Monopoly Plus Review (PS4)

Monopoly Plus

As a child I was always a fan of board games. I loved Candy Land to death and when I finally reached my teenage years, I was introduced to Monopoly. Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with this game because of it’s whole premise. Move around the board, buying properties, building houses, and collecting money from other people until you bankrupt them. What’s not to love about that? Not to mention that when you’re actually playing with other people the shady dealings that go on. “Oh you can’t afford to pay me for my hotel on Broadwalk? Well, you can try to mortgage just about everything you have…or you could just give me your collection of green properties and we can call it even.” The other person looks nervous before handing them over and essentially handing you the game, as if you didn’t already have it. It took a while for me to realize that I actually had this game with the Hasbro Family Fun Pack: Conquest Edition that I purchased last year, so I figured I would give it a go and see if it held up to my standards.

Anyone remember this game on the Nintendo? So while I played the actual board game Monopoly. Who hasn’t? I also played the Nintendo version that introduced the whole “auction concept” which was just fascinating to me because when you play the board game if someone can’t afford a property it get’s left alone until someone else you can afford the property lands on it and buys it. Needless to say, I loved playing Monopoly hours upon hours on the Nintendo. Anyway else play on the Nintendo? Let me know in the comments section.

Monopoly Plus is exactly like the board game so there isn’t any story to it. I mean if you want to be creative you can make one up in your head, but the main point of the game is to play with other people, move around the board, buy properties, build houses, turn those houses into hotels, and try your hardest to bankrupt the other players in order to win the game.

Overall I have to say that I really wasn’t impressed with this game at all. There are basically two board types, the original board that showcases the classic Monopoly board and the “living” board which shows all different types of animations as you move around the board. There was really nothing special with this game as you can play by normal house rules or set your own rule like whatever is collected from Community Chest and Chance goes into free parking and whoever lands on free parking gets all that money. I couldn’t really find a reason to play beyond the hour and 30 minutes that it took me to get all the trophies for this game, because there really didn’t seem like a point. That’s not to mention that you have to play with another person. There is no AI to play with. This was just a foolish move on Ubisoft’s part in my opinion because I could have seen myself playing for a lot longer if I wasn’t playing against myself. We’ll get to the online multiplayer porting a little later on, but you get my drift. There could have been so much more to do and actually make this game more playable if there was an AI option that had different difficulty levels.

The playability of this game is simple. Pick your board, pick how you want to play, pick your piece, and start the game. All you have to do is roll the dice and click a couple of buttons to make purchases, trades, buy house and hotels, or mortgage properties. It’s so simple that when the controls simply don’t work for whatever reason it makes you want to smash your controller into a million little pieces. How many times do I have to hit R1 to buy a damn house? Apparently a lot because it seems like the game doesn’t recognize it. How many times do I have to mash the damn X button to roll the dice? More than once because the game really doesn’t respond that well to that either. Of course I checked this out on another controller thinking that I was the problem only to find out that nope, it’s the game itself. While this game doesn’t have any bugs or glitches, the fact that the controller isn’t really all that responsive causes some controller breaking moments as you try to purchase that property you want, roll the dice, trade with another player, or put up some houses and hotels. Not to mention the fact that the game animations themselves take way to long to complete making it take a long amount of time to actually move a piece around the board. This becomes annoying quickly and even hitting the skip button doesn’t work all that well or cut down the amount of time it takes for a player to complete a turn on this game.

The graphics for this game are simple and nothing to write home about. I remember enjoying the graphics for Monopoly more on the Nintendo than I did for this game. The classic board is your original board that is just floating in space and you’re living board isn’t much better either. Sure it has some animations added to it and makes it look like a living town or city, but it really does nothing for the game. The graphics were ones that just made me shrug my shoulders and try to ignore them as I went along my merry way playing this game.

Annoying announcer…is annoying. Not only are the graphics lackluster, but the announcer for this game is down right annoying. He repeats the same thing over and over again and after 10-15 minutes of this, it’s time to put the game on mute and hook up your headphones, if you’re playing alone, and listen to some music to make the time go by faster.

There are a total of 15 trophies for this game and they’re all super simple to get. You’ll basically have to do everything the game has to offer from buying property, to winning auctions, to playing locally with 6 people, and playing a game with house rules. This is nothing that can’t be done in an hour and a half or even less. I’ve seen people get all the trophies for this game in 30 minutes.

So there are only two ways you can play this game, with someone sitting next to you or with someone online. I’m going to say right now that the online is completely dead and I wasn’t able to find a match when I tried so after a good 20 minutes of searching, I gave up. Locally, you can either play with someone else logged in or you can play with a guest. Have no one to play with? You’re going to end up playing all by yourself because there is no AI for you to play against.

Overall I give this game a 1 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ It’s the same old Monopoly that everyone knows and loves.

What’s Not So Great:
There is no AI you have to play with someone else or play against yourself if you have no one to play with. Don’t count on the online portion because it’s dead.
Graphics are lackluster and I really expected more for something that was released on the PS4.
Buttons are not at all responsive and you’ll basically be button mashing in order to roll the dice or to buy houses which becomes annoying really quickly.
Moving around the board takes way to long and so do the other animations, at first it’s cool, but gets old real quick and even hitting skip doesn’t help.

I would give it my strong recommendation to just skip this game. Even if you have a group of people and you want to play Monopoly, you’re better off going out and getting yourself a board so that you can play like that because there is nothing special about this game. Also, now a days if you get a board, there are like a million to choose from. You can even get a Mass Effect one if you want. Anyway, I know the trophies for this game are easy and if you’re in it for the trophies you’ll want to play this because not many games can give you 15 trophies in 30 minutes. If you’re not in it for the trophies and you’re looking for a decent game of Monopoly move along because you aren’t going to get it here. And here I thought that Ubisoft couldn’t screw up a game as much as they screwed up Tetris Ultimate. I hate it when I’m wrong.

