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SAND LAND Review for PlayStation 5

SAND LAND Review for PlayStation 5

Greetings, Gamers! Greg from Gaming Cypher here to chat about Sand Land from the mind of Akira Toriyama the amazing human behind the groundbreaking Dragonball series. Later making the Sand Land manga which just became an anime as well as a video game. As a lifelong DBZ fan, I have always enjoyed the characters, vehicles, and worlds Toriyama has created, and in mourning his passing recently. After thinking about his universes a lot lately getting to play Sand Land was like reuniting with a friend you haven’t seen in years.

SAND LAND Review for PlayStation 5

The sandy world this game takes place in has barely survived natural disasters and long-lasting pointless wars leaving the lands in a seemingly never-ending desert. The sands are inhabited by many creatures, humans, and even demons! The demons may look more like monsters but their actions could be considered good. Even in just the opening of the game, it’s hard not to think of the humans as the real monsters. After chronically how they have destroyed these lands and continued to choose profits over the benefit of having natural resources. But enough about the message of the game. A Sheriff from a nearby village ventures to find the most valuable resource in the world, water. Sheriff Rao kicks off the story with a chase for water not controlled by the king. The king has a strong grip on the last of the water supply and uses it to rule over those without it.

SAND LAND Review for PlayStation 5

While on the journey to find water, the crew is attacked and their car is destroyed. This forces our crew into stealing a tank, because let the demon inside you choose which vehicle to steal and it will be a tank. Boom like a mortar shell you are off on your adventures with the new vehicle but it is only one of many you can hot-swap between throughout the rest of the game like using the inventions of Capsule Corp. Though early on it seems to be an open-world fighter this begins the start of what much of the gameplay ends up being using specialized vehicles to race around in the desert, jump up rocky cliffs, or destroy enemies. In Sand Land, you’ll end up spending more time in vehicles than fighting hand-to-hand which I think is good since I found the hand-to-hand combat a little on the clunky side especially for mostly being a button masher.

SAND LAND Review for PlayStation 5

Whether you are on foot or in a vehicle you can make upgrades along the way they each have paths to level up your gameplay. On foot, you can unlock abilities of your companions or your own skills. Vehicles can be upgraded in the only working garage you have liberated and started to bring the city back around it which is a nice world development and something that allows players to feel that they may be doing some good in the world and then see it right in front of their eyes. Vehicles can be customized using materials you find throughout the game so roaming around, collecting, and fighting feels worthwhile as it helps build up your arsenal.

Overall Sand Land expands Toriyama’s world and allows players to explore one of his creations, so if you are big fan like me there is no reason not to pick this game up. Seeing the art, character, vehicle design, expanding the story of the original manga, and signature feel of a Toriyama creation is enough to ignore some of the clunkiness of the gameplay and story performances which sometimes comes across as a little awkward at times. Sand Land earns an 8/10 It is not a game for everyone but it is an excellent manga adaptation as many can feel cheap or solely focused on combat using text to build out the story for players.

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Related: Reviews by Greg Vander Velde

I've been a life long nerd and video game junkie known to associate with the likes of Link, Nathan Drake, Batman, and Master Chief. I'm a filmmaker by profession, but spend lots of time behind a controller escaping the real world. @GregVelde on Instagram/Twitter/YouTube