MultiVersus - Before You Buy

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MultiVersus - Before You BuyMultiVersus (PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X/S/One) is a free to play multiplayer brawler that has the typical monetization problems but packs solid gameplay. Let's talk. Subscribe for more: ▼▼ Watch more 'Before You Buy': #multiversus

River City Saga: Three Kingdoms Review – Dynasty Brawlers

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River City Saga: Three Kingdoms takes the familiar characters and art style from the Kunio series--best known for River City Ransom and Super Dodgeball in the West--and applies it to a unique new setting: the Three Kingdoms era of Chinese history. It's an unexpected mash-up, with familiar characters like Kunio, Riki, and Misako playing dress-up as historical figures, and blending the classical story of warring kingdoms with modern-day smack-talk. Similarly, the gameplay is a mixture of eras, blending some modern-day brawler conventions into a game that is decidedly old-school.

The visual style reflects this mixture, with chunky 8-bit-style sprites set against 3D backgrounds and shading techniques. The setting itself makes a very endearing mixture, albeit not the ideal way to learn Chinese history. I went into the game with only a passing familiarity with the Three Kingdoms saga, and while I'm sure I picked up a few broad strokes and overall ideas, it was sometimes hard to discern what was true to the original story and what was the Kunio series riffing with its own personality and jokes. The major characters are mostly lovable, muscley doofs, true to the Kunio series but perhaps less so to Chinese history.

Like River City Ransom, the bulk of the game consists of beating up street punks, or in this case, bandits or opposing factions of warriors. Since you're in a war, you're usually accompanied by one or two allies who fight on their own as well. But River City Ransom was always a loose and goofy brawler. Even in its day, it wasn't as precise as Final Fight, which came out in the very same year. River City Saga fashions itself much more after the River City Ransom style of game, where movement and attacks feel a little more slippery and you're prone to being tossed around by enemy attacks.

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Bear And Breakfast Review - Four Star Stay

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You're getting pretty much exactly what you sign up for with Bear and Breakfast: You're playing as a bear named Hank who opens up several bed and breakfasts to host humans looking for a place to stay. Developer Gummy Cat does sprinkle in a bit of an adventure game in this management sim to act as a narrative backdrop, but Bear and Breakfast's story is simple window dressing for the far more wonderful cycle of building up a lodge, hosting some guests, and then using your hard-earned cash to afford grander renovations. The loop has a satisfying rhythm to it and a challenging complexity as the days roll on and your responsibilities grow, and Bear and Breakfast rewards creative solutions with fulfilling results.

Despite that complexity, you don't need to jump into this game with a degree in design. Bear and Breakfast eases you in, with Hank and his friends simply trying to make a quick buck by transforming a rundown shed into a vacation spot. Making a room to house a guest isn't all that hard, as even the small shed is spacious enough for both a room and your front desk. As you progress, you'll unlock additional locations--like a restaurant off the freeway and two cabins up in the mountains--which are larger and afford you even more space.

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With the increase in size comes an increase in considerations, though. Humans are selfish creatures, with wants and needs that you'll need to account for--failing to do so will mean negative reviews, which will tank your business. Some guests require bathrooms attached to their rooms, while others want free on-site food, a nearby campsite, a fully decked-out movie theater, or heating. These services take up additional space on your property, forcing you to put those Tetris skills to the test and find a means of getting everything to fit and still look nice.

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PowerWash Simulator Review – Filthy Rich

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At one point while playing PowerWash Simulator, I referred to it as time-consuming. I meant this in the context of planning my time to write this review, but it occurred to me that in this case it's also a statement of identity. PowerWash Simulator consumes time--that's just what it does, and what it's meant to do. Like many chore-core games, it exists to be a satisfying activity, not a challenge. That can make it feel tedious and repetitive at times, but taken in small doses, it's a pleasant, low-impact, and very satisfying approximation of cleaning.

As the name suggests, PowerWash Simulator puts you into the rubber galoshes of a burgeoning power-washing business owner in the absolutely disgusting town of Muckingham. Just about everything is covered with a thick layer of grime, and you're just the person to clean up this town. You start with some basic equipment and a dirt-caked business van--your very first job and then a prop at every job site thereafter--and get called to increasingly complex jobs as you develop a loyal clientele.

That may make the story sound more expansive than it actually is. While Muckingham has a good sense of personality thanks to a motley cast of weirdos, we never actually see any of them face to face. All of their dialogue is delivered through messages requisitioning you for jobs or text messages they send while you're in the middle of a job. These are often funny and add a little personality, as they detail everything from interpersonal rivalries to corrupt local politics to conspiracy theories. No one really seems to notice or comment on why the entire town is so absurdly filthy, but the texts sometimes toy with those expectations, seeming to tease some larger or even supernatural force at play and then pulling back toward the mundanity of an especially dirty suburb.

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