Tagged: game

This review is based of a physical copy of the game provided by the publisher. The Angry Birds Movie 2 VR: Under Pressure is available for $34.99 USD through retailers including AmazonBest BuyGameStop and Target.

While many argued the world would have to end before birds and pigs teamed up, it looks like that has happened sooner than we would have expected. While bonding over a common enemy – the eagles – the birds and pigs set out on an epic adventure, working together to man a submarine and dispatch hoards of eagle enemies.

Under Pressure VR doesn’t just create a single player experience however, as the company has leveraged the game into a great social experience, allowing one player to use the VR headset while the others assist, playing on the TV. On it’s own, Under Pressure VR isn’t doing enough to justify playing it solo – there are so many better solo VR experiences – but when I had the opportunity to bring both my kids into the action, we had a great time, for hours on end.

What’s important to know that, at least based on my experiences, no prior knowledge of what actually happens in the movie is necessary to play the game. While some things harken back to the source material, many online have indicated that it didn’t change their experience much, which is how video games tied to movies should be!

In VR and on the Screen

The VR player always serves as the captain of the submarine in Under Pressure VR, and that comes with a lot of responsibilities. For one, the captain is the only person who gets a full view of the ship, and what is going on across the entire play area. This includes the ability to look outside the ship and see what items could be floating in the water that could damage the submarine. The VR play actually mimics standard Angry Birds gameplay really well, as the captain serves as a catapult, shooting items – and even allies – around the ship to make sure things are maintained and points are scored.

The VR player will also haul in treasure that single screen players will need to deal with. And while this seems very simplistic, the difficulty increases quite quickly. Soon you will be balancing the need to refine treasure into bars for points, move bombs off the submarine, and much more. It’s a hectic game, but one that will make you laugh way more than you will cry.

Unfortunately, the difficulty of the levels soon pushed my kids out of the picture, and more experienced players had to be called in to complete some of the later missions. With only around 30 missions total, it’s probably quite obvious why things seem to get difficult, quickly.

Ultimately, however this game is great for young and old alike. While I would never recommend attempting to do this with only 1 extra friend on board, it is possible. However, I fully believe this game is best experienced with 3 other friends joining in on the action.

The Angry Birds Movie 2: Under Pressure VR is available now on PlayStation VR for 34.99 USD.

The Verdict

8Great

The Red Dead series finally debuts on PC

Ever since the game debuted on consoles, fans have anxiously awaited a PC release for Red Dead Redemption 2. In fact, they’ve been waiting for anything from the series to make its way to PC for years. The waiting has finally paid off though with the official announcement of Red Dead Redemption 2 PC, which will arrive a lot sooner than many anticipated. Fans only have one month more to wait.

(more…)

The Walking Dead VR game gets its first trailer

While The Walking Dead comics have ended alongside the Telltale created series, the franchise as a whole is far from dead. In fact, a new chapter seems to be dawning on Robert Kirkman’s mega popular zombie series. New releases are happening as the TV show enters a new phase and reinvents itself in a number of ways. And that trend continued today with the release of the first trailer and info for The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners which will arrive on VR platforms on January 23, 2020.

(more…)

The Legend of Zelda series has seen a number of different remasters over the years with some graphical and gameplay related improvements, but never before has the series actually had a full remake from the ground up that includes a complete visual redesign. Already having plenty of history with the franchise as a result of their development of the Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask 3D releases, as well as co-developing Tri-Force Heroes, Nintendo enlisted Grezzo to remake the fan favorite The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch.

Originally releasing back in 1993 for the Game Boy, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was later released for the Game Boy Color in DX form with a new dungeon and the addition of color. Since that time, the game had only been released on the Virtual Console and otherwise had been left alone. Even with the limited re-releases for the game, it has always remained a fan favorite in the series that pushed the limits of the Game Boy at the time.

The story starts with a beautifully animated cutscene that replicates the one from the original, where Link finds himself in the middle of a nasty storm that leads to him getting shipwrecked on Koholint Island. Link is found by Marin on the shore and brought to her house with her father Tarin. After starting the game and being instructed to find your sword, you will run into an owl who explains that you must gather the eight Instruments of the Sirens to awaken the Wind Fish before you can escape from the island.

