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Game of the Year awards 2018!

Game of the Year 2018 – Awarded to the best of our Game of the Month winners of 2018.

Legrand Legacy – SemiSoft Studios

 

Our first Game of the Month title in the new scene and a worthy community choice for our first proper Game of the Year award aswell, massive congrats to Uwil and the team at SemiSoft Studios! 

 

For a reminder of our Game of the Month choices in 2018, here you go –

 

01-2018 Legrand Legacy – Semisoft Studios

02-2018 Fe – Zoink Games

03-2018 Surviving Mars – Haemimont Games

04-2018 Battletech – Harebrained Schemes

05-2018 State of Decay 2 – UndeadLabs

06-2018 Jurassic World Evolution – Frontier Developments

08-2018 World of Warcraft Battle For Azeroth – Blizzard Entertainment

09-2018 Shadow of the Tomb Raider – Square Enix

10-2018 Red Dead Redemption 2 – Rockstar

11-2018 Fallout 76 – Bethesda Studios

12-2018 Just Cause 4 – Square Enix

 

 


 

Team Choice 2018 – Awarded by the station team.

Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

 

The station team thought long and hard over the new year break what they loved the most in 2018 and Marvel’s Spider-Man was the stand out winner from the team.  Insomniac Gaes bought us a blinder of an open world adventure for the web slinger that all the other great games this year just couldn’t quite top!

 

And for those interested, here’s the full list of the teams choices –

 

Lonesamurai –       Surviving Mars – Haemimont Games

Scarlet_Dragon –  Graveyard Keeper – Lazy Bear Games/TinyBuild

Crimsonshade –    Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

Ca1t –                    Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Isnotavampire –     Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Phasechan –          Spyro Reignited Trilogy – Toys for Bob

TGB-Sirhc&Ar0n – Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

Darsch –                 Monster Hunter World – Capcom

Katoe –                   Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

 

 


 

Best Sony Playstation 4 Exclusive Game – Our choice for the best PS4 title in 2018

Marvel’s Spider-Man – Insomniac Games

 

As mentioned in the Team Choice section, Insomniac played a blinder with the new iteration of Marvel’s Spider-Man, bringing qualities we loves from way back in Spider-Man 2 to make a perfect free roaming open world.

 

 


 

Best Nintendo Switch Exclusive Game – Our choice for the best Switch title in 2018

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – BANDAI NAMCO Studios Inc.

 

The latest Smash Bros. dominated the Switch owning members of the community and team in 2018, with challenges flying over in discord (we should have done a tournament), with a fantastic roster of fighters and clean, precise controls, it was one of the best fighting games of not only 2018, but also all time!

 

 


 

Best Microsoft XBox One Exclusive Game – Our choice for the best XB1 title in 2018

Forza Horizon 4 – Playground Games

 

Bringing us a good chunk of the north of England and the Scottish border, Forza Horizon 4 turned into the best racing game of 2018, but more on that later.  It was also the first in the Forza series also on XBox Play Anywhere that ran brilliantly on mediocre PC specs aswell, after the horrible showing by Forza 7 in 2017!

 

 


 

Best Action Game – For the best game in the action genre focused on combat.

Monster Hunter World – Capcom

 

The first Monster Hunter to make it to PC, albeit a few months after the console versions, didn’t arrive with fanfare’s, but it should have.  A great action game, even if a little shallow compared to other RPG’s, but still amazingly fun if you like chopping up huge monsters and using the parts to make new armour and weapons!

 

 


 

Best Independent Game – For outstanding creative and technical achievement in a game made outside the traditional publisher system.

Celeste – Matt Makes Games

 

An indie title we shockingly missed when it came out in January of 2018 on STEAM and other platforms, and then a free title on XBox Live (you can grab it now if you haven’t already) Matt Makes Games made a classic platformer that left us in awe of what Indies can do.

 

 


 

Best Multiplayer Game – For outstanding online multiplayer gameplay and design, including co-op and massively multiplayer experiences, irrespective of game genre.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth – Blizzard Entertainment

 

Blizzard may have had some issues at the end of 2018 and into the new year, but WoW had a great launch to it’s 6th expansion, Battle for Azeroth. Learning from Legions up’s and down’s, it was a solid expansion, but felt a little lacking in places until patch 8.1 dropped.

