Written by Gregg Dietz
Sonic Mania is an absolute delight. I never grew up playing “Sonic the Hedgehog,” minus the few times I went to a friend’s house. My history with the blue blur is lacking quite a bit. I still haven’t beat a classic title. As a matter of fact, “Sonic Mania” is the first title in the franchise i have ever finished. That being said, I had so much fun playing “Sonic Mania.”
This game's greatest strength is the gameplay. As I’m sure most of you already know, the game plays like the classic Genesis era titles. The controls feel very tight, with every death feeling entirely my fault. However, I experienced very few deaths due to excellent level design. From what I remember from the classic titles, and watching streams of others playing the games, the levels were merely designed to adhere to speed, but would break that up with occasional moments of platforming. This game does the same, but less so; every stage still wants you to think quickly as you zip around every turn.
There are 2 types of special stages. The first being the most common; if you collect 25 rings and cross a checkpoint, a circular gate opens up and takes you to a Blue Sphere stage. These were the bonus stages in “Sonic 3 & Knuckles.” However, here they are a bit different; by completing them you are awarded a silver coin, but if you collect all the rings, you get a golden coin. Collecting everything will grant access to a few additional fun things. Some can affect the game itself to the unlockables on the main screen. As for the giant rings you may find throughout the levels, those will take you to a Mach Speed section. These are very reminiscent of Sega Saturn’s “Sonic R”. Among the 7 stages, you chase down a UFO to obtain one of the Chaos Emeralds. You do this by collecting blue spheres for speed and rings for additional time. Once all 7 are collected, you can become “Super” by having 50 rings. Being super means you are invincible but slowly deplete rings. You may have seen Super Sonic before as he looks to have gone Super Saiyan.
One of my favorite things is how every stage ends in a boss fight. I don't remember this from the originals, but it was a new thing to me and i thoroughly enjoyed it. As for the bosses, I had a blast fighting each one, as it wasn’t ridiculously difficult but still challenging. Some of the bosses were clever in theme with the level, Including one that calls back to one of the lesser known games starring Dr. Robotnik. From what i understand, a few of the bosses were from the original games. I’m sure this was fun nostalgia for fans of the classic series.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of hearing just about every song in just about every Sonic game; it really is the best thing about the entire franchise. I truly mean that, even the worst of the games have a stellar soundtrack. I can confirm that this title has some of the best music to date. Each stage is filled with just the right tone and 16-bit sounds. I genuinely loved it.
I thought about every aspect of this game and i couldn’t for the life of me find something i didn't like about this game. Honestly, it was just a pure pleasure to play from start to finish. If i were to nitpick about anything, it would be that there wasn’t enough to do. Once you complete the standard game, you can play it again with either Knuckles or Tails but that's about it. Some of the unlockables will grant some fun playthroughs, which adds to the longevity of the game, but this is such a huge nitpick because the game is $20 and that's super cheap for this quality of work.
Overall, this game is such a delight and I couldn't recommend it more, whether you are an old school fan or just an onlooker who sort of knows the franchise. I think it’s important to note that this game was made by incredibly passionate fans, and it shows in spades. I give “Sonic Mania” a 9.5 outta 10.
Written by Gregg Dietz
Before I begin this review, I need to inform you that I was unable to finish this game. However, I felt like I understood everything I needed to know after 4 hours of play time. That being said, this is easily one of the most slow-paced games I have ever played. The idea of the game is that you must utilize various types of Pikmin to solve puzzles and defeat enemies to gather Sparklium, which serves to refuel Captain Olimar’s ship. The major issue with this is that each level requires you to move at Olimar’s walking speed,which isn't exactly speedy.
The controls are pretty simple; you use the D-pad or the analog stick to move Olimar, while you use the stylus to throw Pikmin, whistle for Pikmin and activate Olimar’s Jetpack. I personally wasn’t a fan of this control scheme. It felt somewhat clunky to not be pressing any buttons for any actions. I understand the reason for the control scheme -- accuracy with throwing Pikmin -- but an option would have been nice.
As I stated previously, Olimar moves very slowly, and there were times where I would have a twitch channel on, or watch a show while playing the game at the same time because he was so slow. As for the puzzles, they aren’t exactly brain benders, and sometimes, don't really count as puzzles if it constitutes not having the right number or type of Pikmin.
