Game Review | The Binding Of Isaac: Afterbirth+

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This game review is of The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth+ which is an expansion to The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth. It was originally a flash game called The Binding of Isaac but due to fan request was remade and put on steam as The Binding of Isaac: Wrath of The Lamb Edition and had lots of extra content added. It was then remade again into The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth adding about another 100% the amount of content and then the Afterbirth and Afterbirth+ expansion packs came out adding another 200% additional content.

Designer: Edmund McMillen

Developer: Nicalis

Fun factor: The game is incredibly fun.

Controls: The controls are good.

Movement: W A S D

Aiming: ↑ ← ↓ →

Use Items: Space

Place bomb: E

Use pill/card/rune: Q

Drop(Hold)/Switch(Press): Ctrl

Game-play: Roguelike, Action-adventure, Top down shooter. You play as a child in a dungeon fighting various types of monsters with your tears as your shots. You get upgrades and fight stronger and stronger enemies including; your mum, Satan, the Riders of the Apocalypse, the 7 Sins and more.

Graphics: The art style is pixelated.

Sound: The Binding of Isaac has many different sound effects for each and every enemy. There is also different music based on the room you are in and floor you are on.

Replayability: It has multiple endings depending on what path you follow and the character that you choose to play. You unlock different items when you get the different endings. The unlocked items can be used in future runs.

Final Verdict: The Binding of Isaac is one of the best games ever.

OldSchool Runescape Game Review

OldSchool Runescape (abbreviated as OSRS) is an MMORPG (Massively multiplayer online role playing game), released in 2004 on personal computers and 2018 on mobile phones. Although old, the game still has a large active player base, 100,00 players daily.

Thrown into Gielinor, the world’s name for Runescape. The player is surrounded by a fantasy medieval theme. A player must first complete the tutorial on Tutorial Island

Fun factor

Everyone starts the same in Runescape, there are 26 different skills the player is given. A skill starts at level 1 and ends at level 99. Every skill is independent and unique in its own way. An example of that is:

  • 60 Attack allows you to equip dragon weapons, you can hit higher damage and do special attacks.
  • 40 Defense, rune armour is now equippable, a strong armour that helps you in combat.
  • 14 Runecrafting, able to craft fire runes to use in magic attacks or teleportation around Gielinor.
  • 85 Fletching, craft your own magic bow along with dragon arrows for the best range setup.

Platform differences

Desktop

Mobile

  • GUI works well
  • GUI can be hard on smaller phones and seems like it could be improved
  • Performance is great, can be played on any computer
  • Performance is heavy for what the game looks
  • 3rd-party clients are available for enhanced or easier playing experience
  • Can only play on the official client

 


PC version
Mobile version

Controls and game play

Using a point and click user interface design, it is very simple and easy to understand. Runescape’s PC interface is used for the mobile. In my opinion, it is a bad design and should be redesigned, my reasoning is that you shouldn’t be using a 15 year old interface for a 2019 mobile game.

Graphics

Low-poly and mediocre textures, the game still features the same objects and terrain from its initial release in 2004. The sky is black and the render distance is low.

OldSchool Runescape does not have much to offer in this aspect. Running bare-bone graphics means that it can run on low-end computers and mobile phones great.

Lumbridge

Above, is a town named Lumbridge. It is the first town new players will spawn in after Tutorial Island, a famous island to every veteran of the game. The bridge connects to the entrance of Al-Kharid desert and various farms belonging to Lumbridge.

Sound

Runescape offers ambient noises, background music, sounds based on combat and other various skilling. MIDI format is used for all of the game sounds, although outdated, it still fulfills the immersive experience.

Replayability

Starting over again can feel monotonous if you do not have a new specific role. It becomes not very fun further you go, as you feel like you have already achieved the goal.

References

Lumbridge. (2019). Old School RuneScape Wiki. Retrieved 5 August 2019, from https://oldschool.runescape.wiki/w/Lumbridge

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Sonic Mania Plus – Game Review

Sonic Mania is a 2D platformer game created by Evening Star, Pagoda West Games and Head Cannon published by Sega, released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in August of 2017 with the Plus expansion being released about a year later. It is styled after the classic Sonic games from the 90s and feature levels both old and new. You are able to play as three different characters with unique abilities for each of them in the base game with an extra two being added in the expansion both with their own abilities.

