So, Wargroove. It's a fantasy themed strategy RPG, built around commanding armies and claiming territory in a style more like RTSes than, say, Final Fantasy Tactics. It's a grid-based game with unit manufacturing, income, and objectives. Mechanically, how it works is pretty simple; You've got basically three kinds of buildings. Your stronghold, which if destroyed you lose the game; Unit-producing buildings; And villages, which produce money. At the start of a given match, you have a tiny little set of basics, just enough to start getting your first buildings locked down. Unlike the RTS comparison, here the buildings are all fixed, and you take a unit to them and capture them for your own use.
If Exodus is the future of the series then sign me up for more. If it's the future of single player games, then sign me up doubly-so since there's not a single scrap of online, micro-transaction, or live service bs in here. 4A have really done me proud with this one. Perhaps I'm easily pleased or I can ignore certain things - not many bugs came up and one graphical glitch happened on the Volga level which has since vanished after a patch. Apart from that, the game is fantastic, and I'm having a blast playing on the harder difficulty now to push myself and my skills even further. I love Metro's world, the design, the aesthetic, and the whole package in general - Exodus takes everything I love about it and amps it up to the next level for me.
In a recent interview with creative director of Roll 7 studios, John Ribbins, he describes a bit of his own personal experience as a lifelong skater. This is something that can be seen in every aspect of the OlliOlli bundle. Especially the central focus on pulling fun tricks, and doing so with perfect timing. It feels like an idea worn to perfection over decades of work. Ribbins actually describes having coded a functional version of OlliOlli at around age 13. The core concept being a fast, twitchy arcade game that felt "true to skating". This idea still shines brightly in today's version of the game, and is not done through the inclusion of things like Chad Muska with a boombox, or an un-lockable version of the new Vans 2019 catalogue. Roll 7 chose instead to "make a kickflip look like a kickflip". They chose to make a skating game that focuses on pitch-perfect timing and playing with our desire to cram just ONE more trick into our combo.
This is a great game. It has been out for a while now, but the fact that it came to Nintendo Switch is brilliant. I love the option to be able to take it on the road, anywhere around the house or on the TV. I'd have to say that playing it on the tv with my controller works best for me. King Art Games gives you this very warm feeling when playing their games, shock will also occur as well. You are setting things up, getting ready to advance to the next segment then bam! A twist. It's very satisfactory.
Sphinx is doing that action-platformer simple-puzzles thing of a lot of the games from this original era. He runs, jumps, swings a sword, gets a bunch of items, all that jazz. Meanwhile, the Mummy(of a young prince Tutankhamen, to be precise), being already dead, has this Wario Land style going on. He can face everything from electrocutuion to crushing, and endure all of it as it puts him into crazy specific states for more complicated puzzles. It's an interesting mix of setups, that keeps either one from overstaying its welcome too badly. Just when you tire of figuring out a complex puzzle for the Mummy, you get to switch back to Sphinx and do something more straightforward and punchy, and vice versa.
Each level does take a bit of thinking, and they do increase in the amount of time that you'll have to use your brain for. What sounds like a good idea, might not be, but that's the beauty with a game like this--plenty of trial and error. There's enough variety in the puzzles and different types of levels that if you're anything like me--you'll find yourself glued to the monitor for hours. The music is the right amount of soothing, the graphics the right amount of simple and the physics...the right amount of hilarity.
The focus on roguelike design, letting a relatively small amount of assets turn into a lot of game. The fact that there's no mid-game saves, because that sort of longer-term multiple-session play wasn't needed and would complicate the design. The little touches of things not quite refined, like how I can hear room tone in the relative handful of voice acting clips. Hell, the fact that the intro cut scene only plays the first time you play, with no way I found to start it up again. Or the hidden shield in the tutorial area, just tucked behind a rock without collision detection. If this is the work of newcomer devs, then it's a really interesting first piece. There's a lot of neat ideas here: I like the fact that a lot of the Berserker and Witch unlockables actually require some degree of success with the other class, thus forcing you to differentiate on playthroughs. It just...needs work, as a commercial product.
The game uses a similar style of art to Don't Starve, only there's colour, and a whole slew of gorgeous animations to go with it. It's a gorgeous, if somewhat bleak (due to the Underworld) game packed with lots of nice little touches and a beautiful hand-drawn/animated art style. What begins as a simple exercise in survival turns into a story about a parent and her child, and the love a mother has for her son. Sure, there are survival elements and the need to craft and create bigger/better things so that you can extend your ability to survive as well as explore more places to unravel more of the plot. But there's a real heart here to the game, and this is where Smoke and Sacrifice shines the brightest.
An interesting idea in Mage's Initiation is to have the ability to learn and grow through XP and a really smart gem system. You can equip a limited amount of gems at any time, and these gems give you individual buffs that are really useful, especially in battle. The hybrid nature of Mage's Initiation being that of a point and click and RPG, gives us these really cool opportunities to duel and battle throughout the adventure. It's engaging, fun and really adds to the whole thing, giving it a spin on a classic genre.
