Senran Kagura – Peach Beach Splash!, PS4 Review

Or to give it a real intro “PEACHY BEACHY SPLASHY!” according to the deep, gravelly voiced, shouty announcer.

The Senran Kagura franchise has been around a while, mostly known for fighting games centred around the Shinobi warriors of its cast list, who all happen to be Manga styled busty maidens. Presented in classic cel-shaded animation the ladies bounce through their fights and become more undressed as things go. Peach Beach Splash is no exception, apart from the setting of the narrative, which seems to have dragged the characters from the Ninja Schools for a summertime water pistol competition.

Its a paper thin excuse to get the ladies in bikinis and have them run around a Splatoon-esque arena game, but each to their own.

Peach Beach Splash is undoubtedly aimed at the Japanese market, that much is obvious, a culture that is not afraid to have fun with games in this vein without feeling uncomfortable of having to make excuses as to why the screen is suddenly filled with bouncing, yet tastefully covered cartoon boobs.

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Knack 2, PS4 Review

Game mascots have become the touchstones of each generation of Playstation consoles. The first Playstation had Crash Bandicoot, PS2 had …well a heap of them, Jak, Sly, Rachet and more, while the PS3 had the lovable Sackboy.

Playstation 4 has been out for almost 4 years but lacks a mascot character, perhaps Sony have seen fit for Knack to return in a sequel, to fill that illusive ‘Generation Mascot’ gap for the PS4.

PS4 launch title Knack had pretty mixed reviews, and was generally considered a bit of a let-down, especially considering the genius of Mark Cerny was directly involved in its creation. That said, many gamers, including KCs very own Richard, did in fact love the relic riddled adventure and probably thanks in part to these vocal few, we now have Knack 2.

Overall it’s a great game, however some qualification is needed as there is an audience I have in mind, ie: the younger gamer, that is likely to get the most out of this romp, especially if they intend to play Co-Op.

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Yakuza Kiwami, PS4 Review

During the last few months I have been playing a raft of PS4 exclusives that are remasters or remakes of deservedly beloved Playstation I.P. I recently reviewed Wipeout Omega Collection which was brilliant fun, I replayed The Last of Us: Remastered …for the 4th time. Now I have had the pleasure of diving into a remake of Yakuza 1, which was a Playstation 2 classic that I never actually got to play back in 2006.

Titled Yakuza ‘Kiwami’, it is a full remake of the original PS2 title, with new character models, environments, gameplay and Japanese voice over. For those new to the Yakuza series, think of a love child from a JRPG and a compact Grand Theft Auto. There is still the depth of character and plenty of side activities to do, but it doesn’t feature a large open world or vehicles.

It is set in Kamurocho, a fictional district within Tokyo, telling a story of the series long-term protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu. He’s a gravelly voiced, well respected sub boss and heavy hitter for the Yakuza. In Kiwami, Kazuma takes the rap for a murder to protect a friend and after 10yrs in jail he is released to find the Yakuza in turmoil.

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Agents of Mayhem, PS4 review

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it is part of where Volition/Deep Silver went with AoM, that said there’s a fair bit of imitation flattery going on too.

From the people that have offered up a few iconic hits in the Saints Row series comes another third person sandbox game, but this time with a twist and that twist appears to be the result of a hazy night out with Crackdown and Overwatch. The Agents themselves are an interesting array of characters or rather caricatures, each with their own signature moves, buffs, gadgets and skill tree. The Mayhem is the agency they work for while disposing of bad guys in flamboyant episodes of destruction.

Cue the action music and let the bad guys ham things up.

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Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, PS4 Review

The King of the action adventure genre has retired……Long live the Queen!

Nathan Drake and the Uncharted series have been at the centre of the Playstation universe for 10 years. Drake bowed out in Uncharted 4, so in the new Uncharted: Lost Legacy, fan favourite Chloe Fraser has taken up the leading role…….and she has smashed it!

Set not long after Uncharted 4, Chloe and Nadine Ross have reluctantly teamed up to find a rare Indian artifact, the Tusk of Ganesha. In a somewhat clichéd yet forgivable fashion, there is also ‘a baddie’ who too hunts for this treasure, to pay for his civil war. The 7-8 ish hour campaign is entirely set in India, amidst lush jungles and impressive ruins.

In a first for the Uncharted series, there is an open-world element. Ruins can be located and explored in any order by driving around in a 4WD jeep. There are three main temples that push the story forward and then numerous smaller sub-quest type ruins, which are up to the player to locate and explore.

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Matterfall, PS4 Review

Matterfall is undeniably a Housemarque game.

Encapsulating a number of classic genres and wrapping them up in a slick and glossy visual package is the order of the day, the narrative is forgetful sci-fi, but it does give the mechanics of the game some reason to exist.

It’s a 2d Metroid-esque platformer, with nods to classic games like Turrican and bonus driven point scoring that would be right at home with a Jeff Minter title, but it is also dumped squarely in the Bullet Hell bracket.

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Superhot PSVR Review

Superhot is the super stylish, super interesting, super puzzle shooter that has been a round for a while on PC now. When it was revealed for consoles at E3 I was intrigued, when it was revealed especially for PSVR I was super excited.

Here’s the kicker, the game is played in short bursts or snippets of action, the action moves when you move and is otherwise frozen.

The idea is to move, plan, move – get to the weapons, attack the bad guys in the right order like some methodical Jack Reacher and dodge bullets like Neo from The Matrix. Clear? Good.

For the uninitiated Superhot throws the player into a very stylised first person shooter world, in stark contrast to its peers Superhot has a signature grey/white appearance, which leaves you feeling like you are trapped in some paper diorama. The enemy figures are basically red crystallised mannequins and weapons or objects are black.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind Review (Xbox One)

Although TESO: Morrowind is being marketed as a new standalone release it is actually only an add-on, a very big add-on, for the existing Elder Scrolls Online experience bundled with the original game. And for those who have yet to jump back into the land of Tamriel with a few friends, now is the time to do it.

Not only has the whole online experience been tweaked, refined, and smoothed out since my review of the initial release of TESO, but now with the inclusion of Morrowind it will bring an immediate smile to anyone who played the original Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind game, and fans of giant mushrooms.

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Splatoon 2, Nintendo Switch Review

Splatoon is something of a phenomenon for Nintendo fans. Its a title that delivers family friendly arena combat in a fresh and unique way. The game was certainly a favourite on the wiiU, which I admit passed me by, but let’s make amends with that now there’s a Switch in the house.

Splatoon is  franchise with a very well defined sense of character, there is no mistake when you see the artwork or catch a glimpse of a Squid of where they belong. It may be a hard task catching up when you don’t know the history, but it soon becomes familiar, although sense may come later along with buckets of pink and green ink.

Let’s be honest straight up, Splatoon2 is near enough a killer app for the Switch. It is an accessible and addictive online shooter, while there are solo modes to get you into practice it really is all about social gaming. The presentation and wrapping are essential to build the colourful world these creatures live in, but at its heart lies a slick and fun gameplay behemoth that will keep you coming back over and over.

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DeadCore, PS4 Review

I often think back to the gaming days of my youth. I thrashed my Atari 2600 and later my Sega Master System for hours, banging my head against the ‘wall of difficulty’ in classic titles… and I loved every minute.

However these days, I am use to AAA games holding my hand and making sure every minute is enjoyable.

When I sat down with DeadCore I was met with the prospect of a pure puzzle game…and I got a bit worried.

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