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  1. I’m about two hours into this on the Switch. I’ve been playing the main game, haven’t tried the visual novel prequel thing yet. But I’ll probably play them concurrently. The game takes a few twists and turns early on, but nothing overly dramatic. So far, typical jrpg opening (as jrpg stories go). The combat is quite unique though. Enemies have elemental types and during battles there is an elemental field, which, depending on the elemental spells used causes certain elements to get stronger and the opposite type weaker. For example blue and red (water and fire) are opposites. If you use a blue elemental spell, the blue area of the elemental field (this is shown on the screen) will grow larger, and blue spells will become stronger and red spells weaker. One interesting tactic connected to this is when fighting enemies of different element types, their spells can antagonise each other, which can affect the order in which you might want to take them down. In addition to that, when you do a normal attack, you can choose between weak, medium and strong. Weak attacks have high accuracy and strong attacks low accuracy. Every hit that connects raises the accuracy of subsequent attacks. It’s up to you how you choose to string combos together. There’s more to combat than that but those are just a couple of interesting points.
  2. I played this on game pass, having tried the demo during one of those Steam events and liking it. Beacon Pines is a cutesy storybook adventure with darker undertones. The big conceit is you find "charms" through talking to characters, looking at things in the environment or overhearing other characters etc. At certain points in the story you're presented with the option of choosing from 2-3 of these charms to decide what action take in that situation. The story branches off according to the choice you make, you might die a grizzly death or head off on a completely different version of the story. You can go back to any of these branches and try the other options, sometimes you'll find another charm down one branch that lets you make a different choice in an earlier decision. The branching thing is more superficial in the end than how the game initially presents it to you, you end up exploring most of the decisions on the way to getting the ending anyway, but it's fun and engaging. It's about 5 hours or so in length, which is just right. It doesn't overstay it's welcome. The presentation and art style are top notch.
  3. radiofloyd

    Toem

    I’m about an hour into this on Switch. It has the same kind of relaxing vibe as A Short Hike, although I would not say it’s as good as that game, so far. The art style reminds me of Hidden Folks. The game is literally just you running around taking pictures for people. It’s very pleasant, although for Eurogamer to call this “essential” is stretching the meaning of essential…
  4. I have very mixed feelings about this. I love the feeling of adventure, of not knowing what's down the road and if you'll be able survive. It's brilliant when you do overcome the odds and press on after a tough battle. The combat system is great with loads of customisation on offer, you're even encouraged to change class altogether. The Pawn system works really well, being able to hire and fire helpers and changing the composition of your group entirely as the situation demands. Despite all the good bits, the game so far has felt as though i'm playing the middle portion of an RPG where i'm clearing up fluff quests just to pad out the leveling process. There's been no gravitas or urgency to the quests so it's difficult to differentiate between the story and side quests. Things like not having fast travel I can understand why they left out even though it's annoying to have to walk to the same places over and over. I'm surprised more games don't use the MMO style flight paths to get around. You still get to where you're going quicker but you have to travel to a specific place, rather than just magically teleporting everywhere. It's a happy medium between the two. There's other things which are pretty minor and affect my enjoyment more than they probably should. For instance, why did they overlook mini-map markers for people who have something to say? It's incredibly frustrating having to run around looking for colored speech bubbles above NPCs heads. Likewise with the Pawns. As good as the system is it grates when in combat and you're unable to issue commands for something as simple as a weapon buff - the option just doesn't exist. Most of the time you just have to wait for them to apply the correct buff which is very frustrating against the larger enemies. For all it's issues, there are times when this incredible game shines through, and that's what makes it worth playing. I just wish it was more consistent.
