Catmaze Xbox series S/X Review

Catmaze is another bank breaking ($9.99) game from Ratalaika Games. As always I am grateful to be tossed a copy to review.

The game starts off with a young witch named Alesta running an errand for her sick mother. This errand should be quite simple, go and get a special grass that grows near a town to the west. This is when the game starts to really teach you about this metroidvania game.

The general gameplay is quite simplistic. One button jumps, another has your little familiar attack,of which you can collect twelve. Each with its own ability such as burning or freezing an enemy.

Traversing this world is easy, and it has a very good map. It updates fast,it doesn’t take up much space and doesn’t make you guess where on the map you are. You will be backtracking a bit trying to figure things out,but the maps are nice enough that I never really minded anyway. you can also refill your health and save your game at special cat fountains which you will need frequently.

The combat itself is surprisingly tactical. At first I tried to beat everything by simply standing in front of it and blasting it or later jumping on its head. This actually works out quite well until you defeat the first boss. After that you need to be a bit more careful.

The game is a blast to play if you enjoy metroidvania games. If you don’t it is still rather enjoyable. At the price this point this game comes in which is beyond reasonable despite my earlier joke. It is worth picking up. It is a good 8/10 game worth adding to your collection. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

The Sandman Netflix Review

I am going to get a few things out of the way before I even start. I am not a reader of the Sandman comics. I have read Lucifer (comes from Sandman) so that is the only character I will mention any accuracy on. (Spoiler alert, the guy that wrote the character and helped with the show did great)

Another thing I will not get involved with is “woke politics” if you have read Neil Gaimans work you knew what you were getting into. This was his stuff before being “woke” was a thing.

Also it’s Constantine as in TINE/ WINE not Teen. Him and his comics said so.

Ok now that we have that out of the way,on with the show. It all starts out pretty trippy as you would expect with a series about an entity known as an Endless, Sandman (also called Morpheus) and his family exist to rule over certain things, Death,Desire etc. Sandman attempts to find an escaped nightmare and Magus who is upset over the loss of his favorite son casts a spell to trap Death and instead catches Sandman.

This is actually only the first episode and encompasses about 100 years of his imprisonment where is mostly stripped of his tools and powers. The rest are locked away with him inside of a magical seal which he can’t really escape.

This does an excellent job setting up future episodes, done as chapters, by letting us know the Endless are all extremely powerful but are not gods. They make mistakes,they change and grow as living things and most importantly you should not piss them off.

The show can’t go on without his escape which does eventually happen much to the regret of his captors. This will bring us on a journey to gather his tools back which includes sand, a mask and a sort of amulet. This brings me to my first issue.

Going into this we saw all sorts of previews and posters discussing Lucifer ( Gwendolin Christie) and Johanna Constantine ( Jenna Coleman) both only appear in a very limited capacity. (In fact Jenna technically only appears once as 2 different characters with the same name) and this really seems almost like a bait and switch. Clearly the show is about Sandman ( Tom Sturridge) but to make them seem like costars only to have them barely be guest appearances at best seems a little dishonest.

That aside, every character is played amazingly. At first I was a bit worried about John Constantine being done away with completely but him being gone may actually be an improvement. ( The John Constantine character could not be used for legal reasons so he was replaced with Johanna,another character in his family from the comics)

Morpheus and Johanna

Before I get more off track however, finding his tools is how he meets Johanna and later Lucifer.Johanna happens to now own his sand which she happily returns, if by happily we can say as happy as anyone would like to visit an ex-girlfriend that left without any notice or phone call. And Lucifer, well Lucifer is the devil. Her and Sandman basically kick the crap out of each other and he gets his mask back as Lucifer swears to see him later.

Lucifer and Morpheus

I won’t go further into the story because I don’t want to ruin it, but for something that is only 10 episodes I was hooked from start to finish. It is absolutely worth checking out, just don’t go into this expecting anything other than a dark (and I mean morbid) story. Morpheus is not a hero, or even a villain. He simply exists as a force of nature in control of a realm. He isn’t Batman or the Joker or anything in between. He is just there to do a job,and sometimes people get in the way, other times he can help. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

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Crystar Nintendo Switch Review

As always I like to take a minute to give a huge shout out to NIS America for tossing me a review copy of this one and also take a moment to apologize to you guys for this one being a little bit later than usual.

The Switch version of Crystar is simply the newest release of a game that’s already been available on PC and PS4 for a bit already,and unless you simply want a version to play on the go there and really isn’t a big reason to pick this one up. It doesn’t offer much in the way of anything new.

That being said if you haven’t played it this isn’t a bad place to start. Graphically the game does a great job of catching the dark and depressing world Rei finds herself in as she searches for her sister Mirai and her soul that is lost in purgatory. She becomes an executioner of sorts for a couple of demons that give her a contract and promise to give her the power to revive her sister if she does as they need her to do.

The story is pretty straight forward and has no world saving implications really and it does a pretty good job getting Rei’s pain and struggle with depression and sadness across. The battle system however felt repetitive and lackluster to me and even the extra playable characters didn’t do much to change this.

Crystar isn’t a bad game, but it is definitely one you want to pick up on sale. It is a decent 6/10, it’s pretty original but original doesn’t always mean great. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

How I Met Your Father Impressions

How I Met Your Father is a spin off of one of my favorite shows of all time, How I Met Your Mother. So clearly going into this I had low expectations it would be something I enjoy but very high hopes.

It’s a fine line to walk honestly, you need enough of a connection to make people coming back to say hey this is familiar enough to make me want to watch but new enough so they don’t say hey this is a rip off cash grab.

You also need it to be just be a copy and paste because let’s be honest here, if How I Met Your Mother came out in 2022, it would have gotten destroyed. It’s been off the air since 2014 and already Barney Stinson would probably be canceled as a rapist and Robin as being abusive to Ted. And don’t even get me started on Marshal and Lily. Even towards the end the show was acknowledging how messed up the group was.

Honestly that was half the charm of the original and much of that is missing here. Most of us knew a toned down version of all the people from HIMYM. One of the characters from HIMYF however is a very rich British guy (Charlie) that ran away to be with another character ( Valentina) and a third (Sid) legitimately owns the bar they all hang out at.

The main character,Sophie, (Hillary Duff) is equally as unrelatable, while she struggles with dating in the world of Tinder and hangs out with her friends she mostly whines about turning 30 and not knowing what to do with her life, even tho she already has a career.

That’s not to say the show isn’t entertaining, the show is actually quite entertaining. It has it’s laughs and I enjoy that the first episode they out right tell you that’s how she met the father even tho they never tell you which character it is. Some of the characters also live in the same apartment from the original that they got off an older married couple (clearly meaning Lily and Marshal)

The show is by no means bad, it just lacks much of the character of the original. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Airborne Kingdom (Xbox Series S Review)

As always, huge shout out to my new friends over at The Wandering Band and Freedom Games for hooking me up with a review code for this game. It is always a pleasure to check out a new game and the one was no exception.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to build a flying kingdom? This game will let you find out, and before we go any further I highly suggest you try building everything on one side of your kingdom to see what happens when you tilt it all to one side. I’m not saying anything does or doesn’t happen, Just give it a go. Maybe don’t do it during a serious attempt tho.

With that out of the way, the game tells the story of you trying to bring back a floating kingdom by rediscovering and making alliances with all the other Kingdoms, twelve in total.

The game is beautiful, as you watch the sun rise and set on your floating city.

You can see the love poured into this game from every angle. The resource management is also quite well done, at no point did I feel like the game was unfair but I came dangerously close more than once of running out of the things I needed to stay afloat.

The sound is another place where this game is great, but it isn’t where it shines. Where it truly shines is where all city builders are made or broken.

Is the game addictive? And the answer is absolutely. I was constantly redesigning things to make sure I had enough lift and propulsion to keep the place afloat or people in work. And I love making sure I had enough resources to make sure I could make it to my next area of exploration since not every biome would have the same resources in the same quantities.

This game is honestly absolutely amazing, and while it isn’t exactly challenging it doesn’t truly need to be, it is just a lot of fun. Definitely recommended for fans of the genre. Solid 8/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Panorama Cotton PS4 Review

As always with these things, a huge shout out to the people at ININ games for tossing me a copy of this one. It is always appreciated.

Panorama Cotton is essentially an emulation of the original Sega Master system version we never got in the west. It also happens to be the only one that isn’t a side scrolling shooter. This has more of the Space Harrier front view.

Graphically the game has some nice graphics and sound that aged pretty well and it does come with some nice bells and whistles such as some cheat codes and such.

