You Are Browsing ' adventure ' Tag

By Jessica Brown On 13 Nov, 2017 At 02:57 PM | Categorized As NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

VITALS:

  • TITLE: RiME
  • DEVELOPER: Tequila Works
  • PUBLISHER: Grey Box & Six Foot
  • GENRE: Adventure/Indie
  • PLATFORM: Nintendo Switch (also on PS4, XB1, & PC)
  • RELEASE DATE: November 14, 2017 (eShop); November 21, 2017 (physical)
  • PRICE: $29.99 eShop; $39.99 physical

RiME is an indie adventure game from developer Tequila Works that was originally released on the PlayStation 4, XBox One, and PC back in May but which has just been released for the Nintendo Switch. While the Switch version of RiME was originally planned to release at the same time as it did on other platforms, the developer ended up delaying the Switch port because they felt like it didn’t meet their quality standards and wanted a bit more time to work on it. Ultimately, they hoped, the game would present a similar play experience on the Switch as players would have gotten on other platforms. I’ll talk about whether or not this paid off later on in the review, but let’s first jump into what the game itself is like.

At its heart, RiME is a beautiful journey that the player embarks upon that is entirely experiential in nature. The game has no dialogue or written notes to find, but rather it focuses completely on the desire to explore the mysterious island the player wakes up on, solving a few puzzles along the way, in the hopes of unraveling the mystery of why you ended up there in the first place. Within the game’s opening moments it is quite apparent that the main character (an unnamed young boy) has washed ashore on a strange island after a major storm, but the circumstances around it are left up for us to interpret. And, while the young boy may initially feel alone on the island (apart from the various wildlife that happens to call it home), he soon meets a fox that seems eager to aid him on his journey as well as finding himself being watched by a figure in a bright red cloak. The game is non-combative in nature, instead forcing the player to rely on their skills at platforming and their drive to explore the island, finding hidden collectibles and figuring out the path forward. The game does provide some clues about what you should do next or how you should interact with certain items, but ultimately most of it is left for you to discover for yourself.

Although the island is quite big and the game does encourage you to explore its various nooks and crannies for secrets, the game ultimately is fairly linear in nature, driving you to make your way towards a large tower that stands high above the island. Most of the time it’s pretty clear what you ultimately need to do next, but it may take you a bit of time to figure out how you need to accomplish it. Yet, because there are no enemies and the game isn’t time-limited, you are entirely at your own pace to uncover the island’s secrets.

Unfortunately, despite the developer’s delay of the game in order to ensure that it met a similar quality standard to that found in the other releases, I personally found that RiME has fallen considerably short of that goal on the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t, in my opinion, a failure of the Nintendo Switch itself but rather I feel that this version of RiME is merely a poorly-optimized port.

One of my major issues with this port is that the framerate leaves a lot to be desired. In the best of situations the game feels like it is sitting at around 30 FPS (which is quite playable, even if not ideal), but there are plenty of instances where the frame rate seems to choke out. In particularly egregious instances, I’d say it dropped close to 15 FPS or less. Given that the Switch version of RiME, while pretty, doesn’t look like it should be that taxing on the console, this feels like a major failure if the goal was to create a functionally-equivalent port. Beyond the issues with poor and inconsistent performance, there are bugs with textures (odd color patterns here and there), an overall sluggish (and sometimes unresponsive) menu, and random glitches that I’d have hoped would have been fixed (such as the game suddenly transitioning from the middle of the night to midday without any reason at times). In addition to all that, the overall visuals, which still quite beautiful in their own way, feel like they are rendered at fairly low settings, giving this port a look closer in aesthetic to a PlayStation 2 game.

Thankfully, the game controls well with the Switch Joy-cons, so I never had any issues controlling the character and making him do what I needed him to do.

What makes the whole thing frustrating is that RiME, by all accounts, is a beautiful experience and a thought-provoking journey that shouldn’t be held back by such glaring issues with optimization and quality control. The game has the potential to not only look good but to handle well too, yet I feel as if Tequila Works really let us down with this port. I should point out that the game does have a rather wonderful musical score and that does make it through to this version of the game, but unfortunately that alone isn’t able to save this experience. While playing RiME, I did genuinely find myself having fun, but it was rather bittersweet. When the game felt like it was behaving itself I would get lost in wanting to explore the island, find new ways to reach different areas, and looking for various items scattered to and fro, but then the game would get bogged down in poor performance or have some jarring glitch that took me away from the experience.

