’ amazing Stick it to the Man, you will instantly recognize the cartoony, zany and exaggerated art style that is implemented here. The game is essentially 2d but objects in the background hint at the mirrored worlds of the living and the dead. Flatwork peaks is a weird and wonderful town of eclectic characters both living and deceased that opens up further and further as the chapters progress. Though I found the living world to be pleasantly bizarre, like something out of a Roald Dahl novel, I prefer the world of the dead with buildings coming alive trying to eat you and the humorous spectral inhabitants. Given the titular mechanic you are able to flip between these worlds in order to solve puzzles by possessing the living. The mechanics of the game are fairly simple but change contextually. In the land of the dead, Penny can gracefully run, jump and utilize the scythe warp to get to new heights. It’s unchallenging platforming but the focus here is the story. In the real world whomever Penny possesses handles aptly like a puppet was being dragged around on strings. Each of these characters having their own special ability that allows you to progress through the crazily logical puzzles to reach a comical goal. The warping I found a bit tricky as you have to throw the scythe and then click to order to warp to wear the scythe is on its arc. This often led me to being thrown in random directions before I got the hang of it just like I imagine a real temp would do. The game is laid out in chapters that have humorously narrated introductions in which you must help at least one ghost to successfully complete their unfinished task. Each one of these fantastical ghosts has a backstory that you’re able to play through during well-created rerun sections. These are hilarious, and my favorite was either the witch who had to remind me that it was hard to think straight as her head was perpetually on fire or the superhero who had a vicious run in with a laser. Once the main story is complete, you can utilize chapter select to clean up any side quests that you may have missed but the overall experience clocks in at around 6-7 hours. I definitely recommend a second play through to appreciate the in jokes and nuances because with Flipping Death, Zoink have crafted a comical gem. As judge once said, ‘Death is no way to make a living’ but it can certainly make a decent temp job. 8/10 Coffee received a review copy of the game
  18. The Metal Max series of games was a complete mystery prior to me playing the latest installment. The series has been around for 27 years and produced 14 games (Including the Metal Saga games). How could a whole series of RPG games where you get to play as tanks in a post apocalyptic, monster filled world skip my attention for all these years? Well part of the reason behind this is that until this year only one of these games has been released in the western market…on PS2…to a lukewarm reception. When up against the likes of Rogue Galaxy, Kingdom hearts 2 and sandwiched between Final Fantasy X and XII you can see how this title was lost into the ether. With Metal Max Xeno, published and developed by Kodokawa games they aim to take a second shot at the western market. The game takes place in the desolated Tokyo bay where there has been a machine led apocalypse in the vain of Horizon Zero dawn (or the Matrix for you movie goers) and only a handful of humans are left trying to survive. You take control initially of Talin, a half man, half machine hunter who is out for revenge against machines (called SoNs) that murdered his mother. Soon you team up with the crew of the Iron base, a lone outpost where you regenerate and repair your tanks, and take on the desolate wasteland. Sounds interesting? Well not quite. Graphically this is certainly no Final Fantasy 15, character animations are straight out of the PS2 era, their motions are very jilted and with very limited expression. This is forgivable as not all games have a motion capture budget like Rockstar but what isn’t forgivable is the dire environments. When you’re in tank, sand and a lifeless desert surround you. There are limited focal points and those, which are visible, are blocky and unimaginative. I found myself getting stuck repetitively against barriers that weren’t even there. This still came as a pleasant relief to the inane boredom generated by the forced on foot sections. Scattered around the map these areas are essentially deliberate time thieves aimed at artificially prolonging the game. They are trite, dark and repetitive corridors of almost identical terrain with absolutely no redeeming visuals. Copy and paste multiple times with treasure chests, which attempt to lure you forward, multiple monster encounters and you have the on foot sections. I recognize this as an RPG staple for game prolongation but the blazon laziness exhibited in