Raiden IV x MIKADO remix Review

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is developed by MOSS and published by NIS America, Inc.Microsoft Xbox Series X review written by Nick with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is a classic shoot-‘em-up title that feels like an excellent homage to the past, even while it still holds up in the present. If you are a fan of the shmup genre? Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is going to feel pretty comfortable and there is a lot to like here. If the idea of a ‘bullet hell’ scares you? Well, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix offers some features that make it somewhat more approachable, but it might not do quite enough to convert you to being a fan of the genre.

What we have here is a vertical scrolling shooter. It has a sort of narrow strip of screen as you fly upwards with stationary graphics flanking either side, as these titles were popularized for arcade machine cabinets. From there, you continuously fly upward through waves of enemies that are shooting things at you or attempting to bodycheck you into submission. The screen is often sprayed with an almost dizzying assortment of colored projectiles that fan out or move in patterned waves to dart around while you return fire to take them out.

It's about as tried and true a formula as exists in video gaming, and the genre remains one of my guiltiest pleasures. These titles tend to be challenging, even brutal at times, but fair as you learn the patterns and the waves and progress incrementally further each time. That being said, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix has some quality of life settings to adjust difficulty levels (right down to a training difficulty that means no shots are fired, making it easier to learn the enemy patterns, If not their projectiles. You can tweak some other settings too to make things easier or harder on yourself as well, and even when you run out of lives, there is progression now that allows you to pick up at your last completed stage. If you’re willing to die and learn (here’s looking at you, Souls fans), you’ll eventually progress.

Beyond the core mechanics of dodging and shooting, you have some different types of shots you can fire, both by picking settings on your ship at the start and augmenting them with powerups found throughout the game. These combined with the traditional screen clearing ‘bomb’ so often found in the genre, you are pretty well-equipped to handle waves of enemies as you figure out which weapon sets you prefer. That said, there are shooters out there with more variety in their weapons, something the Raiden series always feels just a bit light on.

One of the other cool features here, is this title merges different releases together and creates differing styles of play. There are some “Additional” levels, as well as modes that encourage you to take chances in different ways. One offers bonuses for clearing enemies out as fast as possible, encouraging you to learn patterns so you can basically ambush them. I liked the Overkill mode, in which after you kill some enemies, they leave a ‘junk heap’ in their wake. You then have a few moments to fire at that scrap and the more damage you do to it before it blows up, the bigger the points multiplier. It’s a fun bit of risk vs reward as it sometimes leaves you in one place a bit longer than is healthy, as in this genre being stationary is seldom a good idea.

On top of this, you have somewhat more standard modes such as boss or score attacks that have you trying to beat certain criteria within limited / standardized gameplay options. There’s multiplayer available too, if you just need more chaos on your screen at once.

In terms of the presentation and polish, it all looks and sounds slick. The pulsing soundtrack is fantastic and fits the bill nicely, and there’s a lot of fun effects with the backgrounds. A lot of shooters are relatively static with their backgrounds, and some get really involved with moving parts, additional ground-based enemies and things of that nature. Raiden IV x MIKADO remix leans a bit towards the latter, with some fun moments where things zoom and twist around, giving you a sense of flight and movement despite the fact you are always just scrolling upward the entire time.

Still, there are some limitations here to point out. Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is not a very long game – I saw most of what there was to see on easier difficulties in an afternoon. There’s not much variety in the ships or weapons, no secrets or unlockables to dangle in front of the player either. The original arcade game released in 2007 and the age shows a bit, not that the genre has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last decade and a half, but there are deeper options out there for shmup fans. These are pretty minor quibbles in the grand scheme of things though.


Simply put, Raiden IV x MIKADO remix is a lot of fun. Fans of the shoot-‘em-up genre should enjoy the ride, even if it’s not a particularly long one. It’s a polished experience that is both challenging and well-balanced with plenty of options to tinker with. The presentation (especially the music) is well done, the gameplay is polished and it’s a worthy update to the Raiden franchise.

Score: 7.75 / 10


Company of Heroes 3 - New Faction trailer revealed!

The British and their Commonwealth allies are here to hold the line!

18 January, 2023 -
Hello there! We’re here to share with you a brand-new trailer for Company of Heroes 3, featuring the British and their well-rounded repertoire. The Brits return fully revamped for both single-player and multiplayer modes. Available as one of four factions at launch, the British are defensive powerhouses with plenty of depth for series newcomers and veterans alike.
Where the British command the most strength is their versatility in almost any combat scenario. With resilience (and a bit of stubbornness), their Pack Howitzer cannons, 4.2 Heavy Mortar cannons, and 6-Pounder Anti-Tank Gun can hold off the Germans in droves. An assortment of vehicles, like the Dingo Scout Car and the Humber armored car, can slice through through enemy lines in the opening stages of combat.

A well-rounded fighting force isn’t complete without a number of Battlegroups: specialized units that each faction can call upon for specific tactics. The British can utilize the Nepali and Indian soldiers of the Gurkha, brandishing Thompson submachine or Bren light machine guns, making them deadly at close and long range. Indian artillery rounds things out with explosive indirect firepower. These Battlegroups synergize with the core faction units, delivering the most strategically diverse Company of Heroes launch to date.
Company of Heroes 3 releases on February 23rd on PC and later in 2023 for consoles, and is now available for Pre-Order! Get the Launch Edition and receive the Devil’s Brigade DLC pack featuring Legendary skins for Infantry, Vehicles, and other Legendary tier cosmetics.

