The Last Guardian gave me all the feels.

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The boy and Trico…. checking out the view.

Let me start by saying that my dad was the best! He bought this game on December 7th, the 2nd day it was released for me for Christmas. I wasn’t expecting it because it’s so expensive but I had asked for this and a less expensive game. I was expecting to only get the less expensive game. But to my joy I got this one too!

I’ve heard some less than awesome things about it, but I decided to ignore everyone and play it with an open heart and mind.

The Last Guardian is designed by Fumito Ueda. It’s an action-adventure video game developed by genDESIGN and SIE Japan Studio. Fumito Ueda created the Ico and Shadow of the Colossus (SotC) worlds we know so well. The worlds full of grandiosity which make you, the player of that little person feel ever so small. I played Ico and SotC and I loved them both, but I can tell you that I loved The Last Guardian the most! YES I SAID IT!!! The Last Guardian is the BEST GAME EVER from Fumito Ueda. He outdid himself.

So without going into too much detail and spoiling it for everyone, you are a boy. You wake up in a kind of cave with a very large, albeit angry half-bird and half-mammal named Trico whose in chains. You try to satiate the beast with these glowing blue barrels, you remove the spears in his body and then he allows you to get near his head to remove the collar which has him trapped in that cave. Your entire adventure is with this Trico. He is a fearful creature, and looks to you for guidance in everything. He learns to trust you and follows you around like a puppy, and it’s adorable. After some time the boy learns to give Trico commands so he’ll follow you. You’re helping him out of the maze you’re in. And so begins the beautiful journey of boy and beast. You do find out that Trico isn’t alone in this world. You also find out how the boy ended up where he is. I won’t say more because otherwise I’ll spoil it for you 😉

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Trico is giving the boy head rubs because he’s just so sweet.

I found this game to be half like Ico and half like SotC. You battle odd shadow guards. You solve puzzles, and you can climb Trico! Speaking of commanding Trico, this can be a little tricky. I was pretty good at getting him to go where I wanted most of the time. I petted him a lot and I think that helped. Trico also gives you clues as to your desired path, and it’s important to watch him carefully while you play. I have two cats, and I feel that gives me a slight advantage in this game. I’m very good at reading their body language and meows and it was the same with Trico. The boy also needed Trico very much to get to hard-to-reach places or to get out of sticky situations.

I really loved the environment in this game. Like Ico and SotC, it was another imposing environment with very large buildings everywhere. It just reinforces how small you are and how large Trico is. The detail in the environment was really amazing, even with Trico.

Gameplay mechanics were alright for this game. The boy either had a full on run or he tiptoed when he walked slowly. It was pretty funny. And sometimes he’d end up pushing a wall instead of running around it. It took some getting used. Also, the camera could have been a tad better. I played for a solid 15 hours last Tuesday and I got pretty dizzy. I had to change how fast the camera moved, but it didn’t help. Because the boy is so small there’s a lot of camera shifting to find the way out. Remember in Shadow of the Colossus when the boy had to climb the flying Colossus in the desert? You rode that horse in circles just to try to get on that beast. Well I got pretty dizzy from that. Imagine a lot of circling camera movement? Same thing. I mean it was all my doing, but frequent breaks are required 🙂 Overall these issues didn’t bother me too much. I did sigh a few times in slight frustration, but it was such a small aspect that I was fine.

The one thing that bothered me the most was the boy and how he looked in comparison to everything else. He had very little shadows on him to define his face, neck etc. He was also quite bright and appeared to look different than Trico or the environment. In essence he stood out like a bright sore thumb. I assume the dev did this so you could actually see the boy, but really I didn’t think this extra brightness was necessary at all. But after the first initial shock of it I just ignored it as a quirk and brushed it aside as an unnecessary annoyance. Yes, he was off compared to the rest, but I wasn’t going to let something so insignificant as this ruin a perfectly wonderful game.

