Dragon Quest, Nintendo Switch

This is an exciting review for me to write, I first played this game years ago when at a friends house on the original NES when it was called Dragon Warrior still.

download (4)

Yes, I am as old as hell itself, but it is exciting because as I write this review I can say, I finally finished a game from my childhood that has escaped me all this time. Even with the updated graphics and translations and all on the Switch the game is very basic. Much of the game is actually just grinding out levels and money. It maxes out at level 30 and if you look up a walkthrough you can seriously finish the game in probably 5 or 6 hours.

The battles are all one on one and it’s pretty much all using attack or one of the heal spells. If you are a fan of retro games it is a good time, or if you have some sort of grudge against childhood games you never finished like I do this is the version to pick up. Truthfully tho if you are just a random person looking for a good time and a cheap game to play, keep moving. You get one time, essentially no story outside of you are the chosen one and go kill the great evil with little explanation. I don’t regret my time with the game, but many of you will. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Dungeon of the Endless (Nintendo Switch)

First and foremost with all these things, huge thank you to the folks over at Playdigious for hooking me up with a review copy of this one, it’s always appreciated. I also discovered they made Cultist Simulator which is a pretty interesting game as well. So they have a history of trying new things and Dungeon of the Endless does in my opinion.

This game is a combination roguelike and tower defense, both of which it does well. You start in one room guarding a crystal and your job is to search the floor for things that will help you survive just a little longer. I don’t want to get into the story too much, but it is pretty basic but serves its purpose.

The game however does have certain flaws, most notably the tutorial is one of the worst I’ve come across in a while, and by that I mean it is almost non-existent. Luckily Youtube has plenty to cover it enough to get you going, and once you understand what is going on the game is a joy to play. The roguelike elements combine nicely with the tower defense as you build things up to keep your crystal safe but find the elevator to the next level.

The characters are also done amazingly in pixel art and are an awesome assortment of characters from random mercenary types to a pug, as in the dog. Yes, a dog with a weapon in its mouth. He was my favorite.  The game is simple to understand yet hard to learn and almost impossible to master, but it truly is a joy to play and is pretty much perfect for the Nintendo Switch. I found myself whipping this thing out to play whenever I could.  The game is a great 8/10 and to me is one of those games you have to own if you like these kinds of games. It is just a fun game it jump into for a bit and the graphics and sound are great. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order free updates thoughts

Once again, I’m late to the party on this but gaming has taken a back seat lately while working on my debut story, but when I heard Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order was getting a host of free updates, I wanted to try for myself and I’m not really disappointed. I’m surprised as hell that EA hasn’t charged a dime at all for any of this. So for starters, the Inquisitor costume and red saber crystal are available once you land on Bogano early one. While it is awesome to have all the cosmetic customizations you’ve accrued through your last play-through  I was hoping for more of a Souls like experience in hard enemies and such but still the story is a great trip to play through again. The Meditation training is fun as hell and easily accessible.  In the end, this a epic update pack that makes a sweet game even sweeter. May the force be with you all and the gaming gods bring you glory.

***Update** The positives I mentioned are true but after replaying it, some massive glitches have appeared such as frame rate drops, backgrounds going nuts, and some physics going batshit. Still a great game, just now a little less great until EA fixes the bugs.

 

Dying Light

dying light

Zombies, zombies, everywhere and too many to shoot. Seriously, zombies are everywhere and like most, I usually pass many pieces of zombie media behind because they cycle through the usual tropes. Question is, does Dying Light stick out of the crowd or is it just another moaning wanderer?

Kyle Crane is a agent with the mysterious GRE sent into the quarantined city of Haran wear a viscous virus has caused the dead to rise. Once entering the city, it’s not long before Crane gets intercepted by a crime lord whose taking the opportunity to increase his power and Crane finds himself infected by a virus that doesn’t show it’s true horror until the sun goes down and the zombies grown manic and rabid and the horrific Volatilies emerge. Can Crane survive the horrors of the quarantine?

At first glance, Dying Light looks like a Dead Island clone with some Far Cry sprinkled in it. In many ways it is but once you start leveling up and unlocking new abilities, it becomes addicting fun. Combat is challenging but not overly so and parkour, while taking some time to get used to, is really fun and makes exploring the world interesting. I will warn you, some of the controls feel odd and alien so it takes awhile to get used to and even at endgame, I’d still confuse controls in a rush. The game does a good job at making night time terrifying and the Volitiles are some of the most frightening monsters of this console generation. For weaponry,their a is good assortment with nice customizable options. The game looks and sounds great but I did have some glitches where reactivity was slow and a few times where I simply just died, and die you will a lot. My biggest disappointments with this game are the pain in the ass fast travel and the weak ending. The story on it’s own is above average, including the side quests, but the end is a random QTE battle after a lot of running and climbing, making the final climax just feel like a tiny pop. In the end, Dying Light is a fun game to get lost in but despite the flaws, well worth the discount price. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen (PS4 Review)

As always we need to say a big thank you to the folks over at NIS America for tossing us a review copy of this one. I will be referring to it as Prelude from here on out so nobody has to try to figure out how to pronounce the actual name, which I am still unsure of. Don’t let the awkward name or the simple yet pleasing graphics fool you tho. Under both of those things is a compelling story that will make you wonder at times what is being implied.