Article by: Susan N.


Arthurian legends track down the infamous Ripper in "Dance of Death": Du Lac & Fey" hits consoles next week

An immersive, intense and ambitious investigation to tackle on consoles from 26 January.

Vila-real, Spain – Thursday 19th January 2023: "Hidden Trap, in partnership with Dolores Entertainment, is pleased to announce the arrival of the award-winning and critically acclaimed narrative and investigative game "Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey" on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (EU&NA), and Nintendo Switch (EU&NA) on January 27th, 2023. The game, originally developed by Salix Games and Tea Clipper, praised for its exceptional graphics, great storyline, and fantastic voice cast, immerses players in 1888 Victorian London as they track down Jack the Ripper with Arthurian legends Sir Lancelot Du Lac and Morgana Le Fey.
Dance of Death Console Edition Trailer


    Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey Console Edition Trailer:

Localization: Spanish (New), English, French, German and Russian

Steam Page:

In Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey; players take on the roles of the legendary figures of Sir Lancelot Du Lac and Morgana Le Fey, also known as Fey. Du Lac is a highly skilled detective, while Fey is cursed to live in the form of a dog. This curse grants her a keen sense of smell and the ability to speak to animals, providing the team with extra clues and assistance in their investigations. They also have the assistance of psychic Mary Kelly, who has the ability to see into the future and predict the next victims of the Ripper.

The game offers a wide array of true-to-life locations in Victorian London, giving players the chance to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and locations of the Ripper's London. With historically accurate crime scenes, players can examine scenes, and interact with objects and characters, switching between the abilities of each character to uncover the truth and track down the infamous Jack the Ripper.

Dance of Death: Du Lac & Fey
boasts a star-studded voice cast, including Perdita Weeks, known for her roles in Penny Dreadful and The Tudors as Lady Morgana Le Fey, Gareth David-Lloyd, known for his performances in Dragon Age and Torchwood as Sir Lancelot Du Lac, and Alexandra Roach, known for her roles in Utopia and Black Mirror as Mary Kelly.

The game's original soundtrack is composed by the world-renowned composers Jools Scott (Flanders Remembers St Pauls Cathedral) and Jeff Rona (God of War, Devil May Cry 5). The TIGA Games Industry Awards recognized the game's outstanding audio design, and it has also been nominated for various other awards. The game's story is crafted by Philip Huxley, writer on Batman: Arkham Knight and Killzone, and BAFTA Breakthrough Brit winner Jessica Saunders.


  •     The atmosphere of Victorian London shaken by Jack the Ripper murderers
  •     3 uniquely empowered playable characters: The knight Sir Lancelot Du Lac, the cursed dog-like witch Morgan Le Fey and the Ripper's latest victim, Mary Kelly.
  •     Innovative gameplay combining the characters' investigative abilities
  •     Fully playable with the controller on PlayStation, Xbox, and Switch.
  •     Historically accurate crime scenes and authentic locations in 19th century London and Whitechapel.
  •     Beautiful environments, characters, and cinematics
  •     A stellar cast of voice actors, including Perdita Weeks (Kira from Ready Player One), Gareth David-Lloyd (Solas from Dragon Age), and Alexandra Roach (Carrie from Black Mirror).
  •     An intense storyline from award-winning writers Philip Huxley (Batman: Arkham Knight and Battlefield) and Britain's Jessica Saunders (BAFTA Breakthrough).
  •     An immersive soundtrack by world-renowned composers Jools Scott (Flanders Remembers St Pauls Cathedral) and Jeff Rona (God of War, Devil May Cry 5).


We are a small indie video games publisher with huge dreams, specializing in porting PC games to console platforms. We are a passionate team, with more than 4 years of experience helping developers reach new horizons.

ABOUT Tea Clipper Games

Making fun, compelling, inventive games through open, progressive dev practices since 2016.

ABOUT Salix Games

We want to create incredible worlds to be explored and fascinating characters to meet while you are there. Above all, we want to tell great stories and craft meaningful experiences that stay with you long after you’ve finished them. The majority of the team works remotely around the world, with each member bringing diversity, passion, and expertise to the games we make.

ABOUT Dolores Entertainment

Independent game studio based in Barcelona. The company's main activity is designing and creating video games for Consoles and PCs. Dolores Entertainment already has 18 products on the market which are distributed worldwide in more than 200 countries.

Article by: Susan N.


Paradox Interactive and Triumph Studios Unveil Age of Wonders 4

Award-winning Fantasy Strategy Series Returns on May 2, 2023 for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S

STOCKHOLM and DELFT, Netherlands — Jan. 19, 2023 — Paradox Interactive, a developer and publisher of wondrous games for all ages, today revealed a new game from Triumph Studios: Age of Wonders 4. The first sequel in nine years for the award-winning Age of Wonders fantasy strategy game series brings new levels of customization and replayability to the games’ iconic empire-building, role-playing, and best-in-class tactical combat. Age of Wonders 4 will launch on May 2, 2023 for PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.

Witness the dawn of a new Age of Wonders in the announcement trailer:

“For 25 years now, Triumph has been exploring new places to take our original fantasy strategy series, and the fans who have taken the journey with us have made it a rewarding endeavor,” said Lennart Sas, Co-founder of Triumph Studios and Director of Age of Wonders 4. “Even after all this time, we’re still adding amazing new ideas to Age of Wonders, and whether you’ve been playing since the beginning or ready to visit our worlds for the first time, you’re about to experience something special.”

