Review: One Night Stand (PS4)

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“Back up for a sec. I did WHAT last night?”

ONS_boxShort and simple on the surface, Kinmoku and ever busy port-house and publisher Ratalaika Games present a nifty little surprise in the form of One Night Stand, ($4.99) a game practically guaranteed to tee some prudish or easily triggered folks off (such as those expecting the usual trophy hunt from the publisher. Oh, they’re here, but it they come with a bit of baggage some can’t or won’t handle). This one’s a “slice of life” game, a visual novel where the person you’re playing wakes up in bed with a girl he met the night before and has (well, it’s an option here, but who doesn’t like a mystery?) to put the pieces together as he attempts to find out a few things about her.

Yeah, yeah. “Ooh, cooties” and all that dopey nonsense some will chime like broken bells as they whine about this game being the end of the world or bottom of the barrel or whatever. But it’s actually a pretty decent experience overall if you free yourself from any prejudices you may have Like it or not, some people in the real world sleep with each other and they’re not married and pumping out children. You can say this game is a sort of representational reality in a way of some (DEFINITELY not all) of the effects.

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Yeah, Let me choose (carefully, now!)…

Granted, waking up next to a total stranger is quite a change of pace (and how!) from this publisher of budget games, but it’s a risk that pays off big in little ways. As noted, the game is short (about 10 to 15 minutes per outcome), but replaying the scenario you get will extend the story across a few branches and yes, get you those trophies you’re after. As I like to note in my reviews of these games, Trophies are the last thing I think about and games like this are excellent ways to shake thing up.

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Qubic Games Is Having Quite A Sale

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Got a Switch? Scratch that itch! Get some fun games from this list.

Nice, and nicer if you like deals and have other Qubic Games titles on that Switch, you can get other Qubic titles not listed here for half off on the Nintendo eShop. Don’t wait, though – these sales are only up for a limited time.

Blazing Beaks
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 11 – October 30)
50% off
7.49 EUR
7.49 USD

Warlocks 2: God Slayers
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 12 – October 30)
66% off
5.99 EUR
5.99 USD

Mini Trains
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 11 – October 30)
50% off
2.99 EUR
2.99 EUR

#RaceDieRun
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 11 – October 30)
50% off
4.99 EUR
4.99 USD

Wreckin’ Ball Adventure
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 11 – October 30)
50% off
2.49 EUR
2.49 USD

Akane
EU only- (October 11 – November 7)
60% off
1.99 EUR

Shipped
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 11 – October 30)
25% off
4.49 EUR
4.49 USD

Puzzle Book
NA – (October 11 – October 31)
EU – (October 11 – October 30)
25% off
2.99 EUR
2.99 USD

-QubicGames Team

As noted, there are some good deals here, so get yourself something (but don’t forget the kids if you have them, of course).

-GW

Review: A Knight’s Quest (PS4)

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“I’m a little Rusty at this!”

AKQ_PS4While it treads familiar ground, it does so with enough winking and nodding to classic action platform and open world games to be quite smile-worthy. Developer Sky9 and Curve Digital present A Knight’s Quest ($24.99) a fun and mostly very pretty looking homage to some greats, Fun as it is, it could use a patch to fix a few issues. That said, it’s quite exciting to see a game reach for the stars like this, but it’s also painful to see a few stumbles that keep it from 100% potential greatness. As noted above, a few fixes will make it the stellar experience it needs to be. Still, Curve Digital has a little sleeper on its hands that old-school platformer fans will find a lot to love.

As Rusty, a hero who’s a bit on the clumsy side, you start out the game finding a wooden sword and shield in a cave you’re exploring before all hell breaks loose a few minutes into things. This sequence shows off some thrilling platforming and a bit of combat as the cave is escaped, and high marks here for a nifty start to things. Plot-wise, it’s a “find the legendary heroes, gain elemental magic from each one than will help you in each area” thing you’d expect, but with a dose of lighthearted humor and Rusty riffing on what he can. The weird mix of styles to the game world (which mixes a sort of medieval fantasy setting with stuff like radios and chain link fences in areas that can’t be accessed right away) seems a bit odd, but it’s worth saying it works after seen enough times while exploring.

