Friday, 9 December 2016

Asylum Reviews: Headlander [Xbox One].

Double Fine's Headlander has recently been released on Xbox One, and we just couldn't wait to play it. A Metroidvania-style game, set in a heavily 70s sci-fi inspired future, where you are the last conscious, surviving human. Oh, and by human, we mean a floating head.

It's the future, so naturally everyone has uploaded their consciousnesses into robot bodies to do tasks as they see fit. Because y'know, why not? Only, this wasn't a very good idea, since an AI named Methuselah has gone and taken over these robots, trapping the little human minds inside.

You play the nameless, bodiless, silent hero. Just a head, with a super useful helmet that allows you to zoom around and ultimately take control of the robots bodies (and other things) that you encounter along the way. Certain robots can do some things, whilst others can't, meaning that there's all the puzzle-y elements of retracing your steps and such that you'd expect. The gameplay is smooth, and feels great whether you are flying around bodiless, or taking control of a robot. When flying around, you're faster, and more capable of exploring, but unable to do damage to enemies (at least until you get some upgrades). Whilst utilizing a robot, you can engage in combat with other robots, open warp doors, etc. You can use cover whilst shooting, however this is rarely needed. It's more fun to just shoot and swap bodies whilst running around.

Shooting is pretty good with the ability of a targeting system to see where lasers are going to land. Or you can just fire blindly and watch your lasers bounce all over the place. Some robots have different abilities, meaning that some are more useful in some situations than others, and they vary in power too: some might have a single laser and some may have a quad laser, etc. There's also an upgrade tree, with a decent amount of upgrades, that allow unique opportunities, like headbutting and swapping your head onto the now decapitated robot's body, getting shields around your helmet and a vacuum ability to pop the heads off of robots that you plan to take over. 

Collectables are fun to look for and not too many that it makes it tedious collecting them. They're also useful collectables, as they allow you to upgrade, which makes it more of an incentive to find them rather than just for achievements. The game wasn't very hard overall, and the bosses were few in number (and generally not that difficult to defeat either), which was slightly dsappointing. It would have been good to have had at least a few more bosses to lengthen the game a bit more, as generally speaking, you can complete it, in it's entirety in around 8 hours or so. 

Voice acting is fantastic and there's a good dose of humour to the game, which is of course a Double Fine staple. Richard Steven Horowitz makes a vocal-appearance too, having previously voiced Raz in Psychonauts, here he is voicing the Mappy robots, as well as the automated turrets. The styling of the rooms and areas is really cool, and really fit so well together. There are dances available to do whilst in control of the robots, which is funny, and lands you an achievement for doing them all. 

Full of the usual sci-fi tropes, this keeps the humour going, whilst nodding to all of the things inspiring the game. Double Fine are just so diverse as a developing team, and that's why we really love them. From genre, to art style, no matter what they choose to do it just always hits the right notes with us. And we're excited to see what else they bring out in future (PSYCHONAUTS 2! - that we pledged a lot for on fig). Really loved the game, hence why we 100% completed it. 

Fantastic game, and truly worthy of the 9/10 score we've chosen to give it.

Have you played Headlander?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Monday, 28 November 2016

Entries to the Asylum: Tuesday 8th November - Sunday 27th November 2016.

Tuesday 8th November 2016.

- The Voices Steelbook [Bluray].

Thursday 10th November 2016.

- Dishonored 2 Collector's Edition [Xbox One].

Friday 11th November 2016.

- Summer Wars/The Girl Who Leapt Through Time [Bluray].
- Tiger & Bunny: The Beginning Collector's Edition [Bluray].
- Goosebumps Steelbook [Bluray].

Monday 14th November 2016.

- Digimon Season 2 [DVD].
- Pokémon 3-Movie Collection [Bluray].

Tuesday 15th November 2016.

- Watch Dogs 2 San Francisco Edition [Xbox One].

Friday 18th November 2016.

- Outlaw Star Collector's Edition [Bluray].

Tuesday 22nd November 2016.
*These are all technically the wee man's, but including them for the sake of them being in the shelves, etc.

- Cartoon Network Battle Crashers [Xbox One].
- Transformers Devastation [Xbox One].
- Rock Band: Band in a Box Edition [Xbox One].
- Nintendo Classic Mini NES.

Saturday 26th November 2016.

- Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare "Know Your Enemies" Preorder Pack.

Quite a lot has been received since the last Entries post :) There should also have been Pokémon Sun and Moon Fan Editions (w/ preorder bonus figurines) however they have yet to materialize in the post, grr.

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

- V x

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Asylum Reviews: The Bug Butcher [Xbox One].

In The Bug Butcher, by Austrian developers Awfully Nice Studios (in conjunction with Triangle Studios for the console releases), you play as an exterminator called Harry who is tasked to destroy the hordes of alien bugs that are taking over the ship. The gameplay is fairly straightforward, but massively fun.

The game is able to be played co-operatively, which is a great inclusion, as this has been a fantastic game to play with our son, who enjoys - and is surprisingly good at - killing all of the weird bugs and blobs that head his way. The objective is simple, clear out each room of all of the bugs that are infesting it. As you wipe out a wave, more will come until the room is literally covered, and you (and a friend, if playing co-op), have to shoot them all, whilst dashing side to side to dodge them. See, these bugs don't just fill up the room, they like to bounce around, attempting to squish you. So as the waves get faster, and with more bugs spawning, this can be quite panic-inducing, but nevertheless fun.

As well as killing the bugs, you often have to rescue the little scientist guy who is accompanying you. He doesn't do anything really, in the sense of fighting back. His role in the game is to occasionally give you power ups, which can alter your weapon for a short time, giving you faster rate of fire, stronger weapons, etc. Often, spider looking enemies will spawn with big grabby tentacles that will snatch your little scientist friend, trying to take him away - these need to be dealt with straight away, as losing him will end the run.

