Magrunner: Dark Pulse – It’s like Portal but not good.

Magrunner: Dark Pulse is a first-person puzzle game that has a gun that has two fire modes. If it sounds like I am trying to make Magrunner: Dark Pulse sound like Portal, that’s because I am. If you think that comparison is unfair, give me another paragraph.

Similar to Portal, the main player is placed in a number of tests where they have to solve the puzzle to exit the room. The game starts to move away from the test chamber progression in the second Act and ultimately has the player fighting… well in this case it appears to be Cthulhu.

So not everything is Portal here, and it is lacking some of the best parts of that comparison, having neither a charismatic villain such as Glados or a focused and humorous story, but Magrunner has clearly learned about game design from Portal as it tries very hard to imitate that formula that still remains one of the strongest puzzle games ever made.

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Resident Evil 2 – Teaching people how to remake games in 2020

Resident Evil 2 is a remake of a classic survival horror game from 1998, but fully remade and released in 2019. It’s changed from the fixed camera angles of the original to a third-person view which is more familiar to players of Resident Evil 4 and beyond.

As a remake, Resident Evil 2 had a massive legacy to live up to. Resident Evil 2 was quite beloved, and the fact is, the remake has captured much of the classic design and style while still creating an improved experience for players.

The story in Resident Evil 2 is similar to the original. Claire Redfield and Leon Kennedy arrive at the police station in Racoon City and must try to find out what’s happened and escape with their lives. Players can choose either character to start with, and both characters will have a slightly different path through the police station, though mostly it’s due to a different key being available to Claire and Leon as well as which secondary character they meet.

The combat has also been improved, with the third person over the shoulder view being preferable to the strange fixed cameras of the original game, and the less said about the tank controls of the original game the better.

However, the combat in Resident Evil 2 is not what players might expect. Zombies are aggressive and players have limited resources to engage enemies. I found on my first playthrough with Leon where I tried to shoot zombies I needed to get out of the way in the head, I was quickly running out of supplies.

This creates a more tense situation, but after checking online I found that the better solution was to shoot zombies in the leg. On the second playthrough with Claire, shooting zombies in the leg, and I was suddenly swimming in ammo by the end of that playthrough. This is something that bothers me though because it feels wrong to not teach players the right way to play your game.

If the designers wanted the leg to be a better spot to hit, that is fine. However, correcting the players’ misconceptions is important. Shooting zombies in the head is a pretty universal trope, feels like the game designers were purposefully hiding something that could have been shared. Or perhaps the leg takedowns are an unintended benefit.

Much of Resident Evil 2 is about traversing the map and trying to solve small puzzles while dealing with the horde of zombies, and in this Resident Evil 2 does well. The tension of the mounting horde is great, and the enemies who harass the player both feel dangerous, and manageable at different times, and players get the feeling there is danger around any corner because there usually is.

The bosses too are great, even if it’s mostly the same enemy attacking the player over and over. The feeling of a growing power differential between the player and the boss as it grows and becomes overwhelming is incredible and it’s a highlight of the entire game.

One of the best parts of the original Resident Evil 2 was the ability to replay the game and see the same story with the other player. This is possible in Resident Evil 2’s remake, however, I find this to be the big problem with Resident Evil 2. I played as Leon the first time through and experienced the game as it was meant to be. I was quite excited to play through the game a second time as Claire and see what has changed.

The fact is, not much has changed in the second playthrough. Claire entered through a different door, and there was a small amount of content to get to that door. As mentioned the Claire and Leon have different keys so there’s approximately ten percent of the game that Claire sees that Leon won’t, and visa versa.

The problem is for much of the rest of the game, Claire goes through very similar motions as if she was playing through the main story. Claire has to open the same doors she would and fight the same bosses.

Claire and Leon fight the same three of the same bosses in the same arenas. While both characters have different weapons, it’s not a big enough change to make it a different experience. Both characters do have a fourth boss that is unique to their playthrough and there is a final boss, at the end of the second playthrough, but having to fight the same bosses, characters, and enemy on a second playthrough doesn’t make for a better experience.

What’s worse is that Claire and Leon rarely cross over. I believe they only have three scenes where they can even see each other, and that limited amount of connection is made even weirder at the end of the adventure where they look at each other like they have made a connection. Granted they both survived through horrible circumstances, but the way the playthroughs are set up and the limited time that our characters have spent together really make this a strange system.

And I realize that Claire and Leon were both playable in the original game, but in 2019, I would expect this to be improved. Imagine if Claire saw some sign of Leon or Leon saw signs of Claire as they progressed through the game. If the second playthrough had some moments where players would remember what happened on their first playthrough, or puzzles that had already been solved instead of made harder, players might have thought fondly of their original time.

Instead, the second playthrough gimmick feels like a weak experience when it should have been one of the strongest parts of the game.

Ultimately Resident Evil 2 is a great game. It reminds people why this series was thought of as the very best in survival horror. It’s a perfect example of how to remake a game and please both fans and new players, something that other games struggle with

Though I do think that Resident Evil 7 is my favorite game in the series so far, but Resident Evil 2 is solid, if flawed.

On my arbitrary scale of arbitrariness, I’ll give this game a

7/10

It’s solid, but the second playthrough dulled the excitement of the first playthrough. I felt like I was experiencing the game on a slightly different difficulty, not seeing a second story. And I even found the second playthrough a bit easier at some points.

If you enjoyed this review and want to see more from me, including more in-depth reviews of select games, check out my youtube channel at youtube.com/c/KinglinkReviews.

Humble Choice June 2020 Review – A lot of variety, and a lot of quality as well.

I’m Kinglink and it’s time to do the Humble Choice June 2020 review.

As always, I’ll go through each game from this month and give my opinions on them, tell you what I liked, didn’t like, and who should check it out. There’s a lot of variety and it appears to be a good month. Stick around until the end and I’ll give you the top and bottom 5 games of the month.

I have chapters enabled so if there’s a specific game you want to hear about, you can just jump to that part of the video. Let’s get started.

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Rive Review – Taking a look at Two Tribes unique platformer.

The following is a youtube script.  You can read the script or check out the video if you prefer.

Hello and welcome to my review of Rive, developed and published by Two Tribes

Rive is an interesting platformer that was released in 2016 but didn’t get a lot of attention. The company behind it is probably best known for Toki Tori and Toki Tori 2, though Rive is a completely different type of game tackling a new genre, the platformer.

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Shadow of the Tomb Raider Review – A shadow of a great franchise

The following is a script from the youtube video available below as well. Please watch the video or read the script as you see fit.

Hello and welcome to my review of Shadow of the Tomb Raider, developed by Eidos Montreal, and published by Square Enix.

This is the third Tomb Raider game since the reboot of the franchise in 2013 creating a new trilogy, but this is also the first game in the new series that wasn’t made by the original creators of the reboot, Crystal Dynamics, so will this live to the high bar of this series so far?

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Humble Choice December 2019 Review – Let’s get this thing started

The following is a Youtube Script for the Humble Choice of December 2019 Review video, found below.

Hello and welcome to the Humble Choice review.

Humble Choice is now here and with it, we have ten games plus one bonus game. The last being an add-in, that comes free with the Choice, but why not look at it as well. The fact is there’s a ton here and I’d probably spend most of my month, if not a couple, just to cover each of them, so I’m going to go through these games with a couple of simple rules.

I’m going to play 1 hour of each game, give a quick synopsis for what type of game it is, who might like it, and if I want to go on.Read More »

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Review – Well that’s one way to end a series

Hello, this is my review of Dananronpa V3: Killing Harmony developed by Spike Chunsoft, and published by Spike Chunsoft and NIS America.

Just as a heads up, there’s probably going to be swearing and mature topics shown on screen. Nothing sexual, unlike Ladykiller in a Bind, but the language in this game gets quite salty at times. Just be aware of that.

Also, I’m going to be talking about Danganronpa the series a bit, if you haven’t played the first two games you should definitely before playing this, but enjoy the review, I’ll try to keep the spoilers to the spoiler section whose timestamp should be shown right now. With that said this is a long video. I apologize. I’ll try to be briefer next time, which I should be able to do.

But yes, There’s a spoiler section, if you’ve played this game, you probably know what I might want to talk about, but I’m going to attempt to avoid ALL spoilers while reviewing the game, and then have a spoiler discussion at the end to explain my opinions.

In keeping with that, almost all the video will be of the prologue, first case, and first trial. I will attempt to hide as much information as possible, however some pieces may be visible to sharp eyes. I will allow people to discuss the spoilers down in the comments so if they want to refute something I’ve said, that’s up to them. Beware.

Danganronpa V3 is the third main game in the Danganronpa franchise. Danganronpa is a series of games about school students being put into killing games for various reasons, but always with bloody effect and dangerous experiences. However, these are Visual Novels, so the player is more along for the ride than at true risk.Read More »

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 Review – Taking the Console Wars to the next level

Hello and Welcome to my review of Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 1 made by Idea Factory, Compile Heart, and Felistella, and published by Idea Factory at least in America. Normally that’s just simple information but in this game, let’s just say we’re going to see personifications of two of these companies, well not even just these.

Hyperdimension Neptunia is a long-running series, spanning over ten games so far, focused on a universe where the video game consoles are humanoid Goddesses embroiled in a major Console War. If it sounds interesting, then starting with Re;Birth 1 is the right step with it being a remake of the original game, originally made for the Playstation Vita, Playstation 3 and 4, Windows currently.

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Darksiders 3 Review – The Horsemen of the Apocalypse ride again in a strange new land

This is a script from the Youtube video below. Feel free to watch the video or read the script.

Hello Horsemen. I’m Kinglink and this is my review of Darksiders 3 developed by Gunfire Games and published by THQ Nordic.

Darksiders 3 is a long-awaited sequel to a rather popular series, Darksiders, no surprise there. It’s interesting to see this game back, even if it’s by a different developer and publisher, with two asterisks there. At the same time, Darksider 3 reinvents itself as more of a Souls-type game similar to Dark Souls and that genre. It’s different, but is it better?

 

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Call of Duty: World War 2 – Review – Call of Duty returns to its roots once again

The follow is a Youtube Script that has been recorded and is available below. If you prefer to read rather than listen, continue on.

Hello soldiers, I’m Kinglink and It’s time to review Call of Duty World War II.

Call of Duty is a pretty long-running series. At least it feels like that. It’s only about 16 years old at this point, starting in 2003. And yet we’ve had a yearly title almost every year except for 2004, and … well, 2018, it is hard to call Black Ops 4 a mainline game, but you can read about that in a previous review.

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