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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.

Top 10 Final Fantasy RPG Games Of All Time

Final Fantasy Top 10 RPG Games of All Time - RealGamerNewZ

Happy Easter! Welcome to another RealGamerNewZ Top 10 List. This one comes near and dear to our hearts as we prepare a special meal and gather around telling tales of young and the old adventures throughout gaming’s vast universe. Today we will revisit some of our favorite games of all time, the gem of the Square Enix portfolio, and one of the top selling franchises of all time – Final Fantasy.

  1. Final Fantasy VI – PS3+Vita / *Super Nintendo – A realm perfected, a world of ruin, an evil empire, and an adventure of exploration with resilience in the face of adversity. The long lost and forbidden technology of Magic is finally explained to humankind, and its shameful secret revealed. Originally titled “Final Fantasy III” in the United States version, FF6 is a masterpiece that shows the peak design of the classic retro 2D JRPG genre and defines Final Fantasy mechanics as a franchise.
  • Noteworthy Features: Living Espers turn to Summons and Magic Artifacts that any character can learn spells from, Open World with much variety in locations made available through a steady storytelling process that gives the illusion of free roam. Airships and Gambling on to-the-death Battles in Coliseum are also featured. Memorable characters with well fleshed out identities coming together to play various roles in an evolving plot around the battle for ultimate power in a world under threat of being lost to madness.

2. Final Fantasy VII – Steam / PS4 / PS3+Vita – Open rebellion against a sinister rogue state engulfed in genetic engineering, a massive city floating above the sky and a vast overworld with hidden treasures abound. Memorable and universally acclaimed blockbuster of an experiment in disc-based classic retro 2D meets 3D JRPG genre FF7 is currently being remade into a modern day AAA experience, and the original is a must-play experience for turn-based RPG gaming fans.

  • Noteworthy Features: Materia Magic System, High Tech / Modern World Version of Final Fantasy is brought together by intriguing characters who each have their own weapons class of training and path of skills in addition to the Materia System. An entire subset of mini-games leads to a Gamers-style Casino suspended above a quicksand-filled jail.
  • There’s a massive overworld that slowly opens up to gamers across what was originally a 3 disc-campaign on the original Sony PlayStation and cinematic cut-scenes are introduced to the series while paired with exploratory scenes of 2D backgrounds and 3D models in addition to 3D battles taking place in ATB Turn-Based Combat.
  • This title told the tale that cemented Final Fantasy as a gamer’s go-to franchise for solid RPG gameplay systems and stories paired together, and the discovery of FF7 has also led many to retrace the series’ roots in search of gems from previous iterations.

3. Final Fantasy IV – *PlayStation Portable / *Super Nintendo – A time before time, where swords and kingdoms were a noble folk, mages and wizards were of confusion and mystery, and the secrets of the mystic creatures within and around the world made them that much more intriguing. Visit the moon, and reveal the secrets of the inner-earth in FF4, originally titled “Final Fantasy II” in the United States version, an incredibly well polished JRPG that can also be looked to as a defining moment for the Final Fantasy franchise.

  • Features: Guardians of the crystals, the redemption of a dark knight, towns and villages at the mercy of a kingdom and its overthrown ruler’s army, these are the backdrops for Final Fantasy IV. An incredible set of classic-inspired gameplay systems lead this story-based, combat-heavy turn based title by the original Squaresoft who also made FF7 and FF6.

4. Final Fantasy X – Vita / PS3 / PS4 – When we Sin, where does it go? What does it become? If it was all spiraling chaotically into a tsunami-breeding storm, would we stop and pay it attention then? Perhaps our Sin would simply wash over us again and again as we cling on, barely surviving, looking at the civilizations of ancient times left behind as wreckage for a foggy memory we attempt to remind ourselves of. Or is it all just a dream? Final Fantasy X brought the series to a higher graphical presentation while sacrificing some of its open world roots in exchange for a cinematic storytelling experience.

5. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII – *PlayStation Portable – Another life, another time, the layer behind the story of the man we all looked to

6. Final Fantasy IX – PS3+Vita / Steam

7. Dirge Of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII – *PlayStation 2

8. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest – *Super Nintendo

9. Theatrhythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call – Nintendo 3DS

10. Final Fantasy V – PS3 / *Super Nintendo

Honorable Mentions: Final Fantasy XV, Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, Final Fantasy Tactics.

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*Super Nintendo, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable titles are provided under the Bill Clinton Act of 1995 in which gamers who own a copy of the original game in physical format are allowed a 24 hour copy of the digital version (emulated) in order to provide backup playing in the event of a hardware failure on the original cartridge. You must own this game to play it.
**Where there are modern day re-releases or remakes that are of an acceptable quality, RGN has provided the link to purchase this game that way instead – however, some remakes of FF games have been deteriorating to the franchise due to the employment of mobile support for iOS and Android touch controls.

Mass Effect Andromeda Review

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Mass Effect Andromeda is the latest entry in the critically acclaimed and beloved Mass Effect Franchise by BioWare. Now we are leaving the Milky Way Galaxy and heading into a new frontier, into the Andromeda Galaxy. New worlds to chart and explore, new aliens to build relationships with, new ship, new crew, a fresh start for Mass Effect. Welcome to Andromeda.

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Mass Effect Andromeda takes place over 600 years after the events of the original Mass Effect Trilogy. You awake in the Helios Cluster of the Andromeda Galaxy, searching the several Golden Worlds for a now viable home for Humanity and the Milky Way races. The Kett Empire is searching the Remnant technology that was left behind by whoever built these structures and machines. You and a new alien race called the Angara, who has formed a Resistance against the Kett Empire, you must fight for a new home. As the Pathfinder you must interface with the Remnant technology, trying to find the secret behind this technology and forge your place in Andromeda.

