Falcon Age, PSVR Review

Since launch PSVR has been a platform full of experiences and a lot of them either off the wall or surprisingly original. Falcon Age probably sits in those two camps with a 20/80 split.

A brave new single player experience from Outerloop Games, a Seattle based Indie company with a pretty tight team roster. It shows in the way the game has been crafted, it is deep without being complex and does exactly what it needs to. Built from the ground up as a VR title the game is a sci-fi adventure in the shoes of Ara, a young girl imprisoned by some temperamental robots on a barren planet.

Pretty straightforward then, the first few game days get you into the control scheme nicely by running some prison day-to-day routines and forcing you to converse with one of your captors. Some of the humour, writing and art style here start to feel like a nod toward Portal and that’s okay.

It’s a setting that serves the purpose of the story, but feels light on structure, which isn’t that big a deal when you remember this is a game, in VR where you can fist-bump your Falcon before sending it off to rip up a rabbit.

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Byte Size – Borderlands Game of the Year Edition, PS4

Borderlands, a franchise and a genre flag bearer.

Now we get to go back to where it all began – with all DLC and shiny new graphics along with a few tweaks here and there.

As a warm up to Borderlands 3 this is the perfect introduction for players that weren’t around ten years ago. Fire up the Hype Train there’s a new ‘Old Loot Shooter’ in town.

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Byte Size – Dead Or Alive 6 Review (Xbox One X)

The latest in the titillating fighting franchise is here and packs everything you would expect into a nicely rounded package.  Team Ninja have continued with the plethora of scantily clad girls who can kick butt. And thanks to the latest generation of gaming equipment you get to witness all the bouncing and jiggling that goes with the high intensity combat. And just for full disclosure, I am terrible at fighting games and resort to full on button mashing 99% of the time.

The Good – Underneath all the eye candy is a solid and smooth fighting game. There are tons of moves and combos to learn for those who are inclined to do so, but for mashers like me there is still plenty of fun to be had.

The Bad – This is easy, unfortunately. Well for Xbox anyway. The online side of things is almost completely devoid of players. And considering the type of competitive game we have here this is a real problem.

The Unlocks! – So at release there are 27 fighters each with different costumes, hair styles, glasses, and god knows what else to unlock. Now for me this is a nightmare. I like to have everything in a game, call me a completionist if you will. But the time needed to unlock everything here would be huge.

Anyway, if you want a fighting game DOA6 is still one of the breast, umm, best.

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Byte Size – The Wizards Enhanced Edition, PSVR Review

Harry Potter is a shit Wizard, make no mistake.

In my youth, when books were still a big thing I had firm favourites in the Wizarding space, these guys were qualified as Wizards because they actually did proper magic and I loved it, and I wanted to do it too.

The Good – Casting spells! With your hands!

The Bad – Old School level design and AI.

The Ugly – 2006 called, they want their textures back!

Overall it is a fun game, while being a throwback to the nineties in look and level feel it offers plenty of suspended disbelief as you creep around looking for the next encounter and spend a few minutes fervently creating and using spells.

It is a game I will go back to and certainly puts the power in your hands.

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Anthem – Post release considerations, PS4

Anthem, you will have heard of it no doubt. Anybody with the slightest toe dipped in to Gaming, Social Media or having seen the odd Bus drive past will be familiar. Being the latest title from Bioware the stakes were high and it has to be said, Bioware fans can be a fervent pack when they are poked with a stick. Let’s be straight up from the front.

The company has delivered a game that does not stick to their modus operandi, fair enough, but the fans didn’t know and they’re upset.

The company has tried to deliver a game du jour, moderately massively persistently online, bullet sponge enemies and heaps of customisation.

The company has actually delivered a flawed, but fun game that can be enjoyed on different levels if you forgive a few structural issues.

This is probably a good time to say, this isn’t a review in the traditional sense, there are various reasons for that, but the key ones will be the method of Anthem’s launch and popularisation, alongside the pack mentality and vocal rejection of the game by anybody with a phone and some data for Twitter.

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Byte Size – God Eater 3

The God Eater series is not something I am familiar with, lets have that out in the open. As a sci-fi soap opera, I’m sure it would be interesting to delve into, but as it stands being a virgin in the God Eater universe I’m a little more dazed and confused than leading the charge.

The Good – There’s a deep sci-fi canon on offer if you can listen to the dialogue, and the unfeasible weapons are impressive. The bullet building feature is the highlight.

The Bad – Angsty teen styled dialogue, overly complex controls and too much to remember.

The Ugly – The graphics need a decent feed. Combat missions are way too short.

The combat is fun to a point, but given some of the controls and the reliance on remembering how or when to use certain combos it never really gets past the hack and slash approach for me.

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Conviction: An Anthem short movie by Neil Blomkamp

Anthem will be with us by the end of the month and what better way to celebrate it than give us a surprise Short Movie by sci-fi stalwart Neil Blomkamp (District 9 for example).

Given the design and nature of his movies, bringing the Anthem world and its Javelins to life must have been a no-brainer on both sides.

There is currently a teaser up on youtube.

The full short will be available on the 14th.

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Byte Size – Gungrave VR, PSVR Review

Initially I knew nothing about Gungrave, but after a quick Google Search, I came to understand that this is a long standing Anime franchise from Japan and it has had a single video game release back in 2002 on the PS2.

Gungrave’s overarching story is about Brandon Heat or ‘Grave’, a reincarnated death dealer who seeks revenge on evil syndicates and baddies and …well you get the idea.

The Good – There isn’t any. Maybe the character model of Grave, it looks quite good at times, and the tutorial is quite good. But that’s about it.

The Bad – The shooting feels slow, the enemies are mindless cannon fodder and the whole game lacks any identity.

The Ugly – It’s just not fun. Nothing in the game adds anything to the brilliantly immersive VR gaming-space.

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The Koru-Cottage Games of The Year 2018

The end of 2018 fast approaches and what an amazing year of games we have had. Playstation have had more AAA exclusives you can poke a stick at, Xbox has changed the gaming landscape with the amazing offering that is Game-Pass and Fortnite…..well has taken all the money and given us silly dances in return.

But I hear you say, enough talk…….. what are the Games of The Year down at the Cottage?

Well, here we go.

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Byte Size – Titanic VR, PSVR

History can’t go past the sinking of the Titanic, it is a story that will run and run, obviously there is the support from Hollywood in various guises and the potential for Mr Clive Palmer and his ambitious reconstruction of actual Titanic v2.

What VR Education have done is taken their Kickstarter project and delivered the all too familiar story with some historical accuracy, wrapped up in a VR learning experience.

The Good – Enjoy an otherwise out of reach experience first hand.

The Bad – The cinematic story is a bit cheesy.

The Ugly – Textures could be crisper, but that’s not so bad.

Titantic VR, may not be perfect but it ticks some boyhood boxes for me and is a good use of twenty bucks.

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