Resident horror guru Matt delves into the twisted world of a deranged artist...
It's been a great time for Horror Games, from big budget console exclusives to indie gems the genre has never had as many excellent games for people who like things that go bump in the night. As the resident Blast Process horror guru i'm not one to shy away from terrors in darkened asylums, cabins in the woods and spooky warehouses, as everyone's favourite 80's paranormal fighting team would say "I aint afraid of no ghosts!"
Stairs by GreyLight Entertainment however is a little different, it doesn't rely on jump scares, it doesn't need gore and viscera. What Stairs excels at is lulling you into a false sense of security and then gradually ramping up the terror, a nagging psychological fear that will rundown your spine until finally the game decides to take off the baby gloves and hit you with full skin crawling intense horror that will have you looking over your shoulder and jumping at shadows.
In Stairs you play as investigative journalist Christopher Adams as he tries to piece together the events of three deaths that took place at a secluded factory in the woods. Armed with nothing more than your trusty camera and a note book you descend into factory to solve the mystery of these murders and grab some photographs before any rival journalists.
The mechanics are basic with one mouse button pulling your camera out and the other taking a shot. Your journey is filled with outlines of images you must take and you gradually fill these in as you explore and take pictures of the surroundings. I quite enjoyed this element of the game, moving from area to area snapping crime scene shots in order to fill out the backstory of the events that have happened. Imagine a combination of Project Zero (Fatal Frame for our overseas readers) and Pokemon snap and you're halfway there!
The camera also serves a second purpose and that is of lighting the way. At times the environment is so dark you will need to use the flash of the camera to slowly edge your way around the building, your heart stopping each time the flash bulb goes off in case you see something spooky in the small moment of illumination...
Early in the second story you pick up a torch, but I do think the areas when you just have the camera to reply on are much spookier.
Finally the camera can also be used to find hidden passageways that can lead to secrets and continue progression of the story line. While at the start of the game i had my camera put away so that I could run, by the end of the first story i was clutching onto the camera to make sure I didnt miss anything!
As the game progresses there are puzzles to solve and secrets to find. An early puzzle involves trying to find the combination to a safe, with clues regarding the digits scattered around the stage. This gives the game some momentum as you try to piece together the clues as the unnerving atmosphere and well paced horror comes together.
Visually the game looks great running on the Unreal Engine with some suitably dark and spooky lighting.
The music is excellent with chilling themes and environmental sounds that get the pulse racing, unfortunately the voice acting is a little unconvincing at times and this does take away from the otherwise excellent experience.
Despite some minor issues such as having to be in just the right place for photos to be counted as having being taken and the slightly awkward way the journey is laid out, this is an excellent horror game and well worth a play! The story is only a couple of hours long, but in that time you will fear genuine terror leaving you feeling deeply unsettled, and any game that can have such an emotional response always gets a thumbs up in my books!
Stairs is currently available on steam at a launch price of £7.49 - Buy it here!
OK all cards on the table. I first encountered this (and met the team behind it) at EGX Rezzed 2014. In this noisy environment I completed the demo, finding all the secrets and winning a signed poster for my trouble. Blastprocess also did a video that appeared on one of their updates for their Kickstarter appeal at the time. Something I backed but was ultimately unsuccessful in funding. So here we are a year and a bit later on with the finished game on Xbox One having already appeared on Steam.
So far so good, so get the ball rolling here’s a one line description so that we all know what the game about; This is a maze inspired puzzle game that utilised the manipulation of gravity in order to progress. And now a bit to explain the ‘ongoing’ narrative since this game has a narrator; As you progress each stage corresponds to the stages of grief as described by Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her book, On Death and Dying (1969). Now this isn’t expressly mentioned anywhere but the named thematic level descriptions do correspond (except for of the last one – the time trial menus only list the four). These four stages being; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, and Depression (Acceptance is the last in the book and I’m assuming that it might make a surprise appearance in the game).
To make things a bit more memorable they’re commonly abbreviated to DABDA. Incidentally these stages can, with modification, be applied to any traumatic event where loss is encountered. So definitely not Super Mario level of plotting then unless you view the rescue of Princess Peach as the failure of a revolutionary overthrow by the supressed Bowser by the guardians of the status quo.
Now back to the game; after entering the review code this game weighed in at just over 1GB. The first thing I noticed was that the logo has changed, gaining a futuristic metal rod vibe since we last met. Now I’m going to make a point regarding the front end menu since I distinctly recall having a good old natter about this when I first played the game over a year ago. One of my pet hates are ill thought out menus; especially those where when you’re down to the two option you’re not sure if the text or the highlight is indicating the selection. Well the menus here are simplistic but functional. I did have issue with the fact that the highlight is achieved by making the selected text slightly more bold which in truth really didn’t stand out at all. Also there is limited pad functionality with only the left analogue stick used to change your selection. That brings me to the total lack of any information regarding controls.
Having previously played this I was aware of the game and its core concepts but anyone new is going to have to discover this unaided. Now that may be intentional but a some indication of controls would be useful (or even the option to reconfigure them). Since the original game is mouse/keyboard controlled the Xbox One version takes on the control mechanism of a first person shooter. Left stick general movement and right for view orientation. This is set as default to ‘up’ is ‘up’ and not the flight stick method but can be switched within the options menu – another pet hate is that the option to switch doesn’t specify what you’re switching from. Nothing major I know but irritation nonetheless. That leaves the sole button control that you have, right trigger, that acts as your means of selecting which of the 6 cardinal directions is ‘down’ or later on allows you to pick up boxes. Either action involves placing the target reticule over the box/intended surface and using the trigger. If you’re too far away or that surface is not allowed then the colour of the reticule will change to indicate this.
As already mentioned the game features a series of levels and each breaks down into individual numbered parts. This allows for them to be replayed as they’re completed as time trial events and your standing can be gauged on the associated leaderboardsl. In essence each stage is fundamentally the same in principle; start, negotiate obstacles/puzzles and reach the end/checkpoint. The environment that you pass through is typically composed of regular square shaped tubular sections (with rounded seams) that change direction or branch at different points although as the game progresses more open environments will start to appear. Along the these tunnels various barriers with try to inhibit travel. By reorienting gravity the side that you follow can be changed. So you can choose to go through holes, avoid deadly bits or fall to gain momentum which will also allow you to break through barriers. As you progress further barrier types will appear that require quick movement/gravity selections. As an aide the various barrier types will offer visual clues to their behaviour; so a barrier might have a tiny points of flight on it to indicate an orientation which when approached from will allow you to pass through it.
