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16 May 2022

REVIEW: The Centennial Case : A Shijima Story - PS5

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
The Centennial Case : A Shijima Story is a FMV (full motion video) visual novel type of a game.

"The Shijima family have suffered a chain of inexplicable deaths over the past century.
When Haruka Kagami, a mystery novelist, visits the Shiijmas, she finds herself taking on four different murder cases - occurring at different points in time.

The red camellia and the Fruit of Youth, which invite only death.
And the truth behind it all, waiting to be uncovered..."

More like a TV show or Movie, where you will make certain decisions within the game, and that will then take you on a different path.


As you play you will gather clues to the mystery you are trying to solve. You have to use your powers of deduction to solve the mystery and uncover the truth.

You will enter a "cognitive space" of sorts, which allows you to put together your threads of logic, which depending which way you go will give a different hypothesis as the outcome. You make these decisions moving hexagonal pieces on a board.


Playing any interactive movie, I cant really give much away as it would spoil the story, but it is worth noting that the acting is all very good, the story is well written, and although the subtitles might put some people off, any FMV game does need you to pay attention, to make the best informed decisions so the subtitles aren't that much of an issue.


The Good
High quality acting, and nice sets create a visually interesting game.

The Bad
The controls are a bit clunky, these kinds of games never seem to work that well on console. More of a PC game.

Overall
If you like Japanese Visual Novels, then this is the game for you.

If you are a fan of just you usual FMV visual novels, then give this game a look.

I score The Centennial Case : A Shijima Story a fair 7/10 for its genre.

Out now on PS5

13 May 2022

REVIEW: Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising on PC

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is an action RPG set in the same world as Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes. This game acts as a prequel / companion game.

The main goal of Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising is to rebuild the town of New Neveah that was decimated by an earthquake. During that disaster several ruins we uncovered, each full of treasure.


You play as CJ a scavenger; you will speak to various characters and collect materials they need to rebuild. Once you have the requested materials, new buildings appear, and soon the town will transform from a destroyed mess to a new beautiful town.


Each time you help someone, you get a stamp for your stamp book, as you get more stamps, you upgrade, which in turn brings more people to the town and more quests to complete. You can also exchange stamps at a trading post for things you will need, for example an explorer's license, which allows you to investigate the ruins or building materials.


There are of course enemies, and early on the combat is pretty simple, with one button attacks. As you progress through the game you can unlock new abilities, and upgrades for your weapons and armour. 

On the default difficulty settings, everything is pretty easy, and you will quickly progress through the game. Unfortunately, the hard mode isn't available from the start and is only unlocked after your first playthrough.

Sadly, gameplay gets tedious pretty quickly, there is a LOT of back and forth fetching of materials, which just isn't that much fun.


The Good
Everything looks great, the controls are simple, and you will pick up the game pretty quickly.

The Bad
Tedious, repetitive gameplay ruins what should be a really fun game. Way too easy on the default settings, and the game is relatively short too.

Overall
There is a good game in here, it is just hasn't been developed enough, and almost feels rushed in parts, there is a lack of effort in creating the depth that a game like this needs.

I score Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising a poor 4/10 could and should have been much better.

Out now on PC (Steam) for £12.99

11 May 2022

REVIEW: Aaero on Nintendo Switch

Review By Jon Donnis
Aaero is a futuristic music based, on rails, rhythm shooter.

You control a spacecraft, and you need to follow ribbons of light, if you trace the line of the ribbon, you get a higher score, all the while you need to evade obstacles, shoot enemies, and fight against giant bosses.

My first thought when playing Aaero, was that it reminded me of AVICII Invector, there are similar elements to the gameplay, you need to follow a certain course to get more points, but where Invector relied solely on your abilty to press certain buttons at the right time, Aaero takes a slightly different approach, in that you have to shoot enemies, as well, which brings in a whole new gameplay element to what is in essence a rhythm game. 


When you come across enemies, you use the right stick to select them, and then press the trigger button to shoot off rockets towards them, at the same time using the left stick you need to control the spacecraft, this quickly becomes a really tricky thing to do, and a challenge to even the most experienced of gamer.

