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Mass Effect Soundtrack can you love a soundtrack, if you haven’t played the game?

Can you love a soundtrack even if you haven’t played the game? Of course you can

In celebration of the upcoming Mass Effect trilogy release. The Mass Effect team have just released, the full original soundtrack to YouTube and what a thing of beauty it is. Containing all of our favourite tracks including: The Mass Effect theme, Breeding Ground and my personal favourite the Suicide mission. It’s a playlist full of emotion, heartbreak and the odd, occasional tear.

My only problem with it is that. I have never played a Mass Effect game. I know weird right? I should probably just hang my gamer head in shame and retire all my controllers, but hear me out before you disown me: Everybody has that one series that just passed them by, maybe it’s that classic book you haven’t got round to, that TV series that all your friends are raving about and yet somehow you haven’t seen it. It’s the same with games as well. Everybody has that one game, maybe even that one series of games that for what ever reason we haven’t tried…yet. Of course I have excuses…many, many excuses. I didn’t have an XBox or PC at the time of the original’s release and when I did get an X Box, I was put of by those elevator loading screens…remember those? I watched over a shoulder as one of my friends played through the original and they couldn’t go five seconds without jumping in a lift and leaving it to load. It might have been just to annoy me put that put me off for a long time and by the time the second game came around, I didn’t feel the same love for the series as others did, plus I couldn’t get my head round the conversation system. I was new to RPG’s. I am sorry.

Yet all of this doesn’t tell me why I feel such emotion, such sadness, and eventually such hope, as I listen through the score. Sure, it is beautifully put together but I don’t have the narrative as to why these pieces hit so hard. I don’t know who loves whom, don’t know who hurt who, even who slept with how. I have no background, no knowledge.

Guess, I just like it because they are great pieces of music and will just have to wait until the game is released to find out why everybody loves the series so much.

Mass Effect Medley – Orchestral – YouTube

Mass Effect Trilogy – Original Soundtrack – YouTube

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Great first levels in video games for when you just want to relax

A selection of great opening levels from Video Games. Not the greatest. Just the best for when you don’t want to go any further

We all know video games are great right?

Sometimes however the first level is the perfect level, A place where the player is King, where no harm can come to you and nothing really wants to kill you and all the game wants to do is to make sure that your happy with your settings, that you can push X for jump and forward to run. It’s a happy time for both you and your game. You’re both just starting out and you haven’t had a row yet.

So let me present my favourite first levels in gaming. Levels that I could, for the most part quite happily live in. Thanks for the rest of the game but, I think were fine here and we will stay right where we are.

Thank you very much

Sonic the Hedgehog Green Hill Zone 1 Act 1

The blue blur, the one time king of Sega. One time King of the world. The little blue blurr that could. Sonic’s games will always have a place in my memory, not so much for being great games ( I’m not the biggest fan of platformers) but for being rock-hard. Games back then didn’t give you second chances. didn’t hold your hand. It was learn or die. Green Hill Zone 1 Act 1however was different, it wanted you to at least get to the end of the stage. My memory of the game is of it being a lot; calmer, more tranquil and a hell of a lot easier than the rest of the game. I think I could even just stay in the screenshot above, pull out a deckchair and relax. It’s got everything you need, sun, sea and Palm trees.

I don’t think Dr.Robotnik is going to do any real harm to the animals do you?

Prey. Morgan’s apartment

I just love this apartment don’t you? I mean just look at the view. Yes it’s covered by clouds but, just imagine it in the morning, the first glimpse of dawn poking through the blinds as you stretch, get out of bed and think about the day ahead. I mean, okay so the world, may have gone to the dogs while you slept, your going to have a lot of angry voicemails and you probably shouldn’t go outside but, why would you when it’s so nice inside? There’s books to read and TV to watch and did I mention that even the taps work in the bathroom and the sink. That’s fine for me. If you don’t mind I’ll just put my feet up have a nice cup of Tea and let someone else save the world for once.

Wonder if there’s any biscuits about in those cupboards

Skyrim_20171214200224

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Okay so here me out. This one doesn’t start well. I know. Things however do improve rather quickly, don’t they? I mean, sorry Roggvir and all that but it’s not our head that get’s the chop is it? No, I can just see myself settling down here. Making a life for myself. Maybe open a little shop. Do a little whittling. Plus there’s Dragon’s who doesn’t want to live in a world with Dragon’s in it? Maybe I’ll open a Dragon sight seeing tour?

Gone Home

Gone Home would be a completely different game if it was my life. No dramatic reveal, no wandering through the house looking for clues. My version of Gone Home would have gone as follows; 1 Get out of Taxi 2 try to find keys 3 curse when I couldn’t find stupid keys , panic at thought of being locked out 4 remember the all too obvious hiding place for the spare set 5 momentarily wonder why we haven’t been burgled before, open door, drop luggage on floor 6 go to kitchen for a nice cup of tea and a snack 7 take snacks and all important tea up to my room and promptly fall asleep. Might wake up in the morning and wonder where everybody else is, but that is only if there wasn’t any milk.

Just realised my version of the game is still longer than those speed runs on the internet and a lot simpler πŸ™‚

Bloodborne

Great game is it? wouldn’t know. Couldn’t get past the first boss any enemy in the game. I am truly useless at the game. Everyone has that one genre they can’t seem to get to grips with (at least I hope they do) and the dying and dying again until you succeed genre seems to me mine. I have tried everything from YouTube guides to having much better players walk me through the and I still can’t do it. I panic, I swear, I panic again and then give up. It’s just not the game for me. So here I sit taking in the view of Yarnham whilst hiding in the shadows. It’s not too bad really. I’m fine with my choice, We can’t all be heroes. Even made friends with a few of the locals now and they do make a nice cup of tea. A bit dark and mysterious but you get used to it.

So there we have it. A few game ideas for when you just want some piece and quiet. No saving the world for me today. I’m already far too busy

Any other first levels you wouldn’t mind becoming last game levels?

Let me know in the comments below

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Can’t get a PS5?

Can’t get a PS5. Don’t worry you’re alone. How about 5 games you can play on your PS4 before your PS5 arrives

Can’t get a PS5? Me neither.

