No Straight Roads – Byte Size Review (PC)

In No Straight Roads self confessed hard core rockers Mayday and Zuke are out to take down the powers of Vinyl City and their music of choice, EDM!

As a big rock fan myself it is easy to side with our rocking duo and take the fight to the evil EDM empire.

There is only one small problem with the pair who are collectively known as the Indie rock band Bunk Bed Junction. That is that their music, in my opinion, is not even remotely rock.

Ignoring that small point, lets rock on and take down that nasty EDM!

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Marvel’s Avengers, PS4 Review

The best choice Crystal Dynamics made with Marvel’s Avengers was to have the story told from an outside perspective. The Avengers of this universe are already established heroes, legends amid a festival of fanfare and merchandise. The subjects of enthusiastic fan fiction, which is how the main protagonist of this game, Kamala Khan, is introduced.

Her and her adorable dad are on an Avengers Quinjet, alongside fellow writing competition winners. Given the opportunity to rub shoulders with the desultory heroes themselves on their impressive Helicarrier. Kamala encounters several of the Avengers as a young fangirl, geeking out at collecting comic books to gain entry to the VIP area, after which all hell breaks loose and the Avengers are swiftly dealt a master blow that sees their reputation in tatters, their assets seized by the government and the team itself thrown to the wind.

Marvel’s Avengers is a perfectly enjoyable, if not particularly well assembled, superhero action title with looter-shooter influences. A well written main story will give you ten hours of enjoyment.

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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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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.

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Wasteland 3 Review (Xbox One X)

I have made no secret that 1988’s Wasteland from Interplay is my favourite game ever.

It was ground breaking for the good old Commodore 64 and saw many, many hours of play from me. It even accounts for my greatest gaming achievement. So to see a official sequel in Wasteland 2 was just fantastic. A third, Wasteland 3, well, it is definitely a highlight of an otherwise pretty shitty 2020. With names like Deth, Vargas, and Brygo bringing a big smile to my face.

I was ready to return to the Wasteland.

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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.

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Pathfinder: Kingmaker Review (Xbox One X)

Welcome to the Stolen Lands of Golarion. You are the Pathfinder, the Kingmaker. Under the direction of Jamandi Aldori, ruler of Restov, you have the chance to make a fair chunk of these lands yours. All you have to do is assemble some companions and get rid of the Stag Lord and his bandits. Easy enough.

I’m absolutely loving Pathfinder: Kingmaker. Even despite a few glitches it has. The biggest problem it has? Launching so close to Wasteland 3.

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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.

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Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus, PS4 Review

Warhammer 40,000 Mechanicus will be familiar to die-hard Games Workshop fans, the average gamer, perhaps not so much. Drawing on the very deep and very wide canon of Warhammer 40k, this game adds to a varied pedigree of stablemates.

Considering the complexity the Warhammer family its a shame that the digital versions of these tabletop adventures often fall flat.

It’s fair to say, that first couple of hours of doubt were soon demolished as I understood the systems on offer and gripped the gameplay.

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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.

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