The main character, Hakuowlo, wakes up injured and with no memory. He is being tended to by a young lady, Eruruu, with a tail and ears and her kid sister Aruruu. They nurse our hero back to health and he will slowly start helping out around the village to repay his debt. It won’t be long before in true JRPG fashion he is at odds with the local lord and he is leading a rebellion that will set you on a quest of love and death and of course destiny.

The battle system is a turned based tactical style system with a nice twist in that after pretty much any turn you can rewind the battle and I haven’t found an actual limit to how far back you can go, tho admittedly the furthest I have gone is about 20 turns. This resets the entire thing with no real punishment. Any moves you or the enemy has made will be gone, any defeated characters on both sides will be returned as for any zeal (used to use special attacks when the zeal gauge is full) or items, all of it will be reset to that turn. This is an easy system to abuse but I imagine you could back yourself into a corner, tho the few times I’ve used it I was saved by it.

The game itself isn’t bad and the complaints I have are pretty minor. For example, the entire voice acting is in Japanese (it is however done beautifully) and most of the names from the title to in characters in-game are beyond anything I can pronounce which while small did take away from my enjoyment a bit. The rewind for battles while interesting also took away most of the real challenge which even playing on hard didn’t feel very challenging to begin with. The game also is also at times a lot of reading and not much else as it is very story-heavy at times with no battles to break it up most notably in the early game.

I do have to say while I do have those small complaints from a technical standpoint the game is solid. The sound is nice and graphically the game is solid. It won’t win any awards but it is nice to look at with no real glitches to speak of. Fans of JRP’s and NIS America will enjoy this one and the plenty of playtime it brings, tho if you are new to the genre of RPG’s this one won’t bring you onboard or change your mind. It is a good 7/10. It is worth buying for fans such as myself, but if you are trying to break into the genre there are better gamers out there to do it with while you wait for a sale. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

World War Z GOTY (PS4 Review)

The first thing is first, as always. Huge thank you to both Saber Interactive for hooking me up with not one but two review codes so I could review this one and enjoy the multiplayer and my daughter, Kaitlin for joining me on this adventure in her free time. I couldn’t have given this game the review it deserves without her.

The GOTY Edition of World War Z contains the base game along with the new Marseille missions in France. There are also so premium weapons and character skins included, and a ton of content that has released since its initial launch. There is also cross-play between PC and Xbox. There is also a free update to come later on this year with a new character class and abilities and so much more I haven’t even gotten into yet, mostly because I know you guys are here for the gameplay and to see if I think this is worth buying.

Graphically the game looks great. There is a certain joy to watching a zombies head pop off when you get that perfect shot and the environments just fit perfectly to an apocalyptic hellscape. As you walk around wondering which people are zombies and which are just bodies lying around the lights from fires just dance across the street nicely. That isn’t to say they are perfect. When the pile on each other in hordes, for example, they all sort of blend in together then just sort of splitting apart as you kill them, it doesn’t look bad and I understand what they were going for I just didn’t care for it.

The sound also did leave something to be desired, it wasn’t bad by any means it just wasn’t anything to write home about. The guns and zombies sound nice, but they are all pretty standard. I am however ok with that because let’s be honest, nobody is playing this game or games like to it to see beautiful graphics and hear amazing movie quality sounds. We play them for fun.

Now the fun is the most important factor here, and I don’t say this lightly. If you enjoyed Left 4 Dead, you will probably enjoy this one. There is a very real comparison here. It has less humor but the concept is the same. Four people start in one spot with a general set of weapons, you will move through a level shooting zombie finding new weapons as you go and fight a horde occasionally. There are special zombies like screamers and some that explode or will charge you that you will also have to deal with.

The huge difference is the class system. Each class has a different set of abilities such as starting with claymore mines or medkits. As you level those classes up you will get new abilities and you will level up your weapons which you will pick from to start with or find throughout each level. That is a big part of where the replay value of this game comes from, just messing around with your friends killing zombies, and leveling up the different classes.

This game for me is all about the multiplayer, The PVP wasn’t much fun for me and I rarely played it, I didn’t enjoy it at all but the PVE took me back to a time I would stay up late with friends and my girlfriend, shoot zombies, drink beer (I was 25 don’t get any idea kids) and just let all of likes problems just drink away for awhile. For me, this is worth buying and is a solid 8/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

SnowRunner (PS4 Review)

First, as always, a HUGE shoutout to the fine folks over at Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive for hooking me up with a review copy of this one. I should also note I did buy a copy as well for myself because I wasn’t sure if I would get one, so quite a bit of my game time was also spent in multiplayer with my brother.

