trials rising garbage
April 18th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Remember when you just won cool gear for your character when you did well? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

Trials Rising is back. It’s the 5th game in a long-standing series of physics-based, motorcycle riding action. Although the new entry itself is rather decent, Ubisoft decided to be Ubisoft and find a way to ruin the fun. They added the basic bitch of microtransactions, loot crates, to the mix, and they don’t gel well. And they are supposted to give you cosmetic upgrades only, but the upgrades are garbage. Rewards are also few and far between, with the majority of upgrades being stickers, the least interesting cosmetic aspect. And then you can get some new gear for your rider and bike but you can also get friggin DUPLICATES. Got the same tires twice? Too bad, you can re-sell the tires for a currency that is totally worthless towards the cost of another crate. It’s shameful at best. Too bad.

But wait, there’s more!

Now, watch this and look at the stunning lack of actual features after opening so many boxes. The customization system in Trials Rising is absolute garbage.

Sadly, one person on our YouTube tried to defend this. You can help by going to the page and upvoting the video.



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trials rising review
March 19th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Motorcycle gamers are going to rise up.

The Trials series of video games are physics based motorcycle stunt/racing games. Trials Rising is the fourth mainline game in the main series, (not including the original browser games). It was developed by Red Lynx and published by Ubisoft Kiev. It also came after 5 years since the last entry, so it is easy to say that it is “long-awaited”. In these games, you ride a motorcycle across some larger-than life racing tracks. The challenge is in making sure you balance your bike properly, along with the throttle, and some complex maneuvers to manage some of the tricks. It features not only a slew of mind bending tracks, but a very robust track editing system. One that allowing users to make complex tracks of their own to be played and shared. This keeps the content flowing even when you’ve finished all the tracks that came with the game. Or, likely before that, because the level of difficulty can get insane later on.

This review is for the Nintendo Switch version of the game. Its portability will factor into the rating.

GRAPHICS: 1/2

So this game has a moderate downgrade for being on the Nintendo Switch. To date however, I’ve yet to play it in docked mode. That’s right, I’ve been playing this game on the go at all times. And the graphics look pretty decent on that small screen. Which is not saying much, but there are some levels in the game where they really go overboard with the visuals and they look great. At the same time, there are always a few assets that look low-res or jaggy. The rider doesn’t look that great either. Still, its nice to see them take location into consideration. Every stage of the races are based on where on Earth they take place, taking you across many different cities and continents. So, main takeaway is that the graphics are not technically brilliant on the Switch, but some stylistic choices in some levels look fantastic.

STORY/IMMERSION: 1/2

Let the record show that this is the first time the story section of our reviews have been renamed to include immersion. I’m sick of having to explain what games win in this category if they don’t have any plot.

The “plot” of this game, so to speak, is actually more cohesive than older titles, as it actually contextualizes what you are doing. You are competing in the Trials worldwide championship. This amplifies the asynchonous multi-player aspect of the game, where you get ranked against other players worldwide. This is also the first game to have an in-depth tutorial that you can revisit to learn how to do some of the more difficult maneuvers.

“I am very grateful that they really give you the time to learn to pull off some very difficult jumps like performing a bunny hop or landing on an incline.”

Unfortunately, the progress of the game, although smooth at first, eventually grinds to a screeching halt. You see, you play several trials, and you can get a bronze, silver, or gold medal for your final time. Each track also has a “contract” for you to fulfill. This is basically a challenge like “do 6 backflips” or “finish with less than 5 faults”. It’s daunting at first until you realize you can do them separately.

Still, the supercross championships really get tiresome. In order to unlock more tracks, you either have to complete these, or go back to old tracks and grind out experience to unlock gated content. The game stops dead once you have to partake in a championship where you have to win 3 consecutive times. Not cool, needs to be patched out. This is Trials, having a perfect run 3 times straight is a big ask, and it isn’t fun.

Still, it’s always hilarious to see your driver die horrendously at the end of very track.