  5. I'm pretty sure the venn diagram of this forum and this particular game is just two completely separate circles situated three miles from one another. However, I'm nothing if not weird in my game choices, so let's talk about it anyway. This is Animal Crossing meets Kingdom Hearts as far as I'm concerned. The Magic Kingdom has been taken over by a weird darkness (which also has the side effect of making famous Disney characters lose their memories), and it's up to you to cast out the darkness, visit different characters and restore Disney to its former glory. You do this by completing various tasks , whether that's finding Goofy's fishing rod, setting up Scrooge McDuck's store signs (more on him in a minute) or simply by planting and harvesting different crops. So. Mr McDuck. The Scottish, money-swimming capitalist. He's Tom Nook. Buying/upgrading stores or buying clothes and decorations all goes through him. And his prices are just as disgraceful as Animal Crossing's awful banker. I've paid him to make a little store for Goofy (and subsequently upgrade said store). I've paid him to build his own store, and then spent MORE money in there. And it seems he exists solely to leech from my wallet. At least he's true to character, I suppose. It seems to have a lot more focus than AC right now. While I've never played it, my understanding of AC is that you don't really have a specific goal list where you can change your tasks and set new ones. This has an actual focussed goal list. And while that might mean the end game could end up a bit pointless, Disney have almost a century's worth of content to draw from, so they should have no trouble keeping it interesting. The music is just so. Fucking. Charming. From symphonic takes on Let It Go and How Far I'll Go to the simple When You Wish Upon A Star, there's an awesome little tracklist that rotates, and it gives the game this unique personality that's incredibly sedate. Graphics are... functional. They do the job, but they definitely aren't made to impress. There's tons of character, though. Especially in the Disney character models. My biggest negative, and something that keeps niggling is that the controls feel really loose. It's almost as though your avatar is on a slight delay whenever you press buttons. There's no combat and nothing that needs a huge amount of reaction time, but it's just a little distracting when it looks and feels like you're floating slightly above the floor, rather than actually walking on it. After doing my first batch of goals, I've chosen to go to the Moana-themed level. I've stopped it there, because I started last night when Oscar was in bed and I want him to see it, but it's seemed to worm into my brain already, and I definitely want to see more of what it has to offer.
  6. Played about an hour of this earlier. Dived straight into the casual matches right after the tutorial and having a quick look at the new city hub (which is incredibly well realised and fleshed out compared to Splat 1). Started out with the standard weapon, did OK but not brilliant, so far so Splatoon really, I don't like that they've only got the two maps per 24 hours etc. that they had for Splat 1, I would like them to mix up the maps much more frequently as it gets boring going back to the same maps time after time, I thought the same about 1. But yeah, so far, so Splatoon really, if you played 1 and the testfire of this then you'll probably know what to expect, I've just hit Level 4 so haven't been able to try out any of the new weapons etc. yet, like in the testfire the 'Ultimates' are pretty cool.
  7. I started this earlier and haven’t exactly loved it, it’s decent enough with the combat being the standout, it definitely has promise and I want to dive further in but the presentation is just godawful all over the shop. The menus, graphics, presentation, stilted animation, everything about it just looks like a PS2 game, I actually laughed quite a bit the first time I saw a wolf and they jerked awkwardly across the floor. All the aliasing buzzing about when you walk anywhere and the horrendous menus don’t help matters either. The translation and voice work isn’t fantastic either but the latter I haven’t thought as bad as I originally thought it would be, it is sufficient and does the job but nothing more, there are the occasional bad delivery of lines and things like that bad nothing too egregious. The combat is fantastic, maybe not quite as much strategy to it and more button mashy at this early stage but it’s so damn fun and very DMC/Bayonetta than typical JRPG. It’s just a shame that the environs are so stilted otherwise they’d be beautiful, the island is a unique setting but there’s something about the way the game looks and runs that can’t help but turn me off it. Still very early days though, once I acclimatise to the graphics I’m sure I’ll be fine if the game is good enough, playing handheld it won’t be as noticeable either.
  8. Quoting the kickstarter - "Darkest Dungeon is a challenging gothic roguelike RPG about the psychological stresses of adventuring. Descend at your peril!" Anyway, it was funded for over $300,000 in March 2014, spent a year on Early Access and eventually released in January this year. It's due out on PS4 later in the summer. It got good reviews and and has a "very positive" Steam user rating with around 15,000 votes. I've played it for an hour so far, it's cool. The game is structured like Sunless Sea in that you have a base, a safe haven, where you can buy provisions, recruit new members, take on quests etc etc. You can only set out with a party of four each time, but you can have way more than four people hired. One of the things you can do in the base camp or "hamlet" is assign people to certain activities which will reduce stress (like dread in Sunless Sea). If someone is assigned to an activity, you can't take them with you on your next trip. I'm not going to drone on about the mechanics in the game, but it is pretty similar to Sunless Sea really. Combat is turn based. Your party stands in formation and different characters have a preferred position...it's not what it sounds like. Both yours and the enemies position will affect the range of your attacks. That's all I can say about it so far. I did the introductory quest.
