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The long awaited 80’s match-up of your dreams is happening and Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath has got front row seats for y’all. After that surprise reveal of Alex Murphy aka Robocop as one of the upcoming kombatants, a showdown with T-800 was inevitable.

The devs must have been grinning from ear to ear as not one, but TWO gameplay trailers pitting the Future of Law Enforcement against the Killer Machine from the future. Check them out below:

This is like an 80’s geek brawl come to life and even we can’t choose between Robocop and the Governator so it’s great to see two outcomes to this iconic match-up, complete with their signature moves and Fatalities.

Makes you wonder if the Terminator actually felt anything from Robocop’s movie inspired shoot-the-balls finisher.

Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath is scheduled to release on May 26 for the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: April 28, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Multiplayer
  • Similar Games: Overcooked
  • Price: Starts at PHP1,250

You’ve managed to escape a relentless Nemesis and even saved the world from a One-Winged Angel. But all that is just child’s play. Nothing could have ever prepared you for the most action-packed, grueling, and intense quest you’ll ever tackle in a video game: Moving furniture.

You’ve seen video games where you can be a cook, a doctor, a farmer, and even a DJ. Now, you can add being a F.A.R.T. to the list. In Moving Out, you are a Furniture Arrangement & Relocation Technician, or F.A.R.T. for short.

Somewhere out there, some developer thought that a game where you move furniture would be an interesting concept for a video game. So is it? Join us as we discover the joys of moving with the Smooth Moves Company in this review of Moving Out.

In Moving Out, you take on the role of a rookie mover as you work your way up in the town of Packmore, where somehow everyone just wants to have furniture moved elsewhere. You’ll be going to different locations where you will have to move a set number of items from a client’s location to your moving truck, and you will have to do so in record time. Sounds simple? Sure, but not as easy as it sounds.

Moving furniture will require some degree of strategy and planning as you will need to study routes and consider that furniture pieces are bound by the laws of physics. Smaller items like chairs and microwave ovens can be moved with no problem at all. Heck, you can even throw them into the truck to save on time! The challenge will be heavier furniture like sofas and beds that will require you to drag them. It’s especially more challenging for the more oddly shaped items like L-shaped and curved sofas.

There’s definitely no dress code when you’re a F.A.R.T.

Looking rad, Brad

One of the things we have to highlight in Moving Out is definitely the presentation. The visuals are bright and colorful, making them very pleasant to the eyes. The graphics can almost be compared to The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker for the Switch and the choices of heads you can customize your avatar with can make you think the game is in the same universe as Parappa the Rapper.

Moving out is set in a fictional town called Packmore and believe it or not the developers have made the effort to put in a simple story about moving furniture to follow as you progress. You drive around the town of Packmore in your moving truck to your various locations that has this cute Simcity feel to it, just bustling with broken cars… Yes, broken, because you don’t have to worry about driving on the wrong lanes or crashing into other cars. You’re a professional mover, not driver.

Speaking of comparisons to other titles, there’s also references to pop culture and other games that can be found in the game’s visuals and dialogue like the Ninja Turtles and Frogger. It’s these small details that make Moving Out such a good and smart game to get into.

SimCity this is not. But it’s still bright and colorful…oh hey is that Bumblebee from Transformers?

Moving Out has quite a number of catchy tracks that can get you moving to the beat while throwing the furniture around, some of which might even get stuck in your head. The sound effects are also spot on like the sound of breaking windows, the howling of ghosts, to the sound of arcade machines giving off beeps and bells as you pull them off their sockets.

F.A.R.T.s can have fun

Your job as a F.A.R.T. is to move your client’s furniture in record time… by any means possible. One quote in the different loading screens states your customers signed a waiver so you, as someone who represents the Smooth Moves company, must move furniture as fast as possible even if it means breaking a few windows here and there to create some shortcuts. You don’t even need to get that TV into the moving truck in one piece, that’s just how it is!

The exchanges between your avatar and your moving partner are funny to read and really give off the vibe they just simply love their job. Just don’t expect the same level of love when it comes to handling your furniture with care (A moment of silence for all those game consoles that were thrown around and broken in-game during our playthrough). But hey as your boss said: “Move fast or die trying.”

It’s not Biped level simple but should still be easy enough to grasp.

Luckily, controls won’t be much of a problem as they are simple and easy to get used to. You move your avatar around with the analog stick and you use the shoulder button to grab and hold onto furniture to move them. You also have one button for throwing the smaller furniture around and another for jumping.

There’s even a dedicated button in the game for slapping. Yup, the best action in the game bar none. Your slap will be your best tool against stage hazards like ghosts (you can’t get any more badass if you can slap ghosts!) or if you want to knock some sense into your teammates. There shouldn’t be any problem getting the hang of controlling your avatar and while movement is a teeny tiny bit slippery, it shouldn’t be too much of a concern as overall, the control scheme is great and intuitive.

Ghosts and killer pianos are just some of the hassles in this haunted house. And this’s just one level.

Don’t think moving will be easy because there will be a lot of different locations you will be going to, each with their own challenges and hazards to face. In this 31 level (1 tutorial level included) moving experience, you’ll start with the more normal households but things will escalate as you move furniture in a haunted house avoiding pesky ghosts, to farms with hazardous rakes lying around as you try to move very unwilling farms animals, to even that Frogger inspired river level complete with moving traffic and floating logs.

Later locations will add even more puzzle elements will like switches and moving platforms. To add to the presentation, even the households vary as you’ll be visiting houses of professional athletes and music artists, as well as snowy lodges and muti storey apartments. We mentioned ghosts so you can be sure a couple of haunted houses and offices are in your list of clients.

Cluttered space, a mover’s worst nightmare.

There’s also the matter of your moving truck. You’ll have to be aware of the positions of your items in the truck. If you aren’t careful that basketball you threw may have already rolled out which is definitely a hassle. You’ll also have to ensure that everything you jam into your truck will fit as there’s nothing more frustrating that moving a whole heap of furniture only to realize you didn’t make space for that last L-shaped sofa.

Move fast for the gold.

Rewards in the game consist of Gold Coins and the aforementioned Pocket Watches, the latter of which will depend on how fast you are so you got either Gold, Silver or Bronze watches to earn. The Gold Coins on the other hand will depend because each level in Moving Out has different bonus objectives to compete. These bonus objectives can vary from simply kicking a soccer ball into a goal, shooting a basketball into a hoop, to breaking all of a house’s windows. What’s great is you don’t have to fulfill all conditions in one go. You can simply concentrate on one goal and just replay the level going for the remaining objectives, and it will all be registered as completed, so there’s definitely some degree of replayability.

Some of these Bonus objectives in later levels tend to be vague though and will require some investigation and exploring on your part and all these rewards will work towards unlocking more goodies in the game as Gold Coins will let you unlock challenging move based mini-games in the Arcade while Gold Pocket Watches will let you buy extra levels in the VHS Store.

This would be so easy to move with friends.

Movin’ together

There’s definitely a lot to do in Moving Out, even if you were to play the game alone. That said, the potential of this game is fully realized when you get to moving with a partner. While it’s fun to play alone if you’re just after beating your personal best records and completing bonus objectives, the solo experience just doesn’t cut it compared to moving furniture as a team.

Playing solo didn’t give us the urge to play one more level, and we had to take breaks in between to kind of reset a bit because after a few levels, the game does feel a bit of a drag. Unfortunately, for a game that fully shines in multiplayer, it was quite a glaring omission that there isn’t any online multiplayer mode, just the basic couch co-op. Sure it can be solved by a patch in the future, but it is just baffling to think why it wasn’t included in the game to begin with.

to three other players can join in on the fun and it makes moving the heavier furniture more convenient. If you’re moving a heavy object with a friend you can even work together to throw it into the truck. Even if the number of required items increases with the number of players, the fun really is how well you coordinate with each other. And definitely teamwork and maybe even friendships will be tested as you all coordinate your moves in finishing in record time.

There’s something familiar about this level…and that frog.

What we liked:

  • Bright and colorful graphics accompanied by catchy soundtrack
  • Bonus objectives encourage replayability
  • Perfect as a multiplayer experience

What we didn’t like:

  • No online multiplayer
  • Playing solo can be a bit of a drag

Verdict: Buy it!

At $24.99 or around PHP1,250, Moving Out sounds like a steal of a deal only if you have somebody to play the game with. Similar to our previous review of Biped, the single player experience is short but fun and if you’re fine with that, go ahead, but know that this game is built with multiplayer in mind.

