Turbo Overkill Preview

Turbo Overkill by developer Trigger Happy Interactive and publisher Apogee EntertainmentPC (Steam) preview written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Skipping straight to dessert like any good meal should be, here’s the conclusion for Turbo Overkill,

Turbo Overkill is bonkers in the best way possible. With extremely fast and smooth movement blended into a fast paced Retro based First Person Shooter, you’ll be running, gunning, dashing, air-dashing, double jumping, wall running and chainsaw leg sliding your way through an awesome looking cyberpunk world.

Now if you’re still here and haven’t gone out to get your hands on this bonkers retro based adventure, let’s continue!

Turbo Overkill is one the latest retro styled First Person Shooter that is bringing back the magic of the early 90’s but with today’s refinements all the way into ultrawide resolutions. Take that 90's 13” square monitors! Getting back on topic though, for this cyberpunk based adventure you’ll be putting on the shoes of Johnny Turbo who’s been sent to a city called Paradise in order to take out an AI named Syn who’s been making flesh and machine based abominations that are now running wild.

Set up in a series of stages that have to be run and gunned through, there’s nothing overly complicated with the premise or the goals, just how you’re going to get to these goals. Turbo Overkill takes from a variety of other titles (taken from Steam page):

     Kill a boss, get its augment (special power)

     Play Spider-Man with your grappling hook

     One-up Duke Nukem with your chainsaw kick

     Kills = cash. Use cash to install augments, upgrade your weapons, and add new abilities in your talent tree

     Be a ghost runner while wall running

     Attack from above riding the hood of your flying car like a kung-furious badass

     Mini-rockets built into your robotic arm? ✔

     This. List. Will. Grow. Wishlist the game to see it happen

and throws them all into one big awesome blending pot which just works. The sheer speed in which everything is going on is intense but at the same time allows for you to really get into the action as you start off with quite a few abilities such as double jumping, chainsaw sliding and it doesn’t take long to be able to wall run.

Weapons come in your standard variety of pistols, shotguns, uzis, etc, but each has a secondary mode that can be unlocked which changes up the name of the game. Pistols for example can auto target several enemies and once charged up enough there’s no hiding from their destructive power. Uzis by comparison go from dual wielding to only holding one for more accuracy. Less spray and pray for more accuracy but if the situation calls for it, spray and pray away!

There’s a versatility in the design of the stages and the weapons that allow for a variety of playstyles. For example, I would have been taking it much slower had I not had access to being able to slide around at ridiculous speeds with my chainsaw leg going right through lesser enemies. Why use ammo when you can use a chainsaw that doesn't need gas? Add in a hill for added speed and you have added damage! This said, you could also slide around and fire away at that giant incoming crowd of lesser enemies as they can kill you just as fast as the tougher ones if they get their… hands? Claws? Blades? Appendages! on you.

While there is listed inspiration from the likes of Doom, Duke Nukem and Quake but in a cyberpunk world, there’s also what I felt like some influence from BioShock and Deus EX in that you can “splice” yourself to add in augments to make yourself even deadlier. Falling more in line with Deus Ex for the augments as you can plug and play with the parts, the BioShock comes in with the enemy design as most of these things are no longer human and I don’t think there’s any way for them to come back as they’ve been spliced too far.

These above-mentioned augments can be found either in vending machines for cash money dollars that you can get by taking out the hordes of rampaging enemies, or they can be found in locked chests once you find the keys. These augments can easily change a situation from being a tough encounter to being nothing more than a light breeze as you modify your chainsaw leg to gain both health and armor on enemy kills. Giant horde of lesser enemies? Between your guns and your legs to either mow through them or just double jump over them, you’ll have options for whatever works best for you.

That’s really it for now. Having just launched into Early Access however, there’s still plenty more to come. If you happened to skip all the way down here though and miss the conclusion above, here it is again and we look forward to seeing more Turbo Overkill!

Turbo Overkill is bonkers in the best way possible. With extremely fast and smooth movement blended into a fast paced Retro based First Person Shooter, you’ll be running, gunning, dashing, air-dashing, double jumping, wall running and chainsaw leg sliding your way through an awesome looking cyberpunk world.

Score: N/A


Scarlet Nexus Review

Scarlet Nexus
by developer and publisher Bandai Namco EntertainmentSony PlayStation 4 review written by Richard with a purchased copy.

Estimated reading time: 10 minutes

By this point I'm sure some of you have heard of Scarlet Nexus, whether it be the anime or the game. A story about using mind over matter, quite literally, in order to fend off monsters and protect humanity. Scarlet Nexus released back in the summer of 2021, so if you're seeing it go on sale and wondering if you should pick it up, or just getting back into the scene after things are settling down, here's a review of Scarlet Nexus for PS4.

