Black Legend: A Steam Review

Turn-based is one of my favorite genres in gaming because of how the gameplay ranges in such a broad spectrum. You can go hardcore into turn-based strategy and play legendary titles like Civilization and Age of Wonders, or even maybe dive into a more tactical setting like Fire Emblem. The genre even branches out into Turn-Based RPGs like Final Fantasy, and Persona, which are iconic franchises that have been around for over a decade. Black Legend, however, takes an interesting turn in mixing a free roam setting with tactical gameplay. I did not get to spend as much time as I had wanted in this title, but overall I found it to be very lackluster. While the gameplay feels very satisfying in a tactical sense, there are a lot of areas that can use a lot of improvement when it comes to the free roam standpoint as well as overall performance. This game can be purchased on all platforms for $29.99 and was developed and published by Warcave.

Black Legend takes place in the city Grant, which is cursed by a dense fog and infested with the fanatical Mephistian cult. You create your character and lead a band of mercenaries to aid the resistance and take back the city by uncovering the dark truth behind the cult’s activities. The concept for the story was greatly executed, and the atmosphere did well in drawing me into exploring the dark and deadly city. The game gave an overwhelming feeling of desperation and curiosity with cultists lurking around every corner. One of my biggest issues lies with the free roam part of the game. As I previously stated it did a good job in enticing players to explore, but with any free roam RPG a sense of direction is extremely important.

The game tells you where to go via cutscene and quests, but there is no direction on where the objective will be. The game fails to provide players a map or compass, leaving players to memorize street signs or wander until they land upon the objective. RPGs with free roam need these features if they are going to have location-based quests. I do like that you can engage any NPC in the game and that they will give you random side quests or bits of information to aid your investigation of the cult. This aids in drawing players more into the environment and helps to take away the navigational frustration in a way. I do wish that they would organize the menu more as far as class and quest information goes. I also wish the shops were more customized and showed the player items that are already in inventory.

The gameplay was a huge redeemer for this title because it gave you endless options for character placement and development. The combat system was very well designed and adds a sense of difficulty even in normal. You get the freedom of having a small area to preemptively place your characters before the real combat begins. Then you get gameplay that mirrors Fire Emblem or XCOM on a smaller scale, taking turns with each character and enemy. You can pick from 15 different character classes to assign your mercenaries such as sharpshooters and alchemists, and stack different humors, or actions, in one turn to strategically take out your enemies or move your characters. The possibilities for combat are abundant, and if that isn’t enough for players you can change to a high difficulty which includes permadeath.

However as previously mentioned the menu layout is not well designed by any means with the lack of information for important areas such as weapon assignment per class. A lot of the unique abilities for the different classes felt useless in combat as well. I often found myself turning to guides because of the lack of information and viable classes in general as well as ability set-ups. The combat can also take ridiculously long regardless of difficulty right off the bat, leaving players bored until more abilities and combos surface. 

One other issue I take with the game is the optimization and performance. The game runs well on PC, but on consoles and Steamlink the optimization suffers tremendously. The button mapping is more geared for keyboard and mouse as opposed to a controller which is leaving many players frustrated. Frame rate issues and glitches are rampant on consoles as opposed to PC depending on build. There is also a game-breaking bug that forces the player to restart the game completely. Crashes are a plague on consoles both with new generation and old generation. The only issues recorded with PC regardless of build tend to be installation issues, which are generally fixed by reinstalling the game.

It’s not that I would not recommend the game, but I encourage players to look into it before purchasing. I would urge console players to refrain from playing it until these performance issues are addressed period. The game has good qualities and a lot of potential, but it suffered from poor execution. The combat is great as well as the story, but all the issues overshadow what the game has to offer. I hope the developers can take this as a learning experience if there is to be another entry for the title.

DVS Score: 5/10

Maquette: PS5 Review

Playing Maquette was an incredibly interesting adventure to take part in with fantastic music, a beautiful art style, and cleverly designed puzzles used to unlock parts of the story. While this genre is known for huge titles like Portal 2The Talos Principle, and CatherineMaquette still blew the minds of players for the current generation in the gaming industry. While this game did not tap into the full potential for its puzzles, the overall concept was perfectly executed and the environment evolved seamlessly with the story. This title was one of the best-designed first-person puzzle adventures I have ever played, for it is rare to see a story blend so perfectly with its environment. Developed by Graceful Decay, and published by Annapurna Interactive, Maquette is available on Playstation and PC for $19.99. It is currently still free for PSN users until the end of the month. 

