Deviously Interesting Articles…

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. 

Image

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.

Image

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. 

Image

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

Story Of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town Review

Title Screen for Story Of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town

Let me preface this by saying these are not the type of games I play regularly. 

Leaving the City

Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town by XSEED Games and Marvelous Interactive Inc. is a new adventure life simulation game released on the Nintendo Switch on March 23rd, 2021. Similar in play to Stardew Valley by ConcernedApe, it’s a really amazing and fun game to get into. I have to say I wasn’t expecting it and fell in love with this game very quickly.

Heading to the Countryside!

As with most games in this genre you live in the big city but dream of moving to the countryside where your grandfather had his farm. You strike out with your tent and your motorcycle (It’s really a moped but we’ll go with what they call it) and head out on your adventure! 

Already I’m in love with the art style. The 3D graphics really add a new element to these types of games and appealed to me a lot more than the 2D graphic of similar games. Along with the cutesy animals that really made you want to do your best in caring for them. You choose early in the game how you want your character to look and the color of your motorcycle.

As is normal with these types of games the farm is under complete disrepair and you have to clean it up and get the farm going again. The initial clean-up doesn’t take long and you get to discover the town and townspeople that really bring this game to life. I mean there is plenty of content on the farm alone to keep you busy but taking the time to visit the town will break up the monotony of farm work. You can buy groceries to cook, materials to make items, adopt a pet, expand your house, go fishing, expand your farm, enjoy coffee, enjoy meals, buy flowers, engage in fruitful conversations, encourage decisions in the town, and so much more!

As mentioned there is plenty to do on the farm as well. From caring for your animals to tending your crops. You can even craft machines to make useful and more items to sell, increasing your profit. You need to make sure your farm is making a profit so you can continue to live and upgrade and make life great on the farm.

All in all this game was surprisingly fun and enjoyable to play. A little too addicting right off the bat but I feel like it could fall into the hole similar to Animal Crossing where eventually you get bored of playing but it has yet to happen so far. As there is more to explore and see in this game I’m expecting some amazing gameplay and can’t wait to see how others set up their farms!

DVS Rating 9/10 

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/BwPYT3K76VAD7Tnk8

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/8i53xWoL4sfKtfy38

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/fVkmrsJ4xQwpuq3F7

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/vKouhD427T6C71K27

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.

NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 Nintendo Switch review: the good ol’ days

Man, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color didn’t really have a chance on the market, did it? Granted, it had an excellent library of first and third party games, along with strong support in the U.S. and Japan. But, alas, it couldn’t topple the mighty Game Boy for handheld superiority. Still, it amassed more than enough fans to create a cult following – and now those fans can relive the old days yet again with a fun new collection for Nintendo Switch.

NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 celebrates the handheld system with a compilation of ten games, which can be enjoyed in their original monochromatic format, so that they look like the older titles. And what’s more, those fascinated with the system can take a good look at the cartridges as well – 3D models of them anyway.

But the question is…would it be a wise investment for $40? Well, that really depends on your love for all things NeoGeo Pocket Color, but there’s tremendous value here.

The collection consists of ten games, which are as follows:

  • Fatal Fury: First Contact
  • Gals Fighters
  • King of Fighters R-2
  • The Last Blade: Beyond the Destiny
  • Samurai Shodown 2
  • SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium
  • Metal Slug: First Mission
  • Metal Slug: Second Mission
  • Dark Arms (Beast Busters)
  • Big Tournament Golf (Neo Turf Masters)

If these titles sound familiar, it’s because the first six on the list got a separate release on the Switch already. So if you bought those, you might feel like you’re paying twice for a classic. But the compilation does include the four titles at the bottom exclusively, so even if the first four are already owned there’s STILL tremendous value here.

Let’s talk about those games. Probably the weakest of the bunch is Dark Arms, a role-playing style adventure with limited story appeal. That being said, it is fun to blast enemies with a shotgun and collecting spirits does have its moments. It’s a curious addition, but one that’s worth a try.

The big sports title in the collection is Big Tournament Golf, or Neo Turf Masters to some. It’s a great, cartoony approach to the sport, capturing all of its skill in wondrous handheld form. It also looks terrific, despite the crammed viewpoint of the system itself.

However if any games are worth their weight in gold here, it’s the two Metal Slug games. The First Mission is excellent, with lots of shoot-em-up action and even some side-scrolling shoot-em-up stages, but the Second Mission takes the cake. It boasts a superior design and fun gameplay, along with a few new tricks up its sleeve.