Scarlet Nexus is a 3D action JRPG set in a world where the Earth is beset by creatures called Others, strange organic/machine hybrid monsters who's goal seems to be the death of animals and humans, with a particular interest in eating their brains. In this world, humanity has developed a weapon against the Others in the form of psychic powers, and created the Other Suppression Force, or OSF, in order to combat the menace. The OSF consists of those showing great promise with their psychic powers, and members are given age suppressing drugs in order to keep them in their prime. The members of the OSF are sent on missions to eliminate Others, and have developed a number of tools to help them do so.

The world setting is pretty interesting, as there are cities with advanced technology using images sent directly to the brain. In fact, there is a big emphasis on what the brain can do, as many of the aspects of city life can only be interacted with neurologically. Add to this the Others which eat human brains, and there is an interesting backdrop. The Others themselves are kind of like mutated animals, which drop out of the extinction belt, a sort of "not-quite-asteroid" belt that encircles the Earth. Others can range in size from roughly human height to towering monstrosities. Scarlet Nexus focuses on a platoon of the OSF and their struggles in this monster infested world.

Upon starting a new game, you get the option of choosing between Yuito, the melee focused character, or Kasane, the psionic focused character. Their stories happen parallel to each other, and you can start a new game plus as the other character after clearing the game, so no worries about missing anything. I'd personally suggest playing as Kasane, as I felt her playstyle, and storyline, were more engaging. Both Yuito and Kasane are new recruits to the OSF, having just had their SAS brain tentacles installed recently. Unfortunately for them, right after their acceptance but before they actually start in their new position, the city is attacked by Others. So begins Yuito and Kasane's journey to uncover conspiracies, destroy Others, and protect the people they care about.

Scarlet Nexus takes place in two teams, one for Yuito and one for Kasane. Before the game really takes off, you sort of have a bit of a trial mode to test out some other character abilities before the teams are split. The game takes place in chapters, where you will go out and perform your story based missions during, and then intermissions between chapters, where you can have bonding episodes with your party members or take on side quests. Interestingly enough, you can still interact through the other character's team through bonding episodes throughout the game. There are a few unique areas you can only access as one team or the other, but most are mutual, although maybe in a different order.

Your intermissions will be where you can bond with your teammates, give them gifts, as well as accept bonus sidequests. Sidequests are a bit of a weird affair, as you can accept them from townsfolk, but you can turn them in as soon as you complete them, from anywhere you want. Sidequests aren't your standard "go here, collect X, defeat Y" type of sidequests either. Maybe one or two are, but the vast majority of sidequests are surprisingly complicated, such as "defeat Y enemy using Z type of move", which is a lot harder than you generally see, and a nice way of getting you more familiar with combat.

Gameplay has a large focus on movement and combat, which will be in a 3D action style as you explore the terrain of the areas you are sent to. Each area will have Others pop up as you roam around, as well as items to pick up, which may come as consumables or "data" which can be used for the equivalent of crafting or to turn in for side quests. You can run, jump, and perform a little dash, two jumps if you purchase an upgrade. If you spot some Others, you will enter combat.

Battle is a very interesting experience, actually. Your team, which consists of two other members you can bring with you, will also help out. While you have your normal attacks and a dodge, each main character also has a special move, a sword spin for Yuito and a backstep with her blades. Both special moves restore a larger portion of the psy gauge. This gauge is a measure of your psionic powers, and decreases with use. Amongst the terrain, there will be both special items as well as miscellaneous items. You can use your psionics to throw the items at your enemies. This is Kasane's main focus, while Yuito has a more physical persuasion.

Enemies can also throw stuff at you, and if you dodge close enough to the projectiles, you can whip them back at the enemies. You also have more tools at your disposal to deal with enemies, such as a sort of overlimit that lasts for a while and improves your abilities, a combo attack where you can summon your allies to attack enemies with you, the ability to use your friends psychic powers, a sort of "synchro mode", and a special field mode. There's a lot to unpack there, so let's start with the basic points first. All your allies have different powers, which you can use for a period of time. You can upgrade this ability later to increase the number you can use at the same time. These abilities can range from Hypervelocity, which increases your speed, or Duplication, which increases the number of items you throw as you throw them. Every power is unique, and each ability granted is also different.

Brain drive is the overlimit mode that increases your stats, and once you get your bond level high enough you can use the summon ability for your teammates. Brain Field is the ability to sort of amp up your overlimit. The area around you gets turned into a weird trippy field, and your move-set is sort of adjusted and stuff. Enemies also have a sort of guard gauge, and if you deplete it you can either instant kill common enemies, or deal heavy damage to bosses. With all of these options, as well as a bunch of items you can use to top your health up and stuff, you have a really wide range of options to choose from. Add into this that you can usually replace your party members at will, and it give a nice variety to your combat experience.