Thankfully, there is always the hope that the team will roll out an update for the game that fixes some of the issues the game currently has, and if they do that I’d have no problem giving the game a solid recommendation.

As it stands now, though, I think I’d feel more comfortable recommending you pick up RiME on the PlayStation 4, XBox One, or PC.

 

……….

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the publisher

By Wade Hinkle On 10 Oct, 2017 At 06:21 AM | Categorized As News, PC Games, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMicrosoft Studios announced two new games, Disneyland Adventures and Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure. The games will be released on the Xbox One and Windows Store and is already available for pre-order.

Disneyland Adventures will be set in the Disneyland theme park, from Main Street USA to Critter Country and attractions such as skiing the Matterhorn to dancing with the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland. Engage with up to 35 Disney characters like Snow White, Mickey Mouse and Captain Hook accepting quests, while collecting Disney-themed items, hidden Mickey, pins, rewards and achievements.


In Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure, players will team up with Disney-Pixar characters Woody, Lighting McQueen and many others in the world of “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up,” “Cars”, “Toy Story”, and “Finding Dory” creating adventures solving puzzles and uncovering hidden secrets while testing agility and speed.


Disneyland Adventures and Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure will have single and cooperative game-play , and will be available in Xbox Play Anywhere, where the titles can be played and saved on any of the Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PC versions all for a one time price of $29.99 / €29.99 / £19.99 each.

Jorg Neumann, Head of Production for Microsoft Studios states in the announcement more information of the games to be seen within the next couple of weeks. In the meantime you can check out the few screenshots unveiled with the announcement.

Disneyland Adventures and Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure was developed by Asobo Studio located in Bordeaux, France. The independent game studio specializes in creating games for families and children, while also creating  original IP’s for both consoles and PC such as their racing title FUEL. Disneyland Adventures and Rush: A Disney-Pixar Adventure is scheduled to be in the North American and European markets on October 31st, 2017.

By Jessica Brown On 3 Oct, 2017 At 07:26 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

  • TITLE: Aporia: Beyond the Valley
  • DEVELOPER: Investigate North
  • PUBLISHER: Green Man Gaming
  • GENRE: Adventure
  • PLATFORM: PC (via Steam)
  • PRICE: $16.99 USD
  • RELEASE DATE: July 19, 2017

I first encountered Aporia: Beyond the Valley in 2015 as a free-to-play alpha demo. At the time, I was looking for some fun adventure and puzzle games, similar to those in the Myst franchise, and the game’s unique style drew me in. The game’s developer was very kind and worked with me to make my way through as much of the demo as I could and, even though it was a bit rough around the edges, I was looking forward to seeing where the game would eventually go. Yet, after that time, it was nearly two years until I heard anything more about this little gem. This past July, I happened to notice that the game was heading to Steam and I was quite surprised. I dug out the old email thread I had with the developer and got back in touch and they were very kind to provide me with a review code for the full version of the game.

One of the unique things about Aporia is that it’s a game with a compelling narrative and yet one completely free of dialogue of any kind. When you start a new game, you awaken from what appears to be suspended animation in a large cave-like chamber and you seem to be quite alone. In front of you, placed with purpose and awaiting your removal, is a glowing cylinder on a large platform that’s begging you to pick it up. While in this large cavernous space you’ll see five other suspension devices, some long empty and another that appears still occupied though is partially covered by large debris, large tapestries, and a pedestal that you can fit your newly-found glowing cylinder into. Doing so activates a sort of holographic stop-motion animated sequence that gives you a bit of backstory on the cylinder you now possess, showing its creation by a shaman as well as seemingly showing the group of people who appear to have been sealed in this chamber at some later point. If you pay attention closely to these individuals and compare their dress to the symbols in the room, you can figure out not only who was within each of the chambers in the room, but you can also figure out who you most likely are playing as.