The use of visual clues is clear and consistent and requires the player to pay attention, of course there are secrets to find in order to provide additional ‘replayability’ alongside the leaderboard times. These secrets however do not utilise clues but instead are typically behind false walls or through sections that you would not usually traverse. Sometimes the secrets will require reworking a puzzle in order to bring a box along to activate a pressure switch. That brings me back to the boxes. Your lone button control is your only means of physical interaction (if you exclude the effect of gravity) and allows you to manipulate boxes. These are dispensed singularly from pads (or found within the levels) and can be used to operate pressure switches. The boxes are not immune to the environment so will be pushed around by moving platforms but they will not follow your lead when you change the gravitational orientation but will instead maintain their own gravitational orientation.
I’d best now mention the music and narrator. I’d recommend rebalancing the sound from the beginning. The music is pleasant and not offensive especially since you’ll be hearing it a lot. But the narration when it occurs can be easily lost as the melody has a habit of building up to a crescendo at the same time. I would also recommend turning on the subtitling since sometimes the narration continues when you think it had ended and you will be on occasion caught out by that. The voice over work is professional and is in keeping with the level names. The secrets when you locate them actually provide additional story beats – if you can call them that. However I feel that the word narration is maybe too strong a word to describe the statements that are being expressed. Glimpses into what might be an ongoing situation/scenario is more probably closer to describing them.
Graphically this a game driven by function. The stages maintain a thematic colour scheme in keeping with their title (the second world, Anger, is red) and the initial areas do come across as being drab as a consequence of this and if you’re not blessed with fairly good special awareness the lack of a horizon will affect your progress. All the elements that you encounter will remain consistent with visual clues as to their effect on the player.
Initially the game is only slightly testing but as the levels go by the difficulty does increase. The puzzles aren’t generally not too difficult in concept once the environmental hazards are understood. In fact once the solution is found to a puzzle the real difficulty is actually doing what is required to progress. This can be an incredibly a fraught experience. On more than one occasion my frustration at negotiating a puzzle led to what I’m calling the Father Jack response; i.e. the yelling of ‘feck’ (or something a little stronger). As I write this review I’m nowhere near the end. I have managed to find many of the secrets as I’ve progressed. And a little warning here that the save function is available at any time in the options menu doesn’t seem to save at any time. Instead for me when I restarted I was at the beginning of the last numbered section.
I’ll keep on playing this in in order to reach the end and being relatively small StandPoint will sit on the harddrive without hitting on the storage capacity. As a puzzle adventure title the game is a challenge but I’m not sure if the narrative and this game style are a suitable mix. Maybe it will all become clear when I reach the end. I can see that you could take the game as a visual metaphor (being as it were all played from your perspective) and kudos for attempting an usual and difficult subject but after a while my concentration is became focused on the task in hand and not on the brief and occasion pieces of narration.
Neil's summary; we have puzzle game with an interesting gameplay mechanic, an overarching story which is certainly different (and you could say is brave). So taking a lead (or should that be the end?) from DABDA I can say that is something that we can all accept.
Will saying something now spark a heated argument in an hours time?
Can one tiny action ultimately lead to a horrific series of deaths?
The Butterfly Effect, as explained by everyone's favourite chaotician Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, is the concept that each and every action and decision you make can have massive repercussions via a chain of events that you could not have possibly seen at the moment of action. The Butterfly Effect is the driving force behind Supermassive Games' terrifying horror story Until Dawn
A year after a cruel teenage prank went horrifically wrong, 8 friends end up spending the night at the scene of the tragedy - a remote cabin in the mountains. When things take a turn for the worst, they are left frantically fighting for their lives and hoping to survive until dawn...
I don't want to give away too much about the plot, as it really is one of those games that you need to play with as little prior knowledge as you can. Needless to say, if you are a fan of horror films then you will enjoy the ride. Influences touch on everything from Saw to Scream and even The Descent paired with a finely crafted atmosphere and sense of dread. Jump scares will cause your heart to jump out of your chest, but it's the tangible terror around every shadowy corner and that makes you want to hold your breath and steel yourself for what is to come.
Regulars will know that I'm a huge fan of horror games, and I rank Outlast as one of my favourite games this generation, but Until Dawn is probably one of the scariest games I have played for a long time!
Suermassive have done excellent things with this PS4 exclusive, the facial animations in particular are phenomenal! While still not completely lifelike, at times they get very close - and the uncanny valley effect of these computer drawn emotions pays off in particular with the character of Doctor Hill, a psychiatrist who periodically probes your mental state throughout the cause of the game. Equal parts creepy and intriguing, he has probably the best facial animation I've seen in a game.
The score is also great, with strings jangling the nerves and adding to the whole interactive movie experience. It hits the beats perfectly and manages to replicate the kinds of soundtracks heard in the films this game drawns so many of its ideas from.
Voice acting is mostly top notch, a few misses but the majority of the cast (Including Hayden Panettiere from Heroes and Brett Dalton from Marvel's Agents of Shield) manage to tap into the slasher movie genre and create characters that seem realistic, some likable, some you just want to punch in the face. This mix of character types creates some of the difficult choices created by the Butterfly Effect System
What could have been a retread of the type of gameplay seen is Heavy Rain is given more substance through the much hyped Butterfly Effect System. The game will track what decisions and choices you make over the course of the game, and each of these will play out differently depending on what you do. Do you follow a path cautiously taking the safe route rather than rushing ahead blinding? Do you sneak a peak at someone else's phone? Do you sacrifice your life to save someone else? Would you kill a friend in order to save another? These are all choices you will have to make and will all alter the story that unfolds.
On my playthrough I managed to finish the game with 5 of the initial 8 friends alive. Not a great run through but each agonizing decision made me want to save them all, even those who annoyed me, and felt genuine regret when I made the wrong choice! It's like having to face one of Jigsaw's games, and sadistically you will want to carry on to see it through to its conclusion. Next time I'm going to try and save them all, next time I wont make the same mistakes! While not the longest game in the world, clocking in at about 10 hours, it does have lots of replayability to try and see each and every possible outcome and find all of the hidden clues. I genuinely believe that each person who plays this will do things different and get a unique experience. Each chapter consists of an hour of the companions night, playing out between different characters until that hour is over. These are preceded by TV Series style "Last time on Until Dawn" segments that keep you up to date with what decisions have been made so far.
