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Category: Game Review

Pirate101

Pirate101 Online Family Gaming Review

Posted on August 25, 2018  in Game Review

Pirate101 is a massively multiplayer online game. It is a spin-off from the popular Wizard101 online game. Unlike most of the online games that are coming out today, Pirate101 is not targeted towards adults or hardcore gamers. It is actually being promoted as a family friendly game that everyone in a household can enjoy regardless of age or game playing experience. This claim is largely true for a number of reasons.

Child-Friendly Game World

One of the main reasons the game is so popular with families is that the virtual world is a very friendly place. The game world is not full of areas that are inspired by death, destruction or horror. Most of the cities in the game are active and happy. They have normal residents. The game does not really contain any areas that could be disturbing or frightening to children. Even the villains in the game are mostly portrayed as being more silly and comical than evil. Combat does not involve blood or gore. The game world is also easy to understand. Children and families do not have to study maps or work through confusing mazes at every turn.

Safety Features

Pirate101 goes to great lengths to ensure the environment inside of the game remains safe for children and families even while thousands of people are playing simultaneously. One of the first differences is that it is impossible to simply type in a name for a character. Players must select a first and last name from a long list of approved words that sound like pirate names. There are also restrictions on chat. Parents can set accounts so that children cannot type into the chat box or receive private messages from other players. This means children can only communicate through a premade menu of standard responses. Parents can change account settings so that children are able to talk to only approved friends.

Simple Gameplay

The entire family can play Pirate101 together because the game interface and mechanics are simple. The menus are large and very clear. Anything that needs to be done is usually accompanied by brief on-screen instructions so non-gamers do not have to memorize multiple key commands. Even the combat in the game is simple. Combat is turned-based and does not require twitch skills or fast reflexes.

Colorful and Humorous Graphics

Pirate101 has unique graphics that are colorful and humorous. Most of the characters in the game are anthropomorphic animals like monkeys, tigers, and dogs. The scenery is bright and simple with just enough detail to make it interesting. Many aspects of the game are exaggerated graphically in order to convey humor or drama. Children and adults will find the graphics fun and entertaining.

Mini-Games

If children or families do not want to play through the main storyline, then there are many mini-games spread throughout the world. Mini-games allow players to win in-game currency or other prizes. They are simple games that involve basic tasks like matching colors or creating rows of items across a grid. This makes the game fun and accessible even if children do not want to take part in ship-to-ship combat.

Underlying Gameplay Complexity

Something that is interesting about Pirate101 is that the seemingly simple game mechanics actually have some depth. This complexity adds a new level to the game for adults and for growing children. There are statistics for characters and items that can improve performance while sailing or in combat. These can largely be ignored unless a person is interested in managing the character at a more granular level. This game is also great for those who enjoy Pixel Gun 3D!

Fun for Parents and Adults

Parents will have fun playing Pirate101 for many reasons. Parents who are grouped with children in the game can take care of some of the more complex tasks that will make playing easier. This puts the parents in a protective role over the characters the children are playing. The game also has many Easter eggs and funny moments that are clearly intended only for sophisticated adults. Parents can enjoy the gameplay on a different level. Parents will find the combat system and strategic planning aspects of the game engaging once the mechanics are understood. Adults will be able to find much fun and interesting things in the game that are more engaging and complex than children in the family might realize.

Alex is your game homie. He’s played the roughest levels, the toughest games. Follow him on this blog for the best game scoop ever.

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Category: Game Review

Banished

Banished Review – Civilization Simulation of the Year

Posted on August 20, 2018  in Game Review

Civilizations massive sphere of influence, both in the realm of strategy games and in the realm of gaming, in general, continues to grow. The success of the Civilization franchise has spawned a series of spin-off games that deal one way or another with building a Civilization and lasting the test of time. Some of the most successful Civilization spin-offs are Tropico the island civilization game and Banished which is a new game and newcomer to the civilization simulation arena.

 

 

 

Now as a person interested in gaming, let alone online computer gaming, its a safe bet that you have many modern conveniences at home. These probably include electricity, central ac, cable tv, internet, phone, and most likely a small cache of computers and portable devices. Well, what would you do if the government kicked in your door, grabbed you and your family, perhaps your neighbor and their family, and hauled all of you out to a deserted island and left you there? Well, in a nutshell, this is the premise of Banished.

 

 

 

How would you, your family, and the other families, that have been banished from civilization survive? How would you collect food, keep warm, build shelter, and thrive in the harsh wilderness? How do you think you would fare? Do you have an inner Ron Swanson that would be fine or an inner Tom Haverford that would likely die in less than 24 hours.

