NASCAR HEAT 5 PS4 Review

It is that time again to give out thanks to those that have given me things to play and share with you guys. This time it is 704Games and Motorsport Games. it has honestly been years since I played a NASCAR game, I am talking early PS3 ( actually it was Xbox 360 I think) and my brother and I would play it for hours. We mostly didn’t play it properly, we always liked to make other people crash. For you guys tho, I broke tradition and did things right. Mostly.

 

First thing first, the graphics. I play on a PS4 Pro and a 4k TV. You guys all know while I take my PC gaming slightly more seriously than I do my career as an astronaut that I don’t have, my console set up is top of the line. I did not expect this game to be one of the better-looking games I have played recently, but it absolutely is.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to oversell this to you guys, it is not the best looking game out there, but out may be the best-looking racing game on the PS4, and at the very least is the best looking NASCAR game on the system to date.

The sound is also great, this game includes all the cars and trucks from NASCAR cup series, NASCAR Xfinity series, and NASCAR Gander RV and Truck series, and they sound like they should sound. Racing around the Pocono Raceway SOUNDS like you are at the Pocono 500. I may not be a fan of racing but considering it is less than an hour from my home, I have been to it a couple times. Numerous friends and families go every year and have dragged me there. Plus, free beer.

As with all games tho, the gameplay is what is important. From the standpoint of someone that has not played a NASCAR game in probably a decade, this feels like the definitive version of NASCAR. It has everything I could possibly want, great handling amazing customization for the cars and trucks, the controls and visuals are just downright beautiful. Also, the career mode is all I want from a career mode. I start at the bottom, race for a company, and choose if I want to start my own team or not.

This is where the “but” comes in. As someone that doesn’t really care for racing games, the cliche still holds true. Eventually, I felt like all I was doing was making left turns all day. The finer points of racing were lost on me. I understand them, I know what drafting is and how it works and why you need to do it at the higher difficulty levels to win (tho you can just turn the yellow flags and damage off and just spin cars out until you win if you play on easy) Buying this game is like buying any sports game, unless you are a die-hard fan, I can’t really justify buying it every single year at launch. If you don’t have one tho or haven’t bought one recently, now is a good time to upgrade. I have seen this one get some pretty low scores because it is “Just like last year” or “all you do is turn left” but I won’t just it for those things. I will only just it for what it is, and what it is to me, was a fun experience that was made for race fans, and for them, it is an 8/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Hardspace: Shipbreaker PC Review (Steam Early Access)

Once again it’s that time for me to say thanks to Focus Home Interactive for hooking me up with a review code to review excellent work.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to drift through space and just dismantle ships for salvage? To use the proper tool for the proper job and just slice through metal and rip off an antenna or power supply and wrangle it through space into the proper spot so it can be repurposed? Yea honestly I never wondered that either, but that is exactly what this game is. And you will have to do all that before you run out of oxygen. ( Unless you use the in-game option to shut that off.

Now hear me out, this does sound boring as hell, but do you know what else does? Farming Simulator, The Sims, and basically any racing game. All of which are pretty fun and this is no exception. Once you get used to the controls and the fact that just because you let go of the controls to move doesn’t mean you will stop moving, because that is how space works. The game is actually almost like a puzzle game, what’s the best way to dismantle everything and the most efficient way to do it? Of course, as your career goes on you will be able to dismantle bigger ships. The 15-minute time limit can be frustrating so you may want to shut it off as I mentioned earlier, but that is also part of the challenge.

The graphics and sound to this game I found to be amazing even on the average laptop that I use for gaming. It is by no means some sort of impressive juggernaut of gaming, as I am mostly a filthy console gamer that dabbles on my laptop mostly for the paradox grand strategy games. It just all fit nicely and actually had one of the best into music I have heard in recent gaming.

