Perception - Xbox One

See the source image Perception is an adventure/horror game in which you play as a blind woman... If that doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what the heck will!

Let's go through a quick checklist before we begin the review:

Large creepy vacant house? - Check Doors opening and closing by themselves? - Check Creepy Ghost children? - Check Wait, what's this, an engaging and well written story? - Check

Before I continue, I want to let you know I'm going to leave out a lot of details regarding the story. I truly think that covering gameplay will get you interested enough to give this game a shot, so I don't want to spoil anything for you.

Right off the bat, this game gets me with two things. 1: It says it's based on a true story (whether that's true or not I will let you decide) and 2: you start in Logan Airport, which is in my home state, so extra brownie points for them!

The setup of the story is that you play Cassie, a blind girl, who has been having dreams of this strange house that she has set out to find. You make your way through Logan airport, very briefly, you then find yourself on the walkway leading up to “the house” which is located in Gloucester.

So, you are probably reading this and saying to yourself, “Ok, you play as a blind girl and this guy hasn't mentioned how that is possible!” or maybe you are not thinking that and I'm just projecting.

Cassie uses her walking cane to assist in echolocation. By tapping your cane, Cassie is able to “see” her surroundings based on said echolocation. Be warned though, using your cane too much in the house can attract unwanted attention…  THE HOUSE IS ALIVE!!!! Or is it?

I'm a big fan of this mechanic. Playing a horror game in which your experience is mostly a dark or a pitch black screen is incredibly tense. Knowing that every time you need to “see” your environment could also attract something terrifying is an element I don't think I have experienced in game in quite some time.

Perception does a great job in sound design as well. Your environment will often provide you with vision, whether it be a heater running, a scary record player that suddenly turns on, or even the wind will give you a cool pathway while outside of the house. You will also see how much, or how little, attention you can attract by interacting with many household objects by means of your cane. Be sure to locate rugs so you can “see” without creating too much noise. Your cane can also echolocate off of hardwood floors, steel objects (like heaters, fireplaces, doors, etc.), and even just the air itself. Each one of those creates a unique sound and vision.

At one point I was playing the game and thought, “This isn't too scary,” just to have a jump scare right around the corner. It's very subtle and would often catch me off guard, which is great! Once I came across my first object I could “hide” in, I knew I was in for more scares in the future.

The game is pretty linear, but I never felt that I was “on rails” while playing the game. You can pretty much explore to your heart’s content, but there is always an option to hold on a button to see where you should be headed. One of the cool things the game has to offer is right at the very beginning when you start your game, it gives you two options (pictured). You can have your main character, Cassie, be more or less “chatty”. Basically talking to herself to give you clues or to just hear her inner dialogue. I obviously chose the chattier version so I could enjoy the story, but I imagine the less chatty version is basically “hard mode” (I could be wrong).

The game plays out in acts, with each one ending at the conclusion of a story, so to speak. Like I said earlier, I don't want to spoil anything. The character development is fantastic, and you really start to get into the character as you play. I felt very connected to Cassie, and often felt empathy toward how she must have to live her life. She is supported by a small cast of friends via her cell phone. I should mention this as well because her phone has a program called “Delphi." This is what you use to “read” notes and documents you find while exploring the house. I will say this game really reminded me of Resident Evil (the good ones) in its exploration and puzzle solving.

Overall, Perception is a must play! Fantastic gameplay, a unique story and play style, engaging character and story development, and not to mention it's pretty gosh darn terrifying!

Let me know in the comments what you thought of this game.


Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas Review (Switch)

See the source image OK, I know what you are thinking...didn't they already review this game? And the answer is yes, but not on the Nintendo Switch. We wanted to take some time and test out this title again on Nintendo's hardware. Kyle reviewed this one originally, and now it's time to get my take on it. I did not read Kyle's review again before reviewing this myself, so lets see how close we both felt on Oceanhorn.

Keeping in mind originally this was a mobile title, this is insane to imagine paying this on a phone. So if you had and skipped out on any console version, I think you should go back, this doesn't feel like a mobile game at all to me. The developers definitely spent some extra time putting on the polish before porting it over. But i'm getting a little ahead of myself.

Let's start with the story first, here is the official description from the developers:

"Grow from a boy to a legend.

You wake up and find a letter from your father. He is gone...

The only lead is his old notebook and a mysterious necklace. What happened?

Explore the islands of Uncharted Seas, a world filled with many dangers, puzzles and secrets. Fight monsters, learn to use magic and discover ancient treasures which will help you on your quest. Use all your wits and skill to unravel the mysteries of the ancient kingdom Arcadia and sea monster Oceanhorn.

Oceanhorn combines captivating storytelling, breathtaking 3D visuals and exciting gameplay into one massive action adventure experience you will never forget.

Enjoy an incredible soundtrack from the best video game composers in the world: Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy) and Kenji Ito (Seiken Densetsu)."

Alright so let's see, silent protagonist? check. Sword and a shield? check. Sailing from island to island? check. Affinity to throwing pots and jars? check....wait a minute this sounds very familiar....but you know what? I'm ok with it. While some make say it's a knockoff or an imitation, I don't. You can be inspired by other aspects in other games but still provide enough legs and heart to make it your own. Oceanhorn does just that.

The game plays out across a series of islands that play out more like a unique dungeon experience each time. There are a variety of different puzzles on each of them that will require some back and forth for sure as you get new items and unlock new skills. To get from island to island you hop in your ship and can shoot some enemies and barrels and such to get more XP and gems. I jokingly said it has better naval combat than Black Flag on twitter...while it may not be better...I had more fun with it lol. Each island allows for a little bit of exploration to find some hidden areas and chests but for the most part you are clearly guided in a direction on each island of where to go, now whether or not you can complete the island with what you have currently is a different story. As you progress through the game you unlock other weapons, items and spells to help you along the way. The button placement for me took a little getting used to, I would find myself throwing bombs alot when I meant to attack with my sword. But overall not a big deal to work with!

The puzzles are definitely a big focus in this game. While at the beginning hours they are relatively simple and just require some back and forth they do get a little more difficult towards the latter half. I am not entirely sure if they are really harder or more just obscure to figure out/find. Boss battles were pretty easy as is most of the combat in the game, while not really challenging it made for a fun and lighthearted experience. The game overall takes around I'd say 8-10 hours depending on how much exploration or how many side quests you go after.

Graphics are cartoony but well done. While there is lack of facial animation and such, for a downloadable indie title, I think it's very good. There are clearly different environments on different islands and doesn't get too repetitive with the visuals except in caves sometimes. Most of my gameplay was done in handheld mode and I can say it was flawless. I did not have any "chugging" or lag or frame rate drops at all. Which I applaud the developers for taking the time to really make this the best experience they could. Playing it docked on the big screen does show a little more how some of the animation is a little rough, but overall nothing to be concerned about.