I know that I have been saying a lot of negative things about the game, so allow me to lay down the positive. The game’s soundtrack fits Pikmin very well and I could imagine it being a part of the original games. The sounds and noises that the Pikmin make are very adorable, and it was slightly disheartening to hear them die. I also really enjoyed the idea of an overworld where you can put Pikmin to work. Each type is immune to different elements and that comes into play when having them clear out each area.
Overall, there really isn’t a whole lot to this game. I imagine that if you are a big Pikmin fan, you will really enjoy this game. Between the control scheme and pacing, I just couldn't find the fun. It should be stated that the developer Arzest is responsible for this, and the last time I reviewed a game of theirs, it was “New Yoshi’s Island.” It did not receive and favorable review, and I am sad to say that this will not either. I give “Hey! Pikmin” a score of 5 outta 10.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Shovel Knight. I’ve beaten the game numerous times, bought the game on numerous systems and even have considered getting a tattoo of some sort. I genuinely love the game and when it was released on June 2014, Yacht Club Games said that 3 more campaigns would release in the future. In September 2015, they released the Plague Knight campaign titled: Plague of Shadows. This campaign had the same level design as the Shovel Knight campaign but due to Plague Knight’s movements, it became an entirely different game. Almost a year and half later, they release the Specter Knight campaign titled: Specter of Torment and it’s reworked from the ground up.
In the past, I’ve talked about how brilliant Shovel Knight's opening level is, with it’s ability to teach you the mechanics of the game without holding your hand. In Plague Knight’s campaign, they use the same level to teach you an entirely new way to traverse. It is truly unlike we see today in gaming anywhere. Specter of Torment doesn’t just do this, it really wants you to understand that he does not play like the other 2 at all. One of the first things you see is the dirt pile, if you are even remotely familiar with Shovel Knight, you know to strike at this, giving you gold. Then you see a pretty tall wall in front of you with 2 gems hanging on the side, this is a hint to the player to test the waters. That’s just the motif throughout the opening of the game, teaching you how to get through obstacles on your own.
The gameplay is very similar to Ninja Gaiden in a lot of ways. The wall running feels directly lifted from it. The other mechanic you will rely on heavily is the quick Dash Slash. As you are falling near an enemy or glowing item, you can slash through it giving you extra propulsion up or downward. This also works with boss fights as you will need to be fast to beat all 8, plus some side boss fights. The level design will test you a lot with these abilities, so you better learn fast be quick on your toes.
In the Shovel Knight campaign, the story was that Shovel Knight’s best bud was lost to a cursed amulet in the tower of fate. When the tower reopened, Shovel Knight ventured across the land to rescue his friend. In the Plague Knight campaign, the story was told parallel to Shovel Knight’s in that Plague Knight was gathering the essence of the other Knights to concoct the ultimate potion. After both stories end, it’s no mystery to what is happening thanks in part to the credits sequence. However, Specter Knight’s campaign takes place quite a bit before the events of both games before it. I can't say too much about the story for sake of spoilers but i can assure you it's not a happy story. Throughout the campaign, you will have flashbacks to who he is and what his intentions are.
Visually speaking, that game looks very similar to the other past parts. But with a much darker tone. The sky is cloudier, the backdrops are darker, the whole game has a very Gothic feel that fits the characters and story. Much like the previous stories, you will meet a number of characters that will assist you in your quest. There’s Red who will give you Curios for red skulls you find throughout the levels. There’s Manny who will sell you armor with interesting powers. Legion will upgrade your curios, Missy will retrieve any wisp chest you missed during a stage but it’ll cost you. There are quite a few more but it’s more fun to find them on your own. I think that’s something that Yacht Club does very well, keeping you invested in not just the characters but the world as well.
Overall, this game utterly fantastic. It’s some the most fun I've had playing an action side scroller in a while. It’s different enough to not feel like it’s Shovel Knight and unique enough that it doesn't feel like what it’s homaging. It’s not easy though, Specter Knight will challenge you in new ways no other game on the current market will, or at least I’ve seen. I highly recommend checking it out for yourself. I give Specter of Torment a very much earned 9.5 outta 10.
