Farming Simulator 19 Alpine Farming Expansion Review (PS4)

First thing is first, as always, a huge shout out to the guys and gals over at Focus Home Interactive for giving me a review copy of this expansion. Anyone that follows the blog knows I am a huge fan of the series and have been for years. For those that aren’t familiar with this expansion here is the launch trailer.

This expansion has a lot of content, starting with a new map. Of course this is where I started things. I was surprised to discover, cows. Yes instead of the typical have some fields and machines to grow and harvest some crops you are given a couple cows, some money and the machines you need to feed them.

This is your first taste of the new things in the game as you can instantly just walk over and grab the walking mower.

This thing is oddly relaxing to walk around with.

The new map is honestly one of my favorites in the series, it is simply beautiful. It also may be one of the biggest in the series, but that I truthfully can’t say. The views are great though, and if you are like me and you occasionally just like to go for a quick drive around the map this is a great place to do it. That all doesn’t matter because while the map is great, is there anything new to play with?

The answer is a resounding yes. There are around 30 new ones, many of which I still haven’t gotten to play with. There are new small tractors, plows and cultivators from companies like pottinger, Sip and Rigitrac. As you would expect they all function amazingly and serve a specific purpose. Many of them actually made raising animals for me much easier.

This one is just fun to drive, and I LOVE the look.

The only really down side to the expansion is simply this, if you don’t love Farming Simulator, this isn’t going to change your mind. This is more of the same, and for fans of the series that is what we wanted. We have more things to play with, new ways to raise our animals and a new place to do it in. Honestly, that is all I really wanted and expected from it. For fans of Farming Simulator 19 looking for a reason to step back onto the farm, this is it. A must own expansion for fans. 9/10, pretty much everything an expansion should be.

Farming Simulator 19 getting a new expansion: Alpine Farming
Farming Simulator 19 Alpine Expansion - Is it worth it?Farming Simulator 19 Alpine Farming Expansion map and vehicles Revealed |  Invision Game Community

Vampyr

Vampyr on GOG.com

Dark, English towns where mists billow cobblestone streets, amongst the ladies and gentlemen fearing a plague…so how about we add vampires into the mix? Vampires rival zombies as the most popular of horror fiends in American culture, and while there have been plenty of games involving the children of the night, I can’t say I’ve played many of them. So what did this offering from the current console gen bring?

The year is 1918 and we play as Dr. Jonathan Reid, a surgeon and physician freshly returned from the trenches of WWI to his sister Mary. After a run in with a stranger, Jonathan is bitten and in the midst of an unholy suffering, he’s thirsty. In almost a trance, he kills Mary, draining her of blood. Besides the unquenchable blood thirst, Jonathan finds himself with super strength, speed, stamina, reflex a s well as a host of deadly powers making him a apex predator in civilized society. Rescued by a Dr. Edgar Swansea and given a job at the rundown at Pembroke hospital, funded by fellow vampire, Lady Ashbury, it’s up to Reid to shape the fate of the city and face the horror of what he has became as well as find his maker.

There’s nothing that burns worse than art in any medium that’s not lived up to it’s fullest potential. Vampyr is a prime example. First, the story and characters kept me going through the game. Reid is a sympathetic character I enjoyed playing as that never felt too sappy. The other characters I also really enjoyed, on top of the scenery and score that channel the classic, gothic vampire movies I grew up with. There’s the highlight. In theory, the list of powers you get are impressive but the inventory loadout doesn’t allow you to experiment with much at a time. While I loved plunging London into absolute chaos, that’s honestly you’re only real option. The game deals heavy with the karma system and if the base mechanics made sense, it’d be quite effective. Combat, which stales quickly, offers dismal XP and completing missions offers little more; most of your XP comes from mesmerizing and feeding off of other characters. You’re mesmerize level only advances as you progress the game but there are prompts to snuff characters you simply can’t yet. Without slaying every character you can, leveling up is a absolute crawl and the game becomes insanely hard. I hate the inventory system which feels really small and doesn’t get much room to expand. The character UI and AI are stupid as hell and randomly the game breaks into sometimes lengthy loading scenes. The game becomes repetitive after the first big boss was introduced. In the end, the game is a irritating slog but the good story and characters may keep you around. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Trails of Cold Steel IV PS4 Review

As always with these things, I would love to give a huge shout out to NIS America for hooking me up with this one and this time a second shout out to my friend Erik that helped me review this one. The game is massive as is the series itself going beyond just these four games, so having a second set of eyes to help me catch certain things was greatly appreciated.

