Tag Archives: Review

Battlefield 1 Turning Tides Expansion Review

This past week the first two maps of the Battlefield 1 expansion “Turing Tides” has now released. Also a new operation, new weapons, and new assignments have been added as well. But let’s get into the meat of this latest expansion in the latest Battlefield title.

“Turning Tides” as of right now only has its first two maps out, as the other two are coming in early January when it releases outside of the premium pass. But the first map we have is “Achi Baba” which is a trench warfare heavy map. The gameplay here is probably what I would consider the most accurate to the World War I setting. As you find yourself constantly running through trenches, grenades flying around and landing in front of you. It’s very infantry focused, and one of the best maps in the game in my opinion. The other map “Cape Helles” is more fitting with the theme of the DLC. Featuring plenty of sea gameplay, with also a big mix of air and infantry based defense gameplay. This map I find a bit weaker, as the attackers really only utilize the sea gameplay, while defense is more on infantry and sky.

There are plenty of new weapons that honestly don’t add to much to the sandbox of Battlefield 1, especially compared to “In the Name of the Tsar.” I feel like the real potential of this expansion lies with the next two maps that are coming, so when they release I will update this review with those. But the infiltrator hero class has been added in this update. Which serves as a more stealth based hero character, which is very fitting for Battlefield 1 and has the potential to be one of my favorite new classes.

Continue reading Battlefield 1 Turning Tides Expansion Review

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

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?

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.

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170704 and was last modified on 20171123 .

Puyo Puyo Tetris Review

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?

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.

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 too 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.

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170622 and was last modified on 20171123 .

Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers Review

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.

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.

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170621 and was last modified on 20171123 .

Injustice 2 Review

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?

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.

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.

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170620 and was last modified on 20171123 .

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170519 and was last modified on 20170521 .

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.

 

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170407 and was last modified on 20171211 .

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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Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170407 and was last modified on 20170407 .

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Tristan Werbe on 20170323 and was last modified on 20170323 .

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.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Josh Ehresmann on 20170321 and was last modified on 20170323 .