Demon Souls Remaster: PS5 Review

Around 12 years ago, our beloved FromSoftware developed one of the hardest games of its time, which would be the start of a franchise that would brutally torture players for years to come. No, I am not talking about games like Echo the Dolphin or Ninja Gaiden, this is Demon Souls. This game is an action RPG that was released on the PlayStation 3 that would be published by Sony Entertainment that released in Japan in February and came to America by Atlus in October. Fast forward to November of 2020 and players have been met with a visually stunning remake of the game that Bluepoint Games developed. This remake is not only extremely successful with perfect or near-perfect scores across the board with most reviewers, and I am more than inclined to agree with the amazing work this developer put into bringing back an iconic game. 

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The game takes place in the Kingdom of Boletaria which has been surrounded by a deadly impenetrable fog. King Allant awakened the Old One when he brought back the Soul Arts, which in turn released a sinister swarm of demons that will eventually consume the land unless the Old One is put back into its slumber. Players control a warrior that enters this fog whose soul becomes trapped within the Nexus and have to find a way to break free of this land. In defeated these demons that have invaded the land, the warrior hopes the Old One will eventually go back to sleep.

This remaster was impressively well done, and can almost be considered a remake with the number of changes made to the game. The game’s graphical upgrade paired with new motion blur and ray tracing honestly feels like a brand new game. The details compared to the original game are astounding, and even the character design options have upgraded immensely. Every design from NPCs to the enemies has become beautifully refined, and the environments are nothing short of breathtaking. Players also got to enjoy a rerecorded soundtrack and dialogue for cleaner audio. This experience is maximized by the dual sense controller with utilization in capturing all the sounds from the environment such as casting the spells in the mines, or even hitting your controller against the wall accidentally. Demon Souls is a testament to showing how immersive technology allows your games to become.

In addition to the intense graphical upgrade, the game brought gameplay improvements as well. Players get to experience better camera function when in combat by being in closer view of their character. In addition, we also get omnidirectional rolling to better evade incoming attacks giving us a better fighting chance with bosses. In addition to the crazy amount of healing items that allowed players to cheese some bosses healing grass and other restorative items have been given weight to help balance your carry load. Plays can also now move items to storage from the menu to avoid constant over encumbrance and fat rolling your way back to the Nexus. The game brings new animations when moving and during combat, load times are nonexistent, and the UI was greatly improved from the original game. When I say this was a remake, I mean that this game looked and felt completely different from before.

Demon Souls still keeps the brutality that it is known for from its original release. Players will not get bonfires like Dark Souls but instead are met with checkpoints. Players still have to use their gained souls for leveling and currency as per any souls game from this developer. When in soul form after dying, HP is halved making it harder to take any damage without dying as per usual. The only way to leave this form is vanquishing the demon that has taken reign over the area. In doing so you also can return to the Nexus and have a new start point for the next area. So for new players that want to start souls games, the remake is not where you will want to start to ease into the souls franchise. I recommend looking to start with Dark Souls 2 or 3.

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My only complaint is that I would have liked to see some more balancing to the game as far as classes go. You can still easily cheese your way through the game by playing a magic build, especially with Royal which gives you an edge on both melee and magic. Magic casting basically can run you through the first few bosses without taking much damage at all or needed to learn movement. Especially with the Armored Spider and the Tower Knight seeing as one does not move and the other can not climb stairs. Other than that this game was near perfect and exactly what players needed to revisit the game. Bluepoint did a fantastic job of bringing us a newly refined classic while still keeping to its original roots.

DVS Score: 9/10

Flowing Lights Xbox One review: go with the flow

Sometimes all you need to make a shooter work is a neat gimmick. Something that stands out from the norm. I like to think that Tempest is innovative in the field because of its neat “hanging outside and shooting inward” concept, something unheard of in the early 80s. For that matter, Defender also stood out because of its challenging rhetoric and unique gameplay set-up, with so many buttons.

But Flowing Lights, a new indie shooter available for consoles and PC, innovates in its own neat way. That’s not to say it’s an instant classic like the aforementioned games, as it’s more of an acquired taste. However, it takes the concept of shooters and turns it on its head, making it more about solving puzzles than simply blasting from start to finish. And in its own neat little way, it works.

