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Hello Neighbor Review

Hello Neighbor is a very different type of game than you may have expected. Then again, being different than what you’re probably used to is also likely what brought you here in the first place. The sense of curiosity that’s been known to kill the cat, or in this case the neighborhood vibe of a suspenseful Alfred Hitchcock film meets puzzle game and dash of Five Nights At Freddy’s fan conspiracy community sprinkled on top without the annoying parts. It’s like Five Nights At Freddy’s for adults, but it’s so much more.

This game seems to exist within its own realm and as such follows its own rules of logic. A lot of time is spent fighting with your own mental patience or lack thereof. Gamers who take a calm and calculated approach and like to pause and think before every action might beat the game quicker than those who have lots of energy.

Sometimes the right action seems so simple but any little mistake will have you running to get back to the point where you had an opportunity to test your theory. The result will just be a lot of failure and the enemy growing more prepared and aware of your thinking process. The controls and physics of the game sometimes cause problems which aren’t your fault as well.

Many abstract moments leave the player constantly guessing what’s going on, but that’s the genre of mystery / adventure games that have recently cropped up. There’s a huge audience for it, but if you need something like a clear narrative, gunfights, or magic spells to keep you interested – it might not be for you. Instead, Hello Neighbor is a bizarre and artistic piece of content which can drive you borderline insane with spirit like a creepypasta.

Continue reading Hello Neighbor Review

Road Rage Review

Set in the backdrop of a martial law setting, with so many makings of a good game in place – Maximum Games manages to rush out an incomplete product for the holiday season which was perhaps just another half of a year in the oven away from a good game.

Continue reading Road Rage Review

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials Review

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials DLC is the first DLC apart of the Expansion Pass. It is more of a simple DLC, giving you some armor and weapons, but the main draw here is the new Master Mode and The Trial of the Sword challenge mode. The question is, is it worth the asking price?

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Now the main draw is the Trial of the Sword. Which can be described as one of the best additions I have ever seen added to a game post launch. Similar to a trial in the main game on an island, Trial of the Sword takes away all of your gear and equipment, making things tense. Although your runes do remain intact. You fight through floors of enemies, going through obstacles and challenges that can make anyone want to quit. But if you stick with it and manage to conquer the Trial of the Sword, your Master Sword will have something special happen to it. Sorry no spoilers here.

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Now for some of these little side add-ons here. We have the travel medallion that allows you to make your current location a place to where you teleport to. So you need to get back to a specific area later but you don’t have the correct gear? No problem use the travel medallion. The Korok Mask allows you to see Koroks and find them easier, still won’t make me find all 900 though. Misko’s Treasure is a side quest which involves you finding all of the DLC’s outfits such as Majora’s Mask. The new armor is appreciated and I am glad you have to go on quest to find them. Hero’s Path Mode lets you see the progress you have made through the world, seeing your previous footsteps, allowing some help if you get lost. Last but not least Master Mode. Which makes the game much harder. Mixes up enemy placement, adds new enemies to the world, let’s them regenerate health, and more. The game is certainly much more of a challenge which I love.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – The Master Trials DLC is a great addition to the game. The main draw here is the Trial of the Sword, and Master Mode, which both increase re-play ability. I am fine with the rest of the additions but once you get the armor and other little add-ons there’s not much outside of that. I would hope for the next DLC to have some more meaningful story quest, but this DLC is worth it I would say. The Master Trials gets a 8 out of 10. Now bring on Splatoon 2.

 

Rating: 8 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Publisher: Nintendo
Available On: Nintendo Switch, and Wii U

Release Date: June 30th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this DLC was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Splatoon Review / Retrospective

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Splatoon seemed like a huge risk to take when it was released. A new IP released on a platform that was not very successful, and was probably released in the worst drought of games the system had seen, the mid 2015 to 2016 stretch. Now let’s take a look back at this hit Wii U title, and see what it does right, and what it could be improved upon.

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The game starts you out each time in the Inkopolis Plaza, where Callie and Marie give you reports, you can buy some weapons, clothes, etc. Even activate amiibo support and chat with other inklings. Splatoon indeed had a singleplayer story mode, despite some people possibly missing it as I have heard online. But there is a sorta older squid character in the plaza that resides in a corner, you walk over to him, he goes down a manhole, you proceed and follow after. The older fellow then names you Agent 3, as you must fight back against the Octarians. There is about five worlds, and you can beat the story in just a few hours. But it is fun to play, the levels are satisfying as they take full range of all of your abilities. There is some decent level design here, adding new obstacles and challenges each level to keep things fresh. Plus each worlds levels can be finished in any order, so it’s not linear and keeps options open. The boss battles start out interesting but easy, and they pick up some speed on the later worlds. I do feel like bosses could use some work, maybe some more Koopa kid esque villains would help? The story here is fun and light but I do desire a little bit more, despite it being a game about kids shooting each other with ink.

