Until Dawn: Game Review (PS4)

Until Dawn image

I’m gonna get this out of the way.  Until Dawn is very fun to play.  It may have its flaws,  but I can’t stop enjoying myself from playing it. Here’s the best part,  I hate horror movies so bad because I don’t like the scare factor or jumpscares that are plenty for the horror junkies (medical reasons.  Cough). And here I am,  laughing like an idiot when those moments happen.

A year after the disappearance of twin sisters at a mysterious cabin on the hill,  8 high school students get back together for a reunion at the request of Josh,  the brother of the twins. Upon their arrival,  weird things begin happening to them and it’s up to you as the player to try and get all 8 of them alive (it’s possible).  Or not.

Run saja.

The game’s basic premise is to give you the director’s seat of a B movie grade horror slasher flick. Complete with corny cheesy lines that you can expect from those kind of movies. Based on what you do with all 8 characters,  they live or die,  despite how they will emerge at the end of the game.

Why I find this game so fun is how great it feels to be in the directors seat.
You have total control of who lives and who dies. In words,  this won’t feel much. But this power is best demonstrated in a room full of people showing them how you want the fates of the characters to be like. Hate Jessica as much as I do? Let her get abducted and then walk as slowly as you can to try and save her. The same concept can be applied to other characters as well like, leading them to weird kind of areas that are bound to give you something to be afraid of.

And boy the jump scares are funny.

The game employs common jumpscares that you can expect. And when they do happen, I can’t believe how I feel rewarded for guessing them right. In fact, characters that I have invested in that I want them dead in specific moments,  feels satisfying as heck! I agree it’s psychotic that I want these people to live or die,  but that’s the beauty of the directors seat!

Another interesting option in the game is that it wants to know what you are scared off.  Based on what are you afraid of,  the game will change its surrounding and effects based on what you have chosen.  If you are afraid of gore, there will be tons of blood and guts ready to be spilled.  But if say you hate needles,  it will keep showing u pointy objects. It’s a very nice feat in my opinion and slightly enhances the fear factor. The much talked about “Butterfly Effect” is a good way of branching storylines that depending on the choices you make, changes how the ending of the character can be (whether lives or dies, with cloth or not). This may take some of the thrill of not being able to back track in the game away, but makes every choice a lot more of interesting to decide on.


Your favorite psychiatric doctor!

Technically, I can’t avoid complaining about the frame rate. This game is gorgeous, but the frame rate dips are a bother. In fact, there are moments in the game that i felt could have been improved, like shorter explorations that gets me to the next scene. Walking faster doesn’t seem that fast either. Controls, whether motion or stick based, could use more polish as well. Animations are… a hit and miss. Sometimes, the motion capture is good. Other times, they look like they were made in the 90s. Some facial expressions are even scarier than the jumpscares!

Conclusion

It’s weird for me to say that this is a great party game for you to play. But when I was younger, I remember being a part of Resident Evil 2 playthrough party, and the screams coming from everyone were euphoric. Until Dawn has been succesful in giving me that good old feeling of a good horror game, despite its immediate flaws. Remember, play with a room full of people, lights off, and let the fun filled horror begin!

For Against
Hydra is in this game (Brett Dalton) Controls need more polish.
Jumpscares are fun to anticipate Framerate issues.
Butterfly effect changes the scenes properly and adequately.  Mocap is scarier than the jumpscares.
Directors seat. THEY LIVE OR THEY DIE.

Final Score: 8.0/10
Review was done using a final retail copy of the game. Get the game at http://kyosgamemart.com/collections/frontpage/products/ps4-until-dawn-r3!

Disney Infinity 3.0: Game Review

When I was younger, I had always wished that my toys came to life. It was a fun imagination and it felt like the coolest thing that could happen when you have the Hulk battling alongside you or Han Solo taking you through a trip in the Millennium Falcon. Fast forward to 2015, not only can I combine those 2 worlds together in Disney Infinity 3.0, I made sure Mickey and his Disney friends were a part of it as well.