Finally, there is a huge replayability for this game. I know people love New Game Plus, and The Last Guardian does have a sort of NG+ option. Once you finish the game and you’ve watched the credits and the movie after the credits, you get sent back to the main menu. In this main menu you can continue the story (not start a new game — they are not the same). By starting a new game you essentially erase all the work you did in the last one. Continuing the story saves all the barrels you’ve gathered for Trico during your first game. So you’ve continued your story and you’re back in the cave with Trico. Once you gain control of the boy, pause the game. Go down to “Items”. Here you have unlocked new clothing colours for the boy depending on how many barrels you’ve collected. The great thing about this game during your second round, is that the barrel count updates continuously, so if you were playing for 30 mins and you paused and went back to your items, you’ll see you’ve gathered more barrels. The goal is to gather 96 barrels. Not only does that unlock all of the outfits for the boy (and a trophy if you select them all and put them on the boy during the game), you also get to change Trico’s feathering! I don’t know how many actual barrels there are in this game, but supposedly there are more than 36 which is how many barrels I found in my first playthrough.

So don’t worry. If you finished the game, you can go back and try again for some trophies! The hardest trophy to get is the “Finish the game in less than 5 hours”. You must have perfect command of Trico, know the world inside out, and not care about the other trophies or the extra barrels. I might try this one day. I read online that the in-game timer still runs even if you pause the game, so if you’re playing on PS4 like I am, you have to physically pause and go to your XMB to really pause the timer. Having a physical timer next to you helps to track your actual time in the game since the game doesn’t have one internally. The other two speedrunner trophies are easy to unlock. I managed to finish the game in under 15 hours and unlocked both that and the 30 hr trophy. Good luck with the 5 hour trophy!!

I bet you’re super interested in this game. If you haven’t seen the trailer, you should:

Now I want to talk about my likes and dislikes for this game 🙂

Things I like about this game:

  • The environment and how majestic and stately it all was.
  • Trico. A big puppy that follows you around which is so adorable.
  • The lengths the boy went to put Trico at ease.
  • The story of Trico (you’ll have to play the game to learn this) 🙂
  • The unbreakable bond that grows between Trico and the boy.
  • The story. Oh my goodness the story is amazing.
  • The puzzles. They weren’t easy, and no one is holding your hand.
  • The in-game soundtrack was wonderful.
  • I got scared of heights and got butterflies a lot while climbing very precarious places.

Things I don’t like :

  • The boy’s skin made him look too bright and cartoony compared to the rest of the environment and world, making him stand out like a sore thumb
  • The boy sometimes ran too fast, especially when I was on treacherous ground. Scared the shit out of me.

All in all I would say for an indie game, it’s a highly recommend! I recommend this action adventure game for everyone who loved Ico and Shadow of the Colossus. In my mind it was better than both games put together. I will be personally writing to the designer, Fumido Ueda, and congratulating him on a job well done! I cannot wait for their next game, whenever that will be.

My rating? 7/10

Should you play this? I say yes, if you like horror!

Enjoy!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

FIREWATCH – A very broken game

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Playstation had a deal not too long ago and FIREWATCH was on sale for a very reasonable price, around $8 -13. I had heard some good things about this game so I decided to buy it and give it a try. I played it with a friend watching on New Year’s eve 2016.

All was good. We had made it to day 77, and for some reason which I cannot remember I quit the game to check something on the XBN of my Playstation 4, and then I went back and started the game anew. What I encountered when I started it up was that the game would not load. Not even a little bit. Not even in the load game screen. Continue didn’t start the game nor did the save file. We did some digging around on the web and decided to try and download my saved game data from the online storage. To our surprise the save data wasn’t even present in the cloud or on my PS4. WTF Santo Campo!?! Did your compliance team even catch this issue? Did you fix it? Nooooope. We were forced to restart the game. Thankfully it’s a short game and can be played in a few hours, but still. Super annoying.

Now while my friend was checking the internet and I was zipping through the slog at the beginning, he found yet another potential blocker found somewhere around Day 79 which half the players encountered. Thankfully when we got to that point I did not otherwise I’d be emailing Playstation store for a full refund. Unfortunately it was a digital sale and cannot be refunded… FU.

As a little side note, my friend and I are professional QA video game testers. Which means we test video games for  bugs on a full time basis, and when we encounter a released game that is as broken as FIREWATCH, we are deeply disappointed.

Alright, back to my review….

We both decided it was prudent to start a new game. I was pissed off at this point having paid money for this game, and finding out it’s already so very broken in the most important way. Slogging through the beginning wasn’t fun so I spammed X the whole time trying to choose the same options as before.

