January 31, 2017

LEGO Dimensions Wave 1 Level Packs

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , — Yukino @ 9:22 PM

My favourite family-centric video game series, LEGO titles never seem to disappoint us. We’re two grown adults with no kids who looks forward to sitting down to some couch co-op when new titles launch.

We also love to build LEGO. No joke. The LEGO Store is a dangerous and wonderful place, especially those 3-pack build your own LEGO people stations in the middle of the store. The only bonus there is to being an adult with LEGO is that the odds are much lower that you’ll hurt your foot for walking on scattered pieces around the house because generally we’re neater. Generally.

I’m not talking about the base game today, because honestly, we played the first level and as soon as we reached the portal and could access the Level Packs we preordered, we kinda went straight to those. I know, bad gamer! But can you really blame me when some of your favourite franchises are staring at you?

Back to the Future: This level pack is by far my favourite of the three. You play parts of the first movie, including that iconic scene with the clock tower, voiced by Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd. Marty, his hoverboard, and the DeLorean come in this set, and we sort of argued a bit over who got to build the DeLorean, but I won out! Every vehicle in the game can be leveled up as well as rebuilt each time you unlock a level, so I called dibs on those as well.

What makes this my favourite level pack is Hill Valley. This sandbox area has two versions: Past and Future. Double the amount of fun things to discover, like hidden bricks and renovations around town to spend your studs on. To switch between time periods you’ll drive the DeLorean onto special pads, revving the engine up to 88mph, and BAM!

The Simpsons: Thanks to the partnership between LEGO and The Simpsons, we’ve gotten the family’s home and Qwik-E-Mart building sets, blind character packs, as well as an entire episode done in brick. The Simpsons pack features Homer, his car, and the Itchy & Scratchy exploding television (which does wonders on silver bricks).

After playing through the chili cook-off episode from season eight, Springfield opens up for you to explore. There are things to do at Krustyland, Grandpa Abe is in need of some assistance, and lots of backyards to tear up for studs.

Tip: Be sure to have Chell from Portal on hand when you make it up the hill to Burns’ mansion.

Portal 2: Be prepared to solve puzzles and hug your Companion Cube! Chell, GLADoS, and Wheatley are all back at Aperture Science, where goo, gravity, and turrets are just a regular part of life. You’ll make your way through a few test chambers before seeing GLADoS up close and personal. I was disappointed there was no Potato GLADoS as that’s my favourite version of her.

Exploring Aperture was a lot of fun, especially finding hidden rooms much like those from the games. You can even run around beyond the door Chell escapes from at the end of Portal 2.

Tip: Do not upgrade the turret guns until after you complete the level! We ran into a glitch that once updated the missiles would not trigger the pads and had to cheat to finish the level using Wonder Woman’s flight and one of our two spaceships for the other player.
LEGO Dimensions has combined the fun and easy to play concepts of the video game series with the best part of LEGO, the whole building stuff part, to make what I truly believe to be the best toys to life video game available. Next up, the Doctor Who Level Pack on November 3rd. I can’t wait!

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate (and quoted in a TV commercial).

Tearaway Unfolded Review

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 9:17 PM

After hours spent with atoi exploring every nook and cranny of Valleyfold and Sogport, I decided to do it all again. The Playstation 4 version wouldn’t be exactly the same as the original Vita game, so I was looking forward to surprises and new papercraft patterns to work with in the Crafted Edition.

With scraps flooding the papercrafted landscape, I resumed my You-ness as the face in the Hole in the Sky. (Note: The Playstation Camera is required if you want to see your face inside the Sun.)

 

The scraps have covered the land with their newsprint and destruction. Using all the tricks at atoi’s disposal, as the “You” you will guide her (or iota) and help her defeat them and thwart their nefarious schemes. In-between collecting confetti and whipping out my camera in search of blank objects to bring colour to, there were familiar faces in need of my expertise. Fun little side-quests taking specific photos or dunking hoops to open up special blue gift boxes filled to the brim with more confetti. More confetti equals more graffiti and lens unlocked!

Tearaway’s story had a few tweaks that differed from the Vita, with scraps infesting my TV and console at points, which was cute, but overall this version didn’t have that same feeling of intimacy the Vita version did. The platforming fun is still there, but unfortunately some areas suffered from bad camera angles that made me put down the controller for a while before going back.

