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Horizon Zero Dawn Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rating: 8 / 10

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

Release Date: February 28th, 2017

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

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 20170421 and was last modified on 20171211 .

Mass Effect Andromeda Review

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Rating: 9.5 / 10

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

Release Date: March 3rd, 2017

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

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 20170324 and was last modified on 20170407 .

Nintendo Switch – Initial Review

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?

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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 .

Snipperclips Review – Nintendo Switch

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rating: 7 / 10

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

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: March 3rd, 2017

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

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 20170319 and was last modified on 20170323 .

Fast RMX Review – Nintendo Switch

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Rating: 7.5 / 10

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

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Release Date: March 3rd, 2017

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

 

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 20170316 and was last modified on 20170323 .

The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare – Review

 

 

“The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare” is a 3rd Person Online Multiplayer Shooter from Virtual Basement and Code Headquarters Inc. for the PC and soon to be released on the Xbox One and PS4. In this game players are once again asked to choose a side Green or Tan as the did in the  classic 3DO Army Men Games & Signal Studios Toy Soldiers: War Chest but in a whole new way. When players jump into The Mean Greens they will be pitted against 9 other players in 5V5 online skirmishes with ten game modes spread across the game’s ten maps which provided a refreshing twist to game modes like “Team Deathmatch” and “Capture The Flag”. These battles are played out in areas around your house; the kitchen, the bathroom, the bedrooms, the freezer and everywhere in between and in The Mean Greens even in these place that you are familiar with you still will feel like you are going to war in a place you never seen before.

The combat In The Mean Greens is very lighthearted yet very visceral on the battlefield. When players touch down on the map they will have instant access to a machine gun, a sniper rifle, a shotgun, a RPG and finally a flamethrower but good aim is key. Players that think that they won’t need to be quick on the sticks will have their plastic comrade biting the dust more often than not if they’re caught slacking. The one thing players will love about The Mean Greens is that  here is next to no lag with the dedicated servers, so no one will ever feel cheated when it their toy soldier goes home to the big plastic bucket in the sky. The rolling mechanic will save a soldier’s life and will get the player out sticky situations fairly quickly.  The player can also with correct timing turn the rolling mechanic into parry and return fire to dispatch the opposition. The combat is very fast pace and rewarding as players and their squad mates scrambling to complete objectives like lighting birthday Candles,raising their flag to claim all the cookies among other wacky missions.

There are only a few things that may damper the amazing experience that is The Mean Greens one is the jump mechanic and another being aiming. The mouse or the thumbsticks if you playing with a control is automatically set in free aim mode, you can tweak the settings to fix this but then couple it with the jumping it can really be a pain because you have to focus on where you are jumping before you do so or else you will slide off the area you planned off jumping on. Players will have to spend some time adjusting and finding the best way to move around the level but combat is so fun and so addictive that they will want to master all the controls in now time to help out their squads during matches.  The only other problem with The Mean Greens is there is no single player campaign or scenario mode for gamers to play offline which some players may find as a deal breaker but others may not in this new gaming climate. The game has what some may call “OMG” or “One More Game” theory where players will play skirmish after skirmish without realizing that hours has passed. If one were to use a website like “Steam Spy” you will see that the “OMG” theory is in full effect and players are having a lot of fun playing with these plastic heroes.

The Mean Greens Maps will remind you of how amazing watching the “Toy Story” films and the feeling of into going into a Chuck E Cheese or Dave and Busters for the same time.The look and feel of the game is crisp and clean due to Virtual Basements imaginative use of Epic Game’s Unreal Engine 4, players will know these characters, maps, environments and sets pieces from Toys, Food, and Appliances from around their house but will feel like they are in a whole new world during their play sessions. These Maps are accompanied by epic tunes inspired by old school war songs like the “Battle Hymn Of The Republic” or “Yankie Doodle” and sound effects straight out of films like “Apocalypse Now” and “Full Metal Jacket”  If you enjoy war games and welcome a playful and imaginative settings The Mean Greens is just right for you. If you on the fence about the game due to its “Online Only” status don’t be these will be the easiest and best $9 to $15 you will spend on Steam this month with all the big releases still yet on the horizon please do not  sleep on Virtual Basement’s Ultimate Tour De Toy Chest.

 

Final Verdict:

The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare is fun filled 3rd Person Action Online Multiplayer Game the really breathes live into the Army Men game genre without being an Army Men game. Players who can take the time to master the challenging control system and get over the fact that the game is online only will be in for a highly addictive experience where their house is literally the battlefield and toys can still be their soldiers.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10

RGN Rating : Bronze Game

Developer Virtual Basement & Code Headquarters Inc.

Publisher: Virtual Basement

Available On: PC | Mac OS X | Linux |

Played On: Windows PC

Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.

Originally Posted As “The Mean Greens: Plastic Warfare – Killzown Reviews” On DJKillzownJones.com

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 DJ Killzown Jones on 20160115 and was last modified on 20160428 .

