WRC 6 Slides Onto Console, PC

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Rally fans looking for another fun spin around assorted twisty tracks now have another entry in the genre as Bandai Namco, Bigben Interactive and developer Kylotonn present WRC 6 for your approval. PC (via Steam), Playstation 4 and Xbox One versions are out NOW, so I’m gathering you know what to do, right? Granted, Codemasters has the edge with its own rally games. But it’s always great to see other options available to fans who don’t mind playing as many rally games as possible. This one’s going to be more than welcome around here.

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-GW

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Berserk and the Band of the Hawk: Gatsu Get It If You’re A Fan

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Veteran developer Omega Force is well into being the reigning champ of turning its share of popular anime and game franchises into variations on its long running Musou/Warriors games and the latest, Berserk and the Band of the Hawk looks as if it might be one of the better conversions to date. We’ll see, of course. But the art is on point, the game isn’t shying away (much) from its mature content and as the trailer shows, it’s a guaranteed to be a hit on PS4, Vita and PC that fans of the manga and anime should check out.

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-GW

Oh, Deer! In the Headlights, Sideways, Somewhat Allegorically

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Oh, Deer! is apt enough and more than fast enough for these testy times that I can recommend it even though I’ve yet to actually play it. Scoreless swerving past or through lines of poor digital deer is an odd metaphor for the daily careening many of us do while glued to a news source, real or “alternative facts” based, eyes wider than usual. While this may not seem all that deep, developer Necrosoft Games is proudly stating this is indeed a beta that will end up as a more fully polished product. Initially released as a 49-cent PlayStation Mobile game (I missed it on the Vita? Noooooo!), it got bumped up to subscription-only freebie beta build for Humble Monthly subscribers where it caught fire and careened into a game a lot of folks want to see get completed.

So, yeah. Get this if you’re cracking up or something. Amusingly priced at an apocalyptic $6.66, that entry fee also gets you whatever ends up being the final version of the game whenever the fine folks at Necrosoft get to completing it. Hey, the world may end before that happens or it may not. No matter what, you’ll be able to swerve past or slam sideways into all the deer you choose without guilt or incurring and insurance fee increases.

-GW

Gravity Cat: A Royal Wedding of Tech As Advertisment


 

Yep. Japan still has the coolest game promos. This one’s for Gravity Daze 2, aka Gravity Rush 2 here in the US, which is set to land on the PS4 on January 20. You don’t see TV ads this lengthy for games in North America at all outside of trade shows and media events. But I’d take a few of these fun promo clips any day over another garbage infomercial or medicine ad selling snake oil with deadly side effects followed by a legal ad asking if you’ve taken one of those drugs and suffered from side effects, ugh.

Anyway, the recent demo was great overall – check out my somewhat rushed play through below:


 

-GW

Ni no Kuni II: RENEVANT KINGDOM – Level-5, At The Top of Their Game


 

Feh, who needs Final Fantasy and its overly complex kitchen sink boy band kettle-pot plot latest entry when Level-5 is simply making some of the best, if not THE best pure JRPGs out there today? Don’t get me wrong, folks. I don’t hate FF at all. It’s just moved so far into being too hip/ster and modern for my tastes with each installment. The first Ni no Kuni was fantastic, albeit a wee bit too epic in length if one wanted to see and do it all. Sadly, my PS3 was stolen before I got to complete the game (over 90 hours was put into those save files), but this sequel got me pumped to dive in for more and more stunning visuals now that it’s a PS4 game. Just ogle the hand-drawn and painted magnificence (oh, alright, it’s all digital, but still!) and hear that solid voice acting knowing you’re in good hands with this upcoming console exclusive. Lovely work here, just beautiful and I can’t wait to dive in.

-GW

Maize Launch Trailer: Fresh Corn’s The Best

I’ll just leave this here because I’m busy, but really need to play this at some point because it’s one of the weirder game ideas I’ve seen brought to life:

Yep. That’s… odd. I like odd. And it’s on sale, too. You may never eat corn again. Or you will, but you’ll look at it funny when out at the market.

-GW

Review: MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death

While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, MeiQ has a few surprises for those thinking it’s just another fan service packed JRPG. Lengthy and packing in some cool ideas, it’s a solid genre entry worth picking up.

meiq_cg7 Platform: PlayStation Vita
Developer: Idea Factory/Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory International
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/13/2016
MSRP: $39.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B (80%) BUY IT!

At first glance (and second… and third), MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death looks like many other fan-service JRPGs packed with gals bursting out of their too-skimpy outfits ripe for waifu fantasies from those eager fans into that sort of thing. Fortunately, a mighty good game lurks past that booby trap facade and this is one Labyrinth worth a full inspection and yes, another Iffy game you’ll want to have in your library. Once you get over the costume designs, there’s a long and challenging game here to conquer with a fine combat system, albeit one that doesn’t change all that much once you sink a few hours in.