 

 


 

Best Ongoing Game – Awarded to a game for outstanding development of ongoing content that evolves the player experience over time.

World of Warcraft Battle for Azeroth – Blizzard Entertainment

 

As mentioned above, WoW’s 6th expansion dropped continuing WoW’s dominance at the top of the MMO tree for another year!

 

 


 

Best Racing Game – For the best racing experience in 2018.

Forza Horizon 4 – Playground Games

 

As mentioned above, Forza Horizon 4 was a massive step up for the series, especially being cross platform, but as a really good racing game.

 

 


 

Best Role Playing Game – For the best game designed with rich player character customization and progression, including massively multiplayer experiences.

Monster Hunter: World – Capcom

 

Again, as mentioned above, Monster Hunter has been successful for years on Nintendo systems, but finally branching out to the other consoles and even PC made it one of the best RPG’s of 2018!

 

 


 

Best Strategy Game – Best game focused on real time or turn-based strategy gameplay, irrespective of platform.

Battletech – Harebrained Schemes

 

One of our Game of the Month winners in 2018, Harebrained Schemes bought us a turn based Mechwarrior title that not only reminded us of the good old days of XCom, but has us excited for Mechwarrior 5 in 2019.  The Flashpoint DLC near the end of the year added a well needed Iron Man mode for those that wanted more of a challenge too!

 

 


 

Stinker of the Year! – The most disappointing game of 2018, not the worst, just disappointing

Fallout 76 – Bethesda Studios

 

We were unsure when Bethesda first announced Fallout 76 last year, but we wanted to give it benefit of the doubt.  Unfortunately, although not bad, it wasn’t great either.  With a bad, buggy start for most people and issues like duping and cheating carrying on into the new year and beyond, although it was good and even fun to play sometimes, it left a sour note on the franchise.

 


January 20th, 2019 by Lonesamurai
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Technology, Xbox | No Comments »

Games Review: Spyro: Reignited Trilogy

Same sick burns, same smoldering attitude, now all scaled up in stunning HD, Spyro is back in the Spyro™ Reignited Trilogy! Rekindle the fire with the original three games, Spyro™ the Dragon, Spyro™ 2: Ripto’s Rage! and Spyro™: Year of the Dragon, all in fully-remastered

 

 

To say that I was excited for this release is an understatement – The original Spyro trilogy on the PS1 has held a special place in my heart for the last 20 years, ever since I first played Spyro 1 at a friends house back when I was at school after which I then instantly needed to have my own Playstation and a copy of the game.

 

After the release of Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy, I couldn’t help but feel hopeful for a Spyro remaster, and since it’s announcement I had been anxious to play it and relive my joyful experiences of obsessing over Gems, collecting the final Dragon or Egg I needed and relive the ‪epic soundtracks‬ of the games. I even booked a day off work to play them on their release day, and to make sure they were installed and ready to go as soon as possible. After what felt like an eternity, the game was finally installed onto my Hard drive after downloading a 40GB update and I was able to play Spyro: Reignited Trilogy. And how blissful it was.

 

 

Spyro moves and feels exactly how he did 20 years ago which for someone like myself, was exactly what I wanted. The levels are beautifully redesigned with bright colours, great definition with a wonderfully reimagined cast of characters. Each of the dragons in Spyro 1 has their own defined character and personality when you free them and even though the original script is intact, the new voice actors suit them all well.

 

The charm about the first game is its simplicity – collecting every last dragon and gem is something of a satisfying obsession whilst you dive into a world of fantasy and magic (although Tree Tops still remains as tricky as I remember!) The second and third games add new abilities including swimming and the ability to hover, which mixes things up and means you can revisit a level once you’re able to access a new section of it.

 

 

One thing to remember is that these three games were designed for kids so for any hard core gamer new to the series looking for a challenge, these games may become a little boring or samey after the first few hours, but this is only a minor thing.

 

Overall, as far as a remaster goes, these games are perfect. The only thing I found slightly frustrating was a small glitch which meant that gems would disappear in a level, even after I had defeated every enemy and visited every section. This was easily rectified if I simply killed myself – this would force any enemy containing a gem I was missing to respawn – in order for me to then defeat them and claim the gem. This only happened twice during the first game and wasn’t that troublesome. I didn’t encounter any other glitches or issues.

 

 

If you loved the original games on the PS1, I cannot recommend picking this up enough for not only the nostalgia, but for the fact that it’s just so relaxing to play. You can even switch the Sound in the Pause Menu to play the original soundtrack rather than the reignited version, something I was very happy to see as the soundtracks were one of the best things about the series in my opinion. If you’re looking for a family friendly platformer, I’d say this is also for you!

 

 

Spyro: Reignited Trilogy is available now on XBox One and Playstation 4, head over to spyrothedragon.com for more info.

 

I personally give it a thousand out of ten but that’s so bias as it’s so personal and nostalgic, so 9/10!
~Phasechan


November 23rd, 2018 by PhaseChan
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Early Access Review – HyperParasite

Relentless rogue-like shooter/brawler coming soon to a host near you. SNATCH, ZAP and REPEAT your way through a dystopian 1980’s as a mysterious organism bent on world domination.

 

 

Troglobytes games’ HyperParasite is a top down twin stick shooter with a twist.

 

The first thing people will notice about HyperParasite is probably the obvious homage to the 80’s, the game looks like it was dunked in a tank of 80’s neon sheen, the soundtrack is full of awesome 80’s inspired dark synthwave, and the whole concept of the post apocalypse filled with various themed gangs (which isn’t exactly what the game is, but with character classes being very specific and appearing together a lot in waves it does have a slight Warriors vibe).

 

 

So gameplay wise, you play as the titular HyperParasite, a mass of shadowy smoke like tentacles, the Parasite has the ability to move around freely, dash (which can be used to avoid attacks and to smash various objects), and a tentacle swipe (and here is where the gameplay twist comes in) the tentacle swipe is used to infect your enemies and hijack their bodies, the effect of this is twofold, not only do you used them as a literal human shield to protect your fragile parasitic lack of a body, but you also get to use their strengths, each enemy has their own attack, special and stats, generally a melee character will be stronger and have a higher amount of hit points, while a ranged character will be weaker and survive fewer hits with the trade off of being able avoid more damage while on the run and still scoring hits.

 

Outside of the two main classes, each enemy character has their own playstyle, cops are ranged and can fire their pistol with moderate strength straight in the direction you are facing they also have a clip limit so they need to reload once their shots are spent, whereas the paper girl, while also a ranged unit throws two newspapers that do low damage and split out in a small V formation in the direction you are facing, they also have unlimited papers so no need to reload or watch your clip count, similarly melee characters will have different range and damage to their attacks that you will need to take into consideration when selecting a host for your parasite.

 

 

Now what if you are surrounded by units you don’t like? Should you stay as the parasite? Well no, it’s never really a good idea to stay as the parasite because it’s super squishy, and at any point if you see a better unit you can destroy your current host and snag them, assuming they don’t destroy you before you grab them, you also have the choice of throwing a potential host at your enemies instead of taking them if you grab the wrong one by mistake, using them as a decently strong ranged attack.

 

Each run you do is procedurally generated, and the waves of enemies are randomised as well, so it’s more about quick reactions and luck than planning things out, some areas will have things like barrels and cars strewn about as well, some of these contain nothing, others have pickups, mostly in the form of money which can be used to purchase upgrades if you find a store, and the rest of them blow up, prior to blowing up you will see a ring which indicated the area of effect the explosion will cover, so you can know how far to move to avoid it, and if you are lucky and skilful enough you can also lure enemies in to feel the effects of the blast.

 

 

Some certain enemies also allow you to take their DNA after you defeat them, this can be used to power up your parasite and make it more formidable, and with roguelike elements, you can gain power ups that will apply to future runs, making things easier for subsequent attempts, which would be helpful as I found the difficulty even in the first area very hard to overcome.

 

Overall the game is well made, with a winning art style, music and over all feel, the replayability is high, with some runs going well enough to think, I’m going to take another shot and see if I can push it further, and other runs ending so quickly that you think, that was a mulligan, one more try, the game is still also in pre-alpha at the time of this review so they have time to add more and balance the difficulty if it turns out I’m not alone in being absolutely destroyed.

 

 

HyperParasite is available now in Early Access on STEAM, and coming soon to XBox One and Nintendo Switch

 

 

Early Access rating 7/10.
~Sirhc


November 13th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Xbox | No Comments »

Spider-Man PS4: First Look Review

Starring the world’s most iconic Super Hero, Spider-Man features the acrobatic abilities, improvisation and web-slinging that the wall-crawler is famous for, while also introducing elements never-before-seen in a Spider-Man game. From traversing with parkour and utilizing the environment, to new combat and blockbuster set pieces, it’s Spider-Man unlike any you’ve played before.

