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Multiplatform Review: Bridge Constructor: Portal

Enter the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and experience Bridge Constructor Portal – the unique merging of the classic Portal™ and Bridge Constructor™ games.

 

 

Deep within the test chambers of Aperture Science, a new branch of research and development is initiated. Welcome, Trainee, to Bridge Constructor: Portal.

 

From developers, ClockStone Studio, and published by HeadUp Games, comes a new addition to the puzzle-based universe of Portal.

 

 

The task is simple enough. Build a bridge to guide forklifts, transporting obviously important Aperture Science Sciencing Materials, from a starting position, to an end position.

 

The challenge comes from an increasingly abstract level layout, alternating start and end positions, adversarial gun turrets, and of course, the iconic portals.

 

The level progression moves at a comfortable pace, which provides a good opportunity to practice each time a new element is added to the game.

 

There are 60 test chambers to work your way through, with two levels of challenge; build a construct that will handle a single truck, or put your engineering abilities to the test, and successfully help a convoy of trucks traverse the chamber!

 

 

A vaguely wobbly bridge might suffice for a single truck, but that wobble might throw off the trajectory of the third driver of the convoy, or there might be insufficient support in your build, and the whole thing might come crashing down; sending you straight back to the drawing board!

 

Aesthetically, the game takes much of it’s style from the Aperture Science infomercials that introduced new mechanics in Portal 2, and it adds a unique charm to the game that instantly makes you feel like you’re back in the Aperture testing chambers.

 

Tutorial assistance, and comments from GLaDOS further add to the game’s appeal.

 

The user interface is minimalistic, yet incredibly functional, with controls that are easy to master, and in the main menu, there is a section for additional tips to improve your constructions.

 

 

Available on Steam, Mac, PS4, XBox One, Switch, and Mobile devices; Bridge Constructor: Portal is a well-designed, easily accessible, and ingenious little game, full of charm, and challenge, that is well worth checking out if you enjoy physics puzzles, or are a fan of the games that preceded this one.

 

It’s a perfect blend of the Bridge Constructor series, and the unique sci-fi world of Portal!

 

Bridge Constructor: Portal is available now on –

STEAM

https://store.steampowered.com/app/684410/Bridge_Constructor_Portal/

Playstation 4

https://store.playstation.com/en-us/product/UP0825-CUSA09729_00-BRIDPORPS4SCEA00

XBox One

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/p/bridge-constructor-portal/bnrx1dn6gxm6

Switch

https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Bridge-Constructor-Portal-1342894.html

 

Just remember that the cake, and the bridge, is a lie.

8.5/10 ~Captain Meatshield


April 27th, 2018 by
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox |

Tomb Raider Remaster Canned

What was old is once again new, HD remasters and remakes have been a thing for many years, with many games taking years to develop, produce and port to other gaming consoles including PC ports, plus with technology advancing so rapidly in that time, many studios release “ultimate editions” of their games a few years later with upgraded HD graphics, but fans still cry out for the classic games of their childhoods, it was only a matter of time before the studios took notice, having the rights to the games and a built in fanbase, HD remasters are a fairly sure bet when handled correctly (such as the recent Crash Bandicoot and Shadow of the Colossus remasters), and with the recent release of the Tomb Raider film adaption, it seemed like the perfect time for Lara Croft’s original adventures to receive a long overdue makeover.

 

Test footage released by Realtech VR the third party company in charge of the remaster, seemed to be well received, so why was the remaster canned? Well the simple answer is, because it wasn’t sanctioned by IP holders Square Enix, it seems wires must have been crossed somewhere as all the work done on remastering the early Tomb Raider adventures, was done without the knowledge of the studio that own the rights.

 

The official statement released by Square Enix is as follows “While we always welcome passion and excitement for the Tomb Raider franchise, the remasters in question were initiated and advertised without seeking approval. As such, they were never officially sanctioned, ensuring fans receive high quality gaming experiences is at the heart of our mission as a company, which requires all projects to go through proper channels.”

 

As per their statement, Square Enix have not ruled out a remaster for their iconic heroine, and the time still appears right to push forward on one, assuming the next company to try, actually gets permission first, it is said “it is far easier to beg for forgiveness than to ask for permission” but as true as that statement can be, when it comes to copyright law, playing it safe is always the best option.