Fun Factor

I had fun playing this game because the levels were well designed and allow you to go fast if you know what you’re doing and are a good length as well. The character abilities are fun and feel good when using them.

Control and gameplay

This game has easy to understand controls as well as fun game play rewarding skill with ability to go fast. The game features twelve zones with two acts each, with returning zones from Sonic 1,2,3 and CD as well as new zones made specifically for this game.

Graphics

The game has nice pixel art graphics with smooth animations. The game runs at 60 fps on all versions.

Sound

This game has nice high quality sounds with a great soundtrack by Tee Lopes featuring excellent remixes of old songs from the series as well as excellent new tracks.

Replayability

This game is very replay able with five different characters to play as in the main story, along with another separate mode where you can play as all five at the same time with a few extra side modes you can play and a multiplayer race mode.

Conclusion

I would recommend this game mainly to fans of sonic the hedgehog as it’s a love letter to the classic games but also to fans of 2D platformers in general as the game provides fun and exhilarating gameplay and a lot of replay value.

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection

Borderlands: The Handsome Collection contains Borderlands 2 and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. But we don’t talk about the Pre-Sequel. The Pre-Sequel was released after Borderlands 2, but is set between 1 and 2. Unfortunately it is boring compared to the others, because it tries to be too funny. This review will focus on Borderlands 2.

Fun factor

I can scarcely describe how fun the game is one must simply try it for one’s self.

Here is what I think makes the game fun:

  • Humour
  • Game play
  • Story is interesting – It’s sort of a revenge story
  • You’re basically the underdog at the start, but by the end you kill Handsome Jack .

Control and gameplay

Standard FPS controls mean that it’s easy to learn. Controls are smooth for some characters. For example, the sniper character Zer0’s movements are incredibly smooth.

Gameplay is amazing. Level design is incredible. The levels aren’t open world, but they’re big enough in terms of verticality to seem like open-world.

Graphics

The graphics are 3D cell shaded almost drawn and coloured look with lots of colours and different environments. Sometimes there can be so much on the screen that it can cause the console to lag. Some enemies explode when you shoot them, but it’s not that extreme.

Sound

Sound quality is good, but at times it can be a bit buggy like with zer0’s bore skill and Salvador’s moneyshot skill and the bee shield’s ampshot.

Replayability

The game’s replayability comes from its entire concept and guns… and loot.

There are three playthrough modes: normal mode, true vault hunter mode, and ultimate vault hunter mode. In addition, once you’ve hit level 80, you can access overpowered levels one through ten… for each character which there are six of. The higher the level the better the loot., but also the harder the enemies.

Final thoughts

This game has been out for a while now so should be pretty cheap. I would recommend it for everyone, but particularly people who like FPS or looter/shooters and have a sense of humour. Is this too much of a spoiler?

For Honor Game Review

For Honor is an online multiplayer game that takes place in medieval times. It is a third-person, melee combat, action-game where you choose between twenty-four different characters from three clans: the knights, the Vikings and the Samurai. For Honor has many online game modes such as duels, brawls, breach and dominion. For the occasions when you are not interested in multiplayer you have access to a single player story-mode about a bloodthirsty warlord and her army plunging the world into chaos and you being the only one who can stop them.

Fun factor
For Honor is known to be difficult and harsh to defend yourself from other players if not well practiced in the game’s mechanics. The adrenaline pumping combat makes the game extremely fun and satisfying. Its quick reaction times keep you aware and on the edge of your seat when defeating your enemies.

Control and gameplay

When playing online you are given the option to choose between twenty-four different characters all with unique weapons, Armour, abilities, and combat styles. Due to the massive amount of characters and the harsh difficulty of the game it can be overwhelming to find your own character and unique play-style, but fear not because the game offers a training mode where it gives you helpful tips on all the characters and takes you through each attack that every character can accomplish. To help people choose their own play-style, the game has separated all the characters into four classes.