Much like Overcooked, Moving Out the perfect multiplayer game that will require skill and coordination from both players. The lack of an online multiplayer mode is just surprising and while couch co-op magnifies the fun, it would have been nice to have the option to play with complete strangers.

Moving Out is a rather short game and finishing the 30 default levels shouldn’t take too long as it can probably be done in a day or so. That said, if you’re never going to be playing this with a friend, we’d recommend that you wait it out a bit until a reduction in price. Playing through all those 30 levels solo, we just couldn’t shake off the feeling something was missing when there’s nobody to move with.

If you are buying the game with multiplayer in mind, then Moving Out is definitely worth your time and money but multiplayer usage will vary depending on the level of your relationship with the other mover, as things may get a little spicy during your gaming sessions. Hey, at least you’ll have someone to split the non-existent repair bills with.

*Moving Out was reviewed on a PS4 Pro via a review code provided by the publisher.

During a time when we’re all required to stay at home for our safety, you gotta be thankful gaming is there to keep us busy and sane. The recent months in gaming has brought us amazing gems like Final Fantasy VII Remake, Resident Evil 3 and Doom Eternal to name a few.

May is going to be a relatively slow month in terms of releases, but it does have some gems to watch out for across all platforms. Let’s find out what’s going to be worth your time in gaming for this month!

Star Wars Episode I: Racer (PlayStation 4, Switch) – May 12

We love this game, so much that it’s one of our favorite Star Wars games of all time! Step into the shoes of a pod racer and know what it feels like to drive against the best and deadliest in this intense Star Wars based racer. It’s definitely a treat for fans of franchise since it features familiar faces and places from The Phantom Menace like obviously young Anakin Skywalker and the ruthless champion Sebulba.

Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition (Switch) – May 12

The original Xenoblade Chronicles was an unforgettable title on the Wii and now Switch owners will get a chance to (re)play this fantastic RPG. The Definitive Edition will not only be given a visual overhaul but you can also expect quality of life improvements to the gameplay, updated controls for the Switch, and remixed music. There’ll also be an epilogue called Future Connected! All that content really makes Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition deserving of its Definitive moniker.

Void Bastards (PS4, Switch, PC) – May 7

This FPS title may have already been enjoyed by PC fans when it was released last year on the PC, but soon console players will be able to experience it as well. Known for its stunning comic book looking visuals and dark humor, Void bastards has you play one of many prisoners on a ship that has to attack other ships for supplies for your own vessel. It’s a fun strategy shooter game that looks as good as it plays!

Minecraft Dungeons (PS4, XBOX One, Switch, PC) – May 26

Minecraft needs no introduction, but this new entry in the acclaimed video game series is something quite new. Gone are the days mining (and crafting), welcome dungeon crawler with the Minecraft aesthetic! Play alone or with friends as you explore dungeons solve puzzles, avoid traps, and find treasure in this new adventure that’s sure to be another feather in Mojang’s cap.

XCOM 2, Bioshock, and Borderlands Collections (Switch) – May 29

Switch owners are in for a treat in May because not just one but three amazing game series are making their way to the hybrid console this month. Take your pick from the turn-based strategy XCOM 2, the thought provoking narrative first person shooter Bioshock, or the acclaimed looter shooter in Borderlands.

Each collection contains multiple titles as well as the corresponding DLC’s so you should be able to clock in dozens of hours here, making it the perfect way to spend the lockdown and staying safe at the same time.

Happy May the 4th! Or as a lot would like to say, “May the 4th be with you!”

Today is a very special day for a lot of people as the world celebrates Star Wars Day! Star Wars, as a franchise, has really come a long way, encompassing so many mediums like movies, toys, tv series, and even video games. It’s become a big part of our culture and arguably everyone, whether geek or not, has at least been exposed to a movie or two.

Much like the movies and TV series, the Star Wars video games have had numerous entries throughout the years, with some being better than others. We have not played all of them though, but there are a number of memorable Star Wars games that stuck with us which we would love to share with you!

These games are some of our favorites, spanning from Racing to FPS and even RPG’s. Whichever you fancy, there’s definitely a Star Wars game just for you.

Star Wars Episode 1: Racer

IGN Youtube Channel

Aside from being the start of the Star Wars saga, chronologically, The Phantom Menace is remembered for a lot of things… yes, even Jar Jar Binks. On the other hand, you’ll likely have fond memories of Episode 1 because of Darth Maul and Pod Racing, the latter of which inspired this fantastic racing game from 1999. If the thought of reliving Anakin’s thrilling adventures has got you excited, this game is your chance to step into the shoes of a pod racer and compete against the very best.

Star Wars Episode I: Racer is scheduled to be released for the PS4 and Switch on May 12.

Star Wars Battlefront 2

Battlefront 2 has been one of the most talked about Star Wars title, and not for the best reasons. Despite its very rocky start, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has now evolved into the game it was meant to be, worthy of the Star Wars name.

Get to control your favorite Star Wars Personalities like Yoda, Darth Vader, Luke, Leia, and much more as you battle it out across various locales in fast paced shooter action that’s sure to get your midi-chlorians rising.

Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order

Star Wars invades the Souls genre with their latest offering, Jedi Fallen Order. Taking place roughly after Episode 3 and before Episode 4 starts when the Jedi have all but been wiped out, step into the shoes of Cal Kestis, a Jedi struggling to survive the Galactic Empire’s ruthless Jedi purge who is forced by circumstances to come out of hiding and take on an important journey.

If you’ve ever played any of FromSoftware’s difficult but satisfying action RPGs in the Souls genre, then you can very well expect mostly the same from Jedi Fallen Order. It’s not as hard, but you’ll need to master the use of the force to get through this one!

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic

DanQ8000 Youtube Channel

This Star Wars based RPG developed by Bioware takes place almost 4,000 years before the Galactic Empire was even established, ever before the whole Skywalker saga from the movies!

Step into the shoes of a your main character and embark on an amazing adventure to become a Jedi, meet other characters as you make your way to your fated confrontation with the Sith, with your choices eventually leading you be a hailed Jedi hero of the light, or a loyal follower of the dark side.

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic is one of the most critically acclaimed titles in the franchise and widely considered as a masterpiece and milestone in gaming.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

DanQ8000 Youtube Channel

Also taking place between Episode 3 and 4, this classic action hack and slash RPG has you controlling Darth Vader’s secret apprentice, Galen Malek Starkiller, on a journey of working to do his master’s bidding to eventually carving his own path, even if it meant going up against Vader himself.

Vader’s secret apprentice is strong with the Force, and you’ll get to wield Starkiller’s awesome power for yourself. Having spawned a sequel, it shows that Starkiller has definitely made his mark in Star Wars history.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: March 27, 2020, April 8, 2020 for PS4
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Puzzle Platformer
  • Similar Games: Little Big Planet, Tearaway
  • Price: $14.99 or around PHP750

Platformers have come a long way. From Mario to Crash Bandicoot and even Little Big Planet, the genre has introduced fun and innovative gameplay throughout the years. When talking about innovation, Ape Escape easily comes to mind for the creative use of the PS1 dual analog sticks.

Enter Biped and its cast of sentient two legged robots called…. well, Bipeds. For the most part, Biped flew under the radar due to the game sharing a similar release window with arguably bigger titles. Inspite of this, Biped manages to stand tall in a crowded genre with its simple mechanics and engaging gameplay.

Here’s our review of Biped.

The premise of Biped is interesting but at the same time very straightforward. Basically, in another time where the Earth isn’t populated by humans, you are part of a team of Bipeds that was called to reactivate beacons on Earth that serve as a guide to space farers.

I did say straightforward, didn’t I?

Those looking for a story driven platformer like Celeste would be left high and dry because Biped does not really highlight that. Instead, Biped focuses on other aspects that make up for the lack of a good plot.

Biped is a platformer game where you control one of these titular robots. They really just consist of a body and two legs, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this will just be a simple game. Armed with just your limbs, you’ll need to traverse the various levels that the game offers, all while solving its cleverly designed puzzles.

Like how Ape Escape was innovative for its time, the unique feature of Biped comes from that fact that your Playstation 4 Dual Analog sticks control your Biped’s two legs. No shoulder buttons, or any other buttons for that matter. All you get are your analog sticks. If you’ve ever experienced participating in one of those three legged races, then you’ll know what it feels like to step in the shoes of one of these robots. Walking is a matter of alternating between the left and right analog sticks and while the concept is easy to grasp, being efficient with it is another thing altogether. Luckily the game begins with a tutorial that will teach you how to walk, slide, other things things you’ll need to master to finish the game.

