Switch

Golf Story

Platform Played: Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Sidebar Games, Flyhigh Works
Released: September 2017
Platinum Trophy: N/A
Score: 7.3/10

Didn’t know what to make of this game when I purchased it, an RPG Golf game to me just sounded strange however it wasn’t long until I was hocked.

Now I will talk a lot about issues and things I didn’t like about the game however this is because I find it easier to talk about than the good stuff.  I mean the game looks straight out of the 16 bit days but that doesn’t matter because it’s all it needs to be for this type of game.  The story is really fun and funny, the characters you meet along the way are memorable and likable and after even a few minutes you disregard what you’re looking at because it really doesn’t matter.  The soundtrack is good at times but can be repetitive, especially in certain area’s.

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The RPG element comes from leveling up which you can do by talking to NPC’s and fulfilling story and side quests.  You also gain money which can buy you new clubs and other items. You don’t have to do the side quests but they are fun and I would advise you do.  They also provide a challenge towards the end more so than the main story.

Things I didn’t like
– It’s hard to see the flag location while taking early shots! this includes looking around at obstacles in the middle of where you are and where your ball will land.
– Sometimes it’s difficult to understand how to progress with the story
– Once you commit to a shot you can’t stop! this really bothered me especially when trying to skip boring or repetitive dialogue.
– you have to watch every shot! no skipping, you have to watch every part of the shot until the ball comes to a stop.

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The game is pretty easy from the off, the other characters don’t really provide much trouble although I found myself competing more against myself trying to get the best score possible however you are not rewarded for this effort.
You get some games where you play along an NPC which always seems to go first and more often than not will completely mess up their shot leaving you with a lot of work to do.  This again isn’t a problem as the opposition tends to be rubbish too.  But it may stop those under PAR shots.

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There is more than enough to keep you going for a while, I clocked 20 hours and managed everything.  It does get really challenging towards the end especially the last round which seems to be unforgiving but all in all I think it’s a wonderful game for the price and would advise anyone to pick it up.

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PS4

Gran Turismo Sport (V1.21)

Platform Played: Playstation 4
Developer(s): Polyphony Digital
Released: October 2017
Platinum Trophy: No
Score: 6.9/10

While the original release of this game was not up to scratch they certainly made things better with patches and free updates.  This however should have been in from the start rather than an afterthought.
As a keen player of previous titles I wasn’t impressed when I put the disk in for the first time to see that 90% of the game was online only! No matter what I did I would get penalties when players were pushing me out of the way and unless I managed to get into space I never had an enjoyable race.  I didn’t want online racing, I don’t mind them having it but there was no desire to play them and by the sounds of it, I wasn’t alone in this.

The Disk was put away and not opened again for 5 months.

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Since the updates and extra cars and tracks and inclusion of a single player mode like they used to have I started playing this again and I must admit I am really enjoying it.  The challenges are just that and so are the track times especially if you want 100% gold.  The new added single player cups are addictive even if the AI is shite and they are shite putting it politely.  They seem to follow a set track and whether you are there or not it doesn’t matter.  So many times I have tried for clean races however the AI will always find a way to either drive into me or drive across the front of me while overtaking.

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Endurance races are more of a challenge than before which is a good thing as previous games it was just staying awake for 2-4 hours to find out you are 10+ laps ahead of second place.  The endurance in this I am not 100% sold on.  For example, I would start an hour race around 35 seconds behind first place and as the race goes on I will overtake cars and gradually make my way into first with laps to spare.  Now in theory if I am gaining say 5 seconds on the leader a lap I should then gain 5 seconds a lap when in front (so long as my lap times remain the same) however this does not seem to be the case.  Once I reach first place, second will stay around 1-5 seconds behind me no matter how I drive.  This means that one bad mistake in the final lap I could potentially lose out even though I have not only caught said car but should be 20 seconds in front.  It does make the game more interesting but it does feel like a rubber band is placed once you gain 1st.

