Farming Simulator 19
Developer
: Giants Software
Publisher(s):
     -Astragon Entertainment
     -Focus Home Entertainment
     -Excalibur Publishing
Genre: Simulator
Multiplayer Option: Yes
Rating: E
Price: $34.99


I have been a devoted Harvest Moon/Story of Seasons gamer my entire life, and when approached with this game to review I thought, “Heck yea!”, but little did I know… The Farming Simulator franchise has been around since 2008 and seems to be popular enough to warrant multiple games in the series, so it has to be good, right? I was going in completely green when I picked up this game and I thought after my years and countless hours in the aforementioned games that I was prepared for any farming game. Seriously, I was wrong.

Here is the story: Your character basically buys a rundown farm and needs to make something out of it. There are 3 different modes that change the difficulty depending on if the farm is purchased with equipment and some extra spending money, or you completely start from scratch. Before jumping into career mode I thought it prudent to do all the tutorials just to get acquainted with the controls and concepts of the game. I found that the tutorial dialogue was lacking and I had to figure out a lot of things on my own or look up concepts on the internet to figure it all out. After the tutorials I dove into the career mode.

Mode selection is one of the first things you pick, location choices are either some small town USA or German countryside and then character customization. Character designs are really basic and you get to choose from a few facial and hair presets, shirt color and gender preference. This part does not matter in the grand scheme of things, its just an aesthetic. I chose the easiest setting since I’m a noob and was plopped into an average day on the farm, and I chose to have the small hints pop up every now and again to help too. Everything is tedious in this game: to harvesting, plowing, planting, buying and delivering goods, this game is meant to use up time. There are no human interactions that I have seen from NPCs for special events or basic conversations. To explain how bad the tutorials are, I thought that after I harvested my first crop and did all the preparations for the new crop, that I was just supposed to sit there and wait for it to grow again. Unlike Harvest Moon there is no welcoming to town party or a person that shows you around.

Speaking of the surrounding area, the map is not massive in a sense like GTA or the newest Assassin’s Creed game, but when all you have for transportation is a slow moving tractor you feel like you’re not getting anywhere. Do not expect to walk into a building, business or otherwise, and interact with electronics, sit down or purchase anything these actions are all found in the menu.

I never thought that one of the essential tools of the game would not be emphasized like it should have been. There is no need for waiting on the crops to grow because there is a section in the menu for requests for help by the other local farmer NPCs in the area. This is the only time you don’t think you’re alone in the world.  You don’t even have to purchase all the equipment to help either, just rent them and the cost will be taken off the initial reward for the job. There is also a multiplayer portion of the game that allows you to associate online with others for the opportunity to compete or help each other. I did a little research and there are competitions and online forums to meet people and to test your farming knowledge against the best of the best.

Pros
Really decent graphics and detail on the machinery and environment.
Price is low to purchase.
Online multiplayer available.

Cons
No story to keep you going.
Lack of personalization.
Tedious.

Would this be a game that I would recommend to others to buy? No, unless you were a huge fan of the series I would wait for it to be on sale or maybe get it free.

I think there is a lot of places this can improve as a game because the graphics and ability are there. The developers have focused on making the work aspect realistic but there should be a sense of community and story for the character to make the life aspect more realistic. If I was to put more hours in this game, I would want more than to just collect money and buy things, but if that is something that interests others then have at it.

Developer Layopi Games
|Publisher: 1C Company
Genre: Action Adventure
Multi-player: No Multiplayer/No Online
Rating: M
Release Price $34.99
My Price: Free Review Copy

In Devil’s Hunt, you play as Desmond, formerly a rich guy by day and underground Boxing Champion by night.  Now an employee of the Devil, Desmond quickly seeks a guy who may help them win the war, or possibly allow him to break his contract.

The game felt similar to God of War 3 meets Diablo – with less fighting options, characters, combat, etc.  The initial flow felt pretty good, but the enemies were limited.  I got bored of the combat here and there, but some of the boss fights were decent… they just took way too long.

It would have been nice to have an introduction back story on Desmond. You are kind of thrown into the character without any real details to explain who he is and why he’s so rich.  It’d be nice to care more about him.  There also isn’t much replayability on this game.  Once you beat it, you probably won’t pick it up again.  You can beat it in what felt like under 10 hours, and at $34.99 that’s not a bad starting price for a mid-level game.

