Category: PlayStation

UFC 4 Review (PS4)

  • Genre: Fighting, MMA
  • Developer|Publisher: EA Sports Swiss Sarl
  • Age Rating: PEGI 16 | ESRB T
  • Price: UK £59.99 | US $59.99
  • Release Date: 14th August 2020

No review code was provided. This was purchased by myself, and my full opinion based on a full comprehensive playthrough.

I’m a big fan of MMA in general. I follow UFC, Bellator and of course Cage Warriors which is by product of UFC for the UK MMA scene plus many more. I have played all the UFC games going back to when THQ were behind the gloves. This is the fourth entry from EA with the UFC. Lets find out if UFC 4 stands the 5 rounds with me eh?

Career

UFC 4 does have a career mode which all fans of UFC will mostly be putting their skills to the test. Just as of late with other EA Sports games, the career mode does have acting from your trainer. Even you’re very own created fighter has a voice, bar that be a few words, but its still something I guess! Career mode will see you rise from the amateur leagues to the glitz and glamour that the UFC has to offer. If you lose your opportunity to sign a Dana White contract with his contender series, you can opt to fight in the WFA until you earn another attempt at the UFC. Once you are in the UFC, you fight, get ranked and earn the chance to fight against the champion of your chosen weight divison.

You can cause rivaliries with other fighters causing the hype to increase. Via hype, you can earn more money and fans too. Create your very own rivalry such as the famous ones like: Liddell vs Ortiz, Lesnar vs Mir, Mioic vs Cormier (literally just finished this wekeend gone at UFC 252) and more.

Gameplay

UFC 4 gameplay is spot on. Each button is easily mapped out on the corresponding buttons. Like any fighting games, practise makes perfect which still applies here. Regardless of saying that you can just pick up and play. EA are still little short on the ground and pound game, its never been their strongest point. Throwing punches and leg kicks are just as fluid and great as per usual. The transitions are better, fluid and precised too. Going from half guard to side control to even say top mount is easy to pull off. Defending from these transitions can be daunting at first, but you really have to watch your stamina to be even able to successfully get out of those tricky situations. Of course you can KO them out, TKO, submission or simply win by points. With all the different fighting styles at your disposal, you can really create something unique with your fighter. Experiment, explore and have fun.

To improve your skills, simply keep landing the moves on the opponent to improve say, superman punch, spinning elbow, roundhouse kick etc. It’s level is a 5 star tier rating system per move. The more you use the move, the better it becomes. You earn evolution points from training in career mode. These points will allow you to upgrade your health such as chin, recovery. Compared to previous UFC games, this system works and is a welcome change too.

With the more simplified controls this time around. Submissions are more easier to pull off, especially to newcomers. When you do submit someone it is a great feeling, like a one punch KO never gets old either.

Graphics, sound, performance

The visuals are quite good and this shows once you are in the Octogon. However the fans look nasty for a game such as this, but then again, EA hasn’t always been great in this department and a few fighter likeness look half arsed?

It can let it down really, which is kinda of weird and disappointing. Some fighter likeness is spot on whilst the rest is a mix bag of fruit. Maybe upcoming patch could fix this issue perhaps. The rest of the game is rather good in the visual department and continues the eye candy which EA have done with this game and previous instalments.

Each hit with a punch, kick or takedown is accurate with the sound and not something out of a comic book. When you land a punch for example, KO material let’s say. You can hear it connect which does makes you go woooah! UFC 4 does come with licensed tracks such as eminem with godzilla, which I play all the time or a bit of Stormzy. The usual UFC themes are also in the game and lets not forget Bruce Buffer, the voice of the Octogon. Daniel Cormier and Jon Anik are the commentators this time around as Joe Rogan hated his experience of doing voiceover work.

To be honest I haven’t actually come across any bad framerate or glitches, freezes etc with my time with UFC 4. Sometimes when you are in the mix of it when fighting, it does however become slightly choppy for a brief second and rectifies itself and you can happy continue pummeling your opponent into the ground. Overall its a well presented game, not being something it isn’t and just sticking to what the UFC does best.

Difficulty

You can select which difficulty you can play on. I played on roughly hard for me personally. I like a challenege to feel at any moment you could win or lose, or have a massive battle and come out victorious. If you want a true authentic experience, the harder difficulty settings is what you want to opt for. Please bare in mind, the AI is clever and damn right outrageous at times. Watch your stamina, and I would improve your health skills to max via those evolution points you earn in training or hit a new level with a certain move.

Conclusion

Overall, UFC 4 is a good game. With career mode that can get stale over a period of time. You do have fight now, online and blitz mode to play around with. The online netcode seems pretty stable and I havent expereinced anything bad just yet. If your preorder the game you will receive Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury to be playable in the game. To me that screams out a new fight night, as there is definitely a market for it! UFC 4 boasts a huge roaster of fighters with the list of weight divisions at its disposal, so you can always go into career mode and play in different weight divisions.

With no other MMA games on console other than UFC. It will provide many hrs of enterainment and fill that fighting game needs which is true to the sport.

Verdict

A great fighting game and keeps true to the sport. The simplified controls is a welcome to newcomers to the MMA world of UFC on consoles and not feeling daunted by the complexity which this game has to offer. If you want fun and be able to fulfill that long awaited match been Joshua and Fury thanks to a preorder bonnus. UFC 4 is exactly what you need!

8/10

Peaky Blinders: Mastermind Review (Nintendo Switch)

  • Genre: Adventure, Strategy
  • Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Steam
  • Developer|Publisher: FuturLab | Curve Digital
  • Age Rating: PEGI 16| ESRB M (Mature)
  • Price: UK £19.99 | US $24.99
  • Release Date: 20th August 2020

Review code used, with many thanks to Curve Digital!

Peaky Blinders: Mastermind, is based on the TV series where you control characters from said series to solve puzzles and try to rid Britain of its crime.

Story/Characters

After serving in the British Army during The Great War, Thomas Shelby and his brothers returned to Birmingham. His gang, the Peaky Blinders, control the city of Birmingham and plan to try and expand his empire even further and will stop anyone getting in his way.

Gameplay

The gameplay is something I haven’t seen before. You control a character and try to solve puzzles, pretty standard. What makes it unique is that when you do an action like open a door, you can go back in time. By you, I mean only you, while the surroundings stay the same. The main way is by talking to an NPC and controlling them to open a door or distract an enemy for a short time, and then rewind to move forward. You do explore the streets of Britain and there are a couple of collectables in each stage. You have 15 minutes to complete a stage in in-game time, but a lot of that time is spent rewinding to solve puzzles, so it is really around 10 to 15 minutes while the in-game time only says about 3. Though I think the gameplay is cool, it can sometimes get frustrating with how slow the characters move. If you mess up a puzzle , you have to rewind back a while to do the whole process over again. It didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the game, but it is something to note.

Graphics, Sound, and Performance

The graphics aren’t mind-blowing 4k, but it does look fairly nice with playing on the Switch. The whole aesthetic suits the game well.

The sound is pretty alright. The music is subdued, but fits the vibe of the game. You can tell the audio department paid attention to detail, with all the noises of people walking or steam coming from a warehouse adding to the atmosphere.

The game ran alright on Switch, although obviously the Switch is under-powered compared to everything else. Running at 30fps in 720p is fine. Though this game doesn’t need to run really fast to be fun, and I barely noticed the 30fps since the game itself doesn’t require too much power.

Difficulty

This game’s difficulty felt just right. Being a puzzle game, you actually had to think and succeeding was never a breeze. It was never too easy to the point that it was boring, but it also wasn’t too hard as to become frustrating. There are is also a Hard Mode, in the event that you fancy an extra challenge.

Conclusion

I did have a good time with Peaky Blinders: Mastermind. I feel like it was an alright puzzle game. This is the type of game where you need to understand the source material to fully enjoy. Playing this without watching the show, I was still entertained and wasn’t lost in the story, but a few jokes flew over my head. I do think if you are a fan of puzzle games, you will enjoy it, especially if you watched the show.

Verdict
A good experience if you are a fan of the source material, but still an alright experience for any puzzle fan.
7.5/10

Even The Ocean Is Coming To Consoles!

Ratalaika Games and Analgesic Productions have announced their upcoming narrative-driven platformer, Even The Ocean, is coming to consoles next week! 

This platformer/visual novel/exploration game centres around the story of Aliph, a power plant technician in the alluringly futuristic Whiteforge city. After a routine maintenance trip goes askew Aliph must work with Mayor Biggs, learning how to use her new power and associated influence to save the city from an unknown menace. She must learn to use these new Light and Dark energies to stabilize the threatened city while also navigating a host of environmental issues, not to mention the small matter of the fate of the world.

Beautiful and diverse environments await as you navigate Aliph through the geography surrounding the city, meeting a whole slew of friends, allies, and travellers along the way. The combination of 2D levels and top-down maps promises to give you a glimpse into a beautiful fantasy world full of unique characters and a variety of locales.

Included in Even The Ocean are customizable difficulty settings. You can play the Complete version, Story-Only version, or Gameplay-Only version, aiding in making the experience unique each time.

Even The Ocean will be coming to PlayStation 4 America on 18/08, Playstation 4 Europe and Xbox One on 19/08, and Nintendo Switch – for both NA and EU – on 21/08. It’ll be priced at $14.99 for all platforms, so it’ll be equally accessible no matter what your favourite console is! 

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin Golden Harvest Edition Announced

Developed by Edelweiss, this Action/Simulation game looks to use a combination of side-scrolling platforming and 3D farming simulation to charm players, with the limited Golden Harvest edition being announced for Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4. The standard edition will also be available for Steam on November 10th 2020.

Golden Harvest edition, as announced by Marvelous Inc, will contain the same beautiful contents regardless of whether you go for Switch or PlayStation. There’s the physical game, a 132-page artbook, the game’s soundtrack split over 3 CDs, a double-sided poster, and a classic collector’s box. At £49.99 from the Marvelous Store, it’s a steal!

In the game, you’ll take on the role of Sakuna, a spoiled harvest goddess who’s been banished to a dangerous island with a group of outcast humans. There, she’ll explore beautiful and forbidding environments, fight demons, and maybe even find a home. Bettering the lives of humanity and harvesting rice are key to proving herself, and Sakuna will have to work hard if she wants that title back!

Join fallen goddess Sakuna on her adventure to regain her holy status on This Holiday season!

Control Ultimate Edition Annouced and no free upgrade to PS5 & Xbox Series X with the standard copy

Control Ultimate editon has been announced for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Steam will be getting the game first on August 27th and the 10th of September for the rest of the platforms.

If you own a copy of Control and all the expansions, you wont be getting the free upgrade to PS5 and the Xbox Series X.

According to their FAQ on 505 games, this is what it says.

“Will Control Ultimate Edition give me access to Control on Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5? We will offer a free next-gen digital upgrade for those who buy Control Ultimate Edition on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. For more information on eligibility, stay tuned to our website and community channels.

“What if I purchased the original version of Control previously? The free upgrade path to Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 version of Control is only available for Control Ultimate Edition.”

Source: Eurogamer

EA is removing fitness cards from FUT for FIFA 21

A welcome change to the formula of FUT is finally happening. Yes, fitness items is going to be no more for FIFA 21. Nothing has been mentioned about contracts for players you have brought from the transfer market place, packs you have purchased or via rewards.

Alongside fitness items, training items have also been given the boot.

“Fitness items have been a light management element in Ultimate Team since the very beginning,” EA said. “The decay of players’ fitness was put in the game originally to encourage rotation in the squad and to simulate some of the management decisions that football squads have to consider.”

“However, we’ve evaluated these mechanics and have decided that it wasn’t creating the desired effect in rotation and players were spending time doing a management action that was frequently required and, ultimately, not very fun.”

“So this year, while Fitness and Player Stamina will still be important factors inside of a match, dictating, for example, how much you can sprint and for how long, you will no longer have to manage that mechanic in the menus as well.”

Source: Eurogamer

Prehistoric Dude heading to consoles next week

Prehistoric Dude, developed by Ratalaika Games. Is heading to Nintendo Switch, Xbox and PS4 next week.

Prehistoric Dude is a metroidvania type game, explore the stone age and recover Dude’s ham.

Throughout the course of Dude’s adventure. You will be able to upgrade, fight bosses and explore different scenarios in a 8-bit style graphics.

Prehistoric Dude will be priced at $4.99 / € and £4.51 for the UK.

It will launch on:

  • PS4 America: August 11th
  • PS4 Europe: August 12th
  • Xbox One: August 12th
  • Nintendo Switch (NA & EU): August 14th

Source: Ratalaika Games press release

Street Fighter V Last Season details announced

Today, Capcom have announced the details for the very last Street Fighter V season pass via their live stream known as the summer update.

5 new characters have been announced with the last character yet to be revealed at a later update. As you can see below is the SFV Season 5 roadmap going into Fall 2021. For me personally, this is great to see and of course characters such as Dan and Oro returning!

Street Fighter league is expanding. Not just in the US, players from across the world will be participating in 3 vs 3 and become the best in the world. If you missed out watching the stream from earlier you can watch it below.

Another video for your viewing leisure is the first gameplay footage of Dan!

Source: Playstation Blog

Skater XL Review (Xbox One)

  • Genre: Extreme Sports, Skateboarding
  • Developer|Publisher: Easy Day Studios
  • Age Rating: PEGI 3 | ESRB Everyone (Mild blood)
  • Price: UK £34.99 | US $39.99
  • Release Date: 28th July 2020

No review code was provided. This was purchased by myself, and my full opinion based on a full comprehensive playthrough.

Gameplay

Lets grind straight into it shall we. Easy Day Studios have made a solid attempt at a skateboarding game. With its intuitive controls the player can use the left stick and right stick to go in any direction to move your feet individually. Such freedom can make certain tricks look epic and real too. Ollie and want to grind the handrail and do transitions? You can. Do you want to kickflip down a 12 step set of stairs to land on a rail and finish off into manual? You can. However… As much as the controls is its main star attraction. Most times the input doesn’t exactly register and you will end up in a crumbled mess on the floor.

You can make some brillaint set pieces as you can see below from my footage I have recorded.

Graphics, sound, performance

Skater XL isn’t the prettiest game to grace the Xbox, Playstation or PC. Again, if you were expecting eye candy then this game isnt it. Saying that it isnt a bad thing either as this game doesnt need to be spectactular. The graphics/visuals is good enough for me. The game does come with a tracklist from bands I have never heard off, which is good for those indie exposure, plus EDS (Easy Day Studios) is independant studio themselves. So please dont expect the tracklist to be like Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 & 2 days.

The performance of the game can be hit and miss. The framerate drops like a sack of spuds at times and the game becomes all choppy as well. Not only some of these issues apparent, glitching underneath the map and smashing through walls and other items is rife. Shame, game performance is hindered by these issues but on the flip side the game is actually fun to play.

Difficulty

There is no difficulty. The only thing I can say about the ‘potential’ difficulty is the player. Constant playing and getting use to the controls is the best advice I can give on such a game. With both sticks being able to be used freely does create the possibility of great tricks like I have said previously, plus those great set pieces.

Conclusion

I would say overall Skater XL isnt a bad game. Rough around the edges, huge canvas to improve and add to the game. You can customize you’re character to the liking. The game does have licensed clothing from DC, Independant, Etnies, ES, Element and skateboards such as Blind (classic reaper, brings back memories when I use to skate awful lot in my youth) and even spitfire wheels. Yes, you can customize your skateboard with the griptape, trucks, wheels and the vinyl of the board itself. EDS has hit the customization to a T. With the above issues of performance, controls and the emptiness each map provides plus missed opportunties. Skater XL falls short, but, it has huge potential to be great when these improvements and more added content hits the game.

Verdict
Don’t forget to wear your helmet, elbow pads and kneepads as you will be falling off quite a bit. Skater XL is a nice fill with the lack of skateboarding games as of late, though less we speak about Tony Hawks Pro Skater 5 the better. Maybe wait until the game goes on sale in prep for the remaster of Tony Hawks Pro Skater 1 & 2 and of course Skate 4.
5/10