Thursday, 18 February 2016

Super Mario Kart - 101 Racers

Just thought you might enjoy this little video by Hat-Loving Gamer on YouTube.

Alas, tis just an animation....but a boy can dream. Be sure to check out the other videos from Hat-Loving Gamer by clicking the link on their name above the video.


Saturday, 13 February 2016

How To Survive

How To Survive
Platform: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U
Genre: Action-RPG-Survival-Horror

Kovac's Rules: If you find yourself here on this island, then you had better prepare to fight, to survive.

Basically, this is a really bloody good game, with an awful lot going for it. It's a top-down, isometric view game, whereby you play as a survivor who crashed his/her boat onto a strange island after receiving duff info about how safe the seas were. Upon waking, you find that the island you have landed on is chocked full of zombies, junk, strange plants and parts of a survival guide called "Kovac's Rules", written by...well...Kovac.

You will eventually get to meet this Kovac (and other random survivors) who will start to train you how to survive by eating the right plants, crafting awesome weapons and tools (over 100 combinations to be made) and giving you tips and hints on how to survive, hence the name!

The gameplay is very easy with either a gamepad or keyboard and mouse, and you can play multiplayer either locally on the same machine or over the interweb. It's a good idea for noobies to start off with the Story Mode which will ease you into the game, progressively getting harder as you go on, but then there are other game modes such as Iron Man or Barricade to test your skills when you choose to go for them. The inventories and skills menus are intuitive and well thought out, and for a game that has the potential to be overly complex, it's pretty easy to pick up and play from scratch.

This isn't just a run and gun type game though, you need to eat, sleep and drink to survive, using Kovac's special armoured huts to sleep or filling up water bottles from the various wells to drink and of course hunt the variety of wild animals to get more food if you don't want to just eat the exotic flora. Running low on these things will mess you up, from slowing you down to putting your aim off and also killing you, so you need to keep up your strength because the biggest enemies are those 3 ramma-jammas right there!

The sounds are pretty much spot on, the sound effects of the zombies and monsters being spot on, what music there is being again - spot on, the only thing that quibbled to knock it down a bit was some of the annoying sounds like the background animals - but it's a minor quibble, nothing that's game breaking or owt!

The visuals are brilliant, just what you'd want from a game such as this - nothing earth shattering, but exactly what you want and would expect from a game like this, the fire and water looks good in the game (something I always look for is good water and fire...just a thing of mine), the zombies are good and gruesome and the environments are really great. Even the menus look good, God bless you sir.

All in all, a very good game one that is very much worthy of it's scores below...

Gameplay: 9 - Easy and intuitive gameplay, smooth controls with either gamepad or keyboard & mouse. 
Sound: 8 - Brilliant sounds all round from the menus to the music to the zombies growls.
Visuals: 9 - Absolutely on point for a game like this, a great example of games like this showing substance over style....with a lot of style!
Replayability: 8 - Very much an awesomely replayable game, but maybe needs a bit of time in between play throughs.
Fun Factor: 9 - Awesome good fun, killing zombies in weird and wonderful ways with the help of Kovac's Rules!

Overall Percentage Score: 86% - A must buy really, with fun gameplay easy to grasp controls, lacing humour and horror into this brilliant weave of a game that doesn't disappoint and tapers the difficulty in a great way that doesn't leave you bored and doesn't push too far, too soon. Just remember to pay attention to Kovac's Rules!


Friday, 12 February 2016

Bewjeweled 3

Bejeweled 3
Platform: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo DS, iOS, Windows Phone
Genre: Puzzle

Right well, let me start off the whole tone of this review by letting you know one simple thing which you should definitely bare in mind: I only own this game, as it was free in one of Origin's "On The House" offers.

Bejeweled 3, much like Bejeweled and even Bejeweled 2 is a puzzle game about swapping jewel tiles to make at least a row of 3 to get through 4 different game modes: 

  • Classic (continuously play until there are no possible moves)
  • Zen (much like Classic, but there is no end, and calming music plays to relax players)
  • Lightning (essentially time-trial mode)
  • Quest which has a fairly sizeable amount of mini-games and puzzles. 
There are other game modes, but you need to play and unlock them by playing the 4 game modes listed above. The visuals are OK, if not a little too much for a game such as this, and the sounds are just grating. I played the Zen mode for a while and the sounds are grating and any sense of "zen" is undone by the weirdly deep and slightly gravelling voice saying "AWESOME" when you put together a decent combo.

Although yes, it's essentially Candy Crush Saga, but that's kind of like saying that (by no way am I comparing the greatness of these games by the way) Quake is essentially Battlefield 3. Do you get what I'm saying? Yes they are both the same genre, yes the gameplay is similar, but they aren't comparable, not really.

This was always going to be a very quick fire review, because essentially life is too short for games like this, I would seriously not recommend putting your hand in your wallet for this, but if it's free (legitimately so) then fill your boots.

Gameplay: 5 - Easy to pick up and play, but boring no real challenge.
Sound: 4 - Grating, overloading with various sound effects, music and voice overs doesn't enhance, it detracts.
Visuals: 4 - Essentially the same reasoning as the sound, it's focus on weird shiny graphics serve to pull the game down further showing that no matter how you dress one up, a turd is a turd.
Replayability: 3 - Boring and repetitive.
Fun Factor: 5 - Not really fun at all, maybe for a 10-15 minute break here and there but with no real progressive game modes (like the level system in Candy Crush) this game falls flat.

Overall Percentage Score: 42% - Don't bother. I only own it because it was free through Origin, and even then I had to "um and urr" for a bit before downloading. Repetitive, boring, and overloaded with crap sounds and OTT graphics make this game one of the worst I own.


Sunday, 7 February 2016

Killing Floor

Killing Floor
Platform: PC
Genre: FPS Survival Horror

Straight in with another game that I've played on and off for the last 6-7 years or so - Killing Floor.

I wont go into the background or anything, or even attempt to make out that the plot is remotely important - it isn't - but basically a mad scientist has unleashed a load of weird mutant clones onto the city of London, himself being the Patriarch of these mutants and it's your job as a part of what's left of either the Met Police or the British Army to kill the clones in waves ending with the Patriarch either on your own or with some chums/strangers online. Simple right? Right!

It's your basic wave style game with each wave increasing in difficulty and number of enemies until the final wave consisting of the Patriarch who is a bit of a bitch to kill and will hunt you down.

There are some DLC packs that you could purchase through Steam as well, and you can explore fan-made mods that you can then implement into your game via the Steam Workshop.

The music can get grating after a few minutes but the sound effects are pretty much as you would expect for a game such as this. The visuals are OK, but considering it was originally made in 2005 as a fan made mod from Unreal Tournement 2004, they aren't going to be as good as you would expect from more recent games - however this doesn't detract from how fun the game is and how it can pull you back in time and time again.

It's easy to pick up and play, it's difficulties scale up pretty well and it's damn good fun especially when playing online.

Gameplay: 8 - Easy to pick up and play, smooth easy gameplay, classic FPS game style.
Sound: 7 - Crap music, otherwise all good!
Visuals: 7 - Decent graphics, not demanding on your PC at all.
Replayability: 8 - Although it can be forgotten among your other games, it's ability to pull you back in time and time and time again is exceptionally high.
Fun Factor: 9 - Overall, this is as fun an FPS as you can get. Well deserved 9/10.

Overall Percentage Score: 78% - definitely worth going for whenever you have the cash to hand, fun, varying difficulties, and easy gameplay make this a really good game for your collection, sound and visuals let it down slightly but not enough to stop you purchasing it.


DOOM Trailer

OK. Well this is pretty much at the top of my wishlist right now and for good, gore-infested reasons. DOOM returning to it's roots of being a run and gun blood-fest.

Please watch this trailer from Bethesda/id Software at your own discretion.

The only minor downside thus far? No out-of-the-box co-op. There will be an extensive level creator however which can be made to cater for co-op play - so there is hope yet, especially with the fast-paced multiplayer that will no doubt keep players hooked for many a late night.


This video and more available on Bethesda Softworks YouTube page. (LINKED)

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Abyss Odyssey

Abyss Odyssey
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and PC (Steam)
Genre: Platform Action Adventure

I'll get right to it. In this new year of gaming reviews, Abyss Odyssey (number 2 on my list of games, chosen at random) was chosen as the first game for me to play and review, so here it is. 

This is an alright platform game cut from the same kind of cloth as Child of Light (even with some enemies looking incredibly similar, if not identical) only without the turn-based-combat-RPG element that helped make Child of Light so fun and playable. The combat can feel a little button-bashy, an the way your character Katrien moves is a little on the clunky side.

However, this game does have some truly beautiful art work and music, and the sound effects are of a high quality.

This game was created by Chilean games developer ACE Team and the game itself must be set in around 19th Century Chile, where a mysterious and powerful Warlock is dreaming deep underground, and due to his power, his dreams are creating weird and dark demons and monsters which are attacking the surface world. It is up to you, Katrien, who was also created by the Warlocks dreams, to defeat the evil, and stop the Warlock...

Overall a good little game, usually £10.99 on Steam but currently available for just £2.19 during the current sale (due to end 12-Feb-16), which I would definitely recommend - I would not however recommend paying the full price for it. Wait until the next sale if you're reading this too late!

Gameplay: 5 - Not great, but not exactly terrible. A little too clunky and button bashy.
Sound: 8 - Beautiful music and well worked sound effects.
Visuals: 8 - Stunning art work, a beautiful game.
Replayability: 5 - Due to clunky gameplay and button bashiness, I doubt I'll be going back to Abyss Odyssey for a second or third helping any time soon, but it's not entirely out of the picture!
Fun Factor: 7 - Despite the gameplay and replayability middle of the road scores, it is a fun game and will definitely fill a few hours of gaming.

Overall Percentage Score: 66% - Worth a punt if it's on sale, otherwise I would spend your money elsewhere. Add to your Steam Wishlist to find out when it's on sale at quick notice!


New Year, New MonkeyBoxGaming

Well it's been another long time since last I posted, however I have a new impetus to play and review. Only my reviews aren't going to be long winded - they are going to provide you, my loyal reader (I shouldn't really talk to myself), with the information you need in a bite size amount to do what a game review is meant to do - help you decide if you should buy said game.

I will provide a short written review of the game, giving you a slice of qualitative feedback on it, and then I'll provide you with something most people look for and that is the quantitative feedback on the game.

Now each game will have a percentage score, based on scoring on 5 different areas that I deem important: 

  • Gameplay - is it easy to learn? Is it challenging enough? Are the controls intuitive? etc. 
  • Sound - including music.
  • Visuals - not just "are the graphics high quality?", but do I find the game visually appealing? This will include things such as menus, HUDs, backgrounds, all major and minor details.
  • Replayability - is it good enough to go in for sloppy seconds? Thirds? Scheduled annual replays?
  • Fun Factor - Perhaps the most important aspect of any game, "Is it fun?"
Each of these areas will have a score out of 10 (with a maximum overall score of 50), this score is then doubled to create the score out of 100 or its percentage score.

I have a pretty decent amount of games, some shit, some amazing, and I'll be randomly picking which game to play and review, that first review will be coming soon. Promise.