  1. The Vanguards: all-rounder characters with a little bit of everything from each class.
  2. The Assassins: trading armor for speed these deadly characters can attack quickly and keeps constant pressure on other players.
  3. The Heavies: strong and slow these characters trade speed for armor using slow devastating power to overwhelm their enemies whilst being unfazed by enemy attacks.
  4. The Hybrids: characters who specialize in kicks, punches and bashes to daze and confuse their enemies putting them in dangerous situations.

For Honor also has four different game modes in which to use these characters,

  1. Duels: a one on one fight between two players, the first one to win three times wins the duel.
  2. Brawls: you and your friend versus two other players, first pair to win three times wins the brawl.
  3. Dominion: the main mode of the game, dominion is a four versus four game mode, in order to win one team must capture and control zone A, B and C.
  4. Breach: one of the newest modes to the game is called Breach and is a four versus four mode that has two teams, the defenders and the attackers. The defenders have the task of defending the castle and their king from the attackers. The attacking team’s job is to escort their battering ram through the field and onto two castle doors while keeping an eye on their limited amount of lives. Once through the two doors, the attackers must defeat the defenders’ king in order to win. For the defenders, the only way to win is to defeat the attacking team and force them to use all of their lives or defeat their battling ram by using an oil cauldron at each door, an average breach game lasts anywhere from twenty to thirty-five minutes.

Graphics

The game’s graphics when playing look very refined and polished but due to the game being so fast pace there are a variety of small and lower grade graphics in spots that players might overlook. An example of this is the world outside the games maps. The world outside looks smudged and plain in some spots with no real concentration to detail.

Sound

As well as each character having unique weapons and armor they also have their own voice. In the midst of battle, each character can be heard shouting, screaming and grunting. Each character also has their own catch phrase when using certain attacks. These phrases can be heard quite clearly when fighting and most characters can be easily identified when hearing the phrase.

Replayability

The story mode of the game is very difficult but once you complete the story and wish to play it again the game gives you the option to make the story mode even more difficult. For the online section of the game, when winning a match of any kind in the game you are rewarded with new weapons and armor for your character. These items unlock new perks that make future matches easier and fun. Along with the weapons and armor you are given experience. Experience is used in two ways, when achieving a certain amounts of experience in the game you unlock certain abilities that can be used mid-game to help you win the match. Although experience is more commonly used as a weapon of some sort, having a high level on a certain character can drive fear into your enemies thus causing them to be overwhelmed and making irrational decisions giving the player a great opportunity for an easy win. The reason for such concern of highly experienced players is due to the fact of getting very little experience after games, meaning that when other players are a higher level often means they have played the game for far longer and have learnt and experienced a lot more about their character.

 

Is this game for you?

This game is arguably one of the hardest games I have ever played and I would only recommend it for the more skilled and determined players. Although the game is difficult it is not impossible, all the amazing players you will see in this game are only good because they too had a difficult beginning and over time has learnt how to play the game effectively. Give it a try…

Game Review – Until Dawn

Until Dawn is a PS4 exclusive game that was released on the 25th of August 2015. It is a story-driven game in which the player controls multiple characters throughout the course of the game. It is a very heavily path-based game with the main gameplay being picking what your character says or does but without controlling them directly. This allows the game to focus heavily on the story. It was designed and made by Supermassive games and developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment.

Gameplay and Story

The story is set around a group of teenagers that go to a lodge in the woods to hang out and have fun for a few days. But shortly after they arrive strange things start to occur and they begin to see a strange man around the place. You must survive the night while also uncovering while all these strange things are happening.

I found this game very fun to play but I really enjoy story- driven games, especially ones that allow you to make decisions that change the outcome of the game. The controls are simple which makes them easy to pick up and become good at. In this game you control multiple characters which can each die or survive depending on what decisions you make. This makes you think about the actions you make as the will affect the outcome of the game.

Graphics, Sound and Replayability

At the time this game was released, the graphics were extremely impressive for a console game. The sound design is very good and helps add to the immersion of the game. Overall the sound and graphics combined make for a very immersive experience. After you finish the game, there are many different reasons to go back and replay play it. The main draw is that there are multiple different ending which are affected by the choices you make. There are also collectibles which contain additional story information if you feel like finding and collecting them.

I would highly recommend this game as I had great fun with it.

