Aron Garst

aron garst

Aron Garst is a freelance journalist from Northern California. He spends his time cooking the best chicken in the Bay Area, watching the Arizona Cardinals play good football, and waiting for the day Super Mario Sunshine 2 graces whatever Nintendo console that's sitting on his shelf. You can follow him on twitter @GarstProduction

last guardian

The Last Guardian Review

Posted by | PlayStation 4, Reviews | No Comments

Available on PlayStation 4

After years and years of being stuck in development purgatory, The Last Guardian has finally hit the PS4s of everyone who is still willing to give it a chance. And as many expected, Fumita Ueda’s latest creation will be a big point of contention for the gaming industry. Read More

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence

Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence Review

Posted by | PlayStation 4, Reviews | No Comments

Available on PC, PlayStation  4
We played on PlayStation 4

At first, Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence was as much my enemy as the warring factions in the game. The complicated tutorial only got more complicated as time went on. It seemed like hours passed before I began to understand the intricate gameplay mechanics of this historical strategic war. But once I did get my bearings straight I had a good time with Sphere of Influence. It didn’t grip me like other strategy games, but I was determined to bring peace to 16th Century Japan.

The Story

You can choose between nine historical campaigns where you take control of one of Japan’s’ warring elite families. No matter what you pick the goal remains the same: uniting a divided Japan. During different campaigns you’re presented with little vignettes that are specific to your chosen family’s history. It’s a nice way to give context to the tangled rivalries and conflicts you’ll encounter during your conquest.

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The Gameplay

The extent of my experience with strategy games starts and ends with Fire Emblem, Age of Empires, and Civilization. I was not prepared for the depth of gameplay that Nobunaga’s Ambition: Sphere of Influence required. It took me a number of hours to get acclimated to the game’s deep strategic system. This was something I wouldn’t have done if I wasn’t writing this review.

As expected, Nobunaga’s Ambition’s learning curve is steeper than Mount Everest. I was completely baffled during my first few sessions, not knowing what each command meant. I had to spend a lot of time reviewing instructions and going over text popups to understand basic gameplay mechanics. Beyond that, the game is obviously designed for PC, and those controls do not transfer well over to PS4.

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The Rating

Nobunaga is rated T with descriptors for mild blood, mild language and viloence. The game deals with mature themes within Japanese history. Violence and death being at the forefront. Beyond that the game is incredibly difficult to understand. Younger gamers may have a hard time grasping its complicated system. Some of these are so comples, even older gamers would find it difficult.

It’s also incredibly text heavy. When starting out you’ll need to read what feels like pages of instructional information that’s vital to learning how to play the game. And it doesn’t let up much later on.

Takeaway

I didn’t enjoy Sphere of Influence as much as I do other strategy games. But if you’re big on tactical gameplay and East Asian history this title might be for you. It’s a tough game to learn but with enough time invested, it can be a rewarding strategy experience, one that we don’t see much of on consoles.

dragon quest builders

Dragon Quest Builders Review

Posted by | PlayStation 4, Reviews | No Comments

Available on: PlayStation 4

Even though I’ve always been interested in crafting a beautiful skyscraper from scratch, I’ve never been able to commit to the dull environments of Minecraft. Luckily, Dragon Quest Builders creates a beautiful experience with a lush world and approachable controls. It’s a simple joy to play. Read More

sonic boom fire and ice

Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice Review

Posted by | Reviews | No Comments

Available on Nintendo 3DS

It’s been a rough few years for Sonic and company. They’ve learned that striking a balance between platforming and speed is a lot harder than it seems. Luckily, Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice avoids a lot of the mistakes its predecessors have made, shaping itself into an enjoyable, if not generic, adventure with the blue hedgehog and his pals. Read More