Imperiums: Greek Wars Review

As always when I write these things, Huge shout out and thank you to Kube Games for hooking me up with a copy of this one. Been looking forward to it for a bit and was not disappointed.

 

Now to start off, if you have no real experience with the 4X/grand strategy genre every, you need a game that will walk you into it and teach you the ropes. I won’t say this is the best game to start with, but it certainly is not the worst. It has a nice tutorial that will take about an hour or so to get through. There will still be plenty of things to master and learn, but this will get you moving.

As you go through this you will see quickly that the game looks nice, not breathtaking but these games never do. We aren’t talking about a high-end developer here, what we have is a small group of guys that love what they do and treat it like their children, and it truly shows. The graphics and sound serve the game well and at no point did I run into any graphical or sound issues that made me feel like this game wasn’t worth investing my time into.

The gameplay itself does a fantastic job of recreating that one more turn feeling that these games are known for. Every road built and every field to keep the population fed takes you one step closer to whatever goal you are working towards.  That goal may be a new city, a new ally, starting a war, the choice is yours really.

That being said there were some things I didn’t much care for.  Sometimes it seemed like allies would just turn on you or do some odd things, even if it wasn’t what was best for them. Similarly, loyalty also seems to change at odd times, for some reason I’ve had troops turn on me while winning wars but they weren’t all that disloyal to begin with.

I honestly don’t know what to say about this game. I don’t feel I can explain in enough detail to truly explain it in enough detail what it all entails, but I don’t want to skimp out on telling you what a great experience on what the game itself is. I have played plenty of games like this in the past, and I enjoyed this one. If you are looking for something to scratch that civilization itch, this game just may do it for you. It is a solid 8/10, and one I will be enjoying for a while. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

 

void tRrLM(); //Void Terrarium! PS4 Review

Yup, you know what time it is guys, a huge shout out to NIS America for tossing me this one to review, love you guys. By the way, from now on  I am just calling this one Void instead of all that other stuff, I don’t want to type it all out every time I mention it, just know the full name is in the title.

 

Now the story on this one is a bit odd to explain, so I will actually just copy and paste it from their email then explain from there.

In a world contaminated with toxic fungi, a discarded maintenance robot finds a girl named Toriko on the brink of death among the discarded junk in a scrapyard. After nursing her back to health, it is revealed that she may very well be the last remaining human, and is highly vulnerable to the deadly conditions of the outside world. To ensure her survival, the robot and his newfound friend, a decommissioned AI known as factoryAI, creates a refuge for her within a terrarium. To reinforce the terrarium as well as Toriko’s poor health, the lone robot must venture into the wasteland to gather resources while battling the vagrant machines and mutated creatures that roam there. Along the way, the uncertain future of Toriko’s existence and with her, the entire human race, will slowly come to light…

Now, all that tells you a ton and nothing at the same time. You play as a robot that kind of looks like a mouse, you start at level one and will advance through different dungeons that change every time you enter them. Each time you restart at level one and lose all of your items. This is because when you return all the items in your inventory are turned into needed resources to build and care for your human, Toriko. This sounds like a pain but it actually works very well.

Don’t worry about powering up your robot tho, as you build certain things for your human, whether it is upgraded things for her tank or just small quality of life things for her like a better bed and such they give your little robot upgrades to its health and attack or whatever else you may need. This way you will start out with an advantage and as you level up you become stronger in the dungeons themselves, this encourages you to build al the upgrades as soon as you can.

The graphics aren’t great but they are nice and fit the roguelike style RPG very well. The sound also falls into the same category.

For me the real success tho was the fact I found myself wanting to know more about how the world ended up here. Why was Toriko the last human left? Was she even the last one? What did FactoryAI have to do with it if anything? All these questions kept me diving back in for just one more time before going to be.

The game isn’t perfect, but there are no major bugs or glitches, tho at times the translations were a bit weird and a couple times I caught words repeating. ( for example it might say and and in a sentence) And there are a couple odd difficulty spikes. The game is still a solid 7/10 and worth picking up to me tho for the price that it is. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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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.