Yomawari: Midnight Shadows - PS4 Review


Yomawari: Midnight Shadows is full of surprises. Some people may bemoan the cutesy art style and complain how its not real enough to be a horror experience. However, Yomawari: Midnight Shadows certainly knows how to convey a sense of dread - an impressive feat for a title that really adheres more to a show than tell approach.

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Sylvio 2 - PC Review


Sylvio 2 is sort of an odd title, because it really is a case of taking one step forward and then taking two steps back. While there are improvements upon the first game, somewhere along the way this horror game lost some of its soul that made the first title unique if still flawed. The end result is still a decent exploration adventure, but one that never really rises above its flaws.

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Numantia - PS4 Review


Numantia is a turn-based strategy title set in ancient Rome, and despite the title having slipped under the radar a bit upon release, it is actually a really well-designed title that surprised me a bit with its strategic depth wide variety of troop options.

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Revenant Saga - Switch Review


Revenant Saga as a throwback RPG adventure that gets more right than wrong and while it has seen releases on a handful of platforms, I think the Nintendo Switch is actually a very natural home for this recently released title.

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Sunday Bites - 8-Bit Adventures 2


When Critical Games released 8-Bit Adventures I was amazed at how well it was both a “retro” title and an RPG that could easily stand on its own both mechanically and visually. With the Wizard, Thief and Warrior (Red / Green / Blue) acting as the representatives of the colors of the world everything simply clicked around them.

Moving on to Tales Across Time, Critical went in another direction altogether with different combat elements as an enemy was fought over the course of generations of three completely unrelated individuals.

Back for their third project, 8-Bit Adventures is receiving a sequel and so far, it's looking good.


Story

If what is currently available in the short demo is anything to go by, especially in conjunction with the previous titles, 8BA2 is going to be awesome. Starting off in a city chasing down a glitch, our party faces off against robots before getting one of their own before jumping on a train to make it to a factory where they do catch up to that said glitch. The dialog is well written and the flow is clear to see leaving me with wanting to know how things got to this train ride and what comes next.

Gameplay

Gameplay is simple enough as it follows that retro jrpg style. Moving around is easy and there's a combination of both random and forced on screen encounters that move along the story. With the tiny bit available it's possible that more could come into play but even if it doesn't this core piece follows the tried and true method so there's nothing to worry about on that end.


Music

The music is awesome. It has both that old school feeling but not the rough edge that used to come with it and the battle theme is very catchy. My only suggestion with the music would be to release an OST alongside the final release.

Other

There's controller support! I know that sounds like a very small thing to be happy about but it's the difference between being stuck at a desk or having your feet up on the coffee table in front of the projector.

Combat

Combat is an evolution of what could be found in Tales Across Time which stepped up the standard JRPG battle system. Characters have access to attacking and skills but the warrior can pick whether they hit for certain but less damage, deal normal damage, or deal heavy damage at the risk of missing. Swapping in the robot that joins and they have no MP and can simply use their skills all they want. There's choice and it was a pleasant step forward for Critial’s series.


Final Thoughts

I'm looking forward to playing the final release of 8-Bit Adventures 2. The original held unique ideas and Tales Across Time demonstrated that Critical Games was not just a one trick pony capitalizing on the retro style that has slowly become "in". With the upcoming sequel it's clear that like Dancing Dragon Games and Stegosoft Games they know what they are doing and I've high hopes for it!

Game Information

Platform:
PC
Developer(s):
Critical Games
Publisher(s):
Critical Games
Genre(s):
RPG
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
N/A

Source:
Demo on Steam
Article by Pierre-Yves
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Kingdoms of the Lost: Merriment of Masks Festival


Kingdoms of the Lost is having another festival, this time in celebration of Halloween. This festival is dubbed their Merriment of Masks, and it will be running from now through Wednesday, November first.. Kingdoms of the Lost is a MUD - an old school, text-based online Dungeons & Dragons style of game, but with a completely unique world in a fantasy setting.