its application here is mind-blowing. The redeeming factor could have been the story but unfortunately this is found wanting too. The familiar tale of machines becoming sentient and turning on mankind is a well-trodden road and Metal Max doesn’t bring anything new. I just didn’t care for the plights of my characters with their stories as wooden as their animations. There seemed to be a preoccupation with sexual themes, with the pressured dialogue around sex and repopulating the earth being poorly done and rather disturbing. Further to this, the attempts to add little time capsules of the catastrophic event are poorly realized and I found myself just brushing past them towards the end of my play through. For all of its faults the RPG and Battle mechanics are sound. The fights are turn based and allow you to jump out of your tanks to perform character specific special moves. There are deep and varied customization options for all of your tanks in the main hub of Iron Base, which evolves as you get more and more knowledge from exploring the outside world. I really enjoyed pimping my tank with tropical colors before putting ludicrously overpowered weapons on it. It made a significant difference to my success in battles and was one of the few additional options that I enjoyed undertaking. Your characters set-ups are also customizable but essentially I preferred just avoiding battles on foot. The enemies that you encounter are highly imaginative and often humorous in there depiction. Metal Max Xeno feels like a poor remaster of a decent PS2 era RPG albeit with all the faults and none of the modern RPG benefits. The decent battle mechanics and customizable tanks cannot make up for the lack of an engaging story, poor design choices and general laziness in presentation. It’s hard to recommend this game to any but the diehard fans of the series. 5/10 Coffee received a review copy of this game
  19. The Last Remnant Remastered has been announced for PS4 to come this December. Check out the trailer and blurb below for more info. Square Enix Ltd., today announced that THE LAST REMNANT™ Remastered will arrive on PlayStation® for the first time this December, now fully remastered for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system. To watch the THE LAST REMNANT Remastered Teaser Trailer, visit: https://youtu.be/sebiun6-doY Originally released in 2008, THE LAST REMNANT captured the hearts and minds of gamers with its enthralling story, countless characters and intricate battle system. THE LAST REMNANT Remastered features beautifully enhanced graphics enabled by Unreal®Engine 4, allowing for a more immersive and captivating adventure than ever before. THE LAST REMNANT Remastered tells the story of a world filled with Remnants — ancient artefacts that grant mysterious power to its wielders, changing the world’s balance and leading to an era of countless frays between those who ruled, and those who obeyed. Within this war-torn fantasy world, players will follow the journey of a young man who is determined to uncover the truth. THE LAST REMNANT Remastered will be available digitally for the PlayStation®4 system on the 6th December 2018.
  20. Since 2004’s Spider-Man 2 on the PlayStation 2, gamers have been clamouring for another truely great Spider-Man game. With the release of Marvel’s Spider-Man from Insomniac Games I believe we may finally have it. You’re thrown in to an established world in which Spider-Man has already been fighting crime for the last 8 years. Peter Parker is no longer a teenager. He’s graduated college and even has a real job that doesn’t involve swinging around in tights. The plot revolves around the mysterious Mr Negative, who has a vendetta against one of New York’s highest profile citizens and doesn’t mind plunging the city into chaos in order to fulfil it. This leads to some adrenaline filled action sequences which are expertly interspersed with more relaxed moments to allow the heavier story beats to really make an impact. The action kicks off almost immediately, with the first mission serving as a tutorial of sorts. The game does an excellent job of slowly teaching the mechanics without throwing too much at you all at once. This grants an opportunity to get to grips with the myriad of moves, abilities, gadgets and upgrades available to use for dispatching enemies and traversing your environment. As you level up you also gain the ability to craft many different Spidey suits, most of which come equipped with their own unique suit power. Once unlocked, these can be used in conjunction with any of your favourite outfits, allowing a level of customisation to your own personal play style. There will always be the unavoidable comparisons to the Batman Arkham series when it comes to the combat, but Marvels’ Spider-Man adds enough variety to establish its own identity. Enemy encounters are nicely