 

Since the Dual Shock doesn’t have the same capabilities as the Vita, there are some major differences that all center around the central Touch Pad. Using it for bouncing the drums, creating wind, and throwing items tossed to you from your Messenger make sense. The downside is trying to craft items with that tiny little pad.

Thankfully, Media Molecule had the smarts to utilize the Playstation Companion App’s second screen function. Any request from one of the locals for me to make them a crown or create an object like a snowflake for the environment had me whipping out my phone to connect and use the in-game cutting mat. Nothing I made was super fantastic because I’m not an artist, but drawing with my finger on my phone’s screen meant my stuff at least looked decent.

 

Tearaway Unfolded Crafted Edition also featured special papercraft from other Playstation franchises: the Oroboros symbol from The Order 1886 and the cape from Journey, to name a couple, and came with a downloadable game soundtrack.

If you’re looking for a new platformer and overlooked Tearaway when it came out on the Vita, I do recommend you give it a try sometime. A game world built out of paper is unique and definitely something you should experience at least once.

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

LEGO Dimensions Doctor Who Level Pack

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , — Yukino @ 9:14 PM

Have I mentioned how much I love LEGO games? I’m pretty sure I have, but in case you missed it, I LOVE THIS FRANCHISE! LEGO Dimensions has taken all the best parts of LEGO games and given us building sets which are so much better than pre-built toys that can’t be manipulated. And yesterday, Doctor Who joined the team.

Whovians rejoice!

 

After arguing over which of us got to build which characters (I only got to build K-9 in exchange for building the traditional set that comes out December 1st), the husband and I sat down to play through a Dalek-based adventure level with the 12th Doctor. Wyldstyle was his Companion for the majority of this level, using Bad Cop as needed. We explored Past, Present, and Future versions of London, with a quick stopover at Trenzalore. Silence and Weeping Angels made cameo appearances. We squeed with glee the entire time.

 

Once we cleared the adventure level, we landed in the Doctor Who sandbox. If I thought the Back to the Future open world was big, well, I just got schooled. Using the discombobulators, we traveled from 21st century London to Skaro, Trenzalore, and other areas which can be connected to the main chunk of London. Each of these areas has hidden Gold Bricks and at least one character quest.

 

Some of my favourite Doctor Who minor Companions are wandering about the world. The first one I found was Osgood, lurking near the original discombobulator. Vastra, Jenny, and Strax are all here (and I still haven’t figured out how to do Vastra’s quest yet). But the one who pops up all over the place, which means you know she’s up to something, is Missy. With all the voices provided by the original cast members, everything just feels so magical.

It took us a minute to figure out how to unlock the previous Doctors, but once the husband decided to try falling off the map, we had it! With every regeneration, simply go inside the TARDIS and check out the interiors based on their own TARDISes. That seemed to do the trick, and he spent a good 10 or 15 minutes going through this process. Also, there is a great little Easter Egg with the War Doctor for you to check out.

 

(Other LEGO Dimensions sets out in Wave 2: Unikitty Fun Pack, Simpsons Bart Fun Pack, Simpsons Krusty Fun Pack, and Ninjago Team pack featuring Kai & Cole. We’ve picked up the Unikitty one, and will most likely get the two Simpsons packs soon.)

January cannot come soon enough, as Wave 3 brings us a Dalek and Cyberman to add to the collection. My fingers are crossed that a potential future set includes River Song and a Weeping Angel, mostly because I want to hear her call Twelve “Sweetie” and hear his responses, preferably ones referencing his eyebrows. (Christmas special, I’m looking forward to so much of this!) And a Weeping Angel because they are one of my favourite WhoVillians.

Now back to your irregularly scheduled Timey Wimey Stuff!

*This review was previously posted on The Daily Crate.

Fallout 4 Automatron DLC

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , — Yukino @ 8:51 PM

If you’re anything like me, you’ve daydreamed of controlling a robotic army with Styx “Mr. Roboto” playing in the background as you conquer the world. Thanks to Fallout 4’s Automatron DLC these dreams can at least be lived vicariously through my Vault Dweller.

 

The Mechanist

The DLC kicks off with an emergency broadcast from a caravan in distress. When your Vault Dweller arrives, you find yourself in the middle of a robotic firefight, the campsite littered with dead corpses and robot scraps alike. Ada, the robot broadcasting the signal, informs you of a person called The Mechanist who is building and controlling machines that threaten the Commonwealth. Ada joins you, and the Automatron DLC is basically her companion quest.