Apart from actually walking, there are a host of other actions you can do throughout your journey, including grabbing and activating levers, swinging, wood cutting, and even boat steering. Remember, you’ve got no arms, so everything will be done by your legs through the analog sticks. Left leg, left analog stick. Right leg, right analog stick. This simplicity is where Biped actually shines.

The challenges you will encounter are creatively done and really fun to tackle. You will be challenged by simple things like trying to walk over unstable platforms and memorizing patterns to more complex tasks like timing you movements while jumping from platform to platform. They aren’t the most mind bending puzzles in the world, but managing your way through them with limited resources makes it all the more satisfying, as you realize that all this is just from using two analog sticks.

Scattered throughout each level in Biped are collectibles, along with mini games like collecting a number of special coins within a time limit to get rewards. These rewards are coins and stars which you’ll want to grab as much as you can to buy cosmetics for your Biped (more on those later).

At the end of every level, you’ll be judged on how fast you activate the banner, the number of times you “died”, and how many stars you collected. This brings us to another aspect that’ll make you want to retry all of the levels – getting good.

If the thought of trying to finish all challenges is hard enough, try doing it in record time! On an average, we finished each level in about 15-20 minutes each for our first run. Imagine our surprise when we saw that the record time for some levels was anywhere between 4-9 minutes, not to mention the limited number of deaths you can have. The game is generous, at least, to give you unlimited tries whenever you make a mistake.

Overall, we really dig the challenge the game offered throughout each of the 8 story levels. It wasn’t too easy but at the same time not too hard either, with all levels featuring immersive visual and audio quality that makes the game very easy on the eyes and ears.

Another aspect where Biped excels can be attributed to its graphics. Beautiful and bright, you will be going through different kinds of levels that take you from rainy forests, snowy fields, and even raging rivers, all beautifully rendered with vivid colors and shapes that you’d think they were straight out of Little Big Planet or Tearaway.

Your Biped can be dolled up with various customization options in game. Don’t expect sliders and palette options here. Biped takes the simple route and allows you to dress your Biped up with hats, glasses, and other goofy accessories that can be purchased with the coins you collect from the levels, giving them a fresh new, albeit wacky look.

Everything we’ve said so far actually just covers the single player experience, but what if we told you that you can enjoy all of it with a friend? Biped’s shining feature is actually co-op play and it’s equal parts fun and frustrating at the same time.

The single player mode is very short lived. It took us around 2 and a half hours to go through the whole campaign since we didn’t bother to beat the records per level but the local co-op mode is a different beast altogether.

Some parts of the solo campaign will have you work your way through certain puzzles with an AI controlled bot but in co-op play, you’ll have to work together with a friend or partner to face the challenges. Coordination is key, and while it adds fun, we would be lying if we didn’t tell you that it adds a lot of frustration as well. Relationships will be tested and you may end up blaming him or her after it is all said and done, but completing the game with a buddy is extremely satisfying, especially some of the later levels where the puzzles are much harder.

If anything, it’s quite a shame that Biped doesn’t offer any online multiplayer option just yet. While it’s something that could be added in a future update, the opportunity to run through the game with a complete stranger is something that should have been there in the first place.

What we liked:

  • Simple but innovative puzzles
  • Catchy music
  • Bright and colorful levels

What we didn’t like:

  • Controls can sometimes be frustrating
  • Fixed camera angles can get in the way of some parts of the level
  • No online multiplayer yet

Verdict: Buy it!

Overall, Biped is a joy to play. Despite its very short solo campaign mode, this game really excels because of the co-op mode. To sweeten the deal, Biped is priced rather temptingly, justifying the cost with its innovative gameplay that’s as fun to watch as it is to actually play.

If you play alone, this is a purchase that will not be very valuable to you at the moment due to the lack of online multiplayer but if you’ve got someone to play co-op with locally, then it’s a title that we can easily recommend to everyone.

Biped was reviewed on a PS4 Pro via a review code provided by the publisher.

Back in the day, Final Fantasy 7’s Gold Saucer was the place to be if you wanted a fun diversion from the main storyline. The massive amusement park was filled with various activities that you can play over and over, all while earning a few prizes on the side.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake brings that back… well, sort of.

While the first game is set wholly in Midgar, there are quite a number of mini-games for you to accomplish that will not only pass the time, but also provide useful items on your journey.

Darts

In Chapter 3, you’ll get to enter Seventh Heaven, a bar that also serves as the hideout for Barret and the rest of the Avalanche members. You’ll also get to play some Darts here, which is quite easy and fun once you get the hang of it.

You’ll need a steady hand and will want to aim for a bullseye as much as possible. The object is to beat Wedge’s record of 8 darts which sounds tough, but really isn’t.

The reward? A Luck Up Materia if you take top spot in the leaderboards. Ez pz!

Whack-A-Box

Show the kids how it’s done and beat them at their own game come chapter 8. After a few side quests, you’ll get to unlock Whack-a-Box and the point of the game is to destroy as many boxes as you can, with each box having point values assigned to them.

If that sounds easy enough, come back in chapter 14 to play a harder version of the mini game, which will net you juicy rewards such as Elixir, Crescent Moon Charm, Spectral Cogwheel, Moogle Medal, and the coveted Tranference Module (Hard), which is an accessory makes filling your limit gauge faster!

You wouldn’t want to waste any time or miss any hits here, so a good tip to help you out is to use the Deadly Dodge Materia and pair it with Punisher mode to dish out the hurt. You’ll have to position yourself carefully though and prioritizing the time extending boxes is a must.

Squats

Yep, you read right. Squats.

In chapter 9, you can visit the gym near Don Corneo’s Mansion to flex those muscles a little bit but also to take part in a friendly squat competition against Jules and his lackeys.

The classic mini-game returns and has a been tweaked significantly to be more slightly challenging as this time, you do it while following a set of button sequences that gets faster as you go.

Getting your groove right is the key to this mini-game. Jules almost never makes a mistake so you’ll need to watch Cloud’s movements closely. Try to work a rhythm to it and don’t be too pressured with the score and you’ll obtain 3 Mega Potions, a Luck Up Materia, and a Champion Belt for your troubles. The Champion Belt is a great accessory that gives 10% more HP and 5% more strength, allowing you to dish out and take more damage at the same time!

Pull-Ups

Returning to the Wall Market Gym in chapter 14 will let you do another gym workout in the form of Pull-Ups, which is fairly similar to Squats only this time, the sequences are random, with Jules proving to be a tougher task.

Nothing short of perfection is the only way to get you through this mini-game. You should be able to get through the first two with no problem, but Jules is just simply a workout beast. He will rarely make a mistake and when he’s on a roll, he’s like a hasted Pull-Up machine on steroids. Just calm down and get your groove going for you the same way you did for Squats. It also helps if you stop glancing at the score to take the pressure off!

You’ll get rewarded with a Way of the Fist Vol. III, Magic Up Materia, and Champion Belt at the end of it all.

Corneo Colosseum

Right beside the Gym is another place where you can put your skills to the test. The Corneo Colosseum will have you go through a number of fights that will surely test your might.

The colosseum is actually a great place to gain experience points so you can grind it out here a bit if you feel a tiny bit underpowered. More importantly, fantastic rewards await those who can conquer all challenges.

If anything, we recommend leveling up Healing Materia for access to Regen and Cura since Curaga uses up a lot of MP. Time Materia is also important as it gives you access to Haste and Slow, which can turn the tide of battle in your favor. It doesn’t have to be said but staggering the enemies will also be key.

There are various rewards as you climb up the ranks, but you’ll want to get to the top to acquire the Moogle’s Amulet, which increases the item drop rate of enemies in battle.

There are a LOT of rewards to be had, so try to challenge everything to rake in a huge haul. You’ll get all of these for your troubles – Legacy: Ascension, Legacy: Catastrophe, Legacy: Dolphin Flurry, Legacy: Planet’s Protection, Clarity Pendant, The Art of Swordplay Vol. II, Sharpshooter’s Companion Vol. II, Way of the Fist Vol. II, Telluric Scriptures Vol. II, Tarot Cards, Moogle’s Amulet

Shinra Combat Simulator

The Shinra Combat Simulator is similar to the Corneo Colosseum where you’ll be tested in various battle situations and run a gauntlet of fights, both solo and in groups. Beat these challenges and you’ll be rewarded with a huge haul of really useful items.

Just like the Colosseum, careful planning and Materia management will be key to winning these fights. Do prioritize high level healing and time spells as much as possible but also learning to switch up characters during battle is a must. It may be a bit more difficult, but the rewards are sweeter.

