Review: Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!

Let’s start by saying that the food looks so delicious. Almost as if they were drawn after photos of real food. (I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case). On top of that, the first game had 30 foods, where as this 2nd game has 180. That is a HUGE increase. Some fans of the 1st game might feel a bit overwhelmed, since you could memorize all the recipes in the first game. Now, that is a lot harder.

I’ll give a quick explanation to how the game works for people who have not played the 1st game yet. Customers will come up to the desk and order some food. Once you take their order, you need to press the corresponding buttons to add the right ingredients. For example, if they order a beef burger, you need to press M (for meat) to add the meat patty, then K for ketchup, M for mustard. Sometimes customers vary it up by asking for extra or fewer ingredients, so you need to be careful when making each meal. Most ingredients’ hotkeys make sense, like C for cucumber. However, occasionally you will need to add an ingredient like Chili sauce, which uses “H”. This is because the game tries to keep letters universal, and a lot of ingredients are shared between recipes. You get used to it after a while.

Now onto the new stuff in this sequel.
The game has added Holding stations that allow you to serve a lot more customers in a more efficient way. This allows you to, for example, prepare 6 German pretzels. They will stop cooking automatically as soon as they are done, and whenever a customer comes by asking for a pretzel, you can instantly give it to them. The only downfall is over the day those pretzels will become a bit less fresh. You can trash them whenever you want though, and prepare some new ones.

Holding stations also allow you to prepare side meals. Things like salads, which will increase the patience meter of waiting customers.

All of this does a really nice job at making you feel like you really own the restaurant. The game can be incredibly hectic, but it feels so rewarding when you do well.
More chores have been added to the game now. Things like throwing away trash, washing dishes, setting up roach traps are all small distractions in between serving food, but very important if you don’t want people to be disgusted by your restaurant.

As you play through the game you will gain the ability to unlock more foods and decorations for your restaurant.
In the first game, your restaurant automatically upgraded its looks as you went through. In this game, you unlock parts and have free reign over where you want to play everything, which is great. You can even place the same painting on the wall multiple times. It might look ridiculous, but you have choice. The only problem here is currently the restaurant customizer is clunky. Deleting objects is a separate menu that takes a few seconds to get to, and there is no mouse support so you need to move things slowly around. Hopefully that’ll become more fluent with future patches.

This time around, you can also play a mode called “Chef for hire” that allows you to work for other restaurants. Places that specialize in things like pizza, or Japanese food. This is a nice bonus way to just stick to a certain category of food if you feel like just making that stuff.
On the other hand, you can just work for your own restaurant, choose your available foods in the menu, etc.

Co-op is way better in this game. In the first game, only player 1 could cook, and player 2 served the food, which was very boring for the 2nd player. In this game, you can both cook and serve at the same time. It feels quite rewarding to work side by side and complete multiple meals at once.
Currently, the game is missing the funny story and emails that the first game had, but the dev has said they plan to add it in asap.

Overall, it’s just more of the first game, with a few new improvements here and there. That’s not a bad thing at all, because the first game didn’t really have any problems, in my opinion. The music is lovely, the visuals look great, and the gameplay is as frantic and fun as ever. I strongly recommend the game to anyone that is interested in it!

South Park The Fractured But Whole Has Gone Gold

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole has gone gold and is almost here. Get ready for release on October 17th 2017!

This highly anticipated sequel features more than twice the amount of content than South Park: The Stick of Truth. Created, written, voiced, and directed by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park: The Fractured But Whole is authentic, interactive South Park at its finest – hilarious, outrageous, and a whole lot of fun. Everything is bigger, longer, and goes deeper than before. Come on down to South Park and have yourself a time.

Review: Hide and Shriek

Hide and Shriek is a competitive multiplayer game where both players are invisible. Two players fight eachother in a creepy school, with the aim of scaring the living hell out of their opponent.
To win the game, you either have to earn the highest score at the end of the 10 minute round by collecting orbs and setting traps, whereas the second option is to scare your opponent 3 times in a row.

The catch is you are both invisible. There are multiple ways to reveal your opponent, and once you know where they are, you can activate your “shriek” which will trigger a floating head jumpscare on the enemy’s screen, and get you points.
If you shriek and your opponent isn’t close enough, you will be revealed for them to see for a short time.