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Mass Effect Andromeda is a true call back to the sense of exploration that the first game provided in 2007. As the game provides several worlds, 6 of them that you can explore large portions of, and the rest being registered to missions in the mainquest and sidequest. The first world you go to, is called Eos, a wasteland that used to be a lush green planet, but in the 600 years in took you to get to Andromeda something has happened to Eos. This makes things hazardous, not being able to go outside of boundaries or you’ll be hurt by radiation, unless your in the game’s new vehicle the Nomad. The Nomad is similar to the Mako from Mass Effect, but with the ability to be upgraded, featuring different driving modes, paint jobs, being easier to control, and no gun. The Nomad you use to get from place to place on the various worlds, especially the more hazardous worlds. You don’t spend the bulk of your time in this vehicle thankfully and the bulk of the gameplay is boots on the ground.

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The game features all of classes from the older titles, Solider, Adept, Engineer, Sentinel, Vanguard, and Infiltrator. Along with the new class of explorer which is a hybrid of combat, biotics, and tech powers. The twist here is you can switch up your powers and class at will, more akin to how you build your character in Skyrim, but always letting you change to adapt to scenarios, regardless if you are fighting Kett, Remnant, or Raiders. You can say this decreases playthroughs based on how different the classes played in the old games, but here it allows you to change things up. You can put all of your points into tech abilities and strictly play the Engineer class if you so desire, it’s more about options here, letting players truly make the type of character they want to make. Personally I would switch things up based on what type of combat scenario I was in. But I found myself usually leaning towards the Vanguard style of play, usually having the charge ability equipped. The gameplay has evolved from Mass Effect 3, no featuring the ability to jump and to hover. Getting into cover is also more dynamic as all you have to is walk up to a wall or cover to go into cover instead of tapping a button or key. You can even change which angle you are firing from, left or right. You have five weapon slots, one dedicated to melee weapons such as an omni tool, then of course Assault Rifles, Snipers, Pistols, SMGs, and shotguns remaining. The game consist of Milky Way weapons, which is filled with classic weapons all fans will be familiar with, Helios weapons which are either Angara or Kett weapons, being more charge or explosive types. Then the Remnant weapons, which are like the guns from Mass Effect, no need for reload, they just overheat. All of these tools for combat allow for a more dynamic style for the player to approach combat, in whatever way they see fit.

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Every world features Remnant Monoliths you must activate to gain access to the worlds vault. The Vaults contain a secret within them that help you with your mission of building homes in Andromeda. The Vaults usually contain tons of Remnant enemies, puzzles to accomplish, platforming sections, and a chase sequence at the end of each Vault. These Vaults will usually put a worlds viability over 40%, which will allow you to put an outpost on the world, so the Milky Way races can gain a foothold and begin colonizing. Every world features it’s own story and set of sidequest to partake in, the more of these you do, the closer you get to 100% viability on the planet. When you are near 100% a super boss will be available to fight on most worlds. These bosses are known as the Architect. Giant Remnant machines that provide a big challenge to you. You fight them by shooting openings on their legs, the big spot on their head, and taking out the waves of Remnant it throws at you. After wearing it down you must interface with it, and usually this means you will have 100% viability on the world. You don’t need to do every quest to get 100% but some things like activating the Vault, settling an outpost, and fighting the Architect are required for this.

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The best part of Mass Effect Andromeda is what was strongest in the original trilogy, the characters. Andromeda’s main cast consist of Cora, Liam, Vetra, Drack, Peebee, and Jaal, being your squad mates. Along with Suvi, Gil, Kallow, and Dr. Lexi being apart of your crew abroad the Tempest. Every character has their own story to tell and arc to progress through. The loyalty missions from Mass Effect 2 make a return for all the squad mates, completing these are necessary to gain all skill tree unlocks for them, and even the potential of romancing these characters. For example Drack’s loyalty mission is about getting a Krogan colony ship back. His mission is how most of the loyalty missions are set up. Taking place in a unique location, featuring characters tied into Drack, and the ending of the mission featuring a choice that’s importance in the overall plot ranging. Some of the game’s best writing takes place in these loyalty missions. Liam’s feels like an episode of Firefly, while Jaal’s is darker and more serious. Every loyalty mission in the game is good, likely due to the cast of 6 squad mates to focus on, with additional crew members.

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Completing their loyalty missions isn’t the end for the characters, as they even may have smaller assignments for you, or they can ask you out to do things, which depending on the character can lead to romance. For example Vetra ask you to go climbing on the planet called Kadara. If you have flirted with her constantly over the course of the game she will ask you “Is this real” which will lead you to either lock in the relationship with her or decline her. Sadly Drack is not a romance option but I can get past that. Andromeda features other assignments that are considered more important sidequest, such as finding the other arks or the main stories of the worlds you explore, these can have impact on the ending and who appears in it so do keep that in mind. Then there are smaller task, some of these feel like actual sidequest with a payoff, one of these is called “The Path of a Hero”. Others are standard RPG collectathon quests that can range from being fun, something you gradually do, or plain boring and repetitive. Dialogue has been improved, showing players the various emotions their decisions can have, responses that can come off casual or professional. Gone is the Paragon and Renegade system, allowing you to craft a more unique character that has mixed traits, without being punished.

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You can either play as a Male or Female Ryder, you can even keep their default names of Scott and Sara and people will call them that from time to time. I have played both of these possibilities, creating my own Male Ryder, then playing as the default Sara Ryder. The voice acting from both of them is great, especially when they are being humorous, clearly the actors strong suit. But when the emotional moments come, especially in the romances they both shine. Their names are Tom Taylorson and Fryda Wolff, both worthy successors to Mark Meer and Jennifer Hale, I hope this Andromeda saga continues from their perspective as I want to see, well hear more of them as Ryder. Other actors I’d like to say shined in this were Danielle Rayne as Vetra, Christine Lakin as Peebee, Nyasha Hatendi as Jaal, Katy Townsend as Suvi, and Stanley Townsend as Drack. I personally think everyone in the main cast did a great job and I hope to see more of their work in the future.

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Mass Effect Andromeda brings back the Horde wave based mode from Mass Effect 3. There isn’t too much to say here as it is very similar to how it worked in Mass Effect 3. You unlock characters from boxes, you have waves where you fight enemies, and waves where you do objectives. Bronze, Silver, and Gold difficulty make a return, hopefully Platinum will return in the future. The maps have good to decent designs, taking full advantage of the new abilities Andromeda offers for combat, differing from race to character. The new big addition is the APEX system which are special missions that have daily and weekly events. They are tied to the singleplayer, allowing players to get weapons, resources, and credits from these, while ranking up their strike teams. It mainly helps tie into the crafting and AVP system, which are all about collecting resources, for development and research. Which allows you to craft various armor, weapons, Nomad upgrades, and various other items. This system can be tricky to get down at first due to lack of tutorial but once you figure it out, it’s simple enough.