Game Review: Conker’s Bad Fur Day & Conker: Live and Reloaded

Conker’s Bad Fur Day (2001) / Conker: Live and Reloaded (2005): Game Review

Conker’s Bad Fur Day is a 3 dimensional platformer game developed by Rare and released for the Nintendo 64 in 2001. If you are a fan of violence, swearing, racial and sexual innuendos this game is fit for you.

In Conker’s Bad Fur Day, you, the player, control Conker the Squirrel and lead him through a series of three-dimensional levels. The over-all world map is split into segments, with restricted places saving major plot points for the storyline.

Conker: Live and Reloaded is a remake of the 2001 released in 2005 and made for the Xbox with slightly more realistic animations. The only thing I can say is, I don’t like as much at the original. It made the characters look all furry and slightly more realistic and it didn’t look that good to me.

To be honest I was going to do this on the remake alone, but it was off-putting looking at the new and supposedly improved graphics, so I played the original and it was way better. The controller was still crap but it was better. It also looks stupid when the characters are supposed to look angry but just don’t. Plus I had to buy the remake to play again to compare ( ). Luckily I didn’t have to buy the original because that can go for $250 to $750 (for a decent copy that is).

The only reason I would recommend the remake is because of the controller. The controller for the Nintendo 64  is painful to use and can resort in a not so fun experience for the player (you’ll understand if you look at the picture below). In the end my fingers weren’t happy. The remake came for the original Xbox console with a slightly better controller but was still diminished by the new animations/character looks.

There are many references related to popular movies (at the time of its original release) like The Matrix and Jurassic Park, where they do the heist and the way the dinosaur eats the cave men. There are also a lot of Quotes like “Get away from her you bitch” from Alien and “Tediz? I hate these guys” is similar to Indiana’s line “Nazis. I hate these guys” from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. These references make the game a hell of a lot better. A big plus in my books.

There is also multiple multi-player modes which is fun for the whole family. Well it was when I was 4.

In conclusion, the original is perfect for playing, perfect for any game collection and is well worth the high price. The remake deserves to be thrown in the trash.

References

The Binding of Isaac game review

The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth is a like top-down shooter where you have to fight your way through floors with countless enemies and bosses .

Gameplay

T is a top down shooter with very simple controls wasd to move arrow keys to shoot. The simplicity is what gives the game its charm you could sit the game in front of anyone and they could play it as the controls are on the first room.

The game is very adaptive on how the player wants to play. Every floor has an item that will affect Isaac in a cosmetic and effect way. His stats and or his tears will change the way you play if you want to play. More experienced players will try and get deals with the devil In these rooms you will sell your heart containers for very powerful items which can completely change a run from hanging on by a thread to breezing through without any problem.

Replayabilty

The entire game is based around replayability. The game can only be progressed by playing it over and over again. The game progresses as you beat the major bosses x amount of times unlocking new floors and new items. This also makes the game very repetitive at times which turns a lot of people off of the game.

Difficulty

the game scales with the amount of time played every time you complete a run more monsters will be put in. After the first 5 runs you will get everything is terrible achievement witch greatly increases the games difficulty as well as there being a hard mode.

Conclusion

The Binding of Isaac is a very unique indie game with a lot of charm and a lot of verity along with great mod support makes the game infinitely replayable. I would greatly recommend The Binding of Isaac to anyone who likes rouge likes, casual games or a good challenge. At $20 and being on almost every platform as well as being easy to run makes this game a must have.

Minecraft review

Minecraft is an open world sandbox game released in alpha on July 2nd 2010, in beta on December 20th 2010 and fully released on November 18th 2011. Minecraft was originally developed by Jens Bergensten (Jeb) and Markus Persson (notch). It was sold to Mojang and subsequently Microsoft on September 15th 2014. Minecraft is available in two main variants, Java edition on PC and Bedrock edition on mobile, console and PC. These two systems do have some major differences, especially in their Redstone (electronics) and combat mechanics, with Java favouring precision and reliability instead of intuitiveness and Bedrock favouring ease of use and making the game more accessible for beginners and younger users.