 

 

 

Banish presents you with this very scenario. The game starts off with a half dozen social outcasts who have been banished from civilization and are forced to survive in the wilderness and guess what they have elected you as their leader. Congrats.

 

 

 

On the surface, this sounds easy enough right? Just chop down some trees, plant some gardens, catch some fish, love balls, and build houses so people can make babies. Easy-peasy… right? Well, this ain’t your momma’s civilization game.

 

 

 

The developers of Banished have done a masterful job at making this simple game into one of the most challenging puzzles you can imagine. They accomplished this by making the simple aspects of resource gathering into a complex feedback loop where every single action has a reaction, and more often than not the reaction is negative and based on the real world laws of nature.

 

 

 

For example, each game starts in spring, and you have until winter to clear enough land to build a shelter for your people, plant some gardens, collect firewood, build tools, and build a make-shift fishery. Needless to say on your first turn you will barely have time to do any of these tasks. Once winter hits you are crippled as Atlanta in a snow flurry. Your only choice is to hope and pray that nobody freezes or starves to death.

 

 

 

While other games like civilization put an emphasis on money, food, and resources equally, in Banished people are the primary key resource. If your population dips below a certain amount you won’t have the manpower to get firewood, mine for resources, collect food and basically survive. Unlike other games, there is a huge emphasis on providing for your people and protecting them from the environment which is unforgiving and very harsh. Your people will need homes, food, clothing, tools, medicine, spiritual guidance, and even emotional support. Every mechanic of this game ties into other parts of the game, which in turn feeds back normally in a negative manner.

 

 

 

For example, let’s say you build a mine out in the woods, and its too far from your city then it will take your miners extra time to transport the mined resources back to the city, which increases their exposure time and the likelihood they will die. Also, mining is very hazardous and it’s not uncommon to have a mine shaft collapse and kill 5 to 7 miners at a time. Losing 5 to 7 people will severely handicap your city, especially if its expended its wood resources. Again all resources are finite and eventually run out.

 

 

 

At first, you will be dependent upon wood for building materials, once you have chopped down all of the trees you will need to start digging some mines to get stone. When you deforest your area your population loses the ability to get medicinal herbs, which can only be found in old growth forests. Even if you replant the forests it will take years before they can produce enough medical herbs and game animals to sustain your population again.

 

 

 

In addition to the complex network of negative feedback loops, this game also has a series of random disasters that will test your towns ability to survive. These disasters include tornadoes, fires, and diseases. While tornadoes are a pure act of God, fires and diseases can be brought on by your people. Again if you over deforest the surrounding wilderness you will run out of medical herbs and your population will get sick and die. If you build too many houses it increases the chances that someone in your village will catch their hut on fire during the middle of winter. And don’t forget about winter, which is a disaster in itself.

 

 

 

Given the complex playstyle of this game, and its unique still of play, Banished has done what few other games have been able to do. It has redefined the gaming format for civilization simulations by creating the first ever survival civilization simulation.

Alex is your game homie. He’s played the roughest levels, the toughest games. Follow him on this blog for the best game scoop ever.

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Category: Game Review

Inversion Review: Everything You Should Know

Inversion Review: Everything You Should Know

Posted on August 16, 2018  in Game Review

Inversion is a 3rd person action game with a unique twist. The gravity changes. A central part of the gameplay is that the enemy is capable of changing the gravity. This keeps the game exciting and interesting and offers a unique spin on the standard 3rd person action game. One of the things that set this game apart is that some of the environment is destructible, which makes the game entertaining if you like that sort of thing. The solitary game has a very convoluted story that someone thought was smart but really does not answer any questions that the player had, and leaves them completely confused at the end. Not at all like the straightforward games like Homescapes or Mobile Legends!

The Grappler

The grappler is a gravity control device that they player can gain access to over time. It allows them to move objects and people effortlessly. This gravity manipulation device is part of the technology that the enemy in this game has, but it can be used by the player as well. This gravity control device is not only used in combat, but it is also used to solve puzzles and get through mazes. This game does make decent use of the grappler, though, in the end, it is more of a gimmick than a necessary part of the game. It does keep things somewhat more interesting than without it.

Multiplayer modes

The games multiplayer modes can be split into broad categories. The first category is cooperative. You can play through the levels of the main game with a friend. This can make the gameplay a little more fun, as you can offer cover for each other, or defend your friend while he uses the gravity manipulator. For the most part, this does not do much to make the game any more enjoyable. This game single player game just is not fun any more than one time through. There are very few secret areas, and only one way through each level this means that the game really suffers from a lack of replay. The story is over the top ridiculous so that will not sustain you either. Maybe the only thing can sustain you would be making fun of the story as you play the game. There are a few moments of the game that are brilliant, but they are not often enough to truly hold your attention. The premise is a good one, but it essentially rips off games that you have played in the past, with very little changes.
The second category of multiplayer modes is those that are competitive.

Competitive modes

The competitive modes may be a little more fun, but they are not all that unique or interesting. There is really only one unique most of multiplayer which can be fun for a little while but quickly becomes imbalanced. It is called the king of gravity. In this game, one player has control of the gravity while the other players try to kill him. Whoever kills the King of gravity then has control of gravity. A smart person who has control of gravity can easily dominate this game. It may seem as if the fact that it is three against one would make a difference, but the effects of gravity can really make a difference. If the person who controls gravity does not know how to play the game then it may be fairer, but for the most part, the game mode is not balanced.

Conclusion

All in all this game is not horrible, but it is not worth the price that people are charged for it. Because the online modes are not used often there are not too many people who are willing to play. Even if the game was good, one could still not play it online much since no one plays it. The game’s single-player storyline may be worth playing through once if it holds your attention, but you will not want to play it again like some other games. This game tried to do something new and interesting, but it fell far short, and because of that it is not worth many peoples time. There are some who really enjoyed this game, but many more who found it to be extremely boring and repetitive.

Alex is your game homie. He’s played the roughest levels, the toughest games. Follow him on this blog for the best game scoop ever.

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Category: Game Review

Naughty Bear

Naughty Bear: The Cuddly Strategy-Horror Game

Posted on August 15, 2018  in Game Review

How many times have parents around the world heard their children complain about their teddy bear scaring them, well with Naughty Bear, those misconceptions about teddy bears being unable to hurt people is thrown out the window. Naughty Bear takes a look behind the scenes of what goes on while our toys wait for us to adopt them. This also has an adult theme, besides the violence, behind the game.

 

 

 

Naughty Bear is a teddy bear that lives on an island called Perfection. While he is there, he is surrounded by other teddy bears, and the more he looks around, the more he notices that the other bears hate him and are actively trying to kill him. So what is a bear to do when surrounded by all this animosity? Why, he attacks first that’s what he does.

 

 

 

There are seven different chapters in the game, and in each chapter, you have to play as Naughty Bear and figure out his story. Naughty Bear is available on the XBox360 and has a child-like quality to it despite the adult themes involved. The game opens up in Naughty Bear’s home with a birthday party for another bear starting up close by. The narrator is just like the ones you would expect from Great Britain, one that interacts with the main character as well as the audience.

 

 

 

Each chapter reveals more and more of the story as to why the other bears don’t like Naughty Bear, as well as gives the player a chance to enact revenge against the other bears who purposefully go out of their way to make sure Naughty Bear never participates in any of their activities. Many players report that being able to play this type of game is therapeutic when having to deal with stressful days at work, or with just everyday life. However, there are a lot more people who report frustration with the game having no driving plot behind it.

 

 

 

On a scale of one to five, with one being the worst and five being the best, Naughty Bear rates, according to Amazon, with an average rating of three. And the ratings are pretty much even across the board, with only one or two ratings to separate each rating. The difference between a five-star rating and a one-star rating is only a margin of two, so this game really does seem to be a “love it or hate it” type of game.

 

 

 

After seeing a few gameplays, this writer has to agree that there doesn’t seem to be much beyond the game besides just killing other bears and going on a rampage. While everyone knows that in real life people just don’t go around killing those who make them angry, in the world of Naughty Bear, that is exactly what happens. Whenever the other bears refuse to incorporate Naughty Bear into their activities, he goes on a murdering rampage. And that’s not the only thing that this writer has noticed going on in the game. The kill actions are repetitive, and while it is narrated by an Englishman, the words are also repetitive. Invariably, something happens, Naughty Bear wants to be involved, and when he’s not, he goes on a murdering rampage with the same weapons and moves.

 

 

 

And it’s not just the storyline that frustrates many people. There is also the fact that the camera gets caught on walls and corners, the controls are clunky at best. There are no options for setting traps to capture and kill the other bears for later, nor is there anything that gives the player a more substantial puzzle to figure out, even though the creators assure everyone that there are more substantial storylines behind the gameplay, unlike games without any storylines, like Sims or Clash Royale.

