Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice – PS4, PC, XBOX ONE

After the closing of the Dark Souls trilogy, many were the fans who expected FromSoftware, to return to the charge to offer the sequel to the acclaimed Bloodborne. However, the surprise came when FromSoftware announced that, with Activision as publisher, it would bring a completely new IP to the market.
Story and Gameplay:
The possibility of jumping and reaching high areas quickly with a hook, as well as a posture system that gives a twist to the fight, are the main novelties of a creation that, although at first sight may seem far from the Souls saga / Bloodborne, in the end is very similar to these proposals. This game is the evolution of the recipe from FromSoftware, a new release that is able to be familiar to studio fans but, at the same time, avoids falling into repetition with a proposal halfway between the aggressiveness of Bloodborne and passivity of Dark Souls. This game is able to introduce the exact innovations to be a fresh experience and that does not feel recycled at all but, at the same time manages to offer a very familiar face to the players of the Souls / Bloodborne saga at the level of mechanics and sensations. As explained in the introduction, if FromSoftware’s recipe Dark Souls is the most defensive variant and Bloodborne the most offensive, Sekiro seeks an intermediate balance that gives way to the more tactical side. Everything in this game revolves around the balance between defense and attack, from the new combat mechanics to the very ambience of the title.
The game introduces a new combat system that allows us to kill all enemies either by lowering their classical health or by breaking their stance. This position, which is the novelty, works as a separate health bar that is filled as we attack and counterattack, but it decreases if we are too passive. Once it´s full, our enemy will be susceptible to a special attack that will lower a health bar completely; and I say one because the vast majority of bosses will have at least two of them. And, given that any enemy can finish us with practically a couple of blows, this tactical balance between attack and defense makes Sekiro offer an experience very similar to what we know from FromSoftware mechanically but very different in terms of game feeling . Even the setting, feudal Japan, helps this new balance between attack and defense. We are no longer hunters or facing huge beasts, now we are a warrior fighting other warriors, mostly anthropomorphic, and the sword combat is almost a dance. The attacks, counterattacks and defenses are interspersed to give as a result a dynamic, strategic, beautiful gameplay visually and, above all, as fun as can be expected.
Perhaps the only disappointing part that we can put into combat is that, no matter how many years go by, there are some mechanics that continue to be frustrating and unfair. The tracking of some enemies, which in the middle of the animation rotate completely to give us, the possibility that certain bosses throw us through the air outside the map to cause an instakill and some failures in the camera are details that I would like to see polished to As FromSoftware continues to create. And, yes, we are aware that some of these things are almost a hallmark of study and frustration is a fundamental part of the gaming experience, but that does not mean that, as mechanics, they are annoying. Sekiro is a work that maintains the essence of FromSoftware but evolves through its own channel; and that is not true only for the combat mechanics that I have already detailed, but it is also true for the other aspects of the game. One of the news that is most appreciated is the movement. Thanks to the hook of the prosthetic arm of our protagonist, crossing scenarios becomes much more dynamic and rewarding at the playable level. In addition, doing it well has a reward, since stealth is a key point and any enemy that we catch unprepared will lose an entire health bar with this first stealthy blow. That is why, to give us ways and options to attack with stealth, Sekiro has a much more vertical design than previous works, playing perfectly with the three dimensions.
