Categories
PC Reviews Reviews

Space Engineers Review

WARNING: Space Engineers is an Early Access game on Steam. Early Access games are games avaliable for purchase, that are not completely finished, yet playable. Not all Early Access games are finished, and some developers completely abandon on these games.
Space Engineers is one of the more unique building games that I’ve come across. Many of these kinds of games take inspiration of Minecraft, and it’s gameplay and style. However, Space Engineers is the first game that I’ve played where the building takes place in space, with gravity being a major factor in the game. However, does this gameplay mechanic make Space Engineers a great game?
There isn’t really a goal to the game; it’s up to you on what you do, what you build, and where you go. The game does give some objectives you can choose to do, such as: Building bases, spaceships, and other various machines/devices. As stated above, gravity plays a big factor in the game. It can be quite useful, or rather bothersome. On one hand, it can be fun and enjoyable to send you or your friends flipping through space. However, on the other, it can be really frustrating to accidently lose control of your body, and smash into something, only to get yourself killed.
The graphics are rather plain, but since it’s in the style of a world building game, such as Minecraft/Terrari, you don’t really need to expect much. There is little-to-nothing to say about the sound in the game, since is barely any at all (making sense, since this is a game in space).
I had fun in the game for the first few hours, but after only two or three long sessions, Space Engineers lost it’s charm on me. For a building game, it did a poor job of getting me to want to play the game over and over. Minecraft gives you reasons to come back, with much more variety and content to choose from. Yes, I know this game is in Early Access, but they are still charging you $20 to play it; it being an Early Access game gives it no excuse to fall short.

 

PG6_10

Categories
Reviews

Shovel Knight Review

For a lot of people, the golden age of platformers came and went years ago. Released on June 26, Shovel Knight burst onto the scene. It quickly rose to critical claim, fans stating it as a rebirth of classic platformers; a game that rivals even the best Mario games. Critics are giving it perfect scores, and it’s sales are high. So is this hype really justified? YES!

Shovel Knight is one of the first games to be made through Kickstarter, and after playing the game, it’s a great example to show that Kickstarter CAN work. The story of Shovel Knight is nothing new: The evil Enchantress has taken his love, and a group of evil Knights, known as The Order of No Quarter, stand between you and them.

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The gameplay, as stated above, is a big call back to the classic platformers of the 80’s, in the 8-Bit era. You use your shovel for a larger number of uses. Need to destroy blocks that are in your way? Dig with your shovel! Need to dig up some treasure? Use your shovel! Need to kill enemies? Either simply wack them with your shovel, or go Ducktales on them, and bounce on them with your shovel! The game can be difficult, but it never feels unfair.

Throughout these levels, you will be acquiring money, which you will use in the Village area, to upgrade various aspects of your Knight. You can spend money to upgrade your health bar or magic bar. You can also gain better weapons and armor, along with magic spells to cast in combat. This is a great insentive to actually go out of your way for coins and jewels in levels. You can also replay previous levels, if you want to play it safe and farm for gold.

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The visuals? Absolute amazing use of only the colors that were avaliable with the NES. The soundtrack? Addicting and catchy. Overall, it’s just easy on the eyes and ears.

This game was a nonstop joy, and might be the first platformer, that I feel is perfect in every single way. I racked my brain over and over, trying to find a flaw to point out and discuss, but I can’t find anything.

 

PG10_10

Categories
News Playstation 4 News

E3 2014: Little Big Planet 3

Sony had a showcase at E3 this year, showing off gameplay footage for Little Big Planet 3, along with some details!

Sack boy is back, and not by himself this time! New characters were revealed, including the big bulky Toggle, the four legged Oddsock, and the birdlike Swoop. Each new character has an ability that will be useful in different ways while playing together. They showed Toggle to have strength abilities, Oddsock to be quick and agile, and Swoop being able to carry other characters while flying.
Not only it showed new characters for you to play as in 3, they have stated that ALL previous user created levels will appear in 3, all remastered. The footage wasn’t that long, but it was a welcome addition to Sony’s press conference. Little Big Planet 3 is coming to the PS4, hopefully to be Little Big Planets first new gen experience!

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Playstation VIta Playstation Vita Reviews

Borderlands 2 PS Vita Review

Love guns? Love looting? Love Questing? Well do I have good news for you. Borderlands 2 is the sequel to the absolutely amazing FPS RPG Borderlands, released back in 2009, published by 2K Games and developed by Gearbox Software. Borderlands 2 was originally released on the 360, PS3, and PC back in 2012, but it has just been recently released for the PS Vita!