What you encounter in the first few minutes of the game demonstrates how the game’s storyline will be delivered throughout the rest of your adventure. As you make your way out of the chamber, down the winding cliffside paths, and eventually into the titular valley itself, you’ll encounter various tapestries that relay pieces of the inhabitants’ past. Sometimes these are just benign bits of information, or perhaps a small story that serves as a warning about a certain environmental hazard (such as one group of tapestries that shows the drowning of a fisherman which warns you about the strong currents in the nearby river), but others warn you about more ominous threats. You will also periodically find more pedestals that you can insert your cylinder into and play more stop-motion animation sequences that will continue to shed more light on the larger history of the valley and the individuals who lead them (including yourself).


The cylinder you possess ends up being a key component to exploring the valley and unlocking its secrets. In the chamber you awaken in, you’ll be shown how you can use the cylinder in certain types of pedestals to drain a bit of its glowing essence and direct it to power certain objects or open locked doors. Sometimes you’ll have to direct energy through multiple pedestals in an energy relay of sorts or use multiple pedestals to power a single doorway. However, each time you use the cylinder to do a task like this it will drain a bit of its power. Once the cylinder is empty you won’t be able to use it until you replenish its resources. Thankfully this isn’t too difficult in most cases unless you went out of your way to waste its power because you’ll generally find various jugs containing the glowing liquid you’ll need scattered around the environment. Each jug fills about a quarter of the cylinder’s energy, though, so you will want to make judicious use of your resources. As you press on further along your adventure, you’ll also discover a few other uses for your device. For starters, if you take it out while in a dark area such as a building or cave, the glowing liquid will serve as a flashlight for you. The light from the cylinder can also cause special flowers to bloom on demand and consuming them will replenish some of your health should you need it. You’ll also be able to use it to cause other types of plants to grow, creating bridges and ladders out of vines that will allow you to access areas you previously couldn’t.

Although the game focuses a great deal on exploration on your journey to uncover the mystery of what happened to the great civilization that once inhabited the valley, the game also presents you with various puzzles that you will need to solve along the way. While these do take a good deal of thought to figure out, most of the time the methodology behind them makes sense and the puzzles don’t feel unfair. In this regard, the developer seems to have struck a solid balance between difficulty and fun. Also, as you make your way into the main valley itself you also will begin to encounter a supernatural shadow-like entity whose existence will have been somewhat hinted at in various tapestries you previously encountered. Being in its presence will begin to slowly drain away your health, so you’ll want to shine your cylinder at it to make it leave you alone or quickly get away from it. Because you’ve been allowed to explore unimpeded prior to this point, the entity’s presence is alarming. Thankfully, its menace is at first merely startling and then annoying and it won’t pose much of a threat to you until you’re a bit further along in your journey.

Visually, Aporia is a pretty impressive experience. The environments are well-detailed and feel very much alive and the environmental effects like low-lying fog are done well. The game also does a great job with its lighting effects. Everything looks fantastic while playing on a large 4K HDR display and the game is incredibly immersive.

Unfortunately, despite all of this there are a few graphical bugs that I encountered during my exploration. In a few spots, when taking a closer look at the ground it’s quite apparent that the grass, weeks, and pebbles are actually being rendered floating slightly above the actual terrain. The lighting also acts strangely when you transition an exterior area to an interior one or vice-versa. Also, the way water flows across the environment can appear awkward in a few spots and in a couple areas the water textures appear glitchy. There were also a couple instances of environmental objects not rendering incorrectly when loading a save file. However, rather than existing as invisible textures, these objects didn’t load in at all, meaning that where once a bridge or dock should have existed there was nothing. The only way to force them to load in was to walk away far enough for them to debuff and then return, hoping they spawned correctly that time. This was particularly unfortunate though when the game had been saved while standing on one of these objects, causing me to immediately fall into the rushing river below when loading my save file.

Jumping into the river caused me to get dragged along a bit until I got stuck on the environment. At this point, I wasn’t drowning but I was also unable to get away from the strong currents. Eventually, I managed to do some tricky maneuvers and break free, but had I been unable to do so I would have had no choice but to reload a previous save file. There was also one instance where the game completely froze up on me and I never could figure out exactly what caused this to happen.

Ultimately, I feel like Aporia: Beyond the Valley is a mysterious, intriguing, and beautifully-puzzling adventure game that will draw people in with its unique story and presentation. There’s a lot to love with this one, even if it’s true that the game could have used a bit more polish before being released. I feel like Aporia is a very good game in its current form, but with a bit more work it could have been an excellent game. Still, the core beauty of the game itself and the world it presents manages to shine through, keeping any one individual bug from marring an otherwise lovely experience.