And, precisely, the layout of the map and the objectives is something that also changes considerably. Instead of offering open areas or a linear path, Sekiro puts at our disposal different routes, more or less linear, that lead us to different objectives. We can go for the one we want when we want, so that, if at some point an enemy is stuck more than the account, we can turn around and try to advance through another area we have. Maybe we’ll get improvements that make that enemy that chokes us less dangerous when we decide to try again. This fact may seem silly, because in the end we will have to finish with concrete enemies to complete the work, but the truth is that it offers a breath of fresh air to the player. It is no longer necessary to spend four hours in a row dying at the hands of the same enemy if we do not want to, now there is another option. Sekiro is, in this sense, the work that shows a friendlier side of the whole FromSoftware repertoire. This also helps that the penalty for dying only takes money and part of the experience we had, without getting to lower our level or punish us excessively for something that will happen many times.
Sekiro introduces an enormous amount of minijefes distributed along the map; Some of them are obligatory and others optional, but all of them are worthy of giving them at least one opportunity for the spectacular design they offer. FromSoftware has created a cast of very varied enemies at a visual and playable level, where each one has well-differentiated abilities that will force us to adapt our strategy and rethink the balance of attack and defense to be used. If the fight in Sekiro is, as I said before, a dance, each enemy has different dance steps and we will have to learn to dance with each and every one of them.Luckily, to help us adapt our strategy we have the prosthetic arm, with which we will have access to different skills. Instead of personalizing the protagonist’s equipment, as was the case in previous works, Sekiro proposes a less organic progress where we unlock skills that we can equip ourselves with. We will have to use trial and error to see what is most convenient in each situation, but the truth is that this system of progress makes us enjoy all the options of the title and that each combat is unique.
The helplessness, the not knowing very well where you are going or why you have decided to take the path you are following are again pillars in the experience of the work of FromSoftware with a map that plays perfectly with the light and the color palette to take us for this roller coaster that is the path of solitude our protagonist. Such is the importance of this detail that even the history of the video game is articulated around our loneliness. A warrior who has only one adoptive father at his side and who will give his life for being with the one he swore to protect. Of course, as is usual in this type of games, the story goes far beyond what is presented to us explicitly and, although I have not had the time to investigate, I am sure that in a few days there will be full forums with theories about Sekiro and his characters. Because, yes, the secondary missions related to NPCs that we find around the world return abundantly, so it will be possible to follow certain narrative lines that reveal more.
Graphics and Sound:
We find ourselves with a simply amazing visual aspect that bets on the eclectic. The setting in feudal Japan gives rise to the possibility of mixing several styles in biomes and enemies to achieve, from start to finish, to surprise the eyes of the player. From large buildings where the advance is vertical to extensive temples full of monks, Sekiro deploys a visual arsenal that is as varied as it is beautiful. At the level of modeling, distance of vision and visual effects, Sekiro more than meets the current generation, and the performance is good in general, even though in certain points where the map loads decreases in the rate of images per second.
For its part, the soundtrack gives us a multitude of topics of very Japanese style, which uses many of the classic instruments of that country. We have been very surprised by how intense the percussion of the compositions is, with full speed punches that, in addition to putting us even more pressure, are synchronized with the sword clashes and create a unique sound ambience that will make us feel inside a film of ninjas and samurais.
Conclusions:
FromSoftware is able to continue squeezing the recipe for the success of Dark Souls and Bloodborne to put on the table a work with the same premises, but at the same time it´s original, fresh and unique. A balance between attack and defense, a much improved movement system and a whole new world in which to lose ourselves are the main strengths of this game to win over the public. Undoubtedly, It´s one of the best video games of 2019. A game absolutely essential for anyone who has enjoyed minimally the previous works of FromSoftware, but also for those who want to take the step with the study and have not dared ; a masterpiece in every rule.

