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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 »

Just Cause 4 Speed Paint:- Exclusive Game Of The Month Artwork

To celebrate the release of Just Cause 4, Sanitarium.FM’s patrons received exclusive artwork of the games main hero, Rico Rodriguez by our artist in residence, PhaseChan.


Check out the process behind the portrait below:



Love this illustration? Sanitarium.FM patrons get exclusive Game Of The Month artwork every month, support the station today to start receiving your prints




January 3rd, 2019 by PhaseChan
Posted in Game of the Month art, Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Fallout 76 Speed Paint:- Exclusive Game Of The Month Artwork

To celebrate the release of Fallout 76, Sanitarium.Fm’s patrons received exclusive artwork of the games Scorchbeast boss by our artist in residence, PhaseChan.


Check out the process behind the portrait below:



Love this illustration? Sanitarium.FM patrons get exclusive Game Of The Month artwork every month, support the station today to start receiving your prints.


December 6th, 2018 by PhaseChan
Posted in Game of the Month art, Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, 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!

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

Review:- Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey


Write your own epic odyssey and become a legendary Spartan hero in Assassin’s Creed® Odyssey, an inspiring adventure where you must forge your destiny and define your own path in a world on the brink of tearing itself apart. Influence how history unfolds as you experience a rich and ever-changing world shaped by your decisions.



Assassins creed odyssey is the 11th game in the long running series developed and published by Ubisoft. The series gained huge popularity receiving great reception with releases of assassin’s creed II and Brotherhood, largely claimed by many to be the pinnacle of the series. However, with each new release more and more fans departed from the series being disappointed again and again.


Ubisoft heard the fans disappointment and have decidedly responded by reinventing the game series through the last two titles. The first being Assassins creed: Origins and most recently Assassins creed: Odyssey. The question is, Is odyssey a return to good form? And is it worth the high price point of £49.99


The assassins creed staple idea was that you as the player went back in time to control a powerful hero in moderately sized open world based on a particular period of history. By experiencing and reliving the memories of these characters players would traverse through a plot connecting the future and past together. The series always liked to encourage stealth gameplay although the combat mechanics were very simple and abusable making almost every encounter easily completable with little to no stealth. However, with the release of origins Ubisoft have decided to move the game towards being an RPG. Including staple RPG elements like a levelling system, Gear stats & requirements and Character progression just to name a few that have inspired the gameplay within Origins. With reasonably good reception Ubisoft have continued this new theme bringing many of those elements back for Odyssey while expanding on many more.
Odyssey takes place in Greece during the Peloponnesian war (431 BCE to be exact) retelling its own take on the war between Athens and Sparta. Given the grand scale of the theme and setting the map size has also been given an upgrade making it over double the size of the previous within origins, Making Odysseys map the largest in game area seen in the whole series to date. Every corner of the map is beautifully crafted with each of the Greek islands feeling original and well made. The soundtrack takes key instruments and elements from Greek culture allowing it to blend into the surroundings perfectly which brings together the overall setting and theme of the game. Initially the game gives the player two new choices upon starting. The first being to choose between playing a female or a male character. The second being the choice to turn exploration mode on. The choice of character is permanent but a nice addition to see within the new RPG setting. It’s a simple change but helps the player feel as if the story is a more their own rather than playing a set characters events. The second choice however can be toggled off and on via the options at any point although personally after playing through the game with exploration mode on I think it adds so much to the game while simply doing so little. All exploration mode does is it removes most markers like quest objectives from the map and HUD pushing players to investigate the surroundings and gather more information to complete quests. It takes away the mindless cycle of receiving a quest, heading straight for the marker and handing it in. The added layer of mystery and investigation surprisingly adds a lot to the game and thus I think it’s a welcomed addition.



As mentioned earlier, Odyssey is a character-based RPG meaning that as you progress through the game your character gets stronger and stronger with the addition of more abilities and better gear which all ties in to character level. At its core all the main elements of the game are tied to this system, the questing, the combat and even exploration features. This simultaneously one of the best elements of the game and one of the biggest downfalls.


