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HELLO NEIGHBOR 2 BETA Review

Info

Developed By: Dynamic Pixels and Eerie Quest Studios.

Published By: tinyBuild.

Platforms Available On: Xbox Series X/S and One, PS5/4 and PC.

Reviewed on Xbox Series X, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

Hello Neighbor 2 is a stealth horror game about uncovering your creepy neighborโ€™s secrets. Taking place directly after events of the original, you are a journalist looking to solve the Neighborโ€™s case because no one else dares to. Play against a complex opponent controlled by an advanced AI that learns from you and all the other players! As time progresses and the Neighbor adapts to the playersโ€™ patterns, his own behavior will change and surprise you.


Gameplay

If you were a fan of the original Hello Neighbor title then rejoice as later this year tinyBuild will be releasing the sequel with a whole host of gameplay enhancements. Recently I had the opportunity to take a look at the beta build to get an understanding of what is to come.

The Hello Neighbor world has been somewhat expanded as the focus isn’t just on the Neighbor’s creepy home, now you are tasked to explore the neighborhood of Ravenbrooks to gather intel on the mysterious missing children and the reason for their disappearance.

As an investigative reporter it’s your job to sneak about the neighbourhood monitoring the strange goings on behind the closed doors. Peer through windows, spy from afar use your wits to gather the intel you need, just don’t get caught otherwise it’s game over and you need to start over again.

The different style of gameay works really well, opening up the world to beyond the house gives you so much more scope and really adds that intense feel to the game.

The new addition to the game “The Guest” a crazy bird looking man thing was crazy annoying just popping up out of nowhere to send me back, seemed to be darkness triggered so maybe keep close to the light, alongside that there were other bugs I came across but this is beta not the finished game so you have to expect some flaws.

Overall liked what I saw and looking forward to the finished product.


Graphics and Sound

For the graphics the devs have kept with the original cartoon look of the game and it looks really good.

The soundtrack of the game is creepy and makes you feel more on edge, in game the creepy sound effects really work we to create the atmosphere.


Summary

If I was to put my thoughts together in summary, I felt the game works well as a more open world it felt more immersiv and being a fan of the previous games I’m looking forward to the full release.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Good

I give Hello Neighbor 2 Beta a good score of 4๐ŸŒŸ a good insight of what is to come and definitely looking forward to see the full release.

Pre order the full game on Xbox now click here

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ROAD 96 Review

Info

Developed By: Digixart.

Published By: Ravenscourt, Koch Media.

Platforms Available On: Xbox Series X/S and One, PS5/4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Reviewed on PS5, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

Road 96 is a crazy, beautiful road-trip. The discovery of exciting places, and unusual people on your own personal journey to freedom. An ever-evolving story-driven adventure inspired by Tarantino, The Coen Brothers, and Bong Joon-ho. Made by the award-winning creators of Valiant Hearts and Memories Retold.

Moments of action, exploration, contemplative melancholy, human encounters and wacky situations. Set against a backdrop of authoritarian rule and oppression. A stunning visual style, a soundtrack filled with 90s hits, and a thousand routes through the game combine so each player can create their own unique stories on Road 96.


Gameplay

What I enjoy most about reviewing is that you come across different games that you may well have missed, going into that slot is Road 96 an adventure road trip unlike anything else you’ve seen before.

Take a step out of your life of normality and step into a new world and explore the life through the eyes of a group of youngsters trying their best to escape the authoritarian rule and skip the border for a better life.

The game is a mixture of many different games and it works so well because of that, you have point and click aspects mixed in with mini games finished off with a hint of life simulator. When I was a child my favourite books to read were choose your own adventure where you could control the out come through your choices which is what this game is as every choice you make has a consequence.

If you like a game you can get lost in then you are definitely in the right place, there is hours upon hours of gameplay for you to get lost in and virtually impossible for you to have just a quick go. Because of the choice / consequence mechanic no two game play throughs will ever be the same making for a unique gaming experience depending on the choices you make.

Without giving too much away the game itself is captivating with a deep story that resonates on many personal levels, it has raw emotions mixed with dramatic scenes that would fit into any action thriller film. The many different characters you come across each add more depth to the story with some you may find more helpful than others.