April 26th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, PC |

Cross Platform Gaming

The controllers for the PS4, XBox One and Switch are all partially depicted. The PS4 controller is marked with a "no" sign.

Social gaming. Once believed to be the antithesis of what gaming should be. In the early days gaming was seen to be something solitary and cut off from both reality and society; however, in the following years we have seen a huge shift in this mentality, with video games becoming commonplace, the rise of the MMO genre, and the recent dominance of games such as Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.

 

However as much as the industry has shifted to getting people to play together, there are still holdouts, with the recent announcement that Fortnite will be implementing cross play between PC, Xbox, Mobile and working toward compatibility with Nintendo’s Switch console, the question has once again been posed, why are Xbox and PS4 not crossing over?

 

With a handful of options for gaming growing, the recent announcement that Xbox, PC, Mobile and Nintendo will be allowing cross platform experiences has been well received, similarly Sony has enabled cross play with PC and mobile, but we are still yet to see a proper Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo cross platform experience so no matter your preference it is currently not possible to team up with or take on players from Microsoft or Sony’s premier consoles from their competitor.

 

This question is not a new one, with other popular multi platform games having been made available for cross play between PC and console and Fortnite itself accidentally allowing cross play between the Xbox and Playstation versions of the games for a short time.

 

So that leads to the question, why is cross platform play between the two consoles not enabled? Well if it was up to Microsoft, it would be.

 

Microsoft representative Phil Spencer has made a recent effort to express his interest in cross platform gameplay, even tweeting that he wished the accidental Fortnite crossplay enabled by Epic games would remain, Sony’s representatives have been far less vocal on the matter, with smaller statements on the subject such as when the issue was brought up with Minecraft cross play, advising their refusal to allow cross play was “for the children” because they cannot control what their players are exposed to outside of their network.

 

One interesting thing to note is that Microsoft have been openly against cross network play in the past, citing the same concerns that Sony mentioned, but since the PS4 started outselling the Xbox One their concerns seem to have cleared up and they are all for cross platform gaming.

 

An episode of the show South park also tackled the subject a few years ago (cleverly weaving in a storyline very heavily lampooning Game of Thrones) in which Xbox and Playstation are opposing factions in the gaming war and a choice must be made, a side must be chosen, unfortunately with the lack of cross platform connection currently available the episode is still all too real a concern for gaming fans.

 

Will we ever see a world in which Microsoft and Sony both allow cross play? At this stage no, but with Nintendo joining, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until we can all play together happily.


April 26th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Technology |

Movie Review: Pacific Rim Uprising

Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.

 

 

Pacific Rim Uprising is the follow up to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013, giant robots vs giant sea monster epic, however this time around Del Toro isn’t in the director’s chair, with Steven S. DeKnight taking the chair for his debut feature film, and Del Toro staying on as both a Producer and Visual consultant.

 

The choice to allow another director to take over from a visionary such as Del Toro, especially when the new choice has yet to direct a feature film (DeKnight being most well known for his TV series Spartacus), was a bold choice indeed, but it seems to have paid off, the resulting film flowing naturally as a continuation from the first, to the point where most people wouldn’t even notice that the films had different directors.

 

 

For most sequels a lot of people will have the first question, do I need to have seen the previous movie? And the answer for this film is, no, not really – the film does a nice job at covering the important events from the last film in the first few minutes of the opening; and then peppers in a few more exposition lines throughout, mostly using returning characters to help fill in the gaps naturally.

 

Much like the first film the plot of Pacific Rim Uprising, centres on the pilots of giant mechs knows as Jaegers, in their continuing war with giant sea monsters known as Kaiju (from the Japanese phrase “Strange Monsters”), once again the Jaeger program is on the verge of being shut down and needs to prove its mettle against Earth’s giant destructive foes.

 

 

Again much like the first film, the weakest aspect of the film is the human characters, a lot of the actors in the film are given “characteristics” instead of actual characters, however there are marked improvements over the first with the charismatic new lead played by John Boyega, and a varied cast of younger actors, who are cleverly brought into the world of the film, despite not really having anything to do outside of plot related action scenes.

 

Which brings us to the MVP of the series so far, the reason this franchise has become a franchise to begin with, the creativity and visuals, the giant robots and monsters are even more imaginative than the first film, with a large portion of the film dedicated to showcasing all the new tricks the Jaegers have come up with in the past few years, each Jaeger is designed differently enough that they can be easily differentiated from one another, making it easier to tell what’s happening during the fight scenes, which look magnificent, the list of special effects employees during the credits is comically long, but watching the film you can really see where all the man power went, apart from a slightly jarring green screen sometimes, the visual effects are glorious, and the attention to detail is magnificent, each hit showing the weight of the giant adversaries.

 

 

When it comes to giant robots in film, a lot of people will turn to Transformers as the pre-eminent example, (interestingly DeKnight was invited to the Transformers Cinematic Universe writing room before being given the chance to direct Uprising), however the Pacific Rim films owe more of a debt to the world of anime, taking a lot of ideas and style from series like Gundam (which is noted in the credits as their is reference in the background of a set), and Neon Genesis Evangelion, although these series typically have a lot more character work than we see in these films, they also have a far longer running time in order to set up the back stories and develop actual characters.

 

If you are looking for an expertly crafted study of human drama, this is not the movie for you, but if you are looking for genuinely inventive giant action with incredible visual effects, you’d be hard pressed to find a better film, overall Pacific Rim Uprising, is a more than worthy follow up to the first film, building on the lore from the first, adding even more, and setting up an upcoming sequel that sounds like it will be the biggest and most epic one yet.

 

 

A mechtastic 7/10!

~ TGB_SirhcAndAr0n


April 26th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in General, Movie Review |

PC Gaming Review: Willy Nilly Knight

Willy-Nilly Knight is the great story, based on the legend of King Arthur. Immerse yourself in a single-player, isometric, story-driven RPG with real-time gameplay and turn-based combat, set in the colorful fantasy universe. Will you find the power to save the world in the war of gods? Find your answer.

 

 

Developed by Russian Indie label Double Dice games, Willy Nilly Knight is their first full game release: a single player, isometric, turn-based tactical RPG set in an Arthurian themed fantasy world.

 

The combat in the game is very standard for the S-RPG or T-RPG genre, with each character, ally and enemy alike taking turns to move, attack, use an ability or use an item. All of these actions will use AP – or Action Points – which are displayed at the bottom of the screen, so as long as you have AP remaining you can select any combination of options during your turns.

 

Winning the battles gives you a few items, coins and some experience which goes toward levelling up.  This provides you with an ability skill point to learn or strengthen an ability, and a stat point which you can spend on one of the base stats to improve your character by adding more health, attack, defence, and so on.

 

In between battles you can explore the world, collecting items from hidden (or not so hidden) caches and talk to people for more back story, sometimes picking up a new quest or objective to achieve. The game also has autosave enabled and it creates multiple files so you can reload from an earlier point if you make a mistake, or want to try something else.

 

 

The setting and plot of the game is nothing entirely new as a basic fantasy story taking place within the Arthurian legends. You control Arthur, a boy who wakes up and assumes he is dreaming because the world is fantastical, then pulls a sword from a stone and then proceeds to save a damsel in distress.  You later learn this is your second character Guinevere. Arthur gradually starts his journey, where he finds that the Gods of this world are waging a war and wish to use his power as one of their weapons.

 

The game is somewhat lighthearted in tone with bright colourful characters and locations.  Even the darker dungeon setting is still quite family friendly, with no real violence or offensive content.  It feels like a game that could be enjoyed by a younger player, assuming they have the patience to plan out their battles, as going in guns blazing and just hammering the enemies is not likely to work for long against enemies that match or exceed your own power.

 

 

Overall, Willy Nilly Knight doesn’t really bring anything new to a long standing genre, with familiar settings, story, enemies and battle system – but it does pull them off quite solidly, coming off as a warm, family friendly little adventure.

 

You can check out the video review below too

 

 

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

 

Willy Nilly Knight’s Website

Willy Nilly Knight on Steam


April 5th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Gaming, General, PC |

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