So I got a PS4 not too long ago and was lent a copy of InFAMOUS Second Son and thanks to the video sharing feature, I was able to capture a few bugs and silly moments while playing the gameRead More
Back when the original Fat Princess hit the PS3 in 2009, at a glance I always thought of it as a cute but bloody 32-player online game with a hilarious mechanic that made it tougher for the opposing team to rescue their princess. It was highly recommended back in the day as the digital game to get if you owned a PS3. Now in 2015, the franchise remains a Sony exclusive and moves forward with a different approach on the PS4. Was this a good change for Fat Princess? Let’s dig in. With Fat Princess Adventures, it’s now a 4-player co-op hack-and-slash RPG, placing you and your friends on an adventure to face the evil Bitter Queen. The play style may now be different, but the charm from the original game still remains. The Blue and Red kingdoms are at peace. The two sides have found a way to live together. But of course peace is only short-lived, and you and a bunch of friends head out for cake and country!
The gameplay is easy to pick up. You have square as your primary attack, and triangle as your secondary attack, and each of these attacks have a charged version if you hold the button. The kicker here is that you can swap between the four classes available (Warrior, Archer, Mage, Engineer) once you approach the class monuments placed everywhere in the game. Once near, simply pressing the directional buttons on the PS4 controller allows you to quickly change your class, providing new attacks to play around with, different life totals, and class-specific gear. As you progress, you will find chests and enemies that drop loot. These new pieces of equipment are not to just to increase your damage input or defense; they also provide passive abilities to your class. For example, a shield that gives your Warrior a chance to recover health from a successful block; a dagger for your Archer that can ensnare enemies in a web and slow them down; or a piece of gear that emits electricity around the Engineer as he jumps, damaging enemies near him.
It was interesting to mix and match the different pieces of equipment, switching classes every now and then based on the current situation. However, combat with each class, despite the bonus effects from your equipment, can become simple and repetitive in the end. This is more apparent while playing the campaign solo. Playing online or with friends couch co-op style can alleviate the basic gameplay through the sheer chaos of multi-player mayhem.
Fat Princess Adventures may look charming and childlike thanks to the saccharine visuals, but this game is no walk in the park. You get swarmed pretty quickly, leading to a few deaths, so I had to be alert at all times. Bosses in the game are fun to play rather than tough to beat. You encounter a good amount of them during the campaign, and they start off in an invincible state. These encounters have interesting mechanics that entail making the bosses vulnerable to your attacks. One boss required a Chicken Wheel: a chicken and metal flooring. It’s weird, yes, but that’s how the game is. Be it through music, story, or gameplay mechanics, Fat Princess Adventures will always find a way to shower you with its wit and personality.
It's easy for me to define this game's strongest highlight – its humor. From the narrator to the absurd situation currently at hand, I found myself cracking up at a variety of things. I’ve ventured out to encounter Vegan Pirates and brawl against ghostly bakers (that are apparently part of a baking reality show?). You regain health by eating cake dropped by foes, and eating while at full health grows your character as obese as a fat princess for a short time. This game never takes itself seriously, and the hilarity kept me pushing through the campaign for the sake of seeing more silliness. The overall plot is simple, but every goofy instance leading to the final conflict kept me smiling.
Once I completed the first task of the game, which was to defend the kingdom from a gobbling (Goblins) attack, I was given the freedom to explore. Looking around, I was able to choose from a variety of side quests scattered around the town. Most of the ones I picked up are fetch quests, simple tasks that seem to be fodder, giving a player something to do if they tend to hang around town. In one side quest, a red soldier tasked me with delivering a love letter to a girl in the blue army, which entailed simply looking for the quest icon in the mini-map and giving the letter to the girl. Side quests in general felt out of place. Some may require you to go to areas infested with enemies, but they still fell under the same formula of finding something for an NPC and getting your reward. The prizes for doing such tasks aren’t enticing enough to make them stand out.
In addition to the gold you collect being used to upgrade your equipment, there’s a leveling system. As I racked up experience, I didn’t see much of a point to the leveling-up. From what I can tell, the level of your character only unlocks more options to customize their looks. This turned out quite unusual since I got pumped acquiring experience only to discover that there’s no real use to EXP aside from cosmetics, which are quite limited to begin with. As you bash through all the objects in the game, killing enemies in your way, they'll drop gold, which is useful for improving your preferred equipment. Each upgrade simply improves the damage of a weapon, or your armor's defense. It’s quite basic if you compare it to other games.
As you hit the 5th upgrade to an item, you'll now require gems along with a handful of gold to upgrade further. From what I can tell, these gems can only be earned at the end of the game (I got one when I finished the game), and probably through the Grindhouse mode, which allows you to replay certain sections in the campaign with added modifiers picked via a slot machine, providing more challenge for the player. There’s also two higher difficulties unlocked once you finish the game the first time, so I assume going through the campaign again at a higher difficulty with the same gear could reward you with another gem to spend. This feels like a form of endgame grind if you wish to fully upgrade your equipment. I played a bit of Grindhouse, but there’s not much incentive to replay past levels aside from upgrading or acquiring new items to play with.
The experience dragged a bit at the outset. With Fat Princess Adventures' simple gameplay, I found myself struggling to push myself to keep playing. As I did so, the personality and humor of the game started to grow on me. It’s not even close to being a deep RPG along the likes of Torchlight, nor is it as straightforward as Gauntlet, but I found pleasure in going through this 6 to 7-hour campaign. This game is definitely best played with friends. Combining the different classes together is chaotic fun, and the humor found in every corner of the game will also entertain those present in the room. Online co-op is possible, and if you set your room to be open to the public, anybody can just jump in and join you. The overall adventure was a sweet one. Its simplicity might turn off players overly familiar with the genre. My love for the humor in the game proved to be a big personal highlight, but some might not appreciate it, and if you take that away, well, I don’t see the gameplay holding up on its own.
+ The humor and personality found in the game is great + Fun boss fights + Great couch co-op game with friends and family - Leveling is irrelevant - Side quests are fetch-quest fodder - Combat can be repetitive
Developer: Fun Bits Interactive Reviewed By: Carlos Hernandez
Fat Princess Adventures Quick Peek
I got my hands on the hotly anticipated Star Wars: Battlefront reboot, a multiplayer-only title that not only aims to deliver a perfect experience for Star Wars fans, but to live up to what has made Battlefront a beloved franchise. Did it deliver? Come closer and relax a bit, I think you’ll need to sit down for this one. When it was announced that the studio DICE would be in charge of rebooting the Battlefront franchise for the next generation, it seemed like a fitting choice thanks to their work on the Battlefield games. Star Wars Battlefront focuses on the original trilogy and lets players participate in epic battles on known and beloved Star Wars locations.
Jumping in, everything felt perfect – the immersion of being in a Star Wars battle was there. The blaster sounds, the John Williams music, even fearing the possibility of Darth Vader approaching in a narrow corridor. I had a big smile on my face as I played, confirming that my inner Star Wars fan was happy. I have to quickly commend DICE for pulling this off because the presentation was finely executed. Performance-wise, there were no FPS drops or bugs/technical issues that ruined the immersion during my time with the game. The details on each map and vehicle are such a treat, showcasing DICE’s commitment to this project. This is probably the best-looking game this year. Definitely a polished product.
Going through a couple of battles, I found satisfaction picking up those power-up cards found on the map that allow you to pilot an X-Wing to provide air support, or helm, say, an AT-ST or AT-AT to push the advance. If you’re lucky, you might just grab the Hero power-up, become one of the three heroes or villains on the map, and make a difference on the battlefield. The powerful heroes allow for a variety of epic scenarios that make for great stories to tell your friends as well as fun .gifs.
As I continue to play more of the game, though, I'm feeling a disturbance in the Force. I find myself experiencing the same things over and over. The magic is wearing off.
The true essence of Star Wars Battlefront can be found in two modes: Supremacy and Walker Assault. These modes allow for 20vs20 matches with vehicles and heroes enabled. It’s chaotic fun, and they are easily the preferred game modes among the nine available. The one big issue is the lack of maps available for them. Among the 13 maps found in the base game, there are only 4 big maps catered to these modes. They are quite large, but it's just not enough, since the sense of the Battlefront's gameplay being repetitive was present early on, which is quite a surprise after just one night with it. To change things up, I explored the smaller modes with player counts of 10v10 or 6v6, and found them more appealing thanks to their unique game modes. Yes, the common modes like Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag are present, but a couple of the unique game modes turned out to be fun. I personally like Droid Run, which tasks you with having your team take control of three wandering droids on the map. If you want to play around with the heroes and villains in the game, there are two modes for that. Dogfights with TIE Fighters and X-Wings? There’s a mode just for that, too.
It was pretty exciting to be actually piloting the beloved X-Wing ship, blasting away incoming TIE Fighters, but after a couple of matches, the mode went stale fast thanks to its basic gameplay. Once you get a lock on someone, you simply hold down the fire button and watch your opponent wither away. You only have one chance to avoid a lock-on too, so there’s only so much you can do once an opponent is on your tail. The outcomes can be dependent on which skills are available as well. Since I can only pick what ship to spawn as with no way to customize their loadouts, this mode is an act of fan service more than anything. Since aiming at tiny ground units is tough, aerial combat is best enjoyed during Supremacy or Walker Assault, where you can potentially contribute to the overall job.
The developers provide a lot of variety for the players, but most of it feels like fodder in the end, modes to prepare you for what I consider are the main course of Battlefront – Supremacy and Walker Assault.
Probably after five hours with the game, I noticed a more troubling issue – progression. It’s simply lacking. There are no classes in this take of Battlefront. Instead, you can bring two equipment cards (grenades, jetpacks), one ability card (reduced cooling ability, explosive shot), and one trait card (a Passive ability which improves through kill streaks). As I unlocked more cards and tried different combinations, I noticed that my play style hadn’t changed at all. The only time it felt different was when I first unlocked the jetpack, giving me access to new areas in the map to take advantage of. Equipment cards can be upgraded at a hefty cost, but the only change to this equipment is a reduced cooldown.
Customization for your character is probably the worst I’ve seen in a multiplayer game. I stared at the screen for a few seconds when I found out that I have to spend 1,700 of my hard-earned credits to unlock a bearded Rebel character, or unlock a Stormtrooper without his helmet. You can play as an alien if you really want to, but those require a higher rank of around 45. There are also emotes to unlock, if you’re into that. This was quite disappointing considering the deep progression found in DICE’s past games, leaving me worried about this game’s staying power.
There is no campaign in Star Wars Battlefront. But if you want to take a break from multiplayer, you can opt for the missions that can be played with split-screen co-op or online co-op. These, again, are fodder content at best. Four survival missions pit two players against 15 waves of AI enemies. Battle missions are simple tasks that require you to earn points by killing the opposing NPC team. There are also battle missions where you can play as a hero or a villain. Doing these missions once for the sake of trying them is all you need, really. The rewards for full completion or even attempting them on a higher difficulties are not enough to inspire another run. There are training missions to learn the different game mechanics, but I found no purpose in them, since everything I needed to know I learned by simply playing multiplayer.
I had a lot of fun with Star Wars: Battlefront, I can’t deny that. It might be one of the best Star Wars games I’ve played, since it captures that universe (or to be more specific, galaxy) perfectly. But the content provided in the base game leaves me scratching my head. The maps and progression system are too lacking for a competitive FPS player to get truly invested in, so what more for the casual player? I got my fill in just a couple of days and am finding it hard to justify continuing to jump in with me currently at rank 25. DICE should be proud of what they’ve created, but I won’t be surprised if players have moved on after just a couple of days. Star Wars fans will enjoy this after warping in for the first time, but once the excitement of being in an epic Star Wars skirmish wears off, there’s nothing left to hold on to.
+ Perfect execution with the Star Wars world + One of the best-looking games this year + Supremacy and Walker Assault are chaotic fun - Lacks deep player progression and customization - Repetition kicks in really early - Air battles are shallow at best - Only 4 maps to the best modes in the game - Co-op Missions feels like fodder
EA and DICE announced a season pass for Star Wars Battlefront priced at $50, giving you access to 4 expansion packs for the game. The DLC pass will provide over 20 new pieces of weapons, vehicles, and Star Cards for both sides. Four more heroes and villains, 16 additional multiplayer maps, four new game modes, two-week early access to each expansion pack, and an exclusive “shoot first” emote. No date was given for when the first expansion will hit. A free map called “Battle of Jakku” was announced and will be available for all players on December 8. Those who pre-ordered the game will get early access to the map as early as December 1. A new 20v20 game mode called Turning Point will come for free with the Battle of Jakku map.
Developer: DICE Publisher: Electronic Arts Reviewed By: Carlos Hernandez
Ever since 2K took over the WWE franchise, wrestling games have been in a sort of odd area between trying to stay fresh and aiming to capture all the nuances of professional wrestling while retaining enough familiarity and arcade elements to keep matches fun and exciting for players. That said, it was with some trepidation I entered into this review, since not only was last year’s outing was met with a somewhat lukewarm response, but I haven’t followed professional wrestling, nor played a wrestling game, in several years now. Thankfully, WWE 2k16 proved to be a step in the right direction for the franchise, and although not perfect, 2K’s newest still remains a thoroughly enjoyable title and probably the best offering for wrestling fans on the market today. There’s certainly a lot to dig your teeth into, and any wrestling fan will find tons of material and content to work through in this year’s outing. Off the bat, 2K16 has a plethora of game modes to jump right into. Showcase mode allows you to play through the career of Stone Cold Steve Austin, with actual clips from the broadcasts to help bring up the nostalgia factor for fans. Universe mode plays out just like the real WWE – where you’ll be questing for the belts across Raw, Smackdown, and PPV events, with all the rivalries and drama that would entail. MyCareer mode lets you take your own personal superstar into the WWE, working their way up from NXT up to either Raw or Smackdown depending on your choice. Let’s not forget the selection of quick matches, from simple one-on-one affairs, to Hell in the Cell, to 30-man Royal Rumbles. 2K16 is bursting at the seams with content that would keep anyone occupied for months.
Adding to all this, we are also getting the largest roster in a WWE game to date, with over 120 superstars. Not only will you find a comprehensive, up-to-date roster of today’s wrestling superstars and divas, but also a bevy of classic superstars such as Bret Hart and Andre the Giant, alternate era superstars (Sting has three separate variations alone), and managers such as Jimmy Hart and Paul Bearer – who can add an extra level of drama to a match with their inclusion. There are a few notable exceptions missing, such as Rey Mysterio and Hulk Hogan, but it’s not a major problem in the greater scheme of things.
On the topic of customized superstars, the character creation system is probably one of the more robust ones I’ve seen, and you can create just about any original type of character you want.
Getting to the gameplay, 2K16 sports a complex system that manages to be both deep and seamless at the same time, punishing button-mashers and rewarding good timing and using a variety of moves. For example, mixing in several strong attacks with some weak attacks and blending it all into a German suplex serves one much better than constantly spamming a single attack. Furthermore, superstars can now only counter a limited number of times, storing up to 5 counters which slowly get refreshed over a match. This means there is some strategic thinking involved in knowing what moves to let through and which ones not to. This sort of dynamic, which rewards move variety, coupled with smart countering, keeps matches flowing forward and engaged me throughout every match I played.
Subtle touches have also been added that just add extra drama to each match. You can opt to interrupt ring entrances if so desired, starting the match early and getting that extra hit or two in from the get-go. Heel characters also have access to tools such as dirty pins using the ropes, while managers can distract or interrupt a match for a critical save. These small touches really help bring a match to life. When things fall together, 2K16 is an amazing game to behold. The developers has done its utmost best to make you feel like you are watching a wrestling telecast. The video transitions are spot-on, while ring entrances no longer need to load individually, making the whole match start a seamless affair. For the most parts, wrestlers talk, walk, move, and act as you’d expect their real life personas to. The ring itself reacts to what’s happening on screen in a realistic fashion, and the action camera, when it works, gives you a real televised feel to the whole affair. Couple all this with a butter-smooth framerate, some brilliant commentary (which rarely ever uses the same phrases twice in a match), impactful ring sounds, a roaring crowd, and it’s an already exhilarating affair just watching a match unfold on its own.
However, it’s the few elements that don’t always mesh entirely well that can sometimes draw you out of the immersion. Frankly speaking, 2k16’s presentation is all over the place. The crowd still looks like cardboard cutouts for the most part. Some wrestlers seem to have been given a thorough makeover – superstars like Steve Austin and Randy Orton look absolutely amazing, while others like Chris Jericho seem like holdovers from previous generations’ versions. Hair clipping is still an issue, and almost all superstars suffer from painfully obvious “dead video game eyes.”
Despite these issues, 2K16 succeeds more often than it fails – it’s just a shame that it couldn’t be more consistent throughout. Multiplayer was a mixed bag – couch multiplayer is certainly fun – and there’s nothing like participating in a 30-Man Royal Rumble with your friends. And while the game does feature online play and matchmaking (which works decently well), there isn’t anything particularly compelling to do online when compared to the amount of single player content available. However, those looking to make a name for themselves online at least have the opportunity to do so.
Overall, WWE 2K16, while not perfect, paves the way forward for future games in the franchise in exciting and good ways.
If you were waiting for wrestling games to hit its stride after the disappointment of last year’s outing, it is safe to say WWE 2K16 is on the right track. Even when taken by itself, it’s an extremely solid package; despite its inconsistent presentation, 2K16 remains an extremely fun outing, and a wonderful gift for any wrestling fans.
+ Absolutely tons of single player content + Fantastic gameplay + When it comes together right, great presentation. - Inconsistent presentation - Lackluster online multiplayer
Developer: Yuke's and Visual Concepts Publisher: 2K Sports Reviewed By: Willem Den Toom
ESGS 2015 is a wrap! An awesome weekend filled with video games, amazing people, esports, and Monster Energy drink consumption. The TMG Podcast crew recorded two special episodes to cover the two-day event. Listen to day 1 and day 2 after the bump! Day 1 (Nightfall: Escapes, Ubisoft, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 MP, IGDA Manila, Legends of Fire and Steel, Graywalkers: Purgatory, and more)
Day 2 (Freak Show, Indie Arena: Dungeon Souls, Jumping Jean, Face Mountain, Cut Out, Synergy 88, and more)
If you have any suggestions, comments, concerns, or even questions you have for us to talk about, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our new intro and outro is by MrBulbamike.