In typical Legend of Zelda fashion, this means that you have eight main dungeons to explore, each of which will provide you with one of the instruments that you need to awaken the Wind Fish. There is more to the story that comes about much later in the game, but going further into that would really ruin the experience for anyone that has never played the original. Even outside of the main story, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening features a lot of great character moments, even from side characters you only interact with a time or two. This is something that the franchise has always done a great job with and this game definitely exemplifies that.

The original The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening featured your run of the mill Legend of Zelda art style, though it still had its own flare with the different characters and enemies. Rather than rebuild that style, Greezo instead decided to try something completely different with a very different art style for the characters that almost make them look like figurines. This was definitely a bit jarring at first to see, but it truly looks exceptional in action. The colors bouncing off of the characters and environments are vibrant and really fit in perfectly with this aesthetic.

One of the coolest inclusions in the original game that still remains today are the Nintendo cameos found in the game, especially from the Super Mario series. Throughout the game, you will run into enemy Goombas, Cheep Cheeps and even what are known as Anti-Kirbys. In addition, there are two major Chain Chomps found in the game that play a role in the game as friendly pets kept within Mabe Village. This is something that was exclusive to this game and it was great that Nintendo did not remove these really neat homages in the remake.

While The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening is a near perfect remake, it does have a couple issues related to draw distance and frame rate. When walking around, you’ll very quickly notice that the furthest areas on the screen to the north and south of you will have a blurry filter over them, which do not become clearer until you move more in that direction. This does not ruin the experience in any way, but there is no question that it can be a bit of an eyesore at first and definitely takes some getting used to while playing through the game.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening also features some frame rate issues when you are in certain parts of the game. While the game is meant to run at 60fps, you will see drastic drops down to 30fps at times when a lot is happening on screen. For a game that certainly does not push the limits graphically, you would think the framerate could maintain at a stable 60fps. Like with the aforementioned blurriness, this does not tarnish the experience too much considering it only happens occasionally, but it is something that should really not be a problem in a game like this.

Even with the framerate issues, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening retains the classic gameplay style that people know and love from the classic top-down Legend of Zelda games. Link always has his sword and shield at the ready, but also has two item slots that he can fill up with various items you collect in the game, such as Roc’s Feather, the Bow, and the Hookshot. There are also other items that you gain access to automatically after obtaining them, such as the Power Bracelets or the Pegasus Boots. This game has a good variety of different weapons and items to find here that aren’t any different from the original release, but there really was no need for new items here in the grand scheme of things.

As mentioned above, the game features eight dungeons for you to find and explore on your adventure to awaken the Wind Fish. Rather than just have you go to each of the dungeons and walking right in, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening requires you to complete other tasks ahead of time to be able to gain access. This can range from getting a key or item that you need to gain access to the dungeon or completing a sidequest that allows you inside, which almost makes it feel like you’ve started the dungeon even before you’ve entered it.

Once you get inside the dungeons themselves, you are treated with some really fantastic dungeon design in this game. There are the usual keys and dungeon items to find to advance further and eventually fight the boss, and of course you can’t have a Legend of Zelda game without some sort of water dungeon. Each of these dungeons feel distinctly different and often require some thinking on how to advance. Having the more intuitive map and compass can really help you when you get lost as well, with the compass now making a sound if a chest is nearby.

While the entire original game is fully intact here, including even the Color Dungeon from the DX version on Game Boy Color, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Nintendo Switch also adds something completely new to the experience as well with the Chamber Dungeons. By visiting Dampe, who fans of Ocarina of Time and a few other games should recognize, you can create your own dungeons in the game based on existing chambers that you can collect by playing through the game. There is even amiibo support here that adds a few exclusive rooms into the mix as well. It does feel like there could have been a bit more done here to make it feel more customized in design, but that can be saved for a Super Mario Maker like spinoff one day.

It would be hard to truly call The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening a hidden gem since it has always been a very popular title in the series, but there is no question it has not garnered the fanbase of games like A Link to The Past and Ocarina of Time due to its handheld only roots. That has now changed with the latest release on the Nintendo Switch, where the game has been replicated to near perfection along with new colorful visuals and multiple quality of life changes that make The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening on Switch a pure joy to play.

