Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of DANA PS5 review

As always when I start these things, huge shout out to NIS America for hooking me up with this one. Always appreciated.

Those that have played the PS4 version of this one are already familiar with this game. Adol an adventurer is traveling with his friend Dogi across the ocean on a ship heading for adventure when said ship sinks and he wakes up shipwrecked on a cursed island. Adol and his new companions then start to work on building a camp to start escaping the island and other castaways while Adol starts having weird dreams about a blue haired woman and an advanced civilization. It is up to you to make all this happen.

The story is nice, but it isn’t anything ground breaking. The real fun here is combat. You can quickly switch between characters with the touch of a button and each character does well against certain types of enemies. Some will break the defense of flying enemies and knock them to the ground or make armored enemies much easier to deal with.

It is also important to know when to time your special attacks because killing an enemy with one makes them cheaper to you. At higher difficulties the ability to dodge and block at exactly the right time to enable free attacks or stun enemies will mean the difference between life or death, especially with boss monsters even at the earliest of levels. That being said there are enough variety in difficulty levels that can be changed in the option menu that you should never feel overwhelmed or like the game is too easy.

Graphically the game is a step up from its PS4 counterpart,but unless you are a huge fan the graphical upgrade alone isn’t really worth purchasing the game again and the same can be said for the sound. The game was never a juggernaut in their departments anyway and this doesn’t change that. It does look and feel better,and with the many extras it comes with it is the definitive version to play. First time buyers should absolutely pick this one up as it is the best way to experience it,I just can’t justify spending the full price on it again.

There isn’t a lot left to say except it is a great rpg for the PS5, it is a solid 8/10 and worth a buy, assuming you haven’t already purchased it on the PS4. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

As Far As The Eye Xbox Review

As far As the Eye is another title tossed to me by the great folks over at Klabater and developed by Goblinz Studio.Huge shout out to them both for hooking me up.

As Far As The Eye is an interesting title full of special words to simply say you will help a tribe survive on a hexagonal map by collecting food,wood and other supplies. There are no enemies to fight,but you are probably going to see the game over screen a few times anyway.

I’d like to describe my first experience with the game. I started the campaign knowing this is where I would be able to learn to play. While they did teach me to play it wasn’t exactly well done. Some of the instructions were unclear or simply not explained at all. It wasn’t too bad to figure out but this did carry over into later lessons and that became more of a challenge.

It wasn’t long however before I managed to get exploring and found the forest I was supposed to find and watch my little pupil turn into an animal that would collect wood. Yes your pupils turn into cute animals to do different tasks,I don’t know or care why but I appreciate it.

So after I collected enough wood, well I didn’t. The flood came and washed my tribe away. I had to restart it. I mean my entire Xbox, for whatever reason when this happened it also decided nothing would respond. I could move the map but I couldn’t pause,enter any menus.

Now if you keep with it and try to figure things out you will be rewarded with a pretty good experience. I enjoyed trying to figure out the best way to build things up, did I want to build a cheaper but permanent structure I would have to abandon? Or do I try to build that expensive one I can bring with me?

There isn’t exactly a wrong answer honestly and unlike most games like this it was usually far better to have just enough stuff to get you by as opposed to stock piling things you would lose to the floor anyway. The journey to the center will be perilous and full of danger but all of them are your poor planning, except when it’s one of the bugs that crashes your game or fighting with the UI.

As much as I enjoyed my time with this game it isn’t for everyone. The bugs are easy to fix so don’t let that dissuade you but the UI isn’t fantastic. I give this one a 7/10, best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Police Simulator: Patrol Officers Xbox Series S/X review

First and foremost,I want to take a moment to give a huge shout out to Astragon Entertainment for tossing me a copy of Police Simulator: Patrol Officers.

So what is Police Simulator? Well the name says it all. Let me walk you through my first day on the job. I walked out the door, read a couple tutorials, and read a manual for the job about all the laws while not realizing I did nothing to stop the time from passing and my shift ended while giving someone a parking ticket. So I walked right back inside.

Me ticketing a car in the PD parking lot

My second day on the job I remember words from the movie The Other Guys. You aren’t a cop until you do a desk pop. So I pulled my gun and shot a round into the air. Huh, nobody cares. Time to walk outside and shoot the first person I see. Don’t do this,you will instantly be fired.

