27/09/2021

Yakuza Kiwami (PS5) - Completed Review

I started playing Gris but I could not stop thinking about Yakuza after completing Yakuza 0 si I obviously stopped playing Gris and started Yakuza Kiwami. Kiwami is a remake of the first PS2 released Yakuza game with some small changes, you play as Kiryu again and the story follows him having to deal with a decision made very early in the game.  Nishki & Yumi return and there are some new characters that get introduced and a few that also have their story wrapped up. The main story is what make these games a joy to play and Yakuza Kiwami does not disappoint. 

Majima is also back and has a unique task in the game to help Kiryu. These moments lead to some very funny sequences and is a highlight of the game outside the main campaign. Unlike Yakuza 0 this game is played out just in Kamurucho, you have a few missions in other locations but these are gated so you cannot explore.

The game mechanics are the same in terms of combat except this time you level up with experience points instead of using money. The mini-games are back but there is no main character mini game like the building game from Yakuza 0.

Compared to Yakuza 0, Kiwami is a much shorter game but I like that because it is more focused and not distracted by side activities. You can enjoy the main campaign in under 20 hours. I don't have the time to always play 60 hour plus games so give me a small concise experience anytime.

Next for me is Yakuza Kiwami 2, no only joking. I will be playing FIFA 22, I have a three year cycle with the Fifa Games mainly to enjoy playing Ultimate Team. I am also still playing Fortnite with my daughter & Nephew.

21/09/2021

Yakuza 0 - Completed Review

After enjoying Yakuza Like a Dragon I realised I made a grave mistake by ignoring the Yakuza series of games. I very much enjoy single player, character focus & story driven games. Yakuza ticks all those boxes and more.

The combat was my one concern because Like a Dragon was turn based and the other games were all action based. Would they be painful to play inflaming my RSI. Thankfully by dropping the difficulty down to easy and just focusing on enjoying the story the combat was fine, a few of the boss fights and longer sequences I had to pause for a rest but I had no searing pains unlike when I played Hades.

Yakuza 0 has a huge selection of mini games from Baseball, Pool to Karaoke and Disco Dancing. You play as both Kazuma Kiryu & Goro Majima and they each have a dedicated business mini game which allows you to collect money which you will need to upgrade your abilities and you will need a lot!

There are quite a few side quests in the game although it is difficult to know where they are because of a lack of quest markers. They will only trigger if you walk into a particular area of Kamarucho or Sotenbori, so make sure you spend some time wondering around the map exploring during each chapter.

I don’t want to spoil the story but I really enjoyed how it spends a lot of time with each character and their interactions with a huge supporting cast. Make sure you watch the end credit scene for a nice surprise.

I can’t wait to play the next game in the series Yakuza Kiwami but next for me is a couple of indie titles in Gris & Beyond Eyes.

07/09/2021

Mutant Year Zero - Road to Eden (PS5) - Completed Review

Mutant Year Zero - Road to Eden is a X-Com style turn-based strategy game. You start the game with two characters Dux & Bormin and more will join later but you can only have a maximum of three in the field. There are various unique skills for each character giving you abilities like mind control & double shot.

If you have played X-Com you will be familiar with the gameplay, there are some changes like you can walk around with the characters and initiate combat when close to an enemy. If you take out these enemies silently then you can go back out of combat and walk around to collect loot & survey the area to plan your next attack.

You can upgrade weapons at the base, unlock perks by collecting artefacts and purchase items from the shop like grenades, scopes and medical kits. The map is split out into different areas as the story progresses and when you level up you can visit side areas for rare loot like a new weapon or armour.  Occasionally you will also encounter a boss fight and these encounters will need careful planning otherwise you will die. The game can be tough in some areas but if you take it slow and pick off enemies in solo encounters with silent weapons & character skills you will quickly master the game.

X-Com 2 was very buggy for me on PS4 & I ended up with a save file that was corrupted after 25 hours. Thankfully I had no such issues with Mutant Year Zero and enjoyed completing the game.

Because I enjoyed playing Yakuza Like A Dragon earlier this year, I was interested in the previous games so next for me is Yakuza 0.

17/08/2021

The First Tree (PS5) - Completed Review


The First Tree is an indie exploration game with two stories, the first is the fox you play as trying to find it's missing family & the second is about Joseph who is dealing with the loss of a loved one, his story is told mostly through spoken dialogue.

