What Remains of Edith Finch Review (PS4)

What Remains of Edith Finch

I picked up this game a little while ago on sale and pushed it to the side until I was a little tired of the games that I was playing and wanted something that wouldn’t take too long to play, but still had a decent story. I decided to play this game because I heard a couple of my buddies raving about this game so I decided why let it sit on my system even longer then it had to and decided to play. After playing for a little over two hours, I was able to get all the trophies for this game which means it’s time for a review.

What Remains of Edith Finch is a first person walking simulator. There are a lot of these games lately right? Anyway, in this game you play as Edith. Edith has just lost her mother and has been given a key to her old family estate. An old family estate that she used to live in until some tragic accidents happened and her mother forced a young Edith to leave the place she absolutely loved. She’ll wander around the estate as she’s finally able to access areas of the house that were off limits to her before as a young girl and learn about the Finch’s who came before her and what happened to each of them as they each have a story to tell, even Edith.

This game is a little weird to start off with, but once you get into it, it’s a really tragic game that tells the story of what has to be one of the most cursed families ever created. Every single one of the Finches who lived in this old family estate has died for some weird reason and you’ll get the chance to play out each untimely death. Some of the deaths are weird and not even all that well explained out as it leaves it to the player to kind of figure out what happened and some are just disturbing as you can kind of tell what’s going to happen as the story begins while others are just plain sad. The overall feeling of this game is just weird and sad at the same time as it’s kind of a downer.

The playability of this game is pretty simple considering that it’s a walking simulator. You’ll have to do some other things that aren’t really explained to you as you go through each of the Finch’s stories and find out how they met their untimely death. You’ll eventually have to learn for yourself and while this is frustrating at times, once you get the hang of the game, it’s not really a problem. The only thing that the lack of instruction does is intrude on the story a little as when you have to learn new controls for different stories, it just puts a little hinderance on the actual story of the game. Other than that there were no bugs or glitches in my seamless playthrough of this game.

The graphics for this game have to be one of my favorite graphics for a game. The art style is just beautiful in this tragic tale as each story is different and the art style for each story differs as well. Always played in the first person perspective, there are times when you’ll play through a comic book style of storytelling and another part where you’ll play by looking through a camera. The way that the art style and graphics of this game changed so easily and flawlessly was a big hit with me and I really enjoyed it.

There are a total of 9 trophies for this game, but this is one of those games where the trophies really don’t matter and you shouldn’t just play this game for the trophies even if they are super easy. You should play this game because it’s a beautifully tragic game that has a pretty amazing story to tell even if it is a downer and left me a little depressed at the end. Anyway, this is one of those games where you can basically get all of the trophies, except one, in the first playthrough. If you happen to miss a few, which I did, you can go back through chapter select and get them so you don’t even have to play the whole game again.

Once again another game with no multiplayer which makes me extremely happy that I’ve been on this binge of single player games.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ This is a heavily story based game that tells the tale of the tragic lives of the Finch’s as Edith returns to her family estate to find out more about her family and record the events of what happened to them.
+ Some stories are straight to the point, some stories are a little more obscure, and others are just plain sad making this game diverse, but also just a really sad game and sometimes sad games are OK.
+ While at times I wasn’t a fan of the gameplay or the story itself, I was a huge fan of each and every different scene in the game and the graphics that came along with it as the art style changed depending on the story that was being told. I thought that this was creative and actually brought a lot to this game.

What’s Not So Great:
This game is a walking simulator in a sea of walking simulator games and although it stands out it has its moments of making you try something new only to find yourself asking possibly out loud, “What the hell am I supposed to do!” when the game turns into something that’s not a walking simulator. The change-up was always sudden and threw you for an unexpected loop.
The situations in this, although not always to the point, are really tragic and are a major downer. I know that this game is supposed to be like that, and while this really isn’t a bad thing it’s just a little warning that this game really isn’t for everyone and might be a little too depressing or might a little too close to home for some people

This was one of those one and done games and I really enjoyed it, even though it was extremely tragic and left me feeling a little depressed and empty at the end. I would say that the highlights of this game was the well-crafted story as well as the graphics and art style of this game. The ever-changing gameplay of this game was a bit of a downer and did ruin some of the scenes that were short lived as you tried to learn new controls for a segment that maybe lasted a few minutes at most. I would say that if you’re looking for a game that is heavily story based and don’t mind a little sad and depressing then give this game a try because it’s worth it. If you don’t like walking simulators or sad games because sometimes they can hit too close to home, then I would say to give this game a pass.

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Batman – Episode 3 – New World Order Review (PS4)

batman_episode_3

It seems like only a few weeks ago I posted a review for episode 2…oh wait, that’s right because I did. My reviews are a little backlogged at the moment, as you can probably see, but these games are coming out pretty quickly which is a really good thing and it makes me think that Telltale is listening to what people are saying. Let’s get right into it and see what episode 3 had in store for us.

Picking up where Episode 2 left off, Batman / Bruce Wayne had to make a decision to save a friend or a damsel in distress. Spoiler Alert! I went for the damsel, which I really think Batman would have made the same choice. Moving on, this will set the stage for episode 3 as the Children of Arkham are becoming more powerful and more dangerous. Only Batman can stop them but he has to find out who they are. He knows his old friend Oz is the Penguin but he doesn’t know who their leader is. Who is this mysterious figure head for the Children of Arkham? You’ll find out in a most surprising way which sets up the events for episode 4, but you’ll also have to make some tough decisions throughout the entire episode as Batman and Bruce Wayne. Because of the fact that Bruce’s father was exposed as a not so nice person, this will force Bruce out of his own company putting him in a difficult spot. Will he become just another corporate lackey and go out without a fight or will he put up a fight and stand up for what’s right? (I really hate when stuff rhymes.) Bruce isn’t the only one in a tough spot as Batman himself will have to try to find a balance of being feared or loved by the people of Gotham. All of this is up to you though and makes for some pretty interesting decisions.

