Tuesday, 29 September 2015

GunWorld Xbox One Edition (Xbox One) - Review

GunWorld: Xbox One Edition is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at $1.99 (US only).

I think I'm getting less patient as I get older. Actually I know I'm getting less patient, especially when I have to venture into the outside world with my family *shudder*. But this impatience is spreading into my gaming life. I have absolutely no patience at all for games that are incredibly difficult for no other reason but to piss off the player anymore. I find them more frustrating than I can handle these days and end up snapping at my poor fella if he dares speak to me after dying yet another time.

So maybe I'm the wrong person to be reviewing a game such as GunWorld. But I'm the only one here and I like to give my readers a variety of games to read about. So I sat down and prepared for the ultimate in frustration gaming.

If you don't know about GunWorld you may be wondering why I was so prepared for anger. I spoke to the developer on Twitter about GunWorld a little before I got hands-on with the game. He delighted in telling me how difficult it was, for even him to complete on certain settings. In fact there is a prize going to the first person who gets a certain achievement; Child of the 80's. Get this and you will win every future game from the company. Google how hard the achievement is, I dare ya.

Up to now very few people have beat the final boss of GunWorld and I would love to say I am one of them. But I am not. Not even close. I find the game almost impossible to play. I'm afraid my review can't be nearly as in-depth as I would like. The graphics are a nice nostalgia hit and there seems to be a fair bit of variety in guns etc. But you know at this price if you fancy a REAL challenge just grab it. It costs less than a cup of coffee.

I'm not going to give a star rating because I can't play enough of the game so it wouldn't be fair.

A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Penarium (Xbox One) - Review

Penarium is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £7.19.

Everybody loves the circus, in fact I'm going tonight with my son. Penarium is a circus with a twist though, the kind of twist that would be right at home in a SAW film or something of that ilk. Penarium sees you play as Willy, a farmhand who has always dreamed of visiting the circus. So much so that he jumps at the chance to go with the stranger who turns out to be the sadistic ringmaster of this hell-circus.

I really struggled with this game. It's incredibly difficult, or it was for me at least. It requires you to have lightening fast reflexes so that you can save Willy from turning into a pile of red mush. It starts off easy enough and introduces just one new method of death per level. I had to retry the second level. Twice. Told you I sucked.

Willy has to dodge homing missiles, circular saws, massive icicles, big red balls and more in his fight to survive the circus from hell and the actual tasks you are given pale in comparison. The arena is a wraparound too, so in theory you can go of left and come in on the right. The thing is I forget I can do this so it only ever counts against me, as weapons can do this too. I died a LOT. Then just as I thought I may be able to get my head around going off on one side they went and put spikes on the sides so you can't. Self Made Miracle are SADISTS.

The graphics are cute and the game is pretty funny, but it's a little too frustrating for my liking. I don't like replaying things over and over and I had to with Penarium. Only get it if you have a lot of patience. Oh and if you're a masochist.

5/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

I Am Bread (Steam) - Review

I Am Bread is available now on Steam and is priced at £9.99.

There has been a slew of absolutely mental 'experimental' games on Steam in recent years. Games like Surgeon Simulator and I Am Bread have really taken off, which is probably purely because of how funny they are to watch people play on Twitch and YouTube. But how is I Am Bread to play for yourself?

These games have gained popularity because of how difficult they are to play. The controls are deliberately extremely difficult to use, let alone master. I Am Bread is no different, it thrives off making you scream out in frustration as you get stuck on yet another environmental set piece.

You play as piece of bread, who's sole goal in life is to make himself toast. To do this you must make your way through various rooms in the house, until you find a source of heat good enough to toast yourself on. Let's be honest you've probably all seen Let's Plays of this game by now on YouTube.

I Am Bread is just as frustrating as you imagine it to be when you're watching it. The controls are ridiculously difficult, I honestly struggled to even move my piece of bread, let alone flip it over to the toaster! I didn't plug in a controller though, as I only have wireless ones so I was stuck using keyboard and mouse. I do think it'll be a little easier with a controller, but not much more. Honestly I bet there have been a fair few broken controllers whilst playing this game.

If you're after a game that'll give you some cheap laughs then you could do worse than picking up I Am Bread. But in all honesty I had more fun watching it on YouTube. I don't do well with frustration.