Halo 5: Guardians Review

343 has hit us again with their second outing from their new take on the iconic Halo series. With this game probably seeing the biggest change in franchise history. The new story direction with Agent Locke as the main character, the new spartan abilities, and the new big mode of 24 played battling against AI, Halo certainly has changed.

Halo 5 Guardians features two distinct multiplayer variants, Arena and Warzone. Arena is the competitive side of the multiplayer featuring 4v4 gameplay, free for all, and the games new Breakout mode. It even at the time of this review features Big Team Battle which is 8v8. The main modes for Arena are Slayer, which is classi Halo death match. Swat, headshots mode, free for all, every man for themselves, Breakout which is the games new round based one life mode with a twist, and finally Arena, which consist of Slayer, CTF, Strongholds, and Breakout. Personally I find it to be the most competitive Halo since Halo 3 and I love that, but we need more gametypes, better map and mode rotation, but at least the inclusion of Big Team is a great start into that area. Also some social playlist like Infection would be appreciated.

Now as for Warzone, it is large scale combat between two teams of 12, enemy AI and boss fights. Both teams will fight to control bases and kill enemy bosses for points across large maps, bigger than any maps we have seen in a Halo game yet. This is where the games REQ system comes into place. REQ is where you get all your armor, weapons, vechiles, and various other things like emblems and weapon skins. Now how this implemented in Warzone is like this, you can simply press on something you have it the load out menu. For example if you have enough power for a Sniper Rifle cars you can use your power to add that into your loadout. It’s simple and works decently. Though the micro transactions are a bit of a turn off, it’s easy to get REQ points in my opinion. But regardless Warzone is a great addition, with my only complaints being that Warzone assault needs better balancing, and also more maps as well since at present time Warzone only has 3, compared to Arenas 20 plus.

Halo 5 Guardians features two teams you can play as either in solo or Co op play. Team Osiris consist of Agent Locke, Buck from ODST, Tanaka, and Vale, while Blue Team features series and Xbox iconic Master Chief, Kelly, Linda, and Fred, Chief’s team and family from the extended universe. Halo 5’s story picks up over a year from the end of Halo 4 and Spartan Ops. The Covenant is finally breaking with force from the Prometheans who have now turned on them, and the Arbiters forces. Halo 5 opens up with Team Osiris sent in the midst of a large battle between the Covenant and Prometheans to retrieve Doctor Halsey so she can share her information on destructive events that have been occurring on human worlds the past few weeks. Events transpire on the mission that results in Halsey being brought back safely. We then have our attention redirected to Blue Team, with a scene with the Chief touching the back of his helmet with his hand trembling, a reminder of what happens at the end of Halo 4.

Blue Team has a mission to retrieve data from a vacant ship called Argent Moon, events happen that leads to the Master Chief going Rogue in order to find out the truth behind the destructive events. Over the course of the game Agent Locke hunts the Chief to the planet Meridian, where of course they duke it out, bro style After that the game takes us to the Elite home world to aid in the war against Covenant, meanwhile while the Chief is elsewhere.

Without spoiling too much, some aspects of the story I enjoy mainly some plot twist, but at times the narrative seems unfocused at times, even the introductions for new characters treat them as if they have already developed for games, which they haven’t, it sorta feels like the catalyst for bigger and better events. The games level deisgn, enemy battles, and wide array of locations make up for this, as you always are having fun, even have some collectibles to find, which I did on a second playthrough. The game is about as long as the other games in the series, I clocked in at about 9 hours and 42 minutes at time of completion on Heroic.

I said the game has some of the best level design with multiple paths to take, but some of the missions have you simply walk around, which is cool, but not exactly well executed, I would like to see this feature improved upon in the future. But overall I enjoyed this games campaign despite its flaws

Overall Halo 5 Guardians is probably the best online shooter available on a current generation platform and I would highly recommend it. With free updates coming in the future such as Forge the game will get even better. But at the time of this review I would give Halo 5 Guardians a 8 out of 10, see you starside!

 Rating: 8 / 10

RGN Rating: Silver Game
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Available On: Xbox ONE

Release Date: October 27, 2015

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 20151206 and was last modified on 20151206 .

Legend of Kay Anniversary Review – Platforming From the Days of Yore, Unwieldly Camera Included

The Legend of Kay is a game that is remembered by those who played it, especially on the PS2, as a cult classic of sorts; so much so that publisher Nordic Games had the game revamped for current generation consoles and PC in the form of The Legend of Kay Anniversary. Having never played the original, and barely even hearing of it; it’s no wonder I was going into this as a new experience rather than something I was already familiar with. Is it one of those classics that deserve to be remembered as one of the greats? Or is it one of those games that were probably better off being left untouched? These questions will be answered in the following review.

