Yearly Archives: 2019

Resistance Fall Of Man

Insomniac could be working on new Resistance game

The Resistance: Fall of Man franchise saw its final game, Resistance 3, released in 2011 for the PS3. There hasn’t been much life in the franchise since then. Quite unfortunate when you look back. The franchise never seemed to get as big as it should have, but if most definitely deserved to.

Recently, the games developer, Insomniac games, have been quite active on Twitter posting about this game, but without any clear intent. Could this be the build-up to an important announcement for the franchise? A HD remaster of the Resistance trilogy for the PlayStation 4 or maybe they are working on Resistance 4? Check out the tweets below.

The first tweet came on November 17th. Before this, there wasn’t much talk of Resistance on their account. Most of their focus was on the upcoming VR game Stormland.

Since then, they have had at least one tweet per week related to the Resistance franchise. Various weapons, scenes and promotional material. The captions are mostly light-hearted, no jaw-dropping news is being revealed, but it sure feels like they are building up to something. Here are some of the tweets.

It is hard to say for sure where they are going with this but there has been very little life in the franchise since 2011, why suddenly start promoting a game this old now? A completely new game would be awesome, but at this stage, most of us would be happy with anything. I would love to hear your opinions on this.

minecraft wallpaper

Minecraft Bedrock Edition Coming To PS4

Since the Bedrock edition launched, players have been enjoying cross play between Xbox, mobile and Nintendo devices. The PS4 has sadly been left out of this partnership until today. Microsoft have announced that the Bedrock edition of Minecraft will be coming to PlayStation 4, replacing the existing PS4 specific version that is available now.

The official press release states the following

"Starting tomorrow, Dec. 10, players with “Minecraft: PlayStation 4 Edition” will be able to update to the unified Bedrock version of Minecraft!! This means that players using Xbox One, Windows 10, Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android mobile devices, Gear VR and now PlayStation 4 are all one big, happy Bedrock Engine family."

So what does this mean for Minecraft seeds, well it firstly means that all of the PS4 specific ones will no longer work if you are going to be running the bedrock edition of the game. On the plus side, all of the existing seeds that have already been discovered for the bedrock edition of the game, will now work on the PS4.

For those who are looking for some interesting levels to get started with, check out the collection of seeds that are already available and if you find any cool ones, be sure to submit them to the site for others to enjoy too.

dont die minerva wallpaper

Don’t Die Minerva First Impressions

There is something alluring about that Tim Burton style of quirky horror. It’s not quite horror in the conventional sense. The sinister aspects of the genre are morphed into something that possess huge amounts of character with an almost magical vibe to it. Video games that draw influence from this visual style are always games I can’t resist.

On an artistic level, Don’t Die Minerva feels like it draws influence from that whole Tim Burton, Scooby Doo, Adams Family style of scary. A spooky mansion, ghosts and ghouls roaming around inside, yet it will never actually scare you.

This game is currently unfinished but there is enough there to be able to share some first impressions I had while playing. I was fortunate enough not to encounter any game breaking bugs but the current progression system does need some tweaks.

In my recent dive into Sparklite, I found the repetitive nature of the progression very tedious. Grinding is not always a bad thing but when the activity is boring, it’s hard to find any fun in it. Don’t Die Minerva follows a very similar style. Randomly generated levels where you will do a lot of grinding, the only difference, and the part that matters most, is this is actually fun!

The game is split up into three areas, at least three that I discovered. You start out in the mansion. The goal is to enter the mansion, defeat a bunch of ghosts and monsters on each floor before facing a boss at the very top. If you die, you lose everything and must start again from scratch at the bottom floor.

I found this quite frustrating at first, but I later discovered that there was ways to share progression across your runs. As you explore, you find crystals, you can use these to purchase character upgrades. One unlocked, this is unlocked forever, even if you die. Unlocking the ability to sell extra items you find will help you gather lots of money, much faster than normal. This was the turning point. There was now a progression goal. If levels are too tough, you can gather more crystals until you are better able to handle the enemies.

Each floor is randomly generated. If you play the mansion 50 times, the layout will be different. This works really well and there were never any instances where the design glitched out. The place is a bit of a maze though, there are two methods to help you keep track of where you are and where you have been.

You have a small mini map that shows the room you are in and once you visit a new room it will be revealed on the map. The other method, which was really cool is by leaving footsteps. When you kill some types of enemies, they leave a load of colored goo on the ground. Walk into this and your footsteps will leave a trail. This spooky breadcrumb trail lets you instantly see where you have visited in the past.

The blue blob of ectoplasm can be walked into and will cause your footprints to leave a trail
The blue blob of ectoplasm can be walked into and will cause your footprints to leave a trail

On top of the more significant character skill and ability upgrades, you have an RPG style system for equipping items on your character. Boots, backpack, weapons etc. These items are lost when you die, but are also easily obtained. Loot drops are quite generous and all floors have a room that contains a large loot chest. Getting killed when you have some kick ass gear is a big loss. You will see your play style change significantly based on how much you value your current load out.

Each floor contains a wishing well that will transport you to an area where you can purchase upgrades and items. In the event you do die and lose everything, you can head back here to purchase some gear if the items you want aren't dropping naturally. I would have liked to have seen more interesting items to purchase in this area. I didn’t spend coins on anything while I was here. It would have been cool if there were some seriously epic items here that gave you a reason to start hoarding coins.

The wishing well area is also your only place to spend crystals on the permanent character upgrades. This means you must reach a well before you die to spend them. If you die with 50 crystals, they are all gone. Spending them while you have them is critical to ensure you don’t end up with nothing.

The Mansion boss fight was fun but didnt really have much depth to it.
The Mansion boss fight was fun but didnt really have much depth to it.

Having cleared the boss in the mansion, I moved onto the garden and found a ridiculously sharp spike in difficulty. New enemy types were showing up. They behaved more aggressively and were able to deal a lot more damage. Perhaps I charged too quickly through the mansion, but it seems like the difficulty ramps up a bit too much. You will end up needing to go back and do the mansion a few times in order to upgrade your character enough to be able to comfortably take on the next area. The grind is a bit of fun, but if you are strong enough to kill the boss at the end of a level, you should be able to take on regular enemies in the next.

The combat is fairly basic. You have two attacks. The first is with a torch, which can be upgraded to other more advanced items that work in the same way. Shine the torch on the monsters to damage them. You also have access to a sort of sidekick. A monkey, bear or dragon.

Each sidekick has their own perks and attack style. You drop the sidekick down and they will survive for a set period of time before they expire. While active the money will throw bananas, meaning longer range but low damage. The dragon uses fire, medium damage and medium range and the bear will smash, high damage low range. There is a cool down that stops you spamming the sidekicks abilities too often.

The sidekicks are useful at times, particularly for slower moving enemies. For faster moving enemies that you need to run from, they do not help much as they are unable to follow you around.

Don’t Die Minerva is a pretty good game in its current form. It is definitely in need of some tweaks and fixes, hopefully all of these things will be resolved before the game is fully released. Will be looking forward to seeing what else is on the horizon for this title.

Death Stranding - Stacking boxes on your back

How Much Walking Is There In Death Stranding?

Death Stranding is getting a lot of heat for having a lot of walking. The game is pretty much a delivery simulator, but how much walking is really involved, is it as bad as everyone says or has the hype train made this seem worse than it actually is? Having completed the story, here are my thoughts on it.

The short answer is yes there is quite a bit of walking. For the first 3 or 4 hours, you will be walking a lot and this is the part that people complain about. At this point in the game, you have hardly any good walking gear, no access to vehicles and you won't have “leveled up” any of Sam's hiking abilities.

The moment you unlock vehicles, the game completely changes. Having to travel 2km to deliver a package is a quick spin on your bike. It takes the huge chore out of a small side quest to deliver a box. You can often deliver several other things in the process.

Further on, you will unlock additional gadgets like an exoskeleton that allows you to carry lots of weight, run faster and be far more sure footed over uneven terrain. Gloves to help you climb, more durable boots and a little carrier to help you with cargo.

Once you have gotten over the initial hump, you will have access to enough technology to make the delivery parts of the game a lot less painful.

Bikes can be used to transport a lot of cargo without risk of falling
Bikes can be used to transport a lot of cargo without risk of falling

Walking is not something you will do much of later on. You will always have access to bikes. You can either construct them at the major cities or you can “borrow” them from the shared garage. They are cheap enough to create, so you will never be stuck for a bike.

Trucks are also scattered around the place and can be stolen from MULE (bandits) camps. If you destroy your bike out in the wild, you will have to walk some distance, but may find another easily. Sometimes, its actually faster to just jump off your bike and walk by foot. Walking over a mountain can be faster than driving around it.

For a bigger overview on all aspects of this game, check out my full Death Stranding review.

Death Stranding Monster Cans

The Monster Cans In Death Stranding Are Ridiculous

Sponsorships and product placement are fairly common these days and for the most part, it isnt a big deal. If Ford want to pay money to have their vehicles used in a movie, who cares? If Sony way to use their technology in movies they produce, who cares? This kind of product placement doesn’t cause any harm because it fits the setting. A TV is a TV, the brand makes no difference. The cans of monster in Death Stranding are a much different story, what the hell is with them?

Speaking from a business side of things, it is a bit shitty that people pay $60 for a game to have advertisements shoved down their throats. If the bikes in the game were Honda branded or something, you could deal with it because it makes sense, but Monster?

The first thing that bugs me is that not only is Monster in this game, but there is some kind of suggestion that it is good for you. Monster is like some magical elixir that will give you a boost. Surely with the technology they have, they would have a more advanced way of giving you a boost then having to neck a can of Monster.

Sam Drinking a can of Monster energy drink
Sam Drinking a can of Monster energy drink

The product placement not making sense is one part of the issue, the second is the logical side of it. How the hell did Monster survive the Death Stranding? The world is at its knees. Resources and supply lines are non existent. We know this because porters are the only remaining method of delivering packages.

Are we really meant to believe that not only did Monster survive the Death Stranding but they somehow managed to maintain an independent supply like and can somehow have fresh cans of their product delivered to every knot city in the game?

It isn’t significant enough to ruin the game, but it’s a pretty big sellout. It is frustrating to see those cans there on multiple levels. “Fuck the lore and story of this game, Monster are paying us a fat stack of money, lets do what they want”. I’m sure in the next update for the game, Sam will be collecting dildos from the Amazon Warehouse.

Death Stranding

How Confusing Is The Death Stranding Story?

Kojima is known for writing some highly complex stories and the story of Death Stranding is no exception to this. If the trailers are anything to go by, this game is going to be fairly confusing, but how bad is it? How confusing is the story in Death Stranding?

The story is complex and you will need to pay attention. If you zone out during an important conversation, you will obviously struggle to know what the hell is going on. So long as you can stay tuned in, it should be no bother at all to the average player.

For people who love sci-fi stories, a lot of aspects of this games story will make more sense. The multiverse is a pretty confusing thing and it is mentioned in this game. Advanced technology is also a big focus, so some familiarity with other science fiction writing will definitely be an advantage to you when you are getting stuck into this game.

The game does a very good job at wrapping up the story and making sure everything has been explained in a clear and easy way. There was no point at which I was like “that makes no sense at all”. There were some things I was confused about because they were just complex, but thats different.

If you are just looking to figure out, based on how complex it seems from the trailers, whether the actual game is going to have a confusing story, you have nothing to worry about. It is not confusing and is so well written that you will be able to keep your head wrapped around everything.

Death Stranding BB

Whats the Story Behind the Baby in Death Stranding

Do you really want to know this in advance of playing the game? I will admit that it is one of the more intriguing aspects of the game but it gets explained fairly well in the game. After an hour or so you will know everything you need to know about the baby.

Spoiler Time* - So if you really can’t wait, and want to know what this baby in a pickle jar is all about, I will explain enough so that it makes sense. If you have played the game and are confused as fuck about it, then this might clear things up. There will be no story spoilers here but I will explain everything about the baby and what the point of it is.

The baby is known as a Bridge Baby or a BB for short. They are attached to the world of the dead and they interface with you via the pod they are living in. There is definitely a moral issue around it all and Sam does seem to feel a bit uneasy about them being babies but they assure you that they are not actual children and would die outside of the pod.

Calming the BB down outside of your private room
You can directly interact with the BB whenever you need to

The BB helps you spot the ghost like things you see in the trailer. That little clappy scanner thing around your shoulder is how you locate the ghosts known as BTs. These will kick your ass, so knowing where they are is important. The BB is how you know where they are.

Why didn’t they just make some sort of gadget to detect them instead of a baby? The reason for this is justified in the story, but ultimately it seems to just be a cool decision from a development perspective. I’m sure they could have come up with something else but a baby is very impactful and it has worked. Everyone has been asking me for weeks “what’s the deal with the baby”. At least now I can finally talk about it.

Sir Daniel - Medievil

Very Let Down By The Medievil Reviews

Medievil was one of the first PS1 games I really loved. The spooky, childlike halloween style to it made it scary and cool but not so scary that 8 year old me wasn’t scared to death of. With the HD remaster of Crash and Spyro, I have been hoping that Medievil would eventually happen and it did!

The release schedule for games is tight as hell this year. So many awesome games to play like Outer Worlds, Death Stranding, Luigi's Mansion and a Pokemon game on the Switch. There are so many more too. I was surprised myself to see how much I still wanted to play Medievil despite all of the games it was up against.

The reviews have really hammered this game though. Saw one 10/10 on metacritic which should instantly ruin the credibility of that reviewer. Generally speaking, most are around 5/10 which is pretty shit for a game that has a lot of nostalgia going for it.

The gamespot review in particular has caused me to take the game off my list completely. I was hoping for a fun experience like I had with Spyro. Not a rage filled, leg punching session trying to deal with all of the games terrible design flaws.

I’ll keep this game on my radar in the hope they fix some of the silly design decisions they have made. From the sounds of it, most are fairly small things like camera, hitboxes and platforming. Core to a game, but shouldn’t require a huge team of developers to fix. If it were a PC game, a mod would probably exist to fix this stuff already.

This is one disappointment of the holiday season. Good thing there are so many other awesome games to play. Almost finished Death Stranding so it’s time for Outer Worlds.

development computer

Unity versus unreal engine for game development

Unity and unreal are the most common engines for game development in the market. As a game developer, making a decision regarding which engine to use is critical in the success of your project. The ideal engine varies depending on your needs and the nature of your project. Here is a quick comparison between the two engines.

Unity

Unity was founded in 2004 by Apple, with the main objective of increasing the accessibility of game development. Since its launch, unity has spread and penetrated the game development market to become a leading engine for android development. As a service provider, Apple ensured that unity has all the tools that a developer needs. Some of the notable games designed using unity engine include:

  • Inside
  • Kerbal space program
  • Firewatch
  • Subnautica
  • Hollow knight
  • Arizona sunshine
  • Cuphead

Pros of unity in game development

Some features that make unity outstanding in game development include:

  • Unity has excellent capabilities in cross-platform development. Thus, as a developer, you can use a single script for developing various games.
  • Unity has great technical support. The assets store has a huge community of users who can give feedback, ideas and mentorship while developing your game.
  • Unity has a great visual platform which can increase your app's application and usage.
  • Unity is exceptionally simple to use compared to most available engines.

Unreal

The unreal search was introduced in 1998 by epic games as an ideal platform for game development. Unreal was first developed mainly as a first-person shooters platform, but today it has penetrated the market to become the leading and award-winning engine in android game development. The codes in unreal are written in C+++, thus making it highly user-friendly.

Pros of unreal in game development

  • Unreal has unique characteristics for different graphic varieties, hence making unreal the ideal search for the development of triple-A class games.
  • The tools in unreal are highly user-friendly, making it easy for anyone, even those who are not tech-savvy to use unreal.
  • The unreal search has more tools compared to other platforms. This makes unreal more efficient and faster compared to other platforms.
  • Unreal comes with a visual debugging, making it easy to manage the expansion process and the quality of the time spent on creating a game.

Some of the best games created using unreal search include:

  • Unreal tournament
  • Odyssey to the west
  • Bonderlands 2
  • Spec Ops; The line
  • Gear of war
  • Batman
  • XCOM; Enemy unknown
  • Bioshock

Comparison between unity and unreal in game development

Performance

In terms of performance, unreal takes the day. Unreal is more powerful in terms of delivering the best graphical performance. This is because unreal uses C++ as the major programming language. C++ gives developers more control over the quality, sound, graphics, and visuals in game development. Hence a developer can create powerful triple AAA titles. The unity which uses a lower level language C is limited in terms of flexibility. Note that games created using unreal are more complex and require higher systems to run.

Ease of use

Unity is the simplest search to use in game development. As a developer, all you have to do is to pick, drag and drop assets in the screen to create the script. This process is simple and straightforward, even for someone with limited IT knowledge. Further, learning unity is simple to learn. A developer can use blueprints and graphs which are simple to use, to add complex behaviour.

Community

The community is a great resource for developers to get ideas, mentorship and resources needed to complete their projects. In terms of community, both unreal and unity have a huge community of assets, but unity has more assets than unreal. Further, unity has a larger asset store compared to unreal. Thus you can save time and money needed to get animations, special effects and sprites. Thus, instead of developing these assets from scratch, a developer can easily get them from the store.

Flexibility

Unity is the ideal engine in terms of flexibility. It is mainly applicable to the creation of mobile-first experiences since it can support a big number of consoles. Further, unity has great mobile support.

While it can be complex, unreal has its advantages in terms of flexibility. Since it is an open-source platform, a specialised developer can make changes to the platform. Hence you can influence the way the game operates.    This can lead to improved performance.

Which engine should you choose?

The choice of the best engine for android game development depends on your needs as a developer. Some of the questions which you must ask include:

  1. What is the device that your project is aiming? If you want to create a low-powered device, then unity is the ideal search for you.
  2. What is the team size? Unreal is ideal for you if you have a large team of specialised developers. However, if your team is composed of newbies, then unity is the ideal search?
  3. What is your desired visual level? If you desire high quality visual, then choose unreal.
  4. Whether you are a developer of a visual artist, if you are a developer, use unreal but if you are a visual artist choose unity.
Gaming Laptop

What to look for in a good Gaming Laptop

Gaming on laptops is far more accessible now than it ever has been. Components that go into the average gaming laptops are getting more powerful with every iteration that allow a laptop to stand up to the performance of a desktop PC. The main issue with gaming laptops these days is getting the balance right between performance and cost.

On paper, a laptop might have all the specs you need to play a game. What people don’t often consider are the more detailed specs that games don’t specify. Most gamers appreciate the performance that comes with an SSD over a standard hard disk drive. Another thing to consider is the clock speed of the GPU and the speed of the RAM. These two things aren’t just about GBs.

Budget gaming laptops are something we see a lot more of lately. With games like Fortnite and Minecraft being incredibly popular with younger audiences, hardware manufacturers have found a way to capitalize on this. Seeing a “gaming laptop” at the local supermarket for $899 or $999 isn’t out of the ordinary.

The definition of a gaming laptop is not set in stone. A hardcore gamer would expect something that could play AAA games without having to sacrifice on resolution, frame rate and be able to set most settings to high or above. The supermarkets selling laptops to innocent mothers who need gaming laptops for their children, will provide the absolute minimum to be able to play a game at medium to high settings.

What to look for in a good gaming laptop


The first thing to look for is the GPU, you want to be going for an i7 as this is the highest tier. Since there are new revisions released regularly, you will need to check for the latest model in order to see if the laptop you are buying has the latest tech or one that is a few years old. It might have an i7 but if it is 5 years old, you are getting screwed.

The next is the GPU. Don’t focus on the amount of memory too much. Yes it is very important to have a few GB in there, but if it has a slow processor, then you are wasting your time. Much like CPUs, GPU tech is evolving incredibly fast. The GeForce line of GPUs has a constantly increasing model number. The higher the number generally means it is the better model. For example, in the current line up, the GeForce RTX 2080 is better than the GeForce RTX 2060.

RAM is another thing often advertised poorly. 16gb of RAM sounds great, but if it is cheap it will be slow. Always check for the speed of the memory. This is measured in MHz. The higher the better.

Storage is cheap these days and it might not seem like it matters, but it does. Games will load faster and perform better if they can read data from the disk faster. SSDs are the latest technology in storage and they are incredibly fast. They are also quite expensive compared to traditional HDDs. A 280GB SSD will cost you more than a 2TB HDD. Don’t get caught up in GBs and TBs. SSDs will make your games perform way better, they are well worth the money.

Expect to pay for a high quality gaming laptop

High end gaming laptops are not cheap, but they aren’t meant to be. If you want to have a high end, PC level gaming experience on the go, then you need to be prepared to pay a little more than what you would pay for a gaming PC of a similar spec. A $999 laptop from Walmart is not going to compete with a $2000 liquid cooled desktop PC.

Before you go shopping for a new laptop, you need to know what to expect from the price. If you want to play 8-bit indie games and nothing more, that cheap gaming laptop might be all you need. If you want to play high end 3D games, then you will need to put the money toward a high spec laptop that can support your needs.

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