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Life is Strange: Before the Storm – Episode 1 – Awake Review (PS4)

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

A few weeks after the reveal that there was a Life is Strange 2 in the works, that wouldn’t center around Max for understandable reasons, Life is Strange: Before the Strom was revealed at E3. To tell you the truth it was the highlight of my E3 and as soon as I was able to pre-order it I did so. I eagerly awaited the release of this game so much that I was totally into the whole countdown thing and then when I was finally able to play it, I played through the whole first episode without stopping.

In episode one, and throughout the whole three episodes, you’ll get to play as Chloe Price. Everyone who played Life is Strange already knows Chloe and knows what she’s been through, but this will take place three years before the arrival of Max. After not only losing her father, but also her best friend, she’s having trouble coping as a teenager and goes from being that normal teenager to one of the most angsty and rebellious teenagers around the town of Arcadia Bay. She’ll disobey her mother, hate her mother’s new boyfriend David, get into as much trouble as possible in school, and most importantly meet Rachel Amber. Episode one sets all of this up for the rest of the season. It shows how Chloe is making the transition into the person that we see her as in Life is Strange, minus the blue hair. While you don’t have the power to rewind time, I’m pretty sure your whit and sarcasm that can be used throughout the game will come back and bite you in the ass.

I really enjoyed this episode, I had one minor problem that I’ll address later, because it was nice and familiar to go back to a place before there was this huge storm threating it and there was a girl there who was able to rewind time. What was everything like before the arrival of Max and what was Chloe like before seeing her best friend again? This was all a very interesting dynamic to see in this first episode and I enjoyed the first real meeting between Chloe and Rachel Amber. This episode basically served as an introduction and I was completely fine with that because I liked exploring Chloe’s home life and interacting with familiar characters like Joyce and David while also exploring her school life and interacting with more familiar characters like Nathan Prescott and Victoria Chase. It was an interesting dynamic to see if they were the same people three years before the first game. Even though this episode was super long, I never found myself bored and was actually disappointed when it ended because I could have kept playing.

The Minor Problem I Mentioned The one and only problem I had with this game, which is pretty awesome, isn’t the fact that the same voice actress doesn’t play Chloe. I tried not to get involved with the whole voice actor strike drama, but the fact that I felt like I had to play Chloe a certain way. Chloe isn’t a blank slate like Max was. You could play Max to be any way you want her to be, but Chloe is different. She’s an already developed character and although you were given choices, I felt like I had to make what would be considered the wrong choices because I felt like that’s what made Chloe into what we see in Life is Strange. Make Sense? Anyway, if anyone else had this same problem, let me know in the comments section.

If you’ve played Life is Strange, then the playability for this game is basically the same. You’ll make your way through different scenarios and basically make decisions that will eventually come back and effect the episodes later on in the game. There were a few problems with the looking around portion of the game and trying to focus on an object or a person to either look at them or interact, but that was pretty minor. Other than that the game played bug and glitch free.

The graphics for this game were pretty simple and mimicked the graphics for the first game. They were really nothing to write home about and were just there. They didn’t feel special in anyway, but the main point is that they fit the game and the feel of the game so they worked.

Finish this game and graffiti your way through town in order to get the first 11 trophies for this game. By the end of the game if you do this for every single episode you’ll be able to get yourself a new Life is Strange platinum trophy. The trophies really aren’t hard to get and if you set out and explore you should be able to get all of them, I personally missed three, but if you don’t’ get all of them you can easily go back in collectible mode to clean up.

There is no multiplayer for this game, or even crowd play, which is all good to me. For a moment though, I did wonder about is this game would have multiplayer. What if someone else was controlling Rachel Amber. It would change the game completely and would be an interesting dynamic, but that being said it’s not like I would want to see that feature, just something that popped into my brain.

Overall I give this epiosde a 4.5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Great introduction into Chloe three years before the arrival of Max.
+ An inside look into what Chloe and Rachel Amber’s first meeting was like and the relationship between the two girls that evolve from there.
+ As always a strong shout out to the soundtrack for this episode which was just amazing as the original Life is Strange soundtrack.

What’s Not So Great:
A few missteps when it came to focusing on an object and trying to interact with it.
Since Chloe is an already developed character, if felt like she had to be played a certain way and wasn’t a blank slate.

Overall I really enjoyed this episode and am looking forward to the episodes to come especially the farewell episode because of course I had to get the deluxe edition. I would say that so far, if you’re a fan of Life is Strange that you’ll want to play this game if only to get one more chance to see and actually play as Chloe before Life is Strange 2 comes out. I’m not too sure about the release schedule for this game so if you’re good with waiting and seeing when the next episode comes out go ahead and pick this game up now and playthrough the first episode because you won’t regret it. If you’re the type that wants to play all of the game when it’s all released then you’ll want to wait until everything is released.

SPOILERS! Below are my choices from the first episode.

Life is Strange: Before the StormLife is Strange: Before the Storm

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Last Day of June Review (PS4)

Last Day of June

I first noticed this game when I was pre-ordering Life Is Strange: Before the Storm. It came up as a “recommended” game. At first I ignored it as all I wanted to do was pre-order Life is Strange, but I later found myself drawn to it. What did it mean and what was it about? So, I went and looked at a few different trailers for the game before finally deciding to pre-order it. I didn’t know what I was about to get into, but I figured it was worth a try.

Last Day of June is the story of Carl and June. It’s Carl’s birthday and June has a gift that she wants to give him. What’s the best place to give Carl this gift? At their favorite spot by the lake. They enjoy a beautiful day together that gets cut short by some rain. Not having enough time to open his gift, Carl and June head back home only to get into a car accident that will kill June and leave Carl paralyzed. Not being able to cope with anything since the death of June, Carl has become a shell of his former self that is until he finds out that he can alter time and possibly save June.

