Sunday, 13 January 2019

Entries to the Asylum; Monday 7th January 2019 - Sunday 13th January 2019 [Week 2].

A little bit of a surprising week this week... We've had no arrivals! A few things are on the way, and we did actually get a customs slip - for £41!! - ouch, but as most of you will appreciate... it's January. And we're skint. So collecting that will have to wait until I'm a bit more solvent haha!

This week we've been doing a lot of planning for future tattoos. We'll be attending the Scottish Tattoo Convention this year and are currently in talks with a few different artists for things we want to get done. We'll keep the plans a secret for now though so that we can surprise you all once we're inked up :)

I'm also about to book an appointment to go get my septum pierced. Really can't wait for this, but again, money is the only thing delaying me at the moment.

Realised that over the Christmas period, there were a few releases we missed out on, so I have been slowly but surely updating my Amazon wish lists to try and keep track of these. For things not available to purchase through Amazon though... I'm a little stuck. I had created a spreadsheet but that seems like a lot of work - what do you all use to keep track of non-Amazon wants? For instance this is amazing, and I want it so bad. I mean, how gorgeous is this set, and it would be great to do a full unboxing and review of it, but it's just too expensive for this time of year. So I'll need to keep track so that I remember to pick it up once I have money, before it sells out.

So what do you use to keep track? And what new things have you picked up this week?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Entries to the Asylum; Monday 31st December 2018 - Sunday 6th January 2019 [Week 1].

Monday 31st December 2018

- Friday the 13th: The Game Kickstarter Artbook.
- Friday the 13th: The Game Kickstarter Official Soundtrack [CD].

Thursday 3rd January 2019

- Venom Limited Edition [Blu-ray].

Friday 4th January 2019

- The Critters Collection Limited Edition [Blu-ray].

What new stuff have you gotten recently?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Entries to the Asylum; Monday 21st May 2018 - Sunday 30th December 2018 [Weeks 21-52].

So 2018's weekly Entries to the Asylum posts were a bust, but I did have lots of partially written drafts from various weeks throughout the year, so here is the run down of the stuff I can remember/already have documented from this huuuuge backlog. Lots will be missing, that's a no-brainer, but at least this will get a good chunk of it listed! Anything that I remember, I will add in later - but this is what I have so far.

Apologies again for being so... meh in 2018. I promise to do a better job this year!

Monday 4th June 2018

- Agony [Xbox One].
- ONRUSH [Xbox One].
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex Complete Collection Deluxe Edition [Bluray].
- Miss Hosukai Ultimate Edition [Bluray].

Tuesday 5th June 2018

- Lupin the 3rd Part IV Collector's Edition [Bluray].

Wednesday 6th June 2018

- Wolf's Rain Ultimate Edition [Bluray].
- Iron Fist: Season One Steelbook [Bluray].
- Watchmen Steelbook [Bluray].
- Kubo and the Two Strings Premium Edition [Bluray].

Saturday 9th June 2018

- Big Trouble in Little China Steelbook [Bluray].

Saturday 7th July 2018

- The Nightmare Before Christmas Ultimate Collector's DVD Set [DVD].
- Train to Busan x Seoul Station Plain Archive Quadruple Pack [Bluray].

Tuesday 7th August 2018

- Gravity Falls: The Complete Series Collector's Edition [Bluray].

Tuesday 14th August 2018

- Gang Beasts Physical Copy [PS4].

Wednesday 22nd August 2018

- The Changeling Limited Edition [Bluray].

Thursday 23rd August 2018

- Jackie Chan's Police Story & Police Story 2 Limited Edition [Bluray].

Saturday 25th August 2018

- Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam Part 2 w/ Artbook [Bluray].

Sunday 2nd September 2018

- Owlboy Limited Edition [PS4].

- Owlboy Limited Edition [Switch].
- Deadtime Stories w/ Slipcover [Bluray].

Monday 3rd September 2018

- Take Shelter Limited Edition [Bluray].
- Ghost Stories w/ Slipcover [Bluray].

