backbone android playstation

Backbone One for Android PlayStation Edition Review

Backbone’s latest product, designed in collaboration with PlayStation, is the Backbone One for Android PlayStation Edition mobile gaming controller. Although quite a mouthful, the Backbone One delivers on what it advertises.

With its design inspired by the PS5’s DualSense controller, it feels very natural at first touch and is something you could easily hold for hours without experiencing hand cramps. The layout consists of 2 analogue sticks, a D-pad, 4 triggers, 4 action buttons, plus Start, Select, Capture and a Backbone button for quick-launching the Backbone application. Featured on the underside of the controller is a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C port for charging your phone.

What’s great about this device is that it does not require its own battery. It only uses minimal power from your phone which means it’s perfect for long gaming sessions or whenever you need to grab it last-minute before leaving the house. The 3.5mm jack also supports headphones with microphones which is a handy feature.

The Backbone controller extended quite easily, and I was able to snap my 6.3” phone in with no issues. From there I downloaded the Backbone app, and then launched into the PS Remote Play app by double tapping the Options button on the controller. I played some TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge along with the latest Final Fantasy XVI. The controls were super responsive and the layout has been designed well. The analogue stick and button size, as well as spacing between the two, can take a little getting used to but overall they’ve implemented it nicely. Sadly you won’t experience haptic feedback or adaptive triggers with this controller, but it’s not something I missed during my time with it.

Now even though this controller is PlayStation branded, it does work with other mobile games or streaming services. These include games from the Google Play store and also Xbox Cloud or Steam Link, all of which can be launched from within the Backbone app.

Overall I was extremely impressed with the quality of this controller and it’s something that I can see becoming a commonly used gaming accessory in my household. Not just for PlayStation Remote Play, but also for use on-the-go with mobile gaming. The Backbone One for Android PlayStation Edition is available from July 6th 2023 from leading Australian retailers including JB Hi-Fi, EB Games, Big W, The Gamesmen and more.

Living with Chucky Review

Living with Chucky Review

Hi I’m Chucky, wanna play?

Living with Chucky” offers a thrilling journey through the Chucky franchise, paying homage to the 80’s horror classic that inspired a cult following. The documentary delves deep into the ideas and the people who brought Chucky to life, from the inception of the first movie, Child’s Play, up until the 7th instalment, Cult of Chucky.

It not only provides an interesting insight into the puppeteering and technology behind the creation of Chucky, but also features interviews with the actors and crew to give fans an inside perspective of what it was like to work on the movies and bring the characters to life.

It’s a real testament to the filmmakers who continued to deliver new Chucky movies without the need for CGI. This documentary has taught me so much about the films and I’ve definitely developed a greater appreciation for them as a result.

Writer/Director, Kyra Elise Gardner, really captured the love and respect between the team too. It seems there was a beautiful family dynamic, both on-set and off, which undoubtedly led to the films’ overall continuity and success. It was heartwarming to see how one little doll brought so many people together. Not just the cast and crew either but the many fans across the world who remain dedicated to the franchise and its beloved character, Chucky.

Overall, “Living with Chucky” is a fantastic documentary that will have fans wanting to rewatch all the movies. It provides a great appreciation for the work that went into bringing the iconic character of Chucky to life and is a must-watch for horror fans.

Thank you to Walkden Entertainment for the opportunity to review this film.

Living with Chucky (2022) is Available on all major Digital platforms, including Apple iTunes/Google Play in UK & Ireland on April 24th, and in Australia & New Zealand, from April 26th.


GRID Game Boy Review

Thanks to Gridstudio we’ve had the opportunity to examine one of their most sought-after items, the GRID Game Boy. This deconstructed DMG is just one item in a large suite of retro products on offer.

Released 34 years ago, all the way back in 1989, the Nintendo Game Boy brought portable gaming to the mass market which led to it becoming one of the best selling video game devices of all time. Its simple design and long battery life made it a hit with gamers of all ages, and its library of classic games like Tetris and Super Mario Land helped cement its place in video game history. With its grey casing, monochromatic display, and 4-bit audio, the Game Boy has not only become an iconic symbol of gaming, but a timeless piece of vintage tech for many around the world.

