Mom Hid My Game! Review

Mom Hid My Game! Review [Nintendo Switch] – The Hidden Mother

When it comes to games that have literal titles, Mom Hid My Game! is definitely up there with the rest of them. Much like other indie titles that have launched on the Switch such as Tennis in the Face, it seems to be the trend at the moment. But, when it comes to quantity, there certainly is no shortage of games to try via the eShop which is fantastic to see. 2018 will be huge for Nintendo and hopefully, the support for the smaller games will boost the Switch’s appeal further.

So what is Mom Hid My Game!, from developer Kemco, about? Well, as mentioned, the clue is literally in the title and your aim is to find your fake/unbranded, portable games console after your mother has decided to hide it away from you. Clearly, those psychologists were right in diagnosing gaming addiction as a mental illness as this poor chap can’t put his console down and will do anything to find it again.

Mom Hid My Game!

Although your console-finding antics take place in your bedroom, that doesn’t mean that the lengths the poor old mother goes to hide the thing are boring. Oh no, she gets quite creative when it comes to finding places to plonk the little console. Enlisting the help of animals, sports teams and the general public, she certainly knows how to make life difficult for you. Even when she’s hiding somewhere ready to spring him mid-search too, some of the scenarios and puzzles to find a way to collect the console are quite humorous if a little farfetched (poor kids bedroom doesn’t half get some thoroughfare).

Mom Hid My Game! Review

Altogether there are 50 puzzles to solve that take place over concurrent days, each with their own perks and twists as described above. They’re short, sharp and don’t hang around too long making them ideal time killers when you’ve got a few moments to spare. They can put a smile on your face and cause some frustration/confusion when you fall foul to the hidden mother (hiding as a floor lamp for instance) or get knocked over by a pacey pedestrian blocking your way.

The Problem

The main downfall of the game is in its deliverance; it is a short game, so much so that it will probably be something that is easily forgotten about – lost amongst other games. It is best suited to the mobile platform and you could say that it is a bit basic for a console title, albeit a indie game. But you can’t help but feel that it has some charm to it beyond that its longevity and appeal may be limited. The animations, style and sound effects have an air of cheese to them and clearly, the game doesn’t take itself too seriously or have ideas above its stations.

So whilst it’s nice to see Mom Hid My Game on Switch, is it worth the price of £4.49? Price and value is a very subjective matter and, for me, I wouldn’t say that it would be worth paying out for.

GOTY Picks

D-pad Joy’s Game Of The Year Picks 2017

So 2017 is on its way out and the D-pad Joy team are well and truly in the festive spirit (after consuming several festive spirits as well). But, before we can sign off until the New Year, there is one last order of business to be addressed; submitting our choices for our Game of the Year.

However, to avoid things being thrown and friendships being broken, we have elected to choose 3 of our top games from the past 12 months as opposed to trying to agree on one overall winner. Call it a cop-out if you may, but we think going down that route will do a great disservice to all the fantastic games we’ve had this year. So strap in, grab a beverage or two and see what picks the team have put forward – it’s going to be a good one…

Nathan Franklin

#3 Mass Effect: Andromeda

A solid space exploration RPG/third-person shooter that instilled you with a sense of awe and kept you gripped with its fun, engaging combat system – and that’s not even mentioning its intriguing cast of characters and great dialogue. Andromeda was by no means perfect, but I personally have great memories of this worthy continuation of the Mass Effect franchise which is why I’ll stick it third here.

#2 Resident Evil 7

I’m not sure if this is the most obvious choice of game to put in a top three, but I have a fairly biased reason for having included it here. RE7 was great for me, not just because of its VR-centred graphic presentation and tense, edge-of-your-seat gameplay, but also because of the time I had playing it with certain family members. You really haven’t lived until you’ve seen someone shriek their butt off after encountering an unexpected ambulatory dead person in true horror movie fashion. A prime example of how to make a great VR game.

#1 Sonic Mania

Game of the Year - Sonic Mania

Topping off my list is the return to gaming glory for everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog. Unlike the relatively lacklustre Sonic Forces that came out this year, Mania put the speedy critter back where he belonged – in two-dimensions, with a whole slew of colourful, inventive levels and challenging bosses and special stages. The addictive retro-style simplicity of Mania is what keeps me coming back to it and I can only guess this is the same for many other Sonic fans across the globe. It takes everything that was great about Sonic’s Mega Drive/Genesis adventures and puts it on steroids.

Christopher Wheatley

#3 Persona 5

The Persona series has managed to captivate audiences with mature themes and its addictive ‘high school life’ simulation throughout its twenty-year tenure. Persona 5 was no step backwards, as it lifted the series to even greater heights, tackling even greater social issues, and doing so in a unique and flashy art style. The sheer amount of content throughout its 100+ hour long story brings waves of emotion across the many different characters and subjects portrayed.