The music in this game is a major highlight. They had some really talented folks working on it and it shows. At certain points its whimsical and light and other points dark and epic which fits the tone of the game very well. Definitely stands out as a great soundtrack in recent memory for myself within games.

All in all I think this is a great summer time pick up for some fun. Plus at it's $15 price point, you really can't go wrong! So if you are down for some exploration and some high seas action, I recommend giving Oceanhorn a whirl! With the sequel already in the works, grab this one today!

Oceanhorn was reviewed using a Switch code provided by the publisher. You can read additional information about PSVG’s  review policy on our disclaimer page here.

Review: ARMS for Nintendo Switch

See the source image It’s the third round of a tight match-up in ARMS. My Ribbon Girl’s life meter is dwindling away, dropping close to the 25-percent mark after my opponent — a particularly adept Kid Cobra — catches me with a throw.

Ribbon Girl shakes it off and charges up her ARMS. She’s rocking two standard boxing gloves right now, one with the ice power and one with electricity. Jump. Air-dodge. Jump again. Let the electric glove fly, and it connects! She throws a paralyzed Kid Cobra to the ground, and now both competitors’ special meters are filled.

ARMS, the newest IP from Nintendo, has caught me by surprise. To be honest, it’s got a lot of things going against it: I’m not good at fighting games; the art style initially comes off as too “kid” for me; single-player mode is scant, and the overall menu seems a little barren on the surface. But I tried the test punch out, and from the first fight I was hooked.

The controls for ARMS are delightfully simple. While this could be a detriment to a fighting game, it works tremendously well in this setting. You can play the game however you want to: Motion controls; Joy Con Controller; sideways Joy Con; Pro Controller; and handheld. I’ve tried each way except the sideways Joy Con, and success can be found in any configuration.

Whether pushing buttons or flailing your own arms, the controls are intuitive. One button throws each ARM out, while pushing both at the same time tosses both out for a grapple maneuver. Push the stick in to block; one button for jump, and another for dash. There are no preset combos. The variety steps in when you use each different character and start to experiment with the different ARMS.

Currently, speed is a clear advantage in the game. The characters I’m best with, and worst against, are the fastest. We’re talking Ninjara, Kid Cobra, Min Min and Ribbon Girl. But the larger characters, like Mechanica and Master Mummy, have their own strengths and are hard to defeat against a skilled competitor.

Each character has special traits. Twintelle can float in the air and slow down time around her; Spring Man’s ARMS stay charged when he has low health; Helix can stretch really tall or dodge punches by squishing himself down to the ground.

Throughout your play you will unlock each of the game’s 30 ARMS for each character through a target-punching mini game that you play after earning a certain number of coins. Initially, I disliked this way of unlocking the ARMS and thought it rather slow. However, once I waited to cash in my coins until I could play longer, unlocking the ARMS became more satisfying.

This is where the real strategy of the game comes in. Each ARM has different properties and abilities. Heavy ARMS can push lighter ones out of the way; electric charges can paralyze your opponent; fire abilities burn and cause additional damage, and so-forth. I love experimenting with different combinations to give each of my characters a different flavor as I try to take out my opponents.

ARMS’ single-player component is mostly found in the Grand Prix. This is a straight-up ladder system, where you pick a character and run through the other nine characters to get to a final boss — Max Brass, who will be released as a free DLC playable character in July. Difficulty ranges from 1 to 7, with 1-3 serving as a decent intro. The game really ramps up at difficulty 4 and makes the player approach fights with an actual plan.

The game also lets you go through the Grand Prix with a partner, which is an enjoyable way to bring a less experienced player into the fold. ARMS lets you save your progress in the mode, so you don’t have to take on all 10 fights in one session, and it also has separate saves for the single- and two-player modes.

There’s also a local versus mode, which you can play with 1-4 people. You can play one-on-one; a triple threat match; a Fatal Four-Way (sorry...wrestling terminology); a 2-on-2 match (that is hampered by being attached to your teammate); volleyball; basketball and a skillshot challenge. There’s also a 1-vs-100 mode where you take out 10 waves of opponents, culminating in a fight against the very difficult Hedlock.

Online, you can play in Party Mode, which is a casual lobby that tosses you up against opponents in any of the game’s versus modes. This is a great way to learn new characters.

There’s also the Ranked fighting mode, which consists solely of 1-on-1 fights with now power ups or bombs. Players can access this mode only after beating Grand Prix on level 4, so you know your opponents are at least decent at the game. There are certain characters that seem to come out on top a lot — Kid Cobra is my personal Kryptonite — and throws can be spammed to great success by a skilled opponent. But there’s always a counter, if you’re good enough to take advantage.

Finally, you can also set up a room for private play with your online friends.

ARMS has a surprising amount of replayability. I’m currently working my way through Grand Prix with each character, while also playing Ranked Matches. Online has worked very well so far, with it taking only 10 seconds or less to find a match in Ranked Online.

Speaking of that…

Ribbon Girl and Kid Cobra are now up on their feet, both with their special meters filled. Neither wants to make the first move. Cobra charges his ARMS and starts to dart around quickly. Ribbon Girl says patient and dodges a throw attempt.

Kid Cobra hits his special attack and starts flailing away! Ribbon girl jumps into the air, and jumps three more times to the side while Cobra is worn down. She hits the special, and unloads on Kid Cobra with a flurry of punches! KO!

My ARMS experience is filled with moments like this; with tense fights coming down to the wire in both single-player and online modes. The excitement provokes that “just one more” match feeling, and before I know it, I’ve played 10 more matches.

If you’ve got a Switch, you owe it to yourself to play ARMS.


Nintendo Switch firmware update 3.0

Nintendo has released the details on the newest update coming to that Nintendo Switch of yours and it appears to be a big one. 3DS and Wii U friends are coming as well as being able to use the pro-controller while it's wired in via USB, which should be a huge hit for competitive fans.

