Floor Kids Review – Nintendo Switch

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A top-notch Nintendo Switch game you will likely have missed, can that be a thing? Breakdancing and hip-hop, not your thing?

Read on!

Thankfully, you don’t need to know anything about break-dancing, about hip/hop/scratch to enjoy this game. If you have had even the slightest bit of fun with games in this genre before, you’re in for a real treat.

“HANG ON!”

What genre is that, I hear you scream.

My apologies boys and girls, I was getting ahead of myself. Floor Kids is a rhythm action game, in the same vein as the likes of Parappa the Rapper, Space Channel 5, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan and even Guitar Hero to name just a few!
It’s a genre that has been out of favour in recent years, it’s become once more a bit of a niche genre., which is surprising, given how much fun the genre can be.

Floor Kids is also exclusive to the Nintendo Switch.

If you own a Switch, I would wager that you probably missed this at launch. It launched on the 18th of December, a week before Christmas. Chances are that if your behaviour in any way resembles mine, you won’t be checking for new releases, you will be checking your bank statement and crying into that.

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So on to the game!

Let’s get this out the way- Floor Kids is an awesome little game. Simple to pick up and play, with tons of depth underneath.

At first, I feared it would be a migraine-inducing list of tutorials. As it introduced the moves, I was worried it was all going to be too much to take in. It isn’t. Floor Kids is thankfully the epitome of ‘pick up and play.’

Basically, it consists of 4 different move-sets. These being:

TOPROCK – Standing

DOWNROCK – on the floor

POWER – spinning with continuous movement

FREEZE – motionless moves that strike a difficult pose

Within these 4 categories, you have a further 4 moves. That might sound confusing, but the moves are simple to pull off. There is an avalanche of moves to unlock as the game progresses. These are tied to particular characters, more characters unlock and your progress in the game.

The structure of the game is also a simple one. You start with one venue, in the venue you have a choice of tracks to choose from. How well you perform on each track gives crowns. What do crown mean? PRIZES!! Erm, no….. they unlock more venues, more dancers and moves unlock the better your score.

Each track gives you the opportunity to have a period of freestyling. You string your moves together however you see fit. Being repetitive or too dull with this leads to a low score. Thankfully, it really is a joy to play and the music is superlative (more about that in a bit).

The art style……. is dare I say – urban. Hand sketched characters, muted pastel colours, very simple animations. It all gels well. The character moves are simple, but they work well in showing you that you’re pulling off a move and they do a good job.

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Bonus points can be had for pulling off a certain move when instructed and pulling off combos. My one gripe with Floor Kids was the fact that the game feels under-boiled when it comes to looking at a character’s combos and moves. These can only be looked at in your ‘Breakdeck’, that being a menu that you can’t access mid-dance. In fact, the whole roster of many many moves and characters could have done with a bit more time. It would have been great to see my personal stats with each dancer at a glance. None of this took away from my fun experience with the game, but having it fleshed out could have elevated this game to a masterpiece in its genre.

Each of the freestyle sections are broken up with more traditional rhythm action elements that will be more familiar to players of the genre. These involve tapping a button in time with the beat of the music.

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The music. The music is by alternative hip-hop and Scratch artist Kid Koala. It’s authentic, it’s organic, it’s top notch. A perfect mating with the art style and gameplay. I found myself bopping away playing this game, a real joy and it’s put many a smile on my face when playing and will continue to do so.

Floor Kids is an authentic piece of gaming, it’s very well delivered and deserves to be in every Switch owners library.

Pro’s:

Easy to pick up and play with a lot of content to unlock.

Music is absolutely spot on.

It actually all feels very authentic and organic.

Cons:

Different character unlocks, moves and stats could have been further developed.

 

Score 8/10

Published and developed by MERJ Media

Price – £15.99

God Eater 2: Rage Burst Review

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Right! Let’s get a mention of Monster Hunter in straight away. There’s no way I can not write this without mentioning the mother of this gaming genre.

I will be mentioning Monster Hunter a fair bit in this review because God Eater 2 is what some would call a clone, whatever you call it, it’s certainly a variant in the genre. It’s a genre that’s rapidly gaining popularity in the west, with Monster Hunter now seemingly reaching cult status with gamers that enjoy a challenge.

There have been many games that use the MH basic formula. That formula simply being – kill things and use their body bits to make better weapons and armour. That’s it. Kill, kill, kill and kill some more. What MH manages and none other seem to get near is an abstract and bizarre game-world, with vague systems and little in the way of real tutorials, to the point of being inaccessible for many.

I’ve played a lot of these types of games now, they’re actually all worth checking out if you can find them very cheap (Ragnarok Odyssey, Toukiden, Freedom Wars being three of my favourite, special mention to Soul Sacrifice, but sadly I never got on with it). They’re all deeply flawed and all have one thing in common – they’re all playable on Sony’s PS Vita. The Japanese have a predilection for hand-held social gaming and Monster Hunter and its bastard babies satisfy that hunger perfectly.