#2 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

With the launch of the Switch, Breath of the Wild truly marked a new era for the long-running Nintendo franchise. Exploring a massive sandbox littered with all of the Zelda aesthetics, fans and newcomers alike were able to embark on a journey through the vibrant lands of Hyrule like never before. Sprinkling in a flurry of additional side quests, tons of various melee weapons, bows and armour sets, and the absolute freedom to explore at your heart’s content, The Legend of Zelda series has shown yet another strong entry. A remarkable adventure not to be missed any Nintendo Switch owner.

#1 Horizon Zero Dawn

Game of the Year - Horizon Zero Dawn

The beautifully designed open world of a futuristic vision of an Earth taken back by mother nature, Horizon Zero Dawn provided an experience that delivered on every aspect of gaming. With a healthy dose of side quests, hunting grounds, other activities and collectables to keep the player satisfied well beyond the main quest line, the stories behind the diverse cast of characters, and not to mention the outstanding visuals/animations, puts Horizon Zero Dawn above anything else that released in 2017.

Tanya Petterson

#3 What Remains of Edith Finch

Edith Finch blew me away – it had me hooked from the first moment I stepped into the huge house of the Finches. I wanted to know more about the intriguing and peculiar past of this family. The developers have said that the game is about what it feels like to be humbled and astonished by the vast and unknowable world around us – and I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

#2 Hellblade Senua’s Sacrifice

As perhaps one of the most talked about and controversial games this year, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice definitely deserves a spot on my top 3 list. Inspired by Norse Mythology and Celtic culture, Hellblade takes us into Senua’s world, a warrior who travels through Helheim to find her lover and release him from the goddess Hela. However, this is a metaphor for its more important theme: mental health. With stunning visuals as well as reflective dialogue, I must say that it has been a long time coming since a game was this emotionally challenging to play through. The dedication and passion that went into the development of this concept, as well as seeing and experiencing the fantastic end product – it would be wrong NOT to have Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on my list.

#1 Night in the Woods

Game of the Year - Night in the Woods

It was a difficult task to choose which one of my top three would be the “winner,” because they are all so incredibly good – they all have their own strengths and weaknesses. However, there is one that sticks out; that keeps staying closest to my heart. When I first started playing Night in the Woods, I knew that there was something special about it. I keep finding myself coming back to this game, and its lovable story. The characters are memorable and relatable, and I love how the weird gets mixed into the sweet, the sad, the angry, and the fun. The characters are relatable, lovable, warm and funny. I could keep finding similar adjectives to describe this game for ages. But you get the picture. I love everything – everything – about Night in the Woods.

Tom Buxton

#3 Middle-Earth: Shadow of War

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War had no qualms about tossing supposedly pre-established Tolkien canon out of the window, daring Lord of the Rings devotees to try and reconcile the final events in Talion’s journey – featuring spider deities, the Eye of Sauron at war with himself and a complete retcon of past Nazgul mythology – with the Third Age. Get past those borderline heretical subversions and the wafer-thin core storyline, though, and you’ll find an intricate, immensely challenging RPG which packs dynamic AI thanks to the enhanced Nemesis System, compelling side quests that expand Tolkien’s Middle-Earth lore in bold new ways and by far some of the most satisfying boss battles of the year.

#2 LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2

A confession: after the entertaining but mechanically repetitive LEGO Marvel Superheroes and its comprehensive but convoluted MCU sequel LEGO Marvel’s Avengers, this writer thought TT Games had milked the eponymous comic-book publisher’s multiverse for all its worth. Little wonder, then, that in delivering an inventive non-linear storyline, a rich open-world brimming with geographical variety and fan-servicing detail and a huge roster of characters with unique attributes and animations, LEGO Marvel Superheroes 2 caught me completely off-guard. It’s a completely essential purchase for Marvelites everywhere.

#1 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Game of the Year - Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

How do you follow one of the most critically acclaimed quadrilogies of all-time? Aside from producing perhaps the most critically acclaimed survival horror of all-time in The Last of Us, Naughty Dog’s answer was to shift the limelight from Nathan Drake to two of his best-loved frenemies, an approach which predictably peaked fans’ curiosity from the outset. Between the ambitious open-world second act, dynamic vehicular sequences, its protagonists’ sizzling chemistry and its narrative’s unashamed focus on conducting a personal, provocative character study, this brief but utterly brilliant spin-off adventure easily sets itself apart from Drake’s escapades and, indeed, from the majority of gaming experiences delivered in 2017 to boot.

