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

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 10.24.48 AM.png

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. ūüôā

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! ūüôā

Advertisements

Alien: Isolation – Stealthing around a very quiet space station


WOW!!! WHAT A GAME!!!!

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s talk about Alien: Isolation. This is one hell of a game! I was at EB Games looking for a really great game to play. The employee at the store said this was a very good stealth game. I wasn’t sure I’d like it because it’s a first person perspective, but it’s nothing like any of the other first person games I’ve played (Destiny, Borderlands etc.). I took a chance and I got it. The thing I love about EB Games is that if you hate a game, you can return it before the week is up and exchange it for something else. But with this game, I was in love right from the beginning.

This game might be labeled as survival horror, but it’s more survival than horror. This is the sort of game in which you take your time to play. This game cannot be rushed, and you’re not going to get a Big Boss ranking if you beat it under a certain time limit, unless it’s the DLC, in which case that’s completely different. Also, it’s not fast-paced, and it’s definitely not a horror game.¬†Think of it more like classic Splinter Cell or Metal Gear, where your best chance of survival comes from not being seen. It’s not an action game; in fact, your goal should be to avoid action altogether. The benefit of taking your time is you get to case the joint and make sure you pick up every single collectible or little item that might be lying around. The collectibles are the archive logs, ID tags, &¬†Nostromo logs. There are 211 in total, and if you miss even just one, you won’t get that specific trophy, nor 100% completion.

Here’s a bit about the story. You, the player, are in control of the protagonist, Amanda Ripley. Amanda is the daughter of Ellen Ripley, the fictional character from the¬†Alien franchise. The story starts 15 years after the events of the 1979 film, Alien. Ripley is approached by a man telling her that¬†the flight recorder of the Nostromo spacecraft was recently located by the Anesidora and is being held aboard Sevastopol, a remote space station owned by the Seegson Corporation. So Riplay and 3 others suit up, and it’s time to do a space walk in order to board the space station, but OH NO!! Something horrible happened, and Ripley gets separated from your crew. She seems to be all alone the station until she realizes she isn’t. She discovers there are still androids aboard the station, and other humans which seem really violent, and a super scary looking Alien.

The gameplay in this Alien: Isolation is really nice.¬†The player has the ability to run, climb ladders, sneak into vents, and also crouch and hide behind objects to break the line of sight with enemies, and covertly peek over or lean around to gain view.¬†The player can even have Ripley to go under nearby tables or inside lockers to hide from enemies. I especially love how quickly Ripley will hide in a locker or small cabinet when the Alien is seen or heard. Although when I played this, I didn’t let the Alien spot me because sometimes if you are moving while it’s looking in your direction, it could potentially see you and stab you in the abdomen with its spiky tail. I must say I’ve face this death many a times in Alien.

Unlike most games with enemies, the Alien’s movements are very random, and I don’t believe it ever followed¬†a predetermined path. The enemies in most other games follow the same path when they walk and Alien: Isolation does more than that. With that being said, the Alien will actively investigate any sounds the player might make while navigating around the space station. If you (the player) are playing a more difficult level and you decide to walk or run while the Alien is nearby in the vents, expect to die a quick death. That Alien has super-alien (not superhuman) hearing! Even the motion tracker can attract the Alien, so using it when it’s not nearby is always a good idea. I know a few times I was hiding in a very small cabinet, and the Alien was pacing around the room searching for me. I’d pull out the motion tracker for a second to see where it was, hoping I could escape to continue with the current objective, but I’d have to put it away quickly otherwise I’d give my position away.¬†Speaking of hiding,¬†I’m pretty sure I spent 50% of my time hiding in lockers or cupboards waiting for a safe time to come out. That Alien is so unpredictable!!! I loved how Sony created the Alien. No matter how many times I died and restarted one section, I could never predict where the Alien would be at any given moment. That was pretty scary.

Ok, changing topics to the top three things that scare me about this game. Now don’t misinterpret scary with bad. These scary things are what made this game amazing!! I’m going to list them in the order of scariest to least scary.

  1. Save phone. I never knew when I’d get to save my game. This game does not auto-save, and you are reliant on the save phones. I would always freak out if I progressed through the game and couldn’t save. I think in one area / part of the game, I literally would crouch around, looking for collectibles or the like, and then painstakingly crouch all the way back to the phone (without the Alien seeing/hearing me) and save my progress. I did it so many times that on my way back, a station had literally unloaded to the point that it was no longer there save for one itsy bitsy detail. Hilarious.Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.47.03 PM
  2. Androids.The nice ones at the beginning of the game are fine, but when Ripley starts to encounter the ones that go around killing humans, it’s scary as fuck! They will follow you and break your neck if you don’t successfully hide from them. The ones nearer the end of the game… well… let’s just say I hope you’re not Nightmare difficulty. If you do, you’ll see what I’m talking about when you get there. Look at those eyes! They’re creepy!Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.49.49 PM
  3. Alien.¬†It’s undefeatable, it’s fast, it’s scary looking, it’ll investigate any sound you’ve made, and you’ll cry if you spend 20 minutes holed up in a locker because you made noise. If you get as close to the Alien as in the photo below, you’re pretty much already dead.¬†Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 8.50.17 PM

What else is great about Alien: Isolation? Well… The items Ripley can craft. EMP mines, noisemakers, molotov cocktails, pipe bombs (these are my favorite because they can take out many androids at once), smoke bomb, medkit (necessary to stay alive), flashbang, and finally the stun baton (also a fave for up close encounters with androids). I also really loved the motion tracker, but what I didn’t realize (and it took me nearly the entire game to realize this) was that when it chirped, it meant something was nearby. I remember playing and asking myself “Why is this chirping like this?” I also love the lean. When Amanda Ripley is in a locker or small cabinet, you still have some control over her.¬†You can press forward or back on the left stick to lean closer to the ventilation slits or hug the back wall, and you can also move left and right with both sticks to get a better view through the slits. You can even have her lean back so you can pull out the motion tracker (like I mentioned above, but more vaguely). The lean is also good out in the open world when she’s not sequestered in a locker. You can have her peek at enemies. However, if you stare too long they will eventually notice her. Finally the rewire stations. Here you can control if the room will fill with a sort of fog, or if the lights will be turned off. Sure, it makes it harder for you to see, but the darkness is also your friend, because that means your foes will also have great difficulty seeing you. Resist the urge to turn on that dinky flashlight. You’ll only give away your position.

What I loved about the game:

  • Everything. I loved the save system, how everything looked antiquated like it did in the Alien movies.
  • The noisemaker. It sounds exactly like it would if I were to build one. So classic and wonderful.
  • It’s just so scary! I’m usually the type to shy away from horror movies, but when I played this, I’d play in the dark with the volume up high so I could hear all the sounds. My heart raced a lot, and I was anxious a lot of the time, and even screamed quite a few times and I loved every second of it.
  • The simplicity of the sounds used in the game, and the reactive soundtrack cues; when enemies come near, the score becomes more tense (with different kinds of music representing different kinds of dangers), and Amanda herself begins to vocalize her fear.
  • One DLC comes with the game, and there are 7 more to buy. If you can get the digital bundle on sale on the playstation app, even better. I once saw the entire game and all the DLC for $40. I would have bought the bundle if I didn’t already have the game on disk.

What I didn’t like¬†about the game:

  • Dinky flashlight sucked battery power like you wouldn’t believe. Playing in the dark is so much better because you can almost see all the little details if Ripley happens to be in a very dark place.

Bugs I discovered while playing:

  • When I first encountered the Alien, the whole space station unloaded. What I saw was space (no station), Ripley’s legs and feet, the exit sign, and finally the Alien walking by. I was so confused by what happened, it took me a moment to realize. So here’s the story…. I was playing, and was exploring the space station. This was fairly early on in the game when Ripley is alone. I was in this one room, and had moved on to another room. But apparently there was a short in-game cutscene where the Alien makes its first appearance in the first room I was in. And since I wasn’t in that room anymore, I got teleported into it. But the problem was that the room had unloaded, so when I warped into the room to see the Alien, the room wasn’t in fact there, hence my confusion. It kind of ruined the first Alien encounter. I guess I was moving through rooms too quickly.
  • Then there was this one work station that completely disappeared after I went in and out of that room multiple times.

My score for this game? 10 out of 10!!! It was amazing! Even if I haven’t seen the Alien movies, I still really loved this game. If you love stealth, a slower pace, and a totally different style of game, then this is for you. I¬†highly recommend this game. ūüėÄ If you play it, or want to, feel free to share your comments with me!!

Cheers, and enjoy the game!!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Dead Space – Necromorphs and nasties.

Dead Space was a very strange game to me when I first played it. Isaac, the ship’s systems engineer doesn’t have a speaking role in this game. I was told by others that it really helps you to connect with the character. I can see how this works.

The story takes place in 2508 where a “planetcracker” ship called the USG Ishimura has sent out a distress call, and the USG Kellion is sent out to¬†investigate. After a guidance system malfunction crashes the Kellion into the Ishimura dock, the crew tries to seek other means of transport. They quickly realize that the ship has been overrun by necromorphs, and they are infecting the whole ship as well as re-animating the dead crew. Exciting events happen later on in the game, events which I will not mention as 1) I’m only in Chapter 7 and 2) I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

The first time I played it, it was on the Medium difficulty. I’m not like most gamers. I don’t play a game the first time around on the hardest difficulty. For me, the reason I play video games is for the stories. And I want to enjoy the story too, so I play it on easy. It doesn’t make me less of a gamer, it just means I don’t want to be banging my head against the wall because it took me forever (and many deaths) to get past certain sections. And that’s what happened on Medium. I got to the beginning of Chapter 5 where I was locked in a room with a necromorph who had renewable limbs and could not die, and about 5 others. By the time I reached this room I was out of ammo. I even tried loading a few saves back and buying more, but I ended up even further from that room without ammo. The only thing I could do now was delete my save file and try again, so I did that. I started again on easy and now I’m enjoying myself much more. ūüôā

I wanted this time around to be different, so I went to the advice of the interwebs for weapon suggestions. I bought the Pulse Rifle, the Ripper, and the Contact beam. I barely use the last two, so I gather as much ammo as I can, and sell it to buy nodes. Nodes are important to upgrade your weapons. I’ve fully upgraded the damage to my Plasma Cutter (the first weapon you are equipped with), and one shot to the legs of most necromorphs kills them, which is pretty awesome. This saves me on ammo. The Contact beam ammo sells for $4000 each, which adds up quickly. The Ripper sells for slightly less, around $3250 or $3750 and if you don’t need it, selling it makes sense (or saving it for later). In short, if you want to excel in this game buy the Pulse Rifle, the Ripper, and the Contact beam. Having these fully upgrades for NG+ will be a life saver.

Weapons aside, never in my life have I ever want a video game character to die as¬†much as Kendra. She’s so whiny and so disrespectful of Hammond, the commander, that I want her shut up and die. She does seem to disappear near the beginning of the game, but sadly¬†she lives after all. I really want to punch her in the face.

Things I liked about this game:

  • It can be pretty creepy, what with all the sounds and voices you hear while walking through the corridors.
  • Sneaky necromorphs play dead in hallways, so it’s always advisable to shoot them before getting too close. Also, shooting human corpses and dismembering them saves them from being re-animated by facehugger necromorphs which transform them.
  • Necromorphs drop ammo or money based on the weapons you are actively carrying.
  • You can upgrade Isaac’s rig and weapons, and they carry over to new game plus.
  • Doesn’t have an online/multiplayer option so it’s easier to get all the trophies.
  • It’s a third person view.
  • It has good replayability because the player can play new game plus with all their upgraded weapons, and collect more for other trophies.
  • There are up to 5 cheats for this game:¬†http://deadspace.wikia.com/wiki/Cheats_in_Dead_Space

Things I disliked about this game:

  • Kendra
  • Nodes are expensive. They’re worth $10,000 a pop, and that’s why I carry a Contact beam weapon.
  • The asteroid shooting section. The right stick sensitivity sucks and the first time through it took me nearly 20 times before I beat that section. It can be hard to see and aim at those asteroids.
  • You can’t change the difficulty setting once you’ve chosen it and started a new game. You have to restart from the very beginning.

My star rating? 3.5 out of 5.

Overall it’s a good game, and I’m looking forward to playing Dead Space 2 where Isaac actually speaks.¬†I say if you like survival horror games, this is one to try.

Cheers!

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl

Journey – The most beautiful indie game I’ve ever played.


Journey is by far the most beautiful indie game that I’ve ever played. Journey is exactly what the title says. It’s a journey. Ok, this isn’t going to work. I will paint you a picture.

You pop in the disk, and the game does a little installing on your Playstation. You choose to Start a new Journey. When the title has loaded, you are this little character in a red robe sitting in a desert. The game quietly mentions to take your motion detecting controller and move it from side to side. When doing so, you see the game moves with you. So clean, so simple. Ahead of you you see a large sand dune with stones and a flag blowing in the wind. By now you’ve made your character move 360¬ļ and you see there’s nowhere else to go but there. When you get to the top,¬†there you are, this little character all dressed in red, in front of a foreboding mountain. Your task is simple. Explore on your way to the mountain. Soon you’re seeing that there are floating flags around and if you get near them, a little musical sound is heard and whoa! You have a little scarf. Soon you’re prompted that if you push a button on your controller, you can add a little oomph to your next jump. But you see that your scarf which was once highlighted with white is all red again. Time to collect more flags. The controls are simple as is the game. Journey’s story is told wordlessy though in-game and cinematics. Even the soundtrack is beautiful.

For your very first journey, I recommend disconnecting from the Playstation network and playing one game by yourself. I’m sure it’s fun to have someone with you, but when you’re alone you can really take in the beauty, and the struggles this character goes through to get to the mountain. This game also has a co-op option although I have yet to try it. It requires a network connection to the Playstation. You start the game and some anonymous person may (or will?) join your in your journey. There is no communication or competition except for the musical sounds the characters make. I’ve heard from friends that playing the online version of Journey is one to try.

I thought after a long while that I’d play Journey again. Since I already played it, all the levels were unlocked. I chose the one that I thought was next, and ended up on some pink sand. I started toward to the first building I could see and some flying carpet “animals” came out to accompany me / lead me to the next area. The dunes were so high I was glad they were there. When I got there I released more of these creatures. By the time I got to the third building I was joined by an online player! They weren’t with me for very long because I missed my highest jump, and by the time I got to the bottom of the hill, they were gone. But that was my first co-op experience with Journey. ūüėÄ

I don’t know too much about the musical score in Journey, but here is some information according to Wikipedia:

Unlike many games, where different songs have different themes for each character or area, Wintory chose to base all of the pieces on one theme which stood for the player and their journey, with cello solos especially representing the player. Wintory describes the music as “like a big cello concerto where you are the soloist and all the rest of the instruments represent the world around you”, though he describes it as not necessarily orchestral due to the inclusion of electronic aspects.[22][24] The cello begins the game as “immersed in a sea of electronic sound”, before first emerging on its own and then merging into a full orchestra, mirroring the player’s journey to the mountain.[25] While the game’s art style is based on several different cultures, Wintory tried to remove any overt cultural influences from the music to make it “as universal and culture-less as possible.”

If you haven’t played this game yet, I think you should. It’s got the highest metacritic rating that I’ve ever seen. The story will evoke some emotions and make you feel things you didn’t think would be possible.

Thinks I like about this game:

  • Visuals, graphics, musical soundtrack
  • Characters do not speak, but communicate by musical notes
  • A co-op journey where two characters can help each other.
  • You will want to replay this game over and over. It never gets old.

Things I dislike about this game:

  • When I wanted to play Journey a second time, I ¬†didn’t go far and saw that every section of the game was open, and walking into any one of the ‘rooms’ would immediately transport me to that section. What I really wanted was to play it like I did the first time, and I have to figure out how to do that without deleting my save file.

My rating? 10 out of 5 stars.

Cheers

Bitchin’ Gamer Girl