You can as of writing this, pick up Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove which contains all campaigns and the soon to be released King Knight campaign, on Wii U, 3DS, PS3, PS4, Vita, Xbox One, PC, Mac, and Linux. But if you are just wanting the Specter of Torment campaign, you can buy it separately on all the consoles mentioned above.
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Written by Gregg Dietz
Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Disney and Capcom were in the their heyday for kids born in the early 80’s. Getting home from school was more than just a relief from being tied to desk all morning, it was time to have fun. Everyday from 3pm to 5pm, Disney would show 4 cartoons, and the 4 most popular hands down were Ducktales, Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers, Talespin and Darkwing Duck. During this time, Disney sought after man developers to cash in on this video game craze. Capcom was in a height of popularity and was an obvious choice to handle the NES adaptations of these beloved cartoons.
Jump to 23 years in the future and technology has caught up to the point where we can relieve these games in HD glory. This collection comes with 6 games, Ducktales 1 & 2, Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers 1 & 2, Talespin and Darkwing Duck. Not only does this pack have these 6 games but it also comes with the soundtracks for each game and an art gallery with some insightful history. I love this type of stuff because it allows me to listen to these 8 bit classics without forcing me to play the games. As for the gallery, It’s just that much more of a trip down memory lane. One of the more fun aspects of the gallery is how one of the developers had old boxes for the games from when he was a kid. So they scanned them into game including gameboy and Japanese versions of each. This pack also comes with a very useful and interesting feature, a rewind button. This got me through a lot of jams, including all of Talespin.
What’s fascinating to me is how I know I loved these games as a kid but let's be realistic here, As an adult 23+ years later, my tastes have become more refined and i must take my nostalgia glasses off and review each game as it is stands now.
Ducktales NES (1989)
This game stands a classic both is sense of platforming and a feeling for adventure much like the show exemplified. Scrooge McDuck must find all the treasures in various locations with the help of his nephews and friends. The controls are tight and solid as you remember. Level design is easily the best part as each stage has places to explore and find more treasure. Everything from pogo jumping to the golf swing feels right. The music and sounds are very solid as well. Each boss isn’t too much of a challenge as their patterns are pretty easy to read. A couple things that did bother me were how Scrooge will stop pogo bouncing if the pogo cane is not directly under the ledge. This caused for a lot unnecessary damage. The other was the countdown timer, this was an unnecessary thing that rushed exploration. But overall, it’s a very solid platformer and stands the test of time,
8.5 outta 10.
Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers (1990)
This is one of the easiest platformers I have ever played, whether as an adult or a kid. The game really wants the player to feel like they are playing a rodent sized character which the best thing visually about this game. Chip n’ Dale’s goal is stop Fatcat from whatever he has planned. The mechanics of the game are pretty simple as you pick up boxes to throw at enemies, but you could also just jump over them too. The music here isn’t the best but is good enough to not annoy you. If i had to find a problem with the game its lack of any difficulty. Not only are the stages a breeze but the bosses are even easier. But overall, it’s a fun game with a very cool aesthetic, 8 outta 10.
This is the oddball of the pack as it’s not a platformer, it’s a autoscroller where you control Baloo flying a custom plane and pick up cargo before facing off against one of Kon Karnage’s henchmen. The games rewind feature was my best friend here as I doubt I would have gotten past most of the game especially the bosses. The flight controls are really tight as I never felt any hit I took wasn’t directly my fault besides not knowing where enemies were coming from. This game seemed to be very difficult and that’s probably my biggest complaint. The difficulty spikes around the 3rd level and never lets up but i also imagine that's because I wasn’t very good at either. Overall, Talespin is tough but fair game that will challenge you in new and frustrating ways, 7 outta 10.
Now we enter the era where the Super Nintendo had been released almost completely worldwide and Capcom wanted to make sure gamers had access to new games but these 3 were ultimately and sadly mostly ignored.
Darkwing Duck (1992)
The way this plays is very much like Mega Man in that you choose a stage, get to the boss and have a 3 shot gun. You can get pickups that give you different abilities but these are mostly useless as they don’t have any real advantage towards the enemies. This isn’t to say the game isn’t fun, it’s really quite fun but very standard jump and shoot feeling. The bosses play similar to that of a Mega Man boss as they have a very exact pattern that you just have to learn. Also the bosses are fun for a fan of the show because they are directly lifted from the show. One fun feature that Darkwing Duck has to grab onto background ledges. This is used in almost every boss fight and adds that flair that doesn’t make it too terribly standard. Overall, it’s a good 1 to 2 hour platforming shooter with a neat mechanic, 7 outta 10.