When we said a huge haul of items, we meant it! You’ll be rewarded with the Cog Bangle, Supreme Bracer, Rune Armlet, Geometric Bracelet, Gil Up Materia, Exp Up Materia, The Art of Swordplay Vol. XIII, Sharpshooter’s Companion Vol. XIII, The Way of the Fist Vol. XIII, Telluric Scriptures Vol. XIII, and the Refocus Materia.

You’ll also get rewarded with the Gotterdammerung, a highly valuable accessory that let’s you start a battle with a full limit gauge while filling the gauge gradually as well during battle, but there are quite a number of steps to do first like finishing all of the Battle Intel Reports, all Corneo Colosseum fights, and the “Three-Person Team vs. Top Secrets” fight which you can access in hard mode.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: March 26, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
  • Genre: Action adventure, Beat em up
  • Similar Games: Dynasty Warriors
  • Price: Starts at PHP1,995

One Piece is a Japanese anime franchise that needs no introduction. It’s practically an institution! For the uninitiated, it’s an ongoing manga and anime series set in a fictional world where during his execution, the notorious pirate Gol D. Roger declares all his treasure, the titular One Piece, up for grabs, goading every ambitious pirate out there to claim the treasure and be declared the Pirate King.

One such individual is Monkey D. Luffy and with his crew the Straw Hat Pirates, they set sail to look for One Piece and fulfill each of their individuals goals, along the way getting into epic fights, gaining the respect of some, and incurring the wrath of others.

With a premise like that, it shouldn’t be surprising that a Musou game would be made based on One Piece, and courtesy of the creators of the Musou genre, Koei-Tecmo, no less! Is the 4th game in the series worth your treasured riches? Here’s our review.

Koei’s series of Musou games are basically evolved beat-em-ups. In a wide battlefield you control one hero type character and proceed to beat the living hell out of anything that moves, tens and hundreds at a time. At its core, they’re pretty repetitive and brainless but the appeal of these Musou games is the feeling of being a badass in a war, racking up kill counts, and beating all of your rivals with one fell swoop.

It’s an underrated feeling if we’re being quite honest, because after all of the rough and tumble out there, all you want to do at the end of the day is be the hero and feel like one.

Sounds like something that fits One Piece perfectly, yeah?

The same piece

Like its predecessors, One Piece Warriors 4 (We’ll refer to it as OP4 from now on) is pretty much the same game at its core. You control iconic One Piece characters like Monkey D. Luffy to Zoro and even Chopper, all while navigating this horde of enemies whose only purpose is to be your punching bag.

Stages are divided into sections where a base that spawns endless enemy soldiers will be your target and once you chop enough of the goons down, a leader will appear, standing between you and your goal of capturing the area.

It’s one vs. everyone else. The odds are definitely in Sanji’s favor.

You’d think that being in the same group as the Straw Hats would make the journey a literal walk in the park, but it couldn’t be any farther from the truth. Your AI partners are nothing more than distractions, even distracting you from the main goal since they withdraw so often that you have to continually revive them every single time. It’s a bit frustrating to be quite honest, and paired with a bothersome camera that doesn’t deal with tight spaces very well, it’s literally you against everybody else.

It’s not all doom and gloom, since OP4 has some pretty sweet moves that your character can use. In particular, the game places heavy emphasis on airborne attacks that can deal a great amount of damage to large groups as well as the addition of giant characters like Whitebeard during the Marineford Arc.

Speaking of story arc’s, the game will have you play through the Alabasta Arc all the way to the Wano Arc, meaning you will be controlling Luffy and his crew before and after the 2 year timeskip. Some stories will understandably be relegated to just being narrated like the Thriller Bark and Punk Hazard Arcs for example, unless you want to spend a long while with the game. You do know how long this Anime and Manga series has been going on, right?

Hang around these bases for a steady stream of thugs to beat up.

Captain’s log #927

The various modes in the game, called “Logs”, bring you on numerous adventures that are varied enough to provide a number of hours with the game. Dramatic Log has you playing through the narrative, with each arc being divided into 5 or 6 chapters. During the Dressrosa Arc for example, Sanji isn’t playable since he wasn’t around during that time. However once you finish a certain chapter, it will be available in Free Log and here you can pick anyone to replay that chapter! Fancy finishing the Wano Arc with Ace? Not so impossible anymore.

There is also the Treasure Log mode, basically non-Canon scenarios that puts One-Piece characters in various situations. It was particularly clever of the game to incorporate the characteristics of One Piece characters into the gameplay, like Sanji having a disadvantage in a particular stage because of female characters, and then finding that attacking female enemies which cause him to flinch. This is Sanji the ladies man we are talking about after all!

Yes that’s you as Whitebeard and wiping out everyone that isn’t your nakama.

The Straw Hat arsenal

OP4 has a pretty easy learning curve, so don’t let all the flashy and wave clearing attacks fool you. You only have Normal and Charge Attack buttons to manage and you can practically button mash your way to victory, we kid you not.

Musou games can look overly simplistic but OP4’s Skill and Special Attack systems do offer a level of strategy. Aside from your Normal and Charge Attacks, you can assign up to four Special Attacks that are powerful moves consisting of either crowd clearing attacks, grabs, or the stat increasing Full-Force Bursts. You start off with just a certain number but progressing through the game’s narrative and Growth Maps will unlock more Special Attacks, giving you a choice of what combinations you would like to bring to battle. Some Full-Force Bursts even lets you change form, which in turn gives you access to new moves.

On the other hand, Skills are buffs that you can equip and the more Skill slots you unlock in the Growth Maps, the more you can have at the same time, examples being skills that increases Berries you earn after a battle or makes it easier to capture areas.

Finishing levels in OP4 will net you not just Crew Points (Experience), but also Berries and Coins, the former being the currency in One Piece. You’ll need to be especially wary of completing the different main and sub mission objectives to gain a higher score in the end, which in turn give you more rewards as you use them for Growth Maps, OP4’s equivalent to Final Fantasy X’s Sphere Grids.

Each island on these Growth Maps represent a certain stat, be it levelling up Special Attacks, Skills slots, Defense, or Stamina. So the more Berries and Coins you spend on a particular island, the higher the stats bonuses gets. Fear not, as the game is quite generous with rewards but you will still need to be careful as you may have the coins needed but suddenly find yourself short on Berries, and vice versa.

It also goes without saying that the more islands you fill up, the bigger your arsenal gets in the form of more Special Attacks and Skills.

It looks overwhelming at first but the Growth Maps are fairly simple

Part of the fun in the game is getting to choose your favorite character and you’ll be pleased to know that you have access to a wide variety of One Piece characters, with their respective fighting styles faithfully recreated.

Power types, like Luffy and Zoro, have very strong and crowd clearing attacks. Speed types are weaker but are faster so some of your favorites like pre-timeskip Sanji and Sabo fall here. There’s also the Technique type characters, who have indirect attacks, requiring a bit of… Well, technique, to use effectively in battle. Examples of Technique types are Usopp, who fights with his trademark slingshot and can plant bombs and Robin, who attacks using her Devil Fruit ability.

And then there’s the Sky type fighters, whose attacks are more effective when they’re airborne like Crocodile and post-timeskip Sanji. Even Luffy can become a Sky type when you activate his Bounceman Full-Force Special Ability. Seeing these different types of fighters was a great motivation to try out each one, and although they control all the same way, the fun is finding which One Piece character suits your style the most.

Zoro vs. Mr. 1 Cinematic in CG.

Silly Monkey (D. Luffy)

Koei-Tecmo have proven themselves in terms of graphics and character models, and Pirate Warriors 4 is no different, though there are some letdowns. While the cinematic cutscenes play nicely, recreating certain iconic One Piece scenes, the in-game cutscenes are a mixed bag. They play fairly well but sometimes the faces just don’t match the situation, with Luffy looking neutral for a very emotional scene, for example.

Some in-game scenes, however, like Sanji and Luffy’s fight in the Whole Cake Island Arc, can be really heartfelt. It feels a little inconsistent that cinematics can show varying levels of emotions but the in-game ones don’t, which clearly shows a certain level of laziness with games like these.

Despite these though, the world of One Piece is faithfully recreated, from the setting to the characters. Progressing through the game even lets you unlock different outfits, especially since some characters have pre and post timeskip looks.