The Verdict

The Legend of Zelda series is known for its quality across both consoles and handhelds, with the latter often standing out for their uniqueness within the franchise as a whole. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a shining example of that on the Game Boy and once again proves why it deserves to be talked about among the best in the series with its remake on the Nintendo Switch.

The Verdict

10Perfect

The Good: US Release Date: September 20, 2019
Reviewed On: Nintendo Switch

Not a huge year for sweeping changes

There have been a lot of changes to FIFA in recent years… at least that’s what EA’s been telling us on the yearly.  No, there really have been some pretty large improvements to the way that players control the ways that they play off of each other more realistically.   READ OVERVIEW

There have been a lot of changes to FIFA in recent years… at least that’s what EA’s been telling us on the yearly.  No, there really have been some pretty large improvements to the way that players control the ways that they play off of each other more realistically.  Though these last few installments have seen EA trying to wrangle with these newer, more realistic controls and the results have been mixed.  The FIFA games have still felt great, but it’s clear that there’s some fine-tuning to be done.  With FIFA 20, this is yet another year where things seem like they are in-flux when it comes to the feel of the game, while offering many game modes for fans to sink their teeth into.

Volta in itself is a pretty deep mode and a nice change of pace

The core modes that you’ve come to expect from FIFA games are here in FIFA 20, but with it comes a brand new Street football mode called Volta, and within that mode itself you’ve got plenty to chew on as well.  Volta is somewhere between the realistic traditional pitch-based matches of FIFA and something out of the EA Street series.  Controls have been made a little easier on offensive players across the board to make this a more enjoyable, arcade-like experience.  While the addition of Volta does make FIFA 20 standout from FIFA 19, it doesn’t necessarily feel like a game changer, or something that’ll drag you kicking and screaming away from the fan-favorite Ultimate Team or Career Modes.  It’s a nice addition and a fully-fleshed out experience, but it’s mileage will vary on the player.

Volta itself has multiple parts to it.  Basically this mode is taking over for The Journey.  The good news is that it’s a fairly short story mode that is essentially an underdog story.  At this point, it feels like a boilerplate story mode when it comes to sports games.  Once it’s over (5-6 hours), you’ll be able to participate in the Volta League or the Volta Tour.  Here you’re playing these street matches against other players and squads online.  These modes will all introduce different types of Volta Football to the player.  There are 5v5, 4v4, and 3v3 matches and they all play somewhat differently to one another.  Some matches have walls involved in the game.  Some matches don’t have goal keepers and defensive players fall back to block shots on goal with their bodies.  Volta is somewhat enjoyable and a change of pace, but as we said above it’s probably going to be acquired taste.  If you do get into it, there’s plenty of customization that you can unlock when playing through this mode.

EA continues to shower Ultimate Team with love and affection

Like every sports game of the past 3-4 years, it feels like most of the love went into the Ultimate Team Mode.  EA’s bread and butter microtransaction playground hasn’t changed all that much.  A new system of Season Objectives have been added to the mode which functions similarly to something like a free Battle Pass.  Earn XP by completing different challenges within the mode and you’ll level up and earn card packs along the way.  There are some personalization options and rewards that do change up the customization systems of Ultimate Team as well, but it’s really small steps forward for Ultimate Team.  FUT still feels like it’s pay to win.  You can purchase cards which you can use online and that’s enough said on that.  This isn’t anything new, Ultimate Team has been like this for quite some time and it doesn’t appear to be going anywhere because people keep buying the card packs.

FUT is not a bad mode to dip your toes into before the grind sets in.  You’ll be given enough coins and loaners to have fun for a bit, before you realize the realities of the mode.  FUT isn’t all about grinding as they have added some quality of life features to the friendlies in FUT.  You can now play against friends, online or in single player with no consequences to your squad.  This is definitely a nice addition for those who want to use their squad for some “just for fun” matches.  That fun has some unique modifiers included in it as well.  This includes Mystery Ball, King of the Hill, Max Chemistry, and Swaps modes.  Each have unique impacts on the friendly match.

Career Mode improvements don’t feel like they improve the game much

Of course there are some other ways to play FIFA 20.  If you want to avoid all of this you can stick to the offline Career Modes for player and GM.  You can play UEFA Champions League, Tournaments, and more.  Career in itself continues to be a robust offering even if it is beginning to feel somewhat neglected at this point.  Despite the inclusion of press conferences and other story-lite features , it all just feels a little canned.  Supposedly these conferences and events throughout your career are shaped by the data that’s accumulated while playing the game, in real time, to give you numerous potential scenarios depending on your playstyle, it feels pretty boilerplate.  There aren’t that many new things you’ll notice in the Career Modes for FIFA 20, other than some smaller things like the environments or backdrops for negotiations and the league user interface.

Still, on the pitch is where it matters most and in the full length games, regardless of which mode you’re playing (aside from Volta), the on the field action is still the best on the market.  FIFA has not lost its crown with FIFA 20.  While there are other places to play football, this is still the best and most robust offering for fans.  The aforementioned improvements to the way that players interact with each other on the pitch is still impressive, maybe more than ever in FIFA 20.  Games flow more realistically.  AI reacts both when on offense and on defense in realistic manners.  The days of FIFA being a cheese factory are probably limited as timeless oldies like dribbling up one side of the pitch over and over again, repeatedly crossing for goals just doesn’t work anymore.  It’s more about setting up big moments and finishing them with great strikes.  Playing and beating your defender with Strafe Dribbling or figuring out the disturbingly realistic (sometimes) *new ball physics system.

That’s already been a selling point for the game in the last couple of iterations.  We’ve been inching closer and closer to more realistic football for quite some time, but this year we see a game that starts to push even further into realism and away from the fun arcadey nature of the franchise’s roots.  Both have their appeal, but this year if you want a more arcade style approach it’s going to be Volta, where the proper matches will feel a little bit slower and realistic.

The Verdict

FIFA 20 is another lateral year for the franchise.  In terms of visuals and presentation you’re not going to see huge leaps and bounds.  On the gameplay front, you’re going to have a more defensive focused experience that continues to dial up the realism in terms of AI intelligence and physics.  In terms of modes, Volta is a pretty big thing for the franchise.  It feels like you’re playing an entirely different brand of football in the mode, giving you a reprieve from any of the other core modes.  Just how much you enjoy this aspect of FIFA 20 will likely make you feel one way about the game, or another.

The Verdict

9Amazing

The Good: Available On: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
US Release Date: September 27th, 2019

When is competent good enough?

Dead by Daylight has made the move over to the Nintendo Switch. Behaviour Interactive did the port themselves in-house, but not every developer possess the arcane wizardry of a Panic Button. Behaviour has been criticized… READ OVERVIEW

It’s about damn time.

In the PlayStation State of Play, a new Last of Us Part II trailer was revealed.  It had a lot to show, but we finally have a release date.

The Last of Us Part II will debut February 21, 2020.

The trailer showed off more of the story, in which Elli loses her lover to a group of what appear to be bandits. It’s implied they belong to a larger organization, as Elli leaves safety to exact her revenge. We were given glimpses into combat, new clicker variants (giants completely covered in fungus), and the return of Joel, looking gray-haired and world weary. The game looks stunning, and it’s apparent Naughty Dog have been pouring their heart and soul into this sequel. If Part II is anything like the first game (and this trailer is anything to go by), Part II will be a dark game where the humans are worse than the monsters they are trying to survive. Expect gruesome combat, difficult choices for our main cast to work through, and a whole lot of depressing events. All of which playable on February 21, 2020.

You know, exactly what fans would want out of The Last of Us Part II. We’ll share more info as it comes, but for now we at least know when the damn thing is dropping.

It’s hard to copy what makes Dark Souls so special.

Anime Dark Souls is the term that’s been thrown around when describing Code Vein leading up to its release.  It’s a game from the creators of God Eater which takes the art style of that franchise and places players into a post-apocalyptic world to navigate with a rule set that’s largely been aped from the Dark Souls series. READ OVERVIEW