All posts by Jerome Weiswasser

Jerome has been writing for UGR Gaming for 2 years now. He is the head writer and is also co-host on the Gamer Chat Weekly Podcast. When not working for UGR, or playing videos games, Jerome most of his down time being a wrestling fanatic.
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Bayonetta 2 (Wii U) Review

Bayonetta was a cult classic that was released back in 2009 on Xbox 360 and PS3. As beloved as it is among its fans, there weren’t really any plans for a sequel. However, thanks to some assistance from Nintendo, Platinum Games have developed Bayonetta 2 exclusively for the Wii U. While some fans are angered that Bayonetta 2 is exclusive to the Wii U, the question is, are those fans missing out on the a great game? Keep reading to find out.

Story

Bayonetta 2, once again follows Bayonetta on a new quest to save her friend Jeanne who has been dragged down to hell. Along the way, Bayonetta will run into some familiar faces, as well as mysterious boy named Loki. The story is truly entertaining and has the charm that the original Bayonetta has. WiiU_Bayonetta2_scrn08_E3

Gameplay

Bayonetta 2 is a “hack n’ slash” style game. Players will go through the game fighting both angels and demons that get in your way. The controls feel tighter and smoother on the Wii U and it was truly enjoyable to play on the Gamepad. Speaking of the Gamepad, Bayonetta 2 offers the ability to play using the stylus and the Gamepad touchpad. I rarely used this option, but it was nice to see that Platinum utilized the Wii U’s features, such as the Gamepad and stamps for the miiverse. This time around, Bayonetta has new weapons and power-ups to spice up the gameplay and add some replay ability to the game. Players can also use a crafting system to make items that restore health, boost attack power and even more. Bayonetta-2-31 Along with the panther transformation, Bayonetta can now travel through flooded areas by transforming into a sea snake. These flooded areas are kept to a minimum so it ends up being pretty forgetful. Bayonetta 2 even comes with the original Bayonetta, in case Nintendo fans have not played the original. The original Bayonetta plays just as well, if not better then it did on the Xbox 360 and PS3. Players are also treated to alternate costumes that pay homages to Nintendo Icons Link, Peach, Samus and Fox McCloud. wiiubayonetta2scrn01e3 Bayonetta 2 has an in-game achievement system, called Bewitchments that add a lot of replay ability to an already amazing package in Bayonetta 2.

Multiplayer

Bayonetta 2 offers an online only multiplayer mode, called “Tag Climax”. The mode is fun and has players working together to fight enemies. The mode is fun and adds some extra value to the package, without feeling like something that was shoehorned in at the expense of the single player portion of the game.

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Presentation Bayonetta 2 looks amazing, especially compared to the orignal Bayonetta on the 360 and ps3. The colors just seem more vibrant and it just ran more smoothly than the original Bayonetta on the older consoles. The soundtrack and voice acting are also well done. The presentation just shows off the charm that I have come to love from Bayonetta. bayonetta-2-wallpaper

Overall

Bayonetta 2 is a great addition to the Wii U’s lineup. It is an awesome and charming game that plays perfectly, and has the looks to match. Bayonetta 2 offers two amazing games in one, along with an online co-op and achievements, making this the perfect package, in terms of enjoyment and replay ability. {rating}

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Borderlands: The Pre-sequel Review (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

The 2014 holiday season is heating up, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is the latest game to be released. Borderlands is the beloved series from Gearbox Studios. However, this time around 2K Austrailia has taken the reigns of the series, with Gearbox taking on more of a support role. How does Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel compare, not just it’s holiday season competition, but previous games in the series as well? Keep reading to find out.

Story

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel takes place before Borderlands 1, but after Borderlands 2. A Hyperion employee, Jack has hired 4 Vault Hunters to aid him in saving one of Pandora’s moons from bandits. The story features some familiar faces and tells the story of how Handsome Jack becomes the insane man that he is. The story is very well told and still contained the same humor and charm that Borderlands is known for.

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Gameplay

The Gameplay of the Pre-Sequel is mostly the same as previous installments of the Borderlands series. The game is tight and plays very well. There is a large variety of guns and other customization options (like shields and grenade mods) that have a profound amount of depth.

