Join Joshua Zajaczkowski's as he presents his video review of Blackguards 2 for PC by Daedalic Entertainment.
John and Erik finally have there hands on the new RetroN 5 and have put in some play time on the system. Here is there review and feelings on this long awaited console.
Did you know there are new NES and Genesis games released in 2017? Enter Mega Cat Studios who is producing high quality releases for the NES and Genesis. The Gamers Lounge was luck enough to be able to check out some of their 2017 releases.
The Nintendo Switch released on March 3rd 2017 and like with any new console release there are a lot of different accessories hitting the market. John of the Gamers Lounge was lucky enough to get his hands on several different ones and he shares his thoughts if they are worth your money.
Over the past few years books about video games have been very popular kickstarter with Artcade, the Genesis Collected Works and more. Bitmap books have been on the for front releasing several high quality books in their Visual Compendium Series. The series includes Commodore 64, Amiga and ZX Spectrum. After a very successful Kickstarter the forth book NES/Famicom has officially been released. Does it get the Nintendo Seal of Quality?
Everyone's major complain with the NES Classic Edition, other then not being able to find one, was the extremely short cable on the controller. This could be by design since the reset button needs to be pressed to change games or it could be just bad overall design. But now that problem has been fixed thanks to My Arcade with their NES Classic Edition Wireless controller. Is it a worthy controller for the money? Lets find out!
This past April Geek Line Publishing ran a successful Kickstarter to fund their next book. The Nintendo 64 Anthology, the ultimate guide to everything N64 and celebrating the 20th anniversary of the system. Raising over €67,000 (or $70,000 US) the campaign surpassed their goal and now has offically been released. Is this book a fitting tribute to the N64?
Cable and satellite bills have gotten expensive and more and more people are cutting the cord. There are many options out there to stream entertainment to your home, Fire TV, Apple TV, Roku and more. Main Brain TV wants to do more. Live sports, TV, movies and more with now fees. Sound to good to be true? John from The Gamers Lounge has spent a month with device. Does it live up to its promices?
Most gamers from the 70's, 80's and even the 90's remember the arcades. Tim Nicholls is one of those people and he has taken his passion for the art of the arcade and turned it into a book. Not only is Artcade a book of just arcade game art, it is a lasting record of the golden era of video games that any gamer would enjoy.
LucidSound is committed to providing gamers with the ultimate experience in sound by creating high-end audio products at affordable prices. With there second headset, the LS20 they are out to show you can spend $100 and still get a quality sounding and made headset. Have they succeed? Check out John's review!
Valkyria Chronicles was originally released on the PlayStation 3 in 2008 and at the time was considered by some to be a revolutionary take on the tactical RPG genre. Hailing an average score on Metacritic of 86 and selling just over 1 million copies worldwide it spawned two sequels on the PSP and last year was released on PC. Now the Remastered edition makes its way to the PlayStation 4. Does this 8 year old game still hold up?
Earlier this month the Disney Infinity team announced rather than releasing Disney Infinity 4.0 that they would continue to support 3.0 with new play set and figures from there four core brands at The Walt Disney Company: Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars. The first was released this week, Marvel Battlegrounds. John at The Gamers Lounge was lucky enough to be able to review this play set.
Several months ago the Amiiqo device was released that gave you the ability to copy or emulate Amiibo’s. The big drawback to this device was you had to own an Android phone with NFC capabilities. But the folks that brought you Maxlander (for Skylanders) have now released their Amiibo device, NaMiiO. How does it compare? Check out our review!
Eight months ago, Joetsu Electronics released L2-R2 Grips for the 2000 model Vita. This grip greatly improved remote play by adding physical L2-R2 buttons to the Vita. 1000 model Vita owners were left in the cold, but with a new year comes grips for the 1000 model. Let’s take a look at this new product.