As for the other six games, they’re awesome fighting games, especially SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium, which is the absolute gem of the collection. Samurai and Last Blade are awesome, and worth play-time too.

That said, it would’ve been nice to have more diverse offerings. Sonic the Hedgehog, for example, had a robust Neo-Geo adventure that would’ve been right at home here. Also I would’ve taken Pac-Man and maybe Biomotor Unitron.

Alas, this is just Vol. 1, so there’s hope down the road for another collection like this, depending on how well it sells.

The rendering of the Neo-Geo Pocket Color games for this collection is just about perfect, as the games run like their classic counterparts. The soundtrack is excellent for most of these games, and the visuals look great. However, keep in mind that the screen is crammed to kind of a 4:3 format, so unless you zoom in, you’ll have to put up with static wallpaper around a small screen. Not the end of the world, as it does emulate the hardware, but it might be limiting to some.

There could’ve been more history stuff, given that this is a compilation. But being able to get a closer look at the hardware itself is very cool, and may even serve as a lesson in the classic handhelds of old. That doesn’t mean we’ll get something that breaks down the Atari Lynx anytime soon, but this is still nice to have.

While NeoGeo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 has some missing pieces in terms of different visual options and key games that would’ve been ideal for it (at least a Card Fighters Clash title!), it’s still a tremendous value for $40. There’s more than enough fighting games here; and the others, especially the Metal Slug games, are well worth checking out again. This is the best way to rediscover the glory of the classic handheld – without actually owning the real thing, of course.

RATING: 8/10

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/BBJqTDXchcnGRoAR8

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/jBwdNHLgq79aVYpGA

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/HEk6pQcRUpF6ZSNs5

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/xxFaS6VGEKMhcUoz9

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
https://images.app.goo.gl/23nWvezzWYnBFTQw9

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.

Image

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.

The Ultimate Guide to Online Casino Bonuses

The online casino industry is a competitive one, with the hundreds of leading casinos out there all trying as hard as possible to snatch players from their competitors. With more people playing online than ever before, that competition has heated up.

As such, virtually every big casino site offers a dizzying array of bonuses as part of the ongoing battle to attract players to their platform. The homepages of most casino websites will feature dozens of bonuses ranging from straight-up cash offers to free games.

Navigating the world of casino bonuses can be a tricky one, especially if you don’t understand the lingo. To ensure you get the best possible value from your online casino experience, read on to get the complete lowdown of all of the different types of online casino bonus in 2019. 

Cashable and Non-Cashable Bonuses 

Source: Pixabay

The first thing you need to know about online casino bonuses is that the “cash” bonuses often come in two different forms. The first of these, which tends to be less popular among online casinos, is the “cashable” bonus. This bonus is typically pegged to a deposit that you might make, often being a percentage of that amount (ranging from anything between 10% and 100%). If it’s cashable, then you reserve the right to withdraw the bonus whenever you see fit. 

More common is the “non-cashable” bonus. Such bonuses are frequently referred to among gamers as “sticky bonuses”, given that you can’t actually withdraw them right away. Rather, these bonuses can be used to play games. Of course, any winnings from these games are yours to keep, as long as you’ve fulfilled the “playthrough” requirement – ie. as long as you’ve bet a certain amount of money, usually calculated as a multiple of your bonus. Out of everything you need to know about online casino bonuses, this might just be the most important point. For instance, you may be required to play through 20x the bonus amount you received. Non-cashable bonuses are usually much higher than in cashable bonuses. They are essentially a bonus in the form of credit that lets you play for free. Of course, anything you win from these bonus games is yours to keep. 

Non-cashable bonuses are designed to give the player as much time to explore and enjoy the range of games on offer at a certain casino in the hopes of gaining a loyal customer. Bonuses can range between 100% and 300%, meaning that you get significantly more to play with than a cashable bonus.

Deposit and No-Deposit Bonuses 

Source: Pixabay

To access a deposit bonus you are required to deposit some of your own funds into an account with the casino. These bonuses can generously reward your loyalty, often consisting of a match bonus that is several times higher than the amount you have deposited.

The amount varies wildly from casino to casino, but the goal is to be as generous as possible. It is not uncommon for a deposit of $50 to be rewarded with several hundred dollars worth of casino credits, so make sure to shop around to find the most lucrative offers possible. You are also able to use your original deposit to play casino games, although if you withdraw that deposit you will lose access to any bonuses that were originally offered.

As you might have guessed, no-deposit bonuses are the inverse. They don’t require the player to commit to putting any funds in a casino account whatsoever (although you do have to sign up with that casino). The bonus amounts are naturally smaller, but they offer you some free playtime and a shot at winning something for nothing, still usually subject to the aforementioned playthrough requirements.

Free Play Bonuses

Source: Pixabay

The final common type of online casino bonus is what is known as free play bonuses. These are bonuses which do not offer any form of cash or credit, but rather a number of free games on the casino’s dime. The most popular version of this kind of bonus is known as “free spins”, which is when players are offered free spins on a variety of slot machines, with any winnings being theirs to keep. 

The amount offered can be pretty generous and there are relatively few strings attached. In exchange for simply setting up a free account, a casino will often offer hundreds of free spins on slot machines of your choosing, often throwing in a few free rounds of other popular casino games at the same time. Even if you win the slot jackpot from a free spin, every penny of that jackpot is usually yours to enjoy.

Free play bonuses aren’t just limited to the slot machines; many popular casinos offer free rounds of blackjack, poker, roulette, and more in exchange for either a deposit or absolutely nothing. It’s a good way for newcomers to get a feel for a certain casino and decide whether or not they like it enough to stick with it. Naturally, the casino hopes that you will. 

Now that you know what you need to know about bonuses, it’s time to take advantage of them. 

Cyanide and Happiness: Freakpocalypse Nintendo Switch review: this one’s for the fans

Point-and-click games just don’t come along as often as they used to. I still remember the golden era of LucasArts games, where you could literally pick from a handful of adventures that tested your mettle, and maybe a little bit of your funny bone.

Fortunately, the developers of Cyanide and Happiness: Freakpocalypse remembers these days, and have fashioned their game to play out with a bit of point-and-click goodness, while also retaining the rude, hilarious humor that we’ve come to expect from the out-of-control comics. The end result is a game that’s a bit on the short-but-sweet side, one that’s more notable about the journey than the destination. But if you’re a fan of Cyanide and Happiness, that’s sure to be your speed.

In the game, you portray a bullied kid that simply wants to make something of himself before he graduates as a nobody. The game follows his misadventures over the course of the day, where things get a little too out of control for their own good. Fortunately, the writing never strays too far from the weirdness we’ve come to expect from Cyanide, so we’re in good hands.

Keep in mind that Freakpocalypse is the start of a trilogy, so you won’t quite get the full tale here. In fact, you’ll probably just experience about five to seven hours of gameplay depending on your choices, which is a bit tight considering the game’s $20 price tag. But there’s lots of moments that make the trip worthwhile, along with gameplay that’s relatively easy to get into.

Now, let me just give you a heads up. If you’re unfamiliar with Cyanide and Happiness, this might not be the game for you. That’s because it revels in rudeness. Like, the main star, Cooper, goes through the type of humiliation that would infuriate us in real life to no end. To the point of maybe punching someone. But that’s the attitude that the series has always gone with, so if you’re familiar with its approach, you won’t mind it so much.

That said, the humor that’s on display in Freakpocalypse isn’t bad. There’s a lot of good jokes here, even if you might wince at one or two of them, and they all tie in rather well with the story, leaving you eager to see what the next adventure in the saga may add.

The gameplay itself isn’t really that challenging, as you can solve some of the game’s puzzles with ease and get around without much effort. But the focus here is on the story and the characters, as crude as everything is, which explains why it’s more for the fans. But the devs did a great job nailing down the format.

What really shines in this Cyanide and Happiness game, however, is the presentation. The visuals are exceptionally well done, coming across like an animated show based on the cartoon, right down to the stiff character movements and some interestingly designed scenarios. What’s more, the voice work is excellent; and the sound effects really fit the bill in terms of Freakpocalypse’s tone. Just don’t expect this pill to be swallowed so easily. It is Cyanide and Happiness, after all.

Really, you’ll get more mileage out of the game if you’re a fan of the series. Freakpocalypse makes it clear from the start that it’s not for everyone, and some may not even see it through to its end depending on how much you can stomach. But the development team stayed loyal to the comic’s material, and there are some good moments – and laughs – to take in here if you can weather the storm. Plus, honestly, we have to support point-and-click games as much as we can if we want to see them make a comeback. Even if we have to put up with a Freakpocalypse to get there.

RATING: 7.5/10