Age of Wonders 4
invites players to rule a fantasy realm of their own design, in a blend of strategy, role-playing, and turn-based combat. Powerful Wizard Kings have returned to the realms to reign as gods among mortals, and players will rise to challenge their rule using Tomes of Magic to unleash arcane destruction and evolve their armies, gaining new abilities and forms. For the first time in the series, players can create their own custom factions, and leave their mark on countless worlds through each choice they make.

For an in-depth look at Age of Wonders 4 in action, Paradox and Triumph have shared an announcement show, available to watch here:

Features of Age of Wonders 4 will include:

  • Create the Empire of Your Wildest Fantasies: Craft your followers by combining bodily forms, societal traits and arcane powers. Build anything from a clan of cannibal halflings to mystic moon elves, or recreate your favorite fantasy tropes. Seek powerful tomes of magic to enchant your armies and see your people physically change as they morph into angelic beings or scions of chaos to face their enemies.
  • Strategy Meets Role-Playing Like Never Before: Every choice opens up new possibilities and tactical advantages; deep, multilayered strategy allows you to try new tactics or explore new powers at every turn. Tactical turn-based battles bring your armies to life, from skirmishes with roaming monsters to vast sieges with many units on each side!
  • Write Your Own Legend: A new event system provides unexpected levels of storytelling for 4X games. See your decisions shape the world around you as you seek glory through brutal domination, cunning alliances, or ultimate arcane knowledge. Your own creations may even appear as potential rivals or allies in subsequent games, as you experience the next chapter in your own story!
  • Make Your Mark on a Vast, Reactive World: Explore a new realm in each session - or create your own! Challenge new variations and combinations of locations and features, from frozen wastelands ruled by ice queens to desolated ruins where dragons roam. With a tremendous variety of empires, units, and environments to keep the game endlessly replayable, Age of Wonders is more open-ended - and mod-friendly - than ever before in the series’ history.

Age of Wonders 4
can be wishlisted now at

For more information about Age of Wonders 4, visit

About Paradox Interactive

The Paradox group today consists of both publishing and internal development of games and brands. Paradox has a broad portfolio of games and owns the most important brands, including Stellaris, Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings, Cities: Skylines, Prison Architect, Victoria, Age of Wonders and the World of Darkness catalog of brands.

Since 2004, the company has published its games all over the world, initially through physical distribution but primarily in digital channels after 2006. Paradox games are developed primarily for PC and console platforms, but the company also releases games on mobile. The largest markets today include the US, UK, China, Germany, France, and Scandinavia. In total, Paradox games have over five million players each month.

For more information, please visit

About Triumph Studios

Triumph Studios is a games developer and publisher based in the university town of Delft, The Netherlands, and is the creator of the original Age of Wonders and Overlord series. Founded in 1997 by Arno van Wingerden and Lennart Sas, the studio has made games with deep mechanics, immersive stories, and world-conquering ambition for the last 25 years. Triumph was acquired by Paradox Interactive in 2017 and has continued to develop deep, replayable strategy games in close cooperation with the Swedish publisher.

For more information, visit  

Article by: Susan N.



Explore the neon city of Neomuna and meet the Cloud Striders in this new trailer

January 17th, 2023 | Today, Bungie released an environment trailer providing players with a glimpse of Neptune before Destiny 2: Lightfall launches next month. The trailer shows off the newly discovered metropolis of Neomuna, which is filled with futuristic skyscrapers and neon lights.

The trailer also showcases the scope of Calus’s invasion into Neomuna and depicts Guardians grappling their way through the city using the new Darkness subclass, Strand. Players also get to meet Neomuna’s defenders, the Cloud Striders, as they ask for the Guardian’s help in protecting their people from the attack.

To celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, a new Exotic Ghost, Ship, Sparrow, and a festive ornament for the Riskrunner are available in the Eververse store today. Players can also find a red envelope filled with free bright dust waiting for them in the Eververse store, available until the end of January. A new emblem inspired by the Year of the Rabbit is also available to all Guardians by claiming emblem code TNN-DKM-6LG.

Currently in Destiny 2, Season of the Seraph has players working to restore the Warmind, Rasputin, to prepare for what the Witness has in store. Players can still participate in Moments of Triumph until the end of the Season, to honor their achievements over the past year of Destiny 2. Players will soon be able to explore the futuristic metropolis that has been taken over by Calus’s Shadow Legion, when Lightfall launches on February 28, 2023.

About Destiny 2

Destiny 2 is one of the world’s most popular first-person shooter video games and action MMOs. Developed and published by Bungie — the iconic studio behind the Halo franchise and classic titles Myth, Oni, and Marathon — Destiny 2 tasks players with defending humanity and exploring the mysteries of the solar system. Players embody Guardians, who wield powerful elemental abilities. Players can select from multiple classes, upgrade and swap elemental subclasses, as well as outfit themselves with a variety of customizable weapons and gear to suit their aesthetic and playstyle.

Destiny 2 features responsive first-person shooter combat, an engrossing cinematic story, challenging co-op quests, and a variety of PvP and PvE modes playable solo or with friends — with cross-platform play also supported.

Since its launch in 2017, Destiny 2 has received yearly expansions that progress the story forward, add a wealth of additional content, and further refine the gameplay experience for its passionate community of players. Quarterly Seasons introduce additional objectives and challenges for players to best, including dungeons and raids that offer powerful rewards. Lightfall, the upcoming expansion and penultimate chapter of Destiny 2's Light and Darkness saga, releases on February 28, 2023

Destiny 2 is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Windows PC via Steam, the Epic Games Store, and the Microsoft Store. For more information, please visit


Article by: Susan N.