The Yakuza series has always had a strong cult following. Originally released in Japan in 2005 by Sega from director Toshihiro Nagoshi, telling the story of Kazuma Kiryu of the Tojo Clan. Every time Japan would get a new game in the series, the West would beg and plead for Sega to localize it. With most of the main games of the series released in the west, minus Kenzan!, Ishin!, and the two PSP spin-offs, Yakuza 5 seemed that it would not be heading to the West anytime soon. Originally released in Japan in 2012, Sega said they could not afford to localize 5, that they did not have the manpower or money. But, thanks to Sony’s #BuildingTheList campaign, they announced in December 2014 that they would be partnering with Sega to release the game digitally on PSN in the west. Now almost one year to the date of that announcement, the game has been released. How does the three year old game hold up in the tail end of the PS3 lifecycle? Read on to find out!
Rodea the Sky Soldier is one of those games I have been looking forward to for a long time. Originally, the game was to be released on the Wii in 2010 and a few years later it was announced for the 3DS. Now after 5 years, all three versions of the game are released at the same time (The Wii version bundled with first print copies of the Wii U version). Has the game been worth the wait after all this time?
At first look, most people would say that Freedom Planet is nothing more than a Sonic knock off. Well, they are maybe about 25% right. Freedom Planet by GalaxyTrail Games was originally a fan-created Sonic the Hedgehog game. Inspired by the 16-bit era Sonic, it was meant to pay homage to that fine series, but with original characters and a darker story than most classic Sonic games. In the end, Freedom Planet is a well-polished, 2D platformer that incorporates the best elements from the Sonic and other classic platformer games.
Join John as he demonstrates and reviews PureGaming.org Retro Game Collector Apps for iOS.
Disney Infinity 3.0 is the 3rd game in the toys-to-life genre to come out in as many years. While 2.0's The Avengers play set that was included in the starter set was a disappointment, there was hope that with 3.0's addition of Star Wars would not repeat the mistakes of 2.0. Is the Force strong with this game or has it turned to the Dark Side? Check out our review and find out how you can win our Disney Infinity 3.0 prize pack.
I love the Sega Genesis. There are so many great games for that system. Phantasy Star, Shinobi, Golden Axe, the list goes on and on. But my favorite series was Streets of Rage. I am a huge fan of beat-em-ups. When M2 released 3D Streets of Rage on the 3DS I played it over and over for weeks. Now M2 has released 3D Streets of Rage 2 and as expected, it is as great as the original.
M2 has done it again with their latest release of the Sega 3D Classics games 3D Fantasy Zone II. Like with 3D Outrun they have carefully crafted another 3D game that any 3DS owner would be happy to have in there collection. Here is our review.
Etrian Odyssey is a familiar RPG series to any DS owner, but Mystery Dungeon games, while they have quite the following in Japan, most western gamers only know the Pokemon Dungeon series. Enter Etrian Mystery Dungeon, the latest RPG from Atlus, that combines two great styles of games into one of the best RPG's on the Nintendo 3DS.
In 1986, SEGA first released Out Run in the arcades. Created by Yu Suzuki, you hop into a Ferrari Testarossa with your girlfriend and drive cross country, racing against the clock through beaches, deserts and more. Along with the great scenery was a soundtrack by Hiroshi Kawaguchi that had some of the most amazing and memorable songs of any arcade game. Now M2 has brought Out Run to the Nintendo 3DS remastered in full 3D. Does this port do justice to one of the most important SEGA/Suzuki games of all time? Read on to find out!
Grim Fandango is a noir story driven adventure game from the mind of Tim Schafer and was originally released by Lucasarts in 1998 for the PC. It was commercially considered a failure but critically considered one of the greatest PC games of all time. Now thanks to Tim and with help from Sony's Playstation Third Party Relations this cult classic returns, remastered for the PS4, Vita and PC.
Natural Doctrine is an interesting strategy RPG. It takes a very different approach to the SRPG genre and in some ways it's good and in some ways its bad. But don't take the game to lightly because even if you are a seasoned SRPG player this game will chew you up and spit you out before you ever know what happened.
Another football season is here and that means another Madden football is out. This years marks the first appearance of a real next-gen version of the Madden franchise. Is there enough new to set it apart from previous years or is it another rehash of the same old game.
Velocity Ultra was one of my favorite games last year. Now FuturLab is back with Velocity 2X. If you were a fan you will be excited for this sequel and if you are Playstation Plus member you will be getting one of the best games on the PS4/PS Vita for free.
