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Gaming Nexus' Jeremy Duff gives the weekly rundown of news and notable releases. This week features: Tembo: The Badass Elephnat from Sega for PC, Xbox One and PS4, the re-release of Journey for PS4, Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds Overdrive for PS4 and the Beta of Street Fighter V!
Rocket League - Review - PS4
by: Luke Horn - 07/17/15
Physics, Gravity, and Rocket League! I am certain that Newton had this game in mind when he said,“and to every action there is always an equal and opposite or contrary, reaction.” For me, as a gamer and online player, two of the most important things for a multi-player game to have are action and playability. Rocket League excels in both these categories and in doing so creates a highly addictive game. It is a follow up to a previous game from Psyonix called Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. Its aerial defying assaults, constant action and reaction, and turbo charged cars, keep you moving the entire time you are playing this game. You can have up to 8 gamers on multi-player mode, play an exhibition game or use the all new season mode. The game combines fast cars with a sport that is already in constant motion – soccer. Acceleration is an understatement. The point of the game, like most sports games, is to win. You chase around a giant soccer ball in a gravity defying car in order to score a goal. . It is such a simple but genius combination.
The motion and physics of the game creates an environment where the gamer becomes intoxicated by the fluid movement. I often found myself so caught up in the movement of the game that at first I was simply racing around attempting gravity defying flips and turns. Once I settled in, the real fun began – trying to score goals! When floating through the air or across the field, you start to become adept with the controls. A small tilt here, a turn there, a move at the wrong time or at the right time, and you either have the perfect moment and score or you find yourself hitting only air. You have to make quick decisions and impromptu moves throughout a match in order to both score a goal and be successful. The arenas provide even more ground to the already motion enhanced game as there are no boundaries. You can race up the walls, into the goals and even try to zip across the top of the arena.
Online play is at the heart of the game as it provides an opportunity to really look at the strategy of the game. In the single player modes, you really rely on an AI environment that is already providing its own cohesive strategy, which at times isn’t strategic at all. There will inevitably be at least one occurrence of your own teammate scoring on your goal. It seems to be a slight flaw in the single player modes. The depth of the game comes out in the multiplayer mode because you have to work together and figure out what type of collaboration will help you succeed. It isn’t so difficult that it is frustrating; in fact the games simple play makes this a fun part of Rocket League. The online portion is what keeps the game fresh and exciting. Who doesn’t like to brag over the mic when they score a side flipping, car spinning, turbo-blasting goal?
The game provides a robust selection of unlocks and boasts over 10 billion custom combinations for your Rocket League car. So for all you customization junkies, go forth and have fun. One of my favorite things was the heart thumping techno music as its fast paced motion provoking sounds mimic the game and was a perfect fit for its neon enhanced no boundaries arenas. The game virtually has no rules other than scoring. You can crash or destroy your opponent, go offsides, use every part of the arena and even run in and out of the goals or as in my case sometimes, drive upside down on it. Have fun! Rocket League is a blast, especially when you score a goal! No pun intended – ok maybe it was. See you online and as always - game on. I give 8.5 out of 10. Rocket League is developed by Psyonix and a review code was provided for this review.
Gaming Nexus' Jeremy Duff gives the weekly rundown of news and notable releases. This week features: Skullgirls: Second Encore and Rocket League!
Gaming Nexus' Travis and Rogue Gaming's Shelby Hunt, talk about day one highlights and what is on tap for day two.
ArcaniA - The Complete Tale - Review - PS4
by: Luke Horn - 05/22/15
In Arcania – The Complete Tale by Spellbound and publisher Nordic Games, tragedy, revenge and demonic forces give the game a meaningful, albeit classic storyline. It’s as if Romeo has come alive and is bent on revenge for the death of his pregnant Juliet.
The player starts off as a king gone mad who is plagued by demons and is out for world domination. A short play through and a few nominal fights later, the gamer gets to the hero of the story - a farmer who is madly in love with the hottest young woman in the village. He is trying to win the acceptance of her father by proving himself worthy with heroic deeds. While away on his adventures, the village, his love and his unborn child, are all slaughtered by a dark force. He is to be “nevermore” with his Juliet. Like all tragic lovers, he must garner his strength and set out on a journey of revenge.
Like most open world games, the player will find a common theme of quests that serve to level up the character. You can choose to simply follow the main plot lines thus moving the story along or you can accept multiple side quests. That is the beauty of open world games; you choose how much time you want to devote to the world. The thing to keep in mind is that in order to open other parts of the map you must eventually follow the main plot line, but that is pretty common in many open world games. Some people have called the game a bit too straight lined or linear. However, I disagree in the sense that all games have a main plot line that pushes them forward. That is nothing new to open world RPG games.
The graphics are sub-par but hey I am used to playing the big budget games like Dragon Age and Dying Light. I do appreciate the simple crafting methods that the game has as I am not one who likes to spend countless hours on a game trying to figure out the combinations of what works and what doesn’t work. I give them a big “Hell Yeah” for that choice of gameplay. That was one thing that always aggravated me about the Dragon Age series; I would spend painstaking hours on crafting. I am just not into the crafting aspect and appreciate the simple approach they took on this concept of the game. Like most RPG games you must work your way up to the big items by leveling up your character with the completion of both friendly and combative quests. Yes, in the beginning, it can be a big sluggish but for the most part it moves fast.
