Review – Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

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The ever popular first person 4 player cooperative treasure hunting hit Borderlands is back for another round. In the form of a prequel to the sequel …hence the “Pre-Sequel” title.

The game begins shortly after the events of Borderlands 2 where Lilith, Brick and Mordecai are interrogating Athena(See Borderlands 2 DLC The Secret Armory of General Knoxx) who recounts how she met Jack and her back story. As is customary with Borderlands, you have 4 characters to chose from, all of whom are familiar characters from the world of Borderlands. Athena, “The Gladiator” uses a shield to absorb damage and can throw it back at the enemies. Nisha “The Lawbringer” whose special ability gives her increases speed and damage with her weapons. Wilhelm “The Enforcer” who has 2 drones at his disposal. Wolf flies around and trash talks the enemies while attacking them and Saint who heals and last but not least. Clap Trap “The Frag Trap” who – to be totally honest. I never spent any time with but my understanding is his skill tree allows him to use a variety of abilities from characters of the previous 2 games.

Because the game takes place on a moon for the majority of the time, low gravity and lack of oxygen(refilling O2 modules is a must) all play a factor in the game adding a new dimension to the mechanics. Other than that, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is EXACTLY like the previous 2 games in the franchise. The dialog is just as snappy and fun as previous iterations, hidden boss battles, a ridiculous number of items to be found and even something called the Grinder which can be used to create new items by grinding 3 items. 2K Australia just took the assets(graphically still pretty but feeling old) from the other games, and built their own version, presumably to keep fans happy until the announcement of the inevitable Borderlands 3 which I suspect was sort of hinted at during the final cut scene.

If you’re a fan of the Borderlands series, this is a must have.

Feed Your Console gives Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel an 8.5 out of 10

Pros:
More 4 player action adventure
Hilarious writing and dialog
Took me about 35hrs to finish with still a whole bunch of side quests I haven’t even touched.

Cons:
Graphics are still nice but showing their age
Hurry up and release a NEXT GEN Borderlands (Not really a Con. I’m just bitching for fun)

 

Review – Sunset Overdrive

I’ve seen the Apocalypse. There are mutants at every corner chasing you. Trying to kill you.and just hell bent on destroying what little is left of humanity. It’s Dangerous.

IT’S FREAKING AWESOME!!!

The premise of Sunset Overdrive is simple. It’s set in Sunset City, where the evil company Fizzco has just released it’s new energy drink which turns people into mutants. Your mission is to escape the city and exact revenge upon Fizzco for it’s dastardly deeds. Along the way you’ll make new friends and encounter some insane boss battles and complete a variety of side missions that include forging a sword at a nuclear power plant and escorting a robotic dog back to it’s owner.

Traversing the city is where the real fun comes though. Grinding everything from power lines to running along walls to bare footing across the water Sunset Overdrive awards you for not touching the ground. At first it feels a little strange but with little effort, it just flows. I was bounding and grinding my way to decent sized combos in no time (still haven’t had managed to hit 100 – I’ll get there though). Sunset OD also rewards players who spend their time. While grinding your way through the mayhem, you’ll be rewarded with money and you’ll also come across a variety of ingredients such as toilet paper and shoes which can all be used to create new AMPS which are basically just weapon and control modifiers.

Something to take note of is that you won’t be doing much in the way of fighting from the ground as Sunset OD feels like a different game when you aren’t traversing the battles. There’s no run button and the pace of the game feels like it slows to a crawl compared to the rest of the title if you aren’t. You can likely expect to die if you spend too much time on the ground. Not that it’s a bad thing really. The respawn animations are fantastic. Admittedly, there were a few times where I died so often due to the sheer amount of bad guys coming at me that I think I literally saw every single respawn possibility.

That last point brings me to this small gripe. A few times, the overzealous nature of Sunset Overdrive literally felt a little too much. Too much bouncing and running and grinding my way through wave after wave of ODs had me finding myself way out of the zone of the mission or dying repeatedly. It’s nothing the average gamer won’t be able to handle after a few tries but it just felt a little frustrating.