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The story is based on modern couples and follows the memories of Michael and his former lover Kenzie. As you navigate through what seems to be a dome or various locations, you see various stages of the couple’s relationship and the various emotions that Michael experiences throughout different stages of their partnership. The Maquette shines ever so brightly as the memories of their first encounters come to life, such as the café where they first meet and their first date at the fair. You can feel the heightened emotions between Michael and Kenzie for what seems like true first love. Over time through the different chapters, you notice as the locations change and what seems like a decay set in which is used to signify the problems between the two. The puzzles start to get a bit more in-depth, and the distance for travel feels longer and creates a feeling of being powerless. Buildings start to crumble, leaving behind what used to be a warm and loving environment. The dome expresses the emotions so well throughout the story, you almost feel as you are the one experiencing happiness and heartache. I also commend the game for its dialogue, for that is one of the few aspects in most video games that tends to fail. The voice acting feels very genuine and authentic compared to most story-based games. The story itself felt a bit generic but depicts an accurate representation of failing relationships and closure. The game portrayed is so well that despite the lack of uniqueness to the story, the game represented it so well that it felt empowering.

I do not have too many complaints, for the game overall was very well executed. There were a few bugs here and there with the puzzles that resulted in a chapter restart or reloading a previous save, which did cause quite a bit of frustration. The puzzles were fairly well designed and very unique, for you play in a dome with locations that can be described as dioramas. There is also a mini dome that replicates the one you stand in, and a larger one outside that you navigate later in the game. The minidome is mostly used for resizing and placing larger versions of an object, such as a bridge to cross buildings or a key to gain access to locked-off locations. Some objects are used for multiple purposes in varying ways that force the player to think “outside the box”. For example, a key can turn into multiple uses of transportation outside of unlocking doors. Later on in the game adds a new level of cleverness in problem-solving, for it adds access to the outside layer where your base dome becomes increased in size. A switch might be only accessible in the mini-dome to give you access to a locked-off area in your central dome. A bridge might have to be placed down in your mini-dome to become supersized for the outside dome, and stairs might be placed in ways you’d never think of to reach the unreachable. You end up having to figure out where the next part of the puzzle takes place, and where to complete certain actions. I would have liked to see the puzzles get a little more in-depth, for the majority of them were not too hard to solve, but this was mostly a minor complaint. This game was one of the few instances where the atmosphere actually made the game. My other complaint is for trophy hunters, as a hunter myself I was originally seeking to platinum this game. Unfortunately, some of the trophies don’t unlock when they should causing you to repeat actions. For example, though I completed two of the levels in the respective time for some of the trophies, they failed to unlock. Some quick fixes are reinstalling the game from what I have researched, but overall it just killed my want for the platinum. Additionally, for speedrunners cutscenes do count towards your time meaning you have to skip annoyingly enough.

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Originally after beating this game I did not feel too impressed until really looking back on it and remembering the obstacles I went through to complete it. This game left feelings that stuck with me, and ultimately lead me to write about it. This title was truly unique and is the definition of one of a kind. While some aspects can be improved, I genuinely enjoyed the atmosphere and gameplay for this game. It’s a riveting and truly unique experience that challenges players not only in critical thinking but also emotionally as you navigate the feelings of an uncompromising and unforgiving tale. While this game might not be for everyone, I recommend it for the majority.

DVS Score: 6.5/10

DwarfHeim: A Steam Review

I always love a good Strategy game to kill some time, whether it be the classics like Warcraft 3 (not Warcraft 3 Reforged) and StarCraft, or even Age of Empires 2 Definitive Edition and StarCraft 2. Setting up your base, upgrading your abilities and technology, and even going for domination by setting up your elite army are always addicting and empowering. I love spending hours even in Civilization not just trying to win, but setting up my cultural peaceful existence unlocking world wonders. I was excited to be able to try something new out like DwarfHeim, and the results were extremely pleasant despite the rough start. DwarfHeim is a co-op RTS that is class-based and filled with dwarven shenanigans. It was developed by Pineleaf AS and published by Pineleaf AS and Merge Games. You can only experience this dwarven-filled adventure on PC though for $24.99.

Starting in Dwarfheim was a bit rough and there were quite a few bugs and crashes that left me restarting the game. First and foremost the game is extremely unique compared to other turn-based strategy and real-time strategy games. This is because the game is primarily a cooperative game, whereas other RTS games are heavily equally geared towards the single-player and multiplayer experience. There is no story campaign for Dwarfheim, and none coming out as far as we know in the future. The only options for single players are sandbox mode and 1 vs AI to practice, which is very unique as far as any real-time strategy games go. This brings up one other issue, for if you want to play multiplayer I highly recommend finding friends. I went to queue for multiplayer and ended up waiting over 20 minutes every time and eventually gave up. You also get a choice of units to play per each mode that you can attempt to lock in, which are Miner, Builder, and Warrior.

The gameplay itself is insanely fun and a bit dumbed down compared to other real-time strategies for the most part, yet some parts can become very intricate. For instance, the upgrades for abilities are limited, as well as building options like your standard lumbermill and barracks. However, on the flip side, the game shows its dwarven roots when it comes to setting up your mining in the underworld. To get certain resources such as steel ingots, you have to strategically set up your forge to make them with the transmuter. Only certain ore and coal can enter this to create certain ingots, but to separate them you need a splitter to avoid sending incorrect ore or ingots that specific way, otherwise you need to clear it out. You get different structures such as a rock crusher, ore sorter, forge, and warehouse. They all must be specifically set up to get all the resources you need to create other buildings, units, and upgrades. The possibilities for setups can be endless, which makes playing heavily miner-based so exciting!