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The real core of Splatoon has to be the community and it’s online 4v4 multiplayer. The basic gameplay here is shooter or hitting with guns and melee weapons, you can be a kid or a squid. Squids can travel fast through ink, and kids move slower but can attack and defend themselves. Before we continue the game can be played offline in 1v1 battles in the Dojo, but this feature is servely lacking, and I do desire at least some local multiplayer functions. But the online is something that is very fresh and enjoyable to go back and play to this date. You have a basic setup here, Player Matches and Ranked Matches. With player matches being free battle, and ranked matches having a C- to A+ ranking system. Of course you can play with your online friends in each type of match, even hosting private lobbies for your friends. Now we have 3 game modes here, Tower Control, which is very self explanatory. Rain Maker is like reverse capture the flag, with you obtaining a weapon called the Rain Maker and carrying into the enemy teams base. Turf War is the clear core of the title, having you simply cover as much of the map as possible with ink to win. There was also events called Splatfest, which were the truth life and core of the game and community. The Squid Sisters Callie and Marie would host these events and allow players to decide which team they would want to be on. You could pick, Pokemon Red or Pokemon Blue Team, Team Autobots and Team Decepticons, and the final Splatfest had Team Callie and Team Marie. The Splatfest would make the maps and plaza all night time, ending with concerts from Callie and Marie. This feature was great but I could see some improvements made to it, just to lighten things up.

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Splatoon was of course a Wii U title, which had some technical heners to it as it was basically just a Xbox 360 and PS3. The game runs at 720p and 60fps, but the vibrant colors make things fine to nice to look at. The game never really drops frames and runs very smooth, which is key for multiplayer focused titles. The art style is wonderful, having this ultra weird Japan feel, yet feeling so lively and fun, making you feel like a kid again. The music does the same thing, just being upbeat and trying some weird things out with sounds, which works. You play the game with the gamepad, which actually works here, as when you look down you can see your map and tap it to go places or back to the spawn, and see how much of the map is splatted.

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Splatoon was a risked that paid off. Being one of the top selling games on Wii U, and one of the most played multiplayer games of the past few years it is nothing short of a success. Sure it’s not perfect, a expanded story mode would help, more modes, more customization, etc. But it’s a hell of a lot of fun. I give Splatoon a 8 out of 10.

Rating: 8 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Available On: Wii U

Release Date: May 29th, 2015

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

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Puyo Puyo Tetris is a nice crossover of Puyo and Tetris, developed by Sonic Team of all developer teams. This puzzle game hits many different platforms, but today we will be taking a look primarily at the Nintendo Switch version. I mean hey, who doesn’t play Tetris? Or Puyo?

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Puyo Puyo Tetris, could have been a small little simple puzzle crossover game. But Sonic Team decided to go even beyond what it could have been. Including many different modes, and even a story mode. When you start up the game, the title menu will give you four options. Main Menu, for the bulk of what the title offers, or you can jump straight into Tetris, Puyo Puyo, or Fusion, which is the new versus crossover mode. The game has a Solo Arcade mode, which has single player modes, where you tackle CPU, and even do some special challenges. Multiplayer Arcade is essentially the same thing, but with your friends in local multiplayer with up to four friends in split screen or local wireless with another Switch. Arcade branches off into various different modes. Versus is the basic mode, just a simple classic versus match against computers or friends. Swap is an interesting one, you can play two separate games at once, with the new different games swapping out randomly. This can make for some chaotic fun. Party mode features items and infinite lives, staying true it’s name. Fusion is having a board with Puyos and Tetris raining down at the same time. Big Bang mode allows you to attack other players by clearing preset Tetris or Puyo as fast as you possibly can. Puyo Puyo Tetris also has some Lessons, which gives you some tips on how to play both games, and fusion. Which is good for the western crowd unfamiliar with Puyo Puyo. Of course the title also allows Online play. Having simple free play mode, joining your friends online, watching your saved replays of good games. Then we have Public League which is ranked play, featuring leader boards and a ranking system. The online is more in depth than you would expect to be for a title like this.

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Adventure mode is the game’s story mode. Featuring several different acts, with several playable characters, switching between Tetris and Puyo Puyo. It starts out easy enough, but the more levels in an act, and the more acts you go through, the more of a challenge it becomes, which is nice. Don’t expect to much of a mix up from the multiplayer gameplay, but the Adventure mode helps you learn some of the basic mechanics of Puyo Puyo Tetris. The story here is fun and lighthearted. Clearly in the style of a Saturday morning cartoon mixed with an anime flavor. The setup is basically that multiverse portals have mixed over, causing Tetris and Puyo Puyo going into different words, Ringo and Tee meet each other, and exchange in the first Puyo Puyo Tetris battle. The game does take it’s time to tell it’s story, despite just being a puzzle game, which I did enjoy. It’s one of those games you just need to play yourself.

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Puyo Puyo Tetris of course runs at 1080p 60fps in TV mode, and 720p 60 fps in handheld mode. No surprise to anyone there. I like the sprite animation of the game, it’s a nice mix between eastern anime style art, and western animation art. At least that is how I see it. It’s pleasant to look at, and puts you in a good mode. The music is happy and cherry, and always conveys a tone of having fun, regardless if you are sitting on your couch, your sitting in the lobby at university.

Puyo Puyo Tetris is a game I enjoyed more than I expected I would. It’s fun, and gives us a great crossover between Puyo Puyo and Tetris. Being probably the best Tetris game in a long while. I give Puyo Puyo Tetris a 8 out of 10. This will be a game I play for countless years while sitting and waiting in for a bus, or a train.