Arcania’s combat system is fun and at times what some might call pedestrian. I find its system to be refreshing in an ‘old school’ type of way. To me the combat system is one of the major draws of the game as it allows the player to fight fluidly and not have constant pauses during battle. You have to time your hits, block and know when to strike. It does provide a fun bash and slash atmosphere for the player and in some ways this aspect of the game becomes addictive. It doesn’t get lost in a multitude of controls. I enjoyed that aspect immensely as it allowed me to hone in on the fights and appreciate the combative gameplay.
As an open world game it obviously doesn’t have the big dollar budget but in some ways I respected that as it made me feel like I was an important part of the game and that the game actually needed me in it to be relevant. Its European aura was refreshing and I would recommend Arcania – The Complete Tale because one doesn’t have to dedicate a decade of their life to the game and ignore their friends and families for weeks to enjoy it. Cheers!Rating: 7 out of 10. A review code was provided for this story.
Tower of Guns Review - PS4
by: Luke Horn - 04/23/15
Tower of Guns by Terrible Posture Games is a quirky first-shooter game with turns and twists that makes one feel as if they have entered the mind of Erno Rubik himself. With each turn of the cube, or in this case the “tower”, one finds the internal architecture of the game randomly changes. This creates an ever shifting design for the player to traverse through. The random nature of the design feeds into the impromptu characters that you are presented with. You could end up being anything from a pizza delivery guy to a FBI agent in the form of a dog. The storylines provide a comedic feel to the gamer, if you decide to pay attention to it.
The simple gameplay makes me feel like I have a mouse in my hand instead of a controller. It is refreshing to not be overwhelmed with button mashing complexity. However, don’t let the simple design of the game fool you, it still is easy to die. It takes adroit hands and fast shooting to survive in the open spaces that the game forces you to fight in. The faster you move the better! The vile robots and bosses toss bullets, lasers, and even saws at you in an attempt to send you to your grave.
You start the game with anything from a Portable Pizza Thrower to a Peas-n Carrots pistol. As you kill your enemies they will drop various experience and currency orbs that will help you unlock hidden items and more powerful weapons such as the Absurditron 9000 or the XP Launcher. The more you play the game and the more you accomplish, the better the guns and perks you earn. Its unlock system reminds one of a mini Call of Duty setting. For example, in order to attain The Hedgehog one must kill 250 spikeball launchers. The games humoristic style continues with its perk system. As you advance in gameplay you will earn perks such as the Taco Terror and the Grease Pit.
As you are bouncing around trying to destroy your enemies, remember to look around. Concealed in the nooks and crannies of the rooms are secrets that one can find. The hidden power-ups, massive health badges and secret rooms, could be the difference between your success or demise. Without this aspect of the game you could easily be pulled into a mindless jumping and shooting that would take the title into a realm of irrelevance.
Like most FPS games the goal is to finish the levels and beat the boss. There are 5 levels with anywhere from 5 to 6 bosses to conquer. It typically takes anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes to play through. The cheap cost and low time investment play makes Tower of Guns an easy purchase. I am not a fan of low investment games but for those of you who are, this is a recommended buy. I give it 7.5 out of 10. A review code was provided for this report.
Dying Light Review - PS4
by: Luke Horn - 02/05/15
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Genre: Action Zombie Survival Game
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, and PC
There is a moment in-between the dying light of day and the approach of night that reveals the fear in the soul of man. Dying Light’s intriguing contrast of the day and night cycle brings about this idea. During the day you jump from balconies and rooftops trying to avoid the hordes of zombies while you scavenge and complete missions. You think to yourself, “this isn’t so scary”. However, when the light of day sets and you enter the night cycle super zombies known as Volatiles emerge. They immediately begin howling and instantly you know they carry your death. You have two options – run for safety or hide. Fear sets in.
Dying Light starts with an adrenaline filled first-scene and quickly becomes a slow burn. The opening scene has Kyle Crane, a secret government operative, jumping from a plane into the city of Harran – a fictional city set in ancient Turkey. His mission is to infiltrate the Tower and find a secret file which contains critical data about the zombie virus. He is immediately bitten and then saved by Jade Aldemir –the sexy heroine. She takes him to the tower where the prologue starts. The beginning of the game has moments of boredom as you begin to understand the mechanics which heavily revolve around parkour. I urge you to push through! As you pass the prologue and begin to bite into the game, you quickly realize the intrigue it possesses.
The weapons system is one of the most likeable and friendly parts of the game. As you collect weapons, you are introduced to an easy system of modifications and upgrades. As a gamer I found it refreshing that I didn’t get slowed down by a weapons creation system that you have to spend hours on. The cooperative mode was fluid and entertaining. Who doesn’t like bashing in zombie brains with their friends? It made me feel like I was starring in Shaun of the Dead with my besties. And the “Be the Zombie” mode was exhilarating as you can invade another gamer’s world as a Night Hunter zombie and try to kill them.
There are a few issues with the game. The mechanics of the parkour system are at times frustrating, the map can be confusing, the climbing of ridiculously tall obstacles can create gamer stress and the distance you have to cover can be annoying as there are no instant travel points.
So the question is to buy Dying Light or not to buy Dying Light? Yes it harkens to Dead Island and has smatterings of gameplay that remind you of Far Cry and Fallout. It has shortcomings and lacks deep characters. But shouldn’t gaming also be about entertaining gameplay and connecting with your friends? For me it is a must buy. I give it an 8.0. A review code for PS4 was provided for this report.