The different chapters of the game although are within the same world feel like completely different games which keeps the gameplay fresh and never boring. There’s also time to just sit in a chair kick back and enjoy the stunning scenery and soundtrack, you would think a game that has so much going on and so many characters would feel disjointed and lost but Road 96 works and works well.


Graphics and Sound

The graphics of the game are stunning, the devs have gone for a cartoon realistic approach that works really well and gives the game that warm vibe. There are times when you can just sit by a waterfall and take it all in, just take a breath and enjoy.

The soundtrack is great – also available on streaming sites/apps – a mixture of chilled guitar and upbeat dance tracks about a good a mixture as the game itself. The in game voice acting is great and really helps tell the story well.


Summary

Time to put my thoughts in a summary, the game itself is varied in styles that shouldn’t work but it does really well, the game never feels tired there’s always something to do and loads of replay potential as each time you play it it’s like a whole new game. Two big thumbs up from me.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Excellent

I give Road 96 an excellent full marks score of 5๐ŸŒŸ a game that you will never get tired of playing, seeing is believing and you definitely need to see this.

Grab your copy on PS5 now click here

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THE ASCENT-PS5 VERSION Review

Info

Developed By: Neon Giant.

Published By: Curve Games.

Available on all main platforms (apart from Nintendo Switch as yet), this review is for the recently released PS5 version.

A code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

The Ascent is a solo and co-op Action-shooter RPG, set on Veles, a packed cyberpunk world. Welcome to The Ascent Group arcology, a corporate-run metropolis stretching high into the sky and filled with creatures from all over the galaxy.


Gameplay

At the back end of last year I was lucky enough to review The Ascent on Xbox Series X on it’s release – take a look at the review here – I really enjoyed the game with it’s old school shooter vibe and it’s constant action, when the PS5 release was announced I was intrigued to see if there were any improvements or changes to the game, in this review I’ll take a look at the PS5 version and give my thoughts on the game.

Now I’m not into this one platform’s better than the other argument, but on this occasion I feel the PS5 comes out on top, the game feels alot smoother and with the adaptive control functions including sound effects through the built in controller speakers the PS5 gameplay feels alot more immersive.

Along with various bug fixes and visual polishing the game also now includes Game+, a transmog system, and a photo mode which only enhance the game even further.

In terms of the actual gameplay there isn’t much difference between the Xbox Series X version and the PS5 version, the added bug fixes on the PS5 give it the edge ever so slightly  up both are really enjoyable games.


Graphics and Sound

In terms of graphics there isn’t much of a difference between the two versions if any at all, both played on a 4k screen look stunning and experienced pretty much no visual defects.

The soundtrack is basically the same lots of full on kick ass tracks, in game the sound effects work well, I personally really enjoyed having the effects coming through the PS5 controller speaker I thought it made the game that little bit more immersive.


Summary

To summarise my thoughts of The Ascent, I personally found both games fully enjoyable throughout but felt that the ps5 version was a slightly more immersive and felt a more smoother experience overall.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Excellent

I give The Ascent (PS5) a solid top marks score of 5๐ŸŒŸ not just a platform port this is a highly polished version with more immersion, well worth picking up.

Grab your copy of The Ascent on PS5 now click here

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IKAI Review

Info

Developed By: Endflame.

Published By: PM Studios.

Platforms Available On: PS5/4, Xbox Series X/S and One, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Reviewed on PS5, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

Fear and anxiety prevail after the darkest tales from Japanese folklore come to life in this first-person psychological horror game. Set in a feudal era, Ikai revolves around the priestess of a shrine struggling to defeat the spirits of her past and her present.


Gameplay

If you like horror games that are a little more than just hack and slash then you really need to take a look at Ikai, this game chilled me to the bone but also frustrated the life out of me. The game itself seems to be a bit of a hybrid between first person horror, point and click and puzzler and trust me some of the puzzles will have you questioning your sanity.