Jamie Giggs

#3 Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There’s no doubt that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s infinite playground, otherwise known as the land of Hyrule, is an absolute joy to explore. Throughout the finely-tuned experience, curiosity is encouraged and rewarded, and there’s always something more to find in a world positively swimming with ideas. What excites me the most about Breath of the Wild is that Nintendo wasn’t afraid to innovate and try new things with a series 30 years in the making. They didn’t have to, but it paid off, leaving us with one of the freshest titles in years.

#2 Persona 5

Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on the Wii U, an obscure gem with key elements from Shin Megami Tensei, led me to giving Persona 5 a try – my first foray into the beloved Persona series. I’m glad I did, as it very quickly became one of my games of the year. Quite simply, it’s scary how much there is to accomplish in that world. Like living a second life as an angsty teenager all over again, Persona 5, most brilliantly of all, asks the right questions too. Questions like: why are individuals in positions of utter authority – bankers, politicians, even teachers, the people we need to trust the most – so corrupt in modern society? It was motifs like this, aside from the excellent gameplay, that raised this into special territory for me.

#1 Super Mario Odyssey

Game of the Year - Super Mario Odyssey

There are so many positives things to say about Super Mario Odyssey that you couldn’t possibly fit into the limited space I have here, so a brief, effusive list will have to do: the holiday brochure-style maps, those costumes, the assist mode that guides younger, more inexperienced players, the stunning soundtrack full of whimsy and heroism, the satirical humour, the bonus mini-games, Pauline, that particular festival, that particular Kingdom, the better than expected two-player mode where one of you controls Cappy – really fun. I could easily go on… It’s worth buying a Switch for alone and is certainly one of the best Mario games for many, many years. A grand celebration of the plumber and his long-running history and my third and final pick for Game of the Year.

Stephen Carter

#3 The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Unsurprisingly, Zelda appears in my top three for 2017. It’s impossible for it not to appear as this game was the sole reason why I bought my Switch and boy am I glad I did. Admittedly I haven’t played it in a while, but when I do I love every single minute of it. The sights, the sounds and the missions; they’re all there and each is fantastic. The world Nintendo have built is simply superb and has so many different locations, hooks and unique twists that it’s impossible not to fall in love with it. For many, BotW could easily be classed as one of the best, if not the best, Zelda games there has been.

#2 Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

What can you say about Lost Legacy that hasn’t been said about any of the Uncharted games that have come before it? It is quite simply stunning. Considering that it isn’t one of the main titles, more a spin-off, it’s staggering how much attention has been given to it. For a reduced price, it puts many other games to shame when it comes to storytelling, acting, length and entertainment. Given that Drake seems to have been put into retirement, I would be more than happy for Chloe and Nadine to carry the torch from now on. Where they will go next nobody knows, but I think it’s fair to say that their visit to India sets the benchmark for future travels.

#1 Super Mario Odyssey

Game of the Year - Mario in Super Mario Odyssey

Never did I think there would be one Nintendo title in my top games of any year, let alone two. It’s unheard of for me as I am not the biggest Nintendo fan out there and was very sceptical when I first picked up my Switch. Boy was I in for a treat when Mario came to town. For me, this is quite easily his finest hour and it has been a long time since I dedicated all my gaming time to one video game alone – until I rolled the credits on it. From controlling a T-rex, seeing Mario in Speedos and finding out Mario is tiny compared to real humans, it has it all. I can’t resist the call to go back every now and again and witness bits which I may have missed the first time through, but I don’t think I’ll ever find all of those damn moons! Cappy gives Mario a fresh feel and breaks the 2D mould of old – it shows us that Super Mario clearly has a bright and fruitful future on the Switch and beyond. Mario here’s to you and a fantastic 2017!

That’s a wrap! Which were your favourite games of the year? Let us know in the comments below. See you all on the other side in the New Year. Merry Christmas and Happy holidays from your friends at D-pad Joy.

Tennis in the Face Review

Tennis in the Face Review [Nintendo Switch] – A Bit Of Light Relief?

As someone who enjoys sports, there has always been one that is my Achilles heel; tennis. Not that I don’t enjoy watching it or partaking in the yearly Wimbledon hype, I’ve just never been able to play it. So when it comes to any form of tennis games I’ve always avoided them. That is until now. In what appears to be their continuation of service to the Switch, 10tons bring us their latest instalment to the console; Tennis in the Face.

Albeit a very light-hearted take on the tennis world, Tennis in the Face is an entertaining experience which sees you whacking tennis balls at unsuspecting victims. The clue is in the title really… The story goes that Explodz Inc, the manufacturer of an addictive energy drink, has taken over an unnamed city. It is your job, as ex-tennis superstar Pete Pagassi, to save the city from evil clowns, corrupt business folk and hipsters to name but a few. I knew there was something untrustworthy about those hipsters…

Each set of enemies have different quirks and defences; some cannot be attacked head-on, others take more than one hit to knock down. The task is to find the most efficient way of taking all enemies in each level down in the most efficient way, using as few tennis balls as possible. There are environmental hazards and objects which will both help and hinder you along the way.