The Pre-Sequel continues the high standard that Borderlands has set for the first person shooter RPG. The skill trees among the 4 characters are a lot of fun to tweak and play around with, especially with the option to reset your skill tree, for a small in-game fee.

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New to the Pre-Sequel, is the oxygen system. Since the Pre-Sequel takes place on one of Pandora’s moons, not all areas have an atmosphere. There are some positives and some negatives to this new gameplay mechanic.

The new oxygen mechanic provides a new type of oxygen shield that adds even more depth to The Pre-Sequel. However, the new oxygen system also has given Borderlands a tweaked pull on gravity. While it is fun to jump around in near-zero gravity, enemy movement has become something that can be truly frustrating. At times, enemies will just jump and lunge at you from decently far distances, which can be tough when fighting the hordes of frequently respawning enemies.

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Borderlands: The Pre-sequel can be quite buggy at times. I ran into a few issues where my game froze or I got stuck on lockers I was looting that forced me to quit out and restart the game.

Another big issue that I came across was that my moonstones, a rare type of currency would disappear and I would never get them back. Hopefully this can get fixed in an update, because it is a very disheartening thing. One other player I came across in my time with The Pre-sequel confirmed to also have the same problem with his moonstones.

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Presentation

Borderlands: The Pre-sequel looks is the best looking Borderlands to date. Between an amazing skyline, to interesting enemy design, I enjoyed traveling through the cel-shaded moon of Pandora. As usual the voice acting is simply top notch and there is some good parts of the soundtrack, although sometimes the game felt a little too quiet.
Overall

Borderlands: The Pre-sequel gets a lot of things right. The story and gameplay are awesome. But the new oxygen mechanic can feel a bit pointless at times. Plus, the game has a decent amount of bugs. That being said, it is a great game that Borderlands fans will love and was a great attempt by 2K Australia to capture the magic that Gearbox creates.
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Super Smash Bros. Review (3DS)

It’s time to settle it, in smash! It’s been six years since the release of the last Super Smash Bros. game and fans have been dying of anticipation. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until November 21 until they can get their hands on the Wii U version. On the bright side, we have the 3DS version to hold us over. How is it? Keep reading to find out.

Story

Smash Bros takes all of the biggest stars from Nintendo’s and a few others from some of the biggest franchises and has them take a part in an all-out battle. There really isn’t any story in Smash Bros. 3DS. The lack of a single player campaign( i.e. Brawl’s Subspace Emissary) Feels like a real missed opportunity, as I would have loved to play through a story with all of these iconic characters. Hopefully it’s exclusion is due to hardware and we will see one on the Wii U version.

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Gameplay

Speaking of hardware limitations, Super Smash Bros 3DS’ biggest weakness is the limits and build of the hardware. The controls feel as smooth as they can be, but something just felt off. I found myself tired of playing on the 3DS, and longed for the opportunity to play Smash bros. on a home console. The circle pad just does not work for Smash Bros. and proves that as great as the 3DS hardware can be, it could certainly benefit from having a control stick.

Playing a 3DS XL, I would say that the size of the screen was a bit too small for larger maps or when characters were spaced out. I can’t imagine how much worse it could have been on the original 3DS.

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For a handheld, Super Smash Bros. 3DS offers a good amount of content. There is a massive roster of characters, a decent amount of stages, classic mode, all star mode, trophy rush, challenges, and the introduction of Smash Run.

Smash Run will have players running through a dungeon gathering stat boosters to use in a final battle at the end of a five minute period. Smash Run was a real miss for me. The five minutes before the final brawl, felt like it went on forever, and the final battle was also usually over rather quickly, making it feel like a boring waste of time. As stated earlier, I would much rather see something in the vein of Brawl’s Subspace Emissary.

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Presentation

Super Smash Bros is the best looking game on the 3DS. All fighters run at a smooth 60fps, while all assist trophies, smash run enemies and Pokemon (from poke balls) run 30fps. The sound design is also superb. Classic tunes have been brought back and sound great. Like all Smash Bros. before it, Smash Bros. 3DS’ presentation is a love letter to Nintendo and other franchise characters’ fans. There is a lot more retro love shown as well.

