Mighty Goose - PS4 Review

Mighty Goose
by developers Blastmode Games, MP2 Games and publisher PlayismSony Playstation 4 review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Do you know what the mightiest of birds are? Is it the pidgeon? The crow? Here in Canada, we know what the mightiest of birds is: the goose. They're tough, they're gruff, and they won't hesitate to beat you up. Obviously the developers of Mighty Goose are aware of this, with the eponymous bounty hunter and feathered friend Mighty Goose.

Mighty Goose is a fine feathered bounty hunter chasing after evil across the galaxy. The dreaded void king is taking over, and Mighty Goose is contracted to get rid of the problem. With his trusty mechanical gun arm and pig(?) assistant, the great Mighty Goose is off to rescue planets across the galaxy from the dominion of the VOID. Mighty Goose is very reminiscient of Metal Slug, or maybe some of the older megaman games for those of you who don't recognize Metal Slug, in both art style and gameplay.

You play as the eponymous Mighty Goose, fighting your way through 2D side-scrolling stages, shooting up enemies, collecting different weapon types, occasionally hopping in vehicles, and beating up the bad guys. The Mighty Goose has a normal shot that is the default, but can also pick up limited ammo weapons while going through a stage, or get them called in via air drop for a cash price. As you run, gun, and dodge-roll through stages, you may also come across "war machines", such as a bike, a tank, or a…mecha goose suit. Hop on in and rain bullets down upon your enemies. In addition to the gunning, the Mighty Goose also has a secondary skill that can be used. The secondary skills can be swapped out between stages, and may be damaging skills like bombs, support skills like filling the "mighty meter", or honking.

If you fill up the mighty meter, you can enter a super mode where you don't take damage from enemies (environment is still fair game) and your weapons are enhanced. The gauge will deplete, even when not using the mighty mode, so make sure to keep it filled for when you need it. After completing a stage you can visit the armoury to choose what secondary skills to equip, as well as passive skills which will unlock as you play through the game. Passive skills may be as small as "increased walking speed", but can help you out a lot. You have a limited amount of energy to assign skills, so make sure you know what you want. You can also pick an ally to join you. That's right, you can bring an assistant into battle, that can also be controlled by a friend in a sort of co-op mode. Although the partner isn't to the same level as Mighty Goose, they can definitely still assist you.

Mighty Goose has a great retro feel with both the soundtrack as well as graphic style, and I felt like the developers really nailed a lot of what made the old school games so enjoyable. Unfortunately there are a few very noticeable setbacks. First and foremost: you have a melee attack. If enemies get too close, you slash them instead of shooting. Which is pretty awful considering all of the guns other than the default definitely do more damage than the slash attack. Second, there's a sub weapon that are rockets, and they are unequivocably awful to handle. They are auto seeking, but hover around a bit before doing anything, and I would routinely go out of my way to avoid picking them up.

The game is also very short. I completed the normal game, "new game +", and had most of the stages S ranked within three hours. I'd also like to point out that the S rank requirements are… weird, I suppose you could say. It seems like there are certain benchmarks you need to hit for kills, deaths, combo, and speed, but points aren't total cumulative? There is also this really annoying slo-mo and cut-in with a honking goose occasionally, which is really infuriating. As much as I gripe though, I truly do hope to see more from the Blastmode and MP2 developers in the future. I had a lot of fun with Mighty Goose, and can't wait to see what they come out with next.


Overall, Mighty Goose is a pretty fun game with a lot good points to it. The combat basis is pretty well done, the skills and upgrades are a neat touch, and the weapon system was enjoyable. Unfortunately, there just isn't a whole lot there to really dig into. Mighty Goose is well too short, and coupled with some of the more aggravating issues, such as the periodic slow-mo, the easy difficulty, and how the "post game" is just the main game but a little harder, Mighty Goose probably won't keep you occupied for too long. That being said, if you enjoy Metal Slug, this is definitely going to be put on your watch list, it will probably just be one of those titles you'll pick up on sale.

Score: 7.5 / 10


Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny - Switch Review

Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny
by developer Nippon Ichi Software (NIS) and publisher Nippon Ichi Software America (NISA)Nintendo Switch review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

If you say Nippon Ichi Software, or their North American localization and publishing group Nippon Ichi Software America (NISA or NIS America for short) I'm going to think one of two things. The first, is turned based strategy RPGs that have been their bread and butter for decades now. The other? Is a solid turn based strategy titles and the latest entry into the Makai Senki universe, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny, is no exception.