I didn't think much about The Last Tinker: City of Color at first glance but after playing it I found a colorful, fun game that any age can enjoy.
Its been a little over five years since R-Type Dimensions was released on the Xbox 360 and now it finally makes it way to the PS3. Is there any major changes to the game? Read on to find out.
Pure Chess from Voofoo Studios makes it way to the PS4. Is this port of the PS3/Vita version form 2012 worth it?
Strike Suit Zero was originally released on Steam last January by Born Ready Games who funded the game through Kickstarter. Over a year later the Directors Cut makes its way to the PS4 and Xbox One. Does this version on next-gen make the cut?
To most gamers they would take on look at Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and write it off as another quirky Japanese game that they would have no interest in. They would be wrong. It is quirky and over the top, but it is hands down one of the best game on the Vita and not to be missed.
Life is Strange was released in 2015 and was met with fantastic response. Before the Storm is a prequel and stars the angsty teen Chloe Price. The characters and story should grab most gamers attention. The bigger question is will gamers enjoy this as much as the first game in the series?
Sine Mora EX was originally released on the Vita, 360, Windows and PS3 several years ago. The game was reviewed well and its success was followed up with ports on Android and iOS. Recently, Sine Mora EX was given a high def treatment and released on modern systems. Join The Gamers Lounge as we play this side scrolling shmup and realize everyone was right this game is fantastic.
Graceful Explosion Machine isn't a complicated game with a heavy plot. This is a simple game with fast paced action. There are plenty of enemies to kill and combos to rack up in this colorful game that is full of explosions.
Shmups have been around since the early days of gaming. They take a special gamer with unique set of skills. Ghost Blade is going to need these skills, join The Gamers Lounge as we play Ghost Blade HD and ask the question is it worth a purchase?
Brought to gamers everywhere from the creators of Resogun, Nex Machina means death machine. Nex Machina was created in collaboration with the Robotron and Smash TV creator, Eugene Jarvis. This game is billed as an arcade experience with competition in mind. Join The Gamers Lounge as we play Nex Machina and experience what a true twin sticker shooter can be in the modern era
Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic from Headup Games was already released on iOS and Android but the game has finally made it way to the other platforms. Join The Gamers Lounge as we play this 2D pixelated RPG/Rogue-like that takes us back to yesterday. Is this a game for the casual gamer or the hardcore RPG fan?
The best way to describe The Surge is a scifi version of Dark Souls or Lords of the Fallen. There are some differences between the games but for fans of this genre this should be a must buy. Join The Gamers Lounge as we attempt to play this and find out if this is the kind of game newcomers to the genre could enjoy as well.
Telltale has once again crafted a great story full of memorable characters for gamers of all ages to enjoy. Guardians of the Galaxy is Telltale’s latest take on its episode adventure series. Join The Gamers Lounge as we play though it and ask how does it hold up to the rest of the Telltale games?
The Deer God is a pixelated 2D platformer that questions life and death. Join Erik from The Gamers Lounge as he reviews The Deer God and tries to understand where it begins and ends, just like life and death.
Rain World is from Adult Swim Games and is an interesting take on the platform genre. Players are forced to play as a slugcat in a rather hostile environment. Join The Gamers Lounge as we play and review this game and try to figure out where it fits in the modern genres.
2Dark is a fun take on the idea of a neo-retro game. Gamers who like puzzles, and suspense should find the game rewarding. Join the Gamers Lounge as we review the game and let readers know if this is a must buy.
Not a Hero could best be described as one part Broforce and one part Hotline Miami. This quirky niche game was surprisingly addicting. The retro style graphics and simple gameplay should entice gamers of all ages.
PSN has some unique game offerings such as Flow, Journey, and Flower and these are about all the experiences they offer. Linelight fits right into the mold of these other games with its simple mechanics and no frills puzzle distractions. Feeling stuffy headed or frustrated at work, Linelight may be able to provide a much needed distraction.
