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Found 6 results

  1. I have a confession to make, I am not the most graceful person in the world. In fact, about 15 years ago I shattered BOTH of my ankles chasing after the ice cream man. This little adventure ended with a plate and 6 screws in one ankle and a one of a kind story. So, I live out my dreams of flying high and leaping effortlessly through video games. But, if you ask anyone who has played a game with me that requires precious jumping – my dreams rarely come true. Recently, Grip Digital s.r.o. released DeadCore on Xbox One and PS4 and I got another shot at living out my dreams. DeadCore can best be described as a 1st person shooter, platformer, puzzler, speed runner. It is a mouth full to say, and a handful to play, but it is a wild ride. You have fallen endlessly through strong magnetic storms to awaken in a desolate world. You have no memory, and as you start to explore the world strange message start to appear around you. A huge tower appears out of the mist and you realize that you must climb it to find answers – you must reach the top. The game starts out simple enough, you learn the basics like walking and running. But, it would be too easy if you were running in the wide open spaces, so you are moving on thin platforms that are suspended in the air. Once you begin to get comfortable with the basics, jumps and double jumps thrown into the mix. Soon after you master the art of being a bunny, you are given a rifle to use. The rifle is not just for show. You will use the gun to open doors, disable traps, and eventually take out enemies. You have to be mindful of your aim because you have a limited number of shots. Another neat feature of the gun is that it tracks your time, so during speed runs you have that information right up front. This game is not for the faint of heart or those that are looking for a purely first person shooter experience. You will need some serious skills to get through this game and beat the time trials. That being said – everything in game is executed near flawlessly to make sure that you every chance to prove your worth. The graphics are spot on and the higher you climb on the tower the more dizzying the view gets as you look down into the abyss. One you complete the story aspect of the game you are not ready to hang up your shoes. You can tackle the whole thing over again in speed run mode. But this time you can mix things up and place the sections in the order that you want. This porovides you with almost unlimited variety and endless gameplay options. You can make you playlist as easy or as difficuly as you want. DeadCore is out now on XB1 and PS4. If you are looking for a game that will test you skills, or want to relive the glory days of speed running games where every second counts and precision is key – you need to add this title to you stack.
  2. For the last 4 years I have taken my vacation to Boston to go to Pax East – Penny Arcade Expo – an amazing video game show open to the public, featuring triple A titles and Indie titles alike. One of my favorite parts of Pax is getting to play all the Indie Games that are still in development, months and sometimes years before they are released. One of these games that I got to play this year was Unbox : Newbie’s Adventure from Merge Games LTD. Unbox : Newbie’s Adventure is a one of a kind physics platformer that transforms you into the newest member of the Global Postal Service. The GPS is made up of self-delivering packages, but unfortunately a group of evil boxes known as The Wild Cards have made it their mission to stop you. You must rescue trapped packages, collect rolls of golden tape, beat challenges, collect stamps and defeat world bosses. There is A LOT to do in this game, and the mechanics are very easy to learn. The left stick is used to control the direction of your box. To jump all you have to do is press the right trigger. You can also “unbox” by pressing the left trigger – this gives you an extra jump. You have 6 of these without having to grab any health crates. They come in handy when trying to cross great expanses of water or climb great heights. The campaign features 3 different worlds, each containing a different boss. There also 18 stamps, 200 Golden Tape Rolls, and trapped comrades to rescue. If that isn’t enough for you to do, there is also couch co-op modes. You and up to 3 friends can battle in 5 different game modes, or mix them up and play a tournament. Race, collect gold tape, have the most coins, battle with weapons, or capture the odd box. Each game mode offers a unique way to play with your friends and will provide hours of enjoyment. The graphics of the game are bright and colorful. All of the characters are well designed and some are really cute. For the record – my 14 year old son wants a Hop figure. The music is amazing. The first major area that you are in is an island and you are treated to a soundtrack straight out of the Caribbean. Steel drums transport you to the sunny beach. The next level takes place in the mountains, and the soundtrack takes you to the ski lodge nestled among those snow-covered peaks. Unbox hits many of the right chords for a platformer – lots of game play, solid controls, different and inventive story and of course fun. But it also has a few pitfalls. There are a few occasions when the camera angle can get in the way of platforming. You can control the camera with the right thumb stick, but twisting it can confuse the issue more. The other issue I found was the boss fights don’t always seem to go as scripted. You can quickly figure out how to defeat the boss, but out of nowhere the boss will get hurt some other way, and before you know it, you have won. This isn’t really a huge problem, but I felt a bit cheated not stomping him myself. Unbox : Newbie’s Adventure is available July 26th for XB1 and PS4. It is already available on PC if that is your platform of choice. If you own a Switch, don’t fret – the title is confirmed for sometime 2017.
  3. Deck 13 has released a new platformer for XB1 that shows that size does matter. Shift Happens is the story of 2 blobs that must make there way through challenging environments in order to survive. You can take on this challenge solo, controlling both characters yourself - one at a time - or have a friend hop on the couch with you and tackle them together. In Shift Happens - be careful when saying the title fast, people may stare at you - you control Bismo and Plom, 2 blob like creatures that have the ability to change size. When you start out, they can shift size independently of each other, but a strange lab accident soon links their transformations. This means that you will have to coordinate their size to clear puzzles and advance through the levels. There are 49 levels spread out among 4 very unique areas, plus several Bonus Levels for you to conquer. In each level you will not only have to reach the end, but you will have to try and collect all 75 coins that are strewn about. Most are in plain sight, but some will require you to solve extra puzzles or find hidden areas. Some levels also contain a bonus item that you must work together with your teammate to return to its proper location. If all of this isn't enough to keep you busy for a while, they have also tossed in Timed versions of the levels for you to try your hand at. The graphics are bright, sharp and fun. Bismo and Plom are strangely cute characters that will remind you of a less defined, liquid, gingerbread man. Switching their sizes is a fun animation to watch, and one that you will see a lot in the game as you progress through the levels. The levels are very well designed and a nice mix between platforming and puzzle solving. You will really have to have the characters work as a team in order to complete each level. While this is a fun game to work through on your own, the title really shines once you hook up that 2nd controller and play with a friend. Trying to work together, figuring out who will be what size and how to progress adds another level to this game. Solo, you can figure it out - but when you have to have 2 brains working together, in sync, there will surely be a battle for control. It is like a video game version of the 3 legged race - only those that get a rhythm down will win. Shift Happens is out now for XB1 and you can add it to your collection for $14.99. This is a fun game to play and really shows its greatness when you play locally with a friend. It can tax your mind and your friendship with the puzzles it holds. 8/10 Original Post : Here
  4. Headup Games has released a new adventure, puzzle, platformer that will have you chasing after bad guys and searching for your friends. Toby - The Secret Mine tells the story of young Toby, one of the last remaining residents of his village. He must venture out into the dark, unforgiving world and rescue his 26 friends. You set out across the bleak landscape in search of your friends trapped in cages. Along the way you will have to solve puzzles to alter the landscape to allow you to pass and disarm deadly traps. But not all of your friends are sitting out in the open. You will have to poke into the darkness to try and see in the enemies have hidden any of the village residents there. The puzzles will make you rely on most of your senses. Besides the typical reflexes, you will have to have a keen eye to spy triggers for deadly traps, and be listening for strange creaking noises that might mean a loose floor board that can be broken. As you progress through the levels you will have to build on the the skills you have learned to solve more complex problems. Game graphics are, for the most part, dark and eerie. They convey the sense that you are on an overwhelming quest, that you are under prepared for in trying to save the village residents. Tihe stark palette really helps set the tone. The 1st half of the game most of the foreground is all black, so you get very accustomed to it, but suddenly you get thrust into a snow world that is blindingly white and it takes a little bit to adjust. The game music helps add to the spooky atmosphere. This game is a puzzle platformer at heart. For the most it is not really difficult, it will just take some trial and error. And those errors, while frustrating, will rack up a pretty impressive death count for most players. To be honest I wandered into several traps just to watch poor Toby bite the dust. But then again, Toby went into the beyond many times just because of my lack of skills at times. Death has little impact on your game progress. If you die you are transported back to the start of the last puzzle you have not completed. This makes it easier to push through the puzzles until you finally figure them out. Toby - The Secret Mine is out now on XB1, PS4, Wii U and Steam for $9.99. You can even grab it on Android or iOS.
