Nier Automata – First Impression Review.

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In an action-packed first quarter to 2017 for games, with such massive titles as Horizon Zero Dawn, Nioh, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mass Effect Andromeda, Platinum game’s sequel to a relatively unknown JRPG: Nier Automata was not the obvious choice to pick up. I had never played the original Nier and neither had I played the Drakenguard series that are Nier’s spiritual ancestor. Added to this, I have never really played any of Platinum’s catalogue either. So why did I choose this game to be my first game of 2017?

Something about Nier stood out for me during the early footage we were shown. It wasn’t the titillation of the scantily clad lead female, 2B, (though I won’t argue against it), and it wasn’t that I particularly like Japanese RPGs. What got me was the style. The aesthetics. The world. The androids were sleek and gothic, the robots strangely endearing and the ruined shell of humanity that formed the landscape was eerily beautiful. This caught my attention and, unlike many other AAA games, nothing came up to cast doubt in my mind. Continue reading

The Nintendo Switch Needs to Switch up Nintendo.

When Nintendo first announced the Switch I was excited. This kind of surprised me though since I have never really owned a Nintendo console. Sure, I’ve owned several handhelds from the Gameboy to the 2DS but they have literally just been dedicated Pokemon machines. We also had a household Wii that saw action with Wii Sports Resort and Link’s Crossbow Training but little else.

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The Switch was an interesting concept. A console/handheld hybrid sounded cool and the initial trailer was pleasantly devoid of any gimmicks beyond this portability. They were showing off Skyrim which suggested stronger links with third party developers and most of the actors were young adults instead of children. It looked like they were trying to market the Switch as a more matured console, still fun but aimed at the people closer to my own age who had grown up with Nintendo and still made up a massive portion of sales despite Nintendo’s drive to be a child-oriented company. Their move with the Wii U to add Bayonetta 2 to their exclusive list and include her in Smash Brothers was a step in the right direction so maybe they were learning. Continue reading

Gwent – Closed Beta First Impressions

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The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt was by far the best game that I have played in several years. I have put around 200 hours into the game by this point and a good number of those were lost to the addictive mini-game known as Gwent. As somebody that loves collecting things, the whole finding cards to collect them all was something that really drew me in and the card game itself was engaging and fun. When the great CD Projekt Red announced that they were releasing Gwent as its own game I was thrilled. As such, the second that I could I put my name down for the stand alone Gwent game’s closed beta.

So is this new Gwent just more of the same? The game as it was in The Witcher 3 (we’ll refer to this as W3G) was fairly basic and was stacked heavily in the player’s favour once they had collected a few cards. The standalone Gwent shares the same spirit and basic layout as W3G but has been reworked to better suit PvP play and extended deck building.  Continue reading

Dark Souls 3: Ashes of Ariandel – Review

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I never reviewed the base game for Dark Souls 3. I loved the game but felt like it was missing something. As such I wanted to wait for the DLC to be released in the hopes of it completing the excellent experience. So for reference, the base game would be a 9/10 for me.

So did the first DLC have what I was looking for? Sadly not. Playing AoA was a strange experience for me since I loved every second of it yet felt nothing but disappointment after about three hours. The reason being that I completed the it within that time. Barring one area where I fell off a tree a few times, I only died once to each of the DLC’s two bosses, and I am far from a good player. Most of the enemies were slow and weak bird fetuses and bloated flies. The bigger Vikings were a fun challenge and I hated the Edward Scissor Hand crows guy in a good way but that was really all of the enemy variety available. The same was true of the areas: they were beautiful and interesting but so short that I felt like a traveler walking straight through the scenes rather than actually visiting them. Continue reading

How my Most Anticipated Game of 2016 is a Dynasty Warriors Spinoff.

E3 came and went with an okay showing. There was nothing groundbreaking for me but a few smaller things caught my eye. The thing that drew most of my attention though was something that I never imagined that I would want. The announcement of a Musou style game set in the Berserk universe came out of the left field with enough force to stand out among the titans of Zelda, The Last Guardian and Horizon Zero Dawn among others. Continue reading

E3 2016 – Day One Round-Up

It’s that time of year again. E3, where games that have been known for weeks are announced and jazzy CGI trailers are flaunted to an enthusiastic audience that never seems to lean. To be fair though, I do enjoy seeing what all the developers are working on and the event does bring the gaming community together, whether by excitement or by cynicism doesn’t really matter.

Sunday started off the show with EA and Bethesda as the main headliners. There were no major announcements from either really. EA had some sports games. Just imagine any other sports games they’ve released, improve the graphics by 10% then remove 50% of the features and you’ll have a basic idea rather than me linking trailers or describing them. There was mostly trailers for known games like Mass Effect Andromeda, Battlefield 1 and Dishonored 2. Continue reading

Review: Overwatch

Overwatch is the hugely praised first person multiplayer shooter from Blizzard. It has been a massive talking point from its colourful characters, its Pixar quality animated shorts, its solid gameplay and its rampant use in porn. Some sing its praise while others see it as an overhyped Team Fortress 2 clone.

I don’t usually play FPS games. In fact the only one that comes to mind is the Halo series. I tend to prefer narrative driven RPGs but the vivid visuals and a strange longing for human interaction like in the days of early Halo 3 made me interested in Blizzard’s first venture into the genre. I played Overwatch in the open beta and have put a fair few hours into its release version. Continue reading