 

 

When I first heard about this game my Spidey senses were tingling in anticipation of something special, being a fan of both Spider-Man and Insomniac Games the illustrious studio tasked with this latest gaming adaption for the webslinging hero.

 

So let’s start off with the briefest of histories about this character, Spider-Man is one of the most famous superheroes ever created, I would have said top 3 most well known along with Superman and Batman but since Marvel have been cranking out box office shattering blockbusters for 10 years now superheroes are at an all time mainstream acceptance level.

 

 

Spidey, just like Supes and Bats has over the years been in countless comic book series, animated shows, live action movies and videogames, some of which have been terrible and some quite good, much like the Dark Knight, the Webslinger has been in some truly awful games, but after years of virtually unplayable throwaway garbage games Rocksteady Studios managed to make a character defining series with their Batman Arkham games, so the hope is that Insomniac can do the same for everyone’s friendly neighbourhood spider-man, after all they are working on a stronger base with some previous Spiderman games being quite fun, and with the character being done right on the big screen over the past few years (Cameo in Captain America Civil War, solo film Spider-Man Homecoming and ensemble film Avengers Infinity War all nailing the characters tone) the time is right for people to embrace the wall climbing vigilante.

 

And the company bringing this new game to us, none other than Incomniac games, the creators of the iconic Spyro the Dragon and Ratchet and Clank series’ as well as the Resistance series, Sunset Overdrive and Song of the Deep, among other smaller projects.

 

 

Let’s start off with the obvious, the game looks nice, like really nice, even moving at high speeds there is a lot of clarity in the digital streets of New York, and it feels like a living, breathing, digital world, I played on the standard PS4 but the PS4 Pro makes the game look even better.

 

Another thing that is apparent right away is the humour and pop culture, specifically Spider-Man pop culture references, humour has always been integral to the character, and the quips fly just as fast as the webs, as well as some cleverly placed references and Easter eggs, even just the difficulty selection, your choices are Friendly, Amazing and Spectacular, Friendly being one of his catchphrases “just your friendly neighbourhood spider-man”, and both Amazing and Spectacular being the titles of long running and well received Spider-Man comic book series (which makes me wonder if their will be an unshockable “Ultimate” difficulty), there also appears to be a stack of comic books in the opening scene that includes a classic Spider-Man cover.

 

 

Story wise the game is fairly basic, Peter has been Spider-Man for 8 years prior to the games events, wisely eschewing the typical Origin story and jumping straight out of a building and into the game proper, you start off helping out the police to take down William Fisk AKA Kingpin, swinging through the city and into one of his buildings and beating up a bunch of goons as you go, some of you might be wondering where this game falls in the tangled web of Spidey’s history (not sorry for that pun, not one bit), the short answer is, despite Peter Parker’s appearance looking quite similar to actor Tom Holland (who portrays the webslinger in the MCU), Spider-Man is a standalone story, however it is scheduled to tie-in with an upcoming comic series with a series titled “Spider-Geddon” written by Christos Gage who also worked on the game and has confirmed the series will take place after the events from the game.

 

The opening mission with Fisk also serves as a nice introduction to the game, as it is one of those rare “fun” tutorials, teaching you how to use Spidey’s abilities, mainly his webs and hand to hand combat, but he also gets a focus meter which allows for some extra tactical options, as it can be used to heal Spidey or take down a thug.

 

 

The combat in the game is fast, frenetic and super smooth, they really captured the agility of the wall climber being able to spring around while throwing punches, kicks and of course webs, Spidey also has his famous “Spider sense” which can be used to anticipate and avoid incoming attacks, this is a very handy feature and will need to be used frequently, as very early on you’ll find that just jamming on the buttons has its limits, you need to work out who is the biggest threat and which skills to use, and you have a lot of options, for instance you could approach a group of thugs, launch one into the air with an uppercut, follow them into the air with an air combo, and then use your web to grab them while in the air and slam them into another enemy, then as you land Spidey can dodge through the legs of another enemy, fire off some web blasters to wrap up a gunman and then use your web as a grappling hook on another, launching yourself over to punch that guy and then combo into the guy you wrapped up, sticking him to a wall, then dodging onto the wall and launching off to take down the last enemy.