 

 

Rating:  8/ 10

RGN Rating: Silver
Developer: Sonic Team
Publisher: SEGA
Available On: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3ds, PS4, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox One, and Wii U.

Release Date: April 25th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Review

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CAPCOM has recently brought back Street Fighter II for seemingly the final time, in Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers. An attempt to back into some nostalgia and bring back the classic that helped define the series to a new generation of Nintendo and the 30th Anniversary of Street Fighter.

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Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers has a what you would expect from a basic fighting game in 2017. It has an basic Arcade mode which you go through, fight other fighters, fight a final boss, Bison in this case, and end with a story cutscene for the character. The Arcade mode is classic Street Fighter Arcade mode so it’s fun of course. It has a basic versus mode for offline and online where you can fight with your buddy on the couch, and some dude across the world in Italy. The online does feature ranked matches and player matches. But I suggest playing player matches as the netcode is awful here and you’ll lose rank just because the game will lag out. There is a Buddy Battle mode where you and a friend can play together and fight enemies in a 2 on 1 scenario, it’s rather some decent fun. The core gameplay here is of course great, it’s Street Fighter II after all, and I do enjoy playing it, Cammy is my main in these Street Fighter games. It’s for sure a solid fighting experience, but playing it again, I can see there is not much room for experimenting with combos and such. Then we come to the actual new mode to this game, Way of the Hado. This a mode based entirely on motion controls with the joycons. You play as Ryu in a sort of 1 on 100 feel of game type, with stage battles, and of course endless battle mode. You can do all of Ryu’s basic moves such as Hadoken, Shoryuken, and even do simple things such as blocking. It is okay, I think the idea here is solid but it get’s old really fast since you only play as Ryu, they should have included other characters like Ken, Cammy, and Chun-Li. It’s clear this was put in the title to say they had something new in order to justify the price. Two new characters were added in the form of Evil Ryu and Violent Ken, but honestly they are just buffed versions of Ryu and Ken, so not worth really talking about.

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The game runs at 1080p 60 fps in TV mode, and 720p 60fps in handheld mode, as is the case with most Switch games. It is not a graphically impressive game, even the sprite work I don’t consider anything amazing, but the game allows you to switch between the redone graphics, and the classic arcade style graphics, which of course I prefer the classic style. Way of the Hado uses it’s own graphics style as well, which looks exactly like Street Fighter V, but with toned down effects likely due to the mode just being tossed in there for the sake of it. The game doesn’t really do much different from the Street Fighter II re release on the PS3, and 360 in terms of content and additions. You can play the game with a split joycon, or a pro controller setup, no fight stick support as of yet. Way of the Hado of course uses both joycons for motion controls, and these motion controls do work mostly flawlessly. The game’s soundtrack is classic Street Fighter II, they did do some remixes of the classic tracks for this version of the game, which is greatly appreciated.

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers is a game that’s fun for a few hours, then you realize there isn’t much to it. The game is 20 years old, and they should have done a full out remake and went through the trouble of adding some more worthy features, and expanding Way of the Hado mode.If the game cost like $15 or $20 I would be much more lenient, but it cost $40, which is highway robbery. I give Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers a 5 out of 10.

Rating: 5 / 10

RGN Rating: $20 too much
Developer: CAPCOM
Publisher: CAPCOM
Available On: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: May 26th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

ARMS Review

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ARMS is the new big fighting game IP from Nintendo, featuring a fresh unique take on the genre. Featuring weird people with stretching arms that fight in huge stadiums while beating the crap out of each other. Is Nintendo going forth and keeping up it’s success with new IP and it’s games in general?

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ARMS features diverse cast of characters, ranging from Master Mummy, a literal Mummy, to a girl in a giant mech suit, to Helix, literal DNA. All of these characters have their own starting Arms, and abilities. For example, Helix can stretch his body to be really big, small, and go side to side, making him one of the hardest enemies to hit. Master Mummy can self heal while blocking, slowly, but he surely can. Of course size differences among them make a difference. I’d say the most unique character is probably Byte and Barq, since the robots robot dog runs around and can punch other players, I can see how this would be considered cheap in the competitive scene, but it’s just so fun.

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Arms is the main mechanic of the title, featuring different types of Arms such as regular boxing gloves, giant balls, and even missiles and lasers you can shoot. The variety in mixing Arms combinations with the various characters is incredible, the system is so deep that you can create a unique feeling Spring Girl like I did, instead of the vanilla options. The game at the surface level can be played like a fun party game, even featuring modes like hoops and volleyball, but at it’s core it is much deeper than it. The game’s competitive online mode is where the game truly shines, you against one other person who understand some of the workings of the game, such as twisting your Arms, and dodging at the right moment. The mechanics here are surface level enough for everyone, but deep enough for those desiring to challenge themselves.