Don’t worry your not the only one. I have spent much more time than I would like to admit trawling websites, hoping to spot one out in the wild or stalking the PS5UK Twitter streams in the hope that I may be one of the very, very few that actually manages to grab one of these new shiny console’s before they are either all snapped up by bots or by those lucky few that just happen be on the website at the right time.

I don’t even know why I want one, I really don’t. Just caught up in the hype. It’s not like I will suddenly overcome my aversion to Dark Souls. I don’t have the capacity to die over and over again, just to learn and be a tiny bit better next time. Plus and this is probably what’s really stopping me is with everything else seemingly released on the PS4 I know I should just wait until the consoles are readily available and there is something I want to play.

So as I given into the fact that I will playing on the PS4 for some time yet, I decided to do an inventory of all the PS4 games that I have played over the last six years and make a note of what I should play and in doing that I had a little run down memory lane. As I looked across old saved files and trophies half forgotten I remembered all the good times I had with the PS4 and remembered some of the more obscure games that had been forgotten, not just by me but maybe the gaming community as well. So I thought as I had the time and a need to do something with my laptop that wasn’t refresh Twitter every few seconds I decided to create a list. A list of five PS4 games that you probably have in your backlog but, for reasons now lost to time, forgotten to play

Some maybe obvious some may make you shake your head but, at least I am not on Twitter πŸ™‚

Mad Max.

You forgot it even released on the PS4 didn’t you? It’s okay, until about six months ago I had forgotten it existed as well – I guess that’s what happens when you release your game on the same day as Metal Gear Solid V: The Forgotten Pain. It is however a solid RPG with decent fight mechanics, excellent driving and an open world that feels somehow alive despite being very, very desolate and you have a pretty decent game. With the added Cherry on the top of this once being a ”free” PS Plus game you to may have this one gathering dust in your digital library

Mad Max the forgotten king of the wasteland

Concrete Genie

Okay, I will forgive you for forgetting about Mad MAX an obscure title from a few years ago. The next title on my list; the wonderful Concrete Genie should not be such a blast from the past as it is currently one of the ”free” titles available this month with PS Plus subscription and a good game it is. It has been in my ”about to buy” list more times than I care to remember and yet despite numerous good reviews, I just didn’t get round to picking it up. Yet I am more than happy to be playing it now. Its a wonderful contrast to the grey, overcast days we are currently experiencing here in the UK, a colourful bolt of light in our grey days. It’s a game where all you do is create, to bring back to life an old derelict shipping village with the help of genies you create using the PS4 as a magical paint brush. It’s a lovely tonic for the soul, With no death, no fighting and nothing in the way of stress.

Firewall Zero Hour

Can you sense a pattern emerging with my picks? Yes you guessed it this is another game that was once, back in years past available through PS Plus. Don’t worry though as Firewall Zero Hour is completely different from the other two. This is a PSVR game. Don’t groan. It’s really good. I promise. If your into team communication and like shouting out strange army words like ”spector inbound” and are not surprised when random strangers shout out ”’GO, GO, GO ”for the 27th time in row then this is a game for you. The only caveats to enjoying it are A; having a PSVR headset and B; Having the Aim controller. This game was made for the Aim controller in mind and it really shows, the level of immersion is simply stunning it will have you thinking your in the military in a matter of minutes.

Abzu

The next game up on our list isn’t a shooter, doesn’t have you driving through a wasteland fighting to survive or even have you trying to reconnect with your community. It also has not been ( as far as I know) ever appeared on PS Plus but it is a completely delightful and utterly beautiful experience. Abzu is a game created by one of the creators behind the excellent Journey and if you have played that then you will know what kind of game this game is . For this is a game about starting again. About tranquillity, about peace. Maybe even the meaning of existence. Well at least that’s my take on it, on what I make of the story. The game world has been overpopulated to the point of extinction and that is exactly what has happened. Most things on what I think is Earth have vanished. You are a part of the last few reaming people left on Earth and your task is to see, what’s in the sea. A Sea that as first, is quiet, with only a few shoal’s of fish swimming here and there but as you progress through the game you are able to unlock various different species of fish (and some mammals) and as these new species are added to the game they add an extra array of colour and variety to the levels that truly has to be seen to be believed. A bit of sunshine on a grey day

The Order 1886

The most controversial game on this list by a long way. I don’t blame you for not playing it. It is a wildly indifferent thing, a deeply conflicted thing. The negatives are many it has; dodgy AI, indifferent character controls, a beautiful look but don’t touch world, sluggish pacing and too many other negatives to name, but it has some positives as well; it is utterly gorgeous to look at, a story that’s good when it get’s going, characters that are for the most part well rounded and cut scenes that are a thing to behold, they really are a thing of beauty. Yes the gun-play maybe be dodgy and the game may finish just as you start to get invested in it but, I left wanting more. I wanted the story to continue and that is why it’s in this list, plus it’s got werewolves, who doesn’t love a werewolf story?

Any on this list take your fancy? Any recomendations you can give to me?

Let me know in the comments below

P.S I am not actually allowed to play Firewall anymore. I live in a flat and apparently my neighbours don’t like it when a grown man screams out” Alpha, Tango, Charlie. GO. GO GO” at four in the morning

P.P.S Haven’t actually completed Concrete Genie yet, so if the cute little Genie creatures turn out to be a murderous horde conjured up from another dimension – you have been warned πŸ™‚

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Cybercade

I don’t know where I am. I know, I’m not at home. It’s dark. I’m alone, woken up yet I’m somehow not in my bed, Suddenly, I hear a beat, an infectious rhythm that takes over my senses and as my feet tap and my head moves in time with the synth-wave soundtrack now taking over my body, my eyes close. closing more in the hope that the next time I open them again, everything will be back to normal. I will be back at home in my bed, this strange dream coming to and end. Of course I know it won’t, Nothing can save me now. I’m trapped. I know it. As I open my eyes this time, they readjust to the gloom and I notice the things I didn’t see before. I see the GUNS!

Dear reader this isn’t the start to some sc-fi novel this is is my imagined intro into the game VR game Cybercade. A game I just stumbled across on the Sidequest store. Now back to the guns!