Here is usually where I start to talk about the soundtrack and art direction, but I'd like to take a few moments to talk about some things first. First of all, the dodge mechanic is…a little awkward. It's closer to a dash than a dodge, and while it normally works ok, it can feel really clunky at times. Secondly, I'd like to complain a bit about the difference between Yuito and Kasane. Early game, I'd say Yuito is easy to handle early game, while late and end game I found Kasane a lot easier to use. I'll use the last boss as a reference, but I finished my first run as Kasane at level 63, and the last boss was challenging but not too bad. End of the second run with Yuito, new game plus carrying over levels, ended at level 80, and the last boss was a bit of a struggle even while using better equipment. Personal preference maybe, but I found Kasane's psionics to be a lot stronger and easier to use later in the game. Each character also gets a Brain Map, which is an upgrade grid. You earn points when you level, and different abilities cost different points to acquire.

I do have to say, my absolute favourite part of Scarlet Nexus is the characters. They are all unique with different personalities, except maybe Yuito who is fairly typical anime protagonist, but every group needs at least one of those. All the characters have their own unique powers to match their personalities, even if it may not seem as such at a glance, and throughout the course of the game you really do get to see them come to terms with their flaws, and come out as better people for the experience. I may not like real people, but I certainly liked the party members in Scarlet Nexus a whole lot.

A nice additional tidbit is that any gifts that are given actually get added to your base that you use between missions. Give a character some snacks, and those will appear on a table nearby. There is also an option for exchanging items at the local save points/shops which I found entertaining. It's mostly traditional item crafting, in a sense, but a lot of items are cosmetics that you can slap on your characters, which WILL appear in both cutscenes and battles.

Now we can talk a bit about the art direction and musical choices. First up, the art style. Cut scenes are really interesting, as they are either animated 3D cutscenes, or they are done in a sort of animated comic-book style, which is a more unique way of display. The characters are still displayed as their 3D models, but you get a red frame border, and the view shifts and such, it's just a really nice way of doing things. As I mentioned earlier, cosmetics are also shown in the cutscenes, which is a really nice feature. Enemy designs are really cool, and I thought they did a really good job of both the area designs as well as the enemy designs.

As for the soundtrack, there are some really interesting pieces in there. Any battle themes with the Others usually have this weird clash and distortion style, with a dubstep like back-beat, maybe with a base/drum beat, but there are usually some really discordant vibes. This matches well with the organic/mechanical hybrid nature of the others, and the tracks were pretty catchy. When not in battle, the music tended to either be upbeat and jazzy for more relaxing scenes, tense when preparing for departure on a mission, or exciting and action like if in a battle or something similar is happening.

I have to say, I feel as if Scarlet Nexus got a lot less attention than it should have. While there were some areas where the enemies made me want to rage at something, and occasionally the camera was a struggle to control, I largely had an extremely enjoyable time with Scarlet Nexus. Was it perfect? Definitely not, but it was really fun, and after completing both storylines and getting the platinum trophy, I can honestly say it was a great ride.


Overall, Scarlet Nexus has a lot of aspects to draw you in: an engaging storyline, unique and dynamic characters, a great soundtrack, and a surprisingly in-depth battle system. While sometimes feeling a little clunky during the movement or combat, Scarlet Nexus does a really good job of drawing you into the world.

Score: 8 / 10


Mighty Goose Review

Mighty Goose by developers Blastmode Games, MP2 Games and publisher PlayismMicrosoft Xbox Series X|S review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes.

Mighty Goose by Blastmode Games and MP2 Games is one of those titles that once you pick up you may not put down until it's over. Designed as a run and gun almost Bullet Hell and shoot 'em up (shmup) at times, it's not only fun, but it just got a new fairly long post game stage as free DLC.

Originally covered by Richard for the PS4 last June, I've been meaning to sit down to Mighty Goose for a while and I'm glad that I finally have. Retro in design, the experience made me think of an easier Contra, yes anything is technically easier than Contra, that won't have you wanting to hit your head against a wall figuring out just how you'll get past this one point.

Starting off with a prison break to free one of Goose’s fellow companions, this first stage helps you get your bearings in this 2D platforming world. You'll be running, jumping and dodge rolling your way through hordes of enemies with your trusty pistol and companion(s). Power ups can also be acquired for more oomph in the form of machine guns, shotguns and rocket launchers before getting your hands on a few sweet rides each with their own flavor.

This is something that I appreciated as Mighty Goose never tried to overcomplicate things. Instead, it offers a few select weapons combined with some special abilities that can only be equipped one at a time to allow you to focus on the big picture. Not getting your Goose cooked. Literally as that’s the dying animation which had me laughing each time it happened because it served me right. Get it? Served? Cooked Goose? I’ll see myself out...

Back on topic, the special abilities start with the ability to honk at your enemies which does absolutely nothing short of adding entertainment value and some good old Xbox achievement points! From there though, you’ll eventually be able to slow time, bring down a Gears of War Hammer of Dawn satellite attack or simply summon a bunch of skeletons because why not? Each of these abilities has the potential to be super useful or absolutely useless depending on the situation but that is up for you to figure out as you move through the various stages.

