Category Archives: Live Gameplay Videos

Centipede: Recharged Review – PlayStation 4/5

Centipede: Recharged is the latest 80’s arcade game to get juiced up for modern day consoles, delivering vibrant neon graphics redesigned for HD displays, cool new power-ups, addicting challenge stages, and all the frantic shooting action of the original backed up with an impressive original soundtrack from composer, Megan McDuffee that will keep you energized for hours of play.While the core concepts of Centipede remain, Recharged spins the look and the gameplay by reorienting the screen so you are now playing horizontally, reducing the time it takes for centipedes to reach your play area but also giving you a wider patch to navigate and avoid them.  Basic rules still apply; hit a centipede in the head to kill it but anywhere else and it divides and multiplies.  Mushrooms dot the play area taking multiple shots to remove, which can get exceedingly annoying when they start to fil up your play area below the purple line.  Mushrooms block your shots and also cause centipedes to reverse direction and advance, and just about the time you get them cleared away insects will rain down through the play area leaving behind more fresh fungus.

Spiders are the game changer in Recharged, leaving behind useful power-ups and weapon upgrades that are required to stay alive and rack up those high scores.  Rapid-fire, spread fire, bombs, lasers, and side-fire are just a few of the dozen power-ups you can collect by killing the spiders invading your play space.  These power-ups do have a limited usage, so it’s always good to have your next icon nearby when your current weapon is about to expire.

Centipede: Recharged offers a core Arcade mode for solo and co-op play and there are also 30 Challenges that mix up the standard gameplay with rules and objectives to create very specific and surprisingly fun challenges.  It’s a fun way to experience the gameplay with clear completion goals aside from just earning high scores; although high score tables do exist for each challenge and the main arcade game with scores being tracked for your system, scores among your friends, and global leaderboards.

The visuals are clean and colorful with that vector graphics neon glow that we first saw back in the Geometry Wars days.  Combined with some intense techno tracks to drive the action, this is the Centipede game we could only dream of forty years ago.  Controls are tight with responsive analog stick input and rapid-fire execution by simply holding down the X button.  It’s as simple and fun as it gets for a game that is all about reflexes and just a dash of power-up tactics thanks to the new power-ups.

It’s difficult to come up with much more to say about this game, at least in words, so check out my gameplay video with commentary where I will take you through the arcade mode and a few challenges, so you can see the game in action and experience the energy of the gameplay and the awesome soundtrack.  Centipede: Recharged is available on the PlayStation Store for only $10 and works great on both the PS4 and PS5 through backwards compatibility.

Introducing Polina Petrova and the Call of Duty: Vanguard Campaign

Today during Gamescom, Sledghammer Games revealed the first extended playthrough of one of Call of Duty: Vanguard’s Campaign missions – Stalingrad Summer.

Additionally, a Gamescom interview introduced the actor behind one of the game’s main characters: Laura Bailey as Soviet sniper Polina Petrova. A Lieutenant in the Red Army’s 138th Rifle Division, Petrova is inspired by several female sharpshooters who aided Allied Forces on the Eastern Front.

Watch Laura Bailey and Sledgehammer Games’ Campaign Creative Director David Swenson discuss Vanguard at Gamescom and watch the Stalingrad Summer level playthrough here:

For more information, head to the Call of Duty blog.

LIFE IS STRANGE: TRUE COLORS – FIRST OFFICIAL GAMEPLAY

Take a walk through Haven Springs’ Record Store with Alex in this EXCLUSIVE first look at gameplay!

Explore the store, browse records, and meet two potential new friends along the way.

Life is Strange: True Colors is slated for release on PlayStation 5®, PlayStation 4®, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC Steam, and Google Stadia on September 10, 2021, and Nintendo Switch later this year.