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Onto God Eater 2!

That’s why I’m here and you’re here. I just needed to waffle and tell you all where I sit with the game.

If and when you do buy God Eater 2, you actually get two games, both God Eater 2 and God Eater : Resurrection.

They’re both incredibly similar, the same engine and they play almost completely the same, apart from a few changes in skills and weapon and characters.

Oh boy, the characters.

God Eater’s roots are well and truly in traditional Japanese animé. I loathe animé. As soon as I started playing the game(s) I felt as if I was completely out of my comfort zone to be covering it (I probably haven’t seen the right animé for me yet). I just don’t get it. Melodramatics with a cast of annoying school children dressed in European regency clothing does nothing but bring out in a rash of my psyche.

Also the leering. The camera angles concentrating on female characters crotches and backsides. We all like being and feeling sexy, but I’m sure we can do that without a sense of the lecherous now. Sexy is good and should be celebrated to a degree, being lecherous really isn’t cool. Sexy is also consensual and a two-way affair. GE cinematics do often fall into the greasy hole of voyeurism.

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The disc version of GE2 comes with GE : Resurrection on both the Vita and PS4. Every purchase of God Eater 2 includes this.

Confused? Fuck me, wait until you get on to some of the gameplay mechanics.

So what do you actually do on these two God Eater games? Like all games from the MH influenced stable, you get a mission. That mission usually involves going to kill a monster and butcher the said monster for resources (bones, the hide etc.), as well as collecting resources from the locale. GE is much the same, with a story centred around mankind being threatened by the ‘Araigami’, they’re just monsters. There’s a story, which is something the MH games do have. You don’t come to these games for story, you come for the combat and GE manages that very well.

As I previously said, both core games are exactly the same, differing stories. They shares assets and locations, but as far as I can see, in terms of narrative they completely standalone games.

I’ve spent most time with God Eater 2 now, also having played a good 6 hours+ on GE:R. Both games actually take about 5 hours to start warming up. This slow start is going to put a lot of people off.

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There are also surprising amount of deep systems, obscure terminology, crafting, upgrading, bullet types, AI character upgrading, perks, gadgets and a big pile of other concepts. Those 6 hours of slow games play at the start could and should have been filled with proper tutorials introducing you to all these elements a step at a time. Alas, the tutorials are quite bare. There are references in the menus, but often I felt quite swamped under a deluge of lists.

Fear not if all the above scares you. You can still run out onto those battlefields and pummel shit out of those oversized beasts with your equally oversized weapons. Combat is satisfying. In fact, at times combat is orgasmic. It is fundamentally a pickup and play game. Things do get hairy in terms of tactics further on into the game.

Now I’m giving this game a bit of a kicking, aren’t I? I legitimately didn’t like this game at first, I really regretted taking it on. Despite the gaping flaws, these two games are by far the finest Monster Hunter variants I have played. Those 6 hours of warm up soon give way to some battles that have left me sweating and satisfied. It’s good to be moist.

Combat comprises of you having two weapons, a melee weapon and a gun. Using your God Eater power (pressing triangle on your controller transforms the weapon into a soul-devouring blob). Perform this on a live beast and you activate your ‘Blood Art’, these essentially being your super-power. Perform it on a corpse and collect materials for crafting and upgrading. Your Blood Art can also be activated by playing combos well. All battles see you supported by AI teammates or online matches.

The camera can be awful. On the Vita (which is the lead platform) you can get a bit lost, the camera can lose you, never enough to take you out of the action. On the PS4, colour and hue are lost and textures are ugly.

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Without a doubt, God Eater 2 and Resurrection are the best MH clones I’ve played. They offer both depth and great combat. From my early hours of grumbling and rolling my eyes to the whole shebang, to finding myself forking out money for the Vita version.

There’s a hell of a lot of game here as well. If you’re willing to look beyond the defects, shortfalls in real tutorials and slow start you will be rewarded with a frantic killfest. GE is well worth the time of any Monster Hunter fan or a great way to have a look at one if the genre is new to you.

The games are also cross play and save with the Vita and PS4 and the system of uploading and downloading games works a treat.

The annoying animé story has even started to grow on me as well.

SCORE:8/10

Pros:

Fantastic fast paced and at times, bonkers combat.

Heaps of depth in terms of crafting and skills customisation.

The best Monster Hunter clone I’ve played

Cons:

Looks pretty awful on PS4

Dodgy camera when the fight gets busy.

Pointlessly slow to start and lack of cohesive tutorials.

A Student Guide To Saving Money

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Oh for the life a student these days…

Things have changed in many ways. Student life – once the bastion of regurgitated kebabs, STD’s, grunge music and chemically enhanced progressive thinking.

These days? The home of gender politics, trigger-words, organised outrage and …. It’s all a bit serious. You need fun guys, right? But gaming is expensive! Student life is more expensive than it has ever been, due to you having to pay for your own fees now.