Having only your current weapon and one of the above abilities really lets you focus on that bigger picture of jumping and dodging around an almost Bullet Hell like adventure as you’ll have a variety of projectiles flying your way ALL THE TIME. High, low, being lobbed up and over alongside actual enemies charging you, your focus is going to be anywhere other than on wondering which weapon is equipped and how much ammo it has. To compensate for the Bullet Hell, you’ll also have the ability to go all shmup on your enemies as you can fill up your Mighty Meter to become, Mighty Goose!

While in your super mode, you won’t take any damage and all of your weapons both cause more damage and have much wider spreads to their attacks. Fair is fair right? This does even the playing field as you are 1 versus MANY and oftentimes while not in super mode I would be getting hit and I couldn’t have told you where it came from. Left? Right? Above? At my feet? I didn’t know as there could be too much going on so the super mode which is easy enough to fill could help as I didn’t need to worry about taking a hit. I just needed to worry about clearing the screen of enemies.

Finally, the stage designs are basic enough but they are fun. They consist of some light platforming with combat sequences that must be cleared in order to move on to what will often be a fun boss fight. Newly added as of April 19 though is a brand new stage that mixes it up with some new mechanics such as underwater travel in a submarine and a surfboard sequence making me extremely nostalgic for both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project on the NES and Turtles in Time on the SNES.

The new stage is not only fun, but it’s also free and available after you’ve finished the original final boss. If you’ve been wanting to go back just for the fun of it? I would recommend it as this new stage is longer than the previous ones and changes the flow enough from the original set of stages to be worth coming back for. Haven’t jumped at the chance to have your goose cooked at all? Then it’s an easy recommendation alongside the core game as it’ll keep you busy for an afternoon or an evening as you run and gun your way through.


Mighty Goose is a fun and short experience that will keep you busy for a couple hours but not overstay its welcome. With several stages, boss fights, abilities and new content having recently been added for free which could easily have been at a premium price, it’s worth checking out on the PC, consoles and the Xbox GamePass.

Score: 8 / 10


Terraformers Preview

by developer Asteroid Lab and publisher Goblinz StudioPC (Steam) preview written by Hayden with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Terraformers by developer Asteroid Lab and publisher Goblinz Studio is the latest in a steady trickle of games taking the colony sim genre to Mars. Unlike some of its brethren that delve more towards RTS territory, Terraformers keeps the focus at a highly strategic level and uses a timescale appropriate to the titular task of terraforming. Players will need to make choices about leadership, resource allocation, priorities, and what methods they will (or will not) use.

Coming from small Swiss developer Asteroid Labs, Terraformers acknowledges the scale of the task put before the player in several ways from the outset. First, the game’s timescale: ten turns in Terraformers will run you 40 years on the clock, which isn’t terribly long when you’re trying to reshape an entire planet. It is, however, a long time in the career of any regular human, and this puts us up against the first of many decision points that Terraformers layers on.

Your terraforming project needs a leader, and that leader’s experience and background will influence what they bring to the project. Every ten turns, therefore, you need to choose between two candidates to take over the project - your previous leader has just spent 40 years at the helm and is retiring!

While I was playing the review version immediately before the Early Access launch, this facet rapidly came to shape my playthroughs - could I set up enough things to make proper use of my current leader in time, even if it meant dropping some other items I had previously been working on? Terraformers puts the effort in to make these leaders unique as well, with individual portraits, backstories (that sometimes reference previous generations of leaders, in a nod to time passing) and abilities.

Once you’ve come to terms with your colony’s leaders shuffling off the mortal coil with their life’s work incomplete, it's time to look at some of the other ways that Terraformers models your job. The game tracks four major areas you need to influence: temperature (heat), oxygen level, water level, and atmospheric density. For those not already aware, Mars in real life is extremely cold, has an atmosphere a fraction the density of Earth’s, and lacks oxygen in the quantities we would need to breathe. In game terms, this means that you need to do things like deliberately pump CO2 into the air, ship in chunks of ice from Saturn or other places, and generally build up an atmosphere on the planet that can eventually sustain life.

Progress in these areas is tracked on a simple scale with levels 0 (starting) to 3 (Earthlike) and differing levels of input points required to reach the next level in each area. Generally, the first level of progress takes 30 points - and as you usually only produce a few points a turn, you start to realize that it will be generations before your project is complete. This is a marked difference from more RTS-styled games like Surviving Mars or Planetbase, where the scale you are operating at here is entirely unconcerned with how many drones are linked to a particular hub, or whether or not you have different types of food available in the hab module.

