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August 18, 2018

Red’s Kingdom - Review

Red’s Kingdom is the latest of the mobile to Switch game ports, but does this whimsical game offer enough to make it worth your time?

In Red’s Kingdom, you play as the titular character of Red, who wakes up to discover that the King has broken into his house, stolen all his nuts, his Papa and most importantly his prized Golden Nut as soon as he realises, Red sets out after the King. Fairly quickly Red meets a prisoner, who gives Red a little device that allows them to talk over distance and points Red towards the Professor who might be able to assist Red recover his stolen nuts and his Papa. The story is a little basic, with no real twists found, but it is charming enough and I could have seen mobile gamers appreciating the smaller scale story.

One part that is not small scale is the size of the world, it is massive and getting around it is challenging and that is not because it is so big, but because of the games main mechanic, you can only roll in a single direction. The problem is that, when you are in rooms with puzzles to be solved, the rolling is fun and makes the game more of a challenge, but when you are just trying to get around, it sucks. Red can only move around by rolling in a single direction and you can’t change his aim, until he comes to a stop, which as I said with puzzles can be fun, but it takes some getting used to. Thankfully the first few screens give you a chance to really understand the mechanic and by the time you meet the professor, you should have a solid understand of how it works.

There are plenty of hazards and elements that will get in your way though, things like spike pits will hurt you the moment you touch them, same with the guards that you will find around the world at random. Other things, like stone blocks that rise from the ground or stick squares that stop you will help you get around faster, or change things up, but he problem is that none of that matters to greatly as all the puzzles have a single way to solve them and until you work out how, the game does not let you move forward. Some rooms that you enter will have a locked door, or a set of bars covering the exit you need, but the way forward is not always found in the same room, sometimes you need to get out of that room, locate your way forward in another room and then return back to that first one, which highlights the games biggest issue, the movement.

Yeah, as I mentioned the movement is done by rolling around, which in puzzles works great, the issue comes from when you need to get from one space back to another, you still have to go through the puzzles, only this time in reverse. Some rooms will allow for a quick return, but they are few and far between, meaning you have to take a dozen steps into order to leave a room you already cleared, it is not fun. The game offers warp pads to help you get around easier, which unlock as you find them, but they can only take to you to a general area, you still then need to roll around to the actual location. As I mentioned the puzzles make the movement fun, because you get a chance to do something interesting, but the puzzles are not hard, at least not to me, which was a little frustrating.

Some puzzles will look like a challenge when you first look upon then, but as you roll around, you will trigger some stone blocks to rise from the ground, which will result in the solution becoming clear, at least most of the time. Some have switches that need to be flipped, which can change some things around, but most of those are rare, usually all you get is a door or grate being opened. There were maybe three or four times when puzzle had me stumped for any significant amount of time, which resulted in poor Red rolling around back and forth for minutes on end, each time, but again once I was able to work out the solution, it took all over a moment to get out of the room.

Where the game falls flat though is the visuals and I don’t mean the world design, as I said that is huge and looks great, the world has multiple regions, all of which look nice, it is the character that let the game down. Red, the King, Papa and the rest all look like early 2000’s flash animation characters and they have about the same amount of animations, which means in cutscenes, all you get is at most Red bouncing around and flailing his arms in the air and at worst, you get a static image. I get that the game was built of mobile first, but console gamers expect a little more than this, so seeing it is a real letdown.

Red’s Kingdom is a solid puzzle adventure game, its movement style helps make even the most basic of puzzles enjoyable, but that same movement system hurts the game when you are just trying to backtrack or go elsewhere. Some puzzles are quite a but more challenging than the rest, but the overall level of difficulty is falls towards the lower end of the scale, which makes it perfect for younger players, but not a true challenge for the rest.

Review code supplied by Rising Star Games

Learn to Hitman in these videos ahead of Hitman 2's release

IO Interactive and Warner Bros Games have released the first of many video for Hitman 2, that will teach you How to Hitman, with this first one, being an introduction video, check it out.

I had the chance to play the game at E3 and came away impressed, my thoughts on that are here. HITMAN 2 will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC beginning November 13, 2018.

