NBA 2K18 Review – Stop Dribbling

NBA 2K18 is a decent basketball game for next-gen consoles – it has high quality graphics and fun game modes to play, but some gameplay elements need patching quick-smart.

One of the things that stand out about the game in the new version of what was previously known as MyPark. It is now known as “The Playground” and is where your MyCareer player stays in between NBA games. I like the new concept, you can choose to go to the Gatorade gym and do drills to increase your player’s attributes, you can also go to your NBA team’s practice court to do basketball related drills. You can also visit many different stores along the street such as the NBA Store, Foot Locker and a barber shop just to name a few. Don’t worry, there’s still the much-loved MyPark as well.

Other new things about MyCareer is the way you unlock badges. You can now see your progress to unlocking them and they can be earned in Park games, NBA games and practice drills. If you successfully complete an action relating to a badge, you will get a certain number of points towards that badge. To get the bronze badge takes less points than higher ranked badges. Also, the experience of being an NBA player is more realistic, for example, you will only obtain endorsements from shoe companies if you wear their shoes on game night.

The MyTeam game mode has similar concepts to last year’s game. The collector’s rewards have been replaced by goals and the online league system has been swapped out for “Super Max”, which is the same thing, but ranks you before entering a league – so good players don’t end up starting from the lesser league. There are also rounds in “Super Max” where at the end of each round, there are prizes to be won depending on where you are. The domination has another 99 stars to earn with 33 teams for All-Time Domination.

Another big change in MyTeam are the addition of salary caps so people who bought virtual currency don’t smash free to play players with a much better team. I think this idea isn’t great because once you get to a certain point, you can’t improve your team anymore.

The one thing I don’t like about the game is the gameplay. It is more realistic at certain times (for example, you can’t throw a perfect full court pass and have no one to intercept it) and the players move a little more freely. There have been problems of people not being able to dunk during certain times, I also experienced this issue. I created a 6’3″ point guard who could dunk in MyCourt and in the pre-game shoot around every NBA game, but in game I couldn’t dunk. On a number of occasions I’d be carrying the ball up on a fast break with no one around me and I still wouldn’t be able to dunk – I hope that once I upgrade my vertical and dunks it’ll work. Another issue which sounds small but is extremely frustrating in-game is the free-throw consistency. It is way too low in all game modes, even if Damian Lillard or Steph Curry is taking them. In a similar way, the lay-up animations are inconsistent, a lay-up that seems open can be considered contested by the computer causing you to miss it. One that is really annoying is the shot contest and shot block.

When an opponent is taking a shot you have a choice whether to press triangle (block button) or just stand in their way and contest their shot. This issue is quite noticeable when an opponent does a lay-up and you press triangle to block – you instantly get fouled. Equally frustrating is if you don’t go for the block, the shot goes in because there’s limited automatic shot contest. This is really annoying whenever your opponent attempts a lay-up, you will either send them to the line or they get the basket.

Although all these issues are frustrating, they are acceptable as the game hasn’t been out for long, I expect Visual Concepts / 2K Sports to fix these problems in the next large update.

Overall, NBA 2K18 is a promising new game with different and fun game modes and concepts within those modes. However, a few problems need to be fixed with the gameplay. If you are a basketball fan, then this game is still worth checking out.

image source: Playstation Store


Dylan Cukalac
Teenage video gamer and ausretrogamer contributor. When Dylan isn’t dribbling on the virtual basketball court he is ripping it up for real on the football field.

Follow Dylan Cukalac on Twitter and Instagram



Let’s Get Physical with Wonder Boy The Dragon’s Trap

Hold onto your swords peeps, Limited Run Games will be releasing physical copies of Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap on the PS4 this Friday (August 4) – North American time (midnight Friday in Australia) !

There will be 5,000 copies of the Standard Edition and 3,000 of the Collector’s Edition with limits (per customer) to ensure everyone has a fair chance of grabbing this wonderful game!

Standard Edition: 5,000 copies, with a limit of two per customer!

Collector’s Edition: 3,000 copies with a limit of one per customer!

source: Limited Run Games


A Retro Gamer’s Stroll Through 80s Yakuza 0

Before we begin, let’s set the record straight – I have never played a Yakuza game! Yep, you read that right. You may throw out a “WTF?” at this point, and you’d be justified in asking exactly that – what the fudge, dude?

Well, I won’t bore you with why I haven’t played any of the previous Yakuza games (you can blame it all on those retro games I keep playing!), but at least you’ll get a perspective from a player experiencing the franchise for the very first time! I come into the Yakuza universe as a total noob, so go easy on me.

The vibrant lights of Pink Street!

So,”What’s this Yakuza 0 all about anyway?”, I ask myself. Well, first and foremost, I had heard that this prequel Yakuza action game, dubbed Zero, was set in the 80s, my favourite decade! That was enough to pique my interest in the game, so I thought I’d jump in the deep end and have a go!

Sobering up some drunkards, the old fashioned way!