I did run the whole time and avoided reporting all the fog. What the fuck is up with Henry and his fog reports? Once I got to the same point where we last were the story started to take many twists. I suspect the two girls in the beginning were a red herring to throw the player off from the actual plot in the story which revolved around Brian Goodwin. I won’t say more in case you’re reading this and you do indeed want to play this game.

We finally made it to the end, but we had encountered massive frame rate issues where the game would just freeze for a second or two. This wasn’t fun, but it’s more acceptable than the not being able to load a save game issue. My friend and I also found it difficult to relate to either of the characters. Henry was unrelated and then there’s Delilah with her “I need to fuck you now” need towards Henry at some point in the game. We both thought that was really off, and not at all appropriate for what was going on in the story. I really, really didn’t like that part AT ALL.

So in the end, the story is okay. It confused the hell out of my friend with all the convoluted plot lines going here and there. I know at one point I was getting very much into it. Sadly the end is very anticlimactic. I suppose it could have been better, but it wasn’t.

Things I like about this game:

  • The colour scheme was interesting.
  • Dialogue choices.
  • The twist in the story.
  • The sub trophies were fun.

Things I don’t like :

  • The very, very orange-ness of the game when the sun was setting. It was too orange.
  • Henry’s arms when he ran. It was very robotic.
  • Clunky jump option. No smooth jumping.
  • Frame rate issues.
  • Couldn’t load saved game after quitting the game in mid-playthrough.
  • Save data didn’t upload to the cloud or my PS4 upon first play. Probably the reason for the save data being unable to load cause it’s not present.
  • The ending. Too boring.
  • This game had way too many issues. They should have been fixed by Campo Santo BEFORE being released.
  • The final sub trophy could not be unlocked. I was fuming.
  • Had to quit the game before I could unlock Free Roam.
  • I did not have an updated map or the axe when loading into Free Roam which meant I had to run around and get all the boxes so I could find the paths on my map.

I read on their website that they provided patches in September to all of these issues, but that was a complete lie. It’s December, and the game is still as broken now as it was four months ago.

All in all I would say for an indie game, it’s an alright story. I don’t recommend this game based on all of the issues I’ve encountered. Personally it’s not worth any of the money you would spend. This game is worth $1. With all the issues you’d want your money back. If you want to play the game, I recommend watching this YouTube Let’s Play video instead. This way you won’t waste any money.

My rating? 4/10

Should you play this? I say maybe. You can get through one play in a few hours.

Enjoy!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

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The Last of Us Part II is finally happening!

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If you’re heaving into gaming and follow a few gaming blogs, then I’m sure by now you’ve heard the amazing news from this weekend’s PSX 2016 panel with Naughty Dog that they’re finally going to make a sequel to The Last of Us. However, it’s not just a sequel, but part two!

If you’ve played the first game you know that the ending leaves a lot of questions to the player. Questions such as “Why was Joel so selfish?” and “Will he ever tell Ellie the truth about what he did?” It feels so open-ended with so little closure. Ellie is very upset, asking Joel for the truth about the Fireflies not being able to find a cure and Joel outright lies to her face claiming it’s the truth and then it cuts to the credits. Cliffhanger!!!

Naughty Dog says the following about the development of The Last of Us Part II:

“I can’t tell you how satisfying it is to finally be able to say that Ellie and Joel are back for another intense, harrowing, and emotional adventure. Like many of you, we have a deep love for the world of The Last of Us and its characters, and while a sequel may have seemed like a foregone conclusion, that wasn’t the case. We knew that it needed to be a story worth telling and, perhaps more importantly, a story worthy of Joel and Ellie. After spending years on different ideas (and almost giving up), we finally uncovered a story that felt special—a story that evolved into an epic journey.”

A lot of people commenting on all of these news posts are posting negative things about how the sequel will not be good, or why ruin a good thing! Naughty Dog has mentioned the following at their PSX16 panel:

“With regard to worries that a sequel could somehow risk degrading the integrity of the original’s ambiguous ending, Druckmann said, “You have to understand that no one loves these characters more than we do, and we would not do this if we didn’t feel like we didn’t have the right idea.”

“All I ask is that fans of the first one put some faith in us, trust we’re going to do right by them.” he continued. Druckmann also shared some concept art for TLOU2, and confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla would be returning to score the new game.

I know personally that I have a huge amount of faith in the developers of Naughty Dog to deliver the best video game / story they can create that will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps as well as pave the way for amazing story telling via video games.

Too many times I see developers create games with huge, open worlds. They think the bigger it is, the better it’ll be. But in my opinion, I would rather play a shorter game (between 6 – 30 hours) that is linear but tells an amazing story! I’m all about the story when it comes to video games. I find those open world games are too jam-packed with little itty bitty side quests, trying to make up for an average story (or none at all). Well I’m stoked that Naughty Dog isn’t about making open world games, and I hope it stays like that. I love their games as they are.

Going back to The Last of Us Part II, is anyone else glad that Gustavo Santaolalla is returning to score the new game?? I feel that his score really helps solidify the story. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the full TLOU soundtrack, here it is:

Neil Druckmann is saying that Part II is about ‘hate’. Druckmann explains the following:

“If the first game was really about the love between these two characters, this story is the counter of that,” Druckmann explained early on. “This is story is about hate, through Ellie this time. The first game you play as Joel, this game you play as Ellie.”

Ellie is now 19, and the years spent surviving the collapse of civilization have taken their toll. “She’s gone through some shit,” Johnson said later during the discussion.

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Ellie is on a rampage to kill who? All the infected? The Fireflies? It leaves a lot of questions that we’re all asking, but that doesn’t matter. When Naughty Dog is ready, the answers will be given to us. And they will be granted via their new performance capture technology as seen in the gif below.

This new tech really adds to the game and makes you feel like you’re actually playing real people! I work full time as a video game tester so it’s nice to play a game where they use this kind of tech to capture facial movements, lip syncing and movements is being used. Nothing makes a game more horrible than horribly lip synching, or flat characters with no freaking personality. I know for a fact that Naughty Dog’s used tech similar to this for their first game, so it makes sense to build upon it and make it more realistic. 🙂

Check out the panel at PSX2016!! Get the latest news about the game (trailer is included in this video 🙂

One last thing! A friend of mine shared with me some IMGUR celebratory comics in regards to The Last of Us Part II being announced, and here’s the link but I’m posting my ultimate favorites that I find funny. If you’ve played the game you’ll see why they’re so funny. 😀

And then this one:

For those who might not know about this, Dark Horse has The Last of Us comics you can buy. Tells the story of Ellie in boarding school and how she met her bestie, Riley.

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https://www.darkhorse.com/Books/22-396/The-Last-of-Us-American-Dreams-TPB

Well I hope you enjoyed this rather long post! If you haven’t played The Last of Us yet, I highly recommend it because The Last of Us Part II probably won’t be out until December 2018 or very early 2019. Still two years away.

And comments about the game or if you want to start a discussion are always welcome! 😀

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Grl

Layers of Fear (or layers of madness???)

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I grabbed Layers of Fear a few weeks past when Playstation had their Halloween sales. I got the main game and DLC (Inheritance) for $13.50, which wasn’t bad considering how many times you have to play the game to get all the “layers” the developers have added.

This is not a very long game, but it’s not meant to be sped through. If you do so you’ll get the neutral ending (or the loop ending) that everyone talks about. It does not give you (the player) nor the man you’re playing as any sort of closure. If you’re the kind of person who has to collect all collectibles, then you will end up with this ending. But don’t despair. This game is meant to be played 3 times for each ending. Nothing’s really explained or laid out for you. The developers at Bloober games expect you to figure it out yourself, but here’s my suggestion:

Playthrough #1: Pick up all momentos, rat drawings and objects lying around to trigger memories. This will give you the neutral loop ending which is okay.

Playthrough #2: This second time you can choose to “Finish It” which will return you to the beginning of chapter 1 where you are in the art studio room. From this point on you choose to go the path of the painter. Essentially you’re being selfish and you only interact with items related to you or your art (Example: Dog collar, dog muzzle, cane, glasses, broken clock, crank (hidden in a closet), rats, broken brushes, broken palette). Under no circumstances interact with any alcohol, or items belonging to the wife as that will trigger the neutral ending. Also, make sure to always follow the rats. If given options of two doorways, always follow the art. If there is black goo by a doorway, avoid it at all costs. Avoid any instances of your child as well (do not pick up any toys or follow the crying voices). And under no circumstances peak in any doors where the dead wife may be hiding and avoid her in the halls. Turn around and walk away if you can.

