In Rays of the Light: Weird but Oddly Good (Review)

First off, let me say that I’m switching up my posts this week and doing my gaming post today and writing on Wednesday. The reason for this slight schedule change is that – if you didn’t already know – my next book Blindsighted will be released on Wednesday, so I’ll be doing a special post all about that.

Now that’s out of the way, let me get back to why we’re here; In Rays of the Light.

In Rays of the Light is what has been termed a “First-person meditative quest” – which I would say sounds about right. It was released relatively recently on 21st March 2021 for PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch and XBOX One.

You start the game in a room in front of a TV with static displayed on it and expected to figure something out – I’m still not sure what…

There is no tutorial that tells you what the controls are; you’re pretty much just left to figure it out for yourself. When leaving the starting room, you are left to explore an empty and overgrown building and its surrounding area. There are strange messages written on the walls throughout the building, which only serves to weird you out that little bit more.

Although at one point you pick up a piece of pipe and get yourself ready to bash something’s brains in, there is no combat. Nothing will jump out at you – although there are a couple of dramatic stings of music followed by flashes of shadows that I’ll admit made me jump.

You’re free to explore the areas, finding keys and other bits and pieces to help you solve puzzles and get to the end of the game. There are also several notes that you can pick up and read and, along with cutscenes that play out, tell you more of the story.

I don’t want to give too much away – mainly because I’m still not sure what happened – but the game concludes with some bizarre occurrences that might leave you scratching your head and asking, “What the hell was that all about?”

In Rays of the Light isn’t a huge game, and if you only play it through once, it probably won’t take you any longer than maybe 2 hours to complete it. If like me, you wanted to get the platinum, this requires a second playthrough, but that will only take around 30 minutes as you can pretty much just run through it, especially if you’re just played it through once.

We picked this game up for around £7, and honestly, it was worth the money – although I wouldn’t pay more for it. It’s a decent way to spend a couple of hours and, in the most part, is pretty relaxing – at least until the last third or so of the game.

I don’t think it will be a game that I go back to at any point as I’ve seen pretty much all it has to offer, and although I still had questions at the end of it, I feel like I had a rough idea of what the developers were trying to say. I’m going to give In Rays of the Light a ⭐️⭐️⭐️. It was alright for what it was, but there wasn’t much to it. I’d say if you want a little game that you can just run through (especially if you want to get an easy platinum), I’d say give it a go.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (Review)

**Possible spoilers ahead**

Final Fantasy VII is an RPG that was originally released in 1997 for the PlayStation. It’s the seventh full instalment of the Final Fantasy series that dates back to 1987 when Final Fantasy was released on the NES.

This instalment follows main character Cloud Strife, a mercenary employed by an eco-terrorist group named Avalanche to stop a world-controlling corporation from using the planet’s life essence as a power source for the city Midgar as well as other towns and locations throughout the game.

When this game was first released back in 1997, I remember my brother buying it and us spending hours playing it. This was possibly the biggest game I’d ever played up until that point, and I was drawn into the story from the very beginning.

In a previous blog, I stated that along with other games such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and Skyrim, Final Fantasy VII is one of my most played and favourite games.

At the time of its release, FFVII was one of the most beautiful games I’d seen, and the cutscenes blew me away. I know, if you look at them now, they seem a little dated, but they still look pretty great.

Anyway, FFVII was recently remade into an even more epic and beautiful game.

Final Fantasy VII Remake (what an original title for a remake, eh?) was released back in 2020 and was a game that I couldn’t wait to play. However, I only recently bought a copy of it and got to play it for one reason or another.

During its pre and post-release, I did my best to avoid anything about it (other than the demo). I’d heard things like “it wasn’t the full game” or “the story had changed”, and I didn’t want anything to ruin my own experience of a game that I love being remade.

So a few weeks ago, I finally got a copy and started to play it. I’d previously played the demo, so I knew how the combat worked and what the first 30-40 minutes of gameplay would be like.

During this demo, I couldn’t help but compare it to the beginning of the original, and I was impressed with just how well it had been done. Yes, it changed certain aspects – like the combat mechanics going from random turn-based encounters to real-time – but I found these just brought the game into this new age. It did away with some of the original’s clunkiness and made it feel more streamlined and clean, and I was there for that.