  9. Yep, it’s definitely a Smash game. Played a little bit last night and a couple of hours today. Unlocked Sonic, Inkling and a couple of others I think. Inkling seems really fun, and plays like you’d want a Splatoon character to play. You have an ink meter that will run out as you chuck ink about and you have to turn into an octo to get more back (down and B I think shield and B). Also made a Mii fighter and obviously I’m going for the most ridiculous I can make it so far. So a bear head and maid’s outfit is the current look. The amount of stuff in this game already, how it got made and how expensive it was, I’ll never know.
  10. Ok, so this is awesome. i grew up with the Turtles in the ‘90s. Spent a small fortune on the arcade games. Loved Turtles In Time, which was the second SNES game I ever played. Scrolling beat em ups remain my favourite genre. So I was always going to be all over this. Thankfully, it was totally worth the wait. It looks fantastic, you can tell a lot of love has gone into this. The combat is satisfying, with each character having slightly different moves. If you play through Story mode, you gradually unlock more stuff, such as extra health and lives, and abilities. Each level has 3 challenges, ranging from do-able (kill 3 enemies with a specific move), to “not bloody likely” (don’t get hit once). There’s secrets to find, which help to level up a bit faster. The soundtrack is pretty catchy, and I love that the voice cast for the original series is more or less present and correct. I’ve played a few online sessions, and the net code seems pretty stable, even with 6 players, though that can be a bit chaotic. Fairly easy to get into an online game as well, which is good. Trophy wise, most of them are alright, though there’s a few pretty tough ones. Not sure I’ll manage the Platinum. But I’ll definitely have a fair few online sessions. It’s been scoring pretty high with reviews. And it’s totally justifiable, as it’s so much fun to play.
  11. Probably anther topic doomed to die in solitude, but this is such a unique concept that I wanted to put it out there. I also didn't see much of it in the media space, except for a preview in some magazine a while ago. I usually preface an explanation by saying "this game is a bit like X and has elements of Y" but I really can't do that here because I have never played something similar. It's kind of a dungeon crawler with the setup that people get sucked in some game world where they transform into dice. After that you have to go through multiple floors per level with your character, fight baddies, get to the exist and hopefully collect all the loot in between. 90% of it is combat and here's how I'm going to fail at painting a clear picture of how it plays. Your character has a bunch of actions and a number of dice per turn he/she can use. The dice are rolled and therefore random by nature and actions usually either require or are influenced by the number of the dice. For a strong attack you might need to stack multiple values until you reach the total it needs or if you have an attack that does [ ] damage, the value corresponds to the dice you use to activate it. But that's really just the snowflake on the tip of the iceberg. Some actions require even or odd numbers, or have a minimum or maximum you need to use. Then there are the player characters: the first one is super basic and easy to understand but it can get really complex later on. The robot for example doesn't draw dice, but calculates them on a 11-digit scale. For every time you create one, you're getting closer to the limit and if you exceed it, your turn is basically wasted, so that's a nice risk-reward feature. The witch needs certain values to brew attacks in her cauldron while the tinkerer has a special skill he can freely use, but has to switch it out for a new one after every battle, meaning you can't rely on those powerful moves forever. As borderline impossible it is to explain with words, it actually does an excellent job of teaching you when you play it so there's that at least. So far I quite like it. I don't love it, but it's a unique concept and it's the perfect handheld game, something the Switch unfortunately doesn't offer too often anymore. One run through a dungeon is a 10-15 minute affair, there's barely any loading times, battery usage is minimal due to every just being 2D pictures etc. It's currently on sale and I got it for free through star points but I wouldn't have regretted paying for it.
