PS4 Trophies 12/34
PS4 Trophies 12/34
Play Time 26h 47m
Dungeon Floors Cleared 117
Item Space 90
Character Stats Health, Water, Defense
Toan 170 Max 45
Osmond 140 4 51
Ungaga 160 4 50
Ruby 140 Max 36
Goro 170 6 41
Xiao 60 5 42
Yooka Laylee may not be a big series yet but you’re always guaranteed to have a good time with the sound effects in each title. At this point it’s just hard to forget them even if the sounds are really just nonsense that’s repeated a lot. It shows what good sound direction can really go for you right? The game is pretty fun and also has a cool concept with the whole lair aspect.
Basically, Chief B is back once more to reign terror on everyone who opposes him. He has defeated the Bee squadron and taken over the whole kingdom. The queen is forced to call in Yooka & Laylee to take this guy down. Everyone knows where his lair is so the heroes can attack right away bus his fortress is guarded extremely well. The queen feels it would be best if we go and find the royal guard members first. There are 48 bee members in the game so you can have a maximum shield of 48 hits. Each bee you save is another hit you can endure so you can see how these guys would be really handy.
The gameplay is that of a 2D platformer. You can use a sort of spin dash to barrel into enemies and also to cross some of the larger chasms. You can spin attack enemies if they get too close or to stay in the air for an extra second. Due to this, you have a whole lot of aerial mobility which is always good. Each level has 5 golden coins which are also helpful since they’re how you take down the various paywalls scattered across the world which hide extra bees and levels behind them. Make sure you grab a lot since you will want to have at least 100/200 of the coins in the game. This will ensure you can max out your shield.
As I mentioned, part of the fun is that you can try to tackle the level without any shields but I can safely say that this is incredibly difficult. The odds of pulling it off are really not in your favor. Even the best of players will not breeze through it, but of course you will get a lot of satisfaction for pulling it off. Surprisingly there is no trophy for doing this so even the developers may have felt that it was too steep a challenge. The level itself is over 20 minutes so it would certainly be rough to lose near the end since there are no checkpoints either.
I did give it a shot but without bees the best I would make it was around 5% into the level. Now that I’ve cleared the game I’m confident I could probably bump that up to at least 10% but beating all of it still does sound pretty impossible. The game throws every kind of obstacle and challenge at you so you’d need to play basically perfect to pull it off. It would truly be one of the most impressive showings that I have ever seen. Number 1 would probably be some kind of speed run but I’m not really sure which one I would choose for that title.
There’s a good amount of content here. The game will certainly last you over 10 hours. There are 20 main levels in the game plus the lair. Each level has a second level you can play by reversing it so effectively there are 40 levels. When you’re not having fun in the stages you can also investigate the hub world to find special items, and extra bees. It’s a very immersive hub world where you are actively reshaping the levels and changing things so that’s pretty cool.
Now, I do think the game is a little too intentionally harsh on finding the items scattered around. There are 69 potions in the game and they can be anywhere on the hub world. By anywhere, I mean you can find some by randomly ground pounding during the level. I think this is a bit much because it takes forever to do that so without a walkthrough or something, you’re probably not going to be able to get all of them. Not unless you want to waste a few hours trying every spot you can think of.
I also wasn’t a huge of how you have to grab so many coins to make it through the paywalls. Mandatory collectibles are still something I’ve never been a fan of. I feel like it defeats the entire purpose of a collectible if you have to locate it no matter what instead of just being able to relax and enjoy the level. You’ll see what a big difference it is to be able to just blast through a level once you have enough coins to clear the game. They finish so much quicker since you don’t have to check out every passageway.
As for the graphics, I would say they look very good here. The character models are solid with the levels being nice and bright. It all pops out at you well enough. I can’t say I particularly remember any of the tracks though so I wouldn’t call them very impressive. They do the job but that’s about it. In general that’s why I would say this is a fairly standard platformer. It’s fun and will last you for a while but there’s probably nothing here that you are really going to take home with you. At the end of the day you’ll just move onto the next adventure.
Overall, The Impossible Lair is a fun platformer that has some good ideas. I really like the idea of being able to challenge the Lair whenever you want. Additionally, the gameplay is solid and the hub world being so interactive was cool. Pro-tip, when using your spin dash you can float on the air for a second which is really helpful for many jumps. It’s basically mandatory in the lair. On the minus side, the forced collectibles certainly got old and the game is practically cheating with how it hides the potions. All in all the game certainly has ways to improve but it will hold your attention. Also make sure you stick around for the stinger leading up to the next game. After playing this you can tell that we absolutely need a third game to complete the trilogy.
Play Time 10h 25m
PS4 Trophies 39/47
King Bees 1/7
S Coins 101/200
Thumper is one of the last of the big Playstation games that I wrapped up. I have to say that it was one of the more enjoyable ones. It also has a high difficulty level so don’t expect to breeze through it. That being said, with infinite lives and constant checkpoints, you can certainly get through it with enough persistence.
This is really everything that I imagine a future F Zero game would be like. Really this is exactly what they should be thinking about long term. There isn’t much of a plot as the game is very interpretive but it seems like a very powerful alien creature is after you so you have to use your car to bounce back the shockwaves and defeat this monster. Rinse and repeat for each level. This is clearly far in the future so perhaps you are humanity’s last hope.
One thing that you will notice pretty much immediately is how stunning the graphics are. This game is a cut above the average racing game and that’s actually quite impressive. The whole game takes place in space so the levels look like something out of Crazy Gadget. The visuals are always moving and if anything it can be difficult to keep up with your eyes because of how fast the stage moves. The game is part rhythm based so you have to move your car in tune with the music. It’s sort of like a non physical version of DDR at times.
Hitting the right corners at the right times triggers a beat which you can subtly use to keep up the flow of your moves. There are 4 main moves, turning sideways, Jumping, Accelerating, and then a ground pound. Use these as you progress through the levels. The game will teach you how to perform each move as you go through the levels normally. Each chapter has around 20-40 levels in it. No worries, this is where the infinite lives come into play because otherwise it would be really difficult to conquer all of this without a game over.
The first few chapters aren’t so bad but the game does get more difficult after that. It’s the kind of game that feels really challenging even as you’re conquering it so that part is definitely pretty fun. It also just feels like a lot of thought went into the game. The gameplay is smooth and the length is pretty decent considering that the game is free right now. It’s definitely worth picking up before that deal goes away.
As for the soundtrack, it’s not very memorable but it does have that classic sci-fi feeling. It works really well within the levels as you work to get to the next stage. The whole game meshes well with that atmosphere. Beyond that, there isn’t a whole lot to talk about with the game since it is a very straight forward racing game. Either you enjoy blasting through the levels and dodging the obstacles or you don’t.
If anything this could even help you practice your timing if you are a musician. After all, timing is crucial to playing any instrument and this game is built entirely around that concept. So it’s a game that can definitely help to improve your skills while you also have a blast. In that way you’re cooking two skills with one bill. Not a bad deal if I do say so myself.
It would be fun to be able to race other cars in the story but taking on these giant bosses is certainly a blast as well. They come at you relentlessly and you’ll likely lose quite a few lives on your first encounters. It also took me a minute to realize that to damage them you have to properly go through each boost point. For a while there I was ignoring them and just accelerating as much as possible. This is one of those times where accelerating isn’t necessarily the right approach to take.
Overall, Thumper is a really fun game. It’s a nice futuristic look at a car game and F-Zero should take some notes. I’m always up for some virtual driving so when you throw in some lore and boss fights I’m definitely all in. It’d be cool if they could make a sequel to this one with a heavier emphasis on the story at some point. I’d definitely be excited to give it a whirl since there is certainly a lot you can do with this one. If you haven’t played it yet then I would definitely recommend checking it out.