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Mass Effect Andromeda’s story takes a balance between dark and serious, and more lighthearted humorous feel. It surprisingly blends together well, having those moments that remind me of Firefly, then others that feel like an episode of Star Trek Next Gen. It feels like a true adventure of exploration and discovery. Mass Effect has always had that feeling, but in those games all the races and worlds were mostly established. This time you can make first contact with the Angara and choose how you are going to forge your galaxies relationships. It invokes that feeling of finding something new, going somewhere where no one has gone before, and after the linear fashion of Mass Effect 3, Andromeda is a breath of fresh air with everything being open and feeling new, but still being Mass Effect. I will admit that I don’t think the writing is as strong in the game’s main plot as it is in Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2.

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The plot is good but due to less focus on the villain and the Kett themselves, setting up how their society works either for the sequel or potential DLC, it just leaves something to be desired. Even the final boss was disappointing, what was happening narrative I was into it, just wish it was something more unique. Sure final bosses have always been a bit iffy in this series, at least they tried unlike Mass Effect 3, I just desire more. The Archon is a decent villain, he reminds me of a more emotional, imperial Harbinger, but not as good. As I said this is due to less focus on the Kett in favor of exploration and the main cast of characters. Which I am glad those elements are so good, but Mass Effect balanced all these out, and Saren to me is one of the greatest villains in video game history, hopefully they take this criticism into the future when creating a villain for the sequel. But the main story, while lacking in some areas compared to previous games, is held up by it’s characters and the feeling of discovery it gives you. The ending is touching, and the credits gives me the same feeling I experienced in 2007 when M4 PT2 by Faunts played.

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The score for this game is amazing keeping up the tradition of amazing Mass Effect music. It goes back to more of the style of the first game with ambient scores riddled all over the galaxy. The romance theme, which is criminally unreleased right now, is perfect. It invokes a reflection within while remaining ambient and building up to a sort of chant at the end. The combat themes also keep things pumping as well with plenty of beating sci-fi synth to keep you going. The main menu music helps set the tone, that feeling of adventure you know is ahead of you. BioWare has dropped the Unreal engine in favor of Frostbite 3, as they did for Dragon Age Inquisition. Frostbite is designed to help with large open areas, as all you need to do is look at Battlefield 1’s multiplayer maps for an example of that, while also featuring top notch graphics. Andromeda’s environments and worlds look amazing, some of the best art direction I have ever seen. The game does suffer when it comes to the character models, as the animations do suffer, as is the trend is with games of this nature. In a game where you spend a great deal of time talking to people it does get distracting when characters make odd expressions or no expressions at all. Thankfully they will be patching these issues so by the time this review goes live these will probably have changed, but they are issues that do get in the way of player immersion. The PlayStation 4 version runs at 1080p 30 fps with PS4 PRO options, and the Xbox One version runs at a 1080p/900p divide at 30 fps, with of course the PC version varying for user. You won’t notice too much a difference between the PS4 and Xbox One version so if you play console it doesn’t matter too much which system you play it on. The technical issues don’t usually get in the way of the game but can distract you, I had the game crash on me once, and one time had a odd filter placed over gameplay during first contact with the Kett at the start of the game. I looked and I could not find anyone else who had this issue, but it did bother me, since I was only 30 minutes into the game at that point.

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Mass Effect Andromeda is a bold new direction for the Mass Effect franchise. It’s a world where I want to build a home in, and technical issues, I can look past that, likely due to being used to it. It brings me back to those days of sitting in my room playing Mass Effect exploring the Milky Way and trying to stop Saren. Except now we are the aliens in Andromeda fighting for a new home, it really does feel like I am coming home to a universe I love, despite some issues. I give Mass Effect Andromeda a 7.5 out of 10. See you in 600 years.

Rating: 7.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer: BioWare
Publisher: EA
Available On: PS4, Xbox One, and PC

Release Date: March 21st, 2017

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

 

Mass Effect Andromeda Artbook Review

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Mass Effect Andromeda has been out for a few weeks now. I have beaten it, and I’m currently writing my review on the game, but in the meantime I wanted to share a little something else with everyone. I am a huge fan of sci-fi and I love getting the concept art books that are released alongside these series. The Alien, Halo, Mass Effect, and Star Wars art books are the ones I usually get, so naturally I was excited to get the Andromeda collectors edition artbook. This artbook was a gift from someone special to me, but the content within this reminds me of the first time I read through the artbook for the first Mass Effect. Seeing how they went through the designs of the new aliens, the new worlds, going into detail on everything, how they wanted it all to work out. Some of the art in this is just astounding.

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The book is separated into categories, the opening section talks about the characters and how they were created, going into the detail of all different outfits Peebee went through. To has sections for the new races, technology, my personal favorite section is the worlds being detailed. Some of my favorite art I have ever seen has to pertain to the design of Meridian, one of the locations in Andromeda. Also showing plenty of detail into the worlds, just artistry that you want to hang on your wall, from the wasteland of Eos, to the snow filled world of Voled, the designs are so well realized.

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The collectors edition version also comes with blueprints of the games ship, the Tempest. These blueprints are amazing, the detail and the quality is just masterful, honestly I can’t do them justice by talking about them just see them here. But it goes into detail about how the ship works, and where everything is placed, while being it’s own nice Andromeda Galaxy themed hardcover.

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The quality of the book is of course hardcover, featuring the Helios cluster as the cover for it, coming a super color and beautiful color to gaze at. The foreword, and writing from the artist in the book is insightful, giving you a idea of how they came to the designs they came to. My favorite section is how they talk about the decision for the Ketts design, some of the ideas in there are so masterful, you can’t help but feel slightly disappointed by the final design.