  5. Pocket Kingdom is a charmingly retro puzzle-platformer that creates a deep and mystical world concerning sky habitats and slumbering gods, then fills that intriguing world with a variety of frustrating puzzles and lasers. Thanks a lot, slumbering Gods. In any retro-style game, the music is an absolute essential and needs to be considered first. It is obviously in the 8-bit, nostalgia fueled style of so many other games of its kind, but the overall tone is not one of easy-going adventure, but perhaps instead a dark, somewhat confusing journey. There are upbeat moments, crescendos that build towards relief, yet are then quickly replaced by the slightly claustrophobic tones that seem to subtly tell the player that he is trapped. And trapped he is; you are completely shipwrecked on a mysterious island created by a slumbering God. Others have crashed here and given up, seemingly making whatever life for themselves they can. The importance of the people other than as tutorial advice or guides is insignificant at best, but their presence helps to curtail the feeling of loneliness; without them, it’d be you, a strange Mario-man with a bunch of tools and a ubiquitous Wizard who seems to always get to a level before you. The puzzles are inventive; obviously, any game of this genre that wishes to stand out needs to possess this quality. However, they are a cut above other platformer puzzle games I’ve experienced. There’s the standard mechanic of using blocks to block lasers that inhibit your passage, but there’s also a surprising mechanic of using inverted gravity. In one puzzle, I had to reverse my gravity and then the gravity of one of a multitude of boxes, no less than 5 times to be able to solve the puzzle. The main character also possesses a Rocket Launcher to shove blocks and a Hookshot to… hook blocks. This allows you to manipulate the blocks and do some really interesting solutions to the puzzles. The entire experience feels this way, innovative and very interesting, but the limited application of these cool ideas starts to frustrate the player. That’s the key problem with Pocket Kingdom - it is incredibly frustrating. The puzzles are fun and they are engaging but, when the difficulty ramps up, it’s just too hard. I repeated one level about 40 times before I figured out the solution – there was very little satisfaction, only a crushing realization of the last hour wasted. Too many times I would finally discover the solution, yet be left with an incredibly disappointing feeling that the solution I found wasn’t right. It honestly felt like I had broken the game somehow; my solving the puzzle didn’t seem tied to a systematic application of learned knowledge and skills, but more a random variety of actions attempted in desperation until, finally, one of them solves the puzzle and I can get that damn key. The path of the game is also slightly confusing – it is clear that there is an end goal in mind, but the map that allows you to explore and go to each puzzle is quite open – it at first seems as though there are innumerable options and ways to win the game, but time and time again I kept coming up against an arbitrary barrier. “Oh, you need THIS tool to pass, check a few rooms west” or, after working my way through 3 rooms and finding a giant red demon who seems will help me, he says I need to buy him a key. He opens a portal to… the shop… that just has the key lying there. I go to buy it, turns out I need 3 coins. “Coins? What Coins? There’s currency?” I say to myself in confusion. Yup, guess I need to go to the rooms on my map that look… kind of like coins? Oh yeah, look, I did it, I get a coin! Guess I do this two more times until the red demon will open my arbitrary barrier. While I understand the desire to deviate from the ever-present linear puzzle path - solving one puzzle, then on to the next until finally the ending - but this somewhat pseudo-open worldness just seems half-baked. While Pocket Kingdom is absolutely gorgeous, sounds amazing and utilizes some really interesting mechanics, at the end of the day I am left feeling frustrated and confused. + Beautiful sound design and retro feel. + Innovative and interesting game mechanics designed to challenge the player. - Too much frustration, rather than real challenge. - The non-linear world feels forced and confusing.
  6. Lienzo has released a new game in the adventure, platformer, Metrovania genre. Hunter's Legacy is the story of Ikki, the greatest huntress of Un'amak. Her village lives in peace and harmony with nature until one day when and evil warlock steals the Fang of Alliance. This sets your world into turmoil and you must retrieve it. Armed with your dual swords and bow you must journey through the land in search of your treasure. Ikki must battle to find the warlock in hopes of bringing balance back to your world. As you search for your foe, you will have to fight mini bosses, collect new attacks, upgrade your weapons and health. Each new attack will allow you to open up new areas to further your adventure. Power up to destroy once impenaturable obstacles, and jump to new heights. The game follows the basic formula of many adventure games. Chase the big bad, he escapes and you have to scour the land, battle smaller bosses so you can gather the tools to continue your original chase. Gameplay is also very typical - even though you are the Worlds Greatest Huntress, you are very unequipped for your battle. Unfortunately the quest to power up is underwhelming. Even though you travel through multiple areas, most feel very similar. You will encounter the same enemies across several areas. One of the most interesting areas is the Snowy Volcano. Here you will encounter ice that you will slide on, and will freeze you if you spend to long on it. You will not freeze to the point of not beinig able to move, but you will start taking environmental damage. Not far away you will encounter hot zones that will raise your temp until you start taking heat damage. You must make sure that you have enough health to traverse these areas and take care of the enemies you encounter. Most parts of the game are not that difficult, but these environmental hazards ratchet up the difficulty. The mini bosses also drastically up the ante, but this isn't because of their attack or health, it's because of game design. The first mini boss you encounter will briefly hang from the ceiling and you must shoot it's support with your bow. Once it falls you can temporarily damage it. The first few attacks are easy because you have a tower to climb that gets you close to the enemy. Once they are destroyed you must shoot from ground level and this is where things get dicey. You have to be at the precise angle in order to hit your target, but to do that the enemy is almost entirely off screen. This makes for an extended battle that really shouldn't be that hard. The graphics in the game bring back memories of older adventure games in the genre. Enemies are well designed and look sharp across the game. The soundtrack contains whimsical tracks of pan flute music to accompany you on your journey. There are a few tracks that include a rhymic clicking that made me try and figure out why my clock was so loud. Hunter's Legacy is out now for XB1, and can be added to your collection for $6.99. If you pine for old school MetroidVania games, this is a good title to keep you busy for a few hours.
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