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K. Johnson

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Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition (PS4)
Divinity Original Sin: Enhanced Edition (PS4)
Offered by TzarKaloyan
Price: £29.50

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality., 29 Oct. 2015

Where do I start? This is the second cRPG out for the PS4 in one month. Wasteland 2 was first and I really enjoyed that.

These kind of games hinge on three things - world, and story and combat. I am happy to say that this game contains all of those. I think the last game I played which I loved this much was way back on the PS3 with Dragon Age Origins; which this game is far better than. It has all the perks of tripple A production such as graphical fidelity, high quality soundtrack and general usability within the menus and what not. Divinity:OS is on another level. The level of presentation and polish is something else. Every single character in the world has voice acting - which may not sound like a lot, but when you think about it, most RPG's only have a handful of NPC's that actually talk to you in the world - even then it would usually be a few lines at most. Not the case here. Everyone and everything (including animals) can talk and has their own short story to tell. So immersive!

Each battle can be won in a number of fun ways depending on the skillset of your party. There is a whole 'elements' based magic system here that interacts with the world around you intuitively. It's the kind of game where you can use water to douse fire but it's far deeper than that. You can use all the elements at your disposal to interact inside and outside of combat to reveal secrets and solve puzzles. It seemed at first to follow D+D style rules but as you play on, it becomes apparent that this game has a lot more going on than that. There are no dump stats, and you are not forced to stay on one path / job with a character. Great freedom to make a party you want to play.The combat is really difficult, but satisfying.

I have only clocked 15 hours so far, though I am thoroughly enjoying the experience. The world is huge, and seems to be completly open from the get-go a'la Skyrim full of secrets and quests.

Wasteland 2: Directors Cut (PS4)
Wasteland 2: Directors Cut (PS4)
Offered by EVERGAME
Price: £15.01

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Diamond in the rough., 18 Oct. 2015
This game really surprised me.

First impressions where quite poor. There is very little in the way of presentation and the openning cut scene was liveaction clip - budget as it gets. So right off the bat I was expecting a stinker.

Graphically the game looks like something from the early PS3 days at best. Low quality textures, basic sounds and awkward animations - the camera system is also horrible.

But once you get into the character building, the combat and the dialogue - wow. This is a fantastic and deep game. Then it suddenly hit me - this was a kickstartered game that deliberately throws back to the cRPG days of yore like Baldurs Gate and Planescape torment - which immediately filled me with excitement. Rpg with party based combat is certainly nothing new - in fact it's quite dated, with games like the original Fallout's a distant memory I was quite surprised to see it again. I was expecting something light and fast paced like Diablo but was pleasantly surprised once again. Combat is tough, every action you make is meaningful and will change the outcome of battle. If one of your party members die or get injured badly during combat, it's permanent. They are a gonner. This forces you to think about every stat point, every move command and make every bullet count. I had to start over on a lower dificulty setting because half of my party got permadeath after the second random encouter. Blimey! No regenerating behind chest high walls here!

I want to get back to playing as I write this - ao here are a few important things to know.

- graphics are poor. If your enjoyment of a game hinges on presentation, this one isn't for you.
- story is great so far, if a little familiar, it's wuite engaging.
- character creation and stats are deep and meaningful. Everything from lockpicking to robot repair, to fist fighting perks and conversation altering charisma stats to suit every style of play.
- superb deep combat system
- exploration is actually exciting and dangerous knowing one wrong step can kill a party member for good!

This is brilliant appetiser for Fallout 4 next month. Highly recommended for old school RPG fans.

Bloodborne (PS4)
Bloodborne (PS4)
Offered by Moe Discounts
Price: £24.90

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Miyazaki is the best..., 27 Mar. 2015
This review is from: Bloodborne (PS4) (Video Game)
This is the genius that was Demon's Souls all over again.

Complex game mechanics that are hinted at rather than explained... it is not the cup of tea that everyone enjoys.... more of an earl grey. If you really love videogames, especially ones that offer a real challenge, Miyazaki games are the top of the pile. Treading old ground with certain gameplay elements from Demons Souls, whilst borrowing a couple of heavily adapted Dark Souls traits, Bloodborne feels like a fresh installment of a tried and tested franchise.

It's odd because at first, your instinct is to play this as a Souls game since at first it looks and feels like one - yet Bloodborne punishes you severely for doing so. There are no shields in the game. (at least, bar one which appears to be a troll / nod to series fans, a useless wooden plank that blocks just about nothing) No shields means you never feel the safety that they offered in the Souls games. They have taken away your only fail-safe block, forcing you to rely on quick reflexes and well timed counter attacks in combat.