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The game modes featured here is Grand Prix, which is a basic arcade later of fighting, or even playing volleyball, with 9 fighters, than fighting the game’s final boss Max Brass for the ARMS title. It has various different difficulty’s and adds for some variety. There is also online social, and local multiplayer, with up to four players which is amazing. You can play just normal fights, hoops, volleyball, target smash, and a boss fight like mode, where everyone fights a giant boss. A 1 on 100 mode is also available to hone your skills against plenty of fighters. The modes offer enough fun variety, regardless if you are playing by yourself, online with friends or randoms, or with your buddy with a split joycon on the couch. ARMS has all the options and more for a fighting game. My favorite mode of course is playing the competitive mode, as I feel like I am playing against people with a similar level of skill, and I have lost a lot of games, but also have won a lot. Using the motion controls can wear you down as you constantly move, but it makes me feel like I have absolute control over my movements and actions while playing competitive.

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ARMS runs at 1080 60 fps in TV mode and 720p 60 fps in handheld mode. Now I noticed at some points when you are playing split screen with more than three players, the framerate does take some dips into the 50s and 40s, which can be pretty jarring, but it doesn’t happen ever when you are playing by yourself. The graphics are very anime and cartoony like, they look great. Some nice lighting effects, and the look of the title is just satisfying. When you hit something the sound effects are just satisfying and let you know what you have hit, feeling like a classic comic punch mixed with a real punch. ARMS has the most control options out of any Nintendo Switch game yet. You can play with a pro controller, handheld mode, joycons in grip, joycons loose, split joycons. Then there is the big control option, the motion controls. Which for once I agree is the best way to play the game, making you feel one with your character as you move back and forth, and punch and twist your arms, it is crazy to me how good playing the game like that feels.

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ARMS is showing the continuing success of Nintendo with their new IP and their Nintendo Switch platform. ARMS takes full advantage of all features and possible control options of the Switch, making it accessible enough for everyone, but having enough depth for competitive players. I can’t wait to see the continuing support of the game through free DLC. I give ARMS a 9 out of 10, please don’t hit me.

 

Rating: 9 / 10

RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: Nintendo EPD
Publisher: Nintendo
Available On: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: June 16th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Injustice 2 Review

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Injustice 2 is the sequel to 2013’s top fighting game, Injustice God’s Among Us. Featuring a large cast of people’s favorite DC characters such as Batman, Superman, Swap Thing, Harley Quinn, and Wonder Woman. Expanding upon some of the first games mechanics, and making iterations to the formula, does Injustice 2 offer a premiere pro fighting experience?

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Injustice 2 expands upon many of the first games features and mechanics, taking some lessons from their last game Mortal Kombat X. Also plenty of new features have been added, such as the brand new gear system. The gear system works as the games skins, while also having their own stats such as strength and speed added. Allowing for you to play more in your own style. Of course the game has a leveling system for these characters, the max being 20. The more levels you go the more access to new gear you can obtain. The gear system in this game is revolutionary for fighting games, no more DLC skins, now what you wear matters and changes how you look. There is also premiere skins in the game such as Power Girl and Mister Freeze, that are different characters that take the place of Supergirl and Captain Cold. These are great additions as instead of making new characters that would be clones, you can make these skins to boot. The gear you get from boxes which you gain from in game currency or can purchase with real world money. It’s bad that micro transactions have made their into this title, but it’s easy to unlock boxes and get skins and gear so I don’t mind it as much. The game also features day 1 DLC with Darkseid which I hate so I did not get a chance to play as him.

Injustice 2 builds upon the traits introduced in the first game. For example, Supergirls trait is her heat vision, which you tap the trait button and she will use it as a projectile attack. You can even use her trait in the form of combos based on how charged her trait is. Black Canary can scream, depending on the charge of it, will depend on how long it’ll stun enemies. A lot of the returning characters play very similar, Green Lantern especially. But Harley Quinn has some big changes, more agile, a new trait that uses her pet Hynias as sort of moving projectile. Batman and Superman are the two characters you should start with, as they are all around fighters that use a wide variety of combos and styles. The combo system is of course very similar and varies between characters, it does feel more fluid and similar to Mortal Kombat X, which is a good thing.

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The story of Injustice 2 picks up several years after Injustice: Gods Among Us. Superman is still in jail and Batman is moving into a sort of watcher, trying to stop threats before they even, control from the shadows. Meanwhile Supergirl is in hiding, being naive of the truth of this world, and Braniac is hatching his scheme to collect Earth. I find the plot a great continuation of the first game, I would say it is on par, not better or worse, on par. Which is great, it tells the next chapter of this story and goes in a very satisfying direction. Braniac makes for a great villain, being this powerful alien, splitting Batman and Superman yet again on how to deal with his threat. Characters like Harley Quinn get a big chance to shine, while some characters like Doctor Fate and Swamp Thing are so underused you wonder why they even bothered using them in the plot at all. I am excited to see what they do with Injustice 3, since this game has multiple endings. I am curious to see what they go with.

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Injustice 2 is a very good looking fighting game. Featuring very detailed models, and fluid colorful environments. The facial animations are not the best and feel a bit off from time to time, mainly in the story mode. It doesn’t bother me too much, and is less noticeable with a character like Batman naturally. The game constantly runs at a smooth 60 frames per second and 1080p on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Using a controller works fine, mainly the PS4 controller, but you are better off with a fighting stick if you have enough cash to purchase yourself one.

Injustice 2 is one of the best fighting games in a long time. Giving me a true DC cinematic experience that’s fresh, fluid and fun. I feel very happy to have had a chance to play this at the start of it’s life, and plan on reviewing every fighter pack as they release. The question is Batman or Superman? I give Injustice 2 a 9 out of 10, every battle defines you.

