Windbound (Playstation 4)

Stranded on a desert island, what do you bring? As much as I would love to say…. “a PS4 and a copy of Windbound”, alas I cannot.  Its beautiful art style and fun sailing mechanics, have been scuttled by the tough rogue-like penalties and clunky combat encounters.

Windbound is a survival game built around rouge-like mechanics and procedurally generated islands. Anyone who has played “Don’t Starve” will have a very good understanding of the design philosophy.

Windbound initially presents as a sort of paired down version of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Which, let’s be honest is a great place to start. Windbound will not however, have the broad appeal of Zelda. I think it’s going to be an acquired taste for many gamers as they will need to be patient and forgiving lovers of rogue-likes, to find joy here.

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Relicta, PS4 Review

Relicta does not make a good first impression.

The opening puzzles which serve as the tutorial feel very, “seen that sort of thing before”. The tutorial then leads into a fairly drawn out story delivery sequence told by disposable radio chatter. I will admit, I rolled my eyes and did not have high hopes for my next few hours of gaming.

But poor introductions aside, when the gameplay proper kicked off and some headscratcher puzzles where unleashed upon my brain. I completely changed my views on Relicta. It’s actually a super solid wee puzzler.

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AZM on Fitbit – Min-Maxing your health stats IRL!

In May this year, I reviewed the new FitBit Charge 4 and the overall takeaway was that it’s an excellent fitness tracker, that for a ‘Gamer’ helped formalised my training regime and even gamified my day-to-day workouts. 

I admit, that at the time I didn’t fully appreciate what this wee device could do. Initially I set myself simple time goals for workouts to complete. Later I used the FitBit app to understand my workouts and in particular making the most of them by using the Active Zone Minutes (AZM) system.

To put it in ‘Gamer’ terms. My FitBit device and the AZM system has given me a tangible way to have stats to Min-Max, to get the best returns on my health and heart. It’s like dungeon crawling in real life!!

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Musings – The Last of Us: Part 2

Guest writer Nina, takes a deep dive into some thoughts about The Last of Us: Part 2 and its online turmoil.

“As I will be trying to analyse one of this game’s central themes, I’ll have to dive into the nitty-gritty details of the story. So, dear reader, consider yourself warned. Spoilers Ahead.”

To say that The Last of Us: Part 2 is a divisive game would be an understatement

All you need to do is scroll through the comment section of any The Last of Us: Part 2 related content to realise just how angry some people are over the games’ narrative direction. And while some of the criticisms of this title’s writing and plot have a modicum of merit, after playing the game myself I believe that the reality is something far different.

Part 2’s utilisation of perspective encourages players to question everything they thought they knew about the characters they’ve grown to love. Naughty Dog do this in what is a unique approach for a video game. By putting the player in the position of someone who was hurt or wronged by them.

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Ghost of Tsushima, PS4 Video Review

Ghost of Tsushima is an open world, action, Samurai RPG-lite with a 70/30ish mix of ‘toe to toe’ sword fighting and stealth gameplay. All set in 13th Century Japan.

There are a few issues which I cover in the Video Review, but what makes it a game worth experiencing  is its beautiful art style, its music and audio design and the story beats in the later parts of the game.

If you like Japanese culture as I do, the recreation of 13th Century Japan is what made Ghost of Tsushima go from a fun game. To what is personally quite a special video game experience.

Guy was supplied a pre-release copy under strict embargo for the purpose of this review. Thanks to PlaystationNZ and Suckerpunch for the opportunity.

Watch, Like and Subscribe to the youtube review from @nzbrowncoat after the link.

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JBL Quantum 400 Headset – Review

JBL have been a mainstay of the home audio fraternity since 1946. They have in recent years been brought under the Samsung Electronics umbrella, which may explain why after so many years, they have finally taken the leap into Gaming Headsets see what we think of the Quantum 400.

They have certainly jumped in boots and all too. The new ‘Quantum’ range boasts seven different models. Spanning entry level headsets through to models with head-tracking, noise cancellation and wireless surround sound.

The JBL Quantum 400s are a great headset. If the rest of the Quantum range have had this much thought put into them, then safe to say JBL are not here to muck about, Gamers!

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JBL Quantum 400 – Video Unboxing

A quick unboxing of the brand new JBL Quantum 400 gaming headset, so why not take a look. Keep an eye on the site and for the full Review in the next few weeks.

First impressions are good though, but we will see how they stack up with some gaming hours under their belt!

Remember, as always…Click, Like and Share!

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FitBit: Charge 4 – Review

For the past week I have swapped out my trusty time piece for the brand new FitBit Charge 4.

My “wrist real estate” is a valuable commodity in 2020. If I’m going to stick something on the all important none-master-side wrist, it better be worth my while. 

This impressive little GPS Fitness Tracker, has managed to punch its way into the Smart Watch space.

The actual nuts and bolts are like this. The FitBit: Charge 4 is a compact fitness tracker that will monitor a myriad of fitness data points. Including heart rate, steps, distance traveled, sleep patterns, minutes in various cardio zones… and more.

Thanks to FitBit for the review item to trial, any questions feel free to ask me @nzBrowncoat on Twitter.

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SnowRunner, PS4 Video Review

Snowrunner is more of the same, but better.

It is SUPER niche though, requiring patience, planning and the ability to just get in the zone and forgot about how long something is taking to do. Especially with the leveling system being so painfully slow to dish out rewards. My tip, don’t chase the rabbit, just enjoy the drive.

If you want to try a game that is totally unique on the PS4, this is worth a look, as there is literally no other game like it. If, dear Comrade, you liked Mudrunner …this is a no brainer, BUY IT!

For the full rundown, check out our Video Review. Remember, click it, like it, share it.

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Predator: Hunting Grounds, PS4 Review

“Dillion! You son of a bitch”  is one of the many quotes from Predator, that as a kid in the 80s, has been burnt into my brain.

It’s an I.P that even 30+ years after Arnie went toe-to-toe with the Alien hunter, people still know and love.

Sony has just dropped an Asymmetrical shooter for both PS4 and PC, channeling the rendered essence of what made Predator bodacious in 1987… and I am torn on it.

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