Aporia: Beyond the Valley is a solid adventure that would make an excellent addition to any PC gamer’s library, particularly if they enjoy Myst-like experiences!

ADDITIONAL SCREENSHOTS (Click for 4K):

By Jessica Brown On 23 Sep, 2017 At 10:08 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

  • TITLE: XING: The Land Beyond
  • DEVELOPER: White Lotus Interactive
  • PUBLISHER: White Lotus Interactive
  • GENRE: Adventure
  • PLATFORM: PC (Steam); Also on PS4
  • RELEASE DATE: September 21, 2017

XING: The Land Beyond is a first-person, VR-compatible adventure game from White Lotus Interactive available for the PC and PlayStation 4. It’s a non-combat, exploration-focused game that also features various puzzles that will need to be overcome.

XING (pronounced “Zing” according to the developer) puts players in the role of a character as they enter the afterlife. Entering a realm somewhere between life and death, the player will help the Guardian free the spirits of those souls who are trapped and unable to fully move on. Along the way, they will find clues about themselves, hopefully discover who they are and why they are here.

The journey begins with what seems to be your death, dropping you in a bright white space between realms. Venturing through the open door before you will take you to a hub area – a rocky, forested island floating high above the clouds. Here you’ll meet a guardian spirit who says it is the only true living entity in this realm and who sends you on your way. From here, you’ll venture to other realms that were once home to spirits who now need your help in setting them free. While you will be mostly on your own in these different areas, the spirits will guide you with cryptic clues and bits of wisdom and you’ll encounter their story told through pieces of scattered poetry.

In XING, the game is all about the journey, and it’s a journey that you can enjoy at your own pace. There are no entities that are out to destroy you and there isn’t anything that you’ll need to kill along the way. Also, since you are already dead, death is no longer an obstacle. Even if you miss a precise jump that you need to make, you’ll simply phase out and reappear near where you failed, free to try again as many times as you need. This doesn’t mean that the game is easy though, but what it does succeed in doing is taking away any sense of immediacy that might otherwise cause you stress. Rather than having to worry about reaching a certain goal within a set amount of time, you’ll instead be able to take your time seeing the sights, exploring every nook and cranny, and solving a few puzzles along the way. Exploration is certainly rewarded and is also highly enjoyable.

While I certainly do enjoy puzzle games, I do worry about games reaching a point where their puzzles become too cryptic and frustrating to solve. For me, it’s all about balance: I love having a solid level of difficulty when it comes to figuring things out, but I don’t want something to become so difficult as to be angering and off-putting. There’s always that “A-ha!” moment that should come with solving a particularly stumping situation and the hope is that that moment and feeling will pay off in the end. White Lotus Interactive seems to be very keen on my type of perspective because they ultimately have done a good job making the puzzles approachable while not holding your hand much along the way.

In the island realm, there’s a puzzle near the end of your journey that involves a deep canyon that will need to be crossed at various points that has a rotating mechanism at its center with clock hands serving as a metallic bridge. Various switch pedestals are at different spots around the canyon and the key lies in using them to rotate the hands to certain positions. By itself, this would take a little bit of doing, but XING adds a deeper mechanic into the mix: some switches only affect the clock hands during the day while others don’t take effect until nighttime. In order to get to certain locations, you’ll have to figure out which switches to activate for the day as well as the night and then make use of a special ability to change the time of day (which can only be done at certain locations). In short, you’ll have to mentally plan out your journey a couple steps ahead of time in order to take into account the positions the hands will be at during the day and the night as well as where you will be when you can toggle the time of day. The final problem the game will face you with in this area is that the door you’ll need to open at the end can only be opened during the night.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, the aforementioned realm has a theme to it: time. In this case, the theme is presented through an ability to change between day and night – an ability you’ll have to master in order to solve problems and make your way around the island. Some platforms or objects will only appear during the day or night and certain doors can also only be opened at certain times. The island’s final puzzle takes everything you’ve learned up until that point and combines it into a new challenge. Along the way, you learn the story of the spirit associated with the island and her journey through isolation and self-affirmation.