 

 

 

Rating: 9 / 10

RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: NetherRealm Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Available On: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Release Date: May 16th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition Review

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Minecraft is basically on any device you can ever think of, but I have always found the handheld versions lacking in comparison to it’s PC and Console counterparts. Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition promises a modern Minecraft experience at home, and on the go, so does it deliver, and is it worth the $29.99 price tag?

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Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition features the same sized worlds as it’s Xbox One and Playstation 4 counterparts. Being able to take these huge worlds on the go, still work on them is something special, and puts Minecraft into a feeling I always felt it was meant for. The game of course runs in 1080p 60fps in TV mode, and 720p 60fps in handheld mode. I will say it’s clear some draw distance and other small things are lost in handheld mode, but it’s still much better than the Wii U version of the game. It truly delivers on putting Minecraft in the palm of your hands and making it feel truly good, unlike the Wii U and PS Vita versions which fell short.

Even the controls are great in handheld, as I like to mix it up between using the hard buttons for true gameplay, and using touch controls for all the menus and crafting. As it goes back to my point of what Minecraft always felt it should be. This is truly my favorite version of the game, aside from not having too many new features aside from touch controls, or the Mario skin pack. The Super Mario skin pack, and world is actually probably my favorite one of these DLC skin packs they ever made for Minecraft. Primarily just the world they managed to build, feeling like a classic 2D Mario game with these blocky 3D textures. Along with the Super Mario 64 soundtrack it’s just so great. This is where the price comes into play, as they include the Mario skin pack with several others. Price wise it’s a deal, but I would have preferred an option to buy just the vanilla game $19.99, but regardless the game is still worth it to take with you.

There is also a verses multiplayer in the game, along with the creative, survival, and adventure mode. Versus mode is basically online Minecraft Hunger Games style deathmatch, and it’s a lot of fun. Survival is classic building, surviving the nights and building some more. Creative makes you a Minecraft god allowing you to build whatever you desire. Adventure mode is recently new, allowing for you to stop other players from destroying your worlds. So you can create worlds with their own stories and quest for you and friends to go on, or making your own multiplayer maps.

There is not to much new to truly talk about that’s new, as it is still Minecraft, but I believe I have done the best of ability to explain what it’s like on the Switch. It’s a true Minecraft experience on the go, or just Minecraft on your Nintendo machine. and it’s great. My favorite version of Minecraft yet, and if you like Minecraft this is the version for you. I give Minecraft on Nintendo Switch a 9 out of 10.

Rating: 9 / 10

RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: Mojang
Publisher: Microsoft
Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Wii U, and Mobile.

Release Date: May 11th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a powered up port of Mario Kart 8 (Wii U) now on the Nintendo Switch. While largely being the same title, plenty of small changes and even entirely new modes and mechanics do make the game feel more unique and different compared to its Wii U counterpart.

The question for Switch owners, is it worth it?

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe features enough suites of play for every type of gamer to enjoy. Some straight up single player fun in modes like;

Grand Prix – which is the classic 4 race mode, with everyone trying to compete for first place.

Time Trials  where you can race against your previous times on tracks, and against other players’ ghosts online, random, and friends.

VS Race: Players can use their own custom rules and choose which tracks they want to race whenever they please.

Battle Mode: And, Of course! Battle Mode is making its true return and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe presents the best iteration of Battle Mode since Mario Kart 64.

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The game play in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is what you’d usually expect from your usual Mario Kart game, with some added features. Every entry has their own little charm to the chain, for example the motion controls and bikes in Mario Kart Wii, or two carters and special items in Mario Kart Double Dash. So of these features remain like bikes and motion controls, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, brings back a addition, on top of what it offers. The gravity mechanic which for those who played the Wii U version will know changes the way a player drives their kart. By usually sending you on your side and even going through hoops, allowing for some faster kart racing, especially based on what CC speed you pick, it’s a wild ride at 200CC. They also brought back the two item mechanic which allows you to hold two items at the same time. Sadly you can’t switch between them, but it can be more helpful in certain situations. Drifting has also seen a change, instead of two drift options, now a forth drifting area is obtainable, but is still a challenge to reach. But doing so allows a boost of about 3 total seconds.

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The Grand Prix features about 12 entire series to choose from. Alongside with 48 tracks, some of them new, and others returning from previous games, remastered for the new abilities mainly gravity, going under water, and flying through the air. The majority of the tracks provide a huge fun factor for casual and competitive gamers alike. The standout tracks to me are Rainbow Road (n64), Electrodrome, Excitebike Arena, Yoshi Circuit, and Wild Woods. While some of the tracks I despise, mainly because of how many times the blue shell hits me is, Super Bell Subway, Grumble Volcano, Cheese Land, and Wario’s Gold Mine. Of course Grand Prix has the modes 50 CC, 100 CC, and 150 CC that most players are familiar with. But also includes a flipped mirror mode, and a even faster 200 CC that feels like F-Zero Kart.

