Yakuza Kiwami – Review

Remasters and HD ports are currently in full force this generation. I don’t have a problem with them if they are done well, as I feel it’s a nice way to revisit titles with an extra bit of polish. A recent example is Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age, a remaster that came with plenty of extra content never before seen in English, while having better performance and touched up graphics. It’s usually the case for a lot of remasters, but remakes are a different beast. Crash Bandicoot got a remake that was loved by fans, but when I think of remakes, the one that I feel is the perfect example of what a remake should be is Capcom’s Resident Evil on Gamecube. It added new content and story on top of the old without feeling disjointed, keeping what made the original game special, while throwing in amazing visuals for the time. I’d like to add Yakuza Kiwami to that list, as Sega and the Yakuza team have done a fantastic job with bringing the first Yakuza title to PS4, making the original PS2 release obsolete, which can now remain locked away in your video game collection cupboard. (more…)

Pokkén Tournament DX – Review

Nintendo are keeping the momentum going with the Switch by smartly mixing up the release schedule with brand new games and enhanced ports of existing Wii U or indie titles to sustain a great catalogue. We have already seen how successful it has been with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and indie titles are also enjoying success on the console. Now Nintendo is back with their next enhanced port from Wii U to Switch with Pokkén Tournament DX, a game that did well on Wii U, selling over a million copies on a platform that currently consist of about 13.5 million users, but will no doubt find a new audience on Nintendo’s hybrid system. (more…)

South Park: The Fractured But Whole – Review

Delays. We all hate them, but at the end of the day, it’s something that comes hand in hand with video game development. The Stick of Truth, the first RPG for the animated Comedy Central TV show that was originally part of THQ’s library, was met with a few delays when THQ went under and Ubisoft purchased the rights for it. Development continued for the game with the show’s creators – Trey Parker and Matt Stone – and Obsidian, the development team that the creators of South Park met to begin work on The Stick of Truth. The game eventually released early 2014 after over four years of development and big changes to its gameplay, but that didn’t stop it from being met with a positive reception. This was a release that was more than just a game based on the property, but one that truly felt like an extension of the TV show, bringing across all the comedy with a successful merger into a RPG. Over three years later and a new development studio behind it, the sequel is here, which had its own set of delays, but thankfully, this new team knows what made the first game a success and have released a great RPG for South Park fans. (more…)

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus – Review

A serious game that never truly takes itself seriously is the best way to describe Wolfenstein II. The game mixes some pretty heavy topics like racism, subjugation, and the cruelty exuded by the Nazi regime with downright silly toilet humour. This never stops the game’s pace, though, making it a thoroughly enjoyable game to play. (more…)

The Evil Within 2 – Review

With a few design choices impacting the overall experience, The Evil Within fell just short of been a classic in the horror genre. It did plenty of things right, as the game’s director, Shinji Mikami, also known as the person who defined survival horror with Resident evil on the PlayStation, brought his expertise of action horror, along with his team at Tango Gameworks, to craft a fascinating world and story filled with some of the weirdest monster designs going. It wasn’t without its faults, with strange stealth and pacing issues interrupting the flow of the game. I never thought I’d see a sequel to The Evil Within, but three years later, I’m glad we got it, because the new director, John Johanas, has taken what was good about the first title and then done what sequels are suppose to do; make a better game that improves on the weaker elements of their predecessors, which I can say after finishing The Evil Within 2 – the game as a whole makes the right improvements to be a better sequel. (more…)

Project CARS 2 – Review

The first PROJECT CARS had a fascinating history behind it. The team at Slightly Mad Studios, who were previously known for the Need for Speed: Shift series, decided to take their ambition and fund a racing game through their own money along with the funds raised by the community supporting them. It was a different funding scheme than Kickstarter or the Early Access Steam feature, as supporting the development went as far as being an investor in the project, gaining payments back after release if the game made profit (which it did). It led to creating a great racing game with beautiful visuals and stunning weather, but did suffer slightly with AI issues and adapting its handling model to a controller. Over two years later and more experience in hand, the sequel is here that builds on all the great things about the original game, but still can’t quite shake some of the issues that spoil the overall package. (more…)

Pokémon Ultra Sun – Review

I think it’s important to note that I never played the original Pokémon Sun/Moon so this review won’t be comparing the differences seen in this updated version. In fact, the last Pokémon game I played until completion was Pokemon Black and White all the way back in 2011, which was incredibly refreshing. Beyond that I played only about half way through X/Y but simply never got hooked on finishing it, however interesting the introduction of 3D movement was. The Pokémon games have always stood on the shoulders of their predecessors to deliver the same infamous core gameplay, whilst innovating in almost every other way – from the challenging puzzle-gyms, the interesting stories, the online trading and battling features, and so on. After evolving from the regular old Team Rocket story, the player’s journey only got deeper and more involving with every iteration. So what does Ultra Sun/Moon do to earn itself a place in one of the most beloved franchises and classic game series’ on the planet? (more…)

Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition – Review

The Final Fantasy series has never settled on a specific look or battle system; in the thirty plus years since its 8-bit debut, the JRPG juggernaut has continuously torn itself apart and rebuilt its foundation from the ground up, never settling on a singular setting or gameplay mechanic. This is why the frequent online outcry over the latest entry, Final Fantasy XV, over its shift to a more action-focused gameplay system and decidedly more realistic setting as a “betrayal” of the franchise’s roots feels incongruous in hindsight. (more…)

God of War III: Remastered – Review

It has come to the point in this generation where seeing announcements like Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Editionand the recently released Prototype Biohazard Bundle means that any publisher is willing to jump onto the remastered bandwagon to gain some quick cash from the consumer. That is not to say that games do not deserve such treatment. When done well remasters are a great way to see improvements for our wonderful trips down memory lane. Sony has done well in in this regard, as time has been spent either increasing the frame rate to buttery smooth 60FPS and improving textures/lighting, such was with the The Last of Us Remastered. With Sony’s President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, stating that around 40% of the PS4 install base never had a PS3 that is a lot of people missing out on a fair few quality games, with one such brutal hit, God of War III, now receiving the remaster treatment to bring his angry revenge tale to the PlayStation 4. (more…)