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Posted in Recent Games

Gang Beasts

I cannot shut up about Gang Beasts. I tell all my friends about it. I tell them how much they need to get it so that we can play this ridiculously hilarious game.

So what is it exactly? It’s simple enough to explain – it’s a fighting game! But we’re not talking about combos, health bars, special moves, any of that. This is a bunch of, what I could best describe as clay dolls thrown into incredibly precarious arenas, with the goal of duking it out until only one is left standing.

There’s no tutorial either, you’re either going to have to figure it out on your own or look up the controls online, and it’s kind of surprising to see how many different things you can do. Punching, kicking, headbutting, grabbing, lifting, even drop-kicking … these are the moves that you have at your disposal, and somehow you must dispose of the other contenders!

You could try to be smart and use the environment around you to your advantage. As I mentioned before, the stages are perilous – many things are breakable, and sometimes brains beat brawn in this game. When fighting on the stage that consists of two cargo containers suspended in the air, you could try to fight everyone and knock them off the edge … or you could climb the cables and actually split them to cause the container to fall taking all the brawlers below with it. But then sometimes the best thing to do is just knock someone out by punching them in the head and throw them off the stage.

Maybe I’m just easily amused but I just find Gang Beasts to be absolutely hilarious. There’s something about watching these tiny figures ragdoll around these precarious stages which is just so entertaining to me – and this is definitely helped by the variety of costumes that you will see. You have the option to dress up your little fighter, and this is an option that most people gratefully use. There are many, many clothing options available … even animal onesies! I actually like cats a lot, so can you tell me why I find so much joy in picking up someone in a cat suit and throwing them off a ledge?

There are a few different game modes for variety’s sake as well. Melee is the standard mode where you all battle it out to be the sole survivor. Gangs puts you into teams to accomplish the same goal. Waves puts you all on the same side but pits hoards of AI opponents against you. Football … well, it’s football!

Honestly there isn’t a whole lot to say about this game. It’s small, it’s fun, play it with strangers, play it with friends, just enjoy yourself!


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 12/12/2017 (PC, PS4), 27/03/19 (Xbox One),
  • Genre: Party Brawler
Posted in New Games

Animal Crossing: New Horizons


Eight long years we have had to wait, but Animal Crossing: New Horizons is finally here, but was it worth the wait? Anyone who has played will most likely join me in saying … Yes. Without a doubt, absolutely yes.

New Horizons is Animal Crossing as we have never known it before. Previously we have been a new villager in an existing town, New Leaf had us become the mayor of the town which brought some innovative new possibilities to the gameplay, so how does New Horizons build from this? It does so taking you right to the very beginning of it all!

You have opted in to Tom Nook’s brand new deserted island package, where you and two animal villagers have decided to settle down on a deserted island, giving you the opportunity to build a new town completely from scratch. I don’t think I can remember any other game that provided such a chilled out experience right from the beginning of the game! The first several days will serve as your sort of tutorial while new features are brought to your attention one at a time, alongside all the regular features that Animal Crossing fans have come to love and expect.

You will need to play each day for several days to get through this tutorial before the game can really start in earnest. This will include learning about the new crafting mechanic, collecting materials around the island in order to make your own tools, handing in bugs and fish that you catch which will bring Blathers to the island, and there is plenty more to do after that.

