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Doki Doki Universe PS4 Review – A Journey Of Self Discovery

Doki Doki Universe PS4 Review - A Journey of Self Discovery

Doki Doki Universe starts off by introducing the main character, a robot who has been abandoned by his family for being outdated. The overall task which players will spend the rest of the game working towards is then presented, this robot must get Humanity training and pass Alien Jeff’s reports or be sentenced to de-construction (along with all other robots that share the same model number as it). “Humanity is about understanding others” is the advice players are greeted with.

Throughout the title they must be evaluated and on the way they learn about humans and this machine can manage to become more human itself. Attributes are assigned to describe the player’s play-style and actually reflect how you as a player respond and react to the game, judging your personality and other things about you in an interesting and realistic way.

At the same time players also learn about the characters they interact with, such as their favorite greeting and what “summonables” (think of this as gifts and/or gestures) they like. “Summonables” are ways to express yourself or give a helping hand to others. For example, you might give a heart to one that you share love for or you might give a plate of spaghetti to some one who is hungry. Characters will react in many different ways to what you give them, how you greet them, and many times tell you all about themselves in order for you to better learn how to interact with the place you have landed at any particular time.

Doki Beach World

Human Nature Studios lives up to their name with Doki Doki Universe which displays a wide variety of unique and deeply defined characters encountered across various planets by the main character which is named QT37765 (or QT3 for short). As players progress through the game, like I’ve mentioned above, the main character QT3 is learning what makes humanity tick and how it is and can be more human than originally expected. However, players are also able to learn more about themselves – perhaps affirming or denying beliefs they may have had about themselves before playing Doki Doki Universe.

There are quiz sections in the game that will test the player and these do a shockingly good job of telling players about themselves. I was found to be a responsible, always working person who has a need for excitement and fresh experiences and a quirky sense of humor. The fact that I spend most of my time updating RealGamerNewz with articles, working behind the scenes on our relationships with developers, and crave originality from indie and AAA games makes me sympathize with this finding. And come on, those who know me personally can’t deny I have a strange sense of humor alright! If players answer honestly to the quizzes presented they might just get accurate findings as well. In this sense, the experience is very different for each person. There’s also a psychiatrist-style character named Dr. Therapist who will give you overall evaluations once you’ve taken some of these quizzes.

Here’s an example below:

There’s also different planets you go to which is actually the bulk of the gameplay and consists mainly of meeting people and other beings and assisting them in achieving happiness (or sometimes angering them until they help you on your particular quest of attaining humanity to prevent becoming obsolete).

Here’s an example of that as well:

Beyond this, the game features a very extensive messaging system which allows you to send and receive communications with Facebook friends who play Doki Doki Universe and include animations within the text so that they read more like an emotional e-letter than a simple text. Characters from within the game also send you communications this way so you can keep in touch with them and be reminded of who is who on each planet (and particularly who misses you or wants you to pay another visit).

With all of the positive things I have to say about Doki Doki Universe, there are some negatives as well. Overall, I feel like the game did accomplish its goal and is an incredibly unique experience that should be given a chance – not just by family gamers or children but by all types. The quizzes are great, but sometimes the analysis on the player’s personality can get repetitive. Players must read the explanation for the results in order to get a unique response more often, which is cool but the repetition of personality descriptions shouldn’t be there in the first place. The decorations given as rewards for taking these quizzes are sometimes repeated as well. Having the Limited Edition does increase the variety in what you’ll experience in terms of gameplay and quizzes however.

Doki Doki Universe RealGamerNewz Review Gameplay

Players must travel all over the various planets multiple times in order to find the piece that solves each solution to the problems their newly met friends face. On the one hand it encourages exploration to have this happen, but on the other it does present a feeling of never being completely done and causes the more seasoned gamer’s OCD to itch. Characters are so bountiful and varied that it may be hard to remember them all when coming back to the game and with so many objectives spread out this could drastically increase the longevity of the game. This is less of a complaint and more of an observation though. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, and sometimes the characters players meet will leave a lasting impression and be remembered on other planets. For example hitting a beach planet after someone asked you for something that reminds them of the ocean makes intuitive and emergent gameplay which justifies this construct.

One more thing which is less dramatic but load times between menus can sometimes be a bit of a chore even on next-gen. If this is a game you’ve been wanting to try, these issues shouldn’t stop you from playing. They are not so much detriments to the vision which has been fulfilled here in an interesting way as they are ideas for improving the package in general.

Doki Sushi

Controls in the game are typically exactly what players expect them to be. The user interface does a great job of showing what must be done at all times and how to do it. Unfortunately, the one thing that seems to have issues at times is using the right analog stick for things like blowing kisses, waving, or bowing. This is somewhat important to gameplay because different characters prefer different greetings, and with it being hard to control which your main character QT3 is actually going to produce the results to greeting someone can be unpredictable. Similarly, some characters like getting picked up but must be placed back on the ground very carefully and this seems to also go outside of the player’s control at times.

Graphically Doki Doki Universe takes the art direction of purely hand drawn visuals with light-hearted animations and a beautiful selection of color palette. The soundtrack is very well fitting to the moment with mainly upbeat tunes that keep things feeling gentle for the player. The result is this game feels like a haven from the dark and negative themes found in most games these days, a sweet escape when players are not up for grinding their gears and instead want to have a refreshing and colorful experience that is other-worldly.

Doki Poop World

The title’s sound effects are sometimes indicative of humor and do a good job of fitting their role each time they are summoned. Voice acting in the game is basic but fits the part. Perhaps if the entire game was voice acted it might allow for even younger audiences to play, however this also encourages reading and parental involvement which is great for such an emotional foundation builder as Doki Doki Universe turns out to be.

Characters are unique and each have their own personality which must be understood in order to progress through the game. At times this can feel overwhelming, and the game is therefore best played in small bits as the development team mentioned in our exclusive interview with them. In the long run though, this is a really great thing and provides a living, breathing world players will want to go back to and feel a part of. There are online functions such as messaging with friends as mentioned earlier but also visiting the home-worlds of others to see how they decorated it.

Doki

Engine Performance: Very Good – No glitches were experienced during our play-through but load times could be slightly improved. Overall there’s not much to complain about when playing the title on the next-gen console.

Replay Ability: Good – Between all of the objectives that come up in the game and the trophy set, there’s a lot to do in Doki Doki Universe and players will be able to spend a lot of time if they want to without too much gameplay fatigue.

