Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Review

A True Symphony

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a reminder of an old school Castlevania, times have changed but a formula that still holds up. Koji Igarashi may not be a name people will recognize but for gamers it does. Since 1997 he’s worked on most if not all 2D side scrolling Castlevania games, starting with the legendary Symphony of the Night. So here we are, nearly 2 decades later and with the help of fans, backed by a Kickstarter campaign, we now have a continuation of that formula, in Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Bloodstained takes place in the 19th century of England, during the Industrial Revolution. Taking the role in protagonist named Miriam, a shardbinder, a being capable of using demonically charged shards as a weapon. Without giving away too much, just know, you’ll have your reasons for your journey. Bloodstained plays like a classic Castlevania game, in which, as you explore your area, more and more of your map is revealed. Explore and you’ll be rewarded approach is always welcomed, on top of an addiction combat experience. As you destroy demons, you’ll have a chance to absorb their shard and use it as a weapon or buff to Miriam. Also you can upgrade each different shard, adding different upgrades per shard. On top of collection and upgrading, each enemy you kill add experience points to Miriam, in which each level she’ll get stronger. Sound design and musical score are great in Bloodstained, lead by Michiru Yamame, a musical gaming veteran, having also worked on Castlevania games as well. Its safe to say I had a lot of fun revisiting and old formula that works even better by today’s standard. If you’re curious about playing Bloodstained, I would definitely recommend checking it out, it’s worth your time.

Unsung Gamers Score – 9

Review by: ShadowAlchemistX

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review

A Return to Form

Now before I start I’m not knocking the new editions of the Assassin’s Creed series. There was a shift when Odyssey was released, Ubisoft essentially ditched the Assassins story all together, mostly. That’s what intrigues me to Unity, the only entry I have yet to play, until now. Assassin’s Creed Unity follows the story or Arno Dorian, trying to find out more about his family, while also solving the mystery behind his adoptive father’s death. If you happened to have played Assassin’s Creed Rogue, Unity follows directly from that entry. Right away Arno Dorian is a very likable protagonist, a young man whose more about living in the moment. That is until his journey in with the Assassins change everything. Unity, to this day, still holds up incredibly well, even by 2022 standards. Ubisoft Montreal really outdid themselves with the attention to detailed, in a very great looking Paris, France. I know at launch Unity was full of bugs and broken gameplay, which I can confirm, is, for the most part, fixed. The parkour is the best in the franchise, Aaron’s movement from running, climbing and jumping across Paris, is so fluid, in a single motion of movement. Combat I would say definitely shows it’s age. While not completely dull, it is slow. Having said that, the game is based around stealth and not straight on combat. It’s not going to be the best game you’ve never played but it’s a testament of what the series was, before it became what it is today. I do recommend checking it out if you have a chance, these days it’s on sale a lot of the time.

Unsung Gamers Score – 7

Reviewed by: ShadowAlchemistX

Stray Review

A Cat’s Tail

Never would I ever imagine, that there would be a game where a cat is the main character. Not only that but have it completely played through a cat’s point of view, meows and all. Yet, here we are, in our review of Stray, an ambitious idea and a surprisingly interesting world. Without giving away too much of the story, Right from the get go, you’re given full control of an orange tabby cat, a stray cat if you would. Given no story behind what your doing in the beginning is quickly changed, when you’re separated from your family, and thus begins our Stray cat’s journey. The sound design of the world, works incredibly well, in this unfamiliar circumstance. From the ambient music playing in the background, to a random sound of a sewer pipe. The animations for our protagonist is on point, being a cat owner myself, I truly appreciate the level of detail that went into this game. From a simple jump, to a leap across gaps and finally to very addictive meow. Literally a button is dedicated to simply meow, which I took full advantage of. The game only fall short in it being over quite quickly but given the independent developers recourses, it’s given a pass. What is here is an incredible stay cat’s journey into the world that fully embraced with its many mysteries, with even some very fun easter eggs hidden within. I had plenty of fun with my playtime of Stray, and given it’s current available to play on PlayStation Plus Extra/Premium (as of 8/25/2022) I absolutely recommend checking it out. While not to say it’s a bad game but considering it can take anywhere from 4-6 hours of gameplay, it’s hard to justify the $40 price tag for it. If you can, I’d wait for a sale for the game, it is absolutely worth you’re time, especially for cat lovers.