 

 

 

All in all, Naughty Bear seems to be the best game for adults who just want something mindless to play. A game that really doesn’t take much thought behind it to play. However, for the money that is being requested to purchase the game, it doesn’t seem like a good buy on the part of the gamer. Instead of buying, rent the game first to see if you would like this style of game. That way, you aren’t making a purchase you will later regret.

Alex is your game homie. He’s played the roughest levels, the toughest games. Follow him on this blog for the best game scoop ever.

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Category: Game Review

Monster Hunter: World Review

Posted on May 23, 2018  in Game Review

“Monster Hunter: World” is a game series published and developed by Capcom. It is an action RPG centered around the player character, as he or she becomes a member of the Hunters Guild, an organization sworn to protect innocent villagers from the wide variety of wild creatures in the world by sending out skilled monster hunters to slay troublesome beasts.

 

 

Similar to the gameplay for Mobile Legends, the player controls their hunter and moves them through a variety lush environments, tracking monsters which range in size and shape from the ant-like Altaroth to the massive rocky Duramboros. The hunter attacks these creatures strategically with one of several different weapon types. Each weapon has its own strengths and weaknesses and its own unique style of combat. The Hammer deals massive amounts of damage but is very slow to swing. The Long Sword allows for swift and precise movements, but care must be taken to combo carefully in order to unleash the most devastating attacks. Dual Swords allow for an intense flurry of attacks, including the brutal “Devil’s Dance,” an attack mode that increases damage but leaves the hunter open to the monster’s counter-attack. Other weapon types include Bow, Switch Axe, Great Sword, Sword and Shield, and Hunting Horn.

 

 

There are different item drops which the hunter carves after they have slain the various monsters, or which they have collected from spawn points around the world, usually shown as rocks, butterflies, or plants. These items vary in rarity and value and are used to craft sets of armor and upgrade weapons. The kind of monster the hunter slays affects the armor’s appearance and stats, and the weapon’s strength, sharpness, and elemental effects. This is the core of the gameplay; slaying monsters and using the drops to create more items to hunt with, allowing for easier hunting and giving the player a chance against more difficult monsters.

 

 

As with the in-game item drops of Subway Surfers, these drops also can be used to create items to help the hunter during the hunt. These can be combined in the field to make emergency potions to restore health, create traps to catch monsters, make flash and sonic bombs, and cook meat to increase stamina. Most of these items can also be bought in the hunter’s village shop, but some items can only be combined. Sometimes a hunter finds themselves unprepared for a hunt, which is why combining in the field can be very helpful.

 

 

Hunting the monsters often requires a good deal of skill and repetition to remember movement patterns and weaknesses. Monsters often have areas that are weak for slicing or impact damage, and also have one or more elemental weaknesses which the hunter can take advantage of. Certain parts of a monster such as horns, claws, and teeth, can be broken off, rewarding the hunter with extra drops at the end of the hunt to use in crafting weapons and armor. Most monsters have a tail which can be damaged and removed during combat, which can then be carved for another drop. Monsters have many tells and calls that signal what attack they will use. Learning these and using them strategically gives the hunter an advantage. Rage mode, which occurs after doing some damage to the monster, increases the monster’s attack and speed, making it more difficult to fight safely. When a monster is nearly beaten it will start to limp, allowing the hunter to follow it to its lair and capture it or finish it off.

 

 

The biggest draw for Monster Hunter World fans is the ability to hunt together. In groups of four hunters can work together to kill monsters, and this is the recommended way of slaying the largest and rarest monsters, as they can often pose an incredible challenge. There are often monsters unique within the online mode that one cannot fight in single player, which means their weapons and armor and unavailable unless one has friends to play with or can connect with other random players. Hunting in groups often requires even more strategy than hunting solo, as the various weapon types require different styles of gameplay. For instance, the heavy-hitting weapons such as the Hammer, the Switch Axe, and the Great Sword are perfectly capable of knocking other players over, or even sending them airborne, ruining their combo or flinging them into the waiting jaws of the monster.

 

 

Monster Hunter World is a fast-paced action with a good amount of strategy. Gamers armed with experiences from Clash Royale strategies will find playing this game is a breeze. It’s very enjoyable, and worthwhile to play, whether it’s solo or with a group of friends.

Alex is your game homie. He’s played the roughest levels, the toughest games. Follow him on this blog for the best game scoop ever.

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