Unlike most games I review for a company I won’t give this a permanent score because I don’t want someone to see it in a month and say well damn it only gave it this, it is way better now or I can’t believe he gave that crap such a high score. This game is in early access and will be changing. This does feel like a game getting into early on tho because it could be exciting to see how this one grows, and I can’t stress this, for now, the score, FOR NOW, is 8/10 and we will certainly revisit this in a few months. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Crosscode PS4 Review

A few things I want to get out of the way before I begin. First as always, a huge thank you to the people over at Deck13 interactive and everyone involved in this game for tossing me this review copy. It was a magnificent throwback to the 16-bit era. And if you are one of those collectors that love the hard copy of things, they have you covered here at https://crosscode.inin.games/ where you can get it on PS4 or Nintendo Switch from a base version all the way up to collectors editions that are individually numbered. ( Also, I do NOT get any sort of kickback for mentioning that, they just asked me to include it and since I enjoyed the game I was happy to oblige) The last thing I wanted to say is that I do apologize for this review being later than they usually are. Like many, COVID has slowed some things up and caused some issues.

Now on to the review itself. Graphically, if you are looking for a AAA title with flashy graphics that will push the bar higher, this game isn’t made for you. They clearly made this game for those people that love the good old days of 16-bit era RPGs like  Secret of Mana or the newer Cosmic Star Heroine, except what many of you won’t know is this game came out a bit before Cosmic Star. About two years in fact. I would put the two games in the same class in terms of quality tho.

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The battle system is also pretty standard for the genre. You will walk around, run into enemies, and instead of entering a new scene for a battle you will stay and fight in that field in a fast-paced yet strategic way. You will have attacks from a distance or up close. It doesn’t do anything to reinvent the wheel, but it turns just fine.

The story is pretty unique, that isn’t always a compliment. I don’t have an issue with it, but I wasn’t entirely fond of it. The game starts with what is basically an interactive cut scene but it isn’t much explained until later. You then will play as Lea, a typical mute girl most old RPGs have, tho this game explains why she is mute. That is actually much appreciated. It will be explained that you are actually just more or less an avatar in an MMORPG called CrossWorlds. I won’t go much more into the story than that because I don’t want to spoil anything because while for me I didn’t enjoy I do think that was a personal preference. Others that I have talked to enjoyed it and thought I was insane.

Now the reason you are all here, do I recommend this game? Sure, the price is more than fair, and if you need something to scratch that nostalgia itch this will do more than that. I may even add it to my Nintendo Switch collection so I have an old school RPG in the go. 7/10, would absolutely buy this myself. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Dawn of the Dead

dawn of the dead

George Romero broke unimaginable ground when he made NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD – Movie and changed the horror genre as we know it by giving us the modern zombie. Dawn, the second part of the long running Dead series, brings us a true horror sequel. 4 survivors are on the run during the early days of the zombie takeover. They hop in a helicopter and get as far away from the city as fast as they can. It isn’t long before they start running out of fuel and supplies; the only refuge in site is a shopping mall. It’s up to them to hold up together and fortify the mall, but the question remains why the dead never stop coming?

Dawn of the Dead may very well be Romero’s masterpiece and it was a absolute joy to watch. The acting was great but Ken Foree steals the show as Peter; the four lead actors have great chemistry between them and you do care about them through the movie. The mall is a great setting and brings a lot of tension in both close quarters and the emptiness of it. There are some great, old school Tom Savini gore effects which make any horror film a bit more memorable and there is plenty of zombie attacks throughout the runtime. The zombies look goofy by today’s standard, mostly spray painted gray, but they manage to feel threatening just by the sheer number of them. What I truly love about the movie is all the different beats it’s successfully hits- it’s horror, action, comedy, and has a lot to say about greed and consumerism. Honestly, Dawn of the Dead is a horror must see that’s fun but also pretty smart. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Demons

demons

We’ve all seen a good horror movie that made us terrified of monsters, killers, or what have you but at the end of the day, the terrors are contained on screen. But what if you saw a movie where the monsters weren’t just on screen? Cheryl and her friend Kathy are given free tickets to a movie premiere at the Metropol theater by a masked stranger. The girls ditch class and head to the movies, not knowing what they were in store for. It turns out to be a horror movie at a packed house. But when a girl in the audience gets a cut similar to a girl on screen, all hell begins breaking loose as she begins to transform into a demonic fiend. As the bodies start rapidly piling up, the question is what started the demons and how can they be stopped?