The market for survival rogue-like games is large. The Gamers Lounge had a chance to play Flame in the Flood for PS4. It’s hard to describe this fun and light hearted game as a stereotypical survival game but everything it does fits into the genre
Dishonored 2 is a worthy sequel of Bethesda's 2012 action stealth game. Fans and newcomers alike will find the game engaging with lots of options. The questions remains, should players be stealthy or is there another option?
Telltale games recently released the next chapter in their Walking Dead series, The New Frontier. At this time only episodes 1 and 2 are out, but like all other Telltale games they are fantastic. There is no reason to not pick this up if gamers are fans of the series or of point and click games.
Astervoid 2000 is the kind of title that demands couch co-op. The Gamer’s Lounge recently got a chance to play this twist on an retro classic and was impressed with it. This may be another game that needs to be added to party list for those that enjoy couch co-op on the big screen.
Destroy all Humans was recently re-released on PSN for PS4. Although the game shows its age, the quirky gameplay combined with the humor still holds up after all these years. The question is if gamers have not played the game back in the day is it worth picking up again?
Grab your cowboy hat and jump in with guns blazing and play Sombrero: Spaghetti Western. This is game is best described as a fast paced multiplayer platformer. This is the perfect game to compliment titles like Towerfall.
Ninja Pizza Girl is best described as one part endless runner meets platformer. This game was originally a kickstarter in 2014 from Disparity Games. The Gamers Lounge has taken the time to check this out on PS4 and has some positive things to say about it.
Hail to the King baby, The Gamers Lounge has taken the time to review Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour and has some positive things to say about this remastered game. 20th Anniversary World Tour is going to take gamers back to the mid 1990s where Duke was king of the FPS games.
Mafia III follows on the heels of Mafia II’s success. Gamers have been anticipating Mafia III’s release for a while now. The Gamer’s Lounge has taken the time to play the game and is happy to report that despite its flaws the overall game has some appeal.
How to sum up 140? There isn’t really an exact word that comes to mind. How about a soothing trippy platformer full of interesting shapes? While the game itself is not difficult there will be times the player will have to stop and think. This game should appeal to anyone who likes non standard Indie based platformers.
tinyBuild has released another fantastic game known as The Final Station. This is the kind of game that should appeal to almost anyone. The game combines survival horror, an adventure game, and an 8 bit side scroller shooter.
Far Cry Primal is another fantastic game in Ubisoft’s ongoing series with an interesting twist as the game takes players back in time to BC. This creates some interesting ideas in the overall game, the core gameplay remains fun. This is a highly recommended must buy for fans of the series.
Copy Kitty is an action platformer by Nuclear Strawberry. It combines fun graphics with something akin to a bullet hell delivered by a platformer. The game is entertaining and the levels are short, both those are reasons alone to own this game.
Lifeless Planet could be best described as a puzzle and adventure game. Gamers play as a young astronaut who is stranded on a mysterious planet after a one way trip several light years away from Earth. Players must discover what has happened to the rest of their crew and figure out what happened to the planet. Erik with The Gamers Lounge asks the needless question of who was this game designed for?
Battle World: Kronos is an turn based strategy game for PC/PS4/Xbox One from King Art Games. This game is a the perfect throwback to games such as Total Annihilation or Advance Wars. While this genre may not appeal to everyone this is a game that is well worth a play for fans of the genre.
Super Mutant Alien Assault is a combination of a few genres of gaming, think roguelike meets 16-bit platformer. The story and characters are quirky but there is a lot of fun to be had in this game. Join Erik from The Gamer’s Lounge as reviews this game with an open mind to see why this game is so fun.
Witcher 3 is already a great game. Blood and Wine just adds to the experience and adds more content to the game. Gamers get more of what they love, monster killing quests, treasure hunting and an interesting story. Even if gamers haven't finished the game yet, CD Projekt Red has made sure gamers can enjoy what Blood and Wine has to offer.
When I first saw First Strike: Final Hour in the Steam store, I was intrigued. I've been a fan of the nearest relatives to it, Introversion's Defcon and Team Jolly Roger's Interplanetary, for a while now, and the idea of cleansing the Earth in pixelated fire has never not sounded like a fun time. It's the ultimate expression of kicking over a block castle when you're done with it, only the block castle is the entire planet. There's a cathartic thrill to just knocking something over, and especially when that thing is the entirety of the planet Earth. In theory, anyway. In reality, the game is a little more...complex.
