Heroes of Loot, by Orangepixel, will take you back to a Gauntlet, 8-bit pixel era, where you will be playing the part of an Elf, a Warrior, a Wizard, or a Valkyrie. You will be tasked on trying to get as deep as you can into an ever changing maze of dungeons. The more look you pick up the better. You will also find that each hero has a strength and a weakness to their character. So you will have to decide how you want to play the game, but if you take the risks, and they pay off you will find the dungeons truly opening up before you.
Graphically you're not going to be blown away, but that's not the point, its not the art style that they were going for, what they were going for is to bring out a sense of nostalgia in those who can remember the olden days, which I guess I'm going to have to admit I remember. Now of course you can also go with the retro route if you want to, but I have to say that however you view it your going to see that the graphics were not the true purpose of the game.
Now the music fits right in with the game, you're going to be jamming to 8-bit remixes. The dungeon music fits perfectly with what I imagine final fantasy/gauntlet dungeon music would sound like.
The controls are really straightforward. You're going to be dealing with two actions, the first is the analog stick to move around in this top down environment, the second is the U button which is your attack button.
So you are going to be playing the part of one of five different characters. Now you might have noticed that I only listed four in the first paragraph, well that is because to this day I cannot get to level 30 to unlock the last character, so I can't really speak on that one. The problem is that as you progress through the game the difficulty of the entire game ramps up the more you play. The difficulty goes from 1 to 5, and I'm currently at a 4. I think the deepest I have ever successfully gone was level 18. The problem is that you don't level up in proportion to your descent, so once you get into the teens you are going to have to me one hell of a masterful player, otherwise you are going to be toast. The other thing is that since the difficulty of the game has permanently ramped up to 4 out of 5, I can't let anyone who has never played the game, play this game in fear that they will get their ass kicked so fast that the enjoyment I felt early on will not take with them.
Now the other thing about this game is that there really isn't an info screen you can rely on that will tell you what anything does, it is a trial and error type of game, where you might be doing certain actions, but having no idea what it is actually doing for you. One example is the collection of gems, outside of quests that you are randomly given, I have no idea what collecting them does for you, it doesn't increase your coin count, and there are times where you go into the shop and that's what you can buy is a gem. There's a cloak, which I finally found out makes you invisible to enemies for a random amount of time, not really sure how long. There are these experience scrolls that will pop up your experience to help you level up. There's apparently something called a cup of life, not sure what that does, there's some kind of looking glass, not sure what that does either. There are also shield you can get that will give you a health bar full of shield life.
Now don't get me wrong, the whole game isn't a mystery, but there's just a lot that I feel did not get explained at all. You are going to find that ever experience is a randomized dungeon. Some levels contain hidden rooms with all kinds of goodies. There's quest rooms that will pop up from time, they are marked with a question mark, and can potentially help you out. There's also shops that pop up on levels, and they can potentially help you as well. The problem with the quest and the shops is that everything is so randomized that sometimes the item is completely useless, so expensive that you can never afford it at that part of the game, or is something that maybe you need but you are not sure what it will do for you. The quest sometimes have you defeat enemies that will no longer spawn in the next level, or collecting something that doesn't appear for another 3 levels.
So at the end of the day this is a good game if you start from scratch and have a miracle run through where you conquer all levels that stand in your way. If you have to play a couple of times and keep dying this game will become a matter of frustration instead of enjoyment. At the end of the day this game gets a 6.5 out of 10.
I some how stumbled upon a game called Meltdown on the OUYA a little bit ago. I decided to give it a chance even though the main character looked like Santa stuffed into a Spartan suit. I have to say that I'm very glad I decided to try this game as it turned out to be a game that once started I couldn't put down. In this game you're going to have to take on level after level of random nastiness, and the difficulty is going to ramp up. Not only is the difficulty going to ramp up but you're going to be introduced to new enemies from time to time to spice up the level that you are currently trying to get through.
Graphically I have to say that I'm not only impressed with the fact that this game handles decent sized maps, but that the randomization doesn't make the graphics engine work overtime. All the enemies have their own look, which I always like, sure you're going to see a lot of certain enemies but they come across as robots and androids, so seeing clones of these types of enemies just seems to be par for the course. I do like the variety of weapons and effects that the game has to give the character.