Unsung Gamers Score – 8

Reviewed by: ShadowAlchemistX

Call of Duty Warzone

Buyer Beware

Let me explain. Call of Duty Warzone is a completely free to play game on multiple platforms. Under no obligation are you required to buy anything is it’s store, including, battle pass and cosmetic blueprints. Now having said that, it’s exactly what most of use buy anyways. Which brings me to my story, and a frustrating one at that. I’ve have bought the battle pass and other cosmetic bundles in the past, but this time was different. Normally in the past when I bought a bundle, even one from a game that I don’t have (CoD Cold War), it would unlock the gun and add the blueprints into it as well. This time when I bought a bundle, got access to the character skin but only one gun and blueprint, the other was still locked and didn’t even have access to the blueprint. I was completely locked out of a weapon I paid for. I know what you’re thinking, contact customer service. I did immediately after trying to restart and even reinstall the game to see if that would fix it, it didn’t work. When I contacted Activision customer service, they asked me what the problem was and I explained what happened. They took down my info and saw that there was an issue and can see that it’s locked. After trial and error, it was finally established that there was a problem with the bundle. Mind you it’s been 3 hours at this point. Only for customer service to say there’s nothing they can do about it and all sales are final. After all that! That’s their advice on the issue. I even tried again with a different representative this time, twice, same outcome. Safe to say after that I have finally and for real this time, quit Warzone, they got my money and I can leave the game alone. It was absolutely frustrating that nothing could be done about it and now I’m ok with leaving the game alone now. I’m not saying you should do the same, if you’re having fun, keep going. Collect those Dubz! But my advice is Buyer Beware and know that there are no returns for Warzone.

Article by – ShadowAlchemistX

The Messenger Review

Being a ninja has never been so much fun. Considering The Messenger plays like an old school Ninja Gaiden game, and that’s definitely saying something. The Messenger plays like a classic NES game from the days of old. The story plays out in its classic form, big bad guy destroys everything and the only thing to save the world is in a scroll. So, of course, it’s up to you to deliver that scroll in The Messenger. Gameplay stands out as one of the most precise action platform games out there, with a unique jump mechanic to set it apart from other games. This is accompanied by an incredible soundtrack, each level has its own musical track, personally like by Keiji Yamagishi himself, the composer for the original Ninja Gaiden games. From beginning to end The Messenger kept me entertained at a reasonable length for a game of its kind (about 8 hours). Considering it retails usually for $20 I would still wait for a sale to grab it.

Unsung Gamers Score: 9

Review by: ShadowAlchemistX

Shadow Warrior 3 Review

Shadow Warrior 3 is one of those games that say “F’ It” with style. The game right from the beginning knows it’s in an outrageous scenario and rolls with it, with an overtop one lining hero in Lo Wang leading the charge to save the world. Taking place some time after Shadow Warrior 2, Lo Wang finds himself against incredible odds and has almost given into just letting go. The ones who change his mind are ironically his enemies from the past games, now with an unlikely, yet, comedic team up, Lo Wang sets off to kill The Ancient Dragon that’s destroyed the world. The game is entirely set in a first person shooter perspective, with fast gameplay that rivals the Doom series. Although the weapon count is lowered from previous installments, it also gives the ones you have more spotlight time. From the beginning, the game refuses to slow down, when you do it’s only for cutscenes with plenty of laughing dialogue. Also this game encourages you to play quick, taking your time in combat is a quick way to your death. Having said that, Shadow Warrior 3 lacks side quests, like the previous game, that would reward you with XP and better weapons. It should also be said that Shadow Warrior 3, is definitely on the shorter side of any game, my runtime was just over 4 hours. At it’s current price, I would recommend you wait for a deep/flash sale for Shadow Warrior 3, for a 4 hour campaign, I can’t recommend the game at full price. All in all the game itself is still fun and should definitely be on your list.

Unsung Gamers Score – 7 out of 10

Dear PlayStation

By: PhantomRicon

@playstation, the best console since 1995! I look forward to the PS5! You’ve been there for me since high school, college, my move to a new city, keeping me in touch with my friends and family playing online even to this date. You made smart moves such as adopting Blu-Ray, your controller design, and having the BEST exclusive games ever. Now my family uses it too to now watch their shows and stream movies. I look forward to the release of the PlayStation 5, and continue to be a loyal costumer. #thankYouPlaystation #playstation #PS1 #PS2 #PS3 #PS4 #PS5ComingSoon #sony #red #psController #fanArt #game #gameArt #adobe #illustrator #playstationPlusAwesomeToo

That was a post I posted back in 2020. 2 years later I know have been lucky enough to grab a hold of the legendary mythical machine the PS5. The story of how I got it you can listen on our podcast that just came out. (Links in the home page). There is more to the story but I was able to win it during a school silent auction

Now that I have it I know I’ll be enjoying and will be have my entertainment at home taken care of by PlayStation system and the future games it will have. Already the controller, speed and graphics look great. My first game I’ll will be playing on the PS5 will be Elden ring. Once again thank you Sony PlayStation. I look forward to the new games and possible new additions or updates that may come for the PS5.

What Project Spartacus Needs to Be

By
James Morris aka Buttered Biscuits
Back in December of 2020, news broke out that Sony plans to launch a
program that would be Playstation’s answer to Xbox’s wildly successful
Game Pass rumored to be labeled Project Spartacus. So far not much has
been released regarding Project Spartacus other than a few rumors here and
there regarding Playstation legacy content coming to PS5 (maybe Ps4 as
well) and a potential tier subscription service. The only thing that is official
that is known is that we will have more information regarding Project
Spartacus next month at Playstation’s next State of Play, Sony has recently
called for Playstation Now gift cards to be ceases in the UK, and that Sony
plans on releasing this new initiative Spring of this year. So banking on if
Project Spartacus is a Game Pass like subscription service, here are some
ideas that should be considered.

1) DROP THE THREE TIER CONCEPT

There is a rumor floating that Sony is planning on a three tier
subscription service with Project Spartacus. The lowest tier being the bare
bones basics of Playstation Plus allowing a user to access the Playstation
Network and the current benefits of Plus. The second tier allows access to
digital access to PS4 titles on top of those listed below and finally the top tier
allows access to all Playstation legacy content plus access to the cloud,
demos and much more. Keep in mind this all speculation and rumor at this
time until it of course becomes a reality. However, the issue is simple here.
Why have three tiers when your competitors are marketing two tiers. Yes,
Xbox technically has 3 tiers but how Microsoft advertises, you’d forget that
there is Xbox Live Gold and a basic Game Pass option when Game Pass
Ultimate, which combines both services with the addition of Game Pass PC
and EA Access, for a modest $15 a month US.
Sony needs to keep it simple for their customers as they enter the arena
of subscriptions. As mentioned above, Nintendo and Xbox have already
drawn the line in the sand in regards to their offerings. From Nintendo, they
offer their basic Nintendo Online service, which allows access to cloud
services, online play, and access to SNES and NES video games. Nintendo’s
‘high tier’ model dubbed the Expansion Pass allows users the same benefits
mentioned before as well as access to Sega and N64 titles as well as the DLC
for Animal Crossing New Horizons for a total of $50 US. Sony having a
three tier system at this time, could cause some confusion in those not savvy
enough in the offerings or might put off customers feeling as if they are being
alienated by the paywalls put in place by a potential high price of a
subscription. Thus brings us to our next idea.

2) Make It Affordable

We currently live in an era where we are bombarded by subscriptions to
our favorite films and TV shows, now with gaming becoming part of the mix,
these prices can loom heavy on gamers on a budget. From Netflix prices
rising again and our consumption of streaming content rises, Sony should
consider keeping prices competitive with Nintendo and Microsoft’s pricing
model. Going to pricey on the top-tier subscription, if this does come to
fruition, could spell a potential introduction yield at launch. A $15 dollar
price tag is more than reasonable for access to Playstation legacy library as
well as access to third party content should the top tier service allow such a
feature.
Sony should even consider playing the long game even after the launch
of Spartacus, by constantly pulling a page of Xbox’s playbook by enticing
current subscribers to jump to the next tier for a cheap price like $1 and even
allow customer’s current subscriptions to allocate to the amount of months a
user would get if they had joined the top-tier level ala what Microsoft allows
on Game Pass Ultimate. This would allow an even more acceptance of the
service and also build their install base.

3) Content, Content, Content

What makes Game Pass such a dominating juggernaut in the gaming
industry right now is their constant flow of content being added to their
service monthly and sometimes weekly from all numbers of developers.
From indie darlings like Hades and Goat Simulator to big titles from AAA
developers like EA Games and more, there is much to experience that gamers
would never have been able to try out any other way without slapping down
cold hard cash and hoping for a good experience.
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has already stated to the
media back in September of 2020, that Playstation exclusives will not be on
the subscription service which would be a huge step backwards considering
Microsoft allows for their first party games to hit their service day one. Not
being able to hop into God of War Ragnarok or Spider-Man 2 day one as part
of your Spartacus subscription would be a huge let down in my opinion to the
consumer. Jim Ryan has also stated that these games cost millions to make
and that adding them to a subscription plan just wouldn’t be sustainable.
Seeing the overwhelming success of games like Sea of Thieves and Halo
Infinite, seeing how first party Sony titles wouldn’t see the same amount of
success boggles the mind.
I truly hope Sony releases something that rivals Game Pass as it will
bring more competition to the field and in return, cause more innovation to
both services. Phil Spencer has come out saying that a Game Pass like service
for Sony is the right move and I believe that as well. We are in a new era of
gaming experience with services such as these and can only wait and see how
the continue to evolve. For now, we have to wait for more information on
Project Spartacus next month at Sony’ State of Play but until then, we here at
Unsung Gamers will continue to save the world, one game at a time.