AUDIO: 2/2

The delight I had once I heard the soundtrack was jaw-dropping. For the first time ever, Trials has a licensed OST! Now, don’t knock licensed music in a game, sometimes a great playlist can really help a game in place of original music. This game chooses to hit you with some old school music, the kind that gives me Crazy Taxi vibes. Old school punk, old school hip hop, old school metal, and just a touch of EDM from the early New Zeroes. It is guaranteed to please a lot of older-aged millenials. Have a listen if you don’t believe me. No reason to talk about the rest of the audio. There is no voice acting, the bike sounds like a bike, the props sound like props.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

The one major change from this game and the last one is actually the removal of a feature. In Trials Fusion, you could perform a trick by moving the right thumbstick while in the air. Its not in this game, but it is kind of unnecessary. The challenge is big enough and the contracts keep everything exciting. Other than that, this is a game that can be very addicting, and very fun. That is, if you are okay with the kind of gameplay where you might have to replay a level many times to get a better time.

Or, eventually you will find yourself on attempt 86 of one particular jump. Simplicity is the look of the game, but you will be surprised as to how in-depth the controls can get later on. That’s all there is to it. You don’t have to be a fan of racing games or motorcycle games to enjoy this title. It’s about overcoming unique challenges, not so much the racing, even though that is present.

FUN: 2/2

I first played this game while on a Bus ride from Providence to New York city, roughly a 4 hour nonstop trip. After reading for a bit, I eventually broke out the Switch and started playing. The next thing I noticed was when the bus got to NYC and started to slow down. I was absolutely enraptured by the game. The surprise soundtrack, the layout of the game, the excitement of playing a Trials game on a portable console. They all just came together perfectly and I had a great time. The only problem I had is that there are loot boxes to unlock custom appearance, but they are sadly abysmal. However, you can easily ignore them. When you finally do get stuck on a level, you can just as easily jump onto the user content section. Then you can play some amazing tracks there instead.

This is the kind of game the Switch needs. By and large, Trials Rising is already a great entry in the series. Having handheld access to play it on long bus rides or simply waiting in general can really enhance your day. You can pick this title up for any console you want, obviously. Just note, if you wanna save some money, the physical copies cost way more than the digital ones. Gold Edition copies that feature the season pass are the only hard copies of the game, usually for $40. Or you can just spend $25 digitally on the base game and then get the season pass later if you really like it. Which I definitely recommend if you’re new to this series.

SCORE: 8/10




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free 4 me january 2019
January 11th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

The mediocrity season is here.

January is normally the dumping ground for bad stuff. Bad movies, bad games, bad manners. Fortunately for us, several (potentially) great cames will be coming out. We have New Super Mario Bros Deluxe, Ace Combat 7, the Resident Evil 2 remake, the second epsiode of Life is Strange 2, and……. I don’t know. I think that’s it. Either way, it seems the free games of January 2018 are….. meh. Have a look at the mediocrity of it all.

Xbox Live Gold

Never Alone – An eskimo girl and a fox do some things. A smart 2D scroller.
Celeste
– Okay, so this game isn’t “Just Okay”, its actually an award winner. So it’s probably good.
WRC6 FIA World Rally Championship
– If you’re a fan of dirt track/rally racing types, now is your time to shine with this fun indie racing hit.
Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light
– No, this isn’t a REAL Tomb Raider game. It’s an isometric shooter starring the titular character and some other guy I guess.
Far Cry 2
– This one is tough with an absolutely unforgiving saving system. If you die and don’t have a buddy, prepare to start the entire mission over.

Xbox Game Pass

Life is Strange Complete Season, Life is Strange Before the Storm, Life is Strange 2 Episode 1, Ark: Survival Evolved, Farming Simulator 17, Absolver, Just Cause 3, Aftercharge.

Playstation Plus

Steep – This is a huge snowy mountain sandbox games for those who enjoy Snowboard, Skiing, Paragliding, and Wingsuit. It was very hard to pull off a single trick.