Dario Argento is an Italian horror master and this a good example why. Demons is a fun, blood drenched meta horror show. Seriously, the squeamish should stay away as a lot of the kills don’t hold back. I love the rock score and colorful, claustrophobic setting. There is some beautiful camera work on display. The English dub is pretty corny but it gets the job done. The pacing is just right, fast but knowing when to to slow for some creepy, tense scenes. Some may get bothered at the lack of answers given but honestly I liked that and the downbeat ending. This movie may not be for everyone but damn if it ain’t a fun joyride. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ju-On: The Grudge

ju on

The Grudge, much like The Ring , was a huge hit when I was a kid. While I heard nothing good about the latest 2020 American incarnation, I wanted to go to the source and experience the film that spawned so many sequels both in Japan and America…

Ju-on follows a series of characters caught in the frightening aftermath of a deadly scene. It begins when caretaker Rika is asked to look in after a catatonic old woman while her family works. During her first stay, she discovers a little boy hiding in the house named Toshio. Things rapidly begin spiraling out of control as the old woman’s children turn up dead and people who’ve gone inside the house either die or go missing, a tragic and malevolent history of the house unfolds and those wronged won’t let themselves be forgotten…

I honestly enjoyed this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I have to say I have to give the music and sounds a huge shout out, combined they do a really good job at building tension without acting as the gaudy jump scares that plague modern horror. Another thing I love, is the camera work and how a lot of things can be seen going on in the background and how there aren’t many ques pointing to it; I actually missed a few and found them rewinding back which was really cool. The imagery and atmosphere are well done; Kayko stands out for me and she grew more unsettling as the movie continued. The only real complaint I have is some of the shadow effects looked cheesy as hell and took me out, plainly being early CGI. In the end, I’d highly recommend this movie but I’m going to warn you, subtitles are a must. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Ultracore Review (PS4)

As always, I want to give a huge shout out to the guys over at ININ games for tossing me a review code to this one. This game was set to release back in the 1990s but never saw the light of day. However thanks to some collaboration with the original team, we now get to see this beautiful game on the PS4 and Nintendo Switch 9 (and soon the Vita)

 

Ultracore is a simple game to describe. It is a Metroidvania style fast-paced action-filled bullet flying adventure. Of course, there is a story, and as always I’m not going to discuss it. You guys can go ahead and discover it for yourself. It has been a long time since I have simply played a game where all I needed to do was simply jump around kill enemies and, well let’s just say it, I more or less felt like I was playing Contra again.

The soundtrack was also excellent as well, it has that old school feel to it but with a new sound to it.

The game is simple to describe I will admit, but that doesn’t make the game itself easy. The usual challenges for this style of game are still there. There will be jumps that will test your skill and timing, enemies that you will need to know the pattern of.

There are also various weapons upgrades to use as you would expect from such a game.

The game isn’t perfect of course, it is a bit short and the controls are were a bit stiff for my taste. That being said, for fans of retro games and this style of game, this one is worth checking out. At 22.99 it felt like a fair price to me, I give it a 7/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Atomicrops Review (PS4)

 

As always, a huge shout out and thank you to the fine folks over at Raw Fury for tossing me a review copy of this game. It is always appreciated.

Atomicrops is a game unlike pretty much any other I have ever played. It starts out with you learning how to run a small farm, then someone just drops some nuclear weapons everywhere. You still have a farm but now everything is just mutated and trying to kill you and steal your crops, which are also alive. It’s cool tho, you have all the weapons you need to defend them.

The game takes place over the course of seasons as you would expect, tho you only have to survive a few days each season unlike games like Stardew Valley that each season lasts a full month. This is a good thing since this game is much more difficult, in fact, this game probably pissed me off more than any game I have ever reviewed, with no exceptions.

