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NBA 2K16 is the latest in a series of basketball games released yearly by 2K Games. It’s a game that features all the famous players that fans will know and love, as well as all their favourite NBA teams. It’s a well put together sports game that fans will love and that many can pick up and enjoy when they feel like having a quick game either alone or with friends.

NBA 2K16 Trailer

NBA 2K16 Review

NBA 2K16 is a lot of fun to play around with, it’s got the players you love and all the teams there for you to enjoy. A lot of work has been done by 2k with the animations on the players in the game and it really shows, everything looks very realistic and gameplay is quite fluid. It’s always quite entertaining to see a player score in the game, followed by seeing them jump around and celebrate shortly after.

NBA 2K16 has everything going for it when it comes to presentation, not just in terms of animations, but the graphics are quite nice too. The stadiums that the basketball games are in look realistic and the reflections from the lighting on the surfaces of the courts are a nice touch, with the wooden floors in particular looking quite nice. Although I did think that a lot of the courts looked fairly similar and maybe it would have been good to have more variety when it came to the settings, looking at something like FIFA, stadiums do feel quite different as you keep playing through the game, but I didn’t quite get that feeling of difference much with this game, but it’s no big deal really.

Fans who have been with the series for some time will likely pick things up quite quickly when it comes to knowing what to do with this game. But having not played any of the previous games in the series before, I did find it a bit difficult to learn. Gameplay wise though, things are all great and it’s not so hard once you get going. Things are very fluid and it’s a joy to pass the ball around to teammates, shoot to score or trying to land a slam dunk.

The game comes with a ‘my career’ mode which sees you create your own character in the game, with the player starting out in high school with a goal in life, to have a career in basketball. It’s a fun side to the game with a variety of characters to meet and the basketball world is quite interesting to go through.

Music in NBA 2K16 is well chosen, with a variety of well chosen tracks to listen to and it does help to set a fun tone for the game, it’s quite relaxing to play the game and listen to tracks in the menu’s. Voice acting is well done and the commentary during the game is superb.

The game isn’t entirely perfect though, at one time, one of my players got stuck in the air and quite a few times after either I myself, or the other team scored, a player would run out and celebrate and would kind of walk through things that were part of the scenery of the stadium. It’s really very minor though and only happened a few times, but I thought it worth mentioning anyway. I didn’t notice any frame rate issues at all though and everything looked very smooth.

Overall NBA 2K16 is very good basketball game with everything a fan of the NBA would want when it comes to their favourite players and teams. The animations are all well done and are certainly very enjoyable to watch and the graphics are one of the high points in the game. Musical choices as well as the voice acting are well done and really help to set a happy and fun tone for the game. NBA 2K16 is great fun and is good for every now and again when you just want to play a quick game either by yourself or with a friend.

9 out of 10

 

Bryan loves writing about movies, TV shows and games and tries his best to give a balanced and honest view in all his reviews or opinion pieces on Resident Entertainment.

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Sea Of Solitude Review

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Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude is a game which was developed by Jo-Mei Games and was published by Electronic Arts. It is available on PS4, Xbox One and PC via Origin. It is a single player third person adventure game. The game has the player control a character named Kay who explores an abandoned and flooded city.

This was a game which caught my eye only very recently when I first heard about its release. After watching the trailer, I thought the art style, strong colours and animations looked very interesting. Also as a person who went mad one day and subscribed to EA’s Origin Premiere late last year so that I could play some games I had missed out on over the years, I was pleased to see something new added to the store that wasn’t a typical Electronic Arts style major franchise game. Knowing I could get this one for free was enough to give it a go. But if you’re not part of that program to get it for free, I’d say that the $26.95 asking price for this digital title is certainly worth it.

The game isn’t too long, most hardened gamers will probably be able to finish this one in a single session, which I actually managed to do yesterday morning. I didn’t time myself, but I’d say to expect about 3 or so hours out of it, a bit more if you look around for collectables.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

On the surface, Sea Of Solitude is about a young girl named Kay, who is searching through a city, which is for some reason flooded. You start the game all alone on a tiny boat, way out at sea on the water. You make your way to the city, where you find a monster clad in darkness is blocking your path. Through exploration and activating certain things, Kay brings light to an otherwise dark city.

Underneath the main plot though, is a game with strong messages and themes related to loneliness and relationships. Kay as a character is someone who has become lonely, isolated and quite depressed after issues with her family and her boyfriend. The game sends the player on a journey to free Kay and other characters from suffering from the effects of loneliness and related themes. What I didn’t expect this weekend, was to play a game which seemed to have the objective of tackling these mental health issues in this way and I never expected to play something this weekend from the gaming genre with such deep meaning to it.