Portal Knights – It’s like Minecraft, but it’s also nothing like Minecraft.

Zone of the Enders HD Collection – A air combat game where you pilot big mecha. Fast paced action and a lot of jetpacking make this oldie pretty good. (PS3)

Super Mutant Alien Assault – A hardcore platformer to the likes of N++ and Super Meat Boy. (PS3)

Warframe: A free to play shooter game, but there’s a Booster Pack available for free.

Nintendo Switch Online:

Blaster Master
Zelda II – The Adventure of Link

WOW! Sounds like a relatively OK time. Get at it.




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super mario party can be played by anyone
January 10th, 2019 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Mama Mini

You don’t actually need to be a hardcore gamer (or a hard mode gamer) to enjoy Super Mario Party. In fact, the level of skills you have may only affect some minigames, but even then, the board can still f*ck you over. But to play Super Mario Party, all you gotta do is hand off the controller and let them do a practice match before the real deal. Who did I play the game with when I found this out. It’s here in the video.

Super Mario can be played by anyone!
Also Peach is a cheating B*TCH.

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free 4 me december 2018
December 5th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Deck the halls, with free game glory.

Christmas time is approaching us yet again. Many have commented that the season seems to be approaching faster than usual. But there are two good reasons for that. One, my colleagues work in reatail so of course we get beat in the ass on it. But more importantly, with so many black friday, pre-black friday, cyber monday, and holiday sales, the time just seems shorter than ever, with good deals still abound. On top of all the sales that are inevitable, the big consoles are more than happy to give you some freebies.

Xbox Live Gold

Q.U.B.E. 2 – It’s portal but you move cubes around.
Never Alone – A kid and a wolf go on a great adventure.
Dragon Age 2 – It’s Dragon Age, but you’re just some rich kid who wants his house back.
Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction – Off, this game is an old actioner.

PlayStation Plus

Soma – A horror game where the scariest part is the looming existentialism.
Onrush – A high-style, balls to the wall arcade racer.
Steredenn – A considerably chaotic space shooter with an 8-bit color scheme.
Steinsgate – Wait, this was a game BEFORE it became an anime?
Iconoclasts – Oh look, another 8-bit game, but it’s an action scroller this time.
Papers, Please – A game where you serve as border control but don’t have any tear gas.

Nintedno Switch

Wario’s Woods
Ninja Gaiden
Adventures of Lolo

Summary

You got a lot of good ones here. QUBE is a great puzzler if you’re a fan. You have two fantastic 8bit games on PS4, and and anime game to boot. Dragon Age 2 wasn’t received well critically, mainly because it’s a very focused game that takes place in one city instead of a sprawling adventure. Papers Please is a big indie favorite with tough moral dilemmas. The real show stopper here is SOMA, the horror game. It was originally released on steam, and a mod was made to remove the “combat” sections where you have to hide from monsters. It was called “wuss mode”. This was officially added into the Xbox One and PS4 releases as “peaceful mode”. Trust me when I say, this game isn’t less scary just because you aren’t being chased by monsters. The dark depths of the mind that this game takes you to can be challenging. It often deals with themes that are very hard to think about, circled around existence, death, and what comes after. Do not miss it. I hate most horror games, but it’s an absolute winner.

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grid autosport announced for nintendo switch
December 5th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Get back on the grid.

Grid Autosport is a game originally released back in 2014 and is one of the many games finding itself ported onto the Switch. This will be the first serious racing sim game to grace the console. Grid Autosport isn’t exactly Forza material but it does have a lot of racing types from a wide range or racing disciplines from V8 Supercars to Formula A. It features 22 racing locations from all around the world. These include a lot of real-world tracks, a couple of fictitious tacks, and several street racing setups. There’s 103 cars total, but its yet to be announced if there will be more additions for the Switch version. They should. After all, it’s been enough time, you figure they could add in at least a couple of bonuses while they were porting it, right? Either way, as more hardcore racing simulator is severly need on the Switch platform, and hopefully Grid Autosport will be enough to fill that empty space Here’s the trailer.