Terraformer’s heart, however, comes down to its city building. During the game, the player will slowly explore the Martian surface via a network of Point of Interest nodes. Some of these nodes will be colonizable areas, unlocked with a hefty startup cost of resources for the new colonists. Each city layout brings its own benefits and challenges - buildings are placeable in particular spots, connected via defined tunnels/roads. Some areas will be blocked by rocks or debris that need to be removed, others will have local benefits that increase the output of a particular building type if placed there.

In Terraformers, city design comes down to balancing what you need to progress the overall project with the needs of your colonists. Many buildings have bonuses that unlock when adjacent to particular other ones - a park may provide a public support bonus if adjacent to a habitation module, for example. This goes the other way too, however, as nobody wants to live right next to the compost facility or nuclear power plant! These adjacency considerations bring a considerable level of detailed strategy to how players build their colonies, and that is further complicated by how you get your buildings…

The team at Asteroid Labs has made an interesting decision here to combine a high-strategy colony sim with elements of a card game. At the beginning of each turn, the player is presented with three or more potential projects they could undertake - buildings, usually. Unless they have placed specific special buildings already, the player can only ever choose one of these cards each turn, and hold up to eight of them for future use. Anything you want to build, has to come from these cards. You want to put down a habitation module in your new colony? Best hope you had the foresight to grab one last time the project was proposed.

This isn’t to say that placing or using these cards is free - these are more like ideas that people have pitched to the town council than complete buildings. The player still has to pay a resource cost to ‘play’ the card/build the building, but fortunately here the extended timescale works in our favor and construction is instant as it wouldn’t take longer than a four-year turn. I am often hesitant when confronted with these random-draw elements in games, especially in situations where a bad draw can end a play-through. In Terraformers, however, I never ran into a problem with it across multiple completed scenario runs - the selection is varied enough and the hand size you can keep is big enough that with a bit of planning you should never be completely out of luck.

The average scenario in Terraformers ran me about two hours to complete, representing 50-70 turns. In the pre-Early Access review copy provided, the Asteroid Labs team has provided at least five different scenarios - and I say “at least” as every time I finish a run it seems like more things unlock to pique my interest and keep me coming back. Completing scenarios will garner players additional buildings, leaders, access to scenarios and more that promise to add replayability to the title. As this is just the start of Early Access I fully expect that the development team will add more to this already very polished title before calling it complete.

In summary, Terraformers is an excellent take on a high-level strategy colonization sim. You will not find RTS-like micromanagement here, but you will find a game that is constantly challenging you to decide where your limited resources should go.


In the end, the slow transformation of the red planet with hints of blue and green as you begin to meet your goals is tremendously satisfying. This is a solid choice for players looking for a non-competitive single player game, and Terraformers is in a very polished state for just launching into Early Access.

A definite ‘buy’ recommendation from me, and not just when it’s on sale!

Score: N/A


Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars Review

Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars
by developer Idea Factory, Compile Heart, Tamsoft and publisher Idea Factory InternationalNintendo Switch review written by Richard with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Shuriken, Kunai, and Ninjas, oh my! We're back once again for a Neptunia spin-off colab title, Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars. In a world where nations war in ninja battles, the two nations symbolizing the Neptunia and Senran Kagura franchises are bitter rivals, or maybe sweet rivals would be a better description. When the land is invaded by the Steeme Legion, however, perhaps it's time to set aside their differences to fight off this invading force. While Neptunia X Senran Kagura released last year for the PS4, a review of which is also available, today we will be looking at the Switch port.

The world of Neptunia X Senran Kagura is set in Gameninjastri, a sort of continent with warring ninja forces. In particular, the superpowers of Heartland (Neptunia) and Marveland (Senran Kagura) have been rivals for quite a while. During a battle one night on the castle roof of Heartland's castle, both the Neptunia and Senran ninjas are attacked by the Steeme Legion. A temporary peace treaty is drafted in order to combat the menace of the Steeme Legion. It's now up to the ninjas of Gameninjastri to defeat the leaders of the Steeme Legion: Yoh Gamer and Tetsuko.

In terms of gameplay, Ninja Wars is an action game more in-line with the Senran universe than the JRPG style of the Neptunia franchise. You run around a map beating up enemies, collecting exp and dropped items, and then maybe fighting a boss at the end. Each ninja has their own unique weapon style and combo moves, with special ninja arts that can be assigned to the four action button inputs. You have a dash, a guard, a normal/combo attack, and a ranged weapon, that thankfully recharges uses over time.

Actual combat is a little interesting, more so because of how you as a player will probably approach it, rather than how it's actually laid out. For one, your guard will probably be significantly more useful to you than the dodge, despite the decent amount of invincibility from the dodge. Thanks to a parry, which negates damage taken and restores a portion of the stamina gauge, end game bosses, and even enemies, become much more manageable when you are regaining stamina rather than using it to evade.

