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#GameOfTheMonth Multiplatform Game Review:- Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is the new strategy game from Triumph Studios, creators of the critically acclaimed Age of Wonders series, bringing all the exciting tactical turn-based combat and in-depth empire building of its predecessors to space in an all-new, sci-fi setting.

 

 

Planetfall is another 4 X game like civilization, where you explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate your way to victory, either peacefully or through war. This entry in the genre though mixes things up by giving you tactical turn based battles like X-Com. You can fit your units with special mods and weapons, and level up heroes and commanders with special skills.

 

 

The core gameplay loop is the same as most 4x titles, you set your production, move units, set your research, and then end your turn, ad nauseam, until you reach victory or defeat, and while that might seem like a slow paced snooze fest, I found myself losing track of time and having a blast with each and every time I played the game. Thanks to the ability to customize the look and skills of my commander I found myself more invested in the fate of my faction and its colonies.

 

 

The single player campaign is your typical generic fair, and an entirely forgettable experience. The story is bland at best most times and I found myself not really caring about it, and wound up ultimately abandoning it and just focusing on the free for all skirmish/scenario mode where you just go head to head against AI or other players. honestly 4x games excel when it comes to the multiplayer experience and Planetfall is no exception. Strategy and planning are key to victory in multiplayer and it’s a blast to see all your hard work pay off when you eliminate a rival.

 

 

The factions of Age of wonders can be broken down into various sub races of humans, and one alien insectoid race, which was my favorite. Each faction has its own gimmick and special units, the amazons are all female and ride alien dinosaurs and are one with nature, the Syndicate is a shadowy criminal nobility like faction, with lots of cloak and dagger style abilities and gameplay.

 

 

The vanguard are your baseline typical humans and one of two factions that can enter overwatch, they will be the most familiar and recognized as they feel the most like units from xcom, The kir’Ko are my favorite, they are psionic insect people that vomit acid and use psionic guns and are the second faction that can enter overwatch.The assembly are basically undead cyborg people out to get everyone else’s organs, and then finally we have the Dvar, the russian space dwarves of industrial steamrolling inevitability, these guys are all about softening the enemy up them ramming into them for the kill.

 

 

If you love 4X titles you will love Age of Wonders Planetfall, but if you find them to not be your thing then I’d avoid this title like the plague. while it is a great entry in the genre, it does not stray far from the typical 4x formulae which is both to its benefit and its detriment.

 

 

Age of Wonders: Planetfall is available now from Triumph Studios & Paradox Interactive, on PC, XBox One and Playstation 4, for more info or to buy, head over to their website here!

 

I give Age of Wonders: Planetfall a strong 8 out of 10 for great visuals, a great soundtrack, and being a great 4x title I could completely lose myself in.

~Darsch

 


September 18th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Real Time Strategy, Xbox | No Comments »

#GameOfTheMonth Multiplatform Game Review: The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr

Dragons return to Tamriel in The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr, part of the Season of the Dragon year-long adventure! Explore the savannahs and canyons of Elsweyr, defend the home of the Khajiit from an ancient evil, and command the undead with the Necromancer class.

 

 

Elsweyr is here, and it’s amazing. Elsweyr is Elder Scrolls Online’s newest chapter and takes place in the arid homeland of the khajit, Elsweyr. The main storyline centers around dragons returning and running amok in Elsweyr, Thanks to Abnur Tharn making a mistake again in his efforts to do what he feels is best for the empire. This chapter includes the amazing necromancer class and the beautiful desert zone of Elsweyr. Instead of dark anchors or abyssal geysers this time, Zenimax Online Studios decided to give us dragon invasions, random world bosses that take the place of dolmens and geysers. You’ll also stumble across some exceptional side quests with great characters. The chapter as a whole is something more than just the sum of its parts.

