PS Plus Game Catalogue March 2023

February gave us the best month since the launch of the PlayStation Game Catalogue. Therefore it’s not easy to maintain new game additions and yet March looks to be another good month. These games are in addition to the PlayStation Plus Essentials you can find HERE.

All titles are available Tuesday March 21, 2023.

PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium

  • Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection – PS5
  • Tchia – PS4, PS5
  • Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction – PS4, PS5
  • Ghostwire: Tokyo – PS5
  • Life is Strange: True Colours – PS4, PS5
  • Immortals Fenyx Rising – PS4, PS5
  • Life is Strange 2 – PS4
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot – PS4, PS5
  • Street Fighter V Champion Edition – PS4
  • Untitled Goose Game – PS4
  • Final Fantasy Type-0 HD – PS4
  • Rage 2 – PS4
  • Neo: The World Ends with You – PS4
  • Haven – PS4, PS5

PlayStation Premium Classics

  • Ridge Racer Type 4 (PS1) – PS4, PS5
  • Ape Academy 2 (PSP) – PS4, PS5
  • Syphon Filter: Dark Mirror (PSP) – PS4, PS5

Uncharted Legacy of Thieves Collection comprises of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, and spinoff title Uncharted: The Lost Legacy. These two games are marque PlayStation 4 titles that have been updated for PlayStation 5. If you haven’t played them yet, well, they would be on the top of my list certainly. With rumours of a follow up game on the horizon it would be ideal for you to play these two titles so you know why the next game will be a departure from these two.

Tchia like Stray before it is dropping day and date into the game catalogue. This gives the vibes of a more platforming Seasons. What is cool about it is the inspiration comes from New Caledonia. Many people that go on cruises particularly in Australia have been there and explored the beautiful islands surround it. This will be particularly cool for me to see how they do it.

It will likely be a while before we see another game come from Tango Gameworks on PlayStation, since Bethesda is now owned by Microsoft. Ghostwire Tokyo came out to good reviews although it’s a game that sounds more divisive from users. Rage 2 is another similar title coming to the Game Catalogue this month that I would not recommend.

We get two more Life is Strange titles, meaning they are all available in the game catalog now. The same goes with Final Fantasy Type-0 HD now joining the rest of the library. If you like smaller games the smash hit Untitled Goose Game will be for you. Immortals Fenyx Rising is the one I always feel is underrated, and you should absolutely check it out. Kakarot is another must play for Dragon Ball fans, my review can be found HERE. The PlayStation Classics don’t hold a light to last months picks, but we do get another Syphon Filter game so that’s good.

Overall, another good month with diverse titles that should fit to most gamers needs.

Are you happy with this month’s picks from PlayStation?

Robert Ring

Ten Dates

The spiritual sequel to Five Dates is bigger, and better.

Five Dates saw you take the role of a guy and choose from five video dates with women during the Covid lockdown. It was small in scope with a lot of charm and emotion. Ten Dates leaves the Covid lockdown setting behind for the fast and fun world of speed dating.

In Ten Dates you choose to play as Ryan or Misha. Both characters are friends with Misha being the one that cons Ryan into jumping onto the speed dating circuit. Both characters will each have four dates, with a fifth potential date should you wish for your character to have a same sex date. After doing the rounds, you choose two dates for a second date (if you were successful enough), and then one of those two for a final date.

Choices are selected with no real gameplay. When you see the relationships in the menu you can see how many different options there were with each date. It’s an easily replayable game to see the many alternatives. When replaying you can go through the scenes very quickly by skipping the scenes you have seen to get to the new stuff. The game is quick enough for you to pass the controller to someone else to try their luck. My partner played through as Misha so I had another perspective to the choices I wouldn’t have personally made.

It was clear from the trailer there was potential for same sex dating. The way they input that potential was creative for the male as his fifth speed date had to leave so the male host fills the spot. It’s not a date, just casual conversation at first and then it becomes clear that the opening is there if you want to pursue that host. There is only one same sex date, which would be considered a downside for those after that. Having this choice alongside being able to date as a woman is a huge increase in the scope from Five Dates.

I would say there is room for more of these dating simulators from Wales Interactive. They can spread their reach further to a more diverse selection of dates, or could invest in an entire game just for the LGBT community. There is something here that may find a huge audience outside of gaming and on Netflix in the future.