At first, even if you are a Souls series veteran, you will die. A lot. Enemy mobs are far more versatile, quick, and attacks come in from all angles - without your trusty L1 to block at least a few of them. You simply have to fight your way forward, playing risky and hoping that it pays off. To aid you, you have lifesteal for a brief second or two after taking damage - a genius change to give you further incentive to fight back. You take a hit, you give a hit and heal a bit.

World and atmosphere are as usual superb. The art direction is macabre and sinister - yet it never feels grotesque. A foggy Victorian inspired city, misty woods and deep underground dungeons. Beautiful haunting music... and blood. Lots and lots of blood.

There are far too many mechanics to discover yet, and I am only about 10 hours in - I think it's part of the beauty this game has to discover things on your own. You are very rarely given much more than hints at where to go, and the world constantly throws danger at you while you explore it. Once again it's not for everyone - it takes patience and a lot of time to explore the world.

Praise the moon?!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 28, 2015 7:34 AM GMT

The Order: 1886 (PS4)
The Order: 1886 (PS4)
Offered by Electro Trading
Price: £16.10

22 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Confused., 20 Feb. 2015
This review is from: The Order: 1886 (PS4) (Video Game)
Very disappointed.. I got my copy thursday morning and, without knowing what to expect, I was very sad to see the end credits rolling by 3pm. It took me 5 hours and 20 minutes to finish the game on normal difficulty.

These PS4 games are not cheap, so you would expect the longevity to be more than 5 hours - especially when you consider the amount of gameplay and time it takes to complete, say, Grand Theft Auto 5, which is undoubtedly the best game available for the PS4 right now despite being a last gen game technically.

Very very rarely do I put graphics at the top of my agenda when reviewing a game, but this game is absolutely stunning. It looks like a CG movie, almost impossible to tell between cut scenes and gameplay. Blown away by some of the vistas and lighting effects. My wife even came into the room and asked if I was watching a new tv show - it really does look that good.

With that out of the way, the game itself is just.... meh. It feels like a movie indeed, which is what a lot of other people have said already, which in my opinion is not such a bad thing. Gameplay feels like Gears Of War, to compare it the best. Only it does it worse, with clunkyness and a RIDICULOUS!!!! amount of quick time events which I absolutely hate. Guns feel great however, which is good considering the majority of the rather short gameplay sections would suck if the weapons didn't feel right. Enemy AI is SO BAD though, which kills immersion and fun right out of the gate. Enemies constantly run into each other, stand on the spot, move away from cover mindlessly into your fire. Perhaps it gets better on Hard but I was expecting at least some challenge on normal which I didn't get. I very rarely died and usually on the werewolf sections.

Story is sadly the most disappointing thing however. With voice acting and graphical presentation as good as this, it is such a shame they went for such a cookie cutter 'werewolves / supernatural conspiracy' cliche story. The first hour I was really into it, but then 'something' (a certain scene approx 2 hours in, you will know what I am talking about right away) COMPLETELY ruined the entire thing for me. WHY????!!! why do they have to use this cliche? from then on, I knew instantly what the ending would be and I was right. All 'conspiracy' they were building was completely lost and worthless. It seems someone in the development team had a great lengthy story here that they started to build, then someone at publishing either said it's too long, or too intelligent, or too something to be done, hurry up and release the game. They really seemed to have cut the story and it suffers badly for it. The ending was abrupt sequel bait, with the final boss also being a recycled boss from earlier.... ahhh I am done.

I doubt I will bother pre-ordering any more PS4 games as I feel like I've been falsely advertised to once again.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 23, 2015 12:35 PM GMT

Dragon Age Inquisition (PS4)
Dragon Age Inquisition (PS4)
Price: £16.72

14 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars So far so Bioware..., 21 Nov. 2014
I managed to get this 2 days early from Shopto, though my collectors ed was fullfilled by amazon. Excellent collectors ed I might add. It should be noted that this review is based on my 16 hours with the game over the past 2 days, and to the collectors edition goodies.

So, after about 16 hours with the game I can say it is quite good. It's no where near the quality of Origins, but to be honest, I doubt the Bioware that created that game will ever get back to those days. It's a shame because this could have been so much better than it is.

The metacritic review scores are currently showing a real drastic dislike from most fans but honestly it is not that bad. It's a leap ahead of DA2, which is a relief. So lets get into the details..