Final Verdict:

We applaud Doki Doki Universe for trying something very different than what the game industry has seen in the past decade and those behind the title for bringing it to the mainstream market where it can be enjoyed by many families and contemporary gamers alike. Exploring and being social, meeting various interesting and detailed characters (each with their own likes and dislikes), visiting unique and charming planets, and helping find solutions to many different situations that are encountered is a fun and easy going way to pass the time. This is a game that can serve as a great family title or something relaxing to play in between rounds in other more intense titles. There’s not much that really needed fixing here, but a few things noted in the review that could have made for a more pleasant experience include more variety in personality analysis of the player as well as certain controls being addressed more fluidly. Overall Doki Doki Universe on PlayStation 4 gets a 7.8 out of 10 (RGN Bronze Game Rating) from RealGamerNewz and is highly recommended for gamers looking for a very unique and enjoyable experience.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7.8/10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game

Developer: Human Nature Studios / Sony Studio Foster City

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Available On: PS3 | Vita | PS4

Played On: Sony PlayStation 4

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of the limited edition of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher 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 Jon Ireson on 20131221 and was last modified on 20131221 .

Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata Review

Castlevania- The Nocturnal Cantata by MegaRan and Sammus

Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata is an incredible experience from start to finish. Similar to the video games, this full fledged hip hop album feels like a journey inside the inner minds of Dracula, Alucard, the Belmonts, Maria, and by the time you’re done listening you’ve not only spent a day in the universe of Castlevania but grown a greater understanding for the deep themes created within one of gaming’s most well-known franchises of all time.

Tracks ‘Aria of the Bloodline’ and ‘100 Years’ provide the introduction and set the stage for the experience that is The Nocturnal Cantata. Each track shows the two different sides of the vampire bloodline that rampages against mankind. As many of you probably remember from Symphony of the Night, Alucard is faced with the difficulty of stopping his own father Dracula from pursuing the destruction of mankind and torturing of all human souls in revenge for what happened to his wife who was burned at the stake for being accused of witchcraft. Dracula of course rises every 100 years, and is ready to get his hands dirty each time resuming his place as dark lord.

MegaRan’s raw talent and obsessive polish paired with incredible production, mainly by Sammus, are the main reasons why Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata flow so well. The Ranger makes his first appearance on this album with a slightly monotone chorus on ‘Richter’ but makes up for it with slick verses that have a lot to say and delivery that is on point solid, especially on the later jam ‘Chasing Fate’. MegaRan’s interludes and Finale personify Alucard even further completely rounding out this experience. Sammus out-does herself with the features on ‘Young Girl’ and ‘Sweet Sorrow’ which feel like the most impressive tracks on the album by far. The chemistry between Sammus as Maria Renard and MegaRan as Alucard allow for total immersion. Every lyric selected rings true to the hip hop format as well as the Castlevania franchise.

I’ll have to admit, when I first heard MegaRan was working on a Castlevania album next I worried about how interesting the game would sound as a music piece. Those doubts have been crushed and now I feel foolish for ever doubting MegaRan and the crew he’s assembled on this project. Mastering is done by K-Murdock for Neosonic Productions with mixing by Brian Gigerich @ Hand Krafted Studios and leaves Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata sounding as crisp and clear as n multi-million dollar production.

Thanks to the complexity of the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night video game MegaRan, Sammus, and The Ranger managed to present one of the most compelling hip hop albums released this year. ‘Sweet Sorrow’ is the final culmination of these themes and sounds and wraps The Nocturnal Cantata into a complete package nicely. MegaRan even gave us an awesome bonus track ‘Dance of Pales (No Sleep)’ which helps give us another glimpse into the life of the teacher turned rapper and encourages a positive outlook with a dedicated grind to achieve anything you want in life.

Final Verdict: If you’re a gamer, or just enjoy storytelling hip hop with a message, meaningful and professionally crafted flows, and ridiculously good production, mixing, and mastering then you NEED to listen to Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata now. This album receives a 9 out of 10 from RealGamerNewz and although this is our first music review, rest assured it will not be our last.

Overall Score: 9/10

Album Info: Castlevania: The Nocturnal Cantata by MegaRan and Sammus

Listen/Buy it Now: at MegaRanMusic.com

Review Copy Info: A copy of this album was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purposes 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 Jon Ireson on 20130718 and was last modified on 20150208 .

FUSE Review

FUSE Xbox 360 PS3 Insomniac EA

Given the fonts and colors used to promote this game, you’d almost be reminded of HAZE, this is not a good thing. But look past that, because FUSE does what you’ve often wished games would do. It goes there. FUSE uses real life legends such as Area 51 underground bases and more to set the tone for a serious adventure that is parts Action, parts Shooter, and more.

FUSE received controversy upon its announcement as Insomniac Games has brought one of their titles out on the Microsoft Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation 3 multi-platform for the first time. There are some who say that this game is nothing more than a cash-in by Insomniac to go multi-platform and develop their good relationship with Electronic Arts and Microsoft before creating the exclusive New IP for Xbox ONE entitled Sunset Overdrive (coming next-gen from developer Insomniac Games and publisher Microsoft).

I’m happy to report those claims couldn’t be more wrong. While the weapons in FUSE may sometimes remind you of those seen in Ratchet or Resistance franchises, this is rare and even when it does happen they feel too completely different for you to mind. Not to mention, this game strikes more intriguing plot lines than both of the aforementioned franchises. This game actually manages to squeak past all of its controversy and be pretty enjoyable to say the least. A few stumbles behind a masterpiece, FUSE deserves a closer look than I originally expected and I’m glad I did check it out.

FUSE is not just the name of this game but the essence of it. FUSE is something like an anti-matter substance, a wormhole to another dimension? It’s being used as a never-ending power source, and a super-weapon applicable to many different forms of guns, air-craft, and more. It’s very volatile and can kill you. It might even be alive, and exists on a molecular level similar to radiation. A few groups fight over control of this substance throughout the game as your characters discover why and what makes this one out of many of the government’s top secret inventions the most dangerous.

FUSE Gameplay 360 PS3 EA Insomniac

Many of the enemies found in this game are predictable, easy to take down with a friend or even the AI, and don’t seem extremely realistic to be in the game’s setting. We are supposed to be fighting the most high-tech robotic guards around. And while some foot-soldiers seem almost like zombies after they’ve been exposed to too much FUSE, most of the enemy design is pretty lacking in creativity and excitement. The most advanced air-craft you’ll find are more towards the originality and complexity we would have hoped to see from the rest of the game’s enemies.