Greeted with a very simple “lets throw you into the action” montage of the play sets and expansions coming to Disney Infinity 3.0, the game was kind enough to show you the lightsabre action, the Millennium Falcon chase, the Inside Out platforming, and the Kart racing as it invites you to create your own magical Disney world.

Disney Infinity 3.0 still reigns on top when it comes to building your own Disney world. In 3.0, it’s made simpler with the Toy Box Hub. The Toy Box Hub serves as a basic introduction for all 6 available gameplay modes that you can utilise in the Toy Box. Interested in designing your own Disney house? The Hub awaits you. Feel like understanding more of the Race mechanics? The toy box hub has got your back. The gameplay zones (which includes Farming) are easy to explore and lets you figure out how to outfit your Toy Box World further.

The Toy Box Hub also makes it easier this time for children to create worlds based on gameplay mechanics available rather than just giving them an empty canvas. This time around, unlocking toys for the toy box is faster too thanks to the colored toy dispenser. Though the unlocks are random and you can still do it traditionally by purchasing them, it’s still a nicer short cut if you did not expect to get a huge Hockey Puck in the game. Children can also hop along into the creation a lot easier now, and create simpler levels that can now incorporate specific gameplay modes.

Noteworthy additions to the Toy Box include the Sidekicks mode where you can create a sidekick to travel alongside you in Toy Box Worlds. And to justify the farming aspects that Disney has decided to implement in the game. Sidekicks can equip various equipment and weapons provided they are built with the right stats in mind. Farming gives you food, which then can be fed to sidekicks to level up and do other crazy things. Want them to do farming or take them on your own toy box adventure? It’s all possible. The Toy Box Hub also hosts the El Capitan theatre that now shows the Toy Box TV episodes and Flynn’s Arcade (of Tron) now allows you to jump into another community user’s Toy Box world immediately.

For those new to Disney Infinity, the 3.0 Starter Pack includes the Twilight of the Republic Play Set and Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Figurines. The Play Set is based on the first 3 episodes of Star Wars, along with the Clone Wars saga. From my previous hands on, I truly did love the lightsabre action as both Anakin and Ahsoka, but everything else feels as if they could have scratched further. I was told that the game’s main story would take me between 4 to 5 hours. I finished it in 2.5. And while there are side missions that are supposed to keep you engaged with the game further, I see no reason continuing because it’s all a bunch of fetch quests and mini fights. What happened to logic puzzles? Just basic ones would have done it to add a bit more value. Even for Pod Racing, it’s just one level. And the space fights (though I didn’t really favour them), are just done twice in the play set. However, if you’re satisfied enough with the lightsabre action, or just have been frustrated with the previous play sets combat mode, consider giving your well wishes to Ninja Theory with their reworked and slightly challenging combat engine.

Another disappointing part is how the Toy Box Speedway and Toy Box Takeover modes are sold as expansions for the game. While in the Toy Box Hub there are tracks to race on, those are just ideas to inspire you to make your own tracks (like the crazy Gravity Falls track). If you’re looking to play kart racing with your family, the expansions are probably the only way. It would have been nice to just have a level or 2 as an appetiser though.

Conclusion

While the Play Set didn’t last as long as I wanted it to, the main attraction of Disney Infinity will always be the Toy Box itself. And with the latest additions and the further simplified parts of creating your own world, I can only hope that Disney invests a little more time in the Playsets further. This is Disney’s best attempt in getting everyone into the living room to create a wonderful world that everyone, young and old can definitely enjoy.

And besides, I’d pay to see Darth Vader go toe to toe with Captain America. Who wouldn’t?

For Against
Lightsabre action is awesome Short Play Set completion
Toy Box Hub explaining gameplay modes Expensive to collect the figures
The ever populated Toy Box World No extra teaser for Toy Box Speedway and Toy Box Takeover
Toy Dispenser for unlocking Toys for Toy Box
Disney vs. Marvel vs Star Wars. FINALLY!

Score: 8.0/10

Review was done using a retail version of the Disney Infinity 3.0 Twilight of the Republic Starter Pack on the PS4. Check out the video review at: http://youtu.be/FYWpS405s6k