Scotch Corner – Kick, Punch, It’s All In The Grind

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 28th January 2018.

Resident Evil Revelations (Switch, £15.99)

GET your Resident Evil fix on the Switch.  The Revelations version has made the . . .  err . . .  switch after starting life on Nintendo’s 3DS in 2012.  You play as Jill Valentine as the BSAA agent hunts for missing friend Chris Redfield, who was last seen on Mediterranean cruise ship, the Queen Zenobia.  Valentine is joined by Parker Luciani, but things going typically Resident Evil wrong when they board the ship and they are soon fighting for their lives.  The whole tale will take about nine hours, but it is, frankly, daft even if it does try to link Resident Evil 4 and 5.  The short chapters keeps things fresh and it is neat that you can play as Valentine and Luciani and also Redfield and his partner Jessica Sherawat.

The gameplay is a blend of RE4 controls — with the over-the-shoulder view — and more classic games.  The key is hunting for clues to solve puzzles so you can progress, but you have to save ammo to kill all the bad beings.  There is a host of bonus content, from new outfits to the run-and-gun Raid mode which lets you blast through levels without affecting the story also it can be played in co-op too.  The scanner is a hangover from the 3DS release — it can give you info on world spots or intelligence on fallen enemies.  It’s an interesting idea but it can slow the game down.  The Switch means you can have motion controls.  They take a bit of practice but you do have more control over where you aim.

The look jumps from excellent to rather naff textures but the sound is solid.  The high cheese element in the voice acting works brilliantly in the Resident Evil “B-movie” style.  It is not as scary as it could be, the enemy design is not the strongest and the AI isn’t the smartest.  And Jessica is probably the worst character in gaming.  Harsh, but true.  You’ll probably want to leave her to get caught by the monsters.  But it still has a bit of a bite if your Switch needs an Evil twist.

Score: 4/5

Dragon Ball FighterZ (Xbox One, PS4 and PC, £43.99)

TAKE the developer of some of the best 2D fighting games around and add in one of most iconic anime and you have the recipe for a tasty treat.  Just hearing that Arc System Works had joined forces with Dragon Ball Z was enough to send the gaming community into a frenzy.  The result — Dragon Ball FighterZ — will cause palpitations and sweaty palms.  This is a pure-bred fighter built around a 3v3 system along similar lines to the Marvel vs Capcom games.  Ring the bell and let the battle commence in the most stunning style.  There are a host of modes to spice things up.  That’s a welcome change to many fighter games out there.

You get the standard fare like online, arcade and training as well as a beefy three-tier story mode that is a true saga.  That said, if you are new to the Dragon Ball Z world, then you won’t actually learn any of the finer details here.  You do, however, get a good grip on who’s who as you spend around 10 hours to complete the story but you may get a bit tired of the cut scenes.  Fans will get the chance to play as some of the classic Dragon Ball Z characters, like Goku and Krillen while the bad boys are represented by Cell, Frieza and Buu and a few lesser-known fighters.

The developers have a simple gaming strategy — make it simple to learn but hard to master — and Dragon Ball FighterZ follows the recipe.  You can jump in and pull off combos straight away, but the key to victory on the higher levels is being able to use all three fighters on your team.  Then you can up the ante and go online where you can face off against real players.  That can be a bit hit and miss (excuse the pun) as matches can lag a little or people use cheap shots over and over again.  But then that is a problem that haunts most fighting games online.  You do get a super-cute hub world to run around and grab stickers and other goodies through a loot box-style system.

The game looks stunning — it is more of an interactive cartoon than a game with a mix of 2D and 3D action.  There is a heavy rock vibe to the soundtrack and it carries the action really well.  The voice acting is good, although a few characters fall a bit flat at times.  You can also pick between a Japanese or English voice-over which is a nice touch.  The superb look can’t cover our major bugbear.  The text does not auto-play during the cut scenes so you can’t just sit back and enjoy them.  You have to press a button to make them play every time a character talks.  On top of that the story mode can be a bit repetitive.  If you’re a new to the series then this is possibly the best one to date.  And, if you love fighting, Dragon Ball FighterZ really is Z business.

Score: 4.5/5

On The Stream

“GAIJILLIONAIRE” is the host of GTV — a YouTube channel that brings Japanese gaming facts and trivia to British audiences.  He lived in Japan for decades and has a knack of digging up titbits that may have been lost in translation or left behind when games leave Japan for western shores.  He covers Manga books, special promotions, in-game secrets, lost films and even the pop culture.

Gaijillionaire said:

“It’s a channel for Gen X-ers who have an interest in Japan, but aren’t obsessed with Earthbound.”

Search for GTV or Gaijillionaire on YouTube.

The Great Big MS Giveaway (Sort Of)

MICROSOFT Game Pass holders can now get all Microsoft Studios games at the same time as they hit the shops.  The pass is a hit already as it lets you download and play more than 100 titles for £7.99 a month but this move means it will now include new Xbox One exclusive games.  The first treat will be Rare’s Sea Of Thieves on March 20th.  It will be followed by the likes of State Of Decay 2, Crackdown 3, all future Gears Of War, Forza and Halo games.  Only down point, PUBG has not been added yet.

I’ll be back next week with more from North of the Border.  Catch ye’s…

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Stuart Cullen

Scotland’s very own thorn in the side of the London gaming scene bringing all the hottest action straight from The Sun… well… The Scottish Sun at least, every week!

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