Tennis in the Face
Tennis in the Face

Blocks of ice will shatter upon impact, opening up new routes, whilst crates of Explodz will explode when hit, knocking all down within blast range. Altogether there are over 100 levels to complete, each having a crown to collect from it when a certain score is surpassed. Collecting crowns grants you access to the next area of the city before your penultimate showdown with the Explodz factory.

The mechanics within the game are nothing new or ground-breaking but prove to be entertaining nonetheless. Your balls only bounce a finite amount of times (oo-er) meaning you have to find the sweet spot where they hit as many targets as possible before disappearing. This is both a fun and annoying challenge in equal measures.

The only nuance that I found here is that the game is better when using the touchscreen controls, which I don’t like. Given this has been on the mobile platforms this makes sense but if you’re gaming on the Switch it would make sense, to me, to opt for the use of sticks and buttons.

When Is A Game Complete?

Determining when a game is complete is the subject of a great debate that will never have a conclusion. The reason being, of course, is that this is a subjective measure and everyone is different and wants different things from their games. Never has this been more pertinent to my gaming experience than now, having completed Super Mario Odyssey.

My Switch has seen a lot of action recently and rightly so as Odyssey is a phenomenal game, rightly earning GOTY contender accolades. Between that and Zelda, there’s no reason not to own a Switch right now. Yet both of these games hold two mechanics which I, personally, don’t feel the need to come back to; collectables. In Odyssey, Moons power your ship which you need to power your craft to rescue Princess Peach.

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900…

In total, there are 999 Moons to collect with you needing around 150-200 to reach the endgame. Beyond that, they don’t have a functional usage when it comes to completing the main storyline. Likewise, with Zelda, the Korok seeds are scattered across the world waiting for you to discover them. The total number of these? 900. For some, this instantly presents a challenge to find them all and truly beat the game. For me, this is just too many on both accounts. I don’t have the time, or often the patience, to find all of these and my sense of satisfaction comes from just playing the game.

Call it contentious, but my definition of complete is once I’ve seen the credits roll. This isn’t to knock the quality of these games either because they’re amazing and this, as someone who isn’t a huge Nintendo fan, is high praise indeed. Having seen the credits on Odyssey my experience with the game is now, to me, complete. I will dip back in overtime to relive some of the classic moments it holds but I won’t pour hours into it to find the remaining 600+ Power Moons.

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So good, but so many.

I wouldn’t want this to harm my experience with the game either. I’ve enjoyed my time in Odyssey and spending more time, trudging through it to collect Moons, would be boring and that’s not how I want to remember it. If I were to do that, if someone asked me how I found the game, my first thought would be about the Moons. This would do it a massive disservice given how many memorable moments it holds.  I know this is a subjective topic and the completionists out there will love nothing more than finding every last secret Odyssey has to find.

But, when all is said and done, Odyssey doesn’t make you find all/most of the Moons to reach the endgame which doesn’t spoil it for those who don’t want to do so. Maybe it’s just me getting older (at the ripe old age of 26) wanting more from games beyond a metric to tell me when I’ve completed something. Completion is only something I can determine when I get there and I’m happy with that.

I’m comfortable in the knowledge that I won’t see everything in the games I play, which is probably why I rent most of them these days. But having paid full price for Mario, all Moons gathered or not, I’m happy I played it and feel that my money was well spent on the story alone.

Spellspire Review [Nintendo Switch] – A Side-Scrolling Adventure Countdown

It’s nice to play a game that makes you think and keeps you on your toes. Too many games these days can be picked up and played with little thought or attention. Be it a shared concept or control scheme, games can be too familiar sometimes. The best way to beat this? Splice two different genres together.

In steps Spellspire does exactly that; a side-scrolling adventure game that brings the best bits from Countdown with it. Thankfully the maths is nowhere to be seen… Phew.

You play as a young wizard who has to travel to the top of a spire and, you can probably see where this is going, you need to create words in order to power your attacks. The bigger the word, the more powerful the attack (No rudies though, not that I tried or anything).

It sounds simple and that’s because it is, and its charm is in this simplicity. As you progress, more enemies stand in your way who get more health and more powerful the further you progress. Thankfully, upon their defeat, they drop coins and leave behind a stash of loot which can be used to power-up your little wizard. Be it a new wand, a robe upgrade or increased health, your gathered loot will enable you to continue scaling the tower.

No naughty words please.