PS4 Trophies 5/20
Analyzation Shot Down Support Items
Level 1 100% 98% 88%
Level 2 100% 89% 56%
Level 3 100% 97% 87%
Level 4 100% 98% 46%
Level 5 100% 86% 60%
Time to check out another one of the PS Home free titles. Subnautica is a survival game and I haven’t played a whole lot of those. Unfortunately…that’s probably for good reason. Now, you can absolutely churn out some great titles for this genre, but this was not one of them. I think there is an ambitious game to be found here but it does leave you to your own devices a lot and it is maybe trying to be a little too realistic. More on that in a minute.
Your spaceship has crashed and now you are stuck in an escape pod. You are able to bust out but the main ship is infected with radiation so going there isn’t exactly an option. Additionally, you don’t have a lot of equipment. If you don’t rustle up some food and water soon then you will eventually die. Can you manage to survive in such a remote ocean or is it game over for you? There isn’t much of a plot beyond that but you’re not supposed to be playing the game for the story to be honest.
The gameplay is pretty smooth so that’s good. I was able to make a knife and a power up that let me swim faster so that was a good way to kick things off. I felt like I would do anything as I scooped up a bunch of mushrooms and equipment. The problem is that soon after I ran out of item space and couldn’t figure out how to clear my inventory. I put as much as I could in storage but even that filled up so then I was sunk. I needed to try and make some things to fix up a radiation suit or to at least fix my tech but I couldn’t find the elusive ingredients.
One thing is due to how large the game is, it can be very hard to find a specific item. It’s like digging for a needle in a haystack as they say. Along the way you can also meet a lot of fish and even some monsters. Watch out as some of the monsters can blast you out of existence with their spores or just eat you straight up. I wanted to see how far the ocean would stretch out so I made it a great distance before being eaten. I’m sure there is a limit to how far away you can go but it would take a while to get there.
The farther you go the more dangerous the Ocean gets as well which makes a lot of sense. That’s exactly how you would expect it to be right? Meanwhile you can’t go underwater for very long as you will drown so keep that in mind as well. In a way you have 4 different health meters now as you have to watch out for radiation, hunger, oxygen, and water. Fail to keep one of those meters up and you’ll die. As I mentioned the game goes very in depth. I could have done without some of that though like food which is probably the most annoying one. Dying of hunger’s kind of sad but at the same time I won’t want to waste item space on getting a lot of fruits or fish.
You’ll need to do it anyway but still, I think that’s where the game is getting a little too realistic. I’d be good with just hanging out in the ocean. The graphics are definitely really good though. The game’s visuals are sharp like the waves and the backdrops. It’s part of why you can be okay just swimming around for an hour or two. The soundtrack is pretty much nonexistent though so don’t expect to hear any big tunes like that. This isn’t exactly that kind of game after all.
Ultimately what keeps the game from going higher is that it’s just not a whole lot of fun outside of short spurts for me. It’s not really a very active game where you are doing a lot of things. You do have to plan things out and someone like Senku from Dr. Stone would probably appreciate the attention to detail. Outside of a scientific basis though, I wouldn’t be likely to go back to this game without some kind of extra story being added in or some cutscenes. Now that would be a lot of fun.
Overall, Subnautica is a game where you can tell they did put a lot of work into it. It didn’t quite click with me but if you’re really into the genre I can see how it could potentially work. The level is certainly huge so you can spend a lot of time in the game. The loading time may be a little long to start the game but considering how much has to be generated I can see why that is the case. It basically saves at any time as well so that’s cool. There are also some automatic events that play out the longer you play so that’s pretty neat. It’s free so you may as well give it a shot.
How to Train Your Dragon was always a series with a pretty unique concept of being able to train some dragons as allies. I don’t know a whole lot about the series beyond that but it must be doing something right to have had 3 films as well as a TV show and multiple video games. This game is actually more fun than I thought it would be. Not saying it’s suddenly an 8 star game or anything but the combat is really on point and so are the various mechanics when navigating the hub world.
The basic plot of the game is that you grow up on an island where people raise their Dragons to fight in tournaments like Pokemon. The first tournament is filled with 1 on 1 battles, the next 2 on 2, etc. Tournament 5 is the ultimate championships but it caps off at 4 on 4 battles so you don’t need to worry about getting a 5th one. The game follows a pretty steady formula where you complete one tournament, then do a few side quests. Complete another tournament, more side quests, etc. It’s a fairly short title as I completed it in under 4 hours. There is actually a solid amount of replay value to consider though.
After beating the game you can still work on clearing all of the side quests, maxing out your four main dragons, and getting the Platinum trophy. I don’t think any of this will take you very long to achieve but it does give you more to strive for. The core gameplay is solid so that helps with making you want to play it a little longer. It’s a well crafted game even if it’s on a fairly low budget.
So the gameplay is that of a 2D brawler. You control the dragon and have to knock out the opponent’s health. Pretty simple enough eh? The game has some good depth there though as you have your standard attack, power moves, projectile blasts, dodging, blocking, and jumping. You have a lot of attack options throughout and it helps to make the fights more interesting. There are things you can do before the fights to help get your dragon ready too. Feeding them allows for their health bars to be a little bigger and you can complete tutorials in the cave to muster up some new combos. The combos can be quite handy for sure like one 8 hit combo that leaves the other dragon stunned so you can follow up. These tutorials give your dragon EXP and there are also minigames you can play for exp as well. The minigames is the fastest way to do this.
When you’re not battling you are walking across the village and either helping the villagers by giving them ingredients or finding things for the chief. These little intermissions are fun enough although they’re very short. I was pretty cool with the tasks because even if they don’t really add anything to the game, at least they are short enough where they don’t really hurt it either. The last thing you want to do is add this free roam part but at the expense of making the game less fun to play after all.
There is virtually no story in the game though. You get a few quick cutscenes here and there but if we’re being honest it’s never anything important. Just the characters talking about the next tournament or planning ways to cheat in it. You can tell that the developers were focusing completely on the gameplay. You almost could have just made this a pure arcade mode type game and I should note that there is an arcade mode here. Now the game does have one real weakness though which becomes a bit apparent by the very end of the game. So it’s not something that ended up hurting but if this game were longer then it may have become a real concern.
It can be a bit repetitive. The gameplay is fun like I said but the more dragons they force you to compete against, the more nonstop fights you are looking at. Take the final tournament for example. You have to defeat 5 opponents, who each have 4 dragons. That’s 20 back to back to back battles. Each match is like a normal Street Fighter round so that’s effectively clearing 3 arcade modes in one tournament. Then you have 5 tournaments to consider. The first ones are shorter of course but be that as it may, it’s still a whole lot of battles that you have to go up against. I think the game didn’t need to make you go through so many battles at once.
The game is rather short as it is though so maybe the developers were worried about it being under 3 hours otherwise. So that’s my only real complaint here. The graphics are solid. They may not be Sonic 2006 level or anything like that but the graphics during combat were good so I’m satisfied. The soundtrack is quite generic though. I definitely wouldn’t say that it was anything particularly impressive. More like elevator music where you hear it while you’re on the ride but forget it immediately afterwards.
Overall, How to Train Your Dragon is a good game. It’s a very short one to be sure but the developers did make sure that the experience you had was fun. It’s the little things sometimes like being able to just run around the village at top speeds or being able to train conveniently. Everything in the game feels quick and easy. The gameplay is also quite strong as I mentioned earlier. When you put all of that into perspective then this is a tie-in game I can recommend. Particularly if you are able to get this game for under $10. At that point the short length won’t bother you so much. So if you enjoyed the movie or just like the idea of a Pokemon style game where you have dragons face off against each other in real time then this will definitely be up your alley.