The game has been designed to take all of the hassle out of farm sims, to present the bare-bones, yet lavish enough love and attention to the product so you want to keep on playing - to grow the next crop, to get the next cool thing, to level both yourself and your farm and even then, keep on making money to unlock the higher tier items. There are no experience boosters you can buy with cash, there's no shortcuts you can do in this game - you have to play it - and in the game industry full of Ubisoft's time-saver packs, EA's short-cuts and publishers clamouring on about how no one has time any more to play games and unlock all the things - it's a refreshing game to play.
First, let's cover the broad spectrum, before we start dialing in on some of these actual titles. Right out the gate, I can tell you the presentation here is amazing. Every last game comes with just about every variant the original release exists in. American and Japanese arcade variants, contemporary console ports, it's all here. Not only do you have all of these variants, all of them superbly emulated, but you also have all of the extras. How would you like a ton of soundtracks to listen to, of classic SNK tunes? Done. Posters, samplings of vintage magazines, concept art? You've got it. There's tons of these little details and careful touches all throughout.
Dramatic 80's music hits my ears as the two brothers jump up in the air with such a pose of coolness, it could only be seen on TV. The red Pang Brother, black hair and a Band-Aid slap dead on the bridge of his nose, orange grappling shot in one hand with blue jeans and a red shirt and hat. The second Pang Brother, brown hair, blue shirt and blue jean shorts as well. Teal grappling shot in one hand and they are both ready to shine! Pang Brothers to the rescue!!!
On top of the fantastic experience of simply making your way through the game hunched over in sneak mode (literally my entire time in Skyrim in any playthrough, so I was hungry for it), the lush environments and levels really are a thing of beauty. The detail of this torn world really sets the game up to run a chill down your spine, even in the best of situations. The character models are ridiculously well done to the point where you think you're going to laugh at the fact that you're toting around Howard the Duck in a post apocalyptic world--but it never really seems to cross your mind as everything about them is so convincing and immersive that it's hard not to take it seriously. The enemies are foul and deranged--a real threat. Five minutes with the mutant hunters in your midst and you're guaranteed to know what they're all about without a massive context behind them.
The map of this game is split up into different areas and warping to these areas is done by making sure you have enough fuel to warp and by aiming at the direction of that area clearly marked on your HUD and each area is quite a decent size enough for dogfights, exploration and mining for resources. One of the things that I really like with this game is when fighting enemies, if the fight is won but not the cleanest, the capabilities of your ship can become damaged, so if you have laser cannons and homing missiles and your cannons become damaged you can be taking on fighters with nothing but homing missiles, not the best tactical option for survival.
Right here, right now, Windjammers is an excellent port of an absolutely amazing game. And while all the platforms are good, I think the Switch might be the single best platform for it. Between the easily learned mechanics, their smooth compatibility with a single Joycon, and the speed of a match, this is one of those games that is perfect for those magical moments where you just set the system down and start playing with someone.
This is no child's game and it is absolutely challenging, but there is no satisfaction at the end of an easy road. All achievements are due when they are worked for. There are more and more 8 bit games coming out and I have to admit, as much as I thought that I did not want to play titles like these when they started becoming popular, I am glad I did.
There is just so much to this game that it'd take me about three or four thousand words just to describe all of this to you. I mean if you complete one level you move on, right? In most cases that is true for platformers. This is like an open world platformer. You can go back to a level that you might have missed something on or if you just feel like going back, you can. I have never experienced a game like this. Not in this type of genre. So, I can say out of all games I've played, this is one of a kind. To have such freedom to roam back and forth on a platformer, it's brilliant. I'm sure if you are a vet gamer like myself, you'll agree, I'd like to see more games like this. This had some time put into it and I'm not really sure if it's big in the gaming world. If I had the option, I'd promote this game in all channels of gaming.
Fast Striker is definitely, firmly a danmaku game. But it does also throw a couple curve balls to keep the design unique. Aside from the actual difficulty adjustments, each difficulty (plus the extra Omake mode, which has a bunch of extra mechanics for score chasing) also puts you in a different ship, with its own firing patterns and thus playstyle. Each ship gets a rapid fire, a sustained fire, rapid and sustained rear fire, and the strike shield.
It's tough to define what genre this game really belongs to, but let's say that what we have here is a level-based score chaser. You need to scare away the unsuspecting people in the subway and take their food. To do that, you need to get behind them and bark (well, that's what dogs do anyway, right?). Eating their food will increase your score counter and, at the same time, it will keep your dog's stomach full. Once you have enough points, you can move on to the next level. Of course, the premise is quite straightforward but, I can guarantee, the actual gameplay is much more frantic in practice. You need to think quickly and you need to have fast reflexes. The starter levels are not very difficult but, as you progress, the later sections of the game will be a lot more unforgiving. Sometimes, to get really high scores, you will need to perform some very complex combos and this requires serious effort from your side as well.
The graphics are not overly impressive but they fit the purpose well. From time to time, you will see some rather amusing glitches, though, but none of them is game-breaking. The music is pretty good and, just like the graphics, it really fits the atmosphere well. I'm not sure I can pinpoint my favorite track, but I can say that I didn't dislike a single one, which is more than great.