[PS Plus Reviews] August 2016- Gone Home

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

The indie darling that swooped critics and the mainstream’s hearts alike, Gone Home pioneers the idea that has not been seen for a while: focusing on the experience and story, rather than gameplay. Gone Home had sparked many more “walking sims” (I prefer the term “experiential games” where the story and world building takes center stage, with little to no traditional gameplay mechanics like combat.

So, is Gone Home worth playing? Even if you’re not a fan of stories and games that favour less gameplay like me (I am a fan of systems-based gameplay) it is still worth a playthrough, especially now that it is free on PS Plus for this month (for Asia, the rest of the regions got it earlier).

With the assumption that readers of this review has no idea what the game is all about despite it has been a while since its first release, the review contains no story spoilers or specifics about the details to not ruin the experience.

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[PS Plus Reviews] August 2016- Tricky Towers

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

Innovative with a side of diabolical cheekiness, that’s how WeirdBeard’s game Tricky Towers feels like at a glance. This is not your average Tetris game. It may use tetrominoes, the L,J,S,Z,T,cube and long shapes but it’s not about clearing lines. Those tetrominoes, and other different blocks that you will have to stack, happen to have physics to it and having them fall off your tower can be detrimental to your progress. Add in power-ups that can benefit you and mess with others and you have a recipe for some chaotic online and local multiplayer fun!

But will it last long?

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The Social Phenomenon That Is Pokemon Go

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Crazy, just crazy.

When Google did an April Fools prank where people can browse Google Maps to find and capture Pokemons, people went ecstatic. It drove a sensation of the mainstream audience.

Now when it was later found out that Niantic, formerly Niantic Labs, a division under the Google Maps team that made the AR and location-based mobile game Ingress, went on to make a fully fledged version of the same idea- catching Pokemons in real life, no one would expected it to blow up like it is now.

It is an interesting case, as the game itself is not really a well-made one per se (it still has issues), but the impact it provides is more than enough to demonstrate how a phenomenon Pokemon Go has become. The app is now the top in the most grossing list on the Apple App Store, had the biggest download in the first week it launches, and impressively, drove Nintendo’s stocks to rise (and falter back as investors figured Nintendo is pretty much hands-off with this project).

Those listed were the economical impacts of Pokemon Go, but we are here to discuss on how it has already impact society, even to Malaysians. Impressive considering the game has yet to arrive on our market (at the time of writing)

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[PS Plus Reviews] July 2016 Quick Roundup

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After a three month hiatus, let’s start again with the monthly PS Plus reviews!

July is a strong month, with the debut of new indie game Furi and Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell offered for free on the PS4, Fat Princess and Call Of Juarez Bound By Blood on the PS3 and God Of War Chains Of Olympus and Oreshika: Tainted Bloodlines on the Vita. These are all available for active PS Plus subscribers for the month of July 2016.

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[PS Plus Reviews] July 2016- Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

To think that the Saints Row series couldn’t get any weirder.

Saints Row started off as a competent GTA clone, about gangsters in an open world doing crime and story missions. By the Saints Row The Third the namesake gangster group The Third Street Saints have now become celebrities and fought an international crime syndicate and a super high-tech private army, while Saints Row IV have them save the world from utter destruction, their boss- the protagonist- becomes President of the USA and fight off aliens in a Matrix-like construction of the world with super powers.

So for this lightweight spin-off, Saints lieutenants Johny Gat and Kinzie go to hell to save their boss, and have to find a way to get out of hell. Hence, the pun in the title.

With all the ludicrous set-ups aside, Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell is a solid short romp in the Saints Row universe, but it does not fundamentally bring something new and ridiculous to its gameplay. But if you’re a fan of the already ridiculous Saints Row IV, this is right up your alley.

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[PS Plus Reviews] July 2016- Furi

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Disclaimer: This post is made as an entry for PS Asia’s PS Plus Junior Reporter competition. The points and views raised in the review however are not affected in any way.

The Game Bakers may not be a well-known indie team, but they have made names in the mobile space with Combo Breaker, a solid beat-em-up for its platform, and several other mobile games working in conjunction with Activision and Capcom.

Furi is the French team’s first effort on consoles, currently a PS4 console exclusive, and PC with the aim of making a solid character action game, married it with bullet hell shoot-em-up (shmup) mechanics and only focuses on the boss fights. Essentially, Furi is a boss rush game, which sounds novel at first but other indie titles like Titan Souls and Jotun also share a similar space here.

But what makes Furi stands out is the vibrant aesthetic, brilliant soundtrack to fit the theme, and a complete dedication to making the fights tough but fair with a focus on mastering the limited tools given. Gameplay purists who love a challenge and speedrunners will find Furi a delight, but it has some rough edges that may turn off the more casual fans.

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Eid Mubarak, Selamat Hari Raya

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The fasting month of Ramadhan has just past, tomorrow is the day of celebration! (For Malaysia at least)

Happy holidays everyone. Stay safe, and have a good time with your family and friends.

I have been spending time doing some e-sports reporting. Expect to see some more opinions on Overwatch as well as the supposedly weekly editorials.

Like what you have been reading and want to guarantee me publishing something of a weekly basis? Help me out with a small tip (check that paypal button on the side) or any sort of feedback.

Thanks for all the support so far!