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Battle Chasers: Nightwar - PS4 Review


Battle Chasers: Nightwar is a love story to 90's JRPGs merged with one of the most recognizable names in comics, Joe Madureira. Based on "Joe Mad's" own Battle Chasers comic line, Nightwar is a gorgeous dungeon-diving affair with a story that is instantly familiar to old fans of the franchise. Unfortunately what would largely be a stunning and extremely approachable game with affable characters, excellent pacing, and tons of replayability due to its randomly-generated dungeon, is a hot mess of technical issues. Given another two or three months of QA testing and Battle Chasers: Nightwar would be a contender for best RPG of the year.

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Elex - PS4 Review


Elex is a fascinating attempt to blend the likes of an open world RPG with the ideas that so brilliantly make the Soul’s series combat what it is. Shot down from the sky by one of his own, Jax sets out for revenge with nothing more than a bent pipe in the post meteor struck world of Magalan.

I’ll preface this with that I really wanted to enjoy Elex especially since I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it from the first time that I saw it. Finally getting my hands on it though I found myself more concerned with technical issues and balancing as the load times could make Bloodborne look quick and I think I saw them more than actual gameplay as everything is designed to one or two hit kill you even at the very beginning.

Elex is hard but not in a “you have to become better than the system” hard. It’s hard because just about everything is stronger than you and short of role playing your way into level ups, even gaining new abilities to hold onto new weapons is hard. I hate using the word but it’s simply not accessible.


Leveling up gives you access to ten points that can be added into the stat of your choice. Once past thirty however it takes more than a single point in order to add a stat. The issue with this is that some basic, and I really mean basic, weapons cost over thirty strength to wield. Add in constitution and dexterity as other requirements and it could take until you’re level seven in order to use something more than a crappy axe. What do you do in the meantime? Run away from just about everything between you and where you’re going.

I mean it is possible in order to very slowly chip away at an enemy’s health but with them being able to take you out in one hit, the lengthy loading times are not worth it. It becomes just slightly more manageable once you start getting companions to do your dirty work for you but once they fall to the ground you’re in just as much trouble so you’d have been been supporting them with a range weapon. Between ranged and melee however ranged combat is much easier to perform as you don’t need to worry about stamina but instead just how many arrows or bullets you can land into your enemy.

I appreciate what Elex tried to do with it’s stamina integration into the combat system but I feel like it takes it down several notches instead of raising it up. Running, swinging a weapon, blocking and dodging all take various amounts of stamina and once it’s empty or on low it takes a good while for it to regenerate. Enemies are in the same boat as you and you can see the amounts that they have and make use of attacking them when they are at their lowest since they won’t be able to block your attacks and take some damage.


The problem isn’t that there’s stamina involved but that the act of swinging your weapon feels slow and by the time you’ve finally moved into action, you’re dead. Again. It takes some time to get used to how certain enemies act such as “raptors” will pounce forward with swiping claws while other canine like creatures will charge headfirst. Knowing how to react to these creatures is great but if you’ve dodged sometimes even a second too early their re-adjustment of their trajectory will bring them straight to you most likely killing you all over again. If it was just having to deal with slow swing times that would be one thing, but having to deal with slow swing times AND having the stamina left to do it or to dodge, when you’re alone against multiple foes sometimes it’s better to run away and fight another day instead of seeing the lengthily load screen.

Outside of combat however there is plenty to enjoy with wide open and beautiful looking locations to explore and lore to find. Magalan is an interesting space as it showcases the differences of the factions and what they’ve done since the meteor crash quite well making each culture interesting to explore once you’ve managed to get there.

Littered across the world are teleporters that grant you access to quick travel points that can be accessed from the terminal that you can call up on your arm. Even this adds some depth to the world as if you access it in the realm of the Berserkers who will have nothing to do with technology and instead went about the path of magic, they’ll yell at you to put it away as it has no place in their realm. The same can be said about the jetpack that is strapped to your back making exploration quite the interesting experience as if you plan your path out right there’s nothing that can stop you. Well that’s short of being one shotted by something you didn’t even know was there.


If you can find someone who will actually talk to you on your travels, dialog can be fantastic. Banter back and forth between you, your companions and those that you are talking to are all well written and great to listen to as even the voice actors are right on key. The issue is that with all the people that you come across there are many that will walk right on by you giving you nothing more than a “I don’t have time” for you which is unfortunate because of how well crafted it all is.