You also can’t shoot at cars and buildings, actually just do what the game tells you and don’t shoot your gun. There truly are no situations in the game that let you fire your weapon. This led to seeing how many innocent people I could just blast with my taser. The answer is four, then you will be fired.

Now that I had that out of the way I decided to take the game more seriously and moved on to my real day one without being a psycho or reading the entire shift. You can play in one of two modes, casual or simulation. I recommend you start with casual because the game is more forgiving of mistakes, for example you can’t really hit pedestrians with your car or get hit by them. In simulation both of these will instantly end your day.

The first few days will be foot patrols handing out speeding tickets, catching jaywalkers and stopping people for littering. The game does an excellent job explaining when you can ticket a car and it is quite easy to look up if you forget. Their explanation on when to tow cars isn’t quite as good but is still solid.

Eventually you will get your own patrol car and have the option to choose between foot patrol or a car patrol. You can do everything in a car you can do on foot, you can even park your car and walk around if you want. I do recommend however you be careful pulling people over as they tend to simply slam on their breaks and you will slam into the back of them. Nothing worse than catching that dude showing off his under glow lights and then doing an accident report instead. Speaking from experience.

This may be one of the most realistic simulation games I have ever played, and anyone that follows the page knows I have played my fair share. Giving tickets or arresting someone is as simple as a radial menu after speaking to them or interacting with a car and the options of what you can find or arrest people for range from something as simple as jaywalking to things like DUI for alcohol or amphetamines or simply having an outstanding warrant. This isn’t even getting into the times I’ve sat at a red light and suddenly see an accident in front of me and need to call an ambulance for some now laying on the sidewalk and discover the accident was two drunk drivers.

No game is perfect,and Police Simulator is no exception. I’d say I loved my time with it but my time with it is far from over but I have to hope there is more to come. There are plenty of bugs that need to be patched out. The graphics are beautiful, but the amount of times I’ve seen cars go around corners and drivers not be in the cars for a few seconds are beyond anything I could even try to count. A few times pulling up to an accident there was no way to take pictures of the accident and I never figured out why,or a witness would be impossible to access because they were pushed in-between cars by a third car and were blocked away.

Also me and a friend (he plays on PS5) ran into an issue where we would lose conduct points for trying to find or tow a car in a space directly in front of a sign that says taxi zone no parking. Nothing game breaking or even anything I would consider taking away from my enjoyment,but it would be wrong if I did not tell you they do exist.

So what’s the verdict on this one? Should you sign up for a shift or avoid it? Truthfully this is easily one of the best simulator games I have ever played and there is far more potential of what they can do with it if they choose. I’m giving this a 7/10 because of the before mentioned glitches but once those are fixed the score definitely goes up a point or two. If you like simulator games, you need to pick this one up. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Lunistice Nintendo Switch Review

Lunistice is a game from Deck 13 that I was lucky enough to get a review copy tossed my way at the last moment. Going into it I didn’t know much besides that it was a 3D platformer inspired by the 32 bit era. Think along the lines of Mario 64 (yes despite it’s name it was a 32 bit game)

Love this little character , Hana

Lunistice takes place in a world right after something called the “Moonfall” and traps people in their dreams. That is where the game play takes place.

You will traverse about 15 levels in multiple biomes, collecting various collectables, following multiple paths and trying to get the fastest time to get that elusive “S” rank.

“S” rank will unlock some things for you but truthfully they weren’t really worth it to me. I have never been a fan of trying to speed run things however so please keep that in mind.

The graphics however are nice, I enjoyed running around and seeing the gems in the ground in the first couple levels or seeing what was over the side of a bridge down below. This however was offset when you notice the enemies you fight don’t have much variety to them and you really just kill them all with one attack.

Ok tell me that isn’t cute

The music does set the stage nicely though and I never grew tired of it. More than once I found myself simply jumping around and nodding my head to whatever the instruments were, I’m not sure what they were but they sounded like maybe flutes to me.