There are a few things to get out of the way, for example you can play this game without the other three, you will however you will be doing a great disservice to one of the best stories you will find on the PlayStation 4. I won’t go into the story of the other three games because that isn’t why we are here. The story to this bad boy however finishes off the story of Class 7 nicely. With  The Erebonian Empire about to be at one hell of a war, you will go on a quest to save the world. You should know it takes place right after where three leaves off as a cliff hanger with one of the main characters in captivity.

Now if you are worried about the game play itself, the battle system is essentially the third with some upgrades. This isn’t a bad thing though because the battle system has always been a strong suit here. The classic turned based battles, beautiful graphics and amazing sound mixing together to create an experience not to be missed for RPG fans.

I honestly don’t have a lot to say about the game itself because I feel like I would be betraying the experience. From the very start as you get to know the new class 7 as you try to find Rean to the very end when you are fighting side by side with some of the series most iconic heroes, there is just something to always be looking forward to.

As for the score, this one is obviously going to be 9/10. Loved this game and thought it finished off everything nicely. Erik however as a fan of the series gave it a 10/10 and thought it finished everything up pretty much perfectly and gave us something from not only the Trails series the entire games series.

Scanners

Scanners: The Horror Movie That is Really a Thriller

In a world of live action comic book superhero horror adaptations, it is almost hard to imagine superpowers and fear in the same chain of thought. While movies like Split , Brightburn , and Carrie broke that mold; there’s always been one special film that managed to be smart, quirky, full of action and moments of sickening gore. Enter Scanners.

Scanners are defined as unhinged folks who possess strong telepathic and telekinetic abilities- lonely derelict Cameron Vale is one of these Scanners. Captured and given a drug to subdue the voices in his head, Dr. Ruth of the organization Consec asks a favor of Vale. He asks him to go undercover in search of a destructive and powerful Scanner named Daryl Revok who plans on starting bloody movement. As Vale leads to track down the madman, conspiracies begin to unveil themselves around Cameron as he’s being hunted by a seemingly all powerful foe…

First of all, Scanners is what I consider to be a cult classic by the man who brought us Videodrome and The Fly . I love the gore effects on display and the eerie science fiction music that is responsible for much of the tension; honestly without the score and effects there are things in this movie that would just look silly. While the acting is solid all around, I have to say Michael Ironside is great as Revok, delivering a command performance as a villainous demigod. The story flows well but there are some twists that felt funky to me in the final act. I do appreciate the dark as hell turnout in the end and the fact that the movie doesn’t feel like a comic book but a sci fi thriller all it’s own. In the end, Scanners is a fun sci fi action movie with some memorable gore, a great villain, and some interesting questions to ask. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Umihara Kawase BaZooKa! (PS4 Review)

As always with these things, huge shout out to ININ games for hooking us up with a copy of Umihara Kawase BaZooKa!

What at first I thought would be nothing more than a variation of the Smash formula turned out to be so much more. While yes that obviously exist, as you can tell from the trailer, there is also a full challenge mode you can play, which for you trophy hunters is mandatory if you want this pretty easy platinum to pick up. I know how much of a selling point that is for some of you.

The controls are admittedly a little sluggish and the graphics will let some of you down, but as with most ININ games these aren’t meant to be AAA titles, they are for people that love the old fashioned classic feel of gaming. This game truly does capture that feeling of nostalgia. As I sat on my bed playing explaining to my daughter what the hell I was playing I recalled my time playing my NES and SNES for hours on end. That being said when my daughter played the game with me, she had no issue playing and she didn’t start gaming until the Xbox 360 era. They always manage to walk that fine like between classic feel and new age gaming.