First gameplay revealed for Generation Zero

Avalanche Studios had three games at E3, Rage 2, Just Cause 4 and Generation Zero, but the last one was only being shown behind closed doors, something I got to see, but now they have released a cool video that shows the rest of the world, just what the game is.

While the game is targeting a 2019 release, there is no set window in 2019 yet, but look towards the latter half of the year for it. A closed beta is planned and you can sign up to join, click here for that, but that also has no planned date as of yet.

Diablo 3 Eternal Edition is coming to Switch later this year

Blizzard have announced that after 18 years, they are releasing their next Nintendo title, with Diablo 3 Eternal Edition, coming to Switch later this year. CEO Mike Morhaime joined Nintendo of America's Reggie Fils-Aime to announce it, in a funny video.

Of course, a fun video aside, Blizzard also released a trailer for the game, check that out now.

The Eternal Collection is the definitive edition of the award-winning action RPG, including everything from the original Diablo III, the critically-acclaimed Reaper of Souls® expansion, and the Rise of the Necromancer pack. With seven powerful character classes, a five-act campaign that spans the lore-rich and demon-infested world of Sanctuary, and an endlessly replayable Adventure Mode, the Eternal Collection is the perfect all-in-one package to introduce newcomers to a lifetime of adventure.

“The Eternal Collection is the definitive version of Diablo III, and we’re thrilled to team up with Nintendo to unleash it for Nintendo Switch gamers around the world later this year,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “Bringing the world together through epic entertainment is core to our mission at Blizzard—we can’t wait to welcome a new generation of demon-slayers to Sanctuary.”
"At Nintendo, we're huge fans of rich and compelling games that speak to players around the world," said Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America President and COO. "By partnering with companies like Blizzard, we're able to create new ways of engaging with beloved content. Blizzard and Nintendo share a commitment to redefining the way people play games, and with the Diablo III Eternal Collection for Nintendo Switch, that means players can now explore the vast world of Sanctuary anytime they like, and anywhere they go."

The Eternal Collection for the Nintendo Switch incorporates the system’s flexibility and versatility into its design. Whether using a Joy-Con controller or a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, players will have an awe-inspiring assortment of demon-slaying powers at their fingertips, thanks to intuitive, ultra-responsive controls custom-built for Nintendo Switch.

And true to the spirit of the Diablo series, players will also have a wealth of options when it comes to cleansing Sanctuary cooperatively—up to four players can band together to engage in grand multiplayer crusades, whether they’re sharing a screen on a single Nintendo Switch, linking their systems together wirelessly, or teaming up through the Nintendo Switch Online service.

Discover the detail in F1 2018

Codemasters have released another gameplay video for the upcoming F1 2018, ahead of its release later this month, check it out.

This new trailer showcases how far the developers have gone, to recreate the world of Formula 1.

“We are trying to get as close to the real world sport as possible in terms of visuals, simulation and the surroundings which make F1® such an incredible spectacle,” commented F1® 2018 Game Director, Lee Mather. “We have an excellent relationship with F1® and the teams which is really bearing fruit and helping to improve the game in all areas.”
F1 2018 features all the official teams, the drivers and all 21 circuits of the thrilling 2018 season, including the introduction of Circuit Paul Ricard and the return of the Hockenheimring. The game challenges you to Make Headlines in the most complete Career Mode ever seen in the franchise including press interviews, extensive research and development options and significant end of season rule changes. F1 2018 also features 20 classic F1 cars, the most in the franchise’s history.

Megaquarium is coming this September

Twice Circled has announced that Megaquarium will be releasing on September 13 and is ready to invite players into the world of Aquarium management.

Megaquarium breaks new ground by taking classic tycoon gameplay and applying it to a brand new industry, the unique and challenging business of public aquariums. Gameplay revolves around creating and laying out exhibits, managing the aquarium’s workload among its staff and ensuring the entire endeavour runs at a profit.

Megaquarium’s wide array of aquatic life will keep the player thinking on their fin. With fish, sharks, crustaceans, corals, jellyfish, cephalopods and more, their diverse care requirements will demand attention to detail and strategic thinking. As players advance they’ll unlock new livestock, equipment, guest facilities and more. This all funnels back into the success of their aquarium as layout choice and staff management, create a make-or-break tycoon experience that tests the player to the limit of their creativity and economic ability.

