You Are Browsing ' Reviews ' Category

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Dec, 2017 At 11:42 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

First person shooters are a genre that have been with us for decades. Developers are always finding new ways to experiment with the genre, and one idea that is consistently revisited is the series Hexen, an FPS that used fantasy themes instead of science fiction. Many games were inspired by it, albeit to various degrees and One More Dungeon is another fantasy themed FPS that has emerged. The game is a rougelike with procedurally generated levels but is it a good experience?

One More Dungeon is a game that has a lot of interesting points but also many flaws. The visual style is amazing, with pixel art that really stands out and helps give the game a much more unique feel to it. However, that is where the good ends. One More Dungeon has a rather confusing control scheme which often gets in the way of the gameplay. It can be difficult to get used to and you will die several times as you start. There is also the issue of the game having that “Where do I go?” issue, with the game leaving players rather confused as to how to proceed.

Another issue I have noticed with the game, is the hit detection. Sometimes you will attack an enemy and despite being right in front of the enemy, you will not hit them. However, the enemies seem to always hit you no matter what. It creates a bit of an unfair difficulty level, and combined with the awkward controls, leads to an unpleasant experience.

Don’t get me wrong, there are good points to the game and it seems like the developers had a lot of good ideas, but they just were not implemented well. If you can get used to the controls and get passed the hit detection issues, the game is reasonably solid if you can also figure out what to do. Otherwise, you might want to pass on this.

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

By Stark Wyvern On 27 Dec, 2017 At 10:37 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

In an odd spin off of the Odyssey now set in a far flung future, join Penelope as she goes to find her husband. Penelope in the original epic, stays home to fend off suitors but this Penelope is tired. She just wants her husband to come home and rid her of these pests and thus sets out on her own space odyssey.The Next Penelope is a top down racing game where you careen around tracks. In a truly speedy game you will need to win races and beat out huge monsters by hitting all of the speed boosts. This game isn’t like other racers, in that it really is about maxing your speed. The races get harder and the monsters get faster.

Facing the suitors in a race is also terrible as they want to win more than anything. They might be after Penelope but they clearly don’t care if she gets hurt in the process. It is interesting playing a game like this, as it is a change of pace seeing a woman at the helm in this story. While Odysseus has always been the strong one, this game shows us why Penelope really is so great.

The Next Penelope is definitely a game that looks good. It reminds me of F Zero in a way as the tracks are antigravity. You speed around tracks and take damage for every hit. There are obstacles galore and the AI really knows how to take you down. You legitimately have to get first place to pass levels and that makes for repeating races until you do it.

The Next Penelope might not be the best game but it does what it needs to be playable. If you enjoy the Odyssey you might get a kick out of it. Plus if top down racers are your thing than I suggest buying this stellar indie game. Personally, I’m not much for racing as I’ve never been so good but this game is rather interesting as I haven’t played too many top down racers. So, go on a quest and find Odysseus!

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

By Stark Wyvern On 27 Dec, 2017 At 12:18 AM | Categorized As NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

In a world where a despot is king, it is up to an orphan boy to take him down. This orphan is the only one who can stand up to this king and through the power of magnetism you will make it all possible. This game is simple yet also a great puzzler. You will have to use magnetism to your advantage while encountering enemies who will often just get in your way. This game is great because it is so much fun, yet also gets your brain going.

The game starts off with a man dropping off a young baby, clearly he can’t keep the baby. Years pass and the baby has become a young boy who heads out one rainy night. Evading guards who are after him for an unexplained reason he sets out for the tower of Teslagrad to find its secrets. As he ventures through the tower he finds it filled with traps and non lethal monsters. Soon he finds himself in possesion of a magnetic glove that he must use to get through the tower. As he progresses he gains power ups and new abilities to make getting through tower easier.

The artstyle is very nice, and shows off the fact that this game is in a different world. The boy always has a look of determination on his face that makes you want to push forward. It saves every time you change screens so there is no reason to worry about leaving the game to continue it later. You will even have to face bosses, which will add another layer to the mosaic.

There are multiple ways to die, and they include everything from spikes, to electricity and even fire among other things. You must always have your wits about you as you travel through this deadly tower. There is much to gain from completing this adventure and you may just learn a thing or two as you pass challenges. This game is mysterious in every way, and you never know what you will come across. There are monsters lurking in the tower, gigantic bosses who just want you dead. Do you have what it takes to take down these behemoths?

Teslagrad is a game that takes you on a journey, one that will save a young boy. Someone who honestly has no way of living as they once did, as they are now being hounded. Getting through the tower alive is the only way he will ever be able to live a semblance of life, and that is what makes this game. There is this sense of hope as you progress through the tower, you kind of connect to it. To me personally I felt like this game was just something that by playing it I was helping this kid. An orphan alone in the world finds power and learns a lot along the way, it’s heartwarming.

Teslagrad is out now on the Nintendo Switch. If you’d like to help out a young orphan, download this game and using magnetism, help him save the day!

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

No Gravatar

One of the best comics on the market is Usagi Yojimbo, the series by Stan Sakai about a rabbit ronin in feudal Japan named Miyamato Usagi. It is a truly amazing comic, and I did an earlier review of it, which I urge you to read here. But today, I will be talking about a spinoff of the series set in the far future and known as Space Usagi. Space Usagi is both a tribute to the fiction depicting samurai as well as scifi classics like Star Wars and Sakai tells the stories masterfully. Space Usagi was published as three miniseries, which were later all collected in one volume and later collected again with other spinoff work. It is very different from the main series but this allowed it to develop its own identity and go places the original comic could not.

Initially a story about protecting the heir to his clan, the story gradually expands into heist territory and also that of revenge. There are many similarities to the more recent Star Wars films, which is rather amusing since Space Usagi was published years before even The Phantom Menace came out, and yet did the concepts better. Sakai was clearly having a lot of fun with the project, possibly due to having a lot more freedom in terms of continuity. Yes characters appear who are counterparts to those of the original series but they are not exactly the same, and the changes are well done and help everyone stand out better. Sakai also went to some much darker places than in the main series, places I did not expect when I first read the comic. I would not say this is a darker and edgier version though, but once again, a comic in which Sakai was not restrained as much and thus free to explore more what if ideas.

There is still plenty of humor in the comics to counter the seriousness, and this has always been a strength of Sakai’s work. Balancing humor and dramatic writing is never easy but Sakai makes it look effortless. That being said, the comic also goes more in detail about what the fallout is like for the events Usagi goes through, especially when faced with loss and betrayal. There are some legitimately sad moments as much as there are humorous moments and I daresay this is some of Sakai’s best work. I know I haven’t touched on much of the plot but the fact is, I do not wish to spoil it because I want you all to read it yourself.

There was to be an animated series based on Space Usagi but the failure of Bucky O’Hare led to it being canned. That said, you can see a clip of it below.

This is a comic I recommend without hesitation, and I urge you to check it out. You can find it in the recently released Usagi Yojimbo Legends collection from Dark Horse Comics.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 26 Dec, 2017 At 07:55 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Bleed is an interesting indie game. The best way to describe it, was actually said by Mike Matei of Cinemmasacre, in that Bleed is a hardcore, action packed cute em up. I was not expecting that when I first played it, and it was a very welcome surprise.

I love run’n’gun games, and have ever since Contra and Metal Slug. I am not comparing Bleed to those however, because it is a completely different entity. The combination of shooter and platformer mechanics is done extremely well, and the way the game introduces new challenges is mostly well done if a little uneven. I would say that the game shows you the mechanics well, such as slowing things down, but as the game goes on, the level design becomes slightly more chaotic but not in the best way.

The slowing mechanics and twists on platforming do create a game that feels unique and with its own identity, and that is a great thing in today’s market. I wish the visuals were so, for lack of a better word, generic-lite, as Bleed feels held back a bit by this. Still it is not a deal breaker, and the great soundtrack and gameplay help balance things out. Speaking of the soundtrack, it does a great job of setting the scene of intense action and giving you that sense of both urgency and hype.

In the end, Bleed really is a unique game. It tried to mix genres and take them in a new direction and largely succeeds. The only thing that really holds it back is the uneven feeling of some of the later levels, and somewhat generic look which doesn’t give an accurate depiction of the game. If you want an intense action game that twists genres, Bleed is most definitely a game that you will want to check out.

Disclaimer: A review code was provided.

By Ramon Rivera On 26 Dec, 2017 At 04:40 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Shoot em ups are one of my favorite genres. Since the beginning, with games like Star Force and Galaga, we have always imagined that extraterrestrials are invading our planet and like the heroes of the movies, we are the only hope. Its a plot that has been used several times, but it never gets old and now we have another entry in one of the most influential and defining genre, with Star Ghost, a shoot ‘em up that is fun and different from the rest.

A metagon warfleet has been detected at the outer perimeter and as the pilot of the most advanced Star Fighter ever built, you are the only hope for defense. Star Ghost is a different kind of breed in the universe of shmups. It has all the elements, bad guys trying to destroy your home? Check! A cool and advanced machine to fight them off? Check! An arsenal of weapons and upgrades to give you a fighting chance against waves of enemies? Check! But where Star Ghost is stands above other games in the genre it’s in the way it takes known elements of the shmups, and bends them to its will, creating a unique experience and mechanics that keep the game fresh.

Star Ghost uses a simple but hard to master control scheme, wherein you only use the A button for “thrusting”, and your left stick to aim your shots and to use your tractor field( which is used to get orbs much needed for power ups and retries) and that’s it. The rest of the gameplay is based on pure skill alone. The gameplay is similar to infamous “flappy bird” style, but don’t let that fool you as Star Ghost is a game that will challenge your skills. It couldn’t be a shooter without power ups, but unlike other games they are not permanent and every shot the ship fires will deplete your shot power up downgrading it all the way to the initial level. However, you can find blue orbs scattered through each of the areas and when you destroy enemies. You can attract them with you using your tractor field, and while the field is active the weapons are not active meaning you can save precious shots to take down the next wave of enemies. 

Now graphically speaking the game looks good, although don’t expect 4K HD and all of that because this game doesn’t need that. The darkness of outer space and the looming threat that the Metagon army pose, plus the upbeat music makes the package really attractive. Regarding difficulty, I would classify it from medium to hard, since the only control you have over your ship is going up and down. That being said though, if you maintain your shot upgrades on the higher levels you can survive. You only have 1 life and you must make it last, so you have to maneuver your way and collect orbs and upgrades like a mad man. If you somehow fail during the mission, you can retry the stage again as opposed to starting from the beginning of the game if you have 50 orbs. Since the levels are procedurally generated, no stage is the same twice so that keeps the game fresh. The music is also really good and while some tunes get repeated, I don’t personally think that affect the game at all.

 

Bottom Line is that Star Ghost is a shmup that definitely deserves a change, with simple but challenging gameplay, good music and a different take on the shmup genre I recommend it to Switch owners especially if you did not play it on WiiU.  What are you waiting for?

 

Disaclaimer: A Review code was provided

By Stark Wyvern On 24 Dec, 2017 At 10:34 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Gorogoa is a game that was first released on phones and now has found its home on the Nintendo Switch. This game is certainly one to be that you do truly need to see to be believed. In a true moment of artistry, Gorogoa comes to life before your eyes and is by far one of the visually stunning games I’ve yet to see. Gorogoa is a game that truly is all about puzzles. There are countless puzzles for you to uncover and figure out and that is a great thing. Unlike other games that include puzzles this game requires a different type of skill. You really will have to work to unlock the puzzles by figuring out how puzzles line up.

This game is based on a grid and sliding the 4 screens will allow you to find out how to solve the puzzles.  This in and of itself is a different way of playing puzzle games and it is because it was originally on phones. It works so well though and makes for a lot of fun. You really have to figure out where to put panels, as you might have to set up decent chains to get things done. Of course this is really great, as puzzles are something that when found you kind of smile. Gorogoa is really just such a delight to play. The art style is something I’ve not seen in a while, and really is gorgeous. Not only is fantastical it also just screams you be delighted by its majesty. You will see so many different things that will honestly surprise you. I cannot stress how great this game looks, to have skill to draw like this really is quite the feat.

Gorogoa is definitely one of the best looking games in the hand drawn world. Artfully crafted and truly beautiful in every way. An adventure through strange towns as you swap different puzzles to crack the code. Will you be able to help this young boy on his quest, or will you give up when the going get’s tough. It’s time for as young boy to complete a magical quest, and only you can help. So, download this amazing game and see just how great the art can be!

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided.

By Ramon Rivera On 24 Dec, 2017 At 10:25 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Picture this: You are a Caveman minding your own business, chilling around a fire while your children are outside playing, then out of nowhere an alien comes and abducts your children. You are a simple prehistoric man, you hunt dinosaurs for survival of your species and family and some strange things kidnap your children. Well these 4 brave warriors are taking a stand and will get them back.. That is basically the gist of it.

Side Scrolling platformers are the bread and butter of the video game universe, without them we wouldn’t be where we are now. Every game developer has a challenge to create something unique and different from the rest, and Caveman Warriors succeeds in being different from the rest of platforming adventure games.

When you start the game, you choose your Caveman( or woman) from the 4 available. You pick the one you like the most and your adventure begins right?…Nope you are wrong, well your adventure begins but one of Caveman Warriors mechanics is that the character you chose its not necessarily the one that you can keep throughout the entire game. This is because each one has a different set of skills and abilities that differ from each other.  Jack The Smasher uses an ax with his skill being throwing the ax in a arc. This is good for hitting enemies in the air or in hard to reach places and his ability is a flaming charge that makes him invincible to hits for a while. Liliana The Last Rider uses a lance with a snake on the tip (cave women were snake enchanters I guess), hers skill is to throw the lance in a straight line. This is good for using as a platform for reaching places that you cant with your super jump and her ability is a powerful 2 hit combo. Moe The Shaman uses a drum that allows you to kick butt at the beat of ancient music. His skill is to throw one of his stick as a projectile which is good to get faraway enemies. His ability is to throw a monkey that starts singing within a sphere and is really useful because the enemies start dancing to the beat and you can get close to bonk them on the head. Lastly, Brienne The Beauty  uses…a big dinosaur leg( maybe she was in the middle of lunch when aliens invaded). Her skill is a full force hit that sends enemies flying, and her ability is using her “weapon” as a shield to protect her from harm. Why did I take the time to explain different skills and abilities? Because thanks to the character swap mechanic in Caveman Warriors, you are swapping real time between all 4 to get through each one of the stages.

Now if you have the opportunity to play with other players, the 4 player mode is the way to go since each of you will support each other. But if you don’t have anyone to play with, the single player mode with swapping between the 4 characters will get you there. The characters and each of the stages are well detailed, and I also love the idle animations of each of the warriors since it gives them real personality ( love Brienne’s animation her pet t-rex feeds on her weapon). I can see that the developers got inspiration from classics like Metal Slug ( love the airplane level btw), and to be honest I really like the knock back mechanic.  When you get hit you get knocked back( like Ghost and Goblins) so you must carefully time your jumps and attacks. The enemy AI is designed in a way that they wont make things easy for you as some hit and run, while others jump and attack and and follow your movements i.e. if you jump they also jump and attack. So these enemies aren’t just simple obstacles on your way but must be carefully considered.

Bottom line, Caveman Warriors is a fun addition to the Nintendo Switch Library with a interesting cast of characters and fun multiplayer action. It is a game geared towards multiplayer but it can be enjoyed  in single player as well, with good difficulty and interesting puzzles.  I recommend it to fans of the genre, and to gamers that want a challenging game on their Switch.

Disclaimer: A review key was provided

 

By Stark Wyvern On 23 Dec, 2017 At 11:31 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

The End is Nigh is a brutal platformer from the makers of The Binding of Issac, and brings you deep into an apocalyptic world. The End is Nigh, a challenging game that will test the limits of any platformers expertise. Bouncing around as a small blobby citizen, is certainly not meant to be easy. The main character is one of the only survivors of the apocalypse and after his game breaks, he curses harshly and heads off. In a twist he really just wants to find a friend to spend his days with and maybe help repopulate the world.

The End is Nigh is game with over 600 hand drawn panels. You really can see the work that went into making this game as the artist makes every level harder. Playing it I found myself constantly in the mindset of the character at the beginning of the game. Cursing under my breath or even aloud as I lost from terrible jumps and the spikes that littered the screen.This game also has many collectables that will vanish if you die. As you collect these tumors you will gain access to other levels. This is quite interesting, as it makes you really work to collect them all. You will find huge blobs who require them, and seeing that there are at least 300, it will take all of your skill to collect them all.

As someone who is always less inclined to play super intense platformers this one did truly test my mettle. But, for some reason I felt inclined to continue playing. I wanted to see this angry blob man find a friend. I mean if it was truly the end of the world, one single friend would be what anyone would ask for I’m certain.

The End is Nigh’s hand drawn work is stellar and really adds to the fun. As you progress through the game collecting tumors, you will see different locales. Sometimes the aura of the area will be completely different, but the game will still repeatedly kill you. There are multiple different levels that will continue to test your mettle no matter where you end up.T here are also multiple endings to sate yourself if you choose to play multiple times. Depdending on how you play you can see a variety of endings though of course only one is the most satisfying. Will you manage to keep this blob happy at the end of his quest?

The End is Nigh is truly an apocalyptic nightmare, yet is a game that you will continue to want to play. As you progress through this game and work to help this angry blob find a friend you will continue to find yourself in perilous platforming situstions. The End is Nigh which is out now on Nintendo Switch really is quite the game and one that you will have to see to really understand. It’s clear that any game by this creator is going to be twisted and in  world where this isn’t always the norm, it is quite nicely. So strap into a crazy adventure, collect some tumors and find this creep a friend!

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided

By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Dec, 2017 At 11:27 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Indie Games often take inspiration from older titles. Sometimes they take too much inspiration and go dangerously into ripoff territory, while others take things in a new direction that allows new ideas to be explored. It is often a matter of debate which direction a game has gone in, but I am pleased to say that Blossom Tales, from my point of view, has gone firmly in the latter direction and offers a new experience.

Right from the beginning, it is clear that the game is modelled on The Legend of Zelda A Link to the past. However, this is not a bad thing as Blossom Tales manages to add its own twist on things and does so with grace. The game is framed as a story a grandfather is telling his grandchildren and that actually does impact the game on a few occasions. I like the twist on the narrative style, especially as the grandfather’s narration is constantly present and keeps you on point. Several times though, you can make a choice in what he says in the story and this will then impact what happens in the game.

As for the rest of the gameplay, Blossom Tales manages to put its own spin on every little detail. From the sword techniques to item inventory, there are minor and some times major tweaks in the formula. I like that you can use repeated sword swings to move faster, and that your item use is tied to an energy bar that replenishes gradually. This is kind of similar to the stamina and magicka systems in The Elder Scrolls series.

It is not all perfect though. While the game does have an amazing soundtrack for the most part, I had some issues with it. At some points it felt bland and unimaginative, and at some lone moments, it felt too close to the music from ALttP. This is minor but there are some other small things, such as the controls sometimes feeling either a bit loose or too sensitive at times. I played using a new set of JoyCons that worked well, so it was the game that had the issue. Sometimes, I felt that I moved too much in a direction I tapped. Thankfully these issues are minor and can be overlooked.

Blossom tales is just a fun experience. It has fun sidequests and a neat story and the combat is well done. I like that rather than just making a clone of A Link To The Past, the developers went out of their way to make their own game and put their own mark on it. I must fully recommend this game. If you are looking for a game for your switch then this is a must.

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided.