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Horizon Zero Dawn – Frozen Wilds DLC Review (Guest review by @Claeya)

Claeya is one of our regulars here at Sanitarium.FM and in September, won our monthly chat giveaway. After asking for a copy of the DLC instead of the usual prizes, she kindly wrote up a quick DLC review, because she’s awesome!
~Lone

It’s been almost 8 months since Horizon Zero Dawn graced our tv screens on the ps4, and it’s been just over 7 since I completed it.

 

 

It took me a little while to get back into the play style which wasn’t a big deal at all, what did grate me slightly was that I had finished the game’s main campaign and the first thing you hear when you start the Frozen Wilds DLC is Sylens complaining that you’re not focused and off track from the “mission”. I did that mission; and like some other games before it Horizon Zero Dawn opted to push you back to just before the last chapter afterwards.

 

This all correlates to having forgotten some intricate details which get fleshed out and the small feeling that this story would have fit nicely in the game without the need to buy and add it on top of what’s already happened.

 

 

Aside from these things however the Frozen Wilds is just as engaging as Horizon has always been. Beautiful scenery and captivating gameplay continuing to move you forward and keeping you exploring every area. In this Aloy finally has full contact with the Banuk, a socially outcast tribe made up of many smaller tribes who would rather live in the almost uninhabitable snow tops of Yellowstone than anywhere else.

 

 

You have to help them sort their troubles out and stop Hephaestus, a program that was part of the GAIA project originally that we heard of during the main campaign, whose been working tirelessly to create these strong machines called Daemons that really want you dead. If you thought going up against a Thunderjaw sucked just wait until you have to fight a Daemonic Fireclaw! Boy oh boy.

 

 

It didn’t take long to finish and they threw the usual find valuables quest’s in to bulk it out along with a few side quests. I’m most certainly hoping that this isn’t the last we’ll see of Horizon Zero Dawn even if there’s no more to add here, in this game.

 

A solid 8.8/10 for me with this DLC.

 

Again, a HUGE thank you to Claeya for writing this guest review, if you’d like to review or even join us as a DJ or video editor, join us on Discord!
~Lone

 

Horizon Zero Dawn – Frozen Wilds DLC is available to buy for Playstation 4 here


November 15th, 2017 by Lonesamurai
Posted in General | No Comments »

Atari’s Ataribox: Company Reveals First Details

The Atari Logo

Atari raised a number of eyebrows earlier this year when it suddenly announced it was getting back into the hardware game and working on a brand new console, called the Steambox. Teaser trailers, a preview of the console’s planned appearance, and a statement from the company – emphasising that they were “taking things slowly” and revealing information gradually to ensure they get everything right – soon followed; but it’s fair to say that we still don’t know much about exactly WHAT the Ataribox is… that is, until today.

 

In a newsletter to subscribers, Atari has finally let loose some information on exactly what the Ataribox is planned to be. The console will be based on PC hardware and offer “a full PC experience for the TV, bringing you streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more”, as well as the games. The system will run a customised, lightweight Linux distribution “with a customized, easy-to-use user interface”, not unlike a Steambox. Atari explained the decision to use Linux with the following statement:

 

Most TV devices have closed systems and content stores. Linux lets us be more open; you can access & customise the OS, & you can access games you’ve bought from other content platforms (if compatible with the OS and HW).

 

On the topic of games, Atari have confirmed that the console will come preloaded both with classic Atari titles, and with current-generation titles “from a range of studios”. The company hopes to reveal information on the titles in the coming weeks.

 

Atari’s announcement also put heavy emphasis on the company’s desire to have the Atari community “be part of this launch. We want you to have early access, grab special editions (& pricing) and to have you as active partners in the rollout of Ataribox.” To this extent, the company has announced that the console will undergo an IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign, planned to launch “very soon”. Atari claim that the Ataribox is currently planned to retail for an expected price range of $249-$299, depending on “specific editions and memory configurations”. Fans fawning over the previously-announced Atari 2600-homaging wood-based design will also be pleased to hear that this edition of the console will be made with “real wood”.

 

The Ataribox is planned to ship in late Spring 2018. We’ll have more news as it gets revealed.


September 27th, 2017 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Technology | No Comments »

EGX 2017: Floor Review And A First Timers Look At EGX

The joy of the prevalence of video games in recent times, is that it’s easier to explain your niche to others. This made it especially easy to explain to strangers why I was dressed as a character from Overwatch on a busy Sunday train to Birmingham, as I made my way to EGX at the NEC. And, while I am a regular convention goer and equally an avid gamer I had never been to a games specific expo before.

 

 

EGX is a mainstay for the big name gaming companies, with many demonstrations and presentations on new titles; regular Twitch streams by devs; cosplay competitions and merchandise on the floor. It has big draw for casual gamers, for families, and for industry professionals – and even for those looking for advice for how to make gaming their career. With all this in mind I was definitely expecting a busy day of exploring the expo floor and hopefully getting to try out some games in the process.

 

 

The upside was there was definitely plenty to see and do from a browsing standpoint. From the moment you walked in there were people handing out fliers and codes for promotions. The indie games area, EGX Rezzed, dominated the front zone even before you started to approach any of the larger name companies. I found this quite refreshing, as a demonstration of the importance of the indie market, and offered a great mix of games to play in genres ranging from very family friendly, to viral horror potential.

 

 

There were a good number of competitive gaming areas on show. This included the ESL E-Sports Arena; The Road to EGX Overwatch tournament; and a Street Fighter V tournament that had a raucous and excited crowd. It was great to see audience participation encouraged, as these areas had huge viewing screens that allowed folks to stand back and immerse themselves in the action, and to get behind the players throwing down – sometimes, quite literally – on screen.

 

Being present Sunday meant catching the tail-end of the various exciting panels that were available to attendees, but EGX had provided streams via Twitch the entire weekend and these could be caught up on through mobile even if it wasn’t physically possible to get inside. These can also be watched back on the EGX YouTube channel and give a good insight into many of the games that were on parade as well as industry insights.

 

 

The biggest draw still came in the shape of the big names, with Sony, Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Sega, Square Enix and Blizzard all having their own zones broken up over the expo. There were long waits for anyone who wanted a sneak peek at titles such as Farcry 5 or Assassin’s Creed Origins, to learn more about recent releases like Destiny 2, or even to try their hands at Youtube phenomenons like PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds.

 

There were upsides and downsides throughout my time on the expo floor. The biggest obstacle I found as a casual con-goer was that when it came to trying things out I didn’t get to see or do quite as much as I might’ve liked. Though the Indie Rezzed zone occupied most of the entrance area many games were only available on one or two screens at best.

 

 

A prevalent theme throughout the whole expo was that there didn’t seem to be many people enforcing rotation of players, either. On one occasion I came over to the Overwatch area after having been there an hour previous, and the same folks were still playing on many of the computers available. It made it much more evident to me why so many people make EGX a four day long event, in order to get as much gaming in as possible.

 

But where there was sometimes a lack of gaming there was still a lot of engagement. Representatives were generally happy to talk with con-goers. There was a cosplay stage in the centre of the convention where people could go and watch others that had turned their love of gaming into a creative outlet. There was some great merchandise available, from t-shirts to bags, figures to tech accessories.

 

Another great addition came in the form of a board gaming area, which had the Playopolis board game library working with EGX for the first time. They were providing games for visitors to sit together and play in the seating area. Some upcoming titles were demonstrating as well, including the MMORPG inspired City of Kings, were set out for folks who wanted physical gaming as well as digital gaming. There were some board gaming specialist vendors, too, making it just as easy to take the same experiences home with you.

 

 

All in all, I found my first experience of EGX a fun one, with most of the hiccups I encountered ones that could be easily rectified with a little pre-planning, or even spending a longer time at the convention over its four day length. And, with the joyous prevalence of video games in recent times, who knows – it may be even bigger and better than ever the next time it rolls around.

 

And with that…

Isnotavampire.

 

 


September 26th, 2017 by isnotavampire
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, MOBA, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood Live Letter 37 Digest (Part 2)

Welcome back! In the last part I went over the first half of the Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood live letter at E3 and in this part I will cover the Q&A as well as the announcements at the end.

 

 

They started the Q&A by addressing some of the concerns about the potential state of White Mage: many people have cited the lack of utility in its kit and their new mechanic favours mana inefficient single target healing over more powerful healing spells such as their potent regeneration abilities and area of effects in exchange for reduced cooldowns on the cooldown based abilities which White Mage has traditionally based their spell usage around already. The developers were clearly of the mindset that the complaints were overblown and asked fans to wait to try it at level 70 for themselves (and also pointed out that a decent portion was born from an old press build which is almost two months out of date at this point).

 

 

The next question was asking for clarification as to the new dungeon cycle. There had been rumours that there was only going to be one new dungeon in odd numbered patches, something which was confirmed here. They went on to explain they would rather release one new dungeon at the same item level as the previous ones and use the freed up manpower to work on other new content and sited data indicated that players ran dungeons less on odd numbered patches.

 

 

Next the developers were asked yet again about a glamour log, similar to Guild Wars 2 or World of Warcraft’s and reiterated that it would be extremely difficult from a technical viewpoint (they have previously stated it due to legacy code from 1.x ) but said suggestions of being able to cheaply buy glamour items that are unlocked by achievements may be a possible alternative.