The cheeky dialogue between the characters shouldn’t fool you, this type of stuff is pretty much directly based on the United States alien UFO conspiracy folk stories that go around since before the invention of the internet involving stories of an “Area 51” like the one featured in FUSE and more. Of course, this game is entirely fictional and any real versions of what it represents are purely coincidental, right?

Incredible hit detection, great storyline, and compelling co-op with drop in/out online support make this game a shooter’s game. Gameplay elements right where you’d want them let you know Insomniac put time and thought every detail through in this title. If you can get past the sometimes cliche’ dialogue and the sub-par graphics then you’ll definitely be in for a great experience. At first the extreme amount of words on the screen will throw you off, but the HUD really is meant for gamers that know their shooting. If you can shoot well then you will appreciate the detail of things like automatically displaying head-shots and other events in text by your aiming crosshairs.

In FUSE, Single Player and multiplayer are seamless. When there’s less than 4 people online in your game, you can “Leap” between characters that are being played by AI. In FUSE, another thing you should know is that Stealth is optional. You will be able to break out a gunfight at any time by shooting off when there was once silence. Your partner(s) may or may not mind however, as this game seems to be pretty much all about gunfights and high-tech alien/government secret conspiracies.

Some of the dialogue that the characters share make them seem like they aren’t real people. They don’t do a good job of making every single character believable, which can take away from the immersion at times. But there are so many small bits of evidence that quickly play as audio clips in the game which do a much better job of adding to the suspense and evolving knowledge of the characters as they adventure into what is essentially one of the most deadly mysteries on Earth.

FUSE Gameplay 360 PS3 EA Insomniac 2

Unfortunately graphics seem to miss the mark on the type of pixel fidelity expected from an Insomniac Games after what has been displayed with their Sony-proprietary PlayStation 3 titles such as Resistance 3. Not to mention the completely doctored screenshots that’ve been released to promote the game. But it gets the job done. You’re able to see what you’re shooting and there aren’t enough artifacts to prevent you from becoming immersed in the game. The graphics aren’t bad, they just seem limited by the hardware being pushed to its limits since this console generation is at its ending.

The Four player drop-in/drop-out multiplayer in FUSE is some of the best in its class. This game feels great even if you’re alone. The AI can do things like flank, heal you, even complete co-operative objectives without you lifting a finger. But online with friends/strangers is where this game shines. It’s a quick blow through and enjoy type of game though, so don’t be looking to get any deep tactics and strategy out of it. Each character has their own unique weapon, use them as you wish because it all gets the job done.

Replay Ability- All of your standard re-playability features are here including picking up intel, customizing your skills and upgrading abilities, as well as enhanced difficulty modes.

Engine Performance- Engine is amazing, one time I was spawned in a spot where I couldn’t move though. But it was during a boss fight that contained cut-scenes and I was placed in it after one, then removed from it after one. No glitches happened after, and this one didn’t stop my progress in any way so I find it easy to forgive in light of the incredible hit detection, animations, and fluid controls / UI.

Final Verdict- The fact that Insomniac Games was able to bring out a New IP on short notice at the end of a console generation with so much polish, such a compelling storyline, and such fun gameplay that doesn’t have any of those dreaded “WTF” moments of terrible design woes shows that they are truly masters of their craft. However, FUSE fails to innovate and instead focuses on showcasing some of the best elements seen in the shooter genre. This is an incredible ride if you’re intrigued at all by shooter video games and/or conspiracy theory, but veteran and seasoned gamers may find it generic and lacking of identity. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and FUSE earns a respectable 8.75 out of 10 points giving it an RGN Rating of Silver. Given some time to rest and regain its energy, FUSE could someday return as one of the industry’s greats, but right now it’s just a decent play.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 8.75/10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Developer: Insomniac Games / Publisher: EA Games

Available On: Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3

Played On: Sony PS3

Review Copy Info- This game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purposes 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 Jon Ireson on 20130712 and was last modified on 20130712 .

Metal Gear Solid: The Legacy Collection [MGS 1-4 and More] is Out Now for $49.99

PS3 The Legacy Collection

If you want to catch up on the Metal Gear Solid series now is the best time to do it. With over 33 million sales and an impressive average MetaCritic score of 92 out of 100 or higher, the Metal Gear Solid franchise has been an industry-defining experience in Stealth gameplay paving the way for many niche genres to exist today. Beyond that legacy, this Legacy is a $49.99 key to Hideo Kojima’s entire Metal Gear Solid world. You’ll be able to play through the Stealth Espionage series that become an industry mainstay and still calls a high demand to this day. Included in this package for just fifty bucks are the following games:

  • Metal Gear Solid
  • Metal Gear Solid 2: HD Edition
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: HD Edition (comes with MSX1 and MSX2; retro Metal Gear)
  • Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker HD Edition
  • Metal Gear Solid: VR Missions
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Trophy Edition
  • 2 Ashley Wood Digital Graphic Novels

This game is available today from major retailers in North America and South America as announced by publisher Konami and is exclusive to the Sony PlayStation 3.

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 Jon Ireson on 20130711 and was last modified on 20130711 .

PC Exclusive Company of Heroes 2 Receiving Awards by the Boat Load [Video]

Company of Heroes 2 PC Relic Sega

The following Company of Heroes 2 trailer has  been released by developer Relic Entertainment and publisher Sega to provide the gaming community with a glimpse at what reviewers are saying about the PC only strategy title. Company of Heroes 2 features real-time strategy with the added depth of a persistent world.

Among many of the accolades being noted Company of Heroes 2 is the winner of 11 “Best of E3” awards after being nominated for 30+ awards. You can buy Company of Heroes 2 on Steam for $59.99 today by clicking HERE. Check out the Accolades trailer below released by Relic Entertainment and Sega:

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 Jon Ireson on 20130710 and was last modified on 20130710 .

Project X Zone Review

Project X Zone RealGamerNewz Review

Project X Zone is developed by two companies Banpresto and Monolith Soft. While both developers are Japanese companies that have a good track record for games, Monolith Soft has been working on games such as the very awesome Xenoblade Chronicles and Chrono Cross. Project X Zone is published by Namco Bandi Games, they have a long track record of publishing awesome games that have come up under their name on it such as Dark Souls, Ni No Kuni, Soulcalibur V, Ace combat: Assault Horizon, and the upcoming Super Smash Bros on Wii U as well as the Nintendo 3DS.

