Pick Up Quick! Developer interview: Be an eco warrior on your PS4

Originally Posted on www.gamejunkie.co.nz by Gerard

Those of you that have combed through the vast amount of user-generated content in PlayStation’s Dreams may have come across Pick Up Quick!, a game launched by Sustainable Coastlines and designed to tackle the problem of litter on New Zealand beaches and encourage players to combat the issue in real life.

Us New Zealanders love our beaches but we’re a bit disconnected in some ways from the fact that we are polluting them. The aim here is to inform young players around what the issues are on our beaches. Despite our “clean and green” image, we’ve got a lot of work to do.

Pick Up Quick! is available through Dreams on the PlayStation 4.

Read more

Serious Sam 4 (PC review)

The Serious Sam games have always been about staying on the move, especially when the going gets tough and the odds are stacked against you – and in Serious Sam  games the odds are always stacked against you.

The first Serious Same game graced PCs way back in 2001, and in the intervening years there have been a few games bearing the Serious Same moniker.

The series’ core gameplay has always remained the same: throwing countless numbers of enemies against the player, forcing them to keep moving. Circle strafing and running backwards so as to avoid the enemy onslaught and their attacks.

Read more

Descenders, Byte Size. (reviewed on PS4)

There aren’t a lot of video games like Descenders about mountain biking, a sport that I like to partake in as often as time allows.

Perhaps my favourite mountain biking game – and I’m slightly biased here because I backed it on Kickstarter – is Lonely Mountains Downhill, which was made by a small German development studio and it really is marvellous fun, with a gorgeous visual aesthetic and “Just one more go” game play.

Descenders comes from Dutch development studio Ragesquid and while it’s not much in the looks department – to be honest, it wouldn’t look out of place on the PlayStation 3. It does have an addictive quality about it as you test your mountain bike mettle on a variety of downhill mountain bike tracks.

Read more

Railway Empire Complete Collection [reviewed on PC]

Railway Empire Complete Collection doesn’t know I’ve never been one of those people that has found trains fascinating. Sure, I’ve been on trains but for me they’ve always just been a means of getting from point A to point B. There’s no denying that the steam locomotive was a pivotal instrument in the industrial age of the late 19th Century.

Railway Empire, which first came out in 2017,  builds on that pivotal time period and publisher Kalypso have just released the Complete Collection. The definitive edition, I guess, that comes with two years worth of updates, as well as eight pieces of released DLC. Which let you set up train networks in Mexico, the Great Lakes, The Andes, Great Britain & Ireland, France, Germany, Northern Europe & Down Under.

I can see Railway Empire Complete Collection appealing obviously to people who love trains. As well as those gamers who love the city management/tycoon games where you get to micromanage every little aspect of what is going on. If this is you, you’ll find hours of enjoyment in this empire builder.

Read more

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020: Come fly with me, let’s fly, let’s fly away

I didn’t expect to love Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 as much as I did when I first started playing it but I do. I love it.

There’s just something therapeutic and relaxing about taking to the skies in a Cessna or a Daher TBM930 single-engine and just flying from point A to point B. Heck, often there is no point B involved at all. I often just found myself taking off from an airport, be it Christchurch, in New Zealand, or Tekapo or Brisbane or Melbourne and just flying around, looking at houses and seeing how close I can get to the ground before the plane’s warning klaxon does my head in.

I’ll be completely honest: I’m a hopeless pilot. My first few take-offs were sketchy af. They still are sometimes, actually.

Read more

Epos Sennheiser GSX300 external sound card

For those older gamers reading this, you’ll remember vividly how it used to be commonplace to have a dedicated sound card in your PC: On-board audio encoding wasn’t a thing back in the days of beige boxes, shareware and 486CPUs.

As PCs became more and more modern, motherboards started appearing with in-built sound cards offering OK but often not stellar sound. Still, it was early days and you made the most of what you had. I still remember my Creative Labs Sound Blaster sound cards with fond memories.

Fast forward to today

Read more

Horizon Zero Dawn PC review: A troubled PC port

There was a time where the chances of a PlayStation game coming to PC was an impossibility but Horizon Zero Dawn is the third recent Sony title, with Detroit Become Human and Death Stranding coming before it.

It makes sense (and Sony has a history of making laptops): PC’s offer higher  resolutions, faster frame rates and mouse and keyboard controls.

I can’t speak for DBH as I didn’t play it on PC but the PC version of Death Stranding was a smooth, trouble free experience for me. Sadly, the same cannot be said for my time with the PC port of Guerrilla’s Horizon Zero Dawn: It’s a gorgeous looking game, but the PC version is hampered by technical issues that mar the experience.

Read more

Destroy All Humans (PlayStation 4)

THQ’s Destroy All Humans reminds me a lot of Tim Burton’s rather good movie Mars Attacks!

In both the movie and the game, aliens are out to destroy the human race, both adhere to the little green man (kind of) appearance. With many of the human victims are bumbling simpletons ready to give into the alien invasion.

Overall, Destroy All Humans is a likeable remake of a mid-2000s game, albeit it one with humour that hasn’t entire stood the test of time.

Read more

Carrion, Nintendo Switch reviewed

Carrion is a horror game with a twist: You are the monster in the dark, hunting the humans – not the other way around.

In a genre that the game’s makers have described as “reverse horror”, you control a red amorphous tentacled blob that escapes confinement in a secret research facility and must escape.

Carrion is Metroidvania in style, with the monster having to unlock doors to progress to the next location and that often involves backtracking to locations you’ve visited before and pulling levers that will unlock chambers in another area.

Read more

Death Stranding PC review

Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding is a game that polarised gamers when it came out and you had two camps. Those that saw it almost as the second coming as one of the best games they’d ever played.  Versus those that found it good looking game hindered by repetitive gameplay.

I never played Death Stranding on PlayStation 4, but did play Metal Gear Solid V on the console and wasn’t a fan. It just didn’t gel with me. I just didn’t get it.

It was with some trepidation that I agreed to look at Death Stranding on PC when asked by the esteemed editor of this fine publication. I was curious to see how it played on a PC with more powerful hardware than a PS4. Also how Guerilla’s Decima game engine – which was used in Horizon Zero Dawn – scaled to a PC. Where there are a wide range of hardware variables at play, unlike consoles which are standardised in their design and hardware.

I’m a few hours into Death Stranding – more than I’ve ever been for a Hideo Kojima game. I’m slowly making my way through Death Stranding’s off-the-chart world, and you know what? I actually think I’m starting to like it.

Read more