If you have a PS4 and are a fan of horror then you really need to pick this game up! I finished it in two sittings, with the game drawing me into its world as the hours flew by, and at the end of it I already wanted to go digging into other corners to see what was down paths of fate i didn't take. Yes, it is QTE and talking heavy, and its probably more an interactive story than a true game, and this is something that will not appeal to everyone, but it is something that has to be experienced! I give it a spooky Buy it Now award!
Until Dawn by Supermassive Games is out now for PS4
Welcome to the world of Keebles; a fun and addictive physics-based puzzle game, Keebles you say? Yes, Keebles; these small but cute creatures need your help, and something to do with a whale! Need I say more?
The idea of the game is to create a vehicle that will carry your 'Bobble' around the level, upon touching a Keeble it will jump aboard your vehicle, taking them to safety at the end of each level and in return you'll earn a Star rating out of 5. This rating will depend on how many Keebles you rescue, time taken to do so and parts used to build the vehicle.
Now onto the workshop where you begin to create your master plan to save all the Keebles, well at least try (thinking caps required). Design, alter, improve the 3 simple steps into saving them all. The workshop itself is very straight forward, within 10 minutes and a few clicks, you'll be creating a whole bunch of creative vehicles to help save the Keebles. Now as the game is physics based,
a lot of trial and error is needed but thankfully the game has zero loads times so switching between the levels, restarting or heading back to the Workshop is only a button press.
The game displays clean and nice looking graphics with a soundtrack that will keep you calm despite the occasional frustration, but thats the whole enjoyment of Keebles. You'll look forward to seeing your vehicle move through the levels or fly in my case. Picking up new tools like parachutes, faster wheels and rockets as you progress, a new challenge is always ahead. It's just down to your imagination to create the perfect vehicle to do the job.
So much fun is to be had with Keebles, you've just got to create it and let the good times roll.
So you play as a American civil war style character, armed only with a gun in a graveyard filled with zombie kittens dressed as soldiers. The evil rat king has stolen your beloved fiancée (?) and you need to rescue her, repeatedly! Every so often she will run through the hordes of zombies towards you, forcing you to move to intercept her- the only way to rescue her. Also other random hostages will flee, and if you successfully run into them they (unlike your fiancée) they will follow you, firing at the zombies on your behalf, as long as you don't accidentally shoot them dead!
The controls are a little tricky. Firing is easy - just tap the screen anywhere and you will fire straight ahead. To move you need to use the red circle on the bottom right hand corner.
The big red button you use much like other touch screen circle pads but it's a little jumpy, and can be a bit difficult to play whilst you are getting used to all the controls. I'd also prefer it to be on the other side, I just think it would be more natural!
Overall it's a bizarre but funny little game which I have really enjoyed!
You can find it on the Apple App Store and on Google play. If you like a little zombie kitten war that is!
Over and out!
As part of our Friday the 13th week I have dug out some fun free horror apps to tantilise your tastebuds! First of these is...Horror Escape. by Trapped who also have created games such as Scary Escape, Pirate Escape and War escape.
A curious puzzle game full of twist and turns, with no easy to follow click here panels. It's just your eyes and the game...what you see (or don't see for that matter). I played through all the free levels, the first one had helpful hints from the evil creator of this creepy escape route.
It's basically a point and click puzzle creation, you click on anything that interests you to try and progress the game. Something's are more obvious, like a key or padlock, whilst others require following patterns and logic (especially the last two - they are really difficult). They do provide walkthroughs if you're really stuck, and they link through to youtube but if you can resist the urge the sense of accomplishment is immense. Some puzzles are similar but that doesn't detract at all form the game as they are cleverly disguised with different ideas and tactics to solve it all - TOP TIP if you see any numbers anywhere, they're important.
I won't say too much more about it other than the fact I really enjoyed the challenge of these puzzles, they were different to any other point and click I had played before, and I would definetly recommend these!
Find it on android HERE It's also available on the Apple App Store.
Over and out!
Poor Park Ranger Faraday! Minding his own business one day when the Polarity Park MagNetPets go missing! Oh no!! And to make matters worse, the Bloxbots have gone properly mental and started trashing everything of value!
The Ranger, as head of Bloxbot maintenance is tasked by his rather pushy boss with the job of bringing order back to Polarity City.
This isn't done with guns, brute strength or magic! Park Ranger Faraday has got something niftier than all those! He's armed with nothing more than a Electromagnetic Net better known as a "MagNet" and must use skill and agility to capture the misbehaving bots in order to turn them into scrap! With the fragments of scrap he can use handy Recycletrons scattered around each stage in order to get important items to advance his progress throughout the level! But he needs to watch out, as Bloxbots are not the most friendly things in the world and the poor ranger may find himself quickly overwhelmed! While looking out for himself, he also needs to keep an eye on anything else in the stage getting attacked - If he's not careful the Bloxbots may destroy them and cause him to fail that stage!
We first came across MagNets when Richard and the team introduced it to us at the Gadget Show last year, and it immediately seemed like a fun and novel idea with lashings of of old school gaming love rather than the generic brown shooters everyone seems to be playing these days! I was, to be fair, a bit rubbish at it - as you may have seen from the below video!
I think in the preview build the bad guys hit you for more damage - thankfully the release version is more forgiving! That's not to say the game isn't challenging however, there's much pleasure to be had in juggling the task of collecting enough scrap and solving the puzzles while defending the areas that are being attacked!
The game is great fun to play, with the netting mechanic working really well, and this is boosted by the visuals and music! The look of the game is great with some awesome artwork by Phil Corbett who has also done stuff for Nickelodeon and Disney! The vibrant colours and fun characters really lead themselves to the game and scream personality! Check out some of his concept art below!
Likewise, the sound is great with some amazing music that nails the vibe of the game with some suitably retro sounding tunes spliced with a dance beat!
While the general aim of each stage is the same, the game slowly introduces new concepts and abilities that mix up the collect-em-um happenings! This ensures that things do not get tired while not overloading the player all at once! The difficulty also gradually ramps up from a few enemies to swarms of vicious bots out to get you! The environments are also varied, with everything from a robot concert in the park to more sci-fi locations! To spice things up a bit there are also boss battles, the first of which being a rather angry looking robotic bunny!
