Sunday, 23 September 2012

Defenders of the Last Colony (XBLIG) Review

Defenders of the Last Colony is a unique mix of twin-stick shooting and tower-defense. Available now on the XBLIG Marketplace for just 80MSP.
Up to three others can join you as you try to defend the last colony from alien invasion (and trust me later you will definitely want your co-op buddies to help out!). Pick one of two classes, Engineer or Fighter, and you're good to go.
Ok so this game works like so. Between waves of enemies you (and any teammates) have the opportunity to lay down barricades to help you defend the colony. Once they start to invade you switch to a twin stick shooter set-up and annihilate the alien race.
Now the story is pretty cliched and the writing leaves a lot to be desired. It all feels pretty clunky. But the gameplay is brilliant in the campaign mode, so stick with it! There does sometimes seem to be a little too much going on on the screen, for example some enemies seem to carry on exploding for ages after their death, leaving bright fireworks burning into your retinas. The HUD gets quite crowded at points too, but none of these points in my eyes are a game-killer.
Everyone loves a good twin-stick shooter, even if only for five minutes. Some of the modes available on this game are fun for about that length of time, but honestly the campaign in my eyes makes up for that. There is a lot of variety offered in the campaign. The two different classes are really good and offer up slightly different challenges in the ways in which you will complete the level.
The multiplayer option on this game s also good. As you'll be aware if you read my blog regularly I'm a big fan of any game that allows four of us to play!
Overall I'd definitely say try this game. Anyone can enjoy a twin-stick shooter, and the extra bit of strategy involved in this game makes it a little more interesting. It's not amazing by any means but for 80MSP you really cannot complain, you're getting a lot of game for that amount and a lot of fun into the bargain!
7/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Hack This Game 4 (XBLIG) Review

Hack This Game 4 is the latest in the Hack This Game series from Utopioneer. Available now on the XBLIG Marketplace for just 80MSP.
As usual the first three people to complete the game will be featured on the cover for the game. After trying and failing to complete this game (for now!) that is definitely a worthy prize for the winners!
This game is a unique puzzler which sees the player launched into brilliant vintage green computer style graphics to simulate hacking.  There are many different puzzles to enjoy (25 to be precise) and a brand new mini-game.
I found this game challenging, obviously. I think up to now I've managed to get to file 14 or 15. Players have to use all their wit and intellect to get there. I found I used a lot of trial-and-error to get to where I did. None-the-less though this game is addictive and I found myself staying up far too late in a desperate attempt to get further. Needless to say it didn't work and just left me too tired to function the next day :/
Now obviously if you are the type of person who likes to 'switch off brain' when you sit down for a gaming session this isn't for you. But for anyone who wants something a bit different, a TRULY challenging puzzle game and the chance for your avatar to be a star then 80MSP for this is an absolute steal.

7/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Indie Games Uprising III Update


Just to let you all know that I am still covering IGU3 but due to Microsoft not sorting out a problem with the prepaid codes the developers have not been able to send codes out to reviewers.

When this is rectified you can expect my reviews :)

Happy Gaming =)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Face-Plant Adventures (XBLIG) Review

Face-Plant Adventures is now on XBLIG for the bargain price of 80MSP. And this game really is a bargain.
You play as a plant with a face, never would have guessed from the title eh? And using this plant you have to bounce and slide your way around the beautifully designed levels.
This game really is beautiful to look at, the levels are well drawn and the backgrounds are gorgeous. The character not-so-much but we'll let that one pass.
What I can't let pass is the controls. Most things are quite slick, responsive and react in a way you'd expect. But jumping is a whole other thing. When you jump you suddenly become this big blob of unresponsive heavy plant. Most times I landed on spikes or goo simply because I couldn't for the life of me judge the jump correctly. Sometimes the plant reacted like a ball of tar and others it was like a feather. It did get pretty annoying.
However this game is a brilliant platformer, it actually reminded me a lot of Splosion Man, which is definitely not a bad comparison. It is plenty of fun when you just want half an hour of casual gaming. Everything is well-explained without being jarring and the visuals are pretty stunning.
At 80MSP if you have ever loved a platform game or have dabbled with trying one then this is a definite MUST BUY!
7/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Bath Salt Zombies (XBLIG) Review