Topping it all off, Elex is also not without its technical issues. The frame rate will often come crashing down when trying to access and move around your HUD’s map or simply freeze. Running around the world depending on what is lying about will also trigger these effects making you worry that something may be coming to end your life once again while you wait for the engine to catch up. Finally the auto-saving that is amazingly customizable for its time increments will also bring everything to a halt as it triggers making you wonder if the title will come through or if it’s another wonderful blue screen of death.

The basis for Elex is an amazing one but sadly the execution isn't there. Between the technical issues and the steep price of betterment for both self and equipment being so high, you'll be spending more time running away and reloading your previous save than actually enjoying what Magalan could offer Jax.

Game Information

Platform:
Sony PlayStation 4
Developer(s):
Piranha Bytes
Publisher(s):
THQ Nordic
Genre(s):
Action
Adventure
RPG
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Microsoft Xbox One
PC

Source:
Provided by Publisher



Article by Pierre-Yves
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Batman: Vengeance - Retro Reflections


The Batman animated series from the nineties was one of my favorite shows. Its introduction alone is a masterpiece of direction, montage and music while its episodes had excellent narration, memorable villains, plenty of action and a dark atmosphere. I admired Bruce Wayne for sacrificing his personal life to protect civilians from insane criminals but I also felt sorry for his loneliness. Batman Vengeance is based on the animation series and features the Joker as the main villain. Naturally, Gotham is at stake and the hero must uncover Joker’s plans and save the city. Since the Caped Crusader never kills, he relies on his superb fighting skills, resourcefulness and advanced equipment to face the deadly clown’s numerous challenges and emerge victorious.

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Heliborne - PC Review


Heliborne is an interesting beast, taking elements of MMOs and mixing it with vehicular combat. This gives it a leg up in the gaming community, if only due to its rather unique premise (though it is reminiscent of World of Tanks - but with more speed and airborne antics). The gameplay loop here is addictive and the game is well enough designed that it is fun to play despite some so-so presentation values.

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Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon - PS4 Review


If you were a fan of the first game, then you should feel right at home with the recently released Nights of Azure 2: Bride of the New Moon. It brings back most of what I enjoyed about the first game - the interesting world, the enjoyable combat and the lovely visuals. I just wish that Gust would have taken a few more chances with this sequel along the way.

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Arktika.1 - PC / VR Review


There is a whole lot to like about this latest release from 4A Games, the makers of the Metro titles. Arktika.1is incredibly polished, it looks fantastic and perhaps most importantly, nails the desired atmosphere through details large and small to create a very memorable virtual reality experience.

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88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition - Switch Review


The original 88 Heroes has been out for some time, but we've gotten a newer, shinier version of the game out for the Nintendo Switch now. 88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition is fun for short sessions of arcade fun, but does not have enough depth to keep me coming back for more, despite a pretty cool premise.

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Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 4: Who Needs You - Xbox One Review


Too often the episodic tiles released by Telltale Games trips up near, but not at the finish line. That means that the second to last chapter usually takes a couple of hits because it is working so hard to set up a fantastic final chapter. I would guess this has been the case for about ninety percent of their releases. So imagine my pleasant surprise when Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - Episode 4: Who Needs You manages to be just as good, if not better than the last episode as we see the Guardians rushing headlong into what promises to be an exciting final act.

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Ogre - PC Review


Ogre is a classic tabletop strategy game by Steve Jackson Games, and while it is fantastic to see a game like this get the digital treatment, the end result is generally solid, if not great. Ogre hits many of the necessary notes needed to make it a success, though there are better strategy video games out there.

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ECHO - PS4 Review


ECHO is a fantastic experience that came out of nowhere. It is smart in multiple ways, in both its game mechanics and the narrative which certainly made me think. In a lot of indie titles you expect compromised production values or clumsy stealth, but the amount of polish added to an original storyline makes this a more memorable experience than I expected.

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Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! - PC Review


Diner Dash 666: Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?! is a new game from Daylight that was released on a Friday the 13th for no better reason than style. It's a kitchen simulator along the lines of a Diner Dash or flash sushi bar games that were so popular a couple of years ago, with a couple of big twists.