Now as time goes on, these legendary pieces of tech get harder and harder to find in good condition. This is where Gridstudio comes in. Their dedicated team scour marketplaces seeking out devices in need of a second life. Each unit is disassembled, cleaned and then carefully positioned alongside custom art, turning it into a framed masterpiece. Their delivery of the product is also top notch, with every item being delicately packaged, gift wrapped and stamped. The quality of Gridstudio’s work shows that they are passionate about vintage technology and hope these nostalgic pieces live on, bringing reminiscence and happiness to those who appreciate the good old days. 

The GRID Game Boy is a meticulously designed framed masterpiece that brings back a flood of nostalgia for the iconic DMG Game Boy. Gridstudio’s presentation is second to none and they have definitely done the Game Boy justice. It’s a must for retro gamers and loves of vintage tech.

Be sure to check out the GRID Game Boy on their website, plus other products on offer which include the Sony PSP, PlayStation DualShock controller, Nintendo 3DS, Super Nintendo Controller, Apple iPhone and more.

Here’s our unboxing of the GRID Game Boy from Gridstudio:

Seagate God of War Ragnarok Game Drive

Seagate God of War Ragnarök Limited Edition Game Drive Review

The Seagate God of War Ragnarök Game Drive is a limited edition, officially licensed storage device that has been designed with gamers in mind. The drive comes with an exclusive design that features artwork inspired by the epic PlayStation Exclusive game, God of War Ragnarök.

This external drive has a 2TB capacity, enough for approximately 30 PS5 games or 50 PS4 games. It connects directly via USB and is super easy to set up via the PlayStation storage menu.

One of the standout features of the gaming drive is its sleek, ice cold design, inspired by the nine realms of God of War Ragnarök. The bear and wolf insignia represents our heroes, Kratos and Atreus, while the cool blue LED lighting portrays the icy landscape of the game’s environment.

In terms of performance, the God of War Ragnarök gaming drive delivers reliable and fast data transfer rates. One of the biggest challenges in current-generation gaming is building your game library without the need to delete games, and this external gaming drive offers a solution to this problem. It’s fast performance means games can run straight off the drive without reliance on the console’s internal SSD.

Overall, the Seagate God of War Ragnarök Game Drive is a solid investment for any gamer looking to expand their storage capabilities. Apart from the aesthetic, it’s reliable and something that’s become a permanent addition to our PlayStation setup.

For more details check out the Seagate Australia website.

Resident Evil 4 Remake

Resident Evil 4 Remake Review

After 18 years, one of the most beloved Resident Evil games of all time has been remade and reimagined for current-gen hardware. After launching on GameCube in 2005, Resident Evil 4 was soon ported to the PlayStation 2 where it received rave reviews, being praised for its artistic design and action-packed gameplay.

Fast forward several years, and Resident Evil 4’s popularity saw it being released for the Nintendo Wii, PC, and then HD remasters for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, and PS4. These remastered ports not only gave fans 1080P Full HD graphics with an increased frame rate, but add-on campaigns and arcade modes.

Now, in 2023, Capcom has delivered a completely rebuilt version of Resident Evil 4 using RE Engine, the same game engine used for Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Resident Evil Village and the RE2/RE3 remakes. While the core fundamentals of the game stay true to the original, the remake brings improved gameplay, a slightly reimagined storyline, and highly detailed graphics.

The story begins six years after the events of the biological disaster in Raccoon City. Leon Kennedy has been recruited to rescue the president’s kidnapped daughter, Ashley, whom he’s tracked to a small secluded village in the mountainous regions of Spain. He soon realises that the locals have succumbed to a religious cult known as Los Iluminados, led by Osmund Saddler.

Leon makes his way to the village, where he is soon captured by its chief, Bitores Mendez. It’s here where he meets Luis Sera, a former Spanish police officer also held captive, and learns that the leader of Los Iluminados plans to inject a parasite into Ashley in order to infect the President of the United States and take over the world. The story continues with Leon tracking Ashley and fighting his way through infected henchmen, taking down the region’s leaders one battle at a time.

Now, apart from subtle changes to the story and a few new enemies, Capcom have added a number of control and gameplay features. The third-person view has improved, along with Leon’s aiming and manoeuvrability. We also see better pacing of the story thanks to reduced loading times and an auto-save feature, meaning you’re no longer sent all the way back to the typewriter where you last saved.