The further you get into the game, you start to see other changes to the story; for example, side characters such as Biggs, Wedge and Jessie all get a more significant role, and you get to see more of the story in relation to these characters. I found this a great addition as it just added that little bit extra to the story.

The other thing that the remake has that the original didn’t is quests.

At certain parts of the game, you have a little bit more of a free-roam ability (in the original, when you were in Midgar, it was pretty linear.). This too, added that little bit more to the story, allowing you to find out more about certain characters and really feeling the plight of the citizens of Midgar’s slums.

If you were used to the original turn-based random encounters, the new combat system takes a little bit of getting used to. It all happens in real-time (aside from the pauses when you’re selecting an ability or spell), and this seems to make the battles feel a little faster and less clunky – there’s that word again… For me, the removal of the random encounters was a good thing. Back in the day, I would get really annoyed when – having just come out of a battle – you get thrust into a fight without time to heal up or sort your gear out. Over time, this system just wound me up and marred what otherwise would have been a perfect playing experience.

As far as main characters go, you’ve got the standard Cloud, Barret, Aerith and Tifa, but the thing that confuses me is when you get to the part of the game where you meet Red XIII, you can’t control him. Of course, he’s with you in battle, but as an uncontrollable AI character. I’m not sure why they made him this way, I for one, I was looking forward to controlling him as he was one of my favourite characters from the original. I just hope that when it comes to the other characters you meet along the way – Yuffie, Vincent, Cait Sith and Cid – that you get to add them to your team and play as them. I’ll be disappointed if not.

The magic system is very much the same. You pick up and equip materia to your weapons and accessories so you can use them in battle. One of the differences with the summons is that you only have the chance to use them in bigger battles and only when a bar that appears on screen has been filled. The big difference comes with the summons. In the original, the summons were a spell that was cast and did a single move doing a lot of damage. In the remake, though, the summoned entity joins you in the fight, and as well as doing automatic smaller attacks, you have the chance to perform extra attacks using the action via the ATB menu. Once the bar on screen has ticked down, the summon will leave the battle, but not before doing their main move for ample damage. I feel like this system does work, although, like other changes to the original, it takes a bit of getting used to.

I said at the start that it’s not the whole game, and that’s true. You play the game, up until the point where – on the original – you’d be asked to change discs, which kind of makes sense. Even though it’s not the full game, you still have hours and hours of gameplay, plus the ability to replay chapters should you want to.

All in all, I’ve really enjoyed Final Fantasy VII Remake. It does build on what was already an incredible game and provides you with more background to the characters and the ability to walk around and explore different areas. I’m interested to see what happens with part 2, whether they allow you to explore the map as in the original or whether it will be a bit more closed off. Either way, I look forward to how it’s done, especially when it introduces some of the higher level summons.

I have no option but to give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. It’s just brilliant, and despite only being a part of the game, it’s well worth it, and I honestly can’t wait for the next instalment. I highly recommend this game, whether you’re a fan of the original or not.

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (Review)

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons was released back in 2013 and takes place in a fantasy world filled with mythical creatures such as giants, orcs and trolls.

Brothers was a game that I came across years ago on the XBox. I played it a little back then but for some reason I put it down and never played it again…until now.

We played A Way Out (see my review of this here) which left us wondering what else the developers made and this brought us back to Brothers. It was pretty cheap at the time so we decided to give it a go, but unfortunately it again fell by the wayside. We were really looking for something co-op in the same vein as A Way Out but despite looking two-player, Brothers isn’t. We put it down and didn’t think of it again for some time.

We recently rediscovered it though through PSNow and finally got around to playing it.

In Brothers you take control of two characters, each having their own analogue stick (we played it on the PS4) to move and L2 and R2 buttons for actions. This at times can be pretty clunky as the characters sometimes seem to have a mind of their own and keeping track of both of them can be hard and very frustrating. Sometimes it’s easier to move each brother one at a time but due to some of the puzzles you occasionally have to move them in tandem.

The story follows these two brothers on a quest to find something to help their sick father who is the only parent left to look after them since their mother drowned (all very happy stuff.) Their quest takes them through several different locations and they meet a number of characters.

There are no combat controls in this game, your main aim is either to run away or trick the enemy into running into something and therefore hurting themselves.