I would highly recommend picking up the game if you want something a bit different than everything else out there, the netting mechanic is great and there's a huge sense of achievement when you finally finish a stage flawlessly! One minor criticism I have is the game isn't the easiest to play o a keyboard, and really needs a gamepad for full enjoyment - Hopefully we see the game come to consoles, as it really is something that would be great for a quick blast of in the comfort of the living room!
And so we're please to award MagNets our first Buy It Now award!
MagNets is out now and can be bought here for £7.99
Recently whilst hunting through our twitter I came across a cool website called addictingapps.org who have created some fun indie apps, I'm going to take a quick look at just two of them.The first of the three is aptly names Chickuns To The Moon...
You play as a poor chicken strapped to a rocket hurtling into space diving to catching as many floating coins as you possibly can. As a welcome relief from all the tapping game craze you keep your finger on rocket at all times, moving left and right to collect all the coins in your path. You need to collect coins to get a new pump before your current pump runs out - if it runs out you plummet to the ground.
The second game in the collection is called Balloon Destroyer...
An easy game to follow, destroy the balloons by popping them before they leave the screen, starting off slow and quickly increasing to challenge the player. You have 99 lives which is pretty high, but you lose a life every time a balloon escapes you which does mount up when you're not looking. You also have the added option of blowing all the balloons on the screen with your sticks of dynamite (but you only have three).
I really like this one, not too complicated and rather addictive (as the website suggests!) as you pop the balloons, I just wish they started a bit faster as it seems to take ages for them to speed up to a challenge level.
The apps are good fun and show great potential for even better games in the future so I would definetly keep my eyes on these creators -find them online or on twitter as @addicting_apps
Over and out!
There's a game currently in design which is accumulating crazy levels of support over every media outlet going, it's been a while in the making and what is you might ask this eagerly anticipated story?Making a sandwich. Realistically mind you - that's why it's taking so long, on various posts the creator have stated they want it to be as realistic as they can make it from the way it falls to the ground and every other aspect of simply making sandwiches. Intrigued, I stopped by to ask a few questions.
First of all, what was your inspiration for creating a game about bread? Why making sandwiches?
The idea came on a lark. The original idea for this game was much smaller & limited. It was gonna be a game where you'd play out the life of a sandwich until it's untimely demise.
What has been the easiest and most difficult aspects of creating the game so far?
The easiest part is making all the art. The hardest part is programming, I'm trying to learn how to code so that's the hardest obstacle haha.
What gaming platform are you planning to release it on when it's complete?
I'm currently aiming for PC, but I'm considering other platforms too.
Have you created any other video games apart from Video Game Bread?
Well. I've worked on a couple of games for game jams, but they're not that great lmao.
Finally, when do you think it will be released?
That's really hard to say. I'd like for there to be something done some time this year.
With over 30,000 followers on Video Game Bread on Tumblrthe mere idea of this currently unfinished game is taking the indie gamers by storm, after all, who doesn't love a good sandwich?
Over and out, Mel
Shadows of Esteren: Occultism There I was just trundling around Kickstarter, when I came across hands down the most beautiful game I have ever seen. Forget the block-like graphics of Minecraft, the pixelated Mario or the almost realism of Red Dead Redemption, Shadows of Esteren is smooth and soft like a painting. This is a dark, gothic, medieval role playing game with strong influences from Tim Burton (the moment you look at the game it screams Burtonesque design) with an interesting flowing movement between painted scenes.
The colours are muted and unusual, giving the game a mysterious and tense feel as you watch the drama unfold. There are various factions to chose, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, with terrible beasts to battle, mostly taken from Celtic folklore to keep it fresh and intriguing.
It's a French company and it has been released previously in French, just now making its transition over to English and that just shows from the over 200% of money being contributed already and as it stands there's still over 30 days left to back it. The company describes the game as "somewhere between Ravenloft, Game of Thrones and Call of Cthulhu."
Check it out over on Kickstarter and get your hands on some of the amazing merchandise, including haunting CDs of the soundtrack, bookmarks and more!
Over and out Mel
So...a Friday night well spent!So you are now Orlando- thrown back into the world of pokemon with a crash. Someone needs your help and there's a new silver haired sidekick who calls upon you to save pokemon from the evil team that is on the hunt for mega evolving pokemon. We have Team Aqua ready to flatten us -but wait! Who should appear in the caves to challenge us but Team Magma themselves. Twice the grunts, twice the battles right? I certainly hope so. It's only a demo: a few pokemon to tickle the taste buds, a battle to fire you up, old enemies revamped with new outfits, old pokemon with new mega evolutions. Bit of old and a bit of new all mixed it together.
Although I will say that blasted BuzzNav on your bottom screen is infuriating - it had better not be there constantly when the game comes out else my 3DS will end up out of the window! Constant flickering and scrolling text that distracts you incessantly, recapping the very basics of the game, a never ending news report with an ever annoying news reporter. However, the set up looks good. An interesting tweak on the game we love, I don't think they will let us down- not yet anyway.
Over and out! Mel
I've got a demo code for pokemon!I'm so excited I can barely conceal it. I love Pokemon more than I love any other game (WOW and Spyro a close second and third). It's Friday night and I should be out partying...ahh who am I kidding? Saturday nights party night and Fridays is all about ME! And the only thing better than watching Pokemon on Netflix is playing it! Woop!
Pokemon, GOTTA CATCH EM ALL! Over and out! Mel
OlliOlli is a skating boarding game from Roll7 that boosts over a 100 tricks, lots of game modes and leaderboards.
You can download OlliOlli on the Playstation Vita, PS3 and PS4 from the PSN store.
A cute (yet deadly) game that's been hitting my screen is an internet based mini game by the name of Rabbit. You're in control of a white rabbit rushing around a field catching carrots but dodging dynamite. The aim if the game is simple: run across grass (automatically like Temple Run) moving up and down to catch as many carrots as you can - whilst avoiding dynamite at all costs! White carrots are worth the least with gold carrots rocking up more points, just be sure to not get blown up and made into rabbit pie. Why is this game getting so much screen time? I'm not quite sure. The controls are simple, games are quick and easy but it's not in the addictiveness league of Temple Run or Ninja Up. If you're looking for a free game to fill up a few minutes definitely give it a shot by looking here let us know what you think!
