Port roundup: Train Valley, Swordsman VR & Bright Memory: Infinite

With Train Valley, Swordsman VR and Bright Memory: Infinite, we’re taking a look at three games that recently made the jump to other platforms.

Train Valley: Console Edition review (PS4)

Train Valley originally launched on Steam way back in 2015 and we’ve since seen a sequel come out as well, but BlitWorks Games has taken the first game (and its DLC) and launched it across all major consoles now. Developed by Flazm Interactive, we played the PlayStation 4 version.

At first sight, Train Valley looks a bit like the old Transport Tycoon games, but it’s actually more of a casual puzzler once you start playing – even though your aim is to connect towns with railway connections. With its color-coded visuals, it even feels a bit like Ticket To Ride, although it doesn’t play like a board game.

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Multiple steps are involved in the gameplay, which start off with you building tracks. You have a limited budget so you don’t want to blow it all on this important first step – once where you have to consider terrain as well, as things get more expensive when the terrain is harder to cross. Going the long way can actually be the cheaper option here. As your network of tracks grows, you’ll also need to apply junctions and maybe rearrange and remove some tracks in order to get all of your trains to where they need to be.

It’s very much a planning process, where you need to make sure trains get to their destinations without crashing into other trains or taking a wrong turn somewhere. You can even assume manual control of the trains if things look like they’re not going right, but Train Valley is at its most satisfying when you’re able to automate a large part of the whole process, picking up a few of the optional objectives along the way.

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Train Valley is a largely relaxing puzzle/planning game that evokes memories of mobile titles with its gameplay. That also means that you won’t see too much gameplay variety across its thirty levels, making it a game best played in short bursts if you want to avoid feelings of repetition. We played the PlayStation version, but think this is probably a great match for the Switch because of the handheld option.

Swordsman VR review (Quest 2)

We originally reviewed Swordsman back when it launched on PlayStation VR, years ago. We commented on its rough edges at the time, but developer Sinn Studio has gone on to refine and improve their game with post-release updates. Now, a brand new version for the Meta Quest 2 showcases these improvements, which we were keen to see. It’s available on the AppLab and exclusive to the newest generation of Quest headsets.

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At first sight, not much looks to have changed – “yup, this is Swordsman running on a Quest” is what it felt like. That’s merely a comment on the visuals though, which haven’t gotten a significant boost since the game first launched. Even on a mobile VR platform like the Quest, this isn’t a terribly good looking title, but at least it mostly performs well on the new headset (aside from a bit of slowdown in scenes with more visual effects).

The core of the experience is its sword-based duels though, and this is where you’ll find the bulk of the game’s improvements. The animations aren’t perfect (mostly on account of a few physics-based glitches), but certainly more realistic than they were in the PSVR days. There’s also much more personality to the characters you fight in terms of the stances and movements they show, which show a lot more variety between opponents.

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Since Swordsman takes you on a journey through the ages and continents, this is definitely a big plus and it makes for a far more dynamic gameplay experience. It makes the whole thing far more immersive and fun than before, and much closer to the potential it already had as a PSVR title. Well done, Sinn Studio.

Bright Memory: Infinite review (PS5)

We talked about Bright Memory: Infinite before when it launched on PCs last year, after having initially come out for the Xbox Series S/X. Built by a one-person development team (FYQD Studio), it was an incredibly impressive technical showcase of what a solo developer can do. Now, it’s available for Sony’s PlayStation 5 as well, marking our first look at the game on a console.

This is pretty much a straight up port though, so the flaws of the PC release are still here – though performance is solid and we didn’t run into any issues there. The story is still woefully short and doesn’t match the AAA quality of the visuals with its writing though, so that part is still the same.

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Bright Memory: Infinite is still a great showcase game though, and one you can pick up for a very affordable price. With its blend of gunplay, melee and parkours, as well as the ability to use a whole range of special skills it tries to cram a lot into its two hour runtime. Maybe it’s trying to bite off more than it can chew, but from a development point of view we can’t wait to see what the studio does next. A flawed game with forgettable gameplay, but one that’s worth picking up in a sale.

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