The music in the game definitely gets you pumped up. I have to say that the music in the game definitely makes me want to go Rambo on some enemies' asses, of course that is probably the worst thing you can possible do in certain levels of the game, but I think it is safe to say that you are not going to be lulled to sleep with this game.
This game does allow for third party controller support, but for standard reviewing I decided to just play with the OUYA controller. You're going to be using the right trigger button to shoot, the left and right shoulder buttons to switch between your two weapons, the O button to leap over obstacles or to roll, and then the A button for melee attack. Now of course you will be using the left analog stick to move around, it is a fixed perspective game so there will be no rotating of the camera to be done.
I have to say that if this game was simply jump in and get new weapons, blow up bad guys, and I get to do that for the 30 levels currently available I'd be very happy, but they threw in a couple more levels of complexity that really makes the gaming experience your own. The first thing is that you can upgrade your guys to have special abilities, bigger clips, shoot faster, cause more damage, etc. Then there's the leveling up of your character. There are three branches that you can switch between, just now that you have to go from top to bottom, and before getting to the really good skills you have to max level the other stuff first. If I had to say what the branches were I'd say soldier, medic, and tank.
Now there is a bit of an issue with this game, there's definitely some grind to the game, so if you don't like having to replay levels over and over again for better scores, potentially more coins, and upgrade chips, you're going to get bored of the game. Now that being said remember that the levels are randomly generated, so its more a set of enemies and difficulty that you're going to be facing off against. Another issue I have with the game is that if you start leveling up one gun, and the number of upgrade chips and coins increases that is a universal constant. So if you want upgrade a brand new weapon it is going to cost the same for the first upgrade as it is for the advanced upgrade of another gun that you've unlocked.
There's also a multiplayer aspect to the game where you can create a game, or jump into a game with other players. I have to say that the couple of times that people jumped into my game I felt as if I was about to have an epileptic seizure as the other players were constantly flashing all over the screen. That being said it was fun to really mow through a level and not take much damage.
At the end of the day I know that this is not an OUYA exclusive, but this game plays really smoothly for the OUYA, and the people at Phenomenon Games should be proud and excited for what they have put out on the OUYA. This game gets an 8.7 out of 10.
This past weekend, I started playing Square Enix's MMO Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn. Instead of writing a review, I decided to make a video review. Please note these are very early thoughts about the game- I'm not even level 20 yet, so I still have a ways to go!
Recently I got my hands on a very interesting side-scrolling space shooter by the name of Power-Up, and decided to take it for a spin. You are playing the part of the only human to survive an attack on your ship. You fly out just before the whole thing goes KABOOM. You are then met with float debris that will try to get in your way. You can play with with either the keyboard, or a controller ( I highly recommend the controller). You will be given several different weapons as your disposal to help obliterate everything in your path.
So lets talk about graphics, I'm going to start off and say that the human profile pictures used for the opening dialogue concerned me that I was in for a rough ride, but as soon as the transition went over to alien faces that I had to interact with it became a lot better. The game runs very smooth with the amount of moving enemies in certain levels, and I also like that there was a uniformed color change to alert players when an enemy was going to be shooting at you, and when they were just going to get in your way (by the way if you see a red enemy, chances are you're going to be shot at). The levels also looked good. I know that some might be screaming for the best cutting edge graphics for the games they play, but the theme and feel that they went for worked in this game.
The music in the game always got me ready to go. It definitely motivates and makes you feel like a bad ass flying through space taking out your enemies. I also like the special touch of making the shots fired from your ship sound different.
The controls really depends on what you are playing with (keyboard/controller), but you're going to be able to move in all directions in a 2D playing field. You'll have the ability to fire your weapon, toggle through your different weapon options (in both directions), detonate a screen clearing bomb, and erecting a forcefield to save your ass when need by.
The thing about this game is that once you really get a feel for it, you can definitely lose track of time. I have to say that the first couple of times I didn't really get how to succeed in the game, even on the Easy difficulty. The thing that you have to take into effect is that there's a good chance that you are going to want to stick to just a few of your different shooting options throughout the game. You are also going to want to pay attention to the power up level of your weapons. Once they max out, if you collect a power up it's going to be wasted unless you quickly switch to a weapon that isn't completely powered up. This thinking is what makes me wish that I could control the order in which the rotation of shots could be in. If I had my way I'd stick to forward shooting, spread shot, and rear shot. The other two, the side shots (I can do with the spread), and the purple one, which I can never remember the name of, just get neglected by me. You are going to be facing off against a really impressive number of different types of enemies, and bosses.