A side note: Wearing the Silver Shroud costume will open up new dialogue options between your character and The Mechanist. I did not wear the outfit during that battle as I forgot to bring it along (thinking that I still had a ways to go when I didn’t). Be on the safe side and pack it! Don’t be like Annette, who now has to load a previous save and replay that battle again.

 

Locations

Over the course of my questing, I discovered a chunk of the Fort Hagan area I hadn’t yet explored which added an hour or so to my game time. Bethesda reused several locations for Automatron, with a stop at the General Atomics building before ultimately finding myself exploring the giant labyrinth that is the RobCo building. The Mechanist’s killing machines don’t just show up in areas along the story path; they spawned at least three times attacking my settlements which was an annoying detour, but I got robot parts from them so it wasn’t that bad a trade off.

If you enjoy the deep backstory of the Fallout universe, I strongly recommend you read the entry logs on the working computers inside the RobCo building as you will learn a lot more than you probably wanted to know about the creation of the robobrains. It also doesn’t hurt to explore every nook and cranny, especially if you are in need of healing materials.

 

Robot Workshops

When Ada joins your party, she provides you with the blueprints to create your own robotics workshop, available under the special tab when you open up your settlement workshops. Here you can use parts scavenged from other robots to modify Ada or build new models. You can also dip into your junk pile to upgrade them. As you can see in the screencap of my Ada at the beginning of my hands-on, I built her up to be the best pack mule I could ever want with storage on both her torso as well as each of the three legs I switched her into. You also have access to a variety of hand attachments, allowing your robot to slice and dice with ax hands or maybe make one a laser and the other a flamethrower.

 

Post-Mortem

I only experienced one glitch with Automatron in which the countdown during my battle with the Mechanist stopped counting down but my rival didn’t seem to realize it was time for us to talk. When 30 minutes later bombs were still dropping and no more robots were attacking, I decided to reload the save just before the fight and give it another go. That thankfully did the trick. So combining that with the hour detour I took to explore the places around Fort Hagan that I hadn’t been to before, it only took me about 4-5 hours to play through the new quest line. I recommend you unlock the ability to hack robots before embarking on this DLC as it came in handy during the robot-heavy battles in both robotic HQs. It also helped considerably when I noticed the ammo for my favourite gun (Junkie Gauss Rifle) had dropped below 100.

I believe the $9.99 price point well deserved (I bought the PS4 season’s pass), but I know some of you may not feel the same as I. This isn’t horse armour, after all. If you don’t think 4 hours, a new companion, and the ability to create robots worth that, perhaps you should wait until the inevitable sale or the Fallout 4 GOTY is released. Now excuse me while I run around on some post-battle robot collection missions. Pew pew!

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Republique PS4 Review

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , — Yukino @ 8:44 PM

Some people believe episodic content can’t hold up to a typical AAA release, or that the only great episodic stuff comes from TellTale Games. Camoflaj’s Kickstarter project Republique proves that other studios can use the model to create original content not based on an existing franchise that is just as thought provoking as the original BioShock or BioShock Infinity.

 

Republique is the story of Hope, a Pre-Cal (designation 390-H) living inside the totalitarian fortress known as Metamorphosis and ruled by Headmaster Treglazov, a man who shields his Pre-Cal children from free thinking and notions of seeing the world beyond. Someone has been infecting the young inhabitants with tainted copies of Treglazov’s Republique manifesto, and when Hope is confronted about the copy found in her possession, she finds an unknown benefactor assisting her escape through a cellphone smuggled into her room and the cameras that keep a watchful eye over the inhabitants of Metamorphosis.

 

This game is a successful marriage of point-and-click inspired discovery and stealth gaming. Using OMNI view, you can scout ahead, observing the movements of the Prizrak patrolling the corridors which helps you plot the best course for Hope. There are containers that can be unlocked or searched to provide her with weapons and hiding spots (like behind the potted plant above) that give her just the right amount of cover when there are long stretches of hallway to traverse. But you must always keep an eye on your battery life; certain doors, activating distractions and deactivating scanners will cause it to drain, meaning you’ll want to be on the look out for confinement rooms which offer charging stations. I’ve often found myself scanning as far ahead with the cameras as my signal will allow and unlocking containers while in these rooms so I can immediately recharge Hope’s phone.

