Read Stuart’s column every week in The Scottish Sun, where he shares his reviews, news and podcasts with the 99.3% of the World’s population not fortunate enough to be able to buy a physical copy of the paper. The following appeared originally in The Scottish Sun on Sunday 4th February 2018.
Street Fighter V Arcade Edition (PS4 and PC, £17.99)
IT is fair to say that Street Fighter V’s arrival on PS4 was a damp squib. Many gamers felt it was a missed opportunity on the modes and options fronts. Capcom’s Arcade Edition aims to right this wrong. It has some of the missing modes, new fighters and a few gameplay tweaks. First things first — if you have the core game then the Arcade Edition is a free update which gives you everything bar the new fighters. They can be bought separately.
The biggest plus, as the name suggests, is the arcade mode. You can choose from six ladders — each based on different Street Fighter games from the past. They allow you to dress your fighter in costumes inspired by those games and include a few bonus stages. There is also a decent backstory for each character which you unlock by completing the mode with that fighter. A new Extra Battle mode adds a beefier challenge style of gameplay based — with more risk and reward — and Team Battle sets triple attacks against each other. The training mode has been polished — you can now see frame date. OK, only hardcore players will find that useful, but it can be key to learning new characters and combo moves.
There is also a new feature — the V-trigger adds a meter which fills up as you take damage and lets you unleash a powerful move. It’s basically a back-from-the-dead safety valve so you can turn a losing fight around. V-triggers differ from fighter to fighter — some will speed up, others get a powerful parry move but they all add a layer to the combat. This feels like the game Street Fighter V should have been. It has taken the bare bones of the launch title and added some real muscle.
Monster Hunter World (Xbox One, PS4 and PC, £46.99)
LOCK and load, people, it’s time to hunt monsters. The Monster Hunter series has been around for a while, but this is Capcom’s attempt to bring it into the mainstream. It’s your chance to slay a series of high fantasy beasts but, in a neat twist, you roam a world with its own eco-systems and challenges. It’s fair to say you do not get the best gear at the start, but make some kills and you get better kit. But that also means bigger beasties.
It is a simple formula that is hugely addictive and very satisfying. You find clues, track down the monster then fight it and claim your prize. But there are far more layers if you want to delve deeper. When you arrive in an area there are loads of things to do, see and collect. There are 14 weapons to wield — from huge swords and axes to bows and steel bagpipes. They all have pros and cons so finding the right one is key to success. There is a storyline but it’s a bit “so what”. Apparently the hunters are chasing an older dragon . . . Come on, let’s get back to the fighting.
The gameplay is tough at the start because there is an awful lot of information to take in, but once you get your head around it the fun begins. Each battle promises some epic moments — a fight can take up to 30 minutes. It is a real workout. It all comes down to timing — you have to know when to attack or defend. You have to read the monster to get a clue about what it will do next and you can only learn that by playing the game and getting experience. If you really want to bring the game to life, then get your pals involved. It is a real fun fest when four of you are chasing an armoured T-Rex and ad-libbing the tactics.
The Capcom guys and girls have done a great job with the graphics — the lush jungle and wind-swept desert hunting grounds are really impressive. You will even feel a sense of awe at times. That is all helped by an epic soundtrack that gets the blood pumping. You may laugh at some truly bad lip syncing during cut scenes and some systems are a bit clunky especially when you are trying to team up with friend. But that is not enough to stop the game gang monstering the fun fest.
SONY have a limited edition Monster Hunter: World PS4 Pro bundle. The 1TB PS4 Pro console features a glossy Rathalos while the DualShock 4 controller is dark red with gold detail. You get a hard copy of the game and DLC goodies. It’s £379.99.
Resident Evil Revelations 2 (Switch, £19.99)
NO, you aren’t seeing double. Last week we reviewed Resident Evil Revelation on the Switch. Now Resident Evil Revelation 2 continues the B-movie cheese fest. It’s strange but, in America, the two games came out as a collection. Here, you buy them separately. The second game takes all the goodness of the first one then adds some glitter. You get all the costumes and two bonus chapters. You can play the full game in co-op instead of just the Raid mode.
You play as Claire Redfield and Moira Burton, who have been kidnapped at a party and wake up on an island where they have to escape an evil force called the Overseer. The second side of the campaign sees you as series legend Barry Burton. It’s his daughter Moira who has disappeared, so he tools up and goes to find her. The gameplay is a refined version of the first game. The controls are sharp and the gunplay is tight. There is also some puzzle-solving fun. You can craft new weapons and develop skills.
We liked the dark, foreboding feel as you fight though areas like a slaughter house or and medical lab, the enemy design is much better than in the first game and the audio backs things up well. The biggest problem has to be switching characters during gameplay. It can be hit and miss and some may not like greater focus on the action side — but it is still an engaging game.
On The Stream
NEFARIOUS Wes hosts a YouTube channel dedicated to all things retro. He got involved because he reckoned gaming reviews at that time lacked the details he wanted to know. The results are in-depth reviews as well as covering the more “niche” genre of shmups — shoot ’em ups — and comparison vids.
“I’m a sucker for different versions of the same or similar games, so I do head-to-head comparisons.”
IT seems to be fight season at the moment so what better time for you to look at a fighting stick? Get down to Argos and you could even bag a bargain. Buy a Venom multi-format Arcade Fight Stick for £59.99, and get Dragon Ball FighterZ for just £15. See argos.co.uk — the stick is for Xbox One and PS4 and the deal is on until February 8.
I’ll be back next week with more from North of the Border. Catch ye’s…