Some more practical issues I have with the game are issues that I never expected to have in my gaming career, and that is the lack of tutorial. Usually, I am great at figuring things out with any game, but I love tutorials for any strategy game, especially when it comes to PC due to the endless key bindings and structure uses. The reason I had a rough start, as well as other people with Dwarfheim, is the overall lack of explanation. The tutorial shows you how to move your units, attack, some building, and how to navigate the underworld. However, outside of that, there was little to no explanation. I found myself looking into the key bindings often to figure out the simplest things, even down to rotating objects to set up my base. Most of the setups such as the forge and structure setups I had to figure out myself or look up guides that people made on YouTube or Steam to help others due to the lack of instruction. The other reason this is a problem is that I spent a good amount of time trying to find a slow-paced option to learn the game, which leads me to warn people to avoid 1 vs AI until they know the game and stick with single-player sandbox mode. 

All in all I do enjoy this game, and like any RTS I found myself hooked once I got through digging up key bindings and guides to learn everything. I do hope the developers will add a better tutorial in the future, but all in all, it is a solid strategy game. I do hope the player base keeps growing so the queue times drop for those who have no one to enjoy this specific genre with, and that the developers also look into a possible campaign mode. I loved the overall art style and music, and this game feels like it would be a great candidate for a strong story. There are some kinks and bugs to work out but overall this game is solid and worth syncing a lot of time into.

DVS Score- 6/10

Obi-Wan Series Information: Cast and Production

We finally have some credible information in regards to what every die-hard Star Wars fan has been waiting for, and that is the cast lineup and production start date for the future TV series Obi-Wan Kenobi. This series will be exclusive to Disney+, where all other Star Wars films and TV shows are available, as well as upcoming. The production date for the series will be sometime in April as opposed to what other rumors have speculated, so hopefully, fans will have even more content soon since Mandalorian left everyone off with gaping holes in their hearts. 

Star Wars is a popular franchise created by George Lucas and is one of the most iconic creations brought to life in 1977. The movies and tv series take place in a time and galaxy where humanoids coexist with aliens and droids. This is a time where technology is advanced, and interstellar travel has become a normal day-to-day routine. The galaxy is connected by all living things through the Force. The Jedi, also known as peacekeepers of the Galactic Republic, are beings that are connected to the force and wield this power to keep balance in the universe. They are opposed by another Force-wielding group known as the Sith, who are limited to two: the Sith Lord and apprentice. The franchise has grown considerably since the original trilogy, and lead to not only more movies but video games, tabletop games, books, and hit tv shows.

The series will follow the life of the legendary Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, otherwise known as Ben Kenobi on Tatooine, 10 years after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and 9 years before Star Wars: A New Hope. All we know currently in regards to the plot is that after the events of the great battle between Obi-Wan and his former apprentice Anakin Skywalker, he fled to Tatooine in hiding so that he could take watch over Anakin’s son Luke at a distance. We do know that Anakin Skywalker, otherwise known in this current period as Darth Vader will be in the show. As to the role he will play we are not sure at this point. Hopefully, we can get a return appearance from Master Qui-Gon Jinn, former master of Obi-Wan, and learn the mysterious secret of converting one’s spirit into the force. If you have not watched any prior movies, now is the time to do it otherwise you will find yourself quite confused in regards to the events to come. 

Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series cast
Photo: Lucasfilm

Ewan McGregor will be returning to continue his role as Obi-Wan in the Galactic Empire Era ten years after Anakin’s downfall. We also will get to see Hayden Christensen again but as none other than Darth Vader, making that the return of two of our beloved actors from episodes 1 through 3. Obi-Wan Kenobi also stars Moses Ingram, Joel Edgerton, Bonnie Piesse, Indira Varma, Rupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson, Sung Kang, Simone Kessell, and Benny Safdie. The production will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, Deborah Chow, Ewan McGregor, and Joby Harold. The Casting Director will be Carmen Cuba. Deborah Chow directed two critically acclaimed episodes of Mandalorian in season 1, which is very exciting news.

I hope we can get more information soon as far as the plot goes, but with this lineup, the future series should be a major hit. Even though the latest trilogy was unsuccessful, Mandalorian and the latest season of Star Wars: Clone Wars were both extremely popular. This shows that Star Wars still has endless promising content for fans, and the franchise is far from over. 

Paradise Lost: A Melancholy Bunker

When I initially opened up this game, I honestly was not sure what I was in for. I immediately got Bioshock vibes with this steampunk, post-apocalyptical atmosphere. However, I could not imagine that the story could have such a strong impact on this title. The game started what seemed slow, only to creep in and leave a feeling of heartache and a choice that seemed almost impossible to pick what was right. Paradise Lost is an indie adventure game developed by PolyArmorous and published by All In! Games SA. You can purchase this on Playstation, Xbox, and PC for $14.99. If you don’t mind slow gameplay and love heavy story-based video games, this is the game for you. 