Combat. It is by far the worst in the series by far in my opinion. I am playing as a Mage and I literally spend every fight holding down R2 and watching the AI do the rest. This is not fun. It feels very MMO-ish, and not in a good way. Why they could not go back to the classic deep combat of Origins I don't know, it seems like they want to dumb it down to appeal for the masses. You can no longer use healing spells in combat, they are pretty much gone from the game alltogether from what I can tell. Instead we have a host of different potions and tonics (wtf?) and all I can ask is WHY? what on earth makes this better than having a mage that can heal the party? It really removes a lot of viable party options. The most you can do in this game is a tank and DPS, but on Nightmare difficulty I was getting mauled by the basic mobs. I had 8 potions and got through them so fast that they may as well not even bother. The AI is atrocious in busy fights, with most of the party just aimlessly mashing away in melee range regardless of their weapon equip. The idea though is to use the 'overhead' tactical camera..... but that is even worse. It's buggy, often gets stuck on the environment and just feels like a tacked on rushed mess. Oh Bioware :(

Once you look past the poor combat, it actually gets pretty good. The world and atmosphere are stunning, something I have always felt Bioware have been great at. The sprawling world itself is huge, with interconnected zones that have loading times seperating them. It's not 'Skyrim' open world, more like Witcher 2. And imo it works well, each zone is absolutely enourmous and filled to the brim with quests big and small, and tons of hidden areas, loot etc. The good stuff is all here thankfully. No more corridor warfare like DA2. The story is another good thing, though certainly does not have the intricate choice that the trailers and hype would imply, in fact the decisions I made in previous games seem to not have properly came over to the new game. I guess it's a bug that will be patched... but when you run into a character you killed 2 games ago it really takes away the immersion and trust of the plot.. Romances are back, though you are quite limited with only 1 or 2 potential romance characters per character.

Presentation is great. Graphics, music and sound in general are amazing minus some minor bugs like clipping hair, at least on PS4.. The frame rate while smooth in combat and gameplay, chugs a bit in cut scenes for some reason. Again they will probably patch this out.

If the above problems get fixed in future patches this game is easily a 4.5/5 but unfortunately it's held back quite a bit.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 12, 2015 4:12 PM GMT

Lords of the Fallen - Limited Edition (PS4)
Lords of the Fallen - Limited Edition (PS4)
Offered by bugsonline
Price: £22.47

20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Souls, without the Soul., 30 Oct. 2014
"We were inspired by Dark Souls" says Tomasz Gop, many times at many gaming events and conventions when describing his studio's game, Lords Of The Fallen. "The combat is challenging. It doesnt hold your hand". This had a lot of potential but sadly it just failed hard. I thought it would fill the void of emptiness, an appetiser before the feast that will be Bloodborne in February, but it's a rotten apple I'm afraid. Hidetaka Miyazaki must be looking at this game and laughing manically at how poorly it imitates his masterpieces.

The Dark Souls influence is all over the combat, but nothing else. Nothing about what made the Souls games so excellent is here in this game. It's as if they took the very core mechanics from Souls and stripped everything else away, leaving a hollow husk of bad framerate and crippling bugs.

This game is as cookie cutter, low budget ripoff as it gets. Enemies AI are janky as possible, stupid and hidden by the fact that they are "blind". Well at least the developers are honest. The system is a very poor mechanical rip of the Dark Souls games. Heavy combat with dodging, parrying and backstabs included. The problem is, hit detection is horrendous, weapons seem to have no weight or impact, and the sound design feels as though someone is in the cupboard behind you whacking pans together.

Sadly the poor quality doesn't end there. It gets much, much worse. Starting with the framerate. It dips and chugs, and screentearing is a constant problem. I thought the ps4 was a powerful enough system to get away from all of this? Obviously not, but wait... The xb1 and pc versions are just as bad - it is clearly the poor code.

Story is as generic as it gets - in fact the world, art and character design is so bad it makes me wonder if they just copy pasted this junk from their favourite warhammer or diablo fanfiction. Not one single aspect of this world makes any sense or has any kind of unique aspect to it.

Voice acting and character animation is some of the worst i've ever came across in a game. It's just so over the top and budget that I was laughing out loud during 'serious' cutscenes. The whole time, the characters are flailing their arms around as if they have a mental illness. Wtf?

I barely made it past the 4th boss and by that point if your game is still not any better, i'm out. It's just too poor to continue. Normally I would not write a review without completing the game but In this case I can't sleep at night knowing I burned £45 on this crapfest.

