Pokemon Scarlet & Violet with DLC Review

On February 27, 2022, Pokémon Presents announced Pokémon Scarlet & Violet. Players were surprised as Legends Arceus had only just released a month prior in January. A few months later, the newest Pokémon games were released on November 18, to a bit of a mixed reception. The general consensus among most is that many like the games but they’re not without their share of issues. To be fair, Scarlet and Violet were by no means a perfect release. Performance bugs including lag, rendering problems etc. And a few other oddities such as the first few seconds of the Elite Four theme being stuck in a loop. These were the kinds of things players noted. Now, this isn’t anything really new for Pokémon, the original Red and Blue became infamous for their number of exploitable bugs and game breaking glitches, Diamond and Pearl had an exploitable bug that let players catch event exclusive Pokémon without the required event exclusive items. 

The DLC, collectively known as The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero was announced exactly a year later, with Part 1: The Teal Mask releasing on Sep 13 and Part 2: The Indigo Disk releasing on Dec 14 of the same year. Neither fixed all the bugs and magically made the games perfect but both brought welcome additions with new areas, new characters and new Pokémon.

Party Animals Review

I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that everyone reading this review on this site probably would find something cute about Party Animals, developed by Recreate Games. The punchy, rollicking party beat-em-up then throw ‘em out game intends to have everyone in the 8-player lobbies enjoying themselves as they attempt to score points in various ways, mainly after using the fluffy yet furious punching, headbutting, and grabbing methods available to them on the many maps.Pick your animal, your costume, and then get thrown into the fray.

Party Animals is akin to Gang Beasts in that it provides a ragdoll, physics-based character to run around with. Using your fists, feet, head, or a variety of weapons including bats, fish, tasers, and more, you or you and a team try to knock out other players after a certain amount of damage or a particularly strong wallop. Once the character has gone limp, they stay that way for a certain amount of seconds, allowing for their limp body to be hurled over the side, into a trebuchet, or any other number of hazardous situations, leading them to being out for the round or needing to wait to respawn. During this “out of match” screen, eliminated contestants can throw fish, bombs, and other pitfalls onto the map to affect the game after their demise. A pretty cool concept that I’d love to see in more games. After a certain amount of points are gained, or characters are eliminated, the match ends and you get an end screen with an adorable winner’s podium and a picture is taken of all the contestants, followed by a rundown of the achievements and experience you gained during the match. It all flows pretty seamlessly and encourages back-to-back matches. There are daily, weekly, and all time challenges to complete, each with their own currency rewards or outfit customizations to unlock.

Lookouts Two animal cowboys

Lookouts is a visual novel Western adventure where you play as a one armed wolf scout for a notorious gang. The 2022 Ursa Major nominated game is available to play in browser, or pay what you want to download at itch.io. It features art by Coldoggo, music by Jamie, and ParanoidHark composing the story and programming.

The art seems to take inspiration from Northwest Indigenous styling to form simple and effective character silhouettes for use in the story. The form not only lends itself well to the Western format, it makes the artstyle instantly recognizable and stand out from its other visual novel peers.

The story is split into a simple three act structure. As far as gameplay goes, the story is linear with some minigames and very sparse and inconsequential choices to start. It is not until the third act during the final conflict where you will make choices that do have an impact on the resolution. However, I think this makes for a better experience for the player, while keeping the programming and implementation reasonable for a one person team. By keeping the most impactful choices until near the end, you can more readily play the final conflict of the game without having to reread or go through the first two acts just to get to experience the differing outcomes.

The theme of the story is sort of a mixture of Romeo and Juliet with gay cowboys. Your nameable character (Robin by default) is sent out to investigate rumors of gold in a nearby town by your wolf gang. But as it turns out a rival gang of carnivorous birds also has its eyes on the prize, as you find their own scout on the road named Joseph. The story follows the two lookouts as they set out to discover what treasure awaits in the town, and what happens when they find something far more valuable and precious as a result.

I believe many furries will find the story well worth the approximately 5 hour run time. The material does pay homage to its setting, giving the town and characters a sense of history. It makes references to real world elements of the time period it portrays. In that essence, the late Fred Patten would note this is a zipper-back story. However, in spite of it being animal stand-ins for people, the story is charming with elements of romance, conflict, and looking for a place to belong. I’m glad this one got nominated for the Ursa’s and that it got the attention it needed so that people recommended it to play for my channel.

Back in 2009, a man by the name of Dead Dodrill submitted a game to Microsoft's Dream.Build.Play competition. The game won, and was awarded a contract for an Xbox Live Arcade release. Three years later, we finally get our paws on that game; Dust: An Elysian Tail. After spending a good amount of time with the game, I can without a doubt say it was worth the wait. Dust is not only dripping with anthropomorphic influence, it is a charming and enthralling action game that is sure to entertain, furry or not.

Shoot 'em ups, or shmups, for short, are one of my favorite classic styles of gaming. The only problem is that recently, they have been of the 'impossible' type. I'll download a demo, play for a few seconds, and explode. Now, I know there's a ton of people that love that difficulty. It's why the play the game. For those of us who don't have the reflexes of a friggin squirrel, I really appreciate it when game makers make modes for the rest of us. This is what Sine Mora does. It manages to create a nice hill to climb as far as being able to enjoy the game and get better, upping the difficulty at your own pace.

It's been a while since I've written a review, but after playing Bioshock Infinite, I was inspired to get back into the spirit. Also, I want to assure you that this review will hold back from revealing any spoilers, so no worries.

Infinite is the third game in the series, but escapes the confines of Rapture and takes flight in the floating city of Columbia. You play the part of Booker DeWitt, who has been mysteriously transported to this seemingly perfect oasis of civilization in search of a girl. However, things are not always as they seem...

I've played through the first two Bioshock games. The first one was revolutionary, and the world of Rapture pulled me in hook, line, and sinker. Bioshock 2, to me, was more of the gameplay-focused title many games become, but finished with a strong second act. To be honest, I was tempted to dislike the new setting in Infinite because I had fallen so in love with Rapture. I managed to hold back the pessimism though, and went into the world of Columbia with an open mind, hoping that Irrational Games would deliver again. Not to spoil anything, but they definitely did.