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Battle Mode makes a huge splash into Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, being the standout mode for me and my friends. Battle mode features 5 different modes to battle in. Balloon Battle which is the classic mode where we all beat each other up with items trying to get the highest score, in either team battle or an all out battle royale. Renegade roundup is my personal favorite new mode, where one team is the cops, the other is the robbers. The cops must catch the robbers in a cage, and the robbers must free each other from the cage, and try to not get caught until time runs out. Bom-omb blast is similar to balloon battle, except the big difference is everyone has bombs, this is my least favorite mode due to me not finding as enjoyable to the regular mode. Coin Runners is a mode where you have to pick up coins, and hit coins away from other players to win. Shine Thief returns from Double Dash, hold the star for the longest amount of time to win the game. Battle mode has 8 arenas, my favorite of these being Urchin Underpass, Lunar Colony, and Battle Course 1. While my least favorite is Sweet Sweet Kingdom. Battle mode offers some of the most fun to be had in gaming right now, just prepare for friends to hate you.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe of course has a online multiplayer. For both Grand Prix and Battle Mode, each with their own ranking systems. You can play online by yourself, with a buddy right next to you, and even your friends online. Host your own private matches, and even your own tournament server. The options are great, but the game does have a issue with online connection, as I have lost connection in many matches, or lobbies will simply time out constantly, creating a somewhat frustrating situation.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe runs at 1080p and 60 fps in TV mode, and 720p 60 fps in handheld mode. Even with up to 4 players in either mode the game maintains a solid framerate of 60. Mario Kart 8 on the Wii U ran at 720p and 60fps and 720p 30 fps with more than 4 players. So this is a huge improvement, providing a solid way to play in any situation. Playing with a wheel for some could be the best way to play, as the motion controls are vastly improved to the Wii remote. Or even a classic split joycon style. My favorite way to play this game is with the pro controller, as it feels perfect for this type of games simple controls. The soundtrack in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is amazing, plenty of trumpets to give you that feel of pure Mario Kart, while playing a very beautiful game to look at in it’s art style.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is more than a simple port with some added characters and modes. It is a clear improvement over Mario Kart 8. Being able to take it with you, play with your friends always at 60 fps, and the game is simply pure fun with some small issues like the online. I give Mario Kart 8 Deluxe a 9.5 out of 10.

 

Rating: 9.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: Nintendo EAD
Publisher: Nintendo
Available On: Nintendo Switch (Deluxe), and Wii U (Original)

Release Date: April 28th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

MLB The Show 17 Review

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MLB The Show 17 came out recently and is one of the greatest baseball games in the series. The Show has been around since 2006 where developer SIE San Diego Studio has been working on the series since its inception on the PS2. They have put their feet in a few other games over the years such as: Modnation Racers, LittleBigPlanet Karting, and Kill Strain. They had some competition up until its last game in 2013 with Major League Baseball 2k13. This is also the first year that the developer has been able to create the game solely on PS4 and not have to do a copy of the PS3.

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MLB The Show 17 is the celebration of everything baseball and all the fans who enjoy it. The intro to the game will tug as some great baseball moments in history, it is all hand drawn on a chalkboard and put into a score board all ending with the announcement of the Chicago Cubs winning The World Series. This has to be the best introduction into playing MLB The Show 17, from there the user is introduced to the menu which breaks all the modes down for the user. When it comes to the visuals of the game, the stadiums are on point a ton of detail, the crowd looks really real, the attention to detail on all the stadiums. Players actually resemble their real life counterparts, the facial hair is actually really good from what previous years have shown. The actual player physics have gotten better with each year of the show as it is to emulate the sport in a realistic way. The ball physics are improved they actually slice after being hit by a hitter and with several types of fielding and pitching aims to make the game even more real slash simulation.

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The Show has a lot of great game modes for the user to indulge in such as: Road to the Show, Diamond Dynasty, Franchise Mode, Retro Mode, Practice, and Home Run Derby there is a few other smaller options as well. The one mode that was really enjoyable is Road to the Show which is where the user can customize their experience they way they want to play. Everything from customizing their character to what position they play as well as how they handle their career. Pave Your Path is the newest feature added to Road to the Show where it allows the user to make decisions on their career from talking to their agent, talking to their coach about what position they want to play, to deciding when is the right time to enter the draft. Everything the user does in the game allows them to rank up and gain experience as well as training points so they can build the perfect player, leveling up the character is a must have if the user wants to advance from the minor league to the major league. Stubs are also in the game they are in game currency for buying card packs, they have everything in them from: equipment, stadiums, players, different jerseys etc. Real money can also be used to obtain more stubs to purchase bigger card packs. In the card packs they can be used to enhance the user’s Road to the Show as well as Diamond Dynasty.  

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For Diamond Dynasty the user can build the ultimate baseball team with current players as well as greats from the past. The ability to have a team with the best players throughout baseball history seems like a good time and definitely a large consumption of time. Franchise mode allows the user to control everything in their franchise from coaching tasks, trades, scouting, drafting, working with staff and much more. Retro Mode is the game type that has the most amount of fun especially if you come from old school baseball games. The controls are simplified they have retro graphics on the HUD but still have the gorgeous in game graphics in the background makes from a ton of fun to play. There is no special batting like in the normal version of the game which is actually really fun it takes the game to a simpler time in sports games. Home Run Derby is exactly what it sounds like the user picks who they want to go for the home run record and then swing away and keep crushing them out of the park. This is a fun mode to visit from time to time to get some swings in and work on some batting practice.