I will handle this review a bit differently and break it up into phases, I want to touch first on visual and sound then move on to my single-player time then talk about multiplayer before I talk about issues with the game.

First, the sound and visual. The game is beautiful. It won’t win awards beautiful, but it is beautiful all the same. The trucks getting covered in mud, snow getting tossed around the paint jobs. It all looks great. Even the smoke coming out of some of the trucks looks like smoke would as it gets in your way and then dissipates into the wind. It was truly a joy to just drive around and look.

The sound is also pretty top-notch. Each truck and engine revving and the wenches pulling down trees. And you owe it to yourself to slam your vehicle into a few things just to hear the crunch it makes when you bottom out or slam into a guard rail.

Second the solo play. You will start out with an old beat-up pickup truck. This class is known in-game as a scout and truthfully this truck is awful. Even doing the tutorial with this thing can be frustrating if you don’t pay attention to what the game says about how to use the wench. The game directs you how to use that, explains pretty much why this truck is horrible and gets you into a bigger truck so you can fix a bridge and move on to your garage. The game will then teach you how to switch zones and such.

From there much of the game is up to you. Do you want to drive around and unlock towers to see more of the map and get some of those hidden upgrades? Do it. Want to do side missions and fix up bridges that’s an option. You can also just do the main contracts and watch the world change. I wouldn’t recommend doing that tho, much of the game is about building your fleet up and upgrading it which requires experience and money.

Third, the multiplayer.  The multiplayer is honestly where this game shines and I truly think it is made to be played. Don’t get me wrong, you can 100% absolutely play it alone and do everything the game has to offer. But the multiplayer just felt special to me. To be perfectly clear, the game itself does not change. You will do all the same missions drive all the same trucks and everything. In fact, you will load into someone else’s game (or them into yours) with all their progress and help them make more. You get money and experience for doing so, then you just go back to your own game sadly with none of the progress. (you will keep money and experience)

I know I said it felt special and that sounds pretty bad doesn’t it? I agree. That does admittedly suck. However, there is a certain joy to seeing someone finish a job they otherwise wouldn’t have because you helped out. When you see a friend take a turn a little to close and tip on their side so you use your wench to right them. Even better is when they can’t quite get a truck unstuck but you manage to be just that little extra help they needed to get that new vehicle they needed. Yes, it is the same game in both but admittedly the multiplayer just makes the whole game feel amazing to play.

Now for the downsides, of which there are more than a couple. First, the starting vehicles are pretty bad. There is a DLC scout truck and heavy truck that are essentially game breakingly overpowered. For less than $7 you can basically drive anywhere you want in the first area of the map. The balance there is just non-existent and I wanted to quit using the starter vehicles until I got some of the upgrades. My brother spent the cash on the paid vehicles the day he got it and had a HUGE advantage. I would actually suggest buying them if you have the means, they make the game more fun.

Another downside, the game crashed a couple times on me and my brother in multiplayer when we switched areas, and those DLC vehicles I mentioned, he lost one. We have no clue where it went. We checked the garage and the area we loaded from and into, but we just can’t find it. Now I should say crashes are rare, as in the two that lost his vehicles are the only two we ran into. But they did lose him some stuff.

My last real thing to point out is this is absolutely a simulation game and it plays like one. It is slow and you will need to put time and effort into it. You don’t need to be a car person and the game will teach you everything you need to know, but you will need to use it. This game isn’t for people that want to just drive everywhere as fast as possible. You will be switching gears and outfitting the right tires and such. This isn’t bad, it just needs to be known by people.

Now should you buy this game? In short maybe. Did you like MudRunner? If you did it’s a must buy. Are you a fan of the Farming Simulator series? You will probably like this one, its why I was interested in it. The game is a bit rough in areas but the game will be supported down the line just like the rest of their games and while there are bugs here and there I have no doubt they will be fixed. Like any game of the genre, it isn’t for everyone, but my brother that hates the genre hasn’t out the game down which says a lot to me. I will give it a 7/10 because of the lost vehicles in the crash, but it would be higher without that. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

5 lesser known Resident Evil creatures

re umbrella logo

What do you think of when you think of the Resident Evil series? Zombies (be it man or dog)? The skinned, drooling Licker? The behemoth Tyrant variants whether it be the classic, Mr X, or the cuddly rocket launcher carrying Nemesis? Today I want to talk about some lesser known or underappreciated monsters in the franchise whether they be bosses or standard enemies. In no particular order let’s begin with…

re ustanak 1. Usternak ( Resident Evil 6 )-

Like many, I trashed the hell out of this game and while a Winter Soldier take on the Nemesis archetype, this brute was pretty cool as he hunted Jake and Sherry relentlessly with his various combat mods for his metal arm. Honestly, he was the best part of a bad game but deserves some respect.