Visit the Life is Strange official website: https://lifeisstrange.square-enix-games.com

LEGO® Builder’s Journey Review – PC

I love LEGO.  I grew up with the plastic bricks, I own every single LEGO game, and I’ve seen every episode of LEGO Masters, so I was pretty excited when I heard about LEGO Builder’s Journey.  Created by Light Brick Studio, this new puzzle game sounded like a great idea; solving puzzles using LEGO pieces.  After all, every other LEGO game I had played up to this point was asking me to smash and destroy environments to collect bricks.

One of the big draws for me was the support for ray-tracing that brings these bricks to life unlike any other game before it.  You feel like you could literally touch and manipulate these elements with your fingers.  Shiny water pieces reflect other parts of the level, and real-time light comes into play for light and dark scenes and even one LEGO that acts as a moveable spotlight.  The game still looks fantastic if you don’t own one of the new ray-tracing video cards but activating RTX features in the graphic options adds a noticeable level of improvement turning a game into reality.

Unfortunately, while LEGO Builder’s Journey is a visual masterpiece there were several obstacles that detracted from my childlike wonder almost immediately; first being the controls and interface.  The entire game can be played with a mouse and the first few scenes teach you everything you need to know on how to play.  Click a piece to pick-up then future clicks rotate that pieces 90 degrees and clicking and holding will snap the piece in place or drop it if you aren’t positioned over a valid connection.   My big issue is being able to line-up the pieces properly.  The 3D perspective combined with any lack of visual cues had me frequently connecting to wrong studs or even worse, dropping the brick entirely forcing me to scramble to click on it again before it tumbled off the bottom of the screen and wait for it to reappear.  This could all be solved with something as simple as a ghost outline showing where the brick would be attached.

LEGO Builder’s Journey has very limited camera controls so even changing perspective couldn’t help me.  You can drag your mouse to pan around the screen but only about 120 degrees.  You can’t fully rotate the puzzle and there are no zoom controls to allow you a better view of the situation or just appreciate the graphics closer up.  To make matters even worse if you do adjust the viewing angle the game will automatically reset the view back to default after a few seconds.

If you are able to overcome these visual caveats then you might find some enjoyment with LEGO Builder’s Journey.  Personally, I found the entire game rather boring with puzzles that were overly simplistic or not even puzzles.  The game provides you with the pieces needed to build whatever object or bridge you need to get from A to B and advance to the next puzzle scene.  It was really weird to see these loving crafted scenes swept away after only one or two clicks on some of the easier puzzles; the time of creation versus their appearance onscreen vastly different.

There appears to be a story being told in LEGO Builder’s Journey, but I’m still a bit unclear on what it is.  Presented as a silent movie of sorts we have what I assume to be a father and son on a camping trip, and once they return home dad keeps getting called into work at the nearby LEGO factory, meanwhile the son builds a LEGO robot in the basement then gets stuck in the factory so dad has to rescue him but then the son and his robot have to rescue dad…it’s all very confusing and quite unnecessary to the enjoyment of the game, which is all about solving a few dozen puzzles.

The basic premise of the game quickly became boring about ten levels in and only started to get interesting when the game introduced new concepts like playing in the dark having to position a LEGO spotlight in certain positions and angles to reveal the level.  Much later in the game there are some cool puzzles involving creating your own LEGO pieces using a machine to duplicate whatever piece you have on a scanner.  And my favorite puzzles were at the very end where your robot would only dispense single stud pieces and you had to place them on the level adjacently to create bigger and more useful pieces.

Despite the charming visuals, soothing music, and almost Zen-like approach to gameplay I was always taken out of any joyous moment with the controls and my inability to accurately place pieces.  There were a couple of puzzles that required very fast timing and precise LEGO placement to get your character across moving machine parts.  These would have been great if I hadn’t died so many times due to poor controls.  Even moving your character can become quite tedious since you have to move these orange stepping bricks one after the other to move him along.  On one level I manufactured a dozen of these bricks and had the entire path lain out but the character only moves after placing the piece, so I literally had to pick up and reattach each piece to move him forward.  There are a few levels where your character is wearing skates and you get to build a train track-like path from start to finish out of smooth tiles then watch him skate to the end.