It’s a nice game, the graphics are pretty decent and the story is alright, but the controls just let it down so much in this version. This could have very easily been a two-player game with each player controlling a brother, but for one player to control both can be very annoying at times. The only way I can see two players bein able to play this is to share the controller, but this would probably also be difficult as the space you would have – depending on the size of your hands – would be minimum.

After playing A Way Out, Brothers was a bit of a let down, but it’s only fair I say that this game came out years before A Way Out and they are completely different games so it is a little unfair to compare them. I’m just sad that this game could have been more fun if it had been a true co-op game. I believe that the Switch port does allow for two-players, but without playing it I can’t attest to how well it plays.

For us, the PS4 version was okay, but it just didn’t give us the type of game that we were expecting and overall wasn’t great. The graphics were excellent, though, and it is beautiful to look at. The story was fair, perhaps having proper dialogue might have helped it along some. Despite this, there are still some genuinely emotional times throughout your quest. Unfortunately, the poor controls detract from the good points and lower the enjoyment quite a lot. I’d give this game ⭐️⭐️ out of 5. It could have been so much more.

A Way Out: A Prison Break for Two (Review)

A Way Out is an action-adventure game that was released in 2018 for PC, Xbox One and PS4. It has no single-player mode and is only playable using either local or online co-op, both of which employ a split-screen dynamic.

The game follows main characters Leo and Vincent as they attempt to escape from prison and evade the authorities. In order to complete the game, players are required to co-operate with each other. This takes the form of creating distractions so the other player can perform an action, or assisting each other reaching certain parts of a level. The roles will change so it’s not always one creating distractions for the other. You’re able to watch what the other is doing via the split-screen and sometimes the action will change to a cut scene for one of the characters.

We first discovered this game back in 2018 when we borrowed it from a family member. We took our PS4 to a holiday cottage (when you were allowed to go to such places) and this game came along with us. The lure of a true two-player co-op game was what made us want to play A Way Out. There aren’t many of these types of games out there, especially ones that are so good.

When you start the game each player chooses the character they wish to play as – either Vincent or Leo. At the character select screen it shows who each character is, why they were in prison etc. It doesn’t necessarily matter which character you choose, it only changes the perspective of how the game play outs but.

As soon as we started the game we were drawn into it. It starts with Vincent arriving at the prison where Leo is already an inmate and shows how they meet and how their plan to escape the prison evolves. In some parts of the game, one character has to distract other NPCs so that the other can perform an action. For example, early on in the game the player playing as Vincent needs to distract a nurse so that the player as Leo can steal a chisel from a workman to aid in their escape. It sounds simple, but you’ve got to get the timing right between you so that Leo doesn’t get caught and these type of puzzles get steadily harder as the game goes on.

The game isn’t just escaping from the prison, once you escape you have to evade the police while doing other tasks as the story unfolds, so there is a lot more to the game that just a prison break.

Once we started playing A Way Out, we couldn’t stop. In total it probably took us 2 or 3 days to complete the game but we played for long stretches at a time, the game just wants you to keep playing. The story is in depth and engrossing and culminates in an end that we didn’t see coming.

If you’re in it for the platinum, this game doesn’t disappoint. There are trophies that are story-related and there are ones that involve you performing actions that you don’t necessarily have to in order to complete the game. For example, you have to play baseball in a trailer park and hit a home run (this is harder than it sounds.)

We were impressed by the game mechanics, though they were simple and easy to get used to that didn’t stop us enjoying the game, in fact it probably added to the enjoyment as we didn’t have to spend time going through a tutorial and figuring out the controls. The story is engrossing and you soon become attached to the characters and their plans to evade capture. The graphics are great, and the few times when you see non-building scenery it looks incredible. I can’t stress enough how much we loved this game, it was the perfect game to play together while we were away and we straight away started to look for other games that are similar, but unfortunately so far there isn’t a great deal out there. This gets a well-deserved ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from us.

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood (Review)

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood is an action role-playing game that was released on 4th February 2021. It’s based on a table-top game and is part of a larger series called World of Darkness.

The story follows main character Cahal, an eco-terrorist werewolf (because, why not?) as he’s kicked out of his pack and now spends his time wandering the American Northwest and fighting against a nefarious corporation that is polluting the planet…yeah…

You have the ability to shapeshift between human and wolf at any given moment, to perform different actions such as conversations, combat and exploration.

