Archives August 2023

Quantum: Recharged

Quantum: Recharged

The folks at Atari are back with another Recharged title, giving it a much needed facelift and marketing it towards newer players. That game is Quantum: Recharged.

Atari have redesigned quite a few of their games under the Recharged label, the latest of which is Quantum: Recharged. You fly a ship with a tail of sorts that leaves a trace behind you and if you cross the trace, creating a loop, it creates a destructive void that will destroy enemy ships. Additionally the game comes with a mission mode that challenges and refines your skills as your progress.

The controls are smooth as hell. I’ve never played a game before where your control of the ship was so well defined you could literally thread a needle with it. This is the first. Can’t tell you how many close calls I had that thanks to the controls I was able to avoid danger. The ships and powerups were quite simple in appearance but the overlay or HUD for the game was incredibly crisp. This game is another example of why you shouldn’t be sleeping on Atari’s Recharged titles. Now if only I could actually get good at the game, then I might make it to the end. It’s time to practice some more.

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara

Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is not the first title from Chibig to feature the world of Mara and I suspect it won’t be the last.

Mara is the name of the ocean surround the islands where each story takes place from the many games that Chibig have released. Koa and the Five Pirates of Mara is the latest of these titles. You play as Koa as she arrives on one of the islands, following a summons for help against pirates. After arriving you quickly learn that the things the pirates have taken are to be used in a contest of champions styled event involving racing and platforming and more.

Visually the graphics are clean and coupled with fluid controls it looks and feels like I’m playing not just a AAA title but akin to Super Mario 3D World. Controls feel like those classic adventure world games like the more recent Mario titles or Banjo-Kazooie and others like that. The story could be more engaging but is about on par the other mentioned adventure titles and feels like the perfect complexity for younger players. This would be a great title for the little ones to play or to watch as you played. Overall I had a blast and was quite impressed with the quality of the game.

Sephonie from Ratalaika Games has arrived on consoles


Ratalaika Games have ported over another game that was originally a PC release, this time with Sephonie, a gem developed by Analgesic Productions.

Sephonie follows three scientists from all over the world as they head to the island of the same name. As they approach the island they are greeted by a wave of energy, distorting their signals and washing them up on shore. A chaotic way to start the adventure for sure. The goal of your trio is to research the odd behavior in the local wildlife and immediately learn that it is happening to the bacteria as well when a member of the team begins having a strange reaction to an injury caused by coral.

The game focuses on pushing these researchers to their limits by testing them with physical challenges as well as twisting their dreams against them. Analgesic and Ratalaika have made this a near perfect port as controls are fluid and easy to learn. The platforming aspect of the game is pretty simple to grasp early on but increase in complexity as you progress. Visuals are clean as is the audio but I would have preferred if there were some voices for the characters- you can get so much more out of a character’s emotions or feelings by listening to them. Listening sure beats reading a ton of dialogue, especially when you’re a little tired. Curious to see where the story goes but I hope it’s not as dialogue heavy as the start of the game was.

Where the game shines most is the puzzle system. You play Tetris-like game mode to learn about different things in nature where you place various shapes made of blocks together. When you run out of pieces to place or run out of room to place them you have every set of blocks that touch that are the same color, as long as there are at least three, vanish and fill up the bar. Your goal is to completely fill the bar to complete your task. Trying to plan ahead and fill the bar leads to an engaging experience that makes the game worth playing for this alone.

CATCHING UP ON MOVIES- Disney Studios pt11

Disney Studios


Recently the fine folks at Disney Studios (their home page is here) had sent me codes to several of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on them with you. With Part 1 we were taking a look at the live action version of Mulan. Part 2 discussed Soul and Raya and the Last Dragon. Part 3 looked at the live action story of Cruella. Part 4 discussed Luca and Part 5 talked about Jungle Cruise. Part 6 discussed Encanto and Part 7 talked about Turning Red. Part 8 covered Lightyear and Part 9 with Strange World. Part 10 talked about Mickey & Minnie 10 Classic Shorts – Volume 1 and we are back for Part 11 with The Little Mermaid and Elemental!

The Little Mermaid

The live action version of The Little Mermaid had more publicity over the race of the Lead Actress than anything else I saw and was absolutely ridiculous. The only thing that race affected anything in the story was that each of King Triton’s daughters represented a different see and their individual appearances resembled that. This was also the same in the original animated film and each of the daughters looked perfect, even Ariel herself. Some of the songs were updated to better fit with more modern sensitivities accounted for and other songs were removed. This is where our only complaint comes in- the song where Chef Louie is trying to cook Sebastian was removed. That is one of both mine and my wife’s favorite scenes from the original film. My wife’s expectations for this film were quite high but based on previous live action version my expectations were somewhere between low and high- medium I guess would be the best word for it. Other than our favorite song being missing, neither of us were disappointed. Visually the film was stunning and as a whole was one of, if not, the best live action adaptation we’ve had yet.