I mean that in a good way tho. As you play through the game you can only be hit so many times. There are ways to replenish your hearts but depending on how your run is going the roses needed to do so may be hard to come by or rarely dropped. This is part of the fun tho because while the enemies are closing in on you sometimes you have to choose, are you taking that hit and getting those seeds you need or are you going to let them go and possibly miss them?  Small tip, don’t take the hit.

The game starts out giving you just one character but you will unlock more, and they each have their own special skill to start with. You will also be able to unlock permanent upgrades for other playthroughs. See unlike other farming games you aren’t meant to run just one farm forever, you are meant to run a farm as long as possible until you inevitably fail, learn from it then start all over again. Obviously the better you get the longer those runs last, some people can make runs last for years at a time tho I am not one of them.

This game however is a good looking and fun game that is different from what most are used to. If you are looking for a challenge and something new, this is a game you are going to want to check out. The price is also more than reasonable. The game itself tho is a solid 8 out of 10 to me. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Bulletstorm (Full Clip Edition)

bulletstorm

I have a soft spot in my heart for cult movies, books, and such. This game has a devote cult following that are still patiently waiting for the promised sequel the end credits teases much like the huge wait for Darksiders 3 and Borderlands 3  , which by the way, this game came out after the Gearbox bestseller Borderlands but followed the horrendous Duke Nukem Forever and in a lot of ways feels like a breeding of the two…

Grayson and Ishi were Confederate soldiers under the tyrannical madman General Serrano in his elite Dead Echo company. After discovering they were killing innocent people, Dead Echo became space pirates and Gray became a wicked drunk. During an attack, his crew is killed, Ishi is left needing cybernetics to survive, and they are stranded on a resort planet where all hell has broken loose. Allied with a vengeful woman named Trishka, the trio must survive the planet and get revenge on the general.

So I gotta say, I understand where the cult following for this game comes from. At it’s core, it’s at least its a solid FPS with some cool weapons and a laser leash. I’m going to say the game is lackluster and pissed me off multiple times. The story is full of unlikable characters that have senseless filthy potty mouths that just get annoying really quick. Gameplay gets old quick as after awhile you go into a shooting gallery and the occasional QTE section which usually are pointless in the long run. Using the environment for skill shots in conjunction with the leash is fun but even that get old fairly quick as well. The story is short and not really that memorable and fairly generic. I will say the graphics and sound are great for the Full Clip edition and you get all the DLC but I didn’t really have any gumption to check it out and even the graphics are buggy at times. In the end, I personally don’t like the game and can’t really recommend it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Darius Cozmic Collection Console Review (PS4)

 

Before I start this review, as always, I like to say thanks for the review copy I was lucky enough to get. This time it comes from a company that is legendary Taito. I grew up playing their games and pumping quarters into machines with their logo on them so having them give me a title I was expecting to be blasted into the past.

If that is what you want here, a nostalgia trip back to your childhood in the arcade or sitting in front of your SNES blasting strange creatures collecting power-ups and saying just one more go in hopes that this time you will get just a little further than last time, you are going to be very happy with this collection.

The collection consists of nine versions of six titles, which at first I didn’t think I would appreciate but it was actually rather interesting to see the subtle and not so subtle differences between how the game changes between different releases. From just the minor graphical or sound changes or even just the different ways the weapons fire it was a great reminder that while in today’s world we talk about frame rates that change or lighting differences that many gaming fans just don’t even notice, back then you could truly see and hear vast changes from the arcade and home versions of a title. It truly is like looking backward in time at history, and it can be done quickly and easily by just going into the menu and returning to the game select screen.

The games are pretty faithful to their original releases, and they are far from easy. They are a throwback to a time when you had a couple of lives and continues and you had to beat the game or start all over again. They held up quite beautifully and the controls function smoothly on the PS4. Of the many times I died I never felt it was the fault of anyone but myself simply learning how to play a game I hadn’t experienced in over 20 years. This game won’t be for everyone, but for those looking for a challenge or that simply love retro gaming and gaming history, this one should not be missed. Taito is a legend for a reason, and this one has fond memories and is considered a classic for a similar reason because it stands the test of time.  I happily give this an 8/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.