As my focus settles upon them I notice that there are three to choose from a small pistol, a larger comedy type pistol and something that looks very much like an Uzi. So with my selection made ( always the Uzi) I move onto to selecting one of the two difficulty options casual or standard. I always choose casual as this gives me unlimited lives but, for the more advanced player there is a standard mode that gives you only three lives, Now it’s onto the level select, With the game being not yet a finished product we are promoted to play any of the four available levels in any order they range from a Robot Factory to a Night Market. Each level is displayed in a futuristic neon style. The neon lights seeming to dance in time with the beat as you move from section to section, shooting against a seemingly never ending swarm of enemies. All sworn to one code. That you must be killed and so the battle rages. You against the robots, the machine, the odds, even the occasional flying car.

Luckily you have one trick up your sleeve. You see this game is playable on the Oculus Quest and this is where this game comes alive. Without the distraction or limitations of a traditional gaming set up you are free to move out of the way of gunfire, to hide behind walls, to crouch behind cover. You will need this advantage as the game is unrelenting in it’s pursuit of your death. Bullets fly at you in a fury, you will need to duck, dodge and even weave to make it out alive.

It’s a game to make you hot, to make you sweat but also one to make you smile. It’s a lot of fun. It reminds me most of Time Crisis. the gameplay follows the same formula. You shoot, you hide. They shoot they hide. It’s an interesting title that I am really looking forward to seeing the final version off.

Have you tried Cybercade? Did you know you can online with a friend?

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The Last Campfire

Afternoon. As we all know the only way to finish something is too start it. So with eyes firmly closed, finger hovering over the X button on the Dual Shock controller I took the plunge and picked a random game from the backlog to play.

That game dear reader was none other than the Last Campfire. A puzzle platformer from the mind’s at Hello Games. The developer responsible for No Man’s Sky.

The Last Campfire has you controlling a small, adorable creature called an Ember and you must control this Ember as he or she makes there way through the between worlds a kind of limbo, as you progress through this Limbo you will come across others of your kind. Others who have become lost along their own journeys and in becoming lost have given up all hope of ever reaching their goal, with there hope having left them they become Forlorn. These Forlorn are shells of their former selves. With their hope now lost, they have given up completely and now sit as still as stone, waiting for the end.

Fear not for these little creatures though as it is up to you as you progress through a magical land of giant talking frogs, enormous pigs that want nothing but to eat, eat and eat again and sad fisherman to find each lost Ember/Forlorn and try to restore their hope. To help them toward their goal.

It sounds easy, doesn’t it? All you have to do is find a cute little blue thing and make them happy again. If only it was this easy for each tiny Ember has locked their hope away in the form of a puzzle a puzzle that must be solved for the Ember to be free. The puzzles are not generally that hard and generally fall into a few categories: they either involve you manipulating light, manipulating water or steam or a mixture of all the above. There are a few that break from that tradition but I won’t spoil them for you hear. The puzzles are fun, light hearted and are for everybody. There is nothing Witness-esque in these puzzles they are all taxing up to a point and family friendly

The main problem I had with the game was just finding each of the puzzle rooms, there is a light story current running through the game and whilst the world created does feel alive with characters that have made a home for themselves in this this world between worlds. Embers that have not yet fallen into the trap of becoming Forlorn and loosing their hope, will stop and talk to you as you go about your day, Other creatures that happen to live in this world, will ask you for favours or just add a bit of background colour and all this does help create a vibrant world that does feel alive but, I just couldn’t navigate it very well. I am sure this is down to my own stupidity. I have a terrible sense of direction but, I just felt that the guidance to some of the more obscure puzzles could have been a bit easier to navigate.

Over all this is a lovely game. One me and my wife were happy to devote an evening too and did I mention the Platinum trophy at the end of it? No, well let me just say that this game has a very, easy Platinum we were awarded it simply by playing the game as we would normally do – that may explain why some of the puzzles were a bit out of the way. But it’s very easy none the less. We didn’t have to do anything silly like complete the game twice or complete all the puzzles whilst standing on our heads. No special instructions needed just make sure you get all of the Forlorn in each game world. There will be a count of how many you need in the campfire around each level. It’s not many something like seven in each game hub. With the rest of the trophies being story based.

Have you tried the Last Campfire?

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Paper Beast PSVR Demo

A demo for the PSVR game Paper Beat has just made a quiet appearance onto the demo section of the EU PS store and as it was something I have always been eager to play but never quite eager enough to pay money for, I was more than happy to play what turned out to be the opening section of the game for free.

Was It worth a download?

Yes and yes again, I am so glad . The demo is an absolute delight to play. You start off in what feels like a very closed in space with curtains closed around you blocking you from seeing the outside world which did make me feel quite tense but, as you tear the curtains down you realise that you weren’t in a box or a closed in space at all but you were in fact sitting in between the legs of a giant origami beast. I think it’s an Origami diplodocus Its an incredible sight and as my jaw hit the flaw I looked around the world I now found myself in and was completely amazed, the environment looks beautiful, a stunning little world populated with other origami animals that seem to be living their own independent lives, paying no notice to the player, unless you interact with them first, in the initial few minutes I came across some small white origami animals that paid me no notice but, I was able to pick them up ( they all seem to be made from paper) or offer them fruit from an origami tree. With the fruit I was able to get some of the animals to follow me around the level, like a dog chasing a toy and that really helped make me feel immersed in the world. Soon the large origami animal called me back to it’s side and As I followed it through the level I realised that I had given it a name – It’s Bonie. we walked for a few more minutes and came across what looked like a hole. A hole which in true gaming fashion turned into sink hole as soon as I jumped into it. Thankfully – just as I started to panic a storm raced through it, from the bottom turning what was a hole into a climbable pit with letters streaming out of in a Tornado effect I soon managed to climb out of this hole, which lead me to realise I had lost my friend. Where was Bonie had they vanished, fallen in the hole? Was it all part of the game – had I missed something? Thank fully I soon heard a low mewing sound and was soon reunited with my friend. Sadly my happiness at being reunited was soon turned to fear my heart soon dropped as with the storm suddenly raging again Bonie usherd me into a cave. Thinking that we would be save in here, I started to relax and look for somewhere to make a fire – I was really immersed! Only to hear a shuffling sound behind me I turned around to see what the noise was only to see Bonie blocking up the opening of the cave with a giant border.