That all being said, there isn’t much of a story here and the game play can be repetitive. Outside of a multiplayer party setting or trophy hunting outside of some quick nostalgia fun or to kill some time before leaving for work, this isn’t something you will want to play for hours on end. I did like popping it on for 15 or 20 minutes here or there though. Each character also feels pretty much the same outside of their special moves.

With all that taken into account this is a solid 7/10 for me. If you like that classic feel and this sort of game, its a good buy for you. If you don’t however, save your money. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Undead Darlings: No Cure For Love

First and foremost, huge shout out to the guys and gals over at Sekai Games, with developer Mr.Tired Media for hooking me up with this one. I wasn’t truly sure what I was in for, but this close to Halloween and it being October you guys know I was all too happy to play anything with the word undead in it.

First and foremost, this is a dungeon crawling RPG with turn-based combat. It kind of reminds me of the old first person dungeon crawler system of Persona, fully equipped with an automapping tool so you know where you have been. When you enter combat, it has a Phantasy Star 4 vibe, you see your characters from behind choose your attacks and some moves will even combine to make new moves. The only real issue I had here was that weapons eventually break (though they can be repaired before that happens) but this was hardly a major thing, it just annoyed me.

While the battle system is fun and easy to get used to, it isn’t anything we as gamers haven’t seen before. The story however was something I found refreshing and worth the time. You will wake up to find your childhood friend a zombie, but not he eating you kind. It turns out some zombies retain their humanity and these can be cured. The rest aren’t so lucky. Why you haven’t turned and how your father is connected to all this is quickly explained before you are on your way, with some of it outright mocking the fact that it doesn’t exactly make sense and you shouldn’t be asking questions because it ruins the narrative.

The story is full of small nods to video game and horror movie tropes that are fully acknowledged as being what they are and mocked or admittedly ignored. You will meet new characters, many of which will admit to the the fact things are messed up but go along with it anyway and always in a humorous manner even to the point the monsters themselves are explained something that are there and one of the lovely zombie ladies comments she wises she was one of the cute ones instead of a zombie.

All in all at the price point and as a fan of RPGs this is one of the better ones in that range. Definitely an 8/10 from me. For what the game is and was trying to be it succeeds beautifully.

Doom 3

Admittedly my experience with Doom has been pretty limited but I loved 2016 and Doom: Eternal is likely the best game I’ve played all year. With Halloween time upon us, I wanted to see what this iconic series had to offer. What did I find, descending into the black sheep of the Doom franchise?

The UAC has been busy at work on Mars, at the height of there fame and prosperity. A lone, silent marine comes to Mars as part of the security team for the new experiments going on up there. Things go awry as power dies and otherworldly creatures are let loose, demons straight from hell, slaughtering the soldiers and scientists in the facility. Alone, you must battle you’re way through the layers of hell and stop the end…

So first and foremost, I have to say the game runs pretty good for something 2 console gens old and graphicly it holds up quite decent at times. That being said, Doom 3 feels like a generic horror shooter rather than the crazy ass, ultra-violent mayhem fest the series was and is now known for. It’s really dark, there’s creepy whispering in tight corridors, a crazy mad scientist, spooky music and you’re fighting mostly gun wielding zombies, ghost creatures, with some series regulars sprinkled throughout. Gone is the ultra violence and kick ass metal music and feeling like a bloodthirsty unstoppable badass. The shotgun sucks but the weapons from the machine gun and up are serviceable; while you do fair damage, you don’t feel the oomph behind them and the sounds are weak. For a game that involves a lot of sneaking enemies, there could have been better sound ques to alert you for things coming up behind you. In the end, Doom 3 isn’t a terrible game in a pinch but it lacks anything that made the classics and reboots so memorable, but it’s ok as a standard horror shooter. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Costume Kingdom (PS4 Review)

As always with these things I like to give a quick up front shout out the people that hooked me up with review copies, and this time it is the fine folks over at Stratton studios for hooking us up with this Halloween inspired game.

