Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Ranked Game Mode Review

Rainbow Six Siege is famously known for taking elite military forces and joining them together to compete against one another. The game is a first-person shooter, that allows players to compete in a five on five, simulation-based game mode. The player chooses from a wide variety of operators, each selected from the highest-ranking military task forces from around the world. Each team is either defending or attacking a certain objective. whether it be saving a hostage, defusing a bomb, or securing an area, each team must your strategy and teamwork to win the game.

I have been playing Rainbow Six Siege for a while now, and have gotten pretty good at the game. Due to the quarantine, my friends and I have decided to play the competitive playlist. This game mode is for the players that want a true challenge. Only the best of the best will compete in ranked games, and the amount of concentration is usually doubled in these games. The ranking system is very simple and easy to understand. You and your team will play ten ranked games, in each game going up against different teams with different skill levels. After you complete all of the placement matches, you and your team will be placed into a skill level, depending on how many kills, and wins, you got in the ten placement matches.

After playing the ten placement matches, the player can continue to play ranked games. This means that they will have a chance to get a higher rank then what they were placed in. But the player must be careful because if they lose too many games they could drop lower than what was given to them.

Overall, my Rainbow Six Siege ranked experience was fun, exciting, and frustrating all at the same time. I still enjoyed my time in the ranked game mode, and I am going to go back and play it as soon as aI can.

-Daniel C.

Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp Game Review

As a kid, I always used to play Nintendo games on my gaming consoles. Whether it be Super Smash Brothers or Super Mario, I fell in love with the Nintendo world. When I discovered that an Animal Crossing game was coming to mobile devices, I was very excited to see how Nintendo would execute such a large task. When I downloaded the game, I was pleasantly surprised, and immediately became nostalgic. As I completed the tutorial, classic Animal Crossing music began to play, and characters new and old started to introduce themselves. I realized that Nintendo had once again executed an amazing video game.

The object of the game is very simple and resembles a lot of the other Animal Crossing games. The player goes around the map, meeting new animal friends. The player does certain quests for said animals, and in the process, they will level up their friendships with each animal. After a certain level is reached with each animal, the player will invite their friends to their campsite. The campsite itself is the home base for the player. Each campsite is different based on the player’s style, and it can become whatever the player wants it to be. You can even change the background, foreground, fences, etc to truly make it your own.

The mobile game also includes side objectives, such as fishing, catching bugs, and crafting new outfits. These all take time, and the player is going to need materials to do these objectives, such as steel and wool. Another cool addition to the game is the Cabin and camper. Both of these locations serve as smaller campsites. Because the campsite can’t house all of your animal friends, the Cabin holds the excess animals. On top of that, you can customize the furniture in the cabin, making the animal’s hang out location interesting.

When a player is waiting for new animals, or they are low only supplies, they can complete map quests that will help them gain more materials and animals. These map quests cost coins and supplies, and in return, the player will receive a large number of different materials. If a player ever becomes bored, they can always enter fashion and design contests. These require a player to own certain outfits or furniture pieces, and the player must lay out the pieces in front of a group of judges. If the player successfully passes the test, they will receive new outfits and clothing pieces.

Overall, I really enjoyed Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. I thought that Nintendo did a great job converting the original and classic Animal Crossing games to the mobile device. The game itself is simple, fun, and addicting, and it’s one of the few mobile games that you don’t grow tired of.

-Daniel C.

Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition Game Review

Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition, developed by Snowhound games and produced by 1C Entertainment, is an exciting and unique RPG tactics game. With the use of card game combat and a beautiful yet simple comic book aesthetic, Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition stands out as a new and upcoming role-playing game. As the player follows their team through outer space, they will explore multiple spacecraft, as well as encounter a large assortment of enemies. Throughout their journey, the player will unlock new abilities for each of their characters and will find new items along the way that will either help or hinder them.

The first thing that I noticed when I started playing Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition was the amazing and stunning graphics! The aesthetics themselves reminded me of an older style comic book, especially with the added speech and action bubbles. During fights between characters, the attention to detail in each sequence was also very impressive and clean. Due to the card game playing style, the game itself seemed to operate at a slower pace. I feel like this fits well with the game because the player was able to take in more information without becoming confused or feeling rushed.

As for the combat itself, I personally enjoyed the fight sequences very much. Each player’s team is comprised of three characters, each with a special set of skills and strengths. On my team, I assigned the Brawler, who did most of the fighting; the Healer, who healed his fellow teammates; and the Technician, who assisted the team in combat by giving him and his teammates power-ups. I like how an individual can customize each of their teams to their specific playstyle. This can keep the game interesting and exciting for everyone. There is also a huge variety in the different types of enemies that a player can face. Ranging from a floating eye to an evil janitor, each enemy has a certain skill and fighting style that the players must counter.

