My Time at Portia launches on the 16th April and is available to pre-order now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo SwitchTM.
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!
I’ve been a fan of the Call of Duty franchise since Modern Warfare, possibly World at War. All I remember is coming home from work, grabbing my baby and laying back on the couch to “relax”, because shooting people in the face in video games was therapeutic. I guess I could say that even now that is still is if everyone has fun.
In all honesty, I’ve lost interest in the franchise and don’t find it as entertaining, but slowly hope that the series will keep growing and go back to those roots. Now I have picked up World War II, but don’t play it as much as the other games, simply because the jumping mechanics that were there previously were too much. They were fun for a while, but just too futuristic in a franchise. Especially when you’re so used to something and have the tables change. You with me?
While it was fun to play on maps, it was more fun and a little entertaining for a minute to play on revitalized maps that look like their predecessor. “I used to camp there, I would snipe here. There was a guy here and I sent a rocket launcher down that way and he got so mad”. Yeah, those memories.
But there was a time when that re-envisioning of maps became too much. Why would I want to pay $50 on map packs and two of the four maps undergo plastic surgery? HA! Have you also noticed that Call of Duty has stepped away from this for some time? This could be the different developers taking over and having control of the content, but does it help sales?
It’s hard for me to compare a game like Modern Warfare or Ghosts and compare it to Black Ops, because they are all from various developers, so contrasting them would be wrong. But, the three installments of Black Ops have been exactly what gamers have wanted for some time. There was a story, there were plot twists, intrigue, and death. There were also epic zombies and genius maps that would send me into a frenzy.
Zombies! Need I say more? This mode is for sure coming back and we sure in the hell can’t wait for this episode series to come back with pieces of a story and multiple waves for us to defeat all of the zombies.
What we do know about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is that it will not be releasing in November like it has for the last decade, instead it will be releasing October 12th for those of you that are insanely curious. It is also the most popular subseries in the franchise, so we could guess that the fandom wants to see this much sooner than the early November launch.
Sadly, this game could not be on the Xbox 360 and PS3 due to the size and scale of this game. Have not upgraded your console yet? You have a few short months to do so. We have heard that BLOPS4 for finger safety sake will be launching on the PS4, Xbox One, PC and the Switch. Yeah, get excited, because the Switch is new to me and have yet to hear about a Call of Duty game to hit that console.
Of course, I have completely stepped away from the franchise for some time. Who knows, maybe it’s there. I can also confirm that the company that ports games that is familiar with the CoD titles will be porting this one to the Switch and allowing it to be HD rumble and motion control friendly. Lastly, there will be a Battle.net platform for the game which host games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch, and Diablo.
We do know that there will be specialists that have finishing moves. There will be the customization that we all love and want in any game to make it feel like we have some control, and the animations have had a little bit of an update to make them look more clear and crisp.
There are updates that will roll around as the game progresses in time, like the previous installments. There will be new maps, random events that will take place and it also sounds like that mission board that we see in WWII will be coming back and will be renamed. This sounds like it is going to be “callings”. That’s original.
Along with multiplayer and zombies, we won’t have a campaign, if any at all from the sounds of it. But it does sound like there is a battle royale? Is everyone jumping the PUBG or Fortnite train, or is it just me? It sounds like this mode will be called Blackout.
Overall, does Black Ops 4 sound like it would be worth the $60? Possibly. I know this will be an investment that I will be making in the coming weeks. Do you think Black Ops 4 will be better than than the other installments, worse? Let us know!
It’s been a while since I had the chance to really sit down and enjoy my Xbox, but I just played through the beautiful and cinematic 2D adventure Forgotton Anne, and I really couldn’t think of a better way to remind me how much I love games.
Forgotton Anne, developed by the independent ThroughLine Games and published through SquareEnix, is due out May 15 on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. It’s a lovely, atmospheric adventure about a teenage girl, Anne, who is the respected Enforcer in a world of forgotten things (that single lost sock, old couches, broken alarm clocks). As the Enforcer, she has the power to “distill” the Forgotlings, the beings who live here.
She must use this power in chasing down the Rebels, a group of Forgotlings who are trying to prevent her, her master Bonku, and other Forgotlings from returning to the Ether, where they all originated. Bonku has almost completed the bridge back home.
The story comes to life through Studio Ghibli-style animation and your general mystery-adventure elements – puzzles, guided explorations, well-placed and seamless cut scenes. You get to know the characters, you find out the motivations behind the rebels, and you develop Anne’s personality through the choices you make. Many of the puzzles involve the manipulation of anima, the energy source in the Forgotten Lands, which Anne can utilize to power her Arca, the wrist instrument she uses to “distill” Forgotlings and investigate the Rebels.
It took me about seven hours to play through the game once, but I’m going to do it again just as soon as I can. I’d like to figure out how making different choices affects the outcomes of certain events in the game. And I’ve enjoyed being in the world of the Forgotlings – I’m thrilled to go back and play there again.
This game is just gorgeous. The visuals and music contribute to an immersive and intriguing experience that looks just like my favorite old-school anime, with just a tiny hint of a steampunk vibe. There’s humor and whimsy and the sense that you’re definitely in a fantasy world, but one that’s not so far removed from the one we live in. During the course of the game you’ll experience multiple well-designed environments that are pretty to look at and fun to play.
The story, while not totally unpredictable with mild twists and turns, creates an emotional impact not unlike what you get from the best, heart-wrenching films. The characters are interesting and excellently rendered. I felt totally guilty making the choices that would lead to an ending other than the one I should have taken. I swear I only cried once.
I’m not good with learning controls. This is why I’m so bad at shooters, where ducking and running seems to require a higher degree of education than I have. Forgotten Anne does require a certain dexterity with hand-eye coordination to get places, sometimes places you need to go in order to solve problems. The tutorial is very well-integrated, though, and I will say I never got stuck anywhere for long.
I admit to not always knowing what I was doing, though. Once, I encountered a puzzle that I thought might contain a glitch, but turned out to be easily solved in a different way. Other than that, I experienced the things I like most about adventure games – not terribly complex gameplay and simple decision-making, with consequences that bring you deeper into a mystery you’ve become invested in.
Can’t think of anything. Well, I’m not sure I was completely satisfied with the endings – at least one of them left me hanging. But then again, I’m not sure I was expecting any different. I’d be interested to hear what other people think about that.
Oh, I’m not sure I completely agree about the Teen rating. My 12-year-old experienced the whole thing with me without any issue at all. And he was better at the puzzles for sure. The warnings say there’s partial nudity, crude humor, and the use of tobacco. I don’t recall any partial nudity, and the other two may have been present but not obtrusive. I didn’t even notice. I’d allow a kid several years younger than mine to play with no qualms whatsoever.
I definitely recommend getting Forgotton Anne, if you like platform-style adventures. It’s really well done and stylistically perfect, with a compelling narrative and striking…well, pretty much everything is striking.
Rad Rodgers was a successful Kickstarter project that made $30k more than it’s original $50k goal. It promised the return of 90s platforming games made with modern technology. After watching Jax play it for a little while I can say this game did deliver on it’s promise of a 90s plattformer. All the way down to it’s difficulty.
I managed to get a copy of Rad Rodgers and loaded it up. The graphics are cartoony and bright just as you would expect for a game like this. Controls were slick and precise. Beautiful and lush worlds graced my screen as Rad and his partner, Dusty, took to the stage. I was prepared for difficult, and was met with a nice challenge. Not too overly frustrating the game captures the nostalgia of games like Commander Keen or Earthworm Jim. It’s hard enough to keep you playing, but not so hard you quit.
One element I was not prepared for, was Dusty. Dusty is a grizzled video game cartridge that LOVES to break the 4th Wall. Not quite as funny as Deadpool, but just as annoying. We get it, you’re in a video game. We don’t need the constant reminder. Dusty does have his own section in the game where he has to go into the games code and find missing assets in order for Rad to reach new parts of the levels.
The world design is almost like a Metroidvania with no clear indication of which way to go. Eventually the game has a natural way of getting you pointed in the right direction while making you feel like you found it yourself. The worlds are pretty large and have secret areas as well as hidden items throughout. There aren’t a ton of worlds though and most gamers can probably beat this game in around 4 hours. Serious collectors will go back and replay to get those completionist achievements.