It is so satisfying to see the Animal Crossing world on the Switch, with stunning visuals – the animals all look spectacular with their fur textures, the water looks beautifully serene, and even has waves crashing against your cliffs! And it’s not just visual improvements that we’ve been treated to, there’s lots of practical improvements too! Previously you would need to get your hands on some sort of storage furniture to be able to be organised and store things away … but now every house has closet space for you to fill up as you see fit! Do you own a mirror? Well if you do, you can change your appearance whenever you want! How about a wardrobe? No need to put on items of clothing one at a time, trying to figure out a good outfit – you can now look in your wardrobe and take part in some sort of point and click fashion show, with poses that really make it as adorable and charming as you would expect from Animal Crossing.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that so far I am pretty much in love with this game already, and we’ve only just got started! A new layer of life has been given to the villagers, as they interact with the world around them much more. Previously you would either find them at home, or wandering about the island aimlessly, perhaps holding a tool to insinuate that they were doing something. But they’re going to be a lot busier from now on! Head into their homes and they might just be busy crafting something, or if you find them outside they could be exercising in the plaza, sitting on the beach and relaxing, or even sat down reading a book! One of the excellent new features is that you can freely place furniture and items around your island, as opposed to just in your home. It’s never been easier to make the town your own! We even have the luxury of being able to build fencing around our island – once you collect some recipes for them, you can craft them and start plonking them down to make yards, walkways, whatever you want with them!

One of the best new features is the online accessibility: it is by no means a new development to be able to visit your friends’ towns, but it has never been easier, and furthermore you can now have up to 8 people on an island at once! I have had a great time with my friends so far, visiting their islands, seeing what villagers they have, sharing resources, catching bugs and fruit together.

Speaking of fruit, there is finally a reason for you to actually eat fruit instead of just selling anything you get your hands on. Remember when you were told as a child to eat your fruit so you could become big and strong? Well New Horizons takes that message to a whole new level! Eat your fruit so that you can be instantly strong enough to dig up an entire fully grown tree with your shovel, and plant it somewhere else entirely! No longer must we wastefully chop down trees if we find it to be “in the way” or “unsightly” … wait, is that just me? I like my town to look nice okay!

Tom Nook has outdone himself with the Nook Miles program – there are many achievements that you can get, and in return you will receive Nook Miles! These can be exchanged for a wide variety of things – extra inventory space, DIY recipes, special items and clothing, and plenty more. It’s the perfect way to encourage players to take part in everything the game has to offer!

There is a lot more to say about this amazing game, but I suppose that will come in time! Animal Crossing is a game to be played a day at a time, and so I haven’t yet come across all the amazing features that New Horizons has to offer.


  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 20/03/2020
  • Genre: Casual Life Simulator

Posted in New Games

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX – Demo Talk

Wow, that is quite the lengthy title isn’t it? I’ll admit I have to keep looking it up to make sure I’m getting it in the right order!

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon! I imagine there are plenty of Poké-fans out there who have never ventured into this little spin off series. Let me be the first to tell you, that if this is you … you are missing out!

DX is a remastered Switch version of the original Red and Blue Rescue Team games that released on Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS respectively. Red was the first one that I got my hands on, and I was so impressed with everything about it that I made sure to buy any future Rescue Team title (and so far I have never been let down).

So here’s the premise. You’re a human. You have somehow managed to enter the world of Pokémon — but not the world where they are captured by trainers, a world without humans! You will answer a personality test which will then determine what Pokémon you are from a small list of potential candidates. Historically, you would be stuck with whatever the result is, but in recent titles (DX included) you are offered the chance to decline and choose for yourself. You then pick your partner Pokémon and it’s time to get started!

Once all the intro to the game is out of the way, you will find yourself forming a rescue team with your partner. You will spend the game journeying to the randomly generated mystery dungeons, where Pokémon have been driven wild by natural disasters, rescuing lost Pokes, defeating boss Pokes, picking up loot and fighting the wild Pokes as you go.

I have so many fond memories of playing this as a child, I can’t wait to get this on the Switch. The demo allows you to play out the first few days of your adventure, giving you just enough of a taste for what DX is all about.

One thing that I feel will be slightly controversial is the style of graphics used. Personally, I’m actually undecided. When I first heard about this remaster, my gut reaction was to hope for something along the same lines as the Link’s Awakening remake, with a diorama/clay model feel. I felt like that would be a cute and appropriate style for the series. Instead a simplistic style which is almost sketch-like has been used, and while it’s a long way from what I originally hoped for, I can see a certain charm to it. I’m sure I’ll be used to it, and even happy with it, as I play more of the game. Hopefully anyone else in a similar situation will also learn to love it.

