Deviously Interesting Articles…

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. 

Stay tuned to DVSGaming for more news, reviews, and updates to come!

Avalon love to siege you.

As old man Deckard Caine says “Stay awhile and listen”, and that is what we should all be doing. A good book is always something we want when thinking of blankets and bay windows, rain falling softly on the lawn. How about a classic tale between good and bad? That chapter by chapter experience that will make you feel like you are immersed in a book, but it isn’t a book! It’s an RPG that will take you back to when you first played an RPG on your PC.

Time to read!

Siege of Avalon has withstood the test of time. It now stands among, other games as one the best story-filled games this man has played in a long time. As I started my journey into this epic tale, I found myself immersed in all the reading as the story unfolds. To give you a taste of what you can experience, here is a sample. “You arrive only to find out your brother Corvus has been sent on a scout mission to the nearby village overrun by the “Ahoul” and you set forth around the castle to collect information as to what has happened to him.”

Discover how dire conditions are inside the castle, that as recruits show up they do not have the necessary equipment for needed. I found all the updates that pop up along the way a great change of pace, instead of just adding another quest to my log. The game puts everything into a story format so those quests you do all flow and help you have a deeper feel of how Avalon’s life is during this siege.

Fight me… maybe.

First of all, that while this is not an easy game, it is also not very hard. It’s a happy medium of stealth, magic, and total brute strength. The first enemies I came to fight were giant beetles with nothing but a dagger that I found in a chest in one of the many rooms you search through.

Hit by hit I slowly took a beetle down, only for another to come around the corner as the first flees. I take chase only to pull two more and now I’m surrounded. I slay the first two. Down to half health, with two left on me, I may have crit one, I couldn’t tell as there are no in-game damage counters, but I one shotted it. I walked away with a tiny sliver of health for my reward of pie, when supplies are available again. Worth it is all can say, WORTH IT!!

I thought I was ready to venture forth to the village to begin my search for Corvus. Mistakes were made that day. The game will let you gather up armor and get yourself ready but it does tell you that the enemies out there are not giant beetles at all.

I was thinking this was just gonna be a cakewalk, but NOPE! My first true enemy was just outside the gate, and you know LEROYYY and all that… yeah my first hit lands and um, nothing happens! Hit after hit I’m getting owned. Time to flee, and as I scurry I see more and more of them now, and they’ve got a train after me. I get to a new area thinking they will reset, but this beautiful game said NOOOOOPE! Just go back the way you just came and low and behold, they were all still waiting for me. NO CHILL AT ALL! The reason I love this, however, is because it’s all part of the story.

Play and enjoy.

This has been a most enjoyable experience for me and I hope you take the time to read this amazing RPG. I’m so excited to finish this whole epic tale and pour all the frustrating hours running away and getting better pieces of armor to look like the true hero we are. This game has very classy armor pieces to help you look the way wanna look.

Take your time and read everything that this game has to offer, all of the NPCs are part of the game so click and click and learn about them. Most new games are put into an episodic format but that’s just it! An episode! So finish this and that’s it, same old song and dance.

Siege of Avalon gives all you could want from a game, a feeling of a reward check! Knowing why I’m doing this and not doing that because you “Have to” double-check!! The best part of all is getting such a rush of nostalgia. Well worth all the time your gonna be putting into it.

Wish it had dmg numbers but I can see how it would take away from the story. Grrrreat game!!

9/10

Against the Moon: PC Review

Turn-Based Strategy is one of my favorite genres in gaming due to the fact that you can do so much with the gameplay. Against the Moon is a tactical turn-based strategy game developed by Code Heretic and published by Code Heretic LLC and Black Tower Entertainment. While this game shows so much potential I found it not only lacking in content but overall it’s just not well designed. It looks incredible as far as the art design goes, but the gameplay itself ended up being the downfall. This game is available on all current platforms for $19.99.

My biggest issue lies with the gameplay. I loved the concept, but honestly, the way the game works you have little to no control over your hand and there is no way to set up your deck to help with balanced curves. I mean this as in the game plays almost like a TCG game like Magic or Pokemon. The game was designed to bring deck building to a rogue-like turn-based strategy game. You get 3 lanes set up with 3 Ultori that all have a unique ability, such as stunning random enemies or throwing your hand away for new cards. The cards all come with a cost and are divided between monster cards with special abilities and spells that can allow you to fight the enemy and their set of cards. Depending on the card cost players will average early game around 2 to 3 actions.