In the game, you’ll work your way through a number of stages, shooting at enemies. But this isn’t a simple “blast and move on” thing. Instead, the stages are intricately designed, with gunfire consistently being shot, or coming at you in streams. You’ll have to weave your way past this, using the terrain to your advantage. But, sometimes, you just need to hit the enemy before you progress.

Where Flowing Lights wins points is with its design. See, you can just shoot enemies, but with hills and contours on each stage, you’ll need to be strategic about it. You’ll need to curve your gunfire in the right way to hit them, while avoiding being hit yourself. For good measure, you have a secondary charge shot, which you can adjust utilizing the analog stick. It fires off one shot at a time, but goes further than your traditional gunfire. So it pays off, provided you can get your shot off at the proper angle.

In turn, you can create combos, which will help build up a high score. There are also power-ups that can give you a temporary boost as well. Combining these – and racking up the points – can help you achieve greatness on the leaderboards. It’s a cool process that works very well, for those that get into the game.

And that’s probably where Flowing Lights comes up short – it’s such an original idea for shooters that not everyone will get into it. This isn’t Deathsmiles here. Flowing Lights is built around the concept of taking your time and figuring out viable solutions for each stage. And, yes, sometimes you will get stuck, as it’s really thought provoking. But its execution is well done, for the most part, and those that stick with its rhythm will find a lot to like.

That leads us to the presentation. Flowing Lights does have innovation in its stage design. But the general aesthetic – neon-lit hills and minimally designed enemies – may not appeal to all. It definitely has a Tron-like approach to it that I enjoyed, but it’s pretty narrow when it comes to its design scope overall. Still, some of you may enjoy it as I did. The music’s awesome too, with some fun little synth scores that play over the course of the game. You’ll be right at home if you’re a fan of the genre.

How much you get into Flowing Lights really depends on what you’re looking for in a shooter. If you seek deep strategy, problem solving and a smart way to build up scores, this is the game for you. But if you’re out to save the universe, R-Type Final 2 may be more your speed. If you do choose this, however, you’re likely to enjoy your stay – well, until you get stuck, anyway. Then you’ll rack your brain, go “DUH!” when you find the solution, and move on. Not bad for a small little indie favorite for a mere ten bucks.

RATING: 8/10

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning Review

Turning back the clock 9 years ago, a solid action RPG, known as Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, came out on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. The game was developed by Big Huge Games and 38 Studios, and published with the help of EA. The game had a very successful launch with reviews that landed the game a big 9/10 from IGN and an 81 on Meta, but for whatever reason, we did not see anything more from the franchise. IGN speculated that reports advised massive layoffs which resulted in the sequel to be canceled, and things stayed silent until the year 2020, in which the remastered version of the game released with updated stunning visuals and refined gameplay. This remaster was refreshing in bringing back the MMO-like gameplay that we all loved so much in our single-player title. You can buy this masterpiece on all current generation and last generation platforms for only $39.99, and it’s worth every penny. 

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For players that never experienced the original game, the remastered version is the best place to start. Kingdoms of Amalur is set in the Faelands, a kingdom that is home to the immortal Fae of the Summer and Winter Courts. Essentially rather than passing on, souls are reborn in a new body. Players get to embark on their journey as a customizable character that becomes the “Fateless One”, who was supposed to have died but was successfully revived in an experiment led by Foromous Hugues, a gnome scientist. The kingdoms are torn in a war between the mortals and Winter Fae that players are dropped right in the middle of, literally. Because of the main character’s lack of fate, they decide to journey to find Hugues in hopes of uncovering the mystery of your death and also aid in the war along the way.

This game is fantastic for those that love old-school action RPGs like the Elder Scrolls series, and those who love MMOs like classic WoW. Once players enter the open-world part of the game, there is no clear path for the game, because players get to decide if they want to continue on the main quest or complete tasks, faction quests, or side quests. Every region is huge and loaded with endless adventures, and the main character is not tied down to any specific path. Players also get to choose “their fate” meaning their class. One can change and customize as they go, unlocking different advanced tiers from basic classes. For example when players cross between a rogue and a sorcerer disciple or even a tier 3 arcanist. This game is designed where there is no intended set class, and players can choose how they want to play without being locked into one role.

The remaster does not change much to the game, aside from some smaller or underlying changes like most remasters do. Many complain that the game is the same, but that is the difference between a remaster and a remake. So for players that were looking for major changes, this is not the game for you. The graphics are a lot sharper compared to the original game, and a lot more contrast and detail were added making the game look crisper than the first. Level lock no longer exists like the first game and the experience reward system has been changed to further balance the game. Loot is also now more catered to your designed character instead of randomly generated so players will find use in most of what they pick up. Load times are one complaint I found often from other players, but that is more based on the platform gamers are playing on. I played on my PS5 and honestly found no issues.

The only changes I would have liked to see are in the number of overwhelming fetch quests. I loved side content when it comes to any RPG, especially open-world RPGS. However, this game is filled to the brim with side quests and tasks, especially fetch quests. When players visit towns, they are immediately bombarded with on average 4 to 5 quests that are split between menial tasks (slaying monsters or gathering items), and helping out NPCs with missing persons or aiding in their troubles. This would not be a problem with there were not like 10 towns in the immediate area and players also have their faction quests. As some players might overlook this and skip some quests, completionists like myself end up pulling their hair out. It also can end up extremely overbearing for new players. Trimming down on some of this redundant quests would have been a better balance for this remastered version.

To revisit the visuals and performance, the game can be a bit buggy. For example, I got major Oblivion vibes when an NPC randomly glitched in front of me and I saw nothing but this head and arms in the sky. Overall though the performance is solid, and the animations look clear and crisp. The music creates an even better calm atmosphere, immersing players into what can be described as the ultimate fantasy experience. I also have had no framerate issues with the game which is oddly something I was expecting.

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In conclusion, I loved this remastered version of the game. Kingdoms of Amalur was already a fantastic ARPG for its time, and to be able to revisit this title was not only nostalgic but also very enjoyable. The subtle changes greatly improve players’ experiences with the game while also keeping its classic playstyle that was popular for that period of time. Though the game can be a bit buggy like many RPGs can be, and there were not many changes as far as visuals go, this was a great remaster and I can’t get enough from it. 

DVS Score: 8/10

The Protagonist EX-1 Review

The Protagonist: EX-1 was published by 3Mind Games in October 2020 and is still in beta. Available on PC, Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox it is a turn-based action-adventure role-playing strategy game.

The game takes place in the year 2113E on the planet Terra. A utopia with a totalitarian society under military control. There is only one government called Council that controls the world in secrecy.  For the first time in known history, the government has an enemy that they tried to hide from society but, now they are at war with them. The government has issued an EX-1 order to eliminate all hostiles at all costs. You are a part of the team sanctioned to carry out the order. Not long after you get your papers to fly out, your team is captured and killed. You have to survive, find the rest of your teammates, and get off their ship. 

The gameplay is pretty linear. You have a guide leading you from one task to the next and you pretty much have free range to explore but, early on there isn’t much to find. The first task is to find your teammate Radical and you have no weapons so combat is melee … with a twist. You have abilities because you and your team are cyborgs or super-engineered humans. It’s not explained much early in the game. You get into your first fight pretty quick and it explains the different ways you can fight but not how to execute them so it’s pretty much trying different things and see what works. Fighting is turn-based, not my favorite kind of gameplay but it has its perks.  So right off the bat, your choices are movement, melee fighting (called MACS), putting up a shield/healing, sabotage, and hacking the enemy. So it seems the enemy is also a synthetic being. As you play through the game you gain access to more weapons like knives, grenades, handguns, and more. Sometimes you can even use the environment in your fight to your advantage.  The fighting was a little stale for me but it wasn’t hard to pick up once you figured it out. Enemies usually go down in one or two hits so fighting is pretty quick until there are multiples or the kinda miniboss you fight after meeting up with your comrade but that’s for later.

The graphics for the game were beautiful to me. The cutscenes were well placed and the commentary amongst the characters was great if not a little stereotypical. The way the characters moved was very realistic and well planned down to the hand gestures. The main characters that I got to meet while playing Angel, the captain and main protagonist the characters follow, Radical, a Scottish Knife-wielding member of the crew, and Buddy, a dog that seems to have enhancements due to experimentation. Together you fight to get yourself off this ship and back to Pilot, the voice of your savior and teammate in space. 

There is also a crafting element to the game to create weapons and enhance them to add a little more to the game and I greatly enjoyed playing with it. As you collect scrap and crafting recipes you gain more items to create in your arsenal. Of course, the item you create can only be used by the characters with that affinity. The higher your skill with the proposed weapon the better as well. Increasing your base stats gives you an edge in battle as well. The more you play the more enemies you encounter which makes you have to add strategy in more to ensure you and your team survive. So play wisely and use the strength of your team to the fullest. 

After spending time playing the game I enjoyed it but it can get better. I can’t wait to see how the game grows as it moves through its beta testing and on to the world.

DVS Game Rating 7.5/ 10 

Destroy All Humans! (Again?)

Remake of 2005 Destroy All Humans!

Old Crypto – New Crypto

Welcome you flesh bags covered with brightly colored fabrics. I’ve come to find out what your colony is all about! Again. Thanks to THQ Nordic for grabbing the rights to THQ‘s Destroy All Humans, we now have a beautiful 2020 remake of our 15 year old game!


THQ Nordic has kept all of the story and voicing the same, which makes for some amazing nostalgia. Running around as Crypto, the badass probing Alien from Furon. Learn from the beginning that the humans must fear us and to fear us, they must not learn from 136 the secrets of our kind and technology! So take their brain.

Thanks Pox. I’ll get right on that. Crypto as we know and love him, came to Earth to try and save his fellow Furon known as Cryptosporidium-136. Yet as we can all hear screaming through the telecommunicator, Pox wants to study the humans so he asks Crypto to go and relieve the humans of their heavy brain stems.

New Mission Screens

The visual upgrades don’t stop at just the characters and environment, but also moves into the menus and selection screens. The smoothness of moving through the menus is nothing like the original, where you were waiting minutes for your menus to pop and load. No guessing if you collected everything or finished all of the missions in one area or not, DAH! now has detailed screens to go through as you progress through the game!

As always, Crypto has his variety choices of weapons to use as well as suits. Yes, suits. And yes, we are talking about human skin suits. As you move around Rockwell, a Furon isn’t the most welcome sight as you’ll find yourself surrounded by hundreds of government black suits.

Learn about Crypto and his Furon kind, why they made their way to Earth in the first place. Why their interest in the human race is so deep, and why is everyone named either Crypto or Pox? What’s up with that?

All Crypto wants it to murder some fleshy human bags, but Pox on the other hand, has a deeper more intricate reason for sending Crypto to Earth. And let me tell you, it’s not because of how adorable Crypto looks in his little Cow suit.

All in all, Destroy All Humans! isn’t for everyone. This game offers some cute running around as an alien, destroying humans and the environment. As someone who had played this game and the others in the original series, it was nice to see some tender love and care put into the remake. This is definitely a casual game, something you could pick up and put down at anytime. The humor is definitely the best part of this game, which is a little adult rated. However, that’s what makes it fun.

HarleChan Review : 7.5/10

Stitchy in Tooki Trouble Nintendo Switch review: as the (scare)crow flies

It’s great to see up and coming developers attempt to cut their teeth on a classic platforming formula, even if the finished product isn’t quite as well put together as the games that preceded it. That’s the case with Stitchy in Tooki Trouble, a game from Polygoat that’s got its heart in the right place, but doesn’t quite live up to the legend of what inspired it – in this case, Donkey Kong Country.

The game puts you in control of Stitchy, a scarecrow brought to life by magic. Why, you ask? Well, some bothersome animal natives called the Tooki have gone and snatched up all his corn, putting the farm he was built to protect at risk. With the help of this magic, he’ll pounce on the enemies, collect the corn and then go back to his resting spot. Why he’s been summoned to rescue an island-like paradise is beyond us, but, hey, scarecrow’s gotta work.

Polygoat has all the gameplay elements in place for Stitchy, right down to the double jump and the foot pounce. This allows him to reach out-of-place areas to discover idols, in which there are three hidden on each level. The more you collect, the more bonus levels you can unlock over the course of the game. And they’re fairly easy to find, though sometimes it doesn’t hurt to explore in hidden floorboards a little.

The gameplay works well for a game of this nature, as it’s fairly easy to use foot stomps and double jumps to get where you need to go. Enemies go down rather easily as well; and the bosses put up quite a fight. There’s even a classic mine cart level or two, in case you’re feeling nostalgic for that sort of thing.

Where Stitchy comes up short – literally – is with its challenge. In fact, there’s barely any challenge at all. We cleaned up everything that the game had to offer within a matter of hours. Even a 90’s produced game like Donkey Kong Country offers more content in comparison. However, that makes it an excellent title for the younger set, as well as nostalgic platforming fans not seeking out a challenge. For that matter, there are time goals on each stage, and the faster you beat each one, the more stars you earn – and that means bonus levels. Not a bad incentive considering the content at hand.

Stitchy doesn’t look like a bad game at all. The visuals are well done for a platformer, with a 2.5-D approach and some neat designs, including lava and island-themed stages. The enemies, however, aren’t that original, with the exception of the cool-looking bosses. The music is alright, with a mixture of adventure and tropical themes that will remind you of good ol’ DKC. The sound effects, however, are minimal. Polygoat could’ve, at the very least, given Stitchy some kind of personality.

Though Polygoat’s Stitchy in Tooki Trouble’s journey is over far too soon, it’s a suitable platformer that’s sure to please the target audience of kids and fans of the genre. It lacks in some of its design, particularly with enemies, but makes up for it with pretty good gameplay and lots of stars and idols to collect. You could spend time with better platformers on the system, but Stitchy definitely isn’t a waste of it. This adventure holds together well enough to please youngens.

RATING: 7/10

DARQ: Complete Edition

A Feardemic Production subsidiary of The Bloober Team

Welcome to the DARQ

Begin your journey into the darkness with Lloyd, a young boy with a special talent. Lloyd has realized that he is dreaming, astral projecting himself into the deepest and darkest parts of his subconscious. To Lloyd’s misfortune, his dreams turn to nightmares… The more Lloyd tries to make sense of where he is the less everything makes sense. Try as he might Lloyd cannot wake himself from this nightmare.

Crawl through the chapters one at a time, slowly getting deeper into Lloyd’s consciousness. Things start out slow for Lloyd as he ventures forth through the tunnels of his mind. This game prominently leads with physical puzzles that you must sort out before you can move forward in the game. The dashes of horror make the puzzles more deadly and time-consuming, which could be the defining line of restarting the level.

Not only does this game contain a multitude of different puzzles, but it also reveals enemies that become a reoccurring theme within Lloyd’s mind. Turn your back for too long, and the ‘Mother’ type creature could sneak up behind you and consume you. Walk too quickly and step into the light, you’ll be shot at viciously from the dark. This game is what I would categorize as a psychological horror puzzle game. Personally, it’s one of my more favorite genres of Indie games, which are more often on PC than consoles. It truly helps DARQ stick out from the crowd, Nintendo Switch seems to be a secondary favorite outlet to Indie Developers.

This game is pretty short, maybe 4 or 5 hours of main story game play. The time has nothing on the story itself, which is both compelling and addicting. A lot of it doesn’t make sense until you’re about midway into the game, but it is very grasping.
I felt almost empty after finishing this lovely little story, as it made me want more. Surprisingly there is DLC for this game, two chapters to add on to the over all game. Joy!

DLC

In this chapter of DLC, you start off in a slender tall tower standing on an elevator platform. Unlike the main game where you had a bed to start your adventure, this chapter throws you in as soon as you hit start. Venture through the tower, unscrambling locks with heads. That’s right, heads that rock and roll. Separate from yourself, to truly find yourself. Body and mind must work together to figure these tricks out, or in DARQness you will stay. Come to terms with yourself, only then can you reach the light.
This chapter was quite short, but it was the first DLC to be added to DARQ. Hopefully, the next chapter adds a bit more content to the game as it’s still an under 5-hour game.