Now comes the strange part, the developers of this game, Psychotic Psoftware, advertise about being able to change the color of your ship. Which is an interesting feature, and there's definitely some colors that liked to see, but you have to do a ton of work to unlock these, and that's just for colors. I really wish there was a little variety in ships themselves, and then allow for a small list of colors to paint your ship, and maybe have special ones locked away to be rewarded later. If there were more ships perhaps the order of weapons could be changed, or maybe there would be an advantage to one shot over the others depending on the ship.
At the end of the day, though I wish there was a bit more to this game, I really liked it. It was fun, I felt like I was playing a game in an arcade, and I kept coming back trying out new ways to thwart a specific part of the game. So with that I have to give this game an 8.2 out of 10.
Cockroach Run is an iOS game created by NeungSLXVIII. In this game you will be playing the part of a cockroach trying to navigate through different challenging levels, as you try to avoid obstacles and other roaches that stand in your way.
Graphically this looks like a DS game, on the iOS which isn't a bad thing, but there is definitely some pixelation issues. There's also the fact that it looks like there was more time spent on making sure that the background did a nice little effect than the rest of the game. The "enemy" cockroaches is you character but with a blue palette. Then there's the issue of animations upon jumping to take into effect.
The music is light, almost elevator-ish, but not quite. It is odd that you have sound effects for collecting items, food, hitting enemies with your projectile (which I'm not really sure what it is), but you don't have any sounds for taking damage, jumping, or the actual act of shooting your projectile.
The controls feel beyond loose. It feels like the programmer really didn't give any room for error if you tap the "buttons" on the screen, if you are a little bit off then you are not going to get the desired effect. This made it impossible to play it on the iPhone. Then there's the fact that you can't do two actions at once, if you try to press the shoot and jump button at the same time sometimes nothing happens, sometimes only one thing happens.
To be honest this looks like a test game, in which someone is just showing some conceptual stuff. It does not look like a finished product. The help section is absolutely useless. I'm not sure what the food does, how much damage I'm taking when I hit enemies, walls, or radioactive boxes. Which made me think, why is radioactive boxes hurting a cockroach, wouldn't it have been better to do skull and cross bones, and make everyone see the special blocks as poison. There's also the fact that you blindly play a challenge over and over again trying to obtain what I guess are cockroach coins, but the amount needed to advance to a new challenge is astronomical. Each one adds 1 to your overall collection, but you need at least 5000, then 10000, then 25000, then 50000, and finally at a discount 70000. No one will play this game for that long. There's so much more that this game could be, but it just comes off feeling like the group (or single person) decided to try to make this thing as quick as possible and push it out.
So I guess to end this review, this is definitely something that I feel would not make that big of an impact on anyone. There's a ton left to be wanted in this game, and I think that given to another group for polish, or if the original creator(s) took their time that there might be something to this game, but there's just not enough, the pace is too slow for advancement, and there's no excitement in this game. This game gets a 3.4 out of 10.
I've been out of town the past 2 weeks, with last week spent at Disney's Hollywood Studios with family. One of the rides/games we played a lot was Toy Story Midway Mania!
The ride has 2 riders in a seat with a gun where you pull a string to fire darts, disks, hoops, & baseballs at the screen.
Here you can see my mom and nephew in their seats with their "guns," which is fired by pulling a spring-loaded string in the back. While I didn't get take a picture of actual gameplay, you'll soon be swung around to face a screen where you shoot at targets ranging from 50 to 5000 points (while the link above looks like you're firing real darts, they're all virtual). The object you shoot for each of the five rounds will then be digitally displayed on the screen with the goal to obviously get higher scores than your family. Your projectiles take into full affect the direction of your gun & gravity, creating some learning curve to figure out the best way to hit objects. Each of the different rounds are fairly similar in that you're trying to score points by firing your projectiles, but different and vibrant enough to make each one fun and interesting in its own right.
With Toy Story Midway Mania! both being a ride as your get swung around the tracks some and containing a video game element, my family- especially the nephews- loved the ride!!! Of the rides at Hollywood Studios, it consistantly had the longest wait times, along with the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith ride. Wait times usually hovered around the 2-3 hour mark, which some may find long for a 3-5 minute game. I highly suggest any potential riders take full advantage of the Fast Pass system, but be warned: Fast Passes run out fast for this ride/game!!