Fear not. Here at FGUK, we’ve knocked up this little guide that will think will come in handy and save you a few bob. We need to do this, we all need more kebab-vomit aroma back in our lives, right?

Firstly, let’s state the blooming obvious. That’s us! Frugal Gaming. Bookmark our page, always have a search if there’s anything you’re after. Deals tend to go fast, so if the price has gone up or you can’t find what you’re after, just ask us. The fastest way to do that is to tweet @FrugalGaming

We’re unlikely to be able to get you the latest CoD for a tenner before release, but we will have a look for you and find the best price available at that time. Failing that, we will RT for you and maybe one of our followers can help.

Ask the site owner @FrugalDaz or myself @UglyGeezer

You can always Tweet any of the above feeds and we will do our utmost to help.

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Now, I’m going to state the obvious. NUS card. If you haven’t got one, get that sorted. Not just for games, but a host of online and retail shops offer NUS Discounts. The official list can be found here

Full List of NUS Discounts Stores Here

Just a few examples of music/games/tech student discounts I’ve found….

Play.com have a 5% offer for Students

Maplin Electronic’s offer a 5% Student Discount

Discounts on Amazon Prime membership and 5% of normal amazon.co.uk Offers.

Spotify: 50% off premium with NUS Extra.

Zavvi  offers 10% discount.

02 Phones, ask in-store for student discounts on Pay as you Go and contract. Vodaphone also offers student discounts when upgrading, or on a new contract. again, never be afraid to ask.

Odeon Cinemas- They’re said to offer decent discounts and other chains also offer student discounts. Cineworld certainly do, don’t be afraid to ring and ask your local.

Microsoft! Don’t forget, student packages available for many software packages.

Adobe also offers very good student discounts on software packages.

Amazon offers discounts not just on games and tech for students, but clothes as well.

What do you need to prove you’re a student?

The NUS Extra card will sort it all out. See the link at the top of this section. If you’re in ‘vocational’ education, it’s usually simple and cheap to join. Even some small part time courses in colleges will allow you to join.

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Be mindful and Wait!

We all have that urge to want the next big game on release date, but there really is no need. Trust us on this, we watch prices fluctuate on a daily basis. Single player games drop in price very fast indeed. a month down the line, it’s not unusual to see big AAA budget titles get £20 off the release price.

“Stay a Generation Behind”

That was the advice we received from some students whilst conducting research for this. These days, even a year on hold and you can pick up some brilliant games for next to nothing. Take pride and joy in being Frugal and just hold on for a bit. You’re being the wise one and your wallet will be grateful.

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PS Plus and Games for Gold

You may think they’re expensive off the bat, but we always list the best deals for memberships. again, these change price thick and fast, but we will always keep up to date, specially on XBL, you can get some really good deals.

Don’t play online? Don’t write these memberships off.

Playstation Plus offers ‘free’ games every month on all platforms for one membership. That’s games on the PS4, PS3 and the PS Vita. The downside of PS Plus is you only keep the games for as long as you have the membership.

Games for Gold, on the other hand offers monthly free games on both Xbox One and the Xbox 360. Where this differs from PS+is that you get to keep the game after you’ve downloaded, no matter what your membership status happens to be.

Our Latest PS Plus Deals Can Be Found Here

Our Latest Xbox Live Deals Can Be Found Here

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Local Co-Op

It’s common knowledge that students only leave their smelly caves for lectures and protests. Make the most of the shared accommodation and play with those people you love with.

Years of cheap fun can be had with local co-op! Hoovering needs doing? A quick battle of Goldeneye to decide who has to do it can sort that out. Years of fun to be had with the likes of Mario Kart and many other local co-op games and they’re social!

Don’t dismiss the potential fun of drinking games with a large shot of local co-op as well. Shit-faced on Lambrini and retro split screen is one hell of a cocktail.

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Steam Sales and Free 2 Play and humble

Look out for Steam sales. Not just the two major winter and Summer sales, but the daily specials and now increasingly- the myriad of smaller sales that Steam seems to be having.

Don’t dismiss the free to play games.

There are some gems out there and often more than just time-fillers. PC Gamer has a weekly round-up of the best and can be played on any machines. PC Gamer has a great weekly list of the best free to play games Here

As Does the Wonderful Rock Papers Shotgun Here

The Humble Store

Weekly, daily deals. Deals with profits going to charity, mobile phone gaming bundles. They really are worth keeping your eye on. Keep an eye on Here.

And of course, never forget The Humble Bundle

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E-Bay 

Don’t write off using Snipe Software for e-bay. A lot of you will know of it, many won’t.

Snipe software allows you do download your watchlist from e-bay. You set a maximum price that you’re willing to go for and the app does the rest. 5 seconds before the auction is due to end, it will put in a bid for you. Not at the maximum bid you set, but at the lowest it takes to win. That way, you don’t get caught up in a bidding frenzy yourself.

I personally Use This for Android or for iPhone (I cannot vouch for the iPhone version. Many others are available, including web-based ones.. Have a shop around and as with anything, check reviews.