In what seems to be a recurring theme in games from 10tons, your best hope for progression is to revisit previously beaten floors. A higher difficulty setting brings a greater reward upon your second attempt at clearing each floor. The controls are equally as simplistic as the gameplay; you move to the desired letter with the arrow keys and then press the ‘A’ button to select it. Once you’ve built your word you submit it, and that’s about it.

Albeit simple, this can be a bit clunky and the touchscreen option is the best one for the majority of the time. Even playing with the Joy-Cons detached and holding just the screen on its own like a tablet suits the game perfectly.

So, with that in mind, Spellspire is probably best suited to the mobile market as opposed to the console market. Yes, the Switch is portable, but here it feels like the Switch’s capabilities are somewhat lost, maybe wasted.

Having said that though, Spellspire is the epitome of a pick up and play game, meaning you can dip in anytime and carry on where you left off.

Time Recoil Review [Nintendo Switch] – After The Battle Comes Quiet

When it comes to the time travel genre, why is it that the inventors always focus on world domination or wreaking havoc? They never put their inventions to good use or help solve world problems. If they didn’t, however, we wouldn’t find ourselves here in the presence of Time Recoil; a twin-stick, top-down shooter on the Switch.

If this sounds familiar then it’s no surprise as Time Recoil is brought to us by the folks at 10tons; the brains behind JYDGE and Neon Chrome. The indie scene is thriving on Switch at the moment and 10tons seem keen to capitalise on this. The big question is, though, does this deserve a place in your Switch lineup?

Short answer is maybe, and the long answer is it all depends on how accepting you are of the games shortcomings. For all it offers, Time Recoil could be so much more and follow through with its premise of time travel. It shows its hand early, reels you in with a promising story but it all drops off far too quickly.

TR Image 1.jpg

You’re a rescued scientist who has been exposed to time travel experimentation with few side effects. You worked with the now dictator, Mr Time, in the past and have been brought forward into time to prevent him taking over Europe. The problem now being that his whereabouts are unknown, resulting in you flitting between 70’s and 80’s to track him down and put an end to his reign of terror. This suddenly gets a little convoluted, with the missions being a sequence of fetch quests.

The saving grace of these being the challenge behind reaching your objectives and utilising your time manipulation powers. A consequence of time travel here is that you can’t travel laden with equipment, restricting you to a pistol at the start of each mission with limited ammunition. This pushes you to be both creative and accurate with your shots in order to not waste ammo and build up your powers. Each kill slows down time, and every consecutive kill grants you an ability such as a powerful dash or to cause an explosive rift. Eight consecutive kills will grant you a short bonus of stopping time, with bullets hanging until time resumes and hitting their targets once it has done so.

The problem is, however, being accurate is easier said than done as the sensitivity of the sticks is so high. You often find shots miss their target or that or they embed themselves into a civilian whom you are meant to be rescuing. With relatively few checkpoints, this can easily see you tearing out your hair following numerous deaths. The key to success is through repeated attempts, remembering enemy patterns and placements and remaining relatively unseen. The element of surprise and firing first is of great benefit here.

TR Image 2.jpg

Time Recoil does look rather nice in both docked and undocked modes with relatively few performance issues in either. It has a charming soundtrack and appearance that is reminiscent of the time periods which you hop between as part of your task. I’d say the same about Time Recoil that I would about JYDGE, however; at a price of £11.99, it’s hard to recommend given that it’s likely to have a short life on your Switch. That’s not because it’s not a good game, it is, but you’ll likely rage quit whilst playing it and mean to come back to it but never do. There are so many other titles out there jostling for your attention that it’s inevitable that this could happen.

JYDGE Review [Nintendo Switch] – Your Gavel Is Your Firearm

Things seem to be getting quite busy in the world of the Switch with big games aplenty heading its way and the eShop also becoming more heavily populated. It’s quite nice to see and, for small games like JYDGE, the Switch is a perfect playground to find its feet and gather a steady following.

Robotic Terminator-Style Bots

10tons are the creative minds behind JYDGE and previous games such as Neon Chrome, another top-down shooter. This, one of their first forays into the world of Switch, comes off the back of many outings via Steam and other outlets. So, what’s the situation?

JYDGE is a top-down shooter set in fictional city Edenbyrg and you control one of many JYDGEs which are part of the wider JYDGE initiative. These robotic terminator-style bots patrol the city fighting crime, causing carnage amongst the local criminal organisations. The key hook here being replayability and the ability to tailor the game to your favoured play style.

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Justice is here!

As any self-respected judge will know, you need to have your own trusty gavel with which to exact your justice. JYDGE delivers here as your Gavel is your firearm which is fully customisable, suiting any situation or favoured approach. Upgrades and modifications are unlocked periodically as you progress granting you different perks such as increased fire rate, increased range or indeed a civilian-friendly no damage function. These can also be purchased using the money obtained from looting deceased enemies and confiscating their loot crates.