  • Register a channel to receive News for specific games
    • To register, head to News > Find Channels
  • Add friends from your Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Friend Lists
    • To add friends, head to your My Page on the top left of the Home Menu > Friend Suggestions
  • Receive notifications when your Friends go online
    • To turn this ON/OFF, head to System Settings > Notifications > Friend Notifications
  • Find paired controllers within communication range by activating the vibration feature
    • To search, head to Controllers > Find Controllers
  • Change the user icon order on the Home Menu
    • To change order, head to System Settings > Users > Change Order
  • Select from 6 new Splatoon 2 characters for user icon
    • To edit your user icon, head to your My Page on the top left of the Home Menu > Profile
  • Change the system volume from the Quick Settings
    • To access Quick Settings, hold down the HOME Button
  • Lower the maximum volume for headphone or speakers connected to the audio jack
    • To lower the max headphone volume, head to System Settings > System > Lower Max Headphone Volume * This settings will be ON when Parental Controls are enabled
  • Change display colors to Invert Colors or Grayscale
    • To use this feature, head to System Settings > System > Change Display Colors
  • Connect a USB keyboard to the dock to type whenever the keyboard is on the screen
  • Use the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller via wired communication by connecting the USB charging cable
    • To enable, head to System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Pro Controller Wired Communication * The NFC touchpoint on the Pro Controller will be disabled while the controller is using wired communication.
  • Update connected controllers
    • To update, head to System Settings > Controllers and Sensors > Update Controllers
    • Added a feature that suggests deletion of software data when insufficient space when downloading other software * User save data is not deleted

General system stability improvements to enhance the user’s experience, including:

  • Resolved an issue that caused game software updates to fail and prevented the software from starting
  • Improvements to prevent unintended HDMI input change with certain TVs while the console is docked in Sleep Mode

Review: Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia (3DS)

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section" padding_mobile="off"][et_pb_row admin_label="row" padding_mobile="off" column_padding_mobile="on" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"] Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia launched on 3DS here in America back on May 19th. The latest entry into the Fire Emblem Series is actually a full remake / re-imagining (whatever you prefer to call it) of Fire Emblem Gaiden. Gaiden was released back in 1992 on the Famicom (Japanese NES) and the game was only available in Japan until 2009 when the game was released on the Wii Virtual console albeit still only in Japan.

The Fire Emblem series has become somewhat of an annualized franchise in recent history. Specifically in the 3DS era, Fire Emblem Echoes marks the 3rd release for the series joining Awakening and Fates on Nintendo's portable handheld. That also doesn't include spin-offs like Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on Wii U or Nintendo's third mobile/smartphone game Fire Emblem Heroes. Nintendo has without a doubt positioned Fire Emblem as a pillar of its first party lineup for its fans. A surprising turn-around considering the series was almost cancelled due to low performance before the Fire Emblem Awakening was released in 2013. All of which made pulling a remake from the Fire Emblem legacy a great surprise when it was announced in Nintendo's January Direct.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids="10592,10591,10590,10569,10583" fullwidth="on" auto="on" auto_speed="6000" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_gallery gallery_ids="10578,10579,10580,10569,10589,10587,10574,10575" fullwidth="on" auto="on" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row" custom_padding="21.0156px|0px|21px|0px" column_padding_mobile="on" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Presentation" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]


[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#000000" show_divider="on" height="20" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" /][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]

Visually, Echoes looks just like the other Fire Emblem games (Awakening & Fates) that are on 3DS. That is to say that the cut scenes feature beautifully animated artwork and the same sprite design players have grown accustomed to over the years. One visible difference with Echoes are that character designs are just a bit more toned-down and realistic than those found in Awakening or Fates. It's a slight difference, but many of the characters in Echoes are equipped with more simplistic clothes or armor, which I did make the journey feel a little more grounded than the more fantasy themed attire the series has delivered on before.

There's really only one topic to bring up when discussing the presentation of Echoes and that's voice acting! While I apologize for burying the lead, I sense that many gamers believe presentation to be synonymous with graphics when discussing video games so I thought we'd get that out of the way first. However, back to voice acting. Fire Emblem Echoes HAS VOICE ACTING!!! WHAT?!!  I'm here to inform you that it does make a world of difference to be able to sit back and listen to the dialog with different inflection and timing. It is certainly something that distinguishes Echoes from any other Fire Emblem game and an obvious improvement over scrolling through paragraphs of dialog.

As for the story, the previously mentioned cutscenes are again as beautiful and well paced as you could hope for and the plot has depth above any good vs. evil trope. From the very beginning, relationships feel personal and important, as you set out on your journey with childhood friends. Alm and Celica's story of being separated and reunited while this overarching drama of two warring countries clashing against each other garners your attention from the game's beginning prologue. As you play through, you'll gain control of both Alm and Celica for different portions of the game. These seperate and intertwining paths allows each character to display their motivations as well as their different opinions on what should or shouldn't be happening on both sides of the conflict. These moments trickle out but ultimately lays the groundwork for several conflicts and a very rewarding payoff. The story was more realistic than others I've played. Characters were mature, had different beliefs and that aided to how the story unfolded. A far cry from boy meets girl and they rescue the world together some might be expecting from trailers and marketing. It's actually a deep and personal story, all enriched by the addition of voice over which cannot be understated.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row padding_mobile="off" column_padding_mobile="on" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image src="" show_in_lightbox="on" animation="off" align="center" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image src="" show_in_lightbox="on" animation="off" align="center" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row column_padding_mobile="on" custom_padding="20.6406px|0px|19px|0px" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Gameplay" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]

Gameplay - No more Rock-Paper-Scissors!

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#000000" show_divider="on" height="20" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" /][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]

The biggest change to how Echoes plays is the omission of the weapons triangle. If you're unaware, Fire Emblem commonly uses a weapons triangle that provides characters a weakness or advantage on the battlefield. Instead of the Sword > Axe > Lance > Sword approach to combat, Fire Emblem Echoes adopts a much simpler approach with damage being delt based on attack and defense (for physical attacks) or attack and resistance (for magic attacks).

Also missing from the standard Fire Emblem formula:

The Combat Support System - The Support System was the ability to effectively use the buddy system during combat and place two units on a single tile. Doing this action effectively made the pairing act as one unit with increased stats.

Relationship System - The relationship system that allowed for marriage & children amongst characters by the player's decision was no doubt a big hit with the Fire Emblem die-hards. This meta game allowed players to effectively breed a super soldier as well as investigate more dialog and investment with your favorite characters.

The removal of such a features have been attributed to the mechanics not having not been available in the original Fire Emblem Gaiden, but several other features (dungeons, branching paths, dlc, etc) found in the Echoes reimagining were not in Gaiden so that doesn't seem like impenetrable excuse. Personally, I found the exclusions to be a net-positive even though I understand I'm not in the majority of Fire Emblem die-hards. For me, I have come to find the metagame featuring these relationship systems tedious and hard to understand. I might even add the triangle battle system to that "hard to keep track of" train of thought as Intelligent Systems has continued to add to the original triangle with the additions of hidden weapons, tomes, bows, and magic and characters with flying abilities.

 Even with these exclusions, Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia plays like you expect it to. During your journey of over 50 story missions / battle map scenarios, you'll move your assigned team members around a grid based battlefield hoping to gain victory. Carefully using the terrain to your advantage by taking strongholds or using trees for cover is a necessary tactic as much as understanding how fast and far the enemy can move. Just like any other Fire Emblem... well with an exception.