The story of the game is simple, for centuries the civilizations of the island of Yenching lived in harmony thanks to a form of discipline simply called “The Way”, the four civilizations on the island, those being the hares, cats, frogs and pandas, all lived peacefully and adhered to this code. However, as time moved forward the younger generations began abandoning The Way. As a result, the island lost its protection and ended up being prone to attack by the Gorillas and the Rats whom are working together in one cohesive force led by two named figures; Minister Shun of the Gorillas, and Alchemist Tak of the Rats. To say these two rule the roost with an iron fist would be an understatement.

Kay in the blue is discussing techniques with Master in the green.

From here, you take control of Kay; a hotheaded young cat lad with a desire to become strong and take on the enemy. However, like most folk in his village, he doesn’t believe in The Way which causes a conundrum. Everyone around him tries to convince him to follow it, but to no avail. He begins to realize his error when his master surrenders to the invading Gorilla + Rat army without a fight. Infuriated, he sneaks in and steals his master’s old sword. The story continues from there, and it continues at the same pace that it started at; basically it’s not a memorable story at all. It’s one that you will most likely forget upon completion of the game itself. That’s not to say that the game isn’t without its charm though, as some of the one-liners peppered throughout are chuckle-worthy puns on the characters being literal, anthropomorphic animals.

Upon booting the game, the first thing I noticed was the visuals, very bright, very colorful, and very reminiscent of games like Jak and Daxter or any other Saturday morning cartoon that you grew up watching. The fps seems to be locked down tight; not a single iota of slowdown or screen tears to be found whatsoever. The game looks okay overall; with these bright visuals being downright refreshing compared to most games today. However, on the same coin, it’s hard to deny that the visuals are also dated, they are not pushing the limits of any of the systems this game is out for. The interface displaying your life meter and quests were overhauled some, and textures here and there were enhanced very nicely, but all in all, you can tell this was originally a game designed for the PS2.

Example of some of the platforming throughout the game.

Now normally in many cases this would be a good thing, here? I am honestly not so sure. The camera in the game is very cumbersome and unwieldly at times, this is especially apparent when you enter a new area. It does not pan around to behind Kay’s back automatically meaning that if you want to see the platforming and enemy challenges that lay ahead? You have to turn the camera using the right analog stick yourself. There’s no camera reset button in the game itself to boot, giving this fault some extra weight behind it.

The areas themselves are designed well enough; there are some secrets to be found, but the secrets themselves are none too hard to spot. There’s nothing that is completely out of reach, but detection at times can be a little whacky, requiring multiple tries in order to get to the location you need to go to. This is compounded by the oftentimes unwieldly and frustrating camera that the game has you work with, this camera actually makes it quite easy for you to not spot something that needs to be activated or a platform that you need to hop on in order to get to the next location.

There are a few things the game does to break up the monotony of exploring the areas around you, for one, there are times where you will have to ride on another beast in order to get from point A to point B, don’t think this is a one track ride though; because you will be dodging obstacles along the way. Not only that, if you make one mistake? Yup, you fail the challenge and have to start from the beginning of it. While some would revel in the challenge, especially if you enjoy a game like this. Others will find this to be tedious and incredibly frustrating due to having to go through these trials several times. It doesn’t help that depending on the beast you’re riding, the controls can feel cumbersome.

A battle in the game itself.

Combat is there, and it works. It’s simple enough to execute basic attacks and a few tricks. You learn a few fancy moves, some of which will be put to use later on in the game. However, for the most part it is just there, and it can get repetitive, even with the variety of weapons Kay will ultimately have at his disposal. Though the combat can be fun at times, especially when you pull off a move that KOs your enemies, there’s no denying that oftentimes it feels more like a chore and that is not how a game should make the combat feel by any stretch of the imagination.

The soundtrack, much like the combat, is just there, it does have a Chinese/Asian ethnic feel to it, which fits in with the atmosphere of the game itself and is somewhat pleasant to listen to overall. The soundtrack works well in the game, almost always befitting the mood as not a single song is out of place. However, it isn’t what I’d call memorable either with only a few songs being truly standouts throughout the entire game.

Final Verdict:

Legend of Kay Anniversary Edition is a platformer that has its positives. The platforming itself when it works can be a lot of fun, and the controls are fundamentally sound. However, this isn’t a platformer that makes me wax nostalgic by any stretch of the imagination, and it definitely has its flaws. From the unwieldly camera to the forgettable plot and soundtrack, The Legend of Kay isn’t a game that has aged very well and is one that I feel is priced just right at $24.99 all things considered. I would recommend this game only to those who wax nostalgic for the days of the PS2 or for those who are platforming die-hards.

Overall Score: 6.5/10

Developer: Neon Studios

Publisher: Nordic Games

Available on: PS4|PS3|Wii U|Steam

Played on: PS4

Review Copy: A digital copy of this game was provided to 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 J.T. Melanson on 20150808 and was last modified on 20150808 .