Playing as the fox you have the ability to run & jump to collect orbs of light that guide you on your path through the world. Later on you can collect butterflies which allow you to jump higher. The gameplay is ok but does have a few frustrations in the later levels where I was unsure of where to go and some of the orbs were very difficult to collect. Be warn if you want to complete all the trophies in this game you will need to get all of the collectibles and orbs before completing a level, there is no chapter select option.

The game has a nice soundtrack but oddly only plays each track once so you spend most of the level wondering around listening to sound effects of the fox dashing or jumping.

What is impressive is that this game was made by one individual David Wehle, so whislt it is is rough in some gameplay sections it tells a story that is worth enjoying and can be completed in a couple of hours.

Next for me is Mutant Year Zero a turn-based xcom style strategy game.

05/08/2021

Rebel Galaxy (PS5) - Completed Review

I have tried to play Elite Dangerous a few times but the learning curve is too steep, No Mans Sky scratched my space travel itch back in 2016 but I had the urge again. After completing Spider-Man Miles Morales I looked through my PS+ library and found Rebel Galaxy and after watching a couple of reviews on youtube it deserved a try.

Three hours later and I was hooked. Transporting goods around the system, fighting pirates, saving merchants from attacks and playing the market to make some credit on Gold Ingots.

The combat is naval-style where you use broadside cannons to line up attacks & turrets target fighter ships. When you have enough credits you can look at either upgrading your weapons, defence or engine components.

Make sure you visit stations on a regular basis because these are also what trigger the auto-save feature. I had a couple of game crashes on the PS5 and lost some of my progress.

When you are either brave or strong enough to leave the first system you will get access to missions which offer a better reward and you no longer need to play the trading game. I was completing missions that would offer 100K which quickly made me save enough to purchase the Tennhausen ship. Thankfully all of your previous ship upgrades carry over and you just need to focus on the extra turrents on the new ship. There are quite a few ships in the game everything from nimble frigates to Destroyers & Dreadnaughts.

There is a simple story which will have you travelling through many systems and facing up against many foes. There is a staus bar for each faction but I found it almost impossible to get on a neutral footing with any of the pirate factions so just stuck on good terms with the Militia and destroyed anyone else that got in my way.

If you are looking for an 'Elite-lite' then Rebel Galaxy scratched that itch for me perfectly, next for me is The First Tree an indie exploration game.

18/07/2021

Spider-Man Miles Morales (PS5) - Completed Review

The showcase for the PS5 release does not disappoint, it is an action-packed adventure with lots and lots of web slinging fun. The main caompaign is much shorter at just over 3 hours but there is enough side content in the game to keep you busy zipping around the map completing side quests, clearing out hideouts, collecting various items from postcards to sound samples.

Playing as Miles, you get to enjoy using his bio-electric powers to hulk-smash and dash around pulverising enemies. There is a large skill tree to unlock which will give you new moves but be warned to complete it you will need to play new game+ and level up enough to gain skill points. You will also need to collect tokens to unlock gadgets and new suits. The best suit in the game however you do not get unitl you have completed the game and start new game + to play a new side quest. Even if you do not want to play the main campaign again make sure you start new game + to ulock this suit. Trust me it is Puurfect!

The story and characters in the game are very good, from Ganke your sidekick buddy, Uncle Aaron who has some hidden secrets and Phin your very close friend who is trying to find a solution to rid the city of Roxxon, a greed-hungry corporation who will stop at nothing to make money. There also some nice cameo's from Peter Parker and others throughout the game.

It had a hefty price tag on release but now can be picked up for around £25 second-hand and for that amount you will certainly enjoy the experience. Make sure you wait around after the credits to see a small scene which shows where the series is going next.


25/05/2021

Batman Enemy Within (PS5) - Completed Review


I am not going to show any gameplay in this video obviously for spoilers but it is good to get back to playing a Tell-Tale game again. Obviously the sad demise of Tell-Tale is well known and the rebirth via LCG Entertainment is good news with The Wolf Among Us Season 2 being the first announcement.

There have always been issues with these games because of the old TellTale game engine always resulting in bugs or crashes but thankfully Batman Enemy Within plays perfectly fine with no issues or crashes. I understand future games will use the Unreal engine.

Batman Enemy Within has an enjoyable story in which you interact with many of the famous Gotham villains and a story arc through the episodes sees your relationship with John Doe/Joker develop into a great ending sequence.