Each realm you visit contains a similar thematic approach. Along your journey you’ll come to master time, the elements, and much more. All of these things will have to be harnessed to solve a variety of unique puzzles and explore mysterious, breathtaking worlds.

It’s apparent that White Lotus Interactive has taken a good deal of inspiration from the much-loved Myst series, and XING: The Land Beyond feels like a carefully-crafted love letter to the franchise. However, XING may take some inspirations from Myst, but it most certainly is a worthy title in its own right. The story is extremely unique, yet equally as mysterious. The settings are breathtaking and beg to be explored. And the journey itself is one that will draw you in and keep you wanting more.

The game is aesthetically beautiful and yet it performs quite well. There are a variety of settings that you can toy with in the PC version to tailor the experience to your system’s specific capabilities. For me, playing the game at 4K, everything was beautiful and handled well. Yet, for a game of this nature, I find that ambiance and sound-quality are just as important as visuals, and thankfully this game delivers not just in the quality of its environmental sounds but also in its voice-acting (narrated by the various spirits you’re trying to free) as well as its exceptional soundtrack. I sincerely hope the game’s OST is made available as a separate, reasonable purchase sometime in the near future.

My copy of XING is for the PC, yet I have no doubt that the game will be a very positive experience on the PlayStation 4 as well. With the game also being VR-compatible, it should also make for a fun, immersive journey for those that wish to play it that way.

In the end, XING: The Land Beyond is an exceptional, beautiful adventure game that will draw you in and stay with you for quite some time.

ADDITIONAL SCREENS (Click for 4K):

By Jessica Brown On 25 Aug, 2017 At 01:48 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, PC Games, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

  • TITLE: forma.8
  • DEVELOPER: MixedBag
  • PUBLISHER: MixedBag
  • GENRE: Action-Adventure/Metroidvania
  • PLATFORM: Nintendo Switch
  • ALSO ON: PS4, XB1, Wii U, iOS, Android, & PC
  • RELEASE DATE: August 24, 2017
  • PRICE: $9.99 US (eShop)

forma.8 made its way onto a whole slew of platforms earlier this year, but until receiving a copy of the game to cover for the Nintendo Switch it was a title I’d never heard of. In large part, that’s because forma.8 made its debut at a time when I was large “AFK” from the gaming space for various reasons. However, now that I am aware of this game, I have to say that I wish I had known about it sooner!

At first glance, the game would have seemed somewhat forgettable to me. The title is certainly strange and glancing at the title screen really didn’t tell me that much about the game. It’s one of those situations, though, where it’s best not to judge a book by its cover. With forma.8, it’s best to just fire it up and give it a shot because, most likely, within the first 5 or 10 minutes you’ll be captivated by its simple-yet-complex nature and feel compelled to push onwards into its strange world.

The game puts you in the role of a planetary exploration probe called “forma.8,” separated from your companions when you are shot onto the surface of an alien world. According to the game’s official description, you are searching for a powerful energy source of some kind, though this is not immediately apparent to you. In fact, there’s really not much in the way of backstory outside of a narrative-less opening cinematic, so for a while, it’s up to you to piece together what’s actually going on here.

Regardless, you start your journey with nothing more than the ability to fly around, yet as you push forward you will slowly find keys, special items, and new upgrades that are, rather cryptically, learned from the wrecked remains of some of your fallen allies. For instance, in the first couple of minutes of actual play, you’ll gain the ability to create an energy pulse that can help you interact with certain items as well as damage enemies that you’ll encounter. Not too long after that, you’ll also pick up an ability to drop a bomb that can destroy certain barriers, cause a lot more damage, and can even be directed at targets through the careful use of the pulse ability.

The game is certainly a unique take on the tried-and-true Metroidvania formula. While there are some areas that are fairly linear, the game presents you with several options of where you can go next, opening up even further to you once you possess certain key abilities, making backtracking all the more important later on. You have a basic grid-style map that will show you which “room” you are in and how that room connects with other nearby locations, though as is typical in the genre it’s up to you to remember what is in these different rooms and where you might need to return to later on.