With this being a rhythm game, the banging soundtrack is just fantastic, the EDM (Electronic dance music) in this game is quite the collection, and you will find yourself turning the sound up loud and enjoying it. Some of the artists include Noisia, Flux Pavilion, Katy B, Neosignal, Astronaut & Barely Alive, and although not household names, they will catch your attention after playing this.

There are 21 challenging levels to complete, each level crafted to the music playing, 4 different difficulty settings, Normal, Advanced, Master, and Chill-out. Choose chill-out if you just want to enjoy yourself and the music.


The Good
If you enjoyed AVICII Invector, then you should like Aaero, it offers a similar, but more challenging type of gameplay. The graphics are decent, the music is great, and the game although tough is easy to pick up.

The Bad
Playing this on a Nintendo Switch Lite, I have to say I have never enjoyed the positioning of the trigger buttons, and since they are needed in this game, while also concentrating on both sticks, it can be a bit difficult to coordinate, and I have pretty big hands too. This will probably play better with a standard controller.

Overall
A pleasantly surprising game, much better than I expected, and as such I score Aaero on Nintendo Switch a solid 8/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch at

With limited physical editions available at 

Aaero: Complete Edition contains all DLC content in one package and will be available as a boxed Limited Edition and Special Limited Edition, only at Strictly Limited Games.




6 May 2022

REVIEW: Trek to Yomi (PS5)

Review by Jon Donnis
Trek to Yomi is advertised as an ultra-stylised cinematic action-adventure, and the first thing you will notice when playing is the monochrome graphics, basically black and white.

The game is set in Japan, in the Edo period, you play as a young Samurai Warrior called Hiroki who after making a vow to his dying Sensei, goes on an epic journey to confront the people responsible for destroying his village.


This side scrolling game is very much a one player journey, Hiroki must face wave after wave of enemies, and avenge his Sensei.

Although the visuals are stunning, the combat is rather bland, you have two modes of attack, light and heavy attacks, you can block, break guard, lunge etc, but in essence it is very simplistic. As you progress through the game you will unlock more weapons, Ninja Stars, Bow and Arrow etc.


There are some cool boss fights to be had, against mythical creatures, and there are secret areas to uncover which will give you various bonus to health, stamina as well as weapons. Complete the game to unlock an extra hard mode.


One gripe for me was that to change direction you have to press X, this takes some getting used to, and at first you will find yourself striking in the wrong direction as someone is attacking you from behind.

The game is quite linear and should be easily completable in 5 or 6 hours.


The Good
Visually this game is exceptionally good, unlike anything you have seen before. Such a beautiful game.

The Bad
A short game with little reason to replay, if you don't rush through, you will find every collectable quite easily, and although a memorable experience, it lacks that interest to replay it.

Overall
Stunning game that tries to hide the bland gameplay with visuals. Way too short and no real reason to replay.

If you want a 6 hour experience that will stick in your mind, then this is the game for you.
If you want a side scrolling sword game that you will keep coming back to, then look elsewhere.

I score Trek to Yomi on PS5 a fair 7/10

You can download the excellent Soundtrack to Trek to Yomi at https://amzn.to/3w91ihh

3 May 2022

REVIEW: Sokobos on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Sokobos is based on the classic Japanese brain-twisting puzzle game of Sokoban, which I am sure all puzzle fans have heard of or played a variation of.

The basic idea of Sokoban is to push crates or boxes around, and into the final spots, the hard part being the limited amount of space you have to work in.

Sokobos takes on this format with a story inspired by ancient Greek tragedies, and as a Greek I am always happy to see anything that uses my culture for inspiration.

First the story
"Aeschylus took an oath to the Greek gods. He is granted inhuman strength and is tasked with building a temple worthy of the great Zeus, however he must do this by himself. If he succeeds, his father's town will prosper and outshine even Athens. However, Sokobos' story is a Greek tragedy, not everything will go according to the plan."


Instead of crates or boxes, you are instead trying to assemble Greek structures, think statues, pillars, even temples. You push each part into a set position, and when complete you finish the level and move onto the next. As you progress the levels get harder, you might need to build a bridge first, or activate gates, you might even need to paint pieces by moving them through coloured spots.

