Category Archives: PlayStation 4

Annapurna Interactive’s The Artful Escape Now on Switch, PlayStation

The Artful Escape, published by Annapurna Interactive and developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur, is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for $19.99.

First released this past September on Xbox and PC and nominated for three 2021 Game Awards, The Artful Escape is a musical narrative adventure about a teenage guitar prodigy who sets out on a psychedelic, multidimensional journey to inspire his stage persona. Through light platforming, intergalactic guitar jam sessions and snazzy character customization, players step into the shoes of Francis Vendetti as he faces the shadow of his late uncle, a deceased folk legend, on the eve of Francis’s first show. The game features voice performances by Michael Johnston, Caroline Kinley, Lena Headey, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Strong and Carl Weathers.

For all the latest updates on the game, follow Annapurna Interactive and The Artful Escape.

The Horror Adventure Puzzler Paper Dolls 2 Comes to PS4 & PS5 with Digital Artwork and OST

Developed by Beijing Litchi Culture Media, the new horror adventure puzzler Paper Dolls 2 is coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 today. Digital Artwork and OST bundle will also be available.

Prior to Paper Dolls 2, the protagonist Yang traveled through time and was trapped in a deserted mansion in the late Qing Dynasty. Yang’s only hope is to find his daughter and save her from this madness. In the new work, Yang traces his daughter’s footsteps onto the second floor of the mansion. As Yang gathers the clues one by one, he starts to understand the connections between each dead soul and the manor.

With realistic scenes, exquisitely carved decorations, and lingering character dialogues, the setting of the mansion is so alive. As the demons flash suddenly and chase after Yang, the players will most likely have a time of their lives.

Paper Doll 2 has a rich gameplay mechanism and challenging boss battles, making players go through a tense and oppressive experience. Paper Dolls 2 also increases the game’s difficulty, making exploration alone take about 10 hours of playing time. In addition, with improvements in level design, scene atmosphere, plot performance, animation, and sound effects, Beijing Litchi is ready to bring players into a heavy sense of immersion.

The Gold Edition includes the main game, digital artwork, and OST. Digital Artwork contains, not only the characters and setting of Paper Dolls 2, but also the VR and flat version of the game’s original model of the old mansion, showing the carefully crafted storyline. The OST has 18 soundtracks from the original title, Paper Dolls and Paper Dolls 2. The soundtrack follows the emotional journey of the protagonist, combining both classical Eastern instruments with pop, and rock music. It perfectly joins the eerie ancient mansion with a mysterious adventure.

Why is this ancient mansion been haunted by demons? What happened to the residents of this place? What is the connection between Yang and this old house? Overcome your fears and return to the mansion a hundred years ago to find out. Enjoy this thrilling and screaming journey with Yang in Paper Dolls 2.

Nuclear Corps Review – PlayStation 4

Nuclear Corps: Veterans in Fukushima places us in a world that has suffered an environmental disaster. The premise of the game is based on a real event: on March 11, 2011, a major earthquake hit the city of Fukushima, followed by a tsunami that flooded the nuclear power plant. This event has been taken by Jokuga Interactive to develop its game, setting its title in that scenario full of dangers resulting from this catastrophe. In this scenario we meet Lola, Dordok and Smartie, the protagonists of this game. Nuclear Corps: Veterans in Fukushima tries to transport us with its gameplay to the nineties, where the arcade genre was one of the most prolific. It achieves this with a series of key ingredients that, for years, have been the hallmarks of this genre. The first of these are their own characters.

Lola, Dordok and Smartie will have a series of their own abilities with which they will have to face the different enemies that they find in their path. Each of these characters has a unique set of movements and abilities, and this is very interesting in this game since, depending on which one we are controlling. For example, Lola has a hook with which she can overcome some obstacles; Dordok can generate a defensive shield and knock out the monsters that inhabit this world; for his part, Smartie will be an important asset in the combat that will be able to shoot and eliminate those beings that are the result of the catastrophe.