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One final worthy mention. The Invisible Hand app.

Chrome Version Here

When you’re browsing for any sort of shopping, this clever little app compares prices of products that you’re looking at, if it sees cheaper, it lets you know.

It’s not failproof, it only checks the major sites and e-bay, but it is rather nifty and has saved me a lot of money over the years.

 

We will be adding to this, so if you can think of anything we’ve missed, do let us know!

Fallout 4 Season Pass details Announced (And Price Rise).

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Here are details from Bethesda’s press release. at last giving details of forthcoming DLC.

 

The good news? It’ seems meaty.

The possible bad? The season pass has just gone up in price.

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A note from Bethesda Game Studios:

 

Since Fallout 4 launched, we’ve been blown away by your support for the game. It stands as our most successful title ever and that couldn’t have happened without you. It’s been truly inspiring, the stories, images and experiences that you’ve created. And now it’s time to share with you some of what we’ve been creating – our first series of add-ons: Automatron, Wasteland Workshop and Far Harbor.

 

Automatron

Price: £7.99

Release:  March 2016

 

The mysterious Mechanist has unleashed a horde of evil robots into the Commonwealth, including the devious Robobrain. Hunt them down and harvest their parts to build and mod your own custom robot companions. Choose from hundreds of mods; mixing limbs, armor, abilities, and weapons like the all-new lightning chain gun. Even customize their paint schemes and choose their voices!

 

Wasteland Workshop

Price: £3.99

Release: April 2016

 

With the Wasteland Workshop, design and set cages to capture live creatures – from raiders to Deathclaws! Tame them or have them face off in battle, even against your fellow settlers. The Wasteland Workshop also includes a suite of new design options for your settlements like nixi tube lighting, letter kits, taxidermy and more!

 

Far Harbor

Price: £19.99

Release: May 2016

 

A new case from Valentine’s Detective Agency leads you on a search for a young woman and a secret colony of synths. Travel off the coast of Maine to the mysterious island of Far Harbor, where higher levels of radiation have created a more feral world.  Navigate through the growing conflict between the synths, the Children of Atom, and the local townspeople. Will you work towards bringing peace to Far Harbor, and at what cost? Far Harbor features the largest landmass for an add-on that we’ve ever created, filled with new faction quests, settlements, lethal creatures and dungeons. Become more powerful with new, higher-level armor and weapons. The choices are all yours.

 

 

And more important, that this is only the beginning. We have plans for more.  More than £45 worth of new Fallout adventures and features throughout 2016.

 

Given the expanded DLC plan, the price of the season pass will increase from the current £24.99 to £39.99 on March 1, 2016. However, if you already purchased the season pass for £24.99, nothing changes – you still get everything at no additional cost— the full £45 offering of add-on content for the original price of £24.99. In addition, if you didn’t buy the season pass yet, there is still time:  Anyone who buys the Season Pass for £24.99 before March 1st will get all £45 worth of content. This is our way of saying thanks to all our loyal fans who have believed in us and supported us over the years.

Want a chance to play these add-ons early? We’ll be running closed betas for each of the add-ons for consoles and PC. And you can sign up right now on Bethesda.net. In order to apply, you’ll need to create a registered Bethesda.net account. We’ll be selecting applicants in the upcoming weeks. Players accepted into the beta will receive a code to redeem the content. The beta is the full version (complete with achievements) and those participating will not have to purchase the add-on.

Beyond add-ons, we’ll continue to offer free updates to the game, including new features like the recent weapon debris for PC, and increased draw distances for consoles, as well as more optimizations to gameplay and quests. And something that we’re really excited about, a complete overhaul of Survival Mode that changes how you play the whole game. Food, sleep, diseases, danger and more.

We’re also hard at work on the Creation Kit, which will allow you to create and play mods absolutely free. We’re currently testing both Survival Mode and the Creation Kit now, and more details will be forthcoming.

Fallout 4 Review

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It’s 1978, I’m 10 years old. The WWII sirens are wailing overhead, frightened to the core with all of my school. Here we are, huddled in lines in the playground and this is drill in case of a nuclear explosion in London. Welcome to the Cold war in 1970’s London.

Apart from this pointless drill filling us with dread and fear, we had propaganda films, documentaries, leaflets. Destruction was inevitable and even in our innocent tender years; the government wanted us to be fearful.

The cold war was a time filled with real panic, an Orwellian invisible war. I’m talking a stream of propaganda with the intent purpose of making a painful and hellish radiation sickness death certain for all. We actually used to have drills at school for the four-minute warning. Sirens would go off and we would have to gather in our playground, already aware at a young age that we were fucked if this shit went down.

Thankfully we can laugh at it now and we have new invisible enemies. Thank God for Daesh.

And thank goodness for Bethesda, for making the Fallout games and satirising the origin of that period.

I’m in a strange position writing this review. By being late to the party and getting my thoughts on paper, seeing what I can only describe as a backlash against Fallout 4.

