August 13, 2016

Ray Gigant Holding Strong On Steam New Releases

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Les Major

Ray Gigant Battle

With titles like No Man’s Sky just being released this week, you’d figure it would be difficult to be anyone else. That’s not the case with Acttil Steam release of Ray Gigant which is still holding strong on the popular new releases list. Originally released for the PlayStation Vita, the game sees players tackling a visual novel story with dungeon crawling elements included. If that isn’t enough to grab your attention, the story feels like an interesting mix between Neon Genesis Evangelion (without the mecha) and almost a Percy Jackson vibe as you join with others who have powers given by a mysterious power known as Yorigami. Potentially you could even compare it to Pacific Rim with how the aliens just pop up and are classified. The characters are part of a school which seems to just be there to support these gifted individuals to fight back against these aliens who are called Gigants.

Combat in the game itself is turn based and the story itself plays out very well between the cast. At least the bit I’ve played so far doesn’t feel sluggish which I really appreciated for a more action based title. I’m really digging the feel of the story and clearly it’s piqued Steam users curiosity as well. That and the artwork is just beautiful! Both in battle and overall.

When you combine that with the fact that the game is 40% off until August 17th, it’s certainly a risk worth taking. The only complaint I’ve heard so far is so possibly some issues with the music not syncing up with the rhythm game section some battles have, but even that doesn’t seem to be a major issue. At $17.99 USD, it’s been a fun ride so far and I’ll be releasing a review in the coming future.


LEGO Star Wars The Force Awakens | Review

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Les Major

LEGO games have gone through many adventures. It’s a hit phenomenon that has even spun off a “toys to life” NFC game with LEGO Dimensions. The main franchise has kept a good track record of adding new content instead of just rehashing the tried and true gameplay. Sure, LEGO games feel familiar, but if you look back to the early days they really have come a long way.

In LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the franchise adds some new and interesting goodies to once again expand upon that experience. Obviously the main reason to pick up this latest release is to play through comical renditions of the movies memorable scenes. It may seem like there wouldn’t be much content just drawing from one film, but TT Fusion has added enough interesting content along the way to make it feel like you’re playing the adventure, rather than just watching one movie play out.


One of the biggest additions that has fans excited is missions that expand the story of The Force Awakens. The first unlockable sees Poe Dameron rescuing Admiral Ackbar from a Star Destroyer. Gold Bricks unlock this content and it makes replaying old levels worthwhile to get these new stories. It’s actually quite a nice reward instead of just getting one bonus level at the end of the game after gaining 100% or what not in previous titles. Most of all, it’s the new content that you’ll want to see so it makes it a draw to want to get those levels open.

As noted above, it’s the additions that really make this yet another LEGO title that’s worth picking up. For one, there are first person shooter scenes. That’s right! A LEGO game with FPS moments. They’re more like Gears of War really, but that shouldn’t scare any parents away from picking up the game. Naturally everything is still in a light hearted LEGO style. It just means characters take cover behind obstacles and can pop out into first person mode to blast away at some nearby storm troopers. Auto aim typically gets you right on target, but you can aim around as well to blast around the environment.


Using scout binoculars is a fun little addition as well which allows certain characters to go into first person to find weak points on enemies or hidden objects. The view finder beeps quicker and closes in two arrow icons to indicate when you’re on the right track. It’s a basic addition, but still something that adds variety to the gameplay. Other things like computer hacking which focuses on a couple matching games, or even language translation with C-3PO gives gamers different things to focus on.

The Force Awakens like many Star Wars movies focused on visiting many planets. Of course this makes including a free roam world something a bit more difficult. TT Fusion did find a way to include that experience as well though! Throughout your adventure there are free roam areas to explore in the different sections. One even sees you completing tasks around the Millennium Falcon. Like with many games, this gives a sense of home locations that feel calmer and familiar between all the battle scenes. There’s gold bricks to find in these places and new characters to recruit to use in free play, so they’re enjoyable to wander around.


Like with many LEGO games, Dimensions included, I always play them multiplayer with my wife. LEGO The Force Awakens usually has that spinning split screen that decides where you are in relation to the other player and splits the screen to give you both the largest view of your area. When you get close to each other, the view merges together again. I think in freeplay areas it’s split down the middle of the screen though since you can wander a lot further in those levels. It’s good to see that the co-op experience still remains strong.

There is vehicle combat in the game as well. So you’ll occasionally take to the skies and blast away at incoming fighters. Both sections where you’re constantly flying in one direction and all range battle arena style combat is included. These are typically quite fun and even allow the second player to take over rear facing guns on the Millennium Falcon. The only down side I found was that it was hard to shake some enemies that had flown into formation behind you. That’s probably just me though not being sure what to do.


As has become the norm with LEGO games as they progress through the years, boss battles are typically puzzle based. You’ll try to find objects to destroy or build around the area to deal some damage to the enemy. This is great since it adds more to what would otherwise be a quite basic beat ’em up section. It makes boss battles an event instead of just another enemy to fight.

One thing I did notice was that puzzles never really became too frustrating in this outing. The very rare time in previous LEGO games you could get pretty lost on what to do or even have a glitch leave a puzzle unsolvable. I think in all our time we had one puzzle that tripped us up a bit, but probably in single player we would have received a bigger hint from the computer controlled characters doing their part instead. As a co-op team, that focus fell on us and we had to work together to figure out what to do. So all in all not a bad thing, and certainly an improvement over those rare frustrations of the past.


We also found stud collection to not be that much of an issue this time. Sure, you do still need to break everything and collect as much as you see to get your True rating in a level, but it didn’t feel like we were going to not accomplish that. There was only about one level we didn’t get enough studs on before unlocking our x2 red brick multiplier. Even then, by the time we unlocked that red brick it only took running through one level to have the studs to purchase it. So for that strategy, the game is very well paced out.

Multi-builds are the other new gameplay feature which we both loved and hated at times. Basically they are piles of bricks that can be build into more than one object. That object can then be destroyed and rebuilt into one of the other forms. I admit, there were times that characters would indicate that you needed to build a different object first instead of what you did make, but at times it felt like a chore. We weren’t too sure what would do what. Also playing co-op limited the multi-build outlines we could see at times. I don’t think we ever couldn’t see one on screen, but it did lead to us just holding in one direction to see if we could build left, right or center. In general they are fun. But any time we weren’t sure if the object we made was what we wanted first, it kind of slowed us down. Multi-builds aren’t bad, and it’s a clever idea considering it is an actual LEGO feature for the real brick sets you can buy. We just wished that you could get more hints to speed things along or even build more of a story around the puzzle. Yes, I get that it would detract from it being a puzzle however. Perhaps even a small title under each multi-build could have helped so we could see things like, “Water tank”, “Pump”, “Power source”, and decide which was important to build first.


Overall the game is great! There’s lots going on, enjoyable moments with a wide variety of characters, and a good mix of gameplay that keeps each level entertaining. Some previous games could feel a bit exhausting in longer levels, but thanks to mixing things up with the first person shooter like sections and aerial combat, the levels kept us interested. There’s a lot of fun to be had here and the season pass adds even more interesting levels into that mix. LEGO TFA is a worthy addition to the Traveller’s Tales games and this one celebrates the return to the Star Wars universe.



Circle to open Kingdom’s Item Shop in 3DS eShop on August 18th

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Jason Nason

Circle Entertainment is bringing Kingdom’s Item Shop to North America next week. Kingdom’s Item Shop, developed and released by PUMO in Japan in 2014, is a game that simulate running an item shop in a Fantasy Role-Playing Game Universe.

In the game you are the new owner of an item shop. Your goal is to run your property and make it the most popular item shop of the Kingdom. To become a popular owner, you’ll need to explore dungeons for ingredients, find new composition recipes, compose items, and sell items to whom in need.

The game seems like an interesting concept, especially if you’d much rather take on a less adventurous role in the world of fantasy RPGs. I mean, what does that shop owner in that village I keep coming back to for potions do all day while I’m out saving the world?

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August 11th Nintendo Download

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Jason Nason

Nintendo 3DS eShop

Disney Art Academy – Demo Version – In the full version of the game, players can discover their inner artists to capture the stunning visuals of over 80 Disney and Pixar characters. With advice and lessons inspired by Disney art and Pixar animations, they learn to use a bundle of different drawing tools to create Elsa and Olaf from Disney Frozen, characters from Disney Inside Out, or characters like Mickey Mouse. They can even share their creations with their friends. The demo version gives players access to two lessons to try out: Mickey Mouse and Olaf from Disney Frozen. Game and demo in 2D

Also New this Week


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No Man’s Sky Review: How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Exploring

Posted on August 13, 2016 by Broken Joysticks

Review written by John Edward Bridgman – follow him on Twitter at @JEBWrench!



Here is what you will see when you warp around in a system

Finally, after all the speculation, articles, and setbacks, Hello Games’ space explorer No Man’s Sky is here. We are finally able to answer the question, “What is No Man’s Sky?” And that answer is – a pretty good exploration and space trading game with minor crafting and survival elements.

It sounds pretty basic when framed in that way, and in words It’s not particularly elaborate. However a quick summary of its genre doesn’t encapsulate the experience well enough. If you’re expecting something different out of the game, or don’t care for what its core offering is, it’s not likely to draw you in.

The exploration itself is at once relaxing and fascinating, with ample opportunities for the game to surprise you with what it presents you. Expansive vistas, crystalline chasms, and vast plains of alien wildlife are all things I’ve spent time admiring. It does get a little repetitive the longer you stay on a single planet, but being able to leave fairly easily helps remedy that.

Starting off with a wrecked starship, the tutorial asks you to gather resources to make repairs to your shit, and ready the ship for spaceflight again. This servers as a tutorial and walks you through everything you need to do fairly quickly. It introduces the games systems and mechanics – primarily the implementation of crafting the game uses – while leaving you some room to tinker as you discover upgrading and modding your equipment.


There is a lot of this, going around the world scanning for resources

Inventory management plays a major role in the game. Both your starter ship and first suit have and infuriatingly limited amount of space. You can acquire additional slots and bigger ships through various methods as you explore, but starting out in particular you will run into full inventories fast. Until you find a trade uplink, your only option is to get rid of excess stuff permanently. This makes a lot of early game exploration feel hollow as you can’t keep any hi level resources you find due to a lack of space.

There is an interesting interaction involving the inventory system. When you use upgrades and mods to your suit and ship they occupy an inventory slot. Having to decide between the improvements to exploration and combat or carrying more stuff to sell is not irrelevant, and I found that I would hold off on useful upgrades until I had a chance to offload more of my goods.

As far as combat goes, it is not particularly great. On land, there are drones that analyze the environment, wildlife, and you, and if you seem to be threatening, they will attack. They don’t do much damage, and if you evade their line of sight long enough they will deactivate. The main thing the player can get from them is that  they are made of Titanium which is useful. Shooting them down is easy even with the basic mining laser.

Naming the Animals is pretty fun

Naming the Animals is pretty fun

Space combat is a different story. Learning how to line up your shots takes some practice, and the nature of starship combat can make it really disorienting until you learn how to read and react to the on-screen indicators. Luckily, you can make repairs on the fly so it’s not unforgiving if you get in a dogfight without being certain what’s going on. You also are given some advance warning of incoming ambush, so you can fly off or warp to another location if you aren’t ready to fight.

Setting off to a new star system is exciting, and I have not lost that feeling of wonder every jump to hyperspace. While you start to notice some common set pieces on the individual planets – abandoned buildings, outposts, and production facilities offer you the same sort of thing on every planet, there are still some surprises to be found. Some of these I wish would be less frequent, because they lose a lot of effectiveness if you see them too much.

Survival elements are technically in the game, but they aren’t really worth worrying too much about. Almost every planet has something dangerous about it – whether it’s radiation or extreme temperatures.  Players will have  you have a meter that measures how much protection you have remaining and a warning will pop up when you are getting low. When that runs out, your life support lowers. Those two are basically your only concerns and they replenish easily. You recharge your life support with Isotope-type elements, which includes carbon (which can be gathered off almost anything that is alive). This effectively eliminates the survival aspect of the game.  Your resistance meter is recovered by finding shelter, either in a building, cave, or your ship. Hopping into your ship takes care of most of your survival needs almost immediately.

The planets I have seen so far have been interesting and diverse in their traits, though I have seen individual elements repeat a few times. I can see them becoming repetitive after even more planetary jumps. However, foe now even the two most similar planets I’ve seen have felt different enough thanks to palette differences. Also interesting is that it took about eight planets for me to find an ocean. Even though I thought I had seen all the games engine had to offer, finding that ocean left me to wonder what else is in store.  There are supposed to be over 1 billion randomly generated planets, with nearly endless possibilities’ the only barrier is time.


Some of the vistas in this game are absolutely jaw dropping

One of the most prominent and touted features is the ability to name and upload your discoveries. When you do so, you get rewarded in game for your discoveries with cash. This will help you to purchase larger ships or rarer resources. This is not a viable method of income, but it is fun to do. The trouble is twofold with this however. First, your name cannot be changed once you set it. If you make a typo or don’t like your decision later on you can’t change it. Second is there is just so much to name, and I find it difficult to upload something without naming it, as it feels like a wasted opportunity. You may not be bothered by this as much, but I feel that allowing you to alter names later on would remedy both if these.

The soundtrack is incredibly relaxing for the most part, though it gets intense during dangerous situations like combat. The ambient music that plays as you explore feels right and helps put you into the appropriate mindset to let your mind be drawn into the world around you. It enhances the game greatly, and honestly most of it works really great as relaxation music on its own.

While there is something going on in game on a galactic scale, there’s not really a traditional narrative. Instead, as you travel from planet to planet, and encounter more sentient lifeforms, you pick up on some of the history of the beings you encounter. Finding ruins and learning their languages lets you delve deeper into these histories, and I couldn’t help but find myself formulating theories on how events in history may have transpired. These micro-archaeological narratives are actually rather fun to work through.  This is a for sure a player driven game. If you prefer a strong narrative driven game No Mans Sky is not going to be for you.


This is the closest you will ever get to finding a city


A little less fun with the alien languages are some of the puzzles. You will sometimes encounter malfunctioning systems that ask you for an action to repair them for a reward. These will come with an instruction in the alien language, so if you know the right words it’s trivial to solve, otherwise it’s guesswork. Along with those I’ve seen number pattern puzzles as well, so if you’re put off by those that will likely be a disappointment. Having the puzzles isn’t a deal breaker, but they do feel underwhelming.

No Man’s Sky manages to be both ambitious and expansive, but restrained. It’s a game of moments that can draw you in enough to push you through the more repetitive parts. When its formula works it’s outstanding, and when it doesn’t, the cracks show. It doesn’t really have much to offer people who aren’t interested in the things it does; it isn’t likely to be the game to make exploration and crafting your thing if they’re not already. However, I highly recommend it to anyone who does enjoy this style of play. It may also be worth playing if you are inclined towards space, as it creates some amazing moments as you soar through the stars.

This is a review of the PlayStation 4 copy of No Mans Sky Which was provided by Sony for review.



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