Hope can earn credits by scanning posters, reading newspapers, and other actions which can be spent using the computer banks inside confinement rooms. There are several new programs you can purchase for your OMNI view, letting you read emails and listen to voice recordings, thus opening up more background and earning more credits. And the more tools you have at your disposal to aid Hope’s quest for freedom the better.

 

Also laying about Metamorphosis are copies of banned books and cassette tapes from a disgraced former occupant (voiced by the wonderful David Hayter) that can be listened to when you locate a cassette player. The Headmaster makes no apologies for burning books (one of which is Fahrenheit 451), and has much to say about these books when you select them from Hope’s inventory screen. His hopes of creating a world in which he rules through ignorance and manipulation are revealed through these thoughts and speeches.

Another fun collectible in Republique are the video game floppy discs you can pickpocket from some of the Prizrak guards. Several of these are nods to successful indie games, like Shovel Knight and Gone Home, two games sitting in my backlog.

 

With the primary focus of this game leaning towards stealth, options for self-defense when caught are severely limited. Canisters of pepper spray and tasers can be acquired and used against Prizrak but you need to be aware of the types of armour they wear. You’ll mostly see two types of guards (all of whom are named after Kickstarter backers); those in a regular uniform that may or may not include a facial guarded helmet, and tougher Prizrak in ARC gear which protects them from electrical weaponry. If you do get caught, the guards will bring you to a confinement room and remove non-collectible items, leaving you with empty pockets.

Stealthy puzzlers have long held a place in my heart (I’m looking at you, Resident Evil franchise), so while the real push to keep to stealth with little ability to defend myself against the Prizrak has me on my toes, each episode has forced me to take an extended break between them. Plotting my way through each episode mentally drained me, so when I put down the controller after the credit rolls for each, I needed all kinds of distractions to help me recharge.

All five episodes of Republique are available for purchase digitally on for mobile devices, PC, with the PS4 also getting a collective retail release on March 22nd, 2016. If you love games that challenge you to run start to finish without ever being seen, I strongly urge you to give Republique a chance.

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

DOA Xtreme 3 Fortune Review

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , — Yukino @ 7:54 PM

You know that old Cyndi Lauper song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun? The way it gives you a ridiculous smile and overall warm fuzzy feels? That’s how I feel every time I load up DOA Xtreme 3 Fortune. I’m about to have a fun, lighthearted time playing silly beach games and collecting bathing suits.

And there is not a damn thing wrong with my feels.

 

It’s back to Zack Island for 14 day long vacations, where the goal is to partner up and push for that 100% complete collection with each of the 9 DOA women who made the cut. I’m really missing Leifang and Tina right now, and while I can see why Marie Rose topped the polls, I find her to be the most difficult partner so far and am leaving her vacation for last. If only voting had been open outside of the Japanese Playstation Store! Things probably would have been a lot different in that case.

I still believe that at its core DOAX3 is a volleyball game, which is why I’m going to talk about that first. As with previous installments, matches are won once hit 7 points (or a 2 point lead up to 10 points). Technique points can be earned for perfect serves, spikes, and knock-downs once you’ve reached good standing with your partner, and even if you lose you won’t walk away completely empty-handed. Momiji and Kokoro are probably my two favourites at the moment, as I feel both are strong all-around players. As you cycle through each character and test out different partners for each, you’ll find some are better closer to the net than others, some have more powerful punches for long volleys and others are great for defense and spiking.

 

There are other activities you can do on the island. Solo, there’s rock climbing at Tranquil Beach. In this mini-game, the PS buttons appear on screen like a quick-time event and if you push the button fast enough you will move more quickly and receive a cash bonus. On either of the beaches that offer volleyball, you can also play beach flags. This one is a button masher, as you need to outrun your opponent and then dive for the flag.

Over at the pool you’ll find Pool Hopping (my personal favourite), Tug-of-War, and Butt Battle. You can pool hop on your own, but it’s so much more fun when you compete against someone. The other two are OK, but I tend to only play them when it’s required for a mission. A nice bonus if you are a fan of either of those mini-games is that bikinis will take damage when you are knocked into the water if you have the Fortune version of DOAX3.