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The story takes place post World War 2, but instead of the Nazi Army of Germany losing there was no victor. Instead, the Nazis launched nuclear missiles on most of Europe leaving nothing but a wasteland. Afterward, Europe was shrouded in radiation and smoke, and it seems like all life has disappeared. You play as a survivor, a young boy named Szymon who is 12 years of age. His mother has recently passed, and all he has left is a photograph of her and a mysterious man. As the boy, you find a Nazi Bunker in hopes of finding this man, only to run into a girl named Ewa who contacts you through this mysterious technology, and strike a deal in hopes to reach your goals. However, the farther into the bunker you go, the more secrets and dark truths you uncover. The atmosphere only adds to the depressing tale of Szymon, for you have to climb, crawl, and discover all of the horrible pre-wasteland truths of the Nazi warriors and their experiments and technology. Swastikas cover the halls, documents and letters are left at every turn and desk, and there are blueprints and recorders left at various meeting rooms and lobbies alike. The more you read, and the more you listen, the more these dreadful truths come to life.

I loved this story premise, for going into this game you have no sense of self yet, and you have to read through every article and listen for dialogue to match them up with the infrequent cut scenes to put the pieces together. A lot of games struggle with storytelling when trying to make it heavily reading-based, but this game surprised me in how well they executed this. You also get to read perspectives from the fallen civilians and soldiers along the way to see how life was before everything ended. The voice acting was a bit off in terms of the German accents, but nothing that impacted the game too heavily. One other minor complaint I have is that there are only a few instances where you can choose your responses and none of them aside for your final choice matters. It would have been nice to see more instances with dialogue choices that somehow impacted the game to make it a bit more interactive. I will give a warning for players, for this game is not for the faint of heart. Due to the settings of this game, there are a lot of letters and recordings with derogatory statements, and there are actual swastikas everywhere since this is placed in a Nazi bunker.

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The gameplay was nothing really to write home about, but honestly, some games do not need solid gameplay to get them through. This is overall a story-based adventure that makes the game so solid. However, there are some issues I did take with it. First and foremost in any game like this, where you discover and read for more clues, I think that collectibles are insanely important to push players to want to venture more through every area they possibly can. I also would have liked to see more interaction with different tools that you would need on your adventure, for in the game you only really needed a document to get through the first area and an access card towards the end. It almost felt like the adventure went too smoothly, there was no danger or obstacles which let’s be honest if you are in a bunker that’s falling apart at the seems I expect difficulty. My last complaint is there is no sprint whatsoever, and the walking is insanely slow. I mean almost unbearable, like the original Final Fantasy 12 kind of slow. If you want players to take their time, by all means, but don’t have an angsty 12-year-old slow crawl. Overall these were minor issues, though they did impact the slow storytelling a bit the ending honestly made everything so worth it. 

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Overall I loved the game; though it got off to a rough start I am happy that I pushed through it. The atmosphere was beautifully designed and filled you with a sense of feeling utterly alone and helpless. Playing as Szymon was a really hard experience and strong journey, and the character was extremely well designed. Ewa was also a fantastically written character, and her overall story was probably one of the most heartbreaking scenarios that anyone could experience. This is was of the best story-driven games that I have had the pleasure of playing in a long time, and I highly recommend this game to Indie Adventure lovers of all kinds.

DVS Score: 7/10

PlayStation 5: Hardware Review

The Playstation 5 is the new, current-generation console released by Sony last November of 2020. The console is the most powerful yet of all the released consoles and really built upon what players wanted as opposed to their last released console the Playstation 4 Pro. I was very pleasantly surprised with the overall performance of this console and left with a feeling of satisfaction and comfort. There are a few changes I would have made personally, but this release is a huge success for Sony compared to previous releases. This console comes in two editions, being the digital-only and the disc. The digital edition costs $399.99, while the disc edition costs $499.99. If you can manage to get a console outside of scalpers, they are released in batches at stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, and Target.

Sony PlayStation 5

The PS5 is excellent as far as performance goes, especially now that they have included a high-speed NVMe SSD creating a hell of a lot faster boot up, and cutting load times for games from 1GB in 20 seconds per the PS4 to 2GB in .27 seconds on this new console. The console supports 8K streaming for apps such as Netflix and Hulu, and we can now play games in full 4k thanks to the new AMD custom GPU with RDNA 2 architecture hardware. I will say what I am most impressed with the cooling system. We all of course remember the previous consoles, and how hot they could become leading to the fans running overtime. This resulted in load fans constantly trying to cool down the CPU and system leaving users feel nothing but anxiety or annoyance. I mean let’s be real, the PS4 Slim and Pro could get insanely loud. However, this system uses liquid metal cooling between the CPU and heatsink, as well as using new AMD technology where unused power will be diverted back and forth between the CPU and GPU. The only downside to this is that players experience varying frequencies depending on the demand from either part. Not to mention the PS5 will only be as quiet depending on the game being played and the performance it is being played in. We now also get to experience 3D audio with our games, creating a highly immersive experience, as well as finally getting a 4K blue ray player for the disc edition which we were left out of with the PS4 Pro. The only downside to the cool new technology is that with every console comes a give and take for your budget. The system runs slower than its competitor at 10.28 teraflops at 2.23 GHz but does have a good 16 GB of GDDR6 Ram. Space is another issue since new games tend to eat up storage, for instead of that terabyte we got with the PS4’s HDD, we only get 825 GB of storage for the new SSD. The system also only has a 350 power supply, which it already uses quite a bit of power when loading.