Bounty Train is a curious game. It's a sandbox trading sim/adventure game/railway enthusiast entertainment piece that, while the positions are static and the routes are fixed, still manages to give the player a great deal of movement. It's a genre bending game with multiple story routes and an excellent way to generate micronarratives as you go. And it's also one of the few games where you can lose during the tutorial levels, thus causing the game to shrug and go "Well, the game's over, but here, keep playing after the game over screen." But unlike other genre-bending sandbox sims, Bounty Train keeps a focus on fixed points instead of free exploration of the map, allowing the player to focus on things like the complex economy, resource management, and the interplay between various factions and characters, opening up in a way few games of its type do, and creating an entirely unique experience.
With the resurgence of many of those franchises (as well as Tim Schaefer trying to relive the days when he did something other than design failed business plans and games that sound better on paper,) Ron Gilbert and Gary Winnick reunited again to bring us a perfectly encapsulated blast of old-school gaming, a pixelated wedge of surreality that brings back the days when puzzles were kind of obtuse and games were dialogue-heavy, and none of that was in any way a bad thing.
Monster Monpiece, the latest game from Compile Heart, is something of a departure for them. There's no obvious grind, no weirdly implemented combo system, and it feels significantly different from most of their other games. All in all, it's new territory, and at first, it felt like they'd learned something from the process. Maybe, I thought to myself, maybe I've just suffered burnout from too many samey anime-style JRPGs. Maybe this time I'm wrong.
There can be such a thing as too much of a good thing with games. Trillion: God of Destruction is a good example of that.
The game is packed with systems, subsystems, and various synergies, all of which Compile Heart does fairly well when they can. It's also packed with grinding, obtuse onscreen tutorials, and wonky controls. It's like someone took all the best parts of Compile Heart games and mashed them all together, and then also somehow the worst parts got in there, too. It's a phenomenal mess, and unpacking just how much of one will probably take the rest of this review.
All my life, I've wanted nothing more than a proper successor to System Shock 2. Bioshock was always way too easy, even on the hardest setting. Dead Space relied on jump scares and didn't create the necessary level of existential dread. Hell, even Amnesia was just Myst on a very bad drug trip. There hasn't been a game that blends claustrophobia, outright horror, desperate combat, and the feeling that something is terribly, terribly wrong in the same way as Looking Glass Games' classic first person horror/RPG/Adventure. When I saw Syndrome, though, I had hope. The claustrophobic corridors, non-working lights, and twisted imagery made me think of my old standby for any list of horror games. I had a lot of hope.
Imagine someone took the simplicity and design philosophy of SUPERHOT and applied it to a platformer, and you'd get Clustertruck, the latest by Landfall Games. A platformer that finds you playing "the floor is lava" on the back of featureless trucks, where one bad bounce leads to a hilarious demise and making your way through the level is about as much luck as it is skill, Clustertruck is one of those few games like the aforementioned SUPERHOT or Nidhogg where adding anything more to it would be stupid. It only has to be what it is. And it's fun like that.
A few months ago, I reviewed an ambitious early-access game known as Zombasite. I was quite impressed with it back then, a title with staggering depth and a very low learning curve, where you could participate however you liked. It had an interesting mechanic with warring clans and an impending zombie apocalypse, and it was a lot of fun. It also had a lot of problems, some serious UI issues, and a definite problem with being overwhelmingly huge. It also couldn't quite make up its mind as to what kind of game it wanted to be, instead deciding to be all of them at once.
MegaTagmension: Blanc + Neptune vs. Zombies is another entry in Compile Heart's massive moneymaking monstrosity, the Neptune universe. As with previous versions, the characters are all anthropomorphized versions of consoles, game companies, game journalism magazines, and other game-related stuff. Depending on the game, they go to school, conquer the world, have adventures in old, broken game consoles, and a ton of other wacky adventures. Seriously, the franchise has covered almost everything now. I'm just waiting for a Mario Party game to seal the deal.
Megadimension Neptunia VII (pronounced V-2) is one of the better entries in the series. IF seems to have fine-tuned their formula to an exact science, the graphics are top-notch, and the characters have enough style and humor added to them that it makes playing the game less of a slog than it might have been normally.
The new Mega Man-themed roguelike platformer from Batterystaple games combines two genres known mainly for their difficulty: old-school platform games, and roguelikes. The issue with this combination is that old-school platformers trade on repetition, muscle memory, and pattern recognition to move their players through the game, and roguelikes usually throw most of this out the window, meaning the players have to learn more to rely on skills and powerups than figuring out level layout.
In theory, it's an excellent idea, marrying the difficulty and skill-honing of roguelikes with the quick-reaction ethos that drives older platformer games. In practice, however, it's a nightmare.
Unfortunately, City of the Damned isn't anywhere near as fun as the original product, and that's important to recognize. It tries so hard to get there, and maybe it even does in places-- the atmosphere, setting, and presentation are all fantastic-- but in the end, the mechanics are so byzantine and the gameplay choices are so confusing that it really doesn't make the end product particularly appetizing. Add to this an unfair learning curve that kind of shrugs and says "This is a difficult game and you're supposed to learn from your mistakes," and what you have is less a fun game, and more a byzantine slog for people who find Darkest Dungeon charming and too easy.
Roger Ebert once said "Of each thing, ask, who is it for?" He was of course talking about the medium of film, but it's a useful metric for criticism in general. For instance, critiquing a racy visual novel on the quantity of fanservice is kind of useless, since that's exactly why people are playing it. Similarly, critiquing a fighting game for average fighting game things isn't really intuitive to the people who want to know if a fighting game's any good, regardless of whether or not the reviewer is actually any good at fighting games.
So with this in mind, I decided to figure out whether or not Koihime Enbu, the 2D fighting game based on the Koihime Musou visual novel series, is a good fighting game, regardless of whether or not I like fighting games all that much.
It's difficult to tell, sometimes, whether a game's difficulty and controls are truly to blame, or whether it's just that I've got really stupid fingers. Brigador is one of these times.
Having been an afficionado of adventure games over the years, I understand that they aren't without their difficulties. For every Monkey Island or Space Quest, there are four that take the route of Phantasmagoria* and about six different games featuring puzzles with solutions that read like poorly translated stereo instructions. While it's the easiest genre to design for (no combat algorithms or anything like that, clean narrative with a few branches) it's also one of the easiest to screw up. All it takes is one puzzle where processor speed determines difficulty, or pouring whiskey into the gas tank of a car to fuel up a spaceship, or an infuriating pixel hunt and instantly people will throw up their hands and uninstall in annoyance.
Okay, so for the past few years, there's been a franchise known as Hyperdimension Neptunia. The general conceit is that the games industry is anthropomorphized as a land called Gamindustri, ruled over by warring goddesses who have "console wars" to determine supremacy and games companies are depicted as anthropomorphized anime characters.
Inexplicably, this has grown into a massive franchise of games, one of which is Hyperdevotion Noire, an alternate universe game where the anime goddess representing the Sony systems has taken over everything.
It's also not very good.
Marble Mountain, the new game from LightningRock Studios, is relaxing. With its bouncy synth soundtrack, bright color palette, and levels with just the right amount of challenge, it isn't the frustrating grind of most other arcade style games, but offers more challenge and depth than the average casual game. It's the perfect chillout game, the kind of thing you can do when you just need a break from everything. While not without its flaws, it's just a low-key, fun game, and that's really all it needs to be.
So first, a disclaimer. Because of the episodic nature of the game, and because this is The Last Door: Season 2, I strongly suggest you go to either the website or Kongregate and play The Last Door: Season 1. It's not the most necessary thing in the world, but it'll fill in the blanks as to Devitt, the weird eye motif, the Four Witnesses, and the secret society known as The Playwright. While the prologue chapter can answer one or two of the questions, a lot of them will be answered by just playing season 1.