 

Another thing that I am in love with is the tanning system in DOAX3 Fortune. Exposure to the sun will naturally tan your skin, which you can hurry along with suntan lotion or try to stop with sunscreen. I haven’t experimented with either of those as I love changing from higher coverage swimsuits to some of the more revealing ones and then watching as those tan lines start to fade away. I wish I knew why I loved watching this happen, but I really can’t give you a reason. Besides, does a person really need to have a solid reason for liking things?

The casino is back but the absence of Rio has left a major hole in my heart. What’s a casino without a dealer, anyway? I think DOA Paradise ultimately spoiled me. Blackjack, Poker, and Roulette are the three games available to play in the casino. Slot machines are gone, another change that I don’t know I was ready for, but I’m still pretty decent at blackjack and poker.

 

DOAX3 has two modes: Girl Mode, which is where you control the girl you’ve selected and earn money for them to spend, and then Owner Mode. In Owner Mode, Zack gives you missions to perform in exchange for cash the owner can spend on the girls. Sometimes the missions are super easy, eat/drink an item in Girl Mode, Play and/or Win X many volleyball games. Other times they are a pain in my butt, like when your challenged to gift a specific bikini from the owner shop to one of the girls and have her accept it. The girls need time to warm up to you, so if you haven’t been playing with them for long it’s a hell of a lot more difficult to have them accept stuff they dislike. But as you complete these missions and increase your Owner Level, you’ll unlock new items for the girls’ collections.

 

Some people look at the DOA volleyball games and immediately dismiss any ideas that there might be any level of fun to these games. I pity the fools. If you are so incapable of looking past the cosmetic, so insecure in who you are to feel threatened by a group of women playing beach games as so many people do in real life, then I suggest maybe other things in your life deserve more attention than turning to the internet to bash on what I and several like-minded women find to be an enjoyable way to de-stress.

Unfortunately, the only way you can get your hands on DOAX3 is to import yourself a copy. Fortune is the PS4 version, Venus its PS Vita counterpart. If your Japanese is strong, you won’t need to go the multi-language Asian (HK/Taiwan/Singapore) version route the way I and so many others have. There are differences between these; tanning and bikini damage is exclusive to the PS4 version, where you can use the touch screen on the Vita to manipulate the swimsuits to a degree. My review coverage is based purely on Fortune as I have not yet picked up Venus. 

As much as I would love to stick around, I really need to update my swimsuit & Zack of All Trades collection spreadsheets. There are so many more bathing suits I need to get my hands on (I’m coming for you, Cu Sith!!!) and I can’t afford them if I’m not playing. 😉

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Fallout 4 Far Harbor DLC

Filed under: Playstation — Yukino @ 7:45 PM

Bethesda’s first real weighty bit of DLC for Fallout 4 is out now, and man oh man, there is a lot to be excited about!

It all starts when your friend Nick Valentine gets a request to look for a missing daughter. Kasumi has been conversing over the radio with a stranger, so she took one of the family boats and headed north. Whether on her own accord or lured by this stranger, it’s up to you to find out. What you think is simply a missing persons case turns out to be a little more complicated than that, and you’ll find yourself caught up in an escalating war between two of the island’s factions.

There are three major players here: the Harbormen who occupy Far Harbor, DiMA and his synths at Acadia, and those bonker rad-eating radical Children of Atom at The Nucleus. The Children claim the island’s dense radioactive fog proves it is Atom’s land and want the Harbormen to leave. The Harbormen want to reclaim homesteads lost due to the encroaching fog, and DiMA synths aim to remain neutral in order to keep the home they’ve created for themselves far from the Institute’s reach.

 

The fog touches everything on the island. Much of the wildlife here will attack on sight, unlike the skitterish does and brahmin from the Commonwealth. Several of them glow green from the radiation, while others are mutated varieties of dog or mirelurks. There are new threats as well, and these anglers, fog crawlers, and gulpers have proven to be hard to take down with my trusty modded out Gauss Rifle. You’ll also want to keep your eyes open for Trappers; those guys are bandits gone crazy from the fog and are not above cannibalism. I highly recommend scavenging their corpses for gear to pass on to your new settlers, as they definitely need all the help they can get should their fog condensers go on the fritz. And did I mention there are Super Mutants here? Because there are and they are still just as annoying as ever.