 

My Score is 9.5

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Death End Re;Quest – PS4

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Compile Heart presents a title that follows the usual patterns of the studio along with an intricate story with dark touches.
Story and Gameplay:
The story of the game is developed through two different but interconnected sides. On one side, we have the part starring Shina Ninomiya, who is trapped inside the virtual reality game World’s Odyssey without memories of the last year of her life and with a mysterious adornment attached to her legs in the shape of spider legs. The game is suffering various faults that make appear mysterious creatures called Martyrs that have caused the extinction of most of the population of the game after propagating what is known as Entoma disease, affecting the behavior of NPCs that end up becoming monsters dangerous. In his journey through the different areas of the game, Shina will meet new allies with which to try to deal with this threat to free the world of the game and, in turn, activate the end of it to be able to get back to the real world.
The second side is played by Arata Mizunashi in the real world. Both he and Shina have worked together in the company Enigma developing games and are responsible for the creation of the development project of World’s Odyssey in conjunction with the company Aggle. However it ended up being canceled for unknown reasons and later Shina disappeared without a trace. At that time Arata has continued working on other projects with her co-workers Sumika Tokiwa, Lydia Nolan and Rin Asukaze, continuing her life with normality although missing Shina. One day Arata receives an email sent by the account of Shina in which, apart from a mysterious file that fails to open, discovers that the servers of World Odyssey are still running and that the game account of Shina is active, with that he decides to do everything possible to try to rescue her.
The game is developed along several chapters in which we can alternate the control between both parties, being in the case of Shina the playable part as a classic role title while in the Arata part it´s advanced through novel visual cutting sequences . In certain moments of the game it will be necessary to play the part of the real world to look for diverse tracks that allow to advance eliminating obstacles in World’s Odyssey through investigations that have as base objects that are within the game. Access to each of these parts is done using the L2 and R2 buttons while the options menu is displayed, each displaying a different menu design, as well as the available options. Throughout the game we will be given to choose between several options, usually two, to be able to advance in the plot, being one the correct option and the second, the contrary, which derives in a bad ending (or death end). If you get to fall in this last option, the game allows you to load the game and continue with the progress accumulated to that point, in addition to allowing, through the option of event display of episodes of the game menu, get accessories and money completing the different points presented in this option.
Both Shina and the rest of the girls that will be known throughout the game will be accompanied by a creature known as a bug. These beings, which have the form of various insectors, will grant the ability to use different types of attacks and various magics with which to face the fighting, although to increase the arsenal of techniques will have to use concrete combinations of techniques and use them regularly until obtaining the idea for a new one, which is known as Flash Drive, something that will come denoted with a light bulb icon next to the corresponding learning percentage. Another quality added to the bugs is the ability to use the glitch form for each character. This feature can only be used after reaching 80% of the level of corruption in combat, which increases to fit enemy attacks or passing through certain orbs of corruption in each combat, and allows to use a powerful technique of devastating consequences for The enemies that are in the field, provided that two other commands have been previously chosen within the list of actions of the character.
The combat system of the game is developed in the form of turns, which can be seen in the upper left part of the screen. The controllable characters can move without any restriction along the available terrain, limited by a circular barrier, and can be positioned in such a way that the attacks can affect one or several enemies, depending on the techniques used. In each bout, a series of colored dots that are actually bugs from the combat field with different effects that include different characteristics such as increasing the level of corruption in a certain percentage, recovering SP points, removing a number of points of life will be displayed. , etc. These in turn are part of the corruption meter of the terrain and can be destroyed either by passing over them or by throwing the enemies against them, using the knockback technique. This can be done using physical attacks, some of which will allow you to trace a launch trajectory that can be configured by moving the character and using the left and right directional buttons of the digital crosshead to be more precise. They can also be thrown at the members of the group that are on the ground, which will cause them to hit them by throwing them back towards another point of the terrain (knockblow technique), causing additional damage in the process, and even managing to make them bounce between the limits of the combat terrain. It should be noted that the greater the enemy, the less distance he will travel with this technique.

Arata will be able to provide combat support through Battle Jack techniques, which can only be used as long as the level of corruption of the combat terrain is less than 50%. These are divided into three categories, the first of which is Code, which consists of different types of techniques with which to change the combat environment and apply certain advantages to the group, either by decreasing the level of corruption in the combat field, increasing the of the enemies or even doing the same with the level of corruption. The second type is Genre and allows momentarily changing the genre when fighting so that the chances of fighting and doing more damage to opponents increase. Some of the available options, which are unlocked as you progress through the game, include things like using SP points to shoot like a shooter, throwing enemies to clear them almost like in a puzzle, facing enemies like In a fighting game or jump on them like in a platform game. Finally the last option is Summon and its use in combat allows to invoke the Entoma Queens in combat. These are different types of monsters that exercise bosses in certain chapters of the game and are an essential part in the future of the adventure. Their combat performance allows not only to count on their attack power but also for the group to obtain different additional effects.

Most of the adventure is governed by a linear game style, advancing to each of the locations, and their respective dungeons, in which to defeat the powerful enemies that are presented. However, advancing in the plot will be able to enter the Strain Area in which you can talk to the peculiar members of Ludens, whose intentions will have to be revealed throughout the game, but also receive their support to improve the techniques of Battle Jack of Arata or get new ones, as long as you have the required materials to unlock them. Another option of this point is the access to the Pain Area, a dungeon in which to face powerful enemies that not only offer generous amounts of experience and money but also the possibility of obtaining weapons of great power very rare to obtain for each character. Finally another of the options offered at this point is to access the world map of World Odyssey, where you can revisit each of the areas of the game to combat or obtain the objects that are yet to be discovered.

In each zone there will be a camping area in which the group can relax and rest from the fight, taking control of Mr. Enigma, Arata’s avatar within the game. At this point you can invoke Rook, the merchant, to buy items and equipment, sell it and also be able to accept different types of quests. At the same time, there is an orb of teleportation that will allow you to move between camps to advance faster and also with a save point. Finally, with the advanced adventure, you can talk with the characters of the group through light events, only with text, in which to know them in greater depth and where there will also be the option, occasionally, to choose between options, something that in this case will affect the time to get one of the possible ends with each of the heroines of the game at the end of it.

Graphics and Sound:
The graphic section of the game does not stand out too much. The modeling of the characters and some scenarios are at a decent level, but, on the other hand, most of the dungeons of the game do not have much charm nor do they pretend to stand out by offering eye-catching details. On the other hand, a good part of the game depends on the novel visual cutting events through animated portraits of the main characters, both in the real part and in the virtual game world, possessing a striking design. Regarding the sound section, the game has a wide variety of instrumental pieces that encompass different musical styles including pieces with electronic touches, others more harmonious with guitar touches and even some with choral tones.As for voices, the game offers a selector to choose between dubbing in English and Japanese.
Conclusions:
It´s an interesting title whose main virtues reside in a story, which generates interest to see how the framework that surrounds Shina and Arata is unfolding until it´s resolution, it´s characters, which throughout the game present much more than that is seen in a principle, and finally it´s combat system, with a point of originality when using the options of Battle Jack besides being addictive. It´s main flaw lies in the design of the dungeons in which there are few details and are repetitive at the time of facing them, becoming somewhat tedious.

My Score is 7.5

Fate/Extella Link – PS4, PC, SWITCH, PS VITA

The endless battles of the Fate franchise return with a delivery to numerous platforms
Story and Gameplay:
An unquestionably entertaining title, but one that suffers from the freshness needed to attract new people. As for the story, it talks about the world of Seraph, which has been invaded by programs (waves of adversaries to which we must liquidate) that are sowing chaos. And behind all this is hidden a series of sinister characters that need to be confronted. The Servants come into play here (characters that we can control throughout the game). We find a plot not particularly interesting or original, but with the passage of time and large scenes of dialogue as visual novel plan it´s gaining weight and ends up being fairly entertaining. As a good representative of the hack and slash genre, the dynamics that follow this title are strongly based on confrontations, which take place in scenarios of a considerable size that are divided into different sectors. And to travel from one to another is necessary to use a kind of “portals” that connect some areas with others. For this reason, it is essential to take a look at the minimap that appears at the top of the screen from time to time, as it gives us important information and shows us the location of the objectives that we have to complete.
Focusing on the races, hundreds of duels await us in each mission that is necessary to fulfill. Some missions, take place over several days in a row and that group several of them per day, being able to choose which of them we want to complete throughout its main modality, the Story mode. And that is why it is a fairly rejuvenable title, given that in order to move from one day to the next and advance in the plot, it is only necessary to fulfill one single objective per day: if we want to materialize all the missions, it is necessary to spend several extra hours at the affair. The course of each mission is what we all expected. In a battlefield completely infested by adversaries we have to go through without relentlessly handing out blows without stopping with any of the Servants that are at our disposal. Many of them are the same as we saw in The Threshold Star, but they have added some more and a dozen more old people known by fans of this franchise.
The course of each mission is what we all expected. In a battlefield completely infested by adversaries we have to go through without relentlessly handing out blows without stopping with any of the Servants that are at our disposal. Many of them are the same as we saw in The Umbral Star, but they have added some more and a dozen more old people known by fans of this franchise. The set of movements and actions that each of them has is really worthy. Two main action buttons (weak and strong attack) plus complementary ones (jump, special, etc.) allow the protagonists to make a large range of combos, blocks and other movements. When turn meters are full, it´s also possible to enter two different states that can rip apart rivals and even finish a blow with most of them.
During each mission it´s necessary to fulfill a series of objectives that are entrusted to us on the fly, finish with a final enemy (there are enough of these types) escort a determined character that needs our help or to clean a specific sector of the scenario . Nothing too elaborate or surprising but that is appreciated. More interest monopolizes everything that has nothing to do with battles, that is, with the possibilities that this adventure offers us when we are not in the middle of a mission. Apart from being able to contemplate the conversations, we can also go around our headquarters to improve our Servants and conveniently equip them, go to the market, establish links with some of them and other options.
It is worth highlighting the multiplayer mode that incorporates this game, which can accommodate up to eight players online (and also ad-hoc in the delivery for Switch) simultaneously. Without being anything too flashy or original, such battles that take place by teams can prolong the life of the game even more. The main defect that this production has beyond it´s playable redundancy and certain problems related to the monitoring by the camera, is it´s lack of innovation in relation to what was enjoyed in the previous chapter. Yes, there are more controllable characters, new scenarios and an unpublished story among other elements, but the playable base is exactly the same and it does not surprise the least: in fact, it does not even try. For that reason, those users who did enter the previous installment may find few incentives to immerse themselves in this episode.
Graphics and Sound:
It highlights the number of characters that can appear on the scene and the successful design and model of the characters. Add to this the impact of some special attacks and the ease with which the entire set moves. However, the rest of the technical aspects are much more functional, from the animations of the rivals (very simplistic) to the disposition of the scenarios, of everything less detailed. The Japanese dubbing is the best that gives us it´s sonorous side, a great job to which strong sound effects are added and very well composed dynamic melodies without pretensions.
Conclusions:
The Marvelous cult saga returns with a hack and slash proposal that closely follows what was experienced in the previous game. Thousands of battles await us against endless waves of enemies that often end up with various battles against a good batch of bosses. A development as predictable as entertaining if you like this type of proposal, although it´s clear that originality is not the strong point of this game. Still it´s highly recommended for those who follow this saga up close, and for those who just started with this genre.

 

 

My Score is 8.0

Resident Evil 2 Remake – PS4, PC, XBOX ONE

 

After so much waiting, we get a spectacular update of the second Resident Evil game. A remake that is much more than a mere facelift, leaving pre-rendered scenarios to create a more current experience.
Story and Gameplay:
Unlike the first one, in this remake, fixed cameras and pre-rendered scenes are abandoned to offer us a free camera and environments in three dimensions, as well as a gameplay closer to that of the fourth installment. It is a very faithful adaptation to the original adventure, so the fans of Kamiya’s work will feel at home. We believe that Capcom has managed to nail down the sensations that it transmitted to us 20 years ago. Even with the great change that control has undergone, it still manages to make us feel that tension when aiming, that fear of what waits in every corner, and that debate continues between spending a bullet or running.
Much of this game involves exploration. Get objects, open doors, unlock paths, solve puzzles. The essence is still intact. And, if we want to make it more authentic, we have the hardcore mode, which not only has harder enemies, but also discards the automatic control points and only allows us to save the game with the ink tapes, as in the past.
Appreciating it as a game and not as a remake, it seems like a game with some ups and downs. The part of the police station is ten, but then the thing deflates a bit. It’s still very good, but we think it’s so high in the first half that it’s hard for the rest to maintain the level. We also have feelings confronting parallel stories. In 1998 it was fine, but in 2019 you miss that there are more differences between them.
Although, as we say, we miss something more variety, at least there is enough content. We have the two main stories and their B scenarios, an art gallery and characters to unlock, and two extra modes. One is The 4th Survivor, in which we rediscover the adventure with Hunk, and the other, the strange and challenging Tofu mode.  The duration of each story varies a lot depending on how you play it. If you want to run it, in five hours you’ve finished it. If you want to explore, get all the weapons and objects, it will be closer to nine. And if you play in hardcore, you may have to add some more than half an hour.
Graphics and Sound:
Graphically it is exceptional, and it leaves us thinking that it can happen in the new generation. On many occasions he has left us with his mouth open. There are moments that, directly, look like a movie, thanks to the effects of postprocessing and its 60 images per second. It is true that it is not perfect, and we are going to see some improvable facial animations, certain somewhat poor textures, or zombies download their animations at 30 images per second when they are at a distance. They are, in fact, small details, but they do not manage to tarnish at all the excellent work that Capcom has done.
Of course, the sound design does not fail either. This game has binaural sound, and we recommend playing it with headphones or a surround sound equipment. Listening to how a zombie approaches you from behind while aiming at the one in front of you is something that can save our lives. The steps of the Tyrant rumbling in the house, or that agonizing guttural sound that puts you on alert in a dark room. This soundtrack, is quite discreet and traditional, and we consider that it has lost the charm of the original. He knows how to be noticed when appropriate, but generally prefers to give prominence to silence.
Conclusions:
Capcom has done a great job recovering this classic. It´s a work tremendously faithful to the original, to such an extent that its only problems are inherited from it. We believe that the variety between characters could have been enhanced a little more; although they were small details like changing the puzzles and that they lose all the interest in the second return.

This can split opinions a little, depending on whether you expected an update only on the package or something deeper. In any case, and with some expectations or others, Resident Evil 2 seems essential for lovers of horror games. It is a title with excellent gameplay, unforgettable moments and an incredible staging, and that makes us dream of the resurgence of survival horror.