Ducktales 2 (1993)
It’s true shame that people didn’t play this game much because it’s better than it’s predecessor in every way. So firstly, it has the same exploration level design but with even more secrets and treasures. Now let's talk about how it improves on the original. The pogo cane no longer requires you to press down and B, just press B. Gyro is added to 3 levels and gives you upgrades you need, this is added challenge that makes the game more dynamic. Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby give you actual workable advice instead of cryptic nonsense. Much like Darkwing Duck, Scrooge can grab background ledges with his cane. There a few little things that I really enjoyed, using the golf swing to propel yourself forward on a raft, cane hooking a canon to open a passage, solving hidden puzzles. Overall, It’s just a much better game than the previous one by leaps and bound. 9.5 outta 10
Chip n’ Dale: Rescue Rangers 2 (1994)
The last game in the pack and easiest by far. The story is that Fat Cat has escaped prison and is now setting up a plan to...destroy the Rangers....Take over an amusement park? That part isn’t explained very well. The game itself is almost identical to the first game. You pick up boxes and throw them at enemies, nothing new here. However, the game is so much easier than the first with much harder bosses. Both Chip n’ Dale games are incredibly easy but this one just takes the cake. The biggest difference is the story, there is so much exposition that i don't think anyone really watched it. Overall, the game is the same as the first in almost every way except easier, way easier. 7 outta 10.
And there we are, all 6 games reviewed. This collection is fantastic, each game feels like it did 23 years ago, glitches and all. The rewind feature is so welcomed that I can't figure out why it’s new to this collection. I do wish there was a challenge mode or something other than Boss Rush and Time Attack, they are great additions but after you’ve done them and realize that unless you’re a speedrunner, you’re never going to be in the top 50. However it is really cool to be able to watch these runs in game. All that being said, I highly recommend getting this collection, if not for the nolstagia, for the history. It was a fun time, video games and after school cartoons were life for a 90’s kid. I give The Disney Afternoon Collection a 9 outta 10.
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Written by Gregg Dietz
Telltale’s newest entry into their huge family of point and click adventure games is a blast. The story here takes place at a certain point in the comics but what's brilliant is it's also positioned for movie fans to enjoy as well. The major plot twist of the beginning of the story is the death of Thanos. Right away the games pits the team right in harm's way and on Thanos’ tail. Shortly after a fun action sequence, you take Starlord aka Peter Quill into a room playing detective to find a way to let Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot inside. This scene is interesting because it feels very much like the Batman reconstruction moments from last years Telltale games.
My favorite thing about Telltale games are the characters, and Guardians has some of the best. During this part, you are freely able to communicate with Rocket, Drax or Gamora about Thanos. It's really a lot of fun to delve deeper into why each member wants Thanos dead. After a short exploration moment, Starlord let's the team in by explosion and they descend below the Kree temple to confront Thanos. This is the most action packed scene I experienced. It was a blast to kick The Mad Titan’s purple ass. The scene ends with Thanos’ death by Rockets BFG. This is when the plot truly begins. Thanos was after a Kree artifact called the Eternity Forge. However it seems useless after Thanos’ defeat so the Guardians do what they do best and that's celebrate hard.
This bar scene is filled with Peter boosting egos of his team, regardless that the bar patrons already see them as heroes. The dialog is mostly fun and very funny. After the celebrations end, they then decide what to do with Thanos’ body. This is where the player makes the first major decision. Sell the body to the collector or hand it over to the Nova Corps. Shortly after making that choice, Peter makes the choice to sell or hand over (per player's choice) the Eternity Forge. Peter then has a very real flashback to when he was on earth with his Mom, where she tells Peter to come find her. After being jarred back to reality, a crew member and Peter choose to hold on to it.