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Fire good! Uh, stop, drop, and roll dude.

Additionally, if you like collecting stuff, the game goes out of it’s way to get you to search for secrets in hidden places or heck, almost anywhere you happen to be. From hidden treasure caches to singing slugs to breakables of a few types, it offers quite a few secrets to discover. It all feels like a throwback to another time or a game that means to keep you as busy as possible for as long as you’re playing. An amusing thing here is the game references Sky9’s Flash adventure/RPG from a while back, so some jokes will go right over a few heads unless that game was played. I didn’t see a hidden version of that game here, but I wasn’t looking everywhere thanks to blazing through some later maps to get this post up. It’s too bad Sony considers the Vita a lost cause, as the game looks like it would be a fine diversion on the portable or even better, a bonus for console owners.

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Review: The Tiny Bang Story (Switch)

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“Ma’am, could you tell me where you keep the puzzle pieces, please?”

Tiny BangWant a teased brain and some very pleasant and relaxing tunes to chill out to? Do you like puzzles and hidden object games? Well, here’s a game for you, then. Colibri Games’ The Tiny Bang Story ($9.99) finally comes to Switch and while it’s quite lovely to look at, some older gamers  (raises hand) might want to play it docked thanks to some very intricately detailed environments that make playing in portable mode a little tricky.

That’s not to say it’s unplayable undocked, mind you. This is a game where a larger TV screen not only shows off the great art to its fullest, some of the tiny details are harder to spot if you can’t see them (and there are a lot of tiny details here). I did make it through a hour or so through in portable mode before going docked and not looking back, but your own mileage may vary.

That and the onscreen pointer is super small, which helps seeing things, but also hinders things a bit because it’s so minuscule and you need to do a bit of hunting and pecking here. This is really the only “bad” thing about the game. Some of the search bits are yes, a lot of trial and error searching or tapping, but that’s par for the course in this sort of game. The puzzle portions are set up and balanced overall between those that make you think and a few where you might pull a few hairs figuring them out, but that’s also part of the deal you get with these games.

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Red Dead Redemption II PC: Whoa, Horsey, This Looks Spectacular

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Well, wow.  Let me post these stunning images here and stats via this link because yeah, the screens look quite phenomenal and I want to study them more. Okay, honestly, the news is a hell of a lot to copy/paste and yup, I have a lot of games to review and a few films this week to keep me busy. All I’ll say is if your PC can handle this (it supports a wide range of systems), this is the type of game that will run out of the gate better with a hefty system to show off the changes and how amazing it looks. Also, if you want this and not have to wait more that you have to, the Rockstar Games Launcher will be the way to go, pardner.

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PC owners get sore mighty fine bonuses, too.

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Review: Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain (PS4)

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Oh, wait ’til you have at least a dozen or so of these big guys to deal with and a few dozen or so ants and other bugs ti deal with (yipes).

EDF_IR BoxWith a new developer, new game engine and new elements to its gameplay, Earth Defense Force: Iron Rain ($59.99, $89.99 for the Ultimate Edition) ends up being kind of a reboot on one hand, but totally new and harder that the other games in the franchise on the other. This is a good thing, although a few elements could use some fixing up. Veteran Japanese developer Yuke’s decided to go with making the game tougher overall even on the easiest mode to the point it’s rough going to solo some missions unless you have very particular weapons or play with other live players in split-screen or online. While yes, you can tackle missions alone if you like, the mix of enemy types combined with less open maps and AI allies who seem to expire too quickly in some of the busier maps make for less mindless fun but more challenge at the end of the day.

It’s also a big game, with new character customization galore and the ability to play any character as any class, swapping out the new PA Gear at will between missions. Though not quite as mission varied or long as the Sandlot-developed games, it’s still a lot of game for the money and if you’re into that, it’s going to be money well spent. Granted, the mighty EDF 5 did suffer from a few repetitive missions and maps and the next to last boss fight dragged a bit because you needed to figure out how to beat that transforming spaceship boss as quickly as possible (and it took a while to do so the first time). A few tweaks here would help make a good game better, though. The appeal to western audiences ends up adding some elements to the game that it really didn’t need, and I’m saying this as someone who liked Earth Defense Force Insect Armageddon because it shook things up back when it was released.