You also have access to Kunai and Shuriken, which provide status infliction and flinching ability respectively. As an example, Kunai can get a poison application, and Shuriken can get a Disrupt status, which they can flinch an enemy, stopping their attack. You also get access to a special move by attacking or being attacked. The regeneration of stamina this way is used for running, evading, and using special ninja arts. If you find yourself in a bind, you can channel the power of the elements to give yourself a temporary boost associated with the element you choose. For instance, fire mode will increase your attack at the expense of defense. These modes can only be used a limited amount of times collectively per stage, so use them well.

When you come across a boss, they will have a guard gauge in addition to health. By dealing enough damage, you stagger the boss, allowing you to get a bunch of hits in while they are recovering. Also, don't underestimate the power of piercing ranged weapons. Most of the bosses are rather reasonable, where learning their attack patterns isn't too hard, and will turn the fight from challenging into very manageable. Except maybe a few of the post game challenges, but that's only if you don't prepare.

I feel like P.Y. will beat me if I don't mention this, but for those familiar with the Neptunia franchise, you'll probably notice that only Neptune uses the same weapon, while Noire, Vert, and Blanc all have different weapons than they normally do. While it makes sense for Noire, it doesn't really for Vert and Blanc. Characters don't get different weapons to equip, but what you do have is a Spirit Gem board, where you can place up to five of the same gem in a grid to improve your abilities, such as increased health or item drop rate. You can fuse together two of the same gems to make a more powerful gem, and if you put gems of the same grouping (such as ranged weapon related) in certain patterns, you can increase their effects. The grids start out with few slots, but expand as you level up.

At this point, I'd like to talk a bit about the difficulty levels, or just one, really. While you can select between Easy, Normal, and Hard, the Easy mode is insanely easy. There isn't really any difficulty to it, and there's one particular stage where you can exploit this to basically get 30 free levels in one go. If you want any sort of challenge, I suggest playing on Normal or Hard. If you're struggling and need a few levels, you can always either return to areas you've previously cleared, or take on side quests from the Kumotsu shrine, which also offer rewards.

When you get tired of beating up monsters or other Ninjas, you can try out the "Peaches and Cream Meditation" minigame, which tasks you with balancing on a large peach using the gyroscope in the Switch, or you can set it to the trigger buttons if you want. The minigame comes in three difficulties, the harder of which gets unlocked with story progression, and will give a substantive boost to your health, defense, and attack at the final difficulty, at least for three stages. This works perfectly though, as there is a post game challenge called the "Trials of Yomi", where you need to get through three stages in one go, with different restrictions per challenge, and your health/gauge usage carries over between stages.

In terms of graphics, you get those great hand-drawn style character portraits during the plot scenes, and some fancy new 3D models during combat. As has become my expectation, the port to the Switch feels like a bit of a graphical downgrade, although not enough to warrant getting up in arms over it. The music is a wonderful blend of the Senran classic/guitar mashups and the Neptunia more digital sounding tracks.

So, I do need to point out a few things here, mainly that combat can get a little repetitive, and sometimes feels a bit clunky, although it does smooth out once you find your rhythm. The game is also incredibly short. No, seriously, after earning the platinum trophy in the PS4 version, I skipped all the talking and side quests, and was about halfway through the game in, like, two hours. Obviously this won't be the same for those who haven't played before, but the combination of just powering through and easy mode makes things incredibly short. Also, be aware that enemies can, and will, hit you from offscreen, and the gattling gun enemies are super arse.


Overall, I still rather enjoy Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars. While you aren't getting the same level of action you would from a Senran title, and it is rather short, it's rather entertaining to run around stages as ninja Neptune. I honestly wouldn't recommend picking this up on Switch if you already own it elsewhere, but if you see it on sale or something, I highly recommend picking it up.

Score: 8 / 10


Forgive me Father Review

Forgive me Father
by developer Byte Barrel and publisher 1C entertainmentPC (Steam) review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Having released in Early Access late last fall, Byte Barrel and 1C Entertainment's Lovecraftian first person shooter Forgive Me Father has recently fully launched its madness. Combining a 2D/3D comic book visual style with a retro-like gameplay, there's plenty for multiple genre fans to enjoy here as we keep seeing an amazing resurgence of the retro FPS style.

With nothing but good things to say back in November when I first previewed Forgive me Father, I find myself with one issue today after full launch. I've already said everything that needed to be said back in November. Forgive Me Father continues to be a very well built and designed retro based First Person Shooter taking Lovecraftian lore and putting its own spin on it. The length and pacing of the adventure however all depends on how afraid you are of the dark…

I think it goes without saying, I am, so any area where I had to hold up my lantern instead of my weapons would bring me to a crawl or a full stop. This was especially the case within the asylum where you could just hear things right outside of your vision but had no idea where it really was. Was it around the corner? On the floor above? The floor beneath? Or was it all in your head? In either case the audio design of your adventure will only ever make the visual presentation better.