There are so many good things to say about this game, I could write a book about it, but I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. Not much has changed from the first game to this one, except for the new playable characters, and a huge new world to explore. That might sound like a big difference for two games, but trust me, it doesn’t do much to seperate it from its predecessor. Borderlands 1 had a huge number of guns, estimated around 17,750,000. But Borderlands 2 has a whopping WE DON’T KNOW!!! Really, when asked, Gearbox was honest and said they don’t even know how many there are, but it’s easily twice as many in the first game. That’s at least 35,500,000 guns! Oh, and this game holds the trophy for “My favorite bad guy in a video game award”. Handsome Jack is a man that I absolutely love to HATE!

Besides the sheer number of guns to collect,loot, buy and sell, there is so much to do in this game. Want to go on dozens upon dozens of quests? BL2 is here to quench that thirst. Want to team up with up to 3 buddies online (or just 1 on the Vita version), go right ahead! There are so many challenges to complete, 72 levels to raise through (that’s after getting all the DLC though). That brings me to the DLC. Some games have some real garbage DLC: Alternate skins, maybe some maps. What does this game give you with DLC? New characters! New Maps! New stories/quests! So much more content over all, it’s mind boggling. This brings me to one of my few grips with the game though. Season passes are sold for many games, so you can save money, while getting all of the DLC packs together. Well with Borderlands 2, they were never really clear on which packs were initially included in the Pass. This lead to a lot of confusion, and a lot of people, including me, felt a bit cheated/tricked.

Now onto this week/next week’s release of Borderlands 2 on the PS Vita. I’m loving it so far, since I got the BL2 PS Vita Slim Bundle (the stand alone game won’t be released until the 13th of this Month (May, 2014). The controls however, have decided that they want to make my experience replaying this, a living hell. Since the joy sticks on the Vita don’t have a button built into them to click down, the sprint button, and the melee button, have been binded to the Vita’s rear touchpad. Because of this layout, my big meaty hands constantly slipped and hit these buttons, causing me to flail my melee weapon around. Also, with the grenade button and ability button being binded to the front touch pads, I’ve ran into the situation of killing myself with grenades quite a few times. This is a pretty big flaw in my opinion, but none the less, I’m still having a terrific time!

Borderlands 2, along with the first game, are absolute most owns for any lovers of FPS games, or RPGs. I would, however, caution on buying the Vita version. If you have a 360 or PS3 (or a PC that can run it), then get it on one of those. Only go out of your way to get it on the Vita if you can’t get it on any other port. This game is an absolute master piece, and I can’t wait for the next 2 installments, The Pre-Sequel (taking place between 1 & 2), and Telltale Games episodic point and click game, Tales From The Borderlands.

I’m giving Borderlands 2 a strong 9/10!

PG9_10

 

Categories
PC Reviews Reviews

Doctor Who: The Adventure Games Review

As a big Whovian myself, I can happily say that the Doctor Who Adventure Games will satisfy any hunger for content, that any lover of the Doctor might be having lately.

The game has been out for a while, in an episodic format, but all of the episodes have now been bundled in one purchasable game on Steam. Matt Smith, along with other actors from the TV show, all lend their voices to this game. It does come off as hocky at certain moments in the game, but for the most part I really enjoyed hearing the actual Doctor’s voice while playing, and not some double.

The gameplay is in Third Person, with a majority of the gameplay consisting of Puzzles and walking/running, with a lot of Stealth sections in between them. However, the controls do not quite go hand in hand with the sneaking parts, since the keyboard/mouse set up is a bit Wibbly Wobbly, and doesn’t really work in the way they set it up. It’s not game breaking, but it does a bit frustrating.

When it comes to the story, I’m going to keep it short and sweet, without giving any spoilers, or even a summary, since as Whovians know, Dr. Who is a ride best enjoyed in suprise. The Doctor Who Adventure Games is a typical Dr. Who Adventure, which makes a lot of sense, since that’s what the game is called. The 11th Doctor goes on crazy time traveling adventures in the TARDIS, along with Amy,Rory, and River tagging along for the ride.

The visuals are quite stylized, which is fitting, since it is an adaption of a live action Television show. The music and sound effects are all taken from the show (for the most part), so your ears are certainly in for a treat. As stated above though, the voice acting can be a bit campy, and it sometimes broke my immersion.

Overall, if you’re a bit Doctor Who fan, such as myself, you’ll absolutely love this game, especially if you’re one of the sad souls who had to experience The Eternity Clock game. After playing such a terrible game like that, It was so relieving to wash my pallet with this game. I highly recommend this game to Whovians; but If you’ve never watched the show before, go watch the show before trying this game out, or you will be absolutely lost and confused the entire time.

