Atelier Firis: The Alchemist and the Mystery Journey (Playstation 4 Review)

Atelier Firis: The Alchemist of the Mystery Journey is the 33rd Atelier title, the 18th in the annual main series, and 2nd in the Mysterious series of Atelier games. Atelier is a long-running franchise that centers itself on alchemy, established back in 1997. Firis took a while to get to us in the west, but here it is! Sadly, the extra four months between the English release and the original Japanese launch wasn’t enough to produce more than a half-baked localization, but how was the game itself?
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Shift Happens (Xbox One Review)

Every few years, something special happens. A diamond in the rough comes along and reinvigorates a fatigued genre. A golden piece of software enters the arena and grabs gamers by the eyeballs, forcing them to take note of its sheer brilliance. Unfortunately, Shift Happens isn’t one of those things.
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Forma.8 (Playstation 4 Review)

Forma.8 was not what I expected it to be. Marketed as a Metroidvania action-adventure, Forma.8 follows the classic structure of its forebearers by rewarding exploration with new powers that allow for further discoveries. The developers, MixedBag, have eschewed tutorials and objective signposting in favour of just letting the player figuring things out for themselves. There is no dialogue, or even much of a plot beyond the introductory cutscene which shows your adorable little probe droid crashing into the surface of an unknown planet in search of a nebulously-defined energy source. What narrative there is falls to the player’s interpretation as they explore the ruins left behind by whoever or whatever came before. Journey is the obvious touchstone here: Forma.8 echoes the former’s theme of gentle exploration in a broken world, all set to an ambient soundtrack.
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NieR: Automata (Playstation 4 Review)

NieR: Automata is a sequel that nobody expected, but here it is. Since the first Drakengard game, director Taro Yoko has continued to create games that sell so poorly that you would expect each to be the final of the series. Despite that, Drakengard now spans five games when you include its spinoff series, NieR.
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For Honor (Xbox One Impressions)

After receiving For Honor to review, I planned to pour countless hours into perfecting my sword swings and diving into what the game had to offer. It seemed like the kind of game I had always wanted from the Deadliest Warrior titles; more realised and more honed. Yet I felt disconnected, both literally and emotionally, from For Honor.
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Battlecrew Space Pirates (PC Preview)

Battlecrew Space Pirates (BcSP) is an indie action game with competitive online play. BcSP involves you and your crew facing off against an opposing crew to see who is the best. I know that sounds like the story of Step Up (insert integer greater than 1), but alas it is the name of the game for Battlecrew Space Pirates. Being called a space pirate is a dream for anyone who is a fan of any kind of Sci-Fi (that involves space) and I am no different. However, in BcSP it loses its cool factor, its badassery, as we are all space pirates. So should you allow Battlecrew Space Pirates to plunder your wallet, or should you send it on a long walk down a short plank?
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Torment: Tides of Numenera (Xbox One Initial Impressions)

I was saddened when the world of video gaming moved away from the Isometric RPGs I grew up with. Games like Fallout and Baldur’s Gate would go on to start a 20 year affair with Dungeons and Dragons. The fact the genre is making something of a resurgence is brilliant, with Pillars of Eternity setting the pace. There’s an exciting new sheriff in town, coming off the back of an immensely successful Kickstarter, and it’s called Torment: Tides of Numenera. So, I went hands-on before launch to see what’s what.
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Torment: Tides of Numenera (PS4 Review)

There are plenty of games that pass us by on a weekly basis, time is often limited and squeezing in another title seems impossible with a full time job and other time constraints. We can sometimes miss those crystalline diamonds in the rough that go down as cult classics and even those that shape new genres. I say this because, unfortunately, I was one of the few who never got to appreciate Planescape: Torment back in 1999. Though I doubt my feeble mind would be able to grasp the complexity of Planescape’s narrative driven mechanics back in the day, now I feel I’m more than adequate to give it a bash…or at least its spiritual successor Torment: Tides of Numenera.
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Chime Sharp (Xbox One Review)

Twistplay are back with the sequel to the much-loved music puzzler, Chime Sharp. For those of you new to the Chime series, Chime is a music puzzle game that uses Tetris style blocks to make quads, minimum 3×3 blocks, to cover as much of a levels grid before the time, or your lives, run out. The more of the grid you cover the more of that levels music will play.
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Halo Wars 2 (Xbox One Review)

RTS games on home consoles are a rare thing, in fact they might be one of the rarest genres in general. With games like Starcraft and Command & Conquer perfecting the formula in the early years and every subsequent title in the genre is faced with the insurmountable odds of tackling a game that has become a national sport in Korea and the other occupying our nostalgia. A few years back I fell in love with such a game; Halo Wars. Burning out like a star in the midnight sky, Halo Wars’ impact was fleeting but stayed with me for longer than it probably should. And now, finally, Ensemble Studios’ legacy lives on in Halo Wars 2 with Creative Assembly.
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Berserk and the Band of the Hawk (PS4 Review)