When told I was going to be playing Project X Zone I was super pumped. I had seen things about this game at E3 2013, still having no clue what the game was like in my own hands until I got my code for it, put it into my Nintendo 3DS XL, and booted it up for the first time. I was blown away by this game. First off this game is very Japanese, just by the way that everything is subtitled and the characters are all speaking Japanese, and the art direction also follows suit.

Project X Zone RealGamerNewz Review 2

Project X Zone has a story following the theft of the ‘Portalstone’. The Portalstone is a stone that has been protected over the ages and Project X Zone’s plot follows detective Konoro Tenzai to locate the stone. From there the story twists and turns and I found it really hard to follow, but that wasn’t a problem because you are looking at a very long story to play through which is good. You’re going to get a lot of bang for your buck with Project X Zone, there is at least 40+ hours of game to play through.

The gameplay in Project X Zone is very awesome. Players have, on one side, a top down RPG with grid movements that is turn based with so many variations to it. Then there’s the best battle system I’ve seen in a game for a long time. When you go into attacking someone you get a 2D mixed with 3D type of fight scene reminiscent of Street Fighter. You will either be attacking solo or you will have a pair of two characters. You also will have cross-hit and support-hit where you can have nearby allies join in the fight and give you some support during fights which will inflict major damage. In each of the levels you will get the chance to play as several different characters and get items as you play that will become very handy during gameplay.

The controls end up with players usually using the circle pad and buttons on the right hand side. The d pad is rarely used and there is the option to use the bumpers (which are used here and there). Any gamer can pick this game up pretty easily, because it teaches you how to play the game with on-screen directions. When you are in battle it also shows you combos that you can use in-game, they are specific to the character you are using.

Project X Zone RealGamerNewz Review 3

Speaking for the characters in this game there’s characters from franchises like Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Tekken, Devil May Cry, Valkyria Chronicles, Tales of Vesperia, Dead Rising, God Eater, and Mega Man. The graphics in the game are ‘pixelated’ 3D models in the RPG mode and there is really good art when you are in the fighting mode. This game is going to have a very high replay-ability. Handheld gamers will be able to come back to Project X Zone over and over again.

Final Verdict: Project X Zone is an extremely enjoyable mix between fighting and role playing from Monolith Soft and Banpresto presented by Namco Bandai Games packed full of Sega, Capcom, and Namco Bandai’s characters and earns a 9.6 out of 10 from RealGamerNewz. It’s one of the best 3DS games played to this point and one of the best games played in 2013. We recommend that if you have Nintendo 3DS, you need to pick this game up and enjoy it now.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9.6 / 10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Available On: Nintendo 3DS

Developer: Banpresto + Monolith Soft / Publisher: Namco Bandai Games

Played On: Nintendo 3DS XL

Review Copy Info: A digital voucher for this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for purposes 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 20130705 and was last modified on 20140313 .

RGN Daily News #39: Digital Brings New Golden Age of Gaming

Digital Brings New Golden Age of Gaming

In this podcast me and the Editor-In-Chief of RealGamerNewz.com Jon Ireson sat down to put together RGN Daily News #39 which focuses on the rebirth of video game entertainment back to the golden days when there were more good games than you had time to choose from.

Main Topics:

-Proof Digital Games Are Better and Cheaper

-PlayStation 4 Technology Overview

-Activision Working on $20 NEW IP’s for Next Gen

-Hotline Miami Is An Example Of Good Things To Come

-10/10 Game for $9.99 on PS3 & PS Vita

-Digital Brings New Golden Age of Gaming

Extra Topics Include:

-Sony Using FreeBSD Linux (Unix)

-What this means for gamers

-Sony and AMD Made their own graphics driver

-8 Cores Jaguar

-8 GB RAM

-4K VIDEO OUTPUT FOR MOVIES

-UPSCALING FOR GAMES IN FUTURE? POSSIBLY NOT, BUT STILL A POTENTIAL

-Removable Laptop Hard Drive

 

-Sony PlayStation Network 2.0

-Indie-friendly Game Store with Some Amount of Self-Publishing

-PlayStation Cloud Instant Full Game Trials

-Download Games While Playing Them

-Pause Games by Powering Off

-Automatic Gameplay Video Encoding/Decoding for Seamless Livestreaming and Rendering of Gameplay Footage.

-Play Any Region PS4 Game Anywhere In the World

-Import-friendly

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 Wilson S on 20130626 and was last modified on 20131220 .

Hotline Miami Review

Intro- I’m just going to keep swinging my fists and walking in your direction, if they happen to hit you in the face it’s your own fault. Remember that game when we were kids, or is it just me? Hotline Miami takes some of the most raw and unforgiving gameplay mechanics derived from street fights and brings them together into a game that will put hair on your chest. In Hotline Miami you are a killer who takes out mansions full of goons who are obsessed with rave club music and putting chicks into bathtubs. Not exactly a hero, you once did this for revenge. Now your anger, hatred, and passion are all blurring into one sadistic blend of combat.

Story- It’s Miami, it’s 1989. “Question Your Own Thirst For Bloodshed”- You’ve lost your mind, the calls keep coming in and they have driven you to kill. Miami’s criminal underworld is just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and honestly you would probably be ready to take out anybody just about now. That’s why Hotline Miami is the game where you are an unlikely hero. The odds are against you. You’re un-armed, out-numbered, and all you’ve got to go on is your rage. Constantly throughout the game, your character is just trying to chill and have a good day. However, messages keep coming through his mailbox, phone calls keep taunting him with random words that he doesn’t even place meaning to anymore. Vague mentions are given about a lost girlfriend, but for those who would cry spoiler alert we shall say no more about that.

The weight of the world is weighing on our main character’s shoulders as his mind slowly but inevitably cracks from whatever is going on within that forces him to not change his phone number and instead take his rage out through murdering people. Hotline Miami doesn’t force the story on you much, you can just skip through it if you want to enjoy the gameplay instead. If you really look into it though, there are psychological tendencies and behavioral mind programming references being made by the game’s emotion-evoking soundtrack and art direction (not to mention your character’s news paper clippings, yikes). It really makes you strongly think about responding to wrong numbers ever again. Equipped with a deep story even if just there to serve its purpose, Hotline Miami’s gameplay is where this title really shines.