 

And that’s all with just the skills you start off with, as you play you can level up and gain upgrades like improved swing speed and health increases, and you get skill points that you can use to spend on skill trees, increasing Spidey’s arsenal of attacks.

 

 

Along with fighting thugs and swinging around, you can also explore the city and find collectables, mini games and events, the mini games include things like match the frequencies and create a track to send electricity from one point to another (fans of the Ratchet and Clank series will recognise this one), and the events come in the form of crimes for Spidey to stop, which generally involve beating up thugs, but they can range from stopping an assault (which ends in beating up thugs), to locating a kidnapped person (which ends in beating up thugs) and even taking down a speeding car filled with thugs (which you beat up, but in more of a quicktime event instead of just brawling).

 

These minigames and collectables also have further incentives other than being fun diversions, as they will result in XP for levelling Spidey, and some give you “Tokens” which are used to upgrade Spidey’s costumes and gadgets, with some upgrades requiring tokens from multiple groups, so you might need 3 crime tokens from stopping crimes, 2 backpack tokens from locating Spidey’s old backpacks dotted around the city and a location token received from finding and photographing iconic locations.

 

 

There are also sections of the game where you will play as Peter Parker without the suit, and even sections where you control MJ (who in this universe is Peter’s ex-girlfriend and has started working as a journalist), but the bulk of the game will be played as the fully costumed hero, which is no bad thing considering how fun he is to control.

 

In summary, there is a lot to love about Spider-Man, the game has a lot of mechanics baked into its DNA from other series, at times it feels like Grand Theft Auto (but with webs), and at times Prototype (but with webs), other times like the Batman Arkham series (but with webs), and of course like some of the good previous spider-man games (but with…better everything), and it injects some new ideas into the mix, Insomniac are like chefs, they started off with nice stock (the Spider-Man character), and added the finest ingredients from from competing and former recipes, stirred in some special seasonings of their own, made sure it all blended together with no unexpected and unfitting flavours, and created one of the best game/meals I’ve had the pleasure to play/eat in quite a while.

 

 

Cheack out the video review below –

 

Spider-Man on PS4 swings in with a Heroic 10/10
~TGB_SirhcAndAr0n


September 11th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, Playstation | No Comments »

Trials of the Gauntlet :- PC Gaming Review

In Trials of the Gauntlet, You wake up in the courtyard of a Steampunk mansion, your arm replaced with an electric grappling hook. You use your new arm to solve puzzles, traverse the mansion and fight your way to the top of the clock tower where you confront the mad scientist who did this to you.

 

 

Trials of the Gauntlet from Broken Dinosaur Studios, a studio formed by students of Full Sail University, is a midterm project for Game Development that has been released as a full game.  The setting of the game is a Steampunk mansion, where your character awakens with a grappling hook where one of their arms should be and proceeds to enter the mansion to find the scientist that performed the mad experiment on you.

 

 

Gameplay consists of traversing the mansion in an upward fashion, largely using your grappling hook to do so.  The grappling hook has another function: an electric hook which is used to activate some electronics and slow down enemies so you can bash them with your other arm.

 

The graphic style is decidedly retro with large pixels eschewing the need for a lot of detail.  The art of the game isn’t bad – but it’s nothing amazing either – with fairly generic looking bad guys and environments.  Due to the nature of the project (being a school project) it was developed in a limited time frame and so some of the animations feel a bit floaty at times, with the character and enemies feeling somewhat out of place when moving.

 

 

I found the controls of the game to be quite fiddly and using the grappling hook was more cumbersome than fun, which is not a particularly good trait for your main game mechanic, and like most aspects of the game it was largely forgettable.

 

Overall, the game feels very much like the school project that it is.  The runtime of the game is estimated at 90 minutes, but glitches and bugs are frequent, which the developers are aware of – again, due to the limited timeframe for development, only critical game breaking bugs were worked on.  Now that the project has been completed the devs can go back and try to neaten up the edges and expand the game, or move on to a new project, but in the current state the game is hard to recommend.

 

Rating 4 / 10

~Sirhc

 

Trials of the Gauntlet is available now on STEAM


June 30th, 2018 by TGB_SirhcAndAr0n
Posted in Game Review, Gaming, General, PC | No Comments »

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