Monday, February 29, 2016

Street Fighter V Review: A Critical Art, fighting is !

My friend and a chronic game maniac Kevin Kain, aka U.F.O., goes hands on with the latest in the Street Fighter series from Capcom. Prepare for some beating, buggers ! :)

This is a review of the PC version of the game Street Fighter V.

        Bang-Bang-Bash-Beat -Critical Aaaaaart !  

You lose  ! XD

So,as it turns out I've been playing Street fighter V for the past 2 weeks and beatings and triumphs aside, what pops out most to me is the toon-shaded, rather than a realistic, aesthetic of the visuals. Just look at its amazing mix of styles, it feels like a cherished relic of the golden age of all things wonderful and boombastic ! 

Peel your eyes away from the fantabulous screen for a while and lets check out what the game splurges at you in your ruthless battle for victory: 

Round 1 Fight ! :

 As I fired up the game for the first time a really impressive intro had me all pumped up and ready for action and thus began the journey of my fist through the pile of opponents ! Though, as it turned out I really really REALLY sucked at it :O !  I didn't loose my first match but I knew that I was ridiculously slow at mashing its buttons.The last time I had played a fighting was about a decade ago and I think it was Street Fighter II because I remember a friend kicking the hell out of me with M. Bison. The lack of practice from all these years really showed and I soon found myself bruised and beaten but full of vengeance to continue !

So I spent some time in the training mode beating up M. Bison(my revenge ruled the better of me!) with Ken and found out that the game is punishing to a rookie. The time window for the key presses for a combo is really narrow and most of the combos include an analog action which has to be really precise to pull one off. Good luck with that, you rookies out there ! I really struggled while executing the Critical Arts, the game's super awesome devastating special moves which can be unleashed upon filling a specific meter, and even after much practice since then, I still have to give it a few tries to get it right. The thrill of pulling it off is un-matchable and rewarding though and you find yourself determined to get it right each time. It is not all over powered , though. Apparently, the Critical Arts do have a certain range and if the opponent is too far it wouldn't reach him/her leaving you feeling dumb (struck!) . THere is also a possibility that the opponent can simply dodge it !

The game does require some getting used to for a new gamer but I guess this wouldn't be a problem for hardcore Street-Fighters and they'll be massacring each other in the battle lounge in no time. Even for old timers, there are some new mechanics in there, like the V-Skills that can be used only after your V-Trigger meter is full. WHat it does is add more character specific moves to your arsenal after the match has progressed a while adding more variety and a feeling of progression to each round. Its simple in execution for newer players but has enough depth and breadth for the pros to have their hands full with moves and strategies to choose from.

Beauty is for the one left alive : 

The Stages in the game are beautiful and the way in which the audience in the back are animated is hilarious !My favorite stage turned out to be Apprentice alley, which is  basically an Indian setup with people all over a train engine with bollywood film posters on the walls and a yogi levitating while using a touch screen tablet !  I totally cracked up on that one :D ! 

The characters look stunning and really attractive. There are some cool changes in thier physical appearances, like exaggerated body parts, which makes the characters look really appealing. The cinematics shown while performing a successful critical art are also really Impressive. I particularly love Necalli's Soul Offering and M. Bison's Psycho Crusher ! 

Fighting as a way of life:

The content of the game can be broken into two segments Online and Off. The game features a Story mode for each character which consists of a few fights and honestly, it feels less like a story mode and more like the prologue for every character. To say the least, it feels very lacking.

Next up is a Survival mode in which a player has to fight one opponent after another in a series of matches, the twist being that your health is not replenished between matches. I ,being a rookie as I was, was still able to reach level 16 in ' Hell ' mode, the highest difficulty level, because after getting used to the gameplay for a while the AI feels very clumsy and predictable. You feel like the destroyers of realms soon :D !

  ......but multiplayer matches are a whole different story. The game sure is difficult when it comes to a fighting game and really does take a lot of time to get used to it as compared to Mortal Kombat X. I was able to adapt to Mortal Kombat in like half an hour and also was able to beat friends in multiplayer pretty soon. The fatalities in Mortal Kombat, which are equal to critical arts in Street Fighter V, are realyl easy to execute. The real key in that game is timing whereas Street Fighter V requires a lot of precision as well, along with impeccable timing, which to me is a lot of balls in the air. I found myself biting dust much more often and the songs of glory ringing in my head from my time in the Survival mode soon faded off, to be replaced by grit teeth, sweaty palms and blood red thumbs. The excitement and exhilaration is unmatched, though, and just like an adamant Kung-Fu hero, I keep heading back into the MP arena to get my next chance at victory ! My time is near, I swear  ! I shall conquer !


From my two weeks spent in the game I can say that  Street Fighter V is a real treat to all fighting game enthusiasts out there, and Capcom really won my heart with the art-style .To conclude I'd say that though it may feel that it lacks content in the offline mode, with the story mode being very short and cursory, when taken online this one is tough to beat in the professional arena. As a mainstream multiplayer fighting game, Street Fighter comes out as king again ! 


* Fantastic core gameplay
*Very precise and skill based fighting.
* A balanced roster of characters
*Exceptional visuals
*Knuckle biting MP matches
*A very gratifying experience


*Very little offline content. Seems like a primarily online game
*A very short story mode.


If you love fighting games and primarily play multiplayer , then go ahead and get this. You will be bleeding pixels and serving vengeance in no time ! If you prefer offline play though, then you might be better off waiting for the future DLC to see if its is worth the price of admission.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Lego Marvel's Avengers Review: Grit your Teeth, Bash 'em Buttons !

Lego Marvel's Avengers

This review of the ps4 version of the game is 100% story-wise and gameplay-wise spoiler-free to keep your gaming goodness intact while playing this game or maybe not for this game. Read more to find out !

How do you voice something uncomfortable? How do you describe something bad without sounding negative, without spitting it out-right?  I feel divided reviewing this game, because I love games but here is one that can make even a blinded-to-reason lover spurn away and writhe in pain!

I mean, I am shaken ! In fact, when I first started playing this game the very first thought that sprung up in my mind was:

"Is this the final retail version of the game???"

 I even called up the distributors and asked them if I had, maybe by some mistake or goof up, received an unfinished preview build of the game and was perplexing over a problem that maybe didn't exist! I sure wished it was so !

.......but alas it wasn't .....It was the final version of the game that was spinning in my ps4 :O ! and that constant feeling of disbelief continued as I squirmed through the game.......

When is it "Done! "?:

This review may feel weird but I have to confront this and come out with it.When I say it feels unfinished, its not the technical polish or the amount of content that I am talking about, though. Where it feels totally unfinished or meandering without direction is the way it conveys its experience.

For one, the game's systems, though very simple, are presented to be extremely un-intuitive. You are always left wondering as to what it is that the game expects you to do ! I attribute a lot of it to the  abrupt and seemingly unplanned opening area of the game and lack of a co-ordinated or pre-meditated visual design.


 The game totally falters in presenting what it is as a game and what is its definition of gameplay. It feels as if the game expects you to already know what a "Lego" game plays like and foregoes any effort to educate you on that part. It completely lacks that gentle easing in to the game's world and systems that quite a lot of studios have mastered now. It starts with a throwaway cutscene with such jarring sound design that you feel disoriented from the get go and then the experience continues to be so.

Puzzle based adventure games have always asked us to click around everywhere on the screen till we find the solution but here the visual design doesn't help much at all in hinting towards a logic we are supposed to learn to follow. The environments are full of shapes and colours and the game throws in all of its colour coded clues at you right from the start, even where those have no relevance at all and  the game doesn't match this up with a colour-palette or art-style to support the colour based gameplay. 

So, the result of it all is that within the myriad colours of blocky legos all over the level lies that ONE lego block that your character can interact with and it looks the same as everything else and you are supposed to find it and press buttons around it !

So, what do you do? ..............Well, go and bash every piece of lego in the level till you find that particular piece which lets you progress to the next level. And its not as if you can somehow deduce the solution either. The game has its own solution for each level and you have no idea what it is till you have found it by chance.Now repeat that aimless button bashing for every level and you have a full game !

Sound Design:

This warrants a very special mention in this game because:
It is terrible ! 
Yes, I never go so negative on games usually, since I love the medium and would rather not talk about something if its bad but this one is so bad I cannot oversee it. It is just plain bad as if the producer decided that it is not worth it to spend time and money on the sound of this game. 

The Voiceovers cut in and out abrubtly as if they just don't belong and the voices sound jaded, bored and disconnected, with no processing to make them sound even cool. The sound effects are simply cringe- worthy. You have to hear this game to believe it------or rather don't hear it, its not worth it.

You know what, I cannot carry on the negativity anymore, its time to be succinct and short. So here goes:


Do not serve the purpose and readability of the game.


Childish and cluttered.


Its the film, no more, no less. Its funny, though, you will smirk or giggle, here and there.


*Will make you appreciate other games and the mundane of life more than before.

*Lets just drop it now, shall we and stop beating this dead horse. 

Verdict: The game is a by the numbers run through of the film with un-intuitive puzzles and little else. Frankly, if you or your family likes the Avengers then you are better off watching the movie again. Just skip on this one, it is not worth the time or the money.

Sorry if I have hurt anyone's feelings here. I do not like to do this, but all I can say is that I have been honest. Also, I have NOT finished the whole game, because after a while I just could not continue anymore. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My first dive into the HITMAN Beta !

Here's my very first blind jump into the fascinating world of Hitman again ! It has been a long long time since I last disguised myself as Agent 47.So lets jump in together with our excitements in tow, lets see how the new Hitman holds up against the old ! This is the first part of my playthrough of the beta. Stay tuned for the second will arrive shortly ! :)

Friday, February 12, 2016

The Division goes free for all for 3 days ! ! !

Ubisoft has announced a free for all Open Beta for the upcoming Tom Clancy-isque supposedly mammoth of a game: The Division !

Alright , now thats some good news right there ! Not because I love the game already and want to play it but because , like many out there, I am unsure of what The Division holds in its slick recreation of a chaotic New York and this provides for a perfect risk free way of checking out the game.

What has many gamers divided is the RPG aspect of this game which seems like a shooter at its core. Apparently, thats not so and maybe the game is a complete opposite of what it seems and from what I have gathered from people's impressions from the closed beta, its seems like a game with shooting gameplay which is an RPG at its core. I may or may not be right and I am excited to have the opportunity to test out the game myself in this open beta. I am being optimistic here and as long as the controls are sharp, I can go with the RPG element all right.

So, make sure to mark the 16th of February on your calendars as thats when you can start downloading the Beta client which , I am sure, will be north of 20gb in size.

The beta will be Live from February 19th to 21st on PS4 and PC and February 18th to 21st on the XboxOne which gets an exclusive headstart of a day.

See Ya inside The Division mates :) !