Gameplay- Hotline Miami for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita is a pulverizing rendition of the original hardcore brawler seen from a bird’s eye view. Your first mission starts you off beating enemies down and using their own weapons against them by picking them up off the ground before they get up. You can bust through doors to tackle opponents and then swing or throw bats, steel pipes, and this is all just in the first level. As soon as it’s mission complete, guess again. Samurai swords will chop you in half. The people you’re up against are pretty much high life mafia types, so you better believe a few exotic weapons are around and some deadly dogs to boot.

You just killed the last one, jacked him of his briefcase, and now creeping around corners and beating people down into a bloody pulp with that briefcase is the only thing standing between yourself and death. You’ll start off ducking and weaving, but quickly you’ll learn a more aggressive strategy pays off. Boldness is actually beneficial to you in taking out as many enemies as you can in a short time. But as the levels become more advanced you will have to learn better maneuvers and identify when to bring a knife to a gunfight and when not to.

Leave no witnesses when you ride off in your car to the next mission. If anybody tries to act like a hero, figure out their weakness and put them in the dirt. In between missions stop at stash spots and fight their owners for what’s good inside. You’ll also sometimes hit other stops along the way for gear or just to see some people who feel like they know you. At the end of each mission, your points will be tallied up and divided into sections including Killings, Boldness, Combos, Time Bonus, Flexibility, and Mobility. Weapons unlock based on points as well. High scores to unlock masks. Combos, Executions, Door Slams, Double Exposure, and more is also counted up with your play style rated with ratings such as “Generic” and “Combo Trainee”, the time it took you to beat the game, and a Letter Grade rating such as B+.

Sometimes you kill so good you might puke a little. It’s just another day stomping out fools that think they’re slick. Normal, but in Hotline Miami the difficulty increases around every corner. Mastering the world around you and what you can do to your enemies becomes the key to survival and ramps up the fun factor with each successful massacre. Don’t get your head blown off! Things go from melee to machine gun quickly in this game. You’ll find yourself surprising your own senses with the gruesome combos you pull off hacking and thumping away at opponents, which are much better faced off-guard if possible. There’s everything from throwing knives into people’s heads to bashing their faces into the ground, to shotguns. You’ll need to be resourceful if you expect to survive Hotline Miami. The intensity keeps your blood boiling as you take your rage out on enemies and feel the triumph of rising above the sometimes instant killing barrage you’re forced up against.

Controls- If you’re playing on the PlayStation Vita, you’ll be able to lock on to opponents using the touch-screen controls. On the PS3 console you can cycle through lock-ons by pressing L3. This is mostly useful for picking people off with limited ammo after a gunfight. I found it more productive to just use the left and right thumb-sticks manually controlling my character while timing my attacks and the orientation of my character in tandem. Hotline Miami makes every second a decision of stealth gameplay versus aggressive gameplay and constantly being aware of who has what in their hands as enemies scramble to pick up weapons as you scramble to finish them off.

Characters / Enemies- The artificial intelligence knows when to psyche you out and often times you’ll find yourself dying over and over again until you can discipline your fingers to hit exactly the right timing. Precision pays off however, and this is not one of those “artificial difficulty” scenarios in gaming. Hotline Miami is a true gamers’ game, rewarding skills over luck by being brutally reliant on your ability to master its offered techniques. The pace at which new enemies are introduced pretty much makes or breaks this game and Dennaton Games nailed it. You never figure it out to the point where it’s boring, there’s enough seemingly random cause and effect to keep things challenging and interesting. You can indulge yourself by trying a scene out Rambo style over and over until it works, or you can bring your tactics into play and go for speed or stealth.

Graphics / Art Direction- Hotline Miami’s graphics and art direction are satisfying to look at for old school gamers and new alike. Inspired by retro games and enhanced by modern filters and backed by a solid set of animations, this game just looks good. If there were only one way to see the game’s graphics (default) it would be a great game as it stands, but some of the different masks available give the player an alternative artistic rendering of the game. The levels that have been drawn here paired with the creative ideas from developer Dennaton Games are enough to satisfy even the most feature-spoiled gamer. Thanks to these great works of art this game flows fast and smooth, and the nature of each stage lends itself to new gameplay dynamics.

Soundtrack / Audio- Excellence- Well above average quality tunes that keep you in the mood to kill without giving you a headache.

Replay Ability- High- In total there are over 25 different ‘masks’ which serve as different alterations to the game to be unlocked including PlayStation exclusive Russel Mask (for creepy cool ‘b/w and Blood Vision’), Dennis Mask (start off with a knife), Aubrey Mask (for more guns!) which you can play through the entire game with extending the replay value through the roof in terms of creating new play-throughs out of the campaign’s different lenses, and more. To top it off for Replay Ability, Hotline Miami also sports Trophies and Leader-boards also track which one of your friends is the best at each stage, and will brag about which mask was used to get that ranking as well.

Engine Performance- Solid- No glitches were experienced during our play-throughs. During gameplay this game runs at a solid frame-rate and has no input lag to speak of. The result is Hotline Miami feels like a premium arcade action experience. The games physics are also great, lend to intuitive skill progression, and remind us of many other old school and/or indie-style games which is always nostalgic.

Final Verdict- My hand hurts and I can’t stop playing! Hotline Miami is a testament to everything the game industry needs to re-learn about itself from great gameplay to an experience that is truly intense, personal, and fun. This game gets a 10 out of 10 and will have you giving your DualShock or Vita the cobra grip. We challenged ourselves to but could not find a single thing to mark Hotline Miami down on points, if you are a gamer- get this now- this game receives the official RGN Rating of Diamond Game.

Official Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 10/10

RGN Rating: Diamond Game

Developer: Dennaton Games / Publisher: Devolver Digital

Now Available On: Sony PlayStation 3 / PlayStation Vita

Also Available On: Computer

Review Copy Info: A digital voucher was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purposes of this Review.

For More Information, Please Read The RGN Review Policy. To Have Your Product Reviewed on RGN Contact Us via Email.

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 Jon Ireson on 20130625 and was last modified on 20130625 .

Mountain Crime: Requital Review

Mountain Crime: Requital is a game from the headquarters of game publisher, Alawar, located in Russia, Novosibirsk, and developed by Alawar Stargaze studio, located in Russia, Barnaul. Alawar Entertainment has brought the point-and-click adventure genre to a new level of entertainment. The Action-based atmosphere of this game allows you to go at your own pace, for impatient gamers who may have previously never wanted to play a point-and-click adventure game this is your game. Mountain Crime: Requital allows players to quickly blast through their favorite parts of the game with adrenaline pumping moments that will make you feel fully immersed in the game’s story and even gameplay as your eyes are scanning every new scene you run into for clues.