While some could be upset with the exclusions, the new additions of dungeons (and to a lesser extent towns) to the Fire Emblem formula is the most significant gameplay alteration to a Fire Emblem in years. Dungeons in particular are profoundly different. Dungeons are these 3D spaces where you gain fully realized control of your 3D character. This third-person hack and slash mode can be directly compared to a Persona dungeon where you travel through the dungeon exploring hidden areas and choosing when to engage in battle with the enemies that roam the caverns and hallways. There's a dungeon along the path in each act, and you'd be wise to explore each of them as you'll gain both inventory and stronger weapons not to mention team members for completing them. I postulate that the inclusion of these dungeons can be directly attributed to Fire Emblem Warriors that is currently already in development for Nintendo 3DS. My guess is soely made on the character model's 3-button attack and running animations as they're almost one-to-one with how characters from Hyrule Warriors looked when they moved. Regardless, these little environments change up the gameplay enough to that I never felt like I was getting bored going from map to map to map again and again. During my 30+ hours with the main story, I actively looked forward exploring each dungeon and what might be hidden somewhere inside. There's also some interactive investigation areas inside of dungeons where you control a cursor that hovers over items, keys, and people to learn details to solve puzzle or gather important items. The aforementioned towns, are just these TellTale-like investigative areas and don't feature any of the 3D free roaming or battle options. Ultimately these areas are short so they're not unwelcomed, but outside of some voice-over dialog they're really not that important.

The game also comes packed with amiibo support. Alm & Celica unlock exclusive dungeons as a reward for your plastic patronage. During battle, you have the option of summoning very strong amiibo characters for the cost of 10HP. Sadly, the amiibo characters only last one turn, which can help you get out of a pinch but likely isn't worth the 10HP cost of bringing them into play.

I would opine Fire Emblem Echoes as the accessible Fire Emblem option for anyone looking to purchase the game, especially any newcomers to the series. Everything from the menu's, battle map options, combat mechanics, inventory, and stat management have been streamlined for understanding. I played on normal difficulty and casual mode (units respawn after dying) and I definitely noticed that I spent way more time actually playing the game than reading menues and tutorials as I did early on with other Fire Emblem games.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row" padding_mobile="off" column_padding_mobile="on" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Value" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]


[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#000000" show_divider="on" height="20" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" /][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]

With over 50 maps to rout & several dungeons to explore there's pleny of game for anyone jumping into Echoes at the price of $40. The value proposition is in line what you would expect to get from any other Fire Emblem game and that is to say there's a ton of game to be had and even more if you try to go through the game on multiple difficulty levels.

One would be remiss if they didn't mention that Fire Emblem Echoes also has a $45 dollar DLC option. I have not purchased any of the DLC content so I cannot provide any critical opinion, but the newest expansion DLC for Echoes "Rise of the Deliverance" has recieved some positive buzz around the internet. The pack features four fully voiced battle maps that expand on the story with each having dedicated cut-scenes all for the price of $12.99.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="row" padding_mobile="off" column_padding_mobile="on" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Conclusion" background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]


[/et_pb_text][et_pb_divider color="#000000" show_divider="on" height="5" divider_style="solid" divider_position="top" divider_weight="1px" /][et_pb_text background_position="top_left" background_repeat="repeat" background_size="initial"]

I could have used more story along my 30 hours with the game and I'm sure some out there will undoubtedly hate that the relationship systems have been removed, but Fire Emblem Echoes might just be my favorite of the 3DS entries. I have similar thoughts about Echoes as I did with Pokemon Sun last year. Both games really make the gameplay easier to digest, faster to pick up and play, and less confusing. Echoes strips away the convoluted stat tracking, combat rules, and class system and just let's you get back to playing a tactical RPG.


Nintendo Releases Metroid Prime 4 Fact Sheet

Can't get enough Metroid Prime 4 news? Well you might want to comb through the official fact sheet provided to us via Nintendo PR. Of note, notice that Kensuke Tanabe is the leading the development team on the new Metroid game. You might remember some projects under his development - Smash Brothers Brawl, Metroid Prime 1-3, Metroid Prime Hunters, Paper Mario Sticker Star, Donkey Kong Country 3D and Tropical Freeze, and most recently Paper Mario: Color Splash.  


Nintendo Switch's Online Service is, well Incredible.

See the source image Nintendo Switch’s online service will cost $20/year and will launch at some point in 2018, the publisher said today. Playing Switch games online will be free until the service launches.

You can also get a one-month subscription for $4 and a three-month subscription for $8.

As Nintendo previously said, voice chat and online lobby features won’t be available on the Switch itself. Instead, you’ll have to use them through a smartphone app that Nintendo says will be launch this summer. “Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device,” the company says. “A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.”

Nintendo confirmed that this monthly plan has indeed changed, telling Kotaku: “Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.”

 Nintendo adds: “Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.”

It remains to be seen whether this classic service will replace Nintendo’s traditional Virtual Console, which allowed fans to buy old games on 3DS, Wii, and Wii U. When asked about the Virtual Console’s future, Nintendo offered: “We have nothing to announce on this topic.”


You can view all the details here:

I imagine we will hear more at E3, but this is BIG news and very unexpected.


Splatoon Voice Chat headset- is well.....very Nintendo....

Great News, after all this time we finally have an answer to a question raised awhile ago for gamers, how will nintendo do voice chat? They did mention along time ago that it would be through an app accessible from your smart devices (not the Nintendo Switch), so we've known for quite some time it would be non-traditional. I do want to preface before we get into the details. This is 100% not necessary and you can do the same thing MANY other ways. We are just reporting what we are being told is the "official" solution provided. Yep, that's it. So the games sound will come directly from your Nintendo Switch while the chat audio comes from your phone or tablet. Connect each of those to the snazzy squid splitter and then connect the very Splatoony headset and voila ,voice-chat. Now before you go thinking well this is an unofficial product...screen shots will argue with you because it also appears to be an in-game item the inklings are wearing.

Good news is, Hori sent over one for us to test out, considering the internet exploded with this news we thought we would release it and show you all it's really not as bad as it looks.


What Would It Take To Get Me To Buy An Xbox One

See the source image I hear at least once a week if not more, "Kevin, you should buy an Xbox One....". So I thought it was fitting to contribute to "Xbox Week" here with an explanation why I do not have one, and what it would actually take to get me to purchase one. So let's start with why I don't already have one, no it's not because I'm "Anti-Xbox" or anything as people might initially think. Long ago I did in fact own an Xbox 360 and I have played almost every entry of Gears of War, well at least 1,2, and 3.

For myself the main reason I don't already have one is, I have a Playstation 4 already. It was purchased shortly after launch, once I could get my hands on it. Flash forward to 2017 I just don't see a reason (at least for me) to have both consoles. For someone who already has current gen consoles (PS4, Switch, and a decent PC) there just isn't enough meat on the bone for me. Do the games look better on the X1? No. Does it offer a unique experience? No. Are there tons of great blockbuster exclusives out there to make it worth it for me to spend at least $300 for the console and then the money on top of it to play the games? For me? Not at all.