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Let me start by saying Fallout 4 is without a doubt, one of my top 3 games of the year. I’m 35 hours in and still haven’t even fondled the main story with any gusto. Fallout 4 isn’t a flawless game, but given Bethesda’s reputation with having ‘buggy games’, it almost is. That could also be one of its problems and a reason for the backlash.

Let’s do the good old potato analogy, every writer worth their salt uses this….. Surely.

Chips? We all love chips? Oooookay! OK!! I promise never to use the chip analogy again! But you het the poin.

Both Fallout 3 and New Vegas (NV was developed by Obsidian, but the same flaws were present) were tasty chip-shop tucker. Scrumptious, large, well-cooked morsels with lumps and all. Those black bits you get on common garden chips are the bugs; we can cut them off if we’re PC gamers or bite around them and wait if we’re console gamers.

Fallout 4 is one of those fancy triple cooked chips. Cooked in the finest clean oils, none of those black lumps are really present; they’re cooked in the safest of kitchens. That is from my perspective Fallout 4’s weakness and strength. Bethesda have seemingly played it safe, and concentrated creating a game that works, rather than taking risks and facing backlash for a game that doesn’t work. It’s a bit clean and dare I say ‘safe’ in comparison to its ancestors.

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So how does it all play? Very well in fact. Fallout 4 has polished the combat and made action much more akin to erm….. Action games. Now, a lot of people are screaming that the game has been dumbed down and is shallow. I can see and value that perspective, but in all honestly I firmly feel that making a game ever so slightly more accessible doesn’t equate to dumb. For the record, I’ve been playing Bethesda RPG’s since Morrowind, so I have seen the transition from what I see and clunky to accessible, I don’t perceive this as a negative. Getting more gamers into the genre is good for gaming. It also has to be said that Fallout 4 is a challenging game, the difficulty is challenging on normal, and you can up the challenge if you so wish.

There’s now base building. It works, it is a nice distraction. Yes, it could have been further developed and more engaging. But it does work and if creation is your thing, there’s a lot of play to be had here, if you’re a compulsive type gamer that loves seeking out materials and spending time planning and creating, it doesn’t do a bad job, it just needs some refining and I really hope it does come back and evolves in future games.

The moral system was another example of a black-lump on a chip in the previous Bethesda Fallout games, lacking real nuance and approaching morals with a very binary approach. You will still have your face shot off for accidentally picking something up that doesn’t belong to you. Now, there is room to manoeuvre and with the addition of more varied companions to aid you in your shenanigans, these allow for a more varied approach to morals and how you choose your righteous, or not righteous so paths.

Certain NPC companions will approve or disapprove of your moral choices. Some like you doing good deeds, others like the scumbag raider thieving mentality. Piss an NPC off too much and they will refuse to travel anywhere with you. This actually lends itself to a more unfettered style of play? Want to be murderous? Change to a less moral companion. This isn’t a massive game changer; it does encourage using different companions, which does add another dimension to your adventure.

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How’s the story? There is one?! Of course there is! But the real meat and bones are your encounters, the exploration, the finds, the small encounters, the side quests. The game is crowded with them.

From your first steps out into the wasteland, you find yourself on a quest to find a loved one, but at a much faster pace than previous iterations, you find yourself swallowed by all there is to do.

I get the backlash, I can see and understand people’s misgivings about the game. Yes, character animations are ropey. Yes, it’s more action orientated. Yes, I’m having a fantastic time with this game.

As I said, 35 hours into the game and I haven’t even thought about following the story. More importantly, I never want the game to end. For myself, that’s a sign of not just a good game, but a classic game.

It may be less of an RPG in the eyes of some, but in many ways it’s a much better game. Hopefully we will see some risks being taken in future DLC and dirty-filthy potatoes in the form of chip-shop chips.

Score 9/10

Pro’s

Not just a massive world, but a world filled to the brim with discoveries.

Fast paced combat

I never want it to end

Cons 

Sacrificed some aspects of depth

seemingly not many risks taken in development

Coast Guard PC

Coast Guard BannerEver wanted to role-play and extremely butch Coast Guard? Bust drugs cartels on the hight seas? Rescue both damsels and man damsels in distress?

Coast Guard could be the game that soothes your (possibly perverted) itch.

The game is developed by Reality Twist GmbH, some of you may have played another similar (I will assume for arguments sake that two games do not constitute a series… yet) game from them-  Ship Simulator: Maritime Search and Rescue.

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An open world adventure on the sea. A variety of ships to play about with, not only that, the ability to walk around the ships, explore the mysterious Ghost Ship. a real adventure on the sea.

it’s incredibly cheesy, has some of the funniest voiceovers I’ve ever heard… think German porn.

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It’s available now via Steam for £14.99… Here

If you’re ever in search of Seaman, this is your game.

Rebel Galaxy Review

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When I first happened upon this game, a quick glance at some videos and game imagery, I let my imagination lead me into believing this was some sort of space sim, maybe even an Elite clone. It seems to be a mistake that a lot of people are making.