balanced and provide a decent challenge without feeling frustrating. Once you find your rhythm and start to string together different combinations of attacks it becomes extremely satisfying disposing of Spider-Man’s foes. When not completing story missions there are a multitude of collectibles, side missions, mini games and challenges to complete. Despite some repetition in the tasks these never feel like a chore as just swinging your way around the city is such an absolute delight. As a result you may find yourself spending hours just patrolling the city as the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, collecting backpacks, taking photographs of New York City landmarks and enjoying the references to other Marvel properties scattered throughout. The open world environment is gorgeous and looks spectacular, especially during night time sequences or when the sun is setting. Marvel’s Spider-Man is just a sheer joy to play from start to finish. The characters and writing are excellent, the story has some unexpected emotional surprises and great little snippets of humour. Insomniac have excelled in delivering an amazing experience that will keep you enthralled for hours. Platform: PlayStation 4 Release Date September 7, 2018 Score: 9.5/10
  21. Winter has set in. The snow has dumped down making travel impossible. My supplies are dwindling. The wolves have started circling. Those who I sent out to find something, anything, have yet to return and I fear the worst may have happened to them. The day before last an other survivalist stumbled upon us wanted the last of our meager supplies, he is no longer with the living. We try cannibalism in the morning. Well that was what happened during one play through of the new PlayStation 4 title Frost which is deck building game in which you try to survive a winter like those of European Ancestors. If you have never played or heard the term deck building game before do not let it deter you from the game as it is all rather simple. The core premise is simple, you start with a small deck of cards at around 12 and each turn you deal a hand of them while the game will have its own decks and be dealing its own cards effect lively playing itself. In the case of frost your cards range from simple supplies to food and materials to weapons and other survivors. The aim of the game is to beat the frost from killing you and make it to your destination, simple right? Well no, not quite. Yes the the gameplay is simple and straight forward with the goal of each hand being to save ‘X’ amount of supplies like 3 fruit, 1 material and 4 survivors. The games goal is to stop you doing this through event cards some good some not so good like the aforementioned survivalist and wolves which require a weapon to defeat or goods to be traded with. During each hand you also get up to 5 idea cards which range from creating weapons, cannibalism and training birds to hunt out extra resources. This all comes to ahead with how you play, do you spend some of your precious materials to build some spears to fend of wolves, spend it on creating something like binoculars allowing you to peek at upcoming events or do you save them for an upcoming turn as you never know what will happen and what you will need. Then you have other survivors who can be sent out once per turn to gather resources and supplies but they may not return with anything or not return at all. If you are unable to pay the allotted supplies you can draw a new hand at the cost of allowing the frost to catch up on you, with a maximum of staying 8 turns ahead. The kicker is that this game will kick your ass and deliver you gut punches when your destination is in sight. Luck plays an important part and if you don’t believe in the heart of the cards they can easily turn on you taking away your 8 turn lead in the blink of an eye. While this is maybe disheartening you are always rewarded with new cards to add to your deck or new game modes with different objectives which always feel rewarding. New cards can instantly change the tide of the game granting you bonuses and perks instantly filling you with a fighting spirit against the frost. Games play quick which helps with this immensely as you never feel dragged down by a late game loss the game instead prefers to fill you with a one more try attitude. Frost is great game to dive into the world of deck building games with its simple yet effect gameplay, easy yet challenging difficulty and simple to navigate controls. The developers have nailed the less is more approach from story to graphics granting a game that succeeds in risk vs reward gameplay. This is a fight for survival I can highly recommend getting behind Zombie was provided with a review copy of Frost.
  22. The PlayStation 4 Exclusive fighting game featuring horror based characters from myth and legend gets a release date.