This is What Midgard Sounds Like | ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree Musical Combat Showcase + Soundtrack Teaser

The Norse Mythology Inspired, Story Driven, Rhythm Combat RPG comes to PC, PS4 and Switch on January 27th, 2022

16 January, 2023 - Wroclaw, Poland + Wellington, New Zealand | If you are wondering how rhythm based combat fits onto a Norse mythology inspired RPG, look no further. Untold Tales and Wildboy Studios have released a playthrough video of the Ice King fight from ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree.

The playthrough (on the Hard difficulty setting) was recorded on the Nintendo Switch. The team also released a video to showcase the game’s unique, electronica infused OST with the track “Sons of Fenrir”.

Combat Playthrough:

Sons of Fenrir Track:

Combat is all about surviving to the end of the song. The more you stay to the beat, the higher you chance of dealing a hit vs your foe dealing a hit.

Fear not though, for those born with the natural rhythm of a forest troll, combat can be made easier on Normal Mode with 2 “rails” of notes to hit or entirely winnable in Story Mode, allowing players to focus on the narrative.

All fights can then be replayed in the Arena Mode for those wanting that perfect score or certain trophies.


Inspired by Norse mythology, this hand-drawn, story driven, rhythm combat RPG blends narrative, exploration, and music all into one journey. Meet and converse with a slew of diverse characters, explore a haunting take on Midgard and make choices that influence your story and ending.

Combat is entirely rhythm based and is inspired by titles like Guitar Hero and Dance Dance Revolution. Naturally this makes music a crucial component of ATONE, with each fight receiving its very own song composed by Australian electronic artist Luminist.

ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree will be priced at $14.99 / 14.99 € and will be available on Steam, GOG, the Nintendo eShop and the PlayStation Store as a digital download. 

About Untold Tales

Untold Tales is an indie publishing label with a focus on games that have an interesting story to tell. We help dev teams successfully deliver their digital masterpieces to a wider audience across multiple platforms. While we don’t focus on any specific genre, our most trusted guiding light is games that offer remarkable joy and narrative.

About Wildboy Studios

As a New Zealand based company, our first indie title ATONE marked the beginning of our game development journey. Our studio craft embodies two qualities, passion and dedication. For us, game development is neither a hobby nor a job. We find purpose and fulfillment by transporting others to a place of limitless potential and exploration.

Our games are an extension of our creative personalities. Within each narrative, our aim is to reignite the childhood spark that has captured our imaginations since day one.

Article by: Susan N.


Dungeon Munchies Satisfies Hunger for Physical Version

Dungeon Munchies Satisfies Hunger for Physical Version on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch Today Fight insatiable appetite of the undead on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 & 5


VANCOUVER, Canada — Jan. 13, 2023 — Dungeon Munchies, the monster-mashing, side-scrolling action RPG developed by maJAJa and published by Chorus Worldwide, offers a delectable physical edition for PlayStation 5|4 and Nintendo Switch, available today at retailers in North America courtesy of Serenity Forge. A European release will follow at a later date.
Originally fully released on Nintendo Switch and Steam last year after debuting in Steam Early Access, each physical copy of Dungeon Munchies comes with some bonus treats. Along with a physical copy of the game, savor a sticker sheet full of skulls and spirits, a double-sided poster featuring a cookbook of recipes, and a soundtrack download card to redeem a digital version of the original soundtrack.

A loud, rumbling growl emanates from under the earth. In a massive underground complex, a hand emerges from the dirt and pulls itself out from the abyss of death. Now, louder than ever, the zombie’s ravenous hunger echoes forth from its empty belly. With some creativity, the surrounding monsters could offer a solution…
With the help of Necro-Chef Simmer, self-proclaimed culinary “expert” of the Underworld, learn how to convert the surrounding creatures into transformative meals. Plunge the depths of myriad environments filled with macabre, combative creatures, each offering perks when cooked and consumed. Fry up some mosquitos and toss ‘em back to gain their wings alongside a new double jump ability. 
Found an electrified snail? Eat it to find strong undertones of a shocking counter attack. Dismember creepy crawlies and become a well-fed Franketnstin’s Monster of food-fuelled feats. Can’t eat it? Craft with it! Use leftover creature parts to improve survivability with upgraded equipment.

“We relish Dungeon Munchies launching physically,” said Shintaro Kanaoya, founder and CEO of Chorus Worldwide. “These delicious physical editions of Dungeon Munchies from our friends at Serenity Forge bring their usual delectable level of detail to this award-winning game. The standard edition will include tasty extras including a soundtrack download, while the Collector’s Edition is a veritable all-you-can-eat feast of goodies to satiate any appetite...”
The physical edition of Dungeon Munchies launches today for $34.99 on PlayStation 5|4 and Nintendo Switch. The game is also currently available digitally on PC via Steam and Nintendo Switch for $16.99. For more information, follow Dungeon Munchies and Chorus Worldwide on Twitter, and visit the official Dungeon Munchies page on Chorus Worldwide’s website.