 

 

Elsweyr adds many new and interesting npcs such as Sarazi a Khajit hunter who wants to be the greatest khajiti hunter with the best shining fur coat and the most epic bulging muscles, or Sereyne the drunk mage with an eye patch and superb voice acting you recruit for a heist who is one of the Alfiq, talking house cats. Sereyne will at one point even barf due to the aftershocks from her wild bender from the night before while casting a spell that should drop the player and some friends behind enemy lines. Instead, it almost drops you right in the thick of them. She does feel bad about it though. The weirdness don’t stop here though, there is everything from emo necromancers to dragons that insult you while Fus Ro Dah’ing your ass to death.

 

 

Elsweyr itself is a joy to explore, the desert region sets itself apart from other desert regions in the game with unique landmarks such as the aqueducts and different flora and fauna all view-able from amazing vistas. Beautiful rocky night skylines and sunny stretches of sandy plains are abundant.

 

 

The new necromancer class is a blast to play whether you play tank, heals, or damage. The skeletal minions are not permanent pets like the sorcerer’s daedra pets but instead rotational abilities that do their thing then despawn leaving behind a corpse which can be interacted with by other necromancer abilities. They are gods of self healing and sustain and can be a nightmare in pvp with the right build and gear and fill all the pve roles very well.

 

 

New content this time includes several new delves, a new trial that pits you against dragons and undead that is a bit more new player friendly in terms of requirements to run it, and new skyshards to find, and new public dungeons. John Cleese even returns to voice cadwell for the main storyline of Elsweyr.

 

 

Elsweyr is best looked at and taken as a whole instead of focusing just on each individual part. It’s a blast to throw skulls at dragons as a necromancer and then forget you can’t summon undead in town or the guards will smite you. The Khajiit culture is on display in full and gives us a close look at these mysterious cat folk.

 

It’s a joy to be able to once again cover an ESO chapter release a year to the day after my very first review which was summerset.

 

The Elder Scrolls Online: Elsweyr is available now on PC, XBox One and PLaystation 4, for more information and to buy it, head over to the games website!

 

 

Elsweyr is a solid 10 out of 10 and I can’t imagine being elsewhere other than Elsweyr.

~Darsch


September 10th, 2019 by Darsch
Posted in Gaming, General, Massive Multiplayer Online, Multiplatform, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

PC Game Review :- SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech from Image & Form Games

Lead a party of aspiring heroes through a beautifully hand-drawn world and intense battles using only your wits and a handful of cards. Take on whatever threat comes your way by crafting your own deck choosing from over 100 unique punch-cards!

 

 

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a fun RPG game with an interesting card based gaming mechanic. Starting in a sort of jolly romp in the forest our first of six main heroes are on the search for an item that you battle through various wildlife and a small boss to get to. This serves an interesting tutorial and introduction to the personalities and dynamic between the two characters: Armilly a brash fighter with a heart of steel and Copernica a powerful spellcaster with a passion for discovery. The two bicker in a friendly manner as they exposit about their life, how Armilly wishes to be in the hero’s guild, and basic mechanics of the world explained through lore such as the save points being statues in honor of the mightier warrior Gilgamech. Using these can heal you but at the cost of respawning every enemy in the area, something that can easily be used to grind for experience early on.

 

 

After the tutorial boss you’re expected to have an understanding on the card mechanics but have no fear for they continue to slowly add more to the basic knowledge of a card has it’s attack and abilities with other addons such as elemental bonuses/resistances, character abilities that get triggered when you play three of their specific cards in a turn, and crafting of new cards.

 

 

The story is fairly straight-through with a terrible evil militant force having attacked the town Armilly and Copernica reside in and taking all of the heroes from the previously mentioned guild and lighting the town on fire. With this sad destruction we’re introduced to Galleo, a somewhat timid and hesitant friend of Armilly and Copernica whose main abilities for the group are a strong defensive character and added bonus as the resident healer. His water abilities help stop the fire but they do not save the heroes and follow in pursuit after another battle.

 

 

Throughout each area are chests containing gold and sometimes healing items. With these, there’s no real serious punishment early on for rushing into fights without thinking. There are also quite a few game mechanics that you get introduced to in a short time span that they make up for with streamlining as you go along and having a help option always available.

