Wave-based shooters are a dime a dozen on PSVR, so why should you invest in another one? If you’ve played one then you’ve played them all, right?…Wrong. Thanks to Blasters of the Universe’s high quality, compelling action, and customisations options galore it stands out from the crowd…oh and then there’s the bullet-hell.
After the novelty of a new VR wave-based arena has worn off, I rarely returned for more but Blasters of the Universe nails that “just one more go” vibe. The style of the game sits somewhere between Blood Dragon and Tron. The self-proclaimed bullet-hell shooter paints the story of an arcade champ whose fame has gone to his head and he becomes fully digitised into the world he loves, challenging the next wannabe champion to best his creations.
The four wave-based worlds demand a variety of skills to be mastered, from being a crack shot to side-stepping and ducking the torrent of incoming fire that will ultimately be flung your way. Each world is climaxed with a boss battle, which forces you to mix up your tactics in order to grind down their health bar, and in terms of difficulty, normal mode has its moments but is a fairly easy going romp through VR bullet-hell. Hell mode however, can get pretty intense.
Despite having a portable shield you will inevitably need to keep on the move. With only five hearts of health you can end up becoming derezzed pretty quickly if you don’t keep your head on a swivel. It really puts you on your toes. Despite ducking and diving, which I’ll admit to picking up quite the sweat, the PSVR unit didn’t mist up – a real testament to the build quality of the headset.
Blasters of the Universe’s world is bright and vibrant – full of arcade tropes and neon blemishes – it looks great, and the experience of a tunnel of bullets passing around your head is pretty darn cool. Thankfully the devs have seen fit to only make your head the ‘hit area’ so you needn’t worry about your arms or the blaster your wield, this makes the prospect of surviving far less daunting.
The blaster itself is an odd construction of random parts that wouldn’t look out of place in the world of Fallout. Once unlocked, you can mix and match a variety parts to construct a blaster that suits your play style. From magazines that recharge, to barrels that fire more rapidly, there are tons of combinations that can be assembled and tested within the armoury.
A timed challenge mode resets periodically with new objectives, which will keep returning fans hooked, while those addicted to the intensity of gameplay will undoubtedly want to better their scores in the campaign, best the hell difficulty or just see how long they can survive in endless mode. Beyond that there is a limited amount of gameplay with only four worlds to choose from.
I was super impressed by the response of the PSVR. I could duck down low and still pull off an accurate shot. I could dance about like a loony, dodging multiple bullets and not find that my PSVR had misted up. But most of all, I had a lot of fun. Blasters of the Universe has nailed bullet hell VR, but it’s a shame more couldn’t have been made of the story, which I found extremely lacking – especially considering the premise of the title.
Wave-based nasties, boss battles, challenge modes and a whole host of customisation options, Blasters of the Universe is easy on the eye and will entice you with its soft approach but snare your attention for hours on end.
Thanks to Wonacott Communications, LLC for supporting TiX
So, right off the bat let’s come to some sort of agreement as to how I am going to refer to Utawarerumono: Mask Of Truth as we go forward in this review. I can’t even say it let alone type it numerous times to make reference to it, so from here on in Utawarerumono: Mask Of Truth will be referred to as UMT. It is also only right I admit I never played Utawarerumono: Mask of Deception, so I was already on a bit of a back foot. Fans of UMT’s predecessor will know everything there is to know about the game and are no doubt excited by UMT’s release. As an outsider, I struggled slightly with what the game was all about, so I watched some videos and read a few reviews and thought I’d jump in with both feet and give it a bash.
There is a recap of the previous story right at the start of UMT and I found it quite helpful. If you don’t know anything about UMT, or any other game in the series, then basically I don’t want to spoil it for you in case you choose to play it. UMT and the others are very heavily story driven and are presented to you by means of scrolling text which seems to go on forever, or at least until you press the X button to skip. The anime art style is easily recognisable and was an aspect about the game I was a big fan of.
I felt bad for a little while because I have the attention span of a small fish, so reading through countless pages of scrolling text got old very quickly. I’m not taking anything away from the game, and the strong focus on storytelling is maybe something people are interested in, however, the constant skipping of text to voice acting in a different language quickly made my eyes droop and I lost interest. Every time a new character appeared on the screen it sort of refreshed my attention and I was able to pick up where I nodded off. Overall, I thought the voice acting was pretty good, even if I didn’t understand it. It was clear to tell from the acting though what mood the game was in and the well-written text really did paint a solid picture.
UMT is not for everyone and I don’t think you can get more niche if you tried, that being said the story is massive and spread over three games. It’s not all story and text though, there is a very straight forward turn based battle system that is a very welcomed treat after reading page after page of text. The battle system can be tweaked to your own specs too, in the form of switching off animations, etc. which can be handy once you’ve played enough battles and seen all the animations numerous times. This way you can shorten the amount of time battles take to complete.
I’m finding it really hard not to tell you about the story but I really do think if I was to start I wouldn’t stop and would probably pop a spoiler in by mistake. If I can recommend one thing to those who want to play UMT then that’s to start from the first one, jumping in half way through puts you at a massive disadvantage. I was lucky in the sense that there is a load of walkthroughs, etc. on youtube that will help you no end. Whilst Mask of Deception didn’t get much of a western release you won’t have to go far to find a copy.
This visual novel is a bit of an acquired taste, if you have played a game like it before then you know what to expect. I have never played a game like it and to be honest, intially I thought it a welcome change to the fast paced, high octane games we are used to, but maybe not to this depth. The characters are relatable and ,as I mentioned, the art style is superb, although at times it did feel a little wrong, like it was stepping into the realms of hentai! it never did though, thankfully.
I’m not going to be too harsh on UMT and I’m actually going to say give it a go for yourself to make your own judgement. It’s not an easy game to get into but if I’d have started from the beginning then maybe I would have given it more of a chance, but the relentless X button pressing for the first hour of gameplay just spoiled it for me and I had a really difficult time jumping back on the wagon to finish to the game. To be brutal, if I wanted to read a book with pictures I’d buy a comic, not a PS4 game. It is without doubt that the developers put a considerable amount of time into this game and I salute them for doing just that, I do feel however, that it’s for a certain market and it seems that market is quite small.
Thanks to Atlus and Playstation for supporting TiX
PlayStation will have a large presence at EGX 2017 as it returns to the event with its biggest ever stand.
Attendees will have the opportunity to get hands-on with several of the platform holder’s first party titles including Gran Turismo Sport and Bravo Team, as well as several PlayStationVR games and big name titles from the likes of Activision, EA and Warner Bros. PlayStation 4 Pro hardware will be available to try giving visitors the chance to experience dynamic 4K gaming. More game announcements will follow on what other games will be playable from Playstation.
The Rezzed and Leftfield collection, showing the best of the Indie scene will also be present, and for details of the multitude of games that are playable can be seen here – https://www.egx.net/egx/2017/show-floor
We’ve received reports from multiple users that they have lost access to their PSN account, including our very own Senior Team member Greg Giddens.
In each case the users received emails from Sony informing them that their account’s registered email address had been changed. Furthermore, when trying to access their accounts on PSN, there email address was no longer accepted as a valid address for a PSN account.
This is worrying because the PSN recovery system stores PSN account email addresses even after the registered address is changed, so to combat precisely this kind of email changing security breach. However, for the email address to no longer be valid suggests the PSN account has been deleted.
Whilst a few users reporting issues doesn’t suggest the kind of security breach to PSN that we saw back in 2011, Twitter reveals that the issue may be far more widespread than a mere few users. PlayStation’s support Twitter account has received hundreds of tweets regarding PSN accounts being compromised over the last 48 hours. Meanwhile, an email from PlayStation support has confirmed that they are “currently experiencing high contact volumes” from people with PSN issues.
Right now we simply don’t know if UK PSN accounts were compromised at Sony’s end, whether user details were compromised elsewhere and that data was used to access these users PSN accounts on a wide scale, or if something else is going on entirely. Unfortunately Sony have a rough track record of informing their user-base of security issues, but when we find out more, we’ll let you know.
For now we’re recommend changing your password if you have a PSN account, and please ensure that same password isn’t used elsewhere in case that too is compromised as a result.
Things seem to be calming down regarding security concerns over PSN. We’ve now received reports of users retrieving their lost accounts after a short call with PSN support. This includes a now very relieved senior editor of ours.
The word is , after waiting on the line for an average of ten minutes, users who have had their account go walkabouts have been able to retrieve them with PlayStation support’s help. However, wallet funds have gone missing in many cases and credit cards used to buy games. FIFA titles appear to be the most common. PlayStation support have assured those affected that these funds will be reimbursed within 24 hours.
So if you’ve been unlucky enough to have your PSN account compromised, give PlayStation support a call on 0203 538 2665.
WE still haven;t had confirmation on whether their was a security breach or not. It seems unlikely that is was random attacks on users considering the amount of users affected. Hopefully we’ll find out more in the coming days and weeks, but at least for now, things seem to be looking up.
Drinkbox Studios, has finally announced the launch date for their Mexican wrestling-inspired, (ariba ariba andela andela) downloadable adventure game titled Guacamelee! The game will be released on 10th April on PS3 and PSVita in the EU and will support Cross-Buy. This means you buy the game once and get both the PS3 and PS Vita versions! Double the fun! Double the excitement!
Guacamelee! (yes the exclamation mark included) features a down on his luck Mexican named Juan Aguacate, who sets out to save the world when El Presidente’s Daughter is kidnapped by an Evil Charro Skeleton. The story takes place in and around a small village in Mexico, and has the player travelling through alternate dimensions including “The World of the Dead” and “The World of Nightmares” on his quest to rescue the girl he loves.
We heard the news from GGSGamer – check out the trailer below:
The demo of Fuel Overdose that was released last week on the North American PlayStation Store is now finally available in Europe. This demo features one track (Prague), 3 characters (Odessa, Noa and Rosa) and 3 vehicles (Cadiz, Kashiwa and El Paso).
The Fuel Overdose team would also like to remind gamers that two free DLC packs that offer 10 vehicles will be released in the coming weeks: Mercenary vehicle pack and Wanderer vehicle pack.