On top of these features, Leon can now parry with his combat knife, which is a welcomed change. Parrying can sometimes be difficult to master, but Capcom has introduced this well. Just keep in mind, however, that each time you use your knife, it deteriorates so you must keep repairing it at the Merchant. Weapon selection has also been upgraded. In previous games you had to switch to a new weapon via your briefcase, but now you can customise your D-Pad for easy access to guns, grenades, and other throwables.

The shooting range mini-game has also made a reappearance in the remake and can be found next to the Merchant in four locations, The Merchant’s Hideout (Chapter 3), The Grand Hall (Chapter 9), The Mines (Chapter 11), and The Facility (Chapter 14). It brings new challenges and courses, plus, as you complete each challenge, you now earn Silver & Gold Tokens, redeemable at the Token Machine for random charms. These charms are worthwhile grabbing as they offer different perks when attached to your briefcase. These include benefits such as +8% running speed, +50% health recovery for green herbs, 40% off resources, and more.

So what are my overall thoughts?

Well, as creepy as this game is, it’s not particularly scary. It does have elements of horror with a couple of jump scares at the beginning, but as you get to understand the flow of the game, you can easily anticipate enemies and what’s about to happen. Resident Evil 4 at its core is an action-adventure game, which it does well, and the remake doesn’t stray from this.

Besides the huge visual overhaul, the changes to third-person view, plus the ability to run and gun at the same time, are the standout improvements. This together with updated controls and new gameplay features, make it feel like a completely new game, but for the better. Resident Evil 4 (2023) only improves on what was already a well-received classic and is a must-play for RE and action-adventure fans alike.

Thank you to Capcom Australia for the PS5 review code.

Hi-Fi Rush

Hi-Fi Rush Review

Get ready to immerse yourself in a musical experience like no other with Hi-Fi Rush! Right from the get-go you’ll be swept away on a sensory journey packed with stunning visuals, catchy tunes and a very clever dialogue.

You begin as Chai, a 25 year old aspiring rockstar who has volunteered to be a test bunny at Vandelay Technologies. In a procedure gone wrong, Chai now faces extermination from the company who has deemed his new robot arm “defective”. As he tries to escape the company’s clutches he’s faced with an onslaught of security robots and a number of enraged corporate executives. Luckily, Chai joins forces with a band of renegades keen on bringing down the evil corporation and exposing their mind control AI project, SPECTRA.

Being a rhythm-based beat ’em up, it can sometimes be challenging, but thanks to its well thought out mechanics and gameplay design it’s surprisingly easy to pick up. From the get-go you’ll see that the world is filled with audio and visual cues, helping even those with no rhythm jump at the right moment or take down an enemy. Thankfully however, the developer hasn’t put too much emphasis on precision. Time-based combos automatically sync to the music and if you do manage to hit exactly at the right moment you’ll be rewarded with higher points.

Now, what makes Hi-Fi Rush so enjoyable is of course, its music. Each level is designed to create a fully immersive experience and features original music by former Konami composer ‘Shuichi Kobori’ along with 10 licensed tracks from extremely well known groups The Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys, Fiona Apple and The Flaming Lips. My favourite track had to be “Invaders Must Die” by The Prodigy because the timing of this song was placed perfectly alongside a hilarious cinematic followed by an epic battle. It was also exciting to hear Wolfgang’s 5th Symphony playout as I fought my way through, keeping in rhythm with the music.

The visuals in Hi-Fi Rush are equally impressive, with a vibrant and dynamic artstyle that give off serious ‘Jet Set Radio’ vibes. Its cartoon aesthetic and Japanese comic inspired visuals, particularly during boss fights, are an absolute treat and something that the small team over at Tango Gameworks should be applauded for. The addition of 2D platform levels also lends well to the game’s design.

The game offers a variety of well thought-out levels from magma filled caverns to museums and construction sites, each playing well into the game’s soundscape. Together with the easy to follow storyline and straightforward character progression, Hi-Fi Rush really does provide a fun and engaging experience for people of all ages. There are 12 levels in total, and the overall game time typically finishes up around 11 hours, depending on the difficulty, which can be adjusted in the menu.