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This is one of the best artbooks I have ever had the pleasure of getting my hand and reading through. I don’t want to say or show too much of what’s in this due to spoilers. But if you are a sci-fi fan or Mass Effect fan, this is a must have to your collection. I highly recommend this piece of art, stay tuned for my full review of Mass Effect Andromeda here at RGN.

 

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Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery – VR Review

Best VR Games For HTC Vive 2017

Psychological thriller meets gallery shooter in a must-have title for the HTC Vive. Although savvy shoppers will immediately look up Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery and proclaim its short length a standard issue of current first generation VR equipment, purveyors of VR Games know this is a title which provides a small chunk of perfection. Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery can be seen as a vision for VR Games to come.

Starting out in a quiet room with little explanation, players discover they can walk around using a walking button that moves the play-space “forward” in the direction the gamer is facing. A robotic westerner greets players and despite a lingering gloom / creepy feeling – our cart ride, gallery shooter experience seems to be kosher. The dark secret of this place is not immediately obvious – but may begin to set into precognition soon.

There’s a shooting gallery that players can stand in front of and practice their aim at. Everything with a red dot is a target to score on. In addition to the gallery, players can ride in the cart during a moving gallery shooter scene similar to a “haunted house” kid’s ride but with a six shooter in your hand and red dot targets presented again.

In addition to the targets labeled with red dots ranging from beer bottles to interactive environment elements, players will also see robot miners who seem to be part of the ride. Ten minutes in, things take a turn for the more sinister! What is this place? The kosher or even silly experience gamers might have expected is instead swiftly replaced with a fast-paced intense shooter game that challenges players to survive a hopeless gun fight against an onslaught of robotic miners perhaps inhabited by the spirits of ghosts from an unknown historic past.

Ghost Town Mine Ride And Shootin Gallery HTC Vive Review

As the game’s inhabitants turn on you, the player, an eerie sort of meta game vibe is evoked when the player realizes they are no longer worried about the gallery targets and instead have to avoid being murdered by what seemed like harmless decorations and actually are some sort of terrible enemy. Switching between cart rides, river rafts, a roller-coaster style segment, and on foot scenes, Ghost Town Mine Ride & Shootin’ Gallery gives you the right feeling at the right time and manages to encompass all of the touch a full game could expect to provide.

The developers claim the title is at least 25 minutes of gameplay, but most gamers will end up somewhere around 30 – 40 minutes in accounting for deaths and a small bit of exploration during walking scenes. The consensus among family I enjoyed sharing this title with was that riding in the cart felt the best and while the walking parts were not bad for an interlude, sometimes could’ve been a bit shorter. It is also true that optimization of the game needs a little work. In some areas there can be a bit of stuttering, even on high-end machines. GTX 1080 was used with an Intel i7 during the course of our review and while not game-breaking it is certainly a point of interest to note while considering a sequel.

Lots of attention to detail made it possible for this short but powerful experience to inspire the demand for more titles like this from the developer and we surely hope they are able to present their full ideas in the near future. As it stands, a bonus level has been added earlier this year and for a low price gamers can experience the heart racing, robot / zombie / ghost killing mayhem for themselves today and we highly recommend it.

Official Trailer:

System Requirements:

HTC Vive is required to play this Steam VR Game. CPU: i5-4590 or Better. GPU: GTX 970 or Better.

Rating: 9 / 10

RGN Rating: Gold Game
Developer: Spectral Illusions
Publisher: Spectral Illusions

Available On: SteamVR

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

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review – Nintendo Switch

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is Nintendo’s latest entry in the Zelda series, launching on the Nintendo Switch, and finishing off the Wii U. This entry in the series is breaking the conventions we have seen in 3d Zelda games, since Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. The Zelda series to some has become somewhat stagnant the past few years, despite still being considered good games, just not in the vain of how the series used to be seen. Can Breath of the Wild breath some fresh air into The Legend of Zelda? After 3 weeks of playing, let’s find out.

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Our story begins in a somewhat similar but incredibly different way. Most Zelda games begin with Link waking up to a new day, this one begins with laying in some technology shrine, waking up to a new life 100 years later, with no memory of who he is or where he is. Which makes for a great connect between narrative and gameplay, you and Link both start off as weak and knowing nothing of this world, but over the course of the game, if you play your cards right, it’s the player leveling up right alongside Link. The fact he doesn’t talk allows you to project all of your feelings onto him, this being the first true HD Zelda title you defiantly feel more of a connection with the beautifully realized world of Hyrule in ruin. Of course if you are familiar with Zelda you will know things about some of the locations and races you come across such as the Hylians, Zora, Gorons, Rito, and Gerudo, but the fact the world is ruin and everyone is trying to stay together means you’ll learn more new things than before, with plenty of callbacks for fans of the series.

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The game’s story is told in a non linear nature, but in a smarter way than most titles do it. All of the main quest are optional, which involve the game’s 4 dungeons, getting the Master Sword, and recovering Link’s memories, alongside several smaller main quest. Gaining Link’s memories is where this non linear story telling shines, as it allows players to put the pieces together about what was going on 100 years ago, and gives much insight into the game’s best and well developed character, Zelda herself. Zelda starts off as someone who is unsure of herself and is afraid of challenge, an exact contrast to Link, but over the course of the memories you find she gradually changes, and her and Link develop and bond. I won’t say too much more about the game’s narrative so you can all enjoy it for yourselves. But it is one of the strongest in Zelda history, not being bogged down by needless backtracking segments, due to the game’s open world nature, and having a smaller main cast to follow. It’s a coming of age story for some characters, a traditional heroes journey story for Link, good vs evil with Link against Ganon, who is more of true embodiment of evil this time. But the game is also about the more quiet moments, walking alongside a hill and seeing the sunrise on a village, these are more personal to the player naturally, but makes you feel connected to the world.