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Personally, I also loved some of the little things about the setup for the console. Before with the previous PlayStations’ uploading and downloading save data could be a pain. Half the time for plus players they did not always upload automatically, and you would have to manually do it. Other issues would lie with the actual upload and download because sometimes it would not upload the first time and you would have to go back and do it again for it to appear in your cloud saved library following up with the download which did not always work the first time either. I was initially worried about this when setting up my new console, however, the transfer of data was seamless and I had no issues whatsoever. All of my saved data was there in a matter of a minute. I also loved that the system set up was integrated with a new mobile set up from your app making it quick and easy, rather than having to worry about a long and tedious login. Lastly, I am excited as any other player when it came to the new backward compatibility feature. It might be a bit more limited than Microsoft’s Xbox line, but it definitely has a great selection. I was surprised to see the even Final Fantasy Type 0 made the cut, which I have been currently working on a replay of. The list is pretty extensive with a wide selection of Playstation 4 games.

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The interface for the console has its pros and cons for me. While I love the overall clean look, I feel like it is less interactive than before. The home screen is definitely more organized compared to the previous console entries, giving you now a media and games tab on the top. I also love that hovering over each game allows you to track your progress, and you even get a cool new news tab that follows the store tab. However, it feels a bit less social than the previous Interface. Rather than seeing your community feature, or seeing comparisons of other people playing the same game as you, you now have to individually search players or go to your mobile app to see a social media like a page of what your friends are up to. I do like the new profile layout, it feels a lot cleaner and innovative compared to a social media page. And the new menu you get for sharing content, trophies, a cool feature that replaced the social page which is game base, music, and notifications. So while some things could change, overall the new changes are mostly positive. Even the store feels a lot more innovation than the previous layout and feels very clean and modern. The overall Interface just has a more sleek and modern feel to it. Another great bonus is in addition the still getting PS4 free games of the month we now get PS5 exclusive games as well as plus members. Who doesn’t love free games? One downside players will face now is the increase in cost for games and accessories. Rather than spending the normal $59.99 the average game now goes for $69.99, which in all honesty is to be expected for the price the console was sold at and the number of resources that now goes into making these high-performance games.

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The PlayStation 5 overall is an excellent console despite a few shortcomings. The controller feels fantastic, the console runs smoothly and has fantastic performance, and we now get access to a larger library thanks to the new backward compatibility making it so we no longer have to worry about using PS Now. Though the console right now is extremely hard to get a hold of due to scalpers and high demand, I do believe this is a great success for Sony since the launch of the PS3. We have fair pricing, great releases, and top-quality performance that we always expect from a reliable company like Sony.

DVS Score- 8/10

Choosing Your Platform: DVS Edition

When it comes to new gamers, or even veteran gamers choosing a platform to play on can be intimidating. You can be faced with a variety of choices, even as a parent choosing one for their child. This guide can come in handy by helping you narrow down your choice without feeling overwhelmed or pressured by irrelevant parties that tend to be a bit biased with their opinions. I mean let’s be honest, gamers can be the worst fanboys and their views might not be aligned with your best interests. In light of this I am going to break it down by covering each current generation system along with their advantages and disadvantages. These systems will be the Nintendo Switch, Playstation 5, Xbox Series X, PC, and I will also touch upon the Classic editions of retro consoles.

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The Nintendo Switch was released on March 3rd of 2017, and made a huge comeback for the company since the Wii U console that was largely unsuccessful due to it’s limitations. Part of what made the console so successful is the fact that it was immediately open to 3rd party titles and support, and also has a unique design for home console and as well as portable, and the exclusive titles that were strong candidates for 2017 Game of the Year.

However, why should anyone choose this console over the others? Firstly this console is well suited to those whom are mostly on the go. Any full time employee that has limited time for gaming can easily take this console with them to work. The Nintendo Switch is a handheld console that has the a docking station that enables it to be play on a TV making it also viable as a home console, and has a platform that allows coordinating game play with other remote players. This capability is very well suited for those who often travel as well as the homebody. This console is an excellent choice for families, as Nintendo is mostly known for popular family oriented games like Super Mario Brothers, Pokemon, and even goofy games like Arms. Gamers with a budget can also benefit from picking the Switch since it only costs 299.99 instead of spending 499.99 like the other console choices.

