Review: TT Isle of Man – Ride On the Edge 2 (Switch)

tt-isle-of-man-ride-on-the-edge-2-switch-description-charKT Racing has clearly put a Kylotonn of work into bringing TT Isle of Man – Ride On the Edge 2  ($59.99) to the Nintendo Switch and it’s truly an impressive effort on the hybrid console. The developer has recreated the recent PC and console experience perfectly in terms of complete content on the Switch with a few very obvious concessions to the lower-powered hardware. On Switch, there’s a tiny bit of texture draw-in plus some low resolution textures such as bike shadows, some of the signage, plus logos on your rider’s gear, which can all be a bit fuzzy in static shots. Despite these flaws and some long loading times, the game completely soars when in motion, particularly in docked mode. In handheld mode, the game is fine, but as a simulation that requires zen-like focus (there’s no in-race music for a reason!), every little detail needs to be seen at the best resolution available.

Where TT2 impresses constantly is in the excellent bike detail and its thrilling overall sense of speed thanks to excellent visual representation in the various camera modes and some tremendous sound design. The sheer intensity when you get to flying down a course and don’t go flying off your bike is nothing but a pure adrenaline rush, and the game will make you appreciate the art of the learning process. That said, it feels like a bit of understeer is in play on corners and you’ll crash a lot as a beginner and a great deal less (or not at all when you get better) as you get accustomed to the controls, which can by fully customized and come in a few styles from amateur to professional. Got a first or third party Switch compatible controller with a Rumble feature? DO please use that over the handheld’s Joy-Cons. The game goes from trickier to control and a bit too shaky to one where analog controls make things more manageable. The game is playable with Joy-Cons, mind you – it’s just more difficult if you stick to the standard control scheme and/or if you have the dreaded left Joy-Con drift issues some users have experienced with the handheld.

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FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Demo: ‘Scuse Me While I Kiss The Sky

This Looks Good, Right

“I can’t believe it’s THAT good, right?”

FFVII REMAKE D

It’s up… and it’s good!

Honestly, I’d deliberately not followed any development news, interviews, screens and trailers of the upcoming FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE because as I’ve said in the past many times, I prefer going into a game as cold as possible for the surprise factor and how that actually helps my sense of wonder continually activate, even if it’s a game that’s been re-imagined or has had multiple versions created over the years. In this case, the approximately 45 minute long Unreal engine-powered demo that dropped on Monday is visually, pretty spectacular stuff and the gameplay is a mix of styles  old and new, with a bigger nod to the new. This bodes quite well for the final version we’ll see on April 10, 2020.

I’ll resister my EXTREMELY middling complaints about the demo here just to get them out of the way first. I didn’t like the variations in destructible objects. Those wooden Shinra boxes you should smash up when you find them go down with a weapon swing by Cloud or a few shots by Barrett, but cardboard boxes, some crate-like objects, and a few metal barriers bounce or just get knocked around with no visible damage? Eh, well. Although, some striped sawhorse barriers hide handy items you can find once knocked away (explore everywhere!). My other minuscule complaint is with the music, which is phenomenal, but I want a choice of the original tunes as well as the new remake versions. As I said, these “complaints” are tiny, but this was only a demo and it does note, the quality isn’t 100% representative of the final game at all.

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Langrisser I & II: Return Of The Kings

standard-edition

Standard Edition, If you like…

When I heard Langrisser I & II were coming to PlayStation 4Switch and PC on March 10 courtesy of the fine folks at developer extreme and Chara-ani Corporation thanks to US publisher NISA, let’s just say that was a good day indeed.  I still own my originally purchased new copies of Warsong and the two Sega Mega Drive Langrisser imports (see below), and from playing the demo versions last night, it’s as if I went back in time and then forward, thanks to the game’s wise inclusion of old and new art styles.

Playing the new game bought back many old memories and we’re looking at a massive campaign, restored to its roots and many hours (and endings) to be discovered. I had to play the second game partially from some hefty notes and magazine clippings I got from a friend in Japan, but I know I missed a lot of story as the paths I got weren’t fully translated in the notes. So this time out, I’m preparing for this much bigger game now in English.

der langrisser

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TT Isle of Man 2 Hands-On: Lightning, Unbottled

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Let the good times roll, indeed.

KT Racing has done quite a lot of work on TT Isle of Man: Ride on the Edge 2 and it’s simultaneously quite a thrill and terrifyingly good so far. Major fixes to bike handling. road surfaces, lighting, weather effects and more all add an even more realistic feel than the first game, and the greatly improved Career Mode and an all-new open world area to practice (or just take relaxing rides) in make this a pretty superior sequel.  Taking a build of the PC version out for a spin, many of the changes were amazing right from the start. Bikes all felt much better and the the ground effects were excellent overall (as in you don’t automatically go flying off your ride of choice at a jump or bump in the road). You can still wreck at high speeds, but it feels is if it’s your own fault for misjudging your speed, deliberately slamming into things, or not paying attention to the road surface.

Overall control is much more responsive as turning the bike is a lot more intuitive. In fact, the new handling model in third person views requires you to pay attention to both the driver’s positioning and the beautifully rendered road ahead of you. In first person, the game has a view where braking lifts the rider up in a realistic manner, as well as a nice optional helmet camera that adds to the immersion factor. The game is easier to get into, but NOT easy, as zen-like concentration and learning each course in the only way to master the tracks here. If your bike is wobbling and weaving from your own handling mistakes, expect to wreck, as the game demands perfection, practice, and patience.