This is where the demo ends

Please let me know if you have also played the demo and want to get the full game?

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The Last of Us Part 2

This is my first impression of the opening few hours of the Last of Us part 2.

I will try and stay away from spoilers as much as possible.

My first impression of the the Last of Us 2 is one of my complete ore this game is a thing of beauty. A true masterpiece, Considering that I am playing on an old PS4 with a standard HD television this game is a thing of wonder, a technical masterpiece and in my opinion the new bench mark for AAA gaming.

It’s not just good the environments that look good though. The forests feel alive, lived in with trees and bushes gently swaying in the wind with realistic water effects in the streams and brooks. The streets feel abandoned. You can feel nature reclaiming the world as buildings are slowly covered in vines and mould appearing on walls. Every apartment block or house showing signs of rushed exits, the detritus of lives lost hanging in the air like ghosts, their dreams never to be realised. This all gives you the player a real sense of place in the world. This is a world almost lost to humanity a place where every fight could be your last and anyone you love could be taken from you in a second. I don’t think I have played many other games where the sense of finality hangs above every conversation, every movement, where a stumble or a misplaced shot could prove your last as you alert a horde of the affected to your whereabouts. The world is a scary place full of dangers. It will at times get your heart racing and your blood pumping

This isn’t the only world you feel a part of though as developer Naughty Dog have seemingly thought of us real players as well and included the biggest set of accessibility options I have as yet seen in a game. You can change everything to your liking. Want more ammo but don’t want too hard of a challenge in the rest of a game you can tweak just that. Want your team mates to take charge in the fights? Sure tweak that, or are you more gung ho do you want to be the first to fire that shot or get the first stealth kill? Great you can tweak that. Basically what I am saying is this. This isn’t the standard easy, normal or hard modes everything can be changed to your play style. You can highlight collectibles if you want and you can even play if you are partially sighted by setting sounds for different types of enemies. Its an increbible achivment in accesibility and I hope one the gaming community takes up en mass.

So far the games in incredible I just hope the remainder can hold up to my initial few hours with it. Have you played it yet?

More PSVR games worth your time( not just because I forgot my favourite)

Another list of PSVR games worth your time. Has nothing to with the fact that I forgot to add my favourite the first time around

Hello,

after recently having a great time playing a load of PSVR games for my recent blog feature: PSVR games worth your time. I discovered to my horror that the list is incomplete. So incomplete that I managed to forget my favourite VR game a game where time only moves when you do…yes dear reader, I am talking about: SUPERHOT so without further ado let me address that error and lead into another five PSVR games that I think are worth your time. If I have missed any (I probably have) please add them into the comments below or feel free to berate me on Twitter

SUPERHOT

Time only moves when you do

In my opinion this is one of the best VR games ever made, heck the flat version is one of the best non-VR games ever made. Both versions are simply brilliant. Are they puzzle games or FPS’s? Who knows, who really cares, when the games are this good. The rules are simple: time only moves when you do, stand still and the game stops, your opponents are frozen in time, this gives you an opportunity for you to survey the scene, a few seconds to try and find your way out of the puzzle, to try not to die. Because as soon as you are hit, it’s game over back to the beginning of the level. My only negative of the PSVR version is the need for Move controllers, if you don’t already have this, please check on the price as they can be very expensive. If you already have the Move’s, you have no excuse not to get the game πŸ™‚

Polybius

Not the one that has the FBI watching your every move….I hope

Another game that I somehow, inexplicably left of my original list Polybius is a lot, in fact despite finishing the game, I am still not quite sure is going on – it’s a lot. All I know is that the game is amazing, a dizzying assortment are thrown towards you as seek to either collect the objects flying towards you at an ever increasing level of speed and an eye-splitting level of colour. It’s a game that rewards trial and error. You will die a lot, you won’t care as another go is another chance to better the game to go faster to see more colours, more dizzying displays . It’s a game that is also fully playable in non-VR but somehow looses the magic of what makes the game great if you play it this way. Also as it can get quite fast I not recommend this is you are new to VR

Batman: Arkham VR

I’m Batman. No wait, your Batman? How about we all be BATMAN. This is a game that should be shipped with all PSVR consoles created by the minds behind Batman: Asylum rocksteady studios. This is a very early game made in VR’s earliest stages and does in some ways feel more like an experience than an actual game, I still urge you to play it. It has interesting uses for how you interact with the world, lets you play the piano and fling batarang’s to your hearts content, contains a decent number of trophies (although no Platinum) and contains a story that would sit happily in the games or extended universe. It’s well worth a play the only downsides being the need for Move controllers and that you don’t get to fight anyone or drive the Batmobile. We can’t have everything.

Until Dawn: Rush of Blood

Quick disclaimer – I haven’t actually completed Until Dawn: Rush of Blood. It’s too scary for me. I have however played the opening through levels ( some with my eyes closed) and what starts out as shooting gallery with you riding a rollercoaster, quickly (too quickly) turns into a horror fest filled with clowns and Zombie babies, all things that make a shiver run down my spine. I have been told that this spin off to the choose your own adventure Until Dawn is a great game. Another that started it’s life at the beginning of the PSVR adventure it’s a shooting gallery where you travel through a rogues gallery of the Until Dawn world filled with horrors, explosions and helpfully some very handy gun upgrades. So, if you are not like me and can happily sleep through the night after seeing a plethora of demons trying to tear of your face. I am told that you could do a lot worse than strapping your self into a roller coaster, and letting your guns guide your way into the horrible, monster filled night. Again Move controllers are a must

Racket Fury

Ping Pong

It may be strange to jump from horror to table tennis but, it’s my list and I want to sleep tonight – so there we go. It also helps that Racket Fury is an excellent Table Tennis game featuring some decent bat handling and excellent ball physics. This is a sports game that will make you feel like you are actually playing table tennis. Hey, the tables maybe slightly smaller but with decent AI and a nice and friendly online community this is a fun way to get sweaty in your headset. Again Move controllers are a must.