  23. 2005 was a mammoth year for Zombie, it was his last year of school (since he wasn’t allowed back to finish it the following year), Batman Begins came out reigniting his love of the Caped Crusader, he met Alanah who looked stunning in heels, fishnets and duck mask but I’m not going to explain that it’s my own personal business. Not only was 2005 a big year for Zombie but it was also a huge year for Gaming where Titans came out swinging and taking no prisoners. Resident Evil 4, Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Tekken 5, Devil May Cry 3, God of War, Spider-Man 2, Guitar Hero and Dragon Ball Z: Sagas Kingdom Hearts II. One game that was released during 2005 was Rogue Galaxy, unfortunately its original release was only in Japan leaving the rest of the world waiting until 2007. In it’s native Japan Rogue Galaxy was good seller, it’s worldwide release however didn’t fare so well with the release of the Playstation 3 many late entries into the Playstation 2 library such as Rogue Galaxy were easily overlooked. It wasn’t until I found a copy on the cheap in a store that I had deja vu and was struck with an ‘awww yeah’ moment and brought it home to get stuck into. Now that it has been re-released on the Playstation 4 and is more accessible to all I thought it’d be a perfect time to take a second third fourth look I have played this game a lot alright! Rogue Galaxy is a JRPG in which you take the role of Jaster who after a case of mistaken identity gets wrapped up with a band of misfits and pirates on the Dorgenark who seek a treasure which may just lead to them saving the world. Yes it’s cliche checking every box in the JRPG checklist resulting in a melodramatic space faring tale where you team up with a Dogman, whingy lizard and a toad who eats weapons but if it ain’t broke. Combat is smooth and functional each character has a melee and ranged weapon, as well as a bunch of special moves when they really need to bring the pain. Bringing the pain is something that this game does truly well being brutal at times with constant difficulty spikes that will keep you on your toes. Each characters HP maxes out at 999 while the common enemy can easy deal 300 damage a hit, if you do some math that gives you 4 hits before a game over and that’s just the standard beasts you encounter. This is made easier through customized partner AI which for the time was pretty spot on, nine times out of ten they will either rush in or stand back constantly attack, that other one time they can be found open jawed, drooling and staring at the sky. Two systems Level-5 have put into place (taken from their previous efforts Dark Cloud and Dark Chronicle) are the Frog Log and Revelation Flow systems. Early on in the game you encounter a toad who can eat two weapons and combine them into new better weapons allowing for experimentation and a constant source of new stronger weapons to keep up with the stronger monsters you end up facing. Meanwhile the game features the Revelation Flow for each character which is basically a map in which you can place items you have collected upon your journey in order to teach your character’s new skills and abilities. The Revelation Flow charts allow your characters to gain new powers like enhanced melee or boosting the parties attack to the simple yet vital defenses, HP and resistances. If you dislike item farming in a game then this isn’t for you, a lot of the items you need to get abilities are rare and you don’t need just one or two, often you will need between 15-20 and you will need to start farming early. On the first world you get to visit you can collect 3 Star Earrings to learn some BASIC moves for 2 of the 3 party members you have, these can be collected from only 2 types of enemies one which has 1% chance of appearing and and a 1% chance of dropping it. But that’s ok though because the other beast that drops them appears 15% of the time and has a 4% chance to drop the item. You can spend hours days looking for items, hell I once spent 10 hours trying to get 8 of one kind of item and only ended up with 6. I could be here all day telling you about this game, you get a factory to make items (which can require more farming for items to put into it), the ruins you get to investigate, the beautiful CGI cut scenes which still look outstanding and the story which spirals out and before closing in on a rush to finish out the game. There is so much going on with and in this game that covering it all in a review isn’t easy as no matter what I said I would miss things. Is Rogue Galaxy perfect? No. Is it worth the 70 odd hours you can spend within it? Hell yes. Rogue Galaxy isn’t a game that is about the destination, it is all about the journey. The music, themes, character arcs all represent this and it sits at the games emotional core. While a psychical copy on the Playstation 2 can cost a pretty penny these days it is easy enough to grab on the PSN Store complete with trophy support. If you like JRPG’s or Level-5 the guys behind Nino Kuni and Dragon Quest VIII & IX then pick it up and join the pirate crew of the Dorgenark.