  12. DANGERMAN

    Cat Quest 2

    I really liked the original Cat Quest. It's an action RPG that takes place on a pretty small map. It gates you by having huge spikes in enemy levels, so if you wander in to the level 15 area at level 6 you're going to get very fucked up. It worked though, despite retreading a lot of old ground it keeps feeding you more, keeps you on the train, and it's not long before you're wrecking previously unkillable enemies The second one is effectively more of the same. This time there's co-op, you can play as a dog too. In single player you can switch between the two with the other character being controlled by the AI. It works, the a.i. is invulnerable so it can deal damage while you back away from enemies to dodge their signposted attacks. It kind of suffers from 2 problems, the first is that it's more of the same. The combat works the same, the progression more or less works the same (I no longer have to stick to landmass). The gear system works the same too, you can find repeats of the same items that will level it up, or you can pay to level it up. This obviously can make a huge difference along with your level as to how much damage you give and take. It's not something you have to be thinking about all the time but it does help The most obvious difference between the two games, and something I'm not sure is either a problem or a benefit, the map is now significantly larger. It still works the same way, going in to certain areas is suicide, but it's more gradual now, there's more space to spend your time in during the lower levels. Equally though it can mean trecking around is a bit more of a slog, when you're hunting for side quests or ticking off the explorable caves, the end game is going to be slower Ultimately if it has a problem it's that it's more of the same. Given that it's now a much bigger and longer game that's probably magnified, but it's still good fun and I'd still recommend it, it's simple, a bit mindless, but that's kind of what I want at the minute
  13. Into the Breach is a game that came from the FTL; Faster than Light guys. Instead of being a grid based real time strategy you can pause and plan out your course of attack, here we're in 3D isometric land where everything is turn based. Also I don't think this is a rogue like, or from what little I've experienced it's not show that hand yet, if it does happen to have some randomness to it. The game plays a little bit like the old turn based war games, if you've played Advance Wars or Fire Emblem you'll feel right at home here. However there are a few differences that sort of make this game unique. The first one is that you only get 3 units. You get a big walking tank that can punch things. You get a standard tank that can fire on anything as long as it has line of sight on the target and you get an artillery that can do indirect fire, helping it arc shots over terrain, but also making it so that it can't attack things directly next to it. So far, so vanilla. The biggest difference is that the way these pieces move and interact with the bad guys that pop up on the map. For instance all the units you have at your disposal can push back enemies a square. This comes in very useful, because if something happens to be in the tile where they would be knocked into, that tiles occupant takes damage as well. Remember this. Another difference is that after each turn the enemies show you directly what they're going to attack. This is where the pushing mobs about the tile set comes important. Sure you could use a tank shell to hit that big enemy up the arse, but that's going to push him right onto the city and give him what he wants anyway. The idea is you read what attack are coming and use this pushing system to save objectives and your own armour. Placing your guys in positions that leads the enemies into grouping up so that you can push them into each other and mountains to hurt them or even get them to attack each other is part of the strategy here. You can also instakill any ground based enemies by pushing them into the water. The final big difference is that the fight you are taking place in only lasts a set number of turns, usually enemies burst from the ground each turn, you are thoroughly outnumbered and the general gist of the game is to survive. You have limited resources and it looks like you're just meant to cling onto the objective before moving onto the next mission. There are sub objectives, some of which say you can kill all of the enemies, but for the most it looks like you'll be keeping the wolves from the door before being whisked off to deal with the next insect eruption. Because of the nature of the skirmishes taking a few minutes before you're moved on it makes an ideal game to play when you've not got much time, I can imagine this being a really good phone game for that reason. Not to say it's without depth because of that, there's going to be plenty of head scratching trying to work out how to smash the fuck out of the attackers without them destroying your buildings and setting everything on fire. It's going to be one of those games that's deceptively simple to grasp but really difficult to master. It's left a good first impressions, maybe not quite as captivating as FTL was when that originally hit, but I think most people will really enjoy it if they're into turn based strategy.
  14. This ain't Banjo... It's been a long, long time since I played an N64 game. There are certain things you forget, that are distinct to that console. "Jank" I believe is the modern term. I don't remember the platforming being as weird as it is here? Perhaps because I was used to how the platform worked regarding 3D jump mechanics at the time. Fast forward to now and it is jarring to say the least. Jumping is precise and quite unforgiving. Ironically, you cast no shadow to judge if you will land on the platform you are aiming for. There was an infuriating little jump early on, along the way to acquiring the Asson that brought out a little frustration. Later exemplified in areas involving death traps and (early game) one-hit KO lava. You have a dodge mechanic. But it doesn't work as smoothly as you might expect, coming into this from the perspective of modern From Soft titles etc The remaster gives us camera control with the second stick. It is both an improvement and not. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the swimming mechanics. The first time I swam in this game. I tapped the action button, as standard and promptly drowned when I couldn't right myself. Later, I discovered the problem and it's solution. You don't use the action button to swim... You use both sticks. Forward on the left stick to move and steer with the right stick. If it sounds like tank controls, it basically is. But being in the water, it does become intuitive quicker. Ultimately my first session went on for about an hour and a half. Collecting four Dark Souls. The second weapon in the Asson and 66 Cadeaux. Quite intrigued to continue at this point.