You play as a young priestess of an ancient shrine struggling to defeat the evil spirits of her past and future, so there are no weapons to protect you in this game you need to use your mind what I mean by that is you write calligraphy seals to protect yourself from the evil spirits that lurk in the other world, this in itself can be quite tricky when using a controller as I feel that they’re not really made for this type of thing this is more suited to the Switch touch screen, but master it and it does feel quite satisfying.

As you go about doing your daily chores like washing and stuff this is when the horror side of the game begins as you venture outside of the compound and towards the river, this in itself is a puzzle as you can easily get lost, there are various puzzles you need to complete to be able to move on which were fun to complete as it made the game feel unique.

I’ve played a few Japanese horror titles lately and they have all been of a psychological nature, really going deep inside your mind and twisting your head, for the most part I found Ikai one of the better games I’ve played from this genre, there are moments of the game that literally made me jump but on the whole I was glued to the screen throughout not wanting to miss any of the story.

The whole mechanic of using your writing skills as protection really worked well ( although maybe not for controllers ) and added a unique feel to the game also adding to the tense feel of the game.

The game itself did well blending the different styles to make one hybrid game that will entertain you whilst also scaring the be-jesus out of you. The atmospheric feel as you explore the surrounding areas really make you feel on edge and make for a more immersive experience.


Graphics and Sound

Graphically I think Ikai was more or less faultless with the developers really making use of the next gen power creating environments that look super detailed giving you more of a creepy vibe.

The soundtrack was great and really worked well in the menu to build the tension. In game the voice acting wasn’t the best but it was good enough to get the story across and overall worked well.


Summary

To put my thoughts of Ikai into a summary, I would say that the game felt quite polished and did well to delve deep into dark Japanese folklore bringing a chillingly dark game that was a lot of fun albeit scary to play.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Good

I give Ikai a good rating of 4๐ŸŒŸ a good all round game that gives enough scares to keep you hooked, would recommend to any fan of the genre.

Grab your copy of Ikai on PS5 now click here

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MOTOGP 22 Review

Info

Developed/Published By: Milestone.

Platforms Available On: PS5/4, Xbox Series X/S and One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series X, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

Engines running: letโ€™s get the most immersive and authentic MotoGP gaming experience started.

THE ENTIRE MOTOGP WORLD Explore all the contents of the 2022 season in the MotoGP classes and in all the other categories. More than 120 riders, over 20 official circuits and all the excitement of the official championship are waiting for you. And if you want to take a leap into the past, over 70 historic champions will let you relive the best of MotoGPโ„ข history.

NINE SEASON 2009 Relive one of the most exciting championships in MotoGPโ„ข history! 17 Chapters, one for each Grand Prix of the 2009 season, lie ahead! Put yourself in the boots of legends such as Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa at the peak of their careers. In each episode you will face different challenges reliving first-hand the most iconic moments of the world championship.

All contents will be enhanced by more than 50 minutes of real footage at the beginning of each chapter, entirely narrated and directed by the extraordinary Mark Neale.

WHERE CHAMPIONS ARE MADE Enter the MotoGP ACADEMY to reveal the champion in you: through new game challenges you will learn all the tricks of the trade to be the fastest on every track. Become the rider you’ve always wanted to be with new tutorials that will help you improve quickly through short gameplay sessions.

ENJOY THE MOST REALISTIC GAMING EXPERIENCE AND CUSTOMISE YOUR RACE Dive into the most realistic and immersive MotoGP experience ever! From the faces of your heroes to the restyling of the official pits, attention has been given to every detail like never before! Create your world in the MotoGPโ„ข videogame and ride with even more style. By using 5 graphic editors, you will be able to customise every look of the game, from the liveries to the ridersโ€™ suits.

PLAN YOUR SUCCESS WITH THE MANAGERIAL CAREER! Create your own team or join an official one. Choose your staff and develop your bike improving engine, frame, aerodynamics, and electronics: take full control of your gaming experience! Create a junior team in Moto2 and Moto3: hire a team manager, technical director and a rider to achieve new goals. NEW MULTIPLAYER MODE For the first time in the franchise, you will be able to challenge your friends in split-screen mode. Don’t miss this chance!

