PAXAus 2019, being there and slightly square

After all the build up and fervour PAXAus 2019 has been and gone. It was a first visit for me, probably not the last, but my old bones are currently arguing against it. Having become something of a big hitter on the gaming calendar I was keen to see this year what all the fuss was about.

As an eclectic gathering of Gaming, Pop Culture and Cosplay it does the job well, and you can see from the eyes of the consumer that wanders the floors glassy eyed that they are getting all the shiny things they need. I enjoyed the relative tranquility of the table-top game area and retro section, it was a relief from the pressing crowds squeezing through the aisles.

The main event was loud, brash and exhausting, especially when I flew in for a single day with a maximum of six hours on the ground.

But, that’s me, at PAXAus 2019, being there and slightly square.

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Concrete Genie Review, PS4

Only last week my wife was watching me play another game and she asked ‘why is it always shooting’? Sadly I knew exactly what she meant, then I fired up my Concrete Genie review code and we both got lost for a few hours.

First party developers Pixelopus have created something new and unique, a game that drips with charm and subtlety. It is fair to say although short by some standards Concrete Genie is a beautiful experience that lifts your spirit.

Concrete Genie tells the tale of a boy saving his hometown Denska from darkness with magical graffiti. It is beautiful, colourful and enriching.

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WWE 2K20 – Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society Partnership

2K have partnered up WWE 2K20 with The Leukaemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). With cover star Roman Reigns as its figurehead the campaign is set to drive donations for the LLS through September and October. Reigns himself is a second time survivor of Leukaemia.

Having survived Stage 4 Lymphoma myself back in 2005. This is a subject close to all sorts of avenues in my body. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t think about what might have been or worry about what tomorrow might bring.

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Borderlands 3 is coming in hot

There is no doubt that with a few weeks to go, Borderlands 3 is coming in hot.

Word on the street from Gamescom is full of praise. The hands on demos we’ve seen on social media have been looking great until now, but this feels more straight up.

Its absolutely obvious the Hype Train is at full tilt and won’t be stopping at any stations on its way to September 13th.

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No Man’s Sky: Beyond (yes, we’re excited)

No Man’s Sky has had a journey and a half, considering the theme of the game that’s kind of fair. The team here at koru-cottage have all had dealings with the Hello Games opus. From the early days of those outstanding E3 reveals all the way through to it’s actual release which at the time was PS4 exclusive.

Now we are two days away from No Man’s Sky: Beyond, the game is changing.

Excited, to say the least.

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Xbox – Lynx (for gamers)

I’m not sure how it came about, probably one marketing person talking to another, maybe they wanted to do something about influencers smelling of Bullshit, maybe it was because Gamers alledgely smell of teenage stockpiles stashed under their beds.

Also, it’s been around for well over a month, but sometimes when the PR guys decide not to send you something to review, you have to buy it yourself if you really want to try it out. This is just as true for games and hardware as it is for grooming products.

So here we are, a week after I spent $12 in Coles to try out the Xbox flavour Lynx and to see if it really did lift my game.

Overall, it has been a neat little spike for exposure on both brands, has it won over consumers? Probably not. Has it won over the Influencers, streamers and gang that gushed over their care packages? Well, let’s file that under Anthem shall we.

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New Star Manager, PS4 Review

There will always be room for more takes on soccer manager genre, at least there is if you’ve ever let one get its hooks into you.

For me the Holy Grail has always been CM97/98, many wasted weekends as nights turned to mornings and you’d catch an hour of sleep while a creaky 386 PC ground out the close season update. There have been all sorts of attempts to capture that lightning, sometimes they have just been too complex for their own good.

New Star Manager brings a fresh take and more importantly for consoles a better user interface than suits the medium. No more snapping to and fro between far too many icons, no more floaty cursors relying on your thumbstick that wished it was a mouse, you have to appreciate the design path going from mobile to Switch before PS4 being one of the core drivers here.

New Star is a relaxed and enjoyable take on the manager sim, the pace is fairly pedestrian which makes it a top-corner chill-out game and the mini games along with the in-match controls have raised more than a few smiles in my dugout.

If you are looking for something different that tickles your soccer fantasies, I’d be giving New Star a run out, new signings, fresh legs and all that.

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Rage 2, a late review, PS4

Bethesda seem to have their fair share of ups and downs, especially if you pay much attention the media, social or otherwise. Rage 2 was an interesting moment on that roller coaster given its lukewarm reception after a full-on and suitably anarchic promotional campaign.

Apart from the usual web, bus, media ads. It was interesting to see the local community team stacking their chips on more than a few expo appearances. Their Rage2 Tattoo drive certainly got people talking with mixed feelings, and being right on top of release without any sign of review code, obviously set a few reviewers off on the wrong foot.

I have been toying with these words for a while, and its fair to say Rage 2 got short changed in the review period after release.

Give it a go, because once you do – you realise that Rage 2 is the first person Crackdown you never knew you needed.

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My Friend Pedro, Switch Review

My Friend Pedro has been coming for a while and every clip I’d seen surface on Social media from developer Deadtoast only got my appetite wetter. Mainly due to it being an ultra violent 2.5D cutout of a shooter with buckets of slow-motion-bulletime-matrix-backflip-shooting to boot.

Once upon a time Jon Woo and Chow Fun Fat brought their movie magic to games with Stranglehold, this is everything they did not achieve; Hi-Octane destruction with very forgiving systems to make it a fun ride.

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BoxVR Review, PSVR

Look, I am the first to admit I can’t play rhythm games, my physical structure does not generally move to music in any shape or form without a massive amount of encouragement or threats.

Yet, here I am, really enjoying the music and movement co-ordination with BoxVR.

Overall, BoxVR isn’t going to replace an actual gym or a six mile run, but it does get you off the couch and it does help you to break a sweat. I can’t say it has changed my life, but I will say this, there is a spring in my step that wasn’t there in this tired old body a couple of weeks ago and I am looking forward to my next session more than the Triple A game I’m supposed to be playing.

Think on that.

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