playstation 4

Bombslinger - Nintendo Switch Review

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A REVIEW BY MIKE DAVIES

Bombslinger is the latest game by Mode4 and while being available through Steam's Early Access program for a couple of years now, the game launches proper on Xbox One, Playstation 4, PC and Nintendo Switch today. We'll be taking a look at the Switch version of the game for this review.

Personally, I'm not into story-driven games these days, so you could say Bombslinger is a perfect match for me with it's firm emphasis on multi-player. The game does however have a story-mode and luckily for me, it's a welcoming and fast-paced affair that follows a straight-forward storyline with a nice quick intro before throwing you into battle. Now let's get on with hog-killin' time. 

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You play as a poncho wearing bombslinger in a Bomberman / Smash TV style'd game. One glance of Bombslinger and you'll more than likely be familiar with the gameplay mechanics, but there's much more to the game than successful bomb placement and you'll need to have your wits about you if you hope to succeed. The aim of the game is to defeat all enemies within each room and in doing so different areas will open up for you to choose your path to the next randomly generated room. Along the way you'll come across bonus rooms with locked chests within, requiring a key to open. A final room will pit you against the boss for that stage. 

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Along the way you'll encounter a bunch of different enemies to take down, while gaining coins for doing so. This will then enable you to explore shops that are located around the different rooms and inside you can purchase weapons and power-ups, you'll also gain the ability to select new power-ups with the use of XP that is accumulated throughout the game. All sounds easy right? Drop a few bombs, gain some power-ups, then learn the bosses movement patterns and 'bomb's your uncle'? In practise, the answer is No, this game is hard – well, at least for me. Upon dying you'll be taken back to the very start of the game, and while you do have a couple of lives that are indicated by hearts, it's only the most precise and experienced players that will get to experience all that the Single-Player game of Bombslinger has to offer. 

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However, as previously mentioned, Bombslinger offers a robust selection of multi-player modes for up to 4-players, this will be the game mode I think most players will relate too, and it's what the Switch is perfect for. You can check out our video below to see the multi-player in action!

So, Bombslinger...is it a bombing good time?  

I'm a little torn. On one hand we have the steep difficulty curve of the single-player mode, this is mainly due to the fact that you can't continue from where you left off but then the game is also about progressing and levelling-up while gaining new abilities, so this does help alleviate some of the game's difficulty level if you stick at it. On the other hand we have the pickup and play aspect of the game, with very quick loading times across all game modes, the fantastic presentation, decent music and the hectic but fun multiplayer mode.

-Mike

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If Bombslinger sounds like your bag, then you can pick it up from the Nintendo eShop for £10.79.

The game is also available across Europe and other territories including the US:

eShop US Bombslinger US $11.99 

Fantasy Strike goes portable on Nintendo Switch this Summer

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Lead designer for Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, David Sirlin, is bringing Fantasy Strike to the Nintendo Switch in the Summer. The game is already available on Steam early access and will also launch on the Playstation 4.

Fantasy Strike Comes to Nintendo Switch This Summer

EMERYVILLE, CA – March 20th, 2018Fantasy Strike, the upcoming fighting game from Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix lead designer David Sirlin, will come to Nintendo Switch this summer, simultaneously launching alongside the previously-announced PC and PlayStation 4 versions.
 
“Fantasy Strike is the perfect fighting game for Switch,” said Sirlin. “The Switch is a take-anywhere console, so fighting games would be great on it if not for how notoriously difficult they are to control. Usually, playing a fighting game on a JoyCon would be tough, but Fantasy Strike is designed specifically for that. Detach the JoyCons, give one to a friend, and you can play a deep, strategic fighting game anywhere.”
 
Currently in Steam Early Access, Fantasy Strike has been rapidly deploying new features, modes, and increasing production values. In their most recent patch, Sirlin Games added professional voice acting and facial animation for all 10 characters as well as a brand new Team Battle mode. In a Team Battle, players choose 3 characters each and play a variety of different matchups, which is great as a tournament format as well as for casual play.
 
Sirlin Games has also boosted its networking technology over the last few months, combining GGPO (the best-in-class networking tech that allows there to be no input delay) with its own networking tech that now allows for smooth connections even across continents.
 
Fantasy Strike entered Steam Early Access in September of 2017. The game is currently available for $19.99 USD in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Norwegian, Hungarian, Turkish, Japanese, with additional language support planned for the final release.
To learn more about Fantasy Strike, visit the game’s Steam page.

Hand of Fate 2 Out Now on Playstation 4 and PC - Reunite with The Dealer

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Hand of Fate 2 Available Now for PlayStation 4, PC

BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND - Nov. 7, 2017 - Hand of Fate 2, the anticipated follow-up to Defiant Development's action RPG downloaded by millions, is out now for PlayStation 4 across North America and Oceania as well as Steam for PC, Mac, and Linux. An Xbox One version with Xbox One X compatibility and 4K Ultra HD support and a European PlayStation 4 release are also in the cards and coming soon. 

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Taking place after the events of the original Hand of Fate, the sequel reunites players with the Dealer, who has returned from the void. Now seeking vengeance, this enigmatic agent trains a new player to master the Game of Life and Death, which fuses Dungeons & Dragons-style trials constructed from collectible cards with gripping hack-and-slash combat encounters.
 
After building a deck of item and equipment cards, Hand of Fate 2 players square off against the Dealer and his deck of challenges. Shuffling all these together, the Dealer lays out a dungeon floor to explore where each card presents players with new trials to overcome, including combat encounters that bring enemy cards to life in real-time action sequences.