Pit stops are good and you really have to think about when to come in, what tyres to change to and how much fuel you want to use as it all takes time in the pits.  I normally face these by working out what I am doing before a race than during.  It’s handy to have a set plan and as there is no rain or dynamic weather you don’t need to think about tyre changes due to that.

It is a little upsetting when you compare GT Sport to games like Driveclub which has changing weather and it really does make a difference.  I would have liked it in GT Sport as it would add another challenge.

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Scapes is good, I find it strange how much time I spend editing photos when I am playing and now have a whole host of them (Included some in this review).  It’s also interesting to see others and what they have come up with.

Like I said, I tend to stay away from online, I am not that interested in it and haven’t enjoyed the games I have played.  As the time of this review I have 100% all tracks, challenges and lessons with Gold medals.  Not much in the way of trophies but a fun challenge especially the endurance races and Nürburgring tracks.

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GT Sport looks the business but if I am totally honest Driveclub looked better, especially in rain or snow.

(All pictures apart from the last one which was just a screen shot, was taken using Scapes)

PS4

Bioshock 2 (Replayed)

Platform Played: Playstation 4
Developer(s): 2K Games
Released: February 2010
Platinum Trophy: No
Score: 7.5/10

Recently replayed Bioshock 2 as I purchased the PS4 versions of the game and fancied a replay of all three games.  I remember a lot about Bioshock 1 and Infinite but there was a lot I forgotten about the second game and that is because it lacked that story which made the other two games great.  Not to say it isn’t a good game but it’s more of the same from the previous title.  Playing as a big daddy was a part I didn’t like on the first game so to play as a big daddy through the whole of the second game wasn’t really appealing to me and why have they seemed to remove the ability to run? This confused me as the button was replaced by the ability to move your gun sight to the center of the screen, something I never used once in the whole game.

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The story is okay I guess, it improves towards the end but again after the first game it was a bit of a brush away story line that is easily forgotten.  There are not as many area’s as the first and also not as many little sisters to rescue/harvest as there is a new part of the game which allows you to take the little sisters to a body and extract atom at the expense of being ambushed every time.  It can get quite hectic while this is going on as you can be attacked from loads of angles however you have the ability to set traps to help you.

Some new weapons and abilities are introduced such as a hack dart which allows you to hack machines from a distance or even auto hack (Its also worth noting that hacking is a vast improvement from the pipe system which seemed to take an age.  Replaced by a needle) This also lets you set turrets which are very handy if you are staying in one place fending off waves of enemies.  You also have a sort of nail gun which is great for head shots and a rivet gun which also has the ability to set traps.  The splicers are pretty much the same although three new additional enemies give the combat a newer feel and gives the player something other than a big daddy to worry about.  There is a brute splicer which is harder to kill than your average splicer charges at you and throws things at you, an Alpha Series Big Daddy (which is a quicker big daddy) and Big Sisters.  All new enemies are faster than your previous enemies which proves a nice challenge as you are a big daddy and restricted to speed.  The big sisters can prove to be a challenging foe, they appear once you clear any area of little sisters and make a really interesting entrance by warning you they are on their way.  Set traps and hack machines and lie in wait for them.

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I was by no means board playing this and actually enjoyed my play through.  If it was the first of it’s kind I would rate it highly but following from the first it just felt like a continuation with a slightly weaker story line.

Switch

Bayonetta 2

Platform Played: Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Platinum Games
Released: October 2014
Platinum Trophy: N/A
Score: 7.9/10

A much more easier and enjoyable playthrough than the first game and set more at my sort of level of fighter come shooter.  The first Bayonetta is a challenge, so much so that I struggled on the normal setting (twice) however during the second game you even have three level settings from Very Easy to Normal.  As I always start a game on the Normal setting this is where I started.  (Harder options unlock with playthroughs).  The story isn’t as good as the first, in my opinion it’s pretty weak and they were clutching at straws trying to progress the series.  That said the combat and controls is a vast improvement which also makes the game a lot easier to play.  There are lots more chests to find that contain more lollies which provide health and other combat advantages.  The camera works better which makes larger boss battles easier to manage.

The game also looks better with more of a variety of scenery and colours over the blandness of the first game.  Bayonetta is as witty as she was 10 years previous and the annoying little girl has also disappeared however she is replaced by an annoying boy.  I completed Bayonetta 2 in about 6 hours which is a lot shorter than the first game and that was including doing most of the extra challenges along the way (also easier).  The game does get harder towards the abrupt ending and almost swings the other way.  I played in handheld mode and longer game duration’s took a toll on my hand as constant button presses and dodging is needed, this is one drawback to the consoles hand held mode.

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I am glad this series has continued and the fact it was ported over from the Wii U which gave me a chance to play through it.  For the incoming 3rd game I hope the story is a little more solid.  It’s worth also noting that chapters can be replayed at anytime, the shop is back and once completed it opens up some extras to play, one quite a nice surprise addition.

PS4

God of War

Platform Played: Playstation 4
Developer(s): SIE Santa Monica Studio
Released: April 2018
Platinum Trophy: N/A
Score: 9.9/10

When this was announced I was really unsure about kratos having a son, it almost put me off buying the game until some previews and early pre release reviews started to appear. One of my favourite stories in video games is The Last of Us. It’s not one of my favourite overall games but in terms of story and narrative its the most memorable games I have played. The characters bond was so strong and believable it really pulled you into it’s story making you feel for the characters and that’s the same with God of War. I see so many similarities to bond between Kratos and his son Atreus. Without giving to much away I really liked the many feelings I have for Atreus during the game, the bond that grows as the story progresses both as father and teacher and to see the change in the lad is just what I would expect as he finds out more and more during your progress. People have moaned about the over use of the word Boi which Kratos uses a lot throughout the game however I liked this and the fact he only uses his name when being serious is just a lovely touch and something most fathers can relate to.

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The combat is fantastic although at first I really didn’t like using the shoulder buttons as harder and longer fights cause some pain in your fingers but on a whole it becomes second nature. Just try not to flip between similar games as it could get confusion. The battle system and weapon upgrades are different from other games which is a nice change however different doesn’t mean harder to master. The game does guide you through everything (which you can turn off) however you find yourself naturally picking this up and can change and adapt to your fighting style. The Rage is great to have, especially in tricky situations or anything with a time limit although the game is more fun without its use and it can leave you open for attack if not used correctly.

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The graphics are stunning, the detail on Kratos axe is mesmerising, I found myself looking at all the detail they have added to it and Kratos and Atreus themselves. Not to mention how good the scenery is and the light effects.

Having Artreus along for the ride comes in very handy and he never feels like he’s a burden but more of an asset like Elizabeth from Bioshock Infinite. Sometimes I find myself just guarding and parrying while I let the little tyke take everything on himself. He can even take away the attention off you allowing you time for a counter attack.

The puzzles are never too hard, most coming from treasure chest locked from 3 hidden glyphs which either have to be found or hit within a certain time limit.
The bosses are a challenge however if there is one thing I miss from previous games it’s the really gigantic boss battles and that’s kinda replaced by smaller quicker ones.
There are a host of side quests and lots to explore, I played on normal difficulty which was a challenge until I gained more abilities and than the game became more easier. There are also hidden Valkyries which are very difficult especially when fought at a low level. That said, like most things it comes down to learning the enemies moves and patience.

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There isn’t much I don’t like about the game, if I was to pick some minor flaws the frame rate can be a touch out as well as lighting effects in places (check my twitter) and sometimes the camera can be a hindrance especially when fighting quicker enemies.

I love what Santa Monica Studio’s have done to the series and can’t wait for a follow up game. The combat never gets tiresome and I just love calling back my axe to have it trip over an enemy, just genius.

PS4

Inside

Platform Played: Playstation 4
Developer(s): Playdead
Released: June 2016
Platinum Trophy: N/A
Score: 9.5/10

I loved playdeads Limbo, what a fantastic game that was! when Inside was announced I really liked the art style and all the youtube channels I watch really hyped it up as a game worth playing.  Let’s get one thing out of the way, it’s short. Really short! I played it through in about 3 hours and 100% trophies in a further 2 hours (Once you worked out where to find the collectables it wasn’t hard to work out where they were.  Apart from one).

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The art style is fantastic and so is its accompanying soundtrack.  Controls are pretty simple.  Jump, left, right and grab! but what really makes this game great is the story and world it creates without anyone uttering a single word! Not many game developers would play such a risky move however playdead have now done this twice.  I love the way everything is left to the players interpretation rather than the game telling you.  That and also puzzles, there are loads of them and even when you think the game is cheating you out of progressing forward because you can’t work out what to do next, you suddenly work it out and it’s really so simple.

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I have had more enjoyment out of a 3 hour game than some 40+ hour titles and that says a lot.  Personally I wouldn’t have bought it for the RRP however I picked this up in the PS sale for around £6 and I felt like I got a bargain.

PS4

Monster Hunter World

Platform Played: Playstation 4
Developer(s): Capcom
Released: January 2018
Platinum Trophy: No
Score: 7.4/10

I don’t like giving reviews for games that I haven’t given 100% effort too however I have played Monster Hunter World quite a bit and really was enjoying it but other things took over and a game like this takes up a lot of time.

I am new to MH and have never played any of the previous titles in the series and I found MHW a struggle to get into as there isn’t much hand holding and it’s at its best when played with others.  The game is a little different from what I’m used to, you don’t level up your character but can level up your armour and weapons from monsters you kill or capture.  The fights are fun and each monster needs to be tackled in different ways meaning you have to do some research.  Looking at most of my time in the world, a lot of time was spent researching the area’s and monsters and because you need to fight the same monsters to gain materials to create new equipment which is my only real issue with the game as this can get repetitive fighting the same monsters again and again.
I really did enjoy helping other people out, If you are in trouble you can send up an SOS flare which other human players can join you and in return you can respond to SOS signals and I did take a lot of satisfaction with helping others.

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The game itself is jam packed with things to do and for most people this would be a good thing but personally I felt it was a bit overwhelming.  If you look at my other reviews you will know that I like doing the usual RPG elements in games like collectables and exploration and MH is no different as exploring the maps can lead to some helpful benefits.  The combat is fun and quick to pick up however difficult to master as it requires button combinations much like a fighter game.  The game looks stunning and the world itself is packed full of creatures and vegetation, you can tell a lot of effort has gone into creating these worlds.  I do like watching some of the wildlife interact with each other until you are in the middle of a battle that is and another creature joins in to hinder your effort.
Going back quickly to the game being a bit overwhelming, I am trying to find why a game that has so much in it and I was really enjoying playing it still has something about it that made me brush it aside to replace it with other games.  The only thing I keep coming back to is progress, as much as I enjoy the game I never felt I was getting anywhere.  The story while pretty basic has enough to hold my interest but it’s just finding new monsters – research – defeat – craft new weapons.  Rinse and Repeat! You can gain side quests which mostly involve repeat fights with monsters, collecting vegetation and items spread around the maps or capturing monsters and there is a gladiator style arena but again this is just a repeat fight.
Fighting monsters can get very technical as you have to tackle each one differently and you have a whole inventory of stuff to use but it’s way too much.  Most of the time I would find myself discarding most of them and using the same few items again and again and it still works.

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The game is defiantly more fun with friends, and being slightly (chuckles) older than most gamers most of my joint efforts were with strangers which was still fun although I do think if you had your own friends to play with you will have a much better time.

A couple of other things to mention, the pig you can gain in the hub world is cute but pointless.  The cat and cats you can help you are a brilliant aid even though I thought little of them to begin with and there is nothing more satisfying than jumping on the back of a monster slashing away as the rest of your team attack from the ground.