 

 

After a few mini boss fights, you leave the town and follow the villains into another forest, in which you come across a mysterious retired hero, Orik, the once side hand to Gilgamech. He’s trapped in a cage and you must battle your way through a mine slowly going above ground to pass a locked door to open it on the other side while chasing a small goblin who’s got a key to Orik’s cage. This part may get repetitive but only if you’re like me and level grind in each area to make sure you’re above the expected level cap.

 

 

To keep the rest of the story a fun mystery I’ll stop here but the story maintains an interesting atmosphere throughout.

 

 

Personally, I found the game very enjoyable having been introduced to the series with steamworld dig. They did well to give each important character a unique and lovable personality while sprinkling in fun side one-off characters you may interact with. The gameplay can get repetitive if you are someone who min/max’s their build early on and level grinds. If you enjoyed the previous titles in the series I recommend you check out SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech as it’s creative use of card-based battle and quirky world features made the game by far one of my favourite to have played this year.

 

 

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech i available now on PC, XBox One, Playstation 4 and Nintendo switch, for more information head over to the games website and check out the trailer below –

 

 

SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech gets a card carrying 8 out of 10 from me, enjoy!

 

~Reviss

 


September 7th, 2019 by Reviss-DragonLord
Posted in Gaming, General, Multiplatform, Nintendo, PC, Playstation, Xbox | No Comments »

Movie Review: Angel Has Fallen

Secret Service Agent Mike Banning is framed for the attempted assassination of the President and must evade his own agency and the FBI as he tries to uncover the real threat.

 

 

Summer 2019 has been a bit of a bust when it comes to new film releases. It’s usually a lacklustre season that’s saved by a big superhero release. However, since that already happened in the Spring with the goliath that was Avengers: Endgame, it’s been a particularly sluggish summer for film.

 

No, I’m not here to tell you that Angel Has Fallen is our glorious saviour of Summer cinema, but for the sake of having something to watch, it makes a nice change from the continuous school holiday screenings of The Lion King and Angry Birds 2.

 

 

A failed assassination attempt on President Allan Trumbull (Morgan Freeman) sees Secret Service Agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) as the only surviving staff member at the scene. He wakes up in hospital in cuffs, charged with the attempted murder of the president after copious amounts of evidence point to his involvement in the attack. Banning is determined to prove his innocence, so when his prison van is hijacked, he takes the chance to go on the run to find the truth.

 

I was very sceptical about the third instalment and I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit to judging Butler’s appearance in the trailer. He looks tired, puffy and expressionless, reminding me of Sylvester Stallone in recent years (ok, decades). I was quick to assume he couldn’t cut the mustard anymore. Since watching the film though, his aesthetic is extremely relevant to the storyline as we see Mike as a painkiller popping insomniac pushed to breaking point physically and mentally from start to finish.

 

 

During his travels, he seeks out his estranged father, Clay Banning (Nick Nolte), a reclusive war veteran with a few tricks up his sleeve that probably provided the edge that Mike lacked in this film. Nolte’s rattled Clay resembled the late Albert Finney in Skyfall, which I think is why I warmed to this character as much as Trumbull. Without giving anything away, this guy is badass.

 

 

Angel Has Fallen is what I would call an ‘easy watch’, which may work for some as an action-driven film. On the other hand, it also means that nothing about the plot was fresh or surprising. In fact, I figured out who the main villain was the instant I saw him, which is not usually an observation I get right. Because of that, I struggled to care about anything other than if Morgan Freeman was going to be alright. I mean, he’s an 82-year-old icon pretending to get shot at every five minutes, so who wouldn’t be concerned?

 

 

There were some strong action sequences throughout, but unfortunately, much like predecessor London Has Fallen, the CGI just couldn’t back it up. The explosions towards the end of the film showed a huge weakness (that’s not a spoiler by the way. It’s not an action film without explosions at the end). Then again, according to IMDB, London Has Fallen is the highest-grossing film of the three, so maybe poor effects shouldn’t deter you from giving the latest chapter a chance. To its credit, the drone sequence featured in the trailer is the most original part about the entire film and worth a watch for that.