Note: Please be aware that this review contains some spoilers either in the text or in the screenshots taken during gameplay.

Having recently released a demo in order to see how much damage one could deal to an enemy within the first chapter and three quarters, the intro was enough to show the direction of the latest title without spoiling the rest down the line. Solid base mechanics? Quirky character design? Smart and sassy dialog? The latest has it all but there's one thing I feel that D6 has over D5 and that was the magic of the originals which were more about the characters than it was about the Netherworlds that they could be found in.

As a fan of the series it's an honor to be able to review something that you hold in such high regard. At the same time, reviewing something that you hold dear can sometimes be a bit complicated as you're not only sitting down to potentially and hopefully enjoy, but you're also sitting down to analyze and critique what has been put in front of you. In that regard, while having only ever upped their game with each new entry into the Disgaea series I felt that the new systems in place were both several steps forward and maybe one back.

Straight up, from the gameplay mechanics into the story, Disgaea 6 is solid. The writing is on point for the series with a blend of nonsensical and dark humour. The voice acting only ever does the characters justice and helps to further bring them and their trails to life as our protagonist Zed recounts the story to Overlord Ivar and his Darkest Assembly just how exactly he took out the most powerful God of Destruction in written history.

Split as it's always been, each chapter of the adventure has multiple sub stages each with their own challenges ranging from awkward layouts making you have to think through your approach, or die. Really there's no inbetween. In these stages you'll also be facing off against a variety of foes in a variety of numbers. The less you see the more you should be prepared for a fight as like the laws of the ninja, the less you see the more powerful they are.

What's changed this time around though is that there are a lot of other systems in place to help boost you through these challenges. I had poked at them in the demo but they didn't really shine until I was six or eight chapters in and almost religiously using them to get ahead. The Juice Bar, Squads, Skill Upgrades, the Rozen Queen Store and the Darkest Assembly. Some of these have been around forever while others I could only gawk at times at their sheer brilliance.

Starting off with the new, Zed and company will now have access to what is known as the Juice Bar that allows for the infusion of experience points, mana and any other extract such as attack, intelligence or hit. All of these can be banked over time as you trounce countless enemies that stand in your way. Each of these values costs money, as money does make the world go round, but when you leverage that out against another new feature, Super Reincarnation, it's totally worth it.

Unlike normal reincarnation, Super Reincarnation comes with Karma that not only makes your units more powerful, but also allows you to increase their stat values as you see fit. Want to make sure that a spell caster takes a hit? Add more defense or hit points. Want your tank to withstand a magical attack? Increase their resistance. If you've got the karma to do it, the Netherworld is your oyster! Compared to the previous version where you just made your units more powerful, now you REALLY make them powerful with careful, or carless I won’t judge, allocation of new stats.

Making returns are the skill shop that allow you to learn new evilities and to power up skills whether it’s to throw more power behind the hits or increase the range of your spells. Side to that the Dark(est) Assembly is back again in order to pass Netherworld rules such as being able to create new unit types, increased experience earned in the next stage, steal all of the mana for just one character, and once you’re done the main story, open up the end game for some real brutal turned based tactics fun!

Now there were two things in the demo that I wanted to hold reservations on until the full release. The first, was the autobattling system as I wondered firstly how well it would really work and secondly if it wouldn't pull the player away from the experience. In order? Works really well and to a degree, takes the player away from the experience. The reason that it works well is that the autobattle system isn't just "rush in and destroy", you can set parameters to it. Use skills, heal teammates, target specific enemies like the toughest. A bit convoluted at first, there's at least decent tutorial to teach you how to set up your if-then structures. The premades are pretty decent but you’ll find them a bit limited over time especially when it comes to healing status effects such as poison that can destroy your team in seconds.

Still on the subject of the auto-battle, is that as much as I loved being able to use it as speeding everything up and disabling animations made fighting go faster, in an automatic fashion it was even faster as you’re not moving each individual member on your own, the system is moving them all at the same time. It was perfect to grind for experience and mana in order to level up skills and Super Reincarnate, BUT, I felt that it took you out of the experience. This long running series as well as the others such as Phantom Brave, Makai Kingdom, Soul Nomad, each of these is so hands on that you’re in it, and you’re in it to win it. With the auto-battle, you’re around, but you’re only really checking in to make sure parameters are up and running or if it’s a new stage, make sure to toss your units up and over to another location to continue the fight.