Often I felt like my hand would be unbalanced for what I really needed to defeat tougher opponents. Sometimes my hands would even be all mid-cost monsters and no sorceries to draw more cards or damage enemies. Another issue I take with the game is the huge jump in difficulty, for while I like a challenge after the prologue your desk is not suited for what comes after. You are mostly given low-cost monsters that do an average of 3 attack against enemies that jump up to 8 hit points on average. It feels as if the game sets you up for failure. You do get to customize some cards under your heroes which helps a bit while you play, but even then the draw is not stacked well. On top of that, it is a game where you do have to unlock cards as you progress and evolve them, but it’s a slow progression. There is no curve or balancing element to the random draw you’re given which is purely poor design. On top of that, it is a game where you do have to unlock cards as you progress and evolve them, but it’s a slow progression.

On top of the balancing issues, the performance issues nearly kill the want to play for me. Even on my high-end computer the game had insane load times, crazy frame rate drops, and sometimes would just not run at all. Redownloading the game with a fresh install does not help. The performance issues with this game are insane considering it’s not demanding at all. Over the Moon is just another case of wasted potential. The concept was great, but the delivery was just pure disappointment. The game is full of performance issues and poor gameplay, and I sadly do not recommend it to anyone. I do hope the developers take the concept and make good on it in the future.

DVS Score: 2.5/10

Marvel’s Spiderman Miles Morales: PS5 Review

Miles Morales has been taking the world by storm as Marvel’s edgy newer hero, who only first made his debut in the comic line Ultimate Fallout in 2011. He follows in Peter Parker’s footsteps as a new, teenage Spiderman after gaining similar abilities, but seems to have far more to offer in terms of sheer power. Marvel’s Spiderman Miles Morales allows us to walk in the footsteps of this green hero in an all-new action-adventure game developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive. This story directly follows the events of Marvel’s Spiderman, the previous entry of the series. I loved everything this game had to offer despite it being a shorter tale than the first entry. This game is playable on PlayStation 4, and the 5 for only $49.99, making it way cheaper than most new games that are usually set at $69.99. I will warn new players, though in the game there is a recap of previous events I very much recommend playing the first game. Not only was the first Spiderman a fantastic game, but the story is crucial seeing as there will be more to follow. 

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The story follows Miles in New York after his father’s passing in the previous events that took place in Marvel’s Spiderman. Miles and his mother Rio had just moved to Harlem, where she is running for City Council to fight for her home against a new energy company Roxxan. Peter goes on vacation, allowing Miles to fly solo in New York to find his footing, deeming him ready to fight for his city. Miles soon uncovers a war between this secretly corrupt energy company and the Underground; a terrorist group that is following the Tinkerer in trying to take them out. Compared to the previous game, I found Miles to be a bit more relatable than Peter. Miles shows the struggle of being a child hero and his feelings on trying to fill the shoes of Peter. Throughout the story, he unlocks unknown abilities that he learns to master over time, while also finding himself behind the mask and in real life. Between the mistakes he makes along the way and trying to overcome his self-doubt, the game does well in making Miles feel more human in this game, as well as creating a connection between the player and character. While the previous Spiderman did well to help the players play as Peter Parker, he felt more of a self-sacrificing hero that knew what to do. Miles, on the other hand, went through major character growth from starting as a timid teenager unsure of whether or not he is ready to take on the mask and changing into a full-fledged Spiderman. Insomniac designed this game so well in terms of overall character growth and story progression to the point where I even teared up at the ending of the game in both play-throughs. 

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Marvels’ Spiderman Miles Morales was a plain right personable game that was jam-packed with emotions. Every character made a massive impact on the game in their unique way. I could not get enough of how well designed the side characters and villains were in this game. Ganke was such a fantastic supporting character to Miles and helped bring a more realistic and modern feel to the game. Designing the Friendly Neighborhood app, helping Miles find himself as his person, and assisting on missions by remoting into his suit felt insanely cool and showed how reliable he was as a friend and partner. One could even say his best friend was the Sam to his Frodo. I also absolutely loved that this game brought the Prowler, a.k.a. Uncle Aaron in and designed him as not only a supporting character that contributes to Mile’s growth as a family but also as a man that struggles between right and wrong. Even Rio fought so hard for her family and city against Roxxan and stood to show Miles that their family never backs down no matter how hard the fight is. Miles, like Peter, built such a good support system without even realizing it. Even the citizens of New York in the game felt more realistic compared to before as far as side quests go. Each character in the side quests felt more natural and had a lot more personality such as Teo and Hailey. Most of the characters you help out start off suspicious of the new Spiderman in town and over time warm up to him and deem him their district’s Spiderman.

