Erica: The return of the FMV game

I didn’t know what to expect when I was offered Erica, a PlayStation-exclusive full motion video game, to review.

It’s not often I go into video games cold, with no idea what I’ve let myself into, but I did with Erica. A full motion video game like we had in the ’90s but better.

Those of us who gamed during the ’90s will know FMV games like Phantasmagoria and The 7th Guest but Erica is nothing like those games.

Firstly, it’s better. Much, much, much better.

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Judgment review: Treading the streets of Kamorucho again

I absolutely love Sega’s Yakuza games, a rich, slightly quirky crime series set in the fictional Japanese city of Kamurocho, so it’s no surprise that I have fallen head first into Sega’s Judgment (PS4 exclusive), a game not directly set in the Yakuza universe but there’s some elements that the two games share, nonetheless.

It’s hardly surprising there are similarities in game play, though: Judgment’s made by Ryu Ga Gotuku Studio (Ryu Ga Gotuku is actually Japanese for Yakuza), the same studio behind some of the latter Yakuza games, and while there’s no appearance of the Dragon of Dogma Kazuma Kiryu in Judgment, the setting is a familiar one for fans of the Yakuza series: Kamurocho, a fictional Japanese city modelled on the real-world Kabukich?, Tokyo’s most well-known “red-light” district.

I have to say, it’s great to be wandering the streets of Kamurocho again with it’s bright lights and streets layered with signs and craziness.

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Observation review [PC]: When a sentient AI goes bad …

Previously posted at Gerard’s own blog GameJunkieNZ, here’s his view on Observation.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the team behind sci-fi thriller Observation – were fans of movies Alien, Event Horizon and 2001 A Space Odyssey.

The game opens aboard the international space station Observation which is above Earth’s orbit after suffering a catastrophic event. The ship’s medical officer Dr Emma Fisher eventually manages to reboot the ship’s AI Sam [System Administration Maintenance] but Sam receives a strange transmission telling him to “BRING HER”.

Fast forward a bit and after a second event, the Observation finds itself above Saturn, Sam’s core functions compromised and the rest of Observation’s crew missing. Emma tasks Sam with finding out what has happened.

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Octopath Traveler, PC review

I had no idea what to expect when my editor asked me if I was keen to take a look at Octopath Traveler on PC.

I’d obviously heard about Octopath Traveler on the Nintendo Switch but that was about as far as it went.  That said, I’m about mixing things up, so I said “Why not?”. The game is, after all, a big deal apparently.

It’s fun, too.

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Total War Three Kings: Chinese dynasties & tactical battles, PC Review

Dear readers, before I start this review, I want to apologise. Apologise for how late this write-up is.

I really wanted to get my thoughts on Total War Three Kings posted sooner than I have but I blame Asobo Studio’s [simply amazing] A Plague Tale: Innocence, a game I bought a few days after a download code for Total War Three Kings landed in my inbox. “I’ll look at it for a few hours then get stuck into TW,” I said. “It’ll be all sweet,” I said.

Well, best laid plans of mice & men and all that …

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Shakedown Hawaii: A dinosaur making his way in the modern world, PS4 and Vita

Shakedown Hawaii is a cynical statement about today’s modern age told through the eyes of a dinosaur who is stuck in his ways & is unprepared to change.

Shakedown Hawaii is an open-world game with a mix of driving, shooting and wandering around where missions can be as simple as stealing a speed boat for some misadventure to renaming an unpopular energy drink so it appeals to gamer culture.

You can also literally buy every single building in the game. From shoe shops to clothing outlets to automative dealers that repossess cars, the world is literally yours for the taking. Shakedown Hawaii doesn’t take itself too seriously, either.

Shakedown Hawaii is just the ticket to scratch that 16-bit itch.

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Sniper Elite V2 Remastered, PC Review

I’m hunkered down in the second floor of a bombed-out building in war-torn Berlin. It’s 1945, World War 2.

Out of a window to my right, I see a gaggle of German soldiers, gathered behind barricades. The troop truck they jumped out of is parked nearby. Lying on the ground is the body of a Nazi collaborator, his body limp and lifeless, taken out earlier by a sniper shot from my trusty Springfield M1903 sniper rifle. He has papers I need to retrieve – but I need to clear the area first. 

Making things a tad difficult is the German tank parked to my left, its turret trained on my position. I start to sweat and weigh up my options.

I decide I’ll take out the soldiers, one by one, with my sniper rifle then deal with the tank – and this is where Sniper Elite V2’s single greatest feature comes into play: The focused sniper shot.

Click through to see ‘what happens next’…

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