Now that's not an attack, games many loyal Xboxers love are definitely there. But Halo and Forza doesn't do anything for me, especially not enough to spend over $400 total to experience them. Now there are a few games I am interested in like Gears of War 4, Dead Rising 4, Crackdown 3, and if it still exists Cuphead. So there are certainly games on there or coming soon on there that I would 1005 play, BUT for me at least they don't even come close to stacking up to what PS4 has/had to offer.

Games like The Last of Us, Uncharted, Infamous, Until Dawn, Ratchet and Clank, Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Bloodborne, the list goes on and on with much more coming down the pipeline. I already have more than enough to play on my PS4, I don't need another box in my home.

Now, many claim (and I believe) that Xbox has the better online experience. While Sony I think has done alot to catch up on here, I think Xbox still has the throne. But, oh yea, I rarely play anything once again, not a factor for me!

Kevin, what about backwards compat? While this is a GREAT service for many fans, once again it is something I wouldn't take advantage on, I don't have a 360 library to go back to and play on my X1 and I don't think most of the games offered now warrant me hunting down a 360 copy to play on my X1 .

Ok, my negativity....we've heard so much about why you don't want what would it take?

Let's start with the easy one that doesn't need a whole lot of explanation. Price drop, while the price overall of the X1 has come down significantly since launch. For someone who doesn't need another box, I still need it lower. Honestly I think it's coming....with the announcement of Scorpio (most likely at E3) I would imagine another price drop is in order for the Xbox One S. My sweet spot? $199.99 and toss in a game for me. For something I do not need, I can justify splurging a little and making the additional purchase for sure.

Secondly it's the games....I need more to play if I were to make the jump. As it stands right now there is very little that appeals to me. Now who knows maybe we will see some of these things happen at E3, but this is a list of games that would get me thinking about an Xbox.

Alan Wake, this was one of my favorite games on the 360, I would love to see this brought back with a new installment, OR a remaster collection of all the older titles wrapped into one.

Fable, Xbox needs their "Zelda"....Nintendo clearly has it, Playstation has it in Horizon Zero Dawn, Microsoft needs it plain and simple. Whether it's given to Rare to work on or whatever, I want to see this classic come back.

Speaking of Rare, if they are in fact not working on Fable, then I want to see them be Rare again. Microsoft has not utilized this team to it's potential at all. Since purchase they have ruined Perfect Dark and worked on a very subpar Conker game as well as some Viva Pinata for the kiddies. Give them the freedom they need to do something great again, and most likely something retro related. At least something to give me the same feelings I had playing their games in the SNES and N64 days.

Another one I thought of was Left 4 Dead...I could easily see Microsoft bringing this to the X1 as a console exclusive (it would still be on PC) but I would be very excited if they were to announce this one at E3 as a possibility.

Sure, they will undoubtedly have alot to announce this year. I would even take some new stuff, some original IPs. The main issue is there are far less exclusives on either PS4 or X1 so each has to make a play to get people on their console. Most games are brought cross platform, they need to try harder. For the sake of the industry I would like to see that happen this year.

That's it, simple as that. Not as long of a list as one might imagine. Lower the price and give me some more exclusives to get excited about. I think this E3 is a big turning point for Microsoft, either in a good way or a bad way. They need to deliver the goods, show the scorpio (but don't spend 30 min talking about it, like you did with your cable service years ago) and show us some fantastic content. I for sure will be watching.

Be sure to tell me in the comments why you agree with me, or why I am a huge idiot and give me more reasons why I should own one today!


Nathan's Take on Xbox Play Anywhere

See the source image Xbox Play Anywhere was announced at E3 2016, and was met with some criticism as well as some praise. The program entitles gamers that purchase specific digital games to access the game on both Windows 10 PCs and Xbox One, allowing your achievements, progress and saves to travel back and forth between your Windows 10 PC and Xbox One.

Critics of this program say that this proves that Microsoft is distancing themselves from the console market, or that now there is no need to own an Xbox One since more titles (some exclusives) can be played it on PC.

To me, however, I don’t see this as Microsoft exiting the console space, but trying to widen their net so more people can experience great content and use the Xbox ecosystem on their PC. In this article, I wanted to share my experience with Xbox Play Anywhere.

Before I go too far down this path, I should probably share some of my PC specs: 4GB GTX 980, 32GB RAM, SSD for Windows 10 OS & 7200RPM for game install, playing with an Xbox One S controller on a Samsung 4K 28” monitor.

Most of my experience with Xbox Play Anywhere comes from Forza Horizon 3. That was one of the first titles released with this feature (ReCore was the first). As you may have seen from yesterday’s Top 25 Xbox One Games article, Forza Horizon 3 is among the best offerings on Xbox One. The fact that it is also available to PC players on Windows 10 just makes it so many more people can enjoy this fantastic game.

I began playing Forza Horizon 3 on my Xbox One console, racking up all those miles and skills on my TV from the comfort of my recliner. A few days later, my wife was watching a show on the TV via my Xbox One, but I felt the need for speed! Since I bought Forza Horizon 3 digitally, I had access to it on my Windows 10 PC. I went to my office and began the install, wondering how well this whole thing would work out. After installation, I clicked play on the Windows 10 Xbox app, and Forza Horizon 3 booted up. The first thing I saw was a box pop up, saying it was syncing my save data from the server. Indeed, a few seconds later I was loaded in to Forza Horizon 3 exactly where I left off.

Forza Horizon 3 looked great on my Xbox One, but it looked even better on my PC! I was able to kick up the graphics and play in 4K at about 30 FPS, or I could knock down the resolution and get to the 60FPS mark for an amazingly smooth presentation. It felt good to finally use my PC for some gaming, as I had upgraded it earlier, but never really put it to task. I saw a buddy pop online, and wondered what the experience playing together would be like. To my amazement, it worked without issue! I was playing on my Windows 10 PC, and he was on his Xbox One, we were in a party chat and racing around, as if we were both playing on the console! After played an hour or so on the PC, and called it a day.

Returning to play on my Xbox One console, when loading the game a familiar box came up, telling me that it was syncing data from the server. Again, seconds later, I was able to pick up where I left off on Windows 10! For me, this was a seamless experience, and made me wonder about the possibilities this feature could unlock in the future.

After this positive experience, I began looking to see if a game was Xbox Play Anywhere. If it was, I bought it digitally, because of the freedom of playing back and forth between Windows 10 and Xbox One. The only thing lacking right now, in my opinion, is the number of games available for Xbox Play Anywhere. As of this writing, there are nineteen currently available, and seventeen announced. Most of these titles are exclusives, but there are a few notable third party games such as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard and Middle Earth: Shadow of War in the program. I would love to see Star Wars: Battlefront 2, Madden, or Injustice 2 as part of this initiative in the future, as I believe expansion into third parties would be a shrewd move by Microsoft. This would serve to unify the player base, and make a case for PC gamers to eventually get an Xbox One if they want to game on a TV as opposed to a monitor.