My Score is 9.0

My Hero One´s Justice – PS4, PC, XBOX ONE, SWITCH

 

This game is based on the work of Kohei Horikoshi, My Hero Academy. The game is set in a world in which more than half of the population has superpowers, with their heroes and villains.
Story and Gameplay:
The game has a small introduction of the protagonist and his idol, All Might, although as is usual in these cases, it is good to have some idea of the license to enjoy it fully. The developer has opted for a fighting game 3D brawler style (quite similar to the Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm).
Much of it´s gameplay consists of evading, confusing the opponent and attacking when least expected. One of the first ways in which we will look is the story. It consists of a series of confrontations with small descriptive texts in between that tell us part of the episodes of the anime-part of the second and third season. Instead of following only Izuku Midoriya, we can see the events from two points of view, that of the heroes and the villains, so it’s a good way to start unlocking personalization items and testing the 20 wrestlers template .
In terms of narrative, the story mode is a bit disappointing, since it does not follow the evolution of the character from the beginning and the information is reduced practically in a few paragraphs between the duels. For those who do not know My Hero Academy is not of great help, and fans will not find anything especially novel. More fun for a player is the way missions with chained battles, with specific rules and some forks in the route. The vitality is maintained with progress and recovered with objects, but this would lower our score, so it becomes a kind of survival mode. In the local multiplayer we have the confrontations against the CPU or another player, the online mode, training, the personalization of the user profile and characters (appearance, phrases, voices and more, something quite fun to unlock), or the gallery.
Each character has short and medium distance attacks based on their powers, so that some are faster than others, are prepared to keep distance or are more effective in face to face. In devastating attacks we have the Plus Ultra, which requires first loading a bar with combat action. Although in terms of skills all fighters feel different, basic control is common and is based on deciding how much to use fast attacks, those that absorb damage or those that can not be blocked. Within the depth limitation that it has as a fighting game, it is possible to study strategies that paralyze the opponent or the best combinations of support mates. However, at the time of putting all this into practice, we return to verify that in this casual fighting system almost always the best tactic is to launch attacks continuously without standing still at any moment. It is a type of game that more than meets its purpose, to entertain and hook license fans even if they are not great combat fans. The most existing players, however, will find it too superficial, since there is no great incentive to switch to less automated control.
Graphics and Sound:
The game knows how to take advantage of all the possibilities of Unreal Engine 4 to look better than it really is. The camera is very dynamic and as soon follows our character as the opponent, although sometimes it does not end up being placed correctly in narrow places. The best part is the Ultra Plus, short sequences in which each character unleashes its power and crushes the opponent. The scenarios of forests and streets will begin to deteriorate with our blows: the walls are cracked, trees are knocked down and the ground suffers the consequences. The characters, their shading and animations, are more than acceptable.
As for the sound, the game comes with voices in Japanese and the music fits well with the action of their matches.
Conclusions:
The game has very good ideas, it hooks and its creators transmit that they know the original source, but it is inevitable to see that it is not completely polished and that it seems cut by a pattern that we have seen several times in other Namco games. Despite all this is an entertaining game and highly recommended for fans of the series, which will enjoy much to play with their favorite characters.

 

My Score is 7.5

V- Rally 4 – PS4, XBOX ONE, PC, SWITCH

Sixteen years later this game returns with a fourth installment that maintains part of its legacy, but that has also been renewed with a more accessible playable approach and additional disciplines far from the classic ralis. The responsible developer is the French Kylotoon, creator of other well-known driving titles.
Story and Gameplay:
This game is fully enjoyed from the first stages thanks to a very simple arcade gameplay. This accessibility does not imply that we are facing an easy videogame, since its convoluted tracks, the variety of disciplines and the absence of rewinding, require us to pilot with great skill. However, the control offers little progression, finding cars with very similar behaviors, and surfaces and climatic conditions that almost do not affect the piloting. This last aspect is surely the most worrying because, although there are sections on land, asphalt, snow, rain or sand, the truth is that the control remains almost unchanged, which drastically reduces the playable depth. To this we must unite a rough handling with control and steering wheel, and a sensation of extreme lightness in the cars, what prevents us to dominate them with precision. A positive point is the excellent sense of speed that all cameras provide us, something very important in this type of video game.
The simulation of physics is stable, although it has specific deficiencies in collisions, jumps, inertias and when interacting with some surfaces, which implies a very annoying randomness that can ruin any race. The title also includes driving aids, although they are very limited due to their arcade character. Among the available options are: ABS, to avoid locking the brakes; ARS, to increase grip when losing traction; and the automatic change. Finally, we also have a co-pilot who tells us the curves and hazards of the routes, enjoying a good implementation. The last point that we must highlight is the system of visual and mechanical damage to cars. Aesthetically, the breaks are simple, reducing to small damages in the body and the loss of a piece. As for performance, vehicles can suffer breakdowns of varying severity in many areas, although its impact on control is not significant, which reduces the importance of a determinant section.
This game not only incorporates the classic discipline of individual stages in which our goal is to set the best time, but also includes new options. V-Rally Cross is a modality in which six participants compete for the first place giving a series of laps to a circuit and having to complete a wild card. For its part, in the Buggy mode we also run along with five other participants in circuits with lots of jumps and impossible curves. Looking for a more technical approach we have Hillclimb, a modality that takes our reflexes to the extreme and in which we compete against the chrono in long and fast tracings. Finally we have Extreme-Khana, a solo option that puts us to the test in complicated gyms. Undoubtedly, the variety of modalities is very interesting and, although the fans of the classic titles would have preferred a more focused approach to the traditional ralis, the truth is that the different aspects offer a lot of fun. 
The main mode is Carrera V-Rally, an extensive game option that allows us to discover all the possibilities of the title in a balanced way. Here we find a succession of tests in the five available disciplines that reward us with money as we fulfill objectives. With the gains we repair the cars after the tests and buy new vehicles that give us access to more demanding challenges. The money is also essential to improve our research team and mechanic, being able to hire different professionals specialized in various parts of the car, thereby achieving better performance. In addition, we must also have an Agent on the payroll, which unlocks us better careers according to their specialization. At the end of each week we have to pay the salaries of the employees, so we can not spend all the money in buying new vehicles. In this mode it is also possible to access temporary online challenges, which reward us with large amounts of money, although to participate in the most interesting you have to pay a small initial registration.
There is also the option to improve our vehicles in sections such as engine, brakes, chassis or, for example, body, thereby increasing performance statistics. In addition, it is possible to adjust the configuration of the car according to the surface, although we will not notice drastic changes. Undoubtedly, the Carrera V-Rally mode is the most fun and offers a well-measured progression, although with the passing of the hours it ends up being very repetitive and becomes a succession of races without much interest. Looking for a more casual approach we have Quick Match, a game mode in which it is possible to use any vehicle and layout. Within the multiplayer aspect the split screen has been incorporated for two players, being able to enjoy with a friend in any of the five modalities available. Undoubtedly, the presence of the split screen with all the modes and paths is a real success and offers enormous possibilities. The online multiplayer is a more limited section, being able to access temporary challenges, find quick matches and create or join a session, configuring a multitude of elements here to make the experience to our measure. It’s a shame not to have a more interesting online mode that expands the possibilities of the title.
As for the scenarios, this game has more than twenty different scenarios located in countries such as the United States, Japan or Bolivia. Each location has been recreated with many details and the routes are mostly well designed. In them we find surfaces such as earth, asphalt, sand, snow and rain, resulting in more than 70 tests distributed among the five modes. To this we must add that some locations have procedural creation of paths, greatly expanding the playable options. The catalog of cars is made up of more than 50 vehicles of well-known brands such as Honda, Porsche, Mazda or Ford. Each car is specialized in one of the five disciplines, being able to gradually access better categories. The modeling of all of them is correct, although the interior finishes and visual flaws are far from what was expected. Finally, the sound of the engines is good and visually we can customize them with many paintings and vinyls.
Graphics and Sound:
Graphically we find a good visual finish in cars and circuits, several climates (highlighting the realism of the rain) and a solvent lighting system. However, the textures offer few nuances, visual flaws are very scarce, the scenarios are empty, some models are improvable and the title only reaches 60 frames per second on PC. On the other hand, the soundtrack is at a good level and the sound of the cars is quite appreciable.
Conclusions:
This game does not live from its past and has wanted to evolve including up to five different disciplines, thus achieving a new and accurate approach. However, the playable depth is very limited because, although there are different types of surfaces and vehicles, the control does not change significantly and the physical ones are very basic. This inevitably affects a gameplay without progression and very close to the simplest arcades. A good incentive is found in the split screen multiplayer for two players, an option full of possibilities and that is always appreciated. For its part, the online side is limited and does not extend the possibilities of the title. Undoubtedly, we must say that this game has been far from what was promised in the return of this legendary saga and, although it may interest ralis lovers who seek an accessible experience to enjoy with friends, the truth is that Within the genre it is far from the best.