And if that werenโ€™t enough, have fun with the amazing challenges online that the cross-gen multiplayer mode offers! (Cross-gen multiplayer will be available on consoles of the same family).


Gameplay

I was lucky enough to review the previous MotoGP game last year ( take a look here ) and I really enjoyed it so I was pretty excited to take a look at this year’s edition and see what improvements have been made.

With a roster jam packed with all the official riders from the 2022 season and also 70 historical riders and bikes to choose from making this game one of the most immersive ever.

MotoGP 22 is definitely a game that would be more suited to a fan or enthusiast as it goes quite indepth into the sport with a gamer that isn’t a fan would probably feel out of their depth pretty quickly. The career mode is back with a more expanded feel with the options of jumping straight in at the big boy level at GP or stepping in at the bottom at GP3 level and working your way up through the levels, this is by far the best way to get into the game as you can build your skills up before you hit the big time.

Once you’ve chosen your level you can chose the size of season you want to go for whether you want the full GP season or go for one of the more shorter options, it’s all down to you making it a more personal experience as not everyone has the time to play the full season length but still wants to experience some of the overall feel of the season this makes it an ideal solution all round.

Once all that part is chosen you then move on to chosing your management team then you either search the factory race teams and see what contracts they have on offer or you can join a whole new set up with a new sponsored team and see how far you can take them, baring in mind the more established team you go for the more the expectations will be so if you’re not fully confident in your abilities may be best to go for the new team and move up as you grow.

There are some customisation options on offer after you’ve picked your team, you can choose from a list of set liveries for your bike and suit you can also choose the colour set up of your suit again this makes the game that bit more personal to you.

If you are new to the game you may find it difficult to get to grips with the bike’s handling, there is a skill school area which is basically tutorials that teach you the basics and get you in tune with your bike making you a better rider in the long term. Once you hit the track you can also make some adjustments to the settings to make it a little easier as you get to grips with everything, for example you can switch on assisted braking which makes handling corners alot easier giving you more opportunity to enjoy the racing.

Much like most other race games you do have the other modes available such as single race and multiplayer including the ultra competitive online mode but the mode that makes this game stand out is Nine Season which let’s you replay the iconic season of 2009 which was the most closely contested season ever, replay iconic moments with legends such as Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa. The gameplay is cut up with real life footage commentated by Mark Neale who tells you the full back story ramping up the tension for when you get back into the game. I loved playing this mode it felt more like a documentary and really well put together.

Overall I really enjoyed the game once again and I felt as if I enjoyed this one more than last years edition, MotoGP isn’t just turning out yearly games with just a visual dust up this is a much improved game, although the last one there wasn’t much at all wrong.


Graphics and Sound

The graphics of MotoGP 22 are almost cinematic, Milestone have once again outdone themselves with once again bringing out stellar graphics that really add the realism to the game, even at high speeds the game looks incredible and even at times looks like you’re watching the actual race.

The soundtrack of the game is pretty good with some good upbeat music in the menus, the in game sounds are ultra realistic and really work well to bring an all round authentic racing experience.


Summary

Time to summarise my thoughts on MotoGP 22, one of the best racing games I’ve played, I felt the game was authentic and immersive and really enjoyed the overall experience. The addition of the Nine Season mode really added extra enjoyment to the game.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Excellent

I give MotoGP 22 a solid full marks 5๐ŸŒŸ incredible game with intense and immersive gameplay, fully recommended for any MotoGP fan.

Grab your copy of MotoGP 22 on Xbox now click here

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LAWN MOWING SIMULATOR: DINO SAFARI DLC Review

Info

Developed By: Skyhook Games.

Published By: Curve Games.

Platforms Available On: PC, PS5/4 and Xbox.

Reviewed on Xbox Series X, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

Dino Safari first opened its doors in 1994 to capitalise on the mainstream obsession with all things prehistoric, and is proudly still going strong today. This beloved local location is one of the areaโ€™s premier tourist attractions, transporting kids and adults alike into a bygone time around its proud central volcano. There are four main zones containing eight dinosaurs whose grounds need maintainingโ€ฆ if youโ€™re brave enough!