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The gameplay is similar to past entries in the series, with parrys, blocking, attacking, jumping to avoid attacks, and special moves, it’s decently deep if you’re willing to explore it. The biggest addition to the game, and the most revolutionary thing about it for the franchise and the genre, is the ability to climb anything. Imagine playing Skyrim trying to go up a mountain but you can’t, now think of Assassins Creed, being able to climb buildings but not every building, Zelda solves all those issues by simply letting you climb whatever you desire, it’s hard to go and play other similar games after just climbing everything, plus you can glide off the top of mountains for miles sometimes. Now the game is loaded with different weapon, armor, arrow, and status types, alongside making Zelda a true RPG. You have weapons ranging from sword and shield to one handed heavy weapons that vary between swords, cleavers, axes, etc. You have spears you can use projectiles, alongside your bow and it’s various arrow types, such as ice, fire, electricity, bomb, and ancient. Or you can just hit people with wooden weapons, which help in thunder storms, yes you can get struck by lighting in this game. Your weapons do degrade and eventually break, I like this feature as it is similar to Dead Rising where your weapons break and you have to use your resources to fight enemies, even using different combinations to combat them. Horse riding also returns, and is more grounded and realistic but the horse combat is so much fun. The times where you jump of your horse, slow down time and shoot the other guy then jump onto his horse and slash some enemies with your axe, oh so satisfying.

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The world is littered with various enemies to fight and mini bosses, some are easy, some are hard to match, the more skill and level you gain, the easier some enemies become that were a challenge at the start of the game. The game has a cooking system that allows you to make elixirs and meals that provide you an extra boost in categories like attack, defense, even going as far to protect you from the hot and cold regions in the game without the correct attire, this helps big time in the first so many hours. The game’s “level up” system is interestingly attached to collectibles. You can find koroks across the world that give you seeds, which you bring to a giant plant person that plays music to make your inventory for weapons, shields, and bows bigger. To increase your hearts and stamina is a different story. The game has over 120 shrines that are what you’d call mini dungeons. They provide puzzles, combat challenges, riddles, etc to test your might, these shrines can take anywhere from 1 minute to 30 minutes in my experience.  Of course dungeons are still in the game, providing 4 of them, technically 5 if you count Hyrule Castle, but I don’t. All of these provide much longer challenges that at the very least will take you 30 minutes. The first one I did took me 2 hours, but after that I noticed I was getting better at figuring at the puzzles with the tools that were provided to me. You see instead of finding items in specific dungeons that will help you complete them, the game gives you all your items fairly quickly at the start of the game, which I do prefer this. Your items are bombs, a magnet, stopping time, and even being able to take pictures. It means every shrine and every dungeon can be designed to incorporate all of your items if they wish to, which the dungeons defiantly do. Every dungeon ends with a boss fight, some of these are a challenge, especially at the start of the game, but as you progress and become more powerful it comes down to figuring out how to beat them when their health drops to half, so towards the end the challenge decreases, but they are still fun bosses to fight. After clearing every dungeon you are given a power, ranging from self healing to being able to jump really high, these greatly change gameplay and make for new combat and puzzle solving ways. I think the dungeons in this game are all very good and well designed, some being difficult and some being easier, none of them are my favorite dungeon in the series, but do to the team focusing on just a few in this game, they are quality.

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The game’s sidequest can range from being great with interesting stories, objectives or combat set pieces. To collecting bugs for people, and even a quest ripped straight out of everyone’s nightmare, escort/follow close behind mission. Thankfully these types of quest are optional and don’t make up the bulk of the title. Some of my favorite sidequest are the shrinequest, especially the one’s involving a Rito named Kass. Theirs even a quest where you have to help a man startup a town, and you bring in people from various races and backgrounds to help start the town up, the quest ending in a touching wedding that was probably the quest that spoke to me the most. Of course for smaller side actives or things you see in the distance you can pin them or stamp as personal markers to tell you to go them, for your own little quest of adventure.

 

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Zelda has always been known for amazing scores, and the score in this entry is perfection, specifally the track for Hatneo Village, the main theme, and a song that plays during the final boss fight are the stand outs to me. The game looks great, I prefer art styles more so than photo realism in games, they have a longevity of looking good years later,  although some of the rocks in various areas look somewhat low resolution. Buildings look nice, the characters across the world look like paintings, or anime characters brought to life, just in that classic Zelda style. The world and areas blend seamlessly, going from a hot scorching desert, to the top of a cold snowy mountain makes you feel as if you are truly exploring Hyrule. Just looking out over grassy plains after the game has finished a rain storm, then looking up and seeing a rainbow in the distance, it’s dynamic and beautiful to look at, regardless if you are playing on your TV on playing on the go. On the TV the game runs at 900p 30fps and in handheld mode it runs at 720p 30 fps. It looks great regardless of what mode you are playing in, although based on the systems specs, I don’t see why the game isn’t running at 1080p possibly because it’s a port of the Wii U version with some additions, such as a more vibrant skybox? Regardless due to the art style you don’t notice much of a difference, it’s a gorgeous game to look at. In some areas, especially the starting area the framrate drops from time to time, especially in areas with heavy foliage. Now this is an issue sometimes as it hinders the experience, but I noticed this happening more often on the TV and usually never in handheld mode, so just be warned when the game drops to 15 frames. But that is really the only glaring technical issue I could find. The game has a great psychics engine, plenty of great rag doll effects, and being able to send objects flying through the sky, even being to render incredibly large enemies and hordes of enemies at once for Link to deal with. Their are defiantly impressive things to see here technically, especially how well the game runs in handheld mode. Of course the control options are two joycons and a pro controller, personally I think for the TV the pro controller is the way to go. But surprisingly the most comfortable to play it is handheld mode. Although using the dpad on the pro controller to manage the inventory is the biggest advantage that setup has. The motion controls you can use for aiming are good but I turned them off after a few hours, preferring standard aiming.

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Of course I thought long and hard about this whilst playing the game which score I would give it. But after finishing the game, after beating the final boss, which the whole game builds up to, everything you do in the main quest builds to it, and looking out most of the time and seeing Hyrule Castle and knowing Ganon is there waiting for you, just one of the greatest buildups in gaming history. Then seeing those closing credits, seeing “The End” pop up, being one of the best games I have played in sometime, and making me feel young again. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild gets a 9.5/10. Now who’s ready for that Mario game?

Rating: 9.5 / 10

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

Release Date: March 3rd, 2017

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

Nintendo Switch – Initial Review

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The Nintendo Switch has been out for three weeks now, given me enough time to truly absorb my thoughts, and my initial view of Nintendo’s latest system. So what is my impression exactly? How has Nintendo’s “savior” been faring at the start of it’s life so far?