I am sure I have missed many, many excellent PSVR games please add your selections in the comments below

PSVR GAMES WORTH YOUR TIME

A little list of my favourite five PSVR games. What are yours?

Hello and welcome. Today you find me, after a long break, back in the world of VR. PSVR to be precise. I have tried other forms of VR but something keeps pulling me back to my old favourite. It just feels familiar maybe even comforting to strap on that big old headset and grab my trusty old PSVR glow sticks and head out into dangers unknown.

Here are my favourite five. A quick list that will keep you entertained until the PSVR 2 releases

BEAT SABER

It is said that every system needs a success story. A game that friends tell their friends about and so on. A game that lives beyond it’s console and is talked about in regular conversations. Well Beat Saber did that for VR . Beat Saber is to VR what Sonic was to the Mega Drive and Mario is to Nintendo. A game that transcends normal games and becomes it’s own thing. Beat Saber is that game, a game that’s easy to play but (clichΓ© incoming) incredibly hard to master. In fact the only downside with the PSVR version is the inability to add your own custom songs but with a lengthy playlist now added as standard and a plethora of DLC you may not even notice.

Astro Bots Rescue Mission

Here’s two fun facts about me. 1 I don’t like platformers 2 I am not good at platformers. I don’t know which is more true, do I not like platformers because I don’t play them enough so I am not good at them or I am just not good at them and stop caring, pick one and just play it for the what is worth and get as far as I can with my limited skills? Who knows. Anyway back to the point. Astro Bot Rescue Mission is very good….even for a platformer. Yes somehow I managed to play it and I am so glad I did. It’s one of teh best games I haev ever played VR or not. It’s beautiful to look at, has a wonderful world full of things to see, full of inventive uses of the control scheme and everything just works – which is rare for a VR game. Put simply if Nintendo had made it the game would have been decried as the best thing in the Universe the game of the year. A platformer to rival Mario but sadly they didn’t and that gives us a little secret to share. Also there is a demo available on the PS store.

REZ INFINITE

Rez Infinite feels like the culmination of creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s vision originally released in Europe in 2002 on the Sega Dreamcast and Playstation 2 it was a game ahead of it’s time featuring a hacker (please see picture above) who floats through a malfunctioning AI system in the hopes of restoring it. Now the story is told without words and uses a on rail system as the hackers avatar travels from A to B trying to bring balance back to the system by hitting enemies in time with some excellent dance music. The game is about sensations about changing your perspective. Its almost meditative and trance like especially when played with a pair of headphones. It was almost brilliant. Then VR came along and gave Rez a new lease of life with the help of Enhance Games, Resonair and Monstars a new game began to take shape by taking the original and morphing it, moulding it something new began to appear and that my friends was Area X. With the older game now fully playable in VR the team wanted to add something new to push the limits of this new technology and they certainty did that with Area X. Area X takes a deep dive into your senses it’s a new world rich in colours and live using full use of the VR capabilities. Its the final form of the creators original vision. If you have yet to play REZ Infinite I would recommend playing it with headphones and playing the main game first. Area X is a treat and I envy anyone that is yet to play it

Creed Rise to Glory

Creed

I know it’s a bit of jump from the cerebral world of REZ Infinite into the sweaty testosterone filled world of Creed Rise to Glory, but I hey, I care about you. I want to look after your body and your mind. Yes, next up is Creed Rise to Glory created by the VR geniuses over at Survious. Creed created originally as a tie in to the Creed movie is much more than just your traditional movie adaptation cash grab. No Creed has soul, It wants you to work out and it wants you to be challenged from a fully fledged single player mode that will see you rise through the ranks to be the best of the best to a workout mode that really wants you to work out. This is a game that is full out fun.

Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners

If Beat Saber is a look at what VR can do now. The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners is a glimpse into the future of VR. This is an incredible game with a control scheme that makes full use of the PSVR’s limited options. From the tutorial you can tell this game is special. Weapons fell great to use, the graphics are excellent and simply put it puts the player slap bang in the middle of their own slice of the Zombie apocalypse. It can be bloody, it can be scary but it is always brilliant.

There we go my favourite five PSVR games. Please let me know the ones I have missed.

Will Flight Microsoft Flight Simulator be playable on X Box One?

Are you ready to take to the sky?
in Microsoft Flight Simulator

After watching the XBox/ Bethesda conference the other night I realised that only one game truly caught my imageanion and that game wasn’t Forza Horizon 5 – although it does look incredible. No the only one that really grabbed me by the wings is the fantastic looking Microsoft Flight Simulator. I mean just look at the trailer below. It looks amazing

Microsoft Flight Simulator – United Kingdom & Ireland World Update – YouTube

You can just see my house

I was so exited. I eagerly looked forward to crashing a whole range of planes into a variety of international destinations. Maybe I would crash a plane into London Bridge, a balloon into a pyramid or a bi-plane into Montreal. Broadly speaking I don’t know much about Flight Simulator in general, I am not even sure if you can crash? I was however looking forward to playing it on my X Box One, ready to marvel in the whole world as I badly flew through it. Then I read the specs. It wasn’t compatible with the X Box One. Only PC and the X Box Series I was gutted. Would I somehow have to get a new series X machine, just to play one game? No this was madness. I would have to forget about the game move onto something else. Until I read about

X Box Cloud Gaming

For those that don’t know X Box Cloud gaming is magic – it’s that simple. It’s a way that Microsoft could use the vast power of its data centres to bring the power of the X Box Series X to us the humble owners of the X Box One. I know it sounds crazy and I am not even going to try and explain how this works all I really understand is that Microsoft is in the process of upgrading its data centres with Series X hardware and this will enable improved visual fidelity, reduce load times and allow users to play X Box X quality games. This all works in the same way that games are streamed via your phone using the App so, hopefully it will be a great time.

Are you looking forward to your time in the sky?

Did Game Pass win E3?

Did Game Pass win E3?

Is the subscription service really the future of gaming?

With E3 underway the current talk of the internet is who won? Why anyone one company could ”win” is beyond me. I don’t understand who could possibly win a show that’s all about hype, all about the games we will only be able to play in a few years time, if we are lucky.