PG8_10

Categories
Opinions

Top 5 Favorite Characters

I am a passionate lover of Video Games and recently I finally came to terms with a big question we all get asked eventually: “What are your top 5 favorite video game characters?” Well sit down, and I’ll tell you my top 5!

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5. Commander Video: Do I really have to explain this one? Commander Video has so many good games, with the best ones being the RUNNER series. All of his cameos, such as his Super Meat Boy appearance, are pretty great as well. He’s a prominent figure in the Indie Game scene, and for good reason.

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4. Solid Snake/Big Boss: Such bad asses, Big Boss and his clone Solid Snake, are just hands down the greatest soldiers that ever lived. They’re passionate about what they believe in, and willing to fight to the very end for it: even if it means having an 80 year old body to drag themselves through a microwave hallway. Over the entire series, I have never felt such a feeling for them, always wanting to see them victorious and happy, despite the fact they can never be happy in their world. Sneakier than ninjas, more skilled at CQC than Chuck Norris, their level of bad-assery isn’t even legal in some countries.

sora

3. Sora: I have autism, and very many years of my life I couldn’t properly socialize. I felt trapped inside my own head, not knowing how to reach out and make friends. Kingdom Hearts and Pokemon were the 2 things that helped me through those years. Sora was the first main character of any video game series that I really got attached too. Like Snake, I always want to see Sora win in the end, and be happy. I even have a keyblade tattoo on my arm, which soon I’ll be turning into an entire KH tattoo sleeve: that’s how much that series means to me.

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2. Super Meat Boy: When it comes to platformers, sit your ass down Mario; Meat Boy is the true king. Meat Boy has infite lives, has an arch enemy who is a fetus…in a jar…wearing a tuxedo, monacle, and a top hat. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?! His second game, Super Meat Boy, is the hardest game I’ve ever beaten, and by far the hardest game I’ve ever 100%’d. His games are addictive; with funny tributes in their cut scenes, amazing music, and the best controls in a video game ever.

Isaac

1. Isaac: Oh Isaac, it seems like you’ve been met with a terrible fate, haven’t you? (BEN anyone?) Isaac goes through hell and back fighting his inner most demons, and he still doesn’t win in the end. He is a truly likable character. He’s an innocent boy who has had a very unfortunate life. The Binding of Isaac is the most twisted game I’ve ever played with its religious references, and overall depressing story premise. Even when he knows he’s doomed, Isaac fights to the end. Play it enough times though, and you’ll realize what’s really going on…

There you have it, my top 5 favorite characters. Might not be the most popular choices, but hey, IT’S MY OPINION. Hope you all enjoyed this quick little article to pass the time, and get inside my head for a moment.

Categories
PC PC Reviews

Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition Review

Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition is quite the game. It looked interesting on the Steam store, so I contacted the publishers, Paradox Interactive for a review copy (a big thank you to them by the way), and I installed the game. What I got sucked into was something truly unique.

Take Dungeons and Dragons, the actual board game, and fuse it with Earthbound. There you go; Knights of Pen and Paper. It feels like Earthbound was the main inspiration for the gameplay, and D&D was the subject. When I first booted up the game and tried it out, I thought it was stupid beyond belief; but then after about a half hour, hour of playing it, I couldn’t stop. It’s so addictive.

The gameplay is nearly identical to Earthbound. You click your action (attack, ability, items) and then click on your target. It does get a bit dull and repetitive, but I was so far into Nostaliga Central with Earthbound that I gave it a big pass. It is probably the biggest flaw in the game, but it isn’t that big of an issue. When it comes to loot you win from battles/dungeon crawling, I can’t really talk about it: it’s terrible. I never bothered looking into it, because the game does a pretty bad job of talking about it.

Visuals and Audio? Forget about it. This is a game that relies on gameplay over having pretty things to look at. That’s not a negative though. That’s what games generally should be about; the gameplay. I’m not one of those bleeding hearts that believes that all games can look like shit as long as it’s fun, that’s not true in my opinion. In this case however the gameplay makes up for it. The audio was so dull and boring I ended up muting it to play some of my own music in the background, or run Youtube on my PS3 on the screen next to me.

All in all? This game is a must buy! (If it’s on sale for about $5) Currently it’s priced on Steam for $10 for the standard game, and $15 for the Deluxe edition:

“The Deluxe Edition of Knights of Pen & Paper includes the following bonus items:

 

Special Guest Character – A Yellow Wizard with passive MP +20

Farm Village Map – A new location that will allow players to farm experience efficiently. Also includes the exclusive Scarecrow monster!