I can’t say it enough how much I really am enjoying this series as a whole. I like the whole dynamic of playing as both Batman and Bruce and trying to make decisions that fit for both of them. Do you play Batman as the crime fighter who is loved by Gotham or feared by Gotham? Do you play Bruce as the good person he’s always tried to live up to be or do you throw all of that into the wind and play him as a normal person who maybe doesn’t always make the right decisions? You get a lot of options with this game and I’m really enjoying trying to find a balance. I’m also really enjoying the story and that surprise twist at the end of this episode! I had no idea that was coming and I’m extremely eager to see where the overall game is going. I’m just hoping they can resolve the story as a whole by the end of the fifth episode and not tack on another three episodes like they did with Minecraft: Story Mode.

The gameplay has improved greatly with this series and everything feels more fluid as you move around as Batman and Bruce Wayne. I did notice a little lag this time around but it wasn’t all that much and it wasn’t the same amount that was seen in other series that Telltale has released. I was a little weary when I started to see some lag though, I will admit, because I would hate to see this game go downhill.

Awkward! So…I’m all for romance in video games. We’ve already established that I’m a girl, so it’s a given. If you play your cards right as Batman / Bruce you’ll maybe be able to get some action with Catwoman, but it’s totally awkward. I don’t want to get into it too much, but it falls into the same awkward category as that scene in Indigo Prophecy, Heavy Rain, and that really awkward dry humping thing that was going on in Dragon Age: Origins. It was kind of a face palm / cover my face moment. Also, what is with Batman’s package? Seriously Telltale? Over compensating for something there? I did not need to see that, nor did I want to see it. Brilliant job on Catwoman though and her assets. 😉

Since this is just another episode in the same series of a game, the graphics were completely the same, as you probably already knew. As I’ve said before, I really enjoy the graphics for this series because it mirrors the comic book / graphic novel feel and it really fits for this game and just works. Playing on the PS4 the level of detail can really be seen and it shows that a lot of work went into the art design of this game.

Finish this episode and you’ll get another 6 trophies closer to getting the platinum trophy for this game. All you have to do is play the game though in order to get the trophies which I like because it allows you to focus on the story the game is trying to tell and not about getting trophies.

The crowd play feature is still a thing and I’m still not too keen on giving it a try. If anyone has played this game and tried it, feel free to let me know what you thought of it in the comments section.

Overall I give this episode a 5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Another episode and another set of struggles for Batman / Bruce as he tries to figure out who he is and balance out being both men at the same time.
+ More details about this new group, The Children of Arkham, and a surprise ending that you’ll never see coming.

What’s Not So Great:
Depending on how you play…a somewhat awkward scene between Batman and Catwoman.
Some lag that made me cringe a bit and hope Telltale isn’t going in reverse again since this was the first series that seemed to have fixed these problems.

This was an overall strong episode that had a lot going on but it was pulled together nicely. It had a nice surprise twist, which I can’t stop talking about because it was well…surprising. It also sets things up for what’s to come and I’m really looking forward to the next episode. If you want to wait this one out and binge play, you can do that. If not I would say that since the release schedule has been so tight that you can probably pick this up and play as the episodes are released.

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

Batman

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Arcade Game Series: Pac-Man Review (PS4)

Arcade Game Series: Pac-Man

While I wasn’t that big of a fan of the original Pac-Man as I was of Ms. Pac-Man, I do like the ladies, I still decided to pick this game up when it was released day one because I figured why the hell not. If I was going to get Ms. Pac-Man I might as well get Pac-Man. I also got Dig Dug, but that’s another blog. Anyway, not having much experience in the Pac-Man world, I decided to give it a try. Keep reading to find out what I thought about Ms. Pac-Man’s other half.

Unlike Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man doesn’t tell the same or even a similar story in the cut scenes that happens between different rounds. This was a little upsetting because even though after a while the Ms. Pac-Man scene got repetitive, it was still something. After the third cut scene, it’s the same thing over and over again. Pac-Man first gets chased by the ghost before following him back, in the second cut scene the ghosts rips a little piece of ghost flesh off of himself, and finally in the third the patched up ghost is chasing after Pac-Man before coming back without his skin at all. Kind of gross, but whatever. Not only are the cut scenes bland, the map is as well. Compared to Ms. Pac-Man which has a changing map every so many levels, Pac-Man stays with the same map for every single level.

While the non-changing maps did allow me to learn better patterns and learn the ins and outs of the map, I did miss the challenge of learning a new map every so many rounds. After a while playing the same map over and over again became boring even though the amount of time you had before the ghosts changed from blue back to normal changed. Other than that it was basically the same wash, rinse, and repeat formula of Ms. Pac-Man. While I’m not spending thousands of hours playing it, it was fun while it lasted.

As with Ms. Pac-Man I didn’t experience any game breaking bugs or glitches which is also a good thing. Unlike Ms. Pac-Man though, I didn’t run into any of the same controller issues that I had making me know for sure that it was the game and not my controller that was acting all weird. Moving Pac-Man around the map, whether you were using the left stick or the d-pad was responsive and caused less running into edges and less dying which is always a good thing.

The Arcade Game Series is sticking with the same pattern throughout each of the games that they released which is the original graphics from that game, which is cool because it’s retro, along with the side panels of the screen representing the actual arcade machine that the game comes from. As with Ms. Pac-Man I really enjoyed this style of graphics and I didn’t find the sides to be distracting or have the need to make the board bigger to eliminate the side graphics.

Since Ms. Pac-Man had trophies, why shouldn’t Pac-Man! Pac-Man comes with 21 total trophies, including a platinum, that are similar to Ms. Pac-Man with a couple of different trophies as well. All trophies are pretty easy to get, but there are some trophies that will offer you a challenge and take just a little bit of time to actually get. It’s not an impossible trophy list though and there really shouldn’t be anything standing in your way of getting the platinum.

