January 31, 2017

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.

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.

January 21, 2016

The Tomorrow Children Beta

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 11:00 AM

The day I have been waiting for since August is finally here!!! The Tomorrow Children beta starts today, and I was lucky enough to receive a beta code. Which means that for the next couple of days I will have the pleasure of experiencing all the new areas of the game, checking out the tweaks, and striving to be the best Citizen I can be.

If you’d like to join me, why not catch my Twitch streams? You can follow me (YukiNoKokoro) or just load up this page and watch below. I’ll make sure to archive and back my streams up to YouTube. I’ll try to get my streams going by 2PM Eastern on Friday and 7PM on Saturday, Jan 22 & 23. If you follow me on Twitter or Twitch, you’ll know as soon as I go live.

Watch live video from YukiNoKokoro on www.twitch.tv

December 3, 2014

The Tomorrow Children Alpha – Hands On

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 2:12 PM

Town Hall upgrade

Watching game developer streams on Twitch pays off. After feeling bummed I didn’t get into the Tomorrow Children Alpha via the PlayStation sign up page, I was able to get a code the Thursday of the final alpha weekend. So for the last Friday & Saturday of the alpha I was glued to the game, no matter how many times I was asked to play Destiny.

The best way to describe Tomorrow Children after spending time in the alpha is to call it a sandbox cooperative world building simulation. Now, Dylan & the team at Q-Games might have a better genre classification than that, but that’s what I am going with until I find out what that is. In any case, the alpha starts up with this Soviet Russian era gentleman letting me know that the body I am inhabiting isn’t really my body and sends me off to work to rebuild the world. I’m hoping there will be more in the final version because while I know that this is all because an experiment went horribly wrong, I want to see the event happen. Or at least a video game friendly version. (more…)

August 5, 2014

Destiny: Alpha vs Beta

Filed under: Playstation — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Yukino @ 3:56 PM
BetaShipLanding

Chilling at the Tower during the Beta

After being lucky enough to enjoy both the Alpha and Beta releases of Destiny (thank you, Bungie!!), I thought I would just share a few thoughts about both experiences. I’m not the most hardcore shooter fan, I stopped caring about Halo after the original trilogy game and I’m not into Call of Duty. When I play shooters, I want fun and engaging stories that allow me to play co-op with Matt or three of my closest friends and doesn’t rely on PvP stuff. PvP is just not enjoyable with a bunch of random people for me. Sure, when I can get a dozen of my best gaming friends together and maybe with some age appropriate beverages I’ll partake in some Capture the Flag. PvP is like the sprig of parsley old school restaurants put on the edge of your plate for garnish.  (more…)

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