LEGO Builder’s Journey is equal parts pain and pleasure.  I love seeing how realistic LEGO can look in a game and I hope to see this level of quality in future LEGO action games, but for me this was more of a proof of concept tech demo.  You can finish the game in 3-5 hours but there is no reason to ever revisit.  A sandbox mode would have been awesome; something to just let you build your own creations from infinite LEGO pieces, but considering the abysmal controls this feature would also be cruel in the game’s current state.

Thankfully, there is nothing wrong with this game that can’t be fixed in a future patch or update, but until then, $20 for a few hours of awkwardly snapping LEGO pieces into environments somebody else had all the fun making seems like a bad idea.  Even LEGO enthusiasts such as myself might want to wait for a sale because LEGO Builder’s Journey is a better RTX demo than an actual game.

You can check out the first hour of the game in our RTX video to see the graphics, hear the music, and watch me struggle with snapping pieces together.

New Aragami 2 Vid Dives Into Stealth and the Addition of Strategic Combat

Lince Works has given you brief glimpses at the gameplay but, now, the team is excited to take gamers deeper into the evolution of this stealth-action franchise. The new developer walkthrough showcases the completely new combat system built from the ground up for Aragami 2 and enhancements to the stealth gameplay established in the original title. Gamers will get a chance to experience this for themselves when the stealth-action adventure launches September 17, 2021, on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S/X, and PC.

Aragami 2 will take the community and critically acclaimed experience of the first title to new levels. Stealth is the foundation of the Aragami experience and, now, players have increased mobility so that they can maneuver more quickly from shadow to shadow.

Also, when attempts to be stealthy fail, players are no longer helpless. Inspired by some of the best action games around, Aragami 2 employs skill-based combat where players must strategically engage their assailants. Aragami are brilliant assassins who are as powerful as gods when stalking from the shadows but, when face to face with enemies, they are vulnerable. Knowing when to strike, defend, or dodge will be key and this developer walkthrough gives gamers a look at all of this in action.

The original Aragami hooked fans with a stealth-focused game inspired by classic ninja experiences like Tenchu and rooted in the lore of a beautifully crafted world. The addition of the all-new strategic combat system takes what Tenchu made popular and elevates it to loftier heights. Even better, Aragami 2’s gripping narrative can be experienced in full completely solo or with friends as a co-op stealth-action adventure. The Aragami clan, known as Kurotsuba, must utilize their power as they attempt to fight back against the invading Akatsuchi Empire.

Aragami 2 Features:

  • A full campaign that can be completed solo or with up to 3 players in co-op
  • Weapon and armor customization
  • A wide variety of abilities, shadow powers, and special equipment
  • Much more will be revealed very soon…

With over 700,000 copies sold, the original Aragami was a remarkable accomplishment for the emerging studio Lince Works. Aragami 2 serves as an opportunity to see more of the team’s ideas realized and establish a new face in the stealth-action genre.

Aragami 2 will launch digitally on September 17, 2021. Pre-orders for Aragami 2 are open now on Steam ($34.99 / €34.99 / £29.99) and players can take advantage of a 15% off discount. PlayStation Store ($39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99), and Xbox Store ($39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99) pre-orders will open soon.

Retail partner, Merge Games, will launch physical versions of Aragami 2. PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 and Xbox One/Series X ($39.99 / €39.99 / £34.99) will be released in Europe on September 17, 2021 and September 21, 2021 in North America.

Tandem: A Tale of Shadows Demo – Video Preview

Tandem : A Tale of Shadows redefines the puzzle platformer genre with a unique gameplay and exceptional aesthetics. Help Emma and the teddy bear Fenton solve the mystery of the disappearance of the famous magician Thomas Kane.

Join us as we play the public demo and offer up our own thoughts on game design and visuals.

We’ll be back to review the full game when it releases on October 21, 2021.  Meanwhile you can play the demo for yourself and add this game to your Steam Wishlist if you like what you saw.