Overall, Hi-Fi Rush is a fantastic game that’s sure to keep you entertained for hours on end. With its unique musical gameplay, beautiful artstyle and well written dialogue, it’s one of those unexpected gems definitely worth checking out.

Thank you Bethesda ANZ for the review code. Hi-Fi Rush is available now through Game Pass on Xbox Series X|S and PC, as well as through the Microsoft Store, Steam, and the Epic Games Store.


Sonic Frontiers PS5 Review

Sonic Frontiers is a pretty decent attempt at an open-world Sonic game however, it does have its faults and can feel a little monotonous at times. Saying that, I did have fun in this crazy new world that Sonic Team created.

Your adventure begins on Kronos Island, the first of 5 islands, with Sonic who’s on a mission to free his friends from a digital world known as Cyber Space. You’re not given much direction by the game so you’ll find yourself traversing the landscape, collecting coins, griding rails and testing your combat skills on several types of enemies. Soon enough you’ll come across vaults which are scattered throughout each island. By using ‘gears’ collected from your battles you can open these vaults and enter the Cyber Space dimension. As you complete the 2D and 3D levels within you earn Vault Keys allowing you to further unlock Chaos Emeralds, necessary for progressing to the epic boss battles ahead.

Boosting around the large, open land you’ll also encounter a number of puzzles and mini games. By completing these tasks you not only further unlock sections of the map and skill points for a rather basic skill tree, but you will build Sonic’s Power, Defence, Ring and Speed levels. Be prepared as there is a lot of wandering and at times it feels as though Sonic isn’t as fast as you’d like him to be. There is an added Fast Travel capability but it’s only unlockable by completing all challenges on a map first or by chance, picking up the rare Koco Scroll in the fishing mini-game.

Now that you’ve figured out the gameplay and completed the first island map (and boss battle which we’ll get to later), it’s on to island #2 with a completely different landscape and new mini-boss encounters. This is where it can get a little repetitive. The overall gamplay and story direction isn’t exactly bad, its just quite tedious. If you’re a Sonic enthusiast then I have no doubt you’ll love spending hours exploring the lay of the land and attempting every grind and jump available, it just may not be for everyone – even if it does give you Breath of the Wild vibes.

The boss fights however are something that will surely excite every player. When you go up against these Titans it feels like a crazy mashup of two of my favourite games: Shadow of the Colossus and Metal Gear Rising. As you transform into ‘Super Sonic’ the energy of the game lifts, as does the soundtrack which is amplified during these battles. Combat controls are relatively easy and Auto-Combo (once unlocked) makes it simple enough for anyone to use. One thing to note though, which I didn’t realise until after a few rage inducing battles, is that parry is not contingent on timing. You can block continuously (L1 + R1 on the PS4/PS5) in order to reflect incoming attacks.

So what did I love about Sonic Frontiers?

  • Exciting new gameplay that incorporates 2D and 3D views in an open-world environment
  • The Cyber Space levels present some beautifully reimagined environments of classic stages like Green Hill Zone and Chemical Plant
  • The soundtrack is epic and is amplified during boss fights
  • Combat and general movement is straightforward and easy to remember

What frustrated me about Sonic Frontiers?

  • Repetitive gameplay loop that can make it feel tiresome
  • Persistent cutscenes can get annoying and leave a lot to be desired
  • Long leadup to boss fights can be frustrating if you have to fight them again
  • Can often get stuck on one of the 2D platforms when bouncing around in the normal 3D perspective
  • Graphically it doesn’t live up to new-gen standards

Final thoughts

Overall this isn’t a terrible game, but it’s not a great game either. It’s a good first attempt at putting Sonic in an open-world adventure game but it is very tedious. Sonic fans will likely love the new vision while other players may leave the game feeling disappointed. The nostalgic throwbacks and soundtrack are what saved it for me.

Thank you to Five Star Games for the review code!


Yakuza: Like a Dragon PS4 Impressions

Wow! I didn’t see this one coming. The whole turned-based combat system really put me off and after a few hours in I wasn’t sure I could stick with it, but I’m so glad I did.

