Silent Hill 2 Review

Revisiting a Classic.

It has been over 20 years since Silent Hill 2 original release date back 2001. I just so happen to come across this game at Game Crazy, which are now all gone. I saw it and looked at the back of the game box and was intrigued by what I read. Our protagonist James Sunderland‘s life is shattered when his beloved wife Mary passes away. Three years later James receives a mysterious letter from his late wife Mary, beckoning him to return to their special place, Silent Hill. This alone was enough for me to pick it up, and ever since, has been one of my favorite games. Twenty years later and this story is still great to experience again. You are given a map and free to explore where you can go, the game does not help you too much. It’s up to you to find your way and to figure out the complex puzzles your will encounter on your journey. Graphically, yes, it has aged but incredibly it holds up remarkably well. Gameplay holds up mostly well enough, some of the camera angels may get annoying but the atmosphere of the game eases this issue. The sound design for Silent Hill 2, is still creepy all these years later. With the incredible soundtrack by the legendary Akira Yamaoka, compliments every cutscene and environment you’ll encounter. Developer Team Silent really outdid themselves and should be remembered for doing so. I honestly thought replaying a twenty year old game would have been tough, but Silent Hill 2 is an example of a game that transcends generation after generation in gaming. To this day, now, I do recommend playing Silent Hill 2, especially if it’s your first time.

Unsung Gamers Score – 10

Reviewed by: ShadowAlchemistX

Chainsaw Man

Welp I’m an idiot. This whole time I’m thinking season 2 is gonna be released and I need to catch up. Nope! Season 1 just released lol. But either way I was excited to see this popular Manga turned anime. I’ve heard so much about this I got a Crunchyroll account just so I can watch it.

To give a quick summary: Chainsaw Man follows the story of Denji, an impoverished young man who after making a contract with a dog-like devil named Pochita. That’s the first episode I won’t give more to avoid spoilers for those who are like me and ever read the manga but want to see what the talk is about.

I did watch the sub version and plan to watch the dub as well and wow. I was not disappointed. My concern was I would not see much in the first episode knowing these episodes are usually 20-30 minutes long. This first episode was great and was beyond what I expected. Pleasantly surprised at how much they were able to fit and still make all cohesive. I never read the manga but this first episode really helped me follow what’s happening in the world of Chainsaw man. The art is beautiful, the story is fantastic, and this episode will not disappoint.

8.5/10

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

Assassin’s Creed 2 Review

Reliving a Classic.

First off as I do enjoy the current Assassin’s Creed games for what they are, an Assassin’s Creed game; they are not. They’re missing that mystery and emphasis on joining and learning more about being an Assassin and learning more about The Templars plot. Luckily the previous entries in the franchise still exist and in HD. So here we are, 12 years later, it’s been 12 years since Assassin’s Creed 2 originally released date. And to be honest, it definitely holds up today. What I’ve notice right away is the story of Assassin’s Creed is it’s primary focus. It’s a warm welcome to return to Assassin’s Creed 2, with Ezio Auditore da Firenze being one of the most likable characters, not only in Assassin’s Creed but in gaming in general. Desmond Miles returns as the present day protagonist, leaning more about his heritage in being an assassin. Going back into the Animus to figure out what The Templars are truly after. Gameplay I’ll admit is dated but isn’t as bad as other games in 2009. You’ll have your tools of the trade, such as, a sword and your Assassin’s Hidden Blade. But with Assassin’s Creed 2, not only do you get a better selection of weapons but also more tools of the trade to help you along your mission. The soundtrack for the game is most surprising, I don’t recall it being this good but it definitely helps bring you back into the Renaissance era in the time with Ezio.

I’ve enjoyed my time in completing Assassin’s Creed 2 once more, only now in HD. Though some elements of the game are showing their age, it still holds up as on of the best in the franchise. Looking forward in continuing Ezio’s journey in Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. For Assassin’s Creed 2, I would definitely recommend playing it, especially if you’ve never played it.

Unsung Gamers Score – 8

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

Shadow Warrior 2 Review

For a long time, I have wanted to play Shadow Warrior 2, and it did not disappoint, just know the kind of game you’ll be playing. What intrigued me the most from the game was the melee and gunfights in first person, haven’t seen a game that can do both and do it so well. The story of Shadow Warrior 2, sees you in the eyes of the protagonist Lo Wang, an expert assassin for hire. What makes Lo Wang a fun protagonist is that he says what’s on his mind at all times, with dozens of one-liners and even more insults to your enemies. This is reinforced with Shadow Warrior 2 gameplay, a first-person action shooter. It may feel a bit weird, how a game at 30fps can play so smoothly but it works just fine. Sound design is lacking here, from explosions to even your weapon sounds, they should sound powerful but they did. There are a few music tracks that hit at the right moments, otherwise, it is completely forgettable. Luckily the game is fun to play, it even has a 4 player coop option for those who are interested in playing as a team together. As long as you’re not expecting a Doom-like game and story I would this is worth checking out. Especially if you have Xbox Game Pass, for now, it is available through this service, otherwise, I would wait for a deep sale on this one. It isn’t worth putting in the full amount for it. 

Unsung Gamers Score – 6

Reviewed by: ShadowAlchemistX

Peacemaker Report

by: PhantomRicon

Today I was finally able to finish Season 1 of Peacemaker. No spoilers just my take on the show. I have to admit the hype is real. The show is very entertaining and fun. It can get dark and gory, but still has that “James Gunn” feel to the show. I’d even say John Cena was meant to play the Peacemaker.

The show takes place right after the Suicide squad movie, so if you haven’t seen it it may help to watch it first. Both Suicide Squad and Peacemaker are on HBO Max. Right now it’s looking like with Zach Snyder not currently in the picture, James Gunn is doing what James Gunn does. Take a “not so popular” character(s) from comics and making them likeable and fun. You’d be asking yourself “why have i not read or heard of these guys before”. I do see some characteristics from Guardians of the Galaxy Quill in the Peacemaker. From my view I feel like Peacemaker was what Gunn wanted to go and do with Guardians, but maybe Disney stepped in and said to keep it down on the violence and language. Right now I feel like we are getting the visualization of what James Gunn has always wanted to do with a comic book movie/series. Too keep this short or me my favorite character is Vigilante, the other characters show great chemistry with each other and make the show entertaining. They do touch on the other popular characters the Batman, flash and such in a very creative way. The intro to the show has a dance that I’m sure you are seeing or starting to see people do on social media. This show is defenitly a hit, and can’t wait to see where they go with Season 2, with James Gunn back as Director and writer of the season.