Sci-fi Pack for Bedroom – This gives players 4 exclusive items to customize their “in-game, real-world room”

Treasure Chest with 800 Gold – in-game gold that helps any new player get a head start on their adventure”

That brings me to my final complaint: IN GAME TRANSACTIONS! What the hell. This isn’t a free to play game or even a game good enough to excuse this fatal Gaming sin. Pay real money for in-game gold. That wouldn’t be a biggie if it was free-to-play, but no, you pay for this game, AND YOU MAKE MONEY EASILY JUST PLAYING IT. Ugh. I wanted to give this game an 8/10, but with the Micro-transactions, I’m going to give this game a strong 7/10.

PG7_10

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PC PC Reviews

Jack Lumber Review

Wood Ninja! I mean, uh, Jack Lumber! The entire time I played this game, I kept thinking to myself,
“Man this reminds me a lot of Fruit Ninja!” Now don’t get me wrong; just because the gameplay is extremely similar to Fruit Ninja doesn’t change the fact that this game is awesome and addictive.
When I say that the gameplay is closely similar to Fruit Ninja, that doesn’t mean it’s an exact clone of FN. Jack Lumber has its own style of slicing falling targets; instead of slicing any way, you must slice down a certain path for each log, which makes it a lot more challenging and requires a lot more strategy, instead of just slicing all of the screen. Thankfully, after the logs are launched into the air, you must click your mouse to slow down time, giving you more time to plan and attack the wood, because fuck wood!
There are plenty of levels and all of the audio and visuals are decent. The two things are the only real things I wasn’t all crazy about in Jack Lumber are that it’s pretty generic for an indie game, and it’s nothing really worth talking about, or remembering.
There are many levels, and the points/logs you get for slicing through every level, gives you some spending money. You can then purchase either equipment upgrades, or one off items to use. This adds a reason to replay the levels. The only other real reasons to replay the levels are to try to get the max amount of stars you can get in every level or get the achievements. There are 27 achievements to gain on the Steam version. They’re easy, but it does take some time to unlock them, which helps you get your money’s worth from this fun as hell indie game.
I wish I could give Jack Lumber a 10/10. I haven’t gotten so hooked on a game so fast in a while. Sadly, though, because of the generic/boring visuals and audio, I’m going to have to give Jack Lumber on Steam a final score of 9/10.

PG9_10

Categories
Playstation 3 PlayStation 3 Reviews

The Last Of Us Review

The Last of Us has caused me to come to a conclusion which I have never been able to come to video game wise; The Last of Us is the best game I have ever played. This wasn’t an easy thing to decide on, but this game is a true masterpiece of gaming, and storytelling.
There is a real infection for ants, a fungus, that causes the ant to believe that every other ant it sees is hostile, causing the infected ones to become aggressive. The Last of Us asks the question; what would happen if this spread to humans?
You play as Joel, taking place 20 years after the initial outbreak. Martial law has kept society together, but barely. Through a series of events, you will be put in charge of taking care of a foul mouthed 14 year old girl. You must get her across the country to your destination. Along the way, you’ll come across plenty of infected, and not so pleasant, survivors.
If you’re smart, the gameplay revolves around stealth. In this game ammo is incredibly hard to come by, so you must take down your enemies in a more ‘hands on’ way. You’ll be able to sneak in the shadows and stealth-grab the target, either choking them out, or shanking them if you happen to have a shiv on you. You can either acquire shivs from exploring and scavenging, or making them yourself with materials that you can scavenge throughout your journey. Most games like this try to act like bullets are rare, but by the end of those games you’re armed to the teeth with weapons and ammo. The Last of Us does have a wide variety of weapons, but bullets are hard to come by. This is the main thing that makes stealth important. Yes, you could just run and gun every battle, but you’ll never have the resources to beat the game; if that makes enough sense.
I would love to go in-depth with the story, I really would; but the game’s plot is so amazing that I absolutely refuse to give away anything. I have never cared so much about fictional characters in my entire life. Let’s just say, I teared up a total of 4 times throughout this game, and I have no shame in saying that. If you’ve played this game, you understand why.
Graphics-wise, this is the most beautiful game I have ever laid my eyes on. So realistic looking, and the sound just goes along with the visuals to help complete this master piece. During the intense, dramatic moments, the realism of the characters’ appearance just added to the immersion.
This game is an absolute must-buy for any PS3 owners, and I would go as far to say that it’s worth buying a PS3 if you don’t own one. I am giving this game a high 11/10!