So that’s what it’s about. But what’s it like?

This was a game that I’d seen trailers for, and it looked amazing, so when I got my hands on a PS5, it was the second game that I played – the first being the free Astro’s Playroom.

The game starts off with an intense cinematic which sets up the character and what he’s fighting against. This got me excited to play because it looked incredible. The cinematic was beautifully shot and rendered, and it really showed what the PS5 could do. But then the game started…

As soon as you’re in control of Cahal, you find out that the graphics on the cutscene were the best it was going to get. To me, it all felt like one of those game trailers that have the disclaimer “Not actual game footage” at the bottom. You start talking to a couple of the characters, and you see that the design looks like something that came out on the PS3. They appeared to be straight out of Morrowind or something similar. In short, it was a huge letdown.

The game throws you in at the deep end with all the random words relating to the Werewolf world, which may make sense to those that have played the table-top game but just goes well over the heads of those that haven’t.

The conversation options are alright, but the dialogue’s delivery just doesn’t hit the mark. The acting feels wooden and all together forced. If you’ve played the likes of the Mass Effect series, this dialogue just doesn’t compare.

When you go on your missions, you have the option to either be stealthy or to kill. There’s no real reason to be stealthy as it’s far easier and quicker just to wolf-out and destroy everything around you. It has no effect on the story whatsoever.

But hey, it can’t be all bad, right?. You get to be a werewolf; surely that’s a good thing? Well…yes and no.

The combat is basically just your werewolf self bouncing around a room and button bashing until enemies are dead. There’s no real skill needed, and as far as I can see, the different skills that you gain throughout the game, don’t really mean a great deal. These werewolf fights involve several different types of enemy, none of which pose much of a threat as their attacks are easy to avoid. At these points, the game gets exceptionally gory, to the point where after a fight, the room is covered in blood. It’s almost like the developers thought, “Hey, I know, the game is a bit sh!t, but if we put a load of blood in, people won’t notice.”

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood, aside from having a very long title, feels like a game that should have been released several generations earlier. There’s nothing really new about it, and what it does do, it does poorly. I’m struggling to find any redeeming features other than the extremely well done cutscenes. But unfortunately, that’s just not enough for this game to be enjoyable.

I can’t bring myself to give this game anything higher than ⭐️ out of 5, and I feel awful for giving it this rating, but it just doesn’t cut it. I found the free Astro’s Playroom far more enjoyable, and despite getting the platinum in it, I’m more likely to go back to that than I am Werewolf.

I don’t recommend this game. I’d say just watch some videos online for it or buy it when it’s dirt cheap; it’s just not worth the price…and it’s cheaper than most PS5 games.

Erica – Live Action Gameplaying (Review)

Erica is an FMV (Full Motion Video) interactive game release on the PS4 in August 2019.

The game follows titular character, Erica, as she battles nightmares from her childhood and tries to unravel the truth about her families mysterious occult past as she’s taken to a strange hospital that her father founded. You control Erica via multiple-choice dialogue options and interactive elements in the scenes.

Erica is an interesting game and combines the choice in the story of Telltale-like games with full video and live cast. It’s a good idea in theory and if you just play it through it’s a decent enough game.

Unfortunately, though, there several issues that I feel could have been worked on a little more.

First off, continuity. There are so many continuity errors in this game; it’s unbelievable. Some can be forgiven, but the sheer number of them just can’t be. They range from blood appearing, disappearing and reappearing between scenes, to clothes changing without any time for them too.

Second, the acting. Now I’m all for a bad movie with poor acting. But some of the acting in Erica is just so bad it’s not even funny. I don’t know whether it’s just how the scenes are put together with the choices but a lot of the time they only don’t match up properly. The actors may well be better in other things, but there’s just something wrong in this game.

The game can either be controlled via the touchpad on the Dualshock controller or with an app that can be downloaded to your phone. This again is a good idea in theory. I found that when using the controller the touchpad was a little too sensitive – there’s no way to adjust this – so trying to hit the mark on screen when needed, at times, is quite tricky. The controls work a little better on the app, and it gives you a greater range for swiping. The problem with using the app is that it doesn’t half drain your phone battery so unless you can play while having it plugged in, you’re a little bit limited with how long you can play for.