Over and out! Mel
It's not just videogames old and new that we love at Blast Process! Many of the team are also avid comic book geeks, and it's no exaggeration that at a few of us were rather excited for the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe...
Guardians of the Galaxy, based on the Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning 2008 reboot of the team, was always going to be a risky sell for Marvel. Only the hardcore fans know of the comics, and isn't as iconic as Captain America or Hulk - However the same could be said for Iron Man before the first film, and we all know how that turned out! Still, without the draw of well known characters a few feared that this could be a flop compared to the rather excellent collection of films so far.
Thankfully, Guardians of the Galaxy is a fantastic addition to the series, and frankly my favourite one so far, even eclipsing the nerdgasm that is Avengers Assemble! For a world tiring from superhero overload, Guardians mixes things up by taking us on an action packed sci-fi comedy epic with an awesome 70's soundtrack!
Rather than a band of infallible heroes, the Guardians are a bunch of losers and outcasts. First up we have Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) a Han Solo style smuggler and pirate who calls himself Star-Lord whilst sleezing his way through the female population of the galaxy while listening to his mixtape of 70's hits. Next we have Gamora (Zoe Saldana) assassin and daughter of the mad titan Thanos, she's a bad-ass warrior who is out to avenge for everything her father has done. The subtly named Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) is the muscle of the team a mighty warrior who has no sense of metaphor - in his own words, nothing goes over his head, his reflexes are too quick!
Finally we come to the true stars of the film, Rocket - a genetically engineered talking homicidal raccoon-thing mercenary voiced by Bradley Cooper who shows that a wisecracking CGI character can be so much more than Jar-Jar Binks! His sidekick Groot is a giant walking tree that can only say "I am Groot", hilariously played by Vin Diesel! Groot steals every single scene he is in, somehow managing his low vocabulary not become tedious over the run of the film.
The film expands on what has happened so far in the Marvel Cinematic Universe regarding the Infinity Stones and sets things up for the people who want to obtain them...
Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the most enjoyable films I have seen in a long time, and had a stupid grin pasted across my face for the duration - from the hilarious script to the fantastic soundtrack (Seriously, go and buy it now - its that good!) It left me wanting to spend more time with the characters, I promptly pre-ordered the Blu-ray and started counting down the days until the squeal is out!
Guardians is everything that I want the new Star Wars films to be, and it certainly does a better job of crafting a sci-fi world with a lighthearted swashbuckling vibe than episodes 1-3 did. Episode 7 is going to have to pull something pretty special out of the bag to top what Marvel have put out with this film!
Finally I want to mention briefly the post credits scene, so if you don't want it spoiled before you see it make sure you close this page now...
... Still with us? Ok, last spoiler warning!
The post credit scene shows The Collector being licked by a dog in a space suit (most probably Cosmo, a dog sent into space by the soviets who also happens to have telekinetic powers!) and then being given grief by non other than Howard the Duck!
After the fairly horrific Lucas film, most people never expected to see Howard again, especially in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - this post credits scene opens the door for things even stranger than Rocket and Groot!
Go out and see Guardians of the Galaxy now! You will not regret it! Now excuse me while I get in line for Avengers: Age of Ultron...
Mousecraft Review (PSN – PS4, PS3, PSVita Cross buy) - By Neil Kenny I pondered for a while how to describe this title.
I mean OK; it’s a puzzle game that’s a bit like Krusty’s Fun House from the early ‘90s in that you have to formulate a route for the captive rodents. However in this instance it is for their salvation and they’re mice, not rats but it’s still blocks and furry quadrupeds with tails nonetheless. But that to be truthful isn’t the whole story and in any case it isn’t a quite like that anyway. In fact this game reminds you of a lot of titles and none at the same time.
So back to the description; the mice have rules that determine their movement and you’re supplied with Tetris like pieces in order to modify the environment. Over time other pieces are added to the available stockpile bringing new properties and hence opening up other strategic opportunities.
The objective is to get the mice from the start to the goal. Just the one of the group is sufficient in order to complete the task. The mice themselves are not indestructible which you have to bear in mind. They can climb the height of one block but a fall greater than 3 blocks will prove fatal and nearly everything else on the level is there to kill or trap them.
As you complete successive rounds your progress is marked on the map (actually depicted as a blueprint) and not only have you got to save the mice but certain thresholds require you to have collected a number of shards (crystals) along the way. These crystal trinkets serve as a way to make you replay the levels and improve one’s results. Sometimes the act of finishing a level is straightforward but to complete it properly you have to really think ahead. Remember that you only have the pieces supplied in the quantities stated. You also have bombs which can be used to clear out unwanted blocks. These are also a limited in quantity but you can find further bombs situated on some of the levels that you might have to factor into your route to the finish (which strangely always makes me thing about MGS and finding equipment in the field).
The controls are straightforward and are common to all versions of the game. I do think that you could do with a reminder before each time you start playing. It took me a while to recall how you actually release the mice upon returning to the game. But this is more a fault with me than the game but it would have helped since they are not listed with in the game.
The game plays at fairly sedate pace. There is a requirement to modify the mice’s path on some of the levels whilst in play in order to get all of the goodies and this provides the only real tension in the game which is no bad thing. You can also undo your item placements sequentially from last to first in real time without penalty which makes experimentation a lot more pleasurable. This by no means robs the game of any difficulty but does remove the annoyance of seeing a ‘game over’ screen repeatedly.
There is overarching story in the game with animated cut scenes revealing the plot. All to do with a space cat called Schrödinger and it is this feline’s experiment that we are actually playing. The use of Schrödinger is an obvious reference to Erwin Schrödinger’s thought experiment that was designed to show the problem when Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics is applied to everyday objects (phew!). But instead of the experiment centring on a cat this game is about saving the lives of the trapped rodents. It does make you wonder why the game isn’t called Schrödinger’s Mice?
However there is a reason why this came alludes itself to the runaway success that is Minecraft. It contains within a level creator that allows you to produce your own levels using all the items that exist within the main game. It is very easy to use with minimal instructions that are only given as a series of prompts when selecting the items from the onscreen menu. Anything you build can be saved and the shared amongst your registered Sony devices (PS3, PS4 and PSVita) but not alas with others it would seem.