T-Rex Paddock The notorious Tyrannosaurus Rex is the favourite dinosaur of many, and you can follow its footprints into the T-Rex Paddock. Carefully trim around these prints to keep them visible and pristine for Dino Safariโ€™s guests!

Cretaceous Canyon The Cretaceous Canyon is called home not only to more unique archaic creatures but also the parkโ€™s Cretaceous Cafรฉ, where all ages can enjoy a bite to eat. Unfortunately, some of the guestsโ€™ manners could also be described as archaic โ€“ so youโ€™ll have to make sure to keep the area in tip-top shape with both cutting and litter contracts. Herbivore Valley Herds of gentle giants โ€˜roamโ€™ through

Herbivore Valley – and Dino Safariโ€™s guests often enjoy a shaded seat under a Brachiosaurus, or a picnic with a Parasaurolophus. Dino Safariโ€™s youngest patrons can also use Herbivore Valleyโ€™s play area, so itโ€™s vital that this zone remains as clean and tidy as possible.

Raptor Enclosure – Follow the winding trail through thick bushes to the Raptor Enclosure; possibly the most dangerous of all Dino Safari zones. Make sure that even the most petrified of guests stop for a second to admire the pristine surroundings before continuing their escape from the resident Velociraptors.


Gameplay

Have you ever watched Jurassic Park and thought “I wonder what it would be like to mow that grass?” Yeah it’s probably the most asked question in films, well now you can thanks to the latest Lawn Mowing Simulator DLC Dino Safari

Dino Safari gives you the chance to get as close as possible to the dinosaurs as you get given the chance to tend to the lawns around the attractions of a dinosaur theme park giving you a different challenge to the previous locations, I mean you won’t want to damage a T-Rex right?.

Get ready to expand the Lawn Mowing world as Dino Safari brings a whole host of new features:

1) 4 new contract locations – Cretaceous Canyon – Herbivore Valley – Raptor Enclosure – T-Rex Paddock

2) 12 career contracts

3) 4 general cut contracts

4) 4 overgrown contracts

5) 4 litter contracts

6) 4 new valuables to find in Career mode (One in each contract location)

7) 6 new Xbox and Steam Achievements.

Nothing much has changed from the actual gameplay side of things, it pretty much plays out the same as the base game, what Dino Safari does bring is a vast landscape for you to explore, giving a fresh feel to the game adding more content to freshen things up, I personally found it fascinating to be able to get up close and personal to all the attractions making it feel like a behind the scenes ticket to a theme park.

If you enjoyed the previous DLC and the original base game then it will reignite your love of the game and get those green fingers tingling all over again.

To get the full lowdown on the game check out my review for the base game click here


Graphics and Sound

If you have already played to base game you will already know that the developers have really made use of the next gen power by producing top notch graphics than really make you feel you are part of the game, the graphics of this particular dlc match their game if not better it with the inclusion of life like dinosaurs really giving the gamer an authentic experience.

The soundtrack again is pretty chilled with some nice backround music in the menus and just the sound of birds and mowers buzzing as you work, the inclusion if a radio or even a playlist to play while you work but I think that’s just down to my personal feeling.


Summary

To summarise my thoughts on Dino Safari DLC, it’s a good addition to an already expansive game that not only covers industrial gardening but also business management. The addition of Dinosaurs really adds a bit of make believe to a normally serious and to be fair who doesn’t love exploring a dinosaur park.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Good

I give Lawn Mowing Simulator Dino Safari DLC a good rating of 4๐ŸŒŸ a DLC pack well worth investing in.

Grab your copy of Dino Safari DLC on Xbox now click here

You can also find the base game here

The game is also included in your Xbox Game Pass subscription if you have that.

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THE WATCHMAKER Review

Info

Developed By: Micropsia

Published By: Badlands

Platforms Available On: Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch and PC.

Reviewed on PS5 via backwards compatibility, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.


Overview

The Watchmaker is an amazing adventure from Chilean studio Micropsia Games set in a pictures steampunk world of giant clockwork mechanisms where time has gone mad. Join Alexander, the tower’s watchmaker, on his mission to return time to its natural course!