Tuesday 25th December 2018

- Nintendo Switch [Neon Version][Console].
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Limited Edition [Switch].
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Steelbook [Merch].
- Toki Collector's Edition [Switch].
- Asterix and Obelix XXL2 Limited Edition [Xbox One].
- J.T Studio Journey to the West Sha Monk [Figure].
- J.T Studio Journey to the West Pigsy [Figure].
- J.T Studio Journey to the West Monkey King Wreaks Havoc [Ghost Variant][Figure].
- My Neighbour Totoro 30th Anniversary Edition [Bluray].
- McFarlane Toys Fortnite Skull Trooper [Figure].
- McFarlane Toys Fortnite Cuddle Team Leader [Figure].
- J.T Studio Guardians Yox [200% GID Variant][Figure].
- J.T Studio Guardians Jians [Galaxy Variant][Figure].
- My Hero's One Justice [Xbox One].
- Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! [Switch].
- Hello Neighbour: Hide and Seek [Xbox One].
- Starlink: Battle for Atlas Starter Pack [Switch].
- Enter the Gungeon Special Reserve Edition [PS4].
- Slime Rancher Collector's Edition [Merch].
- The Vengeance Trilogy Deluxe Edition [DVD].

Wednesday 26th December 2018

- Rocket League [Digital][Switch].

Friday 28th December 2018

- Fuggler Awkward Bear [Burgundy Red Variant][Plush].
- Philos Kendama [Black and Red][Kendama].

Again, sorry for the wait - and for those of you who stuck around and checked religiously for updates - massive, massive apologies to you, but thank you for the support! Check out my Instagram and Twitter if you want little notifications any time a post goes live.

Thank you all!

- V x

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2019 is here at last... or rather, already. 2018 totally flew by, and I feel like I was so, so much less productive than I'd have liked to be. I fell victim to procrastination far too many times, and buried my head in the sand about a lot of things - often losing track of release dates, etc. I felt very much not myself throughout most of 2018, and always felt like I was chasing my own tail trying to stay afloat with everything.

This year, as corny and cliche as it sounds, I am determined to stay on top of everything and keep to a planned schedule for everything. I also am planning on getting the Youtube channel back up and running, finally, within the next few months. I need to get some supplies first (camcorder, mic, etc.) but I'm completely undecided on what would be the best options. I have created an Amazon wishlist here, so if you have any advice as to whether I should go for these items, or get different ones (that you find are better/more suitable) then that would be appreciated.

I had planned on doing a weekly Entries to the Asylum post each week in 2018, and whilst I did keep that going for a while, it eventually got dropped because I lost track, and it was too difficult to remember/keep track of what came when. This year, I am going to make sure that I do this, as it's not only a regular piece of content for yourselves (and will eventually tie in with the Youtube videos so you know what's coming up soon), it's a good resource for myself to keep track of what items we have and when we got them. These weekly posts will be posted every Sunday evening, and will document everything that has arrived over the previous week. Full unboxing photos/videos will not be included within these posts, just simple front shots of each item (or possibly together in a group shot for each day's arrivals) and the more in depth posts will come separately.

I'd also love if everyone could take the time to give us a quick follow on our Social Media pages, as I plan on posting more content on those this year too (previously, Instagram got all the love).

If there's anything you want to see more of in 2019, or want me to start up, then please let me know. You can either send me an email or leave a comment below, and I'll be sure to get back to you as soon as possible!

All the best for 2019,
- V x

Thursday, 27 December 2018

Asylum Reviews; Override: Mech City Brawl [Xbox One].

Created by Modus Games and The Balance Inc., Override: Mech City Brawl is, as the title suggests, a game about big mechs fighting. We sure do love some mecha and/or kaiju related media, so we were desperate to play this prior to release. (Sidenote: apologies for how long this review has taken to post, it was written weeks ago and was accidentally left as a draft! Oops!) With twelve gigantic mechs to choose from, each with their own skills and fighting styles, there's plenty to discover whilst playing. Mechs can be customized and accessorized within the Garage, giving you the freedom to style your mech however you like, and we always love the ability to unlock skins and other cosmetic items, as opposed to them always being tied to microtransactions. The different mechs are all wonderfully designed, with Vintage - a retro computer looking mech - being the one I think is the most adorable - although I didn't find it to be the best in battle.

The basic controls are very straightforward, with each button controlling a different limb of your mech, allowing for easy precision of where you want your hits to land. A meter shows the temperature gauge of your mech, so you must always be sure not to spam the buttons too much, otherwise you'll overheat and leave yourself open to attack whilst you cool down and recover. Additional parts and weapons will drop occasionally for you to pick up and utilise, giving you extra methods of fighting as well as a new type of assault. Sometimes the fighting would feel quite clunky and awkward, however this was more noticeable on some mechs than others - so could be more down to their playstyles and individual design than an inherent design flaw.

The arenas are nicely designed, with them being modelled off of real world locations such as Egypt and Tokyo, but the actual implementation of the cities' buildings is not as great as I'd have hoped. Mechs seem to turn buildings to dust with very little effort, and entire cities will collapse by you simply walking all over. The buildings don't seem to have a lot of ability to take damage and resist it, which is a little disappointing - it would have been good to feel more of an impact when crushing the city - maybe even administering a Game Mode where doing as little damage to the city as possible could be an objective (or a deciding factor in whether you succeed or not).

Completing arenas gives you research points which can be used to further upgrade your mech, adding another layer of customisation to your character. You can choose how to spend these, giving you a great deal of control in how you'd like your mech to function and what skills they can improve upon. The game itself is gorgeous, with bright colours and crisp animations, and well done sound design to tie it all together.

The game includes both local and online co-op, as well as Versus modes and the main campaign, which is great to see. It adds a little more diversity into how you can play, and increases the longevity of the title. You can also play as a party of four, each controlling a separate part of the mech - this can be a little odd at first, but truly encourages teamwork. The multiplayer modes are definitely the biggest and best part of Override, and seem to be where the game really shines. The main story campaign just feels too repetitive for the most part, although still enjoyable, but the multiplayer keeps things fresh and interesting for much longer.

Sadly, the game is plagued by frequent frame rate issues, and the occasional glitch or two - the glitches tend to be avoidable once you see what triggers them, but the frame rate drops are definitely pretty frustrating, and can make the game less enjoyable to play. It wasn't a huge issue, but when it cropped up it did impact things and left me feeling quite bummed out over it.

In the end we decided to give Override: Mech City Brawl a 7/10. It has a few flaws, but for the most part, it is still a fun time that we'll come back to.

Have you played Override? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Asylum Reviews; Bendy and the Ink Machine [Xbox One].

Anyone that knows me, knows that I can't handle scary games very well. In fact, the game doesn't even need to be outright scary for my anxiety levels to go through the roof - just add a tense atmosphere and boom, you got me. I've been known in the past to just tap out from games altogether due to this, as the level of tenseness and panic within me far outweighs the need to play the game. Bendy and the Ink Machine has achieved what many other games have not - having me riddled with anxiety but still desperate to go on.

The art style, very Steamboat Willie-esque, early Mickey Mouse era stuff, is gorgeous, and translates the creep-factor well. Black ink oozes from surfaces and creates a great contrast, and the sepia tone further adds to this. Everything has a very authentic old-school animation feel, and the sinister undertones of what is happening at the studio juxtaposes well with the cartoonish style.

You play as Henry, a retired animator who has been asked to revisit his old workplace, Joey Drew Studios, and in doing so comes across nightmare-ish ink creatures that have sprung to life. Each creature type is satisfyingly creepy, from Lost Ones and Searchers, to the Projectionist and the dread-inducing Ink Demon.  Even the cardboard cut-out Bendys that are dotted around the studio often catch you off guard as you whip round corners, leaving you questioning if they are moving when you aren't looking.The smaller enemies had my heart pounding any time I came across them - and my GOD the noises they make - but the Ink Demon Bendy, by far terrified me the most. The way that the inky shadows take over the room to announce his presence, a hint for you to run and hide, just completely terrified me and left me feeling worried about what was to come.
The enemy AI feels threatening, with the noises they make alerting you to their whereabouts and giving off a sense of impending doom, however after they spot you, you can often outrun them - and if you know the location of the nearest Little Miracle Station, which is a cabinet that you can hide inside to lose the enemies attention, you can quickly dive inside and they'll then somehow forget all about you (even if they watch you enter it!). This did take away some of the threat from them, but depending on your location upon them spotting you, and how good your memory is, you might not get a chance to hide from them.

As the game progresses, you will come across another inky character: Alice Angel. Instead of instantly going after you and wanting to kill you, like Bendy does, she decides she could put you to better use instead. She has a hatred for Bendy, and figures that you might be able to help her out with some tasks to regain some control of the studio, and to irritate Bendy in the process. The tasks include retrieving items for her, and destroying some of the Bendy cutouts. I really liked this section of the game, and the panic that it brought as Alice's voiceover warns you not to run too much in case you draw Bendy's attention.