I was also a little disappointed that this game didn’t have good old fashioned couch co-op. I feel like with this series of games, something like this would have only enhanced the whole experience instead of making it just a one player thing. Competing for high scores with friends is fun and this series could have really capitalized on it. There is a leader board but that will not be discussed because my high score was just atrocious.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ Good old Pac-Man!
+ No game breaking bugs or glitches, and better controls than Ms. Pac-Man

What’s Not so Great:
– Story and cut scenes are more repetitive than Ms. Pac-Man and after a while it gets a little boring.
Missed opportunity for couch co-op, huge opportunity missed.

Even though I still like Ms. Pac-Man better, this was a fun game while it lasted. Will it stay on my system so that I can play every once in a while, no, but it was well worth the $3.99 price tag that it came with. If you’re a Pac-Man fan I would say that this is a game that can’t be missed since this will probably take you back to the good old days of the original Pac-Man before it was turned into something that’s completely different like “Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures”. If you’re not a Pac-Man fan I would probably say to give this one a pass for now since it will probably go on sale or be free thanks to PS+ at some point in the future.

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Battleborn Open Beta Review (PS4)

With my pre-order for this game already placed, I decided that I would spend some of the weekend playing this game that I’ve been eagerly anticipating and see what it’s actually about. I spent a lot of time with this game, over 8 hours, and was really able to get into it in order to play every part the beta had to offer. Keep reading to find out if I’m still anticipating this game or if I regret placing my pre-order.

Story Mode

During the open beta you were allowed to play two “episodes” from the main story and to tell you the truth, I’m not really a fan of the whole episodes thing for the story mode. I’m kinda on the fence with one because I feel like the whole episodes thing doesn’t really give you a chance for the kind of story that is told in Borderlands, which this game has been highly compared to.

Let’s start with episode one. You get a short introduction that tells you a little about that episode but that’s it. I’m hoping that the story mode will have more story once the actual game is released because I really had no idea what was going on or why we were heading where we were headed and I had no idea who the characters who seemed important were or why they were even important. The main enemy in the first episode is a very similar character to Handsome Jack. They have the same personality and similar dialogue and I thought that it was a little uncreative especially when this games biggest pull is that this is the game that’s coming out this year and not Borderlands 3. This episode is also super hard as I tried to complete this episode alone three times and failed miserably. The only way this episode is being beat is by playing with a full team. This was kind of a downer for me because while I like playing with other people, I also like playing alone the first time as well until I get used to the game and so I can full immerse myself into the story. That doesn’t look like it’s going to happen with this game.

Moving on to episode two, this episode was super easy which was a complete 180 from the first episode and I was able to complete it with only myself and one other person who really didn’t know what the hell he or she was doing. The second episode introduced a new bad guy but you didn’t get to fight him at the end as you tried to save the planet that you were dumped on. I’m hoping that these stories that go along with each episode will be more fleshed out once the actual game is released.

Now for some little bits and pieces that I noticed while playing the episodes. The bosses are introduced the same way that they are introduced in Borderlands without the cool little comment underneath them. I thought that this was a little uncreative as well and didn’t think it was needed to introduce the boss battles. You already know when a boss battle is going to happen because it’s a bigger enemy then the rest and it’s harder to beat. There’s no need for an introduction. It works for Borderlands but doesn’t really work for this game. Each episode is also based on 5 lives. You and your whole team will share these 5 lives so you really have to work together to revive one another when needed. This in a way really sucks because instead of waiting for a revive half the time most people will spend those lives and then when you really need them they’re gone and the episode is lost. Yes you can earn extra lives during the course of the episode, but that doesn’t happen all too often meaning that everyone has to work as a team and that’s a lot to ask.

PVP Muliplayer

This is a new feature for Battleborn and during the open beta you were allowed to play two out of the three different multiplayer modes. Let’s talk about Incursion first. I will tell you that even though Incursion is interesting, it’s also extremely confusing and to tell you the truth I really had no idea what was going on half the time. The objectives are pretty clear, but it’s just one big cluster fuck of things going on. The next multiplayer mode was Meltdown, I will say that at first I had a really hard time getting into a match and was thrown into an Incursion match which I did not want. When I backed out I was locked out of the server unless I went into the Incursion match that I didn’t want to play in the first place. I’m hoping that this was just because of the beta and won’t actually be a thing when the game is released. When I finally did get into a match of Meltdown, it was pretty interesting and a lot less confusing then Incursion. Your objective is more simple and laid out, but it’s still a little jumbled because there is a hell of a lot going on. A LOT. I can’t stress this enough that if you’re into simple multiplayer team death match or whatever, then this is not what you’re looking for when it comes to PVP multiplayer.

Out of both multiplayer modes, I liked Meltdown the most but I’m not really sure how much I’ll actually be playing of each. I’m curious to see the third mode that wasn’t open during the beta and hoping that this will be the one that sticks and the one I play the most. I will however play the other versions especially if I need to grind out trophies for them, but that will probably be it. I can’t really see myself just jumping into a match all the time.

Small Overall Notes

I will say that overall the game ran pretty smoothly with only some minor bugs and glitches along the way, but this is the beta so it’s to be expected. I was just happy that there were no major crashes or anything else like that which I think is a good sign. I will say though that when playing with a full team of people on the episodes that there was some lag and that was a little annoying at times especially when it means that you could lose the whole mission because of people dying. I’m pretty sure this is just a beta issues as well and I hope it doesn’t make a reappearance at launch. I found the mechanics of the game as a whole to be ok. It takes a little while to get used to them especially if you’re playing a different character each time. Each character has their own unique abilities , which some are cool and others will make you scratch your head, but if you’re not playing the same character each episode or each multiplayer match then there will be some learning curve. While on the topic of characters, I will say that some of them are already overpowered and this is noticeable in the PVP multiplayer, so I am hoping that this gets fixed before the launch or at least gets some kind of patch. Also it’s very noticeable that the characters have the tendency to say the same thing over and over and over again which gets really boring and annoying really quick. The characters are also super weird, I’m not sure if I like them or not yet or found my one character that I’ll always play. I’m going to have to try them all out and eventually see, but at the moment I’m on the fence with there being so many characters. Other than that I thought the graphics were pretty cool and really similar to Borderlands. That’s not technically a bad thing, but it’s not really a great thing either.