In The Watchmaker, a puzzle-filled adventure game, the player becomes Alexander. In his steampunk world made up of giant clockwork mechanisms, Alexander’s routine consists of daily repairing his beloved clock tower by adjusting its mechanisms, greasing the gears and leaving every last piece flawless. And this is repeated daily. Discover the mystery of why Alexander ages so quickly.


Features:

Steampunk adventure-puzzle game that takes place in 5 huge scenarios.

Innovative gameplay that mixes exploration, puzzles, platforming and boss fights.

Interact with your environment and use artifacts such as magnetic gloves and time bombs to solve puzzles.

Unusual aging process that replaces the usual health bar.


Gameplay

Now I’ve played plenty of puzzle games over the years and many steam punk related ones too but never really come across a hybrid of the two, this is where The Watchmaker comes into the fray.

The Watchmaker is a unique take on the puzzle/platformer genre with its unique gameworld inside a giant clock tower, but time I broken and you must help Alexander through the clock tower and repair time before it’s too late.

The health system is quite unique as you don’t lose health you just get older, keep an eye on your age as if you hit 90 you die and it’s game over, you can replenish your health or age at the various checkpoints that you’ll unlock on way through the game.

Work your way through the clock tower and restore time using your magnetic powers to solve the puzzles allowing you to progress through the game. Time is really of the essence as the more you wait about and the longer you take the quicker your age increases so you need to be quick thinking and nimble on your feet, quickness is definitely the key.

Overall I found the game unique and quite challenging and found it enjoyable and refreshing to play something different.


Graphics and Sound

The graphics of the game are pretty good and the game world looks good enough to play through, the details aren’t quite next gen but they do look good, I’m loving the whole steampunk feel to the game.

The sounds of the game are pretty good and add more depth to the game, the voice acting is good enough and adds more to the storytelling rather than just stills.


Summary

To summarise my thoughts on The Watchmaker, an overall enjoyable experience with a very unique approach to the puzzle/platformer genre. The graphics aren’t quite next gen but still good enough to give a good gaming experience.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Good

I give The Watchmaker a good score of 3๐ŸŒŸ a unique gaming experience putting a different spin on the genre.

Grab your copy of The Watchmaker on PlayStation now click here

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GO STRAIGHT Book Review

Info

Published By: Bitmap Books.

Written By: Dave Cook.

Featuring art by Jorge M Valez.


Overview

Get ready for the fight of your life in Go Straight: The Ultimate Guide to Side-Scrolling Beat-โ€™Em-Ups. Written by award-winning author Dave Cook, and opening with a foreword by legendary Double Dragon creator, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, this odyssey through bare-knuckle nostalgia features over 200 games spanning 37 years, starting with Iremโ€™s 1984 arcade mash, Kung-Fu Master, continuing through the genreโ€™s โ€˜90s heyday, and finishing with indie brawlers such as Mother Russia Bleeds and Streets of Rage 4.


Review

For those that are familiar with my reviewing and also my other favourite pastime you’d know that I am a bit of a comic and book nerd aswell as gamer and enjoy getting stuck into a vast array of books, now when the two worlds collide I do tend to get a little excited, now imagine if you have been gaming nearly most of your memorable life and someone could take you on a journey back through time with one of your favourite genres, side scrolling beat em ups, well that’s exactly what the awesome folk at Bitmap Books have done with their latest release Go Straight.

When I first go hold of Go Straight I thought it was basically an encyclopedia for gaming, technically it still could be classed as that, however what I didn’t know was it is narrated throughout with words from Award winning writer Dave Cook, who puts his own obvious passion for the genre into each page and it definitely shows.

Although the book is info heavy it reads like an autobiography as Dave goes into the games but also puts his own personal perspective on the titles too which will make this a far more relatable read to any retro gaming fan.

It was amazing for me to step back into titles such as the iconic Streets of Rage series, showing some screen shots as well as giving us a detailed run down of the game, the iconic nighttime city skyline shot from streets of Streets of Rage also you get a really cool fold out segment where you get a description of all the bad guy. Another of my favourites that featured is Altered Beast, another great memory almost brought to life on the pages.