Though the story of this game was short, it was incredible and filled with fantastic side content. I do wish there was a bit more as far as side quests go, but there were good options outside of the new game plus for playability. All missions that were side quests and main quests can be replayed. In addition, you could trigger crimes over and over again to get activity tokens for unlocking abilities and suits. As far as resources go, there were significantly fewer options compared to the first game, for you only needed activity tokens and research parts to get gadgets, mods, and suits as well as the required level. This made the game far less tedious, but also I felt because of this I would have liked to see more to do. This game did do a good job of keeping you busy for the most part, since with each story progression you essentially got new collectibles or fetch quests unlocked as well as side missions. The side content provided also god a good story with each of them, such as finishing Mile’s father and uncle’s soundtrack, the end game scavenger hunts his father left for him, and even his time capsules he made with Phin. While the content might be lacking in quantity, the game has made up tenfold in quality.

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What I do feel like the game lacked in a bit more was gameplay. While I love the replayability of it, I felt like the new game plus option should have offered more in terms of content. Aside from some new game plus suits and abilities, there was no real reason to add it. You can change the difficulty for NG plus, and there are no new quests for it whatsoever. I felt because of this, new game plus was just a filler to feel like there was more to game content-wise, but there was not. The only real reason outside of suits and abilities for NG plus is for trophy hunters. In addition, the combat was satisfying but also left you feeling a bit too powerful regardless of difficulty because of the bioelectricity abilities, invisibility, and gadgets. Finishers only required combos rather than taking away from your venom attack build-up bars. While you consumed a bar to heal from your bioelectricity bar, it racks up so fast and using them often leaves you in less need to heal. You can combo off of them so easily causing insane damage to enemies. Even on Spectacular while they might not die as fast it still takes a big chunk off of heavy hitters. Gadgets also replenish fast and rack up damage with gravity well, the holo-drones, and remote mines.

While you have fewer options compared to the first game, they do way more damage. I found myself using all of the gadgets, but you could also pick off enemies super easily with gravity well and venom blast. My only other complaint as far as the combat goes is how exploitable camouflage is. Enemies do not counter this until late game, but through the majority of the game you could go in wreak havoc or stealth kill and no matter how you get caught you can go invisible again leaving enemies confused dropping their guard fast. I tore through each base so fast because of this ability alone. I’m not saying the game should be hard, but more so there should be a better balance for each difficulty. Harder modes are for players that want a challenge or players that don’t want to steamroll through the game, but there were no considerably noticeable gaps with each jump. That being said the combat did at least feel satisfyingly cool.

All in all, I loved this game, though some areas are lacking it set a new bar for the series as far as story and quality go. I loved the amount of detail that went into creating the environment and story. I also can not wait to see what happens in the next entry per the end scenes we got in the credits. Miles is an amazingly human character and an incredible Spiderman. This game also played incredibly smooth on the PS5 at 60 frames per second. The Marvel’s Spiderman series offers some of the best superhero games out there, and I expect great things from Insomniac.

DVS Score: 8/10

R-Type Final 2 review: a By-do gone era returns

There was a point in time that hardcore shooters were making a dent in the mainstream gaming market. Alas, many thought that time has passed in the face of the AAA stream that we’re seeing nowadays, but, surprise, you can’t keep a good “shmup” down thanks to entries like Rolling Gunner and Crimzon Clover.

Now, following the success of Tozai Games’ amazing R-Type Dimensions, we’re seeing the return of Irem’s legendary series with R-Type Final 2, based on a Kickstarter success launched by the team at Granzella. It’s a hefty gamble, considering that the original Final for PlayStation 2 made everything so, um, finalized. (Yep, another gaming franchise that proves the word “final” isn’t exactly final.) But it’s mostly paid off, with a frantic, exciting shooter that offers some fun old-school thrills, even if it’s not entirely the best-looking game out there. Hey, any chance we get to blast the Bydo Empire to smithereens, we’ll happily take it.

The game once again has you facing off against dangerous alien enemies using whatever power-ups you can get your hands on. These include lock-on missiles and firing techniques that range from coordinated circle lasers to bouncing beams that make it relatively easy to blast enemies around corners. You can power-up however you choose, and the game even lets you customize your loadout, as well as select from unlocked ship models. Some vary in terms of what firepower they deliver, but the general goal is the same. Still, neat idea.

What’s important here, however, is the general nature of R-Type – and I’m happy to report that’s still very much intact. Final 2 is a lot of fun to play, and quite challenging if you turn up the difficulty. However, if you’re a newbie, you can also find quite a bit of mileage from the “practice” and “kids” difficulty settings, though you’ll still have your work cut out for you when it comes to dodging dangerous plasma beams and incoming fire.

What makes R-Type stand out is the utilization of your capsule, which helps you maintain your strong firepower, or can also be jettisoned loose to fire in out-of-reach places. It reattaches and disattaches with ease, and also shields you from smaller bullets – something that’s a saving grace if you try to keep your run going. You’ll embrace its techniques as you continue onward, and become that much of a better R-Type player.

Visually, R-Type Final 2 mimics the original PlayStation 2 game to an extent. There are 3D backgrounds and some well drawn enemies, but the design is hardly what you’d call revolutionary. In fact, on the Nintendo Switch, it’s about on the same level as R-Type Deltawhen it comes to graininess. On the PlayStation 4, however, it’s much smoother, with a 60 frames per second framerate. Both versions look good, though, and depending how you want to play – at home or on the go – they make for a strong addition to your “shmup” library.

For good measure, the music is good. Not amazing like the original R-Type soundtrack, mind you, but still well composed with some great synths playing throughout each battle. It matches the tone of what R-Type is all about for the most part, so little to complain about there.

How much mileage you get out of Final 2 truly depends on your fandom of the series. There are a lot of ships to unlock here; and the game is a meaty challenge if you go all the way up on the difficulty scale. Otherwise, just keep in mind that it’s a shmup, and you’ll likely get through the meat of its content after a few runs. That may make the $40 price tag a bit hard for some to justify.

But I digress. R-Type is back and that is what really matters. The team at Granzella have done a great job capturing the nature of what makes the series click with Final 2, as it’s a blast to play and keeps most of its fundamentals intact. And it may not look the best at times, but it’s still a decent example of how to make a “shmup” appear in these modern times. It’s a game that delivers on its Kickstarter hype, especially for those that have been dying to see the series make a return.

Now then…about that Gradius revival…

RATING: 8/10

Raya and the Last Dragon film review: hardly a typical princess tale

Over the years, Disney’s gotten used to the idea that, even though it’s created quite a catalog of them, not every female character it introduces in its animation fold needs to be a princess. Some women are capable of holding their own, like the title character in the impressive Moana.

Raya seeks the help of the legendary dragon, Sisu. Seeing what’s become of Kumandra, Sisu commits to helping Raya fulfill her mission in reuniting the lands. Featuring Kelly Marie Tran as the voice of Raya and Awkwafina as the voice of Sisu, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon” will be in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on March 5, 2021. © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Now we have yet another shining example of a woman that can accomplish great things, alongside an unlikely companion that makes quite the company for her. Raya and the Last Dragon is a spellbinding piece of Disney work, and what it lacks in theatrical audience, it more than makes up for with genuine charm that, hopefully, will last for years to come as people experience the film. It’s getting a home video release next month, so hopefully that will be just the start.

The heroine in question, Raya (Kelly Marie Tran at her finest), is in search of mysterious stones that could help turn the tide against a dangerous force that has wiped out a good portion of her people, Thanos-style. With the help of her loyal oversized armadillo Tuk Tuk (once again “voiced” by Alan Tudyk, with what little he says – the characterization is more than enough tho), she goes seeking the pieces of restore a mighty dragon named Sisu (Awkwafina), who might just be able to bring everyone back.
The camaraderie between Raya and Sisu is not only infectious, but keeps the film moving along nicely. Some might think that Awkwafina is a bit too smart-alecky, but she’s a terrific fit for Sisu, and watching her “evolve” over the course of the film is something special. Not to mention that Raya learns a thing or two as well.