  15. Started the demo last night. So far I’ve played two levels and there’s another to do, which is I believe a boss level of some kind. Only a small taste of the game obviously, but I’m impressed with it so far. The world is like a cartoony The Last of Us, but still manages to be really colourful and full of vibe with loads of vibrant enemies and characters popping up. The way it plays isn’t anything ground breaking, it’s a relatively of the mill 3D platformer but it’s so jolly and charming that I really didn’t mind. I will say though that it is ridiculously easy so far, a platformer like this you expect this though but I do hope the difficulty ramps up as you get towards the end of the main game. So yeah, so far so good. A lovely, jolly place to be and a really interesting, charming world to explore from my brief first impressions.
  16. I finally started this today and oooooohhhh I love this game you guys. I’ve played maybe 2-3 hours or so and have just reached route 4. I went in to the Wild Area which is their open space for catching and battling Pokemon. I, hmm, I don’t hate it. But it’s also kind of dull. It’s literally just a big open area with nothing to do in it except watch Pokemon spawn out of the grass. You can catch some of them, although some are level 30 and 50 so your options are faint or run. It’s a bit annoying because to escape battles you need to use a Poketoy item which are consumable, but you don’t always know you’re about to encounter a Pokemon too strong for you so I burnt all of my items really quickly and then got knocked out a couple times. It doesn’t cost anything but some money when you get knocked out, but feels a bit unfair. Also just for the first area there were no new Pokemon, only old ones. But they did have some cool ones like Tyrogue and Xatu. But I only use new Pokemon on my first play throughs of new games. Speaking of which, of the ones I’ve seen I quite like so far. I’ve barely caught any because I only want 3 for now so I can’t tell how good they are, but design wise I like, if not love, the small handful that I’ve seen. Some screens below. My guy. I named him Armer, because, y’know, Shield version My current team Where I’m at right now. I still feel like this game is behind in terms of graphics and whatnot but if you zoom out it looks quite nice, and very different to other Pokemon games
  17. I’ve been playing in the online tests which comprises of Tennis, Chambara and Bowling. All of them online only obviously. Firstly it is awesome and controls perfectly. Interestingly there was a joy con update when I booted the game up. The first thing you have to do is place your joy cons on a flat service and that’s them calibrated. Never again do you have to do that or indeed anything else. Chambara has you press X with your weapon forward to start but I think that’s more are you ready? than where’s the stick? Neither Tennis nor bowling needed or has a recal button. Chambara This was more fun than I remembered it being on Wii Sports Resort. I think it’s knowing I just beat a human player rather than an npc. Online is really going to elevate the satisfaction for each game here. One game of this I had I won, drew, lost and then the final round a majority of the stage fell into the water. I was nervous 😅 TENNIS I won’t waste my time telling you what tennis is. It’s unchanged from the original and I’ve not really any idea as to how you’re supposed to be good at it still. BOWLING Here is where the meat of the test was for me. This isn’t just bowling. This is bowling battle royale style, because of course it is. You and many others start out in round one and the bottom so many players (I think 1/3) are eliminated. This happens again in the second round and then there is the final. This whole thing takes place in a bowling alley with with a multitude of lanes all next to each other’s where you can see others bowling in real time. You all have your turns at the same time and within a small time limit so there’s no waiting around for someone that’s popping the kettle on. Loved it.