It is this deep story that makes this game a joy to play and if like me you love the Batman universe you will have a great time.

Hopefully another season will be in the works soon.

04/05/2021

Yakuza Like a Dragon (PS5) - Completed Review

I have not played any of the previous Yakuza games, so why was I interested in this game?

Because I enjoy turn-based RPGs, proper turn-based not like the Final Fantasy 7 Remake classic mode!

Yakuza Like a Dragon ticks all the right boxes for a great RPG, first it has an enjoyable cast of characters from Ichiban your main protaganist to Nanba a homeless guy who has a complex backstory. I played with the English voice-acting and it is very good.

Each character can be assigned a job which will give them a wide array of skills, these jobs can be changed when you want but it is probably best to stick with one through the game so you can level up the job rank. Each rank upgrade will reward you with better stats and may unlock new skills.

Most important on the RPG checklist is the story because this is what will keep you interested to carry on playing, Like a Dragon's story will throw a few surprises and is inter-linked with a wide-array of characters from Family Patriarchs to leaders of various factions. 

There are also many sidequests which will see you helping the residents of Ijincho with their problems and you will also be introduced to some of the mini-games from Can-Collecting to Dragon Kart.

Whilst walking around Ijincho, Sotenbori or Kamurocho you have many distractions from Shops, Restaurants, Casino's to Arcades which give you the oppurtunity to enjoy some classic Sega Games including Space Harrier, Out Run & many more. There is also a workshop which will allow you to upgrade certain weapons but be warn getting the materials for later upgrades will require you to grind either Dungeons or the Battle Arena.

My only gripe was the RNG involved in getting the Honk-Honk characters to appear on the map, after a few hours of trying I gave up to enjoy finishing the story.

Overall it is a great RPG to enjoy with an engaing story and loveable cast of characters, I am hoping the developers stick with the turn-based combat for the next Yakuza game & bring back Ichiban and his gang.

09/04/2021

Undertale (PS5) - Completed Review

 

Long ago, two races ruled over earth; Humans & Monsters. One day, war broke out between the two races. After a long battle the humans were victorious. They sealed the monsters underground with a magic spell. Many years had passed and Legends say that those who climb the mountain never return. Now starts your adventure in Undertale! 

An indie role-playing game with a 2D art style and top-down camera. It also has an old school soundtrack with some great tunes, definetly add the album to your spotify playlist and enjoy the 100 tracks. The humour is very funny in this game and you will enjoy many laugh-out-loud moments.

When in combat you have either the option to attack or talk to the enemies. When selecting attack you will need to ensure the attack line is pressed on the center of the bar to maximise damage. When the enemies attack, you will need to move your heart around the screen to avoid getting damage, similar to an old-school shoot em up like Gradius or Space Invaders. If you select Act you will be able to talk to the enemy and depending on your choices they may decide to either attack you or not, whilst talking sometimes you will get an option to spare their life.

The game has many surprises that I do not wish to spoil but some of the boss battles are very memorable & you will not have played anything like it before, if you are looking for something a bit different in the RPG genre then Undertale should be at the top of your list. Go enjoy this classic!

15/03/2021

When the past was around (PS5) - Completed Review

 


When the past was around is a beautiful indie point and click game about dealing with the loss of a loved one. 

You play as Eda and the story is told through memories interlaced with puzzles, the game has a lovely hand-drawn art style and a violin tune that plays whilst you enjoy the story.

You move the cursor around to interact with objects or collect and place items. The puzzles are not too difficult but you will need to remember sequences and decode patterns. There is also some back-tracking through previous rooms to complete certain memories. If however you do get stuck you can press triangle which will show you objects you can interact with in each room.

This is a short game that can be completed in just over an hour but you may need to replay some chapters if you want to get all the trophies. When the past was around is a good game to enjoy that will make you remember the loved ones you have lost in your life.


11/03/2021

Control - Completed Review

 


Control Ultimate Edition was added to PlayStation Plus in February, it was one of the few games I did not get round to enjoying on the PS4. You play as Jesse Faden who arrives at the FBC (Federal Bureau of Control) to find out what happened to her brother. The building is not all that it seems with many hidden secrets to be found and mysteries revealed during the campaign.