For starters, all of your characters are potatoes. You're a potato, your overseer is a potato, the gods you appease are potatoes, even your ingredients are potatoes. In your restaurant, T.S.I. Friday (I have it on good authority that the "S" stands for 'Spud') you are given a regular stream of sinners through the pit of judgement (Think of it like a fridge). You sort your sinners based on the stats of the sin that they committed (Tony Starch, for example, tends to lean more towards malice which makes him more suitable for the fryer).

The general premise is that gods place orders, you sort sinners to stations to process them into ingredients, and then use those ingredients in the stove of anguish to turn them into dishes, which you can then offer as tribute. The god gives favour based on how quickly they got their order filled, as well as the quality of the dish. The higher the stats of the relevant sin type, the better quality the ingredients, which means the better quality the final dish.


As you progress, the game adds additional steps of complexity that feel natural (much moreso now than during the beta) and not onerous. It continues to challenge you in gradual steps, and before you know it, you're serving Baaley's from the bar of deceit to improve their patience, processing sinners into seasonings, spending starch on temporary boosts, redeeming sinners with minor sins that don't belong in hell, and even finding special sinners to offer directly to the spudly god of choice.

The music is something I would describe as being a sort of happy, creepy, cathedral-esque ambient electronica that makes you feel like cartoon potatoes are in hell being silly. Everything is silliness, from the sinners (Joan Snow) to the competitors in the cook-offs (Tarth Tater), the judges (Barley Queen), and even the cameos (Gorodon Yamsay). There's nothing to this game that suggests that it takes itself too seriously... or takes itself seriously in the first place, and it shows.


Daylight has learned from their prior games, have added increased difficulty scaling through complexity, and not just across-the-board inflation of all the numbers involved. While the game doesn't really have replay value, it does have a very solid initial playthrough value that, if you like this sort of game, is going to be well worth the purchase. 28 hours of playtime has led to circle 6 of hell (out of 9, of course), and at only $9 right now, the value is pretty solid.

Game Information

Platform:
PC
Developer(s):
Daylight Studios
Publisher(s):
Daedalic Entertainment
Genre(s):
Simulation
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
NA

Source:
Provided by Publisher




Article by Marc H.
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Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel - Retro Reflections


In the late nineties some great role playing games were produced, such as Baldur’s Gate or Icewind Dale, and Fallout (1997) was one of the best. Its graphics alone did not win any prizes but its original plot, rich character development system, a world full of dangers and unexpected discoveries, tactical, violent battles, variety of weapons, climactic ending, incredibly detailed dialogues and immersive atmosphere made it a timeless example of ingenious game design.

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Bad Apple Wars - Vita Review


Admittedly, I don’t normally play the style of games that Bad Apple Wars falls under, mainly the “dating sim” style games. Even more so when it’s also female oriented, so this is a step in a new direction for me, so bear with me a bit. That being said, the game isn’t bad, even from a male perspective, but I wouldn’t say it’s all that great either. The music is good, but the storylines and characters could definitely use some work.

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Deadbeat Heroes - XB1 Review


Deadbeat Heroes is not only the Brawler that I've been wanting but a Brawler that takes its genre a step further like Haemimont Games did with Victor Vran (PC / PS4). With your fashion sense clocked into ten, get ready to take out a bunch of would be criminals from the streets that you are now in charge of!

Brawlers have been around for a while and while they focus mainly on how many enemies they can throw at you between the start and the end of the stage, it’s “how” they throw enemies at you that can either make or break the experience. Zheros unfortunately didn’t make the cut in that regard because of its pacing and missed opportunities and I’m happy to say that this isn’t the case with Deadbeat Heroes. Focusing on smaller bite sized stages you’ll generally be at the boss in no time as long as you make the grade.

A big issue when it comes to fighting tons and tons of enemies is the lull time in between moving from one area to the next. Having designed the environments in bite sized pieces, while there are empty rooms they don’t count as lull time as much as a few seconds for your fingers to reset themselves for another fast paced action segment.


The action really is pretty fast paced and with how many enemies can spawn at times, things get hectic but that’s where you get to be creative. Deadbeat Heroes in a way sports a simplified combat system with heroes being able to punch or use a set ability once the gauge is full. Having not gone overboard creates the building blocks for the rest with the hero's’ ability to run across the ground, up or across walls and throw flying punches or kicks into the face of their enemies. As enemies get tougher you’ll need to use these abilities more and more to get both out of the line of fire as well as jump behind their guard.