Story- In Mountain Crime: Requital you play as a doctor who has been summoned to mountain resort under false pretenses. Just as you are getting your wits about you, expecting to find a patient who needs your help, you discover that an unexpected weather event has trapped you here and all around you people seem to be mysteriously dying. It’s your job to stay alive, examine the evidence, and of course try to identify and stop the killer.

Gameplay- The gameplay in Mountain Crime: Requital is the most optimized version of point-and-click adventure seen thus far. Similar to other titles that have been recently causing a revival to this beautiful genre of exploration and using your intelligence to enhance the experience, Mountain Crime: Requital keeps you on the edge most and rewards fast and smart players. You will have hard-to-find objects that you are seeking, but you can also use hints. There is a higher difficulty setting as well as one that is designed to allow players to play quickly through the game with less patience. In addition to traditional puzzles and object hunting, the game also features interactive scenes which add to the depth of gameplay significantly.

Characters- Each character you get to know intimately by the time the game is over. You are sometimes laughing with them, other times at them, but it’s all a very fun experience. You never really can tell exactly who you are after until the plot begins to thicken and survival instincts begin to thump your heart out of your chest.

Graphics / Art Direction- The game’s set pieces and characters are all amazingly drawn and animated and look like the high quality you’d expect on a high definition gaming console or PC. The art direction in the game is terrific in telling the story of the dark and dismal situation players are thrust into.

Soundtrack, Audio, Voice- The greatest part of this game’s audio is the narrator which actually feels like logically thought out comments from yourself to keep you motivated on the right tasks. The player also gets to choose some of the decisions you make as a character. You’ll learn to hear some of the sound effects very distinctly and know that you’ve found something important to the game. There is a decent soundtrack that also helps tell the current urgency of whichever scene you are playing through in the story.

Replay Ability- The features a challenging set of trophies as well as a new difficulty mode that keep its Replay-ability fairly high, but even if you aren’t into that this game is just plain fun and may have you coming back for more once you feel the Mountain Crime itch again.

Engine Performance- There were no glitches or bugs observed in our play-through experience, the game engine ran flawlessly.

Final Verdict- While there may be a stigma to rating games perfectly, we feel that this game in its current shape and form is completely flawless and although improvements are always possible we don’t find any immediately broken elements in this game that would deduct from our experience. Mountain Crime: Requital receives a 10 out of 10 from RealGamerNewz, even if you know nothing of the genre this is a game you have to experience.

Overall Score: 10/10

Available On: PS3 / PC / Mac

Mobile Version Available On: iOS / Android

Played On: PlayStation 3

Developer: Alawar Entertainment

Review Copy Info: A digital voucher for this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the developer for purposes 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 Jon Ireson on 20130607 and was last modified on 20130610 .

Thunder Wolves Review

Intro + Game Background Info: Thunder Wolves is a PC game (also available on PlayStation Network and Xbox Live) in which you play as helicopter mercenaries, not just any helicopter mercenaries either, the best in the business. You are set for action at any time. The game is published by bitComposer Games and they’ve published the Air Conflicts series, so these guys definitely know how to do air combat games; they have also published Jagged Alliance: Crossfire . The developer is Most Wanted Entertainment, they have put out a few games as well including Defenders of Ardania and Joint Task Force.

The Story: You are playing as a new hotshot pilot known as Blister. He is being trained in by Max one of the best pilots. You are doing all sorts of missions from attack missions to recon missions. You are attacking against a terrorist organization called the Serpent. Of course missions do not always go as planned as with any mission. The game covers missions held in the 80’s and 90’s as you get the change in different terrain from them.

Gameplay: The gameplay is held from a third person point of view when you are flying your helicopter. This is no simulation by any means so it’s a lot more forgiving when flying. All of the helicopters will have a machine gun on them and then they all really differ what type of missiles you have such as normal rockets to heat seeking rockets.

The game is a ton of fun to play it takes elements from all types of games and throws them into one. Some of the most fun moments in the game are being thrown in and just being able to destroy everything. You also have moments when you have to do sniping missions as well and play the role as the main gunner in an arcade style gameplay.

Controls: The game has very basic controls. You can either play with a mouse and keyboard and use just a few basic buttons to control throughout the game. I have found it a lot easier to play the game using an Xbox controller, you just plug it in and instantly the button layout switches and it’s a lot easier to control using a controller. It’s really a preference thing.

Graphics: This game will definitely run on about 80% of pc’s without any problems as long as you have a video card running directx 9 or higher you will be able to play this game. The buildings don’t feel very detailed but you do get a full map with lots of targets to shoot so I would say it makes up with the gameplay for the lack of intense graphics.

Soundtrack/Voice: The soundtrack is great for this game with a mix of hard rock and heavy metal makes it great to play this game. It ramps up as the action gets heavier. The voice acting is decent in the game with some comical humor here and there to spice things up. The game has very “meh” characters they are there you get the occasional commentary and it seem to repeat itself over and over. They do try to ramp up the commentary when the action ramps up.

Replay Ability: Moderate with all the score chasing and 20 Steam Achievements to play for.

Final Verdict: 8.7 out of 10 this game was a ton of fun to play, was nice to play a game where you don’t have to worry about following the story so much and just destroying everything in the mission. At a cost of $15 for this game you are definitely getting a lot of bang for your buck.

Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 8.7/10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Developer: Most Wanted Entertainment / Publisher: bitComposer Games

Available On: PS3 / 360 / PC

Played On: PC

Review Copy Info: A digital game voucher for this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for purposes of this review.

PC Specs of Review System:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor (4 CPUs), ~3.4GHz
  • Gigabyte Technology – GA-990XA-UD3
  • 8192MB RAM
  • PC Power and Cooling 750 Watt Power Supply
  • 256Gb Sandisk SSD Extreme 
  • Evga Geforce GTX 670 4GB Superclocked
  • Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013
  • Steelseries MLG Sensai
  • Astro A40 Headset

 

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 20130606 and was last modified on 20130606 .

RGN Daily News #27: Last of Us Reviews Cause All Out War

News from the day including Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Coming to PC RGN Daily News #27: The Last of Us Reviews Cause All Out War and more. The following topics are also discussed:

-OPINIONS VS BIAS IN REVIEWS

-SHOULD 10/10 EXISTS?

-ALTERNATIVE REVIEW SYSTEMS

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 Jon Ireson on 20130606 and was last modified on 20131220 .

Thomas Was Alone Review


Thomas Was Alone starts out as a platformer that talks to you, but it becomes so much more as it tells the story of an intuitive plot that lends itself to gameplay, or was it vice versa? One can’t be too sure with such an introspective narrative that quickly becomes one metacognitive realization after another.

Blocks walking along landscapes carved out of more and more detailed graphics are given basic personalities, but the way they inevitably interact with each other based on several factors such as their usefulness to each other travelling through each level is what gives Thomas Was Alone the premise for its story.

Gameplay: Thomas Was Alone feels like a platformer right away but eventually becomes more of a mix of running and platforming with most levels made into an advancing puzzle of sorts. You will be calling yourself stupid sometimes and laughing out loud since the game is based on extremely simplistic gameplay concepts at its core and yet still finds ways to outsmart you or cause you to fumble oh what many consider the basics of gaming. Each character fits together in such a way that eventually you will figure out how to get through if you just exercise patience and allow your creative thinking and instincts guide you.

The only thing we really would have liked to see is more content, possibly a bit more variety in gameplay and of course further story development. Hopefully what Thomas Was Alone started is just the beginning of this inspiring take on modern-meets-retro side-scroller / puzzle gameplay.

Controls: The controls of this game are very intuitive and allow gamers to easily pick it up and play even if they’ve never played before. Once a number of challenges are introduced the game becomes dependent on your ability to both mentally figure out the puzzle with which you are presented as well as physically master the tight maneuvers the controls of Thomas Was Alone provide.

Characters / Enemies: Thomas Was Alone is told in a charming way that faces a group of objects against their terrain in an unknown virtual world, or perhaps an alternate dimension, it really couldn’t be certain. Each character in the game’s thoughts are expressed and over the course of Thomas Was Alone you will get to feeling like you know them all personally. Each character is used for a different purpose in the puzzle gameplay mechanics as they are revealed one at a time.

Graphics / Art Direction: The game’s basic look gives it a feel that is at most times very novel and nostalgic. The vision of this title has been pulled off pretty well in terms of presentation but if you’re not a fan of Retro-inspired pixel art then you may find this game lacking in your modernized expectations.

Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: Music is shuffled sections of music with emotional drive that is set to the backdrop of each game’s level as well as procedurally loaded to prevent becoming repetitive.

As for additional soundtrack audio this game also allows you to turn up “Commentary Volume” which features the creator of the game talking out loud about his feelings about each level and what went on behind the scenes putting the game together scene-by-scene.

Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 8.75/10

RGN Rating: Silver Game

Available On: PS3 / Vita / PC / MAC / Linux

Developer / Publisher: Mike Bithell /  Studios

Played On: PlayStation 3

Review Copy Info: A digital voucher for this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for purposes 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 Jon Ireson on 20130603 and was last modified on 20130623 .

Metro: Last Light Review

Pushing the boundaries of PC gaming while also managing to deliver a fully immersive narrative and gameplay experience, Metro: Last Light is essentially Fallout without the boring parts. The hit detection in this game is second to none, every shot you take will go where it should. But that’s not the only thing about Metro: Last Light that will have you on the edge of your seat. Stealth gameplay also makes a huge appearance once again with light and shadow playing a role in the tactics and strategy employed upon approach. The setting of the game is a wasteland riddled with political corruption and wild mutants as well as a controversial race of beings that those who completed Metro 2033 should know all about. These beings are dubbed the Dark Ones.

The graphics in this game are phenomenal and although you won’t be getting the same experience on console as you will on a high-end PC, the great translation on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 actually looks fantastic and could easily pass for one of the best looking console games of the year. Beyond that the game’s’ physics engine is tight, and just plain old fun. For once you’re able to max out your gaming experience (and we really mean max out) without having to compensate in your gameplay routine for a poor game engine. This means Metro: Last Light produces a stress-free experience aside from the difficulty which can be very brutal as you run short on ammo and resort to calculated tactics for survival.

Some moments of this game feel like they are right out of a science fiction novel and tip toe around deep thinking philosophy that will have those who pay attention to detail pondering other worldly topics and aspects. However, this type of “sending a message” with the game thing doesn’t overstep its boundaries at all. The storyline of this game mainly intends on keeping you gripped in the action and passion of the main characters quest for survival in the Metro and at times on the scarred, worn surface of Earth itself. Adaptive artificial intelligence and intriguing enemy design will keep you on your toes and have you shocked into adrenaline mode quite often, and you will have to learn each enemy’s reaction to the guns you’ve got on hand until you know the most efficient way to kill what you’re up against.

The characters in Metro: Last Light are very well developed, and you’ll find yourself walking in on conversations that you just have to hear. These can distract you from the main plot, but also turn into side missions that you can actually play and experience for yourself. Most of the story line’s non-playable characters are quite memorable, and have a distinct personality to each their own. The game is entirely single player, with no multiplayer to speak of, but you won’t mind because it’s truly a single player shooter done right that veterans of the clouded genre can be proud to own and enjoy playing more than once.

The ranger mode adds to the gameplay experience by removing the heads up display in the game and creating an even more drastic shortage of ammo. Already in the game’s hardcore and normal modes you will need to be very careful how much time you spend wandering around in the game if you want to live. There is no swimming, and when you’re on the surface you need to be weary of how much oxygen and bullets you use now in order to balance how many you will be saving for later. There’s an ability to buy and sell ammo while also customizing your guns, but this chance will come only a handful of times as the game’s highly amped action sequences take you from place to place in a powerful rollercoaster of cause and effect.

Final Verdict: Metro: Last Light is an extremely polished shooter with a story that grips you and gameplay that has you gripping your controller tight until the end. RealGamerNewz scores this game a 9.75 out of 10.

Audio Review Comparing PC (Played by Josh Ehresmann) and PS3 (Played by Jon Ireson) gameplay experiences:

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9.75 / 10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Review Copy Info: a console copy and a steam voucher of this game were provided by the publisher to RealGamerNewz for purposes of this review.

Available on: Computer, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3

Played on: Computer by Josh Ehresmann and PlayStation 3 by Jon Ireson

PC Specs of Review System:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit
  • AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 965 Processor (4 CPUs), ~3.4GHz
  • Gigabyte Technology – GA-990XA-UD3
  • 8192MB RAM
  • PC Power and Cooling 750 Watt Power Supply
  • 256Gb Sandisk SSD Extreme 
  • Evga Geforce GTX 670 4GB Superclocked
  • Razer BlackWidow Ultimate 2013
  • Steelseries MLG Sensai
  • Astro A40 Headset

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 Jon Ireson on 20130513 and was last modified on 20130803 .

Media Review Scores Being Bought By Publishers [RGN Podcast]

In the latest RGN Podcast from the crew over here at RealGamerNewz you will hear Tristan Werbe (Deputy Editor of RealGamerNewz.com) joined by myself and Da Shredder as well as a new guest to discuss the media’s review scores being bought out by publishers which could explain the latest stream of poor review scores for titles that many are finding to be decent or even great games. The many other factors involved in reviewing a game are also discussed in addition to some talk about Defiance and Star Trek as well as the latest version of Super Mario Crossover heading to the PC gaming community.

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 Jon Ireson on 20130501 and was last modified on 20130501 .

Impire Review

Throughout this weekend I’ve spent a number of hours on one of Paradox Interactive’s new games, Impire. For those who don’t know, Impire is a dungeon-building RTS where the player takes on the role of “Baal-Abaddon”, a demon from the pit. Summoned by an incompetent warlock, you are tasked to aid in his dreams of revenge and the destruction of Ardania, the kingdom you have been summoned to. Firstly, I’ll start off with saying I have watched/read other reviews which were very critical about Impire; before I played the game. So I started out playing this game with a bad bias already in mind.

At the start, the other reviews seemed to have nailed describing the game; I found it annoying, difficult and frustrating to get to grips with Impire. However, before giving up I decided to throw a couple more hours into the game to make sure I wasn’t just repetiting other critics. What I found was that Impire, as with many other Paradox games, has a surprisingly long learning curve. The longer I played the more I found that many of the complaints other reviewers had were resolved by spending more hours in-game. I’m not saying that Impire is perfect, but Paradox Interactive tends to make the player have to commit and really work out their games.

Starting up the first level in campaign, I was reassured to find that the in-game graphics were fairly good. The dark, torch lit corridors and rooms give a really good vibe that draws you into the game. Also, every single room has incredible detail and a lot of work put into it. While I know that some people had issues with the pre-set rooms and not being able to customize them, I didn’t really find this a problem as every room had had a lot of work put into it and in the end was just well done.

Although the in-game graphics were good the campaign cinmatics aren’t up to scratch. There were a lot of rough edges that reminded me of a warcraft 3 cinematic except that the characters in Impire can’t seem to open their mouths.     This could have definitly been better as the animations for the units in-game are very polished. The unit animations were generally quite good and the combat effects were great to watch. Also the dialogue and unit speech is pretty amusing all throughout the game as Impire takes a very cynical and sarcastic view on itself and pull jokes all the time.

A problem a lot of people had with this game was the A.I which directly ties in with the squad mechanics. In Impire, the players’ main control over their units is through squads. Squads are comprised out of 4 units and lets the player to quickly teleport and command these squads to where they are needed most. However, there is the catch that the player can only create a maximum of 5 squads which left any other units created after that to “wonder” (more like stand still) by themselves. The issue many people have with the A.I is that the level of micro-management is incredible, they have to always direct units to attack something otherwise the units just stand still doing nothing. This, coupled with the ladders, made it extremely annoying to handle. Ladders are a game mechanic which caused a lot of grief by allowing alternative entrances into the dungeon other than the main entry. If they were not destoryed fast enough they let “heroes” invade from several areas at once. This caused a lot of frustration because it became a mad rush to teleport squads around your dungeon in an attempt to defend it.

The amount of complaints that units don’t patrol or don’t do anything from reviewers and gamers alike is amoung the top issues with the game. While messing around in the squad menu I was lucky enough to stumble upon an option menu which let me set squads on patrols, guard duty or to follow Baal. This resolves so many issues with the game play that is astonishing that it isn’t covered in the tutorial. By selecting the patrol option squads will roam your dungeon attacking any intruders and destorying any ladders they happen across.Without knowing the patrol option for squads, the game was basically you having to drop everything at the first sound of enemies or ladders. Even though you can only have a max of 5 squads they can easily defend your dungeon when they are constantly patrolling.

Right now the skirmish/multiplayer is limited because 1) multiplayer is still in beta and 2) skirmish doesn’t have any enemy A.I. It’s pretty baffling to have a fully released game which has multiplayer still in beta and no A.I for skirmish. However the Cyanide dev team is hard at work in improving the multiplayer stability and have been throwing out patches since the games’ launch. While I think this should have been addressed before the game was released, it’s reassuring to see the dev team constantly updating Impire.

Resource management in this game takes a little getting used to. While you can constantly collect food from the Mushroom chamber, if you want to expand your army (unlock the 5 squads/better units) you need to get tressure and materials. To get these other 2 resources you need to send squads to raid areas on the world map. This is essentially how you collect the other resources (although you can get them by killing heroes) and so you need to find a balance between sending out raids and keeping squads behind to defend your base. I’m pretty neutral about the resource system, I like the idea of raiding nearby towns and farms for your resources but for me there isn’t enough interaction or effect for raiding them other than a cooldown timer. I think there could have been a lot more done with it, for example the more you raid the more heroes get attracted to your dungeon, or maybe even let you take over the towns as resource generators until it’s taken back.

Overall I think that Impire has a lot of potential. There have been a lot of issues with the game and I agree that this game could be so much more. While there is definitly room for improvement, keep in mind the dev team has been constantly putting up patches to fix bugs and expand the game. The Cyanide team is really listening to the players feedback and I think Impire has a bright future. While things can definitly be expanded on, such as the world map, this game has a lot of good ideas and gameplay which will hopefully push it forward; once the multiplayer is stable there will be plenty of fun in crushing other players and proving yourself the ultimate dungeon master.

If you think you may enjoy this game check out the Impire Demo.

 

Overall Score: 8.5/10

Review Copy Info: RealGamerNewz.com received an Impire review code from the publisher Paradox Entertainment for the purposes of the single and multiplayer sections of this review.

Available On: Steam | Paradox Plaza Web Shop

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 Sam Chia on 20130320 and was last modified on 20130320 .