About Chorus Worldwide

Chorus Worldwide is a global publisher composed of gaming veterans with experience at world-renowned companies including Microsoft, Supermassive Games, and Electronic Arts. Originally created to guide indie developers into the rapidly growing Asian markets, Chorus now works with talented developers across the world, including Argentina, Indonesia, and Malaysia, finding huge success in titles like the acclaimed Coffee Talk, and the Asian releases of The Room and The Room Two.

About maJAJa

Founded in 2018, maJAJa is a game development studio based in Taipei, Taiwan. Founders Scofa (Designer/Artist), Jimbo (Programmer), and Ian (Translator & Other) had worked on other Taiwanese indie games before joining forces as MaJAJa to create their first game: Dungeon Munchies.

Article by: Susan N.


Elden Ring with Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter – Beeps and Beers

Elden Ring is developed by FromSoftware, Inc and published by Bandai Namco Games. Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter is made by Perrin Brewing Company. Article by Nick.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Beeps and Beers to ring in the New Year? Yes, please.

If you’ve been following any of my recent posts, it quickly becomes apparent that while I was late to the game where Elden Ring was concerned, it became a serious investment for me once I started to play it. When it first released, it came out while I was out of state visiting some family, and by the time I had gotten back, it was on to other releases I was covering for Chalgyr’s Game Room.
Then the holidays got here, which usually leads to something of a slowdown in the gaming industry as the rush to get titles out before Black Friday more or less comes to an end until February or so the following year. I often refer to that period as the ‘dead time’ – and I died a whole lot playing Elden Ring. That didn’t however, keep me from nominating it as my Game of the Year for 2022.

From roughly Thanksgiving until New Year, Elden Ring was the game I played when I had the time. Some nights were more strenuous (looking at you Putrid Crystallins) and some that were much lower key (farming that big bird near the cliff for easy runes). Most nights fell in the middle, and that was one of the things that I really enjoyed about Elden Ring. There was this fantastic sense of exploration – it kind of reminded me of my old World of Warcraft days when I would explore every nook and cranny available to me with my rogue stealthing about, just to see what oddball little thing I could find. Elden Ring scratched that itch beautifully.

Of course, that often led to me wandering about areas that I wasn’t properly prepared for yet, and some battles I had to do my best to run away from (ahem… dragons in lakes). With so many nights of gaming, there were plenty of beers had during the process. Most of the time it was just fine, but there was absolutely a night where it did not help my cause a whole lot in Elden Ring, even while I was enjoying the beer itself immensely. 

I’ve mentioned Perrin in the past before (here and here), but one of my all-time favorite beers of theirs has to be the Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter. When it first came out, it was actually one of my earliest bourbon barrel aged beers. Why does this make for a dicey adventure in Elden Ring? Well, it’s a strong beer and my reflexes were certainly not at their finest the afternoon I started to drink this one. This beauty pours a nice, thick, dark color into the glass. In terms of accidentally being thematically appropriate, the afternoon I opened this beer I was traveling the dark, swamp-like lands of Liurnia of the Lakes. It’s one of the game’s somewhat earlier regions, with a lot of bent trees, ankle-deep water, cemeteries and rundown churches to set the tone. 

It's a hauntingly beautiful area, especially during the in-game evenings – but large with a lot of north by south geography to it. Plenty of strange and undead creatures along the way, and a handful of interesting environmental puzzles. Those weren’t too terribly challenging. One example was a tower I had to get into that had me 'looking around' for turtles to poke. There were a lot of undead continually spawning around me, but they were slowly shambling about and not any kind of a real threat - just more of a distraction. 

During all of this, I certainly continued to enjoy the Malted Milk Ball during my explorations there. Being that it’s an imperial porter, that’s a style that I find tends to open up and display more distinctive flavors as it slowly warms to more of a room temperature. Given that this was a beer that I was simply sipping on, it had ample time to start to show off more of the vanilla bean and cocoa flavors that give it more of a desert-like profile. It’s got a bit of body and warmth to it – perfect for cold Michigan winters and I was playing this out in early December during a pretty substantial snowfall (a great excuse to stay inside and play Elden Ring – at least until I had to shovel the drive).

This is one of my favorite beers hands-down, and has been for years now. Elden Ring is probably one of my favorite games in years also. So the match seems solid until you start to get a bit deeper into the bottle of this one. It rings in at a 12% ABV due to its imperial style and the warm booziness that comes from the beer resting in Woodford Reserve bourbon barrels for nine months. This would be an excellent beer even without the bourbon finish, but personally I think bourbon barrel really helps to further accentuate the warm vanilla undertones as the brew warms up. 

Now, where does this pairing go wrong? Well… remember the dragons in the game I bemoaned earlier? There’s one in this region too. There’s a need to sneak behind him and pick up an item. It’s a fun, tense little moment – and you can pick it up, hop on your horse Torrent and ride out of there safe and sound as the one-slumbering dragon wakes up and starts to throw a hissy fit flying around looking to destroy you. 

The problem was, the further I got into that bottle, the more I wanted to go back and face that dragon. Spoiler alert – I was not ready for that particular encounter, but that did not preclude me from attempting it about a dozen times before I wizened up enough to give up on it for now. A good strong beer like that does not necessarily make for good in-game decisions or reflexes as it turns out. It did however, make for an entertaining and memorable afternoon of gaming and that’s what matters most.

I already reviewed Elden Ring recently and scored it a 9.5 out of 10. I’m completely comfortable doing the same for Malted Milk Ball Imperial Porter as well. 


Did you get into the Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader closed Alpha??