After the scene with either The Collector's representative or the Nova Corps, the crew is confronted by the series’ antagonist, Hala the Accuser. After a lengthy fight scene, Hala obtains the Eternity Forge and damages the Milano. Peter take’s either Gamora or Drax to the Kree ship to retrieve the Forge. After a fun series of moments making their way through the ship, they finally confront Hala. She explains that it's the only way to restore someone she lost, after which she stabs in the chest Peter. After a small rescue sequence, Peter dies holding the Eternity Forge and is transported back to the day he left earth. Yondu tells Peter that he’s to come with him by force or “the easy way”. Adult Peter walks towards the casket only to talk to his mother who informs him that he is dead but she then heals him and says once more “Come find me Peter”. Back on the ship, the Forge is healing Peter and as he wakes up, the episode ends.
I adore how this story takes the idea of getting rid of a well known baddie and dropping a much lesser known one. I'm incredibly excited to see where this goes and what exactly the Eternity Forge can do. The writing is on par with Telltale games, and that is to say top notch. The visuals are a tad different than I think most might be used to because they aren't cell shaded this time around. The acting is very good as well, very happy to see that the directors haven't lost their touch on how to have their protagonists voiced by excellent actors. I give Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy Episode 1 a 9 outta 10.
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Written by Gregg Dietz
Not many games have such a unique and weird idea as 88 Heroes. The simple yet complicated premise of 88 Heroes is to finish 88 levels in 88 minutes with 88 seconds each level. The complicated part is not knowing which of the various 88 heroes you will get once another dies. Bitmap Bureau and Rising Star Games want you to laugh and be frustrated at the same time here, I'll explain why.
With 88 unique characters, it becomes borderline impossible to plan how you will attack each level. Now the levels aren't procedurally generated so you will learn the layout as you play again and again. The difficulty curve is all in the heroes.
Now I can't get passed the second handful of stages because either I'm awful at it or its just that tough. So I can't account for the last 50 stages but I can say that what I played is something you don't see in platformers. When other platformers design their levels, it's usually made for a single character or up to 4 total. They had to make 88 levels for 88 randomly chosen characters. It makes for a very frustrating experience after the initial novelty has worn off.
The character design and the writing are by far the best features here. The writing while simple, is very funny. Having the villain always on screen, commenting on your performance is actually quite entertaining. Now of course this also counts as one of the obstacles as his minions will run by and block some of the screen. There are 2 other game modes that allow you to chose 8 very specific heroes or just one hero, this makes the game a bit easier but they must be unlocked and its still very tough.
And now we talk about the 88 heroes. I'm not going to run down each character because the best thing about your first play through is seeing them for the first time. I will say that just about every hero is a parody of something in pop culture and that genuinely tickled my funny bone. There are a few that are just simply silly and they are great.
Overall the game is mostly a gimmick with 88 comedic characters but is also a pretty fun and challenging platformer. The best way to play this would be to get a friend and swap the controller upon each death and see how far you can get. With all that being said, I give 88 Heroes an 8 out of 10 (unironically).
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Written by Gregg Dietz
I’ve been playing Inti Creates games for a long time now. And one thing I can confidently say about them is they know how classic games felt. Blaster Master was a game that I never played. Or at least if I did, I'm sure I would have disliked it because I had terrible taste as kid. But as an adult, I see the why this game is beloved and why it needed re-imagining. This entire review is coming from a pseudo-layman as I know borderline nothing of the original.
The story is very simple in the you play Jason, a robotics specialist who happens on a frog that he names Fred. Due to this frog not having been known to the humans in the distant future, Jason grows very interested in Fred. One day Fred escapes and jumps into a mysterious hole, Jason follows only because of pure curiosity. As he gains his footing, he notices a very large tank that seems to be welcoming him to hop in, Jason does and starts off on his adventure. What I love about this is it sounds like the plot to an old 5 cent comic sci-fi serial. The dialog throughout the game isn't any different and I loved that about it. Everything in terms of story and writing knows exactly what this game is and that's charming as hell.
The gameplay is standard metroidvania fare but with a fun caveat. In Metroid and Castlevania, there usually aren't 2 entirely different games. On one hand you have the 2D side-scroller style gameplay with the exploration of a Metroid game but with an up-gradable tank. And on the other hand you have the isometric sections when you enter doors. These sections could be best described as “Mega Man meets Zelda” or easier Binding of Isaac. These are the locations you will find most bosses and almost every upgrade. However there are moments when you must exit the tank and be just Jason in the over world and that is both fun and terrifying. Every section of this game was exciting and refreshing.