The most common way to reveal your opponent is by catching them in a trap. You can collect different runes throughout the level, which all have unique powers. Sometimes you can set traps, and sometimes they will give you powers to remove any curses you might have. Runes can even be combined to give unique traits. Some can be very interesting, like sending your enemy to an alternate dimension to waste their time, or allowing you to dash through walls.

Some runes can be shot ahead of you, some can be traps set on the floor, some are on interact-able doors or closets etc. So there’s a lot to play around with.

The main way to get points is to collect orbs and put them on your altar. You can even pick up enemy orbs in order to set up traps. I like to put theirs behind transparent cupboards, and then trap them. The whole game is about outsmarting your opponent.

As you level up and get achievements, you will unlock customizables for your character, which is quite fun.

Most stuff is balanced quite well. Although I have a problem with 2 powers. One of them being a wisp that follows your enemy and teleports them to another dimension. Even if you see the wisp, it seems for no matter how long you run away from it, it will catch up to you eventually. I don’t know if there’s a long timer on it or if it just chases you indefinitely, but that just causes it to be more efficient to just run into it as soon as you see it to avoid wasting time.

The other one, is a power that reveals all runes close to you, and your opponent. It kind of defeats the entire point of the game if you can just see your enemy constantly through walls, there’s no investigation anymore. It’s not even that hard to get that power, and it seems a lot of people have realised it and are using it the majority of the time, which is why I prefer to just play with a friend and avoid using that power.

Overall, I really am loving the game. The aesthetic and music is great, the idea is fun and unique, and it’s just funny to hear your friend scream when you trap them!

Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades Launches October 31

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For the first time, Final Fantasy XV players will be able to create their own avatar and join up with three other friends to take on epic quests and battles in the game’s first and only online multiplayer expansion titled “Comrades.” Starting October 31, players will set foot as a survivor from Kingsglaive to find out more about the disappearance of Noctis after the events in Chapter 13 from the main game.

As members of Kingsglaive, players equip royal sigils that grant special powers from the Lucian bloodline. Players can then strategize and create a balanced team to take on a variety of quests. In addition to multiplayer quests, single player quests are also available for players to enhance their characters.

Square Enix also released a trailer featuring a brand-new track, “Choosing Hope” composed by Uematsu and sung by popular Japanese singer Emiko Suzuki.

Set in a world engulfed by darkness, the expansion casts players as a member of the Kingsglaive, with powers and unique abilities invoked from various Lucian kings, who join forces to bring the Light back to the kingdom of Lucis. Other members of Noctis’s crew including Gladiolus, Prompto and Ignis will be made playable in future game updates.

Final Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades will be available to players who purchased Final Fantasy XV and the Final Fantasy XV Season Pass orFinal Fantasy XV Multiplayer Expansion: Comrades standalone expansion. It will also require a subscription to an Xbox Live Gold membership or a PlayStation Plus subscription.

Review: Planet Coaster

To start off, I have never played another roller coaster park management game in the past, so I don’t have nostalgia goggles or anything like that. I just found that this game is well polished, intuitive and fun.
When it comes to making your park, you never really feel like something is getting in the way of making it how you really want it to be, which is quite important.

One example would be placing objects on the terrain. You can put anything you want in most places. I put a bathroom ontop of a giant tower in my video, that none of my visitors could reach. And if say, you can’t place a ride somewhere because it’s not flat or there isn’t space, you can simply lift the ride above ground and it will automatically generate pillars. Finally, you can also morph the ground to your liking. Dig holes, build hills, flatten ground, which gives you a lot of options when it comes to placing stuff down or simply making the environment look nice.

When it comes to building rollercoasters. You can choose the cart/train type, can switch between multiple railing types, each with different attributes. For example, you need a chain lift railing to lift the cart upwards if it doesn’t have enough speed at that point, or you can place a rail which will stop the cart in place, to allow another cart on the same track to move to safety if you wish to have more than one per track.

Directing the track is also very easy. You can extend each section, lift it up or down, move it side to side or twist it by simply dragging it the way you want it to go. Finally, when you’ve completed the main path you want for your rollercoaster, and don’t feel like building the rest back to the finish, you can click “autocomplete” which will just finish the rest of the track off for you. A great option to save time!