re chimera 2. Chimera ( Resident Evil (remake) and Resident Evil 5 )-  Crossing man and animal has been a long thought of ideal, but Resident evil made these gross, grasshopper like bastards freaky and extremely dangerous.

re 0 lurker 3. Lurker ( Resident Evil 0)-

Of all the animals to dread on this Earth, who would really think a frog? Well what if this frog could brutally swallow you whole, slowly digesting you alive? I can’t say why but for the love of god that idea freaks me out but c’mon, how dangerous can frogs be?

re revenant  Revenant ( Resident Evil Revelations 2 ) – I loved fighting these things for 2 huge reasons. One, these things are the definition of “oh hell no” and they live up to that reputation. What I like is the tactical approach you need to take to kill them. These things were a healthy source of dread.

re scagdead

5. Scagdead aka The Comms Officer ( Resident Evil: Revelations )-

We end this list with a boss, a notorious one at that. Slimy, slow, pathetic as it is partially conscious during the battle, crying out for help as it lumbers after you. Scagdead isn’t the fastest beast but the traps he lays surely slow you down so he can give you a big ol hug with his giant saw arm.

I hope everyone enjoyed the list I came up with and it makes some of you want to check the games out. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Resident Evil 3 (2020)

re 3 2020

This game was my most anticipated game of the year and Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (classic) scared the shit out of me and millions of fans and arguably giving us one of gaming’s most haunting and horrific figures: The Nemesis. The first 2 Resident Evil remakes were incredible improvements over the classics, so what of the 3rd game?

Jill Valentine is traumatized after her experiences in the Spencer mansion. As the T virus outbreak is in it’s early stages, Jill is getting ready to escape Raccoon City. An assailant is after Jill, relentless and towering. Jill is on the run while trying to save as many survivors out as possible. She meets up with a rescue team fronted by Umbrella after being saved by Carlos Olivera as the dreaded Nemesis is on there tail. Can Jill and the rescue team escape or will they fall to the unstoppable Nemesis?

A lot of negative things has been said about this game since release and I’m sorry to say a big part of the claims are true. This game is really, really short. Getting lost twice and backtracking the entire hospital for loot, the game took about 6 hours. Unlike RE 1 and 2, there is one campaign only but you do change perspectives between Jill and Carlos with Jill being the main protagonist. There aren’t any bonus campaigns and just one ending; notoriously the Mercenaries mode was taken out in exchange for Resident Evil: Resistance, which is a completely separate game. Also, while the characters are more flushed than the original and the voice acting, character models, and environments, everything feels sped up and rushed. While the action scenes are a huge improvement from Resident Evil 5 and Resident Evil 6 , much of the Nemesis encounters feel on rails and I’m sad to say he lost quite a lot of his luster and unpredictable nature. Each time you down him, he does drop loot cases and his attacks are fairly easy to predict and when you have to face him, his weaknesses are pretty damn huge. Despite the huge negatives, the gameplay is really fun and the new action focus works well off of the RE2 mechanics. The score is great and visually the game looks beautiful.  The characters and creatures look fantastic and all of Nemesis’s forms are terrifying in there own way and surpass the looks of the original. In the end, this Resident Evil remake is a fun time but far from perfection;  if this game had another year I have no doubt it would surely measure up to the other remakes. The game is worth playing but not at full price. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

Resident Evil 2 (2019)

re2 19

Resident Evil 2 ( classic) is one of the series greatest milestones, giving us two of horror gaming greatest icons as well as a truly amazing sequel. While Resident Evil (remake) took everything great about the original and touched it up, the RE2 remake was rebuilt from scratch, aiming to be the perfect fusion of old and new. Did they succeed?

Raccoon City is at the height of utter devastation after the T virus found its way into the open. Leon Kennedy, a rookie cop on his first day on the job is thrown into the madness of the zombie outbreak. He encounters Claire Redfield, a college girl looking for her missing brother Chris. Together they must face the conspiracy around the police station, waves of zombies and gruesome monsters, a unstoppable stalker, and a beast below. Will they survive the night?

The Resident Evil 2 remake soars at redefining a classic. Leon and Claire, as well as the rest of the characters, are flushed out in two lengthy main campaigns; HUNK and Tofu return as well. The graphics and score are beautiful especially on the monsters., accompanied with eerie sounds. Gameplay is a nice upgrade from the 3rd person style of Resident Evil 4 with mechanics thrown in from other parts of the series. Mr X is a force to be reckoned with and is great at adding tension. In the end, the game has plenty to offer and is a fantastic horror experience I highly recommend. May the gaming gods bring you glory.