Set in a first person view, you’ll be moving around a comic book styled world. Whether in normal resolutions or widescreen, the visuals ranged from bright and less creepy to dark and super creepy making you wonder just what was waiting for you around that next corner. Within this comic book styled world is perhaps the element that I enjoyed the most which was the enemy design. Designed in 2D but moving in 3D, these creatures range from undead looking zombies that can replace their heads as you land headshots over to more Cthulhu based beings with guns and tanks that can be exploded.

Regardless of the type of enemy, it’s not until you slow down and see that the enemy always turns to face you head-on where the 2D to 3D magic happens. It’s very well done and makes you think while racing around each level that you are playing a 3D based game even if most of the assets are in very well done 2D. Adding in the elements such as the above mentioned zombies being able to switch heads to keep coming at you and a variety of other madness inspired nightmares, there’s plenty to look at as you try to survive.

To survive these nightmares, you’ll start off with a knife and a pistol before picking up a double barreled shotgun and then an inaccurate submachine gun. Thankfully spray and pray works really well with this gun in large crowds so you just need to know when to use it! Short of these basic weapons, you’ll be able to pick up other new tools such as secret weapons that will last until their ammo counts are empty and you’re back to your own personal arsenal.

Adding to these weapons are limited use “items” which act as abilities as long as you can raise your madness high enough to bank it for further use such as a Healing Cross to restore some of your health or a Necronomicon… because that never ends badly… to give you a few seconds of invulnerability. This is where the twist in the Lovecraftian madness really comes into play. Unlike most other adventures where you have to worry about descending into madness, here you can almost revel in it as not only can you stock up on your item usage but you also become stronger and tougher the higher your madness.

So while it’s generally not recommended to pack an area full of enemies, in this case it can work to your benefit as you can feed off of the increasing madness to help you out later when only going through a few enemies and potentially being at a disadvantage. Also to help out is that you’ll be gaining experience and leveling up which grants you points to use in a skill tree. This tree varies from more health, brighter lanterns if you’re afraid of the dark, NO I DIDN’T TAKE THIS OPTION, being able to gain experience points faster or to be able to morph your weapons into newer and more powerful versions. There’s no right answer and experimenting is the only way to find out for sure.

If I were to have perhaps one complaint, and it’s not really that much of one because of the upsides, it would be the visual presentation when descending into madness. Whether bright and colorful or dark and requiring a lantern to banish the darkness, it’s always easy to see where you’re going and what’s coming towards you. Descending into madness however will steadily greyscale your screen making it harder and harder to see things as everything becomes dark gray against black meaning that you generally have to hope that unless you’re firing at the giant boss in the room that the area is packed with enemies and you can’t really miss even if you wanted to.


Overall though, Byte Barrel and 1C Entertainment's Lovecraftian first person shooter Forgive Me Father was both very well done and awesome to sit down to. Whether you only have time for a quick level or have an afternoon to dedicate to it, the short levels can cater to both allowing you to decide just how far into madness you want to descend.

Score: 8.25 / 10


Cat Cafe Manager - PC (Steam) Review

Cat Cafe Manager
by developer Roost Games and publisher Freedom GamesPC (Steam) written by Susan N. with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Cat Cafe Manager is a simulation game developed by Roost Games and it is their only current released title. In this game, players get to run their cat cafe where they hire staff, purchase products, and give the cats a forever home. Inventory management and upgrading the business are required to flourish as a popular cat cafe. It’s a title that after playing over the last couple of weeks, I can say Cat Cafe Manager is a fantastic and relaxing game whose core loop is enjoyable to a point.


Cat Cafe Manager is a cute little animated game that takes place in Caterwaul Way. It is suitable for all ages as it has no mature content. Plus, there is an intriguing mystery relating to the cat shrine where players access the skill tree. The premise of this title is to give the cats up for adoption while running a successful cafe. Despite that fact, players don’t have to deal with any of the additional costs that real cat cafes have, like vet bills and the like.

Throughout the game, players get to design their cafe with building tools. However, since the focus is on the management of the cafe, the design elements are lacking. Regardless, I found it entertaining to expand my business by hiring staff, adding products to the menu, and creating a cafe through the build menu. And since the game focuses more on management, it has some common elements with other simulation games. For example, each server has specific skills they excel at which can be leveled up. Having the ability to increase menu options adds to the complexity of the gameplay. However, one of the best elements of Cat Cafe Manager is its skill tree. Where most restaurant sims require the purchase of recipes to progress, this game unlocks items and products through the skill tree. To gain enough points to advance, you will have to level up your friendships!

As for that mystery I mentioned, you’ll just have to find out for yourselves!