Exacting Judgement

Each level you play has four difficulty settings with the second being unlocked when you complete the first, this being the Hardcore version. The third being Grim mode and the final being Nightmare mode which is only available once you complete all of the missions once over. All of them have medals to obtain based on your performance and certain unlock criteria, and each is increasingly difficult. These hold the key to progression as each concurrent level requires a certain number to be achieved before you are granted access.

This certainly increases the game’s replay value but only because you are being forced to go back in order to progress. That being said, I do like going back to previous levels once I have spent money on upgrading my JYDGE to show those old crims a thing or two; exacting judgement on them once again.

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Upgrades and modifications are unlocked periodically as you progress.

Sneaky Perks

Whilst JYDGE appears simplistic in its appearance and playstyle it can actually be quite tactical should you favour that approach. The run and gun approach can see you turned into a series of giblets all too quickly especially when your stray fire decapitates an innocent civilian waiting to be rescued. Instead, you can equip some sneaky perks (cyberware) such as invisibility whilst standing still and also decreased detection whilst standing in the shadows. The co-op mode also allows you to tackle Edenbyrg’s crime problem as a dynamic duo should you have someone to share Joy-Con duties with.

All-in-all I found JYDGE quite entertaining if a little short-lived. In the space of an evening’s worth of play, I had progressed to the penultimate string of levels with relative ease and little difficulty. It looks rather nice in handheld mode (my only method of play for this review) and my only frustrations were down to my own stupidity when I mistimed a shot or blew myself up. Its art style is also rather appealing with a futuristic neon inspired backdrop your playground for destruction.

My closing thoughts would be surrounding the cost of JYDGE which is £12.99. Is it worth it? I’m not quite sure as it’s the sort of game which you’ll pick up and play for a few days, then potentially abandon. The grind element will put a few people off as they won’t expect this from a top-down shooter, which is a shame as this is JYDGE’s main hook. And, if you were wondering, it is pronounced ‘judge’ the conventional way, albeit spelt incorrectly. You know, because why not…

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on Switch – Why?

The more I see on this, the less I understand it. It’s like a complex algebra equation, it all seems a little unnecessary and pointless. I loved Skyrim and I love my Switch, but do the two need to be united? Absolutely not. The two are separate entities and can live in complete isolation from one another.

You see, my Switch doesn’t need Skyrim nor does Skyrim need my Switch. Skyrim has had its time, even more so with the recent remake outing, and I loved every single minute of it. But Skyrim fatigue is well and truly in effect; I’ve played enough Skyrim to know I’ve had my fill. There’s nobody out there that hasn’t at least dabbled with it in some variety surely?

The few die-hard Nintendo-only fans out there must (even) have very little interest in this as well. There’s a reason why they buy Nintendo consoles; for their unique experiences. Nintendo offers something different, they don’t conform to the other console cycles or trends. They do their own thing and that’s what Nintendo needs, not to open up the gates to two generation old titles.

Now I’m sure Skyrim will run absolutely fine on Switch and seeing it on a portable platform would be amazing. Sure. But do I need that to justify my purchase by showing how powerful the Switch actually is? I think we all know the answer here. Whichever way I look at it, I just cannot fathom it.

It’s the fact that Nintendo has done the above, by sticking to their guns, that makes them who they are. For better or worse, their loyal fan base will stand by them throughout this as well – I think they’re taking a step away from what they do best though. What I’m saying is: more like Odyssey, less like Skyrim.

It’s not costing them anything to develop Skyrim on their latest console, granted, but surely Bethesda have something better to do with their time as well? You know, like milking us for a re-release of a complete edition of Fallout 4 on PS4/XB1, and not bringing it to the Switch.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy Review [PS4]

Let’s address the elephant in the room shall we; Uncharted: The Lost Legacy doesn’t suck, and yes, Naughty Dog has found a way to make Uncharted work without Nathan Drake. By rights, I could leave the review there. On that basis, you’ll either be sold and rush out to buy it, or refuse to believe that life can go on without Drake.

If you fall into the latter camp, it would be a real shame if you missed out on this, as it is another spectacle and one that needs to be seen to be believed. Is it the best yet? Not quite, but it nestles in perfectly with the rest of its brethren.

If It Ain’t Broke…

If you didn’t have your glasses on or your contact lenses in and played The Lost Legacy, you could be forgiven for thinking that you were playing as Drake. This is both its shining success and also its main drawback; it doesn’t deliver anything new but what it does is just perfect. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it certainly comes into play here, but if you were being overly critical you could say it would be nice to see some new touches here.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

The Lost Legacy sees Chloe Frazer and Nadine Ross join forces in India to recover the long-lost tusk of Ganesh. The problem being that India is in the midst of civil war and, needless to say, the tusk is already being sought by the leader of the revolt Asav. He isn’t too happy with your attempts to beat him to the punch and his goons are all too happy to see you fail in your efforts. You begin your adventure by trying to evade detection by sneaking through alleys in the war-torn parts of town, shortly before things take a turn for the worst.