Sound design was fantastic with the varying sounds increasing the tension, and environmental sounds such as ink dripping, or film reels spinning leaving you second guessing everything you hear: is it an enemy? Where is it coming from? etc. etc.

Voice acting was done well throughout, with a nice surprise in the form of Jacksepticeye's voice on one of the recordings within Chapter 3. The actors were convincing in both their threat (from the likes of Alice), and the confusion in some of the recordings' voices. These cassettes, located all throughout the levels, add in further backstory to what had been going on in the studio long before its closure.
Gameplay itself was enjoyable and figuring out puzzles was entertaining, if a little frustrating at times when I couldn't immediately tell what I was meant to do next. Movement often felt slow/sluggish when trying to run from enemies, and every now and then reaction times would almost grind to a halt (particularly in one boss fight when trying to dodge a projectile), so I'd have to overcompensate by moving before you'd reasonably expect to avoid this issue. This luckily only happened a few times, and was possibly a glitch (in the case with the projectile) as I gave up out of frustration and exited out completely, then reloaded the game almost instantly and it worked fine first time. Also, in the final chapter, a couple of times an enemy got trapped within a wall, but this would fix itself as soon as I walked past and they noticed me so wasn't too much of an issue.

There are a bunch of secrets to be found throughout the levels - some of which can only be seen after completing the game and unlocking an item to be used on all chapters - and tonnes of tins of Bacon Soup littered all over the place for you to collect. I thought I'd done really well collecting all of the soup, only to not be awarded the achievement at the end, so must have missed a couple somewhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game, and would recommend to anyone to give it a shot. A few minor gripes here and there, but overall I loved it. The simplicity of the game (both in terms of gameplay and art direction), paired with the genuine feeling of dread and tension made for a fantastic time.

In the end, we decided to give Bendy and the Ink Machine a 9/10.

Have you played BATIM yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Asylum Reviews; Desert Child [Xbox One].

Created by Oscar Brittain, Desert Child is a racing RPG that is heavily inspired by his love of animes such as Akira, Cowboy Bebop and Redline, and this alone was enough to have us interested. You play as a broke young hoverbike racer, whose end goal is to move to Mars. With the cost set to rise shortly, you need to make money - fast - via whatever method you can, be that pizza deliveries, robberies or racing.

Police can and will seize any money you have on you if you are pulled over, so make sure to always deposit into a bank as there is nothing more frustrating than having a great deal saved up and then losing it all in one fell swoop. The more illegal activities you get up to, the more likely the police are to stop you, so this needs to be kept in mind too. Money is what everything revolves around - you need to save to move to Mars, but you also need to pay for food, as well as bills and repair costs for your bike whenever it needs fixed. This constant grind for money, paired with the relatively low number of varied activities to do for money means that things can feel stale and repetitive quite quickly.

The pixelated art style is gorgeous, with a really authentic retro feel - the colours are stunning and everything really pops. The lo-fi hip-hop soundtrack is awesome and we really enjoyed most of the tracks - even the cheesier ones that at times will have you chuckling away to the lyrics when they match up to what you're doing (such as when you're doing the pizza deliveries). It's really impressive to think that one single person has created every part of this game, from the art, music, game design and animation, everything has been lovingly crafted by Oscar himself. As well as his influence from anime, hip-hop has been a huge point of reference for the making of Desert Child, with a link to Oscar's own Spotify playlist available here.

Mostly everything follows the same race format, whether that be herding kangaroos, taking part in actual races, or any of a number of other activities. It would have been nice to have a bit more variety in the style of activities on offer, and might have added another layer of RPG-ness to the game (as that side seems quite barebones).

Sadly, there's just not a whole lot of substance to the game itself, which is pretty disappointing as we were so excited by the initial premise. The beautiful aesthetic, as well as the cheap price point (only £9.59 on Xbox One) still make this a game we're happy to have tried out, and we'll definitely keep an eye out for any of Oscar Brittain's future releases, as we imagine that he'll only improve from here.

In the end, we decided to give Desert Child a 6.5/10.

Have you played Desert Child yet? What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Entries to the Asylum; Monday 7th January 2019 - Sunday 13th January 2019 [Week 2].

A little bit of a surprising week this week... We've had no arrivals! A few things are on the way, and we did actually get a customs sl...