The book itselfย is printed lithographically to the highest standards. This makes the colours in the book pop and that the pages have a high-quality, luxurious feel to them. As standard, each book is offered in hardback and spot-varnished, the quality of the book is bar far the best I’ve seen and it is definitely a case of seeing or feeling is believing.

When you get something that is produced but people who have a passion for the subject it shows and this most definitely is a product of passion, each page is just full of wonderful memories, if you were around in this era (late 80s early 90s) then you definitely need to get your head into this it will definitely bring the fondness back, it certainly rekindled my love of retro and made me get back on Streets of Rage once again.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Excellent

I give Go Straight a solid full marks score of 5๐ŸŒŸ in fact if I had more marks I would give them too, this book is nothing short of incredible and a genuine must have for any retro game fan, a guaranteed conversation piece to have in the house and also a fantastic visual time machine.

Grab your copy of Go Straight online from Bitmap Books here or from your local book shop.

If you want to see the book itself take a look at my unboxing video here

I will be reviewing other titles from Bitmap Books so be sure to check back for those reviews coming soon.

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NASCAR 21 IGNITION Review

Info

Developed/Published By: Motorsport Games.

Platforms Available On: PS4, Xbox One and PC.

Reviewed on PS5 via backwards compatibility, a code was very kindly supplied fo purpose of this review.


Overview

NASCAR 21: Ignition redefines the official video game of the worldโ€™s most popular stock car racing series. With incredible graphics and immersive gameplay, NASCAR 21: Ignition brings a whole new level of authenticity and atmosphere to the NASCAR Cup Series.


Gameplay

Being a bit of a petrol head I do enjoy playing racing games, whether it’s on  four wheels or two normally the games are pretty good and especially the ones that are fully licensed. Now being a fan of American sports in general I especially like playing the games that come from that.

I recently had the chance to take a look at Nascar Heat ( click here ) on the Nintendo Switch, I thoroughly enjoyed the game on the handheld console, so when the chance came up to take a look at a Nascar game on the bigger console I needed to take a look, offering a more indepth all round experience, I was definitely looking forward to taking a closer look.

Nascar Ignition 21 for me brings the most immersive racing game I’ve seen for a good while all aspects of the real life racing world are there for you to explore with an indepth career mode, great single player mode where you can jump into certain races and an expansive multiplayer mode letting you race split screen or online with players around the world.

The game is fully licensed so you get all the drivers, cars and tracks of the season including all alternate liveries for the cars, the tracks featured are fully official racetracks which are featured in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season, including the Circuit of the Americas, Daytona Road Course, and Nashville Superspeedway. I most enjoyed throwing car 4 round Daytona as Kevin Harvick. The menu options you have in game are pretty much the same as most racing games, career mode, race now which is a quick race or single race, multiplayer and customisation. The car customisation options are insane you have so many different layers to add your own unique livery to the car giving you that personal touch, a brand-new Paint Booth offers an unrivaled level of customization allowing you to create your own NASCAR Cup Series paint scheme complete with your own iconic race number.

In career mode you work your way through the ranks to become a fully fledged legend of the track, choose your team and contract wisely to start with, it may be attractive to jump in with the big boys but they will want results, I personally found it better to go with the one of the smaller teams and ease my way in with no pressure. Get more involved on the technical side of things by trying out different engine management settings in your garage, have a tinker about and find the perfect settings for you.

For those that aren’t really into Nascar you’ll probably think racing around in a circle is boring, well you couldn’t be more wrong it is a lot more thrilling than that, each lap is edge of the seat racing with the cars tightly bunched together giving the ultimate driving experience.

Single race mode gives you a good chance to race round different tracks and try out different cars, I used this mode to get a few races and wins under my belt before I got into the career to find out how everything works.

Multiplayer for me is where the challenge is at, pit your wits against the best drivers from around the globe in probably the most authentic way to enjoy the game or even push your friends to the edge with a couch split screen battle.