Beating up peeps can work up a thirst

From a noob’s point of view, Yakuza 0 eases the player into the game with great cutscene sequences that set the narrative for the protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, or simply just Kiryu. Obviously the title gives it away, Kiryu is a yakuza, a lowly debt collector for the Dojima Family (of the Tojo Clan). Kiryu is framed for murder and is then used as a pawn by a bent crime family lieutenant who aspires to be top dog. I’ll spare you the rest as I don’t want to spoil it for you!

Visiting the ‘family’!

No mobile phones in 1988, so pay phones were the best way to conduct business on the streets

I’ll be honest, I really wanted to play Yakuza 0 to roam the streets of 1988 Kamurocho, the notorious redlight district of Tokyo – to explore its karaoke bars, dart parlours and of course, its amusement centres – Club Sega and Hi-Tech Land were high on my list so I could play some (well, a lot of) Out Run! I really didn’t care for the story as to why I was setup for murder and the whole Empty Lot business.

Smoking can kill you! So can a bent lieutenant…

But before I could explore Kamurocho, I would have to dispense some good old fashioned beat-downs to street punks and hoodlums that were dumb enough to move in on my turf. Oh yeah, cash is earned the more peeps you beat up. These fight sections definitely reminded me of classic Dreamcast brawling action games, just like Shenmue. And just like Shenmue, it’s fun to explore the vibrant city you find yourself in.

Giving the vocal chords are work out with some karaoke

What I wasn’t counting on was the game’s ability to suck me into its story-line and its fascinating characters. I had to put the idea of exploration and playing Out Run to one side, as I set my sights on finding the people that framed me for murder and then confronting the bent Dojima lieutenant, Kuze. To say that I was now hooked on Yakuza 0 would be a gross understatement. With about 80 hours of gameplay, I have a way to go, and that is before I even touch any sidequests! So if you excuse me, I need to get back to being a yakuza and kick ten shades out of some really bad people.

Behold, the holy grail of arcades!

Damn, it’s closed. Can’t wait to play some Out Run!

image source: Yakuza 0

Double Dragon IV: Billy and Jimmy Lee Are Back!

Just in time to celebrate their 30th anniversary since kicking ten shades out of the Black Warriors gang, Billy and Jimmy Lee are back in Double Dragon IV! This time, the Lee brothers are bringing back the gritty 80’s with them, however the battleground has moved from New York City to Japan!
This instalment of one of the greatest co-op beat’me ups will be coming to the PlayStation®4 and Steam (PC) at the end of January (Jan 30 in North America). We have yet to hear if that is a worldwide release date – we hope it is! Either way, all Double Dragon fans should rejoice as key members from the 1987 arcade version including Original Planner, Yoshihisa Kishimoto, Designer, Koji Ogata, and Composer, Kazunaka Yamane, have teamed up to recreate the next chapter in this awesome saga.
Details about this sequel are sketchy, but the screenshots show that the game will follow Double Dragon‘s old school pixelated visuals and will offer both a story mode and a two-player duel. The catchy Double Dragon theme song has also been remixed for your aural pleasure.
To say we are excited for Arc System Works’ Double Dragon IV would be a gross understatement! Get your baseball bats ready!

video & image source: Arc System Works


Sponsored Video: ‘The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt BLOOD AND WINE’

Become professional monster slayer Geralt of Rivia and explore Toussaint, a remote land untouched by war, where you will unravel the horrifying secret behind a beast terrorizing the kingdom. With all trails leading to dead ends, only a witcher can solve the mystery and survive the evil lurking in the night. Introducing an entirely new realm to traverse, new characters and monsters, Blood and Wine is a 20+ hour adventure full of dark deeds, unexpected twists, romance and deceit.

This second expansion is available May 31st on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Sponsored post


PAC-MAN 256 Coming To Consoles And PC

PAC-MAN 256 featured 2PAC-MAN 256, the popular mobile game made by Aussie developers Hipster Whale and 3 Sprockets, is coming to consoles (PS4, Xbox One) and PC (via Steam) as a digital release on 21 June 2016. This version will include an additional local co-op multiplayer mode for up to 4 players. Beware of the glitch!

Source: Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe on YouTube via MCV Pacific,
and Bandai Namco


msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Co-founder, editor and writer at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter



Review: Shadow Of The Beast

Coming some 27 years after Shadow of the Beast first graced the Commodore Amiga, Heavy Spectrum’s Playstation 4 remake turns out to be a surprisingly enjoyable release that doesn’t rely solely on the nostalgia card to succeed.

The original Amiga Shadow of the Beast started life as a graphical tech demo to see what the system was capable of. Eventually this demo ended up being developed into a full game and released by publisher Psygnosis in 1989 to much fanfare. Beast’s detailed sprites, multi-layered parallax backgrounds and sublime soundtrack gave Amiga owners something to brag about to their 8-bit micro or Atari ST owning friends. The game would go on to spawn two sequels, and eventually be ported to a number of different systems creating quite a legacy in the process.

Shadow Of The Beast

When it was announced in 2013 that British-based newcomers Heavy Spectrum would be developing a remake for the Playstation 4, the initial reaction was mixed. A studio comprised of 7 members, Heavy Spectrum all identified as fans of the original Psygnosis release, and wanted to bring it into the current generation to ensure the game’s legacy would continue to live on. As someone who loved the art, but never particularly liked playing the original games, I went into this unsure how I’d find it. Would it prove to be a game capable of standing on it’s own, or another release that relied on nostalgia to drive the experience? I can say that Heavy Spectrum have done a good job of bringing Shadow of the Beast into the modern era, although it’s not without a few rough spots on the way.

Shadow Of The Beast

Shadow of the Beast  is a 2D action adventure with a heavy focus on combat and exploration, along with a handful of puzzles spread throughout the game’s world. Set on the world of Karamoon, it tells of Aarbron’s quest for revenge after being kidnapped as a baby by the tyrant Maletoth, then turned into the titular beast. On the surface the story doesn’t evolve much beyond “find things, fight them, get revenge”, instead the mystery behind the Beast’s story is left in the player’s hands by way of finding hidden Prophecy Orbs. These orbs are spread across the stages as a part of the game’s item hunt, and are crucial towards getting 100% completion on each level.

Shadow Of The Beast

Given the combat focus, Heavy Spectrum have given Aarbron a number of new tricks to go along with his upgraded appearance. In addition to his basic attack, he can stun or throw enemies, as well as block, dodge or parry incoming attacks. Once found, you can also equip your Beast with a number of Talisman that offer enhanced abilities, although sometimes with added drawbacks. Rounding out the toolset are a number of attacks that use the game’s Blood mechanic. Blood is a resource earned by killing enemies, and can then be spent for a variety of benefits, like healing or recharging Aarbron’s Wraith. Accumulate enough blood and it allows the usage of Rage Chains, which triggers a frenzy mode that give you quick-time prompts on either side of the screen to help quickly dispatch his foes.The higher the combo multiplier gets, the better your score, and with it ways to further upgrade the Beast’s abilities or unlock other special features.

Shadow Of The Beast

While the blood resource is central to the game mechanics, it feels like there’s a touch too much emphasis on the bloodletting side of things. While not as up close and visceral as say Mortal Kombat, there are times where Aarbron ends combat bathed in blood, or finding it splattered over the screen. And it’s this last part that feels the most jarring, as I encountered several situations where this splatter effect caused distraction, or worse, rendered me unable to see an incoming enemy leading to Aarbron getting hit (and resetting my multiplier). There’s some stunning environments to explore, however there were times where I felt the overt blood thirst was a little too out of place.

Shadow Of The Beast

The visuals have a familiar feel to them, from the opening on the Grass Plains of Karamoon, to the desert area outside the Hydrath’s Castle. During my playthrough, I spotted several nods to the original games, as well as denizens and environments inspired directly by Roger Dean’s box art. Adding to this is usage of parallax scrolling to help bring depth to the world, although there were times when it caused me some headaches. In some occasions where it ended in a mistimed jump, or other situations where moving to one side of the screen resulted in foreground objects obscuring big chunks of the playfield (and enemies!). With that said, the game moves incredibly smoothly and I never encountered a single moment of slowdown across the entire playthrough, even during some of the more hectic encounters!

Shadow Of The Beast

Those dedicated to blowing through a game as quickly as possible will find themselves hitting the end after a couple of hours on normal difficulty, although you’ll land the worst ending in the process. On top of the different difficulties, every area has leaderboards for speed running, time to complete with 100% collection rate, and high score. There’s also a number of secret encounters in the game that need to be unlocked by performing better in combat, and completing these is key to earning gold or platinum for the stage, and in turn unlock some of the better endings.

Shadow Of The Beast

As a bonus, Heavy Spectrum have included an emulated version of the Amiga Shadow of the Beast as an unlockable extra. Given the difficulty, they’ve kindly added an infinite lives cheat, but also a video runthrough for those who would rather watch someone else do the playing. Along with this, you’re also able to unlock David Whittaker’s soundtrack from the 1989 release to replace the modern in-game music. I have to admit that while the default music suits the game well, I found myself leaning more towards the original soundtrack the moment I could access it.

Shadow Of The Beast

So overall, despite finding the violence a little too much at times, and wanting to see more areas like the Hydrath’s castle with an emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving, I enjoyed my time with Shadow of the Beast. Heavy Spectrum have put together a solid package that has appeal for both fans of the original, and those new to the game. Considering it’s priced less than a movie ticket and popcorn, it’s well worth taking a look at.

Shadow of the Beast is available now on the Playstation Store for $22.95. Review copy provided by Sony Entertainment. Played to completion on Normal difficulty for the purpose of the review.


blahjediAaron Clement
Tassie based retro gaming guy. Father of 3 and married to the very tolerant Kellie Clement. Coffee powered!

Follow Aaron Clement on Twitter and Instagram