As a fan of Berserk I am used to waiting; between issues and for an adaptation that extends beyond the Golden Age Arc, so when Koei Tecmo announced a few delays and a large gap between the Asian and European release of Berserk and the Band of the Hawk it was expected. Hoping that, just like Kentaro Miura, Omega Force would deliver. And they did, to an extent.
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Nioh (PS4 Review)

You’ll most likely have heard that Nioh is, simply put, a Dark Souls clone. Although Nioh does draw influence from the Souls series, it is far more than a striaght clone of From Software’s flagship franchise. Nioh has the tenacity to hold your attention through its story of real world -although slightly embellished- events that took place in feudal Japan. Mix this with Team Ninja’s own frantic combat essence, a throwback to the glory days of Ninja Gaiden, and you have yourself a tactile and visceral brawl through a world brimming with intrigue.
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Vertical Drop Heroes HD (Xbox One Review)

While Vertical Drop Heroes HD(VDHHD) has been available on Steam since July 2014, it’s finally making its way to the Xbox One. I was a big fan of the game when I first played it on PC, so I was keen to go hands on with the Xbox version before its launch.
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Semispheres (PS4 Review)

If you haven’t realised by now, I’m a pretty big fan of puzzle based games. This is why I’m here to talk about Semispheres, a new meditative parallel puzzle game by Vivid Helix.
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Sniper Elite 4 (Xbox One Review)

Somewhere, deep inside Sniper Elite 4 there is an allegory for 2017. The natural escalation of how to deal with Nazis and their rhetoric; with a clean entry wound as opposed to the sloppy punch delivered on national television. It’s a great game that captivates the player and takes them back to a time where we were proud to stand against Nazis. A time in which the meeting of minds between our elected leaders was a thing of hope as opposed to a near Twilight Zone farce – or an episode of Black Mirror, feel free to pick whatever show suits your dystopian future paradigm.
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Top 10 Tips for Nioh Beginners

Look, there’s a rumour going around that you’re struggling with Nioh. We are not going to say who started it, or confirm that it involves you crying for several hours on end in the corner of the room rocking back and forth. It’s just not our style. We wouldn’t do that to you. To hold your weak moments against you in this time of despair, instead we are going to lend you a wee helping hand.
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Uncanny Valley (Xbox One Review)

Uncanny Valley presents itself as an entity of fear. Fear of our past coming back to haunt us, fear of not being able to escape our daily routine, and ultimately our fear of the unknown. Cowardly Creations set’s out to deliver a story that not only startles the player through use of typical horror themes, but to evoke a sense of unease through the “uncanny valley” of our own creations.
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Knee Deep (Xbox One Review)

Knee Deep is a game that follows in the immensely successful footsteps of Telltale Games’ episodic format, where storytelling and dialogue reign supreme. Action takes a back seat as you’re transported to Cyprus Knee, a dingy backwater town in Florida. There’s an instant difference between Knee Deep and other similar games though; Like Super Mario Bros 3, you’re acting out a play.
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Resident Evil 7: Biohazard (Xbox One Review)

The Resident Evil franchise has been going through a bit of an identity crisis lately. With Resident Evil 6 being a huge departure for the franchise’s horror roots and “transforming” the series into a Michael Bay-esque action movie – inducing a “more flair than scare” mentality. And up creeps Resident Evil 7 out from within the shadows to try and revitalise what the series had lost, re-inventing the wheel by taking similar gameplay elements from popular games like Outlast or Alien Isolation. Trading in the the over the top set pieces for a familiar more intimate locale, switching the player’s view to a fixed FPS mode; ditching the over the shoulder camera made popular by Resident Evil 4. All in the hopes of realising Capcom’s goal of putting the Resident Evil franchise back on track to being the king of survival horror games.
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Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers (PS Vita Review)

When KoeiTecmo first announced a new Dynasty Warriors RPG back in early 2016, the community responded with a resounding “Huh?” While the idea of more Musou goodness was great, most of us were unsure it would translate into the turn-based strategy role-playing format that they were promising, especially given how much Omega Force have perfected the 1 vs. 1000 feel of their flagship franchise over the past 15 years. Not that Koei Tecmo were unfamiliar with this style of game, with past releases such as Dynasty Tactics, Kessen, Saiyuki: Journey West and the Eikestuden series (after which this new Shin Sangoku Musou title is named in Japan), but it has been a while. Since their last outing Fire Emblem has quite confidently cornered the market. That said, Dynasty Warriors: Godseekers is a pretty well-crafted addition to the SRPG catalogue.
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The Town of Light (Xbox One Review)

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The lights have gone dim.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward (Playstation 4 Review)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

We are definitely going towards heaven with this one guys. 100% sure of it.

Tokyo 42 (Xbox One Review)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May has been quite the month, if you’re a fan of Mode 7 games, bookended by two major events. At the start of the month, Twitter entered meltdown…

Tekken 7 (Playstation 4 Review)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Katarina wine mixer.