I didn’t hate the game by any means, and with an initial discount price, they know they aren’t trying to trick you into thinking this is an AAA title.  That being said, there are plenty of better games that go for much less right now (like Diablo or God of War 3 if you haven’t played them) so I would say wait for a sale unless you have an itch to play it.  You may not be disappointed.

Surprise! Surprise!

The Auto Chess battle has begun! Valve, Riots and Epic see in the Auto Chess category a new opportunity to expand their gaming empires. Dota Underlords is Valve’s bet.

Long story, short, Auto Chess was a mod game at Dota 2. Valve tried to partner with Auto Chess developers, didn’t work out for Valve, but it worked out for Epic. Auto Chess became an Epic Store exclusive game and at the same time Valve and Riots launched their own version of the game.

Without due notice, Valve opens Dota Underlords open beta to Dota 2 Battle Pass owners. Couple of days after Teamfight Tactics is launched and as a response Valve distribute 3 spare keys to Battle Pass owners. Gaming subreddits were all about “please, give me a Dota Underlords key!”.

The Partisan Spy had the chance to evaluate Dota Underlords as a Battle Pass owner and there is no doubt Valve is investing money, time and people on this game. This is a FREE multi-platform game with a development level compared to AAA standards.

Biggest surprise about Dota Underlords wasn’t the launch, the gameplay or the marketing stunt. The connection established between players and developers is something rarely seen. Players feedback are being translated to changes at the game which is updated weekly. A nice first step to start building a loyal and lasting community around the game.

The Evaluation

Dota Underlords was the “first” game in many ways for this evaluation methodology. A true test to the methodology as it was created to be applied for every game genre and mode.

The first FREE game to be evaluated.

The first MOBILE game to be evaluated.

The first CARD & BOARD game to be evaluated.

Evaluation results were a boost of confidence that the project is in the correct way and that the methodology variables are well balanced.  

The only questions not answer yet is: are you looking for a brand new game category to play at competitive level? This is a big decision for any gamer and that’s what Dota Underlords is offering you. Before any move, read the evaluation (click on it to see it in more details) it may help you make your decision.

If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch the 25 hours gameplay while The Partisan Spy was evaluating Dota Underlords.

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

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THIS IS WAR! REAL WAR!

As its current state (early access game), Hell Let Loose is one of the most immersive war games we had the chance to play of all time. You are part of army with well-organized hierarchy. This army is divided into squads lead by a commander. To organize this 50 player army there are comms channels: nearby, squad and command channel.

The combination of an intense combat gameplay and constant communication make you feel you are in middle of a real war. If you give a chance to the game and instead of just listening to the comms channel, you chat, obey orders, report intel… deeper you will go into the game and into war!

Another great surprise, for The Partisan Spy about Hell Let Loose is that it honors the EARLY ACCESS term in every way. Since Minecraft success (biggest case on the industry that allowed gamers to play a game while in development) the early access term has been attractive to developers as there are a lot of benefits, biggest ones are:

1. Gamers are more flexible about bugs and broken things

2. Build a community around the game, as (in theory) gamers has an open forum with developers

3. Early monetization of the game

To be an Early Access game (or beta) developers need to deliver at LEAST the core of game. Truth be told, today this is more of an exception than a rule as some developers focus monetization benefit instead of delivering a proper Early Access experience.

So if you want understand what a REAL Early Access game is, play Hell Let Loose.

The Evaluation

Time flew by playing and evaluating Hell Let Loose.

The challenge at this section to explain the new evaluation methodology of games while giving the results. Since the WWZ evaluation we have being adjusting design, wordings and methodology so gamer can better understand it.

Every new game genre, mode or category is a test for the evaluation methodology. To apply the methodology at hardcore PVP game for the first time and see that the results can be equally compared with the previous games evaluations show the maturity of the work.

Small changes on wordings also helped a lot to explain the idea that there is no low or high score on the methodology. The scores represents what each offers to the gamer and this is the reason why at this methodology is fair to compare casual games with hardcore games.

This is something the gaming community don’t have and the today’s game rating system misleads gamers. A casual game can be rated a score of 9, same way God of War can be. Easy to see there is something wrong when it’s put this way, right?

Do you think you have the courage to go to a real war? Are you the one? Before making this decision, read the evaluation (click on it to see it in more details) and don’t risk “head shooting” your money. If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch the gameplay while The Partisan Spy was evaluating Hell Let Loose.

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

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RUN, YES, BUT DO IT WITH OLD STYLE!