But, I guess if you are Microsoft you are pretty happy with how your show went. Following years of using Microsoft’s vast resources in a succession of studio acquisitions and facing ever louder questions about where the big new first party games are coming from Microsoft looks like it may be ready to turn a corner suddenly a console that has for the most part looked a little thin on first party releases is going to receive a tidal wave of content. Flooding the market with a series of looking games from their famous studios. What makes these announcements even more special, is that a great number, I think 27 of the 30 announced and that is 5 from Microsoft directly and the rest from companies that Microsoft has helped will be appearing on Game Pass and that’s really interesting. It looks as if Microsoft no longer want to try and compete with Sony and Nintendo in the actual selling of consoles ( although I am sure they will want too). The real plan from the house of X Box is to get subscriptions, to get people paying every month to access there games. Guarantee a loyal fan base who are happy to pay every month for whatever can be delivered.

It’s a great plan and a great move for the gaming communities in general. Game Pass is available in a lot of countries, you can use it with your Xbox, PC or even phone and it always seem to work well.

Lets just hope that the public in general are better than me when it comes to actually playing a game they pick. I tend to spend all my time choosing what to download and then not playing it, as I always on the lookout for what’s new.

Are Sony right in selling exclusives for Β£70

Are Sony right in charging 70 for exclusives?

Like most gamers, I sat, eagerly awaiting the reviews of Sony’s latest PS5 exclusive Ratchet and Clank Rift Apart.

Of course the critics called it brilliant, hailing both the look of the game, running out that well worn phrase ”it looks like a Pixar move” on a fair few occasions but also praising the combat, controls, story and of course the strange arsenal of ever evolving but utterly insensible weapons.

So of course, carried on a wave of pure gaming hype I flicked over to an online retailer to try and get the game for the day of release only to discover to my horror that the game is retailing all over Europe and the US for 70.

Are Sony right in charging 70 for their exclusives?
A click loading SSD with almost no loading times

That’s crazy money. Crazy. Of course we gamers are a savvy bunch and usually scoff at the recommended retail price. We know we can get it somewhere cheaper. You may get it a day later but you will save money. Only this time I couldn’t. I tried all the usual websites Game Collection, ShopTo and a few others and all showed the price as the same, that big fat 70 dangling in the air. It’s too much, isn’t it?

I know Sony can charge what ever they want for what they sell. That’s fine. I just feel a 20 bump over the previous generation is incredibly large and I know that development costs for the PS5 and XBox must have gone up but could they have gone up by that much?

Still as I sit here busily scouring the internet for a small reduction I look forward to reading your encounters with the game.

I hope it’s great

Are review scores important to you?

Have you played Biomutant. Do you like it. Would you recommend it even after it’s review scores
Are review scores important to you?

Does a review score influence your purchase?

Buy, rent or leave?

Frankly put, I am in a bit of a pickle, do I buy Biomutant one of the games I have been most looking forward to this year? Even though the review scores are a bit… meh to say the least. I have read publication after publication article after article and even a few YouTube videos and all say the same thing. Bio Mutant is very average, weird, and strange as well but, mainly average. To paraphrase the game is full of interesting elements but those interesting elements are drowned out by boring quests, a world that doesn’t seem alive and is a awash with repeat and repeat again missions. Plus, and this seems to be the thing that the reviewers had the most problems with is that every creature in the game speaks a language that your character does not, even if the creature is the same race of animal as you. All you hear is rubbish until your trusty commentators voice pops up to explain what was just said to you, all in a fine Shakespearean accent. All fine and dandy, if a little long winded. I then read on to discover that the voice delivery is never altered, no matter what is said, meaning full plot details are given the same delivery as jokes and little asides, added to the fact that the language is translated in such baby talk that it is infuriating to the listener. For example in the game the commentator will comment on the change of time for instance if its night time you might hear, better perk your ears up, darkness doesn’t hurt sound. All a little odd. Although I did enjoy Chris Parnell’s commentary in Maneater.

Which is such a shame as in trailers the game looks incredible. A post, post apocalyptic world where humanity has died and the world is now lived in by animals. Animals that are mostly unique, with very few duplicates running around. You can create your own character in any way you see fit, as long as it’s not the one from the front of the box, and enjoy either saving the world by defeating five giant boss monsters or just leave them too it. It’s up to you.

I don’t know what to do. The game looks great, something I really want to play, with a beautiful world full of i not very interesting characters, an array of fighting styles and is made by a team that have taken a lot of risks just to make the game they want. I want to support it but, I also don’t want to waste my money.

Have you played Biomutant yet?

The gaming fog

Do you ever suffer from gaming fog? A time when you can’t decide what to play and struggle to get your gaming grove back

Do you ever just finish a game, say Concrete Genie as I have just done and then just come up with nothing to play next? Your mind suddenly a fog? It’s as if your gaming list, a list, a list so stocked full of interesting titles to play, worlds to be saved, puzzles to be solved and even games of football to be won, that you smile every time you read the names of the games. you even smile when you think about the list, you can’t help it. Gaming is an incredible hobby one that let’s us play out lives we could never live, a way to bring fantasies to life. Bringing people together in a way that very few other mediums could. Gaming is great. Yet somehow that gaming list. That list of wonders yet to come, is now nothing more than a boring sheet of paper a boring sheet of paper that has had all the joy sucked out of it. Games you were excited to play only a few days ago are now nothing more than words on a page. All the excitement, the enthusiasm suddenly sucked out of them.

Welcome to the gaming fog

Why does this happen, is it just me?

Normally I sit tight and let this gaming fog clear on it’s own. It’s something that has happened to me before and I am sure it will pass on it’s own. Sometimes it lasts a few days and sometimes a few months.

This time I don’t want to just ride it out, I want to try and understand why it happens. These are my main reasons

1 So many games.

You can have too much of a good thing. Games, there are many. It’s great, every day we wake up, we talk about games, we think about games. we might, if we are lucky get to play some games. Brilliant. It’s just every so often, could we just have a little lull, a little slowdown of the endless churn of non stop releases? We used to have this, I think, it was what Summers were invented for. But, now with gaming becoming the largest entertainment media in the world, there is no Summer. Someone, somewhere is always in Winter and they want a new game to play and they want to play it now. That’s not before you add in the subscription services, if you subscribe to even one of these, you already have hundreds of games, that you just can’t get too.