Discover the first look at gameplay in Total War: Three Kingdoms

Ahead of Gamescom this coming week, Sega and Creative Assembly have released their latest let's play vide for Total War: Three Kingdoms, where as the Tyrant Dong Zhuo faces imminent defeat, the cunning chancellor Cao Cao thinks beyond this victory and plots against his coalition partner – the warlord Sun Jian.

Sun Ren, daughter of the mighty warlord Sun Jian, leads her army in defence of her father's lands. Little does she realise, the enemy lies in silent wait nearby. As the westering sun slips below the horizon, the ambushers steel themselves for battle. As Sun Ren approaches, the signal-lanterns are lit, and with a great volley of fire-arrows and a mighty roar, they burst from the treeline.

The game does not have a set release date yet, but is expected in the early part of 2019.

Anodyne comes to consoles this September

Australian games publisher Nnooo has announced that they are helping bring Analgesic Productions' Anodyne to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One this September, after its successful release on PC

Anodyne takes place in the haunting, vibrant subconscious mind of the game’s protagonist, Young. You are tasked with navigating the various natural, urban and abstract environments within Young’s innermost self to help sweep away demons, defeat enemies and solve Young’s personal puzzles with their only weapon, a trusty broom.

Bruce Thomson, Business & Marketing Director at Nnooo says: “We were attracted to the unusual nature of Anodyne which is inspired by games like The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Yume Nikki while retaining its own other-worldly feel. There’s a brooding darkness to it which is juxtaposed with an irreverent sense of humour from some of the characters Young encounters. We felt it should be brought to console so a wider audience could experience its quirkiness.” 

Sean Han Tani, Director at Analgesic says:“Thanks to Nnooo’s assistance, we’re finally bringing Anodyne to consoles! When starting work on Anodyne during college, we never thought that one day the game would be on consoles, so we’re thrilled that the dream is now a reality! We hope that you will enjoy the surreal, dark and dreamy world we’ve prepared from your PlayStation 4 or Xbox One."
Clear out the dungeons, meander through Young’s own mind, and collect cards to advance further into the game as Young grows in confidence and ability. Defeat the evil Briar who is trying to transform Young’s subconscious into total darkness. 

Anodyne harks back to classic 16-bit action-adventure games while creating its own unique feel. It incorporates a large overworld with many quirky, challenging dungeons filled with a variety of unusual enemies.

The game will land on PlayStation 4 on September 19, with Xbox One owners getting it on September 21

NBA 2K19 scores two shots at basket with double the news

2K have releaesed a double dose of information for NBA 2K19, including a look at the MyTeam mode and the games soundtrack, check out MyTeam first.

As for the games soundtrack, this year it has been curated by Travis Scott a Grammy-nominated rapper, his working with the studio was announced via Instagram. Here are just a few of the tracks that are going to be included in the final game, if you want to listen to them all, including some not listed here, you can do so over on Spotify.

NBA 2K19 will be available on September 11, 2018

August 17, 2018

Songbird Symphony is set to make music in early 2019

PQube and developer Joysteak have announced that Songbird Symphony will make music when it releases on PlayStation 4, Switch and PC in early 2019

Songbird Symphony tells the story of Birb, a young orphaned bird who, having been brought up by a family of Peacocks who discovered him when he was an abandoned egg, slowly starts to realise he’s somewhat different to the rest of his acquaintances. Setting out a journey of self-discovery, players take charge of Birb as he leaves the nest and heads out into a world bursting with life.

“Birb’s story is one of adventure and discovery, but one tied to the rhythm of the forest - quite literally,” says Tan Kang Soon, Producer and Artist at Joysteak. “We set out to make Songbird Symphony as endearing and frankly adorable as we could, but the focus on music-based play also adds a sense of depth that players might not initially be expecting.”

“You just don’t see all too many games like Songbird Symphony,” adds Amaria Larchet, Product Manager at PQube. “Ever since we first met Joysteak, we haven’t been able to get the game out of our heads - it sings the perfect tune for us here at PQube.”

While there release date is set for the quarter of Autumn, expect more details as the game gets closer to release.

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