If you’re trying to go for the platinum trophy on this game, be prepared to play the game at least 5 times – and that’s if you follow a guide. If you’re just winging it – like I did on my first playthrough – you may have to do more than that. It’s a slog and a big one at that. Although if you’re committed, you can probably get it in a day.

All in all, Erica is a reasonably enjoyable game despite its faults. But unfortunately, once you notice things like the continuity issues does mar your playing experience. It could have been so much better, but for what it is, it’s not bad. I hope there are more games like this to come – as long as they’re produced a little better. For me, the game deserves a high rating for what it’s trying to achieve, but it does fall a bit flat, so I just can’t bring myself to give it higher than ⭐⭐⭐.

Concrete Genie – It’s Not Vandalism it’s Art! (Review)

Concrete Genie is an action-adventure game released for the PlayStation 4 in October 2019.

In Concrete Genie the player controls a young artist named Ash and makes excellent use of PS4 Dualshock’s motion controls to control his paintbrush and create landscapes in the town of Denska to remove the “darkness” and restore it to it’s previous beauty. These graffiti landscapes turn into living portraits that you and your genie can interact with. As well as free roam over what you paint, you can also paint creatures known in the game as genies and how you paint them affects their abilities, for example, a red genie will make use of fire, blue will use wind and yellow will use electricity. As well as free roam, there is a set of core puzzles in the game that you need to solve using your graffiti with assistance from your genies to progress through the game.

Over the course of the game you gain access to more areas of Denska. Throughout your progress you will need to avoid bullies who will move through the town destroying graffiti and if they catch Ash they will bully him – by throwing stones and pushing him around, so you need to avoid them the best you can.

Concrete Genie was a game that had been on my radar since it came out. I’d heard good things about it but for some reason I never picked it up. So, when it popped up as one of Februarys PSPlus games I was right in there.

Most of the game play is pretty easy, the most challenging part was avoiding the bullies and making sure they were far enough away for you to get around them.

The motion controls for painting work really well, but it does take a bit of time to get used to how it works. Once you do though, nothing can stop your graffiting.

There’s no combat to speak of for most of the game. It’s only at the end when things truly kick off and you need to use your new brush to fight enemies, I won’t go too much into it as I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.

It’s a relaxing game and isn’t too difficult but the story and gameplay is enough to keep you playing. But, if you need an extra incentive, there are quite a few trophies and a lot of them pop as you play with some extras for doing some other little things. But as far as the platinum trophy goes, this is on the very easy side, so there’s that.

Concrete Genie is a great little game, and it makes for a relaxing evening of bright colours and soothing music. There could be a bit more to it though, it does feel a tad short, but I’m not going to hold that against it. I’d give it a high ⭐⭐⭐⭐ , and I would say if you like the look of it you should definitely give it a go.

Stardew Valley: Not Just a Farming Sim (A Review)

A little while ago we were browsing the various game stores for something new to play. When Googling some games, we came across a little game called Stardew Valley. Now, I will admit that I wasn’t really sold on the idea of this game, but it was really up Alex’s street so after watching the trailer and reading some reviews, we decided to give it a go. Initially we were going to buy it on the Nintendo Switch but instead we decided to go for the PlayStation version.

You start the game by creating your character. There’s a wide range of hair and clothing options that allow you to make a retro pixelated version of yourself. You also have the option of which type of farm you like, from a standard one, to one where monsters attack you, to a multiplayer one that allows up to four of you to live and farm on the same map.

After you’ve created your character and selected your farm, you’re introduced to the story.

The basic premise of Stardew Valley is that your grandfather has passed away and has left his farm to you. Your character then moves into this farm aiming to restore it to it’s previous success.

My thinking at the time was that it would be repetitive and boring and it would end up on a list of games that I thought were a good idea but couldn’t get into; I was very wrong.

As soon as you arrive at your farm, you quickly get into the calming chores of running it. Planting crops, watering and clearing debris and weeds, soon puts your mind at ease and for some reason starts to make you relax.

But Stardew isn’t all planting crops and waiting for them to grow; far from it.

The game is spread out over the four seasons, which have 28 days in each. Each season allows you to grow different crops and also provides you with different events in the town such as a Christmas-like celebration, dances and even a luau.