The Tank controls a little floaty at times but is still very fun to drive around. There are moments through the game where I would need to land on a very small platform and it was harder than it needed to be or i would die. Jason is very stiff in his isometric sections but I feel that was intentional to make him feel more vulnerable. The way the game allows Jason to collect power-ups but will take them away when getting hit is very cool but very frustrating. One thing that makes up for all the frustration is the stellar music. I'm a sucker for 8-bit jams and this game delivers, I do wish there was more in the variety department though.
A few nitpicks I do have is as I said before, the tank can get a little floaty at times and that isn't fun when trying to do something precise. Maybe that was the intent as I have heard from a few friends who’ve played the original, the tank moves very similarly. Another nitpick is most of the game gives a clear sense of direction but for a few parts, I was as lost as a kid without his mommy in Walmart during holiday season. One last thing that was brought to my attention, a good friend of mine and a friend of MSP, CritsKrieger aka William, Had pointed out on twitter a game breaking bug in which early on there is a platform you can park the tank and drop down to enter a door. If you do this, the tank will stay put and there is no way to reach it. I can confirm this as i have replicated it. The only way to fix it is to start a new game, which thankfully isn't too bad as it's the second door you enter. Maybe they can patch it later but avoid this mistake if you haven't played the game yet.
Overall the game is incredibly fun and I was addicted to beating it. It certainly has it’s moments of intense difficulty but nothing i couldn't overcome. This is probably my favorite Inti Creates game they’ve released thus far. You can pick up a copy digitally on the 3DS or newly released Nintendo Switch. With beautiful visuals, great level design and challenging gameplay, I give Blaster Master Zero and solid 9 out of 10.
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- Reviewed by Manny Nolasco
In a world where game design is starting to re-establish the balance between gameplay and presentation, Brut@l is a clear example of reaching both ends of the spectrum in the form of simplicity. If you're looking for a hack-n-slash, rpg leveling, and dungeon exploring driven experience, Brutal is neatly put together with a "pick-up-and-play" attitude in mind. Newcomers and veterans alike to this genre will all find something both familiar, and refreshingly new when playing this game. Uniqueness, presentation, and sound design, are the three pillars that support this title's ability to stand out from the competition.
Brutal starts out with a basic character selection menu and then immediately throws you into dimly lit dungeon with only your two fists and abilities to defend yourself. At first, the black and white isometric design of both the levels and characters takes a little getting used to. As far as presentation goes, Brutal emphasizes the concept of "less is more", while uniquely trademarking itself with the ASCII (@) symbol with the combination of other familiar keyboard characters. In more ways than one, this approach to simplify presentation puts the focus on gameplay and less on its backstory. Ultimately, this leads to a positive experience, as the player is instantly motivated to finish the level completely and as quickly as possible.
The gameplay of Brutal is a hallmark in itself by demonstrating that once again, simplicity is key. Progression throughout the dungeon relies solely on the player's ability to find specific hidden keys to unlock special doors. They can be found in numerous places from treasure chests, within storage containers, to even fallen enemies. As the player progresses throughout the level, they will encounter hidden weapons, new gear, and shrines to provide offerings to the gods in hopes of favor towards their character.
Brutal's greatest trait can be attributed to the quality of its sound design. I highly recommend that players wear headphones to have a fully immersive experience. One could argue that dungeon crawling is defined by the feeling of isolation and being lost, and Brutal's sound design is a capstone embodying this achievement. From the repetitive footsteps of your character, to the eerie screeching of whatever abomination or pitfall that lies in wait for you in the next room, Brutal never falls short on providing unexpected encounters in both level design and enemy combatants.
In conclusion, Brut@l is a fun experience and has much to offer to those who take the time to invest in it; however, this is not to say that it is without some minor technical difficulties as well. During several playthroughs, I did encounter frame rate issues during the slower exploration parts of the game (oddly, not during the action sequences). I also thought that enemies were difficult to spot at times, like when rats would latch onto your character and slowly drain your health without knowing. But these observations are nearly subjective and may vary depending on the player's hardware and individual experience. I enjoyed how Brutal reminisces itself to a time of simplicity in gaming, while still providing a unique spin on the familiar genre of dungeon crawling. Lastly, I strongly recommend that players play this game with each character class, as the starting level and gameplay changes significantly based on your choice.