Playthrough #3: For your final playthrough you do the opposite of your last one. In this final run you are going to constantly head toward your dead wife. Instead of taking the doors with paintings, you will take the door options that have black oozing stuff. If the wall says to Not turn back, turn back. Always embrace your wife. Also, you’ll be aiming to pick up all of her items (hair brush, broken phone, perfume, necklace, checkers, give the potato to the cat (near the checkers) and interact with doors that suddenly open or give you any clues that your dead wife is there. Do not crank the paintings out of the pit, but do jump down. If you fall in a hole and you hear something scary, turn around and search in the dark.

As for the DLC, Inheritance, I recommend it. I recommend you buy the whole game/DLC package because it explains stuff the game does not. Unfortunately the DLC also has 3 game endings.

I won’t spoil them for you, but you will see for yourself when you examine your trophies. I had the most difficulty unlocking the final trophy  This could be important, and therefore recommend the following links to help you find all the collectibles. Unlike the main game, you must find ALL the notes, drawings, and memories in ONE playthrough in order to unlock this trophy. They do not save and carry over to other walkthroughs like the main game.

Steam Walkthrough for all collectibles  /  YouTube Video detailing each collectible (but not explaining how to get it)

Check out the trailer:

And the trailer for the DLC:

Things I like about this game:

  • Creates some layers of madness trying to figure out all the clues to all the secret endings.
  • 3 mysteries to solve.
  • The ouija board room in the basement in the prologue.
  • Short which means you can breeze through the game in 1-3 hours to get the extra endings without picking up all the collectibles.
  • Playing this game in the dark at night.

Things I don’t like :

  • Sometimes walking into items makes the character spin in a circle and to stop this requires walking him into something. It’s for sure a bug.
  • Jump scares aren’t that scary, but they do give me chills.

All in all I would say for an indie game, it’s a recommend! I recommend this horror game for all my fans who are enthusiastic about horror. Just don’t expect it to scare you too much, but it does have great atmosphere.

My rating? 7/10

Should you play this? I say yes, if you like horror!

Enjoy!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Rebel Galaxy – A free PS4 PS Plus game for August.

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Have you tried Rebel Galaxy yet??  I recently got it as a Playstation Plus free game for the month of August, and thought I’d give it a try. I’ve only been playing for a few minutes, but already I’m liking it.

I’ve always been a Firefly fan, and when starting this game, the soundtrack starts and guess what? It sounds just like the kind of music you’d hear during your favourite episode of Firefly! I stopped at the local bar (near where my ship spawned) and got my first mission to get whiskey in exchange for some parts for my ship. While I was docked, I also took the opportunity to rename my ship to “Firefly.” I couldn’t resist. 🙂

While playing Rebel Galaxy, you can choose to be anything you want. I’m not sure what role I’m going to take on, but for now it’s the good guy. Get a good name for me around the galaxy and see where it takes me.

In case you don’t know this, Rebel Galaxy is currently FREE in the PS Plus games. It’s a single player game with loads of possibilities. If you haven’t tried it yet, I recommend. If you want to know more about this game, check out YouTube’s Elemental Storm on his take on the 5 reasons why you should be playing this game:

 

Let me know what you think if you get around to playing this! 🙂

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 7.48.18 AMGood morning my peeps!! It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything. I haven’t been playing much video games these days. But today I have exciting news. Well, it’s not really exciting, but it is for me. I can’t believe this game slid through the cracks and I didn’t know about it until now.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — Finally another game is going to be released with a female protagonist. This one’s got a very strong primal feel to it. I love the tech that’s going into this to make Senua look as human as possible. Check out the video below on how the Senua actress performs a scene live and in real-time directly within the game world.

There’s no word when this game will be released, but they did say 2016. The same goes for all the other games I’m looking forward to: Recore (Microsoft exclusive), Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4 exclusive), The Last Guardian and now Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

Check out the trailer and some gameplay!

Have a great day! Thanks for reading! 🙂

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Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

 

 

Rubber-suited Androids!!!!

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Playing a little Alien Alien: Isolation​ this morning and I’m currently in the Find Apollo’s Human Consultation Control Room checkpoint. The core is crawling with these protected Androids in orange rubber suits, and they give me the creeps! They’re so difficult to kill and if they spot you, they will kill you in the more horrible way. I know further on in the game I get equipped with a bolt gun, but I remember during my last playthrough how scared I was and when I tried to aim at their face, I’d miss!! HAHA. Here I am running around the core trying to activate everything through all the little mini-games and add 4-5 of these awful androids coming at you, slowly, but surely.

Well, I guess I should get back to it. 😉 Wish me luck!!

 

Dying Light Demo

 

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I thought I’d give Dying Light’s demo a run for its money today. I downloaded it on my PS4 a few weeks ago, and tonight I’m hosting a board game party so I didn’t want to play a game and get sucked into its world, completely forgetting about tonight’s plan. I booted the game and once the tutorial was over I had 1 hour on the clock to play. I decided to do the only side mission available. It was okay. I found my way to a few safe areas, ran around on rooftops, even played with danger by running on the street! Oh look ma, zombies are chasing me! When night finally fell I had maybe 8 minutes left to play so I went out to see how crazy the night zombies really were. At one point I had a bunch chasing me and the game prompts me to push triangle (Δ) to see behind me and the sight was pretty frightening. I definitely died 3 times in 8 minutes. I didn’t know what else to do. I couldn’t take the elevator up to the tower, so I thought “Let’s see how long I can stay alive outside the safe zone.” Not long. One, maybe two minutes. Maybe more if you can sprint and get on roofs faster.

My opinion of Dying Light is that it’s okay. A lot of people relate this game to Mirror’s Edge but with zombies, and I can totally see that. 🙂 Haha I liked Mirror’s Edge but found it challenging with trying to stay alive and not fall to my death. Dying Light is similar but the only thing killing you is either the zombies or the poor choice of jumping too high. That can definitely kill you. A while back I had spent a few hours watching some guy on YouTube’s gameplay and I honestly have to say that it was more fun watching him play than playing it myself. It’s probably because this guy kept freaking out when the zombies were nearby, and it was extremely entertaining.

••••••• Spoiler alert!! Do not read further if you don’t want to have the END of the game ruined for you!

•••••

•••••

I warned you!!

••• Spoiler beginning…

So a friend of mine owns this game and told me he found the ending to be annoying. I asked him why? What happens? He replies with “It doesn’t.” Hmm, I’m curious now so I’m trying to figure this out. I mention that maybe the game doesn’t end and the expansion pack that’s coming out will finish the story. He tells me that the player beats the bad guy, they get the data for the cure and then they rest on a rooftop with the guy saying “Everything will be okay.” and a final combat is just a bunch of quick time events. Boo. That’s definitely lame in my books.

In any case, I don’t think I’ll be buying this game any time soon. It was okay in my books. When a demo is amazing and makes me want more, then I play the game, but this one kind of made me dizzy. All that first person running around. I also found the controller schemes a bit odd. R1 to jump? Oh well. If I ever see this game on a crazy sale, like $10-15 (in the future of course) I might buy it.

Since there wasn’t much for me to play I can’t really give this an accurate rating, but here is my rating:

3.5 stars out of 5

A definite buy if you love FP views, running, parkour and zombies.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Grl

 

 

 

Until Dawn – An honest review (spoilers)

  
I was really excited when I saw Until Dawn on sale on the PSN website at Christmas time. I had this 20% off coupon also that came with my brand new PS4.  The game’s regular price was $75, but I was able to get it for $39. After two days of downloading, I finally got to play!

Here’s the game synopsis from Supermassive Games:

When eight friends are trapped on a remote mountain retreat and things quickly turn sinister, they start to suspect they aren’t alone. Gripped by fear and with tensions in the group running high, you’ll be forced to make snap decisions that could mean life, or death, for everyone involved. Every choice you make in your terrifying search for answers – even the seemingly trivial ones – will carve out your own unique story.

Until Dawn is meant to be played multiple times in order to see the entire story.  The player can have their playable character do a little exploration which gives the player a teeny tiny leeway to explore. Unfortunately the game is extremely linear, and the exploration might only take 1 minute. During exploration, the player will find clues and totem pole pieces which gives the player sneak peaks to solving the mysteries of Until Dawn. While it’s labeled as interactive drama and survival horror, I would add this is a mystery-solving game. There are three major categories for clues: the twins, 1952, and the mystery man. I won’t say more since I don’t want to add spoilers so soon in my review.