 

My Score is 6.0

Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker – PS4, PC, XBOX ONE

Bandai Namco returns to the fray by squeezing another of its best-known and acclaimed manganime licenses. However, it is clearly differentiated from most video games based on Masashi Kishimoto’s work as well as other similar releases. Because instead of being an adventure with high doses of action or an arcade of traditional struggle as is usually the case in these cases, this work has taken a very different path.
Story and Gameplay:
We find ourselves with a focus mainly on multiplayer with teams of four players. The idea is good and the game entertains, because there are ways like the defense of bases that hardly disappoint, nevertheless supposes that the content for a player is reduced to the minimum expression. At the beginning of the game we can choose our avatar, an anonymous editable character. Basically, the goal is to demonstrate our strength in a tournament, and we begin as a rookie who barely knows the simplest techniques: weak attack, strong attack, projectile throwing or defensive and evasive techniques. It is an even simpler combat system than the Ultimate Ninja Storm, and requires less skill, but that does not mean that the game is simple or lacks strategy.
More interesting are the movements of exploration, the jump with chakra or the launching of kunai with cable, to adhere to the walls with ease. The walls, as expected in a Naruto, can be covered defying gravity. All this makes this game a little chaotic, with players making combos in the air, invocations and vertical careers, but it falls within the grace of a brawler that does not aspire to be very technical or precise, being a different approach. To these techniques are added other ninja much more powerful and requiring a waiting time to be used, or the recharge of a bar in the case of the secret. They can be offensive or more defensive, and here comes the interest to customize our ninja in the way that we like, not only aesthetically by buying clothes or appraising the obtained scrolls.
As we gain training points with a teacher, we expand our repertoire and we can configure several profiles as required by the type of game or the course taken at that time, and thus be the most effective of our group. This is because there are four classes that define our role: attackers, distance, defense and healing.If at the beginning our avatar is a bit limited in attacks and appearance, after a few hours we will begin to differentiate ourselves more from the rest of the players. This is probably the biggest incentive in the medium and long term: get new unlockables and level up, something that will take us busy for a long time if we fall into addiction, but not so much if our only goal is to play sporadic games.
With the development of our clear character, this game offers us two main ways to gain experience and objects: virtual reality missions and the Hokage’s office. The first is the closest thing to a campaign mode, and consists of overcoming varied challenges that the characters are offering us, either alone or cooperatively with other online users.The missions have fun and the objectives are a breath of fresh air compared to the competitive ones, such as searching for leaves on stage, defending a place or fighting waves of enemies that end with a boss, although among the dozens of tests They come to be the same but with more difficulty. Although there are small dialogues and even cinematic, there is no narrative or thread between the commissions, they are simply short missions to practice or collaborate with other players. It’s fine, but it’s not a true story mode, it’s like an extended tutorial.
The other great mode consists of the team multiplayer, with two options: fast game and the Ninja World League. Quick game launches you into one of the random modes and scenarios, so we miss some option to create our custom rooms, select rules and so on.The modes are mostly common multiplayer action games and do not require great explanations. Combat proposes to eliminate more rivals than the enemy group, flag combat is the capture of a lifetime flag, base combat and barrier combat, which is the most original of these modes.
Graphics:
The texture, the stroke in the shadows and a less clean color give a characteristic touch quite similar to Naruto’s manga. It does not come to surprise how Ultimate Ninja Storm did mainly for the quality of its animations but we would not say that the change is noticeably worse, since the graphics are quite acceptable.
Sound:
The setting of the game is completed with voices in English or Japanese and a music that almost always goes unnoticed.
Conclusions:
To many people’s voices said that Naruto needed a slight reinvention in video games and this moment was ideal with the change of developer. What we do not know is if this game is the one that many fans wanted, since the orientation mainly to the online mode makes the fun depend on the size of the community, the matches, our interest to climb the online rankings, level up and unlock customization for our avatar. And of course, that we are followers of Naruto. Still, the game has good and innovative ideas, but also suffers from limitations in content and options. It takes even more to be able to forget about the Ultimate ninja storm that many will remember.

My Score is 7.5