Written by Gregg Dietz
A Pixel Story Has been available on PC for just under year now but is now accessible to console players. This puzzle plat-former hearkens back to days past in gaming history and jumps forward all the way to today's high visual graphics. All the while engaging the player in a world of charming and clever characters.
The story is simple, you play as Pixel, or rather a pixel that has been given a physical form but you are still within a digital world. The evil OS wants to destroy the universe and it's up to you to put a stop to that. After some time, you gain control of a magical hat, that looks like Mario’s, but allows you to “Cache” you location and teleport back to it. I really enjoyed this mechanic as it allowed me to think abstractly to solve a puzzle. In the later levels, you aren't given new abilities but rather new ways to use said abilities. This is also set behind upgrades in the graphics department with is quite clever.
The visual angle of this game really does play around with the idea of how much different each generation of gaming has been. Not only adding more things for the player to do but also seeing how much things had advanced between them. The best thing is it never gets heavy handed with the history lesson and most of the time is quite comical when talking to other characters. That leads me to the next point, the writing is so much fun. If this counts as complement, its reminds me of Tim Shaffer's style. Charm pouring from every angle.
If i had a something to gripe about, it would have to be the music leaves a lot to be desired. I'm sure what the artistic choice her was but i felt like the music was an afterthought. I would have loved to have clearly different music in each section that stood out made me remember it but its just so forgettable. The other thing that bothered me so much was how floaty the character controlled, I feel like tighter controls would’ve been nice. Maybe that was part of the difficulty challenge but it got me killed more often than not.
Overall this game is a blast, fun through and through. The later bits get aggressively challenging, I'm looking at you recycle bin. But once you finish, it's quite satisfying. I give A Pixel Story a 7.5 outta 10.
A PIxel Story releases February 24th on Xbox One and PS4. You can follow the developer, LampLight Studios on their twitter account @LamplightGames. YOu can follow the publisher, Rising Star Games on their official twitter account @RisingStarGames
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If you're a FPS fan, whether it's on PC or console, one thing is generally agreed amongst most amateurs of the genre: GoldenEye 007, for the N64, is widely regarded as the most iconic and revered game of the genre. Not only that, but GoldenEye 007 has been used as the gold standard (yes, pun intended) for pretty much every subsequent first person shooter ever since.
In 2005, a group of developers set the gaming world on fire with their release of a mod of the popular first person shooter for PC. The mod allows players to relive the glory days of the N64 with completely revamped versions of the old maps in addition to 10 additional multiplayer modes, and completely redesigned versions of the old weapons found in the original version.
Old Meets New
While the original game was developed by Rare and ran on their own engine, the mod was created using Valve 2, the same engine that was used for Counter Strike and Half Life. So lovers of the old version will be able to enjoy the aesthetics and levels of the original version with new and improved mechanics.
No Story Mode
Some will be disappointed to know that the game was solely made for multiplayer. However, this shouldn't be that much of a disappointment since it was the game's multiplayer mode that made it so popular with fans in the first place.
The reason for this was simple. Since the mod was created independently by a non profit group of developers, there were limited resources for the creation of elaborate single missions. As a matter of fact, the developers relied solely on fan support for game servers and mirror hosting.
Also, this new version of the game allows up to 32 players at once, which is a large improvement from the original version which only allowed a maximum of 4 players at a time due to the N64’s limitations.
Even if the graphics are absolutely stunning with impressive frame rates, this version of the mod is actually very light and doesn't require to run on a uber powerful machine. As a matter of fact, anyone with a PC with at least 4gb of RAM and Windows 7 should be able to enjoy the game to its full capabilities.
All in all, GoldenEye: Source is quite faithful to the original version and is perfect for hardcore of gamers who want to play the game on their PC. The gameplay is furious with tons of new options and stages to keep players interested, and the new mechanics provide a much needed improvement from the now outdated version. This is definitely a must have for any fan of the original game and anybody can get it for free at www.geshl2.com. Enjoy!