This was honestly one of those games that I had never heard of and didn’t really have high hopes for but since it came from ININ games I wanted to give it a chance. The game will satisfy that need for nostalgia without breaking the bank, something ININ games does amazing at. A solid 7/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Road Fury Review (PS4)

Road Fury is one of those simple concept games with simple controls. There are only two options in fact, you can either use the movement controls of the controller itself or switch it in the options to work of the thumb stick/D-pad.

From there it is a simple matter of blowing up cars, collecting power ups, avoiding a few obstacles and killing bosses. You don’t even have to fire weapons, the game does this automatically for you. Just focus on the driving. Collect we much money as you can before you die and use that to upgrade your cars weapons, armor and power ups and do it again. You don’t even restart the game. If you make it 3 levels and die you will start on level 3. Go another 2 and die, restart on level 5.

This doesn’t make the game easy however. I found myself sometimes dying on the same board 6 or 7 times until I had enough money to upgrade my car enough so I could cause enough damage to beat a boss or simply hitting stuff because I wasn’t moving fast enough.

The game does have it’s limits of fun tho. With only 3 cars to choose from, 2 of which need to be unlocked and each far more powerful than the last I found the game far too repetitive around level 50, and I don’t believe there is an ending. The game is cheap tho so that helps. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Justice League, Snyder’s Cut (Savior)

As many of you know, I had a few problems with the theatrical release of this one. I truthfully went into this thinking this would be four hours of more of the same.

Honestly  there were some things absolutely loved, for example Cyborg having a much bigger and more important role really made me smile. The same can be said for Flash. Steppinwolf also looked far better. That is pretty much where my praise will end for this new version.

The new story elements really served new purpose and had a lot of plot holes, for example how did he forget something was on a planet he had literally been too? Also, why why did he bother fighting an army in the past if he could have landed literally anywhere else on Earth to succeed in what he was doing?

A lot of my issues with the original movie not only still exist, they are now worse. The pacing of the movie that was already bad now stretches out for four hours. Worse, they changed scenes entirely and dragged them out to reach that length. If you want to make a four hour movies that shouldn’t be needed.

Don’t get me wrong the movie was fun, but so was the original. This really was more of the same and unnecessary. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Turrican Flashback Review (PS4)

Turrican Flashback, what can I besides thank you to my friends over at ININ games for tossing me another beautiful retro remake. I always love getting the chance to play these and they are quickly becoming one of my favorite companies to work with.

As always, if you aren’t a fan of retro games this isn’t going to be the collection that changes your mind. If you enjoyed the original releases though or even just like retro games and games like the old school Contra, this one is for you.

Graphically this is a massive update from the original but nothing is lost from those things we love. The explosions and such still look like they are from the SNES era but they are simply far more clean and crisp.

The sound that many remember the original for even decades later sounds better than ever and will still have you feeling nostalgic while being grateful for the improvements.

There are also a host of new things added such as the ability to rewind when you inevitably die making a badly timed jump or because like an idiot you stand in top of an enemy. I assume someone has done that. Not me, I totally didn’t do it. I am sure someone did tho. There are also different shaders and wallpapers to use but besides a quick look through I didn’t much bother with them since as you guys know they aren’t my thing.

The game play is fun yet challenging,but it’s that old school challenging. Only so many lives to go around. The rewind button was helpful to get better, but if you want trophies you have to play without that option. This bothered me however because it felt like I was being punished for an option you gave to me to use. It didn’t ruin the fun or anything it just seemed a bit odd.

The game functioned perfectly, I didnt notice any kind of graphical or sound issues and it never froze on me which is important. I enjoyed my time with it and it was a fun history lesson that many people will love. One thing it isn’t tho is a game you will want to sink hundreds of hours into. It is best played here and there when you want to kill some time. A solid 7/10. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Something New

This is something new, that honestly won’t happen again probably. As some of you know I did a small stint in the U.S. Army and recently I’ve had need to buy a weapon for work. Something I honestly thought I would never do again. So after some searching and thinking I picked up a Glock 17 Gen 5.

Why? I can’t say really. Couple of my friends own Glocks and they felt nice to hold and the 17 as a 9mm just seemed and felt like a nice fit. It is t overly powerful but is reliable, even fully loaded with the 17 round mags it isn’t that heavy and I feel like I could teach my kids to shoot with it just as well as protect myself at work if I unfortunately ever need to.

Thanks for listening by the way, just thought I would share my new purchase. Best wishes and may the gaming gods being you glory.