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Nintendo Switch Reviews Reviews

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles – Nintendo Switch Review

A Masterclass of Whimsical Adventure.

Editor’s note: The score of 7/10 was accidentally put for this title. This was to be a placeholder, but was posted in error. The true score has been updated. 

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles is the latest game from the folks over at Prideful Sloth. It takes cues from open world games like Breath of the Wild, Crafting games like Minecraft, and sprinkles in a little town building ala Dark Cloud. Yonder creates a wonderful, albeit flawed, whimsical adventure that’s  worth every moment. It’s a beautifully crafted adventure that has you exploring vast landscapes with a massive smile sprawled across your face and sets the tone right from the start. After creating your character you will explore an open world to find Sprites (magical creatures that help you unlock mysteries of the world), gather resources, and help local inhabitants.  You’ll do all of this with no combat nor any real sense of urgency.  In this unique way Yonder allows you to focus on its most important aspect – Fun.

The Calm before for Mincraftian Storm

The games opens up with you on a ship heading towards the island of Gemea. Upon landing on the island you are given the simple task of harvesting some resources. Soon after you are set on task after task with more and more options at your disposal. That’s the main crux of Yonder: Resource harvesting and management. You will be building different tools to help you gather larger, rarer resources which in turn will help you discover and craft more items. That game play loop is ingeniously addicting and at times the amount of crafting recipes seems almost endless. It keeps progression from feeling tedious and makes it feel more like it’s own adventure. What’s problematic is that crafting can sometimes feel obtuse and never quite feels as intuitive as it should for a game centered around crafting and building. It’s strange considering that the game is clearly aimed at younger audiences and a more casual crowd. Despite that, it is quite easy to get lost in wanting to discover one more item or one more area.

Each area you unlock has it’s own progression associated with it. As you complete quests in a given area this percentage will slowly tick up toward that golden 100% mark. It gives Yonder that “checking boxes” feel of certain open world games like Assassin’s Creed.

 A Helping Farmhand

While plugging away at helping townsfolk I came across a dilapidated farm. A young farmer tasked me with rebuilding the farm to its former glory. This portion of the game had me going back to my memories of one of my favorite games, Dark Cloud.  Piece by piece you reassemble the farm and reap its benefits. While you have the creativity to build what you want and when. Where you build it on the farm is just as predetermined as Dark Cloud was, which is a slight bummer. There is something about wanting to have the farm flow my way as opposed to the way the game wants me to. It is a minor gripe, but a gripe nonetheless.

Do it Again and Again

What you do in Yonder doesn’t vary very much. Helping out townspeople and farmers is basically one fetch quest after another.  Exploring the world and casually unlocking new items to craft is really what kept me pushing forward, even if I thought maybe it was time to put the Switch down and do something else. There is just something about the charm. As you move forward you clear some murky areas to reveal and unlock more portions of the map. Outside of that and helping the townspeople there isn’t much to do. As I had mentioned before, that didn’t really bother me. I was more focused on just plugging away and enjoying myself in a Animal Crossing/Minecraft kind of way, minus death and taxes of course.

The Verdict

Overall, Yonder is flawed in what it isn’t trying to be, but a master at what it is; an adventure of exploration.  Here you will not find monsters to kill or starvation to stave off, just a beautiful word to discover and rebuild. Yonder is about peaceful exploration of a charming world where you learn little by little how you can create change one errand at a time. This game is perfect for sitting down with a little one and having fun. Those looking for action and challenge, or maybe something more stimulating, might want to look elsewhere.

Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles was provided by Stride PR for Prideful Sloth for review. Total Playtime approx 11 hours. 

Categories
Game Stuff Podcasts

Game Stuff 10 – Kids Games?

On this episode of Game Stuff Kalai, Kory, and Joe discuss kid appropriate games. If you wanted to start your children on video games where would you start? Is Minecraft appropriate for children? Listen in and let us know what you think is kid appropriate.

Special thanks to the shows contributors, you can find the band of our intro music, Take Away The Ugly here and find Isaac Sagoeii (the shows artist) at https://isaacsagoeiii.carbonmade.com/

We appreciate your support (and your ears)!

Please subscribe to the Game Stuff feed in iTunes, Google Play or RSS  and please leave a review. We won’t give you cookies, but it will help us make the show better.

You can find us on Twitter: @GameStuffCast

You can also email us at Gamestuff@provengamer.com.

If you wish, you can always download the show here – Game Stuff 10 – Kids Games?

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PC News Playstation 3 Playstation 3 News Playstation 4 Playstation 4 News X-Box One X-Box One News XBOX 360 XBOX 360 News

Minecraft Story Mode -The Complete Adventure- Coming to Retail October 25th

Leading and award-winning developer and publisher of digital entertainment Telltale Games, and world-renowned game developer Mojang,  announced today they will be releasing  a special retail disc for  Minecraft: Story Mode – A Telltale Games Series.

The new  Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure disc includes all 8 episodes in the season in one place for the first time: 5 episodes from the original season pass, plus the 3 episodes from the ‘Adventure Pass’ add-on series. Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure will be available on disc for $29.99 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and PC at retailers in North America starting October 25th; and at retailers in Europe starting October 28th. The disc will also be coming to PlayStation 3 in the near future.

In  Minecraft: Story Mode, playing as either a male or female hero named ‘Jesse,’ you’ll embark on a perilous adventure across the Overworld, through the Nether, to the End, and beyond. You and your friends revere the legendary Order of the Stone: Warrior, Redstone Engineer, Griefer, and Architect; slayers of the Ender Dragon. While at EnderCon in hopes of meeting Gabriel the Warrior, Jesse’s friends discover that something is wrong… something dreadful. Terror is unleashed, and you must set out on a quest to find The Order of the Stone if you are to save your world from oblivion.

The story continues beyond the original season with three ‘Adventure Pass’ episodes, chronicling the further journeys of Jesse and friends lost in a hall of portals leading from one world to the next. Will you be able to find your way home?

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Podcasts Trophy Whores

Trophy Whores 251 – The Whores Own The Loot

The Trophy Whores won the war.  The Remember the Loot crew played hard and battled valiantly, but in the end, the Whores emerged victorious — in a clean sweep!  What the Whores lost in sleep, they gained in trophies and levels.

This week, beyond the usual news and shenanigans, the fellas recap the Great Trophy War.  You will get the inside scoop, including the Trophy Whores’ strategies and experiences.  The Great Trophy War took a lot out of both teams, and it seems that most participants agreed that the competition was a bit more than they bargained for.  If you’ve ever tried to beat Vanquish and attain the platinum, or you’ve tried to put down a 20 lb. roast beef sandwich, then you understand the feeling.

Join the Trophy Whores as they discuss, among other things, Sound Shapes, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Minecraft: Story Mode, Beyond Good and Evil, and Tales From the Borderlands.  Yield and Alex agree that Tales from the Borderlands tops the list of Telltale Games’ games.  The Walking Dead won Game of the Year; however, for Alex, The Walking Dead, though a great game, is depressing and horribly sad.   Alex prefers his Disney happy endings, so even though he respects the quality of narrative in The Walking Dead, he prefers a game with more humor and lighthearted appeal.

We appreciate your support (and your ears)!

Please subscribe to the Trophy Whores feed in iTunes or RSS and please leave a review. We won’t give you cookies, but it will help us make the show better.

You can find us on Twitter: @TrophyWhores  and @ProvenGamer

You can also email us at TrophyWhores.

If you wish, you can always download the show here – Trophy Whores 251 – The Whores Own The Loot.

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Opinions

TellTale Fatigue

I, along with countless others, love the Telltale games. They are king when it comes to storytelling and have spread across many different franchises while maintaining their charm. As the popularity of their titles has increased, so has their number of titles. So far we have received two seasons of The Walking Dead, a fantastic game in The Wolf Among Us, Tales from the Borderlands, and Game of Thrones. Telltale is currently releasing episodes of Minecraft: Story Mode and recent announcements revealed Telltale Batman and Marvel games in the works. The question is, are we receiving too much of a good thing?

 

telltale-games

Telltale games used to be magical. They offered you an experience that you could only get from playing their titles. But, with so many games coming from their studio, I feel that Telltale is losing its magic.

Telltale’s The Walking Dead filled me with emotion and I loved The Wolf Among Us, it is probably my favorite game from them. When Game of Thrones was announced, I was absolutely stoked. But when it finally came out I was disappointed with the blandness of the story. The magic from previous titles was lost. Furthermore, the season took over took a year to come to a conclusion. By the time I reached the end I had already forgotten what happened in the beginning and didn’t have it in me to replay the earlier episodes.

game-of-thrones-house-forrester

Telltale fatigue is also showing through the studio’s game engine. Season 1 of The Walking Dead was released in 2012 with a variety of bugs that took me out of the game. Three years later the engine is still broken, in my opinion. There are times when the games will just halt or slow down to the point that it is like watching a PowerPoint presentation.

Telltale has continued to churn out games without actually fixing these issues. Though you would think that the jump to next gen platforms seemed like the perfect time to put some time into optimizing their games, the issues of last gen seem to be worse on the newer systems. As a fan of their games and a consumer, I personally believe Telltale should take a year off and put some R&D into their tools. With some work Telltale should definitely be able to offer a smoother experience than we are getting now.

I think Telltale is great, don’t get me wrong. But they need to make us want their games. Games like Uncharted and Fallout are so special because we aren’t constantly having them shoved down our throats. Though I think Telltale games are just as good, we don’t are not getting the opportunity to yearn for more. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing and I thing Telltale needs to learn this lesson.

Categories
Wii U News

Minecraft for Wii U Nixes Gamepad Inventory Management

Minecraft for Wii U’s inventory system hits a snag.

Minecraft for Wii U will not include inventory management for the Wii U’s Gamepad according to the Director or Creative Communications Owen Hill. A fan on Twitter asked Mr. Hill if the game would included the feature to allow the user to select and store inventory using the Nintendo Wii U’s prized controller the Wii U Game Pad. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t the expected answer:

There is some hope — however — as the the tweet by Owen Hill made mention that it won’t be available at the initial launch. So we can hopefully expect that there could be an update to the Wii U version of the game in the near future after it’s launch.

On December 7th, Mojang announced that the Wii U version of Minecraft would be released on December 17th, 2015. Many were very happy to receive the news as the Nintendo Wii U is the only console where the game hasn’t been released.

For more on Minecraft for Wii U and all your Minecraft needs, stay tuned to Proven Gamer

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PC Reviews PlayStation 3 Reviews Playstation 4 Reviews Playstation Vita Reviews Wii U Reviews X-Box One Reviews Xbox 360 Reviews

Minecraft: Story Mode Episode 1 Review

Telltale Games has had quite the busy year so far—they finished up their newest episodic story with Tales From The Borderlands while the upcoming season finale to Game of Thrones:A Telltale Games Series is coming this November. It seems that the team at Telltale is not done yet this year as we got the first of five episodes for Minecraft: Story Mode, which is their take on Mojang’s widely known and popular creative game. Unlike the previous games they have put out—which had characters, stories, and a world to use for source material—with Minecraft there is a free range to create a unique story with original characters we have never seen before.

Even so, Telltale definitely put themselves in a tough position when they picked up Minecraft to make an episodic game for. It’s tough to imagine how a game where you basically explore a world and build whatever you want to would transition into a five-part episodic story driven game where there aren’t any characters or places you can reference.

I will say that Minecraft: Story Mode does a good job with what it was trying to accomplish, the game features the iconic crafting table which allowed you to create items to help progress through the story, and while it wasn’t at the depth of crafting Minecraft itself has it was still nice to see it put in the game.

minecraft-story-mode-720x405_620x322

Minecraft: Story Mode features Telltale’s bread and butter point and click gameplay while also including a good amount of quick time events and combat. The developer’s dialog and story options return as well, though this time around they are a bit more lighthearted. Minecraft: Story Mode is child friendly and without many decisions that might have you questioning yourself or getting too emotionally invested. The game’s simplistic gameplay allows anyone to jump in and enjoy the story and have fun which, at it’s core, is what Minecraft is about.

With that being said in Minecraft: Story Mode you take on the role of Jesse who, joined by with his friends and pet pig named Rueben, is trying to win the Endercon building competition with the hopes of meeting Gabriel the Warrior, a member of “The Order of the Stone.” Gabriel and his allies are the group of legendary heroes that defeated the Ender Dragon. Things go south and our ragtag group of unlikely heroes are on the quest of a lifetime to find the remaining members of The Order of the Stone so they can help save the world.

Minecraft: Story Mode also boasts a wealth of talented voice acting. If you picked a male character for Jesse the game’s lead voice actor is the hilarious Patton Oswalt while Catherine Taber voices the female version. With the supporting casting of comedian and actor Brian Posehn as Axel, I found myself enjoying any dialog sequences involving Patton and Brian. And just like in previous TT games there are, of course, various story related choices that can result in minor changes to the game’s outcome. From getting black eye to losing your stone sword and deciding who you team up with going into Episode 2, your choices matter. But, I’ll shy away from any details as to avoid spoilers for those of you who have yet to play the game yet.