It would be hard to write a review about Bath Salt Zombies and NOT compare it to I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMB1ES!!!1 So I'm gonna go right ahead and say it...this game is a hell of a lot like it...BUT BETTER!
There is no doubt that this games predecessor had an AWESOME soundtrack and the gameplay was fun and fast. This game, whilst the song is not quite as catchy, has that and more. Power ups that are available to both you and the zombies, so you have to race them to the 'bath salts' to gain the upper hand.
This game is what it is. A fun twin-stick shooter for up to four players. It doesn't give us anything new or particularly exciting but what's wrong with some good old-fashioned twin-stick fun?
The graphics are good and as I mentioned before the music is pretty good. It doesn't quite have the sticking power that ZOMB1ES!!!1 does but it is pretty catchy.
And this game does provide slightly more. There are the bath salt upgrades and also some 'boss' zombies for you to deal with. As per most of the games of this type it is four player. Something that is quite rare on both the XBLA and XBLIG markets.
This game is only 80MSP like I MAED A GAM3 W1TH ZOMB1ES!!!1 so why not treat yourself and just get both?! These games provide a cheap laugh and a few hours of fun whenever you want.
7/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Brimstone (XBLIG) Review

 I've heard a lot of good things about Brimstone so when the developer replied with a review code I was pretty excited to sit down and play this game.
Unfortunately Brimstone has left a slightly bitter taste in my mouth. Now Indie Games, for me have to earn a few stars for the pure fact that even if you only have a little fun it's only cost you 80MSP. And with a lot of Indie Games I often find myself thinking that I would have paid more for the experience. Brimstone is not one of those games.
Now it isn't that I dislike RPG's, in fact I LOVE them. What I dislike is a game masquerading as a story-led RPG that turns out to be a dungeon-crawler with very little customisation available.
When you open the game you are treated to a beautifully drawn screen to look at whilst you listen to an incredibly dull voice explain the pretty dull story. Then you're thrown into the first dungeon. There is a man at the desk that will explain a few bits to you and a man whom you can buy items from.
Now to anyone who buys this game I suggest you test your buttons out in this room. This room will NOT allow you to use the attack button (x) but get used to the menu buttons etc. DON'T press 'y' as it will use one of your Scrolls of Health (you're welcome) but yeah use this danger-free room to become accustomed to the buttons as this game has no tutorial. This would not normally irk me quite so much, but in a game such as this I do think a tutorial is pretty much needed. You have to be a seasoned RPG'er to work out a lot of the stats and nothing is explained. Literally nothing. You have an inventory full of items that state 140+ P Res 10+ Eva and 1+ Dex for example. Pretty self-explanatory to someone who is familiar with an RPG, but to anyone who has picked it up because of it's value for money aspect may be left a little baffled.
There are only four main stats to level up, Strength, Toughness, Dexterity, Magic. Each time you level up you get five points to use as you see fit. For some of the more uncommon items find you will need to have a certain stat levelled up.
I didn't find this game boring, but I can't say it was particularly enjoyable either. It was just there. I just played and played without really feeling anything. It felt like I was constantly bashing the x button and every so often the y button to recover some health. I didn't feel a driving need to push forward to see what happened next and I didn't really care whether I levelled up or not. As I said this game feels more of a button-bashing dungeon crawler than an RPG.
For 80MSP I'd say try it. If you like dungeon crawlers, if you don't mind mindlessly bashing buttons for what feels like hours on end. And if you think a game can be called an RPG because it includes four things to level up, go for it.
4/10 Try It!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Thursday, 13 September 2012

March to the Moon (XBLIG) Review

March to the Moon is out on the XBLIG marketplace for the very fair price of just 80MSP.
A vertical shoot 'em up akin to Space Invader this game is a LOT of fun. Shoot through wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies to level up and unlock more items.
This game does have RPG elements, which for me make it a lot better. I love games that see you having to invest in your character, to play to your strengths. There are 12 different skill classes to choose to level up in this game so there is a lot of variety available for everyone! This game is infinitely playable, create character after character if you so wish with different classes to see what works best for you. Unlock clothes to customise your character. For a game that has simplicity at it's core, I think these elements really bring something special to the game.
So the game starts with you offering to clear out a basement of rats. See to these and you are treated with wave after wave of them. Rats that shoot you, bats, goblins, alligators, cows, pigs and chickens are all going to be slaughtered as you March to the Moon.
This game is pretty difficult, but not so much so it becomes dull. It is VERY addictive and every time I died I found myself furiously tapping the 'a' button to start again as soon as possible.
Now this kind of game can get very repetitive. March to the Moon steps away from that by offering a 'reset' button at the ned of each difficulty setting. This adds more story and new one-liners to the previously seen levels. It does re-use the four previous settings but as I say it doesn't really feel repetitive.  Hitting the 'reset' button also expands your already huge skill set tree.
Getting the balance of your skill tree right is of paramount importance in this game. Put your experience to use in the wrong way could result in a lot of restarts. Another awesome feature of this game is that you can press the RT button to get your experience back once you've learned from your mistakes. Your character truly evolves with the game.
This game is pretty large in scope. There are 8 levels in each of the four worlds and then three difficulties to battle through, making 96 stages of vertical shooting goodness.
This game for me is a must-buy. I don't really know of anyone who could say this game isn't fun and afterall isn't that what we want from our games?
8/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.