 

The penultimate question they answered was about bringing back scrapped ability animations as emotes. They were very to the point about this and simply stated it was a maybe, if there was fan feedback in favour of it.

 

 

Lastly they were asked if there were any plans to mark certain servers as official roleplay servers, something they said would be trivial from a technical viewpoint but were hesitant due to concerns about existing non-roleplayers on those servers, pointing out that since it was four years after the relaunch of the game there were fairly concrete communities of the such even on the most RP heavy of servers such as Balmung. The end result was them saying that if something like a survey heavily favoured it they would consider it.

 

After the Q&A they talked about the post launch content and reiterated the timetable: Early Access for those who preordered the expansion starts this Friday the 16th, the expansion releases properly on the 20th and then there will be a two week gap before the normal difficulty of the eight man raid’s first wing is released on the 4th of July. Then there will be another two week gap to July the 18th when Omega savage (the harder difficulty) is released alongside The Lost Canals of Uznir – which is the level 70 of the Aquopolis, a mini dungeon type instance you sometimes find portals to when doing treasure maps in the open world – as well as the weekly capped Allagan tomestone: Creation. The uncapped tomestone of Verity will be unlocked at the start.

 

 

They then ended by showing off a few new merchandise as well as a new system to reward people who subscribe instead of the current veteran rewards which are no longer being added to.


June 26th, 2017 by CyberGoblin
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation | No Comments »

Nintendo confirm SNES-flavoured sequel to Nintendo Classic Mini line

Nintendo made waves last year when, near the holiday season, it released the NES Classic Mini – a miniaturised facsimile of the original Nintendo Entertainment System, with 30 classic games built-in. Though the console was only available for a few months – with most selling out – before being discontinued by Nintendo as a “limited edition product”, even before its discontinuation, rumours were swirling about a potential sequel based on the NES’s successor console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System – often shortened to “Super NES” or just “SNES”.

 

Well fans, the wait is over. Nintendo has confirmed the rumours, announcing that a SNES-flavoured sequel IS indeed in production and will be hitting European and American Nintendo fans very soon!

 


Official banner showing off the European Super Nintendo Entertainment System, courtesy Nintendo UK (click to enlarge).

 

Like the NES Classic Mini, the Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System is a miniaturised replica of the Super NES console, seemingly with the localised styling for its region. For us Europeans, that means the sleek and svelte curved chassis embellished on its top-right corner with the four-colour Super NES emblem; Americans will receive the blocky, squarish design with purple buttons that was released in that region. It’s not yet clear if the controllers – of which two will be included in every pack – will follow suit. Also included in the package will be a HDMI cable, allowing the classic games to be enjoyed in Full HD for the first time; and a USB cable for power. Annoyingly, the European package will NOT include an AC Adaptor in the box, meaning that if you don’t have a powered USB port on your TV, you will need to pay extra for an adaptor to plug it into the mains.

 


The less sleek, but still attractive US Edition of the SNES Classic Mini, alongside its controllers (courtesy Nintendo of America)

 

But what about the games? While the SNES Classic Mini will feature a smaller software library to its predecessor – containing just 21 games compared to the NES Mini’s 30, the titles on offer still give a diverse range of single- and multi-player games comprising many of the original console’s favourite titles. All but one of these titles will be available straight off the bat, and all of the titles will be based on their original 60Hz American releases – even in the European edition. For example, Contra III: The Alien Wars, which was remade in Europe as Super Probotector: Alien Rebels, will go back to the original US version for both region’s consoles. Star Fox (originally released as Starwing in Europe) and Final Fantasy III (which is actually Final Fantasy VI in the original Japanese numbering scheme, as the actual 3-5 were not released in US originally) also keep their US names.

 

Games available from the start:

 

  • Contra III: The Alien Wars
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • EarthBound
  • Final Fantasy III
  • F-ZERO
  • Kirby Super Star
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Mega Man X
  • SECRET of MANA
  • Star Fox
  • Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Super Ghouls’n Ghosts
  • Super Mario Kart
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island
  • Super Metroid
  • Super Punch-Out!!

 

While all the games listed above are available out of the box, Nintendo has also tucked in one final tasty treat. By playing one level of Star Fox, a twenty-first, exclusive game will be unlocked: Star Fox 2! This sequel to the original Star Fox, also originally intended for the SNES, was cancelled just prior to its original launch in all regions, and although it has since been leaked and made available illegally online as a ROM, the game has never been officially released by Nintendo – until now!

 

The SNES Classic Edition will hit both Europe and America on September 29, 2017 with a suggested retail price of $79.99 in America; European Retail Price is to be confirmed.


June 26th, 2017 by CrimsonShade
Posted in Gaming, General, Nintendo | 1 Comment »

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