We go hands-on with the Lenovo Legion Go, plus Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth, Magic: The Gathering – Murders at Karlov Manor and more.

There’s absolutely no question that handheld PC market has absolutely exploded over the last few years. So while the much-talked about SteamDeck continues to avoid our shores, plenty of other competitors have taken the baton and tried to run away with the market in hand. We’ve already gone hands-on with both the AYANEO Air and ASUS ROG Ally, but now it’s tech mainstay Lenovo’s turn with the Lenovo Legion Go, and this offering might just be the most interesting one so far.

A large part of that is due to the Legion Go’s formfactor. Seemingly taking inspiration from the mighty Nintendo Switch, The Legion Go features two controllers on either side of the unit’s sizeable 8.8-inch screen. And much like Nintendo’s popular console, these controllers can also be detached for more flexible game time. Whether you want to make use of the internal stand, take a break from the device’s heft or perhaps just try to play a multiplayer offering, the Legion Go offers plenty of flexibility. Getting the controllers off did feel a little awkward the first time around, but once you no longer feel like you’re going to accidentally snap things off, it’s a great way to play.

Plus, by allowing detachable controllers, it also allows the Legion Go to showcase one of its most unique features – FPS mode. Simply place the right controller into a neat little stand (thankfully already included in the box), flick a simple switch and you’ll transform the Legion Go into a makeshift mouse, perfect for hopping into your favourite shooter.

I tried this feature a number of times, and was impressed with how well it actually worked. Due to the unconventional button placement, it certainly takes a while to wrap your head around (and is by no means a mouse replacement), but it’s an incredibly smart solution to the issue, and is even great for browsing webpages if the small trackpad on the front of the device isn’t your speed.

In terms of raw performance, the Legion Go outpaces the AYANEO Air and holds a pretty similar space to the ROG Ally. The device struggled slightly playing Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice at its default 1140p resolution, however dropping it to 1080p, Performance TDP and lower settings significantly helped.

Booting up last year’s climbing adventure Jusant, on the other hand, fared much better – especially in Performance mode – the game itself showcasing how absolutely gorgeous the gigantic panel really is. Just be aware that transitioning away from the default balanced mode will lead to more fan noise and a faster battery drain, but we still managed to snag at least an hour before reaching for the charger. Also worth noting is that I played through a number of smaller indie titles via Steam Next Fest and all performed at top capacity without any issues.

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By leveraging the Microsoft Windows platform it does allow the Legion Go a tremendous amount of flexibility, meaning you can utilise Xbox Game Pass, Epic Game Store, Steam and more. Hell, you could even try to turn this into your main PC should you so desire. The only downside to all these software benefits is Lenovo’s own inclusion – the Legion Space launcher which simply feels more bloated and clunky for its own good. I often found it easier and faster to go through each individual app rather than this one-stop-shop, but hopefully it’s able to get a bit more love and attention in future updates.

That niggle aside, the Lenovo Legion Go is an incredibly intriguing and ambitious bit of tech worth looking into if you can handle the $1499 asking price. That might be a little too steep for many, but if you do make the investment, I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed with the new opportunities at your fingertips.

The Lenovo Legion Go is out now and can be purchased for $1499 from JB Hi-Fi.

Also out now…

Magic: The Gathering – Murders at Karlov Manor

While it feels as though Magic: The Gathering has been largely focused around the fantastical and mythical of late, the company’s first set of 2024 takes a refreshingly different path. Yes, as you may have already deduced from the title, Murders at Karlov Manor is instead inspired by classic ‘whodunit’ detective stories, taking players back to the plane of Ravnica. It’s here that some fresh-faced detectives hit the scene ready to uncover the big murder mystery, and it’s all-in-all a hell of a good time.

Murders at Karlov Manor’s more playful undertones allow for some fun, smartly-themed mechanics to make their way to the table. ‘Collect Evidence’, for example sees you ousting cards from your graveyard in order to activate a unique effect, while ‘Cases’ will provide you with a certain set of conditions that you must “solve” in order to gain bonus effects.

While these are only two examples of what the new set brings to the party, both are great implementations of the core murder- mystery theme, and I enjoyed opening the door to new strategies for 2024.