2 stars for atleast acknowledging and respecting the mechanics of a far better game.
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 23, 2014 7:02 PM GMT

Bayonetta 2 - Special Edition (Nintendo Wii U)
Bayonetta 2 - Special Edition (Nintendo Wii U)
Price: £39.95

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OOh my god....., 25 Oct. 2014
What can I say about this game? Other than it's probably the best action game I've ever played? Or perhaps I could talk about how it's combat system is the most perfectly refined of any game I have ever, ever played? Or perhaps to gush about how the visuals are so spectacular, spellbinding even, my 2 year old son was completely mesmerized by all the colors on the screen despite not having a clue what was going on. He sat in silence with me for 2-3 hours as I first got into this game.

This is just something else. It really is a fantastic achievement when you think it's a Wii U game, you would typically expect the exclusives to have that uncanny-valley Nintendo style and this is so far away, so unique, and so stylistically defined that I find it hard to describe. There is a mechanic called Witch Time that is effectively a mini-bullet time style power-up that allows you to keep mashing out combos if you have landed the previous combo flawlessly. It encourages you to keep trying to sharpen your button timing, whilst rewarding you gradually and it makes me wonder why no other game has done this before. It just feels so organic and I couldn't play another action game without it.

Then there is the actual art style which again, is flawless. It's just so over the top, so colorful, so bat-shit crazy that you are constantly awestruck. The boss battles are absolutely incredible, like watching an over the top firework display over a war of the worlds type of scenario. With all this stuff going on I was amazed that this game runs at a smooth 60fps, which I assumed was not possible on Wii U hardware... I guess this little console has more power than we thought. I now have great hopes for more exclusives and titles like Xenoblade X on the horizon, it could be a great year in 2015.

It's fun. It's unique. It's story is bonkers. This is everything from all of your favorite anime's as a kid, with all the polish and action of a true tripple A game. I can't recommend it enough.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 6, 2015 6:10 AM GMT

The Evil Within (PS4)
The Evil Within (PS4)
Offered by TUFFskinz
Price: £19.95

12 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very good., 14 Oct. 2014
This review is from: The Evil Within (PS4) (Video Game)
I was so very excited for this because it's Mikami and it's a throwback to classics in the survival horror genre like Resident evil 4 and Silent Hill 2. With next gen graphics? count me in!

Sounds good on paper, right? But sadly it doesn't seem to come together in a concise way. Sure, the atmosphere is very thick and it's certainly got it's fair share of survival horror style, but everything else is severely lacking. It also runs very poorly on the PS4 system. I had to restart my Ps4 at first because I thought there was something wrong (the fans go crazy and the fps drops to choppy as heck in busy scenes). This is just such a let down considering how little the Ps4 has to offer on horror games right now.

The story is really cookie cutter which is a shame. I was hoping for an intricate plot like say Silent Hill 2 but we got something more like Silent Hill Downpour which while I did enjoy that game, it certainly isn't a great story. Characters are very 2 dimensional and flat, voice acting is especially average though it seems like they did it on purpose? can't put my finger on what I mean by that, but it feels a bit 'over the top on purpose' like they are trying to nostalgia bait or something. Even Resident Evil 1's jank had charm - this game does not.


+Gunplay is nice. Headshots are epic explosions of gore.
+Atmosphere is good but it's very generic environments don't help.

+Bland story
+Not very scary
+Terrible performance on PS4
+Terrible voice acting
+A bit generic overall
+Really shoddy enemy AI.

Completed the game - edited this review. I removed one more star, this is such a trash game. So boring and over within 10 hours.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 14, 2014 5:37 PM BST

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)
Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor (PS4)
Price: £26.19

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Currently, one of the best on PS4, 8 Oct. 2014
It's good fun. Easily the best LOTR game, 8/10 from me.

Murdered: Soul Suspect Limited Edition (PS4)
Murdered: Soul Suspect Limited Edition (PS4)
Offered by AAA Toys
Price: £13.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mediocre at best., 6 Jun. 2014
I am kind of annoyed I played full price for this, because the devs did not deliver on their promises of an open world, free to explore. You are not free at all in this game, it's nearly entirely scripted and limits you to using what skills it wants you to use to solve puzzles.

It's like L.A Noire, minus the polish, and has been watered down in the difficulty department to the point of 'my mum could play it'. In fact, now that I think about it, this is probably the kind of game that my mum might play if she were remotely into games. It's just such a shame because the premise is so good, the first 10-15 mins I thought I was in for a treat... then, pants.

I would 'maybe' recommend the story, if it was not so riddled with cliche and predictability. There really is not much here for your money. The end credits were rolling just 7 hours after I started the game, completed in one sitting....

+Nice graphcs
+Good voice acting and overall presentation is it's strong point

- Just about everything else. Gameplay, story and fun is terrible.
- Will be in the bargain bins and pre-owned section of GAME for £4.99 before you know it.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 8, 2014 5:19 PM BST

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