I enjoyed the story with its nice selection of characters and the plot slowly peeling back, it felt almost like a season of X-Files with its super-natural themes. The gameplay is action-based and skills will unlock that allow you to get an advantage over the hiss from shield, launch to seize which allows you to take control of enemies. The skills can be upgraded by ability points which are rewarded from missions or going off the beaten path and finding hidden areas.

Control is a metroidvania game where everything on the map is slowly defogged when you unlock new skills or complete main chapter quests. There is a fair bit of revisiting locations but fast travel can be unlocked by taking over control points around the map. Outside of the main campaign there are a few side quests which will purposely take you into unexplored area and randomly generated alert missions which are time limited, these are usually the kill all enemies or protect soldiers challenges that reward you will materials. You will need a fair bit of materials to upgrade weapons or purchase mods, although I just used the various mods I collected throughout the game.

There are some great set pieces/boss fights in the game and one in particular has you dashing around to a thumping soundtrack whilst killing the hiss. Control has been a great game to play coming in at just over 30 hours, I had no issues on the PS5 with fast load times, smooth frame rates and beautiful visuals.

I will leave it to Jessie to give a quick summary of the game “That was awesome”


08/03/2021

Donut County (PS5) - Review


Sometimes a simple idea can make an enjoyable game, in Donut County you control a hole across many stages swallowing everything you come across. The more you swallow the larger the hole grows until everything is gone.

Mira works in the local donut shop with her friend BK who is engrossed in a mobile app trying to gain enough points to unlock a drone. The story is intially told via flashbacks, all of the town residents are sat round a campfire deep underground having a conversation about what happened and why?

You will get to meet the various residents from a Chef whose restaraunt is infected with Bugs to Salt and Pepper, siblings who constantly fight. Each level will introduce a new gameplay element for you to figure out. There is nothing too complicated in the game but you will need to use the hole for different purposes from filling it with water to putting it on fire.

Accompanying the gameplay is a lovely soundtrack that will have you humming along with some great tracks, I especailly enjoyed the Gecko Park level & would reccommend listening to the soundtrack on Spotify.

I am sure like myself you will enjoy this short indie game in one sitting, coming in at just over an hour, there are some small challenges you can complete during the game but you may want to try these after completing the game and using the level select. Enjoy and have a garbage day!


 

28/02/2021

Fortnite Chapter 2 Season 5 Review

 

I only got back into playing Fortnite because my daughter wanted someone to play Duo's with her, 4 weeks later and I have completed the 100 level battle pass!

Everyone knows the Battle Royale formula and Epic have perfected it to a fine constant loop, keeping you playing for that next target. Be that a level upgrade, quest completion or daily task. If the dice rolls in your favour and you have luck or skill on your side, you can go all the way and get the fabled Victory Royale.

The enjoyment for me has come mainly in playing with my daughter, nephew & niece. I am constantly in awe at their skills to either single handily take out a squad or build a Burj Khalifa skyscraper in 4.6 seconds. The unlocks from the battle pass reward you mainly with cosmetic items but occasionally you will unlock a new Skin or Emote that you will enjoy.

For me, this season just starting with The Mandalorian and upgrading his beskar armour was enough but at level 100 you are also rewarded with Baby Yoda. There is also an enjoyable Predator quest line which will unlock the skin for you to play.

The many years of playing multi-player FPS games like Quake, Unreal, Halo & Call of Duty has taught me to just go for the kill which works until I come up against a wall built of wood, stone, or metal. I hate builder players; they will build a box around them in seconds or a tall skyscraper before you can reload your gun. Hopefully in my inventory I carry fireflies or grenades and just destroy or cook these builds in seconds but on most occasions, I have neither and then end up dying whilst trying to figure out where the opponent is in their build. 

With advice from my daughter even with my poor building skills I managed to get 13 Solo Victory Royales this season, I especially enjoyed the win where I destroyed the last remaining two opponent’s skyscraper builds and they fell to their deaths.

Getting to level 100 is not that difficult of a task because you are rewarded with xp for even the smallest action, collect an apple 25 xp or open an ammo box 100 xp. With the daily quests and weekly quests you can very easily run through the levels to complete the battle pass. I also have to thank the rllmuk members on the Fortnite thread who have given me advice and helped me complete the battlepass.

The current season ends on the 16th March, what will happen to Zero Point & what will the new season bring in terms of rewards. I will be there next season screaming "Yes Fam" when we get our first win.

16/02/2021

Slay the Spire - Uncompleted Review

 


Just one more try, before you look up it will be 1am and you have work in the morning. Slay the Spire should come with a warning. The monsters in the game will chomp away at your health but this game will devour your time.