Three difficulties exist: Easy, Medium and Hard. The difference between these is the number of bars of health you have available to you, with Hard being just a single bar, and this is cleverly, and humourously depicted in you, Harry, wearing nothing but your pants. No armor, whatsoever. Nada. Two game modes exist, so as well as Arcade Mode, which is essentially your Story Mode, we also have Panic Mode, which is pretty much just a horde mode, but an aptly titled one. Both are available in the main menu from the start, but Arcade is the usual one we play, especially if playing with our son. The bonus for playing Panic Mode in co-op, is that if you get downed, your partner-in-butchering can revive you. 

The game is fun, fast-paced and interesting, with a variety of upgradeable weapons in your arsenal, a cute art style - that still manages to be gory when those bugs explode, 30 levels that feel and play differently as you progress due to your upgraded weapons and different enemies, and a Leaderboard system, to give yourself the bragging rights against your friends - providing you're the best, of course.

And at only £7.99 on the Xbox Store, it's cheap and cheerful, which makes it even better that it's a whole load of fun. So we decided to give The Bug Butcher a solid 8/10.

Have you played The Bug Butcher? What did you think about it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Back once again....

Hi guys, sorry for being AWOL for quite some time again. I was unfortunately suffering with pneumonia, and am currently still recovering. Don't worry though, it was a mild case, but still put me out of action for a bit (and my voice still hasn't returned to normal yet, which is pretty damn frustrating when your work revolves around speaking!).

Things have been pretty busy here in the Asylum, between me being ill, the kids being ill a couple of times whilst I was ill, and Allan having kidney stones and requiring surgery all fairly recently, we've been a little bit preoccupied.

But things have all settled down again, so you can expect quite a few posts shortly. Starting with an Entries to the Asylum post, for everything that has been received since the last one, as well as a few posts discussing things I've been thinking about lately, and of course some reviews!

So please keep checking back, and you'll see all our new stuff shortly!

What other things would you like to see soon?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Monday, 7 November 2016

Asylum Reviews: Rive [PS4].

Okay, let me just start by saying...


Like. So fucking hard. It is easily the hardest game I've played this year, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Some people thrive on difficulty in games, with the extreme frustration being a driving factor to push them through the game. I can be like that with some games, however Rive really did make me question my own sanity at times.

A 2D side-scrolling platformer/twin-stick shooter hybrid, Rive has you play as Roughshot, a frequently-pop-referencing space-scavenger who can hack into enemies, causing them to work against themselves, and a whoooole bunch of other cool stuff. With 360-degree shooting, , the game is just about as bullet-hellish as you can imagine, with a tonne of trial and error needed to progress, however this constant barrage of death does prove to make you better, albeit whilst tearing your hair out in the process, but this can be a fantastic incentive - just the relief of completing a particularly difficult part.

Rive makes it easy for you to figure out what needs to be done, but the actual process of doing these things is where the game gets hard. And when you finally pull it off, something else often ends up killing you immediately after. And then the whole process starts over. As I've said before, this can be horrifically frustrating, but also really pushes you to your limits, making you react faster and think more about your plan of attack. The art design too, is fresh and great to look at, and the weapon upgrades and gadgets that you receive as you progress in the game make taking down enemies more interesting and fun as you go along. 

It's a good game, but it is marred slightly by the difficulty, but again, if that's your thing, then you'll totally love Rive. If schmups aren't your thing, then I'm afraid Rive probably ain't the game for you, but I would recommend trying it out a little, at least just to see how you fare with the difficulty. Plus, it's fairly cheap too, at only £7.99 currently on the UK PS Store - EIGHT QUID - so even if you end up not being a massive fan, it won't be too much of a loss, and with this being the developer's last game, it would be nice for it to do well sales-wise.

Two Tribes, the Dutch indie-game developers behind Rive have now officially closed their doors as of Rive's release. Not through poor sales of the game itself, or company buy-out, but instead voluntarily shutting up shop. After struggling with the release of their previous game, Toki Tori 2, and filing for bankruptcy in early 2014, I guess Two Tribes figured best to end on the high of the release of a game, rather than drag things out any longer. It's always sad to see a developer close their doors, but better to do it this way than to see them go as so many have before.

In the end, we decided to give Rive a 7/10.

What did you think of Rive?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Entries to the Asylum - Thursday 3rd - Monday 7th November 2016.

A few entries from the past few days.

Saturday 5th November 2016

- Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens 3D Collector's Edition [Bluray].
- Mr. Robot eps1.91_redwheelbarr0w.txt Book.

Sunday 6th November 2016

- Gundam Reconguista in G Collector's Edition [Bluray].
- Lego Dimensions Back to the Future Level Pack.

Monday 7th November 2016

- Mobile Suit Gundam: Part 1 [Bluray].
- X-Men Apocalypse Book Pack Edition [Bluray].
- World of Final Fantasy Collector's Edition [PS4].

Yaaay. So happy with the things that have arrived recently. Especially WoFF as I was panicking about that due to Square Enix Store cancelling my order and refusing to reinstate it, but I managed to get it in the end!

What have you got recently?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Asylum Reviews: King of Fighters XIV [PS4].

SNK's King of Fighters XIV is a fantastic return to the KOF series for both veteran players and fans, but to gather in new fans, too. The art style has shifted from the 2D characters of previous releases, to 3D character models on a platform, on a 2D backdrop. It's a nice change in aesthetic, but still retains enough of the King of Fighters feel not to disgruntle too many diehard fans of the originals.

Exclusively for the PS4, I feel that opening it up to Xbox One owners would have been a good idea, especially considering XIII's release for 360 - and the fact it's been six years since then - giving more people a chance to play. Another thing to consider is the popularity versus other fighting games, sales did reasonably well for KOF XIV, but compared to games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, it's practically nothing. Which, in all honesty, is a shame as King of Fighters XIV is definitely not a bad game by any means.

With an impressive array of fighting styles between all of the characters, this can prove selecting a team a tough choice. Characters are displayed in their little trios, if you want to play them with their usual teams, but of course you have the freedom to pick who you want, also. With so many characters to choose from, you're also bound to have a few favourites, although mastering them may take quite some time as the game does have quite a sharp difficulty spike, especially as you have to master three characters at once, rather than just the usual single character playstyle of other fighting games.

Fighting is beautiful, with the characters, as previously mentioned, now in 3D. The colours are bright and really make this game a pleasure to look at. The characters are greatly varied in both appearance and in ability, and with both series originals and newbies - this allows both old and new players to find something new to marvel over. And the music, whilst not groundbreaking, was certainly fun enough to keep me in the fighting mood.

I really enjoyed King of Fighters XIV, albeit struggling a little with the difficulty of pulling off some of the better moves, but regardless of that, it is still a very enjoyable game to play. In the end, we came to the agreement that KoF XIV gets a well deserved 8.5/10.

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

- V x

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Entries to the Asylum: Tuesday 18th October - Wednesday 2nd November 2016.

My apologies guys, wrote this out a few days ago and forgot to publish, so here is it (at last) with another couple of updates added on!

Tuesday 18th October 2016
- The Iron Giant Ultimate Signature Edition [Bluray]. 
Monday 24th October 2016
- The Witcher 3 Game of the Year Edition Guide.
Friday 28th October 2016

- Thomas Was Alone [PS4].
- Dragonball Xenoverse Season Pass [Xbox One].
Saturday 29th October 2016
- Lego Dimensions Adventure Time Team Pack.

Monday 31st October 2016

- Dragonball Xenoverse 2 Collector's Edition [Xbox One].
- Preacher Season One Collector's Edition [Bluray].
Wednesday 2nd November 2016
- Blood Blockade Battlefront Collector's Edition [Bluray].

I feel like there are a couple of things received since the last Entries post that I haven't written here, but I can't think what they are, so those will be added later if a) they exist, and b) I remember them! I also have a few reviews already written that just need some tweaking (as well as some pictures to be added), so those will go up at some point today also.

What new things have you got recently?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Asylum Reviews: Deadlight Director's Cut [Xbox One].

Tequila Works' Deadlight Directors Cut is a fantastic addition to anyone's collection. Reminiscent of games like Limbo, with its muted colouring and 2.5D side scrolling gameplay. It originally launched in 2012 for the Xbox Live Arcade. Set in the 80s, you play as Randall Wayne as he searches for his missing family.

Seattle (where the game is based) is infested by zombies, zombies who may seem easy when alone - but get yourself trapped in a group and all hope is lost. This gives the game a great, uneasy tenseness, which coupled with the aesthetic of the game creates a fantastic sense of sheer panic as you run, wall-jump and bash your way through the levels. Platforming seems mostly solid, and there are some puzzle-y segments that are pretty challenging, but satisfying to figure out. Occasionally there are some faster-paced chases, which can be extremely panic-inducing, but these are very fun to do.

The stark contrast between you, Randall, in the foreground and the complex, detailed (and much brighter) backgrounds is a beautiful thing to behold and definitely had me mesmerized for a few brief moments as it distracted me.

The way the game plays out is great, and really gets you to feel for poor Randall as you play throughout its slightly disappointingly short story. Even with the hidden items dotted around, such as stat upgrades, exploring doesn't add all that much length to the gameplay. With a total gameplay time of around 5-6 hours, it definitely doesn't feel as long as it should, however being priced at £15-20 (which is what it currently stands at) does feel just about right.

With the Director's Cut being pretty much the same as the original apart from visuals, I feel like some more stuff could have been incorporated. One thing that was, however, is the Survival Arena, a game mode that drops you in an over-run hospital with the aim to fend the zombies off for as long as you possibly can. This can be fun, especially as you gain additional weapons as you progress. This, combined with the upgraded graphics and intense gameplay all adds up to a really great game that I definitely enjoyed, and feel that first time players - who didn't play it first time around on XBLA - will really like what this has to offer.

We'd have to give Deadlight Director's Cut a solid 8/10.

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

- V x

Thursday, 20 October 2016

First Look at Nintendo Switch!

I'm actually sooooo excited about this. It's another risky, gamechanging move for Nintendo, as always, but it really does look fantastic.

Bring on March 2017!

- V x

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Tour is coming to GLASGOW!

As some of you may already know, the Zelda Symphony is coming to Scotland for the first time, and it's coming to my hometown of Glasgow! I am super excited for this, and really cannot wait to experience it. It is taking place, for one night only, in the Clyde Auditorium on Thursday 20th October - that's LESS THAN ONE WEEK AWAY!

Tickets are still available here, so make sure to get them soon!

I also had the opportunity to do a quick interview with Jason Michael Paul, the mastermind behind the event:

Vanessa: So how does it feel to be bringing the Zelda Symphony to Scotland for the first time?
Jason: It is super exciting! The idea of bringing this show to fans all over the world is what keeps me motivated.

V: What is your favourite Zelda game, and why?
J: I like all of the games! Skyward Sword is probably my favourite because I produced the Orchestral CD that was included as part of the bundle. I'm most affectionate about that game because I feel as if I contributed to the Zelda franchise.

V: Which Zelda game inspires you the most, musically?
J: Majora's Mask and Ocarina of Time.

V: Do you have a favourite part of the Symphony, for personal reasons or audience reaction?
J: The finales always generate a positive reaction. It is overwhelming at times.

V: Have any of the locations been particularly responsive (to a surprising amount), or has anything unexpected happened at any of the locations?
J: Paris recently was amazing! The fans were very appreciative and yearning for more. They wouldn't let us leave!

V: Is there a location not currently listed on the tour that you'd love to take the Zelda Symphony to if the opportunity arose?
J: I am always looking at new destinations to take the show to. My goal is to bring the show to mass audiences all over the world.

V: And finally, the "Master Quest" season will have been running for just over two years when it's done. Was this better than the shorter runs of previous seasons, or would you prefer to go back to a shorter season if the Zelda Symphony was to happen again?
J: I am happy with exactly what we are doing. It's exactly what I set out to do when I started this project.

 Many thanks to Jason for taking the time to answer these questions for me, and I really can't wait for the event on Thursday.

Have you been to the Zelda Symphony this season?
What did you think of it?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Friday 7th and Saturday 8th October 2016.

A few absolutely fantastic Entries to the Asylum these past two days:

Friday 7th October 2016.

- Gears of War 4 Limited Edition "Crusher" Xbox One S.
- Mafia III Collector's Edition [Xbox One].

Saturday 8th October 2016.

- Gears of War 4 Limited Edition Elite Controller.

All three of these items are of fantastic quality, are absolutely beautiful and are things I am really happy to own. I will post some pics up of each later on here, and if you want a sneak peek of any of them, be sure to check us out on instagram (as pics normally end up there first!)

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

- V x

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Monday 3rd October 2016.

A few new additions to the Asylum from Monday:

Monday 3rd October 2016

- Digimon Season 1 [DVD].
- Final Fantasy XV: Kingsglaive Steelbook [Bluray].

Really glad that Digimon has been rereleased, however I'm pretty annoyed that it's only on DVD. At least the Digimon Adventure Tri release in December is on Bluray :)

And also very happy to have Kingsglaive. I'd be getting it within the Final Fantasy XV UCE anyway, but I really wanted to see it now, rather than waiting for over a month. And at least the Steelbook in the UCE is different to this one, too.

What new things have you picked up?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Sunday 18th September - Saturday 1st October 2016.

Sorry guys, have forgotten to post my updates recently, so here are all of the things I've received since Sunday 18th September!

Monday 19th September 2016

- Labyrinth Special 30th Anniversary Edition [Bluray].

Saturday 24th September 2016.

- Loot Crate September 2016.

Tuesday 27th September 2016.
- Octodad: Dadliest Catch Dad Edition Tie.
- Dragonball Xenoverse Promo Copy [Xbox One].
- Dragonball Xenoverse Promo Goku SSJ Figure.
- Dragonball Xenoverse Promo 2014 Calendar. 

Thursday 29th September 2016.

- Fifa 17 Deluxe Edition [Xbox One].
- Fifa 17 Preorder Bonus Steelbook.

Friday 30th September 2016.

- Lego Dimensions Ghostbusters Story Pack.
- Lego Dimensions Adventure Time Level Pack.
- Quantum Break Timeless Collector's Edition [PC].

 Saturday 1st October 2016.

- Nerd Block Jr September 2016.

That's everything I've received :D I did forget one thing from the last Entries... post (again!) and that was the August 2016 IndieBox, which was for The Stanley Parable :)

We're now into October, the busiest month of the year (at least, for us) so you can expect a whole load of Entries to the Asylum updates!

What new things have you got recently?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Friday, 23 September 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Saturday 17th September 2016.

A couple of entries to the Asylum today:

- ReCore Collector's Edition [Xbox One].
- Dead Island Definitive Collection Preorder Bonus Steelbook.
- Disney Infinity Kylo Ren Figure.

After all of the hassle I had with GAME surrounding my ReCore order, I'm glad I finally have it. Plus I got the Dead Island steelbook for free, so can't complain on that front :)

Also forgot to add to one of the more recent Entries posts, but also got the Disney Infinity Sadness Figure, from Inside Out. Since the whole line has been discontinued now, some shops are selling them off super cheap, however they go fast when this is the case, and in other shops they seem to be permanently in stock, stuck at their RRPs, so I hope they get price cuts soon so I can nab some more.

What new things have you got recently?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

PS: Check back soon for some photos of the ReCore CE!

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Asylum Reviews: Bears Can't Drift!? [PS4].

Bears Can't Drift!? from a studio named Strangely Named Studio (say that five times fast!), is a cute new take on the typical cart racer. Drawing heavy inspiration from the likes of Crash Team Racing and Diddy Kong Racing, it instantly piqued our interest.

From the moment you start up the game, you can tell it's something different. With no main menu, which is common in, well... pretty much every game out there, particularly when having the need to select difficulty, you see the ingenuity of incorporating the menu-style options into a playable selection with three branching roads leading to the three difficulty levels: straight on for the easiest, left for the standard, or "Normal" difficulty, and a steep drop to the right for Hard.

There are a few environments and tracks for you to race around. each including game modes as well, such as Time Trials and a "Picnic" mode, where you have to collect as much food as you can - yum! Unfortunately, these races feel very bog-standard, and the lack of a directional arrow is downright infuriating, as you will no doubt get lost countless times (resulting in a poop score) before you finally learn the layout. The hub worlds are fairly bland, with only a few different types to choose from, and the tracks within them being very samey, I feel like a lot more thought could have gone into the designs to make them really stand out and be memorable.

The art style of the game is absolutely beautiful, with bright colours and pretty scenery. There are also a variety of weapons, like you would normally see in Mario Kart and such, only they can be multipled for different effects which can be quite cool. These weapons are your usual types, so I wish there was a bit more of a choice, but the ability to combo them does help. Although, I do wish there was a way to combine weapons of different types for weird and wacky effects. The drifting, as mentioned in the name can be frustrating at times, often leading to me careering off the edge of the track, but that's quite possibly just a by-product of me not being the greatest at cart-racers. Allan on the other hand is pretty good at them, but he also tends to drift off cliffs and such, making me think that possibly this could just be doing with some tweaking. I do really like the motion blur effect when you drift though, as it just adds to the enjoyment when you do successfully drift round a corner. Falling off the track is usually an instant killer to a good run, as one wrongly timed drift, or misjudged angle and you'll be off, and by the time you get pinged back to the track, you'll often find you're now at least 2 or 3 places behind. And coupled with the confusing track layouts, this can easily make you want to give up.

With a cute bunch of playable characters to choose from, you'll definitely end up with a favourite. Allan has a few favourites: the robot, the crash test dummy and the skeleton bear, whereas I on the other hand, am all about the panda. You can also modify the colour of your cart, with mine usually always being purple, but the ability to actually choose from different carts would have been a good addition. The music is sometimes boring, which is really quite a disappointment, as good music could really have helped this game, especially considering how amazing the soundtracks in other cart-racers are.

The game doesn't hold your hand at all, which at times I like, but it really doesn't explain much in terms of game mechanics at all, such as the room with a delete button in the middle of it, I presume it's to delete your save, but whyyyy? It tries to be simplistic, but this really ends up being more over-complicated than simple, with you furiously attempting to figure out how to do anything.

The game doesn't bode too well for playing alone, which does let it down a bit as Mario Kart, etc are very successful even in single player, but BCD!? is definitely designed primarily as a fun multiplayer game. My son loves it, and it has proved to be a good game to play with him. Overall, whilst it does have a few let-downs, it is still a fun game to play, especially when you've got kids.

We'd have to rate it a 6.5/10, and it's not a bad price, especially if you're picking it up for your kids.
Bears Can't Drift!? is out now on PS4 for £7.99.

Have you played BCD!? What were your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Friday, 16 September 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Friday 16th September 2016.

Today I received the following:

- Bioshock The Collection [Xbox One].
- Bioshock The Collection Preorder Bonus Steelbook.

I should also have received the ReCore Collector's Edition, but as is normally the case lately, GAME fucked up my preorder, (this also applied to Bioshock but luckily that one was fixable), so I will have to collect the CE from my local store tomorrow.

I'm really glad I got the Bioshock The Collection right now. Initially I was going to wait for a bit as I've got such a huge backlog right now, but I figured the steelbook would likely be gone so didn't want to risk it, and well, I'm glad I didn't. 1. Because the steelbook is already pretty much gone, and 2. Because the game is in a beautiful foil slipcover (the photo above really does not do it justice!), which is something I massively appreciate, and know that often further down the line, the copies no longer have these.

Slipcovers are something that, while not the fanciest of packaging, I really enjoy. Especially when they are as pretty as this one. They make the case so much nicer than just a boring old amaray, so if a game or movie, or whatever, has no "Special" editions or anything, but does have a slipcover, then I'll do my best to get it. And while they used to be fairly common (especially on standard blurays), they seem to be a bit few and far between of late, particularly with games.

I can't wait to play through all of the Bioshock games in all of their remastered glory, but first I'll need to reduce the backlog a little, get a few reviews up, and then I'll move onto it. And since poor Allan is currently in the hospital (kidney stones, ouch), I've got full control of the TV, so can actually get some games played for once! Muahahahahahaaaa.

What new stuff have you received lately?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Asylum Reviews: We Happy Few (Game Preview) [Xbox One].

When life annoys, top up your joy!

Compulsion Games' We Happy Few, which is currently available on Game Preview (and Steam Early Access), is an indie survival game, set in a dystopian, retrofuturistic Great Britain, following the events of World War II, had the war turned out differently. As Compulsion described it on their Kickstarter, it's a "game of paranoia and survival, in a drugged-out, dystopian English city in 1964." and well, yeah... that pretty much describes it perfectly.

My review for the Game Preview has been long overdue, in part because of shit that has been going on in my life, and also because I just didn't feel like I'd successfully managed to get a decent way into the game for me to review. Well, I have now, and with the new update just released/about to release on consoles, what better time than to tell you all what I think!

Gameplay wise, it's a fun (albeit fucking frustrating) endeavor. I really enjoyed the tasks you are given, however I did find them quite a bit more challenging than they should be really, at times. This was mainly down to the fact I'd have to repeatedly visit certain locations, and even with the map there for you to use, it was quite difficult, as points of interest are highlighted, but with no identifying note or Quest name appearing when you hover over it.

The residents of Wellington Wells, are downright creepy, be they Wastrels or those "Happy" folk. And boy do they hold a grudge. I was caught walking into someone's house and they chased me practically to the other end of the map. One slightly annoying part of the character design is that pretty much every woman has the same face, and again, pretty much every man has the same face (and I mean when they don't have those happy masks on!), too. A little bit more variety would have been great, but I understand that this may be something that comes later. We are in the Early Access/Game Preview stage right now, I suppose.

The game is largely based on survival. You of course have tasks that need doing, but survival plays a huuuuge part in the game. I felt like the survival aspect was much harder than expected. With your hunger, tiredness and thirst meters all pretty much constantly depleting, I really did struggle at times, almost to the point of just wanting to give up completely.

But, I persevered. And I improved. And with each continual death (and eventually with me turning off the permadeath setting to enable me to actually get to grips with the game!), I grew more fond of it. The difficulty of survival was still there, but it wasn't as much of a threat, so I was less panicky, and more able to fulfill the quests and focus on actually finding what needed to be found.

Another obviously big part of the game is your choice with the drug, Joy. Joy is a drug that, bar the first part of the game where you take the joy as part of a cut-scene, you can choose to go without. It does as the name would suggest. It makes you, the character, happy and carefree, and makes the world around you seem a brighter, happier place (often obscuring some morbid or disgusting thing, and making it seem like something fun or beautiful). Within the Wastrel areas of the game, nobody is on Joy. They are all hopeless, and living in wrecked and abandoned houses, with very little in terms of food or first aid. Fights will break out, and the whole area is a slum. As you progress, and you get into the main part of Wellington Wells, everyone is on Joy, and if they suspect you of not being on Joy, too, then they won't hesitate to attack. This can be a challenge, as Joy isn't always easily found throughout the game.

