September 21: Gaming Respawn Plays

Here is what we have been playing this week at Gaming Respawn…

Stephen Jackson – Chief Editor

This week, it has been all about PES 2016. Unfortunately, having purchased the game on PC, I haven’t been able to experience the same standard as those on current-gen consoles and that is disappointing. All of that is another separate issue though and despite the awful latency when playing online or the sub-par visuals on PC(Who would have thought eh?) PES 2016 is the best entry in the series since the PS2 days when the game ruled supreme over FIFA. The tables are turning at long last and the result is a superb football game on the pitch. I have sunk nearly as many hours into 2016 as I did  in all of last year’s version which tells you how much fun PES 2016 is to play. Look out for my PES 2016 PC Review where I will look to answer some of the questions regarding the PC version.

Another game I have been playing this week is Supreme Ruler: Ultimate. It’s my first entry in the Supreme Ruler series and I am enjoying it so far. It has its issues and isn’t perfect, but there’s no greater challenge in world history than taking a small, African nation to greatness and out of poverty to world domination. I haven’t quite achieved that, but I am slowing working towards that! If you can get your head around the menus and take time to learn the game, then there is plenty of fun to be had.

I expect to be playing more of the same this week with the addition of FIFA 16 when that launches this Thursday. I can’t wait to take my Southampton team down to local rivals Portsmouth’s ground, Fratton Park, which has been included for the first time despite Pompey residing in League Two. Despite sharing a fierce rivalry, I am hoping Portsmouth recover and can be back playing Southampton in the top flight of English football sooner rather than later. Nothing beats a good South Coast Derby!


Daniel Garcia-Montes – Writer

Greetings gamers, like our esteemed founder Mr. Stephen shared with us all last week, this week I too am currently playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, although in my case it’s the game I’m currently playing this MONTH. There’s a lot to do in this game, especially if you’re a completionist like myself. I’m enjoying The Phantom Pain very much, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Unlike Mr. Stephen, I have been involved with the Metal Gear Solid series since the first game was released for the original PlayStation, and I’ve made sure to play every game in the series after that (except for Portable Ops since I never owned a PSP, but that game’s apparently non-canon anyway, so no big loss).
The Phantom Pain is more accessible (for the most) to a larger audience of gamers than the older entries. The older games were incredibly cinematic and story-heavy; they were quite literally half cutscenes and half stealth action. The Phantom Pain has a story as well, but doesn’t drown you in overly long cutscenes, instead most info and story elements are revealed through audio recordings. Personally, I prefer the awesome cutscenes of the older games, even though some did last way too long, I admit. As far as gameplay goes, The Phantom Pain gives players an unprecedented level of freedom not seen before in the series. When undertaking missions, you choose whether you want to go the pure stealth route, go in guns blazing, or a combination of the two.
I normally prefer stealth, at least at the start of missions, and it can be very time consuming (in fact, this game can be a bit of a slog). It took me a while to really get used to the way stealth works in this game; it actually lead to some frustrating moments for me, but now I’ve hit my stride and am really getting into the game. In an unusually fortunate turn of events, I have been given the honor of reviewing The Phantom Pain here on Gaming Respawn when I’m done with it, and since I prefer to finish at least the majority of a game before I review it, it will take a little bit of time before the review is up (don’t rush me), but rest assured: My review will be detailed, informative, and not influenced by “fanboyism”. And boom goes the dynamite.

James Haxell – Writer

The week started with me playing Bioshock 2, as this is a game that I’ve had on my shelf for far too many years and I thought it was time to just power through. It’s a tricky series for me as it’s one that I want to love but when I play them it just doesn’t do it for me. The gameplay is not particularly enthralling and the story may have cool themes and twists but they just lack that spark. It’s a game that I probably won’t ever get the desire to just play through again. When I will pluck up the courage to play Bioshock Infinite is anyone’s guess.

Then after the tedious slug through Bioshock 2 was finished I went to the complete other end of games and started Metal Gear Rising Revengeance. I love the Metal Gear series but I came into the franchise a little later than I should have and have had to play catch up. With only Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes left until I can come out of the cave I’m living in trying to avoid Phantom Pain spoilers. The game is set after Metal Gear Solid 4 and you play as the katana wielding Raiden, but now he’s a cyborg ninja making him cool by the laws of the playground. Revengeance is a phenomenal game, with the mix of shredding people into pieces and rock music just throwing testosterone at you. Before the Konami fall out, Kojima had said he would like to do more games in this style and so it’s another loss suffered from their fall out.

Kane Newell – Writer

Another week goes by that I’ve not done much gaming, after playing Until Dawn for review, I’ve been finding it hard to pick up my controller. I turn my PS4 on each day but I end up staring at space or outside my window. WTF is happening! It’s not like I don’t have games to play, I have Bloodborne and Infamous Second Son at about 50% that I need to finish off. And I have Lords of the Fallen and Shadow of Mordar that I haven’t even touched. Lately ive had a bit of writers block and now it seems like I’m suffering from a little bit of gaming burn out too. With FIFA 16 being out next week and me deciding to purchase the expansion for the wonderful MMO Final Fantasy 14, my burn out better not last to long.
So all of this week I’ve been watching a TV series on Netflix called Sense 8 from the makers of The Matrix. Other than Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead I haven’t watched alot of TV so it’s finally good to find a series that is enjoyable to watch leaving me wanting more. Sense 8 is about 8 different people, 4 male and 4 female that live in different parts of the world, that are some how connected mentally that are trying to figure out whats going on and must survive being hunted from the people that fear them.
The series is beautifully shot and tackles some serious subjects. It’s not for everyone but with a bit of patience you’ll be able to enjoy.
Michael Fitzgerald – Writer

I spent a large part of my week trying to prise open some gaming time due to other commitments, but I did manage to get a bit of gaming done. One of the games I played this week was Last Bronx on the SEGA Saturn. If you want a more in depth report on it, you can find a link to the Rings of Saturn article here.

My quick thoughts would be that I loved the Japanese Anime aesthetic and I liked the storyline of Dystopian Tokyo gang members coming together for a reet big punch up. The game reminded me a lot of Soul Edge crossed with Virtua Fighter actually. I do wish however that they hadn’t incorporated a block button as opposed to giving the player a “free block” by walking backwards. This, along with other flaws, conspire to give an ultimately weaker gaming experience than both Edge and VF.

It’s a shame as the game seemed like it would have so much more to offer and it definitely has its fans out there. The fighters themselves feel sluggish, even the supposed nimble ones, and the difficulty is simply outrageous. It took me 10 minutes to win a single round on Easy Mode and I shudder to think what would have happened to me on a harder difficulty.

So I’m afraid I can’t personally recommend Last Bronx. The fact it it’s relatively pricey in comparison to other games on the Saturn really works against it to boot. If it had been cheaper, I might have been more lenient, but I’m afraid the game had too much going against it for me to give it a full recommendation. Oh well.

NHL 16 also came on Thursday and I’m currently trying to sink some hours into it so I can get a review up on the site next week. Thus far I’ve only been able to put 2 hours into it due to work commitments. I’m much undecided at the moment as to whether I like it or not. It’s definitely got things in its favour. The graphics are sensational for example and the game has a lot of modes to offer.

I’m currently not sure how I feel about the gameplay, but I haven’t really played the game enough to make a full judgment on it. I played it Thursday evening and pondered it over a cup of tea. I’m hoping to steal a couple more hours with it today and then sink 5-6 into it tomorrow, before adding some more on Monday evening after work. I’ll see where I’m with it then and hopefully I’ll be close to making an informed decision. If not, you’ll just have to sit tight while I play it some more! Rest assured, I’ll give the game every chance and will do my best to ensure the review is both balanced and informative.

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