 

To conclude, Angel Has Fallen is certainly not a waste of time, but maybe not time well spent. Butler delivers an ok performance, but with the likes of Tom Cruise still pulling out stunts at 57 with far more skill, I think Butler’s combat days are numbered. I hope this remains a trilogy because I feel any more additions will just be as forgettable as this one. Thank God for the old boys in this!

 

With that, I give this a 6/10.


September 3rd, 2019 by Gemma
Posted in General, Movie Review | No Comments »

Movie Review: Toy Story 4

When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.

 

 

2019 is, without a doubt, a huge year for film. We’ve had the big guns of action so far in ‘Captain Marvel’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’, but one of the most anticipated films of the year comes in the form of Pixar’s Toy Story 4.

 

With a 25 year history, many of us have grown up with the franchise, so while younger generations are barely getting started with the films, millions of kidults are saying a sad goodbye as the 4th instalment brings the tale of Buzz (Tim Allen) and Woody (Tom Hanks) to a close. Admittedly, some audiences queried the point of the 4th film years before release; as Toy Story 3 rounded up pretty well, with Andy handing over his childhood buddies to Bonnie. However, I wasn’t disappointed in Toy Story 4. In fact, my disappointment lies in the fact that it has ended. Although producers have said “never say never”, it doesn’t seem like there are any plans for a fifth instalment.

 

 

Following the intro about what happened to Bo Peep (Annie Potts) in the last film, Bonnie has started school. Struggling to make friends, Bonnie (unknowingly helped by Woody, who feels he doesn’t have a purpose any more- deep) makes a new friend from a spork. Forky is voiced by Tony Hale, famous for the fantastic, noughties hit-show Arrested Development (if we pretend season 4 and 5 didn’t happen). In fact, if the coddled, anxious and naive Buster Bluth was reincarnated, he would come back as talking plastic cutlery for sure. Forky is one of the best new characters we’ve seen since cowgirl Jessie (Joan Cusack) joined the gang. He causes much of the chaos in the film as Woody tries to keep him safe despite frequent attempts to run away and put himself in the trash. Woody’s desperation to be needed is depressing, but integral to the plot and the reason he keeps stopping Forky from ditching Bonnie.

 

 

During a family RV trip, Woody becomes separated from the gang after Forky makes a quick dash from the moving van (as you do). During their trip back to the RV, Woody discovers long-lost Bo Beep’s lamp in the window of a local antique store. Whilst looking for Bo, Woody becomes the prey of a vintage doll, Gaby Gaby (Christina Hendricks), who wants his voice box to fix her faulty one so someone will finally love her. While Gaby Gaby is feeling her Soprano realness in her villainous state, her identical ventriloquist dummy henchmen are the entourage from hell. In truth, they make Annabelle and Chucky look like the cast of Sesame Street. For a kids film, they are surprisingly messed up.

 

 

Throughout the film, there’s a lot of back and forth chases, from Woody avoiding those horrid dummies to Bo saving everybody all the time, whilst Buzz and Jessie trying to stall Bonnie’s parents from leaving the RV camp. There’s a lot going on, drumming out all of the humour and drama that we’ve come to love from the franchise. Lots of new characters all contribute to the story. This includes Duke Caboom (Keanu Reeves), the daredevil motorcycle stunt doll who crashes better than anyone in the vintage toy market. Call me harsh, but this is the most personality I’ve ever witnessed from Reeves in any role and it works.

 

 

I absolutely loved this film. By the fourth film, most franchises are so terrible that we watch them for a cheap laugh, but Toy Story 4 is just as relevant and funny as ever. It’s kept up with the times, offers morals for the kids, and nostalgia for the rest of us. My only criticism is that most of the original characters get a lot less screen time than before. However, it makes sense to the story and with reliance on archives to voice Mr Potato Head (Don Rickles died in 2017), it would have been a struggle to include him without finding a new actor. How can you replace that voice? Not easily.

 

 

Expect to feel emotionally damaged by the ending, enjoy the endless supply of satisfying Easter eggs and make sure you stay for the credits for more hilarity.

 

It’s 10/10 from me.


July 24th, 2019 by Gemma
Posted in General, Movie Review | No Comments »

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