For gamers that do not care for playing on the big screen, the Switch Lite version is available at 199.99. Though additional accessories can be expensive, you still get everything you need just buying the console by itself. The other big plus is you’ll have access to Nintendo exclusive games that will not be available on any other platform, such as Mario Odyssey, Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. The Switch also now features live services to play online games with others such as Splatoon 2 and Overwatch, and the subscription is much cheaper than other services starting at 3.99 a month.

That being said there are some downsides to going down this route. A lot of accessories are sold separately, such as a protective case and screen protector. The screen for the Switch is plastic and easily scratched up. Some of the accessories, like additional joy cons for family events are expensive, as a pair of joy cons costs 69.99 USD and you will need to get a separate docking station. Another factor to consider is that the joy cons are extremely small, so for those with bigger hands will probably end up dropping another 59.99 on the Pro Controller. Additionally, you will also probably end up buying an SD card since the console only offers 32 GB of storage. Going along with the storage dilemma, it must be said that not all games will auto save to Cloud storage. Lastly, if you want to play in full 4K resolution at 60 frames per second, this is not your console. Nintendo has never been about being the latest and greatest, they hold value in their games and are more invested in their consumers instead of performance.

Nintendo Switch Shortage | Coronavirus Limits Switch Production
https://images.app.goo.gl/behtJ8EKhGyFdG6n9

The Playstation 5 is Sony’s newest console which released on November 12th of 2020, and made remarkable improvements from their Playstation 4. It is the best selling new generation console so far with 4.5 million units sold and 47.4 million subscribers. This system is sold at your local stores for 499.99 for the disc edition, and 399.99 for the digital edition making it a pretty hefty purchase. Which is why I am narrowing down the pros and cons to help you decide if this is the best choice for you.

First and foremost, I always say base your console choice on what your friends play on if you play online often. It can be pretty lonely for those who base their choice off of internet or local peer pressure, and we all have ran into elitists at your local Best Buy or GameStop that have their own opinions that may differ from yours. However if you genuinely don’t care about playing with your friends, there are still a number of great reasons that the PS5 can be well suited for you. First and foremost we all love Sony exclusives such as Bloodborne, Spiderman, Ghost of Tsushima, and God of War. While these exclusives are making their way to PC, not everyone has that budget, and you may have to wait years until new releases launch on that platform, IF they ever do.

This console is also more geared toward single player gamers with Japanese Style and Action Adventure RPGs respectively. You also get powerful performance from the PS5, with the ability to play new titles in 4K resolution and 60 frames per second, add their 3D audio support and controller that uses haptic feedback.

Nevertheless there are some downsides to this platform. Chiefly the storage size for their SSD, which is only 825GB, and the system is just not as powerful as the Xbox Series X. So for those who want the most powerful console, you might want to look at other options. Another downside is that while their backwards compatible list is impressive, it does pale in comparison to the available Xbox selection that goes as far back as the original Xbox’s titles. The overall design for the console is also extremely huge compared to other consoles, which might prove inconvenient for those with limited space. That being said, the console is a great pick for the gamer more geared towards single player RPGs, or those who absolutely love Sony’s exclusive titles that are almost always Game of Year candidates.

PS5 review: a hardworking beefcake - Polygon
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On November 10th, 2020 Microsoft released it’s Xbox Series X, the most powerful console of this generation. While the console was remarkably improved from the last entry, the launch did not do well, like previous console launch. That being said, the Series X is still an excellent option for gamers that love multiplayer games, Microsoft exclusives, and the most powerful performance that doesn’t bust the budget, and a great choice for those who love PC gaming, but need a break from traditional PC play. This console is a beast, running up to 8K resolution, the 12 Teraflop AMD RDNA 2 GPU and runs at 120 fps with 16 GB of RAM. The Series X is also usable as a home theater system to watch movies or stream in general. You can gain access to exclusives (also on PC) such as Halo, Gears of War, and Sea of Thieves, making this console perfect for players that want to make the most of a multiplayer experience.

If higher performance isn’t as important, you can also step down to the Series S. This is just a less powerful and cheaper option for those who care more for the multiplayer aspect and don’t want to fork out 499.99 USD. At 299.99 USD the Series S console still suits online gamers that need to budget but still care about pure performance. There aren’t as many of the more popular its counterparts, but it is cross compatible and cross save with PC, and allows for the use of the Xbox Game Pass, which carries over to PC as an app. With this option you can start playing on an Xbox machine, save, and literally pick up where you left off on your computer. You can also play with PC key and mouse friends who don’t have an Xbox.

Xbox is also know for its backward compatibility, so most of the original Xbox or Xbox 360 titles can be played on various Xbox consoles in upscaled resolution and frames. While the Xbox Series X has amazing perks, there are things to consider. There are a lack of many new titles available because of a poor launch and horrible performance shown for Halo Infinite. Also since Xbox Game Pass is compatible with PC, it might be more expeditious to do PC gaming if you have the budget and are not concerned with having a console, especially one you might find inconvenient or visually unappealing.

