A super short review of Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age

DQXI is the last game I completed, and I don’t complete a lot of games. I was interested on the game because it was hugely anticipated, but the reviews put me off a little bit. Don’t get me wrong, the reviews are very positive – or at least most of them are, but they are not that level I wanted. The final push is a very good discount on the physical version, so I was like “What the hell” . Surprises, I was hooked.

The good

Very good “anime” styles. The game looks quite as good as the pre-rendered cutscenes.

The game is very well rounded and very enjoyable. I had almost no bug, at least none noticeable during my ~100 hours spent with the game.

Some plot twists that make the story interesting.

Good characters and side stories. Even thought they are not up to the level in The Witcher 3, they are still good enough to enjoy.

The crafting system (Fun-sized forge) is actually quite fun to work with.

The bad

The combat lacks depth usually seen in turn based combat. It is not exactly a bad thing for me, but if you are looking for some challenges, then the combat system in Persona 5 is far engaging.

Traditional, quite predictable main story.

The ugly

The background music is repetitive and can be annoying at time

The new improvements in the Switch version are not coming to PS4.

Super short review of Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is the second Switch game I played, and the first one I actually enjoyed.

Plus:

  • It’s a Mario game
  • Beautiful and vibrant world designs.
  • In fact it might be the most cute game I’ve played. Can’t wait to play it with my children (but given it’s rated ESRB 7+, it’ll be quite some time.
  • It’s XCOM without creepy creatures and scary moments. It does not have the strategy/tactical depth XCOM 2 has to provide, but it’s fun nonetheless.
  • It’s easy to restart a battle and play differently for different outcome.
  • The game is, surprisingly, smooth on Switch. Can’t say the same for XCOM 2 on PS4. I have to give credit to Ubisoft for this.

Minus:

  • As other Mario game, it’s not voiced.
  • Finding ways can be frustrating some times.
  • Some puzzles are more confusing than funny
  • Dragging end – you have battle after battle toward the end, which can be tiring for both you and the team.

All in all, it’s a fun game regardless and one I can recommend to Switch’s owners. 9/10.

Super short review of God of War PS4

One of the iconic characters on PlayStation, Kratos is known for his super violent nature, a tragedy past of betrayal, a thirst for revenge – and God of War is known for its brutal combat when you kill your enemies in most violent ways possible. The last major game in the series was God Of War 3 on PS3, released in 2011. 7 years is a long time to wait – and did Sony Santa Monica soft reboot of the series live up with the expectations?

I’m happy to say, it does, and some more. I’m still early hours into the game, but yet I’m very impressed. An older Kratos who is now a father, accompanied by his boy Atreus to fulfill Atreus’ mother’s last wish. And their journey begins.

This is Sparta!

Plus:

  • Violent, brutal, extreme satisfying combat. Animations are very well done. Yes, if you are looking for a God of War, here it is. Kratos is older, and he might not as fast or agile as he used to be, but his combat skills haven’t aged one bit. He still kills.
  • Excellent world design, exploring is both interesting and rewarding. Santa Monica Studio also did a great job adding lore and Norse mythologies into the game. Nothing feels forced, at all.
  • Beautiful characters and landscape. Horizon Zero Dawn set the bar very high for graphics, yet God Of War managed to even exceed that, in many ways.
  • Excellent character design. Kratos is obviously older, he is still strong and brutal, but he is slower and more grumpy. It feels so real.
  • A story you can believe. Some reviewers complained about Atreus. Come on, he is just a boy. Were they children, at all? He lost his mother, and then (supposedly) suddenly gets a father, who can be grumpy. There’s no doubt that Atreus will try hard to get his father’s approvals. I find his performance very good.
  • Leviathan is probably one of the coolest weapon in games, ever. Easy to use, great in melee combat and superb in ranged combat. Also super useful for opening gates, bridges and puzzles. The gameplay and puzzles are built around the weapon, so it feels so good to use.
  • Smart little puzzles/challenges.

Minus:

  • None yet. Or rather a small one: The photo mode feature (which was added as an update, was not available at launch) is quite hidden. Wish there was a way to quickly enter it, but that I can live with.

If I’m to give a score now, it’s a 9.5/10. I expect it will raise even higher because the combats should get even better and the story might contain some twists that make it’s worth it.

A super short review of Xenoblade Chronicles 2

I’m still just 1/3 way through the game. Here’s some of my thoughts so far

Hit:

  • Gorgeous world. No it’s not the level of graphic detail of Horizon Zero Dawn, but given Switch’s processing power, the game looks absolutely amazing.
  • Pyra is really cute (Talking about her face)

Miss

  • Pyra is overly sexualized. .Does Monolith need to let her wear a thong into battle. While it’s common in Japanese Role Playing Games (“fans service”, they said), it’s not what gaming should be.
  • The fetch quests are really, really boring. They need to die.
  • Looting is tedious. Too many “collection points”, too little value or interest for each of them.
  • The enemies really lack of diversity, Well, they have plenty of beasts in the game, but they way you kill them are no different at all. Combats are pretty much the same. Wait for this then press this button. Bah.
  • Crafting is not that fun.

WTF

  • The characters are super talkative during the combats. All 6 of them!

My friend told me the game will get much better in chapter 4 and 5, especially in combats, so I’m trying. But right now, I would give it a 7. Or a 7.5, for Pyra.

Is PlayStation 4 Pro a worthy upgrade?

PlayStation 4 Pro was a first “mid-gen” upgrade in a very long time. It is an incremental update to the original PS4, keeping the promise of backward compatibility, at the cost of limited power jump. Is it a worthy upgrade?

I got my original PS4 3 years go and that was a massive jump from my previous Xbox 360 (of course that is expected, it’s a different generation). Builtin hard drive, builtin WiFi N, builtin gigabit LAN, builtin Blu-ray drive, the list goes on and on. Needless to say, I have been very happy with my PS4.

When Pro came out, I was a little disappointed. No UHD Blu-ray. Unable to handle native 4K on most games. Old games were not getting a patch. HDR comes to original PS4 as well. Etc. I was not excited to buy one, unless my PS4 fails.

Well, my PS4 did not fail, but my colleague sold his fairly new PS4 Pro at 1/2 new price, and I decided to take the chance. At that price it’s great value, and even if I don’t like it, I can still sell it and even make a profit! Of course there was no “Wow” moments as I had with my old PS4.

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How can Horizon: Zero Dawn be (even) better?

If you own a PS4, you might want to try out Horizon: Zero Dawn, and if don’t have a PS4, you might want to buy a PS4 Pro + a HDR TV to try it out. Yes, the game is a blast to play: vast, beautiful world – which will drop your jaw frequently, and fun, exciting combat with the dino-robots. The game is selling very well and an expansion is under the work already – and I’d not be surprised if a sequel Horizon: Zero Dawn is announced in the future. But, can it be better? Yes! How?

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The super short review of Horizon: Zero Dawn

Plus:

  • The game is very well polished. Everything seems smooth, and I’m yet to see any game breaking bugs (I’m looking at you, Witcher 3, and XCOM 2)
  • A vast, beautiful open world. Probably the most beautiful ever in a game. Even on the original PS4, it looks spectacular. PS4 Pro + HDR will blow your mind away – well, Sony made sure the game is a showcase for PS4 Pro, so that’s expected

    If you think Rise of Tomb Raider was visually stunning, think again. HZD easily blows it out of water. In short, it will drop your jaw!

  • The combats versus machines are engaging and rewarding. The bigger, badder the robot, the more satisfying you’ll be after a battle. You will have to be both smart, and fast to win. The variety and diverAlso, the Critical Hit move feels both powerful and satisfying.

Neutral:




  • The story is fine, but not really ground breaking. Passable but don’t expect anything like The Witcher 3.
  • The open world settings get bored after a while. Still many things to do, but you’ll probably want more.

Minus:

  • The combats versus humans are … meh. It’s not that bad, but compared to the machines, humans are just boring enemies which bring very little enjoyment to the table.
  • The voice acting is underwhelming. In many cases, voice actors do not sound convincing as they should. The NPC faces are also quite generic and you’ll have hard time remember who is who.
  • Stealth action is a joke – you caused an explosion and your enemies are still acting like nothing happen. If you expect the level of Metal Gear Solid V depth – I have bad news for you.

Verdict:

9/10. Buy it! If you have PS4 Pro + HDR TV and it’s easily a must have. If you don’t, then this is a very valid reason to buy those!

PS4 firmware 4.5 wifi problem fixed

And finally the much anticipated 4.5 firmware of PlayStation 4/4 Pro has arrived, with some very neat features: extended storage, custom themes. It’s a big improvement for PS4 users, well, almost: the firmware comes with a big problem for ones who are using wifi: the download speed is now terrible, and even worse, the lag in game is making the games unplayable. Before 4.5, I had no problem joining matches on Uncharted 4, and playing Titanfall was very smooth – ping is never more than 100ms. After 4.5, I can’t hardly join a match on Uncharted 4 (errors in connections), and the lag in Titanfall spikes to more than 2000ms, making the game totally unplayable. Test Internet Connection shows that I have a a few hundred Kbps upload and download, when the wifi connection is supposed to be 130Mbps (PS4 ony has 2.4Ghz wifi 802.11 b/g/n, only PS4 Pro has 5Ghz wifi), and my internet connection is 250/100Mbps, so that must be a big problem somewhere.

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The best trailers of E3 2016

E3 is undoubtedly the biggest gaming event of the year – where companies show off their best games and hardware for the next year. And as other gamers, I pay my close attention to this event, waiting to see what will be my next game. It’s worth noting that I am highly selective – I only play 3-4 games a year, max, so I need to decide carefully what to play and what to skip. But it won’t hurt to watch the trailers, right

Titanfall 2, EA

Titanfall was a great game. It might not be a legendary game, but it was fun. It’s unsurprising EA and Respawn game were going to make Titanfall 2, but I’m surprised that they added a “Single player mode”. After a wave of multiplayer-only games, such as The Division and Overwatch, it’s a good sign for the coming back of Single player. Let’s hope the story will be good enough to get you into multiplayer mode:

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Things I wish I knew before playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

The game was released 1 year ago – still – it’s a masterpiece to be played. If you’ve never played it, play it now – it’s easily one of the best games in years, if not decades. The storyline with twists will keep you thinking in a while (no decision is clearly better or worse, and your choices will definitely make impacts on the ending), while the graphic is still one of best in any games, and the gameplay will keep you excited. If you played it – it’s now time to replay it, with new expansions, Heart of Stones and Blood and Wine. They are some of best expansions ever released.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt

Truth be told, I was new to The Witcher and Wild Hunt was the first game I played in the series. Now I’m playing it again and sometimes I feel really stupid for not knowing something earlier – thing might have been much easier in my first play.

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