It’s also a nice touch that when you knock enemies into walls they will sometimes crumble, leaving a noticeable mess. This is just a great representation of One Piece given how destructive the fights can be, a Straw Hat trademark to say the least. Speaking of which…

Sound is another one of those mixed bag moments in OP4. On one hand, all the major One-Piece characters are faithfully voiced by their Japanese actors. The random grunts too are well voiced, especially when you hear them cowering and screaming when being blown away. The music too, is also well done, consisting of mostly guitar riffs that are sure to get your blood pumping as you head into battle.

On the other hand, it’s a shame not to hear a lot of familiar One Piece music. It was especially disappointing to not hear any of the opening songs from One Piece when booting up the game, clearly an opportunity missed to cater to fans of the series.

What we liked:

  • Mindless fun
  • Faithful recreation of the One Piece Universe

What we didn’t like:

  • Too repetitive
  • Very long unlock grinds
  • Of little value to those already familiar with the series

Verdict: Wait for it…

Like most Musou games, OP4’s fun but repetitive gameplay is both its strength and weakness. We understand this is intentional as the appeal of Musou games but it may not appeal to everyone. The game especially feels like a long grind when you do almost the same thing in each Arc, finishing a moderate number of missions even to just unlock other characters.

What could have saved it is the story. Unfortunately, like most anime based games, it’s treading on familiar territory. One Piece fans may not mind retelling the adventures of the Straw Hat’s, but the gameplay really doesn’t do enough to make you want to sit through their escapades.

Then again, sometimes, all you need is a simple button masher game and OP4 serve that purpose for you, especially if you are a fan of the Anime and Manga series. It’s good to have one or two of these games in your library, but it’s really not worth recommending at full price. Wait a bit, you’ll thank us for it.

*One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 was reviewed on a PS4 Pro through a review code provided by the publishers.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!
“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.
“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.
“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.
Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: April 3, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Genre: Action RPG / RPG
  • Similar Games: Resident Evil Series
  • Price: Starts at PHP2,395

One of our fondest memories of the Resident Evil 2 Remake was the terrifying Mr. X. This hulking, trenchcoat wearing behemoth would stalk you at almost every turn, leaving you paranoid in the midst of battling zombies and solving puzzles. Even back then, it made us wonder how much more terrifying Nemesis would be.

Capcom, not one to shy away from giving fans what they wanted, granted that wish with the announcement of the remake of Resident Evil 3, marking the return of one of the most iconic villains of the franchise. This remake has got some big shoes to fill, following not only in the footsteps of the critically acclaimed Resident Evil 2 Remake but also of the original PS1 game.

Will RE3 shine like a S.T.A.R or will it fizzle out like one of those Ivy zombies blasted by flame rounds? Here’s our review.

That’s a good looking zombie

RE3 takes place around a day before Leon and Claire arrive and after a particular time skip, picks up again 24 hours after the RE2 pair makes it out of the city with Sherry Birkin. You control returning S.T.A.R.S. elite Jill Valentine, who, in the process of leaving the city, is caught in the the middle of the virus outbreak with zombies running rampant. Along the way she meets up with familiar faces like Carlos Oliveira as they team up to survive and escape the nightmare that is Raccoon City.

Players of the recent RE2 remake will find RE3 to be familiar territory. Graphically, the game is consistent with the previous remake, with its almost realistic character models and attention to gory details. If anything, RE3 looks even better and more polished. RE2 looked great, but RE3 just kicks it up a notch, running at 1620p at 60FPS for the PS4 Pro version and 2160p for the Xbox One X which sputters a bit with inconsistent frame rates. Surprisingly, the PS4 Pro version is the definitive console experience for this multi platform title, but Capcom may soon put out a patch to fix the Xbox version.

RE3 hits a home run in terms of audio quality. While there isn’t a lot of background music in the game, the voice acting is top notch, save for some exceptions (more on that later). The sounds of guns, zombies, and Nemesis’ footsteps are all spatially accurate, adding depth to the experience especially if you are using a good quality headset. RE2 managed to keep the dread going by having certain sound effects play even without zombies in the immediate area, and RE3 sustains this to keep your heart racing at every turn.

RE3 still has the zombie horde to make your journey a difficult one but Capcom threw in some surprises to beef up the opposing lineup that can give Jill a run. Making a return are the dreaded Hunters, another mainstay of the series, with Gamma and Beta variants to boot. There are also bug like creatures that resemble the Chimeras from previous games, able to infect you with a parasite that drastically hampers your movement unless you consume a green herb, as you disgustingly regurgitate it out.

Little tweaks have been made to the basic zombies which make fighting them feel a little different. When knocking them down, they will very likely lunge at you as they get up if you’re close, prompting you to ensure the kill with a double tap to the head. They’re also a little bit tougher to incapacitate but you’ll be glad to know that the usual tactic of shooting off zombie legs to cripple them is still viable.

Also, is it just us or don’t they follow into rooms as much anymore compared to the relentless bunch in RE2?

You’ll also encounter new threats along the way, namely the Pale Heads and infected zombies. These infected zombies look a lot like the Las Plagas from RE4 and a long range threat. Pale heads are… well, naked white zombies that are way more durable than your average baddie.

Jill Valentine, zombie killer

Thankfully, Jill is more than well equipped to handle the horde. If you’ve played the RE2 remake, then the controls will feel right at home, with a few tweaks that make Jill a one woman army, reinforcing the more action oriented direction of RE3.

Now conveniently mapped to 1 button, dodging now lets you do a quick step in different directions to avoid getting hit, but what you’ll want to concern yourself more with is the perfect dodge. If you time your dodge just right, you can not only avoid an enemy attack, but if you aim your weapon soon after you get some Matrix-like slow down to a counterattack of your own. It’s definitely a combat mechanic you will want to master especially if you want to stand toe to toe with the S.T.A.R. of the game.

Nemesis is exactly what we expected him to be in the Remake. Bigger, badder, and a persistent chunk of flesh that has more than one way to skin a cat named Jill. He’s Mr. X brought to a way higher level, with a wider array of attacks and a more relentless demeanor. And did we say he can jump?

Unlike his MR. X, Nemesis can run and jump as he chases you around the zombie infested locales, making running a sometimes useless effort. Surprisingly, it’s quite hard to gauge how near he is so you’ll need to depend on other means like shadows and the increasing sound of his footsteps.

He also throws a mean hook and can scream at you to stun you for a few seconds. His (Its?) reputation as a relentless S.T.AR.S. stalking monster is more than faithfully captured in the remake. It’s a daunting task to take him down, but fortunately for you, Capcom has tossed over a lifeline.

Environmental hazards make their way back into the remake and throughout Raccoon City, there are explosive drums that will allow you to wipe out hordes of zombies in one shot. New to the remake are Electical generators that will emit a shockwave that can stun zombies in place and can be used again after a certain time. What’s even better is that both hazards work on Nemesis.

Capcom giveth, Capcom taketh

The original game was a highly replayable title thanks to various features that are sadly absent from the remake. The option to choose different branching paths is a glaring omission and while you technically still have the option to face Nemesis or run, certain scenes back in the original had Jill take a different path depending on the story choice you made.

The classic Worm boss also didn’t make it to this remake and players of the original may have to rethink some solutions because Capcom changed those too, even the randomness of the puzzle solutions is gone. We’d be lying if we told you we didn’t feel the least bit disappointed, seeing as how RE2 got most, if not all, of the original game into the remake.

There’s also noticeably less puzzles in this game compared to both RE2 and the original. Though there’s still some incentive to replay the game like the various challenges and unlockables, it’s still just the same scenario. It’s the exact reason why the Mercenaries mini-game from the original is sorely missed. In it’s place however, is the Resistance multiplayer online, which we’ll get to in a bit.

The single player campaign was quite the experience. As a remake, it definitely did its job. Even though quite a number of things were removed in this installment, the plot at least feels faithful. Our 6 to 7 hours with the campaign were fast paced and action packed, making the loss of some locations from the original an afterthought.

Also, just like the original, the remake still has elements of horror despite taking on a more action oriented approach. The balance is just right, prompting scares but at the same time giving you tools to take the fight to Umbrella.

Certain personalities also get some meaningful screentime, although it’s really not a surprise anymore as to who kicks the curb in the game, but we’ll zip it for the newcomers. RE3 also gives certain scenes from RE2 some context, which is a rather nice touch, and this is just Capcom being Capcom and paying attention to detail and enforcing continuity in the story.

On the other hand…

Cease and resist

Once a standalone title but was later relegated to being the multiplayer mode for RE3, Resistance is an asymmetric PVP game where 4 survivors battle it out against the evil Mastermind. As the lone Mastermind, it’s your job to stop the Survivors from escaping the stage and at your disposal are various traps and monsters, even Tyrant types like Birkin and Mr. X.