The switch-up in direction has also opened the door for the art team to let their creative chops run wild and rest assured they do well to showcase some incredibly stylish imagery. The new collection of full-Art Impossible Lands cards is particularly impressive, showing off Ravnica’s many brilliantly coloured locales.

It’s also worth noting that Murders at Karlov Manor ushers in one final big change for players. From the launch of this set onwards, Set and Draft Boosters are being combined into what is being dubbed ‘Play Boosters’. This new amalgamation is aiming to have the best of both worlds, reduce one product being ignored and should make it easier for newcomers to join in on the action. Wizards of the Coast has promised it will listen to fan feedback on the matter, so it will be interesting to see how this approach potentially evolves over the next year and beyond.

Speaking of the future, it will be fun to watch where Magic: The Gathering takes us in 2024, but so far, it’s off to a great start.

Murders at Karlov Manor is out now and starts at $7.95 from The Gamesmen.

Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XBO, PC)

Although it feels like a fever dream now, Yakuza: Like a Dragon provided the long-time series with serious shot of adrenaline and lured in plenty of new players in the process. If that sounds like you then get excited because Infinite Wealth takes that foundation and then absolutely turns things up to 11.

The new Hawaiian setting is a breath of fresh air for fans who have grown tired of the Japanese aesthetic, and also allows for a whole new range of madness to run rampant. There are riffs on Crazy Taxi, Animal Crossing and more.

But what’s more impressive is that many of these side adventures feel shockingly deep and nuanced – ready to suck you in for hours outside of the main quest.

If you do choose to mainline, it’s equally worth your time, although prepare to feel slightly lost at times if you’re not incredibly well-versed in the long-running Yakuza lore.

It’ll hardly matter though because Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth is a big, bold ball of energy that’ll have you smiling all the way through. Check it out.

Persona 3 Reload (PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, XBO, PC)

If you’re one of the many people sucked into the Persona series by the ever-popular Phantom Thieves (aka Persona 5), then Persona 3 Reload is the perfect opportunity for you to work your way back in the series and check out another franchise highlight.

This exceptional ground-up remake truly goes above and beyond. Visuals have been totally revamped from the dated PS2 original, and in doing so has arguably become the prettiest game in the series so far.

The core structure on the other hand, remains the same – letting you explore social links and activities by day as a new transfer student, and hunting down assorted demons during the “Dark Hour” where things get truly wild in the procedurally generated dungeon of Tartarus. There are plenty of quality of life improvements to enjoy but you can just sense the love and attention that has been put into this release.

If you have the oodles of time this game demands of you (100+ hours), then you’re in for an exceptional RPG experience, no matter whether you’re a newcomer or returning fan.

Immortality (PS5)

First released back in 2022 for Xbox, now it’s time for PlayStation gamers to get sucked into the strange, enthralling world of Immortality.

For those out of the loop, this incredibly unique FMV-focused mind-bender places you in control of a seemingly endless pile of film footage, with the main goal of discovering what happened to Marissa Marcel – a Hollywood star in the making that vanished without a trace. You do this by uncovering bits of pieces of Marissa’s three unfinished films, and it’s the design behind this mechanic that is the game’s biggest marvel.

That’s because focussing on one element (like an actor, vase or puff of smoke) will unlock other scenes featuring that same element. The magic needs to be seen and played to be properly understood and appreciated, but before long you’ll be steadily building the films while piecing together a truly absorbing mystery.

Immortality is unlike anything you’ve likely played before and that’s exactly why you should put it towards the top of your list.

Another Code: Recollection (Switch)

Looking for a new puzzler to tease your brain with? Then Another Code: Recollection is a strong choice worth your attention. That’s because this re-jigged bundle of two old Nintendo DS titles goes above and beyond what you might be expecting.

Sure, the more limited 2D cinematics and aged visuals have been given a fresh coat of paint, but the entire perspective has been changed as well – now focusing on a more traditional third-person angle. So too puzzles have been completely reworked, meaning this collection doesn’t just provide plenty for newcomers but even old fans returning to the story of the young Ashley exploring a mysterious secret-ridden mansion.

Unfortunately, the puzzles themselves aren’t overly challenging and could use a bit more pizzazz to keep you engaged, but Another Code: Recollection is more about keeping things light and breezy, and with that goal is absolutely succeeds.

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