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Shape of the World - GoingSony Review

Shape of the World is a new title from Hollow Tree Games that was successfully funded through Kickstarter in July of 2015. Described as an exploration game where the world grows around the player. Shape of the World offers that, but not much else. The length of this review actually reflects that, as it only took about 2 hours for me to complete the game. And while a short game isn’t always a bad one, I can’t say that I enjoyed my time with this one.

Shape of the World begins in a very minimalistic way, with no instructions, no UI, and nothing but a white void surrounding the player. Well, a white void with a large triangle in the distance, that is. Getting closer to the triangle adds more detail to your surroundings, and stepping though it changes the landscape drastically, as well as adds a lot of color. This is where the game begins. 

I’m using the word “game” there very generously, because Shape of the World offers almost nothing more than visuals and music. As a player, you are mainly given two different actions. The first of which allows the planting of seeds that instantly grow into various trees. It is neat to see for sure, but after playing for awhile I found that planting the trees had absolutely no point. They don’t effect the environment, except visually, and they don’t effect gameplay either. Halfway through the game I just stopped planting them because I had no reason to, and seeing them spring to life got old very quickly.

The other button is for interacting with the world. But, much like planting seeds, it didn’t see much use from me. The only real thing to interact with are collections of white rocks that, when all are touched, create a path of stairs to a new area. It isn’t so much an interact button as it is a “use this to activate the rock stairs” button. It could also be used to destroy trees, but there really wasn’t any point in that either.

Shape of the World, however, isn’t all bad. The music is pretty good, and the visuals can be gorgeous as well. The game uses an interesting art style that lacks detail in favor of vibrant colors. The end result can sometimes even resemble art, and is certainly unique.

Unfortunately, music and visuals are not enough to save Shape of the World. Not when the player simply runs around and touches rocks for 2 hours. It is a game that tries very hard to be the next Journey, but lacks the beauty, gameplay, and strong message of Journey. To be clear, I have no problem with “walking simulators” as long as they bring something else to the table, like Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture did with its touching story. But Shape of the World not only lacks a story, it also lacks coherence of any kind.

To put it simply, this is not a good game. Shape of the World does a lot to try and trick players into thinking there is more substance then there is, but it all falls apart right out of the gate. Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe there are people out there that will enjoy this game. But I am not one of those people. 


Omensight - GoingSony Review

Omensight is a new action-adventure title from Spearhead Games that claims to offer a murder mystery story that includes time traveling elements, and combat crazy enough to match the premise. After beating the game, and spending considerable time playing through alternate routes in the story, I can say that I enjoyed my time with Omensight. It reminds me a little of Majora’s Mask and God of War. I can't say it compares to the quality of those two games, but it certainly holds its own.  

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This Week's Famitsu Review Scores


  • Burly Men at Sea (Switch) – 7/7/9/7 [30/40]
  • Caveman Warriors (Switch) – 7/7/7/7 [28/40]
  • Cities: Skylines – PlayStation 4 Edition (PS4) – 8/7/8/9 [32/40]
  • Eat Beat Deadspike-san (Switch) – 7/7/7/6 [27/40]
  • OPUS: Rocket of Whispers (Switch) – 8/8/10/9 [35/40]
  • Party Bingo (Switch) – 5/5/5/6 [26/40]
  • The Snack World: Trejarers Gold (Switch) – 9/9/9/8 [35/40]
  • World Neverland: Daily Life in the Elnea Kingdom for Nintendo Switch (Switch) – 8/7/8/7 [30/40]

Minit Review Roundup


Destructoid:

Everything about Minit should feel overwhelming. It doesn't. Instead, everything feels attainable in due time. There's this weird and perfect harmony about knowing you're rushed and also not caring. It's liberating. I could keep gushing about Minit but, given the source material, this review is already too long.

Gamespot:

It’s a slickly presented adventure that continually manages to surprise you with every new area you uncover or item you procure, pushing you to pick away at its seams to uncover every drop of what it has to offer. With a delightful ending and more promised after its first run of credits, Minit is far more than just a collection of seconds.

Hardcore Gamer:

Minit is a truly creative gem, putting an inspired twist on the classic top-down adventures of our youth in order to craft something truly special. Not only does it looks and sound amazing, it also has a cute sense of humor, great gameplay, a perfect level of challenge, and it contains a whole lot to see and solve, even after you initially wrap things up. It may take you mere minutes to play a session, but the overall experience is something that will leave an impact for a long time to come.

PC Gamer:

The problem with this is that death, rather than some looming, ominous, ever-present threat, becomes little more than a minor inconvenience. And sometimes, when you’re stuck on a puzzle, it can be annoying too. Minit has no real stakes, which cheapens the timer system and makes it feel somewhat arbitrary.

EDGE review scores for issue 318


  • Ni No Kuni - 7
  • Into the Breach - 9
  • Kirby Star Allies - 7
  • Chuchel - 8
  • Metal Gear Survive - 5
  • Where The Water Tastes Like Wine - 5
  • Florence - 8
  • Moss -7

MLB The Show 18 - Review Roundup


Gamespot:

Sony's flagship baseball franchise has never been better.

Twinfinite:

The improvements this year are great, but depending on your tastes may not be applicable. If you don’t like RTTS and/or are a hardcore Diamond Dynasty player, then you might not fully appreciate what MLB The Show 18 has to show in terms of improvements this year. And, old problems such as lag, and dry commentary still exist.

Gaming Age:

It’s far from perfect, but, as I said earlier, it offers a solid baseball experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

Trusted Reviews:

Some fans may feel aggrieved at the removal of certain modes. Season mode is now completely absent, meaning you’ll have to battle through the entire 162 games if you want to complete a year in Franchise Mode, and some of the creation options have been stripped out of the game entirely. However, this is easily one of the strongest sports franchises out there.

US Gamer:

This year's main improvement streamlines the various management phases so their flow is easier to understand, but otherwise it remains much the same. As it is, The Show's franchise mode is a fully-featured management mode that does a good job representing the day-to-day of running a team. But if you're looking for a splash of narrative, you won't find it in The Show's franchise mode.

This Week's Famitsu Review Scores


The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle: Episode 1: A Dreadly Business (Switch) – 7/7/8/7 [29/40]

  • Detective Pikachu (3DS) – 8/9/8/8 [33/40]
  • Far Cry 5 (PS4, Xbox One) – 9/9/9/9 [36/40]
  • Golf Story (Switch) – 8/9/7/8 [32/40]
  • Kawaii Pet to Kurasou! Wan’nyan & Idol Animal (3DS) – 7/7/8/7 [29/40]
  • Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle (PS4) – 7/8/7/7 [29/40]
  • Queen of Digs! (Switch) – 7/8/7/6 [28/40]

Far Cry 5 - Review Roundup


US Gamer:

Far Cry 5 is a game that struggles in trying to serve two purposes. On one hand, there's a dark, horrific tale of a cult taking over a small town. On the other, it's a playground of destruction, letting players fly and drive around, blowing up things with a bear and a dog. Both sides are good, but they don't really meet in the middle. If you can survive the tonal whiplash, you'll find a great game here and Far Cry Arcade only makes it better.

Critical Hit:

Choice is the driving theme in Far Cry 5, a game which opts to venture out of its comfort zone while fine-tuning every aspect of what makes the series so great. It’s incredibly relevant, Montana is a gorgeous slice of new terrain that is fraught with peril and the road ahead that Far Cry Arcade represents is exciting to say the least. Simply put, the fifth numbered chapter in Ubisoft’s series of madness, freedom and exploration is Far Cry perfected.

God is a Geek:

The best Far Cry yet, with well written characters, lots of freedom to play how you want, and a lot of fun to be had on your own or with a friend.

GamesRadar:

A polished and refined instalment that values your time more than the previous games and keeps the focus on entertaining you throughout.

Hardcore Gamer:

The new features, updates and overall expansion of scope in Far Cry 5 help separate it from other titles, but even though this is arguably the best entry since Far Cry 3, it might be too similar for people burnt out on the franchise.

Game Informer:

Public executions aside, Far Cry 5’s world is meticulously constructed, and it’s a remarkable facsimile of Big Sky Country. Unfortunately, too much of the action in it is uninspired. It’s a beautiful but bland recitation of what’s come before, from both the series and Ubisoft’s open-world playbook. It’s never bad, but considering how great the past games have been, its overall predictability is disappointing.

Destructoid:

That clash of bucolic, frontiersman-like Americana and end-of-days gloom brought on by the cult informs every aspect of Far Cry 5, but also highlights some of its biggest shortcomings.

Eurogamer:

Sadly, the game which unfolds around these interludes isn't half as enjoyable. The first instalment to be set in North America, Far Cry 5 is Far Cry at its least engrossing, clumsiest and most basic, though there's still just enough going on here to keep a returning fan involved.

A Way Out - Review Roundup


WccfTech:

A Way Out is an impressive achievement that definitively proves creativity matters more than bloated budgets and big-name franchises. A technically accomplished, endlessly inventive co-op masterpiece, A Way Out will surprise and excite you from beginning to end. This one deserves to be a breakout hit.

GamesRadar:

A Way Out elevates co-op gaming in a way nothing has before, bringing players together to create one beautifully told story that everyone needs to experience.

God is a Geek:

A Way Out is a story worth sharing with a friend. There's plenty to do, with moments of intensity and emotion, and the ending is one of the best conclusions in video games.

GamesBeat:

The game and story have a couple of execution flaws, but A Way Out tells a good story, and much of the vibe about the themes of trust, brotherhood, revenge, and loss are conveyed through gameplay in a novel way. That’s reflects a good understanding about the cutting edge of interactive achievement.

Polygon:

The ability to spend time with them, and with my player partner, is A Way Out’s biggest strength, even if the details sometimes lack pizzazz...A Way Out has many faults, but a lack of heart isn’t one of them. Seeing that heart translated into a cooperative play experience makes the journey worthwhile.

USGamer:

A Way Out is a fun ride BECAUSE of its co-op shenanigans. While the story is nothing to marvel over, its characters blossom beyond their bare opening descriptions, making seeing their journey together through worthwhile. Plus, it's a good exercise in working together with someone, whether it's a loved one, a colleague, or a friend. You'll really hate (or love) them by the time the game is through. If nothing else, A Way Out will be remembered as a great excuse to test the strengths and weaknesses of all your relationships.

Game Informer:

A Way Out's co-op vision is a bold choice that works because it uncompromisingly places players in a co-op context, joining them onscreen and off. But given the weakness of the gameplay at times, perhaps the game isn't bold enough.

Gamespot:

Our characters might not have grown closer together, but A Way Out's forced co-op is worth it for the few standout moments it provides.