Overall, Ten Dates is almost better in every way to its predecessor Five Dates. The dates themselves are downgrades in terms of personality. Each personality feels very stereotypical as soon as you see them you can tell who they are. In Five Dates with a smaller dating pool there were many deeper qualities to the women and they were not typical of most stereotypes. I enjoyed Ten Dates, and for now I will be interested in Wales Interactive on a game by game basis if I find the narrative interesting.

Robert Ring

Available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Check out my Five Dates review here.

PS Plus Game Catalogue February 2023

February has given us the best month since the launch of the PlayStation Game Catalogue. These games are in addition to the PlayStation Plus Essentials you can find HERE.

All titles are available Tuesday February 21, 2023.

PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium

  • Horizon Forbidden West – PS4, PS5
  • The Quarry – PS4, PS5
  • Resident Evil 7 – PS4
  • Outriders – PS4, PS5
  • Scarlet Nexus – PS4, PS5
  • Borderlands – PS4, PS5
  • Tekken 7 – PS4
  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown – PS4
  • Earth Defines Force 5 – PS4
  • Oninaki – PS4
  • Lost Sphear – PS4
  • I am Setsuna – PS4
  • The Forgotten City – PS4, PS5

PlayStation Premium Classics

  • The Legend of Dragoon – PS4, PS5
  • Wild Arms 2 – PS4, PS5
  • Harvest Moon: Back to Nature – PS4, PS5
  • Destroy All Humans! – PS4

Horizon Forbidden West was always going to come to the catalogue at some point being a PlayStation exclusive. Now that we know it dropped nearly a year to the day from its launch, we can probably expect this to be the case in the future, so expect God of War Ragnarök this November. I missed out on the Horizon sequel, although I am still contemplating replaying the first one again beforehand.

Another big release of last year was The Quarry, similar to Until Dawn. I think this game will be a big draw for the many people who already own Horizon Forbidden West. You also get Resident Evil 7 (only the PS4 version), notably this was in the PS Collection that will be discontinued in the coming months. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is the perfect sort of game I want to play through the game catalogue because in all likelihood it won’t be for me, however if it is I will be getting the Top Gun: Maverick DLC. There are some great RPGs to play like I am Setsuna. Another interesting pick is the mystery game The Forgotten City with the unique setting of Ancient Rome.

As for the classics we get the beloved game, The Legend of Dragon, as well as the sequel for Wild Arms. Finally Harvest Moon: Back to Nature marks three beloved PS1 titles this month. I think these three titles will see an increase in players joining the Premium tier. Personally, I will probably wait to see if there are trophies attached to these titles at launch or wait till they add them in.

Overall, a fantastic month with diverse titles that should fit to most gamers needs.

Are you happy with this month’s picks from PlayStation?

Robert Ring

Five Dates

The selection of FMV games seem to have increased substantially in recent years. Now with Netflix exploring the gaming space and experimenting with choose your own adventure style films we might see these games act as a gateway to gaming for non-gamers. FMV games no longer require long loading screens or jarring gameplay, as the choices you make can seamlessly flow during the videos as they play. Five Dates feels less like a game and more like a movie you are in control of.

Five Dates is a game where you take control of Vinny’s choices as he signs up for digital dating during the pandemic. The first choice is Vinny’s profession, and then you choose three activities you like, with the final choice being Vinny’s star sign. Next you choose three of five women to go on a date with. Each woman has their own quirks, profession, and star signs that will affect the selections you gave Vinny. They will all accept the first date, but you will have to work harder for the second and third final date. After you’ve gone on the first three dates, you choose which two girls you would like to see again. If those two dates go successful you may choose one of those two for the finale.

Playing through the game twice I saw two hundred of the nearly eight hundred scenes. On my first playthrough I didn’t get accepted for a third date with my choices. So I played through again and this time had each woman accept the next date. I also chose the two women I hadn’t selected to see the variety in the characters. Pleasantly, all the characters were not at all stereotypical and the ones that seemed to be at first glance were deeper the more you got to know them. The second dates reveal many details about your dates as you play games like “Truth or Dare” with them. The third date is a dinner date where you both lay everything out. Vinny as your conduit though every choice plays the part well whether he is agreeable, or argumentative. At the end of each date Vinny debriefs with his best friend about how the date went. These interactions sell Vinny’s character depth to the player because you are seeing the side of him that is unabashedly truthful because he can’t hide it from his friend.