Other characters join the fray, including a young kid named Boun who tries to use his suaveness with his food dishes, a one-eyed warrior (Benedict Wong) who’s a little softer than he lets on, and a baby that’s in for con games alongside a group of helpful critters. They all join the search to find the pieces of the stone before the ruthless Namaari (Gemma Chan) gets her hands on them first, at the command of her military-esque mother.

There’s a fascinating story with Raya, and it’s really well written, even though the pacing can be a slight bit off in the last half hour. All the same, it’s still excellent, with enough good laughs (particularly from Awkwafina) to keep a giddy smile on your face.

Not to mention the animation is gorgeous. Considering that most of this film’s production took place in COVID-19 territory, with everyone working at home, it looks outstanding. The 4K Blu-Ray release should really be something here, if you’ve got the right equipment to take advantage of it.

Raya and her nemesis, Namaari, face off amid the snowy mountains of Spine. Featuring Kelly Marie Tran as the voice of Raya and Gemma Chan as the voice of Namaari, Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Raya and the Last Dragon” will be in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access on March 5, 2021. © 2021 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

But what I was really surprised by was how well the film took its martial arts combat themes. Watching Namaari and Raya go at it in combat is something else, and even Sisu has something to lend here and there as well, though she generally has peaceful means that she tries to use to her and Raya’s benefit.

The voice acting is excellent for the most part, and even the smallest things – again, Tudyk – really do wonders here. The combat audibles alone are staggering, especially with a good stereo system.

Raya and the Last Dragon may not be the perfect Disney film – pacing is questionable in some spots – but overall, it’s a wondrous affair that’s amongst the best the studio’s had to offer. And with COVID and its weight, that’s really saying something. It’s got an ideal voice cast, excellent visual tone, and the kind of adventurous theme that truly says, “Hey, this isn’t your typical princess tale.” And we’re definitely here for it.

RATING: 9/10

Raya and the Last Dragon is available on-demand and through premium access on Disney+. It reportedly has a home video release date of May 18th.

Better call Saul….but don’t.

It’s been a hell of a day is putting it lightly. Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) is your run of the mill of husband, father, and oh yeah local “spook”. Hutch is truly a unique fella, trying his hardest to maintain the life he has even though, my man here is looking super miserable with him doing the same thing over and over again wake up, miss the trash, go to work, and having a pillow put up between him and his wife Becca Mansell (Connie Nielsen).

As the old saying goes ” all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is what we can relate to this “FAT LIP” of a film, starts slow only to throw us into what we think is just a husband gone loco cause they came for his family. That’s only part of it but the only thing I will say to this is (kitty bracelet).

Hutch Mansell (Bob Odenkirk) takes us on a wild ride from almost touching your soul (as a father I felt this hard) to what the ever-living f*** am I watching, the swap from an almost cliché movie of just another father doing the “right thing” to this is pure gold… take a gander at this most tasty “BUS SCENE”.

Little by Little do we get a taste of who Hutch was in his past only to lead us to a whole new rabbit hole. All of sudden the movie takes the all-or-nothing feel to it. After a few encounters with “THE BAD GUYS,” he then incurs the wrath of Russian mobster Yulian Kuznetsov (Aleksey Serebryakov) who has just the perfect amount of swank and ruthless killer… the man has class and that is class is MAYHEM!

This is about all I can tell you without spoiling all the cool little details that took this old format of a loco dad who wants vengeance yada.. yada… to a fresh take on it. This is going to give you a black eye and some booboos and your gonna like it and want more after you see what Hutch does to make sure his own is safe.

Okie one last thing “DOC Brown” (Christopher Lloyd) takes the role of Hutch Mansell’s retired FBI agent father David Mansell. The way they put him into is truly a chef’s kiss of gloriousness a sight to truly witness. All and all, I loved this movie so much and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

4.5/5

Battle Axe Xbox One review: Worth the Grind

You’d be surprised what kind of retro-inspired experience you can put together with the right people. In this case, pixel artist Henk Nieborg, who’s been working on a number of games since the 90s, including various Shantae games.

Thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign, he’s been able to team up with Mega Man composer Manami Matsumae on a 16-bit inspired project called Battle Axe, which arrived on some consoles last week and will debut on Nintendo Switch later this week. And it’s good stuff for those of you who like this sort of thing, despite some noticeable quirks – namely the price.

Published by Numskull Games, the top-down adventure has you choosing between three different characters – a Viking warrior with a helpful little cannon, a dark elf with a pair of twin blades, and an elderly wizard with a penchant for spells. Each character has up-close strikes, as well as distance shots that are ideal for blasting an enemy from afar – though it’s somewhat limited based on a charge meter, shown in your character stats. Once you have them, you can also activate super spells to clear the screen, and digest food to get back some of your lost health.

The game’s general Arcade Mode has you battling through different enemies and rescuing oddly named citizens before coming face-to-face with a boss that requires a bit of strategy, including a large crab creature, an oversized dragon and more. Once you figure out a proper pattern, just like the old-school games, you can beat them and continue on your merry little way.

What’s excellent about Battle Axe is that it’s a fairly easy game to grasp, though there’s a good challenge level that will have you conserving as much energy as you can. After all, once you’re out of lives, it’s game over, just like in some arcade games. Fortunately, there’s only a handful of stages here, so getting to the end should be just a matter of timing your attacks and fighting through to the end.

Battle Axe fully supports local co-op as well, which is outstanding. You can team up with a friend and clean house in a fun two-player session. Online’s not in the cards, sadly, but it’s a great game to play with friends. It wouldn’t have been a bad idea to have more characters tho. But at least the gameplay is responsive and tight, and the difficulty is right there on the old-school level.

Where Battle Axe truly wins is with its presentation. The 16-bit style graphics are excellent throughout, and the animations are razor sharp, right down to the large bosses. The game also runs smoothly, especially on the Xbox One, where it feels right at home. Not to mention that Matsumae’s soundtrack, though on a loop, is superb and really allows the stretching of composer talent. Well done.

That said, Battle Axe has some hitches. It only has two modes – Arcade and Infinite – and while they’re a lot of fun, they can get old over time. Infinite does have some great exploring to do for players that are up for it, but a New Game + would’ve been an ideal addition, particularly with some new stages.

For that matter, the game’s price is a bit too high for its own good. Battle Axe would’ve been a novel investment for around $15 or $20. At $30, some might balk at jumping into this adventure, though it’s still worth its weight in gold. It just depends how much you appreciate some old-school flavor from Henk’s camp.

If you’re on board, though, Battle Axe doesn’t disappoint. It’s got retro appeal throughout, even with its lack of modes and stages; and the visuals and music really pop to life. And it’s a joy to play in local co-op, if you’ve got a friend that has an axe to grind with you. If you can handle the deep price point, Battle Axe is a worthy weapon.

RATING: 8/10

Marvel’s Spiderman PS4 Review

Marvel’s Spiderman is everything you can expect and want out of a video game and more. Between swinging with webs throughout the city, Pete’s clap backs while decimating enemies, and learning new abilities I was thoroughly impressed at how well the game succeeds in making you feel like you are the character. Not only was the story incredible, but it even planted the seeds for Spiderman Miles Morales perfectly. This story has endless content for players and is one of the best open-world action role-playing games I’ve played in a long time. I haven’t had this much fun in playing a superhero game since the Batman Arkham Trilogy, and I can not wait to see what Miles Morales will have to offer. Marvel’s Spiderman was developed by Insomniac Games and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. This game is purchasable on PlayStation Network for the PS4 and the PS5 normally for 39.99 USD, but right now you can get it on sale for 19.99 thanks to the spring sale. 

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What I loved so much about this game was not only did you just play as Spiderman, but you also got a lot of time to play as Peter Parker and his allies. You get a good amount of time as Peter between assisting Aunt May at FEAST, and even in the lab with Doctor Octavius in creating robotic life-like prosthetics. One thing I have to mention is how well this game presents itself and sets a bar above other superhero games, and that’s the stress that I felt as having a secret identity. The overall impact I felt like Peter in trying to protect the ones he loves but not being able to tell them was overwhelming.

MJ is the only one who knows and honestly was a godsend in helping as a partner in balancing his life and making hard decisions, though she also tended to stress me out with her bold actions and the tension of their romantic feelings. Side character missions were also executed flawlessly and had seamless transitions for the story. Not only did I get to experience character development, but I also found myself having to use my wits to get through stressful situations with MJ and Miles. I felt firsthand the support system that Peter unknowingly built around himself, and I applaud Insomniac for such great storytelling.