Opposing the Mastermind are the survivors and it’s up to you and your team to figure out how to escape each of the trapped areas and earn your freedom, all the while going up against the Mastermind’s monsters. On the surface it’s a great concept, however does Resistance have what it takes to be a side game that can compliment Resident Evil 3 just like how Mercenaries was a fun diversion from the original campaign?

Immediately, you’ll notice that Resistance is not graphically up to snuff with the single player campaign. Unlike in RE2 where all the bonus modes like 4th Survivor and The Tofu Variations share the same graphical quality as the main campaign, Resistance feels tacked on (it really is) and not thematically coherent with the rest of the game.

The voice acting, while okay, does sound a tad bit silly, especially when you hear one of the Masterminds gloating over the Survivors. The dialogue isn’t as cheesy as the original Resident Evil script but the Survivor and Mastermind lines aren’t exactly award winning catchphrases.

The main issue with asymmetrical games like these is the imbalance of experience. Resistance is only as fun as your weakest teammate and more often than not, you’ll find yourself losing just because a random isn’t cooperating with the rest of the team.

It’s a general multiplayer weakness with party based games, but it is more amplified here in Resistance where it is nigh impossible to win if you don’t work as a team, unlike certain multiplayer games where you can literally get carried by a godlike team member.

The playstyle of the Survivors is vastly different from the Mastermind. While the Mastermind makes moves through card based actions and via the various security cameras littered throughout the arena, the Survivors have 5 individuals, each with different skills.

For example, Tyrone the fireman is a natural leader so he has abilities that can raise his teammates’ stats. January the hacker is able to mess with the surveillance cameras temporarily blinding the Mastermind to what your team is doing in certain areas. It really takes the cooperation of each team member to make it out alive, especially when each has a unique skill that brings something to the table.

Don’t get us wrong, Resistance is actually quite fun, especially as a Survivor. The tension and fear is there as you’re never sure where a Mastermind will plant that next zombie or trap, or even killing the lights temporarily, leaving you in the dark. The fun, however, doesn’t last very long, as it can get pretty tiring especially with some questionable design decisions like the various time penalties that can be slapped on you, leaving you at a constant disadvantage.

Controls are also very clunky compared to the buttery smooth and intuitive feel that the main RE2 and RE3 campaigns offered.

A redeeming factor would have been to directly connect Resistance to the single player campaign. Much like how Mercenaries earned you rewards which you can use in single player, Resistance could have done the same but missed the opportunity to do so.

What we liked:

  • Faithful to the original despite some changes
  • Solid single player campaign
  • Nemesis faithfully recreated

What we didn’t like:

  • Resistance doesn’t offer much compared to Mercenaries
  • Key features from original 1999 game removed.
  • Lesser puzzles compared to original game and RE2 Remake.

Verdict: Wait for it…

RE3 is a solid entry and a worthy addition to the remakes Capcom has been releasing. Resident Evil 2 raised the bar so high by providing a completely different experience but at the same time remaining faithful to the original, striking a perfect balance between the old and the new. RE3, while maintaining that level of production quality, took too many things away from the original which negatively impacted its overall value.

Even with the addition of Resistance, it was quite hard to justify the full price tag of the game for something that lacked the immense replayability the original game had. Resistance cannot, in any way, replace Mercenaries, and even through the main campaign can be a standalone game, it sports a steep admission fee especially when you compare it to the RE2 remake.

Don’t get us wrong, RE3 is a fantastic game. The pace is much quicker but the survival horror aspect is still greatly felt. Some iconic moments were removed, but looking at the game as a whole, RE3 still gives a solid, albeit short, playtime throughout the 6 or so hours of the campaign.

*Resident Evil 3 was reviewed on a PS4 Pro via a review code provided by the publisher.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings! “Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above. “Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10. “Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.
Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: March 12, 2020
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4
  • Genre: Action RPG
  • Similar Games: Nioh, Sekiro, Bloodborne
  • Price: Starts at PHP2,995

One thing you can credit Capcom and From Software for is making suffering a new genre of its own. While Capcom isn’t normally in the discussion, long time hunters who have witnessed G rank first hand would beg to differ.

One thing in common with Monster Hunter and the Souls series is the level of skill needed to get good, and for teaching players to accept defeat and push through a difficult situation. Naturally, other developers have taken a stab (pun intended) at a Souls game, resulting in titles like Code: Vein and Jedi Fallen Order as the most recent entries. Enter Nioh from way back 2017, a surprise success from Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja.

While Nioh borrowed heavily from the Souls series in terms of gameplay, it managed to become its own beast through its Japanese setting, mission based progression, and introduction of its own mechanics like weapon stances and Guardian Spirits. For a new IP, Nioh proved to be a successful one, as seen with the sales and its warm reception from the gaming community. Will Koei Tecmo be able to strike gold a second time? Here’s our review of Nioh 2.

Yokai Slayers Wanted

Story-wise, newcomers will have no problem starting Nioh 2 without having to play the first game since it’s actually a prequel. Years before William’s (the protagonist from the first game) adventure, you’ll be playing a silent protagonist in Sengoku Era Japan, where as a human-yokai offspring you will be thrust into a fantasy horror story involving wars, yokai slaying, political unrest, and even more yokai slaying. Along the way you’ll meet different interesting characters like the mysterious Mumyo and even famous historical Japanese figures like Oda Nobunaga.

Character creation greets you as a new feature that Nioh 2 has over the first game. It is very detailed, from gender to height to face and even tattoos, and you’ll even be able to customize the look of your Yokai form. Don’t worry about making a mistake after finalizing your character as the game will actually allow you to redo your character completely and at no cost, even after you start your campaign. That in itself already sets it apart from most games with character creation, and is a very welcome addition. This is Koei Tecmo and Team Ninja we are talking about after all, and they do know how to make fantastic looking character models.

Cutscenes will also take your created character and their equipment into account, which is a nice touch too!

Combat and progression in Nioh 2 is almost everything you’d expect from a Souls game and a bit more. Beating enemies will net you Amrita, which you will spend levelling up your individual stats. Dying will leave all your amrita in your last known location and you’ll need to make a mad dash to your grave to retrieve them. Saving at a shrine will refill your resources while resurrecting fallen foes. You get the drift.

While the core gameplay loop is the same, Nioh introduces certain mechanics that make it a title of its own. A unique approach to the Souls style combat are the stances, which make a welcome return from the first game. Being able to position your weapon high, mid, or low will give you different ways to beat your foes. High lets you deal very powerful attacks but drains a lot of ki, potentially leaving you open to a counterattack. Low stances let you attack faster and drain less ki but are weaker. The mid stance is a balance between these two.

Figuring out an healthy mix of these stances will be important if you want to make it far into the game, as your opponents in the later levels will have improved moves of their own that will require precise movement and timing.

Using the high stance but find that your attacks are a bit too slow for you to mount a counterattack? Consider switching to mid or low to get some much needed hits in at the expense of damage. It is these small adjustments throughout the game that make the stances a deep and strategic part of Nioh’s gameplay.

Supplementing stances are the various weapons that you’ll be able to pick up and utilize in the game. You’ll be able to equip 2 melee weapons at any point in time, with each weapon boasting of a move set that differs with each stance.

Ki, or stamina, is equally as important, as all your moves are governed by this resource. All of your actions, from sprinting to attacking, will take up various Ki costs and your management of this resource will more often than not spell a difference between life and death.

To help ease the pain, there is a mechanic called a Ki Pulse which allows you to gain Ki at a much faster clip, letting you push up the pace against the Yokai. It is an integral skill to learn and master, as you’ll often find yourself at a Ki deficit if you simply pressure the enemies with attacks.

You may have played Sekiro and have loved it’s “balls to the wall” style gameplay, rewarding you by staying aggressive and giving the enemy no room to breath with a combination of counters and parries. You’ll unfortunately have to unlearn those habits because Nioh’s style of play is very deliberate and relatively slow compared to Sekiro. Some weapons in Nioh will give you the ability to pressure the heck out of an enemy but you’ll always have to keep an eye on your Ki gauge.

As a human-Yokai hybrid, you also have access to your Yokai form when you align yourself with a guardian spirit, something you choose at the start. You can take the form of a powerful Brute type, nimble Feral, or long range Phantom type. Think of it like Devil May Cry’s “Devil Trigger” forms, allowing you to “transform” and dish out maximum damage for when the situation calls for it. Each guardian spirit will let you invoke different forms, each with their own benefits and timings so the choice will ultimately be up to you.