Following the story of a family of immigrants in a world where every person are made of elements and centering around the family’s daughter, Ember. Growing up her family talked about her talking over the business but due to damage caused by her rage she starts on a quest to protect the business and undo her mistakes. The film is full of examples of racism and bigotry, focusing on rising above in most cases. I thought the way they handled racism was done in a way that kids could understand easily and do it in a way that didn’t belittle the experiences of those that had gone through them. The film was quite brilliant and visually stunning.

Have you had a chance to see either of these releases from Disney Studios?

Terminal Velocity Boosted Edition

Terminal Velocity

Known for both new titles and revitalizing old ones, Ziggurat have brought another game back from the vaults- Terminal Velocity: Boosted Edition.

Terminal Velocity is a flight simulator where combat and tunnel maneuvering are the main focus. Using the Infernal Engine, Ziggurat have not only restored the classic but expanded on the mechanics as well. In what feels like the spiritual lovechild between Starfox 64 and Descent, players fly a high speed craft through tunnels and over the surface in search of targets.

It has been more than a few years since I played a flight simulator of any sort and this one stood apart from those I had played. There isn’t must story to speak of and the visuals were mediocre by today’s standards. That is to say that they didn’t receive much improvement if any to the graphics for this game. Controls were fluid and intuitive.

I would have liked to see improved graphics instead of a title that looked like it was already on the low end during Windows 95 and some sort of story involving voice actors so you didn’t need to look away from the action. With the perfection that were the controls, fast paced gameplay and engaging gameplay though I had a good amount of fun and would absolutely play this again, even with it’s many failings.

Garlic from Sylph has arrived on Xbox One!


Garlic is a game about much more than delicious ingredients, this vegetable is on a mission to scale the tower and see the Goddess again.

The team at Sylph have recently released Garlic on the Xbox One and was previously available on Steam back in 2021. Your goal is to scale a platforming riddled tower to reach the top where you will be able to seduce a cyber goddess at the top. Traps range from jets of flame, dripping toxic waste and even flying fish. Garlic himself quickly picks up the skills needed to fly from platform to platform and the ability to launch in any direction.

Playing as the “onion headed boy” you go from room to room, launching yourself through enemies and around obstacles, climbing ever higher. The platforming itself is challenging but at the same time a lot of fun. Even the bosses give you a decent challenge but are still enjoyable to face. As with any platforming game, some levels are harder than others and larger as well.

The art style is comical as you play a ronin-esque fighter with an anime cinematic style and an enormous head that is also a vegetable. During the gameplay itself though it is similar to what we saw in the days of the GameBoy Advanced but with more vibrant color choices. The gameplay though was so much fun. I’m terrible at platformers, especially ones that are a bit chaotic and this one is VERY chaotic. Despite it being full of mechanics I am terrible at, it has proven itself to be a great game that I look forward to climbing that tower even more.

Star Trek Adventures Shackleton Expanse and Lower Decks

Star Trek Adventures

Modiphius continues their support for the Star Trek Adventures Role-Playing Game with the Shackleton Expanse and Lower Decks!

Star Trek Adventures is back with two more expansions in quick succession, so quick in fact that we hadn’t had time to film the first book before the second arrived. That meant we filmed them together! If you want to check out our first impressions head over to the Table Talk Games YouTube channel. Those expansions themselves are The Shackleton Expanse and Lower Decks, both from Modiphius Entertainment. Modiphius is most known for their creation and mastery of the 2D20 system where EVERY action requires rolling two twenty side die.

Mechanically the game plays nearly identically to the Dune Roleplaying Game that we recently discussed. Only real difference is the world for the game itself and the layout of the books. Where the game system is the same they also both offer immersive worlds where even the books follow this methodology. The book’s layout amazingly looks like the controls on the Starfleet ships themselves, drawing you in further to the world.

Lower Desks is geared towards lower level players which makes sense considering the characters are meant to be lower ranked in the show. Shackleton Expanse focuses on higher level missions in an uncharted corner of the galaxy and in terms of content is the far superior book to add to the core rules. Either way, both are great additions to the game and each are worth the near $60 price tag on them!

Dune Roleplaying Game from Modiphius Entertainment


On the heels of the cinematic masterpiece that is the first volume of Dune from Warner Brothers, Modiphius has released a new Roleplaying Game within that world.