Graphics and Sound

The graphics of this game are much improved from previous games, utilizing the Unreal Engine, NASCAR Ignition 21 allows players to experience the โ€ฏthrill and atmosphere of the NASCAR Cup Series. Each and every race looks and feels like you are sat right there.

The soundtrack of the game is good and creates a good exciting feel to the game when in menus, in game sound effects are authentic with voiceover from MRN Radio and 23XI Racingโ€™s Freddie Kraft.


Summary

To summarise my thoughts on Nascar Ignition 21, if you want the authentic Nascar racing feel then you have to go for this, a game that gives you the best feel of the race weekend that I have played, a fully immersive experience. I would fully recommend this even if you’re not a Nascar fan, you soon will be.

Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

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Excellent

I give Nascar Ignition 21 a strong full marks 5๐ŸŒŸ one of the best racing games I’ve played in some time, truly authentic and immersive experience for fans and non fans alike, would recommend to anyone.

Grab your copy of Nascar Ignition 21 on PlayStation now click here

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Reviews

TONY & CLYDE: SICARIO’S TOOL KIT EDITION Review

Info

Published/Developed By: DCF Studios.

Platforms Available On: Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.

Reviewed on Xbox Series X via backwards compatibility, a code was very kindly supplied for the purpose of this review.

I was lucky enough to review the main game on it’s original release so this is a quick look at the updated game with the “Sicario’s Toolkit” update, if you want to check out the original review you can see that here


Overview

People sometimes ask me who Tony and Clyde are. And I tell them: Theyโ€™re not simple thugs from the streets. But theyโ€™re not highly trained criminals or professional robbers, either. NO WAY! Thereโ€™s more to them than just that. You see. Some like a bit of the good life: the big piles of money, the glamour of being reverenced in the streets.

Others are addicted to the adrenaline rush of an ongoing heist, combined with the smell of recently burned gunpowder, followed by the sound of empty shells falling on the ground. While some simply enjoy watching the world burn, especially when theyโ€™re the ones with the empty can of gas in hand. But Tony and Clyde are different. Why? Well, because Tony and Clyde want the whole package!

Sicario’s Toolkit Edition comes with some new updates to the gameplay:

No more One Hit Kill (Only if you wish for)
Body Armor!
Weapons Attributes Exposed: for a better Loadout build
Fully Optimized: Smooth!


Gameplay

I personally quite enjoyed playing Tony & Clyde the first time round, but the only main issue I had was the one shot kill made it super difficult (and at times annoying) so when I heard that a new version of the game is released with the one shot removed (optional-although is removed as default) I was hyped to try it again.

The game runs pretty much the same, full on macho bravado with big guns and big explosions with an almost retro feel to it, however now if you keep the one shot kill off the game seems to run smooth and is definitely far more enjoyable but still had a level of challenge that doesn’t ruin the game.

There are bad guys around every corner some with bigger guns than others bringing more fun to the game than you could possibly need.

The overall feeling of the gameplay is far better with the new update and really has improved the game, it still has the “beer and pizza” movie game feel but now it’s an open bar with unlimited pizza so buckle up as this is going to get messy.


Graphics and Sound

The graphics of the game haven’t changed really from the original, I mean if it isn’t broke why fix it? The fun over the top action cartoon style really fits the game and gives it that fun feeling, blood splats and explosions a plenty this game just works and does it well.

Same as the graphics the soundtrack is the same with punchy, rocky music getting you in the mood for a fight, the in game voice acting is great although maybe not for the younger gamers out there as the language is a bit colourful but it works well bringing the ultimate bro-flick game.


Summary

To summarise my thoughts on Tony & Clyde: Sicario’s Toolkit Edition, the original was a great game but the improvements made in this edition have elevated it to a fantastic game and one that I’ll definitely be going back to time and again, still think the addition of co-op would finish the game off.


Verdict-Out of 5๐ŸŒŸ

Good

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I give Tony & Clyde: Sicario’s Toolkit Edition a good score of 4๐ŸŒŸ, I liked the original game but the new improvements have made this game a great game and one I’ll continue to enjoy.

Grab your copy of Tony & Clyde: Sicario’s Toolkit Edition on Xbox now click here