When the game gets its full release, there will be three playable characters, one of whom being the character you are now, and with the other two to be revealed at a later date.

One sidequest I just could not do no matter what I tried was the Crazy Legs one. There's a dude just running rampant, the fastest guy you'll ever see. We're talking Mo Farah or Usain Bolt here. Everytime I saw him running towards me and I prepared to attack, he was gone. Since it's an optional side quest, I figured I'd leave him for later, when I am a little better at the game.

It's a fun game, but very hard to give a real impression of right now, since it's just the Game Preview. I'm definitely excited for what's to come, and to see how it progresses with each update, but at the same time, I kinda just want to wait until it's done to play, as I feel like with each update recommending you to start again, what's the point in me progressing in this save, if I'm gonna have to restart anyway?

The good thing about the Preview programme is that by purchasing the Game Preview, not only are you getting to try out the game but your money is also going to be helping out the developers, too, and more sales ultimately will mean a better game.

So if you can spare the £23.99 (on Xbox, or £22.99 on Steam), and you like the look of We Happy Few, and enjoy survival/roguelike/open world games, then definitely give this a try. I'll give the game a full rating (eg: a _/10) upon release, right now I feel like a proper score would be unfair as the game is unfinished.

So, have you tried We Happy Few yet? What were your thoughts?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Entries to the Asylum: Tuesday 6th September - Saturday 10th September 2016.

Just a couple of things from this week, very excited to have both variants of Song of the Deep CE now, and also another Limited Run Games physical copy added to the collection!

Thursday 8th September 2016

- Captain America: Civil War Steelbook [Bluray].
- Shadow Complex Remastered LRG Physical Copy [PS4].
- Shadow Warrior [Xbox One].

Friday 9th September 2016

- Song of the Deep Collector's Edition [Xbox One] [AUS].
- Kick Ass Limited Edition [Bluray] [AUS].
- Doom Reversible Poster.
- Fallout 4 Reversible Poster.
- Doom Postcards x3.

Saturday 10th September 2016

- Fallout 4 Nuka Cola Steelbook.

So many things I've been desperate to buy this week but sadly I need to stop looking, haha. Desperately need to save as have to buy a new Xbox next month (Gears of War 4 LE one!) as our current one is on its last legs... boo.

What have you picked up this week?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Monday, 5 September 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Wednesday 17th August - Monday 5th September 2016.

So here's all the stuff that we've received since the 17th August (plus one thing from the 15th that I forgot to post!)

Monday 15th August 2016

- 11.22.63 [Bluray].

Tuesday 23rd August 2016

- King of Fighters XIV [PS4] [Digital].

Wednesday 31st August 2016

- Qwertee "A One or a Zero" Mr Robot T-Shirt.

Thursday 1st September 2016

- Attack on Titan: Wings of Freedom Treasure Box Edition [PS4].

Friday 2nd September 2016

- The Legend of Zelda Mystery Box.

Saturday 3rd September 2016

- Ligne Graphique de Chanel Liquid Eyeliner.

Monday 5th September 2016

- August 2016 Arcade Block.

Lots of stuff I'm very happy to have received, and will be doing some unboxing pics of a few things later this week so make sure to check back! :)

What new stuff have you received lately? 
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Asylum Reviews: Dangerous Golf [Xbox One].

Three Fields Entertainment's Dangerous Golf is a really fun, different take on the typical mini-golf style game. Fun is easily what we were expecting from the creators of the Burnout series, but this is in a completely different, but still fantastic way.

With the objective of each round to do as much damage, and cause as much catastrophe as you possibly can, it's certainly a great game to unload after a day hard at work. The settings of each round vary, from being in a kitchen destroying bottles of champagne, fruit and more, to being at a garage and causing widespread destruction with exploding petrol pumps, it's definitely a hilarious game to play, just to see what the outcome is going to be.

My favourite part of the levels (other than the highly destructive nature, of course) was anytime there were unlockable bonus flags, as these added in another little incentive to boost your score, and then a challenge of trying to putt the ball into them all, whilst still allowing yourself the angle to get the final hole, otherwise say goodbye to your high score - it gets halved if you don't manage it.

Dotted throughout the game, at the end of each area is a challenge where you have to putt as many balls into the holes as you possibly can. You get a limit of three balls (and each time you miss, you lose one), and a timer counts down. These can be some of the most fun levels, and really make you push yourself to try and get as many as you can (and of the best tiers of flag as you can!) before the timer (or the number of balls) runs out.

The game can be a little frustrating at times as at the end of each round, once your Smashbreaker (which is a power-up that you gain from destroying enough items when you tee off) runs out, you get one shot to hit the ball into the hole. If you line it up, even with plenty of (destructible) things in the way, or even if you aim kinda off in all honesty, the ball pretty much always goes into the hole. The only times I really missed at this part was if there was a big wall or pillar in the way, or if I tried to bounce the ball from an opposing wall (in an attempt to get more points), then it would miss. This kinda took away a bit of the challenge to the game, and whilst it didn't bother me too much, it did annoy Allan a little as he'd hoped it would be a more challenging game.

But when it's a mindless destruct-a-thon like Dangerous Golf, then fun is the name of the game! And as Three Fields describes it, "the bigger the mess, the bigger the score!" and this definitely is the aim.

The game is also very beautiful. Like, way higher quality graphics than I'd expected, especially for a game with such a simple premise, but I suppose, if you're gonna have explosions, you're gonna want to see them done right. And with the creators of Burnout doing this, they definitely have the experience and expertise for doing this greatly.

All in all, I'd have to rate Dangerous Golf a 7/10, as it is a fantastically fun game to pass the time, and does what it sets out to do, and any issues that me (or Allan) have with it don't really affect it all that much.

What are your thoughts on Dangerous Golf?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Asylum Reviews: Bound [PS4].

The recently released game, Bound, developed by Plastic and published by Sony Santa Monica Studios is a beautiful, intriguing game.

Story-wise, a lot is left up to the imagination of the player. You dance and shimmy your way through the game, following the paths throughout. The chapters are randomly generated in a way, able to be played in any order. Each chapter has you, the dancer, working your way through the mysterious narrative that is Bound. The chapters of the game are laid out like the chapters of a book, where a sketchbook of some sort is seen at the beginning, and which is used as a Chapter Select function. The story of the game can be interpreted differently based on the order you play these chapters, but overall the story seems to be revolving around a family. 

The game's story is quite hard to follow, with minimal story-telling throughout, and as mentioned, what is there of the story is really left up to your own interpretation. Without giving too much away, the "memories" that you end up in can be pieced together to mould some semblance of a story, but unfortunately, one that still left us a little confused.

There's no doubt that the game is beautiful, much in the way that Journey is, and it can certainly be quite mesmerizing to just watch your character dance and twirl away, so I can't fault it on its aesthetic. But if anything, the "real world" parts are a stark contrast graphically, but I can't help but wonder if this was a conscious choice to differentiate between these "worlds", and the symbolic imagery throughout.

The gameplay was good, but felt better to look at than play, much like games such as Dear Esther or Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, in which most of the feel of the game comes from its beauty. There are platforming elements within, but these are fairly minimal. Whilst there are a lot of secret areas and collectibles, we have yet to discover all of these. We managed to find a few of these secret islands, but of what we have seen so far, they don't seem to contain a hell of a lot, bar a few collectible fragments that you obtain from a floating sphere. (And yes, I know what you're thinking, but you really need to play the game to understand).

There's a lack of enemies in the game, which is unfortunate, as some enemies, or at least a semi-boss-fight at the end of each chapter, just to change the pace up a bit, would have been beneficial. The only "threats" to you in the game - and they aren't even that, purely serving as a minor nuisance, slowing you down until you twirl your way through - are the paper planes, wavy grass and floating shards which surround you during certain segments of the game. Obviously enemies aren't always necessary to make a game good (or even enjoyable), but I feel that they could have added some further interest into the game (and given different ways to utilize your dancing skills).

There are a few cutscenes which left us a little mind-boggled, regarding (what we're referring to as) The Giants, who are somehow connected to your character. Again, without going into too much detail (not that there's a whole lot of it going on, minus the art of course), overall the ending of the game left us just as confused as we were throughout.

Hopefully, a second playthrough would help us to understand the story more, but we may get to that later. And with the game being designed with a huge forethought for Speedrunning, it certainly does call for further attempts - although I'm not at all sure how I'll manage to do it in under 50 minutes, like one of the trophies entails.

In the end, we'd have to rate this a 7.5, mainly based on the beautiful graphics and peaceful gameplay, but the vague story prevents us from rating this higher.

What are your thoughts on Bound?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Entries to the Asylum - Tuesday 16th August 2016

Couple of entries to the Asylum from yesterday:
- Bound [PS4]
- No Man's Sky Promo Postcards in Sleeve.
Currently playing through No Man's Sky and with around 10 hours or so of play-time so far, I really don't feel like I've progressed at all. A review will be coming soon, or a review-in-progress, more likely, however I'm still pretty much unsure how I feel about the game.
What have you received lately?
- V x

Friday, 12 August 2016

Entries to the Asylum: Monday 18th July - Wednesday 10th August 2016.

Sorry once again guys for taking so long to do an Entries to the Asylum post. There was a lot going on here (what with my new job, etc) and then things got worse. So here is what I've been missing recently from updates!

Friday 29th July 2016

- We Happy Few [Xbox One Game Preview].

Saturday 30th July 2016

- Loot Crate July 2016.

Tuesday 2nd August 2016

- July 2016 Arcade Block.

Wednesday 3rd August 2016.

- 10 Cloverfield Lane Steelbook.
- Lime Crime Velvetines in Riot and Polly.

Friday 5th August 2016

- S.H. Figuarts Broly Premium Color Edition [SDCC Exclusive].
- S.H. Figuarts Super Saiyan Trunks.
- The Basement Collection Special Edition [PC].

Saturday 6th August 2016

- Xbox One Controller [w/ 3.5mm Audio Jack].

Tuesday 9th August 2016

- The Killing Joke Limited Edition [Bluray].

Wednesday 10th August 2016.

- No Man's Sky Collector's Edition [PS4].
- Psychonauts [PSN].
- Ape Escape 2 [PSN].
- Bears Can't Drift!? [PS4].
- July 2016 IndieBox: Hand of Fate.

I'm sure there's also some other things I've forgotten about from earlier on in this period, but unfortunately I'm pretty certain I won't remember them, haha! Especially considering that I forgot to write previously that I have received the June 2016 IndieBox, which was for Moon Hunters. I don't remember what date I received it, but I don't seem to have written that down anywhere in the Entries posts between this one and the last one that mentions the May edition. Welp, I'll get better at this, I promise!

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

- V x

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Asylum Reviews: Life is Strange [Xbox One].

So I recently completed Life is Strange, after having the Limited Edition for months now (and meaning to review it for as long!).

I was super excited to play the game, but lots of stuff kept getting in my way, from absolutely no hard drive space to spare when I got it, to other games that I'd purchased taking priority due to all members of the house wanting to play, etc. But finally, I got it installed.

And boy am I glad I did.

I actually missed it when it first came out: a combination of lack of funds, and also losing track of release dates. but earlier this year, Square Enix were kind enough to send me a copy of the Limited Edition (so thanks again to them!). From the second I started playing, I immediately regretted not playing it sooner, but at the same time, was so glad to be currently playing it that waiting no longer seemed that bad.