Nuclear Corps: Veterans in Fukushima is made up of a total of 13 phases, divided into several worlds that are presented through a board. Completing these will depend on the skills of each player in this type of game, but its duration will range between 3-5 hours. It is a more than acceptable duration for a title of these characteristics, but it can also be extended if you want to obtain some extras and secrets, such as a series of cucumbers that are distributed throughout each of the scenarios.

Learning the powers of each of these three protagonists, as well as checking what combinations there may be between them since, on some occasions, the sum of them will be needed to complete a phase. This leads us to talk about the design of the levels, and it is that these have some mechanics that will force us to practically use the three protagonists. The development of these levels is simple; you will have to go through each of the screens or phases while you knock down everything that is within our reach and solve some of the puzzles that you find. For this you see how each of the characters will have to use the skills, the ultimate goal being to place them in a final circle that symbolizes the outcome of the level.

Everything sounds simple and well thought out so far, but this is where I ran into some issues with the title. Nuclear Corps: Veterans in Fukushima is a game with playable deficiencies: we have to remember that we are dealing with a project developed by a young studio, so there are certain bugs that will be revealed in the game as you progress. Some of these can be from certain collisions of objects and boxes that we have to move, which can even leave you locked; forcing you to retry the level you are in. I also found some other glitches of erratic movement in the characters, which can get embedded in the wall, as well as the AI, which is really erratic. Another issue I discovered while playing was the unbalanced difficulty curve that increases sharply. I must also point out one good feature. The most notable is the confrontation against the final bosses, which are really fun, but not too challenging.

Nuclear Corps: Veterans in Fukushima presents us with a good premise that is potentially very fun, but its design decisions, as well as the numerous bugs found, weigh down the playable experience. The general lines of the Jokoga Interactive title are correct, with some interesting mechanics and a classic and nostalgic development that has caught our attention, but that has many things to debug and correct for the future. However, we must remember that it is a video game that has been developed by a young studio and we must applaud how they have carried out their project.

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Annapurna Interactive’s The Artful Escape Launching January 25 on Switch, PlayStation

The Artful Escape, published by Annapurna Interactive and developed by Beethoven & Dinosaur, is launching on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on January 25 for $19.99.

First released this past September on Xbox and PC and nominated for three 2021 Game Awards, The Artful Escape is a musical narrative adventure about a teenage guitar prodigy who sets out on a psychedelic, multidimensional journey to inspire his stage persona. Through light platforming, intergalactic guitar jam sessions and snazzy character customization, players step into the shoes of Francis Vendetti as he faces the shadow of his late uncle, a deceased folk legend, on the eve of Francis’s first show. The game features voice performances by Michael Johnston, Caroline Kinley, Lena Headey, Jason Schwartzman, Mark Strong and Carl Weathers.

For all the latest updates on the game, follow Annapurna Interactive and The Artful Escape.

Battle Brothers is now available on PlayStation and Xbox consoles!

The acclaimed turn-based tactical RPG Battle Brothers, developed by Overhype Studios and brought to consoles by Ukiyo Publishing, is now available on PlayStation and Xbox consoles. Battle Brothers releases at a price of €27.99/$29.99/£22.99 for the base version, with a 20% off release discount on both consoles; the game’s Complete Edition, with all its expansion DLC included, is also available.

Battle Brothers comes today to Sony and Microsoft consoles (PS4/PS5 and Xbox One/Series X) after being released on Nintendo Switch on March 11th, 2020. The game has been universally praised for its deep tactical gameplay and its world-building and emergent narrative; Battle Brothers is a turn-based strategy RPG mix which has you leading a mercenary company in a gritty, low-power, medieval fantasy world. You decide where to go, whom to hire or to fight, what contracts to take and how to train and equip your men in a procedurally generated open world campaign.