The other reason that I found myself a bit more disconnected and more and more as time went on using the auto battling system other than to throw a few prinnies around here and there, is that there's been an adjustment to the base values. Now, instead of starting off with 10HP and moving over into the hundreds and then thousands, you start with thousands, you deal thousands and by the final chapters you’re grumbling if you don’t see at least 500K to 1M popping up against your enemies. The numbers get so high so fast that you almost want the system to handle the math especially when you can gain hundreds of levels per stage which works with the new max level, but at the same time, removes some of that finesse that used to be present.

The second of the two after the auto battle is unfortunately the graphics. The move to 3D is great. The characters look alive and it really brings the world a bit more forward then the 2D based 3D models have over the years. Where it doesn’t work is that it’s just not optimized for the Nintendo Switch. Performance, Balanced or Graphics, none of the three really ever make it pop and stand out. Instead, Performance makes things work but looks like so many textures are missing so it’s a very pixelated experience. Balanced is ok but then it’s a bit fuzzy around the edges and from time to time there are hiccups in the animations where you can see the screen freeze. Finally, Graphics if you stayed still were fine but the frame rates would tank even moving around your base. I’m not sure if these issues would exist in the PS4 version that launched in Japan, but for right now, as fun as it is, it doesn’t look as good as it could.

So on a final note, I really do want to highlight the story. For the past few entries, and for as much as I love the Fuka and Desco Show to poor FenFen’s attempt to get Valvatorez to drink blood and get back to being a supreme badass, the stories have been more about what’s going on in a particular Netherworld more than it’s been about the characters. Even Mao and Almza, it was about their adventure through the school in order to defeat Mao’s father. Going back just a bit further, Adel and Rozalin (who I was so happy to have as up front DLC party members to wreak havoc) theirs was a story more about them just as Laharl, Etna and Flonne’s was about Laharl becoming the overlord. Returning back to that point where this story was all about Zed, Cerberus, Beiko, and their party members from a Human King to a ten thousand year old magical school girl, it was refreshing and it brought back that comfort of a more simple story as Zed fights again and again against a God of Destruction.


Overall, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is a solid entry into the Disgaea Series. Fun characters, great dialog, amazing voice overs, it hits all of the notes. While there are some issues on the performance side on the Nintendo Switch, it’s never enough to completely remove you from the experience and with plenty of new additions such as an auto-battling system to do your Netherworld grinding for you, you may not even notice as you gawk seeing the millions of hit points disappearing per turn!

Score: 8 / 10



Jaggy's Corner - E3 2021 Wrap-Up

E3 2021

This year E3 was completely showcased online due to the length of the pandemic that we are still recovering from. With it came a number of challenges, not only for game developers but for companies showcasing new games they’ve been able to work on during the last few years. In this article, I’m going to cover many of the E3 announcements this year, as well as some of my most anticipated.

Nintendo Direct

Out of the Nintendo Showcase came a number of titles being ported to the Nintendo Switch like Worms Rumble and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2. Both of these titles I’m excited to see on the Switch because I played a bunch of both Worms and Tony Hawk games many years ago, so it’s on account of nostalgia. I’m also personally excited for some more Legend of Zelda because Breath of the Wild 2 was announced! Again, while I haven’t played all of the Zelda series, it holds a special place in my heart, meaning I will not miss this title when we get it in 2022.

Metroid fans can rejoice because a new game was announced titled ‘Metroid Dread‘ which puts players in the role of Samus Aran. This is the fifth installment of the Metroid series and fans of the side-scrolling action can finally look forward to this latest addition.

Beloved Shin Megami Tensei V is slated for launch in November 2021 which will make plenty of fans of the role-playing title happy. The game is designed to be a hybrid between Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne and Shin Megami Tensei IV, so expect to be raising and fusing demons along with other new mechanics. I’ve never tried this series, but I do know that many people in my circle are hyped for this one!

Dear Villagers is publishing a JRPG this year titled Astria Ascending and it looks fantastic. I’m not too familiar with this title but knowing that it’s being published by Dear Villagers who brought titles like Hover, Edge of Eternity, and The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos, I’m interested to watch some of Astria’s gameplay.

There were a few more titles announced which are: WarioWare: Get it Together, Dragon Ball Z Kakarot, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania, Mario Party Superstars, Cruis’n Blast, Danganronpa Decadence, and Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water Remaster.