Minecraft has three main game-modes, all with a different focus; hardcore, a solely survival  based gameplay, creative, where the player is invincible and free to construct or destroy whatever they please and finally survival, a blend of these two with some of the freedoms of creative and some of the challenge of hardcore. For this review I will be using the Java and Bedrock editions interchangeably and more specifically their shared 1.14 Village and Pillage update in the original survival mode.

Control and game play

When a new world is created, the player spawns in one of 60 procedurally generated unique biomes with no instructions except an insignificant achievements (EXP) menu. The player is given only a health bar, and experience bar, and a hunger bar to guide them. The entire world is comprised of blocks that, aside from a few blocks, are destructible, giving the player resources when destroyed. These resources can be crafted using the in-game crafting mechanic into all manner of things ranging from essential like tools and armour to purely aesthetic blocks like paintings or dyed wool. The world can be manipulated to satisfy these bars, with farms being created to grow food and a house being built to protect the player and their valuables from mobs (enemies). Mobs, although technically meaning any non-player entity, generally refers to the constantly spawning aggressive mobs that attack the player through a variety of means such as bows, tridents, grapples and explosions. Friendly mobs are referred to as passive mobs. Mobs primarily spawn at night and are supposed to be the driving force of progress in the early game. The player is challenged and forced to make better weapons, armour and bases. As the game progresses, the player is free to discover their own victory condition, which in such a diverse game can vary wildly. Even the goal Minecraft provides, (killing the ender dragon) is superseded as the player is allowed to continue long after the beasts demise.

Graphics

Minecraft uses a minimalist cube-based graphics system featuring arrangements of geometric 1mx1mx1m blocks that act as the building blocks of the world. These blocks feature a simplistic smooth texture making use of a largely pastel pallet. This choice of using blocks rather than smoother terrain features was revolutionary for its time when most other game developer was persuing realistic graphics. This low poly system makes it easy for the player to place any block anywhere creating any world they desire.

Sound

One of Minecraft’s most distinctive features is its unique audio design. It combines rhythmic repetitions of real-world sound when the player does a task paired with a calm relaxing soundtrack that is played in the background. This pairing induces a trancelike state in which many hours can seem to slip away, this and has contributed to the game’s cult following. Minecraft does technically have a changeable soundtrack through the use of the jukebox. The jukebox plays rare music discs that the player finds, although it has such a short range and playtime that it is not really feasible. This is not a catastrophic issue as the default soundtrack is such a fitting selection of songs.

Fun factor

Minecraft is a fun game which is reflected in its sales figures of 176 million copies sold. It is unique in requiring its players to interact with other players to figure out how to do certain things such as building a Nether portal and find the end, which encouraged multiplayer play and created a vibrant community. By having no clear goals, the game creates many different ways to enjoy the game, whether it be building a huge base, a Redstone contraption, an automatic farm, a minigame to play with your friends, or even fighting a boss like the Wither or Ender Dragon.

Replayability

Minecraft has had trouble including more things for the player to do since its release. In the past, after one play through there was very little new content to explore, aside from building more and more farms and bases. Almost every aspect of the game has gained a cult status and is seen in a nostalgic viewpoint from the audience. Therefore, any new update cannot change or reimagine aspects of the game, it can only add new things that do not change the core gameplay. Mojang has tried to increase the games replayability by including more generated structures like the woodland mansions, ocean temples and ocean monuments. The issue they have had is adding incentive to explore the new areas. The solution they have found is adding ores and precious materials to chests in the structures. This neither provides significant incentive to explore these new structures nor maintains the scarcity of resources Minecraft needs to be challenging. This discovery for the sake of discovery is short-sighted and makes Minecraft more of conquest game like Terraria rather than the survival game it was originally known and loved for.

Conclusion and opinion

I have found Minecraft to be a fun game to both play and watch on streaming services. Minecraft has a very positive community due to its required player interactivity. The newest update, Village and Pillage, is a step in the right direction in adding new challenges that drive progression rather than pointless features. I think that Minecraft is a beautiful game that I would suggest it to anyone for its gameplay value and its historical significance in the open world sandbox genre.

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance Review

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is a top-down real-time strategy game and a standalone expansion to the original Supreme Commander. It was released in November 2007 on PC and was developed and made by the company Gas Powered Games and published by THQ. It is the second game in its franchise and is widely proclaimed as the best of the three games released.