 

New DLC means a whole plethora of new gear to discover. One of my favourite new toys was hidden inside the Beaver Creek Lanes. The Striker is basically a Fat Man that is modified to shoot bowling balls, but since I just started making ammo for it I haven’t tried it out. I’m hoping it will help me tackle the Shipbreaker sidequest. I also love the harpoon guns, even if they are slow and bulky. While most unique new gear is easy found or given from completing quests, there are a few things for sale from vendors in Far Harbor, Acadia, and the Nucleus. I’ve yet to purchase any of those because I’ve been spending caps on ammo and building supplies for my settlements.

I encourage you to bring Nick Valentine along for the ride out to Far Harbor, and not just because you were hired because of his connection to the Nakano family. There are truths about Nick’s past to be uncovered here and his interactions with the parties involved help flesh out some story. But don’t feel tied to keeping Nick around at all times; Old Longfellow offers to lend you a hand getting to know the island and his cabin is the first settlement you unlock. He’s pretty decent company, and I often see him chowing down on a bowl of power noodles when he’s meandering around the cabin. I’m hoping to get to know him a little more once we blow up Shipbreaker.

 

This hermit crab is a damn pain in the behind, but we took her down and looted her shell for goodies.

After 30 or so hours of exploring the island and getting to know the inhabitants, I am glad to say this is the DLC fans have been waiting for. We’ve got hours of branching story to experience, at least thirty places to explore, and all sorts of new goodies and recipes to try out (wolf ribs, anyone?). I’ve cleaned up all the trophies for this one and have my fingers crossed that the next DLC chapter is just as hefty as Far Harbor.

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Fallout 4 Nuka World DLC

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , — Yukino @ 7:38 PM

Fallout 4’s swan song Nuka-World dropped on the evening of August 29th here in North America. I would have dived on in but when I offered to play it for a while on the Loot Crate stream there was an anxious wait. I won’t lie, it was hard. Like, really hard. Me + Bethesda RPGs = <3

You don’t immediately show up at Nuka-World. Like Far Harbor and several other Fallout/Elder Scrolls games, you need to travel to the new map from a new location on the main map. This time it’s a train station under Raider rule. Paraphernalia featuring Bottle and Cappy litter the streets, as do long abandoned theme park merch. Yes, I grabbed every piece of it my grubby hands and Ada could carry.

 

It’s a quick trip to get the monorail working again, then it’s all aboard for the scenic view of Nuka-World. I imagine they channeled the monorail approaching Magic Kingdom at Disney World but a landscape destroyed and decorated with heads on spikes. Dismembered bodies are everywhere. After all, Raider gangs run the place. And guess what? You get to lead them all to financial glory. Well, that’s the plan.

Now you’re tasked with helping the various Raider gangs expand their territory. This involves visiting the parks surrounding the main area and making them habitable. My easiest park to clear out was Dry Rock Gulch, but that might be because I invested in robot hacking perks so I was able to skip some of the boring search and kill missions. Unfortunately, that’s also the park that featured my least favourite new ugly, the bloodworm. I’d say the World of Refreshment is a close second, instantly making me recall the time I rode It’s a Small World last year. However, Disney does a much better job of keeping the water mutant-free.

 

What about collectibles? Yes, there are a couple different booklets to keep your eyes open for. The first are blue covered recipe books that open up new Nuka-Cola mixing opportunities for you. So long as you are carrying the required varieties of (soda) pop on you and you’ve found the required recipe, you can walk up to any Nuka-Cola Mixing Station to whip up something new. The second booklets are the SCAV! magazines. Like the Islander Almanac, each of these comes with a new bonus attached. Of the ones I’ve found, they seem to be geared toward combat perks.

There’s also a hide and seek mission given to you by the Nuka Cola fanatic in the main entrance to the theme park. When I first saw her, I instantly wanted her sweet red Cappy eyeglasses. I was willing to kill her for them, but she happily gave me a pair so I could do a mission for her lazy butt. Wearing these specs let me see the hidden Cappy artwork scattered around the various parks, eventually leading to sweet Nuka Cola branded goodies. But I am never taking these off. Never!!!

 

I was happily pushing through the main quest line when I was slapped in the face. These Raider thugs wanted me to undo all the hard work I’d put into settlement building. They expected me to just let them take over my little towns so they could expand their reach. That’s when I realized the “good”/proper ending to Nuka-World went against my Minutemen ending. So I made three saves: one to do the proper ending, one for the secondary option, and a third because it’s always good to have a back up. I tidied up those proper ending trophies, now I can explore Option 2.

The new buildables are fantastic. A variety of Nuka-World display pieces are available in the workshop, including carny games from Nuka-Cade. But my favourite new addition are the shop counters. Finally, proper indoor shops without those wooden kiosks that jut into the floor above! I plan on implementing these in every settlement over time. There’s also Raider stuff to build, which is cool if you’re investing time in earning the Wasteland Warrior perk and converting from Minutemen to Raider allegiance.

 

Nuka-World had a couple of weird glitches for me. There were a couple of quests where a character I was supposed to talk to for changing allegiance was not in the settlement they should have been. Other times those markers would lead to invisible people whom I could not interact with. Each time I ran into these issues I needed to save and reload for it to correct itself. Knock on wood they aren’t/weren’t game breaking.

So is Nuka-World worth it? I’m still on the fence. Maybe a few more spins on the teacups in Kiddie Kingdom will help sway me. Or maybe that secondary ending will do it for me in a way being Overboss didn’t. Either way, I know there is more stuff for me to excavate from Nuka-World and there are new things to keep me building until Fallout 5 drops.

* This post was previously published on The Daily Crate.

The Tomorrow Children Review

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , — Yukino @ 7:28 PM

The Tomorrow Children has been on my radar since its 2014 announcement. As a huge fan of Q-Games’ PixelJunk series, there was never any doubt that I’d be supporting this title. I was also lucky enough to participate in both the Alpha (barely) and the Beta (a lot). The Tomorrow Children: Founder’s Pack dropped on September 6th and was purchased immediately.

 

What is The Tomorrow Children?

TomoChiru is a unique title. It blends community building with resource mining and throws in a splash of tower defense to create a Soviet-esque sandbox. You are a Projection Clone, tasked with working together in hopes of rebuilding mankind. The game draws on communist ideals like uniformity and equality, and pushes you to work cooperatively for the good of all. The policemen in your town all look the same, and the villagers you rescue from The Void are either old women or young boys. The only way to distinguish your female Projection Clone from your Comrades is to change your outfit, and some of these also come with game play perks.

Your goal is to repopulate towns to their max capacity (currently 500 inhabitants). Once you’ve done so, it’s time to move onto the next town. Just like the Littlest Hobo.

 

How Do You “Play” The Tomorrow Children?

So you’ve run through the tutorial and learned how to use your pickaxe. Now what? It might seem like a sensory overload when you arrive at your first town. Do you head out to an island first and mine for resources? Or is the town under attack by one of the various Izverg that inhabit The Void? It’s OK to stop and take a look around before diving head first into a task.

I like to start my time in a new town by checking out what the resource situation is like. Is there a huge pile of mined goods waiting by the bus stop to be put into storage? Then I’ll probably start there. If not, how is the power level? If it’s low I’ll jog on one of the treadmills for a while to bump us up a bit. Maybe there’s a building on fire that needs repair before its completely destroyed.

 

Once I’m done with that initial surveillance I’ll run over to the Union Shop and pick up as many supplies as I can carry to make mining go by smoothly. If I’ve got the Ration Coupons, I’ll take a pickaxe and chainsaw so I can do the basics: mine ore/gold and cut down trees. Shovels are great for making stairways, but until I open up more pack slots I don’t usually carry one. I am partial to hauling a shotgun around in case those tiny little mosquito-like Izverg are flying around.

While you’re spelunking, you might come across some colourful Matryoshka dolls. These are your future town residents, so long as you have built enough residencies for them. These little guys are fragile though, so be careful with them. If it falls too far or is in the path of an Izverg attack, they will shatter and cannot be fixed.

 

Now you want to take a break from mining and maybe make some improvements to your town. Fantastic!! Head over to the People’s Workbench and choose something productive to build. There are three areas you want to develop: Propaganda, Technology, and Culture. By building things that enhance each of these areas you will increase its level and earn perks for your town as a result. These can be things like reduced production costs or better consumption rates. Building is done by completing sliding puzzles, ranging from simple to hard, and will cost some resources.

Defending your town from Izverg attacks is important. In the Alpha and Beta we only had turrets available to build around the perimeter. These are great, but the Tesla Towers that are part of the final release are by far my favourite defense. These towers zap any enemy that comes within range, which is a big help if all comrades currently playing are mining out an island.

 

How Do I Buy Stuff?