Multiplayer

In my time spent with multiplayer(both local and online), I am pleased to say that I encountered little to no lag whatsoever. However, I felt like there could have been more rule customization, would have been nice.

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Overall

Super Smash Bros. 3DS does what you would expect it to. It is the novelty of playing Smash Bros. on the go. It offers up a great amount of content. There is a great deal of depth in characters, but I would have liked to see much more stages. The big trouble with Smash Bros. is that the 3DS just does not do it justice. From a pretty bad circle pad, to the small screen, and everything wrong in between. Smash Bros. 3DS is a good game, but the 3DS limits it. That being said, Smash Run was also a huge miss, even if it were to offer online multiplayer, which it does not. What Super Smash Bros. 3DS does right, above everything else, is increase the anticipation of the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros and honestly, I’m ok with that.
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Hyrule Warriors (Wii U) Review

When the announcement of Hyrule Warriors became public, many who are long time fans of Dynasty Warriors and The Legend of Zelda had some confusion with the crossover title. But for the last year more information and details surface making more people interested in the game. Now Hyrule Warriors has finally been released. Will this title add a new flavor to the Zelda franchise? Or will it be another failed attempt at a cross over game? Let’s find out

Story

The Story of Hyrule Warriors is pretty basic. Cia, a sorceress is seeking the Triforce. Link, Zelda, Impa and Lana are forced to head into battle against the sorceress. During the battle, Cia rips holes in space and time that cause different eras and dimensions of Hyrule collide. The story is fairly basic for a Zelda game, but it gets the job done and offers a lot of Zelda fan service for long time fans of the series.

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Gameplay

As soon as you start up Hyrule Warriors, the game will have you select between a Dynasty Warriors oriented control scheme or traditional Zelda control scheme. I highly recommended the Zelda control scheme and applaud Koei Tecmo Games for giving control styles to please both Dynasty Warriors and Zelda fans.

The Zelda controls mostly play like any 3D Zelda game would, the only real difference being that combat is done via 2 buttons, and not one. The combat is simple enough for Zelda fans (and all newcomers) who may not be used to the hack and slash combat.

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Hyrule Warriors takes place on epic battlefields, but due to the nature of the game it may just feel like a grind to play, as most enemies will be easily dispatched . While this is true, it is also true that the game is simply a ton of fun to play.

Hyrule Warriors offers plenty in the ways of replayability and game time. There is a story mode and the option to replay all of the story missions with different characters. There is also an adventure mode which will have players traveling screen to screen on the map from the original Legend of Zelda.

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Like the Legend of Zelda series, Hyrule Warriors offers collectibles in Heart pieces and containers. There also Gold Skulltulas and spiders that can be killed once certain conditions have been met. The problem with this is that the Skulltulas are only on the map for a very short amount of time. This can be annoying, when in the middle of a battle, you would have to abandon your goal to travel across the map just to not be able to find the Skulltula. This causes it to disappear which by leaving the battle, my forces would be worse off than they were when I first left. This happened a few times to me and I did not enjoy it.

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Hyrule Warriors also has an in game achievement system. These medals can be quite to challenging to acquire but will post on the miiverse plus the sense of accomplishment will have many completionists playing Hyrule warriors for a long time to come.
Each Character in Hyrule Warriors has their own skill tree which contain stat boosts and new combos to use in combat.

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Something that was seriously annoying was the fact that while every characters skill trees are exactly the same, they all must be unlocked separately. It would have been much better to have a universal skill tree, or different trees for each character.

Presentation

Hyrule Warriors is visually and audibly stuffed with Zelda fan service goodies. From major design choices to small little sounds from picking up collectibles, everything is covered in Zelda lore, and I loved it. As a diehard Zelda fan, I deeply enjoyed the world of Hyrule Warriors. The Zelda paint job and fancy steering wheel horn aside, the graphics are colorful and the game runs fairly smooth. Don’t be surprised if you run into the occasional frame rate drop at some points.