In all, the Xbox Play Anywhere feature is a great benefit if it is included with a game purchased digitally. If you have a Windows 10 PC and an Xbox One, this may be something you want to consider when purchasing games in the future. The freedom offered, as well as the cross-play between Windows 10 and Xbox One is well worth it!

Have you tried Xbox Play Anywhere? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet: @VoicedByNathan!

PSVG's Top 25 Games for Xbox One

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] This list does not necessarily represent the best, highest reviewed or critically acclaimed games on the Xbox One, but the games that Donnie, Josh, Mo and Nathan have had the most fun with on the console. Compiled in May of 2017, this list may be revisited later, but for now here is the official PSVG Top 25 Games on Xbox One!

25. Quantum Break

24. Ori and the Blind Forest

23. Halo 5: Guardians

22. Injustice 2

21. Gears of War 4

20. Firewatch

19. Forza Horizon 2

18. Rare Replay

17. Grand Theft Auto V

16. Final Fantasy XV

15. Madden 17 Mo's Overall Top Pick. "Madden 17 is the greatest? What's wrong with you? Here are my 3 reasons for Madden 17 being my best game on Xbox One: 1. Amazing game-play. Yes it's a sports game but just like many gamers love to crawl through dungeons, I love to go after stats, awards, and of course build up a franchise to be proud of. 2. Heroes I know and love. Yea that's all I have to say. 3. Countless hours of game play with friends, solo, etc. That's not even the tip of the iceberg but the user interface is fantastic, servers are great, and have just loved playing. This is why Madden 17 is my favorite game on Xbox one." - Mo

14. Overwatch

13. Star Wars: Battlefront

12. Shovel Knight

11. Tom Clancy's The Division

10. Titanfall

9. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

8. Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition

7. Dragon Age: Inquisition

6. The Witcher 3

5. Destiny


3. Halo: The Master Chief Collection

2. Rise of the Tomb Raider

1. Forza Horizon 3 Donnie, Josh and Nathan's Overall Top Pick "There's no doubt in my mind that Forza Horizon 3 is my favorite Xbox One game. It took a lot of encouragement from our Xbox team for me to give it a chance, but I'm so glad I hopped in to experience one of the best video games this generation has to offer. Forza Horizon 3 is everything every gamer could want from a racing game. It has incredible visuals to offer with an amazing setting that's varied and diverse, as well as a massive selection of rides to please any kind of motor-head. The driving game-play is as close to perfect as can be in a video game, but doesn't venture too far into the simulation that is not very fun for newcomers. Add in the constant loops around the island with your friends, the solo adventures of challenges, time trials, and finding hidden boosts and cars and you'll quickly understand why this is my favorite Xbox One game." - Donnie

"Forza Horizon 3 is my number one game for a few reasons. First of all, it's a groundbreaking game. Everything it does is new (for the Xbox one). It seamlessly blends racing and open world gaming without that crushing anxiety that some people complain about while playing said open world games. The sheer amount of different cars and different race types leaves you with almost unlimited replay-ability. Lets not forget that they somehow managed to make every car feel different. You will very rarely experience a similar controller feel on another car. It's so unique. I could go on and on, but this is a game you just need to go out and buy!" - Josh

"Forza Horizon 3 is everything I want in a car game. It looks great, the controls are tight, the soundtrack is superb, and the racing is epic! Whether it's racing against boats, helicopters or trains, oh yea, and cars, this game has it all! Adding in the Blizzard Mountain and Hot Wheels expansion packs, Forza Horizon 3 offers a ton of fun and variety to keep you playing! It's always cool to see someone from your friend's list pop in as a Driveatar, which makes you really want to beat them, and let your friend know how their Driveatar represented them! If you say "it's a racing game, it can't be that good," then, madame or sir, you should broaden your horizons and give this amazing game a spin!" - Nathan


So, there you have it! These are 25 of our most favorite games available on the Xbox One! What are your favorite games on the console? Hit us up @PSVG on Twitter or leave a comment below!


Akiba's Beat Review - PS4

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] NEET: Short for "Not in Employment, Education, or Training."Typically considered to be underskilled shut-ins who live by themselves in humble yet comfortable apartments, NEETs are known to mooch off their parents' good will to play video games and watch anime all day instead of looking for work.

Asahi Tachibana is a textbook NEET, living a lazy, cozy life in Akihabara, the infamous Tokyo suburb renowned for its proliferation of anime and video game merchandise, maid cafes, pop idols, and all other forms of counterculture indulgence. To him, every day is Sunday, and every Sunday is a fun day.

Little does he know, however, that every day is about to become Sunday for real! Caught in a temporal loop, where the day restarts as soon as it ends, Asahi is one of only a chosen few whose memories don't reset with it. He and his merry band of time-displaced losers must now scour Akihabara for signs of "delusions" – people's innermost fantasies made manifest, changing the cityscape and the behavior of its citizens alike. It is the duty of this ragtag team (whether they like it or not) to infiltrate and destroy these delusions, restoring the natural order of Akiba in the vain hope that each loop may be their last.

During the course of this increasingly improbable quest, Asahi and his companions will unravel a deep, twisted mystery that blurs the line between the physical world and that of mankind's innermost desires. Can this band of misfits restore normalcy (or what passes for normalcy) to Akihabara? Or will they succumb to the will of the enigmatic pink-caped man, who seems to be the key to everything...?

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

I initially agreed to take this assignment because I figured it's been quite some time since I've dove into a good old JRPG, and well for better or for worse, I certainly got more than i bargained for with Akiba's Beat. Before we get into the nuts and bolts of it all I will say the localization for this title was REALLY well done. I didn't run into any of the poor translation we sometimes are exposed to in the world of JRPGs and the voice-acting is top notch anime style. I'm not a fan of anime at all so the voice acting to me seemed to be a little over the top and corny, BUT, I know that's exactly how it's supposed to be so I can at least appreciate that.

The art style too especially in the conversation screens are done in traditional anime style, and is very well done. The music holds up as well. Music changes as the mood and tone changes as well as your environment. Most of the music is techno, EDM, or JPOP so it fits the setting perfectly.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

The game overall though does seem a bit fractured. There are basically two styles of gameplay featured here: heavy story involvement where you walk around and converse with other characters and running small tasks here and there. This is where you get most (if not all) of your story from.Every character to encounter and engage with is fully voice acted as well which is a nice touch keeps you more engaged than just reading text box after text box.

Combat, my favorite part of this game, plays out like a strategic hack and slash. You can customize the rest of your party by selecting who the attack (closest, weakest, same as you), how often they use their special abilities and even their items. In this regard it did remind me a lot  like Kingdom Hearts.While it might seem easy, if you rush in without thinking or planning it'll end really quick. When you hit a certain combo level you can activate your special attack modes which greatly multiply your damage and can make quick work of your foes.