Nicosia, Cyprus - 7 December 2022:
The Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader closed Alpha test has arrived! Award-winning studio Owlcat Games confirmed that all early founders who pre-purchased the Developer’s Digital Pack or the Collector's Edition will be able to download and play the Alpha from today.

The closed Alpha will eventually transform into the Beta version of the game, and will remain live until Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader‘s release, meaning that anyone who pre-purchases the Developer’s Digital Pack or Collector's Edition will still be able to try the game early starting from today. In-game progress will not be transferred from one version to another

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader is the first cRPG set in the legendary grim darkness of the far future of Warhammer 40,000. Set to be released on PC and consoles, the game features turn-based combat and is being produced in close collaboration with Games Workshop.

Owlcat recently unveiled a new gameplay trailer during the PC Gaming Show 2023 Preview, giving viewers a taste of what it truly means to be a Rogue Trader. Together with the trailer Steam and GOG wishlists were opened for the eagerly-anticipated title.

Watch the Gameplay Trailer:

About Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader closed Alpha

Players will visit a number of worlds in the Koronus Expanse, where they can aid the Emperor's loyal subjects, punish heretics, or even show treasonous sympathies and abet renegades. The Alpha features one of five chapters of the game.

Among other signature locations in the Koronus Expanse, brave explorers will be able to plot a course to:
  • Footfall – a void station populated by pirates, religious zealots, and common workers. A dangerous place even for a Rogue Trader, but one ripe with opportunity!
  • Dargonus – the hive world capital of the player's empire and the Rogue Trader's family seat
  • Janus – a jungle-covered agri-world where the player will decide the fate of a conflict between a rebel group and the local governor
  • Kiava Gamma – an industrial world where dark and strange things are happening

Among other signature locations in the Koronus Expanse.

Players will travel between worlds through the warp, repel pirate attacks in open space, explore new planets, and found colonies – all from aboard the Rogue Trader's majestic voidship housing thousands of subjects and crew members.

On their journey, the Rogue Trader will receive assistance from their companions - their loyal Seneschal, a Tech-Priest of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the ship's Navigator, an Interrogator of the Inquisition, a Battle Sister of the Adepta Sororitas, a smuggler, a diviner psyker, and even a xenos. However, it is up to the player to decide if they want to build solid relationships with their crew, help resolve conflicts between party members, or leave them loose!

About Owlcat Games

Owlcat Games is a team of developers united by a love of RPGs. From our beginnings as a small group of games industry veterans obsessed with the idea of making our dream games a reality, we have grown into a truly international company, with our headquarters in Cyprus and more than 120 employees spread across offices in various countries. We are continuing to expand and take on new hires from around the world, and we also get together every week to play tabletop games in the office and on Roll20 online.

About Games Workshop

Games Workshop Group PLC (LSE:GAW.L), based in Nottingham, UK, produces the best fantasy miniatures in the world. Games Workshop designs, manufactures, retails, and distributes its range of Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 games, miniatures, novels and model kits through more than 523 of its own stores (branded Games Workshop or Warhammer), its own web store, and independent retail channels in more than 50 countries worldwide. More information about Games Workshop and its other, related, brands and product ranges (including its publishing division ‘Black Library’ and its special resin miniatures studio ‘Forge World’) can be found at

Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader © Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2022. Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, the Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader logo, GW, Games Workshop, Space Marine, 40K, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, 40,000, the ‘Aquila’ Double-headed Eagle logo, and all associated logos, illustrations, images, names, creatures, races, vehicles, locations, weapons, characters, and the distinctive likeness thereof, are either ® or TM, and/or © Games Workshop Limited, variably registered around the world, and used under licence. All rights reserved to their respective owners.


Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider Review

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider by developer JoyMasher and publisher The Arcade CrewSony PlayStation 5 review written by Pierre-Yves with a copy provided by the publisher.

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider by JoyMasher and The Arcade Crew is a side-scrolling action platformer channeling the golden age of classic 16-bit action games in a refined full-throttle quest for revenge. With crisp and clean controls, this short and fast paced adventure won’t leave you with much downtime as you race through multiple stages as a cybernetic ninja death machine.

What originally drew me to Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider was the Ninja Gaiden-esque feel to it. Having enjoyed the originals as tough as they were when I was younger, and still to this day not being able to get through even the revamp of Ninja Gaiden Sigma… it’s embarrassing I know… I thought that this would be my chance to redeem myself a bit. What I didn’t know was that while channeling that awesome nostalgic 16-bit era of gameplay, this adventure would have a lot in common with Capcom’s Mega Man X series.

Split between a tutorial and the main adventure, the tutorial will teach you everything that you need to know. Walking and running, jumping and wall jumping, and finally attacking enemies with your sword or secondary abilities. What’s neat about the sword attacks that worried me a bit with so many ranged enemies is that Moonrider can slash through a lot of these projectiles. Some still need to be dodged while others can actually be parried back to the source which is great for those enemies out of reach. Finally an adventure that doesn’t penalize you for being melee based!

Where the parallels get drawn with Capcom’s Mega Man X series, is that you are given a little bit of story, and then you are given several stages to select with more story sprinkled throughout. These stages can be selected in any order after the initial stage, and for every stage completed, you get an ability from the boss you defeated. While the concept itself is obviously nothing new as the original Mega Man himself dates back to the late 80s, it’s easy to make it their own and JoyMasher have definitely done that here.