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Overall

Hyrule Warriors is truly a special game. It gives a fresh perspective on the Zelda universe. It introduces full scale epic battles to the franchise. The game may feel like a grind at some points and a better skill tree system would have been really cool. The real question is, how does a Non-Nintendo Zelda game fare? Is the game perfect? No, but it doesen’t need to be. It is a truly memorable joy ride, that provides hours of content. It is a lot of fun to play and the rich Zelda lore alone adds so much to the game, that it kept me smiling from start to finish. Dynasty Warriors fans, Zelda fans and anyone looking for a good time should get this game.

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Metro Redux (Xbox One, PS4, PC) Review

In what is becoming a trend in this new generation of consoles, Metro Redux is an upscale and re-release of the cult classic of the Metro Series, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light. How does this re-release fare against it’s previous versions? Or even against other games currently available? Keep Reading to find out.

Story
For an interesting fact, the games are based off of a best selling novel, also called Metro 2033. The plots of Metro 2033 and Last Light take place in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, Russia. In an attempt to escape the nuclear fallout, citizens of Moscow all flee to the underground subway tunnels, also known as the Metro. Metro Redux follows Artyom, a young man with a unique gift that allows him to interact with strange creatures known as the dark ones. Artyom finds himself in a tough predicament, as human factions are on the brink of war, while mutated beasts also try to hunt humans down. All the while, the mysterious Dark Ones are looming in the distance.

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Gameplay

Metro Redux offers some great stealth and action gameplay. The controls are tight and responsive. Different weapons and strategies can be used for different enemies and will cause some serious strategic planning to help make the game easier. The battles are intense, and a pretty good amount of weapons can be chosen to make the game fun to play.

Metro Redux allows a special game mode to increase the challenge and replay ability. This game mode completely gets rid of the HUD (the counters showing ammo, oxygen levels, etc.) and makes ammo more scarce. This mode changes the genre of the game completely. The game goes from action to a survival horror-esque experience, which is a really subtle but cool difference.

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An interesting mechanic that is in the game is it gives players the option of using the in-game currency as more powerful ammo, which can really give players a tough choice to make. One problem with that, selecting it from the menu was frustrating. It would turn itself on and off, while I was trying to do other things in that same menu. It was considerate to try and keep as few menus as possible, but that could lead to confusing moments at times when I was in the middle of tense battles.

Diary collectibles also offer an incentive to replay the game, in order to get them all, to receive trophies and achievements.

Presentation

Metro Redux looks like a high end PC version of Metro 2033 and Last Light. The graphics and sound design are really quite good. The environment is great, which is very fitting due to the fact that at times, the environment, is a character itself.

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Overall

Metro Redux is a great overall collection. At times it feels it is a little rough around the edges, but it was still a joy to play. With two games that have different modes, difficulties, and two different play styles, there is so much to do and replay. It is hard not to argue that the game will give you plenty of hours of entertainment.

The game looks and sounds great, which makes it even better. New comers to the series should definitely consider this. However, returning players could probably skip over this, unless they want revamped graphics.
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GTA 5 for Xbox One and PS4 Will Blow You Away, Take-Two Says

While the holiday season is quickly approaching, bringing many new games with it, it is very hard to overlook the current generation re-release of Grand Theft Auto V. In a recent interview, Take Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said that  “nothing but the very best will satisfy [developer] Rockstar Games.”

“They want to blow consumers away,” Zelnick told MCV. “Whatever the expectation is, they want to exceed it. When you see GTA V on next-gen, I want you to tell me whether it is or isn’t better than your expectation. I can guarantee it will be better.”

GTA V for PC, Xbox One and PS4 promises better visuals, more densely populated worlds, and increased draw distances, among other improvements over the existing Xbox 360 and PS3 versions. Zelnick also stressed that the new versions of GTA V aren’t just quick cash-ins.

“We really are driven by our passion for the business,” he said. “I know it sounds hard to believe from capitalists, which we also are, but what keeps us up at night and gets us here early in the morning and makes us excited, is that we pride ourselves on making the best interactive entertainment in the business.”

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“We are not trying to deliver the minimum acceptable quality and monetize it,” he added. “We are trying to delight consumers and monetize it.”

GTA V launches this fall for Xbox One, PS4, and PC, though a specific release date has not yet been announced. Your existing Xbox 360 or PS3 Grand Theft Auto Online characters will carry forward, regardless of which new platform you play on.