Another interesting aspect of Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition was the energy point system. When the player moves around the spaceship, scans for loot, and battles enemies, a certain amount of energy is consumed. After a while, the player will need to return to their base, or their teams will start to lose their shields, weapons, and life support. This danger makes the player think about each of their choices and strategies.

Overall, I personally really enjoyed Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition. I thought the graphics and looks of the game were fantastic and beautiful, as well as unique. On top of that,  the action sequences were very exciting, and fun to experience. The ability to customize your teams and weapons was a great touch. The diversity of enemies that the player had to face as well as the energy point system was challenging. All in all, I would award Deep Sky Derelicts: Definitive Edition a score of nine out of ten.

-Daniel C.

Warhammer Underworlds: Online Review

When I launched my copy of Warhammer Underworlds: Online, I was surprised to find myself playing a tabletop card game, on my computer. This ambitious, strategy game made and produced by Steel Sky Productions gave me the need to pull out an old board game and play it with my friends. Using cards, characters, dice, magic items, etc. Warhammer Underworlds: Online represents the iconic tabletop RPG game.  The concept is quite simple, use magical characters and powerups to your advantage to get the upper hand on your opponent. But, there are multiple factors that can easily turn the tide of the battle, such as objectives, special moves, and the overall skill of the player.

The first thing that I noticed when I launched the game was the wide variety of warriors you could unlock. There were a large number of factions and warriors. There are three starter decks, each from a different faction. The humans, otherwise known as Steelheart’s champions. The monsters, known as Magore’s fiends. And finally, the skeletons, or the sepulchral guard. Each faction had a certain amount of warriors that did a certain amount of damage. Each faction had its own set of skills and objectives the player needed to complete. The player can also make their own army and faction, depending on what the player unlocks. You can also assign different skills and objectives to each of your armies.

As for gameplay, the producers really pulled it off. The graphics are quite good, and the animations of each character are very well done. The player can move around the board and change the camera angle, and it feels likey you are playing star wars hologram chess. The attacks are based on dice, and depending on which player roles a higher number,  the attack will either be successful or not. In each match, the player is trying to capture and complete objectives, which will give them objective points. Whoever has the most points at the end of the game is the winner. In between each attack, players from both sides can use power-up cards that can aid them in battle. Some examples are boosts in damage, speed, etc. This is a great addition, due to it letting each side a fair chance of winning.

I did have some problems with the game. When I first launched Warhammer Underworlds: Online, there was no tutorial or instructions on how to play. I had to find the tutorial options, which was not hard but still was slightly confusing. I realize this game is still in early access, but there was no sound at all. At first, I thought my PC was acting up, but other games had sound. I then went into settings and realized the soundbar was turned down low, so I put it to max volume. The game still did not have sound, and I think this is a major problem since music and sound effects add a lot to a game. As for multiplayer, I could not find an online game, but I am sure that is because it is in early access, and online game issues s will not be a thing. Other than that, I found Warhammer Underworlds: Online to be a really enjoyable strategy game. I think playing with friends and challenging each other to a duel could be really exciting, and I can not wait to see where this game goes.

-Daniel C.

Curse of the Dead Gods Review

Curse of the Dead Gods, produced by Focus Home Interactive, is an exciting new third-person adventure game. As you follow an exotic adventurer journey through ancient temples, you will face multiple traps, enemies, and challenges. You can unlock certain abilities, as well as different weapons that can help you in your challenges. You can mix and match different combinations of the weapons to give you the best advantage against the enemies. The game also implements a new and interesting concept known as corruption.

The first thing that caught my eye was the combat, as well as the animation. Both are extremely clean and are very, very high quality. As the player switches from their torch, to their weapon, darkness surrounds them and the enemies start swarming. As the players start to wipe out the foes, more and more start to appear. The players must be extremely careful because if they take damage, they can not recharge their health. If a player dies, they must restart from the beginning of the map, and work their way through the entire temple again.

The enemies themselves are very interesting. From monsters that have simple melee attacks to giant monsters that have giant war hammers and floating heads, the variety is endless. This large amount of adversaries keeps the game interesting, as well as challenging. The player will also run into multiple traps. These can harm the players in multiple ways, such as poisoning them, catching them on fire, and stabbing them. Both of these challenges can totally change what the player needs to do.