If you don't already know, Life is Strange is a fantastic, critically-acclaimed game developed by Paris based developers Dontnod Entertainment (whose studio title I adore - gotta love a palindrome!). They also did the game Remember Me, prior to Life is Strange, and are currently in development for Vampyr, which we extremely cannot wait for.

Life is Strange is an episodic game, spanning five episodes, of roughly 2-4 hours each. It's an amazing game and really keeps you gripped and desperate to uncover the story throughout. Part of the intrigue of Life is Strange, is the ability to rewind time. You play as Max Caulfield, a teenage girl who, having moved away to Seattle as a child, has moved back home to Arcadia Bay to attend high school. Whilst living her normal, every-day school life, she witnesses a shooting in the girls' bathroom, initiating her ability to rewrite the past, and of course, the future.

Everything is understandably confusing and overwhelming for Max, who later discovers that the girl whose life she saved in the bathroom, was actually her childhood best friend, Chloe. They reunite, as if no time has passed, only to have their lives turned upside down with Max's vision of a disastrous tornado, that is set to destroy Arcadia Bay, and all who reside there.

The time altering is actually something I really enjoyed in this game, as with most choice driven games, once you make a choice that's you stuck with it. LiS enables you to make a choice, let it play out, and then rewind if it didn't work out, all the while keeping the knowledge you gained, and the items you picked up. It's a really enjoyable concept, and whilst it still has some more difficult puzzle moments in the game, where you sit there scratching your head (despite it being fairly obvious what you've to do), the game is pretty straightforward.

A fun, yet extremely time-consuming part of LiS is all of the backtracking you'll find yourself doing. I want to know the outcomes of literally every single thing I could say or do before I settle on my final, "permanent" choice. As shown above, one possibly option is to plant a kiss on your best friend Chloe, and these choices that overall don't make much of an impact on the story, certainly are referenced later on, if it ends up being your official choice.

All throughout the game, I was desperate to uncover everything, find out who was causing what, and ultimately save the day. The game isn't long overall, and it's pretty easy to blast through a couple of episodes in a day, which I was more than happy to do as I just had to find out everything (and without spoiling anything, I was totally taken aback by the ending!).

Only a couple of things bugged me about the game, but those weren't even big issues: the voice acting was off in places. I'm guessing the actors all recorded their lines separately as a lot of times the tone of voice didn't always match up in conversations. One person saying one thing, and then the reply from the second person being way off, I won't lie, it did stand out to me quite a few times. The other thing, and I don't know if this affected everyone or if it was just a glitch in my playthrough, but throughout almost the entire final episode, whenever anyone spoke to Max, their lips moved, but when Max responded, her mouth stayed completely still, or occasionally moved as though she was breathing (but not speaking). At first I put that down to us just hearing what she was thinking, but it happened too many times in moments where it was clear she was conversing with another character, and it slightly irritated me. But again, not enough for it to make me dislike the game.

Overall, I really loved and enjoyed the game, and was slightly sad when it was over as I wanted it to go on (but you always get that at the end of a great game, don't you?). The art style, the pacing, the intrigue, all combined into a game that really took my breath away. So I'd have to rate Life is Strange as an 8.5/10. And with talks of a TV series coming to Crackle at some point in the future, I'm really looking forward to seeing how that pans out.

What were your thoughts on Life is Strange?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

PS: Remember to check back later for unboxing photos of the Limited Edition! V x

Monday, 18 July 2016

Asylum Reviews: Lego Star Wars - The Force Awakens [Xbox One].

Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the latest game in the Lego line. Released on the 28th June, it's a welcome return to the Star Wars Lego games, with lots of classic characters in addition to the new ensemble cast.

Story wise, the game follows the same basic premise as the movie it takes its name from, but with a few missions from the previous movies, as well as some expanded missions (still in the current timeline), too. It also injects some humour into the story, as the Lego games like to do. One such moment that particularly stood out to us was in reference to the moment Kylo Ren has a bit of a meltdown in the movie, smashing things; in the game, we have him storming off to his Darth Vader-overload bedroom, and smashing that up instead (the wee man definitely enjoyed that part!).

If you've played a Lego game before, you'll know the basic structure of them. This one is no exception - and that's not a bad thing, by any means! Naturally, the way these games play are unlikely to change drastically, other than some new mechanics, which is what we were treated to here. A new cover system has been introduced, as well as the ability for buildable objects to be built in a number of ways, giving puzzles multiple parts (therefore requiring just a tad more brainpower). Other than that, the game is very much the same as other Lego games, just reskinned to fit the story of The Force Awakens. The games are great as they are, and this is a classic case of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".

The main story can be completed in less than 10 hours, but there are a tonne of things to do after that, giving the game a good amount of replayability. There are loads of unlockable characters, vehicles, and of course there are some things available through the Season Pass, too. So even if you blast through the game, aaand all of the unlockables, there's still more to come via the Season Pass, to get you back into the game at a later date. Plus, at only £7.99 on the Xbox Store (and similarly priced elsewhere), it's the cheapest Season Pass we've bought whilst not on sale!

As previously mentioned, the game plays and feels exactly like the previous Lego games, but this is why these games are so popular. They fit that family demographic, of being easy to play (for all ages), whilst telling the story of popular movies, etc. whilst allowing some couch co-op for you and your friends, or family.

Overall, it's a great game to have, especially if you have kids as they'll get a tonne of enjoyment from it, too, so we'd definitely have to give it an...


So what were your thoughts on Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens?
Let us know in the comments below!

- V x

Asylum Reviews: Paradise Killer [Switch].

  UK-based indie games developer Kaizen Game Works launched Paradise Killer, an open-world crime investigation game just over a week ago...