In many ways, Sea Of Solitude reminded me of my experience with Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice which was also a game that focused on mental health issues and is still a game I hold in very high regard. Both of these games were experiences that I could not put down once I started playing as I just had to find out what was going to happen with my character. Games tackling these mental health themes and the issues involved are quite rare in this medium, so when an experience like this does come along, it’s very unique and interesting. The difference between Sea Of Solitude and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is that Sea of Solitude is a little lighter in tone and not the intense gruelling experience that Senua’s was. This makes a player’s time with Sea Of Solitude one that is peaceful to experience.

Sea Of Solitude Review

Sea Of Solitude Review

The art style in Sea Of Solitude is something I enjoyed looking at. The animations are very rounded, colours stand out on the screen and the use of blacks in contrast with visibly bright blues, whites and orange was what I loved the most. The music and also the voice acting, was soft and did fit in well with the tone of the game’s themes and art style. All together, visuals and audios seemed to be just right.

The gameplay in Sea Of Solitude is something I’d say is probably a little simple. It’s essentially a platforming game where you will jump, swim, drive a boat and shoot flares onto enemies. There aren’t any button combinations to learn or any level up systems. The game is accessible to people of most ages and even to people new to gaming could easily pick this one up and get through it.

Overall coming out of playing Sea Of Solitude, I was filled with positivity and happiness. The story is quite heavy when playing through it, but very warm in the end. The art style and animations are nice to see and the sound and voice acting was just right. I do like to see that the games industry can use the medium to tackle such heavy topics and release games like this which show how well this medium can tell a story and provide its audience with something of great meaning. I’m happy to recommend Sea Of Solitude for your gaming collection.

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Mortal Kombat 11 Review

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Mortal Kombat 11 Review
Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest in the long running Mortal Kombat franchise which originally started with Mortal Kombat 1 in 1992. Mortal Kombat 11 was developed by NetherRealm Studios and is published by Warner Bothers Interactive Entertainment. The game is available on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PC.

For much of this generation of consoles, I’ve not really been so into the fighting genre of games. This year’s Dead Or Alive 6 was actually my first fighting game in a long time that I went and purchased and while I’ve always been a Mortal Kombat fan, I have actually missed the previous two titles in the series. The trailers for the game that I’ve seen and even the one I shared above never actually really caught my attention, even on release day. But what did happen on release day, was a lot of streamers started playing through the story mode and I started to watch it on the train on the way home, what I saw in the first half an hour intrigued me and I ended up purchasing the game later that evening on PC.

The story of Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the most well put together plots for a fighting game that I have seen. With so many characters in the game to follow, things felt well balanced and many of the characters got adequate time in the storyline. As a long time fan of this series, it brought me great joy seeing so many of the characters in game again. This game also features quite a lot of throwbacks to the 90’s character designs, which were what I used to play with the most years ago and I loved seeing those designs in game and in cut scenes yet again, with newer and far better graphics.

What happens in this story essentially is that Raiden has become corrupt by Shinnock’s power and has gone mad after killing Shinnock in battle. This makes Kronika very angry and as the God of Time, she starts messing with things to punish evil Raiden. This is what causes the past characters to come into the future and interact with their future self. I don’t want to tell anymore as I don’t want to spoil anything. But while it does all sound quite mad written down like this, actually it’s rather good. I was so hooked on the story, that I ended up not being able to put the game down for about 4 hours or so, which is about how long it will take you to get through it, granted you can beat the opponents quick enough. As a fighting game, I don’t really expect such a long story, but what we have here in Mortal Kombat 11 is basically almost a 4 hour CGI movie, featuring every character in the game and I loved every moment of it.

The gameplay is interesting. Compared to Dead Or Alive 6 which is a recently released game in the fighting game genre, there’s one main difference. In Mortal Kombat 11, fights are two dimensional, with the player only allowed to move their character backwards and forwards during fights. In a game like Dead Or Alive 6, fights are three dimensional, so characters can move in any direction, allowing them to dodge moves at times by shifting a characters position. If you have played the older Mortal Kombat games, a two dimensional one would have been Mortal Kombat trilogy, whereas Mortal Kombat 4 was three dimensional. Having the gameplay in this two dimensional format’yet again, helped to compress the fights and add pressure onto the player, you can’t simply run away. This means that players need to place greater emphasis on blocking and counters when facing tough opponents. In particular online matches, this 2D style made things feel particularly competitive with me and my opponent baiting each other constantly by blocking, unblocking and trying to find an entry point for attack and this pressure felt even higher when I was low on health and needed only 1 more hit to win.