PG9_10

Categories
PC PC Reviews Playstation Vita Reviews Reviews

Dead Pixels Review

Dead Pixels is an addictive zombie shooting spree recently released on Steam after passing through Steam’s Greenlight. It had previously been released on Desura. I am happy to report that Dead Pixels is a great game for zombie lovers; to an extent.

The gameplay is simple: run and gun. If it’s moving, don’t stop pumping it full of lead until nothing but a squishy ground remains. There are a large number of different weapons to use, but it has the problem with guns that Borderlands had. Yeah, there are plenty of guns to use, but there is almost no difference between most of them. For example, there is a double barrel shotgun, and a quad barrel shotgun. There is almost no difference between them, besides the stats, and how quickly it’ll eat up your ammo. This isn’t a flaw in game design; Borderlands proved guns which are extremely similar can still be executed correctly. However the issue with this, just like in Borderlands, is that they try to advertise the large amount of weapons while there are only four or five different types of guns.

 

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There are a variety of game modes to choose from in this game. You have survival mode, time attacks, normal Dead Pixels, and a few others. Survival mode and the regular DP game are most likely the two features that will be the most interesting features gamers will want to play. While playing the game, you will acquire money and loot from killing zombies, surviving waves, etc. which will be used in shops run by survivors. There you can purchase weapons, throw-able weapons, ammo, items, and even upgrades for your character. I was thrilled when I first went into a store and saw the upgrade category, but was quickly disappointed. Almost none of the upgrades in the game are worth the money. For example, there is an upgrade you can purchase for increasing the player’s speed. Even after I poured a large amount of money into each speed upgrade, I didn’t notice any changes in my speed, even with the upgrade maxed out!

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The game also has special types of zombies: like every zombie game out now has. There are your normal walkers, military zombies in armor which are harder to kill, fast, strong, ranged, poison; the list seems to go on and on with the variety of the infected. This brings me to one of my last points. Why are there only 5-7 gun types in the whole game, yet there are nearly twice as many zombie types?!

 

 PG7_10

Was Dead Pixel fun? Yes. Will it set the world on fire for great profit? Most likely not. It’s a game that you will probably play for 4-6 hours in one sitting, and then you won’t touch it for months, until you get the urge to come back to it. For only $3 bucks the game is appropriately priced. So if you want a game to burn a few hours of your life, this game is just the thing for you.

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PC PC Reviews

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation

Painkiller: Hell & Damnation is a remake of Painkiller. It’s a PC exclusive FPS which pays tribute to the good old days of shooters, where you could carry more than 2 guns, and the enemies were creative and original. In my personal opinion, the original Painkiller is more fun than any man deserves to experience while playing a video game. I was really pumped to hear about this remake, but also I was worried it would fall flat on its face. The question is, did it flop, or has pure bliss been recreated once again?

Painkiller H&D follows the 90’s era of shooters faithfully. You can hold dozens of guns, you’re all by yourself, and there are a hundred monsters eager to have you splatter their brains across the screen. Thanks to better funding and today’s standard for visuals, the sight of the game really is a big improvement, but sadly it feels like this is just a fresh coat of paint for the original game. The graphics are really neat, but it doesn’t try to be anything different. I know it’s a remake, but this doesn’t improve Painkiller’s classic feel.

The gameplay and plot is unchanged. God wants you to slaughter Hell’s army, so you must go from level to level, and obliterate everything in your path. Every level has its own unique level and enemy design, which always freshened up the original’s gameplay. The new game still holds true to the chaotic shooting spree that you will go on, and it still is a fun time. The sad thing however is that the game is on the short side, with a lack of replay value. It seems like after you’ve beaten the level, there is little reason to play it again. It’s a great game, but there isn’t much packed in to draw you back in from time to time. The current price of $19.99 isn’t quite worth just an update in looks, and other small cosmetic changes.

8/10

Categories
XBOX 360 Xbox 360 Reviews

Happy Wars Review

Happy Wars is a crazy castle storming multiplayer game, in which 15 players on each side make it their goal to break into their enemy’s castle. It was quite an experience to play on the Xbox 360, but the big question is: was it a good experience, or a terrible one?

Players get their choice of three classes to use in battle: the Mage, Warrior, or the Cleric. Each of them has their own perks that try to draw you into trying out each of them. Sadly, these classes are so boring to the point that you don’t even care which you choose from. When it comes to the cliché perk, there is, for example, the warrior’s battle tactic that centers on close quarter combat, while the Mage is used mainly to fend off enemies from a distance. The gameplay felt a bit hectic during most of the matches, with it becoming a giant ball of 20-30 people going at it in one given area. There are towers that players try to construct that become a re-spawn point. The place where you find a tower is where you can also find at least 10 players trying to kill each other at the same time. This makes the rest of the map pointless and leaves you wondering why it’s even there.

