All posts filed under: Video Games

It’s Outer This World! – The Outer Worlds – Humble Opinions

After recently finishing Cyberpunk, the game left me craving more story-heavy games. Cyberpunk, although having many faults, did keep me entertained when it came to world-building, story, and its characters. I decided to do some research and, after looking in my backlog, I came across The Outer Worlds. An interesting proposition: I do love the Fallout series, and this looks quite similar. The Outer Worlds was developed by Obsidian, the makers of Fallout: New Vegas; you’ll discover just how much of a spiritual successor of the Fallout series this game is, as it plays very much the same. Upon starting the catalogue of quests available, it was quickly apparent that there was a clear emphasis on “you need to make a decision, and therefore this will affect which faction will hate you and which will tolerate you”. There is very much a cause and effect to your actions, which can take you down some alternative paths to achieve a different ending. You’ll choose whether to help each faction or go against them, and, in the …

In Erdrick’s Footsteps – Dragon Quest (Switch) – Humble Opinions

This year marks the 35th anniversary of the original release of Dragon Quest in Japan—on the Famicom. There have been eleven main-series instalments and countless spin-off games released since then. With the entire main-line series (bar the MMO instalment, Dragon Quest X) now having had an official English-language release, I figured it was time I explored some of those older Dragon Quest titles I never had a chance to experience. With the Nintendo Switch remastered releases of the Erdrick Trilogy (Dragon Quest I–III), I figured there was no better place to start than with the game that started it all. So, please join me as I endeavour to take on the quest that is the Erdrick Trilogy. Dragon Quest on the Nintendo Switch is a remastered version of the original 1986 genre-defining classic, ported across from the mobile version and rescaled. The game feels immediately familiar, as a long-time JRPG fan, because this game was the innovator that started it all. Every JRPG that you’ve likely ever played features some element of gameplay that was …

Bing Bang Boom – XIII – Humble Opinions

The original XIII released back in 2003 and has gone on to become a cult classic. When it was announced that XIII would be getting a remake for modern audiences, naturally, fans were quite excited to see such a beloved game with a new coat of paint—reborn on current day technology. In a rather strange turn of fate, the original game would see a resurgence in sales upon the release of the remake because, quite frankly, the remake is a mess. So much of a mess that even the developers issued a public apology for the state of the game on release. Now, for the sake of this review, I’m going to try and find the silver lining here with the XIII remake; but, bare well in mind that, they are few and far between. One of the major issues fans of XIII had with the remake was its decision to completely overhaul the game’s iconic cel-shaded art style. Now, while this change in art direction really subtracts a lot of the original games charm, …

Living the Electric Dream – Cyberpunk 2077 – Humble Opinions

Okay, first things first: I don’t give a flip about the graphical glitches that have been the topic of conversation wherever this game is concerned. The models take a hot second to load sometimes: big whoop. I know that might not be the most professional-sounding opinion, but whatever. I feel like talking about Cyberpunk; let the rest of the internet worry about optimisation. Like, did you know that you can wield a katana? Well you can, and that’s the sort of stuff I plan on talking about (technically “writing” about, but you know what I mean). Anywho, let’s dive into Night City, shall we? So…Night City is a little bit the worst. As a technological/societal beacon of a dystopian-like, futuristic hellscape, ol’ Night City is a melting pot of chaos, carnage, and crappy people. The game literally begins with you being blackmailed, betrayed, and almost killed—at least if you’re a Corpo. Oh, Corpo is one of the backgrounds you can pick for your version of V (the protagonist). The other two options are Street Kid and …

Marbles With Attitude – Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia – Humble Opinions

If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from Bakugan, it’s the intro to the anime series…and that’s about it. Oh, I also know that the Bakugan are spheres that open up into little monster figures. I know that isn’t a tremendous knowledge base to start from, but we’re all here to learn. So, with that in mind, let’s see what Bakugan: Champions of Vestroia has to teach us. Lesson one: Bakugan are from Vestroia. See, what a great start we’re off to. More game specifically, Bakugan are capable of crashing to Earth in a meteor-like form—a method through which our protagonist finds their very first Bakugan. Now, I’m not sure if every child in the game’s universe stumbled upon a glowing crater containing a Bakugan, but our protagonist did; so…yeah. I’m also being rather vague about our protagonist, as this is one of those affairs where you, the player, design them. Though a fun gimmick—as character creation always is—the same assets are also used to build most other NPCs, leading to a world where slight variations on a …

Driving Dirty – Dirt 5 – Humble Opinions

It has been thirteen years since the first instalment in the Dirt franchise and, over the course of that period of time, Codemasters have refined and polished the series into what has become one of the most enjoyable racing properties on the market. Dirt 5 continues that trend, providing what may very well be the most complete off-road rally-racing video game experience to date. Upon loading up Dirt 5 for the first time, I was immediately blown away by the plethora of gameplay options available to me; the deep customisation options only add to that. There are countless gameplay modes and a rather incredible career mode with its own narrative—that features the voice work of iconic voice actors Nolan North and Troy Baker. The career mode will have you running the gauntlet in a variety of different styles of racing, be it rally, stadium super trucks, and even ice-road racing. You never get a chance to get bored, as the game switches things up frequently enough that you are always taking on new challenges and …

The Not-Too-Distant Future – Cyberpunk 2077 – Coming Attractions

Light up Night City. The future is…soon. I mean, that’s pretty obvious; but, the more specific future of 2077 is set to roll around slightly before the calendar indicates. So, what the heck am I talking about? Why, Cyberpunk 2077, of course. You know, that game that’s been driving people into a tizzy since 2012. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then have I got some news and/or trailers for you; also, what is the address of the rock you’ve been living under for the past eight years? So I know where to send the information. To cut a long story short, Cyberpunk 2077 is a game set in one of those dystopian futures that humans so often find themselves creating. Lawlessness reigns, and therein lies but one hope of a more glorious life: Night City. A megalopolis—fancy talk for “really big place with a freakin’ bunch of buildings”—Night City is overcrowded, technologically advanced, and home to every vice and sin you could imagine (plus a few you couldn’t). Think of it like reality …

The Beast Offence – Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed – Humble Opinions

Everybody likes robots: it’s just one of those inescapable facts. People also tend to be rather fond of animals. So, why not combine the two? Also, why not throw some combat into the mix? Also also, make it an anime. I know it may sound crazy, but this particular formula culminates in Zoids. I mean, you probably already knew that given the title of this collection of words, but it’s more dramatic to pretend otherwise. Regardless, let us delve into a new game from a franchise reinvented…because they stopped making series/games in the original style a while ago and mad me sad. Zoids Wild: Blast Unleashed is a fighting game based around, surprise surprise, Zoids Wild. Now, I myself am quite the fan of Zoids, but I will admit to knowing nothing of Wild. So, Blast Unleashed is my first foray into this new world…and it is wild. The first thing you’ll probably notice is just how “anime” the cast appears. I know, I know, “anime” is a wide-ranging medium, but you know what I mean. The main character has …

An Endless-Fates Escape – Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning – Humble Opinions

Back when the original Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning came out, I simply fell in love with the massive open world, the fluid hack and slash mechanics, well-thought-out story, fantastical lore, and decent crafting and looting system. It was a game that felt way ahead of its time and while I never actually finished the game—because I got lost in the seemingly endless side quests—I was truly excited to get back into the game on PC with the new remaster: Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning. Now, I want to get something out of the way, there are a vocal few disappointed by the remaster, as there wasn’t any tangible texture improvements, but to that I say: there really didn’t need to be. With the newly included super-sampling, the game’s textures look cleaner and crisper—while still maintaining the same art style and feel. Another addition are the camera features which allow for adjustments to camera height, field of view, and camera distance. This small change is a big quality-of-life addition, as in the original I found the game’s …

Burning Rubber – Ride 4 – Humble Opinions

Since the series’ inception back in 2015, the Ride series has proven with each instalment to be staking its claim as the best motorcycle racing game on the market. Now, with Ride 4, we get the most complete and polished iteration of developer Milestone S.r.l’s vision for the motorcycle racing video game genre. If Forza Motorsport was a revolutionary take on the motorsport gaming experience, Ride 4 is the same kind of revolution for motorcycle racers. It is, simply put, the game that motorcycle racing fans have been waiting for. Ride 4 builds upon the incredible game design of the previous Ride instalments, with a plethora of new features and modes that are sure to delight motorcycle enthusiasts and Ride fans alike. There are immersive, advanced customisation options new to Ride 4, as well as the very interesting new AI system developed by Milestone S.r.l—which will adapt to the way you play, changing as the game goes on. The new Career Mode will, however, likely be the bulk of the experience for those who want …

FIFA for Anime Fans – Captain Tsubasa: Rise of Champions – Humble Opinions

Football video games are trotted out by the year with little more than a face lift. Yet football fanatics, loyal as they are, purchase the latest FIFA or PES game each year without fail—mostly because the franchises have earned the trust of the players. The games play very well and are simple yet complex, meaning they can be enjoyed by both casual and hardcore players alike; it is undoubted that these football video games are very fun. Enter Captain Tsubasa: Rise of Champions—an anime fan’s FIFA game. Whether you are in the know about the legendary Captain Tsubasa football anime series or not, there are all the hallmarks of both a great football game and a great anime game here. Not unlike Captain Tsubasa‘s modern equivalent Inazuma Eleven, the players in the game are able to use supernatural abilities to spice up the play with some wild and explosive shots and manoeuvres. Gameplay-wise, the core foundation of the game is in the football matches themselves. If you have ever played a FIFA game, the football …

Claire de Lune – Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition – Humble Opinions

After an eleven-year break, the spin-off series of the Final Fantasy franchise returns with the remastered edition of the game that started it all way back in 2003: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition. Given new life on the Switch, PS4, and mobile devices—with online cross play between the platforms—the remastered edition is an ambitious effort from Square Enix, to say the very least. Unfortunately, its own ambition may have ultimately proved to be its defining flaw. Generally speaking, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition plays relatively identically to the original GameCube title—more a dungeon-crawling action RPG than the typical Final Fantasy formula. The crux of the original game was its multiplayer mode, which was truly where the game shined. Rather disappointingly, the remastered edition launched with a plethora of issues that plagued the online multiplayer mode, making it impossible to play the multiplayer mode for the first several weeks after launch (a problem that plagued Oceania region more so than other regions). That said, after ultimately patching the issues and correcting things, the game …