Once you’ve broken free of the shanties and backstreets, you open up a jaw-dropping open segment in which you can go about your exploring business as you like. I don’t have a PS4 Pro or a 4K TV for that matter, but even in standard HD you can’t help but think there’s life left in the ol’ PS4 yet. As is the trend these days, there’s a photo mode, which you’ll be using. A lot. The vistas really are something else.

More Of The Same

As previously mentioned, The Lost Legacy is more of the same when it comes to the fundamentals. You run, jump, swing, climb and crawl through the world with some devilish puzzles thrown in for good measure. It’s more of the same for sure, but when the same is this good, is that really a bad thing? The controls are tight, the shooting is accurate and satisfying whilst the script and storytelling are on point as ever. It might surprise many but Chloe and Nadine really do make a great duo, their connection and wit shining through as they bounce off one another throughout.

Uncharted: The Lost Legacy

Intended to be DLC initially, The Lost Legacy doesn’t overstay its welcome and lasts around the 10-hour mark. Considering that most full-price games last around this time, a lower price point makes this title an absolute steal. It’s also a promising glimpse into the future for the series that, should Naughty Dog keep it alive, life without Drake is good and it can go on.

What The Future Holds

There’s more than just the main string of quests and storyline for your delectation too with hidden treasures and paths to discover (not to mention a hidden area filled with monkeys) then there’s the multiplayer too. You’re granted access to the same modes which were available in Uncharted 4 including a horde-style survival mode which provides you with a great variety of thrills and spills.

Whether or not it gets considered for Game of the Year is yet to be seen, but it should be – it will certainly be one of my favourite titles of 2017. Considering the year we’re having too, that’s no small feat. It’s fantastic to see that Uncharted may have a future, without Drake, and long may it continue, maybe with a full-blown sequel eventually. In the meantime though, Lost Legacy is a must-play and is a perfect stop-gap to tide us over until we know what the future holds.

Piczle Lines DX Review (Nintendo Switch)

Without the practice of science, man would never have made it out of his beloved cave. We would still be bashing each other with clubs and starting fires (that’s how I imagine the cavemen behaved anyway).

But if there’s one thing for certain, it is that the world would be a much safer, and boring one, without mad scientists. You could say that all scientists were a little mad, but it’s the ones that conduct their experiments willy-nilly with little regard for their or others’ safety that categorise them as truly mad.

With that in mind, this is the reason why we find ourselves here; science has created a rather charming and unique puzzle title. At least, that is the story behind Piczle Lines DX, after a scientist creates a camera which pixelates items which it takes images of. The result? His world is pixelated and needs restoring by joining the pixels back up to make an image of his lost items before they are transformed back again.

Unicycle Puzzle.jpg

A quick tutorial lays out the land for how the game works; each square has a colour and a number. Each referring to how many squares away its counterpart is of the same colour. Once matched together, the pixels make a complete picture which then restores the item back to the real world.

Of course, the early stages take place on a much smaller grid to get you familiar with the formula. Even then, some of the earlier stages can catch you unaware, making you backtrack and question your matches. I found that the best technique to employ is to try and find the easier pairings, such as the 2’s and 3’s, and also the outer edges. This way you can be certain these don’t need amending later on.

Piczle Lines makes use of the Switch’s dual functionality by allowing you to play in two different ways. Whilst docked, you can play with the Joy-Cons to navigate and select your pixel to manipulate. However whilst in tablet mode you can also play using the touchscreen which I found to be the most appealing and easiest method.

Professor Complete ENG

The game screams to me as a mobile game that is best suited to the Switch’s portable function and is great to play on the go or if you have a spare 10-15 minutes that needs filling. There are 100 levels in story mode to complete, with a further 200+ in puzzle mode to keep you going. Periodic updates will supply you with new levels free of charge should you exhaust the existing catalogue.

It’s a saving grace really that there are more levels to come as at £13.99 it seems a little steep to me. It’s fantastic to see that new games are coming to the Switch, tapping into its potential mobile market, but I feel that this may just be out of most people’s price range. If you fancy something new, however, and want to support what could be a flourishing indie scene on Switch, then Piczle Lines DX does come recommended.

Past Blast: Red Faction Armageddon

This week I have decided to take a look back in anger at a game that split many gamers 50/50; Red Faction Armageddon.

But first, some admissions on my part; I have played this game before. Put bluntly, I disliked it. I never finished it and didn’t think twice before I got rid of it. Why then did I find myself picking this up on the cheap when the opportunity came along? Was it guilt? Curiosity maybe? No, it’s neither of these.