Keeping on the idea of bite sized pieces, each chapter contains three stages and a boss. In order to get to the boss not only do you need to beat the three prior stages but also score high enough in points to unlock the boss stage. This means that until you get it right, you can’t move forward. As the chapters progress this becomes more of the norm depending on your skill and you’ll just have to do it again and again until you get it right. With the system in place however it shouldn’t take long as you now know what to expect but if you do kick the bucket while trying? Well you’ll simply have more work to do.

As the chapters move forward you get access to more than one character to use (for single player) and they each count as “lives”. Each chapter essentially has to be cleared on these set of lives otherwise if all your characters are defeated you’ll lose the clearing grade that you’ve already obtained on a completed stage and have to do it again. This really forces you to master the system and get better as there’s no other alternative to move forward.


Between all of these stages however is classic bond-esque cheesy dialog between the Deadbeat Heroes themselves and the Criminal Organization hiding amongst their own shadows. This gives both points of views as the heroes better themselves and bolster their ranks while the criminal leaders finally resolve themselves to taking to the stage themselves once things have gone far enough. These segments are also short and sweet keeping with the entire bite sized portions that just has everything rolling smoothly.

In conclusion, Deadbeat Heroes is everything that I've wished for in a brawler for a long time. Smooth combat supported by smoother mechanics and cheesy dialog to top it all off. It really doesn't get much better than this!

Game Information

Platform:
Microsoft Xbox One
Developer(s):
Deadbeat Productions
Publisher(s):
Square Enix
Genre(s):
Brawler
Beat 'Em Up
Mode(s):
Single Player
Coop
Other Platform(s):
PC

Source:
Provided by Publisher




Article by Pierre-Yves
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Bear With Me - PC Review


Bear With Me from Exordium Games has just seen the launch of its third and final chapter. Taking a look at the entire series, the one clear fact in this 1950’s Noir-esque adventure is that the presentation and the writing are superb making it hard to remember at times that it’s all about a ten year old girl and her teddy bear looking for her brother that went missing and filling the rest with imagination.

The adventure starts off with Amber getting a visit from an older “toy” named Millie as she wakes her up in the middle of the night. Basically browbeaten into going and getting help from her old partner and private eye Ted E. Bear, the two start to explore Amber’s house looking for clues regarding the disappearance of her brother.

This from the very beginning starts off on a high note. Because of the dialog alone, it’s hard to remember that Amber is nothing more than a ten year old who’s looking around the house with her bear. Even Ted’s dialog is that of the classic retired and hung up his hat PI that’s come back for “one” more case in that he himself mentions could get him shot and killed as it happens so often. Bear With Me is quite self-aware and integrates the modern elements almost seamlessly with the 1950’s style that it is trying to emulate while occasionally breaking the fourth wall to talk to the director. With imaginations aflair, Amber’s house becomes something more than it truly is as the two start to explore the “crime scenes” and ways in order to progress past the obstacles that lay in their way.


Once the first chapter is cleared and it’s time to move on, you’ll have to exit the game, reload, and choose chapter 2. There’s no carry over so if you played the first chapter on another system or formatted there’s no worry about losing anything in particular. While just as brilliantly written as the first chapter, it took some time for me to get invested into the second as unlike the first which had imagination roaming and running wild inside of the confines of the house, the second takes place in the often mentioned Paper City which is access from the attic at the end of the first. That sense of adventure that brought me back to my childhood was gone as the city’s layout could in no way fit within the space that they left. It’s not that it isn’t as good, it’s that the style that was so well defined in the first was gone.

Chapter 3, like chapter 2, starts up right where things left off and still within Paper City keeping things constant. Not to be outdone by the previous two chapters however things get spiced up a bit with our protagonists having split up and doing things independently of one another. Both still keep to the same styles and gameplay but the change in direction after the first two was actually welcomed as it offers a different outlook on the unfolding events for a great ending to the series.