The stage designs themselves are neat and feel independent from one another in their challenges. In most cases, the stages are direct A to B paths from the beginning of the stage to the boss, but some have some slight options as to whether you want to go one way or the other. On that note, you’ll definitely want to check out both routes which can most often be done in the same gameplay session as hiding high and low are upgrade chips to improve Moonrider’s fighting capabilities.

The use of upgrade chips was neat. Only being able to equip two at a time, these chips offer the ability to:
-    Increase your hit points over time,
-    Add in extra armor but at the cost of only being able to get a “B-rank” on your stage evaluation,
-    Increase your attack power for each enemy defeated
-    Double jump <- My favorite as it made a lot of areas so much easier!
-    And plenty more

And the best part is that you can install them on pickup. You don’t need to worry about going back to the stage selection screen to do so. If you want to modify your loadouts then yes, you’ll have to either finish the stage or call it quits, but otherwise it was nice to have.  

Finally, there’s one feature that I want to praise but it leads into something that I had an issue with. As mentioned, all roads will lead to the bosses, but first you’ll have to make your way through the mid-bosses which are numerous through each stage. Most of these mid bosses can be downright terrifying at times and in any other game? Could almost be bosses in their own right. Their challenge rating is appropriate and there’s a sense of “yeah, I did it” for most of them which is why it’s a bit disappointing that most of these are harder than the actual stage bosses.

Stage bosses are supposed to be badass and the hardest part of any stage. Sadly when it comes to Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider, just about all of the bosses short of the final one will take no more than a few seconds to dispatch. The main reason as you can often get one or two full sets of combo hits before even counting on some of your special abilities. Add in either your default overpowered ability or that of a specific boss which launches a giant otherworldly tentacle making me think of H.P. Lovecraft, and that’s it. You win and you get to move on.

On a final note, while Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider may only take two to three hours depending on your skill level, there is a bit of replayability. The upgrade chips mentioned above also act as collectibles and it’s entirely possible that you missed a few. So going back and exploring to find them is always an option as some may have even been out of reach without being able to double jump at that point in time. The other element of replayability is the stage grading which comes in a letter format and I’m not proud to say that I got several C’s and D’s before finally getting into the proper flow for A’s and B’s while working on the S’s.


Overall though, JoyMasher and The Arcade Crew’s Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider was both challenging and fun. Channeling that golden age of classic 16-bit action games really shines through alongside some modern elements to keep up the pace as you run, hack & slash your way through this world.

Score: 8 / 10


Our Games of the Year 2022 - The Winners of GotY

This is it. Of course, any and all lists are subjective, but these are the titles that members of our team looked back on and thought to ourselves: this is the gaming experience that defined 2022 for us. 

Pierre-Yves - Chained Echoes

So coming in at the very last minute, Chained Echoes by Matthias Linda and Deck 13 Spotlight easily became my 2022 Game of the Year. It had just about everything that one could want from both a retro inspired RPG / JRPG while also having all of those modern day "luxuries". 

Like Rise of the Third Power that was my Game of the Year right until I sat down to Chained Echoes, it has a lot of the same elements but what brought it a notch above is that the gameplay is all designed to constantly keep you moving. There are no transitions, splash screens for stats, or any of that. You run around the field, get into battle if you want to, fight, and keep moving with nothing more than a few stats showing the results of the combat. Adding in great writing, visuals and audio effects and music? This is what put Chained Echoes at the top of my list for the 2022 gaming year. 

Susan - My Time at Sandrock

Pathea Games released My Time at Sandrock after pushing it back a few times due to licensing issues. As a fan of the first game, My Time at Portia, I immediately sought out the sequel and found myself in awe of the graphics improvements and QOL features. While it is still in Early Access, I’m definitely making Sandrock my GOTY because I cared about the character storylines (unlike its predecessor) and beauty of the game. Plus, Pathea included a multiplayer feature that allows my friends and I to build the town together!

Richard - Dragon Munchies

An amazing sidescroller action platformer with an amazing cast and an amazing storyline. There was so much to love about Dungeon Munchies that I have a hard time not recommending it to almost everybody I can.

Nick - Elden Ring

I know this is a popular choice in a lot of corners, but I'm a sucker for a big fantasy game, and Elden Ring is the biggest one in a long time. I haven't been this engrossed in a game since... probably Dragon Age: Inquisition (and I sunk about 140 hours into that one). Elden Ring pisses me off, it gives me a sense of satisfaction, it tickles my desire for exploration and discovery and most of all I just got lost in it for dozens and dozens of hours. It sucked up my time like no other game in 2022 did. 

Our Games of the Year 2022 - Runners Up

The games that nearly took the top prizes in our hearts and minds. Our team had a very difficult time narrowing it down - overall we felt like 2022 was an excellent year filled with fantastic video games. It can be hard to pick a favorite. Or a second favorite. Sometimes even a third. As such, this post is all about the games that our team thought were great - just not quite the best of the bunch.

Nick - Undernauts: Labyrinth of Yomi 

Just about everything this title did tickled some part of my brain. Nostalgic old-school dungeon crawling goodness of my youth? Check. Satirical yet meaningful and interesting story? Check. Sharp visual and musical presentation? Check. Challenging, fun and addicting? Check, check and check.

Pierre-Yves - Runner-Up - Rise of the Third Power

Rise of the Third Power by Stegosoft Games for me is at the top of this year's list. This adventure had everything. Well written and thought out characters, story, events, excellent music and an amazing battle system that never got old. This was a shining example of a well thought out and executed title.