It really is not an Elite clone, despite the looks.

Sid Meier’s Pirates would actually be the closest game in terms of mechanics, or for anyone that hasn’t played that game – the closest you will find is probably Assassins Creed: Black Flag. Not played either? Let me tell you all about this game then: I may reference the above games, but only in to tell you that Rebel Galaxy pulls off what both the said games failed to do – great combat and varied challenging ways in which to kick the bad guys in their ‘proverbials’.

Let’s get on with it then and let me keep it simple. A three-word review perhaps? If so, that would be ‘Pirates in Space’. Sadly, I can’t get away with that and as previously mentioned I enjoyed this game and it more than deserves me spending some time in telling you why. This is not Elite….. I repeat, this is NOT Elite

You begin the game with a small animated intro – flying to your first space station your character is looking for their aunt. You meet some shifty looking space-spivs and soon enough you can explore the station. Go the bar, bribe the barman for information on local bounties. Go to the commodities market and become a space-trader – buying and selling between the multitude of different space stations. Go the shipyard, there’s a great selection of varied ships to be had, with different numbers of turrets and placements for the likes of mining lasers.

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The story begins and this is my only real gripe with the game, it’s under-boiled and not that interesting. It matters not in the slightest. Why tell this shit then Lee? Well, most of the non-playable characters are given decent animations and the voice acting isn’t bad either! Just a shame they never gave them something interesting to say. I have to admit, my brain switched off during most of the dialogue.

The game is played out in a horizontal 2-dimensional plane. This really works well for combat and space travel and this was another positive surprise for me. Freedom is also at the heart of this game, play as a good guys, a bad guy, a miner, a trader.

Let’s talk about sex.

Or let’s not, but let’s talk about fighting instead. You will spend a lot of your game-time fighting in Rebel Galaxy. Thankfully the combat is this game is absolutely top notch. Referring back to my earlier comparison to both Pirates and Black Flag, combat in Rebel Galaxy is very similar, but those games failed to deliver anything meatier in terms of combat that a limp Quorn Lasagne.

In this game you can choose to fire your broadside weapons. This is where it mirrors the aforementioned games combat. Luckily, it’s leaps and bounds ahead in quality. You can affix different turrets to your ships and take control of then at ease. The broadside combat can be quite slow and clumsy (as it really should be), so firing homing missiles, or scatter guns is a lot more engaging and fun.

The game world is huge. I’m pretty sure there’s about 10+ galaxies, all connected by Mass Effect type relay wormholes and enough diversity between each (very large areas in their own right) galaxy. I’ve yet to mention these are procedurally generated as well. Travelling around in each galaxy can take a bit of time, but just like driving in GTA, there’s always something make you stop; distress beacons, pirates wanting to steal your goods etc.

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I have some strange ‘twitchy’ internal barometers to measure if I feel a game is balanced. One of those being the purse string test. If a game finds you having far too much money too soon and nothing to spend it on, that’s a fail. With the decent roster ships and upgrades and weapon to buy, there’s always good reasons to get out there and earn that dosh.

There are factions, but given the seeming lack of attention in the writing department (but, hey – this is a budget game) they actually lack any reason or heart to sway you from one to the other.

Bored of fighting? Go mining?

Bored by mining? Go Trade?

Seek out bounties, explore.

But all roads in Rebel galaxy lead to combat and everything else is just a distraction. As I’ve said before, it’s very satisfying combat.

I’ve actually spent about 20+ hours in Rebel galaxy so far. I was toying with a score. “A solid 8” were my thoughts. Now the game has dropped, it’s on sale for £13.49. There’s a lot of game here for that price.

It’s shallow, it’s dumb… but like all dumb shallow dates, it’s cheap and fun.

Pros

Lots to do

Combat is great fun

Great value

Cons

Bland writing and personality

Score: 9/10

Games That Makes Us feel Old…..

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It’s that time of year again, leaves are falling, the wind is blowing… Autumn is here…

It got us thinking and reminiscing at FGUK towers, about Autumn years…..

Games that make us feel old…..

Ferris Hall Writes

Mainly because the SNES was the first console I ever owned and Super Mario World came bundled with it.

At the age of 7, I never realised how much that console would mean to me even now.

Back to the game, Super Mario world makes me feel old because even now I still play it; I think I have played it until beating Bowser at least every 1-2 years.

Playing it on various formats from the Nintendo DS, WII and now the WII U.

I’m very lucky that this game has been emulated and made available on so many Nintendo platforms over the years.

This is still my go to Mario game which I still (occasionally) play on a SNES to this day. It still holds up and even after 20+ years playing it still feels as good as before.

Introducing Super Mario World to my younger brother who is 10 makes me feel bloody old! Luckily he agrees it’s one of the, if not best Mario game to date.

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Glenn Docherty Writes

Tricky one this, as a gamer who has been around since the early days of Spectrums and Vic 20s, there is plenty of scope for feeling old.

I could have chosen something like Call of Duty with its potty-mouthed teens, bleating insults at each other through their headsets or something like World of Warcraft, which has been around as long as I can remember and is still perplexingly popular. But really – and it pains me to say this because I love it dearly – Minecraft makes me feel old. You could say ‘It transcends age – it’s the virtual equivalent of Lego!’ Which is true, and I can’t praise Minecraft enough for its contribution to gaming as well as popular culture. And it’s really the culture of Minecraft that leaves me feeling like old man wind-bag rocking away on his porch yelling at kids to get off my lawn.

Watching a child play Minecraft is mind-boggling, they become weird little Rainmen, capable of building magnificent edifices in minutes, communicating with each other in a language that is changing as fast as Mojang can push out updates. When you decide to go out wearing your Minecraft t-shirt, then you see some five-year-old wearing the exact same thing? Yeah, that.

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Lee Rand Writes

It’s not a game that makes me feel old so much (although so many do), it’s an era…. Beyond the era even.

8-Bit music – the breath of Satan’s arsehole became an aural form. Every time I hear something from this era, my ears try to run inside my head and hide, inducing so much pain. There are masochists that walk our fair planet and actually claim to appreciate this sort of dirge. It completely baffles me.

I live in fear of clicking gaming videos in case I’m assaulted by those sounds and all the while I see my grandmother waggling her finger at me in my teenage years as I played records “it’s just noise.”

I’ve become my Nan.

Sean Carr Writes

Day of the Tentacle

My little sister recently asked me what was the first game I remembered loving and only one answer came to mind! Day of the Tentacle started my love for all things adventure and set my gaming habits for life with an eye towards the slower, more methodical games over twitch games the young’uns play.

It was the realisation that this game was nearly 23 years old and that in showing my sister what is was like she could hardly comprehend the base mechanics let alone play it successfully but can successfully play Minecraft with a deft touch and build complete and realised worlds with the apparent wave of her hand. Gaming has moved on since Day of the Tentacle and I’m not entirely sure I’ve moved on with it!

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Adam Belcher Writes

A very long time ago, guided by an Amiga 1200 and funded by the earliest of morning paper rounds, all of my hours and my very limited funds were spent on Championship Manager. In 1993, an obsession that has very likely ruined me educationally and socially was born. Hundreds if not thousands of hours were spent in a darkened room watching 3 graphs of possession see-saw in front of me whilst being mesmerised by the flashing text based commentary sat at the edge of my seat.

My career highlight was developing Dario Gradi’s Crewe Alexandra FC using the 4-4-3 formation onwards to world domination before retiring in 2020, sitting back and chuckling at the prospect and reality of me being an old man of 40 in real life.

I’ve religiously followed this annual series as it consumed my years in further education before evolving into the now known Football Manager. As the years pass I have relaxed my policies on no squad players over the age of 30, as I approached that milestone myself, and the realisation of age finally struck when I no longer had to fake my date of birth at the start of the FM annual update.

In recent years, my gaming budget has increased, but it’s my spare time which has significantly diminished, see-sawing like the counter-attacking threat of the mighty Crewe. Now that I’m here, I no longer chuckle at I contemplate my declining years.

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John Kynaston Writes

All games make me feel old to some degree, I question spending my money and free time on a hobby that seems less customer aware each year. The first game I ever bought and played was called Gumshoe and it came with the second hand N.E.S I bought for £100, in 1988; at the age of 6. Today it would be described as an endless runner and would be 59p or free with in-app purchases on your app store of choice. It required a “careful” use of the NES light gun to shoot your little detective (?) in order to make him jump onto platforms and over obstacles. Looking back at footage of it on YouTube now, I don’t think I’d pay 59p for it now let alone the RRP of £60 back in 1988, well perhaps if only to get once past the point where the game would end if you died at the earliest opportunity.

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Gary Cook Writes

Another for Super Mario Bros. The game celebrated its 30th birthday this year…

I had never even considered how long the Mario Brothers have been around before this was plastered over Twitter and most gaming sites. Released in 1985 Super Mario Brothers was almost certainly the first console game that the majority of us (if you were born in 1980’s) played, I can recall spending many hours with the brothers Mario as if it was only yesterday, a simple addictive platformer with bright colours and awesome little creatures to jump on, scoring points, raising flags and rescuing princesses… OK, being told about this princess that needed rescuing, but was strangely always in another castle.

The story was simple, Bowser had kidnapped the princess, Bowser was evil, you are good, that’s a Princess, rescue her…. No deep emotional story here.

The controls were simple, D-pad moved, buttons jumped. You defeated enemies by jumping on them, or in Bowsers case run past him and dump him in lava… 8 times, you’d of thought he may have learned not to have lava in his castles after the first time.

To suddenly realise that this has been around for 30 years has been a slightly depressing experience.

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Kurt Lewin Writes

Let me start by saying I am only 23 years old, but that doesn’t mean that certain games don’t make me feel old. My gaming life started with Driver on the PS One but strangely enough, reminiscing about this game or other PS One games doesn’t have me checking my retirement plans.