4/10 TRY IT!
A codes was provided for the purpose of this review.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings (Xbox One) - Review

Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £12.99.

I've never played a baseball game on a console before. Hell, I've never played baseball in real life. I feel like it's basically rounders though, and you literally can't go through school in England without having been tortured by a weekly rounders match. In the rain. And the mud. OUTSIDE. Eurgh.

Rather than a photo-realistic sports game a la any EA game ever, Super Mega Baseball is a super fun cartoony-style game where the characters have tiny legs, humongous bobble-heads and silly names.

For all of it's silliness though it is actually a fairly in-depth sports game, or at least it is to me. You use your analog stick to pick the kind of throw you will do (all of which mean nothing to me) and can control the speed and force that you throw too. For the batters it's a simple game of working out when to press A to swing your bat and kinda pointing it in the direction you want to bat it. Then you have to choose which base you will attempt to run to and move any other characters that may be on the field. I sucked at this part, but for once I can categorically say it is my fault. The control system for this game is really well done. I'm just crap.

There are only two modes in the game, Season or Exhibition, but I have to admit to wondering what other modes you may need. You can either play just one game, or go in for a season as the names suggest and both can be played with friends, locally. The Season mode is more in-depth and sees you having to manage your team too, a welcome addition for many of the more hardcore baseball fans I'm sure. You can also mess with the difficulty levels, changing them from between 0-99 to make it more or less difficult, meaning you can truly tailor your experience to suit you.

This is a good little sports game, but I feel like it is priced slightly too high for what you get. Maybe it's just because I'm not a sports fan but I did find the game kinda boring really. It'll likely be in a sale in the lead up to the holidays, so if you can, hold out until then.

5/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review. 

Monday, 14 September 2015

Blues and Bullets Episode 1 (Xbox One) - Review

Blues and Bullets Episode 1 is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £3.99.

Episodic games are all over the Xbox Marketplace at the minute. I'm a big fan of them myself, I'm pretty busy so to be able to 'finish' a game in under 5 hours suits me well. Then we get the next instalment about a month or so later, which is something I always look forward to, particularly with Life is Strange, King's Quest and Telltale's Game of Thrones. Well Blues and Bullets is another one to add to that list after playing the first episode.

In Blues and Bullets you begin playing as a little girl who is trapped in a cell. The story soon moves to you playing as Eliot Ness, famous for taking down Al Capone, who now runs a diner after retiring from the force 20 years ago. As always on this blog I won't go into proper story detail, but it centres around Capone and his missing daughter.

The games graphics aren't the best ever, but the art style is truly beautiful and gives ample opportunity to capture some nice screenshots for you dashboard background. The game is exclusively in black and white, with red being the only colour that is picked out which more than makes up for the lacking graphics.

This game is NOT for the faint-hearted as it features a pretty grisly murder and I've a feeling this is setting a precedent for the upcoming episodes. The game looks more open than it is, it gives you fairly large environments but they are full of hidden walls that basically lead you to exactly where you need to be so there isn't really any space to explore.

I'm very excited for what's coming next in Blues and Bullets, episode one is left on quite a big cliffhanger and I can't wait to see what happens next. At £3.99 an episode, which I'm guessing will be once every 1-2 months it's an absolute steal and one that won't break the bank. Go grab this episode and see if its for you.
9/10 BUY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review. 

Friday, 11 September 2015

Leo's Fortune (Xbox One) - Review

Leo's Fortune is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £5.59.

Leo started out his life on mobile platforms a little while back, but has now rolled his way onto the home consoles. Does it translate well to the big screen?

Leo's Fortune sees you play as the little fulfil pictured as he tries to find out who stole his gold. His prime suspects are his family but obviously it's not as simple as all that as on your quest to track them down you will encounter spike traps and other pitfalls galore in this platformer.

As pretty as the game is it still feels very much like you're playing a game made for mobile. Controls are responsive, but the game feels slightly too simplistic on the meatier hardware of a console and it suffers greatly for it. It could have made up for this had had it had more of a personality, but as it is everything about this game just feels a little, well, deflated and flat.

Maybe it's just because of all the blockbuster releases recently, but I struggled to actually enjoy this game. For the time I spent with it I was mostly just sat going through the motions, which isn't how any of us want to spend our spare time. It's a shame but I'd say skip this one guys.