You start the game with The Ironclad character and play strikes & block cards to defeat monsters. Along the way you will unlock new cards, open treasure chests to receive a relic, gain a boon, receive a curse & even visit a merchant to spend your hard earned gold. At some point eventually you will die usually at the hands of the end of act boss fight or an elite monster. Thus begins the one more try loop, let’s go again and see how far we get this time. 

After a while you will unlock two more characters in The Silent a huntress who uses daggers and poison and The Defect a machine who uses elemental orbs to attack. There is also a fourth character called The Watcher but you need to complete a run before she is unlocked. I prefer to play with The Silent and if I get some poison cards I can get a decent run together.

I usually play games that have a story and an ending because the time I can spend on video games is limited. Therefore I avoid rogue like games or as I like to call them timesinks like Spelunky, Binding of Isaac and FTL Faster Than Light because of the amount of hours you have to play to either upgrade or get lucky to complete a run. Although at some point I am looking forward to playing Hades.

Slay the Spire is no exception to this formula, after 30 hours playing I finally made it to Act 3! & promptly died at the first fight. I read a post on Reddit recently where someone mentioned they had played for 300 hours and had still not completed the game, that made me stop and think about the time commitment this game needs and whilst I won’t quit just yet it is time to move on. I will continue to slowly chip away at Slay the Spire and if I’m lucky I may just complete a run before the PlayStation 6 is released.

I’m going to start playing The Pathless an open world action game developed by Giant Squid who also made Abzu. Just let me have one more try on Slay the Spire.

01/02/2021

Gorogoa (PS5) - Completed Review

 


Gorogoa is a short puzzle game where you have four frames that you can move tiles around. You can click in certain areas in a tile to progress the puzzle & you can also stack tiles on top of each other to trigger an action. 

There is no guide in the game to help but a hint feature will highlight which areas you can interact with on a tile, some of the puzzles will need quick movement with the tiles so you can carry on the motion of an action. You may get stuck on a few puzzles I certainly did on a shelf puzzle that took me a while to figure out.

Overall Gorogoa is a nice game to tax the brain muscles that you will complete in about an hour & if you fancy an extra challenge there is a trophy for completing it under thirty minutes!

Next for me is Slay the Spire a roguelike card deck building game and I've also gotten back into playing Fortnite with my daughter (JerryBean) & nephew (Mr T).

25/01/2021

Lost Sphear (PS5) - Completed Review

 


 

Lost Sphear by Tokyo RPG factory is a love letter to the SNES/PS1 era with a beautiful art style, no spoken dialogue but a ton of written probably more than the entire Harry Potter books and a familiar turn-based combat. Be warned there is no fast travel which can be annoying because certain dungeons do not have shortcuts and you won’t get the airship until much later in the game.

You play as Kanata a swordsman from the village Elgarthe who develops an ability to restore lost structures from memories. You are very quickly joined by Lumina a melee combat fighter and Locke a long range archer. The game slowly introduces other characters who will join your adventure along the way to a maximum of eight but you can only select four in your battle team.

The game introduces two new features, the first is Spritnite where you have to equip a skill to use in combat but you can then link a momentum effect to each skill like recover HP every time you use that skill in a battle. In combat each skill will have a cool down timer which will reset after a number of a turns. The second is Artefacts, there are various locations on the open world where you can build a structure to give you a boost. For example the Mystic Eye artefact will give you a world mini-map showing you to see locations of dungeons you have visited.

There is no random encounters in the game, all combat is within dungeons. During combat you build up a momentum meter by performing attacks, moving you character or using skills. Once you have built up a momentum charge you can use it in combat and it will usually rewards you a critical or double hit. With certain characters it can be an advantage to ensure they move around the battle area so you can line up a multiple hit attack. Equally you need to be careful to ensure your characters are not too close together so the enemies can’t get in an area attack. Make sure you especially pay attention to your movements during boss fights which are slightly more challenging.

I won’t spoil it in this review but later the game introduces a new combat mechanic which I did enjoy using quite a bit but I had to have constant supplies to recharge or regularly rest at inns. Overall Lost Sphear is a nostalgic trip back to the 90s JRPG formula but remember the game is not finished once the credits roll. I had no issues at all playing this game on the PS5, next for me is a small indie puzzler Gorogoa.