Every action you perform is tallied up for you and in return you will earn the in-game currency known as Ration Coupons. Whenever you find yourself running low, or just every couple of hours or so, you can head over to the Ministry of Labour and see just how productive you’ve been. Ration Coupons are what you’ll be using to buy items from the shop kiosks built in town.

There is a paid currency option as well. Since The Tomorrow Children is going to be released as a Free to Play game, this is a typical addition to help support the game going forward. This paid currency is called Freeman Dollars and the only place where you can spend it is the Black Market. At the Black Market you’ll find more powerful tools, some cool costumes, and a variety of boosts. Because this is a PvE game with no PvP, purchasing Freeman Dollars isn’t Pay to Win or Pay to Play. Choosing to buy the EagleCorp Chainsaw means I can run to the island covered in trees and practically clear it out when the town is desperately in need of wood.

Keep your eyes on the ground for bonus Ration Coupons and Freeman Dollars. Sometimes when you perform good deeds they will generate on the ground near you. Free money!

 

Finally, completing Requests will earn you medals that can be redeemed in VoidKa machines. The first one I bought was the one that gave me another slot in my main pouch for carrying tools. Look, I like to be able to carry as much as possible and I will always vote for the Mayor who promises me an extra resource pouch slot. And I will spend my Freeman Dollars on as many Secret Pockets as I can, although I have been eyeballing a couple of those Black Market costumes…..

So if community building in The Tomorrow Children sounds like a nice chill way to relax without shooting hordes of zombies, you can pick up the Founder’s Pack right now which comes with a nice handful of perks. Hopefully I run across you somewhere out there in The Void, Comrades!

*This post was previously published on The Daily Crate.

Yomawari: Night Alone Review

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , — Yukino @ 7:13 PM

Every October I look forward to playing a scary video game; something that will cause me to jump, shriek “ACK!”, and get my heart racing a little. Last year that game was Until Dawn. In 2016, it’s disguised as kawaii chibi art in Yomawari: Night Alone.

This spooky survival horror puzzle game is centred around a young girl who loses her dog Poro and then her Big Sis when she goes out into the dark of night in search of their furry friend. Armed with what few items you can find strewn about town, Lil Sis finds herself playing deadly games of hide and seek as she searches her hometown for clues.

 

My love of the J-Horror genre is well documented on The Daily Crate. So it should come as no surprise when I say that Yomawari’s spooktacular premise of exploring a town during the night when all of the creepy crawlies are out to get me is exactly everything I was hoping it would be.

It’s one part stealth, one part puzzle, and a healthy dash of “Holy Carps!” yumpiness. The vast majority of Yomawari is avoiding, outrunning, and hiding from the youma that plague your progress. Be aware of your surroundings; there are bushes and large signs that you can hide behind if you need let the spirits pass. Some youma can only move in straight lines, which means running away in diagonals is the best way to flee. Another way to clear your path is to distract them. Tossing rocks away from you can cause some youma to investigate the noise, allowing you space to either sneak or run past until you are in the clear. There are no Metal Gear Solid “!” alerts when you get spotted. You’ll need to keep that flashlight scanning the area with your volume turned up.

 

Puzzles are everywhere in Yomawari and are essential in progressing the story. Some cannot be cleared when you first encounter them, usually because you don’t have the necessary items needed to complete them. But if it pertains to completing your current chapter, either the item(s) needed will be provided in the area or after witnessing an event in said area. There are also sidequests scattered about town which will net you collectible items that end up decorating Lil Sis’ room and go towards unlocking a trophy/achievement.

From the Sadako-like youma I encountered near some cliffs to the Jizo statues around town that are used as quicksave points (all hard saves can only be performed at Home or when you clear a chapter), the Japanese iconography jumps out at me, which I absolutely love as an otaku. I also love the contrast between the chibi design of Lil Sis, Big Sis, and Poro, against the creepy youma and the dark images of a town in the dead of night. Everything that drew me to wanting Yomawari from the trailer and preview art comes together exactly how I hoped it would.

 

If you’re looking to challenge yourself with something spooky on Halloween, Yomawari is a perfect game to play in the dark with the sound all the way up. You can pick it up digitally on Steam and for the PS Vita right now for $19.99. If you would prefer to get a PS Vita hard copy, you will also receive htol#NiQ. This two-fer is available in a standard edition or a limited edition which comes with art books for both titles and an 18 track OST (the version I purchased).

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

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