The game did have moments of being harder than I would have expected admittedly. Many of the reasons were simply because jumping was hard to manage without a darker shadow as a reference point or because once I spun to kill an enemy and destroyed the crystal we were standing in because it didn’t look like a crystal. Another time I simply walked off an edge thinking I was walking into water. The water one might be on me admittedly. As a fan of the Soulsborne series however I can’t complain about a challenge.

When all is said and done I enjoyed my time with this game,and my five year old thought Hana was adorable. She wasn’t so good at the game, maybe don’t let small children play. But at $4.99 (US) fans of platformers should grab it. 7/10

Bones Of Halloween Review

I first mentioned Bones of Halloween Out October 28th when I heard about it and the guys over at Ratalaika Games and Petite Games were cool enough to send me a copy to check out which is always appreciated. Huge thank you to them for always hooking me up when they can.

The concept they floated out here is simple. You wake up in a forest, you will be attacked by pumpkin-headed monsters and your job is to kill everything until they kill you. As you kill these creatures they will drop money and after you kill so many you get to pick a random card. This card will have a random positive or negative effect on you and your game.

This thing doesn’t need to exist.

The creatures all come in different variations, some will shoot arrows at you, and some are faster with swords or will try to run up to you and explode. As you saw above one annoying one shoots lasers out of its eyes and it’s annoyingly hard to hit while not getting hit with its laser eyes.

This one also should have stayed in hell.

This game cost $5, and as such you have to know going in this isn’t going to be some graphically stunning game with a grand soundtrack. Both are good, you are getting better than what you pay for in both departments. The game also comes with an impressive amount of game modes, enemy variety, and weapons types for the price point. I would be amazed if you haven’t paid more for games offering less variety. The challenges were my favorite part, but there is one more thing to note. Platinum hunters will LOVE this game because it is a super quick platinum to get. You can probably do it in about half an hour.

Admittedly I am always happy to make things explode.

The game is fun, it doesn’t exactly have a ton of replay value, however. With only one level you will quickly see pretty much all there is to see. It is well worth the small price it is to play. I definitely suggest anyone looking for quick trophies or just something cheap to play on Halloween pick this one up. 8/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Factorio Nintendo Switch Review

As always when I start these things, a massive shout-out to the guys and gals over at Wube Software for tossing me a copy of this one. I actually have a history with this game going all the way back to the PC version. Years ago a friend of mine wanted me to pick this one up and play with him when he played it, he often referred to it as “Cracktorio” because of how addictive it was. Truthfully he wasn’t wrong.

This is not about the PC version, it is about the Switch version. One I honestly did not have high hopes for. I didn’t think the controls could be done well, I wasn’t sure how it would handle graphically with the frame rates when things were getting busy on screen with so much going on, especially when it wasn’t docked. My concerns may be too many to list. We will get to all this later, but if you simply want the quick version I was absolutely amazed, and that doesn’t happen often.

If you don’t know what Factorio is, the concept is simple. You crash on a ship and your job is to build a sprawling factory and eventually a ship to escape. You will start small by digging up things like rock, iron, copper, and coal. This can be used to build things to automate small things such as mining these very things and moving them maybe into a box or into another furnace to make iron plates. These can be turned into armor for yourself maybe, or possibly sprockets for more important tools. You will have to decide what you feel is important or needed for you at the time.

Later you will be able to make electricity with steam for example and become more productive and research bigger and better guns and turrets. These are needed since the local life forms don’t appreciate you mining the place and polluting everything. The more you pollute the bigger and more dangerous these things become.

That is the basic idea, its easy to understand but mastering it, well I still haven’t managed that. You will be building cars and trains to move things along with robot spiders before you know it and you will still be finding out there were better ways to do it. All this means nothing if the game doesn’t function.

Earlier I mentioned being worried about the controls, remember this was a PC game made for mouse and keyboard. Playing the tutorials it wasn’t long before I felt playing on the Switch was pretty much as natural as on the PC. I never felt like I was truly handicapped playing on console. It slows the game down a little bit, but considering this game is a slow burn to begin with because you will constantly be planning, evaluating and doing it all over again this meant very little to me.

Graphically is where I was most astonished. Outside of one big loading time at the start which I clocked at just over one real time minute, there really aren’t any until you start running around a bigger map and even then they are barely noticeable. I never felt like there was some insane frame rate drop because I built a ton of conveyor belts that were moving stuff around or because my research plants were kicking into over drive. At one point I was being attacked by about 20 bugs at my power plants that had conveyor belts pumping coal into and my turrets were just cutting them down. My Switch didn’t lose a step, and this was in the hand held mode.

The sound is also great, I loved listening to my little factory tic away as arms moved things from one belt to another or as I would bang away with a pick axe on some iron. It has a nice calming feeling when things are going right, but gets a bit nerve wracking as things are going wrong and you hear something taking down your stuff.

There are a lot of great factory building games out there, Factorio however has pride of place at #1, and in my opinion it is not even close. If you ever wanted to try this out but never could, now is the time. If you simply want to play it more but on the go, now is your chance. This game is an absolute gem, 9 out of 10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Paper Cut mansion Xbox Review

As always I like to give a big thanks to the people that tossed me this one Thundeful publishing and Space Lizard Studios. Always nice to play a new game, and we all know my love of horror-related things so this was a special treat this time of year.

The concept behind this game is quite simple. They made a rogue-like game, set that game in a mansion. That mansion and the entire world are then crafted out of paper and made essentially into one big escape room. This may seem simple, and the idea is. The game however is not simple, and I mean that in the best way possible.

When I first entered the mansion I was greeted by a skeleton and a butterfly. It was explained to me that the butterfly would, land on walls in rooms where something important was and I should search that room. I should search for clues on how to solve the puzzles and get out and a talking door at the end of a hallway could help me. Something the skeleton had never managed to do.

This led me on a quest to discover, there are multiple dimensions to this mansion. The main place I had started in that I was free to search with little danger, a place that was cold and I could freeze to death and another that held enemies I could fight in various ways. Each of these sections is connected however if you unlock a door in one it unlocks all of them.

The same can’t be said for items. The item found in one won’t be found in all So you have to risk the enemies and ice at some point if you want to proceed to the next floor. Each new floor will allow you to find new evidence that will let you unravel what is going on in this mansion. Also between each of the floors you are met with a catchy cut scene and song about your character or the story. I found myself pushing on to find the next scene more often than not.

Dying however can be devastating as you have to start the process all over again, but many things will carry over. One example is the upgrades to your character such as weapons. These will allow you to proceed much faster and easier and find more new evidence. Even in failure there are things to be learned and earned and new characters to meet and interact with.

Graphically the game isn’t impressive but it is nice to look at. I loved the paper environments and how the people moved. The lighting was also a great touch as people standing by heaters seemed to shine a little brighter the closer they stood. The sound however was the real hero here. Accidently unleashing a ghost was enough to legitimately scare my child, while this isn’t exactly a challenge because she is five, video games aren’t normally on the list of things that do it. The sounds coming from blades in the walls and other things were really well thought out and represented and the music really shows the love put into it.

This is honestly one of the easiest reviews I ever had to write and one of the better games I’ve reviewed. This is a 9/10 Indy title for me. Everything works well, the story is interesting, and at no time did I feel lost as to what I should be doing.

Lego Bricktales PS4 Review

As always I like to start these things out with a huge thank you to the people over at Clockstone Software and Thunderful Group and everyone else involved with this one for tossing me a copy of this one to check out.

    Next, it should be said if you are looking for a quick laugh and excitement like many of the Lego series games like Lego Batman or Lego Star Wars, this is not really the game for you. This is at its core an attempt to recreate the love of building with real life Legos. Minus of course the unbearable pain of stepping on one because the kids can’t clean up after themselves. (Sorry mom,not so sorry to my dad that knocked over my castle though)

Seriously don’t step on these

  The game does this very well actually, you can even return to places later on and refine the things you build. There is a story mode that is worth checking out obviously but the real fun is always going to be the sandbox mode for many.

  Graphically,the game looks good for what it is and the sound does its job nicely. It won’t be winning any awards because of them but when it comes down to it I am sure that’s not what they were aiming for.  What they did give us are some great looking blocks and sounds that will make anyone feel like a kid again.

My only real gripes here are one, the controls take some getting used to. I always felt like getting the camera or the Lego in the right spot was just a little out of reach and it was frustrating. Not game ruining but ok bigger projects it made me want to snap a Lego guy in half. My other complaint was if you look at the real Lego instructions and the ones you get in game,the game ones aren’t really very detailed for a game trying to recreate the Lego feeling and it becomes more of a puzzle game at times.