Although the actual gameplay and controls feel relatively simplistic, there’s a lot of nuanced maneuvers you’ll have to master fairly quickly in the game. Also, there are some clever (and deadly!) enemies that you’ll have to face, some of which require some thought in how you can best defeat them. The massive plant boss that you face in the volcano area, for example, will quickly kill you unless you figure out how you can actually cause it harm (and the solution is quite clever too). The probe also has fairly limited health, so you’ll certainly want to take your time and be aware of your surroundings or else death will come quite swiftly to you.

Perhaps forma.8‘s charm lies in its deceitfully-simplistic style. The graphics and artwork are pretty minimalistic and the soundtrack also has a lot of simple background tunes. In a way, I find the music (other than the tense boss theme, which is really good though) to be best described as “chill,” because it’s very laid back and relaxing to listen to. Even if you are in an area that has a couple of tense moments to it, the music can often contrast fairly-starkly to it in a way that actually works. It helps keep you level-headed and in the moment, yet it encourages you to stop for a moment and take in the atmosphere around you.

One of the things that the Nintendo Switch always has going for it is its ability to be enjoyed both on your TV or on the go. When torn about which version of a game to pick up, this flexibility and ability to be enjoyed in multiple different locations can often serve as a tie-breaker. forma.8 does indeed look pretty on a large screen, but it’s also the type of game that would be fun to play on the couch, relaxing before bed, or taking it on a trip with you. Unlike some titles where the scope and cinematic feel may feel slightly lessened while in portable mode, forma.8 feels like it fits the bill of being excellent no matter which way you wish to enjoy it.

It’s also worth pointing out that although this is certainly a Metroidvania style game, casual players should not be put off from giving it a go. There are indeed some difficult sections of it, but it is a game that is fairly forgiving. Death is most certainly not permanent (and I’d argue that you’re expected to die many times before you complete the game) and in most cases only sets you back a couple of minutes. In my experience, death in forma.8 is mainly a learning experience and something that you grow from and improve your skills and knowledge with.

So, if you have a Nintendo Switch and are looking for some more enjoyable games to play while you wait for more major releases later this year (such as Super Mario Odyssey and the second round of DLC for Zelda: Breath of the Wild), forma.8 is definitely a title that you should consider picking up. Honestly, for just $9.99 USD on the eShop, you really can’t go wrong with this one. And, if you already own the title on the PC or another platform, the Switch version will have the ability to be played on the go, so picking up a second copy might not be a bad idea either!

*Review code provided by the publisher*

No GravatarThis is another special episode of “Geeks on the Internet Having a Beverage” with EGM alum Trickman Terry Minnich. We talk about old times at EGM and all of the work he did back then. We discuss how he found the tips and tricks for games. He talks about the process of coming up with the infamous Shen Long trick. He got in the ins and outs of making the layouts and other aspects of the print industry. It is truly an honor to chat it up with him.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Aug, 2016 At 04:53 AM | Categorized As News, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNnooo sent out the following press release

 

The Legend of Kusakari Launches on Nintendo 3DS in western markets on 25 August 2016
Nnooo announces western release date for Japanese adventure-puzzle game Legend of Kusakari on Nintendo 3DS™ 
5 August 2016 – Sydney, Australia: Independent developer and publisher Nnooo are delighted to announce the release date for The Legend of Kusakari, a quirky adventure-puzzle game from Japanese developer Librage. The game is scheduled to launch on 25 August on Nintendo 3DS™ in The Americas, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
In The Legend of Kusakari you play the role of Shiba Kari, a humble grass cutter who keeps the fields clean so brave warriors can focus on defeating evil and in doing so, eventually defeat the Demon King. While cutting the grass Shiba Kari has to avoid the battles going on around him as well as the slimes, dragons and other objects trying to distract him from his heroic task. He can level-up his scythe within each level of the game by cutting more grass and use this to unleash a powerful grass-cutting swing. He literally lives to cut the grass, so if he stops even for a short period he will lose health which can be replenished by finding and cutting a clump of life-giving blue grass. The faster Shiba Kari completes each level, the higher his rank will be for that level. On completing each level he is rewarded with a fanfare from the good king’s band, in which one of the trumpeters is not quite as proficient as the other band members.
You can find the game’s tuneful trailer here.