The pandemic is a brilliant device for keeping the characters from meeting up in real life, and plays a major part in the game. It’s amazing how well produced the game feels considering it was released during the pandemic too. It feels like they actually had the actors shoot their scenes from their own home. They are all wearing the same headphones, and I imagine they were just sent a camera, a microphone, and a light source as well. The actors are all unknowns, yet they make the scenes flow and bring the right emotion with the right level of volume as if they recorded the scenes together. All these things make the scenes string together better than any FMV game I’ve ever played making every choice feel real.

In the FMV space Five Dates is great. The developer Wales Interactive has figured out the formula for making memorable choose your own adventure games. This is a fun one to play with your friends or significant other and choose the choices together. If you want more gameplay than selecting a choice this game won’t be for you. You can finish this within an hour, and when replaying you can skip the scenes you’ve already completed allowing you to see what could have been. Ten Dates, the spiritual sequel is out tomorrow and promises a bigger budget, with characters dating in person. If it’s anything like this it’ll be another enjoyable experience.

Available on PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac.

Robert Ring

Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society

Dungeon-crawling RPG’s are becoming an ideal genre to relax to. It’s a genre that is slipping into the mainstream, just like the soulsborne genre before that. There’s something special to furthering the depths of a dungeon not knowing what’s coming and slowly exploring every inch of the map. Some are more action orientated like Hades, while games like Slay the Spire require intellect. Most use randomised elements that make every match feel different, although you never get a true sense of accomplishment like you do when conquering a level completely. Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society lets you learn the entire map over subsequent delves into the dungeons with so many layers combined in a unique and gratifying story.

The story begins with Eureka, a young noble woman who travels to Galleria Mansion after finding a job posting. After the witch, Madame Marta takes the chance on Eureka she gives her the job as her assistant. The two both answer to the Count of the manor who is seeking rare artefacts hidden underneath the grounds. Madame Marta sends Eureka along with her lantern Fantie to explore the labyrinth underneath the manor left behind by a previous owner years ago. She’s not sure how far it goes, but after finding the catalogue of Curios d’art the Count of the manor sends them out to collect them all. Every time Eureka hits an obstacle stopping her progress Madame Marta will find a solution for her to further her exploration efforts. Between each delve you meet new characters that become allies and a story that is seemingly much darker than the cheery disposition each character is conveying. In the later half of the game things are upturned in an unexpected and shocking way that will keep you hooked.

Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society has a lot of content and game mechanics that are revealed with each map allowing you to go deeper into the labyrinth. The labyrinth is a massive puzzle that you must uncover step by step as the map is completely blank. In the beginning the path you carve out is very linear, and then you learn the spell Wall Break which lets you break down walls. After learning this skill your fundamental thinking of how to play this game changes. You find key items behind walls that are only accessible by breaking them down. Eventually you will have more obstacles that will require new skills and open up new ways to explore. From jumping over big crevices, to being able to hold your breath for longer under water. In the labyrinth you fight by using puppet soldiers. These puppets are given souls to come to life and you can customise their name and stats. You then allocate them to covens which allow for special move-sets and bonuses. You start off with a maximum of five puppets on you, until you unlock more covens allowing for you to hold up to forty.

The systems in combat can be overwhelming to learn, and I’ll say I’m still learning things I didn’t know. The more understanding of the combat you have the more you appreciate every battle, especially ones during boss battles that can wipe you out quickly if you are not well prepared. That leads to the difficulty, the game is not a cake walk or a sprint. You need to take your time and level yourself up sometimes before continuing. Each area has a helpful guide of what level you should be before taking it on. Even if you choose to go to an easier world, being the easier difficulty you still need to be careful of being overwhelmed by the difficulty spikes.

The art style is beautiful and juxtaposes the cutesy cutscenes with the gritty dangers of the labyrinth gameplay spectacularly. The character animation is great and something that is always a trademark of NIS games, as well as their deep RPG systems that let you level up your stats to intense heights. Considering the absurd amount of puppets you can have at your disposal it would have been ideal to have more choices in character portraits, as you will have multiple of the same character and can only change their portrait colour. The music is fittingly reminiscent of Disgaea games and goes well with the darker tone the game possess.

The game is being marketed as having fifty hours of gameplay, however I would say if you do finish it that quickly you are very skilled and have left a lot of areas unturned. There is a ton of content in this game that could have you even double the marketed time. The game was originally released in Japan over two years ago and in that time they have given the game a full English voice cast. The voice over is very well done and brings life to the characters. It would be great to see these localisation efforts have a quicker turn around time in the west.