[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" /][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Now for all it's got going for it, this game does have some shortcomings, and they did really bother me and effected my scoring when it comes down to it. This game has about 20 hours of action wrapped in an 80 hour cut scene. To give it the anime reference equivalent, it's like watching a season of Dragonball Z, there is hours and hours of build up before anything actually happens. I attempted to stream some gameplay to post with this review and I had played for almost an hour before I was able to fight a single person/creature. As fun as I think the combat is, it was frustrating that I ened up button mashing and not even listening or reading the dialog while attempting to get to that point. Even with using said strategy it was still 45 min before getting to a fighting sequence.

Now maybe it's because I haven't had much exposure to these types of games lately, wanted to dive into Persona and such, but if this is the pattern these games take. I don't think I will be diving back in anytime soon. If you are a big fan of Anime and can get behind the slow moving story then I think you would definitely enjoy this title. If you are not, I think this game is a hard pass for you.

[/et_pb_text][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="center" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_circle_counter admin_label="Circle Counter" title="Great Art, Great Music, Great Combat, WAAAAAY too much talking" number="65" percent_sign="on" background_layout="light" bar_bg_color="#ffcc00" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_video admin_label="Video" src="" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

This Week's Xbox Gem (Week of May 17th, 2017)

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] This week's Xbox Gem is the crazy sale happening over on Xbox Live, their Backward Compatibility Super Sale!

There are 285 Back Compat titles that make up this sale, so in this article I will highlight a few great ones that you may have missed! Oh, and to take advantage of these sale prices, you don't have to have Xbox Live Gold!

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_image admin_label="Image" src="" show_in_lightbox="off" url_new_window="off" use_overlay="off" animation="left" sticky="off" align="left" force_fullwidth="off" always_center_on_mobile="on" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Assassin's Creed Rogue is on sale for $9.89. This made the list because it never got released on the current generation of consoles, so it could have easily been missed!

Braid is on sale for $2.49! This was one of my first "indie games," and has a great story, visuals, and game mechanics!

Civilization Revolution is on sale for $7.49! This is a great console translation of the Civilization games! Be warned, time will slip away as you get sucked into this!

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is on sale for $3.74! The sequel is available on current consoles, but many would say that this entry is the best of the series. I enjoyed my time with it, and it's a steal under $4!

Dragon Age: Origins is on sale for only $4.94! This game is AMAZING! If you've not played this, you really owe it to yourself to do so. This is easily the best of the Dragon Age series, and features an epic story with the classic BioWare decisions and conversations.

Earthworm Jim HD is on sale for $2.49! Come on! It's Earthworm Jim! Groovy...

Jurassic Park: The Game is on sale for $4.99. This is an early TellTale game, and could be viewed as a history lesson from the developer. The game's not the best of the studio, but of you enjoy their brand of games, you may like this. It was an easy one to miss when it came out.

Lost Odyssey is on sale for $6.24. The original release had FOUR DVDs! This is a big game, and one of the few JRPGs on Xbox. With a memorable story and characters, it's worth the asking price!

Mass Effect is on sale for $4.99! A legendary game, it's likely you didn't miss it, but if you did...

The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion is on sale for $4.94 Before Skyrim came Oblivion. This is on the list because it was released in 2009, and a new generation of gamers may have missed it.

The Orange Box is on sale for $4.99. This collection has five games from Valve: Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode 1, Half-Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 & Portal. Nothing more needs to be said, those games speak for themselves. If you've not played these, GET IT!

Peggle is on sale for $2.49! Get it, you'll either thank me or curse me later.

Portal 2 is on sale for $4.99, so after you beat the original in The Orange Box, play this one! The cake may be a lie, but this amazing game is not!

Red Dead Redemption is on sale for $11.99. While this price isn't the lowest I've seen, I included it on this list in case you wanted to catch up before the sequel releases this fall! (The Undead Nightmare DLC is also on sale for $4.99!)

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is on sale for $4.99. If you saw my list of top 5 Star Wars games, you know why this is here, too...


There are some of the Backwards Compatible games on sale that I'd pick. What about you? Did you pick up anything from the sale, or think anything else should be added to this list? Hit me up on Twitter @VoicedByNathan or in the comments below!


Diamond In The Rough: Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island

Long-time and new platformer fans rejoice! The moment you’ve all been waiting for have arrived! As of Wednesday 29th March, Skylar & Plux: Adventure On Clover Island finally has an official release date! Mark your calendars and save the date!

If you want to know more about the aforementioned game and its premise, I suggest you read my previous article.

In light of the release date trailer, the aforesaid game is slated for 19th May 2017. Along with the official release date, the prices are €14.99 and $14.99 (unfortunately, the UK price of the game isn’t presented in said trailer) and it will launch on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Strangely enough, it won’t come out on the Nintendo Switch. Sadly, at the moment only a digital version of the game is available to buy and download. Therefore, there isn’t a physical version.

You can tell right off the bat this game draws heavy inspiration from the nostalgic, open-world 3D platforming titans of yesteryear that defined the platforming genre such as Ratchet & Clank, Jak And Daxter, Sly Cooper, Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, Banjo-Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot and Spyro The Dragon. With that being said, it’s like Ratchet & Clank and Jak And Daxter had a baby (with a tinge of Sly Cooper thrown into the mix if the cartoonish 2D art style and the 2D animated scenes are anything to come by).

Skylar and Plux marks the first dynamic duo in video game history to star a female lead protagonist (Banjo and Kazooie and Yooka and Laylee doesn’t count, seeing as Banjo and Yooka are male leads and Kazooie and Laylee are normally considered to be snarky, sassy sidekicks in their respective franchises. Not to mention, Banjo and Yooka’s names are featured first before Kazooie and Laylee’s names in both franchises’ titles of their games).

Within the release date trailer, it revealed a lot of things such as the female narrator projecting her voice into the open air as the massive double doors open to reveal Clover Mountain, a bird’s eye overview of Clover Island, Plux’s recent younger-sounding voice instead of his previous Irish/Scottish-accented voice, Clover Mountain, Forlorn Desert coming into view, the recently-revealed voice of the mechanical arm and so forth in no particular order.

As stated by one of the tweets from the official Skylar & Plux Twitter account which I’ve forgotten to mention in my previous article, Skylar is a silent protagonist just like Jak from Jak And Daxter: The Precursor Legacy. Similar to Daxter, Plux is the goggles-wearing, talkative sidekick and he serves as the comic relief.

According to one of the tweets the official Twitter account of the game posted, a first playthrough lasts for 2.5 hours to 7 hours depending on if the player rushes through the aforementioned game or takes their time to traverse through Clover Island and collect all of the collectibles as well as the numerous challenges and tasks the aforesaid game have to offer.