Founder and Creative Director of Nnooo, Nic Watt says:
“There is a constant and unfulfilled demand to bring Japanese content to western markets so we will be bringing great Japanese games to western consoles and handhelds as part of our publishing business. The Legend of Kusakari is full of quirky humour, has great polished gameplay and is a lot of fun to play. We were left with smiles on our faces when we played this on our Japanese Nintendo 3DS so we decided to sign it up and publish it in the west.”
Developer Librage were inspired to make The Legend of Kusakari from cutting the grass in the SNES version of The Legend of Zelda. “We felt that we would like to produce and play a game which had this as a central mechanic,” according to Kenichi Fujimoto, localisation manager at Librage. “However, we didn’t feel it would be appealing if players just cut grass, so we introduced the puzzle/challenge element. We also wanted to have a story hook to keep the player interested. Seeing as there are so many stories about a brave warrior beating an evil King, we thought it would be interesting to compose the story from a fresh point of view. In The Legend of Kusakari you are a humble grass cutter who keeps the battlefields clean.
The game’s 50 levels are expected to take players around 10 hours to complete. There are an additional 10 levels to unlock which can take up to another 10 hours to finish. There is also a Green Thumb Almanac system, a book which documents all the different types of grass, plants and weeds you cut. There are various conditions under which players can get each collectible plant which will require them to attempt different ways of playing the levels to unlock them.
The game also has an endless mode where the grass keeps spawning for as long as Shiba Kari can stay alive to cut it. Finding and cutting the elusive blue grass is the key to survival in this mode. Fortunately there’s a map and a sprint ability to help him survive. Online leaderboards for this mode will turn you from humble grass cutter to legendary lawn-mowing champion!    
And that out-of-tune trumpeter? An incompetent relative of the good king, leaving us wondering just how good that king is!
The Legend of Kusakari is priced at US$4.99 / €4.99 / £3.99 / AUS$6.99 / NZ$7.99.
This looks like an interesting game and we hope to cover it after it releases.
By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Jan, 2016 At 02:57 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNintendo has released a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD that shows off the story in its improved visuals and textures. You can see the trailer below.

 

Our thoughts on the new trailer: The game is looking great and Tantalus did an excellent job of upgrading the game. With a couple of exceptions ( certain character’s faces) everything looks amazing and we are excited to play this game again. When you watch the trailer, make sure you view it in HD for the full effect.

 

By otakuman5000 On 26 Feb, 2014 At 12:41 AM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, PC Games, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

I’m a big mystery fan, even though I’m not good at actually solving mysteries. Well, I’m not terrible at it. There are times I get it all figured out before Poirot makes the announcement, but not often. But I’m a nerd. Growing up I read all the time, especially mystery novels, and because I love them I am a sucker for trying to solve a new one. That’s why when I saw the game “Home” on Kim of the YOGSCAST’s channel, I just had to try it.

Home-title

Home is a horror-adventure game. It’s a pixel style game, and is a murder mystery, but not like you’re expecting. Initially I would have passed this game over because of the pixel style and the side-scrolling viewpoint, but I’m glad I didn’t.

The game starts with the player waking up in a dark room. He doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, or how he got his flashlight, but he sets out to answer all these questions and more. You take the main character through an old house, underground tunnels, the sewer system, an old train station, an abandoned factory, and a local grocery store before finally making it back home. While doing all of this you uncover “clues”. I put that in quotes because these items and bits of information your find are not really clues until you get to the end of the game.

824060_10784479_lz

Why is that important? Because you are the one who decides what the truth is. You collect all kinds of information in this short game, but does any of it matter? That’s up to you. This game is…interesting in that way. I’ve played through it twice and I’m still not sure I got it. Notes were taken, and I never do that. Of course, I feel like there is an over abundance of information. It could be on purpose, just to make you all the more confused, but I can’t say for sure.

Home is short. It requests an hour and a half of your time, and could take up to a couple of hours, but it isn’t extensive. It’s only three dollars on Steam, and iOS, but it is re-playable. Missing clues leads to different dialogue, different options in the end game. So, going back to see what you missed is worthwhile.

homeheader

If you like mystery, a little bit of horror, and pixel style games, I recommend to you “Home”. It’s a good bit of fun, and not too expensive or time consuming.