From about five minutes in, I knew that I loved this game. I loved the concept of the game and the thought of loving someone that much that you would do whatever possible to try and save them if they died. I found it interesting that throughout the game you’ll be able to play as the people who had an affect on June’s death and you’ll do this through paintings. While searching for these paintings you’ll also learn about Carl and June’s history. You’ll see the blossom of a new relationship between the two of them to happy times when June finds out that she’s pregnant, to horrible times when June loses the baby, and then watch as they both recover from the loss of a child that they both wanted. When you find the images of the towns people, you’ll get to play as them and see how to alter their day to save June. First you’ll get to play as the little boy. The little boy just wants someone to play with after losing his best friend. He’s left in a town with no one his age and is also hurting. Put him in the wrong place at the wrong time and he’ll be the cause of June’s death. Then you have the best friend. The best friend is desperately in love with Carl even though he only has eyes for June. Knowing this, she knows that the only way to alleviate her pain is to get the hell out of dodge. Put her in the wrong place at the wrong time and she’ll be the cause of June’s death. You’ll also get to play the part of the hunter who is obsessed with his family’s legacy that when a little bird steals one of his most cherished possessions he’ll do anything possible to get it back and because of it he can also play a part in June’s death. Then there’s the old man who gives June the gift to give to Carl. What part does he play in all of this? All of this combined tells the most emotional story that I’ve ever experienced in video games.

You will totally need a whole box of Kleenex for this game. You really can’t help but feel for Carl because throughout the game who can see how much he truly loves June. He’ll do anything to save her and when he realizes that altering one action in time changes another and it results in the same thing, June’s death, you can’t help but feel for him. You feel his frustration because he’s doing everything he can even though he’s causing a ripple in time. There are few games that have made me feel emotionally wrecked after playing a game and this is one of them as I cried my way through the last half hour of this game.

The playabily of this game is super simple, but it gives you a lot of difficult puzzles to solve. This was an interesting aspect of the game as you try to find a way to make the day end perfectly and hope to save June. If you feel like you’ve messed up you’ll be able to rewind and go back to that character and try something different. The only problem that I had was that after unlocking the boy, the best friend, and the hunter that you couldn’t switch between them in the same scenario. You had to play as one character, set them in place, and then go back to the picture room, rewind to another character put them in the proper place, and then go back to the picture room again to go back to the last character, rewind, put them in the proper place and see how things turn out. I think the transition would have been a little more smoother if you were able to change characters while playing out a scene instead of having to go back and rewind on each character separately. Other than that the game ran smoothly and there were no bugs of glitches.

The graphics were one of the highlights of this game because they were just amazing. They looked a hell of a lot better than a lot of AAA games out there and were fitting for the game itself. You could tell that the graphics were crafted with love and care and that they weren’t just thrown together. The game was full of subtle little details in the graphics that probably took a long time, but in the end worked out perfectly and just enhanced the story as a whole.

Finish this game and do everything it has to offer in order to get yourself 21 trophies. It was a little disappointing that there wasn’t a platinum trophy for this game, but that can be overlooked because the story, which is why you should be playing this game, is amazing. The trophies are super simple too as you aren’t really meant to concentrate on them. This is one of those games where you shouldn’t just play because the trophies are easy because you’ll be missing out.

This is strictly a single player game and it’s done that way for a reason. It’s done like this because you’re supposed to be experiencing what Carl is going through and how he’s feeling. There’s no reason to have someone else in your game with you. Not all games have to have multiplayer and this proves it.

Overall I give this game a 5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ The story for this game is just amazing and will draw you in and keep you there after the first five minutes of the game.
+ Challenging puzzles throughout the game that will keep you on your toes.
+ Simple playability that will help you concentrate on the story.
+ Bug and glitch free playing experience so you could play this game in one sitting and not have one single problem.
+ Beautiful graphics that a lot of time and effort went into and it really paid off as it fits the game and the setting.

What’s Not So Great:
As I mentioned before there was the slight inconvenience of not being able to switch up characters during one scene and having to finish the day and go back to another character to start their day. Things would have been a little smoother if you were able to switch between unlocked characters.
Unfortunately, there is no replay value to this game and having missed two trophies, I went back to get them but felt emotionally drained that I got them and stopped playing.

Although this game suffers from some minor flaws, it’s still an amazing game and worth every single penny. The ending of the game is bittersweet and it’s just one of those games that has a lasting effect on you when you play. This game as an absolute gem and I’m so happy that I found it and got the chance to experience it. I’m going to say that this is one of those games that can’t be missed and it shouldn’t be missed.

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Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series – Episode 3 – More Than a Feeling Review (PS4)

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series

After last episode’s cliffhanger of an ending, I was super happy that the third episode was released right around the time I was actually playing because I was able to jump into it and to see what was going to happen. There were a lot of questions unanswered and I wanted to see how the game was going to handle it. I didn’t think that I would actually be enjoying this series all that much, but it’s slowly growing on me. Anyway, onto the review.

Picking up right where episode 2 left off, Peter and Gamora have entered the temple that the Eternity Forge is pointing them to. Peter thinks, or you can make him think, that he’ll find his dead mother there and while he’s there you’ll get a sneak peek into one more memory of his mother. While Peter is going through his only little trippy event, so will Gamora as she remembers what happened between her and Nebula when they were tasked to kill Tar-Voll. You’ll see how Nebula betray’s Gamora, but it’s not what it seems. When both Peter and Gamora wakeup from their little trip, they finally find what the Eternity Forge has been leading them to. It’s not Peter’s mother, but instead it’s Mantis. Mantis has been the one who was sending Peter the vision apologizing for acting like his mother. She refers to Peter as the “Celestial-One” because he’s the one who’s supposed to hold onto the Forge which has the power to bring people back to life. It’s going to be up to Peter though if he wants to use the Eternity Forge, which will cost him another life, or if he’s going to destroy it.

Although this episode was a little on the short side, much shorter than the other episodes, it was probably the best one to date. Bringing Mantis aboard the ship will cause some problems as she can read people’s feelings and emotions and there are a lot of these among the Guardian’s. Peter has to clear all of this up before Mantis can lead them to yet another temple and then decide what to do with the Forge. The team is split when it comes what to do with the Forge and no matter what Peter does someone is going to be pissed at him. You’ll have to make the hard decision at the end leaving this episode in another cliffhanger.

I have to say that the playability of this game went a little downhill this episode as the loading times seemed to take a little bit longer than they have been and at times if felt like the game was going to stall. This isn’t good and hopefully the next two episodes don’t follow this same pattern. On that same note, Telltale nailed it with the QuickTime events during the action sequence as you get to utilize all of the Guardians during the big action sequence and it really pays off and proves to be an exciting part of the episode. Other than that this game was bug and glitch free.

The graphics for this episode are still a little cringe worthy for me and I’m really not digging them. I know I said this before and I’m positive they won’t be changing for the final two episodes, but it is kind of a hindrance on the game. It’s like something that’s always in the back of my mind no matter how hard I try to concentrate on the story of the episode.

As with the previous two episodes if you finish this episode you’ll be 6 trophies closer to getting the platinum for this game. As always, just play the episode how you want and the trophies will pop naturally letting you concentrate on the story itself instead of worrying about getting trophies.

Another multiplayer free game unless you choose to play with other people using the crowd play feature. Still have no idea how this works and if you use it feel free to drop me a line in the comments section and let me know what you think about it.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Having to solve the emotional problems between the Guardians, it’s fun having to go back and forth as Peter to see how you can help each member of your team.
+ The action sequences and how they play out are really making each episode and are fun and exciting when they play out.

What’s Not So Great:
A short episode that felt a little bit rushed when there are still two more episodes. This episode could have been fleshed out just a bit more then it was.
Graphics are still a bit of a hindrance since they don’t match up with the game.

This episode ends on another cliffhanger which is a little frustrating because who knows when the fourth episode will be released. It could be next month, it could be in two months, you don’t know and that’s a little frustrating especially with a cliffhanger ending. I would say if you’re like me and cliffhanger endings frustrate you if you can’t play the next episode to hold off on getting this game since it seems like every ending is a cliffhanger and it’s reached that point where there are no more episodes. If you don’t mind cliffhanger endings and want to experience this game then go ahead and pick this one up as it seems to get more and more interesting with each episode.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the third episode.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series

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Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy: A Telltale Series – Episode 1 – Tangled Up in Blue Review (PS4)

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series

Here’s the thing with the Telltale games, I had seriously sworn them off unless of course they were a previous franchise that I had already played, for example The Walking Dead, Minecraft: Story Mode, Batman, and etc. You get the point. Anyway, I had no interest in getting this game or even wanting to play this game because to tell the truth I was a little burnt out on these games and I’m not a fan of Guardian’s of the Galaxy. I know, shock and awe, but I would have been more excited and willing to purchase this game if it was an X-men game. Anyway, there were two reasons I took the plunge and purchased this game. One was because it was on sale. You hear that a lot on here don’t you? The second was because I’ve been creating these “Let’s Play!” videos and the Telltale games just work out better for recording them. Anyway, I picked up this game and played the first episode so here’s what I thought about it.

Going in with absolutely no knowledge of Guardian’s of the Galaxy, I had no idea what was going on. I didn’t know who the “Guardian’s” were or who their nemesis was. I mean I knew nothing and this episode is not for people like me. Everything is basically already set in place and you’re supposed to know these characters and you’re supposed to know why the Guardians are trying to take down Thanos. Like every other super hero game he’s the typical villain who is evil and wants to destroy the world. While the Guardians will take down Thanos in the first half hour of the game, the rest of the game revolves around find out more about what you find when you kill Thanos which is the Eternity Forge. This mysterious object, which is held by the character you play Peter Quill, AKA Star Lord, is making him see some crazy things like his dead mother. Is she reaching out to him or is this all a ploy to trap him? You’re going to have to find some answers with some not so happy Kree trying to get the Enternity Forge back.

While for me it was a little difficult at times to follow the plot of the game, I did find the character interactions interesting. While you play Peter, you’ll sometimes be able to play as the other characters which are Gamora, Drax, Rocket Racoon, and Groot. Mostly you’ll get to play these other characters during the action sequences, but when you’re on your ship you’ll get to interact with them. Emotions always seem to be high and if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time it seems like it can ruin everything since everyone will “remember that you said that.” Towards the end I was able to catch onto the story a little bit more and find some enjoyment to it and am now curious as to what the Eternity Forge actually does and why the Kree want it so badly.

I Am Groot. Hilarious…or…Not. I might get a lot of hate for this, but I really don’t understand the whole I Am Groot thing. I don’t find it at all funny and actually cringe when I have to interact with him. If it’s supposed to be funny, I’m really not getting that vibe from it and it’s more like I roll my eyes at every scene that involves an I Am Groot line which is quite often.

I have to give credit where credit is due and Telltale deserves a lot of credit for this game because of how smooth it plays. From the action sequences to the overall gameplay, there wasn’t one flaw I could find for this game and believe me I searched for them because any time I can get to call Telltale out on their crap, I do. Loading times were smooth and felt like an actual transition instead of just a staling event. QuickTime events were responsive and worked really well for this game and the action sequences. There were also no bugs or glitches for this episode.

I did have a bit of a problem with the graphics for this game unfortunately. While I feel they do a lot of games right, like The Walking Dead, Batman, Tales from the Borderlands, and the Wolf Among Us, I feel like this game falls into the Game of Thrones category where the graphics don’t really match up. For some reason they just seem awkward and I feel like they don’t capture a movie feel if that’s what they were going for or a comic book feel if that’s what they were going for. The characters and areas are too cartoonish for my taste and I feel like this is one of those games where the graphics fail.

Great Music…great for the game…not so great for YouTube. I’m really enjoying the music for this game because it kind of sets the mood and goes with the game. Even after playing the game I find certain songs stuck in my head for a little while later or I’ll find myself humming Hall & Oats You Make My Dreams. While this is great for the game, it really sucks for my Let’s Play series because of copyright claims which means that I can’t get paid for advertisements. This is fine by me though because the game would suffer without the music. If I lose a few bucks, I lose a few bucks.

Finish this episode and you’ll get yourself the typical 6 trophies that you get with each episode of a Telltale game. Just play the game from start to finish in order to get the trophies with nothing special needing to be done. Once you finish all 5 episodes you’ll have a new platinum trophy to add to your collection.

Once again no multiplayer and I hate to say it, but it would maybe be nice for this game to have some kind of multiplayer aspect to it besides crowd play. Anyway, I still haven’t hooked up crowd play because after thinking about it, it’s kind of my game and my story so I wouldn’t want someone telling me which decisions they think I should make. If I say the wrong thing it should be because I said choose to say the wrong thing.

Overall I give this episode a 3 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ A good start to the series with a story line that seems somewhat interesting at the moment.
+ Telltale worked really hard to get this game done right and it worked because there were no loading issues or other common Telltale issues and the game ran smoothly.
+ It’s fun to interact with the rest of the Guardians who all seem emotionally needy in some way.

What’s Not So Great:
The story was and will be confusing for people that have no knowledge of the Guardians of the Galaxy as the story heavily requires you to know who these people are and what they do.
The graphics really don’t match up to the game and it’s really a downfall of this episode because it becomes a distraction at times.

While there are three episodes currently released, I would say that if you’re burnt out on Telltale games to give this one a pass for now, at least until all episodes are released or it goes on sale again. If you’re a mega Guardian’s of the Galaxy fan, you’ll probably want to play this one and live out your Guardian’s of the Galaxy dreams. I’m pretty interested to see where this this is going and luckily I have the next two episodes so I’ll be playing them as soon as possible.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the first episode.

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Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2 – Episode 2 – Giant Consequence Review (PS4)

Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2

After playing the first episode of the game, which you can watch in its entirety here, I was pretty eager for the second episode to come out. Since I came to this game a little late, it didn’t take long for this episode to come out and I was able to play it fairly quickly. Going into the episode I was a little weary because of last season. Last season the first episode of Minecraft: Story mode really pulled me in while the second episode was a little lackluster. Hoping that this didn’t happen the second time around I jumped into this episode.

Picking up right where the first episode ended, SPOILERS IF YOU DIDN’T PLAY THE FIRST EPISODE, the Admin is threatening Jessie’s town of Beacontown and the citizens that live there. It’ll be an all out battle as you try to save Beacontown while trying to defeat the Admin. It doesn’t stop there though as this is the Admin and everything he does is basically a trick. It’s time for another adventure to try and put a stop to the Admin once and for all. There will be some more tension between Petra and Jessie in this episode along with your new rival Stella. Where the hell did this chick pop out of? Anyway, Stella thinks that she’s your rival no matter how many times you try to tell her that she isn’t. While it doesn’t seem like a problem at first it kind of becomes one at the end depending on how you play the game.

Unfortunately this episode went the way of the second episode in the first season as it was shorter than the first episode, kind of felt like it should have be included in the first episode and felt a little rushed. Saying that, it was an interesting episode that showed sometimes people aren’t really who they say they are and it kind of breaks one character. I won’t spoil it for you here, but it’ll be interesting to see how this part of the story develops. Moral of the episode is that the Admin is evil and because it’s the Admin, he can do whatever he wants to do. There’s also more tension between Jessie and Petra and according to Telltale my story is constantly changing depending on the options that I choose. While the episode was interesting, the way that this season is going, it makes me think that there will be DLC for this game after the original 5 episodes come out which I’m really hoping is not the case.

The game ran smoothly and loading times were reduced this time around, just like the previous episode which is a pretty big win for Telltale. This doesn’t always happen and they’ve had problems with this in the past. But to stress again, the fighting scenes, which are few and far in between, are really annoying when they aren’t quick time events. This is thanks to the new stamina system that ticks down every time you swing your sword or dodge and roll. Other than that the game was bug and glitch free making the playthrough a smooth one.

Boo Telltale, Boo Apparently when I played the servers weren’t working right and by the end of the episode I wasn’t able to compare my stats with other players. While this isn’t a big deal to a lot of people, it is to me. This is mainly because I like to see how other people have played the game. Did the majority of players make the same decisions that I did or did they choose something else? I always like seeing these stats and I wasn’t even able to see them in the settings menu where you can look at your choices. When I went there immediately after playing the game, nothing came up as if I didn’t even play the second episode to begin with. This is not good.

The graphics are the same for this episode as they were for the first episode. When it comes to these episode based games, I never expect them to change from episode to episode because first of all that would be weird and second of all it would just be inconsistent. Anyway, just as with the first episode the graphics fit and it makes the game just a little bit better.

Finish this episode and you’ll get another 6 trophies to add to the list of 31 trophies for this game. Like the episode before all you have to do is play the game in order to get the trophies. By the end of all 5 episodes you’ll have yourself a new platinum trophy.

Just like the episode before there is no multiplayer, just plain old single player. Once again Telltale is really pushing the Crowd Play feature, which I still haven’t tried. Big surprise there. If you’ve tried this, let me know in the comments section your thoughts about it.

Overall I give this episode a 3.5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Picks up right where the first episode left off so there’s no wondering what happened because it will actually play out.
+ Another episode that let’s you play around and build some along with more crafting.
+ Short loading times and a bug and glitch free experience.
+ Graphics that are consistent and work for this series.

What’s Not So Great:
An overall lackluster episode that felt like it was tacked on and should have been included in the first episode.
A shorter episode that while had a lot of story could have been just a little bit longer.
No stats were available at the end of my playthrough, even though this might not be a problem for everyone, it is for me as this is one of the biggest draws for me when it comes to these types of games.

If you’ve already started playing this game, you’re going to want to continue with the second episode. The release schedule looks a little more planned out for the Telltale games lately, unlike the release schedules of the past where it took just about a year for each game to come out, yes I’m looking at you Tales from the Borderlands and Game of Thrones. If you haven’t started playing this game yet, but want to, I would say to hold off until the full game comes out and then you can binge play it all at once. Other than that the little preview at the end of the episode has me eager for episode three which hopefully won’t be a total letdown.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the second episode.

Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2

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Batman: The Enemy Within – Episode 1 – The Enigma Review (PS4)

Batman: The Enemy Within

Because I really am a sucker for sequels, I even purchased Minecraft: Story Mode Season 2 after not liking it all that much, I decided to give this one a try. My reviews for the first season of this game were mixed as I thought a few episodes were great, but I wasn’t really pleased with how the last season ended. Basically what I’m looking for out of this season is to see if this tied together with the first season in anyway or if it’s a new story that can basically be played without having played the first season.

Picking up a few months after the ending of the last season of this game, Batman has defeated Lady Arkham and Penguin, while Bruce has taken back Wayne Enterprises and kind of made friends with the Joker? Doing some undercover work, Bruce is trying to get the scoop on Rumi Mori when who should appear but The Riddler himself. Quickly changing into Batman, they’ll both face off against each other before The Riddler leaves Batman with a little parting gift in the form of a box that has to be solved. Because of The Riddler’s return, this case is just too big for GCPD and The Agency is now involved. Gordon and the director of The Agency, Amanda Waller never see eye to eye and it will be up to Batman to setup his alliances. Meanwhile in Bruce land, Bruce is being questioned by the Agency while trying to solve Riddler’s box. This will cause some destruction along with the reappearance of John Doe, AKA The Joker. There’s much more going on in Gotham that meets the eye, but you’ll only get a sample in this episode.

I really enjoyed this episode until that final ending sequence. Yes it was kind of mysterious, even though you know who did what, and it opens the door for the following 4 episodes, but I felt that it just wasn’t fitting and it kind of ruined the episode that I was really having a good time playing. On that note, I really enjoy the aspect of the game that lets you not only play as Batman but Bruce as well. You can make them act he same or make them act like total opposites, the choice is yours and that’s pretty great. I did enjoy the new mechanic of how what you say and do affects the relationship that you have with certain characters. This is one of my favorite mechanics in games because it makes you think a little bit more before acting because you then have the mentality of how will so and so react if I say or do this. How will this change the relationship between the two characters and how will it affect the story later on. It was nice to see by the end of the episode how some people were pissed off by my decisions, felt betrayed because of my decisions, and felt guilty because of my decisions.

The playability of this game was the same as last season, but felt more fluid with movements and actions. I like how every action sequence is a quicktime event because it works for this game. Batman is more thought processed then just act and think later so each quicktime event shows that. This was great even if it did trip me up a couple of times. That’s totally my fault though and not Telltale’s. I want to say that this game played perfectly, because it did, but I’m nervous that by saying that the other episodes won’t and it’ll go back to being a normal Telltale game filled with slow loading times and crashes. I’m hopeful that last seasons bugs and glitches will be worked out, but I’m also cautious.

The graphics for this game are top notch again and I’m really loving them. The game feels like it’s right out of a comic book and once again it works for this game because it’s Batman. Everything just looks good, from the environments, to the bat cave, and to all the cool gadgets that Batman gets to use. It seems like with this series, Telltale always delivers and I expect it to be like this for the rest of the season.

All you have to do to get the 6 trophies this episode has to offer is play the whole episode. Super simple and if you play all 5 episodes you’ll have yourself a new platinum trophy. I know a lot of people poo-poo these platinum trophies, but I don’t really see them as “shameful” trophies to have on your profile. There’s no shame in enjoying story based games that act like interactive graphic novels. Yes you get trophies just for playing, but not having to worry about going back and finding some random collectible lets you become more immersed into the story.

Once again there is no multiplayer for this game but there is Crowd Play. This still isn’t a feature that I hooked up or have any interest in using. If you have experience with this feature let me know down in the comments section and let me know what you think about it.

Overall I give this episode a 4.5 out of 5.

What’s Great:

+ New story that at the moment doesn’t really require you to have played the first game.
+ Playing as Batman and Bruce is an interesting dynamic that allows you to play them as the same person or two completely different people.
+ Your decisions and actions now affect how people, especially people close to you, think of you which will probably come into play in the upcoming episodes.

What’s Not So Great:
That ending could have been so much better and not resulted how it did. It made it pointless to introduce a character for only one episode.

Even though I was disappointed with the ending, I will say that the rest of the episode really delivered. You had an equal amount of time playing as both Bruce and Batman and I always like seeing how that plays out and how it affects the decisions that I make. I try to make Bruce more human like while making Batman more hero / anit-hero like. It’s an interesting dynamic. I would say that if you played the first season you’ll want to play this season and even if you didn’t play the first season, so far it seems like you can jump in and play although I wouldn’t recommend it because you’ll miss out on the first meeting of Bruce and The Joker and see the dynamic of their relationship. The choice is yours though and with Telltale’s current release schedule I would say it’s safe at the moment to purchase the season pass and wait for each episode to be released since they seem to be upping their game in the release date department.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the first episode.

Batman: The Enemy Within

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Gems of War Review (PS4)

Gems of War

This was one of those free PlayStation games that I never in a million year thought that I would actually finish. This is usually because while these games are tempting, and I have a lot of them, they depend heavily on micro-transactions and a hell of a lot of grinding which gets boring and makes me shelve the game. Anyway, I actually finished the main part of this game, not including the DLC, and since I finished the game it means that it’s review time.

I didn’t expect there to be a story to this Bejeweled type of battle game, but there is. You’ll start off with a set amount of kingdoms, having to buy kingdoms as you go, and each kingdom will have its own story where you’ll have to help someone and then end up adding that character to your party and being able to put them on your team. Not only is there that, but there’s also some good old PVP, an arena battle, a treasure map challenge, and now guild wars. All of this is free and it’s hundreds and hundreds of hours of content.

Since there’s so much to actually do with this game, let’s talk about the kingdom’s first. Each kingdom will have its own story and while at first this is interesting, after a while it gets a little clichéd and boring to the point where you’ll just skip the kingdom’s all together. Then there’s PVP. I like the way this is done because you don’t actually have to play against a live person. Each person has their team setup that they want to use in PVP and the computer will play for them. This eliminates having to actually play with another person and having them ditch the game when they’re losing. Arena battle lets you pick a random team and gives you a set amount of matches to win, but also a set amount of times to lose. If you win, you can win big money, but if you lose then you’re out the 1,000 coins it takes to get in. The treasure map challenge is a good way to match up coins and chests in order to get more money and other goodies in game, but it does cost you wings, which you get naturally at times or will end up paying for. Then there’s the new edition of Guild Wars. You’ll need to start your own guild or join a guild to do this and you’ll basically square off against other guilds for six days out of the week to move up in rank and get some cash and other goodies if you win. Sounds like a lot right? Because it is, but it’s also really grindy and to be honest, if it wasn’t for guild wars and the need to get one more DLC trophy, I would stop playing because it gets to the point where you’re just done with a game and I’m at that point.

As I said before, this is basically Bejeweled, but with a twist. You’ll choose your team of warriors, based on the troops that you have, and setup your team. Once you have your team you’ll square off against another team in various different areas. You’ll do this by matching different colored gems on a board as well as skulls. Match three or more skulls and you’re first player attacks the other player. This works the other way to that if your opponent matches skulls you also get hit. Match up the colored gems that you need in order to unlock your character or a character on your team’s special trait and then attack the other team. Same goes for the team that you’re playing against as well. It sounds confusing, but it’s really not and it’s super simple to play. The game operates smoothly and although it had some problems with stalling and lag and other stuff at release, this has basically been cleared up with various different patches and DLC’s that have been added.

Micro-Transactions Galore! There are a tone of micro-transactions for this game, as there are with other free to play games. I’ve seen people dump tons of money into this game and I really can’t understand why because if you play, as grindy as this game gets, you can and will unlock what you need to be successful and play the game. I know the micro-transactions which range from $.99 to $99 are tempting because they offer you all of these things that they want you to think you absolutely need, but seriously don’t spend your money on this game because you don’t have to in order to enjoy it.

The graphics for this game are actually pretty cool and I really didn’t expect that going in. As the game has been patched and more DLC released, the graphics continue to get better as animations and character cards, along with the board itself, gets fleshed out a little bit more each time. I’ve been playing for a while now, about 11 months, and I have to say that the graphics were good when I started and I’m impressed that they get better with each patch.

When the game started, there were 18 trophies. The trophies were pretty simple and required you to play the game and reach level 100. All of the trophies basically came naturally and you had to grind to reach 100. Now there are a total of 36 trophies for this game and I have to say that only one of them is purely luck based while the rest require you to grind your way to get them. They aren’t hard trophies and they aren’t easy, I would say they’re in the middle and if you’re a trophy hunter be prepared for a really long grind.

There isn’t multiplayer for this game in the typical sense of a multiplayer game, but there are two different types of multiplayer. There’s you’re standard PVP and Guild Wars. With your standard PVP you’ll face off against another team of players that aren’t actually playing. The AI will be playing for them as you’ll make your moves. The same thing with Guild Wars, but you’ll be given a set amount of troops to defeat each day. I kind of like multiplayer this way because like I said before people can’t rage quit when they’re losing and if they lose they lose, if you lose you lose. Everything works out better this way and I don’t have to worry about if someone lost internet connection or is acting like they did to see if I leave a match.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ There are a bunch of things to do and to get through the whole game it will take hundreds of hours.
+ Multiplayer without the hassle of actually playing with other people.
+ Solid graphics and animations that get better with each patch.

What’s Not So Great:
Micro-transactions galore. I mean seriously there are a lot of micro-transactions for this game that will try and suck you in because you think you need something.
The game is really grindy and after a while can become quite boring.

For a free to play game I would say that it’s one of the more decent ones. I’ve played a lot of free to play games, but this is by far my favorite. There’s a bunch of things to do and you and you can get lost spending hour after hour playing this game. The only downside is that there are a bunch of micro-transactions and after a while, the grindy nature of this game gets boring and frustrating. Other than that, I would give this game a strong recommendation since it is free and there’s no harm in giving it a try if you want something that’s like Bejeweled with a twist.

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Minecraft: Story Mode – Season 2 – Episode 1 – Hero in Residence Review (PS4)

Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2

I really didn’t want to pick up this game after last season. This is one of Telltale’s mediocre games and I wasn’t happy that after playing the initial 5 episodes that they added DLC to wrap up the story. This also wasn’t the game that I was hoping would be coming out so quickly, since I was hoping for The Wolf Among Us season 2. I know we’re finally getting this game after so long, but I figured it would come before Minecraft: Story Mode. Anyway, I’m a sucker for sequels and second seasons especially if they have the same character so I picked this one up.

Picking up basically right where Season 1 ended, Season 2 starts with Jessie being the big hero that she is and she basically has lost touch with her friends. Moving up in the world, Jessie has her own, town or village, whatever you want to call it, that she runs with her new intern. While everyone seems fine doing their own thing, Lucas is off writing books, Axel and Olivia have their own places to run, it’s Petra that’s having the hardest time with the transition. Petra misses the old adventuring days and asks you to come adventure with her. She has some ulterior motives to why she needs you and will eventually need your help, but not before you find a new and mysterious portal and a glove that just won’t come off your hand. Making some new friends along the way you’ll go on another adventure to get this glove off your hand, making extremely difficult choices as you go, like what to write on a sign. Anyway, by the end of the episode you’ll have a new nemesis and a new threat to your booming town.

I have to say that I found this first episode to be interesting. I liked being able to walk around a town that was my own and interact with the people that chose to live there. Also there was a big festival celebrating Jessie so that was pretty awesome. I also enjoyed the character development between Jessie and Petra and learning about how while everything seemed fine, Petra was actually suffering from the groups new found fame and fortune. I did find the story to be a little on the cliché side though as of course there’s another big bad that you’ll have to fight in order to save the world of Minecraft once again. I know that every game has to have its big bad to fight, but it just seems like, “I guess I have to save the world again.” Other than that I thought it was a pretty solid episode, and a good start to a season that will hopefully be better than the last.

WARNING! This is nothing major, but I just wanted to put it out there that if you’re like me and you beat your games, then delete them, especially if they’re digital, and then transfer over your saved data into the cloud, that the game will not pick up your saved data from the cloud. At least not on the PS4. I had to reinstall the first season, reinstall my data, without the game being installed you can’t reinstall the data, and then start season 2. Not a big deal, but a little hassle that you can avoid.

This game is basically the same thing as the first season, so the mechanics are the same, but there was some more building and some more crafting and I found that to be some of the more interesting things. The first season had some of this, but the second season seems to give you a little more freedom when it comes to this type of thing. I found the fighting scenes to be a little off a times as they mixed up the quick time events with some actual fighting mechanisms. For these types of games, I think the quick time events work a lot better and they should stick to that. This was a bit of a problem last time around and I would have at least though that it would have been fixed and it would have been just quick time events, but it’s not. Other than that the game ran smoothly and there were no bugs or glitches when I played.

The graphics were the same as last season, and just like last season they work because it fits into the whole Minecraft universe. This is a big thing when it comes to the Telltale games. The graphics have to feel like they fit into the genre of game that they’re developing and this is one of the games where it works, and it works well.

Play this episode from beginning to end and you’ll earn yourself 6 trophies. Gone are the trophies from last year that make you do specific things so you can just play how you want and no matter what you’ll get the trophies. At the end of the season you’ll be getting yourself another platinum to add to your growing list of Telltale platinum trophies.

There is no multiplayer for this game, which I am eternally grateful for, but there is crowd play. Being that I’m lazy and still refuse to setup a Telltale account I haven’t tried this feature yet. If you have feel free to tell me how it works down in the comments section below.

Overall I give this episode a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Strong start to the season, even though this was the case last season before it went downhill.
+ It’s nice being the big hero that everyone looks up to and as Jessie you kinda get to do this.
+ Bug and glitch free, which is nice since with a Telltale game this can go either way.
+ Graphics match the overall Minecraft feel and really work for the game.

What’s Not So Great:
The story, while there has to be a bad guy, seems a little cliché and copied and pasted from the last season.

At the moment, I’m excited to see where the story for this season goes and how things will wrap up. I’m hoping that it will wrap up without the edition of DLC. I would say that if you’re a fan of last season that you’ll want to play this season and see how your story continues. If you didn’t play last season, you’ll probably want to play that one first to get a better understanding of what’s going on. I would say that you also need to play the DLC as well since it helps. If you weren’t a fan of last season and basically have no interest in this game you’ll want to skip it.

Spoilers! Below are the choices that I made for the first episode.

Minecraft: Story Mode - Season 2

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Lara Croft GO Review (PS4)

Lara Croft GO

This was the last of my sale games. This one I was a little weary of though because I had played Hitman GO and thought it was just OK. You can read my full review of Hitman GO, here. Moving on though, I figured it wasn’t fair to judge a game based on another similar game so I decided to give this one a shot and see if it was in any different or if it was more of the same.

This isn’t your typical Tomb Raider game, but you’ll still be playing as Lara Croft in this short adventure. You’ll have 5 main levels to complete that will involve Lara doing what she does best, raiding a tomb and putting herself in all types of danger. There are two extra bonus levels as well that are similar but only span one level each. This game is strictly strategy based though as you’ll play though each level moving a little “chess” like piece of Lara around a board that’s filled with different obstacles. Avoid all of the obstacles in order to get to the end and move on. Make one wrong move and it’s the end of Lara.

Although this game, like Hitman GO, doesn’t that deep story that both franchises are known for I still enjoyed this game a little bit better. I think the reason was because the story throughout this game was more thought out. You had to collect three keys in order to reach the main prize of the tomb. It’s pretty clear, and I feel like this is one of those game franchises where you can do this with. For me, Hitman GO didn’t do this and it felt like every level was random and didn’t coincide with the previous level. I also enjoyed the strategy based play where you basically had to plan out each move in order to get things just right since making the wrong move usually resulted in death.

When it comes to the playability for this game, here’s the thing, the first 5 levels operated smoothly. You were told how to use the spear, how to move pillars and so on. This was a simple mechanism that worked, but I have no idea what the hell happened when you reached the two bonus levels of 6 and 7. All of these mechanisms that ran smoothly went to shit as the simple task of throwing the spear just wouldn’t work at times. The same thing with the moving of the pillars. I don’t know how many times I tried to grab the pillar only to move without it or finally grab it and move in the wrong direction. This became increasing frustrating and at one point I even thought it was because of my controller. Wanting to make sure it was the game and not my controller, I switched out controllers only to have the same thing happen. It’s like the two bonus levels were completely different from the first 5 and were untested. This is a major problem that I’m probably guessing will not get fixed. If you’re going to put out a whole game, make sure the whole thing works, not just the first part of it.

I really enjoyed the graphics for this game and was once again surprised that it made the transition from mobile to the PS4 as well as it did. The graphics were filled with detail and it really felt like it was a Tomb Raider game. Lara Croft looked like Lara Croft, not like she looks today, but how she used to look, which was a nice bit of nostalgia, and each area was well designed and had an appealing look to it.

Complete this game and do everything it has to offer in order to get 18 trophies. There are 17 regular trophies and then one platinum. The trophies are super simple and some just require you to play the game. The only difficult trophies are for the collectibles. There are times when you’ll have to go back because you missed one of the many vases you have to find throughout the game, but at least the game gives you the option to go back to the specific level that you have to go back to and even tells you if you were able to get all the collectibles or not.

This is strictly a single player game, just how I like my games. No need for other people to play with or trying to bribe one of your friends to help you out. It’s all up to you.

Overall I give this game a 3 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ While there isn’t a spoken story, there’s still a story and if you’re a Tomb Raider player it’s easy to follow along.
+ The game is interesting and strategy based meaning you can’t just run into the tomb and shoot your way through it. You actually have think about your moves ahead of time.
+ The graphics transfer nicely from mobile to PS4 and it brings back the old design of Lara Croft that everyone knows and loves.

What’s Not So Great:
While the first 5 levels work perfectly, the last two levels will make you think like you’re playing a completely different game as the things that used to work, no longer work how you want them to.

I really wish I could have scored this game higher because I did enjoy it and I enjoyed it a lot more than Hitman GO, but the simple fact that the performance of this game went downhill for the last two bonus missions were a big no-no. This was simply uncalled for and just bad game design and development. It was seriously like playing a new game and it kind of ruined the experience just a bit for me. Sometimes a game could be good, great even, but it takes something like the end part of the game not working for it to ruin the whole game. I would suggest that if you purchase this game that you do so cautiously. The first 5 levels will give you a nice challenge as you move though each level and while the last two bonus levels will do the same thing, the mechanisms won’t work and you’ll want to toss your controller through the window. At least if you’re going to buy this, make sure you don’t pay the full $9.99 and pick this game up on sale.

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