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An assortment of enhancements to the original Hand of Fate debut in the sequel including companion characters that offer help in battle alongside tabletop bonuses and their own side-quests, an overworld map, more tabletop mini-games to enjoy, and other exciting surprises that elevate the Hand of Fate experience to new heights in conjunction with more refined combat and a thrilling new narrative.
 
"When developing the original Hand of Fate, we set out to create a tabletop game that comes to life. While that project was widely praised and an incredible success for us, we felt there was room for improvement," said Morgan Jaffit, Director, Defiant Development. "We've spent the past two years working to one-up ourselves, and the results have paid off. I'm proud to say this is the best game I've ever worked on and am ecstatic it's finally ready to be shared with the world."
 
Hand of Fate isavailable via PlayStation 4 and Steam for $29.99 USD / €24.99 / $29.99 AUD and supports English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Hungarian, Ukrainian, Japanese, Korean, and Simplified Chinese language options.

For more information on Hand of Fate 2 and Defiant Development, visit their official
website
, check out game's Steam page, like it on Facebook, or follow the studio on Twitter.

Graceful Explosion Machine PS4 Review

To summarize G.E.M (which is one hell of a great acronym by the way) would be to say it’s a side-scrolling shooter, played out in a continuously scrolling environment where the goal is to take down the on-screen enemies before they take you down. This however would be selling G.E.M short as it does this with a finesse you don’t always see in games of this genre.

At first, I thought a good comparison would be Fantasy Zone, a Sega classic with a similar gameplay style, in reality G.E.M probably has more in common with the Arcade classic Defender, albeit functioning on a completely different level.

The layers of strategy at play here, coupled with precise and responsive controls result in nothing short of pure Arcade-style gameplay bliss.

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Rather than just doing away with your enemies with just a simple laser, G.E.M provides you with a range of different offensive options and depending on the situation, or enemy type, you’ll want to vary your strategy accordingly.

Weaker enemies can be done away with quickly just by using the standard laser. If they swarm you however there is no need to despair, as you have your Energy Sword, which can provide a swift swipe around the vicinity of your ship to keep the marauders at bay. A stronger foe giving you trouble from afar? Fear not, as you can always rely on your Sniper Beam to take them out from a safe distance. There’s also a barrage of missiles at your disposal, if things get a little too hairy.

In the midst of battle be mindful however, as your standard laser can be prone to overheating if you get a little too trigger happy, in which case, be sure to switch to another weapon in your arsenal to keep providing the firepower, if you have enough gems to power the weapon that is. As an enemy is destroyed it will leave behind a yellow gem, once collected these will provide the fuel for your additional weapons. This is where G.E.M’s strategic side comes into play.

Another tool which goes hand in hand with gem collecting is the ‘dash’ move. While dashing your ship becomes invulnerable and you can easily dash through waves of enemies in order to create distance between you and them or just simply to collect those precious yellow gems that have been dispersed from fallen foes. When your special weapons have run out of juice, collecting these gems is imperative.

When I worked out how to balance these different aspects everything about G.E.M fell into place and I began to ‘feel’ the game as opposed to having to spend too much time ‘thinking’ and thinking is a luxury you simply won’t have when challenged with the amount of on screen enemies G.E.M delights in throwing at you after you’ve enjoyed the honeymoon period provided by the game’s first few stages.

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There are 4 worlds in total with 9 stages in each world, which will keep you busy for quite some time, with a new world opening up upon completing a predefined number of stages. The game’s difficulty curve is welcoming to players not familiar with this type of game and coupled with its eye catching visual style, G.E.M is a very inviting experience for casual players. While I played the PS4 version, I can see the game being a great fit for the Switch audience in-particular and also one that works well in short bursts making it well suited for a portable platform, however I wouldn’t like to play it on a screen any smaller than that of the Switch due to the size of the objects on screen and the frantic nature of the gameplay.

The game also boasts a ranking system and gives you the option to upload your score to a leaderboard at the end of each stage. The ranking system will give you a rating based on several performance criteria, such as time completed, combos acquired and also reward you for the style you’ve displayed during the battle. It’s a great extra incentive for giving stages another go especially since your skills will develop the more you play.

My first impression of this game was of a well-executed arcade style shooter with it’s own unique ideas, I initially saw it as nothing more than good simple fun but felt is was lacking that must-play factor. The more I played however, the more I appreciated the subtleties of the gameplay and quickly found myself entering a state where I became enveloped in the action, suddenly I could take down the waves of enemies with Grace and Purpose, knowing exactly what to do in often hectic the situations. It was at this point everything ‘clicked’, I’d become hooked and found it very difficult to stop playing.

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For those who try this game once and walk away thinking ‘that was good…but, something is lacking’, I’d urge you to stick with it a little longer, take the time to learn the mechanics of the game and before long you’ll really appreciate what a blissful experience Graceful Explosion Machine really is and how it is one of the best examples of Pure Gameplay around at the moment on any system.

In summery, Graceful Explosion Machine is a finely tuned and addictive beast of game, if you enjoy shooters, especially those with a strategic edge then this game is a must-have. I’d also say even if you’re new to the genre, G.E.M is just a great Arcade style experience where the more you play, the more you’ll ultimately get out of the experience and like any great arcade game you may just have a hard time deciding when it’s time stop playing…

Graceful Explosion Machine for the Playstation 4 was provided to us for an honest review and is available now, as is a Nintendo Switch and PC version of the game. For more information on the game and and where to buy it from, head over here.

- Tom Parry