What does make me feel old though is being reminded about certain games which haven’t even been released yet. This was certainly the case at the latest E3 with the announcement of the Last Guardian being released on PS4. This game was announced in 2009 and has been in development since 2007. That is 8 years ago! Bear this in mind, Naughty Dog have released 3 Uncharted games and the Last Of Us in that time. When I thought about this I began to reach for a packet of sherbet lemons and tuned into the Archers on the radio.

Unfortunately, one of the only other games to be delayed more than the Last Guardian is the elusive Half Life 3, a game I fear may only see the light of day when I am drawing out my pension pot to buy it.

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Empyrion – Galactic Survival Preview

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Let me break this to you gently folks… Hang on, I won’t even do that, I will be completely lazy and let the game blurb batter you around the head for me.

Empyrion is a 3D open world, space survival adventure in which you can fly across space and land on planets. Build, explore, fight and survive in a hostile galaxy full of hidden dangers”.

Yes my lovelies, I’m covering another survival and crafting sim. Now that I’ve revealed that little nugget, do you want to know something else? It’s out in Early Access via Steam. As I walk through the cyber Souk in my head, vendors tugging at my sleeves “here my friend, you want Zombies, you want crafting? I have it all at bargain price.”

The Proverbial Souk

I have nightmares of this Souk, 1000’s of vendors and I wander a myriad of markets streets, countless vendors selling shoddy unfinished games.

Fortunately, there’s a vendor in my nightmarish Souk that shines light on these streets, he’s selling Empyrion: Galactic Survival and every gamer with an interest in this genre of gaming really should give this one a look.

Take a sprinkle of dinosaur survival, a dash of Minecraft, a spoon of Elite Dangerous and a pinch of geek and you have this game.

You begin as a lot of games in this ilk do. Your ship has crashed on an alien world and you’re left to your own devices, but oxygen and food are scarce.

Survive. Survive is the name of the game and more than that, you need not just to survive, you need to get off this planet and explore the solar system and galaxy!

The breadth of ambition in this game is quite breath taking, have a look at the video that I will link at the end of this piece to see the roadmap in action.

First things first. I mentioned survival and after gathering my wits, I realised my crashed space pod was full of goodies, tools, materials and technology that will help begin my journey. Your pod also has a crafting section. Open this section up, fill it with the right materials and start crafting what’s called for.

There is a sense of urgency to all of this. Supplies in your escape pod are very low, only 2 canisters of oxygen, some basic food supplies, some ingots of various metals. There is a fair amount of time spent in these crafting menus, but tack up a queue of task and leave the machinations of the pod to do your work while you waddle off and explore.

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Walking With Dinoaliens

As you start the game, certain important areas of the map are highlighted for you, mainly mining areas to which you can gather ore to create ingots and create a whole host of equipment and supplies to build a base, to build a ship to explore your new home and find more resources and eventually get off the planet to explore the stars.

Now I always fear that I over explain games or I have a dreaded thought that I’m not making any sense. So let me break it down and patronise not just you, but even myself.

  • Crash land with a wallop on a colourful and big bad beast inhabited planet.
  • Salvage what you can from your escape pod.
  • Craft essential goods and machinery to keep your big fat gamer belly full and oxygen tanks full (death hurts).
  • Explore your locality; avoid those freakishly weird alien things lurking around. Maybe kill the little beggars with some of the weaponry you may have crafted. You can even keep their remains, they may be tasty!
  • Look for mining spots to find valuable and much needed ores to provide materials for more crafting.

There’s a lot to do and it has to be said there’s a pace in this game. At first you’re against the clock to get your basic set up and make sure you don’t snuff it by making silly mistakes (such as running out of oxygen).

Then your eyes are on the bigger picture: Build a base, build a hydroponics factory for food, build food processors. There’s a lot to do already in the current build. I haven’t even touched upon leaving your own planet, exploring space.

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A lot of time spent in Empyrion – Galactic Survival is spent in the crafting menus and micromanagement. I should point out here that I’m ….. How shall I put it ….Slow! I’m also daft as a brush and kept on dying rather a lot, due to really silly mistakes (top tip! Don’t decide to go on a mining trip at midnight). I actually found my time crafting enjoyable as it has a slight puzzle-like element to it.

In my forays so far I’ve managed to get a base up and running, get food processors going. I’m sure in the later game of space explorations, micromanagement will be taken care of by the array of machines available.

My plans now are to be clever enough to build some modes of transport and explore, not just the locality, but space and beyond.

I have very high hopes for Empyrion. I play a lot of these survival/building/crafting type games, I have found this to be one of the more captivating games in the genre, certainly one of the most playable and already has huge scope and massive ambition.

It’s also on Steam now for less than £14 which is a steal(price set to rise on completion).

Pro’s

Engaging, absorbing, fascinating.

Cons

In its current build the monsters feel a bit low rent (think 1970’s Doctor Who).