Length of games

Is it me or our games just getting longer and longer? of course I want a game I am trying to stick around longer and I know some of this is because some games have grown up, got smarter and with that intelligence comes a need to tell greater stories to weave whole worlds, whole lives and even whole star systems and I understand that to do that these games have to be of a certain length but others are simply padded out with hours and hours of simple durative quests that add nothing to the player experience and next to nothing to the game world. Of course I also understand the value proposition, if people are paying a large sum of money for something then, they will expect it to last, as long as it has to for you to feel that you got your value from it. It’s a hard question to answer no two people will value that 40 pound or what ever the cost is equally.

Stories with heart

This is a personal one for me and one that is probably the reason I am typing this out. I tend to play games with stories, stories that I tend to get caught up in. The last three games played were Days Gone, Man Eater and Concrete Genie. Two of them ( Days Gone and Concrete Genie, if you were wondering πŸ™‚ have really big, emotional stories at their centre. So maybe that’s why my brain needs a break. It needs a rest after all that ”emotion” or It could just be that having to eat all those, poor defenceless fish in Man Eater has left me a shell of a man, broken and sad for all the lives cut short. I hope they didn’t feel much pain as my giant Shark tore them from the sea and into my belly. I do hate killing animals in games.

Waiting for the next big adventure. The backlog of the future

Kind of counter intuitive this as it goes against my early point of being too many games around. However I think it’s different enough to be included. For if there is something new to play, why are we always looking over the hill, at what’s coming next? I am sure it’s something we all suffer from. It’s that backlog from the future, the list of games that may never see the light of day, the games that are months, even years away from release and yet, for some reason, we find ourselves making a note in our calendars, looking out for them at E3 and scouring the web for any hint of a release date. Wasting our time on things that may never happen.

There are just a few of the reasons why I think I am in a gaming fog.

Have any of you suffered something similar?

Is the gaming subscription service here to stay?

Are gaming subscription services here to stay. Are we in a gaming paradise?

Are gaming subscription services here to stay? Have we as gamers, now excepted this new reality, of games on demand?

Let’s see

Microsoft Game Pass if Microsoft’s recent report is anything to go by then it’s a resounding yes. For Microsoft currently have 23 million subscribers, of course, this isn’t broken down to show the numbers of players on the Games Pass Ultimate, basic Game Pass packages, people that have been moved across from the EA Play service ( a service that has now been bundles in with the Game Pass Ultimate service) or even subscribers trying out the first month for a pound deal but with numbers like these it’s save to say that Microsoft’s Game Pass will be something that will help form Microsoft’s X Box strategy going forward and coupled with the fact’s that Games with Gold is included with the Game Pass service and the EA Play subscription service has been bundled into the price of the Game Pass Ultimate tier and any games created by any Microsoft studio (there are a lot of them) will now be added to the subscription service on the date of their release it would look like the Game Pass service is here to stay.

PlayStation Now

PlayStation is in a different position to Microsoft. Where Microsoft seems to be doing everything it can to add new subscribers to it’s service, PlayStation Now still seems to something of an after-thought from Sony, since despite buying the cloud technology from Gaikai Cloud in 2012. Many things are still missing from the service, firstly PS Now is not available in many countries, yes Sony does update the available list from time to time but that number is still too low and the role out is still too slow. We could say that the lack of availability maybe some reason behind PS Now’s subscription numbers of 2.2 million and I am sure it is, but it isn’t the only reason. Simply put the PS Now service feels miles behind Game Pass, and while that could be because Sony just does not have the same resources to put behind the service as Microsoft, and with AAA games costing anything up to 300 million to produce it would be hard to argue that Sony should give its first party games away for ”free” to its PS Now subscribers but, even if you forgive the lack of new games you could also argue the fact that Sony will add only 3 or 4 games to it’s subscription service in a month, and that many of these will have already been added to the PS + service in prior months and you are left asking why Sony do this when Microsoft seem to be adding new games every couple of weeks. Again you could argue that Microsoft have been lucky in being able to add games to the service that haven’t formerly been available on X Box consoles such as the Yakuza series and the Final Fantasy series and if you couple that in with the ability to add EA’s games to the service added into the Games With Ultimate tier without an additional charge and it’s clear that PS Now has some way to go. Still PS Now is a good idea if you are new to the console. There may not be many newer games, but a lot of the games on the service are still very good.

Google Stadia

sometimes, you can be too big for your boots. You can promise the Moon and fall at the first hurdle and that may be what happened to Google Stadia. It didn’t start well, what was promised as an end to the console generation, an end to having to have a top end PC to get the most from the latest games. All we would need was a Google Stadia account and a reasonable internet connection and Google would do the rest. All the hard work would be done by their services, we would only see the results, perfect, beautiful, wonderful results. It didn’t quite go to plan. When Google released it was beset by technical and latency problems, but that wasn’t the only problem, games available on other services for only a few pounds were now going for their original retail price of anywhere up to 59.99 despite some of these games being quite a few years old. Add this to that Stadia offered two tiers of membership the first the standard price of 8.99 a month applies but this does give you access to a rotating monthly selection of games. all your to play for as long as you are a member. There used to be a way to get a console and a controller from Google but at the time of writing only the controller seems to be available. The second is a free version, simply buy the games you want to play. If all this seems too good to be true, and the the fact that you can play on almost any device is very tempting. Remember that of all Google’s potential customers only 2 million people currently have a subscription based on a lot of Googling as Google do not release subscription numbers. Plus it has just been announced that Google have closed their internal studio, Which does not lead well to a future for the service.

Nintendo

Nintendo as always seems to be doing it’s own thing and this generation is no exception. Not content with releasing a console that it’s competitors could not even imagine. It has tried to change the way it sells its older games, simply put, it will sell them to you by not selling them, not in anyway you imagine. The only access we now have to old Nintendo games such as Pilot Wings, F-Zero and Mario Kart is to get a Nintendo online subscription. It helps that this option is the cheapest of the four motioned here but, it is also the strangest way of doing it. You can’t download the games to your console, you can’t pick what you get and Nintendo seem to be really hit and miss with both how many games the service receives and even if it will receive any in a given month. It’s an odd way of doing it but as normal Nintendo seem to know what they are doing with a current estimate of 26 million current subscribers.