Yakuza games have always had phenomenal gameplay with intricate storylines and @rggstudiowest took a big risk changing the protagonist and gameplay model, but they totally pulled it off. The combat and leveling up can seem a little grindy and it took me right on 50 hours to finish the main campaign (with a few sidequests), but the story is brilliant! Like amazingly brilliant.

Ichiban Kasuga and his party of misfits bring so much to the franchise and I really hope we see more of them in the future. If you’re new to the world of Yakuza you could start here and not feel out of place with the storyline too. Yes there are some throwbacks but nothing that will have you scratching your head. Even if you think turn-based combat isn’t for you, give this a try, it honestly could be the game that changes your view. The story and gameplay is that good!

The next-gen upgrade comes out early next year and I’ll definitely be playing it again. Thank you to Five Star Games for the opportunity to play this amazing title.


Ghost of Tsushima PS4 Review

Ghost of Tsushima ~ Overall a beautiful game with its gorgeous scenery and well executed soundtrack but unfortunately it fell just short of being a AAA winner for me.

Who doesn’t like samurai culture and the Japanese landscape, right? I’m sure you’d be hard pressed finding anyone and that’s why this game is receiving top marks everywhere you look. I do feel however that people are being swept away by its beauty and overlooking the key aspects that make us question the success of other big name titles – the STORY.

Ghost of Tsushima offered no real captivating moments which connect you to the characters and their struggles. There were no bonds with the characters so it really lacked that emotional investment which I crave in open world adventures like this. Throughout the game you’re also given choices which have no effect on the story or gameplay, this makes no sense to me and it just feels like filler content. I should also mention that the open-world, although picturesque, did seem a little empty. Collectables are sparse and destinations aren’t as memorabile as they should be in an epic adventure title. Look at TLOU for example – how memorable were some of those scenes and locations – that’s the difference. Ghost of Tsushima just blends in and is one beautiful game built for photo mode.

The combat aspect of the game however was fantastic. Give me brutal fighting mechanics together with a bit of stealth and I’ll enjoy it. The range of weapons were excellent and I enjoyed building up my character’s strength and overall aesthetic.

Unfortunately though, Ghost of Tsushima felt a little unpolished. It was a bit of a buggy mess with camera angles not executed as well as they could be, items protruding through other objects, flora texture issues & characters stuck in an endless motion sequence. I couldn’t go anywhere without seeing an issue. These things stand out to me like a sore thumb.

Look, Ghost of Tsushima is not a terrible game. For the most part it’s a beautiful adventure title which everyone should try, but for me it’s not a 10/10 as many outlets are posting. Please also note, another reason so many people are loving this game is because it is rather easy. Not just difficulty wise but also in general playability. You don’t have to think too much while making your way through the story. Literally anyone can pick up this game and finish it.

Anyway, just my 2 cents from an independent reviewer 🙂 Thank you @playstationau for the review code.


The Last of Us Part II PS4 Review

The Last of Us Part II. What an emotional rollercoaster ride that was! Although I want to say so much I also want to keep this spoiler-free and as brief as possible. I want anyone who hasn’t played it yet to feel and experience every little part as I did.

The story depth and moral conflicts in this sequel are like those I’ve never seen in a game before, or definitely not to this extent. There are gameplay surprises that made me question what Naughty Dog had done and my thoughts of whether I liked the game or not changed several times throughout the 25 hour long playthrough. Saying that though, I can hand on heart tell you that I loved TLOU2 more than the first.

As I got to the halfway point the gameplay did feel a little drawn out, however, as the story evolved it was these deep character moments and flashbacks that helped develop my bond with the characters. Looking back I can see what Naughty Dog was doing and I wouldn’t want them to change a thing. There were so many chilling moments that had me holding my breath. From insane jump scares with the infected to brutal fights with human enemies, this game has everything the first did and so much more.

Now I could go on and talk about the overhauled combat mechanics and stealth system, or the improved visuals, but we already know all of this. Naughty Dog have their own style and they absolutely nailed the immersing gameplay and breathtaking scenery. It’s what they do. My main reason for giving you my thoughts was to dispel any negative ideas you had about the so-called lack of story depth or diverse representation portrayed in this game. What Naughty Dog has done here is nothing short of brilliant. I don’t like to use the word perfection much but for me this game is truly a 10/10.

P.S. The easter eggs are out of this world!

Thank you @playstationau for the download code.