Character development was also phenomenal with the villains of the story. Insomniac showed enough restraint, but also laid the seeds perfectly with every action Spiderman committed. I felt myself pondering between the right things to do for each situation. For example, at the beginning of the game, Kingpin advises he is a necessary evil to keep others at bay, and honestly without too many spoilers the consequences that unfold from his removal left not only Peter pondering his choices but for me as the player too.

As the city breaks out into chaos, different groups such as Fisk’s men, the Demons, Prisoners, and even Sable Troop takes apart the city claiming territories throughout New York. The life-like 1:1 scale of New York in the game felt surreal as you see it slowly change over time with each new terrorist group. I also loved watching truths unfold from Mr. Negative’s past and Osbourne’s dirty secrets, as well as feeling the heartbreak after watching Doctor Octavius deteriorate.

The side content was plentiful and was great in not overwhelming or underwhelming players that wanted to 100 percent the game. The side quests had a good mix-up between lengthy dilemmas with bone-chilling twists and small fetch quests to give players a small break for quick experience. Collectibles were abundant and unlocked cool new suits or abilities for players such as the dark suit for doing the Black Cat’s stakeouts or the Homemade Suit for finding every landmark. I also enjoyed that purchasing other suits required tokens from taking down crime bases, stopping petty crimes in the city from criminals and sable, and challenges from the Task Master.

Each challenge or base could be replayed until you completed every tier or bonus challenge to get your rewards, while crimes capped at around 5 per area on average. Early game base takedowns could take a while and feel a bit too tedious, which is why I recommend players wait until late game to grind them out. Bases no matter which faction are 6 waves long with 10 plus enemies each round. The challenges for the base tokens will often consist of webbing enemies to walls, shocking them, or even electrifying them with abilities that are unlocked late game anyway. Tasks were a bit easier but also helped players work on improving with the gameplay. Drone missions helped accuracy in moving around with speed and web-slinging, combat challenges helped to max out their combos, and stealth challenges taught players how to maximize their efficiency between different stealth takedown styles. Overall, as a completionist, I had a field day getting the platinum for this game because despite being easy to get the game did well to make all of the side content not only fun but enticing.

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Marvel’s Spiderman provides endless content leaving players wanting more. This game was a thrilling adventure that I recommend to all types of players. It’s inviting to those newer or not as good with RPGs and satisfying to experienced players as well. The story is action packed and an emotional experience to take part in for players who crave an immersive narration. Not to mention, you play as the iconic web-slinging pun filled hero Spiderman, and get to fight all of the villains we love so much such as Scorpion and Electro. The visuals are breathtaking, the gameplay is satisfying, and I really could not get enough of this title. Despite some of the bugs I would say this is a near perfect masterpiece and I’m really glad that I picked it up.

DVS Score: 9/10

El Hijo: A Wild West Tale Stealth and Mischief

El Hijo: A Wild West Tale developed by Honig Studios and Quantumfrog and published by HandyGames is an adorable adventure strategy game geared towards stealth players. The game was released December 2020 on Playstation, Xbox, Switch, Windows, and Google Stadia.

The story of the game follows a young boy who lives alone with his mother on a farm in the Wild West. One day a group of bandits burns their home to the ground and his mother takes what few possessions they have left, packs them on a horse and they leave. To protect her son she put him in a monastery and subsequently gets kidnapped by the bandits. It’s up to you as a young 6-year-old boy to escape the monastery and save your mother using stealth and the toys and items found on your journey.

If you’ve met me you know I love puzzles and this game is a puzzle in every step. There are many ways to achieve your objective and having a good strategy can be the deciding factor between freedom and getting sent back to your room. There are little things in the game to increase difficulty like engaging with the children of each level while trying to stay unseen. The further you get in the game the more challenging the game becomes and your strategy becomes very important to keep safe.

The graphics of the game were beautiful. Similar to a Saturday morning cartoon t and just as colorful. The transitions are very well done and keep you looking for more. The gameplay is simple and they give you a tutorial at the beginning to get you used to gameplay as well. Using the tools to distract watchers and to give you access to new areas and puzzles. Keeping to the shadows and using the light to your advantage to save mom.

I enjoyed playing this game and I can’t wait to complete it. I’m always trying to find a new strategy to get through each level without being seen and unlocking new scenes and areas. This game was really fun and I think it will be great to play for the entire family.

DVS Game Rating 8/10