3/10 SKIP IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Draw a Stickman: Epic (Xbox One) - Review

Draw a Stickman: Epic is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £6.39 (or £4.47 for Gold members at the minute).

I played Draw a Stickman: Epic awhile back in my iPad with my son and thought it was ingenious. It was a really great little game that made fantastic use of a touch-screen device. How would it work on an Xbox One?

In Draw a Stickman: Epic on the Xbox One you can draw either using the trigger and the thumbtack or you can use the Kinect. If this had been released on the 360 I'd have immediately said don't bother using the Kinect controls, as it just couldn't deal with anything requiring finesse. Kinect 2 however is much better, and CAN and it works very well. You just bring your hand up with your fingers in an 'L' shape, pinch your fingers together to draw and then splay your hand to activate your drawing. It sounds simple and it really is, I only struggled with it cos I am extremely cack-handed. No-one else (including my kids) struggled with it even half as much as I did.

Yes my Stickman is AWESOME!
This game is a truly brilliant way for kids (and adults) to express their creativity. And it's a good little game too, that sees you embark on an adventure to save your friend gathering different pencils along the way that will help you get through the various obstructions. There are collectables as well, because apparently no game is complete without them anymore.

It is a game many of you may have played though, but I feel the price reflects that, especially at its current price of £4.47. It's one of the cheapest games on the Xbox One. It's graphics are cutesy and if you're anything like me, most of your drawings will look like a baby got hold of the controller, but that's whats great about it, the level of personal interaction with the game. And it's a TON of fun to draw your Stickman...seriously, I could do that all day!

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

Clash (Xbox One) - Review

Clash is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £6.79.

Clash is a 4-player arena fighter, with no option for online play it pits you against your family and friends which in my house at least led to many proclamations of 'that's not fair!' as my son was obliterated by my partner, who clearly doesn't believe in giving kids a chance to win...

There are a few different game modes and things you can adjust things like gravity and the score needed to win to mix things up a little. But the real beauty of Clash is that it is insanely simple, you can block or you can attack and that's IT! You only need to land one attack to kill your foe. Which is how my living room turned into a battle zone last night, even my youngest could play it (just not very well). The controls are really responsive too, something a game this simple really has to rely on.

Clash is a good bit of fun for anyone who does have four Xbox controllers and friends or family to play it with. There is no option to play on your own, so if you're the type of gamer my Mum fears I'll turn into (i.e anti-social and alone) then it won't be any good for you. For those of us who still bother with the outside world, it's good for a laugh with your friends and pretty fairly priced, but I don;'t know how long it could keep you entertained for, I guess it depends on your peer group. There still aren't enough games that offer four player local play so try it out if you're sick of only being able to shoot your friends in the face. 

6/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Super Toy Cars (Xbox One) - Review

Super Toy Cars is available now on the Xbox One and is priced at £7.99.

Ever wondered what it would be like to play a budget version of Mario Kart? Wonder no more!

Nintendo won't give us Mario Kart on our beloved Xbox One's and Sega have still not inserted my pleas to bring the excellent Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed to it either, which leaves the playing field wide open for someone to release a kiddie-friendly racing game. By which I mean a game so colourful it'd make LSD induced hallucinations look bland.

Super Toy Cars gives you a few different race tracks for, you guessed it, toy cars to race around. There are a number of cars to buy and mod, with an upgrade available for each part and a few different colours and paint jobs to choose from. You get points for completing races, and these points unlock the next sets of races.

The problem with this game is that everything feels half-assed. I cannot enthuse about this game at all because it is just so lacking. I spent a few hours with it, as has my son, but really neither of us were having fun! We we're going through the motions because it needed to be reviewed. Everything about Super Toy Cars feels like a cheap rip off of the bigger budget racers. Even the power-ups you can collect are boring. And none of the AI character's seem to use them, which is just weird!

This game could have been salvaged had it been for a few things, if it was more polished it would have been infinitely better, but as it stands I keep driving through the environment. A little creator mode would have gone a long way to entertaining my son and I too. The ability to make tracks for your family to play may well have kept us playing that bit longer. As it stands this game simply isn't worth even the relatively small £7.99 price tag, which is a huge shame. Skip it guys.

3/10 TRY IT!
A code was provided for the purpose of this review.