New to Nioh 2 are Soul Cores, which allows you to use Yokai moves as a way for you to even out the odds, provided you have enough Anima, which is basically your “MP” to cast the skill. Throw a Spear like Enki or petrify an enemy using Nure-Onna’s gaze, these moves can be devastating in the right hands, so use them wisely.

Soul Cores add a whole new dimension to the game as it is a great tool to even out the odds against the enemies scattered around the world. You’ll be given a chance to level up these Soul Cores along the way, improving their effects and increasing their stat bonuses.

More than just Yokai Slaying

Your tale takes you through various missions throughout different regions in ancient Japan. Each mission consists of a large stage that you will need to traverse until you reach the end where the boss awaits. The levels are vast but if you’ve played the first game, it’s quite a disappointment that the level design remains uninspired and largely similar. Even some of the enemies from the first game make a comeback, like the Yoki’s and the Karasu Tengu’s.

Bosses, on the other hand, are designed very well in terms of looks and balance. They will test your patience and sanity as they can potentially wipe you out in a matter of seconds. You’ll realize just how good you are at taking notes while battling a boss, because you’ll need to familiarize yourself with all their attacks, patterns, as well as how many hits you can get in before you need to retreat. Consequently, there’s really nothing like the feeling of taking down a boss that you’ve struggled with for hours to figure out how to beat, and this game will force you to master the different skills it offers to get that done.

If anything, Nioh 2 really excels at balancing out the difficulty curve, making it a bit more accessible to players that are usually intimidated at such a punishing genre. That’s not to say that the game is not challenging, it just smooths out the curve, allowing newcomers and not so skilled players such us myself to progress deep in the game, giving a sense of accomplishment that will make you feel like you can actually finish the game. Again, Nioh is still challenging but given tools at your disposal like the Burst Counter and the Soul Cores, you can even out the odds of the fight better.

Missions also aren’t limited to the main story as there are also sub missions that will pop up, giving you more ways to level up. Occasionally, special missions called Twilight Missions will appear and these are just like any other missions, only with tougher enemies that will test your perseverance but also give you greater rewards should you succeed, allowing you to craft those weapons that will give min-maxers a smile on their faces.

There’s actually an incentive to explore as there are collectibles like hidden Kodamas in each mission that will provide a big help in your progress. Each Kodama you find will give you passive bonuses known as “Kodama Blessing”, helping you along the way. You can choose to increase the Elixir drop rate, equipment drop rate, and even amrita drop rates, so these should be one of the things to look forward to while going through the different missions.

More than weapon and item gathering, taking your time in missions (and maybe repeating them) will also benefit collectors out there as there is a large variety of Yokai to slay. You’ll be able to view a gallery of the different characters and Yokai you encountered in the game and this is especially fun as you can read about their lore and if you’re to slay a certain number of a particular Yokai, more information like strategies against them will be unlocked. The attention to detail is greatly appreciated here as different Yokai in Japanese folklore were used and you’ll want to find and learn more about them as you go, despite how scary they are.

Replayability is actually a big part of the game as you’ll also earn titles from doing different things in Nioh 2, whether you’ve killed a certain number of a type of Yokai or used a certain weapon a number of times. Doing different things will give you reputation points and earning enough will give you a title, like a Nure-Onna Cutter for example, and this will net you Prestige Points.

Aside from bragging rights, you’ll wants Prestige Points as they can be used to buy passive buffs like increasing the number of amrita you earn or increasing your life and ki. This very much encourages you to try out the different weapons in the game and try to find and slay a wide variety of enemies. If anything, records of these can also be viewed in the Options menu, including your number of deaths (273 times and not afraid to show it).  

Beauty in horror and destruction

Nioh 2 may very well be classified as a dark fantasy despite being also based on Japanese history, and the sound and presentation just shows it beautifully. Aside from the atmospheric areas fitting of the time along with the haunting music, the Yokai designs should be given big props because of how terrifying they look.

Be ready for some jump scares here too as Yokai can sometimes get the jump at you. They’re vicious as they are scary, and the sounds you hear like a Nure-Onna’s breathing as it slithers after you gives off a sense of dread, even if you’re a properly armed Yokai slayer.

The Yokai bosses you encounter too are the stuff of nightmares. Mezuki will initially scare you with its demon horse look, and that’s just the first boss. The attention to detail also extends to the weapons. Yokai don’t bleed so when you cut one down you don’t see blood left on your blade. In contrast, killing an enemy human does, very much reminiscent of Ninja Gaiden II on the Xbox, though not as gory.

It takes three to tango

Part of the fun is the online aspect, and Nioh 2 has that edge over it’s predecessor. If you opt to go online, you’ll also find red and blue graves when out on missions. These represent AI controlled Revenants and Benevolent Souls, respectively. Both are other players who have died in that area, only Revenants will attack you when you summon them, and Benevolent Souls will be your AI partners (provided you have the Ochako Cups to spare summoning them).

You’d be wise to take advantage of an extra body in the field and if you’re lucky enough, you can summon a high leveled individual to help you breeze through the mission. Not gonna lie, summoning high leveled benevolent graves have saved me from a couple of particularly hard boss encounters. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you’d be stubborn to not want to take advantage of what’s there.

If AI help isn’t your thing, you can duke it out with real players too. Using the Ochako cups which you also can get from Revenants, you can summon actual human players to assist you during missions, for up to 3 times the demon slaying goodness. This at least eases the difficulty of completing missions and it’s particularly fun beating up a boss that gave you a hard time previously. You can either team up with a specific player or just let the game randomly assign you to a player that issued a summon.

Dare to be different

Souls games don’t need to be exact clones of each other, and Nioh 2 is a great example of that. Sure, they’re supposed to be frustratingly difficult but they don’t need to be too unforgiving, and a little tweak in the presentation makes for a fresh experience. With Nioh 2, you could say that it’s a great starting point for newbies who want a taste of the masocore genre without turning them away fast enough to not appreciate the finer details of the game.

There are quite a number of things that can actually help you out in the game. Take for example the “invisible walls” as we’d like to call them. While you can still fall to your death when walking off an edge, performing combos close to the edge will actually prevent you from falling. Even during combat sometimes when you’re near the edge of some cliff, you’ll see your character losing balance and you’ll get a few seconds to try and regain that balance. For a Souls game, that’s very generous and doesn’t take away from the fun at all.

Nioh 2 is a fantastic title, no two ways about it. It’s a title that has grown into its own identity through its presentation, combat innovations, and emphasis on Japanese history and mythology. Any flaws that can be seen in the game can just be some minor nitpicks but throughout our nearly 60 hour playthrough of the game, which could be way less if we didn’t keep dying, the good most definitely outweighs the minor peeves we had.

The story isn’t exactly groundbreaking but the cutscenes are fun enough to watch through, especially if you created a nice enough character to flaunt off. In contrast to all the gloom you see in Dark Souls or Bloodborne, there are some scenes in Nioh that’ll get you to laugh a little despite the dark nature of the story.

What we liked:

  • Great presentation of Japanese Folklore
  • Atmospheric presentation
  • Challenging but rewarding gameplay
  • Expands beautifully on the features of the first game with additions like the Burst Counter and the Soul Cores
  • Meaty campaign with lots of missions to burn through

What we didn’t like:

  • Still frustratingly hard
  • Level design is uninspired and feels (and looks) very much like the first game
  • Menus could be a bit more streamlined

Verdict: Buy It!

Nioh 2 straddles the fine line between unfair and challenging and it hit a sweet spot that will encourage more people to actually try the game out. The game keeps its challenging nature intact but also provides you with the tools and skills to give you more than a fighting chance. Heck, we’ve gone through a couple of bosses by actually just letting the high leveled benevolent graves do all the work!

Nioh, as a franchise, introduces smart and logical features that make it stand out from the absurd number of soulsborne clones out there. While we don’t think it’s quite on the level that a game of the year contender has, Nioh 2 is a remarkable improvement over the first and will surely satiate your desire for punishment and challenge.

*Nioh 2 was reviewed on a PS4 Pro through a review code provided by the publisher.

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that the game probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point, we suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future, unless you want to intentionally hurt yourself. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: Feb. 6, 2020 for Asia and Japan, Mar. 3, 2020 for North America
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, PC
  • Genre: Fighting / RPG
  • Similar Games: BlazBlue, Guilty Gear
  • Price: Starts at PHP2,895

Ever since they stepped into the scene, Arc System Works has established themselves as a powerhouse developer of 2D fighting games. Look no further than the likes of Guilty Gear, Blazblue, Persona 4 Arena, and Dragon Ball Fighter Z as prime examples of fighting games done right. Arc is basically an institution in the Fighting Game scene and most if not all of their titles are worthy of being part of the Evo annual lineup.