 The game’s mechanics also contain an in-game system called the “Butterfly Effect” in which any choice of action by the player may cause unforeseen consequences later on. Players will make difficult decisions during ethical or moral dilemmas, such as sacrificing one character to save another. The Butterfly Effect system blurs the line between right and wrong decisions and it is possible for players to keep all eight characters alive as well as having all eight of them die, allowing for many different paths and scenarios as well as offering several different endings for each character. I found the Butterfly Effect a neat part to this game.  When an effect took place, I would push R1 and see what changes I made to the story. During gameplay, the player gets the chance to play each character, making decisions along the way. This could be good, or annoying, especially if you like a specific character and then get switched to another less desirable character. Finally, this game reminded me a lot of Beyond: Two Souls, especially in the pause menu with the close-up of the character’s face, and the climbing prompts. But this is the only resemblance it has.  With six players, there are literally hundreds of possible endings.

And now for the honest review. If you haven’t played the game but intend to, please don’t read any further as there will be some spoilers!

(Spoilers ahead)… Ok you’ve been warned…

…….

Until Dawn claims to be of the horror genre (as well as interactive drama). My current beef is with the horror part, and that is that it is not scary. Until Dawn is disappointing as a horror game because it relies solely on jump scares to make it scary. I’ll admit I jumped once or twice in the beginning, but the “scares” became almost predictable. This game likens to a horror film that tries to be scary with jump scares and music changes, but after the second “scare” I was able to know when something would jump out and I was bored. The reason I’m disappointed in the horror is because I read a review of the game before playing it for the first time that said it was really scary. That reviewer must have been paid well. LOL. Bastard. It’s like playing a cheap horror movie. Haha. Speaking of cheap horror movie, I hate some of the characters. It’s possible to keep all of the characters alive, but when I was playing I wanted  some of the characters to die. In my first run, the one character I hated the most ended up surviving and killing someone I liked. All because of my choices made through the game. 

Another disappointing aspect of the game is how short it is. A full playthrough only takes 9 hours. I didn’t know when I first played that this game requires multiple playthroughs to get the full story. I realize now that with the shorter playthrough, the multiple plays and cumulative hours played would make it longer. As of today, I only played it once and I only got a small portion of the story solved so I can’t spoil that part for you. 🙂 Now that I know it’s more interactive drama and less horror, a second run will be more enjoyable. I honestly thought this game would be solved in one run, and perhaps it could with the aid of a walk through, but then what fun would that be?

Things I like about this game:

  • Graphics
  • 3 mysteries to solve
  • I really liked how the right stick controlled the face and flashlight position.

Things I don’t like :

  • Plays like an interactive movie
  • Jump scares aren’t scary
  • Short playthrough
  • Not all characters are likeable, which was probably their intent.
  • It’s not worth $75. If you can, buy it when it’s 50% off or more.

All in all I would say this game has potential when all the mysteries are solved. I understand game production is expensive, but I can’t justify paying full price for this game.

My rating? 6/10 

Should you play this? I say yes, if you’re okay with an interactive movie-style mystery game. Don’t ruin it by watching videos of it first or reading any more reviews.

Enjoy! 

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Merry Christmas to all my followers!

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I’m excited I have a week off from work. A bit of a mandatory holiday since our client isn’t going to be working on the video game, so we can’t work. A few people were upset about that (only because they ran out of vacation days to pay for this time off). I’m doing good, though, I didn’t use up all my vacation. In case you didn’t know, I am a functionality quality assurance video game tester. Yeah! I play video games all day. My plans this week are to play some Fallout 3…Screen Shot 2015-12-23 at 6.53.27 PM

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and Until Dawn. It’s on sale right now for Playstation Plus users, and with my 20% coupon it was $39. That’s nearly half price. I’m looking forward to that.

 

 

 

And with that, I want to wish who might be reading my blog a very merry holidays, happy Kwanzaa, feliz navidad, merry Christmas or any other appropriate greeting for this time of year.

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Until 2016! May your gaming be awesome!!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl