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By Jonathan Balofsky On 31 Dec, 2017 At 08:27 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Gauntlet is one of those absolute classic videogames. The kind that have inspired generations of gamers and led to many more games bearing its influence. From games like Diablo to God of War, many action games take their direction from Gauntlet and that tradition continues in Hammerwatch.

Hammerwatch starts out by having you select your class from the various choices, each with their own pros and cons. Choosing the character that best fits your playstyle is the key to succeeding, for example, I will always choose a melee character as that is the playstyle I developed while playing these types of game. Hammerwatch makes the choices feel right almost immediately, and gives you the chance to truly understand how to play.

I have to say, that I truly appreciate this kind of game being on Switch, even if this is not the best version of the game. The framerate is not as good as on other platforms, but that is an acceptable compromise. What is more annoying is having the enemies not being fully visible sometimes while playing. These hack’n’slash games require you to see the enemies so you can progress, but when they blend in with the background too much, that creates a major issue.

However, I am pleased to say that this was the only real issue I had with the game. It played just like the evolution of Gauntlet that I have wanted, and I daresay it is more true to the arcade original, than some recent Gauntlet games. The expansions on the concepts, and new paths to pursue are a welcome idea, and interacting more does help expand the immersion. Plus this game is excellent to play with friends, as it is one of the best co-op games on the system. I say that because this is a game that truly recaptures that classic feel from the golden age of gaming when you are at the arcade with friends, and I do not feel that is done often.

Hammerwatch is a game that just makes me want to keep coming back. It is an indie game that surpasses its inspiration and takes it to heights never done before. Despite the issue I had with enemy visibility, I do feel that Hammerwatch is an amazing game. There are multiple modes to play in the game, and you will even want to try the other classes. This isn’t even mentioning, that there is more planned by the developers. If you have a Switch, then check out Hammerwatch. You will be in for a great time, either by yourself or with your friends. This is gaming at its purest!

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Dec, 2017 At 09:50 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Rougelike RPGs are making a comeback in various ways. From games like Legend of Grimrock and Heroes of the Monkey Tavern that are inspired by classics like Eye of the Beholder, to newer takes on the genre like Etrian Odyssey, there is always something new. I truly enjoy playing these games, but I always want to see something new or done in a new way by them and I may have found a game that does just that.

DragonFangZ – The Rose & Dungeon of Time is a Rougelike RPG with a heavy JRPG and anime influence and tells the story of a half dragon girl and her fair companion. They must travel through dungeons to find their way home, defeating enemies and levelling up along the way. The gameplay is rather interesting since, in addition to taking place on grid based levels from a top down perspective, the game manages to evoke the feelings of a first person dungeon crawler as well.

You can move in multiple directions and attack from an angle which is a nice touch, but what makes the game stand out is the fang system. You can equip different fangs dropped by enemies and these will have different impacts on your character and abilities. There is a neat collection aspect here and this offers incentive to replay and retry consistently, in order to try more combinations. In that, the game takes influence from some modern JRPGs that have similar mechanics, but applying this idea to a rougelike works wonderfully.

The detailed item system is another standout, as while you will get new items and weapons, you wont know what kind of weapon it is until you identify them. You might find a great upgrade or a lower quality weapon and it is rather random. You will also find tools to identify items faster and magic tomes as well, which offers some more familiarity.

The game is not all perfect though, as the controls are rather slippery at times, leading to attacking in the wrong direction occasionally. I also noticed a few bugs here and there when traversing areas that I should not have been able to pass but did, and vice versa.

However, these flaws do not get in the way of the game. The dragon timer gives you an incentive to get through the levels quickly, since you will start to automatically take damage as soon as it expires. However, the game also gives incentive to explore the dungeons at the same time, which ends up making you want to replay the levels over and over, even if they are randomly generated.

In conclusion, DragonFangZ – The Rose & Dungeon of Time is an imperfect but still excellent rougelike RPG. It tries new ideas and offers great innovations on the genre, which is very welcome. If you have a Switch and want a rougelike to play, then DragonFangZ – The Rose & Dungeon of Time is the game for you!

 

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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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 Jonathan Balofsky On 26 Dec, 2017 At 10:19 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch has been a major success this year, with high sales of the system and both indie and AAA games. Developers have noted high sales of their games and games that struggled on some platforms have found success on the system. This has reached the point where games like Wasteland 2 are now coming to the system due to the success the Switch has been having so far.

But what is the reason for this success? Well, the answer to that is the fact that the Switch has changed the way people view gaming. As my friend Nelson said, playing  a story game or lengthy RPG typically requires you to sit by a computer or TV while you play. You are stationary and in  a sense, trapped by the game. Sure you can take breaks, but in the end the game can only be played at one spot.

But with the Switch, this is not the case due to the hybrid nature of the system. A long RPG or story driven game becomes something you can play on the go or even in bed. I have spent several nights before going to sleep, just relaxing and playing some RPGs or beat em ups on the system, and as others have noted, the Switch is great for people who travel. A long game becomes perfect for someone taking a flight and needs a distraction, and the sheer amount of games offers variety if people get tired of the game they are playing.

In other words, games that would require a significant time commitment before can now be played in small bite sized portions  and be enjoyed in the way a player sees fit. This also has another effect as well, and that is that people might want to check out even more games on the system that can be played this way. This could very well explain why so many games have found success on the system compared to other platforms. I have seen firsthand, players of fighting games want more of the genre on the Switch so they can continue playing on the go. And as I mentioned at the beginning, developers who wrote off the Switch initially are now getting on board such as InXile Entertainment with Wasteland 2.

The Switch was intended by Nintendo to be a new way to play and it seems that they truly succeeded with that goal. This is a system that has changed the way people view and play games, and is the system for people who are constantly moving, as it offers them a fun way to play as well as giving other gamers a new experience. This really is a system for everyone.

 

Disclaimer: The Above is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

Check out Nelson’s post here.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Dec, 2017 At 09:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Christmas is that special time of the year. Its that time when trees are decorated, families gather and exchange presents and love and peace are praised. Well a gift has been given to us all by Inti Creates for this Christmas. Available now and only until the end of Christmas is  Azure Striker Gunvolt Pack Christmas Mode. This is a special bonus mode for the game, and it offers some new challenges, rewards and changes. You should not expect a major amount of content, but instead a clever remix of what was there already.

The new Azure Striker Gunvolt Pack Christmas Mode brings some ideas such as making all the floors slippery, which is explained as the floors being covered in ice.  This forces you to reconsider how you go about the levels, since your strategies before will no l0nger work and the levels require more care. This can admittedly get in the way sometimes, and does feel a bit cheap every now and then. Inti Creates did say this would be challenging but maybe less in some areas would have been even better.

Another massive change, is that the Hexapyle gates will now become Christmas trees and then will rain down presents for you to collection. This is a major part of the mode, and you will be challenged to get as many as you can. These can rain down at surprising times such as during a sequence that may require you to keep moving quickly. The challenge then becomes to get as many of the presents as possible, while still getting through the levels. Its a minor touch that somehow manages to make the game even more difficult but in a very good way for the most part, although the fact that some presents end up obscuring some enemies during certain areas does get annoying and lessens the fun a bit.

Another great thing that this mode changes is that the boss fights become much more somber encounters. Considering everything else in the mode, this is a nice touch and does make a lot of sense, The music helps these encounters and in fact, the music in general has had slight alterations to make everything sound more festive. It is rather amazing just how much effort was put into this brief event.

I may surprise a lot of people by saying this, but I feel this was worth making into DLC and the fact that it is completely free, albeit only available until the end of Christmas, is rather shocking. This is something you really should check out.

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

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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

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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