Adding to Arc’s already impressive lineup of titles is a new 2D fighting game based on a Japanese mobile phone RPG Granblue Fantasy called, well… Granblue Fantasy Versus. Granblue Fantasy is also a huge media franchise in Japan, with an anime adaptation and an upcoming console RPG on its way.

We won’t fault you for not being familiar with Granblue Fantasy as it isn’t exactly a mainstream franchise oustide of Japan, so it’s actually a surprise for Arc to make a fighting game based on a rather niche Japanese RPG and releasing it to both Japanese and Western audiences. Is this new entry to the fighting game genre a masterpiece in the making despite its not so mainstream source material? Here’s our review of Granblue Fantasy Versus.

Arc goes newbie friendly

Granblue Fantasy Versus (or GBFV) is a 2D Fighting Game with the Arc System Works touch of magic. That means the game has their trademark 2D looking 3D character models, a deep fighting system, stylish cinematic super moves, and an awesome soundtrack. At the same time, GBFV is also a bit of a departure from their usual efforts.

What players may still find familiar is the 3 attack button and 1 unique action setup that Arc has been known for. For example, one character has his Unique Action consume items to buff or heal and there’s one that buffs his attacks. There’s also still the usual hard hitting and stylish super moves, now called Super Skybound Arts.

The similarities end here, as one thing you’ll notice from GBFV is that while still having air blocks, gone are the usual mechanics like air dashes and the more technical ones like Guilty Gear’s Roman Cancels. What we got here is a more simple experience with one button combos, a slower pace, simpler move inputs, and average length combos.

You can block by pressing back or the R2 button, and that same R2 Button can be used to dodge or cross over an opponent. Special moves can be pulled off with a simple R1 button, either by itself or plus one direction except Up, which is just perfect for players who aren’t into memorizing traditional d-pad motions. On the other hand at least, veterans still have access to those same d-pad motions for pulling off character specials, and those looking for a deeper fighting experience will be happy that GBFV also features more technical things like high/low mix-ups and “Just blocking” (blocking at the last minute before an attack).

GBFV incorporates a cooldown system where a special moves will not be available for a short period after use, though the length for a cooldown is shorter when using the dpad motions as compared to the using the 1 button shortcuts. Having to wait for your special attacks before using them again does give off an RPG feel and it really feels fresh seeing it incorporated into a fighting game. 

These mechanics may sound like Arc dumbing down the game, but it’s actually not the case. Using the easier inputs and 1 button special moves may give you an easier time but mechanics like the cooldown mentioned above make it a well balanced game overall. More importantly, opting to take the easier route doesn’t take away from a solidly fun experience of a great fighting game.

Waifu’s and Husbando’s, Granblue syle

The base roster for Granblue Fantasy Versus is 11, the current total being 13 with one unlockable and one DLC character already out for purchase, and even more coming soon. While the current roster may look scarce compared to most fighters, it’s not necessarily a bad thing since it also means being able to familiarize yourself with the characters better, with each possessing unique personality and appeal.

GBFV has assembled a wide and diverse roster of fighters from the Granblue Fantasy lore. These characters should already be known by fans of the RPG but newcomers are sure to find someone that looks appealing to them. Granblue Fantasy the RPG, and by extension Versus, has a wide fantasy world of floating islands and airships as well as a collection of awesome looking characters of different appearances and races. There’s bound to be a favorite you can find just from Versus alone.

If you fancy yourself a grappler, look no further than the massive Ladiva, with full motion moves ala Zangief. If you want to go standard, Gran and Katalina are pretty much the “Shotokan fighters” of the game, your Ryu and Ken if you will. Want a charger type like Guile? Then Charlotta may just be your fighter. There’s really something for everyone and rest assured, you’ll find someone that will suit your style of play within minutes.

Arc’s trademark graphics give everyone life, with flashy moves and a style that is so distinctly “Arc”. Simply viewing the intro and victory sequences and you’ll notice much effort was put into animating these characters. You could say it’s complete faithfulness to the source material and a big service to fighting game quality in general. 

A fighting… RPG?

Interestingly, GBFV sports an RPG Mode that has you playing through an original story and in contrast to the usual fighting game campaigns, you play RPG mode just like a 2D brawler, with the option to go at these missions alone or with a partner.

If it wasn’t obvious enough, Gran is the lead character of the story but you’re free to use whoever you’ve unlocked as your playable character and AI partner. In contrast to versus mode, you’ll have to look left and right to fight enemies in these missions, but the direction you’re facing doesn’t get in the way of you performing your moves if you don’t prefer the shortcuts. If anything this, is better implemented than Arc’s Guilty Gear Isuka where one button is dedicated to changing the direction you’re facing. There are also boss missions called Raids where you fight a boss who has a bigger life bar and more powerful attacks. Fortunately, the game won’t let you tackle these missions unprepared.

Completing missions will net you weapons, experience, and money. Surprisingly, there’s actual progression in the RPG mode that will have you equip weapons, gain buffs, and much more. GBFV also draws from its mobage roots as you gain random weapons with different elements, as well as the ability to get to draw tickets where you get a chance to win a powerful weapon that you can equip. Most importantly, the RPG game mode doesn’t feel tacked on and it’s a fun playthrough, even though the whole campaign doesn’t take too long to complete.

On the flipside, it can get a bit too monotonous at times as the missions just involve beating up grunts and completing Raids. The storyline isn’t anything deep either, as it just gives an excuse for main character Gran and his crew a chance to meet up with the other characters in the game and fight a big baddie in the end. Newcomers to Granblue Fantasy may be a bit lost too in the narrative as nearly everyone have apparently met each other already so there’s a sense of familiarity when they talk to each other. This actually also reflects in the fights as many of them interact on a very personal level, and that actually makes it fun to sit through the intro and victory scenes even if you have the option to skip them.

You can’t talk about GBFV without mentioning the music, and this game’s soundtrack is simply amazing. Ark System Works have proven that they can make great game music too, and you can add GBFV to their already impressive resume, having music that fits the fantasy setting of the game beautifully while adding that upbeat flair. There’s bound to be a few tracks here that you’ll find memorable, with some being remixes of music from the RPG. Special mention has to go to Katalina’s theme and the end boss’s theme, to which we rocked to for quite a number of times.

It may seem very nitpicky, but one drawback is that newcomers may find the urge to steer clear largely because of their unfamiliarity with Granblue Fantasy. Give it a shot and a chance, and you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised. GBFV has a gallery that provides information on all of the terms, races, and different areas of Granblue Fantasy to familiarize yourself with, aside from housing all the media that you unlock. Interestingly, there’s also backstories to the NPCs you see and meet in the game, and while they are not yet part of the roster, it’s probably not wrong to think that they may join the fight in the future.

Overall, Arc has succeeded in making a fighting game that’s accessible to both experts and newcomers alike. The characters they’ve chosen to represent the Granblue Fantasy world are also so full of personality and their great designs make you want to know more about them. You can tell that great care was taken to animate each one (especially Lowain) and bring the world of Granblue Fantasy to life here. GBFV is a visual treat, with stunning backdrops and visual effects that make it stand out in a field of fighting game titles out there. Arc has done a great job of incorporating the world and mechanics of Granblue Fantasy into a fighting game, all while introducing the cooldown and shortcut system, as well as easters eggs like other Granblue Fantasy characters seen in the game’s different stages that fans of the RPG will surely recognize.

What we liked:

  • Memorable characters
  • Fantastic soundtrack
  • Fighting mechanics that cater to newcomers and veterans
  • Trademark Arc graphical and game design

What we didn’t like:

  • RPG mode can be a bit repetitive
  • Paltry roster
  • Steep SRP

Verdict:

If you’re a fighting game enthusiast, GBFV is a great addition to your library for its fun fighting system and great character. Despite having to wait (and pay) for new fighters later on, the base roster is enough for the average player and won’t overwhelm you too much. The addition of an RPG mode is a unique mechanic that breaks the ice and is a welcome mode that adds great value to the package.

The world of Granblue Fantasy is vast but GBFV is a great introductory point to get to know the world, leading you to multiple properties spanning different mediums. There is a ton of content to be had here and while the SRP of this title is quite steep compared to the other fighting games, it can be easily justified because of its high production value paired with polished gameplay that fans and newcomers will appreciate.