Have you tried any of the above? If so let me know πŸ™‚

Watch out boy she’ll chew you up. She’s a MANEATER

Watch out boys she’ll chew you up. She’ a Maneater

I don’t think that Maneater the ” classic” Hall and Oates song from the 1980’s is the inspiration behind this video game but, it’s what I hum every time I glide through the ocean looking for my next set of victims. I can’t help myself. I should, as most players probably do have the Jaws soundtrack playing on a loop but, I find the opening bars of Hall and Oates song, sits better with the game, John Williams calling card from the Jaws movie is too heavy for what this game is all about.

Quite simply your job in Man Eater is a simple one. Your job is too chomp, you could be chomping to evolve, chomping to collect one of the games many collectibles or simply chomping to avoid being chomped yourself. You will eat and you will do a lot of it. Until you become the Man Eater. The games biggest Apex predator.

The story is a simple tale, it all begins with your little sharks very traumatic birth. Your mother is caught by a shark hunter called Scaly Pete (the games protagonist) who simply cuts you clean out of your mothers womb, laughing as he does so. Realising the peril our little shark is in she lashes out onto the nearest thing she can find, which just so happens to be one of Scaly Pete’s arms, in his panic to release little baby you from his arm, he panics, trys to throw you off but by doing so only throws you off his boat, the force of this, throws you of but, you don’t go alone, you take his arm with you. As you fall into the swamp below you, you are faced with a choice eat or be eaten.

Evolve or die. Now you have a choice, you could, if you want to stay tiny, simply swim around the little swamp, hiding from predators and only eating small fish. However the game doesn’t want you to this, it want’s you to grow to eat, to reach your potential and so the game turns from what I thought might be a game about the dangers of over fishing into a little RPG

An RPG light. to try an add some variety into a game all about eating ot being eaten. A little RPG has been sprinkled into our little Shark game. the game is littered with things to collect, with certain fish to eat and certain Apex predators to kill. Each area from Swamp to Sea has a different Apex predator ranging from Alligator to Whale with each only appearing in an area, once you have got past a certain section in the story. Added to this is the human element. If the player destroys enough property or eats another swimmers, a bounty raning from 1-10 will appear, all dependent on your threat level with level one bountys really simple to level 10 bounty hunters who seem to come equipped with a whole lot of friends and all electrified ships all ready to deal as much damage as possible to our Shark. Coupled with a revenge story with Scaly Pete that gets ever more stupid as the game progresses. These bounties and Apex predators would on most other games prose a serious problem but in MANEATER nothing is a problem as long as you follow the old RPG path of being over stocked for every fight. Just in the case of Man Eater you woun’t be stock full of health potions and food and a level even 30 or so above yours is no problem because, you are given such wonderfully silly evolutions. Evolutions that even a shark probably would say looked a bit silly. For example if you complete various quest lines, you are given electric teeth, an electric head or even the ability to go invisible or maybe you want to turn your whole body into bone? No problem, now your are almost indestructible.

A good 7 out 10.

Man Eater is one of those really good 7 out of 10 tens. a game that in days gone by you could rent for the weekend and could see everything there was to see in it. It’s very pretty to look at, the fish look very natural swimming through their environments and the way they dive out of the shark is very true to live, the environments are lovely. From swamp to Ocean. It just doesn’t have much depth. Still we don’t always want to play something deep and meaningful. Sometimes we just to play something trashy, something silly and sometimes we want to be a shark and dive through the water. Eating (almost) everything there is too eat.

P.S I couldn’t eat the sharks or turtles. They look too good.

P.P.S It is a very easy platinum coming in at 12 hours. No need for a guide

Control Ultimate Edition. Everyone needs a second chance

Everyone needs a second chance. Control Ultimate Edition

Looks like I have another confession to make.

The first time I played Control was with a PS4 using the PS Now Subscription over wi-fi. I now know, this was a mistake. It was a mistake because the base PS4 simply doesn’t want to run the game. It doesn’t want to the player to enjoy a smooth, glitch free environment. What the PS4 does want when you try to run Control is a broken experience. An experience full of slowdown and crashes. A game where enemies can simply jump in and out of existence at the will of the console. It was horrible. Plus because I am an idiot, I didn’t download it. I simply played it over wi-fi which, made all the bugs, crashes and everything else wrong with the game so much worse.

But, as they say you can never put a good horse down and with the release of Control Ultimate Edition on the PS5 I decided to give the game another go.

I am so glad I did. It’s simply a different experience. Gone are the long loading screens, the enemies don’t simply pop in and out of existence and it looks incredible. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have jumped at seeing my own reflection in one of the office windows. It looks incredible.

Anyway back to the game. The world in Control feels, alive, feels as if it’s a living breathing…thing. The Oldest House, the setting for Control. Feels almost sentient, it’s as if it is simply letting the Bureau use part of the building until the Oldest House gets bored of them and then turfs them out.

The story is interesting, gives it’s self time to breath and lets the player explore as much or as little of the world as they see fit, even them more is hidden in plain site with extra story content revealed through collectibles that must be read or watched to give you a full picture of what is going on. Spoiler You will want to read these collectibles, they reveal a world that is slowly going crazy, slipping through into another dimension, maybe even another time. It’s incredible a sort of Star Trek story from the 60’s transplanted into our time. It’s a world filled with altered items for instance you will come across a fridge that has been possessed and must be fought, a traffic light that wants nothing more than to become it’s higher purpose for everything to become stop, wait or go.

The combat is similarly interesting another spoiler you can are given an incredible option of ways to fight you can shoot with a gun you find early in the game, although no ordinary gun, this gun is only part in our world you will see it change shape depending on what upgrades you have. It can shoot conventional bullets but can also be upgraded to be a shot gun or either a laser, but why stop with a gun? Some of the powers Jess gets through her run also include the ability to pick up and throw anything from rubbish bins to eventually whole enemies, the ability to control enemies to have them turn to your side, to even being able to create a shield made out of the debris you find around you.

This is simply an excellent, if quite wacky game. Well worth a play πŸ™‚