Unfortunately there is sad news for the die-hard completionists, there is no platinum trophy, which is usually acquired when all of the bronze and silver trophies are earned and unlocked when the tasks and missions are successfully completed and if certain requirements are met as stated in a recent article. Therefore, this game might be the first PlayStation 4 game to not include a platinum trophy.

To make matters worse, there isn’t a physical version of the game being in the works or it isn’t getting released as mentioned in one of the recent tweets the official Skylar & Plux Twitter account uploaded. As said by the tweet below, since Right Nice Games is an indie video game developing team, their resources merely go into the quality of the game instead of mass-producing physical copies of it.

At the moment, information about whether the game will contain a map or a mini-map haven’t been confirmed yet. Naturally, most 3D platformers either include a map that can be accessed via a pause menu or a mini-map is shown at the bottom left or right side of the screen.

As to be expected, this game is faced with a hefty amount of backlash. To the Xbox One gamers, this game is the Ratchet & Clank of the Xbox One or it’s the Ratchet & Clank game they never played and received. To the PlayStation players and the minority of the Ratchet & Clank fanbase, it’s a poor man’s Ratchet & Clank. I don’t want to sound like a broken record but people really need to stop making unnecessary and unfair comparisons. Just because this game shares the same similarities with Ratchet & Clank and earlier 3D platformers from the 90’s and early 2000’s doesn’t make it a rip-off or a bootleg. In this day and age where 3D platformers are scarce, we can’t afford to hate a game before it’s released or judge it by its gameplay, characters, character designs, level designs, character animations and so forth. There’s a fine line between loathing a video game before its release date and judging it unfairly without giving it a second chance. Furthermore, there is also a fine line between a video game made out of pure passion (in other words, a love letter or a tribute) and a cash cow cashing in on nostalgia. Yes, I’m looking at you, Fur Fun (formerly known as Kewpie-Jazzy)! Claiming Skylar & Plux is a rip-off of Ratchet & Clank is like accusing Banjo-Kazooie to be a knock off of Super Mario 64. If you’re curious to check out the true rip-off of Ratchet & Clank, Ruff Trigger: The Vanocore Conspiracy (storyline wise, it’s literally Ratchet & Clank 2: Locked and Loaded, copied word for word) is your answer.

Don’t let the negative nancys (such as this pessimist pictured above) prevent you from trying out Skylar & Plux; it might surprise you just like the Shantae series have surprised me. If you’re a platformer or a Ratchet & Clank fan, then it’s a no brainer this game will make you feel right at home.

ARMS focused Nintendo Direct coming tomorrow.

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] From Nintendo PR -

A new Nintendo Direct presentation arrives on Wednesday, May 17, providing a deep dive into the upcoming ARMS game for Nintendo Switch. As a bonus, a new trailer for Splatoon 2 will also premiere at the tail end of the video, so make sure you stick around for everything! Watch the Nintendo Direct presentation live by visiting on May 17 at 3 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. ET.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_code admin_label="Code"]<blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-center-align" data-partner="tweetdeck"><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><p dir="ltr" lang="en" style="text-align: center;">A new trailer for <a href="">#Splatoon2</a> will also air at the end of the <a href="">#ARMS</a> Direct.</p><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><p style="text-align: center;">Will you be staying up late on Wednesday to join us? <a href=""></a></p><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><p style="text-align: center;">— Nintendo of Europe (@NintendoEurope) <a href="">May 16, 2017</a></p><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></blockquote>[/et_pb_code][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_4"][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][/et_pb_section]

Tango Fiesta: The Greatest Action Story Never Told

[et_pb_section bb_built="1" admin_label="section"][et_pb_row admin_label="row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"] Tango Fiesta is a sly top down twin stick shooter that places you in every single 80's action flick all rolled into one. It's greatest strength lies it's absolutely absurd and hilarious story. If you are familiar with any of the action flicks of the 80's then you will be right at home and chuckling away at the silly dialog and main character John Strong who looks Bruce Willis as John McClain in die Hard. John Strong is the greatest action hero you've never hear of. Has he defeated the Russians? Yup. Did he squash the Middle East? Been there done that. Save the planet from Aliens? You bet'cha. Tango Fiesta is his untold story.

Every level in Tango Fiesta is randomly generated, and is based off of some action movie. This greatly lends to its replay value. There are also multiple characters you can play as each with their own stats and attributes. Sadly no matter who you play with the game is still narrated by John Strong. It would have been nice to have multiple retelling of the same story from diff points of view.

Your load out consists of a main and secondary weapon as well as an explosive. The guns run the gamut of what you would expect from AK's to Uzis to shotguns and you can purchase new ones over time with the loot you collect from the levels. You have the same options with the explosives which range form simple grenades to . As far as the twin stick mechanics go you don't quite have a full 360 range of motion when shooting just up down left right and diagonals. So you do have to do some navigation work and line you shots up to be effective. Outside of that you do have your typical ammo packs health packs and you do have to reload which depending on the weapon determines how long the animation is. So combine all of that and you do get a bit more strategy than a standard twin stick space shooter for example. Lastly there are bosses each with their own ridiculous action movie villain name. The boss battles are nice in that you have the entirety of the level to play in complete with additional enemies, health packs and ammo to try and be the last man standing.




[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_circle_counter admin_label="Circle Counter" number="70" percent_sign="on" background_layout="light" bar_bg_color="#ffcc00" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Tango Fiesta is great addition to the twin stick shooter genre. It has a colorful story, fun characters, and is downright hilarious. Add to it the fact that you have multiple characters, you can play it in a single or 4 player setting, there are a ton of weapons to buy and every level is different every time. It's fun its frantic and it's hilarious. If you've got a weekend and are looking for something to just pick up and play this is a great entry for that.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_video admin_label="Video" src="" /][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type="1_2"][et_pb_gallery admin_label="Gallery" gallery_ids="9895,9896,9897,9898" fullwidth="off" orientation="landscape" show_title_and_caption="on" show_pagination="on" background_layout="light" auto="off" hover_overlay_color="rgba(255,255,255,0.9)" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid" /][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label="Row"][et_pb_column type="4_4"][et_pb_text admin_label="Text" background_layout="light" text_orientation="left" use_border_color="off" border_color="#ffffff" border_style="solid"]

Coach Mo's Thoughts

Tango Fiesta made me laugh out loud almost the entire time. The dialogue in game and  during the cut scenes is one of the best things Merge Games was able to do. It is a nod to all those 80’s action movies we loved to mock and imitate in our youth. It made me want to watch some old movies in the middle of playing to satisfy that nostalgia.

When you jump into the game and we move past the humor, the game play was good. Please don’t read that as me not liking it. It was good for being a twin stick shooter. However, in playing solo my first run through I was able to beat the first levels and boss fight in less than 10 minutes rescuing John’s girlfriend who was kidnapped by his old partner. I found that if you run through the level to the objective, dodging enemy fire, and then shoot the objective from a far then you are able to destroy the objectives with out alerting the near by enemies.