The game is pretty tough, but luckily you can easily walk back moves, so you don't need to totally restart a level if you get stuck. There are leader boards which show who can complete a level in the least amount of moves, as well as a colourblind mode with Trichromatic, Dichromatic and Monochromatic options.


There are 60 levels to beat.

The game starts off pretty straight forward, but here is a huge problem, the game gets very hard, very quick, now there is a skip level option, but I found that by level 5 which I got stuck on, I was already using the skip button. By level 10 I realised that this game is way harder than it should be.

I enjoy puzzle games, and I have played Sokoban games before, but never have I found myself stumped so early in the game, and this is a huge problem, especially if you are trying to attract new players to the genre.


The Good
I like the story, and some of the original gameplay elements to what is an old genre of game. The "undo" button is a welcome addition.

The Bad
Impossibly hard. Unless you are a Sokoban addict, then this game will frustrate you within 10 minutes of playing.

Overall
By having such an incredibly steep learning curve, this will instantly put off new players, who will either give up, or just go to YouTube and find solutions, which then makes the game rather pointless.

If you are a hardcore Sokoban addict, or someone who thrives on ridiculously hard puzzle games, then this if for you.
For everyone else however, you might want to think twice before purchasing.

I score Sokobos on PC a 6/10.
Out now on PC Steam

2 May 2022

REVIEW: Radon Break on PC (Steam)

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
Radon Break or is that Radon Blast? It seems that the developers of this game can't seem to make their minds up on the name of the game, all the promotional material sent out says Radon Blast, but then start the game and it is Radon Break. Not a good start.


Radon Break is a game that is clearly modelled after the famous Arkanoid brick breaking game. Control a paddle, ball falls, bounce it on to bricks, bricks disappear, destroy all the bricks, level finished.

There are your usual power ups, speed, clone the ball, and extend the size of the paddle. There are also gun powers, a wall and a super ball that just destroys.

40 levels. Beat them all, try and get the best high score.

The only real difference this game has is that your paddle operates from the left in an up and down motion, as opposed to the classic left and right movement on the bottom of the screen. Despite claiming to have 3D graphics, it is definitely 2D. The levels are all pretty basic and bland looking.


The Good
It is an Arkanoid clone, and who doesn't love Arkanoid.

The Bad
It is unoriginal, brings nothing new at all to the genre. And it costs £4. 

Overall
Vastly overpriced when you consider you can get free browser-based games that are virtually identical.
This is a lazy game, that although plays fine, is simply no better than free alternatives.

I score Radon Break a poor 3/10

Out now on Steam

30 Apr 2022

PREVIEW: Turbo Golf Racing on PC (Steam)

Preview by Jon Donnis
I was asked to join the Beta playtest of Turbo Golf Racing on PC and give my thoughts. Although the game is still in Beta testing, it is very polished.

Now I am sure you have heard of Rocket League, the game where you basically play football with cars and a giant ball. Well Turbo Golf Racing is that but with golf. The comparisons are inevitable, and Turbo Golf Racing has a lot to live up to if it wants to be spoken about in the same breath as that other game. (which I wont mention again).


For people new to the genre, take the quiet, thoughtful, slow game of golf, add a massive ball, and Turbo Powered cars and you have something very interesting and a lot of fun.

Single player mode plays very much like you would expect. Drive as fast as you can at the ball, to hit it to go as far as you can in the direction of the hole. But unlike in golf where each shot takes time to set up, aim etc, here once you have teed off you can chase after the ball, hit it again while it is still moving, all in a mad cap race to sink the ball as quickly as possible.


Time is the issue here, not how many times you hit the ball. Your car has the ability to jump and then dash, slide, drift, boost etc you can control the rotation of your car in the air, you can even glide if you want. When hitting the ball, how you position your car matters, if you hit it while you jump you can get more lift on the ball and so on. As you approach the ball, you will see a directional arrow telling you roughly where the ball will go, which will help you aim the next hit, there are sand pits to avoid, rough grass, and so on.

Your car has a turbo too, which you use in bursts to get more speed, you can collect turbo upgrades to fill your meter, as well as driving on certain areas will recharge your turbo. Watch out also for floating circular boost points, fire your ball through them and it will fly high and fast towards the hole.

Finish the level in a set amount of time to get up to 3 stars, gaining stars unlocks more levels.


The single player mode is fun, and a great way to get to grips with the controls and the courses, but the fun really starts in multiplayer mode.

Up to 8 players can play online at once, each player has their own ball, and you all need to get your ball in the hole the fastest, you are given points depending on your time. Now although you can't hit other people's balls, or ram other players, you can collect rockets and fire them at the enemy. But you will probably be concentrating on your own ball to spend much time doing that, you will most likely pick up a rocket and fire it blindly as you try not to lose your ball.

The courses available so far are all decent, if a bit samey. You will get a zoomed in map of the course as well as a flyover before each race, but a full map would make things easier, so you know where to go, some of the courses are quite long, and although you won't get lost, figuring out where the hole is, can be confusing on a first playthrough. Of course, a relaxing drive around the course to familiarise yourself first is probably worth doing. There are also secret routes to look out for which will help you massively in both single player and multiplayer modes.

You will be able to upgrade our car as you go along, collect in game currency by winning trophies. Each upgrade will improve your car allowing you to hit the ball further, fly fast, and so on. Lots of car customisation available, to give your car its own unique look.


The Good
The game looks and feels very polished, I found no bugs during my time playing. It looks like the game will be regularly updated, with new courses and options. So, there is a long future to this game, as opposed to a limited one.

The Bad
I'd like some better animations when you fly off the track, maybe the car gets destroyed when it hits something etc. Otherwise, the game already feels really good.

Overall
At this point the game is already pretty damned decent, and I have high hopes that it can and will only get better as more content is released for it.

I look forward to the full release, and future updates, when the game is finished, I will give it a score. For now, if you can, try to get on the Beta playtest, you won't be disappointed.

Wishlist it on Steam at

REVIEW: Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Sherlock Holmes Chapter One is an open-world detective mystery with you playing a young Sherlock Holmes.

You find yourself returning to your childhood home of Cordona, a 19th century, British occupied Mediterranean island, that I assume is made up. You return there as you learn that they may be more to the death of your mother, than originally thought.

Since you are playing a young Sherlock, you have to accept that the game developers have to try something different, so Sherlock is a fresh faced, slightly brooding type character, and Sherlock even has an imaginary friend type deal, with a person called Jon, a pre-cursor to Watson I would assume. Seems strange that a man of logic would need an imaginary friend to throw ideas at, but like I said, this is a young Sherlock, so I suppose this could be akin to the older Sherlock having a mind palace.

The main idea of the game is to solve crimes, and if you want, get into slightly pointless fights, all of which can be skipped if you want. However, the fights, if poorly implemented, do help break up the gameplay. While fighting someone you can use your observation skills to help you win the fight, see vulnerabilities, use the surroundings to help you win. It is a nice change to the usual punch, punch, kick, kick style of fightings we sometimes get in open world games.

The graphics are amazing, and straight away you will be reminded of some of the Assassin's Creed games, sadly the freedom of those games is not available here, and although the game is "open world", you simply cant interact with as much as you might want to. You will however get the expected side quests, (30+), which are always a fun distraction from a main story of which there are 5 main parts.


There are lots of people to talk to, stories to learn, and locations to explore. And there is plenty of variety in these, that means that things are never too reptitive in nature.

We do need to talk about a few of the problems with the game, the investigations themselves, it almost seems like you cant really get anything very wrong, there is no real confirmation that you have made a right conclusion, in your case files, you have the documents and recaps, and a nudge in the right direction, but it does seem to be a strange way of doing things in what is a detective game, that you don't properly make wrong decisions.

And as already mentioned the fight scenes are poorly implemented, they feel like an afterthought, and although they do break up the action, the fact you can completely turn them off, and skip them, kinda makes them a bit pointless in the game.

The dialog is good, the story is also well written, the side quests are fun, and help give the game some longevity, as if you stick to the main story, the game can be completed pretty quickly. There are hidden coins to collect, which also add an extra element to the game.


The Good
The graphics and general presentation of the game is of an exceptional standard, really is glorious to see.

The Bad
The fights with bandits are terrible and pointless, and the game pales in comparison to similar open world games with investigative gameplay mechanics, think Batman or any Assassins Creed game.

Overall
A decent game in it's own right, but does have a few problems that game testers should have spotted early on.
The sheer beauty of the game, and the decent storyline carries it further than it should.

I score Sherlock Holmes Chapter One on Xbox a generous 7/10

Out now on Xbox



27 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles on Xbox

Review by Jon Donnis
Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles is a 3D puzzle platformer from Luminawesome Games and published by the great people at Wired Productions.

Now I am a fan of puzzle platform games, so I was excited to try this game out.

You play as Lumote, a kind of bioluminescent blob character, and you find yourself on a quest to overthrow the Mastermote.


You can move your character, jump (and double jump), and possess. As you start the game you find yourself in an area, the red areas are controlled by the evil Mastermote, (is he/it evil? I don't know, but for the sake of this review I am calling him/it evil!) and the blue areas are controlled by you, to progress to the next area, you need to turn everything blue, and unlock the door (a big flower thing).

You can possess Motes (creatures that inhabit this weird world), which will help to allow you to turn areas blue, when you are in control of them, they help you, when you are not in control of them, they can hinder your progress.

The game is one big area, with six towers that need to be taken over, and fifty puzzles that need to be solved along the way.

Right from the start you are thrown into the action, there is little to tell you what to do, or even where to go, you need to figure things out for yourself, as you first start exploring, you will get on screen prompts of how to control your character as well as the interactive areas, but that is it.


Despite the lack of a level select, or much instruction, the game is pretty easy to figure out, and before you know it you will be solving some pretty complicated puzzles. For example, you might need to control Motes to position in a different area to change things to blue, but the Motes are hidden behind hard to reach areas, or you need to position multiple motes in a certain order, to reach another Mote that is needed to progress. Various obstacles will make your journey trickier, and all need to be overcome using good old-fashioned logic.

There is a steep learning curve here, there is no easy first 10 puzzles, pretty much from the get go you need to get your thinking cap on.

You can control the camera in a fully 3D manner, from side, around and above viewpoints, this does help you figure out what you need to do, and although sometimes you might prefer a fixed camera, I didn't find the 3D camera too much of a bother. It also helps you to have a good look around for any secret collectables.

Solve all the Puzzles, takeover the 6 towers, turn the world blue, and extinguish the red light of the Master Mote to complete the game. Sounds easy, but is much harder in reality.


The Good
Super colourful game, perhaps a bit too colourful, but that is part of the story of the game. The puzzles are tricky but all solvable with a bit of thinking.
A good challenge awaits anyone who wants to take on the Mastermote.

The Bad
The camera can be a bit of an annoyance at times, when you have to keep re-positioning it to see what you need to do next, I do wonder if a fixed AI controlled camera view that moved as you do, to show you the best view would have been a better choice? 

And yes, the puzzles get tricky, pretty fast, so if you are a Gamerpoint collector, those achievements are going to take some hard work. No easy 1000 points here!

Overall
Lumote is a proper challenging 3D puzzle platforming game. The challenge betrays it's fun graphics.
I really enjoyed playing Lumote, and am still playing it. Tough but fun game that I can highly recommend for any Puzzle fans wanting a new challenge.

I score Lumote: The Mastermote Chronicles a solid 8/10


Out now on Xbox

25 Apr 2022

REVIEW: LIT: Bend the Light - Xbox One

Review by GamingCouchPotato.co.uk Staff
LIT: Bend the Light is a simple puzzle game, set in a time before electricity had been harnessed, and the world was taken forward by great inventors, you find yourself moving mirrors, prisms and glass shapes to reflect light from point a to point b. 

Each level has multiple ways to be completed, and with relaxing music, this is a game that should satisfy your average puzzle fan.

