HonKai: Star Rail HonKai: Star Rail


Honkai: Star Rail: Turn-based Genshin Impact?

That’s an oversimplification



Honkai: Star Rail is officially available to download today on the Epic Games Store, PC, Android, iOS. A PlayStation version is also coming but is still under development. It’s the latest game from HoYoverse – makers of the ever popular Genshin Impact. We had the chance to play the game ahead of today’s release and here we’ll try to answer the question: Should you play it? 

Some quick notes before we proceed. All the screenshots on this article were taken during the first hour or so of the game. And while it’s available on other platforms, our play time was only on Android. Specifically, the HONOR Magic5 Pro. 

Getting Started

Honkai: Star Rail

Honkai: Star Rail’s first hour or so is pretty much a story-based tutorial of the game. You get a hold of two characters to start and you’re slowly shown how to do things. Unlike Genshin Impact, this game isn’t open world. Instead, you do a fair bit of exploration in certain stages in a linear fashion. 

During exploration, you encounter enemies that you either hit or hit you first. This is key in determining the order of turns in combat. Once this is triggered, the game immediately shifts to turn-based combat with stunning, flashy animations. 

If, like this writer, you grew up playing a good chunk of JRPGs, this gameplay loop will feel very familiar. 

Midway through the tutorial, the characters you control will encounter the protagonist. In Genshin Impact, they’re called ‘Traveler’. Here the main character (MC) is referred to as the ‘Trailblazer’. 

Like in Genshin Impact, you pick whether the Trailblazer is male or female. In our gameplay, this didn’t seem to affect the general storyline. 

HoYo-skinned JRPG 


The look and general feel of Honkai: Star Rail is very reminiscent of HoYoverse’s 2020 breakout game, Genshin Impact. The obvious traces are in the character’s art style. This seems intentional to clearly tie everything to the grand HoYo-scheme of things.

The menu layout and character screens look pretty much the same.

The skill trees are also accessed by tapping on a particular character. The ‘gacha’ mechanics are also identical. Although I didn’t get to try it all that much during my playthrough. 

The presentation is great too. The dialogue parts feel dynamic thanks to the various camera shots used. It’s not just the same two shots of characters going back and forth. Instead, we get various tight, medium, and wide shots to make what otherwise would have been a boring yet overwhelming banter feel more tolerable.

Honkai: Star Rail

Oh and there’s even a photo mode where you can change the ’emotion’ of your character. Perfect if you just want to admire the art style.

Turn-based Genshin Impact?

Calling Honkai: Star Rail a turn-based combat version of Genshin Impact is an oversimplification. But it’s the best way to describe the game at the moment. 

As mentioned earlier, many of the layouts, skill trees, and character mechanics are almost identical. But the gameplay varies drastically when it comes to combat. 

As someone who hopped on the Genshin Impact train late and only really boarded during smartphone and occasional PC review sessions, I wanted to make sure to get in early for this game. 

What really piqued my interest is the turn-based combat. I have been longing for a high-quality, turn-based combat game to play on mobile for the smartphone reviews I do and it’s finally here. 

Diving into combat

Combat essentially starts while you’re in exploration. If you hit an enemy first, you gain first strike advantages and vice versa. This is key in turn-based combat. The earlier you can deal damage, the faster the dispose of the enemies. 

The turns are displayed on the upper left side of the screen. This helps you determine your strategy based on your opponent. Like most JRPGs, enemies will have some elemental weaknesses.

These are immediately displayed for lower-level enemies to start. For others, you’ll have to dig in a little bit before it shows up.

Every character has a basic attack and a special. Some basic attacks can only hit one target, while others can hit multiple. Most special attacks deal damage to multiple targets. Specials have a cool down period that replenish when you attack and when you get hit. 

It’s a fantastic turn-based combat system that challenges a player’s strategic side in real-time.

There’s so much to consider from elemental weaknesses, choosing whether to attack a target or defend an ally, and picking the right moment to unleash a special attack. 

Hardware performance

Honkai: Star Rail

As mentioned earlier, we played the game on a flagship Android smartphone. By default, the settings are turned to high. But midway in the playthrough, I turned it up to very high with Game mode turned on.

The overall smoothness of your gameplay will depend on the hardware you’re playing with. I’d say to go with the default settings for an efficient experience. After all, it’s not open world and the art style lends itself nicely to lower resolution and frame rates. 

As of writing, the Android version of the game isn’t compatible with any game controllers. We’ll ask HoYoverse if this is in the pipeline and update this space as needed. 

We’ll also try the game on a gaming PC soon and share performance details also on this space. 

Should you play Honkai: Star Rail?

Honkai: Star Rail

If you’re reading this, you likely are just curious about the game and aren’t part of the thousands who have already started playing. My general advice is to give the game at least three hours of playthrough to see if it’s for you or not. 

For fans of turn-based combat, there’s a lot here that you’ll appreciate. It’s pretty simple to start but the variety of characters, enemies, elemental weaknesses, and more offer enough to make the combat feel deep. 

And if you’re into the whole game-anime waifu-collecting that HoYoverse is dishing out, then I’d say this is for you. 