While sad when it ended, because of how good it was, the only thing left now is to wait and see what new amazing title Stegosoft Games comes out with next.

Pierre-Yves - Honorable Mention - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge by Tribute Games and Dotemu was so close to being #1 for the year. The Turtles were back, they had Splinter, April, Casey Jones and magically brought back bad guys from the cartoons and the movies all without missing a beat. 

Best part? The side scrolling beat 'em up gameplay was smooth and while it brought on that sense of nostalgia? It was designed by today's standards offering a super smooth experience. 

Susan - Runner-Up -  Brok the Investigator

This year my runner-up is none other than Brok the Investigator. This indie title is not just a game - it makes you think about certain ideas as you play, but does so in a way that is fun. Brok has a couple of different features that I absolutely love like using the ads as its in-game hint system, a simplistic combat system that doesn’t require the memorization of a thousand combos, and the switching between two characters to show how a relationship can be helped or hindered by daily actions. Honestly, the game impressed me so much that it had to be my runner-up.

Susan - Honorable Mention: V Rising

My honorable mention for the most memorable game is another vampire game - what a shock, I know. But I couldn’t wrap up 2022 without including V Rising. It is a mix of everything I’m looking for in a game like building, crafting, combat, and conquering the lands. You can hunt V Bloods to unlock buildings or abilities and each enemy increases its difficulty level when there are several players in the area. One of the other things I love about V Rising is the fact that you can also build your own castle! What’s also great is that you control the game’s pace which is a fact I appreciate. For me, it is memorable for many reasons like being able to vicariously make and live in my ULTIMATE CASTLE. Ahem Anyways, I absolutely adore V Rising so it needed to be on this list

Susan - Other Honorable Mention: Slime Rancher 2

My honorable mention for 2022 is Slime Rancher 2. Sure, it isn’t complete yet but how could we not love the slimes? They are adorable! And they constantly smile at you! What’s not great about that? (Especially in recent years…) Anyways, the moment I knew the game was coming out, I jumped out of my seat from excitement because I absolutely loved the first one. It’s no surprise that I needed to get the sequel. Besides, when you see the smile on the slime's faces, you will understand. They just can’t be denied! Sure, I may already have a ton of money from selling plorts, but I need more! Plus, it’s a fantastic game to play after a particularly tough day. Slime Rancher 2 is 100% another amazing guilty pleasure for me this year. Now stop reading this and go take care of the cuties!

Richard - Runner-Up - AI: The Somnium Files Nirvana Initiative

Sequel to AI: The Somnium Files, Nirvana Initiative takes everything I loved about the first game and brings it to the sequel. It's fun, full of interesting puzzles, and a lot of funny gag moments. Good times. Well, for the player, anyway.

Richard - Honorable Mention - Never Awake

An interesting take on the shooter/bullet hell genre where you actually earn powerups and equipable accessories throughout the game. A kind of gut punch story I wasn't expecting and smooth shooting mechanics make a solid game

Richard - Other Honorable Mention - Gunvolt 3

The Not-megaman we needed to bring a refreshing light to the megaman style games. Gunvolt 3 had an incredibly smooth style that I enjoyed all the way through. Seriously, pick up the whole series, it's great.


Our Games of the Year 2022 - Most Memorable

Sometimes a video game just sticks with you. Maybe it's a character you're particularly attached to, or a narrative you're wholly invested in. Sometimes it's just a catchy song or an addicting gameplay loop. Whatever it is, I'd wager every gamer has at least one title that lingered in their thoughts well after turning off the television and putting down the controller. 2022 provided plenty of those experiences for members of our team as well - here were some of our favorites.

Nick - Tactics Ogre: Reborn 

This one also had me feeling nostalgic. The Tactics Ogre series actually was a major part of my video gaming past. This is a remake of an already excellent game, somehow finding more ways to improve upon it. I bought it the day it came out and subsequently lost most of my weekend to it and I’m still going back for more. There's an excellent story, characters I care about, lovely music, throwback visuals and loads of depth to the turn-based strategic gameplay.

Richard - PowerWash Simulator

So soothing. Much cathartic. It just...feels good. The sense of accomplishment when you hear those Dings is just... mmm

Susan - Vampire: The Masquerade: Swansong

This year, the game that stuck out to me the most was Vampire the Masquerade: Swansong. As a vampire game, it will immediately stick out for me because the genre is intriguing to me for many reasons, but as a video game it stood out even more. For one thing, it has some prevalent scenes that I can never wash out of my brain. Another reason it stands out is because of some of its writing. There were points where I felt like the names and traits of the different clans felt hamfisted, and yet, I still enjoyed playing it. Plus, the three characters you play have different abilities. I found that it was entertaining to play multiple characters in a game where their actions intersect in a way that just works.

Pierre-Yves - The Legend of Heroes: Trails Form Zero

There's no hiding my love for Nihon Falcom's Trails (or Ys) series. Minimum 40 hour RPGs each, the characters, the combat, the music, they all blend in for memorable experiences that you just want more of. 

Actually an older title that has just recently seen a localization outside of Japan, and the sequel due out Spring next year, Trails From Zero would have been memorable all on its own. 

Thrown together as an experiment between being police officers and Bracers, a guild that takes requests from the people generally outside of the scope of authority like the police and the military, the Special Support Section had their work cut out for them. Starting out on their first day, this adventure will see plot twists and the deepening of friendships that we know will last as we see our cast again later down the line in the conclusion to the Trails of Cold Steel Series.

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