When it comes to how the game looks, it is horrible all around. While trying to look all cute and charming, the cluttered battles completely demolish that attempt at it being adorable. Besides that, there isn’t anything in the graphics that make you go “wow”, but more like “really?” instead. I found nothing impressive.

This game may be Free-To-Play, but it is a must-avoid-at-all-costs. There is almost nothing good to say about my time playing this. I haven’t played such a repetitive, boring game in quite a while. It was a good way to waste time, but it was time wasted.

5/10

Categories
PC PC Reviews

War of the Roses Review

War of the Roses sets you in a medieval battleground in which your skills will be put to the test to rank up and allow your character to become a killing machine. Getting kills and ranking up new classes will be unlocked for you to find which one suits you best, and master it. As you play the game more you’ll become used to the general feel of the controls.

The controls were quite simple; W, A, S, D to move and using the mouse for your attacks whether it be firing your bow or swinging and slashing with your sword. The game is very simple to get an understanding of and to find out what you’re trying to accomplish. You will acquire new classes and items and equip them to see which you’d like to use, as well as level up to make you feel that you’re better than those under you.

The game gives you a great sense of accomplishment when you kill your enemy. You can pull off an execution type attack to let your enemy know that you’re the victor. The game does take some skill to know how to kill your opponent, as well as how to defend yourself from him, whether it be blocking with your shield or getting assistance from your allies. The multiplayer aspect of this game adds to the enjoyment as you play against your friends in a medieval game with the ability to hack and slash at each other as much as you want.

Although this game does bring some enjoyment it also has some flaws. The game has many bugs that I found which ruined the overall gaming experience. Even though this game has bugs, do not let it deter you from thinking about getting it. The game is constantly being updated and many issues are being fixed. While reviewing this game I had an issue with servers being down and I was unable to play the multiplayer, which is what the game is based on. I was able to play a practice game mode against AI while waiting for the servers to come back so at least I’d be able to brush up on my skills somehow.

The graphics in this game match well with its intent. The medieval look is wonderful and the armor, weapons, and classes look amazing. Even the battleground looks amazing as you run through and slaughter your enemies. I would suggest giving everything a glance or two. The buildings can be used to your advantage, whether it be hiding behind them or climbing atop and firing arrows at anyone who stands before you. There is not much sound in the game besides the sound of the war going on around you.

This game was enjoyable to play, but not something I’d get too involved in. It was well put together and had easy to use controls with little to no issues. As for the many issues the game has, most of them have already been taken care of as it is constantly being updated since its release. I give this game a recommendation to check out if you’re looking to slaughter your enemies while riding your steed or on foot with sword and shield, or even by bow from afar.

This game gets a 7/10.

Categories
Playstation 3 PlayStation 3 Reviews XBOX 360 Xbox 360 Reviews

Castle Crashers Review

Castle Crashers is a game that has been out for a few years already on the 360 and the PS3, but now it’s available on Steam! Crashers was originally an amazing experience to enjoy on consoles, but now PC gamers can spend countless hours playing through CC over and over again with every character.

Castle Crasher’s gameplay is so relaxing. It’s simple: Go left to right, save every princess, and beat the daylight out of anything that moves; except pooping deer of course. There are dozens of weapons to collect and use, each being a creative item in the shape of a sword, such as a carrot or lollipop. Besides collecting weapons, you will also collect animal orbs to use. Animal orbs are miniature versions of various animal species, in a spherical shape. These creatures follow you around loyally, and each one has a different stat booster or effect. While most are useful in many situations, others, like the seahorse, seem to only be helpful in 2-3 levels of this huge game.

The spot where the RPG elements come in is in the battles. While fighting and defeating hundreds of enemies, you will gradually level up your character, and with each level you get points to spend on upgrading that specific character. You can level up your health/defense, strength, magic, and agility/range. It is obvious to see that certain playable characters are designed to be leveled up in certain fields, such as the red knight with its over-powered lightning magic. Even though you are leveling yourself up, the game makes sure to balance your stats with the later level’s enemies. It never gets too easy as the game progresses.

When it comes to the graphics and soundtrack, my eyes and ears haven’t had such a good time together in a real long time. The art style is cartoonish, yet beautiful. The original soundtrack is just soothing and fun to listen to. Almost every time I boot up the game, I end up humming to the tunes. It’s insanely catchy, and the visuals just add to the mood.