Square Enix

So we all know about my love for Dontnod’s Life is Strange series, yes? Well good news for people like me! Life is Strange is being remastered and I have to say that the graphics do appear to be much better than the original (Although, I’m not sure that the games will be worthwhile to purchase again, but we’ll see.) Anyways, we also saw a more in-depth trailer for Life is Strange: True Colors where players get to be Alex, a woman who feels the emotions of others. This is a must buy for me in September of this year!

Strangely I’ve missed any news about the Hitman series since the third game was released as the final installment, but Square Enix surprised us with a mobile, free to play title called Hitman Sniper: The Shadows. The mobile market has gained a lot of traction over the last couple of years and it shouldn’t be a surprise that studios are jumping on the band wagon, so who knows? This game could be good. I may give it a shot. (Terrible, I know.)

I love a good Final Fantasy game and Square Enix hit us with a trailer for Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin. This title is an action role-playing game and is a spin-off of the main Final Fantasy series. Although, based on the trailer, I can’t say I have high hopes for it right now. The trailer repeats the protagonist’s need to kill someone named Chaos and if that is the sole motivation for the story, UGH. Square, I hope for your sake and for Final Fantasy fan’s sake that there is more to the game than that. Just saying…

Finally, Square Enix showcased a new Guardians of the Galaxy game, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I am often skeptical of movie-to-video game renditions. I’m especially worried about it because of the terrible Fast and Furious video game. While it would be awesome to ride with the Guardians and maybe attempt to stop Thanos before oblivion happens, I don’t have high hopes for a video game. I especially don’t tend to have high expectations given that the showcase for it was needlessly long. I want this to be good, but I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

Xbox and Bethesda

Out of all the game announcements from this year’s E3, there is only one that I shrieked over. That would be for more SLIMESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. Yes. That’s right. We are getting a Slime Rancher 2 and I’m over the moon. I played a ton of the first game on stream and absolutely loved every minute of it. I will get this game and play a TON of it, because it’s just that good. Trust me. You’ll thank me later.

Technically, there was a second title I would have been really excited about. For reasons I’m not going to go into here, I happen to love Top Gun (and yes, this does mean I will be watching Maverick in Theatres when it releases very close to my birthday. It’s tradition. Top Gun can never be a quiet movie. NEVER.) Now, if this Top Gun trailer was a standalone game, I’d be ALL OVER IT. Alas, no. Top Gun is merely a DLC for Microsoft Flight Simulator. You almost had it. ALMOST. *Grumbles*

There’s another title in the Xbox line-up that has peaked my interest and that is The Ascent which looks to be a cross between Cyberpunk and XCOM. It is definitely a third person game and players seem to be able to have a squad, but I am not yet sure if this is a single player or multiplayer title. Either way, it looks neat and I’m totally down for more tactical games especially if they are in the vein of Cyberpunk. Check out the trailer here.

A couple other intriguing games are Redfall – a vampire game which can be played solo or multiplayer, Psychonauts 2 – a cute platformer which was developed by Double Fine, Starfield – a first person action-adventure game, Twelve Minutes – an interactive thriller by Annapurna, Aragami 2 – a ninja stealth game developed by Lince Works,

Other titles announced during the Xbox showcase were:

  • Shredders – Developer Foam Punch announced this snowboarding game
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising & Hundred Heroes – A JRPG that was successfully Kickstarted and launches in 2022
  • Forza Horizon 5 – Playground Games returns to the stage with this popular driving title
  • Party Animals – This is a physics-based brawler which looks like Gang Beasts but with animals
  • Replaced – A side-scrolling steampunk action game coming out in 2022
  • Somerville – By Jumpship comes a sci-fi adventure where players try to make their family whole again
  • Battlefield 2042 – The iconic first person shooter by DICE and published by EA is releasing the seventeenth installment in the series
  • Stalker 2: Heart of Chernobyl – Sequel to Shadow of Chernobyl, Stalker 2 is a first person survival shooter from GSC Games

Devolver Digital

Devolver Digital always has an interesting showcase where I often don’t think the games are real until I look them up. As history shows, the studio doesn’t have many games to show off, but what they do announce tends to be different than others. One of those titles is Death’s Door which is classified as adventure, shooter, action roleplaying, and fighting game. Players take the form of a crow who reaps the souls of the dead. It sounds strange because it is.

Another title announced by Devolver Digital is a game called Inscryption which is a card-based deck building roguelike mixed with some escape room puzzles and psychological horror. As I said, they announce games that are off the wall, and this one is no different. Check out the Inscryption trailer here.