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The Tiny Bang Story Makes the Switch

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Time to be royally puzzled!

Russian developer Colibri Games and publisher Ellada Games have a neat puzzler for Switch owners with The Tiny Bang Story, a game that’s had some solid success on mobile. As I don’t play mobile games these days (I play way to many console and PC games and have quite the backlog here), it’s the first I’ve heard of this. But it sure looks mighty impressive and yes indeed, my Switch is humming for the chance to play this.

 

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The hand drawn artwork style is lovely here and the games wordless accessibility means just about anyone can enjoy what’s here. I’m into this, that’s for sure.

Here’s a trailer to tempt you with:

A review is in the cards, so check back for that, please.

-GW

A Knight’s Quest Trailer: This Looks Like Fun Stuff, Indeed

From Canadian developer Sky9 Games and publisher Curve Digital comes A Knight’s Quest which definitely wears its 1990’s platform/RPG influences somewhat proudly on its sleeves for all to see.  It’s coming soon to Epic Games store, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and has already arrived for Xbox One. Fun fact: the game seems derived and definitely different from the quest-filled 2D adventure game by the developer from a few years back.

Check out the PS4 trailer below and get set for its October 10th release on the platforms that don’t yet have it:

I just got a PS4 review code yesterday and an pretty pleased to report that so far, it’s quite good stuff. Familiar intentionally to some classics you may recall, but absolutely very fun stuff, indeed. You’ll have to wait a touch for the full review, but I’m really having a blast with this one. Who’d have thought a clumsy main character would be so fun to play as?

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-GW

Preview- Daymare: 1998 Keeps The Old School Zombie Thing Alive

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So yeah, I’ve been playing Invader Studios’ (with aid from Destructive Creations and All In! Games) fun and scary Daymere: 1998 on STEAM for a short while and it’s pretty darn good (and thankfully, also coming to PS4 and Xbox One gamers at some point), although the story and character models could use a little polishing up. The game is so far, a decent enough mimic/response to Capcom’s much praised classic Resident Evil 2 so much so that it looks and feels at times like a newer entry, but intentionally filled with a certain old-school style that make it feel purposely nostalgic.

Here’s a game trailer to peruse:

While the human character models need a bit of work, the assorted undead are all appropriately creepy and the scares are timed to make you jump out of your skin when you’re caught off guard. There’s some method to the madness on display, as the game certainly gets the feelings of fright going on a few fronts. Granted, yes, it does start off initially slow as you get your bearings and yes, the UI could be a lot more intuitive. The game also has a few intentionally draggy moments in spots. But when you’re least expecting it (or because you will be), the tension is definitely there in the quietest of spaces when you think you can take a breather. Overall, it all blends into a horror-fest that’s pretty enjoyable, warts and all,

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The hammy voice acting is well done (funny how that works, right?) and I liked that some animations are a bit clunky, but these elements both fit the era in question. In it’s current form, it’s good, but a few patches away from greatness, I think. That and the game is in need of critical response that appreciates what’s going on here rather than attempting to bash the game for its particular weaknesses where an homage is clearly intended. As a fan of some horror games, this one’s not a bad way to whittle away a few hours on a rainy weekend with. Hey, I like this one a lot, stuff that needs work and all. The overall spirit is what’s important in a project like this and that’s going on in spades here.

-GW

Blacksad: Under the Skin Story Trailer: Or, I Need to Get Out More (Or Stay Inside and Read More)

Well, this looks pretty cool. I’d never heard of this game or comic character before, but as a fan of adventure games for a while, this looks really fun and noir-ish is right on up my alley and then some. Microids, Pendulo Studios & YS Interactive are the folks behind this, so I’m going to be doing some digging to see If a review code can be located. I think I have at least one PR contact at Microids, so that’s a good sign. If this one’s as good as it looks, being aboard the train will turn out to be a fine thing indeed. Especially for those of us who haven’t yet read the comic stories yet.

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Well. looky here, bonuses if you want them!

 

The game will be available in retail and digital formats in either standard or Limited Editions (PC, Mac, PS4, Xbox One and Switch) on November 19th, 2019.

-GW