A small detail that I really love, is if you modify a ride’s movement sequence, or create a roller coaster track, you will have to test it before opening it to the public. Dummies will be placed in the seats, and you need to make sure it is safe for humans. If say your rollercoaster is missing a track somewhere, they will fall of the rails and crash. Or if it doesn’t have enough speed to go up a slope, the cart will lose momentum and slowly drift back. It’s all physics based, which is a lot of fun when it comes to watching where you messed up as opposed to the game just popping up a text box saying “Unsafe track, try again” or something like that.

Something that will be very useful for people that will build intricate coasters, will be the use of triggers. You can place triggers along your track, which as soon as your cart will pass by, will trigger whatever object you have attached to that point. An example would be “As soon as the cart passed point A, make this thing explode and have it play this note out of this speaker”. I have seen some really great examples from talented creators of some awesome looking coasters because of this.

Other rides allow you to customize things too. Stuff like carousels will give you the option to change certain colours, modify the music that plays within the ride or change the entry price of the ride.

One of my favourite features is you can choose to watch your coasters or rides from multiple cameras. A cinematic mode, a mode that looks at the expressions of people riding it (So you can see the fear in their eyes or their nausea), or a camera from the point of view of the people riding it. You can choose which specific cart and seat you sit in, and just enjoy your rides as if you were on them. It’s great!

Putting rides down is very simple and intuitive. When you place it down you will be given a clickable checklist that gets you ready to easily put down whatever the ride requires, wherever you want. One example being “Place the ride exit”.

Paths are great in this game. They are necessary for your visitors to be able to go to everything in the park, so you must have a main path going through the entire park, and that main path must also connect to each ride. The good news is you can make paths look nice. You have a wide array of choices when it comes to the textures, but are also free to make the paths twist however you want. They can be perfect straight, curve, or even become stairs and go up or down.

Those are the basics when it comes to customizing the park. Management is the other half of the game.

You will get feedback on what people think of your park. Obviously everything costs money, so you have the option to change the park entry fee, but if you choose to make it free, then more people will be willing to visit the park in the first place. Sometimes people puke after coming out of a ride, so you will need to hire janitors to keep the place clean, but of course you need to pay them too.

Rides will break down and need mechanics, you can hire costumed entertainers to keep people happy.
People will be waiting in queues a lot, so it’s you responsibility to keep them happy while doing so. You can try shorten queue times, or place nice decorations around the queue so people have nicer scenery to look at while waiting. All of these small details really make the world come to life.

You have tonnes of financial statistics if you want to see what exactly is causing you to lose money, and what is bringing in the most income to efficiently manage your park. You can choose to market your park to a specific demographic, eg. teens or adults, and choose the platform to do it with, eg. posters.

Finally, to unlock more rides or buildings, you’ll need to research that facility. So if you choose to research family rides, when it completes you might now unlock a teacup ride. You also can choose how much of your income per month to allocate into researching it.

I want to quickly mention that the game has a few modes you can choose from in the main menu. Career mode puts you in an already existing park, with certain objectives to complete. (Like attract 800 guests). The interesting part comes more with the actual park you’re given. They each have unique themes and stories behind the parks. For example, the 2nd scenario places you in a canyon where a mysterious monolith causes all of your rides to break down more often. So for that scenario you will be required to hire more mechanics than usual. It’s a nice option for players that want to be given direction when playing the game.

You also have the option to play sandbox mode, which gives you unlimited funds and a huge environment, with which you can build absolutely whatever you want.

Challenge mode is a bit of a mixture. It allows you to build whatever park you want, so you aren’t given a scenario or existing park, but are given small challenges to try to accomplish.

Overall, I think the game is super fun. It’s very important that the creation is intuitive and easy. You can build awesome looking stuff without worrying about annoying obstacles. I love the aesthetic of the game. All of the models are quite nicely detailed, and you can choose to zoom in right up to them if you choose to.
The soundtrack is absolutely amazing, and the main theme got stuck in my head for days!
Additionally, you can download stuff from the Steam workshop and just plop them into your parks, which is a great option, and I’m happy to see that the developers seem to be very involved with the community. They take feedback and update the game often, and hopefully that will continue as the game grows older.
If you like the look of the game, I would recommend you pick it up.