Like all Point and Click’s, Bear With Me is both heavy on the dialog and heavy on the puzzle solving. Neither of these is a bad thing. With how well written and voice acted it is listening to the banter of each chapter is a joy especially when you get into the smaller modern references of Iron Man or classics like Shaft. Because of the voice acting and the nature of the dialog, you tend to forget about Amber’s age or that Ted is really a stuffed bear because of how mature both of them sound while talking like they’ve been at this for thirty years. It is very, very, well done and the chemistry of the characters is just perfect for both the good and the bad times.


The puzzle solving isn’t “hard” per say but sometimes you really have to think about what you have versus what can be picked up out of the environment. Without any spoilers I’ll just say that REMEMBER YOU HAVE A SWISS ARMY KNIFE. The only thing that I would say was missing however, and this may be because other titles have spoiled me, was an option to have a key in order to highlight any and all interactive elements in the environment. I missed many things the first, second and so on until passing my cursor slowly from top left to bottom right in order to see if anything could be picked up. Moving too fast you can miss things so it would have been nice to have that one little extra feature.

Bear With Me is definitely a must play. With stellar dialog and voice acting only ever supported by the grayscaled visuals with red as a highlight, it’s one interesting ride as imagination takes over from the real world to give Amber the same style of adventure that so many of us had when we were younger.

Game Information

Platform:
PC
Developer(s):
Exordium Games
Publisher(s):
Exordium Games
Genre(s):
Point and Click
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
N/A

Source:
All three episodes were provided by the publisher



Article by Pierre-Yves
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Cyberdimension Neptunia: 4 Goddesses Online - PS4 Review


Not a Mega Victory, But It’ll Quench Your Thirst For More Nepbull

When I sit on the embroidered cushion of my imaginary throne to contemplate a series of games that has made the most profound improvements from inception to sequels, the Neptunia franchise is the third or fifth to bop into my brain. While the first game in the main series, 2011’s Hyperdimension Neptunia, established the lighthearted magnetism of its allegorical satire with lovable, comedic characters and narrative, as well as the fitting and unapologetic fan service, it also contained gameplay that I’ve heard fervid Nep-Nep junkies describe as “nightmarish, but definitely worth the struggle.” To some, HN was a charming shit-show, with a brain-fatiguing battle system that could be partially suppressed from the consciousness thanks to the glistening allure of its characters and writing.

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Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 2: The Pact - Xbox One


Our latest chapter opens with an intense scene, which bodes well for Batman: The Enemy Within - Episode 2: The Pact. Unfortunately, the rest of the episode just never manages to maintain that momentum and left me hoping that Episode 3 can right the ship as too many characters are crammed into this episode with too little payout for decisions that are made during the chapter.

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Axiom Verge - Switch Review


Axiom Verge has come to the Nintendo Switch, and while the game has been out on several platforms over the last few years, it holds up just as well now as it did when it released then. It's retro sensibilities have allowed it to age flawlessly, making it just as compelling to play now as it was upon initial release. If for some reason you have not had a chance to play this Metroid-style game yet, and you have a Switch, you really should pick it up if you are a fan of action / adventure games.

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Morphite - PS4 Review


“Morphite is a deep and enriching single-player experience with both a handcrafted story-driven plot as well as open-ended, procedurally generated, player-driven exploration and discovery.” Reading this as a description is one thing, actually experiencing this and it proving true is another. Morphite blew away my expectations of it and time simply flew on by as I explored the galaxy at my own pace in the shoes of Myrah Kale.

Given a ship, a scanner, a sarcastic robotic cat named Kitkat and a pistol in order to defend yourself, the adventure begins. Now while the main basis of gameplay is that of a First Person Shooter you’ll be spending more time with nothing in your hands or a scanner to catalogue everything that is either living and breathing or lying lazily about as minerals tend to do. With that in mind you’ll be setting out to explore the galaxy one system at a time.

In a way Morphite feels like it takes some of the ideas of No Man’s Sky but on a much smaller scale. The Galaxy isn't wide open for you exploration but instead is segmented off into sectors that must be travelled to from the use of your ship's console. From there you can look at the available planets and land on one if you can survive it. Travelling near will be easy but the further you'll want to go the more fuel you'll need in the tank. You'll have to take it one sector at a time while your ship refuels itself slowly while you explore or if you have the money fill it up instantly to continue on your intended journey.