Honkai: Star Rail takes the aesthetic of Genshin Impact and puts it on gameplay reminiscent of classic JRPGs. It seems like a backwards approach considering how more people seem to prefer action-type games. But there seems to be enough enthusiasm for this type of gameplay based on the buzz it has generated so far. 

Personally, it looks like this is going to be my go-to mobile game for the foreseeable future. But I’m also excited to play it on the PlayStation 5.


Sony Days of Play: Discounts on DualSense controllers, titles

It’s that time of the year



Days of Play

The time has come for Sony’s annual Days of Play, offering gamers special deals on DualSense Wireless Controllers and software titles from June 2 to 12.

During the sale period, Sony’s DualSense Wireless Controllers will retail for a special price of PhP 2,990.

The controller is available in White, Midnight Black, Cosmic Red, Starlight Blue, Nova Pink, Galactic Purple, and Gray Camouflage colorways.

Popular PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 (Blue-ray Disc version) titles will also get special prices during the promo period:

Meanwhile, PlayStation 5 consoles are now available at all authorized retailer stores.

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Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores sways both ways

And why shouldn’t it?




Burning Shores, Aloy and Seyka


It’s been more than a month since the release of Horizon: Forbidden West’s DLC, Burning Shores and the reviews came in hot. There were plenty of raves that the game is a treat as are the visuals. But what really made the most waves on the is that the fiery redhead heroine gets a partner. In more ways than one.

Aloy was first introduced in Horizon Zero Dawn as an outcast, so being on her own was expected. Understandably, when you’re treated like a pariah since childhood, warming up to people isn’t exactly second nature.

The burden of being The One

Burning Shores

She picks up new friends, even some potentially interested parties along the way but the game steers us from expecting that they’ll be tagging along for the long run. By the game’s sequel, she is still Ms. Independent, but with blossoming character development in terms of her interpersonal relationships

While there’s a bit of attraction and tension with men and women alike thrown in-game, Aloy never gets into anything no matter how hard you try to flirt. (Yes, we tried). Horizon clearly didn’t focus on finding her mate, given that there is indeed a lot on Aloy’s plate.

She even admits in dialogue that her mission as The One created to save the world, is a full-time occupation that she can’t think of anything else. Fair enough, you go do what you gotta do, girl.

Along came Seyka

Burning Shores, Aloy and Seyka

With the introduction of Seyka in Burning Shores, it would’ve been easy to dismiss that sure, they have chemistry but nothing’s going to happen. We’ve gone so far with Aloy embracing singlehood by choice, why would it change now?

That’s probably what made this DLC stand out. After becoming partners in crime, the pair share an intimate conversation where they first met to consider pursuing something more. The player option to engage in a romance probably has the audience saying “finally” or asking, “why now?”, and those who appear to take issue in Seyka’s sex are asking “why?”

But the better question is, WHY NOT?

Seyka is no stranger to duty and purpose, being intent in rescuing her sister and tribespeople from Burning Shore’s main villain, Walter Londra. She is headstrong, agile, and fierce — qualities she shares with our main girl. Aloy also learns to rely on someone for help, which is a big deal.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise either that Aloy would take on a lady love: Forbidden West final boss Tilda did express that she loved Elizabet Sobeck — Aloy’s clone source or “mother” — more than we know. Who’s to say that the genetic copy of the apple would fall far from the tree? Ultimately, should the player to decide to let Aloy initiate a romance, it’s not the end of the world if it’s a girl. Actually, they even saved it together.

SEE ALSO: Horizon Forbidden West Review: Back to save us from machines

Burning Shores

The story of Burning Shores picks up directly where Horizon Forbidden West left off. It contains additional content for Horizon Forbidden West, including new characters and experiences in a stunning yet hazardous new area.

To enter the Burning Shores, you must complete the main quest (up to and including Singularity) in the PS5 version of Horizon Forbidden West. Following the main quest, the player will receive a call over Aloy’s Focus, beginning the DLC.

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Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart coming to PC

On July 26



Perhaps easily the best showcase game of the PlayStation (PS5) that anyone can easily jump into is making its way to PC. Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart follows the growing list of PlayStation exclusives making its way to PC. It’s coming on July 26.

PC Features

Nixxes Software worked with Insomniac to make this happen. And they’re not simply porting the game to PC. They are also adding features especially made for PC gamers. Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on PC will have support for multiple types of monitors. Whether you’re using 21:9, 32:9 and up to 48:9 resolutions for triple monitor setups, you can rest assured that you’ll have a grand time with this inter-dimensional adventure. Both gameplay and cutscenes are optimized for ultra-wide screens.

The game also supports now unlocked framerates. You can choose from NVIDIA DLSS 3, AMD FSR 2, Intel XeSS and Insomniac Games’ Temporal Injection. NVIDIA Reflex and image quality enhancing NVIDIA DLAA are also supported.


Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart will be available on Steam and in the Epic Games Store. You may head to the aforementioned stores now to Wishlist or pre-purchase the game. If you pre-purchase ahead of launch, you’ll get access to the following in-game items early in your playthrough:

  • Pixelizer Weapon
  • Carbonox Armor set

Ratchet & Clank PC

SEE ALSO: Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart Review

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