Visual Novel Chaos; Child Release Date Unveiled

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PQube has announced that Mages and 5pb’s acclaimed visual novel, Chaos; Child, will be coming to Europe on October 13, 2017, and North America on October 24, 2017 for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita.

Part of the Science Adventure Series that spawned the wildly successful visual novel, Steins; Gate, the haunting and grisly mystery tale of Chaos; Child tells the story of Takuru Miyashiro.

After losing his parents in a tragic accident during an earthquake years ago, he’s now living with a foster family and trying to make his way through school. When a series of bizarre deaths take place in Shibuya, Takuru notices that the dates of the incidents match up with a series of murders that happened shortly before the fateful earthquake that changed his life years earlier.

Takuru and his friends from the school newspaper begin to investigate the case and become involved in a dangerous mystery that will irrevocably change his life once again…

Review: Domina

Domina is a strategic Rogue-lite game that has you maintain your resources, while at the same time trying to help your slaves climb the ranks of the Gladiator tournaments. It can be quite a complex and hard game, but I think enthusiasts of the genre will have a lot of fun with it.
You start off with 3 slaves of varying talent, choose which one you want to pit in the next battle, and watch them fight their opponent.

By default all fights are AI controlled, but if you purchase an upgrade that is available very early, you can take control of them and fight as a gladiator yourself. This is cool, but the AI seems to be more efficient in using all of their moves available.

If your slaves die in battle, they’re gone forever. If they succeed, they bring home a lot of money, resources, and train their stats up a bit. They sustain their damages after battles and need to be patched up. You can either do this by spending one coin and having them heal a small amount, or hiring a medic to speed up the process.

One of the choices you can make in the game is who to hire. There are loads of people to choose from, but you can only have a certain amount, and they take up resources everyday. One possible employee can upgrade your Ludum (The place you are training your slaves). Another keeps your people healed, while another can help you save a bit of food. It’s all choice, which is great!

So after you complete a battle, you have a set amount of time to do everything else you want until the next one begins. This includes purchasing resources, training slaves, healing slaves etc. Personally, I feel like the game could have done without this, because once you click on something to open up a menu, the timer pauses. So all you’re really doing is rushing to find what you want to click next, and then once you’ve clicked it you’ve got all the time in the world to make your selection and think about what you want to click next. I understand that they probably did it to only allow you to train a certain amount per day, but it can still be a bit frustrating at times.

You do however, have the choice to reject fights that are offered to you. In doing so, you will anger the host of the fight. There are 2 people that organize fights for you, and they chill at your Ludus all day. If you get on their good side, they will offer fights that are more beneficial towards you. If you shove them off, they will give you really unfair fights that your guys are bound to lose at.
To win these 2 over, you can bribe them with wine, or giving them secrets about the other host, etc. It’s a pretty interesting aspect of the game.

The big picture is that you want to win the grand tournament. In order to do that, you need to travel the country winning some really hard fights. REALLY hard. So in order to succeed, you must train your guys for quite a while, while keeping an eye on your resources.

Fighting is quite fun to watch actually. You feel like you’re a part of the crowd. It can get really intense sometimes because your best gladiator is on the line. If you throw a slave in without any weapons or shields, sometimes the crowds will toss things for them into the arena, but the slave needs to avoid the other gladiator to get it. I’ve seen a completely unarmed slave beat a shielded gladiator once. It was a really awesome feeling. I actually just threw that slave in there because I didn’t want him anymore, but he came out victorious.

There is a story. Although it’s nothing amazing, and easily skippable, I’m sure some people will get a kick out of reading the text boxes that lay the tale down. There are ocasional pop-ups throughout the game, kind of in the style of FTL, where you will be given a situation and you can choose how to deal with it. Depending on your choice, you might earn a new Gladiator, earn the trust of one of the 2 hosts or nothing at all. It adds an extra layer of Rogue-lite-ness.

Lastly, the soundtrack is so great that It’s a really unique experience, and the game is programmed to have the music kick in as soon as a battle starts, and it just feels so awesome.

One pretty major flaw, is that at the moment of writing this there doesn’t seem to be a save feature. If you feel like you’re done for the day, your run is over for good. You can’t come back to it. And your runs can be relatively long, so it would be a welcome addition.

Overall, it’s a really fun, and very well polished game. I think people who enjoy the randomness of Rogue-likes/lites will get a kick out of this. It’s brutal, but rewarding!

Lucid Games Announces ‘Switchblade’

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Lucid Games has announced the official Closed Beta for Switchblade, a dynamic new vehicle action game for PC and PlayStation 4, developed using the power of Unreal Engine 4.

From a team that has worked on titles such as Project Gotham Racing, Blur and Geometry wars, Switchblade is an arena-based 5v5 vehicular shooter that combines high-octane combat with an ever-shifting array of strategic choices. Seamlessly switch between heavily armed vehicles at any time to create endless tactical choices. Chase down a rival in a speedy fighter, then swap to a heavy-duty battlewagon to attack your competitor’s tower as your teammates switch between healers & artillery to back you up.

Win battles, grab loot and create your own unique online superstar as you rise through the ranks of a spectacular e-sport championship.

“We’ve got so much experience with driving games at our studio, but in a race there’s only ever one winner.” said Craig Howard, Creative Director at Lucid Games. “We wanted to make a game that more than one person can win, a true team game and one that rewards tactics as much as reactions.”

Switchblade will be released as a Free-to-Play title on PC and PS4 in early 2018.

Review: Rise & Shine

You play as Rise, a boy tasked with fighting off the people destroying Gamearth. You have a gun called Shine aiding you in your battle, that allows you to respawn after dying. The game is filled with small cameos and parody versions of real video game characters like Sonic and Gears of War.

To shoot your gun, you must hold down the right mouse button and actually aim. This forces your character to slow down, as the shooting mechanics in this game are quite methodical as opposed to being run and gun. You can shoot projectiles out of the air to protect yourself, or hide behind destructible cover. To shoot out of cover, you must once again hold down the aim button, but in doing so you are vulnerable. This creates a lot of intense gun fights, which is quite fun!

As you progress through the game you will earn new abilities like switching bullet types to something that can pierce shields, or being able to shoot a bullet that you guide with your mouse, that you must then navigate through mazes onto boss weakpoints.

The pacing is quite good, and the game manages to mix up combat, bosses and puzzle sections quite well. On top of that, new enemies and traps are introduced throughout the game to keep things from getting stale.

The game’s aesthetic is great. It looks nicely drawn and colourful, and is complimented with some great music.

Although the game is funny when it comes to some lines of dialogue, or background easter eggs, the main story is quite serious, and is told in the form of Comic panel-like cutscenes. There’s no voice acting, but you hear a few grunts or one-word lines to get the gist of how a character sounds.

Although the game isn’t a platformer as a lot of people might assume, there’s a decent amount of secret chests to be found if you do a little bit of exploration. And I do mean a little. So far from what I’ve played, nothing has been insanely hidden or hard to get to, but it’s a nice feeling when you find that optional chest to upgrade your ammo count.

The difficuly is just right, where you don’t rage when you die, but it also isn’t something to blow through. There are a few moments that reminded me of Limbo in the sense that you need to be aware of your surroundings as you progress, or else you’ll die to some sort of environmental weapon your first time round.
Overall, I think it’s a really fun and solid shooter with an interesting world to accompany it.

Nintendo Increases Inventory of Super NES Classic Edition

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Due to incredible demand for the upcoming Super Nintendo Entertainment System: Super NES Classic Edition system, Nintendo plans to ship the retro-inspired product into 2018. Originally, shipments were announced to cease at the end of this calendar year.

In addition, more units of Super NES Classic Edition will ship on its Sept. 29 launch day in the U.S. than were shipped of NES Classic Edition all last year, with subsequent shipments arriving in stores regularly. Fans have shown their unbridled enthusiasm for these Classic Edition systems, so Nintendo is working to put many more of them on store shelves.

The Super NES Classic Edition system features 21 legendary Super NES games such as Super Mario World, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Super Metroid. Launching on Sept. 29 at a suggested retail price of only $79.99, Super NES Classic Edition plugs directly into the TV using the provided HDMI cable, and comes with two wired controllers.

Next summer, Nintendo will also bring back the Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition system with new shipments. More information about the timing of the return of NES Classic Edition will be announced in the future.