Gameplay and replayability

Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is a faithful rendition of the original game, following the same top down real-time strategy and tactical management as the original. The main gameplay loop is simple, using the starting unit as the player character, you construct an army with which to fight and defeat your opponent. This can be done in any number of ways as you have access to all traditional aspects of war; land, air, navel, information and logistics. You need a combination of all aspects to achieve victory, as using only one or two of these things will leave you at a disadvantage. In Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance there are 4 distinct races, up from the 3 of the previous game. They each have distinct aesthetic and play style.

  • The UEF (United Earth Federation), – a conventional ballistics-using force, using defensive and direct fire as their strengths with a blocky and solid aesthetic.
  • The Cybran Nation – a faction focused on information retrieval and denial, whose main mode of offence are lasers and missiles and have an angular and sharp aesthetic.
  • The Aeon Illuminate – a faction whose tech is basically described as space magic, who use only direct energy weapons which are high damage low rate of fire. Their general aesthetic is more circular and flowing.
  • Lastly are the Seraphim – a faction that doesn’t have a niche as such, instead being decent or above average at everything but at the same time being less varied and thus easy to counter. Their aesthetic is alien and floaty, for lack of a better word.

The game has a fairly fleshed out campaign, with about 8 missions each one playable as one of the original three factions on 3 different difficulties. This, in total is easily 50+ hours alone without replaying the same mission as the same faction. The story itself is well thought-out and made with continuity in mind. It makes sense but is not truly that deep and is just there to add flavour. Most characters are two-dimensional and as you are the silent protagonist all things are scripted. The other way to play the game is in skirmish mode. This mode can be played in any number of ways. With human players or bots, with one-player maps that are tiny in size or massive 10 player maps that can take upwards of four hours to finish. They are incredibly varied in the scope of what you can do. And, as such, can play a new combination every skirmish every time and have it always be different. The actual game itself is very well optimised for what it is, a complete simulation of a mock war. A proof of this from my own experience, is that you can actually crash an aircraft into your enemy’s nuclear missile as it’s launching and get it to prematurely detonate on top of their base. I can attest to this being a truly satisfying felling.

Control

As this is a real time strategy game with an extensive roster of structures and units, it is going to have a lot of key binds. For a new player, especially one who doesn’t play other RTS like it, this could be quite daunting and may prefer to stick to using just the mouse. As you can actually do everything you to do with the mouse you this makes the controls easy to use and hard to master. The interface is well designed simple symbols with short descriptions for ease of access in the case of the actually controlling your units. The build interface, being such an important part of the game and what makes up the majority of the interface, is designed very well. With a combination of pictures of the exact thing you are building as well as simple description and summary of what that particular unit or structure does makes for an intuitive and easy to understand menu.

Graphics and sound

For a game released before 2010 it has very good graphics for how well it runs. This is partially because of the sheer scale of the maps you play on and the amount you can zoom in and out; close enough to see the waves and far enough out that the battle ships that you make are barely visible. The game fixes render distance issues by replacing everything with symbols after a certain distance. All models are 3-D and very well detailed, with animations appropriate with what the buildings or units are doing. Cruiser launching a missile, appropriate tiny hatch opens, experimental walker steps on an enemy tank, tank is crushed and explodes leaving nought but wreckage. While this happens you can be panning around in a free cam then instantly switch back to the overhead view only to pause so as to observe an enemy shell heading for your innocent tech 1 scout, that was only out in the field to find a weakness in an enemy position (all actually done by me by the way). The sound design is probably the weakest point of the whole game. Listening to the looped sounds of marching assault bots incorrectly layered can get very tiring very quickly. As it is adjustable in the menu, it is easily turned down to lower levels. The music of the game is not going to win any awards but is appropriately epic for the scale of the game and something to drown out the not quite up to par sound effects.

A final thought

Overall, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is a very good game. With hours of fun to be had plating it. It fills a nice little niche and because of that has attracted a very loyal fan base that has keep playing and supporting it long after it has stop being developed. Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance is a game that anyone could enjoy, with veterans of the strategy genre in particular able to find the most joy. One of my personal favourite games and, as such I give Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance a 9.5/10.