By otakuman5000 On 3 Feb, 2014 At 11:28 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games You Slept On, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Growing up I had no set preference for games except they had to be playable on my computer. Aside from that, if a game looked interesting (I had to judge by cover art mind you) I would do my song and dance until my parents gave in and bought it for me. I don’t recall ever playing a bad game, and that is interesting to 25 year old me. In the past two or three years I’ve walked away from games feeling like my money was entirely wasted. But back in the day I played some great games.

One, or should I say two, of those games was called Syberia.

Syberia_Coverart

It’s not a play on Siberia, though that is a destination in the game, but a mythical island somewhere deep in Eastern Europe. Of course, you don’t really find this out until quite a ways into the first game, but that’s ok and I’ll tell you why.

To start, Syberia focuses on a lawyer named Kate Walker. The opening scene shows Kate arriving in a small town you soon learn is called Valadilene (Vala-da-len for pronunciation) while a funeral procession passes by. There’s something odd about this procession though, the pallbearers are not men, but automatons. As Kate enters town and makes her way to the inn you take control. From here on out, you are going to enjoy a grand point and click adventure.

Part puzzle solving, part character reveal, part exploration, Syberia is fun from start to finish. The majority of the first game is all about discovering Kate. You know she’s a lawyer and has come to Valadilene to talk to the owner of the automaton factory about signing contracts to sell. However, Anna Voralberg has just passed and Kate has arrived just in time for the funeral. Of course Kate thinks everything should still be in order, but Anna has confessed on her deathbed that her brother Hans is still alive and will be in charge of selling the factory. Sounds simple enough, but no one knows where he is.

screenshot1

Kate sets off through the town to uncover the past in order to track down Hans. She discovers Hans left behind amazing creations. A train, and an automaton named Oscar. The only way to find her man is to start a trek across Eastern and Western Europe. Initially she is set on completing her business deal, but her adventures uncover more than just where Hans Voralberg is located.

Kate is hounded by her boss, the aggressive Mr. Marson, her mother, her friend Olivia, and her fiancé Dan. Despite risking everything for her job, these people constantly call to tell Kate how selfish and unacceptable her behavior is. She begins to feel distant and hurt, and learns a lot about who she really is. Who she wants to be.

And that’s why it’s ok it takes so long to learn about Syberia. Because you are learning about Kate. That’s also why this game is split in two. Syberia is all about Kate, Syberia II is all about completing her adventure. Her boss and family are hunting Kate down while she is simply looking for her better world.

The greatest thing about this game is its story, but there are plenty of good things otherwise. Syberia was released in 2002 and Syberia II was released in 2004. In my opinion they were well made and hold up graphically. While I love both, Syberia II is, as far as game play goes, the better of the two. A number of the inconsistencies of Syberia are corrected, the color is more robust, and there are some updates that make things operate more smoothly most notably the system used in  guiding Kate around areas.

With that said, Syberia is filled with better content. The puzzles make more sense and require seeking out information. Syberia II gets a bit sloppy and requires a stupid amount of luck while you guess your way through. I get frustrated easily with these games as missing a simple click can cost you more time than you’d like to admit searching around, but in the second game that is less the issue than facing a puzzle that you’ve seen no notes on beforehand and you must solve by pressing buttons until they work.

There aren’t very many options in these games in terms of graphics and audio, they don’t require them really. But the cutscenes are beautiful, the characters are quirky, the interactions are fun, and you fall in love with the clockwork origins of just about everything. There’s plenty to admire, as long as some mistakes in subtitles don’t bother you.

Kate-Hans-and-Anna

There are things you can find wrong with this game, most notably the treatment of the female lead by male counterparts, but they are easy to overlook. Kate is too strong and self-reliant to care about how others treat her.

If you’re playing this on a new system, and have two monitors like I do, this game gets confused. A mistaken mouse click off screen and you will find a number of highly hilarious but annoying glitches. Also, I ran into a problem where my anti-virus software would quarantine the .exe file of Syberia II and make the game unplayable, but the Steam version of these games might not have these problem.

All in all, Syberia and its sequel are great. The story, the world, the graphics, all is satisfying. If you love point and click, adventure, a good story, clock work and automatons, and discovery, then Syberia and Syberia II are for you. If you slept on these, wake up and try them out. If you do and like them, or have long since played them, the Internet says there will be another one this year or next. I’m excited.

The art for this game is beautiful, check it all out.

The art for this game is beautiful, check it all out.