When is the Xbox Series X restocking at Best Buy, GameStop and other  stores? - CNET
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Last but not least, classic PC gaming has limitless options, and can prove to be the ultimate and most powerful experience with varying costs. You can buy a prebuilt computer, laptop or make your own build. However, to get the best performance despite what biased opinions might say, you will be spending at least a grand if not more especially with current surge in demand due to the huge influx of online education and employment brought on by Covid.

PC gaming is the best avenue for those who want the most customization for their gaming and performance experience. You can get apps and download games from almost any major gaming company like Activision Blizzard, Ubisoft, and EA. You also get great platforms like Steam that have excellent bundles and a massive collection of various games dating back to the Stone Age. You’ll also find apps for customizing your accessories and parts, i.e. Razer offers headset, mouse, keyboard, and even mousepad customization; AMD will offer you a performance customization app for your motherboard, GPU, CPU, and more.

A personal computer can be updated as needed and can last a lot longer instead of having to upgrade often with new gaming consoles. These serve as great examples for players looking to maximize their performance and have total control over how they choose to play. However there are downsides for going down the computer route, such as price. You can spend less to play, but those players will find you won’t be playing in 2K nor 4K with limited frames depending on your settings. Even with a smaller budget you will be looking $800 at the bare minimum.

Those looking to build will also find that the market is totally off the charts with GPU and CPU prices. Tt might be far better to buy preowned at this point in time. Portable gaming laptops are great if you are on the go a lot, however they have a tendency to run hot because of the graphics which tends to give them a shorter life span. PC’s also have a learning curve, because unlike consoles you generally have to adjust your game settings to reach the quality you want. Not all games available have an automatic optimization setting for your build. You’ll also end up needing to learn how to use different apps to monitor your performance or adjust your peripherals. Lastly, operating systems can be quite expensive and literally a pain to deal with. Windows 10 nearly always releases bad updates in need of patches which can lead to minor issues such as audio problems all the way to random crashes.

The 10 best prebuilt gaming PCs | Dot Esports
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Lastly and briefly I want to touch on the Classic Editions of retro consoles. Gaming companies have been releasing new classic mini versions of retro consoles like the NES Classic, Sega Genesis Mini, and the Playstation Classic. These mini consoles come loaded with old bangers like Super Mario Brothers, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Metal Gear Solid. These are great options for collectors, retro players or for those who just want to buy a quick console for the family for a few hundred dollars. A downside to these consoles is how fragile they are and that you are limited to the preloaded games, but they still are great buys for the price and love of nostalgia.

Best Retro Gaming Console 2020: Play Retro Games on These Mini Consoles -  IGN
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It can be a struggle for gamers to find the right gaming console or computer that best fits their needs or play style. As a gaming fan that has owned nearly every platform, I hope this article serves as a guide that helps players veteran and new find the platform that best suits them.

Microsoft Buying Discord: Should It Happen?

We all know and love our friendly communication software Discord. We use it often for guilds, clubs, clans, business, social media pages, streaming and playing with friends. The company has been speaking with potential buyers for some time now, but we did not expect Microsoft to join the fray. Microsoft has been in discussion with Discord for possibly purchasing the software for $10 billion USD and Phil Spencer has been working on the deal. However, what will this mean for players? Should Discord join one of the biggest technology corporations out there?

Microsoft Corporation is a multi-national technology company that is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to manufacturers, software, hardware, and services. Microsoft is the world’s largest software maker with revenue surpassing $38 billion in 2019 as stated in their website by Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. The company has had their ups and downs with purchasing and creating communication software in the past, with platforms like Skype and Microsoft Teams t show for their efforts. While Microsoft Teams is very popular with business, however, Discord happens to be the heartbeat of the PC community, servicing various areas including movements, podcasts, and school projects. Clans and guilds gather together on discord for gaming and raid nights, and users commonly utilize the platform just chatting on a day to day basis. What would happen if Microsoft did indeed purchase this software? The last time Microsoft attempted to own a true social network, they created So.cl in 2011 and it completely failed.

Windows Apps – Microsoft Store
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Unfortunately we have no insight on Microsoft’s plans for Discord as of yet, but can only speculate the future of this social platform, along with the very likely possibility that Xbox might also be involved. It is highly probable that Microsoft will keep Discord on PC in light of the PC accessible Xbox Game Pass, however one can’t help but wonder if it will be integrated with the Game Pass app, or will they keep it stand alone? We can all hope that Discord does not become a part of Office 365, changing the free to use aspect. Hopefully we will get answers soon to alleviate the anxiety for PC players across the world.

Sir Lovelot: A Switch Review

When playing any platformer, any gamer would want a great story, maybe challenging and addicting gameplay, and great music and atmosphere. Exploring Sir Lovelot was a refreshing experience and served as a reminder on what any good platforming game should aim to be. While I wanted to love this game, it was a pretty underwhelming experience for me, and overall left me feeling disappointed. That being said there was a lot of potential for the developers to build on if they move forward with the entry. The game was developed and published by pixel.lu and Sometimes You, and can be bought on all platforms for 9.99 USD.

