Welcome to Rocky’s Reviews where we briefly review some of the old and new games we’ve played. The games are listed in the order we’ve played them. They’re more a reflection of personal experience and less like a proper review.
Here’s how Rocky rates games:
All games are marked out of five paws
Games that receive a ham are must owns! A list of the Ham games can be found here.
Avoid anything that receives a broccoli!
Xbox One – 2020
DOOM Eternal is the latest entry in Id Software’s first-person franchise. Following directly on from DOOM, you once again step into the shoes of Doomguy as he battles the minions of Hell. The gameplay has more of a narrative to it. Earth has been invaded by demons and you set out to stop them. It’s not as in-depth as other games but it’s a bit of a step up from its predecessor. The game looks as gory as ever. Enemy models will have lumps fly off them as you blast them, the environments look beautifully detailed and diverse, and the cutscenes are presented well. The music is just as blood-pumpingly excellent as usual. Once that beat hits, you know it’s time to rip and tear. The game controls slightly slower than the previous game but you can still run and gun your way through enemies. You have some new abilities this time too, from a dash which is useful to get around and avoid damage, to the ability to climb certain walls. The game also changes how you recover health, shields and ammo. Health can once again be recovered by using “Glory” kills but shields are recovered by using a flamethrower called a “Flame Bletch” and ammo is recovered using the chainsaw. Unlike the first game, the chainsaw will recharge after use. There’s also a fair number of collectibles to find, from codex entries to figurines and even cheat codes. These will have you replaying levels until you find everything. The game does a lot of things well over DOOM but I feel its level design lets in down. There is a much heavier emphasis on platforming this time around and it doesn’t always flow as well as the previous game. Another issue I encountered was in battle I would often find myself cornered easily or knocked off a platform without a way to get back up without falling down and respawning. Some levels were fun adventures similar to the first game, while others were sometimes chores. The enemy selection has been greatly increased, with new foes and new tactics abound. Certain enemies have a weakness and exploiting these is key to survival. While playing the main campaign, I enjoyed the variety but some of the new enemies in the Ancient Gods DLC were a pain. Overall, it’s a fun game that doesn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessor but both the main campaign and the Ancient Gods DLC are worth a bash.
Xbox One – 2016
Id Software’s DOOM sees the Doomslayer return to take on the hordes of Hell. The game is a fast-paced, frantic first-person shooter that successfully recreates the feel of the original games. The combat is exhilarating as you battle off the demons of Hell, while taking them out in all sorts of gruesome ways. These “Glory Kills” are encouraged as they help to restore health, provide armour and replenish your ammo. The game controls incredibly well, with the Doomslayer a joy to behold. It did feel a little oversensitive at first but this is all part of the experience and you’ll get used to it very quickly. You have a large selection of weapons to choose from such as shotguns (my personal favourite), chainsaws, assault rifles and, of course, the BFG. Most of these weapons can be upgraded by finding a weapons drone and then accruing certain points. You can also upgrade your ammo, armour and ammo by discovering certain items. In fact, there’s a decent chunk of collectables here, from Runes that will give you certain abilities to DOOM figurines and even Classic Maps. The game’s plot is incredibly simple, kill the demons, get to Hell, yadda, yadda, yadda. It actually suits the game really well. The game also features an Arcade mode and several difficulty levels to sink your teeth into. The graphics look fantastic, with dark corridors, blood-soaked walls and the red Marsan service all standing out. There was an odd bit of texture pop-in but it never took away from my experience. The soundtrack is simply fantastic. It’s good old DOOM! Once the metal track kicks in, your blood will be pumping and you’ll be ripping through demons. A fantastic FPS that definitely stands out among the rest. Rip & Tear!!!
Super Nintendo – 1995
One of the greatest JRPGs ever released, Chrono Trigger places you in the shoes of Crono and his companions as they travel through time. The story sees our heroes travel to the Prehistoric Age, Medieval Times and a Post-Apocalyptic future. There, they will uncover the great mysterious of their world and come face to face with a cataclysmic force. The game features multiple endings, obtained by meeting certain criteria, as well as a New Game+ mode to sink your teeth into. Crono is your typical silent protagonist but his companions have enough wit, charm and humour to see you through. The game plays like a standard turn-based JRPG, with an Active Time Bar similar to the Final Fantasy series. You can also learn new abilities and perform Double and Triple Techs with your teammates. The game doesn’t feature random battles, instead the enemies are present on the screen and entering a certain area will trigger an encounter. Unlike some other JRPGs, these encounters all take place on the dungeon map and don’t load a unique battle arena. The sprite-based graphics are beautiful and hold up even to this day. The character animations really help to capture their emotions too. The soundtrack is composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, with some contributions from Nobuo Uematsu and Noriko Matsueda. As a result, it has a wonderful blend of styles that help to complement the games art style. With plenty of endings to find, a fairly intuitive battle system and a wonderful adventure, Chrono Trigger is a must have for JRPG fans.
Persona 5 Strikers
PlayStation 4 – 2020
Originally released as Persona 5 Scramble in Japan in 2020, Persona 5 Strikers would eventually make its way worldwide in 2021. The game is a collaboration between Atlus and Koei Tecmo, developed by Omega Force and P-Studio. As a result, the game has a lot in common with the Dynasty Warrior series. Gone is the turn-based combat of Persona 5, instead we have a hack‘n’slash action RPG where you have to mow down hordes of enemies. Set across the month of August, Joker meets up with his companions in Tokyo to spend his summer holidays. While in Tokyo, Joker, Morgana and Ryuji accidentally stumble a “Jail”, a cognitive reality similar to the “Palaces” from Persona 5. This kick starts the Phantom Thieves adventure as they travel across Japan to discover the true power behind these “Jails”. You’ll be joined by the original Phantom Thieves from Persona 5, along with two new companions. Each character has their own elemental style, with Joker being able to obtain personae with different elements, similar to how Persona 5 operated. Despite being a hack’n’slash action RPG in the vein of the Dynasty Warriors series, the combat never feels repetitive. You can ambush Shadows to give you an advantage in combat, there’s a wide variety of spells to use, as well as your melee combat and gun. The game also features “All Out Attacks”, which can be used to devastate large groups of enemies. Also added are “Show Time” attacks. These are built up through combat and can be unleashed to great effect. The game’s “Jails” are inventive and fun to explore, even if they are a bit linear. The art style of Persona 5 returns and looks as beautiful as ever. The game does offer a Framerate or Graphics option but while playing in Graphics mode I never encountered any framerate drops, something which does happen in Koei Tecmo games. The confidant system is gone, instead you have a “Bond” bar that levels up through side quests, main quests and combat. This can be used to unlock new abilities for the team. The side-quests are scaled back from Persona 5 but there is still a decent amount here, including ones that see you assist your team mates with different “challenges” (such as gathering sweets for Ann). The fantastic music of Persona 5 returns, along with some new tunes to sink your teeth into. The only issue I had with sound was that sometimes the background music would drown out the voice acting. It’s a great game and my favourite of the “Dynasty Warriors” style so far. The story is excellent and it’s nice to see the Phantom Thieves one last time.
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
Xbox 360 – 2012
Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes is another entry in TT Games long running Lego series. All the familiar tropes are here such as secret characters, minikits, red bricks and gold bricks. The game’s hub takes place in Gotham City. Here, you can explore the city to find new characters, red bricks that unlock cheats and even vehicles to drive or fly. The map is a nice size and there’s just the right number of collectibles where it never feels overwhelming. You can also access the Batcave. From here you can progress the main story. Unlike the first Lego Batman game, this one’s main story is a single narrative. You’ll play as Batman, Robin, Superman and some of the Justice League as you attempt to stop the Joker and Kex Luthor. The levels have a little variety to them, from the standard side-scrolling smashing levels to on rail shooters. Each level also contains its own set of items to find that require at least two visits. The game looks crisper than the first one, with Gotham’s gothic setting well detailed. The music is great, if a little repetitive. It features some recognizable Batman tracks as well as the Superman theme whenever you fly as him. The game is the first in the Lego series to feature voice acting. The voice actors all play their roles well and the kookiness of the non-voice acted games is still here, if dialled down a little. Gameplay can be fun or frustrating. During the levels, the characters control well, with flight easy to master. In the hub world, it’s a different story. Flying is frustrating, with acceleration controlled by the A button and altitude and direction controlled by the right stick. This can be frustrating as your character can accelerate suddenly, making some of the gold bricks frustrating to collect. The game features split screen, which is a great improvement over the first game. Now you and a friend can explore the different areas without the game dropping you out randomly. Glitches are back and in our playthrough we had the game freeze, a level award us an extra minikit (we ended up with 11/10), a random gold brick just popped up with a glitched message and an Achievement unlock without us actually fulfilling the criteria for it. The game is fun, especially when played with a friend. It’s one of the finer entries in the Lego series but the controls just let it down.