Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy – Review

My Rating: 9/10
Release Date: 30 June, 2017
Price: 39.99 (varies by location)
ESRB Rating: E (Everybody)
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Official Website: https://www.crashbandicoot.com/
Genres: Platform
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Modes: Single-Player
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Description: 
Your favorite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot®, is back and he’s enhanced, entranced & ready-to-dance! Now you can experience Crash Bandicoot like never before in fully-remastered HD graphical glory. Take on the epic challenges and adventures of the three games that started it all, Crash Bandicoot®, Crash Bandicoot® 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot®: Warped.

Crash Bandicoot
Dr. Neo Cortex has a plan to take over the world, and he wants to create genetically engineered animals to do his bidding. To create his minions, Cortex kidnaps as many animals as he can; Crash Bandicoot’s girlfriend just happens to be one of his victims. Take control of Crash as he runs, jumps, and spins through 30 levels of intense action on three different Australian islands. Only you can help Crash save the animals, save his girlfriend, and foil Dr. Cortex’s plot.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
The evil Dr. Neo Cortex is back…out this time to save the world? And he’s asking for help from his arch nemesis, Crash Bandicoot? Is this just a conniving plan to lure Crash into Cortex’s next dastardly experiment? Can Crash win again or will he join Cortex’s mindless zoo? Bigger free-roaming 3-D environments, all-new animations and a whole host of colorful characters – watch as our hero Crash, ice-skates, rodeo-rides a polar bear and jet-packs through zero-gravity in the continuing adventures of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back – This time he ain’t joking!

Crash Bandicoot Warped
Oh yeah…he’s back…AND he’s ready! It’s a Whole New Time-Traveling Adventure! All new-style gameplay action – scuba dive, ride a motorcycle, a baby T-Rex, and go free-roaming airborne in a plane! Play as Coco! Gallop along the Great Wall of China on a tiger, go extreme on a jet-ski and other high-flying surprises! Prove your skills with the new Super-charge Body Slam, Super Slide, Double Jump, Death-Tornado Spin and a Laser-Guided Bazooka. All new enemies include a new Big Boss, Uka Uka, N. Tropy, a menacing Dingodile and of course, the return of some favorites like N. Gin and Tiny. More Action. More Fun. More Puzzles and Secret Levels. And you didn’t think it could get any better!
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Pros:
1. All 3 games for 1 low price making it an affordable investment.
2. Family-Friendly game play that everyone can enjoy. Even my 2.5 year old figured out the controls and enjoys running around!
3. The nostalgia of playing through the levels again from 1996-1998 is real. I found myself remembering hidden passages and mechanics from my childhood.
4. While they remastered old levels it still feels new with some great enhancements to game play. You won’t feel like you can just sail through on your memory alone!
5. Includes the never before released, originally unfinished, Stormy Ascension Level in the original Crash Game.
6. The first ever new level (in 20 years!) the Future Tense Level is also included.

Cons: 
1. Gameplay can be monotonous if you aren’t driven by childhood nostalgia like I was.
2. The game is definitely more difficult than it used to be. They updated the controls which require a lot more finesse than it did 20 years ago. This is especially true in the first game and can be a point of great frustration if you aren’t looking to grind into a game about a cartoon bandicoot

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Black Desert Online – Review

Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online

By: #MCGYaBoiBoots

My Rating:
8/10
Release Date: March 4 2019
Price: $30-$99
ESRB Rating: NR
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Official Website: https://www.blackdesertonline.com/
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Modes: Massive Multiplayer Online RPG

Description: “The Beginning of a Journey/Jordine and the Secret Guards”

“Goma Naru is central city of Trading. Back when ships from Valencia would anchor in Naru, children would greet the merchants and fireworks would light the skies. Goma Naru was a thriving city of sailors and merchants and mercenaries. Little did they know what had just arrived into the harbor.

Could any of these people know about the Elision Stone? It is the mythical stone of the ancient civilization, which had long been hidden due to the dark power, but uncovered by a cult and brought to Goma Naru by ship.

A mysterious black shadowy smoke rose up over the horizon and headed straight for that merchants ship. The Elision Stone exploded in a cataclysmic event, destroying all of the city and everyone in it, wiping it from the face of the world.

In the end there was no one left and that day was long forgotten.”

Pros:

1: A very extensive player system. Crafting, gathering, Hunting. There is always something to do.

2: Every character brings a new angle to the fight – leaving room for the game to be played in different ways on each playthrough.

3. “An open world to explore” – which means very few loading screens. This leads to very little downtime while waiting to load and continue your adventures.

4. Graphics are amazing and very appealing. Makes you want to go and explore, and see what the world truly has to offer.

6.The market system is so immense that there’s always something for everybody at cheap prices.

Cons:

1. It’s another sandbox MMO. Not as point-and-click as most – but it’s still there.

2. The learning curve is drastic when trying to figure things out as a new player.

3. Monsters no longer drop silver when grinding making it harder to maintain a steady money flow. However, aggressive mobs will drop bars.

4. There is a lack of PVE content for players, leaving those that love a story line in the dark.

5. There are no dungeon crawls – making money and grinding the only way to get better gear.

Notes:

Overall, I have enjoyed Black Desert online. The immense and colorful world has made it nearly impossible to put my controller down. I’m still “learning as I go” but the community is actually very helpful when you ask questions.

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APEX – Review

Apex Logo

Apex Legends

My Rating:
7.5/10
Release Date: 4 February 2019
Price: Free
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Official Website: https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends
Genres: first-person shooter, Battle royale
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Modes: Multiplayer

Description:
“A WORLD WHERE ANYTHING GOES
The Frontier War is over. After hundreds of years of conflict between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and the Militia founded to fight them, the far-off region of space known as the Frontier can finally know peace.

But liberation can come at a cost: when the IMC and the Militia departed, they took everything of value and left the Frontier worlds in disarray. With no way to support themselves, the people of the Frontier had no choice but to leave their homes. The brave relocated to the Outlands.

A remote cluster of planets on the fringes of the Frontier, the Outlands are untouched by war and teeming with resources and opportunity. But life is cheap here, and danger lurks around every corner. Its pioneers, explorers, and outlaws used to spend their lives locked in an endless power struggle – now, they settle their differences in the Apex Games, a bloodsport where Legends from all corners of the Frontier compete for money, fame, and glory.”

Pros:

1: ‘Reviving’ in this title are two fold. ‘Reviving while down’ gets your teammates quickly back into the fight. BUT – if you cannot get to them right away – due to dodging bullets and dropping bodies – then you can grab their badge, high tail it to a ‘revive point’, and get them on the next dropship back into the fight.

2: Having role based classes, every character brings a new angle to the fight.

Cons:
1: Yet another battle royal game thrown into the mix of an over-saturated market.
2: Currently has no solo or duo modes
3: Weapons leave a lot to be desired. It requires a lot of ammo to kill a person.
4: The armor system is, also, lacking. Example: you can have a full set of purple and you can still get killed by a person that has all white armor and sometimes no armor on.
5: You can’t run and heal. You have to walk. If you start to run while healing it cancels the healing process. Takes way too long to heal.

Notes:

Overall, I have enjoyed Apex. It is a refreshing addition to the battle royal genre. If you play with a group of friends, getting ‘wins’ is fairly easy. However, playing with a group of random players will be a bit of a rough time. Hours of good fun are to be had with Apex.

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