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While playing MLB The Show 17 one thing that they really nailed this year is the graphics, not having to hold back by doing a PS3 version this year has really helped out. The attention to detail on everything is amazing the crowds actually look like real fans, the lighting in game is stunning. Character models look life like and true to their players as well as all the hair detail on the heads and facial hair. Each stadium was given a high amount of detail as well, anything past that suffers but that can be overlooked since the rest of the game looks really good. There is also the online aspect with the game keeping up to date rosters, users can also play others online with customized gaming lobbies.

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MLB the Show 17 is the best baseball game out there, no where can you get this kind of experience. With all the features added to this year make this game worthy of checking out. The added Pave your Path feature in road to the show can’t wait to see how this progresses in the coming years. If you’re the user that wants to control every aspect of the game this is for you, or if you’re a casual player who wants to play retro mode and crush some home runs.

Rating: 8.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: SIE San Diego Studio
Publisher: Sony
Available On: PlayStation 4

Release Date: March 28th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Horizon Zero Dawn Review

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Horizon Zero Dawn is the new big PlayStation IP from the developers of the Killzone franchise, Guerrilla Games. Taking place in a future overrun with nature and giant animal like robots, you play as Aloy, a girl with a bow, trying to uncover the secrets of her past. Horizon Zero Dawn is a big change from Guerrilla’s Killzone games, those being linear shooters, now moving into a action adventure RPG with an open world. Prepare to step into the world of giant robots, bandits, tribes, and fire arrows.

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Horizon Zero Dawn takes place in the far future, after some form of cataclysmic event that left everyone less advanced, and filled the world with giant robot dinosaur animals. You play as Aloy, a girl exiled from her tribe at birth due to her controversial birth. In this early part of the game where you play as a young Aloy, you see how the citizens shun her, and you feel a connection through this discrimination. After finding a device called a Focus, a ancient headset that lets you see the world differently, she has a goal, to one day prove herself to the Nora tribe and find out why she was shunned. That is only the beginning of this story.

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Horizon Zero Dawn is one of these rare titles does the overdone genre of open world games extremely well. Packed to the brim with a variety of robotic enemies to go against, the powerful Thunderjaw, or the small, but threatening Watchers. You have free range to travel this diverse land, from the homeland of the Nora, which is more of a forest region, to the Carja territories which comprises of many deserts to trek across. Each region has their own specific weather effects, rain usually filling the Nora valleys, the Banuk live up in the snowy mountains, where blizzards and heavy snowfall occur. The way the weather plays in absolutely fantastic, feels immersive as you walk across these lands and see the rain clouds coming in the distance. You can even hack and ride some of these machines to help you traverse the land faster, or buy and craft fast travel packs to skip straight to your current quest.

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As I said, each tribe has their own land, their own cultures, their own stories to tell, all woven together in this well thought out world, which feels so beautifully realized for just one game in. In Horizon Zero Dawn we are introduced to plenty of these tribes. The Nora who are the ones to shun Aloy at birth, are very spiritual to their goddess the All-Mother, and seem more concerned about nature and the world around them. The Carja, who seem to be the largest tribe, have their own capital city, Meridian. They worship the sun god and have a violent past that the current sun king is attempting to atone for. The Oseram are mainly known for their weapons, and how crafty they are. They seem to be very concerned with building and profit, they even see themselves as being superior to other tribes. The Banuk are nomads who live up in the snowy mountains, trying to live in peace and harmony with machines and nature. There are other tribes Tenakth, but who know very little about them, hopefully they are expanded up in the future of this series.

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Gameplay is varied, giving a basic RPG upgrade, crafting, and modification system. Every time you level up, you get a skill point, you have 3 different skill trees to pour these points into. One focusing on combat, another on resources, and another on various task like stealth. You can craft all of your ammo, and even weapons and armor. By simply tapping L1 you can bring up your weapon wheel, switching weapons on the fly and even crafting ammo for them. Mods can applied to armor and weapons, increasing traits of them, like damage resistance or doing more damage. Despite these elements being simple, there is plenty you can do with due to the varying nature of the weapons, enemies, and terrain. You can climb some sections of the world when you see yellow spots, this I don’t like, they should have some sort of actual climbing feature, as being limited to areas, limits my exploration.

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You have a bow, as your primary tool. The basic bow has normal arrows, and fire arrows, but every bow you can buy in the game, has different arrow types. Some having shadow arrows, hard point arrows, and various other arrows, that all have different uses depending on what enemies your fighting. For example shooting an enemy that has an exposed tube with a fire arrow, they can explode, damaging themselves and enemies around them. You have a sling as well, that contain shock and freeze blast, useful for shocking and freezing enemies, especially freezing flying enemies. The tearblaster, which can only be obtained through a hunting quest, uses compressed air to rip pieces of machines off. The ropecaster can tie enemies down, each having their own amount of shots they can take, the Thunderjaw needs to be hit around 8 times or more before bringing it down. Even if you can’t bring them down, it should at least slow them down and stop them in their tracks. Tripcasters are used for placing traps that can well trip your enemy, also having the ability to blow them up or shock them. Rattlers are used for closed ranged combat only, due to awful accuracy. Finally your spear, used as a melee weapon, with the capability of light and hard attacks, it even allows you to hack machines around the world, but you first must access Cauldrons to gain more date to hack more machines.