But with that out of the way, if you're looking for a surreal horror game with a ton of atmosphere and a lo-fi aesthetic that manages to play perfectly with the player's imagination and delivers old-school adventure without all the pointless death, you need look no further
Zombasite, currently in beta from Soldak Entertainment, is the most fun you will have not knowing what it is you're doing.
And before that sounds too much like faint praise, allow me to explain, it is a lot of fun.
There's not much to say about The Culling, really. It's the kind of game that, if you like arena-based deathmatch shooters, you will probably like. If you don't like multiplayer arena-based deathmatch shooters, you will not like it. That's pretty much the delineation.
Granted, as far as arena-based deathmatch shooters go, I like it a lot more than most, but it's going to be pretty clear when I describe the mechanics whether or not this is your kind of thing.
Blood Alloy: Reborn from Suppressive Fire Games is an arena-style platform shooter with a 16-bit aesthetic. It promises fast-paced gameplay, fully traversable terrain, swarms of enemies, and an awesome soundtrack. And, for what it's worth, it delivers on at least some of those things. But overall, the game is a weird, messy thing. It's an arena shooter that behaves like it's a platformer, a game that requires more precision than either the controls or the game type allows for. But even if this were all, its flaws far outweigh its strengths, and the game ultimately falters in spite of itself. But more, as always, below.
Okay, so let me lay it on the line right here: If you have recently seen an action movie and said, "I would like a game that lets me do that," then SUPERHOT is the game for you. If you have ever seen a gunfight and wondered why first-person shooters don't give you the same ability to be a badass, this is the game for you. And, well, if you have recently seen Deadpool and want to turn literally everything within range into an instrument of murder, chances are SUPERHOT is your kind of game, too.
But allow me to explain.
Overfall is a game with a lot of good things going for it. It has a distinct art style, an excellent modular story engine, some interesting tactical combat, and a very dynamic setting. It's a game that promises a staggering amount of depth, especially when one gets into it. It's a big, expansive game with a big expansive map and big expansive ideas.
Why should you get this game? Because for the first time in it's long and checkered history, the cult horror game Pathologic is finally in a playable form. The graphics are better, the English translation actually matches up with what's being said in the game, and many of the truly game-breaking bugs are nowhere to be found. For the first time, players are finally able to play a rare gem in the form the authors intended it to be played.
Why should you play Pathologic at all? Well, that's a lot more complicated. The short answer is simple:
Everyone needs their mind messed with a little sometimes.
There's a very easy test to see if you'd like Sublevel Zero, the new PC game from Sigtrap Games. I'll even link it here. Go on. I'll wait. All right, did you like what you saw there? Then congratulations, this is the game for you.
I just trashed a city's infrastructure for the mob.
I was totally justified in doing so. My character was serving the Commercium, the entirely unscrupulous merchant's guild who runs the trading quarters in every major city. They plot and conspire all over the place to topple the ruling houses in the cities where they work, and they're pretty much the closest thing this world has to the mob. So now, because of me, they control the city's military as it descends into lawlessness, and they could probably take over whenever they like. The scary part is, that's probably not even the nastiest thing I'll do this playthrough.
Maybe I'm just spoiled. Maybe that's it. I've been going over and over in my head exactly what it is about Cross of the Dutchman that makes it so unsatisfying to play. It's not a bad game. It's definitely not like Chariot Wars or The Weaponographist, where I was able to pinpoint (violently) what I disliked about it. I don't dislike anything about Cross of the Dutchman, it's a perfectly okay small game about a folk hero and his attempt to drive the Saxons from his homelands. Violently. With his fists. The art style is pretty terrific, the controls aren't too bad, and it's a nice little hack-and-slasher.
But the game just falls a little short. Maybe not in what it is...it's a hack-and-slash actioner and that's really all I expected from it after a few minutes' play. But definitely in what it could be. I just felt like after playing it, I hadn't experienced anything that I would really take time out of my day otherwise to do. And I suppose that's the real issue.
I had a lot of fun with this one.