A Seriously Dated Disappointment – Serious Sam 4 – Humble Opinions

Serious Sam 4 was the first real iteration of its franchise that I played long enough to be worn out by—which took almost no time at all. It’s extremely hard to have something positive to say about this title, because it does nothing well and a lot of things poorly. Having previously tried Serious Sam 2 & 3, I expected a simplistic arena shooter. I don’t believe my expectations were super high—I didn’t expect anything particularly revolutionary and interesting—so I went in to the game only expecting a fun time at the very least. Instead, what we got in Serious Sam 4 was serious disappointment, requiring some serious questioning. Where do I begin? The enemies: seriously? The sophistication of the AI in this game is abysmal—it’s non-existent. You can cheese nearly every battle, and it is so easy to do. Countless times, enemies found themselves stuck on environmental objects, even without my intervention. They sit there, struggling to free themselves, while you unload clip after clip to take them down. Where is the fun in …

A New Legend Begins – Ary and the Secret of Seasons – Humble Opinions

There have been an incalculable number of games that have tried to emulate the magic of The Legend of Zelda games—very few have ever come close. Ary and the Secret of Seasons undoubtedly owes a lot to The Legend of Zelda as well; the more and more you play it, the more you come to find that Ary has undeniably and indisputably carved out her own legend. Ary and the Secret of Seasons is a vast game that just begs to be explored. The world of Valdi and its colourful cast of characters are bursting with life, in ways that games of the same genre often fail to accomplish. The expansive world is rich with detail and you will no doubt find yourself wanting to inspect every nook and cranny. The main hook of the game is Ary’s season-changing abilities, which adds an even deeper layer to the world—as each season can open different paths and place a different perspective on each location. Speaking of the season-altering abilities of our heroine, Ary, it hearkens back to …

La-La Island – Giraffe and Annika – Humble Opinions

Who doesn’t enjoy a little bit of fantasy every now and then? A chance to imagine a world that is free from the pesky shackles of reality; to ponder “What if?” and relish the nonsense that is born from it. As it turns out, children tend to lean further into imagination than those fuddy-duddy grown-ups; but, that doesn’t mean that adults can’t return to the world of fantasy every now and then. Giraffe and Annika is an odd duck. Though mostly a light RPG experience, each of the game’s five dungeons are capped of with a rhythm game: which is unexpected. And though not a bad idea per se, these segments are markedly separate from the other mechanics of the game. Still, I should probably explain the bulk of the game before I get to the events that end each dungeon. For the most part, Giraffe and Annika sees you—through the character of Annika—running around Spica Island. After a brief comic-panel introduction, Annika awakens with no memory and…you just go. Rather than any kind of tutorial, …

Breath of the Forager – Windbound – Humble Opinions

It was only a matter of time before the clones showed up, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was undoubtedly a paradigm shift in open-world gaming; so it is only natural that other aspiring game developers and designers would feel inclined to emulate it. Windbound is perhaps the most obvious of these, but to call it a straight-up clone would be a little unfair. Sure, the tribal-infused, cel-shaded visuals are obviously inspired by Nintendo’s worldwide hit and the general feel of the adventure is similar—minus the epic set pieces of Hyrule or a demonic incarnation of Ganondorf—but Windbound takes a far more grounded approach, with the focus being on survival rather than discovery. Windbound starts off with a storm at sea, as our hero finds herself drowning into a watery abyss—before seemingly getting a second chance at life after passing through some sort of afterlife portal. Early on, it becomes clear that this island-survival game is a rogue-like adventure, which means there are multiple chances at this life for our resourceful, yet …

Three’s a Company – Blightbound – Humble Opinions

-Sali- I always have an itch to scratch when it comes to ARPGs (and more recently rogue-likes, thanks to my love of Dead Cells). Luckily, Devolver Digital has provided us a taste of this genre with their recent early-access release Blightbound. I say “taste” as the game certainly satiates the desire to dungeon grind for progression but still has room to grow exponentially—as the developers are still actively working on, and adding to, the title. There is a lot of potential here. If you have the option, this is a game you are going to want to play with two other friends. That is how I experienced the majority of my time with the game, and I think it was all the more enjoyable for it. The game definitely relies on good communication, especially when choosing higher-difficulty dungeons. There is a need to often call out to the team for heals, to get them to group up, and to warn them of incoming attacks. I can’t count the amount of times my teammates assisted in …

Ground Control to Magnetic Moon Base – Relicta – Humble Opinions

Relicta is a first-person physics-based puzzle game very similar to games like Portal, Q.U.B.E., or Quantum Conundrum. The game has a lot great content…albeit with a glaring few caveats. You start as a female scientist, combining magnetism and gravity to unravel the secrets of Chandra Base—a collection of bio-domes on the moon used as a facility to test out the capability of the game-mechanic gloves, cubes, gravity, and magnetism. Throughout the game, you spend your time talking with different characters and working to solve different issues on the moon base—while having personal banter. I’d like to first point out that it’s refreshing to see a game including an Indian protagonist—a nationality not explored often enough within games. The cast’s voice acting is top notch, but with the unfortunate failings of the dialogue it doesn’t feel natural. An example of this is discussions with Alani seeming very schizophrenic. One second she will come off as rude, angry at your actions and overall acting hostile, then will enjoy some teasing banter—with you calling her “bae” in response. …

Newtype Wonderland – Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost On – Humble Opinions

From the arcades of Tokyo to PlayStation 4’s across the globe, Mobile Suit Gundam Extreme Vs. Maxi Boost On gives console gamers the addictive arcade experience—from the comfort of their own home. Maxi Boost On is an upgraded port of the wildly popular arcade cabinet game Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs. and he action and intensity of the Mobile Suit Gundam series is on show here in what may very well be the best entry into the series’ long line of video games to date; its addictive arcade-style nature makes this a game that is hard to put down. Maxi Boost On plays exactly like its arcade counterpart: placing you in an expansive map and charging you with combating enemy Mobile Suits in fast-paced and often times overwhelming action. There is a massive list of Mobile Suits available, spanning just about every iteration of the Gundam franchise. If there is a particular Mobile Suit you have in mind, it is most likely available to play in—and likely upon launching the game as well. I was truly impressed by …

Kickflip My Heart – Skater XL – Humble Opinions

It has been a very long time since someone has done something to reinvent the wheel with the skateboarding video-game genre. The genre has always been fun to dive into and just enjoy skating, but games like Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and the Skate series always had a more arcade style to them—never truly feeling like real skateboarding. Enter Skater XL: an innovative new entry into the hallowed halls of skateboarding video games, which comes about as close to skateboarding simulation as can be. Part of what made the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series so addictive were its simple controls and how easy it was to pull of insane tricks. Skater XL takes the opposite approach: attempting to simulate skateboarding rather than simply have you tap a button to do a trick. Skater XL implements an innovative Independent Foot Control system which allows you to manipulate and control each foot of your skater with the analogue sticks. This admittedly comes with a steep learning curve at the start, but once you come to understand the …

The Secret is Out – Ary and the Secret of Seasons – Coming Attractions

Playing Ary and the Secret Of Seasons feels immediately familiar. Ary’s world of Valdi feels very Disney-esque and her ability to harness the power of the seasons will no doubt remind many of Frozen—though the story itself may have more in common with Mulan. However, in terms of gameplay, Ary and the Secret of Seasons clearly takes inspiration from The Legend of Zelda franchise and even plays like a fully 3D version of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons—a Game Boy Color title which likewise allowed players to control the seasons to transform locations and solve puzzles. Although the game feels so very familiar, Ary and the Secret of Seasons pays homage to its inspirations while proving to stand on its own merit as well. We were able to try out a preview build of the game on PC thanks to our friends at Turn Left Distribution. The preview build gave us the ability to play the first section of the game, learning the basics of the game’s world and meeting its various colourful …

The Cult of the Machine – Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus – Humble Opinions

The Warhammer 40,000 franchise has arguably one of the most well-crafted lores in popular culture. It is complex and deep in all the right ways, which makes it ripe for exploration in a variety of different mediums—be it on the table top, in literature, or through video games. Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus may very well be one of the most interesting entries into the long-running multimedia franchise. Combining XCOM style strategy gameplay with the world and lore of Warhammer 40,000 proves to be a winning formula for Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus. Warhammer 40,000: Mechanicus is now available on the Nintendo Switch and it actually finds itself perfectly at home on the console. The game plays like a faster paced XCOM-style strategy game and lends itself nicely to quicker gaming sessions—compared to other gaming entries in the Warhammer series which can be more time demanding. That said, it doesn’t mean that the game itself has been simplified or dumbed down; instead the Warhammer experience has been streamlined through a turn-based strategy game format—to superb results. For those uninitiated …

Malevolent-Minion-Slapping Fun – Dungeons 3 – Humble Opinions

I’m not usually fond of strategy games in general; but, as a child, I was given a dungeon-sim game and ended up spending a long time playing—and actually enjoying—it. It’s also been a while since I willingly dived into a strategy and resource management game, but I decided to have another dive into the genre with Dungeons 3. The hesitation struck me when I first opened the game: at the menu. I saw the option to start the campaign, which was tempting. I mean, who doesn’t want to skip the tutorials and just get right into things? But, I mustered up the will to navigate through the few tutorials that the game offered. And for once, I’m glad I did. The tutorials were necessary in my case. The game adds some new features that I hadn’t experienced in similar games in the past, and this is where I learnt of them. Luckily, the tutorials were quite quick to get through, and the blow of being tutorialised was lessened with the humour in the narration and …

Pineapple Express – SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated – Humble Opinions