  None of this ruins the experience,in fact if you like building with Legos I highly recommend this one. It isn’t for everyone however and if you are the type to toss your blocks across the living room for your parents to step on, maybe think twice about this one. 7/10, best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Crossroads Inn Fantasy Tavern Simulator Nintendo Switch Review

As always a huge shout out to the people at Klabater for sending me a copy of this one to check out. I always appreciate it.

As you can see from the trailer above,unlike many simulation games this one has a very legitimate story. This will follow you through the entire campaign not just the tutorial as well and that was a nice change of pace. Watching your character go from just some nitwit learning the ropes from your uncle to who you inevitably become was nice.

Designing your own inn is also very well done. Put tables where you want, build store rooms bedrooms even secret rooms that only trusted friends and customers can enter. The detail on this is amazing as well because if you place candles you will actually have to order candles to keep these things burning.

That being said, this isn’t done in an annoying way. I never felt like I was being punished by having to make sure individual candles were lit or anything silly like that and I greatly appreciated that. This game does a lot of things I love and the potential here is absolutely amazing.

Unfortunately, it is in many ways only potential. Many slowdowns plague the experience graphically and this was enough to harm the experience for me and long time readers will know I am very accepting of this usually. There is no shortage of bugs in the game either minor or major. Thankfully none of them are truly game breaking but they are again enough to take a great experience and really hurt it.

This isn’t the only issue, many times workers will simply do their own thing while standing next to what they are supposed to be doing. Once a character fresh off his break washed a couple dishes and returned to his break, he did this for about 3 in game days. Many times getting things to my store room proved to be almost impossible because half way through the job they decided it just didn’t need to be done anymore.

Crossroads Inn is a game I want to love,and there is joy to be found here for some people. It does however require a lot of patience and interest in a niche area within a niche genre. To me this game is a 5/10. Do I enjoy it? Yes. But the many technical difficulties are hard to get used to and many people simply won’t want to do it. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Strategic Mind: Fight for Freedom Xbox Review

First, as always, I would like to thank the people over at Klabater for tossing me this one to review. Working with them is always great.

This review is going to be a little different than usual, I usually try to focus on the things I like about a game and only bring up the negative if I genuinely think they impact the ability to enjoy or play the game. This won’t change here, but there are a few key things I do think people need to know going into this.

Starting out do not do what I did at first, play the tutorials. Even with a wealth of experience to draw from this made things so much harder than they needed to be. From figuring out which buttons did what ( seriously the Y button to give orders? who does that) The game does a good job without it explaining how the game plays out however and why each unit should be used the way it should be.

Most of your time is spent here

The hexagonal battle screen works great for showing you where units are and choosing where you want them to be, but here is my first complaint and it is a big one. The writing is so small it seemed almost unreadable at times. I would often be unsure if I was missing important information.

This by no means made the game unplayable, but it definitely had moments of making me not want to. On the flip side having served in the military around artillery I can say from experience this game does artillery pretty well. The sound of it sailing over my infantry into cities to soften up targets for my bombers and later infantry was nothing short of spectacular.

This is important by the way because this is a war you are fighting. WW2 to be exact, and how you manage your troops and how you attack with them matters, and it feels like it. Leave your bombers unprotected and enemy fighters will shoot them down. Let your supply lines get taken out and it isn’t long before you find yourself without fuel. It also goes without saying you have scouts for a reason and you won’t want to find your infantry out in the open with tanks coming at you.

walk softly and bring a tank division

The graphics are also solid for what they are. Nobody plays these games hoping for a graphical masterpiece and you shouldn’t either. They do their job and they do them well. Units look nice, but the towns do leave something to be desired. I do appreciate the detail on the flags for each country. For the most part, however, one town was the same as another for me.

I won’t say this was a bad or a good game. It is a solid 7/10. It has a lot of great ideas and if you enjoy these games you will enjoy this. Most people won’t be into it tho and with the small writing and numbers, I have a hard time wanting to play it for long periods of time. I have certainly seen bigger offenders, but there shouldn’t be any. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.