Now to be perfectly up front this was a rough game for me to review for a variety of reasons. Every time it did something I enjoyed, there was something i hated close by. I love the pokemon style of game play (known as Hallomon in this one) and I loved that the enemies leveled up with you. I hated that you really couldn’t catch them though and you relied on getting new mask to get new monsters. I loved using the mask to solve puzzles and do different things, but I hated that many times finding a new mask relied on someone giving you a vague direction like its over in the forest while you are in a town surrounded by trees.

Graphically however the game was about what you would expect from an indy company, it won’t win any rewards but the game looks solid and the sound serves its purpose which honestly is all I will ever ask from any video game I play. It doesn’t have to be outstanding and amazing, it has to add to the feeling of the environment and this does that.

The story is simple, you play as a kid trying to win the Apex cup which is just a tournament the town has on Halloween and true to fashion you end up saving the place. I honestly can’t say anything about the game in any strong feelings fashion. I didn’t dislike the game, or like it. I didn’t even find it memorable. I would never tell someone not to buy it, but I can’t recommend it either. Th is game literally just exist to me. It is a 5/10 to me. It isn’t a waste of money, but it won’t be well spent either. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Day of the Dead

Well folks, I’m officially back and I can now say I scratched a huge box off of my bucket list as a horror fan. With Savior, I finally can say I’ve watched Romero’s original Dead trilogy, including NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – Movie and Dawn of the Dead . Both legendary titles and both well deserving of there statuses as 2 of some of the greatest horror movies of all time, I was pretty curious what Day would bring?

Day begins when basically all hope seems lost. No signs of survivors as the undead flood the streets and time is running out for a underground outpost comprised of military personnel and scientists. The scientists are trying to figure out any way to find a cure, a reason the zombies exist, anything that could save them; the soldiers are there to protect them at all costs and maintain order. Tensions are running high as ideas and the power struggle between the two ensues, fueled by the tyranny of Captain Rhodes who is going mad as his men are seemingly wasted on fruitless experiments while the scientists fear the mentally broken and volatile soldiers. But when the question of “can zombies be taught?” comes into play in the form of Bub, a domesticated zombie, will they find there answers or the end of the road?

Day of the Dead is often said to be the darkest film in the whole Dead saga and much like Alien 3 the film goes for a pretty bleak outlook. I love how claustrophobic the movie feels, even in the opening which takes place on a empty street in broad daylight. This movie does a damn good job at building tension and while Rhodes is a fantastic villain, Bub steals the show for me and only someone like Romero could make me feel sympathy and actually care for a zombie. There is no shortage of zombie gore and kills which is always appreciated. The ending is satisfying as hell and I can’t really complain about the music or cinematography. In the end, I can’t recommend this movie enough as perhaps my favorite of the Dead saga. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate (PS4 Review)

First, once again huge shout out to the guys over at https://twitter.com/PQubeGames for tossing us a review code for a game I honestly had no clue was based on an anime but wanted to play anyway because the name instantly made me ask the question, what is this game about?

Well for better or worse the game is not about picking up women in a dungeon. You will play as two characters, Bell Cranel and Ais Wallenstien as their separate stories unfold and cross paths. It is a very basic story that matches a very basic dungeon crawler. I don’t say any of that as an insult though.

The combat is quite simple, mostly just typical hack and slash with some special moves. There are some difficulty spikes if you don’t make it a point to grind out some items and such to upgrade your equipment. Weapons upgrades and even some new weapons and armor themselves require you to sell certain items at the store itself.

The quest system however is where the game sadly loses me. It is basically just a matter of go to the guild, accept a quest run though the same basic dungeon levels, kill enemies, get to the stairs or find the items, and the quest is over. This is pretty easy to use but it doesn’t really make for interesting gameplay in the long term but it is essentially necessary for playing the game in full.

Graphically the game isn’t going to outshine the competition but I enjoy the cute anime like cut-scenes and such and the sound also is nothing special, but serves the purpose it is intended for. I never felt the music was out of place or taking away from what I was doing. The game however would be better off played by fans of the series or for more hardcore fans of dungeon crawlers as I feel the more casual base will really just feel let down. This game is a nice 7/10 for me. I enjoyed it, but it clearly was made for fans of that series. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.