Mortal Kombat 11 fighting environment - Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat 11 fighting environment

Apart from the story mode, players can participate in a tower game. This is where AI opponents are stacked in a tower, with a final boss at the top. Like classic Mortal Kombat games (Mortal Kombat 4), you pick a character and fight every other character on the way up the tower until you beat everyone in the lineup. Reaching the end will give you rewards, such as currency to unlock certain things in the game.

While playing the game, you will earn points. These points/currency can by used in the game’s Krypt. The Krypt is the oddest part of the game I felt because basically what happens here is you are playing as a character in a three dimensional Shang Tsung’s island. In there, there are chests which you can open, you won’t know what’s inside. Some of them might cost you 10k. 2k, 5k etc of the currency you have earned and inside them are little prizes like art work, fatalities you can unlock, character skins and much more. To me, these chests just felt like loot boxes and I really would like to just use my currency to unlock items on characters I like to play. I would love to have more things for Cassie Cage, but instead I’ve gotten a whole bunch on Kabal items from the Krypt and I’ll probably never use it. It’s disappointing that the currency is used in this way as it takes time to earn it and I’d rather choose how I spend what I’ve worked for, not just get random stuff for my efforts. Who wants to grind and do all of this? It’s ridiculous!

In the game, the things that you unlock can be used to customise your character. You can change things like a character’s skin or you can choose different special moves that you can take into battle. I quite like this variation and it makes the online matches quite interesting to see what moves players have decided to equip for their characters. The customisation component of the game makes facing popular characters like Scorpion for example more unique, as the moves aren’t always the same every single time, different players have different move sets and I like that.

Mortal Kombat 11 character customisation screen - Mortal Kombat 11 Review

Mortal Kombat 11 character customisation screen

The online component of the game is a place where I have spent hours playing there. So far my experience has been good with my only frustration being that I am not good enough to win as many games as I would like. I’ve had a few games where me and my opponent are fairly matched when it comes to our skill level and this is great. But I’ve also had a bunch of one sided games where I could just not do anything to my opponent, they just keep somehow doing special moves and massive combos and I can’t even stand up. This happens too much at times and with players being so good in such a short time, I do wonder if they’re cheating somehow, it is online on PC so it could be possible, but I don’t really know.

There is an online ranking in this game and I am keen to see how I do when it opens, I am in no way a great player, I’m average at best, but I still want to give it a go. Hopefully something can be done to balance matches in the Kasual 1v1 mode, I cannot tell if it’s just random opponents or if anything is even balancing the matches for players. So far it seems like overall, matches are just with random players based on my experience so far.

Aside from the main fighting game modes, there’s also a practice game mode and tutorial area. This area is very handy for players that are new to fighting games and as a long running franchise, it is good to see that the makers of Mortal Kombat are still trying to do something to welcome in newcomers to the franchise and this training area helps to train new players in what to do.

The graphics in this are rather good. I have never seen Mortal Kombat look so well, although on PC, I did have some issues with hair textures. Some characters’ hair looked a little weird and something was wrong with it. Animations were rather good, fatalities and in game animations are also done quite well. Locations are also very interesting to look at and their textures are very nice. In general, Mortal Kombat 11 is a very nice looking game.

Overall, I loved my experience with Mortal Kombat 11. The game brings fans the best of the Mortal Kombat series by having both the classic characters and present characters all playable in the same game. The story component is about 4 hours long, but is much more than I expect from a game of this genre and the tale told was quite interesting to follow. Graphically the game looks brilliant. There were a few hiccups though, like the online matchmaking being a little unbalanced for me at times and I had a problem with the hair textures. I also do not really like the whole Krypt system for unlocking things, it’s honestly ridiculous. But overall, I had a great week with Mortal Kombat 11 and spent hours playing online. I’m happy to recommend this game to fans or newcomers to the series as it’s quite welcoming for them too. Mortal Kombat 11 was one of the better fighting game experiences I’ve had in recent years and I’m keen to keep playing for the next couple of weeks.

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Dead Or Alive 6 Review

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Dead Or Alive 6 Review
Dead Or Alive 6 Review

Dead Or Alive 6 is the latest in the Dead Or Alive video game franchise to be released and is currently available on Ps4, Xbox One and Windows PC. The game is of the fighting genre, it comes developed by Team Ninja and is published by Koei Tecmo.

When first seeing the initial trailers for this game, I wouldn’t say that really I was drawn to it all that much. I’ve never played anything in this franchise before and for fighting games I’ve always gravitated more towards Tekken or Mortal Kombat in the past. But as more details emerged about this game and more was revealed over time, I became slowly interested in what it offered. The gameplay looked smooth and the art style and character design looked excellent. I wanted to give it a try and I am glad now that I did.

The main story sections of this game will have you play as one of the many playable characters in the game where you will experience a couple of mini chapters of plot relevant to each character. For example Kasumi’s story would consist of a cut-scene, then a single fight with an opponent, then another cut-scene, then another fight, then repeat until done. As you can imagine a single fight is quite quick so likely players will get through the campaign’s stories quite quickly. Where I guess the game makes up for this fast pace is the fact that there are so many characters in the game, each with their own mini plots. Due to this, it actually feels like it could go on forever at times.

Dead Or Alive 6 Review

Dead Or Alive 6 Review

The tone of Dead Or Alive 6 is lighthearted, comedic and often fun. Music is upbeat and the art style and animations during the fights are not too gory. This light hearted approach to the game for me meant that I could essentially pick up the game any time of the week and just have some fun with it. There is a real ‘arcade’ feel to the entire game. Even without the campaign at all, a player can just jump in at any time in the versus mode and go a couple of rounds. In this way Dead Or Alive 6 works great as a party game, with everyone taking turns quite easily and the light hearted tone makes it great for most settings.

The art style is actually one of the highest points of the game. There has been a strong attention to detail from the developers into every character in the game. There was quite a lot of effort put into the characters outfits with every character in the game receiving multiple outfits to choose from. You will unlock these outfits by progressing through the game. There’s also customisable hairstyles and glasses for each of the characters.

Dead Or Alive 6 Review

Dead Or Alive 6 Review

Dead Or Alive 6 does seem to emphasise sex quite a bit as part of its offering. As the saying goes, “sex sells” and it certainly seems that is true as this is now the sixth title in the series and according to Wikipedia it sold so well in its first week in Japan that Dead Or Alive 6 was the number one top selling game of any format with 26000 units being sold in the first week. I do mention this because while the game does do everything quite light heartedly, I wouldn’t say it’s something that’s really kid friendly. There’s also some people in society who may even get offended by the content within the game. But if you are not in these two groups then likely Dead Or Alive 6 might appeal to you.

Although I did feel that the Dead Or Alive 6 campaign was good enough in length for a fighting game. Dead Or Alive 6 does have extra game modes which do increase the longevity for the player. Versus mode is essentially just where you can pick 2 characters, play as one then just go a couple of rounds till you’ve had enough. Then there’s the DOA quest where the player will play as a pre-selected character where they will fight an opponent for a round or two. Within the fight there will be challenges to complete such as doing certain amounts of damage in a combo or performing a certain special move. If all challenges are completed then some unlockable items will be earned. There is also a time attack (race against the clock) mode and a survival mode (see how long you can last). Then of course there’s an online mode where you can spend hours battling other players. These different modes provide a unique variety to the game and test players fighting skills differently, they also add longevity to Dead Or Alive 6 which is a great thing.

Dead Or Alive 6 Review

Dead Or Alive 6 Review

The fighting mechanics in Dead Or Alive 6 are interesting in that they tend to follow a trio of moves. These include strikes (punches/kicks), throws and holds. Each of the options has its fair share of basic moves and special moves to perform. Luckily the game does come with quite a good tutorial to learn these things, which is handy for fighting genre newcomers or people like myself that are new to the franchise. New to the series as well is something known as the ‘break gauge system’ which is essentially a meter that fills up during fights that once triggered allows a player to initiate a ‘break blow’ or ‘break hold’ which both cause significant damage. The variety of fighting mechanics makes for some interesting matches and combos that experienced players can make much use of, but also beginners can still have a lot of fun with.

Overall Dead Or Alive 6 is a fantastic fighting game. The light tone and easy going arcade like feel to the game makes it a great choice at parties or gaming nights with friends. The variety of game modes as well as the main campaign will keep players busy for quite some time. The gameplay and fighting mechanics come with enough variety and difficulty that both seasoned players and beginners can have a lot of fun with. The art style, design of the characters and accessory options for each of the characters is definitely nice to have and look at. I’m happy to recommend Dead Or Alive 6 to people looking for a fighting game, but want something different to the usual Tekken or Mortal Kombat offerings. Dead Or Alive 6 can be quite entertaining at times and I’m certainly glad I chose to take a look at it these past weeks.

Dead Or Alive 6 is out now and is available from Amazon AU right here.

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