So after all that what’s it like…
Well the game is polished to a high standard and certainly provides value for money (especially if you own a PSVita). I wouldn’t recommend that you play it in isolation and instead dip in and out to avoid any feeling of repetition, but I hasten to add that you must keep playing it regularly to keep your skills ready because you have a lot of mice to save.
People will undoubtedly remember the Xbox 360 as the machine that got online gaming right. Gamers of tomorrow will talk about Gears of War rodeo runs, late night sessions of Firefight in Halo, and the time their console red ring of death’d just as they were about to get through Modern Warfare on Veteran. It is the console that brought the first person shooter to the consoling masses, stole Sony’s killers apps and for better or worse, achievement points.
For me however, the Xbox 360 will always be the console on which I played Bastion.
Released in 2011 by Supergiant Games, Bastion was an Action Role-Playing Game that featured a solid combat system, unique narration point and a stunning world that formed around the player’s very eyes. Bastion took the best of both Western and Japanese RPGs, put them in a blender and out came a dynamic combat system, an isometric perspective and enough charm to see it win and receive nominations for many coveted awards.
Almost 3 years later, on May 20th 2014 Supergiant Games released their Sophomore effort, Transistor on Sony’s Playstation 4 and Steam. Would this be the arrival of a soon to be revered RPG?
Transistor sees the player take the role of Red, a famous musician from the city of Cloudbank, who has been robbed of her voice by a mysterious organisation known as The Camerata. Armed with the eponymous Transistor, Red must fight her way through the city of Cloudbank, defeating The Camerata’s robotic forces known as The Process, in order to find answers and seek justice.
The game’s narrative is however, somewhat of a fragmented mess. While a large chunk of the game’s story is narrated to the player by The Transistor, this will only reveal the surface of the game’s plot. To understand the game’s story to the fullest it allows you will require scouring the city of Cloudbank for Terminals, viewpoints and using the game’s combat mechanics to their fullest.
While it can be argued that this really encourages exploration of both the game’s world and it’s possibilities of play, it may leave a player in search of more casual experience at a bit of a loss as to what is going on. Though what may frustrated the more dedicated player, is that even after putting in the extra time to discover these scraps of narrative, there are still some questions left unanswered or open to personal interpretation.
This is not to say that the game does not have a story to tell however, and while Red herself is a slant on a stereotypical silent protagonist, the game is certainly heartfelt. The juxtaposition of a silence singer with a talking sword also offers an interesting dynamic, similar to the narrator in Bastion over it’s lead character, The Kid, meaning the game never slows down it’s pace for stories sake.
As you would expect after Bastion, Transistor is a visual delight. The city of Cloudbank feels lived in because of the attention to detail in it’s visual design. Cloudbank is a Cyber-Punk utopia that at times seems to draw inspiration from Blade Runner’s futuristic Los Angeles and even Final Fantasy 7’s Midgar. Though this feeling of beauty comes with a cost. Despite it’s wonderful rendering, the level design feels slightly linear in it’s approach. While the game called out to be explored, there are not many reasons or options available to do so. Most of the more hidden terminals require simply trekking past an exit or just a little further around a corner, which while it scratches the itch for explorations that RPG players crave, it feels like a wasted opportunity.
However, despite these shortcomings, Transistor’s combat system is a thing of beauty. Using ‘Functions’ the player is able to customise their fight style how they see fit. There are multiple melees, ranged and burst attacks, as well as Functions such as ‘Help()’ which allows you to call upon a dog to aid you in combat. While this may seem straightforward enough and one function be equipped to each of the shape buttons on the controller, the real depth begins to surface when the player unlocks the ability to upgrade other functions with functions, but also to have ‘passive’ functions active, which effect all of your arsenal. Suffice to say, that by the time new game plus roles around, Red is somewhat of God with the correct functions in place, which feels rather rewarding.
Just like with the Narrative, there isn’t much explanation on the combat system, and Supergiant treat the gamer like an adult, letting them figure out these things for themselves, which adds a level of personal satisfaction in figuring out how to stack functions to the best effect. You are only limited by Red’s ‘Memory’, which act as her skill points for functions. These functions can be swapped in and out from the game’s numerous save points, meaning experimentation is encouraged as painlessly as possible.
The combat itself can be customised further and either played like it’s predecessor in real time, or strategically with it’s ‘turn’ system, which allows you to plot the course of a turn like a strategy RPG, you can move around the battlefield, deal massive damage and avoid enemies, but as ‘turn’ suggests, you are left powerless until the turn bar refills. The ability to change this on the fly really helps to make Transistor an enjoyable experience, allowing you to change from aggressive to strategic at the press of the ‘R2’ button, without any hassle from menus or settings.
Another winning aspect of Transistor’s combat is that when Red dies, the player is not presented with a game over screen, but simply loses on of the player’s functions for a limited amount of time, meaning the tables can still be turned, but with a less powerful arsenal, resulting in teaching the player caution and patience are the keys to succeeding.
While enemies come in all shapes and sizes, all with unique functions and attack patterns of their own, there is a substantial degree of pallet swapping going on. While it’s perhaps not noticeable first time through, this means the enjoyment of the New Game + can be slightly hindered by a lack of variety in enemies, meaning the end game enemies spawn by the dozen rather than sparingly as they did on the first shot. It is also by mixing and matching these functions in various forms that more of the story is revelled to the player in a similar way to reading Dark Soul’s item descriptions, enriching the experience.
There is also the option at any time to add a ‘limiter’ to the game, which acts similarly to Idols in Bastion. Equipping these limiters can do anything from limiting Red’s memory to making enemies hit twice as hard. Playing with all 10 activated might test your ability to play the game, but rest assured it will mean a lot of retries.
Similar to Bastion’s Proving Grounds, there are also many tests the player can try to unlock music from the game’s excellent score. Away from the game’s main area, player’s can explore the practice test to hone your Functions as well as several to challenge you. The speed test to kill enemies within a time limit, Performance test’s your combat abilities with limited Functions, while Agency sees you face off against something else all together.
Another of the game’s highlights is it’s score. Darren Korb and vocalist Ashley Barrett really make the game. Each number creates an ambience that sets the emotional tone for Transistor beat for beat, With such a rich variety of instrumental and vocal tracks, such as the launch trailer’s ‘All become One’, it will be fantastic to see what Korb achieves next time around. Barrett’s humming to this score creates not only creates a haunting atmosphere, but gives Red an emotional side that a voiceless protagonist would otherwise be lacking. Without speaking a line, Barrett allows Red to say more than words ever could.
Transistor is solid game that asides from a few short comings, supersedes Bastion and many of the game’s spiritual predecessors. It’s innovative battles, beautiful visuals and simply breathtaking score are something any fan of Action RPGs should be clambering to experience. While more casual players may be put off by it’s seemingly sporadic storytelling, it’s important to know that it doesn’t detract from the fun of the game. While more experienced players may want to know going in, there are a lot of blanks to fill in themselves or on message boards. Overall, clocking in at around 5 hours for a single play-though, Transistor will leave you begging for more and perhaps a little emotionally engaged, which when considering the genre’s past, is perhaps more than we could have hoped for. But it’s a little sad knowing that with a pinch more narrative and a little more exploration to bring the game unto the bar raised by it’s combat, this game would be flawless. It will however leave you excited for the studio’s next title, and until then, I’ll see you in The Country.
Welcome to Part 2 of this Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Review in Part 1 I covered how the game was reformed from the ashes of it's first version, the first impressions going into the game, as well as the complex if not rewarding world, craft and class systems. Now for the second and final part of this leviathan review..
Live free with company
Free Companies make up of the guilds of A Realm Reborn and unlike a certain release 2 years ago they are filled with a ton of features. Outside the standard guild features such as banks, guild ranking and detailed members info, the Free Company has it's own level system, each level unlocks new content and bonuses. Credits earned by doing normal activities can be used to spend on 24 hour buffs between EXP boosts in different professions, stat boosts and even teleport cost reduction leading to incentive in doing set activities together to benefit from these bonuses.
One of the major benefits in the Free Company is housing, currently only accessible this way. The Company picks which Grand Company it wishes to be part of, much like the player does, and their house will be located in the corresponding area. All three of these areas are stunning to be in and each housing lot comes in three sizes, however there is a downside, the cost of just the house itself is insane. When the system was first introduced the prices were set on a server per server basis due to the amount of money and players in the server, for example the smallest house for one server was 8 million Gil. This however dropped in price every 6 hours to attempt to even out the market after 90 days that 8 million cost drops to 3,698,000 Gil which isn't that bad.
The pay off is a wonderful house for your Free Company, the crafting classes are used to create the items for the house and despite using items from all levels these require some high level skills to pull off giving crafting a bit more of a purpose during the later stages of content. Recently with the latest major patch Gardening was introduced providing cooking items for those willing to put the time in tending the gardens, I have yet to experience it myself but players seem to think it's worth while doing.
One nice thing of note is that when you examine a player you can also check their Free Company details this gives you a incite into it plus can be used as a recruitment tool if you are interested in finding out more about them.
If Free Companies aren't for you or you just want to create your own community Link Shells exist, these are group chat lists you can treat like normal chat rooms, you can join multiple shells but can only be active within one at a time. Link Shells are great little tools to keep in contact with like minded people even if they are in different Free Companies to you.
A final important feature to mention is the Auto Translate system, this allows you to use pre-generated text that will come up to another player in their client's set language making chat between different communities straight forward and easy, the system is deep enough for example for me to dungeon with Japanese players most of the time, much like I did back when playing FFXI.
Beyond the End
Once the credits have rolled on the main story arc, yes this game actually has credits, will mark the end of players wanting a classic single player experience, which this game's main arc can be easily treated as, rewarding you with not only the epic Magitek Armour mount but also opens up the game fully as a true MMORPG.
It's hard to class things as 'end game' content as the game still uses a lot of the lower levelled areas and content as part of the end game experience. This is done in the way of Synchronising, when entering FATEs for example if you are over levelled for the content the game locks you from interacting with it unless you click the sync button this will scale you to the recommended level until the end of the FATE, however completing the FATE will still reward you with your correct level of rewards.
Syncing also locks out skills if your class is scaled down below it's unlocked level, this helps the game keep it's challenge and allows content to be experience as intended so things like Dungeoning and instanced content when playing with friends cannot be powered through for speed levelling.
Dungeons aren't just scaled content as the game gives you Hard Mode versions of four existing dungeons and six new dungeons as of patch 2.2. The six normal level 50 dungeons are linked to the continued story arc some accessed directly others requiring an item level to access, they offer their own story arcs, gear and offer somewhat of a challenge. The Hard Mode dungeons are not just a scaled up version of the existing dungeon but offer a different tactics for bosses and mobs if not throw in some completely new ones, making the experience feel different but familiar at the same time.
Primal battles also offer a Hard Mode at level cap, like Hard Mode dungeons they offer their own twists to the normal versions making the already hard battles more complex by adding not just more skills to deal with but more complex versions of current attacks requiring a real focus on what is happening during the fight. Turning up the dial further Extreme Mode was added to the Primals making them a real challenge to beat.
Finally the Duty finder unlocks four types of Duty Roulette systems each offering their own rewards based on the difficulty of each. Low Level Roulette selects a random story level dungeon or Primal battle, Main Scenario selects from the main story event bosses and Guildhests Roulette does exactly what it says. High level Roulette picks from the content you have unlocked post-cap.
These coupled with the Sync system really helps the game as a whole as it allows high level players to be placed in lower story content allowing players trying to progress in the story even if there isn't as many low levels vs capped players.
Raiding at this current moment in time comes in two forms the Crystal Tower which is a 24 man raid remade from FFIII's dungeon, and this is the entry level and the alternate item path from doing the Hard Mode primal battles to access The Binding Coil of Bahamut. The Binding Coil of Bahamut is a multi-tier dungeon consisting of the highest level gear of the game the real hardcore raider will find most of their time spent there.
Item level based on your current gear with the endgame that is basically your progression within the end game content you are required to do certain Primal battles and Dungeons in order, so you cannot skip content to get 'the best gear'. As explained above the Crystal Tower asks as a different item path to the Hard Mode Primal battles, however the Primal battles still require to be beaten once to unlock The Binding Coil of Bahamut.
Much like the story progression locked out content via levelling, I can see this frustrating players wanting to play with their friends if they only want to be 'hardcore' about raiding, I personally don't mind this as it keeps content relevant, but thankfully the developers have said despite all content being a requirement to be cleared as the game progresses with content drop rates in dungeons will change to help players progress faster. This may annoy more hardcore players but overall I think it's a better solution then leave old content in the dust.