Coming to the App Store and Google Play later this year comes the title ‘Tumble Time’. This game is so strange that I don’t even know what to say for it. If you’re brave enough to think that your head won’t explode, check out the trailer here.

The final three titles that were announced at E3 this year are Demon Throttle, Trek to Yomi, and Wizard with a Gun .(Not gonna lie, I kinda want this even though I know I would SUCK HORRIBLY at it.). Feel free to check out all the trailers for those to get more information about them.


Is it really E3 if we don’t have a Just Dance announcement? Probably not. Normally we have some embarrassing demonstration or performance that makes the dancer in me roll over in my future grave. As much as I love the Just Dance series because it is a fun game, the marketing kills me every year. Please, I beg you. Find another way to market the game because this travesty needs to end. I BEG YOU.

Just when I thought the face-rolling was done, Ubisoft announced Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. Don’t get me wrong, at the time the Avatar movie came out, it was a cinematic marvel. But movies that become video games are very much hit and miss. Some of the good ones include Mortal Kombat, Golden Eye, Lord of the Rings, and Star Trek Bridge Crew. It’s not to say that the Avatar game can’t be good, it’s that I don’t have particularly high hopes for it. (Also, I wasn’t super enthralled with the movie like most people were.)

I know a lot of people who are extremely excited for Rainbow Six Extraction, but I’ve never been much of a shooter kind of player. It doesn’t help that the developers felt the need to change the original name from quarantine. The word is not bad or malicious and I don’t see why the change was necessary. Anyways, I’m sure the fans of Rainbow Six Siege will be excited for another title but to me it’s just another shooter.

There are two titles that grabbed my attention during E3 and those are Riders Republic – a first person cross between the Tony Hawk Pro Skater, Steep, and The Trials series – and Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope. Riders Republic has a lot of potential replayability with the different modes while Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a tactical strategy game like the first one of its kind. And honestly, I really loved the first one.

Koch Media

From Koch Media we saw a trailer for King’s Bounty 2 which is an upcoming turn-based tactical RPG. While I never played the first game, this title is a fantasy based game that I’m interested in looking at. We also saw a trailer for Encased: C.R.O.N.U.S. which is a sci-fi RPG with what seem to be factions. Another sci-fi RPG that also combines horror elements is a game titled Dolmen which will be available on the PS4 and PS4 in 2022.

There were several other games that were showcased during the Koch Media presentation. Some of those titles can be see in the YouTube video below:

E3 Final Thoughts

Overall, I found that this year’s E3 presentation was lacking something for me. I think because of the pandemic I wasn’t as excited for it this time around. It has nothing to do with the games presented or the developers who worked tirelessly from home to present upcoming games to the public. That said, I’m glad that E3 even happened because most other events delayed their in person shows to 2022. While I wasn’t as hyped up this year, a few presentations impressed me with their upcoming releases.


Article by: Susan N.

Empire of Angels IV - XB1 Review

Empire of Angels IV
by developer Softstar Entertainment and publisher EastAsiaSoftMicrosoft Xbox One review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

I love the SRPG genre, so by default Empire of Angels IV was likely to hit something of a sweet spot with me. I enjoy tactics games with RPG progression elements, and if you throw in a fantasy setting and some appealing visual aesthetics, it’s not hard to convince me to give it a go. Empire of Angels IV provides all of those things, which is enough for me to enjoy it by and large, even if it doesn’t really do anything all that great to separate it from the rest of the genre.

The story is pretty typical fantasy fare, with warring factions, spreading darkness and characters wielding medieval weapons as they progress through the narrative. The localization is a bit rough in places, with peculiar word choices or stilted sentence structure that provide the gist of the plot, even if it can be a little awkward at times. Probably the most unique aspect of this setting is that all of the characters appear to be female. Certainly all of your characters in the party are.

As for the characters themselves, they tend to be pretty thinly crafted with more attention given to their job class than their actual characteristics. You see the usual mix of types – swordswoman with paladin-like healing, a polearm-wielding attacker who can strike two squares in front of her, an archer who can shoot at enemies from range but struggles in melee and so on. Characters gain experience and level up, and have the option of changing classes or upgrading to a higher tier class with better stats and abilities. Again, nothing revolutionary, but some of my favorite progression tactics to keep me playing like a carrot dangling from a stick.