Graphically – Sunset Overdrive is stunning and the artistic style is spot on. Everything just works. The world is vibrant and colorful, the mutants are amazing and killing them feels extra rewarding when you see them pop with their orange crush looking blood blow up into a cloud that literally says “POP!”

While I only had the chance to spend about 2-3hrs with Chaos Squad, the online 8 player cooperative component to Sunset Overdrive, I quite enjoyed it. It was INSANE! Imagine this – you and 7 other players, all armed to the teeth with the massive array of zany weapons from the crazy minds at Insomniac Games, squaring off in a variety of “Horde mode” style matches. Explosions, grinding, jumping, gunfire and orange soda spraying everywhere. Sounds like a lot going on at once doesn’t it? It’s crazy but lots of fun.

The latest from Insomniac Games is a lot of things. It’s an open world adventure, it’s funny, it’s crazy and it is bloody gorgeous. The boss battles are an absolute pleasure to play through, the controls are sharp, I really liked the humor in the writing and the art direction is some of the best I’ve ever seen. This is a true Next Gen title and I suspect this might be the beginning of a beautiful new friendship between Insomniac and Xbox Gamers (we’ll forget about Fuse).

Feed Your Console gives Sunset Overdrive a 9 out of 10

Pros:
Smooth controls
Stunning art direction and graphics
The Boss battles

Cons:
Sunset OD sometimes throws too much at you at once.

Disney Infinity 2.0 – Review (Xbox One)

I must admit that I never had the chance to play the original Disney Infinity, partially because it looked to be far too young for me to enjoy and still too old for my daughter who had just turned 4. This year however, things have changed in my house. My now 5yr old daughter is taking notice of games and asking to participate with my gaming so to me it was a no-brainer. Disney Infinity needed to come home this year and thankfully, we were provided a review copy by our Disney Infinity reps.

The starter kit comes with a base station, a replica of Avengers Tower and 3 members of the Avengers – Black Widow, Thor and Iron Man. The little collectible toys look sharp and feel fairly weighty. What we found in the game was something that offers little for the more seasoned gamer like myself, but, it’s a treasure box of fun and excitement for the casual and younger gamer such as my daughter.

Diving right into the game, we found ourselves in a open world version of New York. After figuring out the controls I found the fighting to be rather cumbersome with the Y button being the primary attack but after some thought, I can only assume this decision was made to accommodate the smaller hands of the target demographic. Immediately my daughter and I set out on our adventure.

It didn’t take her long to figure out how to control the camera and move about the city far better than her mother ever could and in short order, we found coins to collect which, once found, allows for other that toy (Sold separately). What we quickly learn is that Loki and the Frost Giants are trying to take over the city and turn it into their own private playground. Throughout our adventure, we met many other characters from the Marvel Universe and were given various missions within the city.

Completing missions and beating the bad guys awards the player with experience. With each level up the player can then add points to a skill tree unique to each character making every one play differently resulting in a different feeling game as we switch between them.

As much fun as my daughter and I had playing through the Avengers campaign, the real meat and potatoes of Disney Infinity 2.0 is the toy box mode. This is the player generated content mode where you get the opportunity to build your own worlds from scratch, start out with a pre-made template or just download any of the levels created by other members of the community. Some of which are genuinely amazing and a real treat to play keeping this title fun and fresh for months if not years to come.

All in all, I would say this was a very successful outing. It accomplished everything they set out to do and everything I was hoping for. A fun little title that’s great for everyone in the family young and old. There was no shortage of “WOW Dad. check this out!!” and absolute belly filled laughter as my little one picked people up flew around the city holding them and chucking them into the water, flying head first into the side of a building or just beating up the bad guys and saving the world. Tonight – I have a date with a 5yr old to do some good old fashioned bad guy smashing and I can’t wait.

Feed Your Console gives Disney Infinity 2.0 an 8 out of 10

Pros:
Accessible controls for young kids
Toy Box Mode
Split Screen multiplayer
Collectible figures are of decent quality

Cons:
Online 4 person multiplayer is restricted to Toy Box Mode only
$13 for extra characters