FATEs such requiring large amounts of players happen every so often one being a battle with Odin having high levelled characters is a must and even if you do have them attacks can kill the whole group outright, the rewards from these kind of fights offer unique items for players wishing to just show off more then anything.
Parts of end game content I have yet to experience are the Beast Tribe quests in which you take quests via the monster tribes of the game to earn reputation and rewards based around the tribe and Treasure Hunting, a high level gathering class feature in which you find a treasure map and attempt to locate it somewhere in the game, and finally as of 2.2 Retainers, your personal bank holder and player market vendor, can be sent on their own quests to try and find items useful in crafting. This content I've missed for the simple reason of myself not yet finding the NPC required to unlock the content.
One Realm many Platforms
One of A Realm Reborn's strongest assets is it's cross platform play, the question is which platform is best for you, being a mainly PC player when is comes to MMORPGs I avoided the PS3 version for some time, however when I did I found it more accessible then I thought.
The Cross Hotbar system gives players quick access to their skills and menus via a combination of the L2/R2 buttons and any of the directional and face buttons, this system allows for almost as many actions as a PC player which is always a good thing as console gamers when semi-competing in the same play space.
What I did find an issue was the targeting system I found it clunky and not as direct as using a mouse and keyboard, although many I have spoken to have found little issue with this in all aspects of the game. Mouse and keyboard is supported however it is many for text chat and UI/menu use, targeting can be done via the mouse however that is not recommended in many situations.
Overall the PS3 version is very much on par with it's PC counterpart, still very much playable with the controls, and on the technical side unless you hold up both versions next to each other the PS3 can still hold it's own both graphically and with a steady frame rate. However given an option between the two I would still recommend the PC version the PS3 simply because of the ease of controls but only for personal preference.
The PS4 version is improved in this area by basically using the same interface as the PC, both versions have a UI toggle which allows you to switch between the Cross Hot Bar system and the common MMORPG PC UI, so for instance you owned the PC version and wanted to play over the network streaming to your. Mouse and keyboard work as expected, as well as Bluetooth keyboards and mice support, and the DS4 touch pad can be used for mouse control.
The PS4 version also extends into remote play onto the Vita with minimal disruption to gameplay with all the normal expectations of the current remote play systems between Vita and PS4. The only real addition the Vita extension gives is mouse movement via the touch screen, however the normal PS4 controls still work as expected and the PS4's Bluetooth range extends as much as the direct remote play streaming so it can still be played like a small pc screen about the house.
There is a personal issue I have across the systems as a whole, despite the frame rates holding well on all versions there is yet an option to tone down player casting effects so in large fights such as FATEs it leads to a rather messy if not pretty situation where all I could see was the spells being cast not the enemy and just barely it's attacks.
Supporting the Realm
In nine months the game has seen two major releases in patches, where as most games would release a new dungeon or feature in these updates leaving much bigger updates for expansions, the developers of A Realm Reborn take this a set further by doing both. For example 2.1 titled a Realm Awoken added the Crystal Tower raid, Beast Tribe quests, Duty Roulette, one new high level dungeon, two hard mode dungeons, the Extreme Mode fights for the original three Primals, two new boss encounters, the PVP arena, Treasure Hunting and Free Company Housing, this is not including the season events brought over from the original version and the cross over events with Dragon Quest X, Final Fantasy XI and XIII. The level of content given is impressive and continued on with 2.2 with quality of life patches in between them balancing classes and adding needed features like a sort button have been welcome.
The level of detail offered in the patch notes is impressive as well while the developers also hold live streams featuring their new content pre-patch often and working on a three to four month patch cycle they also love to tease upcoming armour designs and possible features such as Chocobo Racing and Breeding as part of the Golden Saucer a kin to Final Fantasy VII's version hopefully coming before the end of the year. Content delivered this openly and at this level is a core reason I have kept interested in the game.
Account management is handled by Mog Station, Square Enix's name for their updated interface of their account management system. It's fair to say it does it's job in keeping the process simple and offers options of credit and debt card and game time card payment options, as well as Square Enix's Crysta, a payment system that was planned for use in multiple software back with the first version. The game time card system is a bit of an oddball in the fact that you can only add game time if your time left is below 120 days (4 months) so the account can only ever have 6 months subscribed to it, if this is a system limitation it's understandable but not an issue either way.
Seeing as this is a multiplatform game Square Enix allow you to add each platform to the account, a purchase of a copy of that platform required but this still adds a months game time to the account as you would if bought for the first time. This allows you to play between a Playstation 3 and PC or Playstation 4 without need to start again, however not all data is transferred over as interface and armour sets are stored locally seeing as the armour sets do change and are quite important in class switching I do hope this changes.
To reward long term subscription to the game Veteran Rewards are offered such as Mounts, Pets and new outfits for your Chocobo, this only builds up for each month you pay to subscribe so you cannot skip months between payments and still get the rewards since you last played. Square Enix are also offering until the end of the year a free upgrade from the Playstation 3 version to Playstation 4, this consumes your PS3 version and will have to be repurchased to play on your system again, however if you own a PS4 with the free upgrade it's unlikely for you to go back.
A Realm Worth Playing?
Coming from the original game A Realm Reborn is a complete turn around, and nine months in the game is very much still worth playing. For those jaded by the decline of the Final Fantasy brand in the last years this game even if played like a standard single player title, you may find yourself adding more game time to continue playing even if you finish the main story arc as it's pretty much the redeeming game to rebirth the IP.
The amount of support Naoki Yoshida and his team give towards the game is a great standard for this current generation of MMORPGs, it's clear Yoshida really cares about this game for example he broke down during the live launch event because he believed he failed the European player base as we had server problems. This is the kind of developer I really can stand behind and trust not to take the game into a direction that is just trying to increase their income, and if the last two major patches mirror the upcoming patches I really can't wait for them.
Of course A Realm Reborn still has issues, like I said the story locked content is an issue however you get used to it, I'm hoping armour sets do get saved server side so cross platforms isn't that much of a hassle and I really really hope Personal Housing doesn't cost maddening amounts of Gil to buy.
Despite issues I would instantly recommend this game to Final Fantasy fans and MMORPG players a like, A Realm Reborn being in it's first year holds it's own between the titans of MMORPG gaming and the current swarm of free to play titles on PC. For both Playstation platforms it's basically a must as it's the best MMORPGs on either platform.
Final Fantasy has been reborn in this game.