The Nintendo Switch in practice, is what I have always wanted from Nintendo. Ever since they had the Gameboy Advance ad on for the Gamecube I had imagined them merging the platforms together. The Wii U somewhat “tried” to do something similar with the gamepad, but it ended up getting in the way of game development, and as a expensive unused aspect of the console. The Switch off the bat seems to be what the Wii U should have been in the first place. Now that is just some of opinion and previous look at Nintendo, now what do I actually think about the Switch?

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The premise of Nintendo’s new device is being able to “Switch” between this home console, and handheld/tablet aspect. Taking the system with you to school, work, the store, lunch, a friends place, wherever. This is not what I’d call a truly new idea, but Nintendo knows how to make good handhelds as proven since the Gameboy. Being able to take it anywhere with me, seeing as if I am not home a decent amount of the time, it makes playing games much easier, I likely wouldn’t be as far as I am in Zelda if not for the handheld aspect. It feels nice to hold my hands wherever I was with it. The store, my office, in class, the restaurant, just everywhere. Of course tabletop mode works great as well, in someones home or out and about and such. I took my switch out to dinner with my friend and to a party to play some fun games, turning the two joycons on their sides to play some Fast RMX or 12 Switch, and some people of course wanted to see Zelda. It just works easily, and playing with the two joycons in hand is quite comfortable. You can lay back on your couch with them, easily in hand, of course they give you a grip to place them into, it plays more like a regular controller in that form, despite having smaller buttons and being vertical, but personally I think it feels fine. Of course as an accessory their is a $70 Pro controller you can purchase, it feels great but I don’t think it’ll be necessary for everyone.

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The systems OS is very simple a bar-bones but it works. The games are in face similar to how the PS4 is set up. You have your basic settings, you can change your theme from eye piercing white, to the black theme that everyone should use. You can as many WiFi signals as you want hooked up to it, which is a big step up compared to the Wii U and 3ds being limited on the matter. The Switch has eShop, which at the moment is very simple and clean but will need to become more organized in the future, as more and more games are released. It also has dedicated news app, for trailers, new game releases, etc. I do like this feature a lot as you can find all your Switch news in one place. Outside of that, it is very limited to what you can do. Of course you can have an account that at the moment lets you have a friends list, buy games, and that’s about it. The key feature here is of course, playing games at home and on the go, and it does the main selling point very well, although the dock they give you, feels very cheap but with the screen protector I bought for my Switch it sits in there nice and tightly.

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Some accessories you should buy are of course a screen protector. I bought a Glass 2-Pack tempered glass screen protector, you can buy this on Amazon for a about $8, and I use their products on my Switch, iPhone, and my iPad. I also bought a HORI game card case for $10 and it holds 24 game cards, so this will come in handy for years to come. Of course I bought the Pro controller as stated earlier and it normally sells for $70 and it’s worth it for some, maybe not for others. Then I bought the Nintendo Switch Elite Player Backpack, which allows you to take everything with you easily and handily, I do plan on buying a smaller carrying case in the future, but this bag is high quality and if you plan on dragging your Switch around a lot buy this, it goes for about $50 normally. Of course you should also buy at least The Legend of Zelda, my review on that should be coming very soon.

Now I have to be honest I think you should wait till either this summer or this holiday to get this. Unless you are a big Zelda fan, or just a hardcore gamer. I personally think it’s worth it to me since I leave the house a lot, but to the average consumer, I’d wait till games like Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey releases. Stay tuned for all upcoming Switch reviews here at RGN, and at the end of the year we will come back and look at what the Switch has become by then.

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands Review

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Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands comes from Ubisoft Paris, the first game in the series came out back in 2001 and has progressed through the years in several games each of them have the same gameplay which is a modern or futuristic tactical shooter. The term Ghost stands for group for specialized tactics since the squad comes from different special forces groups. Ghost Recon Wildlands runs on the AnvilNext 2.0 engine, other games that are running on this engine include: For Honor, Steep, Assassin’s Creed Unity and Syndicate as well as Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege.

 

The setting of Ghost Recon Wildlands takes place in Bolivia in 2019, the country is falling to the Santa Blanca which was a small Mexican drug cartel. They have gained much power and influence in the country as making it the largest producer of cocaine in the world. The Santa Blanca’s leader goes by the name El Sueno, he is quite religious and well as a really brutal and savage character. El Sueno has written his own religion that tells the story of the Santa Blanca which he uses to influence the people of Bolivia as well as striking fear. The game brings you in as the Cartel has found a mole in their system who is a DEA agent Ricky Sandoval, and your CIA informant Karen Bowman brings your team in as she finds out that Ricky Sandoval was tortured and murdered and sends to the ghosts in.

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Ghost Recon Wildlands is an open world the size of the map is the largest that Ubisoft has ever made. The game has 9 different types of terrain so the user will get salt flats all the way over to the jungle, there is an active day and night cycle in the game which is very useful when doing different types of missions. There is 4 main areas that the user will have to knock out four main areas: they are security, influence, smuggling, and production. Each of these have various underbosses with their own profile and set of missions to go along with them, at the very top of this is El Sueno he is the final boss. As the user attacks each region they will have to adapt to different environments, most of them are very similar in setup but enough variety to keep it fresh. The game can be played through solo or in co-op, the preferred method is co-op as this game is a blast getting a four guy squad and tearing up the missions whether it’s going in silent or going in guns blazing. Don’t get me wrong playing it solo is a very different experience as  the user will be in charge of controlling three ghosts which is very easy to pick up on.

 

Ghost Recon Wildlands controls are very easy to pick up on. On Xbox one they are standard third person shooter controls and the top bumpers are where the control wheel is found for giving the ghosts orders as well as using rebel support. The controls on PC are very open standard mouse and keyboard support, the developer has also included multiple keyboard layouts as well as input device auto switching which is really nice when playing on both the mouse and keyboard and Xbox one controller. The PC version of the game has been designed differently to support a wide array of controls.

