Connect with us

Games

SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Wardogs: Red’s Return’ Review, ‘Travel Mosaics 9’ and Today’s Other New Releases and Sales

Published

on

SwitchArcade Round-Up: ‘Wardogs: Red’s Return’ Review, ‘Travel Mosaics 9’ and Today’s Other New Releases and Sales


Hello gentle readers, and welcome to the SwitchArcade Round-Up for May 4th, 2021. L-live long and prosper? Well, let’s see if that causes a ruckus. Anyway, today’s article. We’ve got a review of the recent low-cost beat-em-up Wardogs: Red’s Return, summaries of a few new releases including the latest in the Travel Mosaics series, and the usual lists of incoming and outgoing sales. A little slim compared to the norm, but enough to keep you busy for a minute or two at least. Let’s get to it!

Mini-Views & Reviews

Wardogs: Red’s Return ($3.99)

Wardogs is a little better than you might expect for a four-dollar beat-em-up. You play as Red, a dog-man in a dog-person world who uses his paws of fury to battle whoever gets in his face. The story plays things straight, telling a gritty story about a guy who can’t seem to stay out of trouble. The gameplay is equally ordinary, seeing Red going through side-scrolling stages punching and kicking gangs of enemies. The main character doesn’t have a terribly big arsenal of moves, but he can use a couple of special moves now and then. There’s also a meter that fills up as you beat up baddies, allowing you to use one of three techniques in exchange for a portion of the meter. There are destructible objects that can contain health, energy for your special meter, or the occasional weapon.

It gets some things right. Hits have a nice feeling of impact behind them. The stages are visually interesting and there’s a great amount of enemy and boss variety. You earn currency and upgrades that you can use to customize your character, with quite a few costume pieces to mix and match. It gets some things wrong. Jump attacks feel off. It’s difficult to turn around when you’re in a crowd. There aren’t a lot of great options to cover ground quickly, which can be a problem against the many enemies that use ranged attacks. You don’t have a lot of moves to choose from, which can make things feel repetitive sooner than they should. This isn’t an especially good beat-em-up, which could be a problem given the strong competition in this genre on the system. But it is an adequate beat-em-up, and considering the price that may well be enough.

SwitchArcade Score: 3/5

New Releases

Travel Mosaics 9: Mysterious Prague ($9.99)

Well, it’s the ninth game in the Travel Mosaics series of Picross-style puzzlers. You probably know what to expect by now, in other words. The Walker family visits Prague this time, which serves as the framing for another 150+ puzzles to solve. There are multiple difficulty settings, and some other activities that may teach you some fun facts about Prague. Travel Mosaics has been one of the more reliable brands for Picross-style fun, and its colorful presentation is refreshing in a sea of more modest takes on the concept.

The Colonists ($27.29)

This is a simulation game about building a settlement, similar in broad strokes to things like The Settlers or the Anno games. You’ve got little robots who want to build human-like colonies on other planets. There’s a somewhat short campaign to play through, plus a number of other modes to add some replay value once you’ve finished that. This game came out a couple of years back on computers and it seems to have gotten a fairly positive reception. I haven’t had a chance to dig into it myself yet, though.

Classic Checkers ($7.99)

Our pal Piotr Skalski is back today with an incredibly bland take on an incredibly bland classic game. Play against the AI or another player via local multiplayer. It’s checkers. I wish I had more to talk about here, but there’s not much more to say. It seems like a fine enough take on checkers, I guess. You can probably find a real board cheaper than this, though.

Sales

(North American eShop, US Prices)

Some interesting sales in the list today. Heroes of Loot and Stardash aren’t on sale often, and Gunlord X is practically never discounted. The former two are great new versions of mobile blasts from the past, and the latter is an excellent tribute to Turrican that is well-worth a fiver. Of course, you may be more interested in what’s going on in the outbox. The Square Enix sale is coming to end, and so is Jupiter’s latest line of discounts on its Picross games. Take a look through both lists to be sure.

Select New Games on Sale

Heroes of Loot ($5.59 from $7.99 until 5/8)
Stardash ($6.99 from $9.99 until 5/8)
Guacamelee! Super Turbo CE ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Guacamelee! 2 ($7.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Tales From Space: MBA ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/10)
Severed ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Spirits of Xanadu ($4.49 from $4.99 until 5/10)
Paradise Killer ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
In Other Waters ($10.49 from $14.99 until 5/10)
Neo Cab ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Super Mutant Alien Assault ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/10)
The Church in the Darkness ($3.99 from $19.99 until 5/10)
Framed Collection ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/10)
Think of the Children ($2.59 from $12.99 until 5/10)
The Stillness of the Wind ($3.89 from $12.99 until 5/10)


Castle of No Escape ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Bullet Beat ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Nexoria: Dungeon Rogue Heroes ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/17)
2URVIVE ($4.19 from $6.99 until 5/17)
The Explorer of Night ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Cybxus Hearts ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Dark Grim Mariupolis ($2.49 from $4.99 until 5/17)
Smart Moves ($3.29 from $5.99 until 5/17)
Void Source ($3.29 from $5.99 until 5/17)
Brutal Rage ($4.19 from $6.99 until 5/17)
Cloudbase Prime ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/18)
My Aunt is a Witch ($5.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Gunlord X ($4.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
7th Sector ($11.99 from $19.99 until 5/23)
Active Neurons ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/23)


Active Neurons 2 ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/23)
Active Neurons 3 ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/23)
Space Aliens Invaders ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/23)
I, AI ($5.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Aircraft Evolution ($5.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Need a Packet? ($4.19 from $6.99 until 5/23)
Steam Tactics ($5.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Escape from Tethys ($5.99 from $9.99 until 5/23)
Norman’s Great Illusion ($2.99 from $4.99 until 5/23)
Mask of Mists ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/23)
Binaries ($2.59 from $12.99 until 5/24)
AeternoBlade ($5.99 from $14.99 until 5/24)
Wanderjahr TryAgainOrWalkAway ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/24)
Golf Peaks ($1.99 from $4.99 until 5/24)
Cooking Tycoons 2: 3 in 1 ($1.99 from $12.99 until 5/24)


Scarlett Mysteries: CC ($2.09 from $14.99 until 5/24)
Battle for Blood ($1.99 from $3.99 until 5/24)
Legend of Numbers ($2.09 from $2.99 until 5/24)
Demon Hunter: Revelation ($2.09 from $14.99 until 5/24)
Super Battle Cards ($1.99 from $5.99 until 5/24)
Route Me Mail & Delivery Co ($5.19 from $7.99 until 5/28)

Sales Ending Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 5th

ABZU ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
AVICII Invector ($13.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
Balan Wonderworld ($40.19 from $59.99 until 5/5)
Book of Demons ($2.49 from $24.99 until 5/5)
BQM Block Quest Maker ($7.49 from $14.99 until 5/5)
Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch ($11.99 from $29.99 until 5/5)
Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/5)
Collection of Mana ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/5)
Collection of SaGa FFL ($17.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
Death End re;Quest ($26.99 from $29.99 until 5/5)
Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary ($3.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)
Elea: Paradigm Shift ($1.99 from $7.99 until 5/5)
Final Fantasy IX ($10.49 from $20.99 until 5/5)
Final Fantasy VII ($7.99 from $15.99 until 5/5)
Final Fantasy VIII Remastered ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)


Final Fantasy XII Zodiac Age ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/5)
Final Fantasy XV Pocket ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/5)
Horace ($8.99 from $14.99 until 5/5)
Hypnospace Outlaw ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
I Am Setsuna ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/5)
Kemono Friends Picross ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)
Kingdom Hearts Melody of Memory ($40.19 from $59.99 until 5/5)
Last Day of June ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
Lost Sphear ($19.99 from $49.99 until 5/5)
Newton’s Cradle Puzzle Game ($2.09 from $2.99 until 5/5)
Oninaki ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/5)
Picross Lord of the Nazarick ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)
Picross S ($6.39 from $7.99 until 5/5)
Picross S2 ($7.19 from $8.99 until 5/5)
Picross S3 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)


Picross S4 ($7.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)
Picross S5 ($8.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)
Rigid Force Redux ($9.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
Risk of Rain 2 ($9.99 from $24.99 until 5/5)
Romancing SaGa 2 ($12.49 from $24.99 until 5/5)
Romancing SaGa 3 ($14.49 from $28.99 until 5/5)
Runbow ($2.99 from $14.99 until 5/5)
Safety First! ($1.99 from $2.99 until 5/5)
SaGa Scarlet Grace Ambitions ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/5)
Spelunker Party! ($14.99 from $29.99 until 5/5)
Star Ocean First Departure R ($10.49 from $20.99 until 5/5)
Sweet Witches ($1.99 from $9.99 until 5/5)
Tools Up! ($4.99 from $19.99 until 5/5)
Trials of Mana ($24.99 from $49.99 until 5/5)
Unitied ($2.09 from $2.99 until 5/5)
World of Final Fantasy Maxima ($19.99 from $39.99 until 5/5)
Zumba Burn It Up! ($21.99 from $39.99 until 5/5)

That’s all for today, friends. We’ll be back tomorrow with some news, more sales, and a fresh batch of new releases to check out. I’m still making my way through New Pokemon Snap, so that review will have to wait for a bit yet. Anyway, I hope you all have a great Tuesday, and as always, thanks for reading!



Source link

Games

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids Review – IGN

Published

on

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids Review – IGN


Returning to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla’s vast world can feel daunting after months away. Even with dozens of hours of completing the story and side exploration and pillaging under my belt, there was still so much to be done. But fear not: you should feel no need to complete it all before jumping into Wrath of the Druids, the new expansion that brings Eivor to the rolling hills of Ireland, because its content available early in the campaign and is worth putting ahead of most of the other sidequests that fill out the world. The adventuring and combat is more of the same for the most part, but its new twisting tale of politics and mysticism really stands out among the best storytelling in the series and the Druids themselves are stand-out enemies.

You know you’re headed for a new DLC area when a new guest suspiciously arrives at the docks of Ravensthorpe with summons from a cousin who – though he’s never been mentioned before this moment – has managed to become king of one of the various warring territories of Ireland and is in desperate need of help. Eivor doesn’t need much convincing after possible trade routes and riches for her clan are mentioned, but I wish more time was spent making this feel smoothly integrated as a necessary next step, rather than an obvious way to access a new area added after the fact.

Touring through Ireland itself is beautiful. It’s not obvious immediately upon arrival, but after riding through the countryside over emerald hills and long sheer cliff faces, the mix of rocky hillside and colorful plains stand out starkly from England and Norway. It’s also somber and creepy at times, with many of the boggy swamps looking right out of an otherworldly fairy tale. Postcard-worthy standing stones and castles overlooking oceans add that signature stalwart ruggedness that tourists have come to identify as part of the landscape’s charm.

Ireland’s boggy swamps look right out of an otherworldly fairy tale.


However, the great majority of Wrath of the Druids’ quests follow a pattern that’s rigidly similar to those in vanilla Valhalla (and most open-world action games): go find this place, take a thing from that place, and/or kill everyone in that place. I didn’t expect Ubisoft to reinvent the huge game it created just for its DLC, but the main story quest of Wrath of the Druids leans too heavily on recycled conquest and exploration activities we saw too much of in the main game already, and the gameplay variety suffers as a result.

Royal Demands, a new quest type, feels like an active step backwards from Valhalla. Simple tasks, like clearing outposts and stealing requested items, are assigned to Eivor anonymously via messages left at pigeon coops that dot the land. Completing these helps your allies gain influence in Ireland’s four regions, which opens up quests and rewards you with building resources. So they’re important… and yet, they never feel like more than simple busywork, so I never looked forward to actually doing them.

Every IGN Assassin’s Creed Review

The story, on the other hand, felt consistently engaging throughout the around 10 hours it took to see the end. The political tension of Ireland’s High King Flann’s attempt to unify the country is interlaced with the cultural boiling point that the several religious factions have come to. Cousin Baird’s kingship under Flann is in constant danger, thanks to personal and professional missteps between the two. Flann’s bard, Ciara, lives in service of the new Christian monarchy, but was raised a druid and struggles to balance the weight of both worlds. Strong and charming voice performances paired with solid character arcs full of twists and consequences all help make the story’s heavy tone more approachable. In the background, Wrath of the Druids breaks down the nuances of Christianity’s slow assimilation of the region, and depicts the desperate acts that the indigenous pagan people resort to when faced with the potential extinction of their ways. More so than any time in the original story, the existential dread of the conquered people felt relatable and palatable.

The Children of Danu represent this expansion’s most significant actual improvement over Valhalla.


As you get to the heart of this matter you learn that a radicalized group of druids, The Children of Danu, have committed themselves to preserving the old ways through violence, manipulation, and deceit – and they represent this expansion’s most significant actual improvement over Valhalla. Mechanically, they’re simply another Order of The Ancients: a list of names to investigate, hunt down, and kill. The revitalizing twist on the concept, though, is that Wrath of the Druids makes the investigation, tracking, and assassination of these targets a far greater focus than the main campaign, in that many of the later quests require you to actively engage with the system to progress to important story events. You actually have to pay attention to the notes you gather about targets and follow their trails to the locations you deduce from them. The whole experience is better for it.Druids that serve the The Children make combat a bit more interesting, to say the least. Thanks to their hallucinogenic gas, Evior believes they have magical powers, and so for all intents and purposes they do. In these cases, perception is reality – they dart around the screen at lightspeed, throwing all manner of fire and poison at you. These are a type of encounter we never saw elsewhere in Valhalla, and it’s refreshing and exciting to face a new class of foe. Some optional enemies feel challenging as well, like the pair of drengr minibosses lurking in the countryside. But outside of that, most of the run-of-the-mill slaughter feels unsatisfyingly samey next to an already massive game full of those fights.

A few pieces of armor do look particularly badass.


As you’d expect from any Assassin’s Creed expansion, Wrath of the Druids contains a handful of new armor sets and weapons to find, creatures to hunt, and combat challenges to face as optional side missions. I didn’t find any gear worth swapping my loadout for, but a few pieces of armor did look particularly badass. Some of the combat challenges, like the Trials of the Morrigan, serve as another opportunity to experience more of the cool and trippy (but all too rare) druid combat. The most elaborate and useful addition to the selection of side missions, though, involves establishing trade posts across Ireland. Each post passively generates a type of new resource like honey or clothing that can be used to trade for gear and renown at the overseas trading HQ. Like many of Valhalla’s side activities (raids, treasure hunting, etc) the mileage you get from it is directly related to how valuable you find the completionist pursuit of making sure everything that can be yours, is yours.

Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Wrath of the Druids Official Screenshots



Source link

Continue Reading

Games

Ubisoft Isn’t Abandoning Its AAA Franchises With New Free-To-Play Initiative

Published

on

Ubisoft Isn’t Abandoning Its AAA Franchises With New Free-To-Play Initiative


Ubisoft provided an update for its game release schedule during a recent earnings call, including information regarding Skull & Bones, but there was also talk of the company’s new initiative going forward: free-to-play games. With the announcement that Tom Clancy’s universe is expanding with two new F2P adventures, many have been concerned about what this means for single-player staples under the Ubi umbrella. Staples like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, and more. 

In the earnings call, it was revealed that a big focus shift is currently in the works, making the move towards more free-to-play expansions on beloved universes and new IPs, as well. In a small statement provided to Game Informer, a Ubisoft representative had this to say: 

“Our intention is to deliver a diverse line-up of games that players will love – across all platforms. We are excited to be investing more in free-to-play experiences, however we want to clarify that this does not mean reducing our AAA offering. Our aim is to continue to deliver premium experiences to players such as Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Riders Republic and Skull & Bones to name a few while also expanding our free-to-play portfolio and strengthening our brands to reach even more players.”

Ubisoft’s Frederick Dugeuet mentioned during the financial presentation that the shift had to do with moving away from the annual release model that the studio became infamous for. With pulling from that yearly release schedule for games like Assassin’s Creed, the quality of those mainstay franchises soared in a massively positive direction, proving that the annual model was no longer working. With that shift, there is a little more freedom to explore other avenues of expansion, including the F2P model and mobile ventures. 

The long and short of it is that yes, Ubisoft is going to be focusing on free-to-play experiences, but that does not mean that it is abandoning what it is known for. Now, we’ve just got to wait patiently for some dang Beyond Good & Evil 2 news


What would you like to see Ubisoft focus on in the future? Are you worried by the F2P push, or are you excited for these teams to have avenues to explore more gaming options? Sound off with your hot takes in the comment section below! 



Source link

Continue Reading

Games

PlayStation Working on 25 PS5 Games, Half are New Franchises – IGN

Published

on

PlayStation Working on 25 PS5 Games, Half are New Franchises – IGN


PlayStation Studios head, Hermen Hulst, says they have more than 25 PlayStation 5 games in development, half of which are new IP.As reported by Wired, Hulst says PlayStation Studios — which is comprised of development studios like Hulst’s old stomping grounds, Guerilla Games, Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, and more — has more than 25 titles in development for the PS5.

Half of these 25 games are said to be new franchises.

The Best PS5 Games

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are 25 first-party games in the works at PlayStation Studios. Games like Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Returnal were both published under the PlayStation Studios banner, but they were developed by studios not owned by Sony — Sumo Digital and Housemarque in this instance, respectively.

This is exciting news nonetheless for anyone wondering what Sony is up to beyond Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart, which is set to release next month. Some other titles have been revealed, such as Guerilla’s Horizon Forbidden West (supposedly coming out this year) or even Sony Santa Monica’s God of War Ragnarok, which hasn’t been discussed at all really since its reveal last year.

It’s also known that Polyphony Digital is working on Gran Turismo 7, although that title was delayed to next year.Beyond those three titles, what the rest of PlayStation Studios is up to is anybody’s guess. Insomniac is likely working on a full-priced sequel to Spider-Man and Naughty Dog is reportedly chipping away at a remake of The Last of Us and a multiplayer game set in the world of The Last of Us as well, but there are still many other studios working on projects unknown.

In time, we’ll learn what each studio is working on but for now, all we know now is that PlayStation Studios has more than 25 games in development and that half of them will be new IP, courtesy of Hulst.

While waiting to see what those are, check out IGN’s preview of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and then read about how the new character, Rivet, is core to the game’s ambitions. Check out IGN’s list of the best PS5 games after that and then read our list of the biggest upcoming video games coming in 2021.

Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.





Source link

Continue Reading

Trending