To help counter these problems, the player is given a wide variety of weapons. The player is provided with a sword, revolver, and torch at the beginning of the game. They can then unlock a broad assortment of weapons through chests as well as through enemies that will drop them. There are certain weapons that work better against different enemies, such as the battle hammer that is efficient against large groups.

The most interesting concept of this game is the curses and corruption. When a player completes each level, they will get a certain amount of points that count towards corruption. When they reach 100 points, they will receive a certain “curse” that can either help or hinder them. This is a really interesting concept, but I do not think players should be punished just because they finish a mission.

Overall, I really enjoyed Curse of the Dead Gods. I really enjoyed the combat and customization options, and I think that for an early access game, Curse of the Dead Gods is really well produced. This game reminded me of the old arcade games that I used to spend hours playing. I feel that when the game has new temples and maps released, I will definitely play more of the game. I can’t wait to see what the producers have in mind for the game, and I believe the game will become one of my favorites!

-Daniel C

Spaceland Review

Spaceland, produced by Tortuga Team, is a dynamic strategy game. It follows the old school tactical game genre which requires skill as well as planning. The story follows a team of desperate fighters that have crash-landed on a mysterious planet. You need to help these heroes fight their way through dangerous monsters and enemies to help them discover the secrets of the perplexing world. The game has multiple types of enemies, objectives, weapons, and heroes. Each hero can help out the team in different ways.  You can mix and match different heroes with each other to make the most powerful and optimal teams for each mission.

The actual game itself is very simple. Your team is assigned a certain mission, and once you complete that mission you go onto the next quest. Each of these missions does not take too long, and you are usually trying to complete an objective such as rescuing a soldier or destroying a monster. The controls for the game are also quite simple. There are a certain amount of moves that each hero has, as well as a certain amount of ammo and health. Throughout the missions, you can move your character across the game grid. After you use a certain amount of moves, the enemies have a chance to move around the board and attack you. This forces players to tactfully move around the map, watching the different opponents and their movements. The graphics of Spaceland are also quite simple but are very clean. They are both cartoonish and futuristic, giving off a chill, relaxed, vibe.

On top of different objectives and controls, there is also a wide variety of heroes that you can unlock. You can unlock heroes throughout the 28 missions in the game. Each of these heroes has special abilities such as grenades, automatic rifles, etc. These special powers are quite valuable during different missions. The broad assortment of heroes also brings a large range of weaponry to the game. Snipers, shotguns, assault rifles, are just a few examples of the collection in the weapon inventory. Each weapon also has a different rate of fire, damage, range, etc. This diversity can lead to a great amount of customization and creativity in tactics as well as teams.

Overall, I enjoyed Spaceland made by the Tortuga Team. The simple but yet classic tactic game really was nostalgic for me, especially since I played a lot of those games when I was younger. There were some improvements that could be added to enhance the game. When you first start the game, there is no option to adjust the screen stretch of the game, so the game did not fully fit my TV screen, not allowing me to see what was at the bottom of the screen. Also, there was not a tutorial at the beginning of the game, but that was ok because of the simple and easy controls. The final adjustment I would make is to add a multiplayer option of some sort. I found that some of the missions were somewhat repetitive, so the game could become boring at some point. Besides those few minor improvements, I really enjoyed Spaceland and would rate it a 9/10.

-Daniel C.

Wrath: Aeon of Ruin Game Review

When I first started Wrath: Aeon of Ruin made by KillPixel, I immediately got 90’s run and gun vibes. The game is very similar to Doom, Quake, etc. A reason for this is due to the fact that Wrath is a modified and upgraded version of the Quake engine ( a certain gaming engine that powered the game Quake.) The game itself is quite simple and there are only two main goals, killing monsters and making it to the end checkpoint alive. Throughout different missions, the player will encounter a wide variety of enemies, weapons, consumables, items, and maps.

As for enemies, there is a huge variety ranging from slow-moving weak units named Fallen, to quick flying enemies that fire blue orbs of energy known as Afflicted, and many more. This variety of enemies keeps each new level exciting and challenging. Players do not know what enemies they will be facing and must adapt and evolve based on certain enemies.

At the beginning of the game, your character only starts off with a small wrist knife. As your character goes through upgrades and progressions, so does your arsenal. Throughout the different missions, players can scourge the map and unlock new and improved weapons. At the time of the early access, there were five weapons in total that could be used. Each of these weapons had their own strengths and weaknesses. The shotgun was great at up close and personal encounters but lacked in range. The fang spitter had an insanely fast firing speed but was very weak against tougher enemies. This leads to players using a wide variety of weapons in each level.