DLC

The Crypt. Wow. What a chapter. The second part of DLC for DARQ, this chapter adds so many more puzzles and questions. In The Crypt, the puzzles are harder than what we’ve seen so far from this game. It’s like this game went from easy mode to EXPERT in a fade to black screen. Separated from your head, you must find your way through the crypt. This chapter is heavily reliant on the ant-gravity skills you’ve acquired over your travels, as well as a keen eye. This chapter delves deep into what we’ve seen from some of Lloyd’s mysterious followers. Hide in the light from the Mannequins once again as you find your way through the DARQness.

This was an amazing Indie Dev Puzzle Horror Game. One of the best I’ve played on the Nintendo Switch.
7.5/10

New Pokémon Snap

Pokémon Snap back from the 90s! (Spoilers Ahead!)

Welcome avid photographers and Pokémon fans, we have something fun and refreshing!
New Pokémon Snap!
Come take an adventure across the Lental Region and explore the surprises of Pokémon big and small!

As a child from the 90s, when the N64 was the big new game console with it’s weird and wacky controller, I was full tilt hyped for New Pokémon Snap. This game was boasting some of the best graphics to come to the Pokémon franchise yet, as well as new stories. With the original Pokémon Snap, in it’s time, was not only one of the best graphic games out at that time, it was also exciting for the generation growing up beside Pokémon. We all thought the graphics were absolutely amazing as well as the Pokémon in it!

The New Pokémon Snap game did not disappoint as the game started up with the soft tease of music. The lull’s of Pokémon chatter mixing in with the environment. With the Nintendo Switch docked, receiving visuals in 1080p, the game was bright and colorful. The beautiful aspects of Pokémon are the colors and the vibrancy of those colors, so if your in docked mode or in handheld mode, the colors are fantastic.

Nostalgia comes into play with New Pokémon Snap, very heavily. As the music chimes up and the story progresses, you are reminded of the days when Pokémon Snap was new and fresh to everyone. Discovering where Pokémon ran and hid, or would play surprises on your character (Todd at the time). Reporting back to Professor Oak and showing him the discoveries in 64 bit that you had made, impressing or not.
As the game proceeded and you are introduced to the Pokémon Professor Mirror, the memories of Professor Oak washing in. Experience all the excitement that Todd Snap had when he first met the new world of Pokémon.

It’s Todd!

When your done learning the ‘ropes’ of Snap, you’ll be able to go out for your ”first” Safari! Grab your camera and your wits and get ready to SNAP SNAP SNAP!


Make your way through the green hills of the fields and lakes, be quick or you’ll miss your legendary!
Low lands where Pokémon come to make a home for their babies, or tuck away for a peaceful sleep. Find your common normal and grass types playing in the fields!

Venture through the jungle, fighting off Aipoms and Airados.


Experience different seasons of the year as your make your way through the enchanted forest. Find a Pokémon as enchanted as the Forest hidden within!


Catch a ride on a Lapras along the reef and catch a sneak peek of someone surfing!

Try to stay cool while the Charmanders get HOT HOT HOT!

What’s that feather?


Fight your way through Swinubs to stay warm! Or steal the presents from the DeliBird!

Be quiet and observant as you make your way through the Cave Ruins and try to pet the puppy!

Put together the mystery of the meteor attack, and try to find the last Illumina Pokémon! After you’ve tracked your way through these amazing zones and found new routes to new faces, face your own truth in what and who you are.
Pokémon. They can just tell when your a good person with good intentions.

All in all, New Pokémon Snap is an amazing game, as always from the creators of Pokémon. This was a nostalgic game to play, and had some of the most beautiful legendary surprises. Besides that, New Pokémon Snap teaches us that all Pokémon are special, and not just the Legendaries and Mythical types.
I had such an amazing time playing this game on and off stream, I highly recommend to anyone who loves to look at cute things! This game is full of all the cuteness!

Buh-Bye for now!