The instant I played the original a couple years ago I fell in love. Well it has been a while, and the second it loaded on the PC, that love came back in a flash. The Behemoth has made a perfect port of Castle Crashers, and it is an absolute must buy for PC gamers.

I give Castle Crashers a strong 10/10

Categories
PC PC Reviews

FTL Review

FTL is an Indie game now available on Steam, which takes the more intense side of space battles. Instead of mindlessly blowing away enemies with your weapons, you’ll have to scramble and analyze every aspect of your ship while in battle. Ever wanted to be a captain of a space ship? Remember in Star Trek when they would have to reroute the power from their engines to their lasers? Well it’s the same in this. You need to pay attention to every little detail on how your ship is doing. So how good was a game about space ship management?

FTL is a game funded by Kick Starter, and apparently every cent in those donations helped produce an amazing game. Gameplay was very well thought out. Your ship only has a limited supply of power, and you must plan out which system or subsystem gets the available power. There are consequences for turning certain systems off though. If you turn off the oxygen system, your ship will stop the production of oxygen, and you will slowly run out of air. There are consequences for every action you perform, so you will always be on the look-out to make sure you don’t regret the decision you just made. You will travel across a Star Map from sector to sector. You will encounter enemy ships, such as slavers or pirates, or you might encounter neutral/friendly ships, just as marooned ships or civilian ones. After most battles, you will acquire scraps, which is the basic currency in this game. You can either spend them at stores to buy fuel/missiles/droids, or buy new weapons or upgrades. The reply value in this game is so high. It is a rogue-like game; so if you die, you have to start all over. The maps are different every time. It always feels like you’re really traveling somewhere new every time.

The visuals and audio are great. The graphics aren’t super advanced, but the way they’re stylized and presented still makes it look fantastic. The layout of the ships you’ll be commanding look simple, but they are still really good looking. This game is perfect proof that you don’t need next gen graphics to make a good game these days. The soundtrack is great too. They also sell a bundle of the soundtrack with the game, which is a great offer for those music lovers.

This is one of those stories that show how funding something on Kick Started can really help create something worth buying. FTL did a great job at taking funds, and using it to its fullest potential.

4/5

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3DS 3DS Reviews

New Super Mario Bros. 2 Review

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is one of the newest big titles released on the Nintendo 3DS. This time around, Bowser has kidnapped Princess Peach, but besides that, the Mushroom Kingdom is overflowing with coins! Now Mario must rescue her, and also collect 1 million coins! Why? Who knows?

When it comes to the story, there is nothing new what so ever. I would try to put the coin side quest as a main plot point, but besides you trying to get 1 million coins, there’s no backstory to it, and no explanation on why we must get that many coins. It’s an incredible challenge. Not because of difficulty, but because of the time consuming grinding you will be doing. The whole game was incredibly short. I beat all of the worlds in less than 4 hours.

Gameplay is still the same. Control is still fun, and the levels are designed the old Mario way: some fun and entertaining, and others a bit lazy feeling. The core system used now is based around trying to get coins. There are now golden Flowers, which turn anything Mario fires at into gold coins. There are also gold rings, which make enemies turn to gold at your touch, letting you get a bunch of coins when you defeat them. Even with this though, getting to 1 million will take you a long time. I’ve spent exactly 8 hours on the game, and I’ve collected a little less than 50 thousand coins. I loved playing this, but getting to that million is just too much of a grind for me. You will end up playing only a handful of levels over and over, just because they give the most coins the fastest. It’s a shame. If they just increased the amount of coins from defeating golden enemies, and maybe increased the frequency of golden flowers, it could have been faster, easier, and even more fun. It still is fun if you play it in small chunks of time.

The soundtrack of this game doesn’t sound any different than previous Mario games. That isn’t a bad thing, but a bit more originality would have been appreciated. I really loved the visuals however. The 3D still gives a bit of a head ache after a while, but the style of the game was really easy on the eyes. Besides that, nothing is new.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is a risk of buying. If you love grinding for hours and hours, then this is an absolute must-buy. If you hate repetitive game play, chances are very high you will have wasted your money. Even with the grind, in my opinion, NSMB2 is a must have in anyone’s 3DS collection.

 

3/5

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PC PC Reviews

Torchlight 2 Review

Torchlight 2 is the big sequel to Torchlight, which is now available on Steam. Torchlight 2 took everything Diablo 3 did, and made it even better. With an insane amount of replay value and content, Torchlight 2 is a great deal at only $20. Is the quantity equal to the quality? Yes it is, and here is why.