When you leave the comfort of your own farm, you find the nearby Pelican Town and it’s residents.

When you first get to town, people are friendly but some are wary of you. Through your playthrough you nurture your friendships with these people, by talking to them, giving them gifts and helping them with different tasks. This all sounds quite easy, but if you give or say the wrong thing to a person then your friendship will suffer, so it’s all about finding what each person likes/dislikes. The higher up your friendship level you are with a character the higher the chance that they will give you gifts that will help you with your farm.

Along with helping the residents personally, there is also a community centre that you’re introduced to early on in the game that you’re asked to fix. You can do this by either spending money and helping the evil JoJo Co, or collecting bundles of various items. Collecting the bundles is probably harder as you need to collect crops, mining items, fish etc which involves working hard through each season and delivering them to the centre, put the rewards are worth it.

On your farm you can not only grow crops but also raise animals. At a certain point in the game you’re able to buy coops and barns which are constructed by a citizen of Pelican Town. These building allow you to buy cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens, goats and other animals that you can then raise. These animals will then provide you with milk, eggs, and rabbits feet – the in game rabbits appear to be able to grow these back an unlimited number of times. The items you receive can be processed into other items that will bring a larger profit, for example, milk can be churned into cheese, Eggs can be turned into mayonnaise and so on. You’re also able to fish in various different water sources, like the sea, rivers and lakes, each source allowing different types of fish to be caught.

But, that’s not all. As well as being a farming simulator Stardew Valley is also a dungeon crawler. Pelican Town has a mine to the north which you can enter and harvest for rock, gems and ore. Each level of the mine has different items that you can mine, but be careful, while your mining you also have to watch out for bad guys. The enemies you face included slimes (which you can also raise on your farm with the slime hutch), bugs, and skeletons, to name just a few. The items that you find in the mine, can help you with building things on your farm, upgrading items and also bring in that all important money if you sell them. But, you should watch what you’re selling, some items are rare and can be put into the Pelican Town museum for rewards – everything is worth something to someone.

Stardew is more than all this. It also has heart. As you meet the characters and learn of their backstories you find out that this game isn’t as cute and smiley as you might think. Some of the residents have dark pasts, and real problems. I’m not going to spoil anything here, but there are some characters that you really start to empathise with and end up really wanting to help them out.

I can’t do a blog about Stardew Valley without mentioning Journey of the Prairie King. Journey is a game within Stardew that can be found at the pub by interacting with an arcade machine. This game is possibly one of the hardest game with a game games I’ve ever played. Basically, it’s a top down shooter where you have to shoot enemies until the timer runs out and your transported to another level. Sounds simple, right? Yeah, well…it’s not. It’s frustratingly enjoyable though as you play and want to beat it despite dying hundreds of times. It’s a nice little addition to the game and if you’re Stardew to get trophies it’s something you need to master for the elusive platinum as you’re required to not only finish this little game but to also finish it without dying!

All in all Stardew Valley is an excellent game. It’s several simple premises put together but as a whole they work brilliantly. I’ve played this game on some of my worst days, and the simple tasks of running my farm helped me through them and calmed my mind. This game is well deserving of its ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating. It’s a game that is always being updated to bring more into the world and the fact that the game was pretty much built by a single person – with some help occasionally – is no small thing. It just adds to how impressive the game is. I look forward to the next console update so I can create a new farm and see exactly what is has to offer.

I would say that even if you don’t like games like this or think it looks too cutesy, you should give it a chance, you might be pleasantly surprised.

Moonlighter – Sales and Slashing (A Review)

Last year we discovered a new game; Moonlighter.

We watched a trailer for this delightful little dungeon crawling shopkeeper game and straight away we knew that it was our kind of game. It was reasonably cheap for a physical copy, so we went ahead and ordered a copy.

When it arrived, I was knee-deep in We Happy Few, and although I was really into it and wanted to finish it, (it had been on my ‘to-play’ pile for a long time), I couldn’t wait to get Moonlighter going. Luckily I could stick it in to install and still play We Happy Few for a bit.

Once it was installed I was in there.

When the game starts you find yourself in a dungeon – one that looks like it’s straight out of Zelda: A Link to the Past – you’re in control of the main character Will, and you have to fight your way through a few screens of enemies until you get overwhelmed. At this point, you’re unsure as to whether you’re supposed to fight or just give in so this bit was a cause of much confusion.