The game consists of a strategic worldmap and a tactical combat layer. On the worldmap you can freely travel in order to take contracts that earn you good coin, find places worth looting, enemies worth pursuing or towns to resupply and hire men at. This is also where you manage, level up and equip your Battle Brothers. Once you engage a hostile party the game will switch to a tactical map where the actual fighting takes place as detailed turn-based combat.

KEY FEATURES

  • Manage a medieval mercenary company in a procedurally generated open world
  • Fight complex turn-based tactical battles with historical equipment and brutal injuries
  • Permadeath. All characters that die in combat will stay dead – unless they return as the undead
  • All characters come with their own background stories and traits
  • Character development without a restrictive class-system. Gain XP in battle to level up your characters and acquire powerful perks
  • Different weapons grant unique skills: split shields with axes, stun enemies with maces, form a spearwall with spears or crush armor with a warhammer
  • Diverse enemy roster. All enemies have unique equipment, skills and AI behavior.
  • A dynamic event system with atmospheric encounters and tough decisions outside of combat.
  • Three late game crises – a war between noble houses, a greenskin invasion and an undead scourge –, plus one included in the DLC ‘Blazing Deserts’, add a looming threat
  • Two full hours of orchestral soundtrack
  • Three DLCs that add even more depth to the game: origins for your company, new enemies, locations, cities, contracts…

FIRST PERSON HORROR ADVENTURE AND PLAYSTATION EXCLUSIVE INSOMNIS RELEASES THE “LONG NIGHT EDITION”

Sony Interactive Entertainment España (SIE España) and Path Games announce the release on PlayStation of the Long Night Edition of their first-person horror adventure, Insomnis. Set in a mysterious mansion where strange things will haunt you, Insomnis has been developed as a part of the PlayStation®Talents project. After the release of the game last Halloween, Insomnis Long Night Edition is now available as a PlayStation 4 / PlayStation 5 exclusive digital-only title for $19.99 / €19,99 and also on PC. Besides the digital copy of the game, the Long Night Edition also features the game’s soundtrack as well as four avatar.

KEY FEATURES

  • Experience the eerie atmosphere of the Castevet Mansion, a place where dark secrets are hidden for those that are brave enough to uncover them.
  • Every choice matters. Insomnis features a bunch of different endings so players will have to carefully choose how to move on in their game.
  • Solve puzzles and riddles to beat the main story in a game that doesn’t feature any combat mechanics.

In Insomnis, players will have to solve riddles and puzzles to uncover the hidden past of its main character, Joe Castevet. The game pays tribute to some of the great horror classics through environmental and narrative cues that will take players on an oneiric journey.

Things looked good when Joe Castevet inherited an old mansion. What he didn’t imagine was that the gift was actually a curse. The haunted Castevet mansion hides a dark secret and Joe will have to explore it to uncover his dark past using all kinds of items to solve puzzles and escape alive.

Rubber Bandits Review – PlayStation 4

Fresh on the PS4 gaming scene is a raucous and whimsical multiplayer party game that pits four wobbly-bobbly crooks against each other to gather as much illicit loot and escape the scene before the cops come to lock them all away.  This multiplayer, cross-platform, online mayhem from København, Denmark’s Flashbulb Games is aptly titled Rubber Bandits, and what it lacks in gameplay depth is more than made up for in visceral entertainment.

The gameplay characters are just what you’d expect from a game bearing the name Rubber Bandits – coming in somewhat like a cross between Despicable Me’s wacky hotdog-shaped Minions and the floppy blow-up tube guy gas stations and cell phone stores put at the curb to draw attention.  This wobbliness of the characters affects the control physics as a whole – movement, momentum, accuracy, etc. – which adds a unique layer of complexity to what would otherwise be overly-simplistic gameplay.

Rubber Bandits opens in the central lobby, which happens to be a jail cell where the chosen character is housed.  Breaking out of said cell isn’t all that difficult, as the game leaves a key on the floor at the foot of the cell’s bed – but this key won’t open the door lock, instead the character can use it to melee-bash through the wall to gain entrance to a neighboring cell, or to bust out the cell’s bars and set the character off on the next gameplay level.