When it comes to gameplay, TL2 is chocked full of possibilities and combinations to experience. There are now 4 classes to choose from in the game: Embermage (the spell caster), Berserker (barbarian), the Outlander (the gunslinger), and the Engineer (the powerhouse). My preferred class in any RPG is the mage, but in this game I was also drawn to all three other classes, and I ended up trying them all out for chunks at a time. Besides the classes there are also new pets that can be by your side; the Ferret, Chakawary, Cat, Bulldog, Hawk, Panther, and the Wolf. Your pet will fight by your side in battle, and can also carry loot as well. Not only does this make it possible to have more inventory space, but you can also send your companion back to town to sell off the loot you have given it, saving time in the long run from having to travel back and forth from battle to town.

You get experience points and reputation points from leveling up from battles/quests. The more quests you complete, the more your name gets spread across the land. This adds to the feeling that the world around you in the game is alive, with the NPCs acknowledging your accomplishments. With XP, you level up, and each time you level up, you can choose stats to increase, such as strength, dexterity, magic, and health. Alongside increasing these stats, you will get one point per level to either unlock or upgrade a new move/spell. These will be very helpful farther into the game when your default powers become less efficient in large battles. One of my main complaints, however, is the battles themselves. The animations and visuals for battling are nice, but when you are surrounded by a large mob, the explosions, magic, and other visual effects do clog up the view, which made it harder to concentrate and see what was going on.

Like in Torchlight 1, when using the controls in the game, get your mouse ready. You’ll be using the left and right mouse buttons to click almost everything. The only times I found myself pressing anything else was either when I used a special attack, a potion, or to open my inventory. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a bit of variety would have been appreciated. Aside from that, the controls were nice and simple. This makes this game easy to pick up for anyone.

The plot of the story is easy to follow. Taking place years after Torchlight 1, The Alchemist is corrupted by the evil power from the first game, and it is up to you to take up the role as a hero to stop them. The story takes place throughout three acts, and you will be pacing through a huge world to get from one place to another. Besides the main quest, there are the generic side quests, such as saving a group of hostages or even fishing. As an RPG lover I always enjoy a good story, but sadly in this game I found myself zoning out in the dialogue sequences. It was nothing special, but it was still a good plot.

The graphics and soundtrack of this game are great. I found myself in awe of the artwork of the scenery and characters, and the OST of the game was entertaining as well. Right now if you go to their website you can pick up the soundtrack for free, which is great to even listen to outside the game. The visual effects as stated above are stunning, but it does block a lot of the screen.

Torchlight 2 is a great RPG, and is easy to pick up and learn. It has an incredible amount of content, and is definitely worth the price it is currently at. The battle visuals and stereotypical plot were a slight downside, but all-in-all Torchlight 2 is a fun time to be had by all.

4/5

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PC PC Reviews

Paranormal Review

Paranormal is the type of game that will leave you wishing that this never happens to you. You are Matel Clark, an artist who has decided to record the recent events transpiring in his house. The game places you in the setting of a house in San Francisco, California that has been around since 1910 and is being haunted by its previous owners. The worst part about this haunting is that there is no escape from this nightmare.

When you first enter this game you are presented with some amazing graphics and overall good gameplay. The controls are simple as well: W, A, S, D to move and F to turn your light on or off. Using shift will allow you to sprint; just in case you feel as though you need to leave…now. The flashlight is good when you’re in that dark area and you just need it on, or if you need it for comfort. You are able to use either a mouse/keyboard for this game or the XBOX 360 controller.

Background on this story begins in 1910 when you get a look at the house history and learn how the haunting began by looking into different journal entries. The scary story that’s presented to you will hinder you from wanting to progress further, but do continue. The game has different endings, dependent on how you go about doing things. Be careful. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in the grasp of a horrific apparition. As you progress further into the game your house begins to take on a whole new look as the spirit haunting it moves everything and makes its mark all around the house.

The sound combined with the graphics add to the horror as you hear the happenings going on around the house and the scream of the spirit that is so angered with you for living in its domain. The sounds around the house are the scariest part; leaving you to wonder if it is coming for you or if it is making its presence known. I recommend you to adjust your volume accordingly unless you want to go deaf. The cries of this tormented soul are not as pleasant as you may think.

Being in a beta, this game has many bugs. Walking through solid objects is not something that should happen. I ran into an issue while playing the game where my character continuously rotated; which I found funny at first then began to despise because it started to ruin the gameplay. I also had an issue with going into the options to change settings, but it would not save the changes.

Paranormal is a very well designed and well thought out game with a great back story. This game deserves more attention and support. I recommend getting this game because it is a great buy, especially if you get it while it’s in beta rather than when the game is officially done to save some money.

Paranormal gets a 4/5.