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Horizon Zero Dawn has many different actives and quest to engage in across it’s world. One of these is Cauldrons, which are like puzzle dungeons. They are a completely optional part of the game, but doing these will give your spear access to hacking more advanced machines, such as the all mighty Thunderjaw. Bandit camps are another part of the game that is optional, but it has a character called Nil that helps you defeat most of these camps. You learn more about him as you stomp on the bandits, and he’s a sociopath who simply just loves killing, but is so likable at the same time. Horizon even has towers, but don’t get upset yet, these towers actually are fun to do, and don’t litter your map with check marks to fill. They are giant machines you just find a way to jump on then climb up, it’s sorta a mini puzzle, and you usually just run upon the Tallnecks. After climbing one they will clear some of the map, letting you know where some machines are and that’s about it, finding settlements and quest is still exploration based. The Hunting Grounds are where you are given some task to complete, usually involving killing machines, and given a time limit to complete these objectives in. The shorter it takes you, the higher the marks you will get. Corrupted Zones also exist, which are areas you need to clear out that feature corrupted and stronger enemies. This admittedly is the weakest side activity in the whole game but doing all of them should at least help level you up.

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The mainquest have a certain structure to them, some with minimal combat and primarily focusing on the story of the game. Which is where the dialogue system comes into play. Usually you don’t get to much diversity in what you say, as you ask a lot of questions or move the conversation forward after asking these questions. Every now and then you are given a choice, which can help you form Aloy’s personality. You have emotional or caring responses, logical responses, or hatred responses. Some of these do matter somewhat, but for the most part you don’t get to make to many choices in this game, outside of choosing to do a quest or not. Sidequest also exist, as is the nature of these games. Most sidequest in Horizon compliant the world and the main plot. They usually consist of Aloy using her focus to track trails left behind and investigate areas, feature some heavy combat sections, or even tell you to go somewhere to get something. But the story of most of these quest keeps you invested, a specific sidequest involving a child king was easily my favorite in the game, as when it concluded I could see how much Aloy had grown since the start of the game. There is also errands, smaller sidequest that usually go round up to hunting machines, fetchquest, finding someone for someone else, or you can even make your own errands, telling yourself to find a collectible, or the resources to buy or craft some armor.

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Horizon Zero Dawn’s story is that of Aloy, a girl thrust into this chaotic and unfair world, while the past creeps in, pushing her forward on this adventure. She’s trying to find her origins, while trying to find out who attacked her village, so the personal investment is there for us and for her. Most RPGs offer some branching paths, Horizon plays it in a more linear fashion with limited decision making. In the case of Horizon at first it shock me, as I felt like the plot was predictable and wasn’t moving along fast enough. I was there for the world and gameplay and because I liked Aloy’s character, or at least the way I was forming her to be. But at about the end of the first act, you are introduced to a character that goes by the name Sylens, his character is very mysterious and intriguing, and helps point us in a new direction for answers, outside of the political drama between the Carja and Shadow Carja. The revelations in this game about the old ones, about the past are more shocking and complex than I realized at first, once these revelations are brought into the plot, the game really begins to take off for me, you get one question answered, but 2 new questions take it’s place, which pushes you forward for the truth. Don’t worry I won’t spoil the plot for you, just play the game for yourself and you will see exactly what I am talking about.

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The score in Horizon Zero Dawn is amazing. Mixing a fast paced style with tribal chants, and chants, easily being on of the greatest scores to ever hit a game. The piece Years of Training, and the track from the Prologue are easily my favorite, invoking such imagination and spirit inside of you. The game is absolutely beautiful, staring out across the snowy mountains and seeing the amazing draw distance and the landscapes leave you breathless, as you almost feel like you are there. In the cutscenes the characters expressions and animations are great, putting it up there with games like Uncharted 4. But when it’s in the conversations the characters have odd facial animations and glitches, the camera won’t follow them when it moves, and they appear lifeless. The main cast especially Ashly Burch as Aloy is amazing, but a lot of the npcs are dull or just make you laugh at how bad they are, maybe it’s just some odd dialogue choices, but I’d expect a tad more. Horizon runs of the Decima engine, which is Guerrilla Game’s engine they launched for the PS4 with Killzone: Shadow Fall. Decima is very very good, as the game looks great and runs great at 1080p 30fps on the PS4, with PS4 options for 1080 60fps or even 4K with improved assets, taking full advantage of it’s capabilities. The only glitches I experienced was a lot of clipping on objects, some invisible walls, and the odd animations in dialogue scenes. Other than that, the game is a true showcase of what the PS4 can do.

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Horizon Zero Dawn was a game at first didn’t draw me in the way I expected it to. But as the game went on, it got better and better. When the eventual sequel, or even possible DLC releases I hope they add some improvements to the game just so we can reach a true level of excellence. Aside from that the game is great, if you own a PS4, you must buy this game. I give Horizon Zero Dawn a 8 out of 10.

 

Rating: 8 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: Guerrilla Games
Publisher: Sony
Available On: PlayStation 4

Release Date: February 28th, 2017

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.