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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JBL QUANTUM Wireless 600, review

JBL ANZ very kindly supplied us with a set of Wireless 600 headphones to celebrate their Australian launch last week. Over the course of this year they have made a big impact in New Zealand with their gaming range and we have been able to review some of the range previously.

Of course JBL are not only known for their Gaming Headsets, as part of the Harman Karman Group they are responsible for a range of lifestyle audio devices too. Some of which will be finding their way to Australasia soon.

The Wireless 600 is a set that is easy to put on, the packaged (braided) cables make it simple to swap out from PS4, to Mac, to Xbox to Switch. I am happy with it and will be making the most of them.

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10 annoying things in video games

The Top 10 annoying things in video games.

There are Top 10 lists for all sorts of things, but today it hit me there’s a list we don’t speak of. So here it is, in no particular order.

01: Pointless Boss Fights.
02: Non dodge-able Attacks.
03: The End of Level vehicle run.
04: Choices, choices, annoying choices.
05: Buying Loot from an NPC, then finding something better.
06: Busy Work.
07: Racing in non-racing games is annoying.
08: Learning the ropes with an established character.
09: The A.I. never drives.
10: Backtracking by design.

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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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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.

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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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Tell Me Why – XBOX review

Guest contributor, Dylan Burns makes a welcome entrance:

One might see Tell Me Why (Chapter One) as DONTNOD’s distillation of everything they have learnt.

Sure, there’s DONTNOD’s distinctive sense of place and domestic design, as well as their ability to create the illusion of small town America, but when distilled down to what you actually do in this first chapter, the handful of location changes and flashbacks cannot hide the fact that this is quite a bare-bones offering. 

I was impressed by the first Life is Strange and a big fan of the deliberate mundanity of Life is Strange 2, but in Tell Me Why I found myself struggling to get through the languid pacing, boring dialogue and questionable characterisation. Rather than being intrigued, I just wanted the story to hurry up and happen, for the characters to do something other than wander about each location looking at things and remembering the past.

Due to the episodic nature of Tell Me Why, we’ve added Dylan’s review of the following chapters 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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