  24. Some of you out there may be too young to recall a time in the Internets puberty where sites like Miniclip were all the rage and the countless hybrids of action/adventure/arcade/puzzlers that filled these gaming sites to the brim. Sure they are still out there but with smart phones and ease of accessibility for anyone to make a game, they have evolved into different natured beasts of the tower defence and match 3 variety. Enter Mugsters which just may fill that nostalgia induced void of mid naughties puzzlers. What exactly is this? That was the first question I asked myself 30 minutes into the game that greeted me with absolutely no information about itself what-so-ever. I had some idea of what to expect as I had viewed a trailer that was vibrant and full of energy, the game however presented me with an orange desert, a house, a bunch of roller-coasters and several buttons. After running around an hauntingly empty map and fiddling with some weighty controls I entered the first level through a giant green button on the ground. Here came a flash of information, 4 types of objectives; complete the main object (which I am still not too sure what exactly that is other than escape the Island), collect ‘x’ amount of crystals, save ‘x’ amount of humans and destroy or set up ‘x’ amount of things. Being thrown into the deep end of Mugsters forces a bit of trial and error, what can I punch? Is that a safe way to blow up a tube containing a human? What does this do? Which vehicle does what? In this respect Mugsters is a fun wee playground that is completely reminiscent of those mid naughties puzzler games I use to play until 1 a.m. instead of doing my homework. The game teaches you how to play through cause and effect, this enemy chases me down, this type of terrain collapses, that ship takes me all the way back to the beginning of the Island etc. This also applies to the the things you are collecting like the crystals you see them get put in use and each human takes a seat on the roller-coaster waiting to be transported off when it becomes full. One aspect of Mugsters I wish they used more are it’s graphics, it’s backgrounds are truly beautiful looking game with an interesting pallet of colours and the way shapes are used that it makes the standard looking fences, hills and other standard objects look dull in comparison. Not to say it is an ugly looking game but there is only so much red on range and light blue on dark blue that can be used before it all begins to look samey. Mugsters greatest weakness, as with its use of colours, is longevity. The more I played, the more it all began to feel like a chore. What started out as a blast ended up with Zombie just going through the motions of fiddling with those weighty controls and fighting with a camera for the best spot see what was going on. Vehicles that were fun to spin around and run over aliens in had now just become pain in the ass dealing with because of annoying controls making it harder than it should be to hit switches or the way that they keep rolling randomly after you have left them deactiving a switch leaving you stuck with no choice but to start from the beginning. Mugster is in no way a bad game and in the beginning was a blast that took me back to a simpler time. If you are looking for a game to kill some time while waiting on an update or download you could do a lot worse than Mugsters as it is perfect for sporadic play. However if you are looking for a new arcade puzzler to take you out of this world you may want to skip this as the time is this Invasions greatest enemy. Zombie was provided with a review copy of Mugsters.
  25. Reverie is an action-adventure game developed by locals boys at a small indie studio in Auckland known as Rainbite. The game itself focuses on a young lad, Tai, going to visit his Grand Parents on the fictional Island of Toromi off the coast of New Zealand for the School Holidays. It’s a very simple premise but entirely believable way to be put into the shoes of our protagonist, I’m sure I am not the only one who spent many a Holiday away with the Grand Parents. The game wastes no time in setting the scene as you are told how Toromi came to be in a flashback showing just how Maui Heke fished it from the sea and is now in turmoil as the Island around you shakes. Just like that you collect the mighty cricket bat and are given free reign of most of the island to uncover just what is going on and how to fix it. You’re welcome. Maori design and culture plays a big part of the game from the Islands backstory through to names and creature design. Reverie is a New Zealand game and it isn’t afraid to let you know that from New Zealand and Maori flags in the main town to talking kiwis and many Easter eggs to uncover all screaming out it’s New Zealand identity. The games map itself will have you venturing through a tiki tour highlight of New Zealand’s beautiful scenery witnessing Beaches, bushes and lakes, oh my. Like other top down adventure games of Reverie’s ilk you will be limited at first as you will need a certain item to solve a puzzle or cross a certain type of terrain. Much like the introduction to the game these items come at you in a quick rhythmic pace ensuring that no location or dungeon ever becomes too tedious. Unfortunately most of the dungeons tend to look and play out the same with standard variations on the same puzzle so once you have encountered it and worked it out in the first dungeon you will rarely get stumped in the proceeding dungeons. Another common flaw shared with top down adventures games is the over reliance on the same handful of items, the inventory in this game is a large considering the amount of items within it. Many of which are optional like health packs cleverly displayed as chips and L&P but I never needed to carry them as the amount of pizza you get in each dungeon is absurd and will mostly go to waste. You can also purchase some wheel shoes for a burst of speed in one direction and will have the odd item only used once or twice to solve a puzzle or allow you access to somewhere new. Reverie is also a very short game clocking in at just over 3 hours for me which could easily be done in half the time the flip side to this short play time is that none of it feels wasted. The pacing in this game is fantastic no boss felt overly complicate with patterns that were recognizable and a map that was straight forward to navigate but with enough nooks and crannies to explore. All in all Rainbite have crafted an open love letter not only to the genre of top down action adventure games, but also New Zealand as a whole. Reverie is a charming, often funny, little indie title that is well worth picking up and diving into, even if you aren’t a fan of this style of gameplay Reverie just may change your mind.
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