World War Z Review – Xbox One X

World War Z, the game is based on the 2013 movie which is based on the 2006 book by Max Brooks. But I’ll add a word to that last sentence, LOOSELY, as the movie is loosely based on the book, the game is loosely based on both source materials, very loosely based.

What makes World War Z stand out in the crowded herd of zombie books, movies, and games is pretty obvious for anyone who has seen the movie is the speed and swarm-like behaviour of the zombies. Whether it is stacking up against barriers to use combined weight to bring it down or making a massive pile of zombies to scale over walls, the World War Z zeds are fast, big in numbers, and have an incredibly dangerous herd mentality. For me it is the one thing that saves the game from disappearing into the pile of slain zombie games.

But with its cheaper price point and swarming zombies World War Z is a blast, so check out World War Z or be left 4 dead…

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Byte Size – Dead Or Alive 6 Review (Xbox One X)

The latest in the titillating fighting franchise is here and packs everything you would expect into a nicely rounded package.  Team Ninja have continued with the plethora of scantily clad girls who can kick butt. And thanks to the latest generation of gaming equipment you get to witness all the bouncing and jiggling that goes with the high intensity combat. And just for full disclosure, I am terrible at fighting games and resort to full on button mashing 99% of the time.

The Good – Underneath all the eye candy is a solid and smooth fighting game. There are tons of moves and combos to learn for those who are inclined to do so, but for mashers like me there is still plenty of fun to be had.

The Bad – This is easy, unfortunately. Well for Xbox anyway. The online side of things is almost completely devoid of players. And considering the type of competitive game we have here this is a real problem.

The Unlocks! – So at release there are 27 fighters each with different costumes, hair styles, glasses, and god knows what else to unlock. Now for me this is a nightmare. I like to have everything in a game, call me a completionist if you will. But the time needed to unlock everything here would be huge.

Anyway, if you want a fighting game DOA6 is still one of the breast, umm, best.

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Byte Size – Objects in Space Review (PC)

Objects in Space from the self proclaimed smallest of the small game developers, Flat Earth Games, is so strangely familiar to me and any gamers who played through the 1990’s will no doubt feel pangs of good old retro revival.

The Good – Upgrades to not only your ship but also pretty much every subsystem, along with trading, bounties, exploration, and combat makes for a really full on experience. And because of the gameplay, I found Objects in Space to be quite relaxing to play.

The Bad – For me the biggest hurdle was the font used for communications. When dealing with traders and the likes I found myself having to give my eyes a rest after each paragraph or so.

The Overwhelming – As mentioned, there is a fair amount to take on in Objects in Space, you can just stay in safe systems and trade your way to riches or head out to the new worlds, a much more dangerous affair. Then you have upgrades, trade prices, navigation, repairs, the list is endless in the life of a solo space captain.

Closing Comments – As we say down here in New Zealand and Australia, bit of a Marmite game this one. You will either love it or hate it.

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Byte Size – Far Cry New Dawn Review (Xbox One X)

Returning to Hope County 17 years and a nuclear war after the events of Far Cry 5 finds the county some what brighter than one would expect.

The Good – It is the Far Cry 5 we all know and love, but with and excellent splash of colour and some RPG-lite elements thrown in.

The Bad – Like Far Cry 5 you can have an ally along side to help out. Just don’t rely on them to get the job done.

The New – Since the map is effectively the same as Far Cry 5 the addition of Expeditions has been made to create a bit of variety. The Expedition maps themselves are a good mix and some pretty cool locations too.

Overall I found Far Cry New Dawn more engaging that Far Cry 5, considering this is just a re-skin, and what some would argue should have been just a DLC, it shows it has something special.

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Resident Evil 2 (2019) Review – Xbox One X

Even though this is a remake I don’t want to spoil anything for first time players or absent minded older gamers who are revisiting Raccoon City.

So consider this a SPOILER FREE REVIEW.

Now you would have to have been living under a rock not to have heard of Resident Evil, or Biohazard for those from Japan. The games have been around for over 2o years, along with comics, novels, toys, several movies, and now rumours that Netflix have a Resident Evil series in the works.

I guess that all this longevity and multi format content just shows how good the story and characters are in the Resident Evil Universe. Obviously this game isn’t the second release in the series but a remake of the 1998 version.

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Byte Size – Hitman 2 Review (Xbox One X)

So everybody’s favourite barcoded bald badass is back and kicking things off in Hawkes Bay, here in good old New Zealand. Who knew we were such a haven for bad guys? Anyone who can make a shaved head and red tie look this good has got my attention, that is for sure. Assuming most, if not all gamers out there will have at least heard of Agent 47.

The Good – Well it’s Hitman isn’t it.

The Bad – If I had to pick on something it would have to be the visuals. Hitman 2, even with One X Enhancements, looks a bit dated.

The Loose Steering Wheel – As you can imagine, there is more than one way to skin a cat, or in this case knock off a bad dude along with other variables in each mission. This means more than a few plays through each assignment will be required.

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2019 on Xbox. What’s to come?

So here we are, a new year and a new slew of games to look forward to. Most have been in the mix for a while now so there are no real surprises here but still an impressive list none the less.

Personally I am looking forward to The Outer Worlds and Wasteland 3 the most, but am also keen have a crack at Anthem and Metro Exodus. And lets not forget that all Microsoft Studios titles will release straight to Game Pass so if you aren’t a subscriber what more reason do you need?

Cheers, Barrie.

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New Family Settings and Tools for Cross-Play Now Available on Xbox

Microsoft recently announced the availability of cross-play updates to Family Settings on Xbox, which include two new settings parents can turn on and off in supported games, for both cross-network play and cross-network communication on any child or teen account.

With this update, Xbox is giving parents more choice in managing child and teen accounts for cross-network gaming scenarios.

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Byte Size – Farming Simulator 19 (Xbox One X)

Bit of a niche title this one. So I thought I would try out our new ‘byte size’ review format.

The Farming Simulator franchise has been around for a while now and in doing so proves that there is a market for simulated farming. Who knows, with all the millions of dollars of equipment replicated in the game maybe it is real farmers just wanting to play with the fancy tools of their trade.

The Good – Toys!

The Bad – Clunky controls

The Ugly – It’s a bit like watching grass grow…

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