Even after all that I’m still pretty excited about receiving this game day one. I’m also eager to play it the same day I receive it. It’ll be interesting to see how the overall story plays out as well as the other unavailable mode in the PVP multiplayer. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good things, but keeping my expecations a little low just in case it turns out to be a total waste.

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Unravel Review (PS4)

Like a lot of people, I fell absolutely head over heels in love with this game when it was first announced at E3. The story that was behind the making of it and how passionate the people who created it were was one of the things that made me so in love with this game. Then there was the small story that was told behind it and I was caught hook, line, and sinker. I had to have this game and I had to have the experience that was Unravel. I have to admit that after playing Firewatch, I was a little weary of this game but decide to give it a try anyway. Keep reading to find out what I thought about it.

In Unravel, you’ll play as Yarny, a cute little yarn figure, similar to Sackboy but less comical and more lovable. Yarny is curious about everything that surrounds him with a genuine curiosity, almost like a child, and his one goal is to collect memories. Each level in Unravel is a different memory and it basically shows the progression of a now old woman. You visit each memory through the different pictures around the house and while most of the memories are good, there are some that aren’t so good, such is life though. As you play Yarny he unravels little by little with each memory, which I like to think represents the piece inside of you that stays with every memory that you keep. While the game initially ends on a very bitter sweet note, it’s then turned into something uplifting and leaves the player with a sense of completion and maybe something more.

Kudos: It’s been a while since I was so emotionally attached to a game. I felt like I was living through each of this old woman’s memories and experiencing the ups and downs of her life as you explored as Yarny. The picture around the house was something that hit home for me as it reminded me of my late grandmother who had a similar collection of photos around her apartment. It was something that I hadn’t thought about in a while and Unravel reminded me of that collection. I became so emotionally attached to the game that I sobbed like a baby at the end of the game. This game just hit home in so many ways that I can’t see how someone wouldn’t be able to in some way relate to this game.

Needless to say, I couldn’t stop playing this game. I’m not really one that’s into puzzle platformer’s, but the story of this game and the meaning behind it just drew me in and I couldn’t stop playing. I was eager to see how each memory progressed and how each memory differed from the other. I felt like in a way this game was very similar to Journey, but also different and it wasn’t a bad thing. I think that Unravel kind of expands on Journey in a way concentrating on one’s memories throughout life. There was nothing that I didn’t like about this game, even when I died, which will happen a lot, I was still eager to pick back up where I left off and finish the memory.

I will say that this game takes a little while to get used to with all of the swinging and learning what to do with your excess yarn and trying to solve each puzzle in the memories, but once you get the hang of it the game is super simple. Each memory had a natural flow to it with the way that they progressed, and this game was perfect at release and I’m talking about a game with no bugs or game breaking glitches. A very rare and welcomed occurrence which only made playing this game more enjoyable.

The graphics for this game were absolutely stunning and filled with detail. Each memory was so clearly depicted in the game that it made it feel like you were actually in that memory with Yarny as he explored. For something that wasn’t considered a AAA game, it definitely had the graphics of it and they just blew me away. Sometimes you find a game where you think, “how can graphics get any better than this” and this is one of those games.

I’m only going to say this once. Do not play this game for the trophies Are the 26 trophies that come with this game easy to get? Yes, but you shouldn’t be playing this game for the trophies. This game is so much more than just trophies and it’s like the trophies are a bonus to having the experience you’ll have when playing Unravel. While the trophies are easy, it is a little tricky to collect all of the secrets and not die while playing each memory. Once you get used to the memory and know what to expect though, you’ll be able to easily walk through each memory without dying.

This is one of those games where you are the one that has to experience it alone and does not need a multiplayer experience to make this game more playable.

Overall I give this game a 5 out of 5.

What’s Great:
+ This game will make you feel things…seriously it will. Don’t be surprised if you’re sobbing like a baby by the end of the game.
+ A beautiful and touching story that just about anyone can relate to.
+ Bonus points because Yarny is adorable! He’s genuine and curious and makes exploring each memory fun and exciting. Not only do you learn as you play, but Yarny does as well.
+ No bugs or glitches making this a carefree game that you can go into not having to worry.
+ Absolutely stunning and beautiful graphics.

What’s Not So Great:
Controls take a little while to get used to, but once you do it’ll be easy and your gameplay will be carefree.

I’m giving this game a strong recommendation for just about anyone to pick up right now and go play. It’s one of those games that you want to have the experience of playing, even if you don’t get all the trophies for the game. I can’t stress enough how this game will make you feel things and just about anyone can relate to it. Besides who can say no to the cuteness that is Yarny? This $19.99 buy is worth every single penny and you won’t regret adding this game to your collection.

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Game of Thrones – A Telltale Games Series – Season One Review (PS3)

I didn’t have the greatest time playing this on the PS4, but when I noticed the game on sale I thought that maybe I had been too harsh with my first review. Maybe giving the game as a whole a second chance would be a good thing since a lot of the problems that I had with the game itself were based on the release schedule. For the PS4 version that I played, the release schedule was so spaced out that I really didn’t even know what the hell was going on from episode to episode. With each episode finally released I figured I would give the PS3 version a try since I would be able to play each episode after episode without having to wait. Keep reading to see if I changed my mind about this game.

The whole season of the game revolves around House Forrester, a family which isn’t really involved in the show so there’s no problem with cannon or anything like that. While playing this season you’ll play as 5 pretty essential characters which all interconnect with one another in some way. You’ll play first as Garred Tuttle, squire to Gregor Forrester. The events of the Red Wedding along with other events that soon follow force Garred to the Wall, but before getting sent to the Wall he was tasked with finding the mysterious North Grove and all the secrets that are inside of it. Then there’s Mira Forrester, hand maiden to Margery. Not only is she tasked with basically helping her family, who now finds themselves as enemies in the North after the death of Rob Stark, but she also has to navigate the vicious King’s Landing. Mira will find plenty of trouble this season depending where her loyalties lie and if she can play the political game that everyone plays at King’s Landing. Next up you have Ethan Forrester. Poor little Ethan is tasked with becoming the new lord of the house after the demise of his older brother and father at the Red Wedding. He’ll have to make some hard decisions like choosing a sentinel and dealing with a thief before his deadly meeting with Ramsey Snow.

In the second episode you’ll find out that Roddrick, Ethan’s older brother didn’t actually die at the Red Wedding and will come back to Ironwrath to rule. How he rules will determine how his new wardens treat him along with his family and it’s up to him to keep his family together and keep his house together. It won’t be easy with a traitor hiding out in his own counsel and his war with the Whitehills never goes as planned. Lastly you’ll play as Asher Forrester, exiled by his father to Essos for falling in love with a Whitehill. It’s up to him to bring back an army to save his family, but of course he has problems of his own and will have to find a way to get back to Westros and find his army. All of this counts for a pretty exciting season with a lot going on at a pretty fast pace like the show itself.

I played my second time around with an open mind. I tried to forget about the past mistakes of this game and judge this as a whole new game and I have to say I was completely disappointed. Not only did the game basically play out the same way even though I made different decisions, but at times the game itself was basically unplayable. I’ll get to why in a minute, but other than that all I noticed were some mild changes while everything else basically stayed the same and I got almost the exact same ending. For a game that credits itself on “your decisions matter” it really doesn’t seem like it when the game basically ended the same way it did for me on the PS4 version. After a few episode in, playing became like a chore and I really just wanted this game to be over with.

When I think about the playability of this game, three words come to mind. Loading, Stalling, and Glitchy. Let’s start off with the loading problems. It’ll take you about 5 minutes or more to actually get into the main menu of the game when you first load your disc (if you’re using the disc version). Then it’ll take you about 10 minutes to actually get into each episode and that’s just for the “Previously on Game of Thrones” section which never really loads right in the first place and will become a jumbled mess as you go through each episode. Not to mention that this game is constantly loading. You will spend more time loading then playing the actual game. Next on with the stalling. Every so often the game will just randomly stall. Sometimes it will stall during a simple choose what you want to say scene or it will stall during a big battle scene. The stalling is completely random and at times happens one time after another. This gets to be annoying fast and ruins the whole game playing experience. Now on with the glitches. While there are plenty, the one that bothered me the most as during the last episode. During the last scene the sound completely cut out and all I was left with as the clashing of swords. I couldn’t hear what anyone was saying and eventually the game completely crashed.

Now onto my least favorite thing about this game. The graphics. The graphics that look like they came out of a game from I don’t even know when. These graphics are no way up to date nor do they even perform well on the PS3. Not to mention that the cartoon like graphics make this look like the Saturday Morning Special of Game of Thrones, but they are constantly breaking up and becoming pixilated throughout the entirety of the game. This makes looking at six whole episodes a complete pain and it really just makes me sigh because this game is just a disgrace to what video game graphics have come to today. It’s like taking 1,000 steps back and this game visually looks horrible.

Get through all six episodes, which believe me is no easy task, and you’ll find yourself with 49 new trophies that includes a platinum. I would say that the platinum is easy since all you have to do is play the game, but playing the game itself and not completely giving up is not easy at all. I take my hat off to you if you, like myself, can actually sit through each of these episodes and get all the trophies.

Thankfully this travesty of a game has no multiplayer.

Overall I give this game a 1 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ I will say the one good thing about this game is the story. It doesn’t clash with Game of Thrones if you’re an active watcher and it stands alone as a story that just takes place in that universe. Running into actual Game of Thrones characters is nice, and it doesn’t ruin the game or show in any way.

What’s Not So Great:
LOADING! You will spend most of the time playing this game stuck in a loading screen. A scene can take two minutes and then you’ll get a three minute loading screen before going into another two minute scene only to be taken to another long loading screen. I understand games have to load, but this is crazy.
STALLING! Every so often this game will stall until it gets to the point where it’s doing it scene after scene after scene. This is no way to play a game and really there’s no reason for it.
GLITCHES! Yes this game is filled with all kinds of glitches and bugs that will make you want to tear your hair out as you play making you wonder why you even played in the first place.
Graphics that set the gaming world back 15 years. These are just horrible and there is no excuse for it.
Your choices don’t matter obviously since no matter what you’ll basically get the same exact ending no matter how you play only a few things here and there will differ.

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan and you absolutely have to play this game, then I would say to choose the PS4 version. Overall this game isn’t up to the usual standards from Telltale which is surprising since they were backed by HBO themselves on this project and it shows. If I could choose one word for this game on the PS3 it would be sloppy. If you’re not a Game of Thrones fan and you just want to play this game because you love Telltale games, I’m going to give this one a big skip. Believe me you will not regret skipping this game.

SPOILERS! Here are all of my decision for the six episodes of this season:

Episode 1 – Iron from Ice
• Stayed with Bowen.
• Swore loyalty to the King.
• Took Erik’s Fingers.
• Picked Royland as Sentinel.
• Met Ramsay at the Gate.

Episode 2 – The Lost Lords
• Didn’t forge Margaery’s letter.
• Refused to kiss Lord Whitehill’s ring.
• Lost Rodrik’s betrothal to Elaena Glenmore.
• Sold out Cotter after he stole Finn’s knife.
• Didn’t kill Mira’s attacker.

Episode 3 – The Sword in the Darkness
• Saved Beskha.
• Defied Margaery and spoke to Tyrion.
• Walked away from Britt.
• Stood up to Gryff Whitehill.
• Kept the Ironwood Decree.

Episode 4 – Sons of Winter
• Brought Finn along.
• Maimed Gryff.
• Revealed Sera’s secret to Lord Tarwick.
• Ordered the Glenmore Soldiers to come to Highpoint.
• Stopped Beskha from killing the Slave Master.

Epiosde 5 – A Nest of Vipers
• Did not try to stab Ramsay Snow.
• Did not tell Tyrion that Cersei sent you.
• Chose to imprison the traitor.
• Had Rodrik stay behind.

Episode 6 – The Ice Dragon
• Lied to Margaery and had Sera dismissed.
• Agreed to marry Morgryn.
• Butchered Cotter for the blood magic ritual
• Poisoned Lord Whitehill and Lady Forrester
• Abandoned the North Grove to match to Ironrath.

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Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight Review (PS3)

By now you know that I’m a complete sucker for free games. Yes, they aren’t actually free because they have the now popular micro-transactions, but you get my point. Unlike most people I don’t actually spend any money on these games making them harder to complete and finish, but I’m glad to say that after two whole months of playing I finally finished this game. Was it worth the download? Keep reading to find out.

There really isn’t a story to this game. It’s a Bejeweled / Candy Crush type game that was ported from mobile onto the PS3 and PS4. If you know the movie Frozen, then it kind of follows the plot of that but not by story but by the pictures that change in the background during each level. If you’re looking for something with a story this isn’t it, so just let it go. (Cheesy pun that should have you rolling on the floor with laughter. No? I don’t even know why I try.) You’ll get five lives at a time and you’ll only lose a life when you don’t complete the goal of the level. Once that happens your life will regenerate after 30 minutes. There are 193 levels to complete, so there are a lot of things to do and each level has a rating system so you’ll get 1-3 stars for each of them.

BOO! After a while the whole daily reward thing just stopped working because of the “Disney Servers.” You would think that Disney would have better servers, so no servers meant no daily reward meaning that if you wanted special items you had to either complete goals in the game or buy them.

Yay…Kinda… Yes, I know a Boo and then Yay but that’s just how it goes. Yay because after a while the lives for this game never got lost even when you failed the level. Towards the end I would sometimes play for hours on the same life even though I would lose over and over again. I have no idea how this system works and I’m really not complaining. I will mention though that sometimes losing a level does take a life, but most of the time it doesn’t so the game is fickle.

At first this game is fun to play, and then you get to just about level 95 and you want it to be over. I have to say that after I got the last trophy, which doesn’t require you to actually complete the whole game, I just stopped playing and deleted it from my system because I was done. It’s basically level after level of the same thing. Yes, the challenges are different but there are times when the challenges are the same for 5 or more levels in a row. Not only was this boring, but sometimes just frustrating. Unlike other similar games, with this game, the board that you’re given doesn’t change unless you shut the game off and restart it. If you fail a level and play it again you’ll get the same board that you failed on. Nothing was really randomized and I just felt that was lazy.

While the game did stall on me once, that was about it when it came to bugs and glitches. Everything else worked fine and the game was simple enough to play. There are tutorials throughout the game to help you along the way and it follows the pattern of any match game. Make a match of 3 or more and you’re good to go.

The graphics weren’t bad for this simple game, but I wish some more time had went into the actual characters. Some of the characters looked a little off and you think with something that was created with the Disney name would have had better looking characters to resemble the characters in the film a little better, but this is a free game so I guess not. I will say that the backgrounds were detailed and enjoyable to look at while playing.

Now for the trophies. There are a total of 17 trophies for this game and they really just require you to play the game. Do just about everything possible in the game and you’ll get them. I’m going to be honest though. Do not download this game just for the trophies. They are not easy to get and you’ll spend hours, months, or maybe even money if you’re prone to that trying to get them. The four silver trophies for this game and 13 bronze are just not worth it.

While there is multiplayer for this game, it’s good old fashioned co-op. So bribe a friend to play with you as you have to play at least 50 games, or you can just hook up your spare controller and let your favorite furry friend sit next to it while you play. I want to say a big thank you to my very own furry friend who helped me out getting the co-op done. Little buddy, thank you. Thank you for sitting there in front of the controller and letting me beat you every time. I’ll get you that box of flavor bones you like so much as a reward. When playing the co-op, both players will receive a board of things to match and whoever makes the most matches in each two minute round gets to throw the most snowballs and wins the game.

Overall I give this game a 2 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ A lot of levels means a lot of things to do.
+ Unlimited lives…sometimes

What’s Not So Great:
Disney Servers are constantly down meaning no daily rewards which then means if you want special items you have to purchase them. Funny how the servers aren’t down for that.
Game gets really boring really fast. Doing the same thing over and over again is just not fun.
Some levels just feel unbeatable at times and you’ll spend hours if not days trying to beat them, but there’s a catch. If you buy some power-ups you’ll beat the level.
MICRO-TRANSACTIONS!

If you’re a Bejeweled or Candy Crush fan, I really wouldn’t recommend this game. Yes, it’s similar to both but it’s just not fun. If you want to give it a try because it’s free go ahead, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. If you have kids who love Frozen and you want to get this for them, I would say go ahead (they would have a better time playing a Lego game), but just make sure you don’t have your credit card stored on the PSN store because you might just get a huge bill since it’s easy to accidently click on one of those micro-transactions.

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Life is Strange – Episode 1 – Chrysalis Review (PS4)

I wanted to play this game for a long time now, but decided to wait because of the problems I was having with episodic games. I know that this game had a very strict release schedule and basically stuck to it, but I was still feeling some trepidation so I decided to skip it. I figured the perfect time to get this game would be in January when it came out on disc. I was even so close to pre-ordering it, but a sale, and I mean a great sale, stopped me. I was excited to get into the first episode after hearing so much about this game, so here’s what I thought about it.

The title character of this game is Max. She’s basically your typical high school student who’s having trouble fitting in at a new school. On top of that she finds out that she basically has the power to reverse time. This causes her to get into some sticky situations that she can luckily get out of with the whole going back in time thing, but will that lead to other problems in the end? Who knows at this point (if you’ve already played the game you know, but for those who haven’t, you get my point.) Anyway, this isn’t even the main point of the game there are basically two other plots that this game is following along with. You see, Max has been having these visions, a vision of a tornado heading towards the town that’s going to destroy everything and it’s going to happen that very Friday. Not only that but then there’s the case of the missing girl, Rachel Amber. Her picture is posted all over the preppy art school that Max goes to and there are some people who loved her, some people who really loved her, some people who hated her, and some people who really hated her. This becomes the sub plot of the game along with the fact that Max is reunited with her used to be BFF from a long time ago.