The character art is generally quite good, with detailed portraits with good use of color. The characters look more vibrant than their actual personalities most of the time, though there are some cute if tropey moments that had me chuckling along the way. The majority of your time will be spent in combat, and this takes place in a traditional downward-ish view with a grid map. Characters become chunky chibi characters as they move around the maps and attack one another. Here the visuals are less impressive, but they get the job done. This was a game released on mobile, and it is anything but a technical powerhouse. There’s a very Akiba’s Beat / Trip -like gimmick at play where defeated characters (who again, are all women) wind up getting their clothes knocked off, putting them out there for the world to see in their chibi underwear. It’s a little odd, though I did laugh the first time due to the sheer absurdity of it all, since I don’t think there’s any real reason in the narrative for this to occur. I suspect it’s just mostly done for laughs.

Unfortunately other RPG elements are rather light. There’s no branching story, no weapons or armor to be acquired. The strength of the characters comes down to level, class and how you use them. It is not a bad premise in and of itself, but it doesn’t provide tons of depth either. It’s all executed well, with options to defend, attack and break out a variety of special moves. Similar to older SRPG games such as Shining Force, area attacks rule supreme. Clusters of enemies are begging to get hit with a multi-square arrow attack. Plan accordingly though, because they can do the same right back to you. Not that Empire of Angels IV is really a difficult game. Maps come with enemies and objectives that give you ample experience, allowing you to level up your characters, but not many of the scenarios really made me think too hard along the way. Generally as long as I didn’t cluster my units too close together, put ranged users in unnecessary harm’s way or under-level my characters by shooting through stages not milking the potential experience points, it was pretty smooth sailing.

Despite having started life as a mobile game, the controls are pretty solid. Bouncing around menus, moving about the stages and advancing dialog boxes all works well. You will be doing a good deal of reading since there are no English voice options. The music gets the job done, and like the sound effects fits with the overall fantasy tone of the game. I would say if you try to make a beeline through Empire of Angels IV to wrap it up as quickly as possible, you’d probably spend about two dozen hours on it. Taking a bit of extra time to grind out experience points to earn all of the achievements (about half of those are tied to reaching the top-tier job class with each character) probably doubles that.


Empire of Angels IV is a nice enough strategy game that does just enough for me to enjoy it, even if I did find myself sometimes wishing for a bit more meat on the bones. A cleaner translation, items / equipment, and a more interesting combination of characters and narrative would have helped elevate the entire package. What we still have is a fundamentally sound, relatively easy SRPG that can be enjoyed over a couple of dozen hours or so.

Score: 6 / 10


Roguebook - PC Review

by developer Abrakam Entertainment and publisher NaconPC review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Here we are once more, prepared to get beaten into the floor. What does RNGesus have in store? Perhaps this roguelike will rely on luck more. My awesome poetry aside, today we're taking a look at another roguelike: Roguebook. Will you succeed in your quest to escape the confines of the Roguebook? Or will you be fated to forever wander its pages forever?

Welcome to the world of Faeria, where all the worlds legends are stored in a book. A magic book that has sucked you into the depths of its pages and refuses to let go. Four of you were dragged into the book, but only two are allowed to explore its pages. Can you best your foes and reach the end of the ever changing story that is the Roguebook?

Roguebook is an interesting title, as it feels like a weird amalgamation of traditional deckbuilder, Magic the Gathering, and boardgames like Settlers of Catan. Upon starting your first run of the Roguebook, you'll probably notice real fast that you are on a hex grid with some…ok, a LOT of missing segments. You'll also have a helpful NPC inform you that there is a gate that must be opened ny two, and only two, people. So grab two characters (only two characters are available to start) and head into the Rogue book to start fighting your way out. You can walk around the "world map" interacting with events, picking up healing units, opening vaults for cards, and getting into battles. But to uncover more of the map, you need to use ink and brushes to reveal more of the hex panels. These new panels can also have treasures, events, and pages on them, helping you throughout your journey. Panels are revealed based on the type of ink or brush used, and can either reveal an area around your character, or a set number of tiles in a straight line, for example.

In order to acquire more ink and brushes to explore more of the map, you need to earn them out of fights. Starting a fight you'll see where the Magic the Gathering influence is strong. Combat is performed through selecting cards dealt out from a shuffled deck. You have a set amount of action points per turn, with which you can attack, block to increase a guard rating, etc. based on what the effect of the card is. Each card has its own effect and action value, and you will probably find yourself alternating between defensive and offensive moves. Cards for both "heroes" you selected at the beginning are all shuffled together, and both heroes are on the battlefield. Generally speaking, the hero in front will be the one taking damage and protecting the hero in the back. The heroes can be switched by using certain cards related to the hero in back, or cards with certain effects for the hero in front. You'll be wanting to make the best of your cards to defeat your enemies and earn some gold and ink or brushes from the fighting. You can then take that gold down to the store to purchase more cards, relics, or gems to help you out.

Gems are similar to modifiers that you can attach to your cards. Each card has a number of slots, and you can slot a gem in there to give the effect associated. For example, a gem may increase a cards damage by a set amount, or put an identical card in your hand after use with no gem. Gem can either be purchased from the shop, gathered from certain map icons, or won from events and chapter bosses. The relics are sort of "permanent modifiers" that can either be a party wide effect, or attached to a specific character. Relics tend to be a little rarer, but can give some really nice effects. You can purchase a few relics at the shop, but can also be found in events, chapter bosses, etc. Once you've finished exploring to your satisfaction, or run out of ink, you can head off to the chapter boss. Fair warning: they're tough. Like, really tough if you aren't prepared. For comparison, the final boss on my first succesful run didn't have much in the way of special attacks, but had a passive that increased the cost of all cards by one action point. As well as adding a "doomed coin" to your hand. Quite literally the only reason I won that fight was because I had six minions that did a total of 58 damage per turn. I literally had to turn it into an endurance fight, and I was still left with one character with six health left.

Roguebook handles party member KOs pretty interesting, as if one of your character kicks the bucket, your other character stays up. If you use five "resurrection" cards, the other character comes back with a minimal amount of health. The only problem is this adds "wound" cards to your deck that just take up space, preventing you from getting more cards each turn. Wounds are removed at each chapter clear, but they can be super annoying. But if you persevere and make it through the Roguebook, congratulations! Your reward? Do it again. This time with "epilogue" stories unlocked, where you can slap on negative traits to give a page finding increase madifier. At this point I'd imagine you're wondering what pages are, and what they do. These are your "skill points", and can be placed in a tree at the beginning of a new run. The skills could be character specific, quality of run improvements, or just general benefits.

After completing a run, whether succesful or not, you earn experience for the party level, as well as character levels. These levels can unlock cards for your future runs. and is independant for each character as well as the party level. Even after a succesful run, Roguebook has you coming back for more, whether it be the increased challenges, the fact that a run doesn't take too long, or the endearing graphics and art style, Roguebook is sure to be an immersive experience. And for those who are worried about luck issues? Trust me when I say if I can complete a run, you can too. While I like roguelikes, deckbuilders are generally titles I shy away from. Not due to distaste, but from luck. This coming from a guy who used to play Magic the Gathering for fun, and had four games in a row where I didn't start with a single mana. Since all your used or discarded cards get reshuffled back into your draw pile, and you don't need to play and tap mana, the game can be broken down to strategy if you set yourself up for it, instead of purely luck, although luck certainly does help.

Overall, Roguebook is a great addition to both the roguelike and deck building franchise. The combat system is well fleshed out, the map exploration is fun and thought provoking, and the game isn't purely reliant on luck to get you through. While you probably won't be doing a lot of runs in one sitting, each run is short enough to not feel like a drag, and you can save your progress and leave to come back to it later, or just abandon the run altogether if you need to. With nice graphics and explanations for all the card effects you may not know, simply by hovering your mouse over it, Roguebook is really easy to get drawn into.

Score: 8 / 10


Wingspan - XB1 Review

by developer and publisher Monster CouchMicrosoft Xbox One review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Wingspan is the digital adaptation of the popular boardgame that takes a bit of time to learn the ins and outs of, but once you do get the hang of its various rules, proves to be well worth the effort. The visuals and sound are charming, the gameplay is surprisingly deep and far too often I found myself taking that ‘Just one more game’ approach that kept me up quite multiple nights in a row.

Boardgames brought to PC and console are hardly new, but it feels as though developers have been getting better and better at it over the last couple of years. Wingspan is one such example of how a surprisingly deep card game can still translate well to the digital medium. This is ably assisted by a fantastic tutorial. I am no stranger to card games, but Wingspan took me a little bit of time to fully wrap my head around. The systems in place are unique, but also quite well-balanced once you understand how they work with one another.

For those unfamiliar with the premise, my quick rundown here will likely not do Wingspan’s depth any true justice, but I’ll give it a go. Essentially, Wingspan is all about playing birds. This is a card game with resource management at its heart. So when you first play, you pick from a handful of random bird cards, objective cards and food resources. Food is used to summon most birds (there are a few exceptions that don’t require a food cost). There are three rows where you can play birds, each one a different habitat. The top habitat is woods, the second fields and the bottom watery. This is important because the first bird you play in each habitat has the least amount of cost – you have to pay food and nothing more. However, as you add additional birds, you have to use another resource to play them: eggs. As you play more birds, the cost in eggs go up. However, as you play more birds, what each habitat provides also goes up.