Overall, Labyrinth of Galleria: The Moon Society has a wonderful story with the deepest DRPG systems I’ve encountered. There is strong competition in gaming this year and this game may not find itself in the hands of everyone, but will be a surprise hit for gamers that do take the plunge. Hopefully the series continues and acts like a sister series to NIS’s mainstream hit Disgaea. This game is great up on the big screen, and feels at home on the handheld. I played much of it on the Backbone through remote play and hours would fly by laying on the sofa. Of all the NIS games I’ve played this is one of my favourites, and one of the best. May it leave its hooks in you too.

Robert Ring

Review copy provided by NIS America.

Available from February 14th on PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Season: A Letter to the Future

We’ve all played walking simulators, but have you ever played a riding simulator?

Season: A Letter to the Future is a serene game with moments of profound sadness. You start your journey as Estelle, a young woman with a passion for recording stories. She leaves her local village near the end of the season by bicycle to make records of the world around for posterity’s sake. Seasons in this fictional world are catastrophic and biblical in their transition. Estelle’s journey leads her to Tieng Valley, a place that resembles a small village from South East Asia. Here she learns of the Grey Hand society that are leading an evacuation effort on the village as a flood will wipe out the place at the season’s end. On the last day for evacuating the village, Estelle explores the land and its remaining people by recording their stories, taking photos, and recording sounds. The end goal of Estelle’s journal is to take it to the museum, like the Smithsonian, that can keep the records for the future generations.

The gameplay is very simple as you have a journal, a camera, a microphone, and a bicycle. By using the journal you create your own little narrative by the way you align the photos you’ve taken. Five photos will usually complete the location, not that you need any, but they do make for an enjoyable looking journal at the end. The camera was great, and if anything extended my gameplay by hours as I was trying to align the best shots. I want to say I took probably three hundred photos throughout the game, most of them having no relevancy towards the story. Two-thirds into the game I found I was not taking as many photos so I could get through the story faster. The microphone is an element I rarely used, even though I appreciated how good it felt to use. For a game that wants you to primarily utilise a bicycle, it was fine. You would press L2 and R2 to move the bicycle and would feel the tension in the Dual Sense Controller’s adaptive triggers when doing so. The problem with the bicycle was the camera angle when using the bicycle, it would easily steer off or not keep up when turning the bike on tight corners, and that would detract from the beautiful vistas you pass.

The mission structure was mostly up to you once you explored Tieng Valley, you could choose to uncover all the clues by taking corresponding photos of each area to learn more about the place. You could effectively skip most of it and just be riding a bicycle ignorant to the place and its people. I’m not usually into these fantastical stories in alternate worlds however it seemed grounded enough by talking to the villagers and learning their very human struggles. Most of the villages are dealing with loss, whether that be of a loved one, memories, or time. It’s interacting with the villagers where I enjoyed this game the most because the writing is always profound, and the voice acting is excellent. If the writing was sub par I would probably enjoy just riding around the bicycle in a meditative state.

I went into the game not expecting much story, I was frankly surprised how much story there was. When it was over I wanted there to have been tons more of the narrative. I would have liked for there to have been more villagers spread across the map, while there isn’t, it did make the weight of the situation feel more real. Riding around in the village I was thinking about how this will all be gone once the flood came. Everyone had to uproot their lives to and leave their memories to be washed away. I played it for the most part in one sitting making the game feel parallel to Estelle experiencing the village for one day. I think the game works better like that. You would lose something if you played this game over a week or two.

Season: A Letter to the Future may very well be a beautiful looking game, but for me it’s like a series of depressing poems and I revelled in that. This game will appeal to those who enjoy walking simulators, great writing, and meditative backdrops.

Robert Ring

Available now on PS4, PS5, and PC.

SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake

When THQ was brought back from the dead as THQ Nordic they started by remastering classic titles in their catalogues. SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom was among those titles. Most of these titles resembled the original content to a fault, and felt of their generation with modern graphics. Since then THQ Nordic has faithfully remastered most of these games and now they are onto making brand new sequels. What is yet to be determined is the quality of the new games, so far we got a middling Saint’s Row, a lack lustre Destroy All Humans multiplayer game. So how does SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake fair?

SpongeBob SquarePants is back with another grand adventure. This time after buying wish-granting mermaid’s tears SpongeBob grants the town wishes. Of course SpongeBob’s do good attitude goes wrong and Bikini Bottom is sent into peril as a cosmic shake pulls the place apart, sending them throughout different universes. To repair Bikini Bottom and bring back together the universe SpongeBob must jump into each of these cosmic breaks and set things right. There are seven worlds to explore throughout these cosmic breaks from the popular Jellyfish Fields (with a Wild West theme), to Rock Bottom (with a Halloween theme).