There are only about 30 odd levels, and you will complete the lot in about 2 hours, they have tried to counter this by awarding achievements for solving the levels in different ways, but still the game is very short and doesn't offer much more than a few hours of chill out music, and basic puzzle play.


The controls aren't the best either, and some levels need an almost pixel perfect lines, and some levels you will find you will complete almost by accident, and here is where the biggest problem lies, because of the lack of levels and the need for more than one way to complete a level, you can find yourself just completing levels by randomly moving things, thus taking away the skill, and unless you are the kind of gamer that wants to play properly even when a shortcut is glaring you in the face, you will find yourself doing this the moment you figure out it is possible. Not to mention that some of the multiple solutions to a level are near identical, and it is hard to remember which ones you have already used. 


The Good
Presentation is very good, everything looks great, and the soundtrack is very relaxing.

The Bad
Frustratingly short game, hampered by poor control mechanics. The game is unoriginal, and despite the best attempts to give it some kind of background in a time before electricity, at its base it is a laser reflection game which we have seen a million times before. And with only about 30 levels which you will complete pretty fast, you will be left feeling like you may have wasted money on this.

Overall
Fun idea, nice graphics, but spoiled by poor game mechanics, and limited levels.

I score LIT: Bend the Light on Xbox One a frustrating 4/10

23 Apr 2022

REVIEW: Ganryu 2 on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Ganryu 2 is a retro style, 2D arcade platform game, instantly reminded me of Shinobi. 

Let's take a look at the storyline.
"After his victory against Kojiro, Musashi decided to meditate and try his hand at art, in the north of Japan, in the province of Hokkaido. During one of his meditations, a spirit contacted him : "Miyamoto Musashi, our fight is not over, I am waiting for you to finish our fight once and for all! All of Japan will pay for your insult! I'm waiting for you Miyamoto Musashi!"

There is no doubt for Musashi that the voice was the Sasaki Kojirō's one. His body was defeated, but his spirit remains, and his intentions were destructive. Miyamoto Musashi then understood that he would have to travel across Japan from north to south and go to the island of Ganryû-jima, where he firstly defeated Sasaki Kojirō, to fight again and liberate the spirit of Kojiro forever."


You might guess by the name, but Ganryu 2 is a sequel, now you will be forgiven for not hearing of Ganryu, since it was a late 1990s NeoGeo game.

You play as Miyamoto Musashi and travel through a 17th century fantasy Japan. The levels are split up, which as a whole become a Stage, and there are various Stages to complete.


Some levels will have you playing your classic side scrolling type arcade action, which is throwing ninja stars, or performing Ninja style attacks. Each level will have a boss, which you need to beat to progress. Some levels do change, for example the second level in the game has you riding on train tracks, where you have to time jumps from one trailer to the next, all the while fighting off the enemies. 


You will see some of the same types of enemies over and over, and the bosses although tough at first follow a routine that as soon as you learn, are quite straight forward to beat.

There are your usual collectables, 1ups, and health boosts and so on.

This is predominantly an arcade game, and in that sense, when you die, that's it, there is no playing from a level you reached previously, it is back to the start. This isn't a massive problem but might be frustrating to younger gamers who have never stood in front of an arcade machine putting in 10p after 10p.

The game is quite tough and unforgiving, and the controls can be a bit frustrating, the wall jumping can be tricky to master, and one little mistake with an enemy is costly.


The Good
I am a fan of the old school arcade side scrollers, this is what I grew up on, and playing this on a Switch Lite was fun. This is the kind of game you will pick up, play for 20 minutes or longer, usually till you die, and then put down until the next day.

The graphics are exactly what they are supposed to be, the sounds are as dodgy as they were in the 90s, so fit in well.

The Bad
The controls could be better, there seems to be options for the character that don't make much difference, and special attacks that are too rare to be used tactically. I also think you need to have a regular arcade mode, and a separate story mode that keeps your progress. Getting far in the game and dying, and knowing that you have to start from the beginning again feels more frustrating than it does challenging.

Overall
A game that reminded me of the countless hours spent in the arcade. 
More of a nostalgia game for people over 35 I suspect, but I thoroughly enjoyed playing.
I score Ganryu 2 a solid 8/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch