Episode 189 of The Mommy Gamers podcast presents to you something different for 2019. A monthly podcast with Marcia and Mike Robles.
Any horror fan will tell you that there are very few great survival horror games out there. Indie development has over saturated the market with cheap imitations and games rely on nothing but jump scares and tired tactics.
It’s often said, “If you want something done right, you have got to do it yourself.” I think that after seeing so many copycats and subpar products, that Frictional Games said “NO MORE!” and decided to remaster what is hailed as classic horror – Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
Now I will come right out and admit that I never played any of the Amnesia games. Mainly because I have never really PC gamed and when I finally bought a beefy machine back in 2007, I bought a Mac for video editing. So games were sparse. I have, however, heard of Amnesia games and know that it’s favored amongst many horror fans for its gameplay. While it didn’t invent the survival horror genre, it did some things that made these games stand out and deliver some truly terrifying experiences.
Almost 10 years later Xbox One users finally can play the Amnesia: The Dark Descent, it’s DLC – Justine, and the sequel, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. After hearing so much about these games I was excited to finally give them a try and wooooooooo was I not ready for this.
I’m not going to focus much on the stories of the games because they are all little strange and each game can offer multiple endings depending on the players’ actions. What I am going to focus on is the gameplay as well as how the looks and feels on the Xbox One.
The nice thing about the Amnesia games is that they aren’t all connected. So you have the option to play whichever game you’d like. In each game, players take on the role of a protagonist with (surprise) Amnesia. From there they must solve puzzles and avoid monsters to keep their sanity while also trying to piece together parts of their own story. Unlike other survival horror games, these games are built on puzzle solving and running away. A unique aspect is that fact that player characters slowly start to lose their minds by entering dark places or looking at monsters. It is such a well-done game mechanic that at times I was left with a feeling of unease.
The controls are decent. For being such an old game (and previously ported to the PS4) the controls hold up. There are a few times when the controls get a little clunky but not everything can be perfect. While the game does all it can to update the visuals, they still aren’t quite up to the level that you would come to expect on an Xbox One (or Xbox One X) console.
When it comes down to it, the Amnesia: Collection is an absolute must-have for any horror fans. You’re getting some amazing games at one hell of a price. The games aren’t tremendously long and you can see where more recent games gained their inspiration from.
Lose your mind and dive deep into the world of Amnesia. You’ll be glad you did.
The author was provided a code for review purposes.
Overcooked 2, a much anticipated sequel to Overcooked released this month getting players off the couch and online for some epic co-op cooking challenges. In Overcooked 2 players return to the Onion Kingdom with all new dynamic kitchen locations, new recipes, and punishingly difficult obstacles. Overcooked 2claims “to become an instant classic, bringing family and friends together” but I feel like it could also tear apart some strong friendships. To test this theory I recruited a crew of Twitch streamers for a co-op game, and then asked their thoughts.
Here is what our co-op crew had to say after playing:
(Clicking on their names will take you to their Twitch pages if you’d like to check out their awesome streams)
Overcooked is a franchise that I am unfamiliar with, so I was excited to get a chance to play with Marcia of The Mommy Gamers and friends. This was jokingly referred to as a game that will “ruin friendships” and on the surface it might appear that way. The chaotic gameplay left us more than a few times on the losing side of a challenge as we struggled to serve up meals, wash dishes, and save food and the kitchen from random fires.
I found, however, that the longer we played together the more naturally we all fell into a rhythm and selected roles that best complemented our play style and personalities. Someone would just ease into washing dishes and setting out clean plates while another would toss fresh ingredients from one station to the next. In the next match, however, the roles would organically shift and change, with new players assuming different roles. The grunts and groans of frustration quickly became replaced with joking banter and howls of surprise as one disaster after another befell us, only to erupt into cheers and congratulatory laughter when we finally cracked through and managed to overcome the challenges presented.
Is Overcooked 2 perfect? Well, no game ever is. There were some minor collision detection and control issues from time to time, which would occasionally result in a missed throw or step. The difficulty is pretty steep from the start which could be frustrating to new players to the franchise. The fun I had, however, far overshadowed these “flaws”.
In an era of gaming where multiplayer gaming seems to have encouraged solo players to “Rambo” their way past their team to victory, Overcooked 2 has encouraged cooperative play and given each player a reason and a solid opportunity to shine and be the MVP for the team. I would like to thank Team 17 and Ghost Town Games for this delightful creation and also Marcia and The Mommy Gamers family for inviting me to partake in the fun!
I was not familiar with the Overcooked franchise going into this. Marcia, put a call out on Facebook looking for people to play with her, and I answered it.
DO NOT go into this game thinking that you are going to be a silent player. There is NO WAY to progress beyond the first 3 levels without talking to your teammates. Sure, people told me this was the friendship ending, the relationship killer, the game that will destroy whatever bonds you have with the people playing it. Clear concise communication (look at that alliteration) is an absolute must in this game. After getting past some funnier moments and digging into it, I enjoyed playing with Marcia, Link and Mike. In fact we started to gel as we found roles we were comfortable in.
Okay, being honest, when Link couldn’t connect to discord, to talk with the rest of us, I got annoyed. Because having a clear line of communication is paramount. But as was mentioned, we fell into our roles, and starting having a blast doing those roles. I was the food thrower, and I was finding out that I could throw food across a room and into the pot or pan it needed to cook in.
I did play beyond our group, with my wife, and we had a fantastic time. I think it was Mike that stated that 3 is the sweet spot in terms of players in the game at once, and I agree with him. Having all four of us play was fun as hell, but when it was just my wife and I, we felt a little more stressed for time, and what we could accomplish in each of the levels. Dividing all of the tasks between the two of us tended to stress us out a bit more. Though we had a lot of fun playing it.
There are some minor control issues, and hit detection bugs, but it doesn’t take away from the fun. It actually makes the game feel more frenzied and challenging. It’s almost like they are put in there as another minor obstacle to overcome, and they don’t take away from the game. Overcooked 2 is definitely worth the price of admission!
“I will never play on Marcia’s team again.” – TheMikeRobles
As someone who had played the original Overcooked I kind of knew what I was getting into. However, I didn’t have anyone to couch co-op the original with so I was wildly unprepared in the teamwork aspect. As everyone else (except Mike who just decided to make himself a quote) stated, communication is totally key in this game. Regardless of how well we team-worked we were still challenged on every level we played. But it was a fun challenge, pushing us to do better with each try in an attempt to get three stars.
I very much look forward to playing more Overcooked 2, and we are all still friends after our first attempt. I definitely recommend this as a fun game to stream on Twitch or Mixer. It also seems like it would be a fun party game because it’s amusing to spectate as well.
*This article includes affiliate links. Using our links to buy stuff on Amazon helps The Mommy Gamers keep doing what we are doing.
**Each reviewer was given a copy of Overcooked 2 for review purposes. But our opinions are our own. We absolutely enjoyed this game a lot!
Get it out of your system… go ahead. I’ll wait. Feel better? Good because I want to talk about DANGER ZONE!
… seriously? You couldn’t give me one full line before jumping in and ruining a perfectly good DANGER ZONE!
OH COME ON!
Three Fields Entertainment is an independent game studio that put out some amazing games I never played. Which, after playing a TON of Danger Zone 2, makes me incredibly sad that I missed out on a ton of awesome. From what I can gather, it looks like Danger Zone 2 addresses a lot of the concerns the original Danger Zone had. Since I never played it, this game seems pretty flawless to me.
Danger Zone 2 takes everything that was great about the old Burnout games, wait. Maybe not EVERYTHING. It takes what we all loved about the old Burnout games… crashing. We remember all sitting around and just crashing over and over again trying to get the high score.
Thanks to Danger Zone 2 you can now relive those glory days in gorgeous clarity. If you have an Xbox One X or PlayStation 4 Pro the game runs at 4K but only 30fps. But to be honest I couldn’t tell much of a difference playing on my first generation Xbox One and my Xbox One X. The game ran incredibly smooth on both machines.
There’s no real story to Danger Zone 2. You drive (real fast). You crash. You score points. That’s it. If I’m being 100% honest, I’m fine with that. I don’t have to spend a ton of time reading some long story or watching cutscenes explaining some long drawn-out story as to why you have to drive and crash into things causing so much damage and destruction. Maybe you’re the ghost of someone that was killed by this mayor of this city and as your revenge you take over the souls of these cars and cause as much financial ruin to the city as possible. Maybe all of this is happening in the mind of a small child and you’re just playing out the wild, imaginative desires of a destructive kid. Or maybe… just maybe… you’re crashing a car because it’s fun.
The game offers 29 tracks (training tracks included) and a variety of cars to drive. You can use a massive big rig that can send cars flying into cars. There’s an F1 racers that zips down the track at INSANE speeds.
What makes Danger Zone 2 so unique is how the game puts you in high-speed situations, only to slow everything down during the crashes. It is such a welcome 180 turn in speed and the game allows you to watch all the wreckage in glorious slow motion.
Leaderboards are automatically updated as you complete each track so you can see how you stack up against the rest of the world, or just your friends. The downside to this is that it shows how many attempts you made. So you might have finally beaten your friends score, but the game will them just how long you spent trying to do so.
Danger Zone 2 is a great time waster. Turn on. Tune Out. Crash Cars. Repeat. At only $20 you will get more than your value worth as you replay level after level gunning for that high score. I know that every free moment I had this past weekend, it was spent trying to crash my heart out.
The author was given a retail copy for review purposDANGER ZONE!!
In the long line of Nintendo Indie games (adorably named “Nindies”) there are a few really standout games that have been coming out. One such game, Pode, is that about a Star who has fallen out of the sky, and just wants to go back home.
Our little hero, Glo, has crashed landed and met up with a rock named Bulder. Together the two make quite the pair as they solve puzzles, and embark on a (sometimes emotional) journey.
Pode is, at it’s core, a co-op game. While the game can be played in a single player mode, Pode really benefits from having a partner to play with. Glo and Bulder each have their own characteristics that make Pode unique. Since Glo is a star, they can glide across water no problem where as Bulder, the rock, will sink to the bottom. This is part of what makes Pode so unique as players will enjoy figuring out the right character to use in the right situation.
What makes Pode stand out is it’s unique presentation. It’s hard to describe without sounding contradictory. Dark, yet colorful. Dim, yet bright. Glo can use their light to shine areas and make the plant life grow. There are some wonderfully animated cutscenes that show the relationship between Glo and Bulder and it’s just.. it’s just the most precious.
Pode is a real treat for anyone with a Switch and a friend. I mean… having a friend is a treat anyway. But having a friend you can play Pode with, is the best treat.
The author was given a retail code for Pode for review purposes