When you’re pulled out of the dungeon, you find out that you’re tasked with running your grandfather’s shop Moonlighter, but that Will harbours a secret yearning to become an adventurer and hero.

The way that the game separates the two tasks is quite good, by allowing you to adventure at night and then run your shop during the day – which you need to do, to earn money, to upgrade your gear so you can fight your way through the dungeons.

It’s such a simple premise when you think about it, but it works so well and is extremely enjoyable.

The shop bit is a fun addition to what may have been an average dungeon crawler. Not only do you sell the things you find in the dungeon, but you also have to adjust prices to customer demand and even do tasks for them. It’s all about fine-tuning your selling price and not flooding the market with a particular item. Oh yeah, and there are thieves you need to stop whilst your busy serving customers…bastards.

Along with upgrading your weapons and gear, you can also buy upgrades for your shop to allow you to buy more selling and storage space. There are also several upgrades for the town where your shop is situated, businesses like potion shops and blacksmiths that will help you along your dungeon adventure.

The dungeon side of things is all simple. There are 4 types of dungeons which have various kinds of enemies of varying difficulties. As you complete one dungeon by defeating the boss, the next one opens up to you.

Inside the dungeon, there are a total of 3 floors (including the boss at the end of the third) in which you need to get through. You don’t have to get through them all in one go as you gain a pendant that will allow you to save your progress, leave the dungeon, and then go back later. This is useful as the one thing that you can’t upgrade through the game is the size of the bag you carry that stores the items you pick up through the dungeons. This is good in a way because it makes you think about what you’re picking up and making space for the more valuable items, customer quest items, or things you need for the upgrades.

Throughout most of the game, you’re on your own in the dungeons. But there are eggs that you can pick up, that hatch a little buddy. This buddy will follow you around and help you fight enemies.

We enjoy a good trophy hunt and Moonlighter provides some fun trophies to get, some of them are a little on the hard side due to not being able to save and redo bits. In particular the ones where you have to kill the bosses without being hit; this requires a lot of practice, and another where you have to kill each boss by using your trusty broom for the last hit. The platinum may be just out of reach to all but the seasoned adventure, but if you’re so inclined it does add the extra playability after you’ve finished the main story.

Overall, Moonlighter is excellent. It’s not too taxing and is quite a good stress reliever with its retro graphics, slow pace, and soothing soundtrack. For the price that this game is, it’s well worth it and maybe a bit more. I would definitely give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and recommend it to anyone that asked.

Wreckfest – Mediocre Destruction (A Review)

Wreckfest is a destruction racing game that was released back in 2014 and onto PSNow in December 2020.

As soon as I saw this game, I was looking forward to it. When I was growing up I loved the Destruction Derby and Burnout games. Anything with the destruction of cars was a win for me. So when I saw Wreckfest I saw it as a spirtitual successor to these games.

It took me a while to get around to playing it but when I did, I was a little let down. There’s nothing particularly bad about the game; it’s okay. It’s just nothing special.

There are several different modes that you can select, these include, destruction bowls & races and general races. The one thing it does have which I thought was a fun addition was the lawn mower races/bowls. This is exactly what it sounds like – you sit on a ride-on lawnmower and smash into each other.

These modes unfortunately just don’t give it that much playability for me. I got bored very quickly and just didn’t see any reason to come back to it; whereas games like Destruction Derby and Burnout I used to play to death.

As with most games released these days, the focus in this game appeared to be the online multi-player and the single player just didn’t have enough to make a game that I would play for hours, just happily wrecking cars.

Wreckfest might be a game that I come back to at some time when I want to release a bit of tension and smash up some cars, but it’s not a game that will remain installed on my PS4 – it’s already been booted off in favour of other games – and sadly I don’t think it will live on fondly in my memory as much as Destruction Derby does.

This game had so little impact on me that I just don’t have all that much to say about it, and maybe that says a lot.

I’m afraid I’ll have to give this game ⭐️⭐️ out of 5. It just doesn’t have what I’m looking for in this type of game. Now if there was a remake of Destruction Derby I’d be well in there. I will say though that the game doesn’t have an excellent soundtrack. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough to bring it up to something enjoyable.