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God of War

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Game: God of War

Initial Release Date: April 20, 2019

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment, Capcom, Sony Pictures

Genre: Action-Adventure, RPG, and Hack and Slash

Platforms: Playstation 4

Why We’re Playing It: Unless you’ve been stuck under a gaming rock for the last decade, you’ve no doubt heard of the “God of War” franchise. We figured with Father’s Day just being celebrated, now is the perfect time to review the story and adventures of Kratos and Atreus, son of Kratos. There is plenty of bloodshed and battles, but at the heart of this game is the relationship between father and son.

What It’s All About: Kratos’ wife/Atreus’ mother has passed. After cremating her, they seek out to fulfill her final wish that her ashes be brought to the highest peak in the realm. A simple enough task, right? Wrong! Of course, witches, gods, monsters and demons get in the way during the journey to the top of the mountain. While on your path, you navigate not only a perilous journey but a difficult bond between father and son.

That’s Worth A Power-Up!: This is very much a hack and slash game, and you’re going to be immersed in heavy battle, but there’s also an RPG at the center of this gaming lollipop. You gain XP, pick what weapons, skills and abilities you use. Heck, even your weapon has slots that you can equip with enchantments, which you can also level up, increasing your weapon strength as a whole. The strategy of this game is a rabbit hole, and you can delve as deep as you want into the D&D aspects associated with “God of War.”

Bonus Level: This game is gorgeous! Bob Ross himself couldn’t have painted a more vibrant environment to cover with the blood of your enemies. Just take a moment to take it all in between battles, because the graphics are just mind blowing. If the beautiful scenery were an advertisement for a time share, we would be sold! But, you know, maybe less monsters in real life would be nice for resale value. We also have to tip our hat to the seamless transitions between full motion video to actual gameplay. No more queuing the full motion video, then waiting on a blank screen for it load, then reload when you go back to gameplay. From the time you hit start until the end, you’re immersed in Kratos’ world, stopping only for food, bathroom and work…hopefully! Maybe you should just plan ahead and use those vacation days and spend some quality father/son time within “God of War.”

And that’s why this game is a certified quarter muncher!

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Trunk Gaming

Marvel Strike Force

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Game: Marvel Strike Force

Initial Release Date: March 2018

Publsher: FoxNext

Genre: RPG

Platforms: Android and IOS

Why We’re Playing It: MARVEL! Need we say more? We’ve been impatiently waiting for this one to hit the app stores ever since we saw the first trailer of Wolverine thrashing some bad guys. This is an RPG style game, so it works well on mobile devices, but it looks like an action-packed fighting game once you give your character the attack command. The app is free, but it will cost you something… ALL of your free time. This is addictive and fun, especially if you’re into RPGs. Nuff said!

What It’s All About: To keep this synopsis spoiler free, we’ll just say that you start by playing as Spider-Man, working for Nick Fury. Kingpin has captured other heroes in orbs throughout the city, and it’s up to you save and recruit them for your team. As you play more into the game, you unlock abilities and powers for your superheroes to use in their fight against evil.

That’s Worth A Power-Up!: One of the best aspects of this game is getting to see some of your favorite heroes team up for combo attacks. For example, you can “taunt” with Luke Cage, then on your next attack, he will team up with one of the other characters, like Spidey, for a devastating combo… and it just looks so cool!

Bonus Level: Lately, there have been more obscure comic book characters finding their way to mainstream moviegoers and gamers. Long-time comic book fans knew who the characters were before, but remember when you’re mom or grandma did not know who Star Lord was? Well, Strike Force delivers on this front as well. Sure, you get to play as some of the classic Marvel heroes, but they also have some lesser known characters thrown into the mix, and it’s a nice bit of diversity.

And that’s why this game is a certified quarter muncher!

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Trunk Gaming

Game Review: PREY

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Game Title: PREY

Platforms: PS4, PC, XBOX ONE

Release Date: May 5, 2017

This was, for these reviewers, an odd gaming experience.

What do we mean?”

Well, the marketing for PREY seemed to portray the game as an action packed, first person shoot ‘em up… yet folks online were touting the RPG perspective of the game. So what the heck is it? A first person shooter or an RPG?

The answer is, the game is not a single form of any inside the box gaming. Arkane Studios really thought outside the bun here, just like one of our favorite pregaming fuel up spots. As you start playing, you’re immediately dropped into a totally immersive environment. It appears you’re getting in a helicopter on a high-rise building to be whisked off, but don’t believe your eyes… or your ears for that matter. Nothing is what it seems in this game, and that is really what captured our interest.

Admittedly, it was frustrating at first. There isn’t really a built-in tutorial feel to give you the bearings you need to get going quick. There are “tutorials” available in the options menu, but nobody really wants to do that, right? You want to just seamlessly and naturally figure out how the controls work and be given a clear direction on what you should do. PREY does the opposite, and at first we were ready to turn the game off and take it back, but we forged on and before long, we could NOT put the game down. The lack of direction that frustrated us at first soon became what we loved most about the game. It’s as if you are truly the lead character of the game, MORGAN YU (male or female, they give you the option). You have no clue what’s going on at first, but it’s okay, because neither does your character. YOU decide what to believe and who to trust. Should you listen to your brother who tries to convince you of what your thoughts are, or should you listen to the robot that has your voice and supposedly YOUR directions on what to do and where to go?

One very exciting element of PREY is that there is not just one way to complete an objective. Say there is a locked door you need to get in, and you don’t have the access code. Look around your environment. Maybe there is an air vent up high or some duct underneath your feet. Is there a button on the other side of the door you can use a foam dart gun to activate? Maybe you can find a passcode via the computers in the space station, because guess what… there are actual emails on each terminal, maps, well acted audio logs, etc. Arkane does a wonderful job of painting this haunting space station environment. So these are really the RPG elements of the game. You can decide to help the people you meet, or if you don’t believe them… well, let’s just say you can launch them out into space, whack ‘em with a wrench, or let the aliens rip them apart.

Though there are a few guns in the game, you’ll soon find they are not necessarily the best way to deal with your opponents whether they are the aliens (Typhon), rogue turrets, or corrupted engineer robots. As you go through the game, you study the different aliens you have to fight. As you gain knowledge, you can use “nueromods” to inject this knowledge and abilities into your system. You’ll discover that using a lightning blast or increasing your health is far more beneficial than loading up that shotgun. You’ll also need to gather materials to recycle and fabricate your bullets, guns, EMPs, etc… there isn’t much of just finding random boxes of ammo lying around like a regular shooter game.

PREY is a wonderfully bizarre game that will grab you, pull you in, and before you know it, hours will have passed. That’s why despite our initial knee jerk reaction and a few glitches in the gameplay, we are certifying this game as a quarter muncher! Because if this game was in an old school arcade, we would be pumping in those hard-earned silver coins to find out what happens next. Our advice is play through the game once quickly (around 16-20 hours), then go back and really delve into the game and do all of the smaller tasks and enjoy the details (40 hours-ish).

Until next time, keep on pressing start!

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