Let’s talk graphics the main version of Ghost Recon Wildlands on Xbox one looks decent at best this is from being played on an Xbox one S, the game has quite of bit of texture problems on the console. On the PC the graphics and the amount of detail is a different story, from resolution scaling to no framerate capping and the amount of different options that can be turned on is astonishing. Ghost Recon Wildlands also has the option of running in different refresh rates and this game runs amazing in 144hertz, other technology that is included from nvidia’s HBAO+ ambient occlusion shadowing which improves the fidelity of the game. Nvidia also has added turf effects which increase how dense the grass looks making it look a lot more realistic. Instead of taking screen shots normally there is a technology called Nvidia ansel which gives the user the ability to take some amazing screenshots when the detail can really be taken to a whole new level as well as being able to take complete 360 degree shots.

 

Co-op is the shining part of this game with the ability to play the entire campaign with drop in and drop out co-op makes the game really enjoyable. The user will find it really easily to play the game with friends even if they are in a different part of the story then they are. Most of the time finding randoms to party up with is relatively easy and this is both on Xbox one and and PC version of the game. The developers have also created the Ghost Recon network where the user can find groups to play with. If the game is feeling really easy cranking up the difficulty really forces the user to change the way they play the game as well as what tactics they will use to attack with.

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Verdict for Ghost Recon Wildlands is that the game is really enjoyable to play solo or in co-op it might not be the same ghost recon formula that the older games had. The ability to play the game as a full on shooter and being able to choose what type of guns and setup the user wants to play with is really nice. Weapons on gear can be found through the various areas in the game or purchased as micro transactions in the in game store along with some other cosmetic  items. Big props to Ubisoft that they have really been putting in the time and technology into the PC version of the game, hopefully this trend continues and we will see more PC support in coming titles. Looking forward to the DLC that the developer is coming out with and the added support that will come to the PC version of the game. I would highly recommend this game if the user is looking for a great co-op experience and enjoys open world games.

 

Rating: 8 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver

Developer: Ubisoft Paris

Publisher: Ubisoft

Available On: Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC

Release Date: March 7, 2017

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

Snipperclips Review – Nintendo Switch

H2x1_NSwitchDS_Snipperclips

Snipperclips is a puzzle game developed exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, and developed by SFB Games. It was a launch game for the Switch that features co-op gameplay in solving puzzles, by using things such as your snipping mechanic, and your communication. Get ready for fun puzzle action.

Snipperclips is all about communicating with your partner, unless you are playing by yourself of course, which can create some issues communicating with yourself. But the core experience here is of course the co-op play. This game features local multiplayer only, and makes use of the joycons right off the back, being sort of a showcase for how these controllers can play. Of course if you are playing solo you can use the joycons in the grip, or play it in handheld mode. It works just fine that way, but personally the game is not as engaging in a solo experience, making you feel like you’re fighting with yourself, instead of fighting with your buddy on the couch next to you.

SNIPPER

The game is played through a series of worlds, after completing so many puzzles in a world, you can gain access to the next world. The challenge get’s progressively harder, starting off fairly easy for the most part. You have a various amount of puzzles to choose from, ranging from getting a basketball into a goal, which is easy enough. To getting a bowling ball into a goal, which is as you can guess much harder to achieve. In most, if not all puzzles you have to take advantage of Snipperclips biggest mechanic, snipping. Snipping, or cutting, is when you can cut the other player into various shapes to full fill certain roles. Such as matching shapes, hitting objects, catching objects, or just simply messing around. The game offers enough variety in the puzzles to keep you and your friends engaged for hours.

Snipperclips also features a 4 player vs mode, with two teams of two and a pure free for all mode. It can make for some intense situations, although these modes are not the core experience here. The core experience is found in the game’s two player co op through all the various worlds and puzzles provided.

The game features a very cute art style with a paper cartoon aesthetic. The whole game screams of originality in designs, despite being simplistic. The music goes along nicely, keeping it upbeat. Honestly I have listened to the tune that plays during the menu selections screen. It just makes you feel great and young, disguising the fact you and your friend are about to likely fight each other, possibly snipping each other up.

Snipperclips is a cute, fun puzzle game that can provide a good challenge at times. The content here will keep you interested for awhile despite not being too deep in it’s versus modes. This is one of the game’s you should buy, especially as fun co-op party game with your friend. I give Snipperclips a 7 out of 10.

 

Rating: 7 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer: SFB Games
Publisher: Nintendo

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: March 3rd, 2017

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

Fast RMX Review – Nintendo Switch

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Fast RMX is a racing game developed by Shin’en Multimedia as a launch exclusive for the Nintendo Switch. It is an expanded version of the game Fast Racing Neo that was released on the Wii U. It features all the same tracks and cars provided in that installment, but it adds six new courses, along with a graphical overall to make it one of the best looking games released on the Switch so far.

Fast RMX gives players the freedom between the variety of different control options and various features. Taking advantage of everything the Switch has to offer with motion controls, HD rumble, and being able to play with a single joycon, both, or the pro controller. I have tried all of these configurations and they all work nicely, but oddly enough I found myself enjoying playing with a single joycon the most. The game has such a simple control scheme that it translates very well to that state. You really only have several buttons to press, the triggers on any format for leaning left to right to dodge obstacles, a simple button press to accelerate and another to come to a complete stop. Also clicking in the stick or the right bumper allows the player to boost after collecting the pickups that allow this mechanic. Also the games big mechanic is color switching at the tap of the top button, or usually X. This allows the player to switch between blue and orange depending on which stream of color they see, allowing you to drive faster, and avoid being slowed down. The game clearly shows the versatile nature of the platform, giving people the option of how they want to play, with a variety of control options.

FAST 1

The game offers several modes, ranging from singleplayer to multiplayer. Let’s start with talking about the “Championship Mode”. Championship mode is a Grand Prix of three tracks for every cup. As long as you finish in the top three after completing a cup you will unlock the next cup and a new available car. After you finish every race in subsonic difficulty, you unlock the supersonic difficulty mode. It provides a harder challange than what was previously available, and going through this mode should get the rest of the cars you need. This is where the issue with Fast RMX’s unlock system comes into play, before you even unlock the hypersonic mode you already have every vehicle unlocked. So the players intensive would be to either fill out that 100% completion by finishing first in every cup, or going out of their way for a challenge.

Grand RMX’s other singleplayer offering is something called “Hero Mode”. Hero mode also offers the varying difficulty’s previously addressed for championship mode. The difference is you can select single racing tracks instead of an entire cup to play through. As the twist with hero mode is you must finish first, and your boost energy is connected to an energy shield around you, if you run out boost juice, you crash and must restart the challenge over from the start. I found this mode quite repetitive and lackluster. Maybe if they offered different challenges on every track I would find more enjoyment, but it’s the same experience each time, and is where your time with Fast RMX should not be spent. I would have much preferred more traditional modes like a time trial, or some sort of battle mode as seen in other racing titles, but those are committed as of the writing of this review.

FAST 2

Fast RMX has a multiplayer slew as well. Featuring online play, splitscreen play, and local communication with other Switch’s nearby. The game’s splitscreen runs just fine and allows up to 4 players at once. From what I noticed the game always maintains 60 frames per second despite this, and there appears to be no graphical downgrade. Even when playing on tabletop mode the game still ran flawlessly. When it comes to local communication with another Switch, I managed to play one of my friends and it worked seamlessly, like we are on the same system. Now when it comes to the game’s online mode is when we run into issues. The online supports up to 8 players, and functions similar to other games in this genre. But the connection issues are apparent, at times other players cars look like they needlessly jerky and sometimes change positions. For example I had wrecked, but when I was spawned again I was somehow in first place despite merely being in 4th place. It also takes a while to find a match sometimes, when I played on launch day I sat there for 6 minutes waiting for a match that was in progress. As far as I know you also can not invite your friends, which is just laughable in 2017. Just odd connection issues that get in the way of a stellar experience otherwise.

The game’s various tracks are for the most part, very well made and suite the mechanics they have introduced. They make plenty use out of the boost and color switching abilities the player is given. They also look varied, from racing on mars, to a rain forest, to a futuristic city, it will take players awhile before they get old of the beautiful surroundings. The cars also have a varied degree in difference. Differing in acceleration, top speed, and braking. This makes every car feel somewhat unique to play as, but it makes some cars like the Guang Zhou almost useless since it has rather dull stats. But the variety in the way they look, and play is there for some competitive players to find what works best with each track.

FAST 3

Fast RMX is easily the best looking game on the Switch right now. Running at 1080p 60fps while the system is docked and 720p 60fps when it’s in handheld mode. Both don’t take anything from the experience as it showcases some of the thing’s that can be done with this hardware, while showing the developers skills in creating a technical marvel for the platform. All the sounds are very crisp and make you feel like your in a race, especially combined withe HD rumble in the controllers. The voice announcer from F-Zero GX appears as the announcer in this game, but he is heavily underused having very few lines, but they are welcome despite being on occasion. Bottom line, the game just looks great in every single way, aside from one small complaint when the vehicles crash the animation used, isn’t the best.

Now Fast RMX is a good game, one of the better launch games for a system we have seen in a long time. But it is not without it’s flaws, with some barren modes, and in need of a better online infrastructure. But it’s fun, the game plays well with every controller setting, and it’s beautiful, all wrapped in the price of $19.99. If you own a Switch this is one of the game’s you should buy for it. I give Fast RMX a 7.5 out of 10, hope to see you walking around playing this on your Switch!

 

Rating: 7.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Publisher: Shin’en Multimedia

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: March 3rd, 2017

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

 

Need for Speed Strategy Guide Review

Guide

Interested in picking up EA’s Need for Speed reboot but aren’t exactly the best racer around? Prima Games have made it their mission to turn you into street kings and queens with the release of their official strategy guide.

The guide does a very job of covering everything the player needs to know about the game. Every feature and racing event –from drift train to time trial, is included and described in accurate detail. For those who are completely unfamiliar with racing 101, reading this guide will allow you to be able to tell your friends the difference between chicanes (A kind of turn) and double apexes, while also being able to perform them during races.

Drifting has become very popular over the years and the latest NFS game features many events that requires it. If you don’t have a proper understanding on how to drift and find yourself spinning out of control, or even wrecking your ride like I did (Don’t laugh!), then the guide’s coverage of it will help improve your drifting skills and performing it’ll become almost second nature as you race along the streets of Ventura Bay.

Need for Speed launched with 51 cars and every single one them can be customized extensively. Not only will you find each car listed in the guide but every and performance upgrade as well. Every cooling system, air filter and so forth are presented with clear pictures, information on their functions, how much they cost and how to unlock them. You can also tune the handling style of your cars in favor drift or grip and this guide will teach you how to find the right balance between the two so your vehicle can be more efficient on the road.

Unfortunately while the guide does mention visual customization for your rides, it doesn’t feature a list of the different parts you can unlock and when you can unlock them. So if you want to know what kind of spoilers or hoods are available for you Camaro, you’ll have to find out in-game.

Obviously the most important aspect of any racing game are the actual races and NFS features plenty of them — many of which can be very challenging the further you progress. Whether you are having difficulty winning races from the get-go, or you find yourself raging at the events towards the end of each story, the guide offers extremely helpful tips for each and every race, complete with quality screenshots and outlines for each route. You’ll know when exactly you should slow down, whether to drift or power slide at a particular turn.

For the fans of in-game collectibles, the NFS guide gives the reader accurate locations for every vista, donut spots (Not those kind of donuts) and free car parts in the game. Achievement/trophy hunter will be disappointed in the guide’s very basic coverage of the game’s trophies and cheevos, as it basically just lists what they are.

Final Verdict:

The Need for Speed guide is a great choice for those who are new to the series and those who are. Spend some quality time with the guide and you’ll be able to hold your own with the best of them, drifting and power sliding like a racing savant.

Publisher: Prima Games

Authors: Michael Knight

Pages: 159

Covers the game on: PS4 | Xbox One 

Available at: Gamestop | Amazon & other select retailers

Price(s): $12.99 on sale at Amazon for $9.43

Review Copy Info: A physical copy was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review. A code for a free digital copy is included in the guide.