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28 Sept 2022

REVIEW: Flashout 3 on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
For nearly 30 years we have been waiting for a game to truly take over the wipE′out mantel as THE anti-gravity racing game. Many contenders have come and go, and in recent years the best of the bunch was Pacer, but even that had a lot of flaws, which I upset the developers by pointing out in my review. More quietly a series of anti-grav games have come and go under the Flashout banner, in 2012 we had Flashout 3D, and then a few years later Flashout 2. both had moderate success, well now the long awaited third game in the sequel has been released, the imaginatively titled Flashout 3.

Now it is worth noting that the Original 2012 game Flashout 3D has also been released and remastered and is available for free!, so check that out.

Let us ignore the problem of calling the first game in the series Flashout 3D and then the third one Flashout 3, and hope that people don't confuse the two, as I did.

Let's first look at the blurb for Flashout 3

"Where high speed meets high stakes. Where unforgiving combat, loud electronic music and addictive boosts of adrenaline mix up to separate winners from losers. Where gravitation is nothing more than an empty word. This is where the world of FLASHOUT 3 will take you and your ride to the absolute limits!

FLASHOUT 3 offers you ultra-fast ships, loops, jumps and sudden razor-sharp turns! Test your skills on the most impressive sci-fi racing tracks and try not to fall behind! But if it happens, don't sweat! Unleash the power of rockets, guns, bombs and mines to help you level down your competition!

Take part in an exciting, head-to-head fight to the finish! Witness spectacular crashes, the agony of defeat, and the sweet taste of victory! But don't blink! It can all end in a flash!"

I have to say it all sounds good, but anyone who follows my reviews, knows that I am super harsh when any game tries to take on a classic, so how does Flashout 3 do?

You have all the usual options, 2 characters to choose from, split screen modes, horizontal and vertical, VR support, 10 tracks, reverse versions, lots of vehicles and weapons to unlock. An epic high beat electronic soundtrack. There are tournaments, race modes like Standard Race, Elimination Mode, Destruction Mode.

You know the drill, everything you expect in an AG racer you will find in Flashout 3. So, the question remains, how does it all fit together and is it any good?

Playstation original wipE′out introduced the "Air Brake" system, and in my opinion that is the ONLY game in history to ever get it just right. Flashout 3 does have air brakes, this is where you use the bumpers/trigger buttons on your controller to move your craft to make very tight turns, the problem is that it always feels very unnatural to do, when most people are used to regular racing games whereby you just use the left trigger as a brake, and sometimes have another button for handbrake turns or drifting, to use left and right bumpers for turning sharp corners is a skill that takes time to learn, and when a game has other things you need to concentrate on, mainly firing weapons, it can often feel very busy, and simply feels like there is too much to do.

Luckily Flashout 3 does something that so many anti-grav games do not do, they give you THE OPTION! Meaning you can turn off the air brakes, or have them activated automatically, meaning you can drive your craft as you would drive a normal car. Now I understand that this slightly defeats the whole point of anti grav racing, as it is supposed to be different, but the fact you have the option to use air brakes or not is greatly appreciated, and instantly answers one of my major critiques of similar style games.

I am totally happy with the control system in Flashout 3, something I never thought I would say for another anti grav racer.

The graphics as you would expect are top quality, everything looks suitably futuristic. The weapons that you can use and eventually unlock, are all fun and interesting, you do not need to "collect" them while racing, you automatically have them on your racer, and as you use them, they will heat up, overuse them and they will go off line for a few seconds. As you choose different weapons to equip, they have a different weight value, so you have to balance them with the vehicle, this is good as it makes you have to think about what to install on the vehicle, instead of just putting 3 of the most powerful weapons on there.

Weapons themselves are your usual type, machine guns, rockets, an AI drone to fire at other racers, shields, and so on. A nice mixture between offensive and defensive.

The different game modes are fun, nothing spectacular, elimination mode, destruction mode, regular racing and so on, everything you will already be familiar with.

The campaign mode has you complete various types of races, score points, and if you finish high enough you can unlock the next event.

The Good
Sharp graphics, great soundtrack and most importantly good control system make this a fun game that is punching above its weight.

The Bad
Some levels are slightly too busy on screen, so everyone firing weapons, volcanoes exploding, and sometimes you can barely see the track, and with no onscreen map, you will find yourself flying off the course and dying. Of course, you respawn quickly enough, but this does mean that at times it feels like you are doing well more by luck than by pure skill. You could always learn the tracks I suppose, but I am a lazy so and so.

I really enjoyed Flashout 3, after recent experiences with AG racers, I was expecting to have the same complaints about this one, but instead I found myself liking it almost from the get go. Clearly gameplay was the first thing in the minds of the developers, with everything else coming later, and in my opinion, this is how you make a good game. With Flashout 3D being free, and Flashout 3 being the true next generation game in the series, it is hard not to recommend this game as the current number one anti-gravity racer on the market today. 

It is fast, it is exciting and it is fun, and is fully compatible with Steam Deck too.

I score Flashout 3 a solid 8.5/10. 

Out now at 
And don't forget to get Flashout 3D enhanced edition, FOR FREE at

27 Sept 2022

REVIEW: Tip Top: Don't Fall! - Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
I was asked to check out Tip Top: Don't Fall! on Nintendo Switch.

Tip Top is a simple climbing game, with procedurally generated routes, the idea is simple, climb from the bottom to the top, and once you reach the flag, you have completed the level. Sounds easy right? WRONG.

The game starts out with some surprisingly nice animation to set up the game. You will start off with the tutorial which should get you up to speed on how the controls work. Basically, you control each arm of the character, and using the bumper buttons one hand or the other will hold on to a surface, if that is available. You then need to position the character to reach the next ledge, switching between hands, and positioning the character in the best way is the key here. Before you know it, you will have to make strategically timed jumps, with just one mistake meaning death. You also have limited stamina in each arm, stamina runs out and you will fall, you can regain stamina by moving one hand over your chalk bag.

Luckily if you choose it in the settings, you can restart after a fall, if you clip on to conveniently placed hooks, that way if you do fall, you restart from what is the equivalent of a checkpoint, a massive help as you figure out the best route up these cliff faces.

There are of course various obstacles to overcome, as well as clouds that will get in the way, so you either have to guess, and risk falling, or wait for the cloud to pass, but waste valuable stamina.

This is an interesting game, but a very tough one, the controls will take a while to get used to, but the hardest thing to master of all is the jump, it feels very awkward to do successfully, especially as you are trying to remember which hands to hold on with, when to let go and so on. I understand that they want to make the game hard, but sometimes I feel like it is unnecessarily hard.

The Good
When you do get it right, climb to the top of a level and get past a trick spot, there is a great feeling of accomplishment, and that is a very important element in a game like this. I also liked the animations which set up the locations.

The Bad
I do not like the control system, as much as I played, I just couldn't get over the fact they could have simplified it without taking away the challenge.

A challenging and fun game, and if you like something a bit different then this is a game to check out.

I score Tip Top: Don't Fall! - Nintendo Switch a fair 7/10

25 Sept 2022

REVIEW: NeverSynth on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
From Whale Rock Games comes NeverSynth, a self described rhythm driving simulator.

The game itself is very simple, you control a vehicle on a never ending 4 lane highway, there are no other cars, no real obstacles, you just drive, pick up "beats" which is money, avoid pillars which slow you down, and that is about it. Once you have enough money you can drive in new locations and with different cars.

There are 6 locations to drive and 6 cars to drive. But forget about that, this is more about chilling out, listening to synth wave music. The graphics are pretty unique, and on the highest graphics settings are pretty damn cool to look at.

One cool feature is the ability to upload your own music to drive to. 

The Good
This is a super simple, chill out game, no real skill needed other than moving left and right to collect "beats", and that is it. If you want a break from the stress inducing games we constantly have thrown at us, then this might be just what you need.

The Bad
The lack of any real skill needed to play means some gamers will get bored quick.

For £3 this game is perhaps overpriced, but it is still worth checking out.
I think they could have done more with the game to make the music connection mean more, but if you just want to listen to some chill out synth music, and waste 20 minutes while thinking of nothing, then this is the game for you. For anyone looking for a challenge, then perhaps look elsewhere.

I score NeverSynth a simple 6/10

Out Now on PC (Steam)

21 Sept 2022

REVIEW: Kao the Kangaroo on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
I have been playing and enjoying Kao the Kangaroo on my Nintendo Switch Lite now for a few days, what a great little game here. What I didn't know was that Kao is part of a long running series of games going back over 20 years. Kao the Kangaroo (2000) - Dreamcast, Kao the Kangaroo: Round 2 (2003) - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube, Kao Challengers (2005) PSP and Kao the Kangaroo: Mystery of the Volcano (2005) - PC. So, there is a rich history right there across multiple consoles. But with any cute platform game, I think it is fair to say the Switch is the perfect home.

The story goes as follows, Kao's sister has gone missing, and it is up to Kao to not only find her, but also solve the mystery of what happened to his lone gone father. Kao needs to travel the world and confront various famous fighters who are influenced by the mysterious dark power.

Kao has his own Master in Walt who will help guide our hero. And along the way Kao will make new friends and strengthen old friendships.

Ultimately Kao needs to confront the Eternal Warrior and beat him to save the world! Classic platform story right there.

The game itself is easy to pick up, and has a great learning curve to introduce you into the mechanics. Everything looks great, and control of Kao is precise and easy to get used to. Fighting mainly involves punching your enemies with your fathers old magical boxing gloves, or throwing stones. You will collect coins and other secrets as you play, which will all help you in your quest.

Although the general gameplay is rather easy, the boss fights do throw up a challenge, and as you charge up your attack gauge, you can throw a finishing punch to destroy your enemies. You can also store elemental charges in your gloves, which will help you clear obstacles, as well as use a cool dodge roll attack.

All in all, this is a fun little 3D platformer, with enough content to please an experienced gamer as well as the younger gamer, of which this game is directed at.

The Good
Bright, colourful graphics, easy to pick up gameplay, fun story and characters.

The Bad
Perhaps a little too easy at times.

A really fun little game here, that is perfect for the younger gamer.

I score Kao the Kangaroo a solid 9/10

Out Now on Nintendo Switch -

19 Sept 2022

TRAILER - Sonic Frontiers - Coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on November 8, 2022.

Sonic Frontiers is an upcoming platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega. As Sonic the Hedgehog, the player explores the mysterious Starfall Islands to collect the Chaos Emeralds after Sonic, Miles "Tails" Prower, and Amy Rose separate when falling through a wormhole. Frontiers integrates platforming and traditional Sonic elements—such as rings and grind rails—into the series' first open world, where the player solves puzzles to collect items and fights robot enemies.

Worlds are colliding in Sonic the Hedgehog’s newest high-speed adventure! In search of the missing Chaos emeralds, Sonic becomes stranded on an ancient island teeming with unusual creatures. Battle hordes of powerful enemies as you explore a breathtaking world of action, adventure, and mystery. Accelerate to new heights and experience the thrill of high-velocity, open-zone platforming freedom as you race across the five massive Starfall Islands. Jump into adventure, wield the power of the Ancients, and fight to stop these new mysterious foes.

Race across five massive overworld islands brimming with dense forests, overflowing waterfalls, and sizzling desert landscapes, each with their own unique action-platforming challenges and hidden secrets to uncover.

Adventure across the Starfall Islands and see what each has to offer at the speed that only Sonic can deliver. Blaze a trail as you see fit and discover side quests, solve puzzles, scale enormous structures, go fishing, and encounter a friendly face or two along the way...

Discover portals scattered across the island and venture into Cyber Space levels through portals scattered across the islands featuring signature 3D platforming at Sonic speeds, packed with challenges to put your skills to the test.

The Starfall Islands are home to strange creatures Sonic has never encountered before. Use the all-new battle system and skill tree upgrades to fight strategically, combining moves such as dodges, parries, counters, combos, and the new Cyloop ability to take down mysterious foes and colossal titans.

Become Sonic and journey to uncover the mysteries of the remains of an ancient civilization plagued by robotic hordes. With nothing but a handful of questions and a disembodied voice to guide you, set out to save your friends and the enigmatic inhabitants of the Starfall Islands from a colossal, mechanized threat.

Pre-Order now at

15 Sept 2022

REVIEW: Trail Out on PC (Steam)

Review by Jon Donnis
Very much in the style of the Flatout games, comes Trail Out. An arcade style racer with a whole host of gimmicks and modes to keep even the most experienced of gamer busy for a while.

"You're in for a mad race in different parts of the world, your main goal is to live to the finish line and take the main cup of the festival! Exploding cars, flying and screaming drivers, the hype from the fans, and unseen destruction around the entire track - it's all waiting for you here! Relive the story of racer Mihalych, a simple story where you'll try to take the main cup of the festival by defeating all the bosses in unique battles."

40 cars to choose from, in different classes and from different time periods, we have a nice collection here to play with, throw in 45 tracks, derby arenas, and all sorts of crazy courses and mini games, this is a game that I have enjoyed playing so far.

There is a nice selection of game modes which you can read about below.
Cross - Race on tracks where halfway through you might encounter opponents coming the other way
Rush - Race on larger tracks where you have to fight your way to the finish line
Derby Classic - Classic destruction derby - last one standing wins
Derby Domination - Fight opponents to score points where the winner is the one with the highest score
Hunter - Destroy as many cars as you can, defeating your opponent's high score
No Time - Drive on a difficult section in time with special vehicles
Stunts - Various mini-games, such as, bowling, darts
Escape - Escape the armed aircraft that destroys anyone in the last place

All pretty straightforward and instantly recognisable for people who are fans of the genre.
In the story mode you will be able to buy cars from a scrapyard, fix them up, upgrade them, buy nitros and eventually make them good as new. As you race and complete challenges you will gain fans, beat bosses to collect licenses which in turn will allow you to unlock more cars.

There are even boss fights to be had, for example you might need to destroy a Monster truck in an arena, while his minion cars try to ram you, a tall task to say the least. As well as your classic boss races. 

The main story with the Mihalych character is pretty generic stuff, but due to the terrible English translations, it becomes pretty fun and more enjoyable than it would be with a perfect translation, I am sure.

There are split screen modes, which I was unable to try.

The Good
This game really does have a classic arcade feel to it, everything is fun, the tracks are gorgeous to look at, just seeing helicopters flying about shooting at people, while you are trying to race against a boss is the kind of detail and added excitement that many games miss. Pretty easy to get enough money to unlock all of the cars, so you will quickly be able to experience all the game has to offer.

I loved the mini games too, giant darts board, bowling etc, all great fun, as was the ragdoll physics on the driver as he flies out of the window of the car. There is just a nice mixture of the crazy stuff, and more serious stuff, that should appeal to a wide section of gamers.

Stunning graphics all round, destructive environments, damage to the cars etc, all look great.

The Bad
The storyline is hilariously bad, the translations are terrible, but does add its own charm. The car damage physics need work, and some of the boss fights, especially the Monster Truck boss are way too hard, if not impossible.

This is a fun game, I really enjoyed it, and will come back to it regularly.

I score Trail Out a solid 8/10

Out now on Steam

14 Sept 2022

REVIEW: V Rising on PC (Steam)


Another mini review from my personal twitter account

This time I took a look at the Early Access release of V Rising on PC (Steam)

10 Sept 2022

REVIEW: Blood Waves on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
"Sometimes You" are back with their latest release Blood Waves. Released on consoles, Blood Waves is a hardcore and bloody shooter. Playing a bit like a mini game you might find in the Assassin's Creed franchise, but with a Lara Croft like character, your job is a simple one, repel wave after wave of zombies.

You start off the game with just a simple pistol and a knife, and are stuck in some kind of underground dungeon area. After dealing with the first wave of zombies, then the game opens up its main "gimmick", between waves part of the dungeon opens up and you spend a few minutes preparing yourself for the next wave. Luckily as you destroy zombies they will drop cash, you can then use this cash to buy ammo, upgrade your character or buy new weapons, but better still you can also buy and then place barricades and traps in the main fighting area. This brings in a whole extra level of tactics. Do you spend your money on more powerful weapons, do you place traps and barricades behind which you can hide, or do you spend the money upgrading yourself, giving you new abilities, more health and so on.

As you progress through the waves, just as you improve your abilities, the zombies themselves will have new and improved abilities, which in turn will need you to buy better weapons and defensives. The are even electrified zombies, zombies who can attack you from afar, some even learn how to avoid traps.

Every time you think you have the advantage, the zombies pull something new out to make you have to plan all new attacks and defensives.

When you eventually die, then you will need to start all over again, but each time you play, you will get a bit further, and you will learn to better prepare yourself using what you experienced previously as the perfect lesson plan.

Throw in a stamina bar which depletes when you run, the obvious health bar, and ammo limits, and there is something of a decent challenge to be had here.

The further your progress, the more points you will earn and the higher on the leader board you will go. 

The Good
Decent graphics, even on the small screen of the Nintendo Switch Lite. Controls are decent, and the game does have a strong replayability factor.

The Bad
Firing at enemies is not that accurate, and you seem to hit them more often than not, meaning not much skill is needed there. Also from the first wave shooting a zombie in the head didn't stop him instantly, which should always be the case. Although you can later upgrade the power of headshots.

A simple idea that works well.

I score Blood Waves a fair 7/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch, and coming to all consoles by the end of the month

8 Sept 2022

REVIEW: GOLAZO! 2 on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
It has been a while since I have played a simple arcade style "soccer" game, and despite most the of the civilised world calling it Football, I thought I would check out new arcade Soccer game "Golazo 2". Now I have never played the original, nor have i heard of it, so I am coming at this game from a totally new perspective.

Since this is an arcade game, there isn't much in the way of depth, so if you have been playing FIFA then this game might seem very simple in comparison.

When you start you are given a few choices, Quick match, Street Tour, Tournaments or World League. You can play with National Teams or "Street Teams", which craftily gets around any licensing issues. 58 national teams with 10 international stadiums, 6 Street fields with 12 street teams.

When you start playing you will see that everything is very simplified, passes are basic, lobs, shots etc. You can have a quick dash with a player, which is a nice touch, and the ball sticks to your feet too.

There is no motion capture for the player animations, which do seem quick jerky, and the sound effects are terrible, you will quickly turn down the sound, trust me, after hearing the scratch sound for a slide tackle a few times, it will annoy you.

The AI for the computer controlled teams is a bit too strict, and difficulty is set way too high to make this a really enjoyable arcade game.

The Good
For an arcade soccer game, it has some nice touches, the dash is cool, and some of the player hairstyles are fun.

The Bad
If you have ever played FIFA or Evo then this will just feel empty in comparison, maybe we are spoiled, but the day of the arcade soccer game is long gone.

Very generic arcade soccer game, no real innovation, and pales in comparison to the big name footy games.

I score GOLAZO! 2 on Nintendo Switch a poor 5/10

4 Sept 2022

REVIEW: Chenso Club on Nintendo Switch

Review by Jon Donnis
Chenso Club is a Japanese style 2D side scrolling action platformer, I say Japanese style as it is actually developed by Swedish studio Pixadome and published by Curve Games.

"The Chenso Club girls are sassy, strong and eager to show off their moves. Our heroines want any excuse to use their newfound powers. It's up to you to master their moves, increase their power and show the world the might of the Chenso Club."

As you start the game you will first be able to choose one character to play with, but as you progress more will be unlocked. All the characters are female, which is a cool touch and not something you see that often. You will start off with a character called "Blue" which is a Chainsaw wielding android, but you will soon gain access to Carmine who wields a heavy hammer. With 5 characters in total, all very unique with their own fighting style.

Once you have chosen your desired character, you can then choose between Story mode, which is exactly what you think it is, a Casual mode, a Standard mode which is for your regular platform game fan, and then the Insane mode, which is just everything like the other modes but much harder.

The levels are separated to various locations, and each location has single screen areas you need to progress through. And of course there is a boss at the end, and when you beat them, that is when you unlock a character.

Between levels there are bonus areas, where you can upgrade your character, unlock chests, but also there is a social media aspect to the game, where you need to gain followers.

Fighting is pretty simple and follows the classic arcade style, depending on the weapon your character has, general swing of the weapon, jump, dash, special moves and so on, all very easy to pick up. As you beat opponents pick up gems to boost your power and so on.

I played in solo mode, but there is also a "couch co-op" mode, which I did not have chance to check out.

Really easy to play, and a lot of fun, the graphics are retro style, as is the music. I played on a Switch Lite, and the game felt perfect on the small screen.

The Good
Fun colourful graphics, easy to pick up and play, nice layout of the levels, and as you gain characters you will want to replay earlier levels with the new characters.

The Bad
Not much to the story, and a little short. But enough to keep you interested.

Simple and fun 2D platformer, interesting characters to play with, lots of enemies to beat, what more could you want?

I score Chenso Club a fair 7/10

Out now on Nintendo Switch