PlayStation Kick-Off Their January Sale!

With three days to go until Christmas, it would appear the folks at PlayStation may be a few days ahead of us as today they kicked off their January sale! This sale looks to be a great opportunity to spend some of your Christmas dosh on some games you might not have picked up yet! We’ve had a quick peruse through this year’s offerings and picked out some recommendations (off-sale price in brackets).

  • Spider-Man£34.99 (£54.99)
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4£35.99 (£59.99)
  • God of War: Digital Deluxe Edition£22.34 (£52.99)
  • The Sims 4£8.99 (£34.99)
  • Assassin’s Creed Odyssey£29.99 (£54.99)
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider£25.24 (£54.99)
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy£26.24 (£34.99)
  • SOULCALIBUR VI£34.99 (£54.99)
  • Just Cause 4£41.24 (£54.99)
  • Kingdom Come: Deliverance£19.49 (£49.99)

There are lots of great games on sale, so we’d love to hear your recommendations! Shoot them to us in the comments below, or over on Twitter – @JUMPCUT_PLAY

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REVIEW: Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy (PS4)

Written by Megan Williams

After Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy was released and proved a huge success, fans then wondered whether another certain Playstation mascot would also get the remaster treatment: this mascot being Spyro the Dragon.

Spyro is a platformer game series that was originally developed by Insomniac Games (whose latest release is the PS4 exclusive ‘Spiderman’ game). The first game, simply titled ‘Spyro the Dragon’ was released on the Playstation One in 1998, and spanned over 10 games that were released for Playstation, the Nintendo DS and the Gameboy Advance. The franchise has now found itself on Netflix, in the form of an animated show based on the ‘Skylanders’ spin-off games.

Like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro was another game from my childhood; I remember getting Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage when I was around 9 and I used to play that game, and Crash Bandicoot, regularly. So I was excited to see what the remastered trilogy would look and play like.

Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy is a remaster of the three original games that were on Playstation One: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon. And, after playing through all three games, I can say that developers Toys for Bob have done a fantastic job at restoring these Playstation classics; however it is not perfect.

The visuals are gorgeous, and the cut-scenes are beautifully animated; they wouldn’t look out of place in a Pixar or Illumination Animation film. Toys for Bob have done an incredible job at restoring the trilogy visually, and Spyro has never looked better. The updated character models look great too; my personal favourites are Hunter (who’s in the 2nd and 3rd game), Spyro (of course) and Crush (who is the first boss fight in the second game).

One of the main issues I had with the original first game was the sensitive controls; it made Spyro difficult to control and some of the levels slightly more challenging than they needed to be. Thankfully, the controls for all three games have been tightened, and they are now more responsive and more precise. Spyro the Dragon is now more enjoyable because of this.

So, is Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy a perfect remaster? Well…no.

The voice acting is hit-and-miss; some of the voices work and some of them really don’t. Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants) has reprised his voice role as Spyro, as well as some smaller characters throughout the three games and, once again, he’s fantastic. However, some of the voice acting for the side characters, mainly in Ripto’s Rage isn’t very good: they’re either not expressive enough or completely over-the-top when the situation does not call for it.

While most of the controls have been tightened, one aspect that has been made worse is the swimming controls during the underwater levels. What was once precise is now overly sensitive and tedious; the phrase ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ definitely applies here, unfortunately.

The game camera also isn’t your friend here; this was another huge issue I had with all three original games and, unfortunately, the issues continue here. It still gets stuck at corners and, during boss fights, will dive underneath Spyro’s feet, making the fights unnecessarily difficult. Another aspect that makes some of the boss fights unnecessarily difficult is the speed of the characters that you have to fights in these levels: they’re too fast. Specifically, Gulp and Spike’s laser projectiles in ‘Ripto’s Rage’ and ‘Year of the Dragon’, as well as Buzz’s rolling attacks in ‘Year of the Dragon’. These are too fast, while Spyro is not fast enough to always dodge them. However, these levels aren’t impossible; they’ve just been made to be needlessly difficult.

While I am glad to see Spyro return, and I’ve enjoyed revisiting these classic games, this isn’t a perfect remaster. There are some aspects that need fixing and hopefully ‘Toys for Bob’ will listen to any feedback it gets regarding the game and act on it.

3

Stormy Ascent – Crash Bandicoot DLC

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Written by Megan Williams

A month after ‘Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy’ was released on Playstation 4, developers Vicarious Visions attended San Diego Comic Con and announced the game’s first DLC: The ‘Stormy Ascent’ level for Crash Bandicoot 1.

‘Stormy Ascent’ is an advanced version of a level in the first Crash game (‘Slippery Climb’). However, the original developers, Naughty Dog, decided to take the level out of the original game due to its difficulty. They did leave the level hidden in the disc though, which meant that players were able to access it via a gaming code or software. And, now, it’s been made available without any usage of gaming software!

And….it’s F**KING difficult!

Now, is it the most difficult level in the whole game? No, that award (thanks to the tweaked controls) goes to ‘The High Road’, where I lost around 40 lives just to get the gem; I lost 20 lives and it took me an hour and a half to get a gem in ‘The Stormy Ascent’. So, not as difficult, but pretty close. I found the completely new bonus level more difficult than the main level itself.

During my first completed playthrough, I found the level a lot of fun and challenging. It mostly consisted of me going ‘Ohhh, I get it!’ as this level gives you differently timed platforming so the player can never get too familiar with the patterns that it offers. The lack of lives and checkpoints also add to the difficulty. Oddly enough, the tweaked controls work really well for this level, meaning each death (unfortunately!) can’t be blamed on anyone other than the player.

So, a fun but difficult challenge…and then we get to the time trial mode.

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I’ll be completely honest: I’ve never even gotten close to beating even the easiest time trial as it seems nearly impossible. For anyone who has beaten it, well done!

If you’ve been a long-time Crash Bandicoot player, or you just want a new challenge then I would definitely recommend this.

Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy (PS4)

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Written by Megan Williams

The ‘Crash Bandicoot’ remaster has now been released on the Xbox One and the Nintendo Switch. So, to celebrate this, I thought I’d revisit the games on the Playstation 4.

‘Crash Bandicoot: The N. Sane Trilogy’ is a remaster of the original ‘Crash Bandicoot’ trilogy that came out on the Playstation 1 from 1996-1998, and has been developed (from the ground up) by Vicarious Visions (who developed the Crash Gameboy Advance games).

I am a huge fan of Crash Bandicoot: This was the very first console game I ever played, and I played it constantly throughout my childhood and well into adulthood (I even have a Crash Bandicoot tattoo!). Because I’m such a huge fan, I was excited but a little nervous about the remaster and whether Vicarious Visions would be able to revive a franchise that sadly died out back in 2008.

The game sold out very quickly when it was released on the Playstation 4 at the end of June last year, with physical copies being out of stock for the next few weeks after its launch. As you could probably guess from that, the remaster is fantastic! The updated visuals look beautiful and the music tracks sound awesome against the updated settings. The intro cut scenes also look great with the new and improved graphics, with most of the original voice cast reprising their roles in each game.

As well as just updating the games, Vicarious Visions have added some extra features: two new levels (the previously-removed level Stormy Ascent and a new level Future Tense), plus the time trails from the third game now also appear in the first and second games. This makes for a new and interesting challenge, as this wasn’t originally featured in the first two games. They’ve also made Coco Bandicoot a completely playable character in all three games, which gave each level a new perspective. Although, Coco seems to control better than her crazy brother Crash.

And now for the negatives!

And, honestly, there aren’t that many: The controls have been made to be more precise. However, they do appear quite sluggish and slow, making Crash/Coco feel like a brick. For the second and third games, these type of controls work quite well and it’s a case of getting used to them if you’re used to the original controls. However, with the first game, these controls make the easiest of levels seem nearly impossible (I’ve never rage quit over the games, but this was nearly a first for me!). The last negative point I have are the loading times, which take way too long for all three games.

There are more positives than negatives to this trilogy and it’s obvious Vicarious Visions are all fans of the original games: the trilogy has fixed any issues that fans had with the original trilogy. A couple of new features have also been added, making it somewhat refreshing despite the source material being over 20 years old. Overall, you’ll enjoy ‘The N. Sane Trilogy’ whether you’re a fan of the original games or you’re going into the Crash games for the first time.

Megan’s Rating:

4