Sir Lovelot on Steam
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You play as a knight known as Sir Lovelot, whom takes on a quest to find the love of his life. There really is not much to the story, for you travel place to place giving damsels flowers in order to spend the night with them. Once you go through various obstacles to get these flowers and deliver them, you are then kicked out come morning and repeat this cycle. Unfortunately, this gets pretty repetitive as there really is no switch up other than a change in layout of each area, and increased difficulty and length to get to your objectives. You fight monsters and avoid various traps along your journey, such as weird ooze-like creatures, deadly plants, weird fish, stationary spikes and moving saws. I will commend the artwork for the various locations, and the backgrounds were very beautifully designed. The only issue is you would keep these similar colored backgrounds until you reached the next chapter. This would not be an issue IF you didn’t have to complete twenty different and increasingly longer areas each round before you reached your next chapter. The story basis is cute and had potential, however the execution fell short, overall causing the game to suffer a bit.

Sir Lovelot
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Another issue I had with the game is the gameplay itself. The game is an Indie platformer and shooter, but it lacks in actual combat and gameplay overall. You only get two actions, which is directional shooting and jumping. You can obviously climb and slide as well but as far as controls go there is not much to it. You don’t get any other special abilities, and are forced to just shoot the enemy continuously until they die which makes a fairly satisfyingly popping-like noise. This would not be a huge issue for me if there was more to the exploration and creativity of obstacles. The maps do jump up in difficulty fairly fast, which is nice but unfortunately there is not much towards exploration and strategy when you go into each area. For example, when you play Rogue Legacy you at least have a lot of exploration and get various abilities, or even playing Hallow Knight you have various bosses and a variety of cool collectibles along the way. In games like these there are endless possibilities and directions to go, with cool areas to discover. This game suffers from similarly structured obstacles and the only hidden collectibles for this game in particular are goose eggs that are hidden behind secret walls. Overall the game as I said previously had plenty of potential, but honestly in the end felt lazy and almost linear.

Sir Lovelot Review: A Bite-Sized Adventure (PS5) - KeenGamer
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Overall it was not a terrible experience, as I did enjoy the difficulty increase, and I also loved the artwork. I just would have liked to have seen more to the combat, exploration and obstacles. I also feel like the game would have benefitted more with a cooler change of scenery and more directions to travel. That would have made the game feel less linear, and leave you feeling less stuck with each level change. The game also did not create that same addictive, adventurous feeling like most other platformers give you, if anything it just made me feel like I wanted to get through the game almost as if it were a burden. I wanted to complete this game, but unfortunately I felt no desire to return after spending a couple days on it. I can honestly recommend this game for those where a bargain price point is important and just want to economically kill time, but for those who don’t mind spending a little more and love to explore there are far better recommendations. That being said, it’s not a bad game by any means, it just leaves much to be desired in a platformer.

DVS Score: 4/10

PS3 Servers: An Official End to an Era

Breaking news from TheGamer! According to industry sources the Playstation 3, Vita, and Portable servers will all be shutting down. Playstation 3 shuts down July of 2021 and Vita in August 2021. What does this mean? Buy your games ASAP or forever hold your peace! DLC and games will no longer available for purchase if these rumors prove to be true, and knowing TheGamer, they are usually spot on.

The PS3/Vita/PSP Digital PlayStation Stores Are Apparently Being Closed
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These consoles did indeed have a good run, considering the Playstation 3 first launched in 2003, is still around and has been thriving ever since, with people still actively playing it. While the initial launch was not the best, the console still sold over 87 million units and brought us great launch titles such as Call of Duty 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, and Tony Hawks Pro Skater 8. This console holds not only a lot of valuable memories, but also many titles we might not see again. When it comes to the portable gaming market the PSP and PS Vita proved to be far less successful due to emulators and also the fact that it is extremely difficult to compete with Nintendo and their enormous success in the world of handheld gaming devices. However the PSP still sold 81 million units and the PS Vita sold 15 million, a respectable amount to be sure. Many classic, old niche titles were able to be played on these handhelds, like Final Fantasy, and even fun hack and slash classics like Dynasty Warriors.

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Losing these consoles will be sad, and brings a lot of questioning as to the preservation of ancient titles by Sony and the lack of backwards compatibility for retired consoles. We are starting to see Sony heading in the right direction, however, with PS5 backwards compatibility with the PS4 console and PS Now respectively, but this method still needs improvement. We are also seeing a rise of remade classics as well during these times, such as Dark Souls Remastered, Final Fantasy 7 port and Remake, and even Mass Effect Trilogy Remastered coming out this year. I still however urge people that do own these platforms to buy what you can, because Sony is just now again dipping its feet into backwards compatibility and wishing and waiting for more remasters or remakes is a long road ahead.