Every heavy gamer already had or will have the feeling of “I am tired of all games I play. I need a break, but I still want to play something”. Feels like being at the Limbo, what to do? American Fugitive is your answer!

Easy, chill, lay back, enjoyable game that you can play having a beer and/or chatting with friends. At the same time there is no game pressure, you are killing and beating up people. Does not seem to make sense, but trust it, it is a great time killer.

Set expectations right, this is a PVE casual game, and you will have a great time, as The Partisan Spy did.

The Evaluation

As promised on the last article, the biggest changes done in the last 2 evaluations were in the Score Meter section. Possibly, it is the most important section of the evaluation as reveal its result.

The challenge at this section to explain the new evaluation methodology of games while giving the results. Since the WWZ evaluation we have being adjusting design, wordings and methodology so gamer can better understand it.

The biggest change was on the design aspect, bringing score meters to explain the score system was essential to gamers understand the relation between negative and positive points and how each variable compensate each other.

Small changes on wordings also helped a lot to explain the idea that there is no low or high score on the methodology. The scores represents what each offers to the gamer and this is the reason why at this methodology is fair to compare casual games with hardcore games.

The actual rating systems are unfair to hardcore games when they offer more to gamers and get same scores as casual games.

Wanna a game to chill? No rush, read the evaluation (click on it to see it in more details) before buying American Fugitive and be smart with your money. If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch the gameplay while The Partisan Spy was evaluating American Fugitive.

Watch awesome and funny highlights of the game.

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

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PLAY IT WITH DOUBLE RAGE!

The best thing about Rage 2, has nothing to do with aesthetics, story-line, missions or special powers. The game rewards players that play it with RAGE!

Common mechanics about PVE shooting games: you find a safe spot, peek and shot until everyone is dead. Doing that at Rage 2 is a bit more difficult (but still possible) as enemies advance to your position, but that’s not the point.

If you choose to play it with rage and CHARGE IN with GUNS BLAZING you get all benefits! Practical benefits: collect more feltrite (restore HP and points for upgrades) and fill faster energy booster. Emotional benefit: you will have 10 times more fun!!

This way, being successful or not, you will keep doing it and having a good time.

Best part of going in as a TRAIN out of control are the combos you can make: weapons + special abilities.

“Play it with RAGE and live up to its name!”

The Evaluation

Rage 2 evaluation is solid, brings aspects of the game that no other review in the market gives to gamers. It found common ground with most of the gamers.

The evaluation methodology has grown to a point where redditors (not all of them and there will always be a few) stopped criticizing it. The comments now question the opinion and scores of the game instead of defying the methodology. It’s a good feeling for The Partisan Spy.

Nevertheless, there is still a lot of work to do. Gamer are used to the usual 0 to 10 rating system which is unfair with epic games, as almost every game gets a +7 score, and with gamers that are influenced by “fake” scores.

To help them understand the methodology behind the scoring system were done design changes at that section. Changes that will be better described on our next post.

Do you think you have the necessary rage to play this game? Calm down, read the evaluation (click on it to see it in more details) and be smart on game purchase. If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch the gameplay while The Partisan Spy was evaluating Rage 2.

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

Next following days we will post for you guys the evaluation for American Fugitive, a game inspired on GTA 1 & 2.

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Dawn of Man Game Evaluation Review

Dawn of Man or Beginning of Man

Everyone interested in creating content must have already heard the same advice. Maybe not with the exact same words, but always repeated by the Content Generation Community.

Whatever you plan on doing set no expectations of success.

Find something original and that you love doing it.

This way, being successful or not, you will keep doing it and having a good time.

If you are having fun, does it matter how many people are watching you?

The feeling of finding THE content you love to produce must be surely incredible. That is what The Partisan Spy felt after finishing his first game evaluation.

Coincidence or not, the first game The Partisan Spy work on is called Dawn of Man. The game simulates the beginning of mankind and all challenges our ancestors had to face. The beginning of a beautiful journey that we lived today.

That was the start of The Partisan Spy content project. A small sand grain when compared to the meaning of Dawn of Man, but for sure a symbolic start for this new journey.

The Evaluation

First of anything is a mix of fear and excitement. Weeks of methodology and design planning exposed to be judge by fearless redditors.

Plan, do it, learn…

Plan again, do it again, learn again…

Plan again and again and again…

This is the pattern of developing and perfecting an evaluation methodology, as is the challenge of Dawn of Man. A simulation game for gamer that love to learn patterns and plan future moves.

If you are into logic and thinking games Dawn of Man can be your next challenge as it also brings different levels of difficulty. But before making your decision, check the evaluation (click on it to see it in more details) and don’t stop at the evaluation if you have questions about the game:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch The Partisan Spy gameplays.

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

Coming up next: RAGE 2 evaluation made by The Partisan Spy!

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Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Game Evaluation Review

A BIG DECEPTION

Some gamers have a big resistance about oriental games, its not
The Partisan Spy case. Love for Mario Bros and Street Fight franchises back then made him extremely receptive to games coming from the other side of the world. Known by most, Dissidia Final Fantasy NT was developed by Team Ninja, a Japanese game developer.

As big as Final Fantasy franchise is, expectations will always be high. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT carry its name and was a great deception.

Alpha, beta, early access. All these terms allows games to be incomplete. That was not the case of Dissidia Final Fantasy NT. Furthermore, if a game use these terms, gamers should be smart enough to only play it if it is offered free access.

“I believe that if you pay for a game, the game should be 100% ready. I see no one buying a car and after the purchase, being communicated that the tires will come along later.”

The Partisan Spy

Dissidia crashed a lot and it was a general problem for numerous gamers.

Dissidia is a PVP based game that took 10-15min to find matches that last 5 to 7 minutes.

Dissidia led gamer to believe there was a story mode (PVE) on the game and there wasn’t.

The Evaluation

The great thing about this evaluation is that has shown there is limit. The methodology allows stopping to play unplayable games and impacts on the final result. (read here to understand full story).

If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch The Partisan Spy gameplays.

Coming up next: the first evaluation made by The Partisan Spy!

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

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The Division 2 Game Evaluation Review

A NEW LEGACY BEING BUILD

What a game review! The Division 2 is the attempt to elevate its brand in the gaming community to a “cultural flag”. Some speak and live it as a reality already and there is no reason to deny The Division is on its way to compete with big titles as COD and Borderlands.

It’s a straight forward game to understand. RPG + Open World + Shooting game. If you are into this genre and don’t bother with a bit of grinding, The Division 2 will give you hundreds of hours of fun and a huge gaming community to share experiences.

The Evaluation

As the first big title to run through The Partisan Spy evaluation, it helped the process by setting new standards to the methodology. (read here to understand full story).

The Division 2 was a big test on how many hours of gameplay the evaluation should have. The Partisan Spy played the game for 50 hours to understand how far he should go and still be productive.

It was also a test to the Mood Tracker concept “Lovers & Likers”, which with redditors inputs evolved to a different graph style showing information more accurately. (see on this article how the Mood Tracker changed)

Are you a RPG + Open World + Shooting game lover? Are you searching for a gaming community to be part of? Read the evaluation and maybe you will find the game you are searching for (click on it to see it in detail)!

If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Watch The Partisan Spy gameplays.

Coming up next days: other 2 evaluations from The Partisan Spy!

Hear the latest Backlog Podcast where we talk to The Partisan Spy about his evaluation methodology and much more!

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Outward Game Evaluation Review

A GAME FOR THE STRONG

Are you the type of gamer that want to sit, chill and play an easygoing game? This game evaluation will show why you should KEEP AWAY from Outward.

This game was developed to kick you out from your comfort zone, to challenge your “gaming benchmark” and to make you learn by failing. Die, die, die and die again…

The pleasure of Outward is at the end of the journey and not at the beginning of the game. You get tired first to have satisfaction after. Hold on, be strong, learn the game and when you master it, the joy will be immeasurable.

The Evaluation

Outward evaluation reveals to gamers all aspects of the game in-depth. As you read, it will give you key information to make a decision on buying or not the game.

For The Partisan Spy this work was a huge step towards building an open evaluation methodology and rethinking the scoring system.

For gamers the concept of “Potential Hours of Fun” was extremely abstract and extrapolate hours as a way to estimate the final result was understood by few. While we still believe in the concept, we decided to safe it to a future with more data to support it.

At the first post of this series you will find the full story of this project and see how the evaluation methodology is progressing (read here to understand full story).

Finally, are you strong enough as player to challenge Outward? Don’t forget to read the evaluation and find out (click on it to see it in detail).

If you have questions about the game, don’t stop at the evaluation:

Watch the gameplay while The Partisan Spy was evaluating Outward.

Make comments below and chat with us or The Partisan Spy.

Coming up next days: other 3 evaluations from The Partisan Spy!  

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