Although the graphics might be questionable for some, I’m sure many would agree with me when I say that the soundtrack couldn’t be any better! The Mystery Dungeon series has always had strong soundtracks, and there’s no exception to be made here. Hearing music that was once made for a system as old as the Gameboy Advance revitalised for modern systems is always a treat!

For anyone who has not tried the series before, I seriously suggest downloading this demo and seeing what you think of it. It’s a lot of fun, it has so much charm, and even a surprising amount of challenge!


  • Platform: Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 06/03/2020
  • Genre: Casual Adventure
Posted in New Games

Greedfall

Here we have a game that sort of appeared out of nowhere for me – I hadn’t heard anything about it until maybe a week or so before release, and I was intrigued enough to do a little digging, and impressed enough to preorder it.

Greedfall is a fascinating take on what colonial times would be like in a fantasy setting. You are De Sardet, a noble of one of the continent’s great nations, and you set out on a voyage to a new land, where colonisation has already begun. You will face exotic beasts, native tribes, and other nations who have settled on the shores of the island.

The combat is something that in particularly enjoy, as it offers a lot of fluid choices, and certainly some challenges in places. As you level up, you will be able to invest points in your skill tree, and you probably won’t be shocked to hear that the tree is roughly divided into a sort of Warrior/Rogue/Mage categorisation. Greedfall allows you to have two melee weapons set, and a gun always available to use, so you have the potential to create a truly well-rounded character. You can have a magical ring set as one weapon to cast spells, then at the press of a button swap to your melee weapon to allow your mana to recharge. You will also need to dodge or parry to survive, as some of the native creatures are particularly deadly… Luckily you are able to take two companions with you as you travel the island, so you won’t be on your own against these perils!

There is some strategy that goes into leveling up, as on certain levels you also get Attribute Points and Talent Points. The former are spent in De Sardet’s Agility, Strength, Endurance, Willpower, Mental Power, and Accuracy. Assigning points into these attributes will allow you to equip the best equipment as you progress through the game. The Talent Points are used to further De Sardet’s vigor, charisma, science, lockpicking, craftsmanship and intuition. Each is important in its own way, such as vigor which allows you to regenerate health and mana quickly outside of combat and gives you access to secret areas through climbing and balancing across certain obstacles. Science is also a good one to invest in early, as a single point in science allows you to explore weakened walls to access even more areas!

Without a doubt I have been fascinated by the plot – as much as I love Fantasy RPGs in general, there’s no denying that storylines can often mirror each other in certain aspects. It’s interesting to experience this colonial fantasy adventure, mixing a fascinating period of human history with an excellent and imaginative genre. Instead of medieval huts, peasants, and dragons, we have native settlements, colonial cities, rising tensions, and even wars.

Something that I always admire is the work that goes into creating a fictional tribe. The natives of Teer Fradee have their own language, and a particularly thick accent when speaking in the common tongue, even with occasionally bad grammar as you might expect from a native tribe learning a new language. These are the special kind of details that make a world feel convincing and alive.

As much as I like Greedfall, it isn’t without its flaws. Probably the most glaringly obvious of these flaws is the unfortunate fact that some of the settings do feel somewhat copy and pasted. Maybe there was just one architect on the island at the time, but all of the new cities have within them Palaces, taverns, barracks, all with perfectly identical layouts. Even the settlements of the island’s various tribes of natives have identical lodging for their Chiefs – down to the last stone! It’s sad that this is the case as the rest of the world seems to have been so painstakingly crafted, these copied details just chip away at my immersion into this world. My only other gripe is the companion quests – upon accepting a quest from one of your companions, they will be locked into your party until you have completed all stages of that quest. It’s a pretty minor complaint, but it bugs me as I’m usually one for accepting lots of quests and then working through them in whatever order I like – preferably without having to be worried about my party members being locked in.

It’s certainly not the longest game, but there is still the potential for you to sink quite a lot of time into it, and I have had a lot of fun while dedicating my time to it.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release Date: 10/09/2019
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG

Posted in Recent Games

Friday The 13th: The Game

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. I love horror. Although Friday The 13th had a fairly buggy start, it was an instant hit with me. Most of you will likely know the general idea of what the movies were about… masked killer, hangs out at camp, tends to get a bit stab-happy. Naturally it won’t be for everyone, but for horror junkies like me, few things beat the adrenaline as you run into the darkness with Jason Vorhees hot on your heels! I should point out, that would more than likely be a lot less enjoyable in real life.

As you probably guessed, Friday The 13th: The Game is a horror survival game, unless you are chosen to play as Jason, in which case it’s a rather unsettling simulation of things that should absolutely not be done in reality. Once the game starts, a small cutscene plays that … well, let’s say it announces Jason’s arrival. All the camp counsellors scatter across the map and now you must do what you can to survive! If you live for a whole 20 minutes, manage to call the police and escape to them, drive or sail away by car or boat, or manage to pull off the incredibly difficult and coordinated task of killing Jason, then you win. So of course, if Jason catches you and makes you see the light… well, better luck next time!

Of course, nothing is so simple that you can escape just like that. Want to call the police? You have to locate the one hut in the whole map that has a phone, which will have a busted fuse box, so you must find the fuse, fix the box, call the police, wait for them to arrive, get to the exit point, and pray Jason doesn’t stand between you and the police cars. Maybe you think driving is easier? Well first you better find the car battery, install that, then find fuel to top up the car, not to mention you need the car key, and then drive to safety without Jason appearing in the road and smashing your car to a halt. Maybe you just want to try to survive for the whole 20 minutes? Well good luck with that! If you do pull it off, maybe go buy a lottery ticket.

You’re not entirely defenseless though, so make sure you always keep an eye out for handy tools. You can find pocket knives which will allow you to escape Jason’s grasp, firecrackers which you can drop to stun him, weapons which you can swing at him and hope he gets knocked down, and bear traps that you can strategically place and hope that Jason gets caught before one of your fellow counsellors stumble into it.

There’s also some customisation – you can choose from a number of different counsellors and killers to play as. The counsellors all have different stats to bear in mind, and the killers have different strengths and weaknesses in what they can and can’t do. The counsellors can be customised with different clothes and perks which will give them various benefits, and the killers can be customised with special executions – handy if you’re the kind of person who really likes to show off your Jason skills.

If you ask me, this is the perfect game to either sit down with some fellow horror-loving friends, turn off all the lights, and take it in turns to survive the night, or to play online with your friends on voice chat, trying your best to work together to escape Jason’s clutches!


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 26/05/2017 (Switch 13/08/19)
  • Genre: Survival Horror
Posted in Recent Games

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

If you were to ask me to describe The Witcher 3 in as few words as possible, I would know exactly what to say.

It’s a commitment.

Without a doubt this is one of my favourite RPG games out there, but it is not to be taken lightly. The Witcher 3 boasts an enormous open world with so much to explore, a wealth of characters to meet and assist, many beasts and monsters for you to defeat, and a rich lore that truly gives the impression that you are in a living, breathing world.

I first got my hands on game in 2015, and I sunk a fair number of hours into it, before getting distracted by other games .. I made a second attempt to tackle the game in 2016, where I met the same distracted fate… fast forward to 2020, and the incredible Netflix adaptation of the original novel by Andrzej Sapkowski, I had recaptured the urge to play this incomplete adventure – no excuses!

I actually put myself on a ban of any other games whilst playing The Witcher – I wasn’t about to risk getting distracted again! But there doesn’t seem to be any chance of that happening. After watching the series, I have found myself with a newfound appreciation and understanding for so many of the characters and even the politics of the world.

There are many different ways for you to play. Besides the fact that this is one of those RPGs that will quite often give you big decisions to make, which will have certain consequences somewhere down the line, there’s also a number of different ways to go about developing your character, Geralt. Different armour types, runes to attach to weapons and armour for different effects, five different combat spells which you can develop as you level up, bombs, potions, oils, many other things you can enhance or change as you level up Geralt – there are many tricks up his sleeves.

The characters and cultures that you will come across are astounding in how much life they seem to have. Excellent voice acting throughout the game offers a real immersion into the world. The Skellige Isles region would have to be my favourite place as the Norse inspired culture observed there has been crafted so meticulously, I find it fascinating to explore the different settlements, interacting with the Jarls and their people, observing their customs, and trying to solve the issues that seem to be plaguing every island.

Another aspect of the game that I like is the limitation of fast travel. As opposed to being able to fast travel at any time, you can only travel from signpost to signpost, so only from specific points. This means that you are encouraged to journey through the world on foot (or horseback) and discover all the different points of interest that are lurking in the wilderness.

For anyone who hasn’t played The Witcher 3 and is thinking about it – I can’t recommend enough watching the Netflix series before you play! I feel that it really enhanced my experience of the game for me, so hopefully it will do the same for others.


  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release Date: 19/05/2015 (Switch 15/10/19)
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG
Posted in Recent Games

Ni No Kuni II

Here is a game that I fell in love with instantly. It was brought to us by Level 5, the same studio that brought us Dark Cloud and it’s sequel, two of my favourite childhood games.

Ni No Kuni II takes part in a beautifully crafted world full of characters just as whimsical as the kingdoms that they are found in. The game follows the story of Prince Evan, as he travels across the world, meeting the denizens and the leaders of the world, and building a brand new kingdom after a coup forced him to relinquish his title and escape his lifelong home.

Another great aspect has to be the combat – I personally find it very satisfying, the connections between this and the combat systems of Level 5’s previous games seem quite clear to me. Each of the party members have their own weapons specialties, and they can use both melee and ranged weapons. For example, Evan uses swords and wands in combat. There are also different status effects that can be inflicted to party members and monsters, as well as elemental affinities which weapons can be imbued with to deal extra damage to monsters who are weak to particular elements. All combat is real-time, no turn-based moves – you will be running about the battlefield, blocking, dodging, and landing blows to take down your opponents.

One small downside to the combat (and this is actually the only thing I can think of to complain about) is the camera once you are locked on to an enemy. I guess you could say it’s not entirely intuitive, and you may still need to rely on your thumb to give you the best angle. My expectation would be for the camera to be better at keeping the enemy relatively centred on screen whilst locked on, but unfortunately it is still quite free, to the point where locking on sometimes feels somewhat pointless.

Another key element of the game is the kingdom building. Not too far into the game, Evan’s brand new kingdom is established, leaving you with a fledgling empire to run. Money will be accrued over time for you to spend on your kingdom, building and improving the various facilities, deciding who amongst your citizens should work where, and investing money into research which can be carried out at certain facilities, all of which have some measure of benefit to gameplay.

Of course, Evan wasn’t traveling across the world with all of these citizens just waiting for him to pick a nice spot for them to settle – once you have founded your kingdom, you will spend a lot of the game finding new people, accepting their side quests, and recruiting them so that you may benefit from their skills. There are so many different citizens to unlock, and the means to unlock them vary greatly.

I couldn’t possibly not mention the fact that there is a certain… sense of humour found throughout Ni No. And that sense of humour is … bad puns. I’m talking about the kind that you still can’t help but laugh at, even though they’re bad! This is usually seen in the names of the characters, most notably the Dogfolk who have an Asian twist to their culture. You will come across such characters as Hau Ling, Ya Pi, and even Bao Wao … as bad as they are, I still love them.

Areas to explore, a kingdom to build, citizens to recruit, side quests to complete, and tainted monsters to defeat. There’s simply no shortage of things for you to do in Ni No Kuni II. I always have such a good time playing, so I can definitely recommend you give it a try if you haven’t already.


  • Platform: PS4, PC
  • Release Date: 23/03/18
  • Genre: Fantasy RPG