  18. Duck

    Slay The Spire

    As i kinda explained in the new purchases thread this is rogue-like RPG dungeon crawl/deck builder mash up that is currently in early access. (it's about 12 quid) When start the game you choose from 1 of 3 characters all of which have different perks and attributes, then another perk/gift much like in rogue-likes/Dark Souls/Hearthstone etc. Your aim is to get to the end of the game without dying as it's perma-death. Game over. I think there currently 3 Acts at the moment and in each map you're given a map and have to chose one of 4 starting points at the bottom, with the boss at the top finishing the act. Once you've chosen you get to pick the next step to move along that path... like this.. - Unknown is Unknown . It's a story event. I could end well (with a new passive perk or something) or badly. - Merchant is a shop where you can buy new cards or items. He usually has some sales too. - Treasure is a treasure chest - Rest you have the option to gain some of your heal back or upgrade a card. - Enemy is a enemy. - Elite is like a mini boss. You see this map even before you set off so you can plan a bit. Do i go after that treasure or have a rest on the other path?.. etc Risk/reward, it's cool. Ok, now the turn-based combat. It's all card/item based. Looks like this.. Like Hearthstone/most card based board games, at the start of each turn the player has a certain about points that they can spend to lay cards. This can be modified with other cards/relics as you progress tho. And like Dominion/rogue likes you start off with very basic cards but after every fight you get to choose 1 of 3 cards to add to your 'deck'. So as you are progress and building your deck, your character is getting better. Enemies/bosses drop loot like money which can be spend at the shop or relics which give you a passive ability. Once you've spent you're points, you end the turn and the remaining cards are put into the discard pile. When your draw pile is empty, the discard pile is shuffled and you start again. That's it basically. It's simple but fuck, it's reeeally good. It merges the deck building with the rogue like stuff really nicely. I wish every turn-based RPG had the same combat/deck building loop this has. It's much more approachable and pick up and play than any card-based video game i've played too. Even more so than Hearthstone. But it still does a lot of the things i like about deck builders. So, yeah if you've ever thought of giving a card game a go but were scared off how impenetrable they can be. Then this maybe the gateway drug. Very addictive. Great game, still in early access too so it should only get better.
  19. I'm going to get straight to it. The only way I can describe this game is by saying it's Goat Simulator on coke. The goal of the game is to create enough chaos to get the police on your case. You then defeat said police and cause more destruction until you prompt the next wave of police. You also play as a deer. With a stretchy neck. Who replaces his antlers with guns. And you can end up with 15-20 guns equipped at any time. Oh and the police are sheep. Or polar bears. Or bunnies. Or bunnies driving hippos with laser attachments. There's not much to say about it besides WTF?, but if you're looking for a quick 1000G from Game Pass, this can be knocked out in an afternoon.
  20. Honestly surprised I couldn't find an impressions thread for this, especially considering how fantastic previous entries in the series were. Anyway, I got this (and CTR) in a racing sale on Xbox, mainly because my kid keeps going on about how much he loves playing it on Switch in his mum's, so I thought it'd be a cool way for him to show me something he likes. He bounced off it when he realised I'm better than him. I'm hooked, though. Is it as good as Transformed? God no. But is that familiar Adventure mode that combines traditional races, Grand Prix events and cool little challenges still present and correct? God yes. I'm trying to take down some of the harder achievements. Up to now I have two that less than 1% of people have earned. I don't think it's because the challenges are especially difficult (although there are one or two that I've been stuck on). I think it's probably because tons of parents would have bought this for their kids without realising there are some damn punishing things to take on. I suppose this post would be pointless without a shit sandwich, though, wouldn't it? So here's the filling. It feels so. Damn. Slow. It doesn't matter if you hit a boost plate, use a wisp (more on those in a second), or manage to powerslide into one of those cool Sonic blue boosts as you straighten out of a corner. Nothing feels as fast as it should be. To the point I got irritated and started shouting 'why the fuck are you in a car when you can run faster than this you stupid blue cunt?' Some events give you a boost start. It feels like it moves at about the speed of a geriatric in Tesco on a Tuesday afternoon. A lot of reviews from when it came out said the same thing, and I just don't understand how it can feel this sluggish. Now. The Wisps. These are the Mario Kart-style power ups that these racing games use. The only difference between them is the colours. I haven't noticed any difference in their shapes. So while you're racing it's hard to see what they do, unless you know each one already. This is a pain in the ass when you're neck and neck with that annoying crocodile dude. Final complaint. The best-named Sonic character is nowhere to be seen. Sonic Advance 2's Cream the Rabbit. The joke from Games TM has stuck with me since I read the review all those years ago. "No idea if that's a name or instruction." As the other piece of bread on this poop butty, when you get into a rhythm with each course it's really satisfying. The ring challenges especially. I really like the flow as you move from powerslide to powerslide. Will I get all of the achievements? God no. Will I keep playing until I hit the unattainable goals? God yes.
  21. Team based Metroidvania! This is great! The game begins with the three lead protagonists. Arias the knight, Kyuli the archer and Algus the wizard. All journey to the Tower of Serpents to save their village, wherein it's waters have been poisoned by something in the tower itself. As this is a Metroidvania I can't really quantify it by the in-game clock. But rather map completion. I'm currently around 30% and it doesn't feel like I'm even close to halfway yet. The team based nature of the game comes from the unique abilities of each lead. Kyuli, is both your ranged attacker yet also she has a walk kick to reach higher platforms. Arias is your typical knight protagonist with certain obstructions only he can cut through. There there is Algus - literally the best character in the game (so far). As the magic user, that makes him your pew-pew man. Middle ground in terms of range but, his base strength makes him a better choice in combat than Kyuli. The fact that you can't immediately switch between your characters on the fly, does add to the puzzle element of many rooms. Combat is just as you'd expect from a Metroidvania IE you can die very quickly if you aren't paying attention. Which is wherein this games gimmick comes in. You can level up in this game. The level up system however, only boots up upon death. Your first death is predetermined to introduce you to this idea. After that, you get the gist. Graphics are a lovely retro 8-Bit stylised aesthetic. The sprites, while not entirely devoid of detail. Are colour coded to make up for any deficit. There is something surreal in playing this game on my big modern TV. If you're interested in anything I've mentioned so far, I really recommend giving it a go.
  22. This came out last year sometime and I've only just come across it and I'm a little mad it took me this long to find it because this is a very tasty version of my jam, The title is wild so I've been having a little look at where the game came from and Record Lodoss of War looks to be a series of books that are dramatised versions of real table top RPG games in Japan. Deedlit is a prominent character, a rogue-ish elf lady and Wonder Labyrinth is I suppose a quest in the RPG. They took this stuff and made a Castlevania game, pretty much. But it's a really fun one. The exploring does take more of a backseat and is pretty linear comparatively but the attention is more on the combat and there are so many weird systems in here I find it glorious. Standard melee attacks are very familiar with quite a lot of weapons to find with varying degrees of attack speed, range and power. You have a separate bow where you can adjust angles and shoot in different directions. You have spells that have many different forms of area of effect damage as well as been element based with enemies having strengths and weaknesses. But the really weird one is having two elemental spirits that you switch between to do either fire or wind damage as well as giving you extra mobility abilities; the wind one giving you extra air mobility, essentially letting you levitate, and the fire spirit that gives your slide more distance and invincibility frames. Lots to play with. Also in that spirit switching is some Ikaruga, or more fitting to this, Mousmarque's Outlander. And maybe it's here that things don't quite work as well as it could. It's mostly just because it's hard to read visually. Those games have art to compliment and really draw your eye to that mechanic but here it can be hard to quickly recognise the situation you're in so you do have to be cognisant of the spirit you're rocking. And the game is pretty fast and during the bosses the attack patterns can get intense but when you're in the zone it feels so good. Another aspect, yes there's more, you level up the other spirit to the one you currently have equipped and lose a level to the one you're holding when you take a hit and you max out at level three, and when you're at level three you do more damage and also slowly regain health, which is good because enemies hurt really bad. It's a fascinating set of mechanics which gives the game a pretty intense pace. Maybe it's more stuff than needed but it's a fun puzzle to solve. The rest of the stuff is serviceable at best and feels like it could have been level based and the open map not adding a whole lot but not taking anything away either. The frequent fast travel points stop backtracking from being too much of a problem. And it has some gorgeous pixel art and the music is also a good rendition of that Castlevania style. It's one of those games that wears it's inspiration on its sleeve a lot but it's such an interesting take I've been low key blown away by it. It takes a lot of complex mechanics but still feels so slick to play. I'm playing it on Gamepass and if you have any interest in these kinds of games its definitely worth a look.
  23. Started this earlier, wasn't quite sure what to expect as its been quite some time since I've played a peripheral based rhythm action game but everything I saw from this gave me Donky Konga GCN vibes rather than Guitar Hero/Rock Band vibes so I decided it was different enough and been enough time since my foray into those band-based titles that I'd give this a shot. At £90 it isn't cheap for the drum & game bundle, and then there's lots of DLC to buy on the eShop if you so choose. For your money you get 74 songs which are a mix of Anime soundtracks, storied Bandi-Namco franchises like Ridge Racer, Pac-Man etc. and then there's a few Anime theme tracks along with some K-Pop, some classical music and some Nintendo medleys (my personal favourite being Jump Up Super Star which is just a delight every single time), there's even the theme from Moana on there too - but sung in Japanese. There's two main modes in the game - Taiko Mode and Party mode. Taiko mode just has you playing through the songs on offer in the soundtrack with up to 4 players, you can choose 4 different difficulties in Easy, Normal, Hard and Master and play through the song using the Drum controller. The two main notes are 'Don' and 'Ka' the former uses the face of the drum whereas the latter uses the edge, sometimes you're required to hit both sticks onto the drum at the same time in these big notes (can't remember the name of them now) and when a mallet icon, balloon icon or long yellow bar appears on screen you drum roll as hard as you can for the number of beats required or as long as the yellow bar lasts. Party mode is much stranger. It features a variety of party games like Fireworks, Baseball, Tower Climb, Jump Rope etc. That all have you and 3 others (CPU controlled if you don't have many real life friends interested in playing something like this like myself) competing and racking up some kind of score. I have been pleasantly surprised by how zany some of the mini-games are already but a little disappointed at the same time that you can basically game the system by just drumming repeatedly and pretty much get through most mini-games with a decent score. Still quite a bit of fun and a good workout at times though and it'll be an absolute blast after a few drinks with a bunch of mates I'm sure. The Drum itself is very good quality wise. It's made by HORI and although it's all plastic it feels well put together, my only real complaint with it is that despite the rubber feet it does tend to slip around a bit when you're deep in the middle of a song - the instruction booklet recommends you remedy this with two small water bottles placed in a convenient holder underneath, I've also had a few hits not register early on but that doesn't seem to be so much of an issue now I've broke it in so to speak. The drumsticks as well are made from plastic but have a nice weighty feel and heft to them that makes them feel like they're sturdy and not going to snap or break on you when you're drumming away hard. As this only has a local multiplayer mode and no online this may put some folks off (I believe the PS4 version has an online Ghost Mode) but with all the various difficulty modes in Taiko mode to experiment with, an extensive track list and some bonkers - albeit flawed - minigames to have fun with its a decent package overall. If you're into rhythm games (particularly peripheral based ones) and are looking for one with a lot of charm and depth to its play then I can definitely recommend this wholeheartedly, I do think the drum is essential though as the motion controls are less than ideal from what I've heard.
  24. Noticed this on the recent PSN digital discount sale. I do quite enjoy a rogue like, so thought I’d give it a go. Hades is definitely going to be one of my favourite games of the year. Is this as good as that? Well, it’s enjoyable enough. But I’d say no. The combat is simple enough, with a melee weapon and ranged weapon. You find various different ones during your run, with different buffs. As with any rogue like, death means you lose all your load out. But as you play, you can collect various currencies that can be used to permanently improve your character. There’s also a light/ dark mechanic. You carry a torch, which can be used to light braziers in each area. If you don’t, you take increased damage if you’re hit while in a dark area. As for the Curse in the title, you have a curse bar, that increases with each door of the arena you open. There are healing areas, but cause significant curse if you use them. You can buy new gear during your run with gold, or get cursed instead. Fill your curse bar up to the max, and you get inflicted with a nasty permanent affliction, I’ve had ones that either increase damage taken, or make it so I can’t see what any curses actually do. You can have a maximum of 5 curses, with the game warning that if you hit curse 5, your run is going to be extremely fucked over. There’s a dodge mechanic, which takes up stamina to use. You have 5 stamina, each dodge drains 1 point. If you’re empty, you can’t dodge, and have to wait for it to replenish, Dark Souls style. You can also parry attacks, but I’ve never been any good at that kind of thing. Story wise, there’s pretty much fuck all. In comparison to the cast of Hades, here there’s literally nothing. Unlike Hades, you don’t go through the entire dungeon at once. You start with 3 to choose from, with a boss at the end. I’ve reached boss 1 three times, killed him on my 3rd attempt, and that was the end of my run. It looks like you have to gradually unlock the option to run through to the final boss. It’s decent enough, and I’ll certainly play a fair bit of it. But it’s definitely not in the same league as Hades.
  25. I managed to play a couple of cracking little games on GamePass over the weekend. First up is Superliminal - a cracking little puzzler that I managed to play through in a couple of hours and what a treat this was. It borrows heavily from games such as Portal but by the time you see the achievement for beating the game, it's earned it's place up there with the best of them. The concept is you're someone that's involved in a lucid dreaming experiment and you have 'wake up' in a location that presents you with a series of puzzles based on perspective and your surroundings. It twists these challenges in a way that each never out stays its welcome and the final two levels were sublime. I can't say much more than that to avoid spoiling it (i'd even suggest not watching the trailer) but if you liked Portal/The Witness - that kind of thing, i'd strongly suggest giving it a go. One of the best endings to a game i've seen in a while as well!
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