Fairy Fencer F is kind of a unique experience among JRPGs. It throws a tremendous amount of stuff at the wall, and most of it actually winds up sticking pretty well. It's a game where you can release an ancient evil god for special powers, accumulate sword spirits like crazy, have to pay an info broker repeatedly to progress in the story, and where the hero really doesn't want to do anything he doesn't have to.
And it is brilliant. More, as always, below.
I'm playing The Flock to lose.
The Flock is interesting in this regard, as there is a global endgame condition, and that condition is "lose or make others lose enough times." The count starts at something like three hundred and thirteen million "population." When the population counter reaches zero, the game will no longer be on the market. The more people who play or the more players who die, the more the population counter goes down, and the closer the players get to endgame.
This is actually pretty interesting to me. I'm always interested when something is difficult to find, or permanently out of reach. I kind of find this more interesting than the actual game itself. So I'm playing The Flock to lose.
I will give the twisted minds behind the Warhammer 40,000 universe credit, they at least know what they're doing with atmosphere. The series, a reductio ad absurdam of pretty much all science fiction and a little fantasy, is known for its rich atmosphere and utterly insane character designs. (Well, and codex creep, but that's for another article) It's a huge, bombastic setting of spaceships the size of former Soviet republics and ten foot tall warriors with six lungs and specially made ribs.
Regicide, by comparison, is a tactical strategy game taking some of the elements of Chess and mixing them with XCOM and Warhammer 40,000. It's not nearly as expansive or as utterly batshit as the source material it takes from, but in its own weird, restrained way, it does manage to be a lot of fun.
More, as always, below.
ELEX is a highly ambitious game that meshes multiple genres into one fun world. Unfortunately, the difficult combat, wonky AI and tough learning curve leaves room for a sequel. With the right updates and patches, ELEX could be great, but as it is, deserves a pause.
Battle Chasers: Nightwar resurrects a classic comic book from the 90's as a traditional JRPG with beautiful American comic stylings. Players take on the roles of all of the original comic's team members, with a new character developed thanks to the Kickstarter campaign. With its unique Overcharge system, Battle Chasers adds its own special flair to the classic genre.
Etrian Odyssey V takes the series back to it's roots, returning to one, single labyrinth. The customization for characters and parties runs deep, and you can truly make this game your own with a detailed team of characters. While this limits dramatic storytelling, the depth of gameplay draws you in and won't let go.
Take a healthy chunk of bullet-hell shooter, add in a dash of Mega Man, and a healthy dose of Shadow of the Colossus, and you get a decent representation of what Earth Atlantis is. A classic shooter stuck in an underwater maze after an apocalyptic flood, it is your job to rid the earth of the cybernetic aquatic life that bring peril to the depths.
The Touhou project has been around for over twenty years, primarily as a "bullet hell" shooter. Touhou Kobuto V: Burst Battle attempts to take that bullet-hell mentality and cram it into a 3d versus brawler. Unfortunately, it is lacking a little polish that would make the game fun for all.
Save the Ninja Clan is an indie game in the vein of Super Meat Boy in which you have to save your ninja friends. If you don't want to do that, you can always annoy the programmer of the game through some meta-jokes as you find his bugs.
Culdcept: Revolt marks the 20th anniversary of a unique series, which takes influence from real-world board and card games. As a mesh of Monopoly and Magic: The Gathering, Culdcept: Revolt is thin on story but deep in gameplay. A strong online community could really make this game thrive.
Senran Kagura bounces along with another title, Peach Beach Splash. The developers really know how to make a fun game, but they do rely on buxom beauties and sexual situations to sell them. The engines are so solid they could swap out the hypersexualization and sell their games to an entirely different audience.
Danganronpa is back, with V3 being an alleged chance for new players to get into the series, having bogged itself down in lore. A fresh start with fresh faces ripe for the killing game, but is there more than meets the eye?
Utawarerumono: Mask of Truth is the second game in the series released this year. A Visual Novel title, you'll spend more time looking at stating images and listening to storyline than actual strategic role playing, but the main draw here is the story anyways, and you're in for a ride if you are a fan of anime, manga, books in general, or feudal Japan. Ryan Johnson at The Gamer's Lounge looks into it for you.