Code Vein

code vein

For Black Friday this year, I bought myself a game me and a few of my friends have been waiting for. What if you took the beauty and story of a anime and combined it with the gameplay style of a Souls game? Let’s find out.

In Code Vein we awaken as a Remnant in the wake of a brutal vampire war between the Revenants and the Lost., having to piece our memories together. The Revenants are struggling to keep there hunger for blood at bay and maintain there humanity while the Lost are vampires who have mutated into viscous monsters. With your allies Louis, Ios, Mia and Yakumo you have to traverse a broken dystopian odyssey in search of peace and to destroy the cause of the madness…

First, I have to say, I thought originally this game was going to be a Souls ripoff with a anime skin and a few kinks thrown in much like the The Surge or Lords of the Fallen (PS4) felt, but that quickly goes away. This game and how you approach combat is extremely versatile because of the Blood Codes, which is series of attacks and abilities based on another character where you can mix and match.  Your partners also provide extra attack power and defense with pretty decent AI so they thankfully do there job. What really sells the game is the art style and the overall story which is pretty captivating. A flaw the game has with all the options and having a optional partner can feel a bit overwhelming and the game can feel a bit too easy with few difficulty spikes that are pretty easy to overcome. Another minor issue I have is while impressive to look at, none of the bosses really stand out and for the most part they go down fairly easy. In the end, Code Vein is a pretty epic game with a good story and extremely versatile gameplay that I definitely recommend, especially if you want to wade into Souls type games. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Big Pharma (PS4)

Have you ever wanted to run a pharmaceutical company and make decisions on what medicines to make? Now it is your chance. Do you want to make a medicine to get rid of headaches and nothing else? Cure headaches but causes headaches? Oh yes, you can do that.

In Big Pharma, you get to run the factory that makes the medicine the world takes. Research new machines, new ingredients and make the place that much bigger. With this space, you will add new machines to change what each chemical does. This sounds complicated but it really isn’t. The game has excellent tutorials that will break things down for you quite well and it truly is a simple matter of just knowing what to build in which order.

That doesn’t make the game easy by any means. The first few levels go quickly and smoothly but it isn’t long until you will need to consider what side effects you will be stuck with and how it will mess with your sales, or if the loans are worth the extra machines or will those scientists be just enough to kill your profits?

The decisions you will make can at times crush your business if you aren’t careful or they could just be annoying when they don’t turn out how you want them too. Regardless of fans of these types of games, this one is a must buy on PS4. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Truck Driver (PS4)

There are a few games on PC that allow you to drive a massive truck and deliver trailers of goods, for example, American Truck Simulator or Euro Truck Simulator 2 and they are both pretty fun. Console players, however, have been pretty much left out of that niche. Enter Truck Driver, on PS4  and XB1 (tho it is also on PC) The question, however, how does it compare?

Well for starters, this has more arcade-style gameplay than a true simulation. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure the game is about running random trailers places to help the townspeople in a story and you are the only truck on the road, but there are a ton of upgrades and the way you upgrade skills is simply by playing the game. The truck you use or the types of jobs you do will make driving those things easier. While all this is going on you will have to follow traffic laws and not run over cars, and I was upset I couldn’t hit people with my truck. It seemed a bit unfair to me but I get it.

Anyway, driving takes a little getting used to but it’s perfectly functional. and for me, it was easier than using the mouse and keyboard. It is a lot of fun tho to just see the sites, and they are quite beautiful and being able to choose different designs for your truck is also quite fun. If you have a need for a truck sim on console this will definitely fill that need, if you are on console tho there are deeper sims. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

clone

Many argue what is the best Star Wars movie, in which usually dissolves into either the original or The Empire Strikes Back . As for the worst, there are sadly too many candidates including the entirety the sequel trilogy. While not a fan of Star wars: Rogue One , my vote goes to good ole Episode 2.

Ten Years after the events of the Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace, Anakin Skywalker has grown into a promising Jedi apprentice under the tutelage of Obi-Wan as Qui-Gon requested. When there friend and Anakin’s secret love, Padme Amidala, survives an assassination attempt, the Jedi are assigned to protect her. When a bigger plot unfolds, Obi-Wan is sent to investigate deeper, leading him to a mysterious army of clone soldiers being developed for the Republic under the order of a long deceased Jedi; the clones derived from a bounty hunter named Jango Fett- the assassin he’s been searching for. Anakin, haunted by dark visions of his mother suffering, is ordered to protect Padme and suddenly there feelings ignite but Jedi are forbidden to love and with Padme’s political seat, it would ruin her.  Are they willing to throw everything away for there love?

I’m going to start by saying, while my least favorite Star Wars movie, I tolerate it, I don’t hate it. My favorite part is watching Anakin snap after the death of his mother and in that brief moment, I could believe I was watching the precursor to Darth Vader. The Fight with Obi-Wan and Jango was cool; just the sight of seeing dozens of Jedi united in battle was a dream come true, plus, the introduction of the purple lightsaber. The score is fantastic and cinematic-ally it looks pretty good, despite too much damn CGI . So, let’s begin the negatives. The love story is pretty shitty, like pre Twilight  level cringe worthy shit; the actors have chemistry but the story and horrendous dialogue crash and burn it. The pacing of the movie drags horribly and following two different stories makes it worse- as a kid I seriously thought it was 3 hour movie. Dooku isn’t in the movie enough to feel like a main villain. The lightsaber fights aren’t great, even Yoda’s debut in combat is damn damn flashy it looks fake to me. Anakin Skywalker comes off like a whiny ass brat most of the time and I found it hard to like him. The story is fine but I feel it tries too hard to connect with the originals. Overall, I don’t hate the movie, like Vader himself- there is good in it- but damn the dark side is strong in this thing so it maybe a watch once kind of deal. May the gaming gods keep you safe from sand, it gets everywhere.

 

Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition (PS4)

Two things to get out of the way before we get started, first and foremost a huge thank you to Skybound Games and Beamdog. They hooked me up with a review copy of this one at release and it is always an honor and appreciated. Second, I do have to apologize for how late this review is getting out. Over the holidays there was a family emergency and a death in the family and things got a bit hectic and I couldn’t give things the time they deserved and I wasn’t going to unfairly judge things that way.

With that out of the way, let us get to what the enhanced edition of what Neverwinter Nights is, and what it probably isn’t. What it is, is almost the complete version of the game spanning its entire existence. It is, however, missing the Infinite Dragons portion. I doubt this is a deal-breaker for anyone but if this was the part you wanted, you will be a bit upset. The graphics and sound have also been updated as have the controls, UI and even boast online play there promises to be plenty of hours of fun for the truly dedicated. ( the DLC alone will clock in at around 100 for most people)

The story itself is pretty amazing but as with all my reviews, I won’t spoil anything, just know it is a true dungeons and dragons story of growth, betrayal death and far more. We do have to touch on what the game is not tho. While a lot has been upgraded, it still looks like a product of when it was made. Fans of the original will see these graphics and know it is an upgrade, people playing for the first time, however, won’t really see the big deal honestly. The controls also take some getting used to, tho you will get used to them. Truth is fans of the original will love it, and that is who it is made for. Hardcore RPG fans or people that love that older style will also think it is great. Newer fans that like flashy things, however, are better off skipping this one. It is a solid 7/10 game and the story is phenomenal, but I just think many fans of modern games won’t see the same joy as I did. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars Episode 1:The Phantom Menace

menace

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away there was a legendary movie called Star Wars that captivated audiences and inspired generations with one of cinemas greatest trilogies. Well almost two decades later, we got the first of a prequel trilogy, aiming to reignite  our love of Star Wars. Well, did it succeed?

The Trade Federation is leaning heavy on the newly elected Queen Amidala so Jedi master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi go to delegate. The viceroys try in vain to kill the Jedi who escape and sneak aboard an invasion ship of battle droids to warn the Queen war is likely coming. On the way they meet a goofy creature named Jar Jar who aids them get to her. The Jedi, the Queen with her security head as well as a few handmaidens and the goofball, manage to escape the Trade Federation getting stuck on the desert planet of Tatonine where Qui-Gon finds a helpful yet curious boy named Anakin Skywalker, who is seriously strong with the force. Qui-Gon is determined to have this boy trained as a Jedi despite the Jedi council’s hesitation while a new threat looms in the background. Enter Darth Maul.

Okay, there is a lot to say for this movie. There are some great things about it: I love Qui-Gon and Obi-wan; the final lightsaber duel against Maul is iconic, and Maul is a badass with the also iconic double bladed lightsaber. The score is amazing and the cinematography at times is breathtaking. On the opposite side of the spectrum are some hard negatives.: wooden characters, lame dialogue, overuse of CGI that hasn’t aged well in certain parts, Jar Jar is annoying as hell and Anakin has moments of surpassing Jar Jar and I hate the inserted “Chosen One” thing. Phantom Menace is overall a fair first entry to set the series up but damn their is a huge room for improvement. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Star Wars Episode 3: The Game

sith game

I’ve been holding off talking about the Star wars prequels, there is so much to say and so little time. I will say this though, of all the movie tie in games I’ve played over my life, I honestly think this game is actually superior to the movie it’s based off of. Revenge of the Sith is the story Star Wars fans had been craving for ages, the story of Anakin Skywalker’s turn to the dark side and becoming Darth Vader. Without getting into the movie too much, this game does a lot with early Vader I wanted to see in the movie. As a new Sith lord, you fight hordes of Jedi and as an assassin you get to fight through some heavy resistance. Certain scenes were elongated and gave some nice character moments the movie was missing, like a final battle with Mace Windau, paused moments between Obi-Wan and Anakin, and Anakin fighting two legendary Jedi swordsmen.

The gameplay is pretty fun, switching between Anakin and Obi-Wan’s point of view, but the best part are the boss fights which were the challenging as hell but feel like a real lightsaber duel. The combos are easy enough to execute and the powers are well done. Upgrading throughout the game noticeably increases your power and feels earned. There is a multiplayer vs mode which is a blast with friends and a few bonus stages including an alternate ending, a stage dedicated to replaying Obi-wan and Vader’s rematch, and some horde maps. The music is a nice touch and the cut-scenes are mainly from the movie which I liked a lot. The graphics are fine but the voice acting is mostly flat. The game isn’t too long but there’s fun to be had after but overall it’s rather short.  I recommend it for Star Wars fans and it’s a pretty solid game. May the gaming gods bring you glory.