Rubber Bandits offers up three gameplay modes – Heist, Arcade, and Brawl – which is selected by smashing the toilet in the cell – seriously.  Each mode is intended to be played with up to four players, and can be played either locally on one monitor, or online – and yes, it supports cross-platform play with PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and of course PS5.  Arcade is the only mode that offers any form of single-player gameplay, which it comes off as very weak without the help of other gamers or AI Bots, so gamers looking for a single-player experience will probably want to look elsewhere.

Heist is the main gameplay mode in Rubber Bandits and is mad-crazy.  It Heist, the game party will play through three 1 – 2 minute levels trying to gather up the loot that is hidden around the level and escape through the exit door once it opens.  The levels are well laid-out, and the game does an excellent job highlighting possible loot and power-up stashes, spawn points, and exit doors prior to the start of each mission.  Once the timer starts, players move their cumbersomely floppy characters around the level, grabbing various items to use as weapons which could be anything from a loaf of French baguette to a futuristic laser rifle.  Players have a finite time to grab as much cash as they can; all while beating other players to steal their cash, and doing all they can to avoid being attacked and losing their cash, until the timer goes off and everyone makes a mad dash to the escape door.

Arcade mode is similar to Heist, except rather than playing against each other, gamers team up against AI guards and police.  The idea here is for the team to use stealth to sneak by the guards and get all the loot before being arrested.  Arcade requires a lot of cooperation between the gamers – which is often easier said than done.  Again, the game does a great job marking all the areas of interest prior to starting the levels, which definitely helps familiarize one with new levels – especially online where it can be embarrassing to be the only gamer coming in new to a level you haven’t ever played before.

Brawl mode pits gamers up against each other either “every man for himself” or in two-player teams, in a deathmatch-style brawl.  Each character has three health hearts that are depleted with each blow; the last man standing wins the level.  Brawl is little more than a vehicle for gratuitous slapstick violence, but it is fun.

As I have mentioned multiple times already, Rubber Bandits supports online cross-platform play, and whenever I was able to join a gameplay party, the overall online experience was pretty much flawless with no noticeable lag or crashes, but the act of actually getting into a gameplay party often took multiple failed attempts, with the matchmaking either timing out, or crashing altogether.  Granted, we often get the download codes prior to, or very early in a game’s release window, which as you can imagine limits the amount of available players for matchmaking.  Normally this isn’t much of an issue, but with a game that leans so heavily on online multiplayer; this made it a bit hard to review.  Hopefully as more gamers give Rubber Bandits a try, the matchmaking will become less finicky.

Rubber Bandits might not stray too far from the traditional multiplayer party game genre, but the unique characters, wobbly physics, frantic gameplay, and cross-platform online functionality make it a great addition for gamers looking to have good, mindless fun with their friends.

Break Arts II Review – PlayStation 4

Break Arts II is a Mecha builder’s dream with Wipeout-esque racing thrown in for some high-speed thrills to heighten the game experience. Developed by MercuryStudio and published by PLAYISM Break Arts II lets you take on the role of a character living in a world that has a VR-Style world racing league that uses mobile suits to battle and race to become champion of the Break Arts Grand Prix. Originating as a mobile game it was initially released in 2018 where it sits at a mostly positive review score.

You as the main character are only showcased as your mobile suit itself, there isn’t a pilot that you create or anything to identify with, which is strange, but I suppose in a virtual world people would see you as your avatar and not your real persona. Story wise there is the Grand Prix that you are trying to become champion of where you progress and unlock more races and parts as you gain money. Money is your experience in your build rank, and it is easy to earn as you can repeat races and keep winning to increase your standings further. There is a multiplayer option as well that you can play, but as writing this I was never able to find anyone to play with, so I can’t confirm what rewards you can gain.

The customization of your mobile suit is very in depth where the parts you choose aren’t just bolted on in a predetermined slot, but you control where they attach and even the angle at which it is applied. The parts you choose determine your armor, speed, energy cornering ability and boost capacity; you name it you can probably adjust it by customizing your parts. By far my favorite is the weapon system because again, you don’t just choose a weapon; you build every part of it yourself. Your weapon can start off as a rifle and by continuing to add barrels and some scopes it’s suddenly a sniper rifle. Have a single missile launcher but want a missile pod, just attach more launchers to it; boom missile pod. You have quite a lot of control over it, but you don’t want to go overboard or suddenly you will find yourself having no speed due to the weight of your weapons. It is really about finding a good balance until you can further increase your capacity.

Races are straight forward in Break Arts II due to the fact all you control is your boost, firing weapons and cornering. The game plays much like a rail racer where you don’t press a “go” button; you just go all the time.  This seems to be stemmed from the fact that Break Arts originated as a mobile game and that explains why you don’t even have to aim almost any weapon, as they all use a sort of lock-on system and all you do is fire them to take out the other “racers”.  I’ll explain why I say “racers” a bit later. The main skill you are going to want to master is going to be boost control because that is going to determine if you are going to slam into a speed reduction wall or make that last clutch turn and keep up your momentum. I won almost every one of my races while playing by utilizing boost and non-stop shooting the other racers to knock them out temporarily while you overtake them, but unfortunately the same can happen to you, so be prepared to load up on armor to protect yourself.

One of my biggest complaints is that during the races your HUD aka heads up display, is extremely cluttered with information such as your speed, armor, A.I assist active and weapon cooldowns boost meter and the “override” function that allows you to bypass all safety meters for extreme speed for a short burst of time. I felt like it did not have to all be centered in the middle of the screen and detract even further from the races and visuals I was hoping to see.

After all that in-depth customization I bet you are hyped to see what other people have come up with either online or during the Grand Prix, but you are going to be quite disappointed, probably as much as I was when the races started to find out that all I saw in-game are colored diamonds zooming past and shooting you. To be fair I only saw this in the solo races because I was never able to find any other players online to race with.  If I did I bet I would have gotten destroyed. The only time you will see what other suits look like is at the end of the race when they show the top three finishers from the race, and they do look great, but it defeats the purpose in my eyes for having such an in-depth customization system just for you to never see them in-game. I was able to find others who were showcasing their builds on online forums, and I was impressed by how much people put into games like these where you can take control of a customization system with so much creative control but only made me more disappointed that you don’t even see them in-game.

Ultimately Break Arts II would make any Mecha builder lover happy with its in-depth build system and the freedom it gives you in how your Mecha looks.  It just doesn’t have anything else going for it that would pull anyone else in with its on-rail race system and lack of community. Break Arts II released December 2nd 2021 for an MSRP of $19.99.   Hopefully more people will check this out so the online community will start to grow and online racing becomes possible.

Help Wukong retrieve his lost treasure in this PlayStation exclusive 3D platformer

Sony Interactive Entertainment España (SIE España) and A Tale of Game announce that the PlayStation exclusive 3D platformer Wukong is now available as a digital title on the PlayStation Store for €9,99 / $9.99. You can check Wukong’s release trailer below.

KEY FEATURES

  • Set on a journey through unexplored lands to recover your lost treasure.
  • Jump, spin, throw your staff and jump onto the multiple enemies that you will face along the road.
  • Explore a world full of dangers in beautiful forests, deep caves and temples full of traps.

Being a hero means making sacrifices. A lot of sacrifices. Sacrifices like being unable to take a nap after your last adventure. Wukong’s nap was cut short when he found to his surprise that all of his treasures had mysteriously vanished! Armed with his staff, Wukong sets on a new journey to retrieve his lost riches while braving new lands and all those that get in his way.

Wukong is a 3D platformer that will send players in a journey through forests, caves and temples full of traps. Jump, spin, throw your staff and jump upon those who attempt to keep you away from your fortune and remember, it’s never too late to wake up and set forth a new adventure.