Tag Archives: NCG

NCG Review – Disgaea 1 Complete (Switch, Playstation 4)

The Disgaea series has been around since the PS2 era, and has made its was to other consoles including PC, and now the series is celebrating its 15th anniversary by releasing a remastered version of the first title and naming it Disgaea 1 Complete for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. But does it still hold up as a solid title after all of the years that have passed?

Visual

The key to Disgaea 1 Complete is that it’s a remastered version of the original title, Disgaea Hour of Darkness, and with that upgrade comes smoother and more crisp sprites for the characters and environments! All of this looks fantastic with the HD upgrade, as it seems to be built off the engine of the newest title Disgaea 5 Complete. Anyone who loves the cute and quirky look of the series will feel right at home, as well as remember why the series put NIS on the map, as everything seems to reminisce and also feel new all at once.comparison.png

Audio

The soundtrack of the Disgaea series has always had given the series its own identity, and coming back to the OST of Disgaea 1 Complete will keep players enjoying the tunes that helped make the series stand out. Whether it is the menu music, the hub music, or even the battle music for each scene. Players will enjoy the OST as they did with the original.DISGAEA 1 COMPLETE_20180622145414

Gameplay

Anyone that knows the newer Disgaea titles know that the series is a tactical RPG that has a unique gameplay style, which includes a lot of grinding. Players will find themselves grinding to progress throughout the story, as the difficulty level spikes up really fast. Disgaea 1 Complete isn’t one of those titles where you can just run through the story, and that was something huge with RPG’s back in the PS2 era, which gave me a sense of connection to my characters because of how much time I put into them to be where they are at now. The grinding isn’t that bad in the series for that reason alone, as it gives players a challenge and a sense of accomplishment as they progress.DISGAEA 1 COMPLETE_20180622174206

Verdict

If you have never played any of the Disgaea titles, Disgaea 1 Complete is a great way to start the journey. Digaea 1 brings back all of the aesthetics that made the series what it is today.  Even better, you can take the series with you on the go. If you enjoy tactical RPG’s that will need some dedication to progress I highly recommend picking this up. I give Disgaea 1 Complete a 8 out of 10, since it still stands up as a solid grind fest that isn’t tiring.Score

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NCG Reviews: Overcooked 2 (PS4, Switch, PC)

Team 17 is bringing Overcooked back with more kitchen madness! Jump into your food truck and find a way to defeat the un-bread!

Story

After reading the necro -nomnom- icon and accidentally raising the un-bread, you must hop in your food truck, hone your cooking skills, and defeat the un-dead bread monsters!  The story isn’t pertinent to the game, but the jokes and humor help set the overall tone for your kitchen journey.6-2

Gameplay

If you’ve played Overcooked, then you already have a feel for how Overcooked 2 will work. What I really enjoyed about Overcooked 2 is that it’s not a re-skin of its predecessor.  There are more features to the game, and more ways to utilize what you already know.2-3

Features

The throw feature is a new addition to the game.  You’ll have to figure out how to launch foods across the kitchen and chasms (and other obstacles) to ensure your team mates can cook/cut ingredients.  Throwing adds another layer of strategy to game as players learn how to send food to areas and players that can’t be reached.  Thrown food can  be caught directly,  land on a surface, or, of course, land in your hand knocking something important out of it.  The throw feature is limited to food, so you can’t throw dishes around the kitchen.  The plates would break, you know?

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Unfortunately, you can’t make your chef swear across the kitchen when you’re frustrated (*!@#$@*#$*@#$%@*!), but you CAN communicate what your chef is thinking, feeling, or doing.  This is especially helpful for online modes where you can’t yell at your friend sitting next to you.

Stages

Not only are there new game mechanics, but there are new types of levels with a variety of menus.  Dynamic levels force players to change their strategy and work around the level.  This means switching tasks between chefs and figuring out how the kitchen moves.  The complexity of the menu also poses a new challenge.  Overcooked did not require a variety of dishes to be made, but rather the dishes to be made in a complex environment.  In Overcooked 2, you really have to pay attention to not only your environment, but to what needs to be plated and which ingredients are required.  You’ll have quite a few errors if you’re not paying close attention.1-6

Dynamic levels create a new chaos, but in addition to a variety of stages, you get special levels if you meet specific requirements in a stage.  It’s like a special unlock feature! You’ll likely be looking at walkthroughs in a week or so to unlock the secret levels.  Or, you can see what you come up with on your own.  Whatever floats your boat.

Online

Overcooked 2 doesn’t require your friends to all be in the same room.  Instead, you can play online! This is a fun feature in case your friends are way across town and don’t want to come over (boo to those types of friends!).  This mode, however, can be particularly difficult if no one is using a headset.  Overcooked is a game that requires a certain level of communication that does not happen within the game.  Yes, you can tell your teammates what task you will take on while playing, but when the timer is ticking, chaos ensues!

If playing with friends is not an option, you can also jump online and play against strangers.

Graphics/Audio

This time around, the graphics and audio weren’t really beefed up.  Instead, the focus was the mechanics and game play.  Graphics do look a little bit nicer, and there are a couple new tunes to the sound track.2-6

Verdict

Pros:

Team 17 did a wonderful job incorporating new mechanics and levels to the game.  It’s enough to make the game feel “new” but it’s not a complete overhaul of the original title.  There’s enough balance that new players can jump in and learn the game, while veteran players can still feel challenged.

New modes, such as online and arcade mode, give the game a different dynamic.  You’re not limited to only couch co-op; you can now play with chefs across the world!

Cons:

While the new online feature adds another game dynamic, it’s difficult to communicate with other players.  You do have the emote option to share what your chef will be doing, but when the clock is ticking down it’s difficult to stop and alert your teammates. Although, that is part of the challenge.

Even though there are a variety of new dynamic stages and complex menus, the game can start to feel too easy.  What I enjoyed about the first title was that the challenges weren’t exactly explained to you. You break the challenge down as you play and adapt to what needs to happen in the kitchen.

I would rate this game an 8 out of 10.

Score

The game isn’t perfect but it’s a fun addition to the series.  Have you played Overcooked? How do you and your friends/family get when you play the game? Let us know in the comments!

 

 

 

NCG Review – Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] (PS4, PS3, and PSVITA)

Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st]

Platform: Playstation 4, Playstation 3, PSVita

Release date: February 9, 2018

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Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] is the an updated version of the previous title that came out back in 2015. Although the title has a very long name that really needs to be abbreviated (UNIST can be the short way of saying it), it has just that much content loaded into the game this time around! Developed by Arc System Works, who is known for their top of the line fighting game titles such as, the Guilty Gear Series, BlazBlue, and the newly released Dragonball FighterZ, this title is what you would expect.

Story

Being an updated version, the game introduces 4 new characters as well as a new story mode in which players can unfold the story of the world in a Visual Novel gameplay style. When I say Visual Novel, I mean Visual Novel! There is no gameplay in this mode, but that does not mean the story is horrible. Players of the anime community will really enjoy the twists and turns in the story.Under_Night_6

Visuals

The visuals are somewhat the same from the original, and that is not a problem at all of because the game has its own distinct look and manages to keep everything pretty simple. With a 2D drawn art style that still draws me in when turning this title on, I can say a lot of gamers will like how it looks. It reminds me of Anime mixed with a dark theme such as Darkstalkers.UNIST_25

During fights the visuals of each special attack work well and look great. The menu has more of an arcade look and is simple enough where new players can navigate with ease. Even the story mode looks awesome with the visual novel art style.

Audio

The soundtrack to UNIST brings back some of the previous titles tracks as well as a few new tracks, and the new tracks still holds up to the magnificent scores for combat and story telling.UNIST_EU_Announcement_2

Gameplay

I always felt Under Night never had any spotlight in North America, and is very under rated, but with the new update I hope that changes as this title is a must have for fighting game enthusiast. The core gameplay is the same as most anime fighters, without the air dash. So, it’s sort of like The King of Fighters meets Anime! Combos are limited to one button press for standing and crouching per button, and in the air so players need to strategize what they will do in each combo. It also has an  auto combo for players that bash buttons, but this limits button mashing to execute really short combos -the game wants you to learn passing and how to get in without button mashing, and this is perfect for new players wanting to join the fighting game community.UNIST_EU_Announcement_5

As I mentioned, this is a great game for new players because there is a new tutorial mode where everything is explained for fighting games in general. From executing and getting in, to how to finish combos and set up for another; this is a way to learn UNIST as wells as any other fighting essentials.UNIST_EU_Announcement_6

Of course, there is also online Ranked and Unranked play, which hold itself together pretty well but not to a perfect degree. The netcode isn’t perfect, as some matches lag even with two solid connections, but for the most part it is playable more than half of the time. And as for Ranked matches, the lobby’s will be full of veterans of the title, so I would recommend new players to not approach Ranked until you are ready to take on the best.

As mentioned, UNIST has 4 new cast members, Phonon with her whip, Mika a child with gigantic robotic hands, Wagner holding her sword and shield, and Enkidu who is pure martial arts. None of these characters feel like a rehash of previous characters or each other, and new players will be happy to see each have a different play style.

Verdict

With Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] coming out after one of the biggest fighting games this year a lot of players might miss this title. With an awesome Story mode for single player, fantastic visuals, and many more new additions, Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] is a must have in my opinion. Although it lacks in online play at the moment, this is a great title for any one who is a fighting game fan our even a competitive fighting game player. I rate Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late[st] an 8 out of 10.Score

NCG Review – Nidhogg 2 (Playstation 4, PC)

The wurm is back, and ready to feed! Messhof is back again with the sequel to the 2014 highly addictive multiplayer title Nidhogg. Nidhogg 2 builds off its predecessor by adding some new weapons, new levels, new grotesque art style, online ranked matches, and a brand new character customization feature letting players choose which character they will want to use to paint the walls with their enemies’ blood.Nidhogg2_Summer17 (10).png

Visuals

Nidhogg 2’s art style has been upgraded from the retro “Atari” art style, to a 16-bit pixel upgrade. The best way to describe it is that it looks something along the lines of Earthworm Jim’s art style from the SNES and Sega Genesis era. This fits perfect for Nidhogg 2, as the game doesn’t take itself serious with its hilarious gameplay.NIdhogg2_Summer17 (1).png

Characters animations look hysterical with the frantic facial expressions when being stabbed or squashed into the ground, and the level art looks amazing with its acid influenced art style. The whole presentation of Nidhogg 2 will have you feeling like your back in the 90’s gaming era. Did I mention, the developers added an overworld that resembles Yoshi’s Island!difaa8yc7isqzlihl6t1

One downside though is that even though the graphics are brushed up, sometimes they game be distracting. Their were times on curtain levels where the background would be the same color as me or my opponent (DAMN those flames with the same color palate as the orange character) and I would either lose myself , then fall off a ledge or run right into my foes weapon.NIdhogg2_Summer17 (4)

 

Gameplay

Nidhogg 2 has brought back that fast paced, kill and run game style back, but this time with a few new feature! Nidhogg 2 introduces new weapons which will change the strategies of how to kill your opponent.Nidhogg2_Summer17 (12)

Each weapon has its own strength and weakness so despite which weapon used, one player will not have the upper hand. The knives as a fast throw but short reach, the bow has projectiles, but you can do damage if you toss it, the two-handed sword can know weapons out of you opponents hands but is slow, and the classic jousting rapier is neutral all around.I found this dynamic and rather fun, as I would find weapons from fallen characters all over the place, making me have to think quick on what I was going to do with the weapon.

As for game modes, they added an arcade mode where players will fight their way through every level and have a chance to try out every weapon. Which is a great option if you don’t have some couch play going on. There is also an online mode with ranked and non-ranked matches, and I can see this keep this title alive for days to come. Last of all, the main place where players will be on is the original VS. mode and tournament mode, in which players can play against their friends and have a colorful bloodshed of a time.

The NCG crew had a blast playing Nidhogg 2, but the game animation felt like it wasn’t as fast as the original Nidhogg. On top of that, some matches last forever, as players will find out that they added sliding physics to the characters. This can be great, but can also fall flat when your matches end up being way longer than you would expect. Other than the speed of the animation all aspects of the gameplay aspects were great.
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Verdict

Nidhogg 2 is a title to pick up whether you tried the original or not. A highly recommended title to add to your multiplayer collection, especially because it’s a game that is just hilarious, with an experience you will not get from any other title on the market.

Pros: Nidhogg 2 offers a variety of weapons and levels that we did not see in the first title.  There are more maps with obstacles and the weapon variation forces players to strategize their next move versus bashing buttons and hoping for the best.

Cons: Even though I got what I wanted more levels!- I still prefer the style of the original game.  The pure simplicity in levels and character design made the game “goofy” without being outwardly goofy.  Nidhogg 2 takes the once subtle concept and makes a more “in you face” style and I think it detracts from the game.  It becomes mentally exhausting focusing on your character and the more in-depth backgrounds.

You can pick up Nidhogg 2 for Playstation 4 (via PSN) and PC (Steam) on August 15.Score