The levelling system is what gives players access to the three skill trees; Hunter which focuses on bows, Warrior which focuses on hand to hand combat and assassin which focuses on stealth. As you level up ability points are awarded to you to be spent in any skill tree meaning you aren’t locked into one choice although by diversifying into many you will have less progress in each. Each provides a unique set of gameplay however after playing through the first few hours players will notice that all have their uses making them all viable but some are objectively stronger than others, especially for the early game areas. The story is very slow to be introduced therefor much of the early game is the player hopping from side quest to side quest levelling and slowly building up an arsenal of better gear and more powerful abilities. While doing this the game slowly introduces some new mechanics like the bounty system, a new ship system and naval combat. The pacing of which these new features are shown and introduced feels good and well timed. Most of the core features are available to you by about 1-2 hours of playtime which is when you are prompted to depart from the first island, this is also where the main story starts to take place and unveil itself to you. However, this is where the first major issues start to show.



Due to the levelling systems running alongside the main story quests, each of the quests within the game have a suggested level, letting the player know if it’s appropriate to do. The player can usually do quests that are 1 to 2 levels higher but any higher becomes incredibly challenging as the opponents you face along those quests statistically are out of your range in damage and health. This means that throughout the game the player is forced to constantly be increasing their level to keep up with the content of the newer regions. For most of the additional content I believe this would be okay, but it is impossible to keep up with the main story of the game without taking constant breaks from it to grind out multiple side quests that will raise your level to the resume the main story. Not only does this take away from the commitment and investment into the story with constant breaks but it also means that the creative, fun and genuinely interesting story of the game is diluted with simple mundane side quests. Which brings the game to its second biggest problem.



The side quests are incredibly tedious making the fact that you must do them to keep progressing incredibly frustrating. While I will admit some of them offer a breath of fresh air most of them revolve around you “The hero of Greece, armed with legendary weapons and abilities” running errands and chores for the people. An exception to this critique would be the side quests to hunt the 4 main mythical creatures present within the world which is something that was done previously in Origins against the Egyptian gods. Within odyssey you can face medusa, a minotaur and even a cyclops each with their own original fight and individual themed loot dropping from each.


As mentioned previously Odyssey includes an new ship system for both management and sailing. This works by allowing the player to upgrade various components of the ship to help in naval battles. Upgrading weapons, hull, figure heads and even choosing what crew mans the ship. While adventuring through Greece the player can use non-lethal takedowns to recruit enemies to join your ships crew adding them to a roster of people who can be enlisted on your ship, each providing buffs of their own benefiting the ship further. The ship management meshes incredibly well with the main game and never detracts from the main experience, so a player can easily spend hours focusing on upgrading their ship or simply upgrading from time to time throughout the story.



A surprising new feature within Odyssey is the “bounty” system that could be compared to an altered version of the nemesis system within the “Shadow of Mordor” games. As the player performs certain actions throughout the world their bounty level will increase forcing unique individual enemies known as “Bounty hunters” to try and kill you. These bounty hunters are specially geared enemies often with their own flare. For example, one could be accompanied by a creature as a pet that will aid it in combat while another may use fire as a weapon, with each of the bounty hunters also having unique weaknesses and strengths against things like poison damage, assassination damage & fire damage etc. This closely follows the system in place in Shadow of Mordor allowing the player to engage each unique opponent with a new strategy that they are weak too. While I think this system needs work and some time to become its own it defiantly is a nice addition to the game, but for now at its simple implementation many people will simply compare it to its clear inspirations.



The final new addition to the game is the narrative system of choice which present through most of the main story and a few moments of the side content. This isn’t a new idea but its not one that I would have expected from an assassins creed game however It surprisingly works well. One of the biggest issues when games provide “choice” is the false illusion of choice, being able to choose something but the end result being exactly the same regardless, a common issue the persisted through many “choice based” titles. However in odyssey the few choices you do get are fairly big ones each having their own effect on the story and eventually your ending. This continues to further the RPG idea of playing your own character and not being shoehorned into playing someone else’s vision or story.



Assassin’s creed: Odyssey is definitely not a return to form in the sense that the game is so strikingly different from previous titles however that doesn’t take away from the fact that the new RPG formula is a good refreshing way to return to the series. If you’re looking for a game to sink a lot of time into or you’re simply just interested in the setting, theme and elements that go into making odyssey great then this is a good game for you. However, acknowledging the flaws when it comes to its repetitive grind needed to progress is crucial but all in all I don’t think its flaws take away enough of its positives to warrant it being anything a but a fun and interesting start to a potential rebirth of a once beloved series.



6/10 – A beautiful and hopeful foundation for a new era of the assassin’s creed series.


October 23rd, 2018 by Katoe
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

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