Not only does each of the three habitats provide different places where you can play birds (some birds can only be played on a particular type of habitat. Other birds can be played on two or even all three habitats), but each one provides a different kind of resource. When you play the forest habitat, you draw food for summoning birds. When you play the middle habitat, you gain eggs to place on your birds. Lastly the water habitat is how you go about drawing new bird cards. You can however, only play a power from a single habitat or cast a single bird (in most instances) in a single turn. It is a pretty dense game overall, and I haven’t even touched on other aspects such as the four different rounds (each comprised of multiple turns) and their related, randomized goals, the scoring system or even how laying eggs on birds works. Suffice to say, Wingspan is a dense game with far greater depth than I would have guessed when learning about its premise.

The aforementioned tutorial is a big help however, in learning the basics. And like many boardgames, I went into my first couple of games thinking I knew what I was doing, but in reality was simply learning more nuance about the various systems and mechanics. The AI is pretty sharp here as well. Even on easiest setting, I found the 1-on-1 matches to be pretty challenging. You can have multiple live and computer players in a game. To be fair, I found the larger games of five players to be more fun, even with just four AI opponents, because the gameplay was considerably more unpredictable. If there’s a gripe here, it’s that the turns do feel just a bit bogged down when you start adding more players (especially if they’re people versus AI, but both situations slow the proceedings).

In terms of the presentation, the word ‘lovely’ comes to mind when I think about Wingspan. The visuals have a nicely hand-drawn quality to them, and the animated birds on the cards are certainly a nice touch you wouldn’t see in the actual boardgame. The music is slow, soft and fits the mood of trying to build you preserve as well. Summoning a bird gives you a brief audio clip giving you some information about it, and often leads to a series of quick, realistic bird chirping sounds. At least, my cats thought they were realistic enough. One of my kittens was perched on my lap snuggling as I played, and about two out of every three bird summonings caused her to poke her head up and look around with wide-eyed curiosity. It cracked me up, to say the least.


Wingspan is an interesting game. There is a good deal of strategy to it, and a lot of depth to the gameplay. It is certainly a more relaxing, less directly competitive type of game than many of them out there, making it one I particularly enjoy in the evenings when I am trying to wind down. Being based on a boardgame, there is an element of random luck in there that can subvert even the best strategies, but careful planning can certainly help pave the path to a win. All in all, Wingspan is a charming game that strategy fans should enjoy.

Score: 8 / 10


Take a Look at New Trailers of Sherlock Holmes Chapter One

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One reveals new trailers covering the troubled begins of a genius. Below are two press releases combined into one post.

12 June, 2021 - Kyiv, Ukraine + Dublin, Ireland | To kick off their E3 announcements, Frogwares has released a gripping CGI trailer that takes you into the storm that is Sherlock's investigative mind. A slew of new screenshots has also been released.

We also get a glimpse into the impending fate of the young sleuth. Sherlock Holmes Chapter One will delve into the story of how a young Sherlock could eventually become the troubled and broken genius that we all know. His first ever proper investigation into the mysterious death of his mother on the island of Cordona is only the start down this inevitable path.

More Sherlock Holmes Chapter One info is set to drop on June 17th with additional gameplay and developer info.

For those wanting to see how the game looks now, various gameplay videos have already been released along with a sleuth of first hands-on previews.

17 June, 2021 - Kyiv, Ukraine + Dublin, Ireland | To wrap up their E3 announcements, Frogwares has released a detailed video showing new gameplay, a look at the various city districts, and how the disguise mechanic plays out in Sherlock Holmes Chapter One.

Getting information out of suspects is a priority for Sherlock. But on the island of Cordona not everyone is so welcoming to outsiders. So hopefully a change of threads will get those tongues wagging.

Similar to Frogwares’ previous investigation themed titles, the game will however not simply tell you what disguise to find and use on characters. It’s up to players to logically conclude what disguise could work based on observation, additional clues and sound reasoning. Similarly, a certain disguise can have the opposite effect and cause a character to be even more tight lipped.

Sherlock Holmes Chapter One will release sometime in 2021 on PC (Steam, Epic, GOG), PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S.

Article by: Susan N.


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