The plot is pretty basic stuff with four towers that need to be conquered in order to beat the evil so-and so trying to rule and ruin the land. Adding mechs each gal can pilot to the mix is a great touch, as it allows for some interesting pairings as well as gives you a squishy backup plan should a mech fall in battle. That’s right, your gals and whatever skills they’ve learned are your last resource if their metallic rides go down in flames. Initially, it’s a lousy thing as the gals aren’t exactly powerful and it takes time to gain a full party anyway. But, after a chunk of time, they’ll improve and all gain some nice, useful skills that can do decent damage. You’ll still want those mechs in good shape, though.

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PLANTERA: Weeding Out One Very Cool Clicker

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Let’s get this out of the way: I am NOT a big fan of clicker/tapper games, mobile-based or not. There’s a huge and happy market for them, sure. But my attention span tends to wander elsewhere once my brain realizes it’s been trapped into what amounts to Lucy and Ethel wrapping chocolates on a too-fast moving assembly line. Yep, that’s hilarious to watch, but DOING it? Madness, on a cosmic horror scale. Ninth level of hell meets Sisyphus cloned by Caligula, but with roller skates, a greasy hill and square boulders. Nope, not for me.

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Of course, I then get a random code for VaragtP‘s super-cute endless clicker PLANTERA in my inbox and well… foo. Yeah, it got me sucked in for a while, grinning like a kid as soon as it started up until I forced myself to shut it down, STILL smiling. My reputation as a curmudgeon, shattered by a planting game? Great. grrr. Ah well, one more bias kicked in the teeth, right? For the record, I plant and grow peppers on a windowsill here, so yeah. The game had me at PLANTERA.

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Review: BREACHED

Sly sci-fi adventure/puzzle game will work your brain quite well, although it’s got a few issues. Still, if you want something uniquely replayable, this has got your name and number all over it. 

BREACHED headerPlatform: PC
Developer: Drama Drifters
Publisher: Nkidu Games
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 6/22/2016
MSRP: $6.99
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Official Site
Score: B- (75%) BUY IT!

 

Have you ever lost your keys in your own home, had a devil of a time searching for them, only to discover yourself in bed, waking from a dream that was all too real… until you get ready to walk out the door but end up having to look for your keys?  But then… you REALLY wake up and you’re just staring up at the ceiling, but wanting to pinch yourself hard because you want to be 100% sure you’re NOT dreaming this time? That’s BREACHED in a nutshell.

Indie developer Drama Drifters has cooked up a beautiful-looking sci-fi/mystery adventure game with a simple yet complex manner about it. Simple in that it’s relatively short, but complex in that it needs to be replayed a few times in order to see everything it has to offer. So, that short length ends up being initially perplexing if you go in expecting anything other than what the game has to offer and you’re back in the think of things doing it all over again.

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Waking up from suspended animation on a strange planet, Corus Valott finds his life support and a few other important systems down for the count. A bit of memory loss thanks to that damage has left him a bit fuzzy on certain things, but Valott knows that without stuff getting back online, he’s not going to survive. All he has is a flying drone that can gather random materials and a few days to sort things out before he’s doomed and forgotten.

That, dear reader is where you come in, of course. All you need to do is use that drone’s limited daily power to collect data and materials, get them back to the base and combine them carefully. An easy enough task… but poor Corus isn’t his best thanks to his debilitating condition. As noted above, it’s quite like that lost key dream within a dream within a dream thing to some extent.

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Review: Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander

Every Captain is a red shirt in this tough as nails retro-looking space strategy sim. Dive in head first and enjoy, but try not to get too attached to anyone… they’re most likely not going to be around to collect that space pension.

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Platform: PC
Developer: Massive Damage Inc.
Publisher: Massive Damage Inc.
# of Players: 1
Release Date: 9/9/2016
MSRP: $19.99
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Site
Score: B+ (85%) BUY IT!

 

There’s an Achievement for losing ten captains in Halcyon 6: Starbase Commander that you’ll very likely see pop within the game’s first three hours. Or less if you can’t keep up with this excellently fierce hybrid of simulation and turn-based combat. Don’t let the pretty pixels lure you into false sense of security, folks. The AI in this game will eat you alive every chance it gets and not paying attention to the clock, your crew’s needs and a few other variables will have you headed to a previous save or even restarting entirely if you’re lax in your remembering to save duties.


 

Talented developer Massive Damage Inc. has cooked up a fine mix of throwback and modern gameplay that echoes the classics while getting in modern time management bits and impressive turn-based combat that will keep you glued to the screen even as things fall apart. While not as deep or complex as the original X-COM or a few other gems from days one by to present day, the game’s got a way of luring you in with plenty of challenge, some great humor when needed and a ton of replay value. Fallout Shelter with a hefty side of 4X, anyone? YES.

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