The Cats

The first thing a cat cafe needs is cats! First, players lure some cats to the establishment. Then the fun really begins! Keep in mind that you can only adopt one cat at a time after gaining its trust. Each cat has a couple of stats that they begin with. These stats are affinities to specific types of citizens. Having a well-rounded group of cats that like the clients is never a bad idea. These stats are increased through leveling allowing trait upgrades or getting additional perks. For example, one of my cats has the ‘sweet tooth’ trait which adds 10% to the client's nectar payout. In my opinion, the ability to cater to the cat's stats and traits to clients adds a small level of strategy that I wasn’t expecting. I quite like that the cats level up in Cat Cafe Manager.

At some point, players will need to give the cats up for adoption so that they can save other cats. Adopting a cat is done through the community board and is self-explanatory. Townsfolk each have a preference of cat by its stats. Pick the right cat for the job and the deal is done! What’s interesting about this feature is that players can see all of the cats (housed and not) in the cat menu located at the bottom left of the screen. Overall, I do like the ability to bring in specific cats to be strategic about currency generation. Plus, the cats are cute!


After purchasing food and drink for the cafe, players can hire staff to assist them. While I enjoy the ability to hire staff, I found that since there is no way to set them to a specific table or area, it became little more than a cookie clicker over time. In my opinion, Cat Cafe Manager would be better served to allow assignment options so that players aren’t competing with the AI. That said, players can focus on other tasks like cleaning, purchasing products, and upgrading skills while the servers go about the mundane aspects of the game.

Not only will servers ease the load of customer requests, but servers can also increase in level. This allows the servers the ability to make more complex recipes and drinks. Alternatively, players can level themselves up to do the more complex tasks and leave the AI to take on the simple orders. The fun thing about Cat Cafe Manager is that each server has its specialties and traits which enable cleaning or repair skills. Other than that, I do like that we can bring on different staff members to help with the cafe duties. I just wish there was a bit more to it.

Business Management

As a simulation game, the business management of Cat Cafe Manager is excellent. Players need to shop at different locations to have sellable products. They also have to upgrade their cafes to facilitate more clients. This is where the marketing aspect of the game becomes critical. As players open their doors to the townsfolk, they will need to keep clients happy to gain the different currency used for various recipes and materials. For example, the witches pay in nectar that players need to purchase recipes and ingredients. Other townspeople provide different resources like wood, fish, jewels, and gold. To gain currency, each citizen's preference must be met to raise their happiness level. How this plays into the marketing strategy is that players can toggle advertising on or off for specific citizens. Doing this allows players the ability to target the currency they need to prosper.

Another aspect of the business that players will be working on is the hiring of staff done at a community board. The board also shows citizens who are looking for cats to adopt. Often, the potential staff members will have different affinities that players can focus on leveling a specific skill set. That said, for a management simulation game, the simplistic design of Cat Cafe Manager has a drawback. Not only are there no options to assign specific tables or areas in the cafe to the staff (to reduce confusion of orders), but it creates a bit of a detriment in the core gameplay loop. I found that I had very little to do once I hired staff. In fact, for a while, I did not level a server up as a cleaner just so I’d have something to do!

Graphics and UI

The graphics in Cat Cafe Manager are cartoony and cute which seems like it is hand-drawn. It is an aesthetic that I enjoy for this title. It’s a 2-dimensional side-scrolling game that is charming for players that enjoy indie titles. One can’t help but smile at the game because of the ease of gameplay and the cute cats! I did mention that, didn’t I?

As for the UI of the game, it’s quite easy to understand. All of the resources are displayed in the top left of the screen including the experience bars of the cats and the servers. In the top right, players see what day they are on and the time of day in 24-hour time. Finally, the bottom of the screen displays how many cats you have on the right. On the left, are the menus for the cats, the servers, the food menu, advertising toggles, the build menu, and the map of the town.

In terms of building expansion, I found it disappointing that objects remain fixed once placed. Furthermore, players cannot place windows on the back wall. While I appreciate the option to customize our cafe, the game doesn’t yet have enough tools to make customizing satisfying for the player. That said, functionally the ability to add or move windows doesn’t change anything in gameplay since players can’t see them at all!

Pros and Cons

Cat Cafe Manager is a great game that has its pros and cons. Some of its pros are its presentation, ability to level servers and cats, and the customizing of your cafe with furniture.

Some of the cons include things like the lack of customization in the build menu, minor input lag issues, and servers taking over too many of the tasks which make the gameplay redundant over time. I also became quite sick of the audio loop quickly. Perhaps some kind of cafe radio would be a fantastic addition to the game since cafes have a distinct atmosphere. And while I do enjoy this title, I find that it’s missing something to make it a home run.

Summary and Rating

Cat Cafe Manager is a fantastic relaxing game that I enjoyed for a while. Unfortunately, the title becomes dull because there’s simply not enough to do. Despite its cute graphics style, the title needs something a bit more dynamic to be a successful hit. Though, if players are looking for a game that requires very little input or one that is safe for the family to enjoy, Cat Cafe Manager is a purrrfect choice!

Score: 8 / 10


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