Our thoughts on the creeptacular Ghostwire: Tokyo on PS5, Triangle Strategy, WWE 2K22 and the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT Headphones.
2022 has been totally nutso with the amount of game releases so far and March has been no exception. But is the latest big ticket title, Ghostwire: Tokyo, worth your money? Read on to find out…
Ghostwire: Tokyo (PS5, PC)
Picture this: you’re in Japan just going about business when all of sudden a paranormal event causes the sudden disappearance of 99% of the population. Worse still, with spirits from Japanese folklore storming Tokyo and no ghostbusters in site, you’re left to clean up this supernatural mess.
Such is the spooky setup for the PS5’s latest console exclusive, which quickly sees you possessed by a spirit named KK. As a result you gain a whole bunch of Doctor-Strange-adjacent moves capable of putting an end to the clown car of otherworldly foes that have taken refuge in the desolate Japanese city. And it is indeed desolate, often creepily so.
Perhaps Ghostwire’s biggest achievement is how well it builds and showcases its world – especially considering most of us still can’t actually visit at the moment. A heavy amount of neon persists, but there’s a distinct lack of liveliness that’s consistently unsettling. That is, of course, when you’re not busy battle foes with your various abilities, and though the loop can become repetitive, we were pretty entertained throughout.
This mystical excursion mightn’t be for everyone, but is definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of horror or just unconventional international holidays.
Also out now…
WWE 2K22 (PS5, Xbox Series X, PS4, XBO, PC)
After suffering what felt like a couple of fatal piledrivers, the WWE series has finally made its grand return and is surprisingly back in damn fine form. A large part of that is due to the flexibility of 2K22’s new game engine which favours a far friendlier approach that welcomes even the most casual of wrestling wannabes.
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With a new control scheme in place and a whole lotta moves to learn the wider experience feels more arcadey than what we’ve gotten used to, but we’re a big fan. Another big tick: the game isn’t a glitch-riddled mess this time around, which we know is a fairly low bar to shoot for, but considering the chaotic past of this series, it’s worth pointing out for any gamers who are perhaps still a little jaded. Instead, the cast of fighters are pretty accurate visually and do well to replicate their larger than life personas. Alternatively, creating your own character is an absolute blast and allows for an astounding amount of customisation if you dedicate the time. Face scanning is still a little hit and miss, though.
There’s more modes you can throw a chair at, but we’re most smitten with Showcase – which allows you to follow the career of the beloved Rey Mysterio. The documentary-styled approach smartly blends game footage into real life matches and should be a real treat for long-time wrestling fans.
As an overall package, 2K22 is worth recommending.
Triangle Strategy (Switch)
Fans of tactical strategy games: it’s a wonderful time to be alive because Triangle Strategy is a meaty game indeed. What’s surprising however is that is the primary challenge in this tale of three warring factions arguably isn’t the lengthy battles – it’s also the painful decisions that you must make. Working out who you should trust and when is always a dangerous proposition and can lead to some sweaty palms indeed, especially considering the resulting consequences can lead to various final outcomes.
For fans of Octopath Traveller, the HD-2D visual style is an absolute treat once again, but where the game does slightly falter is in its pacing. Some battles are held back by overly lengthy political conversations that perhaps stretch on a tad too long and will have you itching to hop back into the action.
If you’re up for some speed reading though, there’s plenty to enjoy here and will be 40+ hours well spent.
Gran Turismo 7 (PS5, PS4)
For PlayStation racing fans, it’s been a long five years, but Gran Turismo has finally parked itself onto the PS5, and it can be quite a special ride. With that said, it’s worth noting what exactly you’re getting into if you pick this racer up.
Where Xbox’s Forza Horizon series is fast and flashy, Gran Turismo is an incredibly romantic love letter to the humble automobile. GT Café, for example, will provide you with plenty of objectives and races to work your way through, but each ‘menu’ in this café will see its owner wax lyrical about the detailed backstories and origins of the many cars you gradually unlock. It’s often deep and fascinating but will certainly take you by surprise if you’re not expecting that approach.
Where things become unstuck is with some pretty nasty microtransactions. Revealed post launch, the system isn’t just a bit dodgy, it’s expensive as hell as well – some cars potentially costing some players literally hundreds of dollars. Understandably it’s led the game to become the lowest fan-rated Sony game on Metatacritic, so If you were keen on this one, it’s certainly worth looking into before a purchase to see how much it will affect your personal experience.
A Memoir Blue (PS5, Xbox Series X, Switch, PS4, XBO, PC)
Pitched as an “an interactive poem about a superstar athlete and the all-encompassing love between mother and daughter” A Memoir Blue is not your average video game. You can finish it within an hour and is light on actual gameplay, but if you’re keen to dabble with an experience that’s a little more emotional and introspective there’s still plenty to enjoy.
As you complete relatively simple puzzles you’ll gradually propel the tale of former Olympic swimmer named Miriam, but this game isn’t focused on challenge so much as immersing you in its world and soaking in its art style which blends 3D and 2D artstyles.
If that doesn’t sound like your thing that’s completely understandable, but priced just over a tenner, we think it’s worth it for the exceptional soundtrack alone.
Martha is Dead (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XBO, PC)
Martha is Dead may have flown past your radar due to the controversy surrounding some of its more graphic content being censored for PlayStation gamers, but get past all that hullaballoo and what you’re left with is a rather run-of-the-mill horror experience.
Set in 1944 Italy, you’ll play as Giulia, a woman on a mission to find a murderer after her twin sister, Martha, is found drowned in a lake. To do this you’ll have adopt Martha’s identity (in rather gruesome fashion), and while that’s certainly intriguing premise it’s all unfortunately let down by some inconsistent gameplay that never managed to gel for us. Horror fans might get a kick out of Martha is Dead’s ambition, otherwise check out some gameplay to see if it’s right for you.
Hands-on with the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT Headphones
Despite Audio-Technica being incredibly popular audiophiles, the company is making has been making serious inroads to grow a more mainstream audience and the ATH-M20xBT Headphones should help that quest a fair bit.
At $149 these over-ear cans are incredibly affordable compared to competitors that come in at more than double the asking price. Bose’s more recent 700 headphones are three times the price, so that’s a big win if you’re on a tight budget but don’t want to compromise on sound detail. As expected you’re getting pretty strong audio playback that is capable of handling just about anything you throw at the M20xBT’s rather competently. You won’t get absolutely pumping bass, but likewise you won’t be stuck with any annoying tinniness. It’s all pleasantly smooth, especially for your average user.
They look the part too, with a simple, clean black aesthetic that should suit most taste’s and is impressively lightweight on the noggin. That said, the build can feel a little fragile so we personally would have liked the slightest bit more heft, especially the ear cups which could have used a touch more padding.
A gigantic 60-hour battery life should help sweeten the deal if you’re interested, as does the multipoint pairing Bluetooth functionality, allowing you to connect to devices like your laptop and phone at the same time. Alternatively there’s a 3.5 mm cord in the box should you wish to hard wire yourself in to any compatible device – nifty if you’re still battling your way through Elden Ring on PS5.
Sure fancy features like noise cancellation or a smartphone app are missing in action, but if you’re not interested in either there’s no question that the Audio-Technica ATH-M20xBT headphones present some of the best value on the market right now.
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