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Survey Says (Ding!): Gothic Remake Is a Go, Won’t Be Ready in 2020

Gothic PT

The people’s choice, indeed.

Well, 43,111 people participated in a little extensive survey THQ was taking and the verdict is in: We’re getting a Gothic remake at some point, just not this year. PC and next-gen consoles are the targets here, so it seems at least the game will have a very similar visual fidelity across anything it’s eventually released on.

If you have Google Drive, you can see and download the results of the survey here in PDF form (it’s a whopping 21 pages):

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uNuvngHrTZ3AVpNEdoXS-E8rKlwVdhlX/view

Here’s the press release as well, below the jump.

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Persona 5 Royal/Persona 5 Scramble: Catching Up With a Beast Is Tough

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The gang’s all here, and then some…

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I need more time!

At my ancient age, a new Persona game is something I look forward to with both a sense of awe and dread. Awe because the very expansive Megami Tensei and Shin Megami Tensei titles and their assorted spin-offs on a few platforms are one of the best and has been for decades, and dread because well, there’s so much to do in each game that it’s easy to lose track of time when playing them. The series is well known for some intensively lengthy games even back on the Famicom and Super Famicom systems up to today on the PS4, especially if you’re playing more than one game for just journalistic purposes. Heck, it took me almost three months to play Persona 4 way back on the PS2 and I’m here to report that I’ve been taking my time with the brilliant Persona 5 because of so many other games in my backlog to cover.

Well, that and the game is pretty and spectacularly dense in terms of depth and story and well, I bought it somewhat late (I think it was early last year when I made the plunge for a retail PS4 version). Even if I were to concentrate solely on the game, that’s about 60 or so hours without any shortcuts and that’s probably the basic story elements and a bit of leveling up for good measure.

 

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Let’s Go Gothic For A Bit, Shall We?

GOTHIC demo

Hmmmm. But I give it a thumbs up, with reservations…

 

 

I still have my boxed copies of Gothic and Gothic II here and got the non-Piranha Bytes developed Gothic 3 on a disc with two other games, so this news of a playable teaser got me thrilled the series is in a comeback mode of sorts. THQ released a demo of what their team in Barcelona is working on a few months ago and is very wisely asking for user feedback and whether they should continue with the project. In a nutshell, it’s a big YES from me despite some huge problems from the start, and yes, I have some notes to offer as a fan. Constructive criticism time:

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TT Isle of Man 2: Make or Brake Time

Keyvisual_FinalI haven’t played a TT Isle of Man game since two solid games way back on the PlayStation 2, so I’m sure I’ll wreck quite a lot while I try KT Racing’s new PS4 game TT Isle of Man 2 and guess what? I’m okay with that. I’m gathering from the videos I’ve seen that it’s not going to be a simple “jam down the pedal and go” kind of game some may want or think is coming, and to me it’s clear KT has been refining a bunch of elements over the last installment they did that should appeal to fans of the sport while getting novice players to want to go riding like the wind. Here’s a look at a few game footage trailers and a brief interview:

 

 

Both of these classic bikes are available as pre-order content across all systems by the way:

pre-order TT

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Pathfinder Finds Its Path With 30 Days Remaining

PF_GIF

Kind of like bowling, isn’t it?

Geez, You take a few days away from things to get a clearer head and all manner of interesting stuff happens. Owlcat Games’ Kickstarter for Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous not only made its target on $300,000 in a single day, the game is still raking in a load of money, with as of this writing, over $860,000 being raised and a few nifty stretch goals added with 30 days to go. Wow. Here’s some rather nice title music from the developer to celebrate and yes, they’re still taking pledges and adding some mice stretch goals.

There was a developer live stream a few days back that I missed, but here it is if you want to check it out:

 

 

So far, the game is looking pretty well-packed with things to do and see, so kudos to the team at Owlcat for all their hard work so far.

-GW

 

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous Hands-On: You’ll Come Back, But Be Gone For A While

pathfinder WOTR

Prediction: It’s going to make its target and likely much more.

A little Kickstarter action, anyone?

Developer Owlcat Games is hard at work on a follow up to the incredibly deep Pathfinder: Kingmaker, which combined gameplay inspired by classic PC role-playing games such as the Baldur’s Gate, Fallout, Fallout 2 and Arcanum with a huge kingdom building system in a massive game with a pretty loyal following worldwide. It’s not at all a simple game as it sticks closely to the tabletop experience down to complex rules that need to be learned and implemented lest failure be your primary option.

Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous is a more an even more ambitious follow up, but tailored a lot better and not a direct “sequel”, adding in a wealth of changes to the game engine, a load of new classes to play as and packing in a ton of content. Owlcat is clearly in it for the long haul. This is good, however, as the hands-on demo’s Siege at Drezen sequence was pretty thrilling and left me wanting more. Before the demo, game Director Alexander Mishulin spoke and I got a wealth of lore on new classes, Mythic Path characters such as Angel, Lich, Aeon, and Trickster, some of the overall goals in the story line and more brain-filling content. There’s a lot going on here and Mishulin noted the final version will allow for many options and choices for new as well as returning players (which means a ton of replay value, naturally).

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This is going to be as deep as it gets and then some, but it was also noted that the dev team has been listening to feedback from the first game and is tailoring this new experience to be a bit more flexible for new players as a option. that certainly doesn’t mean the game will be easy or “casual”, mind you. The depth outside of the combat will include a number of “pay attention” elements that will have players glued to their PC’s as they dive into what’s looking like an extremely comprehensive solo campaign.

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