Reading the title alone could dehydrate someone. There are a lot of SpongeBob video games—a lot. While the release cycle has slowed down to a halt, in the previous two decades there was no shortage of these damn things on any platform. Most of these games weren’t great, but among them was a decent 3D platformer called SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom released for sixth generation consoles way back in 2003. It was flawed for sure, but certainly a lot better than most other games bearing the barnacle IP namesake. Over a decade later, they decided it was worth revisiting the game and bolstering it up to reach its full potential; the end result is SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated. Where the 2003 original was a serviceable platformer at best, the 2020 rehydration effort pays off in Krabby Patties—as the game can now claim to be a legitimately good platformer. That’s even in the presence of modern classics like Yooka-Laylee, A Hat in Time, and Super Mario Odyssey. The most apparent …

Trying to Log Out – Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris – Humble Opinions

Sword Art Online: Alicization Lycoris begins with series protagonist Kirito trying to log out of the virtual reality game he has found himself in. To his surprise, he is seemingly trapped in the game without the ability to log out. It is a moment that encapsulates the entire experience of Alicization Lycoris—you can’t help but want to log out and play something else. The Sword Art Online franchise is source material ripe for making a video game from; however, so many of the attempts to make a Sword Art Online game have failed to capitalise on the inherent excitement of the series’ concept. While some like Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet actually make an attempt at exploring the video game world in a compelling and engaging way—telling an original story and letting you craft your own player in the Sword Art Online world—Alicization Lycoris is too focused on being a direct adaptation of the anime series, rather than being a good game. Alicization Lycoris retells the story of the “Alicization Arc” of the series, following …

Objects in Mirror Are Deeper Than They Appear – F1 2020 – Humble Opinions

Despite my long-lasting love for a wide range of racing games, I have never played a F1 game; so, for the first time ever, I’ve taken a curious step into the wide world of Formula 1 racing with F1 2020. Throughout many hours of play, F1 2020 opened my eyes to how deep and complex the racing world can be: countless hours spent outside the track, testing, fine tuning, practising, managing, and even being interviewed so you maximise the potential on the track. A new career mode has been introduced, called My Team, where you are both the owner and driver of the 11th team on the grid; where you not only test your limits on the track but also manage all of the intricacies that come with owning a team. From the start, you manage all parts of the company: from picking the sponsor, power-unit supplier, and second driver; to pouring finances into your R&D teams—researching upgrades and scheduling team building activities in between Grand Prix Weekends. Whilst a tad limited, you can also …

Crystal Clear – Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition – Coming Attractions

It has been almost two decades since the Final Fantasy series saw the release of one of its most unique instalments: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the Nintendo GameCube. The game was revolutionary back in 2003 and redefined what a Final Fantasy game could really be. The original GameCube game proved to be so popular that it went on to spawn its own spin-off series under the Crystal Chronicles banner—with titles released on both the Nintendo DS and Wii. Differentiating themselves from the mainline Final Fantasy games, the Crystal Chronicles series were all set within the same world and followed characters and stories spanning two millennia. However, after the release of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, the series has seemingly been sidelined or forgotten by Square Enix. Although, that is all about to change with the upcoming Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition for the Nintendo Switch. Thanks to Bandai Namco and Square Enix, we were able to get a look at this remastered edition of Crystal Chronicles; needless to say, from the …

Camaraderie Isn’t Dead – Fairy Tail – Humble Opinions

Friendship. If I’m being honest, that’s all you really need to know about Fairy Tail. It is a property built entirely upon the foundation of camaraderie, of finding strength in bonds with others, of helping people move through the pain of their past in order to strive for the future. It’s uplifting, a little cheesy, and full of action that really simplifies the concept of emotional conflict. I mean, punching a bad guy in the face is also more visually appealing than internalised monologue, but the analogy is still in there somewhere. Also, I lied: Fairy Tail can be really cheesy…like, dangerously so. But that’s sort of what makes it so charming. Who doesn’t want to see the power of friendship turn the tides of darkness? Villains, that’s who. So, if you just thought to yourself that you’d like to see friendship lose…then I’ve got some bad news for you. First things first: Fairy Tail is not a game for people who have never watched or read Fairy Tail. I know that might sound mean, but I’m saying it …

Academic Warfare – The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III – Humble Opinions

The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel has been quite the tetralogy and an immensely ambitious one too. Imagine if Shin Megami Tensei: Persona had the rabbit-hole content density of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim; that’s basically what The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel achieves—and very successfully so on all accounts. The localisation journey of this series has been a long one, initially starting out on PlayStation platforms where it gave the late PlayStation Vita quite the RPG showcase, before completing the rest on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. For Japanese players the tetralogy is fully complete, with our side of the world getting both Trails of Cold Steel and Trails of Cold Steel II in 2016; now in 2020, we finally get III—with IV due for a localisation release sometime in 2021. The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III takes place only a couple of years after the dramatic events of its predecessor. For consistency’s sake, you can get the previous entries remastered on PlayStation 4 along with this …

Revisiting an Old Friend – Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town – Humble Opinions

It’s been a long time since I played a Story of Seasons (a.k.a. Harvest Moon) game. Reminiscing, it was back on the Game Boy Advance (GBA) where I bought a copy of Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town to play. Funnily enough, Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town is a remake of the GBA classic—and what a classic it was. Back on the GBA, it was the game that first captured my interest in farming/mining/romancing games—where the goal was slow progression…and to get rich eventually! And it’s safe to say that the remake has captured that same feeling of nostalgia. The game is a smooth and enjoyable experience on the Switch. This being said, for the first time ever, the game is available on the PC in glorious 4K—if that’s what you’re in to. In this day and age, it’s rare to experience a game where you aren’t bombarded with tutorials and complicated mechanics; I am happy to say that the experience here was desirable. The game doesn’t call for complicated, lengthy tutorials and …

Thy Flesh Consumed – Carrion – Humble Opinions

There are quite a few games out there where you are tasked to be the villain, but not many like Carrion—the reverse-horror game in which you assume the role of an amorphous creature made of flesh, blood, sharp teeth, and countless whipping tendrils with two goals: to go on a murderous rampage and kill/eat everything in sight, and to spread your biomass throughout the facility where you were held hostage in order to escape. What’s different about Carrion is presented throughout its variety of puzzles, interesting game mechanics, and the psychopathic feeling of killing without empathy or remorse. The atmosphere and feel of the game all starts with the monster; you are the monster. Your growls echo through the hallways, sending shivers down your meals’ spines as they run or prepare for you arrival. Your tendrils pitter-patter against any surface they can, flinging you across rooms at lightning speeds. You rip doors off their hinges, lunging yourself at helpless humans with the urge to kill and feast like the ravenous beast you are. The horrified …

Can You Dig It? – Mr. Driller DrillLand – Humble Opinions

It has been five years since the last instalment in the Mr. Driller series—a mobile spin-off title: Mr. Driller for Kakao—and more than a decade since the last main series release. You’d be forgiven for thinking that, much like Dig Dug (the series which spun off into Mr. Driller), this series was effectively a dead property at this point. That is why it comes as such a pleasant surprise that Namco Bandai has revived the series with a full remake of the GameCube classic which defined the series: Mr. Driller DrillLand. The GameCube game has been remade completely from scratch here for the Nintendo Switch in glorious fashion. Mr. Driller DrillLand for the Nintendo Switch maintains all the features that made the GameCube version so remarkable, all the while expanding upon them and improving the visual aspects of the game. For the uninitiated, Mr. Driller is essentially a wicked combination of Dig Dug and Tetris—only you’re playing Tetris in reverse. The aim of the game is to drill your way through the various blocks and make …

Stunning. Vivid. Gratifying. – Children of Morta – Humble Opinions

If you are a fan of stunning pixel art and roguelike games similar to Dead Cells, you should probably check out Children of Morta on Steam. With its recent full release—away from being an early-access title—the game provides value and a sense of progression and accomplishment for those who have the patience to stick with it for the long term. Children of Morta-–firstly—is beautiful in all aspects. I don’t feel like I’m exaggerating here. If you have a penchant for pixel art and the inherent cuteness of it all, you will adore the attention to detail and style of the art presented in this game. The art within the game is so vivid and vibrant. I imagine the colour palette of the Bergsons’ home in its entirety has hundreds of different shades of colour. Looking at the outside of the home, your eyes are met with wild, almost psychedelic colours which mesh together so well. The family home provides a beautiful retreat and is a wild contrast from the dingy dungeons you will be diving …

A Kid and Not a Squid – Ninjala – Humble Opinions

Any time a game is promoted as “free-to-play”, the grizzled gaming veterans among us raise our eyebrows; the youngins on the other hand wouldn’t have it any other way. Ninjala is among the many recent slew of these titles; but, unlike the money-grubbing exemplars of this rather exploitative model, developer GungHo have created quite the tempting “free” proposition. Splatoon quickly became one of Nintendo’s quintessential IPs—ever since its Wii U debut—and is still as strong as ever: with Splatoon 2 being part of the first-year lineup for Nintendo Switch. When Ninjala was first revealed, it turned heads and rolled eyes as the similarities with Nintendo’s squid-kid shooter were just far too obvious. In the build up to the eventual worldwide launch—and after many delays—those similarities are very much still the case, but to the extent of Pepsi being similar to Coca-Cola. Right on the title screen graphic you see a soda ad with the caption “Taste the Difference”. Subtle. Ninjala may resemble Splatoon in its style and use of fonts, but when you get right …

A Difficult Game; An Easy Cell – Dead Cells – Humble Opinions

I’ve never been one for difficult or rogue-like games—you can thank my short temper and minimal patience when it comes to dying in video games—but I’m a little bit different when it comes to Dead Cells. The game is a combination of stunning 2D pixel graphics and smooth movement. It can be punishing in its own right; but, on the other hand, the potential for progression kept me running through levels again and again. The addictive gameplay and the feeling of building my strength and capability with every run made me endure every mistimed dodge-roll and cheap enemy tactic. To be fair, I felt some of my tactics were cheap too… First off, there is no doubting that the game is beautiful in its own right. The pixel art and animation is stunning, and care was definitely taken when designing the levels and the enemies. The art style is consistent across the game, with all enemies and levels all appearing unique in their own right. The style is very much “cute-and-endearing”, but you can’t focus …

To Cop, or Not to Cop? Only One Wei to Decide! – Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition – Humble Opinions

If you think that Sleeping Dogs is just another Grand Theft Auto clone: you’d be wrong. After playing Definitive Edition the second time round in an attempt to 100% the game, I found myself still enjoying the story and the world—more so than I did with any of the games in the GTA series. It is a bit daring to compare the game to (and favour it over) a behemoth like GTA V, but the game does well for itself—even if it is on a smaller, less grandiose scale. Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition introduces the player to an intriguing set of characters facing an intriguing set of circumstances, and that’s a key factor in what kept me returning to the experience. You begin your story by infiltrating the Sun On Yee (a triad organisation) as Wei Shen, an undercover police officer. Navigating the streets of contemporary Hong Kong, Wei must balance his time between his policing duties and proving himself to the triads—travelling between four key districts to complete missions for both, earning experience and …

Dungeon Nice Monsters – Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX – Humble Opinions

Since Pikachu’s Vacation, we have known that—despite nominative, and therefore linguistic, differences—Pokémon have their own interactions beyond human influence. They laugh, they fight, they party down, and they have adventures all their own. But, what happens when an adventure goes awry? What happens when a Pokémon is lost to the depths of a dungeon? Well, they’re rescued of course. This isn’t some tragic, twisted tale: this is Pokémon. And the power of courage and friendship trumps all—even the perils of walking ninety-nine floors beneath the actual ocean. Originally gracing our handhelds fifteen years ago, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is an interesting spin-off of the standard Pokémon formula. Gone are gyms, trainers, professors, Pokedexes, and mothers who wait until after you’ve walked one town over to give you shoes capable of supporting a run. Instead, you awaken as a Pokémon—a Pokémon who was once human. Mysterious, to say the least. Thrown into an uncertain world—not helped by the amnesia you are afflicted with—you immediately befriend a cheerful Pokémon and decide to join their rescue team: vowing to …

The Entrance to Entry-Level Dungeon Brawling – Minecraft: Dungeons – Humble Opinions

As an avid lover of Minecraft for the past ten years, I knew I’d have to give Minecraft: Dungeons a shot. After all, what more could I want in a game than for it to be a combination of Minecraft aesthetics and Diablo-esque gameplay? Being a massive fan of ARPGs like Path of Exile and Diablo—which usually promise lengthy playtime, huge replayability, and that addictive feedback loop of grinding for loot—Dungeons appealed to me, as it had been a while since I sunk my teeth into the genre. The game—newly released, and on the Australian PC market for $29—seemed like a cheap enough entry point to not have to wait for a sale. The price point upon release was one of the biggest clues as to what I was diving in to—before even booting the game up. At about half the cost of a full-priced title, I was expecting half the content. And I was kind of right. Firstly, one of the striking things is the aesthetic. Even though Minecraft is not often described as …

Copious Content, Moderate Substance, and a Unicorn – Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey – Humble Opinions

“Odyssey” is a word usually used to describe a long and eventful journey or experience. In the case of Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, this is a fitting description. Upon release, and especially after the release of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, the game received flak for some of its design choices. Currently playing through—at about seventy-one hours in—I thought I would review some of the criticisms that Ubisoft were faced with upon its release. Are these things really an issue? And for who? Gripe Number 1: The game has too much padding and filler There is no hiding this, that’s for sure. Ubisoft—maybe in an effort to draw out “more value” (a.k.a. more gameplay hours)—perhaps thought it was a good idea to make the game world, and the quests within it, massive. Yes, the world itself is huge—I would say bigger than Origins. Things are plentiful on the map (you won’t run out of things to do for a long time), but that doesn’t necessarily make all of these things fun to do. Even with an abundance of …

Comedy of Eras – Zoids: Legacy – In Retrospect

What can be said about Zoids: Legacy that hasn’t been said already? Probably a lot, because nobody else I know has ever played the damn game—a travesty if ever I did hear one. So, despite the fact that nobody asked and probably less people care, I shall detail the reasons why I love this game with a passion. Oh, and this isn’t one of those ironic passions either—I legitimately, and without reservation, love this game. In case you were wondering what the hell a Zoid was, allow me to explain. It’s a big animal mech. A bit of a stripped down explanation, but an apt one. Set on the fictional world of Zi, Zoids are the shape which combat has taken. Rather than tanks or planes, militaries based their weapons upon native, techno-organic species—sort of like if you strapped a cannon to a tiger, but also it was the size of a bus…and you sat in its skull. Okay, that sounds horrible, but it’s completely fine in the series…I think. Ethics in Zoids is similar …

Into the Wild – Read Dead Redemption II – In Retrospect

There was something so addictive about Red Dead Redemption II. No, it wasn’t the engaging story, the beautiful graphics, or the promise of being a cowboy (or cowgirl, in my case) again; although, all of those things helped. A game usually tutorialises you—which is necessary most times—but that’s usually the most boring part, right? Well there I was, learning how I was supposed to ride a horse, which buttons to press, how to trade with NPC’s, the works; then came along one part of the tutorial—and it changed everything… What’s that? You want me to murder this poor little rabbit?! But why? I had to oblige. After all, how was I going to get to that juicy main story content? The game begins to walk me through hunting. Okay, I’ll do it. But I just want to get to the story! Why do they have to pad the game out so much? Here I am, crouched in a bush next to my horse. I activate Dead Eye and track its scent. As I inch away …

Hard Truths – The Suicide of Rachel Foster – Humble Opinions

If you enjoy a good walking simulator—backed by a gripping narrative with light puzzles—then you may want to consider playing The Suicide of Rachel Foster. Usually, these types of games don’t entice me to play, due to the slow-paced movement and lack of stimulating fast-paced action. The movement in these games is slow, yes, that’s true; however, everything accomplished within the game is done so with purpose—to add to the overall experience. That is what makes it worthwhile—the experience. In very brief terms—so as not to detract from the experience for those who have not played it yet—the game follows the story of Nicole, who reluctantly needs to return to her father’s hotel after his passing. She is there to assess the damage to the long-abandoned hotel and collect anything she wants to keep, as she intends to sell it and be done with its (and her family’s) troublesome history. From the moment she steps into the place, she is slowly drawn into an investigation about what happened to a girl named Rachel and her …

Delight Amongst All the Rage – Rage 2 – Humble Opinions

Sometimes you just need a bit of mindless fun; so when I picked up Rage 2, that’s what I was hoping for. The game received a lot of criticism back when it was released in 2011, which is initially why I hesitated to buy it at full price. A couple years later, left with a wanting desire to switch off any part of my cognitive thinking after work, I decided to pick up the game during a Steam sale. I was not disappointed with what I found. If you approach the game with the presumption that you will dive into the lives of the protagonist and form a deep connection with their story, then you will be disappointed. The game introduces you to the Rangers, a group dedicated to patrolling the wasteland and eliminating the Authority. Right off the bat, the game exposes you to the villain of the wasteland, Dr Martin Cross, the leader of the Authority. You encounter Cross almost immediately, and he soon dispatches of Ranger Erwina Prowley, who raised you, Walker, …

Connecting The World – Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Humble Opinions

Luke Halliday My first experience with the Animal Crossing series was on the GameCube. Playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and witnessing the feverish hype surrounding the game, it is evident that Animal Crossing has become one of Nintendo’s most popular and acclaimed series since its humble debut on Nintendo’s purple box that could. Tracing the history of the Animal Crossing franchise is an important part of understanding why New Horizons has had gamers clearing shelves across the country, not unlike the pandemic panic buying of toilet paper that has concurrently been taking place. The Animal Crossing series began rather humbly. The GameCube version didn’t allow for travelling to other players villages via online play because, quite simply, that wasn’t a possibility at the time. The game simply charged you with paying off your home loan, building up your own house, and welcoming other villagers to your town. I have many fond memories bonding over this game with my siblings—my sister of which has rather eagerly aided me in making this a joint Humble Opinions piece, …

Sebastian Was Right – Shinsekai: Into the Depths – Humble Opinions

Shinsekai: Into the Depths was one of the many, many launch titles for the Apple Arcade subscription service; then developer Capcom figured, why restrict this neat little underwater adventure to just one service when there are fifty-three million plus Nintendo Switch owners who would love another unique take on the Metroid formula. At its core, that’s what Shinsekai: Into the Depths really is: a Metroid-style adventure with its own signature gameplay style, but still emphasising exploration above everything else. Where most of the world is obsessed with outer space, this neat little adventure from Capcom appreciates just how little we know about the sheer depths of the oceans. Under the sea, down where it’s better—so they say. As an Aquanaut—and a sole survivor of a long lost civilisation—players venture into the depths of the unknown, as they make their way through the mysterious remnants long submerged into the deepest of waters. As much as it is about discovery and wonder, this mute Aquanaut must also deal with the looming disaster of an underwater ice age of …

Terror of Spiders and the Garbage Man – Resident Evil 3 – Humble Opinions

At the age of fifteen, I found myself with a bargain bin copy of Resident Evil 3 for PC; however, like Resident Evil 2, I couldn’t get past the first area. Not out of fear this time, for some reason the controls wouldn’t work on my keyboard—this I believe was due to some incompatibilities between the game and my PC. So, much like Resident Evil 2, my only experience with the game was flaming zombies making their way towards an immobile face-meal—preparing to eat me alive. It was another Resident Evil that I didn’t get to fully experience in my youth, and another horror I had to overcome. After playing through Resident Evil 2, I felt the next battle to face was Resident Evil 3. I decided to jump straight into the Resident Evil 3 remake without much of a break in between. Leon and Claire’s story has ended; however, Jill and Miguel’s…sorry…Carlos’ was still a big blind spot to me in the RE universe. In the Resident Evil 3 you play as Jill, of …

A Romantic First Date – Resident Evil 2 – Humble Opinions

When I was but a wee little child, I had accrued several PS1 Demo discs—which I believe I obtained from convincing my parents that magazines were good for me. They were like books: educational! Or maybe the true reality was I kept annoying the high holy hell out of them until they gave in. Either way, one demo disc in particular had the starting level of Capcom’s original 1998 survival horror game Resident Evil 2. I didn’t know what Resident Evil was, or the fact that it was a horror game, but I was to learn. I was to learn fast. A cop, Leon, navigating through the fire-y, zombie-torn streets. I wasn’t used to the tank like controls, shooting, or survival mechanics of the game, which meant Leon quickly got overwhelmed with the undead (and his face bitten off). A 10-year-old Matt got overwhelmed and scarred for life. Fast track to 2020, where a grown 26-year-old faced his childhood fear of getting his face bit off by playing the 2020 modernised remake of Resident Evil …

Dawn of Hope – Metro Exodus – Humble Opinions

The old Exodus book of the Bible is about several Israelites brought into slavery in Egypt, where they were freed through the guidance of Moses through God. Metro Exodus brings a similar story, though instead of Israelites, it’s the Russians of Moscow; the restriction of freedom not being slavery, but the irradiated world around them. The escape not being….all right, you got me. I know little about the story of Exodus, but I know about the story of Metro Exodus. Artyom has been through a lot over the last two years, and is at a point in his life where he wants something more. Something better than living in an irradiated wasteland, tunnelled into the metro like a rat. This chapter of his life takes place with a small group of post-apocalypse Spetznaz called “The Order”, namely on a train “‘The Aurora”, looking throughout Russia for any sign of an active Russian command centre—and any location where The Order can live in a free irradiated zone. There are a lot of things that separate Metro …

SOLDIER of Fortune – Final Fantasy VII Remake – Humble Opinions

In 1997, a 1st Class SOLDIER left the military for reasons he cannot remember. This man promptly ventured forth to the Midgar underground. Today, still watched by Shinra, he survives as a mercenary. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can afford him…maybe you can hire Cloud Strife. Dun-dah-dah-daa, duh-duh-dah. This one has been a long time coming, hasn’t it? For years people have been clamouring for the next glimpse at FFVII, the next evolution of a game beloved by folks the world over. I mean, I never even played the original and I was excited by Remake, am excited by Remake. Which goes to show the impact this instalment in the ever ironically named series had on the world. So ingrained is the story of this game, that I doubt there is any player of games who doesn’t know at least a little something about the tale of Cloud and his friends in AVALANCHE (as tumultuous as said friendship began). Still, I will refrain from detailing any …

Rip and Tear Until It Is Fun – Doom Eternal – Humble Opinions

Id Software surprised the world a few years back with its reboot of Doom (2016). A game featuring a protagonist (the Doom Slayer) who didn’t care about anything aside from ripping and tearing through demons, pushing away dialogue, and using hands as key cards before ripping them off of the dead. Unlike 1995’s Doom II, which was very much an extension of 1993’s Doom, Doom Eternal feels like a complete remix of old and new gameplay mechanics, lore, and feel. While the game is a marvel, I have a few minor bugbears that made the experience feel a little tarnished. You start the game with a pist—nope. This is the first time where you start off with the bread and butter of Doom gameplay: the combat shotgun. Id Software have decided that the pistol was largely redundant, which I agree, and started off with one of the primary weapons of the series that you’ll be using. Very quickly, throughout the first couple of missions, you also receive your double jump, chainsaw, shoulder-mounted grenade launcher/flamethrower, and …

What Is Love? – Saints Row IV: Re-Elected – Humble Opinions

“So first I’m silent, then I’m an asshole, then I become world famous, then I topple a worldwide crime syndicate, then I defuse a nuke and kill a terrorist, then I’m elected president, and then I’m in an alien spaceship in outer space fighting aliens in a simulation…I have the best life ever.” ~The Boss This one quote that can sum up the story of Saints Row IV, and shows a clear sign of escalation throughout the series. In Saints Row IV, as “The President”, you get trapped in a Zin Spaceship fighting against the warlord Zinyak in a simulated, alien-invaded Steelport. The only way to defeat the Zin Empire is to bring the simulation to its knees by doing what The Saints do best: cause complete destruction and mayhem. You play as your own custom President; I personally created a Clark Kent, representing the Saints in a purple suit. I felt that this ties well because, within the simulation, you are quickly granted superpowers of mass destruction and mobility. Powers range from super-jumps, launching …

The Light at the End of the Metro Tunnel – Metro: Last Light Redux – Humble Opinions

After recently finishing Metro 2033 Redux on the Switch, my attention turned quickly to the next game in the series. Metro: Last Light brought a similar experience on the Switch, but with some improvements, and a continuation of Artyom’s travels in depths of the sewers. Similarly to the 2033 Redux, the graphical fidelity is not so impressive. Of course, this was completely expected (as the Switch has its limitations), and this was pretty much hit on Metro 2033 Redux with not much room to evolve. The graphics aren’t bad in any sense of the word, but you would definitely have a more aesthetically pleasing experience on PC with settings turned to maximum (if you care about that sort of stuff). The graphical fidelity, or lack thereof, by no means diminished the experience at all. I actually enjoyed this game a lot more than 2033 Redux, and it came down to a few factors. Firstly, the levels were varied. Sounds simple, but having different environments for the player to experience is essential in making sure things …

Strategic Romantic – Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV – Humble Opinions

After fourteen installments across countless gaming platforms dating as far back as 1985, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms video game series stands as one of the longest running franchises in gaming history. Yet despite that fact, you’d be forgiven for not having come across the series previously. While it is a genuinely popular franchise in Asia, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms series has always struggled to find an audience in the Western world. Romance of the Three Kingdoms XIV is perhaps best put as the culmination of the entire franchise up until this point. The strategic gameplay system is damn near perfected after all these iterations, and will provide strategy game fans more than enough to sink their teeth into. The game requires a lot of thought and focus in order to do well, proving to be a hardcore strategy gamers delight. That said, if you are in the market for something of a more casual experience set within the Three Kingdoms historical setting, perhaps you’d be better off exploring the spin-off series …

We Named Her Ku – Ori and the Will of the Wisps – Humble Opinions

Moon Studios’ 2D action puzzle-platformer Ori and the Blind Forest is one of my favourite games of all time; to hear that a sequel was being made, I couldn’t help but feel hyped about it. That’s an enormous thing for me nowadays, what with buggy releases, aggressive micro-transactions, uncooked early access titles, and an overabundance of cookie cutter releases over-saturating the market of gaming. What’s worse is that, for some, it’s very easy to have high expectations that a game simply cannot meet; regardless of what the game offers, it doesn’t hit the same dopamine high that the hype for it originally did. For that reason, I keep clear of those hype trappings before a game gets released. I want to keep as neutral as I can so, that when I play, I can enjoy the game for what it truly is. This is not the case with Ori and the Will of the Wisps (or Ori 2 as I’ll be calling it). Before release, I was counting the days for it to come out. …

Down in the Depths of the Metro – Metro 2033 Redux – Humble Opinions

I’m not one to usually enjoy playing first-person shooters on the Nintendo Switch (and you’ll understand why soon enough), but I had the opportunity to play Metro 2033 Redux recently and it was still an enjoyable experience. The game takes inspiration from the Metro books written by Dmitry Glukhovsky – you follow the story of Artyom, who is residing within the sewers (along with the rest of civilisation), after a global nuclear holocaust forces humanity to retreat from the surface and away from the threats that lie above. Going in blind to the series, I wasn’t sure quite what to expect. From screenshots, I envisioned a similar setting to the Fallout games: that post-apocalyptic grimy wasteland, filled with abandoned buildings and sewers. This is what I encountered, but on a smaller and more linear scale; there weren’t large open wastelands to trek across, but that was probably for the best. With such a current focus on making games expansive, and ensuring they have maps so big you will never finish exploring, sometimes you need a …

Story of Another Hero – Trials of Mana – Coming Attractions

It is said that people are often the hero of their own story, the protagonist for which the plot progresses. That being said, it’s awfully hard to experience this beyond one’s own mortal form, what with the limitations of reality and all. Luckily for us, video games provide a lovely break from the rules of existence, allowing us to inhabit the saga of whomever we so wish. But even then our scope is limited. We may assume the role of the hero, but it is still an instance of a singular hero in their own story. But what if we could follow the stories of many a hero? Protagonists in their own rights, providing their own unique additions to one singular world? Surprise surprise, that’s what Trials of Mana is all about. Before the story unfolds, you are given a choice of six characters: Duran, Angela, Kevin, Charlotte, Hawkeye, and Reisz. Each possesses their own fighting style and, since it’s what we’ve been talking about, their own story. That being said, the overarching plot remains …

Dodge-Rolling Its Way Into My Heart – Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem – Humble Opinions

With the recent release of Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, there is an abundance of solid ARPG titles on the market to choose from. I was excited about this release; it had been in development for some time now, and was early access on Steam. As a massive fan of ARPGs, I wasn’t inclined to purchase it with that “early access” label on it however, due to bad experiences with early access titles in the past. When it became a full release on Steam, I decided to try the game out, and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was marketed at a cheaper rate than a full-priced, newly-released title. Just at first glance, the game was stunning. The graphics were akin to Diablo 3‘s style, which has always been one of the more aesthetically appealing ARPGs that I have experienced. Path of Exile compares very differently, reminding me more of classic Diablo games – with its gritty textures and typically dark environments. From the previews into Path of Exile 2 that I have seen, Grinding …

Switchin’ It Up – Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition – Humble Opinions

In 1320, Dante Alighieri finished The Divine Comedy. His epic poem dealt with humanity’s relationship with sin and presented a representation of the journey towards spiritual understanding. In 2001, Hideki Kamiya helmed a project that punched up the script a little; eventuating in a few more iterations, the third of which we shall be specifically speaking. Now, I won’t say that somebody of Alighieri’s literary magnitude would unequivocally love the work which took nominative inspiration from his poem…but he’d be crazy not to appreciate a game that has a guitar-scythe in it. Like, a guitar that is also a scythe. I don’t care what era you’re from, that’s cool. Now, if a guitar-scythe is up your proverbial alley, then boy are you going to love this game. Just in case you didn’t know, Devil May Cry 3 is all about style (as were its predecessors). If the protagonist wearing a red leather trench coat wasn’t proof enough, then…just, everything else will be. I mean, the entire opening brawl consists of Dante beating up demons with …