The journey itself can be tackled at your pace. If you want to go fast, quickly land, scan a few things and leave? It’s just as much as an option as exploring every nook and cranny that you can get access to while on foot. While the ship’s console will show you where you need to go next in order to continue the plot you can make your way there anyway that you wish. You’re not limited in your explorations short of possible biohazards and temperatures that’ll either flash freeze or boil you until you find the upgrades required in order to survive.

Because the ship will automatically refill itself, money in the beginning didn’t even seem like it mattered until I met a few space pirates that almost did my ship in. From there it came to my attention that when landing at any space station you can sell off the readings from your scanner for a pretty penny. Once you’ve got the funds in your account there are loads of upgrades that can be made to your ship such as new weapons, armor, shields, larger fuel tanks and fuel efficiency! This makes taking your time on the planet's surface worth it not only because of the cash flow to upgrade your ship, but because if you want to upgrade your suit you’re going to need to find the pods and the materials on the ground to do so.

You’ll be spending a lot more time on the ground of a planet’s surface than you will “flying” about through space. Sure there are asteroid clusters to dodge through and pirates to blast out of your way but the main focus is really with Myrah’s feet on the ground. Once you’ve made landfall it’s as easy as going wherever you wish while trying not to die from some of the locals that may not take kindly to you being there. That’s what your pistol is for.


The amount that wants to kill you however isn’t that large compared to the rest and sometimes you can take a hit only because that super large creature is trying to run away from you as it has zero idea of what you are. Scanning these and those that try to kill you as mentioned can be sold off and some of these will be aberrants so their scans are worth even more. Plants and minerals are fairly easy to scan and won’t pose a problem while bugs can be a bit of a pain until you’ve managed to upgrade the scanner’s speed and range.

Upgrading these two factors as well as your suits abilities felt a bit Metroid in that you need to explore everywhere and eventually find the pod that can give you said upgrades. Where things get a bit complicated is that once you’ve found the pod you need to make sure that you have enough resources in order to actually pull off that very said upgrade. Keeping notes of the planets with hefty upgrade pods is a must because when you come across them early enough, there’s no way that you’ll be buying them meaning that temperate climate planets are pretty much it until you’ve fire and ice proofed your environmental suit.

With pods that can be located in order to upgrade your suit, thankfully there are people that can upgrade your pistol because you will need it and not just for self-defense. The only issue that I have with Morphite lies in the functions of your pistol as ammo pretty much has to be picked up through destructible objects and to destroy those objects, you need ammo. Opening a door? Need ammo. Triggering a switch to get the electricity running through ancient rooms? Yup, more ammo. So with so much exploration based around this the original fifty shot clip is not enough as it doesn’t store anything over the limit.



When it comes to defending yourself however you’ll be glad to have this pistol. The controls from this perspective aren’t bad but more often than not I opted for an auto-targeting, which isn’t one-hundred percent as things move after you’ve fired. That said, even with something huge coming your way with claws and fans there was never a stress to the situation as things are much more mellow than that of Ark or Wolfenstein.

With all the above incentives to explore, the main quest line isn’t simply one that falls off by the wayside. While you can put it on hold as any explorative title will allow, it’s worth doing as it can start to open up new possibilities with items that you wouldn’t find otherwise. If that factor was not enough, the voice acting for the dialog is well done and doesn’t feel out of place or that it was simply added on thereafter. There really is a story to follow and it’s an enjoyable one especially with the sarcastic floating Kitcat.

Morphite is a fun and relaxing title even in the heat of battle as it’s designed more as an exploration than it is a full blown FPS. With Myrah’s story worth exploring and plenty to explore on the ground of the individual planets, there was a lot of enjoyment to be had as it never tries to be more than it set out to be and it succeeds on that point.

Game Information

Platform:
Sony PlayStation 4
Developer(s):
Crescent Moon Games
Publisher(s):
Blowfish Studios
Genre(s):
First Person Shooter
Adventure
Mode(s):
Single Player
Other Platform(s):
Microsoft Xbox One
PC

Source:
Provided by Publisher



Article by Pierre-Yves
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