Modiphius Entertainment are most known for their creation and mastery of the 2D20 system where EVERY action requires rolling two twenty side die. They have taken that system and applied it to the world of Dune and Arrakis. Do you ride the sandworm? Roll 2D20. Are you wearing your moisture suit properly? Roll another 2D20. The system makes for a more cost effective experience while simple mechanics make it easier to learn. My favorite aspect of the 2D20 system is that it makes the focus more the story you are telling together instead of how you complete a task.

The world of Dune is one created with so much depth that jumping into it can be overwhelming. The roleplaying game is just as rich, pulling from all of the books to develop the world. The sheer amount of information contained within the core rulebook was enough for even me to look at it and say, “whoa, that’s a lot to read”. Seriously, I said that.

The thickness of the tome isn’t daunting, not like a Game of Thrones novel would be. The words aren’t even tiny themselves, there’s just a lot per page. That being said though, there needs to be metric ton of information contained to build the world right. It’s unreasonable to expect every player to have read every book in the franchise like I have. This is how you convey what’s important without forcing players to read more than a dozen novels. Add all of the sourcebooks and campaign books and at a glance it’s a bit much.

In Summary-

The mountain of information simply makes sense when you take a simple rules set and combine it the vast lore of Frank Herbert’s most famous world. The production quality is some of the best I’ve seen from a roleplaying game. Between hand drawn/painted images, highly detailed maps and a plethora of lore there is enough here to make a diehard fan of the franchise excited, even if they don’t play it. The game system is designed for easier play which in turn makes for a more cinematic experience. Add to that the fact that you can play this game using any point in the timeline, you have a game that is a must for replaying and Dune fans alike!

I can’t wait to see what other sourcebooks get released. Specifically I hope we see some centered around individual great houses so that we can have more dedicated details for some of them. The top houses and groups I’d like to see more from would be IX, Atreides and Harkonnen of course, but also the Tleilaxu. However the sourcebook I want to see the most would be centered around the Jihad era. I want to specifically engage with or play as the Cymek. I’d even kill for an army based tabletop game like A Song of Ice and Fire or The Lord of the Rings that puts the Cymek against the Butlerian Jihad. Please make this happen Modiphius. The time is right for this to finally work too! What forces would you like to play?

Amnesia: The Bunker

Amnesia: The Bunker

The team at Frictional Games bring the latest in their Amnesia series and first person horror with Amnesia: The Bunker!

Amnesia: The Bunker is the fourth full title in the Amnesia series from Frictional Games and takes place at the earliest point in the timeline, centered around World War I. Each game features a protagonist that suffers from Amnesia and is chased by some sort of evil entity. The atmosphere is a bit muted to start as you wander the trenches until the guns start firing around you, which adds to the realism.

Gameplay and premise remind me of a recently covered indie title called Trenches. I wonder which was in development first? Based on the official release dates Trenches was first but the world of Amnesia has been around much longer so it’s quite possible The Bunker was in predevelopment before Trenches was. My Google-fu was not able to identify the true order of development and without reaching out to the devs directly we’ll likely never know.

As I mentioned there are a few similarities. Both center around the trenches of World War I where some otherworldly evil chases you. Visually The Bunker is the superior title but when it comes to the ambiance Trenches has it beat! Trenches also wins in overall creepiness factor, specifically because of their use of audio and unnerving visuals with those creepy dolls all over the place. The experience between the two felt nearly identical but Amnesia: The Bunker had a lot more polish.




Recently the fine folks at Marvel Entertainment (their home page is here) had sent me a code to one of the movies I missed so that I could share my thoughts on it with you. This will be a regular series and Part 1 we talked about Black Widow. Part 2 discussed Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Part 3 shared our thoughts on Eternals and straight to DVD release Spidey and his Amazing Friends. Part 4 focused on Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Part 5 discussed Thor: Love and Thunder. Part 6 shared Black Panther Wakanda Forever and Part 7 talked about our thoughts on Ant-Man and the Wasp Quantumania. We are back with Part 8 and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3!

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3

This is the final installment of the franchise, at least that will be directed by James Gunn. The story centers around an attack that puts Rocket into a coma where his friends discover the fail-safes in place on his body. In order to save him these need to be removed and in order to do so they must track down the people responsible for putting them there. I have seen many of Gunn’s films and every Marvel film of the current cinematic universe and I must say that Volume 3 made me feel more than any other in either category. The writing, the direction, everything about this film was fantastic. Even Chris Pratt gave a performance light years better than I thought he was capable of. Even the twist at the end with Groot left me shocked and provided further proof that Gunn is the best director and writer that we have seen in the MCU.