With Grid Autosport announced for Nintendo Switch, we can hopefully look forward to even more racing games to fill up the empty desert that is its racing catalog. Last year we got Gear.Club Unlimited, and now a sequel is coming out in a matter of days. This new iteration of the formerly mobile phone racer comes with a new focus of 3 racing types. That’s asphalt, icy, and dirt. It is definitely far more on the side of being an arcade game, but a decent arcade game nonetheless. Especially since it features rewinding. That feature is almost an absolute must in modern racing games. In an old age where the moment you make one mistake and lose the entire race, new games decided that they will help you forgo this trouble with rewinding. It’s not going to guarantee you a win every time, but it helps to keep you from a bad losing streak. GCU2 will feature four player same screen co-op, a rarity in this age of games. Here’s the trailer as well.

Hooowooooowwwww! How about that. Some good racing games for the Switch! Gear.Club Unlimited 2 is out RIGHT NOW for full retail @ $59.99 on digital, meanwhile the physical release is surprisingly cheaper at $49.99. Meanwhile, Grid Autosport has a tentative “Coming 2019” release as of right now and will likely be the same price.




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super mario party review
November 25th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Party on, party off.

Nintendo has made an absolutely fascinating game series where you play a board game, some mini-games, and become mortal enemies with all of your friends. It’s called Mario Party and the level with which you can fuck over players is akin to that of Munchkin or Monopoly. Unlike the latter, Super Mario Party doesn’t take 6 hours to finish. This series has had 10 entries in its main console series, and several spinoffs on other devices. But where do you go from there? Call it Mario Party 11? No. You call it SUPER. Why? Because the Switch is the greatest console ever made and it deserves the upgraded name. I’m like 70% serious here.

GRAPHICS: 2/2

This looks exactly like Mario Party is supposed to look like. The quality isn’t in the graphical fidelity, but how fun they can make it. And that includes animations. Seeing all of your favorite Mario characters getting, angry, sad, frustrated, and determined are a delight. It is amazing how it mocks real life. When a play gets a star, their avatar makes boasting gesture while the other three get frustrated. Each board on the main game has its very own individual look that stands out. Even the first board, which is mostly just a bunch of grey blocks. But once you get to the board that has four islands, the graphic variety really shines.

STORY: 2/2

And now, here’s the verbatim from the game’s intro cinematic:

TEXT: One day, trouble was brewing between Mario and his good friends. Each claimed to be the Super Star, the worthiest hero in all the land. Mario suggested having a party to decide, a time-honored tradition. Everyone agreed – a proper party would surely reveal the true Super Stardom.
TOAD: What do you say, Toadette?
TOADETTE: I say this time we’re going to find out what being a Super Star REALLY means!
TOAD: You can trust us to be fair and impartial judges! Give us time to set up and we can get st-
???: Aren’t you forgetting something?
BOWSER: Maybe NONE of you are the Super Star! Maybe it’s one of us instead. I brought an extra judge, too! I want you keeping an eye on things too! You know, so it’s all fair and impartial.
KAMEK: If you say so! But be careful what you wish for, Keeheehee!
TOAD: Well, at least Kamek will make setting up easy! This should only take a minute!
-starwipe-
TOADETTE: Is everybody else as excited as I am? I DOUBT IT!
KAMEK: Wait until you see what my genius has wrought!
-gates open, everyone claps-
TOAD: Let’s party!
-fin-

I laughed. I cried. I wet myself a bit. This is the most moving, emotional, satisfying plot I have ever experienced in my life. Nothing will ever top this. This is what peak performance looks li- PFFFT okay it’s dumb. But it’s Mario dumb. And it’s Mario Party. Do you even NEED an excuse to play? NO. It’s here for the aforementioned fighting among friends.

AUDIO: 1/2

It’s fine, whatever. It’s missing some of the essential noises that made other Mario Parties so jubilant. The win music just isn’t as engaging as it should be. Everything feels like it’s been toned down a bit. It’s just okay, it does what its sets out to do, but you can’t help but feel something is missing here. Just think about all the little jingles you’d hear from Mario Party 1-3. You remember them note for note, right? The same can’t be said here. The music is on cruise control. It’s there and it’s functional, but it could be better.

GAMEPLAY: 2/2

Mario party has had many iterations in varieties and how the the rules worked. At one point they thought it was a good idea to have all 4 players riding in a car together. But SMP fixes that by going back to basics. This is the version of the game you loved and admired as a kid and as a college freshman. That feel you got when you found an old N64 and controllers for everyone? You played it until the late hours of the morning with the people in your dorm? That feeling is back. You face off as your favorite character in 4 boards (which isn’t enough but is a good start). Every character has a new gimmick in the form of custom dice. Every turn, you can roll your standard D6 or you can roll a special die made for each individual character. For instance, Shy Guy’s custom dice options are 0, 4, 4, 4, 4, and 4. Fun! Bowser has a 10 space side on his dice but you could also move zero spaces and lose 3 coins. It’s a new and interesting twist to the game mechanics.

The game also adds the ally ability where you can call in other characters to assist you. Once you do that, you have the option to roll their custom dice as well as your own. Not only that but every ally you have will roll a D2 to add either 1 or 2 spaces to your roll. So if you have, say, three allies on the board with you, you could roll your dice. And your allies? All 3 of them roll their own D2 so you could get anywhere from 3-6 additional spaces. Either way, this is still the maddening, frustrating, fun game you know and love, with all new minigames and variations on your favorites to boot. If you miss the good ol’ days of Mario Party, this is absolutely the best time to jump back in.

FUN: 2/2

It’s hard not to have fun when it comes to this game. Maybe if you played by yourself, you would have a bad time. It’s understandable that most games should be able to stand on their own merits for some single player action. But, if you’re really playing a PARTY game by yourself, what are you doing? You don’t even need friends to play it, just find some acquaintances to play. Or random people on the street. Or with your family (even if you Mom has absolutely no idea how controllers work and needs to be constantly instructed on what buttons to press. Damn it mom, the okay button is on the right, and the L+R buttons are on top! Why is this so hard, Mom?). No matter what you do, you are bound to have a blast. Even if some of the minigames are blatantly unfair.

SCORE: 9/10




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Splatfest November 2018 results
November 22nd, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Buenos Nachos, Amigo

The game is over and the winner has been announced. In a complete shutout, Team Salsa defeated Team Guac in all 3 categories. Most popular, most clout in normal, most clout in pro. Hat trick. Sweep. That’s enough sports terms. Funnily enough, less accusations of cheating have been thrown around. Unlike last time, there aren’t any suspicious screencaps floating around. During our time with it, we both had an early on session in the day, and one later at night, where we were paired with other people from team salsa for many same-team battles. It happened too often. Something had to be up for there to be that many fights from the same team. I mean, how do they even score that? Only the winning team gives clout and the other does not? Probably. Either way, that’s the Splatfest November 2018 results for ya.

Chet was able to record himself, this time in style. Going on full streamer mode, he played the game while putting up his face on camera for all to see. Also he was terrible. He did not help in anyway. Point and laugh! And also, tell us what our gameplay vids need. More comedy? More popups? More fast editing? Tell us below. Enjoy!




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Splatfest November 2018
November 10th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Tasty Taco Tribulations Test

Nacho chips are pretty good. You know, I’ve cut myself off of all junk food, but when it comes to snacks… I cannot resist two things. Number 2 on that list is nacho chips. Whether it’s straight from the supermarket or restaurant serving, they are great. If you’re like many people, you’ve come to realize that the $2 bag of Santitas is the real deal. You’ve also come to another conclusion, and that’s what to serve your nachos with.

Are you thinking about queso? Well too bad. Queso sauce doesn’t count because it tastes good on literally everything. Tacos? Queso. Steak? Queso. Fish? Queso. Nay, we’re here to talk about the Splatfest November 2018 event. Coming to a Nintendo Switch near you, enjoy getting to choose between the best to nacho companions by duel. The theme? Salsa vs Guacamole. You are choosing between a tomato and peppers mixture versus a fulfilling avocado and lime paste. Okay, honestly both those sound terrible by description. But connoisseurs of Mexican cuisine will be able to tell you all about how they both are amazing.

Salsa. A delicious and spicy addition to the crunchy, wholesome, salty taste of the chips. The spicy aroma and taste certain add a layer of action to the tortillas, don’t you think? Just thinking about it makes you crave it. Let’s talk about a real restaurant. A local authentic Mexican cuisine restaurant with great prices has a fun addition. You see, normally some Mexican restaurants will give you the tortilla chips and call it a day. If you’re at Chipotle or Moe’s. Moe’s has a ton of salsa selections in particular. But nothing can beat the local place that serves hot salsa with a layer of refried beans and cheese on top of it. That’s what this local place does, and that’s what makes it amazing.

Guacamole. A soothing, smooth topping to the crunchy, hard satisfaction of chips. In this case, the smooth taste of the avocado mashed up with other ingredients is the perfect recipe. If you live in California, you are overexposed to the vegetable and are disqualified. But anyone else? We have to pay the restaurants EXTRA if we want to get some guacamole. In one particular local authentic Mexican restaurant that is not the one above, they have it special. You get served a freshly made batch right in front of you. The waiter comes over with a tray full of the ingredients, puts them in a bowl, and mashes it up all before you. It’s rather impressive, the mixes needed to make perfect guac.

If I had to pick one, I’d go with team Salsa. Salsa is an absolute essential when it comes to tortilla chips. On top of those, it’s also essential for tacos. The truth is, you can always go for some cause with it. Salsa comes in many varieties. These include mild, medium, hot, very hot, super hot, and ‘why is this green?’. Those are a lot of varieties. On the other hand, guac is a luxury that is only good once in a while. If you had this several times in a row and still want it the next day, you’re either a dirty Californian or crazy. Guacamole is good as a treat but is certainly not necessary for all servings of chips. But it is definitely orbiting around the salsa. It always comes with salsa.

Salsa is the key to victory. Our deliciously spicy destiny awaits us. Together, we shall do our best to combat the enemy to victory. We will prove once and for all that salsa is the best snack enhancement of all time!

The festivities run from 8pm PT/11pm ET on November 16, 2018 until 8pm PT/11pm ET on November 17, 2018.




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nintendogs on switch
November 8th, 2018 by Kurt "Chet" Christel

Not Quite.

Okay, so earlier we posted a fake photo on our Facebook page claiming to have found a new Nintendogs box art for Nintendo Switch. And… meh we’ve had better jokes than that. But it’s OC and that is what’s most important. Well, that and the fact that when making the Nintendogs on Switch picture, we discovered that a game just like the puppy sim is being made. Just not by Nintendo.

Imagineer is a company with a long history of publishing games for Japan from overseas developers. Since it doesn’t seem like we’ll be getting our Nintendogs any time soon, they stepped up to the plate. Little Friends: Cats & Dogs is the title. And boy oh boy is it cute. For those of you who have the misfortune of not owning a dog or cat, here’s the next best thing. The original 3DS game featured only a handful of options and had a confusingly large number of releases.

The number of breeds hasn’t been listed. But from what we found, there will be 40 variations of hair patterns for each. All the animals will have distinct personalities. You will use the detached Joy-Cons to interact with them with a full range of of things to do with them. You can customize the room they are in. There are also more than 600 costumes and toys planned as DLC.

Currently, the only release information we have is that it will be released in Japan on December 6, 2018 for 5800 Yen. No idea when we will get a localized version, but we can only hope. Maybe if this sells well, we’ll get a Nintendogs after? Who here enjoyed Nintendogs and are you looking to play it on the go and on your TV screen? Let us know in the comments below, and check out the gallery.

Little Friends: Dogs and Cats

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