In most video games, there is usually a large number of items or consumables the player can use. Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is no exception. There is a huge variety of these items that the player can use to give themselves a certain advantage in the game. Some examples are the vials of life that give players health, shotgun shells, as well as fangs that can be used as ammunition for your character’s weapons. These consumables can either be found randomly on the ground or off of the bodies of fallen foes. The game also uses a unique respawning system based off of a certain item players pickup called Soul Tethers. These items allow players to place down a marker surrounded by a white aura. If the player were to die, they would have the choice to respawn at the beacon. The player would then be teleported back to the exact time they placed down the tether. This concept was confusing at first, especially since there was no explanation, but most players could get the hang of it eventually.

As for maps, there are three total realms with several missions in each realm. This variety gives the game a good amount of locations, but it does not have enough to confuse the players. This wide variety of maps gives the players the feeling of freedom and allows players to free roam.

Overall, I feel that Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is a simple throwback shooter. The game may lack an actual story, but it makes up for it in action. If you are looking for an easy and fun shooter, Wrath: Aeon of Ruin is a great choice.

Rating:8/10

-Daniel C.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Recently, I read Golden Son written by Pierce Brown. I really enjoyed this book and I am currently reading the third book in the series. The story is set in the future, when mankind has evolved. Now, humans are split into different levels, based off of the color of their skin. The story takes place right after Red Rising and still follows Darrow. He is getting closer and closer to his goal. In this novel, Darrow is having trouble getting the golds to start a civil war.

I chose this excellent book for many reasons. Overall, the book is well written. It has a good mix of action and suspense. One thing I liked about Golden Son was the relationship between Darrow and the Belonna family. Going off of the first book, Darrow and Cassius still have a vendetta.  One of my favorite parts of the book was when Cassius and Darrow finally meet after two years. Darrow challenges Cassius to a duel, and of course Cassius accepts. Cassius is known for being good at dueling, so he is over confident. At first, Darrow acts very bad at dueling, building up Cassius’s confidence. Then, Darrow pulls out all of his tricks. He tells Cassius that he has been training everyday for this moment. He easily beats Cassius, cutting off his arm, and starting a civil war, starting his goal. Overall, I would rate this book nine out of ten, and would recommend this to any middle-schoolers and up.

-Daniel C.

Golden Son by Pierce Brown is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Red Rising, written by Pierce Brown, was the last book that I finished before President’s Holiday. The story follows Darrow, a brave and loyal Red. Reds are the lowest “color” in the futuristic society of humans. The story follows Darrow’s adventures in becoming a Gold ( the highest ranking color) and destroying the rulers of the unfair Society form the inside.

Once a Gold, Darrow goes to an academy where all other Golds attend. There, they learn to fight, command fleets, etc. Darrow hopes to graduate, become a well known and trusted fleet leader, and eventually destroy the Society. At the academy, the students are split into houses, each named after a Greek god. Then all of the houses are put against each other in an all-out war; the winning house will then graduate. In the end, Darrow’s house wins, and one of the most powerful leaders of the Society decides to train him in becoming a fleet leader.

All in all, I thought that Red Rising was really good. There was a good mix of intense violence and strategy. The house wars reminded me of a mix of Hunger Games and Harry Potter. Currently, I am reading the sequel to Red Rising and it seems really good! Overall, I would rate the book a strong nine out of ten and would recommend the book to any middle schooler.

-Daniel C.

The Red Rising series by Pierce Brown is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Dragon Bones by Lisa McMann

The last book I finished before my winter break was Dragon Bones, part of the The Unwanteds Quest Series written by Lisa McMann. The story follows two young twins, Thisbe and Fifer. Thisbe has been captured by the evil Reviner and must be rescued. The story follows both girls, switching perspectives and showing the reader the struggles of both girls.

The climax of the story is when Fifer gathers a group of her friends, who try to find and rescue Thisbe. Everything is going as planned until the gang encounters the Reviner. Alex, Fifer’s brother and lead wizard, starts to fight the Reviner but is quickly overrun. Eventually, Alex is killed and because he is the lead wizard, once he is gone, all of the magic the group used no longer works. Without their magic, Fifer’s group loses all their fighting ability. They quickly lose their confidence and are forced to retreat, leaving Thisbe behind. Little do they know, Thisbe and a friend of hers that she met while captive, had already escaped and are trying to survive until help arrives.

Overall, I thought this book was very well written. I like how the author switched perspectives between the two twins, so you could see what was going on in each of their lives. The ending was cliche and expected, but that was the only problem I had with the book. I would rate this book a strong eight out of ten and would recommend the story to middle schoolers.

-Daniel C.

Dragon Bones and the rest of the Unwateds Quests series is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.