The first episode of this game served as a very long introduction to just about everything. You get introduced to Max’s recently discovered power, you get introduced to this vision of hers, you get introduced to this sub-plot of the missing girl. There’s a lot going on here. There’s also a lot of choices to make as you navigate your way through the first episode. I like that there are so many choices and I’m eager to see how it effects the outcome of the entire game. Did I make the right choice by rewinding time and doing things differently or did I just mess things up royally? I also like how this game took an idea from the game Remember Me and basically fleshed it out a bit more making it more prominent in the game. Being used to the Telltale version of episodic games, I thought this episode was way longer. There were times when the game dragged, but then got interesting only to drag before get interesting again. It was kind of a mix, but then again this game is trying to tell a huge story in the form of episodes.

Kudos: The soundtrack of this first episode made the game. It was just the perfect music at the perfect time and it was fitting to the episode as a whole. I don’t think this episode could have had a more perfect soundtrack.

I have to say that after playing only Telltale episodic games that this was a huge improvement, a huge improvement, playability wise. The movements weren’t awkward and it played like an actual game should. There were no loading time or trophy issues and the game ran super smooth on the PS4. The only issues that I had, and it was a small one, was that sometimes the voices didn’t match up correctly or the sub-titles were a little off. Other than that the game ran flawlessly.

Now while I did enjoy the graphics, the scenery was beautiful and really enhanced with the capabilities of the PS4, I did have a problem with some of the actual characters in the game. While some characters looked fine, there were some that just looked a little cartoony and didn’t really fit into the whole atmosphere. It felt like a weird mixture of having some characters look life like and others looking not so life like.

There are 12 trophies for this episode and if you think that it’s going to be easy as a Telltale game then you’re wrong. You’ll get one trophy for completing the episode and you’ll have to work to get the other 11. Since Max is a photographer, the other trophies are about the pictures she takes. They aren’t so obvious either and will sometimes involve you having to go back and rewind to get things right, but they aren’t extremely hard to get. There’s a tab in Max’s journal that basically shows you what she’s looking for, they’re kind of like clues for the photography and if you can figure them out you can get the pictures you need. Once you finish this game entirely you’ll have a platinum trophy which is always a plus.

There is no multiplayer for this game and its totally not needed.

Overall I give this episode a 4.5 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Nice concept that plays off a similar idea from Remember Me, but works a lot better.
+ Main plots, sub-plots, and everything in between this game is DEEP and has layers. (Like an onion.)
+ Interesting characters and a diverse set of characters. Yes some of them are stereotypes, but I didn’t think they were over clichéd.
+ The soundtrack is awesome!
+ A lot of choices which promise to have “consequences”

What’s Not So Great:
While the graphics are nice, sometimes the characters look life-like and sometimes they look more like cartoons. It makes things look a little awkward in game.
While there were really no glitches that were game breaking, it was annoying at times when the voices didn’t match up or the sub-titles didn’t really work like they should.

I really, really, enjoyed this episode and am very eager to play the next one. So far the game looks promising and while I do have my suspects on who caused the disappearance of Rachel Amber, there are so many possible suspects that I’m pretty sure I didn’t pick the right one. I’ll give you a little insight into who I think did it in my spoilers section. I’m also liking the development between Chloe and Max as they transition from used to be BFF’s into maybe something more. I’m very interested to see where the whole thing goes and maybe I’ll have more luck at navigating Max through her high school experience then I did in real life.

SPOILERS! Below are my choices from the first episode, and also who I think is the main suspect in the disappearance of Rachel Amber.

Life is StrangeLife is Strange

Suspect: Mark Jefferson. Sure I could have picked the weirdo security guy, or the preppy girl who obviously hated Rachel, or even the creepy janitor, but I think it’s Mark. If you play your cards right in the game you hear a “rumor” that Rachel was sleeping with Mark. I don’t think that she was because it’s kind of obvious (?) that she had a thing going on with Chloe, but I think it’s the perfect motive for Mark since he wasn’t able to have Rachel to himself.

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The Sims 3 Review (PS3)

Like many, I fell in love with The Sims when it was first released on the PC all the way back in the year 2000. Fifteen years ago I started playing this game along with all of the expansions and I can’t tell you how many total overall hours I have poured into this game. With the PS3 release of The Sims 3, I was totally excited about playing this game on my PS3 and even though it took me almost two years to get the platinum for this game, here’s what I thought about it.

Because this is The Sims, the story you create for each and every one of your Sims is your own. This game has an endless possibility of stories that you can tell through each and every one of your Sims and it really just requires you to be super creative. You control each and every one of the Sims living in your household and you can basically do with them whatever you want. You create the story and watch it play out.

Even when I was grinding out wishes for my Sims, I never got bored playing this game. Hour after hour passed by while I was playing and when I needed to stop, I was actually annoyed because I could have played even longer. During my playtime I created five different families that were completely different from each other. They had different goals, they had different styles, and they had different traits. One thing that I really liked about this game was that you could map out your Sims personality traits. Want to make an evil Sim and a good Sim and watch them clash? Go ahead. Want to create a Sim who is hopelessly romantic and family orientated? Go ahead. There are so many possibilities that I could have seen myself creating another five families if I had the time. There are so many things to do, so many goals to accomplish, and so many wishes to grant for your Sims that it’s hard to turn on this game and find nothing to do.

I was a little weary on the playability for The Sims 3 on the PS3 because I was used to the point and click actions on PC. The PC controls were comfortable to me, but I found that after some practice that the PS3 controls became just as easy to use. While the PC controls will always be easier and more convenient, the PS3 controls functioned like they should and got the job done. The only problem I had with this game was the insane amount of time everything took to load. Want to start the game? It’s loading. Want to access your family from the last save? It’s loading. Want to go to a different part of town? You guessed it, loading. If you aren’t staying in your Sim’s household or close neighborhood, the game is constantly loading. Once you get past the loading, the game functions great. During my playthroughs I didn’t experience any bugs or glitches which is always a good thing.