For the third time in my life, I’ll admit that I was wrong. Yes, that is a man admitting he was wrong. As much as it pains me to type these words, I think I may have drawn a conclusion too quickly about Red Faction. Having had the displeasure of playing some really poor titles this past year it has brought some perspective into my life.

I now find myself playing this again and I must say I’m enjoying it much more than I did before. Now I’m not going to start blowing the sunshine up its rear end, but there are things that the game must be commended for.

By the same token, there are things that the game does badly. Very badly at times, but there’s nothing that will kill the game entirely.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Armageddon was released on the back of huge success after Guerilla proved to be a bigger hit than expected. Offering an open world setting with un-rivalled destruction, the game won over the hearts of sandbox gamers. Sadly, this is where Armageddon falls down as it turns its back on the open world and shoves gamers deep underground.

Despite this though, there are still enjoyable destruction sections whereby buildings must be felled in order to progress and if you enjoyed it so much, you can even rebuild the bugger and bring it down all over again.

The story behind Armageddon is that you, Mason, have brought havoc on Mars by uncovering an ancient alien race which is intent on destroying all human life on the Red planet. Obviously, you want to make amends for this so you travel underground in order to bring back peace to the population despite them turning against you one-by-one.

From this perspective, the game sounds fine and dandy but sadly it’s not all plain sailing. One thing that the game does poorly is its script. The dialogue within the title is simply appalling at times. It is on two accounts; firstly it is so cheesy that it seems like it has been pulled out of an 80’s movie. Secondly, the local AI that travels with you makes remarks out loud which make you want to hit it at times or turn it off.

If you dare stray off the path you have to go down for more than ten seconds, it will shout at you to get back on track. It will do so repeatedly until you eventually oblige, which could be up to five minutes depending on how much exploration you like to do.

I say exploration in the loosest form possible though. This is a corridor-shooter, as opposed to offering you an open world to traverse. This would not be such a bad thing were the game well-known for this but it isn’t. The last title was an open world adventure that was at least a little dynamic compared to this ‘go there, do this right now in this manner’ affair we have here.

The game also seems to go through phases of being far too easy compared with sections of becoming suddenly harder as hundreds of enemy’s surround you whilst your bullets don’t seem to do much more than tickle them until they die of laughter.

After all that you’re probably thinking that it won’t be the game for you but hear me out. Red Faction Armageddon will get you through a “dry spell” so to speak. It will be faithful to you, just don’t expect blockbuster action or scripting as it falls short of the mark on this front.

Is ‘Leaking’ In The Games Industry A Real Problem?

We hear about this all the time; developing company A has had some of its under-wraps footage leaked by irresponsible staff member B. Most likely, this staff member will be the intern, but either way, it’s still a common feature in today’s news. My issue here though is this: is this actually a problem where members of staff can’t be trusted, or are companies aware of the publicity they’ll receive as a result?

The material often contains several screenshots, which usually get left online, along with short trailers that detail certain aspects of the game. Be it multiplayer, or highlighting some of the single player campaign, the videos are usually pretty juicy and get that little bit more hype circulating around the game.

So knowing that hype will be created as a result, are some developers playing us for fools and playing innocent? Well, in some respects you would say definitely yes, as, given the fact that some material stays online, this suggests that they are not top-secret. A strong PR campaign can make the difference between being the top spot in the charts, or being pipped to the post by your closest rival. When people are already excited about your game, thanks to E3 and other expos, then how else to make them more excited than ‘leaking’ a video that is meant to be withheld?

Mario Xcom
Remember this leak?

Unquestionably, these trailers and screens will keep the forumites busy which in turn, for the vast majority, will result in sales due to the expectation put on the game. You see, the positives stack up when you think about this logically and you can see why companies would do such a thing. There never seems to be any fallout from any of these incidents whereby staff have been laid off or any of their staff have spoken out against the developer. More food for thought.

On the other hand, though, could game developers just be on the receiving end of poor personal discipline in their PR department? Well, maybe, considering the hasty withdrawals of some of the leaked content, I mean if it was purposely done then you’d leave it out there longer wouldn’t you?

Whilst the accidentally-on-purpose leaking of this information might help a company in terms of sales, it can also have a negative effect on their chances too. Rival companies can see the latest additions and changes that have been made to the game and therefore do their best to replicate or exceed them in their own game. It’s unlikely when the game is at a late stage in development, yes, but if it was possible then a rival company wouldn’t discount the opportunity.

Whatever the end scenario is, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever know how material crops up on the internet. Be it a clever marketing ploy or a genuine fumble of accounts, (or a bit of both), one thing’s for sure: 90% of the time, this will create a positive buzz about the game in development.