Complexity in Simplicity – Path of Exile – Humble Opinions

Time is a commodity – once you spend it, there’s no getting it back. So, why you ask, have I spent 400+ hours grinding away in Path of Exile? Some simple reasons really. There’s a lot of treasure to be had within this free-to-play title, and if you’re already a fan of ARPG’s (that’s Action Role Playing Games for those folks of you out there who aren’t in the know yet), then this is my preferred one to sink in every free waking hour into. Let me tell you why. Never have I come across a free-to-play game as refined as this – at least not one that has always been free. Sure, some games eventually go free-to-play once their subscriber base starts to diminish, but Grinding Gear Games have expended all their effort into Path of Exile (POE) from very the start, regardless of the size of the fan base or monetary gain, and it shows. The developers are New Zealand based, so I was pleased to find that there are dedicated Oceanic servers …

Once More, With Feeling – Final Fantasy VII Remake – Coming Attractions

“So, our objective here is nothing less than creating a new, definitive, benchmark RPG.” Since its initial release in the pre-centennial year of 1997, Final Fanatics have been clamouring for more content relating to the world of VII. And, to their hope, they were met with some. Crisis Core told us a story from the past, and Advent Children wove one from the future; yet, the initial story continued to draw passion. So much so that one brief glimpse, a tech demo in the era of the PS3, sparked a rallying cry that crystallised into one word: Remake. Now, what does this mean for people who care not for my faux-losophical ramblings? People want them some Final Fantasy VII. They want it shiny and chrome, pushing their consoles to the limit, reminding them of all those fond experiences they once had as children. Now, I say “they” because I am one of those who slipped between the cracks, who never played the original VII; so, consider my opinions as nostalgic-by-contact, a testament to how ever-present …

Hadou-Ken Doll – Street Fighter V: Champion Edition – Humble Opinions

I think at this point there are more editions of Street Fighter than there are Ken dolls in this world. Not that it’s a bad thing, because in the past each new edition of a canonically numbered Street Fighter felt like a true sequel in every sense. Most modern fighting games have now migrated to a free-to-play model, some more shamelessly than others, but the 2016 launch of Street Fighter V on PS4 as a “disguised” and overpriced free-to-play title was an utter disappointment. The initial game at launch was so incomplete that the quintessential arcade mode would only come months later as free DLC; Capcom were quite generous that way. Since then, there was Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition in 2018 which was probably what the 2016 game should have launched as a bare minimum, and from there things got a little better…and also a little confusing because Arcade Edition on PS4 would subsequently get released in arcades. So basically the arcade version of the Arcade Edition. Give it a moment, it will sink …

The Earliest Memory of a Fond Soul – Mickey’s Wild Adventure – In Retrospect

Painting a Picture What is the first memory that you can recall? My earliest memory is from a hot summer night in the Australian suburb of Liverpool. The date was December 24th 1998. Our family had quite an alternative Christmas tradition where, rather than children getting their presents in the morning of Christmas Day, the big old red boy Santa would lock pick the back door (we didn’t have a chimney), sneak in, and drop them off in the early night of Christmas Eve; where, a small Matt would either be distracted elsewhere, or would be in bed tuckered out from the heavy responsibilities that a generic five-year-old has… That night, I was sound asleep until I was woken up by my parents, excited at their discovery of presents underneath the Christmas tree. Despite being overly tired, I made my way over to a small collection of presents. My father passed me a big box which I slowly unwrapped and discovered to be my first ever gaming console: a solid grey PlayStation. And with it, a …

2D, or Not 2D? – Super Neptunia RPG – Humble Opinions

Since the dawn of 8-bit time, video games have brought joy to the masses and free space to wallets the world over. However, within this lightening of hearts and pocketbooks, a darkness lurked: the darkness of perceived competition. Be it challenges found within the halls of combat both mortal and otherwise, the clashes between multiple space-based laser fests. Contest. Favouritism. Focus. Extrapolations of a joyous rivalry that make some wonder: what will it take for everybody to just get along? Amnesia. It turns out it’s amnesia. Okay, so maybe the loss of memories isn’t a true solution to perceived aeons of in-fighting, but it’s a fine place to start; and by “fine”, I mean tropey; and by “start”, I mean start; and by what I’m about to say, I mean the next instalment of the Neptunia franchise: Super Neptunia RPG. That’s right folks, it’s time for another jaunt into the world where the fourth wall was torn down long ago, and the references flow like so much prized pudding. This time, however, our beloved Goddesses …

All the World’s a Stage – Final Fantasy IX – Humble Opinions

Though the cycle of life and death has been a concern and point of interest for humans since time began a-turning, none really know what happens after that final curtain is drawn. With that in mind, nobody can really say that a decades old plot to subsume an entire planet in order to facilitate the resuscitation of an older, more advanced planet is wrong. I mean, it probably is wrong, but is it really any crazier than the theories that so called scholars throw around? Yes. Of course. But those theories are usually well thought out and morose in their acceptance of life’s inescapable final destination, so let’s focus on the cuckoo-bananas-bonkers one instead. Since jokes about the hypocrisy of Final existing in the title of a game series that has spanned into double digits, let’s skip past that particular well and get right to the good stuff. Final Fantasy IX is back and possibly better than ever. I say possibly because I never actually played it the first go ’round. So, expect a surprisingly …

All In – My Hero One’s Justice – Humble Opinions

Since the dawn of more-than-one-fictional-character-with-superpowers, people have longed to see them punch each other really hard. Not in a serious way, more in a no-holds-barred-no-consequences kind of way. Enter fighting games. The perfect opportunity for heroes and villains alike to test their mettle and meet in completely non-canon scenarios, wearing completely nonsensical clothing, all for the enjoyment of whoever so holds the controller. I mean, there usually is a story in there somewhere, but that tends to be drowned out by the aforementioned clashing of fictionally historical characters…or historically fictional characters…or a bear in a hat. With a concept so closely surrounding the idea of decking villainy until it says uncle, it was never too hard to foresee a fighting game featuring those lovable chaps from U.A. High. This is especially true if you knew about the one that already came out for the 3DS, but let’s not argue semantics. That being said, some concession may have been given to this Japan only predecessor, as One’s Justice focuses on the tale of My Hero Academia …

A Cat May Be A King – Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – Humble Opinions

As a particularly musical lion cub once said: “I just can’t wait to be king.” Unfortunately, what tunes that have been lodged in your head since the 90s gloss over is, to be king means that the previous must die. It’s like Highlander rules, only with less Christopher Lambert. Such is the way of a monarchy and so shall it be forevermore…or until there’s a coup and some rat takes the throne, after having slowly poisoned the previous ruler over an unspecified amount of time due to a combination of their own insecurities and evil magic. Though the likelihood of that very specific chain of events occurring is, like, really low…probably. Welcome to the wonderfully named kingdom of Ding Dong Dell, a place where Grimalkin (cat people), Mousekin (mouse people) and Humanfolk (people people) all live together in peace and harmony under the kind rule of King Leonhard. Psych. As it turns out, Mousekin have felt perpetually repressed by their Grimalkin cousins and held a slow boiling hatred that finally bubbled over. Said scalding onslaught saw …

In Love and War – Hakuoki: Edo Blossoms – Humble Opinions

Where have all the good men gone and where are all the gods? A question once posited to the world, left forever unanswered…until now. As luck would have it, the good men appear to have all congregated in Edo, pushed by destinies not of their own choosing. As for the gods, well, their existence can only be inferred from the presence of their opposites: Demons. Creatures who live amongst humanity, some with a desire to keep to themselves and others with a craving for human blood. Of course, situations become a touch more complex when some carry the burden of all three classifications, mixed with that oldest  and truest of emotions: Love. Also, politics… Having previously found herself tangled in the various webs woven by the Shinsengumi (via Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds), Chizuru Yukimura is still on the hunt for any clues pertaining to the whereabouts of her father…possibly. As with the previous game, and despite her best intentions, Chizuru is ever at the behest of those around her, as both enemies and friends draw her …

With a Bullet – Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet – Humble Opinions

When it comes to virtual reality, escapism is the name of the game. Unless the actual name of the game happens to be Sword Art Online or some variant thereof, then escapism flies right out of the proverbial window. Then it flies back in and makes you wonder what the stakes are in an adventure where dying in-game does not mean you die in real life. Then somebody forcibly throws it back out when they come to the same realisation and have a bunch of people die in real life again…but with guns. Welcome to Gun Gale Online, newbie. The hip happening VRMMO taking the fictional world by storm. Glocks are in and estocs are out as everybody leaves behind the worlds of swords and fantasy, replacing them with guns and science fiction. Not to be left behind, you (the player) have also made this leap and are ready to test your virtual mettle in a tournament of firepower, the reward for which is an exceedingly rare item that will make everybody else jealous. Of …

Butterflies Dream – Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory – Humble Opinions

Digimon. Digital Monsters, if you will. A fictitious collection of creatures that captured the hearts and minds of children long ago, by taking the concept of virtual pets and asking one simple question: What if they could fight? Then they did. Then there was an anime and they saved the world. Then they did it again. Then Chiaki J. Konaka got involved and things got dark. Then they got lighter. Then a few petitions cropped up and the video game side of the franchise reappeared in the Western market, resulting in another World and a rather interesting Story. However, we all know that stories are not one-sided endeavours, leading to yet another question asked and answered: What was happening, like, two meters to the left of the protagonist of Cyber Sleuth? Just so there are no misconceptions about what this game is, Hacker’s Memory is rather heavily tied into its predecessor in terms of both setting and story. Though the tale of this game is one unto itself, far too many references to Cyber Sleuth …

Appetite for Destruction – Dragon Ball FighterZ – Humble Opinions

As the old adage so delicately puts it: Dragon! Dragon! Rock The Dragon! Dragon Ball Z! As true now as it was back then, this infallible selection of 90’s lyrics goes to show the true artistry that lies at the core of Akira Toriyama’s famed creation. Of course, a true creator never remains content for long and the various people who have added their input to this franchise have created many a variation on the formula that is Dragon Ball Z. This time around, it’s Arc System Works’ turn and they have most certainly put their spin on the seven magic balls that we have all sought since we were young. Which is totally fine because you can see the stars no matter what angle you look at them, thanks to the magic way they were made and…I’ll just move onto the topic at hand. Dragon Ball FighterZ, the game that every fan wanted when they saw the artwork way back when and have only now figured out how to pronounce (like the word “fighters”). …

Stage of Heroes – Fire Emblem Warriors – Humble Opinions

Long ago, in a far off place, lived a brother and sister, twins, destined to share the burden of ruling their kingdom. As for how monarchically accurate that is, I do not know, but it is what it is and we all have to deal with that. Also, it would seem that calmly ruling a nation does not a good adventure make, and thus the intricacies of wearing a crown are not so much focused on as they are forgotten amidst a horde of monsters whose ultimate goal is seemingly the destruction of everything ever for now real reason other than evil. On the plus side, combating the forces of evil is a pretty solid learning experience for a pair of fledgling royals…because responsibility. Welcome to Aytolis, one of those wonderful fictional kingdoms that has lived in peace and tranquility for an indeterminate amount of sunshine laden years…until now. As it is want to do, the forces of evil descend upon the innocent, transforming the once idyllic landscape into a brutal realm of monsters and …

Digital Aegis – Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online – Humble Opinions

Let’s face it, the real world is so last season. It’s all about the virtual space now, buckaroo. What with all the websites and apps and streaming, the just isn’t any fervour for the actual world. Heck, even fiction is becoming a little predictable. So here’s what we do: We put a virtual world in a fictional world. I know, mind blowing. Who would ever think to have a story about another story? Nobody, that’s who. We’ll make a mint with this. Just need to come up with a catchy name. The game’s got swords in it, obviously, and takes place online. The title should also be, sort of, artistic… Get it? Because of that other series. Now, if that kind of referential humour doesn’t tickle your funny bone…then you should probably not invest dozens of hours into this latest foray into the realm of Neptunia. Seriously, there is a character called Kiria who is straight up You-Know-Who. Also, he is kind of annoying and sworn defender of the most annoying character I’ve seen in …

Sin and Bear It – Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony – Humble Opinions

To kill, or not to kill? That is the question that has been presented to us since Danganronpa first graced our consoles in years gone by. Now, the are very clear arguments for not slaughtering your fellow humans based solely on the statements of an animatronic bear, however those tend to fall by the wayside once the killing begins. Not a very fair balance of reasoning, I know, but fairness seldom rears its head in a Killing Game. But we shouldn’t have to worry about all of this, right? Danganronpa is over. The saga of Hope’s Peak wrapped itself up over a multitude of formats and brought closure to the chaos of Junko Enoshima, so she may never darken our minds with feelings of Despair…right? Okay, so the drama of that introduction loses some of its lustre considering you all know Danganronpa is definitely not finished (if not, congrats for making it this far without reading the title). But I’m going to ignore that and just relish in the melodrama of it all regardless, partly …

Bad Blood – Mary Skelter: Nightmares – Humble Opinions

For as long as time has turned and the people caught within have longed to spread their thoughts, there have existed stories. From simple tales of imagination, to life lessons masquerading as something less. A timeless art form that continues to this very day. The downside to this ever present existence, however, is that not all stories reach the same lofty heights and find themselves lost amidst the stream of the middling. Long story short: Not every story is good, even when it attempts to stand on the shoulders of its predecessors. In the list of places people generally wish to avoid, jail is pretty high on the list. Doubly so if jail is capitalised and is less of a prison and more of a sentient demon that consumes entire cities and forces torture and trial upon the citizens swept up in the consumption. Such is the life of Jack and Alice, our main duo and entry point into the hideous world just mentioned. Existing in a literal cell within the Jail, these two childhood …

Enemy Within – Dark Rose Valkyrie – Humble Opinions

If there is one positive of living in a world of mindless, bloodthirsty monsters, it’s that it’s easy to tell who the enemy is…because of the claws and fangs and violence. Unfortunately, the situation becomes a touch more complex when said monsters are actually humans, infected and transformed by the unholy fusion of alien matter and a virus. Not that that changes what needs to be done… Asahi Shiramine is moving to the big city, with little more than a dream in his heart and a mission on his mind. With a brand new work opportunity and the Ultimate Beginner’s Luck, his life is looking up…at the giant monsters who stand before him: Chimera. Horrid abominations that prowl the world and threaten the uninfected populace of the world, with both violence and the fear of contracting the Chimera Virus. Naturally, the military is all over this and Special Force Valkyrie now stands as humanity’s best hope for survival. Probably. The game certainly promotes their effectiveness, but the simple fact remains that they are only present …

Listen to Your Heart – The Caligula Effect – Humble Opinions

As unhappy a thought as it is, there are plenty of people across the world who wish they could escape the confines of their life. To break free from the shackles of unhappiness that bind them and live the way they truly desire. However, there are no true shortcuts to attaining said end goal and, though it is far easier to say from an outside perspective, one must work hard to reach their truth through personal choices. Of course, most choices don’t involve dumping your brain into a complex virtual reality system, but hey, video games. Take, if you will, the VR concept that has permeated anime for quite some time now, wherein a number of characters are separated from their bodies and trapped inside a digital world. Now combine this with the personal development arcs that comprise Persona and hey presto: The Caligula Effect. With the Go-Home Club leading the cast, as the only group of students who realise the world they live in is fake, the story is a relatively simple “Let’s get …

Love is a Battlefield – Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds – Humble Opinions

In the bustling capital of ancient Japan, walked one brave traveller; a girl dressed like a man. An unseen destiny that she would carry, pulled her onwards and compelled her to tarry. Mere moments later two monsters were shorn, by figures in light blue haori adorned. The were the Shinsengumi and they had but one task, to maintain peace in the city and destroy the monstrous creatures that secretly prowled the streets at night and lusted after the blood of the innocent. Meet Chizuru Yukimura, a down to Earth girl who has made the trek to the big city of Kyoto and is looking for love. And by that I mean that she is searching her father who mysteriously disappeared whilst away for work. With nary a clue to go on, Chizuru’s investigation, however, is limited to simply asking around town if anyone even knows who her father is. Though he is a doctor, so that does narrow the search down some. And yet, this game does not truly focus on this personal quest, nor …

Brief Guide to SEGA RPGs

  With the latest entry in SEGA’s much beloved Valkyria franchise (video games, anime, manga, music, you name it) recently hitting stores titled Valkyria Revolution, on the Xbox One, PS4, and even Vita, now is as good time as any to really appreciate the deep and rich catalog of RPGs released under the SEGA flag. SEGA may not be the king of video games as it once was in an era gone by, but over the course of its 30+ year existence it has created some of the finest role playing adventures that deserve the same acclaim as any of the best role playing epics by Nintendo and Square-Enix. So here’s a quick and dirty overview of RPG franchises and games by SEGA that are worth any role player’s time. Valkyria First Game: Valkyria Chronicles (2008 / PS3) Most Recent Game: Valkyria Revoluion (2017 / PS4, Xbox One, Vita) Best Game: Valkyria Chronicles Remastered (2016 / PS4)   Shining Force First Game: Shining Force (1993 / Mega Drive) Most Recent Game: Shining Force Feather (2009 / DS) …

Nintendo Switch Review Roundup

So the Switch landed on March 3 2017 and we’ve been so busy selfishly enjoying the games for ourselves that we forgot to share our thoughts! So to cheat a little, here’s a quick little catch up of the major Switch releases we’ve seen thus far. It’s great that the Switch has had a slow and steady release cycle, gives a chance to savor the releases and catch up on the writing. So here’s our quick stop review guide! The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild All the hype, all the accolades, all the praise… all of it worth it. Living up to the hype is one thing, but far exceeding and surpassing is almost unheard of, and the latest in the legendary Zelda franchise accomplished just that without breaking a sweat. The open world template is an innovation of the Western gaming sphere, with Japanese developers too having a go at adopting this widely accepted and appreciated style of video games. Open world gaming is quite simply the only genre that has showcased …

Current State and Future of Japanese Video Games

With E3 2017 setting the big picture for video games in the next 5 years or so, and with recent trends and new hardware, it’s time to stop and identify the current trends in Japanese video games and what we can expect to see from the Land of the Rising Sun. Let’s accept one cold, hard reality: games like Minecraft, Call of Duty, and Grand Theft Auto not only get glowing reviews from Famitsu magazine, but they also comfortably make it to the top ten charts of Japanese video game sales. Deny it all you want, but dating simulators and bullet hell shooters are an acquired taste by Japanese gaming standards even. The sales figures speak for themselves, heck Minecraft for the Switch was the most downloaded title in Japan over the past few months! The point I’m trying to make is that Japanese gaming is changing, and there’s been a stronger unification as to what humanity enjoys in the digital medium. Let’s have a look at some of the major ones shall we? World …

Hats On To You – Super Mario Odyssey Reveals Game Mechanics

Since there is no conceivable rock under which one could live big enough to hid the fact that Mario exists, I’m going to move right into explaining the latest adventure that will soon grace our respective consoles. What with the Switch and all. With the eyes upon Mario’s classic headwear hiding a secret about as well as a glass pane, people have long suspected that Cappy (the cleverly/obviously named cap) would play a role larger than that of Mario’s portable platform mechanic. And those people were right. Apparently, accepting a magical hat as an ally grants one the ability to affix their consciousness to whatever so wear said hat next. In simple terms: Mario puts his hat on things and then becomes things. Which is as odd as it is cool. Ever wanted to be a Bullet Bill? A Goomba? Koopa? A random guy in the city? A taxi? I know I’ve never thought about it before, but now I certainly want all of those things. And if that didn’t sell you on this new …

Truce and Justice – Fire Emblem Warriors Reveals More Characters

I’m not going to waste too much of your time dissecting the formula that is the Warriors franchise. Lots of enemies. Crazy powers. Power fantasy. That’s pretty much it. And whilst that sounds pretty fun to most people who have ever held a controller, it is the skins laid over this formula that draws in the numbers. This time around, it’s Fire Emblem. Though we have known for some time that Falchion (and by extension its wielder) would grace this game with its legendary presence, details beyond have eluded us. “Have” being the operative word. Following the electronic extravaganza that is E3, we are now in the know when it comes to who shall fill out this game’s fine roster. Namely, Fire Emblem Fates shall be represented by Corrin, Xander and Ryoma. So, whether you played Awakening or Conquest, you’ve got one prince to put a smile on your dial and lovely lady Corrin to enjoy. Especially when she does that whole dragon thing she does. Thus, with a new list of old allies, a …

The Game is Afoot – Monster Hunter: World Announced

Monster Hunter. The test of character that has seen many a player give up quite early into their hunting careers. Which is totally understandable, given that some monsters are difficult and unfair and it is totally not a lack of player skill that leads to defeat after defeat after defeat…after defeat. But once those glitches are sorted out, and that bird wyvern goes down, a veritable paradise unfurls and now said paradise has spread its wings to consoles beyond Nintendo’s purview. In addition to the tried and true mechanics of the franchise, namely hunting monsters and using their parts to make weapons to hunt monsters and using their parts to hunt monsters and so on and so forth, the more powerful processing potential of the PC, PS4 and Xbox One opens up the greatest advancement in the Monster Hunter world ever: Reduced loading screens. With map areas still very much a part of the hunting ground layout, World promises to mitigate the segmented nature of this practice by removing loading screens. Though admittedly not too …

The Battle is Set!! – Dragon Ball FighterZ Announced

Like the World Martial Arts Tournaments that gave our heroes their first fighting aspirations, a new battle seeks to give the warriors of Dragon Ball their next fix. Maybe. I mean, I’m making a lot of assumptions on the game’s behalf. It’s a game by the way. A video game. A fighting video game. In the style of Guilty Gear and BlazBlue (also developed by Arc System Works, as this is to be), Dragon Ball FighterZ revolves around a 2D fighting system and character models that possess a distinctly anime feel. Of course, said feel is slightly outshone by the influx of lighting effects and beam attacks, that are impossible to ignore when they are utilised. The fact that it is also a 3v3 affair bolsters the chaotic nature of the clips shown, expressing a distinct learning curve all fighters must hike. Or not. I’ll admit, fighting games are not my forte. Still, FighterZ looks like a bundle of fun and any excuse to kick Freeza in his smug face is fine by me. -30-

The Next Cycle – Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Heads West

Gotta say, pretty happy about this. With the original two a distant PSP memory and Japanese arcades claiming the third, I wasn’t entirely sure that Dissidia would make its way to a console within my reach. But it shall. A port of the aforementioned arcade release, the adaptationally named Dissidia Final Fantasy NT is set for PS4 in early 2018. Not entirely certain as to what NT stands for, but I’m going to hazard a guess at New Tournament, seeing as Chaos and Cosmos are no more, their roles seemingly replaced by Spiritus and Materia respectively. Makes you wonder how the various FF heroes and villains ever get anything done, being summoned to new worlds by gods every six seconds. Still, sure is a neat chance to test their mettle against opponents most strange. I mean, where else would you find a guy called Onion Knight? -30-

Ultra Evolution – Pokemon Sun and Moon Sequels, Pokken Tournament DX Announced

Well that sure came out of nowhere, didn’t it? And I’m not just talking about the announcement itself, but the organisation of said announcement. Okay, to be fair, the majority of the latest Pokemon trailer was devoted to the newly announced Pokken Tournament DX. As the new and improved Switch iteration of the oddly entertaining Pokemon/Tekken hybrid fighting game, DX promises an increased roster and a few new modes. The headliner of the aforementioned new roster is Decidueye, Rowlet’s fully evolved form and all around cool archer bird. Fellow starters Litten and Popplio also join the cast, but on the support side of things. Which is nice, though fighting as Incineroar would have been cool…because of him being a wrestler cat and all. Tagging along on the end of this trailer (which centres on a brother venturing across a country, playing Pokken at every given opportunity), Pokemon Sun and Moon are seemingly aligning themselves with the Black and White mentality: One sequel apiece. Newly crowned Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, the games seem to promise …

Bandai Shows Off The Digimon 20th Anniversary V-Pet’s Tag Battle System In New Video

Months ago, Bandai revealed to the world that they would be re-releasing their original Tamagotchi off-shoot, the Digimon V-Pet, in celebration of its 20th Anniversary. This comes as a follow up to three other Digimon Digivice upgrade and redistribution projects and I have a sneaking suspicion that it wont be the last. The new device, titled Digimon 20th Anniversary V-Pet, will not only be a physical replication of the original but will come with heavily upgraded gameplay mechanics that will give Tamers access to a slew of Digimon, new and old, as well as new levels of Digivolution, and new ways to battle with friends. One of which happens to be the “Tag Battle” system that has been coded into the device’s software so as to allow four monster battles. The Japanese video game pop culture website 4Gamer recently held quite the interview with the staff in charge of the Digimon 20th Anniversary V-Pet, and whilst many of the questions answered were done so in a mostly vague manner, only revealing information already done so through …

Snap Discussion: Nintendo Memories

It all started with speculation of the Nintendo Switch, which then lead us to take a long trip down memory lane where each of us shared our memories growing up with Nintendo systems. Looking back on it all, Nintendo certainly has been with us through the good times and bad, and now with the Switch that tradition continues stronger than ever. We all shared our favourite games, our treasured memories, the people we shared those with, and in the case of McGlone, he had to exploit the Multiverse Theory to extract memories. All compiled here for your convenience, revisit all of our Nintendo Memories. Nintendo Switch – Switching Up The Future of Gaming NES Game Boy SNES Nintendo 64 Game Boy Color Game Boy Advance GameCube DS Wii 3DS Wii U -30-

Nintendo Memories: Wii U

Kane Bugeja Bayonetta 2 Look! On the store shelves! It’s a Wii! It’s a new controller! It’s an entirely new console with a similar name! And so began the Wii U’s downfall. Which is a shame, because it’s not a bad console, it just had terrible marketing. Still, I have one and I enjoy it, so…that’s something. Though it is still objectively another quirky gameplay gimmick, it is one that…I was going to say “works in theory” but I just realised that I’ve never actively used the gamepad screen for anything. Barring my initial introduction to the system and a Mario hide-and-seek mini game, the Gamepad has more or less served as a large, unexpectedly comfortable controller. The simple fact that it is directly below a player’s normal range of vision prevents it from truly bolstering gameplay as a second screen and its limited range hinders its capabilities as a surrogate main screen, leaving the console as a shell of what it could be, living under the misconception that it is a small addition to …

Nintendo Memories: 3DS

Kane Bugeja Pokemon Rumble Blast Once touch screens and motion controls have come and…somewhat stayed, what is next in the world of gaming? 3D. Like in the movies, but also just as forgettable. Okay, maybe that’s a little unfair, but, from personal experience, 3D really did not change anything about my handheld gaming experience. Apart from the curiosity that spurs me to check each game’s 3D mode once, I almost exclusively plays sans this feature, despite owning a 3DS. Of course, as is probably the case for most people, I own it for the games, not the additional dimension. Thus, I will forever be thankful that there is a slider to easily remove this feature from any and all games. Handhelds are designed for travel play after all and being forced to hold one steady at an exact distance from your face is very counter-intuitive. Yes this has been fixed with the (poorly named) New 3DS, but still, you know what I mean. As far as games go however, I really enjoy the 3DS. As …

The Esoteric Breath of Video Games

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild the first open world Zelda game. That right there was the first reason why I lost complete interest in it since day one. Well great, another open world video game in a market where have one too many sandbox adventures. These games are all about excessive space, most of it serving no real purpose to the gameplay or game design. Be it role playing games, first person shooters, or straight up action games, we have seen far too many open world games and it’s become the most saturated sub-genre of gaming. Given the power of current technology, they’ve done away with intricate level and game design, instead providing vast amounts of nothing to traverse through. It’s hard to invest yourself in these sandbox worlds when they feel so devoid of life and meaning. Origins There were exceptions, and I don’t know if I would call this an open world game per se, but Shadow of the Colossus on the PlayStation 2 thrust players into a desolate land, …

Nintendo Memories: Wii

Kane Bugeja Red Steel 2 The Nintendo Wii, the experimental console with the funny name. You see, because Wii sounds like…you know, nevermind, you know what it sounds like. But what it also sounds like is a brand new gaming experience, full of movement and exercise and…sitting down lazily swinging your arms around, pretending that you’re standing up. Yet another gameplay element/gimmick subsumed by gamers overall aversion to physically enacting the movements of characters. You know, because if we could actually do the things videogame characters could do, we’d be doing them. Man I wish I could double jump. Digression aside, one of the most inherently Wii experiences I ever had was through Red Steel 2. One part Western, one part samurai film, this game brought forth the Motion Plus, an add-on designed to improve the Wii’s motion tracking. Which was somewhat of a success. Though Red Steel 2 was definitely one of the more complete motion gameplay experiences I’ve had, there were certainly times where swinging wildly outclassed intention and skill. Still, even ballistically …

Tales of Berseria – Review

The Tales series continues to release new installments more and more frequently, with a new title having been released on a yearly basis for quite some time now. Other franchises releasing installments at this pace have often fallen flat and the quality of the games decreased severely. Remarkably this has not been the case for the Tales series which continues to knock it out of the park with each release, Tales of Berseria being the latest in the winning streak for Bandai Namco. Set in the same universe as Tales of Zestiria, one of the series finest installments to date, Tales of Berseria finds itself at an advantage most other Tales games do not, there is a pre-existing world and history to mine for story in interesting ways. Most games in the series start with a clean slate, Berseria however jumps back in time set around a hundred years before Zestiria and lays out how the world once was. It is interesting to note that the terminology used in the time of Berseria is different …