Yakuza 5 – Too much of a good thing

Yakuza 5 takes what Yakuza 4 accomplished and amplifies everything in it to create a brand new experience that is bigger and better than before. It is the most jam-packed Yakuza title yet, the longest-running in the Kiryu saga, and contains the most playable characters. 

But it also is a case where it becomes too much of a good thing that finally reaches the series’ breaking point, and causes some issues for the franchise. 

Yakuza 5 has returning characters from the previous game with Kiryu, Saejima, and Akiyama, but adds in two new playable characters, an ex-baseball player, Tatsuo Shinada, and for the first time in the series, Haruka Sawamura, Kiryu’s adopted daughter. Each of these characters gets their own section of the story, with Haruka and Akiyama sharing their portion, giving players four distinct parts of the game, with a rather large finale at the end.

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Better with Friends – The challenge of reviewing Deep Rock Galactic

I’m Kinglink and let’s start this video off by talking about Deep Rock Galactic.  

I found Deep Rock Galactic to be incredible. It’s a clever game that is a ton of fun, and I enjoyed myself. There was a lot of hype about this game, and I finally picked it up and had an excellent time. and yet I struggle to judge it.  

Deep Rock Galactic is worth the purchase in my case. Three friends and I tried it out during a free weekend. We had a great time. We all picked it up after that weekend session and played quite a few more sessions since and we have had a lot of fun with the game every time. You’ll be seeing my group playing the game in these videos. 

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Yakuza 4 Remastered Review – A lot more character in this one

After three games in the series, Yakuza 4 had some big shoes to fill, now with the addition of two remakes in the form of Kiwami and Kiwami 2, and the prequel Yakuza 0, Yakuza 4’s task is bigger than ever. 

Yakuza 4 delivers a different game than fans might expect, but also one that changes the formula of the series and creates something fresh. 

Yakuza 4’s heavily on previous titles and creates issues for new players. I originally played Yakuza 4 in 2016 as my first entry into the series, and while the game was good at the time, without having already played the three previous titles the game talked about many characters who got no development, and thus the story suffered for it. I wondered why did the game focus on characters it didn’t take the time to introduce?

After playing the previous titles, and falling in love with the series, a return to this game in its remastered form creates a more interesting experience. While Yakuza 4 begins with the assumption of the large history of the series, it expands the world in new ways and creates an interesting take on the series. 

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Control Review – Visually Stunning

Control is Remedy Entertainment’s 2019 title that explores a secret government agency dedicated to dealing with otherworldly events. It’s also one of the best-looking games I’ve seen and made me a believer in the promises of Nvidia’s Ray Tracing technology.

The graphics in Control are exceptional. While the gameplay and story will always be the core of the experience, using Ray Tracing technology has elevated Control’s visuals to a major accomplishment. 

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UHS-Hints – How game guides were meant to be

I’m Kinglink and today I’d like to review a website called UHS-Hints and I will, but I don’t think we’re ready for the actual site just yet. 

To fully appreciate what UHS-Hints is, I feel like we have to start with what makes a great puzzle in a game, especially an adventure game or a puzzle game, and then what came before. 

You see today we have a lot of games that have “puzzles” with quotation marks which amount to either figure out where to go next or click the right button the right number of times.  Those are puzzles but not what we’ll be talking about today. 

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Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues Reviews – I’ll just watch the show.

Cobra Kai the television show has made huge waves as it’s now reached its third season. The first season started by recontextualizing the original Karate Kid movie by giving the villain of the first movie, Johnny Lawrence, a more in-depth backstory and a redemption arc.

From there, the second and third seasons have grown the world and gave us interesting stories and a fresh take on the original franchise, though at its core is Johnny Lawrence’s Cobra Kai versus Daniel Larusso’s Miyagi-do.

It’s not surprising that someone has finally decided to capitalize on the growing franchise by creating a video game out of it. It’s just a shame that this is the result because everything feels wrong with Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues.

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Train Station Renovation Review – The Zen of Renovation

Train Station Renovation is what you expect, you arrive at run-down train stations, renovate them, and then move on quickly.

The simulation genre of video games has been a popular one recently. It seems almost any job ever has a simulator attached to it, and while train station renovation might not be a direct job, someone’s gotta do it. So we might as well simulate it too.

What I find interesting in Train Station Renovation is that there’s nothing inherent to the Train Station as part of the game. This easily could be a game where players flip houses or pick up public parks. Players can drop large bins for garbage and just collect trash.

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Yakuza 3 Review – A major misstep and a dated experience

Yakuza 3 is finally on PC, and it’s the fourth game in the Yakuza franchise chronologically.  However, it is now the most dated for the franchise.  Where Yakuza 0 was released in 2015 for the Playstation 4, and Yakuza Kiwami and Kiwami 2 were remade in 2016, and 2017 and also released for the Playstation 4, Yakuza 3 was originally released in 2009 and for the Playstation 3. 

The version on PC, Ps4, and Xbox One is the remastered version, which has all sorts of bells and whistles fans would expect.  There is a higher graphic fidelity and more standardized 1080p resolution. There is also content that was cut from the original English version that has been restored, and a retranslation that removes important mistranslations. 

I bring this up not to just enumerate the changes, but to dive into the big issue with Yakuza 3.  Yakuza 3 is a remaster.  While it has a large amount of additional content and gameplay, this is ultimately a PS3 game with a slight graphical upgrade.  Where the previous Yakuza games are beautiful, Yakuza 3 is dated by the simple fact that this game originally was made for the PS3.  

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Life is Strange Review – A near perfect execution of the Adventure Game formula

Telltale really made the modern “Adventure game” iconic in a number of ways, mostly in how formulaic they are.  The Telltale formula is to take a well known IP, and then add a new story to the world with minimal changes and choices that the player will have control over.  Players are just along for the ride, and ultimately it’s similar to a storybook.

But whether you pick up the Batman, Walking Dead, or Guardians of the Galaxy, as long as you like the IP, you’ll probably enjoy the journey.  If you don’t, well, it might be the wrong game for you. 

Dontnod’s entry into the genre is therefore quite odd.  Instead of attaching the storybook idea to an IP they instead decided to make their own world and tell a story there.  It definitely was a risky venture as having no established IP meant everyone would-be newcomers to the series and trying to make the “storybook” approach interesting to new fans could be challenging.  

But it’s only with great risk can great reward be obtained, and I think Dontnod is deserving of a massive reward.  

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