Now onto the graphics. This game came out in 2010 and for a Sims game, the graphics still hold up today. Each Sims was detailed as well as the houses that they lived in and the objects around the house. Were these graphics the best graphics I’ve ever seen, no, but you have to remember that this is a Sims game so I would say that from the original on the PC to now, the graphics are evolving nicely.

One of the benefits of playing this game on the PS3 are the trophies! Complete this game fully and you’ll get 51 trophies to add to your list, not to mention that the platinum is cited as Ultra Rare. What’s better than that? I mean it’s The Sims with trophies. Trophies that you’ll get most of the time for doing things you would have done anyway in your playthrough. While there are some trophies that require a grind, they aren’t impossible to get but do require a lot of work and time to go into them. If you’re going for the platinum be ready to go in for the long haul.

While there is no multiplayer for this game, there is a Sims Exchange in which you can download and upload anything from families all the way to styles. I didn’t try out this aspect of the game since I really had no interest in it so I couldn’t tell you it if was working properly or not. Also, it’s not an important part of the game and you don’t even have to use it. I will say that if you pick this game up used and want to use the Exchange you’ll need an unused access code or you’ll have to pay for one.

Overall I give this game a 4 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ It’s The Sims that you know and love on the PS3
+ Challenges and Wishes bring new objectives into the game making you always have something to do.
+ Graphics that have evolved nicely from previous Sim games.

What’s Not So Great:
LOADING. This game is always loading and you will spend way too much time loading.

I thoroughly enjoyed this game and would recommend it to any Sims fan out there. I will warn you though that the game does load a lot. Believe me, you will spend anywhere from 10 + minutes loading each time you play. I will also say that if you’re in this for a quick and easy platinum it’s not going to happen. In order to get this platinum you do have to spend a lot of time playing, but if you’re enjoying it then it shouldn’t matter. If you don’t mind not being able to use The Sims Exchange, then I would say pick up this game used because you can find it for a pretty decent price.

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Road Not Taken Review (PS4)

One of the free games that PS+ had to offer, I really didn’t think much of this game at first. It looked interesting enough that it would hold my attention for a few hours, but I really wasn’t expecting the kind of game that it actually is. Here’s what I thought about the game.

Road Not Taken puts you in the role of Ranger and as Ranger you’ll have to venture out into the forest each winter to find children who were separated from their mothers while collecting berries. You’ll spend the next 15 years as Ranger rescuing the villages children and each year the path of the forest changes. New objects will appear and things get more difficult as time progresses.

If you really dig into the story of this game you’ll see how messed up it is. This village is sending children out into the forest each winter to collect berries in order to extend their own lives. The people in the village don’t care how dangerous the forest is or that each year children get lost and die if you don’t rescue them. Rescue only half of the children one year and you’ll get a response of “Oh well” from the Mayor. What kind of village is this!

Kudos: A huge kudos is in order for the Spry Fox team for the story of this game. You wouldn’t think it since it’s really a small puzzle game, but there is an actual story in this game. Not only that but they let you live out your life as the Ranger how ever you choose to live it out.

This game will keep you playing for hours upon hours and months upon months. Seriously this game is highly addictive, not only for the story but for the puzzling gameplay itself. Each section in the forest is a different puzzle that you have to solve and it’s always changing no matter how many times you play. While the first training level is similar each time, the other levels aren’t. You have to play a hell of a lot of times to get duplicate levels further into the game.

Kudos: Now I rarely give out two Kudos for one game, but I just had to give this one. I absolutely loved the added touch of putting the poem Road Not Taken into the Rangers house next to the bed. If you continue to bump into the bedside table over and over again you’ll see the whole poem in its entirety. This has to be one of my favorite poems of all time and was pleasantly surprised to see this easter egg in the game.

The playability of this game is super simple. All you have to do is move your character around, pick things up, put them down, and throw things. Other then that the only real thing that’s needed is some extra brain power for the puzzles. While this game had it’s fair share of glitches, banned objects still showed up, there were a few errors while going through the forest, and sometimes village characters would duplicate if you married them, it’s good to see that the team is still updating this game and working of fixing it. None of the glitches that I encountered were game breaking. This game never froze or crashed even once which is actually a pretty good thing seeing as how many games, AAA games, actually do this.

The graphics on this game are actually really detailed and sell suited for this type of game. Cartoon like in nature, the graphics were pretty awesome on the PS4. Every single object was super detailed and just added to the feel of the entire game. Everything from the village, to the forest, to the people living in the village, and to the objects in the forest were just spot on and truly beautiful. It was a job well done in the graphics department.

As for trophies, there are only 20 of them and no platinum. That doesn’t mean that these are going to be easy trophies. The trophies for this game are Ultra Rare. I’m talking about 0.1% Ultra Rare. It’s no easy feat to get all of the trophies for this game, but with a little hard work and determination it can be done. Like with the rest of the game, even the trophies were done right. Each trophy has an original graphic that is fitting for the game. These trophies had a lot more originality put into them then some other games that I’ve been playing recently.

You’ll have to enjoy this game solo as there is no multiplayer or co-op for this game. This is one of many games where you really don’t need those modes anyway so I’m glad they weren’t just thrown in there for no reason except to sell more games.

Overall I give this game a 4.5 out of 5

What’s Great:
+ Unexpected story that’s kinda messed up and interesting at the same time.
+ Ever changing puzzles offers different gameplay each time.
+ Simple gameplay that just requires brain power.
+ Fitting graphics that are detailed and worthy of the PS4.

What’s Not So Great:
A few minor bugs and glitches that are being fixed.

If you’ve been putting off playing this game since it was free on PS+, then stop. This game seriously deserves your attention and was one of my favorite games that I played last year. If you missed out on it while it was free, I would still recommend picking this up. This is a really cool game to add to your collection and worthy of it’s price tag.

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