HarleChan Review for New Pokémon Snap 10/10

Star Wars Episode I Racer Nintendo Switch review – credit will do fine

While Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace hasn’t quite stood the test of time like many executives were hoping, it still holds a place in the hearts of fans of the series. And it also led to the creation of a number of licensed video games, with some faring better than others.

Among those titles was Star Wars Episode I: Racer, which released for the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast and struck a chord with fans that wanted to relive the exciting race sequence from the film. It’s a well-done racing experience and continues to be fun to this very day. But what can gamers do if they don’t have classic hardware to play it on?

Well, that’s simple, thanks to Aspyr. The game is available now on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch for a reasonable price ($15 at last glance!), and packs all the racing action of the original. Only a few minor tweaks have been made in its transition to new systems, but it continues to be a timeless thrill ride for those looking for something to play in these special Star Wars days. Hey, it beats working with Jar Jar Binks in a Jiffy Lube, tell you what.

In Episode I: Racer, you’ll choose from a fine variant of alien racers as you attempt to conquer each race, using your wits and speed boosters to keep ahead of them. There’s no Mario Kart style power-ups, just the skillful need for speed. And that’s fine by us, since this isn’t really Super Bombad Racing. This is a more serious racer, and one that pays off in dividends.

The gameplay is fantastic still, with capable handling of your hovering vehicle across turns and straightaways. For good measure, the neat system where you can earn speed boosts and repair damaged engines on the fly is awesome, simple to use and master over a course of a few runs. It’s really convenient, provided you don’t crash your vehicle going over 400 MPH. Oh, yeah, you’re going Mach speed here.

The game has little going for it in terms of options, with mainly a general story mode (introducing some of the planets and the competition), as well as a two-player split-screen mode. There’s no sign of online multiplayer, sadly, but here, the racing is the thing. And with the price and the quality of the title, that’s not a bad thing.

Speaking of quality, Episode I: Racer really delivers on this front when it comes to presentation. While the visuals are about the same as before, with just the right amount of classic game grain, it does feature a nice speed boost, running at a beautiful 60 frames per second. That’s on all platforms, so no one’s going to miss out if they’re playing on a PS5 or anything. The vehicles look great, and the track design is elegant yet tricky enough to keep you coming back for more. And all this is accompanied by John Williams’ excellent music score, which still holds up after all these years.

While Star Wars Episode I: Racer has its quirks when it comes to lack of features, it more than makes up for it with classic racing fun. The presentation is the best it’s ever been; the gameplay still holds up; and the two-player races are still highly enjoyable. So if you’re down for turning racing opponents into Bantha Fodder, you shouldn’t hesitate to hit the throttle.

RATING: 8.5/10

PlayStation Announces New Partnership With Discord!

Discord and PlayStation (R) Logos DVS does not own the rights to these images.

Yesterday PlayStation made a brief announcement on their blog, here, about their new partnership with the Gamer-focused chatting service Discord. This news coming in hot after talks broke down from a recent development with Microsoft/ Xbox, who were looking to acquire Discord for 10 billion dollars. Not much is known as to why they decided to turn down the offer in favor of a partnership but, it looks like Sony/ PlayStation will be taking the lead on this one. 

In their blog, Playstation also announced we could see the fruits of this partnership as early as next year. Integrating, Discord into their existing chat feature on console and mobile. Seemingly from the blog post, PlayStation is more in line with Discord’s vision of community first, but little has been said about what this could mean for either company moving forward. 

Becoming a minority investment stakeholder in Discord’s series H round leaves both giants open to explore how to develop their partnership while leaving the companies to grow individually. There are many expectations for both companies to wow their audience with how this partnership formed. 

Discord has been around for quite a while, est. 2015, and has been steadily growing in the gaming industry and got a profound hike in usability during the Covid-19 Pandemic. While not the most user-friendly chatting software to use, it was integral in bringing family and friends together to enjoy everything from reunions to game nights. Used all over by podcasters and streamers in the gaming industry, it is no wonder we have seen Discord popping up a lot in the news lately. 

Playstation has a much longer history in the gaming industry with its creator/investor Sony. Est. 1994, PlayStation has been a major player in the gaming industry ever since. While they have acquired many companies to increase their standing, taking the role of partner this time seems to have worked in their favor. 

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