The Cosmic Shake starts off as a slog. Those first couple of hours including the first world you visit are mediocre at best. SpongeBob can only jump in the first section of the game, and is only given a simple attack in the first world. This piecemeal approach works great from the second world, but the beginning needed more thrills. Once you get the Karate Kick in the second world the gameplay becomes a joy, and with every world after your move-sets just get even better. The story is fun and brings the platforming altogether more than most platformers do.

There is effectively twenty years between The Cosmic Shake and Battle for Bikini Bottom, however there is not twenty years of refinement in the gameplay. The Cosmic Shake is a much more enjoyable experience than Battle for Bikini Bottom partly due to the refinements. Battle for Bikini Bottom was a PlayStation 2 game and is as you would imagine a PlayStation 2 game to be. You are never lost in The Cosmic Shake as the main path is always clearly shown, whereas Battle for Bikini Bottom would have me back and forth looking for my objective. The combat feels great and flows well in The Cosmic Shake, yet the hitboxes felt unfair in Battle for Bikini Bottom. The results are all positive and as a AA feeling platform it sits well amongst it’s comparable competitors and above Battle for Bikini Bottom.

Overall, The Cosmic Shake has a nice constant progression that fails in the beginning and triumphs in the end. Each world feels well designed with replay value to find all the collectables. As far as games that are made with children in mind this one is near the top. A lot of care is given to creating an authentic SpongeBob SquarePants story that fans will appreciate. If we get more of these every couple of years I’ll be there enjoying my platforming fill.

Robert Ring

Available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and Windows.

Check out my review of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated here.

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated

SpongeBob SquarePants is pretty great. It’s like a modern-day Ren and Stimpy that looks more kid friendly. There are so many jokes that will go over a child’s head, which is what you want so you can watch it too. In my opinion it’s the show closest to the popularity of Looney Tunes back in its day. Children love it and adults enjoy it too. There have been three feature films with a fourth in development. SpongeBob is reaching it’s twenty-fifth anniversary next year and shows no signs of slowing down. This year will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom. What better way than to play this game and celebrate the release of the spiritual successor SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake.

Licensed games these days are really terrible as there is not enough time to simultaneously release them alongside the media, especially when it comes to movies where developers need those production assets. The PlayStation 2 had much smaller development cycles due to the simplistic nature of the graphics and level designs so they were able to make quality products in time. Battle for Bikini Bottom didn’t align with any tie-in to the show, however it did come out within five years of the show’s launch and it would have been a few years in before the show’s success warranted a game. The following year saw the The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie game release with the same developers. These quick turn around times were astounding for a game that when remastered still feels fresh amongst modern games twenty years later.

Battle for Bikini Bottom sees Plankton once again trying to steal the recipe for the Krabby Patty. This time he builds a machine that creates robots, armies of robots to do his bidding and take the recipe. These robots before long go against Plankton and wreck havoc to Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy must defend Bikini Bottom by ridding the robots that have managed to spread throughout every location. Explore fan favourite areas from Jellyfish Fields, Rock Bottom, to even the Flying Dutchman’s Graveyard, and many more. You will battle mini-bosses like King Jellyfish and the Flying Dutchman. Big bosses include Robo-Sandy, Robo-Patrick, SpongeBob SteelPants, with Robo-Squidward exclusive to this Rehydrated edition.

As someone who never played the original game, I find this game to be fun and nostalgic for classic SpongeBob episodes. The game is segmented into levels and each level is fairly big, like the Ratchet and Clank games from the PlayStation 2 era. To access levels you will need to collect Golden Spatulas, you don’t need every one in each level to move onto the next, but you will want to collect as many as you can as you progress. The original voice actors are used and really sell the immersion of feeling like you are playing an episode of the show.

The surprising thing about this game is how difficult the second half of it is. There is a dreamworld level that’s difficulty is exponential to the rest of the game. It seems designed to be more of a challenge level than anything else, even still the second half of the game will see you dying a lot. This did take away from the fun I was having when I was replaying the same areas over and over again. The combat is not great, where I feel I’m not connecting to the enemies as well as I should.

Overall, SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom is a fun trip down memory lane to PlayStation 2 platforming and exploring classic SpongeBob locations. It’s not as child friendly as you would think as the difficulty spikes take away from the enjoyment. That said I still think this is a good game, and has a lot of room for improvement that could be rectified with the sequel SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake out this week.

Robert Ring

Available on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter World was my Fortnight where I was in there every night slaying monsters, with the just one more match mentality. I sunk so many hours into the game, and still barely saw all that the game had to offer. Then Monster Hunter World: Iceborne came out which was much like a sequel offering almost as much content as the base game. I think most people would have been happy to have Monster Hunter World continue with big expansions, instead we will probably get a proper Monster Hunter World sequel in the next couple of years. Monster Hunter Rise was a weird release being exclusive to the Nintendo Switch and like a spinoff. It was likely already in the works when the success of Monster Hunter World became a hit, and now we finally have Monster Hunter Rise on all platforms.

Storytelling is the same as previous entries where you have a base camp and must protect it from monsters, with fetch quests in-between. Each mainline quest has you tackling a new monster with an intro video of the monster David Attenborough style. Story is thin, which is ok as you’re here for the gameplay. Monster Hunter has an addictive gameplay loop, even with somewhat clunky combat, it always feels rewarding. You will replay similar quests slaying the same handful of monsters with slight variations. The key to the addiction is the grind for the gear that feels rewarding when you get a new armour set, or weapon. Every battle is never really the same as different variables affect each battle. When two large monsters come across each other and battle things hit a new height. It’s like you’re witnessing a Kaiju battle and you’re in-between it. Monster Hunter Rise is as long as you want it to be. There is a soft ending for the game where you defeat the cover boss at the end of around fifteen hours of gameplay, and get your fill. Or like most who play Monster Hunter it’s where the game really begins, and you start to take on the high ranking quests that net you better rewards. To put it in perspective I finished the soft ending with the credits rolling and obtained only 2% of the PlayStation trophies.

There are so many little things that have been refined in Monster Hunter Rise. You now have a mount that you can ride at any time, with the ability to attack and pick things up. This mount makes the gameplay more fluid as you chase after monsters once they leave to recoup, unlike previous entries where you are chasing after them by foot and draining the stamina bar. The load times are nearly nonexistent when heading out to a mission, where Monster Hunter World would take minutes to load. This game can be played incredibly well solo, with the addition of your mount you now have two NPCs fighting against a monster taking away some of the agro that the monster would have sent all your way. The smaller maps have you spending less time chasing the monster, and if you faint much less time getting back to the monster.

Most of the negatives of Monster Hunter Rise come from originally being a Nintendo Switch title. Frankly, it’s a surprise how this game ran on the Nintendo Switch to begin with, nor how it would be enjoyable with the analog sticks. The scope of each map is much smaller than Monster Hunter World, which is ultimately fine and makes it easier to catch monsters as they have less terrain to trek. The biggest detractor of the game is how Nintendo’s online system has worked itself into the game. You need to provide a twelve letter id code to join friends in online, whereas multiplayer was a breeze in Monster Hunter World. Every time you do an action that will be seen online you are prompted with seemingly Nintendo’s code of conduct. No bullying, profanity, things that are expected with any game. It’s a surprise how integrated these were in the PlayStation version.

There is competition on the horizon next month for Monster Hunter with Wild Hearts. Considering Wild Hearts is an EA game it will likely have a ton of micro transactions and battle passes, so I’m not sure it could ever replace Monster Hunter. Later on in the year the Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak expansion will be available for purchase as well. This will likely be when the exclusivity ends with Nintendo. Knowing that Sunbreak came out on the 30th of June 2022, I would guess it will be available to purchase from 30th of June later this year.

Overall, Monster Hunter Rise is just as fun as Monster Hunter World and a great entry point for beginners. In a year of big releases this will be an ideal game to enjoy in the downtime of those releases.

Robert Ring

Available now on PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Check out our review of Monster Hunter World HERE

PSP Game Patched for Trophies

Super Stardust Portable released to PlayStation Plus Premium on June 23rd 2022. Notably the game was released without trophies, leaving gamers to question whether each PSP and PS1 games would release with trophies on a game to game basis. There is still no real understanding of which titles will and won’t get them, but it is great to see that they can be input into games even after launch.

Now Super Stardust Portable has trophies for the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 versions.

This should be standard for all PSP and PS1 titles even if there is a little extra work involved when porting the games. If these games are not going to be remastered at least make them as future proof as possible. Now lets see them bring trophies to games like Toy Story 2.

Are there any games you would like to see them add trophies to from the PS1 and PSP games?

Robert Ring