Rad Rodgers gets a lot of things right. Most “retro” games these days tend to focus on graphics and difficulty. Rad Rodgers manages to have a great looking game, with solid graphics and excellent gameplay. There is some customization in the game which I feel is neat, if you don’t want Dusty cussing up a storm or don’t want to see a ton of blood, there’s a “Kids Version” of the game which tones all of that down. This makes for a welcome addition for parents who want to give their kids something to play.
If you’re looking for a fun throwback to when times weren’t as scary, Rad Rodgers will take you there. Fun, funny, and challenging, Rad Rodgers is a delight to be around. Dusty, however, can be kind of a jerk.
The reviewer was given a code of Rad Rodgers for review purposes. Rad Rodgers is available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One
This post includes affiliate links. Using our links to purchase the games via Amazon helps support The Mommy Gamers
I grew up in a strange time for video games. Publishers were always trying new things. For a while there were games that based their looks off of an old animation style, Claymation. The game studio Interplay Entertainment put out a few games in this style. The ClayFighter series got recognition for being a fighting game that parodied pop-culture as well as the fighting games at the time. It was so popular that it spawned sequels.
Claybook, out now in Xbox Game Preview and Steam Early Access, is a game set entirely in a world of clay. Shocking right? Players move, mold, and shape the clay in order to complete a puzzle or task within the world. As mentioned before the game is currently in Early Access but it already shows A LOT of promise. Controls are fluid and the animations look incredible. Players will jump, rewind, create duplicates and change shapes throughout the colored world of a If I have to point out anything negative it’s that I don’t feel there’s enough weight to the clay. The clay moves around relatively fast and feels incredibly light, even for clay.
One of the incredible little touches the team from Second Order put into the game is the coloring. When the clay moves or turns on one color of clay, you start to see that color appear on your clay shape. It’s a little touch, but it shows how much insight they put into how a material like clay would interact with itself.
Claybook is also bringing some interesting gameplay additions with it. Up to 4-Player Split Screen action, leaderboards, and an incredible toolbox to let players create and share their own worlds. With so much added gameplay the team at Second Order will have their hands full with the development of this title. With Claybook being in Game Preview/Early Access platform they will be able to see how the community reacts to the game. Since the game isn’t in full release yet they have plenty of time for feedback.
To me, there’s something almost relaxing and satisfying in Claybook. I ignored the pressure of the leaderboards and replayed the same levels over and over again trying to find different solutions. The soft soundtrack mixed with the imaginative gameplay create this sense of serenity in a video game world filled with assassins, soldiers, and street fighters. If you’re looking for a fun break with a hint of challenge, open up your Claybook and dive in.
The reviewer was compensated with a code for review purposes.
At first glance you would think that Past Cure was a AAA title. It’s gorgeous looking. Cinematic, creepy, and full of intricate buildings. The controls are wonderful, and it’s full of different gameplay mechanics that remind you of other titles.
After that, is where Past Cure runs into some issues. Most of my issues with Past Cure have to deal with the different gameplay mechanics. There’s stealth, third person shooting, time slowdown, and “out of body” experiences. All of these as a whole make for an amazing game. Past Cure, however, gives you each of these pieces individually which makes it feel like you’re playing different games with the same lead character.
This is what makes Past Cure such a unique game. Because all these pieces, are done so well and are fun experiences that I wanted to see them put together. It’s not until the very end that you actually get to use all your cool abilities and mechanics together. Lucky for you, it’s a short game.
The story in Past Cure is pretty decent. A soldier was experimented on and wants to find out what happened to the three years of his life that he can’t remember. Due to all the experiments he suffers from nightmares. The game has you playing in both the real world, and his nightmares. It breaks up the environments quite nicely for the first part, then you get put into a parking garage for a stealth mission that lasts for just a bit longer than you want it to.
I really wanted to enjoy Past Cure, I REALLY did. I was super into the first few levels and learning all the gameplay mechanics but when I realized that there wasn’t really room for the mechanics to work together I got disappointed and found it a struggle to keep playing. Which is really a shame because the game has good gameplay. I just wish there was more of it.
It’s cinematic, it’s creative, it has all the makings of a great game, it just gives you all those bits one by one rather than mixing them up.
[learn_more caption=”Buy Past Cure on Amazon”] [/learn_more]
The reviewer was provided with a code for review purposes, and this article includes an affiliate link.